Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dissidents stoop to new lows

A recent person claiming to be called "Casey Cohen" has been spending some considerable time recently trying to get me more deeply involved in the sad case of Eliza-Jane Scoville's death. Aside from trying to organise a live radio debate with Christine Maggiore herself, pick my brains about my personal thoughts on Al-Bayati's case, and even meet up for lunch (!) she has been diligently sending our correspondance to other dissidents for online publication.

Now, this was sadly expected and I wrote my emails back to her accordingly. Still, it is upsetting to be proven right. "Casey" of course screwed it up from the beginning by writing to me from Christine Maggiore's email account. Woops. And the syncophantic babbling was getting to be a little too amusing to take over my afternoon coffee without spraying it over the computer keyboard.

Of course, whatever the outcome the dissidents 'win'. If the orthodoxy debates then we legitimize their argument. We run the (obviously) very real risk of being quoted and misquoted online behind our backs. If we refuse to debate then they tout this as the orthodoxy being closed-minded. The sickening thing to me is that "Casey" is clearly either someone very close to Maggiore if not Maggiore herself, and yet says in her emails to me that Maggiore would be "lucky to get out of the building alive by the end of the discussion" and we would "annihilate them!!". I find it extremely saddening that the orthodoxy has never once used the tragedy of EJ's death to attack Christine Maggiore, and yet we're accused of it all the time, and here are the dissidents playing on the very same topic. Frankly speaking, it's f*&king disgusting.

And note please that this person, apparently one of the "People who question the theory that HIV causes AIDS causes Death" makes repeated claims that she is on "our" side in a transparent attempt to dupe me into getting involved.

This webpage should be held up as yet another example of how low the dissidents stoop in their tactics, when basic logic and irrefutable facts stand in their way.

Of course the real test will be if they remove the website out of embarrassment (but don't worry, I made copies ;-)


Blogger DT said...

Not sure if my previous post was recieved. Anyhow, I also wanted to comment about "Casey Cohen's" attempts to get information about Gardasil and wart virus as posted on the RA web site.
Quite disingenuous really, coming over all personally concerned at first, and then showing her true colours later on in the correspondence.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Bennett said...

I also note that today (Nov 9th) the RA site has removed the link to the Bennett/Cohen exchange, although the page itself still exists here.
Rather amusing that I predicted they might be embarrassed enough to remove it. And interesting as well that I am getting links to this site from people searching for Casey online (according to Google at least). I wonder how many more people she is contacting who are investigating her.

Also of note is the fact that she clearly doesn't believe that HPV causes cervical cancer (because a life-threatening STD might affect the dissident stance on HIV as well I assume), and I was banned from the AIDS-Myth-Exposed discussion forum for trying to explain how HPV is linked to cervical cancer. Yes, for answering a question on HPV, not for anything I said regarding HIV. How sad is that. It seems as if the AME moderators would rather treat their readers like mushrooms - kept in the dark and fed s*&t.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Orac said...

I got one of these "invitations," too. It arrived about two days after "Casey's" final message to you...

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just perusing your site and found it interesting. Im currently an MD/MPH student doing a practicum in HIV/AIDS as part of my MPH. I just recently found this site. The only thing im thoroughly confused about, which is the reason im posting, is this whole dissident group and how on earth you where ever sucked into even acknowledging their existence let alone responding to their hair-brained ideas. It acctually reminds me of the Flat Earth Society, who still probably have more sense.

Otherwise, keep up the good fight -and not against people who think the world is flat-, against HIV/AIDS in the clinics. Where im from in central california, there is a relatively high prevelance of juveniles living with perinataly transmitted HIV. Large populations of illegal immigrants who are affraid to get treated for overt diseases let alone screened for HIV are contributing to a rise in the incidence as well. The whole thing is heart breaking, and i have the utmost respect for you HIV/AIDS docs who clean up the mess.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Bennett said...

