Side effects may include congenitalia, feet of clay, and robotulism.
If you listen to some supporters of alternative medicine, it will soon become clear that there are people who are in the pay of “Big Pharma”, who take money from pharmaceutical companies to publicly make statements supporting mainstream medicine.
These people, according to the alt-med fanatics, include absolutely everyone else in the world.
Seriously, it’s bizarre how vast a conspiracy against alternative medicine these people seem to hallucinate is out there. And I don’t know why anyone with a dissenting opinion in this field has to have some kind of sinister agenda. It’s pretty much a one-way thing. Skeptics don’t assume anything so despicably orchestrated about the alt-meds, we just think they’re wrong.
Rhys Morgan, for instance, regularly gets accused of being a “shill” in the pocket of big sinister corporate greed. Now, Rhys’s origin myth isn’t exactly up there with Spiderman’s, in terms of comic-book implausibility. He was diagnosed with a pretty icky condition called Crohn’s disease last year, started talking to other sufferers online, and heard plenty of stories about how other people are attempting to treat it. Some of these stories were further from the mainstream than others, and some just seemed crazy. He called out one particular idea for being dangerous and unfounded, and thus a hero was born.
Is it really so hard to imagine that he might’ve managed all this himself, and come to the conclusions he did through, y’know, thinking, rather than simply obeying his paymasters? Even if you think his conclusions are wrong, why not assume he just made a mistake? Why the need to fantasise about a dastardly plot?
But another question about the whole idea of pharmaceutical companies paying random bloggers to fake an opinion is: When has that ever happened?
I mean, are there any verified instances in any other field, of someone with a big financial interest individually paying off a whole bunch of little guys to so persistently and repetitively spout these opinions? If the only reason people like Rhys and Orac ever say anything negative about alternative medicine is for the regular paychecks, then they must be making some nice earnings on this nearly full-time job. And I know of nobody but “Big Pharma” who could possibly find such a thing worthwhile.
Also, Rhys was fifteen years old at the time of the infamous Bleachgate post. What the hell kind of corporate executive would sign off on a PR project like this? Think about how much shit they’d be in if any proof of these numerous alleged financial transactions ever turned up, even when they don’t involve minors.
Until someone can produce the receipts for all this pharma-whoring that’s supposed to be going on, the tedious “Big Pharma shill” accusation continues to be a lame distraction from the legitimate criticisms against alternative medicine, to which its proponents have no substantial response.