Respectful Insolence

Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I was simultaneously alarmed and amused at how someone named Marc Stephens, who claims (although presents no evidence for his claim) that he represents the rogue physician and “researcher” Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, had taken to threatening skeptical bloggers who criticize Dr. Burzynski’s highly dubious cancer therapy, a therapy Burzynski dubbed “antineoplastons.” In particular, Mr. Stephens threatened a blogger by the name of Andy Lewis, whose nom de blog is Le Canard Noir and whose blog and website, The Quackometer, I’ve followed for years now. As a reward for my having written about the incident, it turns out that Mr. Stephens was kind enough to include me in a list of bloggers “privileged” to receive a cc’d copy of further threats to Andy Lewis. These were even more hilarious than the original set of threats. For two days I debated whether or not to post Mr. Stephen’s e-mail. On the one side, there were people whom I respect very much who told me that this was the equivalent of the proverbial wrestling with a pig in mud in that all that happens is that you get dirty and the pig likes it. There is much to be said for that point of view. On the other hand, I thought that it was important to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt just how unethical and beyond the pale one of Burzynski’s defenders was and to shine the light of day on how Burzynski operates. More importantly, by reposting Marc Stephens’ threats, I could give the Burzynski Clinic and Burzynski Research Institute an opportunity to disavow Mr. Stephens. What held me back, however, is concern about Andy Lewis. Because Andy was the one in the sites of Mr. Stephens, I thought it appropriate to give him veto power over whether I ever actually reposted the ramblings of Mr. Stephens.

Then two things happened. First, Andy reposted Mr. Stephens’s threats himself. Second, Mr. Stephens sent a followup e-mail, apparently miffed that for some reason the images in Andy’s post didn’t show up properly:

Andy,

Are you afraid to post the images? You REDACTED the images exposing all of you weirdo guys. That is a sign of weakness, and a fraudulent cowardly move. You must make my email FULLY PUBLIC including the images. I can actually imagine you as a nervous wreck in the court room without a lawyer..or with your public defender who will file a template Motion.

———————

Ratbag Peter Bowditch….you seem to be more competent with posting images. Can you please post my last email including the IMAGES..or are you afraid I exposed you all too much? Its beyond defamation. You have a question for me?
“I do, however, have a question for Mr Stephens. I have been posting this question to the Twitter user @BurzynskiClinic for some days now but for some reason they are too busy to answer”

Ratman…..SIGN THE AGREEMENT. I’ve been asking you for WEEKS now. If you are so sure my client is a quack, fraud, and a criminal sign. I also reduced the legal language so you would not put your rat tale between your cowardly skinny legs, and hide behind your mouse by clicking on the X to close my email request.

My agreement is posted on your website you forgot?? Instead of signing a burzynski petition sign my agreement to disclose all Burzynski information to you, which by the way is already available to the public and you know it. That is why you are not signing. Skeptics are afraid of the truth, which is why you are a skeptic in the first place. A Skeptic is someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs. Your network even had to create your own dictionary to hide from the true meaning..hilarious. The FDA, NCI all agreed my client and his treatment works, and is non-toxic. Sign the agreement and I will show you this in writing. Hint: Just look in court orders and you will find the answer.

PLEASE POST MY IMAGES.

Regards,
Marc

I don’t know why the images don’t show up on Andy’s reposting of Stephens’ threat, but I’m more than happy to oblige Mr. Stephens. Here is the e-mail that he sent to me and several other bloggers on Friday. I particularly love the wacky “six degrees of separation” vibe:

Andy Lewis,

Just so you know that I am very serious. I copied Renee Trimble the Director of Public Relations, and Azad Rastegar the spokesperson for the Burzynski Clinic. You and your supporters can stop asking if I am an attorney. Again, I represent the Burzynski Clinic, Burzynski Research Institute, and Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. If your articles remain online I will pursue you in court to the highest extent of the law.

Threats to your family? You mentioned to me that you just had a child. I advised you to spend more time with your child instead of lying to the public. I also advised that you will be affected financially once a lawsuit is filed against you. Why would you be so selfish and inconsiderate to your family to go through the stressful and financial burden of multiple court proceedings knowing that you are posting lies and propaganda?

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

You are apart of a network started by Michael Shermer called “Skeptic Society”–http://www.skeptic.com/, which is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization that examines….alien abductions”. Your network is linked to other fraudulent websites and individuals, such as, quackwatch.com, ratbags.com, the21stfloor, Peter Bowditch, Rhys Morgan, Stephen Barrett, Dr. Saul Green, etc. I also have you guys linked to the Wikipedia page of my client. You should know that the IP Address is publicly recorded by Wiki. A subpoena is used to obtain your personal information. By law, the government does not need to notify you, or disclose when they are pursuing your personal information. see Wikileak personal information.

You define your network as individuals that “prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid…. A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence”. Your evidence comes from Stephen Barrett and Saul Green who are apart of your skeptic network, so how fair and valid are your assessments..?

You are fully aware that the quackwatch website is not reliable, valid, fair, or a thorough assessment of available evidence, and that its owner, and your network, were exposed as frauds, not licensed, and maliciously disseminating false information to the public. Your Skeptic network uses the quackwatch.com website as the Bible to your mission of lying to the public. You are not posting your “opinion” and “concern for public health”, you and your network are posting malicious propaganda against my client which stretches back over 10 years.

Your opinion and concern for public health “defense” will not stand up in court. Your statements are not True, you have no absolute, conditional, legal privileges, or consent to post, and your statements consist of actual malice. As you already know, Dr. Burzynski is a public figure and the Burzynski Research Institute is a publicly traded organization. So your libelous statements are now interfering with business contracts and business relationships. The information you assert in your article is factually incorrect, and posted with either actual knowledge, or reckless disregard for its falsity.

Again, I advise you to shut down all libelous articles about my client immediately. Your network is full of lawyers, and I am sure they know the source of information that you use, such as quackwatch, are considered fraudulent and void, in addition to the conflict of interest between my client and Saul Green. I am showing that you have no source of information, and you will not be able to show proof of your statements against my client in court. What is the source of your allegations? You formulated your opinion based on statements made by other skeptics blogs, and Quackwatch, which consist of false information per court orders. Opinions must be supported by facts. You are aware of the fact that my client is involved with FDA approved clinical trials, completed phase II, and has approach Phase III. Phase II, as you know,— to see if it is effective and to further evaluate its safety. You have full access to evaluate the data of Antineoplaston phase II results, you and your entire skeptic network refuse to acknowledge the results.

Let me quote what’s on your website: “When we say we are “skeptical,” we mean that we must see compelling evidence before we believe”. Here is some compelling evidence for you about your network. I will use this information in my legal complaint filed against you and many of your associates. You no longer have a right to an opinion when its proved your acts are malicious.

The Main Skeptic website

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Andy Lewis – A Skeptic. Yes, that is you. Quackometer..Quackwatch no difference.

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Your twitter Andy – Guilty by association? That is Ratbags Peter Bowditch…

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Peter bowditch – Ratbags owner/A skeptic

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Mr. AUSTRALIAN SKEPTIC – see title below

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Peter Bowditch – You people look up to this guy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E0XN1Xmtsk&feature=channel_video_title

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Saul Green – A skeptic

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My client Sued AETNA…AETNA hired Emprise, Inc. who went out of business..Saul Green unemployed.

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Saul Green’s RESUME: This is public information

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Saul Green the Unemployed Skeptic Retaliates with a LIE. A few weeks later Shontelle Hiron is cured by my client and make news worldwide. Due to my client saving her life, She even carried the Olympic torch in 2000 with my client by her side.

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Rhys Morgan, attacked my client – A skeptic

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I Shut his site down. He was a nice kid.

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21st floor – A skeptic

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Genomic Repairman – After my legal complaint

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Stephen Barrett – A SKEPTIC. Quackwatch and Ratbags court documents

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Stephen Barret QUACKWATCH the SKEPTIC WEBSITE

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This is a very serious matter. Be smart like Rhys Morgan and everyone else..including Google when I went after them. If your articles are still up I will pursue you. You have no defense, Andy. Honestly, what do you think the judge and jury are going to think about you when I disclose your connection, propaganda, and false information? Its not about your message, its about the context of your message. The context of your posting is to create in the public the belief that my clients are disreputable, are engaged in on-going criminal activity, and must be avoided by the public.

This email proves you and your skeptic network are maliciously attacking my client. ALL of the negative information on the internet about my client is linked to your skeptic network. I will prove this in court. Do me a favor and post this email on your website..that is another pattern of your skeptic network. I would greatly appreciate it.

Please remove all articles Immediately. Spread the message to your associates.

Regards,
Marc

Consider it done, Mr. Stephens. I’ve posted your message to my blog, whose readership is not inconsequential, particularly in the skeptical blogosphere. I’m more than happy to do so, because I believe that every skeptic should read your e-mail and judge for him or herself what kind of a man you are. I would also like patients who might be interested in going to the Burzynski Clinic to be aware of the sorts of tactics it uses.

But why am I happy to do so? After all, the e-mail above is nothing more than some seriously bizarre rants. Saul Green, for instance, has been dead for years. The post at Tales of the Genomic Repairman, once removed, has been restored. I think the most important reason to disseminate this e-mail far and wide is to test the Burzynski Clinic. I’ve written in the past that it is my considered opinion that antineoplastons are unproven and Burzynski’s charging his patients tens of thousands of dollars to be in his clinical trials is in my opinion highly unethical. More recently, I wrote about how I don’t like legal thuggery of the type being exhibited by Mr. Stephens. The question is whether there is any connection between Mr. Stephens and the Burzynski Clinic. Stephens claims to “represent” Burzynski, although he never comes out and actually states point-blank that he is a lawyer. However, if you search the websites for the Burzynski Clinic and the Burzynski Research Institute, you will not find Stephens’ name anywhere. Rather, you will only find him being listed under Marketing and Sponsorship of an entity called the Burzynski Patient Group. By reposting Mr. Stephens’ legal threats in a public forum, I’m giving Dr. Burzynski a chance to publicly disavow the thuggish and simple-minded tactics of Mr. Stephens. If he does not do so, then I have little choice but to conclude that Mr. Stephens does indeed represent Dr. Burzynski in some capacity, although given the e-mails he’s sent I have a hard time believing that Mr. Stephens is actually a lawyer. To make sure that the leadership of the Burzynski Clinic can’t claim ignorance, I’ve e-mailed them to ask whether Mr. Stephens in any way works for or represents Dr. Burzynski or his clinic or institute. As yet I have not had a response, but if I do I will happily post it here.

Here’s a chance for Dr. Burzynski to prove that he is, as he claims, a man of science. After all, sending an pit poodle like Mr. Stephens out to harass and threaten anyone who criticizes him is not the act of someone who is confident in the science backing his cancer treatment. Sending legal threats to a teenager for having criticized the pseudoscience of antineoplastons, as Stephens has done, is not the act of someone who has the evidence to back him up. Otherwise, why allow men like Mr. Stephens to keep claiming to represent him?

In the end, oddly enough, I have to thank Marc Stephens. In the seven years this blog has been in existence, I’ve only written about Burzynski and his unproven cancer therapy a couple of times. Thanks to Mr. Stephens, it’s now on my radar. I won’t neglect it anymore, as I have in the past. In fact, to be sure of it, I’ve set up a Google search for “Burzynski and cancer,” so that I don’t miss any news relevant to antineoplastons.

It’s the least I can do for patients who suffer from cancer as a cancer surgeon, cancer researcher, and skeptic.

ADDENDUM: Peter Bowditch has also reposted Mr. Stephens’ e-mail. In any case, stay tuned for more. This post was just about the attacks on Burzynski critics. Sure, it was fun and a bit silly, but that’s because Marc Stephens is so silly. Another, more serious, post on antineoplastons is required.

Comments

  1. #1 xyz
    November 28, 2011

    To provoke the “seriously unhinged” strikes me as inappropriate and unethical. Normally people call the management on the next business morning on these kind of tempests, or do other avenues.

    “Calling out” incomplete or scheduled results in a poisoned, competitive, adversarial, proprietary atmosphere with complex legal history is simple grandstanding.

  2. #2 herr doktor bimler
    November 28, 2011

    Saul Green, for instance, has been dead for years.

    I’m surprised that Marc Stephens isn’t claiming coup on that as well.

  3. #3 Peter Bowditch
    November 28, 2011

    Like you, I hadn’t written anything about Burzynski for years, but now he seems to have made a project of me I will return the compliment.

    And Mr Stephens (and everyone else “associated” with Dr Burzynski) still seems reluctant to tell me where Dr Burzynski got his PhD.

  4. #4 melior
    November 28, 2011

    Ok, this has clearly gone way beyond the point where a short, pithy Arkell v. Pressdram reference is sufficient to match the hilarity. Perhaps it’s time to wheel out a link to Cleveland Browns v. Cox?

    “Attached is a letter that we received on November 19, 1974. I feel that you should be aware that some asshole is signing your name to stupid letters.”

  5. #5 Narad
    November 28, 2011

    or with your public defender who will file a template Motion

    Well, that takes care of that.

  6. #6 herr doktor bimler
    November 28, 2011

    To provoke the “seriously unhinged” strikes me as inappropriate and unethical.

    Bollocks. It’s both a civic duty and a source of hilarity.

  7. #7 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    Thanks Orac, for posting this hilarious follow-up so early in the A.M.

    Dr. Burzynski needs to get himself a new press agent…one that will keep him out of the blogosphere…especially important at this time, because of the pending Texas Medical Board hearing that (hopefully) will remove his license.

    IMO Marc Stephens is not a lawyer due to his poor command of the English language, his paranoia on behalf of his “client” and his threats.

    It is interesting that he uses the British and Canadian legalese “Govern Yourself Accordingly”, which is not used in any U.S. Court that my attorney/husband is familiar with.

    It is also interesting that Marc Stephens makes reference to the Wikileaks case, where a real U.K. attorney, Mark Stephens, is defending Wikileaks and its founded Julian Assange. Coincidence…or is this guy “channeling” the real Mark Stephens?

    All of these threatening, ranting e-mails should be sent to the Texas Medical Board’s legal counsel, now that Dr. Burzynski refuses to disavow his “representative”.

  8. #8 Sharon
    November 28, 2011

    I was hoping Orac would continue on when I saw this latest Marc Stephens meltdown doing the rounds. I know I shouldn’t feel sorry for the guy but……how embarrassing.

  9. #9 eNeMeE
    November 28, 2011

    First, Andy reposted Mr. Stephens’s threats himself. Second,

    Link in that bit is too long by half…

  10. #10 herr doktor bimler
    November 28, 2011

    You must make my email FULLY PUBLIC including the images.
    Also he would like a shrubbery.

  11. #11 Chris
    November 28, 2011

    But will he insist you cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring?

  12. #12 ChemoMan
    November 28, 2011

    Oh yes I have been waiting for this a long long time time

    I eagerly await the results of Orac’s radar scans :)

  13. #13 Sauceress
    November 28, 2011

    Hehehehehehe…
    Thanks Orac. I was hoping to come home to some more juicy comedy from the MAS and you didn’t dissapoint.

    Goats on Fire!!111!!!

  14. #14 Sauceress
    November 28, 2011

    Bah! You didn’t “disappoint”!

  15. #15 CanadianChick
    November 28, 2011

    Fwiw, Rhys Morgan has reloaded his blog piece on the clinic after getting legal advice AND has written a new post about it all, complete with stupidly condescending emails from our favourite non-lawyer.

  16. #16 Peter English
    November 28, 2011

    You do have to wonder about Stephens. He writes like an immature bully, or somebody with a mental health problem.

    I hope he’s OK.

    It’s sad that he seems so keen to encourage false hope in the desperate, and that the clinic seems so willing to accept money from such people.

  17. #17 SCM
    November 28, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this!

  18. #18 Justicar
    November 28, 2011

    I’ve said it many times, the nutters who e-mail me aren’t nearly as entertaining. I suppose I chose the wrong field. I was unaware that the state offered legal counsel in private lawsuits. Well, there goes my long-dreamed of career of suing the poor I guess.

    Also, what kind of lawyer comes out of law school writing like that? Hell, for that matter, what kind of applicant gets in writing like that?

    As per usual, thanks, Orac.

    You are apart of a network started by Michael Shermer called [/snip]

    I’m confused. Is he, or isn’t he a separate entity?

  19. #19 Science Mom
    November 28, 2011

    I wonder if all this bluster doesn’t stem from his “success” at shutting down a UK teenager’s blog. He does seem rather proud of that.

  20. #20 DLC
    November 28, 2011

    Does Mark Stephens also represent TimeCube™ ?
    Seriously. He’s going after Quackometer based on the fact that he as skeptic in his blog title ?
    (to quote Bugs Bunny) Whatta maroon.

  21. #21 Mrs. Woo
    November 28, 2011

    What I find most amusing is his use of “apart” when he is describing someone being a part of a larger group. I’ve worked with several attorneys in the past and they are a stickler for grammar, correct spelling, etc., because it is required for concise communication. I’m not sure if you’re required to take any kind of literacy exam to pass the bar, but if this guy is an attorney he is either not proofing his legal secretary, writing without having his secretary proof him, or just an idiot.

    I wouldn’t even consider his correspondence “coherent,” let alone professional. Since he is listed with patient-type services, I wonder if he is a patient’s family member and true-believer who is upset at the possibility that their last grasps at hope might be provide them no guaranteed possibility of recovery?

  22. #22 Justicar
    November 28, 2011

    Mrs. Woo @ 21: speaking of the ‘true-believer, I noted while reading his legal miss(ive) that he randomly capitalizes true. I’ve also noted in the past that capitalizing random nouns is rather common among the believers in the world. It’s like the Word is somehow far, far more important than the run of the mill, ordinary, everyday kind of word.

    I’m aware that the legal system in the states has a couple of odd capitalization conventions (usually involving whether one court is more or less important than another court), but even they’ve not taken the approach that a senior appellate court has access to the capital t truth, such as would be denied to a lower court. We normally leave that to the congresscritters to declare.

  23. #23 Mrs. Woo
    November 28, 2011

    @Justicar

    I remember from when I did a lot of real estate deals that defined terms could end up capitalized regularly (and in a way randomly, because it wouldn’t normally be a word you would capitalize in every sentence) after they were first defined, but I’m not sure about other capitalization conventions.

    I suspect that Mark is not an attorney (though who knows – maybe he’s just a really bad one) but that he has seen the occasional real estate contract or court summons and knows that “important” things seem to be randomly capitalized and believes that if he does the same he will look more “lawyerly,” and therefore more threatening than someone who just happens to believe in the clinic and its treatment and wants to defend the “lone, brave researcher fighting skeptical systems.”

    Recently I ran into an attorney who complained that the biggest problem going in the US right now is that most people believe they can be their own attorney, much to their later harm. Perhaps this man suffers from that particular delusion, and has extended it to “I can be everyone else’s attorney,” as well?

  24. #24 Todd W.
    November 28, 2011

    Hmm…interesting that this Stephens fellow seems to think that Andy Lewis needs to prove that his statements are true. Is Stephens planning on bringing suit in England, where the onus would be on Lewis? Because, unless I’m mistaken, in the U.S., the onus is on the plaintiff to prove that the statements a) represent statements of fact, b) are false and c) stem from malice or show a willful disregard for the truth or falsity of the statements.

    That, along with some misuse of terms, lead me to believe that Mr. Stephens must have received his JD from Google U.

  25. #25 Omri
    November 28, 2011

    So his proudest accomplishment is that he cowed a minor into silence? (Google Rhys Morgan – very impressive young man, who already has a couple quack scalps hanging on his spear, but as the images show, he’s 17, and can’t afford to retain a lawyer.)

  26. #26 Adam
    November 28, 2011

    Wow that’s a lot of angry red arrows. Clearly he doesn’t like people who think critically.

  27. #27 Denice Walter
    November 28, 2011

    Charlatans resorting to chicanery and under-handed threats? Say it isn’t so!

    Two of my faves:

    A physicist writes to a radio station complaining about a woo-meister’s bad medical advice. The station gives the letter to the charlatan’s legal rep who threatens him with a suit *and* invites him to debate on the air- which he does. He writes this all up, along with a de-construction of the poseur’s “education” and “doctorate”.

    He gets sued by both the woo-master and the legal rep for a total of 13 million USD and an order to take the “offensive material” off the website! Both suits get thrown out of court. ( @ Quackwatch; Lee Phillips 2/14/2011). Here’s the funny stuff: they tried to claim that Lee was interfering with their business and that Lee’s website ( which earns in the *10s* of dollars a year) was a business itself! The written material- and a synopsis of the legal goings-on- remain.

    Todd wrote effectively and sarcastically about HIV/AIDS denialists- which they didn’t at all like- he was then subject to all manner of interference – phone calls, e-mails, to himself, a family member, and his place of employment ( a lab at a university hospital). He gave up his blog under his own name. *But* he has gone on to bigger and better things… still fighting the good fight.

    If data doesn’t support your position you need to resort to lies, pr, conspiracy mongering, harassment, and twisting the law to do your will. If providing spurious and sometimes dangerous health information & services for profit and glory is “business-as-usual”, would you *really* expect truth, responsibility, and fairness to rule in other arenas of charlatans’ purveyance?

  28. #28 Calli Arcale
    November 28, 2011

    sending an pit poodle like Mr. Stephens

    Please, sir. Poodles are a fine, noble, and ancient breed. I am a proud owner of one standard poodle* and grew up with poodles. Do not slander this fine breed by association with Mr. Stephens**. And if you are implying rather a cross of a pit bull terrier with a poodle, well, I have known some very fine pit bull terriers and they, too, do not deserve such an association.

    * Lost another to cancer not too long ago, apropos of this thread; we declined chemo and surgery as there was really no point by the time it was detected, and elected euthanasia instead.

    ** Admittedly, despite his poor grammar, he is at least superior to poodles in the power of speech. He can content himself with that. And I must admit that his clear lack of impulse control is reminiscent of poodles, though usually their enthusiasm is more spent in greeting and fawning over every human they meet. Mine would abandon a meatloaf in order to greet a newcomer.

  29. #29 kruuth
    November 28, 2011

    What do the images prove? All I see are lots of red arrows to the word “skeptic.”

  30. #30 Darwy
    November 28, 2011

    Man… I don’t think there’s tinfoil enough to cover THAT head.

    The screenshots – priceless.

  31. #31 Gray Falcon
    November 28, 2011

    @29: As far as I can tell, he believes that the word “skeptic” proves collusion and conspiracy amongst the people he’s listing. By that standard, Mr. Stephens is connected to every organized crime syndicate in existence, because they all use the word “and”.

  32. #32 Mary Luce
    November 28, 2011

    I rarely ever comment here, since as an attorney I have no medical expertise. I always rely on the regulars here to tear apart the quackery. I am astonished though that Mark Stephens would, while claiming to represent Dr. Burzynski as a victim of libel, argue that Dr. Burzynski is a public figure. The burden of proof for libel against a public figure is enormously greater than the burden of proof for libel against non-public figures. I don’t know any attorney who would knowingly choose to ratchet up the burden he must meet at trial, and to do so in writing.

  33. #33 dt
    November 28, 2011

    Can anyone clarify what the FDA stance in this is? My assumption was that they were uninvolved, merely giving blanket approval for ongoing trials.

    However, from the website of the UK family currently the subject of the fundraising campaign comes the following information:
    See: “Good news from Texas, 23rd Sept”
    http://www.billiebutterflyfund.org/billies-diary/

    “The FDA, the US government agency which controls clinical trials, has given approval for her treatment. Also she has an appointment next Tuesday 27 September to have a Hickman Line fitted which is essential for administering her medication.

    We were told that FDA approval was likely but some children have been turned down for medical reasons. Phase 2 clinical trials at the Burzynski Clinic have already been completed so Billie had to be given Special Exception. It is a great relief to have this approved and it is one more hurdle crossed”.

    This implies that the FDA actively give individual approval for these cases if they are not going to be part of a trial, kind of like a “compassionate grounds” basis?
    Is that what has happened?

  34. #34 ArtK
    November 28, 2011

    xyz @1

    Please look up the term “concern troll.” If you’re going to be an apologist for Burzynski, then step up and do it right. Wussy “you’re being harsh on the mentally ill” posts will just get you laughed at.

    lilady @7

    IMO Marc Stephens is not a lawyer due to his poor command of the English language, his paranoia on behalf of his “client” and his threats.

    You’ve obviously never seen a legal filing by birther-extraordinaire Orly Taitz. She’s passed the bar (in California, no less) and still manages to write in a style and quality better suited to crayons.

    herr doctor bimler @10

    Also he would like a shrubbery.

    With all the paranoia in this latest blast, I was thinking more of “Help! Help! I’m being oppressed! See the violence inherent in the system!”

    kuruth @29

    What do the images prove? All I see are lots of red arrows to the word “skeptic.”

    Clearly evidence of a coordinated effort to attack Burzynski. Weren’t you aware that there is a secret association of “skeptics” out to destroy valiant Warriors For The Truth™ like Burzynski? We get our sponsorship from the Illuminati via Big Pharma.

  35. #35 Paul Morgan
    November 28, 2011

    There is no-one by the name of “Marc Stephens” registered with the Texas State Bar. http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Find_A_Lawyer&Template=CustomSource/MemberDirectory/Result_form_client.cfm
    However, it may be that he’s in California, as it seems his website http://www.burzynskipatientgroup.org/contact-us
    appears to have a Californian IP address. There does not appear to be anyone called “Marc Stephens” registered with the Californian State Bar either http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/MemberSearch/QuickSearch?FreeText=marc+stephens&x=32&y=16&SoundsLike=false
    This may put some of the comments regarding his status in perspective – the Burzynski Patient Group website (linked to above) has someone with this name listed as “Marketing & Sponsorship”.
    I think you can draw whichever conclusions you feel appropriate from this.

  36. #36 Shawn
    November 28, 2011

    First, I think the pure amount of effort put into this e-mail is worthy of some admiration and could perhaps point to how much he believes in this treatment.

    It is also quite irresponsible, imhowctdo, for doctors to claim the treatment is a complete fraud amongst themselves yet probably do little to understand how he has so many “cured” supporters. If you do believe Dr. Burzynski is just out to steal money from people who have almost no hope left, please have the spine to accuse all of the “cured” of being in on the scam to. You can find them here:

    http://www.burzynskipatientgroup.org/

  37. #37 Sauceress
    November 28, 2011

    Orac

    To make sure that the leadership of the Burzynski Clinic can’t claim ignorance, I’ve e-mailed them to ask whether Mr. Stephens in any way works for or represents Dr. Burzynski or his clinic or institute.

    Rhys Morgan’s post “Threats from The Burzynski Clinic”

    Then, on Wednesday, 23rd September – one day before the new deadline was up – I received an email from a law firm called Dozier Internet Law. They informed me they had been hired by the Burzynski Clinic to “investigate and address the issues regarding [my] blog” and respond to my questions in the email sent directly to the Burzynski Clinic.
    They’ve not replied within the deadline I gave.

    Seems to suggest that Marc Stephens may have some authority or sway within the Burzynski Clinic.
    Curious that Burzynski has not otherwise responded to requests for clarification.

  38. #38 G
    November 28, 2011

    I know a few too many lawyers. So. I’ve seen lawyers who can’t communicate effectively in writing no matter how hard they try. And I know people who’ve graduated from law school with no idea whatsoever of legal process or what the law really is. So yeah, they are out there. Even so, I really don’t think this guy can have passed the bar *anywhere*.

  39. #39 Cynthia of Syracuse
    November 28, 2011

    IANAL but I’m pretty sure I know a cartooney when I smell one. If by some unfortunate mischance Mr. Stephens actually is a lawyer, he clearly needs to refresh his understanding of barratry law, and GOVERN HIMSELF ACCORDINGLY.

  40. #40 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    @ ArtK: Thanks for the laugh with your referral to Orly Taitz. Wikipedia has a great article on her and her many lawsuits against Obama. She is also a dentist and a certifiable loon.

  41. #41 Gray Falcon
    November 28, 2011

    @35. We haven’t accused the patients of being liars, only of being mistaken, and attributing improvements caused by other factors to a false medicine. This has happened before, for example, with bloodletting.

  42. #42 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 28, 2011

    Shawn,

    The best way to prove that a treatment is effective is not testimonials, but good data.

    Do you have a link to published data from well designed studies (ideally ones that have been replicated by independent teams)that shows Dr. Burzynski’s treatments are at least as effective as the current standard of care for the cancer being treated? The link you gave did not provide this information.

  43. #43 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 28, 2011

    “Calling out” incomplete or scheduled results in a poisoned, competitive, adversarial, proprietary atmosphere with complex legal history is simple grandstanding.

    Interesting idea, xyz. Are you therefore claiming that all a quack/crank/fraud has to do in order to keep anyone from calling out the inadequacy of their research is simply to keep that research deliberately incomplete? That would certainly seem to be implied by your statement.

    Hypothetical situation for you to answer: a “researcher” has been conducting the same study for over two and a half decades, and even though he’s charging patients six-figure sums to be part of his “study” (contrary to the usual practice where patients are paid to participate) and none of the rumors of amazing cure rates are substantiated by the actual released results… what do you do? Please, do tell us; if “calling out” at any point prior to the researcher announcing themselves done is “mere grandstanding,” please tell us what you would deem the appropriate course to take.

  44. #44 DW
    November 28, 2011

    @ ArtK:
    ” We get our sponsorship from the Illuminati via BigPharma”

    Keeps me in Prada**

    ** Actually, it’s in Burberry and Calvin Klein but it’s more fun to say “Prada”.

  45. #45 Sauceress
    November 28, 2011

    A recurring theme in Marc Stephen’s threats has been along the lines of..

    Quoting again from Rhys Morgan’s post:
    “You can not interfere with business relationships and contracts.”
    and..
    “Google was sued and lost because their algorithm created “SCAM”, “FRAUD”, etc next to a business owner’s name. We also filed a complaint with Google and they had to remove the wording.”

    Do clinical research trials fall under the jurisdiction of business law?
    In legal terms, would conducting a research trial considered as running a business?
    Are participants in the trial considered to be customers? Could Burzynski try to take legal action against critics for scaring away his customers?

  46. #46 kruuth
    November 28, 2011

    I wonder if Mr. Stephens is aware of the fact that while TX may allow all of these quacks to practice, they also are one of the few states in the union in which barratry is a felony. Harassing lawsuits are taken very seriously in this state. TX also has a very nice SLAPP statue in place called the Citizen’s Protection Act in which:

    (a) “Right of association” refers to people collectively “express[ing], promot[ing], pursu[ing], or defend[ing] common interests.”
    (b) “Right of free speech” refers to communications related to “a matter of public concern.”
    (c) “Right to petition” refers to a wide range of activities relating to governmental proceedings or issues being considered by governmental bodies.

