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.

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).

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

(Click for more Unusual Quotations on Science and Belief)

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Mario Stevenson places foot in crocodile’s mouth

In foolish Amazon review researcher signs name unaware it will remind all of crucial public admission

Bialy email tornado whirls in response

Bonus epic: How the Zapata of AIDS insurgency escaped from Cuba to found biotech virtual library

The long weekend seems to have weakened the instinct for self-preservation of a well known establishment HIV?AIDS researcher, who has tried to join in ganging up on Harvey Bialy’s book on Amazon, presumably to save his buddy John Moore from further embarrassment for a similar faux pas last week.

Unfortunately, venturing to put any kind of cheaply dismissive review on Amazon in regard to Bialy’s book, which is obviously an armored plated, if tough to read classic to anyone who actually peruses it, is a losing proposition, rather similar to demonstrating one’s bravery by putting one’s head in the mouth of a crocodile resident in the Zambesi.

Now Mario Stevenson has done this for the entertainment of knowledgeable armchair spectators with a brief, silly, schoolboy level three lines that causes us to marvel all over again at the power of the Web to seduce people into making permanent fools of themselves with rash postings that Google will never forget.

Dont bother
I don’t understand why anyone would lionize a scientist (Duesberg) who opposes the fact that AIDS is caused by a virus. Duesberg’s theories on AIDS are total hogwash and dangerous hogwash at that. A book on Duesberg is a waste of paper.

Needless to say, this sally was received with delight in Cuernavaca where the ever vigilant Harvey Bialy stirred his email witches brew and sent out a notice gleefully reminding insiders of the fact that in this very book on page 195 Mario Stevenson, if he had troubled to read it, would have found a salutary reminder of his own earlier admission of how the paradigm came up emptyhanded when asked to explain the core of its claim – exactly what Peter Duesberg had just pointed out a month earlier.

Referring to Peter Duesberg’s final definitive roadside bomb placed in the path of the overcrowded HIV?AIDS bandwagon, “The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics: recreational drugs, antiviral chemotherapy and malnutrition” in the Journal of Biosciences, June 2003, Bialy on his book’s page 195 refers to the July 2003 issue of Nature Medicine which appeared a month later and was devoted to “20 years of HIV science”.

He writes:

“In these pages Mario Stevenson from the University of Masachusetts Medical School, in an eerie, persistent echo of the retired Science editor John Maddox’s words almost ten years prevous, writes : “…the reason why HIV-1 infection is pathogenic is still debated and the goal of eradicating HIV-1 infection remains elusive.” Exactly how elusive is quite wonderfully described in an article from the New York Times of September 23, 2003, entitled “Trying to Kill the AIDS Virus by Luring It Out of Hiding”.

In other words, Mario Stevenson, although perhaps not very well known in the outside world, is one of the series of elite members of the HIV?AIDS palace guard who have made frank public admissions at regular intervals over the years that none of them really have any idea what HIV does to cause AIDS.

Stevenson’s statement came a month after Peter Duesberg not only pointed this out as well, but provided innumerable reasons why three other factors not only accounted for AIDS but unlike HIV yielded predictions all of which were continually borne out.

In a sane world, the two would have lifting glasses to each other’s health in the same club. Unfortunately, Duesberg had been blackballed from membership in the HIV?AIDS club without even applying to join it. Now we have the same Mario Stevenson reacting to Harvey Bialy’s book, which came out soon afterwards, after two years, as if it was a bottle of rat poison.

All of this plays into Harvey’s hands, as far as he is concerned, and he is observing it with unusual calm from Mexico. Harvey’s email comment: “It’s really quite great, this fire and brimstone, TWO full years after publication. I wonder why……:-)”

Amazon dogfight provides easy guide for newcomers on value of Bialy volume

As things stand at present, with two unspecific damnations of Harvey’s book and two detailed appreciations recently, we now have four names leading off the line up of reviews of “Oncogenes, Aneuploidy and AIDS: A Scientific Life and Times of Peter H. Duesberg”: Mario Stevenson, “Dr. Chipper” (actually a university professor, Charles Geshekter, who publicly supports Peter Duesberg and who did not intend for Amazon to print his Web moniker but his own name, and is trying to correct that), John Moore, and the mathematician Darin Brown.

Here are the reviews, which we think by themselves indicate which side is in possession of the right idea and which is trying to bend it out of shape for ulterior reasons.

