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News, views and reviews measured against professional literature in peer reviewed journals (adjusted for design flaws and bias), well researched books, authoritative encyclopedias (not the bowdlerized Wiki entries on controversial topics) and the investigative reporting and skeptical studies of courageous original thinkers among academics, philosophers, researchers, scholars, authors, filmmakers and journalists.

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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blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.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 that ever interfered with my learning was my education. I am Freeman Dyson, and I approve of this blog, but would warn the author that life as a heretic is a hard one, since the ignorant and the half informed, let alone those who should know better, will automatically trash their betters who try to enlighten them with independent thinking, as I have found to my sorrow in commenting on "global warming" and its cures.
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Celia Farber profiled as articulate, ‘obsessive’ AIDS ‘anarchist’ by NY Observer

Detailed front page story stays away from saying she is wrong

Deft sketch portrays her as basket case study of her theme of censorship

Whatever you make of it as science politics, Sheelah Kolhatkar’s take on Celia Farber today (Wed Jun 28) in the elitist pink gossip sheet of the chattering classes in Manhattan draws an accurate picture of a tough minded but supersentient being who has suffered the tortures of the damned for twenty years in pursuing the off limits topic of whether HIV is valid as the key to AIDS.

On the night of Saturday, June 10, the controversial journalist Celia Farber was holding court at a quiet cocktail party in a roped-off section of the Roosevelt Hotel bar in midtown Manhattan. ‘What does an animal do when they know they’re going to be killed?’ she asked, her voice taut, as a handful of people looked on. ‘They play dead.’Ms. Farber was in the midst of an anecdote about one of her preferred subjects, her persecution at the hands of a vast network of enemies, and its effect on her writing career. ‘I’ve been there,’ she continued. ‘You lose interest in doing well; you stop caring about being successful.’

The author of this tragicomedy, the slim, brunette Kolhatkar, is a young beauty who while at the party mentioned in the piece admitted to this writer that she was so devoted to her work writing up various figures in circles of publishing power and influence in Manhattan that she finds herself dreaming about it, and she does a very sophisticated job, handling Farber with care and the perceptive ear of a good theater critic.

She is noticeably polite about Farber’s iconoclastic view on HIV?AIDS, and after the obligatory quote from Moore’s Op Ed piece, gives no extra space to Celia bashing by calling on the likes of a John Moore or Martin Delaney, the paradigm palace guard who can be counted on to make cheap cracks deploring Farber’s misguided resistance to the authority of the HIV?AIDS scientists who are in fact the chief suspects in this case.

The gossipy but telling piece feels to us like a wry Manhattan inner circle assessment of another member of the media power club, who however renegade in her work is not treated here as someone to be trashed as beyond the pale. Although she may be taken aback at being sketched as unremittingly doleful, we hope it will be a pleasant surprise for Farber to read this, when she does – at the moment she has fled to the country with her family and a robot is answering her email.

For while the elephant in the room is largely overlooked as usual, the “blonde, thin AIDS anarchist” is framed in a worldly manner that leaves plenty of room for the possibility that she may be right to champion the censored side of the issue – that is, it does until the very end of the article. Then in a rather abrupt windup it seems to us that Farber is finally patronized as an obsessive who according to her friend and one time editor Bob Guccione of SPIN and Gear has spent a little too much time on “her holy quest”. And in Sheelah’s own view, Celia is a born agitator who would be “lost without her battles”:

When asked how the endless contrarianism might have impacted Ms. Farber professionally, Mr. Guccione, another believer in the ‘fostering debate’ approach to publishing, said: ‘I think she has paid a terrific price.’ He continued: ‘You know, the flip side of that is, I think she spent too much time dwelling on the AIDS beat. It’s been a holy quest for her.”In any case, Ms. Farber would be lost without her battles. She said that she’s always been fascinated by Stalinism, Communism, the Holocaust, witch hunts; she visits ‘as many dictatorships as I can.’ ‘

Seems to us this is going overboard, like the headline – Celia is a paradigm revolutionary in our book, not exactly an anarchist. She is fighting spurious and abusive authority, not all authority, all the time. But perhaps the writer is handicapped by the almost universal inability to conceive that the whole world is wrong on HIV?AIDS. What’s nice is that she dosn’t push it. On the other hand, she doesn’t justify Celia’s quest either.

For most of the deft article as we read it she is respectful of Celia’s work and of her pain, though she doesn’t seem to be entirely clear that Celia was and is not always as she is painted here. Celia’s present preoccupation with the hostility aroused by her work quoted throughout the piece is to our ear the sound of nervous fatigue, coming after twenty years where huge demands were made of the talented author with very little recompense, by the standards of the market today.

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“And this may be the genius of the piece: by depicting so well the plight of a literary victim, it makes exactly the point that Celia wants to demonstrate in her work, which is that it is the censorship which is killing people.”

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Sheelah hints at the financial stress over the years mentioning Celia’s jobs as dishwasher etc but she doesn’t seem to realize that this sacrifice is far from over. Celia is suffering from nervous exhaustion after two years of superhuman effort with not enough emotional and professional support from colleagues or editors, let alone proper pay for her efforts and talent. This is the price demanded of those who flout the current media-science-industrial complex, at least in HIV?AIDS.

That is why the charmingly unpretentious picture of Celia by Melanie Flood accompanying the article (titled Celia Farber in her apartment on the Upper West Side) looks a little more bedraggled than a personal publicist would like (on the Web only – in the print version, where the inside full page is headlined “Celia’s Offensive”, nice pun, the photo looks absolutely beautiful, for some reason). Here is another one of Celia two years ago, looking a good deal fresher at a HEAL gathering in Manhattan, where her colleague in paradigm dismantling, scientist Harvey Bialy, gave a lectern-pounding reading from his “Oncogenes” book. It was the night she heard from Lapham that her piece was accepted.

Here at least she does get credit for her achievements. The “rag tag band” of dissenters would still look like 9/11 conspiracy theorists except for two things that have emboldened them recently, Kolhatkar reports. These are Farber’s twin literary successes – the big piece in Harper’s March issue and now her new book that is just out (July 1st publication date, but already available for three weeks on Amazon), a collection of her key pieces on HIV?AIDS.

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Commercial interruption: Let’s hope a lot of people buy “Serious Adverse Events: An Uncensored History of AIDS”, as they should – it is a great read for any nonscientist (or scientist) who wants to catch up with this scene, unique in its vast social and political distortion of sense and science, which Celia describes with a true writer’s thoughtfulness and clarity in vivid story telling from the front lines.

The paperback, which has the cover design of a literary classic and deserves it, includes the first draft of what she wrote for Lapham, a lovely, telling piece which centers on Peter Duesberg’s travails as well as his science; the biographical part was eventually displaced in Harper’s by the newer topic of cooked and lethal AIDS drug trials. It’s worth the price of the book – but so is every well told, illuminating chapter, in which science derailed is described with the clarity of an on-the-scene report from a critical observer.

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As we say, the Observer piece falls apart at the end, we find, though others may read it differently. The last paragraphs shortchange Farber’s intellectual cause by reducing it to reflex anti-fascism and saying that she has taken refuge in appealing merely for free debate. Here given Celia’s deep moral sensibility and her outrage at the deaths of patients, and her twenty year championing of Duesberg’s consistent position that there is nothing in the HIV argument, we expect that she will feel insulted and cheapened.

By focusing her outrage on her opposition’s desire to silence dissent rather than on the actual scientific arguments, Ms. Farber finds protection under the idea that no subject or theory, regardless of its implications, should be taken off the table; continuing to ask the questions can be more important than answering them.

But even if it finally does go off the rails in this way, perhaps due to hasty editing, this is in many ways the first intelligent, worldly article about the leading HIV?AIDS lay critic and her cause, and it is certainly unfair to expect a young woman however smart who is unfamiliar with the field of unscience involved to catch up with the real situation in only three weeks.

All in all, for a gossip piece this is a brilliant encapsulation of a unique spirit and her predicament, even if the forces that have led to it – and the validity of her cause – are not fully depicted by the profiler. Truth to tell, it seems pretty clear that in her extended conversations and emailing with a very thorough reporter her subject neglected the issue herself.

And this may be the genius of the piece: by depicting so well the plight of a literary victim, it makes exactly the point that Celia wants to demonstrate in her work, which is that it is the censorship which is killing people.

(show)
AIDS Anarchist Farber

Hops Back in Whirlwind

By Sheelah Kolhatkar

On the night of Saturday, June 10, the controversial journalist Celia Farber was holding court at a quiet cocktail party in a roped-off section of the Roosevelt Hotel bar in midtown Manhattan. ‘What does an animal do when they know they’re going to be killed?’ she asked, her voice taut, as a handful of people looked on. ‘They play dead.’

Ms. Farber was in the midst of an anecdote about one of her preferred subjects, her persecution at the hands of a vast network of enemies, and its effect on her writing career. ‘I’ve been there,’ she continued. ‘You lose interest in doing well; you stop caring about being successful.’

Most of the 15 or so at the party were members of Rethinking AIDS, a group of scientists, writers and others who propagate the radical idea that H.I.V. does not cause AIDS. One of Ms. Farber’s beliefs, for example, is that the scientific explanations for the AIDS epidemic are corrupted by drug companies that seek to show that AIDS is amenable to drug therapies – profitable ones.

Their esoteric ideas have far-reaching implications, to say the least. If H.I.V. doesn’t cause AIDS, then ‘safe sex,’ drug ‘cocktails’ – in short, everything that the medical establishment says about prevention and treatment – is wrong.

Not unsurprisingly, the group is small, marginalized and the object of intense criticism in public-health circles. (They view themselves as AIDS ‘dissenters,’ while their critics refer to them as ‘denialists.’)

Ms. Farber is a central figure among the AIDS ‘dissenters.’ She isn’t a scientist herself; instead, she champions the scientific work of Peter Duesberg, a cancer researcher at the University of California at Berkeley. Ms. Farber sees herself as some sort of modern-day Clarence Darrow to Mr. Duesberg’s Scopes – an advocate whose lonely battle will be vindicated through the prisms of history and science.

Her two-decade career has been dominated by her efforts to keep debate about the dissenting AIDS theory alive, and nearly every piece she publishes on the subject triggers a seismic backlash. An Op-Ed piece in The New York Times on June 4 accused her camp of ‘Deadly Quackery’: ‘The truth is that H.I.V. does exist, that it causes AIDS and that antiretroviral drugs can prevent H.I.V. transmission and death from AIDS,’ it read. ‘To deny these facts is not just wrong – it’s deadly.’

One could argue that Ms. Farber gave her life for her obsession with the cause. A few months ago, she and her ragtag band of colleagues might have been considered, by some, to be one step away from the conspiracy theorist’s asylum, next in line behind the 9/11-was-an-inside-job crowd. But they’ve been feeling emboldened by two recent successes: the publication of Ms. Farber’s first book, Serious Adverse Events: An Uncensored History of AIDS, by the independent press Melville House; and, perhaps more significantly, the appearance of a 15-page article by Ms. Farber in the March issue of Harper’s Magazine.

Indeed, as one party attendee pointed out, not everyone in the media world regards Celia Farber as a petrified animal. ‘There are so many people who admire her,’ said Thor Halvorssen, a personal friend of Ms. Farber, who was there solely to lend her moral support. He paused. ‘[Former Harper’s editor] Lewis Lapham, for one.’

UP CLOSE, MS. FARBER, 40, HAS A DAMAGED, fragile air. She is tall and exceedingly thin, with limbs that look as if they might snap to the touch. Her facial features are dramatically chiseled, with large brown eyes topped off with carefully tousled blond hair. ‘After all these years, the spotlight is on me,’ Ms. Farber said, sipping a glass of white wine. ‘It’s come at the same moment when I’ve ceased to care any more. There comes a point where I don’t crave respectability, I don’t expect to get it from the outside.’

Ms. Farber sees AIDS through the lens of totalitarianism (American society in general, American science specifically and the National Institutes of Health all earned the label). To engage with her is to enter a surreal plane where her intensity threatens to overwhelm. Dozens of e-mails arrive in the night filled with angry rantings, impassioned pleas, links to articles and letters to the editor – all offering a glimpse into the emotional seesaw that is her existence. She seems riven by anxious energy, and her long fingers tend to flutter around her temples like butterflies as she speaks.

