I feel as though I’m experiencing an acid flashback to 2011, and I’ve never in my entire life once tried acid—or any mind-altering substance other than booze.

What am I talking about? Let’s take a trip down memory lane, if you will, back to those halcyon days of—oh—five years ago. That was the time when I first took an interest in the Polish oncologist wannabe named Stanislaw Burzynski. Although I had mentioned him before because he featured prominently in Suzanne Somers’ 2009 paean to quackery Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer–And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place, it wasn’t until one of his minions named Marc Stephens started harassing a British teen named Rhys Morgan with vacuous legal threats that I really took notice of Burzynski. Before that, British blogger Andy Lewis was targeted.

Regular readers know just how much I detest bullies whose tool of choice is legal thuggery, and my first contact with Stephens led me to discover a propaganda movie by Burzynski’s very own Leni Riefenstahl, a woo-friendly filmmaker named Eric Merola. The movie was called Burzynski The Movie: Cancer Is Serious Business, and I deconstructed its claims in my own inimitable way. After that, I went on to continue to analyze Burzynski’s claims of near-miraculous results for his antineoplaston (ANP) therapy against brain cancers considered incurable. In doing so, I later learned that his so-called “personalized gene-targeted cancer therapy” really does mean making it up as you go along and that he’s been basically selling ANPs as “natural” sodium phenylbutyrate (or perhaps sodium phenylbutyrate as ANPs), a drug that has had some minor promise against cancer but nothing particularly convincing in terms of results. In any case, whatever he was selling, Burzynski was always the first to charge his patients huge “case management” fees that could reach tens of thousands of dollars per month. If you want to understand why skeptics object to Burzynski, read a couple of Skeptical Inquirer articles Stanislaw Burzynski: Four Decades of an Unproven Cancer Cure and Skeptic Activists Fighting for Burzynski’s Cancer Patients. The latter article, in particular, by good bud Bob Blaskiewicz, describes skeptical activities opposing Burzynski and trying to protect cancer patients from his dubious treatments and high cost that so irritate Eric Merola to the point of referring to a certain blogger as a white supremacist who eats puppies.

When last I left the Burzynski saga, he was finally facing justice in the form of a hearing before the Texas Medical Board (TMB), which was attended by Blaskiewicz, who reported on it ably. Although I fear he might get off, I still think there’s a chance that Texas will do what it should have done 30 years ago and strip Dr. Burzynski of his license to practice medicine. Predictably, Burzynski’s minions and patients who believe that he saved their lives, such as Hannah Bradley and her husband Peter Cohen, rapidly leapt to his defense. I don’t blame them, given that, as mistaken as they are in giving Burzynski the credit for their survival, they really do believe that Burzynski saved Hannah Bradley’s life. Instead I blame Burzynski for leading them to believe that.

In any case, a couple of things have happened since December. First, Burzynski has had a health issue that is going to delay the second phase of his hearing, originally scheduled for later this month. Unfortunately, Burzynski appears to have had a minor heart attack. There has been a statement from Dr. Oscar Rosales, a cardiologist, saying:

Dr. Rosales specifically states, in his letter, that he is the treating cardiologist for the Respondent, that the Respondent has been diagnosed with acute Coronary Syndrome, and that Respondent would require several cardiac procedures during the next three months. Dr. Rosales states that Rcsp0ndcnt’s condition “is in a very critical state and he is not medically cleared for traveling or panicipating in a hearing or any other stressful situation that would be detrimental to his health until the procedures are completed.” In addition, Dr. Rosales opines that he has given Respondent “specific instructions to not participate, in any manner in the hearing as increased stress at this point could have potentially deadly consequences.” Dr. Rosales states that, in his professional opinion, Respondent is “medically incapacitated.” Finally, Dr. Rosales opines that, pending successful treatment and recovery, Respondent should be cleared to attend and participate in the hearing by mid-April 2016.

Bummer. I actually feel sorry for Burzynski in a way. On the other hand, my sense of justice would be very much offended were Burzynski to shuffle off this mortal coil prematurely; i.e., before justice can be delivered. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear that that will happen. I never thought I’d be offering Burzynski my best wishes, but here’s hoping for a rapid recovery from his heart problems.

