‘Citizen Crowe’

Janine Roberts

Introductory note by Anthony Brink

With her permission and in the public interest I am posting to this open forum [AIDSMYTHEXPOSED.COM] Janine Roberts’s particulars of complaint against Rethinking AIDS president David Crowe, entitled ‘Citizen Crowe’.

The fact the RA board has never held Crowe to account for his misconduct in the Science letter episode that Roberts details, nor for his inestimably graver delinquency in disrupting the defence strategy in the Parenzee case with calamitous consequences, in defiance of and in contempt of a RA board resolution following debate of the issue not to get involved in the case, bears out the charges I made in my ‘tokoloshe letter’ that

(a) to all practical intents and purposes the RA board is a toothless nominal entity that exists only for appearances sake;

(b) the RA board has no real management authority, and doesn’t exercise any oversight;

(c) Crowe considers the board’s nominal members to be his useful idiots for doing whatever he wants, and when they disapprove he persists under colour of acting in his ‘private capacity’;

Readers can draw what conclusions they will from the fact that the minutes of the inaugural RA meeting in June 2006 were kept off on the RA website; and that when recently requested to produce them by a member of the RA Facebook group, Crowe directed him to his own personal ARAS website where he’d posted them. Naturally before doing so Crowe doctored the minutes by deleting the portion recording the RA board’s resolution not to go into the Parenzee case.



31 July 2009



I’ve just read your ‘Citizen Crowe’ post and I cannot believe my eyes.

It’s just completely unbelievable.

I was staggered.

This guy is a total sack of shit.

You’ve done us a considerable service in posting such a well written memorandum of his behaviour.

It’s enormously revealing both of his contempt for the ‘RA board’ and its decisions and, more importantly, his utter lack of personal integrity.

Your stunning revelations indicate that Crowe is capable of anything, doing anything, saying anything.

I’m tempted to say RA deserves him.

Anyway thank you so much for the trouble you took over your ‘Citizen Crowe’ post.

It must have been damned unpleasant reliving the episode as you fished out and assembled the relevant email correspondence and history for us.

You say Crowe criticises me on his site too.

I hadn’t seen, and I don’t intend bothering to.

As the Germans say, ‘What does an oak care when a pig scratches his arse on his trunk?’

Thank you very much again.


[Postscript: During a Skype call from JR on 30 July, she told me she had Crowe’s answer open on her computer screen, and read it to me. It changes nothing, and a full report about Crowe and his RA will be published in due course. Much information has come to the fore since my ‘tokoloshe letter’ was fired off.]


‘Citizen Crowe’

30 July 2009 08:45 PM

Dear RA and Rethinking Activists,                                  

A few days ago David Crowe put up a public webpage distorting my words, removing their context and saying that I was misleading people – attacking Val Turner and Anthony Brink as well. He particularly criticized my attempt to bring RA closer to the Perth Group. I asked for the webpage’s removal but this has not happened. Now I need to defend myself by explaining just why David may have selected me out. See http://aras.ab.ca/crowe-ra.html.

I have already sent this to David and a senior RA board member. I have told David that I have no intention of attacking him on my public websites, as he has done to three of us. This posting is for RA members and activists and is sent in the hope that factual information might allow us to address some of the issues now facing us – including whether we can manage to bring RA closer to Perth.

David and I had a horrible battle last year during which his actions and threats dismayed and shocked both myself and Christine Maggiore. She was horrified when he threatened to defy a RA Board’s resolution that she had secured. For me the battle lasted nearly three months. It left me depressed and without energy. The fight was so totally unexpected. The only reason that all of you may not know about this is that we tried to protect him afterwards.

But this is now germane to another case. As you all know, barrister Anthony Brink has accused David Crowe, RA President, of subverting the RA Board decision in the matter of the Parenzee trial, charging that contrary to his Board’s decision, David went ahead regardless as “Citizen Crowe”, claiming as such he had no obligations to follow his Board’s resolutions.

