Respectful Insolence

What is it with cranks and trying to shut down criticism?

I know, I know. I’ve written about this before, but this week has been a banner week for a phenomenon that I consider a sine qua non of a crank or a quack, namely an intolerance of criticism. Seemingly, whenever a quack or a crank encounters serious criticism, the first reaction is almost never to try to argue based on facts, reason, and science, but rather to try to silence the person doing the criticizing. The tactics are many and varied, but the end goal is always the same: Suppress the criticism by any means necessary. The very first example I ever became interested in predates this blog and was David Irving’s attempt to silence Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt in the late 1990s. I’ve blogged about numerous examples of cranks trying to silence their critics, including the Society of Homeopaths or the quack Joseph Chikelue Obi using legal threats to silence Andy Lewis and, just last year, the British Chiropractic Association abusing the U.K.’s notoriously plaintiff-friendly libel laws to silence Simon Singh.

I experienced this problem very early in my blogging “career.” In April 2005, a mere five months after I started this blog, a cancer quack by the name of William O’Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Center “outed” me and started sending legal threats to me, my division chief, my department chair, and my cancer center director. One thing I learned from that incident was that my superiors were far more tolerant than I had feared of my little hobby. Even so, it gave me a scare. My young blog very well may have died that month, but fortunately my department chair had some rather scathing things to say about Mr. O’Neill. From then on out, whenever he sent me a legal threat, I replied unctuously but making it a point to cc:–you guessed it–my department chair, division chief, and cancer center director.

A few months later, anti-vaccine maven Pat Sullivan followed suit. Since then, several times cranks have “outed” me. One crank in particular, J.B. Handley of Generation Rescue and Age of Autism, has become almost predictable in his antics, having launched at least three broadsides against me. Last year, in response to one of J.B.’s semiregular broadsides against me someone e-mailed my cancer center director. Most recently, Morgellons disease crank Marc Neumann (who, it appears, has blocked my IP address) has been making vacuous legal threats against me because I applied a bit of insolence to his crankery. I must admit, he’s actually a little scary because he strikes me as being rather disturbed. Be that as it may, after five years in the blogosphere, another six or seven years before that on Usenet, and a few years before that on various online discussion forums, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that cranks despise criticism and will often do anything to stop it. True, it’s not just cranks who will sometimes try to shut down criticism, but cranks are particularly prone to it to the point where I consider it one of the diagnostic criteria for quacks, pseudoscientists, and cranks.

Because I’ve had a few scares myself over the year and because, valuing free speech, I really, really despise people who try to shut up legitimate criticism with intimidation, legal threats, or threats of “outing.” I mean really, really despise them. They induce a simmering, white hot rage in me that occasionally bubbles over into this blog. That’s why I really, really despise cancer quack (in my opinion, of course) Andrea Moritz. However, I despise him all the more because I take care of cancer patients, and Moritz preys on the patients whose care I have dedicated my life to and to improving. As PZ Myers points out, Moritz reacted to criticism of his quackery by a student named Michael Hawkins by getting WordPress to pull his blog. WordPress, in an act of pure cowardice, obliged Moritz initially, although the site appears to be up again under a different name. The specific reason that Moritz stated as his reason for complaining to WordPress was–well, let’s hear it from the quack himself:

Michael Hawkins,

You may blame me for having your blog pulled. WorldPress had to remove your blog because otherwise it would have faced a hefty lawsuit, given the nature of the defamation campaign you had launched against me, and having positioned your blog link second place on the search engines.

http://www.google.com/search?q=Andreas+Moritz&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

I have not yet decided whether to sue you for defamation. I have asked my attorneys to assess the damages your defamation campaign has done to my work, business, and reputation since your blog has been up. I know that they are significant, but if they turn out to be an excessive loss of revenue and reputation and/or if I see any more defaming publications by you or your blog friends against me or Dr. Makoney, I will not hesitate to launch an expensive lawsuit against you that you will not forget for a long time. I have collected all the data of your blogs and publications involving me. Your last email to Dr. Makoney clearly shows that you are instigating a new defamation campaign, at least against him.

My investigations show me where you live and where you study (Augusta, Amine), and if I hear or see any further activities that involve me or Dr. Makoney you will need to hire a good attorney to defend your slanderous actions and campaigns.

My close friend, Dr Deepak Chopra, who in addition to Dr Makoney and myself have been viciously attacked by your friend, the fish zoologist, PZ Myers, are considering a lawsuit against him. Slander is slander, whether it is done online or offline. If your friend is wise, he will immediately remove those blogs from his site.

Just in case you are not aware of it, below are stated the laws that protect people like me against people like you.

Sincerely,
Andreas Moritz

That’s right, Moritz is threatening a lawsuit against a student because a blog post by that student criticizing his quackery reached number two on google searches for his name. Still, I’m disappointed. Apparently my post about Moritz from two years ago didn’t register. I never got a complaint from Andreas Moritz. I’m hurt. Clearly, one doesn’t get the attention of cancer quacks like Moritz unless one’s post makes it to the first page of Google searches on his name, thus threatening his business Looking back over my old post on Moritz, though, I’m appalled. He’s among the most dangerous of “practitioners” pushing woo on cancer patients. He clearly believes in a variant of Ryke Hamer’s German New Medicine in that he postulates a “wisdom of cancer cells” and that cancer is not a disease but a reaction to some other insult a “healing mechanism” that kicks in only after all the other healing mechanisms of the body have failed. Like Hamer, Moritz blames “unresolved conflicts,” of which the cancer is somehow a manifestation.

If you want to get a good idea of the depth of Moritz’s ignorance, check out this article on his website Can You Trust Chemotherapy to Cure Your Cancer? It’s chock full of the most common misinformation about chemotherapy out there presented in a style of which Mike Adams would be proud. Indeed, he shows an astounding ignorance of the basic biology of cancer in discussing the death of Tony Snow:

The media headlines proclaimed Snow died from colon cancer, although they knew he didn’t have a colon anymore. Apparently, the malignant cancer had “returned” (from where?) and “spread” to the liver and elsewhere in his body. In actual fact, the colon surgery severely restricted his normal eliminative functions, thereby overburdening the liver and tissue fluids with toxic waste. The previous series of chemo-treatments inflamed and irreversibly damaged a large number of cells in his body, and also impaired his immune system — a perfect recipe for growing new cancers. Now unable to heal the causes of the original cancer (in addition to the newly created ones), Snow’s body developed new cancers in the liver and other parts of the body.

Moritz’s flaming stupid threatens to incinerate the earth. Did he wonder where the colon cancer could have come from even though Snow had had a colectomy? Apparently Moritz is unaware that cancer can spread as microscopic tumor deposits that serve as the basis of metastatic disease. That’s why surgery is not always curative; if there weren’t metastatic deposits in other organs some percentage of the time, then there wouldn’t be any need for adjuvant chemotherapy to try to wipe them out. It is from these deposits that metastatic disease can sometimes blossom months or even years after apparently curative surgery. Also note how Moritz, true to most “alt-med” anti-chemotherapy rants, blames Snow’s cancer on “toxins,” this time because somehow his colon surgery had caused him to accumulate “toxic waste” and–of course!–damaged his immune system.

But, wait. I thought that Moritz claims that cancer is actually a reaction to unresolved conflicts and is in fact a healing mechanism. Oh, well, consistency isn’t among most quacks’ virtues.

But back to Moritz’ quackery. Next, he uses an anti-chemotherapy trope so old and tired that it was probably around when the dinosaurs were around; that is, if dinosaurs used chemotherapy:

An investigation by the Department of Radiation Oncology, Northern Sydney Cancer Centre, Australia, into the contribution of chemotherapy to 5-year survival in 22 major adult malignancies, showed startling results: The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the USA.” [Royal North Shore Hospital Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2005 Jun;17(4):294.]

Wrong again. I discussed this gambit with my usual attention to detail. At the time, I pointed out that this particular study is beloved of woo-meisters everywhere, but it is not a very good study. Indeed, if I were more cynical, I’d say that it appears almost intentionally designed to have left out the very types of cancers for which chemotherapy provides the most benefit. Also, it uses 5 year survival exclusively, completely neglecting that chemotherapy can prevent late relapses. Adding to the impression that the study was custom-designed to minimize the apparent benefit of chemotherapy found, there were also a lot of inconsistencies and omissions in that leukemias were not included, while leukemia is one type of cancer against which chemotherapy is highly efficacious; indeed, leukemia is treated with and, when it is cured, cured by chemotherapy. The very technique of lumping all newly diagnosed adult cancers together is guaranteed to obscure benefits of chemotherapy among subgroups because it lumps in patients for whom chemotherapy is not even indicated! A letter to the editor listed these problems in detail, as well as pointing out that even in advanced cancer chemotherapy can be palliative and prolong median survival.

Another aspect of the study that always bothered me is that it appeared to lump patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy in with those undergoing chemotherapy for cure or palliation. Adjuvant chemotherapy is given after surgery in order to decrease the rate of recurrence, but the truly curative modality is the surgery itself. In early stage cancer, the absolute benefit of chemotherapy in terms of prolonging survival tends to be modest, often single digit percentages. Lumping adjuvant therapy in with other uses of chemotherapy again appears custom-designed to decrease the apparent survival benefit due to chemotherapy.

Next, Moritz pulls another study out of his nether regions:

In 1990, the highly respected German epidemiologist, Dr. Ulrich Abel from the Tumor Clinic of the University of Heidelberg, conducted the most comprehensive investigation of every major clinical study on chemotherapy drugs ever done. Abel contacted 350 medical centers and asked them to send him anything they had ever published on chemotherapy. He also reviewed and analyzed thousands of scientific articles published in the most prestigious medical journals. It took Abel several years to collect and evaluate the data. Abel’s epidemiological study, which was published on August 10, 1991 in The Lancet, should have alerted every doctor and cancer patient about the risks of one of the most common treatments used for cancer and other diseases. In his paper, Abel came to the conclusion that the overall success rate of chemotherapy was “appalling.” According to this report, there was no scientific evidence available in any existing study to show that chemotherapy can “extend in any appreciable way the lives of patients suffering from the most common organic cancers.”

I looked for this study. In fact, I went to The Lancet‘s website and looked up the August 10, 1991 issue. I could find no study by Ulrich Abel or anything about chemotherapy other than this study on stroke after chemotherapy for testicular cancer. So I went to PubMed and searched on Ulrich Abel’s name for 1991. All I could find were two articles, one on common infections in chemotherapy patients and another on Crohn’s disease. So I started searching other years, and then I found what appears to be the paper to which Moritz referred, only it wasn’t published in 1991 but rather in 1992 and it wasn’t published in The Lancet but rather in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, a much lower tier journal. Unfortunately, my university’s access to this journal only goes back to 1995; so I don’t have access to the full article. However, the abstract is very odd. Dr. Abel states that “as a result of the analysis and the comments received from hundreds of oncologists in reply to a request for information, the following facts can be noted.” This is indeed very odd. This appears neither to be a meta-analysis or a systematic review, and it’s not clear to me what Dr. Abel did. If anyone has access to the article, please send it to me. (ADDENDUM: Thanks to the two of you who sent me a copy of the paper. It’s even thinner gruel than I had guessed. I can now see why it wasn’t published in The Lancet.) I also note that since 1992, Dr. Abel has been co-author on a number of studies involving chemotherapy, for instance, a trial in nephroblastoma and a clinical trial of high dose chemotherapy in aggressive lymphoma. As recently as 2009, Dr. Abel was co-author on a randomized multicenter study comparing two different chemotherapy regimens in pancreatic cancer. Yes, pancreatic cancer, that most intractable of cancer problems with a five-year survival rate of only around 20% in the most favorable cases; i.e., the ones that can be completely resected surgically. Clearly, Dr. Abel buys into the evil big pharma propaganda that chemotherapy can cure at least some forms of cancer and, as far as I can tell, has never written a followup to his 1992 paper. I’m half-tempted to send Dr. Abel Mr. Moritz’s article and other examples of the abuse of his work by quacks and see what he says.

