Respectful Insolence

A nonsensical attack on Stephen Barrett

About three weeks ago, fresh after having experienced my own attack by anti-vaccine activists who tried to get me fired, I noticed that Doctors Data was doing what cranks and crank organizations can’t resist doing when they face scientific criticism, namely to lash out. Such lashing out can take many forms. In my case, as I mentioned, the cranks were the anti-vaccine loons at Age of Autism, and the attack consisted of an e-mail campaign against me to the board of directors of my university. To Dr. Barrett, who, thanks to his many more years taking on medical pseudoscience than I, is far more despised by quacks than I, the lashing out took the form of a frivolous libel suit. I knew at the time that quacks would pile on, and in fact I was surprised that it had taken so long for someone to start gloating over the lawsuit in the blogosphere, but gloat someone did.

A homepath named Heidi Stevenson, who also writes for that source of all quackery NaturalNews.com, decided to post a very ignorant screed to a website called Gaia Health entitled Quackbusters Are Busted!: Though they seem to have more lives than a cat, it seems likely that Quackbusters will be down for the count. It’s such a hunk o’ burnin’ stupid that I see why Heidi would be considered a suitable candidate to write for NaturalNews.com. Truly, it’s napalm-grade, neuron-apoptosing stupid, to wit:

Stephen Barrett claims to be a retired psychiatrist and hires himself out as an “expert” to testify against non-mainstream medical practitioners. His claim to being a retired psychiatrist is laughable; he was never certified as a psychiatrist because he never passed the board examinations. He was never accepted into the profession. In America, though, once licensed as a physician, it’s legal to practice any type of medicine desired. Barrett wanted to be a psychiatrist, so he called himself one.


I first encountered this sort of nonsense at least ten years ago. To anyone familiar with how medicine works, it’s such patent idiocy that I was half-tempted to go back to Usenet and find one of my old rebuttals of the nonsense, but instead I’ll just updated it for a new decade. Just take a look at Dr. Barrett’s CV. He completed his psychiatry residency in 1961–nearly fifty years ago. Back then, board certification was not essential to have a perfectly fine and respectable medical practice. Such a criticism only works if you view an elderly doctor through the eyes of today’s medical world, where board certification is close to absolutely necessary to practice, at least anywhere near an urban area. Without it a physician won’t be accepted into health insurance plans as a preferred or network physician, is highly unlikely to be able to be accepted on the medical staff of hospitals, and will find it very hard to do anything other than moonlight in emergency rooms or work under the supervision of other physicians, for example, as a house physician. It wasn’t that way 50 years ago.

Heidi then continues:

Please understand that I would never make fun of someone’s misfortunes in normal circumstances. In Barrett’s case, though, an exception needs to be made. He has done enormous harm to anyone who advocates or practices non-mainstream medicine. He has hired himself out as an expert to testify against such practitioners, and he has been the mouthpiece for Big Pharma’s attack on anything that isn’t manufactured and sold by them.

Sure, she wouldn’t. Sure she wouldn’t make fun of someone’s misfortunes. Then she spends an entire article doing just that, making fun of another person’s misfortunes. In fact, she makes fun of them so much that she’s not sastisfied with the real misfortunes that Dr. Barrett has, such as having a frivolous libel suit directed against him by Doctors Data. She has to make up a whole host of imaginary “misfortunes” and then gloat over them gleefully, practically dancing as she does it.

I wonder how she could actually type up this screed. She appeared too busy dancing a jig, metaphorically speaking, and cleaning the spittle off her keyboard and screen as she typed. First, it’s very obvious that she’s been using Patrick “Tim” Bolen as a source, because her rant sounds almost as though it could have been written by Bolen himself, as you can see from Barrett’s response to Tim Bolen and Peter Bowditch’s deconstruction of Bolen’s activities. Indeed, at one point she cites a description of a deposition that Patrick “Tim” Bolen underwent made by Bolen himself:

As the deposition progressed, Aetna attorneys left the room more and more. Their questions became more and more strident, as the realization set in with them that their whole defense in the Federal case was based on NONSENSE – and the false information, and suggestions, provided by Barrett and Baratz. And, it became obvious, from their body language, that they knew they were in trouble – and that the actual trial was going to begin June 12th, 2006 with famous California litigator Carlos F. Negrete bringing the Plaintiff’s case to the jury.

One can only wonder if Patrick is referring to the deposition that Peter Bowditch posted to his website, where he won’t even admit where he lives. Such is the quality of the source upon which Heidi relies. It’s kind of sad, actually. Of course, when you don’t have actual data other than the smear campaign of a longtime enemy of Dr. Barrett, then you have to go for the pharma shill gambit, and, boy, oh, boy, Heidi does it with gusto:

Barrett has launched at least 14 expensive legal actions at a single time, cases that can be assumed to cost at least $100,000 each to pursue. In the Federal Court in Oregon, he was forced to respond to questions about his income.

In two years’ time, Barrett had made a total of $54,000.

Where did Barrett get the money to pursue so many cases? Thus far, no one seems to have found the hard proof, but it’s obvious that the backing for his nefarious machinations has been Big Pharma and Big Medicine, which seek to drive any and all competition out of business and make them illegal.

Which is utterly ridiculous, particularly in light of the Doctors Data lawsuit. If Barrett were backed by pharmaceutical companies, what would he have to fear from SLAPP suits like the one filed by Doctor’s Data? He could just hop on the Merck/Pfizer/Aventis (MPA) black helicopter, head on over to his pharma paymasters in secret, and shovel the cash into his bank account in sufficient quantities to crush a medium-sized company like Doctors’ Data, which wouldn’t stand a chance. In particular, Heidi completely ignores all the times that various quacks have sued Dr. Barrett for libel or various other reasons, all because they don’t like the light of truth being shone on their activities. In reality, it’s been Dr. Barrett who’s been the underdog all along. It’s him who’s put himself on the line, in particular his finances. It’s him whose reputation has been dragged through the mud by people like Patrick “Tim” Bolen and Ilena Rosenthal, the latter of whom managed to produce a ruling supported one of the worst laws I’ve seen, in which it’s quite possible to get away with libel, just by reposting defamatory statements from elsewhere on the Internet to Usenet, blogs, and websites after Barrett tried to sue her for libel for reposting defamatory statements from elsewhere on the Internet to Usenet, blogs, and websites. Personally, I think that was a bad move on Barrett’s part, but I’m not sure what I would have done. Probably nothing, given that there are already scads of quacks out there reposting defamatory statements about me from elsewhere on the Internet to Usenet, blogs, and websites. It’s one of those examples where trying to go after these people would be more likely to make things worse.

Heidi also makes another nonsensical claim that is easily refuted simply by a visit to Quackwatch. Apparently she’s upset that Quackwatch has multiple subsidiary websites, all with the same layout. Of course, one wonders what Heidi expects a bunch of websites that are all subsidiaries of one large site to look like. Does she expect that they’ll all have different layouts? More risibly, Heidi claims that there is “little original material” there and that Barrett writes little himself. A simple perusal of the website will show this to be false, with numerous articles by Barrett himself easily accessible and numerous other articles written by others expressly for Quackwatch. It’s such as easily refuted claim that Heidi must be either utterly clueless or have a high degree of contempt for her audience, figuring that no one will bother to check.

The other hilarious charge that Heidi makes is that Barrett is in it for “self-enrichment,” a risible charge that smacks of Bolen-level delusion, particularly in light of Dr. Barrett’s disclaimer:

Many people wonder whether Quackwatch is a “front” for the American Medical Association, the pharmaceutical industry, the “medical establishment,” or whomever else they might not like. Nearly every week I get e-mails accusing me of this–and worse. Quite frankly, the idea is preposterous.

  • I have no financial tie to any commercial or industrial organization.
  • My viewpoints are not for hire. Even if they were, none of my imaginary funders would actually have a reason to hire me.
  • Standard medicine and “alternative medicine” do not actually compete for patient dollars. Well-designed studies have shown that most “alternative” methods are used in addition to–rather than instead of–standard methods.
  • The total cost of operating our many Web sites is approximately $7,000 per year. If donations fall below what is needed, the rest comes out of my pocket.

Heidi builds her entire case on one ruling which, from my reading of the ruling, suggests that Barrett and the NCAHF had been ill-advised to bring the suit. For example, in one part, Heidi points out that neither Stephen Barrett nor Wally Sampson offered evidence that they were qualified as expert witnesses in the case, which was against a supplier of homeopathic remedies. Yet the reason was not so much because Barrett and Sampson didn’t know what they were talking about but rather because of the way the court operates. If you follow the link from Heidi’s post to the source of the ruling, you’ll find this revealing passage:

He [Sampson] admitted to having had no experience with or training in homeopathic medicine or drugs. He was unfamiliar with any professional organizations related to homeopathy, including the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia Convention of the United States, which group is responsible for designation and de-designation of such drugs as “official” drugs recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He thus does not have expertise as to the drug products that are the sole products at issue in this case. While he stated that he teaches a university course on “alternative medicine,” Dr. Sampson admitted that the course does not instruct on how such methods may be practiced, but rather is a course designed to highlight the criticisms of such alternative practices. Therefore, the Court finds that Dr. Sampson has relatively thin credentials to opine on the general questions of the proper standards for clinical or scientific research or other methods of obtaining valid evidence about the efficacy of drugs. The Court further finds that Dr. Sampson lacks experience in the field of homeopathic drugs, which renders his testimony of little or no weight in this case.

In other words, to the court, you basically have to be a homeopath to be able to testify in court about homeopathy. Talk about a judge having his cranium firmly lodged in his posterior! It does not take a homeopath to recognize homeopathy for the utter nonsense, the sympathetic magic, the quackery that it is. All it takes is a very basic knowledge of physics and chemistry and, most important of all, actually knowing what homeopathy really is. It’s not just herbal medicine, as so many people think it is. It takes a truly deluded form of magical thinking to believe that like cures like in the way homeopaths say it does and that diluting a remedy to the point where it is tens of orders of magnitude beyond Avagadro’s number, to the point where not a single molecule of the original compound is likely to be left many tens of times over. It does, however, demonstrate just what the problem of licensing homeopathy would be, if it were licensed in many more states. Giving it legal status means that the only valid experts are true believers; i.e., homeopaths.

Of course, no rant against Barrett would be complete without adding a good conspiracy theory, and our homeopath certainly doesn’t disappoint there, either. She weaves a conspiracy in which she lumps any group she doesn’t like, any group that is dedicated to criticizing quackery into an amorphous group of interrelated (and, of course, pharma funded) “Quackbusters.” Healthwatch in the U.K.? Quackbusters. The NCAHF? Quackbusters? Me? Quackbusters, of course. I’ve seen the quacks list me among people like Dr. Barrett and Peter Bowditch as though being among them is a bad thing.

Yes, Heidi is one misguided and ignorant soul, and her arguments lay down enough napalm of burning stupid to destroy many villages, or at least fry a whole lot of neurons in anyone with a modicum of scientific knowledge and intelligence. Still, she can’t help herself, and I know what the best revenge would be. It would be two-fold. First, please do as I asked when I first wrote about this case and donate to Quackwatch to support Steve Barrett’s legal defense against the psuedoscientists at Doctors Data. It’ll drive the quacks crazy if Barrett has the resources to launch a strong legal defense, not to mention the moral support from a large number of people that such donations would indicate. Second, head on over to Heidi’s place and politely let her know how execrable and nonsensical her arguments are.

