Cross-Contamination – Approach #6

Following are some links to articles that seem consistent with Approach #6, which suggest getting unmasked and then using your own reactions to determine if possessions are having a negative effect on you.


1) Lisa Petrison & Erik Johnson

A Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance


Following is the text from Chapter 4 (“Overview”) of this book. Subsequent chapters discuss these topics in more detail.


The goal of mold avoidance is to allow those who are hyperreactive to mold toxins to become free of exposures to problematic amounts of those toxins.

This will give their systems a chance to calm down, rather than to continue to experience the constant negative effects of inflammation and other toxin-related harm.

The individual’s own personal reactions to the toxins are used a guide for whether exposure is occurring.

This means that it is important to get as free of these toxins as possible at the beginning of the mold avoidance process, so that it will be possible to know when exposures are taking place.

These efforts to become especially free of exposures to mold toxin are referred to in this book as the mold avoidance sabbatical.

Once the system has a chance to get clear of problematic toxins for an extended period of time (preferably for at least a couple of weeks) on the sabbatical, re-exposures tend to have much more immediately noticeable effects.

Those observed effects can be used to determine when exposures are occurring, so that more effective avoidance can take place.

This approach allows those pursuing mold avoidance to avoid only those places or objects that actually are problems for them, rather than to have to guess whether particular places or objects conceivably might be a problem.

Those pursuing mold avoidance in this way thus can lead much more normal lives than they would if they were avoiding all suspect places or objects “just in case.”

Using this approach also facilitates more effective avoidance, since it is rarely the case that anyone can predict with any great degree of accuracy whether a particular location, building or object is likely to be free of problematic mold toxins.

In order to accomplish the goal of decreasing toxic exposures to a low enough level not to trigger the hyperreactivity response, specific tactics have been found to be helpful.

One important tactic involves establishing a safe space that is as free of toxins as possible and then protecting it against cross-contaminations.

Many mold avoiders use decontamination techniques (such as showering and changing clothes) to protect themselves from extended effects of toxins subsequent to being exposed to them.

Making an effort to become very clear of toxins during discrete periods of time may allow larger amounts of toxins to be endured without negative effects at other times.

These and other approaches to managing the hyperreactivity component of the illness and moving toward healing are discussed in the remainder of this book.


2) Erik Johnson

Erik on Avoidance


Following is the text from Chapter 1 (“Overview”) of this book. Subsequent chapters discuss these topics in more detail.



> Can someone tell me what the Johnson Protocol is?

“Feel mold…. run like hell, decontaminate before the immune system goes ballistic.”

“Don’t carry it home, particularly not where you sleep.”

“If you feel mold in your sleeping place, it’s not a place where you can sleep.”

That’s the basic idea.  Pulling it off is the tricky part.

-Erik (2009)



I am working, but I am neither healthy nor living a normal life.

The weird thing about my situation is that my immune profile is still completely shattered, yet as long as I avoid this one stupid thing that mysteriously showed up in Incline Village in 1985, I can climb mountains.

If I fail to practice an extraordinary level of avoidance, I fall apart within days. So it’s a very odd kind of recovery.

I am forced by this weird illness to spend my time hiking, biking, climbing mountains, seeing beautiful pristine places, and avoiding the toxic plumes which are rampant in “civilidevastation.”

Still, it beats being dead or disabled. I’ve managed to get a lot of life back, much more than I dared hope for.

-Erik (2011)


The hidden devices and impossible logistics required to pull off this concept are so fantasmic as to be utterly unreasonable.

-Erik (2011)



I was fortunate to have Army training in biowarfare survival protocols.

When I realized the “stuff” was traveling with me much as the CS gas we used as a simulant, my training kicked in.

I set up an isolation area, a decontamination facility, and worked to protect my safe zone in exactly the way the military taught me.

The concept is simple, but the application is the very devil.

Shower and keep contaminated clothing/objects outside of the safe zone.

I take off my clothes inside. Right next to the door.

Then I throw my clothing outside into a bucket and take an immediate shower.

In the Army, the decon facility would be separate, but this was the best I could do.

The bucket I drop them into is filled with water, so it’s as quick as possible.

It seems that the longer clothes stay contaminated, the harder they are to clean. Immediacy appears to be more effective.

If an object is contaminated, I just plain don’t bring it inside.