I also can’t help but wonder: If Moritz is either sloppy with or lying about this citation, what other information is he playing fast and loose with? After all, he made up cited a date of publication to make it sound very authoritative that Abel’s paper appeared in The Lancet, knowing that few, if any, of his target audience would–oh, you know–actually go and try to look up the primary source. Unfortunately for Mr. Moritz, Orac almost always tries to look up the primary source when he sees a woo-meister cite a study in support of his claims. In any case, even if Mr. Moritz represented Abel’s study accurately, it’s an 18 year old article, and its methodology is unclear to me, at least now. Besides, few oncologists would disagree with this statement, “With few exceptions, there is no good scientific basis for the application of chemotherapy in symptom-free patients with advanced epithelial malignancy.” And, indeed, most oncologists do not recommend chemotherapy for patients with stage IV disease who are asymptomatic, because at that point all treatment is palliative and chemotherapy is, in most cases, reserved for when tumor progression leads to symptoms. Morover, this study only examined epithelial malignancies. These are cancers for which surgery can be curative if the tumor has not metastasized. Since 1991, also, we have made huge strides in improving survival using chemotherapy. I’ve used the example of colorectal cancer before, where, thanks to newer and better chemotherapy regimens developed over the last couple of decades that have improved survival in patients with liver metastases from 6 months to close to two years.

After this, I thought that Moritz couldn’t go any further off the deep end, but he does:

Chemotherapy has never been shown to have curative effects for cancer.

This is a either a lie or so wrong as to be not even wrong, pure and simple. If Moritz actually believes this, he is too stupid to be allowed near a patient. Strike that. He is too stupid to be allowed near a patient, period. Chemotherapy, sometimes with radiation therapy, can cure Hodgkins lymphoma, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, leukemia, testicular cancer, and other malignancies.

But, no, Moritz still subscribes to a variant of the German New Medicine, leading him to lay down a blistering barrage of lethal (to cancer patients) stupid:

By contrast, the body can still cure itself, which it actually tries to do by developing cancer. Cancer is more a healing response than it is a disease. The “disease” is the body’s attempt to cure itself of an existing imbalance. And sometimes, this healing response continues even if a person is subjected to chemotherapy (and/or radiation). Unfortunately, as the previously mentioned research has demonstrated, the chances for a real cure are greatly reduced when patients are treated with chemotherapy drugs.

The worst thing about the German New Medicine is that, like so much “alt-med,” it blames the patient. If the patient can’t “resolve his conflict,” the “healing process” of the cancer will kill him. If a patient undergoes chemotherapy, in Moritz’s world not only will it not save his life but it will prevent Moritz’s woo from working. It is truly despicable, and it is why Moritz, like Ryke Hamer, is a cancer quack. Hell, he’s just a quack. After all, he is into liver flushes:

Colon cleansing and liver flushes, it doesn’t get much more quacky than that. Or HIV/AIDS denialism. Or antivaccine pseudoscience. Or this:

Before committing themselves to being poisoned, cancer patients need to question their doctors and ask them to produce the research or evidence that shrinking a tumor actually translates to any increase in survival. If they tell you that chemotherapy is your best chance of surviving, you will know they are lying or are simply misinformed. As Abel’s research clearly demonstrated, there is no such evidence anywhere to be found in the medical literature. Subjecting patients to chemotherapy robs them of a fair chance of finding or responding to a real cure and deserves criminal prosecution.

Project much, Mr. Moritz?

Actually, I’d say that, if Mr. Moritz is really treating cancer patients according to the principles he espouses in his two articles on cancer on his website, then it is he who deserves criminal prosecution. Where’s the South Carolina medical board when you need it? Or where’s its attorney general, given that Moritz appears to be practicing medicine without a license? After all, I don’t see any medical degree, medical license, or even a naturopathic medical license listed anywhere on his website. All that is there is a description of Moritz as a “medical intuitive; a practitioner of Ayurveda, iridology, shiatsu, and vibrational medicine; a writer; and an artist.”

As I’ve said before, I treat breast cancer patients. As with all practitioners of science-based medicine, we have data for our treatments, and it’s data that stretches back to the 19th century for surgery and back to the 1940s for chemotherapy. One study using unclear methods published in an obscure journal 18 years ago or another study seemingly custom-designed to decrease the apparent benefit of chemotherapy does not change that, nor are these studies enough to cast doubt on what we do know about chemotherapy. What data does Moritz have? None. Zero. Nada. Zip. All he has is a claim that he has had “great success with cases of terminal disease where conventional methods of healing proved futile.” No doubt he has data that document his 5- and 10-year disease-free survival and overall survival rates by cancer type and stage to back up that statement. After all, if he does have that data, and his results really are far superior to science-based medicine, he could publish them in The Lancet. (Sorry, couldn’t resist–maybe he should try for Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy first.) Sure he does. Sure he can make me and others who call him a quack choke on our words. I’m sure he can produce scores of 10 year survivors of stage IV cancers with well documented case histories to back up his claims, right?

Yeah, right.

I know the reason that cranks like Moritz can’t stand criticism. It’s because they fear it. They are not used to defending their practices against informed, science-based criticism, as real scientists and science-based physicians have to do all the time. Worse, when the criticism starts muscling in on their Google search results, it threatens their ability to take advantage of desperate cancer patients. So their reaction to criticism is to lash out, to try to make it stop. They don’t have the goods, as science-based medicine does, and I suspect that at some level most of them know they don’t. All that leaves is threasts, bullying, and intimidation to try to shut down critics.

A sine qua non of the true crank.

Comments

  1. #1 khym.chanur
    February 19, 2010

    He has some… “interesting” things to say about carcinogens. In a quote in the now-gone Michael Hawkin’s post, Moritz said that carcinogens weaken all of the other healing systems in the body, leaving only the last-line-of-defense cancer to keep the person alive. Then in Lifting the Veil of Duality:

    Without our (unconscious) permission the radiation from a nuclear power plant or the carcinogens from a chemical factory could not touch or harm us in any way.

    So I guess that, the closer that someone was to the ground-zero of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, the more likely they were to have granted that permission. (Also, I’m guessing that he would claim that radiation acts by disrupting all of the non-cancer healing mechanisms in the body, since it absolutely, positively isn’t the radiation causing a mutation which leads to a cell dividing without end).

    Also: you say that he’s an AIDS denialist, but there’s some indication (he’s given some contradictory statements on the matter) that he’s a germ theory denialist. If someone’s a germ theory denialist, should you even bother calling them an AIDS denlaist? It seems like it would be like calling a flat-Earther a moon-hoaxer.

  2. #2 DLC
    February 19, 2010

    No doubt Moritz will now write to Seed and sciblogs managers to try and get your post pulled. He won’t succeed, but he’ll try. Honestly, I really wish anybody who threatened to sue would be thereafter compelled to do so, at the peril of being fined for abuse of the courts and at the peril of “loser pays”. Moritz and his kind would rapidly shut the hell up if they had to pony up bucks every time they made threats.

    PS: for WordPress: freakin grow some spine, you losers!

  3. #3 Michael Meadon
    February 19, 2010

    Thanks for this, Orac. I think everybody with a blog should publicize this outrage: WordPress should be shamed and Moritz should face the full wrath of teh internets. Let’s make THIS page number two on Google! I feel a Google Bomb coming on…

  4. #4 Andreas Schaefer
    February 19, 2010

    looks like one can access Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy online – if one has an account and you are more likely to have one than me. ( or your workplace may have ).

    If no other source turns up – tell me and I can go and xerox at the other end of town. (seems that German Central Medical Library is local and grants free access locally. Besides back in the 80s I I worked as a student in the predecessor [ Cologne University Med Lib] doing xeroxing for interlibrary exchange )
    I like living in Cologne

  5. #6 ngong
    February 19, 2010

    Why is it that so many quacks seem to have an “unresolved” fear of shit?

  6. #7 Bill
    February 19, 2010

    It seems to me that there are two types of quack. There are the ones that know that they are peddling BS and there are the ones that genuinely believe in what they are saying.

    In the first case, it is easy to see why they threaten lawsuits etc; they know that that is the only line of defence they have.

    In the second case, I can’t really see the rationale, because if they genuinely believe then they would argue the position that convinced them in the first place. They clearly aren’t aware of the weakness of their position if they believe it, so they would argue it and not threaten to sue.

    Therefore, it would seem to me that those that threaten lawsuits are probably the ones that are genuine fraudsters. I think they are the more despicable of the two types. The second I feel a little sorry for because they are basing their lives around a lie and don’t know it (think Catholic priests!)

    Worth noting, I have read about this on Respectful Insolence, Pharygula and the original WordPress blog of Michael Hawkins. On Michael’s blog, Christopher Maloney, who Michael’s original criticisn was targetted at, has turned up to rant and rave and try and defend his case. I haven’t yet seen him here or at Pharyngula.

    One difference between the three blogs is that Michael is still a student – is this an example of a bully trying to take advantage of a (perceived) weaker opponent? I think that Moritz and Maloney are too scared to come over here or to Pharyngula and try and debate their position, because they know they are out of their league; while on Michael’s blog, they don’t realise they are.

    I think, by the way, that Michael’s original post was excellent and I am in no way saying that his view is of lesser value because he is a student – just that M&M may think it is.

  7. #8 Bill
    February 19, 2010

    Oops, my bad. Maloney did show up at Pharyngula, using for some reason I can’t fathom, the handle Quackalicious. There goes that theory!

  8. #9 Richard Eis
    February 19, 2010

    Why is it that so many quacks seem to have an “unresolved” fear of shit?

    I don’t know, but he should be thankful that that fear doesn’t actually cause cancer…

  9. #10 The Domestic Goddess
    February 19, 2010

    So it isn’t enough that Cancer patients are dying of a horrible disease, now they are going to get blamed for it? Because they have unresolved anger and conflict?

    Life ain’t all daisies and rainbows, yo. Perhaps this is part of his problem. He’s unrealistic and seeing actual unicorns.

  10. #11 perceval
    February 19, 2010

    Go, Orac, GO! Make mincemeat out of that buffoon.

    Agreed, chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation did NOT cure my mother-in-law, she’s had several recurrences of her original ovarian cancer over the last couple of years. It only enabled her to see her three grandchildren be born and be there when her eldest grandchild started school. Relevant? I think so.

  11. #12 v
    February 19, 2010

    oh my god, I’m putting on weight below my belly button, If my liver continues being abused like this I may have to wear those terrible pants like “dr” Moritz! eeek save me now, flush my liver with vodka

  12. #13 Rene Najera
    February 19, 2010

    I say bring it on. No more out-of-court settlements. I propose we create a fund whereby any of use being sued can raise money for our defense. Then we can force THEM to put everything on the table at the time of discovery.

  13. #14 Kristen
    February 19, 2010

    The very technique of lumping all newly diagnosed adult cancers together is guaranteed to obscure benefits of chemotherapy among subgroups because it lumps in patients for whom chemotherapy is not even indicated!

