Respectful Insolence

I got a bit behind on my work yesterday, so I’ll be brief. Yesterday, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) announced its annual Pigasus Awards. Sadly, each and every year, there are far more “deserving” candidates than there are awards to give. However, this year marks something awesome, namely the first time the prize has been awarded to someone who has become such a major focus of this blog over the last year and a half. We’re talking Stanislaw Burzynski, who’s for the first time won an award that he actually richly deserves:

The Pigasus Award in the Scientist Category goes to Houston biochemist and physician Stanislaw Burzynski, who sells expensive cancer cures by administering “antineoplastons,” costing his customers tens of thousands of dollars, and which have never been shown to be efficacious in controlled trials. His cancer therapy is not FDA approved. Despite his many customers to whom he sells his so-called “cancer cure,” he has never published the final results of a single clinical trial. The FDA has sent his clinic warning letters about their unsafe research methods and is currently investigating possible violations of rules meant to protect research subjects, including children.

You’ll be hearing a lot more about Burzynski, probably next week. In the meantime, one can’t help but note that an old “friend,” that TV peddler of quackery extraordinaire, Dr. Mehmet Oz won yet again, this time the Pigasus Award for Refusal to Face Reality:

The Pigasus Award for Refusal to Face Reality goes to Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Harvard-trained cardiologist who hosts The Dr. Oz Show on broadcast television, one of the most popular syndicated television shows in America. The only person to have won a Pigasus Award two years in a row, he wins a third time this year for his continued promotion of quack medical practices, paranormal belief and pseudoscience, including pseudoscientific Reparative Therapy to “cure” gay people, the “energy-healing practice” of Reiki as a way to cure disease, various TV psychics and mediums such as Theresa Caputo and John Edward, faith healers such as “John of God,” GMO conspiracy theories, and any number of new quack diets, herbal remedies, anti-aging cures, and untested “wonder drugs,” among many other pseudoscientific and paranormal claims.

But let Randi himself tell the story:

Sadly, I look forward to Stanislaw Burzynski winning this award again—unless, of course, the FDA finally succeeds in shutting him down.

Comments

  1. #1 elburto
    April 2, 2013

    Oh many congratulations to Count Stan, he’s worked hard for this one!

  2. #2 flip
    April 2, 2013

    Good news, but it of course will just increase their street cred as brave maverick martyrs.

    One wonders how Dr Oz can appeal to so many different bases all at the same time – homophobia, woo, psychics… just goes to show that even the disagreements between various groups can be overcome simply by ganging up on reality-based concepts.

  3. #3 Denice Walter
    April 2, 2013

    In related Burzynski news… I mean comment… whatever

    Scanning over Didymus’ blog, seriously… this guy spends a lot of time thinking and writing about Orac, his ‘friend’ and his minions.
    This does not appear to be healthy.

  4. #4 Crabby Abbey
    April 2, 2013

    Dr. Oz is a quack but I wouldn’t dismiss the GMO conspiracy theories. Why else has Monsanto paid for protection from court action if GMOs are eventually found to be unsafe? If they had nothing to worry about I don’t know why they paid so much to have a protection clause inserted into the latest farm bill.

  5. #5 elburto
    April 2, 2013

    @Denice – Did you see my intro to ‘Burzynski 3 – And on the Third Day…‘? I think I’ve got Diddums’ number.

    Copypasta:

    [start scene]

    The room fades into view. A backlit screen glows coldly. It provides the only source of illumination in the murky gloom of a room that seems almost subterranean due to the total lack of natural light.

    Diddums is hunched over, feverishly banging away on his keyboard, at a disorganised and cluttered workstation.

    As our eyes adjust to the murky conditions we see evidence of food and drinks in various stages of decay, littering the room and radiating outward from his position at the desk. There are ashtrays so overflowing that they look more like mole hills, and every surface (bar the ceiling) is covered by hypergraphia and stained with the greasy residue from cigarette smoke.

    The camera pans upward to reveal a Twistine Chapel ceiling fresco of his beloved Saint Scamislaw, smiling beatifically, arms opened wide, and surrounded by a host of cherubim with Hickman lines and backpacks full of ANP pumps..

    Suddenly an anguished howl breaks the silence. The camera pans back. to Diddums, clutching his head in his hands and rocking back and forth. A stream of indecipherable wailing pours forth from his mouth as the camera zooms closer to the spittle-flecked monitor to reveal two words in stark black on white…

    RESPECTFUL INSOLENCE

    The camera fades to black with the shrieking continuing to echo around the room.

    [end scene]

  6. #6 JGC
    April 2, 2013

    The rider (section 735) attached to the farm bill, however, doesn’t protect Monsanto from court action if GMO’s are eventually found to be unsafe–if they’re found to be unsafe Monsanto isn’t protected from suit or other legal consequence in any way..

    Instead, it directs the Secretary of Agriculture to grant temporary deregulation status to growers of GMO crops, whether developed by Monsanto or anyone else, allowing them to continue cultivation of any GMO’s which has previously been approved by the USDA while legal challenges to their safety is underway.

  7. #7 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    April 2, 2013

    Readership of RI must be up, as 12 million Americans now believe that lizard people run the government.

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/04/12-million-americans-believe-lizard-people-run-our-country/63799/

  8. #8 sheepmilker
    Redacted
    April 2, 2013

    Bob G. That’s not good. Nobody was supposed to know until it was too late. HWMBO* will not be happy.

