Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Politics and Geopolitics / / Articles
Acquired misinformation. How to create and spread the first viral fake
Material posted: Publication date: 20-06-2020
In a world of rapidly spreading deadly disease. It causes previously unknown to science virus. The source of the epidemic is unclear. Maybe the virus was created in a lab that were developing biological weapons. The theory of artificial origin of the virus refute the majority of scientists, but not all. Millions of people can not be persuaded by any denials. 2020? No. The end of the 1980s. However, 2020 is also.

In the middle of 1980-ies about the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), little is known. In the US it was believed that this disease is four "G" — homosexuals, heroinists, the bleeders and Haitians. In the Soviet Union about the "plague of the XX century" and spoke knew less than in the West. Besides, in the USSR this disease could not be. In the language of the official propaganda of those years, "in our country there are no conditions for the mass spread of the disease: homosexuality as a grave sexual perversion punishable by law (article 121 of the RSFSR criminal code). A permanent work on explaining the harm of drugs."

"Panic in the West, or What is behind the sensation around AIDS". So-called article Valentine Zapevalov published October 30, 1985, in "Literary Gazette". Although the title of the article is the English name of the disease AIDS, the text can be found already included in the Russian language the name of AIDS. This article began a disinformation campaign, accusing the United States in creating the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS.

The first article about the artificial origin of HIV in the Soviet press. "Literary newspaper". 1985. Photo: Literary newspaper
The history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the author was told: "the First signals about АIDS appeared in 1978, when outbreaks of this mysterious disease was registered in new York, among immigrants from the island of Haiti (countries of the US satellite)... Again AIDS declared itself in 1980, and again in new York. At this time, but the Haitian immigrants, the disease has spread to native Americans, mostly homosexuals, drug addicts, vagrants".

The article describes in detail the secret testing of biological weapons conducted by the Pentagon and the CIA in the 1950-ies and 1960-ies. The author then passed to the main point: "Emerging India in a respectable newspaper "patriot", for example, explicitly stated the assumption that AIDS is a consequence "of such inhuman experiments of Washington." The place for these experiments, has been named Medical research Institute of infectious diseases located at Fort Detrick".

The article also claimed that after the ban of testing biological weapons in the United States the Pentagon and CIA moved the research on the territory of other countries: "still hear the echo of the scandal such a laboratory in the Pakistani city of Lahore, where he displayed certain types of mosquitoes and other insects, Sarajevska then dangerous diseases such as yellow fever, Dengue fever, American encephalitis Saint-Louis...

In the army laboratories at Fort Detrick from 1943 developed the first biological weapons, then the means of dealing with it
Photo: Getty Images

The article told the reader that the US air base in Torrejon (a Northern suburb of Madrid) accumulates a huge amount of chemical and biological weapons. Leakage of poisons from the warehouses already led to epidemics in the district, but no action was taken. Starting from these facts, "patriot’ has put forward the version that "specialists from Fort Detrick, apparently created by another kind of biological weapons". Significant assistance was provided by the staff of the C. D. C. (center for the control of dangerous diseases) in the city of Atlanta. Under contract with the Pentagon, they specifically traveled to Africa, specifically in Zaire and Nigeria, then to Latin America to collect material on highly pathogenic viruses, not found in European and Asian countries. The information is subsequently processed in the laboratory "maximum security" si-di-si and at Fort Detrick. As a result, according to "patriot", and managed to pick out a completely new type of virus — AIDS. The rest was "a matter of technique". The virus has infected, apparently, part of blood, which during the beginning of the test was transfused in surgical and other operations on unsuspecting patients. Separate tests may have been conducted in Haiti (remember, the country is a satellite of the USA?), as well as certain populations of the United States, primarily on the margins of society: drug addicts, homosexuals, homeless... this judgment comes "patriot".

In summary, I would like to note: it is possible that, in the end, as it happened many times in the past, some of the victims filed a case against the Pentagon and the CIA, and then finally reveal that all the victims of AIDS — the result of another monstrous experiment".

The Indian "Patriot" of the Soviet KGB
If you believe the text in the "Literary Gazette", the first on the establishment of HIV/AIDS in the laboratories of the Pentagon told the Indian newspaper Patriot.

The newspaper was founded in 1962 by the Indian revolutionary, an activist for independence from great Britain Aruna Asaf Ali. She was a great friend of the Soviet Union in 1965, became a laureate of the International Lenin prize "For strengthening peace among peoples". Aruna Asaf Ali and her husband the chief editor of Edetate of Naranjan was in friendly relations with representatives of the main political clan in the country of the Nehru—Gandhi.

