HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS


Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/03/20

The disgrace and fall of President Nixon had begun with an ill-advised, pointless little burglary at the Watergate, a group of office buildings. The attempts to COVER UP the burglars’ connections to Nixon’s staff involved so many lies and eventually embroiled so many people that Nixon could no longer govern, all credibility gone despite his astonishing TV assertion that “I am not a crook!”

The media have since that time appropriated the suffix “Gate” as shorthand for any scandal about an attempted, stupid, fumbled cover-up that threatens to bring down some house of cards that earlier had seemed impregnable. So when e-mails were discovered at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit showing that the climate gurus had been conspiring to suppress data contradicting their theories, the event was naturally enough publicized as “Climate-Gate”. The Director of that Climate Research Unit soon resigned, and an “independent” international panel was formed to consider the soundness or otherwise of what had been promulgated for many years by the IPCC — International Panel on Climate Change. It remains to be seen, of course, whether that “independent” panel will be genuinely independent enough to include such highly qualified dissenters from the mainstream dogma as Patrick Michaels, former climatologist for the Commonwealth of Virginia, or physicist Fred Singer, emeritus professor from the University of Virginia and from George Mason University.

Now comes Elsevier-Gate:

In August of 2009, HIV/AIDS vigilantes persuaded Nobelist Barre-Sinoussi to allege to Elsevier that questioning HIV as cause of AIDS represents a potential threat to global public health; which terrified Elsevier’s Vice-President Glen Campbell sufficiently that he had two articles already accepted by Medical Hypotheses, already posted on-line as in press, withdrawn — without bothering to inquire into the plausibility of Barre-Sinoussi’s assertion by, say, consulting the journal’s editor, or its editorial board, let alone the authors of the articles. Perhaps he was terrified less by the medical or scientific substance of the assertion than the threat to boycott Elsevier journals, and to have the National Library of Medicine cease abstracting Medical Hypotheses in PubMed.

The vigilantes had in fact also petitioned the National Library of Medicine to that effect, a petition that was carefully considered and then rejected — even though Medical Hypotheses had over the years published at least a couple of dozen articles questioning HIV/AIDS theory.

Someone at Elsevier must have realized that Campbell’s precipitate action was a blunder, so another V-P, Chris Lloyd, was given the task of fixing the mess. Lloyd’s actions, however, have been just as discourteous, ill-advised, and inept as those of Campbell — or those that led to the fall of Nixon. Lloyd set up “a panel” to look into, not the withdrawal of the articles, but the fact that Medical Hypotheses did not normally use peer review — which had been the chief reason why the journal had been founded in the first place! The whole point was to provide a forum where ideas that mainstream reviewers would not find publishable could be shared with the medical-scientific community, the nature of the ideas being described plainly enough by the journal’s title of HYPOTHESES. This was as plain when Elsevier took over the journal as when the journal had been founded by the distinguished biochemist David Horrobin, so it is crystal clear that this paneling was intended to cover up something (Campbell’s blunder) rather than to produce pearls of wisdom. To make the conspiracy even plainer, Lloyd kept the membership of the panel and its precise terms of reference secret. Unremarkably, the panel delivered the opinion — or so Lloyd said* — that some group of qualified people should consider whether peer review should be made a regular part of the operations of Medical Hypotheses — which had been founded precisely so as NOT to be constrained by the conservatism of peer review. One wonders whether the panel knew of that history and its rationale. The group of allegedly qualified people that Lloyd then enlisted were drawn from the staff of another Elsevier publication, and their identities were again kept secret. Unremarkably, they recommended — or so Lloyd claimed* — that peer review be instituted — in other words, that Medical Hypotheses no longer be Medical Hypotheses and become just another journal disseminating the current mainstream consensus.**

