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.

HONOR ROLL OF SCIENTIFIC TRUTHSEEKERS

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).

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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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John Moore shoots self in foot with Amazon review of Harvey Bialy


Spoiler panning of “Oncogenes” boosts sales and delights author

The remarkable John Moore has posted a review of Harvey Bialy’s book about Peter Duesberg on Amazon, and his evident motivation of doing the mad professor an injury seems to have backfired. Soon after the screed appeared the sales rating for the book shot up sevenfold.

As readers here may know, “Oncogenes, Aneuploidy, and AIDS: A Scientific Life and Times of Peter H. Duesberg” is a unique scientific biography with a bombshell message. Bialy’s book is the story of the career of a brilliant scientific mind written by a peer, explaining rather convincingly why both of them believe that the highflying current paradigms of HIV?AIDS and cancer genes are both based on fantasy rather than fact.

The tongue twister of a title reflects the double edged appeal of the pages inside, paradigm politics mixed with science that is a hard read in parts for the layman. But the revelations are always reliable. This is shown by the fact that the book has not been attacked before, even though it is a sort of ticking time bomb which undermines the fond beliefs and mightily threatens the position of all those who live off the perks of the prevailing paradigms in two fields, HIV?AIDS and cancer.

For two years no one hostile to its message has dared launch a review trashing it or challenging its contents in any public space, following the one long and laudatory review by George Miklos in Nature Biotechnology when it first came out. Even armchair ranters on the Web have known better.

Until yesterday, that is.

The policy so far has been to quietly ignore it. So with all its unique qualities as a convincingly disturbing guide as to how billions are being misspent the book after two years was quietly sitting at a respectable Amazon rating of 200,000 or so when Moore wrote this appreciation this weekend.

A travesty of science, June 25, 2006

Reviewer: John P Moore, PhD (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

It is hard to imagine that this book was actually written by a professional scientist. The author displays only his ignorance and his prejudices when championing the extraordinary argument that HIV does not cause AIDS. This theory, of course, is utter nonsense, but it is a nonsense that was created by Peter Duesberg, the maverick scientist who is the focus of the book. Hence the author is writing a hagiography of one of his heroes, not a fair and accurate representation of the scientific facts and moral truths about HIV/AIDS. The book should therefore be read (or preferably not read) in that political context: it appeals to the small clique of AIDS denialists who think like the author does, and it should be ignored by anyone who respects science and the truth. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and when it comes to HIV and AIDS, the author and his hero are prime examples of the aphorism in practice. For factual information on HIV/AIDS, interested people should consult http://www.aidstruth.org or the NIAID’s web-site, amongst other bona fide resources.

John P. Moore, PhD

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology,

Weill Medical College of Cornell University,

New York

A literary stab in the heart, right? Not exactly. Soon enough Bialy, instead of being miffed, was chortling in email to us “Can you dig this? It already has produced enough sales to get me an only 2 left in stock! What a guy.” To Moore he wrote the following appreciative letter:

do you always do as I ask?

it was not in nature or the ny times (neither would publish you now) but free and easy amazon was just too tempting. i believe my sales rank was in 200,000 range before you posted. when i looked last and discovered your wonderful, wonderful review it was 29,000 and there were only 2 copies left in stock.

what can i say except please be very, very careful crossing the street, your value to the insurgency grows exponentially almost (you do know what that word means, don’t you? do you know what a sigmoid curve looks like and what it means? probably not, but you are beginning to experience the part where the slope gets very positive very fast.

Why is Bialy so chuffed? His reasoning goes as follows. When a book is so pristine that it has no real flaw, then an obviously over the top hostile review simply piques the interest of the intelligent reader, the only kind he wishes to collect. Apparently the Duesberg book won about 200 new sales from the cheaply hostile Nature review, according to the publisher, Regnery.

The current clash between Bialy and Moore is not the first, as it happens. Moore wrote an equally childishly damning review for Nature of Peter Duesberg’s book Inventing the AIDS Virus (Regnery) in 1996 (see below). Science editor at the time of Nature Biotechnology, Bialy called Moore up at Sloane Kettering and lambasted him as not worthy of shining Duesberg’s shoes. The hapless Moore, a politically innocent Brit twit fresh from Cambridge was taken aback, to say the least, to be exposed to the fiery Bialy’s scorching opinion.

