HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Archive for April, 2009

Mainstream science wrong again, for two decades

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/04/20

In 1989, I was stunned when I saw, purely by chance, the announcement by Martin Fleischmann and Stan Pons that they had generated in an electrochemical cell energy of a magnitude explainable only by a nuclear and not chemical process. Disbelievers, especially physicists, pooh-poohed the claim, on the basis of first principles and also a few very hurried experiments that could not match what Fleischmann and Pons had developed over the course of years.

Science pundits and groupies, very much including the self-styled “Skeptics” groups, accepted the statements of the physicists as authoritative, and “cold fusion” became as synonymous with proven pseudo-science as astrology, Loch Ness monsters, pyramid power, etc.

Soon there were no research funds from mainstream sources to examine rigorously the claims of Fleischmann and Pons, but dozens and later hundreds of scientists continued to look into the claims with whatever resources they could muster. Reproducibility improved, theoretically plausible explanations were proposed, international conferences were held, but the mainstream continued to dismiss “cold fusion” as disproved.

So I was astonished, as well as pleasantly surprised, to see Martin Fleischmann being asked, last night on “60 Minutes”, how he felt about having his claim vindicated at last: 

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/17/60minutes/main4952167.shtml

“60 Minutes” had persuaded an independent expert to actually examine in detail ongoing experiments in Israel, and he was convinced that there was a source of energy being tapped that exceeded in magnitude what could be explained by chemical processes. He had been among the mainstream pooh-poohers in 1989.

*********************

So here’s another, contemporary, instance where the mainstream wrongly rejected the minority views of highly competent scientists. Fleischmann is as distinguished an electrochemist as Duesberg is a distinguished retrovirologist, but their admitted high achievements didn’t prevent the mainstream the pundits, the science groupies from denigrating them viciously.

If “60 Minutes” were able to persuade an independent biologist — biostatistician or epidemiologist, say — to actually look at the data on positive “HIV” tests, then Duesberg too would be pronounced as finally vindicated.

The mainstream experts refused to look through Galileo’s telescope. They refused to look through the microscope at the bacteria that cause ulcers. They long refused to look at the “cold fusion” experiments. And they continue to refuse to look at what HIV Skeptics and AIDS Rethinkers say, and persistently refuse even to produce the publications that they claim to know about that prove HIV to be the cause of AIDS.

The mainstream Defenders of the HIV/AIDS Faith are the real “denialists” — they are in denial that their Emperor has no clothes.

Posted in experts, prejudice, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Pots and kettles: Is ignorance an excuse? — Kalichman’s Komical Kaper #6

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/04/20

A favorite tactic of AIDStruthers, including Kalichman (e.g., p. 71 in “Denying AIDS”), is to dismiss without further ado anything said by AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics on the grounds that they have never done any AIDS research themselves. As I pointed out in “Science Studies 101: Why is HIV/AIDS ‘science’ so unreliable?” [18 July 2008]:

“HIV/AIDS vigilantes like to denigrate rethinkers for not having had their hands dirtied by direct research on the matters they discuss. Historians and sociologists of science, however, know that some of the most acclaimed breakthroughs were made by disciplinary outsiders, who were not blinkered and blinded by the contemporary paradigm (24, 25). . . .
24. Ernest B. Hook (ed.), Prematurity in Scientific Discovery: On Resistance and Neglect, University of California Press, 2002.
25. Henry H. Bauer, The progress of science and implications for science studies and for science policy, Perspectives on Science 11 (#2, 2003) 236-78.”

At the same time as the Guardians of the HIV/AIDS Faith insist that it’s worth attending only to people who have themselves worked in a given specialty, those same Guardians of the Faith apparently feel themselves perfectly qualified to hold forth on matters of science in general and of pseudo-science in particular without having themselves done any scholarly research into those matters, indeed without displaying knowledge of even the rudiments of those subjects. They are ignorant even about aspects of Science Studies where they might be thought to have some insight, as when a clinical/social psychologist makes the stunningly ludicrous assertion that “Scientists are by their nature and training systematic and objective” (“Kalichman’s Komical Kaper #2: The Social Psychology of Scientists”, 14 March 2009).

