Images Of Poliomyelitis » plag_home » jr » lts20081201

Detrimental Literary Structures

"The Letter To Science" 12/1/08

Legal Notice(17)

A Close Read
by Jim West


"The Letter To Science" is one of the Great Wonders Of The World, one of the most highly publicized dissident documents.   It is a new demarcation of the abilities of public gullibility.  It is garbage.  Its presence (and criticism) informs the dissident community what skilled mainstream propagandists have always known about public perception.  It represents a major point of dissident self-criticism.

The Letter is an imitation of scientific discourse(16) that captured (and ruptured) the imaginations of many high profile authoritative dissidents.  The Letter never achieves the level of science, as its problems never rise above dyslexia or basic reading comprehension.  It's achievement is a reminder of human corruption, frailty or futility.  Yet it claims to be a formal request for retraction of a major scientific paper.

We could attempt to excuse the 42 signatories of The Letter, such as famed author and radio host, Gary Null.  We could assume they were impressed by other signatories, possibly initiated with Andy Maniotis, Ph.D., friend of Roberts.  Perhaps they were influenced by David Crowe, the editor of The Letter.  Perhaps the signatories were team players who signed without reading.  Yet, those signatories are mostly quiet, and ultimately responsible for themselves.  Crowe gave his rationale(3), that actions are symbols, triggers, flags of solidarity, and take precedence over scientific accuracy.  The Letter takes that belief to the absurd. 

Janine Roberts is the primary author as self-described.  The Letter was dated 12/1/2008, signed, and sent to Science Magazine.  On 12/9/2009, Rethinking AIDS ("RA") issued a press release giving "full support".(9)  Half of the board members of RA signed The Letter.

The Letter consists of an adaption of "The Smoking Gun", a falsely argued research topic, originating in Roberts' article, "HIVGATE".(7)  The "Gun" is featured in Roberts' various articles, books, and interviews – portraying lab technician Mikulas Popovic in sharp conflict with lab chief Robert Gallo over proof of virus causation for AIDS, within the first draft(12) of their paper, published in Science Magazine, May 1984.(6)

Comments here are linked to a review of The Smoking Gun.  For defenses, see Roberts' comprehensive response, and David Crowe's final response.  Mike Hersee also defended The Letter, with ad hominem arguments.  Andy Maniotis attempted to play down the problems of The Letter.  Celia Farber responded with, "eye-opening and pristine" and "ice palace".

The Letter to Science(1)

Linked to a parallel Review of "The Smoking Gun"

1200 New York Avenue NW Washington, DC, 20005

December 1, 2008

  To: Bruce Alberts, Editor in Chief, Science:
cc: Alan Lechner, CEO, AAAS

On May 4, 1984 your journal published four papers by a group led by Dr. Robert Gallo. We are writing to express our serious concerns with regard to the integrity and veracity of the lead paper among these four of which Dr. Mikulas Popovic is the lead author.[1] The other three are also of concern because they rely upon the conclusions of the lead paper.[2][3][4]

Popovic's authorship is described as primary to all four papers published in Science Magazine, 1984.

Gallo is Popovic's leader.
Popovic is lead author of the first paper of a set of four.
Papers two through four rely upon the conclusions of the first paper (though those conclusions are misrepresented herein).

In the early 1990s, several highly critical reports on the research underlying these papers were produced as a result of governmental inquiries working under the supervision of scientists nominated by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. The Office of Research Integrity of the US Department of Health and Human Services concluded that the lead paper was “fraught with false and erroneous statements,” and that the “ORI believes that the careless and unacceptable keeping of research records... reflects irresponsible laboratory management that has permanently impaired the ability to retrace the important steps taken.”[5] Further, a Congressional Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations led by US Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan produced a staff report on the papers which contains scathing criticisms of their integrity.[6]

ORI is quoted, yet ORI's focus is omitted.  ORI's focus does not well serve Roberts' argument (that Popovic contradicts Gallo over virus causation). 

ORI actually,

Focused narrowly upon charges related to plagiarism, against Gallo.
Dropped all charges against Gallo.
Did not challenge virological causation.
Promoted virus causation.