    I’m sure that there are a few fellow Texans here that would be more than delighted to bring forth action against Burzynski or Stephens should they try to sue anyone at this point. This clearly falls under “B” as it’s definitely a mater of public concern.

    Keep in mind TX is not some sort of woo-haven. A lot of us are as disgusted by it as everyone else. The problem with being as business friendly as the state is, these folks go where they can setup easier.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve had to use the courts enough to know this guy is blowing smoke. He can’t even meet the barest definition of defamation. In this instance he’d have to prove that defamation was the intent. Kind of tough given that there are already experts on record stating that this treatment doesn’t work.

  47. #47 Calli Arcale
    November 28, 2011

    Shawn:

    It is also quite irresponsible, imhowctdo, for doctors to claim the treatment is a complete fraud amongst themselves yet probably do little to understand how he has so many “cured” supporters. If you do believe Dr. Burzynski is just out to steal money from people who have almost no hope left, please have the spine to accuse all of the “cured” of being in on the scam to.

    I am not a doctor, but I do have opinions on this subject. I would never do as you suggest and accuse the cured of being in on the scam! As I see it, they are Burzynski’s victims, as he has fleeced them for years. The lucky ones who survived his treatments (and, in some cases, who may have actually benefited — note, however, the anecdotes of patients who later discovered he was giving them normal chemo) were charged far, far more than they should have been. And if this was the clinical trial he pretends it was, they should not have been charged at all; that is completely contrary to the normal practice for an unproven medicine.

    So these people who believe they were cured by him are those who were most successfully fooled by him. I consider them among his victims. I would never, ever stoop to blaming the victim, and I am shocked that someone who purports to care about them would suggest anyone else do so.

    Bloodletting was practiced for thousands of years with myriads of testimonials as to its efficacy — even though it actually killed a lot of people directly. There are cancer testimonials on the Web touting the benefits of powdered rhino horn. (Yes, that’s the real reason they’re so endangered now; it’s never been a virility thing.) Just because people believe they were cured by a treatment doesn’t mean they’re right. If you care about them, you should care about that too.

  48. #48 Mrs. Woo
    November 28, 2011

    When I read the original post on The Quackometer, it really didn’t seem all that “mean.” It did not outright call the doctor a quack as much as it said that his research was unproven and that there were allegations in court regarding the man’s right to practice, similar treatment by other doctors has never produced the same results, etc. It also questioned whether it was right to raise money for unproven medical treatments when there were so many lacking for proven treatments, which is a good question.

    He definitely was nothing but kind to the girl and her family.

    I have to wonder if the family contacted the clinic with more questions and either postponed or cancelled treatment after reading Andy’s post and if that is what is causing the uproar…

  49. #49 Peebs
    November 28, 2011

    Just as I was about to complain that nobody sticking up for the good ‘FDR’s along comes Shawn.

    I’m grateful for the link which has completely changed my way of thinking. Six anecdotes and “Open Minded” staff.

    My life has been changed on a quantum level.

  50. #50 badtim
    November 28, 2011

    well, the whois for http://www.burzynskipatientgroup.org shows:

    http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/burzynskipatientgroup.org

    which refers to a PO Box in Pacific Palisades, Ca, which is also the address listed for these guys:

    http://www.shopschoolsupplies.com/

    that PO Box also comes up in various other Burzynski related links.

    oh and congrats orac, the WSJ picked this up.

  51. #51 anjou
    November 28, 2011

    I also am a proud owner of a standard poodle, and also grew up with them. Lola, my poodle is far more intelligent than Mr Stephens and was a tad insulted by the implied association with her breed! ;-)

    “sending an pit poodle like Mr. Stephens
    Please, sir. Poodles are a fine, noble, and ancient breed. I am a proud owner of one standard poodle* and grew up with poodles. Do not slander this fine breed by association with Mr. Stephens**.”

  52. #52 Marry Me, Mindy
    November 28, 2011

    And Mr Stephens (and everyone else “associated” with Dr Burzynski) still seems reluctant to tell me where Dr Burzynski got his PhD.

    Peter – there is no record of him having a thesis submitted with Dissertations Database, so it was not from an accredited institution in the US.

  53. #53 herr doktor bimler
    November 28, 2011

    Shawn @36 complains that doctors ‘claim the treatment is a complete fraud amongst themselves yet probably do little to understand how he has so many “cured” supporters’, and points to a patient group.

    This comes after it has been repeatedly noted that Burzynski administers standard chemo as well as his own nostrums — the main difference being his vastly higher charges — so the fact that not all his patients die has indeed been investigated.

    Badtim @50 looks into the patient group:

    well, the whois for http://www.burzynskipatientgroup.org shows:
    [...]
    that PO Box also comes up in various other Burzynski related links.

    After anon (#44 in the previous thread) called our attention to a “customer testimonial” written in such unctuous terms that you could squeeze enough oil out of it to fill a deep-frying pan, I’m beginning to suspect that the Burzynski empire ploughs a lot of the income stream back into astroturfed support-groups and ghost-written testimonials.

  54. #54 Chris
    November 28, 2011

    Could someone tell me what kind of research clinic has publicly traded stock like this?

  55. #55 badtim
    November 28, 2011

    I’m with herr doktor on that. 860+ five star ratings for his propaganda flick on netflix, all reading like Mike Adams’s finest screeds – not a good sign.

    I also ran into a few other pages on places like Yahoo Answers, with definite evidence of astroturfing. Somebody has some google alerts set up.

  56. #56 badtim
    November 28, 2011

    Chris @54 – yeah the OTCBB play is definitely some sort of shenanigans. Looks like a pure ego play to me, though the over the counter penny stocks are also commonly used as investor bait (Look! We’re a public company!) or for assistance in scams. Not saying ol’ Burzy is doing this, but what actual reason could he have? Inquiring minds want to know :P

  57. #57 Chris
    November 28, 2011

    Tell me about it, badtim. We are still swaddled with some bad penny stocks dear hubby got sucked into buying almost thirty years ago. Because of this, he is no longer allowed to play with finances.

  58. #58 GlaxoPharma Com Orbital
    November 28, 2011

    MESSAGE BEGINS————————-

    Shills and Minions,

    RE: Glaxxon Corpus Project C9475i3JF93720, Operation: Bury Burzynski

    Our operatives have clearly struck a nerve with the tiresome Dr. Burzynski as he has now evidently employed an agitated junior high school student to defend his clinic. As you are all aware, whenever the Altie Rebels stumble onto a new Sooper Seekrit Simple Natural Cancer Cure™ (SSSNCC) we, of course, crush it and them totally.

    What seems odd to us is that the Burzynski Clinic seems to be primarily guilty of dispensing our lovely pharmaceutical chemotherapy agents at a markup that would make a Threm’k Consortium trader green with envy (come to think of it, they’re green all the time . . . I really must brush up on my human metaphors).

    His “antineoplaston” SSSNCC seems to be a complete bust in the “safe and natural as bunny-fluff” department. In fact the ladies down on deck 7 tell me it’s a rather nasty form of chemotherapy. That it has to be injected directly into the hapless, suffering monkey’s heart is a especially evil and dread-inducing feature that even we haven’t incorporated into our products . . . yet.

    Please continue mocking and degrading this charlatan, but on a reduced schedule, let’s say, Level 7b. He’s no real threat to our profits and eeeeeeevil plans for the ultimate control of this planet since he is clearly not in possession of an authentic SSSNCC.

    Now go about your various and sundry nefarious plans my Minions, as DW (DL, Class VII) has indicated, there’s plenty of **Prada for one and all.

    Yours in Pure PharmaEvil™,

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VC, iH7L


    Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Suzerain of V’tar and Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Grand Thwarter of SSSNCCs for 20 Parsecs


    PharmaCOM Orbital HQ
0010101101001

    
—————————————— MESSAGE ENDS

  59. #59 Roadstergal
    November 28, 2011

    oh and congrats orac, the WSJ picked this up.

    Link? Nothing is coming up when I search “Burzynski” on the WSJ site. TIA!

  60. #60 Prometheus
    November 28, 2011

    Someone with more financial background than me (that would include nearly everyone) should go over the annual and quarterly SEC filings for Burzynski Research – to me, it looks as though the company is run at a loss, which Dr. Burzynski takes off on his taxes. This from the latest Annual SEC filing (June 2010):

    “Dr. [Stanislaw] Burzynski is the President, Secretary, Treasurer and Chairman of the Board of the Company, as well as the beneficial owner of 81.0% of the Company’s outstanding Common Stock. Since 1983, Dr. Burzynski has personally funded and supported the Company’s operations out of funds generated from his medical practice pursuant to various agreements with the Company.”

    Given Dr. [Stanislaw] Burzynski’s medical license is once again in jeopardy, look for their stock to go down.

    Prometheus

  61. #61 herr doktor bimler
    November 28, 2011

    Further thoughts on Shawn’s defense of Burzynski:
    doctors [...] probably do little to understand how he has so many “cured” supporters’

    One way how he does it is set up groups like “cancerbusters.com” in the name of a 5-year-old child who was supposedly a supporter, even when the child turned out to have died 6 weeks earlier.
    The Millenium Project documents Burzynski’s habit of setting up a shifting mosaic of promotional websites in the names of different clients living or dead:
    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/cancerbusters.htm

    I see that the Boing-Boing website has picked up the Marc Stephens story, so it is “going bacterial” or however the kids like to call it.

  62. #62 Militant Agnostic
    November 28, 2011

    Chris @57

    We are still swaddled with some bad penny stocks dear hubby got sucked into buying almost thirty years ago.

    Did you go to school with Marc Stephens? :)

  63. #63 ron
    November 28, 2011

    Very interesting financials: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=bzyr.ob

    Must have an interesting corporate structure since the publicly-listed entity has zero revenue and a market cap of $42M. So, what payee do patients write on their checks? I suspect an incorporation “tree” with lots of related transactions due to common ownership.

  64. #64 Chris
    November 28, 2011

    Ack, no! Oh, geez, I missed that. Need more coffee.

