Acid Heroes

September 15, 2009

Backwords on Consensus Reality

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(originally published November 9, 2002)


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Lets talk about “consensus reality.”

Have you ever stood at a street corner with a crowd of pedestrians waiting for the light to turn green? If one guy jumps ahead, usually the rest of the crowd will follow, even if the lights still red and they end up in the middle of the intersection dodging cars whizzing by. Why? Because most people aren’t looking at the traffic lights themselves; they’re looking at the crowd, and following the herd. It’s basic human nature. It’s consensus reality.

For 12 years I’ve been telling people something startling that flies in the face of consensus reality: “HIV has nothing to do with AIDS.”

And for 12 years the crowd has been telling me I’m wrong, that I’m an idiot, and a fool, and a dangerous lunatic (and worse). All the while I’m enjoying that secret delicious kick that comes with the knowledge that one day I’ll be able to say: “I told you so.”

The “HIV equals AIDS” theory (and thats all it is: a theory that hasn’t yet been proved, a theory that never WILL be proved) is a classic example of how consensus reality works. (Or doesn’t work.) In this case, a guy named Dr. Robert Gallo is the genius who jumped ahead of the traffic light, and the crowd followed him. Gallo’s first claim to fame was as the guy who discovered HIV. Later it turned out he stole this from a scientist in France who discovered HIV 6 months earlier. And its typical of the way virtually everything that’s come out of Gallo’s mouth has been subsequently discredited, even as his “HIV equals AIDS” theory lived on, and became embedded in the minds of the crowd. Virtually every prediction this guy made has turned out wrong. AIDS didn’t spread into the heterosexual population as predicted. AIDS hasn’t acted like any other sexually-transmitted disease has acted (because it isn’t). Millions of people weren’t wiped out by this “plague.” AZT wasn’t a “cure,” it was in fact a toxic form of poison. And the same people who were dying from AIDS in the beginning — hardcore drug abusers and people indulging in shockingly unhealthy sexual practises — are the same people who are still dying from AIDS (and its no mystery to anyone with half a brain WHY they’re still dying).

Meanwhile, Gallo has become a millionaire many times over from the $billions in funding being pumped into AIDS research, as well as the patent he got for his HIV-detection kit. This guy Gallo made a fortune off of this scam, as did plenty of other so-called scientists, AIDS social workers, and pharmaceutical companies. Which is the main reason why the “HIV equals AIDS” scam managed to keep perpetuating itself, in spite of massive evidence to the contrary, because none of these frauds wanted to derail the gravy train.

Professor Peter Duesberg of Berkeley, on the other hand, is the hero of this sordid tale. He was the first guy to point out that the Emperor was in fact naked. And for his trouble — for daring to be the heretic who defied consensus reality — he was practically bankrupted; losing all his funding, being denied access to get his scientific papers published, and generally being treated as a pariah by his peers at UC Berkeley where he’s only nominally still employed these days.

But in the long run it doesn’t matter. For the truth always comes out in the long run. Bullzhit can be artificially sustained for astonishingly long periods of times; but the truth is like an airplane circling in the sky above the airport waiting to land. Eventually the truth has to come down.

Someone like Dr. Gallo seriously misunderstands (not just basic scientific ethics but) the basic laws of karma. You simply can’t bullzhit your way through life. You might be riding high at the moment, but you can’t outflank karma. All I can say is: Gallo better enjoy his kudos while he’s getting them, because he certainly will go down as one of the most despised scientists of our times. Just as Duesberg will go down as the great hero. Thats just how it works. Consensus reality is really nothing more than the fashions and styles of the moment, and with just as much shelf-life as these passing fads.

There’s another guy in Berkeley who refuses to go along with consensus reality. His name is Stephen Lightfoot and he’s convinced that Mark Chapman isn’t the guy who assassinated John Lennon. He’s convinced that horror-novelist Stephen King did it, in cahoots with Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. He’s got a whole conspiracy theory worked out in his head. And he has “proof.” He has “evidence.” Which is basically all these obscure references that he’s pulled out of TIME magazine and a book written by Richard Nixon. Which he claims is a “code” that when put together reveals the true murderer: Stephen King.

Even though everyone tells him he’s wrong, everyone tells him he’s an idiot or a lunatic (or worse)– even though his own family has disowned him for his nitwit theory — he persists. In the face of “massive evidence to the contrary” as they say. He’s spent tens of thousands of dollars printing up Xeroxed copies of his “evidence” which he hands out to perplexed passersby on street corners. And he’s spent years lobbying the media for “15 minutes of airtime to alert America to the truth!!” For years he’s been parking his van (which he also lives in) in front of TV and radio stations, with different messages emblazoned on the side in big letters: “THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT THE LENNON MURDER COVER-UP!! KING, REAGAN, NIXON THE REAL CULPRITS!!”

Often, in between handing out his literature, Lightfoot will serenade passersby with his guitar, playing flat, plaintive versions of different Beatles songs. He is the ultimate “nutter fan” that Lennon lived in terror of, who were drawn to him like flies to zhit, and who eventually killed him.

“BERKELEY, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!” Lightfoot would harangue the passersby. “I NEED YOUR HELP TO SEE THAT LENNON’S REAL KILLER IS BROUGHT TO JUSTICE! BUT YOU TURN YOUR BACK ON THE TRUTH! FOR SHAME, YOU MORAL COWARDS AND DEGENERATES!” Lightfoot has all the zeal of a fire-and-brimstone crusader. He is the Old Testament prophet returned, ignored and rebuked, and now Babylon must pay. He is Don Quixote and Stephen King is his windmill.

Every now and then I’ll feel the urge to ask him: “um…Has it ever occurred to you, Steve ol’ bean, that you might be…..wrong?”

But what would be the point of that. So many people simply don’t have the “might-be-wrong” gene in their genetic make-up. Personally, the “gee-I-might-be-wrong” impulse is the only thing that’s saved me over the years. For I can be as lunk-headed in my Know-it-all presumptions as anyone else. We all have our blind spots, and it’s quite probable you see mine more clearly than I see them myself.

1 Comment »

  1. You are a good writer. Lightfoot is right. Stephen King did it. Many people agree. Do you still believe what that HIV does not equal legs?
    What about the five dollars Carol Danny gave to

    Comment by Head for the hills — February 22, 2014 @ 7:31 pm | Reply

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