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Don’t bother, July 2, 2006

Reviewer: Mario Stevenson (Shrewsbury, MA USA) – See all my reviews

(REAL NAME)

I don’t understand why anyone would lionize a scientist (Duesberg) who opposes the fact that AIDS is caused by a virus. Duesberg’s theories on AIDS are total hogwash and dangerous hogwash at that. A book on Duesberg is a waste of paper.

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Bialy’s book is must reading!, June 29, 2006

Reviewer: Doctor “Chipper” (California) – See all my reviews

Reading the blustery, hot air fulminations by John Moore it is hard to imagine that his review was actually written by a scientist.

As an AIDS dogmatist, Moore displays ignorance, prejudice and amnesia in denying the flaws, inconsistencies, errors, and failed predictions that have marred (or characterized) the Church of AIDS Pseudoscience since its inception 25 years ago.

Bialy has written a superb book that exposes the rigidity and sclerosis that make the infectious viral hypothesis about AIDS such a perfidious and empty explanation for what makes some people ill.

Moore reacts with abusive venom and sputtering rage because he knows that Bialy’s book shows what a tragic farce and waste of time his devotion to the HIV hypothesis has been.

Writing in the New York Times in early June, Moore (a biologist in New York) and Nicoli Nattrass (an economist in South Africa), neither of whom ever had access to the medical records of a young girl who died suddenly in Los Angeles, displayed unprofessional dishonesty and unbridled pomposity by making public pronouncements on the cause of the child’s death.

By so doing, Moore demonstrated anew how much he remains in the grip of the absolute deadliest of quackery.

Read Bialy’s book, and see for yourself.

5 of 21 people found the following review helpful:

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

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful:

A window on a world, April 23, 2006

Reviewer: Darin Brown “revolver13” (Goleta, CA United States) – See all my reviews (REAL NAME)

In his new book published by the Institute of Biotechnology of the Autonomous National University of Mexico, Harvey Bialy recounts Peter Duesberg’s besieging of the dual citadels of oncogenes and HIV with humor, wit, and a close eye for irony. There were times reading this book when I had to stop from laughing so hard, and only later did the enormous gravity of the stories begin to really set in. This book stands alongside Serge Lang’s “Challenges” and John Crewdson’s “Science Fictions” as one of the most potent works on the politics of modern science.

Tony the Paper Tyger [Fauci] should not be pleased with this book, because it airs a lot of dirty laundry. Anyone who still holds the naive assumption that all biomedical science proceeds as a disinterested quest for truth according to some Platonic scientific method is in for a rude awakening. The fact is that most scientists rely on the official judgments of Science and Nature, and Bialy shows how, with respect to oncogenes and HIV, a relatively small group of researchers have been able to manipulate the system to convince the rest of the scientific community of the validity of their paradigms. After reading the accounts, it is difficult to determine whether the researchers or the journal editors themselves deserve more blame.

Most people will pick up this book because of its coverage of Duesberg’s HIV position. Indeed, Chapter 5, covering President Mbeki of South Africa and his Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel, as well as the “Durban Declaration” and the 2000 AIDS Conference from which it took its name, is alone worth the price of the book. But the coverage of the aneuploidy theory of cancer is even more interesting, because it is Duesberg’s challenge to the oncogene theory of cancer which may very well prove even more important and revolutionary than his HIV/AIDS critiques. The HIV hypothesis is an obvious blunder – akin to someone stepping off a cliff and then denying gravity in mid-flight. The oncogene theory represents a long, slow deterioration of standards, a deterioration which, (pardon the metaphor) has infected many other areas of science, most especially AIDS research itself.

The book is extensively documented and contains helpful comments in notes at the end of each chapter. The details do become a bit technical at times, but a patient reader with some knowledge of virology and immunology should not have trouble following, and many potentially unfamiliar terms are explained.

Harvey’s killer review

Of course, if either Moore or his even less articulate friend Stevenson ever want to find pointers as to how to write a truly devastating review, they might leaf through back numbers of Nature Biotechnology and read the killer demolition of “Making PCR” by Paul Rabinow (University of Chicago, 1996) that Harvey Bialy himself perpetrated in Nature Biotechnology titled “Politically Correct PCR.”

The first sentence sets the tone: “This pretentious little book begins badly and then proceeds, almost exponentially, to get worse.”

