From: Sadun Kal [email@example.com]
Sent: 12 September 2009 07:18 PM
To: David Crowe
Cc: Sadun Kal; janine roberts; Anthony Brink; Val Turner; Peter Duesberg; David Rasnick; Gordon Stewart; Helen Lauer; Henry Bauer; Michael Ellner; Etienne De Harven; Charles Geshekter; Frank Lusardi; firstname.lastname@example.org; Claus Koehnlein; Roberto Geraldo; Andy Maniotis
Subject: Re: Interest in Truth and Progress
I'm afraid the points you try to make are rather inconsequential. I'll still respond to them but I perceived them as desperate attempts to deny your own responsibilities. I return to that point later below.
> Please provide one solid piece of evidence that "RA embraces the Duesberg approach without questioning".
First I should repeat what I meant by the Duesberg approach:
essentially does "science" the way Montagnier and Gallo do: Make a
claim and ignore the critical counter-arguments as long as the claim is
perpetuated by others, reap the benefits, overlook the disastrous consequences.
This simple unacceptable approach by certain "scientists" forms the basis of years of misery, wasted billions and countless lives sacrificed for personal benefits, all of which gets us all so mad and are the reasons for why we do what we do. Yet the same clearly anti-scientific behavior is ignored when Duesberg is the one doing it..."
If you keep what was meant with the word "approach" in mind, then my claim appears rather obvious I guess. For increasing accuracy I'll turn "without questioning" into "without publicly questioning" now, that's also what really matters. I'm not familiar with anything published by any of the RA members that is critical of the "scientific attitude" of Peter Duesberg. Did any of you ever publicly request/demand/pressure Duesberg to act like a responsible scientist and to take part in a real scientific discourse with the Perth Group? If you did then put it somewhere more visible please.
> Also, please note, that RA is not responsible for the US media picking a US figure in most news stories. Please provide one solid piece of evidence that RA has "influence" with the US media in the sense that they can sway coverage of any story.
influences David. I didn't say anything about swaying coverage.We're all
responsible. And I think the example with Harper's article and the Richard
Wilson's quote demonstrate the problematic state quite clearly.
It's about realistic expectations regarding the media's capacity. You can't keep something secret and then accuse media of inaccurate reporting if they couldn't penetrate your secrecy with extraordinary amount of effort. You can try to dump all the blame for it all on the media, or you can try to help the media see through all the subtle dynamics among HIV/AIDS skeptics, which will significantly help the cause in return. You're in a position to change the media's perception significantly and help them get more accurate information about what Duesberg is and what he isn't.
Even if you still do not feel responsible in any way you should still feel motivated to change the perception of Duesberg as a real scientist (and expose his unscientific silence for what it is) and the perception of the Perth Group as some weirdos nobody takes seriously (since apparently Mr. Duesberg doesn't).
If you don't think all that has anything to do with your responsibility as the president of the Rethinking AIDS, and if all the board members also don't see providing accurate information to the public as their responsibility,* then there is really a lot of room for questioning if any of you are adequately equipped to meet the requirements of the critical positions you're in. Wouldn't you agree?
*: It's also disgraceful that Duesberg is actually one of the board members, despite what is known about his "approach".
David Crowe wrote:
You cannot make useful contributions while declining to get your hands dirty with actual data.
Please provide one solid piece of evidence that "RA embraces the Duesberg approach without questioning".
Also, please note, that RA is not responsible for the US media picking a US figure in most news stories. Please provide one solid piece of evidence that RA has "influence" with the US media in the sense that they can sway coverage of any story.
I think it is the flaws of the US media which will make the Michael Tracey keynote speech at RA 2009 so important.
If you continue to refuse to deal with evidence we will continue to have unproductive discussions.
At 8:16 PM +0200 9/2/09, Sadun Kal wrote:
You're looking at it from the wrong perspective and missing the point. The "Duesberg effect" in question isn't something that is officially written on paper. It's the result of a general behavior common among HIV/AIDS skeptics. For example even I have never publicly written anything real about it. So I'm also responsible for it to a certain degree. Even now as I try to solve the problem internally instead of being publicly brutally honest about it I'm under the influence of that bias; I'm guilty too.* But at least I'm aware of it.
