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Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Woman Who Confronted the Sociopathic Science of AIDS

How Rebecca Culshaw Tried to Fix the Corrupted Hard Drive of AIDS Research

    Hopefully, when filmmakers finally start to realize how many rich narrative possibilities there are in the real history of "Holocaust II," Rebecca’s Culshaw’s dramatic awakening to the dark nature of HIV/AIDS science or pseudoscience will be recognized as a compelling story that deserves to be a movie by itself. Culshaw received her Ph.D. in 2002 for work constructing mathematical models of HIV infection, a field of study she had entered in 1996. In an essay, “Why I Quite HIV,” (published online) she said that her entire adolescence and adult life “has been overshadowed by the belief in a deadly, sexually transmittable pathogen and the attendant fear of intimacy and lack of trust that belief engenders.” During her work on AIDS she came to realize “that there is good evidence that the entire basis for this theory is wrong. AIDS, it seems is not a disease so much as a sociopolitical construct that few people understand and even fewer question.”
     At one point earlier in her life she was led to believe that she herself had contracted “AIDS” and she took an HIV test. She spent two weeks waiting for the results, convinced she was going to die and blaming herself for whatever she might have done to cause the development. She tested negative and “vowed not to take more risks.”
     Ten years later when she was a graduate student analyzing models of HIV and the immune system, she was surprised to discover that virtually every mathematical model of HIV infection she studied was unrealistic. She concluded that the “biological assumptions on which the models were based varied from author to author.” She was also puzzled by the stories of long-term survivors of AIDS and the fact that all of them seemed to have one thing in common—very healthy life styles. It made her suspect that “being HIV-positive didn’t necessarily mean you would ever get AIDS.”
     When she ran across the writing of one of Peter Duesberg’s supporters, David Rasnick, it all began to make more sense to her. Rasnick had written an article on AIDS and the corruption of modern science which resonated with her own troubling academic experience. She found a soul mate when she read Rasnick’s assertion that the more he “examined HIV, the less it made sense that this largely inactive, barely detectable virus could cause such devastation.” Culshaw continued to work on HIV, however, and published four papers on HIV from a mathematical modeling perspective. She wrote that “I justified my contributions to a theory I wasn’t convinced of by telling myself these were purely theoretical, mathematical constructs, never to be applied to the real world. I supposed, in some sense also, I wanted to keep an open mind.” But eventually she reached a breaking point on HIV.
     She had been taught early in her career that clear definitions were important and as far as she could tell, the definition of AIDS was anything but. AIDS was not “even a consistent entity.” She was concerned that the definition of AIDS in the early 1980s was a surveillance tool that bore no resemblance to the AIDS of the current time. She was troubled by the fact that the CDC constantly changed the definition, that people could be diagnosed when there was no evidence of clinical disease and the fact that the leading cause of death of HIV positives was from liver failure caused by the AIDS treatments (protease inhibitors) themselves.
     The epidemiology completely puzzled her. The fact that the number of HIV positives in the U.S. “has remained constant at one million” seemed to make no sense. She wrote that “It is deeply confusing that a virus thought to have been brought to the AIDS epicenters of New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles in the early 1970s could possibly have spread so rapidly at first, yet have stopped spreading as soon as testing began.” She had entered the gates of the opposite world of totalitarian, Orwellian abnormal science where the numbers of positives could remain constant because their origins were political and not based on factuality.
     She also thought that the theories about how HIV destroyed t-cells didn’t add up and was disturbed that after so many years of study there was still no “biological consensus” about the manner in which HIV did its dirty work. Culshaw was frustrated by the fact that “there are no data to support the hypothesis that HIV kills cells. It doesn’t in the test tube. It mostly just sits there, as it does in people—if it can be found at all.” The shocking fact that Gallo had originally only found the virus in 26 of 72 AIDS patients was also a dramatic strike against the notion that it was the cause of AIDS.
     Culshaw found further support for her growing skepticism in the testing for HIV which relies on antibody tests rather than searching for the virus itself because “there exists no test for the actual virus.” The fact that so-called viral load tests relied on sophisticated PCR techniques that had never actually been tested against a gold standard of HIV itself made the whole enterprise of HIV testing look like a cruel and dangerous farce. The fact that the criteria for a positive result for the antibody varied from country to country also undermined the credibility of the HIV tests. Culshaw concluded, “I have come to sincerely believe that the HIV tests do immeasurably more harm than good, due to their astounding lack of specificity and standardization. . . . A negative test may not be accurate (whatever that means), but a positive one can create utter havoc and destruction in a person’s life—all for a virus that most likely does absolutely nothing. I do not feel it is going too far to say that these tests ought to be banned for diagnostic purposes.”
     She indicted thousands of her intellectual and professional colleagues when she wrote “After ten years involved in the academic side of HIV research, as well as in the academic world at large, I truly believe that the blame for the universal, unconditional, faith-based acceptance of such a flawed theory fall on those among us who have actively endorsed a completely unproven hypothesis in the interests of furthering our careers.”
     Culshaw summed up her thoughts on AIDS in a brief but brilliant book, Science Sold Out, which was published two years later by North Atlantic Books. The book is so tautly written and sizzles with so much moral outrage that one could say that she was the Thomas Paine (or one of them) of "Holocaust II." She opens the book with an anecdotal challenge to HIV from her personal life: “The boyfriend of a woman I work with died suddenly this year from a raging infection. He became very ill, and his immune system collapsed, unable to handle the infection, and he died. He was not HIV-positive, but if he had been he would have been an AIDS case.” (SSO p.viii) While most of the Duesbergians focused mainly on what was diagnosed mistakenly as AIDS—diagnoses they disagreed with, it is interesting that she begins her little masterpiece with a case that might inadvertently have pointed to a far darker implication of the CDC and the AIDS establishment’s misguided epidemiology: that they were missing the real epidemic and as a result an unknown number of people were dying mysteriously.
     None of the arguments in her book were completely new, but her presentation was a tour de force. It was full of the most righteous indignation of any of the critical books on HIV and AIDS, with the possible exception of the work of John Lauritsen. She also brought an astute political and sociological analysis to the table that helped make what we’ve called Holocaust II more understandable as a historic event: “AIDS has become so mired in emotion, hysteria and politics that it is no longer primarily a health issue. AIDS has been transported out of the realm of public and personal health and into a strange new world in which pronouncements by powerful governmental officials are taken as gospel, and no one remembers when, a few years later, these pronouncements turn out to be false.” (SSO p.4) That the scientific establishment had been so quick to accept the HIV theory was shocking. The willingness of the public to trust proclamations from the government on the issue was also unsettling. She made it her job to try and sort out the sociological reasons for the rush to judgment and the bizarre and stubborn anti-scientific refusal to entertain second and third opinions on the matter.
     As Culshaw looked back at the history of AIDS, she saw a disturbing pattern that made it appear as if scientists were making everything up haphazardly and illogically as they went along: “Science, of course, is meant to be self-correcting, but it seems to be endemic in HIV research that, rather than continuously building an accumulating body of secure knowledge with only occasional missteps, the bulk of the structure gets knocked down every three to four years, replaced by yet another hypothesis, standard of care, or definition of what exactly, AIDS really is. This new structure eventually gets knocked down in the same fashion.” (SSO p.11) Inadvertently, she was actually sensing the totalitarian, abnormal, deviant, ad hoc, a posteriori nature of criminal, scientific opposite world she had stumbled into. She could grasp the hypocritical and dishonest nature of the infernal game that was being played in the name of science when she wrote, “Even more disturbing is the fact that HIV researchers continuously claim that certain papers’ results are out of date, yet have absolutely no hesitation in citing the entire body of scientific research on HIV as massive overwhelming evidence in favor of HIV. They can’t have it both ways, yet this is what they try to do.” (SSO p.12) In the opposite world of AIDS science meant having everything every-which-way all the time.
     As Culshaw wrestles with the question of why so many scientists could be so wrong for so long, she points out that, contrary to the HIV establishment’s propaganda, a significant number of scientists actually did join Duesberg in his skepticism and dissent. One of the more interesting scientists she mentions is Rodney Richards, “a chemist who worked for the company Amgen developing the first HIV antibody tests [who] contends that the antibody tests are at best measuring a condition called hypergammaglobulinemia . . . a word that simply means too many antibodies to too many things.” (SSO p.13) (This—unknown to Culshaw—may have been the major clue that CFS and AIDS were manifestations of the same hypergammaglobulinemia epidemic, and explain why both groups, in addition to testing positive for HHV-6 also tested positive for retroviral activity due to the hypergammaglobulinemia.)
