Respectful Insolence

If there’s one thing a budding skeptic quickly learns is that at the core of any good woo almost invariably lurks at least one conspiracy theory. At the risk of flirting a little too close to Godwin territory, this simple fact about pseudoscience, pseudohistory, and other non-evidence-based belief systems was first driven home to me around 15 years ago when I first started becoming interested in Holocaust denial. It didn’t take too long for me to discover that at the heart of Holocaust denial are various conspiracy theories. Somehow the Jews, we are told, conspired to exaggerate the number of Jewish dead in World War II, to make up stories about poor uncle Adolf that make it look as though he planned on killing all the Jews in Europe, when really all he wanted to do was to eject them (as if that were OK).

Often at the basis of these conspiracy theories (more here) was the simple fact that the Holocaust did start out with Hitler’s desire for Lebensraum (or “living space” to the east), free of Jews. When Poland and then later the western Soviet Union was occupied by the Nazis, thus bringing millions of European Jews under Nazi control, in Hitler’s mind that necessitated removing the Jews from Nazi-occupied territories. As I’ve been reminded by reading in Timothy Snyder’s excellent book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, early on the German plan was to deport the Jews farther east. The plan later evolved to different variants, the last of which involved shipping the Jews all to Madagascar. (I’m totally serious; the Nazis did contemplate that.) Unfortunately, with Britain still fighting on and its navy still ruling the seas, there was no realistic way to accomplish this feat. So ultimately, the plan evolved to become extermination through a combination of starvation, shooting, and ultimately gassing in industrialized death camps. Of course, in the conspiracy theory mindset of Holocaust deniers, the claim that the Nazis planned on exterminating the Jews is a lie spread by Jews and, of course, the Allies, in order to discredit Hitler and as a guilt-inducing plan to keep Germany from ever rising again.

I exaggerate, but only a little. In practice, this conspiracy theory postulates that, although there were mass murders of Jews by the Nazis, it was the heat of war and there never was a plan to exterminate European Jewry, and, above all, there were no homicidal death chambers. (Oh, and by the way, Stalin was worse—at least in the minds of Holocaust deniers.) These are then often tied into ancient antisemitic conspiracy theories, like The protocols of The Learned Elders of Zion.

This post is not about Holocaust denial, though. I only mention it because it’s the first conspiracy theory that I delved deeply into and the one that, more than anything else, launched me into skepticism back in the late 1990s. What it is about is how conspiracy theories underlie just about every bit of pseudoscience and pseudohistory, even medical quackery. It turns out that there was an editorial/study published a couple of days ago that readers sent me. I had intended to write about it yesterday, but, then—wouldn’t you know?—Dr. Bob Sears had to go and write something incredibly stupid about measles and vaccines, compelling Orac to do what Orac does best. So now I’ve made it back to the study, which is basically a poll of Americans about medical conspiracy theory beliefs published in JAMA Internal Medicine, authored by Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood.

In brief, the letter, which was characterized as a Research Letter, consists of a report of the results of a survey about conspiratorial thinking in medicine designed to determine the extent of what the authors call “medical conspiracism” in the American public. Basically, a nationally representative online survey sample of 1,351 adutls was collected in August and September 2013 by an Internet research company YouGov. Survey results were then weighted to provide a representative sample of the population, which the authors claim will produce the same degree of accuracy as in-person or telephone surveys. I must admit, I’m a bit skeptical of this claim and would need to see a lot more evidence than a single cited study. But for the moment, let’s assume that a carefully curated, opt-in Internet survey can produce results that approximate those of a well-designed in-person or telephone survey and look at what the survey found. Unfortunately, medical conspiracy theories are common and enjoy a large amount of support:

Table 1 lists the proportions of Americans who report having heard of 6 popular medical conspiracy theories (the full wording is in the table) and their levels of agreement with each. Conspiracy theories about cancer cures, vaccines, and cell phones are familiar to at least half of the sample. These theories also enjoy relatively large levels of support: 37% of the sample agreed that the Food and Drug Administration is intentionally suppressing natural cures for cancer because of drug company pressure; 20% agreed either that corporations were preventing public health officials from releasing data linking cell phones to cancer or that physicians still want to vaccinate children even though they know such vaccines to be dangerous. Conspiracy theories about water fluoridation, genetically modified foods, and the link between the human immunodeficiency virus and the US Central Intelligence Agency were less well known: less than one-third of the sample said that they had heard of these conspiracy narratives and only 12% of respondents agreed with each. In sum, 49% of Americans agree with at least 1 medical conspiracy theory and 18% agree with 3 or more. These percentages are largely consistent with those found by surveys about political conspiracy theories.

Here’s the table:

conspiracytable

To be honest, I’m rather surprised that some of these conspiracy theories come in with such low numbers. At the very minimum, I’m referring to the one about the FDA supposedly “suppressing natural cancer cures” to protect pharmaceutical company profits. To me 37% believing these conspiracy theories sounds about right. It would also go a long way towards explaining the susceptibility of so many people to the blandishments of, for example, Stanislaw Burzynski, whose cancer treatment known as antineoplastons has never been approved by the FDA and who has never published a completed phase II trial of antineoplastons, easily and skillfully taps into this vein of “medical conspiracism” by portraying himself as being “persecuted” by the FDA, under the influence of big pharma. It’s not just Burzynski patients, either. There is a large amount of support for patients with cancer seeking out Burzynski for treatment. I’ve seen it time and time again. No matter how much it is pointed out that Stanislaw Burzynski has no compelling evidence that antineoplastons are safe and efficacious in treating cancer, no matter how much it is pointed out that Burzynski takes advantage of vulnerable patients, there are always people who distrust the FDA far more than is warranted who will tend to be more aligned with the patients and families than with the forces that they perceive to be keeping such families from Burzynski’s natural cure.

The second part of the survey started to look at the potential consequences of such beliefs, which were found to be correlated with a variety of health behaviors. Not surprisingly, conspiracism was found to correlate with greater use of alternative medicine and the avoidance of conventional medicine, a greater likelihood of using of herbal supplement and to purchase organic foods, and a lesser likelihood of getting the flu vaccine, seeing the doctor or dentist regularly, or using sunscreen. None of this is surprising. Unfortunately these sorts of beliefs appear to be very common.

One disadvantage of waiting a day to blog about this is that everyone and his grandmother’s already commented on this particular survey. One advantage of waiting a day to blog this is that it gave the cranks a chance to react. One crank, in particular, took up the banner, virtually proving everything in the study. Yes, I’m talking about our old “friend” Mike Adams, who posted a breathless piece—aren’t all of his pieces breathless?—entitled Top ten REAL medical conspiracies that actually happened. Unfortunately, the very title alone is link bait, virtually guaranteed to get him high traffic through the typical sources that fall for link bait, such as Reddit, Facebook memes, and the like. (What is it about various lists and link bait? But I digress.)

As is frequently the case with Mike Adams Health Danger rants, the introduction is gut-bustingly hilarious:

The mainstream media is focused this week on trying to convince you that “medical conspiracy theories” are whacky and untrue. Published by Reuters, USA Today and other mainstream media outlets, a false story based on distorted research is now trying to convince you that there is no such thing as a “medical conspiracy.” No, drug companies never conducted experiments on children, killing many in the process. No, the NIH never took part in criminal medical experiments on prisoners. No, the U.S. government never lied to you, or covered up natural cures, or conspired with Big Pharma. GMOs were created by people who LOVE the ecosystem, too!

That’s the nonsense we’re all supposed to believe, according to the mainstream media.

By invoking the phrase “conspiracy theories,” junk science authors and corporate-sellout journalists try to marginalize the true history of Big Pharma felony crimes, medical experiments on children, factual government collusion with industry and the incredible harm which has been perpetrated on the American people by the medical industrial complex.

In fact, the mainstream media’s coverage of all this is truly Orwellian, as if the Ministry of Truth is trying to rewrite U.S. history to eliminate all the parts where drug companies, the NIH and the U.S. government quite literally murdered prisoners, blacks, babies and soldiers in the name of “scientific medicine.”

Of course, this is all a massive straw man, as this study said nothing regarding the existence of various misbehaviors and abuses on the part of the medical system and pharmaceutical industry. Rather, it only looked at conspiracy theories that are common but known not to be true, such as the claim that doctors keep vaccinating even though they “know” that vaccines cause autism, that health officials “know” that cell phones cause cancer (they don’t, as far as can be determined and can’t based on currently understood mechanisms of carcinogenesis) but hide it, and that the FDA is hiding an effective “natural” cure for cancer. Yes, of course pharmaceutical companies have done bad things. Such malfeasance does indeed feed conspiracy myths, but they aren’t “real conspiracies” themselves of the type that the study examined. Conspiracies. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means, Mikey. I don’t have time to look at everything on his list (I’ll leave this as an exercise for the interested reader); so I’ll “cherry pick” a handful of examples.

While individual pharmaceutical companies might have hidden data that were unfavorable to their products (as a couple of Adams’ examples indicate), it’s not the same thing as a conspiracy theory, nor does it validate conspiracy theories, as Adams tries to “prove.” Of course, many of the rest of Adams’ examples are right off the charts. Adams cites the reaction of the mainstream medical community to an execrable anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) study by Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini that claimed that GMOs cause cancers in lab rats. I deconstructed that study, as did many others. (Where’s my check from Monsanto”) The reason the mainstream scientific community reacted so poorly to that study was not because there’s a “conspiracy” to “suppress” studies finding danger in GMOs, it was because Seralini’s science was so damned bad. Not that that stops Adams from ranting:

The mainstream media wants you to believe that you are a “conspiracy theorist” if you believe in biochemical cause and effect. Don’t worry, Monsanto loves you! And so do pesticide companies, whose chemicals are so safe that you should be eating them for breakfast!

