Chopra officially posts his denial of AIDS denialism and his critique of Professor Ceiling Cat

January 31, 2015 • 9:30 am

Well, the person who posted his answer to my criticism of Deepak Chopra’s dangerous views on HIV/AIDS was obviously Chopra himself, for he’s now put up his original response as an official post at The Chopra Foundation: “Responses to Jerry Coyne’s misrepresentation of my position on HIV/AIDS.

Unfortunately, in an act of cowardice, Chopra has turned off comments on that post. At least I let him respond on my site, and I’d ask him to reciprocate. He’s also failed to link to my original post, so he’s denying an assertion that he won’t let his readers see.

I stand by my original post that accused Chopra of denying that the virus was the cause of AIDS (something he now admits without also also admitting that he was wrong). That was a dangerous thing to say, and he hasn’t either retracted or clarified it beyond flaunting his M.D. credentials (and denigrating mine) and saying that he now asserts that HIV is the “cause”of AIDS. Which is it? Nor has he retracted his criticism of virus-reducing drugs like AZT, or clarified his views about how “bad thinking” might cause AIDS. For a fuller explication of Chopra’s errors and obfuscation, I direct you to Bo Gardiner’s longer analysis of his HIV/AIDS denialism on her website Under the Greenwood Tree.

If Chopra is interested in honest dialogue about science, I ask him to allow comments on his post. But I will be very surprised if he does, for he doesn’t want his readers to know the depth of criticism about his “science” that has surfaced from me and other researchers and doctors.

His views are dangerous, for they minimize the importance of the virus in AIDS, and maximize the value of “right thinking”, which (beyond those lifestyle changes that reduce the severity of the disease) hasn’t been shown to have any effect.


56 thoughts on “Chopra officially posts his denial of AIDS denialism and his critique of Professor Ceiling Cat

  1. Incredible. Simply incredible. How do these new age loonies live their lives content with the fact that they are actively harming people? Gullible people listen to him and believe that they can find the cure to what ails them with his bullsh*t. Denying medical attention for his brand of quackery? What a farce.

    1. Incredible. Simply incredible. How do these new age loonies live their lives content with the fact that they are actively harming people?

      I assume the money assuages their conscience.

    2. I’d be willing to bet that there’s two categories:
      (a) psychopaths, or near to
      (b) people who really do think they help with all their crazinesses

      Determining which category any individual is in is an exercise left to the reader 🙂

  2. Jerry mistakenly wrote:

    “If Chopra is interested in honest dialogue about science …”

    Should read:

    “Chopra is NOT interested in honest dialogue about science.”

    Thank me later.

  3. Deepak is dipping in and out of the duplicitous deep end. His New Age language games allow him to exploit the periphery of madness while releasing the safety latch whenever the heat turns up.

  4. The chances of Chopra enabling comments is close to zero, IMO. The man is a complete fraud and needs to control the conversation as much as he can.

    Or, as they say on The Wisdom of Chopra this morning, “The ego is reborn in unbridled opportunities” .

  5. Ben Carson has an MD after his name too and it doesn’t appear to do him one wit of good when it comes to rational thinking. I wonder how Chopra sorts out MD rankings? FWIW we had a fairly steady stream of med school students come through the lab when I was doing research. Part of the program was a month or two stint in a research lab. All were smart but few understood anything about experiment design or result analysis. And why would they? They are in an MD mill getting as much stuff crammed in their heads as possible. An MD program does one thing well – turns out generally educated practitioners who know where to turn for resources. Some go on from there and others don’t. Nothing wrong with that but an MD in no way correlates with an advanced understanding of pathology.

    All that aside, though, the most telling thing is that Chopra published his response closed for comment.

    1. I might be wrong but I think all his articles are closed to comment.

      Also the Ask Chopra leads you to an advert for his upcoming book launch?

    1. Perfecto. Gratci’.

      And may I take this opportunity to add a new word to the Spanish/French lexicon that describes the Deepakster to a tee: cabezerda.

      Cabezerda: from the Spanish, “cabeza” and the French, “merda”.

  6. Shorter Chopra: Not everyone who is exposed to a virus gets sick. There’s mystery, therefore DEEPITY.

    Chopra’s views are not only dangerous but slippery, because as I pointed out on one of the other threads he is speaking in deepities. The religious and spiritual often do this (consciously or unconsciously) in order to avoid accountability. They can offer the interpretation which fits the situation. In this case, that would be the one that successfully removes Chopra from the extraordinary part of his statements.

