The Right Wing Appeal of Duesberg's HIV/AIDS denialism

Via Ed

If you ever wondered what motivated this particular HIV/AIDS denialist this video makes it obvious. Duesberg comes out and blames homosexual promiscuity for AIDS rather than a virus. I think examples like this make it clearer that the ideology responsible for this denialism is plain just plain homophobia after all. This is, of course, appealing to right wing ideologues so where does Duesberg end up? On right wing radio with the American Family Association's Brian Fischer proposing the absurd "AIDS was invented for gays to steal grant-money" conspiracy theory. I think the Southern Poverty Law Center was right to designate AFA a hate group, and here's qhy

The AFA seeks to support "traditional moral values," but in recent years it has seemed to specialize in "combating the homosexual agenda." In 2009, it hired Bryan Fischer, the former executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, as its director of analysis for government and policy. Taking a page from the anti-gay fabulist Scott Lively (see Abiding Truth Ministries, above), Fischer claimed in a blog post last May 27 that "[h]omosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews." (Ironically, the elder Wildmon was widely denounced as an anti-Semite after suggesting that Jews control the media, which the AFA says "shows a genuine hostility towards Christians.") Fischer has described Hitler as "an active homosexual" who sought out gays "because he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough." He proposed criminalizing homosexual behavior in another 2010 blog post and has advocated forcing gays into "reparative" therapy. In a 2010 "action alert," the AFA warned that if homosexuals are allowed to openly serve in the military, "your son or daughter may be forced to share military showers and barracks with active and open homosexuals."

I guess it was just a matter of time before he latched onto HIV/AIDS denialism and I think this constitutes and example of crank magnetism. Such is the nature of the rabid ideologue - no matter how obviously absurd a belief is, if it affirms your warped ideology you support it.

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HIV denialism has tended to emanate from or be seized upon by the right, from the very beginning.

It also attracts egotistical crackpots, some with a history of prior ground-breaking work, who want to "demonstrate their great maverick genius" by "contradicting hidebound orthodoxy", of course.

No surprise. There are two main sources of science denial.

1) Authoritarian ideologues who deny basic reality to support their rigid, typically inhumane, social, political, or religious ideology.

2) Within science, of course, there is a sometimes a tendency for scattered individuals, disproportionately unstable but brilliant figures with big egos, to emotionally deny the obvious conclusions from a body of data, if they had made a prior wrong prediction, or sometimes for no apparent reason. Such individuals are far less common than authoritarian ideologues, but may be more prominent on an individual level.

Harold, I'm not sure I agree. HIV denialism has been strongly promoted by lefty-types as well, largely to the anti-corporate ideology and anti-pharma paranoia. After all, Christine Maggiore was an example of this, a disciple of Duesberg, she believed HIV was basically a scam to sell toxic drugs. HIV denialism, like many types, is open to ideology at either end of the spectrum.

"Duesberg"? Why do you persist in spelling Douchebag incorrectly?

By Alhazred The Sane (not verified) on 13 Jan 2012 #permalink

I've heard idiots use the "gay agenda" phrase before, but never understood what that means. I say idiots, because unless they are gay and have such an agenda, no such thing exists beyond their own insecurities and fear.