Woo-hoo! The Quackometer's back!

I recently wrote about the cowardly manner in which Netcetera booted the Quackometer off of its servers unceremoniously in response to a truly vacuous legal threat from a quack named Joseph Chikelue Obi.

Now, the little black duck has found a new ISP. The Quackometer is back in business! Hilariously, "Dr." Obi is already making threats again, only this time not just against Le Canard Noir, but against the entire skeptical blogosphere:

Alighting from the back seat of an Extended Black Daimler Limousine at the start of a Whirlwind Alternative Medicine Tour , essentially spanning right across the main length and breadth of the United Kingdom , a warmly chuckling Dr Obi said:

"The fact that I am currently suing the Quackometer's former Internet Service Provider (Netcetera Ltd) does not in any way forbid me to wish my die-hard foes at the Quackometer Blog all the very best in any future non-defamatory endeavours.

But if the Quackometer's current ISP (Positive Internet Ltd) decisively fails to tackle the legitimate concerns of the Alternative Medicine Fraternity , then we will have no other option but exert appropriate fiscal leverage through the commercial invoices of it's major client base, many of whom are (thankfully) exceedingly well known to us.

For each errant ISP (or Media Outfit), we will use a totally different strategy altogether ; as it is firmly against the law of Natural Justice for any one of them to be greedily making an outrageously easy living out of intensely amplifying our very own indelible pain and suffering.

So , all of those Tuppeny Defamers who are gleefully expecting us to use the very same modus operandi more than once, should please kindly think again.

My fundamentally humble message to all Skeptic Internet Service Providers (out there) today is therefore extremely loud and exceedingly clear : Stop condoning the ruthless harassment of Alternative Medicine Practitioners - or be fully prepared to face the dire financial consequences of your actions ! ".

Give me a break, Obi. And, by the way, yes, it is my considered opinion that you are nothing more than a quack and a bully afraid of free speech. You know, I might just add Obi's blog's RSS feed to my newsreader and keep an eye on fiskable claims made by him. He's hysterically ridiculous on so many levels (particularly his labeling of his photo on his blog as "Alternative Medicine Topdog") that he could do with the occasional dose of not-so-Respectful Insolence from time to time. Not too frequently, of course. He's too idiotic to waste that much of my time. However, he could serve as a nice outlet when Orac is in a particularly testy mood.

More like this

That blog reads like a parody - the Arbitrary Capitalization and spontaneous italics especially. ...You are sure it's the real deal?

Is it true that, like Creationism Museum Topdog, Ken Ham, that Joe Chiclets enjoys a regular bout of nonconsensual man on piglet action? Also, are pharmaceuticals part of the pledge hazing rituals at the Alternative Medicine Fraternity? Just questions, you understand, things I'm hearing on the interwebs...

Oh, Obi's serious all right. He's just so utterly full of himself that it's hard not to laugh--except that he's all too willing to abuse the plaintiff-friendly nature of U.K. libel law to suppress criticism.

Get a load of his gloating about surviving "one of the Most Lethal Bloggers Assaults in Modern History , with almost Five Thousand Defamatory Bloggers woefully failing to sink him despite their use of the very latest Internet Spamming Technology."

I wish.

I hate to tell Obi that it was just a few dozen bloggers manually reposting Le Canard Noir's critiques. What a windbag.

Dear Orac,

In the US at least, with respect to Obi, "truth is an absolute defense against libel."

I am an internist with a medical news website, Hot Medical News http://hotmedicalnews.com which your readers may be interested in.
If you agree, perhaps you could link to my site.

Thanks for your time and consideration.


Brian Carty, MD, MSPH

My spidey-sense is tingling, suggesting that the most recent "Obi" postings are a hoax or a prank.

The things that set off the spidey-sense:

the slightly- distorted image of Obi at http://www.professorjosephchikelueobi.com/

and the tag line

"Alternative Medicine Topdog !" (note the space, allowing easy search).

Other bits of spidey: In the post


The phrases that tingle the spidy-sense

Alternative Medicine Strongman
Royal College of Alternative Medicine (RCAM) Boss
Extended Black Daimler Limousine
warmly chuckling

Plus the general over-the-top tone.

I may be wrong. But I have a strong sense of leg-pulling.

However, I've updated my post about "First They Came for Quackometer *", including Obi's ....well, post.

Truth is an absolute defence in the UK, too. It's just that state legal assistance isn't available in defamation cases, and being sued for libel costs an awful lot of money. If Obi were to sue and lose, he would be liable for both sides' costs, of course, but that's where the fun would really start, trying to get it out of him. Does he strike anyone here as the the sort of chap who would pay up without hesitation? Or do you feel he's more the "sneak out of the country on a forged passport, set up elsewhere under a false name and leave his victim facing ruin" type?

