Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
Monday, October 10th, 2005, is a day to watch – for Stephen Barrett gets his date in Court, again – and I don’t think he’s going to like it.
A couple years back, top “quackbuster” propagandist Stephen Barrett, a failed MD who describes himself as “a retired Psychiatrist,” took it upon himself to attack the age-old Chiropractic profession. He even made up a new website “chirowatch” or something like that, to criticize the profession. He began to talk as though he knew something about it – drawing, I guess, on his life experiences as a part-time MD in an Allentown, Pennsylvania mental hospital.
Barrett, particularly took an interest in one Tedd Koren DC, a well known Chiropractic advocate, author, Publisher, and seminar leader. Barrett, of course, did the usual “sliming” of Koren on his dubious website “quackwatch.com.”
But more – When Koren was unimpressed with Barrett’s churlish behavior, Barrett, apparently then contacted an ally of his in the offices of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Then the fun began (sarcasm intended).
The FTC, or at least Barrett’s buddy, began to send Koren letters demanding that he (Koren) stop publishing “criticisms of vaccines, etc.” Koren’s company “Koren Publications” provides chiropractic offices, nationwide, with interesting literature. One of those pieces of literature criticizes vaccines – pointing out their inherent dangers.
“Vaccines,” and their components like thimerasol, have become a world-wide health issue – with evidence pointing to the fact that vaccines, themselves, cause autism… But, Barrett’s buddy at the FTC started using FTC stationery, apparently without FTC approval, to try and shut Koren up.
Huh? Since when did an employee at the FTC acquire the right to tell people what they could, or couldn’t, say in America?
The assault against Koren went on for a couple years, and Koren withstood. Then things changed. Washington attorney Jim Turner jumped into the fray.
That was the end for Barrett’s ally at FTC – for Turner simply made an appointment with FTC management. FTC dropped the action against Koren, and transferred the offending employee to Federal Siberia – pretty much ending “quackbuster” influence at FTC…
Apparently Barrett was livid that Koren, through Turner, was able to slap down his FTC flunky so easily, and so thoroughly. Barrett filed a suit against Koren making some vague, and strange, claims.
Vague, and Strange?…
Barrett, apparently, took a “correspondence course“ in the law (snort).
Those of you, in the health world, who have taken the time to leaf through Barrett’s goofy website “quackwatch.com” probably, like me, wonder what mushrooms the old boy puts on his pizza – for he has a view of health care that couldn’t be duplicated by filming through the bottom of an old Coca-Cola bottle left in the desert.
Don’t expect Barrett’s view of “the law” to drift away from his normal state of mind. There is no doubt that Stephen Barrett lives in his own world. There is an old joke, circulating for years, that the initials “MD” stand, not for “Medical Doctor” but for “Medical Deity.” If there was EVER anyone that personified this statement – it’s Stephen Barrett – for he doesn’t “make statements, or issue opinions.” He “makes pronouncements” like he was some Middle-Eastern Poobah – and he expects his subjects to lick his feet in appreciation. In fact, he has his own little following that does exactly that.
His lawsuits against his critics reflect that attitude.
So, Now What?
Well, it’s actually easy. The really good thing about Barrett is that, when properly exposed, Barrett is his own worst enemy. Barrett, we know, stomped HIMSELF into the ground, in a California Courtroom a few years ago, when he got himself (insert laughter here) declared “biased, and unworthy of credibility…”
Even better, is when Barrett, “Appealed” that decision and was then similarly declared, in a PUBLISHED Appeals Court decision (insert MUCH MORE laughter here).
There is a simple tactic that I recommend to everyone that faces a “quackbuster” in Court – let them talk – then cross-examine them carefully, and methodically – kind of like giving them a verbal enema (high colonics). Every time, without exception they’ll spew the results of that enema. And, the results are always the same. Barrett is predictable. He’ll spew his odorous “pronouncements.” This time – in his own home town.
If you want to watch – drop by 504 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101. It’ll start at 9:00AM.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate