David Crowe’s latest discovery, Terry Michael, whom he brought in as co-host on his “How Positive are You” radio show has dissociated himself, or withdrawn his “participation and support” as he puts it, from Rethinking AIDS 2011 conference (As the second last line in the quotation shows, he is in fact dissociating from Rethinking AIDS altogether, and he is no longer co-hosting Crowe’s radio show.) The pattern is familiar, it happened last to Janine Roberts, if you assert yourself or stand on any kind of principle you will be labeled “uncooperative” by the Rethinking AIDS inner circle and your RA privileges will be revoked. Terry Michael:
September 12, 2011
RA Board and other rethinkers:
Due to an irreconcilable difference with the other two organizers of RA2011, I am withdrawing my participation in, and my support for RA2011.
David Crowe and Siggi Duesberg seem to think the conference should be another effort at rethinkers talking to each other. From the beginning, I promoted the mission of this conference as an outreach to the victims of HIV=AIDS–gay men, Africans and African Americans–who are not even represented on the RA Board. I urged that it be held in the epicenter of the HIV=AIDS myth, Washington, DC, with our large number of gay men and African Americans, and in the city that will be the venue seven months later for the International AIDS Society 2012 AIDS-fest conference of 15,000-20,000 cult members in Washington, DC. I urged that the conference begin on World AIDS Day as a way to facilitate some kind of media attention for our effort.
I have spent countless hours in planning for the conference, beginning with visits to a half-dozen possible hotels ten months ago, including the one we eventually contracted with. Though I have no personal wealth, I committed to $2000 in donations to RA, $1,250 of which I have donated, including paying the $150 registration fee.
The only thing I asked was to be able to do a two-hour special seminar for local people. This was after David and Siggi refused to even consider allowing local people to observe the conference without paying the steep registration fee. The local attendees would be gay men and African Americans who have never heard of opposition to HIV=AIDS; just people who I would persuade to open their minds to hearing us.
I also recently urged that a student, young adult or low income special registration fee be offered, but again, Mr. Crowe and Ms. Duesberg just dismissed the idea.
And now, I understand that David is trashing me as uncooperative, trivializing my efforts. It is correct that I am insisting on starting my seminar no earlier than 3:30 pm on World AIDS Day. It is an absolute fabrication that I EVER agreed to starting at 1 p.m. I told David and Siggi a long time ago that my best guess is that the AIDS Industry here will be doing another free AIDS Day luncheon for members of the local Industry, and I wanted my seminar at the end of the day. To begin at 1 pm or 2 pm would mean local people would have to take off their entire afternoons from work. I reluctantly agreed to 3 p.m. as a start time, and then Siggi and David arbitrarily demanded that I start at 2 pm. I suggested that the conference start at 6:30 pm instead of 6 pm so I could start later. All of that was rejected by them–reflecting their lack of commitment to making this conference an outreach to the community of victims of HIV=AIDS. And, RA Board members will recall the doom-and-gloom report that Ms. Duesberg gave in the last RA Board conference call, with an incredibly negative attitude toward the success of the conference.
I will continue to research and write about the HIV=AIDS myth, but I will do that independently from Rethinking AIDS.
I thank you all for your efforts at ending the psychological terrorism and the drug poisoning of the HIV=AIDS myth.
Terry Michael confirms what we have shown again and again here on the Symposium and on TIG’s Rethinking AIDS page, that regardless of what altruistic motives the individual rethinker may have, the Rethinking AIDS entity and its annual conventions, like all things political, are nothing but vehicles for furthering personal ambition and sharing that feel-good vibe the privileged seem to crave. This is the annual cleansing ritual where the plight of the excluded poor and African AZT babies is lamented by the self-satisfied in a cozy setting before an admiring, like-minded audience on a full stomach - briefly before the after-party hobnobbing. Such is the nature of the political beast, but maybe you shouldn’t take our word for it, since we haven’t been there. Let the next Rethinking AIDS president Henry Bauer himself tell you what Terry Michael apparently hasn’t understood, just how far such an event is removed from any concern other than elite recreation and self-congratulation, in his aptly titled blog post “Why come to a Rethinking AIDS Conference” :
Those of us who have belonged to professional organizations or academic associations or recreational groups featuring competitions like bridge or chess know how rewarding as well as enjoyable conferences can be —not so much because of the formal program or competition, but because of the opportunity to make new friends and to learn informally and person-to-person about all sorts of things that we didn’t even know existed to be learned about.
The first Rethinking AIDS Conference in Oakland in 2009 exemplified those delights. Over the years (>50!!) I’ve attended innumerable conferences of various sorts: academic, professional, or scholarly conferences in electrochemistry and in science & technology studies (STS); tournaments of bridge and chess; meetings of the National Association of Scholars, and of the Society for Scientific Exploration; International Science Conferences sponsored by the Unification Church; get-togethers of very specialized fan clubs interested in Loch Ness monsters or UFOs. No doubt others as well. A general conclusion, which is shared by all the people with whom I’ve talked about this, is that the most rewarding and enjoyable meetings are those that bring together people with the greatest diversity of backgrounds who happen nevertheless to share a passionate interest in the meeting’s particular focus. That’s exactly what I experienced at Rethinking AIDS 2009 in Oakland, and it’s why I wrote that somewhat over-the-top paean to the Conference on my blog.
The Science and AIDS Conference in Vienna in 2010 was equally rewarding and enjoyable, yet very different in physical ambience; and most of the participants and observers had not been at Oakland, giving me the opportunity to make new friends. (etc. etc.)
There is scant room for community outreach of the sort Terry Michael proposes at the bridge tables of the conference’s star attractions, and just as was the case with the Perth Group, Terry Michael’s dissociation has been completely blacked out in all RA-controlled media allowing this to stand uncontested as the final reason why you should come to a Rethinking AIDS conference. So enjoy and…