     Culsaw agreed with the HIV/AIDS critic David Rasnick, that a contributing factor in the reign of scientific error was an “epidemic of low standards that is infecting all of academic scientific research.” (SSO p.13) She argued that “it was almost inevitable that a very significant scientific mistake was going to be made.” (SSO p.15) Culshaw was very critical of the AIDS establishment’s refusal to publicly discuss and defend its science: “If the AIDS establishment is so convinced of the validity of what they say, they should have no fear of a public, adjudicated debate between the major orthodox and dissenting scientists, and the scrutiny of such a debate by the scientific community.” (SSO p.17) Scrutiny to AIDS researchers was like sunlight to vampires.
     Culshaw was just as flabbergasted at the very strange moment that HTLV-III was transformed politically into the “AIDS virus” as the rest of the Duesbergians: “It was sometime in 1985 that HIV conspicuously went from ‘the virus associated with AIDS’ to the ‘virus that causes AIDS,’ squelching debate in the scientific arena. What changed? What happened to make scientists come to such certainty? If you look at the actual papers you’ll see quite clearly that the answer is nothing.” (SSO p.19) In other words, this life-and-death matter was settled by politics and public relations rather than anything resembling Kuhnian normal science. HIV/AIDS, according to Culshaw, then became a “machine” that kept moving despite all efforts at dissent. It had a pernicious life of its own.
     Culshaw focuses on the protease inhibitor part of the tragedy of Holocaust II by walking her readers through the chronology of the questionable science that the so-called “cocktails” were based on. Papers by David Ho (Time’s Man of the Year) and Xiping Wei that were published in Nature inspired an approach to treating AIDS of “Hit hard, hit early,” that was to turn the hoodwinked and cheering gay community into one big deadly iatrogenic AIDS cocktail party. The only problem with the cocktails, according to Culshaw, was that “few people are aware that the conclusions” that supported the approach “were based on very poorly constructed mathematical models,” and “to make matters worse, the statistical analysis were poorly done and the graphs were presented in such a way as to lead the reader to believe something different from what the data supported.” (SSO p.20) Deceptive, abnormal science was alive and well during the David Ho HIV/AIDS cocktail era. Ho’s slovenly work was called “groundbreaking” by Sir John Maddox of Nature who said that it provided a compelling reason that the critics of HIV (especially Peter Duesberg) should “recant.” (SSO p.20) A perfect word for the AIDS Inquisition.
     Culshaw saw the circular logic game of molding data to fit the theory being played out in AIDS in the mathematics-based papers that were used to justify the protease inhibitor era, noting that “such tactics by definition, are excellent at maintaining a fa├žade of near-perfect correlation between HIV and AIDS and of providing seeming convincing explanations of HIV pathogenesis.” (SSO p.21) Once again the public relations needs of the HIV/AIDS paradigm were being serviced by the fancy footwork of abnormal science. The inexorable evil of Holocaust II is captured in the fact that even though “the Ho/Wei papers have been debunked by both establishment and dissenting researchers on biological as well as mathematical grounds,” the therapies that were concoctions based on that discredited science “are used to this day.” (SSO p.21) The reader stares in helpless horror at the atrocities of the HIV/AIDS era as Culshaw reiterates that  “ . . . a large population of people have been, and continue to be, treated on the basis of a theory that is unsupportable.” (SSO p.21) Culshaw’s moral outrage is riveting: “You might imagine that people might feel an urge to discuss the manner in which the papers got published and whether other such mistakes have happened since that time. You might imagine that the failure of the peer-review process to detect such patently inept research would send off alarm bells within the HIV-research community. You would be wrong.” (SSO p.21) Standard operating procedure in "Holocaust II."
