For decades, Charles Ortleb has been warning the world that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a contagious pandemic caused by a virus that can trigger a spectrum of illnesses and that it can be both chronic and fatal. Ortleb has insisted that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is at the center of a public health crisis that still has not been recognized by the scientific, medical, and media elite. The deaths of a number of people from complications of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are finally waking the world up to the importance of his work and the wisdom of all of his books.
Charles Ortleb was the publisher and editor-in-chief of Christopher Street, New York Native, and Theater Week. At Christopher Street, he was responsible for launching many of our most celebrated writers and artists. At the helm of New York Native, he was the first journalist to take the AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome epidemic seriously. In Rolling Stone, David Black said that the New York Native deserved a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of AIDS. The investigative reporting he published by journalists like John Lauritsen and Neenyah Ostrom is still required reading for any historian that wants to know the true story of AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Ortleb created HHV-6 University online to continue reporting on the virus that links AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to autism and many other emerging epidemics. No writer in the world has done more reporting on HHV-6 than Ortleb. After New York Native went out of business in 1997, Ortleb began to focus on his own career as a writer. In the last twenty years he has written nonfiction, history, political philosophy, poetry, cartoons, and plays. He helped turn his book "The Last Lovers on Earth" into a film. He is also a lyricist and has written the words for several albums by Chris Davidson on Spotify at LadyUpstairs.com.
Charles Ortleb's podcasts about the links between the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS epidemics can be heard here: https://cfsbook.blogspot.com/p/podcasts-by-author.html
BOOKS BY CHARLES ORTLEB
THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP is a provocatice new history of the intertwined epidemics of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS. His book warns that the virus causing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is causing many other serious ailments and threatens everyone's health. Ortleb celebrates the historically important work of Neenyah Ostrom who spent a decade at the newspaper he published (New York Native) reporting on the Centers For Disease Control's attempts to hide the truth about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome's connection to AIDS from the public. The AIDS establishment loved Ortleb's paper until Ortleb and his reporters started asking questions the CDC and NIH didn't want to answer. Then things got really interesting.
PIG: A MEMOIR is an edgy novel that takes its place in literary history with Orwell's ANIMAL FARM. A fairy tale with talking pigs, it presents the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome epidemic as just a new development in the evolving totalitarianism of public health. The violent and visionary ending of the book is a warning to us all about what could happen when sinister politics invade public health.
THE STONEWALL MASSACRE is a riveting long short story that raises serious questions about the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome epidemic by imagining what would have happened if the gay movement had been destroyed when it began at Stonewall. Would Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have been recognized as the real AIDS epidemic if there was no gay community? Ortleb's vision of what would have happened will make your head spin.
THE BLACK PARTY is a full-length play that takes it place along side THE NORMAL HEART and ANGELS IN AMERICA as one of the most important plays every written about the AIDS epidemic. The thing that makes this witty and irreverent play the leader of the pack is that it turns the AIDS epidemic upside down and suggests that Larry Kramer and Tony Kushner don't have a clue about the nature of the real AIDS epidemic which includes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and many other illnesses.
IATROGENOCIDE: NOTES FOR A POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF EPIDEMIOLOGY AND SCIENCE is a collection of thoughts culled from Chales Ortleb's notebooks in which he began to work out his ideas for a political philosophy of epidemiology and science. He has concluded that what we think of as the epidemiology and science of AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are essentially a corrupted hard drive. Because of sexual and racial bigotry, virtually all of the science and conducted on that hard drive is false even though it has the appearance of being rational, progressive, and normal. A bold new kind of political philosophy of epidemiology and science has helped him understand how that hard drive got corrupted in the first place. The thoughts in this book will help show a way forward for anyone who wants to fix that hard drive.
BUTTERFLY GHOSTS AND THE NEW HIPPOCRATIC OATH is the first collection by Charles Ortleb. He was expected to be one of the major poets of our time but got sidetracked when he started a newspaper that ended up being the journal of record on AIDS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the scientific malfeasance both involved. Throughout the dark times of the epidemic he kept writing poetry in his notebooks and these stunning poems show he never lost his lyrical gifts.
