Both the great Truths and the great Falsehoods of the twentieth century lie hidden in the arcane, widely inaccessible, and seemingly mundane domain of the radiation sciences

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: Exhibit C Continued

What follows is the continuation, in serial form, of a central chapter from my book A Primer in the Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science.

Exhibit C continued

An even more disturbing problem with the A-Bomb study has been unveiled by John Gofman in his book Radiation-Induced Cancer from Low-Dose Exposure: An Independent Analysis, 1990. In the fifth chapter of this book, Gofman provides a detailed history of the Life Span Study. Wading through technical minutia to explain the study’s structure and how it has been managed over the years, Gofman reveals highly disturbing practices in the conduct of the study that may have well destroyed the usefulness of the study for providing “objective” information about the effects of ionizing radiation on human health. What has taken place is major manipulation of the data in ways contrary to the standard and acceptable practices for conducting epidemiological studies.

Gofman relates four fundamental rules followed by epidemiologists all over the world to prevent bias from contaminating and ruining their studies.

Rule One: Once a study begins, the original input cannot be altered. The importance of this rule is to ensure that, as the outcome of a study becomes known, those who might not be pleased with the findings cannot change the original input to produce a more desirable result.

Rule Two: To further ensure that no bias creeps into an epidemiological study, those investigators in a position to ignore rule one and alter the original input should not have access to the results of the study as these begin to accumulate. Only those who are blind to the outcome are in a position to fairly alter the input once it has been established.

Rule Three: If retroactive alteration of the input is required part-way through a study, the credibility of results can only be safeguarded if investigators meticulously justify the scientific need for any changes and prove unequivocally that bias has not been introduced into the final results.

Rule Four: The original cohorts of a study must be kept intact. Continuity of the original structure of a study is the strongest defense against the insinuation of bias into a study’s outcome. Shuffling people from one cohort to another as the results of the study begin to be tallied totally destroys the study’s integrity and credibility and invites doubts as to the accuracy of the results.

While reviewing the chronology of the A-Bomb Study and the changes introduced to it over time, Gofman evidences major violations of these rules. One disturbing trend throughout the course of the study has been a continual shifting of the input by changing the make-up of the study population. At one time, thousands of new survivors were added to the study population. At another time, thousands of others were suspended. As Gofman comments:

"It seems as if RERF has been conducting one public study, with 80,000 survivors on view, plus another study with over 34,000 additional A-bomb survivors in reserve, who are followed-up and selectively added to the public study as needed."

Simultaneously there has been an ongoing process of reassigning dosages of radiation received by each survivor. The revision in dose estimates have ostensibly been introduced for the purpose of improving accuracy to the study. Unfortunately, those involved in this process have not been blind to the emerging incidence rates of leukemias and cancers and to the make-up of the shifting cohorts.

The Life Span Study is plagued by ongoing, fatal problems. As time passes and the population of Japanese bomb survivors ages and dies, the incidence of cancers is being recorded. While this is occurring, an ongoing process of retroactive altering of the study is being undertaken, changing the make-up of the study population and the dosages these people received. This is a high stakes game. The conclusions of this study will be referred to for generations as the definitive study of the relationship between ionizing radiation and cancer hazard. Mankind’s trust in the safety of nuclear enterprises way into the future will be heavily influenced by the outcome of this single study. Unfortunately, those who uphold disinterested science as the final arbitrator in the quest for truth will be hard pressed to believe that bias has not hopelessly infected the A-Bomb Study to produce a predetermined outcome which makes radiation appear less hazardous than it actually is.

It does not take an epidemiologist to recognize that the Life Span Study is hopelessly flawed and unable to provide any definitive conclusion on radiation effects to the human body. Yet, it continues to serve as the foundation for regulatory agencies with regard to what constitutes permissible levels of exposure to ionizing radiation. Why? By this time, the answer should be obvious. It fulfills a political agenda. It is an instrument of an intentionally crafted disinformation campaign designed to keep the public unaware of the long-term health effects of nuclear weapons, nuclear power plants, radioactive waste, depleted uranium munitions, and so on. That the worldwide radiation “protection” community adheres to the validity of this plagued study is self-damning, raising legitimate questions about the impartiality and objectivity of its members. With so many “authoritative” bodies upholding this deeply flawed scientific work as the ultimate revealer of truth about radiation effects, the public is condemned to be submerged in lies, herded in ignorance, and deterred from formulating informed opinions about the genuine health effects of nuclear and radiological weapon programs. Think to the political ramifications of the corrupted Hiroshima data. It’s all about people who survived a nuclear weapon. It is fabricated so as to offer testimony that the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not subjected to undue suffering or catastrophic health consequences as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation. If these people emerged unscathed by radiation, what basis does anyone have to complain about emissions from nuclear power plants or depleted uranium scattered over people’s homelands? Further, the A-Bomb Study, focusing on fatal cancers to the exclusion of all other health effects, makes the aftermath of atomic warfare appear relatively benign. With high rates of cancer already in existence, what’s the big deal if cancer rates creep imperceptibly higher? The mentality that sponsors and endorses the Life Span Study is the same mentality that advocates that nuclear war is winnable, tactical nuclear weapons are useable, and radiological weapons have a place on today’s battlefield. This dogma is dangerous, a product of corrupted thinking perpetrated by the Cult of Nuclearists, that may very well draw the entire world over the edge into limited or total thermonuclear war.