[Written by Joan Shenton, who did attend]
The meeting was convened by Raúl Ehrichs Costa from Malaga.
We met at the home of Jose Enrique Requena who hosted our gathering at his sanctuary, Humming Bird House, twenty kilometers from Valencia.
People came from far and wide, Madrid, Barcelona and as far away as Poland and Patagonia.
It was a small gathering of 16 people. Nearly all of the attendees had been diagnosed “HIV”-antibody-positive and many had been heroin addicts. Some were taking antivirals, some were not, and some had given them up altogether. Everybody wanted to learn about the history of the challenge to the virus/AIDS hypothesis.
I asked people how they had come to hear about the meeting and they all said that it had been through Dr Manuel Garrido’s website “Superando el SIDA” (Overcoming AIDS).
On the first morning we were welcomed by Jose Enrique and Raúl Costa introduced the 90 minute film Positively false – Birth of a heresy with Spanish subtitles (We thank Dr Roberto Giraldo for volunteering to provide the subtitles when the film was first produced in 2011.)
Then came the talk from Dr Enric Costa Verger, author of SIDA – Juicio a un virus inocente (AIDS – The trial of an innocent virus) and Vacunas – Una reflexión critica (Vaccines – A critical reflexion).
Dr Verger’s title was “AIDS – trapped by lies and fear”. In fact, fear was one of the main themes of our meeting and came up often in our discussions because to be diagnosed “HIV”-positive engenders great fear and to gather up the courage to renounce antiviral therapy requires great courage.
It was my turn next. I spoke on censorship and strategies for penetrating the medical and scientific orthodoxies. I pointed out two of my biggest disappointments from the past due to censorship: The last-minute cancellation of TV book programmes when I published my book in 1998; the excuse was that nobody was willing to come on and discuss it “from the other side”. And the last-minute withdrawal of the AIDS report Huw Christie and I had made for Channel 4 news, also in 1998.
We then viewed the short film Censored about the latest examples of blatant censorship in relation to the film Positively Hell, directed by Andi Reiss and filmed in Galicia, Spain.
The film was abruptly withdrawn from the London Independent and Portobello film festivals, and the screening cancelled at Bluestockings Bookshop in New York.
We had invited Marco Ruggiero to give us some ideas for future strategies and campaigns. He did not disappoint us. Over Skype from Arizona he told us he had been examining some of the 28,000 or so articles about HIV and AIDS published in orthodox science and medical journals and had been surprised at how often he could find, often cleverly tucked away, examples in the data that confirm the dissident position on HIV and AIDS. Marco gave us some examples. He thinks that some honest scientists, only too aware of the backlash should their findings not coincide with the prevailing dogma, still wish to provide the true facts – even if they are cleverly concealed.
Marco has offered to send Raul three strong examples along the above theme so that he can share them and publicise them.
Dr Nancy Dominguez was with us, all the way from Patagonia where she has been a dissident doctor for many years. Sadly, Nancy’s late husband, valiant dissident Javier Maneira Castañeda, well known in dissident circles as Leo Varela, died last summer of hepatic cancer soon after Martin Barnes’s meeting in Vers Pont du Gard. Nancy’s speech “The AIDS path: towards a leap Consciousness” described some of her experiences in Argentine hospitals of treating patients who had been diagnosed “HIV”-antibody-positive.
And then it was President of Rethinking AIDS, David Crowe’s turn on Skype from Calgary. He gave an overview in very competent Spanish (!) both historical and current called “Resisting the dictatorship of HIV and AIDS”.
Benimuslem is a village with its own very dignified Spanish colonial-style architecture. The houses all have large high front doors and therefore high ceilings so that the horse-and-carriages could enter and traverse the house to the back courtyard. We enjoyed wandering around, finding the local bakery for “ensaimadas” and eating at the only small and very good restaurant.
Our host, Jose Enrique Requena is an opera singer at the Valencia Opera House so we enjoyed some songs and musical adventures in the evenings.
On the second day Raul Ehrichs Costa spoke. Twenty years ago he used to inject heroin and cocaine and nearly died. His life was saved at Marbella’s Hospital Costa del Sol. He was later given triple bypass surgery. David Crowe has done an excellent interview with Raul on “The Infectious Myth”.
Raúl gave us a detailed and learned historical analysis of the dissident literature and surrounding events: “Questioning the diagnosis: Leaving behind the perverse spiral by managing one’s own health.” His website is: http://replanteamientodelasalud.blogspot.com
Anna Kurowicka was next. She is a Polish anthropologist who has spent time in Northern Brazil studying attitudes towards illness. She was particularly fascinating in her description of how South American Indian societies deal with “fear” and “terror”.
And finally it was Dr Manuel Garrido’s turn, webmaster of Superando el SIDA. He spoke on Skype and was familiar with many of the attendees. He is a diligent and long-term warrior in the dissident world.
As far as campaigns are concerned, I have kept two suggestions uppermost in my mind:
1. To use the orthodox literature, as proposed by Marco Ruggiero, to prove that the infectious hypothesis is a terrible failure with all its CD4 and viral load baggage.
2. To gather figures worldwide for the number of people who are diagnosed and have given up or never taken antivirals.
It was Peter Duesberg who said many years ago that nobody is listening to scientists and journalists any more, regarding the challenge to AIDS science. The way forward has to be with those “who are affected”.
I am very impressed with the networks that exist in Spain amongst “those who are affected” and ashamed that they don’t seem to exist in the UK.
My quick attempt to explain this is that most of the people who are affected (or diagnosed) are gay and are or have been drug users. In the UK most of the organised gay communities are linked with AIDS charities that subsidise them. They often present as “patient advocate groups” and can get substantial amounts of funding.
I am not in touch with UK groups concerned with serious drug addiction. Perhaps this is something we should do.