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1964 - 2014

Robert Laarhoven

Robert Laarhoven

VirusMyth Founder & Editor

Robert Laarhoven, a long-time AIDS rethinker and founder of the VirusMyth website, died of lung disease in November, 2014. He will be missed by the entire community. Rethinking AIDS will ensure that as much as possible the VirusMyth website lives on. Robert is featured in the one hour documentary called "Diary of an Aids Dissident", broadcast in 1993 on Sky News. He appears at 6 mins 35 secs, at 13:20, and later on, at 26:15, in an interview after he was arrested and escorted out of the conference.

"I would like to say that Robert was a firm friend, who never wavered in his conviction that the science behind HIV/AIDS was deeply flawed. He was a pioneer, in that he started the virusmyth website long before any of us really understood how important websites were. Thanks to the vision of Martien Brands, in 1992 Robert also helped organise an historic conference about flaws in the virus/AIDS hypothesis, International Symposium: AIDS, a different view in Amsterdam's Roda Hoed. Everybody was there. It was the first and perhaps only significant meeting when the orthodoxy met with the dissident scientists."
— Joan Shenton

Robert Laarhoven was very brave. In 1993 at the Berlin World AIDS Conference, many of us knew that Dr Gallo had been under investigation for three years by the US Federal Office of Research Integrity and that in December 1992 he had been found guilty by his peers, of scientific misconduct, a charge he was, at that time, appealing against. It was our Dutch colleague, Robert Laarhoven's turn to ask a question. "Could you tell me," he said, "whether Dr Gallo was accepted as a key speaker at this conference before or after he was found guilty of misconduct, and if after, do you think it is acceptable to have a scientist who has lost credibility addressing us at this moment?" The session had a lively ending. Robert Gallo stormed off the stage, walked straight up to Robert Laarhoven and accused him of being "cruel" to him. But within seconds he was outside in the main concourse meeting the press photographers. As his bodyguards brutishly shoved journalists aside Gallo thanked them for protecting him and then switched on his smile for the press.
Positively False: Exposing the myths around HIV and AIDS, 16th Anniversary Edition, 2015, by Joan Shenton

Meanwhile, the police had ordered Robert Laarhoven to leave the stand he was manning in the conference hall and taken outside. If he attempted to re-enter the conference hall he would be arrested. A furious Laarhoven said, ‘It became clear to me there is very heavy censorship of dissident information and I am not afraid any more to use words like "AIDS fascism"'. The tension of the last few days had begun to take its toll. No longer did any of us smile. The hostility was so powerful, even among our own journalist fraternity, that all we could do every morning was set our faces into a concrete mould and wade through the sea of scowling faces.
Positively False: Exposing the myths around HIV and AIDS, 16th Anniversary Edition, 2015, by Joan Shenton