Saturday, January 15, 2011

#127: Celia Farber

Some readers are probably fed up with “HIV dissidents” by now. The thing is, however, that these people are really, truly dangerous, and they need to be outed, as often as possible. Farber is not a scientist. She is a journalist, and in her work the last twenty five years she has emphasized the negative role she feels is played by pharmaceutical industry with respect to AIDS treatment and the flak given the claims of whackaloon denialist Peter Duesberg and others. Emphasis in that sentence should be on “feels”. With a huge arsenal of misunderstanding and ignorance, she has attempted to point out methodological flaws prevalent in the scientific work on HIV, and has more than once suggested a conspiracy (dealt with here, along with some other conspiracy theorists). She is, in other words, HIV denialism’s answer to Viscount Monckton (who will unfortunately not be covered in this Encyclopedia since he’s British). This is a classic example.

Her view of the American scientific community and the National Institutes of Health is that they are "totalitarian" structures. Hence, the fact that her claims have been thoroughly refuted by people who know anything about the issue has been impotent when it comes to changing her mind.

Farber’s work has been featured in numerous magazines and outlets, and in 1999, she co-founded the non-profit organization “Rock The Boat”, whose mission was to arrange rock music concerts to “stimulate independent thinking about subjects which the organization's proponents believed had been censored by the media”. She also made a very ugly figure in the Christine Maggiore case (ending with a desperate “radical detox, not HIV”), with her screed usually being of the form “doctors are not only wrong; they’re evil”.

The wikipedia article is far too friendly, but this article (book review) on HIV denialism in general, is helpful.

She also cooperates with denialist blogger Dean Esmay, a relatively unimportant but angry and seriously deluded anti-science guy, who dislikes peer review, and does think that intelligent design creationism should be taught in schools and … you get the drift.

During her time at Spin magazine, she was involved with its publisher Bob Guccione jr. (there was a lawsuit involved there, as the wikipedia article points out), who seems, at least at the time, to have shared her ideas. Guccione later dated Ann Coulter, no less.

Diagnosis: Utterly ignorant conspiracy theorist, whose grasp of the distinction between arguing by emotions and arguing from facts is tenuous at best. But she is certainly influential in her apparently relatively popular contributions to the death campaign that is the HIV denialist movement.


  1. It's no surprise that "Celia Farber Declares: “There Are No Deaths From Measles. Not Usually. Not Ever.”"

    Because Crank Magnetism dictates that 1 conspiracy theory gets lonely.

    (from 30 Jan 2015's )

  2. As of 2020 she's gone anti-mask COVID denialist and posted credulously at her blog about the "Obama and Biden killed a double of Bin Laden" nonsense.

    Apparently these days she's writing for the Epoch Times cult.