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Rethinking AIDS 2011: HIV Causes AIDS

One of Rethinking AIDS’s greatest conceits is that it is a harmoniously functioning market place of ideas where a multiplicity of individual voices is allowed to be heard. President David Crowe decribes it as a forum where scientists can express their opinions and contrasts it with the scientific tyranny the Perth Group wants to impose on all dissidents, although by what means this would be remotely possible is not clear.  We maintain that the issue is deceptively framed and that ”harmonious multiplicity of individual voices” is a generous euphemism for cacophony of plagiarism, self-contradiction and substandard scholarship; for example when Prof. deHarven claims to have come up with a new original theory of HIV,  or when Prof. Bauer, Christin Fiala MD. and President Crowe argue in one context that HIV is a harmless passenger virus and in another that it has never been proven to exist, or when Prof. Duesberg claims that HIV has been satisfactorily isolated and sequenced, but claims that the many divergent HIV strains are an impossibility.

This generates general confusion, destroys credibility and creates a situation where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.  For example, David Crowe has repeatedly been alerted by us, Fabio Franci MD and the Perth Group to the fact that Rethinking AIDS in appointing neo-duesbergian Prof. Marco Ruggiero to its Board is endorsing the claim that HIV causes AIDS, a claim which David Crowe has adopted as a rallying cry for the 2011 Rethinking AIDS convention in Washington. In a mail asking for convention donations, we read the following:

Dear Fellow AIDS Rethinkers:

With your help, a new phase of the struggle against the destructive hypothesis that HIV is the sole cause of AIDS is about to begin.

Dissent is not Denialism!

Why the addition of the word “sole”? It is Prof. Ruggiero’s formulation and it appeared on the Rethinking AIDS website at the time of his appointment to the Board of Directors. On that occasion Crowe wrote:

Dr. Ruggiero stated that in the past three years definitive evidence has accumulated demonstrating that HIV cannot be considered the sole cause of AIDS. For example, a ten year meta-analysis of anti-retroviral therapy published in the Lancet showed that, although the medicines decreased HIV levels, they did not decrease the rates of AIDS or death. Ruggiero concludes that the virus does not cause AIDS, but instead arises as a result of a lowered immune system, thus reversing the cause-effect relationship between HIV and AIDS.

Dr. Ruggiero referred to Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier who stated that someone with a healthy immune system can be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected. It is possible for someone infected with HIV to get rid of the infection by naturally building up their immune system, without the use of anti-viral medicines.

As we have seen, the uneasy tension between “cannot be considered the sole cause of AIDS” and “does not cause AIDS” had been resolved in favour of the first formulation by the time Crowe began sending out mails asking for donations. As Fabio Franchi noted in his reply to Crowe, that means the recipients of the mail were asked to donate to a convention premised on the belief that HIV can cause AIDS.  In spite of this, Crowe wrote a mail to the Perth Group saying:

I am also concerned about your 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. I don’t know where you got your assertion that “According to RA HIV is a cause of AIDS”. (…) I do not understand why you would deliberately distort what we have so clearly written and conclude that, “you accept that HIV is sexually transmitted and is a cause of AIDS”. First of all if “you” means David Crowe you know that this is a false representation of my beliefs. And if “you” means RA, while there are some who believe that HIV can be sexually transmitted, I don’t know of any who believe it is a cause of AIDS, which is by far the most important part of the belief. (Crowe to the Perth Group 17 August 2011)

If this is true, why specifically adopt the formulation “HIV is not the sole cause of AIDS”. Is it merely another awkward attempt at being politically sophisticated or does it represent a real shift?  Let us be clear:

1. Like Duesberg, Ruggiero thinks HIV exists as an exogenous virus, and like Duesberg this commits him in principle to the position that the HIV tests are reliable:

Any test, by definition, cannot be 100% accurate. Specificity and sensitivity often are inversely related; therefore un-specific diagnoses of HIV-positivity are likely to occur as with any other test. In general, however, once such problems have been resolved, I would say that in the presence of confirmed antibodies and detection of the so-called viral load (although often over-estimated), I would say that an encounter with the virus has occurred. (Ruggiero to Celia  Farber in “Over the Rainbow”)

2. Ruggiero thinks HIV is an effect rather than cause of immune deficiency (just as the Perth Group has argued for decades now), but it is an effect in Montagnier’s sense, an opportunist that is able to take hold when the immune system is already weakened. HIV, in other words, is one of the iconic AIDS pathogens like Pneumocystis jiroveci:

If we adhere to the statements of Prof. Montagnier, as I do, then the persistence of signs of HIV infection could simply be an indicator of immune system malfunction. In this interpretation, immune system malfunction is the cause and chronic HIV infection (along with other opportunistic infection) one of the effects, probably not the worst one. In other words, HIV infection could be the symptom of an existing immunodeficiency.  (Ruggiero to Celia Farber in “Over the Rainbow”)