At the Roosevelt, she was seated on a couch next to her friend Mr. Halvorssen, a preppy libertarian with a cowlick, whose preoccupations that night included the evils of communism, political correctness, environmentalists and the charges against the Duke lacrosse team.

‘I’m an unusual subject in that for years it’s been written that I’m in denial of reality, a mass murderer …,’ Ms. Farber said.

At that moment, Barry Farber – Ms. Farber’s father, the anti-communist and conservative radio host who ran for Mayor of New York in 1977 – ambled over with a big grin, his tie askew.

‘We’re talking about your daughter!’ Mr. Halvorssen said to him.

‘Ah, my favorite subject!’ Mr. Farber said in his Southern drawl. He collapsed on the couch and started punching at his cell phone.

‘If you are deprived of respectability over time,’ Ms. Farber continued, ‘what happens is, it’s wounding – but eventually you get freed of the addiction to respectability. I think a lot of media people crave respectability.’

Her friend wasn’t buying it; he thinks she is too timid and insecure. ‘How often in the past two years have you pitched a story?’ said Mr. Halvorssen in a scolding tone.

‘Um … ,’ Ms. Farber said, ‘I have pitched stories, probably …. ‘

‘She just does not do it!’ Mr. Halvorssen said. ‘She could get $20,000 a story, she’s so good. But she just. Does. Not. Do. It. She’s still bleeding. If we could just cover these wounds …. ‘

‘I said this to Lewis Lapham, actually,’ Ms. Farber said: ”You are interfering with my persecution complex!”

‘You see this?’ Mr. Halvorssen said. ‘She has a Joan of Arc complex!’

‘A persecution complex does not develop out of nothing,’ Ms. Farber said.

AIDS “HAS HAD ME IN ITS JAWS FOR 20 YEARS, and I’ve occasionally tried to get away from it. And I have found that there’s not nearly as much free will as you’d think,’ said Ms. Farber. ‘I am not obsessed with it. I probably seem to be obsessed with it – people probably think, Can’t she shut up about AIDS? But in actual fact, I’ve been trying to, for a long time. But some portion of the culture keeps coming to me and asking me to please address it again.’ Ms. Farber, however, is unable to ‘shut up about’ AIDS for very long.

Celia Farber is a New Yorker by birth (she now lives on the Upper West Side). Her mother was a Swedish Pan Am stewardess and a nurse; her father is of Russian Jewish ancestry and grew up in North Carolina. She lived from age 11 to 18 in Sweden, which she described as an oppressive, overly socialist, weird place. She joined the alternative-rock scene, and when she returned to New York she enrolled at N.Y.U. and drummed in bands.

She began writing her infamous AIDS column, called ‘Words from the Front,’ at Spin in 1987.

It was in the midst of the so-called ‘AIDS war,’ when public fear (Ms. Farber likes to call it ‘mass hysteria’) about the disease was at its peak and there was a scientific space race underway to understand it. But: ‘I didn’t come in and say, ‘I wanna write about AIDS!” Ms. Farber said. ‘I wanted to find something out, ideally something that really needed to be found out and nobody else had found out. That was my thing.’

Her pieces, many of which are collected in her book, raised questions about whether H.I.V. was the sole cause of AIDS, about the side effects of the AIDS drug AZT and about the severity of the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Her second installment was an interview with Mr. Duesberg, who is also known for his hypothesis that AIDS is caused by heavy recreational and anti-H.I.V. drug use rather than H.I.V. itself. Mr. Duesberg was shunned by the scientific community after publishing his theory that H.I.V. cannot cause AIDS; Ms. Farber has been aligned with him ever since.

Needless to say, many in the medical establishment, as well as gay and AIDS activists – and Ms. Farber’s own colleagues at Spin – found her columns destructive. Spin’s publisher, Bob Guccione Jr., personally shepherded her pieces into the magazine. ‘There was always a sense of violence and sabotage,’ Ms. Farber said, adopting the cadences of a grizzled war reporter. ‘There were times when Bob and I had to actually walk the boards to the printer – there were people, copy editors and fact-checkers, who hated the column so much they would cut things out.’

There was also another matter: Ms. Farber was romantically involved with Mr. Guccione, which created resentment in the office. This culminated in 1994 when an employee named Staci Bonner filed a sexual-harassment lawsuit against the magazine and Mr. Guccione.

Ms. Farber had by then gone freelance, gotten married to someone else and given birth to a son just that year. In a time line she provided in an e-mail, she wrote: ‘The years 1994-1997 were consumed with fighting the charges which culminated in Federal Court, 1997. Hospitalized briefly for suicidal urges. Lost 25 pounds. Lost will to live. Betrayed by best friend at Spin (plaintiff).’ She said the trial ‘absolutely leveled me – it was the darkest, scariest, most traumatic, merciless, brutal thing I’ve ever seen or imagined; it took me 10 years to even begin to want to live again.’

Shortly after that, she went to Los Angeles and spent three months shadowing O.J. Simpson for Esquire, which resulted in a sensational cover story in 1998. She wrote for Mr. Guccione at his new magazine, Gear, and had an AIDS column on the Web site Ironminds. She separated from her husband. She organized a concert called ‘Rock the Boat,’ which was intended to raise awareness about alternative AIDS theories; the concert fell apart, and Ms. Farber said that ‘financial decimation’ followed. She worked at a series of odd jobs – in hotels, trade shows, making candles, catering, dishwashing.

Around 2001, Tina Brown commissioned her to write a story about gene therapy for Talk. The piece was killed. She said that she has been broke, and has given up on journalism, ever since.

(There was one bright spot: Ms. Farber said in an e-mail that after she wrote a piece for the New York Press about Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment case in 2004, the founder of American Apparel, Dov Charney, called her up ‘yelling about the whole fake feminism ordeal.’ Mr. Charney had been dealing with his own harassment accusations, and he hired her as a ‘consultant and writer.’ Ms. Farber referred to Mr. Charney as her ‘secret benefactor.’)

She speaks of her Harper’s article as if it was a divine accident, but in reality Mr. Lapham was the puppet master. After meeting him at a party several years ago, Ms. Farber said he urged her to pitch him stories. ‘He said, ‘I really need someone to write about science for me,” Ms. Farber recalled. ‘He said, ‘I really have a sense that it’s kind of … ,’ and then he paused, and I said, ‘Diabolical?”

She eventually proposed a piece about the same H.I.V.-does-not-cause-AIDS virologist she’s been championing since Spin. ‘I had no intention whatsoever of writing about AIDS in Harper’s,’ Ms. Farber said, somewhat implausibly. ‘The original story was about Peter Duesberg’s cancer theory. And I remember saying to Lewis Lapham: ‘The AIDS question – we’ll just fly right over that, right?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, we’ll fly right over that.” (Mr. Lapham declined to speak to The Observer.)

Ms. Farber turned in that piece, which appears as the first chapter in her book. Mr. Lapham handed the text over to an editor, Roger Hodge, to edit. While it was being worked on, news of a problematic AIDS drug trial appeared in the press. Ms. Farber brought it to her editor’s attention and said that she was urged to look into that story: ‘I felt like, ‘Oh, God, what a pain in the ass. I don’t wanna go into that extraordinarily difficult, impossible, explosive, life-destroying stuff!” Ms. Farber said. ‘But you don’t say that to your editors.’

The piece that ultimately ran was an awkward marriage of the two stories. Predictably, it triggered a considerable level of anger directed at Harper’s. Letters were published both in support of the article and taking issue with some of Ms. Farber’s contentions. The AIDS researcher Robert Gallo and doctors from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, among others, wrote in protest.

Ms. Farber said that she’d tried to warn Messrs. Lapham and Hodge of her reputation and biases. ‘In this discredited little cadre of scientists, I’m their champion,’ she said she told them. In an e-mail, Mr. Hodge, who is now Harper’s’ top editor, wrote: ‘Yes, we knew what we were getting into.’ He also wrote: ‘Celia is an excellent reporter and I hope she brings us more good stories in the future.’

It’s not entirely surprising that a figure such as Ms. Farber would appeal to a particular brand of right-thinking liberalism, the type embodied by Mr. Lapham’s former magazine. By focusing her outrage on her opposition’s desire to silence dissent rather than on the actual scientific arguments, Ms. Farber finds protection under the idea that no subject or theory, regardless of its implications, should be taken off the table; continuing to ask the questions can be more important than answering them.

When asked how the endless contrarianism might have impacted Ms. Farber professionally, Mr. Guccione, another believer in the ‘fostering debate’ approach to publishing, said: ‘I think she has paid a terrific price.’ He continued: ‘You know, the flip side of that is, I think she spent too much time dwelling on the AIDS beat. It’s been a holy quest for her.’

In any case, Ms. Farber would be lost without her battles. She said that she’s always been fascinated by Stalinism, Communism, the Holocaust, witch hunts; she visits ‘as many dictatorships as I can.’ She described herself alternately as a lapsed hard leftist, a proto-anarchist, a libertarian sympathizer and a ‘bit punk.’ When asked if she somehow took pleasure in the turmoil triggered by her journalism, she said: ‘I would vastly prefer a quiet life, without roiling bands of furious AIDS activists – I mean treatment activists – smearing my name all over the world. I mean, I don’t like it. I don’t take it lightly.’

Then she thought for a moment. ‘I think I was built to take it,’ Ms. Farber said. ‘I just had a very, very unsparing childhood. And I was never any ‘the world is my oyster’ kind of person. Things were always tough, and I developed kind of an identity, I guess, where maybe I relished something about the dynamic of being attacked. It’s a really good question …. It traumatizes me very much. Less now than it used to. I find it boring now. Very, very boring.’

58 Responses to “Celia Farber profiled as articulate, ‘obsessive’ AIDS ‘anarchist’ by NY Observer”

  1. Claus Says:

    From the vantage point of a relative ousider, I’m not nearly as impressed with Kolhatkar’s piece. Perhaps my views are coloured a bit by my distaste for the kind of journalism which relies heavily on this kind of suggestive psychological profiling to capture the ‘human interest’ aspects of the story.

    At best, when handled by a truly brillant observer, like a Joyce or a Hemingway, or a Tarrantino for that matter, this approach, where the author’s (supposedly) immediate observations and responses to the subject, including the snippets of party conversation singled out, are made to tell the story, is justified because there is a story to tell whose point goes beyond those observations to something more profound and universal.

    The sense of disappointment and anticlimax one feels in reading the less than flattering conclusion to this piece arises because it’s exactly and obviously what’s been built up to all along in an article that’s far too long for the story it wants to tell. For Kolhatkar does want to tell a story, but not about AIDS or ‘contrarianism’ or heroism in a worthy cause – in fact this story couldn’t care less if Farber were championing Duesberg, poor Africans or the theory that the moon is made of green cheese (to borrow one from the eloquent John Moore). The ambition of this story is to give a psychological portrait (in this case rather a snapshot) of a ‘contrarian’ or ‘obsessive’ or whatever other cliches and labels it strews around.

    The article does not conclude with an insight that goes beyond these cliches and labels; it merely repeats them and amplifies them from beginning to end. I cannot speak for Ms. Farber, but to me, who has the advantage in this context of not knowing her, it presents a very one-dimensional picture. It holds about as much ‘human interest’ as a story about Muhammad Ali written from the premise that his pursuit of boxing excellence owes to the fact that he is black and a late bloomer.

  2. George Says:

    Claus,

    May I second every single thing you have written?

  3. Truthseeker Says:

    Nicely put, Claus, in fact perfectly phrased and hard to argue with. This is certainly the new, Tina Brown approach to journalism adopted by the New Yorker and everyone else in the last two decades (another Brit! surely this country is taking its Anglophilia too far). The idea is that the person is the key to the ideas they voice. You remind us of the huge Kierkegaard biography that came out a year ago, which didn’t explain a single serious idea of Kierkegaard’s in 700 pages.

    But is it so misleading to look at the person behind the work, even in science? A while back when we were interviewing a series of top or soon to be top scientists about their achievements and views we were surprised to see that there was a correlation between personality and the direction their research and thinking had taken. Seems trite when you express it that way, but there are unexpected specific examples that come up all the time when you interview people.