Other rapier thrusts follow. “The absence of any analysis of an extremely interesting idea (PCR, the ability to make more and more out of less and less, the ultimate decontextualization of genetic information) is a missed opportunity that, sadly, is itself exemplary of the numerous disappointments Monsieur Le Blanc, to whom the book, with characteristic surface erudition, is dedicated, was forced to endure because of a commitment to read the entire 176 pages…

“Here was a chance to tell a wonderfully ironic, dramatic, and completely fascinating story that traced the flawless trajectory of biotechnology inscribed by the first-ever such company as it traveled from the corridors of the molecular biology and virus laboratory at the University of Califormnia, Berkeley in the early 1970s, where it was conceived, to its building in Emeryville, where it matured, under the experienced and corporate hand of the self-styled biotechnology luminary Robert Fildes, into another would-be pharmaceutical company with too little in the pipeline and the bank.”

That chance, Bialy cruelly suggests, was completely missed by “our newly minted scholar of biotehnology research” who omitting “every nuance and more” gives the reader instead “a dull, methodologically flawed, politically corrected verion that turns intensely interesing, children-of-the-60s scientists like Mullis, and White, and David Gelfand, and Henry Erlich, into two-dimensional caricatures and despite its promises to do so, provides no believable context at all in which to appreciate how biotechnologiy’s exemplary invention came to be.”

By the end of this ruthless literary assassination the only interesting question is not whether the book sold (it was remaindered soon after) but whether the author of the book survived. Apparently he did, although there was a point where, refused by the editor the “right of reply” to the review, he was frantically calling Peter Duesberg to ask him to intercede.

How the Zapata of AIDS insurgency bounces back from in-Fidel-ity to found global virtual library

All this attention on Amazon leaves our intellectual Mexico-based arch-conservative rebel author professor, who currently likes to act as the behind the scenes general of the 2,400 strong army of HIV?AIDS critics, or at least some of the handful of more activist scientists, academics and writers among them, in such a good mood that he has provided some exclusive material to New AIDS Review, an account of why he left the position of founding science editor at Nature Biotechnology in 1996 for points south, starting with Cuba.

Contrary to the libellous insinuations of John Moore on various Web sites, he says, this was not because his notoriously passionate personality didn’t accomodate to the staid and devious office politics of a magazine in the same publishing stable as Nature and its editor John Maddox, who caused Bialy and Duesberg so much trouble in publishing what might be called the other side of HIV?AIDS. All the signs are that Bialy is an expert negotiating such minefields, probably a function of his fierce intelligence trumping his highly strung temperament except when a little terrorism is the right move.

What happened was that Bialy found another outlet for his manipulative wizardry, a scheme he concocted in 1994 which joined Cuba, Israel and South Africa as biotechnology partners. The initiative was the CISABE, or Cuba, Israel South Africa Biotechnology Exchange, and he left in the spring of 1996 for La Habana to manage the project full time from the Cuban Center for Genetic Engineering, where he had been a senior advisor for ten years.

At the same time he was retained as editor at large by the journal he helped found at a salary almost as much as his desk salary, an arrangement which lasted till 2000. Another prize was his unique passport. “I think I am maybe the only person in the world who has these three visas on facing pages of their passport.”

When the Cuba initiative didn’t work out – Harvey found out in a matter of weeks that Fidel and his Secretaries were just not up to moving ahead rapidly on such an ambitious technical cooperation – Harvey got so annoyed that, he says, would probably have murdered one of Fidel’s Secretaries if he hadn’t taken it out on the unfortunate Rabinow in writing the above review.

But then he anyway landed on his feet. He was invited by Francisco Bolivar, co-inventor of the plasmid cloning vector pBR322, a founding scientist of Genentech and founding director of the Institute of Biotechnology (IBT) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) to “come here and do for us what you did for Cuba, and believe me we will not treat you that way.”

“I did, and they didn’t,” vouchsafes the Emiliano Zapata of the HIV?AIDS insurgency, who now as a resident scholar at IBT and director of its Virtual Library of Biotechnology for the Americas interacts with the principal investigators of this research center, gives guest lectures, and helps via his extensive contacts to gain the IBT international recognition and funding, at which he is clearly very effective at well over 1 million euros.

He gives the Virtual Library all the profits if any from his scientific biography of Duesberg, which was published jointly by the Institute of Biotechnology and the National University (the first book ever published by the IBT, and the first English language book ever published by the UNAM), and was recently translated into Spanish by Roberto Stock, a senior investigator at the Institute of Biotechnology, and published by the National University of Mexico Press (ISBN 9703225993).