Above, we called HIV an opportunistic pathogen, and the quotation shows why. Ruggiero speculates that HIV is “probably not the worst” effect of immune system malfunction, which implies that it is an undesirable effect. Ruggiero bases himself on Yamamoto and his GcMAF macrophage activator as well as Montagnier’s opportunisic HIV, and Yamamoto’s account of the mechanism by which HIV causes immuno-suppression is that it secretes nagalase which inhibits macrophage activation:

Serum Gc protein (known as vitamin D3-binding protein) is the precursor for the principal macrophage activating factor (MAF). The MAF precursor activity of serum Gc protein of HIV-infected patients was lost or reduced because Gc protein is deglycosylated by alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (Nagalase) secreted from HIV-infected cells. Therefore, macrophages of HIV-infected patients having deglycosylated Gc protein cannot be activated, leading to immunosuppression. Since Nagalase is the intrinsic component of the envelope protein gp120, serum Nagalase activity is the sum of enzyme activities carried by both HIV virions and envelope proteins. These Nagalase carriers were already complexed with anti-HIV immunoglobulin G (IgG) but retained Nagalase activity that is required for infectivity.

HIV, intracellularly, as virions or as “free” gp120, is inherently immuno-suppressive, according to Ruggiero’s adopted position. In other words, it may not be the sole cause but it is certainly a contributing cause of  AIDS. And how do we know this is his final position and not another “Trojan horse”? Because we know that Ruggiero thinks HIV is real, that the HIV proteins are real, and that they can be reliably detected. This validates observations such as those made by Yamamoto. In fact, Ruggiero’s soon to be made commercially available GcMAF yoghurt is predicated on the validity of Yamamoto’s observations. Ruggiero’s new lay collaborator explains it admirably in this recent sales pitch, which went unchallenged on Prof. Bauer’s Hivskeptic blog – skeptic no more apparently:

Richard Karpinski said 2011/10/07 at 1:18 pm

DC asked “what is the benefit of taking substances that raise the CD4 count?” As you know, anti-retroviral drugs are themselves life threatening. Thus anything that keeps your CD4 counts high and reduces the pressure to start HAART “therapy” can be considered life preserving. Besides that, indications such as feeling better and having more energy are enough for me to desire to partake of MAF 3 14 on a regular basis, except when I’m pregnant. As a guy, I remain unlikely to become pregnant, but I am aware that fetuses (or possibly placentas) emit nagalase, which somehow prevents formation of GcMAF and thus prevents activation of macrophages, presumably to prevent them from attacking the fetus as cells which are not cells with the same chromosomes as those of the mother. Indeed, if gp120, thought of as an HIV viral coat protein, which also acts like nagalase and inhibits production of GcMAF, is a common component that triggers an HIV+ test result, then HIV+ IS itself an actual cause of partial suppression of the immune system. This would encourage me to take Ruggiero’s MAF 3 14 on general principles. But of course you should think that through on your own. IANAD, I am not a doctor.”

We remark in passing that unless it says on your cup of Ruggiero’s homemade, self-tested yoghurt that an increased level of CD4 cells is not considered a treatment benefit in itself but rather that it is the avoidance of HAART therapy that is the benefit, this could easily be fraud. But note also that a positive HIV test means you’re infected with a virus that can impair your immune system, a Human Immunodeficiency Virus as it were.  Karpinski’s logic is flawless; it is the logical extension of Duesberg’s position that HIV is real but harmless. To quote Eugene Semon:

If HIV exists, as Duesberg claims, then one has to test “harmless passenger” by considering cellular proteins within “purified virions” that may lead to autoimmune dysfunction. These cellular proteins (e.g. Hsp 70) are well known inflammatory agents, and the literature is chock full of papers on disorders when they’re over-expressed.

That is exactly what Ruggiero/Yamamoto has done; he has considered but one of the “harmless passenger virus” proteins and identified a mechanism by which “HIV” causes immune suppression. And this is not remarkable if one understands how the “HIVproteins” were discovered. They were chosen because they were found in abnormally high concentrations  or expressed and observed under abnormal conditions in already immuno-compromised individuals. That such proteins should have pathogenic effects under these circumstances is analogous to healthy cells becoming cancerous.

The consequence of all this is that Rethinking AIDS is now poised to market cures for HIV, literally, while its president David Crowe vehemently denies that he knows of any dissident who believes that HIV causes AIDS. Is Crowe deliberately lying? Probably not. It is more plausible that in the cacophony of plagiarism and self-contradiction that is Rethinking AIDS nobody is able to hear even their own words, much less understand what they mean.

