The sick psychology of voodoo hexes and pointing bones

 Posted by on March 7, 2011 at 10:29 pm
Mar 072011


Picture of three pointing bones
Bone pointing is an ancient curse used by the aborigines of Australia. The vengeful person takes a kangaroo bone, carves a point at one end, and drills a hole through the other. He then passes a single strand of the victim’s hair through the hole and ties it in place. In a usually public display of hatred, he points the bone at the victim, who almost immediately falls down and becomes sick. Within a few days, they are always dead.
(Click on image for link to

A reader has alerted me that this blog has reached a new, if not questionable status of notoriety, in that even comments here are being monitored and reposted on AIDS apologist Seth Kalichman’s blog (a comment dated March 6, 2011 8:19 PM).

This small niche of the AIDS industry, responsible for mounting and maintaining smear campaigns against AIDS dissidents in an attempt to discredit anyone who questions the orthodox AIDS meme, generally targets their efforts on the kinds of folks with advanced degrees—the Peter Duesbergs and Henry Bauers, for example—dismissing us small fry as unworthy of their attention unless and until one of us dies, thus earning our place on their “Dead AIDS Denialists” list. I hope that the irony of using a list of dead people to make a case for taking AIDS drugs is not missed by any of my readers, but to drive home how ridiculous this argument is, I have taken the exceptionally painful step of publishing a graveyard of personal friends who have died while taking their ARVs. As some apologists have been only too quick to point out, such a list is not proof that AIDS drugs kill, thereby validating its usefulness in discrediting the list that inspired it in the first place.

I suppose I should feel flattered to be worthy of their surveillance, but instead I just feel rather tainted. Does this mean I’m no longer considered inconsequential by the likes of Seth?

[pullquote]A psychologist and college professor considers anonymous comments on his own blog to be “verifiable evidence” and is challenging someone he alone has pronounced as dead to produce a youtube video to prove that he is alive!

This is absolutely bizarre.[/pullquote]

For those who do not know, Seth Kalichman is a psychologist, a professor at the University of Connecticut, a published author, and the recipient of multiple grants from the NIH.

Kalichman has also recently been on a binge of publishing profiles on his blog of AIDS dissidents who have died, most recently Emery Taylor, whose recent death I wrote about last week. Kalichman posted his diatribe before the cause of Emery’s death was known, and even before Emery’s church could organize a memorial service.

Since publishing that post, Kalichman has gone so far as to speculate that one of my living friends is dead, without a single shred of evidence that this is so.

The first mention that AIDS dissident Brian Carter had died was this anonymous comment on Kalichman’s blog:

Prince said…Actually, I heard Brian Carter died a few weeks back of KS complications. I know AIDS denialists don’t stop. but if they could blog from the grave we would be hearing from Maggiore. You know that bitch would never stop!( Comment dated February 25, 2011 1:30 PM)

Seth was so excited at the possibility that there might be two dead denialists in one month that he immediately ran with the news as if he’d read the obituary in the LA Times. Moments later he writes:

Seth Kalichman said…

Yes, they are definitely pissed at me.


Because I post their lies.
I post when one of them dies.

Every time this happens they react the same way. They deflect reality to stay in the bubble of their denial.

Amazing, really amazing.

I am sorry to hear about Brian Carter. I hope he did not suffer. KS. Man, that is awful.

(Comment dated February 25, 2011 9:11 PM )

“And yes, Brian Carter is dead,” Kalichman writes in another comment thread. “There is no speculating on the cause.” (February 27, 2011 10:10 PM)  In several other comments Kalichman refers to this living person as the “late Brian Carter”.

When confronted about his inability to prove that Brian Carter is dead, Kalichman tries to dismiss his earlier words by saying: “Truth is, Brian Carter is so insignificant it does not matter if he is alive or dead. Wont [sic] make a bit of difference to me.”  That was at 8:12 a.m. yesterday. Six hours later Kalichman writes:

Brian Carter is no longer with us.
The late Brian Carter.
Brian Carter is dead.

That is what every piece of verifiable evidence suggests. I hope I am wrong. A time stamped YouTube video would prove me wrong. Brian Carter reading from today’s newspaper would result in my public apology. Until then, I only offer my public eulogy.