THE CLOSING ARGUMENT is a novella that captures the racist politics of the AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome epidemic, or what Ortleb calls "CFS/AIDS apartheid." A Black man is accused of spreading AIDS and his lawyer defends him by exposing the Jim Crow nature of the epidemiology and pseudoscience of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS. No book in the world has made these racial points quite like this. Not since Peter Buxtun blew the whistle on the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment has a more important warning about racist medicine been issued.
THE LAST LOVERS ON EARTH is the first collection of short stories by Charles Ortleb. It captures gay life and gay culture at the end of the twentieth century with a unique, irreverent kind of humor and satire that has never been seen before. Three of the stories were the basis for the provocative film, "The Last Lovers on Earth" which is available on DVD. John Lauritsen praised the collection: "Beautifully written, wildly imaginative fables, which puncture a great many sacred balloons, gay and straight. AIDS activists, government 'scientists', doctors, suburban Parents of Gays, 'Queer Theorists' -- all get their comeuppance. I could only read this book a few paragraphs at a time -- gasping, laughing, and then thinking. And after reflection, some of Ortleb's most shocking and outrageous statements emerged as expressions of common sense and decency in a world going viciously mad."
IRON PETER: A YEAR IN THE MYTHOPOETIC LIFE OF NEW YORK CITY is Charles Ortleb's first novel. In some ways it is Ortleb's answer to Robert Bly's book, IRON JOHN. One reader wrote, "Iron Peter is a first novel, actually a modern day fable, written with the savvy quickness and edge of an experienced satirist. Charles Ortleb is probably the first American author who having taken a serious look at much of the orthodox HIV-AIDS establishment finds black humor the best mirror in uncovering the pranksters within the AIDS establishment. The book would undoubtedly be a best seller, if its subject matter weren't considered as untouchable as the Shroud of Turin. Readers who enjoy their prose quick and cunning and their narrative hip, perceptive and profound will find Iron Peter to be the most imaginative, first novel of the year."
INDIVIDUAL CHAPTERS OF THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC AVAILABLE ON KINDLE
NEW YORK NATIVE 1980-1984 THE FOG OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, the first chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP, takes the reader into the offices of New York Native, a small newspaper in Manhattan with a mostly gay readership. The paper had barely begun its existence when the medical and scientific story of the century fell into its lap. Charles Ortleb describes what it was like the night the first story of what turned out to be AIDS broke in The New York Times. In a dark time of terror and confusion, he decided to make the New York Native the paper of record and conscience for the epidemic. And it did it at a time when many of his readers didn't want to hear anything about it. The reporting his paper did was so thorough that, in Rolling Stone, David Black said New York Native deserved a Pulitzer Prize. In this first chapter we learn about all the different causation theories that scientists came up with, including the compelling notion that AIDS had originated in sick pigs. As time went on, Ortleb's paper began to catch the Centers for Disease Control in a number of lies and as a result, the paper's reporting became more critical and investigative. Nobody expected a newspaper like New York Native to behave like Woodward and Bernstein. Ortleb's determination to get to the bottom of the story put him on a collision course with the medical and political establishment.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1985: THROWING DOWN THE GAUNTLET is the second chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP. Charles Ortleb writes about the work of Ann Fettner, a reporter who wrote several major investigative pieces for New York Native. Fettner reported on an outbreak of Multiple Sclerosis in nurses who worked in a hospital in Key West, Florida. The cases raised the possibility that some agent associated with AIDS might also be causing Multiple Sclerosis. That agent turned out to be HHV-6, a virus that New York Native subsequently reported on more than any other publication in the world. In this chapter, Ortleb also discusses his relationship with Jim Monroe, someone who acted as New York Native's "Deep Throat" at the CDC. Monroe informed Ortleb about the manner in which the CDC was manipulating the way that AIDS blood tests were conducted. Monroe also advised Ortleb that all major decisions about AIDS were being made by Reagan's White House, suggesting that the science of AIDS was being politically shaped. In this chapter Ortleb also describes the beginning of his newspaper's campaign to wake the world up to the fraud coming out of the laboratory of top AIDS scientist Robert Gallo.