Tuesday, December 19, 2017

#1940: Noreen Martin

Few denialists are crazier – or more aggressively lunatic – than the HIV denialists, those who don’t think HIV is the cause of AIDS, a notion roughly as insane and illustrative of serious delusion as the notion that bacteria and viruses are not causative agents of infectious disease (indeed, and not surprisingly, the proponents of these two ideas overlap).

Noreen Martin is an HIV denialist. She is also AIDS positive, but insists that her AIDS is not viral: “My own experience with AIDS was due to a lifetime of negative health issues. When extremely sick, I took the medicines, ate healthy, took over 50 supplements a day, and had a good attitude. So, within a few months I was as good as new.” Indeed, Martin used ARVs (antiretrovirals) to get back to health, and admits that when she stopped using them, her health deteriorated: “my fatigue slowly came back, my CD4s dipped and my viral load increased to over 3 million. Nevertheless, I never placed much stock in either of these numbers because after extensive research, I realized that neither were related to health. It was other conditions that caused the problems and the ARVs were powerful enough to keep them at bay.”

Of course, reading testimonials like this, I suspect most readers would be somewhat concerned: Martin’s state of mind is not of the sort we ought to ridicule and call out in an Encyclopedia like this. Thing is, though, that Martin is pretty vocal about her denialism, and may potentially cause real harm; she’s even gotten her bullshit published on the website Opposing Views (which is admittedly denialist friendly insofar as it is premised on the balance fallacy). In fact, her OV piece, “Other Ways to Treat Cancer Besides Chemotherapy & Radiation”, is primarily focused on cancer quackery. According to Martin, “[c]ancer is a most unnecessary disease that is not created by Nature but by man.” Martin apparently knows preciously little about cancer – and nature – but nevertheless goes on to claim that “[s]ince modern medicine does not offer much hope for incurable diseases [which, you may note, is true by the definition of “incurable”], it is time that we take back our power over disease, chart our own course, and take responsibility for our destiny.” Ah, yes – this is an important premise for any quackery: the get-out-of-jail-card premise that allow promoters of quackery to blame the victim when their advice fails and say that you just didn’t try hard enough. In any case, Martin goes on to blame cancer on – you guessed it – The Toxins. Evidence? “A century ago, 1 in 33 developed cancer. Now, 1 in 3 persons will develop cancer in one’s lifetime. What has changed to cause this significant increase? The main answer can be stated in one word, toxins, pure and simple.” Of course, the real reason for the increase is – demonstrably – that people live longer and don’t die of the diseases they did in 1900. Nor does Martin – entirely unsurprisingly – specify which toxins she is talking about.

You can read a deconstruction of the rest of her misinformation here; most of it is pretty standard cancer quackery fare, from the “Ulrich Abel gambit” to the “two percent gambit” about chemotherapy to quoting Hardin Jones about how cancer “patients are as well or better off untreated” – from 1950(!).

Martin is also the proud author of two self-published books: AIDS: They Suckered Us and Get A Life – Free From Toxins and Disease. She has amply demonstrated that she has no clue about either topic, but plenty of misinformation to spread.

Diagnosis: Completely delusional and utterly crazy conspiracy theorist and quackery promoter. Avoid at all costs.


  1. The "demonstrably" link is broken.

    I would quibble that cancer rates are entirely due to increased longevity. Increased smoking rate, for example, led to increased rates of lung cancer. Industrial chemicals released into the environment, have had an effect, etc. But overall I agree with you and would agree that increased longevity and better control and prevention of other disease sis a very large fact in the growing incidences of cancer. And I feel sorry for today's Loon. She seems unwell and not just gullible.

  2. "Most people do not really want the truth.
    They just want reassurance that what they believe is the truth." - Norwick Gray