Doctor’s Data Seeks Federal Court Shutdown Order for Barrett/Quackwatch/Skeptics…

Opinion by Consumer Advocate  Tim Bolen 


Most of my readers are quite familiar with the sleazy antics of Stephen Barrett and his coterie.  So what I tell you today will be no surprise.  No surprise at all.

But before I tell you about what just happened in the Doctor’s Data versus Stephen Barrett Federal court case I want to familiarize you with Federal Law  18 USC § 1512 – Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant.

Just below are important excerpts from that law, relevant to this article:

(b) Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to—

(1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;

(2) cause or induce any person to—

(A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding;

(B) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding;

(C) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or

(D) be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process; or

shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(c) Whoever corruptly—

(1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or

(2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(d) Whoever intentionally harasses another person and thereby hinders, delays, prevents, or dissuades any person from—

(1) attending or testifying in an official proceeding; or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.

What happened in Court…

Recently filed Court documents clearly show that Doctor’s Data is asking the Judge in the case to put a stop to Barrett, and his cronies, intimidating witnesses and prospective witnesses in the Doctor’s Data v Stephen Barrett Federal court case.

Below is an excerpt from a document you can read in its entirety by clicking here.  In fact, in that file are four separate documents, all related.  The first is the actual Motion, the second the confidentiality agreement, the third is the agreement signature page, and the fourth is Barrett’s threatening email to Joe Mercola MD.

What you are about to read is unusual in court cases.  But, as we all know, there comes a time when society’s scum, like Stephen Barrett, are going to get dragged into court for their activities.  So, you can expect, from this sort of low life form (Barrett) that non-acceptable activities will be brought to bear.  Witness Intimidation is one of those activities.  There are legal ways to combat that.  Below is one of them.  Above, the criminal statute, is another.

What Doctor’s Data is asking the court to do is to prohibit, by “Protective Order,” Barrett, his associates, or any of the other Defendants, from using the media, including the internet, to harass or intimidate witnesses or potential witnesses, not only during the trial, but for ten years after it is over.  Violation of the Court’s order would result in “Contempt of Court” charges being filed against the perpetrators.

Contempt of Court” charges would have serious consequences for Barrett, his minions, and “aiders and abettors (skeptics),” a term described below.

Indirect Criminal Contempt—Persons Against Whom the Action May Be Commenced

To be held in criminal contempt for violation of a court order, the defendant must be an original party, one legally identified with an original party, or an aider and abettor of one of the above enumerated persons. Backo v. Local 281, United Brothers of Carpenters and Joiners, 438 F.2d 176, 180-81 (2d Cir. 1970), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 858 (1971); Reich v. United States, 239 F.2d 134, 137 (1st Cir. 1956), cert. denied, 352 U.S. 1004 (1957). But see Manness v. Meyers, 419 U.S. 449 (1975) (attorney giving good faith legal advice not to be found in contempt).

So, here is the excerpt from the court documents…


What’s really important about this action…

We are seeing the REAL ISSUES in this case being directly addressed – the actual day-to-day activities of Barrett, his minions, and co-conspirators.   From the above excerpt let’s look at one very important part:

“Viral” devastation?   I’ll explain – the typical  “skeptic” (pseudo-skeptic) internet trick is to attack someone and “take it viral” meaning to dominate the internet with their negative attack on some one, or some thing.  They try and create what they call “The Streisand Effect,” attempting to create the total ruination of their target.  Below is an excerpt from the person, Tim Farley, who designs and maintains this campaign, and teaches this method to the co-conspirators.

“What is a google bomb?

You may have noticed me mention google bombs occasionally. They are incredibly useful in the promotion of special purpose websites such as the ones skeptics build. Essentially it involves as many different web sites as possible linking to a specific target site with a specific piece of text.

Google uses an algorithm called Page Rank which uses (among other things) number of other sites which link to a given site, to determine its ranking in results. The algorithm has changed over the years since the original patent, and many aspects of it are now considered trade secrets by Google. But it is known that aside from the number of incoming links, other aspects which are considered are the content of the target site and the text used to link to the site.

Page rank and algorithms like it can give an idea of the overall importance of a site on the web, but how are results for individual searches ranked? That has to be decided in a way that is specific to the search being done. And so Google considers how the text of the search relates to the text on the target page, and also (crucially) the text used to link to the site.

And so if hundreds or thousands of web sites all decide to link to a given target with a given piece of text, it will affect where that site appears in Google searches for that text.

Why is this important?

Studies have shown that since the rise of search engines like Google, the vast majority of users on the net rely on them almost exclusively as a navigation tool. If you are an experienced user of the Internet, this may seem alien to you. After all, aren’t bookmarks far faster and more reliable? Can’t one easily type a URL? I understand your confusion.

The fact remains, there are huge numbers of people out there that are not comfortable with typing a URL or with maintaining a list of bookmarks. They simply type the name of the site they want into the search box in their browser and find it in the results. They do this because it works.

Naive users notwithstanding, successful webmasters know from examining their logs that the vast majority of their incoming traffic comes from search engines. There are entire businesses oriented around optimizing a given business website for specific search terms. It is called search engine optimization or SEO. SEO experts know that whether you appear in the first page of search results is crucial to the success of your web site. In fact, there have been severaldocumented incidents where Google has decreased the page rank of sites for one reason or another, causing a huge drop in traffic. This has even spawned lawsuits on occasion.

In the skeptic movement we know we must get the word out to what Michael Shermer calls “fence sitters” — people who have no strong opinion on skeptical topics. If someone is considering visiting a psychic or a homeopath, it can be crucial that they read some skeptical material about the topic first. In order for that to happen, they have to be able to find our sites easily. Ideally, they should find our sites accidentally while searching for the very things we oppose. We can be a huge force for good by making sure our content is easily found by people like this.”

This Motion will address this issue, and this activity, directly.  More, I absolutely HOPE Barrett, his minions, and his “aiders and abbetors” (skeptics) violate the Protective Order once it is enacted by the court.

Why?  Because the federal court, under a Contempt Citation, has almost unlimited power to, for instance, simply shut down their internet presence in its entirety.  Forever.

And, it is time for that…

Stay tuned.  There is more coming.

Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate