Thursday, April 23, 2009

House of Numbers Unhinge Pharmaceutical Scientists

Most film festivals allow filmmakers to present their art to an audience, far from the customary restraints of political correctness and challenge orthodoxy. While some films are better than others, these films give us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves as the world around us.

Whatever you know or don’t know about the relationships between the gay lifestyle, the pharmaceutical industry, and AIDS, Brent Leung’s House of Numbers presents the subject in a way that few of us have ever seen. Ever since Robert Gallo’s initial fraud in 1984, the pharmaceutical industry has received hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to promote Gallo's unproven theory that HIV=AIDS: and like Hamlet’s Queen Gertrude, the pharmaceutical industry doth protest too much, methinks.

During the past 25 years, the reporters and news agencies that explore this topic are customarily accused of homophobia or threatened directly by the US government, specifically the CDC and NIH. The genius of Leung's film is two-fold: not only has Leung circumvented the ordinary constraints of the AIDS industry, but he has helped the industry declare their incompetence in their own words, and from their own mouths.

Consider this too: If Mr. Leung’s film was about people who believe that the Earth is flat, could anyone imagine NASA spending millions of dollars to defend the US space program? The notion that scientists would line up to refute “flat-earthers” or attack them professionally (or personally) is hard to imagine. Those who are confused by a flat-earth documentary can google “earth images” and decide for themselves – without the hysterical insistence of the world’s top astrophysicists. In the case of AIDS, scientists keep their story secured in a vault at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. What's the big secret? House of Numbers will tell you.

By the time movie debuted in Nashville last Sunday, the pharmaceutical industry had already prepared a statement by the AIDS industry’s highest paid tax dollar recipients who insist that their interviews were all taken out of context and that it presents a dangerous view of HIV and AIDS. And while ordinary Americans can be impressed with their credentials, one wonders exactly how talented a highly paid AIDS scientist could be to arrive at this conclusion and produce their highly critical press release before actually seeing a movie.

But this wasn’t the only anomaly of Boston’s Politically-Correct Film Festival. After telling Mr. Leung that the theater had sold out, we learned that it was far from sold out – which makes one wonder how hard they promoted the movie and how the "sold-out" lie affected sales. Then again, maybe Boston’s festival isn’t as well run as Nashville’s, which filled the theater seats last Sunday.

When the movie ended in Boston, a highly paid AIDS marketer identified himself as the moderator and identified two other highly paid AIDS doctors who would comment on the film. When audience members asked why the unpaid representatives who challenged AIDS orthodoxy were not allowed to participate, the highly paid AIDS marketing moderator responded that the movie had presented that side sufficiently.

About this time, a Boston police officer took me aside and asked me for my identification. When I handed my personal and LAPD ID and asked why, he asked if I was carrying any firearms and said that “a threat had been received” and that I was named as a potential danger at the theater. When I asked where and how he had received the information, he refused to tell me until he had completed his investigation.

While the officer checked my name for criminal wants and warrants and to see if I was falsely representing myself as a retired police officer, highly paid pharmaceutical marketer Daniel Kuritzkes, MD began to slowly read the same tired press release that appeared immediately after the Nashville debut. Because it was written before the movie ever appeared, it contained no relevant or substantive issues and did not contribute to the back-and-forth dialogue that usually takes place after a film festival movie. His pasty hands shaking, Kuritzkes used up half of the time allotted for Q & A.

When the Boston PD determined that I wasn’t a criminal threat, the officer told me that the source of the complaint came from the festival’s managing director. When we asked the director how he received the complaint, he refused to tell us. Both the Boston PD and I were amazed, and it was clear that the source of the call came from AIDS Inc. Think about it – a cop detains you because he received a call and the caller refuses to say who raised the complaint or why he called the police. Too bad that the Boston PD wasn't curious about the source of the complaint.

Finally, Ethan Jacobs of the heterophobic publication Bay Windows wrote this one-sided review of the movie. This is understandable since gay publications would collapse without the full page glossy pharmaceutical ads that push HIV testing and medication in the gay community. After the collapse of Christopher Street and The Native, gay magazines know better than to question or offend highly paid AIDS marketers and researchers like Kuritzkes.

Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes (second from left), a professor at Harvard Medical School, told the audience at the screening that Leung’s film gave unwarranted credibility to the AIDS denialist movement, and he accused Leung of taking his own comments out of context in the film.
The reporter never asked Kuritzkes how he prepared the statement days before he saw the film (I’ll post the release when I get back to LA). Nevertheless, the audience was understandably upset by the lopsided panel of pharmaceutical shills and Jacobs was only too happy to cooperate.

I’m back in Nashville now for the next showing, scheduled in less than one hour. I will post video of the Boston fiasco so that readers can decide for themselves.

Either way, Mr. Leung has clearly touched a pharmaceutical nerve – even receiving an email from John P. Moore PhD of Cornell, who threatened to destroy Mr. Leung and his career (I'll post this too). After funneling hundreds of millions of pharmaceutical dollars into that university, Dr. Moore’s concern is warranted. House of Numbers threatens to do to the AIDS industry scientists what Bernie Madoff’s clients have done to Madoff’s pyramid scheme. And since the FDA is funded by that industry, they’re as effective as the SEC was in ending Madoff’s activities.

If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the AIDS hysteria of the 1980s and why the US medical industry is in such disarray, House of Numbers lets you hear it from the industry functionaries - in their own words.