begin, a recapitulation of the
history of the defunct Rethinking AIDS Group.
early 1991 the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS
Hypothesis formed to co-sign a letter to four leading scientific and
medical journals, in which they proposed ‘a thorough reappraisal of the
existing evidence for and against’ the HIV-AIDS hypothesis.
Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos and
Peter Duesberg with radically
opposing positions on the existence of ‘HIV’, but the letter was framed
sufficiently broadly to encompass both. By the time it was submitted on
6 June, the Group’s number had grown to thirty-two, including
non-scientists and physicians. The letter was rejected. Many more people
subsequently subscribed their support for the Group’s proposal,
increasing over the years to about two and a half thousand.
after the letter, a handful of proponents of Duesberg’s harmless
passenger virus story formed an ‘Editorial Board’, without consulting
Papadopulos-Eleopulos and the other members of the Group, and began
publishing a newsletter called Rethinking AIDS in the Group’s
name. ‘Editor’ Harvey Bialy promoted the Duesberg line from the first
1998 the newsletter ‘Editorial Board’, including individuals not part of
the 1991 Group, renamed itself the ‘Board of Directors’ of the
‘Rethinking AIDS Group’, and the following month David Rasnick,
Duesberg’s research collaborator and proponent of his passenger virus
science, was cited as its ‘President’.
2004, following the disintegration of the ‘Rethinking AIDS Group’ then
under ‘President’ Roberto Giraldo, Rasnick decided to build another
organization to promote Duesberg’s harmless passenger virus line on
AIDS. In David Crowe, ‘President’ of the ‘Alberta Reappraising AIDS
Society’, Rasnick found just the man to achieve this. Wowed by Crowe’s
superior intelligence, vast scientific knowledge, strategic insight,
communication skill, diplomatic tact, organizational ability, unwavering
fidelity to the truth, uncompromising integrity, ramrod financial
probity, attractive and engaging personality, commanding personal
presence, sparkling wit, infectious laugh, and motivational hairdo,
since you don’t get to be elected ‘President’ of such an important
organization without these outstanding leadership attributes, Rasnick
rang him up and asked him to get it on.
told him Crowe’s ‘Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society’ is a society of one
self-crowned businessman in the cellphone industry, with a website, a
telephone number and a fax machine.
Truth about David Crowe, Rethinking AIDS and the RA 2009 Conference’,
posted briefly on his ARAS website in July/August 2009, Crowe claimed:
truth is that Rethinking AIDS was dormant, not dead, by around 2005. It
had a board of directors, with Etienne de Harven as president, but it is
true that it was not very active.
a different story in a post to the AIDSsoc discussion forum on 2
know when the board was reconstituted, I only became aware of this when
I was asked to join. … At present the board does not have a functioning
decision-making process. I have mentioned this several times but it
keeps falling on deaf ears.
reason Crowe couldn’t say ‘when the board was reconstituted’ was because
the disintegrated ‘board was’ never ‘reconstituted’ at all. As will
appear below, the defunct board’s composition was very different from
the new one being formed. And the new ‘board’ was merely a list of names
hand-picked by Rasnick for inclusion as members of the new organization
he was forming.
‘functioning’ board to consider the matter, no vote was passed
appointing Crowe as a member of the new ‘board’ – nor of anyone else
whom Rasnick chose for it. In the formation of the new Rethinking AIDS
group there was no pretence at constitutionality, legality, democracy,
representation, accountability to the international AIDS dissident
community and so forth. The trick was simply to assemble a small group
of individuals around Duesberg, call it a ‘board’, and pass it off to
the world as the international operational executive committee of all
the world’s AIDS dissidents.
Contrary to Crowe’s false denial of the fact, the Rethinking AIDS Group
was indeed ‘dead’ as an organization: it had stopped publishing
newsletters, quit posting articles to its website, abandoned its website
domain, and had ceased all and any other activity. More than ‘moribund’,
which is to say dying, as Crowe’s new Rethinking AIDS group member Henry
Bauer later described it, it was stiff and cold – which is why the US
Internal Revenue Service delisted it on 20 March 2006 in a
bulletin of organizations that had
‘failed to establish or have been unable to maintain their status as
public charities or as operating foundations’.
claim in ‘The Truth’ that
Rasnick asked David Crowe and Bryan Owen to join the board to help him
revitalize the organization
also untrue in that there was no ‘organization’ – whether hardly active,
or asleep, or dying – for Crowe to ‘revitalize’. It had demised. What
Crowe did was form a new organization under the mantle of the old – just
as the preceding Rethinking AIDS Group itself passed itself off as the
Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis
co-founded by Papadopulos-Eleopulos.
Truth’ Crowe claimed further:
their appointment the board stayed in place until 2008 when the
resignation of Bryan Owen and death of Christine Maggiore opened up two
new spots on the board which were filled by Drs. Henry Bauer and Helen
this was not ‘The Truth’ either, because there was ‘no appointment’ of
Crowe and Owen to the ‘board’. All that happened was that ‘David Rasnick
asked David Crowe and Bryan Owen to join the board’, as Crowe himself
recorded – and they did, just like that.
the ‘board [stay] in place until 2008 when the resignation of Bryan Owen
and death of Christine Maggiore opened up two new spots’. Bialy,
who was on the list of people Rasnick wanted as directors, quit before
the first ‘board meeting’ in June 2006, and after it a third ‘new spot’
was ‘opened up’ when Duesberg’s wife Siggi quit too.
Crowe was effectively in charge of the new organization he was forming
and that he was doing all the moving was suggested in an AIDSsoc post of
his on 4 February 2006, in which he responded to criticism concerning
the lack of representation of gay men on the new ‘board’:
Board is in a slow transition and having one (or preferably more) gay
men, and more HIV-positive people on the board is one of my priorities.
I believe that Christine is the only HIV+ person on the board right now.
assurances were false inasmuch as there was no such ‘transition’ afoot,
and ‘having one (or preferably more) gay men, and more HIV-positive
people on the board’ wasn’t ‘one of [his] priorities’ at all: none were
invited to join the ‘board’ at any stage. No ‘gay men’ ever made it onto
Crowe’s ‘board’, and when the ‘only HIV+ person on the board’ passed
away, she was replaced by a HIV negative person. But if you’re basically
dishonest and you’re trying to be popular like a small town politician,
you don’t stint at saying sweet-sounding things you don’t mean and
making heart-warming promises you’ve no intention of keeping.
February 2006, following my earlier post, ‘How about getting some
Africans aboard like Sam Mhlongo?’, I noted (not yet aware that the new
‘board’ was quite different from the old):
seems to me from over here that the revived RA operation is effectively
being controlled by Duesberg partisans, or else it’s not being properly
controlled at all, with these guys pulling moves unaccountably and
undemocratically. … Everybody needs to know that
Mbeki is entirely with Perth
now, and not California (where he started) … Since Australia is where
it’s at scientifically, and South Africa politically, why no
Ellner in New York confirmed the same day:
never a representative, constitutional, or democratic association. It
has always and continues to operate under the shadow of a “Duesbergian
orthodoxy” which is highly invested in the “reality” of these “harmless
little passengers”. Quite frankly, after reviewing the Perth and Lanka
papers on this subject – I have come to believe that “retro-V’s” are
nothing more than a figment of the imaginations of the virologists who
believe in them.
considering that Crowe proudly bills Duesberg on his Rethinking AIDS
website as having
isolated the first cancer gene through his work on retroviruses in 1970,
and mapped the genetic structure of these viruses. This, and his
subsequent work in the same field, resulted in his election to the
National Academy of Sciences in 1986
obviously no prospect that his Rethinking AIDS group will ever face the
embarrassing fact that retroviruses are ‘nothing more than a figment of
the imaginations of the virologists who believe in them’. On the
contrary, in January 2010 Crowe posted an infantile
lesson from Etienne de Harven about
‘Human endogenous retroviruses’ on the Rethinking AIDS website as an
example of the quality of science it supports and propounds. Right after
the Perth Group presented evidence that there’s
no proof they exist.
nominal president of the new Rethinking AIDS group, De Harven, heartily
supported my criticism in an email to me on 14 February 2006:
100% to ALL what you say!
must give you some explanation...
right: in spite of all my efforts, the “revived RA” is effectively being
controlled by Duesberg “partisans” (to use your word!). I keep
explaining to all the Board members that the revived RA should be world
wide, “from ZA to India and from Perth to Berkeley” as I said many
times! Nobody, in that “clan” is listening to me, and being the
president is no help!! In November, when I was working very hard, trying
to set up that Board meeting in New York, three extreme situations
forced me to cancel the meeting. All were generated by H.B [Harvey
Bialy]. First, H.B. gave me the order to add in the RA Bylaws that ALL
RA Board members are 100% committed to the idea that HIV is existing but
is harmless, and that all Board members should immediately pass a vote
on this, prior to the New York meeting!! Of course I immediately
refused! He then started to send me most aggressive and insulting
messages... Then came his utterly ridiculous idea of a “Petition” to
Science and Nature for a Duesberg/Baltimore public debate! I told him
that I would give him a chance to explain his petition idea during the
New York meeting, but that it was out of the question to move in that
direction prior to the meeting! Finally, he self-appointed himself as
the “Editor” of the RA web site! I told him that I was the only one who
could have appointed him for that position and that I had never done so!
B. Leppo helped me on this issue, and told H.B. that Bryan Owen was the
only webmaster for RA.
that, H.B. stopped calling himself the “editor”, but never stopped
placing Bryan under the most aggressive pressure to post on the RA site
whatever he wanted, including his “petition” and other pieces of junk!!
promised Bryan to send him a “Foreword from the President” for the site.
But I find this site so poor as to lose all my incentive to write a
front page for it! This site should rather be called a “Berkeley
Newsletter”, as I once sarcastically said!
and respect Peter Duesberg as much as you do. But he keeps silent,
letting his “partisans” arrange for RA to resemble a Berkeley club,
excluding the rest of the world!! In October, I asked Val Turner to
attend the New York meeting. I could not invite him officially, since,
for reasons I never understood, he (nor Eleni!) are Board members. Val
kindly answered that he could not make it on those dates...
members? Who are they? Good question! The present list of Board members
is exactly that I received from Dave R. when he passed on the presidency
to me. Don’t ask me how come some prominent dissidents are missing! I
don’t have the faintest idea of the precise history of RA, since nobody
ever transmitted to me the archives! And don’t ask me what’s happening
with RA $$, because nobody ever bothered to send me any financial
report. I was asked (by Dave!) to keep Siggi Duesberg as Treasurer. I
accepted reluctantly, because 1) she is not a Board member, and 2) I see
potential conflicts of interest with Peter D’s lab... Tell me how you
think about that ?
(and actually still am!) planning to submit to the Board for approval a
list of “RA Correspondents”, for their input into the RA website, and
for the effective stretching of RA world wide. That list includes
yourself, Neville Hodgkinson, Djamel Tahi, Anju, Marc Deru and a few
more... But I really hesitate to write to them (that’s why you hear
about this for the first time!) because I am not at all proud of the RA
site as it looks now... If somebody would write to me, asking me to
contribute a manuscript for that site, I would hesitate a lot... I also
want to suggest the appointment of a few new Board members. But do you
think that it will ever be possible to reconcile the Perth and Berkeley
groups ?? Personally, I doubt it very much. And, personally, I think
that a “reactivated RA” that would not include Val and Eleni would be
that famous (or infamous!) Bialy’s petition (that has been actually
removed from the RA site and substituted with your message!!!), I am
almost sure (but I cannot find definitive proof of that in my email
November archives!) that H.B. had sent it to all Board members. But the
problem with our Board members is that they just don’t respond or react.
They just stay put! I barely hear from them! It is like with the drafts
I made of new RA Bylaws! Out of 15 Board members only two (namely Dave
R. and Charles G.) took the time to respond, with several constructive
criticisms or corrections.
put my latest draft of new RA Bylaws on the site; please, give them a
look and give me your comments! The only Board members who always kindly
answered my requests for advice and support are Dave R., Christian
Fiala, Roberto G. and Gordon S. (But with my dear friend Gordon I have
another problem, because he keeps regarding Aids as an infectious
disease!!!...) “They” are all holding their breath for the publication
of Celia Farber’s paper in the March issue of “Harpers”. The title of
her paper is “The Passion of Peter Duesberg”... Well, we shall see...
Harven’s statement that ‘Dave R. … passed on the presidency to me’ bears
out that the ‘Rethinking AIDS Group’ had died, because had it still been
alive ‘the presidency’ would still have been Giraldo’s, and not
Rasnick’s to have ‘passed on’ – the Rethinking AIDS Group had no
constitution limiting a president’s term, and no one succeeded Giraldo
before the organization went to pieces.
how de Harven came to be ‘President’; Rasnick simply appointed him. On
28 July 2009 de Harven puffed up his account: he was ‘nominated’ by
appointed by the Board soon thereafter, my term starting on March 1st,
2005. The composition of the Board was transmitted to me without any
this is demonstrably untrue. De Harven couldn’t have been ‘appointed by
the Board’ because as Crowe recorded a year later on 2 February 2006,
‘At present the board does not have a functioning decision-making
process’ – echoed by de Harven on the 14th: ‘the problem with
our Board members is that they just don’t respond or react. They just
stay put! I barely hear from them!’ And the ‘composition of the Board’
was substantially different from that of the expired Rethinking AIDS
Group, as will be seen below. The fact is de Harven was simply invited
by Rasnick to be part of the new organization that he’d asked Crowe to
form, just as Crowe and the other ‘board members’ were.
Although given the grand titular position of ‘President’, de Harven
found Crowe and Rasnick firmly in control of the new Rethinking AIDS
group: they dismissed his urging that membership of the ‘board’ be more
internationally and philosophically representative, and when de Harven
suggested that I be invited to join (he told me) they rebuffed him with
their opinion that there were enough ‘board’ members already. The
disingenuousness of this pretext and the animus it veiled is disclosed
by the fact that the ‘bylaws’ that were in the process of being drawn up
provided for a maximum of twenty-one members, a number of positions that
has never been close to being filled.
Harven was quick to learn, the new Rethinking AIDS ‘board’ practically
functioned, like the previous one had, as a support group for Duesberg.
Facilitating Crowe’s control was that most of the individuals lending
their names to the ‘board’ were ciphers playing no active role on it and
were nominal members only.
the Perth Group asked Crowe for representation on his new ‘board’, he
can’t happen until the existing board members can conclude your
participation will be cooperative. I certainly don’t want to see your
participation come at the price of Duesberg’s.
was Crowe making unambiguously plain, even through his verbal slime, his
political choice to back the Perth Group’s scientific opponent and to
prop up his harmless passenger virus science, which they’d junked a
decade earlier, and the truth about ‘HIV’-AIDS: there is no virus.
Next: Part Three