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Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Frank Visser, graduated as a psychologist of culture and religion, founded IntegralWorld in 1997. He worked as production manager for various publishing houses and as service manager for various internet companies and lives in Amsterdam. Books: Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion (SUNY, 2003), and The Corona Conspiracy: Combatting Disinformation about the Coronavirus (Kindle, 2020).
TABLE OF CONTENTS | REVIEWS
Stefan Lanka's Vanishing Virus Act
The Corona Conspiracy, Part 7
The viruses known by science have in the highly complex events of the cell a helping, supporting and not at all a disturbing function. Also in sick people one has never in the sick organism or its fluids ever observed or isolated a structure, that can be called a virus. The idea of a virus that makes you sick is a transparent fraud, a fatal lie with dramatic consequences. —Stefan Lanka, Interview Vitalstoff Journal, 2005.
What I've done is I've looked at the scientific literature about this alleged corona virus and I've looked at all the government data on mortality and such and what I've determined is that there is actually no evidence of a virus that's been isolated or shown to cause any new disease and there's also no evidence of any rise in mortality that would suggest there's a new illness. —Andrew Kaufman, The Infinite Fringe #137, 2020.
There is a smug superiority in all this amateurism, full of contempt for real science.
Let these two quotes really sink in. With over 10.000.000 registered cases and a worldwide death toll of over 500.000 deaths as of today (June 30, 2020), there are still some reckless souls who have the guts to say: there's no virus, there's no disease, there are no excess deaths. So yeah, people die, but they die from causes they always die from. And if you test positive for COVID-19, that means nothing because it only tests for general human cell material, which everybody has, hence the large number of false positives. It's all fake news. And we are the only ones who are seeing it right. All of science just has it wrong. The thousands of current publications on SARS-CoV-2 are just bunk. Paranoid science.
Here are the major players in this Vanishing Virus Act: David Icke, King of Conspiracy, kicked off in his interview with London Real early April, and launched forensic psychiatrist Andrew Kaufman as his major source into publicity. Stefan Lanka, a long term virus denialist in Germany and a molecular biologist, is one of Kaufman's main sources for his "there is no virus" narrative. We have met Icke and Kaufman in previous parts of this series. We will now discuss Lanka in more detail.
NO EXCESS DEATHS? NO COVID-19?
Let's first tackle the claim that there are actually no excess deaths anywhere. This graph from The Economist (posted in April, but updated until mid-June) speaks volumes against that claim:
It is often claimed by these virus denialists that many deaths are misdiagnosed as COVID-19, to prop the faulty notion that there's a deadly virus going around. But even though diagnostics might be complicated when people have all kinds of underlying diseases ("you don't die of COVID-19 but with COVID-19", the sophistry goes), if you look at excess deaths this doesn't matter anymore. For whatever reason these people died, there is clearly a spike in deaths in many countries at the same time. In fact, many of these excess deaths were not attributed to COVID-19 (see the grey areas above the dotted line). This clear pattern, showing up in many countries, needs to be accounted for. And no, these are not seasonal peaks due to any winter flu, because the pandemic started in mid-March and peaked in early April.
Now, virus denialists try another tactic: there may be something going on here, but people are not dying from a virus. Instead, it may be stress, radiation (5G!), poison, pollution, wrong medication (vaccines!), trauma, fear of catching COVID-19 (I kid you not!) or anything these health freaks detest. But this does in no way explain the pattern we see of a sequential pandemic that started out in South-China, then spread to other countries in Europe and Asia, then on to the United States and is now ravaging South America, especially Brazil, two areas where virus denying presidents are in office. Do these countries suffer from simulaneous water pollution, psychological trauma or the rollout of 5G? There is no sensible way a case can be made for this.
"There's also no evidence of any rise in mortality that would suggest there's a new illness", said Andrew Kaufman in a tumultous radio interview with Billy Ray Valentine. How far removed from sane facts and figures does one have to be to make such a delirious statement? What alternative facts does Kaufman have in mind here? Now why would anyone in his right mind want to deny the realities of the current pandemic? Look at Kaufman's second claim: "there is actually no evidence of a virus that's been isolated or shown to cause any new disease." It is because they don't believe in the existence of deadly viruses. That's where Stefan Lanka comes in.
