Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society

David Crowe, President
Phone: +1-403-289-6609
Fax: +1-403-289-6658

Kathleen Newell, Treasurer
Box 61037, Kensington Postal Outlet
Calgary, Alberta T2N 4S6
Phone: +1-403-220-0129

An Open Letter to My Fellow Man

One Woman’s Story re: HIV and AIDS

Kim Marie Bannon
June 2005

An An error can never become true, how ever many times you repeat it.
The truth can never be wrong even if no one hears it.
Mahatma Gandi

My name is Kim Marie Bannon. I was born in Topeka, Kansas, USA, in 1962, and moved to Wichita, Kansas, with my parents in 1970. I attended Goddard Schools where I was the salutatorian of my graduating class in 1981 and was also a member of the Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Quill & Scroll, Captain of the Roarin’ Wheatchix Drillteam, and participated in many other sports and activities.

Immediately after high school graduation, I enrolled in the court reporting program at Wichita Business College. Completing the 2-year program, I passed the Kansas State Certified Shorthand Reporter examination and began work as a freelance court reporter in my family’s business.

In April of 1992 I was twenty-nine years old. I was a well-respected business woman and an accomplished freelance court reporter in Wichita. I traveled frequently for business as well as pleasure. I spent a lot of time at the gym and in outdoor sports, and I took good care of my diet. I was attractive, healthy, intelligent, successful and energetic. Even though I’d been seeing a certain young man exclusively for a few months, I referred to myself as “happily single”. I was financially and spiritually independent, and my sense of well being was off the charts.

Then the certain young man in my life, Don, went to the local county health department for a sore he thought might be herpes. When he told me the nurses there had confirmed it as herpes, I thought the responsible thing to do would be to find out if I had it as well. At the health department, I was told that since I didn’t have a sore that could be cultured, they could not test me for herpes; but how would I like to have an AIDS test? They were offering it to everyone these days.

I was embarrassed and confused. I felt that a refusal of this AIDS test would be tantamount to a confession of illicit drug use or promiscuity. I had heard that anyone can get AIDS, but I still felt I was in a very low risk group. I agreed to the test and was told to come back in a week for my results.

A week later, I sat in the waiting area for two hours waiting to get my results. I was finally taken to a private exam room by two women. They apologized for making me wait for so long and then explained that the reason for my wait was because they were trying to figure out how to handle the situation. My test was positive. Almost everyone who tests positive is either gay or on drugs or suspects they are positive for some reason. Here I was a heterosexual female, non-drug user, non-prostitute, and I was really giving them a problem.

Then they told me it was just a “screening” test, which was called an ELISA. They said I was not in any risk group, and it would most likely turn out to be negative when I was given the “confirmatory” test. They wanted to know if I’d been recently pregnant, but they didn’t inform me of anything else that could cause a false positive result.

I said, “I have a live-in boyfriend. I don’t want to scare him unnecessarily, but I don’t want to not tell him either. And we have sex practically every night.” I was told to buy some condoms on the way home and to tell him nothing. This advice was abhorrent and absurd to me. It upset me as much as the test did at the time.

I went straight to my most trusted friend and told her what had happened. She advised I should tell Don, which I did immediately when I got home. I also told her that I would kill myself if the positive result was confirmed. I’m not sure what she said to that. I was uncontrollably crying my eyes out at the time.

While attempting to have an otherwise normal life, I spent the next two weeks calling the county health department every day trying to get my “confirmed” diagnosis. They kept telling me they didn’t know yet. Finally, they admitted that they had to have a certain quota of blood samples before they could send them off for confirmatory testing, and mine hadn’t actually been sent yet. They didn’t even know when it would be sent. That’s when I went just a little crazy. I decided I would do nothing else but try to find out the truth until I finally got it.

I started calling people on the phone and found a hospice nurse who wanted me to immediately come see her. She then sent me to a home for indigent AIDS victims where I met a nun who was also a nurse. She knew another nurse who worked for a doctor who specialized in internal medicine and HIV/AIDS. I called that nurse and got an appointment with the specialist right away.

Two days later on May 1, 1992, the specialist, Donna Sweet, M.D., “confirmed” my positive diagnosis with the results of a Western Blot test. She called it “classic.” She set me up for blood tests and office visits every two months, which I later negotiated to every three months, and then to every six months. Finally I starting returning only once a year and then only because I wanted to get my oral contraceptive prescription refilled. More about my doctor visits later.

When I got the “confirmation”, I felt my life was over. I can remember looking at my then 8-year-old cat and wondering what would happen to her when I died. (“Kitty” passed away in September 2001 at the ripe old age of eighteen, and I cared for her in her last illness.) I was contemplating about to whom I should give my possessions. I wondered how I could possibly even be remembered on this planet or leave any type of legacy at all, being unmarried, childless, and hopelessly doomed to stay that way for the remainder of my painful, pitiful days. I thought I must find a way to just fade out of sight and suffer a lonely, slow deterioration of my body and eventual death in solitude. I mentally envisioned myself becoming grossly deformed and weak and covered with sores until my skin fell off and my insides turned to puss that oozed out of ghastly, bloody ulcerations in my torso, face and limbs.

And then I told my parents. My father was extremely overdramatic. His exact words: “This isn’t the way it happens in the movies.” (sob, sob) “How could you do this to me?” And then my mother’s seemingly unaffected response was she would worry about it when she had to, that she thought it was probably just a mistake; yet she bought this cheesy, golden, glowing supposed artwork image of a woman who sort of looked like me kneeling and bowing. She gave it to me but insisted that she needed it back… when… my mother didn’t finish the sentence.

And then there was Don. Suddenly I was deeply attached to this relationship with a man that I would not have given the slightest thought of marrying before the positive HIV test. Much to my surprise he wanted to continue the relationship! He even had unprotected sex with me the same day I was “confirmed,” just as he had been doing all along, even after the ELISA screening had come back positive! I was amazed! He said he would stay with me and even assist with euthanasia if it came to that! But what was most amazing, he didn’t even believe I had HIV or that I would ever even get AIDS!

WOW! I thought God had sent me an angel, and I prayed and prayed about how could I continue a sexual relationship with Don when I was killing an angel sent to me by God! And God answered and told me to “Help Don”.

Don and I were married August 8, 1992; and I spent the next nine years living my life for Don. I thought I was helping him, probably in many ways I was, but the guilt I felt over our sexual relationship was ever present. It caused me to put up with abuse that was mental, emotional, financial, verbal and physical that would have never been tolerated by my previously HIV-negative self.

But the guilt wasn’t the only hold HIV had on me. I knew I could never have anything resembling a normal dating relationship. My doctor, my parents, and Don all agreed the HIV had to be kept a secret. If word got out, it would ruin me socially and financially, creating stress, stigmatization and isolation that my doctor warned would all help HIV kill me even faster. So I hid from men in my marriage – better to tell them I’m taken than admit that I have a sexually transmitted deadly virus. And I also feared turning Don loose on the women of the planet. His attitude toward HIV was nonchalant and, I felt at the time, in danger of spreading AIDS. I felt very responsible for containing the virus within our relationship.

Yet as any attractive woman knows, a wedding band doesn’t totally keep the men at bay. Anytime a man even just warmly complimented me, I felt as though I was hopelessly and helplessly singing the siren’s song, luring any and all interested men to their death. Even my good health and good looks had become a source of guilt, and I felt like the perpetrator of an enormous lie. I felt contaminated and contagious. My social and professional life on the outside were nothing like the true life I had at home, or the true feelings in my heart.

So I worked… and worked and worked and worked. The more money I spent on Don, the less I got beat up. The more time I spent working, the less time I had to contemplate the anguish of illness that would soon befall me. The more successful my career, the less I had to face the fact that personally my wants and needs meant nothing. I basically had no goals except for somehow trying to save what I thought would/could be the only intimate relationship for me.

Despite all the evils deservedly attributed to Don, he remained undaunted by the HIV, and thus continued to be my savior. Together we questioned many aspects of the popular AIDS dogma such as: “How did I catch this virus when I don’t have any risk factors?” “Why am I always so healthy?” “Why are antibodies bad?” “If the only test is for antibodies, how do we know that the virus is not cured?”

Which brings me back to my doctor visits. Never during the first four or five years did I have a T-cell count lower than 700. I caught one flu that was going around and that’s it. I never even broke out with any herpes sores, the fear of which started me down this interminable path. The only thing I was ever treated for was warts that the doctors never were able to cure.