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1986: A NEW VIRUS OR A RENAMED OLD ONE? In this third chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP the battle about the nature of the AIDS epidemic becomes more contentious and critics begin to be censored, silenced, and stigmatized. Texas begins considering a quarantine for people with AIDS. Scientist Jane Teas suggests that HIV, the so-called cause of AIDS, might in fact be an endogenous retrovirus--an effect rather than the cause of AIDS. Teas and John Beldekas test AIDS patients for African Swine Fever virus and a number are positive. When Ortleb reads an article by celebrity Ben Stein in an L.A. newspaper about a chronic illness breaking out in everyone he knows in Los Angeles and New York, he suggests that this might be the manifestation of the AIDS epidemic in the general population. It is the beginning of Ortleb's argument that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS are just different faces of the same basic epidemic. In one of the most important articles ever published in New York Native, reporter Ann Fettner interviews an employee working on AIDS in Florida for the Centers for Disease Control. The man, Gus Sermos, insists that the CDC is falsifying important data about the epidemic in Florida that would have changed our understanding of AIDS and its risk groups. When Robert Gallo's lab announces the discovery of a new DNA virus (eventually called HHV-6) the New York Native points out that Gallo's so-called discovery resembles African Swine Fever virus, the agent Teas and Beldekas had found evidence for in AIDS patients. Given that Gallo's lab is increasingly being accused of stealing credit for HIV, the Native suggests that the Gallo lab may have done the same thing with there DNA virus. That fact that the new virus is found in both AIDS patients and people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome strengthens Ortleb's argument that CFS and AIDS are part of the same epidemic.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1987; AN EPIC EPIDEMIOGICAL BATTLE is the fourth chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP. This chapter covers the New York Native's reporting on the disturbing similarities between the politics of AIDS and the politics of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. John Lauritsen reports on growing doubts that HIV is the real cause of AIDS and provides evidence that the CDC is playing political games with the definition of AIDS. Darrell Yates Rist describes the gay community's growing acquiescence to the government's dogma about the nature and cause of AIDS. New York Native introduces the distinguished scientist, Peter Duesberg, to its readers. Duesberg, one of the world's most respected retrovirologists, argues that HIV cannot be the cause of AIDS. Charles Ortleb writes an editorial about the obvious connection between AIDS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the virus that will become known as HHV-6. In a hard-hitting piece on AZT, John Lauritsen raises disturbing questions about the research that was conducted on the very toxic AIDS treatment. An official from the White House calls Ortleb and expresses doubts about HIV being the cause of AIDS. John Lauritsen reports that doctors have begun bullying vulnerable AIDS patients into taking the questionable drug AZT.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1988:THE PUBLIC RELATIONS OF THE EPIDEMIC is the fifth chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP. In this chapter Anthony Fauci pressures the White House to cancel a meeting at which the possibility that HIV is not the cause of AIDS would be discussed. New York Native continues to raise the possibility that Robert Gallo has given African Swine Fever virus a new name to make it appear he has discovered a new virus. Sex researchers Masters and Johnson become controversial when they suggest the AIDS epidemic is bigger than American officials admit. Lauritsen reports on AIDS patients who are being forced to take AZT which is harming them. Neenyah Ostrom begins reporting for the New York Native regularly on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and its connection to the AIDS epidemic. The New York Native warns that by accepting the government dogma on AIDS, the American Civil Liberties Union is not really protecting the civil liberties of gay people. Ostrom reports on a gay man caught in the grey area between diagnoses of AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Ostrom also reports on evidence indicating that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has become an international pandemic.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1989: A STRATEGY EMERGES is the sixth chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP. In this chapter Neenyah Ostrom reports on how the NIH scientist assigned to research Chronic Fatigue Syndrome attempted to hide the nature of the epidemic from the American people. Charles Ortleb writes an editorial urging America's scientists to follows the lead of Japanese researchers who call Chronic Fatigue Syndrome "Low Natural Killer Syndrome." The New York Native uncovers an explosive letter sent to the Surgeon General by a physician suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The doctor warns that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is highly contagious and is causing a major epidemic among health care workers. The New York Native also publishes a disturbing letter from a reader who warns that the AIDS activist group, ACT UP, is endangering the gay community. In an article on Gilda Radner, Neenyah Ostrom raises the possibility that the beloved performer's fatal cancer was actually a complication of her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A German reader writes to the Native expressing alarm about the similarities of AIDS pseudoscience and Nazi science.