Moving to Cuernavaca had another and serious attraction, he reveals – he had met the “last love” of his life in Cuba and married her, and bringing her to Mexico avoided the impossibility of a senior biotechnolgist from the CIGB being allowed to leave Cuba for the United States.

15 Responses to “Mario Stevenson places foot in crocodile’s mouth”

  1. Dr. Bialy Says:

    The Insidious Dr. Emiliano Fu Manchu Zapata writes:

    The article by Truthseeker is typical of his writing, and the reason why, after more than 20 years of being an inside source for his journalistic forays, I have had to call it quits, once and for all.

    When he began his story about the review I wrote in NBT in 1996, as usual I supplied him with a perfectly composed quotation or two that he could use. And as usual, the end result was that they were not used as I wrote them, and he managed to produce a *great deal* of error in his attempt to retell my story in his words.

    Rather than spend a *great deal* of effort in trying to correct his writing above, I will reproduce here the texts I originally sent him, and for reasons nobody wants to know (believe me) he did not use.

    “The image located here ;is titled CISABE begins, and the acronym stands for Cuba, Israel, South Africa Biotechnology Exchange. It was a project I conceived in 1994 and was the reason I left my full-time position at Nature Biotechnology. In the spring of 1996 it came almost to fruition, and I moved to La Habana to manage the project full time from the Cuban Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) to which I had been a senior adviser for ten years.

    I think I am maybe the only person in the world who has these three visas on facing pages of their passport.

    Anyway, the entire project went to hell in a hand basket within a few weeks, and I wrote the review of “Making PCR” to keep from trying to kill Fidel or one of his Secretaries.

    As a killer review it was quite successful as this truly awful book was remaindered shortly thereafter despite a good (not great) review in Nature by Sydney Brenner. Even Sydney could not bring himself to praise it outright, although he was obviously more than annoyed at Kary for having a Prize that he did not as yet have. It also had the salubrious effect of causing the author to phone Peter Duesberg begging him to intercede with me to intercede with Andrew Marshall, the editor of Nature Biotechnology, so that he could publish a reply in Nature Biotechnology. This was after Andy had informed him that it was after all a book review, and the author of a book being reviewed does not ‘generally’ get a “right of reply.”

    As to why I did not return to NBT after CISABE fell apart – the only question Truthseeker pestered me with that I thought worth an answer (for someone who is so passionate about analyzing the faith in the light of the literature and all, he is impossibly obsessed with personal details of the sort I went out of my way to omit from my biography of Duesberg):

    Francisco Bolivar, the co-inventor of pBR322, a founding scientist of Genentech, and the founding director of the IBT, invited me to Cuernavaca saying “Harvey, if you do for us what you did for Cuba, we will not treat you that way”. I did and they didn’t.

    There was another reason Paco’s invitation was so attractive. I had just married the last love of my life (a scientist at the CIGB), whose initial Z. can be found here and there in my interactive internet museum, bialy/s , and whose name can be discovered at the homepage of The Virtual Library of Biotechnology for the Americas and it was possible for her to join me in Mexico but not in the United States.

    ————————

    I have given Truthseeker the option of editing his article so that it concerns only the foolishness by the Mario brother on Amazon (But why Zambesi and crocodiles instead of piranhas in the Amazon?) and removing this comment. I have no idea what he will do, nor do I care.

  2. Dr. Bialy Says:

    Even Dr. Fu needs some zzzs once in a while, and I now see that an additional correx is required:

    The paragraph below is pure invention on the part of Truthseeker. If anything, I enjoy imagining myself as an often lonely fighter in a loosely conjoined “insurgency”. The offensive paragraph also displays all the signs of a poorly proofed piece composed in the early morning — in addition to the grammatical glitch, I left NY in 1996 not 1995.

    “All this attention on Amazon leaves our intellectual rebel professor, who is currently likes to act as the behind the scenes general of the 2,400 strong army of HIV?AIDS critics, or at least some of the more activist scientists, academics and writers among them, in such a good mood that he has provided some exclusive material to New AIDS Review, an account of why he left the position of founding science editor at Nature Biotechnology in 1995 for points south, starting with Cuba.”

    AL: If you delete the bottom subhead part of what you wrote, then you should of course delete this comment along with the one above.

