The Crucible: Dangerous and Primitive HIV Criminalization Laws Are Claiming More and More Victims: One Group Is Doing Something About It

By Celia Farber

“We expect this trend to continue. While the AIDS industry has convinced Americans of the alleged AIDS epidemic, prosecutors have a hard time finding anyone willing to promote their propaganda under penalty of perjury.”

CLARK BAKER, OMSJ

 

 

The 2011 Nobel laureate poet Tomas Tranströmer wrote a poem called “To Friends Behind A Frontier,” to close friends living in (then) GDR:

 

1

I wrote so meagerly to you. But what I couldn’t write swelled and swelled like an old-fashioned airship and drifted away at last through the night sky.

2

The letter is now at the censor’s. He lights his lamp. In the glare my words fly up like monkeys on a grille, rattle it, stop and bare their teeth.

3

Read between the lines. We’ll meet in 200 years
When the microphones in the hotel walls are forgotten
And can at last sleep, become trilobites.

 

The poem reflects the feeling of sadness of witnessing capture, in this case, Western Europeans wishing they could liberate friends in East Germany. “Read between the lines. We’ll meet in 200 years, when the microphones in the hotel walls are forgotten, and can at last sleep, become trilobites,” captures the cycle of mania, hunt, persecution, inside deranged political systems—all from nothing and for nothing. But one day, the poet assures us, the microphones will become fossils; The friends will be free again, and can “meet.”

For some reason, these stories have not gotten told. Not even by those of us who have devoted years to chronicling the horrors wrought by the never proven HIV “theory.” We got mired in the ego-driven correctomania of “the science”—while the sheer human consequences of the paradigm were overlooked, or tuned out. In utter silence, away from sound and sight, forgotten by all the world, hundreds of people in this country and around the world have been serving time for HIV “crimes” which seem culled from the 16th century, at a time before court room justice was invented.

An accusation. That’s all it takes. An angry ex lover, often, turning the tables on a former partner, claiming he or she did not disclose HIV status prior to sex.

Welcome to the world of HIV criminalization—the logical and chilling final station of barbarism in an already upside down world. This is where the psychic prison of a positive HIV test meets actual prison walls, where the brutality, madness and sheer stupidity of the HIV state is fully realized– where the violence upon the marked people is given unbridled reign.

It is a slippery slope, a perpetual Crucible, a place where the accusation seals the deal, and if you are not a witch, well, you would float. We need not have any sympathy. As POZ magazine founder Sean Strub, who is an advocate against HIV criminalization has said, “All HIV positive gay men are one disgruntled lover away from a jail sentence.”

In the United States, 37 of our states have statutes on the books which criminalize HIV transmission, and non-disclosure of HIV status. Sentences for those declared guilty easily run as high as 25 years or more. One of the Pennsylvania statutes designates a minimum sentence of life imprisonment, and in one state, Nebraska, the crime can carry the death penalty.

States which do not criminalize HIV transmission are: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Wyoming.

HIV criminalization laws began in earnest in 1990 when the federal Ryan White CARE act passed. This law mandated that states criminalize intentional transmission of HIV to be eligible for millions of dollars in funding for treatment and prevention programs. Some states took it a step further than federal law required, defining intentional transmission as failing to disclose positive status to a sexual partner.  The second time the act was reauthorized, in 2000, the requirement that states must criminalize intentional transmission was removed. These quietly woven draconian laws gained foothold also around the world at this time, most popular, not surprisingly, in Northern and Western Europe.

The United States leads the world in prosecutions as well as convictions of HIV antibody positive people, accused of non-disclosure. Some 913 have been prosecuted to date. The second most enthusiastic country is Canada, where there have been 146 prosecutions and 79 convictions. Next is Austria, 55 prosecuted, 55 convicted, followed by Sweden: 50 prosecuted, 50 convicted. Germany, Australia, Norway, Denmark are all close behind.