    But we agree that it is frustrating when the whole thing stalls on the personal and social level and never takes off into the ideas themselves. In this case we excused the author on the grounds that she was new to a complex field and that it was probably her assignment not to get into HIV?AIDS – as her quote of Celia and Lapham agreeing that Celia wouldn’t either in Harpers perhaps echoed.

    Frustrating that we have these articles which fail even to describe the elephant in the room. How helpful professional editors and reporters are to those who want to preserve the censorship of HIV?AIDS! They write articles which don’t even address the main issue. Would it be so hard to establish better why Celia has a pefectly valid reason to pursue this “obsession”?

    But you put it much better than we can. All we can add is that maybe with enough of these sideways pieces the other shoe will fall, and others will finally follow the lead of Harpers.

  4. Harold Greene Says:

    Might I point out that when I picked up a copy of Bialy’s biography of Peter Duesberg, I fully expected to find out his parent’s names, encounter stories of his childhood and the other details that abound in even the best “scientific” biographies. I think it was quickly discovering that this was a very different kind of generic work than I had ever encountered, and that it was wonderfully free of any attempt to analyze the motives of any of the characters or to paint mini-portriats of them, badly describing their appearance for example, that more than anything else drew me into the book and its themes.

    But I don’t suppose Bialy was writing for a People magazine audience.

  5. Simon Says:

    And Simon sez:

    Celia, the picture of you is stunning and is the best thing about the otherwise vapid and like totally uncompelling text. However, it will not hurt your jump-started (better late than never my mother always said)career and will go a long way to making you an underground celebrity in NY instead of a pariah.

  6. Celia Farber Says:

    Thank you all for the uplifting comments. I have been scared stiff about this article, and am glad it’s out, and will refrain from saying much about how I feel, especially since you know that like you gentlemen, I see the elephant, and I think the elephant goes a long way to explaining one’s obsession with the elephant. I wish of course in moments like this that I had chosen to be more recalcitrant about the extended traffic accident that is my career–that I knew how to “shut up,” as it were.

    But I don’t.

    Sheelah did some very good reporting and captured things people have missed for years. (Just not the elephant.)

    Also,I am grateful for the implicit acknowledgement that at long last I am a fairly important drowning fly in the world of NY Media, and now there is a face and a pair of feet on the drowning fly. Not exactly Barbara Walters, but then again, maybe there’s room for all types.

    Send cash!

  7. Frank Lusardi Says:

    In fairness to Kolhatkar, it should be pointed out that, were a New Yorker interested in anything more substantial than up-scale gossip, he/she would not look to the salmon-colored pages of The New York Observer . Considering the vacuity of the venue, the emphasis in the article may well have been more mandatory then chosen. Surrounded by a complex and controversial scientific debate which she no doubt had insufficient time to sort out, Kolhatkar did the unexpected; she fairly and decently stated Farber’s position, albeit briefly. She could have conjured calumny and defamation, and neither her editors not her peers would have faulted her. She chose not to, and, for that, she should be commended.

  8. Celia Farber Says:

    I agree with Frank Lusardi and I didn’t mean to sound so glib. It is a miracle and I am very grateful to Sheelah Kolhatkar and to the paper. Trust me. And I expect she will be getting invective from John Moore et al. But they cannot fault her because she reported it straight, and really did alot of work. She will be asked to be responsible for the fact that I was depicted without being be-headed. Sheelah Kolhatkar is known as primarily a literary, publishing and media writer and so in that sense cannot be expected to take on the Elephantine Science of this bizarre situation. The only thing I might have wished is that the body of dissent not been described as “small.”

  9. Celia Farber Says:

    How many ways can the media say small?

    http://www.rethinkingaids.com/body.cfm?id=55

  10. Frank Lusardi Says:

    Kolhatkar bids that hoary saw, the “ragtag band”. Let the next writer see her and raise her, with Margaret Mead’s old saw: “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” The band is in fact legion and every day, from around the great globe, new volunteers declare themselves

  11. Robert Houston Says:

    The good thing is that the courageous and gifted writer Celia Farber is receiving recognition as a notable literary character, with a front page article about her that continues for nearly a full page inside this week’s NY Observer. The accompanying photos show what looks like a young Grace Kelly, i.e., a compelling heroine, and this apparent combination of talent, looks, and controversy could very well generate increasing media and TV interest that could propel the sales of her forthcoming book and advance her career and fortunes.

    On the other hand…(should I go on?)… well, someone has to say it. Once upon a time the kind of treatment Kolhatkar gave Farber would have been condemned as as a political smear-job. Essentially, the article tries to make her out to be some kind of terrorist. This starts with the title “AIDS Anarchist” (why not “dissident”?) and continues with a text that’s seems determined to paint her as a political extremist – “she’s always been fascinated by Stalinism, Communism, the Holocaust…” (Fascinated? Well, so has William Buckley.) One would never guess from this that Celia has actually been a huge admirer of the anti-totalitarian author George Orwell.

    Truthseeker writes that Kolhatkar “gives no space at all to quoting the likes of a John Moore…” Check her 7th paragraph, in which she quotes the conclusions of Moore’s Op-Ed piece, “Deadly Quackery.” Despite knowing full well that Duesberg is a highly qualified scientist and professor (I saw her present during his talk at the RA meeting), she repeatedly refers to him as Mr. Duesberg.

    And what’s with the patronizing description of Celia as having a “damaged, fragile air”? Having met Ms. Farber with friends on several occasions, I’d say she always gave the impression of someone who’s strong, smart, and well-poised. I prefer the trio of articles on her by Marcus Cohen in his column in the Townsend Letter for Doctors, a column which ironically was entitled “Townsend’s New York Observer .” (Truthseeker wrote of these and gave a link to one in a prior post: click HERE.)

  12. Truthseeker Says:

    Thanks Robert, we forgot to correct the point about the palace guard of the paradigm not being drawn on for quotes – she did quote Moore’s Op-Ed piece, but it was noticeable she didn’t go to them in person for more Celia bashing. We noticed that correction today when we saw the hard copy, which wasn’t available before.

    The real newspaper certainly gives a good impression with its huge page and headline, and excellent photo which looks so much better for some reason that the (same?) one on the Web. There is one on the front page which looks more bedraggled, perhaps a crop of the Web photo, but the one inside looks very beautiful indeed, as far as Celia’s face is concerned.

    Since the subject and audience of the New York Observer are the powerful and their brokers who do not wish to delve into mysteries of this kind very far, nothing much is lost by not providing them with more cause to think Celia is right. But maybe now with her talent recognized by Sheelah she will start getting those $20,000 assignments, though presumably on other topics. HIV?AIDS critics may have lost their best literary and popular voice!

  13. Mark Says:

    As a 25 year HIV+ (if you believe in that desgnation). I’ve been on HAART, off HAART, knew those who died awfully popping every pill prescribed and those who died eschewing all drugs as toxic. All anecdotal, all confusing. I commend Celia Faber for asking tough questions and calling for properly controlled drug trials. What are people afraid of? Well the truth of course. Silly me. The truth has always scared people. The truth holds up a mirror and we might not like what we see. Godspeed.

  14. DissidentSaint Says:

    Celia,

    The Daily Observer’s blog, the Daily Transom, commenting upon the New York Times piece, quotes you as saying: “Ms. Farber says that neither she nor Harper’s endorse Dr. Duesberg’s position, but that she is simply reporting on an unpopular view. ‘People can’t distinguish, it seems, between describing dissent and being dissent,’ she said.”

    So, is this quote accurate? Did you say you do not endorse Dr. Duesberg’s position and/or the positions of those involved within the AIDS Dissident movement?

    Are you indeed describing dissent, even while you maintain a right to your own version of dissent, which may or may not be completely consistent with Peter Duesberg’s. AIDS Industry Apologists seem to want to dismiss AIDS Dissidents as members of some cult of devotees of Deusberg, when the fact is we are independent rethinkers and disagree amongst ourselves on various points, including whether ‘HIV’ antibody positivity is an indication of infection with an innocuous or harmless passenger virus[Duesberg], a marker of a stressed immune system [Perth group] or none of the above; neither a wake-up call but a crank-call of non-specific origin]. By focusing a major portion of your “description of dissent” upon the cult of personality in Duesberg in your article for Harper’s, isn’t there a danger perhaps in conforming to the accepted standards of dissent– if the topic is allowed to be published and you are to be compensated at all– rather than unearth the form of it’s content? Asked another way, may I ask why you did not choose to the describe the divide in dissent, and among AIDS Dissidents on very practical questions?

    Kelly Jon Landis

    V I R U S M Y T H
    http://forums.delphiforums.com/innocuous

  15. DissidentSaint Says:

    CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST:

    My point is, some persons I have spoken with who are interested or ‘obsessed’ with AIDS Dissidence, are more content to live with the questions. Others freely admit, such as the professor I spoke with by phone from South Africa recently, they don’t care about the answers. I hope that is not so with you as the most recent article in the New York Observer implies. I have to say, it is suspicious, giving the New York Observer writer access to such information and person, including yourself “holding court” as some Dissident Diva seems more calculated with the sale of your book and your comeback as a writer than the success of our movement and message. I ask the question because your only objection seemed to be that your kingdom of dissent was described as “small.” I’m glad that your attention and interest have helped generate heat and light to the very practical issues faced by persons such as myself; a person living with an ‘HIV/AIDS’ [mis]diagnosis for over 15 years.

    Kelly Jon Landis

  16. Celia Farber Says:

    I am writing this in haste, but let me start by saying this:1. I see a scientific war, a civil war, now grown deeply gangrenous, complex, vast; I have recognized and chronicled this war in all its permutations since 1987. The first person who “saw” it was Chuck Ortleb of the New York Native. 2. I am not trying to remain virginal by stressing that I do not “know” whether “HIV causes AIDS,” and that I am “describing dissent,” etc–I am instead trying to say that as a non-scientist, non-HIV positive, non- all kinds of things, my vote doesn’t count. How could I “know?” What does count is my vote for or against the impulse to report on the “debate,” and on that my vote has never and will never change: Yes. Most in the media say No on that. Kelly Jon Landis asked:”Asked another way, may I ask why you did not choose to the describe the divide in dissent, and among AIDS Dissidents on very practical questions?”My answer to that is that I pitched a human, social, scientific tragic story originally and that was the story of Duesberg, along the entire arc, culminating with the aneuploidy work and the loaded drama of whether American Science would ever take Duesberg back even if he DID possess a key piece of the cancer puzzle.The story morphed and changed but that was the pitch because it told the story of a culture through the story of a single man. I don’t think I could have sold Harper’s on a comprehensive assessment of HIV bio-arguments. Because what you have to do is tell a story, and that means people. I have tried to tell many, over the years–all races, genders, sexual orientations, on various continents, all social classes. This thing affects the entire planet, but I am only one person.Kelly Jon Landis wrote:”…it is suspicious, giving the New York Observer writer access to such information and person, including yourself “holding court” as some Dissident Diva seems more calculated with the sale of your book and your comeback as a writer than the success of our movement and message. I ask the question because your only objection seemed to be that your kingdom of dissent was described as “small.” I’m glad that your attention and interest have helped generate heat and light to the very practical issues faced by persons such as myself; a person living with an ‘HIV/AIDS’ [mis]diagnosis for over 15 years.”My answer:1. There were only a few people at that cocktail party, and I never felt I was “holding court.” I am quite conscious of not wanting to be a “dissident diva,” and would have chosen not to reveal myself like that had I the choice to do it over. I urged the writer to investigate the science, the human tragedy, the sheer sadness and gravity of it all– but that was not what she was interested in. I can’t dictate these things. I can only try my best to communicate what I think is going on and try to alert others. My publisher set it up–I can assure you I got virtually no $ for the book, and probably won’t on the back end either. I can tell you further that I was asked to participate in a Hollywood version of this, complete with a journalist who gets crushed etc etc, and I declined, precisely because I agree that it would be deeply offensive if this became some cheap story about a journalist, when so many people have been hurt and killed. I am absolutely NOT intested in any cult of personality, and wish only to be released from duty for a while so that I can make a living in some other way–maybe writing about other things, or maybe doing something else entirely. I am well aware that this is “about” the people directly affected, and I have troed my best to lend voice to those people. I have written about Perth, (forst in 1994, and on many other occasions) and I look forward to other journalists with more technical skill than I possess to take that story further. Perth Group requested not to be mentioned in the Harper’s article. Does that answer your questions?