Moore had been been put up to it by David Ho, according to Bialy’s sources. As noted in his Comment post here yesterday, Bialy suspects that the diatribe Moore penned as an Op Ed piece in the Times recently was also instigated by Ho, a short researcher whose breakthrough concept of cocktail therapy for HIV?AIDS won him a Time cover in the 90s, even though the scientific theory it was based upon is now laughed at even by the HIV?AIDS establishment.

Ho is now leading the effort to find a vaccine for HIV, which even mainstream commentators such as Abraham Karpas of Cambridge suggest may be irrational: “The immune response to HIV can be compared to that of a live viral vaccine. It explains why most HIV-infected individuals remain well for years.” (Human retroviruses in leukaemia and AIDS: reflections on their discovery, biology and epidemiology. – Biol. Rev. 2004, 79, pp 911-933)

Anyway now Bialy is bouncing around in email heaven sending copies of this interchange to selected friends and enemies (one unfortunate recipient was Martin Delaney, who responded desperately in large capital letters, STOP SENDING ME THIS DRIVEL, and when Bialy reminded him of filters, explained at some length why he couldn’t use one – on his network a filter would block Bialy communications from everyone else, and “While I doubt anyone here has any useful dialogue with you, it’s not appropriate for me to deprive others of the right to watch your little cat fights.”)

Bialy’s logic is devilish and apparently valid. His book is the opposite of Moore’s rant, as is obvious to any working mind. It is a precise and revealing professional biography about the discoveries and travails of a gifted and intellectually penetrating scientist, who when compared with his opponents, the most prominent being David Baltimore, Robert Gallo and Anthony Fauci, can reasonably be called a genius. Both author and his subject are distinguished as truthseekers rather than self-promoters, counter to the modern trend.

Half of the text consists of descriptions of the derailing of science in HIV?AIDS and cancer genes, showing how the academically impeccable Duesberg has debunked the hollow theories in both fields and suggested better alternatives, all to a conspicuous lack of enthusiasm on the part of the socio-economic systems built on both.

The other half interweaves the scientific story with telling accounts of the backstage dealings which the distinguished German-American’s scientific challenge to the mainstream have provoked – ostracism, unfunding, almost impossible hurdles to publication, secret offers of redemption if the honest professor acquiesced, and the like.

A correctly edited version of Moore’s review might go roughly as follows:

It is easy to imagine that this book was actually written by a professional scientist. The author displays only his knowledge and prejudice in favor of good science when championing the extraordinary argument that HIV does not cause AIDS. This theory, of course, solves at one stroke the many puzzling indications that the current paradigm is utter nonsense, and the puzzles evaporate as the evidence is reinterpreted by Peter Duesberg, the maverick scientist who is the focus of the book. Hence the author is very justifiably writing a hagiography of one of his heroes, a fair and accurate representation of the scientific facts and moral truths about the sometimes appalling behavior of the leaders of HIV/AIDS. The book should therefore be read (preferably not read once, but at least twice) in that political context: it appeals to the growing crowd of AIDS critics who think like the author does, and it should be cherished by anyone who respects science and the truth. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and when it comes to HIV and AIDS, the author and his hero expose prime examples of the aphorism in practice. The additional knowledge they provide is enough to enable readers to avoid the gross dangers to which they otherwise will be exposed. For factual information on HIV/AIDS, interested people should consult http://www.newaidsreview.org

You would think that Moore, from his long ago experience of having his ear scorched by Bialy at Sloane-Kettering, would know better than to get into a cat-fight with the impatient idealist, who has become notorious as an email and blog provocateur in the last two years, since discovering the true power of the Web after his book was published.

From the safety of Cuernavaca, Mexico, Bialy, who became financially independent following a lucky investment, has become the most unrestrained tormenter of both the HIV?AIDS establishment and its critics, sending capitalized excoriation and challenges to both sides in email which quickly reaches heights of red hot chile expression that even Bialy describes as “bizarre, crazy and off putting to some – you have my permission to say so”.