  3. truthseeker Says:

    Thank you for your update, Harvey. Not sure what corrections you think you were making, but we see only one – 1996 for your departure from your desk in New York. Anyone who can point out others wins a copy of the Bialy “f.book”, as you like to call it, for a reason you will not allow us to tell.To interested readers wondering why Dr Bialy complains when New AIDS Review tells his story, exactly as he thrust it upon us days ago, we have to say, we have no idea.

  4. Michael Says:

    Hello, and I believe I found it. In Dr. Bialy’s letter he writes: “I had just married the last love of my life (a scientist at the CIGB), whose initial Z. …. and it was possible for her to join me in Mexico but not in the United States”. The last line of the piece says: Moving to Mexico had another advantage, he reveals – he had just met the love of his life in that fair country. Is this it Dr. Bialy? Did I win? I would prefer a cash prize as I already have the f.book, but I would dearly love to know why the good doctor calls it such. Perhaps he would be willing to explain, provided he is not up to his neck in Amazonian Crocs or Pirranhas.

  5. Dr. Bialy Says:

    Michael,

    Indeed it is the most egregious, but not the only correction by any means, as I am sure you have discerned.

    As to your request. I would “dearly love” to tell you, but not on NAR as Truthseeker has already made it plain that he does not have my permission to reprint the explanation I wrote him some days ago of why Peter and I affectionately refer to OAA as the “f.book.”

    Although I have no idea why he suddenly pretends to honor my wishes, when I wrote him several times (in various typographical styles) that he no longer had my permission to retell any of the story of me and Cuba and the IBT.

    Perhaps one day I will get to tell the story of the “f.book” to Charlie Rose or some other professional journalist with integrity and ethics that I trust.

    Truthseeker is no longer is in that category, and I would appreciate it if he no longer referred to me by my first name as though we were buddies.

    It is the end of the halfime of the (0-0 thus far) semi-final between Italia and Alemania, and I have the time to read this over once before I need get back to the gang of die-hard Obrador supporters in my salon.

    I do not expect to return to this blog ever again.

  6. Michael Says:

    Can it be true, that even to marry a lovely Cubanita, one would not be allowed to import the bride back to the states? Must be something to do with the broken down trade and tarrif agreements, I guess, as they have probably not come up with an agreeable import duties fee on a subversive communista HIV dissenting wife.

  7. truthseeker Says:

    Harvey is apparently out of control down in Cuernavaca, so he is now banned from posting on this blog until he reforms, recovers, or otherwise emerges from whatever influence he is under.

    As far as the f.book is concerned, this is a story which is as disappointing in interest as most of those which concern the unfortunate Harvey (all we can say is it involves Harvey, his great friend and guest Peter, and a lavatory), who we can observe is not grateful for this blog’s having posted no less than four times about his antics in the past week or so, which would have satisfied any other spoilt brat, but not it appears Harvey Bialy, the most fearsome fighter for scientific truth in Cuernavaca.

    This is why we recognize Harvey Bialy as the secret weapon of the HIV?AIDS dissidents and the one that makes all tremble, friend or foe, either of which he attacks indiscriminately, it appears, being a guided missile without a guidance system.

    Apparently he is explosive in this case because he cannot take his own medicine and when his feathers are ruffled by an email correspondent replying to his barbarous email using the same standards of politesse as his own in an effort to teach him manners he goes off the rails and into a depression, instead of getting the message.

    The only issue that needs concern readers is this: Is Harvey Bialy the most important individual in the universe or is he not? We say not, but we may be under a false impression.

    He certainly wrote a good book. He informs us that this was achieved by excising from it all personal material once written, and we can see how that may work.

    A darn good principle, which we certainly try and apply to this blog. But in Harvey’s case he seems to want to call attention to himself by any means possible.

  8. truthseeker Says:

