HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘“House of Numbers”’

Answering Cranks — THANK YOU, PERTH!

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/12/04

I think it was Bertrand Russell, or perhaps it was Bernard Shaw, who wrote a classic piece about the frustrations of trying to engage in substantive discussion with a crank. The essay has been cited quite often by accomplished science writers like Jeremy Bernstein. The frustration is that it takes far longer to deconstruct the crank’s claims that it takes the crank to make them. The crank pours out undocumented assertions that are wrong not only in detail but that are wrong-headed in general principle, and each assertion then requires general background discourse to establish the correct principles as well as detail-specific answers; and all needs careful documentation and attention to nuance if the contretemps is to be not just a shouting match of opposing assertions.

Since HIV/AIDS theory is pseudoscience (Science Studies 102: Burden of proof, HIV/AIDS “science”, pseudo-science, 22 July 2008;  HIV/AIDS and parapsychology: science or pseudo-science?, 30 December 2008; Trying to think about the Unthinkable, 2 January 2009; Mainstream pseudo-science good, alternative pseudo-science bad, 25 February 2009; Circumcision pseudo-science, 2 September 2009), its proponents are cranks (crackpots, pseudoscientists), and frustration is a common experience for AIDS Rethinkers. The most vociferous of the HIV/AIDS vigilantes, say Jeanne Bergman or Seth Kalichman, show that they know nothing of history of science or philosophy of science or sociology of science, and have not even done any science themselves (unless one grants their idiosyncratic claim that economics or law or psychology are sciences). So their detailed statements are embedded in discourse that is ignorant of the very nature of science, and that needs correction before one even begins to address their detailed claims.

The HIV/AIDS groupies and vigilantes have been increasingly on the defensive after Medical Hypotheses accepted, and posted as in press on the journal’s website in July, a couple of articles striking at the very heart of HIV/AIDS blunders: the fact that the sovereign nation of Italy maintains its health without recognizing HIV as a dangerous infection or AIDS as an illness caused by it (Ruggiero et al.) and that an article in JAIDS found it necessary to multiply by a factor of 25 the deaths from AIDS in South Africa (Duesberg et al.) in order to maintain the fictions that AIDS is devastating Africa and that antiretroviral drugs save lives when delivered indiscriminately to “HIV-positive” individuals.

At the same time, The House of Numbers (documentary film by Brent Leung) as making the rounds of film festivals, gathering honors and plaudits as it showed through direct on-camera interviews the vacuity of HIV/AIDS theories and the disagreements among HIV/AIDS gurus over the most elementary aspects of the whole business.

The first response was a joint letter by some of the interviewed gurus disclaiming what they were seen to have said: just as convincing as Nancy Padian’s repeated assertions over the years that her observation of zero transmission of HIV was not evidence of no transmission. In other words, the first responses was the claim that a goodly number of the leading HIV/AIDS experts are unable to say what they mean.

Luc Montagnier’s remarks were, it was alleged, (1) taken out of context; (2) suffered from Montagnier’s lack of command of English; (3) reflected trapping through leading questions from the interviewer (though Montagnier himself did not sign the letter). The claim of taken out of context would seem to have dissolved when Leung posted an unedited clip of the relevant portion of the interview in honor of World AIDS Day.

The chief attempt to discredit the film appears to be a website devoted entirely to that task. When I learned of it and looked at it, I left again almost immediately because my intellectual stomach turned in revolt at seeing the assertions has Bergman posted in typically crank fashion, undocumented, wrong in detail and wrongheaded in its ignorance of the very nature of science in particular and disciplined logical argument in general.

