The "conspiracy" to kill alternative medicine practitioners continues apace

Ever since late June, I've been intermittently taking note of a new conspiracy theory in the alternative medicine world. It began when notorious autism quack Jeff Bradstreet, one of the longest practicing, most prominent purveyors of the scientifically discredited notion that vaccines cause autism, was found dead in a North Carolina river on June 19. The police rapidly concluded that he had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. It was impossible not to note that the FDA had raided his clinic a few days before, and it later came out that it was due to his use of and unproven biological, GcMAF, as a treatment for autism. It didn't take long for conspiracy theories about his death to bubble up, with antivaccine advocates concocting all sorts of bizarre conspiracies about either the feds or a pharma hit squad having executed Bradstreet to prevent him from revealing...well, exactly what he was going to reveal wasn't exactly clear, but obviously it must have been bad, bad enough that the evil forces of big pharma and the CDC wanted him dead, dead, dead.

A month later, another prominent alternative medicine practitioner, Nicholas Gonzalez, died suddenly of what sounded like an apparent heart attack. As you might recall, Gonzalez "pioneered" (if you can call it that) a variant of the Gerson protocol (complete with juicing and coffee enemas) known as the Gonzalez protocol that, when finally tested, proved tto produce worse resuls than As I pointed out at the time, it is not at all unusual for a man in his mid-60s to die suddenly of a heart attack, but alternative medicine fans didn't see it that way. They immediately saw him as another victim of the same conspiracy, claiming that his heart attack wasn't really a heart attack at all but rather due to the use of surreptitiously administered succinylcholine or some other nefarious method designed to make murder look like natural causes. In the interim between Bradstreet's suicide and Gonzalez's unexpected death from what almost certainly were natural causes, intrepid "investigators," spearheaded by Erin Elizabeth (Joe Mercola's girlfriend) at Healthnutnews.com, started linking seemingly any unexpected death of a quack to the conspiracy.

That was two months ago. What's been happening since?

A couple of weeks ago, right around the time I was heading to London for my vacation (plus a day of presenting at a scientific conference at Imperial Collage London), there appeared a story that I never got around to blogging about because, well, I was on vacation. By the time I got back it seemed to be old news, particularly since there didn't appear to be any new news about it. The story did, however, apparently provide quite a bit of amusement for skeptics while I was gone, involving as it did, apparent overdoses of amphetamines at a German homeopathic conference:

Authorities say emergency workers called to a conference centre in northern Germany found some 30 people staggering and suffering from cramps, apparently as a result of amphetamine poisoning.

The local government said 15 ambulances and a helicopter were sent to the scene Friday in the small town of Handeloh, south of Hamburg, the dpa news agency reported.

Fire service spokesman Matthias Koehlbrandt told broadcaster NDR the group was aged between 25 and 55. NDR reported they were alternative and homeopathic practitioners, and that they were taken to the hospital.

Authorities said their preliminary finding was that the group was poisoned with amphetamines, but Koehlbrandt said they didn't knowingly take the substance.

At the time, Sharon Hill noted that no one was seriously ill (fortunately) and speculated that the homeopaths and other alternative medicine practitioners may have knowingly taken a drug referred to as “Aqua Rust” or “2C-E“, which is a psychedelic drug that apparently produces LSD-type reactions. But no one outside of the conference appears to know what really happened, and the people at the conference apparently aren't talking.

Leave it to Mike Adams (well, in this case one of his minions named Jonathan Benson) to link the German incident to the deaths of Jeff Bradstreet, Nicholas Gonzalez, and the other dead or missing alt-med practitioners added to the "conspiracy" by Erin Elizabeth:

Investigators are looking into a case of what appears to be intentional poisoning or possibly even attempted homicide that affected nearly three dozen holistic doctors attending a recent conference in Hamburg, Germany. Reports indicate that the 29 healers fell ill after being exposed to a dangerous and illegal amphetamine drug known as 2C-E, or "Aquarust."

Initial reports of the incident implied that the 29 naturopathic doctors, who had been attending a homeopathic health conference, might have voluntarily taken the drug as part of an "experiment." However, follow-up reports reveal that none of the healers had willingly taken anything and that someone might have intentionally poisoned and/or tried to murder them.

Benson appears to have gotten most of his information from—who else?—Erin Elizabeth, who's been flogging this story almost since it happened. For instance, in one incredibly disjointed article, Elizabeth goes on and on about conflicting reports over whether the naturopaths took the substance voluntarily or not or whether they didn't know what they were taking. More recently, Elizabeth updated her story with a translation of what represents as a story from a local German newspaper that looks like it came from Google Translate rather than anyone who actually speaks both English and German:

Regarding exactly what transpired most of the patients were silent when asked by doctors, even when they were again back to their right minds–with the exception of several high participants that were transported to the hospital in Winsen. The “Abendblatt” was informed by circles in the clinic that the men and women initially could recall absolutely nothing, but a few reported flashbacks, wherein they took a compound during a communal relaxation exercise, designed to reach a meditative state of deepest relaxation. Where the substance came from? What they believed they consumed? This they could not recall.

The affected have a good reason for their silence, as the police have cited all 29 seminar participants for violation of anesthesia laws. Urine and blood samples ordered by police are being tested at the UKE Institute. At this point the police are working under the assumption that the group messed around with a psychadelic named 2C-E, also known as “Aquarust” in the scene. “We are expecting results in the upcoming days,” said Lars Nickelsen, spokesperson of the Harburg police department. The accused could be giving statements to the police regarding the course of events.

If the suspicions prove themselves correct, the naturopaths won’t only be criminally liable but could be responsible for the costly emergency mission. Their career futures could also be in danger; the higher administrative court of Saarbrücken has already revoked the licenses of naturopaths consuming marijuana (Az: 3 A 271/10).

So the bottom line appears to be that a bunch of naturopaths participated in some sort of group exercise during which they consumed something in order to reach a deep meditative state. It's still not clear whether most of them knew what they were consuming or not or who did know what was being consumed. Reading between the badly translated lines of the story, I rather suspect that the organizers, at least, knew what was being consumed but might have miscalculated the dose. Elizabeth characterizes the news coverage as "biased," but Benson, no doubt at the behest of Mike Adams, goes way farther:

By all appearances, it would seem as though these 29 enemies of the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical cartel were victims of an attempted mass slaughter simply because their work involves healing people naturally rather than making them lifelong slaves to the medical-industrial complex and its high-profit "treatments" that never heal.

"It is no secret anymore that Big Pharma is (and has been) at war with alternative medicine," adds natural health enthusiast David Wolfe. "Its modus operandi is to generate profit by selling drugs that perpetuate a cycle of addiction and dependency, rather than liberation and empowerment."

David Wolfe? That David Avocado Wolfe? Yes, that David Wolfe. In any case, this incident, whatever really happened (which is not yet clear given that the investigation is not yet complete), has been rapidly incorporated into a conspiratorial world view in which an apparent accidental mass poisoning in Europe is somehow tied to the suicide—apparent suicide in the conspiracy—of an Georgia autism quack in North Carolina and the unexpected death of a cancer quack in New York. In fact, it's even gotten to the point where a local news station did a story on it:

CBS46 News

The story is interesting to me because it shows the site where Bradstreet's body was found and it is also provides an update on the investigation. Sure, it indulges in a bit of the false balance trope, in which Bradstreet is presented as a savior to patients who believe in him, while "some" accused him of outright quackery. That's par for the course for most news stories. Particularly irritating is how at the end the anchor presenting the story refers to "legions of skeptics" who believe that pharma had it in for Bradstreet. These people aren't skeptics. They're believers in quackery, specifically Bradstreet's quackery.

Part II of the story continues the "conspiracy":

CBS46 News

Ouch. That last part, where the officer investigating the murder expresses the concern that, if Bradstreet had made it to the hotel he either would have killed himself there or might have even killed his wife in a murder-suicide, is going to piss off a lot of quacks and Bradstreet admirers. Throughout both stories, he was also very clear about how this was an "open-and-shut" case of suicide.

Of course, that's just what his pharma and government masters want him to say, no doubt.

Meanwhile, another "holistic" doctor, Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, committed suicide, and it's part of the conspiracy. Of course. So is a murder-suicide of Brian Short. Never mind that he doesn't appear to have had anything to do with alternative medicine.

It appears that anyone associated with any sort of "alternative" or "holistic" medicine who dies under any but the most obvious and easily verified cause will become a victim of the conspiracy. That's the beauty of the conspiracy. Anyone can be part of it.

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> It appears that anyone associated with any sort of “alternative” or “holistic” medicine who dies under any but the most obvious and easily verified cause will become a victim of the conspiracy.

You're too skeptical. All that would prove is that the conspiracy has access to a Death Note.

By Yerushalmi (not verified) on 20 Sep 2015 #permalink

I dont understand. If big pharma is so good at releasing compounds that kill people all over the world and makes them billions, why are they so unable to use a more dangerous substance that ACTUALLY would have killed these "healers."

For a multi-billion dollar conspiratorial and genocidal industry, they sure do suck at killing people they want dead.

Those 30 homeopaths probably also aren't saying much because they're pissed that they had to go to the hospital where rather unhomeopathic things were done to preserve their health.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

I am deeply impressed by the courage shown by Erin Elizabeth, Jonathan Benson et al. It takes real strength of mind and true conviction to publish the facts, knowing full well that they are certain to be targetted by the Big Pharma Death Squads in response. I hope they are taking all necessary precautions: employing bodyguards, securing their homes, checking their cars for bombs before driving, and applying an extra layer of tinfoil before going on the Internet.

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Rich, I am near 60 and i don't believe I have ever SEEN tinfoil. All my life it has been aluminum foil. I would imaging actual tin foil would be quite expensive.

The image Chris Hickie presented of an entire group of sick healers amuses me as well. They should have included a couple of psychics at the woo party to make sure such an embarrassment did not happen. Ah, there's always next year.

@1 - Somewhat surprisingly (to me at least) I rarely see an anime reference here ... or does the concept of a "Death Note" exist independent of the anime?

By stewartt1982 (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

If Erin Elizabeth is so convinced there is a plot to kill people like her, why doesn't she lie low and go into hiding? Why is she "exposing" all of these deaths and making herself a target?

If I legitimately thought I was a target due to my line of work, I would be doing everything I could to hide or maintain a low profile. Erin, in contrast, is doing the opposite- posting about her whereabouts on Facebook.

She is a classic narcissist though. It must be nice to imagine oneself to be so important that people want you dead.

Speaking of Aluminum Foil, here's the link to the Weird Al song of the same name. If you're one of the few regular readers who haven't seen this, reserve a few minutes to watch the video to its end:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urglg3WimHA

By palindrom (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

It is also interesting about Dr. Gonzalez. Obviously this is 100% speculation, but one wonders if he rejected preventive medical care which might have saved his life? Did he reject treatment for hypertension? Or did he reject statins on the advice of the doctor he mentored in the last few months of his life?

http://kellybroganmd.com/article/cracking-cholesterol-myth-statins-harm…

Also, did it ever occur to anyone that the Big Pharma Conspiracy might have wanted to embarrass all those homeopaths rather than kill them outright? In that case, they've been devilishly effective. [humor]

By palindrom (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

The fact that there is no evidence of poisoning in any of the deceased quacks is proof that they were murdered using homeopathy. Which quack has the most to gain by bumping off the competition?

LOL @ the Death Note reference. Thanks #1.

By Chadwick Jones (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

If Erin Elizabeth is so convinced there is a plot to kill people like her, why doesn’t she lie low and go into hiding? Why is she “exposing” all of these deaths and making herself a target?

Ms. Elizabeth may have read too many novels of a certain kind, in which this is how the heroes expose the villains. Perhaps she sees herself as playing the equivalent of Erika Berger from the Millennium trilogy. The truth is that her role is closer to Steig Larsson's, except that Larsson could actually write potboiler fiction, and Elizabeth can't.

And the conspiracy theory Elizabeth is pushing still doesn't have a coherent objective. Say what you will about believers in the Illuminati or the Moon landing hoax, at least there is a coherent purpose to the conspiracies they are alleging. Well, OK, "they" supposedly didn't want Bradstreet to talk about something, but there is no evidence of what that something might have been, and it doesn't sound as though Gonzalez or the attendees of the German naturopath convention would have talked about the same thing even if they were going to talk.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Conspiracy theorizing is a style of thinking that colors everyday thinking in people who partake in it. Given the nature of alternative medicine, so divorced from reality, is it so surprising that it attracts conspiracy theorists?

Besides, is it a surprise that some people die prematurely or commit suicide? To these folks, it probably is when it happens to someone who eats and thinks correctly, at least according to their fantasies.

By Michael Finfer, MD (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Reversing the whole conspiracy for a moment, wrt real doctors.
Real doctor drowns - homeopthic kill
Real doctor is stabbed to death - acupuncture
Real doctor breaks back - chiropractic assassination

Please add to the list.

Real doctor electrocuted - energy therapy
Real doctor dies cause unknown, no marks, autopsy inconclusive - therapeutic touch, killing at a distance

A month or so ago, Mikey speculated that since brave maverick alties were being eradicated by the powers-that-be he NEVER leaves his home unless he is fully armed.

As you may know, he resides in the Republic of Texas where people may traipse about freely carrying loaded weapons all the live long day- which would totally freak me out because I live in gun-law-utopia and never see weapons except on television.

So imagine if you will, Mikey driving around Austin in his old pickup truck ( he says he owns no other vehicle- no German luxury sedans for him!) and dropping by Whole Foods ( which he says he frequents), striding down the aisle and questioning a hapless sales clerk, " Are you SURE these steel-cut oats are GMO free? You wouldn't LIE to me now , would you?"

During the summer, Null also mentioned that alt med doctors in Florida were especially targeted - including one who was apparently done in by her husband although he failed to mention that fact.

He understands because he himself has been under surveillance since the 1970s when the infamous heavy fellow in the small yellow car confessed his black op activities for pharma et al. But then, being a freedom fighter and investigative reporter has never been a safe occupation..

Although Erin Elizabeth probably does have a few screws loose, I anxiously await a recounting of the tale by a true master of conspiracy mudrackery- Bolen, Clark Baker, Jake, perhaps Conrick, Gamondes or TM ShamRock amongst others.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

MikeMa@5

Rich, I am near 60 and i don’t believe I have ever SEEN tinfoil. All my life it has been aluminum foil. I would imaging actual tin foil would be quite expensive.

Tin foil makes for much better protective hats though! Actually, the switch to aluminum was part of a conspiracy to weaken "skeptics" defenses.

Funny story about tin foil. In high school my chemistry teacher had tin foil that he had asked his wife for as a Christmas present. He brought it in to show off to us students.

palindrom@8

Also, did it ever occur to anyone that the Big Pharma Conspiracy might have wanted to embarrass all those homeopaths rather than kill them outright?

Or it could be to throw everyone off track. So people think it couldn't be a conspiracy of Big Pharma Death Squads, they would've done a better job. We sheep might fall for that but true free thinkers like Elizabeth and Adams know the Real Truth™.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

OBVIOUSLY those German homeopaths mistakenly took dosages of the psychedelic that were higher in its active substance BECAUSE they're homeopaths and thought that it would be therefore be weaker than a lower dose. Srsly.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Originally the "conspiracy" was focused on Florida and alt med practitioners. But the promoters of this obviously found how lucrative and easy such hype is (look who is at the root of it all) and expanded not only outside the country (UK) but outside alt med. According to one of our commenters "7 out of 13 were entirely conventional practitioners, in specialties such as gynaecology, pulmonology or emergency medicine. One was a conventional nurse. Two were chiropractors. Three of them were actually retired." http://doubtfulnews.com/2015/09/alt-med-death-conspiracy-expands-beyond…

I would guess they are actively LOOKING for data points now. Since people tangentially related to medical professions die every day, a cluster of unrelated incidents made to look related should be easy to manufacture. So, I doubt this will be ended soon.

By Doubtful News (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

2C-E is not an amphetamine, it's a phenethylamine compound developed by Sasha Shulgin, that has strong psychedelic properties.

2C-E was characterized by Shulgin and his "guinea pigs' club" (experienced adult volunteers) as being difficult to work with, in comparison to other phenethylamines.

The prototypical phenethylamine is mescaline, which is typically taken in doses of 200 - 400 milligrams and has effects lasting about six hours. 2C-E is taken in doses of approx. 20 milligrams and has effects lasting up to 10 hours with some aftereffects the following day. I'm inclined to believe that the homeopaths probably miscalculated the dosages by way of confusion with some other compound, though probably not mescaline.

Mescaline was notably given by Canadian psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond, to Aldous Huxley, who wrote of the experience in _The Doors of Perception_, and incorporated psychedelics into the religious practices of the culture he described in his final novel, _Island_.

But whereas mescaline (as with psilocybin) can be described as "safe and effective when used as directed (in FDA-approved human subject research protocols supervised by competent psychiatrists)," 2C-E has not been tested on humans as extensively as mescaline and certain other "Shulgin compounds" such as 2C-B.

It is possible that much smaller doses of 2C-E could be manageable but this remains to be seen. My opinion is that the most interesting research and medical uses of psychedelics will be found at doses in the range of 1/50 to 1/4 of the canonical clinical dosage levels.

I was not aware of the use of 2C-E in illicit subcultures, so this news is "news" to me.

---

And now for something completely different!

= These homeopaths might have thought that mixing the 2C-E with a beverage constituted a dilution to a level that homeopaths consider "not very strong."

= Doctors at the hospital, upon learning that their patients were homeopaths, did not offer them homeopathic doses of the same compound or a related one ("The Law of Similars") to counteract what they had already taken.

= Homeopaths who eagerly assented to "Western medicine" in the ER reportedly asked the doctors to keep mum about their eagerness, and then claimed ignorance when asked.

= Clearly this was a CIA covert op, which "proves The Truth" that MK-ULTRA has continued indefinitely, and the CIA deliberately overdosed the homeopaths in order to get them into a hospital where they would be subjected to "Western medicine," thereby undermining their belief in homeopathy!*

= Arcanym @ 11, that remark of yours almost cost me a keyboard;-)

= Palindrom @ 10, be careful, Big Pharma doesn't want you talking about that.

---

* snark, snark, snark, sarcasm, and more snark.

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Oh, I forgot to mention:

The Death Note is the CIA's musical sequel to the Killer Joke. When played on both a horn and a stringed instrument at the same time, it achieves a resonant frequency with the chest cavity, causing heart failure.

Do not ask me to repeat the Killer Joke here, there is no procedure for informed consent.

Heh, Denise @ 20, you beat me to it.

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Funny you mention Death Note, I always thought Mike Adams was a shinigami.

@ Gray Squirrel:

Right, that's why, when SBM advocates keep telling nati-vaxxers that a vaccine contains only a minuscule part of Hg or Al ( or cancerous monkey kidney) .. say, one billioneth.. they perhaps take an homeopathic approach and fear the power of the minutiae!
Maybe we should say, "It has loads of Hg" and they'll think,
" Fine!"

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Uh...that should be ANTI-vaxxers

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Given that homeopaths believe that a substance actually becomes more potent as you dilute it to nothing, and consider nostrums that might actually contain some active ingredient "low potency," it's only surprising that this sort of thing doesn't happen more often.

Also, not to make light of anyone's death, but a 60-year-old man dying of a heart attack is only "unexpected" by the standards of alt-med practitioners who believe that if you eat enough of the superfood-of-the-week, keep your chakras balanced, etc., you can live forever. I remember when that story first came out how much emphasis they put on the notion that it couldn't possibly have been a real heart attack because he was so healthy, etc.

Rich Woods@4: Oh Please. The fact that Adams and Mercola aren't already face down in a ditch is Irrefutable Proof that they are actually Agent Provocateurs working for Big Pharma to discredit Alternative Medicine by making it appear that only Screeching Lunatics subscribe to It. Why would Big Pharma terminate such a phenomenally successful False Flag Operation now, just as it's achieving unimaginable new Heights of Success?

..what's the German for "Schadenfreude"? Well, since nobody seems to have suffered lasting physical consequences, hearty amusement at this episode seems pardonable.
If the homeopaths are still feeling a bit sheepish, it's not necessarily because of the physical effect of the drug.
The german newspaper article linked to above could raise doubts in any credulous alt-believer, but whether it's likely to change things much in this quack-obsessed country is perhaps being too optimistic.

By Peter Dugdale (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

I suspect that history will judge Big Pharma's biggest mistake to be their failure to eliminate all alternative medicine practitioners prior to the advent of monetized internet blogs run by google university educated amateur sleuths using skills and techniques acquired from Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and Scooby-Doo.

Phew ... talk about your run-on sentences.

A month or so ago, Mikey speculated that since brave maverick alties were being eradicated by the powers-that-be he NEVER leaves his home unless he is fully armed.

What makes Mike think that his puny little hand cannon (or assault rifle, if he's that far around the bend) will help him defeat such a powerful assassin as the Powers-That-Be?

I mean, that is an objection that applies to most of the gun fetishists in places like Texas, but it goes doubly so for Mike, because he's trying to protect against a conspiracy which he stipulates has methods other than face-to-face shooting for doing in its targets. The ordinary gun fetishist is betting that he can draw faster than any would-be physical attacker--that's not the way to bet if you want to survive, but at least it will work some of the time (at least until the apocalypse zombies start Zerg-rushing you). Guns don't work so well against the sort of magical powers that Adams ascribes to the Big Pharma conspiracy.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

@ has:

Perhaps they really ARE devoted to Health and Truth- not Pharma plant at all-
BUT they are more pure and thus, their brilliance shines through clearly, not being obfuscated by corruption

THEREFORE they can evade us and continue upon their quest, like Null has for FORTY years.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

@ Eric Lund:

Right. For all his talk about being armed to the teeth in order to protect himself, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he hires guards to police his rancho and warehouses ( where his lab is, I suppose). ( AFAIK in Cedar Creek, Texas)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Eric Lund@31

What makes Mike think that his puny little hand cannon (or assault rifle, if he’s that far around the bend) will help him defeat such a powerful assassin as the Powers-That-Be?

I think that it's some action movie psychology that goes along with anyone who believes they own guns to protect themselves. Like how kids might play with Nerf guns only they never grew out of it. I imagine Mike Adams has some fantasy where he is some kind of James Bond character who is smarter, stronger, and more handsome than any enemy pursing him. It's playing pretend just more pathetic and much more dangerous.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

I would imaging actual tin foil would be quite expensive.

It's still found on bottles from higher-end wineries. Perhaps that's what the WarriorMoms* use for their helmets - they brag about their Chardonnay consumption often enough.

(*can't even type that without gagging).

I'm certainly one who is always fully armed when I leave the house. In fact I keep both of them close by at all times, ready for use. But unlike some I am not armed to the teeth, I am only armed to the shoulders.

On the subject of tin foil, aluminum used to be very expensive - the Washington Monument is capped with a small pyramid of what was at the time a very precious metal. Then someone figured out an inexpensive way of extracting it from its ore and it became cheap and ubiquitous. Incidentally, I recently read that the spelling aluminum (as opposed to aluminium) was originally a trade name that was intended to make people think aluminium was as precious as platinum.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

It’s still found on bottles from higher-end wineries.

We'd still have lead if the Man hadn't interfered (directly contradicting these guys, but whatever).

That reminds me that I'm supposed to have a friend's son help with some soldering on a FET bench multimeter that I picked up for a song, though.

Narad -- did you see the "lead balloon" episode of Mythbusters? They actually found a company that makes lead foil. It's very fragile, of course, since lead is so soft. But dang, and the rolls heavy.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Narad — did you see the “lead balloon” episode of Mythbusters?

Oh, I don't think I've turned on the TV in over a year (yes, I missed both The Sound of Music and The Ten Commandments this time around). Not even baseball.

No cable, of course.

So as to better inform about the mindsets of these people, here's an email I received a few days ago:

"How much were you paid to help organize the plot to kill off Jeff? Your attempt to scare off the anti-vaccine
moms has failed
Mua ha ha ha ha!
Lisa S$sssssssss"

I ignored it, and then I got another from the same person, one Lisa Salinas:

"My son was born in 1998, 10 weeks early, I had been on anti seizure medication, Depakote, which had no Known side effects. He was 3lbs. His first vaccines, (which were given based on birthday,  not due date)Â
were likely safe, I believe, EXCEPT for the 300x dose of mercury which was injected into his veins. Many
months later,  after his MMR, slowly all his speech regressed.  (we unsuccesfully filed with NVICP) His
growth had always been slow, but physicians attested that to his prematurity. Eventually, high metals
were g found in his blood, and a wide assortment of unbalanced markers were found by Dr Bradstreet. With
each treatment we saw success.  Although we, the parents, are not physicians, we have PhD, AbD in
EE and we fully understood the care being given to our child. Our son hag a colonoscopy and severe
inflammation was found. Can you tell me why no lab would do the comparison of our son's disease to the
MMR vaccine, this could have shown that he did not have measles (as Wakefield proposed). Our 8yo son's
sample was destroyed, lost eventually, a refrigerator lost power one night.    These events lead us to
conclude that BIG PHARMA was worried, why else would they not use this to prove Wakefield wrong?
Tell me, I am a caretaker now.  I recovered well from a head injury 20 years ago, but autism had been
enormously difficult.  My parents paid for my college, I got a GRA, and a fellowship from NASA to pay for
grad school. Someone feel asleep and hit my car (5 of us). Now I'm a wife, a nightmare. Dr Bradstreet
gave me relief, but people like you helped have him killed.  I know him well, he did not commit
suicide.  Any physician would shoot in the head. They aren't stupid.
Lisa Seidel Salinas"

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

All the kidding about "false flag" operations reminds me of a tongue-in-cheek review of an anti-evolution book( book written by Ann Coulter), suggesting that it must have really been written by an evolutionist to discredit the "antis" because it was so ridiculously bad.

