Jennifer Lake's Blog

August 10, 2009

The Shot Heard Round The World, an alternate history of polio

In 1988, the World Health Organization announced its intention to wipe the disease of polio off the face of the earth. This great ‘hidden’ scourge is as infectious as cholera, they claim, creating 199 ‘carriers’ for every unfortunate victim. Third World nations, poor and unsanitary, have no chance against The Crippler without the interventions of the West, for the West has conquered polio. If not for human ignorance, we would all be polio-free.
The dimensions of polio eradication ceased long ago to be a battle against disease. Yesterday and today, it is the ongoing crusade of the Light against the Darkness; Science against Superstition, Love against Fear. Our greatest modern-day philanthropists launch billions in private funding for polio’s final solution. For those of us unaware of the Epic struggle against poliomyelitis, the forces of Light take full credit: to the newest generations of North Americans, Europeans and Australians “polio” is simply the name of a vaccine.
Perhaps nothing in medical experience is more inside-out and upside-down than the story of polio. I’ve come to think of it as the greatest “dirty little secret” of all time. In the present decade, mothers in poor countries grab their children and flee from the vaccinators. The rest of us line up. One way or another, polio is a sure thing. Sure, you have polio. It ‘lives’ inside you, has a thousand names and faces, and someday you’ll see it reflected in your own face. It looks like ‘old age’ and it feels like hell. That’s if you’re lucky.
In the 1870s, pioneer neurologists learned that poliomyelitis infected the brain and dissolved the nervous system. No one had yet discovered it could be a virus. The famous case of the “French patient”, a young man with a withered arm, relapsed his way into medical history and left a legacy of physical damage that fascinated his observers. No accounting was made for his childhood bout with paralysis, but his laboring job in a tanning mill pulling heavy sodden hides from vats of acid left little doubt of his degeneration. He was 19 years old. Polio was a slow poisoner that robbed its victims senseless and by 1900, every informed international medical specialist knew it.
Early Victorian outbreaks of polio all occurred in areas of concentrated environmental pollution from farms or factories. As industrialism spread so did polio. Children were its most numerous victims, though they nearly always recovered after a running course of flu. Even when paralysis set in affecting the legs, most children recovered. However, the great polio epidemics before World War One saw a change in this strange and obscure affliction. Instead of a slow unraveling or a flu, polio turned into a thief in the night and thousands began to die unable to take a breath with unresponding lungs. Polio, infantile paralysis, was a killer of babies. The Rockefeller Institute declared it was caused by a virus, and one man, incredibly, had charge over the fate of polio research.
That man, Simon Flexner, became a high priest of chemobiology, modern medicine’s holy-of-holies. His brothers, Abraham and Bernard, took the cowl for education and law. Together, and with the help of like-minded ministers around the globe, a new paradigm of public health was forged and forced upon the unsuspecting. In secret, polio was born anew, offspring of the dual poisons of chemicals and radiation. In time, it was cultivated to infect any creature with a nervous system and no human tissue could resist colonization. When the world was at its most ready and vulnerable, blanketed in nuclear fallout and brazen with victory from the first great Moral War ever fought, the “canonized” Jonas Salk led the medical infantry to the new front lines.
Saint Salk and Saint Sabin, counselors to presidents and prime ministers, carried the new standard. Vaccines for everyone, needles and sugar. Children were chided to be brave and disregard their natural impulse to resist the syringes or, for once, they were encouraged to take candy from strangers. All part of being inside-out and upside-down. What became known in the press as “provocation polio”, induced by inoculation, was consigned to masterful PR which turned an unprecedented vaccination disaster into a triumph; scapegoats were found, guilt assigned, and faith restored. During the Cold War, it made anything seem possible, even to cause the most propagandized disease in history to disappear merely by changing its name.
In the 1950s, troubled nations were targeted for “field trials”; Northern Ireland, Siberia, Cuba, the Congo. Modern polio only exists in troubled nations, or rather, nations with whom there is trouble. In 2005, that proved to be Muslims anywhere, particularly in Africa, and the Amish in America. Cooperative nations, allowing millions upon millions of their children to receive polio vaccines, are also the beneficiaries of outsourced industry and international funding. Soon they’ll share in the many-faced diseases of polio and its treatment, not just the ‘wild-type’ Acute Flaccid Paralysis or the vaccine induced Guillain-Barre syndrome, but the gnawing decay of neuro-muscular degeneration and cancer.
Read this case of “imported” polio into Australia by a 22-yr old Pakistani man who had been vaccinated as a child with 3 doses of the Sabin OPV, diagnosed with MRI!
Polio is caused by radiation and chemicals. There are many viruses detected in the “disease”. Did you ever wonder why polio was a problem in the 1950s, or why the United States was so hard hit? Graphs and timelines, documents and testimonies at demonstrate the correspondence of polio with atomic weapons.

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