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The Origin Of AIDS

90 Minutes Documentary

click play to start

Some background information about “The Origins of AIDS” documentary

At last count "The Origins of AIDS" had been broadcast in some twenty countries world-wide (the major exception being the UK, where legal pressures by lawyers representing doctors Koprowski and Plotkin caused Channel Four to postpone its planned broadcast).

It has also won, at last count, four scientific prizes and five major film prizes (including the prestigious Europa Prize), and was short-listed (to the final four) for an International Emmy for Best Documentary of 2004. By all accounts, these prizes and awards have come despite vigorous interventions made against the film by certain (mainly American) members of some of the juries.

An additional factor has been the concerted campaign waged against "The Origins of AIDS" by a group of scientists representing those who made CHAT vaccine, those who vigorously oppose the OPV theory, and those who champion the bushmeat theory of origin. These men and women have written a series of identical, or near-identical, letters to TV companies and film festivals, claiming (falsely) that the OPV hypothesis of origin has been disproved, and urging them not to show the film. This group of collaborators is led and coordinated by Koprowski's right-hand man of the 1950s, Stanley Plotkin, who helped Hilary Koprowski organise the human testing of CHAT vaccine in the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi. It also features Koprowski's close friend Robert Gallo (the man who, in the early 1980s, tried to annexe credit for discovery of the AIDS virus from Luc Montagnier's team, and who describes Hilary Koprowski as his "mentor"), as well as Plotkin's hired rottweiler and PR advisor, John Moore. Other members include leading bushmeat proponents, Beatrice Hahn, Bette Korber, and Steve Wolinsky; a leading Canadian scientist, Mark Wainberg; and Robin Weiss and Simon Wain-Hobson, the two scientists who arranged the Royal Society conference on "Origins of HIV and the AIDS Epidemic" after Bill Hamilton's death, and who so signally failed to provide the "level playing-field" that they had promised. It is now apparent that some months before the Royal Society meeting in September 2000 a community of interest developed between several of the afore-mentioned scientists.

These hostile approaches have won little success with the directors of film festivals, who tend to be a hardy bunch, and not always dismayed by the prospect of controversy.

However, they have enjoyed a certain degree of success with TV companies. Some of the TV broadcasts of the film have been relegated to late-night slots at the last minute, and in certain instances pressures appear to have been brought to bear on the broadcasters from higher authorities. For instance, when the film was shown on France2, the second government channel in France, on World AIDS Day (December 1st) 2003, the broadcast was apparently preceded by a 2-minute appearance from a scientist from the Pasteur Institute, who asked viewers to bear in mind that the OPV theory had been disproved, because scientists had already discovered an AIDS case from 1931! This, of course, was a complete fabrication. The fact that the Pasteur wheeled out a compliant scientist who was prepared to tell lies on national television, gives some indication of the "fear and loathing" which certain governments and government-financed institutions feel about the OPV theory.

It is now apparent that the American, Belgian and French governments were all actively involved in experimental polio vaccination trials that were conducted in colonial Africa in the late 1950s. All these trials appear to have involved vaccines that were amplified locally in African primate cells. There is now compelling evidence to suggest that the Belgian/American trials were responsible for the sparking of the AIDS pandemic in the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi. The information about the French trials is more sparse, but is enough to indicate that they may well be linked to the three minor outbreaks of AIDS that occurred in France's former colonies of French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa. Given this, it is perhaps not surprising that at least some of these governments are now resorting to carefully-coordinated disinformation campaigns.

Only a portion of the evidence supporting the foregoing statement about the Belgian/American trials has thus far been published. But two things, in particular, strike me as immensely impressive:

a) that when challenged as to their grounds for opposing the OPV theory, its leading opponents - and those who were directly involved with the Stanleyville trials - are unable to come up with a single legitimate argument, either scientific or historical, to support their position. When pressed many of them, and many of those less directly involved (like the Pasteur scientist, above), resort to citing non-existent evidence.

b) that the Plotkin team has expended a great deal of time and energy on trying to persuade those who have already given significant testimony to me, or to the "Origins of AIDS" film crew, to later withdraw or modify their statements on key issues. Sometimes the approach of the Plotkins involves the exertion of peer pressure through senior colleagues, but sometimes (as with certain of the African witnesses shown in the film) the attempt has been underpinned by "financial inducements". Fortunately several of these attempts have backfired, and there is now a rather substantial trail of evidence about the cover-up that the Plotkins have been endeavouring to stage.

The bottom line? None of the alleged scientific evidence against the OPV theory (the testing of samples of American-made OPV; the alleged dating of HIV-1 to the 1930s; the claim that no Pan troglodytes troglodytes chimps were used by the Stanleyville scientists) actually stands up.

And as for the "historical evidence", if you're speaking the truth, then you really don't need to lean on witnesses to get them to support your version of history.

"The Origins of AIDS", the TV documentary about how AIDS began, which highlights the oral polio vaccine (OPV) hypothesis and the attempts to suppress it, has had a tremendous impact since it was first shown on television in November 2003.

Word-of-mouth news about this multi-award-winning film has been spreading, and during the last two years (but especially since the start of 2006) I have been deluged with e-mail and letter enquiries about how to purchase the film, or view the film. For several reasons [see below], it has until now been extremely difficult for me to answer that question.

For the record, I myself was not part of the film-making team, although I assisted the film-makers at different times in the project, and featured as a talking head, especially in the second part of the film.

Marketing "The Origins of AIDS”: the story so far.

Officially the DVD was due to be released in October 2005, but as far as I can make out, this never happened.

I have been told informally that following a change of managerial personnel the French co-producers, MFP (formerly part of Pathe), want nothing more to do with the film. The other major co-producers are a Montreal-based Canadian company, Galafilm, who have a tradition of making hard-hitting documentaries.

Early in April 2006 I made the first of several approaches to president and executive producer of Galafilm, Arnie Gelbart, and to his secretary, asking them how to purchase a video or DVD of the film. In all, I contacted them by phone and e-mail at least ten times in the next three months, but received no reply – even if they did send me copies of the video and DVD, which arrived in June. Considering the help I had provided to the producers during the making of the film, I found this lack of response extraordinary.

By the time I received copies of the film, at least two different sites had already begun showing the film on the Web. In both instances, this was done quite independently of me, although the owner of one of the sites later approached me, asking what I thought of his initiative, and suggesting that a link be posted to his site on this web-site.

I was taken aback to begin with, but due to the continued silence from Galafilm, decided that the more people who could see “The Origins of AIDS” the better. On June 30, 2006, I posted a link on this site to the video streaming site, Doc-Film-Net.

Soon after this, I received an angry e-mail from Arnie Gelbart. A few weeks later the head of legal affairs at Galafilm, Maude-Isabelle Delagrave, e-mailed me with a request that I call her. During a lengthy conversation, she told me that the film was available for purchase, and asked me to correct this fact on my web-site. She also told me that those showing the film without permission on the Web would be pursued energetically by legal means. I told her that I found Galafilm’s sudden energy on this issue intriguing, following its previous inertia and silence.

However, I agreed to update the information on this web-page, provided that she gave me full details about how to purchase the film. It took Ms Delagrave a further six weeks, but she eventually supplied the details I had requested. These purchasing details can be found at the bottom of this section.

Meanwhile, the owner of Doc-Film-Net received threatening letters both from Galafilm, and a Montreal legal firm hired by Galafilm. Apparently he immediately removed the film from his web-site. He also enquired whether he could purchase rights to distribute the film on the Web, but apparently received no reply. Soon afterwards, another site that had been showing “The Origins of AIDS” on Google Video also removed the film from its schedules, presumably because of similar legal approaches.

The owner of Doc-Film-Net told me that he had never previously encountered such a level of opposition to showing a film. He also told me that simultaneously with the legal approaches at least one party had been trying to hack into his web-site. Shortly after this, I realised that I too had been approached by the party he had named, who had presented himself to me as an ally who was eager to know how I intended to combat the attempts to suppress the film. Whether these rather clumsy “gumshoe” approaches are in any way connected to the legal approaches is not known.

According to Maude Delagrave, there are three ways in which versions of “The Origins of AIDS” can be purchased. I know that it is possible to buy the film, because on the day that she informed me of this, I received an unsolicited e-mail from someone in Canada, saying that he had managed to buy a DVD of the film from the National Film Board of Canada without difficulty. Several others, however, have reported continued problems [see below].

In recent months, several of the e-mails I receive via this site have pointed out that given the determination by the makers of CHAT vaccine and their allies in the medical community to suppress all discussion of the OPV/AIDS theory, it might be that they (or someone acting on their behalf) have made the film-makers an offer they cannot refuse. I have no way of knowing whether there might be any truth in this supposition.

I would therefore advise those who wish to purchase or view the film to do the following:

a) attempt to buy the film, using the links below. (I would be interested to have brief feedback from any persons who try to purchase the film. My questions would be: Which organisation did you approach? Were you successful? If so, what was the cost – and how long did it take for the film to arrive?)

b) if you cannot buy the film, then access it via the Web. I am told that it continues to be possible to view “The Origins of AIDS” on file-sharing web-sites, and that the easiest way to access these is to key “origins of aids video” into Google. In addition, the owner of Film Documentary Net, the same man who has withdrawn the film from his web-site, has posted a notice on his Noticeboard informing potential viewers about how to access the film elsewhere. To reach that web-page click here and then click on "Noticeboard" at the top of the page; then log on (it's free); and follow directions about how and where to locate the "Origins of AIDS" film. The first message on the Noticeboard seems to give directions to a torrent linked to the film, and a further message explains the host's reasons for taking this stand.

Updated version: November 24, 2006

"The Origins of AIDS", the TV documentary about how AIDS began, which highlights the oral polio vaccine (OPV) hypothesis and the attempts to suppress it, has had a tremendous impact since it was first shown on television in November 2003.

Word-of-mouth news about this multi-award-winning film has been spreading, and during the last two years (but especially since the start of 2006) I have been deluged with e-mail and letter enquiries about how to purchase the film, or view the film. For several reasons [see below], it has until now been extremely difficult for me to answer that question.

For the record, I myself was not part of the film-making team, although I assisted the film-makers at different times in the project, and featured as a talking head, especially in the second part of the film.

Ed Hooper. June 30, 2006; updated November 23rd, 2006.


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