I’ll pass on the pesticides, but load up my plate with foods made of GMOs.

Not surprisingly, Adams also cites a “The massive academic fraud and conspiracy to discredit Dr. Andrew Wakefield by spreading provably false lies about his research.” One notes, of course, that Adams can’t then cite any actual “provable lies” about Wakefield. The fact is, if there was anyone engaged in a conspiracy, it was Wakefield, as he hooked up with a trial lawyer seeking to sue vaccine manufacturers for “vaccine-induced autism,” received a large grant to do research to support such a case, and even had a competing vaccine for when the MMR was “discredited.” Ultimately, he appears to have committed research fraud in his quest to discredit the MMR, after having basically invented “autistic enterocolitis.”

Then, of course, Adams cites examples of what he considers “gunpoint medicine” but what I consider rare cases of governments actually trying to act to save children from medical quackery. Naturally, he gets all in a lather over Sarah Hershberger, the Amish girl whose parents refused chemotherapy and has become a libertarian/”health freedom” cause célèbre. He also mentions Abraham Cherrix, but doesn’t mention that Cherrix’s cancer has returned and that when last he appeared in the public eye he was battling recurrences of his lymphoma, and Katie Wernecke, who appears to have been very lucky in that she is still around despite her parents’ refusal to complete her conventional therapy. None of these cases are related, but Adams relates them as part of a grand “conspiracy” on the part of health authorities to force children to be injected with “toxic chemicals” against their will. In reality, if anything, health authorities tend to be too deferential to parental “rights” and prerogatives, to the point that children die because they are treated with quackery or faith healing instead of real medicine, but not to Mikey.

Come to think of it, Mike Adams appears to be the best example of medical conspiracism I’ve ever seen. I’m hard pressed to think of anyone more steeped in conspiracy theories than he is. Garry Null, maybe, but only because he’s had about 20 or 30 more years to work on his conspiracy theories than Mike Adams. No conspiracy is too bizarre. No conspiracy is too unbelievable, implausible, or improbable for him. Just don’t tell Lord Draconis Zeneca that Adams is on to him. Perhaps we should send a drone to pick him up. I await your command, O Scaly One!

Comments

  1. #1 palindrom
    March 20, 2014

    Conspiracy theorists appear to be incapable of subjecting their beliefs to any kind of self-scrutiny. I am (thankfully) not a psychiatrist, but I wonder whether the tendency to believe conspiracies exists on a spectrum that continues into delusional paranoia, in the same way that Asperger’s is thought to be a toned-down version of autism.

  2. #2 OneOther
    March 20, 2014

    One of my colleagues is always fond of saying that “the best conpiracy theories endure because they tend to have at least a teeny-tiny bit of truth.”

    I’ve met substantial numbers of African-Americans who believe Number 3 on that list and assorted other “intentional HIV” stories. False, to be sure. However, when I’ve asked some of them about it, most of them invariably discuss the Tuskegee Experiments, the Guatemala experimentations, Leo Stanley at San Quentin prison, etc. They argue that we don’t debate over whether unethical human experimentation or intentional infections ever occurred in the US – we know they did. Thus, for them, it’s relatively easy to believe it is happening again. To me, that sort of belief is hard harder to deal with then something targeting vaccines – which have never been shown to cause the harm they’re alleged to cause. In that case, you have the job of convincing people that something did happen before, but isn’t anymore. To me, that is far harder.

  3. #3 Anj
    March 20, 2014

    Slightly OT

    I find the deflection strategy of saying “Stalin was worse.” to be disappointing. I’m always ready to do a compare/contrast of human’s long history of genocide, both aggressive and passive – but the people who bring up Stalin never want to discuss everything from the Irish Potato Famine to Mao’s policies to the effects of European colonization in the Americas and Africa.

    It’s such a letdown. They only want absolution, not to admit that humans commit documented atrocities regularly.

  4. #4 palindrom
    March 20, 2014

    Anj @3 — Evidently, in terms of sheer body count, Mao is right up there.

  5. #5 Eric Lund
    March 20, 2014

    I’m surprised that the fluoridation conspiracy theory is so obscure, as it was featured in Doctor Strangelove, in the scene where Gen. Ripper asks Capt. Mandrake, “Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?”

    OTOH, the one linking GMOs to Agenda 21 sounds to me like a relatively new, shall I say, metastasis. Agenda 21 is a longstanding political conspiracy theory which is taken far too seriously by far too many politicians (one of several reasons why we can’t have nice things in this country), but this is the first I have heard of GMOs being part of that conspiracy. The usual flavor of Agenda 21 conspiracy theories is to blame the United Nations for all of the world’s ills.

  6. #6 Denice Walter
    March 20, 2014

    Comparing woo-meisters?
    Mike emulates the ancient, hoary Null nearly perfectly except that he rejects AGW.

    Lately, conspiracies have taken another turn:
    It seems that *psychopaths* are at the helm of power- there is a vast, over-arching, cooperative matrix of governmental and corporate corruption that is hidden because they also control the media. Both information and *prices* are rigidly controlled by these bad actors.

    Support for this idea includes mention of ANY malfeasance which has occured by powerful people over the past century or two:
    if a doctor said, in 1799, that people of African descent were inferior, that becomes an important fact. If a respected newspaper ever got a story wrong, that is harped upon repeatedly. Any problem with a drug or a medical procedure is hyped up several orders of magnitude. Even if it occured in 1900.

    All of these crimes aim at harming and impoverishing the average person who is quite alone in struggling against the matrix. Is there anyone who are help these poor, unhappy souls?

  7. #7 AntipodeanChic
    March 20, 2014

    Assuming that the statistics provided above are accurate (and from what I can gather, I can see no reason to doubt them with the possible exception of only 37% of those asked agreeing that “The FDA is preventing the public access to ‘natural’ cancer cures etc”) – they are a frightening, sad indictment indeed of the lack of basic scientific literacy and critical thought in our culture(s).

    I have had a brief look around but have yet to discover any recent, commensurate studies from within Australia, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be at all surprised if things were even more depressing here. [Certainly in some parts of the country, such as the "Bible Belt" of Queensland, where Home Schooling regulations are far more likely to be ignored than elsewhere*.]

    I tend to agree with @OneOther in the sense that many of the most “believed” conspiracy theories are those which originally could be construed as containing a “kernel of truth”, but that really doesn’t explain some of the doozies I’ve heard. One I’ve heard locally far more frequently than I care for is:
    “If a drug is approved by the FDA, it is ‘immediately rubber-stamped’ for use in Australia, despite possible deleterious effects (& you know how corrupted by Big Business the FDA is!)”.
    This is, or at least should be, easily countered by explaining the existence & role of the Australian Therapeutic Goods Association – but of course some will counter with something along the lines of “Well, they’re all in cahoots, aren’t they?”

    BTW: I always feel so dirty after reading anything on Natural News. Certainly not in a good way!

    *http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-28/thousands-of-parents-illegally-home-schooling/3798008

  8. #8 Mike
    March 20, 2014

    Objectively, Stalin was worse in terms of number of humans killed, though Mao beats both Stalin and Hitler. Though just because another person had millions more killed does not in any way make what Hitler did to be better.

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    March 20, 2014

    And you guessed it!

    Both idiots portray themselves as highly ethical, brilliant scientists who have no ulterior motives- except Truth. And assisting struggling Humanity. Their discoveries undercut flimsy, “corporate” science and provide easier, safer solution to serious health problems.

    Besides being scientists they are also hard-hitting investigative journalists eager to enlighten the Public about the Organised Crime entities otherwise known as the Government, Corporations and the Media.

    OBVIOUSLY, the Powers-that-be despise their Truth and seek to ridicule and dis-empower them. That’s where WE come in. Internet shills try to discredit them. They are followed by operatives who seek out dirt on them- one even confessed to Null becaue he found the Scientist to be Pure in heart and squeaky clean.
    The Matrix also keeps them form becoming Famous.

    Thus, readers can’t trust any official information or products.
    they are admonished to shut off their televisions and to stop buying products/ entertainment, to take their money out of banks and the market. And to go Back to Nature and Self-Sufficiency. To learn at the feet of the Master.

  10. #10 Mike
    March 20, 2014

    It is not surprising that they found organic to be associated with belief in so many other conspiracies. I am just disapointed that they included such an odd conspiracy about GMO. I had never heard of that one before. I think a more well known conspiracy is that Monsanto wants to destroy all family scale farms by contaminating their crops with GMO technology.

  11. #11 Helianthus
    March 20, 2014

    @ Orac

    I exaggerate

    Really, not that much…
    I remember a Holocaust denier visiting these threads a few years ago. Reality is weirder than fiction.

  12. #12 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    March 20, 2014

    To learn at the feet of the Master.

    Would that be Roger Delgado or Anthony Ainley?

  13. #13 Eric Lund
    March 20, 2014

    It seems that *psychopaths* are at the helm of power

    This ties in quite well with the earlier point about the best conspiracy theories having some small element of truth to them. As others have noted, American corporate culture encourages the rise of sociopathic if not psychopathic personalities, and our business leaders are strongly revered in this society. Not everybody at those levels is a sociopath, and not all sociopaths achieve such high levels, but the concentration of such people at C-suite levels is quite a bit higher than in the population as a whole.

    The problem comes in when people try to impute, without evidence, a particular nefarious motive to these people. I’m willing to believe that a lot of corporate leaders are up to no good, but I want to see some evidence of what specific deeds they are planning, and that mere greed isn’t adequate to explain it, before I accuse them of being part of a conspiracy.

  14. #14 Helianthus
    March 20, 2014

    @ Mike

    Objectively, Stalin was worse in terms of number of humans killed, though Mao beats both Stalin and Hitler.