Kalichman further ventures the astonishing and equally ludicrous assertion that one can discuss pseudo-science without first identifying criteria by which to distinguish science from what isn’t science: “Fortunately, we do not have to define science to understand pseudoscience” (p. 57).
The most cursory consideration reveals that statement as utter nonsense. If you offer me a pseudo-apple, the only way I can know it’s pseudo is if I could  recognize a real apple. “Pseudo-science” surely means something that masquerades as science but isn’t the real article; if one cannot recognize real science, then one cannot recognize pseudo-science. Generations of philosophers and other specialists have tried every which way, unsuccessfully*, to find a definitive set of criteria by which to distinguish science from non-science, pseudo-science, pathological science**, “cargo-cult” science, and all the other pejorative terms that Guardians of The Only True Faiths like to toss around:

“Self-styled ‘skeptics’ (26) like to denigrate heterodox views as ‘pseudo-science’ just because those views are heterodox, ignorant of the fact that there are no general criteria available by which to judge whether something is ‘scientific’; and they tend to be also ignorant of the fact that ‘scientific’ cannot be translated as ‘true’ (2, 27, 28). . . .
2. Henry H. Bauer, Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method, University of Illinois Press, 1992. . . .
26. The mother of all “skeptical” groups is CSICOP, publisher of Skeptical Inquirer; see George P. Hansen, “CSICOP and the Skeptics: an overview”, Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 86 (#1, 1992) 19-63.
27. Chapters 1-3, 6, 7 in reference 9.
28. Henry H. Bauer, Science or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies, University of Illinois Press, 2001.”

Kalichman claims to rely on “standard definitions of pseudoscience” (p. xv) — of which none exist, if “standard” has its usual meaning of accepted throughout the pertinent intellectual community. He lists a number of purported attributes of pseudo-science (p. 57 ff.) — all of them easily deconstructed as invalid — yet doesn’t even pretend to show how any of those are supposed to be exemplified by AIDS Rethinkers or HIV Skeptics. According to Kalichman, moreover, “Pseudoscience, which is not science at all, differs from bad science and junk science, which are science but utilize faulty methodologies to draw incorrect conclusions” —
What on earth does he mean? Is he implying that pseudo-science doesn’t utilize faulty methodologies to draw incorrect conclusions?! What distinction is he trying to draw between his notion of pseudo-science and his notions of bad science or junk science — neither of which he defines beyond the just cited sentence?

This colossal and cavalier ignorance about what science is and how it works leads Kalichman even to adduce, as examples to support his case, instances that actually point exactly in the opposite direction:

“Scientists who hold views outside of the mainstream play an important role in truth seeking. Dissident scientists do not agree with the prevailing theory or do not accept the body of accumulated observations as fact. The importance of dissidence in science is unquestionable, with many celebrated examples throughout history. Revolutions in how we think about our world come from those who move science in new directions. We remember the dissident scientists who changed the way we think. Galileo Galilei changed how we view our universe. Albert Einstein changed how we contemplate space and time. Alfred Wegener changed how we think about the formation of our planet. Charles Darwin changed our view of life. Sigmund Freud changed how we view ourselves. Dissident scientists turn into revolutionaries when their thinking causes science to shift course. Science surely values diverse thinkers, dissent, disagreement, and vigorous debate. How those of us outside of a respective field of science distinguish between genuine dissidence and destructive attempts to undermine the science is a far more complicated matter” (p. 6).

No, my dear Kalichman, it’s not at all a complicated matter to understand how people outside  a field — or inside a field, for that matter — “distinguish between genuine dissidence and destructive attempts to undermine the science”: the long-demonstrated fact is that they don’t so distinguish because they cannot; no one can. As history tells us, devotees of a mainstream consensus regard all dissidence as destructive, just as you and the other AIDStruthers regard AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics as destructive just because we question the orthodox dogma. Objectively speaking, however, making the distinction is not so much a complicated matter as literally impossible. How can contemporaries distinguish the crank from the genius? As Albert Einstein acknowledged, “There is no objective test” ***.

In point of fact, every one of these former dissidents cited by Kalichman to illustrate how we revere revolutionaries actually illustrates the very opposite. All of them were anything but revered by their contemporaries, ranging from being ignored to being attacked viciously. Galileo’s troubles are well known, and his name has even become the standard example in the conventional wisdom about people who were right even when the authoritative experts pronounced them wrong and wanted them to recant. Darwin and Freud were persistently opposed both by scientists and by non-scientists. Alfred Wegener is one of Gunther Stent’s textbook examples of “premature discovery”, so far ahead of his contemporaries that it was the best part of half a century before his claims were vindicated — posthumously by about 35 years. One of the reasons Wegener’s ideas were ignored or dismissed by earth scientists was, of course, that Wegener was an outsider, not an earth scientist. As to Albert Einstein, the Nobel Committee was careful to note that he was being awarded the Nobel Prize “in particular” for studies relating to quantum theory , not for the then-still-controversial theory of relativity; that disclaimer is somewhat reminiscent of the manner on which Scientific American (May 2007, 53-59) recently prefaced Duesberg’s invited presentation of his views on aneuploidy and cancer:
“Editors’ note: The author, Peter Duesberg, a pioneering virologist, may be well known to readers for his assertion that HIV is not the cause of AIDS. The biomedical community has roundly rebutted that claim many times. Duesberg’s ideas about chromosomal abnormality as a root cause for cancer, in contrast, are controversial but are being actively investigated by mainstream science. We have therefore asked Duesberg to explain that work here. This article is in no sense an endorsement by SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN of his AIDS theories.”

Yes indeed, my dear Kalichman, “Revolutions in how we think about our world come from those who move science in new directions”. But if it were up to people like you, it would never happen, because according to you, only the specialists have a right to an opinion. Except, of course, when it comes to history of science or philosophy of science or sociology of science or science & technology studies, where outsiders like yourself think themselves somehow qualified to speak even though they lack the most elementary familiarity with the matters they address.

—————————
* Larry Laudan, “The demise of the demarcation problem”, pp. 111-27 in Physics, Philosophy and Psychoanalysis, ed. R. S. Cohen & L. Laudan, Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1983
** Henry H. Bauer, “‘Pathological Science’ is not Scientific Misconduct (nor is it pathological)”, HYLE (International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry), 8 (#1, April 2002) 5-20
*** I. Bernard Cohen, “An interview with Einstein”, Scientific American, July 1955, 69-73

Posted in experts, HIV skepticism, prejudice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

April 23 talk in Los Angeles

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/04/18

I’ll be talking about how I came to write my book, about the failings of HIV/AIDS theory, and I’ll be responding to comments and questions, on April 23 at a meeting at the Fairfax Senior Center, 7929 Melrose, Los Angeles, starting 6.30 pm.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS | 4 Comments »

No-News News from the CDC

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/04/18

A trusty correspondent had alerted me to another “hot off the press” release about HIV/AIDS from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, summarized thus by Reuters (HIV/AIDS news — Feb 23, 2009):

“U.S. AIDS cases cluster in cities, report finds”

Anyone even remotely familiar with the HIV/AIDS story would gasp in astonishment — not at the fact that AIDS cases cluster in cities, of course, but that anyone would bother pointing it out; after all, AIDS was first identified when it appeared in a few large cities. But perhaps this can be made to seem like a new development for those who are perpetually ignorant and for “news” services like Reuters that apparently have no memory or archive files:

“Most Americans infected with the AIDS virus live in cities, with 10 states accounting for 71 percent of cases, according to new [note “new”] data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC breakdown shows that 85 percent of all reported cases of HIV infection were in large U.S. metropolitan areas, up from 82 percent in 2007.
By the end of 2007, a total of 1,051,875 people [note the customary CDC penchant for feigned accuracy, here to 1 in a million, left as such by the statistically ignorant media] were infected with the AIDS virus since it was identified in the early 1980s, the CDC found. That included 37,041 new cases [accuracy only 1 in 37,000 here; but it’s AN ESTIMATE, so it’s doubly ludicrous to write 37,041 rather than  37,000] in 2007.
. . .
Last year the CDC reported on its new way of calculating [an anti-euphemism for “estimating”] HIV infection rates and said that 56,300 people became newly infected in the United States in 2006.  . .  .”