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1990: CREEPIER EVENTS is the seventh chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP. In this chapter, Charles Ortleb reports on a new link between sick pigs in America and the AIDS epidemic. John Lauritsen's coverage of AZT raises alarming questions about the toxicity of the AIDS drug. Neenyah Ostrom asks whether cases of Kaposi's sarcoma without HIV further undermined the HIV theory of AIDS. She also reports on retroviral research that might link AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Ortleb criticizes Larry Kramer for his sycophantic support of Robert Gallo. Neenyah Ostrom writes a disturbing story on a pilot with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome who has trouble remembering things when he is flying a plane. She also reports on an outbreak of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in a symphony orchestra which provides more evidence that the illness is contagious.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1991: CONSPIRACY OF DUNCES is the eighth chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP. In this chapter, New York Native celebrates a report which appeared in the Miami Herald raising questions about whether HIV is the real cause of AIDS. John Lauritsen criticizes a new campaign for AZT which he sees as a promoting the genocide of gay men. Neenyah Ostrom interviews a doctor who believes here may be a connection between people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the illnesses of their pets. New York Native again raises the possibility that Robert Gallo's so-called HHV-6 is really African Swine Fever Virus. The New York Times finally publishes a story questioning the efficacy of AZT. Charles Ortleb chides the leading gay organization for defending AZT. Neenyah Ostrom criticizes the leading opponent of the HIV theory for not paying attention to the role of HHV-6 in AIDS. New York Native reports on a very strange agreement made by a group of scientists that there need be no more research into the connection between AIDS and African Swine Fever. The newspaper publishes a Peter Duesberg review of Robert Gallo's book on AIDS. Duesberg warns that Gallo's questionable science has led to the poisoning of patients with AZT.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1992: HIV-NEGATIVE AIDS is the ninth chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP. In this chapter John Lauritsen writes about serious fraud in AIDS and AZT research. In an editorial, Charles Ortleb urges Governor Jerry Brown to look into the connection between AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Neenyah Ostrom writes an article that asks whether scientists have been looking at African Swine Fever virus and mistakenly identifying it as CMV. Ostrom reports on the epidemic of asthma in children and raises the possibility that it is connected to the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome epidemic. She also reports on Ampligen, a promising treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which seems to decrease the amount of the AIDS-related virus HHV-6 in patients. Charles Ortleb criticizes Susan Sontag for not questioning the government's HIV dogma. Ostrom reports on research showing that 14 percent of children admitted to emergency room with acute fevers suffer from HHV-6 infections. Charles Ortleb reports on an outbreak of mysterious illnesses at a facility that does African Swine Fever research in New York and urges that scientists look into a possible connection between the virus and the outbreak.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1993: THE AIDS THOUGHT POLICE is the tenth chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP. In this chapter, Charles Ortleb decries the patronizing attacks on black leaders who raise questions about the nature of the AIDS epidemic by writers like Nat Hentoff. Larry Bush reports on a bizarre group called "Queer Nation" which seems bent on destroying gay political progress in San Francisco. Neenyah Ostrom reports on a promising pig-based treatment for AIDS which once again raises the question of whether there is a link between AIDS and the African Swine Fever virus. Charles Ortleb reports on a story making he rounds about a man who gets different results on his AIDS test depending on whether he tells doctors he is gay or straight. Peter Duesberg (the world's leading critic of the HIV theory of AIDS) tells the New York Native that recent reports on cases of HIV-negative AIDS further undermine the case for HIV. Charles Ortleb writes an editorial warning that the publishing and bookselling community has adopted a party line about AIDS and is working actively to prevent AIDS critics from delivering their ideas to the marketplace. Neenyah Ostrom addresses the paradox that the virus HHV-6 is both ubiquitous and harmful. Ortleb suggests that the confusing paradoxical nature of HHV-6 is actually similar to the confusing and paradoxical nature of African Swine Fever virus. ABC News finally breaks the media silence and reports on scientists who argue that HIV has not been proven to be the real cause of AIDS.