HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘Celia Farber’

AIDStruth.org and its origin

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/06/19

When a website labels itself as some sort of “truth”, it’s natural to wonder why its creators feel the need to do so. If it actually conveys truth, that would soon become obvious. In this case, the opposite soon became obvious. AIDStruth.org was set up by vigilantes determined to defend the indefensible HIV = AIDS dogma, which is perpetually endangered as “lifesaving” drugs disable and kill and as absurdities multiply.

The immediate impetus for establishing AIDStruth.org had been Celia Farber’s article, “Out of Control: AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science” (Harper’s, March 2006), which described the death of a pregnant woman, Joyce Hafford, who had been participating in a clinical trial of “antiretroviral” drugs to determine what the “treatment-limiting toxicities” might be. One wonders how any Human Subjects Review Board anywhere would approve such a trial, let alone a trial that enrolled pregnant women. In plainer words, such an experiment administers toxic substances in increasing amounts until signs of toxic harm become obvious.
The drugs being compared were Viracept (nelfinavir) and Viramune (nevirapine), which were used in combination with AZT (Retrovir, zidovudine) and Epivir (lamivudine). The toxicities of all those drugs were well known before Hafford was subjected to them in 2003.
The deadly toxicity of AZT was particularly well known. It was the first “antiretroviral” drug, and some 150,000 “HIV-positive” individuals had died under AZT “treatment” over about a decade (“HAART saves lives — but doesn’t prolong them!?”).
As for “Nevirapine (Viramuneä)”, the NIH Treatment Guidelines (4 February 2002) had already described its life-threatening “side” effects:
“ • Severe, life-threatening hepatotoxicity, including fulminant and cholestatic hepatitis, hepatic necrosis, and hepatic failure. Patients should be advised to seek medical evaluation immediately should signs and symptoms of hepatitis occur.
• Severe, life-threatening, and even fatal skin reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and hypersensitivity reactions characterized by rash, constitutional findings, and organ dysfunction have occurred with nevirapine treatment”.

But vigilante defenders of HIV/AIDS orthodoxy were distraught that such a respectable mainstream magazine as Harper’s would bring to wide attention the truth about the reckless manner in which toxic “antiretroviral drugs” are tested on unwary individuals and subsequently prescribed to equally unwary “HIV-infected” individuals.

AIDStruth.org’s “website was developed in March, 2006, by Bob Funkhouser of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Nathan Geffen of The Treatment Action Campaign, Dr. John P. Moore of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Dr. Bette Korber of Los Alamos National Laboratory. It is hosted by The Treatment Action Campaign” (Wayback Machine snapshot, 16 March 2006).

It is worth noting that these and other HIV/AIDS vigilantes habitually denigrate statements from people like Peter Duesberg by pointing out that they have never actually done research on HIV or on AIDS. But among the AIDStruth groupies, only Moore has the distinction of being an actual researcher in this field, and his accomplishments include a completely unsuccessful search for an HIV microbicide and the synthesis of an “HIV” that self-destructed spontaneously (Layne SP, Merges MJ, Dembo M, Spouge JL, Conley SR, Moore JP, Raina JL, Renz H, Gelderblom HR, Nara PL, “Factors underlying spontaneous inactivation and susceptibility to neutralization of human immunodeficiency virus”, Virology, 189 [1992] 695-714).

By 3 January 2007, there had been added to the AIDStruth team the economist Professor Nicoli Nattrass, Director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit, University of Cape Town, the activist Richard Jeffreys of the Treatment Action Group, the lawyer Jeanne Bergman of HealthGAP, and another activist, Gregg Gonsalves of the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (but still listed as developing the website in March 2006). More people who had not themselves done any actual research in this field.

By 27 January 2008, the “AIDS Truth team members” were listed as “(in alphabetical order):
· Dr. Nicholas Bennett, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Syracuse, New York
· Dr. Jeanne Bergman, The Center for HIV Law and Policy in New York City
· Martin Delaney, Founding director of Project Inform
· Dr. Brian Foley, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
· Bob Funkhouser, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
· Nathan Geffen, Treatment Action Campaign, Cape Town, South Africa
· Gregg Gonsalves, AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa
· Dr. Bette Korber, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
· Dr. John P. Moore, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York City
· Dr. Nicoli Nattrass, Director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa
· Ken Witwer, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland”

By 26 July 2009, designated as “past contributors” were Delaney (deceased), Jeffreys, Funkhouser, and Moore. Added was Eduard Grebe (AIDS and Society Research Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa).

By 26 January 2010, Funkhouser was again a team member, and this remains the team except that former graduate student Witwer is now Dr. Witwer.

 

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism, Legal aspects | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Family of Rethinking AIDS

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/11/15

[Here’s a pdf of this post]

 

RA2009, the conference held by Rethinking AIDS (RA) in Oakland, 6-8 November, was an extraordinary success in every possible way. It exceeded wildly any reasonable expectations.

That’s not just my opinion. The RA Board meeting on Sunday evening, the later get-together for speakers at the Duesberg’s, various “au revoir”s on Sunday, all assured me that my own feelings were fully shared by many others. In the last few days, e-mails and Facebook threads and the like have further underscored how many of us remain incredulous over the blessing of having participated in this unforgettable bit of human history. RA2009 was a success not just from a scientific or intellectual point of view but also in its demonstration of deeply shared commitment and in the exhilaration felt at such unstinted commonality of purpose among so large a contingent of people representing the full spectrum of humankind.

We will be digesting the experience for a long time to come, but one insight came to me already on the Monday morning after the meeting. As I woke up, my mind was buzzing “The Family of Man!” Subconsciously while asleep, I had evidently encapsulated, this extraordinary occasion by a reminder of the book of photographs titled “The Family of Man” which had brought enthusiastic encomiums 50 years ago for its stunning photographs of people of all ages from around the world, portraying the universality of human experience that underlies superficial differences.
(I’ve been unable so far to lay my hands on the copy of the book that’s somewhere on my disorganized shelves, so I refreshed my memory from a copy  in the university library. Though the book had been published more than half a century ago, there are still 4 or 5 copies of it in the open library stacks, not in the remote storage area used for material that’s rarely accessed; and a couple of those copies are currently out on loan. The book’s sales have been in the millions. It had its source in a photographic exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art arranged by Edward Steichen in 1955, of more than 500 pictures by more than 250 photographers from dozens of countries.)

At any rate, RA2009 achieved what Steichen’s exhibition of the Family of Man had aimed for. People of all ages and backgrounds mingled and shared civilly — more than that, empathetically, in passionately demonstrated mutual good will. I’ve never before seen so many tears of empathy shed so freely and appropriately. I startle easily from sound or touch, yet while I was listening intently to a talk, when a hand suddenly descended on my shoulder, it didn’t startle, it somehow conveyed companionable reassurance. I’ve never before experienced an occasion where intellect, emotion, and spirit were so much in harmony.

Registered for the conference had been in total about 150 people from every inhabited continent. In age we ranged to my knowledge from 19 to 77, and there may well have been some outside that range. Personalities ranged from shy and retiring to effusively outgoing, from deadpan to demonstrative. Appearances ranged from old-fashioned coat-and-tie conservatism to every type of contemporary exuberance including cosmetic adornments, from stunning examples of elegant Italian style to illustrations of Hollywood grunge and sloppiness. Skin colors ranged over the spectrum. There were traditional families present and there were gay people, some announcing that preference in obvious ways and others not. There were people revealing in private or in public their “HIV-positive” status, and there were physicians who attend without discrimination equally to “HIV-positive” individuals as to others — with the vital exception that they have a special understanding, an empathy, and an awareness of when to use and when not to resort to antiretroviral medication. There were people who have suffered in dreadful, tangible ways from being “HIV-positive” (and not only because of physical iatrogenic damage), and there were friends and relatives of people who have so suffered; and there were others again, like me, who came to Rethinking for intellectual, abstract reasons and came to understand and feel only later the human aspect, the personal impact of the colossal human tragedies that HIV/AIDS theory has brought. There were writers and scientists and students and people from all sorts of work experience. There were several shades of “libertarians” and of “conservatives” and of “liberals”. There could not be a more convincing demonstration that the endless diversity among human beings need be no barrier to productive commitment to a shared purpose.

I had previously met in person only two of those present, but I had exchanged e-mails, phone calls, and written material with several dozen whom I had come to regard as valued colleagues. After just a few minutes or a few words face to face, e-mail acquaintances have become firm personal friends — something that others too experienced, as remarked in e-mails, on blogs, and elsewhere in recent days. We discovered ourselves to be members of a very large and very close-knit FAMILY.

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

Much about the program bears discussion, and the proceedings will be disseminated and analyzed and critiqued in a variety of venues and ways for quite some time. Here I want to make just a few observations.

The most powerful presentations, by common agreement, were those by individuals who have most directly experienced horrors stemming from HIV/AIDS madness. The Nagel family, featured in the film House of Numbers, were at the conference throughout and made themselves available for comments and questions after the film’s showing; how can words capture the miracle of meeting Lindsey, now healthy and beautiful because her courageous parents had defied and evaded the AZT mafia? Celia Farber’s images-with-music in memory of Christine Maggiore brought a standing ovation. Karri Stokely and Tony Lance shared to the full their experiences — 11 years of devastating “side” effects of antiretrovirals for Karri, for Tony the isolation experienced by a gay Rethinker who lost to AZT some hundred friends and acquaintances. Karri and Tony honored us greatly by allowing us to learn from their lives, sharing details frankly in public that most people might hesitate to discuss even with their doctors or their priests.

All the formal and informal proceedings showed people at their sincere best: honest, open, trusting, uninhibited. No bullshit. I was struck by the contrast with the mainstreamers appearing in House of Numbers, who display the robotic hypocrisy of automata who emit only what they have been trained to emit in their designated social roles — nothing original, nothing from personal experience, everything abstracted from human reality by dishonest euphemisms like Kuritzkes’s comment that  “in retrospect the dose we started with, with AZT, was a dangerous and poorly tolerated dose.” What a way to talk about something that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and done untold permanent damage to God only knows how many more — which Kuritzkes surely knows at least subconsciously, for otherwise not even so evasive an admission would have come from him. “In retrospect”?! Many ignored voices were protesting the toxicity from the beginning and throughout.

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

So RA2009 was a resounding success. No forethought or planning could have ensured that, but it also could not have happened had not the opportunity been created through splendid organizational groundwork by Siggi Duesberg, insightful first-rate program arrangements by David Rasnick, and necessary fundraising as well as instigation by David Crowe. Exemplifying the unplanned is what occurred at the banquet. Crowe had arranged for a few toasts; what could not have been foreseen was the stampede to the microphone by the many people who wanted to make explicit their gratitude for the occasion, their particular role in Rethinking, their own thoughts and feelings. I’ve been at many occasions where everyone has been positively urged to join in like this, usually to little or no effect; I’ve never seen so widespread and spontaneous a desire to share publicly.

It’s only natural that in recalling this occasion we will wonder just what made it so remarkable. Cynics might even suggest that it wasn’t really unique, just that those in attendance hadn’t much experience of similar get-togethers. For me personally, no such explanation could hold water. I’ve been to innumerable professional conferences on chemistry and history of science or science studies, where there has sometimes been excitement over specific items or topics, but nothing like the communal atmosphere and impact of RA2009. I’ve been to meetings where a single purpose was passionately shared — the wish to preserve academic standards and integrity — but we were always a noticeably homogeneous crowd of largely white, male, senior professors. I’ve participated in several other organizations of contrarian bent, for example several of the International Conferences on the Unity of the Sciences which brought together people of all stripes and disciplines and beliefs from all over the world, but the actual proceedings were in small groups and little different from academic seminars; enjoyable as interdisciplinary discussions freed from the blinders of the traditional fields of knowledge but no more than that. The Society for Scientific Exploration was established precisely to enable disciplined discussion of matters ignored or shunned by the mainstream disciplines, and its meetings have some of the characteristics that RA2009 displayed — wide range of intellectual backgrounds, joint experience of struggling against mainstream dogma, the making of friends through shared endeavor — but, again, not the extraordinary symbiosis of intellect, emotion, spirit, and very specific common purpose evident at RA2009. In the proper meaning of that much-misused word, RA2009 was UNIQUE in a very meaningful way.

We come away from RA2009 with renewed determination, as well as with a number of new ideas and plans for constructive action (plans for actions DEstructive of HIV/AIDS theory and practice). I found myself wondering what might have happened if some mainstreamers had been in attendance; surely their baseless and mistaken beliefs would have become somewhat unsettled, at the very least subconsciously.

I am by nature less than an optimist, and my instinctive reaction to optimistic plans and forecasts is “Yes, well, maybe, … BUT ….”. Nevertheless, RA2009 convinces me that we cannot be stopped, and that we will not be stopped.

Yes, we can.

Yes, we will.

Posted in HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Another woman survives antiretroviral drugs

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/08/09

Onnie Mary Phuthe is a young Botswana woman who realized the harm that antiretroviral drugs were doing her, stopped taking them, and has regained her health. She forwarded an e-mail she had sent Anthony Brink, to be used publicly ad lib. She had attached copies of her lab reports and prescription history, confirming that she stopped filling the prescriptions.

Onnie has only dial-up Internet service, so blogging is slow and difficult for her; but her strength of character comes clearly through her own words (below, unedited):

“True I want to share the evidence of what the eqivalent to the rat poison did to me it is documented. Feel free to use these any way you see fit. I was on the following treatments to address MY HIV TYPE 1 AND HIV TYPE 2 POSITIVE RESULTS
1st set of arv I took for 6 weeks ( mid aug 2001)
http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/Sustiva_1615.shtml
http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/Zerit_1588.shtml
http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/Videx_1585.shtml
second set in mid August 2001 until feb 2008
http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/Viramune_1616.shtml
http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/Combivir_1083.shtml
feb 2008 to 16/10/2008
http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/Viramune_1616.shtml
http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/Epivir_1579.shtml
http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/Viread_1587.shtml
16/10/2008 – 16/06/2009
http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/Viramune_1616.shtml
http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/Truvada_1584.shtml

If I die from not taking th arv is far btter for m to accept since the argony and pain sufferering has stopped since I stopped the arv. I have not done any hiv monitoring tests yet, and I will not do them. The peace I have now is more superior that the drugs and follow up that I would need to go throw. This is the basis I have resigned form beong a board mmber of Botswana Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS. I CAN NOT ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO BE ON ARV. IT HAS NOT WORKD FOR ME.  IT MAKES ME FEEL GUILTY OF MURDER TO EVEN SUGGEST THE ARV THERAPY.
I MAY BE CALLED MAD OR ANYTHING , BUT ONE THING THEY ALL CALL ME NOW IS YOU LOOK VERY HEALTH NOW, I DON’T USED MY\ MEDICAL AID, I DO NOT GO TO THE HOSPITAL UNECESSARILY SINCE I AM AWARE OF THE BODY CORRESPONDENCES IT MAKES WITH ME. I NOW ADHERE TO MY BODY’S CORRESPONDNCES THAN TO THE DRUG PUSHERS, RESULT IS GOOD GENERAL BODY AND MENTAL HEALTH, PURE SLEEP. AMEN

I HAVE BEN SUMMONED BY THE CLINIC TO COME EXPLAIN WHY I DON’T COME FOR APPOINTMENTS. I REPLIED I DON’T US THE SERVICES ANY MORE THEN THEY SAY I MUST TELL IT TO THE DOCTOR.  THE DOCTOR IS AWARE , IT TOLD THEM ALL THE TIME BEFORE I FINALLY STOPPED ARV.

IT  SHOWS ON THE INCONSISTANCY OF THE ARV REFILLS THAT I REALISED THE BAD EFFECTS OF THE ARV DRUGS PERSONALLY.”

Onnie has also joined Facebook and gives more details there, as well as on a blog .

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

Joyce Ann Hafford died in pregnancy during a clinical trial of antiretroviral drugs. The very purpose of that trial sickens me: “to compare the ‘treatment-limiting toxicities’ of two anti-HIV drug regimens” (Celia Farber, “Out of Control: AIDS and the corruption of medical science”, Harper’s Magazine, March 2006, 37-52). In other words, find the highest dosage that doesn’t kill. To gauge and compare toxicities, of course one has to explore regions where the toxicity is appreciable. It seems obvious that the risk of death in such a trial has to be appreciable.

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

Quite often I wonder how many others have suffered Joyce Hafford’s fate, or barely avoided it. It’s impossible to know, because it is so easy to write off the death of anyone being “treated” for HIV/AIDS as death owing to HIV/AIDS and not to the “medications” — even as it is acknowledged that more than half of the “serious adverse events” occurring in HAART-treated people are owing to the drugs and not to AIDS (NIH Treatment Guidelines,  November 2008, p. 21); and the average age of death of confirmed HIV/AIDS-theory-believing activists, who surely “comply” better than most with their “treatment” regimens, is tragically low, in the 40s for the men and at age 50 for the women [“AIDS” deaths: owing to antiretroviral drugs or to lack of antiretroviral treatment?, 2 October 2008].

Quite often I wonder how many other healthy women have been subjected to the same sort of ordeal that Onnie experienced for years and managed to survive. We know of Kim Bannon, Maria Papagiannidou, Audrey Serrano, Karri Stokely.
Noreen Martin rejected antiretroviral drugs from the beginning, and provides information about the benefits of low-dose naltrexone as an immune-system booster.

Just after my book was published, I received an e-mail from a lady who wanted to meet and talk about it. She had had surgery for uterine cancer, was told she was “HIV-positive”, and was put on antiretroviral drugs. She remained in hospital for 6 months owing to various drug side-effects, and finally decided to stop taking the pills. Her health recovered, but she continued to wonder whether she should try those drugs again. A friend told her of my book, and she wanted to meet the author to gauge his trustworthiness. I judged her to be in her thirties.

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

How many more women will experience these emotional and physical devastations before the absurdities of HIV/AIDS theory bring it down?

How many more men, of whom there are surely a far greater number, given the HIV/AIDS preoccupation with gay men and their apparent propensity to test “HIV-positive” so often? It was an enlightening and emotionally difficult experience for me last April, at the meeting Brian Carter organized of Alive-&-Well people in Los Angeles, to see these intelligent, evidently healthy “HIV-positive” men wrestling with the perpetual quandary of whether to believe their own experience and those of their friends or to follow the advice of their physicians.

And what will the many physicians do, who have been in all good faith prescribing these toxic drugs, when they have to accept that they killed their patients by believing what the leading gurus and official institutions of medical science had been telling them?

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV/AIDS numbers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments »

Believing and disbelieving

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/07/03

(This is a long post. HERE is a pdf for those who prefer to read it that way).

“How could anyone believe that?” is a natural question whenever someone believes what is contrary to the conventional wisdom, say, that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, or that Loch Ness monsters are real animals.