The Chairman of the Committee on the International Lenin prize academician Dmitry Vladimirovich Skobeltsyn presents the International Lenin prize "3A strengthening peace among peoples" Aruna Asaf Ali. Photo: RIA Novosti
According to the former KGB Lieutenant Colonel Ilya Dzhirkvelov, fled to the West in 1980, the newspaper Patriot was created under the leadership of the KGB rezident in new Delhi Radomir Bogdanov specially for the dissemination of disinformation. Dzhirkvelov, he said, also worked to create the newspaper. This defector told under oath in a London court (a popular Greek weekly Ethaos sued by the Economist magazine, protesting against the statements made in the application, Foreign Report charges Ethaos that he is "a mouthpiece of Soviet propaganda").

The US reaction to Valentine Zapevalov article in "Literaturnaya Gazeta" was rough. It was not the number of Indian Newspapers, which appeared in the sensational material, so that an employee of the U.S. Embassy in India met with the editor of the Patriot Rajendra Microj, and he gave the order to check the archives of the newspaper. But the article was not found. US Ambassador to the USSR Arthur Hartman sent a letter to the chief editor of "Literary newspaper" Alexander Chakovsky, protesting against the unjustified accusations against US and accusing the staff of Newspapers in violation of journalistic ethics. Several Newspapers in India, Bangladesh and Brazil circulated printed by the U.S. Embassy in new Delhi about the fact that there is no article in the Patriot did not exist.

But it did exist. A letter indicating the number of Patriot since the article was received by the press service of U.S. Embassy in India from an unexpected source, from the USSR Embassy in Bangladesh.

The first article about the artificial origin of HIV in the world press. Indian newspaper Patriot. 1983
An article in the Patriot was published on 16 July 1983, two years before the article Zapevalov. She looked like the letter to the chief editor of the newspaper from "the well-known American scientist and anthropologist", who wished to remain anonymous. It is really directly stated that AIDS is "the result of the Pentagon's experiments to develop a new threat of biological weapons".

Photocopy of article Patriot was even published in "Literaturnaya Gazeta" in the article under the header "was a boy" more than a year after the article Zapevalov.

Events become increasingly
In the spring of 1986, the promotion of misinformation continued. 2 APR "Literary newspaper" published an article "the Epidemic from the North?", written by Vladimir Besenski, correspondent of the newspaper in Buenos Aires.

The material began with the story that the reporter "in August last year in Panama accidentally found out" about AIDS among American soldiers. Then, with reference to Agency France Press, EFE was said about AIDS prostitutes "of brothels for US troops" in Honduras.

A year after its publication and three years after the publication of the Patriot "Literary newspaper" proved that the article in the Indian newspaper really was. Photo: Literary newspaper
The journalist recalled other stories: "a Few years ago I had the opportunity to investigate biological sabotage US intelligence agencies against Cuba. The medics from Langley tried then using the fever "of denge" paralyze life on the island. Involuntarily the analogy. Begin to understand the international experts, who believe the AIDS virus as a result of scientific, if it can be called science, experiments, military experts in the U.S. working on the development of new types of biological weapons. The AIDS virus, experts say, could inadvertently slip out of the laboratories, for example, through accidental infected soldiers from the protection of these sites or were deliberately grafted to the civilian population. People seem incredible such cruelty, I recall the publication in the "LH" (No. 15. 1982), where it was told about a certain American Naline, which in Pakistan experiments on local peasants, he paid them three dollars and substitutes for bites of mosquitoes infected with the fever "Dang" and other dangerous diseases. After the publication, by the way, Naline had to get out. And now — AIDS. The American press, apparently under the dictation of the Pentagon is intent to prove that the virus originated in Central Africa, sometimes referred to as its "homeland" Haiti. Why not the USA? The answer is conclusive: under American law, experiments with this kind of virus on U.S. soil is prohibited. If the studies are conducted, on the territory of other countries and with the consent of their governments. Or without it, as it was with the American laboratory in Pakistan."

In addition to the "Literary Gazette" article about the fact that the AIDS virus created by Pentagon, typing and other newspaper "Soviet Russia", "Truth", "news", "socialist industry", "rural life", "abroad", "Leningradskaya Pravda", "Krasnaya Zvezda", "Forest industry", "the Truth Ukraine", "Radyanska Ukraine", Tbilisi "Communist", Latvian "Soviet youth", "the Soviet Lithuania". Repeatedly appealed to the theme of the TASS. About the laboratory origin of the virus was said on radio and TV, mostly in broadcasts intended for listeners from other countries.

US Ambassador to the USSR Arthur Hartman continued to write letters to the chief editors of Soviet Newspapers. He demanded to stop the spread of misinformation, and insisted on the publication of his letters to the "letters to the editor" (not printed). The Ambassador referred to the opinion of Soviet scientists, published in Soviet Newspapers.

The scientific consensus
And indeed, the Soviet virologists and epidemiologists do not support the theory about the artificial origin of HIV. Director of the Institute of Virology. D. I. Ivanovsky of the Academy of medical Sciences of the USSR Viktor Zhdanov said in an interview with "Soviet culture" that the human immunodeficiency virus originated in Central Africa and could be related to a similar virus in monkeys. The article, published in the journal "Nature", Alexander Lisner from the Institute of immunology and albert Bykovskiy from the Institute of epidemiology and Microbiology them. N. F. Gamalei argued that there are serious grounds to believe that AIDS existed in Africa for a long time. Even in the pages of the same "Litgazeta" experts spoke guardedly. Here is what he said in an interview with the Director of the research Institute of poliomyelitis and viral encephalitis Academy of medical Sciences of the USSR Academy of medical Sciences of the USSR Sergei Drozdov:

Caused a great stir in the world of AIDS too, did not come from nothing, and was taken, apparently, from the deep parts of Central Africa. Of course, one can not exclude an artificial origin of some of its varieties".

Deputy head of the Main Directorate of quarantine infections of the USSR Ministry of health, doctor of biological Sciences Igor Dranov, again in the pages of "Literary newspaper" was expressed so: "the question arises: is not the AIDS virus the result of genetic engineering, that is, not received it by artificial means? It's unlikely, although the AIDS virus may be the result of purposeful search of pathogens of many obscure infectious diseases. According to press reports, such work is carried out in the West, and their products can be used in special purposes." This is probably the most extreme point of view of a specialist.

But scientists existed in the same plane, and lived and misinformation spread in the other.

Even the scientists ' comments were added propaganda. On may 6, 1986, "Literary newspaper" in the article "AIDS: more questions than answers," was preceded by an interview with immunologists and epidemiologists such comments: "some specialists in the West — let's mention at least the English physician John Power (the hospital, "Harley street") — just saying that AIDS could be created in the laboratory for use as biological weapons." The British doctor, John Force really is claimed that the human immunodeficiency virus could be created in a military laboratory methods of genetic engineering. In an interview with the Executive Intelligence Review in 1985, he said that two years earlier sent letters to the magazines Newsweek and Time. In these letters Forces said: "If my hypothesis is right, we will wait, say, another 20 years before we take decisive preventive action, half the Western world will die out. Meanwhile, the Communist countries, sheltering behind their closed borders, will be able to observe how capitalism will collapse in quite the way predicted by Marx." In 1987, John Force warned that the world faces the AIDS pandemic "of such magnitude, which knew not the history of mankind", and very little chance that "the majority of our children will live to old age."

French East Germans from St. Petersburg

At the 8th conference of the non-aligned Movement delegates from around the world could read the brochure, explaining that AIDS was created in a military lab in the USA. Photo: NAM Database / Flickr
However, John Force, apparently, was a bad fit for the role of chief expert on the theory of the creation of AIDS by the Pentagon. They became another foreign scientist.

In September 1986, in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, held the 8th conference of the non-aligned Movement, which was attended by delegates from more than 100 countries. Among them were distributed the booklet "AIDS — its nature and origin", stating that the human immunodeficiency virus was established in the United States, and the first tests of the new virus were conducted on prisoners gay. The authors of the booklet was a Professor at the Berlin Humboldt University Jakob Segal, his wife Lilly, and a retired Professor at the same University Ronald Demlow.

The Soviet people first heard about Jakob Segal from the TASS report of 27 October 1986, sent from a Bureau in Dublin: "the AIDS Virus (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), a severe disease that has not yet been found a cure, was created in the laboratories of the Pentagon. To the conclusion that a dangerous virus — the handiwork of man, came independently from the other three scientists in different countries, reports the Irish newspaper "Sunday press". One of them was the French scientist Jacob Segal, I'm sure the virus was received in secret laboratories of the Pentagon in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Research in these laboratories are carried out on people who have been sentenced to various prison terms. They promise that after experiments they are released.

According to Segal, a virus escaped from the laboratory occurred as follows: his incubation period was very large — of the order of several years. Therefore, without waiting for the outcome or considering the experiment failed, the creators of the virus have decided to release "experimental material" that has led to the emergence of the epidemic".
Jakob Segal was a French scientist. That is scientist, he was and French no. The Humboldt University is located in the part of Berlin which was the capital of the GDR and, perhaps, the organizers of the campaign of disinformation decided that a French scientist is more credible than sederowsky.