In the meantime, one of the authors of one of the withdrawn articles had sued Elsevier in a Dutch court, since the publicly posted description of reasons for the withdrawal of the already accepted articles represents a libelous statement. Suddenly Lloyd was able to produce unsigned “reviews” of the articles in question by 5 anonymous reviewers, unremarkably enough finding the articles unsuitable for publication — albeit for other reasons than that they constituted a threat to global public health or were potentially libelous, which were the originally stated reasons for withdrawal. In other words, even these “reviews” found that the withdrawal had not been justified on its own terms. Internal evidence in those “reviews” demonstrates how hastily they were composed with the single purpose of justifying withdrawal of the articles: there are not only typos signifying unseemly haste but also ad hominem remarks that should have no place in scientific discourse, and the “reviews” fail to address substantively the actual points made in the articles. Most particularly the reviews failed to address the fact that the Duesberg article presented evidence, data from mainstream sources, that claims of 300,000 unnecessary AIDS deaths in South Africa were based on computer modeling in which the number of South African AIDS deaths was said to be about 25 times greater than the numbers for AIDS deaths published by the official South African Statistics agency.

From the viewpoint of AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics, it is encouraging that Elsevier-Gate is beginning to attract wider attention:

— In January, at the Times Higher Education website, innumerable comments from people not previously engaged in HIV/AIDS matters spoke to the value of a journal like Medical Hypotheses that circumvents the traditional censorship of genuine novelties that is inevitably imposed by peer review: Zoë Corbyn, “Unclear outlook for radical journal as HIV/Aids deniers evoke outrage”, 14 January 2010; “Publisher attempts to rein in radical medical journal — Editor rejects proposal to have submissions peer reviewed”, 23 January 2010; “Implement peer review or resign, controversial journal’s editor told — Ultimatum spells end for Medical Hypotheses in its current form”, 10 March 2010.

— Now Nature’s website has also described the situation, giving us the opportunity to make public some of the details, like those mentioned above, that Elsevier has failed to disclose to enquiring journalists: Daniel Cressey, “Editor says no to peer review for controversial journal — Move demanded by publisher would ‘utterly destroy’ Medical Hypotheses”, 18 March 2010.

I posted the first comment there after having learned about the piece from Marco Ruggiero, who also promptly posted a comment. Several individuals not previously engaged in HIV/AIDS matters have added their views on peer review, interspersed by some inevitable know-nothing cries from an HIV/AIDS groupie; who will find, as J P Moore and others did at the Times discussions, that when a wider audience participates in these exchanges, the HIV/AIDS vigilantes find themselves clearly out-argued and out-numbered. A wide swath of non-scientists as well scientists understands that the way to discredit bad or false science is to point out in what way it is bad or false. That’s what the supporters of HIV/AIDS dogma cannot do, because it is their own science that is bad and false. After more than a quarter of a century of intensive, well-funded research, they cannot answer these fundamental questions:

1. When exactly was it proved that HIV cause AIDS?

2. What are the scientific publications that constitute this proof?

3. By what mechanism does HIV destroy the immune system?

* A former Department Head in a certain Chemistry Department — in days when Heads were dictators and not chairpersons — was wont to chair meetings of the various Departmental committees. At subsequent business meetings of the whole faculty, he would then announce, “Committee A has met; and it has been decided that…”. All perfectly true, even though the decision would always be his alone and irrespective of what the committee members might have advised.
** Should anyone doubt the value of publishing hypotheses, they might ask themselves why distinguished people would find it valuable, for instance the contributors to The Scientist Speculates (ed. I. J. Good, Basic Books, 1963) who include not only Good himself, internationally renowned for reviving Bayesian statistics, but also (for further example) J. D. Bernal, David Bohm, Sir Cyril Burt, Arthur C. Clarke, Dennis Gabor, Arthur Koestler, L. S. Penrose, N. W. Pirie, Michael Polanyi, Harlow Shapley, R. H. Thouless, C. H. Waddington, Eugene Wigner, and more. The collection’s epigraph is “The intention of this anthology is to raise more questions than it answers”, in view of what everyone who really understands science knows, that the most important spur to progress is to ask the right questions. That was the value of Medical Hypotheses. It could point out that certain mainstream Emperors have no clothes, something that could never pass “peer review” no matter how obviously true it might be.