I have this unfortunate compulsion to track data to their source whenever possible, so I went to the CDC website and looked at the origin of this “new” information.  That brought me to the recently published HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2007; vol. 19, 2009 . I experienced the customary irritation at the number of Tables that are “estimates”, and shrugged my shoulders at the customary inconsistencies: according to Table 16, reported AIDS cases for 2007 were 37,281 for the 50 States and 38,384 if dependencies were included; on the other hand, according to Table 4, the estimate of new AIDS diagnoses in 2007, including dependencies, is 37,041; a rare (for the CDC) and hard-to-explain situation, one might think, when an estimate is LOWER than the actual report.

From Table 16, here are the 10 top states, with numbers of cases:
CA 4952; NY 4810; FL 396;1 TX 2964; GA 1877;  PA 1750; MD 1394; IL 1348;  NJ 1164;  NC 1024; combined total =  25,244, which represents 68% of the overall total, whether you use 37,041 or 37,281 — not the 71% given in the Reuters report.

Now look at the same States  as reported for 1985 by the CDC:
3638 (CA), 5473 (NY), 1078 (FL), 844 (TX), 289 (GA), 344 (PA), 229 (MD), 353 (IL), 960 (NJ), 89 (NC); combined total 13,297, representing 84% of the overall total of 15,905.

For 1990, those same 10 States accounted for 74% of all AIDS cases.

In terms of States, in other words, there is if anything less clustering than there was in the past; it has been decreasing steadily over the years.

*********************

When it come to large metropolitan areas, again the CDC’s own numbers don’t bear out what their words say. By 1985, 57% of all AIDS cases had been reported from 5 metropolitan areas (New York, San Francisco, Miami, Newark, Los Angeles). In 1990, those areas represented only  32% of all AIDS cases (13,823  of 43,339); in 2007, those 5 areas accounted for only 26% (9,905 out of 38,128).

Again, the opposite of what’s implied by the CDC press release and the media reports. There is less clustering now than in the past, not more.

(One possible reason for a misleading appearance of increased clustering, if one compares not specific metropolitan areas but the total of all metropolitan regions, is that the number of “large metropolitan areas”, namely >500,000 people, has increased during the last quarter century. The proclaimed change from 82% to 85% in a single year, on the other hand, is more likely to be a stochastic fluctuation than a statistically significant difference.)

For the last decade or so, official statistics have blurred distinctions between “HIV-positive” and “AIDS”. However, given that the criterion for “AIDS” necessarily includes “HIV-positive”, one can compare contemporary data about distributions of “AIDS” or of “HIV/AIDS” with earlier data on “HIV-positive”. Everything that’s now being said in these “No-News News” releases from the CDC shows that there’s been no significant change in the distribution of “HIV” between urban, non-urban, and intermediate regions since the very beginning of the “epidemic”. I showed in my book (p. 66 ff.) that the geographic distribution of “HIV” in the United States could be calculated using only two variables, the composition of each State by race and the degree of urban concentration in each State, with rough estimates that “HIV” is twice as common in urban areas as in semi-urban ones, and twice as common there as in rural areas. In 2006-2007, the relative rates were (Table 17 of CDC report for 2007) 15.7 per 100,000 in metropolitan areas (≥500,000 people) and 7.75/100,000 in smaller population centers  (50,000-500,000), a ratio of 2.03, and 5.3/100,000 elsewhere (ratio of semi-urban to elsewhere, 1.46); those ratios of 2.03 and 1.46 compare quite remarkably well with the rough estimates of 2 and 2 that I had used on the basis of data a decade ago. There has been no significant change in the clustering of “HIV-positives” in urban versus semi-urban versus non-urban regions over the whole course of the “epidemic”.

