Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
For years I have been monitoring the operations of a group that originally called itself the “Quackbusters.”
The name was a play on the popularity of the movie “Ghostbusters.” The reality is that there was, and is now, an organized conspiracy, centered in the US, to control, through information manipulation, certain aspects of health care.
The plot has always been pretty much the same – the attacking and discrediting of people, organizations, ideas, concepts, etc., that challenge the highly profitable, but dangerous, and ineffective, US health care system. In short they are simply a misinformation campaign.
The Quackbusters have had limited success in their campaigns, usually fooling only the least informed of the population. But they have caused significant damage to that same population in those areas where they have been successful – like Autism – where they have successfully, so far, prevented an official understanding of the cause of Autism, and hence, prevented solution of the problem of Autism and other Neurological issues.
My regular readers know that for years, I have taken on, in my professional Crisis Management Consultant role, this so-called “Quackbuster” operation with success. I am, without doubt “Public Enemy Number One” in quackbuster land. I also encourage, and support, others to deal with this conspiracy up front, rather than just focusing on defending against the attacks. To me, it is important to make the “Quackbusters,” individually, and in their conspiracy, not just PART of the argument, but the ENTIRE argument in any case.
Has this been successful? Yes, it has, for the result is that the older version of the quackbuster conspiracy, for the most part, is completely gone in more ways than one: (1) the original players have disappeared into the woodwork, so to speak, and (2) their replacements, for the most part, are so scared of being personally “outed” they HIDE behind fake names, fake identities, etc.
I’ll explain this power shift in the quackbuster ranks, and how it all works, below. Why? Because it is time to shut this whole operation down and see about putting their key people where they belong.
Constantly I am asked, referring to what is commonly called the Quackbuster operation, “Who’s paying these people to do this stuff?
Well, now I know the answer to that question, and shortly, after some simple reading, so will you…
The shift to “skepticism” (pseudo-skepticism)…
I have always known pretty much how it all, the quackbuster consiracy, worked. Pretty much. It would have been nice, in the past, to have found one special place that wrote the checks, so to speak. For then it would have been an easy thing to mount one destructive assault, wiping that operation from the American scene. But it was never that way, or that easy, exactly.
What used to be isn’t happening now. Certain parts of the quackbuster operation have always been self-funded, not meaning that some person put up their own money, but that certain people found “Expert Witness Fees” testifying in Court cases. Others, it became obvious, were being, and are being, paid for their activities “under the table,” so to speak.
There is an interesting common thread. For sure, there has always been an unsavory element in the quackbuster ranks. I suspect, and can show examples, that the largest part of the quackbuster leadership (the ones you can see) is provided by those that have failed in their choice of profession. Their fractured view of themselves leads them to attack their betters – and frankly, their betters includes just about everyone. This has always been a consistent theme. It still is. Take Stephen Barrett as an example.
These days, as I have explained before, the old National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) based quackbuster gang has evaporated – except, of course, in the fact that they are being sued as a Co-Defendant in the wonderful Doctor’s Data v Stephen Barrett Federal Court case. The newer operation, for the most part, is run by the “Skeptics” (pseudo-skeptics), who, I have found are inhabited by an even more unsavory batch of human detritus than the original NCAHF based operation.
The primary thrust of the pseudo-skeptics is control of health care information flow on the internet. They have two areas of focus: (1) The first page of Google and other search engine ranking, and (2) control, by organized anonymous manipulation, of Wikipedia health pages. They want their version of life to be the only thing read on the internet. Below, take a look at who pseudo-skeptic “Tim Farley” is, and what he does.
But, the Skeptics (pseudo-skeptics) made some BIG mistakes…
And, it is going to cost them…
The old adage – “Give then enough rope and they will hang themselves” applies to the pseudo-skeptics. Several times I am aware of, within the last couple years, or so, the pseudo-skeptics, easily lured into reaction, came out to play on the internet, intentionally organizing and executing a “Googlebomb,” clearly with full intent to engage, not only in Intentional Malice, but in Conspiracy to Commit Intentional Malice.
The most obvious, and expected, of the “Googlebomb” attacks was, of course, against Doctor’s Data. You can read about that here. Another attack was/is against Stanislaw Burzynski MD. I’ll tell you more about that in another article, later on. Then too, there is the attack against the Geiers.
Why is this going to cost them? Because what they did is all traceable, and hence, legally actionable: who organized each campaign, who participated, etc. The conspiracy is right there for all to see if you know where to look – and we do know where to look.
