Welcome Guest!
 Politics
 Previous Message All Messages Next Message 
ANOTHER BIORESEARCHER DEAD!!! - Dr. Jacques Benveniste/Memory of Water  Tomas
 Nov 16, 2004 02:20 PST 

How many does this make 12 or 13 who have died???


+++++++++


Subject: ANOTHER BIORESEARCHER DEAD!!! - Dr. Jacques Benveniste/Memory
of Water




Dr. Jacques Benveniste, who discovered the theory of the 'memory of
water' while researching the efficacy of homeopathic dilutions, DIED on
3rd October, 2004 after a surgical intervention went wrong in Paris,
France. (This extract from Martin Walker's book 'Dirty Medicine' was
sent in by Emma Holister in France).
    
Also included in this email report: 'On the Role of Stage Magicians in
Biological Research' by Jacques Benveniste and Peter Jurgens from the
Anomalist.

Below that is Jacques Benveniste's homepage from his website
     http://www.digbio.com
           _________________________________________________________


Dr Jacques Benveniste:

The Case of the Missing Energy

From the book ‘Dirty Medicine’ by Martin Walker (1993)



French biology has been ‘Coca-colonized’. If you come to France
with your dog, you have to tell the dog to bark in English or American.
If as well you put a sign on his head, which says ‘scientist’, he
will be met with respect everywhere he goes.

In 1988, the reputation of Doctor Jacques Benveniste, one of
France’s leading biologists, was almost destroyed. His work was
internationally labelled as fraudulent and he was held up to ridicule.
He nearly lost his post with INSERM, the French national medical
research institution.

Five years later, news has not travelled fast enough nor reached the
furthest corners with sufficient intensity, to inform many people that
what was said about Benveniste and his research into the effects of
homeopathic dilutions, consisted mainly of innuendo and propaganda.

Jacques Benveniste is a well-respected French scientist. He will tell
you that he is an immunologist, and that is all he is: this though is to
undervalue him. He is an entertaining and charismatic man who has a
considerable history as a medical research scientist. He is committed
to one of the most exciting areas of biological research: the
communication between cells, especially the cells which make up the
human immune system. He has devoted his life to trying to discover the
pathways between a select group of cells which are activated when
foreign substances enter the human body. He has a good track record,
but like many immunologists who have strayed from orthodox
pharmaceutical research and become involved with alternatives, he feels
that the American, British and French scientific establishments have
deprived him of deserved accolades.

After training as a doctor and working with cancer patients for twenty
years, Benveniste began research into allergic conditions. On this
subject he speaks with the common bitterness which many allergists feel
about their governments and the orthodox medical establishment.

I set up a group to research allergy inside INSERM, but this is the
only group which is researching at a basic level problems which affect
15% of the population. At the same time, one billion francs are spent
on pharmaceuticals for allergy each year.

The amount of money which the population spends on pharmaceutical
preparations for allergy would be irrelevant if such preparations helped
to resolve the problem. Benveniste believes, as do many others both
inside and outside orthodox medicine, that drug solutions to allergy do
nothing more than alleviate a minority of the symptoms: moreover
Benveniste believes that chemicals generally take an increasing toll on
health, creating more immune system illnesses. ‘There has been
practically no progress in the treatment of asthma and more generally in
the management of allergy, in twenty years. Despite all the Nobel
prizes given for work in this area, more people die today of asthma than
did twenty years ago.’

Benveniste’s research into allergy has taken him deep into the
mechanisms which create such responses. Understanding that the smallest
amount of a substance affects the organism – ‘a person can enter a
room two days after a cat has left it and still suffer an allergic
response’ – led Benveniste to research how homeopathic dilutions
appear to have a real and material effect upon immune system cells
called basophils. He was subsidised in this work by a company which
produced homeopathic remedies.

Benveniste’s lack of commitment to the pharmaceutical companies and
his implacable commitment to what he believes should be the French
position in international science have frequently brought him into
conflict with the international medical research establishment.
Throughout these conflicts he has made a name for himself as a scientist
who will fight his corner.

