Respectful Insolence

ORAC SAYS: Please note my disclaimer.

After the events of last week, I’m a bit sensitive when it comes to matters like the one I’m about to discuss. Having the anti-vaccine cranks over at the Age of Autism weblog trying to get me fired over my blogging has a tendency to do that to me. (The details are out there if you haven’t heard of it; I will say nothing more of it here.) In any case, if there’s anything the events of last week drove home to me, it’s that a sina qua non of anti-science cranks like the leaders of the anti-vaccine movement is that, when faced with serious scientific criticism, their preferred reaction is not to respond to that criticism with refutations based on science. They can’t. Instead, their all too frequent response is to try to shut down criticism. We’ve seen it again and again, and I’ve discussed it many times on this blog.

Unfortunately, it’s happening again. The favored laboratory of anti-vaccine practitioners and the “autism biomed” movement, a commercial laboratory known as Doctor’s Data is suing Steve Barrett, the man who maintains the excellent resource Quackwatch, for criticism Dr. Barrett leveled against it, criticism that Doctor’s Data richly deserved (in my opinion, of course). Not just that, it’s suing Dr. Barrett for the ridiculously overblown sum of $10 million. In case you don’t remember Doctor’s Data, I’ll just remind you that it’s a commercial laboratory that describes itself thusly on its website:

Doctor’s Data, Inc. (DDI) a premier clinical laboratory with over 30 years’ experience, provides specialty testing to healthcare practitioners around the world. A specialist and pioneer in essential and toxic elemental testing of multiple human tissues, the laboratory offers a wide array of functional testing. DDI’s tests are utilized in the assessment, detection, prevention, and treatment of heavy metal burden, nutritional deficiencies, gastrointestinal function, hepatic detoxification, metabolic abnormalities, and diseases of environmental origin.


To me, a more accurate description of DDI would be that it has become the favorite go-to laboratory for the autism biomed movement and all manner of autism quacks, particularly the anti-vaccine variety. The reason is DDI’s dubious promotion of “heavy metal” and metabolic testing. I haven’t mentioned it that many times on this blog, but it’s important to know that, for “practitioners” who promote the scientifically discredited idea that mercury in the thimerosal preservative that used to be in vaccines was the cause of the “autism epidemic” that is not, DDI not infrequently is the laboratory that provides the questionable lab data supporting the diagnoses of “mercury toxicity,” “elevated heavy metal levels” (what, do these children listen to too much Metallica or something?), or various other forms of “toxicity” requiring “detoxification.” Mercury and other heavy metals are not the only tests that DDI markets, either. When dubious autism “practitioners” expanded from viewing autism as “mercury toxicity” to a combination of heavy metal toxicity and various other “toxic” insults requiring “detoxification,” DDI was (and, to my knowledge, still is) the favored laboratory that they used to measure levels of heavy metals, mercury, and various endogenous antioxidants, such as glutathione, associated with the mercury detoxification enzyme pathways within cells.

As Dr. Barrett points out, if there’s one single test that DDI is most associated with, it’s a test known as the “provoked urine test” for heavy metals, and it’s a favorite test of the mercury militia looking for elevated mercury levels that they can “treat” with their nostrums. In essence, the test involves giving a child a chelating agent, usually DMPS or DMSA, and then collecting a urine sample. The chelating agent does what it’s designed to do and binds to mercury and various other heavy metals, which are then excreted in the urine. This elevates the levels of these metals in the urine, sometimes far beyond normal. The urine is then collected for several hours after the chelator has been administered. That is the “provoked” nature of the urine test. This method is in contrast to the standard manner of measuring these metals in the urine, which involves collecting a 24 hour urine sample, no provocation. Here’s the problem. A provoked urine test, by its very nature, is designed to increase the secretion of heavy metals and thus increase their concentration in the urine. The problem is that there are no standard values for provoked urine tests, although there are reference values for standard, unprovoked, 24 hour urine specimens. Guess what values practitioners and DDI use? It’s even worse than that, though, as Dr. Barrett describes:

Neither Mayo Clinic, nor any other legitimate national laboratory, has reference ranges for “provoked” specimens. Further, the references ranges for normal urine heavy metal levels used by Mayo Clinic and the largest national reference lab, Quest Diagnostics, are the same.

In contrast, Doctor’s Data uses reference values of less than 3 ug/g for mercury and 5 ug/g for lead. Standard laboratories that process non-provoked samples use much higher reference ranges [3,4], which means that if all other things were equal, Doctor’s Data is far more likely than standard labs to report “elevated” levels. But that’s not all. A disclaimer at the bottom of the above lab report states–in boldfaced type!–that “reference ranges are representative of a healthy population under non-challenge or nonprovoked conditions.” In other words, they should not be applied to specimens that were obtained after provocation. Also note that the specimen was obtained over a 6-hour period, not the standard 24-hour period, which raised the reported level even higher.

The management at Doctor’s Data knows that provoked testing artificially raises the urine levels and that the length of collection time greatly influences the results. In 2002, David W. Quig, Ph.D. and two others presented a study of mercury levels in urine collected two hours after DMPS administration to 259 patients at a Nevada clinic. More than 75% of the patients tested at 21 µg or higher, and most of the rest fell between 3µg and 20 µg [5]. At these levels, nearly everyone’s mercury level would be classified as “elevated” or “very elevated” on the test reports. In a 2006 naturopathic textbook chapter, Quig, who is Doctor’s Data’s vice president for scientific support, acknowledged that mercury levels “are higher in specimens collected from 90 minutes to 2 hours after DMPS infusion than with longer collection times, because the peak rate of mercury excretion occurs about 90 minutes after infusion of DMPS.” [6]

I can’t think of a more appropriate way to put it, given the history of the British Chiropractic Association trying to shut down Simon Singh’s criticism of its promotion of treatments not based in science: I conclude that provoked urine testing is a bogus test. According to Dr. Barrett, only does DDI use reference ranges for unprovoked urine tests, values that are utterly meaningless for provoked urine testing, but it uses reference ranges that are lower than what is commonly accepted by reputable laboratories and academic medical centers. This combination of factors virtually guarantees that it will produce many “positive” results for “elevated” mercury and other heavy metals in the urine, which practitioners can then apply dubious therapies, such as chelation therapy, to treat. Obviously DDI disputes this, but it doesn’t provide any quality scientific data to do so, in my opinion. Consequently, in my view, what DDI does in essence is to do a technically sound measurement of mercury and heavy metals in the urine but on urine specimens collected using a completely inappropriate methodology that is not scientifically or medically valid.

As a result, DDI has had its share of trouble, including investigations by legal authorities and lawsuits by patients whose practitioners used DDI test, and deservedly so. Dr. Barrett has listed a number of these actions. Last year, in Texas, DDI was sued for fraud, along with other dubious labs and a number of physicians. Basically, DDI, Jesus Caquias, M.D., and Jeff Baker (an unlicensed naturopath) stand accused of billing a patient’s insurance company for $180,000 worth of bogus tests like provoked urine testing and dubious treatments.

Now Doctor’s Data is suing Stephen Barrett. This lawsuit started, as such suits often do, with a nastygram from DDI’s lawyer. The first letter to Dr. Barrett from DDI’s lawyer Algis Augustine is a typical letter used for the purpose of silencing criticism. It’s pure intimidation, nothing more:

We demand that you cease and desist any and all comments regarding Doctor’s Data, which have been and are false, fraudulent, defamatory or otherwise not truthful, and make a complete and full retraction of all statements you have made in the past, including those which have led in some instances to litigation. Such comments include, but are not limited to, those made in your article entitled, “How the ‘Urine Toxic Metals’ Test Is Used to Defraud Patients,” which you authored and posted on Quackwatch.com. “The best evidence for reckless disregard,” you have written, “is failure to modify where notified.” Consider this notice to you that if you do not make these full and complete retractions within 10 days of the date of this letter, in each and every place in which you have made false and fraudulent, untruthful or otherwise defamatory statements, Doctor’s Data will proceed with litigation against you and any organizations, entities and individuals acting in common cause or concert with you, to the full extent of the law, and will seek injunctive relief and monetary damages, both compensatory and punitive.

This is typical. Note that Augustine doesn’t actually list which specific parts of Dr. Barrett’s article are incorrect, false, fraudulent or otherwise not truthful in the view of his client. Doctor’s Data doesn’t appear to be interested in accuracy, at least not if the letter from its lawyer is any indication. It appears far more interested in shutting up the opposition, of purging the Internet of material that can be used against it in the lawsuit it is facing in Texas. The rest of the text of the letter comes close to actually admitting this.

I actually receive the occasional cease and desist e-mail myself for my blogging. Of course, I don’t really take e-mails very seriously, and when I do receive such letters, because I’m interested in being factually accurate, my standard response pretty much mirrors Dr. Barrett’s response to Augustine’s demand and threat:

I take great pride in being accurate and carefully consider complaints about what I write. However, your letter does not identify a single statement by me that you believe is inaccurate or “fraudulent.” The only thing you mention is my article about how the urine toxic metals test is used to defraud patients: (http://www.quackwatch.org/t). The article’s title reflects my opinion, the basis of which the article explains in detail.

If you want me to consider modifying the article, please identify every sentence to which you object and explain why you believe it is not correct.

If you want me to consider statements other than those in the article, please send me a complete list of such statements and the people to whom you believe they were made.

This is exactly the right response to demands for retraction. It puts the ball back into the thug’s court (and make no mistake, such threats are nothing more than legal thuggery in my opinion), and it also demonstrates a commitment to correcting errors, which would belie any future claims of demonstrating a reckless disregard for the truth. In Dr. Barrett’s case, I also notice with interest the part about “failure to modify when notified.” Note that Augustine is not trying to get Dr. Barrett to “modify” anything; he’s telling him to remove all the material his client doesn’t like (i.e., the entire article). Of course, the thing to remember if you ever see such a letter is that nothing short of removing all the material that the thug sending the letter finds offensive will satisfy thugs like Doctor’s Data; that is, unless the letter writer is bluffing, which is sometimes the case, but, more importantly, definitely something you want be very careful about gambling with unless you’re fully prepared to go to court. In any case, such letters are virtually always intended not to spur the correction of errors in written articles or blog posts. Rather, they are there to try to frighten the person receiving them to take down the whole article in order to avoid a lawsuit. If Augustine actually identified exactly which parts of Dr. Barrett’s articles are in his client’s opinion false, it would allow Dr. Barrett to leave the article up while only altering some parts of it. This would not do at all, as Augustine’s response clearly reveals:

You have been making false statements about Doctor’s Data and have damaged this company’s business and reputation, and you have done so for personal gain and your own self-interest, disguised as performing a public service. Your writings and conduct are clearly designed to damage Doctor’s Data. If you don’t retract your false claims and issue a public apology, the lawsuit will be filed.

Legal thuggery. Pure legal thuggery. Fortunately, Dr. Barrett refuses to back down:

My letter asked you to identify the claims that you believe are false. You have not identified a single sentence that you believe is inaccurate. Since you have failed to do so, I have no choice but to assume that you cannot. My offer remains open, as it is to anyone who is criticized on any of my sites. If you identify anything that you consider inaccurate, I will seriously consider what you say and act accordingly.

Of course, DDI through its paid mouthpiece Algis Augustine didn’t identify a single sentence that was false. I think that’s because it couldn’t, because Dr. Barrett’s article on provoked urine testing is comprehensive and well-referenced. Those engaging in legal thuggery almost never do, because intimidation to silence is their goal. Shutting down criticism is their goal. It is apparent to me that, as in the Simon Singh case, DDI’s goal is not good science. It’s to silence scientific criticism not through refutation using science, but through the use of the courts. As I’ve said before, when you don’t have the data to support your claims, when science and medicine are not on your side, all that leaves is shutting up the opposition by any means necessary, and these articles on Quackwatch about the bogus test that is provoked urine testing for heavy metals are exactly what DDI can’t refute with science:

While you’re at it, you might want to look at a post I did a while back that explain how Doctor’s Data lab results have been abused by alt-med practitioners to subject a child to repeated testing as part of a comprehensive program of highly dubious therapies, up to and including the injection of stem cells into the cerebrospinal fluid of an autistic girl and remember that DDI is also being sued by the father of a child with autism who was subjected to chelation therapy and whose “autism biomed” practitioners used DDI lab tests in their non-science-based evaluation and treatment of a child. No doubt DDI would say that it is not responsible for the “misuse” of its tests, but I would disagree based on the information in Barrett’s article.

More importantly, Doctor’s Data is suing Dr. Barrett for the ridiculously overblown sum of $10 million, knowing quite well that Dr. Barrett doesn’t have $10 million or anywhere close to it. Its obvious purpose, again, is to shut down criticism of its dubious testing and its marketing itself to dubious practitioners who perform chelation therapy for autism, heart disease, and other conditions for which chelation therapy is not indicated. Because of that, I would argue that skeptics and supporters of science-based medicine should treat this lawsuit as being on the same level of urgency as that of Simon Singh, the British skeptic who was sued by the British Chiropractic Assocation and managed to win against the odds, given how stacked against the defendant British libel law is. The BCA’s lawsuit even backfired spectacularly in that it provoked a campaign to reform British libel laws and turned skeptics loose investigating the pseudoscientific claims of large numbers of British chiropractors. Even so, Singh suffered two years of legal actions and spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to defend himself. He’s unlikely to recover all of his legal costs. He has made a huge difference, however.

It is true that American libel laws are nowhere near as plaintiff-friendly as British libel law. Dr. Barrett isn’t at nearly as big a disadvantage, and the lawsuit against him is not likely to lead to major changes in U.S. (or even Texas) libel law. It’s quite possible that it will be rapidly dismissed, as Barbara Loe Fisher’s lawsuit against Paul Offit was. I certainly hope so. Still, no matter what happens, DDI will cost Dr. Barrett money and time and interfere with his important work on Quackwatch. Besides, it is the principle involved that should spur skeptics to publicize and protest this naked intimidation of a respected skeptic and supporter of science-based medicine, and that principle is that libel laws should be kept out of science. Libel law should have no place in what is a scientific dispute. Worse, if Doctor’s Data is successful, not only would it silence one of the most dedicated and successful supporters of science-based medicine out there, but it could well destroy what is arguably the most comprehensive site for debunking quackery that is currently in existence, Quackwatch and its affiliated sites.

Supporters of medical pseudoscience have a long history of trying to stifle criticism by any means necessary. Sometimes their chosen means are dubious libel suits, as when Barbara Loe Fisher tried to sue Paul Offit for libel and the BCA sued Simon Singh. Indeed, this is arguably the most favored technique to shut up opposition, and I’ve recently learned that “attachment therapist” Dr. Ronald Federici is suing several of his critics, including Jean Mercer, Psychology Today, and Advocates for Children in Therapy. He lost the first round, I’ve recently learned that he is appealing. Sometimes, their chosen technique is to try to harass their enemies at their job, as I have recently experienced. Sometimes their preferred technique is to try to shut down criticism by filing complaints against ISPs, as Joseph Chikelue Obi and the Society of Homeopaths did to Andy Lewis. Sometimes, the more radicalized of them, such as animal rights activists, directly vandalize property or protest at the homes of researchers in order to intimidate them. It’s all the same intent, just using different tactics, and that intent is to silence the opposition. It’s all a continuum, and many are the techniques used by promoters of dubious medicine to react to science-based criticism. What all the techniques and strategies used all share in common is that they are designed not to refute scientific criticism, but to stifle it through intimidation.

If they win, science suffers, and so do patients.

ADDENDUM: You can help Dr. Barrett, too. If you’re a blogger, please write about this. Voice your opinion and help drum up financial support for his legal fund. Everyone can contribute to Dr. Barrett’s legal defense fund by donating to Quackwatch at this page here.

Comments

  1. #1 Todd W.
    June 30, 2010

    Thanks for the notice, Orac. When I get some time today, I’ll add something to Silenced.

  2. #2 Seb30
    June 30, 2010

    When I read the name of the lawyer, I was confused for a few seconds. The same name appeared quite frequently recently on this blog.

    Back on topic, yeah, this legal stuff is pure bullying tactic. Shut up or I smash you.
    And we are the ones “suppressing the truth”?

    I hate bullies.

  3. #3 Travis
    June 30, 2010

    What a truly pathetic and obvious attempt at intimidation. Paging Peter Irons. I remember what he did when Stuart Pivar went after PZ and I think his reply to this would rather make my day.

  4. #4 Dangerous Bacon
    June 30, 2010

    From the quoted response to Dr. Barrett by Algis Augustine:

    “You have been making false statements about Doctor’s Data and have damaged this company’s business and reputation, and you have done so for personal gain and your own self-interest, disguised as performing a public service.

    Wonder if that could be viewed as defamatory. Hopefully for DDI they have some evidence to back up that attack, or they might wind up in worse trouble than just angering the blogging/skeptical community and further spotlighting their activities through a dubious legal strategy (more article material here for the Chicago Tribune?).

  5. #5 Todd W.
    June 30, 2010

    @Seb30

    Yeah, I chuckled about the Augustine connection, too.

    Anyway, got a post up about this over at Silenced by Age of Autism.

  6. #6 Broken Link
    June 30, 2010

    Just donated. This bullying must stop.

  7. #7 Brett
    June 30, 2010

    This is why we need “Loser Pays” rules for many civil suits. These bullying jerks would be much, much more hesitant about trying to intimidate someone with a CnD if they knew they would be wholly on the hook for said person’s legal costs if/when the case is dropped.

  8. #8 Science Mom
    June 30, 2010

    This is preposterous. Has the lawsuit been filed in an Anti-SLAPP statute state? While, in my very un-expert opinion, this suit doesn’t stand a chance, it is a repugnant effort by anti-vaxxers and woo practitioners to silence their critics and a nuisance, at best.

    I wish Dr. Barrett the very best and am confident he will prevail. This is yet, another very bad move by sCAM artists who, in spite of their efforts otherwise, aren’t particularly acting in deference to their own self-preservation.

  9. #9 Andy
    June 30, 2010

    Wonder if that could be viewed as defamatory.

    (IANAL) but I suspect not. Libel usually has to be transmitted to a third party (by the accuser). The BCA risked it when they suggested malice by Singh in one of their media releases (later modified, as I recall) but I don’t see how you can defame someone in private correspondence to that person since defamation is about reducing someone’s integrity in the eyes of others.

    Since Dr Barrett published this claim first (I assume), it would be hard to suggest that he thinks it will damage his reputation if others see it.

    I repeat, I’m no lawyer.

  10. #10 MikeMa
    June 30, 2010

    Would be interesting if all the hate-filled juvenile posts by Augie were in fact from a lawyer defending a lab against fraud they clearly commit.

  11. #11 Tsu Dho Nimh
    June 30, 2010

    The risks of dealing with supplements
    June 5, 2009
    By: Algis K. Augustine, Esq.

    “The overwhelming majority of doctors know little about supplements or the risks, rules, and regulations that may apply when selling them from a medical practice.”
    http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/memag/author/authorInfo.jsp?id=50186

    (I didn’t sign up for the site … but I doubt the DAN! crowd would like his criticizing their lack of knowledge)

  12. #12 Nick Smith
    June 30, 2010

    Dangerous Bacon: Well.. the communication between former amoral government regulation lawyer/current amoral advocate for evil A. Augustine and decent physician Stephen Barrett was privately sent to Barrett, private, so it doesn’t really come under either libel or slander laws.

  13. #13 Broken Link
    June 30, 2010

    For those of you interested, DDI also does business in hair testing. Proponents of Andrew Cutler’s protocol (he’s a PhD in Chemical Engineering) have posted many such results in the files section of the yahoo group Autism-Mercury. Cutler promotes what appears to be a complex and arbitrary set of “counting rules” to determine supposed mercury toxicity.

  14. #14 D. C. Sessions
    June 30, 2010

    What could be really ironic about this is that at least part of Dr. Barrett’s defense could be based on the precedent set in Barrett v. Rosenthal — where Dr. Barrett lost and the appellate Court expressed disgust that it had to rule against him due to a gap in the law.

  15. #15 OleanderTea
    June 30, 2010

    The favored laboratory of anti-vaccine practitioners and the “autism biomed” movement, a commercial laboratory known as Doctor’s Data is suing Steve Barrett…. Not just that, it’s suing Dr. Barrett for the ridiculously overblown sum of $10 million

    Sounds like Doctor’s Data is using the same silencing techniques as those used to such advantage by the Scientologists….which is kind of scary to think about.

  16. #16 Denice Walter
    June 30, 2010

    Orac: I was very sorry to read about your “friend’s” experiences and the resultant *agita*,having gone through a similar bout during an extremely stressful(6 month) period in my life for which I am eternally grateful to whoever makes Gaviscom and Pepcid(which probably makes me a PharmaShill as well) and Dannon.

  17. #17 cervantes
    June 30, 2010

    Dr. Barrett is pretty much continually being sued or threatened with lawsuits. He’s used to it by now, for sure. Then the fraudsters use the claim that he’s been sued 80 times or whatever it is to discredit him. I don’t know how he puts up with it.

  18. #18 D. C. Sessions
    June 30, 2010

    This is preposterous. Has the lawsuit been filed in an Anti-SLAPP statute state?

    #include IANAL.h

    I suspect that Dr. Barrett’s first action will be for dismissal based on lack of personal jurisdiction in Texas. In the alternative, the suit should be moved to Pennsylvania on the usual grounds that in a case involving diversity of jurisdiction the case should be tried on the Defendant’s home turf.

    IIRC Pennsylvania does have a SLAPP statute, although I don’t know how strong it is. Application of State SLAPP laws to Federal courts varies by District: the Ninth has ruled that California’s SLAPP applies but the First has ruled that Massachusetts’ doesn’t.

  19. #19 Science Mom
    June 30, 2010

    Thanks D.C.; I’m sure we will all be following and I appreciate any legal expertise on the subject.

  20. #20 Rene Najera
    June 30, 2010

    “Stop it!”
    “Stop what?”
    “Stop it!”
    “What?”
    “(Shrieking) SSSSTTTTTOOOOOOOOPPPPP IIIIIIIITTTT!!! (Normal voice) Or I’ll sue you.”

    Well, with arguments like that, I’m sure this will go smoothly, maybe.

    I’m telling you, folks, we need a Scopes trial of our age against quacks. I’d love to put some choice people on the stand and unleash a Perry Mason-like hail of questions on them.

  21. #21 Calli Arcale
    June 30, 2010

    Rene — heh heh. :-D

    Yes, it does sound rather a lot like my three-year-old getting upset with the entire world for not meeting her whims, only dressed up in fancier language. Right down to the part where a reasonable “stop what?” only makes her madder.

  22. #22 Shasta
    June 30, 2010

    I love the fact that when I just googled “Algis K. Augustine, Esq.” that THIS post was fourth on the search results list. :-D

  23. #23 rpenner
    June 30, 2010

    I have a PACER.gov account and can see Federal lawsuit filings. On June 29, the complaint was updated to exclude former defendant _Consumer Health Digest_. The complaint lacks the typical civil tone of professionalism, in my non-professional opinion.

    In part, Barrett is being sued because patients are suing doctors and this laboratory — and that’s not good for business.

    “16. Doctor’s Data has demanded that Defendants remove all putative information from said websites,” and they didn’t, those dastards! “[A]ll putative information,” really?!?

    “28. Defendants control the content of the websites without regard to the truth of the information published thereon.” What, really? Because that’s not what the letters Barrett wrote said.

    Exhibit A is a March 29th copy of http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Tests/urine_toxic.html

    DD objects to being depicted as an organization that “caters to nonstandard practitioners” although they don’t rebut it in the complaint.

    DD objects to being depicted as providing test results which are used “falsely” to “defraud patients” although they don’t rebut it other to clarify that any diagnosis is not actually done by them.

    There are several other exhibits, all with claims of their own.

    Orac, the charge for downloading the complaint is under ten dollars, but PACER is tedious. Also, the documents are PDF without OCRed or plain text content. I will send you a copy of it, if you wish.

    Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) Case 1:10-cv-03795

  24. #24 Cattleprod
    June 30, 2010

    The problem you and your followers have Orac is that most people have commonsense. When you have commonsense the first thing that comes to mind is that ethylmercury is a potent neurotoxin and should not be injected into the bloodstream of newborns, infants and pregnant women. All these other side shows really don’t matter.

  25. #25 gpmtrixie
    June 30, 2010

    LOL, Calli. My 3-year-old eventually adds, “Please”, when I can’t/don’t respond to her incomprehensible demands, thinking that will improve her chances of getting a favorable response.

  26. #26 MikeMa
    June 30, 2010

    @Cattleprod

    ethylmercury is a potent neurotoxin

    Citation?

    Methylmercury has issues and should be avoided as it accumulates. Ethylmercury leaves the system in days.

    And all that has to do with a lab providing cagey alt-med asswipes with fraudulent data how?

  27. #27 Travis
    June 30, 2010

    Ahh yes, the wisdom of common sense (it is two words by the way). Certainly we should rely on gut feelings and ignore evidence. Apparently the evidence showing it is safe simply must be wrong because naive common sense based on fear and ignorance must trump everything else.

  28. #28 Terrie
    June 30, 2010

    “ethylmercury is a potent neurotoxin and should not be injected into the bloodstream of newborns, infants and pregnant women.”

    Please name a vaccine that is injected into the blood stream.

  29. #29 Travis
    June 30, 2010

    I guess I am wrong, commonsense can be used as an adjective. My mistake.

    But also, how does this relate to this topic? There are plenty of places where you can write your nonsense and not just butt into another conversation

  30. #30 MikeMa
    June 30, 2010

    Travis,
    I’m guessing ol’ Cattleprod was feeling left out as Orac hadn’t published an anti-vax piece in a while.

    Some speaker I heard once: “Common sense is surprisingly uncommon.”

  31. #31 MI Dawn
    June 30, 2010

    @cattleprod: actually, the first thing that comes to mind with ethylmercury is that we used to paint ourselves red with it on a regular basis, and that we also used it for years in contact lens solutions as an antibacterial without issues (unless you were allergic to it like my uncle).

    No vaccine is injected into the bloodstream, but we certainly got it into our bloodstreams as my parents painted it on us liberally for any injury at any age.

    Yeah, most people have common sense. They know that vaccines don’t cause autism and get their kids vaccinated, and keep their own vaccines up to date, because they use that common sense. Antivax people must have something called “commonsense” which means they don’t use any.
    Strangely my siblings and I are not,despite much more exposure to “toxins” than most current children, suffering from any neurotoxicity.

  32. #32 MI Dawn
    June 30, 2010

    Argh! Commenting error/preview fail. The last sentence about my siblings and me should be up with the second paragraph.

    try again:

    @cattleprod: actually, the first thing that comes to mind with ethylmercury is that we used to paint ourselves red with it on a regular basis, and that we also used it for years in contact lens solutions as an antibacterial without issues (unless you were allergic to it like my uncle).

    No vaccine is injected into the bloodstream, but we certainly got it into our bloodstreams as my parents painted it on us liberally for any injury at any age.
    Strangely my siblings and I are not,despite much more exposure to “toxins” than most current children, suffering from any neurotoxicity.

    Yeah, most people have common sense. They know that vaccines don’t cause autism and get their kids vaccinated, and keep their own vaccines up to date, because they use that common sense. Antivax people must have something called “commonsense” which means they don’t use any.

  33. #33 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 30, 2010

    Orac, the charge for downloading the complaint is under ten dollars, but PACER is tedious. Also, the documents are PDF without OCRed or plain text content. I will send you a copy of it, if you wish.

    Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) Case 1:10-cv-03795

    Just a reminder that you can install a free extension called RECAP which enhances use of PACER. When you download a document from PACER through a copy of Firefox with RECAP installed, the document is automatically added to an archive maintained by the Internet Archive. If the document you want to download is already in the RECAP archive, you have the option of downloading it from there for free instead of from PACER at a cost.

    https://www.recapthelaw.org/

  34. #34 Rene Najera
    June 30, 2010

    No, no, no… You’re right, Cattleprod, you’re right. Totally commonsensical to attack thimerosal and ignore OSR#1.

    Totally fair to attack Big Pharma while being plastered, NASCAR-Like, with badges for Lee Silsby and Our Kids…

    Totally.

  35. #35 JohnV
    June 30, 2010

    Funny thing that commonsense, cattleprod. Especially if it tells you that a vaccine is injected directly into the blood stream.

    WHY DO WE ALWAYS HAVE TO GO OVER THIS WITH YOU PEOPLE. FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIS MOONEY TELL ME HOW I CAN BUILD A BRIDGE AND EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATE THIS SIMPLE FACT TO YOU PEOPLE.

  36. #36 David N. Brown
    June 30, 2010

    “It’s quite possible that it will be rapidly dismissed, as Barbara Loe Fisher’s lawsuit against Paul Offit was.”