Despite the publically available record of challenges to their veracity, these papers have remained uncorrected and continue to be part of the scientific record.

This transitions into a version of Roberts' "The Smoking Gun" (left column, green background).  Two scandals are interwoven throughout:

a) ORI's charges (not defined).

b) Virological proofs for causation of AIDS (argued).

By mixing the two scandals, the causation scandal is argued by innuendo stemming from the plagiarism scandal.


What prompts our communication today is the recent revelation of an astonishing number of previously unreported deletions and unjustified alterations made by Gallo to the lead paper. There are several documents originating from Gallo's laboratory that, while available for some time, have only recently been fully analyzed. These include a draft of the lead paper typewritten by Popovic which contains handwritten changes made to it by Gallo.[7] This draft was the key evidence used in the above described inquiries to establish that Gallo had concealed his laboratory's use of a cell culture sample (known as LAV) which it received from the Institut Pasteur.

Claims are made,
credit for first-ever full analysis and discovery related to Popovic's draft for the paper later published in Science Magazine, May 1984.(6) (dubious)
Gallo plagiarized Montagnier, regarding "LAV" (though this was resolved).
Gallo was the editor of Popovic's draft.  (true)

These earlier inquiries verified that the typed manuscript draft was produced by Popovic who had carried out the recorded experiment while his laboratory chief, Gallo, was in Europe and that, upon his return, Gallo changed the document by hand a few days before it was submitted to Science on March 30, 1984. According to the ORI investigation, “Dr. Gallo systematically rewrote the manuscript for what would become a renowned LTCB [Gallo's laboratory at the National Cancer Institute] paper.”[5]

This paragraph lays out a dramatic but unreferenced timeline.  Reference #5 points to a 95-page ORI document, but not to anything specific.

Roberts gives an indication as to Gallo's role.  He was the laboratory chief, and thus it can be understood that he steered research and was the editor of papers originating from the lab. 


This document provided the important evidence that established the basis for awarding Dr. Luc Montagnier and Dr. Francoise Barré-Sinoussi the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of the AIDS virus by proving it was their samples of LAV that Popovic used in his key experiment. The draft reveals that Popovic had forthrightly admitted using the French samples of LAV renamed as Gallo’s virus, HTLV-III, and that Gallo had deleted this admission, concealing their use of LAV{Paragraph break, for this review}

In this paragraph (¶6), Roberts mixes the two scandals.

In the first half (¶6a), evidence for Gallo's plagiarism is described.


However, it has not been previously reported that on page three of this same document Gallo had also deleted Popovic's unambiguous statement that, "Despite intensive research efforts, the causative agent of AIDS has not yet been identified,” replacing it in the published paper with a statement that said practically the opposite {sentence #1}, namely, “That a retrovirus of the HTLV family might be an etiologic agent of AIDS was suggested by the findings.” {sentence C}

The Smoking Gun, Discovered

In the second half (¶6b), evidence is presented for Popovic-Gallo opposition over virus causation.

This supposed discovery is "The Smoking Gun", evidence of a great scandal.  It is established by gross mischaracterizations of three contiguous sentences found in Popovic's draft.  See graphic overview, Fate Of The Three Sentences.

Roberts dramatizes the scandal by noting Gallo marked out the "unambiguous" sentence #1 (labeled for this review), then falsely claims Gallo replaced it with published sentence C.

After mischaracterizing sentence #1, Roberts omits and destroys adjacent context (sentences #2 and #3). 

Note, the basic rule for reading:  Adjacent sentences clarify the author’s meaning.(10)


It is clear that the rest of Popovic's typed paper is entirely consistent with his statement that the cause of AIDS had not been found, despite his use of the French LAV. 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, and it is evident that Gallo concealed these key elements in Popovic’s experimental findings.

The two-scandal mix is maintained during this exit out of The Smoking Gun, while creating non-existent issues via multi-thematic, vaguely related innuendo.

Detail below.


It is claimed that the draft is "entirely consistent" with Popovic's, "the cause of AIDS has not been found."  However, Popovic actually wrote, "has not been identified."  Finding is not identifying, especially in virology. 