    In comparisons like this, I like to point out that Hitler was stopped after a decade or so, before he can go into full flight, while Stalin and Mao were able to run around a bit longer, and in bigger countries.
    Now, if people want far-right dictators which were allowed to ply their bloody trade, let’s talk about Franco or Pinochet.
    Ah, the latter brings us back toward conspiracies orchestrated by the CIA :-)

    @ Eric Lund

    Re: Agenda 21 and GMOs.
    I agree, that’s a new one for me too. Not that I was very cognizant in Agenda 21.
    That sounds like a new graft of the conspiracy about the Illuminati ploy to enslave mankind by depopulation. A previous graft was on Bill Gates and vaccines. Now, it’s GMOs. That shouldn’t surprise me.

  15. #15 Denice Walter
    March 20, 2014

    @ Eric:

    Sure. I find it unlikely that so many psychopaths could work together and keep their ruse intact. Wouldn’t they seek out ways to undercut the others by talking about their deals?

    Also- Adams and Null are businessmen. They run large corporations that are basically founded upon lies.

    -btw- the elder of the two has built up quite a mythology about his own achievements as an athlete, scientist, investigator, debater, advisor-to-the-famous et al-
    sounds a little psychopathic to me.
    Whilst he scoffs at the corporate elite, he has a 6 million USD etstae for sale in Florida. Earns about 12 million a year ( see paradisegardensnaplesfl.com and manta.com)

  16. #16 Denice Walter
    March 20, 2014

    that’s ESTATE.
    Please pardon the typos- it’s the first day of spring.

  17. #17 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    March 20, 2014

    Hitler, Stalin, Mao, sure. Why doesn’t anyone ever mention Pol Pot or the Kim family in these discussions? What does a despot have to do to get a little respect around here?

  18. #18 Denice Walter
    March 20, 2014

    They need conspiracy theories to support their woo because they have NO DATA. The conspiracy explains why they’ve been cheated out of fame and recognition.

    -btw- Mikey’s list reveals that he believes that Andy Wakefield was a VICTIM of fraud.

  19. #19 Eric Lund
    March 20, 2014

    I find it unlikely that so many psychopaths could work together and keep their ruse intact.

    That is the Achilles heel of most conspiracy theories, including all that require the cooperation of more than a few people. I can see groups of two or three, maybe four, keeping secrets. Larger than that and the probability rapidly approaches 1 that somebody is going to spill the beans.

    What does a despot have to do to get a little respect around here?

    Being big enough (China), technically advanced enough (Germany), or better yet both (USSR), helps. Pol Pot was, and the Kim family still is, bad news for people in Cambodia and North Korea, respectively, but don’t have the resources to be more than a minor annoyance to anybody much beyond their borders.

  20. #20 Marie
    March 20, 2014

    Regarding the first question on the survey (the FDA is deliberately suppressing cures for cancer & other serious diseases) —-this erroneous notion is exactly why I disliked the conspiracy theory message in the movie Dallas Buyers’ Club. I had friends say, “wow I really learned a lot about the FDA and big Pharma …you know that was a TRUE STORY”. I I told my friends to look into the facts – very, very little of the movie was true.
    But this award-winning movie sure has reinforced medical conspiracy theories to world-wide audiences. I know it’s “just a movie” but the media can be so influential.

  21. #21 Jerry
    March 20, 2014
  22. #22 Shay
    March 20, 2014

    Hitler, Stalin, Mao, sure. Why doesn’t anyone ever mention Pol Pot or the Kim family in these discussions? What does a despot have to do to get a little respect around here?

    Not to mention Papa and Baby Doc Duvalier — two personal faves.

    I’m surprised the “H1N1 shot is secretly intended to sterilize us all” is not included. I heard that a lot at clinics in 2009/10.

  23. #23 palindrom
    March 20, 2014

    Eric Lund @19 — One remarkable conspiracy that DID stay secret for decades was the 1971 plot to break into the FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania — the breakin involved at least 7 conspirators, and NOT ONE of them said a word to anyone for over 40 years, even though the FBI closed the case after 5 years due to statute of limitations. The beans were finally spilled by an older woman who had posed as a college student to case the joint. Look up “citizen’s committee to investigate the FBI” for details; the NY Times had a wonderful little video on it when it came out a little while back.

    I guess peace activists on a mission are a bit more disciplined than your basic criminal. It’s a good thing for society that most criminals are not particularly smart and don’t have good impulse control.

  24. #24 Denice Walter
    March 20, 2014

    How do we get readers to doubt conspiracy theories and their perpetrators?

    I would always ask:
    If you can’t trust your government, science at large, universities, journals or media outlets,
    why oh why then would you trust a stranger on the internet who wants to sell you something – either an idea or a product- that pads his ego and/or his wallet?

    He’s not your friend and he isn’t “just like you”. He hasn’t your best interests in mind.

  25. #25 Peebs
    March 20, 2014

    Denice @15.
    Ma’am I rarely disagree with your sage words but exaggerating/embellishing/making up past deeds is surely not psychopathic. I’d have said that’s more narcissistic.
    But then again, I’m not a shrink.

  26. #26 Narad
    March 20, 2014

    OTOH, the one linking GMOs to Agenda 21 sounds to me like a relatively new, shall I say, metastasis. Agenda 21 is a longstanding political conspiracy theory which is taken far too seriously by far too many politicians (one of several reasons why we can’t have nice things in this country), but this is the first I have heard of GMOs being part of that conspiracy.

    It seems to haave emerged around mid-2010.

  27. #27 Denice Walter
    March 20, 2014

    @ Peebs:

    It’s not that aspect *alone* that leads me to make use that descriptive but the habitual disregard for consequences for other people, the endless self-aggrandisement, the seeking of adoration by devotees, the cavalier tampering with facts amongst other sterling qualities having to do with self-worship.

  28. #28 Ken Maxwell
    New York
    March 20, 2014

    Denice Walter, you seem to know GN quite well. However, you left out a couple of other important achievements of GN:

    He’s a saint. That’s right, when he’s not hard at work doing science, or athletics, or investigative reporting/film-making, or writing books(almost aways the same thing with a different title), he spends his time with the homeless. He buys food for the homeless, laughs and talks with the homeless, loves the homeless(no word if he ever allowed them to sleep over at his estate).

    Saint Gary would go on and on about this on his radio show, back when I would foolishly tune in every day. Oh and besides that, he NEVER dyes his hair! He’s nearly 70, but because of his ‘living food’, ‘fair-trade’ vegan diet, frequent eating of ultra-organic ‘super foods’ and ‘super supplements'(sure one of them almost killed him, but let’s just forget about that!), positive attitude, chakra adjustment or some other pseudo-scientific anti-aging nonsense he could come up with at the moment, his hair remains its beautiful brown-auburn natural color, no dyeing involved! Indeed, whenever he runs into someone he hasn’t seen in 40 years, they always tell him ‘Gary you haven’t changed or aged at all since the last time I saw you!”‘. He’s said this on his show many many times.

    Oh and if that wasn’t enough, he was/is a civil rights fighter. He stopped short of saying he was Martin Luther King’s right hand man, but he did tons of marches, whenever he had time off from marching and protesting the Vietnam war and against psychiatry and vaccines, etc.

    Around the time I stopped listening to him because of how ridiculous he was getting, he complained about the “conspiracy” wiping out all the information on all his computers, I mean ALL of them, just as he was going to release all these trailblazing scientific studies that revealed how we can all reverse the aging process. But ‘poof!’, they were all gone, all vanished forever due to hackers from Big Pharma, the FDA, or maybe the CIA or FBI destroying all this information.

    There’s a lot more, but that’s all I can remember off the top of my head!

  29. #29 palindrom
    March 20, 2014

    KM @28 — GN: Delusional, grifter, or both?

    Discuss.

  30. #30 Denice Walter
    March 20, 2014

    @ Ken Maxwell:

    I’ve reported about his activities for a few years.
    You might ask why I do.

    Simply because he’s an easy target, low-hanging fruit AND a great example of alt med prevarication. He has made a fortune by selling products and books that are based on tall tales and poppycock.
    I think that consumers should know this before they waste their money on the crap that he sells.

  31. #31 herr doktor bimler
    March 20, 2014

    Conspiracy theories about cancer cures, vaccines, and cell phones are familiar to at least half of the sample.
    I would be concerned about possible response bias for that part of the questionnaire. I mean, even if you haven’t heard of a conspiracy theory [and I don't know if the researchers tested for this by making up their own, novel conspiracy and including it in the list], it’s tempting to answer “Yes”, rather than admit to being out-of-touch.

  32. #32 anon
    March 20, 2014

    Fluoride is listed as a neurotoxin according to this article:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/the-toxins-that-threaten-our-brains/284466/

  33. #33 Peebs
    March 20, 2014

    Denice.
    I see now where your argument comes from. But I still think narcissism plays a part. With a large dollop of cynicism plus a heavy sprinkling of Dunning Kruger (sp. On my mobile and can’t be arsed.to look up the correct spelling!).
    I’ve looked at Adams’ rantings for quite a while and genuinely wasn’t sure whether he really believes his own shit or whether he cynically prays upon the vulnerable.
    I now think it’s the latter and he’s up there with our friend Stan.

  34. #34 Denice Walter
    March 20, 2014

    @ Peebs:

    Agreed.
    And the hair dye issue cited above would add to the narcissism ( small ‘n’- not necessarily a dx).

  35. #35 herr doktor bimler
    March 20, 2014

    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/the-toxins-that-threaten-our-brains/284466/

    The level of dumbness in that Atlantic article is summed up at the point where the author feels obliged to assure his readers that “fluoride” and “manganese” are real chemical names (and therefore scary).

    I see that the Crankosphere is churning that article furiously, with titles like “Lancet Neurology reclassifies fluoride as developmental neurotoxin”. It’s in the Lancet! That makes it official!

