Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Conspiracy Within A Conspiracy -- Chronic Lyme Disease -- US Biological Weapon

Lyme Disease Physician Joe Burrascano

Was he Coerced Into Closing His Medical Practice?

My first experience in seeing the systematic attempts made to destroy a whistle blower, had to do with the American Medical Association (AMA) and the physician who had treated me for chronic Lyme Disease.

This doctor, world renowned for his pioneering protocol in the treatment of chronic Lyme Disease, so terrified both the American Medical Association and the US Health Insurance Industry, that they orchestrated a criminal conspiracy in which to remove him from the field of medicine, by attempting to covertly force him to shut down his medical practice.

His name is Dr. Joseph James Burrascano, and what these organizations subjected to this man to not only violated his Civil Rights, but also every aspect of basic human rights.

Back in the mid 1980's Joe, or Dr. B as his patients affectionately referred to him, was deeply entrenched in the day to day treatment of chronically ill Lyme Disease patients from around the globe -- patients whom the mainstream medical community quickly discarded when it could not cure them with the standard treatment protocol recommended by the American Medical Association.

By the late 1980's Burrascano, having built a solid reputation as a superb diagnostician, was finding his treatment protocol for Lyme disease gradually being circulated far and wide, and that chronically ill Lyme patients would quite literally beat a path to his door in order to benefit from his expertise ( I did the same on January 11, 1996). Given his extensive experience in treating chronic Lyme, he had seen every aspect of what this insidious biological weapon can do to its victims; he's experienced a myriad of situations where chronically ill Lyme patients lost everything in their lives, as this illness robbed them first of their health, and then in all too many cases their loved ones and finances.

I can personally attest to the fact that when I began to visit him for treatment in the mid 1990's his medical practice looked more like a Mash Unit than an office, with Lyme patients filling the infusion side of his practice, infusing antibiotics intravenuously from IV bags containing a mixture of antibiotic and saline solution.

This is an experience that I will never forget, having done two long-term intravenous protocols in the treatment of chronic Lyme Disease -- 5 consecutive months worth in 1993/1994 and 8 consecutive months worth in 1997/1998. And to the AMA and those detractors who claim that longer term treatment protocols don't help to ease the symptoms of chronic Lyme Disease, I say not only have you been dead wrong (quite literally in situations where you discarded certain patients who later died from their symptoms), but that your callousness and ignorance in regard to this illness have only added to the tremendous suffering of the men, women and children whom are afflicted with it.

Had it not been for Dr. Burrascano's courage in researching and developing a more aggressive protocol in the treatment of chronic Lyme Disease, a good many of the patients whom you thoughtlessly dismissed as being mentally unstable (but were fortunate enough to be seen by the good doctor) would have died by now.

Notation: On an office visit back in the late 1990's I asked Dr. Burrascano if Lyme Disease could have been created as a biological weapon (fully knowing at that point based on FOIA documentation that it had been). His answer to me at that time was that he could not say whether it was or not. However, he also stated that he would not rule out the possibility that Lyme Disease may have been created as a biological weapon.

To say that those afflicted with chronic Lyme Disease experience an unending living nightmare is at best understating the situation. This disease is a mycoplasma (See Dr. Donald Scott's monograph "The Brucellosis Triangle"), a genetically engineered biological weapon created for the express purpose of disabling humans. And it has certainly succeeded in doing so.

In his frustration with the American Medical Community's failure to both recognize and treat patients who contracted chronic Lyme Disease, Dr. Burrascano as a matter of last resort sought to involve Congress in the hope that it would intercede on behalf of Lyme patients across the nation, so that they could obtain proper treatment.

In understanding that he would be offending some very powerful people, Burrascano demonstrated the courage to do so, knowing that if he did not, many chronically ill Lyme patients would eventually perish from this illness. He went before Senator Ted Kennedy and his Senate Subcomittee on Health back in 1993 and made the following speech (seen at the end of this post), in which he candidly expressed the facts as well as his concerns in regard to the US Medical Community's failure to diagnose and treat Lyme Disease properly.

In this author's opinion, Dr. Burrascano's well intentioned act of conscience would eventually cost him his medical practice.

