Respectful Insolence

You know, it all makes a lot more sense now.

Actually, I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. Here I was, all these years, and somehow the thought never crossed my mind, even though all the signs were right there. And then, yesterday, Tufted Titmouse showed me the light. She showed me the light about über-quack, a.k.a. The Health Ranger, the man who has provided me endless entertainment and exasperation at the same time with his reality-challenged (actually, reality-lacking) rants about medicine, vaccines, and science, peppered with bad rap videos and the occasional 9/11 “Truth” rant thrown in for good measure. Through it all, Adams seems to have a particularly intense level of hatred for psychiatry, as demonstrated by his attempt to paint Jared Lee Loughner, a 22-year-old who walked up to U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) at an event in Tucson and opened fire, shooting her in the head at point blank range and then turning the gun on members in the crowd, as a pharmaceutical-controlled “Manchurian candidate.”

What Tufted Titmouse showed me is that Adams is likely a Scientologist, or at least affiliated with Scientology in some way. She found an old Scientology video, which I provide to you below for your amusement:

Try not to vomit at the cheesiness of the whole video. Instead, look at this fresh-faced young man caught at around the 26 sec. mark:

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Does he look familiar? Like a much younger version of this guy, maybe?

i-bbc636c690e0ee6c82249c9e99bd37c8-6a00d8341cedee53ef010536e862ba970c-800wi.jpg

Still, I’m not 100% sure. There’s definitely a resemblance, but it’s not obvious enough that I consider it a slam dunk that these are picture of the same person at different ages. The Titmouse pointed me to this discussion thread, however, where one member wrote:

Hmm. Kinda looks like a younger Mike Adams.

To which a member with the ‘nym “Smurf” replied:

Yup, it’s the same crackpot. I met with Mike several times in the past.. he was convinced HIV/AIDS could be cured by vitamins & purified water.

Am I convinced? Not 100%, but I do think that it’s quite likely that it is Mike Adams in that video. It makes an enormous amount of sense, just based on Adams’ history. For example, in this article about the Guatemalan syphilis experiments (which I blogged about here), Adams plugs the Scientology front group Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights. Speaking of the CCHR, Adams appeared in one of its propaganda films, Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging (which you can watch here if you want–if you can stomach the anti-psychiatry propaganda). A credulous review openly points out that the CCHR is behind this video. In another article, Adams openly praises Scientology and the CCHR and claims:

I appear in the documentary, by the way. And no, I’m not a member of the Church of Scientology, but I fully support CCHR’s actions against psychiatry.

No kidding. All you have to do is to read the vitriol dripping from Adams’ keyboard onto psychiatry and any sort of use of psychotropic medications to treat mental illness. To Scientology, there is no such thing as “mental illness,” which is part of the reason why Scientologists are so heavily anti-psychiatry. As I pointed out when I marveled at the sheer venom and cheese infesting the CCHR’s infamous “museum” of psychiatry and its display, Psychiatry: Industry of Death, it’s well known that Scientology reserves a special hatred for psychology, psychiatry, and any form of mental health counseling. It doesn’t like competition for its version of “saving” people from their behavioral problems using E-meters and the extraction of massive quantities of cash.

Mike Adams apparently shares that view. In spades.

In another post, this time defending prominent Scientologist John Travolta, Adams writes:

For the record, I am not a Scientologist. I have, however, had the opportunity to personally meet many current and former members of the Church of Scientology, much like I know many members of the Mormon church, many of conservative Christian churches and of course lots of new age spiritual people who aren’t associated with any organized religion at all.

He then castigates those who criticize Scientologists with a truly despicable line of argumentation:

I’ve noticed that there are various levels of tolerance among the population for attacking various religions. Attacking Scientology, for example, is considered “okay” by lots of people because Scientology seems strange to them. Attacking the Jewish religion, however, is considered a hate crime, even as Israelis are right now murdering innocent civilians in Gaza with a military assault that targets universities and schools. If you dare say anything against Israel, you’re immediately considered a blasphemous hate crime promoter, and if you live in Germany, they can actually lock you up in prison for even questioning the official version of events like the Holocaust. Just ask David Irving, who actually spent time in prison for questioning the official explanation of the Holocaust.

For the record, I despise David Irving and have said so many, many times. I’ve also criticized laws against Holocaust denial that resulted in Irving’s being thrown into jail five years ago, a travesty that I characterized as shooting free speech in the foot and stomping free speech flat. Yet, whenever I see a comparison like the one that Adams made above, I wonder. It’s not actually true that you can be thrown into jail for criticizing Israeli policies with respect to the Palestinians. Indeed, such criticism is likely the predominant view in many European countries. In other words, Adams is doing what many anti-Semites do, and equating criticism of the Jewish religion with criticism of Israeli policies. They are not the same thing, and as a result Adams comes out sounding like an anti-Semite in order to defend Scientology. For someone who claims to be so open-minded, he sure is willing to throw Judaism under the bus in order to defend Scientology.

Later, after denying that he’s a Holocaust denier, Adams launches into a little rant about “Native American Holocaust denial,” after which he destroys yet another one of my stock of irony meters:

My point in all of this is that very few people truly operate on anything even resembling truth, honesty or religious freedom. They simply attack opponents of their own limited views or beliefs, leaving no room for someone else to disagree on important issues like history or religion.

Which is exactly what Adams does about medicine, history, and religion, be it his tirades against the FDA, his paeans to the conspiracy-mongering 9/11 “Truth” movement, or his attacks on evidence-based medicine.

So is Adams a Scientologist? Hell if I know. He certainly exhibits all the signs of being one, in particular the belief in quackery and the rabid hatred of anything with even the slightest whiff of psychiatry to it. So aligned with Scientology views is Mike Adams that I’m not the first or the only one to have wondered why he frequently pimps the Scientology front group CCHR and why his intense fear and hatred of psychiatry would lead him to blame psychotropic drugs for Jared Lee Loughner’s shooting spree. Other bloggers have asked the same sorts of questions, such as: Is NewsTarget.com (which is what NaturalNews.com used to be called up until a couple of years ago) another Scientology site?

My guess–and I remind you that it is just an educated guess–is that Adams was at one time a Scientologist, perhaps back when he was in the Scientology propaganda video embedded above. His name–and I don’t know if it’s the same Mike Adams–appears in Scientology’s public service completion lists back around the time that video was made. Then, for whatever reason, he fell away from the Church, as 80% of new recruits do within two years. However, Adams’ sympathy towards the anti-pharma, anti-psychiatry conspiracy-mongering clearly remains, just as strong as though he were still a Scientologist. In the meantime, he’s graduated to so many more forms of conspiracy-mongering than just ant-psychiatry. Quackery, anti-vaccine views, 9/11 “Truth,” and all out attacks on science, Adams has it all as a crank.

He doesn’t need to be a Scientologist to be such a supreme crank, but if he is or was one it certainly would explain a lot.

Comments

  1. #1 Steve Silberman
    June 23, 2011

    Orac, is this the same Mike Adams, listed as having completed a Scientology course in Celebrity magazine 1991?

    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.scientology/browse_thread/thread/c0dd962ba37ac867/aa0a54ce834024f4?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=%22mike+adams%22+scientology

  2. #2 novalox
    June 23, 2011

    Watched the video.

    Tried so, so hard, not to laugh while watching it.

  3. #3 Sharon
    June 23, 2011

    I only made it 1.49 seconds in and couldnt go on. I will never understand how anyone falls for the bollocks peddled by Scientology. I previously worked with cult victims, and even had a brief relationship with a Scientologist many moons ago, and still I am none the wiser. I am proud to say that somewhere there is a file in a Scientology office with my name and the initial SP (supressive person) next to it.

  4. #4 anarchic teapot
    June 23, 2011

    Just a little perspective on Holocaust denial and other forms of apologia: while Europeans are just as keen on free speech as anyone else, the problem of Holocaust denialists is that they are generally promoting extreme right-wing views as well. Witness the plague of neo-nazi movements in Germany and elsewhere. They are rarely as harmless as the one portrayed in the Blues Brothers film.

    In France, free speech stops when you start spreading “racial hatred” – or punting any other form of discrimination that can lead to people getting beaten up or killed.

    It’s the age-old problem of where one person’s freedom stops and another’s begins. Yes, I know it can create false “martyrs”, but then loonies will always try to twist things to their advantage. I’m not advocating anything, just trying to put across the general view over here.

  5. #5 reasonablehank
    June 23, 2011

    Meryl Dorey and the Australian anti-Vaccination Network also have a penchant for Scientology, frequently praising the anti-science work of the CCHR in various forums.

    Why the AVN even sells the CCHR’s video in its shop!
    http://shop.avn.org.au/products/Making-A-Killing-DVD%3A-The-Untold-Story-of-Psychotropic-Drugging.html

    The magnetism is strong in this one Master Luke.

  6. #6 Dunc
    June 23, 2011

    I will never understand how anyone falls for the bollocks peddled by Scientology.

    Well, there’s a reason they hate any form of treatment for mental health problems which might actually work…

  7. #7 Anonymous
    June 23, 2011

    The international president of Citizens Commission on Human Rights was recently arrested, after a one year investigation into claims that she coached a child to cover up sex abuse.

    Top Scientologist charged with perverting course of justice

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/31/3231251.htm

  8. #8 Matthew Cline
    June 23, 2011

    @Sharon:

    I will never understand how anyone falls for the bollocks peddled by Scientology.

    A large part of it is because they aren’t upfront about the stranger parts of their beliefs. At first it seems like a form of psychoanalysis (aided by gussied-up lie detector), along with ways you’re supposed to read and theories on how the mind works. But the instructions on reading and the theories of mind undermine critical thinking skills, after which the person is introduced to the notion that you have to psychoanalyze your past lives. Only after they’ve psychoanalyzed a bunch of their past lives is it revealed that lots of problems are caused by brainwashed ghosts clining to their bodies.

  9. #9 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 23, 2011

    Sounds like they’re a load of dumb buggers, then! I mean – psychoanalysis for one life is bad enough but … holy shit!

  10. #10 Sharon
    June 23, 2011

    Matthew Cline I am very familiar with the tactics of the CoS. I have read many boook by those who rose to high ranks within the ‘church’ then left, and as mentioned above was intimately aquainted with a Scientologist once. I still dont see how anyone with their wits about them could fall for their bullshit. I think Dun C (@6) is onto something.

  11. #11 Matthew Cline
    June 23, 2011

    Oops, I was using the term “psychoanalysis” rather loosely. Scientology holds that psychological problems are caused by unpleasant/negative memories which aren’t consciously accessible, and have a process called “auditing” which is supposed to bring these memories to conscious awareness, thus robbing them of their negative power. So, not exactly psychoanalysis, but slightly similar.

  12. #12 Vera
    June 23, 2011

    I sort of tried to join the scientologists a while ago. I was very depressed and felt like I could not make decisions.
    So I said to myself “I’m going to join a cult” then they’ll tell me what to think and do. And I went over to the local scientology center.
    The guy there had me watch a movie of L Ron Hubbard talking about something or other. It was about 1.5 hours of repeating what could have been said in five minutes. I got so bored I stopped being so depressed, left, told my friends, and they helped me out to not go back when I felt bad.
    So, I guess what I’m saying is that I understand why people would join (mental/emotional instability), but probably those who actually join did not have to watch this boring video.

  13. #13 tomtomclub
    June 23, 2011

    Mike Adams appears in a couple of Scientology produced anti-psychiatry propaganda films.
    he is listed in the credits on IMBD as well as another writer from Natural News that has Scientology connections

  14. #14 Wow
    June 23, 2011

    “I’ve also criticized laws against Holocaust denial that resulted in Irving’s being thrown into jail five years ago, a travesty that I characterized as shooting free speech in the foot and stomping free speech flat.”

    See, the problem is American Revisionism and the fact that the USA wasn’t invaded (for how the USA would have acted if they had been, extrapolate from their activities and rhetoric after 11/9).

    However, since you haven’t had the awful realisation that toleration of the intolerable is not the answer (most Germans were perfectly fine, rational and normal people. Just that the Nazi propoganda was accorded respect as worthwhile speech) and knowing that you once went that road, the German people have decided (in much the same way as the USA decided that the constitution would be the ultimate law of the land, at least until it is inconvenient) that they will not tolerate the rhetoric that once led them down the path to monstrosity.

    Likewise, France was invaded by people of this stripe. Toleration has consequences and France has been hit by them.

    The UK has the infamous “I have in my hand” speech to show where you get by appeasement.

    Poland were COMPLETELY buttfked by europe wanting to either avoid another war or unable to quash superficially reasoned actions presaging WWII. Europe shares that shame equally.

    When the teabaggers get a hold of real power, if you reap the consequences of your “tolerance” of the intolerable, you’ll change your mind when you pick the pieces back up.

    How do I know this?

    Because you are people too.

  15. #15 xinit
    June 23, 2011

    If that’s the same guy, I think he’s had his ears replaced.

  16. #16 stormen_per
    June 23, 2011

    @15, Or at least his right ear. ;)

  17. #17 Sharon
    June 23, 2011

    @ Matthew, these psychological troubles you speak of are Engrams, in CoS speak. The process of auditing via the e-meter is said to remove the engrams to provide a ‘clear’. There is no psychoanalytic skill involved. But interestingly when you read much of Hubbards writing he has clearly stolen concepts from modern philosophy, psychology and psychiatry, with no attribution of course.

  18. #18 Todd W.
    June 23, 2011

    Interesting tidbit of history that I didn’t know until recently. The e-meter is not a Scientology invention, but rather was created by chiropractor Volney Mathison.

  19. #19 Vicki
    June 23, 2011

    Wow:

    It’s not that simple. There are Holocaust survivors who believe in absolute freedom of speech, or close to it (perjuring oneself in court is a common exception). I know this because I was raised by one. Toleration can have consequences; so can censorship.

    (Without going too far off-topic on European history, I’ll note that it didn’t take Naziism to make Germany invade France: relatively recent history gives us World War I and the Franco-Prussian War.)

  20. #20 Anonymous
    June 23, 2011

    Ears stick out more in pics of faces from the front at eye level as compared to pics from the side. A pic from slightly above the head shows less of the curve of the ear than one from the front. And with 20 years of age, some change in the ear size and angle is expected, although the overall shape should be about the same. So I don’t think the diff in the ears in the two pics is enough to say that they’re not the same guy.

    Plus Smurf was OSA working in Kendrick Moxon’s office as a legal aid for many years. So he’s a pretty reliable source regarding who was or was not a Scientologist in Hollywood in the 1990s.

  21. #21 Denice Walter
    June 23, 2011

    I doubt Mikey is ( or remains) a Scientologist: he’d have to donate too much of his ill-gotten gains to the Church.

    Adams, and fellow snake-oil salesman Null, actively discourage pharmaceuticals for SMI, ASD’s, and LD’s, comparing them to “street drugs” in their many articles and films ( “They cause suicide and brain damage”). They’ve replaced the concept of mental illness as *physiological* with a pastiche of naive pre-scientific notions that include the medaeival as well as some originating in sci-fi. Sometimes they make mental illness sound like a bad *choice* people make (remind you of anything?)

    Here’s what I’ve gathered from these ( pardon my Anglo-Saxon) f–kers:

    There is no medical test ( blood work or scan) that can definitively diagnose mental illness so it doesn’t really exist. It is a concept created by psychiatrists.

    These conditions truly involve “problems in living”, lack of spirituality, unrealistic attitudes, lack of role-models, and poor nutrition. LD’s are merely “kids acting like kids”. Depression is “feeling low”: hey, we all get that! It’s not an *illness*.( Note the concretistic thinking and all-or-nothing inabilty to discrimate *shades* of severity).

    Null dredges up Abram Hoffer’s mouldy old theory of niacin deficiency ( Orthomolecular Psychiatry); Peter Breggin has a show on Null’s PRN vanity internet radio network.

    Psychiatrists and psychologists should be replaced by “life style counselors” or more spiritually bent folk, who can teach meditation, “mindfulness”, good nutrition, exercise, and right living. ( BTW, Null is attempting to get an MA level major at NJ’s FDU in “Life Style Counselling”; he already teaches there via internet; he’s also trying to attack the root causes of LD in Charter Schools, Newark, NJ).

    For all of their ranting and raving against professionals and pharmaceuticals ( I wonder why?), these idiots appear to have a touch of anosognosia- not recognising their own disabilities. By their abject refusal to consider drugs they’d often be in empathic agreement with their patients: more like *folie a deux*.

  22. #22 guthrie
    June 23, 2011

    Erm, I thought it was well established that Scientologists etc. don’t go for people who have their wits about them. Or rather, the introductory procedures weed out those who have active scam detectors leaving them with those who don’t.

  23. #23 Anonymous
    June 23, 2011

    “Null dredges up Abram Hoffer’s mouldy old theory of niacin deficiency…”

    Hmmm, sounds familiar…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purification_rundown

  24. #24 DW
    June 23, 2011

    @ Anonymous: Old Illuminati Saying : “Qui se ressemblent, s’assemblent”… birds of a feather

  25. #25 Andreas Johansson
    June 23, 2011

    It doesn’t like competition for its version of “saving” people from their behavioral problems using E-meters and the extraction of massive quantities of cash.

    It occurs to me that, if it’s true that peasants become insane, craftsmen and merchants go mad, nobles grow excentric, and kings sometime get a little bit confused, $cientology is going about its alleged business exactly the wrong way.

  26. #26 Anonymous
    June 23, 2011

    The Purif is alive and well and getting a boost in Utah.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/51984640-78/treatment-utah-health-travolta.html.csp

  27. #27 lsm
    June 23, 2011

    Oh crap. I live in a beautiful Utah town, and I had no idea that my state was the “silicone valley” of supplements (yesterday’s blog). And then this link about the Utah AG’s support of a scientology treament. BUT I was encouraged to see that the comments after the news article almost unanimously slammed scientology. We’re not all dumb or gullible (in fact I only know 2 people who follow the alt med crowd).

    Off topic but humorous: I get Mercola’s newsletter (as an antagonist). Today, I learned that we can now buy a “Mercola Bidet”. Ha. What will he market next!

  28. #28 Gray Falcon
    June 23, 2011

    Scientology reminds me of the ancient “mystery cults” which kept control over their followers through the gradual revelation of mystical secrets. This worked fairly well before the printing press and when most people were illiterate, but it’s very hard for such a group to operate in this day and age, when anyone can look your holy mysteries up online:

    “I’m with Scientology.”

    “You mean the people who believe they’re possessed by million-year-old alien ghosts?”

  29. #29 kd
    June 23, 2011

    @26:

    Let’s see … $5200 per person for yet another in a long list of arbitrarily overpriced and completely useless (and sometimes harmful) quack “detox” programs. Nothing new there.

    But hosting a fundraiser to provide this “service” to injured military and medical personnel for free? I can’t be the only one who sees this as a thinly veiled “fundraiser” for the quack clinics themselves.

    I guess it’s no surprise; both Scientology and the quackery and “supplement” industry are about little more than making as much money as possible at the expense of the ignorant and the desperate.

  30. #30 Rick Mycroft
    June 23, 2011

    The people that Scientology hooks aren’t necessarily stupid or flakes.

    Scientology Escapee Tells Skeptics’ Group How It’s Done August 17, 2009, Candice M. Giove, Runnin’ Scared, Village Voice
    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2009/08/scientology_esc.php?page=1

  31. #31 palindrom
    June 23, 2011

    In Joe’s Garage Volume II, Frank Zappa’s everyman hero Joe falls for “L. Ron Hoover and the First Church of Appliantology”. Turns out that his cure is to have an affair with a really cute German vacuum cleaner.

    Zappa had a keen eye for the ridiculous.

  32. #32 lilady
    June 23, 2011

    What difference does it make if Mike Adams is a Scientologist…not one iota. L. Ron Hubbard, Mike Adams and the fringe loony leaders are all cult masters, playing their sucker followers for all the adoration and money they can get.

    Now we have John Travolta fund raising for Scientology’s purification treatments in Utah.