5 Responses to “Rethinking AIDS 2011: HIV Causes AIDS”

  1. Gene Semon says:

    Claus, another excellent review in lay language. I don’t know what else anyone could possibly want to dispel their confusion, assuming that’s what is really holding them back.

    Those at OWS are activists even though the subject of financial derivatives is just as technically intimidating as retroviruses.

    Studying the subject in detail – getting involved – naturally leads one to conclude that it’s time to end the control of International Banking Cartel over White house, Congress and Judiciary.

    You’ve documented the bad faith and resulting contradictions in what were supposed to be intellectually honest discussions of the science.

    Below is a rebuttal to Peter: “Prof. Duesberg claims that HIV has been satisfactorily isolated and sequenced, but claims that the many divergent HIV strains are an impossibility.” If this is true then he’s not talking about the HIV that Fauci’s talking about; there’s no such HIV. Why can’t he just come out and say it? I mean given the idea of his mentor Harry Rubin – the name became the proof that HIV causes AIDS.

    So here’s the place to put up my temporary occupation of the NEJM’s virtual space:

    OPEN LETTER TO PETER DUESBERG AND NEJM (submitted and rejected for publication)

    The HIV Vaccination Program needs to be reappraised in light of continuing failures and the published experiments on HIV.
    In [13], Dr Fauci and co-author make the penulimate statement: “the body is indeed capable of producing potent, broadly neutralizing antibodies (against HIV); however, it does not do so readily or efficiently”. Such a bold statement on this one particular retrovirus requires absolute physiological back up, The problem is that NIH has never provided such information for the benefit of taxpaying public.
    And such a broad brush, presumably applicable to billions of people, begs the question: which body?
    Based on many immunosuppressive agents, as documened by Root-Bernstein [15] for environmenal stressors that compromise optimum immune system function, one would expect a wide variance among individuals in this capacity. This includes a negative, not a protective effect, known as antibody dependent enhancement documented for RNA enveloped viruses like dengue virus infection. [16]
    And Dr Fauci should be hauled into Congress to explain why there are “T cells that effectively control cytomegalovirus, a common chronic viral infection”(18), since CMV has roughly twenty-fold the genomic size of HIV-1 and reasonably should have a far greater capacity to “use tricks” or “escape from” immune surveillance.
    Failure to recognize simple facts and their connection to previous failed attempts at an HIV vaccine means NIH conventional HIV/AIDS Vaccine Research should be scrapped as a waste of taxpayer’s money. Those responsible for this boondoggle should be fired.
    Dr Fauci has maintained the false belief that HIV is an organism subject to the law of evolution. If the virus really was an autonomous organism-like agent that “evades and undermines the immune system”, replicons of its complete dimeric genomic would be detectable in patients so affected.
    Inadequate explanations by the NIH for this failure to find the required evidence – whole virus in AIDS patients – for the past 30 years requires public scrutiny and a new team. Congress should bring their budget slashing approach to the HIV Vaccine Program where failure is always rationalized as success.
    It’s 27 years since Dr Gallo’s claim of “continuous production” of HIV particles from his special cell culture [1] and Secretary Heckler’s Press Conference in early 1984 where a vaccine was promised in a few years.
    Since this initial failure, the program has been maintained with whatever rationalizations are handy as HIV experts scramble for reasons why numerous HIV vaccine program failures have “plunged the effort into disarray”.[6] “(E)very failure has revealed tricks this virus uses, suggesting new ways to go after it.”[6] But it is an absolute nonsense that a virus, being nothing more than nucleic acids with a protein/membrane coating, can use “tricks”, or “mutate itself” in such a way as to escape immune surveillance.
    For example, it is said that:
    “When HIV-1 infects a permissive cell, integration occurs within a genomic context of endogenous retroviruses. In HIV-1-infected cells, the virus initiates numerous changes in the cellular environment to enhance its own expression, which also affect the endogenous retroviruses in the genome. Intracellular defense mechanisms are compromised by proteins like Vif, which works against cellular APOBEC proteins, helping to establish a productive HIV replication.”(18)
    Now obviously, a mutation that prevents translation of Vif means the intracellular defensive system will block HIV infection.
    So Dr. Fauci’s contradictory claims that “unnatural immunity” is essential for a “prevention toolkit” to end the global AIDS pandemic require this rebuttal. Of course, it’s not entirely his fault given the inbred research community that’s grown up around the HIV/AIDS problem. Dr Fauci, flying in the face of Dr. Montagnier’s comments that natural immunity can prevent or control HIV infection [14]; and as demonstrated in fact by “long term non-progressors”, confusingly combines the natural and synthetic. Where “effective vaccines have been developed, such as smallpox, measles, and poliovirus, there exists a natural model of protection: the immune response to the pathogen ultimately clears the microbe from the body and confers durable protection against reinfection.” However, measles vaccinations apparently require “booster shots” given measles epidemics in vaccinated populations, which calls into question his idea of “effective” and “durable protection”.
    But what counts with any infection is not a vaccine that just pumps up the quantity of antibodies, it’s a balanced immune response including a diverse repetroire of T-cells that will be produced within the healthy.[2] This was documented originally by Edward Kass even before subpopulations of lymphocytes were recgnized, “the decline in rates of certain disorders, correlated roughly with improving socioeconomic circumstances, is merely the most importan happening in the history of the health of man.”[3, pg 111] And: “It is important that this point be understood in its completeness…Our research efforts in dealing with (measles) …do not account for the linear decline in deaths during the past 100 years.”[3, pg 111] Figure 5 shows the “mean annual death rate from measles” in 1890 as roughly 1200 per million declining to <50 per million when the “virus” was “identified” in 1955.[3, pg 112]
    Furthermore, it is simply assumed that injection of crude virus preparations of the smallpox and polio vaccine eras were able to clear the viral agent from the body. Unknown at the time was the cell’s ability to “archive”, via endogenous reverse transcription, the genomes of RNA viruses like measles and polio within the nucleus. This is biochemically equivalent to the “persistence” of HIV infection as a so-called proviral form in the cell’s nucleus and paradoxically, may represent a protective effect. [4]
    It was biochemically proven for poliovirus by Spiegelman’s group in 1977 that polymerase enzyme for reverse transcription need not be specific to retroviral RNA template. (Just as the enzyme can transcribe a DNA template.) “We have recently reported that purified reverse transcriptase … of the avian myeloblastosis virus (AMV) can mediate the synthesis in high yield of virtually complete DNA complementary copies of poliovirus RNA.”[5]
    Could such a “natural DNA vaccine” shift from protective to pathogenic and produce the HIV markers? An alternate exlanation for “immunodominant epitopes” leading to AIDS is in order if lymphocytes and monocytes are overloaded with latent viral infections. According to Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis, “the cells of an individual immune system could be so highly infected with latent viruses that were immunologically distinct from one another as to result in an immune dysfunction resembling the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome”. [9, Abstract] Clearly if this is the case in AIDS, attempts at vaccinating against a single agent are doomed to fail.

    Dr Fauci and co-author state: “We have known since the mid-1980s that the body's natural immune response to HIV infection is completely inadequate. A ‘natural’ immune response that might adequately control HIV infection does not occur at all, occurs too rarely, is too weak, or is too slow to begin.” But why should this be the case in one particular retrovirus, “behaving” as no other?* Somehow it is supposed to take over a cell even when there’s no in vivo evidence for its presence in such quantities that would demonstrate this.

    Are these “instant explanations” [7, pg 139-140] of non-living entities, “intellectual lethargy” on the part of molecular biologists, a “caricature of Darwinism” where “adaptive value” is the magic potion to make acceptable the idea that “HIV causes AIDS” is a confirmed hypothesis without adequate “functional or mechanistic explanations” of this putative etiological pathway?

    Instead of an etiological explanation, considering the known biochemistry, Dr Fauci rests his case on “mathematical biology”.

    According to leading authorities in field: “Two assumptions are central to the theory: (1) mutation via reverse transcription during viral replication can generate viral strains resistant to neutralization by antibodies specific to earlier mutants in a particular host; (2) the virus can kill the CD4-positive lymphocytes that play a role in mounting an immunological attack directed at the virus.” [8]

    But many experiments on HIV-1 provide no validation of this model. According to published results, the consequence of genomic mutations is a defective virus with no ability to replicate. [11, 12]

    Nowak et al may be perpetuating the fallacy of “hyperevolutionism”, as explained by Stent (pg 139): “(T)here are nevertheless some intellectually noxious consequences of evolutionism, or rather hyperevolutionism, which have become manifest in our days. And the resurgence of Scientific Creationism will have done professional biologists a good turn if it causes them to reflect on these consequences. The responsibility for current excessive claims on behalf of evolutionism does not so much lie with the leading architects of modern evolutionary thought who, from Darwin onward, were generally aware of the epistemological status of their work, but with the epigones who failed to comprehend the intrinsic limitations of the theory. First, it would appear that the idea of natural selection as the grandest of all biological principles – a unifying “law” to which all explanations must ultimately refer – has been carried too far. Apparently it has been widely forgotten … that natural selection is foremost a diachronic or historical principle whose main explanatory value concerns biological processes that occur over periods of time that are long with respect to the life span of the individual organism, i.e. evolutionary phenomena. By contrast, natural selection has little or no standing as a synchronic principle that can be drawn on for explanations of biological processes that occur over periods of time that are short with respect to life spans, i.e. physiological phenomena.” He goes on to criticize teaching students that “‘adaptive value’ will explain everything.” [7]