Here is a random sampling of countries that have a “zero” attached to this—no prosecutions, no convictions: Russia, Philippines, Romania, Latvia, Chad, Mali, Armenia (along with dozens more.)

Point being: Criminalization of HIV positive people only took off in the US and Canada, and in the star-posts of European enlightened post-war democracy. Apparently, in some countries, mothers can now be criminally charged if they pass “HIV” to their babies. This Orwellian society is precisely the nightmare, I must stress, that HIV dissidents have been warning against for many years. It must be dismantled, before any human being on this planet is safe again. (Safe from this.)

You hear of HIV criminal cases only rarely in the media, when local health departments have leaked that a “monster” (male, generally, black, generally) “tried to infect,” several hundred women with “AIDS,” such as the case of Ghanaian national Henry Assumang, soon on trial in the UK.

Absorbing and refracting deep wells of racism, xenophobia, and anti-immigration sentiment, the frothy language of a typical newspaper account of an HIV case:

“An illegal immigrant may have infected hundreds of women with HIV in a string of one-night-stands, it has emerged. The infected Jamaican reveler prowled nightclubs to pick up women and then spent almost a year unchecked in hospital where he looked for sex with vulnerable patients.

“Health officials have written to more than 400 women to warn them they might have the deadly virus after having unprotected sex with him. The immigrant, who arrived in the UK on a visitor’s visa in 2002, has admitted he cannot remember how many woman he has slept with.”  —The Daily Mail, UK

Vapors, hysteria, moral panic, nothing concrete—all this contributes to the perfect storm for human rights disasters that both sides of the HIV war agree must end. [This may be the only point both sides agree on, in 27 years.]

Though it would appear that the “HIV establishment” (hundreds of pharmaceutically-funded organizations, foundations, activists and lobbyists) laid the groundwork for this nightmare scenario which has for a quarter century relentlessly been pounding away at inaccurate, distorted and wildly inflated HIV statistics and scare scenarios—they too are now trying to slam the brakes on.

Sean Strub, founder of POZ magazine, has made a deeply moving eight -minute documentary that illuminates the deep injustice and plain horror of the situation.

“HIV is not a crime” says the film in the opening sequence, summing up the core sentiment, and referring to a “viral underclass” that is created by the enactment of HIV criminalization laws.

Now, the dissenting, or “denialist” position is that all persons who have been branded as “having HIV” by the numerous testing technologies, are part of a “viral underclass” that they (the denialists) would wish to liberate. This would be done by way of a stark and, for the first time, objective scientific look at what we mean by “HIV,” which resides inside the hockey net we call the HIV test.

What does “HIV” signify?

A slew of tests that suggest presence, because the slew of tests defined its presence when they were developed. But presence of what, and more importantly, where?

In human blood? Or in the hockey net. (The tests)

If a person is found not to be carrying a lethal weapon, can they have ever been a threat to another, for brandishing said lethal weapon?

Stop for a moment, ponder with me. We speak of crimes of bodies, bodily fluids, humans being retro-fitted with lethal weaponry in their sexual fluids, and thrown in prison because they supposedly tried to kill another person with no weapon other than their body. If that is not science fiction I don’t know what is.

The plot thickens.

In 2009, a newly-minted non-profit investigation agency calling itself OMSJ – The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice – was founded by retired LAPD officer and investigator Clark Baker, who entered the fray by way of the 2008 Semmelweis Society International Whistleblower Conference.

Comprised of detectives, scientists, medical doctors and attorneys, OMSJ has become a kind of Amnesty International of medical abuses, seeking redress to crimes by an industry that has paid $10 billion (since 2009) to settle thousands of claims related to the illegal marketing of products that kill or injure 2-4 million Americans annually. OMSJ founder Clark Baker always refers to the pharmaceutical industry as a “criminal enterprise.” Detested by industry-funded organizations for what it calls its “denialist” leanings, OMSJ is scoring victories in a legal realm that is just about as dark as dark gets: HIV criminalization.