    I take this as a certainty. Olmsted made a similar threat without the slightest effort at actual rebuttal when I challenged the authenticity of a leaked document from Aarhus university. I am satisfied, if he had attempted this in a US jurisdiction where “burden of proof” is on a plaintiff, any court would have dismissed it immediately. And, Olmsted at least stated up front what claim he contended to be false. DDI’s refusal to do the same in “negotiation” phase would also be an easy grounds for immediate dismissal.

    “Silenced by Age of Autism” also has something up on this. The post there mentions an accusation the Barret filed “complaints” against DDI. This leads me to suspect that their ultimate goal is less to silence Barret than to cast some kind of doubt on the legitimacy of regulatory actions against them, as Wakefield’s apologists attempted to do by claiming Brian Deer filed a complaint with the GMC.

  37. #37 Chris
    June 30, 2010

    Good grief. The “inject into bloodstream” idiocy is even worse than the “mercury in the MMR” vaccine stupidity.

    I love how these guys come in and try to tell us the “facts”, only to get it completely wrong.

  38. #38 Todd W.
    June 30, 2010

    @Chris

    I love how these guys come in and try to tell us the “facts”, only to get it completely wrong.

    Who needs “facts” when you’ve got righteous conviction?

  39. #39 MartinM
    June 30, 2010

    The problem is that there are no standard values for provoked urine tests, although there are reference values for standard, unprovoked, 24 hour urine specimens.

    One would think that a company whose business involves frequent use of provoked tests would have both reason and the ability to establish such reference values, thus rendering their tests at least slightly more effective than ‘yeah, looks high to me, I guess.’

  40. #40 jre
    June 30, 2010

    And, lest we forget — Stephen Barrett still needs our support. So give.

  41. #41 Dr. P
    June 30, 2010

    Cattleprod, there is a problem with approximately every third word of your post.You’ve just demonstrated an ignorance of the constituents, administration,and true side effects of vaccines in general and you still want everyone….anyone, to take you seriously.

  42. #42 Dan Weber
    June 30, 2010

    thus rendering their tests at least slightly more effective than ‘yeah, looks high to me, I guess.’

    I hear this one goes all the way up to 11.

  43. #43 Monica Pignotti
    June 30, 2010

    Thank you, Orac, for writing about this very important issue. Although I am not one of the ones being sued, I have also had someone go to my Dean because of my online criticism and attempt to get me removed from my university. Thankfully, my Dean saw it for what it was and chose not to take any action. Another tactic is for anonymous posters to post outrageous lies about critics. The lie that I was fired from FSU has been endlessly repeated and even the absurd lie that my PhD was revoked was posted and comes up on Google searches in my name. The anonymous posters are very difficult if not impossible to track down and as a result, the critics targeted are not able to bring them into court. All too often it is the critics who suffer instead and get hit with the lawsuits. That’s why I’m so glad to see you taking a stand on this important issue so there can be a well-deserved public outcry against this type of thuggery.

  44. #44 jre
    June 30, 2010

    Oh, and link, too. Link as if your life depended on it. Link until a glorious efflorescence of links to Quackwatch cover the intertubes, and the top ten Google hits on Doctor’s Data are a catalogue of their perfidy.

  45. #45 John Pieret
    June 30, 2010

    I’ll get the complaint (or rpenner can send it to me at catsharkAToptonlineDOTnet) and get it OCRed and then will forward it to anyone who asks nicely.

    PS: The $10 million dollars is nothin special in an ad damnum clause … you get that in car accident cases … and no one should be intimidated.

    Here’s a post I did on the Offit case that might give a start on understanding what hurdles DDI faces.

  46. #46 jre
    June 30, 2010

    You need to include a link to the post, John — something like “Here’s a post I did on the Offit case that might give a start on understanding what hurdles DDI faces.”

  47. #47 jre
    June 30, 2010

    I tried to snarkily point out that John had not actually included a link to his own post, only to discover that comments with links automatically go to the wise blinkenbox for moderation. No matter — just Google for “Some Laws Are Less Asses Than Others.”

  48. #48 Jean Mercer
    June 30, 2010

    Yet another reason for dealing with all this: An article by Purvis et al in the Journal of Child Custody recently described a method of deciding whether a child is comfortable with (“attached to”) a parent by means of urine testing for stress hormones after a visit. One of the authors owns a company that makes the test kits, but this was not disclosed.

    Care to have your parental rights or custody arrangements decided in this way? It must be science, it’s got test tubes in it.

  49. #49 Matthew Cline
    June 30, 2010

    More than 75% of the patients tested at 21 µg or higher, and most of the rest fell between 3µg and 20 µg [5]. At these levels, nearly everyone’s mercury level would be classified as “elevated” or “very elevated” on the test reports.

    DDI proponents/defenders would take that to mean that nearly everyone needs to be detoxified.

  50. #50 Antares
    June 30, 2010

    /me has just donated $150 to Barrett.

  51. #51 Matthew Cline
    June 30, 2010
    thus rendering their tests at least slightly more effective than ‘yeah, looks high to me, I guess.’

    I hear this one goes all the way up to 11.

    It’s over NINE THOUSAAAAAAAND!!!

  52. #52 John Pieret
    June 30, 2010

    Here’s a post I did on the Offit case that might give a start on understanding what hurdles DDI faces.

    Sorry, forgot the link:

    http://dododreams.blogspot.com/2010/01/some-laws-are-less-asses-than-others.html

  53. #53 Me, Myself and I
    June 30, 2010

    This is exactly the right response to demands for retraction.

    Not quite. A more appropriate response would be:

    Dear Mr. Shyster Lawyer:

    Please go and sodomize yourself and your client with a rusty railroad spike.

    Yours truly,

    Me, Myself and I

  54. #54 Jack of Kent
    July 1, 2010

    Will be watching this one from across the Atlantic: http://bit.ly/bmSfsA

  55. #55 BaldySlaphead
    July 1, 2010

    @Me, Myself and I

    In the UK, the satirical magazine Private Eye makes occasional reference to an old legal case between its publishers and a complainant. The reference is usually expressed as ‘I refer you to the response given in Arkell Vs Pressdram”.

    As reported in Wikipedia’s article on Private Eye: The plaintiff was the subject of an article relating to illicit payments, and for a change the magazine [Private Eye] had ample evidence to back up the article. Arkell’s lawyers wrote a letter in which, unusually, they said: “Our client’s attitude to damages will depend on the nature of your reply”. The response consisted, in part, of the following: “We would be interested to know what your client’s attitude to damages would be if the nature of our reply were as follows : “Fuck off”.

    I believe the response would be equally appropriate for Dr Barratt in this situation.

  56. #56 DLC
    July 1, 2010

    annoying, and a bit depressing, but I guess it’s to be expected. DDI is going down and they’re trying to drag Dr Barrett with them.

  57. #57 John Pieret
    July 1, 2010

    Here is some early analysis of the complaint, with mote to follow.

  58. #58 rszasz
    July 1, 2010

    Brett @7

    That would be even worse in such asymetric cases. The wealthy party can spend unreasonable amounts (which can lead to an unfair situation in court) knowing that they can go after any assets the poorer party has. The poorer party, unless they want to liquidate assets (ie: sell the house and business) can’t hope to deal with the sort of imbalance a huge injection of money brings. Loser pays turns into a case where the folks with the most liquid funds, and the ability to delay longest win.

  59. #59 Mojo
    July 1, 2010

    @Me, Myself and I:

    See also Arkell v. Pressdram (1971).

  60. #60 Jean Mercer
    July 1, 2010

    In a presumably related matter, the Judge Baker clinic has parted company with Alvin Poussaint following his tangle with Disney over “Baby Einstein”.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/01/education/01brfs_PSYCHIATRIST_BRF.html?_r=1&ref=education.

  61. #61 mikerattlesnake
    July 1, 2010

    I’m always baffled by people who think common sense can answer any question. Do they look to their common sense when trying to figure out how to operate complex machinery or software? To fix the electrical or plumbing systems in their house (assuming they aren’t experts)? To get to a faraway destination they’ve never been to? To cure cancer?

    To me, “common sense” is essentially occam’s razor. In complex situations in which I am a non-expert (like the above), that often means seeking out someone who knows more than I do for advice. Do I always trust them without question? Absolutely not, but they’re guaranteed to be a better guide than my gut. We simply don’t have the lifespan to accomodate expertise in all areas, therefore it is reasonable to subcontract these issues to the appropriate folks.

    Here’s a hint: if you don’t know the difference between different types of mercury and don’t even know common injection routes for vaccinations, you’re probably not an expert and you might want to avoid being smug and self-confident in your knowledge. Stop assuming that you’re an authority and listen to the people who dedicate their lives to study in that area.

  62. #62 Coryat
    July 1, 2010

    Dear Matthew Cline,

    You win one intranetz. That is all.

  63. #63 Colenso
    July 1, 2010

    Great article that had my blood boiling until your conclusion that dragged in animal liberationists. There’s an important difference here between Animal Lib and the other fringe groups you highlight. Vivisectionists knowingly and, at least in the past, have openly admitted to having experimented on non-human animals from lab mice to chimps – all in the name of medical progress of course. (Nazis like Mengele took the process one stage further – they experimented on those examples of Homo they designated Unter-Menschen. And why not indeed, if science rules all?).

    If one believes, however, that there is an ethical limit to what can be done in the name of science and that vivisection is wrong because it crosses that limit, then one has a moral imperative to do something about vivisection. But the example you cite at the start of your argument, that of Steve Barrett, is completely different to that of vivisectionists. Barrett’s offence is purely and simply that he dares to be a critic of nutters like DDI.

    In my view, there’s no comparison between Barrett and vivisectionists – in this instance, you are comparing an apple with a crate of oranges.

  64. #64 Terrie
    July 1, 2010

    Colenso, this is probably the wrong blog to be using the same logic as abortion clinic bombers. The point here is that intimidation tactics make you worthy of contempt.

  65. #65 raven
    July 1, 2010

    Supporters of medical pseudoscience have a long history of trying to stifle criticism by any means necessary. Sometimes their chosen means are dubious libel suits..

    Sometimes they resort to death threats. Has happened to me more than a few times. One group threatened me and others repeatedly and hacked into my computer system and got my real name and address. This was all looking pretty scary. Until the FBI picked them up and charged them. Death threats are federal crimes, felonies.

    They will also try to hack into your computer systems and install spyware and malware. That has also happened to me twice.

  66. #66 Dedj
    July 1, 2010

    “In my view, there’s no comparison between Barrett and vivisectionists – in this instance, you are comparing an apple with a crate of oranges.”

    It’s also not the comparison that was being made.

    Anti-vivisectionists are not unique in believing they have a ‘moral imperative’ to stop certain behaviours or in dehumanising thier targets (and their targets children and spouses) in order to get the result they want.

    The comparison that was being made concerned the extent of behaviour that oppositional groups are willing to engage in.

    There are certainly more than a few such groups involved in the vaccines ‘debate’, and – between them – these groups are more than willing to launch attacks including the spamming/online harrassing of a persons employers, through cross posting personally identifying information (including photo and work address) across hostile web forums resulting in personal threats, right the way up to making direct threats that have required FBI intervention.

  67. #67 Colenso
    July 1, 2010

    Re: Common sense

    I think it was Bertrand Russell who wrote that common sense was no more nor less than the sum of the most common prejudices of the day. In general, I am inclined to agree with him. After all, one’s common sense tells one that those folks who used their common sense to burn elderly women as witches were completely loco – right?

    In practise, I’ve found out the hard way that there is no easy path to knowledge – common sense, intuition, expert opinion, the “Scientific Method” (see Mach, Popper, Kuhn and on this for starters), trial and error – they all have their pitfalls when actually faced with making timely decisions.

    So what to do then? Often, the safest bet is to do nothing. Only if the potential risk seems greater from doing nothing than from taking action should one act. But how to evaluate risk? Hmm, speaking as a keen student of mathematical modelling, that’s tricky.

    Oh dear, the problems of actually living – this no doubt is why I prefer books.

  68. #68 Paul
    July 1, 2010

    Actually Colenso, those of us who have been involved in the animal research debate are well used to the distortions and misrepresentations of science that anti-vivisections frequently use in their argumants. These distortions and misrepresentations are then used by animal rights extremists to justify their cowardly attacks on scientists and their families, including the late Dr. Arthur Rosenbaum http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-arthur-rosenbaum-20100701,0,5963890.story.

    While their intimidation tactics may vary, there are certainly striking similarities in the way many anti-vaccine campaigners and many animal rights activists misuse science to further their respective causes.

  69. #69 spurious
    July 1, 2010

    If Barrett had a bit more money, he would look forward to this suit continuing. Think of what he could learn during discovery, pouring through plaintiff’s documents, deposing everyone in sight, checking their finances, etc. Just that part where they dispute his statement that they “cater to nonstandard practitioners,” should open the door for a peek at their finances.

    If he had world enough and time, he could turn this suit into a mess for plaintiff.

  70. #70 Colenso
    July 1, 2010

    Terrie, what’s abortion (voluntary or the much more common spontaneous form, aka “miscarriage”) got to do with scientific enquiry? Comparing abortion, spontaneous or voluntary, with vivisection is a further example of comparing apples with oranges.

    Dedj, Barrett is criticising a group for being unscientific, and being threatened by legal thuggery in return. What vivisectionists engage in is not a form of scientific criticism, but instead a pursuit of scientific research employing means that anti-vivisectionists consider to be unethical. As I’ve said, the difference is between an apple and a crate of oranges.

  71. #71 Colenso
    July 1, 2010

    Paul, I tried to follow your link to the obituary of the late Dr. Arthur Rosenbaum, but got an error message informing me it was dead.

    As far as I can make out, the anti-vaccine groups are nutters. That is, their alleged science is pseudo-science.

    Now in the view of many mainstream researchers working in the biological sciences and experimenting on animals, the anti-vivisectionists may also be nutters, but that’s not how I see them. I see them as zealots, fanatics, crusaders perhaps, but in many cases as scientifically rational.

    There’s the difference between Barrett and his opponents on the one hand, and vivisectionists and their opponents on the other.

  72. #72 Todd W.
    July 1, 2010

    @Colenso

    Whether you care to believe it or not, there are, indeed, animal liberation activists who engage in unscientific chicanery and use threats to silence critics. Do you feel that animal liberation activists who bomb animal research labs are engaging in “scientific criticism”? Or when they threaten the lives of researchers or their families?

    Even the use of the term “vivisection” is a distortion of what makes up animal research. Animals research is not solely the cutting up of animals.

    That is not to say that we should minimize animal experimentation where possible, but the reality is that no other current system can replace animals in all situations. Even computer models we might develop cannot fully replace the use of a living system, since we do not know all there is needed to know about how every single aspect of life interacts with everything around it.

    But, enough of wandering off-topic. There are other threads discussing animal liberation and such. Suffice to say, Orac was correct to list them among those who engage in unethical behavior toward their critics, with the caveat of “more radicalized”.

  73. #73 Calli Arcale
    July 1, 2010

    Colenso, this appears to be confusing for you.

    This post is not about animal research. It is about abusing the legal system to achieve certain ends. The animal rights movement has done this before, so the comparison is valid.

    Another valid comparison would be SCO’s lawsuit against IBM for violation of SCO’s intellectual property in Unix. There, SCO had made a very foolish choice in targeting Big Blue, which had the financial capacity, patience, and pig-headedness to not only tell SCO to go screw themselves but also countersue with a meticulously documented case showing how SCO had actually stolen material from IBM. SCO ended up paying IBM in the countersuit, and IBM won the original lawsuit as well. It cost IBM a great deal of money, but destroyed SCO.

    Actually, there are a lot of intellectual property cases that are similar, insofar as they abuse the legal system to intimidate rather than to bring meritorious claims before a judge. SCO was actually copying other companies with a similar modus operandi, and it would have been successful if it had aimed at small shops first, rather than going for the big payout right away. The strategy goes something like this. Step one: obtain some intellectual property that you know people are using, either by buying the rights to the original art (that’s what SCO did) or by filing a patent on some relatively trivial behavior found in a lot of software. Step two: find some smallish businesses that use the intellectual property, and if possible, determine what their operating capital is like. Step three: send them the nastygram threatening to sue for more than they are worth if they do not purchase a license to use the intellectual property, making certain the license fee is just barely affordable for this small company. Many companies have been successfully shaken down in this manner.

    More recently, the RIAA has been sending threatening letters to individuals and ISPs demanding that material be taken down. Some other parties have found that takedown letters accompanied by lawsuit threats are usually sufficient to get material withdrawn from the Internet, especially if the threat is delivered not to the individual but to the individual’s service provider. The ISP is not personally invested in the claims, and usually not well enough funded to fight it. In any case, the takedown letter basically asks them to either do something simple and free or brace for an expensive and painful lawsuit, often with ridiculously absurd claims for damages. (The music piracy cases can demand millions of dollars for the proven theft of a dozen songs. And even more shocking, the RIAA has actually won some of these.)

    If you want to know more about how the legal system is abused to silence critics or even to gain profit (some companies have IP-lawsuit-for-profit practically as a business model), visit the website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation is a non-profit organization of lawyers and concerned people who fight for online rights. They may even be willing to assist Quackwatch and Stephen Barrett, should it come to that.

    Here is the EFF’s page listing some examples of this sort of lawsuit: the Takedown Hall of Shame.
    http://www.eff.org/takedowns

  74. #74 Terrie
    July 1, 2010

    Colenso, your stated “If one believes, however, that there is an ethical limit to what can be done in the name of science and that vivisection is wrong because it crosses that limit, then one has a moral imperative to do something about vivisection. ”

    My comment was not about abortion, but about those who use violent and/or “legal thuggery” to oppose clinics that offer abortion among their services. The “neccesity” defense used by that man who murdered Dr. Tiller followed the EXACT logic you present. Scott Roeder argued that he felt that therauptic abortions crossed the ethical line of what can be done in the name of medicine, and that he had a moral imperative to do something about it.

  75. #75 Calli Arcale
    July 1, 2010

    Also known as “the ends justifies the means”.

    While the animal rights extremists and the pro-life extremists feel morally justified in what they do, and so do many of the anti-vax and vaccines-cause-autism crowd, I suspect one major difference (and the one Colenso is getting at) is that Doctor’s Data, Inc probably does not. Judging by their letters to Stephen Barrett, I believe they are entirely aware of their own perfidy. They aren’t suing out of a moral imperative but to protect their income. In this, they are more akin to the sorts of people and corporations I was talking about in my last post (#71).

    But that’s just motives. As far as *methods* go, there is a lot in common.

  76. #76 Jud
    July 1, 2010

    First some law stuff, then a practical suggestion for discouraging further thuggery of the “Orac should be fired” type.

    Law stuff:

    D.C. Sessions writes (@ #18):

    IIRC Pennsylvania does have a SLAPP statute, although I don’t know how strong it is. Application of State SLAPP laws to Federal courts varies by District: the Ninth has ruled that California’s SLAPP applies but the First has ruled that Massachusetts’ doesn’t.

    Application of state law varies in accordance with the federal jurisdictional ground. Under diversity jurisdiction, state substantive and federal procedural laws apply. Thus whether a state’s SLAPP statutes are applied in a case brought under diversity jurisdiction turns on whether the federal court considers them to afford a legal procedure or to be a body of substantive law.

    Practical suggestion for Orac and Ms. (Dr.?) Pignotti:

    Patagonia, the sportswear company, included among its employee benefits health insurance that paid for abortions. Because of this, they received at their corporate offices a threat from a right-to-life group to picket various Patagonia locations.

    Patagonia’s response was a letter to the right-to-life group announcing their Pledge-A-Picket program, whereby they would undertake to count the number of pickets, multiply by 10, and pledge that dollar amount to Planned Parenthood.

    No pickets ever showed.

    Similarly, seems to me letters from your institution/dean pledging that for each communication received asking that you be fired, X dollar amount will be contributed to, e.g., your lab, your department, Paul Offit’s lab, or other vaccine research facilities, might take care of any problems with satisying rapidity.

  77. #77 Dr. Mary Johnson
    July 1, 2010

    Been there/done that (being SLAPP-sued). Got no help. Had no defense fund.

    But you CAN survive: http://drjshousecalls.blogspot.com/2010/03/anti-slapp-suit-legislation-is-in-works.html

    The only way to win is to fight back.

  78. #78 Scott
    July 1, 2010

    Similarly, seems to me letters from your institution/dean pledging that for each communication received asking that you be fired, X dollar amount will be contributed to, e.g., your lab, your department, Paul Offit’s lab, or other vaccine research facilities, might take care of any problems with satisying rapidity.

    More open to abuse, though. Fake picketers (supporting PP) would have to actually show up in order to get Patagonia to donate; fake emails demanding firing are a lot easier to generate.

  79. #79 Dedj
    July 1, 2010

    “Dedj, Barrett is criticising a group for being unscientific, and being threatened by legal thuggery in return. What vivisectionists engage in is not a form of scientific criticism, but instead a pursuit of scientific research employing means that anti-vivisectionists consider to be unethical. As I’ve said, the difference is between an apple and a crate of oranges.”

    *sigh*

    And as I’ve said, that was not the comparison.

    Groups who oppose mainstream science are fully capable of believing themselves to be on the morally correct side of things. This is not exclusive to vivisectionists, and is repeated in the vaccine skeptic movement, which contains members who believe there is a movement to suppress data or demounce experts.

    The comparison was not between Barrett and vivisectionists, but between the groups which support non-mainstream approaches to medical science.

    Orac is entirely correct to point out that the behaviour of some-such groups can go from the annoying yet mundance, right up to out-right criminal. Only you seem to think that the work areas of their targets had anything to do with the comparison. It is the behaviour that is being compared, not the trigger.

    You have misunderstood it completly.

  80. #80 David N. Brown
    July 1, 2010

    @74:
    “Because of this, they received at their corporate offices a threat from a right-to-life group to picket various Patagonia locations.”

    This would have been a perfectly legitimate civil protest. Also, I would think that even “pro-choice” individuals could appreciate the problems with insurance companies paying for a procedure that many customers oppose on moral grounds.

    Something I have encountered in my experience is anti-vaxxers trying to gloss over the line between civil protest and what could be considered harassment. In my case, AoA described a letter I wrote to Neurotoxicology about Wakefield’s “monkey paper” as “threatening”. But, the only “threat” I made was to advocate a boycott of their journal. Yet, they ignore or minimize people on their side making death threats…

  81. #81 raven
    July 1, 2010

    Been there/done that (being SLAPP-sued).

    Never been SLAPPED. Been threatened more times than I can remember.

    My state has an anti-SLAPP suit law. Loser pays court costs and attorney’s fees.

    I just tell them to file the papers and contact my attorney. And make sure they have enough money to pay when they lose. It has never gotten much past that point.

    Might be why the next step is often death threats. They are cheaper than paying for two sets of lawyers.

  82. #82 Dedj
    July 1, 2010

    “As far as I can make out, the anti-vaccine groups are nutters. That is, their alleged science is pseudo-science.”

    But they, and their supporters, do not see it that way. Even when it’s directly and openly spelled out for them, they still hold themselves as having the science on thier side, and anyone opposing them as immoral and decietful (or deluded, criminal or mentally ill).
    Even defeat after defeat after defeat, and the utter professional humiliation of thier leading lights does absolutely nothing to dissuade the main bulk of them.

    They still see themselves as utterly rational and on the side of science. Just like you see anti-vivisectionists in fact.

    “There’s the difference between Barrett and his opponents on the one hand, and vivisectionists and their opponents on the other.”

    The only difference is that you apparently agree with one set of people, but disagree with the other.

    Both movements internally hold the belief that they are both scientifically and morally correct, and both movements hold the belief that the evidence against their belief is therefore suspect, biased or the result of deliberate fraud.

    Individual members may differ, but whether you agree with them is not a determining factor as to wheter or not both movements are capable of the behaviour described.

  83. #83 Jud
    July 1, 2010

    David N. Brown writes:

    This [picketing Patagonia over employee health insurance that covered abortion] would have been a perfectly legitimate civil protest.

    Absolutely – no suggestion otherwise. Quite clever and perfectly legitimate civil response by Patagonia, IMHO.

  84. #84 Pablo
    July 1, 2010

    But they, and their supporters, do not see it that way. Even when it’s directly and openly spelled out for them, they still hold themselves as having the science on thier side

    That’s not really true, Dedj. For example, good old Dr. Jay admits that his view is inconsistent with science as it is practiced, but asserts that HIS approach to science (using anecdotes) is just as good, or even better. IOW, he knows that the science is against him, so he reinvents the term.

    While it is true that many anti-vaxxers believe themselves to be taking a scientific position, there is also a significant fraction of them who assert that it doesn’t matter what the science says, they know that THEIR CHILD was obviously harmed by vaccination. That is an approach that you don’t encounter in the vaccination-supporter world.

    It’s like homeopaths. When it is scientifically shown that some homeopathic remedy doesn’t work, the response is to claim that such effects are outside the realm of science. It’s not all anti-vax that does this, but it’s not uncommon.

  85. #85 triskelethecat
    July 1, 2010

    @David N. Brown: insurance companies pay for all sorts of things that upset customers.

    However, coverage for elective abortion generally is an option that the purchaser elects to choose, rather than part of the package the insurance company insists have to include (this varies based on state law, however). There are federal mandates that all insurance companies must comply with (breast cancer care, for example), and state mandates which they may or may not be able to opt out of (coverage of IVF and other infertility treatments,for example, in my state).

    All insurance companies have to offer a base plan with specific benefits, and then the purchaser can usually customize it additionally for their employee base, based again on state and federal requirements for insurance, company size, how the insurance is being paid for, and lot of other variables.

    So, while some employees of Patagonia may have been upset that part of their premium went to pay for a procedure they don’t approve of, it was one of their available benefits. If they felt very strongly about not paying for it, they could leave the company, which would be drastic but in keeping with strong beliefs. If, as a consumer, you feel strongly about it, you could avoid shopping at companies that offer that procedure as a benefit.

  86. #86 Dedj
    July 1, 2010

    “That’s not really true, Dedj. For example, good old Dr. Jay admits that his view is inconsistent with science as it is practiced, but asserts that HIS approach to science (using anecdotes) is just as good, or even better. IOW, he knows that the science is against him, so he reinvents the term.”

    I did think about this sort of situation, and I believe that it still more or less counts.

    The science is still on his side because he’s simply redefined the hierarchy of evidence so that what ever is on his side suddenly becomes top quality science.

  87. #87 historygeek
    July 1, 2010

    i’m sorry the ends do not and never have justfied the means. and thugery is a behavior not a belife if your group is useing death therats, the leagal systems or voilance to prove a point they are thugs. they are manny ways sway the public in support of a cause without resorting to these tactis. so cheers to orac and steve for useing arguments supported by facts i have learned alot from both and hope to contuine to learn from them in the future

  88. #88 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    July 1, 2010

    F*** DDI. I donated.

    @Cattleprod

    Are you the new drum major of the idiot parade that passes through here once in a while?

    I offer you the same challenge I have to other chemistry-impaired (chemically-impaired?) passersby. Get two glasses and 3 oz each of ethyl alcohol and methyl alcohol and add your favorite mixer (my suggestion would be Kool-Aid). Drink each and get back to us on the effects. You will quickly realize you should do some research on the difference an “m” makes. Say “Hi” to Jim Jones when you meet him.

  89. #89 Dedj
    July 1, 2010

    “….there is also a significant fraction of them who assert that it doesn’t matter what the science says, they know that THEIR CHILD was obviously harmed by vaccination.”

    As an aside, the first and only parent I have met in real life to hold definite ‘vaccines caused my childs autism’ views (I’ve had a clinical placement and a vocational placement in county level autism services and regularly meet parents and people with autism at events held by the multiple autism charities I’m a member/sub-committee member/supporter/former employee of, so this guy was an absolute minority) was asked whether he thought the 18 month long serious illness (heart condition) his son developed at around 12 months may have contributed to his autism.

    He honestly hadn’t even thought about it. Not even thought about it and rejected the idea, but it hadn’t occured to him until he was questioned. After several years of talking to health profession students about his sons’ autism, he still hadn’t considered that it could be anything other than the vaccines.

    I won’t be commenting upon this the extent to which this parent displayed autistic tendancies.

    Unfortunetly, although parental beliefs can potentially have an impact on selection and efficacy of treatments, the facilitator cut down any discussion of beliefs.

  90. #90 Vicki
    July 1, 2010

    David–

    As noted, there are lots of medical procedures that some people object to. Shall we boycott companies that pay for dangerous weight-loss surgeries, for example? How about routine infant circumcision? Cosmetic surgery to made someone look less stereotypically Jewish?

    If you don’t want a medical procedure, don’t have it. But that doesn’t make it your business whether I have it, or whether someone you don’t even know can buy health insurance that covers it.

  91. #91 squirrelelite
    July 1, 2010

    AFITW, here is the link for the Arthur Rosenbaum story.

    I got it by doing a search at the L.A. Times web page that reported the broken link.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-arthur-rosenbaum-20100701,0,5963890.story

  92. #92 Matthew Cline
    July 1, 2010

    SCO ended up paying IBM in the countersuit, and IBM won the original lawsuit as well.