    PS A couple of corrections to the Harvey The Barracuda Bialy post above. just for the record. Although I have no idea why he suddenly pretends to honor my wishes, when I wrote him several times (in various typographical styles) that he no longer had my permission to retell any of the story of me and Cuba and the IBT. The phrase “various typographical styles” is a reference to Harvey Bialy’s inimitable email and phone style, which consists entirely of the following ingredients:a) notification of some event or fact which is not immediately clear to his correspondent, because Harvey’s assumption that all lives he touches are centered on his forthwith is not always true, plus his capacity to frame information or make it intelligible is not his strong point, as readers of his book and Webheads who have followed his Web postings know. b) suggestion that whatever trouble he has just fomented is the event of the week and must be immediately posted on the blog.c) expression of disappointment via large CAPITAL letters and incessant voice mail that it hasn’t been posted and threats to confide the information to someone else more pliable d) threats to sue for copyright if we ever use any of the material forwarded which is not posted instantly e) savage screaming on the phone demanding instant correction of any nit picking error in any posting which did take place without any acknowledgement that he benefited from same or any thank you for the favor of making something of very littlef) grudging admission and copies of emails to other people saying the posting is the best ever written on the blogg) threats never to communicate with the author again (distributed randomly throughout email)h) a female voice offstage asking him to please make his request politely to whomever he is on the phone withi) complaints that dealing with us is too wearing and his nerves can’t stand it and we must promise always to do anything he requests instantly and ask questions later.As to his claim that he has spent 20 years being a prime source for the coverage composed in this office, we have to contradict this. We were one of the many journalists tipped off by Harvey as to the existence of Duesberg as an interesting interview; he told us at a Lasker Award press conference where Gallo was getting a prize for HTLV-1. However, since then Harvey Bialy has not been a prime source for us, which is understandable, because he occupies a far higher station in scientific life than we could ever aspire to. The only reason he has promoted us to the level of first rank confidant must be that he is confusing us with other journalists of higher status and accomplishment. Given that he is a correspondent who ever since he discovered email has deluged every editor and reporter who might be interested with a Niagara of correspondence in support of Peter Duesberg this is also understandable.It is also why we say that Harvey Bialy may be the most important mover and shaker behind the scenes on this issue and when and if it breaks, may well deserve the lion’s share of the credit.

  9. Michael Says:

    The above interplay of the two warriors, although risking looking divisive to the John Moores and Mario Stevensons of the AIDSMachine, shows us all just how potent and effective both Bialy and Truthseeker are.Harvey Bialy is ruthless at demanding the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and demands that there is no room for any, even the slightest misconception or error of print no matter how irrelevant or all important an issue may or may not be. Even at risk of alienating 20 year long associations. This is an all important credit to his book, Oncogenes, Aneuploidy, and AIDS: A Scientific Life and Times of Peter H. Duesberg. Truthseeker as well, is to be saluted for his insistance on never being muzzled nor told what he will or will not print, nor how it should or should not be stated. He states everything from his own unique perspective, no matter what anyone thinks. Too bad mainstream HIV/AIDS coverage and journalists do not show this kind of backbone of character, as the entire issue of HIV and AIDS would be very different indeed.What is perhaps seemingly these valiant men’s “character defects”, if they are to be construed as such, are also their important inner strengths, and what make them two of the most important and potent weapons in the arsenal of the AIDS Realist/Dissident movement (coming in a close second only to the blatant mistakes the AIDSMachine itself makes, such as poisoning hundreds of thousands with AZT and other drugs, which so obviously shoots its own self in the foot).(Now if we could only aim Dr. Bialy and Truthseeker back upon the AIDSMachineWorks instead of at each other, the light at the end of the tunnel would be crystal clear…..But alas, that is a choice that only they themselves can individually make, so I leave it up to them individually, as I am sure they have both got what it takes to figure out what is best for themselves first, and for everyone else as well)

  10. Truthseeker Says:

    Michael, what an excellent, constructive post. So true that Harvey Bialy is a total accuracy freak, and finds any error of fact very disturbing and distasteful, and will not rest until it is corrected. Any reader of his writings can be absolutely confident that anything he has produced has been as close to the precise truth as the devotion of a very well informed, high octane burning and bright mind can make it.A large part of this paradigm battle is the objection of intelligence to power exerted by stupidity. Since we have been deluged by email demanding that Dr Bialy be treated with the respect he deserves by his lessers, we have hastily restored his access, and any failure of his to post from now on simply reflects his low opinion of the importance of this site, which we are now desperately trying to raise with yet another post on the disgraceful happenings at Amazon today.

  11. Dr. Bialy Says:

    The unexpected return of the insidious Dr. Fu Manchu Zapata Bialy

    I now see that a goodly number of the goodly number of errors of fact, omission, misinterpretation, grammar and typography have been retroactively corrected by the noble Truthseeker, without of course any note of that in these comments.

    But everybody needs an editor. Even the insidious one’s near-perfect book (in the second printing anyway) is near perfect because a skilled, professional editor spent weeks on it.

    Everybody that is except Truthseeker, who despite receiving the edits below *several* times in emails, chose each time to either ignore my edits or to attempt to once again rewrite them in his own words.

