Badpuppy Gay Today

Monday, 21 April, 1997


Angry Response From AIDS Activist About Positive-Thought Guru

By Jack Nichols


Louise Hay's books, camp meetings and top-heavy missionary positioning in the nationwide AIDS community once touched thoughtful onlookers as, possibly, a needed phenomenon prior to the availability of life-prolonging drugs. Some feel there's demonstrable value in the illusions she peddles.

Aren't there, after all, some beliefs that, fortunately, ease fearful minds, beliefs such as affect folks in foxholes who are never supposed to be atheists? Or would it be best to encourage those situated in such locales to breathe deeply of the madness of the war closing in around them? Perhaps, some argue, that with eyes fully open they'd see possible alternatives to death instead of negotiating with eyes closed their imaginary shares in Pie in the Sky.

Paul Martino an able AIDS activist, now deceased, taught AIDS counselors how to respond to calls made to the Florida AIDS Hotline in Tallahassee. HIV-positive himself, Martino worked himself into exhaustion in activist trenches, living in a virtual foxhole day and night. He'd watched, with extreme anxiety as his own brother had succumbed to the hated virus.

Before Martino's death I asked him, jokingly, about Louise Hay, expecting, as was characteristic of him, a gut-level response. "Does Louise Hay have the truth?" I laughed. He reacted with dismay, and agreed to give a written response to the question. This response included quotes from a Louise Hay audiotape. Her diagnosis of AIDS-caused maladies infuriated Martino:

LOUISE HAY TAPE: "Lung and breathing problems indicate that on a very deep level we feel we do not have the right to take in life, to take up space, perhaps even to exist.

Blood problems indicate a lack of joy in the system.

Fevers are anger expressing itself.

When there are things we do not wish to look at, our vision may begin to fail."

PAUL MARTINO: These attempts by Ms. Hay at diagnostic sophistication are soothing, narcissistic solipsisms to some and fucking bullshit to others---these quotations are from Louise Hay's "AIDS: A Positive Approach," an overpriced and outdated audiotape available at your local metaphysical market. You'll probably find it at a point-of-purchase display, very close to the cash register and next to those damned crystals. Ignore your impulse to buy it for your newly diagnosed friend and walk on by, giving this tape wide berth. Instead, spend your money on a decent ACT UP T-shirt. You and your friend will instantly feel better than Louise could ever make you feel.

Sister Louise, the psycho-babbling New Age Goddess of Immunology, wants us all to have our egotism and eat it too. Her big thesis states: "Mental patterns create experiences." This is Louise's fudgy way of saying that babies born with AIDS "choose" to do so. Having tested positive for the HIV-anti-body, I have run out of any patience I might ever have had for Louise Hay's AIDS-referenced New Age cant. What this dangerous crackpot is telling me after a glorious lifetime of sucking and fucking and three years of non-stop AIDS activism is that I have this disease because I want to have it. Louise Hay can bite my crank.

I face an unknown future and the possibility of battling a mycobacterium avium intercellularum infection for which there are only partially effective treatments and no cure. (I have cultured positive for MAI but remain aysymptomatic.) If and when I get sick, I will not need to hear this woman's fantasy that the reason I'm gasping for air or writhing in pain from a visceral abcess is because I feel I don't have the right to take in life. Louise, darling, if condomized cocksucking and buttfucking isn't "taking in life," what is?

If my blood work begins to show problems, I won't need Louise Hay chirping in my ears, "Blood problems indicate a lack of joy in the system." If and when my blood tests reveal a declining immunological competence, it will be because I did not have available to me a low-cost, nontoxic, antiretroviral prophylaxis because the FDA, the drug companies and the (slow-moving) administration (the enterprises that are really killing people) aren't interested in saving a faggot's life. Bite down on it, Louise, joyfully even.

Spiking fevers of 105 followed by spine-racking chills and 75 to 100 daily attacks of a diarrhea so vicious and debilitating it will destroy your asshole forever (even if you could recover) are not "anger expressing itself," Louise. These words of mine are. What causes the fevers are known (and often unknown) pathogens for which we still have no reliable treatments. If La Hay and those who actually buy her tape and use it would spend their energies advocating immediate development and distribution of drugs to treat opportunistic infections in all people with AIDS, instead of referring everything to the "self," we might not be getting sick and dying by the tens of thousands today. And is it just me or does everyone else out there go out of their minds with rage when they hear that another person with AIDS has died but "had healed his life and was at peace?"

Louise Hay has her head so far up her fundamental aperture it won't be able to fall out until she walks, fecal-eyed, trembling and leaking peace of mind into some fucking tunnel of pure white light at the end of her life. This white light may be the hallucination some envious New Agers are creepily and not-very-gently trying to jam down our throats these days, but I am not at all willing to merge into the Cosmic Oneness just yet. Piss off, Louise; just shut up and withdraw your tapes and books from humanity.

My brother, Jay, who died from AIDS this past July, went blind in the months before his death because of a retinitis infection; so when Louise Hay stupidly proposes that "When there are things we do not wish to look at...(What, KS lesions?)..our vision may begin to fail," I want to grab her by the shoulders and demand that she stop victimizing me with her barely concealed blaming and hectoring. I have enough to cope with; I don't need Louise Hay's or anyone else's half-assed lunatic metaphysics. Louise Hay is telling me that I have AIDS because I want to have it, and that only if I would stop wanting it and needing it, it would go away and I will have "mastered" it. She's telling me that if I think and feel the "correct" way, her way, I can "heal" my life by dying. As long as I'm around I'll be agitating for the Big Science to service my medical needs, not Louise Hay and her Big Lie.

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