Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy

Seeking Stories of AIDS Denialism

Have you or someone you know been harmed by AIDS Denialism? If you, or someone you care about, have been advised to stop taking HIV meds, ignore HIV test results, purchase a 'natural' cure etc., please email me.

All information will be kept confidential.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tommy Morrison Died Tragically of Denial

By Tom Friend |
Tommy Morrison died Sunday night of an undisclosed illness. But for all intents and purposes, he died of denial.
In 1996, Morrison was diagnosed with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In 1997, he told me he was still having unprotected sex with his first wife.
"I'll trust an attorney before I'll trust a doctor," he said.
I'm not sure how many wives he ended up with (I lost count after the fourth), but nothing ever changed. His last wife, Trisha, recently told's Elizabeth Merrill that they, too, had had unprotected sex. As far as Tommy was concerned, his HIV never existed. He searched high and low for rogue doctors who would assure him he was fine, who would clear him to go back to boxing. He was nothing without boxing, nothing without sex -- so he looked the other way.
He tried AZT for a month and threw it in the trash; he thought the HIV therapy drug taken by most HIV patients was propoganda. His family staged an intervention to get him back on meds, but he cursed at them and said, "I will lay down and die before I take any drugs." Magic Johnson tried to reach out to him in 1996 -- the same Magic Johnson who is thriving 22 years after his own HIV diagnosis -- and Tommy Morrison plum ignored him.
"I remember talking to Magic the day I announced I had HIV," Morrison told me in 1998. "He was preaching, 'Do what your doctor tells you.' Well, I didn't have a doctor then, so I got down on my knees and I prayed. Every day, I was like, 'God, what do I do?' Hell, I saw myself dying. And then I started getting all these books in the mail, and they all said, 'Don't worry about it. Just live your life.' So that's what I did."

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rethinking AIDS Denialism: Former Boxing Champ Tommy Morrison

Tommy Morrison's

 latest big fight

Former heavyweight contender

 has waged battles inside and 

outside the ring

In a house on the edge of a dead-end road, an old woman waits for her son to die. The call will come any day now, she says, and when it does, she wants her youngest boy to be buried in Sulphur Springs, Ark., with the rest of the family. She dreads and hopes for this call, if that makes any sense. Only none of it makes sense.

Diana Morrison crushes a Pall Mall, lights another and dissects her son's fate. She's matter-of-fact about it, barely emotional, perhaps because Tommy Morrison, former World Boxing Organization champion, former HIV cautionary tale, has stared at death before. But this time it's different.
Morrison with David Syner,
Producer of AIDS Denialist
 film "House of Numbers"

She says he has full-blown AIDS. She believes he's in his final days. His skin is jaundiced; his liver is failing. "He's too far gone," she says, flashing an incredulous look when asked whether he could recover. "He's in the end stages. That's it." She says Morrison has been bedridden for a year, can't speak and is being kept alive with the help of a feeding tube and a ventilator.

Tommy Morrison passed away Sept. 2 2013

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

AIDS Denier Clark Baker Needs a Real Job

HIV Denialist’s Suit Against Blogger Should Be Tossed, Sperlein Says

By Rhett Pardon, SAN FRANCISCO
Adult industry attorney Gill Sperleinfiled court papers Friday on behalf of Todd DeShong, a blogger accused of trademark infringement and defamation relating to his criticism of notorious AIDS denialist Clark Baker and his organization the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice (OMSJ). 

Baker believes the pharmaceutical industry promotes faulty HIV tests in order to sell HIV-suppressing drugs; DeShong, meanwhile, believes early HIV testing and treatment saves lives.

But the importance of accurate testing is well known in the adult entertainment industry, Sperlein said.

According to court documents, Baker first attempted to shut down DeShong’s website by filing a UDRP complaint, accusing DeShong of infringing the trademark “HIV Innocence Group.”

The UDRP arbitrator disagreed, ruling that OMSJ was actually guilty of reverse domain name high jacking because OMSJ clearly knew DeShong was legitimately using the mark when it filed its complaint, Sperlein said.

