Investigative Reporter Files Lawsuit

May 9, 2009

The New York Post reports that investigative reporter Celia Farber has filed suit this week against Atlanta physician James Murtagh MD, former medical student Kevin Kuritzky, and Richard Jefferys for libel and defamation: 

Farber’s lawyers filed a 21-page libel complaint this week in Manhattan Supreme Court accusing Richard Jefferys, of the Treatment Action Group, of orchestrating a campaign against her last May when she was given the Semmelweis Clean Hands Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for an article she wrote in Harper’s in 2006, “AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science.”

The Harpers article gave credence to the work of Peter Duesberg, who believes HIV is a harmless “passenger” virus and not the cause of AIDS, and questioned the value of expensive antiretroviral drugs. Jefferys and his team blitzed the Semmelweis Society with e-mails claiming Farber had altered quotes and falsely misrepresented scientific papers.

The Semmelweis Society, in turn, launched its own investigation and concluded the AIDS industry itself has all the characteristics of a multibillion-dollar criminal enterprise that desperately needed whistleblowers. .

James Murtagh MD

James Murtagh MD

Filed in the New York Supreme Court, Farber’s lawsuit gives the pharmaceutical industry their first opportunity to prove 20 years of allegations by applying rules of evidence before a real jury – a significant departure from their preferred methods that have relied on rhetorical blogs and highly paid pharmaceutical activists.

When Farber began reporting on HIV and AIDs in 1989, she was attacked in much the same way that the tobacco industry attacked Jeffrey Wigand PhD for disclosing its own corporate secrets.

With annual sales estimated between $500 billion and $1 trillion annually the pharmaceutical industry funds, directly and indirectly, an army of salesmen and attackers who target individuals they view as threats. In this email, Cornell researcher John P. Moore PhD warned:

This IS a war, there ARE no rules, and we WILL crush you, one at a time, completely and utterly (at least the more influential ones; foot-soldiers like you aren’t worth bothering with).

In a recent email to House of Numbers filmmaker Brent Leung, Moore promised to destroy Leung’s career just as he had destroyed Celia Farber.

Corruption is rampant throughout the pharmaceutical industry. Recently, Texas psychiatrist Karen Wagner was accused of disclosing $600 of the $160,000 she received from GlaxoSmithKline while ghostwriting a pediatric study that “helped the company promote the myth that Paxil was ‘safe and effective’ for use in children…” At the same time, “internal Glaxo emails show the data from pediatric Paxil trials were negative.”

Of 93 adolescents taking Paxil in the study, six had a suicide event (five attempted suicide), whereas one of the 89 adolescents on placebo had a suicide event. The suicide risk ratio for adolescents exposed to Paxil in the study was six times greater than those on placebo.

In Gallo’s Egg and later reports, I described how the alleged co-discoverer of HIV, Robert Gallo, had failed to blame retroviruses for human leukemia (1975) and T-cell leukemia (1980) before blaming the alleged leukemia virus HTLV-1 on AIDS (1983-1984). When his research assistant found no connection between the alleged retrovirus and AIDS, Dr. Gallo scribbled over the report and published these in Science, (1, 2, 3, 4), completely circumventing the scientific peer review process. By the time Gallo’s scientific misconduct was confirmed in 1993, billions of tax dollars had been redirected from legitimate diseases to fight Dr. Gallo’s unproven virus.

When in this 2005 report, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) identified 1) heart disease, 2) stroke, 3) cancer, 4) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 5) accidents, and 6) diabetes as the leading causes of death in the United States from 1970-2002, HIV and AIDS were not even mentioned.

According to the Fair Foundation, the NIH spends $206,906 per AIDS death in this country, while it spends only $13,365 per Diabetes death, $12,000 per prostate disease, $9,000 for Parkinson’s disease and $9,000 for Alzheimer’s disease.

If Miss Farber was the dangerous reporter the defendants made her out to be, one wonders why the pharmaceutical industry hasn’t brought their complaints to court before, and why operatives like Seth Kalichman are now recoiling like vampires at dawn. Kalichman’s employer relies on millions of dollars to study South Africa’s virtually non-existent HIV mortality. (The South African Government removed the original link shortly after the US Congress sent another $50 billion to Africa – more here).

To be fair, Kalichman’s attacks against Farber are completely understandable. Having arrested thousands of felons during my career in law enforcement I understand, as well as Bernie Madoff, the awkwardness of being caught promoting a fraud. Like the tobacco operatives who badgered, threatened, and ridiculed Jeffrey Wigand PhD, the pharmaceutical industry has never had a problem finding people like Seth Kalichman, Murtagh, Kuritzky, Moore, or Jefferys to attack corporate threats like Farber, Peter Duesberg, and anyone else who threatens their arrangement.

Like the HIV/AIDS scandal, Bernie Madoff succeeded not because he was a masterful fraudster, but because the SEC and FBI failed to respond to repeated credible allegations that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme.

For decades, the tobacco industry deliberately misled millions of people around the world because politicians won elections with tobacco money. Like tobacco, Washington politicians are reluctant to challenge the makers of HIV drugs because 1) many rely on pharmaceutical campaign contributions and 2) those who question HIV/AIDS are usually accused of being anti-gay.

The two most targeted groups for HIV testing and “treatment” (homosexuals and blacks) are also among the most silent. One cannot count the number of full-page glossy HIV testing and treatment ads in America’s leading gay publicans without appreciating how the gay movement is funded in America.

Despite the tragic death of Joyce Ann Hafford, the black community is still heavily targeted. Last year, Abbott Labs paid Magic Johnson $60 million to push HIV testing in that community. Apparently no one has noticed that AIDS only kills people who are subjected to HIV testing and treatment. Because of the toxic nature of “black box” HIV drugs, one wonders if Magic Johnson even takes them.

As for Murtagh, Kuritzky, and Jefferys, their only defense is to prove that Celia Farber is the monster they say she is. After two decades of allegations, one would think that they could come up with some verifiable evidence.

Courthouse News weighs in…

UPDATE, 10 Oct 2014: Kevin Kuritzky declares that, between 2005-2013, he has served as a “foot soldier” for Murtagh, Seth Kalichman, and AIDSTruth with the specific purpose of attacking, discrediting, and marginalizing so-called “AIDS denialists” to protect the AIDS industry.