So why is this similar to what happened with us? In the Fall of 2008 I asked David for help in carrying out a project I had put to Gary Null on a visit to the States. I proposed what has since happened: a letter signed by heavyweight scientists calling for the withdrawal of the Gallo and Popovic papers on the grounds of major scientific fraud (the evidence in these papers and associated documents did not establish that a virus did or did not cause AIDS, but it did reveal that the papers contained major scientific deceit and fraud). 

David agreed to find scientists and we co-drafted the proposed letter. As it happened, I rewrote much of it as we worked on. David more or less accepted my version.

Then on October 20th David announced he “was only interested in noted rethinkers as signatories.” 

I pointed out:

We drafted a letter to Science that can be signed by any scientist, whether or not they had come to a final view on HIV.”

Then, on 1st November David demanded control. He wrote:

I thought that it was clear that this letter was under my signature and therefore it’s my responsibility and I have the final say.” (emphasis added)

He also declared it would be presented to the Science journal as a RA action:

“I am speaking of a cover note to the journal “Science” that I believe should be signed by a representative of RA.”

I replied in my view this would ensure the immediate rejection of the letter as a “denialist” propaganda piece.

Not knowing what else to do, I now went for advice to Peter Duesberg, putting to him my fear that David’s approach would jeopardize our eventual chance of success and proposing an alternative.

Peter replied on 8th November:

“Dear J, 100% d’accord. More later, Cordially, Peter.”

I sent this to David, but to my great surprise he rejected Peter’s advice. When I told Peter, he then suggested asking Professor Gordon Stewart for advice.

Gordon wrote to us and to David Crowe on 2nd November to say:

“Dear Ms Roberts, Thank you for sending me a copy of your letter to Peter Duesberg. I agree with you and Peter that it will be counter-productive to the main issue of deception in the publications about LAV/HTLV III etc in Science in 1983-84 if RA figures in the first letter to Science. I am sure that David Crowe will see the sense in this, especially since – whether or not the letter is published – the interest of RA can be expressed later.” (emphasis added)

But David ignored the advice of these senior RA Board members. He wrote to me on 13th November:

RA involvement was in the original agreement [between him and me]....My [David’s] choices are 1. RA letter signed by Crowe  2. RA letter signed by Crowe and Roberts (I don’t think this is in Janine’s best interest as an ‘unbiased’ journalist, but it’s her choice).”

But I did not want to sign – I wanted a letter that Science might find hard to ignore. What to do? I spoke to Beth and then Christine.

Christine got David on the phone with me. She had a blunt proposal. She asked, would we both agree to follow the RA Board’s decision if I get it to vote on this? We agreed to write up our alternative proposals in a few paragraphs that would be submitted to the vote anonymously. It seemed the only way to resolve this.

A few days later the RA board voted unanimously for my proposal and rejected David’s.

But that was not the end of it.

On 24th November, a week before the letter was to be released, I asked David for the email addresses of the letter’s signatories, so I could keep them up to date with progress afterwards. David’s reply was:

“We’ve already had an experience where your communications were at cross purposes to mine. (i.e. with Peter) If you wish to send them an email, I’ll need to know what it is first” (thus it is still impossible for me to contact everyone).

Then on the 28th David wrote suggesting “what is your thought about the two of us signing?” This was contrary to the Board resolution for only having senior signatories and I said so. Next day David wrote “What about me signing as president of ARAS?”

Then on the 30th, a day before the letter was due to be released, David sent the following ultimatum:

“Janine, I made a big mistake by allowing this issue to be directed to the board. You have realized that we need a central point of contact. Unless you can come up with a solution in the next few hours, I will be reverting to my original plan and sending a cover letter under my signature as President of RA requesting correspondence be sent to me. You can co-sign if you want. The only way to avoid this is to come up with a practical plan in the next few hours. And asking one of our scientists to be the point person is not satisfactory. If I decide to change direction I will send a note to the board indicating why their first choice was not practicable.”

This was swiftly followed by another email:

“Janine: Your proposal requires one of the senior scientists to submit this so it is your responsibility to find a coordinator who is on the list of signatories. I will be sending the letter in Monday morning. I will need one of the scientists to agree to do this by then or I’m sending it in with a cover letter under my signature, solely as a coordinator. I will even agree not to list my affiliation with RA if that makes it better.”