By DanielWainfleet (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

On the subject of protective headgear, I haven't trotted this out in a while:

http://www.stopabductions.com/

It's funny on one level, but sad to think that there are people who find this necessary.

By palindrom (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

rs@37

I’m certainly one who is always fully armed when I leave the house.

Same here. Sometimes I even conceal them.

Calli Arcale@40
I remember that episode; Adam says it's his favorite one. There's a couple videos of that full episode on YouTube but I don't like the quality. Here's a clip of the takeoff: https://youtu.be/HZSkM-QEeUg

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

@44 Re - Anti-Alien abduction helmets

Having never come across this site before I had to have a quick peek. I had no idea that autism was caused by aliens mucking about with our genome but in an incompetent manner. At least believing that aliens are the cause doesn't compromise the herd.

By stewartt1982 (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Regarding the "A" metal:

According to http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/aluminium.htm

Sir Humphry made a bit of a mess of naming this new element, at first spelling it alumium (this was in 1807) then changing it to aluminum, and finally settling on aluminium in 1812. His classically educated scientific colleagues preferred aluminium right from the start, because it had more of a classical ring, and chimed harmoniously with many other elements whose names ended in –ium, like potassium, sodium, and magnesium, all of which had been named by Davy.
...
Noah Webster’s Dictionary of 1828 has only aluminum, though the standard spelling among US chemists throughout most of the nineteenth century was aluminium;
...
It’s clear that the shift in the USA from –ium to –um took place progressively over a period starting in about 1895, when the metal began to be widely available and the word started to be needed in popular writing. It is easy to imagine journalists turning for confirmation to Webster’s Dictionary, still the most influential work at that time, and adopting its spelling. The official change in the US to the –um spelling happened quite late: the American Chemical Society only adopted it in 1925
By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Denice@34: I would not be surprised if that were the case, but it makes Adams even dumber. Who guards the guards? They are specifically trained to be quicker on the draw than most civilians (including Adams, otherwise he wouldn't be hiring them). So all that anybody who wanted him dead would need to do is talk/bribe one of the guards into doing it. And it wouldn't even have to be Big Pharma: a jealous ex-lover, rival altie, or victim of one of his earlier grifting schemes could do the job.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Eric Lund@31: If Evolution is real, why haven't paranoid gun nuts already evolved eyeballs in the backs of their heads?

DanielWainfleet@43: That's what They want you to think.

I think.

Honestly, we need a map.

Who guards the guards?

Guard guards guard guards, of course. The center embedding naturally works better with "police."

I wonder how these people were diagnosed as being in trouble in the first place. I mean, talking gibberish, making weird gestures and generally exhibiting strange behavior is exactly what these people normally do for a living anyway.

You are all assholes and idiots...Yes, most likely in not all..90+++ % of these people were "offed"....Wake up and grow up...

Brian Deer@42
Sigh. Another engineer who thinks that gives them any knowledge of medicine. In fact, it's very clear that the opposite is true ("inject into his veins"!?). Makes me ashamed of my former profession.

What's up with all the Â's and line breaks? Was the original like that or was it a copy and paste issue?

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Philip K Dick wrote a story called "The Hood Maker" in the early 50's. In it special metal hoods were being make to keep telepaths from reading your mind. I thought this was the first reference to metallic screening of thoughts, but no, it goes back at least to 1927, called "The Tissue-Culture King". https://ia802600.us.archive.org/5/items/AmazingStoriesVolume02Number05/…

Well, as the Kinks say, "Paranoia will destroy ya".

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

The official change in the US to the –um spelling happened quite late: the American Chemical Society only adopted it in 1925

"The dropping of the final e from the names of alkaloids would certainly cause confusion in the case of glucosides, whose names mostly end with in. However, this might have been overcome by retaining the final e in the case of alkaloids, but in other respects conforming to the speccling adopted by the A.A.A. S., as, for instance, chlorid, bromid, sulfate, oxid, etc."

I'm not sure precisely when the hypercorrected 'foetus' was correctly shown the door by pretty much everybody, though.

Palindrom that may be the saddest site I've encountered in a while...

One woman who now wears a thought screen helmet along with her husband reports that she killed four alien-hybrid fetuses in a row by taking a gram of vitamin C every hour for weeks. She used her alarm clock at night to awaken her. She reported that she could no longer feel the fetuses moving and the aliens were very angry at the deaths of the alien-hybrids they implanted in her. The aliens did remove a dead alien-hybrid fetus before implanting a live one at another time. This was before she started wearing a thought screen helmet.

:(

^ "spelling"; I had to key that (the space in "A.A.A. S." is correct, though)

@ Eric Lund:

As I understand it, Mikey has a huge spread outside of Austin where he maintains his chickens and goats, raises organic crops- including fruit trees- and shoots various predators. He does his own 'chores', mending fences and suchlike. In addition, he has warehousing where he stores products to be mailed to his followers, a "print farm"** ( where he 3D prints products for his hydroponic farm kits) a hydroponic indoor farm where he grows "food and medicine," a computer centre and his "lab". Plus he lives there ( he may own more than one property.)

So he has much to guard. But then, he's not like the average person.

** his words, not mine. I suppose you can tell though.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Eric Lund@48

They are specifically trained to be quicker on the draw than most civilians (including Adams, otherwise he wouldn’t be hiring them).

I think that Adams, and gun nuts of his ilk, don't see it that way. If there were guards, I'd bet they'd be there because Adams can't be protecting everything all the time. Forget those professionals and all their training, he's been shooting guns since before he could walk and goddammit he's from Texas. Adams probably love for them to turn on him so he can go all Walker Texas Ranger on the motherf*ckers. I think the dream of all gun nuts (of the self-defense flavor at least) is not shooting unarmed black men but rather shooting it out with some shadowy organization with the fate of the world on the line.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

I imagine that if Brian Deer collected his detractors' messages and put them on the internet we'd all be highly entertained for long periods of time.

Although I suppose we should feel sorry for many of these people BUT STILL..
highly entertained..

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

@ capnkrunch:

But he's from Kansas ( and other places): he's only been in Texas a few years.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

If we assume there are at least 100,000 quacks in the United States, which I think is reasonable, we should expect three or four to die on a daily basis. It wouldn't be hard to mine those deaths for the handful of unusual ones and craft a conspiracy theory.

Frankly, I think naturalnews hasn't pointed out nearly enough deaths! They must be in on it - knowing that some people will recognize the conspiracy, they're trying to make it look smaller than it really is.

@capnkrunch:

What’s up with all the Â’s and line breaks? Was the original like that or was it a copy and paste issue?

I suspect it's a combination, with the Â's coming from the author and the breaks coming from Brian's MUA. I'm still trying to figure out the ways that U+00C2 might be showing up.

#52 mary: What an amazingly cogent, provoking argument. I'm convinced!

he reported that she could no longer feel the fetuses moving and the aliens were very angry at the deaths of the alien-hybrids they implanted in her.

Ixnay on the fetus stuff.

Definitely don't need "he who must not be named" showing up to rave on about the rights of unborn human-alien hybrid "babies".

For anyone interested, the aluminum/aluminium story according to Sam Kean in 'The Disappearing Spoon' (which I highly recommend as a riveting read):

Incidentally, I use the international spelling “aluminium” instead of the strictly American “aluminum” throughout this book. This spelling disagreement traces its roots back to the rapid rise of this metal. When chemists in the early 1800s speculated about the existence of element thirteen, they used both spellings but eventually settled on the extra i. That spelling paralleled the recently discovered barium, magnesium, sodium, and strontium. When Charles Hall applied for patents on his electric current process, he used the extra i, too. However, when advertising his shiny metal, Hall was looser with his language. There’s debate about whether cutting the i was intentional or a fortuitous mistake on advertising fliers, but when Hall saw “aluminum,” he thought it a brilliant coinage. He dropped the vowel permanently, and with it a syllable, which aligned his product with classy platinum. His new metal caught on so quickly and grew so economically important that “aluminum” became indelibly stamped on the American psyche. As always in the United States, money talks.

Kean seems pretty accurate on everything I have checked on thus far, so he is probably reliable here.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Any physician would shoot in the head. They aren’t stupid.

Kind of a side issue, but the alties repeat this so often I started wondering - mightn't a doctor's medical knowledge actually make them less likely to choose a shot to the head as a suicide method? When I was working as a nursing assistant, I cared for a few patients who'd shot themselves in the head and just ended up brain damaged or in a vegetative state instead of dead. I also remember a surgeon who'd worked in Appalachia telling me that he'd treated several patients who'd blown their faces off trying to commit suicide by putting a shotgun in their mouth and pulling the trigger with their toe - apparently the buckshot is too small to penetrate the brain-case or something (I don't remember the details - maybe one of the medically-trained regulars is familiar with this phenomenon and can explain it better?) Anyway, my point is that shooting yourself in the head isn't the fail-safe suicide method many people think it is. Does anyone know if their are similar downsides to shooting yourself in the heart?

I also remember a surgeon who’d worked in Appalachia telling me that he’d treated several patients who’d blown their faces off trying to commit suicide by putting a shotgun in their mouth and pulling the trigger with their toe – apparently the buckshot is too small to penetrate the brain-case or something (I don’t remember the details – maybe one of the medically-trained regulars is familiar with this phenomenon and can explain it better?)

Huh. I took a look at my medical record (mostly psychiatric) today, just for the heck of it, since I can access it online, it turns out. (Probably shouldn't have - what a long, sorry f*cking rap sheet it is.)

Anyway, under family history, I noticed that they wrote down "shotgun" as my dad's suicide weapon, when I'm sure I specifically told them it was a .22 rifle.

I can see how a shotgun would be a bad choice, but it does seem to work sometimes; Kurt Cobain used one, IIRC.

a company that makes lead foil.

Number One customer, Anselm Kiefer.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Imagine my surprise to read Lisa Seidel Salinas' forwarded e-mail and discover that it is mainly about herself.

I recovered well from a head injury 20 years ago

Can't argue with that.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

If Erin Elizabeth is so convinced there is a plot to kill people like her, why doesn’t she lie low and go into hiding? Why is she “exposing” all of these deaths and making herself a target?

My theory is that some point in the near future she will go mysteriously missing, with much of Mercola's savings disappearing at the same time.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

but when Hall saw “aluminum,” he thought it a brilliant coinage

It would be shiny, but aluminum makes lousy coinage. It's too light.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

@capnkrunch:

Sigh. Another engineer who thinks that gives them any knowledge of medicine. In fact, it’s very clear that the opposite is true (“inject into his veins”!?). Makes me ashamed of my former profession.

I went to my first football game ever on Saturday with a former student of mine who's an aerospace engineer. (He does something that he's not allowed to talk about - it's connected with DOD stuff or something, although I gather that his job isn't terribly exciting. He was hoping it would be more exciting once he got his security clearance, but it did not turn out that way.)

Anyway, we were at the football game, which was a really weird experience in general - I mentioned that it all felt "really Soviet," although totalitarian in general might have been more apt. I mean, it was fun, but the giant TV screens and booming voices were pretty disorienting on top of all the "school spirit" and mass unity stuff. At one point, "the TV guy" was on the field, so everything was paused, and we there was some kind of an advert from the medical school about how to perform 2 step CPR, no mouth-to-mouth, to the tune of "Let's Go Blue."

I turned to my friend and asked, "Is that real? I mean, can you really do CPR like that?"

"I dunno... dammit, I'm an engineer, not a doctor!"

So there are some sensible engineers out there. :)

While I have no doubt that Charles Hall spelled his product without the superfluous second "i" in order to class it up, I've seen* several references to that spelling dating to 1828.

Apropos of nothing, where did the "f" come from in Lieutenant?

* In my admittedly limited searching.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

aluminum makes lousy coinage. It’s too light.

