Posts Tagged ‘rhys morgan’

Remember that time some legitimate cancer researchers threatened to sue a 17-year-old kid who questioned the scientific credibility of their medical claims?

No, me neither.

But, after Rhys Morgan posted to his blog about the Burzynski Clinic a couple of months ago, he started getting bizarre, abusive, bullying, creepy, and borderline illiterate correspondence from the same self-professed representative of the clinic who I blogged about recently.

Partly because of Rhys’s involvement, this is no longer just a story of specialist interest. There was a minor fuss being kicked up by the skeptics who follow these things, and people like Ben Goldacre were trying to get it some wider coverage, but it was still fairly localised. It’s not anymore. It’s been retweeted by the likes of @stephenfry and @serafinowicz. It’s on BoingBoing. Thanks to Marc Stephens’s efforts to browbeat people into silence with utterly baseless talk of libel lawsuits, the internet’s pricked up its ears. The internet doesn’t take kindly to this sort of thing.

I was going to talk about the analysis of Burzynski’s published research, and the clever people who have watched and dissected the weird propaganda movie about his clinic, explaining why the very limited data available is entirely insufficient to justify the grandiose claims being made about cancer treatment.

But I don’t think I even need to go there. Given the way they’ve behaved lately, I consider myself entirely unburdened of any onus to sift through the history of their claims in a search for validity.

The guy in charge of the Burzynski Patient Group’s Marketing & Sponsorship (or someone pretending to be him) sent multiple emails to a 17-year-old blogger, harassing him into deleting from the internet every pertinent comment or remark he’d made, threatening to file a libel suit against him (despite every indication that he’s not actually a lawyer), and attached to one email photos of Rhys’s own house taken from Google Maps.

That is creepy to the point of fuck you in the ear. There is no plausible reason for acting like Marc Stephens has done if he had any coherent legal point to make, let alone a shred of scientific standing. Nothing that’s come out of the Burzynski Clinic this week – heck, nothing I’ve seen any evidence of from the last thirty years – supports the idea that there’s anything legitimate or ethically sound about the way they operate. They’re acting like morally deranged maniacs.

There’s more at the Quackometer, the Twenty-First Floor, the Sceptical Letter Writer, and the Skeptical Nurse.

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I’ve plugged them a couple of times on Twitter, but it occurs to me that I’m yet to mention the Super-Duper Woo-Fighting Duo (with capes!) here on the blog. The heroic pairing of noodlemaz and Rhys Morgan have teamed up and donned some extremely becoming outfits to take on the dastardly forces of nonsense that threaten to engulf the planet.

They do this by sitting down in front of microphones at their respective computers and chatting away at each other until they’ve got enough material for a podcast.

The focus, at least for the moment, is on the claims made by Jim Humble of Miracle Mineral Solution fame notoriety. This is the stuff that’s still being touted as a cure for AIDS, Hepatitis, cancer, and almost everything else. And it’s still a potentially harmful industrial bleach. And there’s still no scientific evidence backing up any claims of its usefulness.

It takes the form of a casual chat between friends more than a rigorously prepared and sharply edited production. So if you’re sufficiently engaged in the skeptical movement as a whole that you read their blogs (and you should), or want to find out just want dangerous bullshit Jim Humble really seems to believe, or are simply a fan of comfortable conversation and the word “Indeed”, then you should check these two out.

My recommendation is entirely unrelated to all the nice things they said about me in the second episode.

Oh, and this Strange Quarks thing is looking pretty nifty too.

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A brief report on my colossal achievements of the day.

Rhys Morgan posted a link on Twitter earlier today to this comment on a blog discussion about the notorious non-medicine Miracle Mineral Solution. It’s one of a series of comments in which someone called Maria asserts that Rhys’s father is using him to make money, by attacking fake medicine on other people’s blogs.

At one point, she even seems to claim that Rhys himself doesn’t exist – or at least, that the online presence attributed to him is actually a cynical ploy by his father to rake in the Big Pharma payouts.

I and hundreds of others have seen Rhys in the flesh and can confirm that he is neither a hologram nor an urban legend. So, this particular piece of alt-med lunacy is just funny.

Kash Farooq tweeted:

@rhysmorgan Ahh. “Big Pharma pays you” conspiracy, now is it? I preferred the conspiracy theory that claimed you didn’t exist.

To which I replied:

@kashfarooq This sounds like a fun game. @rhysmorgan shot JFK! #rhysmorganconspiracytheories

And thus a hashtag game was born. Some of my favourites include:

Soylent Green is @rhysmorgan!!

It was @rhysmorgan swimming in Loch Ness in the 1934 photograph

@rhysmorgan is just a big hole through which aliens enter the hollow earth

‘Peer reviewed’ actually means that @rhysmorgan checked it to make sure it fitted with Big Pharma’s agenda

Paul the octopus knew too much about @rhysmorgan.

And many, many more.

Apparently it was the third highest trending topic, either in all of Twitter or just in the UK, or something. I missed it because I was in a meeting. But it’s pretty awesome. This is the stuff I feel proud of these days. Maybe in years to come I’ll feel ashamed that I ever considered something like this an accomplishment. Especially if I ever actually get a damn novel finished.

Incidentally, I just thought of the title for this post now, several hours too late. Maybe it’s just as well I didn’t come up with it sooner because it’s terrible.

As a brief post-script, there are currently 51 comments on this post, and the debate seems to be carrying on. And it’s hilarious. Join the fun!

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