Damned Heretics

Condemned by the established, but very often right

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Qualified outsiders and maverick insiders are often right about the need to replace received wisdom in science and society, as the history of the Nobel prize shows. This blog exists to back the best of them in their uphill assault on the massively entrenched edifice of resistance to and prejudice against reviewing, let alone revising, ruling ideas. In support of such qualified dissenters and courageous heretics we search for scientific paradigms and other established beliefs which may be maintained only by the power and politics of the status quo, comparing them with academic research and the published experimental and investigative record.

We especially defend and support the funding of honest, accomplished, independent minded and often heroic scientists, inventors and other original thinkers and their right to free speech and publication against the censorship, mudslinging, false arguments, ad hominem propaganda, overwhelming crowd prejudice and internal science politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, health and medicine, diet and nutrition.

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Henry Bauer, Peter Breggin , Harvey Bialy, Giordano Bruno, Erwin Chargaff, Nicolaus Copernicus, Francis Crick, Paul Crutzen, Marie Curie, Rebecca Culshaw, Freeman Dyson, Peter Duesberg, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, John Fewster, Galileo Galilei, Alec Gordon, James Hansen, Edward Jenner, Benjamin Jesty, Michio Kaku, Adrian Kent, Ernst Krebs, Thomas Kuhn, Serge Lang, John Lauritsen, Mark Leggett, Richard Lindzen, Lynn Margulis, Barbara McClintock, George Miklos, Marco Mamone Capria, Peter Medawar, Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling, Eric Penrose, Max Planck, Rainer Plaga, David Rasnick, Sherwood Rowland, Carl Sagan, Otto Rossler, Fred Singer, Thomas Szasz, Alfred Wegener, Edward O. Wilson, James Watson.
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Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

Skepticism is dangerous. That’s exactly its function, in my view. It is the business of skepticism to be dangerous. And that’s why there is a great reluctance to teach it in schools. That’s why you don’t find a general fluency in skepticism in the media. On the other hand, how will we negotiate a very perilous future if we don’t have the elementary intellectual tools to ask searching questions of those nominally in charge, especially in a democracy? – Carl Sagan (The Burden of Skepticism, keynote address to CSICOP Annual Conference, Pasadena, April 3/4, 1982).

It is really important to underscore that everything we’re talking about tonight could be utter nonsense. – Brian Greene (NYU panel on Hidden Dimensions June 5 2010, World Science Festival)

I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing ever interfered with my learning was my education. My name as you already perceive without a doubt is George Bernard Shaw, and I certainly approve of this blog, in that its guiding spirit appears to be blasphemous in regard to the High Church doctrines of science, and it flouts the censorship of the powers that be, and as I have famously remarked, all great truths begin as blasphemy, and the first duty of the truthteller is to fight censorship, and while I notice that its seriousness of purpose is often alleviated by a satirical irony which sometimes borders on the facetious, this is all to the good, for as I have also famously remarked, if you wish to be a dissenter, make certain that you frame your ideas in jest, otherwise they will seek to kill you.  My own method was always to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine) One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways. – Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness (1930) ch. 9

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Duesberg, hero of AIDS, speaks today


Talk by Berkeley scientist, public spirited conqueror of doubt and confusion in HIV∫AIDS madness

First annual award of NAR goes to indomitable scientist

We have just learned rather belatedly from our brother in arms blog, the high level Hank’s You Bet Your Life directed by Harvey Bialy that Peter Duesberg is to speak tonight (Fri Dec 1) in San Francisco. Go to Lew Rockwell and the Libertarians Celebrate World AIDS Day with Peter Duesberg to read about it, and download Duesberg’s powerpoint presentation which will be put up during today, and a live report before and after the talk.

The cost will be $150 and in our opinion, well worth it, especially for anyone who has never seen this restlessly sharp and witty analyst in action. A lecture by Duesberg is a live event that lives up to the description, for his style is entirely spontaneous, even if he is delivering slides and comment he has covered before. The only problem is that sometimes his witticisms at the expense of dull mediocrity are delivered in a conversational throwaway giggle, rather than in the ringing tones they deserve.

Come to the LRC Conference!“May you be Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.” That’s about as generous a wish one person can offer another. Well, you’re on the way if you attend the LRC Benefit Conference on revisionist health and finances on December 1–2, 2006 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, California, near the San Francisco Airport. Join us. You’ll be dazzled by our speakers, have a terrific time and help LRC as well.

Friday, December 1, Marco Polo Room

* 5:30pm: Registration and Welcome 6:00pm:

* Burt Blumert, Center for Libertarian Studies Mark Thornton, Ludwig von Mises Institute “Welcome”

* 6:15pm: Gary North, “Dr. Rothbard’s Prescription for Health and Wealth”

* 6:45pm: Peter Duesberg, University of California at Berkeley “Is AIDS a Viral or a Chemical Epidemic? – a Multi-Billion-Dollar Question”

* 7:15pm: Gala Reception

Presumably Duesberg’s presentation will be the one he gave at the meeting in New York in June, when he addressed the Rethinking AIDS group meeting and the press on the topic of how HIV∫AIDS scientists and officials have failed to realize any of the predictions inherent in their favorite paradigm, from heterosexual spread in the US to a rise and fall in prevalence in the US to virus killing T cells to significant mortality globally, while Duesberg’s alternative account of AIDS, as an immune deficit syndrome caused by drugs in the US and conventional assaults such as malnutrition and diseases in Africa, predicts everything that has happened in this field over the last two decades quite beautifully.

Peter Duesberg wins first annual NAR “Hero of AIDS”award

The Duesberg presentation on World AIDS Day coincides happily with the decision of the editors, writers and researchers of New AIDS Review to award its first annual Hero of AIDS medal to the distinguished pioneering scientist.

Other scientists in the running for the award included Robert Gallo, the first man to entirely disprove his own fervent hope that HIV was the “probable cause of AIDS”, as he and Margaret Heckler announced in 1994 at a press conference faithfully transmitted to the front page of the New York Times and thence worldwide by Lawrence K. Altman, the MD and CDC trainee on whom the Times has since depended for its unvarying support of this notion of HIV as “the virus that causes AIDS”, even though as it turned out a week later Gallo’s heralded papers in Science revealed that HIV was not the cause of AIDS after all, since he had been able to find it in only 26 out of 72 patients’ blood samples.

Also considered was Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID at the NIH, who was the first to bring the attention of scientists to the fact that HIV not only did not kill T cells in a provable manner that anyone understood, either directly or indirectly, but actually provoked the proliferation of CD4 T cells, the very cells it was meant to kill directly or indirectly, or by supernatural means, and thus cause AIDS through immune dysfunction. This didn’t provably happen.

Instead, the implication from the pen of this giant of science running NIAID was that the answer to AIDS might be infecting patients with more HIV, normally absent from their bodies in any detectable amount, which like any good leukemia virus (human T cell leukemia virus was Gallo’s first name for HIV) would not only augment the CD4 count of patients, but also act as a vaccine to ensure that they were better defended against HIV by multiplying antibodies to it, so there will be even less HIV in patients than the normal vanishing amount. In other words, the correct antidote to HIV was more HIV.

However, neither of these scientists have had the courage of Peter Duesberg in bringing their conclusions to the attention of the public as well as of scientists, so we unanimously decided that Duesberg was the first and only choice for the first award of Hero of AIDS for his work over two decades demonstrating that Gallo was correct, and there is no chance in Hades that HIV is the cause of anything, let alone AIDS.

The following is the full rationale attached to the award, which will be presented to Duesberg in person when he is next in New York:

This Hero of AIDS Medal is hereby awarded to Peter Duesberg, Professor of Biology at the University of California at Berkeley, member of the National Academy, and pioneering researcher in cancer and in AIDS, who is undoubtedly one of the most stable and smart minds in the world, as the style and substance of his papers testify. There are very few men if any in science who could have taken on such a monster of misinformation and misapprehension as the HIV∫AIDS boondoggle and relentlessly exposed its lack of scientific and common sense across its whole range, which is exceptionally wide and diverse compared with any normal theoretical topic. We salute him for that in particular. For this he sacrificed immense amounts of time, having to repeat again and again for the benefit of even willing listeners, truths which really should be obvious to most smart people, if they weren’t crippled by the pressure exerted by the idea that virtually all the world’s scientists and the entire host of humans that occupy this planet are united in an army that marches under this flag and will actively battle anyone who stands in their way.

This great scientist sacrificed work on cancer which might well have led by now to better palliatives if not a cure for that monstrous way of dying, which takes so many more human beings off this planet than the ills of AIDS. He did this in a spirit of service in the public good which is now largely anachronistic.