And, for reasons I will explain down near the bottom of this article, they are all very much afraid right now – and they should be.
The skeptic (pseudo-skeptic) key players…
So that we fully understand who and what we are dealing with, in terms of the “pseudo-skeptics,” let’s take a look at their key players. Understand that this group gathers its membership from odd places. It seems to be a conglomeration of people who simply can’t make it on the normal social scene. Virtually every one of them I come across has some normally unacceptable oddity – the least of which is Atheism (a lack of basic Judeo-Christian morality). We’ll divide the key players into two subcategories (a) Key People, (b) and Key Groups.
(A) Key people:
(1) James Randi – real name Randall James Hamilton Zwinge, the head of the so-called James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), is, it looks to me, a failed professional magician who simply couldn’t make it on the magic circuit. So what does Zwinge do? He turns on his fellow magic performers and his “show” becomes debunking his competitors (what a fun guy…). “Magic” has always been like professional “Wrestling.” It is all about show, and everybody knows that. So, as a career move, that didn’t work well for Zwinge. It looks to me that all Zwinge did was to anger other magicians.
So, what does Zwinge do? He changes direction, and starts de-bunking, along with Paul Kurtz of CSICOP, psychics and the paranormal. Of course, as we all know, they bumbled that operation, so it went nowhere, in fact, most likely, helped to PROMOTE interest in the paranormal – after a while even GOVERNMENTS were researching the subject. Commercial television jumped on the paranormal subject, for a long while, in what were some of the first reality shows.
It’s hard, I guess to put your best, and fullest, efforts into something and have it come out exactly the opposite of your intent. Zwinge and Kurtz seemed to have experienced that feeling. Then, even worse, Zwinge caught the wrath of famous psychic Uri Geller who pursued Zwinge through the courts suing, and suing, and suing – inflicting the legal equivalent of a judicious, repeated, beating with a Nine-Iron, on Zwinge.
So, off Zwinge and Kurtz go, changing targets once again. This time focusing on Chiropractic, not noticing, apparently, that the American Medical Association (AMA) had just almost lost their professional lives, just barely survived the Wilk V AMA lawsuit from the Chiropractors.
Then the pseudo-skeptics branched out, attacking one after another of cutting-edge health care ideas.
Kurtz seems to have personally dropped out somewhere along the way, leaving Zwinge and CSICOP’s successor Center For Inquiry (CFI) in the game.
Click here to listen to an audio tape of Zwinge (Randi) pursuing his primary interest. Yes, that was a young boy, Zwinge (Randi) was soliciting sex from. I have seven of those tapes in my files.
Zwinge (Randi)’s funding? $195,000 annual salary, plus expenses, from the James Randi Educational Foundation.
(2) David Gorski MD – allegedly a breast cancer surgeon, he bills himself, on the internet, as “Orac.” I call him “Orac the Nipple Ripper.” What I said of him before bears repeating:
“Every day Gorski gets out of bed and heads to work where he claims, on his website, that he “is a surgical oncologist specializing in breast cancer and an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Wayne State University School of Medicine based at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.”
Sounds impressive? It isn’t. There is absolutely no recognized medical specialty known as “surgical oncologist.” It is a made up term. One to soften, I think, the reality that there is a whole male dominated mini-industry promoting the horror of hacking off women’s breasts as a health measure.
Having read Gorski’s writing about subjects, once you get by the insipid whining you can discern his basic anger at the world – you find the inner Gorski – and it isn’t a happy day.
Jake Crosby over at Age of Autism (AOA) carefully researched Gorski and found what supports the insipid rager. Gorski heads up what’s called a “research project” funded by the world’s largest vaccine maker Sanofi-Aventis – a 39 million dollar, five year plan to “study,” it looks to me, pretend science. You can read Jake’s excellent article about Gorski by clicking here. Frankly, it is obvious what Gorski’s real function is.
(3) Steven Novella MD, so-called Neurologist, and head man at the New England Skeptics organization. Although Novella claims to be on Staff at Yale University it appears he is really no more than an employee of a medical center that rents the “Yale” name by the month, and part of the deal is that their doctors get some kind of fakey title, making it appear they are actually on staff at Yale. I could never find Novella’s name on any class schedule for Yale.
Novella made a very stupid mistake taking on Dr. Oz publicly claiming, as skeptics usually do, all sorts of things about Oz. Oz brought Novella on his show and made a fool out of him. I wrote an article about this you can read by clicking here. You’ll get a good laugh.
Novella’s funding is under investigation.