He sees himself now isolated to some extent because of this consistent
opposition.

When there was a large conference on allergy in the beginning of the
eighties in Britain, I sent a public letter to everyone. The French
government sent no French scientists of International renown. I was at
that time leading the most productive French allergy research group and
I was not even invited. There were 0.3% French people in the programme,
with 65% Anglo-American.

As the biggest drug companies moved into immunology and the kudos and
money attached to finding cures for asthma and allergy grew, so did the
anger and resentment against Jacques Benveniste. He found that his
discoveries were often deprecated by the scientific establishment and he
was not recognised for them. ‘I was known previously, in 1972, for
the discovery of a small molecule. It is called the “platelet
activating factor” (PAF). This discovery went against the grain of
main-stream medical research.’

Benveniste puts his isolation partly down to the facts that he is
French, and that he has not worked closely with a major pharmaceutical
company.

For example, in asthma research, during the seventies, medical
research workers promoted very heavily in papers all over the place,
that leukotrienes were the molecules that did the job. There was
enormous interest from the drug companies, who all wanted to get
involved. Ten years later, it is clear that leukotrienes have only a
modest importance in asthma treatment. We are still waiting for real
progress to be made.

Benveniste feels that throughout the eighties he was excluded and
isolated from the discussions around his own work and discoveries. He
was excluded from committees and scientific seminars and conferences.

While other medical scientists have worked on histamine and helped the
drug companies generate huge profits from ‘me-too’ (copy-cat drugs
which have not been researched but copied by the producing company)
anti-histamines, Benveniste’s independence has led him to be
considered a troublemaker and a maverick.



*          *          *


On June 30th 1988, Nature, Britain’s top scientific journal,
published a paper authored by thirteen scientists, including Jacques
Benveniste of Paris Sud University. The paper, entitled ‘Human
basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against
IgE’, was the result of a five-year study which showed that, even in
great dilutions, aqueous solutions of antibodies retained biological
activity which was not present in plain water.

This paper in Nature was, however, no ordinary scientific publication.
It was accompanied by a most unusual editorial written by John Maddox,
the journal’s editor. It was prudent, Maddox said, ‘to ask more
carefully than usual whether Benveniste’s observations may be
correct’. According to Maddox, the conclusions of the paper struck at
the roots of two centuries of observation and rationalization of
physical phenomena. Using the most irrational language, Maddox wrote
that ‘there can be no justification at this stage to use
Benveniste’s conclusions for the malign purposes to which they might
be put’.

Benveniste had designed his experiments in 1982, and began work in
1983. The salaries of the large INSERM team which he heads – the
INSERM unit for immuno-pharmacology and allergy (INSERM U200) at
Clamart, Paris – are paid by the French government. Practically all
the medical research in France comes under the control of INSERM, which
is roughly equivalent to the British Medical Research Council.

As Benveniste’s work involved homeopathic preparations, he received
help from a small homeopathic company, LHF, which in 1987 was bought up
by the biggest – though still very small in pharmaceutical terms, -
French homeopathic company, Boiron. While he was working for Boiron,
Benveniste was also working on contracts from mainstream pharmaceutical
companies. In 1989, two other homoeopathic companies took over from
Boiron, one French, Dolisos, and the other, Homint, half-German and
half-Dutch.

The first problem that Benveniste encountered with his work came in
1985, when interim results were leaked and then taken up in a full-page
article in Le Monde. Following the Le Monde article, Benveniste was
invited onto a popular TV discussion show, where he found himself being
heavily attacked. Although he had no means of knowing it, this attack
was the first skirmish in a war declared upon him by a then unknown
enemy. Like a guerrilla army, this enemy did not wear a uniform, and
fought covertly.