  17. Celia Farber Says:

    “Calculated?”No, that is not correct. It is very accusatory. Why? That perhaps I should have deflected attention and not started talking about the damage and trauma–that is possibly correct. But I did not calculate anything.

  18. Robert Houston Says:

    Could everyone please stop picking on Celia Farber? Kelly Jon Landis has a pattern of issuing querulous comments about other AIDS dissidents (he once charged I must be “heterosexist” simply because I hadn’t written much about gays), but Truthseeker – what’s that all about? Maybe Kelly’s admonition applies and heterosexist gallantry is warping Truthseeker’s usually keen insight.Is it possible that the comely Ms. Kolhatkar, whom he acknowledges meeting at the Roosevelt bar party, had an effect on his rational senses? This post seems to make every excuse to defend her and flatter her way beyond any possible merit demonstrated in the sleazy, catty piece of yellow-salmon journalism she produced. “A young beauty,” huh? Maybe the bar was dark and the drinks were flowing. I saw a willowy beanstalk who had a perpetual scowl on her face as if she were at a meeting of devil-worshippers.Is Truthseeker issuing gold stars to score points with the unfair lady (e.g., “a brilliant encapulation”)? When Claus, in the excellent first comment on this thread, pointed out that the approach that Kolhatkar used so clumsily might have worked “when handled by a truly brilliant observer, like a Joyce or Hemingway,” what did Truthseeker do? He promoted her to that rarefied company, adding to his post in bold liner quotes, “the genius of the piece…” To quote his favorite anchorman, give me a break!Ms. Kolhatkar wrote the kind of bitchy string of sideswipes one might expect from a sister journalist who was jealous at Ms. Farber’s success with a featured article in Harper’s and a new book. For example, only hostility could have generated the crude comparison with matchsticks. An objective journalist would have properly described Celia as having a slim, graceful build. Setting the tone, the piece was framed by an insulting banner headline inside, “Celia’s Offensive.” This mean pun would be below the standards any high school newspaper. Worst of all was the front page heedline, “AIDS Anarchist Farber.” There are only a couple of terms that would have been worse (“terrorist” and “Al Quaida agent”). Perhaps the literati find some poetic value in that term, but given today’s paranoid society, it’s a malicious smear. According to Webster’s, an anarchist is “one who belives in, advocates, or promotes anarchism or anarchy, esp. one who uses violent means to overthrow the established order.”Speaking of headlines, why does Truthseeker seem to join in the witchhunt with the deprecatory subhead, “Deft sketch portrays her as basket case study…” Granted, it’s clever, but does one really need to hurl another putdown at this wonderful writer? Why am I defending her? Because, with all due respect to Ms. Kolhatkar, Celia Farber is the finest woman writer in America. Period.

  19. Celia Farber Says:

    I can’t seem to stop this tar-baby from burning. I am quietly, deeply grateful to Robert Houston for the unqualified defense. All through my writing life this burning tar baby has chased me–and I no longer know what to say. I am human; I am full of contradictions, confusions, mistakes…but I am on the side we all are, the side that wants peace, wants resolution, wants an end to it. I flap my hands and I get emotional and I am told I walk like a gorilla. But that doesn’t mean I don’t care like hell. I do. That is why I come across as so possessed, obsessed, rail thin, ranting. I think we have all been driven slowly mad by this. What is the right way to behave at this point? My heart is broken along with everybody else’s. What is said about me now could never compare to what was said during the Federal Court trial, 1994-1998 (whore, totally incompetent, crazy, disliked, etc). The HIV war is negotiated, one hostage at a time. I have had scientists, grown men, break down and cry. They break your pride in yourself and your sanity. That is how the war goes. I felt spared in the New York Times last March because I got the writer to remove “denialist,” and with this article, I felt spared because it was not totally annihilating, which is what one grows to expect. I think I was just trying to say to Kelly Jon Landis that I hope he trusts me when I say that my career is not what I am in this for. I may wish to be cleared of a terrible crime–the crime of curiosity–but I am not interested in being successful atop a graveyard.

    We are all, each of us, part of this. It is something enormous, working its way out. It will mess up our hair, and our diction. But we have to hold on. Not take anything personally. Just try to stay honest and strong.

  20. DissidentSaint Says:

    Dear Mr. Robert G. Houston,

    Let me ask you, are you and all AIDS Dissidents, including myself, not querulous, relentless in our perennial disastisfaction with ‘HIV’ theory and HIV theorists? Well, then why not be disatisfied by error everywhere, and to point it out as and where we see?

    You certainly are skilled at using language and sophistry to express irony and satire in a not so subtle manner. To your point: “he once charged I must be ‘heterosexist’ simply because I hadn’t written much about gays” seems ironic since heterosexism or heterocentrism is more about what we don’t say. Nevertheless, it seems hard to believe, if we go back to the record of our brief conversation which I do not even remember since you rarely show your face or ‘username’ in the trenches of AIDS Dissidence, that I called out your heterosexism or homophobia “simply” for that reason alone. Perhaps it was also because, as in the present conversation, you dismissively qualify a term like “gallantry” with “heterosexist.” Dismissing that heterosexism, heterocentrism and homophobia, do in fact exist, are a legitimate concern, and are rampant within the AIDS Dissident movement, is another sign of heterosexism and/or homophobia. If you are unaware of these allegations or the history of the AIDS Dissident movement or unconcerned with these issues generally, you will not be interested in why that is important to address if we are to reach one of our primary demographics: gay men in the West.

    Kelly Jon Landis

  21. DissidentSaint Says:

    Dear Celia,

    I accept your explanation and find it sincere. Calculated by someone, whether your publisher perhaps. I’m sure they believe or at least hope your book will make them money. As for the covering the Perth Group, I did not meant to be inclusive only of them, but you certainly didn’t need their permission. I’m quite certain Gallo did not offer his. I have hope that a journalist, with the insight you have, will have the courage to chronicle the “complex[ity] and vast[ness]” of the scientific conflict as well as collaboration among AIDS Dissidents [Scientists, Doctors, Consumers and Advocates] and the egos, politics, intellectualizing and yes, the homophobia that exist and have hampered our own efforts. There’s a lot of material there that no journalist, of any sort, has uncovered, that would contribute immeasurably to the ultimate social outcome.

    I would be interested to know what your thoughts are on my review of the film, The Other Side of AIDS, and the homophobic statements of The Perth Group and Christine Maggiore in re: what might be termed the BUGGER-AIDS theory. Let me offer the following examples:

    Heterosexist AIDS Dissidents often implicate using false analogy or unsubstantiated anacdotal experience, that…

    1) Gay men generally represent a monolithic health-style and a legitimate health risk, and that the original tiny sub-set of gay men represent the health-style of gay men generally and to this day instead of a medical and moral microscope focused on this period and this people due to, again, homophobia

    2) ‘HIV’ tests are somehow LESS non-specific among the “high risk groups”

    3) Natural anal sex is a health risk for testing ‘HIV’ positive or developing illnesses attributed to ‘AIDS’ even while the SELECTIVE BIAS among subject population is ignored[ie: more gay men are tested and if they are tested are more likely to be interpreted positive and therefore is the most immediately likely reason as to why more gay men test positive]

    4) Constantly referring to a STRAIGHT AIDS MYTH and never expunging the idea of a GAY AIDS MYTH… since bugs, like bombs, aren’t that smart and that’s not how the infectious model works, that if there is no heterosexual aids, there is no homosexual aids either… and thus implicating all or most gay men [ie: the socalled Gay AIDS Lobby rather than SOME GAY AND STRAIGHT AIDS ACTIVISTS] conspired to delude others that ‘HIV/AIDS’ is spread outside the risk groups for the purpose of… what? not to kill heteros but because they believed it was necessary to get funding for a health issue primarily affecting gay men]

    5) Dismissing all accusations of homophobia, heterosexism among some AIDS Dissidents who nevertheless may still accept a gay life-style was responsible afterall, if not a virus AND downplaying any role of homophobia in the creation of and sustaining of the ‘HIV/AIDS’ myth

    6) If they aren’t outright homophobic, exhibit heterosexism by focusing almost exclusive attention on African ‘AIDS’ and small number of heterosexual ‘AIDS’ in the West, the innocent victims, and/or ignore gay ‘AIDS’ altogether

    Also, if you attended the recent Reappraising AIDS [“The Group”] meeting in New York, which the cocktail party in question was likely part of that networking, can you comment, as a journalist first, on the scene as it relates to this issue. And don’t censor yourself. Did you know that there is no openly gay man appointed to that body? Don’t you find that telling, being as a primary demographic? I only hope that your friendship with Prof. Duesberg or acceptance in this elite salon of dissent may have inadvertantly compromised your perspective; making the original decision to pitch yet another about him? I don’t see the primary issue as one of censorship, but of lives and loves put ‘at risk’ to a flawed and failed model because of lack of information. For that reason, stirring of the conflict, without sufficient detail or depth, does not work to bring about the resolution of that conflict. Perhaps your editor did not allow it or perhaps you did not hold out for that issue to be dealt with head-on. I have had this conversation with Liam Scheff. At first, he tried to tell me his was the most important story [“AIDS TOTS USED AS GUINEA PIGS”] and I said that it was important, but perhaps the most censationalist, but not the most important or the most typical. That relatively speaking, much fewer children were affected and much fewer women and Africans were affected than gay men in the West in terms of numbers of living-with-stygma diagnosed and deaths associated with those previously diagnosed and those with drug cocktail prescriptions.

    Kelly Jon Landis

  22. truthseeker Says:

    Well, well, well, is it the hot weather or the holiday that has thrown the tarbaby into what was earlier a reasonable discussion? Or is it the devilish ability of the Web to draw out of normally thoughtful people ill considered comments which can destroy their reputation for considered judgement forever?

    Perhaps before making subjective assessments of other’s personal motivations our distinguished posters could reflect that writing on the Web is for eternity, because Google will never forget. Also, please remember that the purpose of this blog is to advance a more objective assessment of scientific and medical and political reality in HIV?AIDS, not to speculate among critics and defenders about each others’ motives. That is what the vast range of common blogs are for, and why their cacophony is entirely a waste of time in our opinion.

    Robert, Gourmet Garage sell a particular delicious cherry pie and we enjoy it, but your mileage may differ. How interesting is it for us to disagree on such a subjective matter? Just give your opinion, please, even though it is in our judgement rather dire and unworldly. We will adapt ours accordingly, if it is persuasive, though we don’t find it so yet.

    Yes, you may be right and we are unaware of the explosively demeaning nature of the coverage and words such as “anarchist”, which we already drew attention to in our report, but we think you go overboard in your assessment, which is possibly informed by the experience of media warping the situation in cancer in the last few decades, in which you have experience. Perhaps we would be more paranoid if we were as well informed on this.

    We can only judge by our own experience, such as it is, which includes careful study of the content, style and readership of the Observer over the years, and living in Mahattan for far longer than that paper has been in existence.

    Furthermore our experience with editors and reporters in New York also suggests to us the pressures Sheelah was working under, and we admire her for placating them without shopping Celia entirely by drawing on the appalling intellectual thugs who are enemies of review in this field. Nowhere did the piece say or even press a finger on the balance to say that Celia was wrong, however it colored her portrait and her motives.

    The impression you get from Sheelah’s article, or from her slim person, may differ from ours, even though we certainly noticed she was scowling the next morning after the party, which was Sunday morning, by the way, rather early for civilized people to be forced up in Manhattan, which you don’t mention.

    But we reject any speculation as to our motives, such as being taken by the beauty, intelligence and unusual name spelling of the delightful Sheelah, which though true enough as we intimated is not going to alter the purposeful professionalism of our coverage, the aim of which is to guide our far flung readers in distant corners of the world remote from Manhattan as to how the piece will affect the public discourse of HIV?AIDS here in the news capital of the US, in our judgement, and certainly not to shill for either Celia or Sheelah, comely though they may both be.