Hi Orac,

Thanks for the email - it is, as you point out, almost verbatim from the one sent to me. There is clearly an organised effort to "show up" the orthodox side for their unwillingness to debate with the dissidents. I discovered that another apparently innocent request that preceded Casey's by only a week or two has also been posted online.

I also have it on good authority that at least one person she is trying to link to the radio debate (Bob Lederer) is furious that she is doing this. He knows nothing about it - the whole thing is bogus.

You ask about email addresses - I have no qualms at all at warning the general public that any emails from or are coming from Casey Cohen, Ms Maggiore or people close to them in the AIDS dissident fold. They may try to use alternate pseudonyms, and now of course they may try to use alternate email addresses as well, or rope more unsuspecting people into their sad little game. But at least we'll make it difficult for them.

To my delight, it sounds like I already have :o)

3:09 AM  
Blogger Bennett said...

ktor1 - Thanks for the comment. I got involved back in the summer of 1998 while staying up during the vacation to do research. I spent the long boring summer evenings (not many other students around at that time...) surfing the web. I found the AIDS dissidents hanging around various newsgroups and they annoyed the hell out of me. My wife says I "enjoy telling people how it is", and I do get a kick out of pointing out where people are going wrong :o)

Over the years my tactics have changed - one-on-one debate is almost useless, and far too draining to my sanity and self-respect. So now I focus on reaching more people for less effort through this website and other efforts. I have joined dissident mailing lists, read dissident books and papers, had personal debate with people like Duesberg, Bialy and the Perth Group, and at no point in the last 8 years has a single coherent argument been put to me, supported by evidence, that undermines the HIV/AIDS paradigm.

In more recent years, the tactics of people like Paul King, Casey Cohen and the writings of people like Al-Bayati and the Perth Group have given me utter disdain for many of the AIDS dissidents. Sadly it does appear that from time to time their blatherings do infect the minds of some people who will choose not to get tested or treated, or worse, convince or force others to do the same in their turn. In my own mind fighting the flat-earth brigade may mean as much to some people as the clinic work. Just ask anyone from South Africa about the choices of their President and Health Minister...

3:21 AM  
Blogger ktor1 said...

The intelligent and thoughtful response I would have expected from you based on your writings. Being a huge proponent of Public Health, I could never fault a man for educating…so…keep up the good work on that too I suppose….

As for your references to the South African President and Minister of Health, I “Googled” the matter and was completely blown away. My undergraduate biochem professor –a perpetually angry, not easily understood (potentially angry because he’s not understood) Chinese man- would have a field day with these “dissidents” just covering the basic science of CD4 lymphocytes, HIV, and immune responses. I recall him once telling a very bright young lady that she was “so dumb she should be shot”. As I was browsing some of these dissident web sites I kept wondering how he would respond to these so called scientifically based, moronic ideas about the nature of AIDS and it occurred to me that he would simply let out a stifled laugh and walk away. I say this because I am quite confident that where Dr. Sy –that’s his name, really a very brilliant man- to engage any of these individuals in verbal intercourse, it would almost certainly lead to him erupting into a killing rage so fierce that he himself would have to be killed.

So, I repeat, I like your site. I find your writings critical, well articulated, and informative. Mark me down as your latest subscriber.

P.S. I would just like to point out that seeing Dungeons & Dragons on your interests list tripled my respect for you. I would now trust you to treat my own children, if I had any.

3:41 AM  
Blogger Orac said...

"I got involved back in the summer of 1998 while staying up during the vacation to do research. I spent the long boring summer evenings (not many other students around at that time...) surfing the web. I found the AIDS dissidents hanging around various newsgroups and they annoyed the hell out of me."

Sounds a lot like how I got involved in combatting Holocaust denial.

11:55 AM  
Blogger ex-Hollywood Liberal said...

I'm neither an MD or PhD. I'm an investigator who deals with evidence.

Until SOMEONE proves that HIV attacks cells and causes AIDS, nothing that any MD or PhD says means anything.

Having arrested several MDs and PhDs during my career, I've discovered that they are clearly vulnerable to the big dollars that pharma uses to push their toxins.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Bennett said...