In return American science and American society have trounced him unmercifully in a manner which is shameful and should disgust everyone who bothers to find out what happened – not a penny from the NIH since, not a single grad student in his lab, where he is now alone except for undergraduate help. Significantly, the undergraduates rose and applauded his course this year, except for one or some who immediately sent round an anonymous email letter before the final exam warning against taking up his view on how genes and retroviruses work, evidently sponsored by other senior academics in terror of his debunking of the theory of oncogenes, which has been profitable in attracting funds for twenty or thirty years but not at all in results.

There is no more self demeaning stupidity in this affair than the urge so many smaller people to withhold from Duesberg his due, calling it hero worship from his fans etc instead of acknowledging greatness where it occurs without the approval (yet) of the Nobel committee, advised as they are by David Baltimore, Harold Varmus and other politicians of science said to have finagled theirs for relatively doubtful if not useless work based on the death of one chicken a hundred years ago.

The correct course of action in an ideal world would be to simply give Duesberg his own research department at the NIH with $1 billion to spend on pursuing real science, with a large administrative staff to run his errands perhaps including Anthony Fauci to look up things on Pub Med for him, if someone could teach that stalwart spokesman of HIV∫AIDS lore how to do that, in which process he might stumble across the papers we have referred him to a year ago that reveal that a tad of Vitamin A will do the trick as far as Bird Flu is concerned, since that is what mainstream studies have proved defeats the production of TNF, the lung suffocating killer in that case.

Yes, we at NAR admire and thoroughly approve of Duesberg’s decency and scientific spirit in not selling out or giving in to maximum pressure against him and his family, and we have found his science and logic to be impeccable across a breathtakingly wide range of false claims forced on his attention by the miserable pack of self serving or dimwitted scientists, irresponsible officials, unprofessional reporters, robotic doctors, unaware health workers, and foolish patients who ignore or deride his advice.

We also admire Duesberg’s cheerful and witty public persona and we admire him for remaining unaffected by all the disgraceful exhibitions of personal animosity and idiocy he has aroused by just doing his job as a thinking member of the scientific elite.

We at NAR say he is a heroic figure who will be a name noted in the history books of science and his critical work objecting to the grand pile of absurd science that is HIV∫AIDS will be studied at Harvard as exemplary (as it has been already in Walter Gilbert’s graduate seminars) far into the future, unless independent scholarship in science goes down the YouTubes along with traditional quality in other spheres.

Let’s hope not, and it is in that hope that we hereby present Duesberg with The NAR Medal to a Hero of AIDS, Peter Duesberg.

This tribute as written above is a first draft and will be willingly edited if anyone writes in to NAR directly or in comments and objects to anything offensive, for which we apologise in advance.

Now back to San Francisco and Hank’s You Bet Your Life to see if the promised Powerpoint of Duesberg’s presentation tonight is available.

14 Responses to “Duesberg, hero of AIDS, speaks today”

  1. Otis Says:

    Far be it from lowly me (a mere pawn of the insidious Dr. B.) to question the famed and feared far and wide TS, but what’s with this “belatedly” mierde?

    The conference and the program have been announced on the Rockwell site for a month or more. Is it our fault you never noticed?

    The devilish doc and me decided for obvious reasons to withold any attention to it on YBYL until today.

    I wonder why?

    P.S. Today’s Alexa reach was 9 the last time I looked. This means almost 1000 people have already seen it today.

  2. truthseeker Says:

    Belatedly as in withholding information from the public that is/was the intended audience, thus limiting the numbers of people who attended this signal event where Dr Duesberg had a chance to address people in person, always the most effective platform.

    We have no idea is the answer to your question, which is as communicative as ever.

  3. chase Says:

    “and foolish patients who ignore or deride his advice.”

    Somehow, based on personal contact with him, I don’t think Peter would be supportive of that statement, TS — then again, I really don’t think anyone would. Deriding patient populations isn’t something he’s done. I wonder why — perhaps common decency?

  4. Truthseeker Says:

    Deriding patient populations isn’t something he’s done.

    Nor was it said here, C. We wrote that it is foolish patients who have derided him and his advice.

  5. McKiernan Says:

    Otis,

    Why isn’t Peter Duesberg on YouTube?

  6. pat Says:

    What is you tube to the world anyway?

  7. McKiernan Says:

    pat,

    YouTube is a media/video place from which to contact internet viewership to the general cyber-audience—inexpensively.

    Just in case you don’t know, YouTube was purchased by Google for $ 1.65 billion dollares, US.

  8. Truthseeker Says:

    The only reason Duesberg is not on YouTube is that we at NAR are technically inadequate, but we will see if we can get something up. HIV FRact or Fraud should be on YouTube, as it was on Google, but the authors reasonably prefer to charge the tiny fee of $2 to download a podcast from their website.