    You can agree or disagree, and give your reasons as best you can on what is a) a subjective impression and b) involves subjective second guessing of the reactions of large numbers of other readers. But please don’t force us to write long defenses of our intellectual integrity on the supposition that we will be influenced by comely young beauties to put on rosy spectacles when reading their articles.

    This possibility is quite inconceivable for a person of our extreme level of commitment to truthseeking, which will remain at that extreme level until we are tempted by an extreme financial offer, which we have busily solicited but so far without great success. In fact, we have had no offer at all and nor do we expect one.

    Similarly, nor does Celia need any enquiry here from Landis as to whether her dealings were designed to elicit sales of books, a suggestion which to our knowledge is totally inconsistent with reality, as we hope she has made clear. If she ever does make any money from writing about this wretched topic she has certainly paid her dues, and the vindictive media censorship which has been applied has seen those dues exact ten times their normal punishment, as the Observer piece made clear.

    As far as we are concerned, she may defend herself here against such ignorance as long as she likes, but we discourage such provocations in the first place as having no place on this blog. The idea here is to expose the science and its politics in a factual and not speculative manner, and not force anyone to account for their motives, even the likes of Anthony Fauci. In fact, we work on the assumption that the motives of all concerned are the best. Hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions.

  23. truthseeker Says:

    I don’t see the primary issue as one of censorship, but of lives and loves put ‘at risk’ to a flawed and failed model because of lack of information.

    Kelly, is this sentence not self-contradictory? What do you think is the root cause of lack of (good) information in this field?

    To our knowledge the Rethinking AIDS group recently discussed adding a gay member to the board, so you are wrong in your incessant speculation as to motives of others in yet another respect.

    Posts such as your which push the gay viewpoint as if this should somehow be different from any other in seeking the correct scientific and medical information in this field seem to beg the question, if gays have not been any better than any other group in defending themselves against bad information, when they have been most often ravaged by this deadly paradigm, why should they be considered as a useful separate political entity in the debate?

    We prefer the discussion here should be in line with the purpose of the blog (see above) and not be a platform for the continued confusion of the gay community as to what the essential issue is and what the essential answer is.

    The essential issue is whether the HIV=AIDS paradigm is valid or not, and if you don’t know what the essential answer is by this time, perhaps you should refrain from posting here until you read more of the blog. This is not a platform for gay politics, which if anything have been largely responsible for the endurance of the paradigm. How responsible, and what the excuse is if any of the gay community for it, is the only relevant topic here as far as gay politics is concerned.

  24. DissidentSaint Says:

    Dear Truthseeker,

    “…the purpose of this blog is to advance a more objective assessment of scientific and medical and political reality in HIV?AIDS, not to speculate among critics and defenders about each others’ motives.”

    Oh, pulleease, you routinely question the motives of AIDS Apologists, albeit with more subtley of satire and irony. Now it is out of line because we question our own? And as to homophobia or heterosexism, the issue is not merely motive, but statement and action.

    “That is what the vast range of common blogs are for, and why their cacophony is entirely a waste of time in our opinion.”

    There are more common variety dissident discussion fora, of which we are known to tackle many practical and political and social action issues of which I helped found: AIDS MYTH EXPOSED http://groups.msn.com/aidsmythexposed and one I currently moderate: VIRUSMYTH http://forums.delphiforums.com/innocuous

    “…if gays have not been any better than any other group in defending themselves against bad information, when they have been most often ravaged by this deadly paradigm, why should they be considered as a useful separate political entity in the debate?”

    Because gays represent more than a political entity, but a sub-cultural identity are one of the primary demographic and because homophobia or heterosexism exists everywhere, and seems infected within the AIDS Dissident movement and this has seriously hampered our ability to reach that primary demographic.

    “To our knowledge the Rethinking AIDS group recently discussed adding a gay member to the board, so you are wrong in your incessant speculation as to motives…”

    Appointing another closeted, self-loathing and unwell adjusted gay man will not, in and of itself, address historic homophobia within the movement which has effected the message and movement. Appointing an openly gay, well-adjusted gay man will provide a valuable perspective. So, it is not simply window-dressings that are required.

    “The essential [question] is whether the HIV=AIDS paradigm is valid or not, and if you don’t know what the essential answer is by this time…”

    You say that censorship is the essential issue or question because you are coming at this from an intellectual exercise; it has not been your experience. Otherwise you would understand that the essential issues are closely related, including how to weigh the evidence to determine the validity of said paradigm; how to integrate that information of the validity of that paradigm in one’s daily life, and how to communicate that critique [or challenge it] in an accessible manner with the affected stakeholders.

    ==

    DISSIDENT-SAINT: I don’t see the primary issue as one of censorship, but of lives and loves put ‘at risk’ to a flawed and failed model because of lack of information.

    TRUTHSEEKER: Kelly, is this sentence not self-contradictory? What do you think is the root cause of lack of (good) information in this field?

    Lack of effectively communicating that basic message of the scientific controversy and then lack of skill, motive and timing to organize an effective grass-roots movement around the dissemination, integration of that information and political, social action directed to end the infectious myth-conseption.

  25. DissidentSaint Says:

    TRUTHSEEKER: “Posts such as your which push the gay viewpoint [agenda]…”

    DISSIDENT-SAINT: What exactly is “the gay viewpoint” and is there only one and does that mean conversely that there is a heterosexual viewpoint? Also, had the same question re: your use of the term “gay politics.” Perhaps that is part of your heterosexism, when you view all gay thought or experience as monolithic and seek to dismiss it in one fell swoop.

  26. George Says:

    Kelly Landis,

    You write above, in the middle of a lot of stuff that is pretty argumentative, one ‘almost’ shining scientific truth:

    “… if there is no heterosexual aids, there is no homosexual aids either…”

    I write ‘almost’ because you omit a critical quantifier — *sexually transmitted*.

    Given that insertion the many millions of “at risk” and demonized Africans, and the many millions of “at risk” and demonized gays seem to me equal in all respects.

  27. George Says:

    …Except of course the spelling of respects. But that is not the reason I am re-entering this discussion.

    Rather it is to share (as they say) this thought that just (also as they say) “came to me”:

    If that dreadful but somewhat influential writer, Fumento, had been able to make the distinction above, he might have approached and written his book a bit differently, and given it a slightly shorter title — “The Myth of Sexual AIDS”.

    And I was wondering, as I had this thought, if things might not look a lot different if only the gay movement(s) in the US had not joined a confluence of dirty, and deadly tides and supported this aberrant logic.

  28. Michael Says:

    Hello All.

    In the observer piece, all of the following was plainly printed for all the world to see and understand:

    “AIDS….totalitarianism (American society in general, American science specifically and the National Institutes of Health all earned the label)”.

    “it’s kind of Diabolical?”

    “in short, everything that the medical establishment says about prevention and treatment is wrong”.

    “H.I.V. does not cause AIDS.” “H.I.V. cannot cause AIDS” (specifically stated 4 times in the article)

    “scientific explanations for the AIDS epidemic are corrupted by drug companies that seek to show that AIDS is amenable to drug therapies—profitable ones”.

    “AIDS is caused by heavy recreational and anti-H.I.V. drug use rather than H.I.V. itself”.

    “Celia… a modern-day Clarence Darrow to Mr. Duesberg’s Scopes .. an advocate whose lonely battle will be vindicated through the prisms of history and science”.

    “in reality Mr. Lapham was the puppet master”. (not some plot by those freak denialists)

    Celia is an excellent reporter and I hope she brings us more good stories in the future. A Major magazine holds her integrity in high esteem.

    I see the Observer piece by Sheelah as one more complete success in getting the HIV Realist/Dissident issue public. I think anyone that reads the piece will readily perceive that Sheelah, has jumped to other side of the paradigm fence, and has quietly joined hands with Celia. Sheelah, certainly understandably, does not seem to be willing to become the next martyr for the cause, however. She seems to me to be simply and carefully “testing the waters” to see if there will be any backlash, or anybody putting her name in a Times OpEd, as anyone on the “HIV/AIDS medical establishment side, would certainly view Sheelah’s coverage of Celia and HIV/AIDS as “subversive”. It is obvious to me that she holds Celia in high regard, and that Celia is her courage and inspiration for writing on the issue at all.

    As a 20 year Realist/dissident, I see the article as a complete success.

    Bravo Celia.
    Bravo Sheelah.
    Bravo ALL….

    Michael

  29. George Says:

    To avoid any possible misconstruing of “this aberrant logic”:

    I refer to the logic of the actual title of Fumento’s book that is echoed to this day by Mr. Landis.

  30. truthseeker Says:

    “The essential [question] is whether the HIV=AIDS paradigm is valid or not, and if you don’t know what the essential answer is by this time…”

    You say that censorship is the essential issue or question Kelly, is that not self-contradictory? Censorship is what veils the emptiness of the paradigm, not the essential issue, which is whether HIV=AIDS. (The answer is No, according to the peer reviewed scientific literature).

    Because gays represent more than a political entity, but a sub-cultural identity are one of the primary demographic and because homophobia or heterosexism exists everywhere, and seems infected within the AIDS Dissident movement and this has seriously hampered our ability to reach that primary demographic.

    If you like we can edit the above to make grammatical sense if you email us what you meant to write. Meanwhile, so what? Who cares about homophobia or heterosexism in this context? Ninety seven per cent of the human population is straight, or variations of same, and three per cent is gay. Naturally some members of the majority are going to bully the minority if they (the former) suffer from immaturity, ignorance, or lack of understanding (ok, stupidity), but so what? Educate them directly, if you want to fight that particular battle against human nature.

    Sooner or later it will all go away, since all humans are bred to have emotional and intellectual IQs above 150, and are properly educated. Maybe. Sex is such a powerful force that we can imagine those who differ on such a fundamental parameter always having some tribal hostility for the other.Before that, it will be with us, even in this debate.

    We are absolutely convinced that much of the sticking power of the paradigm has to do with distaste and contempt for gays, and even wish to do them harm. So what? Are you going to change that secret motivation? How will you expose it to be surgically removed? It is hidden and always will be. Meanwhile, gay liberation has made tremendous strides in this country over the last half century, and will continue to prevent any public expression of prejudice in this context or any other.

    So you are not going to get any public confessions of gay prejudice here either. So where is the percentage in interfering with the basic discussion with these incredibly distracting concerns?Sure we find it interesting and perhaps profitable to note various possible motivations in someone like Moore’s violent objection to objective examination of his ideas, but we like ones that can be objectively measured, like financial factors. The guy gets half a million from the Glaser Foundation, as we recall. you are coming at this from an intellectual exercise; it has not been your experience.

    Otherwise you would understand that the essential issues are closely related, including how to weigh the evidence to determine the validity of said paradigm; how to integrate that information of the validity of that paradigm in one’s daily life, and how to communicate that critique [or challenge it] in an accessible manner with the affected stakeholders. True we do not have any gay friends at present, or any HIV?AIDS patient friends, and we would probably be emotionally taken up if we did.

    But what’s wrong with treating this as an intellectual exercise? That is exactly how it should be approached, reason and evidence, pure and simple, unmixed with politics, which are the source of the abandonment of reason that has been seen for more than two decades. You have gay politics playing a huge role in winning funding for an absurd paradigm and killing gays here and in Europe as its main victims – a sort of self generated Holocaust.

    You have government politics, entertainment politics, charity politics, sexual politics, politics politics, information politics and science politics. The only ones which seem relevant here are science politics and information politics, since we are concerned with the paradigm and why it keeps flying, instead of crashing to the ground for lack of science and sense.So what is it you object to?

    Your paragraph above seems to us to exactly describe the scientific and informational approach we support. In a nutshell, we seek to show and understand why no one reads the scientific literature these days, and why the media are cowed in covering the topic.These are the two factors which if swept away would solve the whole problem, in our view.

  31. George Says:

    My my, such vituperations and elevated positioning. May I remind everyone of the excellent quotation that is at the top of the homepage of the AIDS Wiki of Mr. Lusardi and Dr. Brown. It seems to me, admitted pedant that I am, nonetheless the only umbrella under which all dissidents (including the AIDS variety) will fit. You do not become a ‘dissident’ just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society. – Václav Havel (Living in Truth, 1986)

  32. DissidentSaint Says:

    “Censorship is what veils the emptiness of the paradigm, not the essential issue, which is whether HIV=AIDS. (The answer is No, according to the peer reviewed scientific literature).”

    Before we can expect the right answer, we need to ask the right question. Your essential biased question, whether HIV=AIDS, assumes as a fact not in dispute, that ‘HIV’ and ‘AIDS’ even exist; whether ‘HIV’ positivity is always or usually a marker for a stressed immune system or poor health-style [wake-up call versus a crank call] AND whether ‘AIDS’ is a valid definition for diagnosis. If ‘HIV’ does not exist, ‘AIDS’ cannot, by definition, exist. And the supposition that there is a unified syndrome of a growing list of unrelated conditions has yet to be established.

    Again, since living with such a misdiagnosis has not been your experience, emotional, physical or otherwise, you do not seem to understand the practical implications [life and love-altering] of those essential questions.”You have gay politics playing a huge role in winning funding for an absurd paradigm and killing gays here and in Europe as its main victims – a sort of self generated Holocaust.”And some Jews were employed by the Nazis as kapos, so does that mean the Jews, as a people, brought a holocaust upon themselves? You are doing exactly what you claim is not permissable on this forum; questioning the motives of others, in this case of those gay men professionally invested in the AIDS Industry. Are you saying they intend to kill their own? How are they different than the heteros who have increasingly taken over the AIDS Industry, including the current hetero female executive director of Gay Mens’ Heatlh Crisis in New York? Isn’t this a little like blaming the woman for getting raped because she wore that tight fitting dress? The intellectual community, the scientific community, the Political Left and Right, gay and straight, have been duped by the AIDS myth and you haven’t dismissed the role of these other groups in unraveling ‘AIDS.’

    Then why dismiss the potential role of gay politics and of the gay community? “My people are dying of hunger for lack of knowledge.” [paraphrased from the Bible]Homophobia is one of the primary causes and functions of ‘AIDS’ [David Pasquarelli] and even the AIDS myth functions as a tool of some heterosexists who are alligned with AIDS Dissidents. As a long-time gay activist, I can say WE have made those strides in and through “gay politics” because we kept and keep speaking up. It did and does make a difference in people’s lives. Doesn’t mean we are there yet, and we must keep ever vigilant. Calling out homophobia is not an emotional response with no measurable outcome.

    Like censorship, which keeps our message from getting out, homophobia within the AIDS Dissident movement distorts our message and disinforms our potential demographic. The AIDS Dissident movement has been comprised of a number of gay persons, some of whom have been reluctant to speak up about these concerns, among those who boldly spoke out and others who privately cheered us on. And the afterthought of having a discussion about the “gay question” at the RA meeting in New York seems, on the surface, more lip service. There are heterosexists on the RA Board and not one openly gay, well-adjusted, self-affirming gay man on the RA Board. Kelly Jon Landis

  33. George Says:

    I repeat for the benefit of Mr. Landis, who appears both deaf and blind, and almost monotonic.

    “You do not become a ‘dissident’ just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society.” – Václav Havel (Living in Truth, 1986)

  34. Frank Lusardi Says:

    Michael has a point. Did all the sentences he cites somehow drift into Kolhatkar’s piece by sheer oversight? It seems doubtful. It is mad that it should be so, but going to print with those sentences required courage. Did that courage inspire Jessica Winter’s piece in yesterday’s Boston Globe? Maybe not, but maybe so. Winter is not suicidal, she throws in a pro-forma caveat, but her piece is a roundhouse endorsement of both Farber’s book and her journalism:

    For Farber, the development of AIDS drugs has become a matter of padding the Big Pharma bottom line, with the profit motive trickling down to the researchers themselves. In “Serious Adverse Events,” she writes that researchers “stand to gain enormously if a trial yields a commercially successful drug, in terms of patents, royalties, credit, and prestige. The bigger their names get, the more money they attract from industry to push new drugs through trials.” — Boston Globe

    Bravo Sheelah, bravo Jessica, bravo Celia!

  35. Mark Says:

    I find it amazing that truthseeker et al have no gay friends with HIV and still remain interested in HIV?AIDS at all. Most heterosexuals I know are uninterested in the subject as it doesn’t affect them closely. Many gay aquaintances of mine are not involved at all in the debate; they don’t even know there is a debate. Ater all, the syndrome only affects less than 1/2 of one percent of the US population. The ones that do know about dissidents dismiss it when HAART seems to be the only thing keeping them alive – one guy said it makes sense on paper but he tried EVERYTHING alternative before turning to the current drugs that worked at least at keeping him alive. “Until there’s something better I’ll stick with orthodox medicine.” He went off the drugs and got sick, I know its anecdotal and you may say he needed to do XYZ…but hey, that’s alot of people with HIV’s reality. They are just trying to stay alive and don’t have the luxury or energy to debate (some are sicker than others). With the slow progress (that’s an oxymoran) in treatments or vaccines all the media on the dissident perpective is welcome.

  36. Claus Says:

    “Oh, pulleease, you routinely question the movtives of AIDS Apologists, albeit with more subtley of satire and irony. Now it is out of line because we question our own?”(Landis)Yes it is totally out of line. Speculation as to whether this event was calculated by Ms. Farber to further her own interests or those of ‘our movement’ is inappropriate by any standard. ” ‘holding court’ as some Dissident Diva seems more calculated with the sale of your book and your comeback as a writer than the success of our movement and message.”(Landis)It is also completely irrelevant, since it is in the interest of an author to sell books, and it is in the interest of most of us that this particular author be successful, and that this particular book reaches a wide audience.In the hypothetical case Ms. Farber were only interested in counting her $$$ and appearing in badly written gossip columns; or vowed to write only about Duesberg in the future, what of it?! Is it your or my business? Does it change the book or the message in any way? Ms. Kolhatkar obviously got it (almost) right, when she suggested that ‘One could argue that Ms. Farber gave her life for her obsession with the cause’. To hold her accountable the way you do implies that she has surrendered not only her life but her immortal soul to ‘our cause’, as defined by you, and so, as is the case with the doctrine justifying the Assumption of the Virgin, any hint of impurity, as defined by you, has to be carefully scrutinized and purged in the court of public accusations.In the beginning to your inquisition you do even better by pulling out the cheapest, most overtly insulting shot in Ms. Kolhatkar’s piece and using it to formulate your ‘suspicion’: “Others freely admit, such as the professor I spoke with by phone from South Africa recently, they don’t care about the answers. I hope that is not so with you as the most recent article in the New York Observer implicates. I have to say, it is suspicious, giving the New York Observer writer access to such information and person…” (Landis) The original of course goes like this:”By focusing her outrage on her opposition’s desire to silence dissent rather than on the actual scientific arguments, Ms. Farber finds protection under the idea that no subject or theory, regardless of its implications, should be taken off the table; continuing to ask the questions can be more important than answering them.” (Kolhatkar)Even pretending to take this misleading garbage seriously is an insult. To state on this background that Ms. Farber ‘sure is acting mighty suspicously’, is inane.With friends like that ‘our cause’ certainly does not need enemies.

  37. truthseeker Says:

    Bravo Sheelah, bravo Jessica, bravo Celia!

    Frank, the pro forma caveats roundly dismiss the issue of HIV and AIDS as our post observed. Blame the editors if you like, but this review which values the criticism of the drug studies but disses the fundamental problem – tells the several people in the room who are pointing out the elephant to Shut Up! in effect – is not something to cheer in the same league as our town’s two beauties.

    s a long-time gay activist, I can say WE have made those strides in and through “gay politics” because we kept and keep speaking up.

    Kelly, you seem deaf to our pointing out that your concerns are not relevant to our purpose here. Whether you are gay or straight should have no bearing on whether you can think straight and examine evidence for and against HIV being the cause of AIDS, or whether any of it makes sense at all. Your whole view on life and science seems suffused with sexuality. Is this appropriate here? Is this a gay activist board? Are gay pickups possible here? We don’t think so.

    Can gays think any better than straights or vice versa? Why do we even have to know whether someone here is gay or not? Is there gay science and straight science? If not, shouldn’t you take your personal political points elsewhere and find fulfilment on your original sites? This territory is for working out the science on an intelligent level, which does not as we understand it include asking people whether they are gay or not, pushing for a quota, etc etc.

    You do not even offer any interesting information on this side issue. Is Gallo secretly gay, for example, or Fauci, or best of all, John Moore? You know what these Brits are like in their public (private) schools, don’t you? Regular gay cities, these places. Or how about the Times? Or Science or Nature? Is John Maddox gay? Is Larry Altman gay? Now you bring it up, we demand to know. Is there a gay Mafia in science? Howard Temin certainly lisped like a real sweetie, when we interviewed him. Must have been gay! So reverse transcriptase is a gay discovery!

    Thank you for pointing all this out. Got any more data? We are busily writing a proposal for a book on Gay Science in History, unless you have got there first. Wait. Maybe you can do the one on Gay media. The politics of the Wall Street Journal, for example. Are those affected by gay politics? Now we are serious. We want to know all about gay politics and its influence on the editorial policy of the Times, the Wall Street Journal, Science, Nature, the New Scientist, the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker and the Los Angeles Times. Is there a Gay Mafia in the media which has affected their coverage? We would really like to know. Now we see the relevance of your points to the information flow in the media. After all, the whole media promotion of HIV=AIDS was begun as a gay plot among well placed gay pr men (women?) in the early eighties, we have read. Is this true?

  38. truthseeker Says:

    Celia writes (she had trouble posting this so sent it to me to put it up):I would like to counter with an accusation of extreme sociological contempt that gay men on the orthodox side (TAC, specifically Nathan Geffen, Gregg Gonzalves et al) have expressed for the plight of Joyce Ann Hafford. In their attack manifesto, claiming falsely that my article in Harper’s contained 56 errors, they expressed the following sentiment about Joyce Ann’s death: “Farber describes the death of one patient and implies this is relevant to the science of HIV.” You can read the fulll documentation here: Gallo Proved Incorrect Most cultures, including the ancient Greeks, held the pregnant woman as a central metaphor for vulnerability. To this moment, not one of the treatment activists has even been able to express remorse, even in principle, for the senseless iatrogenic murder of a pregnant, healthy 34 year old woman with another child waiting for her at home, just on the cusp of adolescence. This boy, Jamal, was extremely close to his mother, and I cannot even bear to think about the moment when they had to wake him up and tell him she had died. There are different traps, for different “groups” of people. The one that has been laid for pregnant women depends upon their instinctive love and urge to protect their unborn baby. This brings the horror to new dizzying heights. If you want to know the truth, I would elect to focus on pregnant women, here and in the developing world, only, if I ever got another assignment I thought I could survive. The repugnant mercilessness shown to Christine Maggiore by all facets of the press, including POZ, proves to me that we live in a culture that debases, hates, distrusts, the woman, the mother, the female, period. All reportage I have ever done about gay men and immunosuppressive risk factors, be they exposures to foreign semen or chemical factors, has come directly from gay men, and or gay doctors. Callen, Sonnabend, Berkowitz, et al. Richard Berkowitz (co-inventor of Safe Sex and author of “Stayin Alive”) is a close friend. He, as well as Michael Callen, who was my original spirit guide into this journey, have a very different take, which I might call feminist. Callen always warned me to be aware of extreme misogyny in the culture and Berkowitz…Well, he is alive so perhaps I can invite him to post here and share his perspectives on homophobia and its roots.

