Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

 

THE HISTORY OF RETHINKING AIDS

Anthony Brink

 

Part Six

Who does he think he is? The ludicrous conceit and make-believe world of David Crowe

Apart from the money he does it for, Crowe’s motivation to work at frustrating and marginalizing the Perth Group may be found in his self-conception as more astute in the determination of correct, effective scientific strategy than the Perth Group are. He actually thinks he’s a more intelligent person. And believes we need him. He’s convinced he’s the indispensable leader of the international AIDS dissident movement.

To begin with, unlike the Perth Group and their supporters, he’s a ‘practical’ person, he announced in a statement emailed on 21 January 2009:

Practicality is, unfortunately, not a characteristic of all scientific dissidents.

We need him to manage us, in other words. Especially since no other AIDS dissident has his unique ‘organizational skills’, as he claimed on 22 August 2009 in reply to Jonathan Campbell’s criticism of his decision to exclude me as the Perth Group’s nominated speaker to present their science at his Rethinking AIDS group conference in November:

Not only that, your aim appears to be to destroy RA 2009. While it’s clearly not a perfect conference how can any sane dissident believe that the movement’s better off without it? Where else are the organizational skills to arrange something like this? If such people or organizations exist why haven’t they done it before?

Crowe’s estimation of his unprecedented ability to arrange conferences springs from his evident ignorance of the numerous international AIDS dissident conferences that have been convened around the world over the years, most recently in Ekaterinburg, Russia, in May 2008, for which I coordinated the selection and invitation of the foreign speakers.

But the Perth Group are not only impractical, the leading scientists of the AIDS dissident movement are also too egotistical to be part of his ‘board’. In an email to Liam Scheff on 1 August 2009 Crowe claimed,

many dissidents are too self-directed and opinionated to work in any organization. That’s okay by me, RA can cooperate with people who can’t or don’t want to see themselves as part of it. Unfortunately, and this is a criticism, many dissidents are too unstrategic to recognize that the accomplishments of RA (such as the RA 2009 conference) will bring us all forwards and would rather destroy it than see it go forwards in what they consider a less than perfect form. … If I was to go, who would lead RA? Would the rethinkers be better off without a scientific organization?

All this fence yapping and whipped dog whimpering was directed at the Perth Group, ‘too self-directed and opinionated to work’ with him and his ‘organization’; lacking the necessary ‘practicality’ and ‘organizational skills’; and ‘too unstrategic’ in doing science – from the mouth of the jabbering fool who advised Parenzee’s counsel to fundamentally change his defence strategy in the middle of the hearing; to concede the orthodox experts’ claim that ‘HIV’ has been proved to exist right after the Perth Group had testified it hadn’t; to cross-examine the orthodox experts on this basis; and to call Duesberg and de Harven after the Perth Group had given their testimony to introduce a welter of contradictory testimony to really impress the judge and clinch the case.

Crowing about the ‘accomplishments of RA (such as the RA 2009 conference)’, the letter to Science (see extensive critiques and discussion here), and The AIDS Trap brochure could not convert their failures – ‘(such as the RA 2009 conference)’ in particular, completely ignored by the orthodoxy and the media – into successes; and far from ‘bring us all forwards’, Crowe’s towering ‘accomplishment’ as boss of his Rethinking AIDS group had been to alienate the universally acknowledged leading AIDS dissident scientists, with one inept, counterproductive ‘accomplishment’ after another, to the point of fomenting a permanent division in the AIDS dissident movement.

Perhaps appreciating his contemptible incompetence at some subconscious level, Crowe acknowledged that his ‘organization’ is ‘less than perfect’ – only in science, ‘less than perfect’ facts and arguments adduced on account of ‘less than perfect’ scientific strategy by muddled amateurs with grandiose self-estimations are like a failed hunting shot, both useless and frequently disastrous.

Crowe’s cringing offer to the Perth Group after being rejected by them, ‘RA can cooperate with people who can’t or don’t want to see themselves as part of it’, was pathetic. Cooperation is a two-way street, and after dissociating from Crowe, Duesberg, de Harven, and Bauer and the rest of the Rethinking AIDS group by reason of ‘irreconcilable scientific and ethical differences’, the Perth Group would hardly ‘cooperate’ with them. As if they were equal players anyway.

The reason the Perth Group ‘can’t or don’t want to see themselves as part of’ Crowe’s Rethinking AIDS group is that they are not in fact ‘part of it’, no matter how he words his ‘bylaws’ to ‘see’ them ‘automatically … considered’ ‘part of it’, and then falsely claims to the world on his website and in his press releases that they are ‘part of it’. Even after they’ve announced that they are decidedly not ‘part of it’.

