“It is easier to ride on the back of a tiger than to climb off it.”
This Russian proverb, which appears at the beginning of Dr. Harold Hillman’s last ever book, sums up the current state of our scientific establishment. Whether medicine, physics, or archaeology, all facets of scientific research rest on certain dogmas.
In essence, what this proverb is saying, is that it’s easier to carry on perpetuating falsities than it is to admit you were wrong, drop everything and start again from scratch.
This is exactly what has happened with modern medicine. They can’t climb off the tiger because there is too much at stake. Too much money and too many reputations.
Billions of dollars, millions of jobs, and hundreds of thousands of research hours, rest on erroneous theories such as ‘germs cause disease’.
Imagine if we had to admit that hundreds of years of research and countless academic careers were wasted pursuing ideas that have no basis in reality?
During the COVID-19 debacle, the corrupted state of the medical establishment has never been more evident. Just recently there was an article published in JAMA that labeled anyone who questioned masks and lockdowns as ‘science deniers’ and alluded to all COVID ‘conspiracy theorists’ as suffering from a neurological disorder.
Dr. Denis Rancourt said of the article, “This is the most unethical publication I have seen in a scientific journal in my life time”. He described it as “psychosis advanced to explain mask and covid skeptics”.
But to believe that the house of medicine is built on foundations of sand may be a stretch for some. To convince the skeptics we can look at the work of Stanford scientist John P. A. Ioannidis who published a study in 2005 proving that most published research findings are false.
We may also look to the work of Marcia Angell, the first woman ever to serve as editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. Her work investigates the corruption of modern medicine by drug companies.
Still, further, we can cite the fact that 128,000 Americans die each year from properly prescribed medications, making prescription drugs the fourth leading cause of death.
And finally, we may consider the following quote from Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, who wrote that:
“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”
Have the cracks begun to form? Will the entire charade of ‘evidence-based’ medicine eventually come crumbling down?
Harold Hillman – heretic or genius?
Dr. Hillman was involved in the fields of cytology, neurobiology, and resuscitation for over 50 years. He held degrees from London University in medicine and physiology as well as a doctorate in biochemistry.
In the 1970s he began questioning mainstream cell biology and provided evidence that our model of the cell was completely incorrect. Hillman suggested that the poor quality of cell biology in and since the twentieth century was the reason medical research has failed to elucidate the cause and cure for most diseases.
Harold Hillman may be one of the most courageous and intelligent minds ever to ponder over the fundamental principles of biology. He was a renegade who put the quest for truth above all else.
However, as is often the case in science, his unpopular views took a toll on his career and reputation. Hillman stated that ever since the 1970s he had difficulty publishing his work. Mainstream scientific journals would reject his papers without reason and refuse to review his books.
Hillman’s opponents have stated that he merely ‘seeks controversy’. Whether true or untrue this claim does not affect the validity of the scientific points he has made. In fact, his work has never been more important.
During an interview on the Infectious Myth podcast, Hillman is asked why he’s so determined to make his work known. His answer is rather profound:
“The reason I’m so determined is because they [the mainstream] won’t engage. And if they won’t engage, then to my mind it proves that I’m likely to be right.”
During his professional years, Hillman gave over 250 lectures around the world, explaining his findings to fellow scientists. He stated that many people would come up to him afterward and express their agreement with his ideas. However, when asked if they would be willing to announce publicly their support of his work, they declined, in fear of losing their funding or ruining their reputation.
Hillman described how many leading biologists would refuse to meet with him to discuss his research. Hillman’s goal all along was to start a discussion and promote a productive debate with the aim of furthering and improving our scientific knowledge. Yet, instead of being given a platform to share his work, he was stifled and ridiculed.
Scientists who blatantly ignore unpopular views or refuse to debate are not true scientists. True scientists hold truth above reputation and financial gain. True scientists are willing to risk everything to expose falsities and incorrect theories.
Harold Hillman was a true scientist.
Hillman’s work shakes the foundations of modern cell biology
Harold Hillman’s work has profound consequences for modern lab procedures employed to study the characteristics and chemistry of cells, such as subcellular fractionation and histochemistry. In fact, Hillman stated that these routine procedures are completely unfit for such a purpose.
Hillman was adamant that such procedures, which require a great deal of energy input, would change the properties of cells more than any differences being examined. And thus any conclusions made after such procedures were invalid.
Hilman also heavily criticizes electron microscopy, which he described as a “waste of time and money”. This goes against the vast majority of the biological establishment who regards the invention of the electron microscope as a pivotal point in biological/medical research.
Hillman’s work includes compelling evidence to suggest that many of the subcellular organelles that some scientists have dedicated their lives to studying are merely artifacts of preparation for histology and electron microscopy. This includes both the Golgi body and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER).
Note: Hillman’s work is summed up in his last ever book titled ‘Evidence-based Cell Biology, with Some Implications for Clinical Research’, now only available as a PDF download from the website of a small, Dutch publisher. For anyone with a science background, I highly recommend this book. In fact, it should be mandatory reading.
His work also suggests that cellular receptors and transmembrane protein channels do not exist. One of the reasons for this is that anatomical cell receptors cannot be seen under an electron microscope, despite their size being within the range of visibility.
Hillman writes that:
“Any reaction going on in intact cells in whole healthy animals may be called a receptor. It does not have to be a structure on the cell membrane or in the nucleus.”
Harold Hillman always stood up for what he believed to be the truth. Despite his career and reputation taking a huge hit, he continued to publish his ideas right up until his passing.
In his most recent book, Hillman writes:
“If I am wrong, only my reputation has been damaged. If I am right, those colleagues proved wrong may have well been wasting their time and careers and using public or charitable resources naively. They might have used their time and resources to carry out more productive research.”
When looking at the current state of medicine, I can’t help feel that ‘more productive research’ is exactly what we need – research that doesn’t follow dogma and isn’t funded by the very pharma cabal that has a vested interest in perpetuating erroneous ideas such as the ‘one germ, on disease’ fallacy.
With regards to medical research into the genesis (cause) of disease, Hillman writes:
“It is absolutely remarkable how unsuccessful this sort of research has been. If one knew the basic mechanisms, whose disarray induced disease, one could then design logical interventions to prevent them developing.”
He is correct, of course. We’re taught to believe that modern medicine is a gift from God, yet the cause of most diseases remains ‘unknown’. Medical doctors often believe disease arises due to ‘genetics’ or that the body, which they’re taught to view as a machine, is simply prone to making mistakes.
The concept of autoimmunity – the idea that the body attacks itself – is a good example of an idea born from this mechanistic, reductionist way of viewing disease.
Hillman, however, writes that it is an “unlikely concept” and that the immune reaction, in fact, cannot be distinguished from inflammation.
Hillman also criticised the lack of sufficient control experiments done in biological research. Control experiments form the cornerstone of good science. An adequate control ensures that variables, other than the one being tested, cannot influence the results of your experiment.
“All biological procedures, especially disruptive ones, must be accompanied by parallel accurate and sufficient control observations, before the validity and interpretation of the experiments are accepted.”
“Control experiments for the effects of reagents and manoeuvres used on the results of experiments have been grossly inadequate.”
The lack of sufficient control experiments is exactly why scientists such as Stefan Lanka refuse to acknowledge virology as being a real science.
Hillman also questioned the use of tissue cultures for histological analysis and his logic cannot be flawed.
“Tissue cultures are similar to the tissue from which they come in some ways and very different in other ways. It is clear that although there are a few properties in common, there are substantial differences. This is one of the most important questions, in respect of the usefulness of tissue cultures as sources of information about cells in intact animals.”
Hillman explains that cells in culture have significantly different morphology, biochemistry, and environment than the cells from which they came.
What About Viruses?
Hillman’s work challenges virology as much as it does cell biology. Here are some of the most crucial questions that we desperately need answers to regarding the ‘virus’ phenomenon.
- Given that viruses can only be seen under an electron microscope and that these procedures involve heavy metal deposits, dehydration, low pressure, electron bombardment and X-ray irradiation, what does this mean regarding the morphology or even existence of viruses in real life?
- Considering that the effects of viruses are studied on cell cultures and that most cell cultures are grown from embryonic tissue, cancerous tissue, stem cells, or monkey cells whose properties are completely different from that of adult human tissue, what does this mean regarding our understanding of virus infectivity in humans?
- Let us assume that Hillman is correct about the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi body being artefacts of histological preparation and electron microscopy (not existing in life). Considering that coronaviruses are said to be assembled at the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi interface, what does this mean for our understanding of virus assembly?
- Considering that different cell cultures are prepared by different procedures in different chemical environments, could this explain why only some cells are observed to propagate ‘viruses’ and others not?