  65. #65 Everbleed
    November 28, 2011

    Long before post 34 I was thinking “…people… it is easy to check this idiot Marc Stephens out… I gotta write one of my terribly rare posts. And then Paul Morgan @ post #35 beats me to it. Just can’t win.

    Marc Stephens is NOT anything except stupid.

  66. #66 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 28, 2011

    Re “Dr.” Burzynski’s qulaifications:

    A Polish commenter over at P. Z.’s tells us that Stan has a doctorate of medical science, which is a Ph.D.-type degree, not an M.D.

  67. #67 herr doktor bimler
    November 28, 2011

    Re. badtim’s inquiries into burzynskipatientgroup.org:
    which refers to a PO Box in Pacific Palisades, Ca, which is also the address listed for these guys:
    http://www.shopschoolsupplies.com/
    that PO Box also comes up in various other Burzynski related links.

    Including, Goodness me, a “Burzynski Legal Defense Fund”! Who would ever have thought that he would need donations to his legal expenses!
    (the Legal Fund has been soliciting for more money for Burzynski since at least 1996, but I suppose in his line of work it is the sort of thing you establish at the same time as you go into business).

    The group has also registered the domain ‘burzynskiscam.burzynskipatientgroup.org’ in the hope that anyone web-searching for dispassionate information about Burzynski’s activities will be directed to them instead.

  68. #68 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    I read some of the financials on BZYR:OTC BB and this company is running in the red…with “0″ assets. Isn’t this the “research and antineoplastins manufacturing plant” that manufactures “synthetic” antineoplastins?

    Didn’t I read somewhere that Burzynski originally manufactured “natural” antineoplastins from human urine…secured from municipal sewage tanks?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

    @ Herr Doktor Bimler: I tried twice to get on the Boing-Boing site and within a few seconds my computer froze.

  69. #69 Narad
    November 28, 2011

    which refers to a PO Box in Pacific Palisades, Ca, which is also the address listed for these guys

    Stephens’s cell phone (562-843-9398) is also tied to a California (Long Beach) switch.

  70. #70 YorkTown
    November 28, 2011

    Hi Orac!

    PLEASE consider adding rel=”nofollow” to your links to crap sites like the Burzynski site. Otherwise, when you link them, their google ranking improves!

    Please read here:
    http://skeptools.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/follow-up-nofollow-skeptics-hyperlinks-links-seo/

  71. #71 Kochanski
    November 28, 2011

    All that is missing from that email of his is the use of many colors and many fonts to make it be the typical loopy rant.

  72. #72 kruuth
    November 28, 2011

    Wow, we’re up to post 68 and Marc hasn’t shown up?

  73. #73 Narad
    November 28, 2011

    Rhys Morgan’s post “Threats from The Burzynski Clinic”

    Then, on Wednesday, 23rd September – one day before the new deadline was up – I received an email from a law firm called Dozier Internet Law.

    These guys are pretty amusing just by themselves.

    Please be aware that this letter is copyrighted by our law firm, and you are not authorized to republish this in any manner. Use of this letter in a posting, in full or in part, will subject you to further legal causes of action.

  74. #74 palindrom
    November 28, 2011

    I’m beginning to smell serious Streisand Effect on this. (What a useful term!)

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

    Could this artillery shell from Stephens kick loose an avalanche of trouble for Dr. B? I’ll start the popcorn.

  75. #75 Sauceress
    November 28, 2011

    I have been trying hard to resist…but..
    We all stood up,
    and Marc stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
    pictures, and the judge walked in sat down…with his seeing eye dog… and he
    sat down, we sat down. Marc looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the
    twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows
    and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.
    And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles
    and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and Marc began to cry.

    [adapted from "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" by Arlo Guthrie]

  76. #76 TheEponymousBob
    November 28, 2011

    Is there any way to could engineer it so that we pair this guy off against Simon Singh’s recent favourite Psychic Sally attack-bot?

    http://slsingh.posterous.com/part-2-my-open-reply-to-my-legal-pen-pal-psyc

  77. #77 Andy
    November 28, 2011

    Hopefully the threatened people are forwarding these e-mails to the Texas State Bar. I’m not a Texas lawyer and don’t have any particular knowledge about the rules of discipline in Texas (though most of them are fairly consistent across state lines). Regardless of whether or not he is actually a lawyer, there are usually rules against lying to third parties and threatening a third party with civil/criminal charges in order to coerce them in a private matter. If any of the people he threatened are represented by counsel, he also may have broken rules against communicating with opposite parties represented by counsel.

    * Disclaimer: I am not licensed to practice law in the state of Texas and don’t know anything about the Texas rules of discipline, other than reading them after a google search. The above is not legal advice and should not be taken as such.

  78. #78 badtim
    November 28, 2011

    well the link was this:

    http://onespot.wsj.com/law/2011/11/28/19ba5/marc-stephens-issues-more-threats-on

    this morning, but gone now.

    562 eh? Yeah that’s Long Beach / Irvine area, the number block is assigned to Sprint/NexTel cellphones.

    question – that one burz site (can’t remember which one)has a sidebar listing patient names. is that even legal HIPPA?

  79. #79 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    @ Andy: He didn’t actually claim to be a lawyer…he stated he “represents” Burzynski.

    @ badtim: The people who were listed as patients provided “testimonials” about their regression/cure from cancer, so it is not a violation of the HIPPA patient privacy law.

    BTW, the Wikipedia website on Stanislaw Burzynski, now has picked up on the Andy Lewis and Rhys Morgan harassment by Marc Stephens under a new header “Burzynski Clinic’s threat to online critics”

  80. #80 herr doktor bimler
    November 28, 2011

    I like the section in the Wikipedia entry about the movie:

    …panned by various reviewers as being biased, poorly produced propaganda for Burzynski’s treatments… “violates every basic rule of ethical filmmaking”… a “paranoid conspiracy theory” … “simplistic to the point of idiocy”… “a puff-piece paean that cherrypicks facts and ignores any criticism”

    Then

    The only way to judge these reviews is to watch it yourself. Please take the time to watch the documentary “Burzynski” to have an accurate and informative opinion.

    Evidently the Edit wars are still in progress.

  81. #81 Sauceress
    November 28, 2011

    How convenient that the following probation terms don’t appear to apply to Marc Stephens and the Burzynski Patient Group.

    “Limits Placed on Burzynski’s Cancer Treatment”
    [Texas Attorney General's Office News Release, February 10, 1998]

    Under the agreement, Burzynski and BRI agree to abide by probation terms he was placed under by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. Specifically, the agreement stipulates that Burzynski:

    *Cannot distribute unapproved drugs in Texas
    *Can distribute “antineoplastons” only to patients enrolled in FDA approved clinical trials, unless or until FDA approves his drugs for sale
    *Cannot advertise “antineoplastons” for the treatment of cancer
    *Must place a disclaimer to his website, promotional material and ads stating that the safety and effectiveness of “antineoplastons” have not been established
    [emphasis added]

    Scource: Quackwatch 04ConsumerEducation/News

  82. #82 meg
    November 28, 2011

    @ Justicar #22 – having taught high school students for many years, they do a lot of the random capitalising as well – no idea where it’s come from. I keep telling them we’re not German . . . hmm, is there a link between age/maturity and capitals? Or am I confusing causation and correlation?

    @kururth #29 – I’m with you. I don’t get the pics. Other than amusing from our standpoint. Why use them? Let alone insist they be published? Was he thinking to embarrass via association? It just makes no sense, even when I try and think ‘outside the box’ like he’s obviously doing, I just don’t get the point. I mean, way to make yourself look incompetent before hitting the court room . .. .

    Otherwise, I wasn’t previously familiar with Andy’s website. So I’m off there to find out more about the quacks. (If Mr Stephens is reading, that means your letter kinda backfired)

  83. #83 Nick
    November 28, 2011

    If Marc is a lawyer, he is free to post his BAR license. I can’t find him on the bar website for CA or TX. Otherwise, he needs to STFU.

  84. #84 herr doktor bimler
    November 28, 2011

    Note that Rhys Morgan contacted the Burzynski Clinic, asking for confirmation that Marc was representing them legally, as he claimed.
    http://rhysmorgan.co/2011/11/threats-from-the-burzynski-clinic/

    He received (1) a further e-mail from Marc (to whom his request had evidently been forwarded), a FINAL WARNING TO YOU with an attached Google map to show that Marc knows where Rhys Morgan lives; and
    (2) an e-mail from “Dozier Internet Law”, also claiming to represent Burzynski.

    Dozier Internet Law have a reputation as shysters who specialise in pressuring consumer-report websites into taking down negative reviews of products and services.

  85. #85 ArtK
    November 28, 2011

    lilady,

    He doesn’t claim to be a lawyer, but he won’t deny it either. He postures as if he were one creating FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) in the minds of his readers as to how much reality there is behind his threats. It’s like the guys shaking down the corner store. They never issue direct threats, but say things like “it would be a real shame if anything were to happen to this nice little store…”

    My research makes me think that Mr. Stephens is in SoCal and is in real estate.

  86. #86 Evilcyber
    November 28, 2011

    Mr. Stephens, you are one entertaining fellow.

  87. #87 marty
    November 28, 2011

    I also posted on Rhys’ blog, but “Dozier Internet Law” sparked a memory.

    Ah, and herr doktor bimler picked up on it too :D

    At least those guys (somehow) are actual lawyers. And this response to one of their cease and desist notices is good: http://www.citizen.org/documents/directbuyresponse.pdf

  88. #88 Scote
    November 28, 2011

    “Dozier Internet Law have a reputation as shysters who specialise in pressuring consumer-report websites into taking down negative reviews of products and services.”

    And for trying to claim their legal threat letters are copyrighted and that posting the thread may result in a copyright lawsuit from Dozier. Nice trick trying to keep thuggish legal threats secret by threat of additional legal action. Seems like the kind of thing extortionists would do rather than a law firm that stands on firm legal ground, but that’s just my opinion.

    http://www.citmedialaw.org/copyright-misuse-and-cease-and-desist-letters

  89. #89 Vicki
    November 28, 2011

    Whether he has a Ph.D. is an interesting question. Wikipedia’s cite on his education is a link to an interview/promotional piece (it links to his website and has pictures of children and such). He dismisses the claim that he doesn’t really have a research degree as a politically motivated lie, but doesn’t state what his Ph.D.-equivalent research was about.

    It seems plausible that someone would have left Poland in 1970 because he didn’t want to join the Communist Party. I have no idea of whether that would have led to a post-Solidarnosc university administration lying about that expatriate’s credentials. A statement of at least the title or subject of his doctoral thesis, even if he can’t point to an online version, would have supported his claim. (If he’s reading this thread, he can of course provide the information in a comment, but I have no particular reason to expect that he’ll see this question.)

  90. #90 Matthew Cline
    November 28, 2011

    @Mary Luce:

    Since you’re an attorney, could you answer this question: is there anything illegal about someone who isn’t a lawyer not only claiming to be a lawyer, but also claiming to represent a particular person?

  91. #91 lsm
    November 28, 2011

    This is far better than watching TV. Hubby and I are pulled up to the computer with slippers and popcorn. What we are wondering re Chris’ link @54:

    Why would Dr. Burz need Mr. Stephens to represent him, when a member of his board of directors is described thusly:

    Michael H. Driscoll, J.D. was a Judge and served as the County Attorney of Harris County, Texas from 1981 to 1997. Mr. Driscoll has been a Director of Burzynski Research Institute Inc. since 1984.

  92. #92 badtm
    November 28, 2011

    well, in my mind it comes down to one thing: the guy is definitely intending to give the impression that he is a lawyer, an impression that he thinks will work on those not very familiar with the law / lawyers. this is a cowardly sort of impersonation, but it would definitely take in a wide variety of folks that don’t know much about these things.

    the refusal to answer the point-blank question, “Are you a lawyer?” is very telling. i have a feeling that the Texas / California bars would not be very happy about this, regardless of the lack of outright false statements. then again IANAL and all that.

  93. #93 evilDoug
    November 28, 2011

    Why would Dr. Burz need Mr. Stephens to represent him …

    I suspect it may be because an actual lawyer is bound by law and by professional ethics, and can’t get away with the out-and-out bullying that Mssrs. Yapper, Blowhard and Flapjaw can.

  94. #94 Jenn
    November 28, 2011

    http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/snapshot/snapshot.asp?ticker=BZYR:US

    Interesting that “Dr. Gregory S. Burzynski” was “unanimously elected” to the board of directors of the Research Institute… According to the Texas Medical Board website, Dr. GSB was born in 1979, graduated from medical school in 2007 in Poland, residency in 2010, and is also the vice president of the company. Impressive (read: unheard-of) to become VP and be elected to board of directors during your first 2 years out of residency… At least he is actually board certified in IM (according to the ABIM website); Dr. SRB does not claim any board certification in IM, oncology, neuro-oncology, or anything else in his bio listed on the Business Week website. Also, the Business Week bio claims that Dr. GSB has “been involved in co-authoring numerous publications regarding Antineoplastons”; however, I cannot find any listing for him under Burzynski G or Burzynski GS on Pubmed.

  95. #95 Chris
    November 28, 2011

    That is very interesting, Jenn. When I check PubMed I see a “Burzynski B” as an author, often with “Burzynski SR.” Who is that?

  96. #96 lilady
    November 28, 2011

    B. Burzysnki is Barbara Burzynski, M.D….Stanislaw’s wife, mother of Gregory…who are all practicing together and who are all on the Board of Directors of the research/manufacturing corporation.

  97. #97 Evil Ash
    November 29, 2011

    I’m amazed that Marc Stephens is dumb enough to try and insinuate he is a lawyer, when information to disprove that is readily available on the internet.

    The other thing that surprises me is the veiled threats he’s making, among them including Google Maps screenshots of Ryhs Morgan’s home in his communications with him. Marc Stephens doesn’t seem to be a very smart fellow by doing all this, it appears his ego is writing a check he can’t cash.

    One last thought for Marc Stephens to consider, a quote from Robert E. Howard (creator of the Conan the Barbarian series of books). “Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.”

    To translate that into simple terms since Marc Stephens doesn’t seem to be very bright: his words and actions can have real world consequences. Whether it’s being brought up on criminal charges, being sued in civil court, or simply getting a punch in the face – sooner or later he and the people at the Burzynski Clinic are going to bite off more than they can chew with the wrong person. Just a matter of time.

  98. #98 Jenn
    November 29, 2011

    @Chris: I’m not sure. There is no “Burzynski B” listed on the clinic’s website, and GSB would have been 9 years old when the first paper listing BB was published (according to Pubmed).

    Also interesting: as noted by a commenter on Rhys Morgan’s blog, the “Royal Medical Society (U.K.)” listed by Dr. SRB on the clinic’s website does not exist per se. While he could be referring to the “Royal Society of Medicine”, it makes no sense to cite this incorrectly.

    For the ultimate irony, Dr. SRB listed the “Academy of Medical Ethics” in his list of professional organizations; this does not exist, according to Google. The closest is the “American Academy of Medical Ethics”, or AAME, which seems to be a group set up to petition against physician-assisted suicide and which has a lengthy reading list of anti-abortion articles.

  99. #99 Patrick
    November 29, 2011

    Ah – 50 years and billions upon billions spent for research that has produced no substantial conclusion – and we call Burzynski ‘dubious’?

  100. #100 lilady
    November 29, 2011

    I was mistaken about Barbara Burzynski…she is an MD but is not licensed to practice in Texas and, she is also the wife of Stanislaw Burzynski The three Burzynskis serve on the Board of Directors of the research/manufacturing antineoplastons Corporation which is described as a “state of the art” plant the manufactures “synthetic” antineoplastons.

    I also got some other details about the senior Dr. B. from the Texas Medical Board He has no specialty board certifications and self-describes his specialty as “internal medicine”.

    I have other details about the two patients that are named in the pending complaint filed by the Texas Medical Board against Stanislaw Burzynski:

    Patient “A”:

    “First consulted the doctor, May 2008 with a diagnosis of breast cancer, mets to the brain, lungs and liver. Dr. B. prescribed 5 immunotherapy agents (phenylbutarate, erlotinib, dasatinib, vorinostat and sorafenib) not of which are FDA approved for treatment of breast cancer, nor are they approved as “off-label” treatment of breast cancer.

    He also prescribed capecitabine, a chemotherapeutic agent. (Per the complaint) The concurrent 5 immunotherapy agents in combination with a chemotherapeutic agent ’caused the patient’ to suffer unwarranted side effects.

    Respondent (Burzynski) owned the pharmacy from which the drugs were ordered and failed to disclose his ownership interest in the pharmacy to the the patient”.

    Patient B:

    “First consulted the doctor March 2003 with a diagnosis of esthesioneuroblastoma and was prescribed sodium phenylbutarate for which there is no FDA approval to treat this type of cancer and there is no FDA approval for “off-label” use for this type of cancer.

    Follow-up MRIs in August and December 2003 and March 2004 showed disease progression, but the patient was continued on phenylbutarate during the eleven months period and was not told about the drugs lack of efficacy for her disease.”

    The complaint then proceeds to describe the agreement made during a previous adjudicated complaint made against him where he agreed to not prescribe immunotherapeutic drugs without the permission of the FDA.

    I think the good doctor is in deep doo-doo now because the Texas Medical Board has the records on these two patient and is going after him for major violations of the previous proceedings and for the use of totally unapproved (even for “off-label” use) of multiple immunotherapeutic drugs. How about the ethics of not disclosing his ownership of the pharmacy and the cost of the drugs versus the cost of the drugs ordered from an “independent” pharmacy?

  101. #101 Narad
    November 29, 2011

    Ah – 50 years and billions upon billions spent for research that has produced no substantial conclusion – and we call Burzynski ‘dubious’?

    “We”? That characterization was measured by any stretch of the imagination.

  102. #102 lilady
    November 29, 2011

    I hand typed information about the two patients whose cases are being reviewed in the most recent pending complaint Texas Medical Board -vs- Bruzynski…just to avoid “moderation”

    Here, I am still in moderation…but the complaint is a gem and the good doctor might really lose his license this time.

  103. #103 Sauceress
    November 29, 2011

    lilady #68

    Herr Doktor Bimler: I tried twice to get on the Boing-Boing site and within a few seconds my computer froze.

    Representative from Burzynski Clinic sends aggressive legal threats to skeptics who question “antineoplaston” cancer therapy

  104. #104 xyz
    November 29, 2011

    Antaeus Feldspar@43
    Call me Ishmael. With TMB or FDA as Ahab, I don’t think the regulatory part has worked too well for anyone. The real Mocha Dick had a 100 harpoons stuck in him before rendered. The Burzynski affair is muddied by the flaws in all parties. In the ’80 and ’90s the regulatory and public evaluation processes failed due to their bias, overreach and abuse.

    The ultimate constraint on antineoplasteons or Burzynski is through competition with documented, highly effective treatments at reasonable prices, not so much by sanctions, through a demand for effective treatments AND well documented results. Oncology has often failed on the effective part no matter how shiny and thick the paperwork.

  105. #105 Chris
    November 29, 2011

    xyz:

    The ultimate constraint on antineoplasteons or Burzynski is through competition with documented, highly effective treatments at reasonable prices, not so much by sanctions, through a demand for effective treatments AND well documented results.

    Prove it. Show us the peer reviewed papers of those who have independently replicated Burzynski’s methods. Or, just show us the results of the clinical trials he has charged families hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last three years. Just post the title, journal (only high impact journals, please), and dates (none before 2009, please) that Burzynski has honestly tabulated the resutls of his “clinical trials.”

  106. #106 lilady
    November 29, 2011

    @ Sauceress: Thanks so much for the link to the great article on boing-boing. (The site I got to twice and unsuccessfully seemed to be a commercial site from China.) It stopped my laptop cold…oh well, I knew one of you guys would come to my rescue.

    I’ve come to some interesting conclusions about the promotion of Burzynski’s propaganda movie. It gave the skeptics the opportunity to once again slam the psuedo-science quackery practice of this brave, intrepid, “warrior cancer treatment researcher and doctor”.

    Even better, were the emailed threats by Dr. Burzynski’s “representative”. Are they all too effin’ stupid to not realize that Dr. B’s shady past, his deplorable science and the treatments he provides to cancer patients would not be brought up again to a very large internet audience?

    I love our cadre of skeptics here in the USA, the UK and our colleague in Australia, who will not let Dr. B’s voodoo medicine go unchallenged.