The answers to Crowe’s self-serving questions, ‘If I was to go, who would lead RA? Would the rethinkers be better off without a scientific organization?’ are easy. Were Crowe ‘to go’, ‘RA’ would soon enough sink like the rudderless ship of fools it is.

So arrogant, so presumptuous, so egocentric, Crowe’s questions obscure the blinding fact that AIDS dissidents already have a ‘scientific organization’, a real ‘scientific organization’ doing real scientific work, propounding real science, led by an uncommonly brilliant scientist and scientific and forensic strategist, Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos and her Perth Group.

But not in the opinion of the cellphone businessman. The Perth Group aren’t as ‘brilliant’ as he is when it comes to formulating scientific strategy, since they don’t agree with him that one should contend against the ‘HIV’ theory of AIDS by advancing contradictory scientific claims. They don’t think ‘high enough status’ is more important than the best known, clear science presented in wholly truthful, impregnable expert testimony.

Immediately after the Perth Group’s dissociation from Crowe’s Rethinking AIDS group on 18 September 2009, Crowe wrote Barnes, underscoring his conviction that he’s right and the Perth Group are wrong to focus on the fundamental defect of the ‘HIV’ theory of AIDS, the isolation problem:

I hope mainstream dissidents will understand that being brilliant in one area does not mean that people are necessarily brilliant in others. Scientific brilliance does not imply strategic brilliance.

In a mail to Jason Hart on 26 June 2009 Crowe himself identified the question of correct strategy as the fundamental bone of contention between him and the Perth Group:

Our differences are more strategic than scientific.

Put to him at my urging that

the isolation issue IS the central issue, and I know that many others agree

Crowe responded:

I believe that it is one of the important issues, but not the only one.

Only, we never claimed ‘the isolation issue’ is the ‘only one’, we identified it as the ‘central issue’. Thus did Crowe deviously avoid the point by dint of the classic crooked debating trick of setting up a diversionary straw man, his standard manoeuvre when taxed in argument.

First of all, for many people, arguing that HIV does not exist as the first step towards deconstructing the dogma is many steps too far. You have to be prepared to start by questioning the evidence for the accuracy of the tests, sexual transmission, the toxicity of the drugs, and so on. Eventually, somewhere down this road, the light will go on. Some people may be able to start right here, but not everyone. … To put it another way, it’s like an atheist parachuting down through time and landing in a medieval village in France and starting a discussion about whether God exists. I would hazard a guess that many people whose eyes are just opening would have difficulty with this being the only approach.

In a court room, as opposed to a business lounge, the case must be proved or disproved, and arguments based on ‘the evidence for the accuracy of the tests, sexual transmission, the toxicity of the drugs’ are nowhere nearly as cogent as demonstrating that there is no proof that ‘HIV’ exists – establishing which renders all other arguments and debates, with their practically uncontainable, unmanageable complexities and elements, redundant in one undercutting stroke. We ‘have to be prepared to start’ anywhere, anywhere but at the beginning, he reckons; this is the best way to make the judge’s ‘light ... go on’.

I think it is a strategic error to put all our eggs in this one basket.

The multilayered lie conveyed by Crowe’s inapposite figure of speech takes some unpacking. The Perth Group didn’t ‘put all our eggs in this one basket’ in the Parenzee case, as Crowe implied. They didn’t confine themselves to showing ‘HIV’ has not been proved to exist. They dealt with the antibody tests and why they can’t be relied onto prove ‘HIV’ infection. They dealt with the fact that there’s no proof that ‘HIV’ is sexually transmitted. But central and foundational to the defence case was their contention that there’s no proof that ‘HIV’ exists. And for this reason the tests can’t be relied on to prove infection with ‘HIV’ via sex or any other way. Crowe’s contrary advice to defence counsel Borick was to stop the advance and shift into reverse gear after the Perth Group had completed their testimony and stood cross-examination on it, and to proceed on the basis that their evidence was wrong: ‘HIV’ does exist.

What Crowe meant to say with his basket of eggs talk was that when up against Achilles with all his strength and power, it is a strategic error to aim at his heel, at the only point where he’s defenceless. This is what Crowe thinks.

As mentioned, Crowe’s concept of sound strategy is to lead a series of expert witnesses holding radically different, opposing, contradictory scientific views so that they can contradict one another and destroy the credibility of each other’s evidence and thereby cause the collapse of the case. To Crowe’s way of thinking, it’s a ‘strategic error’ to lead the Perth Group in court to testify that ‘HIV’ has not been proved to exist, and that for this reason the tests cannot be used to diagnose ‘HIV’ infection, and there’s nothing to sexually transmit; just as it’s a ‘strategic error’ to keep other dissident scientists propounding opposing, contradictory views out of the case. The right strategy to follow, in Crowe’s opinion, is to lead de Harven after the Perth Group to inform the court that they are ‘WRONG’ in claiming that Montagnier never found any retrovirus, because he ‘unquestionably’ did, only it was a ‘Human Endogenous Retrovirus’. And to lead Duesberg to testify, in line with his claim in his famous 1987 Cancer Research paper, that both the Perth Group and de Harven are wrong in that Montagnier most certainly did achieve the ‘isolation in 1983 of a retrovirus … HIV’ from his human subject. So that the AIDS dissident expert witnesses walk out of court covered in each other’s eggs. The case a mess on the floor.

In addition, this amounts to the imposition of a new dogma, which I will not support. I have even seen some more radical supporters of “HIV Existence is the only issue” want to force Dr. Duesberg and others to recant. That is not only distasteful from a human perspective given what Peter has contributed to the movement and the sacrifices he has made but it would be to behave in exactly the same way that the establishment currently does against all of us.

Thus does Crowe persistently falsely characterize agitation by supporters of the Perth Group’s appeal for a debate with Duesberg – cladding his opposition to it with irrelevant mediaeval religious allusions in order to put it down it as ‘distasteful’ and inhumane. And because Duesberg has ‘made ... sacrifices’ (he’s certainly been punished), Crowe considers that his basic scientific errors – incalculably counterproductive in the resolution of the infectious AIDS myth – should not only not stand unchallenged but should be propounded too, even though he knows that they are completely, fundamentally wrong.

Crowe’s abysmal thinking on this score had been already laid out in his response to Sadun Kal’s immediate identification of this immense impediment to progress against the AIDS orthodoxy that Duesberg and his small iron ring of Rethinking AIDS group protectors pose. On 17 March 2008, in a monument to his mendacity, his disingenuousness, his contemptible pusillanimity and general mediocrity, Crowe replied to his letter to the Rethinking AIDS group:

I disagree with Dr. Duesberg on the issue of the existence/purification/isolation of HIV. However, I see him as a great hero on all other issues. Strategically, I think you need to ask yourself just what you will accomplish by tearing the dissident movement apart over whether we should tear Duesberg apart. First of all, I’m not going to join in that blood sport, and apart from being a waste of energy, I’m wondering just how you think Duesberg is stopping people from questioning the existence of HIV? If not, just how important is it to divert your attention from the external threat, AID$ Inc., and turn your guns on your own movement?

And, on 30 May 2008, when Kal persisted:

This is my last email to you because of the nature of your communications. I think you are being incredibly arrogant. You’d be satisfied if “everybody” acknowledges that something is amiss with Mr. Duesberg’s attitude. And you “personally can’t see why he should still be taken seriously as a HIV scientist” (ironic since you don’t believe HIV exists). This, despite his massive contribution in the form of books, journal articles, presentations, talks, and huge quantities of time, over the past 20 years. And a contribution that continues to this very day, if you would only pay a little bit of attention.

A ‘huge ... contribution’ to entrenching the misconception that there is a virus in the world called ‘HIV’ and to setting back the Perth Group’s observation that there isn’t. The stupidity speaks for itself.

In his mail to Hart, Crowe continued:

The disagreements that the Perth Group have with David Crowe are strategic, having little to do with the existence of HIV. David does not agree that [the] RA 2009 [conference] would be successful if the existence of HIV was the only issue. David does not believe that court cases can be successful if they are based solely on the existence of HIV.

Dishonestly justifying his refusal of the Perth Group’s request to convene a debate between Duesberg and themselves on the ‘existence of HIV’ Crowe falsely implied they’d stipulated this should be the ‘only issue’ on his conference agenda; they hadn’t. And to justify his fatal interference in the Parenzee case by introducing Duesberg’s harmless passenger virus line to contradict their evidence, Crowe falsely misrepresented the Perth Group’s forensic strategy in the case in the same way. It wasn’t ‘based solely on the existence of HIV’; both in their affidavit and in oral testimony they dealt with the antibody tests and sexual transmission as well. But it was certainly ‘based’ on the fact that there is no proof ‘HIV’ exists. What Crowe meant was that in his opinion the Perth Group’s strategy of basing the defence on this pivotal, crucial, decisive fact cannot be ‘successful’, it’s an unsuccessful strategy to follow. It’s wrong. The Perth Group are wrong. Their science is all very well in theory but it must be kept out of court.

In a mail to Claus Jensen on 8 December 2009 Crowe was explicit about this. He gave his reason for considering the Perth Group wrong in wanting Gallo cross-examined on the isolation question and compelled to concede that ‘HIV’ has not been purified and thereby shown to exist. What he told Jensen explained why he went so far as to secretly formulate Borick’s questions for him to make sure he avoided raising and pressing the pivotal isolation issue with which Gallo could have been floored:

I see some danger in trying to get a hostile witness to admit that HIV has never been purified, and that this means therefore that HIV’s existence is purely hypothetical. When I’ve tried anything like this everyone immediately jumps to, “Well, what were all those people dying from in Africa then?”.

I commented on Crowe’s cretinous assertions to some associates:

His line, ‘I see some danger’, captures it all.

He’s so completely clueless about the nature of cross-examination in court as opposed to a chat over lunch with his business acquaintances.

The lunch mate can change the subject, get up and go.

The witness can be grilled until he’s sobbing.

The one is free to move as he likes, the other is stuck at the end of an alley and has to deal with every bullet fired at him.

He can’t even shut up, or you get the judge to admonish him: Answer the [expl.] question.

As Eleni has said to me, the ‘AIDS expert’ can be ‘forced’; he’ll admit there’s been no purification ‘when forced’ in the witness stand, because presented with the evidence he can’t do otherwise.

This is the fundamental difference between chatting about HIV-AIDS and litigating about it that eludes Crowe.

And, I ought to have added, a witness under cross-examination must answer all questions put to him; unless to ask for clarification, he may not avoid answering them by putting questions to counsel of his own.

This is the trouble with businessmen mistaking themselves for lawyers and then acting on their ignorance.

In his mail to Crowe, Hart (and I) put to him:

All the Aids experts agree purification is necessary.

No, replied the cell phone businessman running the Rethinking AIDS group:

No. This is certainly not true of the mainstream. They simply dont talk about purification. There are only very rare instances of this among the mainstream. Generally they will simply claim that HIV is fragile and purification is impossible, which implies strongly that they dont believe purification is necessary.

The Parenzee case exposed Crowe’s persistent, stupendous ignorance on this critical point, because all the ‘mainstream’ experts, Gallo included, had been unanimous with the Perth Group that purification is essential to proving the existence of a virus. And Crowe bought the transcripts of the ‘mainstream’ experts’ evidence, Gallo’s included, so he could have seen for himself.

In the light of which, who would disagree with Crowes observation to Hart:

Its not an issue of authority. Its an issue of knowledge. The world has a bigger problem with people spouting opinions on things they are not actually all that knowledgeable about.

– further exemplified by his clueless grounds of appeal to the Criminal Appeal Court which he drew for Parenzee’s counsel Borick, after blowing the application for leave to appeal. And moreover by his persistent willful ignorance concerning the potent oxidative quality of semen.

On 1 October 2009 Crowe wrote to Jensen again about the failure of the Parenzee case that he’d wrecked:

if people involved in the trial in various capacities shared their observations and thoughts I am sure that new strategies would emerge.

This is to say, if Crowe and others ‘involved in the trial’ such as the Perth Group only had a chat about it they would likely come up with ‘new strategies’ better than the Perth Group’s bullet-to-the-heart strategy of showing that there’s no proof that ‘HIV’ at the centre of the case exists, ‘new strategies’ more effective than the Perth Group’s strategy of gunning at the one point the orthodoxy cannot defend, as their evidence in the Parenzee case tested under cross-examination confirmed.

In Crowe’s opinion the contention that ‘HIV’ has been proved to exist but is harmless, as against the contention that ‘HIV’ has never been proved to exist, are not fundamentally and radically contradictory, opposing and mutually destructive approaches to take at trial. No, he opined to Sadun Kal on 27 May 2008, there are only ‘small differences’ between them. And ‘we should not magnify’ them, he told de Harven the next day. Why, he explained to Kal,

the difference between a virus that does not exist and between one that exists, but only in small quantities and that is anyway not pathogenic, is not that great.

This is why Crowe’s advice in litigation, how to win a case, is to lead evidence that ‘HIV’ has in fact been proved to exist right after evidence that it hasn’t. And also, after evidence that ‘HIV’ hasn’t been proved to exist has been led, proceed to cross-examine the conventional experts on the premise that it has been proved to exist. Just as long as we have a ‘common goal’, Crowe reckons, that’ll be enough to win the judge – even if Perth Group, Duesberg and de Harven are against kicking the ball in different directions, the Perth Group forwards, de Harven sideways, and Duesberg backwards into our own net.

As the self-imagined legal expert substituting for Canadian barrister Chris Black at his RA2009 conference, Crowe presumably delivered a lecture on how to win a case this way.

Another thing. In an email to Jim Wolfe on 3 December 2006 Crowe alleged:

The court has heard from both Val Turner and Eleni Eleopulos. From comments the judge made the lawyer is concerned that the judge will not accept Eleni as an expert witness, likely on the basis that she is neither an MD not a PhD and because she is a physicist not a profession directly related (in the judge’s opinion) to HIV/AIDS.

In truth, ‘the judge’ never made any such ‘comments’ expressing such an ‘opinion’ either during their testimony or cross-examination (he did so only in his judgment, after Borick had himself implicitly repudiated her evidence and expertise, on Crowe’s advice, by taking up Duesberg’s harmless virus line in his further conduct of the appeal, both in the hearing and in the next rounds before the Criminal Appeal Board). On the contrary, in an email on 22 December 2006, copied to Crowe, English solicitor Clifford Miller quoted ‘the lawyer’ Borick stating:

In my opinion the Judge appears to accept Eleni’s expertise.

Crowe’s claim to Wolfe was a blatant lie. It was a blatant lie told to justify his attempt to involve his Rethinking AIDS group scientists Duesberg and de Harven in the case to contradict and discredit Papadopulos-Eleopulos’s evidence on the key, pivotal isolation question, just when the case was going well.

Even as he pretended to Wolfe in the same mail:

One of the things I’ve been trying to do is get some affidavits from other scientists who will support Eleni’s expertise to provide expert opinions attesting to the expertise of Eleni [sic].

This was untrue: he took an affidavit from de Harven, not ‘attesting to the expertise of Eleni’, but contradicting her, and from others he absurdly claims not to remember.

But pointing out his stupidity, his dishonesty and his disastrous incompetence, he whined to Jonathan Campbell on 18 and 22 August 2009, was

doing … damage … to the movement as a whole. [It was] pursuing a course that is strategically, factually and morally wrong.

But never mind the Perth Group, Crowe told Barnes in his September 2009 email:

We need to move forwards and hope that they eventually realize that they need to rejoin the main thrust of AIDS dissent.

The Perth Group need only to wake up and appreciate what they’re missing, and to fall in line with the ‘mainstream’ Rethinking AIDS group, the ‘main thrust of AIDS dissent’ driven by Peter Duesberg, David Rasnick, Henry Bauer, Helen Lauer, Roberto Giraldo, Bob Leppo, Gordon Stewart, Frank Lusardi, Claus Koehnlein, Charles Geshekter, Christian Fiala and Etienne de Harven, all led by the cellphone businessman David Crowe.

.....

Notes:

1. See generally The Unbelievable Mediocrity of David Crowe: Why Rethinking AIDS has the president it deserves

2. On 28 April 2010, apparently in reaction to the revelations contained in this critique, Crowe emailed ‘more than 350 people’ as president of his Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society (a society of one-member, him) asking them for their money, and to his Rethinking AIDS group too, slipping in the assertion –

(disclosure, I’m also the unpaid president of that organization)

– contradicting the bylaws of his Rethinking AIDS group he drew:

The Board of Directors will include three paid Officers, elected by the Board, namely: one President, one Treasurer, and one Webmaster.

It may be true that Crowe is unable to draw a salary from his Rethinking AIDS group’s funds at the moment, because they’re finished. On 14 March 2010 he said the RA2009 conference ‘stretched us to our financial limits’, which is to say he’d spent all the money Leppo gave him on his Rethinking AIDS conference. Hence his call for donations, so the ‘President’ of the Rethinking AIDS group can get ‘paid’ as an ‘Officer’ as his ‘bylaws’ provide.

3. In a post on the Times Higher Education blog on 7 May 2010 Crowe was back to propounding Duesberg’s harmless, rare virus science:

The scientific literature shows that the evidence for pathogenicity of HIV is weak ... Literature shows that there is either hardly any HIV present in people with AIDS or none at all. Don’t believe me, read the science [links to his website http://aras.ab.ca].

In fact the best ‘scientific literature’ on the subject of ‘HIV’, from the Perth Group, ‘shows’ ‘HIV’ doesn’t exist on the available evidence. But Crowe won’t say so. No ‘HIV’ in inverted commas for him.

More of his bullied schoolboy mentality spilled out in his absurdly inapposite and histrionic characterization of peer review as a censorship tool:

The great thing about peer review is that it is such an effective tool to beat your critics to a pulp with, and the blood is so easy to wash off.

These notes will be updated with developments