As I’ve repeated ad nauseam, the demographics of “HIV” tests are stable geographically during a period of a quarter of a century: that marks “HIV-positive” as reflecting something that is endemic, not a contagious epidemic.

It’s not only the geographic distribution that has remained constant. It’s also that matter of the age at which people most commonly test positive, 35-45 (Table 1 in the 2007 report).

The median age for NEW infections was 35.1 (Table 3).

The median age of death from AIDS (Table 8, cumulative to 2007) is 40.3. As I’ve emphasized before, the concentration of new infections, most common age of testing positive, median age of AIDS diagnosis, and median age of death from AIDS are all clustered in the 35-45 range of ages (Deaths from “HIV disease”: Why has the median age drifted upwards?, 18 February 2009; Least susceptible = most affected?! More HIV/AIDS nonsense, 22 February 2009). That makes no sense for a disease that’s supposed to be sexually transmitted (greatest risk of infection among adolescents and young adults), with a latent period averaging 10 years before illness sets in, followed since the mid-1990s by treatment with drugs that are so life-saving that HIV/AIDS is supposed to have become a chronic, manageable disease.

Even prominent AIDS activists who toe the official theory-line die prematurely after receiving, one presumes with good reason, the best available treatment. Among the well known AIDS activists who died during the HAART era (see “’AIDS’ deaths: owing to antiretroviral drugs or to lack of antiretroviral treatment?”, 2 October 2008 ), 18 men died at an average age of 45.7 years and 8 women at an average age of 48.5. Of those 26,  8 died of heart failure, 1 of liver failure, another of kidney as well as liver failure, 2 of brain disease, and 1 of pneumonia; for the others, no specific cause of death was given in the media reports. (I excluded from the age calculation two individuals who died at early ages but who had been “diagnosed” as children.) So among those for whom specific information is available, at least 10 of 13 died of drug “side” effects that cause organ failure, and a maximum of 3 died of what might have been “HIV/AIDS”. That’s consistent with what the NIH Treatment Guidelines say: “In the era of combination antiretroviral therapy, . . . the risk of several non-AIDS-defining conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, liver-related events, renal disease, and certain non-AIDS malignancies . . . is greater than the risk for AIDS . . . .” (p. 13, January 2008; p. 21, November 2008).

And the racial disparities, too, are the same as always and everywhere:

nonews1

And of course the racial disparities in children (<13) are similar to those among adults (Table 5):

nonews2

The CDC is proud of its newly deployed technique for estimating NEW “infections” by “HIV”. Here are the demographics for that in 2006 (Table 3):
Black rate relative to whites = 7.3 (male 5.9, female 14.7; numbers for other races are too small to allow meaningful comparison).

Once again, within the validity of the numbers, the same as throughout the whole HIV/AIDS era.  As documented in my book, data from up to a decade earlier showed very similar ratios, moreover across all observed social sectors. Whether they are soldiers, marines, sailors, members of the Job Corps, new mothers, babies, gay men, drug abusers — in every tested group, blacks test “HIV-positive” at rates of ~7 (males)  to ~20 (females) times more than whites; and Asians always test “HIV-positive” less often than whites, on average about 2/3 as often. And Native American do so about 1½ to 2 times more frequently than whites. How can anyone believe that these ESSENTIALLY CONSTANT ratios reflect different habits as to sexual promiscuity and drug abuse?
(Although the CDC always gives data also for Hispanics, this is an ethnic and not a racial [genetic] category. As noted in my book, so far as likelihood of testing “HIV-positive” goes, black Hispanics are like other blacks and non-black Hispanics are similar to Native Americans. It’s a matter of genes, not behavior.)

***************

Obviously, some “experts” in data handling spend time looking at these numbers, presumably with considerable care, if only to do the calculations involved in deriving the “estimates”. Why have they not been stunned, incredulous, at the constancy of the demographic variables?