    Many examples illustrating Stent’s point come from the world of animal eukaryotic parasites. They take on different forms (morphology and function appropriate to the specific host) that can be explained via physiological principles. They don’t “adapt” in an evolutionary sense in their dealings with animal immune systems, they change their form [17]

    Even if we don’t agree with Stent, an entity should be capable of at least replicating its own genome via a complete thermodynamic work cycle if it’s to evolve. (19) If this is not in evidence, and it seems to be the case with viruses, the data from HIV cell culture experiments should be interpreted physiologically “without the grandest of all biological principles”. Given full length endogenous retrovirus-like elements (RLE), constituting 1% human genome, and some with open reading frames (20); polymorphisms within human population of RLE can account for different “HIV strains” extracted as “primary isolates”. (21)

    So when looking at the accuracy of such metaphors as “evolving” and “life cycle” in describing retroviruses there’s no “historical principle” or completion of a “thermodynamic work cycle”. (22) How can viruses be subject to natural selection when they are fixed as non-autonomous components of living eukaryotic cells or crystals when outside of organisms? Of course there are “special properties” deserving investigation. And they cut both ways – cell-killing (which can be protective, e.g. cancer cell) and cell resurrection. (10).


    1. Unreal metaphor of species cannot be applied to entities that are not alive in the first place. Presumably the “quasi” in quasispecies conveys the “epistemological awareness” of the authors, but it is more likely an example of “hyperevolutionism” to say that viruses “adapt” to the immune system, or “evade it” based on mutations that most likely simply prevent replication (defective virus).

    2. “(C)oevolution and coexistence of many (HIV) viral mutants in one infected person” can have an alternate explanation. Since there’s no “co-evolution”, only physiology, consideration of multiple latent viral infections in AIDS is called for in terms of potential vaccines.(9) The never validated math model of “an increasing number of antigenically distinct (HIV) viral strains (that) may overwhelm the immune system of the host” [8], should be reappraised considering the Mullis and Root-Bernstein models. And Dr Fauci, hopefully, will gracefully retire to make way for new views – necessary after decades of failure.

    3. According to the first immunodominant epitope assumption of Nowak et al [8], it appears we have a case of Stent’s “hyperevolutionism”. If retroviruses are not organelles constrained by the cellular environment, the extraction of complete RNA dimeric genomes ex vivo (spinning to the 70S band) would be possible. This would be evidence for HIV’s alleged immunodominance in vivo, a quantity (10^10 genomes/ml = 200ng/ml) directly from patients. But since such an isolation directly from patients of HIV-1’s complete genome has never been reported, it’s likely that attempting this measurement has resulted in null experiments. Apparently, there’s no incentive in present NIH structure to maintain funding if a research group publishes such experiments.

    *HERVs are “dead” or “inert”(18), but somehow HIV, with major genes biochemically equivalent, is very much alive.
    1. Popovic … Gallo et al; Detection, Isolation and Continuous Production of Cytopathic Retroviruses (HTLV-III) from Patients with AIDS and Pre-AIDS. Science V224, (4 May 1984), pg 499
    2. Pantaleo et al; The qualitative nature of the primary immune response to HIV infection is a prognosticator of disease progression independent of the initial level of plasma viremia. PNAS, (January 7, 1997) vol. 94, 254-258. “This study reveals that the primary immune response to HIV is qualitatively different among individuals. It is highly likely that both host and virologic factors contribute to the generation of this diversity.” So healthy people don’t get sick from HIV. “Both vigorous humoral and cellular immune responses have been detected during primary infection, and the temporal relationship between the appearance of an HIV-specific immune response, down-regulation of viremia, and resolution of the acute viral syndrome has been clearly established.”

    3. E.H. Kass; Infectious Diseases and Social Change. Journal of Infectious Diseases, (January 1971), V123, 110 – 114)

    4. Klenerman et al; A Non-retroviral RNA Virus Persists in DNA Form. Nature, (20 November 1997) V390, 298-301. “These findings reveal a surprising and new pathway of interaction between exogenous RNA viruses and endogenous retroviral, and perhaps other host components, that results in the persistence of virally determined DNA.” And: “It may also be relevant for human persistent RNA viruses such as hepatitis C virus and measles.” The authors speculate on a novel form of acquired immunity: “The ability of antigen presenting cells such as macrophages and B cells to accumulate viral DNA genome thus potentially represents a naturally produced form of DNA vaccine. In this context, even low levels of major histocompatibility (MHC) peptide complexes on a few cells in lymphoid organs may be immunologically important. The mechanisms involved in the maintenance of immunological memory may be multiple, but persistence of viral template in stable DNA form may contribute to this.”

    5. Myers et al; PNAS, (July 1977) V74, 2840-2843

    6. David I Watkins; The Vaccine Search Goes On. Scientific American, November 2008, 69-76

    7. Montagu, ed; Science and Creationism (1984), Oxford University Press, pg 136

    8. Nowak, Martin A.; May, Robert M.; Anderson, Roy M.; The evolutionary dynamics of HIV-1 quasispecies and the development of immunodeficiency disease. AIDS. 4(11):1095-1104, November 1990

    9. Mullis, K; A hypothetical disease of the immune system that may bear some relation to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Genetica 95: 195-197, 1995.

    10. Villareal, L; Are viruses alive? Scientific American, December 2004

    11. R J Gorelick, S M Nigida Jr, J W Bess Jr, L O Arthur, L E Henderson, and A Rein; Noninfectious human immunodeficiency virus type 1 mutants deficient in genomic RNA. J Virol. 1990 July; 64(7): 3207-3211

    12. Tang et al; Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 N-Terminal Capsid Mutants That Exhibit Aberrant Core Morphology and Are Blocked in Initiation of Reverse Transcription in Infected Cells. Journal of Virology, October 2001, p. 9357-9366, Vol. 75, No. 19
    13. Margaret I. Johnston, Anthony S. Fauci; N Engl J Med 2011; 365:873-875September 8, 2011
    14. B. Leung Interview of L Montagnier; HIV Can Be Cleared Naturally – House of Numbers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKyIBYKoT20 (accessed 10/8/11)

    BL: Is treating oxidative stress one of the best ways to deal with the African AIDS epidemic?

    LM: I think this is one way to approach, to decrease the rate of transmission because I believe HIV, we can be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected, our immune system will get rid of the virus within a few weeks, if you have a good immune system; and this is also the problem of African people. Their nutrition is not very equilibrated, they are in oxidative stress, even if they are not infected with HIV; so their immune system doesn’t work well already. So it is prone, it can, you know, allow HIV to get in and persist.

    So there are many ways, which are not the vaccine, the magic name, the vaccine, many ways to decrease the transmission just by simple measures of nutrition, giving antioxidants – hygiene measures, fighting the other infections. So they are not spectacular, but they could, you know, decrease very well the epidemic to the level they are in occidental countries, western countries.


    16. R Anderson, S Wang, C Osiowy, and AC Issekutz; Activation of endothelial cells via antibody-enhanced dengue virus infection of peripheral blood monocytes. J. Virol., Jun 1997; 71: 4226 – 4232.

    17. S Baron (ed); Medical Microbiology (1986), Addison Wesley Publishing Company

    18. Garrison et al; T Cell Responses to Human Endogenous Retroviruses in HIV-1 Infection. PLoS Pathogens 2007;3(11). (accessed 10/10/11) http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.0030165

    19. Stuart Kaufmann; Investigations. Chapter 3: Autonomous Agents, 49 (2000), Oxford University Press. “An autonomous agent must be an autocatalytic system able to reproduce and able to perform one or more thermodynamic work cycles.”

    20. Villesen et al; Identification of endogenous retroviral reading frames in the human genome. Retrovirolgy. 2004 Oct 11;1(1):32

    21. Gallo et al; Frequent detection and isolation of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV-III) from patients with AIDS and at risk from AIDS. Science V224, (4 May 1984), 500-503

    22. Stephen J. Gould, Amy M. Booth, James E. K. Hildreth; The Trojan exosome hypothesis. PNAS, 2003 100 (19) 10592-10597

  2. Steve Stannard says:

    Yesterday evening (Monday 21 November) I attended the first screening – outside of the Lucerne Festival, the premier – of Joan Shenton’s and Andi Reiss’s film ‘Positively False – Birth of a Heresy’ at a small theatre in central South London, UK. About 100 people attended, including Joan and Andi, Neville Hodgkinson, Jad Adams and a number of long term activists in the ‘HIV’/AIDS dissidence community, as well as a significant number of people who have been ‘diagnosed’ as ‘HIV+’.

    While it was a fairly faithful archival reflection of the filmed history of ‘HIV’/AIDS dissidence, aside from those relatively new to the question for whom it would give much food for thought, it did not, for me, mark a step forward in the message it was giving.

    So why do I think my comments are relevant to this thread on your forum? Well, because the film gave great weight and time to the views of Peter Duesberg and that coterie of scientists who either agree with the harmless passenger virus theory, or simply fail to challenge it. Yes, there were a few snippets of archive footage with Eleni and Val, and an almost inconsequential few seconds of Anthony Brink – even when dealing with the South African history of Mbeki, and the Ekaterinburg Conference.

