In 2008, John P. Moore Ph.D. and Seth Kalichman Ph.D. joined an unknown blogger who posted this cynical obituary after the death of Christine Maggiore, who died from complications related to an adverse drug reaction. Before her body cooled, Kalichman, Moore and a who’s who of pharmaceutically-funded activists parroted false claims that Maggiore’s death was a deserving end of a prominent “AIDS denialist.” An Internet search will locate thousands of messages, news stories and reports that assert (among other things) that Maggiore and her baby would be alive today, “if only she taken life-saving AIDS medications.” To Kalichman, the actual cause of her death wasn’t important.
Before I met Christine Maggiore, Celia Farber and Peter Duesberg in 2008, I’d never heard of the controversy surrounding HIV or AIDS. As a Marine Corps and LAPD veteran, I assumed that government officials and researchers were working on ”the epidemic.” But within days of being asked to investigate allegations against Farber and Duesberg, I was impressed by the boldness and belligerence of their accusers who tried to pressure me into ending my investigation.
This marked the first time in my career that witnesses who claimed serious crimes had occurred didn’t want the crimes investigated. For the accusers, the allegations were so egregious that proof was entirely unnecessary – and those who sought proof somehow became as guilty as the accused targets. It reminded me of my mother’s stories about Berlin and Hitler’s rise during the 1930s. When my grandfather (German WWI vet, 1932/1936 Olympic athlete) refused to join the Nazi Party, his family was soon characterized as “Jew-lovers” and “enemies of the state.” My mother returned to Brazil after one of her uncles was severely beaten.
The Internet provides men like Kalichman a virtual place where targeted individuals can be dragged across a virtual landscape, stripped of their virtual clothing and hung from a virtual tree, from where the world can behold the virtual depravity of their virtual disease. And unlike the rope and trees of the 20th century, the Internet provides a place where targets suffer a virtual death whenever someone stumbles onto the website. When used in this way, the Internet provides an environment where reputations can be distorted, mutilated and assassinated without firing a bullet, dirtying one’s hands or hearing a scream. The Internet is where anyone with the right disposition can be a sociopath.
Despite 30+ years and thousands of criminal and civil investigations with the Los Angeles Police Department and as a private investigator, I have never witnessed a larger, better-funded or well-coordinated effort to target individuals and silence free speech. I’ve found that the apoplectic hysteria and hate is typically generated from organizations and individuals (like Kalichman) that receive millions of dollars in pharmaceutical and/or government funding. And after hours of interviews, visits and reading, I’ve found that those targeted and defamed as “crazy” are much more coherent and credible than their accusers. But don’t take my word for it - read one of Farber’s reports or visit her website (or those of Duesberg and Kalichman) and decide for yourself.
Having occasionally visited Kalichman’s blog and comments since 2009, I had no time or inclination to concern myself about his publications. Nevertheless, after witnessing Kalichman’s antics during a recent court case, I purchased several copies for distribution to OMSJ’s associates. Weeks later, I compiled a draft that documented not only the routine ad hominem attacks by Kalichman, but insight that unexpectedly opened a window into Kalichman’s attitudes and behavior as an academic - along with the attitudes and behaviors of his associates and funding sources at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
If not for this window, OMSJ would not have wasted time with this review. Although it focuses on one book written by one NIH-funded propagandist about “AIDS Denialists,” we also identify contemporary attitudes, behaviors and tactics that are known all-too-well by clinicians, researchers, academics, students and others who are foolish enough to confront corrupt institutions with uncomfortable questions.
I have not included the names of those involved in this review to spare them the tiresome crank telephone calls, email spam and fake stories about them on pharmaceutically-funded hate blogs. I am grateful to those who completed our review. My name is posted because, after 32 years, I am accustomed to the contempt of psychopaths and felons.
Clark Baker, Director
“…when statements and assertions are not supported by hard evidence and where attempts to unearth hard evidence lead in a circle back to the starting point — particularly when everyone is quoting everyone else — then we must reject the story as spurious.”Anthony C. Sutton Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution (1974)
Response to Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy Seth Kalichman (2009) Springer, New York
Psychologist Seth Kalichman’s book Denying AIDS (2009) is the latest in a quarter-century effort to silence the controversy surrounding claims that HIV causes AIDS. Rewriting the history of science, Denying AIDS describes an Orwellian world where “There are no science-based disputes. There are no contradictory data. There are no opposing studies.” In essence, Kalichman’s prescription for what to believe about AIDS requires humanity to simply trust authority and majority opinion—even when manufactured. Given this formula, “(A) public debate on whether HIV causes AIDS… will likely never happen (because) scientists simply do not see anything to debate about when it comes to HIV causing AIDS.”
(Unless otherwise noted, all quotations are from Denying AIDS)
But if Kalichman (and his associates) really believe this, why did he feel compelled to write Denying AIDS?
MAJORITY, CONSENSUS, FAITH, BELIEF
Kalichman claims that a majority – also known as consensus – believes that HIV 1) exists, 2) attacks cells and 3) causes AIDS. Because this is what he and others believe, he implies that his readers should also believe it. Belief is a theological attribute that requires faith, not evidence. Faith in what groups believe has nothing to do with science or evidence.
Of consensus, Michael Crichton wrote:
(T)he work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus… There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.
An examination of Kalichman’s “majority” reveals that the consensus is comprised of:
1. A minority of clinicians and activists who profit from the largess of AIDS funding, pharmaceutical bribes and kickbacks;
2. An ambivalent, acquiescent, but declining group that has begun to grasp the widespread corruption that permeates the pharmaceutical industry and the marketing of HIV, which is offset by;
3. An increasing number of skeptics.
THE “D” WORD
Like Kalichman’s blog, Denying AIDS relies heavily on the words DENIAL, DENIALISM and DENIALIST. The writer and his cohorts use the “D-word” to dehumanize his targets, the same way that religious sects condemn skeptics as heretics and apostates.
Kalichman relies on the specter of AIDS-Denialists and Denialism to dehumanize those who question alleged HIV co-discoverer Robert Gallo’s dubious integrity as somehow denying the existence of AIDS itself. Despite these often-repeated claims, targets like Peter Duesberg Ph.D. do not question the existence of AIDS. That co-factors like malnutrition, septic water, disease, environmental conditions, drug use and self-destructive behavior can degrade a body’s ability to protect itself from infection and cause death is well understood by a majority of experts who include HIV discoverer Luc Montagnier MD.
But when used among casual observers, the “D-word” epithet is intended to dehumanize Gallo skeptics as flat-earthers, ufologists, Klansmen, Eugenicists, racists, homophobes, and other socially-unacceptable groups. Because most people fear the stain that comes with those associations – and are often socially, politically, and professionally unprepared to defend themselves against the epithet – they tend to distance themselves, further isolating the intended target – the objective that Kalichman’s associates are paid to perform under an academic pretext.
