Wednesday, January 14, 2009

HIV+ Rumor Only a Rumor

Breaking: Scientology international headquarters seeks ban on HIV+ protesters : Indybay: "Outrageously, Scientology had obtained and distributed personal medical information from the private health records of AGP and Happy Smurf."

It is common knowledge that Happy Smurf is Gary Scarff, and Scarff himself has made public his alleged HIV+ status. It is thus deceptive to give the impression that this was some secret that Scientology obtained from his private health record.

I do not know about AGP, though the article notes that "Happy Smurf and AGP have confirmed they are both HIV+", whatever that means.

Besides, how does Graham Berry knows any of this, since by his own account he was not allowed inside the gate?

Now, this being said, IF true (and that, as you would notice, is a big IF), it is of course totally irrelevant that the protesters are gay or HIV+. If the CoS really obtained information from their private health records and were using this against them it would indeed be outrageous. But how do we know this is true? Critics are already jumping all around on what is only a rumor, with as the only source it seems Graham Berry, a notorious biased and unreliable anti-Scientologist. This rumor is already considered as a fact by critics who are already jumping the gun and blindly shooting everything that moves.


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9 comments:

scarlettscion said...

Yeeeeah--I was reluctant to swallow this one too.

The argument over on ESK is that they leaked it out of PC files. At least I think that's the argument, the OP isn't very coherent.

http://exscientologykids.com/eskforums/viewtopic.php?t=4639

Bernie said...

"The argument over on ESK is that they leaked it out of PC files."

I am at lost how they can make that argument. That I know, AGP and Grahame Berry were never members. They don't have a PC file. Scarff has gone public with it for so long that it is a wonder how he is still alive (I think the maximum time of latency is ten years and I heard about it more than 12 years ago I think. From the video he does not seem to have developed any symptoms yet.)Anyway, the point is that it is not likely to come from his PC folder either. I am not even sure any of this happened at all.

89 said...

The source of this isn't just Graham Berry. The protesters talked to the deputies as well, and they have confirmed that it happened in a Riverside County meeting.

If you want confirmation, you could get it by interviewing the deputies who were inside the base and talked to the Scientologists. You could also try to get the Scientologists in question to try and deny that they did it.

The "AGP" guy thinks it might be related to his medical provider - so it could be medical records or financial records.

As for the "Smurf" guy, he's an ex-Scientologist, so it could be medical files, Pre-clear folders, or whatever.

It is a very curious case, but I defer judgement.

Anonymous said...

There's no "maximum time of latency" on HIV or AIDS. lrn2google.

Nigel Mansel said...

According to the cops the scientologists told them two of the protesters were HIV+ and that this presented a danger to the workers. The cops then asked the relevant protesters who confirmed this.

Were the scientologists really trying to convince the cops that the HIV virus would jump the razor wire, enter the canteen and infect the workers? if the Scientologists believed HIV+ two protesters outside the fence presented a real risk to those inside then clearly they have no confidence in the claims they make about scientology. If they don't why should anyone else?

scarlettscion said...

You can live for a very long time now with appropriate treatment. The anti-retrovirals have come a long way.

Anyway, if there are no PC files, as far as I know for it to happen (if it did) a doctor would have had to leak it. And the AMA will kill him dead if s/he did.

None of the major news outlets have picked up the "story."

Bernie said...

"The source of this isn't just Graham Berry. The protesters talked to the deputies as well, and they have confirmed that it happened in a Riverside County meeting."

The protesters where a grand three in total, Berry and the two others. AGP, notorious for his harassment or Scientologists (for which he got a restrainer order)and Scarff, notorious for changing his story more times even than Magoo herself. OK, you could say "Berry and his acolytes". Still not very reliable.

I am not sure what business the deputies have to be inside a Riverside County meeting. Maybe the higher ranking ones and even so I would find it strange that they would speak about it to outsiders.

Besides, if it happened in a meeting, then surely there would exist minutes for it, at least that would be the normal thing for an official meeting, especially on a potentially controversial matter. It may even have been recorded on tape.

"If you want confirmation, you could get it by interviewing the deputies who were inside the base and talked to the Scientologists. You could also try to get the Scientologists in question to try and deny that they did it."

That's not how it works :-) The burden of proof is on those making the claim.

"The "AGP" guy thinks it might be related to his medical provider - so it could be medical records or financial records."

Could be...

"As for the "Smurf" guy, he's an ex-Scientologist, so it could be medical files, Pre-clear folders, or whatever."

Yes, but he has been talking about it for years and years. Why would they need his PC folder if he himself made it public?

Here is a letter published in ARS dated Apr. 25, 1997 where he talks about it, and here is a post dated Oct. 22, 1997 where he claims he has been HIV+ for two years (which makes me suspicious that he is HIV+ at all because 12+ years is an awful long time to survive it without even displaying any symptoms).

"It is a very curious case, but I defer judgement. "

Well, at least that's good :-)

Anonymous said...

'... where he claims he has been HIV+ for two years (which makes me suspicious that he is HIV+ at all because 12+ years is an awful long time to survive it without even displaying any symptoms).'

Do some research before you say things about HIV. There are people known as long-term nonprogressors and elite controllers who have HIV that does not progress to AIDS for either a very long time or ever.

http://www.hivcontrollers.org/hivcontrollers

Bernie said...

"HIV that does not progress to AIDS for either a very long time or ever.

http://www.hivcontrollers.org/hivcontrollers"

The article is not very clear as to how long is a very long time:

"Such individuals, then called HIV long-term non-progressors, were defined by their lack of HIV-related symptoms and high CD4 T cell counts that remained stable for periods of 7 years or longer. Unfortunately, many of these early described individuals' eventually experienced CD4 T cell decline and disease progression. But as time has progressed and it has become possible to measure the amount of HIV in the blood stream, it has become clear that a small fraction of these people are able to maintain long term control of virus to undetectable or nearly undetectable levels."

So 7 years is already considered a very long time, and we are speaking of more than 12 years here.

"We define HIV controllers as people who are not currently on antiretroviral therapy, have been infected with HIV for at least 1 year, and consistently have viral load measurements below 2000 copies/ml."

For at least 1 year... And we are speaking of more than 12 years here.

So, let's admit that some "elite controllers" never really develop the symptoms, it seems to be very exceptional, and 12+ years is a very very long time compared to the average.

So my doubt still remain, even though theoretically it may be possible. After all, we only have the say-so of Scarff in this matter. I am not asking for proof, it is none of my business, but the very long time, combined with the fact that Scarff is known for having a Magoo-like inability to keep a story straight, only strengthen my doubts.