A psychologist and college professor considers anonymous comments on his own blog to be “verifiable evidence” and is challenging someone he alone has pronounced as dead to produce a youtube video to prove that he is alive!

This is absolutely bizarre.


Picture of Seth Kalichman
Professor Seth Kalichman,
psychologist extraordinaire

This is the definition of voodoo and bone-pointing, especially coming from someone who has been trained as a psychologist.  It is a form of psychological terrorism, being practiced by a member of that profession. I can’t help but wonder what the American Psychological Association thinks of this behavior by one of their own?

Kalichman is so deep in his own form of denial that he rejects outright the possibility that Brian Carter actually tried to communicate with him:

I now have several ‘Brian Carters’ ..from different places around the country.. claiming to be him. Most of them cross the line with profanity trying to be authentic. I will not post them.
They just cannot accept these tragedies. Really sad.

(Comment by Seth Kalichman, dated February 28, 2011 7:59 AM)

I keep getting comments from ‘Brian Carters’…about a dozen now. They are so desperate they have stooped to this.

(Comment by Seth Kalichman, dated March 2, 2011 12:53 AM)

What would the APA say?

These are the five guiding principles from the APA’s Code of Conduct:

Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence
Psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm. In their professional actions, psychologists seek to safeguard the welfare and rights of those with whom they interact professionally and other affected persons, and the welfare of animal subjects of research. When conflicts occur among psychologists’ obligations or concerns, they attempt to resolve these conflicts in a responsible fashion that avoids or minimizes harm. Because psychologists’ scientific and professional judgments and actions may affect the lives of others, they are alert to and guard against personal, financial, social, organizational, or political factors that might lead to misuse of their influence. Psychologists strive to be aware of the possible effect of their own physical and mental health on their ability to help those with whom they work.

Principle B: Fidelity and Responsibility
Psychologists establish relationships of trust with those with whom they work. They are aware of their professional and scientific responsibilities to society and to the specific communities in which they work. Psychologists uphold professional standards of conduct, clarify their professional roles and obligations, accept appropriate responsibility for their behavior, and seek to manage conflicts of interest that could lead to exploitation or harm. Psychologists consult with, refer to, or cooperate with other professionals and institutions to the extent needed to serve the best interests of those with whom they work. They are concerned about the ethical compliance of their colleagues’ scientific and professional conduct. Psychologists strive to contribute a portion of their professional time for little or no compensation or personal advantage.

Principle C: Integrity
Psychologists seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in the science, teaching, and practice of psychology. In these activities psychologists do not steal, cheat, or engage in fraud, subterfuge, or intentional misrepresentation of fact. Psychologists strive to keep their promises and to avoid unwise or unclear commitments. In situations in which deception may be ethically justifiable to maximize benefits and minimize harm, psychologists have a serious obligation to consider the need for, the possible consequences of, and their responsibility to correct any resulting mistrust or other harmful effects that arise from the use of such techniques.

Principle D: Justice
Psychologists recognize that fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the processes, procedures, and services being conducted by psychologists. Psychologists exercise reasonable judgment and take precautions to ensure that their potential biases, the boundaries of their competence, and the limitations of their expertise do not lead to or condone unjust practices.

Principle E: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity
Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. Psychologists are aware that special safeguards may be necessary to protect the rights and welfare of persons or communities whose vulnerabilities impair autonomous decision making. Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. Psychologists try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices.

Judging a man by what he says:

Here are a few other gems from Kalichman’s own comments:

  • AIDS Denialists. What a waste of protoplasm.
  • What a bunch of retards.
  • He is also a social libertarian, environmentalist, anti-chemical, anti-cancer treatment, anti-drug company, anti-academic, anti-establishment, anti-intellectual conspiracy theorist.
  • I love posting comments like this. They help show the world what hateful Mother F#@kers you AIDS Deniers are.
  • You have killed so many people with your insane lies.
  • I know you sleep well at night. You are insane.
  • The problem is that people are listening to psychopaths like David Rasnick and Harvey Bialy, crazy old men like Duesberg and Bauer, narcissists like Null and Farber, and morons like Rebecca Culshaw, Clark Baker, Michael Geiger, and the late Brian Carter. That is the problem.
  • Well, what I’d suggest is you stop mindlessly parroting complete and utter bullshit that you read on a denialist website and trying to pass it off as “information”.
  • They always lie.. It is the core of denialism.  Having to prove you are alive has to be unique to AIDS Deniers. They even have to prove their causes of death. Where else do you find that?
  • Did he ever tell you that if he were to fall ill you should keep us orthodoxers from knowing??
  • What the F#@K is wrong with these people?
  • So I raised the question…the possibility…that he has passed away. I am not saying Brian Carter is dead..I am just asking questions.  Anyway, others have chimed in and things are becoming clearer…
  • Liam is moron’s moron.

And by the company he keeps:

The comments below are from some of the regulars at Kalichman’s blog and other apologist sites. All of them were approved and published by Kalichman. They are from anonymous posters, using comic book names like Gay Hornet (J Todd DeShong’s new moniker), Snout and Kralc Rekab (Clark Baker spelled backwards) and jonnyneviripine [sic] (Nevirapine, correctly spelled, is an AIDS drug).


  • Let’s say that Brian Carter is technically alive in the sense that he is currently breathing, eating, going to the toilet and posting what passes for his “thoughts” on the internet. But let’s also acknowledge that he has been brain dead for as long as anyone can remember.
  • You are being too generous to Crowe. He is a genocidal maniac with some fetish for killing gays and poor people.
  • Is it worth caring about ? I’m not shedding a tear for Carter and as for Karri and her “living proof” web marketing campaign … perhaps I’ll keep those thoughts to myself.
  • But what can you expect from a group of unstable people…
  • Meanwhile the lunatics on carry on regardless.
  • How bout a bet that Karri Stockely [sic] is either gone or unable to attend the Rethinking AIDS Conf of December 2011?
  • Yes, Libby, I was well aware who you are, and I stand by my descriptors “bullshit denialist”.
  • Of course they are saying that Brian Carter is not dead. If they are this up in arms about Emery Taylor passing, can you imagine how their little world is shaking with Brian Carter dying?
  • There is no end to their denial.
  • Her credentials are as hollow as her head and her soul. She deserves our pity.
  • Just one more sad death in a parade of reckless stupidity. Tally up another one, Duesberg. Shine on, you crazy diamond. One more poor bastard you and yours have indoctrinated away from proven medical science and into an early grave.
  • Why don’t you bastards post a video with today newspapers on his hands??? Come on, prove that he is alive!!!
  • OMG, he looks like a f****** retard!  …and speaks like a f****** retard!   …and now he is f****** dead!
  • Seriously, what a bunch of idiots and losers.
  • The denialists have a point.   They are not dying because of HIV.
    That much is true. *  They are dying because God in royally fed up with them.
    * Though if God were not actively pleased to expunge them sooner, HIV would get nearly all some years later.

It’s nice to know that AIDS denialism is so incredible that apologists don’t even have to address the questions we raise.  All they have to do is dismiss us by calling us names and wishing us dead.

The process for filing ethics complaints to the American Psychological Association can be found here.

  3 Responses to “The sick psychology of voodoo hexes and pointing bones”


    Maybe I should be the first to comment. Seems fitting.

    Little do the various numb-nuts in the circus big house arena of AIDSTruth, know that I’m completely immune from any bone pointing, because quite frankly, what they think of me is completely none of my business. But I can tell you they certainly provided some good old lap slapping hilarity for me and some of my friends over the past couple of weeks.

    Now for some advice to those that might encounter similar vile hatred from the preachers of the faith; become immune yourself. That is, think of yourself as your own ship and that other peoples opinions of you are like bows and arrows. Your ship is strong and impenetrable and whatever they throw at you, you could couldn’t give a flying rat’s ass about. It’s really that simple. If the knowledge of dissent from the world of HIV and AIDS interests you, learn to tell others about it, and never let or allow others to plant their own reversed negative thought patterns inside your psyche. Just remember, their words are not about you. it’s about them.


    What kind of sick f*** is so eager to celebrate another human being’s death, that he goes into denial and refuses to believe it when informed that the man is alive?

    I mean seriously — IF we’re in denial about AIDS (and that’s a BIG if), then at least that’s understandable. AIDS is a horrible thing that involves sickness and dying, and what healthy human being wouldn’t at least be tempted to deny it?

    But what kind of vulture goes into denial about the good news that another human being is alive?

    To paraphrase Forrest Gump, sick f*** is as sick f*** does…

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