Normal, mentally healthy, citizens from all over the world send me copies of e-mail exchanges they’ve had with “quackbusters.” I’m always amused, and I always advise the same thing – “Do Not get involved in e-mail exchanges with these people.”
Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
When they ask why I advise that course of action, I try to explain the “mental set” of the average “quackbuster,” and I suggest that they simply avoid the aggravation of dealing with a form of mental illness. For that’s what I think they’re dealing with.
Former President Ronald Reagan, during his administration, was responsible for the “turning out” of various classes of mentally ill persons into the streets of America – without their medications – as a cost saving benefit. No American President, since, has chosen to re-instate those people to mental hospitals. So, on the streets of everyday America, we’ve come to expect to see those individuals, covered with dirt, long stringy hair, wild eyes, and a stench you can tangibly feel from 30 yards, mumbling, babbling, or shouting their version of normalcy into the ether. It doesn’t matter to them, one whit, that no one is listening, or cares to listen to their nonsense. Poor you, if you get cornered by one of these, and can’t extricate yourself quickly. Most people, caught in this kind of situation, I think, would want to go home and take a shower just to feel clean again.
Well, it’s kind of like that encountering a “quackbuster” on the internet.
In fact, it could be EXACTLY what you’ve encountered. Those of you who, like me, make use of Public Libraries for research, know what I’m speaking of. Public Libraries have free internet connections, and who is sitting there glaring into the computer screens? You guessed it. Either a rat died in the walls a while ago, or those three persons at the computers are responsible for the library rapidly emptying of other users.
I DID wonder who those glaring, un-medicated, people were communicating with on the net…
My advice to you, if you get an e-mail from a quackbuster soldier – file it away in a stink-proof corner of your hard drive, to be used later, if necessary, in a court of law. If you think that YOU get weird e-mails from these people, you should see the ones that “I” get. And, I relish them, and save them all for that day in court.
If you make the mistake of ENGAGING them in argument you run the risk of falling into the old adage “Never argue with a fool, for before long no one will be able to tell who is the fool…”
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate