Hide Raphael’s ‘The School of Athens’
Hide : : Raphael’s ‘The School of Athens’ : : Show

Is David Crowe working against The Perth Group because of their Beliefs about Semen?

The debate is over whether we should strive to evict or eliminate dissidents with whom we have some disagreements with. Do I strive to have Duesberg removed from RA because he believes in a passenger virus? Do I work against the Perth Group because of their beliefs about semen? (Crowe to Eugene Semon 9 August 2010)

[Note: This is part I of an examination of Rethinking AIDS' politically motivated censorship of the Perth Group's "Toxic Semen" theory of AIDS. In part II we will discuss the theory they have chosen to prop up instead: Tony Lance's Intestinal Dysbiosis theory of AIDS]

When a reason is given as to why the members of the Perth Group are persona non grata on the Rethinking AIDS board of directors, it is usually their uncompromising insistence on the primacy of the HIV isolation issue, which the sitting Rethinking AIDS Board considers a “strategic blunder”, according to their PR person, Martin Barnes. But the Perth Group has committed another “strategic blunder”, which perhaps is less well known but seems to be gaining significance.  The Perth Group has from the beginning recognised the correlation between “Classical AIDS” and receptive anal sex, which led them to formulate their “Toxic Semen” theory of AIDS as a subset of their Oxidative AIDS theory. But the idea that anally deposited semen could have serious health consequences is strongly opposed by Rethinking AIDS president David Crowe to the point that it dominates almost all his recent communications with or about the Perth Group.  This seems to be part of a larger effort to convince dissidents in general and the Rethinking AIDS Board in particular that the Perth Group is improperly fixated on semen. In a recent mail to Martin Barnes and his Board attempting to dissuade them from engaging in a dialogue with the Perth Group about the AIDS Trap brochure Crowe wrote to the Perth Group:

Your old statement that, “AIDS is not sexually transmitted but it is sexually acquired” was polished off and this caused you to overemphasize the role of semen even more than before. I never got a reasonable response when I pointed out to you that the evidence is for this position is very weak. (15 July 2011 – Our highlight).

Crowe elaborated on the “reasonableness” of the Perth Group in his next mail:

It is strange that at times you can be extremely rational and methodical in the development of an argument but, when you really want to believe something, such as that (…) semen is the cause of many diseases, you lose your rationality and accept any evidence that supports your views, no matter how weak or unsupported it is. (17 August 2011)

One wonders if Crowe is equally forthright about his view of Peter Duesberg’s rationality when he discusses the “weak and unsupported” Passenger Virus theory with him. Crowe’s strong language prompts the question what consequences his opposition to the Perth Group’s “irrational” Toxic Semen theory has. If we believe his rhetorical question to Eugene Semon in his mail to the hivaidsparadigm chat group, Crowe treats the Perth Group and Duesberg exactly the same:

The debate is over whether we should strive to evict or eliminate dissidents with whom we have some disagreements with. Do I strive to have Duesberg removed from RA because he believes in a passenger virus? Do I work against the Perth Group because of their beliefs about semen? (Crowe to Eugene Semon 9 August 2010)

Crowe had already answered his own question in a previous mail,  where he offered the following explanation for not inviting Anthony Brink to the 2009 Rethinking AIDS Convention:

Eleni apparently suggested Anthony Brink as a substitute (at the 2009 RA Convention). David Rasnick felt this was not appropriate, and I agree. Val and Eleni did all the original reading and analysis of thousands of papers. The Perth Group theory also includes their beliefs about the causes of “AIDS”, most controversially exposure to semen. Additionally some people may want to ask whether the fact that the Perth Group has not questioned the existence of other major viruses means that they believe they exist, have inadequate information, or that this is a strategic decision. The originators of the theory need to be there to respond to such questions.  (7 July 2009)