Since the role of unorthodox views in and out of science has been the focus of my academic interests for several decades, I had to think about that question in a variety of contexts. My conclusion long ago was that this is the wrong question, the very opposite of the right question, which is,

“How does anyone ever come to believe differently than others do?” (1)

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

It’s a widespread illusion that we believe things because they’re true. It’s an illusion that we all tend to harbor about ourselves. Of course I believe what’s true! My beliefs aren’t wrong! It’s the others who are wrong.

However, we don’t acquire beliefs because they’re true, we acquire them through being taught that they’re true. For the first half-a-dozen or a dozen years of our lives, before we have begun to learn how to think truly for ourselves, as babies and children we almost always believe what parents and teachers tell us. Surely that has helped the species to survive. But no matter what the reason might be, there’s ample empirical evidence for it. For instance, many people during their whole lifetime stick to the religion that they imbibed almost with mother’s milk; those who reject that religion do so at earliest in adolescence.

That habit of believing parents and teachers tends to become ingrained. Society’s “experts”  — scientists and doctors, surrogate parents and teachers — tend to be believed as a matter of habit.

So how do some people ever come to believe other than what they’ve been taught and what the experts say?

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

I was prompted to this train of thought by receiving yet again some comments intended for this blog and which were directed at minor details, from people whom I had asked, long ago, to cut through this underbrush and address the chief point at issue: “What is the proof that HIV causes AIDS?”

Whenever I’ve asked this of commentators like Fulano-etc.-de-Tal, or Chris Noble, or Snout, or others who want to argue incessantly about ancillary details, the exchange has come to an end. They’ve simply never addressed that central issue.

And it’s not only these camp followers. The same holds for the actual HIV/AIDS gurus, the Montagniers and Gallos and Faucis. Fauci threatens journalists who don’t toe the orthodox line. Gallo hangs up on Gary Null when asked for citations to the work that made him famous.

Why can’t these people cite the work on which their belief is supposedly based?

Finally it hit me: Because their belief wasn’t formed that way. They didn’t come to believe because of the evidence.
The Faucis and Gallos came to believe because they wanted to, because a virus-caused AIDS would be in their professional bailiwick, and they were more than happy to take an imperfect correlation as proof of causation.
The camp followers came to believe simply because they were happy to believe what the experts say and what “everyone else” believes. Who are they to question the authority of scientific experts and scientific institutions?

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

To question “what everyone knows”, there has to be some decisive incentive or some serendipitous conjunction. I’ll illustrate that by describing how I came to believe some things that “everyone else” believes and some things that “everyone else” does not believe.

The first unorthodox opinion I acquired was that Loch Ness monsters are probably real living animals of some unidentified species. How did I come to that conclusion?
Serendipity set the stage. Reading has been my lifelong pleasure. I used to browse in the local library among books that had just been returned and not yet reshelved, assuming that these would be the most interesting ones. Around 1961, I picked from that pile a book titled Loch Ness Monster, by Tim Dinsdale. I recall my mental sneer, for I knew like everyone else that this was a mythical creature and a tangible tourist attraction invented by those canny Scots. But I thumbed the pages, and saw a set of glossy photos: claimed stills from a film! If these were genuine . . . . So I borrowed the book. Having read it, I couldn’t make up my mind. The author seemed genuine, but also very naïve. Yet his film had been developed by Kodak and pronounced genuine. Could it be that Nessies are real?
I was unable to find a satisfactory discussion in the scientific literature. So I read whatever other books and articles I could find about it. I also became a member of the Loch Ness Investigation, a group that was exploring at Loch Ness during the summers, and I followed their work via their newsletters — I couldn’t participate personally since I then lived in Australia.
A dozen years later, on sabbatical leave in England, I took a vacation trip to Loch Ness. More serendipity: there I encountered Dinsdale. Later I arranged lecture tours for him in the USA (where I had migrated in 1965). Coming to know Dinsdale, coming to trust his integrity, seeing a 35mm copy of his film umpteen times during his talks, brought conviction.
It had taken me 12-15 years of looking at all the available evidence before I felt convinced.