- Let us assume Hillman is correct and macromolecular cell receptors don’t exist. Considering that viruses are said to interact with host cell receptors as the preliminary step to penetration, what does this mean regarding our understanding of how viruses penetrate cells, if they do at all?
- Given the extreme importance of control experiments and that adequate controls have not been performed to test the effects of lab conditions, body fluids, antibiotics, and other chemicals on cell cultures, how can we be sure that it is the so-called virus causing any observed cytopathic effects and not the chemicals themselves?
- Given that we can only examine dead tissue under an electron microscope and not living cells, how can findings based on electron microscopy possibly be extrapolated to living systems?
Any sane person would think it important to answer these questions before making any more conclusions about viruses and viral diseases – but the medical establishment has chosen to ignore them.
In fact, if Hillman’s level of critical thinking and radical questioning were applied to the discovery of coronaviruses, or viruses in general, the state of medical science would look quite different today.
Taking a leaf out of Hillman’s book, let’s examine some of the early studies in which coronaviruses were discovered and described. I encourage everyone to do their own research and come to their own conclusions.
Tyrrell DA, Bynoe ML. Cultivation of viruses from a high proportion of patients with colds. Lancet. 1966;1:76–77.
The history of coronaviruses supposedly begins in 1965 with this study by Tyrell and Bynoe. It is said that they found a new infectious agent, obtained from the respiratory tract of adults with the common cold. The ‘infectious agent’ was said to resemble a previously described ‘virus’ called ‘B814’.
I’d like to first quote the introduction, as I think it states something very important:
“With present methods of tissue culture and testing, it is usually possible to cultivate a virus from about a quarter to a third of adult patients with common colds.”
So, the authors state that, at that time, in only about 25% of people with colds could a virus be ‘cultivated’. It should be noted that ‘cultivated’ refers to the observation of cytopathic effects on cell cultures sitting in a toxin-filled, nutrient-deprived soup. Nonetheless, this finding probably should have prompted researchers to question whether viruses were really the cause of the common cold.
Instead, they swapped cell culture for cell culture until their voracious hunger for germs was satisfied and they finally found what they were looking for all along.
Or did they?
In this study, researchers collected samples from patients with a cold, which they then inoculated into cell cultures and examined. In 6 of these specimens, there was no sign of a virus. These 6 specimens were then inoculated into human volunteers. Three volunteers got a cold. The researchers then concluded that a virus must have been present.
Consider what this means. The research found NO evidence of a virus and yet, they ASSUMED that there was a virus because 3/6 of the test subjects had a cold. Again, they did not consider that it was the toxic cell culture brew causing the volunteers to feel unwell.
There are several other glaring problems with this study. Namely:
- Embryonic tracheal organ cultures were used to culture the ‘viruses’. The properties of these cells are completely different from normal, adult tissue.
- Proper control experiments were not performed.
- Volunteers were not inoculated with purified virus
- Only 6 volunteers were inoculated with culture fluid and only 3 got colds. This sample size is far too small to be statistically significant.
- No viruses were purified or characterised.
The only thing this study proved is that inoculation with a mixture of lung fluid from sick people, embryonic cells and other chemicals can cause some people to feel a bit under the weather. Hardly surprising.
Hamre D, Procknow JJ. A new virus isolated from the human respiratory tract. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1966;121:190–193.
Around the same time, Hamre and Procknow claimed to have isolated a new virus from samples obtained from adults with colds. This new virus was named ‘229-E’. However, no virus was actually purified or characterised.
This time, however, after inoculation into cell cultures, they observed cytopathic effects. What’s interesting is that the researchers used human kidney cell cultures, the same culture cells that Tyrell and Bynoe used when they failed to notice any cytopathic effects.
McIntosh K, Dees JH, Becker WB, Kapikian AZ, Chanock RM. Recovery in tracheal organ cultures of novel viruses from patients with respiratory disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1967;57:933–940.
In 1967 Macintosh et al then reported the recovery of various ‘viruses’ using a similar method to that of Tyrell and Bynoe. These particles were then imaged under an electron microscope.
Problems with this study:
- Embryonic tracheal organ cultures were used to culture the viruses. The properties of these cells are completely different from normal, adult tissue.
- No viruses were purified or characterised
- Proper control experiments were not performed.
- Electron micrographs depict ‘virus particles’ with huge variations in shape and size (picture below).
Almeida JD, Tyrrell DA. The morphology of three previously uncharacterized human respiratory viruses that grow in organ culture. J Gen Virol. 1967;1:175–178.
