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LTS: A Close Read
Reply To Roberts (jw 1/24/2010)
“...[T]he higher Truth lifts her voice, the louder will Error scream...”
- Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science
Subject: "West to Roberts (3): The Letter, Close Read"
Roberts is not expected to respond soon, having suffered a severe stroke on the evening of 2/25/2010. Critical work must continue, however, without Roberts' help. Yellow highlights added by Jim West.
|From: janine roberts [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 6:39 AM
Subject: Re: The Letter To Science: Close Read
Jim states "Roberts quotes ORI, yet omits ORI's focus. ORI's focus
does not well serve Roberts' argument (that Popovic contradicts Gallo
over virus causation). " He then proceeds to say
why this widespread attack on myself alone - I think you know that I did not write this letter alone - that it was finally the product of a committee of three - with christine and David also very much involved and approving the final wording- so why is this attack solely on myself - particularly when the signatories were sent the supporting documentation and made up their own minds whether to sign or not? It feels very vindictive and personal - and counter productive. It does not exactly encourage people to take such actions when people who should be allies become the most savage critics .
However I did do much of the background research. so p lease read if you have not my detailed analysis of ORI and the other investigations of Gallo - as in my book fear of the invisible and on my website - I went into precisely the issues you raise - the ORI indisputably produced an 'Offer of Proof' that contains the results of its investigation - this condemned the research in the Popovic et al paper - saying among other things that the research in it was impossible to verify - the entire text is in my appendix and on my website - and was sent to all signatories of the letter in advance - and furthermore Crewdson did not to my knowledge ever bring up the issue of whether LAV was proved to cause AIDS in the Popovic paper .
It is evident from the final ORI report that its major charge was not plagerism - for Gallo at no point was accused of copying Montaigne - but that of misappropriating a sample. but here I was looking at what else it concluded - it also stated that the lead paper was 'fraught with false and erroneous statements.' The ORI 'offer of proof' first spoke of "Dr Gallo's failure or refusal to meet his obligation's as Laboratory chief " ..and it went on to say that Popovic's paper "was conspicuously lacking in primary data " and that Gallo's actions relating to this paper and the research reported in it "at a minimum seriously undermined the ability of the scientific community to reproduce and/or verify the efforts of the LTCB in isolating and growing the AIDS virus." In the circumstances, a more serious charge is hard to imagine. - and surely this should have meant that this paper was withdrawn - as the Letter to science has requested.
Indeed it is surprising that this request was not formally made much earlier - at least as far as I know.? In my view it would be excellent if many of those whose research has come to a similar conclusion would individually or collectively repeatedly press the Science journal to withdraw - after all the evidence against this paper is simply massive. If this paper were withdrawn, given its acclaim - the psychological effect of this could be enormous. It could start the process of undermining the foundations of the AIDS industry. but - with it left in good standing - at the moment thousands of young scientists could be taking this paper as gospel - and repeating the same errors.
(So why then Jim are you so devoted to trying to
attacking myself for
the great deal of work I put into this ? )
This is my reply to Janine Roberts (12/4/2009). Apologies for delay due to holidays and other obligations. Roberts’ message is enclosed for reference.
My Replies To Selected Items
1. Roberts: “Why this attack on me alone?”
Not an “attack”. My review is text analysis. This is a normal,
healthy, academic process for such an important and
controversial document as The Letter. Roberts and RA might want
to use this review to update books, articles, interview formats,
advertisements, and procedures. See the review at
Re “alone”: My review is now amended to read, “Roberts is
apparently the primary author”. Four descriptions of authorship
are compared at
2. Roberts: [ORI’s] “major charge was not plagerism - for Gallo at no point was accused of copying Montaigne - but that of misappropriating a sample.”
Actually, plagiarism is the misappropriation of others’ work (such as Montagnier’s), and, “copying” is not a required element of plagiarism. See definition at
3. Roberts: [Popovic's paper] "was conspicuously lacking in primary data..."
Roberts misquotes ORI. The phrase should read, “conspicuously
lacking in significant primary data..." (bolding is
mine) The word “significant” ensures pertinence to ORI’s narrow
scope of investigation, which is not virus causation. See ORI’s
page 45, John Crewdson's copy
(31 megs), at
4. Roberts: “You dispute whether the wording in the letter was accurate...”
Roberts adds a distracting fourth layer of argument over fundamental gross mischaracterizations of Gallo’s edits. I had already found fiction piled on fiction at
5. Roberts: “You say that I have 'falsely' (which implies knowingly) claimed...”
Roberts mischaracterizes the word “falsely”. It is the adverb construct of “false”, which means “contrary to fact or truth”. My review explicitly states that intent, state of mind, etc., are assumed to be unknown. See
6. Roberts: [West denies discoveries, therefore,] “point me to where else you found them reported...“
Roberts had grossly mischaracterized Gallo’s edits. These
problems are at the core of The Letter. I unravel this and
priority issues at
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