It is also my opinion based on witnessing the year 2000 witchhunt against Dr. Burrascano (not coincidentally the same year that his Lyme Disease monograph was published in the prestigious medical journal Conn's Current Therapy), by the New York State Office Of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC), that rather than having his concerns addressed by Congress, he instead found himself the target of the AMA and US Health Insurance industry, who no doubt colluded to orchestrate the campaign to remove Burrascano from the medical community. In 2006 they succeeded.

Why tell this story? Because a first rate physician was wrongfully taken from his patients for bucking the status quo in this country. And not only has Dr. Burrascano suffered as result of it, but so have his patients (who must now find other means of obtaining treatment), as well as future Lyme patients who will eventually become infected with this illness that has now gone pandemic. Equally disturbing is that the mainstream media has for the most part shied away from discussing the politics involved in Lyme disease, which due to its biological weapon's roots has become one of the most political illnesses of the 20th Century. And the situation has shown no signs of improving in the first part of the 21st Century.

When patients who contact politicians to receive help in getting treatment for Lyme Disease are for the most part completely dismissed, and the Centers For Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia deliberately underreports the numbers of patients who've contracted Lyme Disease each year, the American people should be asking themselves why.

Burrascano's case is yet another of myriad instances where men and women in this country who attempt to expose crimes or incompetence are punished for their honesty and integrity, rather than being rewarded for their heroism. And even worse, oftentimes blackmailed into up such integrity just to survive.

- James F. Marino


The Lyme Disease Conspiracy by Joseph J. Burrascano, Jr., M.D. Reprinted from Senate Committee Hearing on Lyme Disease August 5, 1993

There is a core group of university-based Lyme disease researchers and physicians whose opinions carry a great deal of weight. Unfortunately many of them act unscientifically and unethically. They adhere to outdated, self-serving views and attempt to personally discredit those whose opinions differ from their own. They exert strong ethically questionable influence on medical journals, which enables them to publish and promote articles that are badly flawed. They work with government agencies to bias the agenda of consensus meetings, and have worked to exclude from these meetings and scientific seminars those with alternate opinions. They behave this way for reasons of personal or professional gain, and are involved in obvious conflicts of interest.

This group promotes the idea that Lyme is a simple, rare illness that is easy to avoid, difficult to acquire, simple to diagnose, and easily treated and cured with 30 days or less of antibiotics.

The truth is that Lyme is the fastest growing infectious illness in this country after AIDS, with a cost to society measured in the billions of dollars. It can be acquired by anyone who goes outdoors, very often goes undiagnosed for months, years, or forever in some patients, and can render a patient chronically ill and even totally disabled despite what this core group refers to as "adequate" therapy. There have been deaths from Lyme disease.

They feel that when the patient fails to respond to their treatment regimens it is because the patient developed what they named "the post Lyme syndrome". They claim that this is not an infectious problem, but a rheumatologic or arthritic malady due to activation of the immune system.

The fact is, this cannot be related to any consistent abnormality other than persistent infection. As further proof, vaccinated animals whose immune system has been activated by Lyme have never developed this syndrome. On the other hand, there is proof that persistent infection can exist in these patients because the one month treatment did not eradicate the infection.

Indeed, many chronically ill patients, whom these physicians dismissed, have gone on to respond positively and even recover, when additional antibiotics are given.

It is interesting that these individuals who promote this so called "post-Lyme syndrome" as a form of arthritis, depend on funding from arthritis groups and agencies to earn their livelihood. Some of them are known to have received large consulting fees from insurance companies to advise them to curtail coverage for any antibiotic therapy beyond this arbitrary 30 day cutoff, even if the patient will suffer. This is despite the fact that additional therapy may be beneficial, and despite the fact that such practices never occur in treating other diseases.

Following the lead of this group of physicians, a few state health departments have even begun to investigate, in a very threatening way, physicians who have more liberal views on Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment than they do. Indeed, I must confess that I feel that I am taking a large personal risk here today by publicly stating these views, for fear that I may suffer some negative repercussions, despite the fact that many hundreds of physicians and many thousands of patients all over the world agree with what I am saying here. Because of this bias by this inner circle, Lyme disease is both underdiagnosed and undertreated, to the great detriment to many of our citizens. Let me address these points in more detail.


1. Under reporting: The current reporting criteria for Lyme are inadequate and miss an estimated 30 to 50% of patients. Some states curtailed their active surveillance programs and saw an artificial drop in reported cases of nearly 40%, leading the uninformed to believe incorrectly that the number of new cases of Lyme is on the decline. The reporting procedure is often so cumbersome, many physicians never bother to report cases. Some physicians have found themselves the target of state health department investigators. Finally, to many physicians and government agents rely on the notoriously unreliable serologic blood test to confirm the diagnosis.

2. Poor Lyme disease diagnostic testing: It is very well-known that the serologic blood test for Lyme is insensitive, inaccurate, not standardized, and misses up to 40 percent of cases, yet many physicians, including many of those referred to above, and the senior staff at CDC and NIH, insist that if the blood test is negative, then the patient could not possibly have Lyme. This view is not supported by the facts. Lyme is diagnosed clinically, and can exist even when the blood test is negative.

The Rocky Mountain Lab of the NIH, which is the country's best government laboratory for Lyme research had developed an excellent diagnostic test for this illness nearly 4 years ago, yet further work on it has been stalled due to lack of funding. Incredibly, if not for private donations of just $5,000 from the non-profit National Lyme Disease Foundation headquartered in Connecticut, then this research would have had to be abandoned.

An additional $30,000 was donated by this organization to allow them to continue other valuable projects relating to vaccine development and disease pathogenesis. Yet, many physicians believe that thousands of dollars of grant moneys awarded by the government to other, outside researchers is poorly directed, supporting work of low relevance and low priority to those sick with Lyme. In spite of this, their funding continues, and the Rocky Mountain Lab is still underfunded.

3. The university and Government based Lyme establishment deny the existence of atypical presentations of Lyme and patients in this category are not being diagnosed or treated, and have no place to go for proper care.

RESULTS: Some Lyme patients have had to see, as many as 42 different physicians often over several years, and at tremendous cost, before being properly diagnosed. Unfortunately, the disease was left to progress during that time, and patients were left forever ill, for by that time, their illness was not able to be cured. Even more disturbing, these hard line physicians have tried to dismiss these patients as having "Lyme Hysteria" and tried to claim they all were suffering from psychiatric problems!


1. Because the diagnosis is not being made, for reasons partly outlined above.
2. University based and government endorsed treatment protocols are empiric, insufficient, refer to studies involving inadequate animal models, and are ignorant of basic pharmacology. They are not based on honest systematic studies or on the results of newer information.

3. After short courses of treatment, patients with advanced disease rarely return to normal, yet many can be proven to still be infected and can often respond to further antibiotic therapy. Unfortunately, Lyme patients are being denied such therapy for political reasons and/or because insurance companies refuse to pay for longer treatment, upon the arbitrary and uninformed advice of these physicians, who are on the insurance company's payroll.

4. Long term studies on patients who were untreated or undertreated demonstrated the occurrence of severe illness more than a decade later, reminiscent of the findings of the notorious Tuskeege Study, in which intentionally untreated syphilis patients were allowed to suffer permanent and in some cases fatal sequelae.

5. The Lyme bacterium spreads to areas of the body that render this organism resistant to being killed by the immune system and by antibiotics, such as in the eye, deep within tendons, and within cells. The Lyme bacterium also has a very complex life cycle that renders it resistant to simple treatment strategies. Therefore, to be effective, antibiotics must be given in generous doses over several months, until signs of active infection have cleared. Because relapses have appeared long after seemingly adequate therapy, long term followup, measured in years or decades, is required before any treatment regimen is deemed adequate or curative.

6. When administered by skilled clinicians, the safety of long term antibiotic therapy has been firmly established.

The very existence of hundreds of Lyme support groups in this country, and the tens of thousands of dissatisfied, mistreated and ill patients whom these groups represent, underscores the many problems that exist out in the real world of Lyme disease. I ask and plead with you to hear their voices, listen to their stories, and work in an honest and unbiased way to help and protect the many Americans whose health is at risk from what now has become a political disease. Thank you.