    That hasn’t happened yet. The SCO v IBM lawsuit is on hold. Novell did recently win the SCO v Novell lawsuit, though.

  93. #93 Calli Arcale
    July 1, 2010

    Ah, yes, I do keep getting those confused. SCO is pretty much toast, though. They’ve pretty much lost the basic legal argument, IIRC. In any case, their motives were pretty obvious — buy some intellectual property at the heart of Unix, which is being used all over the world in many different forms, and then go to town with the lawsuits in order to earn profit for work they never did.

  94. #94 Ken
    July 2, 2010

    I just donated to Quackwatch, the link to do so is:

    http://www.quackwatch.org/00AboutQuackwatch/donations.html

    I also sent a friendly email to Doctor’s Data, asking if they are aware of Simon Singh and the BCA.

    inquiries@doctorsdata.com

  95. #95 Paul
    July 2, 2010

    Thanks squirrelelite @91 I accidently added a period at the end of the url.

  96. #96 rork
    July 2, 2010

    Naturally I agree with the sentiments and general conclusions, but I want to complain about fuzziness and overstatement, which don’t sound like a scientist is writing. Let’s not let understandable rage or desire to induce it, cloud vision or writing.

    “I conclude that provoked urine testing is a bogus test. ”
    You haven’t really shown the test is “bogus” or wrong, only that the reference ranges used by the goofy practitioners are bogus (without justification I would say), as is their interpretation of it, and subsequent actions based upon that interpretation. You can argue the interpretation is inherent in the test, but I don’t think that’s necessary. There is a possibility that such a test, if properly calibrated, and with carefully standardized methods (when to collect urine, dose of agent, effect of body mass), could be shown to be useful. There is no evidence for that, and perhaps there never will be, and there is no evidence supporting their interpretation – those are the right causes for criticism – and you do make that fairly clear.

    If I use a good thermometer to measure water temperature, observe and report it is 40C, but always declare that to be “boiling” (on earth, at sea level), is my measurement of the water temperature bogus?

    “specimens collected using a completely inappropriate methodology that is not scientifically or medically valid”
    You have not demonstrated the methodology is inappropriate I think, only that the interpretation is. Here’s hoping that “valid” induces automatic skeptical thoughts in readers – I avoid the term outside mathematics.

    With my thermometer, is my temperature collection method invalid?

    I plead guilty of over-perfectionism and nerdiness, but hope my cause is noble.

  97. #97 Orac
    July 2, 2010

    God, you’re annoyingly pedantic, and I absolutely detest pedantry.

    Read Dr. Barrett’s article. Seriously. There’s a reason I linked to it and quoted it so much. The article explains why provoked urine testing is bogus. Explaining in detail why was not the purpose of this post; describing why DD’s suing Dr. Barrett is legal thuggery typical of sellers of dubious tests and treatments was.

    Geez. Do I have to reinvent the wheel every time I post?

  98. #98 rpenner
    July 2, 2010

    John Pieret @ 45

    Sorry — I see that you have it now — but I didn’t see your request in time.

    Unrelated, my coverage of anti-LHC lawsuit appeal hearing: http://sciforums.com/showthread.php?p=2566267#post2566267
    (Transcript and audio on next page)

  99. #99 rork
    July 2, 2010

    I detest sloppy folks who can’t take any criticism.

    The Barrett article makes no statements I would criticize.
    This one does. We can presume Barrett took time to write more carefully, I’ll grant.

  100. #100 D. C. Sessions
    July 2, 2010

    SCO ended up paying IBM in the countersuit, and IBM won the original lawsuit as well. It cost IBM a great deal of money, but destroyed SCO.

    Calli, I loved seeing the SCO v. IBM reference, but this is just stunningly wrong. SCOXQ.pk is in fact still around (although on life support) and the case with IBM is still ongoing — but stayed while SCO is in Chapter 11. Meanwhile the Novell case has gone to final judgment twice, including one trip through the Tenth Circuit [1]. The primary result is that SCOXQ.pk doesn’t have any money left even if IBM goes to judgment.

    The bankruptcy trustee, by the way, is apparently a good Mormon and only drinks Flavor-Aide. He’s become convinced that if only they can get someone to continue to fund the lawsuits there’s a pot of gold at the end. In the meantime, he and the various law firms are getting paid for all of the services they’re doing for the creditors (most notably Novell and IBM, who still have millions theoretically owed them.)

    It’s a wonderful, seven-year-plus, example of why only an idiot wants to have anything to do with the US court system. Think Jarndyce v. Jarndyce.

    [1] Novell has a petition for certiorari pending before the United States Supreme Court based on conflicting rulings between Districts; it’s unfortunately likely to be denied on the grounds that the question was mooted by the second pass through the trial Court.

  101. #101 Orac
    July 2, 2010

    I detest sloppy folks who can’t take any criticism.

    And I detest people who don’t bother to click on links, complain that a detailed discussion of the material in the link wasn’t included in a post (that’s what putting the link in was for–duh!), and then start acting all self-righteously superior when it’s pointed out to them that the information they so crave is in the links.

    As for criticism, geez, I take more criticism on this blog and elsewhere in a day without becoming annoyed than you probably do in a month. I’m just a lot less tolerant when I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep.

  102. #102 rork
    July 2, 2010

    Oh, I read the link in detail.
    I remain unanimous in my pedantictry.

  103. #103 Dedj
    July 2, 2010

    And everyone else will stick with a non-bizarre definition of ‘bogus’.

  104. #104 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 2, 2010

    rork, a test can be safely called “bogus” if it purports to give you information but the information it purports to give is untrustworthy or false or has no meaning.

    The provoked urine testing that DDI sells purports to tell parents whether their children’s heavy metal levels are higher than normal, and if so, how much higher. There’s no way of comparing the results that DDI gets vs. “normal” results, because no one knows what “normal” results are.

    Seriously, how the hell can this be called anything but bogus? Are you really, seriously, calling it not bogus because someday, someone might measure the reference values without with the “information” DDI sells means nothing? Gee, maybe I’ll offer people the chance to take an IQ test, to see if they can score higher than Barack Obama, and I’ll sell people their results, telling them whether they score higher or lower or the same as Obama — and according to you, those results aren’t bogus, because someday Obama might take the test himself.

  105. #105 JP
    July 2, 2010

    On the subject of “bogus tests” and pedantry, if I understand rork’s original comment @96, he/she is stating that it is important to distinguish between invalid tests and inappropriate application of tests. If my understanding is correct then I agree with rork (and perhaps I am also pedantic).

    Tests can be invalid for any purpose. If the result of a test is entirely random we can argue that it is an invalid test. On the other hand a test can be a perfectly good test for one or more applications but be inappropriate for other applications. In some cases that can be an important distinction.

    In the case in question, it appears to me that the dispute between Dr. Barrett and DDI is that Dr. Barrett’s position is that the test is not appropriate in it’s application due in large part to reference values employed. DDI’s position appears to be that they don’t like that he is making that statement. It is unfortunate (for Dr. Barrett and scientific inquiry) if DDI is acting to silence Dr. Barrett through intimidation.

  106. #106 Travis
    July 2, 2010

    When I read Orac’s post I thought it was very, very clear that the reason he called the test bogus was not because the the provoked urine test could not work in some way but because the test DDI provides is useless. So their test is indeed bogus. It seemed quite clear to me if someone did the work to get reference values, showed that the test could be used with these, then it might be a valid test and that Orac is well aware of that (and gave enough info to the reader for them to reach that conclusion as well). The context was quite clear, I think the background was appropriate and detailed enough to realize this, and I had no previous knowledge of DDI or this type of test.

  107. #107 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 2, 2010

    On the subject of “bogus tests” and pedantry, if I understand rork’s original comment @96, he/she is stating that it is important to distinguish between invalid tests and inappropriate application of tests. If my understanding is correct then I agree with rork (and perhaps I am also pedantic).

    Tests can be invalid for any purpose. If the result of a test is entirely random we can argue that it is an invalid test. On the other hand a test can be a perfectly good test for one or more applications but be inappropriate for other applications. In some cases that can be an important distinction.

    JP, the test is invalid because there is no answer key. Nobody knows what the answers mean. No one knows what levels of mercury, etc. represent normalcy/abnormalcy conditions in a provoked urine test.

    Suppose I gave you the results from some laboratory test but I insisted on giving those results in a unit of my own devising and wouldn’t tell you how that unit related to the existing standard units for that condition. You come to me to find out if you have high blood pressure and I tell you your pressure is 10,000 bordles over 987 stippuds. You’re not going to claim I just gave you meaningful information, are you? Of course not, not if I don’t tell you what “bordles” and “stippuds” are.

    But in this hypothetical example, my tests still aren’t as bogus as DDI’s, because at least I know how a given test result relates to low/normal/high blood pressure, even if I won’t share that information. DDI doesn’t know. All they know is how to make the results of their tests come out as big scary-looking numbers; they have no idea what the numbers mean.

    And to my knowledge, there is no reason they couldn’t be doing the real, non-provoked tests where there is actually a body of carefully collected and evaluated data establishing what the results mean.

  108. #108 Joseph
    July 2, 2010

    Whether the test is scientifically invalid and/or bogus is one thing. I think a more interesting matter is whether it’s fraudulent. A case can be made that DDI knowingly misleads and participates in fraud, while taking advantage of popular pseudo-scientific false hope.

  109. #109 David N. Brown
    July 3, 2010

    “It seemed quite clear to me if someone did the work to get reference values, showed that the test could be used with these, then it might be a valid test”

    I don’t think so. The problem is that “challenge testing” means giving a chelator before there is a diagnosis of heavy metal toxicity. But, research has established that at least one chelator administered without actual heavy-metal poisoning can cause the same symptoms as such poisoning. That means, unless further testing establishes that a given chelator does not have this effect,that “challenge testing” must be considered USELESS AND DANGEROUS.

  110. #110 efrique
    July 3, 2010

    Another homeopathy comic: http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/675.html

  111. #111 David N. Brown
    July 3, 2010

    A very interesting comment I unearthed by Rashid Buttar: “How could the head PhD for Doctors Data see thousands of his own company’s tests showing heavy metals being excreted with TD-DMPS as the chelating agent say that TD-DMPS does not trans the dermal? Logic would dictate that if TD-DMPS does not cross the skin, but the provocation tests show excretion of heavy metals while non-provocation tests are negative, then the tests themselves are wrong!”
    Is DDI going to sue him too?

  112. #112 Spepp Tick
    July 4, 2010

    Are you sure Mr. Barrett can successfully defend this case? He does not seem to have a very good record in court.

    I could not find any case he ever won. He seems to lose very time he goes into court. Do you know of any cases he has ever won?

    I’m skehpptical.

  113. #113 Chris
    July 4, 2010

    There is always a first time.

    So what exactly do you feel is the weakness in Dr. Barratt’s defense? Be specific, and especially list the sentences in the web pages under question that are in error. Especially the one that reproduces a publicly available government document.

  114. #114 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 4, 2010

    Well, I guess we are on the same page here. You make some very valid points like – where are Barrett’s publicly available government documents backing his position?

    And you are right – What is Mr. Barrett’s defense?

    Barrett does not seem to do well when challenged in court. In fact it looks like he gets beaten rather badly every time, except when he drops out of the case.

    Should we be worried?

  115. #115 lizditz
    July 4, 2010

    I’ve written up a post on the background and rationale for Dr. Barrett to have written the articles Doctor’s Data objects to. As I sometimes do, I have a running list of blog posts and articles commenting on the issue. I’ve included this post.

    .

    As a consequence of running about the internets looking for posts about the Doctor’s Data suit I have been subjected to reading posts that are written by or replicate Patrick Timothy Bolen’s obsession with smearing Dr. Barrett.

    I feel like I need my eyeballs scrubbed or something.

  116. #116 Tsu Dho Nimh
    July 4, 2010

    Why hasn’t DDI sued the toxicology group that came out against “challenge testing”?

    And any legal filing by either side that refers to the associates of the other side as “minions” should be rejected and sent back for editing.

  117. #117 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 4, 2010

    Tsu Dho Nimh:

    Well, I actually read the case filed against the Defendants. Perhaps you should too.

    The Plaintiff was very specific about why they sued Barrett, quackwatch, and the NCAHF. There were ten Counts making some very serious allegations and an eleventh Count asking for a permanent injunction preventing the Defendants from doing those things ever again.

    Most of those counts claimed that Barrett and his minions violated some specific laws both State and Federal. Ouch!

    I have real concerns here that Mr. Barrett did not base his internet claims on Science Based Medicine type thinking.

    Truly skehpptical.

  118. #118 MI Dawn
    July 4, 2010

    @Spepp Tickskehpptick: If you are so worried about whether Dr Barrett might lose or not, (He IS a physician, although retired) why not donate some money to his defense fund? DD does not have a leg to stand on for its suit, as far as I can tell. Did you even READ the information? Medically, Dr Barret is correct in his statements. Any medical test, done incorrectly, will give results that cannot be used by the physician to accurately treat the patient. However, the physicians who order these tests want to make money out of chelation so they don’t care if they are accurate or not, as long as the test results show the patient needs chelation.

    (My employer, an insurance company, will not pay for ANYTHING billed by this company without review for accurate billing and medical necessity of the test proven. If people want to pay thousands of dollars out of their own pockets for tests that show nonsense, we will, however, let them go right ahead. Just don’t ask us to pay.)

    IANAL, however, and I know that stupider things have won in court. However, DD, in demanding that Dr Barrett remove the publicly available copy of the lawsuit has just made it more public.

  119. #119 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 4, 2010

    MI Dawn:

    Gosh, I seem to have upset you.

    I want to deal with your comment about your employer first. It is common knowledge that health insurance companies don’t want to pay for much of anything so your argument does not hold much water. The entire Democratic Party has dedicated its political life to trying to bring the health insurance industry into line. It is called Health Care Reform. And, it passed. You lost – get over it.

    But, we digress.

    Barrett and his minions got sued on specific counts. When you say “However, the physicians who order these tests want to make money out of chelation so they don’t care if they are accurate or not, as long as the test results show the patient needs chelation,” you are making a nonsense argument with no science behind your claim.

    You are just using emotion with no facts. And, that is not Science Based Medicine.

    I am very disappointed.

    And very skehpptical.

  120. #120 David N. Brown
    July 4, 2010

    @112 etc.:
    “He seems to lose very time he goes into court. Do you know of any cases he has ever won?”
    Judging from his own accounts, Barrett has ALWAYS won, in the role of defendant. He admits to having been defeated on occasions where he has assumed the role of a plaintiff, particularly in countersuits for “wrongful prosecution”. His record would suggest that anyone taking him to court will probably lose, and probably face a lengthy and expensive countersuit. For a company that is already a defendant in three lawsuits, the suit against Barrett is very ill-advised.

    Also, there is nothing “specific” in the suit with regard to Barrett making a statement that is provable or even easily testable on point of fact. The bulk of the claims against Barrett represent assertions about his personal motives and his supposed influence on the proceedings already in progress against DDI.

  121. #121 David N. Brown
    July 4, 2010

    “Provable” should be “provably false”.

  122. #122 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 4, 2010

    David:

    You are equivocating. Show me ONE case where Barrett ever won, especially one he initiated. In one case Barrett was actually declared to be generally biased, and unworthy of credibility, and an Appeals Court upheld that decision.

    The opposition laughs at Barrett and apparently so do the courts and Barrett is ineffectual in dealing with that. No matter how hard he tries he cannot shut up his critics. They just crucify him. So do the courts.

    I think he is an embarrassment to Skepticism and Science Based Medicine – and he got himself into this.

    You should read not only the case but the actual laws that the case claims he broke. They make a very good argument.

    Barrett should have consulted an attorney before he wrote that stuff. Now he is definitely going to have to consult one. And he will probably have to sell his home to pay for it.

    Very skehpptical.

  123. #123 David N. Brown
    July 4, 2010

    “In one case Barrett was actually declared to be generally biased, and unworthy of credibility, and an Appeals Court upheld that decision.”
    Give the name of the case, and I will look it up.

    The only case(s) involving Barrett that I claim familiarity with is v. Carlos Negrete. By Barrett’s account, Negrete dropped the case after a judge ordered him to present evidence for his allegations v. Barrett among others. Barrett then pursued a countersuit for wrongful prosecution that by all indications was only narrowly defeated, and must have been quite costly for both sides.

    Bottom line: The mere fact that quackwatch.com has continued to exist is proof of Barrett’s ability to defend himself in court.

  124. #124 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 4, 2010

    David:

    I had to look that case up – it was NCAHF v King Bio – California. There is a Superior Court Decision which goes to Barrett’s credibility and then a Published Appeals Court Decision. Read the last last sentence of the Appeals Court Decision – it says it all.

    I think Barrett likes to put his best foot forward. My information on the Negrete case says the case was settled recently before trial. Barrett sued an attorney. Do attorneys bill themselves? It may have been costly for Barrett, but for the attorney? I don’t think so. Then there is the question about how much Barrett had to pay to settle.

    About quackwatch staying on the internet – I think it was just a matter of time. I have noticed that virtually no one in the legitimate medical community backs up Barrett’s arguments. Barrett uses his own articles, or one of the same select few, all cronies, to back up the one he is writing now.

    There is an important point to all this. It is the fact that we have rules about who can say what authoritatively on a medical subject. The AMA has testifying guidelines and those guidelines are used by the court system. Those rules say that in order to claim expertise in something you have to have worked or taught in that exact specialty for five years or more – currently. Barrett fits no such qualifications for most if not all of his articles. And he uses no reference but his own. He even published an article he has no qualifications to write to back up his own argument. I think he is going to get hacked up in court.

    Barrett has not been licensed to practice medicine since 1993 and when he did practice he worked part time most of his professional life in an insane asylum for the violent in Allentown Pennsylvania.

    There are tons of cases involving Barrett available. His critics have every one and circulate them.

    Very very skehpptical.

  125. #125 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 4, 2010

    DC Sessions:

    You made a couple serious errors in your post above. I copied it here below for you.

    First of all the case was NOT FILED in TEXAS. It was filed in Illinois. Secondly Barrett lives now in North Carolina. It says so on his website.

    Thirdly, Barrett is very familiar with anti-SLAPP since he lost to Ilena Rosenthal (Barrett v Rosenthal)in California when she filed an anti-SLAPP against Barrett and his two co-plaintiffs, and the court awarded her over $500,000 in attorney fees. They haven’t paid all of that yet, and are fighting it out in court over WHO should pay.

    #include IANAL.h

    I suspect that Dr. Barrett’s first action will be for dismissal based on lack of personal jurisdiction in Texas. In the alternative, the suit should be moved to Pennsylvania on the usual grounds that in a case involving diversity of jurisdiction the case should be tried on the Defendant’s home turf.

    IIRC Pennsylvania does have a SLAPP statute, although I don’t know how strong it is. Application of State SLAPP laws to Federal courts varies by District: the Ninth has ruled that California’s SLAPP applies but the First has ruled that Massachusetts’ doesn’t.

    Posted by: D. C. Sessions | June 30, 2010 1:12 PM

    I hope this was helpful.

    Very skehpptical.

  126. #126 Chris
    July 4, 2010

    Spepp Tickskehpptick:

    Barrett and his minions

    Minions?

    I have noticed that virtually no one in the legitimate medical community backs up Barrett’s arguments. Barrett uses his own articles, or one of the same select few, all cronies, to back up the one he is writing now.

    Are you saying the authors on the Science Based Medicine blog are not part of the legitamate medical community? There is a link to Quackwatch on that website.

    So exactly what sentences on the Quackwatch websites being discussed in the lawsuit are wrong? And why? Provide references.

    I did a little searching on Algis Augustine. He does not seem to have a stellar track record. It seems he deals with some questionable characters. Like these lawyers that:

    During the course of the discussions with Douglas, Respondent Muller and Respondent Walters made inappropriate and unprofessional references to what they believed would be Douglas’ experience should he be sent to jail, including references to body searches that he would or would not endure and the song “Jail House Rock”.

    … and this doctor who had blood drawn, but did not wait for results before surgery, did not fully tell patients the risks involved and lots of other things to a total of nineteen causes for disciplinary action.

    And he is also the lawyer of Dr. Anju Usman, who sent Abubakar Tariq Nadama to Dr. Roy Kerry, probably on the basis of tests from Doctors Data. Unfortunately, that did not turn out so well. Perhaps he is a competent lawyer for keeping at least one or both out of jail for the execution of a five year child for the perceived crime of being autistic. (oh, the claim is that he had lead poisoning, something that he could have been competently treated for by the NHS in his native UK — but we all know the child was tried, convicted and executed for being autistic mostly on dodgy urine tests)

  127. #127 Chris
    July 4, 2010

    Ooh, look he was Roy Kerry’s lawyer! Too bad he was only suspended for three years (six months active, the rest on probation), he should have completely lost his license.

  128. #128 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 4, 2010

    Chris:

    I must have missed some things on this blog. I was not aware that there were any Doctors here. I don’t see anyone touting their qualifications. Can you help me with that?

    Could you be more specific please? For instance is there anyone here who could lend some credibility to Barrett’s claims on those pages – perhaps who might have helped him write those articles in dispute?

    Why? I have some scientific questions I’d like answered and I simply do not find any science in Barrett’s offerings – especially on these subjects.

    I especially want to know where the Fraud is.

    I am not familiar with the other cases you discuss. I can probably find out about them as I have excellent resources, but they are not germaine to this discussion.

    The subject of this discussion is the Doctor’s Data v Barrett et al case.

    As you know Barrett and the others used the word Fraud in their writings. Fraud is a crime – State and Federal. It looks to me like they accused Doctor’s Data of committing a crime.

    When you accuse someone of a crime in the US you better have proof or you will pay and pay and pay.

    To me the Defendants are in big trouble. And the trouble is not just the lawsuit. It is what will happen when they lose – and they will lose.

    Very skehpptical.

  129. #129 Dedj
    July 4, 2010

    “I must have missed some things on this blog. I was not aware that there were any Doctors here.”

    The primary contributor here is widely know in this community as a Dr.

    Other members of the SciBlogs community are publically known as Dr’s and several link thier faculty pages.

  130. #130 Dedj
    July 4, 2010

    In addition, post 114 appears to imply that the person being responded to made those observations when they clearly did not.

    Was this simple error, or are you deliberately misrepresenting posts, including post 124?

  131. #131 Chris
    July 4, 2010

    Why do you think that http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org does not have any doctors? Did you miss that it was the blog I was referring to when I said (quoting myself): “Are you saying the authors on the Science Based Medicine blog are not part of the legitamate medical community? There is a link to Quackwatch on that website.” I spelled it out because there is a two URL limit here.

    Now, what do you think Orac is? Did you notice on the upper left hand corner of this website it says: “Orac is the nom de blog of a (not so) humble pseudonymous surgeon/scientist.” In this country surgeons are actual medical doctors. There are other doctors who post here, which you can deduce from what they write (like Antaeus Feldspar and Dr. Mary Johnson, who are the only ones who have commented on this thread, there are others).

    It is often a good idea to lurk on a blog before commenting. That way you can find out who many of the characters who comment are (and even get to know the blog owner).

    It would also prevent what seems to be a lack of reading comprehension on your part (especially thinking that a surgeon’s blog would not include participation from actual doctors, including the blog owner!). You missed that the subject of this article includes the silly assertions by the lawyer Algis Augustine.

    Since you are trying to poison the well with statements about Dr. Barratt. I see no reason that the lawyer who demands that web pages be taken down without specifying the false statements should not be discussed as well.

  132. #132 Chris
    July 4, 2010

    More information of the killing of a child by clients of Augustine here and here.

  133. #133 Spepp Tick
    July 4, 2010

    Chris:

    You are getting a little strident.

    You must look a little closer at the situation here. I do not see anyone signing their posts with an MD, DO, or DC after their name. Most everyone uses a nom-de-plume.

    Why would I want to lurk and find out who people are? If they wanted me to know that they’d sign their name.

    I am afraid that you are the one having reading comprehension issues. Virtually nowhere on Barrett’s writings does he refer to doctors with credibility. Why? I suspect it is because his ideas are so far from mainstream he gets no backing, and he simply can’t find anybody that he can refer to.

    Now, it is apparent you have some distaste for Algis Augustine but it is also apparent that you did not read the case either – because if you had you would have known that the attorney that filed the case is named Jeff Levens.

    As you can see what I am finding on this blog is a series of bad information. But don’t worry I’m here now and I can keep you straight.

    Then too I suggest that you get a lawyer to try and explain to you about the case and how it works. You seem to think that the Federal Court will somehow read the words on Barrett’s article about the case and it will all go away. It won’t.

    I think Barrett simply does not understand the law – so he is screwed. I’m not poisoning anyone’s well. Barrett did that to himself.

    Those letter exchanges you were reading on Barrett’s page mean nothing. Those attorneys had no obligation to explain the law to Barrett. Barrett should have consulted an attorney on the first day he got a letter. Obviously he did not. Instead I think he responded with what he thought was the law – and then got sued when he missed their deadline.

    Barrett has demonstrated his lack of law knowledge on many occasions. In the Barrett v Rosenthal case virtually every big name on the internet wrote an Amicus Brief against him.

    Very skehpptical.

  134. #134 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 4, 2010

    Chris:

    You are getting a little strident.

    You must look a little closer at the situation here. I do not see anyone signing their posts with an MD, DO, or DC after their name. Most everyone uses a nom-de-plume.

    Why would I want to lurk and find out who people are? If they wanted me to know that they’d sign their name.

    I am afraid that you are the one having reading comprehension issues. Virtually nowhere on Barrett’s writings does he refer to doctors with credibility. Why? I suspect it is because his ideas are so far from mainstream he gets no backing, and he simply can’t find anybody that he can refer to.

    Now, it is apparent you have some distaste for Algis Augustine but it is also apparent that you did not read the case either – because if you had you would have known that the attorney that filed the case is named Jeff Levens.

    As you can see what I am finding on this blog is a series of bad information. But don’t worry I’m here now and I can keep you straight.

    Then too I suggest that you get a lawyer to try and explain to you about the case and how it works. You seem to think that the Federal Court will somehow read the words on Barrett’s article about the case and it will all go away. It won’t.

    I think Barrett simply does not understand the law – so he is screwed. I’m not poisoning anyone’s well. Barrett did that to himself.

    Those letter exchanges you were reading on Barrett’s page mean nothing. Those attorneys had no obligation to explain the law to Barrett. Barrett should have consulted an attorney on the first day he got a letter. Obviously he did not. Instead I think he responded with what he thought was the law – and then got sued when he missed their deadline.

    Barrett has demonstrated his lack of law knowledge on many occasions. In the Barrett v Rosenthal case virtually every big name on the internet wrote an Amicus Brief against him.

    Very skehpptical.

  135. #135 Andrew G.
    July 5, 2010

    Barrett has demonstrated his lack of law knowledge on many occasions. In the Barrett v Rosenthal case virtually every big name on the internet wrote an Amicus Brief against him.

    There were specific reasons for that which don’t apply here. Firstly, Barrett was the plaintiff in that case. Secondly, the appellate ruling significantly weakened the scope of 47USC230(c)(1) immunity, which is what protects ISPs in the US from being sued over what their customers say (and for that matter, protects bloggers from being sued over what their commenters say). The amicus briefs were in support of Rosenthal’s appeal of that decision to the California Supreme Court; what was at stake was not the merits or otherwise of Barrett’s case, but a point of legal interpretation by the lower court which would have set an unhelpful and dangerous precedent.

    It’s notable that in the years following the passage of the CDA in 1996, there was an awful lot of very bad legal advice given to potential plaintiffs. It was very common for such advice to be based on the previous precedents of Cubby and Stratton-Oakmont while ignoring the law which negated both precedents in a single paragraph. This did at least mean that a lot of appellate-level rulings followed; this was unfortunate for the poorly-advised plaintiffs (all of whom lost) but has resulted in a string of rulings essentially saying “This law means exactly what it says, and no attempts by plaintiffs to weasel around it will succeed”.

  136. #136 Melkor
    July 5, 2010

    Heh.

    “virtually every big name on the internet” he says. Who would that be specifically? moot, Kibo, or some other actual ‘net celebrity, or are we talking Mike Adams-style self-declared z-list “celebrities” and “prominent thought-leaders” who’d be up on fraud charges if the NYPD Bunco squad had the time to get to them here?

    That the law might give rise to some funny results I don’t doubt, but as of right now you mainly come across as an AstroTurf Concern Troll trying to preempt the possibility of Barret getting enough donations to mount a vigorous defense by making vague and unspecific, unreferenced claims about the law without actually citing applicable case law, giving precedents and linking to any pertinent resources. A good, professional AstroTurfer would actually link to resources, knowing full well that 99.9999% of the public wouldn’t bother reading anything of it beyond the headline, while simultaneously boosting your credibility with them by showing them something in the field they didn’t already know.