Because Kaufman thinks there is no virus and no disease, and no excess deaths, for him everything boils down to mass hysteria cultivated by virologists and the WHO, and evil intentions by a world government that wants to enslave us. Yes, conspiracy.
THERE IS NO SARS-COV-2 VIRUS?
We have heard Kaufman claim that there actually is no virus. What scientist mistake as a virus are normal cell particles called exosomes, which cells produce all the time, and especially when they are put under stress (and that specifically when cells are prepared for electron microscopy, where they undergo all kinds of chemical treatments.) The confusion is understandable, he asserts, because viruses and exosomes look very much alike under a microscope. He even claimed support from a real virologist, James Hildreth. As we have seen, Hildreth is a staunch supporter of regular science and believes in the reality and harmfulness of this new coronavirus. What makes things worse, as we also have seen, no exosome specialist will buy these half-baked theories from Kaufman. For one thing, most viruses do not very much look like regular cell particles at all.
But hasn't science fully sequenced the genome of SARS-CoV-2 by now, literally thousands of times—every one of its 30.000 bases—and gained intimate knowledge of its composition, behavior and its worldwide spread? Here, the tactic of these virus denialists is: that's all done with computers, and there's no guarantee that these supposed genomes relate in any way to real viruses. No virus has ever been "isolated" and proven to be the cause of COVID-19, they claim. What is actually sequenced is general human cell material, not a virus. If you would set up a proper control experiment and sequence this cell material, you would get the same genomes. Again, I kid you not.
Unfortunately for the virus denialists, the thousands of genomes published of SARS-CoV-2 show a very distinct structure, typical of this virus, and at the same time a family resemblance with SARS-CoV (as is to be expected) and other coronaviruses. Here you go:
Just for the fun of it, read the caption of this diagram, taken from the original article, to get a flavor of the real expertise involved here:
From the full-length genomic RNA (29,903 nt) which also serves as an mRNA, ORF1a and ORF1b are translated. In addition to the genomic RNA, nine major subgenomic RNAs are produced. The sizes of the boxes representing small accessory proteins are bigger than the actual size of the ORF for better visualization. The black box indicates leader sequence. Note that ORF10 is not included here because our data show no evidence for ORF10 expression.
True virus denialists will not be impressed by this display of knowledge, because they demand photos and even movies that prove that viruses exist and can enter cells. They might even grant the existence of the virus, but consider it a harmless and even beneficial entity. As Lanka said in the above quote "The viruses known by science have in the highly complex events of the cell a helping, supporting and not at all a disturbing function." Tell that to a patient who has a severe long infection, and on top of that a multitude of complications due to the versatility of this particular virus.
‘DISMANTLING THE VIRUS THEORY’
Stefan Lanka, a molecular biologist by training, did his doctoral thesis and subsequent PhD—irony of ironies—on the viral infection in brown algae, but other than a few co-written articles he hasn't contributed anything in terms of scientific publications. Rather, he has been on a crusade against the idea of viruses (harmful or otherwise) for decades. In the nineties he argued that HIV did not exist. He vehemently debated with Peter Duesberg, another AIDS denialist, who at least believed in the existence of the HIV virus (but considered it a relatively harmless virus). A truly odd debate. A decade later Lanka wrote books in the same denialist spirit about the measles virus, the birds flue, AIDS and vaccination. He is owner of a publishing house Klein-klein Verlag and the magazin Wissenschaftplus. In 2015 he earned the "Goldenes Brett vorm Kopf" award, organized by the German skeptical society, which is given out for the "most amazing pseudo-scientific nonsense" of the year.