(4) Tim Farley – is someone most of you have never heard of, but you will. He is a pseudo-skeptic with special talents. He runs a pseudo-skeptic website called www.skeptools.com , where he instructs pseudo-skeptics on how to work together to control search engine positioning and health related articles on Wikipedia. Farley lectures, and conducts classes at pseudo-skeptic conferences on how to do this. In short, Farley is the conspiracy facilitator. His LinkedIn page says:
“Experienced software engineer, technical writer and researcher with over 20 years experience in the software industry. Extensive knowledge of computer networking technologies and protocols including computer security issues. Excellent researcher and developer of new ideas and technologies, including key patentable techniques. Superb presentation and writing skills, allowing this research to be communicated internally and externally.”
Farley also teaches people how to hack into other’s websites.
“Taught classes in reverse engineering of binary software, application security, ethical hacking and other computer security concepts all over the United States for corporate and government employees.”
(5) Peter Bowditch (Ratbags) – isn’t really important in and of himself. On a personal level he isn’t much. His activities are those of a minor kiss-up. Professionally, like most pseudo-skeptic leadership, Bowditch is a loser, and doesn’t seem to have an income outside of “skepticism.” I have the distinct impression that Bowditch is in love with, and will do anything to impress the character who calls himself James Randi (Zwinge).
Bowditch recently shut down an organization he created years ago called “The Australian Council Against Health Fraud,” an affiliation with Stephen Barrett and bobbie baratz, to spend his time working directly with Zwinge, managing the “The Australian Skeptics.”
Bowditch, himself, is not important. He is just one of the, what I call, the Offshore Defamation Locations (ODL). What Bowditch is typical of is the pseudo-skeptic’s use of offshore websites to defame individuals in the US, knowing it is almost impossible to sue someone that far away, and in an entirely different court system. The pseudo-skeptics in the US then quote someone like Bowditch, or link to his site, hiding behind (they think) the shield of internet protections against Defamation (Barrett v Rosenthal).
There are quite a few of these Offshore Defamation Locations (ODL). However, it is easy to tie them into the pseudo-skeptic conspiracy, centering them in a US Court jurisdiction.
(6) Various Players – There are others who get involved in special projects, but for now we’ll leave them right where they are – ready to be sued.
(B) The Groups are the organizational and funding agents:
(1) The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) – although not the largest, or best funded group, this one gets the most attention due to the flamboyant homosexual activities of its leader described above, making attention in the media over the ‘The Amazing’ Randi, renowned supernatural investigator, immersed in mystery about partner’s alleged ID theft.” So I don’t have to repeat myself – read what I said about this so-called group below:
“Randi, in his megalomania, has actually, magically I guess, created himself as an arbiter of all things, even publicly offering the occasional “Million Dollar Challenge,” setting up (laugh here) parameters in his challenge which allow him, and him alone, to change those parameters as he goes along, eliminating, of course, the possibility of anyone being able to collect on the so-called million. Don’t be surprised – this gambit is a cornerstone of this form of skepticism.
More, Randi, astoundingly, actually found someone to fund, and help him set up (get ready to choke with laughter) the “James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF)”. Before you laugh too loudly I want you to take a look at an attached document called an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990. JREF reported, in 2010, a total income of $999,971.00 and a Total Asset claim of $1,736,101. Click here to see the available JREF Form 990.
Under the JREF Form 990 Summary Section – Box One, asking for the organization’s mission, JREF answers “To promote critical thinking and investigate claims of the paranormal.”
All of the Form 990 for JREF is not available to the public. One section called the Form Schedule B, a list of, with addresses and amounts, of contributors who individually contribute over $5,000 is not there. So, recently, I sent an email to James Randi asking:
“I’ve been busy, or I would have contacted you before. But, now that I have you – could you send me a copy of your JREF IRS Form 990 Schedule B for calendar years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010? That info would be helpful for my series on you. We’ve discussed the issue of your funding sources before, as I recall (something to do with Stephen Barrett needing money).”
Randi was rude in his response to my polite inquiry. He said:
“”Timmie”: It’s difficult to believe that you – whoever you are – can be so deluded… But I’ve dealt with woo-woos before, so I shouldn’t be surprised. Be sure to scan the index of my next book. You won’t be there…”
Why would I want to see his Form 990 Schedule Bs for five years? Well (raise your eyebrows here), JREF took in $368,445 in ANONYMOUS contributions in 2010. Huh? Multiply that by the six years I was asking for and we get a total of $2,216,670, allegedly, “To promote critical thinking and investigate claims of the paranormal?”