There had been ages for David to find this coordinator – and now he making it into a last minute hoop I had to jump through.

I wrote to Gordon, Peter, Christine and Etienne to say:

“Friends - how do we deal with this? It was not just me but the Board that rejected an RA cover note. This is why our earlier very painful dispute had to be sent to the board for a decision. I had so much hoped it was now all over. (David and my names should not have been on the letter either – not something I ever wanted). Allies should not be fighting – so where is the angel of peace? Janine”

Prof Gordon Stewart answered the same day (11/30/08):

“Etienne, This is very disappointing, and calls for urgent action by the Board. I voted for proposal A and so, I think, did the other medical scientists on the Board. A letter from a nondescript group will be 100% non-productive and a letter from RA supporting it will discredit RA as well. I asked David for a copy of the final draft but he did not reply. I think that you as past-president are the best person to approach David immediately to ask him to delay sending both letters until the Board considers the difficulty. Gordon.”

David now wrote to me:

“If no signatory is identified to me by the end of the day as being willing to coordinate communications with “Science” I will be attaching a cover letter under my name and signature, indicating that I will coordinate communications with the signatories. I will not identify myself with any organization and will include my corporate email address, if it comes to this.” (emphasis added)

I immediately replied:

“David, Whether or not you now wish you did not go to the board, we did agree to stick to their decision. I think you are honour bound to do so...”

Later that day I found one of signatories who was willing to be the point person. I had met David’s imposed deadline. The letter now was only one day from its scheduled release.

But it was to get worse. David replied the day the letter was to come out (1st Dec):

“It’s okay, I have a solution that doesn’t involve RA.”

Then later that day from David:

“I think we’re done talking. You went behind my back [to Peter and Gordon] ... You will get a copy of the letter when it’s done. My offer to give you email addresses has been withdrawn.”


“I have come up with a solution that meets the requirements of the board decision. RA will in no way be associated with the letter, except through the inclusion of board members like Gordon and Etienne [as signatories].”

His new plan was to present it himself as a private citizen – and include signatories who were not senior scientists.

Christine Maggiore wrote (9:46 AM - 12/1/08):

“We agreed that the first round signers would be senior scientists. The Null and Bell inclusions do not reflect the original, agreed-to plan. I know that David has stated these people are important allies and have contributed much to the efforts which is very true, but that does not change what we agreed to which is that the first round of signers would be senior scientists. Let’s stick to the original plan.”

David replied later on the First December.

“Christine; I am not going to disinvite people. Null claims to have a PhD. That’s good enough for me. I just don’t understand why two somewhat lightweight signatures out of about 40 are a problem. Anyway, the RA board disavowed this as an RA action, so I am finishing this off on my own, as David Crowe, private citizen now.” (emphasis added)

Christine Maggiore immediately replied (12/1/08):

“This “angel of peace” is about ready to slam some heads together! The agreement was for Proposal A which states that senior scientists sign the letter going to Science and that the letter is NOT accompanied by an introduction from RA. This is what was agreed to by board vote and this quibbling is annoying, embarrassing and utterly unproductive. STOP! Christine Maggiore”

And Christine, outraged, at the very last moment, just hours before the letter was to be released, got David to refrain from issuing the letter under his own name, from defying the board and damaging the letter’s chance of success. Then Clark Baker stepped in and managed to persuade David that it was okay to remove less senior signatories from the initial letter if they agreed. I phoned Gary Null and he did so.

This is probably one of the last contributions Christine made to RA. For me and probably for her it was horrible and totally unexpected. It was also shattering and exhausting for me for I had to fight from October to December for the letter’s survival and best chance of success. Until this I had totally assumed that David would be a great ally. And I kept quiet about most of it.

Was it worth it? Only if we still keep on trying to use this hard won letter as a weapon, only if it is sent to scientific ethical bodies – something I am now discussing again with various scientists.

And what David announced he would do in our case is, I discover, exactly what Eleni and Anthony accuse him of doing in the Parenzee case. It brings up the issue of whether a RA president can thus evade Board resolutions he does not like and take control over other people’s projects as he tried to do with myself.

Now to get back to much more positive work.