So when and why did Stefan Lanka change his mind about viruses? How did a properly trained molecular biologist specialized in aquatic viruses turn into a paranoid-contrarian "scientist", who thinks measles is a skin irritation due to psychological trauma, vaccination is a vicious program set up by malevolent dictatorial governments that want to decimate the population and virologists of world fame just don't know the truth about viruses? Not to mention his alliance to the "Germanic" New Medicine movement of the anti-Semitic Ryke Geerd Hamer? A German skeptic page about Lanka provides more details about his career. He seems to have seen the court room from the inside many times (in 2002, 2005, 2007 2x, 2009 2x), mostly for repeatedly insulting government officials or scientists.
Lanka published an English language article called "Dismantling the Virus Theory" on his personal website, so this seems to be the place to find an explanation for his "deconversion" from science. He optimistically writes:
Anyone who has knowledge of biology and the genesis of life, of the development and functions of the tissue, of the body and of the brain, will automatically question the assumptions about viruses.
Not many scientists will go along with that, for sure! And again, a very odd claim:
A different approach to the virus phenomenon is possible and necessary: any layman with some background knowledge reading scientific papers about pathogenic viruses can realize that such viruses do not exist and what is being described are only typical components and characteristics of cells.
He seems to deny the existence of all kinds of viruses, except one, the so called bacteriophages (lit.: "bacterium eaters"). However, he sees them as only beneficial instead of harmful, and of bacterial origin (without providing sources for these opinon other than "it was found"), where science views them as non-cellular life forms, anti-bacterial and parasitically invading bacterial cells. Nobel Prizes have been won to elucidate the intricate processes involved here, but Lanka dismisses this work as simply a mistake. All that virologists are seeing under their microscopes, he maintains, are "dying cellular particles", but no viruses.
The "bacteriophages", correctly defined as incomplete mini spores and building blocks of the bacteria, have been scientifically isolated, while the supposed pathogenic viruses have never been observed in humans or animals or in their body fluids and have never been isolated and subsequently biochemically analysed. To date, none of the researchers involved in this kind of work seems to have realised this.
When scientists use whole genome sequencing to prove the existence of viruses, they are mistaken too, says Lanka:
The result is that dozens of researchers teams work with short pieces of cell-specific molecules, after which—following a given model—they put all the pieces together on paper. However, this jigsaw puzzle made of so many pieces was never scientifically proven to exist as a whole and was never isolated from a virus, for a measles virus has never been seen, neither in humans nor in a test tube.
Lanka claims that such a hypothetical genomic structure is not enough to prove the existence of viruses. It doesn't tell us much about "the exact molecular structure and functions" of these supposed viruses. But isn't that exactly what scientists have been doing in the case of SARS-CoV-2: predicting the structure and behavior of this virus from its genomic structure? Here's an example:
SARS-CoV-2 is genetically very similar to other human respiratory coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. However, the subtle genetic differences translate to significant differences in how readily a coronavirus infects people and how it makes them sick.
Science has an even stronger story to tell: very primitive archaea, living on the ocean floor between Norway and Greenland, have been found by sequencing mud from the bottom of the sea. In the Tree of Life they might bridge the gap between prokaryota (bacteria and archaea) and eukaryota. They are called Lokiarachaeota, after the Norwegian shape-shifting god Loki. Science is able to accomplish this, even though these organisms might never be able to live (and be cultured or "isolated") in our oxygen-rich environment. But wait, in January 2020 a Japanese research group managed to culture them, after a decade long effort.
I only mention this in passing to indicate where genomic science is going these days (see Part 4). It only goes to show that hammering on the "viruses have never been isolated" drum is unproductive in the extreme. Lanka is disconnected from current science.
SUING SCIENCE, AGAIN
Lanka also has a history of going to court over the matter of viruses, as we have seen in Part 5, where I described the court case Stefan Lanka vs. David Bardens that occurred in 2011, in which the existence of the Measles virus was at stake. I won't repeat the details here, because Lanka has again tried to go the legal route to get recognition. In a recent newsletter of his website Wissenschafftplus he announced he had sued (anzeigen) or publically accused the German top virologist Christian Drosten, because he had violated scientific principles, by preparing a test for SARS-CoV-2 and offering it to the WHO (which it gladly accepted and distributed) even before it was clear there was a dangerous virus in China, and for omitting to do a proper control test when sequencing the supposed new virus. He also accused him of "crimes against humanity", no less. More specifically, Lanka claimed that such a test cannot prove the existence of a fully functioning virus, but only detect viral fragments, and that Drosten had focused on only 2 of the 10 viral genes.