  36. #36 anon
    March 20, 2014

    #35 True -how conspiracy theories develop.

  37. #37 AnnB
    March 20, 2014

    I like to know and understand what has happened in history in order to not repeat it. To me, it me it serves as a warning of what humans are capable of, not that it proves any individual case of anything.

    Unfortunately, not every one sees history the same way I do. During Winter Storm Vulcan, I decided to leave work early as I lived far away. I said I had to go; if they closed the roads I was screwed. A 30 year old co-worker replied, that as long as he had been alive they have never closed the roads. Sigh.

    What is the word to describe someone who thinks that they are being skeptical of [whatever group/item they hate or fear] because history or lies or just because people are are often irrational? A pseudo-skeptic, so to speak. I know that many here can have a lot of fun with this, and have at it. But, I am looking for the standard term not the slang or swear words that come immediately to mind.

  38. #38 Narad
    March 20, 2014

    The level of dumbness in that Atlantic article is summed up at the point where the author feels obliged to assure his readers that “fluoride” and “manganese” are real chemical names

    Even Dick Gregory knows about manganese, as evidenced by his underappreciated rant at the 2008 “State of the Black Union” conference.

    On medical conspiracists in general, I was quite impressed to see somebody actually trot out Matthias Rath in the comments on the Dr. Bob piece.

  39. #39 AnnB
    March 20, 2014

    About the Holocaust.

    I worked for an ethnic German in a bakery when I was a teenager. Out of the blue one day, my boss said to me that he didn’t think as many Jews (of whatever number he quoted that I don’t recall) were killed in WWII. When I gave him a stunned look, he said that I didn’t know how bad things were in Germany before Hitler. I almost replied “And, you didn’t know how bad they would become.” But, it seemed too harsh to say and he was poised to say more. He said that Hitler made things better; did I know that he started Social Security. And then he said he never was a Nazi, but he was sent to the Russian front to fight for Germany when he was 17. He went on to tell me that when they captured villages in Russia, the villagers cheered the Germans for liberating them (from their own government).

    Then I learned that he had at least a bit of a guilty conscience when he told me he had hired me because he thought I was Jewish (my surname carries a Jewish spelling). Again, I bit my tongue and didn’t say what I was thinking; that I wouldn’t have taken the job had I known his history. But by this time, I had worked with him for several months and I didn’t see him as a bad person. It seemed like he was just too young and raised in an environment that I can’t even fathom. But still.

    Since then I have been trying to figure out how a “decent” person was deceived to such an extent. I know all sorts of studies have been done on this and I know many Germans have told their stories, so it is not a unique conversation to me. But to have it come from someone I worked with, especially that young, made a large impression on me. One that all the studies in the world I don’t think will settle. I ended up coming out of that conversation with one of my greatest fears to this day. That I could be the person who thinks that a monster is a savior even if only for a short time. This is one of the reasons I love the truth so much. Seeking it is the only way to prevent it from happening in my own life, and if I had any influence, in the lives of others. But, is a damn hard thing to do.

  40. #40 herr doktor bimler
    March 20, 2014

    On medical conspiracists in general, I was quite impressed to see somebody actually trot out Matthias Rath in the comments on the Dr. Bob piece.

    In further medical-conspiracy thinking, Rath — or rather, the “Rath Foundation” — is perhaps the strongest advocates of the theory that Orac’s secret identity is also editing Wikipedia under the nom-de-keyboard of MastCell (where he uses that position to expunge all the information which would totally vindicate Rath).

    The Rath Foundation really doesn’t like Wiccapedia. Apparently it is part of the conspiracy.

  41. #41 ann
    March 20, 2014

    @everyone querying the singular citation by Holocaust deniers of Stalin as worse than Hitler —

    They do that because (as they see it) Stalin = Commies = Joos.

    I know. Believe me, I know.

    But that’s how they see it.

    To be honest, I’m rather surprised that some of these conspiracy theories come in with such low numbers. At the very minimum, I’m referring to the one about the FDA supposedly “suppressing natural cancer cures” to protect pharmaceutical company profits. To me 37% believing these conspiracy theories sounds about right.

    It makes sense to me that the number is higher for that than the others.

    Part of it is comforting (ie — there’s a natural fix for cancer). Comforting delusions have a broader appeal than purely frightening ones do. And the other part provides an outlet/target/narrative framework for the feelings of rage, fear and grief that might otherwise have nothing to do but shake their fists at unreasoning fate.

    Order’s more attractive than chaos.

    Just my opinion.

    Autism/vaccines likewise, though not precisely.

  42. #42 Nanea
    53.5°N, 10°E
    March 20, 2014

    Actually we have to thank Hitler and his ilk for the rise of alt med quackery. In the minds of the Nazis, medicine was Jewish=bad. They actually labelled medicine as a profession verjudet, under Jewish control. Hence they encouraged the Heilpraktiker (~ non-medical practitioner/naturopath) movement, and to this day we all, especially in Germany, still have to deal with the fallout, e.g. Matthias Rath.

    @ AnnB, # 39 – the idea that Hitler started Social Security is an oft-heard fallacy among Nazi apologists, when it really was Otto von Bismarck 50 years before the Third Reich who came up with the foundation of a concept that is still being used today in welfare.

  43. #43 ann
    March 20, 2014

    Conspiracy theorists appear to be incapable of subjecting their beliefs to any kind of self-scrutiny. I am (thankfully) not a psychiatrist, but I wonder whether the tendency to believe conspiracies exists on a spectrum that continues into delusional paranoia, in the same way that Asperger’s is thought to be a toned-down version of autism.

    We-ell….Asperger’s is now officially an Autism Spectrum Disorder. But there’s not a tremendous amount of certainty about what either (what was) Autism or (what was) Asperger’s is. Or are.

    Or…

    What I’m trying (and, for some reason, failing) to say is that I’m confused by the analogy.

    In itself, I don’t think a tendency to believe conspiracies is clinically indicative of a single (or, necessarily, any) pathology.

    I’m not sure I can defend that position, though.

  44. #44 Narad
    March 20, 2014

    Actually we have to thank Hitler and his ilk for the rise of alt med quackery. In the minds of the Nazis, medicine was Jewish=bad.

    I think this is overly simplistic. Hanns Georg Müller was already down with Steiner and Lebensreform. It’s not at all clear to me that the Volksgesundheit was ever really central to anything.

  45. #45 Spectator
    March 20, 2014

    “However, when I’ve asked some of them about it, most of them invariably discuss the Tuskegee Experiments, the Guatemala experimentations, Leo Stanley at San Quentin prison, etc. They argue that we don’t debate over whether unethical human experimentation or intentional infections ever occurred in the US – we know they did. ”

    Yes, this happened and it was not limited to one group. The CIA did experiments with electroshock; one young girl who was accepted to med school in the early ’60s went in to ask a psychiatrist about anxiety. This is not surprising as she was to be the only girl in the academy at the time. Unbeknownst to her, the psych she went to was doing experiments for the CIA. That burned parts of her brain, so she never made it to med or any other professional school. The family sued, the CIA classified the documents, they then had no case and have been forgotten. There were other experiments with LSD. At the time, someone thought all these to be good ideas, but not good enough to volunteer themselves. It was during the Cold War; perhaps it was thought or at least said that we must do x because they are at 2x.

    While few in absolute numbers the results were ruined lives for those involved, often people who’d faithfully done all the right things and believed that honest work let to honest rewards. You will not see the President apologizing for this or other such cases.

    This is not evidence that the world operates via a giant conspiracy, it is evidence of human nature. What is remarkable is not that these cases happened, it is how rare they were in a country which was then about 200 million.

    The USSR was considerably more cruel. For one example, the Mayak facility was authorized to discharge high-level radioactive materials were into the Techa river. The residents nearby were considered expendable.
    Details surrounding that case can be found under Karabolka or Kyshtym cleanup.

  46. #46 AnnB
    March 20, 2014

    He may have phrased it as “gave us social security” as in implemented it.

  47. #47 Denice Walter
    March 20, 2014

    Warning: idle speculation ahead

    I might suspect that people who travel along the conspiratorial bent may be those who are not up to par on skills like person perception, taking the role of the other, understanding motivation, recursive thought etc.

    We know that kids develop more complex ideas about how others think and feel which become more articulated, qualified and subtle as they develop. Usually, more adult-like thought occurs as adolescence proceeds and there are parallels in other forms of abstract thought- such as that used in mathematics and art as well as social cognition- including knowledge about themselves- executive fxs and metacognition.

    Some people don’t ever develop more subtle, realistic understanding about how and why other people behave and think as they do. The black-and-white dichotomies we hear about sound like something a child might dream up to explain how the world works. Sophisticated it ain’t.

    If you read some of the woo-meisters’ tales about how Big Pharma rules, you’ll notice very simplified notions about business and interaction between people.

    In addition, examples given by Natural News seem almost parodies : the analogies are grossly exaggerated- Mike draws in black and white with broad strokes.
    And I don’t think that either he or the other idiot are ‘talking down’ to their audience- it may be also how *they* think.

  48. #48 palindrom
    March 20, 2014

    ann @43 — What I was trying to do, perhaps with a less-than-ideal analogy, was to ask whether a tendency to believe in conspiracy theories might be considered to be a mild form of psychiatric illness, on a continuum with paranoid delusions.

  49. #49 palindrom
    March 20, 2014

    Another thought: I’m a physical scientist, and for some reason physics and astronomy seem to attract remarkable numbers of cranks — people with theories of everything, disproofs of relativity, wacky theories of gravity, you name it — who are certain that they are unrecognized geniuses.

    What are we to make of these people? Where does eccentricity fade into insanity? How do they manage to be so out of touch with reality and still function?