    In that sense, the film adds nothing to HoN, let alone ENV where the central issue of the lack of scientific evidence for the existence of ‘HIV’ and the centrality of that to whole hypothesis, was dealt with far more effectively and far more usefully.

    Immediately after the screening, the pre-announced ‘Q & A’ very nearly didn’t happen for seemingly ill-considered ‘social’ reasons. The pressure was very much ‘Let’s go to the bar’ (for the free drinks and ‘nibbles’) and reminded me of the comments here and elsewhere about the RA2009 conference and how ‘jolly’ it was to all meet together for drinks, chats and dinner.

    In the event, it was agreed to have ‘five minutes’, and, apart from an innocuous question about the next screening of the film, I decided to intervene with some observations about the fault-line in the film, and the issue of the refusal of Duesberg (and the Duesberg coterie) to engage in disciplined, ethical and honest debate on the issue of the existence of ‘HIV’. I made plain my belief that the failure to do that – especially since 1996, the last time Duesberg answered any questions about it – had held back the dissident movement, continued to hold it back, and merely served to aid the ‘HIV’/AIDS hypothesis and benefit the worldwide establishment.

    Joan Shenton had stated at the introduction to the film that she was sad and disappointed that Duesberg had felt unable to attend this first screening. It was clear to me, and I am sure many others there that, had Duesberg attended he would have had a choice of engaging in debate or walking out and for that reason I believe he did not attend.

    The response to what others described as my ‘statement’ was very interesting. Just 3 people sought to defend Duesberg but only on the basis of his early intervention in the 80s and his subsequent career and funding punishment. Those responses were short, thin and weak and my replies about the ethics that are supposed to apply to eminent scientists seemed to be accepted.

    It was immediately after that when a small stream of people – including Neville Hodgkinson – approached me to thank me for raising the question, how important it was that such an ‘Elephant in the room’ issue stops being ignored, and that they agreed it was probably the sole issue on which the movement had been derailed for so long. None of these people were previously known to me. Neville Hodgkinson made the point to me that he was glad, and thought it right, that the Perth Group had disassociated itself from RA, and I think that unsolicited comment was important for what it said – RA has no scientific credibility. I had been careful in the post screening discussion to avoid any mention of RA specifically, or David Crowe. References to them came out naturally without any coaxing from me.

    In discussions I had with Joan Shenton, on the issue of Perth Vs Duesberg’s ‘harmless passenger virus’ theory, she made the (to me) astonishing statement that she felt David Crowe was the key to resolving the issue, that Crowe was a gargantuan figure of importance in any success on breaking the ‘HIV’ theory of AIDS.

    We had a brief discussion on my calm contention that, on the basis of the Parenzee case and the problems Janine Roberts had with him (alongside many other cases of which there was a documentary record) Crowe, to the contrary, was a major obstacle and a person whose honesty and ethics simply don’t bear a judgement less than very harsh. I implored her to put aside her emotions around the tone and (justifiable) anger of Anthony Brink – which she cited as the sole basis for attacks on Crowe – and look at the proven documentary record that show lies and deceit, manipulation of multiple people and multiple actions in breach of RA Board decisions.

    I don’t hold out much hope that the emotional ties that some people have with Crowe or Duesberg et al will not continue to stop them adopting a position that is a lot more honest and ethical in focussing on the wanton destruction caused by the ‘HIV’/AIDS, and away from their ‘friendships’.

    Joan and several others could do a lot worse than study the history of the actions and words of someone like Israel-Palestine conflict activist and political analyst Norman Finkelstein, and recognise that our ‘friends’ will often need to be addressed with the same harsh truth that we also subject our adversaries.

  3. Administrator says:

    Steve, thanks for the review of both the screening and some of the participants. One could argue that Shenton and Reiss are under no obligation to move the Perth/Duesberg discussion forward, and probably don’t feel it’s the right thing to focus on in a movie that is aimed at a new audience.

    Any historian of dissidence must decide for him or herself what to emphasise, and it seems that the story of Duesberg’s heroism and fall from a great height is irresistible to anyone with a journalistic instinct. The proportion of Duesberg to Perth in these accounts reflects the narrator’s choice of the human story of an archetypal dissenter over the history of the dissenting idea itself. Because Duesberg is a perfect canvas on which to draw a noble martyr, the story-telling historian feels the need, for the sake of the Good Story, to attribute the dissenting idea to him as well, even if it means the wrong dissenting idea. Thus he becomes the central figure in every respect.