    It is incomprehensible that someone who claims to treat cancer lumps all cancers in the same category. I only have a minimal knowledge of oncology (one under-grad class) but I know that all cancers are very unique and behave differently. In fact, that is what impresses me, that cancer is so complex, it is an amazing feat of modern medicine that any cancer can be cured.

    Two of my husband’s aunts, and one of his uncles have had cancer. His aunt who had leukemia (don’t remember which kind) is now alive ten years after getting chemotherapy. His uncle is living with lung cancer, I don’t think he will ever be ‘cured’ but he is still alive two years after diagnosis because of the people who are really treating cancer. His other aunt is also still alive after receiving chemotherapy three years ago for an inoperable tumor (she never said what kind) on her spine.*

    My father would often tell us about how his grandmother died from untreated breast cancer. He was only five, but he clearly remembers the pain she was in, and how pale and thin she had gotten before she died. It must have been pretty bad for him to still be talking about it (and being scared of his children getting cancer) fifty years after her death.

    The contrast of having cancer fifty years ago and now is striking. It pisses me off that there are unethical asses out there that are convincing vulnerable people to not get treatment for their cancer causing pain, suffering and death. Then telling the patient and their family that it is their fault; they weren’t happy enough, they had too much stress, ate the wrong foods etc…

    Truly the more I read this blog the more I am aware of how low some will go for money. It is so disgusting there are no words to describe how I feel about these people.

    *I know this is all very vague, I only have the information that we get from my Mother-in-law, they may have received other treatments in addition to those noted above.

  14. #15 Gingerbaker
    February 19, 2010

    “I say bring it on. No more out-of-court settlements. I propose we create a fund whereby any of use being sued can raise money for our defense.”

    I was thinking the same thing. Maybe the Templeton Foundation can put a couple lawyers on retainer, just to prove they are serious about helping to promote the free flow of scientific communication.

  15. #16 Free Lunch
    February 19, 2010

    Well done, again, Orac. From what I can tell Moritz’s attempt to defend Maloney hasn’t done Maloney any favors and may manage to get Moritz the trouble he so truly deserves. He’s not just another woo-meister. He’s a fraud. Thanks to bad decisions made by Congress, fake treatments abound and the federal government can do almost nothing about them. I wonder if his erroneous claims about the rocks he sells will be the end of Moritz and his threat to human health.

  16. #17 Wrysmile
    February 19, 2010

    Christopher Maloney has turned up on Neurological Blog

    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=1618

    and evaded every question aimed at him using the old Gish Gallop and then the I’m too busy unlike the rest of you layabouts to present any actual evidence.

  17. #18 D
    February 19, 2010

    Congratulations! You appear as the first link on Google when you search for Andreas Moritz.

  18. #19 DrWonderful
    February 19, 2010

    @15 Gingerbaker-

    Awesome idea, totally. Seriously, I’d love to the people here try that. It likely would need to be run by the FTC first, however, because there are all sorts of laws stopping competitors from organizing and collaborating against people and industries and stuff like that but otherwise really neat stuff you suggest. The FTC would not give a rat’s butt about the academic sciencey part of it or any of the fundmental arguments we see here. They might be interested and frown upon any situation where like-minded competitors who may share the same financial interests, or even theology, organize against a competitor or competing industry. I honestly don’t know but maybe we’ll find out? I know, though, these darn laws sometimes can get in the in the way of a good hunt! So once your idea was certfied by the FTC you’d be good to go.

  19. #20 Scott
    February 19, 2010

    They might be interested and frown upon any situation where like-minded competitors who may share the same financial interests, or even theology, organize against a competitor or competing industry.

    You mean like the SOP of chiropractors and other quacks?

  20. #21 DrWonderful
    February 19, 2010

    Scott- not sure what you mean. How do chiropractors organize against, and interfere with, a competitor as part of their SOP?

  21. #22 Scott
    February 19, 2010

    Read about the Singh case, just for starters.

  22. #23 Perky Skeptic
    February 19, 2010

    Congratulations! This post is the Number ONE link when I just now Googled “Andreas Moritz.” Keep fighting the good fight!

  23. #24 Brett
    February 19, 2010

    I really hope Hawkins sent that cowardly blowhard a scathing e-mail response.

  24. #25 DrWonderful
    February 19, 2010

    Scott- sorry I still do not see the connection. Slander and anti-trust are two completely different legal universes. Dr Moritz likely has a much stonger anti-trust case than he does a slander case in my own humble opinion.

  25. #26 Scott
    February 19, 2010

    The connection lies in using the legal system to shut down opposition, instead of being superior to them.

  26. #27 DrWonderful
    February 19, 2010

    Scott- I think we’re still talking about two seperate legal issues here. Anti-trust and slander are completely different entities.

  27. #28 Angel
    February 19, 2010

    I really dig the part of the video (3:14) where this little nugget appears:

    “How to Obtain Freedom From Judgement”

    Apparently, you can free yourself from judgement by threatening to file lawsuits. And by examining your poo.

  28. #29 Andreas Johansson
    February 19, 2010

    Unfortunately, as the previously mentioned research has demonstrated, the chances for a real cure are greatly reduced when patients are treated with chemotherapy drugs.

    So in Moritz’s world, a 2.1-2.3% increase in 5-year survivorhood equals a great reduction in the chances for a real cure? Cure = death?

  29. #30 Vicki
    February 19, 2010

    Since anti-trust and slander are completely different entities, why do you think the FTC would care about fund-raising to defend against SLAPP lawsuits falsely alleging slander? (Or even falsely alleging libel; I’ll skip the nit-pick here, since if by some chance these quacks could find a lawyer to take the case, the lawyer would sort them out on the difference between verbal and written statements.)

  30. #31 Andreas Johansson
    February 19, 2010

    Also, what’s with “German New Medicine”? Are they deliberately associating themselves with Nazi-era “German physics”, or do they just fail marketing forever?

  31. #32 Dianne
    February 19, 2010

    New German Medicine, eh? I wonder how popular it is in Germany. Could it explain some of the differences in survival between the US and Germany? (Not that the US has uniformly better survival but it does in some areas-possibly the most quack ridden ones?)

  32. #33 Natalie
    February 19, 2010

    And what, DrWonderful, is the basis of Moritz’ anti-trust case?

  33. #34 Mark C. Chu-Carroll
    February 19, 2010

    I despise buffoons like that. Both for the utterly evil way of blaming people for their own illness; for the denial of the huge benefits of real medicine; and for the abuse of the legal system to try to silence critics.

    There’s been a lot of cancer in my family. My father had an aggressive muscular cancer in his leg; surgery plus radiation cured it. One of my favorite aunts, who I named my son after, had breast cancer. She ended up living with breast cancer for nearly 20 years. Nothing every managed to cure it – but without treatment, her expected survival would have been on the order of 18 months; she survived for more than 10 times that, thanks to surgery plus radiation and chemotherapy. Most of the nearly 20 years, her quality of life was excellent. (She had terrible luck with metastases; it was like an insane game of whack-a-mole. First it showed up in her breast. That was treated, and everything looked OK; two years later, it recurred. That was treated, and two years later, it showed up again. Finally after more than ten years, it metastasized in her bones. Even that, she managed to survive for more than five years using chemotherapy to slow it down.

    *Real* medicine saved my father, and as a result, he lived long enough to dance at my wedding, and to get to know his grandchildren. *Real* medicine extended my aunts life for all those years. *Real* medicine saves lives. Theses vultures who try to convince people not to treat their illnesses are despicable.

  34. #35 Eric
    February 19, 2010

    I saw this when I googled for ‘Andreas Moritz’ earlier this morning.

    I wonder if he’s going to sue google also?

  35. #36 DrWonderful
    February 19, 2010

    Vicki- I’m not an expert in the field but can offer what little lay knowledge I have. Unfortunately, US anti-trust laws are not made to be logical, they are made to protect commerce and the US economy. Competitors are restricted from organizing on any level and conspiring against other competitors. There are a few instances where safe harbor is granted.

    Whether your criticism’s are correct, or not, would be determined in a slander civil suit, which is a completely different type of legal action. Anti-trust issues are handled via a direct complaint to either the FTC or state AG’s office and are based solely on the merit of whether a competitor or group of competitors conspired to injure or interfere with an individual business or industry. The mudslinging and name calling is totally irrelevant. The determination is based solely on anti-trust laws and whether commerce was interfered with illegally regardless of whether the name calling was well deserved. The conspiracy would be the cause to seek relief.

    I have no idea if the idea presented here would violate those laws as indicated by my suggestion you get it certified by the FTC beforehand. But the differences between slander and anti-trust are vast. The penalties are very different as well. In slander Dr Moritz would have to determine and prove the monetary value of the loss of reputation and revenue and be made whole if judgment were in his favor. In an anti-trust violation the gov’t fields the complaint from the aggrieved and becomes the actual plaintiff and fights the case, because you broke her laws, and the fines and penalties can be suffocating.

    It’s two different worlds.

  36. #37 Ray
    February 19, 2010

    Dr. Moritz has probably succeeded in putting the **critical** articles right at the top of the Google search. Excellent work, “Dr.” M!

  37. #38 DrWonderful
    February 19, 2010

    Natalie- um, do you want me to outline Dr Moritz’s potential case for all to see? Not interested in helping, to be honest.

  38. #39 Natalie
    February 19, 2010

    No, DrWonderful, I was trying to get you to elaborate on why you think anti-trust statutes would be relevant at all. I believe your understanding of who anti-trust applies to is faulty. Individuals starting an “x defense fund” are not going to run afoul of these regulations.

  39. #40 R. Schauer
    February 19, 2010

    As I mentioned on Pharyngula,

    “Throw this dangerous fraud in jail.”

    And BTW, I and I think all who read you and PZ have your backs if something legal happens from this…and sincere thanks for taking so many lumps for us to reveal the facts behind the quacks.

  40. #41 Dangerous Bacon
    February 19, 2010

    I suspect that Dr. Wonderful’s muddled remarks about antitrust issues supposedly being relevant here, are related to chiropractors’ continued obsession with the 1987 Wilks decision, in which an U.S. district court ruled that the AMA had violated antitrust law by organizing a campaign against physician-chiropractor cooperation.

    The Wilks decision only involved claims regarding restraint of trade, yet many chiropractors still falsely believe that it was a validation of their methods, and that it should shield them from any criticism by members of the medical profession.

    I do not see how providing funds for the defense of people facing harassment lawsuits by quacks could conceivably be a violation of antitrust law.

  41. #42 Beth
    February 19, 2010

    There was a great story on Quirks & Quarks last year about the many advances that are being made in cancer treatments which may interest some of you.

  42. #43 Dan L.
    February 19, 2010

    Several members of my family have survived rather recent bouts of cancer. I would like to express gratitude to their doctors and oncologists, as well as Orac and any other cancer researcher or clinician who actually applies real scientific knowledge about the body to save lives.

  43. #44 DrWonderful
    February 19, 2010

    @Natalie- I have no idea if it would be legal or not which is why I suggested the idea be certified. Individual donations made directly to one party in any lawsuit certainly would not violate any laws. However, it might be a different story if a group of competitors were to organize and collectively manage one legal defense fund to be used to defend future engagements. At that point you would no longer be individuals but share a common financial interest in the management and disbursement of that fund. While you may not be committing any anti-trust activity initially by setting it up, the fund itself might become an issue the moment it were used.