    I’d think this would be of some interest to psychologists, psychiatrists, and maybe even philosophers.

  50. #50 Denice Walter
    March 20, 2014

    @ palindrom:

    See my comment above.
    Also STEM careers and Simon Baron-Cohen.

    I wouldn’t use the term ‘insanity’ – that’s legal.
    But mental illness vs eccentricity?

  51. #51 Carolyn
    March 20, 2014

    OT: http://tinyurl.com/ouj2vd5

    St. Louis fashion designer takes alternative route for cancer therapy

    >>Critics take an even harsher stance, calling the Gerson method quackery that preys on the hopes of people with cancer.

    “I can’t figure out why anyone thinks it’s natural,” said Dr. David Gorski, a surgical oncologist in Detroit and editor of the blog Science-Based Medicine. “What’s natural about all these supplements? It’s not natural to put coffee up your behind. The surgery is what cures the cancer if the cancer’s going to be cured. The chemotherapy decreases the chances of its recurring.”<<

  52. #52 Narad
    March 20, 2014

    There were other experiments with LSD. At the time, someone thought all these to be good ideas, but not good enough to volunteer themselves.

    Oh, no, Sidney Gottlieb and the rest of Technical Services certainly tested it on themselves before they started randomly bombing other CIA employees and progressing to procuring space from Lockheed to set up brothels for public experimentation, etc.

  53. #53 ann
    March 20, 2014

    He may have phrased it as “gave us social security” as in implemented it.

    I don’t see how that could possibly be more than very technically true, at most.

    I don’t know. I’ve seen the Nazis get credit for the environmental movement, too. But while it’s true that they were conservationists and also true that conservation was then a new-fangled idea, it’s not true that they came up with it. It was a part of the spirit of the times.

    Hitler really wasn’t much of an original thinker. And in a lot of ways, he was actually behind rather than ahead of the curve. Theodore Roosevelt had many of the same basic ideas and beliefs, for example.

    That’s not to say he would have implemented them the same way, had the opportunity arisen. Or that he wouldn’t. I just mean the Nazis didn’t have that many unique ideas or achievements. Besides, you know. The signature stuff.

  54. #54 ann
    March 20, 2014

    Where does eccentricity fade into insanity?

    It’s mostly culturally determined.

    How do they manage to be so out of touch with reality and still function?

    One wonders.

    But I suppose people don’t really have to be correctly oriented to more reality than they directly encounter on a day-to-day basis in order to function. And even to thrive.

    That’s not much reality, for most people.

  55. #55 Spectator
    March 20, 2014

    #52 Narad

    “Oh, no, Sidney Gottlieb and the rest of Technical Services certainly tested it on themselves before they started randomly bombing other CIA employees and progressing to procuring space from Lockheed to set up brothels for public experimentation, etc.”

    Thx, I had no idea. I had little scraps of information ….

    Which means my conclusions above are partly sunk, at least within the boat they were in.

    Well, almost no one knows that little detail, I could probably recycle that argument in most other places ;-)

  56. #56 Narad
    March 20, 2014

    But while it’s true that they were conservationists and also true that conservation was then a new-fangled idea, it’s not true that they came up with it. It was a part of the spirit of the times.

    Well… Nature-worship was a theme of Romanticism (along with nationalism), so that had been stewing for a while. It seems like something of a natural affinity. Jamie Mosel sketches the history of disparate conservation groups* throwing in with National Socialism here (PDF).

    Also noted is that trying to tie modern environmentalism to Nazism is nonsensical even within Germany, with Bramwell in particular called out.

    * I can’t help but be reminded of what the American Bird Conservancy tries to pass off as “principles” (e.g., having no compunction about trotting out the same lies about free-roaming cats over and over despite crippling rebuttals).

  57. #57 ann
    March 20, 2014

    TR did conservation, too. (“He gave us National Parks”?)

    I guess that however bizarre it may seem in retrospect. if you’re already under the sincere impression that it’s evolutionarily imperative for you and your genetically superior kind to take over the world before race-suicide does you in, it’s only sensible that you’d want to preserve its natural splendors.

    It’s kind of like estate planning for racialist-eugenicists.

  58. #58 Narad
    March 20, 2014

    Which means my conclusions above are partly sunk, at least within the boat they were in.

    Only within the narrow confine of LSD; I don’t know offhand whether they self-experimented with deliriants, etc. I certainly didn’t know that, in a strange twist, Frank Olson’s body was exhumed.

    It also remains unclear to me whether it was really the 10th or the 13th floor that he went out of.

  59. #59 Evan I.
    March 21, 2014

    @#42

    Wait, what? The Nazis are responsible for the rise of CAM quackery? Nazi doctors and scientists conducted unethical medical experiments on prisoners on a mass scale. And I think there are more salient and plausible explanations for the rise of CAM. Blaming the Nazis seems like a stretch. And how is Matthias Rath an example of this? Because he happens to be German? Admittedly, I don’t know much about CAM beliefs in Germany, but I googled German vaccination rates and those aren’t bad. And the post read ‘especially in Germany’, meaning that the Nazis are also responsible for alt med quackery in other countries as well, ostensibly the US. (Perhaps vax rates aren’t a good proxy for CAM beliefs, but I’m not going to research it further at this time). I mean, for a statement like that I need a little more…

  60. #60 Narad
    March 21, 2014

    TR did conservation, too. (“He gave us National Parks”?)

    I think these are disparate threads in the history of conservation; I don’t much imagine TR (ex Gifford Pinchot) as being influenced by, say, Goethe. As I also tried to note, I don’t buy for a second that National Socialism is the progenitor of modern environmentalism, or even modern German environmentalism.

  61. #61 Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital
    Level 8, Heat Lamp Room 6
    March 21, 2014

    MESSAGE BEGINS———————————————-

    Shills and Minions,

    It warms my hearts, even here in the glorious warmth of Heat Lamp Room 6, that you’re thinking of me so fondly. Okay, with a slight amount of dread and fondness, but fondness nonetheless.

    Of course, the world is simply awash in one grand conspiracy after another, what with all the alien species competing for your dwindling resources, traitorous billionaires and their scientist minions at our beck and call. It’s all in a day’s work for yours truly. And, of course, for you, my dear shills and minions, it’s the key to wealth and luxury for all that you do to pave the way for your scaly masters takeover of this little backwater.

    I do want to thank you all again, for helping us with our Hide in Plain Sight™ Strategy. It’s been a rousing success. Of course, the rebels fight back in their pitiful, ineffectual way, but the more they speak about our evil plans, the more they play into our leathery, claw-tipped hands. It is in that spirit that I offer a raised Battle Claw to Mike Adams for his ranting, railing and sputtering, spittle-spewing speech. As we say on Glaxxon Prime, “Haach tvestvaak svreel ik n’ktaal treet, haach tvestvaak m’sräºk ek v’monkay vash!” (Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, sad, greedy monkeys!).

    That always chokes me up. Who says we don’t have a rich literary history?

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VH7ihL
    Forward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Monkey Master of Mars

    Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital
    0001001010111111111111100101

    —————————————–MESSAGE ENDS

  62. #62 Narad
    March 21, 2014

    And how is Matthias Rath an example of this? Because he happens to be German?

    He’s not; I mentioned him because he was invoked as explaining the real conspiracy in the FB comments on Dr. Jay’s post.

  63. #63 Narad
    March 21, 2014

    ^ “Dr. Bob’s”

  64. #64 Militant Agnostic
    March 21, 2014

    Narad on Agenda 21

    It seems to have emerged around mid-2010

    Was that when the million odd UN troops began concealing themselves in National Parks?

  65. #65 Evan I.
    March 21, 2014

    @#62

    I’m confused. I was referring to the mention of Rath in post 42.

  66. #66 Narad
    March 21, 2014

    I’m confused. I was referring to the mention of Rath in post 42.

    Oh, sorry, I brought him up in #38.

  67. #67 AnnB
    March 21, 2014

    Although those that believe in conspiracy theories may be the type to follow all types of false beliefs, the people I know tend to be very normal, rational, even high functioning individuals that have a one or two cherry picked delusions. Therefore, when discussing their “pet” theory, unless they go off the deep end, they sound like they are only being skeptics. Hence, why I asked what the word used to describe them would be.

    Per the Oxford definition of a skeptic: A person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.

    So, when does one go from being a skeptic to a nut-job? Are all skeptics nut-jobs? Or is the definition of skeptic confined to only those who question nut-jobs? In its pure definition, it doesn’t appear to be.

  68. #68 AnnB
    March 21, 2014

    I don’t know when, where or how Social Security came into being. All I know is that there was an ethnic German that lived during Hitler’s time who was standing in front of me using that as an example to justify why a tyrant made things better for the German people.

  69. #69 lilady
    March 21, 2014

    @ Ann B: From our *Social Security Administration website

    http://www.ssa.gov/history/ottob.html

    * How reliable is this information about Bismarck, if it came from Big Gubmint?

  70. #70 AnnB
    March 21, 2014

    lilady,

    Please do not misunderstand. It is not the etiology of SS that I or even the German alluded to. It is the fact that this program was implemented by Hitler in his time or even if it was only the perception that he did so. I am unclear on if Bismarck’s program continued to run after WWI.

    Also, my baker boss was educated but only to a point. He told me as a kid he always wanted to be a race car driver, but that when he was 14 his government gave him a test. The test results dictated that he was going to be a baker. And, baker he was. A quite good one actually, Although who knows whether the test had some great predictive quality or if it was merely the fact that he had been a baker for over 30 years that made him so good in the field.

  71. #71 Narad
    March 21, 2014

    Per the Oxford definition of a skeptic: A person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.

    This clearly goes right out the window where ontology is concerned.

  72. #72 AnnB
    March 21, 2014

    Ontological skepticism?