Fighting not for the “rights” of HIV positive criminally accused people but for the liberation of them from the system, OMSJ has developed a simple strategy: Rather than question the softly defined rights of HIV positive people, they go after the alchemy of tests and presumptions that fuels a pandemic of misdiagnoses. In this way, they force prosecutors to prove that the person they wish to put behind bars in indeed infected with HIV.

“We’ve had scores of victories so far,” says OMSJ CEO Clark Baker. “In all, HIV-related charges were withdrawn, dismissed, or plea-bargained in 49 cases.”

More than 100 cases have crossed OMSJ’s windshield since 2009.  “In about 1/3 of those cases,” says Baker, “the attorneys find one reason or another to ignore what we offer. That narrative involves variations of a young black man who dates white girls in a town where the children of defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges attend the same ice cream socials and school proms.”

Says Baker, “Lynch mobs are a tough sell.”

In another 1/3 of cases, the defense expresses interest but, for one reason or another, convinces their clients to plead guilty to ten years or more.

In some states, prosecutors only need to prove that the defendant didn’t disclose – even when prosecutors make no effort to prove that an infection exists.

Says Baker: “Our successes were typically won by attorneys who coordinated their defense strategy with us.”

Asked to put a fine point on how exactly OMSJ sets these condemned people free, or helps to, Baker says: “We review the medical records, which is often nothing more than a health department report that alleges a positive test result. But when we dig deeper, we find that “Doctor A” received a positive HIV test result from an unreliable laboratory that he didn’t understand. ‘A’ refers the patient to “Doctor B,” who assumes that ‘A’ conducted a competent diagnosis. So like outfielders who think someone else will catch the ball, the patient is soon prescribed a deadly psychotropic drug like Atripla that will eventually sicken and kill the patient. But unlike most negligent homicides, the killer signs the death certificate.”

The makers of Atripla, Baker points out, Gilead Sciences and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), currently face multistate lawsuits that allege $100,000 kickbacks to clinicians who unnecessarily prescribe their drugs to healthy patients. ProPublica has found almost a billion dollars in such kickbacks, which doesn’t include what wasn’t disclosed.

“These are facts that prosecutors, health departments and doctors don’t want aired before a jury,” says Baker:

“As you can imagine, Doctors ‘A’ and ‘B’ are reluctant to admit their incompetence, which is why the prosecution’s case collapses.  Understandably, our work threatens the credibility of the US Government, drug and healthcare industries, which is why state attorneys general are being pressured to end the prosecutions in their states.  Industry-funded activists at LAMBDA, Treatment Action Group and HIV Law & Policy are cynically using the humanitarian pretext to end prosecutions before too many taxpayers learn of the scam that specifically targets black and gay Americans.”

Baker says, “Based upon the cases we have examined since 2009, there is strong evidence that 95% of all criminal HIV convictions in the United States involve individuals who were never infected with HIV. The greater implication is that millions of allegedly HIV+ people around the world were probably never at risk of dying from HIV.”

Baker believes that he has a “unification theory” that would resolve the differences between the Duesberg position (retrovirus exists but is harmless) with the Perth position (no proof exists for existence of a retrovirus.) (Details of this will emerge over time, and not in this article.)

In an editorial for the journal Haematologica Dr. Etienne de Harven, Professor Emeritus of Pathology, and pioneer of electron microscopy at Sloan Kettering in the 1950s, wrote, on the “fundamental failure” of HIV research:

… The specificity of viral markers depends on the success of virus isolation and purification. Without fully demonstrated success in virus isolation and purification, identification of viral markers is extremely hazardous and can lead to severe misinterpretation of clinical data. A dramatic illustration of this is to be found in current HIV research. In this case, the virus (HIV) has never been properly isolated, since sedimentation in sucrose gradient at the density of 1.16 g/mL was erroneously considered to yield pure virus, systematically ignoring that material sedimenting at that density contains large amounts of cell debris and microvesicles. Therefore, proteins and nucleic acids found in such 1.16 bands are very likely to be of cellular origin and cannot be used as viral markers. Such a faulty methodology has had extremely serious consequences, i.e. the world-wide use of HIV-antibody tests, Elisa and Western Blot, which dangerously lack specificity, as demonstrated in 1993 by Papadopulos et al., in Australia.

Etienne de Harven, MD
Professor Emeritus of Pathology,
University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Viral etiology of human cancer: a historical perspective

Haematologica - Journal of Hematology;
1999; 84:385-389

HIV test kits have stunning disclaimers in the package inserts, stating in different ways over and over that HIV tests are not proof of infection with HIV—a case first made by a group of scientists in Perth, Australia, in a 1993 paper in BioTechnology.

Here is but one of countless examples:

Detection of antibodies to HIV-1 does not constitute a diagnosis of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). A NEGATIVE BLOT is not a guarantee that the causative agent for AIDS is not present. Although a blot POSITIVE for antibodies to HIV-1 indicates infection with the virus, a diagnosis of AIDS can only be made clinically if a person meets the case definition of AIDS established by the Center for Disease Control (USA), the World Health Organization or other relevant authorities…

[HIV blot 2:2 Western Blot Assay, MP Diagnostics
source: Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society]

OMSJ’s team includes Dr. Rodney Richards, formerly of Amgen, who developed one of the first HIV test kits before defecting from the company altogether, in anguish over how misleading “HIV tests” really were.

Says Baker:

“Based upon the 100 plus cases we have been involved in since 2009, there is strong evidence that 95% of all criminal HIV convictions in the United States involve individuals who were never infected with HIV.”

In fact, if you press him further, in the highly esoteric but critical discussion of what exactly is wrong with the HIV test and why and how it does not demonstrate “infection,” or, for that matter, what is meant by “infection,” Baker goes further:

“There is now strong evidence that none of our clients were ever infected with HIV.”

Yes, I know.

WHAT?

But let’s leave that Ostrich Egg to gestate a bit, and hatch when it is good and ready. This will take time.

Baker points out that health clinics profit from every positive HIV test they get.

“They call it the Magic Effect,” says Baker:

“When Magic Johnson retired from basketball, clinics reported that phone calls and testing skyrocketed. Health department busybodies routinely grill patients about their sex lives and partners. Then either call the partners or police about the alleged exposure. When police make an arrest, they leak the story to the media, creating the desired fear and hysteria. Sally’s on the evening news and you think, we dated last year – I should get tested. Before you know it, the health department goons are warning you that they will contact the police unless you provide the names and phone numbers of your friends and employers.”

Doctors, meanwhile, also benefit financially in a rather shocking way:

“Doctors are permitted to ignore FDA warning labels about the unreliability of HIV tests,” says Baker. “Many of these doctors accept kickbacks and trips to Tahiti from HIV drug manufacturers for unnecessarily prescribing deadly drugs to their asymptomatic patients.”

It gets worse.

Multi-million dollar AIDS organizations that purport to serve the needs of HIV positive individuals, are now actively seeking to block them from knowing about OMSJ’s legal triumphs on behalf of the HIV accused.

On the website for Positive Justice Project: Guidance for People Living With HIV Who Are Threatened With, or, are Facing Criminal Prosecution for HIV Nondisclosure or Exposure, there are 15 “things you can do as damage control,”
And one of them is an open warning to avoid OMSJ.

Never naming OMSJ directly, the group warns:

AVOID PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY CAN HELP YOU BECAUSE HIV DOES NOT CAUSE AIDS:

You may be approached by people who claim they want to help you because an HIV test does not prove that you have HIV or AIDS, or because HIV is not harmful to others. AIDS “denialists” — people who do not believe that HIV is the cause of AIDS and that all AIDS treatments are toxic — frequently approach defendants in cases that have received press coverage, and may be interested in using your case to advance their cause. These people should be avoided because they likely will hurt rather than help your case.

Baker, for his part, says: “Organizations like HIV Law & Policy, Treatment Action Group and LAMBDA have never attempted to prove that their clients are not infected with HIV. The Obama administration, UNAIDS and the UN are trying to dissuade Western governments from prosecuting these cases using the pretext of human rights. It was in 2009 when we started winning these cases that they suddenly had their Come-to-Jesus moment.  I would work with any of them to free an unjustly convicted human being. But they won’t work with OMSJ. Our door is open any time they change their mind and decide to prioritize their clients freedom over their own personal ideology.”

After Yvonne Nicole Andrews left an ex-boyfriend who had repeatedly assaulted her, he turned around and falsely accused her of exposing a total of four men to HIV, none of whom she had ever met. [All four tested negative.] Soon, before she knew what was happening, Ms. Andrews found herself in a Florida prison cell facing a sixty-year sentence. Despite hospital records documenting the injuries, which included a badly sprained neck, severe concussions, and more, and despite overt statements that he planned to kill her, her ex used the laws to become make her the criminal. He was never charged.

The blond, soft-spoken mother of two had languished in county jail for several months when OMSJ contacted her attorney and prepared her defense.

Reached at home just weeks after her release, Andrews told The Truth Barrier:

“OMSJ’s attorney saw me while I was in prison, and explained everything. Then, after my attorney and I understood and we all became a team, they went to work. They were amazingly fast and effective. OMSJ broke down the prosecution in no time at all and educated them about the scientific side. These people wanted to put me away for sixty years. My kids would have had no mom. Instead I was out after nine months.”

“We had a similar case in 2011,” said Baker, “when a rapist accused his victim of HIV exposure. After questioning the victim’s doctor in a pretrial hearing, prosecutors withdrew all charges against our client who, if convicted, could have received a 30-year prison sentence and a deportation order.”

Andrews’ voice breaks when she mentions Clark Baker:

“Mr. Baker to me is heaven sent. He is my angel. I will be in debt to that man for the rest of my life. I can’t even express the feelings I felt when they came and told me. Words cannot express it.”

“I want my story to be told,” she continues,” because I want everybody to know the truth. I had no idea you could destroy somebody’s life just like that, just accusations, no proof, just hearsay. No idea. I was in prison with a girl who was part of a drug deal gone bad… she ran over a man and crushed his skull. She was in for murder. Her maximum was 15 years. My maximum was 60 years.”

She draws a deep sigh.

“Yes, m’aam.”

She continues:

“I sat down to write Mr. Baker a thank you letter, but after a week of mulling it over, I still could not find the words. The team at OMSJ, those people are working for a higher power. For all the people who are innocent and don’t deserve any of this, but nobody hears them. Nobody wants to hear it. One day it will all come out. The truth will come out.”

Ms. Andrews tells me she is delighted and grateful to God to have gotten home for Thanksgiving, and looks forward to spending Christmas with her family. But life is no Hollywood ending for these people. They have uniformly been exposed in local media, both as HIV positive and as criminals. It doesn’t go away when the charges are dropped. Their collapsed lives don’t miraculously reform.  They are classified felons and can’t work. “I can’t even get a job in a local store,” says Andrews. “But I have faith in God. I know he has his hands on me. I want to help others.”

Ms. Andrews has never taken HIV medication, nor had any symptoms of any kind. During her 9 1/2 months in jail, she spent most of her time studying the Bible. “I’ll be honest with you, when I was in jail I felt safe,” she says. Her ex had (and these are just some of the incidents:) thrown her off a porch, body-slammed her, pounded her head to the point of spraining her neck and giving her a severe concussion, threatened to kill her, stalked her, and more. “Now I am out. He knows I’m out. My family and I want to leave this area. I pray morning, noon and night.”

Take off HIV/AIDS goggles and put on domestic abuse and misogyny goggles, in order to keep seeing, and keep hearing. Her ex was found to be taking anti-HIV medications, which was discovered once when he was pulled over, and the medicine was in his car. He used to tell Andrews: “I’m sorry you’ll never be with another man.”

“He was just so insecure and controlling. He beat me physically, abused me mentally and verbally. This man has done everything he could to destroy me. In his mind, it was either death or prison.”

Andrews ex had a special trick: Mid beatings, he would call 911, and accuse her of domestic abuse. He is 6 ft 4 inches, 280 lbs, and works in construction. On one occasion, he had another girlfriend jump on Andrews and assault her, while he made the 911 call, and commented: “Don’t worry about it. She’s going to prison.”

“I will keep going strong,” says Andrews. “I am not going to give up. I want everybody to know the truth. My heart is just filled with joy. I am so ready to do this. When you’re in a situation like this, you feel like you’re the only person this has ever happened to. But there are so many. And they all need help. I was incarcerated, and as of now, I am a convicted felon. But Clark Baker is working with me to find new life after this. I have to start my life over. I have the utmost respect for that man and his organization. I would do anything in the world for him.”

“I thought this was something I would never talk to anybody about. But I am relieved it’s being written and being put out there. Because I am finding out that it’s not just me, there are other people in this situation. And they deserve to be heard. A lot of people don’t know who to turn to, for help. I was shunned by everybody. When they told me I was HIV positive–when they tell you that, a part of you just dies. It’s just gone.”

Andrews was told she was positive in 2008.

She continues:

“But now I have gotten educated and I think they are inaccurate in their testing. I have never had symptoms, and never taken medication. They tried, but I didn’t take it because I wasn’t sick. I’m as healthy as a horse.”

I asked her how it felt when she left prison, and came home, on Nov 15, this year.

“Elation, tears,” she says:

“I can’t even express the feelings that I felt. I got to come home to my family. I made it home for Thanksgiving, and I have so much to be thankful for. Christmas will be even greater. I am just so happy.  We need to let people know that there are people that do care about them, and they’re not alone.”

***

————————————————————————————————————–
Additional research for this article by Mark Harris.

For more information about OMSJ, to inquire about a legal situation, or to make a donation, go to http://www.omsj.org

The Truth Barrier has traveled as far as Stavanger Norway to report on this unfolding story. Stay tuned for Part Two, coming soon.

About Celia Farber

Celia Farber is a journalist, author, and editor based in New York City, who grew up in Sweden and New York City. Farber has written on a variety of subjects for SPIN, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Harper’s, Salon, New York Press, and many more. In 2008, Celia Farber won the Semmelweis International Society’s Clean Hands Award For Investigative Journalism.

Comments

  1. Kathy says:

    Reports and interviews give information that 2 men had come forward and admitted they did have unprotected sex with Ms. Andrews. They were interviewed by investigators, but not identified. What happened to those men? If her ex made up these stories, spreading lies, and there were no victims .. either the investigators are lying (which would result in all charges being dropped) or the 2 men that came forward lied (which would result in their arrest) or OMSJ isn’t giving the full story. This is an all honest question not meant to stir up trouble or cause Ms. Andrews grief, but something isn’t adding up.

  2. We have to fight for justice which is true and respects the Human Rights instead of acting against them in a criminal manner!

  3. JK says:

    It would be wonderful and much more credible if Mr. Baker would post court documents, court transcripts and judgments in the cases he has won. His website is lacking this type of information. Can he please post this type of supporting documentation for these cases?

    For example, in this case you mention regarding Ms. Andrews, you state that all four men she was accused of sleeping with tested HIV negative. Was this a factor in her release? If Mr. Baker shows that the testing is fallible, then why would you mention that the men tested negative? It would seem this would be inconsequential to the case. However, if negative HIV test results for the men were a factor in her release, then there is a bit of a disconnect in logic. It is these types of inconsistencies, as well as Mr. Bakers reticence in posting court documentation, transcripts and judgments that raise questions of OMSJ credibility.

  4. karlonwheels says:

    Awesome work, OMSJ! I am so glad to read this. There is genuine change happening, to people society has truly left behind. Thank you for what you do.

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