The Endgame – A Memoir

AIDS Research

Some of the clandestine research and endeavors behind public-facing projects the adults in my circle worked on were direct violations of humanity and would have been best left to horror movies, nightmares, and the pits of hell. As a child witnessing them, I was simply told they were normal. Despite believing this because I had no other input to go on, there was a tight and painful feeling in my stomach that never went away, and my heart rate in those years always stood at about forty beats per minute higher than it should have been. I was terrified, but I internalized it. I felt that being scared was my fault, that it was something wrong with me, because no one else in that circle seemed to think that anything going on around us was concerning. 

Years later, I would speak to someone outside of that sphere and find out that I wasn’t wrong in having been terrified. The public had been misguided into believing these things didn’t happen anymore due to their torturous nature, unethical means, and often genocidal undertones. If they had seen what I had seen, many of them would have been equally as terrified. 

Due to what I was witnessing, I would become outspoken about the potential harm of current research design methodology to research participants, even in ethics-board-approved research. These things rarely do absolutely no harm, and almost never offer continuing support to the volunteers who sacrificed their own health and well-being on the altar of science for others to profit and benefit from. A one-time $200, or even $2000, research participant stipend cannot compensate for a lifetime of disability or lack of support in healing. It also cannot provide the social or medical reintegration that a research participant was never fully informed that they might need, because even the scientists do not fully acknowledge the breadth of possible harm caused during human experimentation. 

There’s a basic reason it’s called experimentation. It is because there is no certain way that we can fully predict all of the results. The scientific community does not care for the people they use. They treat them as one-time-use discardable products, rather than taking responsibility for the long-term effects and the human beings now carrying the burden of those effects. 

No one fully understood my argument, or they didn’t want to because it would interfere with their paycheck or would require extra work on their part. There’s this unspoken phenomenon in American culture, and possibly in many other cultures, but I was there to see it in America. Because the criminals have been in charge of the government for so long (not surprising once we accept that governments are simply the larger culmination of gangs that have grown in size, gangs that once had a purpose of protecting their communities but eventually always seem to grow to exploit those same communities), people genuinely strongly hold an unspoken belief that evil is expected of them, and if they do not do evil, they will be punished by the dark hand within the government. 

And thus they do not question the status quo, even when they can see that it is directly doing harm to individuals, the community, the country, and the world. At a deep-rooted and unspoken level, the same level at which we form personal secrets for our own survival, a level that has long been tapped into by societal and governmental level deceit, they tightly hold the belief that they are being bound to and forced to follow rules both spoken and unspoken, even when those do harm, and possibly especially because those rules result in harm. 

Within the environment created by masses of people who follow such beliefs, I sat in on, and would eventually participate in many think tanks that would consider and hone unethical, stealthy, and inhumane strategies that would end up being utilized on the world stage. Beneath that cloak of secrecy, we had been working on how to avoid provoking nuclear war while still taking territory, profiting, and damaging an enemy. 

However, there was one in particular that had more far-reaching implications than altering political lines on a map, giving the military-industrial complex more leeway, or operating in ways that intentional harm would become plausibly deniable infringements and “industrial accidents” to avoid triggering official declared domestic and international wars while very much engaging in them. 

There was also the issue that this particular research would be hidden beneath DoD funding with a much different purpose listed on the front page of the proposal. They would be doing this within government, with government funding, and using government labs. Due to their subterfuge, not everyone in government knew what they were actually working on. Of course, very few people in the public would know at all, even when it impacted their lives. 

Some of the most unethical weapons research I saw came directly from the dinner table biological warfare strategy sessions I had sat in on during my earliest years in the country. Even before deciding on the right viruses to use for a pinnacle project (they were still undecided and had been contemplating using a walking pneumonia and Epstein–Barr virus combination), they were already working on funding.

I was there waiting in the lobby and sometimes in the room for countless meetings in locations with large echoing halls and marble pillars as they lured idealistic scientists, the government, and the mega-wealthy into supporting and funding their project, with a promise that it would solve the funders’ problems while still allowing them to protect their own family, their own soldiers, and their own staff. That protective portion of that sales pitch was a lie, but it was an easy one for large egos and large money to accept, and it was a significant part of what led them to shell out the funding, research space, and the AIDS virus. 

