by Terry Michael | January 3, 2010

Climate and AIDS Denialists,
and Politicized Junk Science.

Losing a debate about one of your most cherished beliefs? There’s a handy way to shut down such discourse, to discredit intellectual enemies employing pesky reading-and-fact-based arguments. Just call them out as deniers or denialists, as in the epitome of earthly evil, Holocaust Denialism.

Demonize your critics, to stop them from criticizing your demons. It works really well for talking heads, like New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, observed in December on Cable Noise Network putting down the global warming “deniers,” as he called them (while hawking the tree-killing paperback version of his latest opus magnum, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution.”)

Not convinced? Then consult preachers at The Al Gore Church of Greenhouse Gas Bags, or medical science experts in The HIV-AIDS Industrial Complex. Listen to them shout about the apocalyptic meltdown being wrought by global warming denialists. Hear them exhort against the killer AIDS denialists.

The “tricking” of tree ring “data” revealed in the Climategate emails should be instructive to all free minds. Many scientists are just politicians with advanced degrees. They play their expertise card to propagandize for less-than-fully-baked theories--just like the best and the brightest domino theory’d us into Vietnam, those brilliant neo-con-artists WMD’d us into Iraq, and our super smart president fooled himself (and us) into the Afghan abyss.

As I tell my political journalism students, accept no received wisdom, especially when it comes from figure-ers who lie, and liars who figure.

For the past quarter century, the “denialist” epithet has been hurled at credible, well-motivated biologists, bio-chemists, physicians, epidemiologists, investigative science-and-health journalists, and other intelligent outliers with the temerity to question the scientific consensus behind the single pathogen theory of what caused AIDS.

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, as it was labeled after first being called Gay Related Immunodeficiency Syndrome or GRID, really was--no denying it--killing thousands of gay men for about a decade, from the early 1980's to the beginning of the 1990's, when its incidence started to decline. But most of the interpreters of our reality, the science-and-math-challenged Main Stream Media, who wouldn’t know a biology lab from a Labrador Retriever, believe the drop in what has become known as “HIV disease” was a function of miracle drugs peddled by the pharmaceutical industry, the Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapies--that benign-sounding but highly toxic “side”-affecting HAART, introduced in 1996, three or four years after AIDS began to subside.

AIDS “denialists,” the first of whom was biologist Dr. Peter Duesberg of the Univ. of California at Berkeley, have been shunned from the free market of ideas. They have been denied entry to scientific and medical peer review journals. They are much like the “deniers” who dare question the received wisdom of The Gore-acle of Global Warming.

Having spent the past three years studying mysteries of the HIV=AIDS paradigm, I am ready to admit I am a full-fledged, out-of-the-closet, HIV-AIDS denialist. After some pretty intense book reading, almost daily internet-assisted document research, and considerable old-fashioned journalistic interviewing of knowledgeable sources, I have concluded there is not now, there never was, a “human immunodeficiency virus.” The single pathogen theory was wrong. A controversial view, to be sure, but one for which I can cite facts and fact-based arguments.

AIDS among gay men was of multi-factorial causation, from an unusually intense exchange of old pathogens in the aftermath of the mid-20th Century sexual revolution; an unprecedented ingestion of toxins, in the form of recreational drugs; and the psychogenically health damaging effects of being a hated minority group--all of which were immuno-suppressive in a subset of gay men who ghetto-ized themselves in urban America after the late 1960's.

And heterosexual AIDS in Africa? It’s just the name given by western medicine men to health harm from old immuno-suppressive malnutrition and unclean drinking water, and a high incidence of old diseases like tuberculosis and malaria--not the result of a wily retrovirus that never caused a heterosexual epidemic of AIDS in the white West.

I published the results of my study in an 8,000-word piece at my web site on the internet, about the only place we denialists can give voice to our dissent, and even there it’s difficult. I learned that December 7, when a guest commentary I wrote on AIDS and Big Pharma was erased Soviet-style from the popular Wall Street web site founded by CNBC’s Jim Cramer, TheStreet.com, after being up only four hours. I made the mistake of mentioning one of the powerful purveyors of anti-retrovirals, Gilead Sciences, Inc.

You can read my thoughts on the mysteries of HIV-AIDS here: End to AIDS Nearer Than We Think? Re-appraising HIV in its 25th Anniversary Year. And you can see the trailer for a new documentary film here: "House of Numbers," which raises questions about the single pathogen theory of AIDS.

"Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact," Willa Cather wrote. The acronym HIV-AIDS is not even a word, let alone a fact.
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Gay, 62 and living for 35 years in Washington, DC, Terry Michael is a former reporter and political press secretary. He directs the non-partisan, non-ideological Washington Center for Politics & Journalism, which he founded in 1989. His opinion writing, separate from his work at the Center, is at his personal web site: www.terrymichael.net

 



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