Midweek Cuckoo: W. John Martin
Dr. W. John Martin, MD, PhD, seemed to have everything a medical researcher could want. He was during the course of his career the chief of the Immunology/Molecular Pathology Unit at the LAC/USC (University of California) Medical Center, a professor of pathology at the USC School of Medicine, the director of the Viral Oncology Branch of the FDA’s Bureau of Biologics and worked at the National Cancer Institute. So it was probably with some degree of trust that the medical community accepted his announcement in the 1980s that he had discovered a kind of virus that was undetectable to the human immune system, a “stealth virus” of sorts. He even claimed to have a method of detecting it. He received oodles of funding from the CAA, a non-profit organization funding reasearch into Chronic Fatigue and Immune Disfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), an affliction that Martin thought may be caused by these “stealth viruses”.
But then things began to fall apart. Those who have read previous midweek cuckoos will recognize one of the first signs of kookdom when I tell you that Martin claimed stealth viruses were the cause of not only CFIDS but also fibromyalgia, attention deficit disorder, autism, Lyme’s Disease, Gulf War Syndrome, and a host of other psychiatric and oncogeneric diseases. That was warning sign number one, the universal causative, second only to universal cure. Naturally, alternauts around the world picked up on the stealth virus and never let go. Then in 1992 the CAA funded an investigation into Martin’s research, and thereafter cut his funding. Only later did the reason come out – Martin had claimed that he had a potential therapy, called Epione, that was already in stage 2 of federal testing. The CAA’s investigation proved warranted when they discovered this was a blatant lie. With no published results after two years, and proof of his dishonesty, funding was cut. Martin later claimed it was due to a ‘misunderstanding’.
But things got worse for Martin. In 1995 he was escorted off USC campus by security, and while he is still listed as a tenured professor, the university will only say that he is on ‘indefinite leave’, even a decade after the event. In 2002, after a patient complained to the State of California Health and Human Services Agency, the agency suspended Martin’s license to conduct clinical studies, and ordered him to cease all laboratory testing immediately. And yet there is no evidence that he ceased anything. In fact, Martin published a few papers even after his license was suspended, leaving me wondering how legal the studies were. Reading them makes me suspect that a) the reviewers should be fired and b) Martin has slipped further and further into kookoo land. Here’s a few snippets from the abstract of a paper from last year:
Several observations made during the course of studies on stealth-adapted viruses are explainable by a pervasive, energy-rich, ether environment… ACE pigments convert conventional forms of physical energies into a biological cell healing energy… ACE pigments may also capture etheric energy… also seen with several natural products, including a homeopathic formulation.
Need more? In the same paper, he had this to say in support of the existence of an ether:
Based on rather simple assumptions, 19th century physicists unsuccessfully tried to detenct an effect of an ether on the transmission of light.
What’s he referring to? The Michelson-Morley experiment of 1887, of course! You know, the one that proved to scientists around the world that the luminiferous ether did not exist, and set them on the correct path of realising that light could propogate in a vacuum? The experiment that set Michelson on the path to his nobel prize? Martin tries to imply that they were bumbling idiots and would have found the ether had they only been better scientists.
So where is Dr. Martin now? His website, www.ccid.org seems to be shut down. A blog search reveals mutliple blogs affiliated to him, none of which seem to be up and running (stealthviruses.blogspot.com, wjohnmartin.blogspot.com, drwjohnmartin.blogspot.com). But what revealed the most was that a search online for the address of his Center for Complex Infectious Diseases (CCID) at 3328 Stevens Ave, Rosemead California reveals hits for two establishments – the CCID, and also Ingleside Hospital. But Ingleside also pops up with another address, also in Rosemead, CA. But compare the two addresses (Stephens Ave vs Hellman Ave) on googlemaps: they are one block apart. And Ingleside Hospital, or more accuractely City of Angels Medical Center (Ingleside Campus), states its grounds as covering 5 acres of Rosemead. So it seems that the CCID is in fact part of Ingleside Hospital.
Why is this interesting? Ingleside is a phyciatric facility. I wonder if Dr. Martin’s an in-patient?
(Thanks again to Brian for the tip-off)