I hadn't really planned on writing again about everyone's favorite conspiracy theorist and promoter of quackery, Mike Adams, at least not so soon after the last time I did it, which was only last week after Adams appeared on Dr. Oz's daytime television show to push his "laboratory." Adams, as you might recall, goes by the Internet moniker the "Health Ranger" (which would really more appropriately be "Health Danger") and is the man responsible for one of the quackiest sites on the Internet, NaturalNews.com, a repository for nearly every form of medical pseudoscience known to humans, mixed in with Alex Jones-worthy New World Order-style conspiracy mongering about politics and anti-science rants that would make the Discovery Institute proud. Actually, that's not surprising in that Adams appears also to be an evolution denialist. According to various sources, including his appearance with Dr. Oz, he's been quite successful at this, with NaturalNews.com boasting around 7 million unique page views per month (although other estimates place his traffic more at a level of 1.1-1.7 million unique views a month) and Adams himself having become quite wealthy through a combination of Internet business, selling spam software, and various other dubious businesses built on fear, dating at least back to a Y2K "preparedness" site in 1999.
I'm not the only one who has criticized Adams for his promotion of quackery, pseudoscience, and downright dangerous conspiracy theories, all laced with hateful attacks on celebrities with cancer and other serious disease, such as Patrick Swayze, Christina Applegate, and Tony Snow, for having chosen standard medical treatment rather than quackery. A year and a half ago, Adams particularly "distinguished" himself with an anti-psychiatry rant that blamed psychiatric medications for Adam Lanza's murderous rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Most recently, Adams has gone from tragedy to hilarity by looking at chicken nuggets under the microscope and setting up his own "food lab" in which there is a mass spectrometer that he claims to use to measure heavy metal contaminants in supplements and food, which was what brought him to Dr. Oz's attention. As I put it then, just when I thought Dr. Oz couldn't go any lower, he did.
In any case, as has happened with so many other promoters of quackery, be they Andrew Wakefield, Joseph Chikelue Obi, the Society of Homeopaths, or Stanislaw Burzynski (to name but a few), Adams doesn't like criticism and now, apparently, has reacted to it with legal threats against Jon Entine at the Genetic Literacy website. Entine also writes for Forbes.com and recently published an Orac-level (in length, at least) profile of Mike Adams at Forbes.com (still at the Genetic Literacy Project, along with the longer version). Mike Adams doesn't like it at all, not one bit. In fact, he likes so little that Keith Kloor and P.Z. Myers have both, Streisand Effect-style, reported that Adams has threatened to sue Entine.
My first thought was: Why did Forbes.com back down and take Entine's post down when it was Mike Adams threatening to sue Entine but didn't do the same thing when Andrew Wakefield threatened to sue Emily Willingham, which also happened within the last month and a half? There seems to be a bit of an inconsistency there. Why the cowardice with respect to Entine and the admirable standing by Willingham? My second thought was this: There have been times when I really wished I wrote for a big-name blog collective like Forbes.com. I used to get the occasional offer, but it's been a long time since I got one. Given the chaos around Pepsigate at ScienceBlogs, followed by its takeover by National Geographic and the relative lack of attention ScienceBlogs has gotten in the meantime, given the right offer I'd certainly strongly consider jumping to another blog collective, either under my pseudonym or my real name. However, I think that I'm just a bit too much of a niche blogger for most blog collectives; so here I remain. It's not a bad thing, though, given that I'm pretty much left alone to write whatever I want and don't have to worry about technical issues.
Seeing what's happened repeatedly to Emily Willingham and now what's happening to Jon Entine, maybe that's a good thing, because as Entine has noted, I've been way more harshly critical of Mike Adams. In fact, at the risk of bragging, I can't resist pointing out that I've been way more harshly critical of Mike Adams consistently over a much longer period of time (at least since 2007) than Entine,—or, for that matter, any other blogger of whom I'm aware—has been. Yet, Adams has never complained to Seed or National Geographic or threatened me with a lawsuit. Maybe it's good not to be part of Forbes.com, at least if you're as "Insolent" a blogger as I am.
There's no reason for me to write about the merits of Adams' threats. There are none. To me, this incident is yet another in a depressingly long list of examples of a promoter of quackery trying to use the legal system to bully a critic into silence. There is one thing that caught my interest, though, and that's Adams' e-mail to Keith Kloor, who had e-mailed Adams to ask if he has ever pursued legal action against any other writers who had written similarly unflattering articles about him. Kloor published Adams' response in its entirety, and it's fascinating reading in that it tells us a lot about how Adams views himself. For instance, like most antivaccinationists, Adams doesn't think he's antivaccine. Rather, he thinks he's pro-safe vaccine:
You may be surprised to find out I’m not the person described by the likes of Mr. Entine whose articles can only come from a deep-rooted hatred rather than anything resembling legitimate journalism. Much of the information written about me by Mr. Entine and others is blatantly fictional, distorted or wildly exaggerated. None of it offers a fair representation of my true beliefs and positions on issues concerning science, medicine and the environment.
For example, I am not opposed to the theory of immunization. My concern is with the continued use of toxic adjuvants and preservatives in vaccines. In reality, I am a proponent of “clean vaccines” or what are called “single-dose vaccines” that lack mercury or other chemical preservatives.
I can only note that my portrayal of Adams' beliefs is based on and well-supported by Adams' own writings on the website that he himself runs and for which he frequently contributes content, including articles, songs, and videos. For example, if Adams is not antivaccine, then why is it that he made a rap video like Vaccine Zombie, which I discussed twice? See:
It's a take-off on Michael Jackson's Thriller video in which people injected with vaccines administered by a large nurse all turn into dancing zombies, much like the zombies in the Thriller video. There's even a line about his nutsack shriveling and falling off after the vaccine and a scene that goes something like this:
They started cuttin’ out my brain happy as can be
Bunch of undead doctors from the CDC
I finally figured out what happened to me
When they said we got another vaccine zombie!