     Without calling it virtual iatrogenic genocide (iatrogenocide), she indicts a whole generation of clinicians who continued to base their treatment of patients on Ho and Wei: “HIV researchers know the Ho/Wei papers are wrong, yet they continue along the clinical path charted by the papers. They know that the quantitative use of PCR has never been validated, yet they continue to use viral load to make clinical decisions.” (SSO p.21) As we have said, it took a village of professionals to create Holocaust II.
     One thinks about the proverbial story of the drunk looking for his car keys in the parking lot under a light far from his actual car because that’s the only place there is light—when one reads this analysis from Culshaw about a scientist’s discovery in the first so-called AIDS patients: “Upon measuring their t-cells, a subset of the immune system, he found that in all five men they were depleted. What is quite curious about this discovery is that the technology to count t-cells had only just been perfected.”(SSO p.23)  This is yet another way of saying that epidemics never get a second chance to make a first impression.
     Culshaw gets to the crux of the AIDS establishment’s mistake by noting that they rushed to judgment on HIV and then were then trapped and had to trim data and cook the books (like the frantic maintainers of a threatened Ponzi scheme) in order to fit their stubborn theories to match disparities in the growing number of people they were designating as having AIDS: “As the definition expanded and as it became more and more clear that HIV did not do at all what it was purported to do—that is, kill CD4 t-cells by any detectable method—researchers began to invent more and more convoluted explanations for why their theory was correct.” (SSO p.24) Good money was constantly thrown after bad. Of course, had they also expanded the definition so much as to include the chronic fatigue syndrome epidemic, things might have miraculously straightened themselves out and HHV-6’s role in the hypergammaglobinemia epidemic might have become painfully obvious.
     Channeling Thomas Kuhn, Culshaw is all too old fashioned and normal-science-ish when she so reasonably writes, “The logical scientific thing to have done would have been to notice their original disease designation did not accurately identify the causative agent or agents, rather than changing the syndrome, throw out the supposed causative agents and find one that explained the observations better. As we know, this has not happened.” (SSO p.24)
     Culshaw decried the bogus logic behind the universal celebration of protease inhibitors, noting that “ . . . the proportion of AIDS cases that resulted in death experienced a large drop in 1993-1994, which orthodoxy and the mass media were more than happy to portray as decreased mortality thanks to protease inhibitors. However, protease inhibitors were not even generally available to AIDS patients until 1996, over two years after the decline in the death rate began.” (SSO p.27) She challenged the notion that they had been proved to extend life and argued that one only had to look at the packet inserts to see that they could “cause debilitating side effects, some of which are indistinguishable from the symptoms of AIDS itself.” (SSO p.27)
     She was horrified by the insane logic of HIV drug manufacturers who would insist “that since someone who was healthy when they started therapy happened to stay healthy for some time on the drugs, that is some sort of credit to the medications.” (SSO p.28)  She warned that “there is no evidence to say that they would not have remained healthy even if they never took any medication at all.” (SSO p.28) She noted that the HIV establishment had basically gamed the system by never using placebo-controls so that it could not be determined if nothing was actually better than the AIDS drugs. “Do no harm” was a quaint joke from the distant past. As far as the reports of the supposedly positive effects upon very sick people who took the drugs, she pointed out, as others had, that reverse transcriptase inhibitors are non-specific cell-killers an in addition to harming healthy cells, could be attacking “those cells that are dividing fastest,” (SSO p.28) such as the opportunistic bacteria and fungi that were the cause of acute illnesses in AIDS patients. In other words, their reputation was based on the mistaken impression that it was their effect on HIV rather than the other infections involved in the syndrome. She noted that protease inhibitors had been shown to control two of the more important infections associated with AIDS: candida and pneumocystis. (SSO p.28)
     Culshaw came down hard on the absurd Orwellian invention of the term “Immune Restitution Syndrome” which was used to explain away the development of opportunistic infections that occurred when people were taking the miraculous protease inhibitors. The convenient ad hoc explanation was that the immune system of AIDS patients was getting “confused” as it was getting stronger. She slapped that one down, writing that “In reality, it seems to be just another attempt to explain away the fact that clearly the medications are nor working as they were intended. . . .” (SSO p.29) She zeroed in on one of the disturbing consequences of all this, one that supports our notion that the whole era should be called "Holocaust II": “Consider also that the leading cause of death among medicated HIV-positives is no longer even an AIDS-defining disease at all, but liver failure, a well-documented effect of protease inhibitors.” (SSO p.30) 
     Throughout Holocaust II, where there was AIDS there was also state coercion (the social and political face of totalitarian science) sponsored by the inexorable public health logic of the HIV/AIDS establishment. Culshaw noted that “Infants born to HIV-positive mothers are in many states forced to undergo anti-retroviral therapy and since only a few drugs have been approved for children, the drugs administered are the most toxic, AZT and nevirapine being foremost. Oftentimes this drug regimen begins before the baby is born, in certain cases against the wishes of the mother, and continues throughout childhood.” (SSO p.30) And the tragedy was cruelly compounded by the fact that half of HIV-positive babies revert to negative in any case. Unforgivable iatrogenic scars from this age of medical atrocities were everywhere. (Hopefully historians will do a good job one day of documenting them all for posterity.)