We had told them that along with a modified HIV-based disease, we could provide a cure manufactured just for them. Apparently, wiretapping wasn’t good enough back then to listen in and capture the dinner-table research planning discussions in which the words “incurable” and “no vaccine can be made for” were uttered. All it had taken back in those days to avoid anyone overhearing was simply to unplug the rotary phone and remove it from the room. It was also helpful to have people inside the FBI and the telephone company. 

I use the word “we” loosely. I was still a child and pretending to be completely distracted by dessert on a table or the candy machines in the hallway. The amount of sugar I consumed back then should have been a crime on its own.

After the funding had been secured and the research had been approved was right around when George’s face started popping up in relation to AIDS research and community outreach to help with the recruitment of unwitting research participants. 

To this day, I hope there were major flaws in their research results.

Image Source: New York Times

“Those who know Mr. Edwards as an AIDS outreach worker described him as tireless and resourceful.”

Text Source: New York Times

It was when we first moved to the series of safehouses by Yale that I had seen the change. They stopped planning and started acting on their plans with military-funded AIDS research in a grouping of lab rooms behind a secure vault door on Yale campus, in the lower level beneath the Law Library, and in a section not-so-creatively referred to as “The Vaults” due to the overdone security door. There, they let me see the AIDS primates. I believe the recruiter actually thought she was being kind to me in that moment, letting a child see monkeys. The reality is that I was terrified that I would either catch their disease or accidentally contaminate them in their vulnerable state, resulting in their deaths. Sometimes, I wonder if I thought more like an adult than the psychopath did, even when I was still a small child. 

(If you attended Yale in that time period, you may be able to confirm where The Vaults were located. Even if there has since been remodeling, they may still be there. Beneath the Law Library was a space unofficially called “machine city,” a cafeteria with multiple vending machines at the center. If you headed from there towards the tunnel that led down to the other library, on your left was a smaller hall that led to the hall with the vault door, which is impossible to miss if you’ve seen that door – it’s a proper vault door with all of the mechanisms as if it were sitting in a bank. I believe the left you take to get there is before the women’s bathroom, but it’s been decades since I’ve been down there, so I could be wrong. It is, however, reasonably in that vicinity and before you properly head down the tunnel.) 

At this point, I would like to note to everyone who attended Yale and sent their children there, that there was a lab with military-funded biowarfare research within reasonable sneezing distance of that cafeteria, and it’s highly doubtful that they warned students of the dangers. They never cared about any of us, not the rich, not the poor, not the powerful nor weak, and not even those who close their eyes and pretend there’s nothing there. There is no behavior or monetary amount that will make you immune to a properly enacted endgame. 

I was also there when they selected impoverished neighborhoods in New Haven and systematically introduced the AIDS virus to them under the guise of assistance and altruism as a needle exchange program. Between 1985 and 1986, I listened to the recruiter and a work partner on the project, George Edwards, discuss it as we sat at a smaller dinner table many nights. 

Those two always made quite a pair. I can imagine them in their early days, him playing as a strong Black Panther and her as a Weather Underground militant radical. At the dinner table, with no one else there to observe other than me, they still had an energy to them, even if the topics weren’t the theater of radicalism they showed to their targets. As they aged, he continued to play the role of a Black Panther when infiltrating grassroots organizations, right alongside her as she went into full-on righteous and dramatic mode about being an anti-nuclear activist. But there in the kitchen, away from the eyes and ears of their audience, they were excitedly discussing infecting the Dixwell Avenue neighborhood in New Haven with AIDS. George, trained by the Yale Drama Department, would be one of the pioneering workers and the outward face of the program. He was the face the low-income black community in that neighborhood would automatically trust.

Image: George Edwards, Fourth From Left

Image Source: Yale School of Public Health

They were successful. By the end of that year, 98-99% of the participants tested positive for HIV. The rate was so high in the Dixwell Avenue neighborhood (there may have been two others; I was only brought along to that one neighborhood, so I can only confirm the one) that it rocketed New Haven onto the top 5 list for cities and towns with the highest AIDS rates in the country. 

