Thursday, October 25, 2007

AIDS Denialists Show Their Stripes with Fraudulent Emails

Over the past month, I have received three emails of fraudulent nature from AIDS denialists. The first email I received appeared to have been sent by Dr. Robert Gallo in which "he" stated that he had realized that HIV is not the cause of AIDS. It included his apologies to all the people who have taken anti-HIV meds. A week later, that email was followed by one from "Dr. Luc Montagnier" offering Dr. Gallo champagne for having made his announcement. The third of these emails is copied below for you to see.

Each of these emails has a common element. They are presented in such a way as to appear legitimate. The one from "Dr. Gallo" was sent from the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI). "Dr. Montagnier's" email was sent from the Institut Pasteur and this latest email was sent from AIDSTRUTH.org. When I contacted UMBI, I was told that the email from "Gallo" was a fraud. I wrote the Pasteur Institute, but have not heard from them. AIDSTRUTH.org has confirmed this morning that the email included below is a fraud and that the other two emails have been reported to them as fraudulent as well.

After publication of the latest edition of the International Carnival of Pozitivities (ICP), I posted announcements of its publication on a number of social networking sites. Later, I found a link to my blog from an AIDS denialist site encouraging people to send me their stories. The announcement on that site included a copy of my notice and a few editorial comments that had been added by the person who reposted it.

I want to be clear about one thing. I believe in Freedom of Speech and support the right of anyone to create their own fora for their views. However, people who work clandestinely to promote an agenda of lies, misinformation and deceit, particularly while posing as someone else or as an organization for which they are antithetical should be prosecuted and brought to justice.

HIV has been identified as the cause of AIDS. It should be clear from the decline in AIDS-related mortality since the advent of HAART therapy that this is true. I can not speak for the motivations of those who deny these facts. I can only say that you should discuss any concerns you have with any medical professional and read as many scientific, peer-reviewed articles as possible about the etiology of HIV if you have concerns. Above all, protect yourself and others from new HIV infection. The risk is far too great to your life and theirs not to be prudent.

If you receive any such emails, please contact the organization that appears to have been the source of the email to report its contents and source information. Inside the properties of the sent email is the IP address of the computer from which the email was sent and that information can be used to track down the people who are breaking the law.

UPDATE: The text below is a copy of the fraudulent email that I received, sent to appear to come from "AIDSTRUTH.org". Please note that the information contained in this email is presented ONLY as a means to show you how the denialist text is constructed.

Comments are moderated. Any comments that include links to other websites will be deleted. Comments that contain offensive language will also be deleted. If you wish to reference other websites or blogs from your comments, please list them by name rather than by URL or weblinks.



Received: from aidstruth2800.com ([203.92.123.196])
by vms039.mailsrvcs.net (Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.2-6.01 (built Apr
3 2006)) with SMTP id <0JQG007Z6ZNSZAA3@vms039.mailsrvcs.net>; Thu,
25 Oct 2007 08:48:11 -0500 (CDT)
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 21:47:58 +0800
From: AIDSTRUTH
Subject: Help prevent a modern day holocaust. Do not stand by silently while
the HIV=AIDS fraud is killing people
X-Originating-IP: [203.92.123.196]
Bcc:
Reply-to: info@aidstruth.org
Message-id: <0JQG007ZAZNTZAA3@vms039.mailsrvcs.net>
MIME-version: 1.0
Content-type: multipart/mixed; boundary=fc649a0e-affe-40ad-8dd6-690c7fc1980d


This is a multi-part message in MIME format

--fc649a0e-affe-40ad-8dd6-690c7fc1980d
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Help prevent a modern day holocaust. Do not stand by silently
while this great injustice is killing people.
Copy this message to as many people as possible to let the world
know that HIV does not cause AIDS.
----------------------------------------------------------------
This is a
MONUMENT
to all those men, women and children
who died because they were told by their doctors to take
medication such as
----------------------------------------------------------------
AZT: Side Effects: anaemia and bone marrow suppression
Tipranavir: Side Effects: bleeding in the brain; hepatitis
Indinavir: Side Effects: Kidney stones, nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, increased cholesterol
Saquinavir: Side Effetcs: Nausea, diarrhea, stomach discomfort,
headache, increased cholesterol,
Lopinavir: Side Effects: Skin rash, nausea, diarrhea,
stomach discomfort, headache, increased cholesterol, increased
triglycerides, lipodystrophy
Ritonavir: Side Effects: Nausea, diarrhea, stomach discomfort,
numbness or tingling around the mouth and in the limbs
(paresthesias), increased cholesterol, increased triglycerides, =
lipodystrophy, hepatitis, weakness and many other drugs that are equally =
poisonous.
----------------------------------------------------------------
These men, women and children were were told that HIV causes AIDS.
They believed their doctors and scientists and paid with their lives.
----------------------------------------------------------------
This is our open letter to Dr. Robert Gallo and Dr. Luc
Montagnier:
----------------------------------------------------------------
Because of you many people have died. When you decided to declare
HIV as the cause of AIDS, without peer review and based on
uncertain data, you also caused the pharma industry to produce toxic AIDS =
drugs.
You are directly responsible for these death.
Many of us have been HIV+ for more than 20 years.
For a long time we believed your HIV =3D AIDS =3D Death lie.
We were told we would die.
You have no idea what that feels like. Worse, we are
discriminated against. HIV+ children are taken into state custody if parents =
refuse to give them your toxic drugs.
Couples are prevented from marrying each other in some countries if one =
partner tests HIV+.
HIV+ people are prevented to enter many countries if they test HIV+.
The prejudices we enounter at work and in our private lifes are unbearable.
The media too has failed us in many ways, by reporting without
providing alternative views on HIV and AIDS.
You have created millions of outcasts, and the pharma industry
has been empowered by you to sell to many of the poorest people
on this planet and their government toxic antiretroviral drugs.
HIV does not cause AIDS. Poverty, War, Corruption and Ignorance cause AIDS.
People need healthy living conditions, work, good education and a
functioning health care system. Not poison.
You stole from us more than 20 years of our lifes.
We want that back!
We want you to admit that as a scientist you have failed. Your
actions are despicable and profit orientated. As a medical
doctor you held in disregard the most important oath of all, The
Hippocratic Oath: To keep the good of the patient as the highest priority.
You have failed us bitterly. The next time you speak to some one
who is HIV+, it could be one of us. People with HIV seek Justice.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Help prevent a modern day holocaust. Do not stand by silently
while this great injustice is killing people.
Copy this message to as many people as possible to let the world
know that HIV does not cause AIDS.
----------------------------------------------------------------
--fc649a0e-affe-40ad-8dd6-690c7fc1980d--


Categories:

14 Comments:

Blogger Mark said...

Dr. Luc Montaigner is from Vancouver and nothing you mention even sounds like him.

10/25/2007 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I'm an idoit: we have Julio Montainger :)

10/25/2007 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

Hey Mark!

No problem. I agree, this doesn't sound like Dr. Luc Montaigner either, even if he is in Paris! These emails are all fraudulent and I included the text so that people will recognize that.

Peace to you.

10/25/2007 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth Ely said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/27/2007 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger David Crowe said...

Is it only 'denialists' who know how to spell? It's "Luc Montagnier" of the Institut Pasteur and "Julio Montaner" from Vancouver, Canada. It strikes me that if anyone had actually read any of the science they would have come across the correct spelling of their names.

Also, is it only the 'denialists' who have a sense of humor? Clearly those letters supposedly from Gallo etc. were hoaxes, There were enough clues in the letter for anyone to figure this out. The were "jokes" (if you don't know the word, look it up in the dictionary) intended to indicate the absurdity of the mainstream HIV=AID$=Death dogma.

