Condoms Cause AIDS
And he's unwelcome in Africa now
The following article appeared in the Daily Mail & Guardian, a South African newspaper, quite some time ago. Search engines apparently don't spider the paper's online archives. Even when you search the archive itself, you find nothing pertaining to "Littlesun" because they spell it with "o" instead of "u". But you can search the site to find the original article, which is reprinted below.
Quacks bring nuts-and-jolts Aids 'cures' to Orange Farm
Date: 09 May 2002
CHARLATANS gull squatter camp residents with bizarre machines, crystals and health foods.
Once a week "Dr George" brings his machine to a small, dusty office in Orange Farm, the huge squatter settlement between Johannesburg and Vereeniging. People queue to see the man they call "the electronic doctor".
No one can say exactly what the machine does. They say the doctor tells them it kills germs and boosts the immune system - and they reckon it works.
George Anderson, originally an electrical engineer with no medical training, says his machine generates electric impulses that cure disease. "The machine is designed to kill the Aids virus," he says. "The problem is you go down there and cure them, and then that night they're having unprotected sex."
Anderson says he was given the machine's design by communicating with his spiritual guides. He mainly treats the elderly and cannot say how many Aids sufferers he sees. He concedes that his machine is not a proven cure for HIV/Aids, but says he has had good results with arthritis.
Dr George is not the only "alternative" healer operating in Orange Farm. Roy Littleson moved from London to the settlement last November to "heal the African wound", as he modestly puts it. He claims that in 10 days he can cure Aids through a strict diet of organic wholefood and positive affirmation.
His girlfriend, Jan, uses crystals and essences. The theory runs as follows: when a doctor tells a person they are terminally ill, their cells harbour a negativity that causes the symptoms. Crystals are used to relieve the cells of this memory. It's all very scientific, Littleson insists.
Littleson claimed to run the largest healing centre in Los Angeles, the East West Centre for Macrobiotic Studies, but on closer questioning admitted it went out of business in the 1980s.
When he first arrived in Orange Farm, he became popular by handing out free organic meals that came with a message: "Condoms are not useful in the fight against Aids. Condoms actually cause Aids."
He says the handing out of free condoms is part of an ethnic cleansing programme and he would like to see the Mail & Guardian channel its investigative verve into tracking down the authors of this crime.
By putting a barrier between Mother Earth and the act of love, the poverty-stricken inhabitants are "upsetting their energy chakras", says Littleson, a long-haired Indonesian who learnt his trade in California in the 1970s. "Love and sharing is what people need," he says.
Nathan Geffen, national manager of the Treatment Action Campaign, comments that South Africa's Aids crisis inevitably attracts "quacks and chancers". But he says "the confusion created by the government over HIV/ Aids" has created fertile ground for charlatanry.
Indeed, there is a perception among Orange Farm residents that conventional doctors kill people. Roger - who asked for his full name to be withheld - says doctors tell the HIV-positive that they have a death sentence and administer drugs to kill them more quickly. Parroting Littleson's beliefs, he calls Aids "psychological warfare." Counsellors make the situation worse by telling HIV/Aids sufferers they are dirty.
So far Littleson has been unable to cure anyone, but this, he says, is only because he has been unable to buy the kind of food he needs. To start curing he needs money. He adds cryptically: "Black people have historically shown that they are good at forgiving. This time forgiveness must come in the form of money."
He has a business plan for his project and eventually plans to sell organic vegetables and stage workshops on nutrition. The health profession agrees that diet is important to Aids patients, but they stop well short of Littleson's unrelenting faith in the power of brown rice. Mark Heywood, head of the Aids Law Project at Wits University, says: "You don't pit health food against medicine. You are treating a disease that is well charted and breaks down the immune system of the healthy and the unhealthy. It just does it more slowly in the health-conscious."
The message hasn't permeated to the hungry of Orange Farm. "If we had organic food, people would survive," one resident says. "Aids you can live with, the rich don't die quickly like people do in Orange Farm."
The message of dissidents is that the rich are conspiring to profit from the poor. Bart Schubart, a friend of Littleson's and the editor of a South African-based Aids dissident magazine, says: "Western companies invest a lot of money in developing new products and when they can't sell them on their own soil, they introduce them to Africa in an attempt to recoup their investment."
Heywood argues that the contrary is true. Drug companies have such good profit margins on Aids drugs overseas that they are reluctant to come to poorer countries, where returns are smaller.
Aids dissidents have an automatic aversion to big business: Littleson cited junk food and soft drinks as a cause of Aids. For now, Littleson's plan looks unlikely to come to fruition. His support in Orange Farm began to wane as soon as the free food stopped. Initially Sheila Mputhing, who runs a primary health-care project, was carried along by Littleson's promises and even talked to him about using the group's land to grow food.
She says: "These people are secretive. They use us. He promised to cure our people. He hasn't cured a single patient. I think they take advantage."
Heywood takes an even tougher view: "What he is doing is putting people at direct risk of infection. I think he should be removed, physically, by the government."