    @Bacon- Missed ya buddy. Read what I wrote to Natalie as there is more to consider than you might believe. Also, thank you underscoring my entire point about anti-trust. I honestly was not thinking if the Wilk’s case earlier but you are 100% correct. The ruling in favor of the chirpractors was only about the restraint of trade and had absolutely nothing to do with the actual practice of chiropractic. My entire point.

  44. #45 Free Lunch
    February 19, 2010

    Dr. Wonderful,

    I am not a competitor of Andreas, his only competitors are other medical frauds. I doubt that any of them would be donating a dime to defend a student or anyone else against a baseless claim by Andreas.

    He will not try to sue anyone in the US. He doesn’t have a chance. His chances in the UK are weak, particularly since his webside violates the Cancer Act 1939.

    We need to improve our laws so slime like him and Kevin Trudeau don’t cause more people to die.

  45. #46 Dangerous Bacon
    February 19, 2010

    Doc Wonderful said: “Individual donations made directly to one party in any lawsuit certainly would not violate any laws. However, it might be a different story if a group of competitors were to organize and collectively manage one legal defense fund to be used to defend future engagements.”

    Do you contend that a group of disparate individuals, having nothing in common other than raising money for critics of quackery who are being harassed through lawsuits by quacks, are in danger of antitrust violations? If such a fund, for example, contributed money for the defense of Simon Singh (fighting a bogus libel suit by the British Chiropractic Association), that would smack of an “antitrust” violation to you?

    I get the idea that your interest in this matter may be more than a little self-serving.

  46. #47 Corey
    February 19, 2010

    And now this post pops up first at Google as a news link.

    Moritz fails!

  47. #48 Uncle Glenny
    February 19, 2010

    @DrWonderful:

    Electronic Freedom Foundation
    American Civil Liberties Union

  48. #49 Natalie
    February 19, 2010

    DrWonderful, unfortunately for your theory actions through the courts are exempt from antitrust legislation. It only covers business activities, such as price fixing.

    Methinks you are about as skilled a legal mind as a medical one.

  49. #50 Otto
    February 19, 2010

    Also of some interest (to me, at least) is Moritz’s interdimensional coauthor, and seeming registrant of ener-chi.com, John Hornecker: http://www.earthscape.net/cosmic/index.htm

  50. #51 Doug
    February 19, 2010

    Moritz and his ilk make me think of Dr. Zoidberg scuttling off while saying “Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo” (I’d love to see a two-second clip of the wooing Zoidberg as the mascot of woo debunkers).

    In spite of the potentially horrendous consequences of following Moritz’s advice, his web site provides many a hearty laugh. “Medical intuitive” and the descripton of Ener-Chi art are spew-a-mouthful-of-tea-on-the-monitor and fall-off-the-chair material. And I can picture an animation of the common bile duct that exploded to tatters with the passing of that huge 2 inch stone, accompanied by a scream heard round the world.

    I think he falls into the same class as the lot who proclaim that “science doesn’t know everything” as they tell you about their “over-unity” (efficiency of greater than 100%) invention. I wonder if a significant fraction of the wooists get into it when they realize that their potential to gain the fame the seem to crave would be nonexistent in mainstream science, whereas their “radical” ideas and fast talking can propel them into the spotlight with great haste.

    I’d like to take Moritz into a lab, give him a microscope and all the other necessary equipment and supplies, a bunch of fresh samples of normal and cancerous tissues, and challenge him to identify any sample accurately. I’ll bet he couldn’t tell liver from heart, and that if he was given an unlabeled box of pelletized embedding medium along with the tissue samples, he’d think they were stones from someone’s liver flush.

    I wonder if he knows common salt is an ionic solid. Not a lot of woo or profit potential there, though.

    In many places, people are bound by law to report suspicions of child or spousal abuse. I wonder if there will come a time when it will be unlawful NOT to point the finger at dangerous twits like Moritz.

  51. #52 Kamaka
    February 19, 2010

    I just googled the quacks name and this article came up #1, ahead of his own website.

    HAHAHA! Man, this is funny.

    No, wait a minute. It’s not funny, this Merlin-channeler is evil.

  52. #53 Prometheus
    February 19, 2010

    Quoth Andreas Moritz:

    “Slander is slander, whether it is done online or offline.”

    I’m not a lawyer, but even I know that “slander” is spoken defamation. When it’s in print (or on a ‘blog), the proper term is libel.

    Failure in detail for Mr. Moritz.

    Prometheus

  53. #54 Katharine
    February 19, 2010

    Moritz is a wuss who can’t take criticism.

    I suggest we exploit his insecurities.

  54. #55 DrWonderful
    February 19, 2010

    @Natalie- by all means then, please proceed. Price point fixing is only one of mnay actionable issues within the anti-trust laws of the US. Trade interference by a collection of competitors is a pretty big issue. Again not sure if this qualifies, or that it would have legs, but I do think his argument would be stronger here than with slander (which I suspect he’d lose).

    @Bacon- I know nothing about the Singh v BCA case or any British laws and cannot comment which really bugs me because you’re my favorite.

    @Free Lunch- you would need to overcome two undeniable facts if challenged: 1.) By virtue of his license Dr Moritz has a legal business that enjoys the same anti-trust protections as any other business in it’s class. Inappropriate clinical behavior probably should be addressed at the state licensing Board level and not via blog hunting among competitors in my own opinion 2.) you have no legal authority over naturopathy and you’ll need to leave that to others to handle it appropriately. You cannot be judge and jury just because you are “right” which in this case I do feel you are.

    Meanwhile, if you are in the health care field, or represent a university that has a medical school, or work in the pharmaceutical industry, or just about any other health related industry it would be hard for you to prove you do not have a financial interest in diminshing naturopathy if put on the defensive. If you act alone then there are no issues. If you collaborate with other competitors of his (or yours) then it might be a different story. I really don’t know, just being a pest as usual.

  55. #56 notscarlettohara
    February 19, 2010

    And how does he explain the fact that cancer occurs in animals just as often as in people? I’m pretty sure a pampered and well-loved Irish Wolfhound struck down at age 5 by osteosarcoma doesn’t have any unresolved anger or emotional conflicts… You’d think that he’d love to market his stuff toward pets, both because there’s much less regulation and because most of the better chemotherapeutic agents simply aren’t yet available for veterinary use (even though most of them were initially developed in and tested on dogs, irony of ironies).

    ….Oh yeah. That would prove his methods don’t actually work. I forgot about that.

  56. I have a naive question, and perhaps one of the woo-inured folks here can answer it. Gallstones, kidney stones, those I can understand; I’ve even seen them. (From a safe distance, knock wood.) But the liver is not a hollow or even particularly spacious organ. How exactly does the existence of “liver stones” as mentioned in some of the excretions referenced above come about? I mean, in the Wooniverse.

    I just can’t vizzzzzzualize it.

  57. #58 alopiasmag
    February 19, 2010

    Very good post. . . and well stated. There are too many “crazies” in this world trying to take advantage of those in need.

    First time here reading your post and just subscribed to your rss. . . Keep the good posts.

  58. #59 Dangerous Bacon
    February 19, 2010

    Doc Wonderful: “Meanwhile, if you are in the health care field, or represent a university that has a medical school, or work in the pharmaceutical industry, or just about any other health related industry it would be hard for you to prove you do not have a financial interest in diminshing naturopathy if put on the defensive. If you act alone then there are no issues.”

    Could you point out where any affiliation of people fighting quackery has been found in violation of antitrust law? Good luck with that one.

    Thanks for the compliment, by the way. If I have a favorite chiropractor though, it’s Samuel Homola D.C., a reformist who writes for Chirobase. He’s actually doing something about quackery in chiropractic.

  59. #60 Joe
    February 19, 2010

    I am a lawyer.

    Its incredibly difficult for me to imagine a set of facts under which a legal defense fund would be a conspiracy in restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Act. But even if it was, it would be protected by the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine, which permits even collusive activity when it comes to petitioning the government. (This is why industry trade groups can lobby and sue to damage their competitors).

  60. #61 HyperIon
    February 19, 2010

    DrWonderfu wrote:
    I really don’t know, just being a pest as usual.

    I’m thinking you are more of a concern troll.

  61. #62 Dianne
    February 19, 2010

    Meanwhile, if you are in the health care field, or represent a university that has a medical school, or work in the pharmaceutical industry, or just about any other health related industry it would be hard for you to prove you do not have a financial interest in diminshing naturopathy if put on the defensive.

    On the contrary. Many pharma firms have “naturopathy” branches and profit directly from the expansion of the naturopathic market.

    Doctors and others in mainstream medicine profit indirectly: Late disease-such as disease found only after the patient has wasted a lot of time and money on “natural” treatments that don’t work-is much more expensive and therefore profitable than early disease.

  62. #63 James Sweet
    February 19, 2010

    But the liver is not a hollow or even particularly spacious organ. How exactly does the existence of “liver stones” as mentioned in some of the excretions referenced above come about? I mean, in the Wooniverse.

    I thought gall stones really could form in the liver, in real life even… I’m totally not a doctor, but Orac makes it sound like it in this post. And Wikipedia says they can form anywhere in the biliary tract, of which the liver is a part.

  63. #64 MadScientist
    February 19, 2010

    Ever notice how quacks also love being stuck in the past? Misquoting an ancient paper which no one takes seriously – hah – a hell of a lot has happened in the field of cancer treatments since 1991. Why are people attracted to “ancient wisdom” bullshit like homeopathy and naturopathy and why do they like to fixate on long discredited notions, quoting them as if they were accepted facts?

  64. #65 red rabbit
    February 19, 2010

    Actually, I’m pretty sure the definition of a profession- any profession- makes the practice of a profession exempt from anti-trust litigation.

    A profession by definition includes the exclusive right to use a body of knowledge, with attendant responsibility to do so with the interest of the patient (client) foremost. The Code of Ethics of the professional bodies outline this in detail.

    But surely, Dr. Wonderful, as a professional you were already aware of that. It had merely slipped your mind.

  65. #66 Bronze Dog
    February 19, 2010

    How exactly does the existence of “liver stones” as mentioned in some of the excretions referenced above come about? I mean, in the Wooniverse.

    Don’t know about the Wooniverse, but IIRC, in the real world, the olive oil treatment tends to form clumps in the digestive tract which are then found in the output.

  66. Apologies for the bizarre Google name.

    Haven’t you heard? Moritz really like all this attention. It must have been part of his plan all along.

  67. #68 Helena Handbag
    February 19, 2010

    Yeah, right. My 4 year old was cured of Stage III Rhabdomyosarcoma because he thought good thoughts and let go of his stresses and guilt. 30 years of cooperative research into developing a year-long protocol of high-dose radiation and chemotherapy had nothing to do with it.

    Sure he’s dealing with late effects, but he’s alive and doing well and is likely to live decades longer than he would have if we’d followed Mr. Moritz, the idiot woo-meister of South Carolina. If it weren’t for aggressive chemotherapy he would not have survived his disease, no matter how thoroughly I examined his poop, fed him juices and epsom salts and encouraged him to think happy thoughts.

    Go get ‘em, Orac. These idiots make me NUTS! I now work for a support organization for kids with cancer and their families, and even if parents don’t take their kids off of conventional treatments, just finding this quackery online encourages them to doubt their choices and question the motives of the child’s doctors. The words “your child has cancer” cause tremendous guilt and fear, and Moritz’s business model of exploiting people in that state of vulnerability is a particularly heinous form of cruelty.

    I hope he endures precisely as much suffering as he has inflicted on others.

  68. #69 Fred
    February 19, 2010

    A google search of “Andreas Moritz” returns this page as #1.

