Luc Montagnier, perhaps the most well known French scientist and the 2008 Nobel laureate for medicine, died February 8, 2022. In spite of his fame, his passing was accompanied by nary a word from the French government or mainstream French television. To partially redress this dereliction, I will present for English readers a brief tribute to this brilliant scientist, but even more remarkable in this age of follow the science, a man of the highest integrity. It is in this sense that I think he was the conscience of French medicine.
Much of this post is based on a discussion I had with a colleague of Prof. Montagnier, the esteemed physician Dr. Gérard Guillaume. Through the intercession of a LRC reader, I had the honor to be invited to his apartment in the chic 16th arrondissement of Paris near the Bois de Boulogne for an afternoon coffee with him and his elegant wife. Dr. Guillaume did discuss the life and death of Prof. Montagnier on the independent news site FranceSoir. He also participated in the hours of homage to the Nobel winner on a Doctothon. Both of these videos are in French.
Luc Montagnier was born August 18, 1932. He entered the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in 1960. He was a professor at the Institut Pasteur, where he directed the viral oncology unit from 1972 to 2000, along with many other academic and research appointments around the world. Montagnier is a member of the French Academy of Sciences and of the National Academy of Medicine. Besides the 2008 Nobel Prize he received with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi for the discovery in 1983 of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), he has also been the recipient of many other honors and awards.
The financial security and institutional credibility of the Nobel prize, his natural open minded sense of scientific inquiry and plenty of courage combined to make Montagnier the protector and sustainer of several scientific orphans. Dr. Guillaume emphasized the importance of Montagnier taking up the torch of Jacques Benveniste and “water memory”(see here a forthright response of Dr. Benveniste to the controversy surrounding his scientific work). This work has led to further controversies regarding homeopathy and the presence of electromagnetic signals from DNA. He was one of the founders of Chronimed, an association for the study of cold infections, inflammation and wave phenomena that works on on chronic diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis, autism and Lyme disease… Thus, for many years Montagnier’s theories were widely denounced as pseudoscientific, just see his Wikipedia page.
The criticism of Montagnier was omnipresent during the Covid pandemic because he was one of the very few scientific voices countering the institutional narrative. For example, as early as April, 2020 Montagnier identified the fraud at the heart of the Covid scandal, that this was very likely a virus engineered in a lab. In the linked article can be found this quote, “”Just in case you don’t know. Dr Montagnier has been rolling downhill incredibly fast in the last few years. From baselessly defending homeopathy to becoming an antivaxxer. Whatever he says, just don’t believe him,” tweeted Juan Carlos Gabaldon.” Gabaldon is a “Venezualan Medical doctor, currently studying Medical Parasitology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine” and blogger; yet he is taken as the authoritative expert that can discount the opinion of the Nobel prize winner. Dr. Guillaume assured me that up to the last week of his life Montagnier was still mentally sharp. The blogger made no factual claims against Montagnier. But time will tell. And two years hence anyone with two neurons to rub together believes it is Montagnier who has been proven to be correct on the likely lab origins of Covid. A recent scientific article, explained in layman’s terms here, suggests that a key sequence in the virus making it contagious to humans was patented by Moderna in 2016!
It is significant that Montagnier endorsed Robert Kennedy’s book on Fauci with a blurb included in the Kindle edition. Kennedy describes Montagnier’s participation at the International AIDS Conference in 1990, “Dr. Montagnier made a startling confession about HIV that was clearly against his own interest: “HIV might be benign.” Montagnier was the father of the AIDS theory. He is also a scientist of integrity. That was his surrender flag. Montagnier’s discounting of the HIV/AIDS association should have been earthshaking. Instead, the conventioneers—content with the orthodoxy that was paying off handsomely for so many of them—ignored Montagnier’s momentous confession and went right on talking about exciting new antiviral drug treatments.” Later in the book Kennedy quoted Peter Duesberg on how the establishment treated Montagnier, “There was Montagnier, the Jesus of HIV, and they threw him out of the temple.” And also quoting Harry Rubin, the dean of American retrovirology, “Who were these people who are so much wiser, so much smarter than Luc Montagnier? …He became an outlaw as soon as he started saying that HIV might not be the only cause of AIDS.” Personally, I find that these anecdotes are the most powerful and telling evidence of the integrity and courage of Prof. Montagnier.
Before concluding I am compelled to provide a short description of Dr. Guillaume’s career (see his biography (in French)). Five decades as a practicing physician, he is an expert in sports medicine and cryotherapy. He participated as a team physician in the Tour de France and other major bicycle races. He was also the team physician for the French cycle team at the Olympics.
He is the author of numerous medical articles in sports medicine, rheumatology and acupuncture; and several books on Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, dietetics and acupuncture He also wrote a treatise on dietetics for professional and amateur cyclists. And recently The Story of Covid-19: The Pandemic of all Fears. This book presents a thorough analysis of the genesis of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, he has also exhibited the integrity and courage to think outside the box of the institutional, profit maximizing, narrative.
Most days during the first confinement in the spring of 2020 I watched the evening news on France 2, the lead channel on the state subsidized television system. There were only1 or 2 times in my memory that I saw the head of the scientific committee setting policy for the government. He did not have the mesmerizing charm of Fauci. He responded gruffly to the most basic questions with, I paraphrase, “Just do as you’re told.” There was no alternative to the government narrative. These memories motivated me to ask Dr. Guillaume who can replace Prof. Montagnier as the conscience of French medicine? Who can escape the influence of big pharma and big government? The young scholars are bought and paid for or lack the courage to risk their careers on the altar of scientific truth. There is Dr. Guillaume himself. But he is over 70 and in retirement. There is Didier Raoult. He is 70 and already out of favor and credibility with the mainstream. Dr.Guillaume could only respond with a sigh to my question. But I do have hope, as the Covid crime spree, not petty crimes but crimes against humanity, becomes more and more evident to the general public; and therefore, making the profound corruption of the scientific establishment more and more evident, young scientists will be inspired by Luc Montangier’s example of honesty, integrity, and open mindedness.