Janine Roberts to Claus’s Rethinking the letter to Science.
October 2nd 2009
Dear Claus. You
say this is about the ‘So Called’ letter to Science? Was it not a letter? Did it
not go to Science?
Not a very good start.
Was the letter to Science based on newly analysed documents, as it claimed? You cite my website
where I tell how I discovered these documents and you object. I suggest you are interpreting ‘discover’ as if it
meant finding a new species. We all ‘discover’ research documents when we search libraries or other sources - it
does not mean that no one knew of their existence beforehand. ‘Discovery’ is, for example, a right that allows
legal parties to ‘discover’ what the other party holds that is relevant.
In this case – the legal investigations of Robert Gallo first ‘discovered’ these documents but they did not make
them publically available. Nor did Crewdson until fairly recently, but did not analyse them. I then discovered
them among a large number he made available, and was the first to analyse and publish them in print in 2008.
They were thus ‘newly analysed,’ just as the 2008 letter to Science stated.
Did the scientists whose signatures were requested know that the papers they were sent had been in my new
book “Fear of the Invisible?” You say they did not know.
David and I drafted the accompanying letter asking for their signatures, and this letter expressly told them that my
book had made these available. I had insisted on this. They thus all should have known – if David sent them the
agreed text. They also all received copies of the relevant documents so they could judge them for themselves.
Re Comments by Dr Andrew Maniotis cited against the letter.
Claus, you are out-of-date. True he had misgivings at first but that was before he had discussed them with me.
When Andy and I meet in Greece, during the launch of Maria’s book, we discussed for the first time the letter to
Science. After this he agreed to send the above letter again to Science in April 2009, attaching to it an endorsing
letter from himself. He has also just emailed, in response to this posting by yourself, to say he will support other
initiatives I take and remains in support of the Letter. He has also done me the honour of asking me to edit his
forthcoming massive volume of scientific work.
His endorsement is especially significant, as several of the scientists whose emails you cite say they were
influenced by Andy’s original posting.
Re Comments cited made by Robert Gallo. Claus, you wrongly present this as if it is a response by Gallo to the
Letter to Science. Gallo wrote to me over a year earlier – before this letter was conceived, and before my book
was written. How else could this letter be in my book? Gallo was responding to my work for the Ecologist. You
should have checked the dates. Furthermore, you excluded my response to that letter pointing out its inaccuracies.
It almost reads as if you are endorsing his letter!
Dr. Val Turner’s letter – which I am now seeing for the first time - I will reply separately.
What is missing from your Rethinking the Letter to Science article?
In the whole of your presentation Claude, you miss the major point in the Letter to Science - it is central to
the letter, and you do not even cite it, let alone contradict it.
The central premise of the Letter to Science is that; at no point in the Popovic et al paper that is widely cited
as proving a virus causes AIDS (ie in Nature in 1984), is there any experiment designed to prove any virus
pathogenic, let alone the cause of AIDS. This is true both of the Popovic draft and the paper as published. It
is a totally amazing omission. This is a point I also made strongly in my book and in associated articles.
What the letter to Science said was “Popovic’s final conclusion was that the culture he produced
“provides the possibility” for detailed studies. He claimed to have achieved nothing more. At no
point in his paper did Popovic attempt to prove that any virus caused AIDS,”
This to my mind is the elephant in the room – there simply is no experiment in this paper that tries to isolate
and prove any virus the cause of AIDS.
The fact that Gallo deleted from the Popovic draft several statements that would have made this even more
obvious, is supportive of the assertion that this went beyond scientific flaws to be deliberate fraud.
The history of this paper and this draft is well documented, for it was subjected to unprecedented OSI, ORI,
Secret Service and Congressional investigation. It is thus unlikely that related documents were missed.
The two letters cited with this – as I stated at the time and in my book – these are supportive evidence. They
do not prove the case by themselves.
Could the letter have been drafted better? Yes with hindsight it could have been.
Claus, you presumably saw my account of the relations between David and I during the process of preparing this
letter and getting it to Science. I am thus surprised that you do not cite this.
If you did see it, you will know
1. That I proposed this letter, and wrote an early draft that David and I changed in negotiations. . He took
responsibility for sending the relevant documents and requests out to possible signatories.
2. That, after disagreements, David emailed me to say he was unilaterally taking final control over the
letter’s text. He also would not share all the related correspondence.
3. That Christine at a late stage also edited the letter.
4. That David denied me the email addresses of the signatories, thus maintaining control over most
5. But – in response to David’s attempt to make the release of the Letter a PR event for RA, to which I was
opposed –as were also Professors Peter Duesberg and Gordon Stewart – Christine secured from the RA
board a rejection of David’s tactics. The Board voted instead unanimously that the Science journal be
asked to respond to one of the signatories as is normal in science, and not to RA – and that there should
be no mention of RA accompanying the letter to the Science journal.
6. The letter to Science was not amended overly away from what I wanted to see in it, but it is not perfect.
I settled for the best that was achievable.
7. The correspondence that you cite. This I now see for the first time. I wish it had come directly to me. I
could have clarified things, I see there was unnecessary confusion – and I would like to have adopted at
least one of the suggested changes put forward by Val.
The presentation of Claus’s science
Claus, as I have said before, you should think seriously about also sending your research on the Popovic et al paper
to Science if you have not already. You have constructed a very different argument for vital flaws in the Popovic
et al paper, looking at other aspects than myself. The Editor of Science should see it. We are scarcely in
competition. We are both questioning this paper’s validity from different viewpoints.
I agree the RT spikes observed do not justify the paper’s conclusion that there was ‘continuous virus’ production.
This observation was also made in my book. Your observations make this even more evident. But they do not
justify removing the central point made in this letter to Science, that the paper contains no experiment at all
designed to prove any virus produced pathogenic, let alone the cause of AIDS.
I am astonished that you have posted this as an attempt to discredit the letter to Science that I initiated and coauthored
– for there is scarcely any direct critique of our letter’s contents in this at all. Rather what you are
presenting is your alternative letter to science that you wanted to replace ours, plus emailed comments from a few
people, most of whom I would suggest were not sufficiently informed about our Letter to Science project and
reacted, as some acknowledge, to early comments from Maniotis. As these emails were not addressed to myself,
or shared with me, I was not aware of their concerns and thus have not been able to address them – saving
importantly with Andy Maniotis – who now has endorsed the letter twice – for each of its presentations to Science.
Finally, it is important that the Science journal should be frequently challenged over the non-withdrawal of the
much cited paper, the Popovic et al, because it is so vitally flawed, and possibly fraudulent. Of course other forms
of words can be used in doing this, but as this is one of the foundation papers of the AIDS edifice, getting it
withdrawn might well be of important consequence.
I also agree with Dr Val Turner that it is very important also to focus on the Montaigne 1983 paper claiming the
discovery of LAV. However this paper does not claim to have proved this the cause of AIDS. The conclusions in
the 1990s of the official investigators into Gallo’s claims was that LAV had been finally proved the cause of AIDS
in the Popovic et al paper, which we know, from its draft, experimented on LAV renamed as HTLV-III.
This makes the latter paper of very great concern.
B.Sc. (Hons) S.T.L.