Last November I wrote about the outcome of my willingness to step outside my personal comfort zone to engage with a former nemesis, J Todd DeShong. When we both lowered our personal shields and allowed civil dialogue to occur, we discovered we had far more in common than we had differences. Those differences that remain did not have to keep of us from having open and honest discussions.
Yesterday, May 16, 2014, JTD was in Kansas City on other business and we met for coffee in my home for a few hours. We were both interested in sharing a portion of this encounter publicly as evidence that two opposing sides can—and should—put their animosity aside for a bit, sit down and talk, and find out if they have anything in common that would allow them to move their own cause forward.
What is most apparent to me is that neither of us are stuck in the same place we were in when we first engaged each other. We have evolved in our thinking, while continuing to hold onto our basic beliefs. We remain on different sides of an important issues. JTD still thinks HIV is the cause of AIDS and that antiretroviral drugs “work”. I am still skeptical about the role of HIV in disease, and will continue to challenge the wisdom of the current AIDS drug treatment guidelines and assert they present far more risks than benefit.
Unfortunately, in the ongoing dispute over the very existence of HIV, let alone its role in pathogenesis of immune illness, both sides have become entrenched in their own fortified echo chambers. Unconventional thinking is rejected by the key players on both sides.
Those who suffer the most from this standoff are those Affected with a positive HIV-antibody test and evidence of chronic illness and immune dysfunction—the Affected.
Making matters worse, the AIDS dissident movement is far less unified than the orthodoxy. Most notable is the schism between so-called Duesbergians (supporters of Peter Duesberg’s assertion that HIV exists and has been isolated, but is harmless) and Perthers (The Perth Group, which asserts that HIV has never been properly isolated). This disagreement has festered and immobilize the dissident movement as both sides refuse to step outside their bubbles and publicly debate each other for the rest of us to see.
Here’s proof it can be done. We even had lunch together afterwards, with my partner, Michael.
full length version
Apologies in advance for the poor sound quality.
For those readers, like myself, who avoid hour-long videos, I’ve created an edited “ADHD version”. It captures many of the salient points in short clips and moves quickly.
abbreviated “ADHD” version