    You might be sincere too, in which case you’d do well to rethink your approach to communicate your point more effectively – right now, you are giving a pretty good impression of being somewhat affiliated with the law firm filing the suit or their client, quite possibly working for either of them in a professional capacity. If that wasn’t what you intended to communicate with your presence, you’d want to consider some adjustments, I’d think.

  137. #137 Anne
    July 5, 2010

    A copy of the First Amended Complaint in Doctor’s Data, Inc. v. Barrett, et al. is here:
    http://tinyurl.com/doctorsdata

    The case was filed in federal court in Illinois (not Texas), where Doctor’s Data is located and allegedly was harmed. The complaint alleges violations of federal and Illinois law.

    The primary beef seems to be that the defendants have said that the provoked urine tests are fraudulent, although DD also complains about statements the defendants allegedly made that DD “caters to nonstandard practitioners” and that DD conspires with nonstandard practitioners to defraud patients, and that the defendants called DD a “shady lab.” DD alleges that Dr. Barrett was instrumental in persuading James Coman to sue DD, and then reported the allegations of Coman’s complaint as facts. DD also complains about the defendants’ coverage of Ron Stemp’s case against DD, saying that they reported Stemp’s allegations as fact.

    This isn’t purely a libel case … DD is attempting to squeeze the allegations of wrongdoing to fit claims for trademark dilution, consumer fraud and regular fraud, unfair competition, tortious interference with DD’s business relationships, civil conspiracy, and some other claims in addition to trade libel.

    Illinois is an anti-SLAPP jurisdiction, but I don’t know how the state’s anti-SLAPP law gets applied in federal court in Illinois. Unless this case gets dismissed at the outset under the anti-SLAPP law, I predict there’ll be lots of hours spent in attacking DD’s various theories of liability.

    As far as the provoked urine tests go, DD alleges that the defendants violated Illinois consumer protection law by omitting from their discussions of the test “the possibility that the ‘provoked urine test’ may have uses and benefits, that its use is supported by some very smart, educated doctors and scientists, and that, while reasonable minds may debate its benefits and uses, it is not illegal.” However, unless I missed it, DD does not allege that its use of nonprovoked reference ranges in the test results is proper. DD’s position seems to be, hey, a doctor orders a urine test, we do a urine test, end of story.

  138. #138 Andrew G.
    July 5, 2010

    @134:

    “virtually every big name on the internet” he says. Who would that be specifically?

    The amici in that case (all of them against Barrett) were:

    Electronic Frontier Foundation
    American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California
    eBay Inc.
    Amazon.com, Inc.
    America Online, Inc.
    Google Inc.
    Microsoft Corporation
    Yahoo! Inc.
    ABC, Inc.
    Ask Jeeves, Inc.
    Cable News Network LP, LLLP
    Compuserve Interactive Services, Inc.
    Earthlink, Inc.
    ESPN, Inc.
    Netscape Communications Corporation
    SBC Internet Services
    Time Warner Cable Inc.
    The Washington Post Company
    Association for Competitive Technology
    California Newspaper Publishers Association
    Information Technology Association of America
    Internet Alliance
    Internet Commerce Coalition
    National Cable & Telecommunications Association
    Netchoice
    Netcoalition Newspaper Association of America
    Online News Association
    Online Publishers Association
    TechNet
    United States Internet Service Provider Association
    Law Professors with Expertise in Internet Law

    As I said above, the point of legal interpretation being appealed in that case was an important and far-reaching one in the industry, and the list of amici reflects that.

  139. #139 David N. Brown
    July 5, 2010

    “My information on the Negrete case says the case was settled recently before trial”
    To my knowledge, the case has been a “dead ball” for years.

    “About quackwatch staying on the internet – I think it was just a matter of time.”
    And people have been saying this for a long time. Last November, a “troll” with multiple handles came through the Left Brain/ Right Brain blog, and posted a claim that Barrett had lost a lawsuit and Quackwatch was about to be shut down. 7 months later, nothing.

    “I have noticed that virtually no one in the legitimate medical community backs up Barrett’s arguments.”
    Not a statement I would expect most of Barrett’s critics to agree with (unless “legitimate” is defined neologistically as excluding “mainstream” medical practitioners.

    “There are tons of cases involving Barrett available. His critics have every one and circulate them.”
    Yes, but is what his critics circulate ACCURATE? It seems to me that individuals like yourself are downplaying just how well Barrett has accounted for himself, and minimizing the likelihood that further action against him is a waste of your own resources.

    Also, I have yet to see the chelation/ autism biomed/ alternative health movement(as epitomized by AoA) reporting on the current case. The only orignal postings I have seen supporting DDI’s case is a couple items from the notorious Tim Bolen.

  140. #140 Anne
    July 5, 2010

    Regarding Doctor’s Data’s attempt to distance itself from the doctors who use its services, I was surprised when I looked at its website and saw the section entitled “DDI Leads Way In Testing For Treatment Of Autism.” That section contains testimonials from physicians who work with Doctor’s Data in treating kids for autism – including “biomed” luminaries such as Anju Usman, Elizabeth Mumper, James Neubrander, and Kenneth Bock. Dr. Bock lauds Doctor’s Data for its “functional/integrative medicine approach” and for its “involvement and support of scientific research in the field of integrative medicine.”

    On its home page, Doctor’s Data advertises glutathione and urinary porphyrines testing, which could be seen as catering to the same nonstandard practitioners who provided the testimonials.

    It seems obvious to me from Doctor’s Data’s website that it is actively involved in promoting nonstandard autism treatments and isn’t just a bunch of people with a mass spectrometer running tests requested by doctors for reasons known only to them.

  141. #141 Melkor
    July 5, 2010

    Hmm, yeah, that appears to be a fairly comprehensive list of organizations with no interest or opinion whatsoever about Barrets’ qualifications (or lack of them) as a doctor but a healthy interest in keeping the ‘net as free of negative legal entanglements as possible.

    Remind me again why this is supposed to be relevant to Barrets credibility as a medical writer?

  142. #142 David N. Brown
    July 5, 2010

    @135:
    “DD’s position seems to be, hey, a doctor orders a urine test, we do a urine test, end of story.”

    This aspect of their defense resembles Tom Lehrer’s ballad to von Braun: “The rockets go up. Where they come down is not my department.”

  143. #144 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 5, 2010

    David:

    About 137

    I think I remember the situation the troll you were talking about was referring to. That period would have been around the time that the Ilena Rosenthal legal team was becoming very aggressive and I believe that they had filed some Motions to seize property including Stephen Barrett’s. I remember a flurry of info around that time. Barrett and the others scrambled to get about $200,000 US to the Rosenthal attorneys to stop seizures. I would have to say that Barrett was within inches of losing quackwatch during those hours. If it is important I could probably find the court documents.

    I think that Barrett and his co-plaintiffs were in shock over their loss and the court’s assessment of Rosenthal’s legal fees – which came to over $500,000 total.

    Yes, Barrett cases are circulated and used against him. Since the NCAHF v King Bio case he hasn’t been able to testify much of anywhere. Now that you have read that case I am sure you can see why.

    There are some rumblings I have heard that Barrett was responsible for the three suits filed against Doctor’s Data – that Barrett recruited the Plaintiffs. Do you know anything about that? I also heard that Barrett personally filed complaints against the doctors with their Medical Boards – is that true?

    Very skehpptical.

  144. #145 MI Dawn
    July 5, 2010

    @Spepp Tickskehpptick: Hi, Tick (I hope you don’t mind me calling you Tick. But reading your responses, the nickname somehow seems to apply). Sorry for not replying to you yesterday but I happened to be enjoying my 4th.

    Re: my employer. Actually, being on the inside, I am very pro-health care reform. But even so, I don’t see that paying for quack medicine is science based and I don’t believe it should be covered or paid for.

    Re: Doctors. Even quack No-longer-a-licensed-MD-because-fraud-was-proven-against-him Andy Wakefield is still called Dr. In this case, Dr. Barrett, being retired, has allowed his license to lapse. Very logical for a man no longer practicing; the required CEUs, insurance and just cost of the license are probably more money than he needs to spend. However, DR Barrett is a MD. As for commenters being doctors and using pseudonyms: pot, kettle, black. Or is Spepp Tickskehpptick your REAL name?

    As for Science Based Medicine: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Treating a non-existant illness is NOT science-based, no matter what the lab tests show. Go to http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/
    and learn something about Science-Based Medicine.

  145. #146 lizditz
    July 5, 2010

    Spepp Tickskehpptick @126:

    I especially want to know where the Fraud is.
    …..

    As you know Barrett and the others used the word Fraud in their writings. Fraud is a crime – State and Federal. It looks to me like they accused Doctor’s Data of committing a crime.

    Do you have a reading comprehension problem? In

    http://www.casewatch.org/civil/stemp/petition.shtml,

    Stemp’s lawyers clearly describe the fraud, for example:

    RONALD AND CARRIE STEMP

    Plaintiffs,

    V.

    CARE CLINICS, INC., NUTRIGENOMICS, INC.
    CENTER FOR AUTISTIC SPECTRUM
    DISORDERS, INC., CASD BIOMEDICAL
    CLINIC, CASD BIORESEARCH CLINIC AND LABORATORIES, KAZUKO GRACE CURTAIN,
    JESUS ANTONIO CAQUIAS, M.D.,
    DOCTORS DATA, INC. AND JEFF BAKER, N.D.

    16. Defendant Doctors Data, Inc. operates a laboratory and/or medical testing facility that perform tests on “specimens” collected by CARE Clinics from its patients including Ron Stemp. Doctors Data was engaged in the conspiracy to commit the tortious acts described below.

    That’s just the beginning.

  146. #147 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 5, 2010

    MI Dawn:

    I see you have a problem with Italian names. I am not offended. It happens all of the time.

    I love that term quack medicine. It is almost as good a grouping as science based medicine. It is a technique I think for the consistently mediocre to place items they do not understand but face into a nice little box that makes them feel safe.

    But just so we are using the same definitions of each correctly for purposes of conversation let us use a few current examples and correctly place them in the appropriate categories – OK?

    So – Doctor’s Data does scientific lab tests right? And those tests are approved by the US government right? That is their business. Their people are actual scientists with degrees in science. So they go in the Science Based Medicine category – right?

    Then – there is quack medicine, a group of people who have no science but run around loudly yelling quack, quack, quack all day. They would be the quack medicine group – right?

    But of course you are from an insurance company and in your business you already know all about medicine, have it all figured out. You know that if a certain symptom pops up then you will pay only for a certain treatment (the cheapest possible) for the shortest period of time. And if a doctor objects to that you complain to his/her licensing Board for disciplinary action – right?

    Sure glad you came along you help clear things up.

    Still skehpptical though.

  147. #148 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 5, 2010

    lizditz:

    You do realize that you are quoting Stephen Barrett to defend Stephen Barrett – right? Umm?

    There is a rumor circulating that Stephen Barrett, and Stephen Barrett alone, recruited this Plaintiff, AND then filed, himself, the complaint with the Texas Medical Board against the Doctor involved, AND then, himself, went to the insurance companies to get payment stopped, AND then, himself, went to the FBI to try to get them prosecuted. To back up his claims he wrote an article, got it published on Pubmed, and uses it as evidence backing up his actions above.

    He’s a handy guy to have around, sort of a one man band – right? Because then he can publish it all for you to read. Cool huh?

    Very very skehpptical. With cause.

  148. #149 Travis
    July 5, 2010

    Who is spreading this rumor around and why should I care if there is a rumor? I have read about this all over the place and your mention is the only time I have heard of this rumor.. And it seems like a pretty far fetched one at that with absolutely no evidence to back it up.

  149. #150 MI Dawn
    July 5, 2010

    Hi again, Tick. No, I have no problem with Italian names. However, I’ve never come across one like yours…if that is your birth name. If it truly is, I apologize. If it is not, then I don’t. And, before you ask, Dawn IS my real name. MI is the state in which I was born, and long-term commenters know why I use this name.

    As for my employer…well, it is an interesting place for someone who started as a hospital nurse (BSN, MSN) to go as a career change. You get to see the whole other side of the issue.

    Actually, to answer your question about the lab tests: No. DDI is NOT doing the lab test properly. The CORRECT way, per toxicologists, is to test for heavy metal poisoning via blood tests, not provoked urine tests.

    There are no nationally or internationally set levels for provoked heavy metal urine tests, therefore the results are meaningless because you have nothing to compare the results to.

    Of course, this has been addressed before, both in the post by Orac and Dr Barrett’s post (and many others). Just because DDI is a CLIA certified lab (which only means they are allowed to perform certain lab tests) does not mean they are doing the tests correctly.

    As Dr Barrett states in his post that Orac references,

    “A disclaimer at the bottom of the above lab report states–in boldfaced type!–that “reference ranges are representative of a healthy population under non-challenge or nonprovoked conditions.” In other words, they should not be applied to specimens that were obtained after provocation. Also note that the specimen was obtained over a 6-hour period, not the standard 24-hour period, which raised the reported level even higher.

    So even DDI is saying that the reference levels are based on a “…nonprovoked condition…” Basically, the results are meaningless because we are comparing a non-provoked reference with a provoked specimen. You can’t compare apples and oranges.

    They are also using a shorter collection period then the reference range is based on. You cannot compare a 6 hour collection of urine to a 24 hour collection. Excretion of urine, and its components, varies over time and intake. Again, you can’t compare the results because the reference levels are different.

    Since you seem to be willfully ignorant of medical lab testing, I don’t plan on answering you any more. I have little tolerance for trolls.

    Maybe Chris and the others will continue to respond to you. As for me, greasemonkey is activated. Bye.

  150. #151 raven
    July 5, 2010

    The quack troll is lying. Quacks always lie. Quackery is lies for money.

    The claim:”He seems to lose very time he goes into court. Do you know of any cases he has ever won?”

    answers.yahoo.com:

    • “Barrett had filed similar defamation lawsuits against almost 40 people across the country within the past few years and had not won one single one at trial.”

    If you look through case notes and read Dr Barrett’s response, it seems that this is because some were settled out of court, the defendant making a retraction and paying costs. Some are also currently in appeal, which is a reasonable argument, as the particular case mentioned in the article was also won on appeal after Dr Barrett won the first lawsuit brought against him.

    Additionally, Dr Barrett (and around 30 other defendants) had a case from the same opposing attorney withdrawn and was awarded fees and costs. So we’ve established that there are many court cases going on here from both sides.

    According to the internet sources, Barrett has done OK in court. A lot of cases were settled out of court or withdrawn. It looks like a lot of these court cases are frivolous and the quacks really don’t want to go to court and lose. That can get expensive, won’t do their scams any good, and they might well end up in jail for fraud or malpractice.

    Not going to spend much time chasing down the numerous court cases but it looked at first glance like Barrett has sued a lot of people often for libel. Not a good idea. Libel is hard to prove and the courts tend to err on the side of free speech.

    This is a SLAPP suit and Barrett has the overwhelming high ground here. I’ve been threatened with these many times myself. I just tell the quacks to file the papers, loser pays court and attorney fees, and lets go to court, have your attorneys call mine. They have always gone away at this point except for one group that got my real address and threatened to kill me. They ended up in court anyway, picked up and charged by the FBI. Death threats are felonies.

  151. #152 Chris
    July 5, 2010

    Spepp Tickskehpptick:

    There is a rumor circulating that Stephen Barrett,

    Hey, I heard a new rumor. I got from the same place you did the Internet of Imagination. The rumor is that Spepp Tickskehpptick is really a sheep tick bouncing on the keys of a laptop pretending to be concerned, and not really comprehending anything.

    You must look a little closer at the situation here. I do not see anyone signing their posts with an MD, DO, or DC after their name. Most everyone uses a nom-de-plume.

    Tick, this is a blog on the internet. This is as informal discussion forum as you will find online, except for Usenet. You will understand that many do not need to use their real names because it is safer. The folks you seem to be trolling for have a habit of contacting employers and even calling up the homes of people they do not agree with.

    Why would I want to lurk and find out who people are? If they wanted me to know that they’d sign their name.

    Idiot tick. What I meant was that you need to know them by what they write. We are learning about you from what you write: you are a troll who is making connections where none exist.

    I am afraid that you are the one having reading comprehension issues. Virtually nowhere on Barrett’s writings does he refer to doctors with credibility.

    Tick, you revealing your lack of education and even attempts to read the papers on Quackwatch. Many of the articles are not written by Dr. Barratt. These include (using titles instead of URLs due to the limit):
    The Braid of the “Alternative Medicine” Movement by Wallace Sampson
    Common Questions about Science
    and “Alternative” Health Methods by Gregory Smith
    Alternative Medicine: A Public Health Perspective by William Jarvis
    The Eisenberg Data: Flawed and Deceptive by Timothy Gorski
    Why Extraordinary Claims Demand Extraordinary Proof by Ed Gracely
    “Alternative Medicine” and the Psychology of Belief by James Alcock
    Position Statement on Human Aging by S. Jay Olshansky,Leonard Hayflick, Bruce A. Carnes
    Chelation Therapy: Unproven Claims and Unsound Theories by Saul Green
    “Detoxification” with Pills and Fasting by Frances Berg

    And that is only going part way down the list.

    Now about your idiot tick claim he does not reference other doctors of credibility. At the end of each article is a list of references. They often go to either federal regulatory agencies, medical papers, legal papers, or even to the sites of those making the claims that are being debunked. Let us see what is at the end of the articles in question.

    First, “How the “Urine Toxic Metals” Test Is Used to Defraud Patients” is followed by 33 references. Included are:
    1) an article on Quackwatch written by Robert Baratz, M.D., D.D.S., Ph.D.
    2) a paper in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives 109:167–171, 2001.
    3) a paper in the journal British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 31:347-349, 1991.
    … plus more journal papers and a poster presentation…
    … several legal decisions from places like the federal courts, and the lawsuit of a Nadama vs. Kerry..
    … and four of Barratt’s other articles.

    Now the the next webpage, “CARE Clinics, Doctor’s Data, Sued for Fraud”. It is a full copy of the lawsuit downloaded from a public page of Travis County, Texas. So do you think that Doctors Data is going to sue the county for having that lawsuit available online (actually many are available through other legal databases).

    Then “Be Wary of CARE Clinics and the Center for Autistic Spectrum Disorders (CASD)” is followed by 17 references. Most of them are legal papers and references to the alternative practitioners.

    The next three pages are from the Consumer Health Digest that are just reporting publicly available information. The last one is just a list of “Laboratories Doing Nonstandard Laboratory Tests”, where if you click on the links brings up either the legal troubles, or this article “Steer Clear of “Serum Compatibility” Testing” by Robert Baratz (which has seven references, many of them legal).

    Now, are you going to claim that Baratz, Sampson, and other doctors who have written articles for Quackwatch are not on legitimate doctors? Are you also going to claim that the journal papers referenced in the articles discussing the medical merit of the subjects are not written by persons with medical knowledge?

    What doctors do you think are legitimate? Anju Usman? (she who tried and convicted Tariq Nadama of the crime of being a five year old boy with autism using test results from Doctors Data) Roy Kerry? (who carried out the execution of Tariq Nadama because he was a five year old with autism, including strapping him down on to the table!)

    Please, please, tell me why I should defend those, doctors and their lawyers, who scare desperate parents into subjecting their children to dubious tests and tortuous “cures.” This time use real evidence and not random rumors.

  152. #153 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 5, 2010

    MI Dawn:

    Well, you certainly seem like a nice person. And, Dawn is a name I’m sure your parents picked to remind them that for about two months out of the year in Michigan such a thing as dawn actually happens, and there is a good chance that sunlight might even come out from behind the overcast. The rest of the year there is no dawn, it just gets a little brighter outside often before 9:00 AM. So I guess you were their ray of hope.

    However, it would be a good idea to increase your reading selections – out from beyond that provided by your employer into the real world. You are talking about two different kinds of tests used for different purposes by two entirely different professions.

    I suppose that someday it will dawn on you – pun intended – that those findings of heavy metals after a provoked test actually came from a patient’s body – unless you think those metals came from the DMPS, or the IV equipment, or they were faked. At that point you might even let it dawn on you that metals do not belong in the human body, and probably cause serious problems – right?

    But that is a whole other world. It is called science and apparently you are not trained, or employed, for that.

    But I’m here to help.

    However, you used both Barrett and Orac as proof of something you did not quite identify. Once Again, the AMA question comes into play “Have they been five years in this field?” and of course the answer is No – so neither of them would be allowed to testify to any of this.

    The rules are the rules – and we must always follow them. That’s the scientific way.

    Still sadly skehpptical.

  153. #154 Chris
    July 5, 2010

    DawnMI:

    Maybe Chris and the others will continue to respond to you. As for me, greasemonkey is activated. Bye.

    Actually I have. I constructed a detailed response of why Tick is wrong on several accounts. I listed many Quackwatch articles that are written by other (doctors and PhDs). Plus I listed several references Barratt used in his main article he is being sued over “How the “Urine Toxic Metals” Test Is Used to Defraud Patients”, including several that are from real medical journals.

    If it comes up it will be the last time I communicate with Tick. I heard a rumor he is a shill for Doctor’s Data lawyers and may have actually written the silly letters himself from the same place he gets his rumors: pure imagination. Except I am admitting I am lying. He will never admit his ticky lies.

  154. #155 Dedj
    July 5, 2010

    “You must look a little closer at the situation here. I do not see anyone signing their posts with an MD, DO, or DC after their name. Most everyone uses a nom-de-plume.”

    Well, there are certainly people here who do that, including full fellowship initials.

    But you avoided the main point that Chris raised. That is, given the nature of the blog, the community it is associated with, the work area of the blog runner and the fact that his real world identity is easily found and broadly known – why is it reasonable to assume that no Dr’s (or other relevantly qualified people) post here?

    So far, you have badly misread or dishonestly misrepresented other peoples posts – including attributing claims to them that they clearly did not make – you have failed to find publically available information, failed to provide any logical basis of some of your rather bizarre claims, failed to accurately represent public knowledge of Stephen Barrett, have failed to address the lack of substance to the claims being made against Stephen Barrett, and failed to respond adequately to concerns about you.

    Given all of the above, it is incredibly difficult to see why anyone should see you as a credible discussion partner.

  155. #156 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 5, 2010

    Raven:

    Wow – you sound so hostile. Lighten up. The world is such a beautiful place.

    Do you think it will be even better when Doctor’s Data owns quackwatch, and opens a Barrett Memorabilia Museum?

    I think Barrett should have consulted an attorney before he wrote those articles. He’s finished – and it will take a while and will be very public, and embarrassing for skeptics.

    So skehpptical.

  156. #157 Travis
    July 5, 2010

    Umm, we are exposed to heavily metals in daily life, we are exposed to lots of things in our environment. The point of this testing is supposed to be finding out if people have elevated levels not if they have any at all. That is also why it fails as it is not possible to tell this via their methods.

  157. #158 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 5, 2010

    Dedj:

    You know – life is short. You should not get yourself so keyed up. If you let anger control you it will.

    This is America. People have different opinions and approaches to issues. Get used to it.

    If this situation gets worse for you, you might try getting tested for heavy metals. There is this lab I’ve heard of that has this test, and many doctors offer it.

    skehpptical but smiling.

  158. #159 Gray Falcon
    July 5, 2010

    Spepp: Do you know why we’re angry? Listen closely. People, including at least one documented autistic child, have died from unnecessary chelation. That’s a perfectly good reason to be angry. The thing is, there are two ways of handling anger. You can use your anger, or your anger can use you. By the way, you seem to be in the second category. That’s when you start out with angry feelings, then create fantasies and conspiracies supporting your anger.

  159. #160 Chance Gearheart, NREMT-P/EMD
    July 5, 2010

    “152 – I suppose that someday it will dawn on you – pun intended – that those findings of heavy metals after a provoked test actually came from a patient’s body – unless you think those metals came from the DMPS, or the IV equipment, or they were faked. At that point you might even let it dawn on you that metals do not belong in the human body, and probably cause serious problems – right?”

    This is the inherent problem with the arguements made by Doctor’s Data and anyone who uses their findings to “treat” people who have supposed metal toxicity from “heavy metal burden” – Heavy metal poisonings follow specific toxidromes and specific symptoms occur at specific dosing ranges. In addition, it has to be incredibly likely that they are exposed to the source chemical – I.e. a worker who works in a felt manufacturing plant vs a housewife with no identifiable source of exposure to mercury other than the occasional can of tuna. Let’s examine the chemical in question: DMPS (2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid), which is Chemically related to Dimercaprol, a chemical warfare antidote agent. DMPS has a major side effect risk of what is known as Stevens-Johnsons Syndrome, which recently was demonstrated in a case of an autistic child taking this compound for his disorder. Animal models have shown that DMPS is ineffective alone in removing mercury from an animal poisoned by methyl mercury, where as the sodium form has been shown to remove mercury from patients who are demonstrating effects of mercury toxidrome and have a non-provoked urine test of significance. The indications for DMPS are Lead, mercury, and arsenic poisoning, as well as some of the more exotic heavy metals used in research, like Polonium or Technetium.

    For Lead Poisoning:
    •Symptoms & sign:
    •Neurological:
    •In mild cases(lead 30-50 ug/dl in blood): headache, fatigue, irritability & depressed mood
    •In sever cases(lead 100 ug/dl in blood ): ↑ ICP , ataxia, stupor, coma, seizures (Pb encephalopathy)
    •In chronic high dose: Peripheral neuropathy, wrist drop
    •In children chronic exposure: Neuro-cognitive deficit, growth retardation, or delay in development

    For Arsenic:
    Symptoms & signs:
    •Few mg will affect body in few minutes to hours
    •Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea (cholera like) & abdominal pain
    •Hypotension, shock, volume depletion(mechanism of death)
    •Hemolytic anemia, basophilic stippling, metallic taste
    •Acute encephalopathy with delirium, stupor & coma

    For Mercury (ZOMG!)

    Acute mercury poisoning
    •Symptoms & signs:
    •Inhalation of elemental mercury:
    •Pneumonia & pulmonary edema.
    •Also gingivo-stomatitis & excessive salivation
    •Neurological effects: memory loss, fatigue, insomnia, anorexia, shyness, withdrawal & depression
    •Ingestion of inorganic mercury(mercuric chloride)
    •Hemorrhagic gastro-enteritis & renal failure

    Chronic mercury poisoning
    •Symptoms & signs
    •Chronic inhalation of mercury vapors:
    •Temors, neuropsychiatric disturbances & peripheral neuropathy
    •Gingivo-stomatitis &loosening of teeth
    •Acrodynia: Painful erythema of extremeties & ↑ BP
    •Chronic organic mercury intoxication:
    •Paresthesia, ataxia,dysarthria, hearing & visual loss
    •Mental retardation & cerebral palsy

    Notice all of these happen within 24 hours of developing toxicity in large doses- while Mercury requires days or weeks of chronic exposure above the daily allowed dose to develop chronic toxicity. Mercury is incredibly dramatic.

    The problem with provoked urine testing is because the chelating agents are non-selective with heavy metals – they strip away any accumulation they can, along with electrolytes such as calcium and magnesium that are needed by the body for normal function. Thus, a normal background accumulation of mercury from, say, being a seafood eater, will appear to be in toxic quanities because the chelator will have bound ANY mercury or heavy metal in the system. Literally, in the modern world, the only way to become toxic with mercury is to be exposed to contaminated water, mercury vapor from industry or spilled liquid mercury, or to ingest a large amount of seafood beyond normal for an extended period of time (Actually, a documented case is recorded of an actor who ate sushi every day for 20 years, and developed chronic mercury poisoning – but with a demonstrable toxidrome, epidemological source, and blood testing to back this up), and the effects would be rapidly dramatic. In addition, the conditions they are attributing to heavy metal poisoning using these tests make no sense – these aren’t people who are exposed to it in industry – and the idea of this is unlikely while the idea of other diseases, such as cancer, are highly likely. In addition, the use of an unnecessary drug with side effects that can be devistating, up to and including cardiac arrest, in these and other patients with no demonstrable toxicity other than administering a trial dose of chelation agent places them far into the risk over benefit catagory – making this highly irresponsable at best.

    The chelation is going to give a false high in ANYONE, expecially when they blindly try to apply reference values for a normal urine specimin obtained without administering chelation agent and without doing a 24-hour catch specimin – when the reference values were ment for that.

    Of course, I’m sure you’ll try to troll me out of this, but that’s ok. I’m at work all day. :D

  160. #161 Pablo
    July 5, 2010

    The chelation is going to give a false high in ANYONE, expecially when they blindly try to apply reference values for a normal urine specimin obtained without administering chelation agent and without doing a 24-hour catch specimin – when the reference values were ment for that.

    I wonder, in these chelation tests, do they measure calcium levels, too? Because I would think that these chelators are also going to have pretty high affinity for calcium, and will do things rip a non-trivial amount out of the bones, even. So I would expect induced calcium levels to be elevated, as well.

    Would they interpret the extraction of calcium from bones as evidence of calcium poisoning, too?