After all, if Heidi’s going to label me as being “in on the conspiracy” (and you know she will after this post goes live and she becomes aware of it), at the very least I ought to see if she can take the heat for what she wrote or whether she’ll do what I think she’ll do and what nearly all cranks do when faced with facts: Start censoring criticism.

Comments

  1. #1 Calli Arcale
    July 27, 2010

    Heidi also makes another nonsensical claim that is easily refuted simply by a visit to Quackwatch. Apparently she’s upset that Quackwatch has multiple subsidiary websites, all with the same layout. Of course, one wonders what Heidi expects a bunch of websites that are all subsidiaries of one large site to look like. Does she expect that they’ll all have different layouts?

    Heidi has yet to plumb the depths of real evil, then. I am, of course, speaking of the dreaded Cheezburger Network.

    It will be interesting indeed to see how she responds to criticism, but honestly, even if she does allow contrary views to be posted, she doesn’t appear to be the sort of person who would be swayed by facts. Facts are things that support her preconceptions. Things which don’t, no matter how well documented, are merely evidence of the conspiracy. It is the mindset of the conspiracy theorist.

    I find it particularly sad how people like her see the DD lawsuit as some sort of blow against Barrett. While it could prove brutally costly (that’s generally the point of SLAPP lawsuits), the fact that DD has to resort to it shows that they not only lack a better defense but are aware that they lack a better defense. They know Barrett is right, and they know that his work could reveal their fraud; that’s the only reason they attack him. If they were right, they would have nothing to fear, but since they are not actually right, they know their entire business model is at risk if he is allowed to continue speaking. That they sue him is merely evidence that enough people read Quackwatch for it to be influential.

  2. #2 MI Dawn
    July 27, 2010

    @Calli Arcale: OOOOHHHH! I can haz cheezburger? My kids look at more of the network than I do, but I have gone to some of the sister sites.

    Actually, I was working on some coding today and noticed that the beginning of 2 of the commands I am using is “NOM” (more letters after that, but the view made me laugh and my coworkers now KNOW I am insane…)

    Are we sure that Heidi isn’t just a sockpuppet for Bolen, since he has been known to do those things?

  3. #3 'Denice Walter
    July 27, 2010

    Ms. Stevenson refers to Dr. Barrett as a “quackbuster”; Null has frequently ranted about “quackbusters”( never mentioning the names of the doctor or his website). I wonder why that is ( I ask rhetorically)? If you google that term you’ll get…. Tim Bolen ( and a Daffy Duck cartoon) as top hits and a little further down, “Confessions of a Quackbuster” (non-woo). It appears that this might be an attempt to keep the devotees from reading what Barrett *actually* writes: instructing them how to avoid the many ploys designed to fleece them, how advertisements have evolved towards the perfect pitch, how science is bastardized, the history of woo, how EBM is demonized, as well as his personal account of lawsuits directed against him.( As a side note: both Orac and his “friend” recieve the dubious honor of being named “experts” (a/k/a shills) at Whale.to)

  4. #4 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 27, 2010

    @MI Dawn:

    You and I had the same suspicion. Given Bolen’s history of prevarication and sockpuppetry, the first thing I thought of when I read that Heidi was taking Bolen as a source was “if there actually is a Heidi…”

  5. #5 MI Dawn
    July 27, 2010

    @Antaeus Feldspar: The only thing that holds me back from believing it IS Bolen, (and I don’t recall enough of Bolen to know nor do I really want to do so…) is that I don’t recall Bolen ever used a woman’s name to sockpuppet with. From some of his writing that I DO recall, he holds women rather in contempt, so I don’t think he would use a woman’s name. However, if he wants people to think “Heidi” is stupid, or worthy of scorn, maybe he would.

  6. #6 DrWonderful
    July 27, 2010

    Hmmm…she sure does miss the point. Everyone knows you are not part of an organization that fronts for Big Medicine or Big Pharma. No way. They would ultimately be harmed by you and your partners program just the like the alternative docs. What you’re really fronting for is the new atheist movement and no doubt money is not a primary motivation. A new world order without pseudoscience and religion is your ultimate goal…is it not? That’s fine, whatever. You raise a lot of valid points and probably will open a lot of eyes over time but why always hide the true agenda? Why not just be up front and honest?

  7. #7 MI Dawn
    July 27, 2010

    @DrWonderful: Orac, an atheist? Sorry, you made a wrong turn in Albuquerque. PZ’s blog is Pharyngula, not Insolence.

    Orac’s agenda is not hidden. He believes in science-based medical care and not quackery. His RELIGIOUS beliefs are not involved in that.

  8. #8 knotfreak
    July 27, 2010

    Excuse my ignorance, but does anyone except the religiously committed even read this woman?

    I got my regular newsletter from QuackWatch and found out about the latest nuisance lawsuit against Dr. Barrett, so I sent a donation. Please do the same if you really want to help stop Heide and her ilk.

  9. #9 Jarred C
    July 27, 2010

    I have a friend who works for the Sheriff’s Dept as an effective “CSI” (this county does not have an official CSI title). She’s worked at this position for about 7 years. According to her department (and the Sheriff himself), she’s an expert on blood splatter analysis. However, the court does not consider her an expert, simply because she does not hold a certification from any sort of college on blood spatter. The court requires the certification along with the years of experience along with the recommendations from her department and the Sheriff.

    Courts can have some interesting requirements, sometimes.

  10. #10 Breton
    July 27, 2010

    Anyone find it odd that the article is supposedly about a lawsuit brought against Dr Barrett but that the writer fails to even mention the merits of the case? No me neither.
    Also this line ‘The last time Barrett was sued for libel, he relied on his homeowners insurance to defend him’ followed later by insinuations of Big Pharma funding? Does Not Compute.
    Could be an example of homeopathic editorial techniques – take a topic and dilute it until its just white noise and nothing else.

  11. #11 Tezcatlipoca
    July 27, 2010

    hmmm,

    all SciBloggers are new atheists? Who would have thunk it? Rosenau and others must be aghast with the realization of what their agenda actually is.

    /headscratching

    Quackwatch is and remains my number 1 source when dealing with medical woo. I compliment those treatments with regular doses of Rspectful Insolence. Time to head over and send in my co-pay.

  12. #12 FreeSpeaker
    July 27, 2010

    If Heidi is not a sockpuppet of Bolen, then she is a poor cut-and-paste job of Bolen. This suit is so egregious and readily defendable that there could be a myriad of defenses to be interposed by Dr. Barrett. For one thing, DDI’s attorneys never specified the statements that they are whining about.

    As for Dr. Barrett’s board status. I believe that he passed the psychiatry portion of the board, but did not pass the neurology portion. Back when he took the boards, being “Board Eligible” was more than sufficient to practice any specialty, and it was rarely questioned.

  13. #13 dalek
    July 27, 2010

    DrWonderful = augustine

    They have the same talking points on nearly everything.

  14. #14 FlyingSpud
    July 27, 2010

    @ 9 / Jarred C:

    In all fairness, blood spatter is not widely accepted in a medico-legal context despite what CSI (and their ilk) might suggest.

    That being said, courts can have some interesting requirements…

  15. #15 Cory
    July 27, 2010

    @ Calli: “It will be interesting indeed to see how she responds to criticism, but honestly, even if she does allow contrary views to be posted, she doesn’t appear to be the sort of person who would be swayed by facts.”

    I tried posting two comments on her blog but, surprise surprise, both were swiftly deleted. I see that one commenter who managed to stay afloat was accused of intimidation tactics for questioning the veracity of Bolen.

  16. #16 augustine
    July 27, 2010

    Dawn the apologist: “Orac’s agenda is not hidden. He believes in science-based medical care and not quackery. His RELIGIOUS beliefs are not involved in that.”

    He believes in ideology based medical care which involves values and ethics. Medicine is not a hard science nor will it ever be. To slap a label like “science-based” on it is nothing more than window dressing for an ideological agenda.

    “Evidence-based medicine” (SBMers version) as it is practiced kills one hundred thousand people every year in the U.S. And that’s only the mistakes. Practicing the way it’s taught kills countless more. Has for decades.

    With that said. Orac’s master IS an atheist. Unless he insanely holds on to a dichotomy.

  17. #17 MikeMa
    July 27, 2010

    augie the fool: “He believes in ideology based medical care which involves values and ethics.”

    Ideology – I don’t think you know how to use that word correctly, but don’t ever let that stop you.

  18. #18 augustine
    July 27, 2010

    ideology
    n., pl., -gies.

    1. The body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture.
    2. A set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.

    Any comprehensive and mutually consistent set of ideas by which a social group makes sense of the world may be referred to as an ideology. Catholicism, Islam, Liberalism, and Marxism are examples. An ideology needs to provide some explanation of how things have come to be as they are, some indication of where they are heading (to provide a guide to action), criteria for distinguishing truth from falsehood and valid arguments from invalid, and some overriding belief, whether in God, Providence, or History, to which adherents may make a final appeal when challenged.

  19. #19 Dangerous Bacon
    July 27, 2010

    Heidi says: “(Barrett) has done enormous harm to anyone who advocates or practices non-mainstream medicine.”

    Translation: “Barrett has made a lot of quacks nervous and angry.”

    All you have to do is visit the “Cheers and Jeers” section on the Quackwatch site to get a flavor of rabid anti-Barrettry. The sick and twisted rants there are incredible, coming from people who evidently view themselves as “healers”.

  20. #20 Dedj
    July 27, 2010

    Any medical or health care involves values and ethics, by condition of registration and codes of practice.

  21. #21 Kristen
    July 27, 2010

    Truly, it’s napalm-grade, neuron-apoptosing stupid

    I love all Orac’s descriptions of stupid, but this one has to be the best. Neurons preferring suicide over contemplating this particular grade of stupid is probably just about accurate.

    I hope Dr. Barret is handling this well.

    IANAL, but I would hope that this lawsuit would be dismissed when the court discovers that everything in the disputed articles is true. I don’t think it is wise of Doctor’s Data to risk having their practices brought to light in such a public way.

    It is refreshing to hear Augustine admit that quack medicine doesn’t have “values and ethics”. After all, ethics are nothing more than ideology, right?

  22. #22 Dedj
    July 27, 2010

    “He believes in ideology based medical care which involves values and ethics”

    Ideology based medical care is a bit of a redundant modifier.

    EBM or EBP, would be an ideology, as would PBC. Client centred care is also an ideology.

    It’s equivilant to saying that someone belives in a religious religion, or believes in educating education.

    The claim augie is incompentantly trying to make would be personal belief motivated medical care, for which he/she clearly has no supporting evidence, despite being given multiple chances to produce anything. Anything at all.

  23. #23 kittywhumpus
    July 27, 2010

    I went, I skimmed, I surfed around, I now want to scream.

    The same writer has a post all about the RSV vaccine, saying that it’s just another excuse for vaccine makers to make a bunch of money off a “mild disease” (like the “so-called H1N1 pandemic”).

    Thankfully, this shot was available to my preemie during his first winter, as RSV could easily have been a severe illness for him.

    Unfortunately, there’s nothing to be said to such a person.

