Mbeki's AIDS Advisory Panel: what happened 19 May 2003
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David Rasnick,
Chief Science Officer, Boveran, Inc.
San Ramon, CA 94583

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Re: Mbeki's AIDS Advisory Panel: what happened

Dear Editor,

I have an advantage over Peter Flegg in that I know what actually happened during the Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel meetings of 2000. While I and the other minority members of the panel were active contributors, the mainstream members, on the other hand, were reluctant participants. It was clear that the members from the US CDC and the NIH had been ordered to attend the panel meetings. They certainly didn't want to be there. Just as the first meeting got underway, three well-dressed black men with stern faces joined the panel. None of us know who they were. This unexplained intrusion angered a number of the South African members on the panel. They demanded to know who those three were, why they were there and who sent them. Finally, someone from the Health Minister's office stepped forward to say that the Clinton administration had sent them to observe the proceedings. Beyond giving their names and affiliations, I don't recall any of the three saying another word.

The May 2000 meeting didn't accomplish much because the mainstream members objected to the presentation of any information. This became clear when Peter Duesberg tried to show slides with data. Immediately, someone from the NIH, as I recall, objected. Inexplicably, the moderator allowed the mainstream to veto the presentation of any material. So, we just went around the table saying in a few minutes whatever each of us had to say. When Luc Montagnier's turn came, he tried to make a presentation of data, but Duesberg reminded the moderator that he had not been allowed to present data, at which point Montagnier sat down. Later during the meeting, Montagnier fell asleep in his chair. It became very clear that the mainstream's strategy was to say as little as possible, do as little as possible, and let the whole thing blow away.

A second meeting of the panel was scheduled for July 2000. To prepare for that meeting, the government had set up a secure website where the members of the panel could debate issues, exchange information and come up with an agenda for the July meeting. However, the second meeting of Mbeki's AIDS Advisory Panel presented an embarrassing problem for the mainstream because the International AIDS Conference would be taking place in Durban South Africa also in July. Instead of taking advantage of the extraordinary opportunity to make their case for the contagious/ HIV hypothesis of AIDS directly to the President of South Africa, his ministers and other government officials, the mainstream members set up their own secret internet system, which led to the "Durban Declaration" (1). The Durban Declaration was published in Nature in 2000 and was signed by "over 5,000 people, including Nobel prizewinners" and reads like a catechism of HIV-AIDS dogma. The Durban Declaration was intended to neutralize the high profile questioning of AIDS dogma by the President's AIDS panel. (You can find among other things an extensive rebuttal of the assertions made in the Durban Declaration in the June 2003 issue of the Journal of Biosciences (2).)

When the Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel met in July, the Health Minister and the health directorate castigated the mainstream members for boycotting the internet debate and discussions that had been set up by the government. The minister said the government was furious about the secret internet effort by the mainstream members to undermine the work of Mbeki's AIDS Advisory Panel. Due to the lack of good faith on the part of the mainstream members and their participation in the Durban Declaration, the government agreed to the minority (dissident) members' request for formal presentations of arguments and evidence for and against the contagious/HIV hypothesis at the July meeting. This forced the mainstream to put forward at least a token effort of making their case. That was the first and last time I'm aware of that the mainstream members contributed much of anything to Mbeki's AIDS Advisory Panel's deliberations. Therefore, it is little wonder that the government has not gone to the expense and trouble of setting up a third full meeting of the panel given this history. From time to time, those members of the panel who participated in good faith continue to provide help and advice to the government on AIDS.

1. The Durban Declaration. (2000) The Durban Declaration, Nature 406, 15-16

2. Duesberg, P., Koehnlein, C., and Rasnick, D. (2003) The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics: recreational drugs, anti-viral chemotherapy and malnutrition, J. Biosci. 28, 383-412

Competing interests:   None declared