Tag Archives: Lynne McTaggart on…

WDDTY Then And Now: 1998 interview with Lynne McTaggart

In November 1998 the Independent published an interview with Lynne McTaggart. We thought it might be interesting to see what’s changed since then.

Its hundredth issue, published in July 1998, included a letter from a doctor that condemns it as “inflammatory, scare-mongering hyperbole”.

OK, so that’s still the same…

So what are Lynne and her team doing to upset the medical establishment so much? Simply, she says, telling the truth.

That was as false then as it is now.

“It’s all about disclosure of information,” she explains. “Medicine is a sort of private conversation between doctors. We feel that we have to make this private conversation public; the public has the right to know so they can make informed choices about healthcare.”

Here’s the progress WDDTY has made towards that aim:

tumbleweed Continue reading WDDTY Then And Now: 1998 interview with Lynne McTaggart

The campaign against What Doctors Don’t Tell You Continues

This post appears in a slightly longer format on Plague of Mice)

Pause, if you will, and drop a piteous tear for poor Lynne McTaggart, Saint and Martyr. She feels Put Upon. She considers she is being Bullied. Her Great Life’s Work is under attack from what sounds like a small group of anti-homeopathy terrorists who will stop at nothing to destroy her. There is a Campaign against WDDTY. For the Blessed McTaggart alone knows the Truth and fears not to speak it. This is why the baying hordes of reason…

She’s not fooling anyone, is she? Anyway, this is the rant she just posted on her blog.

A concerted letter-writing campaign by a handful of very vociferous self-styled ‘skeptics’ has managed to convince Tesco that customers are complaining about What Doctors Don’t Tell You, and the store chain has just agreed to withdraw the magazine from the shelves.

These were not legitimate complaints. They were the result of several calls to action by a few sceptical websites to a small band of very devoted and fairly fanatical followers.

This, as you know, is part of an 20-month concerted campaign by Simon Singh, Sense About Science and a variety of rag-tag organizations like the Nightingale Collaboration to ban or crush WDDTY. Singh and co have called Comag, our distributors, multiple times, orchestrated letter writing campaigns to all the store chains that carry the magazine, harassed dozens of our advertisers by reporting them the ASA, sent their foot soldiers to hide our magazines on the shelves of stores and attempted to destroy our Google ranking. One of our websites was even mysteriously hacked into.They don’t engage in open or legitimate dialogue, only innuendo and bully-boy tactics on our social network sites.

Simon Singh is busy these days tweeting his supporters to write Tesco to thank them for not stocking us.

And all this because they don’t want you to have a choice about the information you have about your health care.

They believe that you should only have access to one sort of health information – the information that ridicules alternative medicine of all persuasions and embraces conventional medicine as currently practiced. They believe that they have the right to dictate to you the forms of health care you have access to. They claim to be in favour of free speech in science, but only the information they deem acceptable for you to read.

The skeptics have a loyal following, but there are tens of thousands more who support WDDTY and our work. Tesco will reconsider if they hear from customers who want to buy WDDTY in their stores.

If you buy WDDTY at Tesco, you believe in free speech, and freedom of choice in health care, or you believe that Tesco should continue to stock WDDTY, please write to customer service and tell them exactly why: [email protected]

Well, wasn’t that informative? Let us admire the loaded vocabulary, rife with venomous innuendo, bile dripping from every syllable. Is perchance The Great McTaggart’s revenue stream endangered? My first question is: how did this alleged handful of skeptics manifest in the form of so many people and organisations? Over a year ago, Josephine Jones already had a pretty impressive Master list.

“These were not legitimate complaints” – On the contrary, Lynne, the complaint was that your rag promotes dangerous quackery, while maintaining a resolutely hostile attitude to doctors, vaccines, medical treatment of any kind (including lifesaving treatments for cancer), and this you have proved time and again with every fucking issue. Open one at random, and you’ll find fuckwittery that can kill or cripple. Read any post on this blog, and you’ll see holes poked in your assertions until they look like moth-eaten lace doilies. In any case, it’s not for you to judge whether the complaints were legitimate or not.

“One of our websites was even mysteriously hacked into”‘ – Mysteriously, my arse. The Internet is full of spotty virgins and crooks trying to break into any website they can. So of course McTaggart blames skeptics for her own negligence in not securing her site properly. Simple stuff, I suspect, like not having the login “admin” for the administrator’s account. There are plenty of good security plugins for all the major CMS software, woman. Sodding well use them. We do.

“harassed dozens of our advertisers by reporting them the ASA” – Reporting illegal, indecent, dishonest or untruthful advertising copy isn’t harassment, Lynne. It’s civic duty. If you don’t like your advertisers getting called out for lying, get a better class of advertiser. Although I can see how that would be a problem for you, given the calibre of your rag.

“They don’t engage in open or legitimate dialogue” – The fucking cheek of this duplicitous dipshit! She systematically deletes comments from skeptics, be they on her blog, Facebook or anywhere else she has moderator privileges. It’s so bad that her own followers have actually complained that, since only their side of the dialogue remained, it made them look complete idiots because the exchange no longer made the slightest sense.