Little can be claimed about sentence #1, with its context destroyed.

Implied, is that Popovic was attempting to prove causation, with the word "despite" which is found in "despite his use of the French LAV."  This phrase serves dual purpose:  "Despite" implies failure to prove causation, and "LAV", Gallo's plagiarism.

¶ 7    Review of Essentiated Text
Roberts essentially claims: Comments
The rest of Popovic's draft is entirely consistent with his statement that the cause of AIDS has not been found {sentence #1}, as evidenced by: False.  This understanding of sentence #1 is based on destroying its adjacent context (sentences #2 and #3).
Popovic concluded that their work only “provides the possibility” for detailed studies. False implication.  Misleads the reader with "only" to believe this is an admission of failure to prove causation.  Yet, both draft and published paper conclude similarly, with no statement of proof, as follows.

The draft conclusion reads, "provides the possibility for detailed biological, immunological, and nucleic acid studies...".

The published conclusion reads, "provided... the first opportunity for detailed immunological and molecular analyses...".

Popovic and Gallo are in agreement.

Popovic's draft shows no attempt to prove virus causation. False implication.  This reinforces the previous false implication, even though both draft and published paper do not claim proof.  Both versions introduce with, "we have proposed...".  Popovic and Gallo are in agreement.
It is evident Gallo concealed these (aforesaid) key elements in Popovic’s findings. False.   All three instances above show agreement.  Roberts thus falsely claims "Gallo concealed" Popovic's supposed failure to prove causation. 

It is astonishing now to discover these unreported changes to such a seminal document. We can only assume that Gallo’s alterations of Popovic’s conclusions were not highlighted by earlier inquiries because the focus at the time was on establishing that the sample used by Gallo's lab came from Montagnier and was not independently collected by Gallo. In fact, the only attention paid to the deletions made by Gallo pertains to his effort to hide the identity of the sample. The questions of whether Gallo and Popovic’s research proved that LAV or any other virus was the cause of AIDS were clearly not considered.

Two items:

Still exiting out, Roberts dramatically promotes the importance and novelty of the (non-)discoveries, while maintaining the two-scandal mix.

A surprise ending now the reader learns of the actual focus of "earlier inquiries".  This characterization should have been located near the beginning of The Letter, where inquiries were introduced, otherwise, this late description of focus appears manipulative.

¶ 8    Review of Essentiated Text
Roberts essentially claims: Comments
Roberts discovered unreported changes. False, as described changes did not occur.  Any reader of this edited draft would have "discovered these unreported changes".
These changes in the Popovic draft were unreported. False, as speculative and unknown, because investigatory documents have not been fully released to the public.
These changes should have been reported, as they are highly significant. False, as significance is missing; described changes did not occur.
These changes were not reported because plagiarism was the only concern. False, because if such changes actually occurred, causation might have been a concern. 
Gallo hid identity of "LAV". False.  Speculative and unsupported issues of plagiarism.  The topic is not even the stated premise of The Letter.  The plagiarism issue was resolved, with charges dropped.  This item does not pertain to the premise of the Letter, except to demean Gallo with unsupported speculation.
Roberts' inquiry is the first to "highlight" "Gallo's alterations of Popovic's conclusions" in terms of causation. False, as this is speculative and unknown because investigatory documents have not been fully released to the public. Obviously, it is unlikely that any competent body would have "highlighted" these changes in terms of a virus causation scandal, because the Popovic draft does not claim virus causation proof.

The phrase, "not highlighted by earlier inquiries", could mean mere highlighting of text, in which case, such a claim would be unsupported, as investigatory documents have not been fully released to the public, by either orthodox or dissident researchers.(4)

True, as Gallo did mark up the draft.  True, as Roberts is apparently the first to so terribly mischaracterize Gallo's alterations.