Good for small change without weighing down the pockets I have some half-Koruna coins left over from time in Prague.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

@42
Some countries use it though ... I'm looking at my massive pile of aluminium one yen coins in all their lightweight glory (they really are lightweight, feel like play money). Great for making 1 yen coin castles.

By stewartt1982 (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Good for small change without weighing down the pockets I have some half-Koruna coins left over from time in Prague.

The one-kopeck (and I think maybe the ten-kopeck) coins in Russia, too, which are worth ridiculously little. (Now even less than the last time I was there.) They actually throw them in big fistfuls at married couples walking out of the courthouse or church or whatever, the same as people (used to?) throw rice in these parts.

@76
I mean:
"@72
Some countries ...." Not sure why I was thinking 42, probably too much British humour at too young of age.

By stewartt1982 (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Sarah A@48

Does anyone know if their are similar downsides to shooting yourself in the heart?

It's hard to predict what a bullet will do in the chest cavity. I've never seen it point blank which would probably take a more direct path but from a distance you can get all kinds of ricochet and fragmentation from the rib cage. I'd guess that even point blank it's not a sure thing that you hit the heart but there's plenty of important things in your chest and you probably won't miss all of them. But if it hits a lung or ricochets into the abdomen or fragments and only grazes the heart prompt treatment might save you; and even if it doesn't death won't be instant and certainly won't be painless.

JP@73

...although I gather that his job isn’t terribly exciting. He was hoping it would be more exciting once he got his security clearance, but it did not turn out that way.)

Haha, this is exactly why I left.

I turned to my friend and asked, “Is that real? I mean, can you really do CPR like that?”

Yup. The most recent AHA recommendations for non-healthcare providers is hands only CPR. Usually "Staying Alive" is the rhythm that's recommended. I don't know let's go blue but I doubt they'd suggest one that's too slow. They also no longer recommend that laypeople check for a pulse before starting compressions.

So there are some sensible engineers out there. :)

Sometimes I forget because the bad ones tend to be so much loader but as your friend shows it's unfair to generalize. It just sucks when loud idiots throw around their credentials because then it doesn't just reflect poorly on them.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Mephistopheles O'Brien,

While I have no doubt that Charles Hall spelled his product without the superfluous second “i” in order to class it up, I’ve seen* several references to that spelling dating to 1828.

You're quite right, as Kean wrote: "When chemists in the early 1800s speculated about the existence of element thirteen, they used both spellings but eventually settled on the extra i."

As for alumin(i)um currency, I have a 1949 French alumin(i)um one franc piece, which feels weirdly insubstantial for currency, and is grayer than silver-based coins. IIRC it floats on water, if you're careful.

Apropos of nothing, where did the “f” come from in Lieutenant?

There isn't one; we just pronounce it like that to confuse foreigners. Real answer - FSM knows, it's one of so many ludicrous British pronunciations/spellings, but perhaps it's to do with "u" and"v" being conflated at some point, or just not wanting to sound French at one of the many times England and France were at war.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

I think the dream of all gun nuts (of the self-defense flavor at least) is not shooting unarmed black men but rather shooting it out with some shadowy organization with the fate of the world on the line.

There's a major drawback to being a martyr: you don't live to enjoy it.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

JP@73 -- Your football-game experience brought up a memory from my late parents -- my Dad was a grad student at a large midwestern university (I'm sure you can identify with that) back in the early 1950s, and had an acquaintance who was a German Jewish refugee, who i think was from Nurenberg originally.

He couldn't stand game days. The roar of the crowd brought up memories that were, well, extremely painful and frightening.

By palindrom (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

There isn’t one; we just pronounce it like that to confuse foreigners.

Thank you for the iced tea up my nose, Kreb.

After having a late meal near the river ( amongst hipsters, not rich people), I returned, re-read the beginning of Orac's post and noticed something that must be very pleasing to woo-meisters :
Mike's minion, Benson, gets 'news' from Erin Elizabeth who is part of Mercola's empire. In other words, alt media references itself and mostly disregards the mainstream. PRN often quotes Mike or 'Marcola' ( sic). AoA and TMR trade both stories and contributors.

Thus they've created an insulated, self-reinforcing dis-information service which has been long in the making. They worked hard for this and it is coming into existence. " Turn off your televisions and stop reading the news", says the Grand Woo, " Listen to US!" And their followers do as they're told and dive into the muck.

I feel that this is an important development because it makes it very clear, to newcomers at least, that the leaders are disconnected from reality. Previously, they tried to establish their relationship to current research/ reality by being "ahead of the curve", * la nouvelle vague*: now they show themselves as true separatists.

You'll of course note that both PRN and NN present themselves as new media or news services- their websites trumpet their diverse programming and services .Like true cults, they seek to limit outside sources of information. AoA's chief media watchers decry the mainstream with every key stroke as they spin tales of society-wide conspiracies or fanciful microbiomeal natural histories.

They're in their own world.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Apropos of nothing, where did the “f” come from in Lieutenant?
A Lieutenant is someone who was left in charge. EASY.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

"They’re in their own world."

No offense but there's an understatement.

Oddly though that world was able to raise almost $40,000 for Dr. Bradstreet's GoFundMe "Finding out the TRUTH" campaign in just two months.

I expect some of the money is in sympathy but still that's a lot of money for just this one point of conspiracy. And here I used to think it was just dirt poor crazy cat ladies and people who would wear thought screen helmets that would support this stuff.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Lead foil - I've never had a chance to use it, but I have some experience with lead wool. Back in the day, we expected to loose the antennas outside the shelter in the event of a blast. To restore comms, we had spare antennas and coax, but after running the coax outside, we would need to seal the portals. Lead wool can be stuffed into an opening, and provide a very effective seal that keeps out all sorts of bad things.

Carrying firearms - I wouldn't live anywhere that I felt I needed to be armed to be safe, but I do have a concealed carry permit. I mostly got it so that I could mostly guarantee I wouldn't have any problems from the police going to and from the range. However, I do put my PPK in my pocket when a new James Bond movie comes out. Nobody even knows it's there, which is just how I like it.

Firearms and suicide - a lot comes down to ammo selection. 12 GA with buckshot would probably be the gold standard, but the same 12 GA with bird shot would be a poor choice. 357 Magnum with ball ammo will hurt a lot, but with hollow point ammo the chance of a lethal event is much greater.

Classified work - DOD and other government physics is the same as civilian and other unclassified physics. But, to paraphrase a Navy recruiting slogan from several years ago, rocket science is more fun when you actually have rockets. The best thing about the work is that you have the chance to work with a lot of very smart and very dedicated people. There are a few dipsticks, but they are rare.

Floating coins - no, the aluminum coins don't float. However, if you have a steady hand, you can put the coin on the water and not break surface tension.

A Lieutenant is someone who was left in charge.

The 'tenant' part comes from tenir, 'to hold'. A left tenant is the one left holding the bag.

By Bill Price (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

There was an interesting comment left on the GoFundMe page for Jeff Bradstreet by Johnny Stanley as follows:

Jeff was found shot in the chest across the street from where I work in Chimmney Rock.A private investigator came and told us they were looking for his wife and boyfriend who where behind it.He even had photos of her before she dyed her hair blonde,but before he was found she showed up at my job and was crying saying she couldnt find her husband and she just knew he was dead.Lori bradstreet is behind this murder.

Leaving aside that you can't place your trust in what is written on the internet, why would someone leave this type of comment there? And why is it still displayed?

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

The effectiveness of trying to shoot yourself in the heart is going to depend rather a lot on the calibre of the bullet, the amount of powder, and the jacketing and point on the bullet. The bullet might fairly readily deflect off a rib, sending it in at an bad angle. A fully-jacketed bullet with a conical point will tend to make a neat entry wound, damage little that isn't in its direct path, and possibly make a neat exit wound, provided it doesn't hit a rib. A "hollow point" bullet will typically leave a small entry wound but mushroom. Grooves ("rifling") in the gun barrel make the bullet spin, so the mushroomed bullet chops things up like a little propeller. Whether the bullet can exit will depend a good deal on its mass and the amount of powder that propelled it. If a hollow point bullet does make an exit wound, it is generally large and messy.

A very close range shotgun blast to the chest is probably about as effective as it gets, though it would be pretty hard to self-inflict since shotguns normally have long barrels. If you try to hold the muzzle to your chest and use a toe to push the trigger, you might peel the skin off your chest and blow your face off. The shot as it exits the muzzle is all very close together. It will make a large messy entry wound, big enough to stick a finger in if a 12 gauge shotgun (most common) is used. The shot will tend to stay reasonably tightly clustered and it will do horrible damage, shredding anything in its way. The entry wound won't self-close, so simple (not tension) pneumothorax is almost a certainty. Lungs will bleed. If great vessels are hit by many pellets they will be badly torn up. If the muzzle was actually in contact, most of the propelling gas and probably a moderate amount of still-buring powder will enter along with the shot. Death may not be really quick if the heart isn't minced, but it is likely a certainty, even with prompt professional care.

The effectiveness of trying to shoot yourself in the heart is going to depend rather a lot on the calibre of the bullet, the amount of powder, and the jacketing and point on the bullet. The bullet might fairly readily deflect off a rib, sending it in at an bad angle. A fully-jacketed bullet with a conical point will tend to make a neat entry wound, damage little that isn't in its direct path, and possibly make a neat exit wound, provided it doesn't hit a rib. A "hollow point" bullet will typically leave a small entry wound but mushroom. Grooves ("rifling") in the gun barrel make the bullet spin, so the mushroomed bullet chops things up like a little propeller. Whether the bullet can exit will depend a good deal on its mass and the amount of powder that propelled it. If a hollow point bullet does make an exit wound, it is generally large and messy.

A very close range shotgun blast to the chest is probably about as effective as it gets, though it would be pretty hard to self-inflict since shotguns normally have long barrels. If you try to hold the muzzle to your chest and use a toe to push the trigger, you might peel the skin off your chest and blow your face off. The shot as it exits the muzzle is all very close together. It will make a large messy entry wound, big enough to stick a finger in if a 12 gauge shotgun (most common) is used. The shot will tend to stay reasonably tightly clustered and it will do horrible damage, shredding anything in its way. The entry wound won't self-close, so simple (not tension) pneumothorax is almost a certainty. Lungs will bleed. If great vessels are hit by many pellets they will be badly torn up. If the muzzle was actually in contact, most of the propelling gas and probably a moderate amount of still-burning powder will enter along with the shot. Death may not be really quick if the heart isn't minced, but it is likely a certainty, even with prompt professional care.

@ Not a Troll:

They live in their own UNIVERSE.

Better now?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Denice, even better than I expected. Thanks :)

Doug, you're giving me chills.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Denice: It would be useful for others if, every once in awhile, you gave the meanings for the acronyms, PRN, NN, and AoA.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

a translation of what represents as a story from a local German newspaper that looks like it came from Google Translate rather than anyone who actually speaks both English and German:

I ran the original text from the Hamburger Abendblatt through the Goofle Translate. Full credit to Elizabeth, the translation she obtained is considerably more idiomatic than the Goofle version.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Sep 2015 #permalink

Re: tin foil. Growing up, we called it tin foil all the time. That probably had more to do with my mother's inability to correctly pronounce "aluminum." As youngsters, this was a source of much hilarity whenever we could talk her into trying. For some reason, hearing her utter "aluninun," rather loudly, was completely side-splitting.

Brian Deer #42

His first vaccines, (which were given based on birthday, not due date) were likely safe, I believe, EXCEPT for the 300x dose of mercury which was injected into his veins. Many months later, after his MMR, slowly all his speech regressed.

The way it is written, it looks like Mary thinks there is mercury / thimerosal in the MMR. And I don't understand what "300x" is supposed to mean or mesure.
And why mention the Depakote at the beginning, something which now HAS more evidence that it causes autism, but focus on vaccines instead ?

Johnny,

Floating coins – no, the aluminum coins don’t float. However, if you have a steady hand, you can put the coin on the water and not break surface tension.

That's what I meant by,"if you're careful". You can do the same with a fine sewing needle using a cigarette paper. What's the technical term if 'float' is incorrect?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

I don’t understand what “300x” is supposed to mean or me[a]sure.

Perhaps it's homeopathic: 300X is the same as 150C, but with twice as many succussion steps (X for Roman-numeral 10; C for 100). Thus it's inCREDibly 'potent'.

By Bill Price (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

shay,

Thank you for the iced tea up my nose, Kreb.

Sorry! With luck it may have some unexpected therapeutic effects - after all who expected coffee up the bum to cure cancer? ;-)

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

This is callous, but someone who was not conventional in the practice of medicine might they also not be conventional in their form of suicide? However, a bullet to the chest followed by fall into water = almost certain death due to either lung/heart damage or drowning (or both). It also, if Bradstreet figured he wanted to hurt his critics during his exit scene, makes the conspiracy loon fringe have something to speculated wildly about given his method of death.

