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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Homophobia twists AIDS

John Moore teaches us leadership

stophomophobWe are in receipt of an email from the distinguished Cornell researcher, John P. Moore, who may be one of the most combative and unthinking of paradigm proponents in the endlessly compromised field of HIV∫AIDS, but is thoughtful and has his heart in the right place on one topic, that’s for sure. He is a strong opponent of verbal homophobia, even in private email, and has written to us to deplore our apparent tolerance of this style of bullying in two of the most distinguished of his opponents in the HIV∫AIDS dispute, as recorded here in our previous post.

John P. Moore, implacable foe of HIV∫AIDS reviewersWe capitalized on the brou-ha-ha, he told us, without taking a stand against the sin. He was right. We were trying to keep out of that complicated social issue – in this case whether the written homophobic insults were inherently disgraceful, or merely the excesses of a private spat where insults are used to lash the recipient into paying careful attention, somewhat illogically – since it was not directly involved in the scientific debate about whether HIV caused AIDS or not, and it was up to the reader to decide where he/she stood on the particular example, and it was none of our business, and we preferred not to get in the middle of a catfight between two tigers.

John Moore wrote to tell us we were wrong, and it was important to take a stand, and we belatedly realized he was right. The only thing necessary to ensure the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, a saying someone has well applied to the Nazi genocide. We apologize. As Don Imus has belatedly realized too the use of hatefilled terms in argument is such a breach of decency and the use of bullying verbal violence of that kind is so hurtful to those who fear and have experienced worse along the same lines that nothing can excuse it.

To overlook it is to condone it, and the state of society is always improved by anyone’s objection to such things, and not objecting to it is to waste an opportunity to raise the level of discourse back to where it should be, after so many thousands of years of evolution, that is, free of bullying and violence.

But Moore needs to rethink, too

Our only excuse is that we were preoccupied with psychologist Mark Biernbaum’s telling email reminder to Moore that his bullying support of HIV∫AIDS conventional wisdom was more damaging by far to gays than any verbal abuse.

As long as the can of worms that is HIV∫AIDS remains sealed and efforts to open it are kept from the public eye by the strenuous efforts of John Moore and his cohorts on AIDSTruth and elsewhere, it is lives which will continue to be damaged and lost, not merely the peace of mind of a gay man in an email exchange where mutual understanding and a positive outcome are destroyed by such hostile language.

So we ask John P. Moore in his turn, if he feels so sensitive and solicitous about the welfare of a gay man attacked in private email with gayhating barbs, how can he reconcile himself to his denial of a public voice to those who bring to his attention the uncountable flaws in his favorite paradigm?

We are not even saying he knows he is wrong to think that HIV causes AIDS, although we know of at least one paper from 2004 where he pretty much admits that the difficulties of accepting that it does are insoluble. We’ll post that soon.

But how can he truly love gays as much as any other human beings and yet deny a voice to critics of HIV∫AIDS, some of them far higher in the pantheon of great scientists than he is as yet, when this leaves the fate of gays and other people hinging on his assumption that he is right without review, without a free public debate, and without free coverage from investigative reporters of the issue (he said in Montreal he wanted to ban coverage by journalists of the topic), which is the only way to ensure his judgement is sound, when so much of the scientific literature speaks against it?

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So we ask John P. Moore in his turn, if he feels so sensitive and solicitous about the welfare of a gay man attacked in private email with gayhating barbs, how can he reconcile himself to his denial of a public voice to those who bring to his attention the uncountable flaws in his favorite paradigm?
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And incidentally, we have an email in hand from Harvey Bialy, whose life has been devoted to truthful science in his roles as editor and scholar, saying quite forthrightly that he is not homophobic, but homophiliac, as anyone who knows him knows. If you want to read the whole exchange, pop over to the group blog You Bet Your Life and check out the new Bad manners and Good Gossip side box down on the left, a parking spot for “Potential contributions, of either original “good gossip”, or comments on pre-existing items, (which) may be sent to the managing editor.”

bialysunbig.jpgThe renowned independent scholar and fierce guard dog of science who spends much of his time with his sharp teeth clamped on the trousers of a terrified HIV∫AIDS paradigm promoter attempts to explain in his introduction why he habitually sends out scathingly sulphuric email that leaves its recipients with third degree burns:

Contrary to perhaps widely spread opinion (an expression with three ambiguous words), I am extremely thoughtful about everything I write whether it is intended for publication, private with the understanding that it is confidential, or private with the expectation that its recipient might wish to use its coarse language (or apparent betrayals of trust) against me at some future time on the wild and wooly way outset west ever, called The Internet.

