Number-Gate

By: Myles Power Edited by: Peter & Hannah
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One thing I have had screamed at me over the internet in the past year is, “Follow the money! Follow the money!” This statement was originally a reference to the Watergate scandal, when reporters Woodward and Bernstein traced the source of the money paid to the Watergate burglars. Their investigation lead to the discovery of a link between the break-in and the Committee for the Re-Election of the President; which eventually led to the resignation of Nixon. Since then, conspiracy theorists have used this term to tie any two unrelated things together through money. For example, in the past, the UK government has heavily subsidised aviation fuel – therefore, chemtrails exist because a financial link – proving that the UK government has a direct say in which mind-controlling agents go into the fuel (don’t worry if this makes no sense to you, because it also makes no sense to me). Conspiracy theorist also have a tendency to attach the prefix “gate” to anything with a financial connection. For example Moon-gate, 9/11-gate, Boston-gate etc.
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Now I am not throwing the baby out with the bath water here, as it is true that sometimes, if you follow the money to the source, it does reveal a conspiracy, with Watergate being the prime example. Following a money trail can help you discover the origins behind people’s motivations and any agendas they might be pushing. A prime example of this can be found in the documentary ‘House of Numbers’. If you follow the money, you will find that the movie’s origins lie in AIDS denial groups and, despite what the director (Brent Leung) wants you to believe, it was never going to be an “objective examination of the idea the HIV causes AIDS”.
 
The movie starts with Brent Leung trying to pass himself off as an innocent neutral film maker who is just asking questions, and who only wants to find out more about HIV/AIDS. “I was born in 1980, a year before Aids exploded on to the public consciousness,” he intones. “I grew up beneath its shadow like a child raised under the threat of the mushroom cloud. You might say I am a member of the first HIV/Aids generation… This film is an account of my journey through the shifting sands surrounding HIV/Aids.” For a film in which the subject matter was so dark and depressing, I could not believe that within the first three minutes I was laughing as hard as I do whilst watching an M. Night Shyamalan film. This was due to a combination of Brent’s clunky line delivery and him comparing HIV to nuclear warfare. Now Brent might have talent behind the camera but he certainly does not belong in front of one.
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The introduction to the movie was filmed in a graveyard – one of many locations Brent and his crew visited. They also travelled to England, South Africa, China, France, Australia, etc, which begged the question – how are they affording to do this?!  I am not the only one who wanted to know. During a question and answer session about the movie, Brent was asked who funded his film. He declined to name the sources but described them as a group of “funders from all over the world”.  It was later discovered that the reason Brent would want to keep his benefactors secret was that the AIDS denial group ‘Rethinking AIDS’ donated $25,000 to his project in 2006. 
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Brent is not the only one who wants to keep this a secret, as the non-profit organisation ‘Rethinking AIDS’ are also trying to hide their involvement. On their website, the tax return for 2006 is mysteriously missing (a copy of the 2006 900-PF can be downloaded here). It is also interesting to see that Christine Maggiore, who features in the documentary, was part of the board that voted to fund the film in the first place.
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But perhaps the most damming evidence that Brent was never going to make an unbiased documentary, is that he has already made one in the past. Yes, Brent is no stranger to the whole HIV/AIDS controversy, as in 2000, Brent was the director for a documentary project based on the book ‘State Origin : The Evidence of the Laboratory Birth of AIDS’. The book, written by Boyd Grave (an AIDS denialist who eventually died of AIDS), claims that the US goverment has a special virus program and that the US government purposefully developed and released the virus in Africa and the homosexual population of Manhattan, in what he calls ‘the AIDS holocaust’.
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In closing, the mixture of Brent not being transparent about the funding of the documentary, mixed with the fact that this is not the first time that he has made a questionable documentary on AIDS, shows that he is not to be trusted. The evidence I have stated above also helps explain why the documentary went against the scientific consensus and why it might have had ulterior motives.
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17 thoughts on “Number-Gate

  1. Although Brent’s “State Origin: The Evidence of the Laboratory Birth of AIDS” was promised by “inauguration day” (January 2001) I can’t find any evidence that the film was ever actually completed.

    Brent did, however, release a follow-up film to “House of Numbers” called The “Emperor’s New Virus” in 2011. This seems to be largely cobbled together from leftover footage from the first film. Unlike HoN which mainly pushes the Duesberg position, ENV promotes the views of a pair of West Australian denialists who call themselves the Perth Group.

    The HIV/AIDS conspiracy movement divides into three main schools of thought: firstly those like Duesberg who claim that HIV exists but is harmless; secondly those like the Perth Group who claim HIV doesn’t exist; and thirdly those like Lenny Horowitz who claim that HIV was deliberately created and/or released into the population by evil scientists.

    The fact that each of the three positions is fundamentally incompatible with the other two doesn’t stop many HIV/AIDS “dissidents” from simultaneously promoting mutually exclusive theories. For such “dissidents” claiming conspiracy is much more important than basic coherence.

      • …especially Stupid that has been festering for more than 25 years. The subject of HIV/AIDS has long been a magnet for free-floating Stupid because it touches on a wide range of hot-button human anxieties – about sex, contagion, death, race, money, power and stigma.

        “House of Numbers” did not just arise out of nowhere – it’s actually a film version of Duesberg’s 1996 book “Inventing the AIDS virus”, rehashed for the youtube generation.

        The issue is not that the people who made HoN had an agenda – everyone who makes a “documentary” film does. Rather, the issue is that they tried to disavow their HIV/AIDS denialist motivation, and pretend that the film was “an objective and unbiased look at the question of what causes AIDS.”

        Which is laughable.

  2. Pingback: Debunking the AIDS Denialist Movie House of Numbers – Part 9 – Final Thoughts | Myles Power (powerm1985)

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