Anthony Brink charges AIDS campaigner with genocide

Former Midweek Cuckoo Anthony Brink has proven just how deserving he is of the dubious honour. He has formally submitted a 59-page criminal complaint to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, charging TAC leader Zackie Achmat with genocide.

His logic? ARVs are toxic. Zackie Achmat was the driving force behind finally convincing the SA government to supply the populace with ARVs through the public health system. Therefore Zackie Achmat has committed genocide. Seriously, it’s like charging oncologists with genocide for prescribing chemotherapy.

Read his 59-page rant (PDF) if you want to. But here’s the bit that for me shows that Brink has gone so far off the reservation that he’s not even in the same zip code anymore:

…it is respectfully submitted that the International Criminal Court ought to impose on him the highest sentence provided by Article 77.1(b) of the Rome Statute, namely to permanent confinement in a small white steel and concrete cage, bright fluorescent light on all the time to keep an eye on him, his warders putting him out only to work every day in the prison garden to cultivate nutrient-rich vegetables, including when it’s raining, in order for him to repay his debt to society, with the ARVs he claims to take administered daily under close medical watch at the full prescribed dose, morning, noon and night, without interruption, to prevent him faking that he’s being treatment compliant, pushed if necessary down his forced-open gullet with a finger, or, if he bites, kicks and screams too much, dripped into his arm after he’s been restrained on a gurney with cable ties around his ankles, wrists and neck, until he gives up the ghost on them, so as to eradicate this foulest, most loathsome, unscrupulous and malevolent blight on the human race, who has plagued and poisoned the people of South Africa, mostly black, mostly poor, for nearly a decade now, since the day he and his TAC first hit the scene.

I almost hope that the ICC doesn’t refuse to prosecute on the ground of stupid. Because if the trial goes ahead, and a ruling or dismissal is in Achmat’s favour, then by my understanding he will have legal reason for a counter-suit of malicious prosecution. At the very least, even if the ICC laughs in Brink’s face, Achmat and the TAC should be suing Brink for defamation. The interesting thing about a defamation case is that, unlike most legal matters, the burden of proof is on the defendant to prove that their alleged libelous or slanderous statements are either true, or those that could be expected from a reasonable man. I’d love to see Brink trying to prove either.

And the funniest part of it all? Brink is a lawyer. He should know better.

Frankly, if anyone should be sued for genocide before the ICC, it’s Brink, Manto, Rath and the others who have created such a culture of misinformation regarding HIV and AIDS in this country that we suffer literally hundreds of thousands of AIDS deaths a year.

(PS it looks like I’ll only get to this week’s MC tomorrow. It’s becoming something of a weekend cuckoo, but unfortunately I have a job that gets in the way of my hobbies)

11 Responses to “Anthony Brink charges AIDS campaigner with genocide”

  1. These people survive on showboating. I do not believe for one moment that Brink expects the ICC to prosecute Achmat. However, he has generated a storm of publicity of laying the charge. Hundreds of newspapers and bloggers will report on it, while the Raath Foundation gears up to do what it does best, which seems to be garnering publicity from involvement in increasingly petty and frivolous legal action in order to sell vitamins.

  2. I agree wholeheatedly with Salman. There is no global warming controversy, there is no yearning by millions to be taught creationism in school, it is a media frenzy for ‘controversy’ that makes people think that there is some doubt. It is difficult to buy most scientists cos they have principles, but quite easy to pay any uninformed journalist to say what you want. Or in this case a nutcase lawyer. And I don’t think the fact that he’s a lawyer counts for much, just look at Advocate Barbie.
    (and perhaps you should change the title of your post so as not to malign the distinguished writer)

  3. Salman: my thoughts exactly. I find it ridiculous that he can claim that Achmat is funded by BigPharma when he isn’t, yet he is self-admittedly funded by the Rath Foundation and thinks this is fine. Cognitive dissonance is his friend.

    Bast: as Michael Shermer has pointed out, smart people often end up believing weird things because they’re really good at defending, to themselves and others, ideas they believe in. How they came to that belief is irrelevant, but once it exists they will be very good at convincing themselves of it. Re the title: Whoops! Subconscious auto-complete in action! Fixed.

  4. Well, at least his assertions were “respectfully submitted”, or he might have lost the moral high ground there.

  5. Chris Noble Says:

    I wonder where Brink got the idea!

    http://www.drrathresearch.org/about_drrath/hague.html

    Rath’s previous formal complaint was obviously given all the consideration it deserved.

    The bright side is that it will probably do more to convince people that Brink and other HIV “rethinkers” are lunatics than anything “debate” could possible acheive.

  6. Justice Malonga Says:

    I wonder why Brink, a self acclaimed High Court advocate, never bothered to tackle this issue at it’s alleged source, namely the companies who produce and market these drugs.

    Surely, this act is nothing but an obsessive attack by shooting the messenger (Achmat of the TAC).

    Rath too, never bothered to take on the pharmaceutical companies in a court of law, but chose the publicity route. It appears to have failed.

    Maybe Brink fears loosing face to the industry with his rants once again, as he did in a 2000/1 High Court case in Johannesburg. A case where he allegedly purged himself and was threatened with being stuck from the roll. Brink is now a non practicing advocate.

    By the way. Does anyone know if Brink has any medical or pharmacology qualifications, to present himself and a world authority on Aids health and Aids drugs?

  7. kyknoord: heaven forbid

    Chris: by their actions ye shall know them… or something like that.

    Justice: you make an excellent point. If they really did think they had a leg to stand on, they’d be taking BigPharma to court, not the little guy. Plenty of people do it every year when they have a legitimate complaint and can drum up a good class action suit. But Rath and Brink know that they have no real evidence, and will be horribly crushed in a court of law. That’s exactly why they resort to grand standing that the court will not take seriously.

  8. Chris Noble Says:

    By the way. Does anyone know if Brink has any medical or pharmacology qualifications, to present himself and a world authority on Aids health and Aids drugs?

    My expertise as an autodidact expert in the pharmacology of AZT and nevirapine has been recognized by senior scientists worldwide:…

    Senior scientists worldwide being Etienne de Harven, Harvey Bialy and Peter Duesberg who are all HIV “rethinkers”.

    Brink is scientifically illiterate. He doesn’t appear to believe in the “germ theory of disease”. Being able to cite passages out of lots of scientific articles does not mean that you understand them.

    People like Duesberg and Bialy are to blame as they foster and encourage crackpots like Brink.

  9. Our Minister of Health and our President, through their continual denial and obfuscation, have created fertile ground where the likes of Rath and Brink can take root and flourish. Indeed, a host of crackpots and charlatans have sprung up. It also seems that the most effective way of indicating one’s prostration before Pres. Mbeki is to trot out some claptrap which either questions or denies the evidence that HIV infection leads inexorably to AIDS. Look at author and amateur statistician Rian Malan, for example. Anthony Brink, on the other hand, seems to be a genuine nutcase. I am surprised that UFOs and pyramids have not featured in his thinking (yet).

  10. I have listened, read and observed both sides of the HIV, AIDs and ARV debate for almost 22 years now…

    Do credibile people like, e.g. Prof Peter Duesberg (the most staunch anti HIV=AIDS campaigner) just get out of bed one morning and decide to put his entire highly credible scientific career at on the line by being a lonesome advocate against current thinking of HIV, AIDS, AZT and ARVs? Or do they do their homework thoroughly and then decide to comment, post scientific literature on websites and go on TV and media and make their scientific opinins known?

    The same applies to Anthony Brink… Has anyone here read his diatribe on AZT? Possibly not!

    Do not get me wrong, I am not defending anyone here, the problem here is that we need scientific debate… Personally, I think that there is so much vested interest in AIDS, ARVs and cancer, that the medical fraternity is so scared that they have made one hell of a mistake (with HIV and AIDS), that it will mean the end of medicine as we know it today.

    The problem today is that no one takes the time to read or educate themselves, even when going for a simply HIV test… The fact that there is no gold standard for an HIV test – meaning they can’t find HIV under an electron miscrscope, let alone in a man’s seminal fluid – and it is sexually transmitable? We simply believe everything medicine and especially the media throws at us – we never questions, think, debate and communicate opinions – we simply believe most of the (mis)information.

    With regard to Achmat’s indictment, everyone here is convinced that Achmat and the TAC will win their case because they are doing humanity and great service with ARVs and AZT. Has anyone asked what will happen if Brink wins his case… Will everyone then conclude that the International Criminal Court are a bunch of idiots, or if Achmat wins, then justice has been served?

    Personally, a time will come when medicine will have to sit and listen to the dissidents scientists, because after 25 years, scientists are still wondering in the woods, aborted how many clinical trials, invented how many vaccines that have NOT worked, spent trillions on research and yet medicine has come up with what?

    If we are to make any headway with HIV and AIDS, then we need to leave sentiment out of the medical equation and purely look at scientific facts, and perhaps then medicine may decide to take off their blinkers and progress with something useful (in terms of HIV and AIDS)…

    “You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists” – Albie Hoffman

  11. Anonymous Says:

    NHS doctor Ben Goldacre was sued for libel by vitamin-pill entrepreneur Matthias Rath. The case was dropped in September 2008, and Rath has already paid £220,000 of the £500,000 due.

    Excerpt from the new paperback edition of Bad Science:
    http://www.badscience.net/2009/04/matthias-rath-steal-this-chapter/

    —88—

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