Related to these questions are other long overlooked documents that merit your attention. One of these is a letter from Dr. Matthew A. Gonda, then Head of the Electron Microscopy Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute, which is addressed to Popovic, copied to Gallo and dated just four days prior to Gallo’s submission to Science.[8] In this letter, Gonda remarks on samples he had been sent for imaging because “Dr Gallo wanted these micrographs for publication because they contain HTLV.” He states, “I do not believe any of the particles photographed are of HTLV-I, II or III.” According to Gonda, one sample contained cellular debris, while another had no particles near the size of a retrovirus. Despite Gonda’s clearly worded statement, Science published on May 4, 1984 papers attributed to Gallo et al with micrographs attributed to Gonda and described unequivocally as HTLV-III.

As in The Smoking Gun, a virological item is appended as superficial evidence for the virus proof scandal, in this and the next paragraph. 

In another letter by Gallo, dated one day before he submitted his papers to Science, Gallo states, “It’s extremely rare to find fresh cells [from AIDS patients] expressing the virus... cell culture seems to be necessary to induce virus,” a statement which raises the possibility he was working with a laboratory artifact. [9]

"one day before", and "four days before" (in the previous paragraph), without clarification, imply that time pressure would critically limit editorial interaction after submission date.  Yet, Gallo was well connected to Science, as described by John Crewdson and others.

Included here are copies of these documents and links to the same. The very serious flaws they reveal in the preparation of the lead paper published in your journal in 1984 prompts our request that this paper be withdrawn. It appears that key experimental findings have been concealed. We further request that the three associated papers published on the same date also be withdrawn as they depend on the accuracy of this paper.

The Letter ends with reminders, accusations of false, misleading, and superficial evidence.

For the scientific record to be reliable, it is vital that papers shown to be flawed, or falsified be retracted. Because a very public record now exists showing that the Gallo papers drew unjustified conclusions, their withdrawal from Science is all the more important to maintain integrity. Future researchers must also understand they cannot rely on the 1984 Gallo papers for statements about HIV and AIDS, and all authors of papers that previously relied on this set of four papers should have the opportunity to consider whether their own conclusions are weakened by these revelations.

The Letter ends, it castigates, appealing to ethics, integrity, and reliability. 

The final phrase is an advertisement, that Roberts' discoveries are "revelations".


[end of body text]



The Letter is largely falsehood, innuendo, and drama.  It arrogates prior dissident and orthodox work, such as Chicago Tribune journalist John Crewdson's work.  Subjective items such as state of mind, intent, malice, or motive, are assumed to be unknown.

It requests the retraction of the 1984 Gallo papers, claiming they don't prove HIV causation.  Yet neither Popovic nor Gallo claim proof of causation.  With false evidence, it portrays a deliberately fraudulent Gallo, portrays Popovic contradicting Gallo, and portrays differences between draft and published paper.

It mixes and confuses, and it is confused.  It appears to be so bent on the intricacies of fabrication that science is lost.

Some claims in The Letter have still not yet been reviewed, and have been taken at face value.  This is not tacit acceptance, as they should eventually be reviewed.

Clear argument and evidence is required for any such letter.

Towards this end, refer(14) to,

"Rethinking The Letter To Science", by Claus Jensen

Gene Semon constructed and sent a "New Letter To Science".  This is included in Jensen's critique, Annexure 2, above. 

"Response To Jensen", by Roberts.

"Response To Roberts", by Jensen and Semon.

Examples of prior dissident HIV/AIDS research, which proficiently deflate viral causation theories: 

Perth's critical summary

Perth summary with Parenzee examples

Perth on Gallo

Johnson interviews Eleni (of Perth)