    Just maybe, the activities of Dr. B’s associates and his “representatives” will be brought to the attention of the Texas Medical Board when they consider the pending serious charges leveled against Dr. Bruzynski.

  107. #107 Militant Agnostic
    November 29, 2011

    evilDoug @93

    I would have expected Burzinski would have engaged the services of Dewey, Cheatam and Howe.

    The commentary on Boing Boing about Burzinski/Stephens is by Cory Doktorow, so this thing is definitely developing legs outside of the skeptosphere.

  108. #108 lilady
    November 29, 2011

    Yes xyz, we would all be interested in your views of the perverse onerous regulatory process that has kept effective cheap cancer treatments out of the hands of doctors.

    You do know, don’t you, that Orac is the director of a breast cancer research center and a breast cancer surgeon. He has blogged extensively about the tedious, often extensive research that he is involved with. He doesn’t operate in a vacuum. His research entails building on the research done by others and researchers in the future will benefit by the research done by him and his colleagues.

    Breast cancer itself is not just one disease, but a complex group of different diseases that are “graded” according to the mutations in the specific cells, the defining of the borders of the tumor and its ability to infiltrate locally, regionally and to throw off micro metastasizes to the spine, the lungs and the brain. Only some of the gene mutations that greatly increase a woman’s chances of being diagnosed with very aggressive breast cancers and are hereditary, have been identified. There is also the matter of identifying estrogen sensitive tumors, as well…in order to plan chemotherapeutic treatment after surgery.

    Dr. Burzynski has “researched” and developed chemicals that he extracted from urine collected underground sewage storage tanks at municipal parks that he has labeled as antineoplastons and he claims that this all-purpose magical elixir that he pumps into patients in an IV line, can cure Stage V metastatic breast, lung, colon and bladder cancer…in addition to aggressive brain tumors.

    Trials, using his all purpose antineoplastons, having been done by researchers at Cancer Treatment hospitals in Baltimore, NYC and in Japan and the results Dr. Burzynski claims of extended remissions and cures have never been replicated. In fact, patients have a shortened lowered quality of life and die sooner than patients who are treated with conventional cancer treatments.

    So show us, any studies that you can locate, that dispute these results. The studies have to be from first tier peer reviewed journals.

  109. #109 xyz
    November 29, 2011

    Chris@104
    Prove what? I didn’t say anything about whether antineoplasteons worked.- I meant overpowering competition by successful conventional treatments with a good track records. People usually buy “outside” if they are desperate because they have a hopeless treatment prognosis or no options. No need exists with a good, solid conventional treatment. Then a poser’s potential market shrivels to unsustainable.

  110. #110 Militant Agnostic
    November 29, 2011

    xyz – what part of charging patients 10s and hundreds of thousands of dollars for participating in “clinical trials” and selling them conventional chemotherapy drugs at a markup a of a few hundred % above retail is despicably unethical don’t you understand. You are championing a con man.

  111. #111 Narad
    November 29, 2011

    The ultimate constraint on antineoplasteons or Burzynski is through competition with documented, highly effective treatments at reasonable prices

    Oh, great, Adam Smith and his invisible schlong Silver will save the day.

  112. #112 puppygod
    November 29, 2011

    Vicki @98

    Whether he has a Ph.D. is an interesting question.

    Actually, yes, there is something odd with that. According to published data he got Master degree in 1967 and then got Doctoral degree in biochemistry in 1968… Which is highly unusual, however you look at this. But wait, there is more.

    It seems plausible that someone would have left Poland in 1970 because he didn’t want to join the Communist Party. I have no idea of whether that would have led to a post-Solidarnosc university administration lying about that expatriate’s credentials.

    Actually, it’s slightly more complicated. 1968 in Poland was a year of student protests (which were crushed) and internal conflict between different factions within Polish United Workers’ Party covered by anti-Zionist propaganda campaign. Side effect of all this was a surge of emigration – mostly people of Jewish origin, many of them scientists. Timeline would add up, but… If Burzynski was among the persecuted, then how in the hell he managed to get Doctoral degree in record time? My best guess would be that he actually had a backing of the Party at the time (which would explain record time degree), but unfortunately it was from the faction that did lost in the internal struggle – hence emigration soon after.

    Just a guesswork, though. Medical University of Lublin doesn’t have online database of Doctoral theses and I doubt anything more can be done without actually physically visiting the school archives. Also, I doubt that there is any ground to question his credentials – most probably he actually got all paperwork right (quality of research and supposed political backing notwithstanding) and ultimately it has no bearing on efficiency (or lack of thereof, as it seems) of ‘antineoplaston’ therapy.

  113. #113 herr doktor bimler
    November 29, 2011

    The ultimate constraint on antineoplasteons or Burzynski is through competition with documented, highly effective treatments at reasonable prices

    So we can agree that there is a problem with a purveyor of a chemotherapy regime that is undocumented, ineffective, and is provided at 10 times the purchase price of the drugs, who is at least in contact with Marc Stephens and who has unquestionably engaged the services of a team of writ-hurling legal bottom-feeders like Dozier Internet Lawyers?

  114. #114 lurker
    November 29, 2011

    lilady @101

    Sounds relevant to my interests. Oh moderation, hurry up so we can read and enjoy!

  115. #115 Jack Knight
    November 29, 2011

    The vitriol (and poor grammar) sounds exactly like the writings of AIDS Denialist Clark Baker. A New York Supreme Court Judge just eviscerated Mr. Baker for an affidavit he submitted on behalf of Celia Farber’s ludicrous defamation suit against a well known and well respected AIDS Activist. In the judgement, the judge said that Mr. Baker had no credibility to discuss the matter and none of his comments were pertinent in the least. A normal person would have been embarrassed, but I’m sure Mr. Baker is not capable of actual human emotion.

  116. #116 ArtK
    November 29, 2011

    xyz @104

    To show that Burzynski’s treatment is bad (i.e. fraudulent, ineffective, dangerous), it’s not necessary that we come up with any better treatment. In science, each idea is graded on its own merits. Nobody had to develop working cold fusion to show that Fleischmann and Pons were wrong.

    We’re talking about people’s lives and happiness here, not competing brands of laundry detergent. It behooves us to be more deliberate in our choices than “may the most popular idea win.”

    As I pointed out in #34 and repeat again: Your “concern troll” approach to advocacy is wimpy. Disavowing belief in Burzynski’s claims while simultaneously advocating for them shows that you’re just as intellectually honest as Burzynski is ethical.

  117. #117 Mary Luce
    November 29, 2011

    @Matthew Cline

    In Illinois, if one holds oneself out as an attorney, directly or indirectly, without holding an Illinois license to practice law, one is guilty of contempt of court. 705 ILCS 205/1. The fine is pretty small, but actual damages are also available in addition to the fine. The ISBA is pretty good at going after the unauthorized practice of law in Illinois. However, if someone is threatened into doing something by someone falsely claiming to be an attorney based on their mistaken belief that that person is an attorney, fraud and perhaps even intentional infliction of emotional distress civil claims, among others, might be available as well. The laws vary thoughout the states,and I am not an expert of Texas law.

  118. #118 xyz
    November 29, 2011

    I’ve got my own reservations about Burzynski and personality. However I have doubts that his treatment prices are “10x,” as #113 said, or even 1.1-2x those at 1515 Holcombe. The FDA seems to have found some merit in his glioma treatments since the 90s. Burzynski’s latest unproven methods with biomarker personalization seem to be current science based if not proven. In fact Burzynski’s gene test price, of Caris TargetNow, the $4000 that Dr O quoted, was 33%-41% lower than what Caris itself quoted today. Guess professional fees are probably a part of that difference. I have not yet seen the direct employment tie on MAS either.

    Are some perhaps indulging in a little demonization here? Realizing no one appreciates a spoil sport at a lynch party, I’ll STFU now.

  119. #119 Lawrence
    November 29, 2011

    Given that legitimate drug and treatment trials don’t ordinarily cost money to the participants (much less the hundreds of thousands of dollars that is being charged here), I don’t think you have a leg to stand on XYZ.

  120. #120 Sauceress
    November 29, 2011

    lilady
    Your post re pending complaint filed by the Texas Medical Board against Stanislaw Burzynski has come up at #100

    Nice work.

  121. #121 lilady
    November 29, 2011

    @ xyz: Well the two cases that are cited in the pending Texas Medical Board complaint (Patient A and Patient B) along with the specifics of the complaint appear in my comment at # 100 above.

    Have you researched all the drugs that Dr. Burzynski prescribed to Patient A and Patient B? I have. None of them are approved by the FDA as treatment for the Patient A’s cancer (breast cancer mets to brain, lung and liver) or approved for “off-label” use by the FDA for metastatic breast cancer. The one cancer drug prescribed for Patient B’s esthsioneuroblastoma is not approved by the FDA for treatment of this type of cancer or for “off-label” use for this type of cancer.

    The Texas Medical Board also questions why Burzynski withheld information about the progression of the disease and the non disclosure to the patient about the drug he prescribed lack of efficacy for her cancer…in spite of three MRIs that confirmed the spread of her cancer.

    There is nothing in the complaint about the costs charged to the patients when purchased through the pharmacy the Burzynski owned-vs-an independent pharmacy, but the Texas Medical Board has raised the ethical question of why Burzynski did not disclose his ownership of the pharmacy to the patients. So, I guess you are calling “demonization of Burzynski” by the Texas Medical Board, eh?

  122. #122 Sauceress
    November 29, 2011

    The Ministry of Truth also has a post up detailing these charges.

    Texas Medical Board vs Burzynski

  123. #123 Calli Arcale
    November 29, 2011

    xyz:

    I’ve got my own reservations about Burzynski and personality. However I have doubts that his treatment prices are “10x,” as #113 said, or even 1.1-2x those at 1515 Holcombe.

    Except that in a clinical trial, the correct price to the patient for the drugs is ordinarily $0. So even if indeed these high prices are normal, it is not customary to charge patients for the privilege of being guinea pigs. (This, incidentally, is the real reason insurers do not pay for experimental treatments — not merely because it’s uproven, but also because the experimenter is supposed to be the one paying.) Charging them gives the false impression that the drug is not experimental, and also creates a serious conflict of interest, especially if the drug is being provided by the experimenter — they have a vested interest in continuing the treatment even if it is not effective, because they are getting paid to do so.