  161. #162 Chance Gearheart, NREMT-P/EMD
    July 5, 2010

    @Pablo – Considering hypocalcemia will kill you dead (Intractable Seizures, Carditoxic effects) and cause mild to severe muscle spasms, quickly, and correcting it will literally destroy the vasculature you put it into and also poses it’s own risks, I’d be terrifed at the thought of one of these “Doctors” and their “Nurses” standing over me with an amp of CaCl or CaGluconate.

    According to my drug guide, DMPS doesn’t have as great of an affinity for calcium as Ca/Na EDTA, but the risk is still there, in addition to things like hypomagnesemia.

  162. #163 Chris
    July 5, 2010

    Actually, when I think about, the Tick sounds more like Tim Bolen. Maybe as an attempt to work undercover PR for Doctor’s Data.

  163. #164 Chance Gearheart, NREMT-P/EMD
    July 5, 2010

    @Chris – Have you noticed that augustine disappeared? Compare said poster’s style with the Skepp person.

  164. #165 Chris
    July 5, 2010

    Hmmm… it is similar, and even more clueless. I suspect that they could be the same person. And since they seem to post at west coast times, they may have both been Tim Bolen.

    I wonder if the change of name has to do with the similarity to the lawyer’s last name?

  165. #166 Tsu Dho Nimh
    July 5, 2010

    Spepp … DDI is a “CLIA” lab. http://www.cms.gov/clia/

    That only means that they have the required record-keeping, operational procedures, and that they perform acceptably well on the occasional accuracy tests sent out by the certification organizations. That certification means that Medicare will pay for tests they do. It does not mean that everything they choose to do is automatically good, scientific and clinically useful.

    Where DDI diverges from any of the CLIA labs I have ever worked in is their willingness to test clinically meaningless samples. Hand in a random sample for heavy metals testing to any lab I have worked in and you might get back the answer on a lab miscellaneous slip with “NO NORMAL VALUES HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR THIS TEST” in big bold letters, or the lab would reject the sample and tell you how to properly collect one that would have some significance.

    Now that the American Board of Medical Toxicology (ABMT) has declared that provoked urine samples are not medically or clinically valid for testing a heavy metal load, ethical labs stopped doing them. DDI has no problem continuing to perform (and collecting BIG bucks – they charge way more than the local labs do for heavy metals) these tests, despite the ABMT’s conclusion that it’s not going to give clinically useful information.

    DDI also reports these tests on misleading forms. They are reporting a chelation-provoked, not-24 hour collection metals screen on the same form as the non-provoked, 24-hour screens … that means the little “X” marks are way the hell up in the abnormal range, outside the soothing green “normal” range even though the two collection methods are wildly different.

    It’s as if I made you run for three miles, took your pulse and charted it against normal resting heart rates … and then told you you had an abnormally high pulse and needed my expensive treatment.

    DDI is enabling a lie and they know it’s enabling a lie. Instead of changing their test protocol, changing their forms, or rejecting the requests as medically useless … they sue the people who are pointing out that they are doing medically useless tests.

  166. #167 Tsu Dho Nimh
    July 5, 2010

    DawnMI The CORRECT way, per toxicologists, is to test for heavy metal poisoning via blood tests, not provoked urine tests.

    During chelation it is common for the lab to run continuous 24-hour collections and testing to monitor how much of the metal is being excreted and how effective the chelation is. After a blood shows excessive levels.

    To screen for heavy metal exposure, the first AM specimen (the most concentrated) of urine is often used, but without any chelating drugs. If it’s low, the chances that the patient has a toxic level are slim, and it’s easier to collect pee than blood.

  167. #168 Tsu Dho Nimh
    July 5, 2010

    @160 Pablo “I wonder, in these chelation tests, do they measure calcium levels, too? “.

    When a patient is being chelated, their calcium levels are CLOSELY monitored, and if possible, a calcium-based chelator is used.

    You can kill someone real fast with chelation.

  168. #169 David N. Brown
    July 5, 2010

    @152:
    “I suppose that someday it will dawn on you – pun intended – that those findings of heavy metals after a provoked test actually came from a patient’s body – unless you think those metals came from the DMPS, or the IV equipment, or they were faked. ”

    As I pointed out significantly earlier- right about the time you started diverting attention to Barrett’s actual and alleged legal problems- there is evidence that DDI may have obtained “positive” results for urinalysis tests where, according to DDI’s own representatives, any metals bound by the chelator (TD-DMPS) should not have appeared in the urine. This WOULD point to serious problems with either contamination or the functioning of their lab equipment. I have written a little article about this for my “Examiner” page.

  169. #170 David N. Brown
    July 5, 2010

    144:
    “That period would have been around the time that the Ilena Rosenthal legal team was becoming very aggressive and I believe that they had filed some Motions to seize property including Stephen Barrett’s.”

    I was unsurprised to find that the action was, by all indications, settled years ago, with the last well-documented action being in 2006. At that time, a ruling ordered Barrett and other plaintiffs to reimburse Rosenthal while also ruling that “those fees be reduced.” It seems extremely unlikely that Rosenthal was able to make any new demands, with any success, last fall.

  170. #171 Do'C
    July 5, 2010

    “There are no nationally or internationally set levels for provoked heavy metal urine tests, therefore the results are meaningless because you have nothing to compare the results to.”

    Actually, for lead, there are, and they’ve been around for years. Interesting that DDI doesn’t share that with recipients of its colorful ‘report’. It could make some wonder if it’s because use of post-provocation reference intervals would prove to most patients that indeed, they don’t have heavy metal toxicity.

    For more on the “provoked” reference intervals for lead, see Labcorp.com – Test Menu, and search Test Number: 007633 or “Urine Lead”.

  171. #172 Todd W.
    July 5, 2010

    @Chance and Chris

    I was going to comment earlier that Spepp seemed awfully similar to augustine. Similar misrepresentation of what people say. Same lack of references. Arguments by assertion, ad hominems, non sequiturs and so on. I’m somewhat surprised that he/she/it has not pulled out the atheist card, yet.

  172. #173 Chris
    July 5, 2010

    Todd, the Tick did start out like Little Augie by making a baseless and silly observation. Little Augie just assumed all of us are atheists, while Tick started off by saying Barrett had never won a lawsuit (I had not followed closely enough to realize that some were just settled, much like Offit settling with Handley, where they both had to give money to an autism charity of Offit’s choosing).

    Yeah, I found the bit about no legitimate doctors supporting Barrett was amusing. And s/he/it completely missing the reference to Science Based Medicine.

  173. #174 augustine
    July 6, 2010

    “I was going to comment earlier that Spepp seemed awfully similar to augustine.”

    Talk about conspiracy theories. I thought you guys were above that.

  174. #175 David N. Brown
    July 6, 2010

    On the lighter side, here’s one of the posts from last fall’s LBRB troll:
    The ABA hoax is ongoing. These people are going to try and get the government and insurance to cover ABA therapy. There is very thin evidence for this, but since it amounts to crawling around on the floor it is not very threatening to the powers that be.
    I have no idea why aspergers people that do no have autism think that they have autism. Aspergers is very different from autism, and is more likely genetic whereas autism is caused by toxicity, and other viruses like Dr.
    Wakefield says. Stephen Barrett should be haunted by the woman of Salem who were wrongly accused of being witches. Barrett worked at some mental hospitals back in the 60′s and 70′s. I heard the conditions at mental hospitals were hideous during this time period. Maybe Barrett was performing lobotomies on people. If you want to see the truth google Time Bolen. If you were a patient of Mr. Barrett when he was practicing his vodoo in Allentown

    Coal Burning Fire Plants and Allentown and Barrett. What do you get Mercury Toxicity in Barretts Brain. Were living here in allentown and there closing the quackbusters down. Barrett and Barataz lost their jobs todayayayayayay. Theyve taken all their lawsuits down. And 500,000 theyll have to paaaaaaaaaay. Barrett will go down in History as a bitter old man who persecuted modern day galileos. Ultimatley he will never be remembered while the scientist of his day will be famous, and will be in school textbooks.

  175. #176 JamesH
    July 6, 2010

    I’m not sure that the principle of “libel laws should have no place in a scientific dispute” is as simple as you claim. Libel laws cut both ways. For example, Prof. Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in Canada [is currently suing the National Post](http://wcel.org/resources/environmental-law-alert/uvic%E2%80%99s-andrew-weaver-sues-national-post) for libel based upon consistent misrepresentation of his position on climate change and defamation of character. Are you going to tell him that he shouldn’t?

  176. #177 MI Dawn
    July 6, 2010

    @Tsu Dho Nimh and Do’C: thanks for the additional info. I should have been clearer in what I meant: most heavy metal poisonings are diagnosed with blood tests, usually after either known excessive exposure or observed symptoms. I did not know that they would use a 24 hour urine collection while chelating. Very interesting, and logical.

    @Chris, Chance and Todd W: yeah, I didn’t realize it, until you pointed it out, but Tick does seem a lot like little Augie and does seem to channel Tim Bolen-like stuff.

    Have a nice day, all.

  177. #178 Kristen
    July 6, 2010

    I am coming late to the discussion, but had to comment. I have been working a lot lately and the marathon is only 9 weeks away. :)

    Chance says:

    @Chris – Have you noticed that augustine disappeared? Compare said poster’s style with the Skepp person.

    After reading a few of Spepp’s posts I immediately thought of Augustine. I am glad a few of you came to the same supposition and I wasn’t just imagining it. I guess Orac would know for sure.

    I know next to nothing about law (except adoption law), so I don’t have much to add. Just that IMHO Dr. Barret performs a public service with his site and I hope this suit is dismissed as quickly as the Fischer vs Offit crap.

    Regarding Spepp’s assessment of Mi Dawn’s trade I say to him/her; you are a complete ass. Having worked for a hospital doing insurance appeals, I have found that with a good argument many claims will be paid if indeed medically necessary. It’s not a great system, but it is what we have. If Spepp has a better idea, perhaps he/she should try to do something constructive, instead of being a know-nothing troll.*

    *I am not saying I agree with how insurance companies are run, just that the people working in insurance should not be categorically vilified.

  178. #179 Calli Arcale
    July 6, 2010

    Spepp Tickskehpptick @ 158:

    This is America. People have different opinions and approaches to issues. Get used to it.

    Very good advice! Have you mentioned it to Doctors Data, Inc? They appear not to subscribe to that philosophy.

  179. #180 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 6, 2010

    To all:

    Sorry I haven’t been able to get back to you. I’m very busy.

    But, I thought I’d take the time to explain in layman’s language exactly what I think you are up against here – and it is a lot. Then I will give you a recommendation. You should take it.

    Simply – Barrett is going to lose this case. His best move right now would be to kneel down and beg Doctor’s Data for forgiveness and take down the information from his website. The more he fights the more it is going to cost him and he does not have that much to lose before he runs out of assets.

    Here’s why –

    (1) Barrett got a letter from an attorney. He should have consulted an attorney about the letter and gotten advice and acted on that advice. He didn’t do that. Barrett obviously thought he knew the law better than attorneys. Bad move. More than stupid.

    (2) Barrett does not have official credibility. Certainly not the credibility to have made the statements he made about Doctor’s Data. (a) He has not been licensed to practice medicine since 1993. (b) That court case NCAHF v King Bio is going to haunt him. The courts really did declare him to be generally biased, and unworthy of credibility. (c) Barrett cannot qualify as an expert witness using AMA and US court standards (Daubert) and did not refer to any research other than his own in his articles. (d) He could not even pass the simple tests to become Board Certified as a Psychiatrist. So where is his scientific background.

    (3) Barrett used the word Fraud in regard to Doctor’s Data stating or implying openly that Doctor’s Data was committing a State or Federal Crime punishable by imprisonment. Barrett should have consulted an attorney before writing this. Actually he should have contacted a police agency if he thought he had a valid complaint. It is possible he did but was told to go away.

    (4) Barrett involved the NCAHF most likely without their permission – supposedly sending out the Consumer Health Digest newsletter in partnerhip with them. He got them sued and they don’t have two nickels to rub together. They are not going to like any of this because most likely they were not actually involved. Now they have to hire an attorney firm whether they want to or not. I do not think they are going to be Barrett’s friend.

    (5) The deposition of Barrett is going to go badly for him. Doctor’s Data will most likely videotape it. If Tim Bolen gets a hold of it you will see it on the internet. Barrett will have to fight to keep it from him which means more legal fees.

    (6) Doctor’s Data is probably going to buy the $112,000 plus interest Court Judgment against the NCAHF who owes six homeopathic manufacturers for attorneys fees. That would give Doctor’s Data immediate access to Barrett’s financial records without having to wait for Discovery in this new case. Then they could start the process of seizing any money they find including contributions for his legal fund. Judgments last forever and are unstoppable.

    (7) Doctor’s Data is going to seize Barrett’s telephone and email records. That means that they will then find reason to add many of you on as Defendants in the case. Look at Count number nine – Civil Conspiracy.

    (8) Doctor’s Data will be looking carefully for evidence of any criminal act. If they find any they will be able to roll the Civil Conspiracy Count into a full-blown RICO charge.

    (9) Doctor’s Data will no doubt demand that Barrett be examined by a Psychiatrist of their choice – probably more than one. They will no doubt go to the Judge and get a Court Order for this and they will have done their homework to justify it.

    (10) Doctor’s Data will no doubt drag every one of you that mouth-off into the case as Defendants. Don’t think that a pseudonym will protect you. They will find you.

    Here is my recommendation – dump him, let him swim for himself.

    Not so skehpptical today.

  180. #181 Todd W.
    July 6, 2010

    What I found somewhat amusing was Spepp’s attempt to use the testifying guidelines for an “expert witness” to discredit Dr. Barrett:

    The AMA has testifying guidelines and those guidelines are used by the court system. Those rules say that in order to claim expertise in something you have to have worked or taught in that exact specialty for five years or more – currently. Barrett fits no such qualifications for most if not all of his articles.

    Apparently, Spepp doesn’t understand that that would only apply to someone acting in a legal capacity as an expert witness, and does not apply to any other setting. Spepp repeats this flawed reasoning several times.

    It is also interesting to note that Spepp pontificates at great length about why Dr. Barrett should just fold, rather than offering any possible explanations about why DDI does not present some, y’know, evidence to support their practices. I also got a chuckle from this bit:

    Doctor’s Data does scientific lab tests right? And those tests are approved by the US government right?

    As far as I understand, the U.S. government has neither approved nor disapproved of the tests. The U.S. government generally (not always, but generally) stays out of the practice of medicine. So Spepp’s statement is meaningless. I would also question the “scientific” bit there. I could grant that maybe they are doing a scientific procedure, but argue that they are most likely not doing it properly, accurately or in any real sense performing good science. In other words, the test they are performing may, indeed, be scientific, but they are either not doing science or are doing poor science, since they’re comparing apples to oranges.

    What does that mean for the doctors who are ordering these tests? They’re getting meaningless data and basing their treatment decisions based upon these data. That means, at best, worthless treatments for these kids and, at worst, dangerous and irresponsible treatments.

    I would love to see some science showing that what DDI is doing actual has some validity, though. I don’t mind being shown that I am in error. I doubt Spepp will produce anything of quality to respond to my thoughts, but one can always be surprised.

  181. #182 Chris
    July 6, 2010

    Oh, good my very long but moderated comment made it through. I doubt that Tick will go up and read it (and I am no longer responding to him), but here are some highlights:

    Hey, I heard a new rumor. I got from the same place you did the Internet of Imagination. The rumor is that Spepp Tickskehpptick is really a sheep tick bouncing on the keys of a laptop pretending to be concerned, and not really comprehending anything.

    …and the only part I guess I wanted an answer from Tick, main part highlighted:

    What doctors do you think are legitimate? Anju Usman? (she who tried and convicted Tariq Nadama of the crime of being a five year old boy with autism using test results from Doctors Data) Roy Kerry? (who carried out the execution of Tariq Nadama because he was a five year old with autism, including strapping him down on to the table!)

  182. #183 Calli Arcale
    July 6, 2010

    Apparently, Spepp doesn’t understand that that would only apply to someone acting in a legal capacity as an expert witness, and does not apply to any other setting. Spepp repeats this flawed reasoning several times.

    Particularly ironic given his/her comment that people have different opinions in this country, and we should get used to it. Like DDI, Spepp has forgotten what freedom of speech actually means. It means sometimes people will say things you don’t agree with, and you have to live with that.

    Spepp wants to use Dr Barrett’s ineligibility to serve as an expert witness as a means to discredit him from saying anything, at any time, any where. This is clearly absurd, and I suspect Spepp knows it. Either Spepp has the emotional maturity of a three-year-old, or Spepp is entirely aware of the hypocrisy of what he/she is saying and is perfectly fine with it.

  183. #184 Chris
    July 6, 2010

    Calli, have you met Tim O’Ranter Bolen yet? I got familiar with him many many years ago when I participated in the Healthfraud listserv. He had a habit of sending his “newsletter” to those of us who dared to post on the list. He basically harvested our emails.

    Little Augie and Spepp the Tick are strangely familiar.

  184. #185 Scott
    July 6, 2010

    Well, let’s take a look at the Tick’s points one by one.

    (1) Barrett got a letter from an attorney. He should have consulted an attorney about the letter and gotten advice and acted on that advice. He didn’t do that. Barrett obviously thought he knew the law better than attorneys. Bad move. More than stupid.

    You have not established either that he did not consult an attorney, nor that there was any reason he should have responded differently. The point is irrelevant.

    (2) Barrett does not have official credibility. Certainly not the credibility to have made the statements he made about Doctor’s Data. (a) He has not been licensed to practice medicine since 1993. (b) That court case NCAHF v King Bio is going to haunt him. The courts really did declare him to be generally biased, and unworthy of credibility. (c) Barrett cannot qualify as an expert witness using AMA and US court standards (Daubert) and did not refer to any research other than his own in his articles. (d) He could not even pass the simple tests to become Board Certified as a Psychiatrist. So where is his scientific background.

    He has the necessary citations to prove his point. None of your four subpoints has any actual bearing on whether or not his statements were correct.

    (3) Barrett used the word Fraud in regard to Doctor’s Data stating or implying openly that Doctor’s Data was committing a State or Federal Crime punishable by imprisonment. Barrett should have consulted an attorney before writing this. Actually he should have contacted a police agency if he thought he had a valid complaint. It is possible he did but was told to go away.

    Expression of opinion, with copious references to back it up. Also, DDI does NOT want to make this a case about whether or not their actions legally constitute fraud, because they would most likely lose.

    (4) Barrett involved the NCAHF most likely without their permission – supposedly sending out the Consumer Health Digest newsletter in partnerhip with them. He got them sued and they don’t have two nickels to rub together. They are not going to like any of this because most likely they were not actually involved. Now they have to hire an attorney firm whether they want to or not. I do not think they are going to be Barrett’s friend.

    Citations please.

    (5) The deposition of Barrett is going to go badly for him. Doctor’s Data will most likely videotape it. If Tim Bolen gets a hold of it you will see it on the internet. Barrett will have to fight to keep it from him which means more legal fees.

    Why do you think it will go badly?

    (6) Doctor’s Data is probably going to buy the $112,000 plus interest Court Judgment against the NCAHF who owes six homeopathic manufacturers for attorneys fees. That would give Doctor’s Data immediate access to Barrett’s financial records without having to wait for Discovery in this new case. Then they could start the process of seizing any money they find including contributions for his legal fund. Judgments last forever and are unstoppable.

    What bearing does that have on the case? None.

    (7) Doctor’s Data is going to seize Barrett’s telephone and email records. That means that they will then find reason to add many of you on as Defendants in the case. Look at Count number nine – Civil Conspiracy.

    This, you’re just making up.

    (8) Doctor’s Data will be looking carefully for evidence of any criminal act. If they find any they will be able to roll the Civil Conspiracy Count into a full-blown RICO charge.

    Why don’t you actually provide some evidence suggesting that such evidence exists?

    (9) Doctor’s Data will no doubt demand that Barrett be examined by a Psychiatrist of their choice – probably more than one. They will no doubt go to the Judge and get a Court Order for this and they will have done their homework to justify it.

    And this would be a bad thing how?

    (10) Doctor’s Data will no doubt drag every one of you that mouth-off into the case as Defendants. Don’t think that a pseudonym will protect you. They will find you.

    I hope they try. Nothing would make it more obvious that this is pure SLAPP.

  185. #186 Pablo
    July 6, 2010

    Scott – actually, now that I read the points, it seems to me that this is an attempt to threaten US. All this crap about how they will come after Barrett’s email and dragging everyone who mouths off in as defendants is BS, and merely an attempt to intimidate.

    Not to play the Pharma Shill Gambit, but why shouldn’t we just think the clown is a mouthpiece for DDI?

  186. #187 Scott
    July 6, 2010

    On points 7 and 10, yeah. Potentially 8. But you’re right; essentially he’s trying to SLAPP us without actually bothering to file a lawsuit.

  187. #188 Calli Arcale
    July 6, 2010

    Wow. I didn’t even notice point #10. A totally specious threat presented in lieu of arguments. One thing I note is that this individual is quite consistent with DDI in one crucial point: he/she/it is not really attempting to defend the test that Quackwatch has criticized. This I find very telling.

  188. #189 Calli Arcale
    July 6, 2010

    Chris @ 184: No, I haven’t yet hat the “pleasure” of meeting him.

  189. #190 MI Dawn
    July 6, 2010

    @Calli Arcale: re: Chris @184: Don’t worry. You aren’t missing anything, unless you are into full-fledged, wild-eyed, foaming-mouth ranting. Actually, Tick sounds so much like Tim…

    But if you really want some prime Bolen, see

    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/

    Peter has had a run-in or two with him.

    I love the way the Tick threatens us all with being included in the lawsuit. Obviously, he has 1) never heard of the Streisand Effect and 2) not heard what happened when a lawyer tried to sue an “innocent housewife” named Kathleen Seidel (not that Kathleen wasn’t innocent of the charges, but the lawyer didn’t know what kind of intelligent, tenacious woman he was dealing with).

  190. #191 Chris
    July 6, 2010

    MI Dawn:

    2) not heard what happened when a lawyer tried to sue an “innocent housewife” named Kathleen Seidel (not that Kathleen wasn’t innocent of the charges, but the lawyer didn’t know what kind of intelligent, tenacious woman he was dealing with).

    Ah, yes! Kathleen Seidel’s Welcome to My Conspiracy response is still a thing of great beauty and wit!

  191. #192 Chris
    July 6, 2010

    Oh, I just noticed on Peter Bowditch’s pages on Tim Bolen is what happened when people complained about being subscribed without their consent to his newsletter:
    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/strange/timoranter2.htm

    I was not one of those who complained. It was at the time we dropped the dial-up service and got cable, so those newsletters addressed to me fell into a void.

  192. #193 Chris
    July 6, 2010

    Remember upthread when Spepp Tickskehpptick mentioned “Barrett and his minions”? Well I found a page with Bolen quotes. It looks like the term “minions” is common in Bolen-speak.

  193. #194 Peter Bowditch
    July 6, 2010

    Some information about skehpptick:

    Usenet message ID 5e6732b4-e3d7-42be-b0e1-8b5f20277c59@d16g2000yqb.googlegroups.com

    From: Skepp Tick
    NNTP-Posting-Host: 75.104.109.135

    And the signature on the bottom:

    Very amused in California..

    Tim Bolen

  194. #195 Chris
    July 6, 2010

    Yep, here is the tick! Thanks, Peter, for confirming our suspicions.

  195. #196 Monica
    July 6, 2010

    He also has a short memory. The “racketeering” conspiracy thing with all kinds of ludicrous charges was tried before in a counter suit involving 30 defendants, and failed:

    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/clark05.htm

    although the document is still posted, not informing people of that fact.

  196. #197 Monica
    July 6, 2010

    Just to clarify so there are no misunderstandings, I meant that the document was posted elsewhere on the internet — Peter Bowditch, of course tells the entire ludicrous story on his website, but elsewhere it is posted, leading people to believe it is still active.

  197. #198 Kristen
    July 6, 2010

    Scott,

    (10) Doctor’s Data will no doubt drag every one of you that mouth-off into the case as Defendants. Don’t think that a pseudonym will protect you. They will find you.

    I hope they try. Nothing would make it more obvious that this is pure SLAPP.

    After reading this veiled threat I signed up for the Consumer Health Digest, just to make sure “they” can find me ;p

  198. #199 Broken Link
    July 6, 2010

    Spepp Tickskehpptick

    Do you have any opinion on Hulda Clark? Wasn’t she an unlicensed naturopath who claimed she could cure cancer, AIDS, and many other serious diseases, sometimes within a few hours? Didn’t Clark died of complications of multiple myeloma (a form of cancer) in September 2009?

    Very sceptical
    Broken Link

  199. #200 David N. Brown
    July 7, 2010

    @194:
    If this is Bolen, he’s being unusually (ie relatively) rational and restrained. Maybe his wife put him on meds.

    Now, lets go over a few things:
    1. Stephen Barrett has a right to report his opinions about DDI.
    2. He has a right to recommend DDI’s competitors.
    3. He has a right to give advice to consumers he believes have been defrauded by DDI.
    4. He has the right to report on and contribute money and/or services to individuals pursuing litigation against DDI.
    5. Since he does not run a lab that competes with DDI,or run any recognized commercial venture, none of his actions regarding DDI fall into the intended jurisdiction of the Lanham act or other trade laws cited by DDI.
    5. As owner of a “non-profit”, he is required to report the revenue and expenses of his organization publicly. However, he has a right to privacy with regard to his personal finances, and is REQUIRED to keep the identity of donors to his organization private if requested.

    What all this means is that, even if DDI were able to prove the substance of their claims on point of fact, they would still have insufficient grounds to claim that he had done anything wrong. That is why DDI has no case, and should withdraw their suit ASAP. If possible, they should get a new set of attorneys, too. Counsel who allows a client to file a frivolous, unwinnable and predictably unpopular lawsuit in the middle of three other suits is not good counsel.

  200. #201 Peter Bowditch
    July 7, 2010

    It’s Bolen, all right. He has had the message sent from the Skepp Tick email address removed from the Google Groups archive, but I still have a copy with all headers. He was responding to me at the time and must have forgotten which Google account he was signed in as. In the message he had this threat to make to me:

    “I’ll bet you think that Doctor’s Data can’t reach you, eh?”

    You can see Bolen’s original message in the thread at http://groups.google.com/group/misc.health.alternative/msg/0ba0352c897cd42e?hl=en&dmode=source

    Same IP address and same user agent (computer) as Skepp Tick.

    QED.

  201. #202 David N. Brown
    July 7, 2010

    Forward this to Barrett! He could subpoena Bolen and ask him on the stand if he was paid by DDI to plug their suit… but, this is the person who spent 3 minutes answering “Where do you live?” The judge could die before Bolen got done!

    Really, I doubt whether even chelation bottom feeders would pay Bolen. Not because they would have more “scruples”, but because they would serve their cause better by paying him to keep quiet.

  202. #203 triskelethecat
    July 7, 2010

    @Peter Bowditch: LOL, Peter! Bolen is such an idiot to forget what your work is, and that you can easily trace IP addresses and such(I don’t have the computer savvy to do that, or the desire..)

    Now if only you could prove that Tick/Tim Bolen and Little Augie were the same person, that would be the icing on the cake.

    Oh, and BTW, Tim the Tick….since I don’t think you ARE Italian, I don’t apologize.

  203. #204 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 7, 2010

    Re: Tick @ 147

    So – Doctor’s Data does scientific lab tests right? And those tests are approved by the US government right? That is their business. Their people are actual scientists with degrees in science. So they go in the Science Based Medicine category – right?

    Oh, I know this will have already been replied to (I’m catching up after a few days away) but I can’t resist. What “Tick” is saying here is similar to saying “The mass spectrometer is a precision diagnostic instrument, isn’t it? And the prisoner in the orange jumpsuit and the manacles is a medical diagnostician by profession, isn’t he? Therefore doesn’t that prove that when the prisoner picked up the mass spectrometer and brought it down on the deceased’s skull, he was performing an act of precision diagnostic testing?”

  204. #205 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 9, 2010

    Wow!

    Did you see this?

    http://bolenreport.com/feature_articles/feature_article100.htm

    Things are getting desperate for Mr. Barrett.

    Very skehpptical.

  205. #206 FreeSpeaker
    July 9, 2010

    There is no question that Bolen is Tick. He admitted it in the newsgroups.

    BTW, Bolen’s real first name is Patrick, his cousin posted to a newsgroup, and said that Bolen’s father was pharmacist. Bolen is like he is because he hates his father.

  206. #207 David N. Brown
    July 10, 2010

    Bolen has a new “report”, bragging that a deadline to respond is Monday and Barrett hasn’t filed in response, and therefore could have a default judgment against him. I suspect that this is approximately true, except that Barrett has filed a motion to dismiss which will succeed in about as much time as it takes a judge to get to it. It appears conceivable that the suit will be dead within ca. 72 hours. Meanwhile, I will be finishing a piece outlining why none of the laws cited even apply to Barrett, and how DDI and/or their lawyers repeatedly lied and/or undermined their own case in making their “factual allegations”.

