Sunday, June 15, 2008
After I read Les Visible's fine piece over at smokingmirrors I remembered a documentary I saw called The Valley of Life or Death and which I recommend to all. The documentary started with two researchers in Africa, one an AIDS researcher, the other an anthropologist. Both of them had a series of maps which they compared. The anthropologist had a variety of maps charting all manner of things including language, religion, food and social practices. The AIDS researcher had a map of AIDS prevalence. Astoundingly the AIDS map matched the map charting the practice of circumcision almost precisely. It did not resemble any other maps. This was due to the fact that the practice of circumcision did not cleanly correspond with any other description. It was carried out (or not) by all religions, tribes, and social groups, ie. there were Muslims who did and didn't circumcise, Animists who did and didn't, Swahili speakers who did and didn't etc. It varied village to village. As did AIDS prevalence. It was that specific.
The coincidence of AIDS prevalence and lack of circumcision drove the documentary makers to ask the obvious question - was there something about the foreskin that facilitated the catching of AIDS? So they looked into it. Sure enough, the foreskin differs from every other bit of skin on the body in that it lacks a layer of keratin. Keratin, it seems, is marvellous stuff that renders the body impervious to viruses. Skin lacking keratin not only does not possess this protection against viruses but acts in the opposite way by way of 'Langerhans' cells that perversely function to drag viruses into the body. Who knew?
And yet it all makes perfect sense. In an age before mass communications and government health warnings, health practices were necessarily encoded into religious doctrine. The logic behind a taboo on eating the flesh of swine is the same logic behind removing the foreskin. It wasn't for no reason that ancient religions mandated circumcision.
The documentary ended with the researchers returning to Africa where they set up a cheap and effective program to encourage those not circumcised to do so. Three cheers all round. So. Has anyone reading here heard of this documentary? Have you heard of the health benefits of circumcision? It seems all we hear about is expensive drugs. For the majority of people their only connection with AIDS consists of giving money to those people with red buckets standing at prominent city corners. I'd be prepared to bet that this money goes not to cheap and effective circumcision programs but rather to more expensive big Pharma research for more expensive big Pharma drugs. What are the odds?
Further to this, how much money does the Big Pharma AIDS money-go-round make? Let's float this as a hypothetical - If there were billions of dollars in AIDS for Big Pharma, and if circumcision offered a cheap non-patentable alternative with no market for Big Pharma big money drugs, would Big Pharma throw up its hands and thank God a cure had been found at last with nary a tear shed at the billions they were going to miss out on? Or might they be cynical enough to sling a day's income (ie. a few million) at whomever they could find to tell us that circumcision is a really bad idea? I wonder...
But never mind Big Pharma proper, how was this documentary greeted by those agents of Big Pharma products, the doctors? Ha ha ha. Boy did they hate it! Have a bit of a google search and see how circumcision is viewed by the medical fraternity. Circumcision it seems is up there with being bled, mercury cures, and exorcism. The campaigns against it are broad-based and hysterical. Any doctor sticking up for it will be vociferously attacked. If it was completely banned that would suit the medical world just dandy.
Am I the only one to find this curious? Isn't the medical fraternity, like law, banking, and the media heavily Jewish? And are they not all, to a man, circumcised? Why don't they take this hysterical campaign against circumcision as an affront to their beliefs? Why don't they stick up for it? Why do they pile in on the hysterical anti-circumcision campaign? That their sons will be circumcised is a cold hard certainty. Does anyone see any sense in this? That isn't connected to money?
And then there's the field of sex research. These people are perhaps even more strident in their condemnation of circumcision. All manner of research and polls have been carried out proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that sex is better with a foreskin and that circumcision is some variation of barbaric sexual repression. Those lacking a foreskin are not only the subjects of butchery but are doomed to a life of second-rate sexual pleasure. If were to idly ask if 'sexual researchers' were perhaps also predominantly Jewish would we be surprised if the answer was 'duh...'. Now, repeat the previous para, substituting 'sexual researchers' for 'doctors', stir vigourously and bake for one hour in a moderate oven.
And what scrummy delight results from these ingredients? Whilst I did not discuss AIDS as a non-natural, man-made thing, there's tons of convincing evidence out there saying precisely that. Click the links in Les' piece or just get googling. Then there's the simple fact that amongst men, AIDS predominantly attacks the uncircumcised. In amongst the various AIDS campaigns there is no mention of circumcision as a cheap and effective preventative measure. What discussion there is of circumcision consists of an hysterical attack campaign. Finally the people who attack circumcision are predominantly its most famous practitioners. I'm not even going to sum it up. You figure it out.
*Post Scriptum four years later. I've been going through all my old text-only blog entries and retro-fitting them with photos. With this piece the first order of the day was to find an image from the abovementioned BBC Horizon documentary The Valley of Life and Death. Astoundingly in all of Google there is only a single 127 x 91 pixel picture, which I've posted above at its true rez. I've clocked up hundreds of hours searching for images on Google and I've never seen the like - certainly not for a documentary made by the BBC. But never mind, occasionally I seek images that don't exist (like a photo of Robert Mugabe that shows him as something other than mad or evil, say) and it's no problem - I simply go to google video and do a screen grab. But lo and behold, this documentary does not exist on the net in any way, shape, or form. This is extraordinary to the point of impossibility. This documentary is harder to lay your hands on than the disappeared Yorkshire Television documentary about the Franklin Scandal, Conspiracy of Silence. Wow.