Book Review

Emerging Viruses
AIDS and Ebola - Nature, Accident, or Intentional?

L. Horowitz
Tetrahedron Press, 1996, 594 pp.


This is a vile, hate-filled book written by an author who appears to have great difficulty distinguishing truth from fantasy.

At first glance, this book appears similar to many other classic reports of crack investigative journalists tracking down sinister governmental conspiracies or uncovering wrongdoing by powerful leaders. In this case, the subject is a supposed conspiracy perpetrated by Robert Gallo and other AIDS researchers, who according to Horowitz, engineered the AIDS virus in a conspiracy with the U.S. military, and then, motivated by some mad desire to eradicate the homosexual and black populations, released the disease on the population.

The standard of journalism in this book brings new meaning to the word `sleaze'. `Proof' for this author arises primarily from conversations he has with his wife about some supposed insight to a conspiracy while reading the morning paper. Facts contrary to the author's argument, such as the fact that AIDS is believed to have originated in the late 1950s, well before the invention of DNA technology, and when Gallo was barely out of his teens, are either garbled or omitted entirely. Counter-arguments to the author's thesis, such as the fact that the Soviet Union admitted that the rumor of AIDS having been created as a weapon was a complete fabricaton of the Service A division of the Soviet KGB, are flippantly dismissed for essentially no reason. The book also contains reproductions of ordinary, innocent documents (such as population growth projections and abstracts of grant applications) to which the author ascribes hidden sinister, genocidal meaning. And the conspiracy theory itself is so mind-bogglingly improbable and illogical as to defy belief.

For example, the book claims on page 16 that the Department of Defense considered kuru as a potentially useful biological weapon -- a disease that would require the enemy to eat raw human brains and wait 10-20 years before the first symptoms appear. It is doubtful that any reader with an IQ higher than their hat size could believe this. Yet this same subpopulation of readers is expected to believe that Gallo suppressed the discovery of HIV, then turned around and fought over the credit with Montagnier, and finally engaged in a conspiracy with Duesberg (the scientist who criticized the HIV theory) to obfuscate the true cause of AIDS.

If the author really is a Harvard-educated dentist, as he claims, he should know better. If a conspiracy exists, it is that the author is actually an agent of The Military-Industrial Complex (TMIC) or The Pharmaceutical Industry (TPI) who is trying to discredit the entire genre of conspiracy theorists by publishing a book so full of improbable conspiracy fantasies that future conspiracy theorists and pseudo-journalists will be drowned in ridicule from mere association with this type of book.