“Simon Singh is busy these days tweeting his supporters” – No, he isn’t. In fact, he only mentions WDDTY when you take one of your puerile swipes at him. Amusingly, the last one was to remind you of the existence of AllTrials.net, which you yourself were all for until you realised that skeptics were involved.

“they don’t want you to have a choice about the information you have about your health care” – No, it’s not a matter of choice when a decision is based on false information, manipulation and outright dishonesty. Stop pushing quackery for profit and, er, profit, and start doing some real investigative health journalism, if you want respect and acceptance. Unfortunately, I suspect that neither your medical knowledge nor your journalistic skills are up to the job.

“They claim to be in favour of free speech in science, but only the information they deem acceptable for you to read” – Apart from this being a barefaced lie, McTaggart has delusions of adequacy if she thinks what she spouts in her blog, her rag, her books, etc are anything even remotely related to science.

“there are tens of thousands more who support WDDTY” – ORLY? I see only 14K ‘Likes’ on Facebook, the WDDTY Twitter account has a pathetic 703 followers, while McTaggart’s own account has all of 17.7K. This sounds like the police estimates vs organiser estimates for protest marches, doesn’t it? Even so, it stinks of wide exaggeration on your part.

Now here’s the absolute biscuit, the coup de grâce in hypocritical bullshittery: “If you buy WDDTY at Tesco, you believe in free speech…”.

Remember, McTaggart herself doesn’t believe in free speech, as she mercilessly extirpates the slightest criticism of her monthly bowel-dump of rancid WTF wherever she can, going as far as to threaten legal action in an attempt to scare Simon Singh into silence (the BCA must have been piddling themselves with laughter). Secondly, Lynne, the concept of free speech is not as you would have us believe: that you are allowed to say whatever you like, to whomever you like, without fear of contradiction, and hang the consequences.

No, Ms McTaggart, freedom of speech means freedom of opinion, with the necessary corollary that others have the right to criticise that opinion. But you don’t have that protection, and rightly so, because WDDTY isn’t being sold as opinion, it’s being sold as solidly-researched advice. Your poisonous little rag doesn’t benefit from freedom of speech because of the many and monstrous errors of fact that it contains. Of course, you could always claim “SCIENCE!”, but I strongly advise you not to. You see, an important part of science is the critical analysis and testing of other scientists’ claims, so you’re back to square one.

You have no case, Ms. McTaggart. None at all. You’re a hypocrite and liar, and that is my considered opinion based on the evidence before me.

Read also:

Lynne McTaggart on water memory

According to Lynne McTaggart the latest issue has “a good deal of evidence from physicists showing that water can carry information”.


Does this stand up?

We already analysed the feature in question.

It contained speculation but no solid evidence, and it did not even begin to address the other links in the chain. To recap, if homeopathy worked by water memory we would need the following:

  • Proof that like cures like, an idea based on the false inference that quinine cures malaria by similarity of symptoms, rather than (as is the fact) by killing the plasmodium falciparumW parasite that causes it.
  • Proof that the means by which this happens, is related to a property that is preserved in this water memory.
  • Proof that this water memory is imparted only (or especially) by serial dilution and twerking succussion.
  • Proof that this property becomes stronger as dilution is increased, or at least becomes no weaker.
  • Proof that the water memory is persistent (ordered structures in water last a few tens of femtoseconds – lack of persistent structures is the canonical definition of liquid).
  • Proof that this memory can be transferred to an intermediary (i.e. a sugar pillule) and persists when the water itself is evaporated.
  • Proof that it is transferable thence to a human, rather than being broken down by the enzymes of the mouth.
  • Proof that following transfer, it has a clinically relevant effect, in defiance of the law of mass actionW.

Water “memory” exists, just about, but it is a transient phenomenon of no evident clinical relevance.

Lynne McTaggart on conventional medicine

In The Times on 2 November 2013, Lynne McTaggart is quoted thus:

Ms McTaggart said that the magazine aimed to be a watchdog for conventional medicine rather than an advocate of unproven therapies. “If I get run over by a bus tomorrow I want the best that high-tech medicine can offer me, I don’t want homeopathy,” she said. However, conventional medicine was “losing the war on cancer”.

“The statistics really speak volumes,” Ms McTaggart said, adding that cancer treatments worked only about 12 per cent of the time.

This is of course not the whole story:

According to Cancer Research UK, just over half of cancer patients survive beyond five years of diagnosis. Udai Banerji, a clinician and lecturer at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said: “Sometimes doctors do lose the battle against cancer, but that is because it’s a terrible disease, not because someone else’s drugs are better. Giving someone vitamin C is not going to help.

Gordon McVie, former chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “We have big enough problems in the UK with people’s misconceptions about cancer without having quackery in the aisles.”

But does Lynne McTaggart’s claim stack up?

There’s a lot of evidence of WDDTY editorial support for homeopathy, the purest form of quackery, but can anyone find evidence of the following?

  • Robust support for emergency medicine
  • Evidence of the means by which WDDTY decides that emergency medicine is valid, but other medicine not valid
  • Evidence of emergency medicine where quacks sell a bogus alternative, which WDDTY do not also support

In other words, is this claim provably false, or only probably false?