The problem with RA is that it embraces the Duesberg approach without questioning and due to its own influence, as an organization that represents all the AIDS rethinkers worldwide, RA multiplies the negative consequences, which means that RA's attitude ensures that Duesberg's pseudoscience will always influence the media, the public, patients, activists and of course help the "AIDS" establishment get away with their own pseudoscience.
Of course the effect was there way before 2006. The only reason I used the Harper's article as an example is because in your "CONFIDENTIAL" email I responded to with CCing others you tried to use the Perth Group's commentary on Celia's article as an excuse for the problems in question, which actually source from the Duesberg effect and the ongoing acceptance of it by us rethinkers.
If the nature of the problem is still not clear then take a look at the way the media handled the topic since 1980s. How much place did the PG get in the media in comparison to Duesberg? How many rethinkers are fooled by it? How often are the PG members invited to radio shows like Duesberg or Rasnick?
How many "anti-denialists" are aware of what the Perth Group is and what they argue you think?
Here's a quote from Richard Wilson, the "anti-denialist" author of "Don't Get Fooled Again: The Sceptic's Guide to Life" who felt that he knew enough about "AIDS denialism" to write on the topic in his well-received book:
"The honest truth is that I regard the Perth Group as relatively marginally bit-players in comparison to people like Duesberg, Mbeki, Celia Farber and Neville Hodgkinson. Clearly they've had a lot to say and gained a committed band of supporters, but their support base, and their impact on the world, seems to me to be quite small compared to those larger players. I should say that one key reason for my largely ignoring them is that Duesberg himself has been quite dismissive of them and - if my recollection serves me correctly (it would take me a while to dig out the link) I believe he's suggested that they've just not understood the science."
See HERE. Can you begin to understand the implications now? Can you see the damage that is being done... because of the Duesberg effect you do not perceive as a problem?
Or take another look at AIDStruth.org as I earlier said. A website that claims to debunk the "denialist myths" doesn't feel the need for addressing the most critical arguments of the Perth Group. Why do you think that is?...- And here is a nice one: Just as I was writing that sentence someone named canaan1967 on YouTube left the comment below at this video: The Great AIDS Debate (1994) - Excerpts Part 1
"HIV has never been isolated. Why isn't this being dicussed? This debate is a farce. It makes both sides seem plausible. I would like to have seen Val Turner and Eleni Papadopoulos in this discussion. Horton, Siegal, Kaplan and Garry are Murderers with nice houses." **
I don't know who he/she is. But the point is apparently it disturbs many people who are somehow fortunate enough to see through the Duesberg barrier and get to know the Perth Group's arguments. If I weren't a German speaker I probably could've never grasped the situation myself. There is no information out there on this topic (or at least wasn't until the Brink explosion.) And it's not just me or Anthony Brink or Rod Knoll who is disturbed by the situation. It's a very obvious problem for those who are familiar with the Perth Group and not too familiar with Peter Duesberg.
Need I say more? I'm not even getting into the Parenzee trial or the allegedly-innocent exclusion of PG's representative from the RA 2009 conference.
I will once again finish by repeating my fundamental question:
Is there any hope for an RA with complete scientific integrity that is willing to take real action against the Duesberg effect?
I can no longer care all that much about your thoughts on all the other things. Just respond to the question please.
Yes or no?
*: Very few people got fed up with it enough to free themselves of the chains of the Duesberg effect. Anthony Brink recently exploded as you're aware of, which indirectly caused me to write these recent emails. I had no hope or motivation left prior to that. And my hope is still weak but my current motivation is no longer just for gently trying to persuade you to do something about it. I'm tired of not having the integrity to openly point out the insanity myself. I plan to act and communicate more responsibly in the future, even at the cost of losing your friendship and respect if necessary. Thankfully I'm neither really close to Duesberg nor to the members of the RA who are(were?) either unaware of the Duesberg effect or in denial of its catastrophic influence.
**: Although a paper by the Perth Group (1993, Bio/technology) is briefly mentioned in that video it's completely forgotten in the next second. Ask yourselves why that might be possible...
P.S. Sorry if the blog post you linked to in the other email was confusing, but you should've read the NOTICE at the very end and spent some time thinking about it before judging me. That parody-like text actually exposes the incompetence of the orthodoxy when they're faced with the Perth Group. And ironically I felt that I had to write it the way I did also because of the Duesberg effect, since it makes it easier for the orthodoxy to ignore the PG.