By Greg T. Madison (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

I hope you all noticed this testimonial on the stopabductions website:

"The woman’s son, age 8, starting wearing a #3 helmet. Previous to the helmet he was diagnosed as autistic, had reoccurring nightmares of what he said were monsters, and told his mother that aliens told him to obey them. He was not taken while wearing the helmet and his doctors reported that his autism has improved markedly."

There you are, the true cause of autism that They don't want you to know.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

@ Lighthorse:

PRN is the Progressive Radio Network ( prn.fm)- Gary Null's internet "radio" station that transmits non-stop woo, conspiracy theories and political/ economic histrionics. It links to a commercial site that sells supplements, books and self-made films. It has a button for donations. Since 2005.

NN is Natural News, Mike Adams's website that contains his articles about health freedom, conspiracies and other nonsense. It has a 'store' that sells diverse products which are hyped in said articles. He features other writers and links to various websites that promote his pet projects ( including a charity) which promote his ideas. Recently, he's added "news" sites that provide additional filtration for reality. Also he has the Health Ranger site amongst many others. Since 2003

AoA is Age of Autism, a website owned and operated by Dan Olmsted with the assistance of Mark Blaxill and Kim Stagliano. It presents "news" about autism expressing the *idees fixes* which maintain the editors' collective psychological equilibrium.. Many articles are works of miraculous fiction and nearly psychedelic free-association..
Its contributors need to be read to be believed. Recently, it acquired charity status.

TMR is the Thinking Moms' Revolution which was inaugurated about 3-4 years ago by mothers who believe their children's autism was caused by vaccines, antibiotics or other unlikely factors. Each mom has a 'nym that expresses her persona- usually in a cloying or ridiculous fashion. They met through facebook and maintain connections where they trade pseudo-medical advice. They also have a charity that pays for friends' alt med interventions.

There are so many more sites but those are the main acronyms I use frequently.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

They’re in their own world.

The technical term for this is epistemic closure. Alt-med types aren't the only people who engage in this practice.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

The ‘tenant’ part comes from tenir, ‘to hold’. A left tenant is the one left holding the bag.

Ladies and gentlemen, he'll be here all week!

The lieu part comes from the lieutenant holding (tenir) the command of the sub-unit for or in lieu of the captain (capet/head).

I was also always told that the ranks of first and second lt came from the old infantry structure where two platoons made up one company. The senior, or first lieutenant, commanded the first platoon and the junior, or second lieutenant, commanded the second platoon.

@ #82, My father felt the same about fireworks, he lived through the Blitz as a boy. Could not stand the sound of fireworks.

shay, and Colonel?

Delphine, I'm guessing (because I'm too lazy to google) that it has something to do with couronne. A colonel would be commanding a regiment for the king.

I was wrong. It comes from the Latin columna or column.

Thanks Denice. I appreciate your generous description of the sites, to say nothing of Orac's excellent report. Who woo, err, knew there was so much of it in the slough?
Wishful thinking on my part, but with CBS covering the conspirassy, a documentary might be made to record the present-day lunacy of alt.med.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

Denise @ 21: YES! "Now with homeopathically-weak mercury!"

RichardR @ 51 and others re. alien blahblah: See also the McKenna Brothers and DMT, the latter being a short-acting psychedelic. One of the McKennas (sorry, can't remember which one) believed that DMT enabled him to talk with ETs. The legitimate psychedelic literature views that sort of thing as illustrating how archetypes change according to culture (e.g. animal spirits, angels, now ETs, and I predict that AIs will be next).

Thanks to reading this blog over the years, I've changed my views from "psychedelics & entactogens should be on FDA Schedule III," to "Schedule II." Reason being, with all the quacks and crazies around, we do not need to make these substances available to the extent that they could become used in quack treatments. Schedule II would enable legitimate research and clinical applications while minimizing quack risk.

AdamG @ 56: Sleep deprivation can cause hallucinatory episodes. Waking oneself up every hour is a good way to get crossover from dream content into waking cognition. People who are having problems with implanted alien fetuses rattling their guts, should avoid fried onions, baked beans, and similar foods before going to sleep.

Bob @ 62: Yes! Data mine the deaths of quacks and weave a CT around them. Publicize it widely and observe the results.

I have a hypothesis that emotional states, since they are essentially neurochemical states, can only be sustained for limited periods of time before they wear off and revert to the individual's baseline state. If that's correct, then driving the consumers of conspiracy theories into paroxysms of paranoia will eventually cause "paranoia fatigue," where they snap out of it for some period of time. While they're snapped out of it, some of them may realize how foolish it is and essentially cure themselves of it. (Hey, this is testable!;-)

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

"I have a hypothesis that emotional states, since they are essentially neurochemical states, can only be sustained for limited periods of time before they wear off and revert to the individual’s baseline state.[...] Hey, this is testable!"

I've already proven it in a different venue. In business they like to employ (aka shove down employee's throats) the next best thing in personality testing/interpersonal relations and motivational theory. As a psychology major I was intrigued by it and thought it would help with some of the issues in the department. However, after every couple of years if not every year with a new company's whiz bag program for this and seeing how things didn't change, I realized that it was only about making money for the consultant company. Because if any system really worked they'd cease to turn to new ones. I am so over this crap now.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

@MikeMA #5:

Rich, I am near 60 and i don’t believe I have ever SEEN tinfoil.

Mike, I'm getting uncomfortably close to 60 too, and the only tin foil I know I've seen was the piece I clipped and added to copper wire to melt in a crucible and form bronze. Chemistry lesson, mid/late 1970s. Surprisingly hard stuff, bronze -- it'll mark cast iron.

I think the tinfoil usage stayed in place after aluminium began to be used for foil instead, around the middle of the last century. It's strange how these terms stay around. I still sometimes refer to my radio as a wireless!

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

I have a hypothesis that emotional states, since they are essentially neurochemical states, can only be sustained for limited periods of time before they wear off and revert to the individual’s baseline state. If that’s correct, then driving the consumers of conspiracy theories into paroxysms of paranoia will eventually cause “paranoia fatigue,” where they snap out of it for some period of time.

This presumes that it's not their baseline state (or congruent with it).

I fear that for many, it might be.

ann,

You raise an interesting question. Are they into conspiracy theories because they are predisposed to paranoia or are they predisposed to paranoia from being exposed to conspiracy theories by their peer group?

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

Are they into conspiracy theories because they are predisposed to paranoia or are they predisposed to paranoia from being exposed to conspiracy theories by their peer group?

It's the kind of thing that puts the "psycho" and "social" in "biopsychosocial," I guess.

I think, based on casual observation, that nearly everybody is prone to conspiratorial thinking under some circumstances -- ie, when emotionally overwhelmed by some ominous, threatening thing that's hard to understand or otherwise opaque for reasons beyond one's control.

I mean, that's natural. When you feel threatened, you look for a threat. It's an evolutionary advantage, within reason.

The thing that really distinguishes the people we're talking about is that they do it even when other (and better) explanations are available. It must validate or comfort them in some way that reality doesn't, I guess.

@ ann:

I feel that the vaccine-autism *idee fixe* is a means of preserving self-esteem- although having genes that predispose one's children towards autism is not a reason to be ashamed or within one's power ( esp de novo variation) STILL it may be thought of as a stigma. Older theories wrongly placed blame for autism on a cold parent. Vaccines- an external cause- avoid both these affronts by firmly blaming the malfeasance of physicians, corporations and governments. It has nothing to do with the parent** - it's someone else's fault. In addition, the apparent martyrdom and sackcloth-wearing by the parent increases her/ his saintliness even more

Perhaps they - at some level- feel slighted by fate for having an "imperfect" child. In truth, they're probably isolated from general child-centred activities where they live because these often emanate from schools and focus on neurotypical children.

The history of the TMs revolves upon isolation and finding cohorts on the internet. Here, amongst their fellows/ sisters they can become proud rebels or warrior mother goddesses.
Hey, it's the Frickin' internet! They also mentor younger parents new to the role-playing game.

** although they were complicit by taking the child for vaccine BUT they were deceived!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

Not A Troll @ 111:

Oh yes!, I've also heard of those sorts of exercises going on in the corporate world. The idea that an employer has any sort of right to get inside employees' minds, particularly when it comes to subjecting them to procedures that may have strong emotional content and consequences, is appalling. But more often than not, what goes on is half-@ssed pop psych, for the goal of fattening up the consultants' bank accounts.

The dirty little secret is that employees are motivated by dignified pay & working conditions, the ability to have a say in their work process, and job security. All the dancing around about motivational blah-blah is so much obfuscation by those who are in denial about those basic facts of life, and are frankly seeking to manipulate their employees in an unscrupulous manner for reasons that are, in the final analysis, purely selfish.

Ann and Not a Troll @ 113 - 115:

Baseline state of paranoia: Yes, true, for some people, it's their emotional homeostatic set-point. I'm thinking of those who pick up the paranoia via emotional contagion from friends and family, who could potentially reach the point of exhaustion with it, and then rebound to being highly skeptical of whatever-it-is.

I'm inclined to think of conspiracy thinking as the projection of personalization onto a set of events, combined with an emotion of fear, and compensatory need for security in the face of vague but strong threats. The key element is the personalization, which is something humans have a strong tendency to do, and has strong evolutionary backing.

For example the caveman who sees a _face_ in a tree and takes a different path, avoids getting eaten by the predatory animal in the tree, and lives to tell the tale. The consequences of a false positive are less than those of a false negative. Thus natural selection favors seeing faces in trees (and elsewhere, see also the front views of automobiles, that are often deliberately sculpted as emoticons), and the entire perceptual and cognitive bias toward doing so.

This is also arguably a source of the personalization of forces of nature as supernatural beings. And it is also arguably a factor in human social functioning, that contributes to the ability to perceive other humans as _persons similar to oneself_. So it turns out that one of the factors of paranoia is also a factor of empathy, and we should be careful to not seek to eradicate the former without considering its impact on the latter.

More later, back to work for now...

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

Gray Squirrel,

Sleep deprivation can cause hallucinatory episodes.

As can sleep paralysis. I once had an episode of sleep paralysis in which I was convinced I had had a stroke and had been lying immobile for hours or days. I heard someone breaking down my door (I assumed someone had noticed I had gone missing and had come looking for me) and heard some friends shout to me as they came up the stairs to my bedroom and saw them come into the room, clear as day, before the episode ended and they disappeared. It was all a terrifying hallucination, and had only lasted a few minutes, so far as I could tell.

I have had a couple of 'out-of-body' experiences too, also waking dreams/hallucinations, of course, but remarkably vivid.

If someone had those experiences and took them at face value I can understand them acquiring some odd beliefs. The mechanisms that turn sensory experience into 'reality' work just as well when working on random nonsense, it seems.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

Krebiozen,

Isn't what you've described the basis for the stories of those who think they were abducted by aliens?

Btw, you've had some interesting experiences in your lifetime.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

Krebiozen, that happens to me every time I take Malarone. It's like constant hallucinatory dreams at night, the entire time. Also happened when I took Chantix to quit smoking about 8 years ago, except that was like being on acid, and during the day.

< Never mind. In closer reading I see aliens are what began the whole conversation of sleep.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

If someone had those experiences and took them at face value I can understand them acquiring some odd beliefs.

I wish I had a copy of the Bench Press edition of Millbrook that I could permanently dispatch over the pond.

I feel that the vaccine-autism *idee fixe* is a means of preserving self-esteem- although having genes that predispose one’s children towards autism is not a reason to be ashamed or within one’s power ( esp de novo variation) STILL it may be thought of as a stigma.

The question I was considering wasn't really why that conspiracy theory as much as it was why conspiracy theory generally.

But it's definitely true that one of the things most conspiracy theories do is enable the person who subscribes to them to evade responsibility or blame for something while (ostensibly) retaining the emotional/moral higher ground. So, yes. Agree.

Another feature of most conspiracy theories that I think has a lot of psychodynamic potential is that they conceive of the world....Well. It's a little bit paradoxical. But it's kind of like a worldview where the reason Mommy and Daddy (ie, the authority figures in the conspiracy) aren't taking care of you is that they're incredibly busy doing nothing but thinking up very elaborate and all-consuming ways to f*ck with, harm and thwart you.

So you're their top priority after all, basically.

Whereas you, on the other hand, so very totally don't care about or need them that if Paul Offit came around offering to make up for missing your graduation you'd tell him "Too little, too late," and slam the door on him. Not that you're saying you think about it, you're just saying. Etc.