     In terms of the real underlying pandemic of HHV-6, it is interesting that Culshaw zeroed in on the politically motivated nature of concocting a definition of AIDS as a disease characterized mainly by the decline in CD4+ cells: “But what was known from the beginning of AIDS—though bizarrely, not investigated to nearly the extent that CD4+ cells have been investigated—was that AIDS patients suffered disruptions in many subsets of their blood cells. Virtually all of these patients had elevated levels of many different types of antibodies, indicating that something had gone wrong with the “anti-body-arm of the immune system.” (SSO p.33) (God forbid that they had looked at what was going on in the “anti-body arm of the immune system” of the CFS patients and the rest of the general population.)
     In her book, as she had done in her previous essay, she emphasized that the HIV tests themselves were an unreliable technical mess and was horrified at how diagnostics that were “some of the worst tests ever manufactured in terms of standardization, specificity, and reproducibility” (SSO p.35) were being used “as a weapon of discrimination ever since testing began.” (SSO p.35) Everything about the way viral proteins were identified as belonging to HIV she found questionable. She described one of the common tests (the ELISA): “ . . . the proteins are present in a mixture and the serum reacts with the proteins in such a way as to cause a color change. The color change is not discrete—meaning that everyone has varying degrees of reaction.” (SSO p.39) It gets totally Alice-in-Wonderlandish as she notes that “there are varying degrees of the color change, and a cutoff value has been established, above which the sample is considered reactive or ‘positive’ and below which it is considered ‘negative.’ Clearly, this language is absurd, since positive and negative are polarities and not positions on a sliding scale.” (SSO p.39) Such was the crazy way medical tests were conducted in the reign of abnormal, totalitrian science that was "Holocaust II."
     Culshaw also noted that everyone could test positive for HIV, depending on how the serum was diluted when the tests were run. She was inadvertently saying more about the catastrophic effects of HHV-6 on the body when she pointed out that the tests were actually detecting the previously mentioned condition of hypergammaglobinemia, or “having too many antibodies to too many things.” (SSO p.44) Again it must be pointed out that, unknown to her and her colleagues in AIDS dissent, the biomedical face of the complex HHV-6 catastrophe was simultaneously revealing itself in the widespread chronic fatigue syndrome epidemic in the form of people “having too many antibodies to too many things.”
