HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Review of “Denying AIDS”

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/04/04

A review of “Denying AIDS” by Seth Kalichman has now been posted at Celia Farber’s newly established website, The Truth Barrier. The reviewer, Claus Jensen, has a long and deep knowledge of HIV/AIDS matters.

10 Responses to “Review of “Denying AIDS””

  1. Martin said

    That was a funny review. The term “Ad Homonym” was especially hilarious. Mr. Kalichman (I just stripped him of his undeserved PhD) is truly an ignorant boob. Anyone who has had a decent grammar education knows that a Homonym is a word that sounds like another but is spelled differently and has a different meaning as well, for instance: “to”, “too” and “two” or “pare”, “pair” and “pear”. I was perplexed when I saw the (pseudo) Latin word-pair in the quotes. I think Claus Jensen may have recognized that it should have been “Ad Hominem” but I’m not sure. But it is apparent that Kalichman didn’t check because a spell checker would not have caught the misspelling.

    As an aside, I love reading Dr. Thomas Szasz’s criticsms of the writings of quacks and pseudo-scientists like B. F. Skinner or Ronald Laing — whose writings are more like the “word salad” of the so-called mental patients they have imprisoned.

  2. lahuesera said

    Dear God! “Ad homonym??” Where was the editor? The proofreader? I must confess a little surprise that an academic publisher could let something like that into print.

  3. Sadun Kal said

    I don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun but I predict that little mistakes like that can also be found in some of the denialists’ books. 😉 But maybe we can blame it on the lack of reviewers. 🙂

    • Henry Bauer said

      Sadun Kal:

      What do you mean by “little mistakes”? Accusing others of paranoia while displaying it oneself? I think Jensen describes rather well how empty is the book’s claim to be an exposition of the psychology of “denialists”. Using specific details like the ludicrous “ad homonym” to inject some humor doesn’t detract from the accuracy of the overall critique, to my mind.

  4. Sadun Kal said

    I’m just referring to Kalichman’s “ad homonyms” as little mistakes. The book itself is a huge mistake as a whole, in my opinion. I liked Jensen’s review too.

  5. Tony Lance said

    Sadun Kal,

    That such an error as “ad homonym”, among many others, made it into this book says a great deal about the quality of editing, fact-checking and proofreading that went into the project. A well-written book, or a newspaper or magazine article, is a collaborative effort between the writer and the editing team. In addition to catching “little mistakes”, good editors challenge (and help) the author to refine their work and tighten their thesis. From all appearances, this didn’t happen in the Kalichman volume.

  6. MacDonald said

    “Ad homonym” is just a small mistake, which shouldn’t be flogged to death, but please remember this is not about Kalichman’s mistakes as much as it is about a publishing house and an industry that encourages and lavishes praise on utter trash, overflowing with obvious mistakes, small as well as great.

    Many people and institutions have exposed themselves for what they are by their rote endorsements of K’s book. For example, have a look at what it says in this plodding, vapid “review” published by K’s own university:

    Denying AIDS, a trade book published by Copernicus Books/Springer Science and written with a science journalist as a coach, seeks to reverse that trend.

    Kalichman has already listed dozens of names of prominent people who have assisted him in writing his book. Here we learn that he has been. . . coached by a science journalist (Jon Cohen?).

    One shudders to think of the result if Kalichman hadn’t had his army of helpers. But these are ultimately the people that have been embarrased by Kalichman’s ad homonyms.

  7. Michael said

    In his distilled diagnosis, Seth Kalichman fails to see he has actually and quite successfully diagnosed himself and transferred his own disowned paranoid personality onto others. Other than his own suspicious nature, why else would he have sought to infiltrate and expose the ‘evil and conspiring denialists’?

    Now look again at the very words of Seth Kalichman, with his own suspiciousness, us-versus-them viewpoint, and his own inability to be objective about any evidence or lack of evidence presented by HIV doubters seems to be utterly lost on him:

    I submit that denialism stems from a conspiracy-theory-prone personality style. We see this in people who appear predisposed to suspiciousness, … Suspiciousness is also commonly characterized by a fear of homosexuality, or even homophobia. A sense of divisiveness brings the suspicious thinker to carve the world into us and them. The distrust of suspicious-thinking people can reach an extreme to which even indisputable objective evidence to the contrary of their beliefs is dismissed and countered. It is then that suspicion buys into conspiracy theories and the suspicious thinker can be called a denialist.

    Herein, this most hilarious aspect of Seth Kalichman’s ‘diagnoss of denialists’ becomes obvious. He has simply disowned his own paranoia and suspicious personality, and is placing it upon the so-called ‘denialists’.

    Seth completely ignores that his own, as well as most of the world’s entire belief in HIV as the cause of AIDS, is simply founded in mass paranoia and suspiciousness, i.e. paranoia of gays, blacks, germaphobia, sexual fears, etc.

    The clearest evidence of the dissidents is the blatant paranoia, as well as in the lack of evidence for HIV, as the theory is insufficiently supported by any science, even after 25 long years and 250 billion dollars spent in researching it. No vaccine, no cure, no isolations from HIV-positive blood sera, no understanding of how HIV could possibly do its dirty work.

    In his own paranoia, it becomes clear that Seth Kalichman, as well as the masses of humanity, are all subject to these common human foibles, and are unable to see from within the state of paranoia, the myriad reasons and causes that highly stressed, self-abusive, disparaged, marginalized, or poverty stricken people are prone to get ill from.

  8. pat said

    “I submit that denialism stems from a conspiracy-theory-prone personality style.”

    First off he “submits”, therefore it is only a (very) crude hypothesis.

    At the same time he unwittingly submits his own conspiracy-theory-prone personality for review by saying he “infiltrated” the higher echelons of this “conspiracy”.

    Maybe there is a colourful pill for such angst that we can recommend?

  9. Cathy said

    Claus Jensen’s review was just brilliant –– very astute and completely on the nose.

    Michael –– yes, yes and yes! Interesting that there has been no response from Mr Sock Puppet self-promotional SK given that he appears to obsessively trawl the blogs for mention of his name.

    My closest friend is homosexual; where does that put me on the “suspiciousness index”? Or am I suffering some kind of weird “cognitive sexual orientation dissonance”?

    MacDonald –– how concerning that he had all those people “helping” him and it still ended up reading like it was written by one of my cats. To be fair, I have edited a lot of PhD level stuff –– having this qualification does not a coherent writer make.

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