Psychologist David Livingstone Smith writes:
Dehumanization has the function of decommissioning our moral sentiments. In dehumanizing others, we exclude them from the circle of moral obligation. We can then kill, oppress, and enslave them with impunity. Taking the life of a dehumanized person becomes of no greater consequence than crushing an insect under one’s boot…
This tactic is consistent with Rule 13 of Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”:
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it… the opposition must be singled out as the target and “frozen.”…
… any target can always say, “Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?” When you “freeze the target,” you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments… Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the “others” come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target…
One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” (pps.127-134)
In the Forward, Kalichman’s South African counterpart Nicoli Nattrass writes that “AIDS denialism has emerged as a genuine menace to global health.” Kalichman agrees, adding that “the movement grows stronger in every country.” It is the international influence of the growing number of scientists and other professionals questioning the belief “HIV causes AIDS” that the book was intended to counter.
Kalichman takes on the role of spiritual guide – a theological arbiter of what readers should and should not believe. Denying AIDS implies that those who believe what the “majority” believes are intelligent, virtuous, pious and good, while those who question those beliefs are mentally deranged heretics who deserve censorship, imprisonment and condemnation.
In 1989 – four years after Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Margaret Heckler declared that Robert Gallo had found the “probable cause” of AIDS – the National Academy of Sciences published Prof. Peter Duesberg’s landmark paper, questioning the alleged correlation between HIV causes AIDS. By then, HIV had already become a billion dollar marketing scheme that funded the pharmaceutical industry, the gay movement and the HHS.
The magnitude of the controversy required special training to silence the critics.
SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY & PROPAGANDA
Two years after OMSJ identified the investigator who cleared Robert Gallo of misconduct charges (Dissecting a Discovery ) as a part-time security guard and filter salesman, the NIH assigned Seth Kalichman Ph.D., who teaches social psychology at the University of Connecticut.
Psychologist Gordon Allport describes “social psychology” as a discipline that uses scientific methods “to understand and explain how the thought, feeling and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of other human beings” (1985).
While Plato referred to the idea of the “crowd mind” and concepts such as social loafing and social facilitation were introduced in the late-1800s, it wasn’t until after World War II that research on social psychology began in earnest. The horrors of the Holocaust led researchers to study the effects of social influence, conformity and obedience.
The U.S. government also became interested in applying social psychological concepts to influencing citizens…
Social psychologists are trained in the process of inducing change in people. Called “social influence,” they explore the effectiveness of direct orders vs. obedience, compliance and conformity to norms.
Conformity is defined as a “change in a person’s behavior or opinions as a result of real or imagined pressure from a person or a group of people.” (p.19, Aronson) Conformity requires individuals to act at odds with one’s beliefs or perceptions because others act that way, while anti-conformists act contrary to the desires and expectations as a reaction to the others (e.g. defiance to parents).
Privately self-aware individuals are also less-likely to conform, which is why Kalichman’s targets have found their way into his book and blogs. Selected targets are more likely to modify their behavior when they read negative comments about themselves. In this way, pressure is applied against targets that typically prefer to avoid rejection, ridicule, and embarrassment. Although these methods are not always effective on all individuals, they work well among a majority of individuals who are made publicly self-aware. Most children learn these dynamics in grade-school.
Leonard Doob was a pioneering figure in the field social psychology and propaganda. In his book Public Opinion and Propaganda (1949), Doob wrote:
A psychological approach to public opinion and propaganda is justified since both involve human behavior; this approach reduces the complexities to a common denominator. First are discussed the present status of psychology and the major principles of social behavior, the latter in terms of stimulus-response, personality, drive, reward and punishment, habits, attitudes and knowledge. Public opinion is then defined, its cultural background analyzed, and its behavior described in terms of such mechanisms as consistency, rationalization, displacement, projection.
Social psychologists like Kalichman are trained to reduce the complexities (in this case, the historical record) to a common denominator (HIV causes AIDS). Doob describes stimulus-response of conditioning (i.e. Pavlov’s Dogs), personality, drive, reward and punishment, habits, attitudes and knowledge. In this way, public opinion can be defined, its cultural background analyzed, and its behavior described in terms of such mechanisms as consistency, rationalization, displacement, projection.
Once these factors and mechanisms are understood, readers can easily identify how and why Kalichman’s book was written.
As an historical and scientific examination of HIV and its alleged causation of AIDS, Denying AIDS is incompetent drivel - as intellectually inert as Kalichman’s blog. But as a propaganda device, Denying AIDS is a sophisticated tool that can be applied to coerce targets and groups that are unaware of the author’s training and intent.
Unfortunately for the industry Kalichman represents, Denying AIDS provides a window into the author’s tortured logic and troubled mind – and betrays the deep concern of his funding sources at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In the Preface, Kalichman dates the beginning of his “strange journey into HIV/AIDS denialism” to an email exchange with Professor Brennan-Jones.
My reaction was one of absolute outrage. I mean I was really angry. I was in an emotional upheaval. I surprised everyone around me, including myself, by my seemingly irrational reaction. How could someone I knew to be intelligent, well-trained as a scientist at a respectable university and in a position of influence over college students endorse a book [Duesberg’s Inventing the AIDS Virus (1996)] that everyone surely knows is outdated, biased, and of little more value than that worthy of a doorstop?
Throughout the book, the author’s anxiety does not abate:
What is it about denialists that can push a scientist out of objectivity into a fit of rage? … In a personal sense, denialists are insulting our integrity and the value of our life’s work.
Kalichman’s “outrage,” “emotional upheaval,” and “irrational reaction” at those who question AIDS dogma betrays his feigned objectivity. His behavior, typical of dishonest individuals when caught lying, demonstrates a lack of confidence in his own beliefs about AIDS. Mathematicians aren’t “outraged” by formulae. There is no “emotional upheaval” among professional engineers. The idea that flat-earthers would induce an “irrational reaction” among NASA scientists is absurd. So why do difficult questions provoke anger among unfaithful spouses, gangsters, delinquents, government officials and defenders of the pharmaceutical industry?
As a social psychologist trained in the field of gaining compliance with non-compliant self-identifying targets, it is hard to imagine why Kalichman would describe his reflexive emotional response unless he was, in fact, professionally and personally compromised.
Like veteran policemen and infantrymen, scientists understand how and why psychological detachment is often “mission-critical.” We understand that those who succumb to emotions are more prone to abandon plans and procedures necessary to maintain unit integrity and accomplish the mission. We prefer pilots, policemen and surgeons who are not subject to “outrage,” “emotional upheaval,” or “irrational reactions.”
If Kalichman is secure in his knowledge and beliefs, it’s hard to imagine what triggers his emotional responses. If he was honest, he would welcome the opportunity to discuss the issues rationally, without ad hominem attacks. If he was honest, he would welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the superiority of his position. If he had confidence and integrity, questions would not render him intellectually or emotionally vulnerable.
His admission suggests that he and his associates are concerned that they may be wrong about AIDS. Kalichman admits that such an unthinkable revelation would mean that their life’s work had been a complete waste of time, energy and lives – a fraud. He addresses the broader implications of being wrong about AIDS:
If HIV does not cause AIDS it would mean that thousands of scientists, researchers, medical doctors, and public health officials—essentially the entire biomedical science and public health enterprise—had conspired to maintain a lie for 25 years.
Such a scandal would be unprecedented only in terms of its magnitude. Tuskegee, Guatemala, Pellagra and forced sterilization are just a few of the many government-supported medical scandals of the last century – typically addressed by hand-wringing officials who solemnly acknowledge misdeeds years after the victims and suspects are beyond the reach of a competent court. If someone (or the media) had asked questions about those operations back then, it is likely that someone like Kalichman had been hired to discredit them as delusional troublemakers.
For an industry that paid $10 billion to settle thousands of criminal and civil complaints since 2009, such a scandal is not as unthinkable as it sounds.
FROM RESEARCH TO JUNK SCIENCE
In 1972, Congress established the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) to serve the legislative branch as an independent source of information and analysis about complex scientific and technical issues. OTA construed health technology broadly, including “all elements of medical practice that are knowledge-based, including hardware (equipment and facilities) and software (knowledge skills)… the set of techniques, drugs, equipment, and procedures used by health care professionals in delivering medical care to individuals and the systems within which such care is delivered.”
By 1978, the OTA produced a shattering report on the state of scientific medicine, Assessing the Efficacy and Safety of Medical Technologies. The report stated:
“Evidence indicates that many technologies are not adequately assessed before they enjoy widespread use… Many technologies which have been used extensively have later been shown to be of limited usefulness”…and ” … only 10 to 20 percent of all procedures currently used in medical practice have been shown to be efficacious by controlled trial.”
The report implied that 80% to 90% of all routinely-performed procedures are unproven – a conclusion that implicates technologies like flow cytometry that use immunophenotyping to identify antigen markers on various cell populations.
The U.S. News and World Report issue of 23 November 1987 raised further questions about HIV tests:
“With public health officials and politicians thrashing out who should be tested for HIV, the accuracy of the test itself has been ignored. A study last month by the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment found that HIV tests can be very inaccurate indeed. For groups at very low risk – people who do not use IV drugs or have sex with gay or bisexual men – 9 in 10 positive findings are called false positives, indicating infection where none exists.”
OTA’s warning continues to be ignored by the medical and scientific communities and the politicians, agencies and regulators that enable them. In 1996, Congress disbanded the OTA, leading to the systematic deregulation of the various medical technology industries.
The OTA’s demise closed a low-budget item that gave Americans too much information to make informed choices. It paved the way for the establishment of a medical and scientific knowledge monopoly that is now permeated by corruption and fraud (junk science).
Kalichman’s anxiety extends far beyond personal distress. The integrity (perhaps even the existence) of the institutional network of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and 7 other operating divisions would be in jeopardy. With a budget nearly twice the size of the US Military, these agencies are simply too big to fail.
The presumption that HIV causes AIDS was the unfortunate product of election-year maneuvering by the Reagan Administration to prevent the Democrats from making AIDS a campaign issue. The strategy worked famously, (and disastrously) leaving a deadly legacy. AIDS dogma was born at a press conference on April 23, 1984, and has been propagated and defended by the government at any cost ever since.
Kalichman’s NIH grants, worth more than $25 million, represent part of a well-funded attempt to keep American taxpayers, who have contributed over $370 billion to AIDS over three decades, from discovering that the government’s AIDS dogma is wrong.
Denying AIDS—an impassioned, though trepidatious, apologia for AIDS dogma—plays a part in the cover-up by insisting: “AIDS science leaves no room for musing that denialists could possibly be right in proclaiming that HIV does not cause AIDS.”
The belief that HIV causes AIDS is so entrenched that it doesn’t take much imagination to see what would happen if Americans started to question it. Uncontained, the apostasy would spread, leaving no institution of government safe from scrutiny. That’s why Helene Gayle of the CDC admitted to Harvey Bialy at the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel in 2000 that if the dissidents were right about AIDS, the US government could never admit it. (Harvey informed David Rasnick and others who attended the AIDS Panel about his discussion with Helene Gayle.)
Silencing critics of the Government’s AIDS dogma began 25 years ago.
On April 28, 1987, less than two months after publication of Professor Peter Duesberg’s first paper critical of Gallo and AIDS, a memo was sent from the office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) headed MEDIA ALERT. A staff member ominously noted that “the article apparently went through the normal pre-publication process and should have been flagged at NIH.” Copies were addressed to the Secretary, Under Secretary, Assistant Secretary of Health, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Chief of Staff, Surgeon General, and The White House. The staffer pointed out the threat to the government:
This obviously has the potential to raise a lot of controversy (If this isn’t the virus, how do we know the blood supply is safe? How do we know anything about transmission? How could you all be so stupid and why should we ever believe you again?) and we need to be prepared to respond. I have already asked NIH public affairs to start digging into this.
The NIH issued a parallel memo the same day. Its author was the NIH public relations officer Florence Karlsberg who addressed it to top NIH officials: “I want to alert you about some incidents that have occurred in the last 24 hours.” She listed several public inquiries about Duesberg and emphasized, “DHHS is quite anxious and is awaiting feedback re NIH/NCI response to, and strategy for, this provocative situation.” Karlsberg recommended creating a response team consisting of NIH epidemiologist William Blattner, Dani Bolognesi, Anthony Fauci, and Robert Gallo to deal with the controversy. “Perhaps the epidemiologic approach might be more productive in countering Peter’s assertions.”
Within two days, Blattner drafted a three-page memo. In it he marshaled a list of evasions and pieces of circumstantial evidence that would later become the standard defense of the HIV hypothesis used by virtually all scientists and government agencies. By June, he had reworked a third draft as a potential press release. But the memo was never released to the public. Instead, the NIH and other officials adopted a policy of silence, hoping to discourage further interest by the media.
However, by December 1987, the strategy was clearly failing. In another internal NIH memo, Karlsberg wrote a fellow staffer that the Blattner memo “was not pursued in June because Paul [an NIH staffer] suggested at that time that this project be put aside temporarily—at least until necessary.” She continued:
Alas—in the past few months, inquires have been mounting… . The calls and interest are mounting. Perhaps it’s time to review and activate the attached STATEMENT.
The statement, signed “Florence” and entitled “HIV: The Cause of AIDS,” contained at the bottom a handwritten response, initialed “PVN” that read: “I guess it is time to get off the dime. This isn’t going away.”