Chiefly because, I suggest, it’s not their job to think about it. One of the least recognized aspects of “science” is the degree to which it’s done by journeymen, people just doing what they’re told to do; and, particularly in government bureaucracies, raising doubts about what’s being done, and why, is not often welcomed.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV and race, HIV in children, HIV varies with age, HIV/AIDS numbers, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

A “complicated arrangement” — Chapter 3 of Jekyll-Kalichman-Hyde-Newton

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/04/16

“Kalichman’s” book describes his interactions with “denialists” as involving “complicated arrangements” (p. xiv), the nature of which he failed to explain to his readers (How not to create a persona: Kalichman’s Komical Kaper #4, 29 March 2009). Once one knows that the interactions were with “Newton” and not with Kalichman, it becomes clear why things were complicated: Kalichman-Newton had to bear in mind what they had said to whom, and in which persona (Newton was sometimes “HIV-positive”, sometimes negative but with an “HIV-positive” “friend”, sometimes “just wanting to understand”, other times an enthusiastic supporter of Rethinking). Kalichman appeared never to suspect that the “Newton” personas were skating on implausibly thin ice because “Newton” was so untrue to life. One thing that made him so unnatural was an odd mixture of specialized knowledge and feigned ignorance; while he generally tried to appear naïve and gullible, at other times he revealed some of his anti-denialist prejudices:

“I am concered that the dissidents are discrediting Rethinking with such confused and mixed messages. It looks amateur. Very internally inconsistent.
Maybe you should form a task force to get the Rethinking act together, on the same page. Maybe a blue ribbon (not red ribbon) panel??
Maybe Dr. Bauer should head it up…. I would not have the meeting in Germany, maybe hold a meeting in Loch Ness??
ha ha.
I dont know Mr. Crowe…seems like Rethinking needs to do some Re-Rethinking” (June 2008).

Did Kalichman-as-Newton imagine that we “denialists” were not in touch with one another? At the same time as he was sneering to Crowe about my interest in Nessies, he was writing to me:

“On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 08:29:54 -0400, Joseph Newton <joecnewton@gmail.com> wrote:
…….I suggested to Mr. Crowe that you lead a Blue Ribbon Panel to get the confusion out of Rethinking AIDS…like maybe Re-thinking Straight about AIDS. I suggested a meeting, perhaps in the lovely setting of Loch Ness, which I know you know so well.”

“Thursday, July 03, 2008 10:36:23 PM
By the way, I have attached a picture of a Nessie. I think it is a classic picture. Are you familiar with this specific image and who is credited taking the picture?”

The attached picture was the one most commonly reproduced in the media, significant enough to “AIDS denialism” to warrant inclusion in Kalichman’s book at p. 72. Again this ridiculous mixture of feigned naivety and inside knowledge: He knew of my interest in Loch Ness, yet asked me about something that I’ve answered publicly on my website. I remain uncomprehending as to how he could think he was fooling me into treating him as someone making genuine inquiries.

This was around the time that “Newton’s” e-mails had been traced to the University of Connecticut, and Crowe couldn’t resist needling Kalichman-Newton:
“To: “Joseph Newton” <joecnewton@gmail.com>
From: David Crowe <David.Crowe@aras.ab.ca>

Joseph;
….
Perhaps you could investigate whether Seth C. Kalichman has any conflicts of interest. He has published a lot of papers recently, he must be well-funded, and stands to lose all that.
Nice picture of him with Treatment Activist Nicoli Nattrass at:
Seth Kalichman and Nicoli Nattrass
For example, Kalichman is on the paid staff of the ‘AIDS Survival Project’ which lists among its sponsors Boehringer-Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead, Abbott, Roche, Pfizer, even the CDC. Of course, they don’t say if the drug companies contributed more than perhaps Best Cleaners.