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22 Responses to “Elsevier-Gate”

  1. Francis said

    Hi Henry,

    I’m not so sure the “Chair” is still not a dictator. At a meeting in Canberra last week the “Chair” made the statement that we should not confuse Consultation with Democracy. Consultation is mandated these days, and the only reason many panels are formed is to satisfy legal requirements, the outcomes are already decided.

    As another aside, and in yet another meeting in Canberra (it was a long week), we were dealing with a program that will run out to 2018 and cost in the vicinity of 1.4 billion dollars. The convenors of this meeting a prominent government department (not health related) have decided to contract some “Academics” to produce a paper that will support the initial proposals. Having some Phd’s sign on carries weight with government appropriations.

    Much discussion was held around the table at that time about what would happen if the “Academics” produced a paper actually contradicting the proposals(near panic). It was then that I was introduced first hand in to how these things go. The Director of the program an obviously experienced and astute government official stated quite confidently that if we were paying we would ultimately get the conclusions we wanted.

    Now as I’ve previously stated I don’t work in a health related field, but I don’t think it is much of a stretch to believe that this kind of process is common within government and private sectors. And there is no conspiracy going on with this matter as one of the participating agencies was the Commonwealth Attorney Generals Department (3 lawyers). I did note that the meeting was not recorded or minuted, it was described as an informal gathering to identify “Key Stakeholders” and ensure we were all “On the same page”.

    I’d be interested to know how many times those terms are used by the NIH and CDC.

  2. Frank said

    David Crowe has written an analysis of one of the tentacles of this cover-up:

    The Potemkin Village of Essex and Chigwedere

    …Chigwedere and Essex are here seen cursing at the graveside of their enemy while knowing that his body has been thrown to the wolves so dangerous is he even in death. But the grave, the PubMed entry, cannot be removed or their hatred would have no focus and their victory would have no trophy…

    • Trying to keep up with the analogy: “but … one of their enemies has already resurrected, stronger, smarter and more determined. He has made his appearance where he cannot be killed (withdrawn) and beside his empty grave now stands his triumph”

      Just digit Ruggiero M in

      More triumphs are on the way

      • Manuel Fernandes said

        Dr. Ruggiero, how do you mean with “More triumphs are on the way”, are you and your team planning something?


      • Manuel Fernandes: Yes we are, but it is not only “my team”. In about one month, one, or more than one, interesting paper will appear in PubMed. Before the end of summer numerous interesting news will also appear. In the meantime, please enjoy the killer’s promises quoted in Nature’s Cell Death and Disease (appropriate journal for a killer) and the official academic recognition of chemical (i.e. non-viral) aids.
        Yours sincerely

      • Manuel Fernandes said

        That will be awesome Dr. Ruggiero, keep on with the excelent work.

  3. Martin said

    Hi Dr. Bauer, The importance of those three questions posed to HIV/AIDS skeptics is apparently unimportant or irrelevant to the “scientists” in the Establishment. This is the same situation that Kary Mullis encountered in 1988. When the scientific observations don’t jibe with the “established theory”, they present some convoluted tortured explanation or brush it under the carpet.

  4. Theodore Van Oosbree said

    A similar incident happened recently. Elsevier stopped publication of a paper in a journal it owns (Neurotoxicology) linking brain damage in primates with exposure to thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative used in vaccines). Sir Crispin Davis, who retired in 2009 as CEO of Reed Elsevier, has served since July 2003 on the board of directors of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a major vaccine manufacturer. Who woulda thunk it?

  5. Dear Dr. Bauer:

    I think you have forgotten a first fundamental question you put other times but not now, and that the AIDS establishment should answer before the three questions you formulate in your post:

    “When exactly was it proved that “HIV HAS BEEN ISOLATED” and what are the REFERENCE scientific publications that constitute this proof?”

    And I propose to put one more PRIOR question to be answered not only by AIDS establishment but also by AIDS-dissidents-rethinkers-and-“discerners-of-the-difference-between-Knowledge-and-Dogma-in-AIDS”:

    “When exactly was it proved that “AIDS IS A DISEASE” and what are the REFERENCE scientific publications that constitute this proof?”

    Meanwhile it is not proven that “AIDS is a disease”, I think it is not so important, dear Dr. Ruggiero, if “viral AIDS” or “chemical AIDS”. To change “viral AIDS” by “chemical AIDS” should probably be a way to protect AIDS establishment keeping the first and decisive falsehood: “AIDS is a disease”..

    My best wishes

    Lluís Botinas

    • Henry Bauer said

      Lluis Botinas:
      Yes, you are quite right, the question of genuine isolation of “HIV” — not what the HIV/AIDS Establishment calls isolation — is quite fundamental, because without having a pure preparation of “HIV” authentically isolated from a “person with AIDS” or from an “HIV-positive” person there should not even arise the question, whether “it” causes AIDS.
      On the other hand, I think there’s an historical basis for calling AIDS a disease, or at least a collection of diseases, because in the early 1980s AIDSwas the name given for cases of manifest, life-threatening Kaposi’s sarcoma, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, or candidiasis — though the origin of the acronym AIDS was faulty because “acquired immunedeficiency” had never really been shown to be the “cause” of those ailments. And, of course, progressively from the later 1980s on, the official “definition” of “AIDS diseases” changed very significantly.

  6. What are the dates on the 5 reviews? Did Med Hypoth normally solicit reviews (seems strange since they weren’t peer reviewed)?

    • Henry Bauer said

      David Crowe: These “reviews” were not obatined by Medical Hypotheses. They didn’t exist until Elsevier withdrew the article, appointed a panel, and then enlisted reviewers to justify everything. The reviews bear neither dates nor names.

  7. Dear Dr. Bauer:
    Thanks for your kind answer and your acceptation of the priority of “HIV genuine isolation” “because without having a pure preparation of “HIV” authentically isolated (…) person there should not even arise the question, whether “it” causes AIDS”.
    But I wish to insist in inviting you –and your readers- to truly rethink AIDS. I could say that until now the efforts of the “rethinkers” has been not really “to rethink AIDS” but “to rethink the cause of AIDS” or, maximum, “to rethink the isolation of HIV”. I propose to you and all the “rethinkers” to really rethink AIDS. And to rethink AIDS I consider it is very important to go a step back towards the beginning of AIDS.
    You write in your second paragraph:
    “(…) AIDS was the name given for cases of manifest, life-threatening Kaposi’s sarcoma, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, or candidiasis (…) acronym AIDS was faulty because “acquired immunedeficiency” had never really been shown to be the “cause” of those ailments” (…) the official “definition” of “AIDS diseases” changed very significantly
    But 1) who “gave the name” (first GRID and later AIDS)?; 2) who put together PCP and KS since July 1981?; 3) who included “immunodeficiency” in the first name (GRID) and kept it in the second and definitive name (AIDS)?; 4) who stated that “immunodeficiency was the cause of those (mixed) ailments”?; 5) who has “changed very significantly” several times the definition of AIDS?
    And going through your first paragraph on:
    6) who proclaimed “HIV causes AIDS”?; 7) who supported this not based statement?; 8) who avoided first, falsified later and ridicules always “the question of genuine isolation of “HIV””?
    And coming back to the second paragraph:
    “(…) I think there’s an historical basis for calling AIDS a disease, or at least a collection of diseases (…)”, some more questions:
    9) who wrote the “historical basis for calling AIDS a disease”?; 10) who transformed “a syndrome” in “a disease”?; 11) who added more diseases and so transformed “a syndrome” in “a collection of successively amplified number of diseases”?; 12) who has written until now the history (of the very beginning) of AIDS?
    I think it is totally necessary that you –and your readers- reappraise the origins of this “thing” called AIDS. If not there is a danger the whole framework of your research “on AIDS” being wrong.
    And to be clear I advance to you –and to your readers- that when I just began to do this reoriented “rethinking AIDS” it appeared to me that: A) (almost) always this “who” was the CDC; B) the CDC was constructing step by step a “thing” finally called AIDS; C) AIDS was not and it is not a disease (“a collection of diseases” is not a disease; a collection of old diseases is not a new disease; to put together more and more old diseases inside the “thing” being constructed by the CDC was one of the several tricks used by the CDC to try to built a fake “AIDS epidemic”); D) AIDS is an invention, a gear, a machinery constructed under the leadership of the CDC; E) AIDS is not a disease to be treated (neither alternatively) but a construct to be dismantled; F)…
    Thanks for your attention
    Lluís Botinas
    PD: I’m leaving to the mountain –no Internet, no TV- until the 5 April in order to –finally!!!- finish my book –including, of course, your contribution, Dr. Bauer; thanks again!-
    “HIV/AIDS IS A FICTION. Questions to dismantle AIDS, an invention ‘made in USA’”
    For sure, I’m very interested in your –and your readers- comments to this comment. So I will answer when coming back…

