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Open Letter To Ashoka And To Bill Gates
Re: Solving AIDS In Africa

by Harold Kulungian

Dear Ms. Kidder:

This letter on this subject is being sent to you as promised in my recent response to your announcement that I have been nominated as an Ashoka Fellow.

It is also being sent to Bill Gates at Microsoft and to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in response to the news that they have given 100 million dollars to research a vaccine to wipe out AIDS from Africa.

This letter will also be posted on the Web at http://www.MacroDiet.com, under "Contributors", where a few essays and translations from me can be found.

I am using this opportunity to address this gigantic health problem--a global epidemic that shows no sign of abating--as a concrete application of the revolutionary ideas that I've broached already to you: "A Medical Revolution to Internal Hygiene" to be accomplished by returning to a natural way of life, based on natural food, natural clothing, footwear, bedding, and home furnishings.

The importance of natural organic materials composed of vegetable or animal cells is not merely a fad or a fetish of mine. Rather it is a biological imperative, and all the more so in a hot, humid climate such as sub-Saharan Africa, where one's skin needs to be kept dry in order to TRANSPIRE or DISCHARGE BODY WASTES AND EXCESS MOISTURE.

Failing to keep one's skin dry by wearing non-absorbent petroleum-based materials results in an accumulation of mucus, which is known medically as a "phlegmatic condition" in which the person becomes an ideal host for micro-organisms to invade and proliferate. The micro-organisms live on the unmetabolized dietary wastes, especially the excess protein that is invariably craved by anyone whose digestive tract is stagnating due to the excess moisture that he cannot excrete through his skin into absorbent materials--because he lacks such natural materials.

I have seen the same problem in birds kept in a cage and standing on plastic perches. Since the bird cannot transpire through its feet into nonabsorbent plastic, the animal cannot discharge its dietary wastes and so it becomes a home for parasites who live on the un-transpired wastes. The birds sicken, their feathers fall out, and they die. I asked the pet store owner: "How would you like to stand all day in your bare feet on a plastic surface?" Still, he was unable to get the point.

Many of us old enough remember the beautiful hand-woven garments of heavy natural materials--cotton and wool--that were imported from Africa (vests, shawls, etc.) and very popular with academic people in the 1960s when the newly emerging independent nations of Africa were so much in the news. What happened to that cottage-industry of highly crafted, sturdy, absorbent, natural clothing?

Hasn't it been destroyed by the importation of junk materials from the West? And isn't that just one more illustration of Gresham's Law, whereby the cheaper product drives out the more expensive one? But in this case, natural clothing, footwear, bedding, and home furnishings are absolutely indispensable for health.

Aren't there thousands of Western medical and other personnel working in those sub-Saharan countries, who witness daily the disparity between the quality of their clothing and other materials, compared to what the natives are now wearing? Isn't the contrast inescapable? Yet there is no mention in the press or the medical literature of the African women wrapping their heads in polyester cloths, the people wearing junk plastic shoes made in the West, the worst-than-worthless blankets made of petroleum to sleep under--what is this but flagrant evidence of neo-colonial exploitation, to use these innocent countries as dumping-grounds for ersatz junk materials manufactured in the West?

The affluent Western nations--especially the USA--have destroyed the self-sustaining African economies by dumping on them those junk materials, so that we scarcely see native Africans in photos dressed any longer in their native garb. Instead, they are mostly dressed in imported synthetic clothing made of petroleum. And in that humid and warm environment, ideal for the growth of bacteria, these poor people are being mercilessly exploited, their economies have been destroyed, their health destroyed, their hope for life destroyed.

And what is the response of the West? "We will be generous and give millions for drug research in order to concoct a magic bullet' to save you rapidly dying Africans." I.e., we will pump up the pharmaceutical industry, inflate this religion of false hope, give vast wealth to the drug companies, so their stocks can continue to split two for one. Is it anything but the crudest sort of looking the other way, such as the Western medical workers are doing daily in Africa?

If the faith in drugs is not able to stem the decline of the America's health, how is it going to "save" the Africans? If the American pharmaceutical industry cannot solve AIDS in America, how is it going to solve AIDS in Africa, where the standard of living is much lower, and the tropical and semi-tropical climate is so much more favorable to the virus?

Let me present the commonsense physiological approach to solving AIDS the "Macrobiotic" way. I begin with a particular case that is documented, and then I shall turn to the fact of the prostitutes in Nairobi, Kenya, mentioned in last week's news report of the Gates Foundation giving 100 million dollars, as the alleged medical inspiration for the possibility of concocting a successful vaccine against AIDS.

The late Harold Brodkey, a fashionable writer for The New Yorker, kept a journal of the last two years of his life, while he was witnessing his own destruction by AIDS. "THIS WILD DARKNESS: THE STORY OF MY DEATH" (New York, 1996) was published by his widow.

It is indeed a gruesome story of the terrible ordeal of suffering induced by the drugs that Brodkey's doctors insisted he must take if he wanted to survive another few months. It is a brief book, but it is harrowing reading. I don't think I could get through it again. But I did take some notes from it.

In the spring of 1993, Brodkey began to experience the symptoms of AIDS. However, he had not engaged in homosexual activity for 16 years. So he could not understand why such a long period of time should have elapsed before he became sick?

But, unwittingly, he does supply the answer for anyone intelligent enough to know the importance of internal hygiene, i.e., the relationship between one's diet and one's susceptibility to infection due to the quality of one's blood and internal environment.

"I have AIDS. I am surprised that I do. I have not been exposed since 1977." It was 16 years since his last homosexual behavior."In real life, I experimented with homosexuality to break my pride, to open myself to the story" (p.61). "How damaged my body is by the virus will only become apparent at my death...It [the virus] eats you alive."

Then Brodkey divulges the reason why he is in the hospital, where he lays dying as he writes this in his journal. "We [he and his wife] fought over food: I wanted rich foods. My eating my first candy bar in three years was a bit funereal to her--Ellen believes in the Macrobiotic diet. I believed my body's memory of health would be attached to the foods I had eaten most of my life. I ate club sandwiches with bacon."

There you have a sick man's reasoning. He is eating pork, highly chemicalized processed meat, an ideal food for feeding parasites, and doing it knowingly against his inherited religious tabu on pork. Then he is eating sugar candy bars, to feed the virus even better.

But Brodkey is too obtuse to appreciate the importance of his thoughtful wife's Macrobiotic cooking, which had kept him immune to the virus for 16 years, until he decided to depart from her conscientious cooking.

"I pointed out to her that we were attainted; I was, and she was through contact with me" (p.63). Yet, in spite of her conjugal relations with her husband during those 16 years while the virus remained dormant in Brodkey's body, when the wife was tested she proved to be HIV-negative.

Through the practice of internal hygiene through clean diet, it is easily possible--in fact inevitable--to achieve a natural immunity to AIDS and every other infectious disease. Moreover, as the couple diverged in their dietary habits, their marriage was inevitably plagued with health problems and disharmony--which the obtuse Mr. Brodkey never could understand.

"We had never been in sync at home: I snored and woke often,...while Ellen slept soundly and hardly moved nightlong. We woke differently, too, and at different hours" (p.70). "Horrible deaths and total defeat are commonplace" in the modern American way of life, he cynically concludes, taking some sort of consolation from being with the majority.

[CONTINUED WITH PART II]

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