Testimony By: Joseph J. Burrascano, Jr., M.D. 139 Springs Fireplace Road East Hampton, NY 11937


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been suffering for 15 years with so many of the Borrelia symptoms and have had multiple surgeries for unrelenting, fast growing osterarthritis. I took an engorged tick into the Army's BAMC Lab in August of 1989. I was told at that time not to worry about it because Lyme disease was not in the state of Texas. So no treatment given. Within days I was hospitalized with meningitis. I never recovered from the ravages of Fatigue so unlike anything I had ever experience or read about. My vision became poor and my job as an OB registered nurse could not be continued because of my physical inability to make it down a hallway. The pain in my body was a nightmare. I went back to the specialists in heart, ortho., pulmonary, dermatology, infectious disease and had many tests, but all came up negative except for an unusual shape to the red blood cells. I finally went to a psychiatrist because my family thought the extreme fatigue may be some form of depression. I saw the doctor for 15 minutes and after we talked about my great married life and wonderful family. He asked why I was in his office and I told him of my plite. He felt I was not depressed at all and was willing to run a Min.Multi.Test., which I did take. He felt I had an organic problem and to continue to try to find the answer. Brain Fog, poor eyesight, extreme fatigue, low oxygen sat. rates. pain, pain, and more pain. I put myself on a regular excercise program Mon.through Sat. After the daily excercise I would fall in a dead sleep, but felt like I was still among the living. Urinary infections would always take twice as long to irradicated and kidney would take a slam. Sinus infections would not clear up. Discs in spine were degenerating at a speed that the orthopedics doctors could not explain. Finally 10 years to the month after I was told Lyme disease was not in Texas I had a brain rupture, which was said to be from a possible berry anuerysm. Three months into rehab and feeling better than I had in years I thought maybe this had been my problem. About that time my daughter called to say they had discussed me in her class that day. She said it was actually a man that was going through the foot surgeries for tumors, shoulder surgery for rotator cuff. Knee drains for fluid, massive floaters in eye and brain rupture with inrelenting fatigue. When my daughter listened she said. "Mom, I thought they were taking about you. This man just found out he is indeed Lyme positive." I almost dropped the phone. I went to my PCM and asked for a Western Blot. Then had blood sent to IGENEX Lab. Borrelia B. and Borrelia Hensli, and Babesia Microti, and Babesia WA1 were identified. IV long term therapy has given me my life back and all symptoms gone. Why doesn't the CDC, NIH and IDAS. listen. The protocol they are using will work if the oral pills are given right away. When they wait for 10 years the disease becomes cystic and no pill will penetrate the red blood cells or brain barrier. I am so thankful I am taking three expensive IV's and mepron for the Malaria because I am back to me. A journey that has taken many years and I feel all people should have the chance to give up their wheelchairs and Oxygen, like I did if only the Lyme community would be listened to.

9:23 PM  
Blogger James F. Marino said...

Pam, I am very glad that you have experienced a remission from your chronic Lyme disease symptoms. It is rare for chronically ill Lyme patients to have done so, so you are indeed extremely fortunate.

I am, however, very sorry that you've had to go through the suffering that you have. Sadly Lyme Disease is now pandemic (meaning that it has spread beyond the North American continent and is now responsible for ravaging the bodies and minds of myriad victims around the globe).

Moreover, each year millions of people around the globe contract new cases of Borelia
Burghdorferi and the accompanying co-infections such as Babesia and Ehrlichia, and become both physically and financially disabled by it.

It is a situation that is completely out of control and due to the US Government's refusal to get involved in helping those who contract this illness, only getting worse over time.

In the 1990's I was deeply involved
in helping to educate people in regard to Lyme Disease, holding a weekly chatroom on American online with another long-term sufferer who has been afflicted with it for
30 years.

I also co-founded the Lyme Disease newsletter Lyme Matters and created the Lyme Disease Quilt Page -- the largest repository of
Lyme Disease Stories on the Internet.

I have seen the damage that this illness can do first hand as it destroyed my once excellent health, and put both my Family and me through a living nightmare for over a decade. I have also witnessed the suffering of myriad other Lyme patients who each have their own heart breaking stories to tell.

Billions of dollars in the United States are lost each year as a result of this pernicious illness, and something must be done to effect a meaningful change.

Organizations like the LDF and LDA are doing their best, but they are seriously under financed and in need of government support if they are to educate the US population in regard to the severity of Lyme Disease.

Thanks for posting and my best to you and yours for a Happy and Healthy 2007. May you continue to experience a complete remission from the insideous biological weapon that we refer to as Lyme Disease.

Jim Marino
Chronic Lyme Disease Sufferer Since 1993

1:50 PM  

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