Monthly Archives: November 2011

Dr Stanislaw Burzynski's cancer scam.

Their are many frauds, cheats and conmen out their to make a quick buck from the suffering of others. But there are none quite so vile as those who target cancer patients. When I first learned of The Burzynski Clinic I was immediately reminded of Penelope Dingle who was scammed into her grave by a fraud out to make a quick buck. As far as fraud goes you can’t get much lower than conning terminally ill patients and their families for easy money.

Dr Burzynski is one of these lowest of the conmen. He sells an unproven, unscientific cancer treatment called Antineoplaston Therapy. This treatment has been criticised by scientists, doctors and skeptics alike. Dr Stanislaw Burzynski has even been on trial for cancer fraud in the past.

At the moment, there is very little solid scientific evidence to show that antineoplastons are effective at treating cancer, and virtually all the research in this area has been carried out by Burzynski and his team – a red flag to the scientific world (as we’ve discussed before).

To explain, scientists are not stupid – whether they work for independent organisations like a research charity or a pharmaceutical company – and they can spot a bandwagon rolling towards them from a great distance.  Once the evidence starts to fall into place about the potential effectiveness of a discovery, it’s guaranteed that the scientific community will start to pay attention and jump on.

The fact that no other labs have managed to replicate Burzynski’s apparent success with antineoplastons or are interested in developing the treatment raises questions. Cancer Research UK

However Dr Burzynski won’t let a little thing like lack of evidence stand in the way of some easy cash and he’s not afraid to threaten people who expose his scam. Recently 17 year old blogger Rhys Morgan was threatened by the Burzynski Clinics marketing department; which is apparently also the legal department.

Eventually, I decided to write a rather scathing blog about Burzynski and the treatment, which you can find here. The thought of someone being promised an effective treatment when in fact, it’s at best unproven disgusts me. The blog went up on August 11th, 2011. A few comments were posted but it soon disappeared into obscurity again.

Then, out of the blue, on the 3rd of November, I received an email from a man called Marc Stephens, claiming to represent the Burzynski Clinic. He was threatening to sue me for libel for my previous blog about the Burzynski Clinic. Rhys Morgan

However Rhys isn’t the only blogger to be threatened by Marc Stephens. Andy Lewis has also received legal threats for criticising the Burzynski swindle. However legal threats are no substitute for evidence and so far all the evidence points to Dr Burzynski being a callous fraud who like many others in Alternative Medicine is happy to cheat the terminally and their families out of cold hard cash with empty promises and false hope.

The bottom line is that Dr. Burzynski is not a miracle worker. He is not a doctor who sees something that mainstream science has not and who therefore has a cure for many cancers that mainstream medicine scoffs at. He is not a bold visionary. Rather, he appears to be a man pursuing pseudoscience. The reason that mainstream scientific medicine has not accepted the existence of antineoplastons or their efficacy against cancer is because there is no credible evidence to support this thrapy and no one other than Dr. Burzynski has been able to replicate his results. Orac; Respectful Insolence

This is one scam I’ll be looking into allot further. I consider bogus cancer treatment to be amongst the most heinous of pseudo-science. Using legal threats as a means of censorship also does not sit well with me. The Burzynski Clinic has my attention.

Moron Medical students boycott evolution lectures.

So apparently some Muslim medical students are boycotting lectures on evolution because conflicts with their stonage ideologies. I have to wonder why would a religious person study medicine in the first place, if anything such activities involve acting against the will of god. Creationist like to assert that their god is all powerful yet he apparently needs a helping hand from mere mortals.

Muslim students, including trainee doctors on one of Britain’s leading medical courses, are walking out of lectures on evolution claiming it conflicts with creationist ideas established in the Koran.

Professors at University College London have expressed concern over the increasing number of biology students boycotting lectures on Darwinist theory, which form an important part of the syllabus, citing their religion.

Similar to the beliefs expressed by fundamentalist Christians, Muslim opponents to Darwinism maintain that Allah created the world, mankind and all known species in a single act. Daily Mail

Are these really the people that we want to become Doctors, the type of person who puts ideology before science? Religion has no place in medicine and the witch doctor needs to become a thing of the past.

If you want to believe God created the universe and everything in it that’s fine, but you can’t then take up a scientific field and complain that science doesn’t agree with your opinion. If you disagree and think your religion is of any value or worth then you deserve to be kicked out of the medical course. We want competent doctors not religious apologists.

Anti-vax kook wants medical professionals dead.

The anti-vaccination movement is full of nasty individuals, but it’s not often that I find one quite so repugnant as Mark Sircus who actually advocates the lynching of Centers for Disease Control personnel. Mark Sircus writes a blog post titled “String the Bastards Up” where he openly states the following:

Before I go into detail about what has been clear to many of us for years I want to bring the image of the case of a monster who commits mass murder and torments children and their parents. In this case we have a group of them who deserve to be lynched and they work for the federal government at the Centers of Disease Control (CDC). Mark Sircus

Of course Meryl “I have a brain” Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network is onboard with this one. Evidently these people are so opposed to life saving medicine that they would advocate murder, both Mark and Meryl are long past the point of reason and are now well and truly into the ideological fanatic stages of insanity.

Meryl endorces Mark Sircus

The anti-vaccination movement is really a cult against health and medicine. It is based solely on an ideology instead of science. Allot of people have legitimate concerns about vaccination and there’s nothing wrong with them seeking more information. But the danger comes from people like Meryl Dorey and Mark Sircus who not only spread lies and misinformation based on an ideology but may also be capable of so much worse; fanatical ideology is dangerous.

However some people who follow the anti-vaxxers are simply misguided by the lies a deceit they are fed by the fanatics and really believe they are being fed good information. However this time some of Doreys followers may have seen the anti-vax cult for what it is.

Loyal subjects sense a disturbance in the force.

Meryl Dorey has a new kook!

It looks like that public health menace Meryl Dorey of the Australia Vaccination Network has found a new loon to worship on twitter. His name is Dr. Leo Rebello (@DrLeoRebello) and he’s quite the kook. He bills himself as a “Holistic Health Guru. [sic]” which lends severe doubts about his credentials. Meryl has been retweeting some of his nutty twitter comments.

Comments Meryl retweeted.

Of course he doesn’t supply any reference for his claims; so Meryl and Leo have something in common there. I have long learned that kooks don’t like evidence because it all too often conflicts with their ideologies. However Dr Rebello is even more loopy than Meryl and makes her look like Einstein by comparison. Here’s some more of his wisdom.

Comments too nutty even for Meryl.

I especially like the “VacciNAZIS” but of course no anti-vaxxer is complete without some child rape. Well a comparison between child rape and vaccination that is. They can leave the actual rape for the Catholic Church.

Catholics and Anti-Vaxxers rejoice.

At the start of the year Meryl Dorey claimed that an Australian court had ordered the rape of a child. “Court orders rape of a child. Think this is an exaggeration? Think again. This is assault without consent and with full penetration too. [sic]” In the minds of both Dr Leo Rebello and Meryl Dorey giving a child life saving medicine the the equivalent of rape. I honestly believe that some people; especially those who oppose life saving vaccination are simply beyond reason.

Some ideas do not deserve respect.

I do not respect the opinions and beliefs of those who oppose vaccination, and I thoroughly condemn the actions of those who choose not to vaccinate. Time and time again I see requests from anti-vaxxers that we all respect their decision not to vaccinate themselves or their children.

However some ideas are not worthy of respect. Some ideas are dangerous. Some ideas can even kill people and put the whole community at risk. The idea that we shouldn’t vaccinate against Measles and other diseases is a good example of an idea that deserves no respect. The decision not to vaccinate deserves the same respect as someone who believes they are ok to drive while intoxicated because they ‘know what they are doing’. That is to say “None”. Yet the cries for respect are still coming from the anti-vaccine crowd.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Vaccination has the ability to eradicate disease. Yet we have people who are strongly opposed to vaccination and if those people are expecting any respect from me then they are going to be waiting a very long time. Because if people opposed to life saving medicine want any form of respect from me they must first do the right thing and vaccinate their children.

Respect belongs to those who do the right thing, not dimwitted tossers and their dangerous unscientific ideas.The notion that it should be customary to respect another persons position is just wrong. Some ideas do not deserve respect.

No aliens for you says Whitehouse.

I stumbled upon this today.

The White House has responded to two petitions asking the US government to formally acknowledge that aliens have visited Earth and to disclose to any intentional withholding of government interactions with extraterrestrial beings. “The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race,” said Phil Larson from the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, on the website. “In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye.” Universe Today

However this hasn’t satisfied the fanatical UFO wackjobs who started the petition demanding that the Whitehouse issue a response. Because the Whitehouse issued the truth instead of the desired response. The problem here is that the UFO kooks are asking for acknowledgement of a fact that has never been proven with any credible evidence. It’s like saying “We know this, please acknowledge it as fact.”. However facts are not determined by belief. Here’s the UFO kooks response.

The White House has responded to the Disclosure Petition.  The final signature count was 12,078.   As expected it was written by a low level staffer from the Office of Science and Technology Policy – research assistant Phil Larson.   The response was unacceptable. Paradigm Research Group

Some people just aren’t satisfied by the truth especially when it conflicts with their beliefs. They may be entitled to their own opinions, but no one is entitled to their own facts.

Meryl Dorey doesn't learn, more trouble for the AVN.

Just over a year since the NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing revoked the Australian Vaccination Network’s charity status, forbidding them from collecting donations. The anti-vaccination group has been caught asking for donations at it’s recent seminars in Western Australia.

Consumer Protection is investigating whether an anti-vaccination group breached charity laws by seeking donations at a series of meetings in WA in the past two weeks.

The NSW-based Australian Vaccination Network held public forums in Perth, Busselton, Jurien Bay and Geraldton, charging $15 and giving out brochures asking people to donate to the group. The West Australian

Did Meryl honestly think she could get away with soliciting donations? Did she think no one would be watching after being busted by both the Health Care Complaints Comission and the OLGR?

It seems that Meryl Dorey simply doesn’t learn. She should know by now that her group is being watched, not only by Skeptics but also by government authorities, journalists and anyone else she has crossed paths with. Her rapidly snowballing legal problems are a result of her own inability to do the right thing.

A security podcast that I recommend.

While I predominantly focus on Skepticism I do have other areas of interest. One of them is Computer Security. Having been to a couple of Skeptic conventions I have noticed that there is more than a handful of computer people within the skeptics community. So I’m sure allot of the people who do find my blog will also have have some good knowledge of computer security and computers in general. Security Now is a podcast that I think my appeal to allot of technical skeptics, although it isn’t a skeptical podcast itself.

Security Now is a computer security podcast released on a weekly basis and covers security vulnerabilities, firewalls, password security, spyware, rootkits, Wi-Fi, virtual private networks (VPNs), virtual machines, full virtualization, hardware-assisted virtualization, and virtual appliances. I have been listening to it since 2005 when the show was first debut, and I have been following Steve Gibson’s work at since at least 2001.

So if you have an interest in computer security definitely checkout Security Now. I also recommend Steve’s hard drive maintenance software SpinRite, which I’ve been using the rescue and maintain hard drives.