13 Respectfully,
  • Mohammed A. Al-Bayati, PhD, DABT, DABVT. Toxicologist & Pathologist, Toxi-Health International, Dixon, CA.
  • David A. Ballok, PhD, Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery and Neurosciences, McMaster University, Canada.
  • Henry H. Bauer, PhD, [RA Board Member,] Dean Emeritus of Arts & Sciences, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry & Science Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.
  • André-Pierre Benguerel, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Terry Bennett, MD, MPH.
  • Harvey Bialy, PhD, founding scientific editor of Nature Biotechnology, author of Oncogenes, Aneuploidy and AIDS: A Scientific Life & Times of Peter H. Duesberg.
  • Christopher Black, Barrister, International Criminal Lawyer, Lead Counsel, Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal.
  • Kelly Brennan-Jones, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, SUNY Brockport, New York, USA.
  • Darin Brown, PhD, Mathematics.
  • Gordon Burns, PhD, Professor of Cancer Research, The University of Newcastle, Australia.
  • Jennifer L. Craig, BSN, MA, PhD.
  • Etienne de Harven, MD, [RA Board Member,] Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto. Signature available on request.
  • Andrea G. Drusini, MD, PhD, Medical Anthropologist, Professor of Anthropology, Department of Medico-Diagnostic Sciences and Special Therapies, University of Padova, Italy.
  • Charles Geshekter, PhD, [RA Board Member,] Professor Emeritus of History, Chair, History of Science Section, AAAS/Pacific Division (1990-95). California State University, Chico. Signature available on request.
  • Roberto Giraldo, MD, [RA Board Member,] Specialist in internal medicine, infectious and tropical diseases. Member of the Department of Integral Psychosomatic Medicine, International Society of Analytical Trilogy, São Paulo, Brazil. Signature available on request.
  • Pablo L. E. Idahosa, PhD, Professor, Social Science Program Director, African Studies Graduate Program, International Development Studies Founders College, York University, Canada. Signature available on request.
  • Matt Irwin, MD, MSW, Private practice, Alexandria, Virginia.
  • Joel M. Kauffman, Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Medical Writer.
  • Claus Koehnlein, MD, [RA Board Member,] Specialist in internal medicine, Dept. of Oncology, Univ. of Kiel, Germany (1983 -1993). Since 1993, in private practice increasingly treating HIV-positive people who decline antiviral drugs. Member of South Africa Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel.
  • Hans J. Kugler,PhD, President, International Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.
  • Helen Lauer, PhD, Associate Professor, Philosophy Department Head, University of Ghana.
  • Herbert G. Lebherz, PhD, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Emeritus). San Diego State University, USA.
  • Stoffer Loman, BSc, MSc, PhD.
  • Ahmed Makata, Dip (clin medicine–TZ), MD (USSR), certificate (Tropical pathology–Japan), PhD (Path–Japan), DFM (Path–RCPA– Australia), Forensic Consultant, Histopathologist, Head of Forensic Unit, Ministry of Health, Tanzania. Signature available on request.
  • Andrew Maniotis, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago. Signature available on request.
  • Jonas Moses, PhD, PA, Former US Army clinician (in Ophthalmology), cancer biologist in the Dept. of Pathology, Univ. of Illinois – Chicago (2002-2007), and consulting cell and tissue engineer.
  • Paul Olisa Adaka Ojeih, PhD, MD, Medical Director, Iris Medical Foundation, Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Nikitah Okembe-RA Imani, Associate Professor of Sociology and African Studies, James Madison University. Signature available on request.
  • Philippe Packard, PhD, MPH. Signature available on request.
  • David Rasnick,  PhD, [RA Board Member,] Biochemist, Protease Inhibitor Developer, Chief Scientific Officer, Chromosome Diagnostics, LLC.
  • Prof. Dr. med. Jochen Schaefer, Director, International Institute for Theoretical Cardiology, Kiel, Germany.
  • Hugo Stenström, MD, Senior interventional radiologist, Department of Radiology, Linkoping University Hospital, Sweden.
  • Gordon T. Stewart, MD., [RA Board Member,] Emeritus Professor of Public Health, University of Glasgow, and consultant physician (epidemiology and preventive medicine), NHS, UK. Former consultant to New York City, WHO and to other health authorities in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia on AIDS and related matters. Emeritus Fellow, Infectious Diseases Society of America and former member of the editorial board of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Signature available on request.
  • Roberto P. Stock, PhD. Research Scientist Instituto de Biotecnologia – UNAM, Mexico.
  • Jean Umber, Professeur agrégé (Organic Chemistry), Académie de Nancy-Metz, Lorraine, France.
  • Rudolf Werner, Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Univ. of Miami School of Medicine.
  • Chun Xu, MD, PhD, VP Global Clinical Services, Venturepharm Lab. Beijing, China.
14 Signatures Added After December 1st 2008:
  • Gary Null, PhD, syndicated host of Natural Living with Gary Null, author (AIDS, A Second Opinion), and a producer of PBS special programs. His Deconstructing the Myth of AIDS won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at both the New York and Los Angeles International Independent Film and Video Festivals.
  • Robert Scott Bell, D.A. Hom. (Diplomate American Academy of Clinical Homeopathy); Board Member, American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists 1999-2001; Nationally Syndicated Health Talk Radio Show, Talk Radio Network.
  • Donald W. Miller. Jr., MD (Harvard, 1965), BMS (Dartmouth, 1963), Professor of Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine. Author of The Practice of Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (1977), co-author of Atlas of Cardiac Surgery (1983, Japanese version 1985), author of Heart in Hand (1999).
  • Georg Frhr. von Wintzingerode, Director Technology Alliances, Aachen, Germany.
  • Frantz Andre, JD, LLM, SJD. Medical Law & Ethics Professor, Taylor Business Institute, Loyola University, Chicago.
14 References:

