Letters

Foo Fighter Fires Back

RE: “Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers

03/10/00

I was quite surprised to hear of what became of my interview with the MoJo Wire regarding our band’s support of Alive and Well AIDS Alternatives. Once I read it for myself, I was very disappointed. The story takes a decidedly derisive view of our efforts and summarily dismisses the content of our message.

I suppose this should have come as no surprise. Reiterating the belief that HIV is the cause of AIDS is an easy thing to do. Understanding the science and politics of the situation is much more complicated and requires study with a critical, and open mind.

Those who take the time to investigate will find that popular ideas about AIDS are based on a hypothesis that does not stand up to scientific scrutiny. In 1984, Dr. Robert Gallo defied accepted scientific protocol by calling a press conference to declare that he had found the “probable” cause of AIDS. He did this with the support of various public health agencies, but without having published evidence for his hypothesis in a medical journal. Publishing research allows other scientists to verify the conclusions and keep unfounded ideas from leaving the research labs. Nevertheless, the media went ahead and reported HIV virus as the cause of AIDS. Later when Gallo’s article was published, the evidence was less than conclusive.

According to AIDS critic and Nobel Laureate Dr. Kary Mullis, “If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There are no such documents.” HIV is also the only existing virus believed to cause a group of diseases known to be caused by other viruses and bacteria. In examining AIDS, it is important to understand that AIDS is not a disease itself but rather a semantic tool created by the Centers for Disease Control to track 29 previously known conditions, each with causes and treatments identified before the invention of AIDS. All of these conditions occur in people without HIV.

When a person tests positive for HIV, it is not a test for the virus itself but for antibodies to the virus, and the test is not able to distinguish between HIV antibodies and a multitude of other antibodies. Many conditions can lead to a false positive result, including flu shots, hepatitis, and pregnancy.

Once given this tenuous diagnosis, people are encouraged to take drugs of unproven efficacy and proven toxicity in an effort to delay the onset of AIDS. The drugs are known to cause some of the same diseases classified under the category of AIDS. How is it possible then to determine what has made a person sick?

With this clear evidence for doubt, why aren’t more experts raising questions about AIDS? Unfortunately, a combination of circumstances stifle unfettered inquiry. Those who study the virus most often make a living from it and when careers and reputations are at stake, critical voices can be muted in the interest of maintaining a comfortable status quo.

How is AIDS research to progress when the premise of science is questioning but the premise of questioning HIV is considered so dangerous that even venturing into the facts is too great a risk?

I am not a medical professional, and I am relatively new to these questions, but I am convinced that those who have tested HIV positive and those sick with AIDS are being done a disservice by not having all the information available to them.

The MoJo Wire accuses us of not understanding the impact of our advocacy on our audience who were described in the article as “potentially gullible.” I would say that we are all potentially gullible, and that only a free flow of critical information allows us to avoid this and make positive, responsible choices in our lives. The article also insinuated that our desire to see critical facts about AIDS brought before the public could cause fans to abandon safe-sex practices. I have full confidence in the ability of Foo Fighters’ audiences to distinguish between questioning HIV and the obvious value of safe-sex practices.

It is this absolute reluctance [by others] to review the facts that compelled me to involve the Foo Fighters in the work of Alive and Well Aids Alternatives. There are simply not enough avenues for their message and I thought we could help.

Nate Mendel
Bassist, Foo Fighters


Throes of theocracy

RE: “Israel’s Identity Crisis

03/09/00

The article did not mention at all the pronounced drift to theocracy, toward a sort of Jewish version of an Islamic state, which Israel has been undergoing in the last 10 to 15 years. That, in my opinion, is the real issue of the “democracy vs. Jewish state” dilemma.

Alex Ragen


Pretty tame

RE: “Bush’s unsavory ‘pioneers’

03/08/00

Pretty tame stuff compared to Clinton/Gore cronies, huh?

Suzanne Carpenter


MoJo needs to open its mind

RE: “Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers

03/08/00

My impression of the Silja Talvi piece on the endorsement by the Foo Fighters of Christine Maggiore’s Alive and Well group was that it was transparently and deliberately full of misinformation. Talvi referred to “Maggiore’s theories” and noted that she was not a medical professional. But Maggiore has never claimed to have any theories of her own regarding the role of HIV in causing AIDS. Her book is simply a summary of the conclusions of a large and highly-credentialed group of dissident AIDS researchers, most of whom are members of the nine-year-old Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis.

Far from being a “fringe” group, it includes among its 2000+ members at least two Nobel laureates. To my knowledge, none of these people is affiliated with any right-wing or anti-semitic conspiracy theorists and what they have proposed is actually quite modest, a simple reassessment of the HIV=AIDS hypothesis on the grounds that it has been completely unproductive in terms of public health benefits, and that it contains an abundance of apparently unresolvable contradictions and paradoxes.

It has been said that there are no paradoxes in science, only bad hypotheses, and in the final analysis HIV=AIDS will surely rank as one of the worst, stupidest, flimsiest, most thoroughly unsubstantiated hypotheses in medical history. Christine Maggiore is absolutely correct when she says there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS, and the reason for that should be apparent to anyone with even a particle of intelligence: the HIV=AIDS hypothesis is unprovable. It was initially promoted and then prematurely adopted by a group of mediocre, self-serving, junk scientists at the NIH and CDC. Its almost universal acceptance is attributable only to a massive propaganda campaign that has managed to sell an ideology of fear and hopelessness, that pathologizes sexual intimacy, that is based on the most vile, pernicious, and dogmatic anti-science since the Third Reich. It has resulted in untold suffering for millions around the world (and of course billions of dollars in profits for the pharmaceutical industry), and the AIDS dissidents, the Foo Fighters now among them, should be commended for their courage in attempting to expose it as an unfounded theory driven by greed and incompetence resulting in a misguided and disastrous public health policy.

They also deserve, rather than scorn and marginalization, a forum for presenting their views without censorship, ideally in the form of a debate or discussion. Mother Jones and other progressive publications could and should provide that forum. But the editors would first have to find the courage to unlock and open their minds, to temporarily suspend their preconceived beliefs about AIDS and HIV. To do any less, to implicitly agree with the medical establishment that the issue is settled and there is nothing to discuss, is to be guilty of complicity in the perpetuation of this enormous scandal.

Liam Cooper


Dropped the ball

RE: “Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers

03/08/00

As an alternative news journal MoJo Wire has dropped the ball on the Foo Fighters piece questioning the orthodoxy on HIV and AIDS. I have known Christine Maggiore for several years and have shared much of my own research into the legitimacy of the AIDS establishment position that retroviruses do indeed cause disease in humans. Additionally, I have had opportunity to talk and share research with a number of accredited scientists who also support the movement to reappraise the HIV=AIDS hypothesis. You have hurt your credibility with some of your audience with this unwarranted hatchet job.

I don’t imagine that a journal with your vast resources would not know better than to slander a group of people who have done extensive homework on this complex subject. You may or may not know that Christine was able to arrange perhaps the only open debate between adherents to the mainstream hypothesis and the HIV dissenters. It took place in 1999 in Santa Monica, California, and all who attended agreed that it was a wonderful debate. Perhaps you should reconsider your own position on medical common sense, the sudden appearance of new pathogens, and the use of hysterical propaganda toward the aim of furthering covert eugenics policies.

Keidi Obi Awadu
The Conscious Rasta Press


Citizens take charge

RE: “Trial By Torture

03/08/00

Sasha Abramsky wrote a report of police misconduct that is being revealed as an all-too-frequent pattern and practice of our nation’s “peace officers.” This is a national issue at every level in both urban and rural areas. We need to unite in our efforts to get civilian control over a police force gone wrong. How can we support honest peace officers if the dishonest officers are allowed to reign in their turfs?

One lawyer recently told me, “Citizens are not trained enough to be overseers of the cops.” Well, that just means that citizens have to be trained. Lawyers aren’t born as lawyers, and citizens don’t have to be lawyers in order to understand police abuse and support its remedy. Give your support to the civil grand juries and make them do what they were originally supposed to do — be the agency of review for public agencies including the public police agencies. Give your support to the Human Rights Commissions in every county of every state. Establish open discussion without playing the “us and them” game. As the folk saying goes: We may not be able to abolish anything but we can render it unnecessary. Thanks for the article.

Kay Brown


Sickened and speechless

RE: “Trial By Torture

03/06/00

In reference to your “Trial by Torture” article: There is much I would like to comment on, however, at the moment I have this nauseated feeling in the pit of my stomach. It would be an injustice to allow those who witnessed these crimes — or knew of these horrors — and did nothing, to remain unpunished.

Yawnii


Why the double standard on AIDS?

RE: “Foo Fighters, HIV Deniers

03/06/00

When investigating the military industrial complex, I doubt that Mojo would rely on career military people as sources for the “truth” about military threats. So why should your policy be any different on a story about the medical industrial complex? Rather than dismissing hundreds of respectable scientists as “lunatics,” why don’t you try talking to some of these scientists who are offering alternative explanations for AIDS?

With AIDS, the left has become the leading cheerleader and most vocal advocate of a giant corporate complex, and has done so out of the belief that this complex is acting altruistically. Perhaps it is time to investigate AIDS science with all the vigor of the investigation of other massive corporate productions.

Greg Nigh, medical student


Don’t just sit there!

RE: “Trial By Torture

03/06/00

Thank you for the article about the Chicago Police Department. Many people in Chicago and across the country have looked down at the dictatorships and fascist actions of other countries, priding themselves on our democratic system. But our system is only as good as the individuals who are empowered to see that all people, whatever their race, creed or other differentiating characteristic, are given due process. Where is the groundswell of outrage? How can we allow our country to continue to institutionalize racism while we sit by quietly?

Joanne Bryant Horn
Midwest City, OK