Incidentally, he really is quite insane -


Truth is an absolute defence in the UK, too.

Indeed. However, the burden of proof is totally different. In the US, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to demonstrate that (1) the statement being called libel was false and (2) the defendant knew it was false or demonstrated a "reckless disregard for the truth" in publishing it. In the UK, as anyone who's read about Holocaust denier David Irving's libel case against Deborah Lipstadt knows, the burden of proof is on the defendant to prove that what he or she wrote is true.

UK libel laws are really screwed up.

As I posted on the other thread, truth, or "justification", is not used that often in the UK as a libel defence as the burden of PROVING the alleged libellous statements are true falls on the defendant - not like in the US where the plaintiff has to show "malicious intent" in what is said. Plus if the "justification" defence is judged to have failed in any particular then the libel may be viewed as being "compounded" by the defendant trying to say it was justified when (at least legally) it wasn't - this would potentially increase the damages.

The result of all this is that the rich (who have deep pockets) tend to sue for libel - or at least threaten to sue - in the UK to suppress negative comment about them, while the only people prepared to DEFEND libel actions are newspapers and the odd brave (or principled) publisher, like Penguin Books in the David Irving v Lipstadt & Penguin case.

PS - for anyone who would like more of "Dr" Obi's unique brand of ranting, this site offers some jaw-droppers.

A particularly bizarre bit of Obi's surreal War on the Quackometer is the piece invoking Johnny Depp's ex, British supermodel Kate Moss, here

we will have no other option but exert appropriate fiscal leverage through the commercial invoices of it's major client base

firmly against the law of Natural Justice for any one of them to be greedily making an outrageously easy living out of intensely amplifying our very own indelible pain and suffering.

What is it with this guy, did he get a word of the day calendar for Christmas for something? He strikes me as the sort of person who uses big words to sound impressive, but due to poor understanding ends up sounding like an idiot cousin of George Bush.

Anyone else out there reminded of The Last King of Scotland? I don't mean that Obi is as bad a person as Idi Amin, but the style of aggrandizement is similar.

I think Kate Moss should sue.

Great thought Bob.

Idi Amin did famously take to referring to himself as "His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Conqueror of the British Empire [CBE] in Africa in General".

[VC, DSO and MC are British military decoration, none of which Amin actually had, with VC being the Victoria Cross, the highest British military medal]

Obi's style also evokes, for British readers, a touch of the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels.

Thanks to whoever provided the Netcetera email address on Orac's earlier post.

Here is a copy of the email I sent them last week, in a rare moment of activism. It seemed to go through but I have no reply yet. I'm not holding my breath.

"The Manager

Dear Manager

Scienceblogs, which I read regularly, have reported that you have banned Canard Noir from your hosting.

This looks like an unfortunate development in the face of a (probably empty) threat of legal action.

Nevertheless, one principle I try to live by is not to draw conclusions about a case without hearing both sides.

I wonder therefore what your side of the story may be.

I imagine I will not be the only person you hear from about this matter.

Yours sincerely

John Monfries"

By John Monfries (not verified) on 24 Feb 2008 #permalink

What's amazing to me is that no one's popped in to try and claim that the only reason you or the Quackometer are opposing Dr. Obi is because he's black. Normally the idiots are pretty predictable.

Or did I miss it?

What's amazing to me is that no one's popped in to try and claim that the only reason you or the Quackometer are opposing Dr. Obi is because he's black. Normally the idiots are pretty predictable.

I think that in this case his self-aggrandizing prose, bullying tactics and woeful history as a medical doctor are so laughably inane that such an argument is obviously unsupportable, even for the usual wingnuts.

I notice moreover that the Big Woo usual suspects have been remarkably silent about this matter generally (they usually rush to the defence of alties who try legal threats like this - as when they got their collective knickers in a twist over DC's Improbable Science Page and the Red Clover Expose).

Do you think it's possible that we've actually seen someone hit the level of flagrant dishonesty and stupidity so obvious that even the Alties recognise it?

Oh and before I forget - Welcome Back to the Little Black Duck - the Blogosphere has been a duller place without you!

By Lilly de Lure (not verified) on 25 Feb 2008 #permalink

Thank God it's back!

I did some digging starting with the Electoral Register in the U.K. and found some vaguely interesting stuff out. He definitely doesn't seem to be rich, and he's currently running a clinic at his home near Newcastle, which I'm sorely tempted to take a look at because I'm deeply concerned for any members of the public who visit for medical advice. More at http://layscience.net/?q=node/32 (sorry for the shameless plug!).

Just been doing some more digging on this guy, this time looking into his businesses. There is some really weir stuff going on there... more at http://layscience.net/?q=node/34, and also Tim at Bloggerheads.com has a couple of really interesting posts researching his background.