    Three serious mistakes still remain (although whether any or all of them will continue to do so is a matter of the caprice of the Truthseeker), as does one inexplicable comparison.

    1. This graph:

    All this attention on Amazon leaves our intellectual Mexico-based rebel author professor, who currently likes to act as the behind the scenes general of the 2,400 strong army of HIV?AIDS critics, or at least some of the handful of more activist scientists, academics and writers among them, in such a good mood that he has provided some exclusive material to New AIDS Review, an account of why he left the position of founding science editor at Nature Biotechnology in 1995 for points south, starting with Cuba.

    should read:

    All this attention on Amazon leaves our intellectual Mexico-based rebel author professor, who I LIKE TO THINK OF as A behind the scenes general of the 2,400 strong army of HIV?AIDS critics, or at least some of the handful of more activist scientists, academics and writers among them, in such a good mood that he has provided some exclusive material to New AIDS Review, an account of why he left the position of founding science editor at Nature Biotechnology in 1996 for points south, starting with Cuba.

    2. This one:

    “I did, and they didn’t,” vouchsafes the Emiliano Zapata of biotech, who now as resident scholar at IBT and director of the Virtual Library of Biotechnology for the Americas interacts with the principal investigators of this Spanish language biotech virtual library and research center, gives guest lectures, talks to them about their research, and helps via his extensive contacts to gain the IBT international recognition and funding, at which he is clearly very effective at well over 1 million euros, though he won’t reveal the exact figure publicly.

    should read:

    “I did, and they didn’t,” vouchsafes the Emiliano Zapata of biotech, who IS NOW A resident scholar at THE IBT and director of ITS Virtual Library of Biotechnology for the Americas.

    and be joined to the end of the previous graph.

    3. And this is the fourth iteration Truthseeker has managed to foul up:

    Moving to Mexico had another advantage, he reveals – he had married in Cuba and staying in Mexico avoided the hassle of a US visa for a lady who is also an accomplished scientist.

    should be:

    Moving to Cuernavaca had another and serious attraction, he reveals – he had met the “last love” of his life in Cuba and married her, and bringing her to Mexico avoided the impossibility of a senior biotechnolgist from the CIGB being allowed to leave Cuba for the United States.

    And finally, I have no idea why Truthseeker continues to refer to me as Harvey, and even less of one why he insists on making me a Zapata of biotech. I am known in the field as an arch-conservative, not a revolutionary. Dr. Fu (a childhood hero) I can live with, but not the Zapata silliness.

    (Typos corrected – Ed.)

  12. Truthseeker Says:

    We leave the above message up as clear evidence of the good doc’s email style, as evidenced by a) his constant assumption that the entire world (that part of it that he wishes to communicate with at least) revolves around him, just as it did when he was ushered into it and spanked on his tiny botty by a doctor who was unaware of the threat he would subsequently pose to the medical establishment and their partners in science, or at least those who would have the perfidy to promulgate piffle at the cost of the very lives they are responsible for defending and b) his inability to trust his colleagues in arms against pitifully mediocre science to have exactly the same standards of accuracy as he does and realize that perhaps they may also be busy dealing with other correspondence and topics or having a long heat wave siesta to recover from the fatigue having to decipher the inarticulate and spotty email correspondence the nervous doc is in the habit of sending where nothing is fully spelled out or correctly spelled or capitalized, let alone intelligibly framed, though always intelligent in content, once decoded. The world should know that there is no more hawkish eye for typos than this behind the scenes puppet master of HIVisnotAIDS.As anyone can see for themselves all corrections arising out of this torrent of advisories have been made, except those which are the business of the author and not of the subject, and there was no need to write and post this comment to disturb the discussion of far more important matters than temporary glitches in the always uncertain process of communication to the outside world from Cuernavaca.The biographical addition to the post was intended to give the many interested readers clamoring for a peek behind the curtain an idea of the answer to the question, Who is Harvey Bialy really? This is an all-important topic, as Dr Bialy obviously agrees, and we are delighted that he has added this comment to round out the picture more expertly than we would have ever been able to do.

