Darren Main Grills Peter Duesberg on Christine Maggiore’s Death

by Liam Scheff
Exclusive for RTB.

In his November, 2009 podcast, “Urban Mystic” Darren Main grills Dr. Peter Duesberg on the death of his ‘prize pupil’ Christine Maggiore.

[Click to listen]

Darren Main puts the question to Duesberg: After the loss of a public figure who followed his work, does he hold with his hypothesis? In the interview, Dr. Duesberg is often agitated, interrupting, and in some instances, he gives unsatisfying responses to hard questions. On the other hand, he reviews the true and well-known failings of major AIDS theory, the lack of evidence for a sexual epidemic in the West, the unacceptable toxicity of the many drugs now and historically in use, and the decades of academic obfuscation and failure on the part of the immensely corrupt AIDS industry.

But the question remains: What about Christine Maggiore? Maggiore was the public face of the very limited idea that “HIV is not the cause of AIDS.” She was an advocate for patients’ rights, and she was a pointed and regular critic of the AIDS medical/pharmaceutical establishment. Maggiore ran “Alive and Well AIDS Alternatives” for over a decade, having been multiply diagnosed HIV positive, negative and indeterminate. When she was well, as she was for most of her public life, her critics declared she was ‘faking it,’ or really ‘negative,’ and profiting off of her false diagnosis.

In 2005, Christine Maggiore’s 3 year old daughter died, after a three-week earache. Maggiore gave an antibiotic to her daughter only after two and a half to three weeks, having tried ‘herbal’ treatments, and wanting to avoid antibiotics. This process of delaying antibiotic treatment was approved of and overseen by Mrs. Maggiore’s Pediatrician, Dr. Jay Gordon. The girl threw up shortly after the antibiotic was administered, and soon after, in a terrible shock to all who knew the family, she died.

A furor erupted as these events became public, and any ‘doubt’ over Maggiore’s HIV status disappeared. She was accused of murdering her child, essentially, by having not given her AZT, an FDA Black Box drug of significant toxicity. The drug is called “Life-saving” by the AIDS establishment, but they also call Nevirapine “Life-saving.” Here are some photos from a Nevirapine trial:


What followed was a nightmare of recrimination and politicking, accusation and counter-suit, during which time Maggiore stayed the public face of her “Alive and Well” organization, a fact which this reporter personally found immensely troubling.

Last year, in the midst of a ‘cleansing fast’ regimen, that according to some sources left her frail, shaky, breathless and very weak, Mrs. Maggiore became extremely ill, and, like her daughter before her, died very suddenly. A furor of self-congratulation on the part of the AIDS establishment ensued, though there is now immense controversy over possible fraud in the recording and reporting of her cause of death by the local authorities. It has also been revealed that she was taking several strong pharmaceuticals, and suggested by at least one doctor, that she suffered considerable toxicity from these drugs.

In comparison with hundreds of thousands of men, who took their prescribed doses of AZT in the 1980s and early 1990s, and died quickly and horribly directly as a result, how important is her death? In comparison with the millions falsely diagnosed with cross-reactive, non-standardized tests, why is her death, and life, so important?

The answer, she was the public face of that singular idea: “HIV is not the cause of AIDS,” and her life and organization became a public bet that she made that would be unimpeachable proof, that solely by rejecting the idea that “HIV causes AIDS,” one could remain “Alive and Well.” And that is a bet that she lost. And hers is a loss that those who followed her, and often worshiped her, have felt deeply, to the point of a loss of faith in AIDS dissidence.

As these matters unravel and investigation reveals what occurred from a legal standpoint, these questions remain in my mind:

The role of the AIDS mainstream and media is not in question here: They wished her dead, they persecuted her at every turn, and with every opportunity, they dug in their knives, and when she suffered, they rejoiced. There is no doubt of any of that.

That said, did Christine seek to provoke the media or medical authority? Could she have taken an alternate route to being someone who was, indeed, “HIV positive, negative, and indeterminate?” Was she a truly fit mother, given the outcome of her daughter’s illness – not a terminal or long-term illness – but a common, if severe, earache?

The questions have not been asked publicly, in a reasonable manner, because the hatred thrown at Mrs. Maggiore by the mainstream media, prompted a “circle the wagons” response from the “AIDS dissidents” who formed her camp. But, I think these questions should be asked, and answered, lucidly, deliberately, and with great consideration and fairness. I hope you’ll find a way to write considered answers, and provide information that you may have, without condescension, recrimination or abuse, but, with a critical mind.

- LS 12/09

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I agree that a fact-based “conversation” should continue to take place in which those who are interested* reasonably pursue the questions raised here on these tragic deaths.

Such a “conversation” should include the indicting of institutional medical errors, critically important IMO when one investigates necessary “emergency response protocols” to acute disease symptoms.

Should we not all learn – the Good Lord gave us brains to reason with -, so that future tragedies of this type can be prevented?

*I trust this type of emoting is not “invalid”.


After spending the past month reviewing the past and current state of the HIV=AIDS argument, I am struck by the discrepancy between the somewhat simplified arguments of the ‘high priests’ on both sides and the impact of ‘dis-ease’ on the individual life.

I understand that in a ‘public policy’ argument the simplified approach is ‘required’ to educate the most people at the lowest denominator. But these simple arguments lack the ring of complex truth.

When arguments are simplified they lose the complexity and confusion that individuals confront when mortality sits on your chest and says ‘pay attention – you are going to die’ and even more scary and confusing when it involves your child.

Far be it for me to guess or know what Christine Maggiore did or did not do for her child and what her state of mind was in deciding what to do. But I do know her childs’ death must have broke her heart into a thousand pieces (as it would any good parent). For an ideology to seek profit from such a thing is the most hideous of objectives and further weakens any attempt at moral high ground.

Ultimately we as individuals must decide for ourselves what is best for us and our loved ones. It is the most difficult of things to think for yourself. You are left without the moorings, lifeboats and other life vests of civilization: Fear rules, courage fails and blame will rain on you from the high priests that say, “You should have done as you were told….” It would so much easier to follow the rules of the high priests.

But I think that is not what God intended for us. In thinking for yourself you will find the essence of what it means to be a human in all its confusing, messy and exalted state of being.


I was asked the question: Was CM following doctor’s orders?

Here’s my answer – it’s from personal experience, and my own opinion, only.

She had been following her doctor’s… well, she had doctors who worked with her. She did not want to give antibiotics, and somehow got their permission, or advice, that withholding them was okay. I didn’t hear those conversations, only what Mrs. Maggiore told me during her daughter’s eara ache. She did not administer an antibiotic for close to two weeks, possibly longer. I know that she waited, because she called me a week into the earache – a very odd thing to do, because we were not friends – and anxiously described her use of many herbs, that seemed to be having little effect, I assume. She certainly seemed to be asking me what to do – a very odd thing to do, as I was not her doctor. I told her what I tell everyone:

Irrigate the body with hot water, salty broths, keep warm to hot fluids flowing through to remove lymph, stimulate digestion and blood flow, as well as energizing the body. Take high dose vitamin C and grapefruit seed extract (to tolerance – both of these are antibiotic/antifungal), avoid cold things, sugar, milk, bread, yeasts, and if it doesn’t start to clear up soon, do what the doctor says, make sure the drugs aren’t contra-indicated, but do what the doctor says. That sort of thing.

I also found it very odd that she was giving 8 or so herbs. She seemed to have little understanding of what to do….

She didn’t want to give antibiotics, as I recall. I didn’t really know why. I might have asked. I’m not sure.. I’ll have to think about it. She had some…what was it… she’d heard maybe that they could be problematic. I’m not sure what I said to that. Yes, they can be, in large volumes over time, and sometimes in short volumes quickly. But I had never heard of anyone dying from a single dose of an antibiotic at that point, so…

I was given them as a kid, and it wasn’t fun, but I got through my ridiculously bad earaches and colds. I had a terrible diet as a kid – meat, meat and white flour, fat and sugar. Had a lot of sore throats and stomachaches as a result.

But, I don’t know. It was an odd call, because, like I said, we were very far from friends. I couldn’t really believe she was calling me, of all people.

It was about 2 weeks later, and I had forgotten about it, hadn’t heard a peep back. Not a word. I assumed they treated the earache, gave drugs and whatever combination of things, and everybody was fine. And I got the email that a lot of people got. Gone. She was gone. The little girl.

There’s more to the story that follows, but I didn’t learn any more about what happened up to that point. I personally just couldn’t believe it. From my point of view, and you can take this how you want it, I couldn’t believe that she hadn’t been able to see her daughter through an earache. I just could not believe it. And I’ve more or less been on the outside of dissidence since then, just doing my work, avoiding the cult within dissidence, and working on the issues of the problems with the tests, and the brutal diagnosis, and how brutalizing it is to people given it. You can indeed put CM in that boat. But, it was confusing. What was she? Pos, neg? She claimed neither and both. Her message was, to me, extraordinarily compromised and compromising. Not enough on being healthy, too much on rejecting a paradigm.

I haven’t spoken about this publicly, for many reasons. I have spoken to many ‘dissidents’ about it, since the time it happened. Many and prominent. But they usually reject this as unimportant. No one really wants to consider that she didn’t know much about health care, though many who knew her agree that she did not eat well for periods, did not really cook, and was scattered and exhausted, or self-exhausting in many ways. I’ve also been told that she always served healthy snacks at meetings, and did seem to eat with an eye toward health at times.

But she also did personally reject my consideration that she should really consider learning more about natural cooking, as she really didn’t eat well, when I knew her. Just scraps, it seemed, here and there, leftovers from the kids. She had a habit of wearing herself down.

She also wanted to quit dissidence, as long ago as 2003, this comes from her mouth, to me, in the brief period when I did speak to her.

I did encourage her to take a break, quit it for a while. But we had a serious falling out, and that was that. No more advice from me. I hadn’t known her for a long time, in any case, and was not a long-time friend.

I’m sure some people will accuse me of whatever, but I’m talking about it, so, deal with it.

Indeed, she dared to question shoddy science – not only question, but totally reject it, in fact. She enjoyed poking fun at the AIDS establishment. They were waiting for a chance to poke back, and they did.

The question is still being avoided, however.

If a person is the head of an advocacy group that advises mothers and their children on health, does it seem surprising to you, or contradictory, that both this child and mother died, after apparent complications from short-term, common illnesses, after applying the conventional medical treatments, that seemed to go horribly, horribly wrong?

If it doesn’t seem like a bitter irony, then I would ask you to look again.

You have a few choices, those of you who think and know about this:

Join the 95 percent of the world that says defensively that she was a murderer,


Join the 5 percent (or less) that defensively says she was a hero.

The third option is to evaluate her message, her work, and her life and circumstance, with open eyes, appreciation for her positive qualities, appreciation of her failings, and to make that process open and transparent.


These questions need to be asked and the evaluation needs to be done. It was obviously not just random chance that the center of attention of the AIDS dissident community would lose first her daughter’s life and then her own. The evidence surrounding their deaths seems to indicate that both of them actually died from the complications of pharmaceutical drugs.

In the case of Maggiore’s daughter, it appears that she died as a result of an anaphylactic reaction to the antibiotic administered for her earache, and in Maggiore’s case it appears that some combination of prescription medications caused a fatal reaction.

But knowing this is not enough, it just opens the door for more questions. How many white middle class children die from allergic reactions to antibiotics? Was Maggiore really Alive and Well? Why was she taking four prescription medications? Why would a detoxifying “cleanse” so weaken her?

These reactions do happen, but most often in individuals whose health is marginal, who have high toxic burdens, and whose immune systems are compromised. Asthma, auto-immunity, and anaphylaxis are the human immune system’s “last chance” over-reactions to toxins that cannot be otherwise neutralized by normal immune and detoxification mechanisms.

From what I understand of Maggiore’s life and lifestyle, it appears that she did not know how to take care of her own health or the health of her daughter. This is not abnormal in itself; many parents in the US don’t know how to do this either. But for someone who hosts a website called Alive and Well and is the center figure in the opposition to pharmaceutical medications, keeping your family and yourself healthy by eating healthfully and using naturopathic alternative medicine should have been second nature.

Maggiore is reported to have shown no interest in learning about natural health. It is not surprising to find that the Alive and Well website is a smorgasbord of both worthwhile and useless health alternatives, and it is not surprising that Maggiore reportedly did not take or administer what are considered by naturopaths to be the doses of immune-building dietary supplements (vitamin C, vitamin E, etc) to maintain health. (See, for instance, the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno.)

Had Maggiore been well-read in naturopathic medicine, she would have known to administer the large doses of ascorbate (vitamin C) needed to keep herself and her daughter healthy, and to increase that dosage dramatically for illness for both building normal antibodies and for detoxification. She would have known that there is a simple, safe, and proven home procedure for resolving earaches in a few minutes (garlic-infused olive oil and hot compress). She would have known that for very serious or chronic infection there are non-toxic naturopathic alternatives to pharmaceutical antibiotics (oral oregano oil and intravenous ascorbate). And she would have known what to do in the case of antibiotic allergy to mitigate the anaphylactic response (caffeine).

I don’t know what else to say. She did help a lot of people to understand that the HIV label should not lead them to take deadly pharmaceutical drugs. But in her life and work the question must be asked: was the advice she was giving to others, and to herself, complete?



I just came across this, and feel compelled to comment on Jonathan’s comments. Asthma, auto-immunity and anaphylaxis aren’t limited to being “last-chance” over-reactions to toxins. My own experience as a health-conscious, non-drinking young adult was this: no medications to speak of for the first two decades of my life, at least not that I can recall, not even over-the-counter pain relief. Then, the birth control pill, an infection, and antibiotic-induced anaphylactic shock.

Dr. David Newman, emergency room physician, and author of Hippoctrates’ Shadow, calculates 24,000 life-threatening allergic reactions to unnecessarily prescribed antibiotics alone each year in the US. It’s not uncommon.

Also, Jonathan suggests naturopathic medicines such as high dose vitamin C, oregano oil etc as viable and overlooked treatment options. While I write about the dangers of pharmaceuticals and encourage the use of orthomolecular and functional medicines, they guarantee nothing either. I used to work in hospital. People die, with or without drugs, with or without alternatives.

Some of us are the canaries in the coal mine. Close to half of us are genetically not yet equipped to recycle glutathione, which means mother and daughter may well have shared that disadvantage. And given the level of stress Christine was under after her daughter’s death, and given that stress is an effective way to deplete glutathione, it isn’t at all surprising that Christine’s health faltered.

I’m not suggesting we do nothing when we know we have chronic health problems; I’m just saying that there are no guarantees anywhere. The reality is that life, no matter what medicines we choose, comes with risk of death.


Liam, Liam, Liam.
Exactly. There is no need for judgement, only a will to accept what happened and understand it as fully as possible. We are none of us perfect, and yes we will all die. Of something.
She was a shining light, but that doesn’t mean she was wise in everything. She was, in the end, merely, and magnificently, human.


I think it is very sad that Christine wanted to leave dissidency but the role had swallowed her with no room for manouvre and she became a victim of it as did her daughter. She did not get enough guidance on either side of the fence and was lost in the battle ground that ensued. I think dissidency must move away from mud slinging and demonising in order to leave space for people to —-breathe , revise , unthreatened by doing so – from whatever ‘camp’ they journey into or out of .If the bottom line is “Life no matter what medicine we choose comes with the risk of Death” , than lets all go back to our anti retrovirals and stay mum. It is time to start truly providing alternatives based on the reality of peoples budgets , circumstances and psychological mindset also. Claus Koehnlien has a very pragmatic approach as does Juliane Sachar – dont throw everything away for hard won principles – flexibility . A little girl died before her time…….she may not have had AIDS or HIV , three weeks of an earache, sepsis and toxic shock would have been enough to end her life. That is a cruel lesson and may seem disloyal to dissident sentiments and all of the well meant big hearted arguments for gentler medicines, transparency , kinder language and less socially murderous profiling of the enigmatic HIV that we know is such a terrible ‘truth’ , as easily untrue as it is true , a play of words and constructs that tears lives apart , criminalises innocent or vulnerable people, mugs an unprepared public with its lowest common denominator messagespeak, so over simplified it beggars belief, so socially devisive and destructive , a vehicle for witch hunts against the Papua New Guineans and other indigenous peoples , excuse for mass circumcisions , sterilisations and caesareans, convictions for breastfeeding and natural home birth , the decommissioning of so many viable young adults in the pursuit of the new Global Health Ethic ……Christine tried to do a good thing. Her inconclusive tests put her in a terrible terrible position , and here Science must be held accountable . The great cover up around AZT was a second trauma for her – she watched as the entire board of the womens group she participated in – died on medication. She was haunted by it and a feeling of being told a lie , and she did not want her little girl to be involved in a politically tainted medical model.


Liam Reply:

Well said, Julianna..


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