    “I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

    The material agent is never the cause of the disease. It may be the final factor in inducing the full-blown syndrome in somebody who’s already susceptible.

    And how are we supposed to interpret this? This way:

    Any sensible physician would advise that someone stay in good general health, eat a proper diet, practice good hygiene, and get sound sleep.

    Ohhhhhh … okay.

    See how reasonable? And you can always pull even further away from the New Thought interpretation by explaining that the “cause of the disease” was meant to include evolution and the laws of physics. Imagine Dr. Coyne leaving out evolution!

    1. That’s what gets me.

      There’s not a single “big pharma” physician on the planet who’d dismiss the important of diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management for everybody, well or ill. And they’d further point out that, for the sick, healthy lifestyle choices are even more important lest a failure there become the proverbial camel’s-back-breaking straw.

      But then he has the fucking nerve to suggest that that’s the alpha and omega of disease management!

      Yes, if you’ve got AIDS, you absolutely should eat your veggies and go for that hike and get a good night’s sleep, at least as best as you can. And the same goes if you don’t have AIDS and are at negligible risk for contacting it.

      But letting your boss get on your nerves that one day had fuck-all to do with your infection, and no amount of broccoli in whatever form is going to cure you.

      Deepak may think this “response” of his makes everything all better, because he’s dismissing his “youthful indiscretion” and admitting the role HIV plays in AIDS. But, in reality, he’s doubling down on the real problem of his quackery.

      Yes, Deepak: full-on unabashed quackery, for that’s what this “control by the host” nonsense is — that and yet more of your trademarkable victim blaming. There’s no quantum cosmic mystery in why not everybody gets a cold when exposed to the same virus in the same manner, even if it unquestionably is a most significant subject of epidemiological research. We need to know the details, but we already know that the body and its immune systems have all sorts of buffer systems and “tipping points” and what-not — not to mention the very real possibility in this particular experiment that the subjects had already been exposed to the virus strain in question and had already developed an immune response.

      For shame, Deepak — blaming AIDS victims for their own disease. I’ve known used car salesman with more honor and integrity than that.



    2. Speaking of pulling away: Politicians also often speak in deepities or parse their words carefully to avoid accountability.

      Who said this: “I did not have sex with that woman”

  7. By directly quoting Deepak Chopra you misrepresented him? To prove that he’s more rational than you are he listed his qualifications.

    I wish that Chopra wasn’t your hobbyhorse too because that is only going to happen when he stops saying and selling such nutty stuff.

  8. Deepak is an apologetic ‘bum’! He is one of those who constantly use science ‘touchstone’ to rub and prove his religious BS! Everyone kmows that almost all apologists do that and by doing so they indirectly concede that science is the real barometer to measure the realities of the universe. Con men like him must keep their livelihood going by coming up with weird sometimes absurd ideas and trying to prove them through science. They are a great threat to the health of a society and should be silenced. It’s a form of ‘terrorism’ (ideological) afflicting societies and a great hindrance to the progress of science and technology! THEY ARE BRILLIANT MINDS GONE SOUR! WISH THEY’D USED THEM FOR SCIENCE, INSTEAD.
    Anwar Khan

  9. I believe that this Chopra as a doctor should be treated about the same as creationist. Most of what they say is pure crap, with no evidence to support any of it and they certainly do not deserve the right to be on the same stage with any reputable scientists or doctors or anyone living in a reality based world. Guys like this love to even be seen as discussing something with a real scientist or doctor because they know it makes their followers think they actually know something.

    They will always make their money off the ignorance and gullibility of many people. Certainly they must be called out for the deluded nonsense they spread but they should not get billing as anything useful to the human race.

      1. Unfortunately, if we found that Chopra was suffering from some psychopathology, it would be difficult to convince anyone to register him for treatment. He may be a sociopath in the same way that many corporate CEO’s are – uninterested in the welfare of others. but what can you do about that?

        1. He may be a sociopath in the same way that many corporate CEO’s are – uninterested in the welfare of others. but what can you do about that?

          The consequent treatment is normally a career in politics, isn’t it?

  10. Sinister. His denials are clearly aimed at his followers not anyone with critical skills. By blocking comments, its heads I win tails you loose.

  11. I am still trying to wrap my head around Choprian logic… for instance, if the moon is there only when sentient things experience it —

    — then perhaps there never would’ve been an AIDS crisis in the first place if my colleagues never contact-traced those first cases, dying in those hospital beds in San Francisco in the late 70s ? And if Montagnier & Gallo never isolated the related viruses after that, perhaps there would have been no reason for encouraging anyone to get HIV-tested ?? We could’ve avoided all this pain and suffering worldwide simply by not looking?

    If a tree falls in the forest…

    After all, if we don’t measure it — if we don’t quantify it, it’s not there, right? (because, uh, QM says this or something?) Am I getting close to being enlightened?

    Perhaps I need an MD to understand stuff like this. I mean, even though I am considered by many to be one of the “go-to” guys… one of the pioneers of network epidemiology, my “ascribed” status is only a BA in biochem. Perhaps if I went to medical school it would do me some good?

    1. You are having problems with the Chopped Philosophy because you’ve failed to properly note one of its main tenets: Contradictions do not exist until and unless you acknowledge them.

      See? Now it is easy to understand.

  12. It’s very difficult for me to comprehend how a person of Chopra’s credentials could be so dense. The only explanations that can adequately explain his condition fall into one or all of these categories:
    1) The two sides of his brain function independently, converging slightly only when self-defense is required.
    2) It’s a schtick he’s mastered. It’s just a comedic act. One day he’ll reveal himself.
    3) He’s working on the art of mastering the role of real-life, slimey, irritating charlatan.

    Regardless of the reasons, I’m confident that there’s a diagnosis in some psychiatric journal somewhere on the planet that describes his condition perfectly.

      1. Thanks, Sastra, for the link. The book addresses questions that have been simmering in the back of my brain for many years. Jermaine to Chopra, I like this from the preface:
        “…religion is exposed as a form of strategic reality corruption designed to serv the individual and society.”
        I think characters like Chopra are engaged in a corruption of reality designed to serve themselves without regard for society.
        Psychopathology indeed. Looks like a good read.

    1. Follow the money!

      Woo is pure gold and Deepity mines about $20 million annually.

      Laughing all the way to the bank.

  13. Are these the same delusions that people suffer who are religious? Have these off-track neurons been transferred to the part of the brain that governs scientific thinking? This guy is not a scientist by any definition that I am aware of. Maybe this type of thinking is an early warning of dementia. Very sad.

  14. Chopra reminds me of Ghandi and MLK. Not that he’s anything like them! I am reminded by contrast, most especially in the way they responded to their critics – indeed, to their enemies – as compared with He-Who-Sells-Woo.

    Of course, I fall – as nearly all of us do – far short of MG and MLK in terms of eloquence, character and largeness of “spirit.” But then, I don’t claim to have the answer to “the future of God.” I don’t go around expounding on oneness and quantum love fields and whatever.

  15. I usually either ignore people like Chopra or laugh at them, but now I’m getting angry – my daughter, who is way old enough to know better, is starting to listen to his nonsense. Does he put out all this junk because he believes it, or is it just to get money?

    1. “…my daughter, who is way old enough to know better…”

      Is she anywhere near college age (on either side of it)? If so, I wouldn’t despair. Despite their legal adult status, many still have a lot of thinking experiments to do before they admit the obvious to themselves.

      When I think back on all the happy horseshit of the counterculture era…

    2. Does he put out all this junk because he believes it, or is it just to get money?

      I’ve previously compared him to the crack-whores of the docks area of town.
      I really ought to apologise to the crack-whores for the denigration.

    1. She [Oprah] discovered Dr Oz too. Oprah struggles with her own bias on atheism and is very into woo of any sort.
      I’m still grinding my teeth over the Diana Nyad interview.

  16. Without the revenue from his book sales he would have to go to work managing mucous, draining pus and looking in the ears of children and having to figure out medical problems.

  17. Here in SA we’ve gone through this ‘HIV does not cause AIDS’ denialism. Our then president, Thabo Mbeki, and the minister of health he appointed, Manto Thsabalala-Msimang, were full blown, albeit prevaricating, denialists. They obstructed the efforts to curb the epidemic for years.
    It contributed to SA having about the highest HIV infection rates (and subsequent AIDS death rates*) in the world. We’re talking millions here, this kind of denial talk -even if somewhat denied post factum- has serious real life consequences.

    (*and associated highest TB, including drug resistant TB, rates)

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