Undeterred, Baker and OMSJ sued DeShong in federal court for trademark infringement, defamation, and business disparagement.

But Sperlein and a team of attorneys came to DeShong’s defense filing two separate motions to dismiss Friday, arguing that the trademark claims should be dismissed because DeShong’s use of the mark was fair use and the defamation related claims should be dismissed because DeShong’s statements were either opinion or factually accurate.

Sperlein also argued that the claims were brought after the statute of limitations had passed.

DeShong’s pro bono defense team also includes another industry attorney, Gary Krupkin, who serves as local counsel; Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen; and Neal A. Hoffman of the Houston firm Bush & Ramirez.

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

David Rasnick for the Defense: How AIDS Denialists Help Prove You Are Insane

Updated: Friday, 28 Jun 2013, 6:41 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 28 Jun 2013, 7:14 AM EDT

MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - A New York drug dealer imprisoned in the 1990s amid accusations he infected 13 young women with HIV lost his bid for freedom Friday despite having completed his sentence more than two years ago.
A jury in western New York found that Nushawn Williams, 36, suffers from a mental abnormality that makes him subject to "civil management" and will either be confined to a secure treatment facility or kept under strict supervision, according to the attorney general's office.
"With this determination, Mr. Williams will get the treatment he needs and the citizens of New York will be safer," said Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The Chautauqua County jury deliberated for just over an hour. A hearing will be held to determine Williams' level of management.
Williams, who now goes by the name Shyteek Johnson, completed a 12-year sentence for statutory rape and reckless endangerment in 2010.
But state officials sought his continued imprisonment and described him as a mentally disturbed, sex-obsessed drug user likely to infect more women if set free. A psychologist's report said Williams targeted vulnerable young women who were underage and/or drug addicted and "used charm and coercion to secure sexual contact."
Before the trial's start, Williams' lawyer John Nuchereno claimed that a new test showed that Williams isn't HIV positive. Nuchereno argued that without HIV, Williams is not a danger and should be freed.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Something Stinks in Buffalo: AIDS Denialism and The Case of Nushawn Williams

June 8, 2013

Nushawn Williams, the Jamestown man who gained national notoriety when accused of spreading the virus that causes AIDS, remains behind bars more than 15 years after his criminal offenses in Chautauqua County.
But when a 20-year-old Buffalo man admitted in 2011 to having unprotected sex with four young women and a 15-year-old girl while knowing he was infected with HIV, he was sentenced to a year in jail for his crimes.
“It was similar enough to say, ‘My God, the treatment was so different,’ ” said John R. Nuchereno, defense attorney for Williams.
Williams, now 36, was supposed to be freed in 2010, upon completing a 12-year sentence for a statutory rape and reckless endangerment conviction.
Yet, three years later, he remains in Wende State Correctional Facility because the state attorney general contends Williams is a sexual predator likely to infect others with HIV.
The trial, while not open to the public, is expected to draw plenty of interest, both from civil liberties groups troubled by the state’s civil confinement policy and from various HIV and AIDS organizations intrigued by the potential legal impacts of the case.
Nuchereno already has made the stunning claim in a pretrial hearing that Williams does not have HIV, based on a recent electron microscope analysis of his blood by the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine.
The contention appears likely to be a crux of Williams’ defense, which is being aided by the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice, a nonprofit organization based in Studio City, Calif.
The group runs the HIV Innocence Project and has used electron microscopy results in military trials to help defend soldiers accused of transmitting the virus to sexual partners.
G. Baron Coleman, an Alabama lawyer connected with the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice who has represented several soldiers, is expected to assist Nuchereno in at least a portion of his defense of Williams.
Lawyers from the Attorney General’s Office questioned the legitimacy of the electron microscope test and asked State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski to allow them to do their own analysis of Williams’ blood.
Rules of law prohibited Michalski from agreeing to the request.
But several medical professionals and HIV experts contacted by The News said the electron microscope was not an accepted method for finding HIV or for monitoring a patient infected with the virus.
“Electron microscopy is not, never has been and never will be an appropriate, relevant or approved way to detect HIV in the blood. Indeed, it’s beyond silly suggesting it could, would or should be used for this purpose,” said John Moore, professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
‘A little bit out of left field’
Williams’ blood was analyzed in April by Gregory M. Hendricks, manager of the Core Electron Microscopy Facility at the UMass Medical School, who found “no evidence” of HIV, according to a letter he sent to the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice.
Dr. Joseph S. Cervia, clinical professor of medicine and pediatrics at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, noted that blood tests screening for the presence of HIV antibodies have been used reliably for years to determine whether someone has HIV.
HIV, AIDS ‘denialists’
Seth Kalichman, an HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment researcher, expressed concern that the startling legal strategy in the Williams case will mislead people about accepted science with regard to diagnosing and treating HIV.
The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice and its executive director, Clark Baker, are HIV and AIDS denialists, Kalichman said.
And he said their efforts are potentially damaging to public health.
“They have no credibility. They’re not really scientists at all,” Kalichman said.
The organization has become adept at trying to manipulate juries in court-martial cases by raising suspicions about HIV tests and the influence of big pharmaceutical companies, he said.
And that’s potentially destructive, because some people who test HIV positive can’t deal with the reality and will seek out the misinformation put out by AIDS denialists as a source of comfort, said Kalichman.
“These guys provide them with a way out,” he said. “There have been people who have died because they listened to these people.”

