HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘Kalichman on Germans and Jews’

Kalichman and Nazis — K’s anything-but-Komical self-revealing Kaper (#12)

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/06/07

Like several other fanatical believers in HIV/AIDS theory (for instance, Gallo et al. [2006], Cameron [2005]), Kalichman insists that there’s a meaningful similarity between “HIV/AIDS denialism” and “Holocaust denialism” (pp. 8-12); for example (p. 9):
“the link to Holocaust denialism means that the word is emotionally charged. Still, I defend my use of the term because I believe it best describes the rejection of objective reality to sustain a flawed, hurtful, and ultimately dangerous belief system”.

What’s basically wrong with this is the failure to demonstrate that “HIV/AIDS denialists” actually reject objective reality, or that we have a “belief system”, or that this supposed “belief system” is flawed, hurtful, or dangerous.  Kalichman’s approach exemplifies the attempt to ascribe guilt by association, asserting that’s what’s wrong with A is also wrong with B without presenting actual evidence that they share any common characteristics; he just says they do.

Kalichman, like Cameron, Gallo, and other HIV/AIDS vigilantes, has no interest in arguing such a case on the basis of evidence — because, of course, he can’t. The whole and only purpose of using terms like “denialism”, and invoking Holocaust denialism as a type specimen, is to arouse moral outrage and to brand AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics as unfit for intellectual discourse about the substantive issues. And that, as I’ve remarked several times, is attempted because the HIV/AIDS believers can’t answer our questions and can’t support their case with convincing evidence.

The bees in Kalichman’s bonnet include Nazis as well as Holocaust denialism. He makes the extraordinary claim that AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics call AIDS scientists Nazis:
“As expected [Kalichman doesn’t say by whom or why], denialists refer to AIDS scientists and medical specialists as Nazis, the mafia, and murderers” (p. 10); “AIDS scientists are typically portrayed as evil doers or even Nazis pitted again truth seekers” (101); “denialists are insulting our integrity and the value of our life’s work. Referring to AIDS scientists as conspirators, frauds, Nazis and child killers” (113); “a rather bizarre and unique feature of HIV/AIDS denialism is its repeated reference to AIDS scientists as Nazis” (143).

However, Kalichman offers only one documented example of denialists using the term “Nazis” in reference to HIV/AIDS vigilantes, namely, South African attorney Anthony Brink (pp. 144-45). Kalichman here accuses President Mbeki of it too, but fails to provide a needed reference — such an utterance seems uncharacteristic of Mbeki. Thus Kalichman commits the “single study fallacy”, which he incorrectly accuses others of committing.

Brink’s tirade could be plausibly excused (“to understand is to excuse”) as provoked by the incessant and intemperate “into the streets” tactics of HIV/AIDS “activists” in South Africa, but I personally have no more wish to excuse or condone it  than I excuse or condone application of the term “Holocaust denialists” to Rethinkers. Both are equally invalid intellectually and are used solely for polemic purpose. I invite Kalichman, too, to reject deployment of “Holocaust denialism” for the same reason that one objects to comparisons with Nazis.

Note too that the Brink piece is a self-published work, as Kalichman notes. One of the drawbacks of such publication is that one doesn’t get the benefit of an independent view and independent advice from an editor, and so one isn’t forced to second and third thoughts about what one writes. Kalichman doesn’t have that excuse for his “Holocaust” remarks, since he specifically acknowledges the excellence of the editorial help he received, and I can’t imagine that an even half-way competent editor would not have queried Kalichman about so egregiously offensive an assertion.

So one is forced to the sad conclusion that Kalichman makes the Holocaust reference after having considered it carefully.  However, his ignorance on such matters is quite extraordinary:

“The great irony of the denialists’ Nazi allusions to AIDS scientists, of course, is that they base their argument on the views of a group of German men born during the years of Nazism while making Nazi references to AIDS scientists, who are often Jews” (145).

I’ve already pointed out that Kalichman has provided no evidence — indeed, NEGATIVE evidence — that “Germans” are represented among AIDS Rethinkers in above-chance proportion [“The German Connection, contd.: How not to test an hypothesis (Kalichman’s Komical Kaper #3, part 2)”, 25 March 2009]. Now he implies something even more ludicrous, that just being born during the Nazi era somehow predisposes to “denialism”. A fortiori, he offers no evidence at all that Jews are “often” to be found among AIDS scientists — in other words, that Jews are found among AIDS scientists in greater proportion than among AIDS Rethinkers or among scientists in general.

If only that were the worst of it, making wild generalizations without a shred of supporting data. What will in addition be sadly evident to people who do know something about these things — Germans, Jews, Nazis, Holocausts — is that Kalichman evidently himself believes what the Nazis initiated and believed:  that one could not and cannot be at the same time a German and a Jew.

In point of fact, by the early 20th century Jews had assimilated into German culture more seamlessly than they had in any other European country. One of the huge tragedies of the Hitler era for so many German Jews was to be ejected from and rejected by what they had regarded for generations as their homeland, their fatherland, the nation for which they and their forebears had fought in wars, the nation they thought they belonged to just as fully as their Catholic or Protestant fellow countrymen.

Now Kalichman reveals the same baseless, racist belief, that Germans and Jews are two different breeds, the “denialists” and the “scientists”. He just takes the opposite tack to the Nazis, this time the Germans are the bad guys and the Jews are the good guys. But the dichotomy Kalichman embraces is identically the same dichotomy as the Nazis introduced.

Kalichman thinks about Germans and Jews in the same way as the Nazis did. That’s what he states in his book.

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Cameron 2005. Witness to AIDS.
Gallo et al. 2006. Errors in Celia Farber’s March 2006 article in Harper’s Magazine; final version, 22 March; http://www.aegis.org/files/tac/2006/errorsinfarberarticle.html

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