  13. Dean Esmay Says:

    Having been on the recieving end of Harvey’s often spelling-disabled, half-coherent, chaotic, ranting, abusive, wheedling, cajoling, flattering, obsequious, and insulting emails (he tends to hit every one of those marks at least once per week, and occasionally manages to get them all into one single dizzying hat-trick of a missive), I’m rather impressed with Truthseeker’s calm.Boorish behavior does not, of course, make his work meaningless. But I’ve seen more than one PhD level scientist recoil at one of Harvey’s blasts of invective. They dare to say, “I’m skeptical, why should I believe HIV doesn’t cause AIDS?” and he treats them with such seething and despicable contempt, with vicious accusations about their motives and their backgrounds, that they walk away convinced that only mad dogs and Englishmen could possibly take any of this HIV skepticism stuff seriously.If it were not for the fact that he is a genuine scientist of considerable accomplishment, I would have written him off some time ago. He’s pretty much blown my friendship–although I don’t hate him, I no longer feel I can trust him with anything personal, and if I find another 20 emails from him in my mailbox all I do is can them without reading them. Saves time, and grief.Does this mean the skeptics are in disarray, falling apart? Oh please. The world is full of people who don’t like each other but work together anyway. Demanding uniformity of opinion and attitude is what totalitarians do, not free thinkers.

  14. Dean Esmay Says:

    By the way, if I recall correctly, when I asked Harvey over a year ago about the “f.book” thing, he said “f” is short for “f**king,” because both he and Peter were tired of working on it all the time, and Harvey once got so obsessive about getting a particular passage just right that he followed Peter into the bathroom and started asking him questions while Peter was busy relieving himself.It was funnier the way he told it, and I may have some details wrong, and will undoubtedly be treated to a furious barrage of email and/or comment responses from him about my venality, stupidity, mendacity, sloppiness, and general awfulness if I should have gotten so much as a single detail of the above loose recollection wrong. 😉

  15. Truthseeker Says:

    Factual correction: Dean, confess it is not true that you trash Dr Bialy’s emails with an automatic filter. We just saw a complimentary reply you sent him on a teasing one (a url to the next post, in fact) he sent to David Ho’s pet English bulldog, John “We are saving millions from deadly quackery with life saving drugs that kill them, sorry about that” Moore of Cornell.

    This indeed is the ambivalence that we are sure that Dr Bialy’s correspondents always feel. The leader of the revolution and his confreres need each other, since he is the generale who directs and supports and informs and encourages and pushes and kicks in the ass the conventional souls who may object to the censorship and distortion of science which supports the current paradigm, but are less willing and able professionally and socially to speak up with the kind of activist obnoxiousness that it demands, because they are not sitting safely behind high walls in the Mexican “city of eternal spring” thousands of miles from the epicenter of HIV?AIDS tyranny, the office of Anthony “Runway Model” Fauci of NIAID.

    Dr “If you expect patience for your sins forget it” Bialy is the one who stirs up the most interesting trouble.

    So all this bleating and baaing about how Harvey is a long fanged sheep dog that savages the flock he is meant to be protecting as well as the wolves that threaten it may be beside the point. The utter demolition of all forms of civil restraint may be what is called for by the campaign for responsible science in HIV?AIDS.

    But we feel it is probably misguided because soreheads who know better are soreheads without an audience, and we really need to be listened to by the general public if we are to have any countervailing influence to the suffocating weight of the billions being spent on the misguided policies that the real science contradicts. And how about just being collegial with like-minded fellow soldiers for enlightenment?

    The danger is that anyone who has not encountered this corrective before is going to be instantly prejudiced against claimants who seem out of control themselves. To be an obnoxious knowitall is not the way to influence people whose world you seek to turn from upside down to right way up. The facts is that “dissidents” are “dissonant” and if they want to be listened to they had better mind their manners and act like leaders when they speak.

    Yet, how to wrest trust and authority away from those who have won it by cheating and retain it with violence (censorship enforced) is the problem, and the catch 22 is that very often you can’t fight violence without violence. It may very well be that nothing sizeable has changed in this sphere without Dr Bialy’s injection of raging outrage. Maybe if he was tamed all would be lost.

    So maybe any efforts to reform him because he bites our own ankles so mercilessly is only asking our attack dog to turn into a fluffy little Pekinese who will get steamrollered into irrelevance as easily as every other leader of HIV?AIDS who sticks to civility in the face of tyranny.

    After all, after 23 years, with full exposition of wrongthinking and wrongdoing in the leading journals of science and something like 21 books on the topic, we have only 2400 signers to the list, only one major magazine tough enough and sane enough to smell the coffee, the New York Times immovable to the extent of not even publishing a reply to John Moore, only one general blogger willing to address the problem at length, only one private patron strong enough to support the cause – maybe the critics need ten Dr. Bialys to get through.

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