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Legal System Turned Upside Down: Defining, Diagnosing, and Denying HIV

Nushawn Williams. Remember him? In 1999 Williams was convicted as a sexual predator in New York State; Guilty of rape and reckless endangerment. Williams is HIV infected and he infected his victims, including a 13 year old.

It looks like Clark Baker and his AIDS Denialist crew of medical mischief and pseudoscientific scams have come to rescue Nushawn Williams, who now claims that he is not HIV infected. Williams may have tested HIV positive, but the tests were, of course, invalid.

New tests ordered by the defense, with what appears to be consultation from Clark Baker, uses an AIDS denialist favorite scheme -- electron micrographs.

For an AIDS Denialist, the only proof that HIV exists would be an image of the ‘pure virus’. AIDS Deniers refute science that relies on combinations of antibody/antigen/PCR testing to diagnose HIV. They also, by the way, refute images of HIV because they are not ‘pure virus’.

While in prison, Williams had been receiving treatment for his HIV infection. Successful treatment leads to viral suppression, making it very hard to get an image of the virus.

This is the new tactic of AIDS Deniers Clark Baker and David Rasnick. They have been using services of The Core Electron Microscopy Facility at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. A cell biologist named Gregory Hendricks has been running these tests in cases that employ Baker and Rasnick.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Conspiracy Theories, AIDS Denialism, Holocaust Denial, and Dr. Nancy Banks

Just as we were getting bored with the same old (elderly white male) AIDS Deniers, enter Dr. Nancy Banks. Claiming to have a medical degree from Harvard, Dr. Banks has been recruited into Clark Baker’s AIDS denialism legal team. She is one of his star witnesses for his Office of Medical and Scientific Justice. Banks is an ‘expert’ witness in Military cases, where Clark Baker has actually found an attorney dim enough to employ his services.

What I like most about Nancy Banks is that she illustrates something we have known for years… AIDS Denialists and Holocaust Deniers are nuts in the same shell. In the case of Nancy Banks, she is one nut that has it all – conspiracy theories, AIDS denial, and Holocaust denial. Below is an essay that sheds light on Nancy Banks. I have agreed not to name of the author to evade Clark Baker’s harassment.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Celia Farber's Day in Court: Dismissed with Unavailing Contentions


Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Louis B. York, J.), entered November 9, 2011, which granted defendant Richard Jefferys' motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint as against him, unanimously affirmed, with costs. 