  73. #73 lilady
    March 21, 2014

    Ann B. The history of the German Social Security System is detailed here. The System stayed in place after World War I, but with hyperinflation, the ascendancy of HItler, rearmament and the expenses of waging war, the payments to the aging population were virtually worthless:

    http://www.strengmann-kuhn.de/wp-content/plugins/downloads-manager/upload/China_Symposium.pdf

  74. #74 neo
    the matrix
    March 21, 2014

    Surprised they didn’t include the one about how the lung cancer industry got pot legalized to make up for declining tobacco use. Oh wait! Pot doesn’t cause cancer **snigger**.

  75. #75 ann
    March 21, 2014

    think these are disparate threads in the history of conservation;

    Manifestly.

    I don’t much imagine TR (ex Gifford Pinchot) as being influenced by, say, Goethe.

    No, me either. I think of him as more of a “The White Man’s Burden” type, though perhaps not literally.

    TR + Goethe = An image to conjure with, though. I think I’m going to start imagining it, just for my own entertainment.

    As I also tried to note, I don’t buy for a second that National Socialism is the progenitor of modern environmentalism, or even modern German environmentalism.

    Of course not. All else aside, that’s just not how history rolls, wrt stuff like environmentalism. And possibly wrt anything. That was, in fact, my point.

  76. #76 Denice Walter
    March 21, 2014

    When does eccentricty become mental illness? At what point does scepticism fade into… being.. er… off-kiltre?

    I would guess that if a person cannot take care of him or herself, cannot fit in socially and communicate with others or if he or she holds beliefs that are at odds with most other people’s beliefs- excepting sub-cultures.

    I would imagine that many people live ‘under the radar’ within a society especially if they enjoy the protection of caretakers, usually parents, who shield them from interaction with outsiders and provide for their needs.

    And I don’t think that we can define these concepts without consideration of what is culturally determined. In certain quarters, many people believe that we are at the brink of the the endtimes in the context of a particular worldview. I have heard ideas and images that sound frankly mad BUT this material does not emanate directly from a believer’s mind – it is learned and transmitted from a text that is both allegorical and the product of an earlier age. If someone came up with these images independently, it would be another story.

    If a person has a delusional belief about say, angels or aliens, and it doesn’tinterfere with the task of daily living, I doubt that most people would call them disfunctional. Similarly with scepticism: if you doubt EVERYTHING, it moght get in the way of life and interaction with others.

  77. #77 ann
    March 21, 2014

    Was that when the million odd UN troops began concealing themselves in National Parks?

    Just to be clear here:

    I wasn’t suggesting anything like that. I don’t think in those terms. Racialism and eugenicism were both widespread, voguish ideas, back in the day. It doesn’t say much more about TR that he subscribed to them than that he was a man of his class, age and background who went to Harvard.

    That notwithstanding, just as eugenicism and racialism were ideologically complimentary, so were eugenicism and conservation.That much is uncontroversial and completely sensible, within limited, fully implication-free parameters.

    (Meaning: Reputable scholarly opinion might vary, but it is one. There was a quite diverting book about it published five or six years ago called….I don’t remember the title. I think the author’s last name was Spiro, though.)

    In short, I wasn’t positing anything conspiratorial. I’m very grateful for FEMA concentration camps the national park system.

  78. #78 ann
    March 21, 2014

    Thoreau was also a formative influence on environmentalism/conservation. And, as Narad has noted: Because romanticism.

    It’s never single-source, straight-line this > that.

  79. #79 ann
    March 21, 2014

    When does eccentricty become mental illness? At what point does scepticism fade into… being.. er… off-kiltre?

    I would guess that if a person cannot take care of him or herself, cannot fit in socially and communicate with others or if he or she holds beliefs that are at odds with most other people’s beliefs- excepting sub-culture

    “Impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning,” as the diagnostic criteria for mental disorders frequently have it.

  80. #80 Renate
    March 21, 2014

    @AnnB
    Yes, at some places in the Sovjet Union, the Germans where seen as liberators, especially in the Baltic states and the Ukraine, because they had suffered a lot under the Stalin government.

  81. #81 Orac
    March 21, 2014

    This is true.

    As I mentioned Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder. Snyder’s really good at describing the moral ambiguity and how many people under German rule were genuinely conflicted over whether it would be better for them after the Soviets drove the Nazis out. There are all sorts of accounts of Soviet partisans fighting nationalist partisans because the nationalist partisans weren’t under Stalin’s control, and he didn’t want to have to deal with any independent forces that might oppose him when he took over Eastern Europe. This is particularly understandable for people in eastern Poland. They remembered that when the Nazis invaded in 1939, soon after, the Soviets invaded from the other direction, and the Germans and Soviets divided up Poland according to a previously agreed upon plan. They also remembered that the killing in eastern Poland under Soviet Rule from 1939 to 1941 was about as intense as the killing under Nazi rule in the same period. (Remember, the really massive killing by Nazis—as in hundreds of thousands into many millions—didn’t truly ramp up until after the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.) To people in eastern Poland in some other parts of eastern Europe, it was genuinely difficult to decide whether the Nazis or the Soviets were worse.

  82. #82 Indigo_Fire
    March 21, 2014

    I always figured that a large factor in Teddy Roosevelt’s environmentalism was his love of hunting: he realized that without some protected reservoir of wild animals there wasn’t going to be enough of a population to hunt at all in the future, and setting aside protected lands was the best way to ensure that.

    I’m certainly no expert though, so I could be completely off base.

  83. #83 Narad
    March 21, 2014

    I always figured that a large factor in Teddy Roosevelt’s environmentalism was his love of hunting

    Sure. There was also an element of wise-use exploitation of natural resources that came from the Gifford Pinchot side, with John Muir advocating more for straight preservation and Roosevelt stuck in the middle.

  84. #84 Narad
    March 21, 2014

    In related news, Lewandowsky et al.’s 2013 paper on the overlap between conspiracist ideation and reactions to research on the same subject has apparently received a pathetic retraction from Frontiers in Psychology.

  85. #85 squirrelelite
    March 21, 2014

    Also, as I recall, when the Soviet army started to get close to Poland in 1944, the Poles tried to revolt against the Germans. The Soviets essentially halted their progress and waited for the Germans to put down the revolt before resuming their attack. I think this was so that there would be less resistance to the Soviets once they occupied Poland.

  86. #86 palindrom
    March 21, 2014

    Narad @84 — I’m kind of wondering if those who complained about the Lewandowsky article gave due consideration to the Streisand effect..

    Though I’m sure the gloating from e.g. Watts will be audible ’round the world.

  87. #87 palindrom
    March 21, 2014

    squirrelite @85 — You’re remembering the Warsaw Uprising, one of bravest actions ever. And yes, Stalin made a conscious effort to decapitate Polish society to render it docile, e.g. with the Katyn massacre.

  88. #88 dusonfnp
    March 21, 2014

    Conspiracy theories are always terribly convoluted and complicated, with far too many “moving parts” to have a good chance of success. But the proponents of those theories are trying to push them off as “simple” explanations.
    Which is interesting, because life really is complicated. Cells are complicated, cancer is complicated, auto-immune disease is complicated, autism is complicated.

  89. #89 Jenora Feuer
    March 21, 2014

    That is the Achilles heel of most conspiracy theories, including all that require the cooperation of more than a few people. I can see groups of two or three, maybe four, keeping secrets. Larger than that and the probability rapidly approaches 1 that somebody is going to spill the beans.

    One comment I remember hearing is that part of the reason we know a fair bit about the real Bavarian Illuminati (an anti-monarchist group in the late 18th century that was almost certainly pretty much destroyed within 10 years) is that there were a few members that used their membership in a grand secret society that was going to rewrite history… as pick up lines in pubs, showing how important they were to try to get women into bed with them.

    I can’t remember where I heard this and have no proof of it, but, yeah…

  90. #90 G. Vazquez MD
    Florida
    March 21, 2014

    After reading the past two posts on Science based Medicine and now on Orac I am more certain than ever that the blame for the propagation of CAM therapies lies squarely on the shoulder of allopathic pharmacists and physicians.
    The evidence is there. I myself am a member of The American Academy of Pediatrics. The academy knows about decreasing immunization rates in the US and the rise of pertussis and measles. I can’t imagine that they are not aware that the same groups of patients that use CAM modalities are the same group that distrusts pharmaceutical companies and the products that they produce. Among those products are vaccines.
    You would think that in the face of decreasing immunization rates the AAP would make an effort to combat pseudo science and increase public trust in evidence based medicine, but you would be wrong. Instead they have opted to embrace CAM modalities and were seriously contemplating a fellowship in CAM.
    Then there are the many hospitals and even university centers that have jumped on the greed bandwagon and offer CAM therapies to patients.
    If the majority of allopathic pharmacists, physicians and hospitals can’t get together and offer a complete repudiation of pseudoscience how can we expect the American people to trust us with their healthcare. I think it needs to be spelled out: CAM therapies do not work; those who offer them are doing it for profit.

  91. #91 Spectator
    March 21, 2014

    “a few members that used their membership in a grand secret society that was going to rewrite history… as pick up lines in pubs, showing how important they were to try to get women into bed with them.”

    Which shows the brilliance of Islam as a conquest system. Convince the mark that if, and only if, they happen to die fighting for the cause there will be 72 women competing to pick him. Side benefit is that since the mark has to die to see it in action, the promise can never be proved false.

    This works better on men of fighting age than the older set.

  92. #92 AnnB
    March 22, 2014

    It wasn’t my intent to parse the truth of the data points in the German’s talk with me, but I do very much appreciate the information on the history of social security and on the conflicts on the Russian front. The closer I get to the truth, the better.