Well, the existence of a virus is not proven by any virus test, that's not their purpose. These detect the presence of viruses by zooming specifically in on viral fragments that are unique for that virus. There is no need to test for all of the 10 viral genes. And whole genome sequencing, which assembles and identifies the whole virus, can be considered as proof for its existence. According to Lanka, these sequencing procedures will at most yield genetic information about human cell components—and he is certain about that! Where's the evidence, Mr. Lanka? Which of the 30.000 bases in the SARS-CoV-2 genome correspond to which of the 3.200.000.000 bases of the human genome? Care to mention any details? We are not told.
And if it is all a matter of human genetic material after all, how does he explain the elaborate evolutionary trees that have been generated for SARS-CoV-2 in all its local evolutionary variations, in which even the tiniest mutation, anywhere within all of its 30.000 bases, is documented by science? You don't get that from dead cell material.
If the viral genome assembled by science is in fact related to normal metabolic process in human beings, which are these processes? Isn't it telling that this genome is all about how to build spikes and capsids, so typical of viruses, but not of hands and brains? And if the viral RNA found in virus tests is nothing more than fragments of human RNA, as Lanka consistently claims, does he have any evidence for this? Is there even the beginning of a theory here? Shouldn't be too difficult to compare a few human and viral RNA sequences?
This is the story about Christian Drosten, a world authority about SARS viruses, if every there was one—and now history seems to repeat itself with SARS-CoV-2:
Drosten is one of the co-discoverers of SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Together with Stephan Günther, a few days after identification and before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, he succeeded in developing a diagnostic test for the newly identified virus in 2003. Drosten immediately made his findings on SARS available to the scientific community on the internet, even before his article appeared in New England Journal of Medicine in May 2003. Among others, this was honoured by the journal Nature.
In a recent newsletter, dated 13 juni 2020, Stefan Lanka bluntly claimed:
If they [scientists] would carry out the control experiments, they would find out that ALL of the short gene sequences which they imagine are linked to a virus genome strand, originate from the human metabolism and not from outside, from a claimed virus...
As to the claim that Drosten's preliminary virus test would just detect generic organic material, leading only to false positives (this is the major claim of Kaufman as well), as you can read in Part 6, this test could even distinguish between SARS-CoV-2 and Sars-CoV, and a host of other related coronaviruses, of humans and animals, as well as other respiratory viruses. Drosten did do the proper controls in this respect. As he concluded: "In total, this testing yielded no false positive outcomes." So in no way can his test be said to be so unspecific that any organic cell material would be mistaken for the new coronavirus. It is extremely specific. This is just a bogus claim.
It is ironic how these virus denialists demand impeccable evidence from scientists (which they refuse anyways when they are presented with it), but don't do any research themselves to at least prove their own points.
It is ironic how these virus denialists demand impeccable evidence from scientists (which they refuse anyways when they are presented with it), but don't do any research themselves to at least prove their own points. Has Lanka done this research himself? No. How can he be so sure of the outcome if it would be done? He can't. But in science, such an experimental falsification of the dominant virus model would make Lanka instantly famous, so what's he waiting for?
THE BURDEN OF PROOF
Lanka and Kaufman (and their ilk) don't do real research, write up their findings and try to get it published in respected scientific magazines, so their work can adequately be reviewed by their colleagues. No, they start their own magazine, or post a few YouTube videos, falsely claiming expertise about virology or quoting famous virologists out of context, to impress their layman audience.