Click to access AnnualReport2006.pdf


– David”

We also gave “Newton” the opportunity to come clean, on more than one occasion:
“Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 8:00 PM
From: David Crowe <David.Crowe@aras.ab.ca>
Subject: verification…
Bcc: Henry Bauer <hhbauer@fan.cc.vt.edu>
Joseph;
I know this is going to sound weird, but we have been having a problem recently with infiltration, people posing as dissidents who are actually gathering information for groups like “The Body” and aidstruth.
I would like you to provide me with some proof of your existence. A scan of a utility bill, school registration, or other official forms with your name and address. Also tell me whether you’ve ever been HIV tested, and what kinds of tests, I have some information on this that I can verify.
This is all voluntary of course, but it would help raise my level of confidence that you’re being straight with me.
Regards,
David Crowe”

But lying was “Newton’s” life blood, so it seems:
“Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 01:29:22 -0400
From: “Joseph Newton” <joecnewton@gmail.com>
To: “David Crowe” <David.Crowe@aras.ab.ca>
Subject: Re: verification…
Geeeze Mr. Crowe. You are right, that does sound weird. Sort or paranoid actually. But I think I understand.
I can assure that I have always been straight with you. As I told you from the start, I am a student of public health interested in alternative views on AIDS. I am not from The Body and I am not with AIDSTruth.com
You make it sound like a war between the dissidents and the orthodoxy. I can understand that too given some of the nasty exchanges on the blogosphere that I have observed.
But still, verifying me? I mean, is there anything that you have emailed me that you would not have if I were not a dissident? It seems that you have only told me the way you see it. I cannot think of anything you have said that I have not seen on the Rethinking AIDS. Or do I have that wrong? Have you indeed disclosed secrets to me?
I suppose if you have disclosed things to me that you would not have if I were not a dissident then I should do the verification. But I would be interested to know what I have been privy to that you would not have shared with me otherwise.
Best regards and will be back in touch soon.
Joseph”

[Absolutely no doubt, of course, that “Newton” was interested in finding out whether he had actually gleaned some secret information without realizing it. In point of fact, an e-mail marked as confidential had been distributed among some Rethinkers in order to be “shared” with suspected “moles”, of whom “Newton” was one.]

As it happens, Professor Seth C Kalichman had sometimes been openly in touch with David Crowe, President of Rethinking AIDS, as well as surreptitiously as “Newton”, and he renewed this correspondence at almost this time:
“Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 09:34:31 -0400
….
From: “Kalichman, Seth” <seth.k@uconn.edu>
To: <David.Crowe@aras.ab.ca>
….
Hello David Crowe. We have corresponded in the past and you were really quite helpful.
I am writing to see if you can help me identify whether a couple images on the Rethinking AIDS website (for which I know you are President) are copyrighted? The images concern AZT, the ‘deadguy’ and ‘deadgal’ images. If they in the public domain or if whoever holds copyright gives permission, I am interested in using them in some of my work on HIV treatment beliefs and treatment perceptions.
Can you help me with this infromation?
Thank you.
Seth C. Kalichman
Professor”

Perhaps he was checking to see whether “Newton’s” protestations of innocence had been accepted. But if he wanted to disavow a connection, he should have deployed better syntax and fewer typos. Indeed, this e-mail from Prof Seth C Kalichman makes me wonder whether I was wrong in inferring that he deliberately had “Newton” commit typos and non-syntactical language to induce a lowering of guards; perhaps these infelicities are inherently characteristic of Kalichman himself?!?!

At any rate, Kalichman and “Newton” were apparently reassured that the secret of their identity was safe, for some months later Bauer heard from — ?him ?them — again. This time he was —they were? — shedding crocodile tears:
“From: “Joseph Newton” <joecnewton@gmail.com>
To: hhbauer@vt.edu

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 12:40:03 -0400
Hello Dr. Bauer
I hope you are well
I just learned that Rebecca Culshaw has lost her job. I saw a web posting saying something about how she has terminated.
This makes me so sad I cannot believe it! What is happening, with her being fired, Andew Maniotis being fired, President Mbeki being fired…I mean you and Dr. Duesberg are so lucky be professors with tenure, I guess.
Anyway, was not sure you knew about this I am sure you would want to know because she has been so supportive of your wor.
Fired! I just cannot believe it is true!
Best regards
Joe”

Posted in HIV absurdities, HIV skepticism, Legal aspects, prejudice | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »