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

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-ONE

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.

SCAM NUMBER TWENTY-ONE: Alter population statistics to completely corrupt accurate risk assessments.

For those readers who have yet withheld judgment as to the malevolence of the Cult of Nuclearists and their ruthless determination to impose their deadly technology upon the world, the time has come to shine a light through the veils of their treachery and explore the true depths of their malfeasance. Epidemiology is an esteemed and precious tool in the hands of humanity for assessing trends in public health and identifying environmental hazards that are producing illness and ruining people’s lives. The foundation of a successful epidemiological study is accurate information of normal trends of morbidity and mortality within a population. If this baseline is tampered with, the opportunity for discovering truth disappears. The inquiring mind is set adrift in misconceptions with no prospect of ever coming ashore to reality. The intentional manipulation of data to misdirect knowledge is nothing less than brainwashing and mind control. It is victimization of the human intellect, the implanting of an insurmountable obstacle in the minds of people who thirst for an accurate picture of what is transpiring in the world around them. The Cult of Nuclearists stands guilty of inflicting this havoc into the minds, into the lives, of an unsuspecting humanity.

Evidence for this crime is meticulously laid out by Jay Gould and Benjamin Goldman in their book Deadly Deceit: Low Level Radiation, High Level Cover-Up. The authors recount how, using mortality data collected from official death certificates, they set about to discover if evidence existed for excess deaths occurring in the wake of radiation releases from reactors at weapon production facilities and commercial nuclear power plants. In addition to confirming increased mortality to populations exposed to low-level radiation vented into the environment, the authors made the startling and disturbing discovery of “outright falsification of published data.” Analyzing discrepancies in mortality data published by the government, the authors uncovered proof that official statistics on mortality and morbidity had been intentionally tampered with in an attempt to cover up deaths in the US population caused by radiation vented into the environment.

In the course of their research, Gould and Goldman mined data from three series of publications authored by the Public Health Service, a subsidiary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. One publication was Radiation Data and Reports, a monthly publication compiling radiation readings in the environment as reported by a network of recording stations throughout the United States. A second publication was Monthly Vital Statistics Report, a state-by-state tabulation of infant mortality and total deaths. The data recorded within these pages each month was referred to as mortality “by place of occurrence.” It contained information on where deaths actually occurred, not necessarily where the deceased dwelt during their lifetime. In the following year, after new, revised data had been obtained, revisions to the monthly mortality information were published. This allowed for a comparison between the data as originally recorded and the data as it appeared after revision. The third publication consulted by the authors was Vital Statistics of the United States. This single volume contained a yearlong compilation of the data recorded in the monthly reports. It contained adjustments to the incidents of mortality by place of occurrence to provide an accurate picture of mortality “by place of residence.” Each volume of this publication appeared in print a couple of years after the year of monthly reports it summarized. Among researchers from a wide variety of disciplines, Vital Statistics of the United States was considered the standard reference for US mortality data. It was easier to work with than the monthly copies reporting on a single year, and it was more widely available in public libraries.

Cross-referencing these three publications, Gould and Goldman made a number of disturbing discoveries.

1) One issue explored by the authors was the health consequences of a radiation accident that had received scant public attention. On October 1, 1988, news belatedly reached the public domain of two radiation accidents in November and December 1970 at the Savannah River nuclear weapons facility in South Carolina. In each of these months, nuclear fuel rods suffered a meltdown. There was an information blackout as to what quantities of radiation, if any, were released over the downwind population. The news that eventually reached the public was this: “E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, which operated the Savannah River Plant at the time of the accidents, ran a full-page advertisement in The New York Times that claimed ‘the radioactivity given off was kept within the building’ and ‘no one, on or off site, was ever harmed.’” Exploring the veracity of this claim, Gould and Goldman compared published radiation measurements with published mortality data. What they uncovered put E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company to shame. As reported by the researchers:

Results of an examination of government databases were startling: after the two accidents in November and December 1970, radioactivity had increased significantly in the milk and rain of South Carolina and throughout the Southeast. Peaks in infant and total mortality showed up immediately following the accidents and disturbing longer-term mortality trends appeared also in the region.

"Radioactivity in South Carolina’s rain, as measured for December 1970, jumped six-fold over the same month in the previous year. This jump in beta radiation occurred immediately after the accidents in November-December 1970. The rise was significantly above the local trend in the preceding 22 months and it was three times greater than the US rise. Also, in the Southeast as a whole, radioactivity in the rain doubled over the previous December (1.2 times greater than the US rise.) The average reading for the Southeast was higher than any other region in the country: five times higher than the Northeast and West and 70 times higher than the Midwest.

Milk was also contaminated. Radiation readings indicate that the level of strontium-90 found in South Carolina’s pasteurized milk during the summer following the Savannah River Plant accident rose significantly over the previous summer. Whereas, the level declined in the milk in the rest of the country.

Immediately after the elevated radioactivity was found in the rain, South Carolina’s infant mortality rate in January 1971 peaked at 24 percent above the previous January. In contrast, it declined in the US and Southeast during the same period.

Total deaths in South Carolina also diverged significantly from the rest of the country during the months immediately following the accidents, declining six percent slower than the US since the previous January."

Elevated peaks in both infant mortality and total deaths were recorded in Monthly Vital Statistics Report for January 1971. Revised figures corrected for errors from late filings, faulty death certificates, computer malfunctions and random mistakes appeared in the same publication a year later. These were in substantial agreement with the original data. But in the final bound volumes of Vital Statistics of the United States published in 1974, the peaks in infant and total mortality disappeared. The data had been altered completely. “In the final by-residence data, South Carolina’s January change over the previous year became the same or less than the US change, whereas it had been significantly higher for both infant and total mortality in the revised by-occurrence data.” In this instance, increased mortality was covered up through a substantial lowering of the numbers of deaths that had previously been reported in the monthly statistics. Suspiciously, such wide discrepancies between mortality “by place of occurrence” and mortality “by place of residence” occurred only after significant radiation releases:

"Presumably, these deaths were now missing because all of these babies had travelled from out-of-state that month to die. The subtraction of 38 dead babies in South Carolina the month after the Savannah River Plant accidents can be compared to 59 missing infant deaths in Maryland during July 1980, right after a Three Mile Island venting, and eighty-six missing in Pennsylvania during July 1979, right after the Three Mile Island accident. In all three cases, peaks in infant mortality were eliminated as a result of the revisions."

2) Another type of suspicious tampering of population statistics appeared after the accident at Three Mile Island. In every month of 1979 after the accident, mortality data for California, Minnesota, and Illinois were missing from successive issues of Monthly Vital Statistics Report. “These highly irregular omissions made it impossible to evaluate the significance of mortality increases in areas near Three Mile Island, because the baseline US mortality trend could not be calculated” (emphasis added).

3) In 1986, after fallout from the Chernobyl catastrophe reached the United States, dramatic revisions appeared in the monthly mortality data. “Some states markedly increased their reported number of live births in Monthly Vital Statistics Report. Since the number of births is the denominator in an infant mortality rate, increasing this number lowers the rate.” Small random fluctuations in the birth data are expected due to late filings as is the case for the filing of late death certificates. These changes then appear in the revised data published the following year. However, as the authors relate, preposterous tampering with the birth rate was in evidence.

"Revisions to the 1986 birth data for California and Massachusetts, however, were all positive and clearly nonrandom, adding nearly 45,000 live births to their original totals. Exactly 813 births were added for each of five successive months to Massachusetts’ monthly data. The next three months, the changes were 703, 702, and 703. The nine upward revisions in California’s birth data were all combinations of 5000, 4000, and 4415. At the same time, there were no major revisions in the reported number of infant deaths. The result was that Massachusett’s June 1986 infant mortality rate was lowered by 76 percent and California’s July infant mortality by over 25 percent. In this way, the large infant mortality peaks in the original data for California and Massachusetts after Chernobyl were eliminated."

4) In January 1987, in the year following Chernobyl, the format of Monthly Vital Statistics Report was changed. Revisions made to data from the previous year were no longer marked. By this means, identification and analysis of changes were made significantly more difficult. Details of changes were replaced by a generic note at the bottom of each page which stated “figures for earlier years may differ from those previously published.” As Gould and Goldman observe: “Now, the individual changes are not only unexplained, they are also no longer identified.”

5) The authors identified a number of instances where crucial information from Radiation Data and Reports was omitted. Starting in 1967, the recording station 140 miles downwind of the Savannah River Plant ceased to publish any information on radiation levels in the environment. In 1975, the Environmental Protection Agency assumed the responsibility from HEW for collecting and publishing data about radiation in the environment. Monthly publication of Radiation Data and Reports was halted. A quarterly report with a much smaller circulation replaced it. Detailed information was no longer made available about radiation levels in the environs around government weapons facilities, radioactivity in the food supply, and strontium-90 in bone.

6) Starting in 1975, the Environmental Protection Agency centralized environmental monitoring by collecting milk samples, rain samples, and air filters from all over the country and shipping them for analysis to the laboratory of the Eastern Environmental Radiation Facility in Montgomery, Alabama. One of the practices introduced at this institution was the reporting of “negative” radiation values for milk. This is a curious adoption given the fact that a negative amount of radiation is about as real as a Heffalump. Gould and Goldman offer the following explanation for this procedure:

"If the radiation in milk is lower than background levels that are due to cosmic rays, radon, and other natural sources, then small “negative” readings occur. Under this system, there are normally as many small positive as negative values for short-lived substances such as iodine-131 and barium-140 that decay in a matter of a few weeks. As statistically expected, the numbers are rarely larger than four or five units and average out to zero over a period of a few months to a year."

Not surprisingly, these negative values began to play a nefarious role in covering up radiation released into the environment. Contrary to the expectations expressed by Gould and Goldman for the frequency and magnitude of negative values, occasional reports were issued that contained many more negative values than positive values, and the negative values were of unusually large magnitudes. One example is in the aftermath of an underground nuclear detonation at the Nevada Test Site in the summer of 1982 which was suspected of releasing radiation into the environment. As reported by Gould and Goldman:

"Large positive readings of barium-140 and iodine-131 in the milk would have been an unequivocal signature of leaks from the underground tests. Instead, barium-140 in Nevada milk reached the incredible value of negative 42 picocuries per liter in June 1982, the most significant negative reading in the nation. Out of a total of 62 barium-140 measurements reported for the US that month, an astounding 57 were negative! Eight western states neighboring Nevada also had negative barium-140 measurements that diminished in magnitude with distance away from the test site. In sharp contrast, no such clear-cut pattern existed for the month of March, when the magnitude of negative radioactivity in the milk was ten times less in Nevada than in June, and there only were small positive and negative fluctuations as expected under normal conditions."

The authors report other abuses of negative radiation readings. In June of 1982, there was a cluster of negative readings of iodine-131 in New England. That was the same month in which two serious radiation accidents occurred at the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Massachusetts. As in Nevada, the peculiar and unexplainable pattern emerged of high negative readings of iodine-131 in proximity to a radiation source, in this case the nuclear reactor, surrounded by readings that diminished as distance from the plant increased.

So, was there a political purpose served by negative radiation readings? The authors write: “These negative values would cancel the positive readings, so resulting national averages would never cause alarm” (emphasis added). In the aftermath of a radiation release, high positive readings would be present in the environment. When these were averaged with high negative readings, the radiation in the environment could be made to magically disappear by beautiful, mathematical wizardry.

7) Key mortality data became unavailable in the aftermath of significant radiation releases. During the period of heavy fallout in the early 1960s, Massachusetts withheld information on live births, infant deaths, and total deaths. In 1970, the New York Department of State ceased its practice of publishing detailed annual listings of deaths by cause and location after evidence emerged that the incidence of leukemia had increased after fallout from the Nevada Test Site was deposited on Albany and Troy. The Connecticut Department of Health Services stopped publishing data on cancer mortality by township, which it had done annually since the 1930s, after radiation releases from the Millstone nuclear reactor in 1975.

The few examples that have been provided do not exhaust the forgeries uncovered by Gould and Goldman. They are sufficient, however, to illustrate that mischief-makers have tampered with population statistics to befog understanding of the medical impact of radiation releases. The most disturbing implication of this revelation is that citizens are being injured unnecessarily by the government’s refusal to acknowledge that low-level radiation in the environment is a hazard. In the aftermath of a radiation release, forthright disclosure of the hazards would empower people to take precautions to minimize their risk of injury. Denial and cover-up render the population vulnerable and cause otherwise preventable illnesses.

If Deadly Deceit were the sole source of information on these corrupted statistics, the reader might be justified in maintaining a certain skepticism. However, similar incidents have been documented by other researchers. In Wales, members of the Low Level Radiation Campaign (LLRC) forced front men in the UK nuclear industry to doctor cancer statistics in all too transparent a manner. In November of 1993, the LLRC had drawn attention to the fact that data included in the Wales Cancer Registry (WCR) showed a 300% increase in bone cancer incidence in Wales compared with the national rate throughout the UK. (Nuclear pollution in Wales and an increased incidence of cancer has been attributed to emissions of radioactivity from the Sellafield nuclear installation lying across the Irish Sea in England and to the nation’s nuclear power stations. The Cult of Nuclearists in the UK hotly contests this conclusion.) The Cancer Registry responded by announcing that it would undertake a “validation” exercise of its data. In 1995, it published its revised figures. The total number of cancers were less than previously recorded, yet they still validated the conclusion of an excess incidence of bone cancer. Further, yearly variations in the Registry strongly correlated with variations in the deposition of strontium-90 released into the atmosphere twenty years earlier during the era of atmospheric weapon testing. In April 1996, amidst much publicity, LLRC convened a symposium in the House of Commons to debate the merit of Dr. Chris Busby’s book Wings of Death and his Second Event Theory. During that meeting, a member of the National Radiological Protection Board announced that the excess incidence in bone cancers appearing in the Wales Cancer Registry no longer existed:

"By a remarkable coincidence, just two days before the Symposium, Wales Cancer Registry had announced that a second revision of the data had eliminated the excess entirely. The full report was not published for some months, fueling suspicions that the press announcement was issued to help NRPB attack Busby. By a further remarkable coincidence, on the very day of the Symposium the Western Mail (a Welsh daily newspaper) carried the news that WCR was to be closed amid allegations of incompetence, and its functions handed over to the Velindre NHS Trust” [1].

The WCR closed in 1995. In 1997, it reopened under the name of the Wales Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (WCISU). This new organization was headed by Dr. John Steward, who had written a paper exonerating the country’s nuclear power stations of any blame in causing cancer. (Isn’t it curious that a cancer registry is headed by a defender of nuclear power?) Soon after, it was discovered, 3,517 cases of cancer that had been included earlier in the WCR were dropped from the new database of WCISU. Missing were 18% of the total number of cases of childhood cancer among the 0-14 year olds in Wales. Further, 80% of the bone cancer cases had vanished. The alterations made in the WCISU database after their “revalidation” resulted in cancer numbers being reduced in both sexes for every year between 1974 and 1989. Mysteriously, the “revalidation”, which included discovery of errors in coding and duplicate registrations, not once involved an increase in the number of cancers for a given year but only decreases. Further, the greatest revisions in any one year occurred in 1986, the year of the Chernobyl disaster. WCISU, in a feat of unparalleled prestidigitation, reconfigured the health picture of the entire population of Wales. After the third revalidation of the data of the Wales Cancer Registry within five years, the excess incidence of bone cancer in the nation miraculously disappeared along with the excess incidence of childhood cancer. Erased from the public record was evidence that Sellafield was causing excess cancers among the coastal population of Wales.

The European Committee on Radiation Risk, in its first publication, briefly cites other occurrences where data were intentionally tampered with. After Chernobyl, hundreds of thousands of people participated in cleanup operations in close proximity to the destroyed reactor and also built of a concrete sarcophagus around the reactor building to entomb the radiation for thousands of years. In subsequent years, this population of “liquidators” was reported as having a lower rate of leukemia than the general population. Only later did it come to light that Soviet doctors were forbidden to record this disease in their diagnoses. Scientific data was also meddled with after the fire in the reactor at Windscale in England in 1957. (This reactor was located on the site that is currently occupied by the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing facility on the western coast of England.) The amount of radiation released from the fire and the incidence of cancer induced in the population of Ireland remain fiercely contentious issues. According to the ECRR, at some point after the fire, meteorological records were altered “with the apparent motive of concealing the likely location of any effects” [2]. By disguising the path of the fallout plume, interested parties could minimize the perception of the risks to health in Ireland and the Isle of Man. A third example occurred in Germany after Chernobyl. Infant mortality figures were altered to mask the impact of the accident on public health.

How is the human community to discern truth from falsehood in the matter of human-generated radiation awash in the environment? How many other instances of data tampering have occurred in the last half century that have gone undetected? By its own mischief, the Cult of Nuclearists has destroyed its credibility and is ruining the trust of the people in their governing institutions. What does the public really know about the risks to health of radiation exposure? How safe are we? How accurate are the dose estimates of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How much radiation seeps from commercial nuclear power plants? Where does it go? Who absorbs it? How many people really became sick and died after the accident at Three Mile Island? What types of diseases in what frequency were instigated by the Chernobyl catastrophe? What impact will the detonation of nuclear weapons on the other side of the world have on the health of our children or the purity of our food supply here in the United States? How safe are depleted uranium weapons?

How will we ever be able to distinguish what is from what is not? Objective data has been falsified. Science has been compromised. Truth has been decapitated. At the hands of the Cult of Nuclearists, our minds have become the repositories of carefully crafted falsehoods and deceit. Our brains have been raped. Collectively, we have been the victims of an anthropoid ravish.


[1] Low Level Radiation Campaign (LLRC). Bone Cancer: Revisions Revisited. Radioactive Times. 1999; 3(2).

[2] European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR). Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk: the Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes. Regulators' Edition. Brussels; 2003.