    I admit I was a bit confused that the discussion concentrated on Social Security as it was a rather minor part of the talk I had with him. That my German boss incorrectly attributed Social Security to Hitler is all the more damning in that either my boss was ignorant of or denying the truth, or that Hitler was good at propaganda. I could discuss if evil people have ever implemented a “good” policy here or there, but since they create more pain and suffering on the whole, I have no interest in doing so.

    I think my main point was and is, that while it is nice to think you’ll never fall for a conspiracy theory or a political/philosophical/medical/etc. harmful lie, it is rather revealing when you see that everyday, ordinary people do this, and even the very well educated (my German boss as only an example in the extreme).

    This is why I am skeptical of pretty much everything. Even more so now that I have had some of the things I’ve previously read and believed for years pointed out as incorrect here. And, that for the life of me, I can’t seem find a respectable resource on internet including the Oxford dictionary. Ok, kidding on that! No one said the Oxford dictionary was suspect; I think.

    But, my skepticism is not on a practical level. Most things if they are not factual, are certainly true to the best of our knowledge at the time, and Denice Walter was correct when she implied that doubting everything could lead to some major dysfunction; it is also an impossible task for one person to handle. It helps to have others that you think you can trust working to ferret it out the truth as well. Perhaps, that is why I’ve grown fond of the many here. Well, that, and your breath taking knowledge of science and history. But you are all still suspect, and if any of you start talking about having to kill a third of humanity to maintain the national wonders and resources of the world, well, then I’m out. :)

  93. #93 Denice Walter
    March 22, 2014

    @ AnnB:

    In some all med circles, scepticism extends to research that is accepted by MOST experts in their own particular fields- across the board. If you pointed out data provided by a governmental agency, it would be called out. Most of what is taught in universities is also suspect. Similarly, what journals and the media report.

    As one of them often notes, even mathematical models ( e.g. for AGW) are suspect because ” We’re in chaos theory now”.
    HOWEVER I’ve never heard anyone descend to this level of contrarianism UNLESS they had either an agenda ( anti-vax), products or themself ( alt med) to sell.

  94. #94 Renate
    March 22, 2014

    @AnnB
    With Hitler, it was propaganda, propaganda and propaganda and no dissident voices were allowed. Even showing any doubt in what the government was telling, was dangerous. Recently I read Hans Fallada Every man dies alone, which painted a grim image of how things went in Hitler Germany
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Every_Man_Dies_Alone
    The book reminded me also on the history of Die Weiße Rose (The White Rose), a group of students who tried to mobilise people against the Nazi regime, by spreading pamphlets.

  95. #95 Lurker
    March 22, 2014

    Lewandowsky et al.’s paper on conspiracy-thinking is up on the authors’ website, here:

    http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/Publications/LskyetalRecursiveFury4UWA.pdf

    It’s a PDF so you can save a copy to your local machine.

    Spectator @ 91: The same mechanism (‘pie in the sky when you die’) is also at work in the new ‘Singularity’ religion: ‘upload your mind to a computer and achieve immortality.’

    Some day it may be possible to produce convincing software simulations of specific persons. Some day (less likely but let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment) it may be possible to produce actual machine consciousness. And let’s even grant the possibility of scanning a person’s memories into a conscious machine, regardless of the moral implications of the silicon equivalent of making clones as sources of transplant parts. Even if we grant those points, the fact remains that duplication and simulation do not add up to immortality: even if a _copy_ of your mind lives on, _you_ still die, and dead is still dead.

    Singularitarianism is even more pernicious than conventional religion, because a software simulation of a person is equivalent to a voice from beyond the grave, that’s convincing enough to persuade others to try it. It’s the high-tech equivalent of your batty aunt (or Bin Laden or Fred Phelps) popping in at a seance and telling you (or the whole world), ‘It’s lovely over here, you should do what I did!’

    Re. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao: The way I understand it is that Stalin and Mao had higher body counts than Hitler. But the reason we use the capital T capital H for The Holocaust, and consider Hitler the supreme example of evil in human history, is that the Nazi regime raised brutality and mass murder to the level of an engineered mass-production technology, carried out with the goal of maximum efficiency and the purpose of eliminating entire categories of humanity from existence, particularly Jews as an entire people.

  96. #96 Joseph Hertzlinger
    Planet Earth (for now)
    March 22, 2014

    One common type of conspiracy theory attributes counterproductive policies to plans to kill off the surplus population. It sounds plausible, especially after reading Famine 1975, until … you encounter similar conspiracy theories on opposite sides of a question. For example, are pesticides intended to kill off the excess population or are pesticide bans intended to allow population-stabilizing diseases? You can find similar arguments for both sides of vaccines, GMO foods, or nuclear energy. We must also recall that a policy can be intended to have an effect without actually having that effect and vice versa.

  97. #97 Mrs Grimble
    March 23, 2014

    Denice @47:

    If you read some of the woo-meisters’ tales about how Big Pharma rules, you’ll notice very simplified notions about business and interaction between people.

    What I notice is the inability to think through an argument to it logical conclusion. Take the oft-repeated lie: “Big Pharma WANTS people to stay sick, so they can sell more medicines!”. Yes, Big Pharma wants to sell medicines and make profits. However, sick people tend to be unable to work, which means they can’t buy as much stuff; sick people also tend to die easily, and dead people can’t buy anything.
    So, paradoxically, Big Pharma wants people to stay healthy and live long lives- so that they can continue to buy Big Pharma’s products!

  98. #98 LW
    March 23, 2014

    @Lurker, “the fact remains that duplication and simulation do not add up to immortality: even if a _copy_ of your mind lives on, _you_ still die, and dead is still dead.”

    Yes! I read a science fiction book where one of the characters kills herself — I think she jumped into molten lava or something equally thoroughly fatal — so that her personality would be immortalized in a computer. I threw the book across the room in frustration and never finished it, because dead is dead even if there’s a copy of you around to keep your friends company.

  99. #99 squirrelelite
    March 23, 2014

    @LW,
    I agree. But some books are like that.
    I was reading a book where magic has replaced science-based technology (which suddenly no longer works) and about every other paragraph one of the characters would pause to light up a non-carcinogenic herbal cigarette. After one chapter of that, I just gave up and threw it away.

  100. #100 Denice Walter
    March 23, 2014

    @ Mrs Grimble:

    Of course, you’re correct.
    I think that the most recent altie trope is that Pharma ghouls want people to live long lives *with* chronic illness so that they keep purchasing pharma products ( see the Canary Party, Mike Adams etc)
    HOWEVER anti-vaxxers would have it that perhaps these miiscreants overshot their mark with vaccines because many of poor “damaged” children will not be able to support themselvesand a parent may have to stay home and care for them.. therefore there is less money to spend.

    What they really want is a nice big, strong person with asthma or another condition that consumes money and yet allows the patient to continue working and procreating ( more customers).

    AND they seem to have overlooked the fact that often drugs are created as a response to patient- not manufacturer- demand.

  101. #101 Narad
    March 23, 2014

    Yes! I read a science fiction book where one of the characters kills herself — I think she jumped into molten lava or something equally thoroughly fatal — so that her personality would be immortalized in a computer.

    I am reminded of Nabokov’s Ada (which I never finished, like most of the long-form Nabokov I’ve picked up):

    “Van sealed the letter, found his Thunderbolt pistol in the place he had visualized, introduced one cartridge into the magazine and translated it into its chamber. Then, standing before a closet mirror, he put the automatic to his head, at the point of the pterion, and pressed the comfortably concaved trigger. Nothing happened – or perhaps everything happened, and his destiny simply forked at that instant, as it probably does sometimes at night, especially in a strange bed, at stages of great happiness or great desolation, when we happen to die in our sleep, but continue our normal existence, with no perceptible break in the faked serialization, on the following, neatly prepared morning, with a spurious past discreetly but firmly attached behind. Anyway, what he held in his right hand was no longer a pistol but a pocket comb which he passed through his hair at the temples.”

  102. #102 herr doktor bimler
    March 23, 2014

    perhaps everything happened, and his destiny simply forked at that instant

    Ah, a personal application of the Anthropocentric Principle. John Gribbin fictionalised the Prnciple in a similar way, in his short story “Doomsday Machine”.

  103. #103 Narad
    March 23, 2014
    perhaps everything happened, and his destiny simply forked at that instant

    Ah, a personal application of the Anthropocentric Principle.

    Ηθος ανθρωπος δαιμων.

  104. #104 Shay
    March 23, 2014

    Yes, Big Pharma wants to sell medicines and make profits. However, sick people tend to be unable to work, which means they can’t buy as much stuff; sick people also tend to die easily, and dead people can’t buy anything.

    That’s the other question anti-vaxxers shy away from. If the Gummint needs strong, healthy citizens to work and pay taxes so that said government can keep functioning, what possible motive does it have for joining a conspiracy to render a growing percentage of potential taxpayers unemployable?

  105. #105 ann
    March 23, 2014

    I am reminded of Nabokov’s Ada (which I never finished, like most of the long-form Nabokov I’ve picked up):

    Me either. I love three of the others. But I found that one tiresome.

  106. #106 Narad
    March 23, 2014

    Me either. I love three of the others. But I found that one tiresome.

    The essays in Strong Opinions worked pretty well for me, as I recall. I should probably return to his “nonfiction,” but I’m a bit burnt out at the moment. (I had this lined up as a $5 catch, but it’s going to have to wait.)

  107. #107 herr doktor bimler
    March 23, 2014

    Ah, a personal application of the Anthropocentric Principle.

    s/”anthropocentric”/”anthropic”

  108. #108 Narad
    March 23, 2014

    s/”anthropocentric”/”anthropic”

    Are you sure about that?

  109. #109 ann
    March 23, 2014

    I personally like to apply the anthropogenic principle.

    (I came up with it myself.)