The Blattner memo was apparently revised and expanded and the names Robert Gallo and Howard Temin were added as co-authors. Although the work was not identified as the product of NIH planning, it was published in July of 1988 as one-half of the debate with Peter Duesberg in Science magazine. That was to be the last time the AIDS establishment would publicly engage Duesberg in debate. Heightened controversy, after all, might backfire on the NIH, attracting attention rather than discouraging media interest. It became policy to neutralize Duesberg. Despite millions of dollars in cancer research grants, he never again received an NIH grant and was systematically prevented from publishing in major scientific journals.
On November 17, 1988, John Maddox, editor of the influential science journal Nature, who rejected numerous submissions from Duesberg on HIV and AIDS, wrote to him:
I am glad you correctly infer from my letter that I am in many ways sympathetic to what you say. I did not ask you to revise the manuscript, however. The danger, as it seems to me, is that the dispute between you and what you call the HIV community will mislead and distress the public in the following way. You point to a number of ways in which the HIV hypothesis may be deficient. It would be a rash person who said that you are wrong, but…if we were to publish your paper, we would find ourselves asking people to believe that what has been said so far about the cause of AIDS is a pack of lies.
In 1993, John Maddox commissioned a commentary in Nature refuting the hypothesis that drugs cause AIDS. The piece described 215 patients each of which had used drugs, all exhibiting AIDS-defining diseases. In view of this, Duesberg sent a letter to Nature arguing that the perfect correlation between drug use and AIDS confirmed, rather than refuted, the drug hypothesis. Maddox censored the letter and wrote an editorial “Has Duesberg a Right of Reply?” Maddox began:
What is to be thought of a science journal that publishes attacks on the opinions of a scientist, but which never (or hardly ever) publishes his replies? On the face of things, this is a serious breach of journalistic ethics—and it would be legally prevented by the legislation on the press perpetually being considered by the British House of Commons. Yet that is how Nature has behaved to Dr. Peter Duesberg, the virologist from Berkeley who is identified with the view that HIV does not cause AIDS. How can such intolerance be justified? … [W]hy scorn Duesberg’s demand of the research community for answers to his proper questions?
For the editorial, Maddox had to work hard in consultations with others to come up with the preposterous reason for silencing Duesberg:
Duesberg has not been asking questions, or raising questions he believes should be answered. … [Thus] Duesberg has forfeited the right to expect answers by his rhetorical technique. … Duesberg will not be alone in protesting that this is merely a recipe for suppressing challenges to received wisdom.
In short, Maddox said in his editorial that Duesberg’s questions about HIV were proper and cogent. But, in a bizarre move, he concluded that Duesberg did not really want his colleagues to take the questions seriously because they were unanswerable rhetorical questions. Reeking of the Holy Inquisition, Maddox ended the editorial asking Duesberg to confess his sins if he hoped to get a future article published in Nature: “it will if possible be published—not least in the hope and expectation that his next offering will be an admission of recent error.
In an editorial on January 19, 1995, Maddox promised to lift the censorship to give “Duesberg and his associates an opportunity to comment” on two Nature studies that in his opinion prove the HIV-AIDS hypothesis.
Despite this journal’s severe line, some months ago, on Duesberg’s right of reply to critics of his position, it is now in the general interest that his and his associates’ views on the new developments should be made public. Duesberg was not available to take a single telephone call one day last week, nor able to return it, but one of his associates appeared to welcome the idea of a comment on the articles by Wei et al. and Ho et al. That will be eagerly awaited and will be published with the usual provisos: that it is not libelous or needlessly rude, that it pertains to the new results and that it should not be longer than it needs to be.
However, Maddox, as editor of Nature, did not live up to his commitments.
In 1988, the major media were already learning of the controversy over HIV and were becoming curious. But at this early date, the official war on dissent turned to more covert tactics of quietly keeping the media in line.
The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour sent camera crews to interview Duesberg in early 1988, planning to do a major segment on the controversy.
But when the February 8 broadcast date arrived, the feature had been pulled. Duesberg found out AIDS officials had heard of its imminent airing and had intercepted it. A few months later, the program aired a short, tepid segment, with half the time now taken up by Anthony Fauci attempting to discredit Duesberg (rather than stating and supporting his own arguments).
Meanwhile, the ABC daily program Good Morning America also discovered the story and arranged to fly Duesberg to New York for an in-studio interview. He arrived Sunday night, February 20, and was booked into the Barbizon Hotel. But that very evening he received a call from the studio to announce that something had come up, and the interview was canceled. The next morning, Duesberg saw Fauci via satellite filling his time slot and discussing every aspect of AIDS except the controversy. This scenario repeated itself twice with CNN.
A plan to interview Duesberg during the 1991 International AIDS Conference in Florence on national Italian television was also spiked by Anthony Fauci, among others, as revealed by Bianchi and Rossi in a letter to Nature.
CNN’s Larry King Live program scheduled a half-hour satellite interview with Duesberg on August 6, 1992. Suspicious that Fauci would intervene again, Duesberg called the producer a few hours before live broadcast. Sure enough, Fauci took his place once again, this time accompanied by the president of amFAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research).
Duesberg has appeared on major national television only twice. The first time was on March 28, 1993, on the ABC magazine program Day One. Even in this case, according to one producer, Fauci tried to get the show canceled days before broadcast. On April 4, 1994, Duesberg got his second chance to make his case on national television. This time it would be on Ted Koppel’s Nightline, which had promised would be “Fauci-proof.” Nobel laureate Kary Mullis was hired to interview Duesberg. But when the program finally aired several months after taping, there was Fauci again. After fifteen minutes of taped interview of dissidents (Duesberg, Mullis and others), Fauci took over the balance of time remaining debating Robert Root-Bernstein live on cofactors of HIV.
Kalichman says in the Preface of Denying AIDS, “I do not view myself as an anti-denialist waging war against denialism.” While that is debatable, his colleagues have openly declared war on critics of AIDS dogma. Kalichman associate John P. Moore Ph.D. of Cornell University said in this email to one skeptic:
This IS a war, there ARE no rules, and we WILL crush you, one at a time, completely and utterly (at least the more influential ones; foot-soldiers like you aren’t worth bothering with).
John Moore and Nathan Geffen of Treatment Action Campaign of South Africa have called for AIDS denialists to be put on trial.
In 2000, Mark Wainberg of McGill University ranted in a film interview:
As far as I’m concerned, and I hope this view is adequately represented, those who attempt to dispel the notion that HIV is the cause of AIDS are perpetrators of death. And I would very much for one like to see the Constitution of the United States and similar countries have some means in place that we can charge people who are responsible for endangering public health with charges of endangerment and bring them up on trial. I think that people like Peter Duesberg belong in jail. Someone who would perpetrate the notion that HIV is not the cause of AIDS is perhaps motivated by sentiments of pure evil, that such a person may perhaps really want millions of people in Africa and elsewhere to become infected by this virus and go on to die of it. And, who knows, maybe there’s a hidden agenda behind the thoughts of a madman. Maybe all psychopaths everywhere have ways of getting their views across that are sometimes camouflaged in subterfuge. But I suggest to you that Peter Duesberg is probably the closest thing we have in this world to a scientific psychopath.