Then the viral load test came out in 1996, and I was told that they were now able to test for the actual virus. My viral load was 20,000. The next year my viral load was still 20,000 and my T-cells were still 700. But most important in my mind was that any detectable viral load must mean that I still have the virus in my body. My ultimate doomsday was once again confirmed by medical science.

Under the mounting stress of my life which was no longer my own, my relationship with my father/employer became more and more tense until I had to stop working for him. This meant losing the health insurance I had had for most of my life, and I was unable to get another health policy because of my HIV positive status. I decided the tests were just too expensive and were telling me nothing I was interested in knowing.

I was always physically very healthy despite working up to seventy or eighty hours a week, managing all the responsibilities of the home, eating fairly poorly, drinking too much beer “to help me fall asleep at night,” and getting virtually no exercise. If I were immunocompromised, surely I should be catching some opportunistic illness on such a regimen. I wasn’t about to take any AIDS medicines based on the information I’d heard about side effects, and I discontinued the use of oral contraceptives in 1999. So having no further need for my doctor, I decided to stop seeing her in March of 1998 when I got my last birth control prescription.

During this whole time I sat up a lot of nights crying and reading Psalms. I also sought a lot of advice in the course of trying to save my marriage – a goal solely determined by the presence of the HIV label.

I went to my Methodist pastors who told me to get divorced and wanted to have me put on Prozac when I said I would rather continue to work on my then 8-month-old marriage. I refused the psyche drugs. I was then referred by my HIV doctor to a licensed clinical social worker who kicked my folks and me out of her office when my father exploded during a session.

Don and I also saw a clinical psychologist, also recommended by my doc, who told me I was addicted to my marriage and actually convinced me to file for divorce which I did on Valentine’s Day 1994. I was completely destroyed by what I had done in filing for divorce and begged Don to come back to me. He did, and I continued to search for solutions to our problems.

Since the chiropractor I had been seeing threatened to call the police if I came in beat up by Don one more time, I went to see a friend who was a massage therapist in hopes of getting some non-threatening pain relief. She told me she was a Scientologist and that Scientology could help with troubled marriages. My trek with Scientology is a story in itself, but I want you to know that I spent over $100,000 from 1994 to 1998 with this group in an effort to find peace in my marriage. They had me completely convinced that they could “fix” Don and that the “next step” would do it. They also told me that my eternity was doomed if I didn’t follow the path on their “Bridge to Total Freedom”.

The story of my troubled marriage and my dealings with Scientology began to leak out. The people who knew me but didn’t know about the HIV couldn’t believe I was doing all these dumb things, e.g., staying in this insane relationship and spending a small fortune with a cult. They thought I was being controlled by an abusive husband and a pseudo religion, and they also knew I was just plain too smart for that. Remember, on the outside I was still maintaining, or attempting to, that image of the successful happy camper my friends knew and loved pre-May 1, 1992. They knew I was financially secure on my own and seemingly capable of achieving about anything I wanted. So the lie had to continue, and get bigger, and HIV had to remain a secret.

In 1996 the Scientologists adopted a policy that was very discriminatory against HIV positive parishioners. This started causing some problems. They wanted a doctor’s note every six months stating that I was not on the verge of kicking the bucket, and I had trouble trusting my soul to someone who couldn’t look at me and easily see that I did not have one foot in the grave. Round and round we went, and I eventually walked away from the church even though they had over $20,000 of my money in their account and were refusing to return it.

In February 2000 I heard of a group of ex-Scientologists in Texas who were using some of the Scientology techniques but were expanding them and using them in a more ethical manner. They called this practice Knowledgism, and a friend of mine from Scientology highly recommended them. It was at the Knowledgism Ranch in October 2000 that I began to regain my self-esteem; and in March of 2001, I was strong enough to confront Don about our situation.

Don and I were in a lease together downtown in Wichita where both our businesses were located. The lease was to expire in October 2001, which gave Don seven months to figure out something new to do. I would no longer pay for my assistant to do his work, nor would I do it myself. His business must become self-sufficient by the end of the lease, as I was moving my business to our residence.