  39. Claus Says:

    Michael While I appreciate your optimism, I have taken the liberty to rephrase and expand on parts of your mail. In the observer piece, all of the following was plainly printed for all the world to see, but NOT understand, and certainly not agree with. “AIDS….totalitarianism (American society in general, American science specifically and the National Institutes of Health all earned the label)”. (According to Farber, and with no further explanation!) As pointed out by Mr. Houston earlier, this is indistinguishable from a classic smear or propaganda job. Why? Because as a sound bite it is just over the top. The next sentence is ‘To engage with her (Farber)is to enter a surreal plane where her intensity threatens to overwhelm.’ The trick is to pick out an isolated claim like the above, which is guaranteed to make the average audience go “what are you crazy? America, land of the brave home of the free, liberator abroad, overthrower of the Evil Empire, and now our institutions are of a sudden all totalitarian? Explanation please, and it’d better be a good one!” But no intelligible explanation will be forthcoming, since Sean Hannity or the next commercial break can be counted upon to interrupt and obscure any attempts at thorough analysis. The basic idea is to make the dissident look like a basket case, as Truthseeker puts it, which is also the unity of effect in Kolhatkar’s article. (whether it’s her intention I don’t know) “it’s kind of … ‘Diabolical?’” More apparent hyperbole contributing to the above mentioned effect”in short, everything that the medical establishment says about prevention and treatment—is wrong”. (says the esoteric, ragtag dissidents!!)Again the same. Not enough explanation to make this sound plausible. So now it’s, ‘everybody is totalitarian, everybody is wrong about everything, except for me, Celia, and my handful of marginalized friends.’ Question: Does this sound mature and persuasive to the average Joe or does it sound like Celia with her father complex (in case any of you missed THAT elephant placed right in the center of Ms. Farber’s court by Kolhatkar) is still trapped in puberty? “H.I.V. does not cause AIDS.” “H.I.V. cannot cause AIDS” (specifically stated 4 times in the article) (By the ragtags)”scientific explanations for the AIDS epidemic are corrupted by drug companies that seek to show that AIDS is amenable to drug therapies—profitable ones”. (Says Celia) This is one of the truly neutral statements in the article. As Truthseeker noted in his initial review, the dissident case is presented as accurately as we can reasonably expect given the circumstances. The dissidents are not. “AIDS is caused by heavy recreational and anti-H.I.V. drug use rather than H.I.V. itself”. (Says the discredited Duesberg)”Celia… a modern-day Clarence Darrow to Mr. Duesberg’s Scopes—an advocate whose lonely battle will be vindicated through the prisms of history and science”. The quotaion goes, ‘Celia SEES HERSELF AS…’ There’s lots of people in asylums that see themselves as Napoleon. Usually we conclude they are deluded as to their own importance. It looks like Kolhatkar might have come up with the comparison herself, which is not to her credit. “in reality Mr. Lapham was the puppet master”. (not some plot by those freak denialists) Actually the quotation goes: ‘She (Farber) speaks of her Harper’s article as if it was a divine accident, but in reality Mr. Lapham was the puppet master.’And why might Ms. Farber wish to delude herself as to how she got this big break? Could it be she preferred it had been through a wholly objective process, rather than an old acquaintance? No plot? Where there’s a puppet master there’s usually puppets, and when puppets jump on their strings it’s usually because some plot is being played out. A theater critic knows that better than anybody. Celia is an excellent reporter and I hope she brings us more good stories in the future.” A Major magazine holds her integrity in high esteem. An old friend and puppet master holds her integrity in high esteem.

  40. Michael Says:

    Claus, I love you, but at times you can be such a killjoy. We dissidents have absolutely no need of being further disheartened. For God’s sake, stay focused on the end goal. Only some feel good positive energy will turn this tide. Apathy (feeling helpless and hopeless), fear, and anger kept the dissident movement fairly stalled for about 15 years. The last 5 years have been one small triumph of courage and willingness, after another. Mbecki, Bialy, Harpers, LACityBeat, Blogsites, AIDS Wiki, several books, more videos, radio play, and on and on and on. Just google AIDS or HIV Dissident. There are millions of listings! Ask any general, these small but continuous battles are what will eventually win the day. I think that any way whatsoever that puts the issue of HIV Realist/dissidence beliefs in the face of the public is a good thing. The public has been brainwashed with the slogan “HIV, The Virus That Causes AIDS Fundraisers” for 20 freaking years. It takes time to do this. Most of the world does not even recognize that there even IS an issue, as they assume all they hear in mainstream AidsMachine reporting is correct. All of this publicity is good publicity, especially when the public mood has changed to one of seriously questioning authority.

  41. Claus Says:

    Michael sorry. Becoming overly negative is an occupational hazard for ‘dissidents’ I guess. If it makes you (and hopefully Ms. Farber) feel better, I agree wholeheartedly with your last post, and especially the last sentence: generally all the publicity, including the Observer article, is a very good thing and bodes well for the future.

  42. truthseeker Says:

    Agreed, Claus. This kind of thing settles into a quick general impression, like a sound bite, in most readers’ minds. So although the lists you and others have made of specifics on both sides, plus and minus, for this piece, are very interesting, they seem to us to show that on that basis it is impossible to say where the balance settles. You have to decide what the general impression will be as it recedes into the past and to our mind, though Robert seems to be worried that home security officials are about to arrest Celia at any minute, we’d say that on balance this article signals that she is worth devoting a serious amount of space to, and therefore what she says is worth paying attention to, even if it all seems rather overwrought, literary and denounced by its targets. The great thing about presenting someone in literary terms is that it grants them validity over and above the fight about the facts, since their perceptions of how the culture is going wrong are permitted to be emotionally based, rather than scientific. And this is Celia’s whole power, that she adds another powerful dimension to what in other hands is merely a dogfight about whether the science is valid or not. This is the literary and cultural critic who cannot be denied, whatever the scientific denials are ie that she doesn’t understand the science and it is really good science after all, even though people are killed. That is why we feel she is going to benefit enormously after this week of her supporters examining the article like chimpanzee dung to see what viruses it might contain is over. Not that we look upon it in the same way – to us it is more like a banner unfurled which says Celia is coming, and she will arrive with trumpets and armed marshals carrying handcuffs, and the bad boys can’t deflect her with poison pen Op Ed pieces in the Times.Because she reflected this literary empowerment correctly, Sheelah deserves the Council of Scientific Reform silver medallion, and it is hereby bestowed.

  43. Martin Kessler Says:

    Truthseeker, Where did you get the statistic 97 percent of the world is straight, 3 percent gay? Is this your personal experience? Did you get it from one of the worthless studies that purport to tell the world how many homosexuals populate it? In recent years, I believe it has been less easy, not more easy to be out. With antigay bigotry coming from the ruling class in the USA, I can understand. It’s amazing how much gays are vilified by the government. The studies are worthless because gays still will not stand up and be counted. While the situation is not quite as bad as the Spanish Inquisition, where Jews not only didn’t stand up to be counted, converted superficially to Christianity but pracitsed their Jewish rituals in a secret hiding place. They were called Moranos or Judaisers – and if caught faced severe punishment. Anyway, I have a hypothesis that the majority of gays living in the USA, are married and have children (sort of the equivalent of the Jewish Moranos). I have known at least two individuals myself both of whom were married and had children. Malcolm Forbes (whom I didn’t know) was postumously outed was married with children.

  44. truthseeker Says:

    Unless anyone else here objects, Kelly Landis is banned from posting any more on this blog until he finds something better to give us than huge boilerplate reiteration of his one point, convertible to the currency of any topic, which is that the whole world is homophobic.Kelly, you didn’t want to take the hint? This site is for discussing the science and politics of the paradigm. If you have any information on the existence and range of the establishment media gay Mafia, and how they may have warped the discussion of HIV?AIDS in the media, we might want to hear it. But not these torrents of unreadable and irrelevant text copied from email and other sites with only one point to make, which is that heterosexuals are all homophobic, and that is the only concern you want to discuss. I have a hypothesis that the majority of gays living in the USA, are married and have children (sort of the equivalent of the Jewish Moranos). I have known at least two individuals myself both of whom were married and had children. Malcolm Forbes (whom I didn’t know) was postumously outed was married with children. Thanks, Martin, this at least seems something we have some chance of estimating, as opposed to homophobia. We were just giving a very rough guess at the figure, since according to what we have seen the common statistic of 6-8% is way overestimated. Don’t we have to refer to studies? They can’t all be warped by the reluctance of gays to own up to their sexual oprientation. There must be plenty which provide anonymity for respondents. Again, the whole topic seems to be something for other sites that deal with gay politics.

  45. Martin Kessler Says:

    The survey research for numbers of gays is extremely flawed – try to get a count in the Islamist theocracies – count the ones in prison? Jon Lauritsen’s writings alerted me to the importance of survey research – the epidemiological data wouldn’t pass minimum muster in commercial research. Political polsters have refined the art to such an extent that when chianery isn’t going on (like the Bush-Kerry election), they are accurate to 1 percent. Survey research is good only when the group(s) being studied are cooperative.

  46. truthseeker Says:

    Well, choose a country where these factors don’t apply and you should get a good answer. All we know is that Kinsey numbers were way off. If you are gay and have followed it closely for years, why not tell us what you think the figure is? And then, what we can do about it and why we need to.

    (The Wall Street Journal figure is 7 million gays in the US, which is 7 in a population just about to break through 300 million. – Ed.)

    Perhaps you know about a gay influence at the New York Times. Certainly seems odd that the mighty newspaper of record should employ nobody capable of reading some of the most accessible scientific literature, the critique of HIV?AIDS.

    Or that it has been held hostage for 23 years by Anthony Fauci and his ban on coverage.

  47. Martin Kessler Says:

    The problem is there is no good “scientific” data on the number of homosexuals anywhere. I’m not holding my breath for an accurate study either. How does anyone know Kinsey’s data is “way off”? One might get more accurate data in liberal urban areas but that’s about all. I’m politically incorrect in my belief that sexual preference is not inborn – human beings are too diverse in their erotic preferences as well as erotic preferences in people having very strong symbolism as well. I believe that AIDS, once the goverment in collusion with Gallo came together, became a war against gays and their previously uninhibited enjoyment of sex. Ah! The NY Times. With few exceptions most major publications are dependent on advertising – that means big pharma advertising – most produce something that is HIV related. I’m wondering if “Harpers” advertising revenue from drug companies was affected by Ceila Farber’s article. I’m also wondering if major scientific journals that have excluded Duesberg had a stake in advertising revenue as well as others that benefited from HIV research and their pressures?

  48. Melanie Flood Says:

    I took that photograph of Celia Farber for the New York Observer. My name is Melanie Flood, not Melanie Griffen. As well, I did not give this website permission to use my photograph, and I certainly would expect the correct photo credit, especially when using it without my consent.Please correct this immediately.Thank you.

  49. Truthseeker Says:

    The photo is included because it is a topic of comment, but we regret the misattribution, which we have corrected (it was correctly attributed later on). Please email Truthseeker at the contact email to arrange proper payment in ready money or trade.

    Fairly good photo except obviously too far way for a broadsheet, and why did you not wish to comb Celia’s hair? Were you trying to capture the severity of the censoring counter attack she has suffered in her pursuit of the truth in a warped field?

  50. Melanie Flood Says:

    I didn’t comb her hair because I photograph subjects as they present themselves to me; I’m not a stylist.

  51. Melanie Flood Says:

    Take my photograph of Celia off immediately. You stole it off the New York Observer’s website, and I still have not given you permission to use it.Thank you.

  52. Anonymous Says:

    C’mon Melanie, chill out. First you say:Give me attribution, as in:”I certainly would expect the correct photo credit, especially when using it without my consent.”Now you want:”Take my photograph of Celia off immediately.”Make up your damn mind girl. Have you ever heard of email.This coulda been settled days ago.

  53. Truthseeker Says:

    Make up your damn mind girl. Have you ever heard of email.

    Thanks, Anon, but that is not quite fair. Melanie Flood did email as requested, with a large bill (large to us – $150), and then again, to which we replied that we would deal with it as soon as the income of the blog rose above zero, and we could assess her fair share of the proceeds, or alternatively the loss she had suffered by having it displayed here, but pointed out that it was reproduced under the principle of fair comment, since we rather objected to her supplying the Observer with such a portrait, to which she replied that she didn’t take any responsibility for the portrayal or the selected photo among 300, she simply photographed her subjects as they were.

    We were about to reply to her position in email privately when she posted this comment in bold black, and have now done so, but we haven’t dared offer her lunch, which was the plan to mollify her while the income of the blog was somehow escalated to the heights necessary to pay her what she wished, even though we think it is far in excess of any benefit we gained from it, and we would even argue that she owes us one for the exposure and the credit and the attention drawn to what is in fact an interesting photo, though inappropriately portraying Celia in a manner that shortchanged her achievement as a relentless, heroically determined investigative journalist who has spent twenty years battling the biggest boondoggle in scientific and medical history, one which has ended the peace of mind, health and even lives of countless innocents, but not yet conquered her with its censorship and violence.