10/28/2007 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

My apologies for my earlier spelling of Dr. Montagnier's name. It has been corrected. As they say in France, "L'orthographe est la sciences des ânes." That having been said, I am at fault for having typed his name incorrectly.

As for the list of AZT side effects, it is widely available, as are the lists of the side effects of all the drugs listed in this fraudulent email. All you have to do is find the drug label and read it.

10/28/2007 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

The following comment was left on this post, but I could not find a way to contact the writer (blogger profile is unavailable) to explain why the comment was deleted the first time.

Elizabeth Ely has left a new comment on your post "AIDS Denialists Show Their Stripes with Fraudulent...":

So if these side effects are so available, and you have printed them here, why did you remove my post saying your list was accurate? I thought AIDS activism was supposed to stand for anti-censorship. Silence equals Death and all that. Surely you are not afraid of a little free inquiry?

Why would you object to anyone sending an e-mail around with the lists of these effects, if you truly wish for people to be informed of the risks and benefits of AIDS treatments?

Check in with ****** for further lists of side effects and risks.

And by the way, it wasn't me who pulled this hoax, but sometimes I wish it was. Mighty cute to hack into the "aidstruthiness" site. There's no humor there anyway. Just attacks on people - it's boring as hell.


I deleted the comment because it contained a website address and I have had problems in the past with viral websites having been posted in comments. As a result, I will delete any comments on this blog that contain website addresses for the protection of my blog and my readers.

My apologies to Ms. Ely for not being able to contact her to explain in advance. I did not delete her comment because of issues with the list of side-effects for any of the anti-HIV/AIDS drugs listed. I recommend you do your own research on any therapy that your doctor might suggest for you. You should be able to ask the doctor for a drug label insert which lists the side-effects for you. Additionally you can search the drug name for its label insert on the web and you should find its list of side-effects.

I do not find the fraudulent email to be cute nor an attempt at a "joke". Nonetheless, I am going to attempt to work with it and any comments it generates to preserve the right to free expression, except for the advocation of websites that I do not have the time to chase down and verify for content and/or safety.

However, comments that include personal attacks, foul language or misinformation may also be deleted. Ultimately, this is a forum for free civil discussion, and since it is my blog, I will be the ultimate referee.

I apologize to Ms. Ely and to the people of Alberta, Canada. I lost a very close friend in Edmonton, so I share your concerns about ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Our approaches are simply different to one another.

10/29/2007 08:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth Ely said...

Well, Ron, thanks for the explanation and the courtesy. You can go ahead and restore my original comments with the Web site address edited out. Interested readers can just Google the "Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society" and decide for themselves if it looks risky or not.

Several people have told me that when they seek side effects and risk/benefit discussions on HIV drugs, their doctors treat them like lunatics. It's important that they have good online resources and support.

Are you being as careful with this guy named "Adam," who is posting links for a type-at-home scheme?

It is indeed unfortunate that somebody thought that the fake e-mail would be effective. Unfortunately, the other side, including leading scientists, brags openly about harassing "denialists," calling for their resignations, and launching blog attacks. (You can Google "John P. Moore" and "Toronto Globe and Mail" for that.) They have even on occasion actively harassed petitioners who leave their names on Web sites questioning popular notions about AIDS. Alternative AIDS "rethinkers" deplore this kind of thing; we believe that everyone is capable of thinking for him- or herself and that science flourishes in an open environment.

The only accusation I can admit to is that my friends are not dying of AIDS -- because they're not on the drugs. (I have lost three friends who went on the drugs.) If your friends are dying, I feel a lot of remorse for that, and compassion for you. I wish to provide a way out, if possible, and the only way is to keep talking about alternatives.

Be well, Ron.

10/29/2007 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

Dear Elizabeth,

I no longer have your original comment, unfortunately. I do believe you covered the information that you wanted to post in this comment, though.

I am unfamiliar with this "Adam" person, but yes, I do moderate comments to the extent that I am able within blogger. If I have missed any comments with website addresses in them, I am sure someone will be happy to point that out to me.

I fully support a patient's right to information about any treatment that they are considering. However, there is data and there is interpretation and we may disagree strongly about the interpretation.

Where I have an issue with AIDS denialists is in ignoring the existence of HIV in prevention of the spread of the disease. Once a person has seroconverted, I believe that person should have the choice to take the medications or not, as long as they are aware of the risks involved in either decision. I also think that it is a personal decision that does not require anyone from outside of the doctor-patient relationship to step in and work very hard to convince a person of one particular outcome. It has not been my experience that doctors go into treatment fora advocating for HAART. They simply prescribe medications and present their findings. There is not a sense of fanaticism that accompanies their approach.

I am 23 years HIV positive myself. I had classic symptoms before I was diagnosed. I am only alive today because I have taken my medications diligently and without fail. Yes, I have experienced side-effects, but they have been a small price to pay for continuing to survive. Would I like to see new drugs that cure AIDS? Absolutely. Would I like to see new drugs that have fewer side-effects? You bet.

On the other hand, it is important to remember the history of HIV/AIDS and I lived through it. ACT-UP took to the streets to demand faster access to drugs and their activism brought us the reverse transcriptase drug class. We have progressed beyond that point now. Many of the early deaths that were attributed to "AZT poisoning", as I think you characterized it, were in a very different patient population than we see today. Those who were dosed earliest in the epidemic with AZT were already very ill and would have died with or without the drug anyway. We can certainly not attribute the growing death rate of PWAs before the release of AZT to the drug, and we can look at the statistics for mortality since the advent of the Protease Inhibitor class of drugs to see that there has been a significant decrease in death rate due to AIDS.

Are people still dying of AIDS, of AIDS-related illnesses and from side-effects? Yes, but not at the rate that existed before the drugs were developed. So, the most prudent course of action is to avoid infection at all costs, in my opinion, and therefore, to avoid the need to make a decision about medication.

When I was diagnosed, I was told I could expect to live just a few years and to get my affairs in order. I took my meds and I am still here. I hope that many others can say the same when we do find a cure.

So how do we ally ourselves rather than becoming immediate adversaries who attack one another? I see your colleague was quick to jump into attack mode with his comments. I personally find that to be unsavory, especially since I have been careful not to attack either of you personally. Sadly, it has been my experience in the past with denialists that this is the standard.

10/29/2007 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger David Crowe said...

Am I the 'colleague' of Elizabeth's who "was quick to jump into attack mode"?

For a person who wrote (about people like me and Elizabeth) "people who work clandestinely to promote an agenda of lies, misinformation and deceit, particularly while posing as someone else or as an organization for which they are antithetical should be prosecuted and brought to justice." you seem to have a remarkably thin skin.

You are correct that I was being mildly sarcastic, noting that if you had read the peer reviewed literature you probably would have come across both Montagnier's name and Montaner's name so many times it would be hard to mispell them.

However, that's hardly an 'attack', especially concerned with your call to throw people like me in jail.

You might not be aware of this, but AZT is still used very heavily. Many combination pills include AZT, although at much lower doses than in the 1980s and early 1990s. Nobody takes Protease Inhibitors without one or likely two nukes as well. There has even been several new nukes marketed. These are not necessarily better (or less worse) than AZT, but AZT's patent is running out and drug companies lose interest in drugs remarkably quickly when they can't make as much money on them because of competition.

10/29/2007 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

Hi David,

I am really sorry that you misunderstood my statement to refer to you. I was speaking of the person who would send out an email such as the example in my post and attribute it to another organization. I was not, in any way, saying that you were the author of that email. I have no idea who the author will ultimately turn out to be. I do not imagine that you do either.

I hope this clears up the confusion.

10/29/2007 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth Ely said...

Dear Ron,

The Alberta organization cites mainstream research, because the studies themselves disprove the mainstream line about AIDS. People have to see these for themselves and decide.

