George M. Carter
gmc0 at ix.netcom.com
Sun Sep 27 12:49:00 EST 1998
This is what you call proof????? Pathetic. Let's look.
PETRUSHKA WAS POISONED
DID AZT CONTRIBUTE TO NUREYEV'S UNTIMELY DEATH?
By John Lauritsen
New York Native 1 Feb. 1993
Controversy broke out immediately following the announcement of Rudolf
Nureyev's death in Paris on 6 January 1993. His personal friend and
physician, Michel Canesi, stated to the media that Nureyev had died of
"a cardiac complication, following a grievous illness", and refused to
elaborate further: "Following Mr. Nureyev's wishes, I can't say any
However, many of Nureyev's friends said that he had "AIDS".(1)
The loss of the greatest ballet star, since Pavlova and Nijinsky
early in the century, deeply affected members of the dance community
in New York, who defiantly added Nureyev's name to the roster of AIDS
deaths. Some people with "AIDS" expressed anger; novelist Paul Monette
blurted out, "I consider him a coward; I don't care how great a dancer
Me: Well, this is nothing to do with anything. Just opinions.
Then, on the 15th of January, Michel Canesi gave an exclusive
interview ("The Final Days of Rudolf Nureyev") to Le Figaro, the most
widely read French newspaper.(3) In it Canesi confirmed that Nureyev
had indeed died of "AIDS", and gave the following explanation for the
If I clarify things now, it is because there is no such thing as
a shameful disease. I am thinking of all the anonymous patients who
are suffering from being ostracized. Rudolf lived for 13 or 14 years
with this virus, thanks to his force, his combativeness. People should
know that. He was too famous to be able to hide the truth.(4)
The reason why Nureyev had not gone public with his "AIDS"
diagnosis was quite simple: a number of countries, including the
United States, refused entry to individuals known to be HIV-positive.
Me: Yes, a disgusting and ridiculous law that still exists. Dr. Mann
was one of the people who made sure that the 1992 AIDS Conference was
moved to Amsterdam instead of the U.S. to protest this laws. (Mann
died, very sadly, in the Swiss Air flight #111 crash.)
The more fundamental question is the cause of Nureyev's death.
According to Canesi, Nureyev died from a very rare case of
pericarditis (inflammation of the heart) brought on by infection by
cytomegalovirus (CMV), a member of the herpes family.
Me: CMV doesn't usually cause much pathology on its own without
underlying immune suppression. Indeed, I'm not familiar with any
literature suggesting that it causes pericarditis. Now, we must trust
that Lauritsent's translaton of a Figaro interview of Canesi is
reliable. That the interview itself is reliable. Pretty lame source
The usual AIDS-orthodox interpretation here would be to say that
the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) caused an underlying condition
of immune deficiency, which then caused CMV (a normally latent
microbe) to become pathogenic, and in turn the CMV infection caused
Me: Indeed, HIV itself can cause pericarditis (see J. Emerg. Med,
However, a much more parsimonious and plausible explanation is
available: that the pericarditis was a toxic side effect of AZT
GMC: "Parsimonious" is hardly scientific. IF Nureyev died due to
pericarditis, however, again, AZT isn't likely to be the cause.
(Indeed, there's no reason to believe from this that Nureyev was even
doing AZT.) While AZT can cause a "ragged, red" aspect to striated
muscle, the data on affects on cardiac muscle are mixed. One rat study
showed no effect (Can J Physiol. Pharmacol. 1996;74(6):679-86) while
another study saw myopathies in both striated and cardiac muscle (Int
Conf AIDS, 1991, abstract WA63). A more telling study in kids
suggested that indeed AZT can cause cardiac dysrrhythmias (AIDS Clin
Care 1995;7(9):77). However, that is not a pericarditis (or
inflammation of pericardium), which is a membranous sac that encloses
the heart. Nuke toxicities are to the mitochondrial DNA and function.
All of this is rather confusing, so it may be good to take a
step backward and re-examine the official definition of "AIDS".
The official Centers for Disease Control (CDC) surveillance
definition of "AIDS" has changed several times over the past decade,
but at least the last three definitions can be expressed in the
following equation: HIV + INDICATOR DISEASE = AIDS. That is, a
diagnosis of "AIDS" requires the presence (real or imagined) of HIV
plus any of about 30 indicator diseases
Me: Oh, this old drivel. This says nothing.
(Although neither pericarditis nor any other kind of heart
disease is on the list of indicator diseases, "cytomegalovirus
diseases other than retinitis" are.)
Me: So what? This article is based on presumptions: it WAS
pericarditis that WAS caused by CMV, that turn into some kind of fact
to be disputed.
The HIV part of the equation can be satisfied in several ways:
by a positive result on any of the highly inaccurate HIV-antibody
tests; by cultivating the virus itself, a difficult and expensive
procedure which is very seldom done; by detecting viral signals using
the incredibly sensitive Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test; or, as
a last resort, by simply "presuming" that HIV is present.
Me: Horseshit. Antibody tests for HIV are pretty damn specific and
sensitive. PCR is much more common now than when this was written of
course. If even when it was written such tests were not adequate,
then nothing could ever be diagnosed.
snipping irrelevant shit...(which is separate to the points herein but
have been effectively argued and refuted elsewhere; can deal with them
in another thread.)
To return to Nureyev (the following account is based on the
Figaro interview with Michel Canesi): In 1984, like many gay men, he
was filled with anxiety over the new disease, "AIDS". Everyone he knew
in the United States was talking about it.
And so, after discussing it with Canesi, he went to the
Salpêtrière hospital for an HIV-antibody test (which Canesi at one
point incorrectly refers to as the "AIDS test"). The result was
positive, and a rumor immediately went around Paris that Nureyev had
AIDS. However, Nureyev was in good health at the time, and chose to
deny the lethal diagnosis that was imposed on him; he reasoned that
not much was really known about "AIDS", and only about ten percent of
the seropositives would get sick.
Although nothing was wrong with his health, Nureyev began taking
an experimental French medicine, HPA 23, which he seemed to tolerate
well. For several years he followed a demanding professional schedule,
dancing and directing choreography in Italy, Germany, the United
States, and Paris. According to Canesi, he was then in great form.
HPA-23 is antimoniotungstate. They tried it. It didn't work.
Apparently Rock Hudson tried it (see Wall St. J., 1/16/95). ...This is
But around 1987-1988 he was again attacked by severe anxiety,
and discussed with Canesi the desirability of taking AZT, a drug which
doctors in France had begun experimentally giving patients. Canesi
counseled Nureyev against this, stating that AZT had dangerous side
effects, and that not enough was known about the drug to judge the
results. But "Rudi" became angry and said to Canesi: "I want that
drug!". And so, at Nureyev's insistence, Canesi wrote out a
prescription for AZT in 1988. At this point Nureyev was still healthy.
Perhaps in accord with a sound instinct, he did not always take the
prescribed doses of AZT; whenever Canesi visited him there would be
AZT containers scattered around the place.
I wonder what caused Rudolph's "anxiety"? Perhaps he was feeling ill?
And if he didn't take his full dosages, he probably wasn't getting
sick from the drug! And at what dose was the AZT prescribed? If at
1200 mg, then, yes, it could have killed him. So he started in 1988.
A real decline in Nureyev's health began in the summer of 1991,
and in the spring of 1992 he entered into the final phase of his
illness. He was diagnosed as having "pericarditis caused by
cytomegalovirus (an extremely rare case)", and began treatment with
Ganciclovir. Despite being very ill, Nureyev miraculously continued to
work, and achieved a personal triumph conducting Romeo and Juliet at
the Metropolitan Opera.
Canesi suggested various treatments to Nureyev, which he
rejected as being too expensive. The two of them had a tiff, and
Nureyev said, in English, "No. I don't need you any more!" Three days
later he called back to apologize.
Nureyev stayed in the United States for awhile, returning to
Paris in July 1992. He resisted Canesi's entreaties to resume
treatment, and told him: "Dear Michel, now I'm going to follow the
right medicine for me: sunshine and the sea. I'm leaving for my
island." It is too bad that Nureyev did not follow his instincts from
the beginning. If sunshine and the sea had been his only medicine -
and love and work and music - he would be alive now, well and strong
Me: Oh, my god. What a crock of bullshit. He stops taking all
treatment except for treatment for the extremely rare CMV
His last public appearance was at the gala premiere on 8 October
1992 of his new production of La Bayadère at the Palais Garnier, where
he received a 10-minute standing ovation from the audience. He had to
be helped onto the stage by two dancers, and remained seated as he was
decorated as a Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of
Culture and Education. Though weak, tired and emaciated, he was very
happy, and said, in English, "It's good to be alive."