  110. […] thanks to the FDA’s failure to enforce its own standards, and alt-med proponents get another conspiracy theory to add to the list of conspiracy theories surrounding Burzynski […]

  111. #111 Lurker
    March 24, 2014

    LW @ 98, and others re. bad science fiction:

    There’s plenty of bad fiction about, in every genre. But bad science fiction plants memes in the culture in a manner different to bad fiction in most other genres: by suggesting ‘X will be possible’ in a manner that makes X ‘exciting’ and ‘futuristic.’

    Even good science fiction can plant bad memes. In some of the early cyberpunk novels, it often occurs that a character is ‘jacked into the Net’ and his (usually ‘his’) physical body gets shot or otherwise killed, but his mind lives on in cyberspace.

    That was one of the early versions of cyber-immortality; Singularitarianism is the most widespread current version, and it has adherents throughout the Silicon Valley technology subculture, including Sergey Brin (Google), Larry Ellison (Oracle), and possibly Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).

  112. #112 Alain
    March 25, 2014

    That’s the other question anti-vaxxers shy away from. If the Gummint needs strong, healthy citizens to work and pay taxes so that said government can keep functioning, what possible motive does it have for joining a conspiracy to render a growing percentage of potential taxpayers unemployable?

    Really great question. Of course, they won’t attest that we’re good performer. Case in point, last Wednesday, I had an interview for a job which consisted of training a Lego Mindstorm robot to do 4 tasks, from the simple (going to point A to B) to the complicated (use the light sensor to train the robot to do its path around a grid) and mastered the process in about 5 hours total including the time to build the robot and chat for over an hour with potential coworkers and I was hangover that day. Really, I fail to figure out how vaccines injuries allow me to build a robot and have it perform 4 tasks in a timeframe of 5 hours while the NTs interviewing us (30 minutes at the end of the day) took weeks to figure it out (their words) how to do the same.

    Hey Greggers, can you train a robot to do a path around a grid in less than 5 hours? I dare you to go ahead.

    Alain

  113. #113 ann
    March 25, 2014

    If the Gummint needs strong, healthy citizens to work and pay taxes so that said government can keep functioning, what possible motive does it have for joining a conspiracy to render a growing percentage of potential taxpayers unemployable?

    It’s to keep us controlled, subjugated and docile, as part of the global conspiracy to establish the one-world police state, I believe.

    I know, right?

    But these are the people who think that the infinitely evil state hires crisis actors to portray bombing victims instead of just, you know, bombing some folk. As I would do, were I infinitely evil. There would be so much less paperwork.

    In any event. I concede that it doesn’t make perfect sense.

    Nevertheless.

  114. #114 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2014

    it often occurs that a character is ‘jacked into the Net’ and his (usually ‘his’) physical body gets shot or otherwise killed, but his mind lives on in cyberspace

    The trope is a central plot device in Roger Zelazny’s novels, and I think he’s classified as pre-cyberpunk.

  115. #115 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 25, 2014

    And I don’t think that we can define these concepts without consideration of what is culturally determined. In certain quarters, many people believe that we are at the brink of the the endtimes in the context of a particular worldview. I have heard ideas and images that sound frankly mad BUT this material does not emanate directly from a believer’s mind – it is learned and transmitted from a text that is both allegorical and the product of an earlier age. If someone came up with these images independently, it would be another story.

    Yes! I’ve tried to make a similar point before, when people ask “Are Scientology’s secret doctrines really that ridiculous compared to the doctrines of established religions like Christianity?” And the answer is “yes! The strangest manifestations of Christian mythology still fit comfortably within the paradigms of the people they came from. They invoke angels and demons and fearsome beasts but those had always been believed to exist. By contrast, Scientology’s secret doctrines ask adherents to believe that all of galactic history – trillions of years of it – mirrors phenomena which only emerged within the 20th century. Space vehicles look just like mid-20th-century jet planes! Here on Earth the psychiatric profession didn’t really exist prior to the late 1800s at best, but nevertheless in the greater galaxy psychiatrists have always been the secret masters of power! Even if you believe in neither set of doctrines, it’s illogical to deny that one made much more sense in the time and place it originated than the other!”

  116. #116 ann
    March 25, 2014

    I don’t think that one religious myth can be said to be more or less bizarre than another.

    But one religious doctrine can be said to be more destructive than another.

    And to me, that’s the problem with Scientology.

  117. #117 Vadim Shapoval
    Zaporizhia
    April 11, 2014

    Medical Conspiracy Theories and Father of Oncology. There are many different medical conspiracy theories circulating in the US, but the question is: do you know all of them? Cancer researchers ignore iron/cancer information-1905-2014. HIV/AIDS researchers ignore iron//HIV/AIDS information-1990-2014. Iron is a part of all cells. Iron is an essential component of hundreds of proteins and enzymes. The major role of iron in mammals is to carry oxygen as part of hemoglobin. Without iron, cells lose their capacity for electron transport and energy metabolism. Iron-deficiency anemia occurs when the body does not have enough iron. A lack of iron can be caused by a number of factors. The symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia include weakness and fatigue. Because cancerous cells and viruses need iron for survival, growth and multiplication, researchers can beat metastatic cancerous cells and HIV/AIDS by iron-deficiency methods. Direct intratumoral injection of anticancer agents has been evaluated extensively in the past few decades. Thus far, however, it has failed to become established as an alternative route of administration in routine clinical practice. Direct intratumoral injections of anticancer antiiron agents can successfully suppress inoperable tumors and large metastases. The World Health Organization predicts that deaths from cancer will double by the year 2030. Cancer is big business and those who are profiting have great financial interest in seeing the deadly trend continue to increase. Since the beginning of the epidemic, almost 75 million people have been infected with the HIV virus and about 36 million people have died of HIV/AIDS. Researchers and pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars every year? Iron/cancer information and iron//HIV/AIDS information will eat billions of dollars. The Father of Oncology (Vadim Shapoval) says that a cell needs to have iron overload (when excess iron accumulates within cellular organelles) before it becomes cancerous. In inherited forms of cancer, parents give their sons and daughters abnormal iron metabolism within various organs. Iron disorders (sickle cell disease, thalassemia, hemochromatosis, etc.) are inherited and can be confirmed with genetic testing. Genes that maintain iron homeostasis may facilitate iron uptake, storage or egress, or the regulation of any of these processes. The spectrum of known disorders of iron metabolism has expanded dramatically over the past years. Any cancer is caused by iron-related genes (numerous genes directly/indirectly involved in iron metabolism / hereditary cancers) and iron-related events (when excess iron accumulates within the cells, tissues, and organs due to various carcinogenic lifestyle events / sporadic cancers). According to the Ferromagnetic Cancer Theory (Theory from the Old Testament; Iron Conception), any cancer is a subtle iron disease, a form of iron lottery. Ceramic needles can suppress any tumors and large metastases; can quickly create harmless infiltrations (harmless necroses; deposits of cells that die; benign capsules); can enter solution [sulfur (2%) + olive oil (98%); 36.6C - 39.0C] to tumors and large metastases. Anti-iron slow blood loss (even 75%) [hemoglobin control], anti-iron goat’s milk diet and anti-iron drinking water containing hydrogen sulfide can neutralize any micro-metastases and isolated cancerous cells. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/opinions/175119 ; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/opinions/175041 ; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/opinions/174983 ; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/opinions/171557 ; http://www.ovarian-cancer-facts.com/what-is-cancer.html ; http://healthland.time.com/2013/04/01/the-conspiracy-to-end-cancer/ ; http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/03/20/conspiracy-theories-the-dark-heart-of-alternative-medicine/ ; Together We (ScienceBlogs LLC, Ovarian Cancer Facts, Medical News Today, The Scientist, TIME, Google, YouTube, YAHOO!, Facebook and Vadim Shapoval) Will Beat Cancer

  118. #118 lilady
    April 11, 2014

    Which book in the Old Testament did you derive your information from?

  119. #119 Shapoval
    Zaporizhia
    April 11, 2014

    Which book in the Old Testament did you derive your information from? See: Religious Beliefs of Cancer Patients and Ferromagnetic Cancer Theory http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/opinions/103745/ ; goat milk diet: Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk (Deuteronomy 14:21). Any cancer is a subtle iron disease; intracellular superpara-ferri-ferromagnetic infection; the first-born of death (the Old Testament; Job 18:13-15). http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/03/20/conspiracy-theories-the-dark-heart-of-alternative-medicine/ ; Together We (ScienceBlogs LLC, Ovarian Cancer Facts, Medical News Today, The Scientist, TIME, Google, YouTube, YAHOO!, Facebook and Vadim Shapoval) Will Beat Cancer

  120. #120 Politicalguineapig
    April 11, 2014

    Inherited cancer? Seriously?

  121. #121 Narad
    April 11, 2014

    I’m disappointed that he left out the “Chinese Thermonuclear Sun” part.

  122. #122 lilady
    April 11, 2014

    “Together We (ScienceBlogs LLC, Ovarian Cancer Facts, Medical News Today, The Scientist, TIME, Google, YouTube, YAHOO!, Facebook and Vadim Shapoval) Will Beat Cancer”

    Really, Shapoval?

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Talk:Big_Pharma

    “Shapoval’s Edit from 28th Feb 2014

    Big Pharma! Cancer is cured. But cancer researchers and pharmaceutical companies are keeping the cure a secret because they’re making so much money. The truth is that a large number of very prominent conspiracy theories have turned out to actually be true. Cancer researchers ignore iron-cancer information-1905-2014. Baba Vanga (Vangelia Dimitrova) was a blind Bulgarian mystic, clairvoyant and herbalist. Researchers claim that Vanga foretold the break-up of the Soviet Union, the Chernobyl disaster, the date of Stalin’s death, the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk, and the September 11 attacks. In 1994 Vanga predicted: A day will come and cancer will be chained in iron!….”

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