I disagree with you that seeking help outside the doctor-patient relationship is unnecessary. There is indeed a "sense of fanaticism" in doctors' manipulation and in the derogatory term "denialist."

AIDS rethinkers have noted from the start the tendency to trust authority figures -- the use of liberationist language to advocate submission.

I do not know your particular symptoms, but the belief that you "survive" thanks to the meds greatly oversimplifies the factors that may have contributed to your health or illness. It's like a Mafia racket, Ron: Somebody told you that you were dying, when you were ill for probably many reasons, and then they sold your health back to you. You paid a lot for that -- in anxiety and side effects -- so you're not about to believe that it was unnecessary. There is nothing I can say to a tidal wave of belief. You would probably get sick trying to go off the drugs, and this might reinforce your belief that they were keeping you alive.

You sound very proud of living through this illustrious history of marching in the streets. You are absolutely right, Ron, to say that nobody died of "AZT poisoning" before AZT was available. The symptoms of "AIDS" changed after that, to match the side effects of the drug (read the list again). They changed several times.

The "rethinking" literature, if you care to read it, explains why death rates have plummeted since protease inhibitors (marketed 1996). (See Christine Maggiore's book, with excerpts available on the "Alive and Well" Web site.) In fact, we were hearing that death rates were falling even before the new drugs went on the market. The change in the AIDS definition in 1993 added many non-fatal diseases to the list. For example, a vaginal yeast infection is now an AIDS-related condition. The death rate for this is zero. You say yourself that the old victims of AIDS were so sick they would have died no matter what. Many new HIV positives are often not sick at all.

"When I was diagnosed, I was told I could expect to live just a few years and to get my affairs in order. I took my meds and I am still here. I hope that many others can say the same when we do find a cure." This is sad, Ron. Maybe you no longer weep for your misfortune, but I still feel bad for you. There is a way out.

You are a rare bird, Ron, for wanting to be "allies." I have not attacked you in this exchange, and David Crowe's sarcastic tone is slight, so there's still an opening. We can discuss real data, privately. I have an e-mail link on the "Barnes World" site, next to my articles. (If anyone uses this link to harass me, I will notify you and expect you to publish my notice.) I also have connections to major scientists, activists and journalists who might be willing to help you and your readers sort things out. What if one of them agreed to a Q-and-A on the blog?

I'm sorry that you have experienced some misbehavior from some "denialists." I don't know everyone who questions AIDS (2,400 listed on the "Rethinking AIDS" site alone). We probably have our share of assholes. But most AIDS questioners see that the facts support their case. They generally have no need to censor others. It wouldn't look good, and it isn't necessary.

Beth

10/30/2007 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

Dear Elizabeth,

I now see that discussing this topic is like discussing religion. There is no end to it and few change their minds from interacting if they already have beliefs. The truth is often somewhere in between two beliefs and no one here can resolve that issue by discussing it further.

People have access now to your posts from this list of comments. They can make assessments based on what they see if they choose to visit your site and to compare the information presented to the body of HIV knowledge that supports the contrary. Neither of us should need or have to further persuade them.

I wish you well.

10/30/2007 02:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Rick said...

Ron,
Thanks for posting this with all the comments opened and aired. The debate is endless and will be ongoing regardless of what any one person believes.
Personally, I find taking the antiretrovirals helps keep me healthy as long as I take the ones that work for me (the HIV strain I was infected with was already resistant to some of the meds available).
Nonetheless, I find the dialogue with others concerning differing and sometimes diameterically opposed ideas is one of the healthiest excerices any of us can engage in when faced with HIV infection (please excuse any misspellings).
To all sides, I say continue researching the facts to support your own beliefs. It is only through active involvement that any of us can hope to continue not only surviving but living.
HIV/AIDS has given us many things, not the least of which is a strong desire to reach out to one another and to understand our own thinking more clearly.
As the saying goes to turn a negative (-) into a positive (+) simply draw a line through it change the value of whatever immediately follows.
Rick

11/12/2007 08:00:00 AM  

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