By now I had learned how to block out the verbal abuse; and the physical abuse had been abated simply because I asked nothing of Don at all, not even the simple, polite niceties one would expect in the most remote of encounters with another. But the threat of losing his meal ticket brought on a new wave of violent behavior, and for the first time I was more frightened of Don than I was of HIV. This led to discussion of a post-nuptial agreement which evolved into a divorce petition I filed on October 20, 2001. And this time I felt strong enough to go through with it.

I moved my office to home, hired a new assistant, and was genuinely looking forward to starting over with a new dream, albeit single; but HIV still had to remain secret, especially in my professional circles. I think the years without intimacy during my marriage convinced me that celibacy was tolerable. At least I had my career and I could finally spend my hard-earned money on me instead of Don – or maybe even finally have a savings and even retire early.

But Don fought hard. He was going to make me pay. No matter the sum I offered him to settle the divorce, he wanted more.

On November 28 the weather turned cold, and Don came over to pick up some warm clothes which were still at my house, previously our home together. I tried in vain to get him to name a sum that would appease him. We were slowly and steadily spending a small fortune on our attorneys. His response was, “I’ve got a whole new twist on this, Kim, that you haven’t even thought of yet.” Then he was out the door with the last of his parkas.

The next evening I went to sleep around midnight. At approximately 1:40 a.m., I was awakened by a man on top of me with his left hand on my mouth and nose and his right fist in my throat. All his weight, over 200 pounds, was on me. His exact words were, “Your husband wants you f*cked and killed and I’m just gonna kill you.” We struggled and he strangled me repeatedly, alternating suffocation with breaking most of the bones in my face with his fists. I later learned that while I slept he had busted my skull with a 5-pound steel jackhammer bit. But then he stopped and said crying: “I can’t do this.” “I’m not a murderer.” “Why does your husband want you dead?”

At that time my life insurance was worth around $150,000. There was about $70,000 in our joint bank accounts. I later sold our 5000-square-foot house for $210,000. And with our cars and other personal belongings, Don stood to inherit about half a million dollars if I were to die.

The man who tried to kill me is Michael Greer. He is now in prison for several more years, having been convicted by a criminal trial jury of premeditated attempted first degree murder. At his trial he admitted to telling me that Don hired him. Basically my story and his are exactly the same about what happened that night. Except now he says he just made up the part about taking money from Don to kill me.

Don was picked up, jailed, and questioned for four days before being released without charges. He paid the attorney who got him out of jail $20,000. I’m told by the district attorney that no hard evidence of a connection between him and Michael Greer was ever found; although, I have never been allowed access to the police file. Don presently owns and runs a small hairstyling salon in downtown Wichita, Kansas.

I managed to survive the attack with a slightly dented skull and a barely visible scar over my right temple. I even escaped a brain surgery that some of the doctors wanted to perform. I gave my assistant her final assignment from my hospital bed on the morning of the attack: “Cancel everything -- the business is closed indefinitely.”

On the seventh day after the attack, I drove myself five hours to the Knowledgism Ranch in Saint Jo, Texas, where a little stone cabin became my home for the next seven months plus. This is where I first learned that there were some very reputable scientists and doctors disputing the HIV theory of AIDS.

On April 18, 2002, a friend of mine emailed a link to Nexus Magazine, asking me to check out an article about the benefits of coconut oil. As I scanned the magazine index for the title, I noticed another article entitled “The Yin and Yang of HIV”, and I clicked on it. It was long, it was technical, it was heavily referenced and footnoted. I decided to print it out after reading only a few paragraphs, and settled myself onto the sofa in the lodge to study it.

I emerged from the sofa several hours later in a state of amazement. I began with my friends at the Ranch, telling them what I had found. Then I emailed Dr. Valendar Turner of the Perth Group who had written the article, and at last I started searching the web. I could do nothing but read for hours and hours each day all of this enormous volume of information which confirmed the suspicions I had had about my own supposed “diagnosis” as well as giving support to the holes I perceived in the prevailing AIDS dogma.

Since that time I have done a tremendous amount of research into this subject, first for the purposes of my own health, then in outrage, and finally in an effort to help as many people as I can who find themselves in a similar situation as myself. Now, nearly thirteen years after my diagnosis, I remain healthy and have never taken any AIDS medications.

