Pharyngula

Future science media star

On The Infidel Guy, Abby of ERV goes up against a ranting crackpot, Leonard Horowitz, who thinks AIDS is the product of a secret conspiracy. She handles herself very well. It’s painful to listen to—Horowitz is a master of the bellowing Gumby style of discourse, and he believes in some very looney things. He’s also smart enough, though, that he knows some of his stuff is going to go over as immensely kooky to an informed audience, and he gets evasive at several points.

Some highlights occur when he’s called “Mr Horowitz”, and he goes on an indignant tirade about his credentials. Another is when he ducks and dodges on the issue of evolution, and tries to claim that the “brand new science of genetics and electrogenetics” (electrogenetics?) is going to require major changes of our understanding of evolution. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get into his really fun stuff:

Among the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of bioterrorism, vaccination risks, and public health, Dr. Horowitz’s expert diagnosis here dovetails perfectly with Bible prophecies. Pay special attention to his disclosures regarding the infamous “Mark of the Beast.” Dr. Horowitz reveals sacred Bible codes that give expanded meaning to the infamous “666” prophecy (Rev: 13:18) while implicating widely trusted vaccinations, medical biochips, politicians, and institutions that have advanced some of the most horrific population-controlling ploys ever conceived. Anthrax, smallpox, and vaccinations are all part of the same deadly swindle.

Kudos to Abby for being able to deal with such a fraud and kook, and being far smarter than Horowitz, but Reggie Finley needs to get better guests than a quack like that.

Comments

  1. #1 ZJ
    April 4, 2007

    I don’t know what the study of electrogenetics entails, but I bet it’d be AWESOME.

  2. #2 RAM
    April 4, 2007

    Biblical historians have already noted that “666” was a mis-translation, it is actually “616”, and in any case refers to one of the Roman emperors, I beleive they said Nero. All of this is crap from 2000 years ago with no bearing on anything modern.

  3. #3 Tony Popple
    April 4, 2007

    I can’t help but wonder if it is time to admit that we have some kind of guilty pleasure in exposing these crazy people.

    There is most certainly a serious effort here to fight pseudo-science and religious non-sense, but sometimes it seems like we like it too much. I think we have a secret fasination with nutty people. Everytime one of these loons steps forward and decides to open his mouth, we stand in anticipation of what he is going to say next. It is like we can’t wait to see how deep the insanity goes.

    On some level, they are like the circus freaks of the internet. We stand in indignation but can’t stop ourselves from looking and watching.

  4. #4 beepbeepitsme
    April 4, 2007

    666 wrong number of prophetic beast?
    Newly examined Scripture fragment lends credence to argument it’s 616
    http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44169

    Think of all those rock stars who will have to change their 666 tattoos to 616. But apparts from that, it seems that the original translation was incorrect.

    (Everyone check yourselves for 616 marks.) I wonder how many churches are the number 616 in the street?

  5. #5 ERV
    April 4, 2007

    *blush* (Abbie)

    Thanks so much for the nod, PZ! Unfortunately (as Im sure Tara and Orac will attest), Horowitzs HIV Conspiracy Theories are rather tame compared to others… and the others are more mainstream…

    And, this gets even crazier. Heres a disclaimer from Satans Vaccines. Evidently Horowitz isnt crazy enough, for some.

  6. #6 ERV
    April 4, 2007

    Tony: Everytime one of these loons steps forward and decides to open his mouth, we stand in anticipation of what he is going to say next. It is like we can’t wait to see how deep the insanity goes.

    Im on the fence with Horowitz. Hes either completely and utterly insane, or he is a Borat– getting a kick out of ruffling uptight scientists and taking money from ‘stupid’ people.
    Either way, countering his claims is a matter of life and death, thus countering them is necessary, however insane he is.

    Like I said in my post, this wasnt ‘fun’ for me. A ‘fun’ HIV debate for me would have been a conversation with one of the researchers on a pro-circumcision study, or a debate on the long term effects of our current medication strategy, or something along those lines. The Horowitz ‘debate’ was a learning experience for me, and I hope for listeners.

    I think when ‘debating’ someone like Horowitz, it is important to let them fly their loony flag as high as they want, so Average Joes will stay the hell away from them. I would hope that someone listening to that ‘debate’ will roll their eyes and back away slowly from the next person they come across that tries to sell them an HIV conspiracy theory.

  7. #7 Corey Schlueter
    April 4, 2007

    From http://www.electrogenetic.net

    Electrogenetics is the basis for designing medicines that can short circuit the electrical charges in cancer cells and produce their selective electrocution.

    Electrogenetics describes the energy requirements, energy exchanges, and electronic circuits, which allow gene reactions to occur in the living state.

    Nothing on Wikipedia about it.

  8. #8 Zombie
    April 4, 2007

    That Satanic Vaccines site quotes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion…

  9. #9 Rich (Gold Star)
    April 4, 2007

    The bit where creobot is asked if he’s read PUBMED in the last 5 years… magic. A “Behe” moment.

    Ps – Kristine wont float if you try to drown her….

    Natural? I think not.

  10. #10 PZ Myers
    April 4, 2007

    It is unwise to try and drown someone who will have her hands around your throat and can easily hip-check you into deeper water.

    This, of course, may be even more proof that she is a witch.

  11. #11 SteveM
    April 4, 2007

    666 was widely believed to refer to Nero, but with the new translation of 616 is now believed to refer to Caligula.

  12. #12 Steven
    April 4, 2007

    This guy thinks HIV is a hoax? Seriously? You think he will take an injection of infected blood in the neck then?