Benveniste’s antagonist on the television programme, a scientist,
did most damage when he asked Benveniste ‘in front of the cameras,
while the whole of France watched’, if he knew what a ‘control’
was? (In research, a control group is one which is not experimented
upon, but which is exactly similar in composition to that subjected to
the experimental intervention. Most scientists consider the control to
be one of the essential components of correct research method.) The
question itself was so rudimentary and therefore so damning that,
Benveniste says, it left him without a voice. The question stripped him
of his experience, his advanced knowledge in the field and his status as
an internationally renowned scientist. Benveniste was not able within
the parameters of the discussion to outline his expert experience. ‘I
had already published four papers in Nature and over 200 scientific
articles, two of which are called “citation classics” by the
Philadelphia Institute for Scientific Information, and there I was being
asked in front of millions of lay people whether I knew what a control
was.’

It was during that programme that Benveniste realised that he was
going to meet some hard opposition to his work. More than anything, he
as amazed by the vehemence of the argument used against him. Being a
reasonable man and an intellectual, he had expected a debate, not the
kind of anger which was now hurled at him. He felt, he says, like a
European intellectual who, on visiting a Muslim country, had denied the
existence of God. It was as if the opposition wanted to kill him. To
Benveniste, this attitude was antipathetic to science or any kind of
intellectual discourse.

I was completely overcome because for me it is not worth dying for
ideas. I cannot understand that scientific data is important enough for
everyone to get on their feet and start a bloody war.

Benveniste submitted the results of his research in a paper to Nature
in 1986. At the same time he submitted papers to the British Journal of
Clinical Pharmacology and the European Journal of Pharmacology. Both
the latter articles were eventually accepted and published in 1988 and
1987. In these two journals, Benveniste’s work was treated as
conventional research. There were a few questions before publication
about the way the statistics were handled.

Benveniste got no answer from Nature until a year after he had
submitted the paper. A more usual delay might be two or three months.
The next communication from Nature was a demand that he should arrange
for the work upon which the paper was based, to be reproduced in other
laboratories before publication. To Benveniste, this demand went
against the grain of any scientific research. Such a principle, if it
were put into effect universally, would make the whole scientific
process unworkable. ‘Which scientists are going to give their
unpublished data to other scientists to check?’

It began to dawn on Benveniste that someone was ‘having him on’,
not with any sense of humour but with quiet derisory intent. Believing
that he had become involved against his will in a struggle not only to
preserve his own good name, but to defend the objective basis of
scientific research, Benveniste agreed to the demand. He found two
laboratories, one in Israel and one in Canada, which willingly
replicated his work and his results. A team from Italy also replicated
the work, doing eight experiments, of which they were happy with seven.
All the results were then sent to Nature in the summer of 1987, with the
revised paper signed by all the scientists who had carried out the work.
Benveniste heaved a sigh of relief. As far as he was concerned, the
matter was over: he could return to his research.

In the first quarter of 1988, John Maddox faxed Benveniste with a peer
review of the first paper he had submitted eighteen months previously.
This was the first time Benveniste had seen this review, and its two
pages of comments struck him as a joke. Some were simply stupid while
others were now outdated. (Benveniste was to find that the reviewer was
Walter Stewart, from the US National Institutes of Health, one of the
men who were later to arrive at his laboratory as part of the inspection
team assembled by Maddox.) However, for the record, Benveniste provided
a three-page reply. With the review, Maddox asked for other
explanations, which were also sent. Then, on June 15th 1988, Benveniste
received another alarming fax which told him that the paper would be
published with an editorial reservation only if he agreed to a team
visiting his lab to monitor his work. Sick of the whole dilemma, but
completely sure of his scientific work, Benveniste accepted.

Why should he have been alarmed? He imagined that the team would
check the laboratory books and see that his experiment had been carried
out properly. After all, that was the internationally recognised manner
for dealing with such situations. In retrospect Benveniste asks how he
‘could have anticipated that, rather than examine the protocols and
the record books, the team which was sent to France would ask to do the
experiments themselves?’ For that was exactly what the self-appointed
investigators wished to do: replicate Benveniste’s research in his
laboratory.

If Jacques Benveniste had expected the investigators to be top-flight
scientists, he was disappointed. James Randi was a leading member of
the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
(CSICOP). An ex-performing magician, Randi had dedicated the last
twenty years of his life to attacking the work of scientists in the area
of psychic research. Although Benveniste did not know it at the time,
Randi was an implacable opponent of homoeopathy.

