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Letter to Peter Duesberg Regarding Bribery

Via Federal Express

Joel A. Schwartz
3463 State Street, #135
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Dr. Peter H. Duesberg
University of California Dept. of Molecular and Cell Biology
229 Stanley Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720

July 1, 1996

Dear Dr. Duesberg,

The debate over the cause of AIDS has, of course, many far-reaching consequences. It throws into question the entire course of federal spending and policy in the War on AIDS, including the current treatments for AIDS.

However, a new and larger issue is beginning to emerge from this controversy.

A growing body of evidence indicates that governmental agencies, acting directly or through the Public Health lobby, have been attempting to hide the AIDS controversy from public knowledge. According to this evidence, various Public Health officials have used influence, bribery, and intimidation to silence dissent among scientists, in the communications media, and in other public forums.

As the scandal of a government cover-up becomes public knowledge, taxpayers and voters are demanding a full accounting of the secret measures being used to silence dissent. I am writing on behalf of this growing movement.

It has come to our attention that you have been one of the targets of this cover-up. Specifically, you have publicly admitted that officials of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have offered you compensation for recanting your position on AIDS. But you have so far refused to identify these officials or the exact terms of the offers. As an establishment scientist who has received government funding, you owe the American public a full disclosure of the facts.

For the record, I now call on you to provide the answers to the following questions:

1) On November 9, 1995, you gave sworn testimony that an official of the NIH visited you in late 1994 and made you an offer in exchange for your agreement to recant your views on AIDS. You confirmed the existence of this meeting in the book "Inventing the AIDS Virus", released this year, which lists you as the sole author. What was the exact date and place of that meeting?

2) What is the name of the NIH official with whom you met?

3) Who else was present at that meeting?

4) In your testimony, you stated that this NIH official handed you a letter declaring that HIV causes AIDS. On this letter were three names: yours, and two others - one of whom you refer to as an "old friend." What were the names of these other signers, and which one did you refer to as an "old friend"?

5) Who authorized these NIH officials to make you this offer? Who else, in the government or elsewhere, was aware of this offer?

6) You have stated that, had you accepted the offer in full, the letter was to be published in Nature magazine. You have also mentioned Nature editor John Maddox as having been involved. Did John Maddox know about the offer, and the meeting, before they took place? Did Maddox agree to use his magazine as a forum to publish the letter? Which NIH officials were in contact with Maddox regarding this offer? Have you communicated with Maddox regarding this letter? If so, what did you and Maddox say?

7) Who actually wrote the letter? Please provide a copy of the complete letter.

8) What, precisely, were you offered in return for signing the letter?

9) Precisely how long did you take to think over the offer?

10) What factor(s) did you consider while making a decision on the offer?

11) What was your final answer to the offer? Did you accept any part of their offer? Did you make any counter-offers?

12) When did you first publicly reveal that this offer was made to you? Where did you reveal this?

13) Are there any terms the government could offer that would persuade you to recant your views on AIDS - even against the scientific evidence?

14) According to testimony we have received, you have privately admitted the existence of previous offers made to you in return for your willingness to change your position on AIDS. Written documents also suggest the existence of such offers.

a) What were the exact dates and places of those meetings?

b) What were the names of the persons who met with you at those times, or who helped arrange those meetings?

c) Were you given letters to sign at any of those meetings? If so, please provide copies of each of those documents.

d) Who authorized each of those offers? Who else was aware of those offers?

e) What were the terms of each of those offers (what were you asked to do, and what were you promised in return)?

f) How long did you take to make a decision on each of those offers?

g) What was your answer to each of those offers?

h) Have you publicly revealed any of these previous offers made to you? When did you reveal them? Where did you reveal them?

15) Have you received any such offers since 1994?

16) Have you been made any offers by Alfred Regnery, or by any of his agents or associates, in return for your cooperation regarding the AIDS debate? Did you agree to take any information out of the book you co-authored with Bryan Ellison?

Certainly you must agree that the federal government cannot be allowed to censor this AIDS debate, or any other controversy, from public view. As a scientist involved in such a debate, you have a special responsibility to disclose all government attempts to suppress opposition. The public has a right to know.

I therefore assume you will provide the above answers in a timely manner.

Thank you.


Joel A. Schwartz

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