Neuroconversion

Today, Joan Shenton of the Immunity Resource Foundation kindly agreed to meet with me for an hour at her home office. I was able to instil a seed about vitamin D in her. Call it neuroconversion, if you will.

Joan Shenton is the author of the out-of-print book Positively False which is one of many titles that questions the theory that HIV cause AIDS.
As I mentioned in my last post she has produced and presented a number of investigative health programs for Thames Television, Sky News, Channel 4 (UK channels) amongst others. Much of these have been related to the HIV story, but prior to this she has produced a number of documentaries on the cholesterol hypothesis.

The IRF website currently only hosts Meditel (her production company) videos relating to HIV, but because its aims are broader, the cholesterol documentaries should appear shortly. These will be of great value as they certainly would be some of the earliest video critiques of the theory and may still be relevant today.

Much of the dialogue between Ms. Shenton and I went beyond HIV (particularly because I have never had a reason to have a HIV test) and cholesterol, into the realm of – you guessed it – vitamin D deficiency overall.
She did not seem that familiar with the pandemic, so the meeting where I assumed I would do most of the asking throughout flipped half way. I’m unlikely to have spurred her to go out and make a documentary but I’m certainly happy that I shared such information with her, and of course her address book of influential contacts could help to spread awareness a little further.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous before meeting her – contrary to how I write, I’m not really garrulous off line – but as soon as we shook hands I felt eased and we both seemed to have benefited from the meet. Not least because  she’d suggested to me some helpful contacts for my book, but because we essentially have become friends who will keep in contact. I have become affiliated with the IRF now.

What I mainly took  from Ms. Shenton though will contribute in a minute part to the HIV chapter in my book. Much of what we discussed I had already researched (to her delight), but even though I wasn’t there long I had taken a good sample of the human side to scepticism of any form. The fact that she had witnessed the death of good friends – those on drugs and those without.
It’s important to note that HIV sceptics/denialists (choose your favourite word) do not believe people are not dying, nor that those who test HIV+ are necessarily healthy – what we dispute is that it is a virus as opposed to a consequence of lifestyle factors, as seen in Joan’s videos.

Though I like the safety of mass opinion, sometimes you can’t go along with it, so knowing that Joan lives in my area and I got to meet with her took a burden off my mind. I do not really talk too much about these subjects with friends and family as they are potential conversation killers. But as long as I think these things to be true, I cannot keep these idea viruses just in my head. They have to infect others.

Gotterdamerung

I didn’t need to use the word gotterdamerung; I just used it because my blog titles have felt a bit bland recently.
I discovered the word because I’m on Wordsmith.org‘s list (I have been for at least a decade). It basically refers to a violent end to something. I don’t think it’s a word I’ll be using often but I like how it looks and sounds, and what it means so I think it’s apt to employ it for this post.

I’ve not been aware of how many other cholesterol sceptics are also critical of HIV causing AIDS, but it turns out there are many of them – and they’ve been banging the gavel long before me.
One of these is Joan Shenton of the Immunity Resource Foundation (an organisation physically local to me) who has produced many mainstream, critical and applauded documentaries for UK and foreign television through the Meditel company. A good number of AIDS documentaries are free to view on IRFs site from the Meditel archive, but it seems Ms. Shenton is struggling to pay for the site, so relies on donations to keep it running.

There are no programs about the cholesterol hypothesis there, but she was behind 1989’s The Cholesterol Campaign which I’m eager to track down. Most of her campaigning though is to do with HIV, which really does seem to be the bigger scandal as the HIV story is riddled with fraud while the cholesterol theory really is just poor science and nothing more, and cholesterol lowering drugs are not highly toxic. Another HIV sceptic Henry Bauer has also written in his book the fallacy of the cholesterol hypothesis, although I must admit I have not read the book (yet).
Of course, we live in a large world where many people share opinions but it is comforting to be aware of other such individuals because even though you think you may be right, and may well be, there is always safety in numbers.

One thing that got my brain rolling was comments I saw somewhere on Bauer’s blog that pondered why dissidents of a theory don’t band together to fund the studies mainstreamers won’t allow. While I don’t know how the logistics would work it is an interesting question to me. Fans can fund bands nowadays, so why not studies? If dissidents can’t make a dent by kicking against the house, maybe they need to make a house themselves?

I have noticed that Dr. John Cannell of The Vitamin D Council is running a reward based ‘study’ to see if one vitamin D testing lab is better than another, and that is quite interesting. People need to provide proof of their results to claim the reward and be entered into the study, but the directness of the internet can help bypass the red tape science has to face. Of course though you need trusting subjects and a trusting researcher. I fundamentally believe though that people who care about a subject will not be dishonest. That much faith I do have in the human race. Anecdotal evidence is fine as an entrée, but it doesn’t convince someone. Or at least it shouldn’t. My blog posts on vitamin D provide personal evidence but I make it clear that I’m just observing, not studying.

Anyway, I’m continuing on my writing projects which is why I’ve still only been tweeting and not blogging.