Step one: Remove your brain
Step two: Replace with zombie vaccines
Step three: Watch television for further instructions from the Centers for Zombie Control
I kid you not. View it for yourself if you don't believe me. Then there's this video that says that zombies are created by vaccines and that the way to cure them is to trap them in your kitchen or in a giant net and then stuff them full of superfoods until their "immune systems are healed" from the effects of vaccines that "turn your brain to mush" and they become "fully human again":
I could go on and on and on citing examples from Adams' own website that demonstrate that, whatever his self-delusion otherwise says, Adams is clearly not just antivaccine, but rabidly antivaccine, as much as or even more so than the antivaccine loons over at Age of Autism.
Adams is also very, very unhappy that he's been described as "anti-science":
What I find especially fascinating about the attacks on me by Entine and others is that after I was accused of being “anti-science” a couple of years ago, I took it upon myself to become well-versed in a particular branch of scientific study. I read academic textbooks, hired high-level analytical chemists and built a university-level laboratory where I’m personally running the ICP-MS instrumentation. This food contamination research has already achieved some extraordinary results in the interests of the public good and environmental protection as well. Scientific papers stemming from this research are in process right now and I hope to have some published this year.
I’m finding this scientific route to research very rewarding and eye-opening. Yet when people like Mr. Entine learn that I have embraced a scientific discovery methodology, instead of being welcomed for pursuing scientific research, I am unfairly mocked for it. In Entine’s case in particular, I believe he referred to my laboratory work as “a joke.”
That's because Adams' laboratory work is a joke. If his ICP-MS "work" is anything like his microscope work examining a chicken nugget and being amazed that things look bizarre under the microscope, it's definitely a joke. I also question his laboratory. As I pointed out in the comments of my post about Aams' appearance on Dr. Oz's show, there's definitely something fishy going on there. Early on, Adams would only show a photograph of him in his lab. Now, all the videos I've seen of him in his "lab" are carefully shot only to show a very limited part of the laboratory. His most recent video was shot pretty much from one camera angle, except for brief exceptions. Indeed, I find it very odd how great care was seemingly taken not to show anything to the right of the ICP-MS machine or to the left of the fume hood. Just one corner of the lab was ever shown. Even when there’s a closeup of the mass spectrometer, it’s as if the camera person was trying very hard to show only the left side of the machine and not to let the right side show.
It makes me wonder what’s on the other side of the lab, the part other than the tiny area of bench space that Adams takes so many pains to show. Maybe all Adams has is a corner in a larger room that he has to share, or something like that. Or maybe Adams' "lab" is nothing more than a set in a warehouse. Who knows? In any case, it'll be interesting to see if Adams turns out to be like Stanislaw Burzynski, always promising publications of his results but never coming up with anything better than partial publications in bottom-feeding journals. I have no doubt that Adams will manage to publish if he really wants to. However, I'm also quite sure that it won't be in reputable journals. Most likely it'll be in "integrative medicine" journals.
But what about the charge of Adams being "anti-science"? Well, not too long ago he made a short movie called The God Within:
It's a documentary that basically attacks modern science at its core, so much so that I referred to it as something that Deepak Chopra might produce if he underwent a lobotomy first. Basically, he doesn't like anything that smacks of biological determinism, using Stephen Hawking's discussion of human behavior to claim that such a view is what made the Holocaust possible. Elsewhere he attacks science thusly:
"Science" has become the Godless, mindless, soulless platform from which the darkest evils of our world now fester and attempt to expand their domination. GMOs, chemical pesticides, rampant over-vaccination of children, fluoride chemicals in the water, chemotherapy poisons... the list seems endless.
"Science" has found a way to measure the electrical impulses of a heart beat but is incapable of understanding what it means to have a heart in the first place. "Science" says you should abandon any belief in your own God or spirit or creative force in the universe and instead put your faith in them as if they were gods! Believe in science, they insist, but nothing else.
And yet it's not difficult to realize science is not the answer to our questions. Science has no real answers. It only has the mathematics to pretend that it knows something, but underneath the math it is devoid of understanding.
I don't know, Mikey. That sounds pretty darned anti-science to me, your claims to "true science" notwithstanding. It also makes me wonder why, if science is so evil in Adams' mind, he bothered to learn how to run a mass spectrometer. At least, that's what he claims; whether he actually can use it to produce reliable data is very much in question. One notes that he hasn't exactly made prominent the alleged results of university laboratories "collaborating" with him and supposedly verifying his results. Meanwhile, elsewhere, Adams regularly produces black hole-density stupid about skepticism and critical thinking. Particularly hilarious is how Adams claimed that skeptics believe that the body has no ability to fight off microorganisms without vaccines when the very mechanisms by which vaccines work depends upon the body's ability to develop an effective immune response to microorganisms. Then there's also the primitive vitalism that infuses Mikey's writings. Yet Entine had the temerity to call Adams anti-science? "Anti-science" doesn't even begin to describe Adams' level of nuttery.
Adams finishes up with a plea for engagement that blew my irony meter into another quivering, sparking, molten pile of goo:
Honestly, I think I deserve a little credit from the scientific community on this. Why is no one from Slate saying, “Great job with the lab!” and encouraging me to apply the same scrutiny to other issues? It is baffling to me that the “science” community often seems more interested in badgering opponents than furthering the cause of science itself. The way to win allies, in other words, is to identify those people moving in the direction of solid science and encourage them, not harass them.
The reason no scientist will tell Adams, "Great job with the lab!" is because no one has any way of knowing that he has, in fact, done a great job with the lab, while we scientists do have lots of indications that he has not, given his track record. To turn Adams' words back on him, the way to win allies, in other words, is not to sue one's scientific critics. Real scientists do not sue those who criticize their work based on science and fact. They engage them and use the criticisms to examine whether perhaps they are doing something wrong. Of course, Adams is not a real scientist, nor will he ever be. Just measuring a bunch of heavy metal levels in a bunch of supplements looking for high levels that one can point to (assuming that Adams can even do that) is a job for a highly skilled technician, not a high level scientist.
