Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Alan Cantwell papers
Collection number: Coll2009-008
Cantwell, Alan, 1934-
Collection Size: 2 records boxes + 3 archive
cartons + 1 archive half-carton (4.0 linear feet).
ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives.
Los Angeles, California 90007
Abstract: Correspondence, articles, books, clippings,
ephemera and audiovisual materials collected and created by Alan Cantwell
during the course of his research relating to the theory that the AIDS epidemic
is a man-made creation, its link to cancer bacteria, and the Hepatitis B
experiments conducted on gay men from 1978-1981. The materials also discuss
biological warfare, radiation, genocidal issues, and HIV. Included are a number
of articles and books written by Cantwell as well as research material he used
for his body of work. The authors of the research material include Robert
Gallo, Virginia Livingston and Robert Strecker.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection:
The collection is open to researchers with exception of folder 1:49,
which is confidential.
Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in
writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner.
Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in
the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant
copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for
all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).
Alan Cantwell papers, Coll2009-008, ONE National Gay and Lesbian
Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Gift of Alan Cantwell, M.D., February 20, 2009.
Collection processed by Mor Fleisher-Leach, August 31, 2009.
Alan Cantwell was born in the Bronx, New York City, on January 4, 1934.
His father was an orthopedic surgeon and his mother a nurse. He attended
Cornell University and graduated in 1955, followed by medical school at New
York Medical College. After graduating in 1959, he served an internship at
Mercy Hospital in San Diego, CA.
Cantwell was inducted into the Army in September 1960 and served as a
Captain in the Medical Corps until his discharge in 1962. Immediately afterward
he started a dermatology residency at the Long Beach Veteran's Hospital in Long
Beach, CA. Upon completion of the residency in 1965, Cantwell joined the
Dermatology department of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group at
the Kaiser Hospital in Hollywood, CA, where he remained his entire medical
career. He retired from the hospital in 1994 at the age of 60.
During his dermatology training Cantwell discovered and later reported
on tuberculosis-like bacteria in scleroderma, a disease of unknown etiology.
Soon thereafter, he learned of the prior scleroderma research of Virginia
Livingston, M.D., who practiced in San Diego. She first discovered "acid-fast
TB-like bacteria" in scleroderma in 1974, and went on to discover similar
bacteria in various forms of cancer. Livingston and her colleagues Eleanor
Alexander-Jackson, Irene Diller and Florence Seibert became Cantwell's mentors
during his many years of investigation into unrecognized bacteria in lupus,
various forms of cancer, and AIDS. This "cancer microbe" research is considered
highly controversial, and is generally ignored by the mainstream medical
In the summer of 1986, Livingston invited Cantwell to her home to meet
Robert Strecker, M.D., a Los Angeles internist who claimed that the AIDS
epidemic was man-made. Initially Cantwell was skeptical of his claims that the
origin of the so-called "gay-disease" resulted from contaminated vaccines
stemming from the hepatitis B experiments, which used gay men as research
subjects in various U.S. cities during the years 1978-1981. Strecker achieved
notoriety with his controversial video
The Strecker Memorandum (1988), currently
available on youtube.com.
Very early in the AIDS epidemic, when the causative agent (HIV) was
unknown, Cantwell reported on acid-fast bacteria in "classic" pre-AIDS cases of
Kaposi's sarcoma. Later Cantwell showed similar bacteria in the AIDS-related KS
lesions of AIDS, as well as in AIDS-damaged tissue at autopsy. Thus, from the
very beginning of the epidemic, it was Cantwell's belief that AIDS was a
disease closely allied to cancer. None of this published research was accepted,
and by 1984 HIV was discovered and declared the sole cause of AIDS.
In 1983 Cantwell wrote the first book by a physician on the subject of
the AIDS epidemic. Unable to find an interested publisher, he established Aries
Rising Press, and published
AIDS: The Mystery And The Solution himself.
The theme of the book was that "cancer bacteria" were heavily implicated in the
new and mysterious disease. The book was published in April, 1984, the same
month that the public was informed that AIDS was caused by HIV, a new and novel
virus discovered by Robert Gallo, M.D., at the National Cancer Institute.
Because of his personal AIDS scientific research, Cantwell took an avid
interest in determining if there was scientific evidence to support Strecker's
claim. After months of research, he became convinced that Strecker's claim that
AIDS was a man-made disease had merit. This research took Cantwell into dark
areas of science, such as biological warfare, human radiation experimentation
by the US government, genocidal issues, and ultimately into various aspects of
conspiracy theories and questionable media manipulation surrounding the origin
In 1988, Cantwell published
AIDS And The Doctors of Death: An Inquiry Into the
Origin of the AIDS Epidemic
, his first book detailing the theory of the
man-made origins of the AIDS epidemic. In 1993, he published additional
Queer Blood: The Secret AIDS Genocide Plot.
These books delve deeply in the cancer research of Livingston,
Alexander-Jackson, Diller, Seibert, and dozens of other cancer microbe
researchers dating back to the nineteenth century.
Although the scientific community expresses minimal or no interest in
the bacteriology of cancer and the man-made origin of AIDS, Cantwell's work has
drawn the interest of editors of alternative health and conspiracy theory
periodicals, and he has written for magazines such as
New Dawn (out of Australia),
The New African, and others. Various
personal articles can be found online, particularly on the controversial
rense.com, and various scientific articles can be found on the website of the
Journal of Independent Medicalk Research
Cantwell's research on the man-made origins of AIDS research has
inspired two fictional plays:
Mixed Blood (1990), by Aubrey Hampton; and
The Man Who Created AIDS (1992), by
Cantwell has lived in the Hollywood area since 1962. He met his life
partner, Frank A. Sinatra, in 1974. On October 19, 2008, the two were married
in West Hollywood.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Alan Cantwell Papers are comprised of materials received, created
and collected by Alan Cantwell concerning the theory that the AIDS epidemic is
a man-made creation targeted at homosexual males. The bulk of this collection
is composed of original and photocopied articles as well as books; and there is
one small box of audiovisual materials. Materials created by Cantwell include
articles, books written and published by Cantwell on Aries Rising Press-his own
publishing company-and one DVD of lectures given at the 2006 Autoimmunity
Conference in Los Angeles. Materials by others that relate to Cantwell's work
include articles, books and audiovisual materials about: the origin of AIDS;
animal experimentation; biological warfare; bacteria; cancer; HIV; Kaposi's
sarcoma; Hepatitis B experimentations conducted on homosexual males starting in
1978 and their aftermath; gay rights; tuberculosis; vaccination; the medical
community; and radiation. Authors of these materials include Robert Gallo,
Robert Biggar, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Virginia Livingston, and Robert Strecker.
The collection contains four Virus Cancer Annual Reports from 1973, 1974, 1976
and 1977 that Cantwell studied extensively while conducting his research. The
collection also includes ephemera, publications, and audiovisual materials
relating to two plays--
Mixed Blood (1990) and
The Man Who Created AIDS (1992)--inspired by
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.
AIDS (Disease)--Popular works