The day before tussovka about the "French scientist", interview with Segala published by the London newspaper the Sunday Express. The Professor once again said that the virus was created in a lab at Fort Detrick. Two other British Newspapers — The Times and Sunday Telegraph — soon published an article refuting the theory of Segal.

In November in the Spanish Interview magazine there was an article about AIDS with quotes from an interview with Segal Sunday Express.

A worldwide disinformation campaign continued in 1987. February 1, the Argentine newspaper Diario Popular has published an article based on the Interview material, but on 7 February printed a retraction. On the same day, TASS issued a material on AIDS, citing Diario Popular. This message TASS appeared in the Nigerian Concord newspaper and in the news Sudanese news Agency. A large number of publications was dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the biological weapons Convention signed April 10, 1972. That the AIDS virus was created, the Pentagon, developing biological weapons, the newspaper wrote fifty countries. Egyptian "al-Ahrar", the Jamaican Daily Gleaner, the Yugoslav Politika Ekspres, Greek Rizopastis, Costa Rican Libertad, the Argentine La Semana, Albanian Bashkimi, Philippine Manila Times... the List of Newspapers is too long to bring it here in its entirety. It has a "solid" Indian newspaper Patriot, so to say returned to the subject.

In late 1987, in connection with the course of Mikhail Gorbachev to create a more positive image of the USSR in the West disinformation campaign began to slowly fade.

It would seem that the point of this story is set 17 March 1992 Yevgeny Primakov in his speech to the students and faculty of MGIMO. The newspaper "Izvestia" wrote the next day: "the Head of the foreign intelligence Service made a number of downright sensational messages. So, he recalled the well-known articles printed a few years ago in our Central Newspapers about AIDS supposedly origin in the secret laboratories of the Pentagon. According to E. Primakov, materials, revealing the "insidious" the idea of the American scientists against humanity, invented in the offices of the KGB."

Reference # 2955

One of the few not only preserved, but also declassified documents of the KGB of the USSR concerning active measures in connection with the HIV/AIDS epidemic

Photo: Blavatnik Family Foundation / Wilson Center

The accusations against the KGB and intelligence services of the socialist countries in a coordinated campaign of misinformation about HIV/AIDS there was a lot of years. Not enough documentary evidence.

The most convincing evidence found by the academic Director of the Berlin spy Museum Christopher Nehring in the archives of the state security of Bulgaria socialist era.

This is top secret "reference # 2955", obtained from the Bulgarian KGB KGB in September 1985. Document begins: "We conducted a set of measures in connection with the appearance in recent years in the United States the new threat of the disease called "acquired immunodeficiency Syndrome — AIDS" (in English "AIDS — Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome"), and its subsequent spread to other countries, including Western Europe.

The aim is the establishment of overseas great we view that this disease is a result of out-of-control secret experiments the US intelligence and the Pentagon with a new kind of biological weapons.

It would be desirable if You were able to connect to the implementation of these activities through Your party, parliamentary, political and journalistic circles of the West and developing countries by promoting the bourgeois press in the following abstracts..."

Special services of the countries of socialism have received this document from Moscow on 7 September 1985. In October of the same year "Literary newspaper" published an article Zapevalov, launching a global operation to spread disinformation.

Operation, it seems, was more successful than intended by the organizers.

The scientific revolution the secret note was introduced in an article by historian Douglas Selvidge "Operation "Denver": The East German Ministry of State Security and the KGB''s AIDS Disinformation Campaign, 1985-1986 (Part 1)" published in the Journal of Cold War Studies in the autumn of 2019 — just before the world learned about a new virus of unknown origin.

35 years later

The official representative of the Chinese foreign Ministry Zhao Lijiang repeatedly pointed to the fact that the virus could be created in the laboratory of the Pentagon in Fort Detrick. We are talking about a SARS-CoV-2
Photo: Reuters

Conspiracy theories about the artificial origins of the virus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), more diverse than theories about the creation of HIV by the Pentagon. Disputes are mainly about which country was created the new coronavirus — in China or in the United States.

The version of American origin, according to its supporters, reinforces the fact that the biological laboratory at Fort Detrick were closed by the Centers for control and prevention of diseases (CDC) in July 2019 and opened again in full just eight months later, at the end of March 2020.

Chinese website "Cavan" March 2, 2020 in the material about the lab at Fort Detrick mentioned Jakob Segal and his accusations in an HIV. 10 March on the White house website appeared petition, which the author demanded of the government to disclose the real reason of the closing of the laboratory at Fort Detrick, to clarify, whether conducted in her study of the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19, and whether the virus escaped from the laboratory. The article, which focuses on the creation of the petition appeared in the Chinese newspaper "Renmin Zhibao" and "huanqiu shibao", including in their English versions. The US government must respond to petitions, gathered during the month more than 100 thousand signatures. As the petition required number of signatures collected, it was closed.