    • Henry Bauer said

      Lluis Botinas:
      I think you make good general points. On the other hand, I think the present “HIV/AIDS” mess came about by quite a large number of relatively small mistakes. A few doctors and researchers jumped to conclusions (for example, “gay” as the defining issue rather than “drug abuser”; or “immunedeficiency” instead of “lifestyle conducing to immunedeficiency”). The CDC followed lines of least resistance politically and also, naturally, adopted mistakes made by its individual members (for example, that correlation proves causation). Gallo took advantage of the situation to mislead his bosses about the strength of his evidence. Some unknown functionaries in the CDC converted reports of “HIV+” in an increasing number of illnesses into making those illnesses “AIDS-defining”.
      I think the very beginning history of “AIDS” has in fact been rather well described, but not in any single place. John Lauritsen, even at the time, pointed to the role of drug abuse, especially poppers, in the early “AIDS” cases, especially KS. Michelle Cochrane has reconstructed the story from original medical records, showing that the earliest cases were NOT “young, previously healthy, gay men” but on average people in their mid- to late 30s with long or at least impressive records of unhealthy living.
      Recently, Tony Lance has shown why PCP and candidiasis — fungal infections — were common among the gay men who exemplified “AIDS”.
      Perhaps we could agree that “AIDS” might best be described as “a phenomenon” rather than a disease or collection of diseases or syndrome; but it’s the details about the specific manifest illnesses and their possible causes, and the misleading nature of “HIV” tests, and the shocking stories of “antiretrovirals”, that — in my opinion — need to be brought to public attention.

      • Martin said

        Hi Dr. Bauer, John Lauritsen did much more than show that AIDS was really for the most part a toxic syndrome of diseases with different causes. He criticised the AIDS acronym almost from the beginning. Several chapters in his book The AIDS War demonstrated the unrelated nature of the diverse diseases, most of which had nothing to do with immunodeficiency.

        As long as the AIDS bandwagon funding keeps going, there is no interest for the Establishment to be introspective — although I would guess a lot of the scientists have but keep it to themselves to protect their jobs. I would gather that a number of these Establishment scientists have pictured an AIDS collapse Armageddon and what the repercussions would be — like how to control the Tsunami once the house of cards collapses.

  8. I’m yet in Barcelona (change of plans), so I may respond quicker than I thought. Thanks again for your constructive answer, Dr. Bauer. For me your two positive answers are very important because it is the first time that an English spoken rethinker begins to discus my approach. I comment your reply.

    In my (future) book I propose two hypotheses about why AIDS was constructed in 1981 in the USA: one “soft” and a second “hard”.

    The soft one seems a copy of your first paragraph: AIDS and HIV/AIDS should be an addition of mistakes, moral prejudices, misunderstandings, social mechanisms, economical interest, media scandal… No special group or organization or clique was organizing the whole thing. But I think that this soft hypothesis only may be right if the hard one should be shown wrong. I propose the hard one later.

    You write: “I think the very beginning history of “AIDS” has in fact been rather well described” and you mention Lauritsen and Cochrane (and you could probably add other names). It is interesting you write AIDS in quotation marks, “AIDS”, but it is necessary to precise what these precautionary measure mean. For me the problem with these books and with “the very beginning history of “AIDS”” is that they were written already inside the wrong paradigm “AIDS is a disease”. Once more, they explain what they see through the glasses they look: as their glasses were “AIDS is a disease” they see and explain the conditions in the “gay liberation milieu” and the political atmosphere in the USA for the appearance of “a disease finally named AIDS”. And this is also valid for Tony Lance’s remark on fungal infections.