  24. #24 augustine
    July 27, 2010

    Kristen the hypocrit: “It is refreshing to hear Augustine admit that quack medicine doesn’t have “values and ethics”. After all, ethics are nothing more than ideology, right?”

    Please tell me the logic of how you came to that conclusion without using ANY logical fallacies.

  25. #25 augustine
    July 27, 2010

    Kitty: “Thankfully, this shot was available to my preemie during his first winter, as RSV could easily have been a severe illness for him.

    Unfortunately, there’s nothing to be said to such a person.”
    ——————————————————-

    Search your feelings for the answer Kitty because this is not science. You can only BELIEVE your preemie needed a vaccine. You were probably TOLD your preemie needed a vaccine.

    Positive pragmatism. Preemie got vaccine. Preemie didn’t get RSV. Vaccine must have worked and saved my baby. Belief not science.

    I had a preemie also. 3 lbs. No RSV vaccine. No RSV. There was even a RSV “scare” on the NICU floor we were on.

  26. #26 augustine
    July 27, 2010

    Dr. Barrett responds: I took the certifying exam in 1964 when about 1/3 of psychiatrists were board-certified. The exam had two halves, psychiatry and neurology. I passed the psychiatric part but failed neurology because it included topics unrelated to either my training or my interests. Unlike most residencies, my psychiatric training program had no neurologic component. Since there was no reason to believe that certifcation was necessary, I decided not to re-take the exam.

  27. #27 augustine
    July 27, 2010

    SBM CREED: The crap we say today as truth will be a lie tomorrow. But that’s ok because our ideology is self correcting. So we are ALWAYS right TODAY.

  28. #28 TXjak
    July 27, 2010

    Apparently Heidi is not welcoming non-friendly comments. Mine was deleted, but maybe it was because I linked to this post.

  29. #29 Matthew Cline
    July 27, 2010

    I thought DrWonderful was being humorous, not serious.

    @Breton:

    Anyone find it odd that the article is supposedly about a lawsuit brought against Dr Barrett but that the writer fails to even mention the merits of the case? No me neither.

    Orac has already commented on the merits of the case (or the lack thereof) here. He doesn’t need to repeat it every time he writes about something related to the case.

  30. #30 Calli Arcale
    July 27, 2010

    Matthew — I think he was referring to the article by Heidi Stevenson, which doesn’t discuss the merits of the case at all but simply launches into a tirade.

  31. #31 Anne
    July 27, 2010

    Heidi deleted my comment, too, where I simply pointed out that her information about when Dr. Barrett’s response to DDI’s complaint is due, as well as her information about the status of his license, is verifiably false.

    If anyone is interested, Dr. Barrett’s response is due on August 30, 2010. He hasn’t defaulted in responding. I put a copy of the court’s docket sheet up here:
    http://tinyurl.com/DDIDocket

  32. #32 Joseph
    July 27, 2010

    Why don’t woo-friendly bloggers do basic things like double-check the accuracy of your information, etc.? I guess they don’t give a rat’s ass about their credibility and reputation outside their echo-chamber.

  33. #33 Lawrence
    July 27, 2010

    Because that would require them to have a rational thought, which the vast majority of them are utterly incapable of doing.

  34. #34 augustine
    July 27, 2010

    http://www.kospublishing.com/html/quack_busters.html

    “To test Quackwatch’s insistence that it is based on public support, I applied to become a member in 1999. First I was told that the annual membership fee was US $25,000. I said, “That’s fine, send me the membership application form.” Was I calling on behalf of a corporation? No, I informed the person, who then said, “We prefer corporate members.”

    “The funding sources of their organizations were readily available on the Internet until recently; in the early ‘90’s he stopped disclosing such information. The last annual report to list donors was published 1991 where we find all our toxic friends: Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland (both of genetic engineering fame), the Nutrasweet Company (neurotoxic aspartame etc.), Union Carbide (as in Bopal disaster), the producers of pesticides, fertilizers, and fluoride Dow Chemical, Dupont, Cargill etc., the biochemical warfare and pharmaceutical producers Eli Lilly, the Uniroyal Chemical Company, all the big petroleum and pharmaceutical companies, and various refined sugar producers and refined food producing giants. Two thirds of the world’s economy is controlled by this list of North American Big Business. With friends like that, who needs to worry about telling the most fantastical lies in public?”
    ———————————————————-

    Wow, And you SBMers get your panties in a wod because Pepsi wants to write some science articles via THEIR scientists.

  35. #35 Matthew Cline
    July 27, 2010

    Matthew — I think he was referring to the article by Heidi Stevenson, which doesn’t discuss the merits of the case at all but simply launches into a tirade.

    Oops. Sorry, Breton.

  36. #36 David N. Brown
    July 27, 2010

    Bolen has showed up to make vacuous threats against us:
    Did this David Brown, who appears to be about sixteen years old, ever give you an indication where he might have parked his “nine pages?” I will be glad to pass his “published” statements on to Doctor’s Data’s legal team so that they can “discuss” his statements in a more structured environment – like a Summons after a “Second Amended Complaint…” I think they should ALL be entitled to make their claim for free speech in a warm, friendly courtroom environment. Of course they will have to mortgage the farm, so to speak, but heh, there is a price for free speech.

    As laughable as Bolen’s “threats” are, I think they deserve attention as attempts (however poor) to interfere in the proceedings by DDI. To that end, I have written to the “Gaia Health” administrator to call on them to take this post down.

  37. #37 Windyday
    July 27, 2010

    It is interesting that Heidi brings up credentials. It appears she has a association with the British Institute of Homeopathy, which seems for the most part to be a home study institution.

  38. #38 Phoenix Woman
    July 27, 2010

    Heidi deleted my comment, too, where I simply pointed out that her information about when Dr. Barrett’s response to DDI’s complaint is due, as well as her information about the status of his license, is verifiably false.

    Could all of you who try to comment at that place make sure that you get a screen shot of your comment before she deletes it? If Orac wants to do a post showing just how Heidi handles fact-based critiques, this would make useful fodder.

  39. #39 Pareidolius
    July 28, 2010

    Dear Dr. August Wonderstine,

    Why is it that none, none of our comments over in Wooville have been posted? Not the polite comments. Not the thoughtful comments. Not even the snarky comments. None of ‘em seemed to make it. Yet our critics can post here freely.
    From your posts, you seem to me a conspiracy-minded, delusional, magical-thinking idiot, but then again, so was I before I woke up to reality. There’s hope for you yet.

  40. #40 DLC
    July 28, 2010

    and here’s another person who lives in wonderland, where up is down, science is religion and scammers sell the truth.

    Next I suppose you’ll be telling me that homeopathy is not just good for relieving your thirst.

  41. #41 Breton
    July 28, 2010

    @matthew cline
    No problem. Obviously I just need to refine my ‘commenting clarity’ for future posts.

  42. #42 Breton
    July 28, 2010

    I wonder if our guest commenter augustine is the same Augustine from this letter? http://www.quackwatch.org/14Legal/dd_suit.html
    Not trying to ‘out’ anyone here – just curious. If this oversteps somehow please delete this comment.

  43. #43 colmcq
    July 28, 2010

    test

  44. #44 has
    July 28, 2010

    @34: And we all should accept Ms. Ferrie’s word, why exactly?

    From http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/Nonrecorg/clayton.html:

    In January 2009, Clayton published what it called a “rebuttal” to this article that contained misinformation about me collected from the Internet [11]. Most of the misinformation was part of a libel campaign that has targeted me for several years [12]. One paragraph illustrated the extraordinary degree of baloney that my critics have concocted in their attempt to damage my credibility:

    In 2002, health writer Helke Ferrie decided to test Quackwatch’s insistence that it relies on public support, according to the Quackwatch representative with whom she spoke. According to Ferrie, when she attempted to apply for membership she was told the annual fee was $25,000. When Ferrie said, “That’s fine, send me the membership application,” the voice on the other end asked if she was calling on behalf of a corporation. When Ferrie indicated that she was not calling for a corporation, the Quackwatch representative said, “We prefer corporate members.”

    This passage appeared in an article in Vitality magazine in 2002 [13] and is a complete fabrication. I have never said that Quackwatch relied on public support—or any support—because it doesn’t. As noted on my Web site, donations are welcome, but if they don’t cover the expenses of operating my Web sites, I pay the rest out of my pocket [14]. Ferrie’s claim that she spoke with a “Quackwatch representative” is rather odd because nobody but me “represents” Quackwatch and she never spoke with me. Her story about applying for membership is even stranger because Quackwatch has not been a membership organization since the mid-1970s, and when it was, membership was free.

    I would also note that KOS Publishing, of which Ms. Ferrie is sole owner and director, produces exactly the sort of material that QW is famous for laying into, so she can hardly be considered a neutral party. Do you have any independent evidence that backs up Ms. Ferrie’s claim (e.g. by showing QW was a membership organization in 1999)? Or are we just supposed to accept her story at face value?

  45. #45 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 28, 2010

    “To test Quackwatch’s insistence that it is based on public support, I applied to become a member in 1999. First I was told that the annual membership fee was US $25,000. I said, “That’s fine, send me the membership application form.” Was I calling on behalf of a corporation? No, I informed the person, who then said, “We prefer corporate members.”

    “The funding sources of their organizations were readily available on the Internet until recently; in the early ‘90’s he stopped disclosing such information. The last annual report to list donors was published 1991 where we find all our toxic friends: Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland (both of genetic engineering fame), the Nutrasweet Company (neurotoxic aspartame etc.), Union Carbide (as in Bopal disaster), the producers of pesticides, fertilizers, and fluoride Dow Chemical, Dupont, Cargill etc., the biochemical warfare and pharmaceutical producers Eli Lilly, the Uniroyal Chemical Company, all the big petroleum and pharmaceutical companies, and various refined sugar producers and refined food producing giants. Two thirds of the world’s economy is controlled by this list of North American Big Business. With friends like that, who needs to worry about telling the most fantastical lies in public?”
    ———————————————————-

    Wow, And you SBMers get your panties in a wod because Pepsi wants to write some science articles via THEIR scientists.

    sigh. I wish this Goofus would produce more interesting fallacies. This one is barely even a fallacy, it’s mere conflation. “All involvement with corporations is the same; therefore SBMers who opposed what Pepsi tried to do with ScienceBlogs are morally inconsistent if they don’t oppose Quackwatch’s sponsorship by corporations!”

    Except that the key premise of that argument is junk, because all involvement with corporations is not the same. There is nothing unethical or even unseemly about corporations supporting an endeavor in the public interest, and corporations typically donate to dozens if not hundreds of such causes. I would wager that many of the same corporations cited in the quote gave money to PBS in that same year; does that mean that PBS is automatically evil?

    No one is suggesting that such corporations are acting out of purely selfless motives when they make such donations. They reap benefits in the form of good publicity. What would be wrong is if any of those corporations attempted to exert influence over the content of the group’s output in exchange for their funding. This latter is what Pepsi did: they weren’t just going to exert influence over the content, they were going to be providing content to go out under the imprimatur of ScienceBlogs, trading on the reputation built up for SB by its existing bloggers.

