Will we see a return of this horrible nightmare?

Encephalitis lethargica is an atypical form of encephalitis, also known as “sleeping sickness” (not to be confused with the African sleeping sickness transmitted by the tsetse fly). EL is a devastating illness that swept the world in the 1920s and then vanished as quickly as it had appeared. Could it have been caused by the 1918 flu?

First described by the neurologist Constantin von Economo (1876-1931) in 1917, EL attacks the brain, leaving some victims in a statue-like condition, speechless and motionless. Between 1915 and 1926, an epidemic of encephalitis lethargica spread around the world; no recurrence of the epidemic has since been reported, though isolated cases continue to occur.

Encephalitis lethargica is characterized by high fever, sore throat, headache, double vision, delayed physical and mental response, sleep inversion, catatonia and lethargy. In acute cases, patients may enter a coma-like state. Patients may also experience abnormal eye movements (“oculogyric crises” – see photo), parkinsonism, upper body weakness, muscular pains, tremors, neck rigidity, and behavioral changes including psychosis.


The unfortunate sufferers of this condition were left locked in a bizarre world, out of touch with humanity, unable to move and with no hope.

Then came a strange episode, when it was discovered that L-dopa could help these patients. People who had been frozen for decades suddenly began to move freely. They could speak and express emotions once again. There was rejoicing. L-dopa was hailed as a miracle drug.

But it was premature. The effects soon wore off and the patients declined, once more being drawn back into the strange world of un-being. I think it must be horrible to be consciously aware, but physically unable to move.

The story was described in the book Awakenings by Oliver Sacks in 1973. The book in turn was used by Harold Pinter as the basis of his one-act play A Kind of Alaska, performed in 1982 starring Judi Dench. Awakenings is also the title of a 1990 movie starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, based on the book.

As I said, it has more or less vanished from the world. But researchers have shown it to be a kind of autoimmune disease—the kind you might get after an unnatural vaccination reaction (similar to Guillaine-Barre, ALS, stiff man syndrome and others which have been seen post-vaccination).


As I was reviewing the effects of autoimmune reactions caused by vaccination (such as the Gulf War Syndrome), the obvious question came up: will we see this EL again after mass vaccinations, using vaccines that have not been tested for safety? No safety testing has been done, of course, because manufacturers have already been cloaked in immunity and cannot be sued for negligence, no matter how bad the damage they cause. So do you really believe they are going to pay any attention whatever to safety?

Is there a connection between swine flu and ecephalitis lethargica?

And a further thought: is it conceivable that the outbreak of EL, starting in the 1920s, could be a result of the massive worldwide epidemic of flu in 1918? That would leave the anomaly of those cases seen before the big flu outbreak. But remember the 1918 flu was around before it went pandemic.

We know the effects of infections can come on some years later. I pointed out in my 1988 book “The Allergy Handbook” (now out of print) just how damaging flu can be:

  • Professor Linus Businco from Rome subjected guinea pigs to repeated inhalations of influenza A and B strains.
  • After 3 weeks the animals were killed and autopsied. What was found was shocking; most of the organs were severely damaged, not just a little, but to the point of hemorrhagic necrosis: heart, brain, thymus, lungs, adrenals (fibromyalgia cases note).
  • Since then I have always held up Professor Businco’s study as an example of what viral damage can do to a person, particularly flu, and also a pointer to maybe some of the etiology of CFIDs and fibromyalgia (in Britain we called it ME).
  • Nobody else I know of has ever referred to this remarkably insightful study.

Fast Forward To Swine Flu H1N1

Getting back to today’s dilemma, I am not suggesting that vaccination against flu is a stupid idea. If we could protect ourselves against the kind of long-term damage that Prof. Businco discovered it would be great. But we can’t.

My problem in the present crisis, with the threat of mandatory vaccinations, is made up of several concerns:

1. Flu vaccines don’t work and have never been shown to work. The flu virus mutates too fast.

2. The present “pandemic” is with a mild form of flu and does not deserve panic. Almost all the deaths were people already sick and debilitated. However, we must remember that flu outbreaks can get WORSE as they progress (still no excuse for mass vaccination before we know the natural progress of the disease).

3. If the safety of the vaccine is low (or likely deplorable), then the “prevention” may be worse than the disease. Flu vaccine in the past has certainly led to a host of bad reactions and, if flu did cause the 1920 outbreak, then EL could be one complication of a crude and hasty vaccine.

4. Finally, freedom counts for more than perfect health. You cannot mass coerce people into medical treatment. That’s the end of democracy. It is NOT socially irresponsible to not be vaccinated; the idea that unvaccinated citizens are dangerous carriers is nuts. If you believe that, you don’t believe your vaccine really works, right or right?

As it stands, I don’t think you will be harmed by the present H1N1 virus. But you could be harmed very badly by the vaccination.

The next post will share important to take steps to protect yourself against vaccination damage.