    “We’re number 1, we’re number 1!!!”

  69. #70 DrWonderful
    February 19, 2010

    @Bacon- admit it, I’m a close second to Homola. Go on, it’s ok. You surface everytime I speak. It’s almost like we’re blog dating.

    @Red Rabbitt- I’m sorry I really don’t understand your point. I will say in the US there are very few anti-trust exemptions left. Even those in the same profession are considered each others competitors and then they collectively have common competitors. I know it’s weird. For example as an MD your competitors include not only other professions but also include all other MD’s who do not work for the same corporation as you.

    @Dianne- if put on the defense my own opinion is that your argument would be too frail to hold up against any substantial amount of evidence.

    @Joe- I’m certain you know more than I but I’m not sure that the others were talking about raising funds designed to be used for legislative safe habors specific to trade associations (Noerr-Penn). Would it be different to set up a fund to support a specific individual action after a particular case is intitiated versus starting a joint legal defense fund among competitors to prepare for future engagements that have not yet been filed? I think the difference is subtle, obviously, but might violate Sherman.

    In other words can Coke and Pepsi proactively start a joint legal defense fund to protect “Cola” from future legal attacks by say, I don’t know, Snapple? I truly don’t know but like I said it should be pinged first. Not that I’m all into helping you guys either you know!

  70. #71 Dianne
    February 19, 2010

    if put on the defense my own opinion is that your argument would be too frail to hold up against any substantial amount of evidence.

    Ok, then, bring out your evidence. I’m willing to admit I’m wrong if the evidence suggests.

  71. #72 Beth
    February 19, 2010

    Bad Science just posted about a recent case of quackery in the UK which had very nasty results for the patient. The quack’s name: Ying Wu. Wu… how appropriate.

  72. #73 Dave
    February 19, 2010

    We need to improve our laws so slime like him and Kevin Trudeau don’t cause more people to die.

    Speaking of dear old Kevin, check out this story on CNN (sorry, my lack of html expertise doesn’t allow me to embed a link, but you can always cut and paste). Anyway, he’s been hit by a huge fine from the FTC and he’s now looking at doing 30 days for contempt of court.

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/crime/2010/02/18/dnt.baichwal.trudeau.court.wls

  73. #74 khym.chanur
    February 19, 2010

    Hmmm, my Google search for “Andreas Moritz” gives this articles as #3, and Moritz’s own site a #1; this article shows up before the #1 slot as a news result for the search, not as a normal search result. However, since the #2 slot is the suspended WordPress article, as soon as Google updates and removes that this article will bump up to #2. And I doubt that Seed will cave in so easily as WordPress did.

    As for a legal defense fund being anti-trust, I Am Not A Lawyer, but in the United States anyone can sue for anything, and it’s up to a judge if the suit gets immediately thrown out of court or progresses further. For example, an anti-trust lawsuit was brought against the GPL, and rather than being thrown out it progressed far enough for a judge to render a ruling which amounted to “Yeah, no, the anti-trust laws don’t at all apply to the GPL”. As for how a judge would rule if an anti-trust suit was brought against a legal defense fund, I have no clue.

  74. #75 khym.chanur
    February 19, 2010

    Ooops, it’s the Pharyngula post that’s #3, not the Respectful Insolence one. Still, this post #1 in the news search. Weird.

  75. #76 Mathew
    February 19, 2010

    I think Andreas Moritz is a good guy and I like a lot of his writing.

  76. #77 Free Lunch
    February 19, 2010

    Mathew,

    Your ignorance and credulity are noted. Andreas Moritz needs people like you to be able to continue his fraudulent career.

  77. #78 Travis
    February 19, 2010

    Mathew,
    While you are free to think that he is a good guy, that fact is not exactly very interesting. It addresses none of the criticism made of what he has done, or how he has gone about these issues. So I have to disagree, it appears Moritz is not a very good guy at all. And ignoring his bad aspects, serious issues about trying to remove dissenting opinions, does not reflect well upon those who support him.

  78. #79 Dave
    February 19, 2010

    when i was a kid back in the 50’s i recall a PSA that ran on TV on the saturday mornings i was watching cartoons.it was on other time i guess but that’s when i saw it.anyway it was very scary for a ten year old–in stark black and white and white in 1940’s cartoon style it warned about phony cancer cures..
    “no salve or ointment,no pill or—will cure cancer”i forget the rest but it had a tube squirting out gunk and a clock ticking.it may have been from the AMA.it advised people to seek real medical treatment and not a nostrum of some sort.i wonder why we don’t see stuff like that anymore?..anyone else recall it.i was living in NY at the time..

  79. #80 khym.chanur
    February 19, 2010

    I just wanted to say, the above Matthew isn’t me. Moritz might genuinely believe everything he says, and might be genuinely trying to help people, but as they say, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

  80. #81 David
    February 20, 2010

    I posted a thread on WordPress Forums about this. I don’t know if it’s the right place to express my outrage, but I wanted to let WP know how outraged I am. Please stop by and post as well.

    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/366703?replies=1

  81. khym.chanur @ 78: I just wanted to say, the above Matthew isn’t me.

    Probably has a shorter mane.

    I say this in a spirit of appreciation.

  82. #83 David
    February 20, 2010

    Surprise of surprises, WP deleted my thread asking them why they were censoring blogs.

  83. #84 Matthew Cline
    February 20, 2010

    If you think that Moritz’s article on vaccination is bad, take a look at his article on viruses, Virus Myths Exposed –The True Causes of Pandemics by Andreas Moritz:

    Normally, some of these toxic substances can be broken down by the body, but most of them require bacteria to dispose of them. Some other things, however, require solvents to dissolve and remove them. That’s when the body makes viruses or allows them to be made and spread through the body via the blood and lymph.

    Viruses are inert proteins that the body produces in order to attack and dissolve such noxious substances. Viruses.

    I don’t want to think about how many brain cells I lost by reading that.

  84. #85 Free Lunch
    February 20, 2010

    It’s no surprise that folks as Southern California BodyTalk Association don’t allow comments when they give Andreas an opportunity to deny the well-establish germ theory of illness.

  85. #86 Laurence Topliffe
    February 20, 2010

    I’ve used homeopathy and chiropractic treatment for years and am 100% satisfied with it because it works 100% of the time. When I can’t even walk to the chiropractor’s office, which was a block away. After he picked me up and took me to his office and treated me I walked home. Another treatment is Rolfing. My body has been out of alignment for years and together they are straightening me out. I can stand straight whereas for years I couldn’t. My problem wasn’t because I was overweight. I’m 5’8″ and weigh 134, about the same as when I was in my 30s.

  86. #87 David Marjanović
    February 20, 2010

    New German Medicine, eh? I wonder how popular it is in Germany.

    No more than elsewhere.

  87. #88 Free Lunch
    February 20, 2010

    Laurence,

    Three things account for your tale. First, people get better on their own in many cases. Second, the placebo effect can change your view of things. Third, chiropractors are generally tolerable masseuses. Homeopaths and chiropractors do not practice medicine. They have no scientific evidence to support their claims. You are lucky that you haven’t been to them for something that matters.

    The fact that you are satisfied does not mean that their efforts work, only that you are a prize mark and the medical con men love you for it.

  88. #89 Thunderbird5
    February 20, 2010

    Moritz’s bullshit and bullying deserve wider dissemination. Some choice samples might go over very well at this discussion place I’ve heard of called 4chan.

  89. #90 Perky Skeptic
    February 20, 2010

    ROFLOL, Thunderbird5!!!! 4chan would eat him for breakfast. Not that I know anything about 4chan. Also, Anonymous is not my private army.

  90. #91 Dangerous Bacon
    February 20, 2010

    Moritz (on “Virus Myths Exposed”): “Normally, some of these toxic substances can be broken down by the body, but most of them require bacteria to dispose of them. Some other things, however, require solvents to dissolve and remove them. That’s when the body makes viruses or allows them to be made and spread through the body via the blood and lymph”

    Obviously, we then would benefit by being bitten by a rabid animal at regular intervals, so that our bodies could make lots of rabies virus to purge our bodies of toxins. Moritz could volunteer to demonstrate this principle in action. And that reminds me:

    Doc Wonderful: “You surface everytime I speak. It’s almost like we’re blog dating.”

    That’s interesting, coming from a guy who got upset at something I posted in the comments here awhile back, and who then popped up in an unrelated thread to complain about how I hadn’t responded fast enough to his latest glurge.

    Anyway, I’m afraid you have a long ways to go before seriously challenging to be my favorite chiroloon. That honor would have to go to Terry Rondberg of the World Chiropractic Alliance, who got so bent out of shape* by some ads placed on buses (by a group questioning chiropractic neck cracking) that he declared it a civil rights issue and compared chiros to Rosa Parks (Rondberg’s group also supports the “National Vaccine Information Center”, an antivax bunch that’s deeply into their own brand of loonery).
    Incidentally, have you warned Rondberg that he could face antitrust action for starting up an “anti-defamation fund”** on behalf of chiros? Using your logic, there’s probably some restraint of trade angle here.

    Doc Wonderful: “Not that I’m all into helping you guys either you know!”

    We figured out the nature of your “help” awhile back. ;)

    *requiring many, many adjustments no doubt.
    **Oooo, there are people out there who claim that chiropractic can be dangerous and drenched in quackery, and that chiro subluxations don’t exist! This is defamation! Sue the bastards!!!

  91. #92 Pareidolius
    February 20, 2010

    MESSAGE BEGINS

    Perkey One, it so happens that Anonymous is my private army, and they will find this rebel, and they will “eat him for lunch” as you so succinctly put it. Actually, they’ll hit him over the head with the ceremonial Ja’zoch Qhen, then they’ll eat him. After all, we’re not monsters. [cue maniacal laughter]

    Bacon, we hope you’re gratified by the objects you requested. They puzzle us still, but your loyalty allows us to overlook your “eccentricities”. Continue your excellent work.

    MESSAGE ENDS

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L
    PharmaCOM Orbital HQ
    0010101101001

  92. #93 Perky Skeptic
    February 20, 2010

    Pareidolius wins >10001100101000 internets!!!

  93. #94 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 20, 2010

    Viruses are inert proteins that the body produces in order to attack and dissolve such noxious substances.

    So, Andreas Moritz is not only a quack, it doesn’t seem like he even has a handle on the meaning of “inert”.

  94. #95 arjun jobil
    February 20, 2010

    This is my first time to visit your site, which i reached through the PZ Meyers site that i regularly visit. It’s well past my lunch time, but i couldn’t drag myself away before i read a great deal of your posts. (Fortunately i work at home.)

    First off i should admit i know nothing about Gillian Keith other than the brief criticism you made of her in a rant against Sams. I agree he is a creep. But what little i saw of her advice seemed pretty sound. My diet is pretty much as she seems to recommend, i.e. lots of fruits and vegetables, plus whole grain foods, nuts and seeds as well as fish. It’s been great for me, but am i missing something here?

  95. #96 Chris
    February 20, 2010

    arjun jobil, if you came from PZ’s site, why did you spell his name wrong?

    Also what does this blog posting have to do with the Awful Poo Lady? And who or what is “Sams”?

  96. #97 @murmur55
    February 21, 2010

    Check the bloggers rights on @EFF Electronic Freedom Foundation. They often take on cases of censorship of free speech. http://bit.ly/7flnAy

    See also @EFF the protections for internet providers “Section 230″ http://bit.ly/aNJMuZ . I am not sure of the interpretation of the law, but I think that because the WordPress provider asked for an edit of the information, that this may mean that they are NOW open to claims of libel for the content since they took an active role in creating the content. Perhaps that is why WordPress took down the posting.