    So, the suit is probably DOA at this writing. But I’m thinking, DDI shouldn’t be allowed to get off easy. I propose the following measures:
    1. Report the lawyers to the Illinois bar for misconduct.
    2. Countersue DDI for defamation and wrongful prosecution.
    3. Donate to the plaintiffs in the three cases where DDI is a defendant.
    4. If possible, charge Bolen with some kind of crime for trying to frighten people away from Barrett’s defense, and subpoena his records on the off-chance DDI paid him to do it.

  207. #208 DrHealth
    July 20, 2010

    “science-based medicine”? you’ve got to be fucking kidding…it’s “ego-based medicine” fucking arseholes!
    barrett is a chronic pathological liar….
    he is considered biased and untrustworthy by the courts….

  208. #209 Todd W.
    July 20, 2010

    @DrHealth

    Wow. You’re one classy fellow!

  209. #210 T. Bruce McNeely
    July 20, 2010

    @DrHealth:

    Do you teach your “UBC students” with that mouth?

  210. #211 David N. Brown
    July 20, 2010

    Is there any chance that “Dr. Health” is Tim Bolen?

  211. #212 Spepp Tickskehpptick
    July 26, 2010

    Wow! Did you see this?

    California Supreme Court Bitch-Slaps Stephen Barrett Once Again…

    Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen

    Sunday, July 25th, 2010

    I find it surprisingly easy to defeat Barrett and his minions. It’s almost like they lead themselves into the slaughterhouse. And there I stand with an axe…

    On July 14th, 2010, a little over a week ago the California Supreme Court, with virtually no effort on my part, stomped a rancid old fart named Stephen Barrett on my behalf, by the simple act of denying Barrett’s Petition to that Court, practically begging the Supreme Court to overturn the earlier Appeals Court Decision upholding the Alameda Superior Court’s decision to Dismiss Barrett’s case against me.

    The Judge in the Superior Court, once again with no effort on my part, had Dismissed the case since, frankly, Barrett, et al, just couldn’t seem to get it up enough to pursue the original silliness.
    We, on the other hand, spent no effort either.

    It has always been my opinion that Stephen Barrett has always wanted to TELL people he is suing me, but actually facing me in Court, or anywhere else, is a whole another matter. I think it has been a manhood issue with him all along.

    To read the entire article click on http://www.bolenreport.com

  212. #213 Broken Link
    July 26, 2010

    A bunch of misinformation on this subject is here:

    http://gaia-health.com/articles251/000277-quackbusters-are-busted.shtml

    Comments appear to be posting.

  213. #214 i. r. rational
    August 12, 2010

    The most puzzling thing about the Bolen phenomenon is the continued willingness of otherwise rational persons to engage in dialogue with him. As a sociopath, he sees this as validation of his power. In reality, he’s nothing but a wind-up doll, and if everyone would simply ignore him, he would run down and rust away in a corner.

  214. #215 David N. Brown
    August 22, 2010

    @214:
    I disagree. To be sure, it is pointless to engage Bolen himself. But we SHOULD be confronting those who repost his nonsense, who probably have even less excuse. (Bolen, after all, appears to be insane, and so could conceivably believe much of what he writes. I have identified three people as responsible for virtually all current reposting of “Bolen Report”:
    Trueman Tuck, leader/founder of Republican Party of Ontario
    “Dr” David Rowland, another fringe Canadian politician
    Russ Tanner, contributor to Orbis Vitae site.

    It’s pretty clear that even “alties” mostly shun or ignore Bolen. So, systematic elimination of his material from every site but his own is an achievable objective. We just need to keep up pressure on the three people I have named. I propose particularly a drive to place Trueman Tuck and the Republican Party of Ontario under scrutiny by Canadian elections officials, press, business regulators and rival political parties for their willingness to repost “Bolen Report” on “Trueman’s” numerous sites.

  215. #216 icu
    September 9, 2010

    from Court document signed by Judge Fromholz…National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) against a manufacturer of Homeopathic products:

    “Dr. Barrett was a psychiatrist who retired in or about 1993, at which point he contends he allowed his medical license to lapse. Like Dr. Sampson, he has no formal training in homeopathic medicine or drugs, although he claims to have read and written extensively on homeopathy and other forms of alternative medicine. Dr. Barrett’s claim to expertise on FDA issues arises from his conversations with FDA agents, his review of professional literature on the subject and certain continuing education activities.

    As for his credential as an expert on FDA regulation of homeopathic drugs, the Court finds that Dr. Barrett lacks sufficient qualifications in this area. Expertise in FDA regulation suggests a knowledge of how the agency enforces federal statutes and the agency’s own regulations. Dr. Barrett’s purported legal and regulatory knowledge is not apparent. He is not a lawyer, although he claims he attended several semesters of correspondence law school. While Dr. Barrett appears to have had several past conversations with FDA representatives, these appear to have been sporadic, mainly at his own instigation, and principally for the purpose of gathering information for his various articles and Internet web-sites. He has never testified before any governmental panel or agency on issues relating to FDA regulation of drugs. Presumably his professional continuing education experiences are outdated given that he has not had a current medical licence in over seven years. For these reasons, there is no sound basis on which to consider Dr. Barrett qualified as an expert on the issues he was offered to address. Moreover, there was no real focus to his testimony with respect to any of the issues in this case associated with Defendants’ products.”

    so, barrett made false claims exposed in courts, i.e., he is not an expert. this blog is apparently dedicated to exposing false claims made by others. anyone else see the disconnect and contradiction? i’m sure the comments to follow will justify and somehow exonerate him…but as Orac put it, “A STATEMENT OF FACT CANNOT BE INSOLENT.”

  216. #217 Chris
    September 9, 2010

    So, icu, what kind of training in homeopathy is necessary? Something along the line of removing half of your brain so you don’t remember basic high school chemistry.

  217. #218 Scott
    September 9, 2010

    so, barrett made false claims exposed in courts, i.e., he is not an expert.

    I see no “false claims exposed in courts” there. For that matter, I see no comment on his qualifications or expertise to comment on homeopathy – it just talks about knowledge of FDA procedures and regulations.

  218. #219 icu
    September 9, 2010

    chris, would it be possible to stick to the point of my post?

    scott, “As for his credential as an EXPERT on FDA regulation of homeopathic drugs, the Court finds that Dr. Barrett lacks sufficient qualifications in this area…Dr. Barrett’s purported legal and regulatory knowledge is not apparent.”

    so, barrett made false claims exposed in courts, i.e., he is not an expert. this blog is apparently dedicated to exposing false claims made by others. anyone else see the disconnect and contradiction?

  219. #220 Scott
    September 9, 2010

    Still waiting to hear what factual claim he made that was “false.” I’m not an expert on FDA regulations either; does that mean I’ve “made false claims exposed in courts?”

  220. #221 Calli Arcale
    September 9, 2010

    I’d love to stick to the point of your post, but I’m not exactly clear on what it is. The evidence you posted doesn’t show that Barrett made false claims which were exposed in court. It says that the court did not consider him able to give expert testimony on the subject. It didn’t refute any of his testimony.

    Regardless, I find it telling not only that Doctor’s Data prefers suing critics over proving their claims, and even more telling that you are unable to back Doctor’s Data either; all you have is some fairly unimpressive efforts to cast doubt on Barrett based on a case completely and totally unrelated to the current situation with Doctor’s Data. That the court doesn’t recognize him as an expert on homeopathy is irrelevant to his exposure of the fraudulent nature of Doctor’s Data, a lab which specializes in tests which are virtually certain to produce abnormal results no matter who is tested.

    Why do you not attempt to defend this? Why is your only counterargument a quibble about an irrelevant topic?

  221. #222 Todd W.
    September 9, 2010

    @icu

    It might help to post a link to the full, complete court transcript so that we can judge what claims Barrett actually made. You know, primary sources and all that.

    Do you have the full title of the court case?

  222. #223 icu
    September 9, 2010

    oh, let the condescension begin…quality blog…

    chris, Doctor’s data? here’s the plot:

    barrett’s false claim are his credentials that he is an expert on said subjects. his credentials (claims of his expertise) were not confirmed in federal court and were found to be to the contrary.

    todd, look it up: NATIONAL COUNCIL AGAINST HEALTH FRAUD, INC.,Plaintiff

    v.

    KING BIO PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.; FRANK J. KING, JR.; and DOES 1-50, Defendants

    CASE NO. BC 245271

    Assigned for all purposes to Judge Haley J. Fromholz, Dept. 20

  223. #224 Chris
    September 9, 2010

    icu:

    would it be possible to stick to the point of my post?

    So you did not quote the following:

    Like Dr. Sampson, he has no formal training in homeopathic medicine or drugs, although he claims to have read and written extensively on homeopathy and other forms of alternative medicine.

    I just thought it was amusing that there was such a thing as formal training in something that is full of nothing. The rest of the rant was just as silly, and as other have noted did not have a point.

    Oh, are you Patrick T. Bolen?

  224. #225 Chris
    September 9, 2010

    And the stupid King Bio stuff has anything to do with Doctor’s Data how?

    Only someone as silly Patrick T. Bolen would make a comparison.

  225. #226 Scott
    September 9, 2010

    barrett’s false claim are his credentials that he is an expert on said subjects.

    That’s not a false claim, it’s a difference of opinion and degree.

  226. #227 icu
    September 9, 2010

    chris, put another way:

    “Barrett’s CLAIM TO EXPERTISE ON FDA ISSUES arises from his conversations with FDA agents, his review of professional literature on the subject and certain continuing education activities…THERE IS NO SOUND BASIS ON WHICH TO CONSIDER DR. BARRETT AS AN EXPERT ON THE ISSUES HE WAS OFFERED TO ADDRESS.” “A STATEMENT OF FACT CANNOT BE INSOLENT.”

    as for being bolen, no. just a curious person who wonders why someone who only claims expertise has so many supporters.

    take care.

  227. #228 Chris
    September 9, 2010

    If you are not Bolen (who posted above as Spepp Tickskehpptick), you certainly act like he does. Perhaps you are trying to disguise the style by ignoring the shift key on your keyboard. You cannot even tell the difference between the two lawsuits.

    By the way, has King Bio come out with that cure for cancer yet? I’d like to see them get that past the FDA.

  228. #229 Calli Arcale
    September 9, 2010

    That still doesn’t support your claim that Barret was found to have made false claims in court. It simply shows that the court disagreed that he qualified as an expert witness in homeopathy. (Note: “expert witness” is a legal term with a very constrained meaning. It is disingenuous to try to extrapolate that outside a court setting, and downright dishonest to suggest that this means Barrett lied about being an expert.)

    And it still has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Doctor’s Data is acting ethically and appropriately by attacking Dr Barrett for simply publishing true but inconvenient information about their tests, which have nothing to do with homeopathy. Does Doctor’s Data, Inc’s efforts to suppress a person’s First Amendment rights not trouble you in the least?

  229. #230 icu
    September 9, 2010

    “the court disagreed that he qualified as an expert witness in homeopathy” precisely calli. what they disagreed with was his claim that he was an expert. simple.

    chris, you still haven’t adressed the point that he was shown to not be an expert in the areas that he claimed. can we agree that this is the truth as is stated in the court docs?

    remember the blog motto: “A STATEMENT OF FACT CANNOT BE INSOLENT.”

  230. #231 Todd W.
    September 9, 2010

    @icu

    Here is the full text on Barrett from that case, gleaned from this site:

    B. Stephen Barrett, M.D.

    Dr. Barrett was offered on several issues by the Plaintiff, but the Court found that there was substantial overlap on the issues that he and Dr. Sampson were asked to address. Thus, in order to avoid duplicative or cumulative evidence (see Cal. Evidence Code �� 352, 411, 723), Dr. Barrett�s testimony was limited by the Court to the sole issue of FDA treatment of homeopathic drugs. The relevancy of this issue was questionable at best, since the Plaintiff had previously asserted that its case did not depend on or seek to establish any violation of federal food and drug laws or regulations. Nevertheless, Plaintiff elicited testimony from Dr. Barrett on his experience with the FDA as it relates to regulation of homeopathic drugs.

    Dr. Barrett was a psychiatrist who retired in or about 1993, at which point he contends he allowed his medical license to lapse. Like Dr. Sampson, he has no formal training in homeopathic medicine or drugs, although he claims to have read and written extensively on homeopathy and other forms of alternative medicine. Dr. Barrett�s claim to expertise on FDA issues arises from his conversations with FDA agents, his review of professional literature on the subject and certain continuing education activities.

    As for his credential as an expert on FDA regulation of homeopathic drugs, the Court finds that Dr. Barrett lacks sufficient qualifications in this area. Expertise in FDA regulation suggests a knowledge of how the agency enforces federal statutes and the agency�s own regulations. Dr. Barrett�s purported legal and regulatory knowledge is not apparent. He is not a lawyer, although he claims he attended several semesters of correspondence law school. While Dr. Barrett appears to have had several past conversations with FDA representatives, these appear to have been sporadic, mainly at his own instigation, and principally for the purpose of gathering information for his various articles and Internet web-sites. He has never testified before any governmental panel or agency on issues relating to FDA regulation of drugs. Presumably his professional continuing education experiences are outdated given that he has not had a current medical licence in over seven years. For these reasons, there is no sound basis on which to consider Dr. Barrett qualified as an expert on the issues he was offered to address. Moreover, there was no real focus to his testimony with respect to any of the issues in this case associated with Defendants� products.

    The question of whether someone meets the legal definition of “expert” or “expert witness” is at the discretion of the presiding judge and may be influenced by cross-examination.

    Here’s a description of the legal definition of the term that I found at definitions (dot) uslegal (dot) com:

    An expert witness is a witness who has knowledge beyond that of the ordinary lay person enabling him/her to give testimony regarding an issue that requires expertise to understand. Experts are allowed to give opinion testimony which a non-expert witness may be prohibited from testifying to. In court, the party offering the expert must lay a foundation for the expert’s testimony. Laying the foundation involves testifying about the expert’s credentials and experience that qualifies him/her as an expert. Sometimes the opposing party will stipulate (agree to) to the expert’s qualifications in the interests of judicial economy.

    Experts are qualified according to a number of factors, including but not limited to, the number of years they have practiced in their respective field, work experience related to the case, published works, certifications, licensing, training, education, awards, and peer recognition. They may be called as upon as consultants to a case and also used to give testimony at trial. Once listed as a witness for trial, the materials they rely upon in forming an opinion in the case is subject to discovery by the opposing parties. Expert testimony is subject to attack on cross-examination in the form of questioning designed to bring out any limitations in the witness’s qualifications and experience, lack of witness’s confidence in his opinions, lack of the preparation done, or unreliability of the expert’s sources, tests, and methods, among other issues.

    Experts in a wide variety of backgrounds may testify, such as construction, forensics, gemstones, and many more areas. They are allowed to be compensated for their time and expenses in preparing for and giving testimony, as long as they are not being paid to perjure themselves.

    For example, doctors often serve as expert witnesses and may provide testimony regarding the following issues, among others:

    * Physician Projected Future Medical Costs Analysis
    * Vocational Assessments
    * Loss of Future
    * Earnings Capacity Analysis
    * Reduction of Work Life Expectancy Analysis
    * Disability Assessments
    * Permanent and Total Disability Determination
    * Independent Medical Evaluations

    Note that the definition is a bit vague and open to interpretation. As such, one may feel that they meet all of the requirements to be an expert witness, but, if the judge finds that they do not meet that qualification, their testimony will be treated as if it were just normal witness testimony (i.e., only the facts observed and not opinions about those facts).

    According to what I could find, then, Barrett did not engage in any misconduct. The plaintiff failed to establish his expertise to the judge’s satisfaction.

  231. #232 icu
    September 9, 2010

    calli, re: “That still doesn’t support your claim that Barret was found to have made false claims in court.”

    “Barrett’s CLAIM TO EXPERTISE ON FDA ISSUES…THERE IS NO SOUND BASIS ON WHICH TO CONSIDER DR. BARRETT AS AN EXPERT ON THE ISSUES HE WAS OFFERED TO ADDRESS.”

    how a simple statement can be so easily confounded is indeed bewildering.

  232. #233 Chris
    September 9, 2010

    icu (Bolen), define the following words:

    1) Plaintiff

    2) Defendant

    3) Expert witness

    Now look at the idiot King Bio suit, and the stupid Doctor’s Data suit and tell us if you can spot the differences.

  233. #234 Gray Falcon
    September 9, 2010

    As far as I can tell, Barrett and the judge had a difference of opinion as to whether he qualified as an expert witness. That doesn’t sound much like “lying to the court.”

  234. #235 icu
    September 9, 2010

    chris, you have a masterful way of avoiding my question, so i’ll ask a final time to see if you have the integrity and fair play to answer a simple question:

    he was shown to not be an expert in the areas that he claimed. can we agree that this is what was stated in the federal court docs?

  235. #236 Chris
    September 9, 2010

    The funny thing about “experts” in homeopathy is that (going on the the thread just after this one with the guy flogging a book by Saine, Not a Doctor) is that they actually need to be very stupid to believe in it.

    So, icu (Bolen), are you a homeopath? Did you have the requisite lobotomy to qualify? Can you count up to 30 succussions?

    Did you even read article above? Did you notice the lawsuits aimed at Doctor’s Data from other people? Because, you stupid contention that what a stupid judge said nine years ago shows that you have not.

  236. #237 Chris
    September 9, 2010

    Oh, to answer your idiotic question: Dr. Barrett is too intelligent to be an expert in homeopathy. He has lost no brain mass, nor his mind. Unlike the judge in that case.

    And you still don’t get that both cases are not related on any way. Barrett wrote several well referenced articles that Doctor’s Data wants removed. It has something to do with the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Have you ever heard of that document?

  237. #238 icu
    September 9, 2010

    chris, you’re getting your knickers in a bind.

    re: “what a stupid judge said”

    lol. so much for the blog’s motto.

    still waiting…

  238. #239 Chris
    September 9, 2010

    For what?

  239. #240 Todd W.
    September 9, 2010

    @icu

    You stated that Barrett made a false claim in court. The claim, supposedly, is whether or not he is an expert. Keeping in mind that “expert” has a legal definition when used in the context of court cases, such a claim is not a true-false claim. It is more akin to saying that natto tastes good. It is open to interpretation. There is no definitive “truth” or “falsity” to that statement.

    In that particular case, that particular judge interpreted the evidence submitted to establish Barrett’s expertise by the plaintiff, the evidence from the defendant arguing he was not an expert, and the legal definition of “expert”. He came to the conclusion that Barrett did not meet the legal definition, based on the evidence presented. There was no “false claim”.

  240. #241 icu
    September 9, 2010

    “Dr. Barrett is too intelligent to be an expert in homeopathy.”

    apparently not: “As for his credential as an expert on FDA regulation of homeopathic drugs, the Court finds that Dr. Barrett lacks sufficient qualifications in this area.”

    the point of my post was barrett’s credibility, not the current trial, but your bias seems to be blinding you from the truth and thus your non sequitur replies.

    a statement of fact by a federal judge: barrett is not an expert in the areas he claimed…do you agree or do you disagree with this statement of fact?

  241. #242 icu
    September 9, 2010

    todd

    …and there was no expert (as claimed).

  242. #243 Scott
    September 9, 2010

    It is true that the judge ruled he did not qualify as an expert witness.

    This is a very different statement than “Barrett is not an expert.”

  243. #244 icu
    September 9, 2010

    i agree, scott…structurally the sentences are different.

    and both of those sentences are structurally differnt to:

    “THERE IS NO SOUND BASIS ON WHICH TO CONSIDER DR. BARRETT AS AN EXPERT.”

    “A STATEMENT OF FACT CANNOT BE INSOLENT.”

  244. #245 Todd W.
    September 9, 2010

    @icu

    The plaintiffs in that case offered Dr. Barrett as an expert witness, saying basically, “We believe that Dr. Barrett is an expert on this subject, and here’s why…” They presented their evidence for why Barrett should be considered an expert.

    The defendant then offered evidence as to why they felt Dr. Barrett was not an expert.

    The judge then had to decide, based on the evidence presented, whether he was indeed an expert. The judge decided that the evidence did not meet the standard of establishing Dr. Barrett as an expert.

    Dr. Barrett made no actual claim to the legal definition of expert. Hence, he was not “caught out” making a false claim.

    Again, it is like two people arguing to a third person that natto is a tasty treat. Person A describes all the wonderful qualities that they feel show it is tasty. Person B describes the bad qualities that they feel show it is not tasty. Person C then weighs what A and B said. Person C’s decision says absolutely nothing about whether natto really is or is not tasty.

    Oh, and that judge’s decision only applied to that particular case. It says absolutely nothing about Dr. Barrett’s credibility, no matter how you try to spin it.

  245. #246 Gray Falcon
    September 9, 2010

    I think I was in second grade when I learned the difference between “fact” and “opinion”. What’s your excuse, icu?

  246. #247 Scott
    September 9, 2010

    They are not just structurally different, they are entirely different in meaning, as well. The former refers to the precise legal concept defined as “expert witness”, the latter is the general English meaning of “expert.”

    What you’re doing is akin to arguing that an oak is not a “tree” because it is not a set of linked nodes. Two entirely different meanings of the word “tree”, just like the two entirely different meanings of the word “expert” here.

  247. #248 Chris
    September 9, 2010

    Gray Falcon:

    I think I was in second grade when I learned the difference between “fact” and “opinion”. What’s your excuse, icu?

    I believe has something with his/hers homeopathic level of intelligence.

  248. #249 triskelethecat
    September 9, 2010

    icu is obviously too embarrassed to admit he/she does not know the difference between someone claiming to be an expert in something, and what the courts will accept as an “expert witness”. So, I will try to explain it to him/her.

    icu: I am a nurse. I’ve been a nurse for almost 30 years. I have a lot of nursing experience. I could say I’m an expert in nursing. However, almost all my nursing experience is in maternal-child nursing. But, I have done a lot of reading and studying about cardiac nursing. I consider that I have expert knowledge of that field too. However, if I went to a court as an “expert witness” for cardiac nursing, it would be up to the judge to decide whether HE/SHE feels my knowledge is enough to be considered an expert witness, say, compared to a nurse who has worked in cardiac nursing for 30 years but done very little studying in the field. The judge may decide for or against my being considered an expert witness for that court proceeding but even if the judge rules I am not an expert witness it does not imply that I am lying about being an expert nor does it mean another judge won’t consider me an expert in another instance.

    (I tried to keep the words simple for icu).

    MI Dawn

  249. #250 Calli Arcale
    September 9, 2010

    icu, others have already responded with what I would have said, so I’ll just say this….

    …you still haven’t explained how a court deciding not to accept Barrett as an expert witness has any bearing on Doctor’s Data, Inc’s disgusting attempt to squelch inconvenient criticism. Do I take that to mean you endorse their tactic? How do you feel about their business strategy? How about their famous tests? Are they legitimate? Is Barrett’s criticism of them unwarranted? Why?

  250. #251 icu
    September 9, 2010

    with respect to your replies about the definition and applicability of an “expert witness,”

    first, i’d like to thank todd w. for your reference from “(dot) uslegal (dot) com.”

    and i’d like to thank MI Dawn for her concern that i do “not know the difference between someone claiming to be an expert in something, and what the courts will accept as an “expert witness.””

    i prefer these 2 references:

    - from The American College of Legal Medicine’s (ACLM), GUIDELINES ON THE ETHICAL CONDUCT OF THE EXPERT WITNESS:

    “The expert witness should have recent and substantive experience in the area in which testimony is to be given.” http://www.studiomedicolegalemancini.it/page3/files/linee-guida-expert-witness.pdf

    - from the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics:

    “When physicians choose to provide expert testimony, they should have recent and substantive experience or knowledge in the area in which they testify.”
    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion907.shtml

    Todd, you also say, “Note that the definition is a bit vague and open to interpretation.” As evidenced by the above definitions, I would tend to agree more with Calli, “Note: “expert witness” is a legal term with a very constrained meaning.”

    Now with the proper definition referenced and clear for all, let’s continue and see if Barrett satisfies these requirements as is quoted in the court docs.

    “Dr. Barrett was a psychiatrist who retired in or about 1993…Presumably his professional continuing education experiences are outdated given that he has not had a current medical licence in over seven years.” Barrett does not have recent experience.

    “…he has no formal training in homeopathic medicine or drugs.” …should have recent and substantive experience IN THE AREA in which testimony is to be given.

    It’s true that “Dr. Barrett was offered on several issues by the Plaintiff,” as someone points out, but as knowledgeable a man as Dr. Barrett is, I would’ve thought that he would have exercised better judgment in offering himself with respects to the guidelines of being an expert witness.

    The court documents, however, do not state “The plaintiff’s claim of Dr. Barrett’s expertise,” but rather that “Dr. Barrett’s claim to expertise” is what is being evaluated.

    Continuing on with our consideration of the guideline of approving those with recent and substantive experience and knowledge, “Dr. Barrett’s claim to expertise on FDA issues arises from his conversations with FDA agents, his review of professional literature on the subject and certain continuing education activities…As for his credential as an expert…Expertise in FDA regulation suggests a knowledge of how the agency enforces federal statutes and the agency’s own regulations. Dr. Barrett’s purported legal and regulatory knowledge is not apparent.”

    What were Barrett’s claims for “recent and substantive experience and knowledge in the area in which testimony is to be given?”

    “Dr. Barrett’s claim to expertise on FDA issues arises from his conversations with FDA agents, his review of professional literature on the subject and certain continuing education activities…He is not a lawyer, although he claims he attended several semesters of correspondence law school. While Dr. Barrett appears to have had several past conversations with FDA representatives, these appear to have been sporadic, mainly at his own instigation, and principally for the purpose of gathering information for his various articles and Internet web-sites. He has never testified before any governmental panel or agency on issues relating to FDA regulation of drugs.”

    As MI Dawn has also stated, “However, if I went to a court as an “expert witness” for cardiac nursing, it would be up to the judge to decide whether HE/SHE feels my knowledge is enough to be considered an expert witness.” This is very true, but of course the distinction that you omitted between yourself and Barrett is that you are still a practicing nurse. Please recall that recent experience and knowledge is requisite for consideration.

    In light of a comparison of Dr. Barrett’s claims for his expertise in the testimony and the guidelines for the approval of an expert witness, I believe the assessment is fair:

    “For these reasons, there is no sound basis on which to consider Dr. Barrett qualified as an expert on the issues he was offered to address.”

    re: Gary Falcon, “I think I was in second grade when I learned the difference between “fact” and “opinion”.”

    You are entitled to your opinion.

  251. #252 Chris
    September 9, 2010

    You really are not as entertaining as Myama. But you have the same level of homeopathic intelligence.

    Why don’t you do what Augustine failed to do, respond this request from Barratt:

    If you want me to consider modifying the article, please identify every sentence to which you object and explain why you believe it is not correct.

    No go! Find every sentence that is false, list it and then explain how it is untrue.

  252. #253 Chris
    September 9, 2010

    Ack, too tired. It should say “Now go!”

    By the way, do you think Kinsbourne is more qualified than Barratt:

    Marcel Kinsbourne is an older gentleman. He seemed to have given up his pediatric practice about 17 years ago, and has been an expert witness for a few years now. Dr. Kinsbourne made quite a killing as an expert witness in the MMR/autism case in the UK.

    Now go! Tell us what Quackwatch sentences on Doctor’s Data are untrue, and why.

  253. #254 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 9, 2010

    Goofus’ foundation argument, the one upon which all his other claims rest, is as follows:

    1) Stephen Barrett was not accepted as an expert witness by Judge Fromholz.
    2) (unstated premise) All people who are experts to any degree will be accepted by all judges in all cases in all courts as expert witnesses.
    3) Therefore, Stephen Barrett is not an expert.

    Is the very strong wording of premise 2) necessary? For Goofus’ syllogism, yes, it is. If we change any appearance of “all” to “some” or even “most” then we acknowledge that a person can indeed be an expert yet not be accepted in a given case as an expert witness.

    Therefore Goofus’ argument falls apart, because the strongly worded version of premise 2 that is necessary for his argument is false. Unless Goofus wishes to argue that every judge in the world, past present and future, always shows perfect judgment, a proposition for which the proceedings of appellate courts provide plenty of counter-examples.

  254. #255 MI Dawn
    September 10, 2010

    @icu: I never said I was still a “practicing” nurse. I said that my major experience was in maternal-child, and that I have done a lot of reading and research into cardiac nursing. The only way I fall under still practicing is that I have a current, active nursing license in the US. However, it’s a LOT cheaper for a nurse to do the required CEUs and renew a license than it is for a doctor,pharmacist, midwife, podiatrist, or other medical professions that I know of.

  255. #256 David N. Brown
    September 11, 2010

    Somebody tell Peter Bowditch about “icu”, he can tell if it’s bolen. Personally, I’d put the odds 60-40 against, since icu seems to be stopping short of threatening us with being added as defendants.

  256. #257 icu
    September 11, 2010

    Feldspar, thank you for your consideration that my argument committed the logical fallacy of a hasty generalization, that is:

    making assumptions about a WHOLE GROUP or RANGE OF CASES based on a sample that is inadequate (usually because it is atypical or just too small). Stereotypes about people (“librarians are shy and smart,” “wealthy people are snobs,” etc.) are a common example of the principle underlying hasty generalization. http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/fallacies.html#5

    I, as the definition states, did not make an assumption about a whole group or range of cases. In lieu of an assumption, I made a comparison, a comparison not of a group or multiple cases but of a specific individual’s qualifications vs. the minimum qualifications necessary as stated by the guidelines set forth by the AMA and ACLM. Thus, I did not make a stereotype and thus…

    “1) Stephen Barrett was not accepted as an expert witness by Judge Fromholz.” He was not accepted based on a assessment of individual qualifications vs. minimum requirements.

    If we compare Dr. Barrett’s claims of expertise on FDA issues with respect to drug regulation, as I did, they are essentially that he’s had “attended several semesters of correspondence law school,” that he’s reviewed “professional literature on the subject and certain continuing education activities [though he is not privy to professional continuing education units either as a lawyer or physician because a) he is not a lawyer, and b) he hadn't been licensed for 7 years],” and “several past conversations with FDA representatives.”

    My explicit premise was: Do his claims for expertise meet the necessary recent and substantive experience and knowledge in the area of testimony? (And not, “1) Stephen Barrett was not accepted as an expert witness by Judge Fromholz.”)

    “2) (unstated premise)” An unstated premise: Sometimes premises are not explicitly stated but must be assumed for an argument to be either valid or strong. (http://www.unc.edu/~hassoun/phil30/arguments.ppt)

    My explicit premise: “Now with the proper definition referenced and clear for all, let’s continue and see if Barrett satisfies these requirements as is quoted in the court docs.” And again, what is quoted in the documents as his qualifications is not an interpretation of the judge but the credentials that Dr. Barrett offered to the court in support of his claim that he was an expert.

    “3) Therefore, Stephen Barrett is not an expert.” Your assessment of my conclusion should have included what is written in my actual comment and would have been more correct if stated as:

    “3) Therefore, Stephen Barrett is not an expert…” “…in light of a comparison of Dr. Barrett’s claims for his expertise in the testimony and the guidelines for the approval of an expert witness.”

    One logical fallacy that I would like to bring to your attention is the Post hoc (also called false cause, i.e., assuming that because B comes after A, A caused B.) fallacy made by Chris that I say there are errors in Dr. Barrett’s assessment of Dr. Barrett’s article on DD. Because it’s shown that Dr. Barrett is not an expert in FDA drug regulation issues (A), Chris infers that I’ve said that Dr. Barrett has not correctly written on the DD matters(B). Me saying A does not mean B, Chris. (Btw, it’s not spelled “Barrat.”) The truth of the matter is that because Dr. Barrett is not an FDA expert does not mean that he might be an expert on the issues concerning DD. Is this reasonable and fair?

    Another fallacy of both Chris’s response is the Red Herring: Partway through an argument, the arguer goes off on a tangent, raising a side issue that distracts the audience from what’s really at stake. Often, the arguer never returns to the original issue.

    My original argument: Dr. Barrett is not an expert in FDA drug regulation (again, which is not to say that he isn’t therefore an expert in issues related to DD). Chris’s tangent, rather than discussing the legitimacy of Dr. Barrett’s expertise, is to tell me to look for any inaccuracies in his work and to compare another physician.

    Feldspar, admirably, you enjoy assessing arguments to check for their strengths and weaknesses, so I think you would be able to understand that calling people names only detracts from the strength of your own argument, as we know emotional tone often has a greater impression on an audience than the actual words used.

    Again, my only point here is that Dr. Barrett is not an expert in FDA drug regulation issues. I have not disparaged him in any way and apologize if some of you have taken my comments as being so.

  257. #258 Chris
    September 11, 2010

    Dude, you can’t even figure out who is the defendant in each case. Get over it.

  258. #259 icu
    September 11, 2010

    correction to: The truth of the matter is that because Dr. Barrett is not an FDA expert does not mean that he might be an expert on the issues concerning DD. Is this reasonable and fair?

    should say “does not mean that he might NOT be and expert on the issues concerning DD, [i.e., he could be an expert].” Is this reasonable and fair?

  259. #260 icu
    September 11, 2010

    chris, my figuring out who is and isn’t the defendent is again another red herring.

    the issue is not who is the defendant. the issue being discussed here is…

    is barrett an expert in FDA drug regulation as he claimed?

  260. #261 icu
    September 11, 2010

    correction…ad hominem. another logical fallacy.

  261. #262 Chris
    September 11, 2010

    icu, troll. Time to ignore.

  262. #263 Vicki
    September 11, 2010

    As far as I can tell, the issue is whether Dr. Barrett has made false and/or libelous claims about Doctor’s Data. Whether he is qualified as an expert witness in an unrelated case is also a red herring, as irrelevant as his taste in shirts.

  263. #264 Chris
    September 11, 2010

    The only issue is whether or not what was written on Quackwatch is true or not. And neither the lawyer, Augustine, nor this troll has pointed out which sentences are false.

  264. #265 Bronze Dog
    September 11, 2010

    Icu clearly doesn’t care about what’s true, only about ephemeral legal technicalities (but not the ones he chooses to ignore). Just like your typical litigation crazy censor who abuses unjust plaintiff-friendly libel laws.

    Prove me wrong, Icu: Answer some people’s questions about what, if any, inaccurate statements Dr. Barrett has made about Doctor’s Data. And use scientific data to answer where applicable. Court rulings are not science.

    But you won’t. You’ll just continue on your legalistic whine about how we should treat the government as the sacred Ministry of Truth, and how we should treat that judge as a god-like capital-A Authority. Because government organizations with individual agendas are infinitely more trustworthy than international, interdisciplinary, decentralized scientific consensus.

  265. #266 icu
    September 11, 2010

    The relevancy of my posts is in ascertaining the credibility of Dr. Barrett, esp. as Orac correctly states in this blog that a medicine be able to prove its efficacy when “when faced with serious scientific criticism.”

    If Dr. Barrett claims expertise (a few correspondence courses in law, readings, CEUs (not for licensed laywers or doctors) and conversations with FDA agents)in an area and is then assessed to not have expertise, can we then take his word as “serious scientific criticism?”

    Especially in light of the federal court’s decision on his credibility:

    “C. Credibility of Plaintiff’s experts

    Furthermore, the Court finds that both Dr. Sampson and Dr. Barrett are BIASED heavily in favor of the Plaintiff and thus the weight to be accorded their testimony is slight in any event…”

    Serious scientific criticism aims to remove bias.

    “…Both are long-time board members of the Plaintiff; Dr. Barrett has served as its Chairman. Both participated in an application to the U.S. FDA during the early 1990s designed to restrict the sale of most homeopathic drugs…Dr. Barrett’s heavy activities in lecturing and writing about alternative medicine similarly are focused on the eradication of the practices about which he opines. Both witnesses’ fees, as Dr. Barrett testified, are paid from a fund established by Plaintiff NCAHF from the proceeds of suits such as the case at bar. Based on this fact alone, the Court may infer that Dr. Barrett and Sampson are more likely to receive fees for testifying on behalf of NCAHF in future cases if the Plaintiff prevails in the instant action and thereby wins funds to enrich the litigation fund described by Dr. Barrett. It is apparent, therefore, that both men have A DIRECT, PERSONAL FINANCIAL INTEREST IN THE OUTCOME OF THIS LITIGATION.”

    Biased…not objective. Where is the integrity of science?

    “…Based on all of these factors, Dr. Sampson and Dr. Barrett can be described as zealous advocates of the Plaintiff’s position, and therefore NOT NEUTRAL OR DISPASSIONATE WITNESSES OR EXPERTS. In light of these affiliations and their orientation, it can fairly be said that DRS. BARRETT and Sampson are themselves the client, and THEREFORE THEIR TESTIMONY SHOULD BE ACCORDED LITTLE, IF ANY, CREDIBILITY ON THAT BASIS AS WELL.”

    Not credible.

    So, the relevancy of my post here is that this forum supports Dr. Barret, a man who was found to have no credibility in court due to bias and also of lacking a professed expertise. Fact and objectivity do not seem to be consistent in his behavior as is the science that he so vigorously defends.

    The discussion here with commenters of this post has also, to my disappointment, not been based on fact (as is the credo of the blog), but upon what seems to be the stance of this “science” blog: the bandwagon fallacy, in which the arguer tries to convince the audience to do or believe something because everyone else (supposedly) does, i.e., not based on fact.

    If one is willing to criticize another based on certain merits, then one should be open to and subject themselves to the same criticisms in the name of being objective, i.e., in the name of science.

    Remember “A STATEMENT OF FACT CANNOT BE INSOLENT.”

  266. #267 Chris
    September 11, 2010

    What sentences on Quackwatch about Doctor’s Data are in error, and how?

    Answer that question or go away, troll.

  267. #268 icu
    September 11, 2010

    Another fallacy of both Chris’s response is the Red Herring: Partway through an argument, the arguer goes off on a tangent, raising a side issue that distracts the audience from what’s really at stake. Often, the arguer never returns to the original issue.

    My original argument: Dr. Barrett is not an expert in FDA drug regulation (again, which is not to say that he isn’t therefore an expert in issues related to DD). Chris’s tangent, rather than discussing the legitimacy of Dr. Barrett’s expertise, is to tell me to look for any inaccuracies in his work and to compare another physician.

  268. #269 icu
    September 11, 2010

    re: bronze dog, “we should treat the government as the sacred Ministry of Truth…’

    and based on Barrett’s credibility and expertise, we should listen to him why?

  269. #270 icu
    September 11, 2010

    in Stephen Barrett’s own words from his website:

    Dictionaries define quack as “one who talks pretentiously without sound knowledge of the subject discussed.”
    http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/quackdef.html

    “there is no sound basis on which to consider Dr. Barrett qualified as an expert on the issues he was offered to address”

  270. #271 icu
    September 11, 2010

    relevancy to this post. the title of it is: More legal thuggery against a defender of science-based medicine.

    how can it be thuggery if the defender is biased, i.e., not of science-based medicine?

  271. #272 Vicki
    September 11, 2010

    Oh for cry aye.

    You cannot defend someone against a charge of gay-bashing by arguing that yes, he beat up a stranger while shouting “Faggot,” but the victim isn’t actually gay.

  272. #273 icu
    September 11, 2010

    just as you cannot defend the reality that Dr. Barrett is not the expert he claims he is and that he’s not biased.

  273. #274 Gray Falcon
    September 11, 2010

    The commenter called icu is a goat. The commenter called icu is a goat. The commenter called icu is a goat. The commenter called icu is a goat. The commenter called icu is a goat. The commenter called icu is a goat. The commenter called icu is a goat. The commenter called icu is a goat.

    The point of this exercise: Repeating a statement is not enough to make a statement true. All you’ve got is a single judges opinion, we have tangible facts.

  274. #275 icu
    September 11, 2010

    please present tangible facts that qualify dr. barrett as an fda drug regulation expert.

    as orac says: “their all too frequent response is to try to shut down criticism.”

    when i see fact, it will lend validity to your premise as is commonly done in argumentation.

  275. #276 icu
    September 11, 2010

    “we have tangible facts”

    the burden of proof is in your court, gray falcon.

  276. #277 David N. Brown
    September 11, 2010

    Let’s compare Barrett with Bolen:
    Barrett appeared to testify as a witness, to be paid out of funds from an organization he was a member of.

    Tim Bolen appeared to testify in a multimillions suit against Aetna, without disclosing that he was PART OWNER of any money collected. A court further judged that he was working with others to collect information on witnesses in unrelated legal proceedings, for the purposes of harassing said witnesses and interfering in those proceedings.

  277. #278 Gray Falcon
    September 11, 2010

    And, once again, we’re back where we started. Where, in the article, were there any false statements. Blanket accusations of bias are nothing more than ad hominem attacks, while attempting to bring up an entirely different ruling unrelated to this case is a red herring. Where are the false statements? Stop waving around your “A judge claimed he wasn’t qualified as an expert witness” talisman around and answer the questions!

  278. #279 icu
    September 11, 2010

    david, please present tangible facts that qualify dr. barrett as an fda drug regulation expert.

    (gray falcon, you’re correct. it is necessary to repeat myself because of the red herrings ad nauseum.)

  279. #280 Gray Falcon
    September 11, 2010

    Also, the tangible evidence is in the article. Read it.

    One other thing about Tim Bolen. He does not simply suspect collusion, or even merely accuse people of it, he assumes it by default. I half suspect that if a light bulb went out in his house, he’d try to link Barrett to it.

  280. #281 icu
    September 11, 2010

    gray falcon, please present tangible facts that qualify dr. barrett as an fda drug regulation expert.

    gray falcon, please present tangible facts that qualify dr. barrett as an fda drug regulation expert.

    gray falcon, please present tangible facts that qualify dr. barrett as an fda drug regulation expert.

    gray falcon, please present tangible facts that qualify dr. barrett as an fda drug regulation expert.

  281. #282 Orac
    September 11, 2010

    You know, I don’t think that icu is Tim Bolen, at least not unless he’s using a proxy server to post. I do, however, begin to wonder if he’s another person who pops up from time to time and who really, really doesn’t like me:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/04/silencing_the_opposition_over_autism_1.php

  282. #283 Gray Falcon
    September 11, 2010

    An “fda drug regulation expert”? That’s utterly irrelevant. What’s important are statements like the following: Doctor’s Data uses, by their own admission, the baselines for unprovoked urine tests on the results for provoked urine tests. Even my cat can see something wrong with that! That’s the tangible fact, and that means far more than a judge’s question on someone’s qualifications!

  283. #284 icu
    September 11, 2010

    premise = barrett’s credibility must be taken into consideration because of his own inability to be unbiased while claiming to work in the name of objective science.

    premise = barrett is not an expert on the fda drug regulation as he claims he was.

    conclusion = in light of barrett’s inability to be unbiased and his refuted assertion that he held expertise according only to his own beliefs but not the AMA’s or ACLM’s criteria, his credibility is dubious.

    gray falcon, please present tangible facts that qualify dr. barrett as an fda drug regulation as you said you possess these “tangible facts.”

    patiently awaiting…

  284. #285 icu
    September 11, 2010

    gray falcon…repetition ad nauseum:

    So, the relevancy of my post here is that this forum supports Dr. Barret, a man who was found to have no credibility in court due to bias and also of lacking a professed expertise. Fact and objectivity do not seem to be consistent in his behavior as is required by the science that he so vigorously defends.

    if you can show me tangible facts that really is an fda expert, i.e., you can provide proof of for dr. barrett’s claim that he is an expert, then it’ll support his claim, which until this point remains unproven and thus only opinion.

    show me the goods, please.

  285. #286 Gray Falcon
    September 11, 2010

    Icu, nothing you say changes the facts: Doctor’s Data uses, by their own admission, the baselines for unprovoked urine tests on the results for provoked urine tests. Trying to call into question Barrett’s bias means nothing because my source is Doctor’s Data itself!

  286. #287 icTHROUGHu
    September 11, 2010

    show me the goods please…

  287. #288 icTHROUGHu
    September 11, 2010

    so…

    you have no tangible facts to back up dr. barrett’s claim that he was/is an fda drug regulation expert.

    funny, nor did he.

  288. #289 icTHROUGHu
    September 11, 2010

    gray falcon, i’m not arguing this: “Doctor’s Data uses, by their own admission, the baselines for unprovoked urine tests on the results for provoked urine tests.”

    another red herring. please, no more logical fallacies in this science blog.

    we prefer facts.

  289. #290 icTHROUGHu
    September 11, 2010

    until you can prove his claim, then you can show he is a credible person.

    until then, in the words of Barrett himself:

    “Dictionaries define quack as “one who talks pretentiously without sound knowledge of the subject discussed.”
    http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/quackdef.html

    and “there [currently] is no sound basis on which to consider Dr. Barrett qualified as an expert on the issues he was offered to address [unless gray falcon or anyone else can prove otherwise].”

    i don’t want to believe this about dr. barrett, either. i can empathize with you. but i, like you and anyone professing to be a person of science, needs facts to show otherwise. please help me.

  290. #291 Gray Falcon
    September 11, 2010

    i don’t want to believe this about dr. barrett, either. i can empathize with you. but i, like you and anyone professing to be a person of science, needs facts to show otherwise. please help me.

    Liar. If you wanted to believe that, you’d have accepted that a single judge’s statement does not overturn reality. Now that you’ve accepted one premise, let’s move on to another: “By using the data meant for unprovoked tests to examine provoked tests, Doctor’s Data is either acting incompetently or fraudulently.” This is no red herring, this is the core of the argument. If you want to prove that Barrett is a liar, show me that what he says is false.

  291. #292 Calli Arcale
    September 11, 2010

    icu @ 268:

    Another fallacy of both Chris’s response is the Red Herring: Partway through an argument, the arguer goes off on a tangent, raising a side issue that distracts the audience from what’s really at stake. Often, the arguer never returns to the original issue.

    That is really precious, icu. The level of irony displayed is truly breathtaking, for what have you been engaging in, if not the fallacy of red herrings?

    Whether or not Barrett qualifies as an expert witness in a particular case involving homeopathy is not remotely relevant to Doctor’s Data’s threat of litigation should Barrett not remove inconvenient articles from the Quackwatch website. This has been pointed out to you. That you so pigheadedly persist on this tangent is evidence that you are very keen to defend Doctor’s Data, or at least to attack Barrett, and that the actual claims of DDI are either irrelevant to your intent, or are indefensible and therefore best avoided.

    I wonder which is actually true — are you here for a bit of schadenfreude, or are you actually attempting to somehow defend DDI? If it’s the former, then you are doing a fine job of looking a fool, but you may as well carry on. If it’s the latter, you are doing a hilariously poor job of it, as you have done nothing whatsoever to support their case — in which case, you may as well carry on. It will do no good, of course, but it is amusing.

  292. #293 Bronze Dog
    September 11, 2010

    The reliability in Barrett’s statements exist in real world measures like the quality of his citations and their consistency with scientific consensus. Duh! The so-called “authority” is in the scientific data, not in the individual.

    Of course, you’re the sort to hate living in a complex world like that, Icu. That’s why you’d prefer to deify judges and treat them as infallible god-men who can declare someone a heretic for going against sacred dogma. I reject the notion of such “authority.”

    The crazed emphasis on the individual arguer almost goes down to solipsism. That’s why emphasis on the individual, like you are doing, is a red herring. Good science makes the person presenting an argument irrelevant to its truthfulness. If you believe the truth changes based on who is making an argument, you’re divorcing yourself from the objective universe. That way leads to madness.

  293. #294 Vicki
    September 11, 2010

    That person in the black robes, with the gavel and the authority? S/he’s an ordinary human being; s/he makes ordinary mistakes; and s/he may have a mickey mouse shirt on under the robes. He’s not infallible, and the good ones don’t claim to be.

  294. #295 Todd W.
    September 11, 2010

    @icu

    What legal training do you have?

  295. #296 Chris
    September 11, 2010

    Actually, Todd, I was wondering when icu stopped taking his/hers meds.

  296. #297 Todd W.
    September 11, 2010

    @Chris

    I actually have a specific reason that I’m asking about icu’s legal background.

  297. #298 Chris
    September 11, 2010

    Oh, I think I know why. Carry on.

  298. #299 David N. Brown
    September 12, 2010

    @279:
    As far as I know, the judicial opinion you specifically cite about Barrett being “biased” and not an “expert” was specifically and solely about his testimony on HOMEOPATHY. (The judge overlooked the facts that a) homeopathic remedies are just water, b) any genuine results are the the product of “placebo” effect, and c) Barrett, as a credentialed psychiatrist, would be reasonably qualified to testify about placebos.)

    @282: O’Neill was also mentioned as the possible identity of “Dr. Health”. Canada seems to be the center of what distribution there is for “Bolen Report”, most of it courtesy of Trueman Tuck.

  299. #300 icu
    September 12, 2010

    So you all honestly believe that Barrett is an expert on FDA drug regulation because he read some literature on it,t asked with a few agents, and took some correspondence courses in law? This qualifies anyone as an expert in in any court in the world?

    As I stated before and will do so again, because Barrett lacks expertise in one area and is shown to be biased does not mean what Barrett has said about DDI is not correct.

    Tangible facts… please I need them to restore the credibility Barrett claimed he has. That would end any counter argument from me. I’m still waiting, gray falcon, as you said you jabber some. But thus far it’s just more arguments and no proof.

  300. #301 icu2
    September 12, 2010

    So you all honestly believe that Barrett is an expert on FDA drug regulation because he read some literature on it,t asked with a few agents, and took some correspondence courses in law? This qualifies anyone as an expert in in any court in the world?

    As I stated before and will do so again, because Barrett lacks expertise in one area and is shown to be biased does not mean what Barrett has said about DDI is not correct.

    Tangible facts… please I need them to restore the credibility Barrett claimed he has. That would end any counter argument from me. I’m still waiting, gray falcon, as you said you jabber some. But thus far it’s just more arguments and no proof.

  301. #302 Chris
    September 12, 2010

    What exactly is your legal training?

    Also what sentences about Doctor’s Data are flawed, and why?

  302. #303 Icu2
    September 12, 2010

    Todd, I have not even taken a few correspondence courses, and like Barrett, this does not qualify me as an expert witness. Thankfully.

  303. #304 Gray Falcon
    September 12, 2010

    So you all honestly believe that Barrett is an expert on FDA drug regulation because he read some literature on it,t asked with a few agents, and took some correspondence courses in law? This qualifies anyone as an expert in in any court in the world?

    Are you trying to make a point? Of any sort? This article, and this lawsuit, aren’t about expertise in a court of law, they are about whether he made false statements on his website. What you are talking about is not relevant in any way.

    As I stated before and will do so again, because Barrett lacks expertise in one area and is shown to be biased does not mean what Barrett has said about DDI is not correct.

    Which means everything that you’ve said and done to this point has been completely pointless and an absolute red herring. I, at least, gained a chance to play out my Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney fantasies.

    Tangible facts… please I need them to restore the credibility Barrett claimed he has. That would end any counter argument from me. I’m still waiting, gray falcon, as you said you jabber some. But thus far it’s just more arguments and no proof.

    I lost all patience with you with your wheedling attempt to feign humility and gain my sympathy. Quackwatch is has articles, references, and so on, and so it qualifies as a useful resource. In your previous paragraph, you actually agreed what he said was accurate. Trying to pretend it didn’t happen is foolish.

    Also, any attempt to bring up bias should be responded to with the fact that many of the pro-alternative medicine sources are the people selling the medicine, often for a fantastic profit.

  304. #305 Chris
    September 12, 2010

    icu:

    Todd, I have not even taken a few correspondence courses,

    So you have absolutely no qualifications. That is obviously why the several posts trying to clarify this issue is bouncing off your skull and not making to the stuff between your ears.

    Everyone, until this troll provides the sentences Barrett wrote about Doctor’s Data that are in error, please ignore him/her.

  305. #306 Icu2
    September 12, 2010

    Still no tangible facts….(yes, I’m repeating myself again I know)

  306. #307 IcTHROUGHu2
    September 12, 2010

    Still no tangible facts….(yes, I’m repeating myself again I know)… to prove Barrett’s FDA expertise. Cuz there is none.

    Seems the timing of me being banned from your blog of “facts,” and hence my need for various names to comment, is well timed, as I’ve yet to be shown any proof that Barrett is what he claimed he was. Quack= one who talks pretenciously without sound knowledge of the subject being discussed.

    I c u

  307. #308 icTHROUGHu2
    September 12, 2010

    “I have not even taken a few correspondence courses”
    “So you have absolutely no qualifications.”

    Correct, just like Barrett.

    quack, quack…

  308. #309 icTHROUGHu2
    September 12, 2010

    Everyone, until this troll provides proof that Dr. Barrett is the FDA expert he claimed he was, please ignore him/her.

  309. #310 triskelethecat
    September 12, 2010

    Now that the icu troll is just getting annoying, killfile to the rescue. Of course, he/she will probably claim victory since he/she can’t tell the difference between ignoring a stupid person and admitting defeat. Personally, since being hit with a cluebat has done nothing to icu and they are now playing with their names, I’m killing them. And why does this troll remind me of STY and all his/her/its name changes?

  310. #311 :)
    September 12, 2010

    “will probably claim victory”

    no victory claimed…just waiting for tangible fact of Dr. Barrett’s fda drug expertise to materialize.

    still waiting for the facts…and no one can simply address the reality that there is none.

  311. #312 :)
    September 12, 2010

    “Now that the icu troll is just getting annoying”

    in the words of the great Orac: “A STATEMENT OF FACT (Barrett is not an FDA drug expert like he claimed) CANNOT BE INSOLENT.”

    no evidence = opinion

    would be most entertaining (and surprising) if you could actually walk the talk that evidence is needed to support something…just as you ask of alt-meds.

    all hail, Orac…we follow blindly…without proof, we follow faithfully.

  312. #313 :(
    September 12, 2010

    ohhhhhhhmmmmm, yes great Orac. we will obey and attack others on the basis they have no evidence, and when we are asked for evidence and are without, we will avoid the question and look for a way to attack them.

    ohhhhmmmmmmm, oh great Orac, your words are wise in your post and we have obey…our “all too frequent response is to try to shut down criticism.”

  313. #314 :)
    September 12, 2010

    oohhhhhhhhhmmmmmm(quack!)mmmmmmmmmm.

  314. #315 Todd W.
    September 12, 2010

    @icu/icu2/:(

    You implied, though did not outright state, that Dr. Barrett is a quack by quoting this from his web site:

    “Dictionaries define quack as “one who talks pretentiously without sound knowledge of the subject discussed.”

    Now you have clearly stated:

    Todd, I have not even taken a few correspondence courses, and like Barrett, this does not qualify me as an expert witness. Thankfully.

    So, you have definitely taken a pretentious attitude (see post 257 for an example) and have spoken without sound knowledge of the subject (law, legal definition of what constitutes an expert, case proceedings, etc.) being discussed. By your own cherry picked quote, then, you are a quack. Well done, sir. Well done.

    Furthermore, your quote regarding the judge’s finding of Dr. Barrett’s credibility as an expert witness applies to that particular case only, not to Dr. Barrett in general.

    Likewise, as has been mentioned previously ad nauseam, the judge’s opinion (note, not a fact) is that Dr. Barrett did not qualify as an expert in that particular case, not to Dr. Barrett in general or to him in any other case.

    Even further, no one in this thread has claimed that Dr. Barrett is an expert in FDA expert, so why you harp on that is beyond me.

    Nothing of what you have said has had any bearing on the original article by Orac. You have further failed to show in any substantive manner why any of your comments should be taken seriously, being completely irrelevant and full of ignorance and condescension.

    You initially came in here stating that Dr. Barrett made a false claim in court and was caught. You failed to substantiate this assertion, since whether or not he meets the definition of an expert is an opinion, not an objective fact.

    You then shifted your goalposts to trying to get people to state, one way or another, whether Dr. Barrett was an expert on FDA drug regulation. Quite apart from being only tangentially related to your initial assertion, this also is completely irrelevant to the main article.

    Finally, you seem to be using two different definitions of “expert” interchangeably. You appear to attempt to use the legal definition to show that Dr. Barrett is not an expert in the colloquial sense.

    Now, make an on-topic statement or kindly be silent, you pompous, boor of a misbegotten slug. (Oh, and for the logic-impaired, that’s an insult, not an ad hominem.)

  315. #316 Todd W.
    September 12, 2010

    Oops. “in FDA expert” should be “in FDA drug regulation”.

  316. #317 Gray Falcon
    September 12, 2010

    Sorry for making this thread go on further, but icu, there’s a reason why your posts aren’t going through. It’s not censorship, it’s your habit of making large numbers of similar posts. Try to compose your thoughts and get everything out at once. Otherwise, you look like you are either a) a reckless fool, or b) a tweaker.

  317. #318 DLC
    September 12, 2010

    whoah. go away for a couple weeks and a thread takes off.
    For the dumbass who can’t see me:
    Look stupid, if I say “Orac is not an expert at 11th dimensional physics.” I am not making a statement of fact, but rendering my opinion.

  318. #319 Calli Arcale
    September 12, 2010

    Gray Falcon — quite right. Additionally, assuming that one is banned because one’s posts were caught by the spam-filter is a sign of either extreme naivety about how blogs work, or an inflated opinion of oneself. Or, quite frequently, both.

  319. #320 ...
    September 12, 2010

    todd, “Even further, no one in this thread has claimed that Dr. Barrett is an expert in FDA expert, so why you harp on that is beyond me.” one word…

    credibility = “worthy of belief or confidence; trustworthy: a credible witness.”