The “war” extends to intimidating a head of state.
On April 3, 2000, South African President Thabo Mbeki sent an open letter to world leaders on AIDS in Africa. Some excerpts:
We will not, ourselves, condemn our own people to death by giving up the search for specific and targeted responses to the specifically African incidence of HIV-AIDS.
I make these comments because our search for these specific and targeted responses is being stridently condemned by some in our country and the rest of the world as constituting a criminal abandonment of the fight against HIV-AIDS.
Some elements of this orchestrated campaign of condemnation worry me very deeply.
It is suggested, for instance, that there are some scientists who are ‘dangerous and discredited’ with whom nobody, including ourselves, should communicate or interact.
Not long ago, in our own country, people were killed, tortured, imprisoned and prohibited from being quoted in private and in public because the established authority believed that their views were dangerous and discredited.
We are now being asked to do precisely the same thing that the racist apartheid tyranny we opposed did, because, it is said, there exists a scientific view that is supported by the majority, against which dissent is prohibited.
The scientists we are supposed to put into scientific quarantine include Nobel Prize Winners, Members of Academies of Science and Emeritus Professors of various disciplines of medicine!
Scientists, in the name of science, are demanding that we should cooperate with them to freeze scientific discourse on HIV-AIDS at the specific point this discourse had reached in the West in 1984.
People who otherwise would fight very hard to defend the critically important rights of freedom of thought and speech occupy, with regard to the HIV-AIDS issue, the frontline in the campaign of intellectual intimidation and terrorism which argues that the only freedom we have is to agree with what they decree to be established scientific truths.
Some agitate for these extraordinary propositions with a religious fervour born by a degree of fanaticism, which is truly frightening.
A week before Mbeki convened The Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel, President Clinton declared AIDS a threat to national security, sending a strong message to Mbeki and other leaders that the United States sets global policy on AIDS.
May 6, 2000, The Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened in Pretoria, South Africa.
In his welcoming remarks to the AIDS Advisory Panel, Mbeki said:
There is an approach which asks why is this President of South Africa trying to give legitimacy to discredited scientists, because after all, all the questions of science concerning this matter had been resolved by the year 1984. I don’t know of any science that gets resolved in that manner with a cut-off year beyond which science does not develop any further. It sounds like a biblical absolute truth and I do not imagine that science consists of biblical absolute truths.
There was this very strong response saying: don’t do this. I have seen even in the last few days, a scientist who I’m quite certain is eminent who said that perhaps the best thing to do is that we should lock up some of these dissidents in jail and that would shut them up. It is a very peculiar response but it seemed to me to suggest that it must surely be because people are exceedingly worried by the fact that large numbers of people are dying. In that context any suggestion whatsoever that dealing with this is being postponed because somebody is busy looking at some obscure scientific theory, is seen as a betrayal of people. Perhaps that is why you had that kind of response which sought to say: let us freeze scientific discourse at a particular point; and let those who do not agree with the mainstream be isolated and not spoken to. Indeed it seems to be implied that one of the important measures to judge whether a scientific view is correct is to count numbers: how many scientists are on this side of the issue and how many are on the other—if the majority are on this side, then this must be correct.
Both the South African government and dissident AIDS experts welcomed live-coverage of the proceedings of the President’s AIDS Panel. Immediately, however, the pharmaceutically-funded members of the Panel refused to participate if the proceedings were televised. To prevent the meeting from collapsing before it began, the government yielded to the mainstream pressure and there was no live coverage. Even so, the mainstream majority refused to actively participate in the AIDS Panel.
At every step, the mainstream members of the AIDS Panel did everything they could to prevent the meeting. Prior to the second meeting of the Panel, the majority went behind the government’s back and published the so-called Durban Declaration: HIV causes AIDS. This infuriated the government. When the second meeting of the AIDS Panel convened, high level government officials chided the mainstream members for their cowardly act. To show its displeasure with the mainstream members bad faith participation, the government accepted the minority’s request that arguments for and against AIDS dogma be made in formal presentations that the majority had vetoed at the first meeting. Not surprisingly, the majority went through a charade of complying.
Kalichman celebrates The Durban Declaration as “an attempt to derail denialism in South Africa.” Its 5000 signatories say in one voice: trust the mainstream authorities about AIDS. Denying AIDS also acknowledges that, “The Durban Declaration and its response represent the only open exchange between international AIDS scientists and denialists.”
If the mainstream AIDS authorities actually believed their own rhetoric—that denialists are dangerous, responsible for hundreds-of-thousands of Africans deaths, with “African blood dripping” from their fingers—weren’t they morally and professionally obligated to seize The South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel as an opportunity to publically discredit the denialist arguments by demonstrating the clarity of their opinions? Clearly, the majority’s refusal to participate in good faith on the AIDS Panel indicates a profound lack of confidence in their ability to defend the official claims about AIDS.
Although the Panel discussions were videotaped, not a single minute has been released to the public in spite of the government’s promise to make the video of the proceedings available to the world. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether the videotapes still exist or were destroyed.
In 2005, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) planned three live AIDS debates on its prime-time program The Big Question. The first debate was on the effectiveness and safety of the anti-HIV drugs. The two mainstream South African doctors who agreed to participate tried to kill the program just before it was to air. They finally relented when the producer threatened to go ahead with the program whether they participated or not.
Professor Sam Mhlongo and David Rasnick debated the two mainstreamers. However, the delay meant the program would not be aired live. There were additional behind-the-scenes efforts to prevent airing the taped debate but SABC eventually showed the complete program two weeks later. The other two planned programs never happened.
The well-documented systematic high-level suppression of dissent against AIDS dogma documented above satisfies the legal principle of consciousness of guilt – behaviors that demonstrate the criminal behavior of individuals, agencies, or governments.
Kalichman is most consistent when identifying targets he is assigned to discredit. Those who agree with him are brilliant, while those who do not are denialists, pseudoscientists, or both.
In his Preface, Kalichman writes: “This is not a book about AIDS and how it is caused by HIV. Rather, this is a book about HIV/AIDS denialism. I did not write this book to answer the denialist claims, but rather to offer insight into their wacky and destructive world.” Nevertheless, in Chapters 2 & 3, he attempts to compare the government’s line on AIDS with the false claims made against Peter Duesberg and others. And rather than address Duesberg’s examination of AIDS, he sidesteps the issues by talking about CD4 cell counts instead of AIDS itself.
Kalichman writes: “Denialism is defeated when credible science is effectively communicated to a trusting and critically minded public.” How exactly can a person be both trusting and critically minded? “Ultimately it comes down to trust,” he says—Trust being a central theme of Denying AIDS. But trust whom? Kalichman’s answer: trust government authorities on AIDS.