Supreme Court properly determined that plaintiff was a limited public figure because, through her publication of countless articles, she voluntarily injected herself into the controversial debate on whether HIV causes AIDS with a view toward influencing the debate (see Krauss v Globe Intl., 251 AD2d 191, 192 [1st Dept 1998]), and "project[ed] [her] name and personality before . . . readers of nationally distributed magazines . . . to establish [her] reputation as a leading authority" in this area (Maule v NYM Corp., 54 NY2d 880, 882-883 [1981]). The court also properly concluded that the subjects of HIV/AIDS, plaintiff's journalism, and her receipt of an award for her journalism fell "within the sphere of legitimate public concern" (Chapadeau v Utica Observer-Dispatch, 38 NY2d 196, 199 [1975]). Indeed, the record established that plaintiff was a contentious figure within the traditional HIV/AIDS community. 

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Crazy Is as Crazy Does: Conspiracy Theories and Anti-Science

Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation
Published in Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences, 2013
by Stephan Lewandowsky et al.

Conspiracist ideation has been repeatedly implicated in the rejection of scientific propositions, although empirical evidence to date has been sparse. A recent study involving visitors to climate blogs found that conspiracist ideation was associated with the rejection of climate science and the rejection of other scientific propositions such as the link between lung cancer and smoking, and between HIV and AIDS (Lewandowsky, Oberauer, & Gignac, in press; LOG12 from here on). This article analyzes the response of the climate blogosphere to the publication of LOG12. We identify and trace the hypotheses that emerged in response to LOG12 and that questioned the validity of the paper's conclusions. Using established criteria to identify conspiracist ideation, we show that many of the hypotheses exhibited conspiratorial content and counterfactual thinking. For example, whereas hypotheses were initially narrowly focused on LOG12, some ultimately grew in scope to include actors beyond the authors of LOG12, such as university executives, a media organization, and the Australian government. The overall pattern of the blogosphere's response to LOG12 illustrates the possible role of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science, although alternative scholarly interpretations may be advanced in the future.

Click here to download the provisional PDF of the article.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

AIDS Denier Henry Bauer is Unlikely to be Appointed to Journal of Cryptozoology Editorial Board

Monster Hunting 2.0 by Dan Cossins for ScienceNews

So long as the standards are kept high, then I think it will demonstrate that cryptozoology isn’t just full of crackpots chasing Nessy. —­Darren Naish, University of Southampton, U.K.

Since the demise of the journal Cryptozoology in 1996, there has been no peer-reviewed English-language periodical for the controversial field, which studies animals known from anecdote, folklore, or fragmentary physical evidence, but not yet authenticated with actual specimens. So when the U.K.–based Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) approached popular cryptozoology writer Karl Shuker about launching a new journal, he was happy to oblige.

“I felt it imperative that a journal of this nature should exist again as a platform for formal scientific cryptozoological research and reviews of past cases that mainstream journals may not be willing to consider,” says Shuker, who has a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham, U.K. Having assembled a panel of reviewers who then pored over the first batch of submissions, the CFZ and Shuker published the first issue of The Journal of Cryptozoology in October 2012. Editor-in-chief Shuker insists that all articles are subjected to the “same level of rigorous peer-review evaluations as [in] any mainstream journal.”

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Hard Nut to Crack: Why AIDS Denialism Won't Die Easy

False beliefs persist, even after instant online corrections
By Jeff Grabmeier
AIDS Denier David Crowe
It seems like a great idea: Provide instant corrections to web-surfers when they run across obviously false information on the Internet.  But a new study suggests that this type of tool may not be a panacea for dispelling inaccurate beliefs, particularly among people who already want to believe the falsehood.

“Real-time corrections do have some positive effect, but it is mostly with people who were predisposed to reject the false claim anyway,” said R. Kelly Garrett, lead author of the study and assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

The Price of Investing in AIDS Denial Scams

Scam suspect claims he's paying back $200,000

San Antonio Express News

Accused of bilking nearly $200,000 from a partly paralyzed doctor, Douglas McClain Sr. said Friday he was no scam artist and intends to pay back Dr. Charles Arnold.
McClain, 61, said he's already paid back $15,800 — which was news to Arnold.

“That would be nice,” said Arnold, a 73-year-old neuropsychiatrist who was paralyzed in a motorcycle wreck several years ago. “But it isn't true.”

The criminal case is the latest legal headache for McClain, who owns a 3,600-square-foot home in Fair Oaks Ranch appraised by the county at nearly $410,000.

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