Tag Archives: smearing critics

July 2015 in review: part 2

So far we’ve looked at the cover stories and the first ten pages. Brace yourselves, there’s more to come.

Page 11 is a full-page advert for Cytoplan, who claim that their Wholefood Cherry C contains only pure, powdered acerola cherry because, as they say, “food supplement nutrients in the same form as those in food are always the most optimally effective”.

L-Ascorbic Acid (evil) Natural Vitamin C (not evil)
L-Ascorbic_acid-a L-Ascorbic_acid-g

Spot the difference. Continue reading July 2015 in review: part 2

Under attack? Try smearing someone who had absolutely nothing to do with it.

The best defence, they say, is a strong offence. Lynne McTaggart’s clearly taken this to heart, as she’s decided to hit back at the people who defaced her webshite by attacking someone who not only didn’t do it, but expressed disapproval of the vandalism.

I’m sure there’s some sort of logic behind that, but I’m glad I don’t understand it.

Was Changed to
How do you solve a problem like a cyber lynch-mob? How do you solve a problem like Maria?
 What better way to take the moral high ground when accusing others of pursuing a personal vendetta, than to personalise your own vendetta against the reality-based community? Awesome.
I was fascinated to see that among those offering support that the perpetrators get caught was Maria MacLachlan. Maria and her husband Alan Henness are effectively the Nightingale Collaboration, a tiny organization that was given seed money by Sense About Science in order to spend a prodigious amount of time reporting advertisers and practitioners of alternative medicine to the UK’s The Advertising Standards Authority. I was fascinated to see that among those offering support that the perpetrators get caught was Maria MacLachlan. Maria and her husband Alan Henness are effectively the Nightingale Collaboration, a tiny organization that was given seed money by Sense About Science in order to spend a prodigious amount of time reporting advertisers and practitioners of alternative medicine to the UK’s The Advertising Standards Authority. And many of the ads they’ve tried to stop are the ones that appear in the pages of our magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You.
 Yes, many of the adverts we, the skeptic community, have stopped (successfully, most of them are no longer published in their prior form) are indeed in WDDTY. And many aren’t. The campaign against fraudulent advertising by quacks pre-dates the campaign to get WDDTY to stop being dishonest. What Lynne has never understood, is that we challenge false advertising wherever we see it. I’ve challenged false claims in ads for finance companies, insurance companies, lobby groups and quacks. I have had two complaints upheld against adverts by groups with which I was involved. We changed the copy in one, and successfully challenged the adjudication in the other. It is not personal. It only seems that way because virtually every word in WDDTY, and much of the advertising, promotes fraudulent products and practices. When everything you do is promoting fraudulent nonsense then challenging the fraudulent is the same as challenging everything you promote. The obvious solution is to stop promoting fraudulent nonsense.
 What knowledge this is is not apparent as the couple appear to have no background in evaluating or studying medicine or alternative medicine (Henness reports his former employment as R&D manager for Honeywell Security and Customer Electronics).  What knowledge this is is not immediately apparent as the couple appear to have no background in evaluating or studying medicine or alternative medicine (Henness reports his former employment as R&D manager for Honeywell Security and Customer Electronics).
Ah, right, so identifying the expertise requires you to actually check your facts a tiny bit. I can see why that would present an almost unsurmountable problem for you.
From now on, I’m going to call this kind of ‘do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do’ activity ‘the Maria Problem.’Simon Singh has also got a Maria Problem. He has styled himself as the champion of free speech in science, but has been busy for nearly three years encouraging ‘book burning’ in the form of pressurizing and campaigning for stores and distributors to stop stocking What Doctors Don’t Tell You.
 This never gets any truer, however often it’s repeated. Simon has not “styled himself” as a champion of free speech, he is a champion of free speech. Unlike WDDTY, who supported Wakefield’s suppressive lawsuits, also supported Chris Woolams in using legal thuggery to suppress dissent and said nothing about Peter Wilmshurst, Simon has not only fought off a suppressive libel suit, he has actually helped to change the law – even the kind of shit WDDTY and Lynne McTaggart print about people is now marginally less likely to end up with the tawdry rag bankrupted. Commercial speech is not protected. Your right to say something does not confer any obligation on others to sell it for you. And all you have to do, in order to stop the critical backlash, is to stop printing lies and promoting health fraud.
This has nothing to do with free speech. They are free not to like my magazine and to publicly say so. But that is a far cry from encouraging people to interfere with our free trade or sending cyber attack dogs to abuse me online. This has nothing to do with free speech. They are free not to like my magazine and to publicly say so. But that is a far cry from encouraging people to interfere with our free trade or sending cyber attack dogs to abuse me online. That kind of activity is a threat to freedom and to a free, multi-cultural society.
 Wait, are you accusing Simon of racism here? Simon Singh? The well-known British Asian scientist and author? Who has collaborated with Edzard Ernst, the well-known German-born naturalised British scientist?The sound you can hear may sound like the incoherent screeching of a deranged harridan, but apparently it’s actually Lynne’s fingernails frantically scraping the bottom of the barrel in the hope of finding something underneath the barrel itself, to allow her to go still lower.
There have been ‘Master Lists’ kept by husband and wife combo Michael and Laura Thomason, writing as ‘Josephine Jones’ (he a database developer, she a coffee shop supervisor) and passed around from skeptic to skeptic as though we are engaged in behavior that must be monitored, blow by blow.  There have been ‘Master Lists’ kept by husband and wife combo Michael and Laura Thomason, writing as blogger ‘Josephine Jones’ (he a database developer, she a coffee shop supervisor) and passed around from skeptic to skeptic as though we are engaged in behavior that must be monitored, blow by blow.
 You are engaged in behaviour that must be monitored blow-by-blow. You relentlessly promote health fraud and attack critics. If you want to escape constant scrutiny, stop doing these things.Oh, and you could also stop telling belittling lies about people, especially after the facts have clearly come to your attention. It does rather undermine your umbrage about the original incident…
Encouraging the kinds of targeted bullying that have been directed against me and WDDTY is exactly how things do escalate and finally get out of hand. The only way to stop a lynch mob is to stop creating targets of hate. Which goes back to the Golden Rule. And that, Maria, is how you solve a problem like a cyber lynch mob. Encouraging the kinds of targeted bullying that have been directed against me and WDDTY is exactly how things do escalate and finally get out of hand. It’s how ordinary, law-abiding Germans were finally incited to go on a rampage, smashing windows and looting the property of Jewish shopkeepers during Kristallnacht.The only way to stop a lynch mob is to stop creating targets of hate. Which goes back to the Golden Rule, being tolerant of people whose beliefs are different from yours.And that is how you solve this cyber-bullying problem, Maria.
 Oh yes, because refusing to sell a magazine that promotes health fraud and risks public health by spouting anti-vaccine bullshit is exactly like the Endlösung. Remind me again, did they set fire to your offices? Drive you from your home? Beat you? Steal your property? No.

So: Lynne responds to critical commentary by doubling down, cranking the paranoia up to eleven and attacking someone who not only wasn’t responsible, but actually condemned those who were.

Think about that for a moment. The first thing Lynne thinks about when her webshite is defaced, is: how can I make this about restoring my profits, and, how can I turn it into an attack on the people I hate, even though they are plainly not responsible?

How do you solve a problem like a cyber Lynne mob?

Loon “Lynne” McTaggart has the whole martyr complex thing off to a T: it’s all about her, and her exaggerated sense of entitlement. After all, who could possibly have any valid objection to her pimping black salveW, a bogus cancer cure that just happens to eat away your skin? Surely the excruciating pain, weight loss, anaemia and cost experienced by her reader are vastly better than a surgical procedure under general anaesthetic.

Thank you all for those lovely statements of support after I wrote that our Intention Experiment website – a website devoted to healing the world’s ills through group prayer – got hacked into and threats on me, my family, my business, even my car were put in its place.

Really? McTaggart’s definition of “threats” is open to question, so I would not take it on her say-so. Still and all, threats are nasty, as those of us who have experienced them will testify. I have never seen any skeptic threaten anything other than Lynne’s profits, I am happy to say.

Happily, I can save you a lot of time and effort. The effect of prayer has been tested, it doesn’t work.  We’re happy to have saved you wasting any further time and effort repeating this failed experiment; I suggest you devote your time instead to studying concepts such as the laws of thermodynamics and conservation of energy, which show why any effect from prayer would require us to throw away pretty much all of human knowledge. Continue reading How do you solve a problem like a cyber Lynne mob?