The second member of the visitation was Walter Stewart, a man who
worked in the National Institutes of Health, at Bethesda, the hub of the
government-funded US medical research establishment. John Maddox
described Stewart as a man ‘chiefly concerned…in studies of errors
and inconsistencies in the scientific literature and with the subject of
misconduct in science’.

John Maddox, who was himself the third member of the team, was in no
sense independent. Though held in high regard by the scientific
community, he had for a long time been opposed to research which
conflicted with the accepted scientific orthodoxy. From the early
eighties he had been linked to the British offshoot of CSICOP, which was
called CSICP. In 1983 he had called for the burning of a book by Dr
Rupert Sheldrake which proposed the existence of a ‘morphogenetic
memory field’.

Benveniste was especially embarrassed by Maddox’s presence in his
laboratories. Here was a man whom he knew as an honourable scientist,
acting in opposition to all scientific principles. Benveniste says of
his visit:

I had in my lab one of the men with the highest position in science,
John Maddox. I was in the position of a man who meets the Pope and the
Pope asks for his wallet, what was I to do? It is not easy to say no.

Having agreed to the visit, Benveniste turned over his laboratory, his
records and his staff to assist the three strangers in their replication
of his work. Unskilled in the particular area of work, unfamiliar with
the lab and insistent upon much gratuitous ballyhoo, the visitors made a
terrible mess. James Randi frequently made light of the proceedings by
playing childish pranks.

Randi introduced a bit of theatre into the proceedings when he wrote
down the code that could identify the true samples from the controls,
and put it in an envelope which he stuck to the ceiling. It was a ruse
to see whether anyone would attempt to tamper with it during the night.


*          *          *


The research having been carried out, the results, which conflicted
with those Benveniste arrived at, were published in Nature four weeks
later. Headed ‘High Dilution Experiments a Delusion’, the article
claimed that Jacques Benveniste had been guilty of ‘delusion’ and
‘hoaxing’. The learned opinion of the team after three weeks’
research, was that Benveniste had got it all wrong. ‘There is no
substantial basis for the claim that anti-IgE at high dilution (by
factors as great as 10 ) retains its biological effectiveness, and that
the hypothesis that water can be imprinted with the memory of past
solutes is as unnecessary as it is fanciful… The claims of Benveniste
et al are not to be believed.’

Nature gave considerable publicity to the report of their
‘independent’ investigators. And the idea that Benveniste’s work
was fraudulent was picked up by a number of newspapers and journals.
One of the British ‘quality’ newspapers, the Guardian, followed the
‘independent investigation’ with an article by Peter Newark which
claimed that the original paper was ‘so bizarre that anyone could have
spotted the problems … it was a piece of outrageous research. But we
were not hoaxed’.

By the end of the visit, Benveniste knew that Randi was a member of
CSICOP and with a thought about previous cases and the way in which
CSICOPS’s pranks had led to major career damage, he reacted angrily
for the first time. His response in Nature was published alongside the
results of the teams. In this article, Benveniste gave details of the
absurd behaviour of the ‘investigators’, while they had been in his
lab: he concluded: ‘I now believe this kind of inquiry must
immediately be stopped throughout the world. Salem witch-hunts or
McCarthy-like prosecutions will kill science. Science flourishes only
in freedom. We must not let, at any price, fear, blackmail, anonymous
accusation, libel and deceit nest in our labs.’

Benveniste’s work on the biological activity of high dilution
substances was not the first in this area. The number of fifty previous
studies was quoted by Denis MacEoin in the Journal of Alternative and
Complementary Medicine. What Maddox and CSICOP were banking on was that
the scientific establishment and the lay public would come to immediate
and uneducated conclusions on the basis of their unscientific
investigation.



*          *          *


For Benveniste the experience has been one of learning. In the last
five years he has turned from being a relatively naïve and perhaps
academic scientist into someone desperately involved in the reality of
the struggle between science and industrial vested interests. Even so,
like other previous victims, Benveniste knows little more about the men
who tried to destroy his career and his reputation than he did at the
time.

As a consequence of the attack, he began gathering information about
CSICOP and its connection to the European rationalist movement.
(Rationalism is a philosophical current which grew out of the European
revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its arguments
support reason, logic and scientific enquiry while opposing
superstition, religion and magic.) Like others before him, he cannot
understand how the original ideas of rationalism have become subverted,
so that they now stand for censorship and irrationality. Benveniste
considers himself a rationalist and has always been in sympathy with the
ideas of the rationalist movement. He does not however agree with the
way in which CSICOP and the rationalists express their views, 'were it
not for the conservative and authoritarian attitudes of CSICOP and the
rationalists (in France, L’Union Rationaliste) I would belong to
them.’

The modern movement of European rationalism is evangelical in its
support of multinational pharmaceutical companies, in particular, and
for science, in the service of the military industrial complex in
general. Benveniste sees now that CSICOP and the rationalists represent
the older and most conservative of capitalism’s science-based
industries.

Even if these people are defending industry rather than science, they
are clearly stupid, because if we are right, our discoveries will
ultimately augment any possible intervention in the market by the
pharmaceutical companies.

Benveniste puts the matter in a rudimentary economic context, posing
it as the old problem for capitalism and conservative ideology: ‘it is
the problem of the stage-coach manufacturers, are they going to turn
into car manufacturers or not?’ he points out that if a wide range of
modern scientists are right in the evaluation of what he calls ‘the
new science’, then the companies which are now acting defensively will
inevitably disappear, while others with more imagination will take their
place.

Benveniste has found few platforms from which he has been able to
express the injustice which he feels has been done to him. CSICOP and
James Randi, on the other hand, have continued publicising the case of
Jacques Benveniste’s ‘fraudulent’ work. On Wednesday 17th July
1991, Granada Television screened the first in a series of programmes
hosted by James Randi, ‘psychic investigator’. Designed to debunk
and refute all things ‘non-scientific’, the programmes lacked method
of substance. Randi, who was himself presented by the press as a New
Age character, was only a medium success, coming across as a humourless
and rather wooden entertainer.

Some of the many interviews with Randi at the time of these programmes
mentioned his accusations against Benveniste, while none of them
attempted to put Benveniste’s point of view. A book, authored by
James Randi, and published to coincide with the programmes, mentioned on
its first introductory page Randi’s role in exposing scientific
frauds, one case being that of Jacques Benveniste.

The scientific world was understandably sceptical. John Maddox,
editor of Nature, took the bold (sic) decision to publish Benveniste’s
results, on the understanding that he could later send in a three man
team of ‘ghost busters’, including Randi, to monitor the experiment.

When Jacques Benveniste’s reputation was ‘attacked’ in early
1988, some of his friends and many who were not his friends, pointed out
that he was, after all, no stranger to controversy and might himself be
partially to blame for his own victimisation. What no one was able to
do in 1988, however, was to see the ‘attack’ upon Benveniste as one
of a number, rooted in a plan of campaign against immunologists and
those working in allied fields. As they developed, these attacks could
be seen to be focused upon those whose work touched upon research into
and treatment for illnesses of the immune system. (This includes
vaccine/theorists/makers since we are coming to
realize the actual damage vaccines can cause......L.)

Dirty Medicine, Martin Walker, Slingshot Publications, London 1994.
ISBN 0 9519646 0 7. Slingshot Publications, BM BOX 8314, London WC1N
3XX.
	
 Previous Message All Messages Next Message 
  Check It Out!

  Topica Channels
 Best of Topica
 Art & Design
 Books, Movies & TV
 Developers
 Food & Drink
 Health & Fitness
 Internet
 Music
 News & Information
 Personal Finance
 Personal Technology
 Small Business
 Software
 Sports
 Travel & Leisure
 Women & Family

  Start Your Own List!
Email lists are great for debating issues or publishing your views.
Start a List Today!

© 2001 Topica Inc. TFMB
Concerned about privacy? Topica is TrustE certified.
See our Privacy Policy.