Prof. Henry Bauer has been the most consistent and most prolific opponent of the Perth Group’s position that healthy scientific debate of the missing virus problem should be a top priority for Rethinking AIDS. Ever since he published his book and joined the RA Board, his attacks on the Perth Group have been relentless. Amid hypocritical calls for a civil tone in the debate, he refuses to facilitate debate of the issue himself, calls the Perth Group’s request for participation unreasonable if not impolite, and refers to those who are vocally defending the Perth Group from discrimination, misrepresentation, and outright plagiarism perpetrated and/or supported by RA as “camp followers and groupies” – the same language he reserves for low level AIDStruth operatives.
In a move that has become more significant in hindsight, Bauer was the first and so far only RA board member to publish a critique of the Perth Group’s strategy in the Parenzee case on RA president David Crowe’s ARAS website. This was long before anybody had all the facts about the case, but Bauer has never felt the need to revisit his original assessment, and since then he has not been a single step out of line with Crowe, whose lies and distortions he faithfully parrots whenever the occasion arises.
Needless to say, all Bauer’s criticism and all his calls for “reconciliation” have been unidirectional. He has presumably been unable to discover a single instance worth admitting to of unfair, dishonest or reprehensible words or actions by anyone inside RA directed at the Perth Group and their supporters. Even when Bauer’s fellow RA board member, Prof. Etienne de Harven, in effect called the Perth Group plagiarists on grounds that were immediately exposed as a cheap lie, Bauer did not discover any need to call for decency from those within his own party. Instead he found himself backing Crowe’s position as always, namely that questions of primacy are merely a diversion from the real issues. In other words, objections to endless plagiarism, misrepresentations and self-serving lies are considered an infantile pastime fit only for uncouth “camp followers” and their self-promoting idols.
It remains to be seen if Bauer would be equally cavalier about plagiarism and misrepresentation of his own work (no one has found such an undertaking worthwhile yet), but his actions have been true to his words. He repeatedly cites secondary sources for the Perth Group’s discoveries in his own published books and papers; and he has voiced no objections as he himself has become an oft-cited secondary source of the Perth Group’s original insights – an entirely predictable consequence of his own efforts to marginalise them.
Bauer has produced too many thinly veiled anti-Perth writings to discuss them all here. His latest blog post serves as a typical example of how RA’s self-appointed arbiter of academic good manners operates, so we will analyse it in some detail.
On a quick reading the new blog post might seem to Bauer’s audience a fairly even-handed lament, earnestly agonizing over the best way forward for dissidents as a whole, and deploring unnecessary rifts caused by differing opinions and flaring tempers. He mentions various approaches, commends some, expresses mild personal doubts about others, finds “real hope”, not surprisingly, in the “infiltration tactics” (the so-called Trojan Horse approach) he participates in with fellow board member Marco Ruggiero.
But then he offers us his final insight in a long, rambling passage. I quote from somewhere near the beginning and somewhere near the end:
. . . the necessary initial steps include making people understand that “HIV” and “AIDS” are two separate things, entirely separate things. Crucial to that first step is that “HIV” tests are highly non-specific tests, reacting “positive” to a range of physiological conditions that are not necessarily even health-threatening. … What I want to stress now is that the lack of validity of “HIV” tests suffices to make the Rethinking case, irrespective of the “existence” question, namely, whether such a virus as HIV even exists. Therefore I find it most regrettable that some number of Rethinkers insists that the existence question is central to Rethinking.
Bauer is no longer meekly offering his opinion; he is pronouncing it from a position of high authority. As the reader can discover for him/herself by Bauer’s numerous references to his own work, in particular his book, he has not come to new insights. His final conclusion is exactly the same as it has always been. There is nothing newsworthy here, nothing worth yet another blog post delivering the same message. The blog functions almost exclusively as another attack in the continuing war on the Perth Group for the hearts and minds of dissidents that began at least as far back as Bauer’s above-mentioned premature analysis of the Parenzee case.