Surprisingly, the tone of Adams' e-mail is rather sad and pathetic. Adams is clearly desperate to be taken seriously. Sadly, he also seems pathologically blind to the very reasons why he is not taken seriously. That would require a level of self-awareness that Adams clearly does not possess, particularly if this video is any indication:
That's right. Adams is is calling for "increased science education in America to combat scientific illiteracy" while claiming that ignorance that "injecting toxic mercury" into babies in the form of vaccines is dangerous as "evidence" why such education is needed. I could do a whole post on the stupidity contained in the 23 minute video, but I'm tired. Instead, I'll just point out that Adams is actually advocating the miseducation of our children about science and doing his best to contribute to it through his website, while now using his laboratory set as a backdrop to claim the legitimacy of science while not understanding its methods. He even goes so far as to claim that not believing in conspiracy theories like the ones Adams repeats is "a sure sign of mental retardation."
Pathetic doesn't even begin to describe the man.
"You may not be aware that I’ve already documented high levels of the heavy metal tungsten in organic rice protein products."
"I would be open to exploring the idea of offering you quotes for your stories and simultaneously publishing quotes from you or others you might recommend in our stories."
There is but one word.
“You may not be aware that I’ve already documented high levels of the heavy metal tungsten in organic rice protein products.”
Passing strange. The concentrations Mikey reports range from 2 to 11 mg/kg of tungsten. Here is a study of rice grown in tungsten contaminated soil showing 0.02 to 0.57 mg/kg in rice grain. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0091…
A whole lot of tungsten contamination is coming from somewhere.
Increased science education sounds like a good idea, especially if it prevents people from believing people like Mike Adams.
I think I now know what this is all about. It is not really Mikey wanting to behave all grown up and where a white coat like real scientists.
More likely, Mikey has come across a new nice little earner http://www.naturalnews.com/043792_rice_protein_heavy_metals_industry_ag…
Wakefield's criticisms in Forbes may have stood because he's been officially stripped of his license to practice medicine as well as his '98 Lancet paper officially retracted--for well documented acts of fraud and medical misconduct.
Adams, on the other hand, being scientifically illiterate and not having any license to practice anything or any actual publications to retract, may ironically be someone with a stronger claim against Forbes for libel. In the US, a physician can get in trouble for practicing medicine without a license, and a scientist can be sanctioned for scientific misconduct. But someone who is neither physician nor scientist almost never (if ever) gets in trouble in the US for giving dangerous medical advice or spouting unscientific rubbish. Sadly there is no indication that will happen anytime soon--which is why frauds like Adams thrive.
I am bummed. I have been fully vaccinated and I am not a dancing zombie yet. Where is my hunger for flesh and decaying skin (and immortality)? I demand it, Adams!
They seem to have removed their comments section. what a shame!
The letter to Entine is CC'd to the president of the American Enterprise Institute, I notice.
They kinda-sorta have some history of supporting such things, via Charles Murray. But that still seems odd to me.
However, his attorney is a heavy hitter. Maybe that explains it:
Formerly worked for Burzynski, too.
Three words suffice to describe exactly what is wrong with Mike Adams' efforts: Cargo Cult Science.
You can read Feynman's essay here:
or my video version here:
Forgive the copy pasta, but it's so relevant:
"Now it behooves me, of course, to tell you what they're missing. But it would be just about as difficult to explain to the South Sea islanders how they have to arrange things so that they get some wealth in their system. It is not something simple like telling them how to improve the shapes of the earphones. But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school--we never say explicitly what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty--a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid--not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked--to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated."
Think we could get Mike Adams to read and consider this essay?
Well, I've got to say "Great job with the lab, Mike!"
His white coat is neat and spotless. He must be a very careful scientist.
There may be another reason for the white coat:
in the good old days, Mikey would pose in a sleeveless undergarment to display his lean, well-muscled arms and hint at his perfect abdominals ( photo was at the older edition of Health Ranger.com).
Perhaps he is not in as spectacularly good shape as he was despite his diet and exercise regime. That coat also looks oversized which us quite telling.
Trust me, one needn't be Anna Wintour to understand fashion choices like that.
And Jonathan Emord! Notice that he has represented ANH. I've heard him @ PRN and he is rather proud of his achievements. He has big plans for the future.
Which brings me to *suing people who criticise your activities*-
obviously famous names in this trade are AJW and Gary Null. The former's work is documented @ Brian Deer.com. I've observed the latter's ( see also Quackwatch).
A woo-meister wants to control internet information about his activities which might enlighten prospective customers and ( rightly) scare them away: so he installs a stable-full of lawyers to write threatening letters or actually go to court.
Apparently, Quackwatch couldn't be sued ( according to the wooer himself because it was up too long and limitations applied BUT I suspect other reasons). Thus he goes after wiki-p ( which links to Barrett's article) which was thrown out of court. Another suit was aimed at a physicist with a blog who criticised his material and "debated" him on the air ( he didn't allow the guy to get many words in edgewise). This also went nowhere, getting thrown out of court as well. ( see quackwatch/ credential watch).
Legal experts know in advance that he had little chance of winning so going ahead is a tactic to intimidate critics. Also there are sporadic threats about possible law suits and hints that others will be dealt with in the future: " I have my lawyers preparing suits against the quackbusters ( sic)." . Mention is usually made of past success stories-" We won in court"- but specifics like names, dates and jurisdictions are never supplied so that one is unable to look them up. Nebulous claims of legal vindication may link the woo-meister spuriously to other suits in which he was never truly involved- except perhaps from the sidelines as a cheerleader.
Here's the truth though, a sceptic would probably never have to pay the outlandish amounts stipulated in these cases BUT being sued takes up your time and money and eats up your life. And who would want that? If you don't have a journal or paper standing behind you, you'd be on your own.
Last year an hiv/ aids realist wrote about an ex- LA cop (who maintains both a denialist site and an advocacy organisation) has been sued. I don't know if anything has been resolved yet but he did get *pro bono* representation.
So should sceptics quake in their boots? I don't think so. Like their woo, their legal threats often boil down to smoke and mirrors.
It also makes me wonder why, if science is so evil in Adams’ mind, he bothered to learn how to run a mass spectrometer.
Perhaps he's been in this business long enough to realize that, as it was phrased in Dune, "The forms must be obeyed." He can play as fast and loose with the science as he wants, as long as he appears to be following the rules. Of course the rules aren't quite what Mike thinks they are; in particular, he's omitting the bit about other researchers using a similar apparatus being able to obtain the same results. As long as he puts on his lab coat and uses these fancy expensive machines, he thinks it must be Science. The "cargo cult science" term invented by Feynman (and mentioned above) is a better description.
I'm sure the machines in question are expensive when new, but one of the companies that regularly spams me is a company that sells such equipment secondhand, at much more affordable prices. I'd pay more attention to the company in question if I were responsible for outfitting a biology/biomedical/biochemistry lab, but I'm not.
Unbelievable! Mikey compares himself 'humbly' to Richard Feynman and Einstein. What a prick.
By the way, it seems that he's started "cleaning" the site of the most extreme conspiracy posts. For example, the Sandy Hook and Boston bombing posts are scrubbed if I'm correct...
@Kevin Fowler - and ironically Richard Feynman aptly described what Mike Adams is up to - cargo cult science.
He thinks that by dressing up in a white coat and standing in a room of equipment that it makes him a scientist. What he wants of course is the appearance of science without nuisance of having to demonstrate his claims in an evidence based or reproducible fashion.
There's another way in which the cargo cult transpires- when woo-meisters appropriate language in order to mime science-
- they'll re-phrase whatever they said first into ' lay language' so that their audience can understand ( as if they themselves weren't also laymen)
- they'll speak of 'research', 'clinical trials' and 'experiments' that they conducted
- they'll talk about statistics and analyses
- and being published in "peer-review" (sic) journals
I like how they "counsel" "patients" and "prescribe" "protocols" and "review" the patient's "progress" in "therapy" etc.
I am bummed. I have been fully vaccinated and I am not a dancing zombie yet. Where is my hunger for flesh and decaying skin (and immortality)? I demand it, Adams!
Clearly, you need more vaccines. With extra thimerosal. And formaldehyde. Get thee to your doctor, STAT!
Bags: Discover magazine's comments show up just fine, which is odd, since Mozilla tends to have a thing about Discus. Forbes comment threads are hit or miss- I usually have good luck with Chrome, but I can't help you with Natural news.
My daughter is a sophomore in a High School biotech program. She spent the last several months trying to get into an internship program and settled for taking some biotech classes at college for the summer instead. She knows she has quite a few years of hard work and studying before she will call herself a scientist.
I think she would be a bit upset to find out someone could skip all of that; just buy themselves a white jacket and piece of lab equipment and call themselves a scientist.
Yes, I noticed that perhaps NaturalNews has closed commenting... Or maybe my out of date browser can't negotiate the commenting section anymore? I've been having so much fun irritating the usual NN crowd over there and maybe that entertainment will no longer be available!
A whole lot of tungsten contamination is coming from somewhere.
The issue is that Adams doesn't seem to bothered to check whether ingested tungsten is of any particular note in the first place (e.g., here; PDF).
I never commented but regularly scanned the threads BUT I have also been unable to view any comments for the past several days.
The issue is that Adams doesn’t seem to bothered to check whether ingested tungsten is of any particular note in the first place
Well, "tungsten" sounds like "tongue" and "stain" together if you say them fast, so obviously it causes visible problems on the surface of the tongue, like sores or precancerous lesions. This is far less of a stretch than cold = c-old = see-old = avoid the common cold by changing your point of view...
Mike Adams says he has nothing against the :theory of vaccination"? It's just the practice of vaccination that he trashes at every opportunity. Well, real vaccination, anyway. He'll gladly sell you some magic water and "superfood" as a substitute.
As far as his pretending to be a scientist:
Little kid wearing a lab coat as a costume: cute.
Teenager nervously putting on a lab coat to do research for the first time: laudable.
Con man and conspiracy theory peddling adult modeling a lab coat and posing in front of an instrument: fraud & harming the reputation of science to the public. That's why this infuriates those of us who do research for a living.
Do you happen to have any links or details? I wasn't aware that the person you mentioned in the HIV denial realm had been sued.
See Kalichman's blog, Denying AIDS..., August last:
"AIDS Denier [ redacted] Needs a Real Job"
The tale unfolds @ HIV Innocence Group Truth blog (1 Aug 2013). It sounds alright.
@ Eric Lund
Of course the rules aren’t quite what Mike thinks they are; in particular, he’s omitting the bit about other researchers using a similar apparatus being able to obtain the same results.
Hence why he is so angry about scientists mocking him instead of hailing him as an equal. Sadly for him, a white labcoat and some fancy instruments are not enough.
Heck, it's not enough for many of us.
To some extent, it just shows he is still believing that the scientific community is this big, secret, elitist brotherhood. Is he envious of us?
As for scientists being rude to a would-be colleague. Has he ever been at a real scientific symposium? Most of the time people are civil to each others, but there are no shortage of pointy questions. And there is always this lab director in the audience who Did It 10 years ago and the speaker didn't mention it properly, or this other lad who has just "a few" questions ("next, on the following slide, you said..." *general groan from the audience*)...
@Helianthus: Indeed, pointed questions are a normal part of conferences, seminars, and colloquia. Whereas Mike seems to regard such questions roughly the way C. M. O. T. Dibbler would view the question, "What's in these sausages?"
Mike is not entirely wrong about viewing the scientific community as a big elitist brotherhood, if by "elitist" one means, "You had better have done your homework if you expect your results to be accepted." But it's hardly a secret society, and at least in my field, students (grad students and even the occasional undergrad) regularly attend conferences.
And there is always this lab director in the audience who Did It 10 years ago
Cue Fritz Zwicky impersonation.
Mike seems to regard such questions roughly the way C. M. O. T. Dibbler would view the question, “What’s in these sausages?”
Best. Metaphor. Ever.
Please forgive me in advance. It's an unpretty personal obsession.
It's a simile. Or possibly an analogy. Metaphorical comparisons are implicit.
I'm SO sorry. Can't help myself.
Grant must be occupied, so I'll link to this on his behalf:
Orac, I used to be continually amazed at the depths sunk to by quack enablers like Oz, and the quacks themselves.
I've reconciled myself to the thought that there is a bottomless hole of quackery/quackery enabling, and it's hunger is growing.
The link for "microscope work examining a chicken nugget" goes back to this page, not the article indicated.
The reason no scientist will tell Adams, “Great job with the lab!” is because no one has any way of knowing that he has, in fact, done a great job with the lab, while we scientists do have lots of indications that he has not, given his track record.
To be fair, I think what he means is, why don't they say "It's great that you have the intent of being more scientific". Or, more basically, "you people have criticized me for not being like you, in response I've made efforts to become more like you people, and yet you've ignored my efforts".
Mike Adams would be cutting his own throat by filing the threatened lawsuit since Jon Entine's allegedly defamatory statements are backed up by Adams' own writing. He might as well just sue himself.
Anne, I am guessing that Mikey has no intention of this ever getting near a court hearing. It would appear most likely that he is doing this in order to remove material from a prominent place on the web that pointed out some home truths that Mikey wants buried. His involvement in e-mail spam software, in Y2K scams, and the worst of his supplement scams.
Do you see a trend here?
Where Jon Entine likely stepped over the line as far as Mikey is concerned is when he criticised Mikey's pretence at being a real scientist. If I was a betting person, I would take a punt that Mikey sees this as his next big business venture and to get the small supplement companies over the line (i.e. to pay him to do their analyses) he would need to be seen as a serious (for some ultra-small value of serious) scientist. Having a prominent article pointing out the silliness of his posturing is likely to frighten some of his clients off. Hence the legal threat.
Narad @32 -- My favorite Fritz Zwicky-ism is "spherical bastards" -- i.e., bastards whichever way you look at them!
Where Jon Entine likely stepped over the line as far as Mikey is concerned is when he criticised Mikey’s pretence at being a real scientist. If I was a betting person, I would take a punt that Mikey sees this as his next big business venture and to get the small supplement companies over the line (i.e. to pay him to do their analyses) he would need to be seen as a serious (for some ultra-small value of serious) scientist. Having a prominent article pointing out the silliness of his posturing is likely to frighten some of his clients off. Hence the legal threat.
If that's the case, then why hasn't he come after me, as I've mocked his posturing as a scientist ever since he started doing it?
Orac, I am having a bit of a stab in the dark and don't want to hurt your feelings, but 2 things.
1. This blog has nothing like the readership of Forbes and is unlikely to be read by many CEOs of small supplement companies.
2. The link I put in upthread to Mikey's agreement with a couple of rice protein sellers is fairly new and this little exercise may have taken some time to mature (although I should note that, like a lot of articles on NN, the link no longer goes to the page where it originally pointed to). The way I have read the various articles on NN is that the original intent Mikey had with his scientific equipment was to slag off his competitors in the market. It now seems to have evolved into making money off them. You have been ridiculing Mikey since he first announced his conversion to scientism.
Jon Entine’s bad luck may have to do with a combination of prominence and timing.
While I was rummaging around the internet I came across the following article written about Mike Adams. It is written by the authors of an alternative medicine website. http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/616-special-r…
It is surprisingly refreshing.
ChrisP @40, what you say is plausible; Adams may be trying to use his lab results to attack and annihilate his competitors, the better to enhance his market share of the stuff he sells. However, he has already destroyed any chance of having any science cred, as real scientists have already pointed out. It actually is hard to imagine why he would threaten Jon Entine but not Orac. Adams must fear the Plexiglass box of blinking lights, as well he should.
Oh great and beneficent Orac:
you are as perspicacious as you are perspicuous-
we minions joyfully bask in your splendiferous blinking glory
I have no idea why he HASN'T come after you BUT both he and the other dolt have discussed you in articles and on air-IIRC by both nym and name. You are mentioned along with Grand Imperial Medical Despots Barrett and Novella and with the Great Dark Lords- of Vaccination and Journalism, respectively- Paul and Brian.
None of them have been taken to court as well.
Entine made a few erroneous claims, but nothing I've seen that would pass the "actual malice" bar – indeed, the threatening letter resorts to the stupidity of bitching that easily verifiable statements don't have citations.
That's not really the point of legally censorious asshattery, though. It doesn't matter to Adams whether he would win or lose. The idea is to hit Entine in the pocketbook.
It is surprisingly refreshing.
They're as nutty as he is, just differently focused.
(And they didn't post my comment tying the Amazon herb joint to Adams, despite their practially inviting it. Selah.)
They’re as nutty as he is, just differently focused.
Of course. It is just that you usually expect crank magnetism and it is rare for one lot of alt med quackery to go for another lot of alt med quackery. Which is what makes Mikey's current activities so fascinating (I have never accepted Mikey believes what he writes; it is just a means to a sale).
Orac, I suspect the reason you (along with Barrett and others) have yet to be sued by Adams is because it's obvious you know precisely how vacuous such a threat would be, and are the sort of person who would fight the lawsuit just out of principle. So he knows the battle lost, and, like a good scam artist, focuses instead on pretending he wasn't fighting that battle in the first place.
#3 ChrisP: The abstract states that the average tungsten concentration in the rice grains is only 0.17 mg/Kg. Since this is the only part of the rice plant that we eat, this means that Mikey's values are out by a factor of more than 100. Mikey is innumerate as well as ignorant.
I wonder if any of the people who left their responses actually have an autistic child at home.And another questions I want to ask is as follows:Do you know the statistics on harmful incidents of medical treatments that are actually approved by Fda ?Read how many people are poisoned by meds prescribed by doctors?And please talk to the parents whose kids were actually helped by alternative therapies.And also please read statistics on how many of us are actually harmed by alternative therapies.Your comments are nonsense.
Nick K, that is where I started from. But remember this is rice growing in soil contaminated with fall out from tungsten mines, so soil concentrations are higher than normal.
There are other possible sources as the products were rice protein. These include: contamination in the processing plant and contamination in Mikey’s laboratory. The other possible explanation is that Mikey doesn’t know how to calibrate and run his equipment.
Even then, as Narad points out, we need to consider its toxicity. Tungsten has a NOAEL of about 0.75 mg/kg/day for chronic exposure and 8,000 mg/kg/day for occasional exposure. So what Mikey reports finding is ho hum for toxicity to say the least unless you are thinking of consuming vast quantities of this supplement every day.
ChrisP: The most likely explanation is that Mikey doesn't know how to calibrate and run his equipment. He could just be making up the values, of course.
He seems to be really, really impressed with himself over this tungsten angle.
It looks to have started rolling in February, before he even bumbled into the leukemia cluster in March. "Looks to" because the page has been replaced with an UPDATE announcing an Earth-shattering agreement.
In that experiment, Adams found tungsten concentrations exceeding 10,000 parts per billion (ppb), lead at over 500 ppb and more than 1,800 of cadmium in one lot of brown rice protein. Adams said, "These proteins contain the highest concentration of tungsten, lead and cadmium that we've ever found in any edible product, across all categories."
After publishing his results on Natural News, Adams prompted an industry agreement to limit the presence of heavy metals in raw vegan and vegetarian protein supplements. So far, the following standards have been agreed upon by Garden of Life, Sunwarrior and Boku Superfood:
Lead limit: 250 ppb
Tungsten limit: 50 ppb
Cadmium limit: 1000 ppb
Mercury limit: 50 ppb
Yah, we'll knock down that cadmium a bit, but killer tungsten is going to be mercilessly hunted.
Oh, and Mr. No-Really-I'm-a-Scientist really doesn't get QFT. And again invokes Feynman to drive the point home.
Anna, you are quick to assert that our comments are "nonsense".
If you were able to demonstrate that some position we are against constitutes "sense", and that the two can not be reconciled, then you might make some headway.
But - whether you realize it or not - you haven't demonstrated anything. You've simply invoked what I like to call 'the haystack gambit', asserting that somewhere in a huge domain of data that you allude to is some fact or fact(s) which constitutes an ironclad case, and then expecting us to react as if you'd presented an ironclad case. You haven't.
I wonder if any of the people who left their responses actually have an autistic child at home.And another questions I want to ask is as follows:
You know, I begin to wonder whether Anna really wants answers to her questions after all.
"And please talk to the parents whose kids were actually helped by alternative therapies"
Wouldn't it be far simpler--as well as far less time-consuming on everyone's part--if you simply provided citations to the well designed and appropriately controlled trials demonstrating these alternative therapies safely and effectively treat autism spectrum disorders?
I mean, you do have something in support of your position other than anecdotal accounts or personal testimonies, something that constitutes actual evidence--right?
"I wonder if any of the people who left their responses actually have an autistic child at home."
You're right, of course, in implying that many of the people who work so passionately to expose fake "treatments" for autistic children, do so because we are parents of autistic children, and thus have strong feelings about those fake doctors who endanger children and impoverish parents just for a buck or million bucks. It's telling that when the quacks can, they kick parents out of their sales conferences (like "Autism One"), isn't it. Thanks for your support in exposing the fakes and frauds, and stick around. I also appreciate your support for encouraging the FDA to be a lot tougher on alternatives to medicine. Isn't it funny that the same customers show up every year at "Autism One" to buy the newest "cure"? Surely if the treatments they sold last year really worked, their victims (I mean "customers") wouldn't need to buy the next one...
And please talk to the parents whose kids were actually helped by alternative therapies
What you actually mean is talk to the parents who believe their kids were helped by alternative therapies.
Talk is cheap and people can be fooled or can fool themselves very easily - that is why we need the "well designed and appropriately controlled trials" that JGC mentions above.
Anna, I have an autistic daughter. And you know what? Your questions are meaningless.
Do you know the statistics on harmful incidents of medical treatments that are actually approved by Fda ?Read how many people are poisoned by meds prescribed by doctors?
Yes, medicine has effects and side effects, and like any tool, can do good or ill -- and often can do both at once. But so what? If FDA approved medications are imperfect, how does that vindicate alternative therapies? I'll give you a clue: it doesn't. The therapies need to stand on their own, not just try to distract attention from their own failings by pointing at others. Do you know *why* we know the statistics for drug failures, drug interactions, and drug side effects? Because the drugs are studied and there is mandatory reporting. None of that is true for alternative therapies; if you're using a treatment that has not been studied, it's true that it will have fewer known risks. But you're a fool if you think that means the *actual* risks are lower. If these things are so safe and effective, why are the adherents so unwilling to subject them to proper study? It's suspicious, and if you don't think so, then con artists must love you, because that's exactly the sort of oversight they depend upon.
And please talk to the parents whose kids were actually helped by alternative therapies.
Many claim to have been helped, and I'm sure most of them believe it. But without systematic study, we can't know that it's true. I know, it sounds insulting to not simply take someone's word for it, but not only is the world full of con artists, but our perceptions are far less reliable than we think.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" -- Richard Feynman
And also please read statistics on how many of us are actually harmed by alternative therapies.
See above. The statistics aren't going to be meaningful if the proponents are actively obstructing attempts to collect them systematically. Back in the day, Russia claimed to have had a much more successful rocket program. Zero interplanetary space probe failures! This is because they didn't identify payloads until after a successful launch. If it failed to leave its parking orbit, it was simply given a Cosmos designation and described as a weather satellite or a military communications satellite experiment or something. Today, we know there were far more attempts than they let on. They swept their entire manned lunar program under the rug when it became apparent they were going to lose the moon race.
Or, to put it another way, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
I don't consider my child a guinea pig for some quack willing to try anything if it gets him paid. I want some assurance that the therapies we try won't hurt her or waste valuable time. And I need more than the proponent's word for it, more than glowing anecdotes, since even Dr Brinkley (the "goat gland doctor") had glowing anecdotes from satisfied customers, and he was about as dangerous a quack as you can find.
And please talk to the parents whose kids were actually helped by alternative therapies.And also please read statistics on how many of us are actually harmed by alternative therapies.Your comments are nonsense.
Given that Adams has already disclosed the cure for autism, I don't quite see what the problem is.
Anna, my son was an autistic child, now he's an autistic adult. I want real medical care for autistic kids and adults, not failure to treat medical conditions that are put down to autism, and not snake oil. Autistic people are entitled to the same protections as non-autistic people, and any treatment or therapy for them should be held to the same standards that apply for non-autistic people. FDA approval should certainly be questioned as appropriate - for example, the agency's approval of electric shock devices for behavioral "treatment," which may soon be revoked. I agree with Calli Arcale that our kids are not guinea pigs and I object to their being treated as if they were by predatory, cynical hucksters.
Has anyone noticed any links to removed articles on Natural News? They link to the same explanation that the content was "no longer aligned with the science-based investigative mission of Natural News." I believe there was another one about the USDA buying automatic weapons that had the same treatment. Hilarious.
This is one of the things that made me think that Mike Adams was trying to rehabilitate NN because he has another scam in the offing and the usual nutbaggery might scare off his new customers.
Sadly for Mikey, most of his nutbaggery has been liberally copied on hundreds of other websites.
Mike Adams and his band of "citizen reporters" could be kept busy for many years trying to clean the crazy off the NN website. A comparison to the Augean stables comes to mind.
For instance, the "science-based investigative mission of Natural News" doesn't align real well with The Great HPV Hoax, in which NN claims that "The FDA has, for four years, known that HPV was not the cause of cervical cancer."
And they'll need to purge videos like the one from this guy who gave the Illuminati an ultimatum on behalf of the "Asian Mafia", to cease and desist in their plans to eliminate 2/3 of the world's population, or face the consequences:
There've got to be thousands more articles and videos as nutty or nuttier on NN.
One of his problems is that he doesn't have good enough judgment about what is somewhat realistic and what is straight out loony.
For example, Mikey had the Health Ranger site decorated with photos of him showing off his muscles in a sleeveless athletic shirt along with his blood chemistry values, weight, height, body fat percentage etc. He had a charming essay about his parents - who worked for Big Pharma- and his life of slavery to the Almighty Capsule until he got heavy, sick and then, enlightened, as he cured himself through healthy living. He included health advice for his followers ( "Don't go to MDs, go to NDs").
Also there was ( elsewhere) a bizarre video of him spinning around on a beach with metal pots of flaming material on long chains. Like a street performer without a sense of self-reflection.
These entries are beyond my ability to dig up. BUT he replaced the Health Ranger material with:
- chick and ducking videos
his new bio and history** which is the most self-aggrandising, un-self-aware, risible collection of histrionic crap west of Gary Null.
The other day he ranted about cancer doctors, as I dutifully reported.
He also promised to stop political rhetoric but didn't manage to hold back on his urge to shriek. Which tells me volumes.
** if anyone hasn't read this, please, please go immediately to HealthRanger.com. You will thank me.
Mike Adams and his band of “citizen reporters” could be kept busy for many years trying to clean the crazy off the NN website.
Like the disguised New World Order death chips?
Mikey has a new video up. He's concerned about "scientific illiteracy" in our education system. It's all about the ad-JU-vants such as aluminum, formaldehyde and mercury, folks. He claims he would stop dissing vaccines...if only teh ebil big pharma would package vaccines in single dose vials.
His rant about vaccines is at 5:30 minutes into the video:
He should run a sample of his blood for formaldehyde. I'd love to see the complete freakout he would have afterwards.
He should run a sample of his blood for formaldehyde.
The concept brings a Ray Bradbury story to mind, "The Coffin". Embalming fluid is involved.
He’s concerned about “scientific illiteracy” in our education system.
"The atom, in fact, was once thought to be the smallest unit of matter.... But before long, physicists began wondering 'What are atoms made of?' So they invented a comical model of particle physics that they use to explain how atoms are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons."
I do like the way this one comes to a close:
"A practicing Buddhist monk knows more about the nature of reality than a conventional subatomic physicist, and he didn't have to spend ten billion dollars in order to catch a glimpse of enlightenment.
"Remember this quote from Confucius...."
I like the bit where he says that the Higgs Boson is actually the same as The Force in Star Wars, so Yoda knows more about physics than physicists: "with all their high-flying scientific superiority, too many of today's particle-hunting physicists still don't know as much about the nature of the universe as a character from a fictional fantasy film."
I guess that means that George Lucas is a Buddhist monk, or a theoretical particle physicist, just like Confucius. All this time I thought Lucas made up The Force as a parody of New Age babble. Adams apparently believes this is an accurate description of reality.
According to Mikey:
" Consciousness is the underlying force of the universe".** The universe was "'engineered' by a greater creative consciousness" and the earth has been visited by aliens long ago .
I invite anyone who is sceptical of our group's reaction to him to PLEASE read his bio.
And then, ponder a few things:-
- Mike tells us that he has a BS degree from a Midwestern university BUT he doesn't say what the degree is in and which university it is
- he claims to have "aced" college entrance exams and tests in English, mathematics and science. Now, we don't really see the second one obvously in evidence- although we can make inferences- BUT how do his English and science sound? Just a guess, off the top of your head...
Does he sound like the *creme de la creme* of university graduates?
SEVERAL of Orac's minions have probably achieved very high scores in educational testing ( no names mentioned, I woudn't want to embarasss anyone)- why do they sound SO different from Mike? Why are their analogies and jokes so different as well? Why does HIS science so, so different than say- Orac's?
Mike also tells us that he is "gifted in music": you can listen to his compositions and judge for yourself.
Now rather than refer you to volumes of developmental psychology, I'll ask you to please give me the benefit of the doubt- trust me on this-
children can discern the intellectual capacities of other children and adults***- they TAILOR their message in order to simplify it for younger children -
THUS most adults have this ability as well- they can tell who is better at things and who understands more-
We can tell that Adams is not awfully bright BUT that he is trying to impress us by speaking about his studies in physics, anthropology, psychology, linguistics et al.
ANYBODY can say that! \
Woo-meisters want to convince their marks.... their AUDIENCE, that they are vastly superior to the average person, that they understand more than doctors and professionals
BUT why then do they SOUND like showing-off teenagers even when they are 46? Or 69?
Most of these guys' impression-making 'genius' material can be found in the first paragraphs of the wiki-p-dia article on which they pontificate.
I am quite certain that Mikey is a BS scholar .
** from HealthRanger.com/ bio and history
*** this is called person perception, taking the role of he other, social cognition etc.
Was I too subtle in the mockery of his ignorance of the frank hostility between Buddhism and Confucianism?
It’s all about the ad-JU-vants
People with that mindset always finds some way to make it about the JUs..
If Mikey is so concerned about science illiteracy in schools, why doesn't he make a donation to the sciences department at his alma mater?
#76 off topic -No frank hostility FYI
^ Jeezums, that's two HTML f*ckups, boldface and blockquote.
#75 I don't think there are any Einsteins commenting - Remember "hubris"?
A great quote from Einstein
" Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
I apply this to both Orac and Mike.
Which "gods", anon?
too many of today’s particle-hunting physicists still don’t know as much about the nature of the universe as a character from a fictional fantasy film.
Yoda had the advantage of thousands of years of research and a lifetime of practice with the Force. That and a script.
What is an "Einstein" anyway?
Whether you like it or not, there are commenters here who obviously have as high levels of verbal / science/ mathematics ability *as that which Mike claims to have*.
That's not hubris: it's simple statistics. You have a bunch of commenters with graduate degrees in science, medicine etc; do you suppose that that reflects average intelligence and ability?
Do you believe that universities just accept everyone? Or that intelligence and achievement are unrelated?
Yoda had the advantage of thousands of years of research and a lifetime of practice with the Force.
He was (is, will be?) 900 years old, I believe. That's a lot of practice. I bet I could do some cool things with a Higgs Boson (still sounds like a nautical term to me) given that much time.
That and a script.
Written by Confucian Buddhist monk George Lucas.
A great quote from Einstein
” Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”
Amazingly, also not said by Edmund Burke.
The locus (p. 28; PDF).
Note that Mein Weltbild was published in 1949, whereas the Baeck festschrift was published in 1953. No two-volume version has crossed my sights so far.
According to Seelig (p. 623; PDF):
Wer es unternimmt, auf dem Gebiet der Wahrheit und der Erkenntnis als Autorität aufzutreten, scheitert am Gelächter der Götter.
If Higgs is a boson wo is the chief boson's mate?
@MoB - rimshot.
#76 off topic -No frank hostility FYI
#87 thank you for the clarification.
#76 off topic -No frank hostility FYI
You seriously do not want to try to teach your grandmother how to suck eggs. Neo-Confucianism denounced both Ch'an and Taoism during the Sung period, and Ch'an was pathetically unable to respond thanks to having mired itself in hua-t'ou ("critical phrase") fetishization.
It was a competition for patronage, and the Confucians already had a leg up in terms of speaking bureacratese fluently.
Jesus, just look at Chang Tsai's insane cosmontology, which apparently exists for no particular reason other than to get ethics to fall out of ritual.
When I started reading this blog a few years ago, I wasn't particularly surprised to see anti- vaccine/GMO/fluoride etc comments, it's just the naturalistic fallacy after all.
I was amazed to see germ theory denialists.
I am flabbergasted to see particle physics deniers!
How can anyone deny particle physics? I mean, we all know that magic works because Quantum.
Yoda had the advantage of thousands of years of analysis and a lifespan of observe with the Force
According to Adams, flu vaccines may only appear to prevent heart attacks because, "vaccines just kill people from neurological damage before they can suffer a heart attack anyway, thereby reducing the number of heart attacks in vaccinated patients". Priceless.
I presume that NN runs on hollow-state hardware, so that the "cloud of probabilities in which the illusory appearance of an electron-like particle might be teased out of the fabric of reality" and "intertwined fields of possibility that span multiple dimensions and propagate information encoded in mysterious energy fields" don't get cramped.
Plus, they glow. Q.E.D.
It reminds me of something I've observed chez woo:
they refer to pop culture characters or situations as support for their claims about medicine or current events in RL-
Mike- Yoda knows more than physicists**
Gary- traders in the market are corrupt as "The Wolf of Wall St".**
NOW before someone jumps in and says- "Well, 'Orac' is from scifi; so is LOTR or GOT..
It's not the same thing: analogy or creative references in writing do not consititute evidence even if art does reflect life and - btw-we have data and research to use as support.
HOWEVER they often use movies and other general entertainment information to 'educate' their followers. I think that it's a sign they realise that their audience may have little information from research and RATHER than display it, they take the easy route and talk down. Not that they're so much more advanced. Perhaps even the reverse.
" I'll put it in lay language", he says.
If you peruse Mike's cartoons @ NN, you'll see a plethora of stock characters from melodrama and pop culture. Just look at how the doctors are depicted graphically- leering, money-grabbing miscreants- not real people. Or else, they're N-zis. Subtle he isn't.
Remember, that followers may read/ listen to these preachers daily and as we all know ( oh, look it up) learning transpires when material is repeated frequently, intensively, emotionally, recently etc
People learn when they connect new information to what they have previously learned or with which they are already familiar. Relating woo "information" ( scare quotes) to common movie plots makes it more likely to be recalled. They want these memes and examples burned into memory because they can then affect what is bought.
Right. And as we've learned @ PRN, all human interactions are *energy exchanges*.
(I also can't really endorse Arabatzis's Representing Electrons, given its wholesale reliance on unobservable entities to address unobservable entities.)