Damned Heretics

Condemned by the established, but very often right

I am Nicolaus Copernicus, and I approve of this blog

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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.


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.

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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Ira Gershwin encourages HIV dissenters to survive ridicule

Ira Gershwin like many songwriters was a canny student of human nature, and quite familiar with the habit of everybody, including scientists, to laugh at those who seek to topple the old way of thinking.

In fact in the classic song, “They All Laughed” he appears to have written a theme song especially for HIV?AIDS heretics, one to encourage discouraged dissenters to soldier on regardless of this frustrating flaw in human nature.

Here are the full lyrics, courtesy of songwriter Robert Houston whose comments are below (post expanded and corrected in line with those comments):

“They All Laughed”

music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin

They All Laughed

Lyrics by: Ira Gershwin

Music by: George Gershwin

Arranged by: Billy May

From the Film: Shall We Dance (1936)

Label: Reprise Records

Recorded: September 18, 1979


The odds were a hundred to one against me

The world thought the heights were too high to climb

But people from Missouri never incensed me

Oh, I wasn’t a bit concerned

For from hist’ry I had learned

How many, many times the worm had turned

They all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round

They all laughed when Edison recorded sound

They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother when they said that man could fly

They told Marconi wireless was a phony, it’s the same old cry

They laughed at me wanting you, said I was reaching for the moon

But oh, you came through, now they’ll have to change their tune

They all said we never could be happy, they laughed at us and how!

But ho, ho, ho! Who’s got the last laugh now?

They all laughed at Rockefeller Center, now they’re fighting to get in

They all laughed at Whitney and his cotton gin

They all laughed Fulton and his steamboat, Hershey and his chocolate bar

Ford and his Lizzie, kept the laughers busy, that’s how people are

They laughed at me wanting you, said it would be, “Hello, Goodbye.”

But oh, you came through, now they’re eating humble pie

They all said we’d never get together, darling, let’s take a bow

For ho, ho, ho! Who’s got the last laugh?

Hee, hee, hee! Let’s at the past laugh, Ha, ha, ha! Who’s got the last laugh now?

Why we encourage them too

But will HIV?AIDS heretics have the last laugh? If you are familiar with the number of anomalies, inconsistencies, and outright anti-scientific claims inherent in the current paradigm so beloved by many across the globe who benefit from it in one way or another, it seems impossible that the sheer irrationality of this dreamlike vision can resist common sense forever.

Surely at some point one of the unfortunates who test “HIV positive” but are otherwise the picture of rude health will react to the news not with despair, meekly delivering themselves into the mouth of the AIDS medication machine, which will so reliably make true what otherwise seems prima facie false, ie that they are really ill and will die soon, but instead deliver a sharp punch on the nose of the health worker-cum-cult adherent who tries to lure them in with the medical equivalent of Ron Hubbard’s Mark SuperVII Quantum Electropsychometer?

That absurdly quack instrument, by the way, is currently being deployed at rush hour in the Times Square subway station by earnest young Scientologists. For as long as they escape the attention of the police, these missionaries persuade passers by to stop and hold two metal cans attached to red wires and a meter, which is labeled with numbers and the legend “Rise and Fall”, and inform them that it measures their level of “stress”. Told their reading is “off the charts” they are then encouraged to buy a copy of “Dianetics” ($8) and work out who is “ruining” their lives.

If there is any meaningful difference between their activities and the spread of similar HIV?AIDS missionaries across Africa, the Orient and now the ex-Soviet Empire, armed with HIV test kits, we don’t know what it is. The activities of both groups of practitioners are lent authority only by a pseudo scientific bible which has not withstood close examination by outsiders.

In the case of the HIV?AIDS carpetbaggers the sole difference is that they often do not even bother to bring out their test kit at all, but simply pronounce an “AIDS” sufferer anyone ill from any number of African diseases including simply the poor health consequences of lack of hygiene, poverty and malnutrition.

The response to criticism is much the same in both movements as well. The HIV?AIDS leaders have been no nicer in allowing their activities to be scrutinized than the Scientiologists, who are renowned for their lethal personal counter attack on any journalist who dares write a critical article. HIV?AIDS scientists have protected their paradigm with equally nasty tactics which prevent publication or appearance on television, sequester their opponents far from the public eye, and reduce them to penury. One recent death of a prominent truthseeker in the field is even being talked about as a suicide.

Alas, the policy of hostile evasion has been a smashing success over the last twenty years in protecting HIV?AIDS from dissent, along with the enthusiastic cooperation of the media from the New York Times on down, so the public at large remains in a state of blissful ignorance of any challenge, let alone the fact that the professional critique and rejection was delivered almost immediately the HIV juggernaut came to life, was published in the highest science journals in the land and has so far lain unrefuted in the same journals, as relevant and lethal today as when it was published.

So that first punch on the nose remains to be delivered and exactly when the main bubble may burst, we cannot say. Unlike the dot.com bubble of the late nineties, it does not contain the seeds of its own destruction, in the short term at least. It will take a decade or two before the gloomy predictions of mass African deaths will be revealed to be as empty as the predictions of AIDS decimating heterosexuals in the US.

On the other hand, if enough medications are delivered to Africa, the dire prediction may actually be realized, just as it has been among gays in the US, where the death rate from AIDS has been maintained by ultimately lethal medications, in the form of both DNA chain terminators (Still used) and protease inhibitors (which generate unpleasant side effects including fatty humps and liver damage – read the label – after an initial pseudo-improvement, which apparently arises as bacteria are killed off and fresh bone marrow T-cell manufacture is provoked).

With its iatrogenic deaths HIV?AIDS is thus a self-fulling prophecy which may never be disproved in the public eye by visible anomalies, and only those who read the scientific literature will know for sure of its theoretical emptiness – unless one thing happens. That is if an editor at one of the major media is sufficiently independent minded, or authorized to be, to take a long look at what is going on and spread it across many pages in a convincing manner.

Such an editor is hard to find, since the media have snuggled closer and closer in bed with the establishment they are meant to be covering in recent decades. And there can be few socio-political movements in which so many members of the establishment in science and outside it have invested their reputation, their money, and their careers, as well as the reputations of the governments they head, the institutions they run, the journals they edit, the research they have carried out, and committed their moral credit to both privately and publicly, as the cause of HIV and AIDS.

One editor we have in mind, though, seems to have remained sufficiently independent to do what is required, despite being a fully paid up member of the establishment himself. We have reason to expect that he will in time let loose a literary missile, polished and spiked with explosive revelation, fit to penetrate the usually impervious HIV?AIDS citadel far enough at least to open a large crack in its wall, through which others from the media less powerfully armed with intelligence and moral outrage may enter.

In other words, we predict that some time in the future a sufficiently powerful article will appear briefing the general public on the sorry state of affairs in HIV?AIDS science to cause a stir, and awaken follow up coverage from reporters in the major media. We do not mean of course the notoriously craven lickspittles of AIDS reporting, who have acted as mentally absent stenographers of the fantastical pronouncements of HIV?AIDS authorities for twenty years.

After twenty years of scorn and derision, the blackballed, uninvited and unfunded AIDS heretics might be forgiven for faltering in their commitment to scientific sanity, despite the optimistic lesson of “They All Laughed.” But we say to them all cheer up, the blackout may be ending, for a chink of light is now visible at the end of the tunnel.

2 Responses to “Ira Gershwin encourages HIV dissenters to survive ridicule”

  1. Robert Houston Says:

    There was never a more brilliant songwriting team than George Gershwin and his brother Ira. “They All Laughed” is considered one of the most clever of all love songs. Ira got the idea from seeing an ad for a music correspondence course (“They all laughed when I sat down to play the piano”), then turned this into a jaunty reflection on the ridicule that often greets great advances in science as well as in love. George starts the main melody in a pentatonic scale, then modulates skillfully through several key changes. It was first sung by Ginger Rogers in the 1937 movie, Shall We Dance. The incredible event of which she sang was her marrying a ballet dancer, played by Fred Astaire. It had been five years since the Gershwins had a major hit song, and word was out that George had gone highbrow and lost the magic. This and two other great songs in the movie (“They can’t take that away from me” and “Let’s call the whole thing off”) became hits and proved the scoffers wrong. Another delightful Gershwin lyric that could sung by dissenters from HIV-AIDS and other forms of religious dogma is “It Ain’t Necessarily So” (Porgy and Bess, 1935).

  2. Robert Houston Says:

    To encourage freethinkers, the Freedom from Religion Foundation provides the Gershwin lyrics for “It Ain’t Necessarily So” after a brief bio. (Click HERE to see them.)My old copy of the original sheet music of “They All Laughed” shows that Ira, always a perfectionist, wrote “It’s the same old cry” – not “try”. It should also be noted that this post gave only half the song; the rest is just as witty and relevant. Click HERE for the full text.

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