Bauer’s position is this: In his book he has already delivered the ultimate, the final proof that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. All that remains is for his fellow dissidents to help him promote its insights and sweep up the remnants of the shattered paradigm as they fall in line behind him. To wit his own words dating back to a mass mail from March 12 2008, where he magnanimously divides what’s left of the glory in suitable portions between those select few who went before him:
If it is a pre-condition to settle the question of the existence of HIV, then there will be no unification of rethinkers. I’m suggesting that the question doesn’t need to be settled, if the aim is just to prove that “HIV” doesn’t cause “AIDS”.
Once that has been accomplished [and it has, we all know, by Bauer himself], and also in response to the inevitable red herrings, etc., from the likes of Wainberg, it becomes necessary to answer the questions, “So what exactly is ‘HIV’?”; “What exactly caused AIDS?”
The first question can be answered most effectively by the Perth Group’s work, the second by Tony Lance’s intestinal dysbiosis theory plus Peter Duesberg’s and John Lauritsen’s drug-AIDS explanations, including poppers for KS.
Under the above, due credit goes to everyone, so my hope would be that everyone would recognize that and let bygones be bygones.
As Bauer has forged new allegiances with board members de Harven and Ruggiero, and as his war on the Perth Group has intensified, he no longer thinks the Perth Group has the most effective answer to what HIV is, and he increasingly avoids any direct reference to them. But otherwise this sums up his current position.
Bauer does not disagree with the Perth Group’s science. He disagrees with the importance of it. As he assures us again and again, the existence of HIV is irrelevant to his own thesis that the HIV tests do not measure an infectious or pathological agent, but he disagrees strongly with the Perth Group’s insistence that the issue of HIV isolation is paramount. The reason for this is obvious; if the Perth Group’s position were accepted it would delegate his own work to the position of secondary importance to which he has currently delegated the work of everybody else.
Since the Perth Group is the only competing faction presenting a direct challenge to Bauer, he finds perfect convergence of interest with the Crowe/Duesberg-controlled RA, which is why he was able to go from relative obscurity to powerful board member in the wink of an eye. Regardless of personal differences of opinion between Bauer, Duesberg and de Harven, the Perth Group presents a direct challenge to the interests of each, so they naturally form a united front against the Perth Group in the battle for scientific and historical recognition.
In war, propaganda is important, and the first task of the propagandist is to simplify, misrepresent and caricature the position of the opposition in factual and moral terms. Nobody does this better or more consistently than Bauer. Here is how he defines the “central issue” for “some number of (always unnamed, as strawmen often are) rethinkers” in his answer to Jim Wolfe in the Comment thread to his latest blog:
. . . a strong little cadre of non-believers in HIV/AIDS also insists that the central issue is the question of the physical existence of this entity
The phrase “some number” from the main post has now become “a strong little cadre”, which, incidentally, is a perfect paraphrase of AIDStruth’s characterisation of dissidents as a whole: “a small but vocal group (of denialists)”. But whereas the latter actually have a point, the core group of “denialists” is rather small in relative terms, it is absurd to call the “cadre” supporting the Perth Group’s position small in terms of the total number of rethinkers. This is exemplary of Bauer’s inside-the-Beltway mindset; when you’re at the established centre of power, RA in this case, you create and come to believe in a worldview, where everybody who is outside your cozy circle of privilege is fringe, extremist etc., regardless what their actual numbers might be.
More importantly, the “central issue” is a relative concept. For such an expression to have meaning one must ask “the central issue relative to what?” Bauer does not bother doing that. He is attributing a narrowly fixed, highly simplified idea to the Perth Group (and their “camp followers”) across changing, fluid, complex contexts to depict them as self-absorbed fanatics. This is classic propaganda technique, and the way it is done here is revealing. At the beginning of the blog, Bauer describes the sensible mainstream position, personified by himself, using the exact same phrase. According to Bauer, the disinterested, socially conscious, politically savvy rethinker understands that:
the central issue for Rethinkers: How might the general public, the media, the policy makers be awakened to the actual facts about “HIV” and about “AIDS”?
This is then opposed to the little, self-absorbed cadre which,
insists that the central issue is the question of the physical existence of this entity
The phrase is the same but the juxtaposition is false. One is a question, the other is an answer. By manipulating the contexts of the comparison, Bauer has further caricatured the Perth Group to claim moral superiority, because he shares their scientific insight (in fact he is regarded as an authority on it due in part to his effective anti-Perth campaign) but his perspective also includes practical social and political dimensions, i.e. it is not self-absorbed.
To discover the false premise one only has to consider this: Does anybody, other than Bauer, doubt for a minute that, presented with the right question in the right context, the Perth Group would agree that the central issue is to awaken people to the actual facts about HIV and AIDS? This goes without saying; the issue is how best to accomplish that aim, and even here the answer will vary according to the situation. Even the Perth Group would agree with that.
What about Bauer’s central insight, directed against the Perth Group:
it is not necessary to settle the existence issue in order to demonstrate that “HIV” tests do not diagnose “HIV infection” and do not presage AIDS.
Where is the disagreement? The Perth Group’s position is precisely that as long as the “existence issue” (meaning isolation, but that doesn’t serve RA’s propaganda purposes, so the correct formulation of the issue has all but disappeared) has not been “settled”, it has not been demonstrated that the tests diagnose HIV infection. That is the case even if HIV exists. In Bauer’s words:
If someone can become persuaded that “HIV” tests do not detect a fatal virus, then the essential mission has been accomplished, because obviously then “HIV”, which can only be defined by means for detecting it, could never have become known to be the cause of “AIDS”. Even under the assumption that “HIV” exists, but that the tests detect many other things as well, any apparent correlation between positive “HIV” tests and AIDS would be spurious.
The only quibble one could have is that “if HIV cannot be defined by the means of detecting it”, one cannot logically make the assumption that the tests do detect it even in a single instance. But the proposition as an alternative to the Perth Group is still meaningless because Bauer conflates the Perth Group’s call for a resolution to the existence (isolation) issue within RA, so the organisation can act more efficiently and consistently, with a logically necessary requirement for persuading the general public that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. Of course the Perth Group has never claimed their approach is the only thinkable way this could come about.
The other hypothetical suggested by Bauer is equally meaningless. If you can persuade people, by whatever means, that the HIV tests do not detect a fatal virus, of course the mission has been accomplished. That IS the mission.
Moreover, it is quite arbitrary. Bauer is all about, as he puts it in his Parenzee case analysis, “exactly what is necessary to establish sufficient doubt about the HIV = AIDS dogma.” If that is the case why stop there? Why not go for an even lower bar? If, for instance, you can persuade people that they are infected with a harmless passenger virus, the mission would be accomplished even without having to demonstrate that the HIV tests are unreliable. Or if you can persuade them that they carry a genetic CCR5 mutation that makes them immune to infection, you don’t even need to demonstrate that the virus is inherently harmless.
Bauer knows that at some point he has to get into practicalities. Here the main problem is, how are we going to persuade people in practice that the tests do not detect a deadly virus, crucially without mentioning the Perth Group? Bauer links to another blog post, where we find:
What (people) need to grasp is:
“HIV” tests actually detect not a virus but one or more of a number of substances — a dozen proteins, or various bits of DNA or RNA — that were frequently present in 1980s AIDS patients. … That simple fact in itself is very hard for people to swallow who have been indoctrinated by the pervasive sound-bites of the conventional wisdom. One might do well always to have close at hand a copy of the Weiss & Cowan article* with certain sections highlighted: there is no gold standard “HIV” test ….
Bauer’s solution is to recommend a debriefing strategy based 100% on the Perth Group, but omitting to mention where his unique knowledge of what the “HIV tests actually detect” comes from, then digging through the literature to find a reference to the missing gold standard that no other dissident has used yet, so he can present it as his own research.
Bauer’s war is a propaganda war, and as such one can quite easily occupy the opponent’s actual position as long as one can simultaneously project a distorted image of that position onto the opponent. In propaganda wars, it is the latter that counts not the former, and as Bauer demonstrates in spite of himself, when one looks deep enough all roads lead to Perth.