David Crowe wrote:
Re: Interest in Truth and Progress
You are very dangerous when you make stuff up, which is just about every time you write.
The editors of Harpers checked with the board of RA before approving Celia's article? How else would this pro-Duesberg bias that you imagine exists have influenced the article to such an extent?
The problem is that when you write stuff like this some even more naive people might believe it. But if you look at the facts (you know, verifiable data, even as mundane as a timeline) your notions are clearly absurd.
Let's talk facts for a minute:
- Celia's article was published in March 2006.
- The re-formative meeting of Rethinking AIDS was in New York City in June 2006.
- June 2006 comes after March 2006.
- Anthony Brink claims that I formed Rethinking AIDS from whole cloth and that it didn't exist until I came along with my posse of yes-men in 2006.
- So how did RA have such all-encompassing influence on the editor of Harpers under those circumstances, before RA had been re-formed, before it had issued its first press release, two years before I became its president?
Please start dealing with facts and not wild speculations. This will be my last response to anything you write until you cease wild speculation based on assumptions and opinions that are often at odds with the facts.
At 9:15 PM +0200 8/29/09, Sadun Kal wrote:
Janine, David and the others,
Words like "pseudoscience" and "pseudoscientist" may sound too harsh when referring to someone like Peter Duesberg, who played such a valuable and critical role for Rethinking AIDS, for all rethinkers and many desperate victims of the establishment out there. Choosing those words may not have been the best choice for communication purposes either, but unfortunately it was an accurate use of those words and I wanted to finally say it as it is. If anyone thinks that the "pseudoscience" description was inaccurate then I welcome any counterarguments. But I thought that it was time to face the reality. If calling Peter Duesberg a pseudoscientist is perceived as an attack, that is not because I wanted to smear his name or anything, but because Duesberg has been misrepresented all along and turned into something that he in reality is not. He no longer can be regarded as a true scientist. The king has no clothes.
And that exposing the truth about him is perceived as an attack perfectly demonstrates the counter-productive bias in action here, which motivated me to write the previous email in the first place.
To make my point about the "Duesberg effect's" relation to Celia Farber's article let me go into a little more detail. It's actually an excellent example, and why that is should become clearer now: I explicitly stated that it's not Celia's fault that the article doesn't touch the fundamental arguments the Perth Group raises. I blame the Duesberg effect, and interestingly Duesberg is no longer the one responsible for it either. To my knowledge Celia actually didn't even want to include Duesberg in the article, to avoid the anti-"denialist" politics harming the story. And being the nice guy he is Peter Duesberg also preferred to be left out, according to Celia. * But the end result is that neither Celia nor Duesberg could do anything against the Duesberg effect, and the article had a Duesberg bias.
What seems to have happened is that the editors of the Harper's magazine insisted on having Duesberg in the article, and in the end he was in it. So the question is this: Why did the editors wanted Duesberg, but nothing about the Perth Group? And at that point the Duesberg effect becomes clear. The over-protective embracing of Duesberg by RA creates this misguiding image about Duesberg. As a result of the treatment (or non-treatment) the Perth Group receives from RA the Perth Group's existence is not even acknowledged, when in comparison Duesberg is made to appear God-like.
How could the editors possibly care about the Perth Group under such circumstances? How can the public care? And more importantly how can we expect the orthodoxy to give a damn about the Perth Group when even the RA more or less pretends that they don't exist, let alone emphasize their significance and passionately promote their work? If you visit the pathetic AIDStruth.org, you'll see that there isn't even a flimsy pseudoscientific attempt to answer the PG's arguments about HIV's isolation/purification issue. Why should they bother if even Peter Duesberg, the king of denialists, doesn't see those arguments as worthy of a response? Add to that the fact that even the dissidents don't seem to be bothered by his behavior... You get the picture.
That's what I was talking about when I said that there is no room for the Perth Group until they're embraced/integrated into RA at least as much as Duesberg, even if they don't take over anyone's "throne".
My arguments are not about RA being completely dogmatic or censoring the Perth Group. It's about RA not being honest; not to the public and not to ourselves. Not being truthful. RA's politics are deceiving the media and the public worldwide about what Duesberg is and isn't, which diminishes the Perth Group's influence. Duesberg essentially does "science" the way Montagnier and Gallo do: Make a claim and ignore the critical counter-arguments as long as the claim is perpetuated by others, reap the benefits, overlook the disastrous consequences.
This simple unacceptable approach by certain "scientists" forms the basis of years of misery, wasted billions and countless lives sacrificed for personal benefits, all of which gets us all so mad and are the reasons for why we do what we do. Yet the same clearly anti-scientific behavior is ignored when Duesberg is the one doing it. Why? Or better yet: Does the exact reason even matter? Isn't it clearly insane!? Worshiping our "scientific hero", closing our eyes to the paralyzing consequences of his stubborn unscientific silence and reliance on his past success stories make the "hero" appear more like a villain with every passing day. It no longer is okay. It's hurting people and the cause. It prevents progress. The sooner Duesberg steps down or decides to finally act like a real scientist the better (which means he'll respond to or declare his agreement with the Perth Group for example) and he'll be remembered solely as a fantastic hero, instead of a fallen scientist who lost his way.**
As earlier stated, those who form RA have certain responsibilities. The main responsibility would be to take action in response to the points raised: Eliminate the Duesberg effect one way or the other*** and restore the scientific integrity of an organization, the strongest aspect of which is supposed to be scientific objectivity.
If people within RA can't find in themselves the strength and motivation to be loyal to the absolute truth with respect to the ongoing insanity, then their responsibility becomes to inform the public about it. If that again feels too hard the least they should do is to admit their limitations to those who rely on the organization, hope and strive to make it better. The Perth Group deserves to know whether or not there is any point in them trying to work together with RA, or if the present obstacles will always remain where they are. In that case it would be easier for both the Perth Group and RA if they part their ways and no longer waste any time on trying to resolve unresolvable conflicts.
Again I want to finish by repeating the question and I won't shut up about this until the answer becomes clear:
Is there any hope for significant improvements regarding the above issues or would an official divorce after years of fruitless struggle be a wise choice?
I would appreciate clear answers so that I and others like me can make informed decisions about this important topic. Thank you.
If silence persists despite repeated attempts at getting answers, then I will take that as a "No, unfortunately RA is never going to be a truly scientific organization. So if you care about scientific integrity you shouldn't waste any time with RA." but I hope that those of you who form RA won't force me to repeat the question several times before sharing your opinions.
*: That scenario about the Harper's article is based on the information provided by Celia Farber in the HIV-AIDS Paradigm Yahoo discussion group when she was defending Peter Duesberg.
**: And that "fallen scientist" treatment will/does possibly feel like a second time for him, even if I and all the other rethinkers see his first "fall" as a heroic demonstration of scientific integrity instead. At this stage there are more critical things than his feelings though...
***: If Duesberg himself insists on pretending that everything is ok, then Janine Roberts' suggestions could be seriously considered as a nice way to start making improvements. Namely "concrete actions of reconciliation" with the Perth Group by passionately trying to heal the wounds of the past and work together with them. I'm not sure if Anthony Brink would still be interested in attending the RA 2009 conference as the Perth Group's representative but asking him would be a sign of good will at least, and would indicate that it might be possible for something to be done to eliminate the "Duesberg effect".
janine roberts wrote:
What can I say? Given that you sent me this email of yours about Peter, and circulated it very widely, and there is a matter of fairness at issue, I feel I should explain what I think.
You know that I support a more inclusive attitude towards the Perth Group, and wish that RA would take action on this division, and, no matter the history of disputes, respecting Eleni's choice of a spokesman for the RA conference. I did so not because I want to impose my views, but because I would love to see healing of this long standing tension between eminent scientists and couldn't see any better way.
But this does not mean that I think it is right to attack Peter Duesberg in this way! As far as I know, Peter makes no call for RA to adhere to his views. He has given me the impression of being a very fair man. Anthony has said how well he got on with Peter. So I cannot join you in asking why do we tolerate Peter. It feels insulting. Despite a few differences of view, he is one of my scientific heros. I come across many HIV positive people who discovered Peter's book on Inventing the AIDS virus - and they thank him warmly for opening their eyes. In many people's eyes he is deservedly a hero - for standing up against the AIDS establishment at great personal cost - as also has the Perth Group. Both have worked so very hard for decades. Can we have more than one camp of heros please!
Nor apparently is the board of RA so dogmatic about Peter's views. Etienne de Harven has spoken of how some members were very devoted to Peter's views but not all. I thus feel that the long-term divisions are much more political in nature than scientific. Harsh words, exclusion and suspicions have dug these divisions. But - it is not so easy to seek a divorce - when our family of AIDS victims is so many?
You asked - why did Celia not quote Perth in that article? - She is a journalist and made no claim to represent all involved. Again - she is a warm and strong writer who puts her soul into fighting the AIDS monster. It totally distorts her important work to so analyze it. It creates reasons for divisions quite unnecessarily.
Can I again call for concrete actions of reconciliation over the above divisions? Or - am I simply asking for just too much?
If so - then this sad and bitter state of affairs will continue - and can we afford it?
On 28 Aug 2009, at 18:38, Sadun Kal wrote:
I decided to CC my response to relevant parties. Since it also concerns them, I'd be interested in what they think about the below text... especially those who carry direct responsibility:
My understanding is that the Perth Group's reluctance to support and cooperate with RA the way you'd want it sources from RA's pure acceptance of Duesberg's clearly unscientific conduct. Peter Duesberg's presence might have many benefits, but he's also a huge burden on RA. The PG are not willing to ignore that big obstacle. They could not get through to him, neither through direct communication with Duesberg nor through the help from other members of RA. Consequently they became disillusioned, lost their hope for getting anywhere through RA, and possibly began to despise the people responsible for that situation. And now their reaction to this situation is being presented as a justification for the way they have been treated before they even reacted, as far as I can see.
Let's take Celia Farber's "Out of Control" for example: What exactly was the reason behind not covering the Perth Group's science in the Harper's article? They certainly were not irrelevant, they probably even have a more critical role than Duesberg, but it's as if they don't exist! The exact details of the reasons behind don't matter. The result is they are excluded. That's the outcome. But it's not Celia's fault. It's the "Duesberg effect". That's his paralyzing influence I'm talking about. There's not enough room for PG as long as Duesberg is not brought down from his unscientific throne. As long as RA embraces him with all his faults, as long as his damaging unscientific stubbornness on the most critical aspect of the HIV/AIDS debate is not vigorously discussed instead of being so ridiculously tolerated and kept hidden from the public, then you shouldn't expect the Perth Group to warm up to an organization like RA, and stand by you under all circumstances. The organization is extremely burdened under politics, and there is way too much tolerance for pseudoscience and pseudoscientists, too put it roughly.
You expect the PG to be saints. I also wish they were, but it's an unreasonable expectation. They have been ignored and suppressed by people who were supposed to be their "allies" all these years, simply because of people's loyalty to Duesberg. This had consequences. It determined PG's attitude towards RA.
I think the only reason Duesberg is so tolerated is because RA is relatively small: He's perceived like he's irreplaceable and nobody (no media, no public) holds the organization accountable for the clear misconduct. But if the RA is to grow either Duesberg has to change or he has to be let go. His influence should diminish, he should pull back, leave the "war". This should be expected from him by people like you. If he's not capable of doing it himself, then action should be taken by people like you, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. It's necessary for the evolution of RA, it's necessary for taking truly effective action against the orthodoxy.
If you believe that RA is not ready to grow, that it needs this pseudoscience to hold it together, then that's your opinion, and you may be right. I'm not sure. I don't know the exact structure of the organization, the financial backers etc. But if that's the case you should clearly state that: Can you afford to put an end to pseudoscience, or will you cling to it for longer?
A clear answer is crucial because it will determine whether or not there is any point in trying to reach you people, or if the ways should be separated as soon as possible. The latter seems like it would be a smarter choice with every passing day.
If there's to be an official "divorce" then I suppose a scientifically more solid organization should be formed to both cover RA's weak spots and to expose it for what it is, and maybe even get rid of it, finish it, replace it, if RA insists on maintaining a pseudoscientific influence. That would be a shame because RA is still very useful in many ways, but it does begin to seem like it would be a necessary sacrifice. So please think hard about what you want to see for the movement in the future.
For now I primarily care about your response to the question so that people can make informed decisions:
Do you think you can afford to put an end to RA's pseudoscience (you should know what I'm talking about by now), or will you cling to it for longer? What will it be?
P.S. If not every recipient is aware of what is exactly meant by "pseudoscience", then google " TIG POSITION STATEMENT ON 'HIV' " for a better understanding of how the current stuck state is perceived by some.