     The other thing which she pointed out that connected with the oft-detected evidence of retroviral activity in CFS was the possibility that the HIV test was simply detecting endogenous retroviral activity, hence just an artifact (or epiphenomenon) of the biological chaos that was going on in the bodies of AIDS patients. The retroviral activity could be “Simply a marker for cell decay and/or division.” (SSO p.44) (And, in the case of HHV-6’s devastation, we know there was and is a lot of that going on.) And the fact that the HIV tests had never been “validated against the gold standard of HIV isolation” (SSO p.45) decimated their credibility. Or should have
     Culshaw could see that the slovenly and shady science of HIV had led America and the rest of the world intro a sinister ethical quagmire: “Since the diagnosis HIV-positive carries with it such a stigma and the potential for outrageous denial of human rights, it is only humane that doctors, AIDS researchers, and test manufacturers would want to make absolutely certain that the tests they are promoting are completely verifiable in the best possible way. This is not happening.” (SSO p.45) Like some of the other HIV critics, she pointed out that the retrovirus had never been unquestionably isolated in an irrefutable way in the first place—and still hadn’t been, potentially making AIDS one of the biggest scientific mistakes and scandals in history. She reinforced the point, writing, “You might think that with hundreds of billions of dollars spent so far on HIV, there would have been by now a scientific attempt to demonstrate HIV isolation by publication of proper electron micrographs. The fact that there has not indicates quite strongly that no one has been able to do it.” (SSO p.46)
     In addition to the HIV test not working reliably, she also questioned the viral load test, which is used “to estimate the health status of those already diagnosed HIV-positive” because “there is good reason to believe it does not work at all.” (SSO p.46) She pointed to a paper that indicated “fully one-half of . . . patients with detectable viral loads had no evidence of virus by culture.” (SSO p.47) It was as if the Three Stooges were in charge of every aspect of HIV testing. Culshaw was uniquely sensitive to the ugly political nature of all this and perceptively saw how the HIV tests “are used essentially as weapons of terror.” (SSO p.48) She writes, “This medical terrorism reached new heights in June, 2006 with the CDC’s new HIV testing guidelines, which recommended that everyone between the ages of thirteen and sixty-five be tested for antibodies to HIV.” (SSO p.48)
     Culshaw was outraged that the faulty test for a virus not proven to cause AIDS could force perfectly healthy people “into undergoing a regimen that will inevitably cause long-term toxic effects (and even death), a more sinister complication is the violation in human rights that occurs following a positive HIV test. Every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada maintain a list of ‘HIV carriers’ in that region.”(SSO p.49) That was just one more aspect of "Holocaust II" that made it seem a little like Holocaust I.
     Culshaw could see the heavy political hands that were keeping the hellish paradigm and draconian public health agenda in place. When they were confronted by criticism grounded in logic and reason, “The AIDS orthodoxy’s only counters to the points made and the questions raised consist of ad hominem attacks including use of the term ‘denialist’ as well as stating that dissenting views have ‘long since been discredited’ without any reference to exactly where these views have been discredited. Unfortunately, words are powerful and personal attacks are very effective at silencing people.” (SSO p.60) She felt that it was a campaign of “fear, discrimination, and terror that has been waged aggressively by a powerful group of people whose sole motivation was and is behavior control.” (SSO p.60) Of course, those would be the lucky ones. The dead ones would have no behavioral issues.
     More than any other AIDS dissident or critic, she came the closest to seeing the heterosexist and racist underpinnings of the whole sinister game: “To understand the sociological motivations behind the HIV/AIDS paradigm, one must understand the racism and homophobia that has persisted in society for centuries. It is only very recently in the timeline of history that gays and blacks have been accorded equal rights under the law. . . .” (SSO p.61) Her thinking supported this book’s contention that what the law can give gays and blacks with one hand, epidemiology in the form of "homodemiology" and "Afrodemiology" can take away with the other.
     Culshaw came breathtakingly close to seeing both the forest and the trees insofar as she called it a rush to judgment at the beginning of the epidemic when the first cases of AIDS were assumed to be sexually transmitted even though the original gay men with it had no contact with each other. She was onto the heterosexist or "homodemiological" lens through which the original ground zero data was being observed by the VD and gay-obsessed pioneers of the HIV/AIDS paradigm. And she recognized that the assumption of sexual transmission was not easily dialed back or reconsidered. In terms of the HHV-6 catastrophe it is of interest that she recognized that “Despite the fact the other viruses (cytomegalovirus and herpes virus, to give two examples) were far more prevalent in AIDS patients than HIV ever was, the HIV train started rolling and hasn’t lost momentum since. Would this have happened if the first AIDS patients had been heterosexuals in the prime of their lives?” (SSO p.62)
     One of the most admirable things about Rebecca Culshaw is the fact that she was not afraid to use the fierce polemical language of moral indignation when confronting the reign of pseudoscientific evil: “Many of the biggest crimes committed by the AIDS orthodoxy are psychosocial and not medical at all.” (SSO p.62) What the charlatans of AIDS in their white coats were doing to humanity was not something she—unlike most of her fellow scientists and intellectuals—could look away from: “The discrimination leveled against those given the HIV-positive diagnosis has reached a level not seen since leprosy was common . . . HIV-positives are the modern equivalent of lepers (and in Cuba, where they are quarantined, are even treated as such) . . .” (SSO p.63) The enforcers of the paradigm were “vultures who will stop at nothing to prop up their paradigm.” (SSO p.65) While Culshaw, unfortunately, didn’t see the full nature of "Holocaust II" as clearly as she might have, she came closer than many, and what she did see she translated into an historically important outcry: “The HIV theory has never been about science but rather about behavioral modification primarily, and to a lesser extent, about money, power and prestige. Language surrounding HIV and AIDS is infected with a sort of pious moralism that is completely inappropriate in science. . . .”(SSO p.69) Maybe inappropriate for normal science, but it is the theme song constantly playing in the background of the abnormal, totalitarian science of "Holocaust II."