Quite typically, Kaufman claims the burden of proof is not on him, or his virus denialist colleagues, when they claim viruses don't exist, but on the scientific community that claims there is a harmful virus. And since they haven't met Koch's Postulates to prove as much (or so he maintains), all that's left to do is to put science aside.
I think it's important to point out that you don't necessarily need to have an explanation that is valid for these things [i.e. why hundreds of thousands of people are currently dying] to say that they're not dying from a virus because the burden of proof would be on whoever proposed that they're caused by a virus to actually prove that that is the case. And that proof doesn't exist. So you don't need to disprove something that's not been proven in the first place.
You just have to sell powders and vitamin pills through your own webshop (see below image), and charge astronomical fees per hour for online consults, like Kaufman does. In the meantime, Lanka seems to be doing his own research, into Ice Form X or "dense water", which is at the basis of all life processes, or so he claims.
This substance, which is energy and at the same time the building and informational substance of life, connects all material, organisms and functions. From this knowledge, basic knowledge arises about the origin, development and the meaning of life.
Obviously, this isn't science, but something completely different. Fake science.
There is a smug superiority in all this amateurism, full of contempt for real science, that is disgusting, considering the gravity of the current pandemic.
I think I am done with these guys.
 "Keine Panik - Die Wahrheit über Vogelgrippe, H5N1, Impfen und AIDS - Interview mit Dr. Stefan Lanka", Vitalstoff Journal, Unabhängiger Informationsdienst für Naturheilkunde und orthomolekulare Medizin, www.naturepower.de, 2005.
 "The Infinite Fringe #137 with Billy Ray Valentine: Andrew Kaufman", available from the London Fake YouTube channel, 24 Jun 2020.
 COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, www.worldometers.info, June 30, 2020.
 Dongwan Kim et.al., "The architecture of SARS-CoV-2 transcriptome", bioRxiv, 2020.04.011.
 Stefan Lanka, "Dismantling the Virus Theory", Wissenschaftplus, June 2015, pp. 38-44.
 Stefan Lanka, "Fehldeutung Virus II, Anfang und Ende der Corona Krise", Wissenschafftplus Magazin, 02/2020 en Wissenschafftplus newsletter 13 juni 2020.
 Benjamin Neuman, "Virologist Explains What The Coronavirus Does to Your Body That Makes It So Deadly", The Conversation, 2 April 2020.
 Anja Spang, et.al., "Complex archaea that bridge the gap between prokaryotes and eukaryotes", Nature, Nature. 2015 May 14; 521(7551): 173-179.
 Hiroyuki Imachi, at.al., "Isolation of an archaeon at the prokaryote-eukaryote interface", Nature 577, 519-525 (2020).
 Stefan Lanka, "Alles was lebt.", wissenschafftplus.de
 Al-Shayeb, B., Sachdeva, R., Chen, L. et al. "Clades of huge phages from across Earth's ecosystems", Nature 578, 425-431 (2020).
In the current classification, the virosphere consists of: 4 realms, 9 kingdoms, 16 phyla, 2 subphyla, 36 classes, 55 orders, 8 suborders, 168 families, 103 subfamilies, 1421 genera, 68 subgenera, 6590 species. If you want to browse through the virosphere, you can check out the website of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), or take a glance at the 5.000 or so viruses listed on Wikipedia.
See also: Coronaviridae Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, "The species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus: classifying 2019-nCoV and naming it SARS-CoV-2", Nat Microbiol. 2020; 5(4): 536-544.
83 Vaccine Myths from docbastard.net
To all those who claim SARS-CoV-2—or any virus—does not exist: the virosphere consists of 4 realms, 9 kingdoms, 16 phyla, 2 subphyla, 36 classes, 55 orders, 8 suborders, 168 families, 103 subfamilies, 1421 genera, 68 subgenera, 6590 species. Take that. https://talk.ictvonline.org/taxonomy/
A summary of early parts of this series has appeared in the Dutch magazine Skepter 33(3), September 2020, as "Viruses don't exist" (covering Parts 1-5). German: Skeptiker (December 2020); English: Skeptic.org.uk (January 2021)
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