His email madness has method to it, however. Bialy dismisses the promoters of the HIV?AIDS paradigm and other questionable science as “insecure poseurs, all of them without a single bit of self worth, because all their achivements are grounded on lies. So unlike truthtellers they don’t have real responses when poked but react like robots. I am an expert at poking them, I delight in it and it takes me no time at all. Anybody who is into this thing has to know they are frauds, just as Baltimore and Gallo know it.”

Bialy compares his performance on the Web, where he orchestrates provocative web discussions on blogs such as DeanEsmay or Aetiology in much the same way as his email exchanges, with his 35 years of studies in Tai Chi. “People like that are puppets. You can make them do anything. Twist them and turn them. If I was 5 per cent as good at Tai Chi as I am in email I would have my own school!”

On blogs, he engages with the HIV activists who enter discussions to impede progress – “these morons” – to build tutorial discussions, such as the one from Dean Esmay’s blog last year that reached a record 159 pages, which has been downloaded ten thousand times, Bialy estimates. These are made available as Internet ‘books’ that can be found on the AIDS Wiki at Insurgency Blogging Documents.

He doesn’t expect ever to change the minds of Moore or any of the HIV?AIDS faithful, he says. “Not after twenty years of vested interest. Maybe they really believe it. The New York Times is the equivalent to a public figure who, after speaking forcefully on one side of a grave and controversial issue for quite a long time, cannot afford to advocate the opposite. I recall Malcolm X coming back from Mecca and announcing that ‘the white man is not the devil. Capitalism is the devil.’ Not long after that he was shot.”

“I function from the premise that the major media is closed to the corrective view of AIDS, so I fight on the Internet and in email as an insurgent. I know that I will never change the mind of anyone in the media power structure but I have every expectation of taking it down.”

—————–

Here is a copy (from the new anti-HIV critic site AIDS Truth, which is the current reference collection of misleading defenses of the HIV?AIDS paradigm) of John Moore’s extraordinary self-condemnation in Nature, his 1996 review bashing Duesberg and his “Inventing the AIDS Virus”. This earlier effort, starting with its slightly silly pun of a title “A Duesberg, Adieu!”, trumps his recent New York Times Op-Ed editorial, “Deadly Quackery”, on every parameter of shame. For sheer greenhorn effrontery, coupled with its factual inaccuracy and scientific misapprehension, this masterwork has to be read to be believed. Some of the insufficient logic is apparent to any layman, but it is the unselfconscious crudity of the schoolboy insults which is most grievous. Apparently Moore is the original adolescent Web flamer, writing before his time.

(show)

À DUESBERG, ADIEU!

John Moore

Nature Volume 380 March 28, 1996

Inventing the AIDS Virus. By Peter H. Duesberg. Regnery: 1996, Pp. 722. $24.95

According to Bryan Ellison, who co-wrote with Peter Duesberg an earlier version of Inventing the AIDS Virus, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tried to suppress the publication of this book. I can’t think why they would want to bother. But conspiracy theories so pervade the book and that I shouldn’t be in the least surprised if Oliver Stone does the movie.

Duesberg’s central thesis is that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a harmless virus, and that life-style (especially recreational drug use) is the principal reason why people die of AIDS. The use of AZT as an AIDS therapy is blamed for exacerbating the problem. In the first section of his book, Duesberg tells the story of an obscure syndrome (SMON) that was present in Japan from the 1950s to the 1970s. Despite persistent theories of a viral cause, SMON was found to be a toxicological problem caused by anti-diarrhoea drugs sometimes used to treat SMON symptoms. Duesberg draws an analogy from these events to AIDS, with AZT analogous to the anti-diarrhoea drugs. An interesting tale, but documenting this and a few other old medical mistakes scarcely proves that AZT causes AIDS and that HIV is a mere passenger virus. But according to Duesberg, “No fatal viral disease is known to cause death in nearly all infected people — except the paradoxical ‘AIDS virus’.” Try telling that to those who came across Ebola-Zäire; their mortality rate was about 80 per cent, for this virus is literally more lethal than a bullet in the head.

The book contains no new revelations on the ‘non-link’ between HIV and AIDS since September 1995, when the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released its 61-page document on The Relationship Between the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. This contains all the facts, and I strongly recommend people to read it. Of course, seeing that it was written by government scientists, it will no doubt be dismissed by Duesberg’s sympathizers as part of a continuing cover-up. For according to Duesberg, the AIDS epidemic became the “salvation” of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) of the CDC is described as the “medical CIA” and ex-members are said to “have obtained prominent positions in the media”. One even edits a scientific journal. How sinister! Whatever next? Essentially, Duesberg’s case is that the fundamental purpose of the CDC is to invent medical emergencies for the National Institutes of Health to resolve – anything is justified so long as the tax dollars just keep on rollin’. Implicit, and often explicit, is that tens of thousands of health-care professionals and research scientists are either too stupid to realize that HIV is not the cause of AIDS, or too venal to do anything about it for fear of losing income from the government or drug companies.

Duesberg mounts an assault on the virology “establishment”, with special emphasis on the tumour virologists of the 1960s and 1970s. Researchers mistakes, real and opined, are gleefully documented – a veritable virological Who’s Who is castigated. And the trend continues when the HIV section is finally reached. There, all the ‘big name’ retrovirologists of the 1980s are targeted, and the early scandals of AIDS research are picked over yet again. So many scientists and so many of the “mistakes” are listed that I was eventually reminded of the old joke about the brigade of guards on parade, with one little guardsman horribly out of step. When the drill sergeant bawls at him, an old lady attacks him with an umbrella saying: “Leave him alone, my boy Peter is in step, it’s all them other so-and-so’s what are the problem!” All this ancient history is very entertaining, but it hardly seems central to the purpose of the book. Or is it?

Although some vengeance might be expected from a virologist whose eminent career was ended by the AIDS epidemic, one might have wished for a better understanding of modern virology from Duesberg. One of his main complaints about HIV and other ‘slow’ viruses is that they “violate the laws of virology”. But what are these laws? Was it carved in stone that the Lord God spake unto the retroviridiae and commanded: “Thou shalt not kill”? The great beauty of biology – indeed, of science in general – is that as knowledge advances, so paradigms shift; if HIV acts differently from the viruses Duesberg grew up with, what of it? And herein, I suspect, lies the basic problem: Duesberg clearly has an outstanding knowledge of the relatively simple avian leukaemia viruses with which he made his professional reputation. But he draws his views on how HIV ‘should’ behave from his early research experience; he has never published any papers based on his own work with HIV at the laboratory bench. Reading the AIDS literature can take one only so far: experimenting gives active researchers a whole new dimension to their knowledge.

I can list here only a few of the more egregious examples of Duesberg’s misunderstanding of HIV virology. He states that “retroviruses do not kill cells”. This assertion is not even correct for all avian leukaemia viruses, and anyone who has cultured HIV can attest to its prominent cytopathic effects. HIV is not a leukaemia (onco)virus; it is a lentivirus, and behaves distinctly differently from the oncoviruses both in vivo and in vitro. To extrapolate from avian leukaemia virus to HIV is like asserting that because one can stroke a pussy-cat with impunity, it is perfectly safe to put one’s head in a lion’s mouth. Duesberg sees a fatal paradox in the fact that HIV can be grown in permanently infected, immortal T-cell lines in vitro, yet is supposed to cause AIDS by killing T cells in vivo. There is no such paradox. When a chronically infected cell culture is started, clones of cells relatively resistant to the cytopathic effects of HIV are gradually selected for and eventually take over the culture. There can also be some adaptation of the cells (and virus) to the culture conditions. The principal phenotypic change in the cells is a partial reduction in the surface expression of the HIV receptor, which reduces the extent of cell-killing in the culture. But the HIV produced in these cultures is still highly cytopathic when plated back onto unadapted primary T cells. And sadly, HIV produced from permanent cell lines is pathogenic in vivo – it is today causing disease in at least one accidentally infected laboratory worker.