[1] Popovic M et al. Detection, Isolation, and Continuous Production of Cytopathic Retroviruses (HTLV-III) from Patients with AIDS and Pre-AIDS. Science. 1984 May 4; 224: 497-500.

[2] Sarngadharan MG et al. Antibodies Reactive with Human TLymphotropic Retroviruses (HTLV-III in the Serum of Patients with AIDS). Science. 1984 May 4; 224: 506-8.

[3] Gallo RC et al. Frequent Detection and Isolation of Cytopathic Retroviruses (HTLV-III) from Patients with AIDS and at Risk for AIDS. Science. 1984 May 4; 224: 500-3.

[4] Schüpbach J et al. Serological Analysis of a Subgroup of Human TLymphotropic Retroviruses (HTLV-III) Associated with AIDS. Science. 1984 May 4; 224: 503-505.

[5] "Offer of Proof", Office of Research Integrity, US Department of Health and Human Services, 1993.,,,

[6] Staff Report. Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Dingell Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives. 1994. Archived at:

[7] Draft of M. Popovic's May 4 1984 Science article.

[8] Letter from Dr. M. Gonda to Dr. M. Popovic (cc R. Gallo). 1984 Mar 26.

[9] Gallo RC. Letter to Jun Minowada, MD. Personal Correspondence. 1984 Mar 29.



In Closing

This review assumes Popovic's draft is pertinent to the published paper.  In the real world, a first draft can be nearly irrelevant to the final version, i.e., it can be a mere base for many editing cycles.  That's why experienced people often pass the task of first draft to others.  There is a range of possible risk to which Roberts is exposed while making scandalous claims, not knowing the context of current experiments, nor the context of notes or studies from which Popovic could have constructed this draft.  In this respect it is not clearly known to what extent Popovic considered his draft to be in terms of form or content.  There is certainly room for speculation, which could be resolved by having all the ORI documents at hand, and interviewing the ORI investigators.  I assume both would be too politically too difficult to acheive.

Gallo/Popovic's published paper indicates several more drafts were cycled through and that the final version likely involved editing by others, such as Science editorial staff, and possibly the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service ("E.I.S."), which often oversees major studies for publication.  ORI describes eight drafts, but it is not clear, having gone through the four ORI documents on Crewdson's website, and it is doubtful, that the eight drafts included editing that may have occurred after submission to Science.

Claus Jensen (critic)(4) has noted that there were early warnings to Crowe and Roberts, voiced by professors Andy Maniotis, PhD, Val Turner, MD, of The Perth Group(11), and Gene Semon, chemist.  Still Maniotis, Crowe, and Roberts successfully promoted The Letter.


1. The Letter To Science;; accessed 10/30/2009 10:59am
2. Popovic's draft, archived on John Crewdson's site, see Roberts' footnote #7, above.