Granted, it would be best if only the originators of the various theories were to present them. But in that case Duesberg shouldn’t give presentations on Chemical AIDS or de Harven, Nancy Banks and Bauer on the Missing Virus and the “unreliable” HIV tests. These all originated with the Perth Group (in one instance also John Lauritsen) and are parts or subsets of their original theory. And it should certainly have disqualified Crowe himself from posing as an expert on legal strategy. This approach also originated with the Perth Group, who have posted it on their website as one of two ways to successfully challenge the HIV/AIDS establishment. Furthermore, in an exquisitely ironic twist,  the disinvited Anthony Brink is arguably the foremost legal expert among the dissidents, both in terms of credentials and experience. It would have been very easy to accommodate both the Perth Group and Anthony Brink by changing the topic of Brink’s presentation to, for example,  “Lessons Learned from the Parenzee Case”, allowing him to cover more or less the same ground from his indisputably expert perspective.  Of course Crowe has no interest in Brink’s analyses for reasons that have become abundantly clear by now.

So what about the questions the originators “need to be there to respond to”? We see here the root of the false equivalence Crowe makes between the Perth group’s Toxic Semen theory and Duesberg’s Passenger Virus theory. Contrary to what Crowe claims, it is not true that the Perth Group theory about the causes of AIDS includes their beliefs about exposure to semen. It would have very little impact, if any, on their Missing Virus and Oxidative Stress theories if their “beliefs” about semen were wrong, just as Duesberg’s Chemical AIDS “belief” wouldn’t be refuted if poppers turn out not to cause Kaposi’s sarcoma. While doing everything in his power as Rethinking AIDS president to shield Duesberg and defend his right not to be confronted on his essential Passenger Virus theory, Crowe demands that the originators of the Toxic Semen theory be held accountable in person on this side-issue.

The rejection of Anthony Brink is one example showing  that Crowe does indeed work against the Perth Group at least partly because of their “beliefs about semen” – or he uses the issue to work against them – but it is not the most recent example. In a telephone conversation with Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, David Crowe expressed his vision of Rethinking AIDS as a passive forum for the various actors to enter and say their piece

Eleopulos-Papadopulos:  David, is it possible to deconstruct the HIV theory of AIDS with the RA science?

Crowe: There is no RA science.

Eleopulos-Papadopulos:  The HIV theory of AIDS is based on the science in these papers.  It may be bad science but it is science.  The only way to deconstruct something based on science is with better science. If there is no RA science how are you going to deconstruct the “HIV” theory of AIDS.  Is not your aim to deconstruct the HIV theory of AIDS?

(Perth Group commentary): David avoided responding to the question. After the question was repeated a few times and he was asked to respond with a yes or no, he replied:

Crowe: No.

Eleopulos-Papadopulos:  What are the aims of RA if not to deconstruct the “HIV” theory of AIDS?

Crowe: To organise meetings so that scientists can express their views.

In his mail of 17 August, David Crowe also stressed the point that Rethinking AIDS is a forum where views can be expressed but that the Rethinking AIDS entity itself is something apart from those views:

I am also concerned about (the Perth Group)’s distortions of the position of Rethinking AIDS which, on detailed scientific issues (such as the existence of HIV), often does not have a position but allows its members to think and speak for themselves.

Of course Rethinking AIDS allows it members to “speak for themselves”; the question is what happens when scientists want to speak on behalf of or through media controlled by Rethinking AIDS? In a public mail sent 2 December 2009, David Crowe had a less tolerant and all-embracing message for the Perth Group:

Dear Val;

I would like to expand on my questions to you regarding semen and AIDS based on your comments to “The AIDS Trap”. I have great difficulty accepting your claims and using them to modify “The AIDS Trap” when the evidence for a correlation between exposure to large quantities of semen and AIDS appears to be so speculative

Crowe in effect uses his veto power unilaterally if not to “evict” or “eliminate” the Perth Group, certainly to “work against” them and exclude their views in favour of other views he finds more convincing. Moreover, he does so on a purely scientific pretext despite his repeated claim that there is no Rethinking AIDS science. This begs another question: If the criteria for having one’s views represented in a Rethinking AIDS publication is that David Crowe finds them convincing, why does he not “work against” Duesberg’s Passenger Virus theory, which he claims to find equally unconvincing?