Reminiscent of the Inquisition’s displeasure with heretical publications, Kalichman condemns critics of AIDS dogma for using the Internet. “The Internet has done for denialism in the new millennium what transcontinental air travel did for the spread of HIV itself in the 1970s. … South African president Thabo Mbeki is said to have solidified his HIV/AIDS denialist views by accessing and ultimately buying into denialist websites.”
As explained earlier (Doop), Kalichman attempts to “reduce the complexities” to a common denominator – that experts and believers are intelligent and denialists are crazy. He asks readers to trust the experts (believers) who he asserts are only the people who can understand HIV and AIDS. Kalichman writes, “HIV infection is the most complex viral disease encountered in human history.” He could have stopped there without much harm done to his argument but continued:
There is…no single scientific paper proving HIV causes AIDS… (Rather, it takes) tens of thousands of papers containing a wide-range of evidence that, taken together, makes the overwhelming case that HIV causes immune system decline that ultimately results in AIDS… Of the more than 116,000 scientific articles listed in the PubMed database concerning the HIV disease process, or HIV pathogenesis, over 31,000 have been published in the past 5 years. AIDS scientists basing their conclusion that HIV causes AIDS on these current studies. … (I)f a scientific article is published before 2000, I would say it can be considered dated, perhaps even ignored.”
The next question is obvious: On what evidence did scientists base their conviction that HIV causes AIDS during the 1980s and 1990s? After all, HIV was accepted politically as the cause of AIDS decades before Kalichman’s “tens of thousands of papers” existed. Denying AIDS skirts the fact that it was during the mid-1980s that “HIV causes AIDS” became enshrined dogma, yet he declares: “Any writing in the area of AIDS that relies on sources from the 1980s should be suspect.” That “suspect” decade includes the series of articles published by Robert Gallo in the journal Science in 1984 that continues to be cited as the basis for claims that HIV causes AIDS.
Since the 31,000 papers Kalichman says are the basis for claiming HIV causes AIDS did not exist prior to the South African AIDS Advisory Panel of 2000, then he must agree there was no basis in 2000 for condemning Mbeki for asking questions about HIV and AIDS, labeling Duesberg and others denialists, or publishing the Durban Declaration.
There is another problem with his logic: Where, when and by whom were the “tens of thousands of papers” perused, collated, analyzed, and finally combined to prove HIV causes AIDS? Is there a consensus as to which tens of thousands of papers actually prove HIV causes AIDS? Where is a critical summary of that evidence published so others can readily cite it when countering “AIDS denialism”?
Although Luc Montagnier received the Nobel Prize for discovering HIV, why did Kalichman only mention him once without discussion? Could it be that the discoverer of HIV can be labeled an AIDS scientist and a denialist because of his admission that HIV by itself cannot cause AIDS and other suspect comments: “We can be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected. Our immune system will get rid of the virus [HIV] within a few weeks, if you have a good immune system.” He also said it is possible for an HIV-infected African with a good immune system to get rid of HIV and that good nutrition and clean water are superior to drugs and vaccines.
Kalichman says Duesberg can be ignored because “He does not have major research grants and he has a small lab funded by a private donor with two lab assistants and no students.” Expanding on this theme he writes, “Most others who cry out for debate on HIV causing AIDS have similar situations: unfunded labs, emeritus faculty positions, self-employment, freelance journalism, and oftentimes retirement.”
Apparently, Kalichman does not understand the significance of what he is saying: Those who are safe from institutional reprisal or not dependent on NIH largesse for their livelihood are the only ones in our society free to criticize the HIV hypothesis of AIDS; while those with grants are obligated to conduct research in a way that supports the conclusions that their funding sources require.
This assessment is echoed by former EPA scientist David L. Lewis PhD who admits that government scientists are not primarily tasked to seek information, but to support government policy.
UNTRUTHS & MISCONCEPTIONS
As if Kalichman’s incoherence wasn’t enough, Denying AIDS is permeated by careless mistakes and errors of fact. The examples below are by no means exhaustive:
Page 7: “Thus, as science moved forward into the 1990s and scientists discovered how HIV causes AIDS, most dissident views faded.”
Addressing the alleged fading of dissident views first, the number of people around the world who question the AIDS dogma has only grown over the years. Indeed, the author admits (Forward) that it was the global dimensions of “denialism” that compelled him to write Denying AIDS.
Kalichman’s more substantive assertion, that scientists discovered in the 1990s how HIV causes AIDS, is easy to disprove.
Thirteen years after HIV was declared the probable cause of AIDS in 1984, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci MD admitted in 1997 that, “Although it has often been assumed that depletion of CD4 T cells and cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage is a direct result of HIV or SIV infection, the extent to which the observed depletion is the result of the virus directly killing the cells is unclear.” In fact, the NIAID’s original speculation that “HIV destroys CD4 positive (CD4+) T cells” was disproven by a series of experiments beginning in 1998 (Bucy 1999, Gorochov 1998, Hellerstein 1999, Hellerstein 2003, and Pakker 1998).
Two early experiments were so convincing that noted Stanford University AIDS researcher Mario Roederer said the “reports by Pakker and Gorochov provide the final nails in the coffin for Ho’s and Wei’s models of T-cell dynamics in which a major reason for changes in T cell numbers is the death of HIV-infected cells. …[T]he facts (1) that HIV uses CD4 as its primary receptor, and (2) that CD4 T cell numbers decline during AIDS, are an unfortunate coincidence that have led us astray from understanding the immunopathogenesis of this disease.”
In plain language, the idea that HIV causes AIDS by killing T cells is false.
Page 10: “denialists, as do extremists, indulge in irresponsible accusations and character assassinations.”
A careful examination and comparison of publications and interviews of Kalichman’s targets (Duesberg, David Rasnick, Claus Köhnlein, Christian Fiala, Marco Ruggiero, Celia Farber and Roberto Giraldo to name a few) and the book and blogs (1, 2, 3, 4), emails (1, 2, 3), seminars etc., and character of Kalichman and critics like Blake Moore MD (child molester), Lokesh Vuyyuru MD (assaulted and killed patients), Ralph Bard MD (killed patients), James Murtagh MD (perjury, identity theft, tax fraud, poor patient care), Kevin Kuritzky (expelled from medical school) speaks for itself.
Like Kalichman’s associates, blogs, emails and seminars, Denying AIDS indulges in overt character assassination of Peter Duesberg on pages 48-50. On page 50, Kalichman’s conclusion that Duesberg “intentionally misrepresents science for his own personal gain, or more likely aggrandizement” is preposterous to those who know Duesberg. Despite Kalichman’s character, associates and lack of scholarship – and Robert Gallo’s misconduct, NIAID continues to distribute millions of dollars in grants to both, while denying funds to their targets. That NIAID-funded propagandists like Kalichman characterize the attacks, defamation of character and lost funding with Duesberg’s alleged aggrandizement and personal gain is breathtaking. Denying AIDS and the history summarized above clearly demonstrate that the critics of AIDS dogma are typically on the receiving end of ad hominem attacks and character assassination.