    Yes, Dr. Bauer: “(…) we could agree that “AIDS” might best be described as “a phenomenon” rather than a disease (…)”. For me it is a very important conquest to understand and to affirm clearly that “AIDS is not a disease”. But I invite you to go farther because to arrive to the conclusion “AIDS is not a disease” has (at least) two very important consequences:

    1.- Then it is not only useless but (using an expression I learned from you and that I like very much) “debilitating distractions” both:
    1.1.- to look for “the real cause of AIDS” (as do Rethinkers until now once understood that it is false that “HIV is the cause of AIDS”)
    1.2.- and to look for a non-aggressive and bio-logical “treatment of AIDS” (as do Rethinkers until now once understood that HAART is poison).
    If “AIDS is not a disease”, then it is “debilitating distractions” to propose either alternative “causes of AIDS” or alternative “treatments for AIDS”.

    2.- If we agree “AIDS is not a disease” but “a phenomenon”, then the question is: which kind of “phenomenon”? My hard hypothesis is that AIDS must be a “thing” (a construct, an invention, a design, a gear, a setting up, a machinery,…) built step by step in the USA since 1981. And this “thing” must have been built by a decision and with the protection of (parts of) the highest powers of the USA (government, administration…). And the CDC was the practical responsible for executing the whole operation.

    For this reason I think it is very necessary to pay special attention to write the true history of the birth of AIDS not only without “HIV/AIDS” glasses but also without “AIDS-is-a-disease” glasses.

    In this perspective, it is interesting that Martin remember us that: “He (John Lauritsen) criticised the AIDS acronym almost from the beginning. Several chapters in his book The AIDS War demonstrated the unrelated nature of the diverse diseases most of which had nothing to do with immunodeficiency”. Again the question is: who and why put together “diverse diseases of unrelated nature” besides “most of which had nothing to do with immunodeficiency” under the “AIDS acronym” when there is no “Syndrome”, no “Immuno-Deficiency” and no “Acquired”? Was this (and all what happened later) just resulting of an addition of “a large number of relatively small mistakes”? Perhaps. But I consider that the hard hypothesis is much more plausible.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Lluis Botinas:
      My reaction to your “hard” hypothesis expresses also my feeling about much of sociology: that describing the role of institutions is sometimes phrased in terms that make it seem that what happened was deliberate, planned, conscious, wilful — essentially a conspiracy theory. Whereas I believe that it is the whole interconnected system of people and organizations that “causes” such things to happen without anyone wanting them.

  9. John said

    In light of subsequent scares bird flu and swine flu from the epidemiological establishment and their goals and motivations dovetailing with those of the medico-pharamco-military-financial-industrial complex, has anyone considered the possibility that the false AIDS paradigm, rather than by accident and “a bunch of little mistakes”, was made up from whole cloth and planned from the start, (particularly the PR aspects of it) for hegemonic, psyop, social engineering and profiteering purposes?

    • Henry Bauer said

      Yes, many people have suggested such conspiracies. I don’t believe any of them. It’s a matter of mistakes of various sorts at various times by various people for various reasons.

  10. John said

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suspect, in this age of nearly universal deceit from authorities (Saddam’s “yellow cake” purchases from Niger being one of many examples), that in the case of AIDS the king didn’t just forget to put on his clothes, but rather that he or his handlers consciously decided not to wear any, particularly considering the elaborate PR machinery, telling us how fine his royal garments are that was rolled out the day after Heckler made her press conference, and bypassing the usual peer review, making the infection theory both a fait accompli and an unquestionable scientific article of faith from the day the news was announced.

    • Henry Bauer said

      I´m sure Gallo fooled himself into believing, as he had on earlier occasions when he was wrong, but I think he won the day only through being “in the right place at the right time”, especially to influence where NIH research funds would go. I doubt anyone consciously decides not to wear any clothes (in scientific areas) because the risks of being unmasked (?!) are so great, NORMALLY

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