Why did Nureyev die? The orthodox explanation, that HIV caused
immune deficiency, which caused CMV disease, which caused
pericarditis, cannot be taken seriously, for reasons I've discussed
earlier. On the other hand, the case is compelling that the decline in
Nureyev's health was caused by AZT - a chemical which is cytotoxic,
meaning that it harms healthy cells - a chemical that can do only one
thing: kill. The most important AZT research, on the basis of which
the drug was approved for marketing, was fraudulent.(6) There is no
scientifically credible evidence that AZT has benefits of any kind,
aside from the ability to make profits for Burroughs Wellcome. The
toxicities of AZT are extremely severe, and include anemia; myopathy,
or muscle disease (which manifests itself as muscular pain, muscular
inflammation, and muscular atrophy); cachexia (wasting); nausea;
headache; and damage to the kidneys, liver and nerves. AZT is a known
carcinogen: it is highly positive in a standard screening test for
carcinogenicity, the Cell Transformation Assay; it causes cancer in
rodents; and there is a strong correlation between long-term AZT
therapy and cancer of the lymph system. AZT is a random terminator of
DNA synthesis, the very life process itself, without which body cells
can neither be formed nor develop.
Molecular biologist Peter Duesberg has argued that AZT is now a
leading cause of "AIDS". When administered to healthy,
HIV-positive individuals, like Nureyev, AZT undermines the
health. Sooner or later one or more of the indicator diseases
manifests itself, thus qualifying the patient for an official
diagnosis of "AIDS".
Me: These statements are partially true but none are supported.
Indeed, nothing supports the notion that AZT in and of itself causes
AIDS or caused AIDS in Nureyev. This is just Lauritsen's poorly
substantiated opinions. If this is the type of evidence people adopt
to reject the observation that HIV causes AIDS, then you people really
are living in a fantasy world.
Like many tens of thousands of others, Nureyev was poisoned with
AZT. He was only the most illustrious of the victims. In this affair I
do not put the blame on Michel Canesi. He and Nureyev appear to have
had an intimate and loving relationship. They made mistakes, as do we
all. The real villains are the AZT pushers, whether motivated by
stupidity or venality, in the Public Health Service, academia, the
medical profession, and AIDS organizations.
Me: This article suggests that at most, Nureyev only took a short
course of AZT therapy. There is no evidence at all to support the
notion that such a course would cause a pericarditis. There's no
evidence about how much AZT he took nor for how long. Basically,
though, AZT monotherapy would have little or no effect in stopping the
progression to AIDS--nor accelerating it either.
Nureyev's illness and death were iatrogenic, the consequences of
medical practice. His health was fine until he began taking a toxic
drug he didn't need. It shouldn't have happened. In terms of artistic
productivity, he was only beginning to come into his own, and ought to
have lived for many more years. Most tragic of all, he loved life. His
disastrous decision to take AZT was prompted by the very intensity of
his desire to live.
Me: I agree that it is sad Nureyev died. Horrible. I disagree with
this poorly supported conclusion that AZT caused his death. It's not
impossible, though, especially if Nureyev took AZT for a long period
of time at 1200 mg. But that does not appear to be the case.
Canesi stated in his interview, "His disposition became milder
with illness, and he became more and more touching. He was
Petrushka, the disjointed puppet, broken and miserable."
Ah yes, Petrushka. Petrushka, the mournfully dreamy clown.
Gentle, child-like Petrushka, who is brutally murdered.
Gay men shouldn't have to play Petrushka.
Me: When John wrote this crap, I basically agreed that AZT was shit.
But it is not what seems to have killed Nureyev. AIDS did. The cites
below are pathetic. Nothing in this article is supportive of the
claim that AZT causes AIDS. It is yellow journalism at its worst.
George M. Carter
Lauritsen's lame cites:
1. Jack Anderson, "Rudolf Nureyev, Charismatic Dancer Who Gave
Fire to Ballet's Image, Dies at 54", _The New York Times_, 7 January
2. "AIDS-Dance", Associated Press, 11 January 1993.
3. Interview with Michel Canesi conducted by Rene/' Sirvin, "Les
derniers jours de Rudolf Noureev: 'Rudi a lutte/' quatorze ans contre
la maladie', avoue le docteur Michel Canesi qui, depuis 1983, a
accompagne/' le danseur dans son dur combat contre le sida", _Le
Figaro_, Paris, 15 January 1993. Unless otherwise indicated,
translations are my own.
4. Translated from the French in John Rockwell's article,
"Nureyev Did Have AIDS, His Doctor Confirms", _The New York Times_, 16
5. For a definitive refutation of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis read
Peter Duesberg's book, INVENTING THE AIDS VIRUS (Regnery Publishing,
6. John Lauritsen, "FDA Documents Show Fraud in AZT Trials: Info
Obtained Under Freedom of Information Act Calls Drug's Approval Into
Question", _New York Native_, 30 March 1992; reprinted as Chapter XXIX
in _The AIDS War_ (Asklepios 1993).
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