Even after all the years I’ve been doing this, I’m still in shock over it. That such a bizarre thing would ever become necessary.

-Erik (2011)


The absolute first thing the instructors said to us in biowarfare training is that humans respond by trying to “invent their way out of it.”

Which is what all this focus on genetic susceptibility looks like to me.

We were taught to avoid such thinking.

“Detect Evacuate and Decontaminate… or you are DEAD.”

Army loves its acronyms.

-Erik (2015)


I am totally against the idea of modifying us to fix this.

A 25% rate of susceptibility is not some kind of rare disease.

That is what we would call within the range of normal.

Our pets are sick.

I suppose they all have a genetic predisposition too?

One that was so rare that this was unknown before but now is widely reported?

It’s the toxins that aren’t supposed to be here.

That is what we need to focus on.

-Erik (2015)



I’ve lost all the usual stuff, “friends,” family, relationships, jobs, my house, savings etc. etc., and it’s pretty tough to find out after all of that, none of it was necessary.

If the doctors had listened when I first gave them the clues, it wouldn’t have happened.

If I had trusted my own perceptions instead of their bad advice, it wouldn’t have happened.

I know this is true, because I finally lost all faith in doctors when I was at absolute rock bottom, and still managed to crawl out of living hell and recover to the extent I did.

It hurts to think of so much of my life that was wasted needlessly.

What I found is that leaving isn’t nearly enough – not for me.

“Perception, avoidance and decontamination” is what I keep hammering away at.

The mold on my clothes is more than enough to keep the inflammatory response upregulated. Leaving is better than not, but not nearly good enough.

The trick is to break the response before the immune system is so fired up that it creates its own damage.

That’s why I went to the trouble of obtaining a special mobile decontamination device.

This is why I recovered as quickly and as well as I did, in about six months.

You could accomplish the same thing in a minivan by using a bucket to wash your hair, sponge bath, and change into fresh clothes – being sure to bag the contaminated ones to prevent cross contamination.

And this goes way beyond just the mold that I pick up by entering a building.

Anything that has been exposed to mold is the same to me, new or not. Food or furnishings… anything!

This is the kind of lifestyle I still have to maintain to avoid relapsing.

I never got over being mold sick. I just got so good at controlling it that no one can tell anymore.

If someone is made ill by mold, I find it hard to believe that taking the extra step to quickly decontaminate would be anything but helpful for everyone.

Until you’ve experience getting clear and have an idea of what you are trying to accomplish, it seems crazy though.

-Erik (2005)


My reactivity to mold grew worse no matter where I lived.

It was that this reactivity did not correspond to one bad house or specific location that made it so confusing. I was getting slammed in small doses all over the place.

It wasn’t until I trained myself to stop trying to connect it to one major place and focus on barely perceptible hits from all over the place that I could even tell that the subtle burning sensation and not the smell of mustiness was actually an indicator of exposure. 

Mustiness is from microbial volatile organic compounds, and generally not very toxic.

This isn’t like an allergy with an “on-off” response, where you walk away and suddenly everything is normal again.

Although mold allergy is certainly a problem, mycotoxin illness is a matter of long-term exposure from a wide variety of sources.

It took me months of avoiding subtle sensations before I really knew that I was pushing in a good direction.

What better test could I do than offer to take people to Truckee High School – to the place where the first CFS cluster originated – and have them see for themselves what they feel there?

Of course, learning how to live like a mold avoidance maniac is not easy.  But for me, it beats the alternative.

-Erik (2006)



We all go through the stage where we’d like to avoid doing anything really crazy, like trashing everything we own.

I sure did. I fought this for many years with every conventional concept that doctors and “mold experts” were totally willing to sell me – while they watched me inexorably falling apart. And it didn’t help much.

Finally I had nothing left to cling to.

Possessions meant nothing to me. I was gonna die. Nothing left to lose anymore.

So I had one more thing to try, and went all-out on avoidance on this one specific substance.

And, as you see, it worked out a bit better than anyone expected.

I’d rather live in a dumpster than go back to the way I used to feel.

It’s ironic that people have to be dumped down to such a desperate stage that they are willing to do anything before they can experience this.  

So far, people who have done so only wish they had done it sooner and not tried to cling to possessions that gave every sense of trying to kill them.

I’ve had silly things like one old book totally permeate my safe zone with badness – and out it has to go.

