RE: The great Virus debate.

Jim Whitehead (
Fri, 23 Jan 1998 14:58:05 -0800

There are many parallels between this and the recent "dismal science"
thread, no? Both of them tie into the public's need for conspiracy
theories, and both depend on anti-intellectualism to some degree.

On the other hand, this one does seem to have a little more community
support than the "dismal science" incident.

- Jim

On Friday, January 23, 1998 1:45 PM, CobraBoy []
> HB is a strange town. It really is a world of it's own as I realized last
> night. It really has nothing to do with anything in the world, other than
> HB and the HB lifestyle.
> In this strange town is Time Warner Cable. You can regularly turn on TWC
> and spend an entire night watching home made cable shows on board sports.
> (surf, snow, skate)
> Last night I was going through the channels and saw the beginning of what
> thought was another A.I.D.'s "hey kids don't have sex commericals." It
> the kid and mother from Home Improvement. It actually turned out to be a
> show about what is possibly the greatest debacle in the world. That being
> the HIV=AIDS=Death.
> I personally don't believe that HIV causes death. Nor Aids for that
> That facts just aren't there. I do 100% believe that AZT etc. will kill
> and kill you damn quick. I am not HIV positive, however I could test
> positive by drinking a couple half gallons of whole milk and going down
> first thing in the morning and getting tested. Then I could go on AZT and
> die. Great...
> Anyway, I don't really respect a lot of people in this world. Kary Mullis
> is one I do have a lot of respect for though. This is his forward to a
> by Dr. Peter Duesenberg. If you don't know anything about this you might
> want to read it and check it out.
> By Kary Mullis
> In 1988 I was working as a consultant at Specialty Labs in Santa
> Monica,
> setting up analytic routines for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus
> (HIV). I
> knew a lot about setting up analytic routines for anything with
> nucleic acids
> in it because I had invented the Polymerase Chain Reaction.
That's why
> they had hired me.
> Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), on the other hand,
> something I did not know a lot about. Thus, when I found myself
> writing a
> report on our progress and goals for the project, sponsored by
> National
> Institutes of Health, I recog nized that I did not know the
> scientific reference
> to support a statement I had just written: "HIV is the probable
> cause of
> AIDS."
> So I turned to the virologist at the next desk, a reliable and
> competent
> fellow, and asked him for the reference. He said I didn't need
one. I
> disagreed. While it's true that certain scientific discov eries
> techniques are
> so well established that their sources are no longer referenced
in the
> contemporary literature, that didn't seem to be the case with the
> connection. It was totally remarkable to me that the individual
who had
> discovered the cause of a deadly and as-yet-uncured disease would
> not be
> con tinually referenced in the scientific papers until that
> was cured
> and forgotten. But as I would soon learn, the name of that
> individual - who
> would surely be Nobel material - was on the tip of no one's
> Of course, this simple reference had to be out there somewhere.
> Otherwise
> tens of thousands of public servants and esteemed scientists of
> callings, trying to solve the tragic deaths of a large number of
> homosexual
> and/or intravenous (IV) drug-using men between the ages of
> and forty, would not have allowed their research to settle into
> narrow
> channel of investigation. Everyone wouldn't fish in the same pond
> unless it
> was well estab lished that all the other ponds were empty. There
> had to be a
> pub lished paper, or perhaps several of them, which taken
> indicated
> that HIV was the probable cause of AIDS. There just had to be.
> I did computer searches, but came up with nothing. Of course, you
> can miss
> something important in computer searches by not putting in just
> right
> key words. To be certain about a scientific issue, it's best to
> other
> scientists directly. That's one thing that scientific conferences
> in faraway
> places with nice beaches are for.
> I was going to a lot of meetings and conferences as part of my
> I got in
> the habit of approaching anyone who gave a talk about AIDS and
> him or her what reference I should quote for that increasingly
> problematic
> statement, "HIV is the probable cause of AIDS."
> After ten or fifteen meetings over a couple years, I was getting
> pretty upset
> when no one could cite the reference. I didn't like the ugly
> conclusion that
> was forming in my mind: The entire campaign against a disease
> increasingly
> regarded as a twentieth century Black Plague was based on a
> whose origins no one could recall. That defied both scientific
> common
> sense.
> Finally, I had an opportunity to question one of the giants in
> and AIDS
> research, Dr Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute, when he
> a talk in
> San Diego. It would be the last time I would be able to ask my
> little question
> without showing anger, and I figured Montagnier would know the
> So I asked him.
> With a look of condescending puzzlement, Montagnier said, "Why
> you quote the report from the Centers for Disease Control? "
> I replied, "It doesn't really address the issue of whether or not
> HIV is the
> probable cause of AIDS, does it?"
> "No," he admitted, no doubt wondering when I would just go away.
> looked for support to the little circle of people around him, but
> they were all
> awaiting a more definitive response, like I was.
> "Why don't you quote the work on SIV [Simian Immunodeficiency
> Virus]?" the good doctor offered.
> "I read that too, Dr Montagnier," I responded. "What happened to
> monkeys didn't remind me of AIDS. Besides, that paper was just
> published
> only a couple of months ago. I'm looking for the original paper
> somebody showed that HIV caused AIDS.
> This time, Dr Montagnier's response was to walk quickly away to
> greet an
> acquaintance across the room.
> Cut to the scene inside my car just a few years ago. I was
driving from
> Mendocino to San Diego. Like everyone else by now, I knew a lot
> about AIDS than I wanted to. But I still didn't know who had
> that it was caused by HIV. Getting sleepy as I came over the San
> Bernardino Mountains, I switched on the radio and tuned in a guy
> who was
> talking about AIDS. His name was Peter Duesberg, and he was a
> virologist at Berkeley. I'd heard of him, but had never read his
> papers or
> heard him speak. But I listened, now wide awake, while he
> exactly why I was having so much trouble finding the references
> that linked
> HIV to AIDS. There weren't any. No one had ever proved that HIV
> AIDS. When I got home, I invited Duesberg down to San Diego to
> his ideas to a meeting of the American Association for Chemistry.
> Mostly
> skeptical at first, the audience stayed for the lecture, and then
> an hour of
> questions, and then stayed talking to each other until requested
> clear the
> room. Everyone left with more questions than they had brought.
> I like and respect Peter Duesberg. I don't think he knows
> necessarily what
> causes AIDS; we have disagreements about that. But we're both
> about what doesn't cause AIDS.
> We have not been able to discover any good reasons why most of
> people
> on earth believe that AIDS is a disease caused by a virus called
> HIV. There
> is simply no scientific evidence demonstrating that this is true.
> We have also not been able to discover why doctors prescribe a
> toxic drug
> called AZT (Zidovudine) to people who have no other complaint
than the
> presence of antibodies to HIV in their blood. In fact, we cannot
> understand
> why humans would take that drug for any reason.
> We cannot understand how all this madness came about, and having
> lived in Berkeley, we've seen some strange things indeed. We know
> that to
> err is human, but the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is one hell of a
> --
> Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career.
> Choose a family. Choose a big television.
> Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players,
> and electrical can openers.
> Choose sitting on the couch watching mindnumbing,
> sprit-crushing game shows.
> <> <>