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The Letter To Science

 


Roberts Describes Authorship

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Roberts appears to be the primary author of The Letter.   Distance from The Letter increases as criticism mounts.

Paragraph breaks {b}, {bracketed comments }, and yellow highlights are added to each column. - Jim West

Roberts via hivaidsparadigm forum
7/30/2009 08:56pm(4)
 
Roberts to Claus Jensen
10/2/2009(6)
Response to Jensen's Review
Roberts to Anthony Brink
12/2/2009(8)
Respone to Brink's Criticism
Roberts to Jim West,
12/4/2009
Response to "Close Read"
Subject: [hivaidsparadigm] Citizen Crowe

Dear RA and Rethinking Activists,

A few days ago David Crowe put up a public webpage distorting my words, removing their context and saying that I was misleading people {...}

David and I had a horrible battle last year during which his actions and threats dismayed and shocked {...}

So why is this similar to what happened with us? In the Fall of 2008 I asked David for help in carrying out a project I had put to Gary Null on a visit to the States. I proposed what has since happened - a letter signed by heavy-weight scientists calling for the withdrawal of the Gallo and Popovic papers on the grounds of major scientific fraud (The evidence in these papers and associated documents did not establish that a virus did or did not cause AIDS - but it did reveal that the papers contained major scientific deceit and fraud).

David agreed to find scientists and we co-drafted the proposed letter. As it happened, I rewrote much of it as we worked on. David more or less accepted my version.

{Roberts describes a fight between Roberts and Crowe over signatories for The Letter.} 
{...} 

But that was not the end of it. {...}

Was it worth it? Only if we still keep on trying to use this hard won letter as a weapon, only if it is sent to scientific ethical bodies - something I am now discussing again with various scientists.

And what David announced he would do in our case is, I discover, exactly what Eleni and Anthony accuse him of doing in the Parenzee case. It brings up the issue of whether a RA president can thus evade Board resolutions he does not like and take control over other people's projects as he tried to do with myself.. 
{...}

Could the letter have been drafted better? Yes with hindsight it could have been.

Claus, you presumably saw my account of the relations between David and I during the process of preparing this letter and getting it to Science. I am thus surprised that you do not cite this.

If you did see it, you will know

1. That I proposed this letter, and wrote an early draft that David and I changed in negotiations. . He took responsibility for sending the relevant documents and requests out to possible signatories.

2. That, after disagreements, David emailed me to say he was unilaterally taking final control over the letter’s text. He also would not share all the related correspondence.

3. That Christine at a late stage also edited the letter.

4. That David denied me the email addresses of the signatories, thus maintaining control over most communications.

5. But – in response to David’s attempt to make the release of the Letter a PR event for RA, to which I was opposed –as were also Professors Peter Duesberg and Gordon Stewart – Christine secured from the RA board a rejection of David’s tactics. The Board voted instead unanimously that the Science journal be asked to respond to one of the signatories as is normal in science, and not to RA – and that there should be no mention of RA accompanying the letter to the Science journal.

6. The letter to Science was not amended overly away from what I wanted to see in it, but it is not perfect.  I settled for the best that was achievable.

7. The correspondence that you cite. This I now see for the first time. I wish it had come directly to me. I could have clarified things, I see there was unnecessary confusion – and I would like to have adopted at least one of the suggested changes put forward by Val.

{Also here, Roberts describes the "central premise" of The Letter to Jensen, saying:}

What is missing from your Rethinking the Letter to Science article?

In the whole of your presentation Claude, you miss the major point in the Letter to Science - it is central to the letter, and you do not even cite it, let alone contradict it.

The central premise of the Letter to Science is that; at no point in the Popovic et al paper that is widely cited as proving a virus causes AIDS (ie in Nature in 1984), is there any experiment designed to prove any virus
pathogenic, let alone the cause of AIDS. This is true both of the Popovic draft and the paper as published. It is a totally amazing omission. This is a point I also made strongly in my book and in associated articles.

What the letter to Science said was “Popovic’s final conclusion was that the culture he produced “provides the possibility” for detailed studies. He claimed to have achieved nothing more. At no point in his paper did Popovic attempt to prove that any virus caused AIDS,”

This to my mind is the elephant in the room – there simply is no experiment in this paper that tries to isolate and prove any virus the cause of AIDS.

The fact that Gallo deleted from the Popovic draft several statements that would have made this even more obvious, is supportive of the assertion that this went beyond scientific flaws to be deliberate fraud.

The history of this paper and this draft is well documented, for it was subjected to unprecedented OSI, ORI, Secret Service and Congressional investigation. It is thus unlikely that related documents were missed.

The two letters cited with this – as I stated at the time and in my book – these are supportive evidence. They do not prove the case by themselves.

{...}

Dear Anthony, you write on your RA web page re the letter sent to the Science journal last December.

"The Roberts-Crowe Letter to Science has indeed caused damage, but not to Gallo or Science. It has served to redirect focus from the real scientific issues to peripheral and largely irrelevant questions of editorial practices in Gallo’s lab, as well as made the Signatories the laughing stock of the scientific establishment"

What nonsense! The Science editors simply hid, refusing to respond both to the first copy to go to them and to the second sent in by Dr. Andy Maniotis . The letter principally pointed out that HIV was not isolated, despite this Science paper claiming in its title that it was isolated. It further pointed out that there was no experiment in this paper designed to prove any virus pathogenic, let alone the cause of AIDS.

There is nothing on your website that contradicts this. Indeed the Perth Group strongly maintains the same.

I suspect that you cannot admit that RA might have supported something decent, so you have to attack this letter. You forget to mention that the RA Board, while supporting the letter, voted unanimously against RA sending it to Science, as the letter was strictly a scientific protest, conceived independently of RA . An independent approach was seen as appropriate. It unanimously rejected an alternative proposal put up by David Crowe - nor was David allowed to alter the letter.

You also do not mention while belittling my work that I strongly supported in Eleni's request that you be allowed to speak on her behalf at the RA conference and was attacked for supporting this. At that time you thanked me.

I am thus extremely disappointed and saddened by your attack on my work.

Janine Roberts

PS - would you please post this as my response
{...}

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 .

{...}

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Footnotes
1.

Editorial marks:  Bolding was sent with the message.  Yellow highlight and {brackets} are added here, Jim West's.  {b} means break, parsed.

2. The Letter, A Close Read, by Jim West
3. The Letter To Science; http://rethinkingaids.com/Home/tabid/146/Default.aspx; accessed 10/30/2009 10:59am
4. Roberts to Jensen, 7/30/2009 08:56pm; hivaidsparadigm forum
5. Jensen critiques The Letterlts081201/letter_to_science_critique_jensen.pdf
6. Roberts responds to Jensen; http://www.tig.org.za/Roberts_responds_1.htm
7. Jensen and Gene respond to Roberts; http://www.tig.org.za/Answer%20to%20Janine%20Roberts.pdf
8. Robert's response to Brink; http://www.tig.org.za/Roberts_responds_2.htm
9. Brink, West, Jensen, and Semon reply to Janine Roberts's second response.
http://www.tig.org.za/Brink_Jensen_West_and_Semon_reply_to_Roberts_2.htm
10. Jensen found that signatories may not have been aware that The Letter was based on Roberts' work.  Signatories apparently signed due to trust, team loyalty, or belief that action is more important than content.  See footnote 5, above.

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