And being a mischievous sort by nature and nombre (although as all who know me know, never malicious, no matter how “wicked” the mischief might appear), often these private emails of the third category wind up being extremely provocative, and often cause me considerably more “wasted time” (an ambiguous two word, common expression) than I bargained for in the initial, often improperly spell-checked, electronic missives, which are impulsive only in that restricted, technical sense.

Nonetheless, one cannot grumble about the fruits of the seeds of one’s own planting to any profit (although many try often to do so, at least to my experience), and so I bear the ignominies that come my way with the best good humor I am able to muster at the moment they come, life being quite a complex progression of connected temporal stimuli of all varieties from inside as well as out, and although each reducible to
“chemistry”, the temporal wholeness is a great deal more than the sum of its chemical parts. (I know, none of the above is either bad manners or good gossip…patience…we
will get there soon enough.)

We urge any readers who can extract from this extended riff exactly what the justification is supposed to be to please explain in Comments below.

Delusional Delaney

shirtBack to the topic of homophobia, which experts on CNN’s Anderson Cooper broadcast are already detecting in the Virginia Tech shooter, as one who feared he wasn’t as attracted to women as he wanted to be (see shirt at left). Whether this is true or not, self-hatred appears to be a common theme in discussions of this kind, whether heterosexual or homosexual. Could it be that certain well known promoters of the HIV∫AIDS paradigm suffer from this mental imbalance?

Certainly it is true that as many have pointed out gays have been their own worst enemy in HIV∫AIDS, many of them being led by activists often financed by the drug companies into deploring the critics of HIV∫AIDS who might have rescued them from an ideology not justified by the scientific literature.

delaneyp.jpgOne of the best examples of that is the post just put up at AIDSTruth by Martin Delaney, which begins by attacking Peter Duesberg as having no background in AIDS and thus no authority in reviewing the paradigm and rejecting it. Here it is with spelling corrected:

Peter Duesberg and homophobia
by Martin Delaney
April 15, 2007

More than a decade and a half ago we on the frontlines in the fight against HIV/AIDS concluded that Peter Duesberg was bitterly homophobic. Long before there were many anti-viral drugs for him to blame, he clearly blamed AIDS on the gay men who contracted it, arguing that it was the product of a life of promiscuity and drug abuse. In the earliest days, a lot of people suspected that, but studies were soon done by Ascher and others that disproved the theory. Only Duesberg continued to promote the belief, despite studies of thousands of drug using men, controlled for the presence or absence of HIV. Only the presence of HIV correlated with death and major immune deficiency. Drug use and promiscuity were indeed a risk factor for contracting HIV, but by themselves were never shown capable of producing AIDS-like symptoms. Despite this evidence, Duesberg continued to blame AIDS on the behavior of the men, not the viral infection they acquired. This was the same nonsense mouthed by right wing fundamentalists, minus the religious overtones. It still came down to blaming the victim for the disease. In my opinion Duesberg always was, and continues to be, a major homophobe. For a while, he tried to counter this view by hanging around with leather-clad gay men, trying to show some affiliation, but these men were simply a first wave of denialists among the gay community. They were notorious themselves for denigrating others in the gay community, accusing people with AIDS of promiscuity and drug abuse. Their presence in no way cleansed Duesberg of his homophobia.

In all his efforts to blame the victim for the disease, Duesberg has always overlooked the fact that there were plenty of gay men who died of AIDS who never had a history of either promiscuity or drug use. Whenever confronted with this information, Duesberg simply accused people of lying or being in denial.

While I am not aware of explicit homophobic words on record by Duesberg (unlike his friend and business colleague Harvey Bialy, though both are known to use racial slurs), his explanations about AIDS makes it clear what he thinks of gay people in general – contrary to clear, controlled studies, Duesberg insists that AIDS is the fault of the immorality of its victims.

As anyone informed knows, Duesberg has in fact a record of

a) having written a series of the most extensive and comprehensive reviews of HIV’s role in AIDS,on which he became the best informed man in the world,

b) he mapped the sequences of not one but about ten retroviruses

c) he has written about 15 grant proposals for the NIH on researching HIV and AIDS , all rejected for so little reason that even the past editor of Science complained (Dan Koshland) after supporting one in vain and

d) he demonstrated the toxicity of AZT before it was acknowledged as indeed the cause of many needless deaths before the mid nineties, when the dose was reduced by two thirds.

If he is right in his judgement, tempered and tested in the white heat of hostile reaction and penalties, from his peers and scientific ignoramuses both, and produced by more careful study of the literature than anybody else in the world, he has thus saved many gay men’s lives, and continues to try and save more, even as they continue to insist, under the leadership of Martin Delaney and other activists funded by the drug manufacturers (computers still working well, Martin?), in taking a little AZT and ARV’s in a cocktail which has no party spirit in it at all, in fact, causes the drug symptoms which half the deaths of AIDS patients in the US are now attributed to.

As one informed observer has recently pointed out here, the predicament of gays who take high doses of recreational drugs and/or are overly strenuous in cleaning themselves and thus stripping their digestive systems of protective flora and fauna, are by every logic and paper in the relevant literature endangering themselves, and if Duesberg is responsible for pointing that out he is hardly homophobic.

As so many distinguished contributors have pointed out here in Comments, gay men have largely ignored this advice, instead developing a reflex hostility towards it for political and emotional reasons, Figures like Martin Delaney are among those who have to take prime responsibility for fostering those political and emotional motivations, which have persuaded so many to ignore reason and the message of the scientific literature, which tells us that HIV is the last thing that might cause immune system dysfunction, and the partying habits of many gays the first thing that should be considered instead.

The “plenty of gay men who died of AIDS who never had a history of either promiscuity or drug use” are without much doubt those who took AZT or the later cocktails, since the only improvement that has resulted from spoonfeeding them standard medications over two decades to date not surprisingly coincides with the reduction in AZT dose in the early nineties. There has been no improvement since, as we learned last summer.

The question Martin Delaney and John Moore have to answer is, do they really think there is no question to answer?

Or are they overcome with some kind of bias in favor of the status quo which prevents them from even considering the alternative, a bias so strong that they wish to prevent others from considering it also?

Whether that bias stems from other factors or from homophobia, there is no doubt that is has a seriously homophobic effect, the illness and death of those that trust their leadership.

That. at least, is what the scientific literature tells the few people who read it without preconceptions.

8 Responses to “Homophobia twists AIDS”

  1. Dan Says:

    So we ask John P. Moore in his turn, if he feels so sensitive and solicitous about the welfare of a gay man attacked in private email with gayhating barbs, how can he reconcile himself to his denial of a public voice to those who bring to his attention the uncountable flaws in his favorite paradigm?

    Actions speak louder than words, Mr. Moore.

  2. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    Thanks for this post. I appreciate your renewed understanding, which I think is much more comprehensive, of the numerous ways in which homophobia has both helped to create and maintain the current HIV/AIDS “crisis.”

    Recently, someone dug up a comment I made at Dean Esmay’s about a year ago (“I am an AIDS terrorist”), in which I encouraged gay men to believe no one, to read everything, and to make choices that worked for them. I was amazed to see that I still feel the same way. As you have discussed above, gay men were intimately involved in the establishment of AIDS, Inc. And as we’ve discussed privately, I believe it will be gay men who will make the final call in this debate — and I hope they will reject the current paradigm.

    I think it is always important to remember, and historians of science say this all the time, that science does not occur in a vaccuum. Large cultural influences as well as the simple psychology of each scientist, play important roles in what science is deemed acceptable, and what isn’t. The science historians of the future will likely have a lot to discuss when it comes to
    HIV/AIDS.

  3. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    If what Bialy wrote is supposed to be considered an apology — I’d have to say it’s a long shot away from the very simple and elegant, “I’m sorry.” Seems a lot more like excuses for bad behavior. I remain unimpressed and unmoved. His reputation as homophobic stays intact with me. Such “excuses for bad behavior” only serve to add insult to injury. Some people have real difficulty with the words, “I’m sorry,” or “I was wrong.” Those people deserve the derision their actions inspire.

  4. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    Look, I’ll make this simple. John Moore is right about the emails from Claus Jensen and from Bialy. They were homophobic and hurtful, and when I went to people whom I thought (erroneously) were friends (like Celia Farber, David Steele, Chritine Maggiore) for help with this, their responses ranged from uninterested, to tepid, to downright insulting as well. Rebecca Culshaw, to my great relief, registered indignation and was prespared to write emails to condemn what had been written — she was the only one who initiallly saw how disgusting and unacceptable the emails from Jensen and Bialy were. Now with even more time and distance to consider the situation, only you, TS, appears to have learned anything at all from this incident. Shame on everyone else.

    AIDS, Inc. may be killing gay men with chemotherapy, but no dissident who can’t say “that was wrong” or “that is an unacceptable comment,” will be able to help even one gay man get away from AIDS, Inc. because they’ll have no standing amongst gay audiences when they glibly gloss over such homophobic behaviors. The dissidents are totally incapacitated now because of this, and they will remain impotent to help until they see fit to see clearly.

  5. Dan Says:

    Look, I’ll make this simple. John Moore is right about the emails from Claus Jensen and from Bialy. They were homophobic and hurtful, and when I went to people whom I thought (erroneously) were friends (like Celia Farber, David Steele, Chritine Maggiore) for help with this, their responses ranged from uninterested, to tepid, to downright insulting as well.

    For those of you who are just tuning in…

    Welcome to another episode of Mark Biernbaum’s “It’s ALL About ME!” Also known as “The Unending Search to Find Homophobia Everywhere I Look, Except In the Mirror”.

    I, for one, would be glad and honored to consider Farber, Steele, Maggiore, and other prominent rethinkers as my friends. Their contributions to exposing the deadly AIDS fraud are so far-reaching that it would be difficult to fully see their positive impacts.

    As a gay man, who do I see as my friends? Gallo, Fauci, Moore, Wainberg, and so on? Or Farber, Duesberg, Bialy, the Perth Group, Scheff and so on? The second group is the winner, without question.

  6. Truthseeker Says:

    Mark, is not what Dan said true? Is it not time to move on from disturbing the placid waters of scientific debate exposing the perfidy of HIV∫AIDS nonscience with the mini maelstrom of reacting to personal homophobia, deplorable and hurtful though it may be and deeply felt in your case? Is there not a point where we have a duty to press on with the real work of saving lives, instead of wrangling over whether personal insults are really social ones or not?

    Isn’t the important thing that all these people including myself are fighting the greatest homophobic action in modern history after Hitler, which is the decimation of gays with drugs that have no scientific basis in fact and do them no good whatsoever, except temporarily in ways which have nothing to do with the Virus, all with the active, indeed enthusiastic cooperation of the victims themselves? Including your cooperation, by the way, in your lack of commitment to standing firmly on the ground won in the rational analysis of the paradigm and its flaws, and accusing some of the paradigm correctors of homophobia.

    All the scientific literature now says that HIV is a harmless virus as Peter Dusberg has long told the world, and the sometimes severe problems urban gays get into with their health cannot be rescued with ARVS but with quite different interventions. Yet this analysis is attacked as blaming the gays for their behavior ie being homophobic. Is it not a thousand times more important to defending the health and lives of gays that you counter this wrongful accusation of general homophobia than in effect encourage it by so obsessively reacting to email flaming which the perpetrators obviously do not write out of a general homophobia, as they now protest?

    Aren’t you simply fanning the flames of a deadly global accusation that HIV∫AIDS critics are homophobic to criticize the behavior of gays when they are simply trying to rescue them from punishing and defeating their own health? All this twisting of the picture only encourages the HIV∫AIDS paradigm defenders and allows them to take advantage of it, just as John Moore is currently with his string of misleading posts headlined on the front page of AIDS?truth.org.

    You know that. Why play into his hands? Why not accept the replies of the two distinguished fighters for truth in HIV that they are homophiliac, and just lashing you for what they think is your foolishness with whatever comes to hand, which in your case is your sensitivity to homophobia, which is very understandable to anyone who has suffered bullying or bothers to imagine what it is like, but seems a little obsessive to those who are trying to fight what is a grand death threat to gays on a global front?

    Otherwise you are just adding to the wall of political defense surrounding the paradigm. are you not?

  7. MartinDKessler Says:

    Hi Truthseeker – Glad you’re back with a new improved site.
    I’m very conflicted about the use of the word “Homophobia”. I prefer to use the term(s): anti-gay bigotry. The reason is that the term Homophobia is a “mental illness”. That is, it’s a no-fault disease. Previously homosexuality was a disease until it was removed from the DSM in 1973. The reasons it was removed were no more scientific than the reasons it was put there in the first place. I agree that Duesberg et al are more friendly with gays than the pseudoscientists like Moore. I believe their compassion towards gays is just as fake as the science they support. If they (Moore et al) really cared about gays, they would be much more concerned with the effects of the toxic substances that are being prescribed for people that test (and not tested at all) positive for what are considered antibodies to the retrovirus called HIV.

  8. Truthseeker Says:

    Thank you Martin, well stated. “Compassion is a state of being”, according to yesterday’s Chinese fortune cookie (literally, that’s what ours said), and both Moore and Delaney, like Wainberg, seem in their public statements and private or behind the scenes actions to be more vicious, even rabid, than compassionate. But as always those who make claims the loudest are those deserve them least. The issue is always, do these men really believe what they are saying? Are scientists like Moore really illiterate in their own field?

    We are about to post a paper that shows that Moore is not illiterate but fully up to speed on the deficits of the HIV∫AIDS paradigm he publicly supports so adamantly.

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