  97. #98 Alan Kellogg
    February 21, 2010

    I just found out about For the Sake of Science, unless people are talking about somebody else. My advice here is to send WordPress.com a message telling them what you think of their actions. But be civil, because being rude will only stiffen their resolve.

  98. #99 Kathryn
    February 21, 2010

    I know this is off-topic, but I couldn’t figure out how to e-mail it directly. At least it’s about the dangers of woo.

    The FDA has issued a strongly worded safety warning about a popular woo modality: Ear candles. The warning statement debunks them quite thoroughly, as well as stating the dangers of using this useless quackery. Why pick on ear candles instead of cancer quackery? Probably because you can find them at any alternative remedies counter, in health food stores and even drugstores. Unlike Airborne, they are dangerous when used as recommended (instead of just being useless).

    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm201108.htm

    I wonder if people will stop suggesting I use them for my chronic sinus problems (caused by growing up with a two-pack-a-day smoker)? Probably not.

  99. #100 Pablo
    February 21, 2010

    Kathryn – I also saw a comment this morning about an FDA warning about a common altie morning sickness remedy that contains arsenic and lead. Just what pregnant moms should be taking, right?

    No link, sorry.

  100. #101 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 21, 2010

    @ Pablo @ 100:

    Would it be this, calabash chalk?

  101. #102 Anonymous
    February 21, 2010

    SafeHarbor is a Scientology front. Here’s Andreas Moritz’ listing there:

    SC
    Andreas Moritz
    9 Night Hawk Way
    Landrum, SC USA
    Phone: (864) 895-6285
    Fax: (952) 470-9741
    Email: andmor@ener-chi.com
    Website: http://ener-chi.com
    Type of Practitioner: Medical Intuitive Practitioner of Ayunveda, Nutrition, Shiatsu and Vibrational Medicine
    Type of Treatments: Ayurvedic, Nutrition, Ener-Chi Art to improve improve mental and spirtual well-beting. Cleanse to improve energy and physical well-being.
    Prescribe or recommend Psychiatric drugs? No
    No, never, we consider them to be inhibitive to healing.No
    Help take patients off Psychiatric drugs if they wish to do so? Yes
    We support them in whatever decision they decide to make.
    Types of clients served:
    All mental health conditions
    All cases of chronic and terminal illness including congestive heart failure and cancer.

  102. #103 Vasha
    February 21, 2010

    Pablo: Terra Sigillata already covered that.

  103. #104 co
    February 22, 2010

    This’ll get lost in the noise, I’m sure (is there a more effective place to post it?), but the Legion of Moritz have shown up on Amazon. In the last 24 hours, each of his books has got about 25 new, content-free, 5-star reviews. What’s so maddening is that each is so boilerplate.

  104. #105 Joe S
    February 22, 2010

    Ok…you win! Western medicine and Big Food (monsanto, adm ect…) and Big Pharma have just done an amazing job…I Give…You Win…

    more cancer, depression, alzheimer, asthma, heart disease, autism…

    more acid reflux, restless leg, anxiety, arthritis, fibromyalgia, hip and knee degeneration, cholesterol issues,

    more blood pressure issues, obesity – thyroid issues, insomnia, irritable bowel issues, premature babies, carpal tunnel, bi-polar, food allergies, regular sinus allergies, ADHD, AIDS, diabetes, infertility, anti-biotic resistant infections…

    No seriously…keep it up…your NEW WAYS and METHODS are doing great….

    OH wait my bad…it’s all genetic issues…yeh, that’s the answer – cause we’ve been around for thousands of years and our DNA has just now betrayed us the last 30 years…

    oh wait part 2 – my bad…how did I miss this one…
    we are just reporting the diseases more…yeh that’s it…please…get a brain…

    go look at a dated line chart that tracks these horrible illnesses and see when they started to spike…

    CLUE: Big Food and Big Pharma

    so which payroll are you on…?

    It is not easy taking on Big Food and Big Pharma…it is dangerous and costly…fake blog posts (by paid PR agencies) and intimidation is routine – people like Andreas Moritz are just offering an alternative to “your” poison…

  105. #106 Vicki
    February 22, 2010

    Yes, Joe, it’s horrible that we now live long enough to get Alzheimer’s or die of cancer. Would it be better if my grandmother had died in her thirties, leaving three young daughters, rather than living long enough to have short-term memory loss?

    Dying at 75 or even 55 of a heart attack is pretty good, in the context of human evolution: quick, and a lot more years than any number of contagious diseases might have given.

    Why do you see so many premature babies? *Because now they live.* Fifty years ago, giving birth six or seven or even eight months after conception usually meant burying your infant. Now, it may involve a neonatal ICU, but you take home a healthy baby who grows into a healthy adult. That’s a win in my book.

    Of course, if you want to kill yourself when you get one of those diseases that modern medicine lets you live long enough to get, and lets you live with, that’s your privilege. But do it decently and quietly, and don’t traumatize a truck driver or a crew of EMTs.

  106. #107 joes
    February 22, 2010

    Vicki, sorry I distracted from your PR duties…ummmmm I think life expectancy has increased less than 5 years in the last 35 years (73 in 1975 and 77.7 in 2010)…below is a from an article in the WSJ regarding the growth of alzheimer’s from just 2005 to 2009….

    nice try though…

    ‘The number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease has been increasing sharply over the past several years, and will continue to grow at an unprecedented rate. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal stated that the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease “grew 10% globally between 2005 and 2009 to 35 million… [and] this number is expected to continue climbing to 115.4 million in 2050 ” (Alzheimer’s Cases to Climb Sharply, by Shirley S. Wang, 9/21/09).’

    Again excellent distortion regarding premature births…below is a quote from the March of Dimes website…
    please focus on phase “12.8 percent of babies are born prematurely…” – this has nothing to do with – as you say –
    “Because now they live” – babies are being born prematurely at an ever increasing alarming rate…see below…

    “Most pregnancies last around 40 weeks. Babies born between 37 and 42 completed weeks of pregnancy are called full term. Babies born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy are called premature. In the United States, about 12.8 percent of babies (more than half a million a year) are born prematurely (1). The rate of premature birth has increased by 36 percent since the early 1980s (1).”

    Vicki, please go back to writing your press release on the latest tinnitus drug being released…

    of course if you want to keep playing, I am game…there is a whole list of horrible illnesses that are growing at an alarming rate for you to address…

  107. #108 Vicki
    February 22, 2010

    Joe,

    Believe it or not, people will argue with you for free (though you’re right that I have work to do, work not in PR). But who is paying you to spread your story, since you clearly don’t believe that people write for free?

    And what bit of modern medicine do you blame for the increase in premature births? That something is happening, even if true, doesn’t mean that modern medicine is to blame for it. On the other hand, there are odd correlations. Modern medicine gets some of the credit for the decrease in the murder rate throughout the U.S. in the last decade: not only are fewer people being shot and stabbed, doctors are saving more assault victims.

  108. #109 joes
    February 22, 2010

    Please reread my original post…

    Big Food + Big Pharma + Western Med = current USA health problems

    life expectancy and increased diagnosis account for only a small amount of these alarming increases…

    still waiting for the next illness in which you will defend the unfortunate growth…I am not on anyones payroll, so hurry up…I don’t have all day…

  109. #110 Dave
    February 22, 2010

    Please reread my original post…

    Big Food + Big Pharma + Western Med = current USA health problems

    Yeah, we heard you the first time, big guy. And we should believe you for what reason? Because you’re very sincere? And how do we know you are not a plant by the homeopaths or the chiropractors or some other alt-med group?

    Certainly, the typical American diet is not as healthy as it could be, but your ill-informed generalizations add nothing to the discussion. If you think you can supply actual details relevant to this thread, please, do go right ahead.

  110. #111 JohnV
    February 22, 2010

    I wonder how delusional someone must be to think that the only way people would disagree with him/her is if the people are part of a giant conspiracy of tens of thousands of individuals and international corporations.

  111. #112 Natalie
    February 22, 2010

    Joe S must be checking for Moritz on Google – he posted literally the exact same content as #105 on PZ’s most recent post on this topic.

  112. #113 joes
    February 22, 2010

    Well Dave and JohnV, I am all ears…

    this is your system to defend…why don’t you tell the board why the health and quality of life of Americans has deteriorated the last 30 years because of all these horrible illnesses…

    you guys are like the national education association and our public school administrators taking pot shots at home schoolers and private or charter schools…because they aren’t teaching the “children…” – what a joke…

    your system – your mess –

    when you make fun and denigrate Andreas Moritz after what your system has produced…well…it’s kind of laughable…

  113. #114 Glaxo PharmaBase 7
    February 22, 2010

    MESSAGE BEGINS

    Pharma Shills and other assorted minions:

    You have encountered our latest drone B22.3 aka “JoeS”. Is it not spectacularly self-absorbed and annoying? It’s fresh out of R&D’s vats (the skin’s still soft) so there are a few bugs to work out.

    The new line of PharmaCOM WooVax Field Countermeasures are designed not just to sharpen your combat skills, but to “entertain” as well, though the techs may have been a bit overzealous with this one’s programming (telescoping?).

    As always my minions, an endless supply of money, cars and bacon shall be your reward for securing the planet for us “westerners” . . . oh, they have no idea.

    MESSAGE ENDS

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L
    PharmaCOM Orbital HQ
    0010101101001

  114. #115 joes
    February 22, 2010

    wow Natalie, I am impressed…

    your contribution is outstanding…

    why don’t you use “google” and figure out a way to
    explain why so many people are getting sick at an
    alarming rate the last 30 years…

    Western Med Mission Statement:

    “Keeping you alive an extra 5 years…
    but destroying the quality of you life
    for 78 years…”

    oh yeah almost forgot…”and do no harm and stuff…”

  115. #116 MI Dawn
    February 22, 2010

    Oh, JoeS, you are SO funny. So many people getting sick? I have some books and letters from the 1930’s and 1940’s from when my grandfather was in practice as a GP. You wanna see sick? Try your next door neighbor dying of pneumonia, leaving 3 children (no antibiotics, you know). Try your 2 year old child with a fever of 105 with the measles (few antipyretics that are child doses…so you use cold water enemas, tepid baths and prayer to get the fever down). Try knowing your pregnant patient who delivered at 33 weeks gestation will probably see her baby die from respiratory distress.

    Read about the “good old days” and get back to me. (and the quote is, “FIRST do no harm”,not “don’t use anything that can cure your patient.”

  116. #117 joes
    February 22, 2010

    JohnV said – “I wonder how delusional someone must be to think that the only way people would disagree with him/her is if the people are part of a giant conspiracy of tens of thousands of individuals and international corporations.”

    ummm…JohnV, have you heard of tobacco…?

    ok maybe you are too young to remember how tobacco lied for decades…let’s see…how about you pay careful attention to the CEO of Toyota explain to Congress this week how they decided to save hundreds of millions of dollars in by not issuing a recall in 2007…they even produced a memo from 2007 bragging about it…

    off topic…yes…but just trying to bring you up to speed on what big powerful companies can do sometimes…

  117. #118 Denice Walter
    February 22, 2010

    @ Glaxo PharmaBase 7 – Dear Lord Draconis:Please, please do not interpret this as a complaint,*however*,I have not recieved *any* “fine, Italian(or French)leather couture handbags” since *December*!.While the burgundy Prada was adequate,I understand Karl is doing some *serious* innovation with distressed ostrich and chains that would be nice for spring.Most sincerely,your obediant handmaiden, DW

  118. #119 Natalie
    February 22, 2010

    the health and quality of life of Americans has deteriorated the last 30 years because of all these horrible illnesses

    Your claim, your responsibility to provide evidence.