Duesberg writes: “Only rare luck … can extract HIV from an antibody-positive person”. Perhaps I should get the technicians in our laboratory to buy my lottery tickets; they succeed in isolating HIV almost every time they try. Many of Duesberg’s problems with the pathogenic effects of HIV seem to lie in his belief that HIV is dormant in vivo, that HIV-infected people “never have more than one in every 10,000 T-cells actively producing copies of the virus”. This old canard, derived from research in the mid-1980s, has long since been proved incorrect. In the early days of HIV research, analytical techniques were obviously more primitive than they are now, so why still rely on them? The true figure for the frequency of infected cells is more like 1 in 100, although there is a wide range, depending on the state of disease progression. The documented loss of more than a hundred million T cells a day as a result of the generation of more than a billion virus particles a day attests to the virulence of HIV.

Duesberg points out that the opportunistic infections suffered by AIDS patients are unrelated to each other, and finds this hard to reconcile with any common cause, let alone HIV. The common cause is that opportunistic infections generally happen because of a dysfunctional immune system, and the cause of this dysfunction is usually HIV infection. Of course, there can be other causes – genetic or environmental – but rarely is the dysfunction as devastating as that found in the later stages of HIV infection, and never is it as common.

Duesberg believes that HIV is essentially not a sexually transmitted virus; indeed, the very cover of his book states that “AIDS is not sexually transmitted”. Instead, he argues that “HIV has been passed along from mother to child for many centuries”. The first statement ignores the entire body of data on the epidemiology of HIV spread in the United States and Europe, whereas the second ignores the death rate among children infected by HIV from their mothers; only a tragically small proportion of these children survive long enough to have the chance of having children of their own. How could transmission from mother to child permit sustained HIV spread under these conditions?

Much space is devoted to the thesis that AZT causes AIDS. AZT is decried as a toxic chemical, which of course it is to an extent. So are most chemotherapeutic agents used against cancer. So is paracetamol, rock salt and water if consumed in the wrong quantities. Like all drugs, AZT has a therapeutic window – a dosage that has maximum effect on its target (HIV) and minimal effect on the working of the human body. This fundamental pharmacological principle is critical for understanding AZT’s (admittedly limited) effect on HIV replication in vivo. Adding human interest to an otherwise dry section are the numerous quotations from people who believe that AZT has harmed them or their infants. But what of Elizabeth Glaser, who later founded the Pediatric AIDS Foundation? She was infected by HIV through a blood transfusion, and then passed the virus to her children. None of the family used recreational drugs. Sadly, Elizabeth and her daughter Ariel eventually died of AIDS. But at a critical stage of Ariel’s disease, Elizabeth managed to obtain AZT for her unconscious child. I quote below from In the Absence of Angels, Elizabeth’s book: “Three weeks to the day after we started intravenous AZT I walked into Ariel’s room in the morning and she looked up and said “Good morning, Mom. I love you’… She hadn’t talked in three months!… It was the miracle we had been waiting for.” No AIDS researcher pretends that AZT is the answer to AIDS. But neither is it the cause of it. Most people die of AIDS have never taken AZT or any other Western drugs. Neither have the monkeys who die from AIDS induced by molecular clones of SIV, lethal close cousin of HIV.

Duesberg wraps together his twisted facts and illogical lines of argument to create a tangled web to trap the unwary, desperate or gullible. But however much he attempts to gild his writings with philosophies of scientific truth, the reality is that his premises are based not on facts but on faith: faith that he is right, and that everyone else is wrong. This was h is position long before AIDS appeared, as tumour virologists know well.

Duesberg ends by detailing his ostracism by the virology community, his inability to get research funding, the personal snubs he has suffered. The advent of HIV has clearly been a personal tragedy for a once highly respected retrovirologist, but one’s sympathy must of course be tempered by thoughts of those for whom AIDS has been a rather greater personal tragedy. Three years ago, I likened Duesberg to the Black Knight from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. This character had his limbs hacked off one by one, but the game little torso tried to bite the knee-caps from his assailant. The events of the past few years have extracted the Black Knight’s teeth, leaving him with the sole recourse of spitting at those whose views of virology have differed from his over the past two decades. But where the spittle lands is on the graves of those millions of people killed by HIV, and on those it has yet to slaughter. How sad, and how ultimately pathetic.