Val Turner (with The Perth Group) warned David Crowe early, "Not only will the letter be rejected, it will find its way to the HIV protagonists who will delight in yet another opportunity to ridicule the dissidents."  Crowe responded, "Perhaps it's not perfect [gross understatement]... but... when you see the list of almost 40 highly credentialed scientists, doctors and lawyers, I think you will be very impressed... This letter is... a signal... that a major movement of experts is building, and that more people are willing to put their names forward in public against one of the pillars of AIDS science. That alone is worth doing." [Bolding is mine] See "Rethinking The Letter To Science", by Claus Jensen.

4. Credit for insights, support and editorial review goes to Gene Semon, Claus Jensen, and Anthony Brink.
5. I was puzzled by the strangeness of Roberts' "earlier inquiries", not understanding to what the phrase referred.  It didn't match the previous similar phrase "these earlier inquiries", in paragraph five, i.e., it had no pronoun, "these".  Claus Jensen unraveled that mystery.
6. M Popovic, MG Sarngadharan, E Read, and RC Gallo, "Detection, isolation, and continuous production of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV-III) from patients with AIDS and pre-AIDS", Science, Vol 224, Issue 4648, 497-500
7. Janine Roberts, "HIVGATE:  A Voyage Into HIV Science", 12/3/2006,, accessed 10/16/2009.  At least one earlier version of HIVGATE also exists, however, version 12/3/2006 is referred to by this commentary on The Letter.
8. The Gallo-Montagnier dispute, an orthodox history by PBS,, accessed 10/28/2009.
9. Press release for "The Letter To Science"; accessed 11/20/2009; Roberts, in message to Jim West, // , states "".
10. Richard Paul and Linda Elder, "How To Read A Sentence"
11. The Perth Group,; "The three original members are the leader, biophysicist Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, emergency physician Valendar F. Turner and Professor of Pathology, John Papadimitriou."
12. "first draft" Roberts stated (12/1/2009 email) that this Popovic's draft here, is "scarcely a first draft".  My assertion is based on style analysis, experience with writers and editors, HHS's evaluation(13, below) of Popovic's language capabilities, and other factors. The style of the draft and Gallo's corrections are quite different.  Gallo's edits appear substantial, as expected for a first draft.  Crewdson calls it "Draft of M. Popovic’s May 4, 1984 Science article".  Due especially to the nature of Gallo's sweeping modifications, it is likely that Gallo, the lab chief, is first encountering this draft, which will eventually run through many editing cycles before being published.  According to the HHS, Popovic may have written the paper, or part or completely, in his native Czech language and had it translated for Gallo's review.   Finally, a simple look, finds "Science First draft" stamped in the upper left-hand corner of the document.  It is apparent from ORI documents that this is the first draft presented to Gallo by Popovic, though Popovic worked through various versions in preparing this first draft.
13. Department of Health and Human Services, Departmental Appeals Board,  RESEARCH INTEGRITY ADJUDICATIONS PANEL, SUBJECT: Mikulas Popovic, M.D., DATE: November 3, 1993 Ph.D.; Docket No. A-93-100 Decision No. 1446:  DECISION:  "Unrebutted evidence shows that some papers by Dr. Popovic had been translated by others from his native language, that some papers were heavily edited, and that Dr. Popovic's English skills were in fact limited at the time he drafted the Science papers (which also was subjected to substantial editing)."


Anthony Brink, Advocate for the High Court of South Africa, barrister, author, critic of the politics of medicine; maintains critical documentation of the turbulent history of AIDS dissidentia, and in particular, Rethinking AIDS.  His commentaries are in the style of biting satire, which have done much to break open the various histories of AIDS dissidentia.  Some relevant items are mirrored from his revisionist Rethinking AIDS page ( as PDFs.
15. Definitions of plagiarism are well stated, and thus apply as an element in a wider discussion.
16. The Letter has the appearance, rhythm and form of scientific discourse, yet upon close view is found to have gross problems at the level of reading comprehension, which are so basic that The Letter never reaches the level of science.
17. Truth is top priority for this website.  U.S. law maintains that truth is an absolute defense against allegations of defamation.  Falsehoods and ad hominem arguments are not condoned.


Images Of Poliomyelitis » plag_home » jr » lts20081201

© Jim West/HARpub 2009 - All Rights Reserved