While their research is obviously buried, a nearby drug treatment clinic showed a rate of 81.1% HIV positive status in black patients in 1986.


Image Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services via Google Books

“Of those seeking treatment for active interavenous drus use were Western Blot (WB) confirmed HIV seropositive. …Significantly more of the blacks (81.8%)…were WB seropositive.”

Text  Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services via Google Books

The New York Times also gave a subtle nod to the accomplishment. And, yes, it was a nod. That’s one of the ways the New York Times is used, but I’ll get more into that aspect later. 

Image Source: New York Times

1987 article:

“AIDS is now the leading cause of death among men in New Haven 20 to 45 years old.”

Text Source: New York Times

While the documents from the part of the research I discussed do not appear to have been declassified yet (often and historically the case with unethical research, especially on the weapons side), there is documentation from that time linking Yale and the Department of Defense regarding AIDS research under the same funding umbrella. 

Image Source: U.S. Military, Defense Technical Information Center

“AD-A203 587. 

Performing Organization: Yale University School of Medicine…

Funding/Sponsoring Organization: U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, Fort Detrick…

Subject Terms: AIDS, HIV1, HIV2, HTVL-I, SIV, South America…”

Text Source: U.S. Military, Defense Technical Information Center

Image Source: U.S. Military, Defense Technical Information Center

“18 of 25 Amerindian tribes distributed across the length and breadth of South America reacted positively in HIV1 ELISA tests…Using the A-ELISA HIV procedure, 387 monkey sera were tested… It would be consistent with the finding of reactions to HIV1, HIV2, HTLV-I, and SIV…”

Text Source: U.S. Military, Defense Technical Information Center

And that same Fort Detrick U.S Army Medical Research and Development Command was already working on creating a combined HIV and cold virus (adenoviruses are a common cause of respiratory illnesses) in 1986 and 87:

Image Source: U.S. Military, Defense Technical Information Center

“Performing Organization: Biotech Research Labs., Inc… 

Funding/Sponsoring Organization: U.S. Army Medical Research & Development Command…

Contract No. DAMD17-86-C-6284…

Title: Development and Evaluation of Adeno-HTLV-III Hybrid Virus and Non-Cytopathic HTLV-III Mutant for Vaccine Use…

Abstract: Two HIV vaccines, a recombinant Adeno-HIV hybrid virus and a recombinant vaccinia HIV will be tested. The recombinant Adeno-HIV virus is being developed as part of this proposal. The vaccines will be tested in two species of monkeys, chimpanzees and African green monkeys…” 

Text Source: U.S. Military, Defense Technical Information Center

The scientists I had grown up with now had their HIV/respiratory illness prototype, funded by the military:

Image Source: U.S. Military, Defense Technical Information Center

“Construction of recombinant HIVenv/Adenovirus 2”

Image Source: U.S. Military, Defense Technical Information Center

By 1987, Yale Medical School also had a nearly unlimited supply of human AIDS subjects with a wide variety of opportunistic infections to use for testing and research:


Image Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services via Google Books

“Yale University School of Medicine, Yale-New Haven Hospital…

TP.150: In order to identify prognostic indicators of survival from Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia we studied retrospectively our first 48 adults AIDS patients (with the pneumonia)…,

THP.8: Anti-HIV activity of…,

M.5.6: Viral lipids for a site of action for developing novel anti-viral agents..,

WP.255: Transplantation of thymic tissue to reconsistute the immune system of patients with AIDS…,

TP.38: Virologic endpoints in antiretroviral chemotherapy trials…,

THP.44: HIV seroprevelence among Connecticut HIV intravenous drug users…,

WP.106: Cytotoxic factor secreted by huamn T-lymphotropic virus type III infected cells…”

Text Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services via Google Books

This was why I waited until George Edwards died to write about his part in it. I’ve broached the subject of what was happening on Dixwell Avenue many times over the years with countless people, but I was never comfortable attaching George’s name or explaining just how messed up his involvement was. He was the only person in the United States who ever, even temporarily, treated me like a family member. And I know he didn’t entirely, and I know he risked my life more often than not (I’ll talk more on that later). But I was an abducted child trapped in an unfortunate situation. I didn’t get to choose, and he was the closest thing to humanity that I had. I clung to that. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I did. 