Almeida and Tyrell then used electron microscopy to analyse fluid from organ cultures they claim were infected with the B814 virus strain found by Tyrell. However,
- Viruses were obtained from 4 individuals with colds but also, curiously, from one healthy individual who did not have respiratory symptoms.
- Once again, electron microscope images of ‘virus’ particles show particles of vastly different shapes and sizes.
- No viruses were purified or characterised
Bradburne AF, Bynoe ML, Tyrrell DA. Effects of a “new” human respiratory virus in volunteers. Br Med J. 1967;3:767–769.
In this paper Bradburne, Bynoe and Tyrell inoculated volunteers with the 229-E virus strain discovered by Hamre.
- ‘Viruses’ were passaged through human embryo kidney cells, human fibroblasts, human lung fibroblasts and human embryo trachea organ cultures. The properties of these cells are completely different from normal, adult tissue.
- Proper control experiments were not performed.
- Sample sizes were far too small to draw any meaningful conclusions
- After inoculation, only half of the volunteers got colds
- Volunteers were not inoculated with purified virus
- There was no statistical difference between the inoculated group and the uninoculated group in terms of number of colds.
What do these studies prove?
Of course, there are many other studies that have been conducted on so-called coronaviruses but these 5 represent some of the earliest foundational work on the matter.
None of these studies provide proof for the discovery of a new, infectious agent. They all failed to conduct adequate control experiments and in no study was a virus purified and fully characterised. Furthermore, not a single study satisfied Koch’s postulates.
In studies where volunteers were inoculated, they did not use purified viruses, sample sizes were hopelessly small and researchers admitted they could not detect a virus unless they used specific cell cultures.
More problems are added to the mix when we consider the issues brought up by Hillman regarding electron microscopy. Namely, that the EM procedure involves heavy metal deposits, dehydration, low pressure, electron bombardment and X-ray irradiation, all of which are assumed not to impact the results of the analysis.
When Hillman said in 2011 that ‘cell biology is currently in dire straights’, he was right. And 10 years later, nothing has changed.
Harold Hillman’s sharp intellect and unmatched critical thinking skills were a threat to the scientific establishment. As such, he was banned from giving presentations, his papers were rejected without reason and his books went unreviewed.
Hillman’s stubbornness to promote truth and question dogma is what ruined his career and his chances of scientific triumph.
But what if he was right?
What if the house of modern biology really is built on foundations of sand?
Scientists would rather pursue trendy research areas in favour of winning accolades and securing grant money than ruthlessly question long-held beliefs and fervent dogmas.
News flash – If you’re not allowed to question it, then it’s not science.
Richard Horton, editor in chief of The Lancet also had this to say:
“The good news is that science is beginning to take some of its worst failings very seriously. The bad news is that nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system.”
Harold Hillman took the first step. He put his career and reputation on the line to expose the weaknesses and falsities of established knowledge. The question is, will his work be forgotten, or will others be brave enough to pick up where he left off?
 Infectious Myth Podcast. Episode 14 (Harold Hillman). 2014.
 Infectious Myth Podcast. Episode 97 (Stefan Lanka). 2016.
- Hillman, H. Evidence-Based Cell Biology, with Some Implication for Clinical Research. Shaker Publishing BV. Printed in the Netherlands. 2008.
- Hillman, H. Cell Biology is Currently in Dire Straights. 2011.
- Infectious Myth Podcast. Episode 14 (Harold Hillman). 2014.
- History and Recent Advances in Coronavirus Discovery. https://journals.lww.com/pidj/fulltext/2005/11001/history_and_recent_advances_in_coronavirus.12.aspx
- Tyrrell DA, Bynoe ML. Cultivation of viruses from a high proportion of patients with colds. Lancet. 1966;1:76–77.
- Hamre D, Procknow JJ. A new virus isolated from the human respiratory tract. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1966;121:190–193.
- McIntosh K, Dees JH, Becker WB, Kapikian AZ, Chanock RM. Recovery in tracheal organ cultures of novel viruses from patients with respiratory disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1967;57:933–940.
- Almeida JD, Tyrrell DA. The morphology of three previously uncharacterized human respiratory viruses that grow in organ culture. J Gen Virol. 1967;1:175–178.
- Bradburne AF, Bynoe ML, Tyrrell DA. Effects of a “new” human respiratory virus in volunteers. Br Med J. 1967;3:767–769.