As someone who uses the words "pharma" and "toxins" when talking about medicines, you clearly aren't an independent investigator!

If you read my PhD thesis you'll see that HIV kills cells, as it happened every day in my lab.

Read again Duesberg's work, if you have read it properly at all. He ASSUMES that just because he worked with a retrovirus that didn't kill cells he thought that ALL retroviruses must act the same way.

He was wrong.

It took many years to develop culture systems that allowed HIV to grow in cell lines for any length of time. Denialists quote these papers as proof that HIV doesn't kill cells, when in fact they are reports of methods used to get around that fact!

Besides, if you read through my blog you'll find plenty of evidence that shows how HIV can cause AIDS without having to directly bludgeon the immune system to death through cell lysis, and if you had read the current scientific literature fully you would appreciate that fact as well.

Your criticisms of the HIV/AIDS story are over two decades old, and have been answered.

These papers show that HIV kills T cells:

Gallo et al. Science. 1984 May 4;224(4648):500-3. "Frequent detection and isolation of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV-III) from patients with AIDS and at risk for AIDS."

Connor et al. J Virol. 1993 Apr;67(4):1772-7. "Increased viral burden and cytopathicity correlate temporally with CD4+ T-lymphocyte decline and clinical progression in human immunodeficiency virus type 1- infected individuals."

I will spoonfeed you the information.



8:53 AM  
Blogger ex-Hollywood Liberal said...

Gee... I wonder why the National Academy of Science published Duesberg's paper and your thesis lives on a blog? I'm a high school grad and I can do that. By the way, can you explain why the NY State has no record of your MD? Are you licensed In NY? If not, why?

4:12 PM  
Blogger ex-Hollywood Liberal said...

Yes, I'll bet all kinds of things die in your lab... I'll bet that if you pull wings from butterflies, you'll find they can't fly either.

So why don't you visit Gallo's Egg and weigh in there, or are you too cowardly to be confronted by real evidence?

4:14 PM  
Blogger Bennett said...

Duesberg's paper was published prior to evidence that currently exists which answers all of its points. The fact that this more recent evidence is ignored is why AIDS denialists are called, well, denialists.

They have to deny the facts in order to believe their story.

I don't waste my time trying to convince denialists that they are wrong, because it seems to be some kind of mental affliction that renders them incapable of being taught anything. Instead I post information so more reasonable people can make their own minds up.

There is no need to "weigh in" anywhere - you are perfectly free to cut and paste in the content from the link I provided, as that is all I would do to rebut the issues you (and Duesberg et al) present as "fact".

And what exactly are you suggesting by your comments? Are you perhaps suggesting I'm lying that I'm an MD? I thought you didn't think much of them - so shouldn't this be a boon to my reputation? ;-) Maybe I have a Masters in Diving...maybe my pharmaceutical sponsorship means I have Much Dough...? Perhaps my British origins left me with Moldy Dentition...?

If you knew anything about me at all you'd have the answer to that question - go do some more research (i.e. read the front page of the blog).

Before weighing in on a PhD level debate, you should perhaps add a few years of college at least to that high school diploma - it teaches things such as critical analysis, how to properly interpret scientific literature, and a good understanding of virology, epidemiology and medicine will show you how wrong Duesberg really was from his very very first statements on HIV and AIDS - statements that you believe still today it seems.

Read the link I gave you - I have no reason to lie and every statement made in it is backed up by literature that you are free to read yourself, assuming you have access to a medical library (and even if you don't, many articles are available online in any case). Those facts refute each and every opposing reason why HIV cannot cause AIDS - and there are plenty more ancillary answers to topics such as "Montagnier didn't prove it was HIV" and "AZT is toxic chemotherapy" here as well.

If you link I won't engage in public you need to look at the year-long debate I had with the Perth Group at the BMJ website. Frankly the truth is you're not worth the effort and I have better things to do with my life!



4:41 PM  

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