On Page 22: Kalichman charges “denialists” with being “responsible for a significant amount of death and suffering.” This allegation is raised loudly and often by Kalichman and associates, who cite a report by Pride Chigwedere MD (et al), who admits to using estimates that UNAIDS admits were deliberately inflated. Chigwedere’s mortality estimates in South Africa of 300,000 to 600,000 every year between 1997 and 2007 directly conflicts with South Africa’s Mortality Reports , which identified only 9,000 to 15,000 deaths annually. In South Africa – a country of 44 million that relies upon estimates, guesses and the Bangui Criteria to diagnose AIDS – the actual numbers represent roughly one-thirtyfour thousandth of one percent (.034%) of the total South African population. And if AIDS kills millions in Africa, why has Africa’s population doubled from 400-800 million during the same period? If Kalichman’s targets are truly guilty of genocide, why would Kalichman and his associates rely upon numbers that are easily recognized as grossly inflated?
By contrast, the industries and clinicians that Kalichman defends routinely accept bribes and push unreliable tests, drugs and vaccines that seriously injure or kill more than two million Americans annually. If tracked like real diseases, adverse drug reactions (ADR’s) would represent the 4th leading cause of death in the US – far ahead of HIV and AIDS. With such damning numbers, it’s not hard to understand why an industry that pays billions to settle criminal complaints and pays Kalichman and his associates to silence critics.
In 2008, when the non-profit Semmelweis Society International (SSI) commissioned an investigation into similar charges against Duesberg and reporter Celia Farber, pharmaceutically-funded activists pressured SSI, the investigator, and members of Congress to end the inquiry.
When retired LAPD officer Clark Baker completed his preliminary investigation, he was saddened to see that local, state and federal law enforcement refused to act on his report. Baker founded OMSJ when he recognized that the industries use a system of sticks (retaliation and propagandists) and carrots (kickbacks, bribes and lobbyists) to control the Executive and Legislative branches of government (including regulators). He found that, through lobbyist-funded legislation, these industries also control a large chunk of the Judiciary with malpractice and liability caps (euphemistically called “tort reform”) and vaccine courts that prevent parents from suing vaccine manufacturers, whose products kill or maim thousands of children annually. When the US Justice Department allows companies like GlaxoSmithKline to pay a $3 billion fine on drugs that generate billions more in revenues, the industry has no incentive to change their behavior. Despite these well-documented facts, Kalichman and his associates targeted the Marine Corps and LAPD veteran when he demonstrated that the allegations against Farber and Duesberg were false.
By contrast, Kalichman defends a pharmaceutical industry that has paid nearly $10 billion since 2009 to settle thousands of criminal and civil complaints related to the illegal marketing of drugs (like Bextra, Prembro, and Vioxx) that kill or injure between 2-4 million Americans, annually. Kalichman defends HIV drug companies that push kickbacks and bribes to doctors who unnecessary push drugs like Atripla to their patients.
When caught killing for profit, Congress allows these companies to create shell companies to accept liability – an act akin to incarcerating photographs of convicts who’ve paid their fines with illicit receipts. At the same time, the NIH tells patients that they’re on their own.
Drug companies disengenuously take credit for our increasing longevity, ignoring advances in water delivery, nutrition, and sanitation that occurred throughout the 20th century. Although the majority of vaccines were invented long after the diseases they ostensibly fight no longer presented a public health threat, HHS continues to push vaccines that are so dangerous that Congress no longer allows victims to sue manufacturers – forcing taxpayers to settle claims from parents of crippled or dead children.
Page 23: Without any corroboration, Kalichman claims that his targets are responsible for:
… banning people with HIV from entering the United States, prohibiting access to sterile needles and syringes, insisting on abstinence for prevention, banning condoms in prison, and interfering with access to HIV treatments.
(T)he discovery [of HIV] by Gallo and Montagnier, and perhaps the attendant publicity, may have shaped his [Duesberg’s] decision to abandon retroviruses and oncogenes as a cause of cancer and in doing so also refuting HIV as the cause of AIDS.
Kalichman doesn’t have the training, expertise or perception of Duesberg’s character to render this false claim. He even mangles the name of Duesberg’s book on the next page.
Page 39 – Kalichman declares:
No research has ever even suggested the Duesbergian view of AIDS is true.
The following publications contain extensive discussions of such research:
Inventing the AIDS Virus, (1996) Peter Duesberg
Rethinking AIDS: the tragic cost of premature consensus (1993) Robert Root-Bernstein
Infectious AIDS: have we been misled (1995), Peter Duesberg
AIDS: virus– or drug induced? (1995) edited by Peter Duesberg
AIDS Inc.: scandal of the century (1988) Jon Rapport
AIDS: The HIV Myth (1989) Jad Adams
AIDS: the failure of contemporary science (1996) Neville Hodgkinson
Virus Mania: avian flu (H5N1), Cervical Cancer (HPV), SARS, BSE, Hepatitis C, AIDS, Polio (2007) Torsten Engelbrecht & Claus Köhnlein
Positively False: exposing the myths around HIV and AIDS (1998) Joan Shenton
Duesberg P (1987) Retroviruses as carcinogens and pathogens: expectations and reality. Cancer Res 47: 1199-1220.
Duesberg PH (1989) Human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome: correlation but not causation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 86: 755-764.
Duesberg PH (1990) “The AIDS debate”. Naturwissenschaften 77: 97-102.
Duesberg PH (1990) AIDS: non-infectious deficiencies acquired by drug consumption and other risk factors. Res Immunol 141: 5-11.
Duesberg PH (1991) AIDS epidemiology: inconsistencies with human immunodeficiency virus and with infectious disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 88: 1575-1579.
Duesberg PH (1992) AIDS acquired by drug consumption and other noncontagious risk factors. Pharmacol Ther 55: 201-277.
Duesberg PH (1992) The role of drugs in the origin of AIDS. Biomed Pharmacother 46: 3-15.
Duesberg P, Schwartz JR (1992) Latent viruses and mutated oncogenes: no evidence for pathogenicity. Prog Nucleic Acid Res Mol Biol 43: 135-204.
Duesberg PH (1993) The HIV gap in national AIDS statistics. Biotechnology (N Y) 11: 955-956.
Duesberg PH (1993) HIV latency. Biotechnology (N Y) 11: 247.
Duesberg PH (1995) Is HIV the cause of AIDS? Lancet 346: 1371-1372.
Duesberg PH (1995) Foreign-protein-mediated immunodeficiency in hemophiliacs with and without HIV. Genetica 95: 51-70.
Duesberg PH, Rasnick D (1998) The AIDS dilemma: drug diseases blamed on a passenger virus. Genetica 104: 85-132.
Duesberg P, Koehnlein C, Rasnick D (2003) The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics: recreational drugs, anti-viral chemotherapy and malnutrition. J Biosci 28: 383-412.