    It is true that many dissidents have emotional ties to Duesberg, Crowe and RA, but alas, the ties are not only emotional. There is an advantage in terms of career and fortune in siding with RA and working to make the organisation strong. That is also the case with Joan Shenton, who is benefitting economically from her choices. As far as her reasons for not looking at the documentary evidence or the naked arguments, but using the dishonest and cowardly escape of focusing on someone’s “tone”, see our recent post “Lessons in Dissent”, in particular this part:

    “Now, Christine Johnson is supposedly an intelligent woman, if she really made her decision in this matter of untold historical consequence based on whether “Anthony got mad at her”, what does that tell you about her?”

  4. Steve Stannard says:

    Thanks for that reply. I think you are right in that the decision made to simply chronicle the history of the filmatic record was their choice. But given Joan’s affiliations (and the fact the film was funded by Christian Fiala) it was no surprise it emphasised the noble martyr in Peter Duesberg.

    I did indeed read the ‘Lessons in Dissent’ thread, and shortly after I attempted to engage in some discussion about it with Ricci Davis, and separately Christine Johnson, but I am still none the wiser about the ‘facts’ (if any) behind what is suggested.

    Your point about the cowardly, and frankly dishonest nature of the use of someone’s ‘tone’ as a reason for making a decision (or avoiding one) is well made.

  5. Administrator says:

    Steve, who knows maybe the Christine Johnson story really was about Joan Shenton, but the “facts” behind it are wholly irrelevant. The only thing that’s important to understand, and which Ricci Davis apparently doesn’t understand, is that the discussion has now been diverted from the facts of the case to one about the “tone” and whether one agrees with it.

    Resulting gossip and speculation like was this or that person put off by this or that person’s “tone” is a transparent attempt in the same vein at accusing Anthony Brink of being counter-productive to his own cause. The end result is the same, we continue to talk about Brink’s “tone” as if it were the only thing of interest. You mentioned Norman Finkelstein, here is Chomsky explaining how it works with reference to Finkelstein and Dershowitz, start at 2:47:


    The primary architects of this tactic are David Crowe and Celia Farber, assisted by Henry Bauer, who was the first to publicly advocate not even opening mail from Brink and Chris Rawlins or engage with them in any other way in protest against their “tone”. As you probably know, Chris Rawlins’ style is quite different from Brink’s (as is Gene Semon” or Eleni’s or mine), so it is easy to see that the “tone” is not the only reason why the RA top doesn’t want people to read what any of us has to say.

    In “Lessons in Dissent” we are comparing with the OWS movement, so that everybody can see who uses such tactics of diversion. Charlie Gasparino of Fox News Business, for instance, claims that he has been told that if you get close to an OWS protester the stench is so unbearable that you cannot stay and listen to them. That’s basically Bauer’s argument right down to the “tone”: Don’t listen to the message if the messenger is disagreeable to you.


    And just as with Bauer, it builds on the systematic focus on how disorderly and counter-productive the OWS are, defecating everywhere and making the ordinary tax payer foot the bill.

    Even the claim that Brink’s ire is misdirected for personal reasons or because he is tactically inept finds its analogy in Wall Street subservient pundits advising the protesters to occupy Washington instead – because Big Government is our real common enemy, you know?

    Then of course there’s the “tone” of the protesters: marxist, anarchist, amorphous (no concrete or unified demands). violent etc. That alone tells you you shouldn’t listen to them, even if you can cope with the smell.

    The attempts by the established parties and organisations to co-opt the protesters and turn them into an energizer for the base, vote-collectors, is paralleled by Crowe’s unceasing efforts to harness the Perth Group and their sympathisers, including denying them the right to disassociate from the RA party.

    I agree with you that Joan Shenton’s productions are predictable propaganda for Rethinking AIDS and Duesberg, and that given the circumstances she really doesn’t have much of a choice. When you’re a member of a party you toe the line. She was also involved in a documentary about RA Oakland that was transparent propaganda for Crowe and Duesberg. The sandwich being served was this:

    Loaf 1: Summarised by Roberto Giraldo explaining that we (the dissident scientists) all love each other even if we have our differences on the existence of the virus. The Perth Group is not to be found in the crowd surrounding him.

    Meat: Duesberg, Duesberg and Duesberg, garnished with some more Duesberg.

    Loaf 2: Hanson, representing the dissident on the street (as opposed to the dissident scientists), with a message from the trenches that he doesn’t care too much for the science, especially not the current debate whether HIV exists or not. All he cares about is Duesberg’s book and that good old gut feeling that kept him off AZT.


    We don’t begrudge the partisanship per se, only the hypocrisy of those who claim that they’re neutral, pro-multiplicity, apolitical, too grown-up to sink to Brink’s level, you know, the familiar litany of wishy-washiness, while at the same time actively participating in the endless stream of anti-Perth attacks, however subtle and well-mannered these good people might appear to themselves.

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