STOPPING THE HIV/AIDS BANDWAGON—-Part II
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2008/02/01
My earlier post about this [HOW CAN THE HIV/AIDS BANDWAGON BE STOPPED?, 27 January 2008] brought a gratifying number of useful comments.
There seems to be general agreement that the mainstream scientific community will not spontaneously or willingly change its view on HIV/AIDS, even as the evidence against it continues to mount and anomalies and incongruities accumulate. That’s the lesson of some two decades. This is then a natural starting point for considering strategies that might help toward producing change.
There’s also general agreement over the somewhat related point that it’s not just a matter of what the science does or does not prove, because such a vast array of people and organizations apart from the scientific community benefit in some manner from the present situation. Not that they are willfully selfish or that they deliberately ignore the evidence, it’s a matter of cognitive dissonance, a psychological phenomenon that makes it difficult if not impossible to grasp anything that runs too severely against deeply ingrained beliefs. People came to benefit from the HIV/AIDS industry because they believed HIV/AIDS theory, and they believe they are doing worthwhile things.
Scientists are no less subject to cognitive dissonance than everyone else, and that serves as a partial explanation for the fact that unorthodox claims in science are routinely resisted (see, for example, Hook, “Prematurity in Scientific Discovery”).
For one example among innumerable available ones: Max Planck placed the foundational piece of what became quantum theory, but—like most great innovators—he was initially opposed vigorously by the pooh-bahs of the Establishment. In his memoirs, he made the remark often cited by dissidents in all fields but apparently not known to run-of-the-mill journeymen scientists: “New truths do not triumph by convincing their opponents, they win out because a new generation replaces the old one” (a free translation from German); which has also been paraphrased as “Science progresses funeral by funeral”.
At any rate, it seems evident enough that change as to HIV/AIDS will only come as the result of pressure from social or political forces external to the medical-scientific establishment. Those forces must be sufficiently influential to stand against the colossal combination of interests vested in HIV/AIDS. They must be able to force a public discussion of all the evidence in a way that allows full airing of the variety of interpretations. Where might dissidents turn to enlist such forces?
Obvious places to look are among those who are being most hurt by what’s presently happening. That means anyone who tests HIV-positive or may at some future time test positive. Here everyone is truly at risk, for anyone might be unfortunate enough to have a test administered just after they’ve been vaccinated against flu, or when pregnant, or when they are more likely to test HIV-positive for some other of the many possible reasons. And if someone tests HIV-positive, they will at once be emotionally shattered, and thereupon almost certainly debilitated physically by antiretroviral drugs.
Though everyone is truly at risk in this way, the danger is greater for some people than for others. As a class, gay men are particularly at risk because they tend to be tested more often than most, and they tend to test HIV-positive more often than most; as do drug abusers; as do TB patients; as do hemophiliacs; as do African Americans. Might any of those groups offer the possibility of forceful organized action against HIV/AIDS dogma?
The trouble is, these high-risk people understand no better than the general public what the risk is. They think it’s “HIV/AIDS”. Only after experiencing what goes with testing positive do some people learn that HIV = AIDS is a dreadful illusion that has caused them tangible harm. Some learn it from personal experience of series of inconsistent tests; some learn it through being unable to tolerate the antiretroviral drugs and trying to live without them and finding that to work; some learn it through losing friends and loved ones. But few people even in the highest-risk groups come to question HIV/AIDS dogma before it affects them directly in some way.
So: The endeavor to enlist the people who would most benefit from toppling the paradigm, who are most at risk under current circumstances, presents the same problem as that of convincing the media and the general public; they have to be made to understand what’s wrong with HIV = AIDS before they have a really direct incentive to question the orthodox view. This starts to look like a circular discussion. Anyone who voices the dissident view is automatically dismissed as either crazy or an old fool (both terms recently applied to me by a medical scientist asked by a friend to comment on my book). What’s needed is an emotional, psychological, human-interest hook so powerful that it is at least competitive with the belief that’s been ingrained in almost everyone by the constant media refrain of “HIV, the virus that cause AIDS”. The emotional hook must also be strong enough to shake the general belief that official statements about medicine and science can be relied on.
Are there candidates for such psychologically powerful hooks?
I can think of two: for gay men, the issue of homophobia; for African Americans, the matter of racism.
I can suggest two other possible avenues for change that don’t entail such strong emotional charge but enlist forces in society that have the requisite power:
1. Legal actions. Maybe HIV/AIDS “science” could be forced to defend itself in a court of law where dissident arguments could be aired. Perhaps it might be possible to sue a laboratory that carries out HIV tests, since it presumably certifies—against the manufacturers’ test-kit disclaimers—that those tests detect infection by HIV; or perhaps in some case where an HIV-positive person is charged with endangering sexual partners, a lawyer might find a way to have the scientific issues argued. The Parenzee case represents one such attempt, so far unsuccessful (“Can we learn from Parenzee?”).
2. Perhaps Congress could be persuaded to hold hearings about the utterly disproportionate amount of research funds directed towards HIV/AIDS in comparison to diseases that affect vastly more people, like heart disease, diabetes, cancer:
Even once the scientific issues are raised publicly, however, there will still remain a matter over which dissidents must come to agree if there is to be truly coherent action: which part of the scientific story should be emphasized as decisive disproof of HIV/AIDS theory? While all dissidents agree that HIV has not been proven to be the cause of AIDS, there are differing views on just about everything else: Does HIV even exist? What caused AIDS? What causes AIDS now? What does a positive HIV-test signify? And more.
I’ve suggested (“Can we learn from Parenzee?“) that the best strategy will be to concentrate on the simplest point, the most readily proved one, the one most readily understandable by the largest range of people. Recent e-mail discussions indicate that the most appropriate point, and one generally acceptable among dissidents, might be the lack of validity of HIV tests for diagnosing infection by HIV. After all, the instructions accompanying test kits (aras.ab.ca/HIVTestInformation.zip at http://aras.ab.ca/test.html) acknowledge that they cannot be used to diagnose infection. Further to that, the data collected in my book show that HIV tests do not track an infectious agent