  9. chase Says:

    When I asked him for medical advice, he refused to give it to me. Although I found that perturbing, I understand his hesitancy, since he is not a medical doctor.

    I imagine that most patients are completely unaware of his work. You can’t ignore something you are unaware of. You could be ignorant of that work, but you couldn’t ignore it. If patients are ignorant of his work, I imagine outreach efforts on the part of rethinkers have not penetrated — certainly I can confirm that. Obviously, part of that is media spin on the situation. Celia made me aware, but not until Harper’s (I wasn’t a Spin reader, can’t imagine that many men looked to Spin for medical advice). Since most mainstream media have ignored his work, I’m not sure how people were supposed to become aware of it.

    I have met two men who knew of his work and did not react favorably to it. They explained that they were not supporters because they knew too many men who were HIV+/sick/dead who did not do drugs or poppers or live unhealthy lifestyles in any way. So I think they found the explanatory framework wanting.

    The only HIV+ gay man I know who ever derided his work was Gregg Gonsalves. Seems strange to generalize from Gregg Gonsalves to all HIV+ patients. Especially when several patients have derided Gregg Gonsavles in print and email for his attitudes towards dissident theories.

    Placing blame, therefore, on the patients seems both illogical and unkind, to say the least. Then again, I think you wrote that sentence exclusively for my benefit. And of course, I’ve praised his work, and questioned aspects of it. Apparently, quesitoning Duesberg’s work is the same as deriding it — a strange attitude from those who favor questioning the establishment.

  10. chase Says:

    Interestingly enough, it appears that if one is HIV+ and questions the establishment, one is accused of deriding the establishment. And if one is HIV+ and questions dissident theories, one is accused of deriding dissident theories. Given those truths, it would seem impossible for any questioning HIV+ person to be perceived as anything but derisive by both the establishment and the dissidents. And it would seem that the dissidents have decided to adopt the policy of the establishment in this regard. Is this another example of the oppressed emulating their oppressors? Apparently, yes. Is this something that HIV+ people should tolerate from either the estblishment or the dissidents? I think not. Questioning is not the same as deriding, that’s clear. Too bad both parties have such little respect or care so little about those who are most obviously caught in the middle. But then again — dissidence does not appear to be about patients’ needs, nor does establishment work. That perhaps is the saddest truth about the situation. While dissidents and the establishment argue back and forth, who will speak for patients caught in the middle? Patients will have to, obviously. They’re the pawns of both sides, but respected by neither.

  11. chase Says:

    Will patients continue to be pawns? I think not. Something new is coming — and sooner than later. It was indeed patients who helped get us into the mess we’re in, by fast-tracking extremely dangerous drugs and throwing support to the medical establishment. It will be patients who will get themselves out of this mess. Because clearly, patients cannot count on either side to really advocate for their needs.

  12. pat Says:

    I think I know what you tube is and how much cash it has recently generated. A word of advice: I would disable comments if you post anything on that site for it will attract the lowliest of verbiage and muddle the whole message. Just provide links to alternative HIV sites.

  13. Truthseeker Says:

    I imagine that most patients are completely unaware of his work. You can’t ignore something you are unaware of. You could be ignorant of that work, but you couldn’t ignore it. If patients are ignorant of his work, I imagine outreach efforts on the part of rethinkers have not penetrated — certainly I can confirm that.

    Ignorance of the fact that HIV/AIDS is a failed paradigm on the theoretical level and that you should read the critics to find out why is partly the fault of the censorship policy of NIAID, very successful in cowing the science writers of the nation, and partly the fault of patients who don’t doublecheck what they are told by the authorities they consult, which is certainly not their fault if they have no conception that the authorities can be wrong in science and in medicine.

    The ones that can be blamed are the ones who have trashed Duesberg before understanding what he is saying and how well founded it is in the literature and with substantial expert support from professionals and laymen. However, they are in the grip of psychological factors which overwhelm most human beings except the astonishingly small number who like to think for themselves, such as you, C.

    We are not including in this admirable group the conspiracy crackpots that are suspicious of authority for spurious emotional reasons.

  14. Truthseeker Says:

    Anyone here have problems running their Comments on Firefox and XP? Seems that the software doesn’t handle posting a comment properly, but sends you to a page which leads nowhere, even though the Comment has in fact posted OK.

    Apologies for that if others are experiencing it on PCs.

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