    *Opposite of SWMBO

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    April 2, 2013

    Actually the poll does cover some topics that are very popular in woo-topia:

    vaccines- autism 20% **
    medical industry invents diseases 15%
    fluroide is dangerous 9%
    contrails/ chemicals 5%
    NWO 28%
    some of the other ideas have been discussed

    Obviously the web woo-meisters know what gets an audience to prick up its ears. Those topics are often spoken about in detail ( Natural News; PRN). I think talking about vaccines, chemotherapy, meds and pharmatocracy increases their audience so they repeat it more.

    Some of the other topics get more play on InfoWars type alt media ( Adams co-hosts Jones’ show)

    -btw- I have only been called ‘SWMBO’ very infrequently: usually it’s “great white queen’ or ‘your ladyship” etc.

    ** I’ve seen much lower numbers about vaccines “concerns” – 30% parents ; NPR/ Reuters 2011

  10. #10 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    April 2, 2013

    You can recognize them from the faint green glow along the outside of their hair and sometimes on shiny parts of their cloths. It’s particularly apparent when they have taken a human guise as a television weather forecaster.

  11. #11 Alain
    April 2, 2013

    @DW (comment number 3), Diddysquat’s main purpose of his existence seem to be writing about us; I’d like to know what else does he do?

    Alain

  12. #12 Denice Walter
    April 2, 2013

    @ Alain:

    I don’t think I want to know.
    Probably not anything productive or meaningful.

  13. #13 Wzrd1
    April 2, 2013

    Bob G, I read the poll results to my wife. Loads of head shaking, until I got to the lizard people.
    She then said, “Those people watch too much Sci Fi!”
    My response, not on SyFy channel.

    As for Dr Oz, one hopes that his woo nurse at least washes her hands before she goes to the bathroom.
    But, at least the sterile field is now a clean woo field.

  14. #14 Alain
    April 2, 2013

    @ DW, you are surely right :)

    Alain

  15. #15 Khani
    April 3, 2013

    #11 He’s never written about me. I feel left out!

  16. #16 elburto
    April 3, 2013

    Poor Khani! I can’t tell you what an honour it is to be nnoticed by one so talented and magnificent.

  17. #17 MIRose
    April 3, 2013

    A well deserved award indeed

  18. #18 alcaponejunior
    UMRK, USA
    April 3, 2013

    Very glad to see Dr Oz win this one for the third time. I don’t think a herd of ducks could produce so much quacking sounds as his TV program. He’s significantly contributing to the dumbing down of anyone who watches his show. Also glad to see the special mention for Oprah “promote a quack” Winfrey.

  19. #19 Khani
    April 4, 2013

    #16 I’m going to have to step it up somehow!

  20. #20 Glaxxon PharmaCOM Terrabase DIA
    April 4, 2013

    MESSAGE BEGINS——————-

    We don’t run “the government”. We run the world. And don’t you forget it.

    Back to work.

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VH7ihL
    Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, The Boss of You

    Glaxxon PharmaCOM Terrabase DIA
    0101101011001010110

    ———————-MESSAGE ENDS

  21. #21 Narad
    April 4, 2013

    Mildly OT: The latest dramatic development in the Wakefield case is that the parties have to submit three copies of all briefs filed to date by April 15. “This Court prefers the covers of appellant’s and appellees’ briefs be light blue and tan, respectively.”

    This is going to grind on for a while.

  22. #22 Abbydoodle
    April 11, 2013

    You are such a spiteful anus. I have been on sodium buphenyl for a rare disease. Much to my amazement it also cured a cancer I had. So you win the D.F. award of the year. By the way I like Stan. Kick him if you want. Patients that other doctors wrote off and said hey you are dead, he brought back to life. You really are a D.F. with a misplaced godcomplex from the 1970′s.

  23. #23 Khani
    April 12, 2013

    #22 Cancer can spontaneously go into remission. It actually does happen.

    If Stan has really found a cure for cancer it would be great for him to release the test results and share it with the world rather than hoarding it for himself so he can make money.

    You don’t have to be quite so rude, either.

  24. #25 JGC
    April 12, 2013

    Much to my amazement it also cured a cancer I had.

    Details needed: What type of cancer, at what stage, and why have you attributed its ‘cure’ (whatever you mean by this) to the sodium buphenyl you’ve been receiving for another indication altogether?

  25. #26 JGC
    One more thing
    April 12, 2013

    Patients that other doctors wrote off and said hey you are dead, he brought back to life.

    Which patients are thess, exactly, and what evidence establishes that it was Burzynski’s treatments that ‘brought them bacl to life”? Be specific.

  26. #27 Khani
    April 12, 2013

    Oh my gosh DJT mentioned me! I think I’m officially one of you now. Hurrah!

  27. #28 Narad
    April 12, 2013

    Oh my gosh DJT mentioned me! I think I’m officially one of you now. Hurrah!”

    I’m disinclined to give him the traffic; instead, I simply relish the image of his desperately watching his WordPress access stats.

  28. #29 Shay
    April 12, 2013

    What Narad said.

  29. #30 Khani
    April 12, 2013

    Oh yeah, now that I know I’m one of you I’m gonna stop reading his stuff. It’s too incoherent to read anyway.