With the help of my attorney, I have filed a lawsuit on the issue of whether the HIV or AIDS tests are really showing us what they purport to show, i.e., that a person is infected with HIV, which is still considered the probable cause of AIDS.

AIDS is a government-identified and defined disease. In the early 1980s, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that a growing number of male homosexuals and intravenous (IV) drug users were experiencing a mysterious epidemic of diseases, which included several odd types of pneumonia, a rare malignant tumor called Kaposi’s sarcoma, lymphoma, dementia, tuberculosis, weight loss, fever, diarrhea, etc. Officials at the CDC called the epidemic “AIDS” (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), which this agency now defines as comprising 26 different diseases. From 1981-2001 they claim AIDS has afflicted 800,000 people in the US, 250,000 in Europe, and 1,000,000 (?) in Africa. In the US, it strikes young male homosexuals (66% of all AIDS cases), male and
female IV drug users (32% of all AIDS cases, 75% of them male), hemophiliacs and other transfusion recipients (1%), and children born to drug-addicted mothers (1%). Notice I don’t fit into any of these categories.

In 1984, government researchers and most notably Robert Gallo proposed that a sexually transmittable virus, now called HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), is the cause of AIDS. In the US and Europe, a person must have a positive HIV test indicating antibodies to the virus to be diagnosed as having AIDS, along with one of the AIDS-defining diseases, or, since 1993, a low T cell count (T cells are one of the types of cells that make up our immune system) in an otherwise healthy person with no diseases; but this low T cell count definition does not count as AIDS in Canada, and people in Africa can be diagnosed as having AIDS without needing to have an HIV test based on a ruling by the World Health Organization (WHO). Anyone in Africa who gets pneumonia, for example, is classified as having AIDS. Interpretations of HIV tests when given also vary from country to country and even from lab to lab. Hence, you could change your HIV and/or AIDS status simply by moving to another location.

Over the last twenty years the US Government has carried out a program to eradicate the HIV virus that has engaged the efforts of more than 100,000 government-funded doctors and scientists and has cost the US taxpayers to date more than $160 billion. They have found no cure, and they have yet to save one life. And there is strong evidence that the premise upon which this program is founded is wrong.

Although everyone is paying the price, it is the presumption that HIV causes AIDS that is so injurious to those so diagnosed, many of whom are perfectly healthy people like me. Those in non-risk groups do not progress to AIDS unless they take the AIDS medicines prescribed by the orthodoxy, which are all known to cause extreme side effects and death. Many people have lost their insurance, their jobs, their homes and families. Some commit suicide. Pregnant women are forced to take AZT, deliver by C-section, and are prohibited from breast feeding. Babies are taken from their homes and given drugs, even experimental drugs and vaccines, and sometimes this happens even when the babies test HIV negative. HIV positives have been prosecuted for having sex. The psychological effect alone of being given an HIV death sentence is enough to kill you, one way or another.

Yet my research has shown that the HIV tests all contain some sort of disclaimer that they must be confirmed and validated by another test, which test invariably has the same or a similar disclaimer, and that no test is approved by the FDA to be used for diagnosis. There are also some 70 known conditions which will cross-react and give a false positive result on the HIV tests. These conditions include TB, alcoholism, arthritis, pregnancy, chicken pox, malaria, flu shots and warts. This hardly seems a basis upon which to be issuing a diagnosis of anything!

Robert Gallo filed for a patent on the first HIV test on the same day he announced he had found the probable cause of AIDS, a patent for a test from which he has made an enormous amount of money. His proclamation was made despite the fact that his research was previously unpublished – which I have found would be the scientific standard – in order that it could be verified by other scientists. Gallo has still not been corroborated.

Gallo also was found to have stolen the virus he claimed to be HIV from a French scientist, Luc Montagnier; and the dispute was thoroughly investigated and finally settled with the involvement of US President Reagan and French Premier Chirac. My research has uncovered very unsettling evidence against Gallo and his lawyers.

When I asked for copies of my own medical records, I found that the “confirmation” Western Blot (WB) test that I was given when I was diagnosed contains the following language which no one bothered to tell me previously:

“Indicates possible infection by virus. Viremia may be present. Positive results are not diagnostic of AIDS. Biologic false positives still possible in some select cases… Follow up testing may be advised if clinical findings are discordant with test results.” [emphasis mine]

This Western Blot test which allegedly “confirmed” my HIV positive status has been banned from diagnostic use in the UK because it is so unreliable. This same test is still being used in the US to “diagnose” and “confirm” a positive HIV diagnosis in individuals every day.

