Damned Heretics

Condemned by the established, but very often right

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

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

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Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

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

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

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blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.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

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Times obituary of man dead of “AIDS” is science propaganda

The New York Times has an odd little obituary today (Sun Oct 16), which might be viewed as a kind of propaganda or little ad for the established view of AIDS and its medications. The story seems intended to undermine the scientific review which questions the benefits of the standard HAART drug regime.


LeRoy Whitfield, a journalist who used a magazine column to chronicle the everyday struggles of people with H.I.V., died last Sunday at North General Hospital in Harlem. He was 36.

It seems to be written not so much as a memory of the life of the individual who has departed as around the theme that questioning HIV?AIDS drugs contributed to his death.


Mr. Whitfield learned that he was H.I.V.-positive when he was 19, and he decided to forgo taking the powerful AIDS drugs that have extended the lives of many people with H.I.V. It was a choice that he stood by till the end, even though his doctors advised him to take the medicines, his brother said.

The cause was AIDS-related complications, said his brother, Crofton Whitfield.

Most readers will take this at face value and as one more lesson in the authority of HIV?AIDS ideology and the dire penalty of not taking AIDS drugs, but we wonder how the story would stand up to scrutiny.

In the first place it took fifteen years for Whitfield to die of “AIDS related complications” from an infection with HIV which occurred that long ago, or earlier, assuming the test was accurate. While this may fit with the theory that HIV takes on average ten years to make itself felt and launch AIDS proper, it leaves open a huge window of time for other health influences to play a part.

Like any anecdotal case, one would have to know far more to accept it as evidence of the penalty paid for abjuring AIDS drugs. In fact, prima facie it seems that Whitfield actually lived longer than the average AIDS patient after the point he tested “positive” for HIV antibodies, a point which initiates drug treatment for many now. Reportedly 40-45% of those who test positive nowadays progress to AIDS proper within a year or less.

In this case there is an unusual amount of information available, since he wrote about his experience in a column since 2004.


The magazine’s editor, Michael W. E. Edwards, said that Mr. Whitfield’s column was one of the magazine’s most popular features because of the candor with which he shared his own fight against H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.

Poring over those columns might answer the question of what other factors caused a young man of 36 to die of “AIDS-related complications.

Short of that the average reader will naturally take the obituary as evidence of the danger of flouting the established prescription. However, there is no doubt that it contradicts the findings of the best scientific review literature, which states that the theory is baseless and the drugs harmful.

If the Times editors wish to print an obituary with a moral, as they apparently did in this case, they should make it longer so that there is some evidence for their inherent claims. Especially since the obituary is rather oddly by “The New York Times” and not signed by an individual reporter.

Come to that, what in the world is the New York Times doing endorsing any viewpoint in a sophisticated scientific controversy over the basic assumptions of a field, and in an obituary, no less. Have the paper’s reporters or editors suddenly developed a capacity to read and understand the review literature in AIDS, which they have hitherto almost completely ignored?

This looks extremely unlikely, since the rote phrase “HIV, the virus that causes AIDS” is once again repeated in this item, just as it is in every news story on AIDS in the Times.

What is it that qualifies the news editors and reporters of the New York Times to dismiss the challenge to this notion, and its adamant rejection, in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, when the best scientists in the field of AIDS research were unable to fault it after every one of their substantive objections was dealt with in the peer review process?

The political endorsement of the theory that HIV causes AIDS , which the scientific review literature rejected and which is maintained as a global belief only by political support, of which the Times’ incessant repetition of this mantra in its news columns is a major pillar, is an example of inaccuracy and propaganda which belies the paper’s claim to be the paper of objective record.

If the New York Times does not wish to be blamed in the future for the artificial prolongation of a hypothesis which has according to the review literature led to mammoth global misspending of public funds, and the shortening of many lives, then it should revert to the scientifically and politically accurate phrase “said to be the cause of AIDS, “generally believed to be the cause of AIDS, “claimed to be the cause of AIDS”, or something similar, and not the properly scientifically reviewed and rejected statement “HIV, the virus that causes AIDS”.

In this respect in particular in reporting HIV?AIDS, the Times should clean up its act.

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The New York Times

October 16, 2005

LeRoy Whitfield, 36, Dies; Wrote of AIDS Battle

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

LeRoy Whitfield, a journalist who used a magazine column to chronicle the everyday struggles of people with H.I.V., died last Sunday at North General Hospital in Harlem. He was 36.

The cause was AIDS-related complications, said his brother, Crofton Whitfield.

Mr. Whitfield had written a column titled “Native Tongue” since May 2004 in HIV Plus, a national magazine distributed at doctors’ offices and organizations offering services for people with AIDS. The magazine’s editor, Michael W. E. Edwards, said that Mr. Whitfield’s column was one of the magazine’s most popular features because of the candor with which he shared his own fight against H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. Mr. Whitfield learned that he was H.I.V.-positive when he was 19, and he decided to forgo taking the powerful AIDS drugs that have extended the lives of many people with H.I.V. It was a choice that he stood by till the end, even though his doctors advised him to take the medicines, his brother said.

Mr. Whitfield was also a frequent contributor to Vibe magazine and a former senior editor at Poz, another magazine intended for people with H.I.V.

LeRoy Whitfield was born in Chicago on Sept. 19, 1969. In addition to his brother, he is survived by a sister, LaRonya Whitfield.

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