Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six



Anthony Brink


Part Two

The formation of the new Rethinking AIDS group by David Crowe in 2006

To begin, a recapitulation of the history of the defunct Rethinking AIDS Group.

In 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.

The Group included 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.

A year 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 issue on.

In July 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’.


In late 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.

No one 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.

In ‘The Truth about David Crowe, Rethinking AIDS and the RA 2009 Conference’, posted briefly on his ARAS website in July/August 2009, Crowe claimed:

The 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.

He told a different story in a post to the AIDSsoc discussion forum on 2 February 2006:

I don’t 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.

The 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.

With no ‘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’.

Crowe’s claim in ‘The Truth’ that

David Rasnick asked David Crowe and Bryan Owen to join the board to help him revitalize the organization

was 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.

In ‘The Truth’ Crowe claimed further:

After 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 Lauer

But 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.

Nor did 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.

That 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’:

The 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.

Crowe’s 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.

On 4 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):

it 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 representation?’

Michael Ellner in New York confirmed the same day:

RA was 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.

But 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

there’s 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.

Then nominal president of the new Rethinking AIDS group, De Harven, heartily supported my criticism in an email to me on 14 February 2006:

I agree 100% to ALL what you say!

And I must give you some explanation...

You are 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.

After 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!!

I had 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!

I love 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...

Board 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 ?

I was (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 meaningless...

Back to 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.

Bryan 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...

De 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.

This is 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 Rasnick and

I was appointed by the Board soon thereafter, my term starting on March 1st, 2005. The composition of the Board was transmitted to me without any modification.

All 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.

As de 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.

When the Perth Group asked Crowe for representation on his new ‘board’, he replied:

that 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.

Here 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