One can think of a few reason reasons. Duesberg has greater status as a scientist, thus greater PR value, and of course he is a direct link to Bob Leppo’s purse. But another reason would be that Crowe’s scientific discernment is dictated by what he deems to be politically correct or expedient.  Amidst the accusations of homophobia leveled against dissidents in general and Profs. Duesberg and Bauer in particular Crowe is likely horrified of appearing critical of any type of sexual behaviour between consenting adults and therefore censors what he considers to be politically incorrect views. In this case there’s the added advantage that by setting himself up as a champion of politically correct views on sex, and by challenging the Perth Group publicly at every opportunity, he can score easy points with his gay constituency and passive Board. By constantly bringing up the issue, no matter how far-fetched in the context, and proclaiming it to be an integral part of their Oxidative Stress theory of AIDS, he can pretend that the Perth Group are as fanatically fixated on Toxic Semen as the cause of AIDS as they are on the Missing Virus issue. He can pretend that in the Perth Group scientific tyranny he heroically opposes, a tyranny in which Duesberg would get “evicted” or “eliminated”, certain types of common sexual acts would be frowned upon.

These are the real reasons for what is in reality Crowe’s own fixation on this side-issue. Not only is he “working against the Perth Group” because of their “beliefs about semen”, he actively distorts those beliefs in order to work against them and to his  own political advantage.


One Response to “Is David Crowe working against The Perth Group because of their Beliefs about Semen?”

  1. Gene Semon says:

    I will accept David Crowe’s word on opening up the Conference to all science.

    Constructive advice for RA 2011 – more fresh faces.

    Instead of badgering the Perth group on their presumed BELIEF in toxic semen why not consider a presentation that backs up the idea. Because obviously, it has to get beyond same ol’ same ol’ for RA 2011 for this dog to hunt. Perhaps Dr Banks should address the physiological arguments raised by other investigators. (See below.)

    So let’s “look back”on the work of the mighty Root-Bernstein. Or is his divergence from Neo-Duesbergian orthodoxy, as Claus nicely puts it, an exception to the new open science policy.

    The following excerpt (1) covers AIDS without HIV quite nicely IMO and backs up PG on semen as one of many immunosuppressive risk factors:

    “I have recently completed a literature review of non-HIV immunosuppressive factors associated with AIDS (Root-Bernstein, 1990b). I found that every AIDS patient has some subset of established immunosuppressive agents at work that include, but are not limited to: immunological contact with semen components (Mathur et al., 1981; Mavligit et al., 1984) ; recreational drugs such as the nitrites (Lotzova et al., 1984 ; Brambilla, 1985) ; addictive drugs such as the opiates and cocaine (Brown et al., 1974; Weber and Pert, 1989); multiple, concurrent infections with viruses, bacteria, amoeba, protozoa and/or fungi (Rouse and Horohov, 1986; Mella, 1967; Smith, 1985; Hartung et al., 1979); malnutrition due to any of several causes including malabsorption syndrome associated with “gay bowel syndrome” (Yardley and Hendrix, 1980) ; the indirect results of drug addiction, anorexia and poverty (Chandra, 1983 ; Dowd and Heatley, 1984; Pifer et al., 1987); anaesthetics (Tsuda and Kahan, 1983); chronic antibiotic use (Munster et al., 1977; Pifer et al., 1987); blood transfusions (Salveteirra et al., 1980; Fischer et al., 1980; Thomas et al., 1983); and blood factor treatment (Bedall et al., 1985; Pollack et al., 1985; McPherson et al., 1986).


    MATHUR, S., GOUST, J.-M., WILLIAMSON, H.O., et al. (1981), Cross-reactivity of sperm and T-lymphocyte antigens. Amer. J. Reprod. Immunol., 1, 113-118.

    MAVLIGIT, G.M., TALPAZ, M., HSIA, F.T., et al. (1984), Chronic immune stimulation by sperm alloantigens. Support for the hypothesis that spermatazoa induce immune dysregulation in homosexual males. J. Amer. Med. Ass., 251, 237-241.

Leave a Reply to Gene Semon