But no matter how time-consuming and unrewarding it may be to develop properly supported answers to such crankish stuff, it serves as a valuable resource to which other Rethinkers can refer as they try to spread the truth, one acquaintance or friend or student at a time. So we should be exceedingly grateful to the Perth Group who have posted impeccably argued and documented material that demolishes utterly the Bergmanian flim-flam.
The first installment of the deconstruction exposes the dirty little secret that HIV/AIDS theorists nowadays regard immune activation and not immune-cell depletion as what goes wrong in “AIDS”, which among other things explains why antiretroviral treatment, if or when it “reconstitutes” the immune system also brings on AIDS diseases (the phenomenon swept under the carpet by being named, Immune Restoration Syndrome). The Perthers also make mincemeat of Bergman’s attempt to discount the role played by animal models in HIV/AIDS publications (I was about to write “research”).
The second installment of the deconstruction exposes Bergman’s incompetence to write about scientific matters. There is a useful list of the Perth Group’s seminal articles questioning HIV/AIDS theory, some e-mails illustrating J P Moore’s unwillingness to engage in substantive scientific discourse, and a reminder that Montagnier has been talking about oxidative stress for quite some time but without acknowledging the much earlier proposal by the Perth Group of which he had been fully aware. The way in which HIV/AIDS virologists have taken in vain the term “isolation” is described in convincing detail, together with the filmed evidence that David Baltimore, Robin Weiss, and other experts do not appear to be aware that “HIV” has never in fact been isolated in the proper meaning of the word. The claimed evidence for sexual transmission of HIV is demonstrated to be non-existent.
Perhaps the worst of Bergman’s assertions is that of 99.9% accuracy for a two-test protocol of ELISA plus Western Blot. Since she cites no source, one cannot contradict the source; but Perth does the job nicely even without that. Lacking a gold standard, “accuracy” or specificity cannot be known; and there is no gold standard for “HIV” tests (Weiss &Cowan, cited in “HIV” tests are self-fulfilling prophecies, 10 May 2009).

Thank you, Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Valendar F. Turner, John M Papadimitriou, David Causer. Well done! Yet another of your invaluable contributions to the Rethinking literature.

Posted in experts, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Public Debate about Leung film

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/10/25

On 28th October, the SPECTATOR magazine (London UK) arranged a debate on the occasion of a screening of Brent Leung’s “House of Numbers”.

I await with high interest a report on that debate, which featured Professor Beverly Griffin (Imperial College London), Dr Joe Sonnabend (founding editor of AIDS Research), Rt. Hon. Lord Norman Fowler (former UK Secretary of State for Health), Charles Geshekter (emeritus, California State University) as well as Brent Leung, Director/Producer.

In the meantime, one can read this preview of the debate by Neville Hodgkinson already published at the SPECTATOR.

STOP PRESS, 26 OCTOBER:  Screening and debate were cancelled at very short notice, will be rescheduled.

I am writing to inform you that, with much regret, the event on “Aids – realism or denial” due to take place on Wednesday 28 October,  has been cancelled due to several members of the panel having pulled out at the last minute, leaving us with an unbalanced panel which would not make for a rounded discussion on the film.

The purpose of the event was to have a rational and balanced discussion in an area of science too often characterised by hysteria. House of Numbers is a controversial film and we wanted it scrutinised by leading authorities and to follow its showing with real debate encompassing a wide spectrum of opinion. It has proved very difficult to put together a panel which could do this. We thought we had managed but several last-minute defections have defeated us. We will look at staging this event at a later date with another, more dependable panel.

We apologise to you who signed up to attend, however, we have been left with no option but to cancel.

We will be fully reimbursing your ticket fees today and can confirm that the refund should show in your accounts by the end of the week.  We will be in touch should we manage to stage this event in the future.  In meantime, we would like to thank you for your support and encourage you to visit our website on http://www.spectator.co.uk/events to view our forthcoming events which may be of interest.

Yours sincerely

Phoebe Vela
Head of Corporate Affairs and Events

Events
Events Team
Press Holdings Media Group
22 Old Queen Street
London
SW1H 9HP
T – +44 (0)20 7961 0044
F – +44 (0)20 7961 0100
events@pressholdings.com

Posted in experts, HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Los Angeles Times supports AIDS Rethinking

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/08/22

Brent Leung’s documentary, “House of Numbers”, was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, 21 August, p. D14, by Gary Goldstein. It was good to read the following:

“impressive range of interviewees, whose contradictory positions on HIV/AIDS become the project’s raison d’être. There’s no denying . . .  the value of exploring such game-changing topics as how HIV-infection numbers are cooked for monetary and political gain; how the effects of global poverty may have led to so many AIDS-related deaths; how such widely used AIDS drugs as AZT have, themselves, often proved fatal; and whether HIV really exists.”

One doesn’t know, of course, how many readers will come across this item, but the LA Times has a current circulation of 3/4 million, so this represents nice exposure for  HIV Skepticism and AIDS Rethinking.

Posted in HIV skepticism | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

 
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