Testing is worthless and counterproductive. One has to learn to perceive subtle mold clues and act in accordance with them at all times.

This is a strategy for the very desperate who are beyond the threshold of hanging on to their old life.

-Erik (2007)


If someone had just given me the advice to “beware mold,” I would have considered it the most important and precious gift I ever could have received.

But nobody knew, and I had to work it out on my own.

-Erik (2010)



This philosophy is what gets me through.

It is by treating this problem exactly as the military trained me to think of radioactivity.

“RAD’s:  Radiation Absorbed Dosage.”

Duration of exposure dictates how long you’ll last, regardless of whether you can feel it.

I trained myself to feel it at its lowest possible discernible level, and acted as if that sensation were plutonium.

-Erik (2010)


I was a nuclear missile launcher specialist, and this stuff acted exactly like radioactive dust was predicted to act.

We were trained that in the post-nuclear warfare world, there wouldn’t be enough Geiger counters to go around, so we must use our observations to stay alive.

One tank might be hot and another not.

Depends on whether it traveled through a contamination zone, how long it was there, and how much dust had agglomerated onto the metal.  

High density metal objects were the worst for attracting radiation, while organic materials were much less.

The way to spot a bad tank would be the subtle health problems that would emerge.

Low-dose radiation doesn’t cause radiation sickness. Whatever emerges will be whatever infections the soldier already had, unless an especially nasty flu or bacterial infection goes through a squad which all would get.

Then you would only notice that some soldiers would be massively sicker than others, but that would be the giveaway that that has some kind of excessive radiation dose from somewhere. 

That is when you start searching their possessions for some contaminated items with a Geiger counter.

I treat ionophore exposure the same as radiation.

I avoid mold as if it were plutonium.

The reason “perceptification” is so important that the amount of RAD’s (Radiation Absorbed Dose) varies according to duration of exposure, potential for toxin acquisition, and what kind of static charge dictates agglomeration.

I remember my shock at being informed that if we go through a hot zone from a neutron burst, our metal vehicles might become over tolerance while our organic clothing material might not.

“Then what about our M16’s?”

“Sorry, I know you guys will feel naked without your weapon, but if it picks up a dose of RAD’s, you must drop it.”

That’s how I was trained to stay alive.

-Erik (2011)


I wasn’t just a normal nuclear missile launcher specialist.

It was an “Enhanced Radiation Weapons System,” better known as “The Neutron Bomb.”

As its inventor, Sam Cohen, said, “The most despised weapon in the history of warfare.”

People who know how it works find the concept absolutely despicable and evil…as they should, for it is.

It doesn’t just blow you to atoms, like a “respectable” nuclear weapon.

The neutron bomb is absolutely hideous. It simply erases any immune response, leaving you, as Sam says, “The most miserable creature in all of God’s creation.”

During the Incline epidemic, when people were staggering around just like the “Walking Ghosts” — or “Dead Man Walking,” as we called it — I thought, “This is just like my training.”

This training put me light years ahead of the doctors. They offered me no advice that could possibly compare to the training I already had.

-Erik (2011)


I was in the military, as a nuclear missile launcher specialist, and was trained in biological, chemical and radiological warfare survival protocols.

The Army knows that it is not completely necessary for a soldier to understand what the agent is, to remember its chemical composition, or to know exactly how it does its damage.

The only thing a soldier really needs to know is how to detect, evacuate, avoid and decontaminate in response to these threats.

I noticed that where clusters of CFS had occurred, there was a slight palpable sensation that had a deleterious effect on people.

I conducted an experiment of treating these vague sensations using biowarfare survival protocols, and obtained results beyond anything I dared hope for.

This is not an easy way to go. I consider it to more of a clue than a viable therapy that everyone should start doing.

It’s a desperate leap.

For those of us who have been able to pursue this avoidance strategy, a significant number have had very impressive results.

-Erik (2010)


3) Joseph P. Klein, Sr., M.D.

Stachybotrys Web Site


4) Cort Johnon – Health Rising

Constant Vigilance: Julie Rehmeyer’s CFS Recovery Story

Jeri’s Amazing Discovery


5) Forebearance – Phoenix Rising

My Mold Avoidance Story


6) Giles Meehan – Get Well from M.E.

A Different World


7) Got Mold

Interview with a Toxic Mold Survivor – Karen Dean


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