    The office costs cited are also ridiculous, quite honestly, and he requires large non-refundable deposits paid up-front. That’s very peculiar even for an FDA-approved medication. For an experimental medication, it’s a serious red flag. To me, a non-medical person, it makes me think he expects patients to flee (or perish) and wants to make sure he gets some money out of them first. If he doesn’t have enough confidence to let his patients pay on a more normal schedule, what confidence should I have?

    The FDA seems to have found some merit in his glioma treatments since the 90s. Burzynski’s latest unproven methods with biomarker personalization seem to be current science based if not proven.

    Some of them might be science based. Some of the ones highlighted in this thread are clearly not, using drugs for which there is no indication nor evidence that they would be useful for this particular cancer. That worries me. What worries me more is that he does not appear to be honest with his patients. There are clear instances of failing to be honest about his patients’ actual diseases and disease progress; there are clear instances of failing to even inform the patient of what drugs were being prescribed, never mind explaining that they were being used off-label. That’s not right.

  124. #124 krazykraut
    November 29, 2011

    We wrote such a nice article on Antineoplastons:
    http://www.esowatch.com/en/index.php?title=Antineoplaston

    Yet we receive no threats! How embarrassing…

  125. #125 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 29, 2011

    Antaeus Feldspar@43

    Call me Ishmael. With TMB or FDA as Ahab, I don’t think the regulatory part has worked too well for anyone. The real Mocha Dick had a 100 harpoons stuck in him before rendered. The Burzynski affair is muddied by the flaws in all parties…

    You know, I asked you a fairly specific question, and it seems like you’re avoiding answering it.  Do you think there should be a loophole whereby a delusional crank or an outright fraud should be able to keep themselves from ever facing justly deserved criticism, simply by always declaring their research to be “incomplete”?

    The ultimate constraint on antineoplasteons or Burzynski is through competition with documented, highly effective treatments at reasonable prices, not so much by sanctions, through a demand for effective treatments AND well documented results.

    Ah, I see.  So you wouldn’t say that you favor the protection of the revenue streams of all “researchers” over the protection of patients; rather, you believe that protection of patients is already accomplished through the free market.  The problem, though, is that even those things that everyone agrees the free market does well, it can be prevented from doing well by, oh, say, preventing consumers/patients from getting full information about their choices.  Which happens to be one of the effects that would come from adopting your principle that no one can say anything about the business being operated by anyone calling themselves a “researcher” so long as they call their research “incomplete.”

  126. #126 Mrs Woo
    November 29, 2011

    @Calli – a much recommended (by other patients) local “expert” in my disease set out his own shingle. I was uninsured when I considered consulting him, so costs were something I discussed up front. I was shocked when I was told that I would be required to take approximately $4000 in tests before ever meeting the doctor, provided ONLY through his clinic, of course. When I pointed out that several of the tests required had already been done elsewhere recently I was told they “didn’t count” because the doctor “only trusted his own staff and equipment.”

    I was immediately suspicious, no matter how many people raved about him, and have never bothered to see him.

    Hearing what you said makes me feel better about choosing to “skip” that expert.

  127. #127 herr doktor bimler
    November 29, 2011

    Antaeus Feldspar reponds to xyz:
    the free market [...] can be prevented from doing well by, oh, say, preventing consumers/patients from getting full information about their choices.

    So what does it say about someone whose legal representative is a company specialising in suppressing full information about choices by closing down websites which report negative consumer feedback?

  128. #128 Vicki
    November 29, 2011

    Mrs. Woo,

    My sympathies on that “expert” not proving to be worth your time (or money). I suspect, though, that he’s got people who are thinking “well, the insurance will pay for it” (though a 10%-30% share of $4000 is not a trivial amount for the patient to wind up paying) or even going with him because they’re more desperate and less critical.

    From a slight distance, I ask “if this ‘expert’ doesn’t trust anyone else’s equipment or staff, how does he know any of the people who walk in actually have this disease?” Also “Are they running their own drug manufacturing plants, and if not, what makes them trust other people’s machinery for that?”

  129. #129 Sauceress
    November 29, 2011

    I’ve noticed that the examples given on the wiki page for Streisand Effect have yet to be updated.

    Also Marc Stephens has done a great service in diverting attention to Burzynski’s scam and I think he deserves some sort of award. Suggestions?

  130. #130 Sauceress
    November 29, 2011

    herr doktor bimler

    So what does it say about someone whose legal representative is a company specialising in suppressing full information about choices by closing down websites which report negative consumer feedback?

    Indeed!

  131. #131 herr doktor bimler
    November 29, 2011

    I think [Marc Stephens] deserves some sort of award.

    Lots of e-mail. Complete with Google Map images showing where he lives, in case he’s forgotten.

  132. #132 Krebiozen
    November 29, 2011

    The ultimate constraint on antineoplasteons or Burzynski is through competition with documented, highly effective treatments at reasonable prices

    I suppose it’s true that if a real, replicable, well-documented, cheap cure for all forms of cancer was found, quacks would have a hard time. At the moment they thrive because conventional oncologists usually tell their patients the truth about their prognosis. Quacks who promise cures, despite a lack of evidence, are bound to seem more attractive to the desperate and uninformed.

  133. #133 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 29, 2011

    So after the Faux Noise reaction to the police chemical attack in Oakland, “It’s a condiment, basically” entered the language pretty quick. Anybody got an in at Urban Dictionary or Quickmeme that could get “GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY!”—with proper attribution of course—before the requisite millions of eyeballs?

  134. #134 Militant Agnostic
    November 29, 2011

    Mrs Woo

    Hearing what you said makes me feel better about choosing to “skip” that expert greedy asshole.

    FTFY

  135. #135 Militant Agnostic
    November 29, 2011

    herr doktor bimmler

    So what does it say about someone whose legal representative is a company specialising in suppressing full information about choices by closing down websites which report negative consumer feedback?

    You obviously do not understand libertarian principles. Dozier Internet Lawyers is protecting the right of corporations to sell overpriced crap without criticism. This must trump any free speech by ungrateful consumers. Remember for libertarians The Wealth of Nations and other writings by Adam Smith are like the bible for Christian fundamentalists – you are supposed to worship it, not read it.

  136. #136 jli
    November 30, 2011

    Marc Stephens has been sacked: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0BzijOpjuex1bMjE4N2JjOGItZGFlOS00NDE0LTk2YzktMThkYjFiOTU2YjNl&hl=en_US
    But the clinic still claims (as expected) that they are right

  137. #137 Stuartg
    November 30, 2011

    Sauceress @75

    Sorry about the delay (I live in a completely different time zone)

    My tablet survived the spray of Shaky Bridge pinot noir. Thank the FSM I wasn’t using my laptop!

  138. #138 james
    November 30, 2011

    137 posts too late…

    But, if an independent researcher can’t get product that is being used by medical practitioners, has had verification from the NCI, blah blah… to market, then it’s a sad sad f’n day for the free world.

  139. #139 oracIsGod
    December 1, 2011

    even worse – people have been cured by this burzynski person – of cancer! oh no!

  140. #140 puppygod
    December 1, 2011

    What have I asked you about consistency in spelling?

    I understand you have to post – you apparently have interest in your fumbling crusade defending income of rip-off doctor who is either:
    a) making wads of money selling false hope to critically ill people
    or
    b) withholding convincing publications about his revolutionary cancer therapy that could save millions of people worldwide,

    but,
    could you at least spare us, poor killfile users from your insane trollings? Is it really that much to ask? Is to type the friggin nine letters with consistent capitalization beyond your mental capacity?
    Please.

  141. #141 LW
    December 1, 2011

    “Is to type the friggin nine letters with consistent capitalization beyond your mental capacity?”

    That’s a rhetorical question, of course, given its demonstrated mental capacity.

  142. #142 LW
    December 1, 2011

    Just for kicks, I reread Stephens’ rantings, and I was struck again by this part, addressed to Peter Bowditch, demanding that he sign some idiotic agreement:

    Instead of signing a burzynski petition sign my agreement to disclose all Burzynski information to you, which by the way is already available to the public and you know it. That is why you are not signing.

    That bothered me the first time I read it too. If the information is already public and Bowditch knows it, why should he sign anything to get access to it? Not that anyone would expect reasoned discourse from Stephens, but contradicting himself in the space of a single sentence is … remarkable.

  143. #143 herr doktor bimler
    December 1, 2011

    Dope-smoking troll has a new name. Forgive him if he gets it wrong.

  144. #144 puppygod
    December 1, 2011

    @LW

    That’s a rhetorical question, of course, given its demonstrated mental capacity.

    Well, yeah. I suspect this much.

    By the way, what’s with loons and capitalization? They also seems to have problems with punctuation and, sometimes, tend to forget about one of the greatest discoveries of humanity – paragraphs – instead going for wall-of-text style of writing. Does anybody have access to nMRI and a couple of loons? I think that there is some discovery related to brain areas responsible for writing structure and also involved in development of certain mental problems and personality traits. Somebody might score a nice publication.

  145. #145 dt
    December 9, 2011

    Also Marc Stephens has done a great service in diverting attention to Burzynski’s scam and I think he deserves some sort of award. Suggestions?

    A Hitler parody?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YpK59NvC5Q

  146. #146 Todd W.
    December 9, 2011

    @dt

    Interesting. Though I think I would’ve put Stevens or Burzynski in the lead role. They’re the ones more likely to be losing their s**t.

  147. #147 JLI
    December 20, 2011

    One might think that Marc Stephens had learned a lesson. Well – one has to think again then. He has just started harassing cancer patients again: http://josephinejones.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/burzynski-blogs-my-master-list/#comment-850

  148. #148 LW
    December 24, 2011

    Marc Stephens has graduated to trying to get a blogger arrested (https://plus.google.com/u/0/107233369038542877815/posts/hdNUtVvwXwx#107233369038542877815/posts/hdNUtVvwXwx). Fortunately the police are smarter than Stephens. (Though that’s not really difficult…)

  149. #149 Joe
    February 8, 2012

    Stephens has definitely not learned his lesson and continues to attempt to engage in a battle of wits with Ken at http://www.popehat.com He is losing badly but being the self centered arrogant A that he is, he is unable to admit to it.

  150. #150 Joe
    February 8, 2012

    Stephens has definitely not learned his lesson and continues to attempt to engage in a battle of wits with Ken at http://www.popehat.com He is losing badly but being the self centered arrogant A that he is, he is unable to admit to it.