The viral load test that at one time I believed to be testing for HIV antigens or actual virus is also known as PCR. The CDC has this to say about it: “PCR is not recommended and is not licensed for routine diagnostic purposes.” The viral load test manufacturer’s own literature warns “the test is not intended to be used as a screening test for HIV or as a diagnostic test to confirm the presence of HIV…” Yet this is the test I was given by my doctor when I confronted her with all this science I had found which is contrary to her prior advice and diagnosis. She is still insisting that this is a test for viral antigens and that it is just now time for me to “get sick and die”.

When I decided to see Dr. Sweet one last time on September 21, 2004, asking her to change my “diagnosis”, begging her actually for my life, she refused and wanted to put me on AIDS medication; yet she pronounced me in excellent clinical health. I showed her HIV test kit inserts from the tests she gave me that state they are not to be used for diagnosis or confirmation, that positive test results should be “confirmed”, that they should not be used as the sole basis for the diagnosis of HIV. She patronizingly explained the testing procedure to me, knowing full well that I completely understood it already, and then proclaimed, “I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do.” She promised to send me a documented study that proves heterosexual transmission of HIV and confirmed my mailing address, but no study ever came in the mail.

That’s because as far as I can tell, no such study exists. I’ve asked everyone for it. I’ve posted the question on the internet and I’ve asked doctors and scientists and I’ve searched everywhere I can think to look. No one seems to have the study. It’s just assumed one must have contracted the virus through heterosexual contact in the absence of any other risk factors.

Some scientists question that HIV causes AIDS, and some even question whether HIV exists at all. They claim that what is called HIV is really only cellular debris. There are doctors treating AIDS with detoxification techniques and nutrition, and their patients are getting well. All of these dissenting scientists and doctors are being squelched by the medical and scientific orthodoxy. They are denied research grants and are not allowed to publish in scientific journals.

I have uncovered a lot of disturbing information in the two last years, and here is another example: Based on information provided by the WHO, even if we assume that all AIDS cases were fatal in the year 2000, the resulting global mortality rate of HIV positives (mostly untreated) would only be 1.4%, which is 4 to 6 times lower than the 6.7 to 8.8% mortality rate of HIV positives treated with anti-HIV drugs in the US and Canada. What more statistical evidence do you need that it is the AIDS medicines and not HIV that is causing people to die?

When you combine this with the fact that heterosexual, white females who don’t use IV drugs do not get AIDS unless they take AIDS meds, it does ease my mind to know I will never get AIDS since I don’t take AIDS drugs. Virtually no one in my demographic gets AIDS. However, the psychological effects of being so misled are even greater at this point. What would my life have been like for the past thirteen years and what would it be like into the future if I could only live it without the stigma of an HIV positive diagnosis? And the burden of somehow reaching the general public with this information that is so vital weighs heavily on my mind and soul.

I’ve largely kept my HIV status a private matter to this point. The atrocities that I’ve discovered cause me to reconsider this decision. It would appear that I could very easily go on with my life as I have been and tell as few people as possible of my “condition” or my more recent research findings. However, this is impossible for me to do in good conscience.

I suppose my background as a freelance court reporter has led me to the avenue of the justice system to help me in my quest to spread the truth. I feel it is only my excellent reputation in the local legal community that enabled me to get a lawyer to take the case. The disclaimers the manufacturers put in their kit inserts do not protect them under the Laws of the State of Kansas if they don’t make certain the person buying the test actually knows the disclaimers exist. Well, I didn’t know about those disclaimers, and it was pretty difficult to get my hands on them after I heard about them. I’m asking the court to not allow this to continue to happen to people.

I am not a doctor or scientist or even a lawyer. I am merely an average citizen who is making a conscious decision to be informed and responsible for her own health – rather than relying on the opinions and advice of supposed “authorities” whose very own expert status and pocketbooks rely upon the continued existence of a theory that will no doubt turn out to be the basis for the biggest snake oil remedy scam to which mankind has ever fallen prey. Just follow the money.