    “Dr. Barrett did not qualify as an expert in that particular case.” Is he upgrading his current credentials of correspondence courses, readings, and some chats with FDA agents? This statement of Barrett’s credentials is not an interpretation or opinion of what he presented to the court as his qualifications. These are Barrett’s own admissions for his qualifications. I don’t think many, if any, federal judges would qualify this as “recent and substantive knowledge and experience.” Do you consider a few conversations with agents, a few correspondence courses, and readings recent and substantive knowledge and experience?

    “Nothing of what you have said has had any bearing on the original article by Orac.”

    sure…the title is about a “defender of science-based medicine.” my post is about the title, not what the crowd is talking about, i.e., is barrett a model defender of SCIENCE-based medicine when he has a) shown himself to have a heightened idea of his FDA drug regulation expertise, and b) been shown to be heavily biased? a true defender of science-based medicine pushes aside bias in the name of truth.

    “You have further failed to show in any substantive manner why any of your comments should be taken seriously, being completely irrelevant and full of ignorance and condescension.” from previous posts to me by your compatriots and yourself…

    - “Something along the line of removing half of your brain so you don’t remember basic high school chemistry.”
    - “Oh, to answer your idiotic question…”
    - “I think I was in second grade when I learned…”
    - “Now go!”
    - “Goofus”
    - “The commenter called icu is a goat.”
    - “a sign of either extreme naivety about how blogs work, or an inflated opinion of oneself. Or, quite frequently, both.”

    ?

    re: “Look stupid, if I say “Orac is not an expert at 11th dimensional physics.” I am not making a statement of fact, but rendering my opinion.”

    Yes, and between your opinion and the fact lies methods of evaluation, a shared set of principle or standards that levels the playing field for all to be assessed by, e.g., AMA and ACLM guidelines for an “expert witness.”

    the only definition i use of “expert” is that defined by the AMA and ACLM.

    still waiting for evidence that he is an expert in fda drug regulations so that i will actually believe that he is a true defender of science-based medicine as is opined in the title, not just in talk, but in the walk. i ask this cuz all of you state that he might be (“it’s only one judge’s opinion”)…so show me why you say this.

    show me evidence to support your position (as you ask those in alt meds and as gray falcon said with tangible facts that you possess (you’ve still not answered whether you have them gray falcon).

    s

  320. #321 ...
    September 13, 2010

    “So, you…have spoken without sound knowledge of the subject (law, legal definition of what constitutes an expert, case proceedings, etc.) being discussed.”

    Actually, to avoid speaking from opinion only, i.e., unsound knowledge, if you’ll recall I used primary sources (AMA and American College of Legal Medicine guidelines) to define what an expert witness was…not my own opinion.

    “You have further failed to show in any substantive manner why any of your comments should be taken seriously, being completely irrelevant and full of ignorance and condescension…” and later you say…” you pompous, boor of a misbegotten slug. (Oh, and for the logic-impaired, that’s an insult.” seems you are not above your own reproach.

    “Nothing of what you have said has had any bearing on the original article by Orac…whether or not [Dr. Barrett] meets the definition of an expert is an opinion, not an objective fact.”

    now the relevance to this post is that the title includes a “defender of SCIENCE-based medicine.” is barrett really a model defender when he has heightened ideas of his own expertise and is found to have been unequivocally biased and not credible?

  321. #322 ...
    September 13, 2010

    to cut down on opinion in that federal case, the judge used easily comprehensible criterion from the AMA and American College of Legal Medicine: “recent and substantive knowledge and expertise in the area of testimony.”

    this is not opinion: dr. barrett’s qualifications are: a few law correspondence courses, a few conversations with fda agents, and readings. these are his own submissions to the court in support of his expertise.

    now, comparing the guidelines and what he submitted, i think every judge will say that a few correspondence courses, readings, and fda agent conversations does not satisfy the definition of recent and substantive knowledge and expertise.

    so you see, DLC, guidelines with a “constrained meaning,” as MI Dawn so aptly put it, help to minimize the influence of opinion in evaluations.

  322. #323 ...
    September 13, 2010

    “Assuming that one is banned because one’s posts were caught by the spam-filter is a sign of either extreme naivety about how blogs work, or an inflated opinion of oneself. Or, quite frequently, both.”

    That’s a whole lot of assumptions…

  323. #324 colmcq
    September 13, 2010

    blah blah, retarded ad-hom dumb guy: who cares if a judge during a trial felt he wasn’t an expert witness; this has no relevance to the factual accuracy or otherwise of Barret’s post about Doctor’s Data.

    Tell me what sentences about Doctor’s Data are flawed, and why.

    Or fuck the fuck off.

  324. #325 Todd W.
    September 13, 2010

    @Mighty Morphin Power Troll

    You still seem to be rather ignorant of what is opinion and what is fact.

    Facts: The qualifications offered in support of the assertion that Dr. Barrett qualifies as an expert witness.

    Opinion: Whether those qualifications meet a definition that is open to interpretation.

    The judge’s findings, once again, are opinion, not objective fact. And, as mentioned before, the judge’s opinions apply only to that particular case, despite your serpentine contortions of logic to claim that they are more generally applicable.

    Your effort, as it has gradually become clear as you slowly allow your reasons to ooze out of the ether, appears to be to show that Dr. Barrett is not a “defender of science-based medicine”. The single tool you use to achieve this goal is your attempt to show that he is not an expert in FDA drug regulation. The judge’s statement on Dr. Barrett’s credibility does not apply, because it is in reference to his credibility as a witness for that particular case (emphasis added since your reading comprehension seemed insufficient to get that from the judge’s opinion). You attempt to use only the evidence presented in that one case to show that, in a general sense, Dr. Barrett does not meet the criteria to be an expert. Since you seem not to have gotten it before, no one here has claimed that Dr. Barrett is currently an expert in FDA regulations and the judge’s (now 9 years old) only applies to that case. For that matter, given the age of the case and the evidence you are using from it, you cannot state that Dr. Barrett is not an expert on FDA drug regulation, since he may well have gained more experience since then.

    More to the point, whether or not he is an expert in FDA drug regulation matters not one jot whether or not he is a defender (model or otherwise) of science-based medicine. One need not be an expert in FDA drug regulation to be a defender of SBM. One simply needs to stand up for SBM and to do one’s best to stick to its tenets of basing medical care on the best science available. This includes showing why quackery is quackery (such as was done with DDI).

    Now, if you want to achieve your goal of showing that Dr. Barrett is not a defender of science-based medicine, you need to show that he does not stand up for and defend science-based medicine. That’s a pretty simple bit of logic that even you might be able to grasp. The FDA expert thing is just a non sequitur.

    No one here is going to bother answering your question because it doesn’t matter, not to mention that you have presented no current evidence to say whether he is or is not.

    As to the insult, well, you are pompous and you are a bit of a boor. Those matters I think the consensus would probably agree on. Whether or not you are also a misbegotten slug is up for debate, though. At any rate, it was simply a matter of personal opinion and really has no bearing on the rest of my post, which was substantive, relevant and a far sight less ignorant than your posts have been.

    Oh, and one last thing:

    Actually, to avoid speaking from opinion only, i.e., unsound knowledge, if you’ll recall I used primary sources (AMA and American College of Legal Medicine guidelines) to define what an expert witness was…not my own opinion.

    Your knowledge is not sound because you do not, by your own admission, possess substantive knowledge of the legal system, in particular the law, including case law, regarding how the definition of expert is to be applied and how to properly weigh the evidence presented. And your application of the definition is most certainly your opinion. Again, by your own cherry picked quote, you are a quack.

  325. #326 Gray Falcon
    September 13, 2010

    - “Something along the line of removing half of your brain so you don’t remember basic high school chemistry.”
    - “Oh, to answer your idiotic question…”
    - “I think I was in second grade when I learned…”
    - “Now go!”
    - “Goofus”
    - “The commenter called icu is a goat.”
    - “a sign of either extreme naivety about how blogs work, or an inflated opinion of oneself. Or, quite frequently, both.”

    The big difference is, these did not form the whole of our arguments. For example, the full text of the second grade on was: “I think I was in second grade when I learned the difference between “fact” and “opinion”. What’s your excuse, icu?”, while the one about the goat was actually a reference to your attempts at proof by repetition. I find it interesting that my accusation that you are a liar and the reference to your “wheedling attempt to feign humility” didn’t make the list.

    On the other hand, your argument consists entirely of trying to smear Barrett’s reputation based on a single statement by a judge pertaining to a single case. Let’s face it, you’re just a petty man with petty goals who obsesses on petty details.

  326. #327 :0)
    September 13, 2010

    Excellent rebuttal…what I expect from this blog, “F the F off.”

    So, Todd W., for an SBMer, it’s odd that you don’t understand the value of citing primary sources. Or perhaps you just forgot that you do. From you in 222, “It might help to post a link to the full, complete court transcript so that we can judge what claims Barrett actually made. You know, primary sources and all that.”

    Barrett “may well have gained more experience since then.” In SBM, we don’t work on may well haves. Again you are above your own reproaches… is it possible for you to show evidence to support your argument for once? (That was rhetorical, cuz I’ve yet to see any to support the “notion” that Barrett is an expert or that gray falcon has tangible facts, i.e., something useful to add)

    “More to the point, whether or not he is an expert in FDA drug regulation matters not one jot whether or not he is a defender (model or otherwise) of science-based medicine. One need not be an expert in FDA drug regulation to be a defender of SBM. One simply needs to stand up for SBM and to do one’s best to stick to its tenets of basing medical care on the best science available.” Right, Todd Woo…and doing so means being and objective and removing bias to find truth, which Barrett has yet to show us he is capable of doing so.

    From US legal as it pertains to Barrett, “Credibility is the quality, capability, or power to elicit belief or a capacity for belief. It may also refer to someone’s reputation for truthfulness. For example, the credibility of a witness may be attacked through questions asked of the witness. Credible means something that is believable or capable of being believed; believable. For example, credible evidence refers to evidence that is worthy of belief or trustworthy.” Hmmm…let’s take a look at Barrett’s credibility (and thank for presenting this source, Todd): “Furthermore, the Court finds that both Dr. Sampson and Dr. Barrett are biased heavily in favor of the Plaintiff and thus the weight to be accorded their testimony is slight in any event. Both are long-time board members of the Plaintiff; Dr. Barrett has served as its Chairman.” What? Barrett wants to testify as an expert witness for the plaintiff and he is a board member of the plaintiff? “…Based on all of these factors, Dr. Sampson and Dr. Barrett can be described as zealous advocates of the Plaintiff�s position, and therefore not neutral or dispassionate witnesses or experts. In light of these affiliations and their orientation, it can fairly be said that Drs. Barrett and Sampson are themselves the client, and therefore their testimony should be accorded little, if any, credibility on that basis as well.”

    It’s difficult for a leopard to change its spots.

  327. #328 Todd W.
    September 13, 2010

    Good god, you’re thick. Go back and reread my comment and then do try to post something that shows you actually understood what I wrote. Until then, I’m done talking to you. I’d have better fortune convincing a wall that it is a door than convincing you to use that grey matter between your ears to form a logical argument.

    Or, as Congressman Frank so eloquently put it, “talking to you is like talking to a dining room table.”

  328. #329 todd woo
    September 13, 2010

    woo woo

  329. #330 ...
    September 13, 2010

    Todd W.oops

  330. #331 woo
    September 13, 2010

    btw, todd, a judge’s decision on a person expert witness qualifications does not last only for that particular case.

    If the person does not meet the criteria then they cannot be an expert witness until they gain the education, experience and certifications needed.

  331. #332 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 13, 2010

    I think it’s apparent that the morphing troll is attempting to 606 the discussion; that is, behave in such an obnoxious way that all the sane adults will throw up their hands and leave the conversation, at which point he can insincerely claim victory. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on sane adults who know the tactic.

    The core issue is not whether Dr. Barrett is an expert in “homeopathic medicine” or has been accepted as an expert witness on that subject or on FDA regulation or on any other subject. The core issue is is Doctors’ Data’s conduct scientifically defensible? If it is not, all else is irrelevant. If the morphing troll is not trying to give a scientifically reasonable rationale for performing and reporting laboratory tests for which no reference values exist then all he says is just frantic hand-waving, designed to distract people from the real issue.

  332. #333 squirrelelite
    September 13, 2010

    I have been following this thread for quite a while, but haven’t commented much. Mostly this was due to my involvement in other concerns, but also it was because a dozen or so of my fellow commenters were doing a much better job responding than I had time for.

    I completely agree with Todd W’s comment 325. But, it seemed to me that for the benefit of other patient lurkers and visitors who might wonder what all the arguing is about, I would offer a short summary and try to give a slightly different perspective from Todd’s.

    The original blog post was about Doctor’s Data Inc. (DDI) who provide lab test services for doctors. In one of these tests, a chemical (AKA a chelating agent) is injected into the patient. The chemical binds to mercury in the patient’s body and is excreted in the urine. The addition of this chemical (provoked testing) causes a higher, but gradually decaying, level of mercury in the patient’s urine than is normally present (unprovoked testing). Medical researchers have determined a normal, relatively safe level of mercury in the urine for comparison with unprovoked urine tests so that doctors and their patients can tell if they have too much mercury in their body. However, these comparison values have not been established for provoked urine testing. So, DDI and/or the doctors who send them tests compare the higher levels from a provoked test with the lower standard levels for unprovoked testing and tell the patient, “look, your body has too much mercury. You need chelation therapy.” (See Gray Falcon 286)

    This is misleading and incorrect. Dr Barrett pointed this out on his website Quackwatch.

    DDI did not like that, so one of their lawyers sent Dr Barrett a letter saying “you are posting false information. Take it down or we will sue you”. Dr Barrett (quite rightly IMHO) responded by asking DDI to tell him which statements were incorrect and he would then correct them or delete them. Instead of responding to that request, DDI chose to take him to court.

    For several weeks, the discussion on this thread centered on the attempts by one commenter (Spepp aka Tim Bolen, see comment #194) to discredit Dr Barrett’s credentials as an expert. Several commenters responded by pointing out that the key issue was the validity of the statements about DDI on Quackwatch and the choice of DDI to go to court rather than state what they believed was wrong with those statements.

    After Spepp’s last post 212 on 26 July, things remained relatively quiet until comment 216 on 9 Sept when a “new” commenter, icu (and several other pseudonyms) showed up to fan the embers back into flames.

    The sole thrust of comments by this person (whom I will refer to as Person X) is to attack Dr Barrett’s “Expertise in FDA regulation”.

    Now for the different perspective.

    Depending on how I spin out the explanation this thrust is either an ad hominem fallacy, a tu quoque fallacy or simply a reverse argument from authority. (The classical argument from authority is something like this: Person A is an expert. Person A said statement N. Therefore, statement N is true. But, this is fallacious in science because the truth of scientific statements does not depend on the credentials of the person making the statement. It depends on whether those statements provide a reasonably accurate description of reality as it has been tested and measured and on whether those statements make useful predictions about unknown matters which can be tested and confirmed by others.

    Person X’s version is that Dr Barrett was denied permission to testify as an expert in a court case on homeopathy. Dr Barrett posted statements about DDI. Therfore, those statements are false.

    But, Dr Barrett’s credentials as an expert are irrelevant to the truth of the statements he posts on Quackwatch. If he posts a statment that 2 + 2 = 4, does that automatically become false and he should take it down?

    Chris in comment 252 (and other commenters) have given Person X the same response that Dr Barrett gave to DDI. Identify the statements that are wrong and explain why.

    Person X has refused to do so.

    So, in the spirit of Comment 312, I offer the following:

    Sorry, Person X. Orac’s faithful attack dogs are too well trained to go haring off after your red herring.

    If you are willing to tackle the red squirrel extreme assault course
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TamMqvk4Bb8
    and directly address the issue of this blog (i.e. comment 252), perhaps we can continue this discussion to some useful end.

    Until you do so, I and several other commenters will give your statements all the attention they deserve (i.e. NONE).

  333. #334 ...
    September 13, 2010

    barrett’s article on ddi might be 100% correct. i’m not arguing that.

    but his credibility has been marred by his false claims of being an fda drug regulation expert and his inability to be unbiased. a bit of thuggery that, isn’t it?

    anyways, i give up…you guys are too biased to even admit that he’s not a qualified expert witness in fda drug regulation. take care. it was fun.

  334. #335 NJ
    September 13, 2010

    …aaaaand after an absolutely clear explanation of why the “fda drug regulation” things was a red herring, someone comes in and offers up…

    The. Same. Red. Herring.

    At risk of degenerating this thread further into an OT discussion of eugenics, is it at least possible that there are people who are in every literal sense too stupid to live?

  335. #336 Bronze Dog
    September 13, 2010

    but his credibility has been marred by his false claims of being an fda drug regulation expert and his inability to be unbiased.

    In other words, you have absolutely no idea how to determine a person’s credibility.

    Credibility is not something given by a guy with a wooden hammer. Barrett earns credibility by providing good citations for what he rights.

    barrett’s article on ddi might be 100% correct. i’m not arguing that.

    In other words, you’re directly admitting that you don’t care the slightest bit about objectively measuring Barrett’s credibility, just legalistic mumbo-jumbo to justify your dogmatic Authoritarianism.

  336. #337 hawkman
    September 13, 2010

    anyone read Tim Bolen’s latest article “Is Terry Polevoy the Information Source for Doctor ‘ s Data?…” http://www.bolenreport.com/feature_articles/Doctor's-Data-v-Barrett/Terry-polevoy-working-with-doctor's-data.htm

    what do you think?

  337. #338 Bronze Dog
    September 13, 2010

    Here’s a hint, icu: The legal procedures about declaring who is or isn’t an expert are about saving time at the cost of some accuracy. If courts had infinite time to determine the truth, they would be conducting scientific experiments and establish a consensus. You’re asking us to believe that one individual’s decision about how to save time carries more objectivity than the patient work of countless scientists across the globe.

    Who would you trust more: One potentially biased individual making a snap decision, or a massive international community devoted to eliminating bias?

    Barrett, by citing scientific articles, rejects the sort of magical capital-A authority you worship: His work is exactly as good as his citations. And yet, you believe that because someone with a wooden hammer argues he’s not an expert, somehow the experimental and observational work that Barrett cited but was not personally involved in is somehow magically tainted by the fact that he cited it years after the results came in.

    Let me guess: Now you’re going to tell me that when it comes time for me to defend my thesis, you’re going to tell me that I shouldn’t bother citing scientific articles to support my methodology. Instead, you’ll tell me that I should just get a judge to declare me an expert and hand a note to my professors.

  338. #339 Vicki
    September 13, 2010

    At the risk of furthering this barrel of crimson fish:

    The thing a scientist can say, which a judge often cannot, is “I don’t know.” A judge can rule broadly or narrowly, but once they take a case, they’re expected to make a ruling. That’s true both of large things (Is this person guilty? Does this company owe damages? Is this law constitutional?) and of the smaller bits that make that up, like who to accept as an expert witness and what to do if an attorney objects to some item of testimony.

  339. #340 Bronze Dog
    September 13, 2010

    Icu expects us to believe that the fundamental truths of the universe are based on whether or not you are Steven Barrett.

  340. #341 T. Bruce McNeely
    September 13, 2010

    icu (and his/her various alter egos)is perseverating.

    This is a symptom of frontal lobe damage associated with major brain injury and some types of dementia. Have pity on the poor slob…then again, don’t.

  341. #342 abc123
    September 13, 2010

    Presumably, the Judge found this person unqualified based on OBJECTIVE standards. This would be based on professional credentials and experience. It’s like any ruling a Judge might make. Most issues are not black and white but in the matter of qualification of an expert, probably 95% of Judges would rule the same way. Big case on that is DAUBERT. Just google it. That case stands for proposition that an expert must be recognized as such by peers. Cannot just be self-proclaimed expert. So yes, another Judge might rule differently but if one party wants to use a particular “expert”, the burden is on the opposing party to show lack of qualification. In other words, benefit of doubt goes to the party seeking qualification of the expert. Therefore, if an “expert” is found disqualified, there is probably a strong reason for that and other Judges likely to agree.

  342. #343 Bronze Dog
    September 13, 2010

    Therefore, if an “expert” is found disqualified, there is probably a strong reason for that and other Judges likely to agree.

    And thus the question becomes “what is that strong reason?”

    As for the other judges… Why would they be allegedly likely to agree?

    Icu’s not exactly forthcoming with answers for why he’s deliberately beating around the bush with legal technicalities instead of coming out and explaining whatever the hell he thinks is wrong with Barrett’s statements.

  343. #344 icu
    September 13, 2010

    “As for his credential as an expert on FDA regulation of homeopathic drugs, the Court finds that Dr. Barrett lacks sufficient qualifications in this area. Expertise in FDA regulation suggests a knowledge of how the agency enforces federal statutes and the agency’s own regulations. Dr. Barrett’s purported legal and regulatory knowledge is not apparent. He is not a lawyer, although he claims he attended several semesters of correspondence law school. While Dr. Barrett appears to have had several past conversations with FDA representatives, these appear to have been sporadic, mainly at his own instigation, and principally for the purpose of gathering information for his various articles and Internet web-sites. He has never testified before any governmental panel or agency on issues relating to FDA regulation of drugs. Presumably his professional continuing education experiences are outdated given that he has not had a current medical licence in over seven years. For these reasons, there is no sound basis on which to consider Dr. Barrett qualified as an expert on the issues he was offered to address.”

  344. #345 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 13, 2010

    Big case on that is DAUBERT. Just google it.

    Funny you should mention that, morphing troll. Daubert happens to be the case which established “the Daubert standard” (just Google it.) Judge Frumholz declined to accept Dr. Barrett as an expert witness in part because he had “no formal training in homeopathic medicine.” But homeopathic “medicine” itself does not meet the Daubert standard. What kind of judge would consider an expert witness more qualified because he has training in a subject that cannot itself be accepted in court? What’s next, declining an expert witness because he doesn’t have training in phrenology?

    Not that this is relevant to the core issue of the case, namely that Doctors’ Data has been taking money to perform tests which have no scientific value. The morphing troll merely wants to distract everyone from that.

  345. #346 icu
    September 13, 2010

    nothing about homeopathy in these sentences:

    “Expertise in FDA REGULATION suggests a knowledge of how the agency enforces federal statutes and the agency’s own regulations. Dr. Barrett’s purported legal and regulatory knowledge is not apparent.”

    “Presumably his professional continuing education experiences are outdated given that he has not had a current medical licence in over seven years.”

  346. #347 abc123
    September 13, 2010

    Did anyone read Tim Bolen’s latest article “Is Terry Polevoy the Information Source for Doctor ‘ s Data?…” http://www.bolenreport.com/feature_articles/Doctor's-Data-v-Barrett/Terry-polevoy-working-with-doctor's-data.htm

    What do you think?

  347. #348 abc123
    September 13, 2010

    Did anyone read Tim Bolen’s latest article “Is Terry Polevoy the Information Source for Doctor ‘ s Data?…” http://www.bolenreport.com/feature_articles/Doctor's-Data-v-Barrett/Terry-polevoy-working-with-doctor's-data.htm

    What do you think?

  348. #349 Composer99
    September 13, 2010

    Is it just me or is icu taking tips from augustine’s playbook and ramping them up on overdrive?

    In fact, I would go so far as to suggest sock puppetry is going on here (and not just icu’s mutable id).

  349. #350 Chris
    September 13, 2010

    I don’t know Composer99. I check the old article Orac linked to, and the person I think he was referring to was banned (though he has recently become divorced and lost custody of his child, so the crazy might be accelerated).

    I sometimes think it might be STY, about to ramp up his big reveal in a couple of months of his definitive proof.

    But there are lots of other candidates for the identity of this troll.

  350. #351 curious citizen
    September 14, 2010

    lol. “troll” for you guys = anyone with a different opinion to yours.

    and because my opinion differs, you start your conspiracy hypotheses about who i am…i’m not bolen and i’m not using “augustine’s playbook.” though since i’ve started commenting, i’ve come to learn who these people are thanks to you all.

    i’m just a person who wants to know how it’s “thuggery” being dispatched upon barrett when he is guilty of doing the very things that he accuses others (alt meds) of, i.e., making false claims (claimed he was an expert witness of FDA drug regulations) and being biased and not objective about his position (wanted to testify as an expert witness for the plaintiff while he was a board member of the plaintiff).

    if you want to truly be science-based and defend SBM, should you yourself not make false claims and be free from bias?

  351. #352 i'll take the blue pill
    September 14, 2010

    lol. “troll” for you guys = anyone with a different opinion to yours.

    and because my opinion differs, you start your conspiracy hypotheses about who i am…i’m not bolen and i’m not using “augustine’s playbook.” though since i’ve started commenting, i’ve come to learn who these people are thanks to you all.

    i’m just a person who wants to know how it’s “thuggery” being dispatched upon barrett when he is guilty of doing the very things that he accuses others (alt meds) of, i.e., making false claims (claimed he was an expert witness of FDA drug regulations) and being biased and not objective about his position (wanted to testify as an expert witness for the plaintiff while he was a board member of the plaintiff).

    if you want to truly be science-based and defend SBM, should you yourself not make false claims and be free from bias?

  352. #353 icu
    September 14, 2010

    hi gray falcon.

  353. #354 Chris
    September 14, 2010

    Of course, this morphing troll could also be one of those autistic folks who were taught by their mothers to hate themselves. This one seems to be persevering.

  354. #355 and it just keeps coming...
    September 14, 2010

    nice, chris, bringing the autistic into your slurs.

  355. #356 Orc
    September 14, 2010

    Orac: “That PLoS ONE actually published this tripe shows me that, for all its claims of being scientifically rigorous…”

    and for all of Barrett’s claims of being scientifically rigorous, i.e., unbiased and with substantive knowledge and experience as agreed upon by professional peers (not people on a blog)?

    (remember: “Dr. Barrett’s purported legal and regulatory knowledge is not apparent…Presumably his professional continuing education experiences are outdated.”)

  356. #357 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 16, 2010

    and for all of Barrett’s claims of being scientifically rigorous, i.e., unbiased and with substantive knowledge and experience as agreed upon by professional peers (not people on a blog)?

    GOOFUS thinks that “scientifically rigorous” is an adjectival phrase applied to a person, which denotes primarily how that person is regarded by their peers.

    GALLANT knows that “scientific rigor” is a quality that applies to actions, not to the people who take those actions. Gallant understands that it is a classic case of the ad hominem fallacy to claim that someone’s work lacks scientific rigor because he supposedly lacks sufficient reputation among his peers.

    i’m just a person who wants to know how it’s “thuggery” being dispatched upon barrett

    GOOFUS uses the old “just asking questions” gambit and demands explanations for things that pretty much explain themselves.

    GALLANT Reads The Fine Article and discovers that Doctors’ Data, which supposedly wants Dr. Barrett to retract certain “untruthful” statements, will not take the most obvious step that would be taken by any company which actually wanted a retraction of untruthful statements — namely, identifying the statements in question and explaining why they’re incorrect — and is instead only taking steps that seem designed to punish and intimidate. Gallant has no trouble making the connection between this thuggish behavior and the word “thuggery.”

    when he is guilty of doing the very things that he accuses others (alt meds) of, i.e., making false claims

    GOOFUS commits a two-for-one fallacy; first, committing the tu quoque fallacy by suggesting it’s okay to do bad things to Barrett as long as the facts can be twisted to make it look like Barrett did bad things first; second, returning to the long-debunked argument that, if any judge has ever declined to accept Barrett in any case as an expert witness, Barrett is making “false claims” to being an expert. As already pointed out, this argument depends absolutely on the false premise “All people who are experts to any degree will be accepted by all judges in all cases in all courts as expert witnesses”, a premise which Goofus was unable to defend, instead nonsensically trying to construct a syllogism out of the same claim said three different ways.

    GALLANT thinks it might be easier to teach a pig to sing opera than to get GOOFUS to stick to facts and logic.

  357. #358 antie feldspar
    September 16, 2010

    “supposedly lacks sufficient reputation among his peers”

    your insistence that it’s “supposed” is heartwarming.

    Anyways, what do you think of Tim Bolen’s latest article “Is Terry Polevoy the Information Source for Doctor’ s Data?” http://www.bolenreport.com/feature_articles/Doctor's-Data-v-Barrett/Terry-polevoy-working-with-doctor's-data.htm

  358. #359 auntie feldsparkle
    September 16, 2010

    your argument wouldn’t hold up in court either. yes, i know, it’s just one opinion.

  359. #360 aunty feldsparkle
    September 16, 2010

    regarding DDI, what you think of Tim Bolen’s latest article “Is Terry Polevoy the Information Source for Doctor ‘ s Data?…” http://www.bolenreport.com/feature_articles/Doctor's-Data-v-Barrett/Terry-polevoy-working-with-doctor's-data.htm

  360. #361 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 30, 2010

    I think it’s a very transparent attempt by Mr. Bolen to divert attention away from the true issue, which is that Doctor’s Data takes money to provide “test results” that have no actual scientific value. That’s of course the same thing you’ve been doing here, trying to divert attention from the real issue. Not once have you dared to try to defend Doctor’s Data’s “provoked urine tests,” because of course they are indefensible.

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