    For years, Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston refused to acknowledge their son’s autism…because this developmental disability is labeled as a psychiatric disorder according to Scientology dogma…and they (and Adams, et al) don’t acknowledge any psychiatric disorders. Such “non-disorders” are a result of “deranged” thinking (blame the psychiatric patient) and curable with the “purification process”.

    Young Jett Travolta’s problems were “caused” according to the Travoltas by Kawasaki Disease, in Jett’s early childhood.

    Kawasaki Disease is an auto-immune disease with unknown etiology that affects the lymph system and blood vessels. It is usually self-limiting and responds to infusion of immuno-globulin. While theories about environmental causes abound, the etiology is still not known. Kelly Preston categorically stated that carpet cleaners must have been the environmental “trigger” for Jett’s supposed diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease.

    When Jett died in the Travolta’s Bahamas vacation home, some officials down there got their hands on Jett’s medical records and tried to extort “hush” money from the Travoltas.

    Finally, at the criminal trial of the extortionists, John Travolta stated the Jett had autism and a seizure disorder that resulted in frequent uncontrolled seizures. Jett, during his lifetime was kept isolated in order to protect the family secret/shame of having autism.

    There was never any need to do follow up with cardiologists for Jett’s bogus diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease, but he needed to have intensive neurological follow-up and treatment with anti-convulsant medication…which he never received…due to his parents “belief system”.

    Anyone want to join me in labeling the parents as medically negligent and inculcated in cult medicine and cult religion?

  33. #33 Bogeyman
    June 23, 2011

    I seem to remember that Mercola also hangs with scientologists…

    http://tuftedtitmouse.blogspot.com/2010/07/dr-mercola-hangin-with-scientologists.html

  34. #34 Anonymous
    June 23, 2011

    If you’re a New Ager who wants your “purif”, your touch assists, your naturopath, and your obliteration of psychiatry, you may not be a card carrying member of the Church of Scientology. But you are no doubt helping those sneaky OSA bastards in their decades-old war against science based medicine.

    Antipsychiatry is their wedge strategy for getting spirituality into healthcare. But healthcare is not their end point.

  35. #35 DW
    June 23, 2011

    More on Adams: ( from HealthRanger.org)

    (Bio)The “son of a Pfizer contractor and a clinical trial tester for some of America’s biggest pharmaceutical companies” who grew up on standard pharmaceutical products and medical care. At age 30, as a “high powered software executive”**, he experienced his own “health crisis”, being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He “researched” thousands of books on nutrition to find ways to cure his own ills: ” The vast majority of all diseases can easily prevented and even cured without drugs or surgery”. He gives his own “stats”: height, weight, blood chemistry, ad nauseum. And current “projects”.

    He advises followers to avoid MD’s, pharmaceuticals, the USDA Food Pyramid***, and most commercial products of the socially-corrupt, morally-bankrupt, toxin-poisoned, EMR-saturated festering swamp we lesser beings inhabit willingly.

    Mike lived in paradisal Ecuador for a few years, inviting followers to join him, but moved back. I wonder why?

    ** right, and at age 30, I was queen of the friggen elves.
    *** another Masonic plot , no doubt.

  36. #36 mirele
    June 23, 2011

    Here’s a link to a gif that compares the mystery guy in the video with a known pic of Mike Adams.

    I think it’s the same dude.

  37. #37 mirele
    June 23, 2011

    Helps if you put in the LINK:

    http://i51.tinypic.com/344tcno.gif

  38. #38 Pam Ellis
    June 23, 2011

    I just wanted to point out 2 things about the video.

    It is an old video (1990) but was only posted online a few days ago by anonymous people. ( the notes have since been added, so they kind of alter the viewing experience)There is an edited version online already, but the big-wigs singing are removed, as is the gay Olympic athlete.

    Someone made an excellent graphic that goes with the execs singing at the 2:40 mark:
    http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/67/watnb.jpg

    That is the bigger thing about the video..the leader has removed so many people from around him, and many are in whereabouts unknown…including Miscavige’s wife.

  39. #39 Jen
    June 23, 2011

    Hey, Antaeus and David N. Andrews, M. Ed., C. P. S. E. :
    By the time I responded to Chemmomo, no less than 3 people demanded I “name names.” Yes, I did get a bad vibe from that, and TBruce’s comment about a certain researcher’s tenure seemed to confirm it ( however TBruce may like to characterize it). I wasn’t of course specifically worried about Chemmomo but any or all.
    Oh yes, and David N. Andrews: since no less than 3 people referred to my grandmother’s GB as “anecdotal” or “lore” I think your comment about learning to be more sensitive to others is pretty silly. I noticed you still din’t explain what CPSE stands for- no doubt embarrassed by your rage display. You have a nice day, too!
    I posted here because I wasn’t let through on the original thread-not sure if it’s just a typical time
    delay or if Orac doesn’t want to post it. Bye now!

  40. #40 Pam Ellis
    June 23, 2011

    Also:

    To which a member with the ‘nym “Smurf” replied:

    Yup, it’s the same crackpot. I met with Mike several times in the past.. he was convinced HIV/AIDS could be cured by vitamins & purified water.

    ———
    Smurf is an ex-scientologist named Garry Scarff. (this is well known. I am not outing him) He has a interesting history if you research him (admitted to helping scientology destroy the Cult Awareness Network for one).
    He acts as a critic now, and knows a lot of people that were in scientology and is a good source of information. But sometimes he shoots off information before confirming, so take it with a grain of salt.

  41. #41 Andrew
    June 23, 2011

    Jen

    How do you expect anyone to believe you when you claim that there are people who have done research that supports you, but that you can’t tell us who they are?

    Why do you think that accurate use of the word “anecdote” is insulting?

  42. #42 Jen
    June 23, 2011

    Sorry, Andrew, but I was only directing my comment to David N. Andrews, though I do appreciate what you are saying. That’s it.

  43. #43 Anonymous
    June 23, 2011

    lsm, it appears your attorney general wouldn’t know evidence if it bit him on the ass. (Which is sad, because I thought analyzing evidence and protecting citizens was the root of an AG’s job
    /idealist)

    http://xenu-directory.net/news/library.php?t=mark+shurtleff

    Why this isn’t a scandal, I don’t know. It certainly became a scandal when they tried to pull this routine after 9/11.

  44. #44 The Analyst
    June 23, 2011

    Psychiatry is pseudoscience. It’s quackery. How can you be a skeptic and accept how modern day psychiatry works.

    Read “The Illusions of Psychiatry” by Marcia Angell.

    She was editor-in-chief of the NEJM and is Senior Lecturer at Harvard.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jul/14/illusions-of-psychiatry/

    I personally see a psychiatrist to get meds for a neurological disease since it is easier than seeing a neurologist, but that doesn’t change how I view modern day psychiatry.

  45. #45 Andrew
    June 23, 2011

    Jen,

    Thank you.

  46. #46 Jen
    June 23, 2011

    No, I understand the term anecdote. I may not like it in certain instances (like regarding my grandmother who had GB as a vaccine side-effect- Dr. Confirmed) but I understand it.” Lore” or “mythological” don’t strike me as proper, though, when referring to people with dire illnesses. It just seems like whenever it’s a vaccine reaction it gets to be called “anecdotal” a lot, but say, when the rare severe complications for something like chicken pox happen it’s not anecdotal- there are statistics for those. Just my 2 cents. Either way, someone has suffered, I guess that’s the thing to remember.

  47. #47 JayK
    June 23, 2011

    Jen, please cite the exact mechanisms the Dr. used to explain your anecdotal grandmother’s vaccine caused GB.

  48. #48 Narad
    June 23, 2011

    Psychiatry is pseudoscience. It’s quackery. How can you be a skeptic and accept how modern day psychiatry works.

    It’s pretty easy once you’ve spent a couple of decades with a loved one who is affected by Bipolar I. Is psychiatry perfect? Of course not. Does its application involve an often frustrating degree of uncertainty and ongoing trial and error? Certainly. Can it save lives? Yes.

    Oh, and go fuck yourself.

  49. #49 lilady
    June 24, 2011

    @ JayK: See, I told you the “citationless one” would hem and haw, change the subject…now even changes where she is posting from… “not sure if it’s a time delay, or if Orac doesn’t want me to post it”.

    This troll makes defamatory, libelous statements about posters here who, in her disordered mind, might “go after” scientists who have published research that “we don’t like what they are doing”…and doesn’t have the common decency to apologize.

    She “pretends” concern now and she “pretends” that she is protecting scientists by (not) “naming names”.

    Wow, talk about devious avoidance to back up any and all of the factoids she presents as gospel…nasty libelous troll.

  50. #50 Narad
    June 24, 2011

    I noticed you still din’t explain what CPSE stands for- no doubt embarrassed by your rage display.

    That’s odd, as it took me about 90 seconds to ascertain, and the cats were distracting me with a wrestling match.

  51. #51 Matthew Cline
    June 24, 2011

    @Sitting Bull:

    million-year-old alien ghosts?

    Take out the alien part and that’s a good description of the ‘ancestors’ and ‘spirit guides’ people sometimes claim to be in communication with…

    Even if you remove the alien part it’s still weird. According to Scientology, these ghosts are under the delusion that they’re actually body parts, which causes them to glom onto the bodies of humans and cause them problems. You have to help them work past this delusion. When you get a ghost to realize that it is a ghost instead of your left big toe it’ll detach from your body, leaving you better off. The reason that they’re under this delusion is that the person who murdered them and made them ghosts (Xenu) didn’t want them to reincarnate, so after he murdered them he captured the ghosts and brainwashed them into thinking they’re body parts.

  52. #52 Jen
    June 24, 2011

    JayK- please tell me you’re kidding. I’m pretty sure It’s even listed as a side effect on the package insert. Even easier, just don’t believe it. Believe what you want. This happened in the late /70′s and her doctor has since died. Lilady, actually you protest a bit much!

  53. #53 JayK
    June 24, 2011

    Jen, do you understand how the side-effect table on those inserts is generated? Do you understand the FDA requirements on those inserts is to put every single thing experienced during the initial test phase? No, of course you don’t understand that, which is why you never questioned the diagnosis and asked by what mechanism GB would have been caused by an influenza vaccination, you just used the diagnosis as another confirmation bias point and added it your conspiracy theory lineup. You never even questioned whether it was a specific side-effect of a specific influenza vaccine from a specific batch, or a specific vaccine design that might have been pulled later. You just keep assuming, because challenging your own beliefs about it would just be too difficult and then you couldn’t attention whore with the anecdote.

    I point out again, you aren’t using science, you are using personal anecdotes that are unverifiable in order to give your own personal opinion more weight.

  54. #54 Anonymous
    June 24, 2011

    Good job Jen.

    http://www.somethingimpressive.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/successful-troll-is-successful.jpg

    Why don’t you take your egotism back to the appropriate thread now?

  55. #55 lilady
    June 24, 2011

    “Lilady, actually you protest a bit too much!”

    Yes, I protest…not too much…your scurrilous libelous attacks on posters here and your lack of an apology.

    Jen, you continue to post here frequently with your “opinions” and now your “anecdotal family lore” about vaccines without any citations. You obviously have no citations to back up your silly unscientific statements about vaccines. And, we all know where you get your information from…all the anti-vax sites.

    You’ve “projected” on to us, what you and your anti-vax friends have done and would do to imperil a researcher’s job and livelihood…and then deny same.

    Here’s the website that Jen should have provided:

    Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Safety: A Summary for Clinicians

    Note that this website from the CDC explains a (possible) linkage of GBS after flu immunization in very rare instances. Also note there is more of a risk of GBS following influenza infection in the unimmunized.

    Here’s the PMID Citation that Jen should have looked at and provided about Grandma’s Guillain-Barre Syndrome:

    Guillain-Barre Syndrome: modern theories of etiology (PMID 21451970)

    People who work in public health and are infectious diseases specialists have known for years that a recent Campylobacteria jejunii infection is the precipitating factor in many cases of GBS, documented by laboratory confirmation of C.jejunii bacterium.

    I suspect that “if” grandma really was diagnosed with GBS it was because grandma was not immunized against influenza or had a prior gastroenteritis episode due to infection with C.jejunii.

  56. #56 Anton P. Nym
    June 24, 2011

    @sitting bull:

    @Mathew, yes the detail gets sillier and sillier, but the origin of the ‘story’ must have a real cause. People do not simply ‘make stuff up’, it just doesn’t work like that.

    In this case, the “originator” was a mid-list science fiction writer. “Making stuff up” was L. Ron Hubbard’s stock-in-trade for decades before his creation of Scientology out of his prior adventure into a competing theory of psychology he called “Dianetics”. (Alleged by some to have created the religion to make the proceeds of Dianetics tax-free under US law, but I don’t think there’s any actual proof of that.)

    People do make stuff up out of thin air all the time, and have since time immemorial. I just heard of a Greek (maybe Roman?) myth that beavers would castrate themselves in order to evade hunters… even though beavers have no external testes, as anyone who had skinned a beaver would know even without a modern understanding of anatomy. Making stuff up out fervid imagination to explain phenomenae is, arguably, our default mode of reasoning.

    — Steve

  57. #57 Wow
    June 24, 2011

    “People do make stuff up out of thin air all the time”?

    What about compulsive liars?

    And was LotR genuinely an account of a long-past Britain?

  58. #58 Wow
    June 24, 2011

    PS homo sapiens sapiens is a very recent addition. Given we see “making stuff up” in animals who we separated from millions of years ago, what makes you think that it isn’t a genuine relic of our mode of thought?

    “How old is storytelling itself? Not as old as the story itself, that’s impossible.”

    Oh dear. Trying for the “chicken/egg” problem are we?

    The Storytelling had to be made up out of thin air. Whether the storytelling or the story itself came first DOES NOT mean making things up out of thin air is recent.

    And storytelling is proven to be a part of not only currently living animals but in hominid writings from 100,000 years ago.

    Religion is made up out of nothing.

    “The ability to ‘make stuff up’ must have had an evolutionary driver. Is there a fitness advantage to making up good stories?”

    It is part of the make-up of our ability to second-guess others. this is a help in hunting (by considering a story of what the antelope will do, I can guess better and offset my speed disadvantage) and in social relationships (If I can kid on I’ve not seen that bit of fruit, I can distract the bigger make from seeing it and come back later and have a nice meal).

  59. #59 Wow
    June 24, 2011

    “There are Holocaust survivors who believe in absolute freedom of speech,”

    If that were true, then this:

    “or close to it (perjuring oneself in court is a common exception).”

    wouldn’t be true.

    “Toleration can have consequences; so can censorship. ”

    Uhm, yes. Rather tautologically said, though. You see, it’s rather obvious that when you do something, there will be a consequence else your action was effectless and therefore not an action. Even when the desired result doesn’t happen, which is what most people mean when they say “had no effect”.

    You see, the problem is that you started off with a statement that absolutely refutes the idea that toleration has consequences, but then end with a statement that says that it does have consequences.

    Because, like almost every american who has strong feelings about their First Amendment, it is the ABSOLUTE AND ONLY Freedom of Speech ever in the world and any change would lead to the USA becoming a new Libya.

    A common trope pulled is the Voltaire quote. However, there is an unsaid corollary to that quote that absolutely appears in the actions of those quoting it:

    “I may not agree with what you’re saying, but I’ll fight to the death to protect your right to say it. As long as I don’t mind doing so, and I agree with it and you aren’t actually going to inconvenience me in any way whatsoever”.

    Tell people that are hiding behind the “humane shield” (spelling deliberate) that their actions will NOT be tolerated and if necessary the law WILL be changed by the society you live in to remove your stain from it.

    And it is FAR better to have those leery of the problems of censorship to work to bring about *appropriate* censorship with mind of the unintended consequence than to leave it up to the authoritarians who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the problems as long as they get their way.

    But, rather than do that, you INSIST that NO CHANGE WHATSOEVER should be done to restrict speech.

    So, when the poisonous are silenced by rule of law, YOUR concerns will be ignored because you WILL NOT participate in it.

  60. #60 psych
    June 24, 2011

    My god, entering the laugh zone.

    By the way, I’m an Australian psychologist, and we were all sent that CCHR DVD on psychotropic medication a while back. I felt my privacy had been invaded in some ways – like a dirt I couldn’t scrub off, having been targeted by these morons.

    And, if they don’t ‘believe in’ psychology/psychiatry, why waste all that money on a bulk mail out?

  61. #61 Anton P. Nym
    June 24, 2011

    “People do make stuff up out of thin air all the time”?

    I claim not, and I claim that the ability to ‘share a re-labelling of a real thing’ is a rather recent addition to human consciousness.

    Please substantiate your claim by providing evidence… because, unless your definition of “recent” means “some time long before the foundation of Jericho at ~10 000BC”, it doesn’t match up with my (admitedly limited to survey-level courses) understanding of archeology or anthropology.

    — Steve

  62. #62 Wow
    June 24, 2011

    Modern therefore being, what? 30,000 years? Why? That would be the beginning of agriculture. We were deep into making stuff up well before then.

    Recent would take us back to the rodent ancestor of man.

    Not all that recent, really.

    Early would be before multicellular organisms.

    That’s a hell of a long gap there.

  63. #63 Wow
    June 24, 2011

    “We do not have to tolerate penis eating monkeys who disguise their mouths as vaginas in order to lure human food.”

    Oh dear, I’m afraid sitting bull is sitting in bullshit.

    Stick a fork in this silly fucker, it’s done.

    And a rather sick individual too, to come up with such imagery. Something freudian going on in this little peckerwood’s mind, such as it is.

  64. #64 DW
    June 24, 2011

    I do believe I hear hints of Julian Jaynes’ theory tinkling in the wind: he believed that modern day consciousness emerged from the quasi-hallucinatory self-regulatory experiences of pre-literate humans ( which they falsely recognised as “gods”). His book was titled along the lines of “Consciousness Emergent from the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” or suchlike. It was… uh, highly fanciful and not considered worthy of consideration by most: I knew someone who had worked with him previously- when she shook her head sadly, she didn’t need to say anything more.

  65. #65 Wow
    June 24, 2011

    Stop making your mouth act like an arse to entice male members to enact intercourse with you just so you can get a little protein.

  66. #66 lilady
    June 24, 2011

    Someone (a sock puppet, perhaps) has tried to take over this conversation. I suspect (or hope) that sock puppet is again moderated, because I find the conversation disgusting and demeaning to women.

  67. #67 Wow
    June 24, 2011

    lilady, I find it disgusting and demeaning to humanity.

  68. #68 Vicki
    June 24, 2011

    Wow,

    I’m sorry that you find the idea that someone would think that perjury was the only exception to free speech laws impossible. (She’d seen a chunk of what limiting speech can do.) But “that attitude will get you in trouble,” even if correct, doesn’t mean “nobody holds that attitude.”

    More important, I want a citation for your reference to 100,000-year-old writing. Where is it, and do we know what it says? (It’s certainly possible for writing to exist that nobody today can read, but if we don’t know that, we don’t know whether it’s a story, even broadly defined. (Instructions on making a hand-axe or a recipe for soup can be narrative, but they aren’t usually classed as stories.)

    I don’t care much about convincing you that I know what my mother thinks (maybe I don’t); I care a lot more about the history of language and writing, and about human evolution.

  69. #69 Composer99
    June 24, 2011

    Based on bizarre etymology, Bacon Hub is suspiciously sock-puppet-like.

    Sitting Bull: Obligatory [citations needed] is obligatory.

  70. #70 Wow
    June 24, 2011

    “I’m sorry that you find the idea that someone would think that perjury was the only exception to free speech laws impossible.”

    Nope, I’m pretty sure that it was an example of what exceptions people considered acceptable to free speech laws.

    Don’t know where you got the idea that anyone here thought it was the ONLY one, mind. But if that’s what you really think, then fair enough: but why then did you say “for example”?

    “More important, I want a citation for your reference to 100,000-year-old writing”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_religion

    “I don’t care much about convincing you that I know what my mother thinks”

    Your mum is probably a nice woman. What the point of convincing me you know what she thinks is I can’t fathom however.

  71. #71 Wow
    June 24, 2011

    “Instructions on making a hand-axe or a recipe for soup can be narrative, but they aren’t usually classed as stories.”

    However, burial rites require some form of story about what happens after death.

  72. #72 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 24, 2011

    Shiting Jesus… jen, are you stupid or what?

    “By the time I responded to Chemmomo, no less than 3 people demanded I ‘name names’. Yes, I did get a bad vibe from that, and TBruce’s comment about a certain researcher’s tenure seemed to confirm it (however TBruce may like to characterize it). I wasn’t of course specifically worried about Chemmomo but any or all.”

    Why get a bad vibe from it? You’d made a claim and left it unsupported. Why shouldn’t you have named the people you were taking about?

    “Oh yes, and David N. Andrews: since no less than 3 people referred to my grandmother’s GB as ‘anecdotal’ or ‘lore’ I think your comment about learning to be more sensitive to others is pretty silly.”

    Umm… stop being so bloody stupid, jen. What is an anecdote? In this case we’re talking about anecdote as evidence, and anecdotal evidence is not scientific… cannot be scrutinised. How is that possibly an issue of insult to call anything you say anecdote if it isn’t scientifically backed up? My comment about sensitivity still stands. You’re not making sense by suggesting that calling things you say ‘anecdotal’ is insulting.

    “I noticed you still din’t explain what CPSE stands for- no doubt embarrassed by your rage display. You have a nice day, too!
    I posted here because I wasn’t let through on the original thread-not sure if it’s just a typical time
    delay or if Orac doesn’t want to post it. Bye now!”

    For fuck’s sake… did you actually ask me what C. P. S. E. stands for? Let’s take a look, eh?

    some whingey-arsed person somewhere irrelevant said:
    “David N. Andrews, M. Ed., C. P. S. E.: whatever C. P. S. E. stands for I’m sure they’re really proud of the way you represent yourself and them.”

    Was there a question in there, whingey-arse? No, there was not. Fuck, jen -you really are bloody stupid aren’t you?

    Roadstergal said this of you, didn’t she?:
    “Jen takes reasonable requests like ‘support your statements’ as a personal attack.

    The reason she immediately took a statement of regret about someone with terrible ideas having tenure as an implied threat to try to have him booted, and the reason she took requests for naming sources for her statements to check their veracity as implied threats to try to have those sources booted? That’s pretty telling. It shows where her mind is.”

    jen… you’re an imbecile. Now piss off.

  73. #73 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 24, 2011

    “Oops, I was using the term ‘psychoanalysis’ rather loosely. Scientology holds that psychological problems are caused by unpleasant/negative memories which aren’t consciously accessible, and have a process called ‘auditing’ which is supposed to bring these memories to conscious awareness, thus robbing them of their negative power. So, not exactly psychoanalysis, but slightly similar.”

    I was kinda jesting in that statement so no need to explain but an interesting point, nonetheless… what you say of auditing does indeed sound like a lot of the shit you find in psychoanalysis!

  74. #74 lilady
    June 24, 2011

    @ David N. Andrews: I think I might have shut down the Jen troll with my posting at # 57 above…by providing the citations so sorely missing from each and every one of her postings and brain droppings based on anecdotal lore and the parroting of a typical anti-vax viewpoint.

    I am still awaiting an apology for her libelous defamatory statements…in vain, I suspect.

    Information (fact sheet) about Campylobacter jejuni infection and its link to Guillain Barre Syndrome and be found at:

    CDC-Campylobacter General Information

    Note the section on “Long Term Consequences” and the high incidence of this infection leading to GBS (1:1000 incidence rate)…much higher than the incidence of GBS following influenza immunization at 1:1,000,000.

  75. #75 DW
    June 24, 2011

    @ David N. Andrews, M.Ed., C.P.S.E.:

    Could you please do that “voo doo that you do so well” and dispatch weed-whacked wanky-boy ASAP? Thank you.

    Love, DW

  76. #76 The Analyst
    June 24, 2011

    My god, entering the laugh zone.

    By the way, I’m an Australian psychologist, and we were all sent that CCHR DVD on psychotropic medication a while back. I felt my privacy had been invaded in some ways – like a dirt I couldn’t scrub off, having been targeted by these morons.

    And, if they don’t ‘believe in’ psychology/psychiatry, why waste all that money on a bulk mail out?

    It’s sad that psychiatry has to be “believed in” instead of being an evidence-based form of medicine.

    I have nothing against the study of human behavior, but why be a psychiatry apologetic when it is clearly antiscience?

  77. #77 lilady
    June 24, 2011

    Sock Puppet Alert! Now the pot addled troll is fixated on other offensive topics…truly disgusting internet mind masturbation.

  78. #78 JayK
    June 24, 2011

    Psychiatry and psychology both have diverse and objective backgrounds. Psychiatry has massive databases of observable data and measurable data, such as brain chemistry/blood chemistry and maintains a well respected set of journals. There is little about psychiatry that isn’t based on scientific methods and research.

    Psychology, on the other hand, is a mixture of philosophical theories, statistics, observations and hard data. The demands of psychological publications has been increasing since the 1950′s. The ANAList can whine all he wants, but he’s obviously clueless about the scientific basis of psychiatry and psychology.

  79. #79 Just Sayin'
    June 24, 2011

    I will never understand how anyone falls for the bollocks peddled by Scientology.

    Probably the same way they fall for the bollocks peddled by creationists, MLM scammers, AGW deniers and the Tea Party, among others.

  80. #80 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 24, 2011

    lilady: “I think I might have shut down the Jen troll with my posting at # 57 above…by providing the citations so sorely missing from each and every one of her postings and brain droppings based on anecdotal lore and the parroting of a typical anti-vax viewpoint.”

    Nice shutdown, if I may say! She’s a frigging idiot.

    “I am still awaiting an apology for her libelous defamatory statements…in vain, I suspect.”

    I’d say to not hold your breath. She’s not good at giving apologies. Bit good at demanding them though, when there’s no bloody need for one.

  81. #81 The Analyst
    June 24, 2011

    Psychology, on the other hand, is a mixture of philosophical theories, statistics, observations and hard data. The demands of psychological publications has been increasing since the 1950′s. The ANAList can whine all he wants, but he’s obviously clueless about the scientific basis of psychiatry and psychology.

    Read my post @47 and let me know if you still hold the same opinion.

  82. #82 Vicki, Chief Assistant to the Assistant Chief
    June 24, 2011

    Ah, well, I was hoping for something about writing, as claimed. And for something 100,000 years ago, as you said, not at most 70,000. (That burials require stories about what happens next is an assumption, and probably unprovable. That doesn’t make it false, but it makes it hard to use as evidence.)

    Since apparently I wasn’t explicit enough, the Holocaust survivor I was referring to is my mother (and, having grown up with her, I have a fair idea of her opinions on a variety of topics, or at least of what they were at the time).

  83. #83 SC (Salty Current)
    June 24, 2011

    Psychiatry has massive databases of observable data and measurable data, such as brain chemistry/blood chemistry and maintains a well respected set of journals. There is little about psychiatry that isn’t based on scientific methods and research.

    No, this is wrong. You should read the article by Angell linked to above and its first part

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/23/epidemic-mental-illness-why/

    and the books the article talks about.

  84. #84 Narad
    June 24, 2011

    Read my post @47 and let me know if you still hold the same opinion.

    Well, *I* read it the first time around, and my response is the same as @50. Oh, and Angell was interim EIC at the NEJM. Big fucking deal. Do you even know what this job consists of?

  85. #85 https://me.yahoo.com/a/oyL5GDZppfCQf6Qv50sD0MryfMIx#e0d5c
    June 24, 2011

    David N. Andrews:

    Delurking because I’m now curious. I googled CPSE and got a few different possibilities, so I’ll ask: What does CPSE stand for?

  86. #86 The Analyst
    June 24, 2011

    Narad, I don’t mind disagreement, but you can’t expect one to engage (without participating in a flame war) with these type of comments:

    It’s pretty easy once you’ve spent a couple of decades with a loved one who is affected by Bipolar I. Is psychiatry perfect? Of course not. Does its application involve an often frustrating degree of uncertainty and ongoing trial and error? Certainly. Can it save lives? Yes.

    Oh, and go fuck yourself.

  87. #87 JayK
    June 24, 2011

    @The ANAList: Yep, I still stand by exactly what I wrote. I’m almost done with a grad program in psychology, which isn’t just a bunch of mealy mouthed crap like the author of your piece attempted to portray. There was also the continuing ignorance of the history of psychology from functionalism to current schools of cognition and neuropsychology, instead lumping the entire system up as psychiatry. Observation, objectivity and acknowledgement of Did you actually think that article was a valid argument?

  88. #88 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 24, 2011

    @theverylongYahoolink…

    In my case, Certificate of Professional Specialisation in Education… or at least the translation of the Finnish name of the document into English.

  89. #89 TBruce
    June 24, 2011

    @the “Analyst”:

    There is a huge flaw in that article that you’re referring to – Dr. Angell sets up a false dichotomy by claiming psychotherapy and exercise is as effective as antidepressants for treatment of depression (with the implication that antidepressants are useless etc.). She ignores the fact, proven in studies multiple times, that combining antidepressants and non-pharmacologic treaments is more effective than using either on its own. This is an error I see repeatedly, and it always makes me doubt the impartiality of the person making this error.

  90. #90 The Analyst
    June 24, 2011

    Observation, objectivity and acknowledgement of Did you actually think that article was a valid argument?

    Of course. I don’t think the concept of psychiatry is bad (using medication for psychological disorders), I just think modern day psychiatry is messed up and could use some reform. How often do they use lab tests to rule out diseases that can produce similar symptoms? Virtually never. You can argue that your PCP should have done that already, but can we really put all of our trust in primary care physicians?

    The only thing I can think of that psychiatrists test for off the top of my head are Lithium levels, but perhaps I am missing some. For an example, someone with a B12 deficiency may have tingling in extremities, anxiety, and so on. Does a psychiatrist ever check these kind of things before giving potentially damaging drugs? They are MD’s, why don’t they check?

    I am sure there are a few that do these sort of things, but they are probably seen as a non-conformist misfit by their colleagues. Perhaps they can get in trouble for these kind of behaviors (I really don’t know) which is unfortunate if that is the case. And I think it’s likely insurance companies would drop them by doing “non-standard” practices.

    I am very interested in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) myself, and I think such an approach is the future. I think future anti-depressants for an example will essentially be immune modulators by blocking actions of pro-inflammatory cytokines. PMID: 15303243

    I am not anti-drug as some people really need them (including me as I have a neuropsychiatric disability), but I do think they are way overused. I understand that people with Bipolar need their medication. I don’t deny that at all.

    I hope psychiatry merges with the fields it’s related to. I actually think clinical diagnoses are often necessary, and I think some doctors rely way too much on evidence based medicine. Medicine and medical technology is far from perfect. But the fact that psychiatry virtually never support their diagnoses (or look for alternative diagnoses) with any type of testing bothers me. Just because you fit some criteria for a certain disorder in the DSM (created by a group who does not necessarily support their claims with evidence) does not necessarily mean it’s a valid diagnosis.

  91. #91 SC (Salty Current)
    June 24, 2011

    I’m finding it hard to believe people who’ve remarked on the Angell articles actually read them. Did everyone lose their reading comprehension abilities at once? Weird.

  92. #92 Dedj
    June 24, 2011

    “The only thing I can think of that psychiatrists test for off the top of my head are Lithium levels,”

    Hmm, the psychiatrists I’ve worked with have tested (or ordered tests for, or made referrals for); anaemia, sickle cell anaemia, hypoxia, CVD, asthma, vitamin deficiency, syncope, paresthesia, Down syndrome, Klienfielters, Angelmann, CPD, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, sclerosis, kidney dysfunction, liver dysfunction, arthritis, sensory and perceptual impairments, and numerous other things.

    Ironically enough, for many of ‘my’ former clients, it’s only when they came into contact with serious psychiatric services that their underlaying conditions were taken seriously and gotten under some form of control.

  93. #93 JayK
    June 24, 2011

    @SC, perhaps you’re just a dick that uses that article as a confirmation bias because you don’t really understand the scientific basis of psychology and psychiatry?

    @The Analyst: I notice you’re backtracking. Good. This comment, though, indicates you’re not really all that informed about the topic: “I understand that people with Bipolar need their medication.” Bipolar medications are questionable due to the rapid revolving nature of the disorder. While antidepressants reduce the suicidal nature of the lows, it can accentuate the rush at the high points and have severe impacts at the next low point. On the other hand, using retardant drugs during the high points results in rapid low cycling causing other massive problems. Aggressive attempts to monitor the cycles also has issues. In essence, it is a disorder without a specific prescription or strategy. Coupling psychologists with psychiatrists and a lot of money spent on appointments and tracking can result in significant lifestyle benefits for those afflicted. Bipolar is possibly one of the most challenging of today’s abnormal psych topics and I don’t think it gets enough attention.

    Then there is the difference between type 2 and type 1 bipolar. But I have a paper due and I’m delaying.

  94. #94 Dedj
    June 24, 2011

    Dedj

    Thank you for commenting on the issue. Unfortunately, the psychiatrists I have been to ran their practices like a mill (5 minute appt, not many questions, etc). Some of the stuff you listed makes sense since they can be a side effects of certain drugs (e.g. Cymbalta with liver dysfunction).

    However, it is my impression from my experience as a patient that running lab tests is not routine at most clinics here in the United States.

    I’ve never seen them do anything that every other doctor does (such as blood pressure, heart rate, and weight). I understand they probably view this as unnecessary, but I would think they would at least check weight as weight gain can be a side effect of many drugs they prescribe.

  95. #95 SC (Salty Current)
    June 24, 2011

    @SC, perhaps you’re just a dick

    Heh.

    that uses that article as a confirmation bias because you don’t really understand the scientific basis of psychology and psychiatry?

    The two-part article (I linked to the first part @ #98) discusses two books I’ve read and posted about. Both present substantial scientific evidence. (The third, by the way, is by a practicing psychiatrist.) Neither Angell’s article nor the books she talks about concern psychology. They’re about drug-based psychiatry.

  96. #96 lilady
    June 24, 2011

    @ Dedj: Often, when people first seek help for depression from a psychologist or social worker, the clinician will evaluate a patient and discuss with the patient some medication (antidepressants) to facilitate psychological therapy. The patient usually has “situational depression”…associated with loss of a loved one, changing circumstances in their lives…not major depression.

    Psychologists and social workers cannot prescribe any medication and they have “connections” with psychiatrists that they will refer the patient to. From my somewhat limited knowledge of the “process”, the first visit/referral to a psychiatrist is a full appointment with a discussion with the patient and with the referring clinician’s notes, before script is written for an antidepressant. The “five minute appointment, not many questions, etc” you refer to may be follow-up appointments for medication renewal.

  97. #97 Dedj
    June 24, 2011

    “@ Dedj:”

    I did not create the post you refer to. I am the authour of 107 and I am the user who frequents multiple autism forums as Dedj.

    I will assume that it was a case of mistyping on behalf of The Analyst, who appears to be the authour of the 109 response to 107.

  98. #98 Dedj
    June 24, 2011

    @The Analyst at 109

    “Unfortunately, the psychiatrists I have been to ran their practices like a mill.”

    It may be that my experiences are primarily with ward-based psychiatrists but I have certainly never heard of any primary or follow on consultation last less than 15mins, unless it was expressly left short for a reason.

    I’ve certainly came across clients who ‘think’ they were very briefly dealt with when, in fact, they were often the clients who recieved extended and extensive consultations, MDT meets, ward rounds etc.

    “Some of the stuff you listed makes sense since they can be a side effects of certain drugs (e.g. Cymbalta with liver dysfunction).”

    I was more referring to pre-existing conditions, as primary care for people with mental health issues is a known problem area. Poor primary health care tends to be an issue for those sub-populations that have vulnerabilities to mental health issues, so it can become a double whammy effect.

    “I’ve never seen them do anything that every other doctor does (such as blood pressure, heart rate, and weight).”

    I’m aware of this being done on pretty much every client I’ve seen who was in regular contact with any psychiatry service precisely because of the risk from medication and avolitional lifestyles; also because they were often alcohol and substance super-users or chronic or severe over/under eaters.

    I’m mostly aware of it being done by a nurse/health visitor. I’m aware of multiple clients in both mental health and physical settings that had vocally complained about ‘The Dr’ not doing x and y (and thereby implying it had not been done), when it had actually been done by the nursing staff.

    In many of the community or assisted living cases, the responsibility for physical condtions lay with the GP or primary physician, and the clients had often already undergone physical testing as part of the primary care service.

    I’m certainly aware of a number of clients who did not have biological conditions tested for until they were recommended to be tested by their psychiatrist who noticed the outward cognitive and behavioural artifacts of those conditions.

    To be fair, this is just personal experience of 3 seperate psychiatry services in 3 seperate counties, covering catchment areas in the mere tens of thousands, so I will certainly be interested if anyone can reference rates of traditionally ‘biological’ conditions in psychiatric client populations.

  99. #99 JayK
    June 24, 2011

    @SC: Marcia Angell appears to be quite the conspiracy theorist. Using “Big Pharma” as repeatedly as she does would indicate little acknowledgement of what she’s actually talking about.

    But I see you do the same thing. Interesting that you’re attracted to a doctor-turned-journalist that appears to give you some confirmation of your own biases?

    And then I read these sentences, which let me know she wasn’t really serious, or had nothing more than a bone to pick:

    By that he meant that before psychoactive drugs (drugs that affect the mental state) were introduced, the profession had little interest in neurotransmitters or any other aspect of the physical brain. Instead, it subscribed to the Freudian view that mental illness had its roots in unconscious conflicts, usually originating in childhood, that affected the mind as though it were separate from the brain.

    These sentences contain “truthyness” while exhibiting little understanding. Indeed, it looks almost like the author learned about psychiatric care through a few Google searches and Wikipedia.

    And you want to hitch your horse to that wagon? Good luck being taken seriously. It doesn’t look like Angell is having much traction, just like her 2004 article that made a few minor shock waves but was quickly ignored.

  100. #100 SC (Salty Current)
    June 24, 2011

    @SC: Marcia Angell appears to be quite the conspiracy theorist. Using “Big Pharma” as repeatedly as she does would indicate little acknowledgement of [?] what she’s actually talking about.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcia_Angell

    She probably knows more about the involvement of pharmaceutical companies in medicine than anyone else alive.

    But I see you do the same thing. Interesting that you’re attracted to a doctor-turned-journalist that appears to give you some confirmation of your own biases?

    She’s not a journalist. She’s a physician who’s been EIC of the NEJM, teaches at Harvard, and has written about these issues for years. The books she talks about are by a science journalist writing the history of psychiatric care who cites an enormous amount of peer-reviewed research, a psychologist and well-known placebo expert who also supports his arguments with citations and his own published work, and a practicing psychiatrist and author. I suspect all of them know far more about this subject than you. As I’ve said, I have read the first two books, and I know what they contain. I have no “biases,” and was very surprised to learn of the books’ theses. But I read them. Responses like yours to being presented with arguments contrary to your views are really depressing. No one should take your dismissals of the books seriously if you haven’t read them, especially if you’re ignorant enough to describe Angell as you have.

  101. #101 SC (Salty Current)
    June 24, 2011

    Using “Big Pharma” as repeatedly as she does

    I can’t find a single use of this phrase in either article.

  102. #102 SC (Salty Current)
    June 24, 2011

    New York passed the same-sex marriage bill!

  103. #103 JayK
    June 25, 2011

    She’s been on this kick for at least 7 years and has accomplished absolutely nothing. Her original piece that made her famous in 2004 was summarily ignored. The article you posted is horribly written, uses emotional language and does a really piss poor job of citing controversial statements.

    I have no reason to take her seriously, or you for that matter. I’m not even looking at it from a professional stance, but rather one of skepticism, and her articles stink. You have no better credibility, given that your blog also uses the words “Big Pharma” and has the slight smell of baked conspiracy theories.

    Since her big break in her published book “Big Pharma, Bad Medicine” I thought you might have had the background to have understood my reference.

    You’re impressed with her authority. Good for you.

  104. #104 Narad
    June 25, 2011

    I’m finding it hard to believe people who’ve remarked on the Angell articles actually read them.

    I’m having trouble getting through the first (has the seond been published?) thanks to its seeming fascination with the serotonin hypothesis, which my psychiatrist threw under the bus at first mention, as did a friend with a fairly freshly minted M.D. Nowhere is it explained why this was some crazy-bonkers leap of logic at the outset. (Twice using the “a subject I’ll return/come to” device on the first page and misspelling Depakote isn’t helping, either.)

    The focus on placebo being 75% and 82% “as effective” as antidepressants is also rather grating. Kirsch’s “startling” “enhanced placebo” notion I’m having difficulty coming up with a non-spluttering response to. Does he think that patients never report that they can’t tolerate an antidepressant? Try atropine first?

    We then move to Whitaker’s “natural history” description, in which schizophrenia was once self-limiting. This is like stating that it was once caused by “double binds.” And, oddly, even though psychiatric drugs can’t help by modifying neurotransmitter levels, they apparently can be ascribed harm through this very same mechanism.

    All in all, a slog, and I didn’t learn anything new. Maybe if one didn’t know that psychiatric drugs have side effects, you don’t always get it right the first time (and may have to change course in any event), polypharmacy is worrisome, antidepressants should be used with caution if there’s suspicion that mania could be triggered, and negative results often don’t get published, this would be interesting. Or if, say, it had something to say about primary care handing out antidepressants vs. psychiatrists. Or if I were just into book reports.

  105. #105 Narad
    June 25, 2011

    @Narad: Certainly, ‘double bind’ is often present in some form as a marked stressor when psychotic break occurs.

    Aside from your failure to document this claim in any fashion, it has nothing to do with the etiological whimsy of the transactionalists.

  106. #106 lilady
    June 25, 2011

    @ Narad: Troll and their sock puppets rarely provide citations, preferring to rely on Wikipedia for their information. They also cherry pick articles…dependent of course on “today’s fixation”…also dependent on what “drug” they are self-medicating themselves with.

  107. #107 Narad
    June 25, 2011

    You need proof that patients usually report being under extreme and insoluble pressure prior to having a breakdown?

    (1) I don’t give a rat’s ass about a Wikipedia link to “xenoglossy.” (2) You said “psychotic break,” something I’m guessing you don’t have any first-hand experience with. (3) I said etiological. Jung was wrong on the subject, as on everything I can think of. Laing was wrong. Szasz is wrong. There’s good that came from this movement,[1] including legal reforms of mental health codes in the ’70s (although they’ve withered in practical effect), but if you seriously want to maintain that schizophrenia is simply an epiphenomenon riding on double binds, the onus is on you.

    [1] Start with “On Being Sane in Insane Places.” Laing’s “serious” stuff is quite repetitive, although “Conversations with Adam and Natasha” stands out on its own, and the documentary Asylum is worth a look. I recall that Foucault starts out good but descends into tedium. Watzlawick et al.’s “Pragmatics of Human Communication” is a worthwhile and readable attempt at taking things seriously.

  108. #108 Narad
    June 25, 2011

    yes Narad I have had a first hand psychotic break

    Very well, I’ll take you at your word on this.

  109. #109 Tamakazura
    June 25, 2011

    @31, that song about the German vacuum cleaner always manages to get stuck in my head at the most inappropriate times*, but has added some valuable expressions to my German phrasebook….which is comprised mainly of obscenities and observations on the apocalyptic Hellscape that is the future. Thank you industrial music.
    *interviews, exams, church…

    Oooh, orac. Your map says you have a user from Nunavut! Hello, Nunavut! Or maybe its just someone with a masked ip address.

  110. #110 SC (Salty Current)
    June 25, 2011

    JayK, you’ve written nothing but a content-free ad hominem rant. There’s nothing there to respond to.

    Narad:

    I’m having trouble getting through the first (has the seond been published?)

    They are both linked to on this thread, the second @ #47 and the first @ #98.

    thanks to its seeming fascination with the serotonin hypothesis, which my psychiatrist threw under the bus at first mention, as did a friend with a fairly freshly minted M.D.

    I assume if the monoamine hypothesis is so widely acknowledged to be bunk – which it isn’t, your friends not withstanding* – your friends can demonstrate the underlying pathologies and explain the mechanism of action of these drugs. Or do they agree with Kirsch?

    Nowhere is it explained why this was some crazy-bonkers leap of logic at the outset.

    Yes, it is explained why it was a leap of logic. There’s a whole paragraph about it. (No one said or implied it was “crazy-bonkers.”) But the biggest problem, as Angell points out, is that after decades the hypothesis has not been supported and in fact there’s a large amount of evidence against it. As your friends have thrown it under the bus, they must recognize this, so I’m not sure with whom you’re arguing here.

    (Twice using the “a subject I’ll return/come to” device on the first page and misspelling Depakote isn’t helping, either.)

    She does return to it, and I can’t believe you’re seriously talking about a misspelling.

    The focus on placebo being 75% and 82% “as effective” as antidepressants is also rather grating. Kirsch’s “startling” “enhanced placebo” notion I’m having difficulty coming up with a non-spluttering response to. Does he think that patients never report that they can’t tolerate an antidepressant? Try atropine first?

    Oh, FFS. Read the book.

    We then move to Whitaker’s “natural history” description, in which schizophrenia was once self-limiting. This is like stating that it was once caused by “double binds.”

    Whitaker’s written two research-based books on the history of mental illness and its treatment. If you want to argue with his evidence, perhaps you should, y’know, have a clue what it is. (This is not to say that I think everything he says is perfectly documented, but why people are so insistent on dismissing agruments they haven’t researched is beyond me.)

    And, oddly, even though psychiatric drugs can’t help by modifying neurotransmitter levels, they apparently can be ascribed harm through this very same mechanism.

    Among others. Yes, this sounds surprising at first. Less so after you read more. But again, if you don’t think they do help by altering neurotransmitter levels I’m not sure what you’re on about.

    All in all, a slog, and I didn’t learn anything new.

    Well, that’s clear.

    Maybe if one didn’t know that psychiatric drugs have side effects, you don’t always get it right the first time (and may have to change course in any event), polypharmacy is worrisome, antidepressants should be used with caution if there’s suspicion that mania could be triggered, and negative results often don’t get published, this would be interesting.

    There’s that pesky reading comprehension problem again.

    The responses that have appeared here have been disappointing. I hope other people can read the articles and the books reviewed there with something approaching an open yet critical mind.

    *Though perhaps they could let pharmaceutical ad writers in on this:

    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020392

  111. #111 SC (Salty Current)
    June 25, 2011

    She’s been on this kick for at least 7 years and has accomplished absolutely nothing.

    Like Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks.

    given that your blog also uses the words “Big Pharma”

    I can only find one appearance of that on my blog. It’s the title of an article by Harriet Washington, “Flacking for Big Pharma”:

    http://saltycurrent.blogspot.com/2011/06/physicians-priceless-audience-at-price.html

    And that concludes my response to the inane Argument from Saying “Big Pharma.”

  112. #112 Orac
    June 25, 2011

    “Sitting Bull” is another Jacob sockpuppet, and its posts have been removed. Sorry it took me so long. Jacob appears to be taking advantage of my business as I try to finish my R01 grant application by Tuesday.

  113. #113 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 25, 2011

    Orac: “‘Sitting Bull’ is another Jacob sockpuppet, and its posts have been removed. Sorry it took me so long.”

    Did wonder. Thanks for doing it, and no worries … we know you’re busy.

  114. #114 Orac
    June 25, 2011

    Unfortunately, Movable Type’s comment filtering options are not as…robust as one would think a heavy-duty commercial blogging platform should have. There is one last option that I haven’t invoked, but I hate to do it because it has other consequences that I don’t like. In the meantime, it’s Whac-A-Mole with Jacob’s sockpuppets.

    Of course, I’m going to be sitting in front of the computer all weekend putting the finishing touches on my grant; so it will be no trouble at all to keep an eye out for Jacob’s sockpuppets and send them to the spam folder as they pop up.

  115. #115 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 25, 2011

    Indeed. Mind you – it’s entertaining, seeing that ‘bis-addled fuckwit thinking he’s being clever… and we know who he is and what he’s doing. Stupid is as stupid does, no?

  116. #117 JayK
    June 25, 2011

    Well that was far beneath Jerry Coynes usual work.

    More than half of the contributors to the new version of the DSM (95/170) have financial ties to drug companies, “including all of the contributors to the sections on mood disorders and schizophrenia.”

    Trust, but verify. Define “financial ties”. Orac has been accused of having financial ties to “big pharma” as have almost every regular commenter here.

    As well all know, psychiatric talk therapy has been largely supplanted by the use of drugs.

    Use of generic statement to illustrate “general knowledge” without a citation. This is WAY beneath Coyne.

    I also see no mention of the use of cross-functional counselling with medical pharmacology as a duel method of dealing with mental illness.

    Then again, I’m in the academic arena, maybe practicing psychiatrists are ALL corrupt drug pushers with Big Pharma pimping them. Biatch better have my drug money.

  117. #118 SC (Salty Current)
    June 25, 2011

    Well that was far beneath Jerry Coynes usual work.

    Do you ever tire of this substance-free form of argumentation?

    Trust, but verify. Define “financial ties”. Orac has been accused of having financial ties to “big pharma” as have almost every regular commenter here.

    Verify yourself – there’s such a thing as a footnote. For example, you may have noticed that this claim is marked by a little number 5 in Angell’s second article, which goes, amazingly enough, to a citation. That paper is available online. From the intro:

    The leading categories of financial interest held by panel members were research funding (42%), consultancies (22%) and speakers bureau (16%). Conclusions: Our inquiry into the relationships between DSM panel members and the pharmaceutical industry demonstrates that there are strong financial ties between the industry and those who are responsible for developing and modifying the diagnostic criteria for mental illness. The connections are especially strong in those diagnostic areas where drugs are the first line of treatment for mental disorders. Full disclosure by DSM panel members of their financial relationships with for-profit entities that manufacture drugs used in the treatment of mental illness is recommended.

    As I’ve pointed out, that unfounded accusations are made doesn’t mean the problem doesn’t exist in reality.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/08/us/08conflict.html

  118. #119 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 25, 2011

    Fuck off, Jacob … you dim junkie twat!

  119. #120 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 25, 2011

    What’sbettng that Mountain with a Mole is a dim junkie twat?

  120. #121 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 25, 2011

    Heh … now he gone :P

    I wish I’d done a QFT on him! Next time ;)

  121. #122 Narad
    June 25, 2011

    What I don’t quite get is the seemingly endless repetition of variations on the “headaches aren’t caused by a lack of aspirin” routine in these pieces. So? An indictment of marketing is not an indictment of psychiatry. If the complaint is that antidepressants are being overprescribed for mild depression, who’s doing the overprescribing? Primary care or actual psychiatrists?

    The “rather than talk therapy” invocations are also striking me as peculiar when paired with the unqualified “little better than placebo” argument to antidepressants. How good is “talk therapy,” writ with apparently deliberate vagueness, by comparison? If you’re not going to say so, why bring it up?

    Here’s hoping the second half of the Angell is less tedious.

  122. #123 SC (Salty Current)
    June 25, 2011

    What I don’t quite get is the seemingly endless repetition of variations on the “headaches aren’t caused by a lack of aspirin” routine in these pieces. So? An indictment of marketing is not an indictment of psychiatry.

    Huh? What’s being called wrong there is the alleged pathology and alleged mechanism for the drugs’ alleged effects.

    If the complaint is that antidepressants are being overprescribed for mild depression, who’s doing the overprescribing? Primary care or actual psychiatrists?

    Look, I’m having a hard time believing you’ve actually read the articles in question. That isn’t “the complaint.” I’ve reached the point of diminishing returns here, I’m afraid. Once again, I hope people (critically) read the books Angell talks about. understand their arguments, and form opinions based on the evidence.

  123. #124 Narad
    June 25, 2011

    What’s being called wrong there is the alleged pathology and alleged mechanism for the drugs’ alleged effects.

    Alleged by whom?

    Look, I’m having a hard time believing you’ve actually read the articles in question. That isn’t “the complaint.”

    Really? You think I just happened to make up a response corresponding to the first article out of thin air? I’ve read the second, and I will read it again, but on the first pass, it just seems to be a mishmash of disparate complaints that doesn’t make any serious distinctions among varieties or severity of mental illness and tries to ride off into the antipsychiatry sunset with a cry of THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!

    I have plenty to read as it is. Nothing about Angell’s piece has served to place any of these three in the queue.

  124. #125 JayK
    June 25, 2011

    @SC: Shove your conspiracy theories up your ass, please. Angell and yourself seem obsessed with the “potential” for ethical issues, but you haven’t actually identifies any, instead you’ve used manipulative language and vague gestures. I read the farking articles, stop accusing me and others of not reading them. Your arguments are not persuasive.

  125. #126 Wow
    June 29, 2011

    “Ah, well, I was hoping for something about writing, as claimed. ”

    Ah well, if you’re going to claim for me, what the heck do I do?

    “And storytelling is proven to be a part of not only currently living animals but in hominid writings from 100,000 years ago.”

    Pictograms representing items, earliest forms will be effigies representing some actual reality. Oldest ones carved in stone are reliably worked back to beyond 120,000 years ago.

    And, since carving stone is so difficult, it will hardly be the first method used. Even clay tablets require quite some work.

    Burial rituals include daubing and illustrating. Again coming back to the idea that you’re using a semi-permanent medium to transform information into requests for another, how does “Please take this person to the next realm safely” equate to two coins on the eyelids for the ferryman?

    You know, you really need to consider something a little more basic than your Shakespeare Prose as writing.

    “(That burials require stories about what happens next is an assumption, and probably unprovable.)”

    False.

    If there is no story (nothing made up), then why all the ritual?

    We don’t see monkeys planting their fellows in the ground with their favourite stick, do we?

    Why?

    Because we’ve made up an afterlife.

    Or because we make up the idea that the dead person wants it when they’re quite clearly dead.

    But again you limit yourself so you can ignore your limitations and feel good about yourself.

    I note you haven’t managed to explain what your mum’s got to do with this, too.

  126. #127 Vicki
    June 29, 2011

    No, WoW, I’m not claiming for you. Back at comment 59, you said

    And storytelling is proven to be a part of not only currently living animals but in hominid writings from 100,000 years ago.

    You may not have meant writing, but that’s what you wrote, and all I have to go by is what you write. Drawing does not equal writing.

    I’m not talking about Shakespearean prose (or poetry): I’m talking about something that is clearly writing in the sense that “do not enter this tomb” or “I conquered the Assyrians” or “One bull, Blackie, paid in taxes” is writing. Words with identifiable meaning. Pictograms can represent words; that doesn’t mean that a picture is always a story, a narrative about events in time.

    Let’s see: I told you a story about my mother, and you didn’t make the connection. I said, explicitly, that my mother was the person I had been talking about and you still don’t get it. Those comments aren’t about the ancientness of writing: they’re for the earlier thread about the possibility of a Holocaust survivor disagreeing with you about what speech may reasonably be restricted. For someone who is so sure of the value of story, you’re not doing that well at putting one together.

    It seems likely that stone carvings are not the first human representational art. To go from that to “we have abstract drawings at 70,000 CE, therefore we know there was writing 30,000 years before that” is a leap of faith rather larger than the idea that there is such a thing as an afterlife.

  127. #128 PatrickBateman
    June 30, 2011

    Mike Adams is 37 years old. The “We Stand Tall” video was recorded in 21 years ago in 1990 according to a quick google search. The man in the video being compared to Mike Adams does not look 16 years old. He looks decidedly older, in my opinion, 10 years older than Mike would have been when this video was filmed. Futhermore, Mike claims to have been borderline obese up to the age of 30. If this is Mike in the video, he was thin at age 16 (his age at the time of the video) became obese by 30, then returned to health practices which made him thin again. I guess there is always a slim chance that the person pictured in the video could be Mike, but there is just way to much evidence to the contrary.

  128. #129 SC (Salty Current)
    July 1, 2011

    @SC: Shove your conspiracy theories up your ass, please.

    Aren’t you sweet.

    Angell and yourself seem obsessed with the “potential” for ethical issues, but you haven’t actually identifies any, instead you’ve used manipulative language and vague gestures.

    Nonsense.

    I read the farking articles, stop accusing me and others of not reading them. Your arguments are not persuasive.

    Start basing your beliefs on evidence-based argumentation and not just rhetoric and we can begin to have a reasoned discussion.

    And don’t even get me started on Comma Splice, of the unappreciated Splice Girls.

  129. #130 Tatyana
    March 25, 2012

    No one of the official authorities on our planet knows the truth about how and why our world have pop up into existence, who we people are really and what is our proper place within this natural and wider cosmic scenario.
    If we follow their theories blindly and accept them as real truth we will become in time seriously mentally and physically F….. up. That is why our planet observed from above actually incredibly looks like the most notorious cosmic institution for highly intelligent self forgotten-self delusional beings-us.
    So we all have a homework if we are interested to find the truth about our own self and out of that truth how we fit in the nature and broader within the universe. We need to do direct self observation and then we can compare these findings with what is offered on today world-life commercial interpretation market and take out of that source what can be useful and progressive for us and for all people.
    Modern medicine and pharmacology industries, authorities officially in charge for our health and well being are lying like a bastards about diseases and their causes. I know that because I have medical background and i was trained to be aware how to prevent diseases. The top lie that is making multimillion dollars profits to these scum-mers is their claim that we are always infected from the outside of our bodies with viruses, bacterias, yeasts, fungus, and worms and that is the way how we get sick. The truth is that physically we are tightest part of the natural program of our planet and all that is by the original design, designed-in charge to clean organic pollution and leftovers from the nature (viruses, bacterias fungus, yeasts and worms) can, if we are on some way moved out of the natural alinement spontaneously manifest within our bodies and cause sickens. How we can expect in today time from the vaccinations and big pharma medications (all in reality anti-fungai chemicals including chemotherapy crap)when on the other side our food, air, water, personal care, all pores of our life have become deliberately by our government (and by the direction of world bankers to which our government owes money) compromised with toxic chemicals and deprived of minerals, vitamins, etc. Our bodies and bodies of our children have become chronically depleted of minerals via damaged food we by from the super-markets, Our drinking water is loaded with chlorin, fluuoride, heavy metals, recicling-medical drugs loaded drinking water, Our tap water have sickness producing north spin molecules=>(look south spin water), and our psyche is constantly brain washed via medias news tv, with corporative mind blogging agenda. Corporation if you are not yet familliar mean dead body that talks. Corp or Corps=dead body and Oration means to talk==> that talks. So when we become incorporated like we all are today via our birth certificates we accept that our system see us as corpses. That is why on our birth certificates all letters are CAPITOLLETTERS like on the tumb stones in grave yard. Dead corpses can not be injured with what living people can be (only kings and queens and princesses ) are legally assumed to be living) and that is the main reason why we ordinary-DEAD PEOPLE have all of the death promoting crap introduced in our INCORPORAED lives by our own INCORPORATED governments. TO BE INCORPORATED MEANS TO OW THE MOINEY TO SOMEONE TO SOME OTHER DEAD BODY and in such system death=sin is monetized. Government means to govern the mind (to govern mentols). Person or legal entity lawfully (by the corporative laws) is actually not living man and women but dead body that talks. To learn why our lifes are so much crooked by our governments go on Frank o Collins talk shoe to learn, but before that open on youtybe videos:Dean Clifford trust and then Dean Clifford and Max Egan talk.So folks we have important homework to do-to wake up into reality about our own truth self, otherwise we deserve all fake and crooked things that are going on in our lives.

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