The unorthodox view that underwrites this blog is that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. How did I come by that belief in something that “everyone else” does not believe?
More serendipity. Having concluded in the early 1970s that Nessies were probably real, I became curious why there hadn’t been proper scientific investigations despite the huge amount of publicity over several decades. That led eventually to my change of academic field from chemistry to science studies, with special interest in heterodoxies. So I was always on the lookout for scientific anomalies and heresies to study. In the mid-1990s, I came across the book by Ellison and Duesberg, Why We Will Never Win the War on AIDS (interesting info about this here ; other Ellison-Duesberg articles here).
Just as with Dinsdale’s book, I couldn’t make up my mind. The arguments seemed sound, but I didn’t feel competent to judge the technicalities. So, again, I looked for other HIV/AIDS-dissenting books, and wrote reviews of a number of them. Around 2005, that led me to read Harvey Bialy’s scientific autobiography of Duesberg. For months thereafter, I periodically reminded myself that I wanted to check a citation Bialy had given, for an assertion that obviously couldn’t be true, namely, that positive HIV-tests in the mid-1980s among teenage potential military recruits from all across the United States had come equally among the girls as among the boys. The consequences of checking that reference are described in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory.
As with Nessie, it had taken me more than ten years of looking into the available evidence to become convinced of the correctness of something that “everyone else” does not believe.

So am I saying that I always sift evidence for a decade before making up my mind?
Of course not. I did that only on matters that were outside my professional expertise.

Studying chemistry, I didn’t question what the instructors and the textbooks had to say. I surely asked for explanations on some points, and might well have raised quibbles on details, but I didn’t question the periodic table or the theory of chemical bonding or the laws of thermodynamics or any other basic tenet.

That, I suggest, is quite typical. Those of us who go into research in a science don’t begin by questioning our field’s basic tenets. Furthermore, most of us never have occasion to question those tenets later on. Most scientific research is, in Kuhn’s words (2), puzzle-solving. In every field there are all sorts of little problems to be solved; not little in the sense of easy, but in the sense of not impinging on any basic theoretical issues. One can spend many lifetimes in chemical research without ever questioning the Second Law of thermodynamics, say, or quantum-mechanical calculations of electron energies, and so on and so forth.

So: Immunologists and virologists and pharmacologists and others who came to do research on HIV/AIDS from the mid-1980s onwards have been engaged in trying to solve all sorts of puzzles. They’ve had no reason to question the accepted view that HIV causes AIDS, because their work doesn’t raise that question in any obvious way; they’re working on very specialized, very detailed matters — designing new antiretroviral drugs, say; or trying to make sense of the infinite variety of “HIV” strains and permutations and recombinations; or looking for new strategies that might lead to a useful vaccine; and so on and so forth. Many tens of thousands of published articles illustrate that there are no end of mysterious puzzles about “HIV/AIDS” waiting to be solved.

The various people who became activist camp followers, like the non-scientist vigilantes among the AIDStruth gang, didn’t begin by trying to convince themselves, by looking into the primary evidence, that the mainstream view is correct: they simply believed it, jumped on the very visible bandwagon, took for granted that the conventional view promulgated by official scientific institutions is true.

It is perfectly natural, in other words, for scientists and non-scientists to believe without question that HIV causes AIDS even though they have never seen or looked for the proof.