Who in the world would give a basically uneducated mini-twerp like James Randi $2,216,670 to promote critical thinking or investigate the paranormal? Or for any reason? More, Randi takes a $195,000, per year, salary out of this organization.
Now you see why I want to see those Schedule Bs. What’s REALLY going on here?
(2) The Center For Inquiry, Inc (CFI), based in Amherst, New York – the larger and better funded group.
“The Center For Inquiry, Inc (CFI), based in Amherst, New York shows on their Form 990 that they took in $5,242,304 in Total 2009 Income, and they had, that year, Total Assets of $3,017,144. Their Schedule B ANONYMOUS contributions totaled $2,318,652.
More, CFI claimed that they received, in 2009, in addition to their anonymous contributions, a so-called “Management Fee Income” of $2,458,156. What do you suppose they managed? And who paid them to manage it? Maybe they manage Wikipedia health care articles? How about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) bringing skeptic, including Stephen Barrett‘s, articles to the first page of Google?
All of this income, they claim on their form 990 Mission line is for the purpose of “Held world congress and training session, conducted seminars, and secured grant for library expansion.”
Note that they never said what the “world congress” was for, what the “training sessions” trained people to do, what the “conducted seminars” were for, nor mentioned what “the library” was for.
More – and you are going to love this part – I found more than one CFI non-profit corporation based at the same New York address. I found, in addition to CFI, the “Center For Inquiry Development Fund,” and the “Center For Inquiry Holding Corporation.” You can look at sample of their Form 990’s by clicking on their blue-highlighted name. In short, the Amherst operation apparently brings in about seven million dollars a year.
Pretty good take in for “skepticism” don’t you think? Or is there something else going on here?
The Long and the Short of it…
There is an easily traceable pseudo-skeptic conspiracy going on. It originates in the US, and, consequently, each and every component, each and every participant, no matter where they are, is subject to US law, and hence, US Courts. Its sole purpose, now, is to control through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques and anonymous manipulation of Wikipedia, information flow about health care on the internet.
The legal question I see is simple. “Are the legal requirements for a Civil RICO Act lawsuit present?”
Why do I ask this? Because a successful lawsuit under a Civil RICO complaint carries severe penalties for the Defendants. Jeffrey E. Grell, Esq, on his website www.ricoact.com, writes a superb examination of how Civil RICO works. In one part Jeff describes the most commonly used section of the RICO Statute – section 1962(c) claims
Section 1962(c) prohibits any defendant person from operating or managing an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. So long as a civil RICO plaintiff is injured by reason of the defendant’s operation or management of the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering, the plaintiff is entitled to treble damages, attorneys’ fees and costs under section 1964(c) (commonly referred to as RICO’s civil liability provision).
Section 1962(c)’s utility stems from its breadth. Section 1962(a) and (b) claims are relatively narrow. To have standing under sections 1962(a) and (b), the plaintiff must allege more than injury flowing from the racketeering activity. Under section 1962(a), a civil plaintiff has standing only if he has been injured by reason of the defendants’ investment of the proceeds of racketeering activity. Under section 1962(b), a civil plaintiff has standing only if he has been injured by reason of the defendants’ acquisition or maintenance of an interest in or control over an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. These distinctions will be discussed in greater detail in the section of this memorandum that is particularly concerned with the section 1962(a) and 1962(b) claims.
The elements of a section 1962(c) claim can be described in many ways. Generally, to establish a claim under section 1962(c), the plaintiff must prove that (1) a defendant person (2) was employed by or associated with an enterprise (3) operated or managed (4) through a pattern (5) of racketeering activity. To establish civil liability, a plaintiff must also establish injury to business or property by reason of the pattern of racketeering activity.
But, more than this “treble damages” situation is the fact that a victory in a Civil RICO case can easily, and with the slightest of pressure, roll the Defendants into a whole new Courtroom – this time involving State or Federal Prosecutors in a CRIMINAL RICO case. After all, Plaintiff must allege, and prove in a Civil RICO case, that the Defendants engaged in a criminal activity. Any current Federal Court case, can, and should Subpoena the Form 990 Schedule B (anonymous contributor) information of the two pseudo-skeptic groups.
In short – the legal question I see is “Are the skeptics intentionally engaging in, and organizing, fraudulent activities as defined under section 1962(c)?”
And the practical question I ask is “Are there deep pockets out there in pseudo-skeptic-land capable of paying treble damages?”
And, stay tuned.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate