Celia Farber: Has the Dissenter Become the… Dissentee?

The March Harper’s carries a piece by Celia Farber, who has written about AIDS—and HIV denialists such as Peter Duesberg—for 20 years. Says today’s New York Times:

Ms. Farber says that neither she nor Harper’s endorse Dr. Duesberg’s position, but that she is simply reporting on an unpopular view. “People can’t distinguish, it seems, between describing dissent and being dissent,” she said.

What could possibly have confused people about the difference between description and outright dissent?

The one thing we do know, “categorically,” is that the myths that have sprung up from Africa about AIDS are “positively absurd,” [Farber] exploded, citing theories that HIV is rampantly spreading AIDS throughout Africa. “this really lifts off into science fiction.” […] “I suspect “they” got to him [Nelson Mandela]–Jimmy Carter and all those believing AIDS is pandemic in Africa, Black Africans know that to be loved by the West, you talk their line all the way–especially on AIDS.”

—Interview with Celia Farber, Dec 1, 2005, The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients.

“Everybody who was wrong got journalism awards. Everybody who was right got all but driven from the profession,” Farber said.

Farber exposed the conspiracy between profit-hungry drug companies, researchers who wanted more funding, homosexuals who didn’t want the disease to be known as “the gay plague,” and conservatives who wanted to turn back the sexual revolution.

—March 19, 2004, New York Post, “Straight AIDS Myth Shattered.”

“Suffice to say, AIDS professionals will be aghast,” Farber declares. “Unless, of course, they’ve decided to take their cash and their ribbons and helicopter off to their chalets where they can hope to live out their days in anonymity.” [Rian] Milan’s findings debunk myths that the scientific community has been spreading for 20 years.

—Nov 4, 2001, New York Post, on the publication of Rian Milan’s “AIDS in Africa: In Search of the Truth” in Rolling Stone.

I fell silent, realizing from years of reporting on this issue how futile it is to argue when the big club of HIV has been pulled out. Like the child’s game of rock, paper, scissors, HIV is always the rock and the scissors.

—Celia Farber, 1998, Mothering, “AZT Roulette.”