     Culshaw could see that, tragically, there was no turning back, because “First of all, there are tremendous financial and social interests involved. Billions of dollars in research funding, stock options, and activist budgets are predicated on the assumptions that HIV causes AIDS. Entire industries of pharmaceutical drugs, diagnostic testing and activist causes would have no reason to exist.” (SSO p.70) If that doesn’t sound like an empire of evil worthy of being called "Holocaust II," what does?
     Few saw the costs and consequences of the HIV theory being wrong and articulated them as dramatically as Culshaw. It wasn’t a small inconsequential scientific matter, a minor wrong turn that could be easily forgiven or forgotten: “. . . the scientific and medical communities have a great deal of face to lose. It is not much of an exaggeration to state that when the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is finally recognized as wrong, the entire institution of science will lose the public’s trust, and science itself will experience fundamental, profound and long-lasting changes. The ‘scientific community’ has risked its credibility by standing by the HIV theory so long. This is why doubting the HIV hypothesis is now tantamount to doubting science itself, and this is why dissidents face excommunication.” (SSO p.70) And she wasn’t even aware that the fiasco included among it’s consequences, HHV-6 related chronic fatigue syndrome, autism and Morgellons, just to name a few.
     Culshaw is fairly unique among the Duesbergians and other HIV critics, dissidents, resistance intellectuals, whatever one wants to call them. Not only was she patently not heterosexist, not only did she not spin her own alternative alternative gay lifestyle theory of AIDS, but she actually went in the opposite direction and argued that heterosexism, side-by-side with racism, was the driving force for the biomedical dystopia that was created by the pseudoscientific HIV/AIDS paradigm. And, in a near miss, Rebecca Culshaw almost got it right when she wrote that “powerful psychological forces are at work. It is simply easier for most people to project our neglect of disenfranchised groups—gay men, drug users, blacks, the poor and so on—onto a virus and accept those “infected” as sacrificial victims, than to recognize that there is no bug. For society, the latter would require acceptance of those disenfranchised groups as equal participants in mainstream society and culture.” (SSO p.70) She would have won the “understanding Holocaust II lottery” if only she had written, “It is simply easier for most people to project our neglect of disenfranchised groups—gay men, drugs users, blacks, the poor and so on (and ignore the threat to our own health)—onto the wrong, politically and fraudulently framed virus and accept those labeled and scapegoated as “AIDS infected” and as sacrificial victims, than to recognize that we are all at risk for the real cause of this epidemic.” But it was not to be. She certainly got the business about the bigoted politics right, but there was a virus, a very serious and deadly virus, but not a retrovirus. It was a DNA virus, one that was, even as she wrote her wonderful book, having its pathological way with both franchised and disenfranchised groups all over the world.
     If one were to ask all the Duesbergian critics—including Culshaw—if the egregious errors of the AIDS medical establishment had put the heterosexual general population in more danger of becoming immune-compromised, they all would probably have said a resounding “No!” The fact that they would have been absolutely wrong (considering the HHV-6 spectrum catastrophe in the general population that was masked by the HIV mistake) shows that their critical brilliance and their unique ethical bravery went only so far in the search for the ultimate truth about the epidemic. They failed to stop the forces of heterosexism and racism that crystallized into Holocaust II, but without all of them, a very dark time would have been even darker.

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