For anti-vaxxers, the way they relate to their kids fits in with that -- ie, they see their children the way they fear their parents saw them ("defective," IOW), which is intolerable, so they have to fix it. Which might be well-meaning, if misguided. And conflicted. Or...You know. It might not be an entirely selfish impulse.

Of course, they themselves might actually have been raised more or less the same way. Though.

People. I'm telling you.

As can sleep paralysis. I once had an episode of sleep paralysis in which I was convinced I had had a stroke and had been lying immobile for hours or days. I heard someone breaking down my door (I assumed someone had noticed I had gone missing and had come looking for me) and heard some friends shout to me as they came up the stairs to my bedroom and saw them come into the room, clear as day, before the episode ended and they disappeared. It was all a terrifying hallucination, and had only lasted a few minutes, so far as I could tell.

I've had that kind of experience a few times. It's very, very frightening. I'd say not less so than if it was real while it's happening.

During a particularly severe bout of insomnia back in August (I think), I kept intermittently hallucinating the sound of a telephone ringing. I mean, it could have at least been an interesting hallucination.

I think that's actually the only time I've ever hallucinated*, and even then it seemed like my brain was mostly mixing up signals from white noise or something. I did keep checking my phone, though.

*Including when I've taken psychedelics. I dunno, maybe I'm just too grounded in "reality" or something.

BTW, Narad, is the Bench Pres edition of Millbrook the one you mentioned I should start with as a reckoning point? I remember the edition year that you mentioned was sometime in the 1970s, but that's all I can recall at the moment.

And I don’t understand what “300x” is supposed to mean or me[a]sure.

OT, but I'm reminded that the Recycling Veteran has made a couple of recent appearances at Vincent Racaniello's joint. One of them, at least, is a classic:

This paper found exposure to the bacterium B.  cereus increased polio infectivity 500x:
"Intestinal microbiota promote enteric virus replication and systemic pathogenesis"

Invoking the paper itself (figure references omitted, boldface added) is similar to some sort of grievous ordnance-delivery failure, but here's the punchline:

"However, poliovirus incubated in untreated feces or germ-free feces supplemented with bacteria had significantly increased viability. Similarly, poliovirus incubated with Gram-negative (Escherichia coli, Ochrobactrum intermedium) or Gram-positive (Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus faecalis) bacteria had significantly increased viability. Exposure [of basicially sterile mouse turnds] to B. cereus increased poliovirus infectivity over 500%. Enhancement of poliovirus infectivity did not require live bacteria."

^ "turds," not "turnds."

During a particularly severe bout of insomnia back in August (I think), I kept intermittently hallucinating the sound of a telephone ringing. I mean, it could have at least been an interesting hallucination.

I'm having a bout of me-too-ism. But me too! Sort of.

I also sometimes have auditory hypnagogic hallucinations when I'm not getting enough sleep. And they're also very mundane. People talking, usually. But about dull things. I wake up and think: What? Why?

That hasn't happened in a long time. Age improved my sleep habits.

I don’t understand what “300x” is supposed to mean or me[a]sure.

My first assumption was this was intended to mean 300 times some safe dosage or concentration. However, I looked up Mercury 300X and found it's an outboard motor. I'm frankly stunned they would give a baby an outboard motor - it hardly seems age appropriate. Particularly intravenously, which has got to sting.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

BTW, Narad, is the Bench Pres[s] edition of Millbrook the one you mentioned I should start with as a reckoning point?

I don't whether it's heretical, but I can't imagine otherwise. I'm afraid that it's in special collections in some places, but I have a library-bound lending copy.

I'll be brief because my computer is baulky.

I think that those most subject to conspiracy belief over-emphasise external control over outcomes. Websites like those I survey continually speak about vast powers taking over, corporations smothering choice, pharma stealing children, police states and fascism descending upon us all. Good is within, evils are outside.

In response, to counter their own flagging self-esteem, they rely upon exaggerated adolescent fantasies for identity like Heckenlively's superheroes or the Warrior Moms' myth cycle. Indeed, they fail to integrate diverse qualities into coherent personae and proceed instead with black and white heroes and villains, fit for comics, too simple for manga.

I would guess that the Brave Maverick Paradigm Shifter hero scientist is another species in this genus.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

^ "don't know</b"

Worldcat does a pretty good job with geolocation. I'm not sure what source I resorted to for the library-bound copy, but it was deaccessioned from the Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library.

I should mention that I was ACTUALLY ( I swear) in Millbrook once where I traipsed amongst the lily pads and mossy rock outcroppings unfortunately - without psychedelically enchanced perception. I have photos.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

@Narad:

Thanks! I need to go to Hatcher in the next day or two anyway, and somehow I've never been to the Labadie Collection, which seems well worth checking out.

And Worldcat: let's just say I got very well acquainted with it while I was fact-checking and proofreading my advisor's manuscript over the summer. My favorite incident was the time I put in an ILL order for a certain obscure Czech literary journal, and had long since given up on getting it when photocopied versions (on plain paper) arrived from somewhere in Germany. The fun part is that they were marked "treat as book," which meant they needed to be returned for whatever reason.

You know what? Since Z. didn't have the damn sense to take advantage of an opportunity to stop publicly making a fool of himself, there's another bit of utter fraudulence that I don't believe I've commented on previously:

I would oppose them [undefined, but apparently supposed to be related to comments 412 and 414] I empathize with people suffering, and because, even if I am not directly involved, it causes disruption in the society. You can’t really be isolated from things– it’s like when the cop shoots the black guy for no good reason. Everyone picks up the tab, in multiple ways.

This is more than faintly insane, but I'll write the bulk of it off to Z.'s situation at this juncture.* Resorting to weird persecution fantasies (which, as is par for the Zourse, are "concretized" and "defined" by virtue of being assigned acronyms) is beyond the scope of where I intended to go.

The garden-variety Bodhisattva concept is prima facie dualist, hydraulic, and pathognomic of Not Getting It, but here, Z. horks up some sort of freakish "operational definition" of empathy.

This reminds me of a story.

"'You don’t understand,' said the master. 'My mind and the fawn’s mind are the same. It was very hungry. It wants milk, I want milk. Now it is dead. Its mind is my mind. That’s why I am weeping. I want milk.'"

Protip, Z.: Don't try dropping the word "empathy" when your
entire, grotesque** sh*ttrip boils down to plain indignance over the failure of the perceived world to affirm your own glowing self-appraisal.

* Imagining how he would react to stopping up – or, better, causing to overflow late at night – the toilet at the home of somebody whom he was visiting for the for the first time, with first impressions on the line, is offered as a light-hearted exercise for the reader. Then again, he's apparently now a septuagenarian or something.

** In the vernacular sense.

^ Oh, Jesus Christ, I left that in the wrong place.

My first assumption was this was intended to mean 300 times some safe dosage or concentration.

That's what I thought too, and like you I didn't found anything.

However, I looked up Mercury 300X and found it’s an outboard motor. I’m frankly stunned they would give a baby an outboard motor – it hardly seems age appropriate. Particularly intravenously, which has got to sting.

LOL ; as good an explanation as I can hope I suppose.

Krebiozen @ 118:

And, not to forget the hypnagogic state (vivid visual imagery in the transition from waking to sleeping) and the hypnopompic state (vivid visual imagery in the transition from sleeping to waking). Both may be accompanied by paralysis or the sense of being out of one's body.

The above definitions are canonical in psychology, but in my experience, what I get in the hypnopompic state is music including original songs, heard as if listening to a studio recording (the demo, not the album;-) So I'll speculate that both hypnagogic and hypnopompic states can use senses other than visual, and since I'm heavily auditory, it makes sense that I get music for one of those. That music often wipes my dream memory, which is annoying since dreams are a useful source of creative output and problem-solving, in addition to their function established in neuroscience of consolidating learning & memory.

So here's the thing: If you're fluent in altered states, for example practice meditation and make use of work-trance for concentration on the job, then the hypnagogic and hypnopompic states are _fun!_ and enjoyable, not scary. Though as with dreams, bad ones can occur, and it sounds like you had a doozy.

Occasionally, out-of-body experiences (OBEs) have "objective correlates," by which is meant, you see something that you can later verify was true or correct. This is common in near-death experiences (NDEs) and has been documented extensively in the literature. And while the plural of anecdote != data, there's enough "there" there to be worthy of a concerted research effort.

One or both of two things is/are true: a) the verifiable objective correlates occur because there is something roughly equivalent to a soul that can disengage from the brain per traditional religion, and/or b) the brain is remarkably adept at making accurate inferences from what it already knows. We know that (b) is true for some other types of interesting subjective phenomena, but in all fairness we can't rule out (a) a-priori just because it doesn't comport with the material monist theory of mind. Either way, objectivity and empiricism call for doing the research and figuring out what's up with this.

And yes people do also acquire odd beliefs in relation to odd experiences. Some of this is obvious, e.g. a dream of encountering an ET gets interpreted as a real visit to a spaceship and tour of the solar system. But some of it is less obvious and flies under the cultural radar, such as the impacts of caffeine (which after all is a psychoactive drug) and alcohol on the culture. So here we are, for example, reacting to the news of a bunch of quacks overdosing themselves on an obscure psychedelic, but in all objective truth, what happened to them was not substantially more or worse than what routinely happens at fraternity parties where alcohol is the drug of choice, and the symptoms of overdose (such as throwing up) become the subject of humorous stories or other cultural accommodations, even as some of the victims end up in the hospital or dead.

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

@#Gray Squirrel --

Auditory hypnogogic hallucinations are not uncommon. Or so I've been told. (I mean by qualified medical professionals, not random passers-by.) So maybe the same goes for hypnopompic.

Occasionally, out-of-body experiences (OBEs) have “objective correlates,” by which is meant, you see something that you can later verify was true or correct. This is common in near-death experiences (NDEs) and has been documented extensively in the literature. And while the plural of anecdote != data, there’s enough “there” there to be worthy of a concerted research effort.

I think it's also an occasional feature of trauma-induced dissociation. I mention it because it suggests a possible explanation that might also apply to NDEs and sleep paralysis, which is that all three states are due to fight-or-flight running amok when the person having the response is powerless to act on the instinct, which results in heightened awareness for both better (verifiable detail) and worse (aliens, angels, the supernatural generally).

Because they're effectively all NDEs, as perceived, potentially. I don't know if that makes neuro/physiological as well as narrative sense. But at least superficially, it seems plausible.

And it definitely fits with my subjective experience of sleep paralysis, which differs from krebiozen's in that the hallucinations were not realistically possible. I mean, in retrospect. While I was having them, they were happening, as far as I knew. They were true hallucinations in that regard.

I guess that's just an elaboration on the brains-adeptly- making-inferences hypothesis, really. But it could maybe account for the ones that aren't so adept.

rs@64:

#52 mary: What an amazingly cogent, provoking argument. I’m convinced!

Tsk, you're easily swayed. Personally, I wouldn't get out of bed for less than a dozen exclamation marks and a pair of 'sheeples'.

Mephistopheles O'Brien@130:

I’m frankly stunned they would give a baby an outboard motor – it hardly seems age appropriate.

Sharks with frickin lasers are so passé.

Sharks with frickin lasers are so passé.

Sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads are always in style. They're timeless, like a fine watch.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 23 Sep 2015 #permalink

Although the powers-that-be are not quite about to kill the altie, they've KILLED the story!

Mikey ( Natural News) informs us that he was interviewed by The Atlantic and they "censored" the story (somehow the word 'ditched' seems more apropos) but he includes the forbidden text in all of its glory.

Reading Mike Adams is like slogging through a slimy marsh with boots that you initially felt were tall enough to protect you sufficiently from stench-emitting vegetative detritus but then, halfway through the morass you notice that the muck is indeed dripping down your leg and you cannot escape unsullied.

Mike says that he didn't start NN to win "popularity contests".

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 23 Sep 2015 #permalink

Jp wrote:

The fun part is that they were marked “treat as book,” which meant they needed to be returned for whatever reason.

Sounds typically German to me. Ordnung muss sein!

By Andreas Johansson (not verified) on 23 Sep 2015 #permalink

@

Tsk, you’re easily swayed. Personally, I wouldn’t get out of bed for less than a dozen exclamation marks and a pair of ‘sheeples’.

And

Sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads are always in style. They’re timeless, like a fine watch.

On the last day of vax-mas, my true love gave to me:

Twelve shills a-shilling,
Eleven sheeple bleating,
Ten bribers bribing,
Nine bullies bullying,
Eight liars lying,
Seven toxins toxing,
Six jabs a-jabbing,
Fi-ive package inserts!
Four false flags,
Three laser-sharks,
Two connected dots,
And a twelve-pack of exclamation marks.
___________

There's room for improvement. But it's a start.

"Mikey ( Natural News) informs us that he was interviewed by The Atlantic and they “censored” the story (somehow the word ‘ditched’ seems more apropos) but he includes the forbidden text in all of its glory."

Looking at the questions The Atlantic supposedly asked the Health Deranger, one suspects he either made them up, or the magazine tasked a clueless intern with the job of throwing him softballs and seeing if he would say something loony enough to be entertaining. The question about how the medical establishment insists on large double-blind placebo-controlled trials for sanctioning any treatment smacks of ignorance or NN fantasy.*

It's fun how Adams has decided that what he calls alternative news media (Mother Jones, Slate, Salon etc.) are all in thrall to the Giant Pharma Reptiles, and only his band of bonzos retains Purity of Essence (TM).

*too bad Mike missed out on getting his name in The Atlantic. It's the worst humiliation he's had to suffer since losing out on a Shorty Award due to "slanderous and false accusations". :)

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 23 Sep 2015 #permalink

Delphine @120: "Krebiozen, that happens to me every time I take Malarone. It’s like constant hallucinatory dreams at night, the entire time. "

Several years ago, I developed very painful but temporary problems with my ankle joints. It got to the point where walking was difficult and so I was given a 10-day course of some very powerful painkiller (can't remember the name) to get me through it. The stuff gave me severe sleeping problems straightaway, with insomnia and vivid nightmares, but it was dealing very effectively with the pain so I stuck with it. On the tenth and last day of the drug course I got on the train home, sat down and looked around at my fellow passengers. Every one of them was wearing a 'Grey Alien' head with huge black eyes - and they were all *staring* at me. I understood that this was a hallucination, so I turned away and looked out of the window for the whole journey. The landscape outside was doing weird things as well, but at least it was safely outside and wasn't looking back at me! The hallucinations faded by the time I arrived home, luckily.

By Mrs Grimble (not verified) on 23 Sep 2015 #permalink

looked around at my fellow passengers. Every one of them was wearing a ‘Grey Alien’ head with huge black eyes – and they were all *staring* at me.

I've had that happen at conferences, because of insomnia. Except people have skulls rather than Alien heads.
Then they get grumpy because I don't recognise them straightaway when we meet again under better-slept conditions. I have tried explaining that "Sorry, I did not recognise you with flesh on your face", but it does not go down well.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 Sep 2015 #permalink

No fair, bimler gets cool insomnia hallucinations.

Mrs. Grimble, but it was dealing very effectively with the pain so I stuck with it was pretty much my experience with Chantix. I had no desire to smoke cigarettes, so I stuck with it. However, I also had no desire to keep living, so I eventually gave it up and went back to smoking cigarettes.

You're fortunate that you were able to recognize that you were actually hallucinating. I had one very bad experience with LSD (after many that ranged from so-so to superlative) where I could not and that was the end of my adventures with psychedelics. No aliens, mind.

I’ve had that happen at conferences, because of insomnia. Except people have skulls rather than Alien heads.
Then they get grumpy because I don’t recognise them straightaway when we meet again under better-slept conditions. I have tried explaining that “Sorry, I did not recognise you with flesh on your face”, but it does not go down well. I have previously written of the soul-sucking sleep deprivation I endured for the first 9 months of Delphinette's life in Orac's blog comments. No sleep for longer than 2-3 hours for 9 months. It rapidly became evident why sleep deprivation has been used/is used in torture and interrogation.

Loganberries, perhaps, but surely not pointed sticks. If the enemy stuck you with a pointed stick in the wrong (or from an acupuncturist's perspective the right) place they might accidentally cure you and make you a stronger opponent.

That's interesting:
commenters recount hallucinations whilst deprived of sleep.
I have a long history of sleep difficulties ( which are much better recently) and have gone for 2-3 without any sleep or existed on an hour or two a night for long periods of time but
I NEVER have seen anything! I have experienced sleeplessness in exotic locales after flights. Nothing. Except things like a bazaar or the Eiffel Tower which were real.

The worst problem I've encountered is missing a step or two when I descend a staircase, dropping things or banging into furniture.. Sometimes a visual blurriness overtakes me.

HOWEVER I have occasionally literally jumped myself awake when half asleep. That's startling.

And I've had outlandish dreams but sometimes a dream is just a dream ( and not a cigar)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 23 Sep 2015 #permalink

@ shay #105

In the British Army, the rank of 2nd Lieutenant replaced the rank of Ensign; which came out of the changing nature of battles as rifles and machine guns replaced muskets.

Ensigns were the most junior officers, and had command only over the Colour Party, and were the standard bearers for the King's and Regimental Colours for the battalion. In the cavalry, Cornet was the equivalent position.

A battalion was permitted 10 captains (one for each company) and 20 subalterns, and had to have at least one lieutenant per company, so the ensigns who were not part of the colour party carried out the duties of a junior lieutenant- an arrangement favoured by colonels as ensigns were paid less.

As fighting in line and carrying colours into battle became impractical, the role and rank was changed to 2nd Lieutenant and Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant.

In the Royal Navy, First Lieutenant was the appointment (rather than rank) given to the most senior lieutenant; lieutenants were ranked by seniority. The "First Luff" was second in command and Acting Captain should the captain be incapacitated.

ann@146: (!)

...I got nothing left. Just a sodden keyboard. Today's internets is yours.

Ensigns were the most junior officers, and had command only over the Colour Party, and were the standard bearers for the King’s and Regimental Colours for the battalion

I see. Bullet catchers.

There is a long history of drug companies, and other profitable corporate schemes, fighting truth with "skeptical" minions such as those that anonymously post here.

Activists use their real names and are open about other identifying information, while "skeptics" nearly always hide until exposed (Orac and Sullivan for example).
Activists usually are trying to help people, protect the environment, expose corruption... get to the truth.

On Orac's blogs we see "skeptics" making light of people dying. They do so gleefully, with abandon.
They lie and persecute.
Their egos will not allow them to admit they have done anything wrong.
They hijacked and twisted the word "skeptic" and are pseudo-skeptics.
They defend the status quo by attacking anyone that attempts to expose profitable corporate shenanigans on issues like vaccine risks, lack of FDA regulation of GMO, risks of "ordinary" drugs and biotech varieties, manipulation of govt officials to support their "causes"... and many other issues.

By John Altimus (not verified) on 27 Sep 2015 #permalink

@John Altimus: or maybe those of use who use alternative names fear those who would dox us, cause us to lose our jobs, threaten our families, or our own lives. Certainly, figuring out who Orac or Sullivan is takes little or no time.

As for the rest of your screed, yawn. We've all heard the accusations before. You have nothing to show, so you scream "pharma shill" at us.

@John Altimus (if that is your name): I get it, you don't like anyone here. If someone has spread inaccurate information here, please be specific. Be sure to let us know how you know. Thanks.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 28 Sep 2015 #permalink

There is a long history of drug companies, and other profitable corporate schemes, fighting truth with “skeptical” minions such as those that anonymously post here.

Audit trail, or it didn't happen.

Activists use their real names and are open about other identifying information, while “skeptics” nearly always hide until exposed (Orac and Sullivan for example).

John, while it's correct that many who post here do so using a psuedonymous handle one must ask--did you have a point? Arguments and criticisms, after all, stand or fall on their own merit and not as a function of who is advancing or opposing them.

Activists usually are trying to help people, protect the environment, expose corruption… get to the truth.

If their intent is to get to teh truth, why do so many anti-vaccine activists routinely make obviously false claims regarding vaccine safety? Anne Dachel, for example, continues to claim the NVICP has compensated familes for their children developing autism as a consequence of vaccination despite being shown repeatedly that simply isn't true. John Stone continues to claim that Justice Mittings ruling regarding Jon Walker Smith has exhonerated Brian Wakefield, despite being repeatedly shown that simply isn't true.

Sorry I didn't get a chance to check this thread over the weekend. Now I've got anecdotal support that the weird-a** dreams (no hallucinations, thank d_G) accompanying travel, including to conferences, ain't just me. 'Course I already had evidence, but somehow that's just not quite the same thing. It's certainly why woo sites are loaded with personal stories. The first time, I lept from one bed to another, sound asleep, due a particularly vivid dream that my comfy bed was full of tarantulas (I don't have anything against them, btw, having shared close quarters with them in the field and on one occasion having been gifted with hundreds of hatchlings on my birthday, some of whom got down my shirt) and awoke on landing 3 feet away. What Denice said about torture and interrogation struck a chord as well, as years later in a particularly bad domestic situation (care-giving for a spouse with, among other things, dementia ((CTE)) along with an escalating amount of violence), I lacked any real sleep, nothing more than 20 - 40 minutes at once, for a long time. It was torture, and I finally made the hard choice. I'm okay now. --Sorry for the lack of para brks; it seems my return key has gone south...

Delphine, not Denice. But I'd gather that Denice might've made the same observation re: sleep dep.

Going back to the original German Holistic Wannabee Overdose story, the latest news from Germany and Switzerland is that the seminar's convener was an exponent of 'psycholysis', i.e. psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy.

http://www.welt.de/regionales/hamburg/article146836660/Heilpraktiker-im…

I remember psycholysis as Stanislav Grof's old gig but evidently it has been through a few transformations since then, and is now in the hands of Samuel Widmer in Switzerland, whose disciples include the Handerloh incident's organiser.

So the 29 Alternative Healers were indeed talked into taking Aquarust by promises of spiritual transformation. The schaden freuds itself.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 28 Sep 2015 #permalink

@158

*Yawn*

Come up with something new, like a coherent argument rather than those tired clichés?

FYI, I use this 'nym as it is a long-established one first used while I was still in work as: a) I was frequently critical of my NHS employer which would have been a disciplinary offence; b) there is a history of woosters over here tracking folk who criticise them down and physically threatening them or reporting them to relevant professional bodies on trumped up charges (I believe it also happens in Merkinania); so some of us feel the need to be careful...

Also, as you clearly know so much about The Big Pharma Conspiracy, can you ask their accounts people to send my money on as I have some car repairs to pay for? Thank you!

Leave it to Mike Adams (well, in this case one of his minions named Jonathan Benson) to link the German incident to the deaths of Jeff Bradstreet, Nicholas Gonzalez, and the other dead or missing alt-med practitioners
http://www.naturalnews.com/051226_naturopaths_mass_poisoning_Big_Pharma…

Mike scrubbed that report & comments in the last few days, and the link now leads to a space-filling bit of fluff about "Mike Adams' 10 greatest contributions to humanity".
The Wayback Machine has a copy of the original in all its awfulness.
https://web.archive.org/web/20150923162254/http://www.naturalnews.com/0…

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 28 Sep 2015 #permalink

What I don't get about this story is this: If there is a conspiracy to kill alternate practitioners and alternative medicine is effective, why did the conference participants call an ambulance and put themselves in the hands of evil "allopathic" medicine (and possibly participants in the conspiracy to kill them) rather than just healing themselves? If I were experiencing a drug side effect I'd go back to the person who gave me the drug (assuming we're talking a legal med and not a recreational substance, at least) for advice and treatment, not run to a group I thought ineffective, dangerous, and possibly homicidal. So why'd they call the ambulance?

Note the sad news that Jim Carrey's girlfriend just committed suicide, using pills manufactured by a pharmaceutical company. I don't know how that could be connected to Bradstreet's death, but we'll see.

If there is a conspiracy to kill alternate practitioners and alternative medicine is effective, why did the conference participants call an ambulance and put themselves in the hands of evil “allopathic” medicine

IIRC, the participants and the organiser / drug evangelist were too messed up to contribute much to the proceedings, and it was the owner of the hired venue who called ambulances when she took alarm at the shrieking and the running around.

What a shower of lightweights. If you can't take the thrills, don't do the pills.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 29 Sep 2015 #permalink

IIRC, the participants and the organiser / drug evangelist were too messed up to contribute much to the proceedings

One of my favorite parts of this thing so far is from the now-scrubbed NN article about the event:

Most of the victims were in such bad shape from the poisoning that they couldn't talk,

That is called being on psychedelics, Natural News. I am in fact familiar with the phenomenon.

the participants and the organiser / drug evangelist were too messed up to contribute much to the proceedings, and it was the owner of the hired venue who called ambulances when she took alarm at the shrieking and the running around.

Makes sense. From what I can tell from the Spiegel, they are no longer welcome at this venue due to, among other things, leaving blood everywhere. And using an illegal psychoactive substance (the "natural" psychoactive they used having been banned in Germany in 2014. Probably because of this exact sort of thing.)

And tsk! The evil big medicine conspiracy had all those alternate practitioners in their control and failed to kill them. What sort of incompetent supervillain is Big Medicine anyway?

The evil big medicine conspiracy had all those alternate practitioners in their control and failed to kill them

Ah, but they made them look like total numpties -- not so incompetent after all!

For the last few days I have been singing "Neunundzwanzig Heilpraktikers" to the tune of "Neunundneunzig Luftballons", and now I must share the earworm with everyone.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

@ herr doktor.

Thanks so much.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Sep 2015 #permalink

For the Frau Doktor's sake I hope your voice is not as annoying as Gabriele Kerner's.

The reason most of you don't use your real names is the complete lack of logic or truth in your posts.
Using your real name would identify you to your family and friends and co-workers... and you couldn't have that embarrassment complicating your lives... it might even stop you from blogging, under your actual identities anyway.

The 17 year persecution of Dr Andrew Wakefield is done with the vast resources at the drug industry's disposal.
To say you people fear for your lives or livelihood is ludicrous. Activists don't have the resources to pursue you in any meaningful way.

Cases in point, Orac (David Gorski) and Sullivan (Matt Carey) and Steven Novella.
Anything happen to them? Are they in financial ruin for all of the lies they have spouted and supported on the internet?
No.
They are the status quo, despite their pretense at naming themselves "skeptics".

You all know the truth, know the lies you spread continue to injure more people everyday someone believes your nonsense... but you unashamedly continue, without apparent conscience or damaging consequences.

Just letting you know that I know...

Let me know if you ever decide to have open and honest discussions... I would LOVE to see that.
You could be very useful. It may even result in accountability for the first-line perps and profiteers.

Think about what happened to the peanut butter CEO!!. Apply those results to some of the pharmaceutical scandals that led to deaths. Corporations can't make the decision to kill... PEOPLE make those decisions to disregard life.

Do you guys and gals have the stomach for that type of campaign for truth? I know you have the intellect... some of you anyway.
The webs you weave are sometimes breathtaking... literally, you are stopping some people from breathing.

Think about leaving the dark side.

By John Altimus (not verified) on 02 Oct 2015 #permalink

The reason most of you don’t use your real names is the complete lack of logic or truth in your posts.
Using your real name would identify you to your family and friends and co-workers…

I use my real name, or most of it. It would be a trivial exercise fr anyone to work out who I am. I have no qualms in pointing out that your posts are full of nonsense.

The 17 year persecution of Dr Andrew Wakefield is done with the vast resources at the drug industry’s disposal.

Andrew Wakefield was a fraud, pure and simple. He hasn't been persecuted, he was just found out fudging the data and lying.

Activists don’t have the resources to pursue you in any meaningful way.

When you have had someone call your home phone and make threats against you to your family, like I have, I will allow you to get involved in a discussion about this topic. Until then you can take your nonsense claims and shove them where the sun doesn't shine. You are obviously full on nonsense.

Think about beer. It will make you much happier.

ChrisP: "I use my real name, or most of it."

I also use my real name. The only people who use the rest of the letters after the "s" are the bank, medical staff, (who stop when I ask them to not use my full name, which I hate), ex-employer and my family when they are mad at me.

Some trolls have discovered my last name, which is a bit less common than "Jones." Good luck with that, I just Googled my name, there were 12,700,000 results!

Do you guys and gals have the stomach for that type of campaign for truth? I know you have the intellect… some of you anyway.

The invitation is flattering, but I must reluctantly decline, as I am already fully occupied with uncovering the truth of the Chemtrail / Morgellons Apocalypse.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2015 #permalink

Just letting you know that I know…

That "Steven Novella" is a pseudonym? You might want to hire a professional to meter whether your stream-of-consciousness output actually is being governed by a slyly introduced nanochip. L-rd knows that "using your real name" (the accuracy of which you haven't worked out in detail, given that anybody can claim to be "John Altimus") hasn't really amounted to anything otherwise.

The 17 year persecution of Dr Andrew Wakefield is done with the vast resources at the drug industry’s disposal.

Andrew Wakefield was a fraud, pure and simple. He hasn’t been persecuted, he was just found out fudging the data and lying.

Hell, what would be the point of "persecuting" a self-parody? Total waste of the pHARMa budget when the shill accounts are deeply in arrears to the mixed-metaphor tune of no small potatoes, if you ask me.

“using your real name”

I am Spartacus!

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2015 #permalink

Allow me to spell out Narad's point in slightly less abbreviated, Naradish terms:

I could be someone with a doctorate, and this actual surname, and a Teutonic tendency towards pedantry. I could be Herr Doktor Hans-Peter Bimler -- orthodontist, scholar and gentleman, inventor of the Bimler Orthodontic Apparatus and of Bimler cephalometric analysis -- except that he's dead. Or I could be Dr Richard Bimler, of Wheat Ridge Ministry, author of "Sex and the New You". Either way, we wouldn't know.

"John Altimus" could be the on-line nym of someone who also uses the name "John Altimus" in real life... or it could be someone who dislikes that real-life person, and is using his name to post comments that make him look like an eedjit.
Either way, we wouldn't know.

On the Intertubes, "using your real name" means nothing.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2015 #permalink

I'm using the first part of my real name as well. My last name is far more uncommon than Jones and a Google search just brings 470 results and most of them refer to me, so no, I'm not going to give my full name away.

Earlier today my spam e-mail tray included a quaintly-Englished invitation to pay the special reduced rate of $200 to have my academic papers "published" by Savant Journals, a scuzzy little one-man website operating out of Nigeria Delta province... but the e-mail was signed "EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Dr. John Evans"... so it must be legitimate, because grifters never use false names on the Interlattice.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Oct 2015 #permalink

John Altimus@178:

The reason most of you don’t use your real names is the complete lack of logic or truth in your posts.

Given that your own autonymous posts have utterly failed to demonstrate any correlation between the two whatsoever, I feel entirely comfortable sticking to just my real initials, thanks.

To be honest, I'm only here for the pithy one-liners and mocking of idiots anyway.

I use my real first name also, because I'm not Bonnie Offit (sob). My friends and family are very well aware of my views and where I work. I don't use my full name because I don't feel like posting "the opinions posted here are my own and not necessarily the views of my employer" every time I make a comment. My work requirements are such that otherwise I would be required to do so.

As for the rest of your posts, complaining about the "complete lack of logic or truth"...please point out my lack of logic or where I'm lying.

he reason most of you don’t use your real names is the complete lack of logic or truth in your posts.

Using your real name would identify you to your family and friends and co-workers…

How very silly of you. Discovering my real name is so easy as to be almost trivial. I use the "Orac" 'nym because it and I have a history and I like it. If you know anything about old British SF and recognize the character Orac you'll also know that it perfectly encapsulates the attitude of this blog.

"You all know the truth, know the lies you spread continue to injure more people everyday someone believes your nonsense… Just letting you know that I know…
Let me know if you ever decide to have open and honest discussions…You could be very useful. It may even result in accountability for the first-line perps and profiteers...
Think about what happened to the peanut butter CEO!!
The webs you weave are sometimes breathtaking… literally, you are stopping some people from breathing...Think about leaving the dark side."

This has much of the flavor of Kent Heckenlively's delusional classic, "I Will Accept Your Surrender".

Incidentally, Dangerous Bacon is my real name by official court decree. I had considered adopting Buck Naked as a new name (Buck Naked, M.D. has a ring to it) but my partners objected. :(

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 03 Oct 2015 #permalink

John Altimus:

I've always had a warm spot in my heart for archaic words and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts to bring 'codswallop' back into the mainstream. You dropped a real load of it in #178!

Dangerous Bacon is correct - as usual- it does sound like Kent but needs more Superhero/ Supernatural Detective..
-btw- Dan is again presenting his weekly wrap.. Fish-wrap**, more likely, I'd say

I use my real name with the two posher names subtracted
.( because they are all personal names, I had several interesting options- DW sounded best though)..

Why?
Because they're common names but the combination is not. I have real estate transactions/ other stuff which are listed somewhere on the net which include my present address. I have my own business concerns as well.

I know of several people whose scepticism has led to lawsuits and diverse intrusions into their daily life and work. Whilst one person was paid for his investigation, the others were not. I believe that Dr is Novella IS currently being sued.
Other minions were harassed at home or work or even outed by those who oppose their views. I know that I have invoked the ire of a few anti-vaxxers and I write about a loon who has targetted critics for millions through his stable of lawyers.(but sadly, no lawyer ponies)

Unfortunately, my nym is shared by a lovely woman in Hobart, Tasmania and, with slightly different spelling, a German business woman and an American trade commissioner: I truly hope that none of them were harassed for my activities.

.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Oct 2015 #permalink

John,

IDK, I worked in corporate America and I wouldn't put it past 'Big Pharma' to harrass whistleblowers (e.g., Dr. David Healy) or to work marketing and social media in their own interests. But to be honest I don't find them particulary proficient at social media and you can still read many opposing voices. I also wouldn't ascribe to them any more power over others in these venues (legislation, the press, the courts) than every other large corporation has.

The trouble with your 'side' is that its spokespersons run with no evidence, fear-monger, and have their own conflict of interests in the money and the attention they extract from their followers.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 03 Oct 2015 #permalink

@ Not a Troll:

Right.
And those who shriek "Police State!" or "Corporatocracy!" the loudest still manage to post their voluminous rants and screeds on the internet daily without interference.

-btw- Pardonnez les typos above.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Oct 2015 #permalink

s'kind of funny that there are five pages of "John Altimus" plus variations listed on whitepages.com.

I have the same first and last name as a young African-American journalist who writes a lot on race and gender. I'm pretty sure she gets enough hatemail without having to cope with anti-vaxxers.

I am reminded of my days on Usenet, where trolls on one group would periodically pick someone out and accuse them of not using their real name. Almost always, they picked one of the same two posters, both of whom had gone to court to adopt the names they were posting under.

Anything that "looked like a real name"--meaning a relatively familiar-to-Americans given name and almost any surname--went unremarked.

The thought screen helmet is a real device. Stopabductions.com is a public service, nonprofit site. The case histories including the last one made in July are authentic. I still make them and send them to people for free all over the world. It is frightening to know that people wear thought screen helmets, not sad. See aliensandchildren.org for information linking the epidemic of autism to alien abductions. I had Uta Frith on the site but she blocked her own YouTube discussion of alien minds that she herself found. There is a page on aliensandchildren.org called pseudoscience reply where I refute pages like this one. Also see my new experimental medicine, not alternative medicine site, Neurohat.org. I'm working with people from three medical centers to learn more about the healing properties of the neuro hat.

By Michael Menkin (not verified) on 05 Oct 2015 #permalink

The thought screen helmet is a real device.

Hi Mr. Menkin! If I gave you a helmet that looked identical to yours but was not made of thought-screening material, what method would you use to determine which was the real one?

Mr. Menkin,

I have never worn a thought screen helmet and have never either been abducted nor had my mind controlled by aliens. Whether the hat has a beneficial effect on brains by reflecting electrical pulses back, I am not in a position to judge.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 05 Oct 2015 #permalink

To answer the person who made the statement as to how I could tell if a helmet were real or fake: The thought screen helmet is just a leather hat with 8 sheets of velostat. If you gave me a device that looked similar, I would check to see if it really hat velostat in it. That is easy. I would also give it to a person who is being abducted and have them try it, instead of the real helmet. You should know that several abductees who forgot to wear their helmets were beaten up by alien hybrids. One person was beaten repeatedly. Another person was physically injured with over 300 cuts all over their body and went to the emergency room. If the helmet were a fake, the aliens would be able to physically hurt the people who had been wearing their real helmets. I suggest you go to stopabductions.com and make a helmet and see how much work it is.

By Michael Menkin (not verified) on 06 Oct 2015 #permalink

Thank you for being hones about your statement on the healing properties of a hat lined with velostat. Please see the information, specifically the case histories on Neurohat.org.

By Michael Menkin (not verified) on 06 Oct 2015 #permalink

To answer AdmG better: A real thought screen helmet has impedance of 52 ohms as is shown in the development section of stopabductions.com. A fake thought screen helmet would have a different reading on a multimeter. That would be the easiest way for me to tell which is real and which is fake.

By Michael Menkin (not verified) on 06 Oct 2015 #permalink

Wow, so this is what real crazy looks like?

"See aliensandchildren.org for information linking the epidemic of autism to alien abductions."

I knew it! Antivaxers are in the pay of autism-promoting aliens desirous of covering their tracks!

How come no one is working on an anti-alien vaccine? They can't take possession of your body if your immune system rejects them.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 07 Oct 2015 #permalink