Unfortunately, the other development is that Burzynski’s very own Leni Reifenstahl, Eric Merola (yes, I know I keep repeating that, but it’s so damned appropriate given that Merola’s movies are such naked examples of pure propaganda) is at it again. Here’s what I found in my email in box:

Announcing Burzynski: Moving Forward:
Director Eric Merola is proud to announce his new partnership with the social-good platform UPTOGOOD.org for the newly updated FREE release of a *2016 Edition* of Cancer Is Serious Business + new production on the 3rd (and perhaps final) installment of the Burzynski Documentary Series called Burzynski Moving Forward..

Click here to watch the new *2016 Edition*, FREE.

About the *2016 Edition*:
A streamlined re-edit of the original documentary, with unseen TV footage from 1982 through today; how Burzynski is being handled within the online propaganda campaign against him, his patients, and this documentary series; plus a call-to-action so supporters like you can help the filmmakers in the production of Burzynski: Moving Forward.

About Burzynski: Moving Forward:
This new documentary will be following more patients seeking ANPs and Burzynski’s revolutionary personalized gene-targeted treatment; the recent persecution by the Texas Medical Board which continues into 2016; and the regulatory hurdles that must be navigated to cross the finish line for FDA approval of ANPs.

And here’s the movie:

Hilariously, Merola appears to have added some footage at the end. It begins at around 1h26m, with this:

Somehow, a few skeptics trying to raise awareness and keep the pressure on the Texas Medical board and FDA is a "relentless propaganda campaign." Irony meters explode everywhere at this characterization.

Somehow, a few skeptics trying to raise awareness and keep the pressure on the Texas Medical board and FDA is a “relentless propaganda campaign.” Irony meters explode everywhere at this characterization.

Merola goes on to his usual conspiracy mongering. Pharma doesn’t want to allow ANPs to be approved because if they were FDA approved for even one cancer then they could be used off-label for any cancer. He then shows a shot of Sharyl Attkisson—yes, the antivaccine conspiracy loon reporter Sharyl Attkisson—giving her famous TED talk about “astroturfing.” I couldn’t help but think back to nearly a year ago, when Attkisson showed that she likes me. She really likes me. She likes me enough to name me as one of the “top ten astroturfers.” I was amused because she seemed to think that I’m all there is to Scienceblogs. Now, like my ‘nym-sake, my ego might be a tad on the massive side, but even I don’t make that claim. In any case, given Attkisson’s history of antivaccine pseudoscience and conspiracy mongering, it’s hard to take this seriously. No wonder Merola was impressed.

I was particularly gratified when, at around 1:33:30, Merola claims that this “anti-Burzynski” campaign began in November 2011 with Scienceblogs (i.e., me). Would that were true! Would that I could take credit for the skeptic campaign to try to put a stop to Burzynski. Merola really does bestow too much of an honor on me, given that Rhys Morgan was at it before I was and it was legal threats by Marc Stephens that I mentioned above that first drew my serious attention to Burzynski. Moreover, there were other bloggers, lots of other bloggers, who had looked into Burzynski’s dubious claims before I ever took an interest. Don’t get me wrong. I realize that I’ve been a major critic of Burzynski’s cancer quackery, and I don’t in any way downplay my role in explaining why Burzynski’s claims are not convincing by explaining the science of the cancers that Burzynski claims to cure. I’m proud of that. (You hear that, Merola?) But I also realize that I am by no means the one who started this campaign. I just rolled with it.

Not surprisingly, Merola tries to discredit Scienceblogs and thereby discredit me by invoking the “Pepsigate” kerfuffle. You remember that? Basically our benevolent overlords screwed up royally back in 2010 when they invited representatives from Pepsico to blog here at Scienceblogs. Basically, management started the blog with no communication with the rest of us Scienceblogs bloggers, didn’t involve us in the decision-making process or even let us know about the blog before it went live. Worse, given that the Pepsi blog blurred the line between advertising and our content, many of us decided that, after factoring in all the other indignities and examples of not communicating with its own bloggers about such issues, they could no longer be associated with ScienceBlogs. That context makes Merola’s smear rather amusing in that several former Scienceblogs bloggers left rather than be tainted with the hint of industry influence and those of us who stayed were rewarded by the disappearance of the Pepsi blog. If anything, Merola’s example shows how much bloggers here value their independence.

Even more hilariously, Merola invokes my not-so-super-secret other blog as well. It’s not his invoking that blog that amuses me. I was just as critical of Burzynski there as I was here, only with perhaps less “insolence.” Rather, Merola claims that that blog “spawned” The Houston Cancer Quack. In fact, although I consider the man who started that website to be my friend, in no way did my not-so-super-secret other blog “spawn” anything. The two blogs have always been and remain independent entities who do not coordinate their work. To claim otherwise is to downplay some excellent work by my friend. Merola even claims that Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients is an astroturf organization, which is about as unsupported and ignorant a claim as I’ve ever seen. I was, however, amused at Merola’s outrage at Burzynski’s “clinical trials” being likened to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment and the most excellent blog The OTHER Burzynski Patient Group, which presents fact- and science-based descriptions of Burzynski patients who have died that illustrate how useless Burzynski’s treatments are. Notably, Merola objects to the policy of the website that it won’t publish the full names of Burzynski patients as though this is a strategy to obfuscate. It’s not. It’s a policy to protect the privacy of Burzynski’s victims when possible.

Truly, the outraged tears of Burzynski’s chief propagandist are delicious!

It gets better, though. Merola seems to think the power of skeptics is without bounds! Check it out:

Behold, the power of skeptics!

Behold, the power of skeptics!

He even makes the claim that we’re so powerful and nefarious that we’ve fooled the mainstream press into writing reports unfavorable to Burzynski, such as the USA TODAY report from 2013. I wonder what Liz Szabo thinks about the accusation of her being in thrall to skeptics. Apparently Wikipedia is under our nefarious sway as well. While it’s true that skeptics, spurred by the example of Susan Gerbic and others, have been trying to clean up Wikipedia to get rid of credulous discussions of quackery and pseudoscience in favor of science-based characterizations. Naturally, quacks don’t like that. Not surprisingly, they think there’s a vast conspiracy to “own” Wikipedia. I was half tempted to say that I wish that were true, but the fact is that, compared to the purveyors of pseudoscience, skeptics trying to enforce scientific standards on Wikipedia remain outnumbered and outgunned, the equivalent of the rag tag fleet in Battlestar Galactica battling the Cylons or, to steal a Star Wars analogy, we’re the rebels in comparison to the Empire or the First Order. Merola’s even more annoyed that we would have the temerity to leave comments on PubMed regarding Burzynski’s papers, which makes me think that we should start commenting on PubPeer as well, if we haven’t done so already.

Later in the extra footage, Merola regurgitates bits that he’s already posted on YouTube before, such as when Brian Thompson attended a pre-screening of Eric Merola’s second Burzynski movie (which I like to call Burzynski II: Electric Boogaloo), a movie as full of misinformation and lies as the first Burzynski movie and spoke with Steve Siegel after the movie. As much as I admired Brian for what he did, I did point out at the time that he had fallen into a very basic trap that those who are not familiar with Burzynski frequently fall into, claiming that Burzynski hadn’t published his antineoplaston trials in the peer-reviewed literature. As I pointed out at the time, in fact, Burzynski does publish. That’s not the problem. The problem is that he publishes in bottom-feeding journals and has not yet published a completed phase II clinical trial. That’s plenty bad enough. Burzynski has only published abstracts and partial reports on phase II trials, none of which are particularly convincing. His publications are all, as far as I’ve been able to tell, crap, and I’ve read nearly all of them. None of that has changed in the three years since that movie premiere, other than that Burzynski did publish a couple of his trials. The papers reporting the results have been uniformly of poor quality and show incredibly unconvincing evidence of any benefits due to ANPs in brain cancer.

Merola also—surprise, surprise!—outright lies in another segment. This segment features Bruce Gleason, founder of Backyard Skeptics, an Orange County skeptic and atheist group. Unfortunately, as I noted at the time, Bruce shows what happens when even skeptics don’t have enough background information. Basically, in a Q&A session with Merola and company plus Fabio Lanzoni (yes, that Fabio, I kid you not), he got up (see around 16:10) and said how he had been convinced and that he would now recommend Merola’s film to the 1,000 members of his Orange County skeptic organization. He also tried to distance himself from “those” skeptics apparently portrayed in the film. It was, I hate to say, a rather nauseating performance. However, what Merola leaves out is that Gleason later redeemed himself. After learning of Bruce’s performance, a couple of skeptics contacted him and calmly explained where he had gone wrong and how deceptive the movie had been. AS a result, to his credit, Bruce publicly admitted his error and disavowed his prior remarks.