Information campaign continued in the form of articles in "people's daily" and "huanqiu shibao" calls on the U.S. government to answer questions about the origin of the novel coronavirus.

The official representative of the Chinese foreign Ministry Zhao Lijiang starting in March, he published some tweets that the new coronavirus appeared in the US and not in China. Two such tweets company Twitter marked with a special plate as containing "potentially misleading information about COVID-19". The tweets were obviously aimed at external consumption: first, they were written in English, and secondly, in mainland China has officially banned Twitter and blocked. In addition to statements that COVID-19 could make to China the American military, Lijiang also shared the link to the article published on the canadian website Global Research, which is very popular among lovers of conspiracy. Material, which is recommended in Lijiang, on the website anymore, but there are many other interesting articles. For example, the fact that the swine flu was also biological weapons.

While China blames the creation of a novel coronavirus laboratory at Fort Detrick, in the West no less popular is the theory that Wuhan coronavirus was created in a lab in Wuhan.

A week ago on the website of Forbes appeared, disappeared, and then reappeared in a heavily modified form article on the report of the Norwegian-British research team "Reconstructed historical etiology of the spike of SARS-CoV-2". The report argues that the new coronavirus does not arise naturally, but was created in a lab in Wuhan, as a result of the experiment to create chimeric viruses high potency. The authors of the report — the Norwegian virologist Birger sørensen and British oncologist Angus George dalgleish of St George's hospital, University of London.

Professor dalgleish is known to work on HIV/AIDS. It is one of the scientists who discovered that the presence of the CD4 receptor on the cell surface is a necessary condition for the ingress of human immunodeficiency virus. Also Dalglish was the main author of a scientific work, which recorded in East Africa, the wasting syndrome was first associated with HIV infection. HIV/AIDS and close to Sorensen. He is the founder and investor of Holding Bionor AS, engaged in the development of vaccines for functional treatment of HIV infection.

June 3, 2020 British newspaper the Daily Telegraph published an interview with the former head of the secret intelligence service of the British foreign office, sir Richard Dirlam. He told about the report of Sorensen and Dalgleish and stated that, in his view, coronavirus, left the walls of a lab accident.

The Times newspaper soon reported that British intelligence MI5 is considering the idea of artificial origin of the virus as "rumours and conspiracy". In the 1980s, years and Times, and the Telegraph was on one side, denying the artificial origin of HIV.

Currently a broad scientific consensus is that the new coronavirus of natural origin. The most famous "dissident" — Luc Montagnier, the discoverer of the retrovirus HIV, who received a Nobel prize in medicine and physiology 2008.

In April, in an interview with French television Interview, he said that the virus that causes COVID-19 was created by molecular biologists, perhaps in the course of works on creation of a vaccine against HIV.

Osadochek remained

Officially refuted years ago, and scientists, politicians and the theory of artificial origin of HIV continues to live in the minds of people.

Elizabeth Klonoff and hope Landrin during personal interviews with African Americans in California in 1999 and got the following results. 27% of respondents fully agreed with the statement that "HIV/AIDS was artificially created by Federal authorities, to kill and to destroy people with black skin color". 23% of respondents were not completely sure. In 2005, a telephone survey of African Americans conducted by Laura Bogart and Sheryl Thorburn, more than 20% of men and 12% of women completely agreed with the statement "AIDS is a form of black genocide", over 30% of men and 24% of women were completely agree that "AIDS was created in a government lab." The survey, conducted by an international team of sociologists among adolescents in Soweto (South Africa), showed that the artificial origin of HIV/AIDS believe 8.6% of the respondents. 2.3% of respondents believed that the virus was created by the US authorities.

Conspiracy theories relating to the origin of SARS-CoV-2, now, of course, very popular.

A study conducted in may by psychologists from Oxford, showed that in the UK almost one in two (45.4% of respondents) to varying degrees, believe that the coronavirus is a biological weapon developed in China to destroy the West.

19.1% in one way or another agree that the new coronavirus was invented by the Jews to bring down the economy and make a profit. Of 19.9% to a certain extent agree that the fault of the Muslims from spreading the virus to attack the values of the Western world. 21.1% of the blame bill gates, who created a virus to reduce the world's population. And one and the same person could call multiple perpetrators.

Alexey Alexeev


RELATED MATERIALS: Politics and Geopolitics