Duesberg PH, Mandrioli D, McCormack A, Nicholson JM, Rasnick D, Fiala C, Koehnlein C, Bauer HH, Ruggiero M (2011) AIDS since 1984: No evidence for a new, viral epidemic—not even in Africa. Ital J Anat Embryol 116: 73-92.
Rasnick D (1997) Kinetics analysis of consecutive HIV proteolytic cleavages of the Gag-Pol polyprotein. J Biol Chem 272: 6348-6353.
David Rasnick said at his recent cancer and Aneuploidy conference, he relies on the research of others because he does not do research himself.
As a social psychologist, Kalichman may not understand that the analysis of published data is standard practice within the scientific community. At the conference, Dr. Rasnick demonstrated how he used microarray data generated from cancer and other samples published in the public domain to conduct his own research. Rasnick processed the public data according to his quantitative theory of biological change called “DATE analysis.” His results were published in 2009 by the journal of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Page 88 – Kalichman claims that German entrepreneur Matthias Rath sold his vitamin products in Africa.
When Dr. Rasnick worked for the Rath Health Foundation (RHF) in South Africa, the foundation did not sell products in Africa – vitamins were distributed free of charge.
David Rasnick and Matthias Rath performed… unethical and unlawful studies of mega-dose vitamins for treating HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
At the time, RHF Africa supported a proposed nutrition clinical trial at the Medical University of Southern Africa (MEDUNSA) with Professor Sam Mhlongo as the Principle Investigator. They spent nearly two years setting up a pilot program to gain approval for the trial, which never succeeded due to political obstacles. They eventually gave up and closed the unused facility. At that point, Dr. Rasnick returned to the USA.
Page 150: Kalichman claims that of the major figures of denialism, “none have [sic] worked with people infected with HIV…” excluding clinicians like Prof. Mhlongo, Claus Köhnlein MD, Christian Fiala MD, Roberto Giraldo MD and Luc Montagnier MD.
With the notable exception of Peter Duesberg, there are no denialists who have the credibility that comes with passing through the filters of peer review.
When a military court at Fort Revoir recently qualified Dr. Rasnick as an expert in one of OMSJ’s latest criminal cases, prosecutors left Kalichman in the audience to observe.
After hours of childlike petulance and interruptions, prosecutors realized – as do readers of Kalichman’s associates, blog, reports and book – that Seth Kalichman lacked the comportment and most rudimentary training, expertise and credibility to qualify as an HIV expert in a real courtroom. Even if prosecutors thought that a social psychologist might have something relevant to say about HIV, neither side wanted to annoy the military court with the spectacle of Kalichman’s veering clown car.
And just as Dr. Rasnick’s resume is consistent with a disciplined cancer researcher, Kalichman’s CV is consistent with what one would expect from a “social psychologists” who trained to attack critics of HHS and the pharmaceutical industry.
Kalichman’s position, education, appointments, awards, recognition, memberships, grants, panels and boards are punctuated with several hundred low grade Elsevier and Springer publications. Elsevier, which publishes more than 2000 journals and 20,000 books and reference works, is currently the subject of a worldwide boycott that has been signed by more than 12,000 scientists and researchers.
Because of the way copyright works, Elsevier and Springer own the rights to a large number of existing scientific publications, as well as the names (and reputations) of journals. Their business model squeezes libraries for high subscription prices for packages that typically contain one reputable journal and a bundle of inferior journals. With the advent of the Internet and online publishing, they are part of a dying industry. A blogger who calls himself Economic Logic writes:
(Elsevier is) squeezing out the last drops of blood. But it is worse than that – they apparently have a new business model in which they are paid by lobbyists to create fake journals to publish articles supporting the lobbyists’ point of view.
The blogger’s observation is consistent with analysis of mathematician John Ioannidis, who “laid out a detailed mathematical proof… that researchers will come up with wrong findings most of the time.” Of Ioannidis’ findings, David H. Freedman wrote in The Atlantic:
Simply put, if you’re attracted to ideas that have a good chance of being wrong, and if you’re motivated to prove them right, and if you have a little wiggle room in how you assemble the evidence, you’ll probably succeed in proving wrong theories right. His model predicted… (that) 80 percent of non-randomized studies turn out to be wrong, as do 25 percent of supposedly gold-standard randomized trials, and as much as 10 percent of the platinum-standard large randomized trials. The article spelled out his belief that researchers were frequently manipulating data analyses, chasing career-advancing findings rather than good science, and even using the peer-review process—in which journals ask researchers to help decide which studies to publish—to suppress opposing views…
(Ioannidis) zoomed in on 49 of the most highly regarded research findings in medicine over the previous 13 years… Of the 49 articles, 45 claimed to have uncovered effective interventions. Thirty-four of these claims had been retested, and 14 of these, or 41 percent, had been convincingly shown to be wrong or significantly exaggerated. If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine was proving untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem were undeniable.
Aside from Ioannidis’ findings, graduate students at MIT’s PDOS research group attended the 9th World Multi-Conference of Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics in 2005. Although their research paper Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy was accepted, the submission wasn’t as important as its lack of content; for the paper was nothing more than a randomly generated set of incomprehensible words organized to sound like something coherent and meaningful. (Readers can generate their own pseudoscientific research paper here.)
All of these factors explain how a social psychologist blogger like Seth Kalichman could amass a resume containing hundreds of citations to publications like Archives of Sexual Behavior, Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, Journal of Genetic Psychology, Anxiety Research, Psychosomatic Medicine, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services and Journal of Urban Health, filling his curriculum vitae like medals that decorate the chests of third-world dictators.
Denying AIDS fulfills Kalichman’s duty as a government propagandist and pharmaceutical hit-man. Despite its academic patina, the book’s content betrays a lack of discipline or inclination that is typically required when asked to examine evidence in the unbiased and dispassionate capacity of a researcher, investigator or scientist.
Kalichman asserts as incomprehensible, that free and independent people do not share the fantasy that unassailable truth resides within the institutions of authority. He doesn’t understand how populations can distrust institutions that rely on fear, intimidation, retaliation, corruption, blogs and books to coerce obedience.
The history of science is replete with disputes, contradictory data and opposing studies. There is no way around this conflict – nor should there be. Science has convinced scientists that “scientific truths” are mostly provisional. Healthy, honest science depends on open and honest debate that allows individuals decide for themselves what is and is not verifiable fact.
Like Kalichman’s blogs, papers and associates, Denying AIDS indicts not the accused, but their accusers. In it, Kalichman unwittingly assumes a role not unlike the fictional Lieutenant Commander Philip Queeg, whose preoccupation with missing strawberries aboard the USS Caine eventually demonstrates the credibility of the men he accuses.
Physicist Max Planck wrote that, “A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
Just as Galileo threatened Rome’s geocentric universe, Peter Duesberg threatens governments and politicians that rely on the corruption that permeates the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Denying AIDS is little more than a wheezing gasp from that dying enterprise.