Funny how Merola leaves that part out. Truly his dishonesty with respect to defending Burzynski knows no bounds.

The rest of the additional footage is downright embarrassing. (Yes, it’s possible to get worse. With Merola, it’s always posible to get worse.) He likens skeptics critical of Burzynski to people who thought the earth was flat. Accuses them of pseudoscience in the most massive case of projection I’ve seen outside the antivaccine movement. He brings up Hannah Bradley and Pete Cohen using footage I discussed last month, even though, as I’ve described, Bradley’s survival almost certainly has nothing to do with being treated with Burzynski’s .

The additional footage concludes with what has to be one of the dumbest defense ideas I’ve ever seen, with Burzynski repeating the same old misleading version of his story and complaining bitterly about the TMB “harassing” him, claiming that the TMB wants to shut him down quickly because he’s on the verge of proving ANPs work. Funny, but Burzynski’s been able to practice his quackery for nearly 40 years; so if the TMB wanted to shut him down it’s sure taking its sweet time about it.

In the end, Merola just regurgitates the same old misinformation. This is not surprising, but because it’s been a while since I’ve dealt with him in depth and because he’s consolidated a lot of more recent pro-Burzynski propaganda into the addendum to his movie, I thought it was worth discussing. My wishes for 2016 are now two-fold. First, I wish that Burzynski completely recovers from his heart attack. Second, I hope that the TMB finally strips him of his Texas medical license for good.

Actually, I have a third wish. I hope that Eric Merola fails to raise sufficient funds to torture us with a third Burzynski movie, particularly if Burzynski manages to slither away from justice yet again.

Comments

  1. #1 Amethyst
    The Crystal Palace
    January 15, 2016

    Hopefully the added bits about Scienceblogs (i.e Orac) will end up backfiring on them. If for every 100 rabid defender of Dr. B we get just one cancer patient or one of their family members go on this blog and by reading it decides against buying into the snake oil – that is a victory, I’d say.

  2. #2 Chris Hickie
    January 15, 2016

    Has MD Anderson Cancer Center (just up the road from Burzynski) ever simply come out and said that Burzynski is a dangerous quack?

  3. #3 Amethyst
    The Crystal Palace
    January 15, 2016

    Not sure if the center itself has, but I’m pretty sure that indiivdual doctors and nurses have in, written or televised, interviews said expressed the same sentiment but in much, muuuch harsher language and tone.

  4. #4 Gray Squirrel
    January 15, 2016

    And… (drum roll!)… Eric Merola gets the January “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Award” for the largest number of adjectives before his nouns! Hooray! (Splat!)

  5. #5 MadisonMD
    January 15, 2016

    I wonder why B. didn’t use alt medicine for his heart attack. Merola, S. Somers, or Mike Adams could have helped him find something, I’m sure. Fake stem cell trial in Tijuana or something…

  6. #6 Jim M
    January 15, 2016

    “Yes, it’s possible to get worse. With Merola, it’s always posible to get worse”.

    God, why is every post you write so negative? You’d think if you were so intellectually superior to the average human, you’d be doing something more valuable with your time than writing blog posts. I know plenty of people like you: miserable with their lives, so they try to bring everyone else down to their level. I recommend trying to patch things up with your parents. You seem intelligent but your negativity is absolutely revolting.

  7. #7 shay simmons
    January 15, 2016

    Ah, but B.’s treatment is not alternative medicine! It’s the cutting edge of medical research and B is a “real” doctor — how dare you call it altmed?

  8. #8 Old Rockin' Dave
    January 15, 2016

    The Riefenstahl/Merola comparison doesn’t work for me.
    Riefenstahl was a gifted filmmaker and photographer who understood the use of effective lighting, composition, storytelling, and editing to convey her twisted views.
    Eric Merola, …umm, maybe not so much…at least aside from the twisted worldview.
    Personally, I think a better comparison all around is to Ed Wood, Jr., and guess who gets the better of that comparison.

