How to View the "Origins of AIDS" Documentary

by Edward Hooper
Friday, 30 June 2006


Key link:

The DVD version: what appears to have happened.

"The Origins of AIDS", the TV documentary about how AIDS began, and which highlights the oral polio vaccine (OPV) hypothesis and the attempts to suppress it, has had a tremendous impact since it was first shown on television in November 2003.

Word-of-mouth news about the film has been spreading, and during the last two years (but especially since the start of 2006) I have been deluged with email and letter enquiries about how to purchase the film.

There is a certain amount of mystery surrounding this topic, but what I have managed to discover is this. One of the co-producers, MFP (of Paris, France), has apparently ceded the DVD rights to the other producer, Galafilm (of Montreal, Canada). Officially the DVD was due to be released in October 2005, but as far as I can make out, this never happened. More recently, Galafilm claimed that a shortened version of the documentary was being marketed through an arrangement with the National Film Board of Canada, but again it seems that in practice the arrangement didn't work. So, more than 30 months after the film was first broadcast, it seems that it is still not possible to buy it on DVD.

Over the last ten weeks, I have contacted Galafilm a total of eight times about this topic. Someone at Galafilm promised to send me a copy of the shortened version of the film in April, but failed to do so. And although the Galafilm executive producer, Arnie Gelbart, has emailed me during this period (to send an article from a Canadian newspaper), both he and his secretary have failed to answer any of my emailed questions about the film, such as who directed the shorter version, and how to buy it.

Clearly this raises questions about what is going on at Galafilm. It is not known whether or not they have been leant on legally (as my publishers have been, on several occasions), or perhaps extra-legally (for examples, see "Background" section, below).

For those who would still like to purchase a DVD of the film, I suggest they attempt to make contact with Arnie Gelbart, the president and executive producer of Galafilm, or his secretary, Paola D'Agnolo.

They are contactable via:

5643 Clark Street, Suite 300
Montreal, Quebec H2T 2V5
Tel.: 1-514-273-4252 ext. 245
Fax: 1-514-273-8689

Another way to view the film

However, it seems that there's an alternative way to see the film (albeit not to purchase a copy). Moreover, this one is free!

To watch the 91 minutes of the film, connect to the following link...

The on-line posting of "The Origins of AIDS" was presented to me as a fait accompli, and since then I have spent some time deciding how I feel about it. However, since Galafilm seems, for whatever reason, not to be interested in marketing the DVD, I've decided that I am fully in favour of this independent (and clearly well-intentioned) initiative.

The most important thing is that people should be able to view "The Origins of AIDS", and make up their own minds about the evidence presented - and the fact that it is free means that anyone with a decent computer can do this.

Some background information:

At last count "The Origins of AIDS" had been broadcast in some twenty countries world-wide (the major exception being the UK, where legal pressure by lawyers representing doctors Koprowski and Plotkin caused Channel Four to postpone its planned broadcast).

It has also won, at last count, four scientific prizes and five major film prizes (including the prestigious Europa Prize), and was short-listed (to the final four) for an International Emmy for Best Documentary of 2004. By all accounts, these prizes and awards have come despite vigorous interventions made against the film by certain (mainly American) members of some of the juries.

An additional factor has been the concerted campaign waged against "The Origins of AIDS" by a group of scientists representing those who made CHAT vaccine, and those who champion the bushmeat theory of origin. These men and women have written a series of identical letters to TV companies and film festivals, claiming (falsely) that the OPV hypothesis of origin has been disproved, and urging them not to show the film. This group of collaborators is led and coordinated by Koprowski's right-hand man of the 1950s, Stanley Plotkin, who helped Hilary Koprowski organise the African testing of CHAT vaccine in the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi. It also features Koprowski's close friend Robert Gallo (the man who, in the early 1980s, tried to annexe credit for discovery of the AIDS virus from Luc Montagnier's team, and who describes Hilary Koprowski as his "mentor"), as well as Plotkin's hired rottweiler and PR advisor, John Moore. Other members include leading bushmeat proponents, Beatrice Hahn, Bette Korber, and Steve Wolinsky, as well as Robin Weiss and Simon Wain-Hobson, the two scientists who arranged the Royal Society conference on "Origins of HIV and the AIDS epidemic" after Bill Hamilton's death, and who so signally failed to provide the "level playing-field" that they had promised. It is now apparent that a community of interest developed between these men and women several months before the Royal Society meeting in September 2000.

Some of the TV broadcasts have been on minor channels, or late-at-night, and in certain instances pressures appear to have been brought to bear on the broadcasters from higher authorities. For instance, when the film was shown on France2, the second government channel in France, on World AIDS Day (December 1st) 2003, the broadcast was apparently preceded by a 2-minute appearance from a scientist from the Pasteur Institute, who asked viewers to bear in mind that the OPV theory had been disproved, because scientists had already discovered an AIDS case from 1931! This, of course, was a complete fabrication. The fact that the Pasteur wheeled out a compliant scientist who was prepared to tell lies on national television, gives some indication of the "fear and loathing" which certain governments and government-financed institutions feel about the OPV theory.

It is now apparent that the American, Belgian and French governments were all actively involved in the experimental polio vaccination trials that were conducted in colonial Africa in the late 1950s. There is now compelling evidence that the Belgian/American trials were responsible for the sparking of the AIDS pandemic in the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi. The information about the French trials is more sparse, but is enough to indicate that they may well be linked to the three minor outbreaks of AIDS that occurred in France's former colonies of French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa. Given this, it is perhaps not surprising that at least some of these governments are now resorting to carefully-coordinated disinformation campaigns.

Only a portion of the evidence supporting the foregoing statement about the Belgian/American trials has thus far been published. But two things, in particular, strike me as immensely impressive:

a) that when challenged as to their grounds for opposing the OPV theory, its leading opponents - and those who were directly involved with the Stanleyville trials - are unable to come up with a single legitimate argument, either scientific or historical, to support their position. When pressed many of them, and many of those less directly involved (like the Pasteur scientist, above), resort to citing non-existent evidence.

b) that the Plotkin team has expended a great deal of time and energy on trying to persuade those who have already given significant testimony to me, or to the "Origins of AIDS" film crew, to later withdraw or modify their statements on key issues. Sometimes the approach of the Plotkins involves the exertion of peer pressure through senior colleagues, but sometimes (as with certain of the African witnesses shown in the film) the attempt has been underpinned by "financial inducements". Fortunately several of these attempts have backfired, and there is a rather substantial trail of evidence about the cover-up that the Plotkins have been endeavouring to stage.

The bottom line? None of the alleged scientific evidence against the OPV theory (the testing of samples of American-made OPV; the alleged dating of HIV-1 to the 1930s; the claim that no Pan troglodytes troglodytes chimps were used by the Stanleyville scientists) actually stands up. And as for the "historical evidence", if you're speaking the truth, then you really don't need to lean on witnesses to get them to support your version of history.

Ed Hooper. June 30, 2006

This material is part of a collection of material on

Polio vaccines and the origin of AIDS

which in turn is part of Brian Martin's website on suppression of dissent.