    But despite their insinuations and allegations, neither Goofus nor his cronies have even attempted to demonstrate any influence on Quackwatch’s content by any sponsor, corporate or otherwise. (I suspect that this is why the conspiracy theorist who wrote the text cited by Goofus was told that Quackwatch “prefers corporate members”; corporations at least understand the principle that sponsorship must not translate to editorial interference! Does anyone doubt that if a Gary Adams or a Joe Mercola donated as much as a thousand dollars to Quackwatch they’d immediately be sending orders to lay off whatever woo supplements they were selling that week??)

  46. #46 Aj
    July 28, 2010

    #42,

    You’re certainly not the first to speculate on the exact identities of certain august personages;
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/06/more_legal_thuggery.php

  47. #47 Lawrence
    July 28, 2010

    Supposedly, little augie said he/she would admit to making a mistake (when he/she made one) – by the looks of it, the information presented is patently false – so how about it?

  48. #48 Rene Najera
    July 28, 2010

    Something… Something… Something… Babyface.

    There, Augustine, deconstruct THAT. Boyah!

  49. #49 Brian Deer
    July 28, 2010

    By coincidence, I just stumbled on a book today that Stephen Barrett put together on quacks 30 years ago. It’s a very compelling piece of work, with lots of contributors giving very high quality material.

    Hopefully he’s lost some of the hair in the dust-jacket picture, though. It makes him look like the leading guest star on a Columbo episode.

  50. #50 Antares
    July 28, 2010

    It seems that Heidi Stevenson’s has received a number of rather rude comments. Ridiculous as her position is (she doesn’t even want to discuss the whole DDI scam), we should not make it that easy for her to dismiss criticism.

  51. #51 Scott
    July 28, 2010

    Quoth Heidi:

    I have deleted a large number of pointless and offensive posts. Here are some samples, quote fully and literally:

    Quoth me:

    Be honest, Heidi. You’ve also deleted a large number of reasonable, respectful posts that explained why you’re dead wrong. Like I expect you to do with this one.

    Any bets on how long it’ll stay up?

  52. #52 DrHealth
    July 28, 2010

    Barrett is a lying odious faruncle on the arse of medicine.
    As a proclaimed sceptic, like the rest of you arseholes, he takes the belief position rather than that of due diligence.
    Perhaps had he been diligent he wouldn’t find himself again in fron of the courts….

  53. #53 Scott
    July 28, 2010

    Got any, you know, actual *evidence* that anything he said was the least bit inaccurate?

  54. #54 Antares
    July 28, 2010

    DrHealth, true to form, with the insults spewing like he was a rabid dog.

    Well, when you don’t have any arguments…

  55. #55 Composer99
    July 28, 2010

    ugh troll: Quoting words from a dictionary, Wiktionary, or whatever source does not demonstrate that you understand their meaning or use. It only demonstrates that you can look them up.

    Your ignorance, dishonesty, and inability to directly respond to direct requests for evidence to support your positions have been on display for weeks.

    Once again: walk the walk if you are going to talk the talk. Otherwise you are just a useless blight on this blog (and others, no doubt).

  56. #56 DrHealth
    July 28, 2010

    Got any evidence that Barrett is accurate? You are a bunch of rabid naysaying arseholes.

    Got any evdience that Barrett has ever won a legal action as complainant or defendant?

  57. #57 Igor
    July 28, 2010

    I posted a comment critical of her legal analysis and it was deleted as of this morning. I replied one more time, although clearly she is not interested in scientific or legal merits of anything conflicting with her views.

    —————-
    “A motion of dismissal carries serious risks. Such motions are not generally looked upon kindly by the courts, as they tend to result in delays of proceedings. That response is generally considered to be inferior to filing an answer with an affirmative defense, because it allows the defendant to modify the pleading – effectively giving extra space for the plaintiff to maneuver.”

    I wonder why my post was deleted? Why are those who cry censorship so quick to censor anything damaging to their point of view? Once again, the above is incorrect, pre-answer motions to dismiss (for failure to state sufficient facts to make prima facie case in this instance) are widely used in defamation actions against a media defendant due to their high success rate. A meritorious motion to dismiss is generally favored by the courts as it promotes judicial economy.

    ——————————————————

  58. #58 Scott
    July 28, 2010

    Got any evidence that Barrett is accurate? You are a bunch of rabid naysaying arseholes.

    Got any evdience that Barrett has ever won a legal action as complainant or defendant?

    Both addressed in detail at Quackwatch itself. He’s got all the citations to the relevant science for the former, and the history for the latter.

  59. #59 Kristen
    July 28, 2010

    Augustine quotes Dawn and replies as follows:

    Dawn the apologist:

    Orac’s agenda is not hidden. He believes in science-based medical care and not quackery. His RELIGIOUS beliefs are not involved in that.

    He believes in ideology based medical care which involves values and ethics…To slap a label like “science-based” on it is nothing more than window dressing for an ideological agenda.

    Perhaps I was reading too much into what Augustine said. When speaking disparagingly of medical care he mentions values and ethics as part of an ideology. Seemingly (to me) to mean in contrast to quack medicine.

    If I was incorrect I apologize, but my interpretation was made in honesty, no intention to mislead. Augustine was not clear and I am still not quite sure what point he was trying to make mentioning ethics and values as part of an ideology.

    Now Augustine, please enlighten me as to how this makes me a hypocrite.

  60. #60 FreeSpeaker
    July 28, 2010

    @56 Dear Dr. Health: Mercola paid Barrett to settle a suit. Carlos Negrete is dealing with an abuse of prosecution suit initiated by Barrett, and he is not doing well.

  61. #61 DrWonderful
    July 28, 2010

    I am in no way associated with Augustine, although he is one of my favorite saints. Hey, where the hell is Dangerous Bacon?

  62. #62 mikerattlesnake
    July 28, 2010

    Augustine, you have yet to provide us with an alternative system that fares better than evidence based medicine. Share your ideas instead of just criticizing. Put up or shut up.

  63. #63 Bronze Dog
    July 28, 2010

    Augustine, you have yet to provide us with an alternative system that fares better than evidence based medicine. Share your ideas instead of just criticizing. Put up or shut up.

    We already know augie will pass on that. Just like any other cookie-cutter woo, he only exists to tear things down, not to do anything constructive.

  64. #64 Travis
    July 28, 2010

    mikerattlesnake and Bronze Dog,
    Much like creationists, Augustine and other alt-med people seem to think if something is not perfect, if they can find problems or places where there are unknowns, you can simply say anything else is true. So the goal is to tear things down rather than figure out anything new or improve it.

  65. #65 mikerattlesnake
    July 28, 2010

    @63+64

    Oh, I know. I just want to make sure it gets said every time he rears his head over here. I want to make it clear to anyone reading that he has no substantive ideas and that he wants to lower the standard of acceptable evidence with no attempt to justify that this would improve the state of modern medicine.

  66. #66 David N. Brown
    July 28, 2010

    I’m 95% certain Dr. Health is another Bolen pseudonym… And for crying out loud, this is language I prefer to avoid in violent science fiction.

    At Heidi’s site, Bolen quickly went from threats to denigration and insults. Several of HIS comments have actually been deleted.

  67. #67 Igor
    July 28, 2010

    DrHealth @ Heidi’s:
    “Well done! It’s hard to imagine this typre evil….Barrett is liklely reposnible for the deaths of millions world wide. He pathologically interferes with ones right to freedom and choice by creating doubt and suspicion when there is grounds for none. His is aided and abeited by the likes of equally malevolently determined criminal-minded sub-species like Orac, Terry Polevoy, Robert Baratz and Peter Bowditch.

    By the way, I used to work with Orac and the best thing I can about him is that he is an arsehole…”

    Friend of yous Orac. I’m sure if you worked with that individual he would be very memorable, as demented conclusions such as above are surely a sign of some mental illness: to wit, “liklely reposnible for the deaths of millions world wide”.

  68. #68 David N. Brown
    July 28, 2010

    New comment I posted:
    The section “Barrett’s own admission of his actions” appears to be a fabrication by (or distributed through) Tim Bolen. The only link provided by Bolen to a document in the alleged case (http://www.quackpotwatch.org/opinionpieces/DEFENDANTS%20FACTUM.htm) clearly describes a very different proceedings than Bolen’s “report”. In particular, the document identifies Barrett and Robert Baratz as PLAINTIFFS, whereas Bolen indicates they were defendants. The document further records that there was a motion to dismiss by the defendants, which if successful (and if Canadian law works like the US) would have headed off deposition or discovery. In short, Bolen’s claims about “admissions” by Barrett cannot readily be substantiated even to the extent of confirming that the TRIAL actually happened. This section of your piece should be amended or excised.

  69. #69 a-non
    July 28, 2010

    Ah, nothing like a Stephen Barrett post to bring out the whackjobs.

    And nice FAIL, augie. Might want to actually verify your crap before you post it.

  70. Hrm, that Dr. Health guy visited my blog the other day, claiming the exact same “He’s never won anything! BWUAHA!” drivel. Someone suggested it might be Tim Bolen; but the IP was coming from Canada, near an address where a business called “Doctor Health,” actually exists!

  71. #71 augustine
    July 29, 2010

    Mike the staff and the snake: “Augustine, you have yet to provide us with an alternative system that fares better than evidence based medicine. Share your ideas instead of just criticizing. Put up or shut up.”
    ————————————————-
    Less medicine is evidenced based medicine.

    Unfortunately the more medicine is better defenders has been misleading as our health statistics have shown.

    We now have the most medicalized/medicaticated society in the history of the world. We rank 37th in overall health among the medicated societies. And we (u.s) take the most.

  72. #72 David N. Brown
    July 29, 2010

    @69:
    Is that the business of a Walter Edwards? I ran across him, except, his site indicates an Oregon address. Except, said address is a PO box. Given the Canadian IP, my guess is that Dr. Health is the same as an individual calling himself “Trueman Tuck”. He has a bunch of sites, and is promoting Bolen on all of them.

    I seriously think there should be a systematic effor to get rid of Bolen once and for all. Some ideas:
    1. Have the IRS seize his safe deposit box and all contents thereof.
    2. Have a judge order Doctor’s Data to file an injunction ordering Bolen to stop “reporting” on their case, with the alternative being the dismissal of their case for Bolen’s misconduct.
    3. Take Bolen up on what he is boasting could happen to Barret, and lock him up as insane.

  73. #73 Otto
    July 29, 2010

    I’ve got five bucks that say Heidi is really Karen Zerby.

  74. #74 T. Bruce McNeely
    July 29, 2010

    And nice FAIL, augie. Might want to actually verify your crap before you post it.

    Well, Augie did assure us that he would correct any mistakes of his that we pointed out.

    So, he’s gonna do that! Right away! Any minute now!

    You’ll see!

    Sometime soon. Real soon.

    Right?

  75. #75 MI Dawn
    July 29, 2010

    @David N Brown and jacksonskepticalsociety: Canadian IP address, huh? Wonder if DrHealth is William P O’ Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group (one of Peter Bowditch’s favorites…the Gutless Anonymous Liar). Curious how all the cranks know one another.

  76. #76 Mojo
    July 29, 2010

    SBM CREED: The crap we say today as truth will be a lie tomorrow. But that’s ok because our ideology is self correcting. So we are ALWAYS right TODAY.

    Now that strawman really is a piece of high grade stupid. Especially when considered in conjunction with CAM’s routine boasts that its therapies have been in use for hundreds (or even thousands) of years, and never need any change.