  9. #9 Orac
    January 15, 2016

    Fair enough. There have been times when I’ve said that Eric Merola was Stanislaw Burzynski’s Leni Riefenstahl, only without the talent.

  10. #10 Orac
    January 15, 2016

    I wonder why B. didn’t use alt medicine for his heart attack. Merola, S. Somers, or Mike Adams could have helped him find something, I’m sure. Fake stem cell trial in Tijuana or something…

    Chelation therapy!

  11. #11 Orac
    January 15, 2016

    God, why is every post you write so negative?

    How would you know every post I write is negative if you haven’t been reading for a while? And if you’ve been reading for a while, it implies you get something out of it, even if it’s a sense of superiority over how negative you perceive me to be. 🙂

    In the case of someone like Stanislaw Burzynski, it’s hard not to be negative, given what the man does.

  12. #12 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 15, 2016

    God, why is every post you write so negative? You’d think if you were so intellectually superior to the average human, you’d be doing something more valuable with your time than writing blog posts. I know plenty of people like you: miserable with their lives, so they try to bring everyone else down to their level. I recommend trying to patch things up with your parents. You seem intelligent but your negativity is absolutely revolting.

    Last I checked, this wasn’t required reading for you Jim. Why don’t you get back to your My Little Pony blogs to lighten your poor weighted heart.

  13. #13 Chris
    January 15, 2016

    “Merola claims that this “anti-Burzynski” campaign began in November 2011 with Scienceblogs (i.e., me).”

    I became aware of Burzynski from reading Peter Bowditch’s Ratbags website, and some of his postings on the Healthfraud listserv, for over fifteen years:
    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/burzynski.htm

    Unfortunately it took the harassment received by Rhys Morgan to get many more people aware of Burzynski’s misdeeds. Sometimes it takes some horrible thing to get people’s attention. Over ten years ago I tried and tried to counteract the promotion of chelation on kids on the listserv for my son’s speech disability. I also wrote the FDA about this dangerous practice, and got a non-answer. So I gave up, and left the listserv.

    Two weeks later Roy Kerry killed a five year after strapping him down on a table and administering chelation through IV. Then people took notice.

    And Burzynski has killed even more than the chelation folk (they mostly make the poor kids feel horrible),

  14. #14 Delphine
    supreme executive power
    January 15, 2016

    I know plenty of people like you: miserable with their lives, so they try to bring everyone else down to their level.

    Are you here to make new friends, Jim?

  15. #15 shay simmons
    January 15, 2016

    You seem intelligent but your negativity is absolutely revolting

    Our sincere apologies, Dr. Pangloss.

  16. #16 Den!s
    Canada
    January 15, 2016

    Man, I bet Dr. Rosales was paid well for that letter.

  17. #17 Peter Dugdale
    homeofhomeopathy
    January 15, 2016

    Jim M @6

    Jim – your blinkers are blinding you to the positivity in Orac’s posts : that people seek the best treatment available for their conditions, that money which would otherwise wind up in the pockets of charlatans like Burzynski is available for their childrens’ education, travel, good food… whatever.

  18. #18 Delphine
    chaos in the playroom
    January 15, 2016

    Orac, you’ve never even smoked a joint?

  19. #19 Not a Troll
    January 15, 2016

    “God, why is every post you write so negative?”

    Have you been paying attention to the subject matter that interests him? Kind of hard to be positive about people being mislead, lied to and poisoned and academia and medicine circling the drain by romancing alternative medicine.

    Yet he still has found positive things to write about even in these trenches. I just think you haven’t been paying attention.

  20. #20 Orac
    January 15, 2016

    Orac, you’ve never even smoked a joint?

    Nope. Read my posts on cannabis, where I mentioned that I’ve never tried the evil weed, not because I object to it morally or anything but because I cannot inhale smoke into my lungs directly like that. It’s the same reason I’ve never smoked a cigarette. Alcohol in moderation has been my sole mind-altering drug, be it craft beer, fine wine, or single malt scotch; that is, unless you consider caffeine a mind-altering substance given that it’s a stimulant. 🙂

  21. #21 Chris Hickie
    January 15, 2016

    Getting to Jim’s level would be very difficult.

