Do you really want to go to war? Even though you present yourself as the man leading the charge against all manner of AIDS “denialists”, my experience of you, direct and indirect, has led me to conclude that you are perhaps the biggest thorn in the side of the orthodox AIDS establishment, not to mention its biggest loser. You are disliked to the point of hatred by many of your colleagues. You are the leading man of a gigantic research failure. You have debilitated those to whom you are close, and you have many dark secrets. You are the last person who should be declaring war, especially one without rules. But since you insist, here is a first salvo. Deal with it.
John Moore loves to remind everyone who works in AIDS research of his close relationship with Mark Wainberg. While this relationship surely gives Moore an inflated sense of accomplishment, it does not overly impress the everyday colleagues of himself or Mark.
In early December, I had a conversation with a well-funded AIDS researcher at one of Canada’s biggest universities (a university that Mark would consider the biggest in the country). I originally attempted to direct the dialogue so it revolved around conventional AIDS-think. I was shocked when he turned the discussion towards the failures of AIDS-science. This very well known and acclaimed researcher laughed about the vaccine failures, and sent chills down my spine when he claimed that researchers, like David Ho, John Moore, and Mark Wainberg, had prevented scientific progress by not allowing the discussion of anything not centered on “da virus”. He claimed that while he does not agree with the "Duesberg view", it is obvious that AIDS is not directly the result of HIV infection. He went on to say, even more remarkably, that all AIDS researchers realize this, as it is exactly what the literature says. He reminded me (unnecessarily) that to get anyone to admit this in public is next to impossible.
Admissions like this are not, however, that rare amongst AIDS researchers. The feeling within ‘the business’ is that the show is run by several bosses, who have slowed real progress by disallowing alternative explorations. Perhaps the best kept open secret in AIDS research today is that the majority of working scientists no longer think HIV directly does the job, and that it depends on numerous, still to be elucidated "other" factors. They are (or were), at least the ones I have spoken with, intimidated by Moore and other "big shots", and forced either to uphold the media cover story in public, or keep dead quiet on the subject. Needless to say, these scientists do not have an excess of "warm, fuzzy" feelings for Mr. Moore.
If a severe shortage of collegial friends was his only (or even major) problem, he would be saying "Thank you, Lord" now. Unfortunately (for him), he has just been exposed as one of the leaders of AIDS Inc.’s biggest experimental cock-ups to date. Microbicide trials have been halted because these highly touted magic gels somehow increase susceptibility to HIV infection instead of preventing it. Beats the hell out of me.
it should really, however, have come as no surprise. The science behind the development of these failed, ultra-expensive goos had been largely ignored. The main reason, at least expressed in the establishment circles I am in the process of subverting, is that microbicides were just too politically correct not to pursue.
Grants for AIDS microbicides were lavishly funded with the justification that this approach need not be biologically sound so long as the message was putting power in the hands of women. This gave people "warm, fuzzy" feelings and prevented backlash. Who but mad, politically incorrect "denialists", could possibly fault this idealized fantasy? So AIDS researchers and activists sat on their hands and allowed crap-science to reach mainstream levels. The serious, and disturbing and obvious questions, however, did not go unasked in private out of the hearing of the moronic and tyrannical PI's [principal investigator]. How was a microbicide going to be used without disturbing the epithelium of the reproductive tract? How was a microbicide, with components that bind to free virus, going to stop the transmission of a virus that is transferred in a Trojan-horse manner, inside cells?
As if the previous problems are not horrific enough, these two strikes are not all that John has against him. It appears that he has once again managed to screw-up the publication plans and raise the ire of his once ‘good buddy’ Dennis Burton (and colleagues). Sources in the Burton lab, at Scripps, have informed me Dennis wants John "detached from his ass". Recently, Burton and a collaborator submitted solid scientific papers, refuting the hypothesis of Barton F. Haynes’ regarding the autoreactivity of a group of broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies, to a prestigious journal. One of these papers has been rejected, and there is word of a similar fate for the second. The reason? Tony Fauci is still furious at John, and continues to take it out on Burton.
If Moore wants a war with no rules, that is fine with me. He should remember, however, that he lives in a glass house built on a foundation of deceit. He should also remember that I have a large supply of stones. I am also invisible to him, and have him completely surrounded.
To end on a more personal note, I was very sad to hear that John did not remember me from last summer. I am blond with blue eyes (about 6 feet tall). I guess I was wrong when I thought he took some interest in me.
Subversive Grad. Student studies B-cell immunology at a well known university that is not in Australia. The "Portrait of the AIDS Researcher as Both Subject and Object" in miniature above is abstracted from the AIDS Wiki Sandbox, where any who wish to view the alien creature in greater detail may do so.