Comments on the old blog

A quick announcement:

I’ve been having a bit of a comment spam problem on the old blog, which is now mothballed and is only maintained as an archive site. Consequently, over the next few days to weeks, I am going to march through all the posts and disable comments.

I hate comment spammers.


  1. #1 GrrlScientist
    March 3, 2006

    I left comments enabled on my blogspot blog, but comments are moderated now. that way, i can delete the spams directly from my email account without them ever appearing on my blog. this allows real people to still comment, if they wish. you might want to give that a try, first.

  2. #2 Kapitano
    March 3, 2006

    Who are these people who think spamming an archive is a way to win an argument? You don’t see scientists bombing creationist blogs with bait and insults, or even fat people sending hundreds of ranting comments to pro-anorexia sites, so what is it with these people?

  3. #3 BronzeDog
    March 3, 2006

    My guess: They want to be able to make an argument from silence. “Oh, I guess Orac couldn’t answer my inane, rambling questions and unfounded assertions that I posted in an obscure part of his old blog. He’s hiding from the TRUTH!”

  4. #4 Ali
    March 3, 2006

    In blogger settings, go to the comments section, and select ‘only members of this blog’ under ‘who can post?’

    That may do the trick.

  5. #5 John Morgan
    March 3, 2006

    Shouldn’t one love comment spammers? After all, their reaction tells us we’re hitting the nail on the head with what we post.

    I believe it’s a kind of coded capitulation on their part. They’re saying,”I lost the argument, so now I’m going to get petulent.”

  6. #6 DJ
    March 3, 2006

    I think Orac’s referring to the ads for [v ia gr a ] and [p or nsi tes] from spambotters. I think the comment moderation suggestion is the best way to go.

  7. #7 reallyreallyreallysick
    March 3, 2006

    Dear Orac/Respectful Insolence

    I could not find an email address for you, so I thought I would post this here on the off chance you might be as sick as I am about this. Researchers in the hard sciences find it hard to get and maintain funding, but THIS gets money. Maybe we should just put pastors and witch doctors into the hospitals- they get paid less, and are seemingly almost as effective at treating everything.

    When did this CAM funding trend start? It seems like more and more mainstream hospitals are either embracing it, or the money it brings in. Do you all have “faith based” support for EVERYTHING now? What about cancer centres that use alternative therapies alongside conventional therapies. Is there any evidence it works? SOrry this post is so long, and I hope you can answer some of my questions. I have relatives who are talking alternative medicine and I just don’t understand how this makes sense.

    Another question- if faith helps a prognosis , does that mean that athiests die sooner of diseases like cancer etc. Have there actually been studies done on this question? This article said that people with no faith chose another soothing phrase to say over and over again- UMM Okay. I could not read the actual journal article, but I would be curious to see if they had more stress. Otherwise why not just repeat SHAZAM SHAZAM SHAZAM all day?

    US Research Shows How Mantrams Can Even Tackle Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    This Article
    Also Appears In
    Mental Health

    Main Category: Psychology/Psychiatry News
    Article Date: 03 Mar 2006 – 0:00am (UK)

    Repeating mantrams can help control the symptoms post-traumatic stress disorder, have a calming effect in traffic and even ease the boredom of exercise, according to a study in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing.

    83 per cent of veterans and hospital staff surveyed after a five-week mantram course told researchers from the US Department of Veterans Affairs that they found the technique – which involves silently and continuously repeating calming words or phrases throughout the day – useful on a number of occasions. Just under a quarter of these occasions (24 per cent) related to traffic and work-related stress, 13 per cent to insomnia and 12 per cent to unwanted thoughts. More than half (51 per cent) related to emotional situations.

    “Repeating the mantram seemed to stop post-traumatic stress disorder-type dreams that had occurred for 10 to 11 years” said a former veteran and one of the 66 people taking part in the survey.

    “I have racing thoughts. I think about a ton of things – what I’m going to do about this and what I’m going to do about that – and then I start the mantram and it helps” added another.

    A third found that using a mantram had an unexpectedly healthy side effect, commenting: “I use it sometimes when I’m on the treadmill at the gym. When I’m wishing that the time would go a little faster. And I’ll just start using my mantram and then I forget about it and it helps me exercise a little longer.”

    “The people taking part in the study found that silently repeating a specific word or phrase helped them to handle a number of difficult situations” explains lead researcher Jill E Bormann, Research Nurse Scientist at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System in California.

    Dr Bormann and her fellow researchers – from the Universities of California and North Carolina – deliberately chose two highly stressed groups to take part in the study.

    “Veterans are well known to have many chronic physical and mental health symptoms that interfere with their quality of life and their ability to live normal everyday lives. Similarly, hospital employees have high levels of job stress, leading to decreased job satisfaction and subsequent increases in healthcare costs” she explains.

    People taking part in the five-week course, which comprised a one-and-a-half hour session a week, were taught to choose and repeat a cue word or mantram frequently during the day, using guidelines drawn from The Mantram Handbook by Eknath Easwaran of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in Tomales, California.

    Easwaran describes mantrams as a “spiritual formula for transformation”. Dr Bormann calls them a “jacuzzi for the mind”, adding that “using a word that embodies spirituality helps to initiate the relaxation response and centeredness.”

    “People taking part in our study were encouraged to use the mantram during ordinary and relaxing times, so that they associated it with a calming effect when they needed to use it during times of turmoil” she explains. “Easwaran advises that people use it when they need it and use it when they don’t!”

    Most of the volunteers from southern California who took part chose words or phrases that reflected their religious beliefs. People without specific beliefs chose other soothing phrases.

    29 of the 30 veterans were male, with an average age of 63. Seven had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder and six suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

    31 of the 36 hospital staff were female with an average age of 50 and two had a psychiatric diagnosis.

    “Mantram repetition may be useful in diverse modern populations for managing a variety of internal emotional states that sometimes appear endemic to technological society, such as anger, frustration and impatience” says Dr Bormann.

    Dr Bormann has just received research funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out further investigation into the benefits of mantram repetition for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

    She has also been working on a project to see if mantram repetition decreases anger and increases spiritual faith in adults with HIV.

    — Mantram repetition for stress management in veterans and employees: a critical incident study. Jill Bormann et al. VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California, USA. Journal of Advanced Nursing. Volume 53.5. Pages 502-512. (March 2006). — The Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System provides acute and primary care to San Diego veterans through its medical center and community clinics. It is a designated Center of Excellence for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    — Journal of Advanced Nursing, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2006, is read by experienced nurses, midwives, health visitors and advanced nursing students in over 80 countries. It informs, educates, explores, debates and challenges the foundations of nursing health care knowledge and practice worldwide. Edited by Professor Alison Tierney, it is published 24 times a year by Blackwell Publishing Ltd, part of the international Blackwell Publishing group.

  8. #8 John
    March 3, 2006

    Have you seen this?

    Lead-Poisoning Drug Is Linked to 2 Deaths

    Both were in children; one was an autism chelation therapy.

  9. #9 HCN
    March 4, 2006

    I wandered over to Old Orac… I noticed that the comment spam was from companies with names like “herbal health” and “alternative medicine”. These guys are much like the folks who spammed another blog

    And yet there is this Usenet Nut who claims that there are “Pharma Bloggers” on the newsgroup!

    I have the feeling the “alt-health” blog spammers are more active than any “Pharma-Bloggers”.

    … and I again say to PeterB: “Where’s my check!!!”.

  10. #10 HCN
    March 4, 2006

    John, full”>this is the CDC report that came from. It is always nice to have the “original source”. Note that the THIRD death was an adult withOUT any evidence of coronary artery disease in a naturapath’s clinic, claiming it was to remove “heavy metal”.

    This may just be the tip of an iceburg.

  11. #11 HCN
    March 4, 2006

    Oh, blast! I screwed up the URL (never post after bedtime!)…

    Here it is: Deaths Associated with Hypocalcemia from Chelation Therapy

    (reminder: use the “Preview” button!”

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