  22. #22 Sarah A
    January 15, 2016

    Why don’t you get back to your My Little Pony blogs to lighten your poor weighted heart.

    Hey now! Even My Little Pony* teaches kids that its not only wrong to sell fake “miracle cures,” it’s also wrong to withhold the truth when you know that someone is being deceived, even if the deception makes them happy.

    *If you don’t want to watch the whole show, the moment of truth comes at 20:30

  23. #23 Dangerous Bacon
    January 15, 2016

    “God, why is every post you write so negative?”

    I don’t think Orac is actually God. Though rumor has it he’s preparing an R01 grant application for research aimed at genetically modifying him into a Skeptical Deity.

  24. #24 Delphine
    January 15, 2016

    Nope. Read my posts on cannabis, where I mentioned that I’ve never tried the evil weed, not because I object to it morally or anything but because I cannot inhale smoke into my lungs directly like that. It’s the same reason I’ve never smoked a cigarette. Alcohol in moderation has been my sole mind-altering drug, be it craft beer, fine wine, or single malt scotch; that is, unless you consider caffeine a mind-altering substance given that it’s a stimulant.

    Not even an Alice B. Toklas brownie?! 🙂

    It’s good that you can’t inhale anything directly into your lungs. I haven’t done drugs in 13 years, but I still struggle with on-and-off with cigarettes, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to give up, by far. I quit successfully for two and a half years when I was pregnant, then nursing. Wish I had your “problem”.

  25. #25 Orac
    January 15, 2016

    I don’t know. Smoke has bothered me ever since I was a child. I remember my grandfather (who was a big time smoker) sitting there in the den smoking cigarette after cigarette while watching TV. I also remember how I had a hard time staying in that room when he was smoking because I couldn’t tolerate the cigarette smoke. Ever since then that experience has made is such that I really never even had a desire to try a cigarette, be it tobacco or pot. So I never did. I’ve never tried to inhale, not even once.

  26. #26 Delphine
    January 15, 2016

    Same for my husband. His father (GP, no less) and mother (peds nurse, even worse) smoked like chimneys. Long car rides in the station wagon with the windows up and Mom and Dad puffing away. Mr. Delphine has never smoked a cigarette, but he does enjoy his weed every now and again.

    My father (another GP) smoked and it killed him in the end. I had my first cigarette at boarding school with two other girls at age 14. One girl threw up, the other girl coughed like she was tubercular, and it hit me like a ton of very good bricks. In my top 2 regrets in life — that I ever tried smoking.

  27. #27 Bob Blaskiewicz
    United States
    January 15, 2016

    It was a pretty sad showing by Merola. You can almost hear the diaper filling as he describes my site as unsubstantiated and without evidence. Of course, EVERYTHING is cited, and I depend on this to not be sued by Captain Kielbasa. Eric might also be reminded of the patients who have threatened to sue me over quoting them. I don’t blame them. They are upset. That’s why I don’t identify them. The only reason I have gotten threats is because Burzynski supporters have contacted patients I was trying to protect. And, no, I did not take anything down.

    I’ve often wondered why Burzysnki’s supporters haven’t internalized the huge amount of info we’ve accumulated over at theOTHERburzynskipatientgroup.wordpress.com. Like, read it. Just read it and explain it. Really.

  28. #28 rs
    January 15, 2016

    “…research aimed at genetically modifying him into a Skeptical Deity.”

    I am uncomfortable with the thought of a Skeptical Deity, since it would undoubtedly proceed to conduct a series of experiments to test its own purported omniscience and omnipotence.

  29. #29 sirhcton
    getting my typing skills back?
    January 15, 2016

    “. . . You’d think if you were so intellectually superior to the average human, you’d be doing something more valuable with your time than writing blog posts. . . . ”

    God, yes! Please, Orac, devote some time to trying to help people, rather than wasting it with blogging. Surely you could put just a modicum of effort into your education and life and find some worthy activity to fill your empty hours. Just think of the things you might have accomplished had you gone to medical school and learned something useful. Why, you could have contributed to saving people from some dreadful disease or something instead of hiding your identity behind that of a fictional Perspex box of blinking lights.

  30. #30 Yoru Teruhiko
    January 15, 2016

    <blockquoteMy father (another GP) smoked and it killed him in the end. I had my first cigarette at boarding school with two other girls at age 14. One girl threw up, the other girl coughed like she was tubercular, and it hit me like a ton of very good bricks. In my top 2 regrets in life — that I ever tried smoking.

    I tried it for the first time at 14, too, and could manage and liked it right away. I know it’s not good for me, though, and I try to be considerate of others. Stepping so they’re not downwind, etc.

    I guess white people have to tolerate us for a while. Sorry, not really sorry!

    -Indian half

  31. #31 Victor
    CANADA
    January 15, 2016

    Jimmo

    God, why is every post you write so negative? You’d think if you were so intellectually superior to the average human, you’d be doing something more valuable with your time than writing blog posts – –

    The problem with ORAC is that he is far too positive in his posts. I certainly would not talk/refer/quote the CAM artsiste in the way that Orac does. Can you think of anything positive to say about: deception, fraudulent claims, lies and delusional thinking?

  32. #32 Reality
    January 15, 2016

    I see the image of Burzynski heading this blog post and it makes me wonder what happened to that old and respected tradition of college kids pasting some crank or crackpot in the face with a custard pie a la the Marx Bros. or the Three Stooges.

    … I can think of quite a few self-important crackpots and quacks from whom this treatment would provide comic relief.

  33. #33 Moon
    January 16, 2016

    “He likens skeptics critical of Burzynski to people who thought the earth was flat. Accuses them of pseudoscience in the most massive case of projection I’ve seen outside the antivaccine movement. ”

    Well, apparently this level of projection can easily be topped my tone-trolling jackasses like Jim: “I know plenty of people like you: miserable with their lives, so they try to bring everyone else down to their level. “

  34. #34 Andreas Johansson
    January 16, 2016

    Looks like Burzynski is turning 73 next week, which combined with his heart troubles doesn’t sound too good for the chances of the TMB ever getting round to stripping him of his license.

    Like our estimed host, I find it difficult to tolerate tobacco smoke. Back when smoking was allowed in bars and restaurants, I’d sometimes have to leave early because of coughing attacks, and I made sure to put all clothes that I’d worn in the washes immediately when coming home. Trying a ciggarette myself is unthinkable.

  35. #35 Delphine
    January 16, 2016

    I tried it for the first time at 14, too, and could manage and liked it right away. I know it’s not good for me, though, and I try to be considerate of others. Stepping so they’re not downwind, etc.

    Smoking for me is now confined to a small alcove on our front porch, or standing outside my car in parking lots. I won’t smoke around my daughter or husband. I used to love smoking in the car. Fire up the tunes, hit the highway, etc. But even if they’re not in the car, the car seat would pick up the smoke, and I can’t do that.

  36. #36 shay simmons
    January 16, 2016

    After watching friends, colleagues, etc try to quit, I’m just grateful I never started.

    I used to have a fairly high smoke tolerance because I shared work spaces with a lot of smokers. Then the DOD went smoke-free (early 90’s, maybe? memory fails me) and now I can’t stand the smell.

  37. #37 Old Rockin' Dave
    In the roaring traffic's boom...
    January 16, 2016

    “. . . You’d think if you were so intellectually superior to the average human, you’d be doing something more valuable with your time than writing blog posts. . . . ”
    He IS intellectually superior to the average human; his great intellect has guided him to devote some of his time to blogging, possibly in the hope that he will bring enlightenment to the misled and castigation to the misleading.
    By the way, I am smarter than the average human too, but Orac is definitely my intellectual superior.

  38. #38 PhoenixSkeptic
    Phoenix, AZ
    January 26, 2016

    I wonder if B is well enough to continue to scam people out of their money, I mean to go to work every day?

  39. #39 Andy
    February 11, 2016

    “I feel as though I’m experiencing an acid flashback to 2011, and I’ve never in my entire life once tried acid—or any mind-altering substance other than booze.”

    I can tell. Maybe you should, preferably Ayahuasca. You can’t hide forever behind arrogance “I know the truth!”. Life will get through to you eventually.

  40. […] the second half of Burzynski’s trial before the Texas Medical Board had been delayed by his having suffered a heart attack and isn’t expected to begin again for several months. Entitled Cancer “visionary” […]

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