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1994: IS HHV-6 THE REAL VIRUS? is the eleventh chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP. In this chapter Neenyah Ostrom reports on a woman who is preparing to sue the manufacturers of AZT (the AIDS drug) for the death of her husband. Charles Ortleb writes an editorial criticizing the leading Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patient organization for not taking a public stand about the intertwined relationship of AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Neenyah Ostrom explores the connection between Gulf War Syndrome and the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome epidemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the de facto AIDS Czar, is criticized by Neenyah Ostrom for helping to silence Peter Duesberg, the most outspoken critic of the HIV theory of AIDS causation. New York Native covers the arguments of a group of Australian researchers who argue that the HIV virus has never been properly isolated. Neenyah Ostrom reports on new research that supports the argument that HHV-6 is the real AIDS virus.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1995: SELF-FULFILLING POLITICAL PROPHESIES is the twelfth chapter of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP. In this chapter Neenyah Ostrom reports on a treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that involves an extract of pig liver that shows great promise. The New York Native reports on a new treatment for AIDS which was being touted by Dr. David Ho. Charles Ortleb criticizes Ho for not recognizing that cases of AIDS without HIV which he himself had seen suggested that treatments directed at HIV were based on faulty science. Ostrom writes a piece warning that the AIDS epidemic is being criminalized by draconian legislation reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Charles Ortleb reports on his attempt to enlist Norman Mailer in the investigation of the truth about the AIDS epidemic. Mailer writes back to Ortleb, "If Neenyah Ostrom has a case, I'd be interested to read about it. . . . I think it's damn interesting and if true, more than interesting." Ostrom reports on evidence that shows that the FBI has infiltrated gay and AIDS groups. New York Native covers an ABC News report by Peter Jennings n HHV-6 which presents it as a second virus involved in AIDS.
NEW YORK NATIVE 1996-1997: ENORMOUS PUBLIC HEALTH CONSEQUENCES consists of the final two chapters of THE CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME EPIDEMIC COVER-UP. In these last two chapters, Neenyah Ostrom reports that the drug Ampligen continues to show promise for the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Ostrom writes a compelling piece about an article in the New York Times by Meghan Daum who expressed doubts about the government's insistence that young heterosexuals are at risk for AIDS. Ostrom notes that if Daum saw the connection between AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, she would realize that CFS is a clear and present AIDS-related danger to all young heterosexuals. New York Native publishes an provocative interview with Hillary Johnson, the author of Osler's Web: Inside the Labyrinth of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. When Neenyah Ostrom asks Johnson if there is a connection between AIDS and CFS, she replies, "Given that the two epidemics arose concurrently, and that so many of the laboratory and clinical findings are the same or similar in both patient populations, it almost defies credibility to insist that there cannot be any connection." Neenyah Ostrom interviews HHV-6 researcher Konnie Knox. When Ostrom asks why there is not more funding for HHV-6 research, Knox notes, "80 percent of AIDS research monies are retained within the federal government programs on AIDS research. And I think there's been a real resistance to entertaining hypotheses or directions of AIDS research that aren't looking specifically at HIV, and that is the basic problem." In an interview with New York Native, Manhattan's Congressman Jerrold Nadler asserts, "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a tremendous public health menace which has not received the attention it deserves. Hillary Johnson has elucidated some of the reasons that it has not received some of the attention it deserves--some very deliberate reasons--and we have to break this open and make sure it's recognized for what it is, a major communicable disease. We have to make sure we fund research into it, and we have to understand how the virus is transmitted and how to protect the public from it."
BOOKS WRITTEN WITH CARTOONIST JULIAN LAKE
CHARLES ORTLEB PRESENTS JULIAN LAKE'S CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME AND AIDS COVER-UP CARTOONS: TWO JULIAN LAKE COLLECTIONS A humorous look at the dark aide of AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome research. Many of these cartoons have appeared on the HHV-6 University website which was created by Charles Ortleb.