What is not natural is to question that, and the relatively small number of individuals who became HIV/AIDS dissidents, AIDS Rethinkers, HIV Skeptics, did so because of idiosyncratic and specific reasons. Women like Christine Maggiore, Noreen Martin, Maria Papagiannidou, Karri Stokely, and others had the strongest personal reasons to wonder about what they were being told: since they had not put themselves at risk in the way “HIV” is supposedly acquired, and since they were finding the “side” effects of antiretroviral drugs intolerable, the incentive was strong to think for themselves and look at the evidence for themselves.
Many gay men have had similar reason to question the mainstream view, and some unknown but undoubtedly large number of gay men are living in a perpetual mental and emotional turmoil: on one hand much empirical evidence of what the antiretroviral drugs have done to their friends, on the other hand their own doctors expressing with apparent confidence the mainstream view. So only a visible minority of gay men have yet recognized the failings of HIV/AIDS theory.
One of the first to do so, John Lauritsen, was brought to question the mainstream view for the idiosyncratic personal reason that, as a survey research analyst, he could see that the CDC’s classification scheme was invalid.
Among scientists, Peter Duesberg recognized some of the errors of HIV/AIDS theory because he understood so much about retroviruses and because he had not himself been caught up in the feverish chase for an infectious cause of AIDS. Robert Root-Bernstein, too, with expertise in immunology , could recognize clearly from outside the HIV/AIDS-research establishment the fallacy of taking immunedeficiency as some new phenomenon. Other biologists, too, who were not involved in HIV/AIDS work, could see things wrong with HIV/AIDS theory: Charles A. Thomas, Jr., Harvey Bialy, Walter Gilbert, Kary Mullis, Harry Rubin, Gordon Stewart, Richard Strohman, and many others who have put their names to the letter asking for a reconsideration.

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

To summarize:

Mainstream researchers rarely if ever question the basis for the contemporary beliefs in their field. It’s not unique to HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS researchers and camp followers never cite the publications that are supposed to prove that HIV causes AIDS for the reason that they never looked for such proof, they simply took it for granted on the say-so of the press-conference announcement and subsequent “mainstream consensus”.

The people who did look for such proof, and realized that it doesn’t exist, were:
—  journalists covering “HIV/AIDS” stories (among those who wrote books about it are Jad Adams, Elinor Burkett, John Crewdson, Celia Farber, Neville Hodgkinson, Evan Lambrou, Michael Leitner, Joan Shenton);
—  directly affected, said-to-be-HIV-positive people, largely gay men and also women like those mentioned above;
—  individuals for a variety of individual reasons, as illustrated above for John Lauritsen and myself;
—  scientists in closely related fields who were not working directly on HIV/AIDS.

That last point is pertinent to the refrain from defenders of HIV/AIDS orthodoxy that highly qualified scientists like Duesberg or Mullis are not equipped to comment because they have never themselves done any research on HIV or AIDS. But that’s precisely why they were able to see that this HIV/AIDS Emperor has no clothes — scientists working directly on the many puzzles generated by this wrong theory have no incentive, no inclination, no reason to question the hypothesis; indeed, the psychological mechanism of cognitive dissonance makes it highly unlikely that scientists with careers vested in HIV/AIDS orthodoxy will be able to recognize the evidence against their belief.
More generally, this is the reason why the history of science contains so many cases of breakthroughs being made by outsiders to a particular specialty: coming to it afresh, they are not blinded by the insider dogmas.

So there is nothing unique about the fact that the failings of HIV/AIDS theory have been discerned by outsiders and not by insiders, and that the insiders are not even familiar with the supposed proofs underlying their belief. Nor is it unique that the dogma has many camp followers who never bothered to look for the supposed proofs of the mainstream belief. What is unique to HIV/AIDS theory is the enormous damage it has caused, by making ill or actually killing hundreds of thousands (at least). The annals of modern medicine have no precedent for this, which is another reason why thoughtless supporters of HIV/AIDS orthodoxy may feel comfortable with it despite never having sought evidence for it.

So here’s the question to put to everyone who insists that HIV causes AIDS:

HOW  DID  YOU  COME  TO  BELIEVE  THAT?
WHAT  CONVINCED  YOU?

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Cited:
(1) Henry H. Bauer, Beyond Velikovsky: The History of a Public Controversy, University of Illinois Press, 1984; chapter 11, “Motives for believing”.
(2) Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press, 1970 (2nd ed., enlarged; 1st ed. 1962)

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