  119. #120 joes
    February 22, 2010

    MI Dawn…thanks for your 4 anecdotal stories…

    I’ll pass those along to the thousands of autistic children parents…

    or I’ll mention them to the next Child Diabetes meeting – the meeting hall where we meet keeps getting larger, so I should get quite a response – I’ll let you know how the stories go over…if I can keep their attention from their ADHD…

    I wish your grandfather could come to our next alzheimers gathering – if he is still with us (sorry if not)…we’ve got a 10% growth rate of our alzheimer’s membership – just in the last 4 years…not sure if they will fully appreciate your granddads 4 stories…

  120. #121 joes
    February 22, 2010

    Natalie, you are no fun…your contribution to the board is lame…oh well…

    and in regard to your cop out challenge to me…how about this…I will let all the people that come to this board looking for information or an explanation for their health problems decide if their quality of life has deteriorated…

    your system – your mess…defend it…

  121. #122 Zaher Bey
    February 22, 2010

    10% Alzheimer’s growth rate in the last 4 years alone eh?
    Apparently over the last 6 years CAM practices have doubled in hospitals across America, therefore, CAM causes Alzheimer’s.

    http://tinyurl.com/yeqlbdv

    That was kind of fun.

  122. #123 Pablo
    February 22, 2010

    Please reread my original post…

    Big Food + Big Pharma + Western Med = current USA health problems

    guns + Western Med + joes = reason why Alabama Huntsville faculty are dead

    I have to say, I agree that Americans overeat and are overweight and that is a problem. But our problems due to that would be a lot worse if it weren’t for medicine, who 1) keeps telling us to stop eating like that and get healthy, and 2) is able to save us from ourselves when we do eat like that

    drunk drivers + court system + emergency rooms = current US driving problems

  123. #124 MI Dawn
    February 22, 2010

    No, JoeS, my grandfather died about 10 years ago now, at the age of 95, with full mental capacity, thanks to modern medicine which took care of his blocked cardiac arteries and hypertension. He, my grandmother, my step-grandmother, and now my parents have reached very healthy old age due to modern medicine. Most of them could not say the same about their parents/grandparents. Thank you for your sympathy. He was a wonderful man, a great person, and a physician who appreciated what benefits modern medicine brought to mankind.

    We had autism back then, even if it wasn’t called that. I have a cousin, in those letters, who was discussed. He was “not retarded, but SO naughty, [his mother] couldn’t take her eyes off him for a second…” From the descriptions, he was probably autistic, but we will never know, as he was institutionalized and died in the 1950’s.

    Child diabetics and premature infants tended to die in the 1940-1950’s, you know. Insulin was only reliably manufactured in the 1960’s (before that they had to use purified animal-source insulin), and even with the best care, most premature infants died. (Remember that then President-elect Kennedy and his wife lost a baby born at about 32-33 weeks gestation? Now, most of those babies live.)

    Autism, ADHD, etc have all been around forever. I could readily name several kids in my grade school back in the 60’s who today would probably be diagnosed as ADHD, and at least one who would be called “classic Kanner’s autism”. Today, they would have specific diagnoses. Back then, they were just “problems” or “retards” or “bad kids” or “inattentive”.

    As I have said before, there is nothing new under the sun (well, maybe HIV, which, as far as we know, mutated from SIV in the 1930’s or so, and then affected humans).

  124. #125 joes
    February 22, 2010

    Yes Bey…10% in 4 years

    http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/09/21/alzheimers-cases-to-climb-sharply-with-longer-lifespans/tab/article/

    cute Pablo…let me be clearer…

    monsanto, acher daniels midland…ect plus big pharmaceutical companies plus doctors that don’t care anymore or that are on the take = your 2010 health mess…

  125. #126 Pablo
    February 22, 2010

    If it is true that general health is worse now than 30 years ago, isn’t it due to the increased obesity? How is that medicine’s fault? Who told us to supersize our fries and drink? Not doctors, that’s for sure.

    And while it is true that the recommended diet has evolved over the years into our current pyramid, even when I was young it was the “4 Food Groups,” none of which included fatty french fries and large cokes (grains, meats, dairy, fruits and veggies, with lots of servings of f&v recommended). While it is not exactly the same as the food pyramid, if people had actually followed the 4 food groups recommendations, we wouldn’t have the obesity problems.

    As I said, it’s like blaming the drunk driving problem on the court system.

  126. #127 Calli Arcale
    February 22, 2010

    See? joes is right. He’s backed up his claims. A blogger also claimed that alzheimer’s cases will climb as people start to live long enough to actually develop it and asserted that it’s risen 10% in the past four years alone, therefore modern medicine and lifestyles are repsonsible for autism, diabetes, ADHD, and alzheimers.

    I just don’t know what anyone is complaining about.

    Actually, what joes just proved is that he doesn’t read his own sources, since that blog post contradicted his claim that this is due to the excesses of modern living rather than merely the fact that most people now live long enough to suffer these diseases.

  127. #128 joes
    February 22, 2010

    ummmm Cali…the life expectancy has risen 4.5 years in 35 years (1975 – 2010)…over the four years that the 10% alzheimers increase happened – 2005 to 2009 life expectancy increased maybe 1 year…(yes, this increase was worldwide but alzheimers is a western world problem…for now – I will yield the point if the usa alzheimer rate increase over the 4 years in question is much different)

    the articles (kind of) conclusion that living longer is causing alzheimers is laughable…shame on you for being a sheep and just accepting the conclusion the writer posed, as opposed to analyzing the raw data and making your own conclusion….

    is this the best the board has…I expected a much better discussion…I don’t mind being wrong…I am just unable to come to any other conclusion than the ones I have mentioned…

  128. #129 joes
    February 22, 2010

    Pablo…I am a huge personal responsibility guy…so I hear you and agree…

    unfortunately, what is being put in out foods…gmo, antibiotics, steroids, pesticides, herbicides, cloned meat, chemicals, HFCS, drugs (nutrasweet), foreign substances (margarine ect…), dyes, heavy metals – mercury ect,

    and that’s just what we are aware of – Food laws protect Big Food from so much disclosure…

    yes the average person should know better, but it is not easy…

    the FDA and Big Food has made living healthy very difficult…

    over eating is a problem, but the stuff going in us is so foreign, our bodies don’t have a clue what to do with the garbage…

  129. #130 Glaxo PharmaBase 7
    February 22, 2010

    MESSAGE BEGINS

    Human Minion Denice,

    Please accept the extra cash deposited into your Swiss account as recognition of our oversight. The new handbags are in transit. Agent Lagerfeld is, of course, one of PharmaCOM’s most loyal minions although we do think he’s spent a bit too much time in the vats. We regret having to recall agent McQueen, his last collection was too revealing of our presence (but those shoes were so comfy), but we’re happy to have him and his endless practical joking back here at Orbital.

    MESSAGE ENDS

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L
    PharmaCOM Orbital HQ
    0010101101001

  130. #131 Calli Arcale
    February 22, 2010

    joes:

    the articles (kind of) conclusion that living longer is causing alzheimers is laughable…shame on you for being a sheep and just accepting the conclusion the writer posed, as opposed to analyzing the raw data and making your own conclusion….

    I did not accept the writer’s conclusion. I merely pointed out that it did not support yours, and that it was the only “evidence” you actually gave in support of your own contentions — a post which is an opinion piece, relevant to only one of your claims, and actually contradictory to your claims.

    Really, if you want to make people think you are not a mindless sheep yourself, you should try a little harder to find evidence which is actually relevant. Otherwise people will conclude that you didn’t actually examine any evidence before reaching your conclusions, and are simply hoping nobody notices.

  131. #132 v.rosenzweig
    February 22, 2010

    As it happens, if it weren’t for modern medicine I’d have been dead two years ago, from a badly infected gallbladder. As it is, there were CT scans, there was modern anesthesia, there was surgery, and afterwards there were painkillers that might or might not count as modern.

    I’m pretty happy with my quality of life: good job, loving family, a nice cup of tea next to me, plans for the gym this evening, no problems sleeping or eating. That may be an average seven years’ longer life, but we aren’t average people: I’m in my forties, and if I can trust family history data, that surgery may have bought me an extra 40-50 years of life.

    Or are you claiming that all medical progress until, say, 1980 was in fact wonderful, and it’s only medicine and food since then that are problematic?

    Well, OK, in that case I would probably still be alive, but there’s a real quality-of-life difference between modern laparoscopic surgery and the old-style slicing through major abdominal muscles.

  132. #133 danielacel
    February 22, 2010

    I own a couple of Andreas books and I love them all! I used to have allergy for about 15 years and I tried a lot of different detoxes before..nothing really helped . It was getting worse until last year it sky rocket and I ‘ve had skin rush or hives or something all over my body. I felt really really bad, it was very itchy, I couldn’t sleep I couldn’t do anything and I ‘ve had it for almost 2 months. Then it was somehow ok and after my lunch “out” it was back. My doctor said he never saw anything like it before and I spent about $2000 just for lab work + about $500 for dermatology test ….with not improvement
    I finely begun with “Miracle Cleanses”and it really helped me a lot! I did almost 10 cleanses so far and I’ll continue until my body is clean. It takes time and it is not easy because I am also watching my food between the ” cleanses” as I don’t want to put these “bad things” like MSG, artificial coloring….back into my body….so it is challenging but I feel much much better and I continue to feel better if I follow the recommendation from Andreas book’s.
    I am sooo glad that I found Andreas. I love his work and I read his books over and over again!! Thank you Andreas!

    I believe that these negative comments are from the people paid by pharmaceutical companies because if these people would try and follow the steps recommended by Andreas they could never ever write things like this.

  133. #134 joes
    February 22, 2010

    WOW…I have to be honest…I am not impressed –

    health issues growing at alarming rates in many cases, I point out an article that says that alzheimers has increased 10% worldwide in a 4 year time period…and Calli points out…well, I don’t really know what he pointed out…blah blah something…

    Calli, bring something relevant to the discussion…Is alzheimers increasing rapidly? Can you identify a possible reason…? Jeez, this is a damn science blog…can someone bring something to the plate with some meat on it…

    I am a frickin political science graduate…I mean it’s got science in the degree name, but I know as much about science as a cat…I expected to be enlightened more this afternoon…

  134. #135 Michael Ralston
    February 22, 2010

    Calli points out that the article actually says that the increased lifespans are causing the Alzheimers. So are you just a liar, or are you really that dumb?

  135. #136 Militant Agnostic
    February 22, 2010

    So are you just a liar, or are you really that dumb?

    Both is also a distinct possibility.

    I love it when whackaloons cite studies that show evidence disproving the whackaloon’s claim. Google is not their friend.

  136. #137 joes
    February 22, 2010

    come on guys that is weak…you have to be able to do better than that…

    life expectancy has gone up 4.5 years in 35 years…

    I am begging you – show some nuts and show me something that refutes that…

    and after that, please tell me your explanation for alzheimers increasing 10% from 2005 to 2009…as the article states…

    is this really a science blog…

  137. #138 T. Bruce McNeely
    February 22, 2010

    joes:

    What’s…with the…weird…punctuation…Dude…?

    Ellipses are usually used when something is omitted. Is that where your evidence was supposed to go?