    Since Melanie has explained that she takes no responsibility for the choice of this photo from among 300 she supplied the editors, we regret making her furious by blaming her for it in email, though we still think she might have thought twice about parking Celia on a bed looking dishevelled and worse, and confined her portraiture to poses which suggested the spine of steel which has seen Celia bloodied but unbowed after two decades of determinedly conveying the reality she has found on the front lines of this battleground.

    Here is a link to Melanie’s other picture of Celia put on the front page of the same issue of the Observer, though severely cropped: Celia photo by Melanie Flood. You can see other pics by this photographer on that Flicker site.

  54. john23 Says:

    ” AIDS Anarchist Farber” is the usual hatchet job by an establishment journo, pharma shill like Fumento

    Celia Farber: “I see the elephant, and I think the elephant goes a long way to explaining one’s obsession with the elephant.”

    If you study medical history you then you can see the Allopath Elephant http://www.whale.to/a/allopathy_h.html and you would be well surprised if they weren’t trying to kill us all off with the AIDS/HIV scam as Jon Rappoport worked out.

    If you look at allopathic vaccination from the beginning you will find out smallpox vax didn’t save one single life but killed millions over 200 years, 25,000 infants in 1880, for example http://www.whale.to/a/smallpox_hoax.html. Then they suppressed the simple cure for infections–Vitamin C, since 1949, also the Vitamin C cure for heart disease, and prevention of cot-death http://www.whale.to/a/vit_c_cons.html Letting 300,000 children die over 30 years purely due to medical politics, to put it politely. Then it is very easy to see they use vaccination for third world genocide http://www.whale.to/v/biowarfare.html

    while they have suppressed numerous cancer cures for 100 years http://www.whale.to/a/cancer_c.html

    also the cause and cure for alzheimer’s http://www.whale.to/d/alzheimers.html

    It is a testament to Pharma mind control that anyone believes a word they say about anything. All ‘new diseases’ are man made. Polio, a cover for DDT and vaccine poisoning http://www.whale.to/v/polio2.htm for example.

    You can see the log of human genocide attempts http://www.whale.to/b/covert_q.html

    So why anyone believes their lies over AIDS is a wonder to behold. AZT a cure for an infection? If they gave a rat’s ass over infections they would be curing them with vitamin C 57 years ago http://www.whale.to/a/levy4.html Ozone or herbs

    “He was one of my most dramatic recoveries with AIDS, and the reason I say that is that he was the most far gone. He was in the absolute, end stage — they have that wing in the hospital where they have given up on you. You can smoke pot and do anything you want. They had given up on him.”—Dr Shulze, who cured 16 from last stage full-blown AIDS. http://www.whale.to/c/shulze.html

  55. john23 Says:

    being a vaccine activist I had to investigate 200 years of vaccine history, along with all those diseases, as well as disease theory. It is striking to me how AIDS activists don’t generally seem to look outside the AIDS wood.

    Anyone who knows the true history of smallpox smallpox vaccine http://www.whale.to/a/smallpox_hoax.html will never be the same again. As I said before it was killing 25,000 babies every year at the height of compulsory vaccination in 1880. An easy stat to verify as the City of Leicester gave up vaccination for 30 years and was losing 2,000 less children under 5 compared to their high vaccination years http://www.whale.to/vaccines/leicester_h.html Also Leprsoy was introduced into Hawaii where 10% of the population came down with the disease http://www.whale.to/m/quotes14.html As late as 1890 75% of ‘vaccination’ was arm to arm. You can see a simple exposure in the Phillipines as late as 1920-1925 http://www.whale.to/vaccines/smallpox7.html

    The point to remember is they knew it was ineffective and dangerous 150 years ago, yet carried on regardless.

    The easiest one after smallpox is measles and measles vaccine http://www.whale.to/vaccines/measles.html Measles deaths had declined by 99.4% before vaccination, which is the usual story, and they suppressed the Vitamin A and Vitamin C cures that would have made vaccination unecessary and expose the fact measles deaths and morbidity was purely down to malnutrition, along with poor management, exposing vaccination as a hoax, again.

    Autism was virtually unknown before mass mercury containing DPT vaccination, now we have 500,000 people with autistic spectrum disorders in the UK alone, nearly all due to vaccination, including MMR http://www.whale.to/vaccines/vax_autism_q.html They have known this for decades, and now they have produced numerous fraudulent studies to suppress this fact, letting tens of thousand children develop autism every year.

    “Nancy Hokkanen came up with one of the greatest analogies ever to describe the autism and vaccine controversy and how it feels to us parents of kids with autism. She compared it to the Catholic Church’s cover up of decades of sexual abuse.”

    DPT vaccine and others like the Hep B are the main cause of cot-death, which was running at 10,000 every year in the USA, in 1984 http://www.whale.to/vaccines/sids.html You would be lucky to find a cot-death in an unvaccinated breastfed child, which bring me to the other Allopath crime–the covert promotion of bottlefeeding. You can see the Elite mindset when they promote 1.5 million third world deaths via Nestle http://www.whale.to/b/milk2.html

    No vaccination or bottlemilk–no sick children. No business.

    Also asthma is running at 1 in 5 kids, all due to vaccination and drugs like antibiotics http://www.whale.to/vaccines/asthma.html Also juvenile arthritis (300,000 US kids) and diabetes are soaring http://www.whale.to/v/quotes4.html http://www.whale.to/vaccines/arthritis.html

    The hep B vaccine is a noted baby killer and it is estimated to cause 60,000 cases of MS in France http://www.whale.to/vaccines/ms.htm

    With Shaken Baby Syndrome they decided to blame the mother for vaccine deaths http://www.whale.to/vaccines/sbs1.html one mother’s 2 kids died soon after vaccination (Sally Clark) yet a psychopath called Dr Meadows made up some spurious stat to send her to jail. She was released eventually when some of the truth came out (vaccines still escaped) and ended up killing herself. The point here is the fact Meadows KNEW as he sat on the government vaccine committee into vaccine injuries for at least 10 years.

    The big scare story is Spanish Flu http://www.whale.to/v/spanish_flu.html That looks to be vaccine induced. Same for Gulf War Syndrome, mostly anthrax vaccine http://www.whale.to/vaccines/army.html If anthrax or any other germ was a viable weapon then they would have given it to old Saddam to try out, but the only one to die of anthrax was a victim of the CIA. Smallpox isn’t that toxic, Sydneham in 1660 only had a death rate of 1-2%, yet they try to say it kills 30% now http://www.whale.to/v/smallpox2.html I suspect anthrax is the same.

    Don’t let’s forget their psychiatric drugs, 3.6 million US kids are on Ritalin, kiddy coke or speed. 1.3 million UK adults are addicted to benzos like Valium (way way worse than heroin to come off), and 1 million kids have been damaged in the womb by them–now on Ritalin no doubt. 25,000 people have committed suicide from Prozac http://www.whale.to/a/psychiatry_h.html and so on.

    Robert Whitaker exposes the fact all these drugs just make things worse http://www.whale.to/a/whitaker_h.html

    and nutritional medicine will do a proper job with any addiction or deaths, known for decades http://www.whale.to/w/nutritional.html and they also have a non-addictive safe detox http://www.whale.to/v/heroin_add.html Just one medicine.

    Another truly nasty one is the hysterectomy hoax http://www.whale.to/a/hysterectomy1.html
    and the heart bypass hoax

    the mammogrammy hoax has given countless women breast cancer as John Hofman exposes http://www.whale.to/a/mammography_h.html

    And don’t lets forget the fact Allopathy is the leading cause of death in the first world (780,000 USA) http://www.whale.to/a/dean.html especially when you add on the 500,000 cancer chemo deaths, and the AIDS drug deaths. Chemo deaths is easy to work out, they suppressed 2 dozen or so safe cures, and even they admit chemo is only of use in 5-7% of patients, yet given to 50%. Do the maths. Hardin Jones 30 years ago worked out you live 4 times as long doing nothing.

    They like to make out no non-allopathic med is any use unless it is a cure, yet they can’t cure most of the commonest cancers even for 5 years, and none 100%. Their best med at the end of the day is surgery for breast cancer. Hardly medicine. One of their biggst crimes was suppressing Laetrile, you can see their nature exposed there nicely, Mayo clinic. http://www.whale.to/cancer/laetrile.html

    A 60£ zapper will cure all cancers (and AIDS) bar leukemia and prostate http://www.whale.to/a/zapper_q.html

    Each year, 61,000 older adults develop drug-induced parkinsonism http://www.whale.to/a/drugind.html

    that is the kind of people running the AIDS Industry.

    Brice Taylor used to be Kissingers personal assistant:

    “They (The Council) also were very condescending to those individuals who didn’t eat properly or exercise. They take immaculate care of their bodies as far as health goes. They are fit and trim and they use natural medicines. The American Medical Association is fashioned to prescribe drugs and perform various treatments that although they may be unsuspecting, tend to weed out the weaker species. The Council views the AMA’s ‘modern medicine’ as barbaric. Their plans are to have mind-enhanced health associates, like some of the USC medical and dental graduates, who provide the new health care for the Elite, after the takeover. Precision surgery with laser technology will make the so-called “modern methods” of surgery obsolete. Miracle medicines and herbs (God’s pharmacy) will keep the body healthy. An understanding of the way the electro-molecular energy field around the body operates will allow the healthy body to be kept in perfect alignment creating perpetual perfect health or it can be brought back into alignment easily with the use of high-tech field variation equipment. This will be the modern medicine of the future and upcoming doctors will be trained in these methods in order to further the evolution of the Elite. The Elite plan to enjoy total and complete health due to their technology in electromagnetic fields.”—Brice Taylor (Thanks For The Memories p 283)

  56. Truthseeker Says:

    John, you are beginning to sound a little hysterical. The basic principle of vaccination is valid, is it not? If it wasn’t every epidemic would catch and kill everybody, wouldn’t it? What relationship do you have to this whale website?

  57. john23 Says:

    It is my website. That could sound hysterical if you believe in Allopathy. Eg in Vaccination, which seems to have a very strong hold on many people, many who should know better.

    If you get some diseases you don’t generally get them again (smallpox, chickenpox, measles eg), so vaccination is based on that one, the similarity ends there. Proven not to work way back in the 19 century as over 90% of the victims had been vaccinated.

    Also, many of the diseases are immune system elimination processes, eg measles http://www.whale.to/m/measles3.html

    You can’t vaccinate againts filth which was what smallpox was, essentially, made worse by poor diet and the Allopathic therapies of alcohol, mercury etc http://www.whale.to/a/allopathy4.html If the truth be know Allopathy spread smallpox with vaccination, kept it going for much longer, they also kept its dangers by only using dire medicine and suppressing the real cures, while they ignored/suppressed the real cause–poor santiation and poverty. They still, to this day, maintain the lie. Easy to see also with measles.

    Vaccination is based on the wrong disease theory–the false pasteurian monomorphic one. They managed to suppress the correct one by Bechamp http://www.whale.to/v/germ.htm Pasteur was a fraud and plagiarist, no surprise there http://www.whale.to/v/pasteur.html

    Any study of Natural Hygiene will erase any belief in vaccination and drug therapy http://www.whale.to/m/measles3.html

    as Trall said: “The Drug Medical System cannot bear examination. To explain it would be to destroy it, and to defend it even is to damage it.”—R.T. Trall M.D.

    Nothing has changed since then. They just got smarter.

    I always see the refrain–‘those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it’. I just outlined, briefly, some suppressed medical history for you. If people knew that they wouldn’t be doomed to fall for their HIV/AIDS lies.

    The other factor people can’t see is Evil.

    “It is as hard for the good to suspect evil, as it is for the evil to suspect good.”- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Statesman, orator, writer (106-43 BCE)

    But that is another story.

  58. john23 Says:

    PS. That rant was more of a observation on the true nature of the enemy (know your enemy etc), but it will be too much truth for most people, especially if you are in the medical industry.

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