  13. #13 Kristine
    April 4, 2007

    Ps – Kristine wont float if you try to drown her….
    Natural? I think not.

    *Sprouts tentacles, releases ink, disappears into coral reef*

    When I worked at Schmitt Music some people wouldn’t buy any choral music that had ISBNs on it, because they thought it was the mark of the beast.

    From Horowitz’s site: DNA: Pirates of the Sacred Spiral… Stunning evidence compiled herein proves DNA is nature’s bioaccoustic and electromagnetic (that is, spiritual) energy receiver, signal transformer, and quantum sound and light transmitter.

    Yeah, that sounds like a great book. *Tentacles break ocean’s surface, grasp Horowitz’s ship, and pull it down* Take that, Captain Nemo.

  14. #14 Orac
    April 4, 2007

    Actually, I seem to recall the IG Show having a rabid antivaxer on recently. I heard about it but didn’t listen to it, because it probably would have caused me to pop an aneurysm.

  15. #15 ZJ
    April 4, 2007

    Steven-

    It’s not that he doubts HIV exists, he just thinks that the government produced it from vaccines in order to make a load of money off pharmaceuticals or something like that.

    I could be wrong, once he started shouting this stuff I sort of had a hard time focusing.

  16. #16 Carlie
    April 4, 2007

    Not entirely related, but Kristine’s story about the ISBN numbers and churches reminded me of another music store church story. I had a friend who worked at a music store, and he said that the Assembly of God churches were reeeeally touchy about how their denomination was abbreviated on inventory sheets.

  17. #17 Chris Noble
    April 4, 2007

    Abbie wrote:A ‘fun’ HIV debate for me would have been a conversation with one of the researchers on a pro-circumcision study, or a debate on the long term effects of our current medication strategy, or something along those lines.

    No, a fun HIV debate would be to have Horowitz, Duesberg and the Perth Group debating each other.

    HIV was created by the US government to wipe out blacks and gays

    … but HIV has never been proven to exist

    … yes it has but it’s just a harmless retrovirus

    ….

    I’d pay lots of money to see that.

    Once again I congratulate Abbie on a great (if painful) “debate”.

  18. #18 pablo
    April 4, 2007

    “Gumby style of discourse”? I recall Gumby always being polite.

  19. #19 RavenT
    April 5, 2007

    I don’t know what the study of electrogenetics entails, but I bet it’d be AWESOME.

    I dunno, ZJ; I’ve been a little dubious of “electro-“ing stand-alone nouns ever since electroejaculation.

  20. #20 razib
    April 5, 2007

    i’ve been on his show. just sayin’…..

  21. #21 ERV
    April 5, 2007

    pablo: hehehe Not that Gumby. These Gumbies. 🙂

    Thanks Chris!!

    I just want to encourage everyone to ask any questions you have about HIV or HIV Deniers, or ask about anything Horowitz said but I didnt/havent addressed. The listeners totally got ripped off by his Gumbying, and didnt get to ask any Qs.

  22. #22 andyo
    April 5, 2007

    Oh, man the part about evolution was awesome! I was laughing pretty hard. I loaded this and other podcasts on the ipod and listening at work. These are great, thanks for the tip. I didn’t know about these.

  23. #23 jre
    April 5, 2007

    From the on-line blurbs, I see that Mr.^H^H^H Dr. Horowitz’ books are black holes^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H beacons of ignorance^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H illumination, e.g.:

    THIS BOOK MONUMENTALLY PRESENTS THE WISDOM OF “INTELLIGENT DESIGN” VERSUS THE LUNACY OF CHEMICAL TOXICITY, PHARMACEUTICAL SORCERY, AND EVOLUTION OF THE SPECIES.

    Now, where have I heard that before? Ah, yes — the auto-Horowitz.

  24. #24 David Marjanovi?
    April 5, 2007

    Electrogenetics is the basis for designing medicines that can short circuit the electrical charges in cancer cells and produce their selective electrocution.

    Electrogenetics describes the energy requirements, energy exchanges, and electronic circuits, which allow gene reactions to occur in the living state.

    Woo.

  25. #25 David Marjanovi?
    April 5, 2007

    Electrogenetics is the basis for designing medicines that can short circuit the electrical charges in cancer cells and produce their selective electrocution.

    Electrogenetics describes the energy requirements, energy exchanges, and electronic circuits, which allow gene reactions to occur in the living state.

    Woo.

  26. #26 David Marjanovi?
    April 5, 2007

    Now, where have I heard that before? Ah, yes — the auto-Horowitz.

    ROTFL!!! 😀 😀 😀

    Read the script (it’s a text file).

  27. #27 David Marjanovi?
    April 5, 2007

    Now, where have I heard that before? Ah, yes — the auto-Horowitz.

    ROTFL!!! 😀 😀 😀

    Read the script (it’s a text file).

  28. #28 AlanW
    April 6, 2007

    Well, this guy is paranoid schizophrenic surely, is this even fair? I see these people every day on the street corners of Vancouver and Victoria…often conversing with lampposts.

  29. #29 Dr. Duke
    April 6, 2007

    Paranoid???? Naw, it’s not paranoia if THEY REALLY ARE
    out to get you:

    http://www.drlenhorowitz.com/resources
    “…
    Please Note: According to our firewall attack surveillance program, many of our links, press releases, and articles have been destroyed – courtesy of the U.S. Naval Intelligence Center in Bethesda. We are working to correct this problem, and appreciate your patience. Please check back often for updates.
    …”

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