    Do you really think a system that doesn’t correct itself is more likely to be right than one that does?

  77. #77 Dangerous Bacon
    July 29, 2010

    “Do you really think a system that doesn’t correct itself is more likely to be right than one that does?”

    You’ve got a problem with “generally wrong, but never in doubt since 1600″?

  78. #78 mikerattlesnake
    July 29, 2010

    @augie
    “Less medicine is evidenced based medicine.”

    This isn’t really consistent with your positions on this site though, and with a few caveats it’s a sentiment most of us would agree with. I think the focus on profit in medicine leads to unnecessary prescription of drugs (often at the patients request, often because of rampant over-advertising of drugs) and the use of medicine when conditions are self-limiting or imagined. The alt med industry (which you defend), is another symptom of this problem (not a solution to it) with people seeking out a doctor (or a “doctor”) who will give them pills or some other treatment when what they need is simply nothing. Alt med isn’t “less medicine” it’s just more medicine that doesn’t work.

    This country needs universal health care so that we can follow the evidence without it being tarnished by profit (as much). That doesn’t mean that rejecting treatments and interventions just because you don’t like medicine. One STILL has to follow the evidence. If we find that results are questionable as to the effect of anti-depressents for mild to moderate depression, for example, doctors need to be more cautious when prescribing them. This is a reasonable, evidence-based conclusion.

    You, on the other hand, have yet to show good evidence for rejecting vaccination or any of the other things you have railed against. You snipe, cherry-pick, and distort to undermine methodology that works without providing evidence for a better system. So while your position, as stated, is a defensible one, you are a crank who has no idea what you’re talking about.

  79. #79 mikerattlesnake
    July 29, 2010

    To put it more succinctly; what is your strategy for reducing the amount of medicine used without increasing disease and death? What are your standards?

  80. #80 David N. Brown
    July 29, 2010

    Comments on the post are now closed, with borderline-paranoid griping about hostile comments. I got a reply to an email from site admin. It included a very amusing statement that my report that Bolen makes “unsubstantiated” claims was “unsupported”. So, did they never bother to read what Bolen has written?

  81. #81 augustine
    July 30, 2010

    Brucy: “Well, Augie did assure us that he would correct any mistakes of his that we pointed out.”

    He said/she said. Who’s right?

  82. #82 Kermit
    July 30, 2010

    Augustine’s assertion that medicine isn’t evidence based because it has errors or misdiagnoses sounds like someone claiming that since a meteorologist announcing an 80% chance of rain is “wrong” 20% of the time, meteorology cannot be evidence based. Human bodies are complex and chaotic systems, and our data is incomplete (both knowledge about how it all works and the data available when trying to diagnose a problem of determine the best treatment for it). We know how likely a particular treatment will be for a particular ailment, given available signs and symptoms, blood work, etc. That’s one place the evidence comes in.

    We also know how useful a woo treatment is – if the patient is lucky, it will be as helpful as a placebo.

  83. #83 augustine
    July 30, 2010

    Kermit,
    If the meteorologist claims an 80% chance of rain and it doesn’t he’s not wrong 20% of the time. He’s 100% wrong!

    Kermee: ” We know how likely a particular treatment will be for a particular ailment, given available signs and symptoms, blood work, etc. That’s one place the evidence comes in.

    We also know how useful a woo treatment is – if the patient is lucky, it will be as helpful as a placebo.”

    No. No you don’t . You don’t even know this.

  84. #84 Allie
    August 2, 2010

    Augie said: “If the meteorologist claims an 80% chance of rain and it doesn’t he’s not wrong 20% of the time. He’s 100% wrong!”

    Wow–both a math and science fail in one. That’s impressive.

  85. #85 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 2, 2010

    If the meteorologist claims an 80% chance of rain and it doesn’t he’s not wrong 20% of the time. He’s 100% wrong!

    I suppose Goofus would say by the same “logic” that if a person points to a fair coin and says, “that has a 50% chance of coming up heads the next time it’s flipped,” they are automatically 100% wrong — because if it comes up heads, the coin had a 100% chance of coming up heads, and if it comes up tails, the coin had a 0% chance of coming up heads.

    This is no great insight; it in fact represents willful ignorance on the Goofus’ part that probability is how we deal with evidence that cannot be collected ahead of time because it hasn’t happened yet. But then again this particular Goofus has shown a great deal of ignorance about how probability works…

  86. #86 aranma2
    October 5, 2010

    I’d love for any of you morons to email me. Mr Barrett is a quack. As I read through some of the articles on his web site, it dawned on me that the same criteria could just as easily apply to the medical profession. I read through specifically the colloidal mineral article and and found problems with all his points against Dr. Wallack. One that real glaring is this:

    “Five cultures around the world have average lifespans of 120-140 years. The key to their longevity is the consumption of colloidal mineral waters (“glacier milk”). No such long-lived cultures exist.”

    I don’t know if many of you on this blog have heard of a fiftyish black woman on tv named Oprah. But to most she’s famous. A year ago maybe two she had on Dr Oz (who now has his own show on NBC) and a fellow by the name of Dan Butner who owns the web site http://www.bluezones.com. He and Dr. Oz went to these places through out the world and showed the footage on Oprah. The five regions of the world where people in 3rd world countries and at higher elevations and have no access to Health Care are living to ages well over 100 years old.
    National Geographic Magazine did a similar thing (visiting these places) back in 1973. These spots around the world are called Zones by Dan thus bluezones.com and there are 5 of them with the largest concentration of centurions on the planet. write me at aranma2@aol.com

  87. #87 Chris
    October 5, 2010

    I see you are a spammer. Are you also blue?

  88. #88 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 5, 2010

    Aranma2 @ 86:

    Obviously your research was, shall we say, heavily influenced by wishful thinking. First, let us properly format the claim that Dr. Barrett was responding to, and his response, to make clear which is which:

    Five cultures around the world have average lifespans of 120-140 years. The key to their longevity is the consumption of colloidal mineral waters (“glacier milk”).

    No such long-lived cultures exist.

    Now, if you had done your research properly, you would have discovered the following:

    • Only two people have plausible claims to reaching the age of 120.
    • Only one of those two is unambiguously documented, and she died between her 122nd and 123rd birthday; subsequent research into the other case indicated that his true age at death might have been 105 rather than most of the way to 121.
    • If these ‘glacier-milk’ cultures actually existed in the form that Dr. Wallach claimed, with average lifespans of 120-140 years, any member of the culture living up to that “average” lifespan would be a wonder of the world and immediately enter the list of the oldest known humans, if not take the top spot.
    • Instead, not a single one of the ten longest-lived humans comes from such a culture. Ergo, Dr. Barrett is correct in saying that those cultures do not exist.
  89. #89 MI Dawn
    October 5, 2010

    And you know what’s really cool? Most of those people have no documentation as to their real birth date, so their lifespans are often based on guess and hearsay and generational figuring (how many generations there are) But those are all rather inaccurate. Not to say people DON’T live to be over 100; we all know they do. But IIRC, the populations referenced don’t live 120-140 years. I also seem to recall that those people tend to exaggerate their ages, since age is greatly respected in those cultures.

  90. #90 Composer99
    October 5, 2010

    These spots around the world are called Zones by Dan thus bluezones.com and there are 5 of them with the largest concentration of centurions on the planet.

    So… there are five areas in the world which still use Classical Roman military designations?

  91. #91 Pablo
    October 6, 2010

    If there really were cultures where the AVERAGE age was 120-140, then the people who research things like supercentenarians (110 and older) would be all over it. They would have long ago starting investigating it and documenting what is going on. The fact they haven’t tells me a whole lot.

    There are lots of people who spend their lives researching and studying how old people live, making careers out of this stuff (they aren’t just googlefoo, they are legitimate researchers). They LOVE to find old people. Yet, there are cultures where the average lifespan is nearly 140 (which means that half the people live to be more than 140!) and these folks have apparently never heard of it?

    It’s bullshit.

    One of the thing about amateurs is that they often underestimate the state of knowledge among the experts, or, in this case, fail to even consider that there are experts. When some random quack makes an outlandish claim that is inconsistent with the actions of an entire field of experts, then you have to conclude that all the experts are idiots, OR that the person is a quack.

    But then again, it is no different from Hulda Clark claiming she had the easy magic cure all for all cancers. Sorry, the late Hulda, but if it were that easy, the problem would have been solved long ago.

  92. #92 Schalk Burger
    November 24, 2010

    I read through your article regarding the “defence” of Dr. Barrett, Quackwatch.
    I once wrote to Dr. Barret regarding ADHD and it’s diagnosis, explaining to him that our son (8) was diagnosed by a neurologist with ADHD, but without any physical examination whatsoever. (The chemical imbalance theory was related to me as scientific FACT) He was also prescribed Ritalin, again without any physical examination whatsoever.
    My question to Dr Barret was whether this diagnosis is in accordance with medical SCIENCE, or was it quackery, he replied that the neurologist is right. When I pointed out that my understanding of pathology and it’s diagnosis and treatment requires the diagnosing physician to demonstrate proof of pathology for positive diagnosis and that the criteria for informed consent to treatment requires the diagnosing physician to also discuss fully all the known side-effects of the treatment, as well as alternatives and no treatment prognosis, he replied that he concurred with the neurologist and that my questions were not “helpful” (My understanding is that a parent is LEGALLY OBLIGATED to ask questions before allowing treatment to a minor and to take reasonable care that it satisfies informed consent)
    Is the above not a clear example of support for Pseudo-science?
    My understanding is that it is indeed quackery. I have yet to find a positive claim to demonstrate pathology in an ADHD diagnosis.
    I am not that surprised to hear of lawsuits against Dr. Barret. I think he is destroyer in chief of his own credibility.
    You describe yourself as a scientist/surgeon and you clearly express your opinions as an expert in this regard.
    How do you defend Dr. Barrett’s stance on ADHD without acknowledging that he supports quackery?

  93. #93 Joseph
    November 24, 2010

    @Schalk Burger: My understanding is that psychiatric diagnoses, in general, don’t require evidence of “chemical imbalance” or any such thing. It’s sufficient that the person meets criteria in accordance to DSM-IV or some other standard like ICD-10. (Although ruling out neurological disease is probably the right thing to do.)

    Is it pseudo-science? No more than calling Pluto a planet is pseudo-science. It might be non-science. It’s really a classification scheme, and there are scientific reasons why things are classified the way they are.

  94. #94 Rick
    January 3, 2011

    So what Barrett and yourself are saying eat all the sugar,salt, refined, processed food that there is out there,and we will all be healthy individuals, or are you in the camp that also said that smoking never hurt anybody,mind you there are quacks in any field medicinal or alternative, but to say that alternate does nothing because science dictates that, is merely ignorance!!. Thx, Rick.

  95. #95 Chris
    January 3, 2011

    Absolutely not, Rick. Try reading some of the articles on this blog with comprehension.

  96. #96 Rick
    January 4, 2011

    thx for the rebuff!!, I am in agreeance with you on some matters and not on some, I am neither a Scientist nor a Naturopath, I have seen first hand the devastation of Cancer from my daughter from modern treatment, now, don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming modern medicine for anything!!, what i am saying is sometime scientific measure do not and will not explain why things work, and, why they don’t, to say otherwise is being elitist, but as i stated before, there are quacks on both sides, to sit here and squabble at each other like little kids is not accomplishing anything. I do read quite a bit on alternative medicine, but , i am not a professional on the matter, but, in the case of the cut, slash and burn method of the last hundred years in treating cancer, there has to be a better way, despite the fact that they say there has been advancement in cancer, there really hasn’t, in detecting it early, yes, but from what i see in our community and province. not in mortality. In a nutshell, what I am saying is maybe it is high time that the conventional thinking should converse with alternative thinking. Cancer will never be cured, because there is too much at stake, milions and millions of jobs, trillions and trillions of dollars, but hopefully there can be a happy medium!!, thank you for your time and patience!!. Rick.

  97. #97 Scott
    January 4, 2011

    Scientific medicine doesn’t know all the answers, no. “Alternative medicine” knows no answers at all, though.

    in the case of the cut, slash and burn method of the last hundred years in treating cancer, there has to be a better way

    And that better way will be, and is being, found by science. Superstition and magic won’t contribute anything to that.

    despite the fact that they say there has been advancement in cancer, there really hasn’t, in detecting it early, yes, but from what i see in our community and province. not in mortality.

    You might try looking up some actual statistics rather than making random guesses (i.e. “what I see in our community and province”).

    In a nutshell, what I am saying is maybe it is high time that the conventional thinking should converse with alternative thinking.

    And what, pray tell, does science have to learn from a field that might charitably be described as “making up whatever sounds good?”

    Cancer will never be cured, because there is too much at stake, milions and millions of jobs, trillions and trillions of dollars, but hopefully there can be a happy medium!!

    Ah, so there’s a massive conspiracy. Care to provide the faintest shred of evidence, as opposed to gross libel?

  98. #98 stewart
    January 4, 2011

    Rick, don’t say foolish things because you hear other people saying them. Cancer is best treated by removing or killing cancerous cells (‘cut, slash, and burn’ as someone said, rather than ‘coax them out using peanut butter’). As a Canadian, why would the government be interested in blowing out the health bill amd disability bill rather than increasing GDP? Some amazing conspiracy, this. And finally, cancer death rates are declining.
    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/09/15/cancer-survival-stats.html
    You may need to watch a different news channel, or make some new friends to talk with.
    Alternative thinking? All the cancer researchers I know are interested in plausible alternatives to what they are currently doing – they’re just not interested in wishful thinking.

  99. #99 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 4, 2011

    cut, slash and burn

    The use of this phrase (or a reasonable facsimile) to describe cancer treatment should be an automatic forfeit of the argument. It’s an altie buzz-phrase.

    Cancer will never be cured, because there is too much at stake, milions and millions of jobs, trillions and trillions of dollars

    Ditto. This is an accusation of mass murder. It’s also stupid.

  100. #100 Militant Agnostic
    January 4, 2011

    cut, slash and burn

    If I am ever diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that sort of take no prisoners approach is exactly what I would want.

    Given that Canadian provinces (with the exception of Price Edward Island) are bigger than most countries I doubt that Rick can see everything in his province. I always find it amusing when Canadians accuse doctors who are working within the fee schedule of the provincial health care system as “being in it for the money” while championing those who are practicing whatever the market will bear “integrative medicine”.

  101. #101 Chris
    January 4, 2011

    Rick, you still need to read the articles on this blog. You have totally characterized this site and science in general completely wrong. I am very sorry about your daughter, but science does not have all of the answers… we actually admit that, which is why people in science are still working at it!

  102. #102 Rick
    January 6, 2011

    It seems i have struck a nerver in this forum, why I am not sure, as i said in an earlier e-mail i am neither for alternative or for conventional, and i also said that there was quacks on boths sides of the debate, to lash out at my comments is merely childish, and Chris i am reading the blogs, science does not have anymore answers that any other field, and yes science has lead to amaazing discoveries, penicilin, etec, etc, etc, but it is not the only solution is what I am saying, now, as far as the gentlemen saying that cancer STATS, are saying cancer is declining it goddamn well, and i apologize for the word, not going down here, 80% of ppl who are passing away is doing so because of cancer,staistics can be manipulated to appease whomever is doing the staistics, we omly need to look at the States for that, 9% unemployment…lolololo, but anyways, don’t chastice me for saying anything, again i repeat, i am not advocating alternative any more than conventional. Yes there are folks out there who are making a lot of money selling snake oil pills, but, there are also ppl out there who are out to help folks who are ill, as in conventional. with drugs hurting and sometimes killing people, some people are looking for alternatives. That’s all I am saying, to lash out at someone because there views are different that theirs is simply close-minded, and will help no one!!. thank you for letting me come into your world!!, Rick.

  103. #103 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 6, 2011

    It seems i have struck a nerver in this forum, why I am not sure

    Gee, do you think it just possibly might be your groundless accusations of mass murder for profit? You think that just possibly reasonable people might get ticked off when you make such ignorant and vile claims?

    science does not have anymore answers that any other field, and yes science has lead to amaazing discoveries, penicilin

    Of course, what can one expect from a person who contradicts himself in two consecutive sentence fragments?

    80% of ppl who are passing away is doing so because of cancer

    … and who apparently thinks that you can just invent your own statistics and have them taken seriously?

    to lash out at someone because there views are different that theirs is simply close-minded

    Rick, you’re not catching flak because your views are different. You’re being treated with scorn because you’re showing off your grotesque ignorance and you don’t even realize you’re doing so. You don’t know anything but instead of doing your homework so that you can cure that ignorance, you simply burble idiocies on the theme of “no one else knows anything either, lolololololo, if I don’t like statistics they must be lies anyways, lolololololo, ecause I can’t find my butt with both hands and a flashlight everyone else must be the same way, lolololololo,” ad infinitum.

    You wondered why you had “touched a nerve,” but in fact you didn’t do that. You triggered a gag reflex. It’s not the same thing.

  104. #104 Scott
    January 6, 2011

    i am neither for alternative or for conventional

    Translation: you care not at all about whether something works. Remember, something is only “alternative” if it is either (a) not known to work or (b) known NOT to work. Most of the common “alternative” approaches fall under the latter heading; we’ve done the science and know that they’re bogus (word choice intentional).

    science does not have anymore answers that any other field, and yes science has lead to amaazing discoveries, penicilin, etec, etc, etc, but it is not the only solution is what I am saying

    OK then, how about you provide examples of answers (which are demonstrated to be CORRECT answers, not just made up out of superstition) to such questions that did NOT come from science?

    80% of ppl who are passing away is doing so because of cancer

    Citation needed. Here’s mine:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

    Cancer accounts for barely over a third of the causes in the table which are not exhaustive.

    staistics can be manipulated to appease whomever is doing the staistics

    Especially when you simply make them up. That is to say, lie. Like you just did.

    there are folks out there who are making a lot of money selling snake oil pills, but, there are also ppl out there who are out to help folks who are ill, as in conventional.

    The difference is that conventional medicine actually CAN help folks who are ill. The only thing alternative medicine can do is a walletectomy.

    to lash out at someone because there views are different that theirs is simply close-minded, and will help no one

    Telling someone whose views are demonstrably factually wrong that their views are wrong is not close-minded, and will help them if they are willing to listen. The close-mindedness comes in a refusal to look at the facts and follow where they lead. And guess where the facts lead?

  105. #105 Rick
    January 6, 2011

    my experiment worked!!, mob mentality!!, Jim Morrison, once said when he was singing that he used to point to police in the crowds and just say something inane, and then sit back and watch the crowd work themselves into a fury. I am neither a scientist nor a naturopath, I am not an expert in either field, but looking for other ways to be healthy. Good luck, I will have to atone for my masskillings for profit, not sure where that came from, but, probably someone who read statiscally, 100% probability we will all perish at some point in out life!!, good luck in your endeavors, and yes i did read some of the material on here, but you spew out the same rhetoric as some of the alternative crowd does, this works, no this works. Why is it that some scientists see some benefits to the alternative, are they quacks? or is it they just don’t see your way of thinking, i will say this again!!, i believe that the two fields should work together towards better health instead of bickering amongst themselves, yes I am ignorant, for I don’t know everything, thank God, for I am sure the people who know everything will surely tell me otherwise, we have an ole saying here, anybody who knows it all should quit doing what they are doing, because they don’t know nothing!!. take care. Rick.

  106. #106 novalox
    January 6, 2011

    @105

    So you admit you’re an ignorant fool who cannot think critically for himself.

    Congrats on your admission. Now try to learn some reading comprehension and basic science ideas.

  107. #107 Rick
    January 6, 2011

    and those ideas would be your ideas?, yes i admit i am ignorant on a lot of things, apparently you are not, you are another fellow who knows everything and wants everybody else to know that you know everything, must be nice to know everything, you fellows must have waited for an ignorant guy like myself to come along, as i see this forum has been pretty slow since November!!, why must you rant on like a child, there are other ways,i can and do think critically to both sides of the argument, but to listen to a one-sided version is neither productive nor educational. I will say this again!!, i am neither for conventional or for alternative, just looking for a better way, if that is conventional then so be it, likewise for alternative. To sit here and say that alternative is no good because science dictates as such, is foolish, try some of the alternative medicine for yourselves, instead of looking at it theoretically, try it from a practical point, take the stuff, to see if it works, if it doesn’t then what you say would have more substance. I know people from both sides, what works for one alternatively might not work for another, same as conventional. So if what i am saying makes me ignorant, then so be it, most of us, or, should i say all of us are ignorant, except folks like you who know the real truth. I respectfully await a rebuttal from you on this matter, as it only took a few mintues from you the last time, 8 min to be exact!!. thx for your time and patience on this matter!!

  108. #108 Chris
    January 6, 2011

    why must you rant on like a child,

    That was an interesting thing to write in what is basically a childish rant. Pot, meet kettle.

    And go back and read the articles in this blog to see where your arguments have been used, rehashed and debates. Especially read the recent articles on Kim Tinkham. Find the article about the Orange Man. Use the handy little search box on the upper left side of this page.

  109. #109 Rick
    January 7, 2011

    I have been reading the articles on here Chris, and they sway me neither way on the matter, I don’t take drugs for pain, or for anything else for that matter, more harm than good, now, don’t get me wrong!!, there is a place for drugs, just not for me, and I am not categorizing them either, just a personal choice. I am not into alternative, but, am looking into it, yes i can hear you screaming right now…lol, I will try the stuff myself and see if it works, if not, so be it, my mistake, and if it doesn’t work then I will lean towards science, only because I tried, not because a paper in the New England Journal of Medicines states as such, not putting down the organization!!, just an example!!. What i would like to see scintifically is a more tailored approach to preventing diseases, along with treating diseases, happy medium sort of speek. But, I realize it is not the responsibilty of scientist to tell the populace to take better care of themselves!!. Anyways, I respect your opinion, as I said I am ignorant to a lot of things, but still trying to become less ignorant. Take care!! Rick.

  110. #110 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 7, 2011

    Since Rick has now basically admitted to trolling us just to get a reaction, he’s best ignored. Too bad; just about the only virtue we could attribute to Rick was sincerity, but now we know he has none of that.