That said, I can’t sugarcoat how bad things were and still are. The place where they “celebrated George’s life,” played music, and had people speak about how much of an asset he was to the community? It was at Q-House, a Dixwell Avenue community center building. They had the very people he injured, the people he took family members from, celebrating his life. 

That is the culmination of deception. We thank the people who kill us.  

Image Source: Yale Daily News

“Around 100 people gathered in the Dixwell Community House — or the Q-House — on Saturday to celebrate the life and legacy of one of New Haven’s most prominent activists, George Edwards….

‘This was the heart of New Haven,’ Beverly said. ‘This was the ghetto, as they called it. We called it home.’ …

The memorial was a joyful event, full of drumming and clapping. Friends and family remembered the charisma, intelligence, and community spirit of a man who many people described as ‘a pillar of the community.’” 

Text Source: Yale Daily News

The exploitation of that poor community for medical research, and the use of the promises of help via a biologically poisoned needle, brings back memories of Argentina…

Occasionally, something out of the ordinary enough would happen in the prison that it was worth tucking away as a childhood memory. When we went through one of the main sections on the women’s side to get routine vaccines, I remember how loud it was, filled with the talking and screaming of so many women echoing between those walls. I recall thinking that I would be safe walking past them; after all, the women prisoners in my life had all been motherly and wonderful people up to that point. That faith was quickly extinguished as a woman to my right violently reached out to grab at my clothing. I tried to pry my clothing loose from her hands. Several in my group had to help me.

We continued past the women and to a small hallway with a room to our left containing an ob-gyn chair and the room to our right having a basic physician’s examination table. The chatter of my always-talking friend and the mothers filled my ears as I learned that we were lining up to get vaccines in the room to the right and that none of the mothers liked the room on the left nor the doctor in charge of the often-forced and torturous births that went on there. Then, it was my turn to come face to face with the doctor in the examination room. 

I don’t recall if the needles hurt. I can only assume they did. 

In all honesty, allowing any type of needle to enter beyond the protective layer of a child’s skin in that situation should have been prohibited. And, yet, a bland and naive faith in humanity has propelled national and international policies regarding child political prisoners and vulnerable populations under any type of government authority or guardianship. Policy generally dictates that children and disadvantaged populations receive medical care, food, and education. The suggestions are made without thoroughly considering how these simple necessities can be forced, poisoned, and misused with the intention of causing harm when they are in the hands of a hateful or indifferent enemy or exploiter using deceptive tactics. 

When following standard international policies of human rights, an ill-intentioned government will often use deceitful tactics to save face and appear to be doing the correct thing on the surface, much like a Munchausen by Proxy mother claiming to help her child while poisoning them. The United States has a clear history of using “low-value” people within its society for medical experimentation (more on that later, with citations). Argentina has taken to using its population in another way, as sales items in human trafficking, but via much the same path, as can still be seen in their handling and continuing concealment of their kidnapping and reallocation of infants. 

Both show signs of a failed society, with humanity and care for their own people collapsing nearly entirely under the weight of the government they created to crush them. Healthy nations don’t turn their own people into disposable slaves with no rights. Other people, yes. Immigrants? Sure. But their own people? Not generally. And when they go as far as exploiting their own children, that’s usually past the limit of a salvageable society, even during wartime. 

These two nations are, by far, not the only ones to turn covert warfare inward on their own people. They are just glaringly obvious examples, with all the parts exposed to highlight with ease. I wouldn’t trust any invasive authority or pseudo-authority with a needle, a child, or a gun; not when combined with methodologies of malfeasance and subterfuge. It terrifies me how often people blindly trust them anyway. 

Blind faith is not actually an admirable trait. It’s a concerning one.  

The issue with authority and needles would also become more prominent later in what would become our shared history, in several aspects, and not simply limited to Buenos Aires or New Haven, but more on that later.

Next: Decay as a Facilitative Tool for Demolition