Measles Isolation Case

Measles Isolation Case

Measles Isolation Case

Re: the Dispute of the outcome from a competition that challenged its participants to prove the detection of the measles virus


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Facts of the Case

  • Dates: Feb 16, 2016
  • Location: Stuttgart, Germany
  • Court: Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart
  • Case #: OLG Stuttgart Urteil vom 16.2.2016, 12 U 63/15
  • Plaintiff: Mr. David Bardens
  • Defendant: Dr. Stefan J Lanka, PhD
  • Trial Type: Civil
  • Judge: Karl-Heinz Oleschkewitz
  • Status: Decided
  • Verdict: for the Defendant

*updated: Jan 21 2022


Stefan Lanka is the biologist/virologist who detected what is arguably the first virus proven to exist and was one of the early critics of the AIDS-HIV dogma. [7]

In 2011, a former Federal Minister of Justice contacted Dr. Stefan Lanka to ask for scientific data that may help stop the legalization of mandatory vaccination for measles. [1]. Thereafter, in consultation with a leading senior state prosecutor, a plan to offer prize money for the proof of the “measles virus” was formed. In doing so, the concerned parties had realized that it would be impossible to challenge the existence of the “measles virus” directly in the court room. They anticipated the possibility that a civil trial may result from the “measles virus bet”, which could be used to legally challenge the science behind the claims that the ‘measles virus’ exists, and that vaccines for measles were safe and effective. (see pg 9 of “the virus misconception part 1) (1)

On November 24, 2011, the defendant Dr. Lanka offered a prize money with the header announcing



The measles virus

EUR 100,000!


The Diameter



The context for the bet is detailed here and here but also briefly summarized below: (2) (3)

The text that followed this announcement not only provided the specifications that a contender needed to follow, but also provided a detailed context for the bet. A summary of these is provided below. For details, see (2) (3)

  1. Consequent to the swine flu debacle of 2009, vaccine sales experienced a swift downfall, with the German market experiencing a 29% reduction in revenue for influenza vaccines in 2011 compared to an year before.
  2. In 2011, the German government and the WHO drummed up fearful scenarios of a measles pandemic and its severe consequences as briefed below.
  • Prior to the bet, brochures distributed throughout Germany gruesomely painted the measles virus as lethal and capable of inducing severe brain damage. On the basis of these threats, vaccinations were strongly advocated for the entire family.
  • Soon thereafter, WHO announced 26,000 confirmed cases of measles in 53 countries since Jan 1, 2011, with 14,000 being in France. This raised the spectre of a measles pandemic invading directly from France. (4)
  • In November 2011, the government proclaimed Paul Ehlrich Institute as having demonstrated measles virus transmission through the trachea, and showcased how attenuated measles viruses were even being used in cancer therapy.
  • Then followed the claim that 164,000 people died of measles every year out of the 55 million people infected. The frenzy was exacerbated with the announcement that measles cases had doubled in Berlin with the disease taking a severe course in many.
  • Soon came a statement from the Berlin health senate: “The current situation calls for a review of vaccine hesitancy especially among the enlightened”


The Rules & the importance of the Diameter of the Measles Virus

Against this background, Dr. Lanka explained why the diameter of the virus was a key requirement to win the bet. Within the framework of the Basic Law and the Infection Protection Act (IfSG), the Robert Koch Institute had a responsibility to conduct independent research on the causes of measles. If indeed German researchers worked with the measles virus on behalf of the Federal government for vaccine research and for cancer research, this research must surely be documented, and as a primary attribute of the measles virus, its diameter must be known and recorded.

On November 24th, 2011 Dr. Stefan Lanka offered a prize of 100,000 Euros to any person who could present a scientific publication in which the existence of the measles virus is claimed, proven, and in which its diameter is determined. He emphasized that the money will not be paid if the diameter is estimated from a model representation or from a computer graphic.

Further, Dr. Lanka encouraged people to address questions about the measles virus including the determination of its diameter with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), and recommended the citizens to report any failures in their response to the Federal Ministry of Health.


The Challenger

The plaintiff, Mr. David Bardens, a young medical student had first contacted Dr. Lanka the defendant on January 16, 2012 to confirm the bet and its conditions. Within a period of 15 days, he presented a collection of 6 (six) papers which he claimed contained the scientific proof that the defendant sought through his bet.

However, being the scientist who first isolated and biochemically characterized the first viral structure from algae and being thoroughly familiar with the scientific literature on the ‘measles virus’, Dr. Lanka rejected this claim. The first paper in the collection was written by John Enders, the ‘discoverer’ of the ‘measles virus’, together with Peebles in 1954. In this paper, Enders reported that cells grown in a culture died after the introduction of the saliva or blood of a measles patient.

Concluding his report, Enders stated that such a death of cells could be evidence either of the presence and proliferation of the suspected measles virus, or of unknown factors including unknown viruses in the monkey kidney cells used in the culture. Finally, Enders admitted that his laboratory experiments may have no relevance to real measles in humans.


The First Trial – April 2014 to March 2015

Lower regional court of Ravensburg (Landgerichts Ravensburg vom 12.03.2015 – 4 O 346/13)

Legal arbitration was sought by David Bardens in the Ravensburg Regional Court in 2014. Although, Bardens did not strictly adhere to the conditions of the bet, the court accepted his case. The presiding judge Matthias Schneider appointed Prof. Andreas Podbielski to deliver an expert opinion on the scientific matter under question — whether the papers presented by Bardens met the conditions of the bet laid out by the defendant.

The expert who was commissioned by the court, a University professor from Rostock, explicitly confirmed in the first ruling of the County Court of Ravensburg, that none of the 6 presented publications provided any proof of existence of the virus. [7]

On March 12, 2015, judge M. Schneider made a ‘chair judgement’ based on the written opinion of Prof. Podbielski, just after this expert was questioned in the court. In this manner, Judge Schneider prevented the full course of civil proceedings, in particular counter claims by the defendant. In this ‘chair judgement’, the judge ordered the defendant to pay the prize money of Euro 100,000 to the plaintiff.


The second Trial – December 2016

Higher regional court of Stuttgart (OLG Stuttgart Urteil vom 16.2.2016, 12 U 63/15)

Following the Ravensburg decision Dr. Lanka appealed this decision at the Higher regional court of Stuttgart as outlined below. (6)



Scientific significance:

In Science, the concept of a virus is ill defined. Around the birth of germ theory,

  • it used to mean a poison associated with disease.
  • Later, it was believed to be a protein that could self-replicate.
  • After nucleic acids were identified as the genetic material, the virus was believed to a nucleic acid molecule surrounded by a protein coat.

In the scientific literature, the existence of a virus is inferred on the basis of effects alleged to be caused by viruses. One such alleged effect was reported by Enders and Peebles in 1954 and forms the basis of the majority of virus discoveries.

This effect is the death of cells in a tissue culture after a bodily fluid obtained from a sick patient is introduced into the culture. However, to date this is not the only experimental condition that is changed in such setups. Along with the introduction of the patient sample, the setup is changed with respect to concentration of antibiotics and nutrient solutions. In connection with the measles experiments of Enders and Peebles, Dr. Lanka has scientifically demonstrated that the death of cells in these experiments result from the experimental setup and not because of the introduction of bodily fluids from sick patients.


Legal significance:

This case raises questions about

  • the process of scientific facts in virology,
  • the fragility of the ‘expert judgement’ of scientific experts,
  • the legality of the measles vaccination carried out in Germany, and
  • whether the Robert Koch Institute is justified in not carrying out independent research on the causes of measles.


Plaintiff’s Argument

Mr. David Bardens, the plaintiff, claimed that a collection of six papers contains scientific proof of the existence of the measles virus and that the diameter of the virus is determined in these works. (3) (5)


Defendant’s Argument

The defendant argued that the scientific papers submitted by the plaintiff did not carry out control experiments to rule out what Bardens was claiming as proof of the measles virus was not from cellular debris or byproducts of its putrefaction, or of vesicles used by the cell to transport material in and out of the cell (see Nobel Prize in Medicine/physiology for 2013). In addition, a single paper in which the diameter of the virus was reported along with that of the discovery of the virus was required to win the bet. (5)




“Biologist Dr. Stefan Lanka does not have to pay a 100,000 Euro reward to the Saxony based doctor David Bardens after all. Bardens had tried to prove the existence of the measles virus by submitting 6 publications. Lanka had offered the reward to anyone, who presented a publication, in which the virus was proven to exist and in which the diameter of the virus was determined. the District court of Stuttgart rules in an appeal of Feb, 16th, 2016 that the demanded proof was not presented. [7]

Also the expert who was commissioned by the court, a University professor from Rostock, explicitly confirmed in the first ruling of the County Court of Ravensburg, that none of the 6 presented publications provided any proof of existence of the virus. [7]

Further, in explanation of the decision, the court stated, that the person offering the reward also decides the conditions the bid must fulfill.” [7]

The judges discovered several procedural violations. For example, the primary evidence in the case was the six papers claimed by Bardens to contain scientific proof on the measles virus. This evidence was not collected by the Ravensburg court before it made its judgement. (5) (6)

Secondly, they found inconsistencies in the opinion of the scientific expert appointed by the Ravensburg court. One of the interesting facts is that the scientific expert did not have any scientific publications in the field of virology at the time he made his expert opinion. Further, they found that the expert had either not read all the 6 papers or had deliberately misinterpreted them. (5) (6)

Most importantly, the Stuttgart court could not find any logical backing to the assertion that the six papers together or individually did not fulfill the criteria of the award — proof of the measles virus along with a determination of its primary physical attribute, the diameter of the virus (in other words, an electron micrograph of the virus particle along with a biochemical analysis of the constituent molecules of the same virus particle). (5) (6)


The higher regional court at Stuttgart overturned the decision of the Ravensburg court and decided that the six papers submitted by Bardens did not individually or collectively prove the existence of the measles virus along with an estimate of its diameter.

(Note: this collection includes the seminal paper on the ‘discovery of the measles virus’ by Enders JF and Peebles TC. Propagation in tissue cultures of cytopathogenic agents from patients with measles. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1954, 86(2): 277–286.) (5) (6)

As a result, the plaintiff Barden’s claims about winning the bet were dismissed. In the course of the judgement several interesting facts came into light. Among these, the ones listed in paragraph 30 of the judgement are most relevant to the judgement: (6)

  • The six publications submitted (by Bardens) did not fulfill the criteria of the award, neither individually nor as a whole.
  • The Ravensburg court did not (collect and) examine the papers under dispute (claimed by Bardens to contain unquivocal proof of the measles virus; neither did Bardens submit them to the court).
  • The Ravensburg court accepted arbitrary statements by the expert Prof. Podbielski who had interpreted them contrary to the statements and intentions of the authors of the 6 scientific papers mentioned here.
  • The statement received from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) claimed that the measles virus contains ribosomes. However, ribosomes are only found in living organisms and by the expert statements of Prof. Podbielski refuted that the materials claimed by RKI is a virus.
  • The Ravensburg judgement wrongly stated Prof. Podbielski as having said that the scientists who wrote the six papers had carried out control experiments (the control experiments serve to rule out the possibility that cellular debris were misinterpreted as the alleged measles virus the scientists were seeking).

The scientist ordered by the County Court of Ravensburg of the university of Rostock stated clearly, that none of the six presented publications alone provided irrefutable proof. [7]

only an overview of all these publications could be “regarded“ as “evidence“ was the verdict, given by the judges [7]

The judge went on to say, that a court could not decide upon such scientific questions. This must happen within the scientific community. [7]



After losing the case at Stuttgart, Bardens tried in vain to appeal to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH).

His case was rejected by BGH on December 1, 2016. (5)

Changing Measles Definition?
  • “In the first edition of ‘Vaccine’, the worlds most prestigious compendium of vaccination experts, 1988, it stated; the measles virus is spherical in shape and approximately 120 to 250 nanometers in size. [7]
  • In the latest edition in 2013, the measles virus is not spherical any more, but can be ‘various shapes’. [7]
  • In addition, according to the scientist commissioned by the court, Professor Podbielski from the University of Rostock, the virus can vary in size drastically between 50 and 1000 nanometers. “ [7]
  • and lastly, another article by Hans Tolzin points out the lack of controls in the presented publications. [7]
Does the trial prove or disprove the existence of the virus?

Lanka’s critics, adamantly pointed out that Lanka was only acquitted because of a small formality in the interpretation of the competition, not because the virus is not proven. however they don’t say the virus IS proven, either.

Hans Tolzin of Impfreport (Vaccination report), a leading website on independent vaccination education, wrote: after 130 years of virology, a basic discussion was born, that was overdue. Thanks is due to Dr Lanka , regardless of whether one believes in a measles virus or not, science can only benefit from this and so can our children, who are affected by the vaccination programs through which they claim they will eradicate the measles virus.”

Lack of control Experiments

Lanka, in advance of the appeal trial, produced several expert assessments which pointed out, very clearly, the complete lack of control experiments in each one of the six publications presented as evidence. Such control experiments are claimed to be indispensable to a definitive outcome of an experiment. [7]

For instance, according to Lanka, the described experiments do not rule out, that components of the cell cultures used as evidence could be erroneously claimed to be the sought virus. (ie: the claimed virus could be artifacts of the methods and ingredients used in the experiment) [7]

According to a paper by professor Harald Walach from Frankfurt at the Oder, cited by Lanka, this is only possible using control experiments i.e. “systematic negative controls“ [7]

2017 Controlled Measles Experiment
Independent scientists published in the magazine Wissenschaftsplus (April 2017) a repeat of the original 1954 virus experiment from Enders & Peebles together with a control (which was not done originally) [8]
they write: We, on behalf of Dr. Lanka, checked whether agents other than the alleged measles virus can lead to cell fusion with resulting cell death (= syncytia formation) in cell cultures that look exactly like the one in the standardized protocol based on the publication by Enders & Peebles from 1954 which has become globally recognized for the detection of the measles virus. For this purpose, work was carried out strictly in accordance with the protocol of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the detection of measles infection in cell cultures. [8]
The results reported were: [8]
Depending on the non-viral and non-infectious substances added, changes in cell morphology could be observed at different times, which since 1954 is always equated with the “isolation” of the “measles virus”. Particularly after the addition of high concentrations of penicillin/streptomycin (20%) or cultivation under deficiency conditions (1% FCS), changes in the cell morphology were found that were microscopically identical to the syncytia formation described as the measles virus (Illustration 1).
The studies have clearly shown that syncytia formation is not specific for measles infection. Thus, the forgotten observations of both Enders & Peebles as well as Bech & von Magnus have confirmed that Enders & Peebles and successors proving the existence of a virus with this technique was only assumption
Mandatory Measles Vaccination in Germany

On March 1, 2020, the Measles Protection Act, which amends several laws, entered into force in Germany. The Act makes measles protection mandatory for children one year or older who attend daycare, school, or other community facilities, and for persons working in those facilities or in medical facilities. Furthermore, measles vaccinations will be mandatory for persons living or working in refugee and asylum-seeker accommodations. Noncompliance will result in fines, and unvaccinated children and persons will be barred from the respective facilities. [9]

The Debate Continues

The Covid Crisis has made this debate a hot topic. Many new voices have started to question the status quo. US Dr Kaufman has become a leading champion questioning the evidence of the virus science.

The consequences of virus’s not existing are enormous. It would mean that the covid pandemic was non-existent. It would mean the collapse of a mega empire of pharmaceutical drugs. It would mean that billions of people were given and in many cases forced to take drugs that were both experimental and unnecessary.



Further Research




The Measles Myth

source: Dr Sam Bailey

Measles in Court

source: The Trueman Show

Report on the Measles Trial

source: ….

Dr Lanka on the Measles trial

source: ….



  1. The Virus Misconception
  2. Masern Prozess
  3. OpenJur
  4. WHO Press Release
  5. Der Masern-Virus-Prozess
  6. Justiz in Baden-Württemberg
  7. Measles virus? There is no proof of a measles virus says court!
  8. On The Track Of Enders Experiments (translated & edited by northerntracey & John Blaid)
  9. Germany: New Act Makes Measles Vaccinations Mandatory



Bet, brain damage, Competition, control experiments, David Bardens, Definition, Enders, Existence, germany, Infection Protection Act, Lanka, Measles, Nobel Prize, Pandemic, Paul Ehlrich Institute, Peebles, Podbielski, Prize, Ravensburg, RKI, Robert Koch Institute, Stuttgart, Virus

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