Saturday, June 16, 2012

The House that HIV Testing Built

there is an orphanage in Washington Heights, one of the poorest neighborhoods on Manhattan, located just above Harlem. A Catholic orphanage. It took in the children of crack addicts who’d been abandoned at the hospital. The nuns nursed some of them back to health, but some of them died. Because that’s what being born addicted to crack does to you.  It kills you.
Liam Scheff
If you want to know why cheap cocaine was flooding the United States, I suppose you can call Barry Seal, who’s dead, or Oliver North, who isn’t and ask them about the CIA bringing drugs into the cities. Or, you can ask Gary Webb, who is also dead, for doing the reporting on it.
This Catholic orphanage was doing a good thing. Then the NIH got a hold of it. They decided that this population of cracked-out orphans, born nearly dead, was a wonderful, untapped resource for testing AIDS drugs on, to see if they could get them approved for children. And in the early 90s, stretching to the mid-2000s, that’s what they did.
The kids were getting daily doses of drugs with the FDA’s “black box” label, which means they had killed adults at normal doses. They were getting them five, six, seven, eight and nine at a time. “Some at higher than usual doses,” went the study description.
There were three dozen drug trials in the government database listing the orphanage as a study site. The studies were sponsored by your tax money given to the NIH, coupled with direct funding from drug companies: Glaxo, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Genentech, Merck and others.
The hospitals used the orphanage to get test subjects, arranged by the doctors who were put in charge. These “doctors,” Dr. Steven Nicholas and then Dr. Catherine Painter, posed as friends to these children and forcibly drugged them. The staff of child-care workers, consisting of neighborhood Dominican women, were made to carry out the drug regimen day and night.
Once on the drugs, severe illness was normal. Children had violent diarrhea and threw up as a regular feature of being drugged around the clock. It was noticeable that many children were stunted, physically and developmentally. Many developed large fatty lumps and humps on their bodies. These come from the protease inhibiting drugs and had to be removed with plastic surgeries.
After starting the drugs, children got sick, fast. Many died. A 6-year-old girl who’d never been sick was brought in for drug compliance. That is, she wasn’t taking the drugs at home and the city social workers had a problem with that, so she was put in the orphanage. On the drugs for a few months, she had a stroke, went blind and then died. This kind of violent drug death happened to a lot of the children, quickly and slowly. That’s what “black box” means, in actuality. I knew some of these children personally. I know a lot more through my sources.
Like the girl, not all of the children were orphans. Many had been adopted or lived with family. They were put into the orphanage by the city of New York if parents refused to drug them at home. They were brought in for “compliance,” or “adherence.” That’s how I got the story, because a mother didn’t want to drug her kids and the city took them away from her.
Children are not stupid. They recognized what was happening and often refused to take the pills, but they weren’t allowed to. If they refused, the nurses and childcare workers force-fed the ground-up drugs through a nasal tube (it went up the nose, down into the stomach). If they continued to refuse, they had a hole cut in their abdomen, where a plastic tube was inserted and the drugs were pumped directly into the stomach, along with infant formula to give them “nutrition.” Yes, that’s what I said. They had their stomachs cut open. You can look up the surgery online. “PEG tube.”
All of this was verified by multiple sources, including the doctor who ran the place. I was talking with a half-dozen insiders at one point (nurses, child-care workers and volunteers), plus four or five children and young adult ex-residents. I had an audio interview with Dr. Painter where she described exactly how and why the children would get their stomachs cut open.
I had it on tape, on record, admitted by the perpetrators and victims alike. But the orphanage kept drugging the kids. I published articles in several magazines and newspapers and appeared on New York and national radio. (Leroy Baylor at WHCR in Harlem championed the story and even had one of the mothers, “Mona,” on air).
I even got a movie made from it, directed by Milena Schwager, who did a very good job. It was released through the BBC, which mortified the AIDS drug pushers; so much so that they demanded the company retract or apologize for the film. Eventually the BBC put up a note that there had been some objection to one of the interviewees, but they left the story up. 

The movie was good, but the producer was unwilling to tackle the fraud of HIV testing, so it lost a great deal of evidence. But it helped open eyes, for which I’m grateful. The combined effect of articles, radio appearances and film brought citizens and activists out in protest in the streets outside of the ICC. The powers-that-be in the city had to take action to quiet the rage.
I think someone placed a call to their go-to at the New York Times. Because when the issue was spilling into the streets and into dinnertime conversation, the Times showed up, a year-and-a-half into the public investigation and painted a big “Do Not Look Here ‘X’” on it for its pharma-advertisers and pseudo-liberal readers.
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Read the rest in Chapter 6 of “Official Stories,” available worldwide in the UK and Europe on Amazon (Kindle late July, 2012).

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