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Posts Tagged ‘crackpot colonialism

Conspiracy classics part II – AIDS and the “medical-industrial complex”

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Few modern conspiracy theories seem as lurid and distasteful than the claim that AIDS is an invention of the ‘medical-industrial complex’, and that the symptoms associated with the disease are actually caused by the drugs used to treat HIV-positive patients. The “Aidstruth” website gives a long list of people with HIV who have been taken in by such ideas and have died as a result. More tragically still, the influence of such ideas over government health policy in South Africa is believed to have cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

The story of AIDS-denial in South Africa is a curious mix of cynical opportunism, politics and paranoia. Western cranks whose bogus ideas are sidelined and discredited in their home countries will often seek out poorer and less stable countries where social divisions can be more easily exploited. The Mbeki government’s dalliance with denialism has drawn all manner of such ‘crackpot colonialists’ to South Africa – none stranger than the German vitamin salesman Matthias Rath.

Rath claims that:

“Hundreds of millions of people have died unnecessarily from AIDS, cancer, heart disease and other preventable diseases and the only reason that these epidemics are still haunting mankind is that they are the multibillion-dollar marketplace for the pharmaceutical drug cartel.”

Rath has run newspaper adverts denouncing the “pharmaceutical drug cartel” and urging HIV sufferers to take vitamin pills instead of AIDS drugs.

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Written by Richard Wilson

September 6, 2008 at 10:31 am

The Hoofnagles’ step-by-step guide to cranky success

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Ever wanted to make a name for yourself trying to convince everyone that World War II never happened, that vitamin C can cure AIDS, or that white asbestos poses “no measurable risk to health”? If so, then the Hoofnagle brothers, over at the Denialism blog, have a handy step-by-step guide that will tell you everything you need to know about how to get started!

Written by Richard Wilson

May 26, 2008 at 3:27 pm