Regarding Tara Smith’s PLoS journal entry on Denialism on the Web, I personally have tried to engage Tara Smith in reasonable, factual, point-for-point, issue-specific debate, on her blog,
2. and here
(There may be more, but I only kept track of these, she posts so much on “denialism,” it’s hard to keep track).
You may review these files, and note that none of my concerns are answered, and are usually deflected by charges of ‘being silly,’ in some manner, or, of course, of being a ‘denialist’.
I hold, and extend, an open invitation to Ms. Smith, or any ‘anti-denialist’ to debate, person to person, by email or phone, on any particular issue relating to Aids.
I have asked Ms. Smith to debate the lack of standardization in “hiv tests.” I have asked her if she would use an “hiv test” on herself, while pregnant (this is the protocol for the poor, brown-skinned, African and Indian in the world), and then voluntarily undergo a course of Nevirapine on herself and her children, as she would have all good African women do.
She responded by not responding, and by accusing me of perhaps, inventing the story that NYC likes to use crack-baby orphans in Aids drug tests.
A story you can follow on links through this page.
Ms. Smith has developed a reputation among those who’ve tried to engage her for being a coward, and a fraud.
Those are strong words, but returning a question about the use of “hiv tests” and Nevirapine, with libel, gives a particular impression of wanting to avoid certain issues. For example, the non-standardization and non-specificity of ‘hiv tests’; or the deadly, horrifying toxicity of Nevirapine in many once-living creatures, now dead, who took it.
So, coward is a strong word, and so is fraud, but I think they both fit, based on performance, (though I hold open the invitation to debate, and will be pleased to change my opinion of her behavior.
Coward and Fraud – strong words, but let’s be clear; so is “denialism,” which is the term she uses regularly and with specific intent to describe any who disagree with her about the utility of the Aids paradigm.
“Denialism” is a term, carefully chosen for meaning and emotional response. The term asks the reader to equate those, like myself, who look at “hiv tests” and read that they are neither specific, standardized, or able to diagnose any particular infection, and who therefore question their ethical utility – and those who deny the German/Jewish Holocaust of the 1930s and 1940s.
It is not a mistake that the term is used. It is used specifically, to cause anyone with any sensitivity to run screaming from the argument, lest they make the terrible mistake of perhaps falling into “denialism.”
Ms. Smith and her colleagues at the Aetiology blog are masters of denialism – no, not of the Holocaust – but of truth-seeking, academic debate. They wouldn’t know it if it bit them, because their goal is to dissuade anyone and everyone from looking into the big, black boxes that today’s science promises to fix, fill up, or illuminate for us (like the church of yesteryear), but continuously fails to do so.
Damn us then, for our curiosity. But not for denial. That belongs, today, as on many days, to the ruling authority in matters of belief.
It is worth noting that if Ms. Smith and her colleagues were serious about addressing the concerns created by “denialists”, (that is, academics, writers, citizens, scientists, physicians, community leaders, “hiv positives” and “Aids” patients who disagree with her irrefutable beliefs), she would not have proffered her opinion without deigning to balance it against that of her opposition.
That is, she would have openly, willingly interviewed any of those she condemns. She does not do so, and is incapable of doing so, lest she show her empty hand; this is my opinion, of course, and I am willing, as always, to debate Ms. Smith on open ground, to make and answer charges, and seek clarity. As I am a writer, not an academically-corrected mouthpiece for any institution, it should be easy for her to best me, so I await her answer eagerly. That said, I don’t expect to hear from her anytime soon, though I would welcome it.
It is also worth noting that the Holocaust, which certainly did occur, was a holocaust which grew out of a popular science called Eugenics. Eugenics is worth looking up, to realize that the “risk groups” for which ‘hiv tests’ are considered accurate, are those who have always been considered ‘unfit’, by some rationale or another – Homesexual, Gypsy, Negro, drug user, impoverished persons, etc.
So, I invite the reader to examine at leisure and at will, any detailed information provided by any person or side in this battle royale. I leave you with two articles, which I assembled from 20 years of medical literature on “hiv testing.”
1. The Hidden Face of Hiv Part One: Knowing is Beautiful
2. and Part Two: Sex Crimes
I found the experience of researching these to be tremendously educational, and frankly life-changing. It’s a remarkable thing to understand how human beings validate their biases.
Finally, It’s also important to note, that by attacking those who would demand clarity and transparency in the Aids paradigm, Ms. Smith acts as a functionary (a helpful idiot, to steal a phrase), for a particular point of view, not as an interested, truth-seeking scientist.
It’s one thing to assure the reader that “consensus has been reached,” which is a beautiful little fib she uses as a martinet; it’s another to allow the unwashed masses a chance to actually review and understand the material in question, without being told what to think.
Good luck, very bests,