John Moore is at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, 445 1st Avenue, New York, New York 10016 USA.

13 Responses to “John Moore shoots self in foot with Amazon review of Harvey Bialy”

  1. Darin Brown Says:

    This is an email I received the other day in reponse to the first Moore discourse on scientific truth that is quoted on the ‘Bialy/Moore Debate’ page at the AIDS Wiki.

    Although the text of the Amazon review is slightly different, I believe that appropriate substitutions can be made in the anlaysis below to make it apply equally well.

    From: “Alan Chalkley”

    To:

    Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 11:43:41 +0100 (GMT Daylight Time)

    Subject: regarding: Lew Rockwell article June 21

    Dear Sir,

    I’m writing to inform you that you may have at least one convert to your point of view, namely myself (for what it’s worth). I began reading your articles on LRC as a sceptic, it seemed a wild claim which you were making that the scientists were lying to us. What has me convinced that your claim may have merit is the correspondence of Prof. Moore who relies on fallacious arguments to deflect your inquiries. He continually makes use of the informal fallacies “argumentum ad hominem (personal and circumstantial)” (I’m not talking to you ‘cos you are horrid /aren’t a ‘proper’ scientist), “argumentum ad populum” (everybody else agrees), “ad verecundiam” (I’m an authority so must be right); there appears also to be evidence of “poisoning the well”, “post hoc, ergo propter hoc”, and for all I know biased statistics. Frankly the man protests too much, and without actually saying anything.

    Whilst I am not convinced that AIDS is not directly related to HIV, I am no longer convinced that debate is unnecessary. Small praise I realise, but hopefully it is enough that you know that your message is spreading, keep trying. A (fake) Latin term seems appropriate: “nil illegitemi carborundum”.

    Alan Chalkley.

    Undergraduate philosophy student – which you probably guessed (lol).

  2. HankBarnes Says:

    Moore could easily end all these machinations, if he would have the courage of his convictions and accept the terms of the Bialy debate!

    In your life, have you ever encountered purported experts in a field, who were afraid to debate and defend their own expertise?!!?

    HankBarnes

  3. Edgar Solomon, MD Says:

    Mr. Truthseeker,

    I think your praise for the “Tai Chi internet and email” skills of Dr. Bialy is amusing and, even if over the top a bit, a welcome refreshment from the tedium with which this “never-to-be-for-real debate” (I fear) has been publicly (sic) conducted for 15 years.

    That aside, I also think that the “take down” of Mr. Moore was do in 99 parts to his own very fragile ego and clinical need for attention and respect. It did not take a “self described master of the net”, and could have been accomplished by almost any beginning student of human behavior, normal and aberrant.

    I write this as a mental health professional with almost 40 years of practice.

  4. Rebecca Says:

    “Moral truths” about HIV and AIDS? Since when do “morals” have anything to do with science? I suggest that Moore has revealed the intentions of the orthodoxy for all to see… they’ve lost on ALL the big questions (catastrophically failed predictions, no explanation for any observations… I could go on) and this is why they are reduced to debating minutiae and “morality”, if they even address the issue at all. It appears that Moore treats science as religion, and this is very revealing. God help any of us who do the same.

    Besides, it doesn’t even sound from his review like he’s READ Bialy’s book.

  5. Michael Says:

    Truthseeker, you may need to do an investigation and look into this one. Something seems to be gone terribly wrong in HIV land…..

    Yesterday was National HIV Testing Day. Yet, at least here in Southern California, there was not even a word, nothing, Nada, ZIP ZERO, printed in either the LA Times, San Diego Union, local tv news, National public radio, nor even on CNN about HIV testing! Even the surgeon general’s only comments on this day, were about 2nd hand smoke causing crib death. Obviously he thought this was far more important than HIV testing.

    The only piece of interest to the HIV Realists/Dissenters, was an entire full page of the LA Times that was on page A-15. It seems surreal that this was the only piece in print out here on National HIV Testing Day. It was a very well written piece titled “GAY MEN &CRYSTAL METH-a manifesto”. It was sponsored by the four big HIV Advocacy groups, including AIDScaf, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AIDS Project LA, and the LA Gay/Lesbian Center. One line even says HIV infections have been dramatically reduced. Have these HIV treatment advocating groups now seen the light? Have they now fully accepted Duesbergs co-factor of drug abuse as the most important issue at hand? Is this more fallout from our friend Dr. Moore? Has Dr. Moore succeeded in sinking the entire “Good Ship HIV”? Has everyone on the virus team jumped ship, or just here in the southwest? How did the HIV testing day celebration and jubilee fare on the east coast?

  6. truthseeker Says:

    Truthseeker, you may need to do an investigation and look into this one. Something seems to be gone terribly wrong in HIV land.

    Michael, this is very interesting if it is what has happened but perhaps it just lacked interest as a news peg or facts as news. We meant to fire off a fusillade from here at this whole move to expand customers for the HIV?AIDS machine to chew up, but events intervened. However, the idea that any group has wised up in the wake of John Moore’s diatribe seems far fetched to me. Have you a copy of this ad in any form? You don’t specify what it actually says, but we assume that it blames crystal meth for crazy behavior which leads to exposure to the dread Virus, not that it defeats the immune system by itself. If the latter thought has penetrated the minds of gays and displaced the HIV=AIDS meme, this will be a surprising step forward. There have been signs all along of this trying to happen, but the AIDS meme is too tough to kick off its mental throne without additional explosive being applied.

    Still, you draw attention to the marvelous ability of the AIDS meme to cohabit with conflicting ideas in the human mind without setting off the cognitive dissonance alarm. Of course this ability to hold two dissimilar ideas in mind at the same time is said to be a sign of intelligence, so perhaps the double vision of gays in America is a sign of their intelligence. Mark certainly seems to demonstrate this ability with his clinging to the idea that alternative sources of immune deficiency haven’t yet been demonstrated to have any mechanism, and therefore must remain in question in “conservative” scientific minds.

    C’mon Mark, bite the bullet! Drugs kill. Just takes time, that’s all. That’s why there is a “latent period”. Which expanded as people took fewer hard drugs, and/or lower doses of the famous “life-saving” AIDS drugs like AZT. Watch it contract as they take crystal meth. Not much need to wake up a few corpses and ask them how it happened.

  7. Aaron Lazarus Says:

    I noticed exactly the same thing when I checked Yahoo AP headlines in the late afternoon, and was pleasantly surprised and a bit bewildered as well.

    But, I draw no conclusions whatever from this regarding its causes or even meaning.

    It is something different however. And for that alone, I think we all need be at least a little grateful.

  8. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    Sorry, Truthseeker, but I can’t bite the bullet. Here’s why, briefly, and this echoes what I wrote in Harper’s:

    Proof of causation requires prospective, longitudinal, controlled, multiple-comparison group studies. When Peter D. completes one of these, and I have advocated vociferously for him to be awarded money to do so, then I will stand and applaud and jump up and down and perform elaborate routines and rituals to celebrate his victory.

    Until that time, we have correlation, upon correlation, upon correlation — and I am not impressed by correlations. Can’t be. Proof of causation requires certain elements. They have not been successful with HIV — granted. But no other theory has been well-funded enough to perform the necessary, prospective, longitudinal research to prove causation either.

    I could say it 100,000,000 times, and people will still misinterpret what the science says: Correlation does not equal causation, and never will.

    As for the latency period — that variable is Time, dear Truthseeker, and that is the very variable that my graduate work centered on almost exclusively, so believe me when I tell you that I have considered the issue of time very carefully — and that is why I can state with absolute certainty that HIV CANNOT be the sole necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS.

    As for cognitive dissonance — while unpleasant for the mind, it is not untenable to maintain multiple conflicting viewpoints and once, and to put them in balance. : ) This is of course, what I am trying to do. How many times must I say that this is not some unwillingness to let go of a failed paradigm? I agree the paradigm has failed, but no other paradigm has the kind of proof of success, that I, as a developmental scientist, demand. Thus, I am stuck, I’m afraid, with my cognitive dissonance for now. Now can we please simply agree to disagree, and not continue to speak of my inability to “let go?” It’s rather demeaning.

  9. Martin Kessler Says:

    It’s true that correlation does not imply causation, but it’s a good point to start an experimental study. Thus far, the true AIDS denialists (the establishment) have used faulty survey research masquerading as epidemiological statistics and poor correlation of their results to boot. Data has not just been misinterpreted by the establishment, it has been altered to fit their paradigm. For example why was the aggresive Kaposi Sarcoma only evident in gay men who used poppers? The establishment wasn’t interested in poppers as a cause of Kaposi, instead they looked for bad or defective poppers that might cause disease (of course with their very short term study, they obviously didn’t find any – to the delight of the popper industry). Crystal meth kills brain cells – and is probably the cause of the dementia seen in AIDS victims.

  10. McKiernan Says:

    As for cognitive dissonance — while unpleasant for the mind, it is not untenable to maintain multiple conflicting viewpoints and once, and to put them in balance. : ) This is of course, what I am trying to do. How many times must I say that this is not some unwillingness to let go of a failed paradigm? I agree the paradigm has failed, but no other paradigm has the kind of proof of success, that I, as a developmental scientist, demand. Thus, I am stuck, I’m afraid, with my cognitive dissonance for now.

    Perhaps, Dr. Mark there are more than two paradigms. A pleasant thought indeed. And perhaps you have yours and others have theirs that do not coincide with either the faux evil empirists (?) nor the faux truthseekers (?) and perhaps we/they too have legitimate cause for studying the issues and remaining on the learning curve instead of being bullied by the likes of a recently departed molecular commenter in one sector of the blogosphere.

    God (dog for non-believers) forbid a commenter may actually speak to the issue in a combox without getting attacked. Then again maybe we don’t want to be petted, ‘good doggie’.

    Not to worry Mark, no offense, besides, this one isn’t getting a green border.

  11. Mark Biernbaum Says:

    No offense taken, McK. In fact, I’m hopeful that there are many, many useful paradigms — the more the better in terms of uncovering important and useful information. The more avenues for research, the more we learn.

    Robert’s point about KS is very well taken. It arose out of a correlation. And then became a theory of causation after the actions of nitrites were well studied. This is how science works when it is at its best. Good correlations generate hypotheses, and then good prospective studies test these hypotheses.

    There is so much good science that could be happening, but isn’t, because of the stranglehold that infectious disease has on this issue. We need to continue to push for other areas of medicine to become more involved in this. ID has dominated, and their domination has not produced the answers that we are all so interested in. It’s time for them to step aside.

  12. Henry H. Bauer Says:

    Your remark re Bialy and Duesberg compared to vertian others, ” truthseekers rather than self-promoters, counter to the modern trend.”, reminded me of the wonderfully acerbic writings of Erwin Chargaff; for example, 1977. Voices in the Labyrinth, NY: Seabury. Here’s a pertinent bit from it:”in our time a successful cancer researcher is not one who ‘solves the riddle,’ but rather one who gets a lot of money to do so. It is all quite similar to the history of alchemy, another truly goal directed, though much less costly, enterprise” (Chargaff, 1977: 89).If you haven’t read Chargaff then you’ve missed a real treat and source of great quotes

  13. Michael Says:

    I don’t know if Mark and Robert are still checking out this thread, but here is one more item to balance in our cognitive dissonance. The NIH is now calling Human Herpes Virus 8, or HHV8, “the virus that causes Kaposi’s Sarcoma”. True or not? I don’t know, but they obviously no longer believe HIV is the cause. They also claim that HHV8 is quite prevalent, so it still may be HHV8 and Poppers combination in ‘some’ patients that causes the KS thing. The link to the NIH item calling it the cause is HERE I also found HHV8 being referred to on another NIH March “Update” Newsletter somewhere on the web, but I can’t find the link at the moment. Gee, does HHV8 also cause an HIV test to go false poz? Better question is “would they tell anybody in the public if it did”?

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