  111. #111 Rick
    January 7, 2011

    It was the same reaction i get from both sides of the debate,that is what i was getting at Anteus, quick to jump on people because of what they believe or perceive as right!!, I am not saying that science is wrong anymore than i think naturopath is wrong, but I want to align myself with good doctors who look at both sides, there are a lot of cancer centers all over America who do delve in all aspects of the disease, spiritual, alternative and conventional, are they wrong in going in this direction!!, or do you believe this is a waste fo time, obviously they believe all can co-mingle for the betterment of the patient, to me it makes no sense whatsoever that the conventional way of killing every cell in the body to get at the cancer cell, is ludicrous, completely sapping the life out the patient mentally and physically. There has to be a way to zap the immune system into overdrive to fight. Give the body a chance to fight it on it’s own. Cancer treatment has been around for the better part of a century with nary a dent in handling it. I don’t need statitics to know otherwise, because i seen it, when my daughter was in the hospital I was talking to her Oncologists, and her Doctors and all agreed that the rate of cancer they are seeing is rising, so please tell me what is wrong!!, enlighten me Anteus, I look forward to your response, Rick.

  112. #112 Rick
    January 7, 2011

    It was the same reaction i get from both sides of the debate,that is what i was getting at Anteus, quick to jump on people because of what they believe or perceive as right!!, I am not saying that science is wrong anymore than i think naturopath is wrong, but I want to align myself with good doctors who look at both sides, there are a lot of cancer centers all over America who do delve in all aspects of the disease, spiritual, alternative and conventional, are they wrong in going in this direction!!, or do you believe this is a waste fo time, obviously they believe all can co-mingle for the betterment of the patient, to me it makes no sense whatsoever that the conventional way of killing every cell in the body to get at the cancer cell, is ludicrous, completely sapping the life out the patient mentally and physically. There has to be a way to zap the immune system into overdrive to fight. Give the body a chance to fight it on it’s own. Cancer treatment has been around for the better part of a century with nary a dent in handling it. I don’t need statitics to know otherwise, because i seen it, when my daughter was in the hospital I was talking to her Oncologists, and her Doctors and all agreed that the rate of cancer they are seeing is rising, so please tell me what is wrong!!, enlighten me Anteus, I look forward to your response, Rick.

  113. #113 Rick
    January 7, 2011

    Is your way of thinking the only way!!

  114. #114 novalox
    January 7, 2011

    @113

    Troll comes back to spam more.

    How pitiable

  115. #115 Chris
    January 7, 2011

    Rick:

    , yes i can hear you screaming right now

    Actually, dude, I am laughing. Both at you and at the fate of one Andrew Wakefield.

  116. #116 Rick
    January 7, 2011

    Is that it!!, My God I hope you didn’t spend your parents hard earned money on a degree for a response like that, your parents must be really proud!!, too bad!!, this site has the same diatrab as another alternative site i was on today, childish response!!, dude!! troll, sounds like things my 12yr old says, from the articles that i have read here, i do believe they resort to a lot more constructive talk, than just, dude!! and troll!!. Novalox, do you have to follow other posts and mimic what they say, or do you have your own opinion?

  117. #117 Chris
    January 7, 2011

    Just a friendly bit of advice, when you finished digging a hole as deep as you are in, stop digging. In the future use a more imaginative form of argument than your silly ranting, try posting some form of evidence.

  118. #118 Scott
    January 7, 2011

    Is your way of thinking the only way!!

    The only one that produces reliable answers, yes.

  119. #119 Rick
    January 7, 2011

    Evidence as to what!!, I merely asked a question before on the availability of multi level treatments centers in america, conventional and alternative together under the same roof, and i got no response, i am trying to see things your way, I really am, modern medicine in one form or another came from alternative sources, plants, etc. Most people in one form or another has taking drugs so they know wether it is right for them or not, i suspect because you detest the alternative field, has not tried any of it, so my suggestion it to try it, and let me know if it doesn’t work!!, conventional nor alternative will not cure anything, hide the symptoms. Measels, flues, and other diseases all show up somewhere along the line, 10, 50 or 100 years, I maybe naive more so than ignorant in thinking that maybe we can annihilate all the diseases sometime, but not so ignorant in knowing that this is a pipedream.

  120. #120 T. Bruce Mcneely
    January 7, 2011

    Rick, here is the first comment you dropped on this thread:

    So what Barrett and yourself are saying eat all the sugar,salt, refined, processed food that there is out there,and we will all be healthy individuals, or are you in the camp that also said that smoking never hurt anybody,mind you there are quacks in any field medicinal or alternative, but to say that alternate does nothing because science dictates that, is merely ignorance!!. Thx, Rick.

    It comes across as belligerent, rude and ill-informed. A bad start, and it went downhill from there. If you want to be taken seriously, inform yourself about what is being discussed (by way of Chris’ suggestions) and lose the prickly attitude.

    I’ve got a weird T shirt that says “Lurk harder” on it. I think that’s good advice in this contest.

  121. #121 Scott
    January 7, 2011

    Evidence as to what!!

    That there is any value AT ALL to “alternative” medicine.

    I merely asked a question before on the availability of multi level treatments centers in america, conventional and alternative together under the same roof, and i got no response

    Fraud, deception, and superstition have no place in medicine.

    I really am, modern medicine in one form or another came from alternative sources, plants, etc.

    False. Modern medicine came from scientific study of various potential remedies. “Alternative” medicine pays no attention to whether their stuff works or not, while anything that DOES becomes mainstream, so none of their stuff actually is known to work.

    i suspect because you detest the alternative field, has not tried any of it, so my suggestion it to try it, and let me know if it doesn’t work!!

    Those with any concept of science understand that an N=1 trial proves nothing. The natural course of the condition, regression to the mean, placebo effects, etc. all mean that no reliable information may be obtained from such. In other words, there is NO WAY to determine from “trying it” whether or not it actually works – vs. coincidentally seems to work.

    conventional nor alternative will not cure anything, hide the symptoms.

    My gall bladder begs to differ.

    Measels, flues, and other diseases all show up somewhere along the line, 10, 50 or 100 years. I maybe naive more so than ignorant in thinking that maybe we can annihilate all the diseases sometime

    We did it with smallpox, almost did it with polio, and could do it with others. And what contribution did “alternative” medicine offer to any of that? Not a thing.

  122. #122 Chris
    January 7, 2011

    T. Bruce McNeely:

    Rick, here is the first comment you dropped on this thread:

    The part about smoking in his first comment made me tempted to ask him to go over the second hand smoke thread and introduce him to Carol. That might have just set his strawman argument on fire.

  123. #123 Bronze Dog
    January 7, 2011

    Those with any concept of science understand that an N=1 trial proves nothing. The natural course of the condition, regression to the mean, placebo effects, etc. all mean that no reliable information may be obtained from such. In other words, there is NO WAY to determine from “trying it” whether or not it actually works – vs. coincidentally seems to work.

    To rephrase Scott’s point for you, Rick: When skeptics try something, we DON’T assume we’re perfectly infallible judges of our health or judges of causation, thus we strive not to assign much value to such trials. It doesn’t matter what the outcome of a useless trial is.

    Learn some humility.

  124. #124 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 7, 2011

    “… to me it makes no sense whatsoever that the conventional way of killing every cell in the body to get at the cancer cell, is ludicrous, completely sapping the life out the patient mentally and physically. There has to be a way to zap the immune system into overdrive to fight. Give the body a chance to fight it on it’s own.”

    Rick… is that your middle name and your first name is Paul or Philip or something?

    Shitting Jesus… killing every frigging cell in the body to get the cancer? And then expecting to get the immune system to actually do better than it naturally can?

    Who the fuck taught you biology?

    *shakes head in utter disbelief that someone can be that fucking glaikit*

  125. #125 Rick
    January 8, 2011

    shitty jesus!!, glaikit, my dear lord man must you go to dictionary to find words, just call me stupid!!, is that so hard, well to rebutt the rebuttals, I will not go into what Scott said because he basically verified what i said in my last post about plants, scientifically or not still came from plants, and that there was no conclusion on whether it works or not, but COINCIDENTALLY they seem to worm, like that word SEEM!!, and thank you bronze dog!!!, I have at best a 9 or 10 education, and i am a miner, so I am not literate in a lot of stuff, and naive in a lot of other stuff, but, I do read a lot, and try to learn. I am not hear to criticize the scientific community, they have their work and good thing!!, but, what i would like to see is one field on left side, and the other feild on my right side and make a consciencios decision myself, and by the way mister m.ed c.p.s.e I.D.I.O.T, what chemo and raidiation are doing to the body is exactly that, killing everything!!. I anxiously await some more rebuttals, take care, Rick, that is my real name by the way, Rick Larade!!

  126. #126 novalox
    January 8, 2011

    @125
    Boring troll is still boring and still makes himself look like a fool.

    Good for a laugh at his tendency to rave on despite his lack of basic science knowledge.

  127. #127 Rick
    January 8, 2011

    Good thing, or I would end up like you!!

  128. #128 Rick
    January 8, 2011

    Enlighten me Novalox, please send me to some site that says that such and such studies have been done to veriify that this or that is working, I am not sure if you are a scientist or not, I can see Scientists, it is there job to discredit or prove, for the betterment of the word, if something is working or not, but, if you are not then you are just as ignorant as myself. i don’t need a scientific study to know that cancer is on the rise, and that the treatments are not working!!, I lived it and seen it for almost 5 years. To fire out statistics saying otherwise from different parts of country is fooolish at best, so don’t tell me I don’t know what I am talking about, because, I know what i am talking about, real world statistics, get your head out of your arse and do your own due diligence, I see what ppl are dying from here, and I don’t need anybody to tell me otherwise, cancer is not dropping. So with that I will bid adieu, take care in your endeavors, and i hope you find a cure for cancer, but, highly unlikely!!, more money in treating it than preventing it, Take care, Rick {the reason I know, because I watched my daughter going through it,and no, this isn’t a rant from a father in grief, but, an observation from what I have seen, and have discussed with her Doctors, that rate of cancers, they believe is on the rise, so surely the Doctors can not be wrong!!}

  129. #129 Rick
    January 8, 2011

    Enlighten me Novalox, please send me to some site that says that such and such studies have been done to veriify that this or that is working, I am not sure if you are a scientist or not, I can see Scientists, it is there job to discredit or prove, for the betterment of the word, if something is working or not, but, if you are not then you are just as ignorant as myself. i don’t need a scientific study to know that cancer is on the rise, and that the treatments are not working!!, I lived it and seen it for almost 5 years. To fire out statistics saying otherwise from different parts of country is fooolish at best, so don’t tell me I don’t know what I am talking about, because, I know what i am talking about, real world statistics, get your head out of your arse and do your own due diligence, I see what ppl are dying from here, and I don’t need anybody to tell me otherwise, cancer is not dropping. So with that I will bid adieu, take care in your endeavors, and i hope you find a cure for cancer, but, highly unlikely!!, more money in treating it than preventing it, Take care, Rick {the reason I know, because I watched my daughter going through it,and no, this isn’t a rant from a father in grief, but, an observation from what I have seen, and have discussed with her Doctors, that rate of cancers, they believe is on the rise, so surely the Doctors can not be wrong!!}

  130. #130 Chris
    January 8, 2011

    Yes, still boring and incoherent. Time to ignore.

  131. #131 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 8, 2011

    Fucking Norah!!!! Where to start, eh?

    “shitty jesus!!, glaikit, my dear lord man must you go to dictionary to find words, just call me stupid!!”

    Two things:
    1- I wrote “shitting Jesus”, not “shitty Jesus”; can you not bloody read?
    2- I’m Scottish. I have a reasonable command of Scots language (no, it is not a dialect of English; it is a separate language). Most Scots do. I needed no dictionary to find that word.

    “by the way mister m.ed c.p.s.e I.D.I.O.T, what chemo and raidiation are doing to the body is exactly that, killing everything!”

    Actually, mister P. Rick (if your surname is really Larade, why to you behave as if it is Head?), radiation therapy isn’t about “killing every cell in the body to get at the cancer cell” (as you so stupidly put it).

    Some years ago, I was a research technician in a local hospital medical physics department on an applications of physics internship. My supervisor there did his doctorate on the topic of non-invasive thermometry in the use of radiation treatment of cancer, in which radiation of a particular energy is focused on a region of tissue containing the tumour cells, in order to ‘cook’ the tumour cells – thereby rendering them unable to reproduce. This focusing of the radiation ensures that the only tissue surrounding the tumour that is destroyed by the heat from this process is sufficient to catch any stray elements of tumorous tissue. It does not involve “killing every cell in the body to get at the cancer cell” at all.

    Did your daughter’s oncologist(s) actually explain this to you? Or is it just that you are too frigging ignorant to listen to what they were actually telling you? Because – having had this work experience – I know damn well what the radiation treatment of cancer actually involves; and I know that oncologists are very well able to explain it to most people, including very worried and not-very-science-minded parents of children undergoing this therapy. So, given this knowledge, I find it hard to reject my second notion above: that you are frigging ignorant.

    I see the output of people like you on the internet and I weep and worry for the future of human life… I’m surprised that you even know how to operate the computer you use in order to push your fucked-up ideas on us here! And I so wish you’d forget pretty bleeding quickly how to do it.

    Now, be a good boy: fuck off, and give us peace!

  132. #132 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 8, 2011

    “my experiment worked!!”

    OMFG!

    This in itself shows a scientific illiteracy that is shameful in someone professing an opinion on scientific matters!

    Experiments do not succeed or fail: they generate data. Nothing else. Just generating data.

    What a total P. Rick!

  133. #133 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 8, 2011

    Bugger. I wish I’d seen this!

    “To fire out statistics saying otherwise from different parts of country is fooolish at best, so don’t tell me I don’t know what I am talking about, because, I know what i am talking about, real world statistics,”

    This is a three-parter, isn’t it?

    Firing out statistics from different places in a country is never ‘foolish at best'; so I can tell you that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Real world statistics do come from various places in the country, and a picture of the situation for the country as a whole is built up from that data. How can you not get that?

    “surely the Doctors can not be wrong!!”

    Actually, they can if they’re not being scientific about things and just using speculation, rather than real data, on which to base their conclusions and decisions!

    Again… how can you not get that??

    “i don’t need a scientific study to know that cancer is on the rise, and that the treatments are not working!!”

    Yet again … yes, you do! How can you fail to understand so much? If you’re as good at this as you claim you are, I mean.

    (Chris said): “Yes, still boring and incoherent.”

    And plain fucking wrong!

  134. #134 Bronze Dog
    January 8, 2011

    The funny thing: Many cancers are essentially diseases of old age. A lot of people end up dying from cancer because we’ve been getting better at keeping people alive by curing and treating other diseases that would have killed them if our medical knowledge hadn’t advanced.

  135. #135 novalox
    January 8, 2011

    @128, 129

    Yawn, you bore me with your unintelligible rants.

    I think you’ve shown yourself to be nothing more than a childish, scientifically illiterate troll, one that is worth some good laughs but not worth a serious discussion.

  136. #136 Rick
    January 9, 2011

    So now you are telling me that the same oncologists, and other Doctors who performed the 13 hr surgery and almost 3 years of radiation and chemo were wrong!!, my, my, we now know who the quacks are!!, surely some of the finest Doctors in the world,, in their fields, making a statement that they see firsthand!!, that cancer is on the rise, deserves some merit. You keep spewing that reputable doctors are who we should be listening, now you are saying that they are also quacks, holy shit!!, Bronze dog, i will not even respond to that, my christ!!, and Novalox, I have said time and time again that I am ignorant on stuff, but, I am also not so ignorant as to think that my way is the only way, as you MORONS seemt to think, and mister I.D.I.O.T, God forbid that i ever get cancer, I will go and see you, and I am sure that you will tell me statiscally that my cancer will go into remission!! There is only one satistic that is 100% true, and I am sure all you fellows here, with all the answers can figure that one out!!, my jesus, you fellows went to school for this, any wonder the world is in the state it is in. You know what, I am going to try an experiment, statiscally, and I will look in our local papers, for ppl who have died of cancer and those who have not, and see statiscally the % of ppl who have died of cancer, I can hear the verbal sludge right now, and I will leave that up to you morons to guess what I mean by that. For no doubt it will be swift!!. Rick

  137. #137 novalox
    January 9, 2011

    @136

    Boring troll still boring with nonsensical rants and ad homienems.

    How utterly typical.

  138. #138 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 9, 2011

    “mister I.D.I.O.T, God forbid that i ever get cancer, I will go and see you, and I am sure that you will tell me statiscally that my cancer will go into remission!!”

    What the fuck does that even mean? P. Rick has officially lost the plot now! From what disgusting crevice far up inside your arse did you pull that one?

    “There is only one satistic that is 100% true, and I am sure all you fellows here, with all the answers can figure that one out!!”

    Wrong. It’s a probability, not a statistic. And it is the probability that you are a total knob!

    “I have said time and time again that I am ignorant on stuff,”

    And you are just so right on that, that it is pitiful to see you continue to make yourself look like a twat!

    “You know what, I am going to try an experiment, statiscally, and I will look in our local papers, for ppl who have died of cancer and those who have not, and see statiscally the % of ppl who have died of cancer,”

    And this ‘experiment’* will do what, exactly?

    * It isn’t even an experiment: it’s a fucking field survey study…

  139. #139 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 9, 2011

    “Boring troll still boring with nonsensical rants and ad homienems.

    How utterly typical.”

    Yep!

  140. #140 Chris
    April 25, 2011

    you people are all retarded.. go rot in hell with your quackwatch king. most DRUGS are derived from HERBS yet according to you retards only drugs can heal.

    here’s a gem for you.. NO DRUG OR HERBS CAN HEAL.. the body has built in healing mechanisms which repair the body, drugs and herbs can only influence the body and stimulate healing or hide symptoms.. they don’t actually heal you.

  141. #141 Gray Falcon
    April 25, 2011

    Clearly, this isn’t the same Chris who usually comments here. It took you three months to come up with that? A serious of ungrammatical and crude insults? Does it matter whether its the drugs or the body doing the healing? The evidence is that most herbal remedies don’t work, and those that do are usually inferior to the medicines that are derived from them. Do you have any strong evidence otherwise?

  142. #142 Beamup
    April 25, 2011

    Who said that? Using something that’s tested for safety and efficacy, in a known dose, without who-knows-what impurities, is quite profoundly superior to using the same substance before it’s been tested, in an unknown dose, along with piles of other stuff. And herbs have no offsetting benefits. So pharmaceuticals are superior to herbs, but some herbs do have pharmacological effects, and nobody here denies that.

    Your second paragraph is meaningless semantics at best.

  143. #143 Chris
    April 25, 2011

    Dear other Chris, are your boring insults supposed to be a valid substitute for actual evidence?

    While, yes, it is true that certain drugs and herbs (which have pharmacological agents) can help the body heal, homeopathy is complete empty nonsense.

  144. #144 Krebiozen
    April 25, 2011

    Easter, a traditional celebration of resurrection, of nature, of dying Gods, and of long-dead threads…

    Other Chris, please show me some examples of errors on the Quackwatch site. I’m struggling to find one, but then I’m so dumb I don’t even remember anyone claiming that only drugs can heal on this blog.

  145. #145 melissa
    April 27, 2011

    People need to stay away from these websites.They promote false information.People should report these sites to the authorities.Stephen Barrett is a con artist and is a liar and defamer.He never proved any facts he just has opinions.He should mention though that the real controversy is with medical science and the facts that it is the 3rd leading cause of death in the world.Adverse effects to drugs,misdiagnosis,medical mistakes etc.Pharmaceutical doctors take money and only treat symptoms and the same drugs they recommend causes new problems to arise and many people have died trusting the quackery of big pharma.Please be careful of these sites since these relate to Stephen Barrett.

  146. #146 Chris
    April 27, 2011

    melissa:

    People need to stay away from these websites.They promote false information.

    Please quote and cite the false information with supporting documentation. Thank you.

  147. #147 Krebiozen
    April 27, 2011

    Melissa, if Barrett is such a liar it must be very easy for you to provide some examples of factual inaccuracies, or lies, on his websites. Please give some examples, as I can’t find any.

    I have spent a lot of time browsing Quackwatch, and there are plenty of references to scientific studies, which actually say what he claims they do when you follow them up (unlike those on many websites touting alternative medicine). Everything I have read on Quackwatch is backed up by evidence, and is certainly not just opinions.

    I wonder if you have been reading some of the libelous material written about Barrett by those who stand to lose money (or are paid by those who do) if their customers learn the truth about their products. They are very highly motivated to make people like you disbelieve Barrett. Having read both sides of this, I know who I think the liars are.

    If medical science is so bad, why has infant mortality fallen by 70% in the past 50 years? Why has life expectancy risen in every country that has introduced scientific medicine?

    Medical science saves millions of lives and vastly improves the lives of millions of people every year. Far more lives are saved by doctors than are ended by them, and the vast majority of those who die from medical errors are people who are very ill, often those who would have died without any medical treatment anyway. It is very rare for a relatively healthy person to be killed by a wrong prescription or a medical error, so rare it normally makes it into the newspapers.

    The reason more people die from modern medical treatments than die from alternative treatments is that modern medical treatments have effects, some positive and some negative. Most alternative treatments have practically no effects at all, which makes them very safe (unless you are in need of urgent real treatment), but not very effective. How many lives do you think alternative medicine saves every year? Can you give an example of some? One person who would have died without alternative treatment?

    What does alternative medicine have to offer someone who has just had a heart attack, a stroke, or who has cancer, liver or kidney failure, type 1 diabetes, major trauma, or any number of other serious conditions? I think the answer is “nothing”, and if I every have any of these conditions, I will be heading for a real doctor, not a homeopath, an acupuncturist or a naturopath.

    By the way, I live in the UK, where medicine is socialized. Doctors here don’t get paid any more for prescribing more drugs, and hospitals with limited budgets have every motivation to use the most cost-effective treatments available. We use the same treatments as are used in the USA. That’s because they work.

  148. #148 Krebiozen
    April 27, 2011

    Chris – you put it so much more succinctly, but I feel better for getting that off my chest :-)

  149. #149 aqua
    July 25, 2011

    I cant believe the behaviour here-childish point scoring,nobody listens to each other unless they are ‘onside’-good points are ignored because they might be ‘woo woo’ or visa versa-so much for objective thinking- not on this site thats for sure

  150. #150 Chris
    July 25, 2011

    aqua, please tell us exactly why you felt is was necessary to admonish the content on a year old article. Also, explain whose behavior you find objectionable.

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