  138. #139 joes
    February 22, 2010

    Hey T. Bruce or Dude,

    The next best thing to a counter argument…The Grammar Police!

    Thanks for your contribution and input…

  139. #140 Joseph
    February 22, 2010

    life expectancy has gone up 4.5 years in 35 years…

    And you think this is not enough to explain it? The math seems non-trivial. You need to know the age distribution, and it probably requires writing software to model it.

  140. #141 joes
    February 22, 2010

    Joseph, I am all ears…

    sell me on your theory…if I am wrong on my passion about this issue…which you can obviously tell is in me pretty strong…I would like to here some alternative ideas like the one you almost disclosed.

    Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland, Searle ect, as well as the big pharmaceutical companies have had unfettered food product and drug development the last 35 years…

    I believe the results of it we are seeing today…

    if anyone strongly believes that the overall health and quality of life has not decreased significantly the last 35 years…well, I guess we just agree to disagree.

    but I am open to listening to any explanations for the rapid rise of illnesses – especially non-infectious diseases.

  141. #142 Natalie
    February 22, 2010

    Bruce, there’s a distinct possibility joe is just high. That would explain the stupidity and the spacy typing.

    Hey Joe, where’s your evidence to back up your claims that quality of life has decreased substantially since 1979? (30 years ago, as you claimed.) Or did you forget what year it is?

  142. #143 Joseph
    February 22, 2010

    @joes: Like I said, the math is non-trivial, and I don’t feel like estimating that at the moment for the benefit of one commenter somewhere.

    But… riddle me… this. Alzheimer’s is deadly. Last time I checked, average survival is 3 years. The other diseases that you believe BigPharma is causing presumably also lower life expectancy. Why hasn’t life expectancy dropped?

  143. #144 joes
    February 22, 2010

    Natalie, do you mind if I ignore you…?

    Joseph, I never said “…Big Pharma is causing presumably also lower life expectancy.”

    my hunch is that Big Food – and all the crap they are hiding in the foods, is causing most of the non-infectious disease escalation…

    Big Pharma has figured out a way to address “symptoms” for certain illnesses and it keep folks alive a few extra years…

    for most the quality of life has deteriorated with so many of these illnesses that it’s a joke…a sad joke I mean…

    can anyone, and that includes Natalie, tell me the last disease we CURED? I know there are some, most from the 40’s and 50’s – but let’s say the last 30 years (yes, Natalie, since 1980) ??

  144. #145 Chris
    February 22, 2010

    Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. It used to be a death sentence, now many live on for years (Paul Allen first got it in the early 1980s, last I looked he is still alive, even though he has relapsed). HIV/AIDS patients used to die within months of getting diagnosed, now they live for many more years.

    From the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society:

    The five-year relative survival rate has nearly quadrupled in the past 48 years for patients with leukemia. From 1960 to 1963, the five-year relative survival rate among Americans of European descent with leukemia was 14 percent. From 1975 to 1977, the five-year relative survival rate for all persons with leukemia jumped to 35 percent, and from 1999 to 2005 the overall relative survival rate was 54 percent. The relative survival rates differ by the person’s age at diagnosis, gender, race and the type of leukemia.

    And for children:

    From 1999 to 2005, the five-year relative survival rates overall** were:

    Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL): 66.3 percent overall; 90.9 percent for children under 5

    Does Mr. Moritz have similar results?

  145. #146 joes
    February 22, 2010

    Hey Chris, not sure what Andreas Moritz’s results are…

    I am pretty sure a liver flush hasn’t caused the health mess we are in right now…

    so is that it…you didn’t name one disease CURED…I am not asking a trick question, nor have I discounted Western Medicine completely – I can be argumentative and bull headed but I know a few WM advances have been wonderful…

    but don’t you find it odd that you can’t name one disease that has been CURED in 30 years…

  146. #147 Chris
    February 22, 2010

    So what has Mr. Moritz cured? Or did you not look at the subject of the blog posting? What exactly does drinking a combination of oil, grapefruit juice and Epsom salt supposed to cure? Where is the real evidence? (testimonies do not count)

    Why do people infected with HIV live so much longer? Do not give me a lesson in semantics. Just answer the question.

    If something is prevented like measles, mumps, tetanus, haemophilus influenzae type b, varicella, hepatitis, human papillomavirus and rotavirus with a safe vaccine, is that a “cure”?

    What is “Western Medicine”? Do you consider the cholesterol medications, the DTaP vaccine and the varicella vaccine “Eastern Medicine” since they were all developed in Japan? Is homeopathy “Western Medicine” since it was invented in Germany?

  147. #148 Joseph
    February 22, 2010

    but don’t you find it odd that you can’t name one disease that has been CURED in 30 years…

    Do you find it odd that we can’t travel back in time yet?

  148. #149 joes
    February 22, 2010

    Chris, I simply asked a specific question about cures and you couldn’t name one and then you got real defensive when I pressed for an answer…

    I don’t know if Andreas Moritz has cured a disease, but I would bet you a million bucks that he hasn’t CAUSED one…

    can Big Food or Big Pharma make the same bet?

    so Chris, let me know when you endorse your daughter or niece or young girl in your life to get the HPV vaccine…

    but instead of hearing you tell me how great that garbage vaccine is…just answer the question…

    why hasn’t western medicine cured a disease in years…and no Chris taking pills the rest of my life to cover up a symptom doesn’t count…

  149. #150 Chris
    February 22, 2010

    Now, what is the subject of this blog posting? What evidence do you have that Moritz has cured anything?

    joes whines:

    why hasn’t western medicine cured a disease in years…and no Chris taking pills the rest of my life to cover up a symptom doesn’t count…

    And if a the option is taking medication for the rest of your life or certain death, what do you choose? Are you going to tell your HIV positive neighbor to stop taking his/her medication? That is what Christine Maggiore did, and look what happened to both her daughter and herself.

    Are you going to tell a person with Type 1 Diabetes to stop taking insulin? Why? What would you rather they do? Are you going to run into your local Children’s Hospital and yell that the oncology ward should be shut down? (actually, please do, it might be fun to read about in the news)

    My daughter has been vaccinated with the HPV vaccine, along with Hib, MMR, Tdap and some others. If you have any evidence post it on the appropriate blog posting (like the one titled “Let’s ask idiots about science”).

    Never mind, you have not shown any real level of thinking. You are just some random dude who cannot post on topic. You don’t even know what the topic is! You are an off-topic troll, and shall now be treated with the regard you deserve: none.

  150. #151 Luna_the_cat
    February 22, 2010

    joes: you want a disease that modern medicine can cure?

    How about tuberculosis.

    Tuberculosis damn near wiped out my grandfather’s, great-grandfather’s, and great-great-grandfather’s families, in each generation killing close to 50% of the children and often robbing children of at least one parent. My grandmother had tuberculosis of the hip and spine, leaving her painfully crippled. In the modern world, hoever, even with the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of tuberculosis, I’d venture to say that tuberculosis of the bones is almost never seen in industrialised nations, and pulmonary and central nervous system tuberculosis has under 5% mortality, which is often driven by patients not completing their course of treatment properly.

    I have several books of records and stories of ancestors of mine who died in their 30s of a disease that I have never seen in person and wouldn’t even expect to. So don’t give me that crap.

    Your ignorance of history is so bad it hurts. Seriously.

  151. #152 W. Kevin Vicklund
    February 23, 2010

    Vicki, sorry I distracted from your PR duties…ummmmm I think life expectancy has increased less than 5 years in the last 35 years (73 in 1975 and 77.7 in 2010)

    You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means [/Inigo Montoya]

    The estimate that 50% of all Americans born thirty-five years ago will die before age 73 tells us nothing about the age at which Americans born early enough to currently be at risk of Alzheimers are likely to die. We need to look at the life expectancies from 1930-1950 (80-60 years old). Furthermore, the death distribution curve is non-linear, so calculating the %change doesn’t work.

    …below is a from an article in the WSJ regarding the growth of alzheimer’s from just 2005 to 2009….

    nice try though…

    ‘The number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease has been increasing sharply over the past several years, and will continue to grow at an unprecedented rate. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal stated that the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease “grew 10% globally between 2005 and 2009 to 35 million… [and] this number is expected to continue climbing to 115.4 million in 2050 ” (Alzheimer’s Cases to Climb Sharply, by Shirley S. Wang, 9/21/09).’

    Notice that he said “living with Alzheimer’s”. This is not the same as new diagnoses. Better care can lead to longer life w/ AD.

    Is alzheimers increasing rapidly? Can you identify a possible reason…? Jeez, this is a damn science blog…can someone bring something to the plate with some meat on it…

    So let’s identify several factors that may underlie the increase:

    1. The childhood vaccination program dramatically reduced childhood mortality rates in the time span from 1930-1950. This largely accounts for the nearly 9% increase in life expectancy between 1940-1950. Less than half the people born in 1940 lived to age 65; it is expected that 50% of people born in 1950 will live to 70 (they turn 60 this year)

    2. Medical advances benefit younger age groups more than older age groups because there are fewer survivors (measured as % of people born that year) in the older age groups. In particular, any advance that only benefits those older than their age-group’s life expectancy will not have any effect on life expectancy.

    3. Growth rate. There are more people born each year than the year before, increasing the absolute number of people surviving to old age. The Baby Boomers are just now reaching that age.

    4. Advances in Alzheimer’s treatment. If people can live with AD for longer periods of time, the absolute number of Alzheimer’s patients will increase.

    5. Demographics. Blacks, and to a lesser extent women, are more at risk than white men. Both groups’ life expectancy has grown more than white men’s, and the black growth rate was larger.

    This is by no means a complete list.

  152. #153 T. Bruce McNeely
    February 23, 2010

    joes:
    You might find the following article interesting:
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5ibS0P3znwF13im30HoX4o9v65npg

    In summary, the life expectancy at birth in Canada has risen 2.3 years in the last 10 years. For men, the figure is 2.9 years. I would call that pretty damn good.

    The “rise” in Alzheimer’s is due in part to two factors
    1) Alheimer’s is a disease of the old. The more old people, the more Alzheimer’s.
    2) When I was in med school (1974 grad), Alzheimer’s was a term reserved for “pre-senile dementia”, that is, dementia with onset before age 65. Anyone older with dementia was considered to have “small strokes” or was just “senile”. A change in diagnostic criteria, as well as new imaging studies have greatly increased the accuracy of diagnosis since then, and, of course, increased the number of Alzheimer’s diagnoses. Multi-infarct dementia (AKA small strokes) can be diagnosed with accuracy,and is less common than formerly believed. No one is diagnosed as “senile” any more.
    This, of course, is also in addition to W. Kevin Vicklund’s comments.

    You wanted some “meat” on the plate. In my opinion, you have been given a Hungry Man Dinner – or do you consider this to be Big Food?

  153. #154 David Noon
    June 29, 2010

    This boring attack blog says more about you than Mr. Moritz.
    I was just checking him out and your idiotic blurb and patting yourself on the back for being his #1 google makes you a schmuck.
    Looks like you have lost some steam as your are not #1 now.
    Sure you are off doing your good work elsewhere on other good people.
    Thanks for the heads up, you are a joke.

  154. ‘The number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease has been increasing sharply over the past several years, and will continue to grow at an unprecedented rate. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal stated that the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease “grew 10% globally between 2005 and 2009 to 35 million… [and] this number is expected to continue climbing to 115.4 million in 2050 ” (Alzheimer’s Cases to Climb Sharply, by Shirley S. Wang, 9/21/09).’

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