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This site was unreachable for some hours on Tuesday 8 January due to a technical problem with the hosting ISP. (For the pointy heads among you - the IP address of the server was changed as part of a reorganisation and the change adversely affected the Domain Name Server. It wasn't just this site - it was hundreds.) Predictably, Mr William P O'Neill (using two different identities) started shrieking to the world that the site had been closed. As you can see, he was wrong. Both of him.
Some award winners are not grateful ... (12/1/2002)
I notified the Australian Vaccination Network about the honour they had received by winning the prestigious Anus Maximus Award for 2001 but they did not acknowledge my message or display the award logo on their site. I don't know whether they were just being very modest or whether they were ashamed that their nonsense had been given some recognition. Actually, I think it must be modesty because, as I have pointed out before, I doubt that they are capable of shame. If I ran an organisation devoted to harming children, I wouldn't want any publicity either.
... and some just fade away (12/1/2002)
The site that won the Anus Maximus Award in 2000 no longer exists. It was an advertising site for a cancer quack and featured a young boy dying of medulloblastoma, complete with tear-jerking appeals for money. The real objective of the site was to have the law changed so quacks could get at people with cancer (and their money). Thomas Navarro died on 19 November, 2001. For six weeks this site stayed there still asking for money, but now it is gone. Thomas is of no further use to the promoters, so the web site has been abandoned without even posting a memorial page. Why pay for hosting when the star of the campaign has gone? Expect a new dying child to start appearing on TV chat shows (and at Rep Dan Burton's disgusting committee hearings) real soon now.
Thomas Navarro died on 19 November, 2001. For six weeks after that, the advertising site exploiting his tragedy was still asking for money and saying how alive he was. Now the site has gone completely - there is nothing at http://www.cancerbusters.com at all. The people who were using him to advertise a quack cancer cure have no further need for him now and haven't even bothered to put up a memorial notice.
Wanted - small child with terminal cancer to use in an advertising campaign. Must be cute and look sick. Hillbilly parents an advantage. (I'm sorry but we cannot accept applications from fictional children at this stage as there is not enough time to rehearse an actor before Rep Burton's next circus.)
Harassment Humour (12/1/2002)
What better way to start off the year than with a joke? The Gutless Anonymous Liar has emailed me and accused me of sending it death threats! Apparently the "authorities" have been informed. People with working brain cells will soon notice the strange paradoxes here - if I can't find an email address for it, how can I be sending it death threats, and how can it maintain its anonymity if it is complaining to "authorities"? I look forward to meeting it in a court somewhere. That may also help solve another mystery. Mr William P O'Neill (who has now invented 108 versions of my name) has asked me to prove that he exists. Someone suggested to me once, on very slim evidence, that Mr O'Neill and GAL may be the same entity. Perhaps when the "authorities" drag me in to meet GAL I can ask it.
Three Dead Children (12/1/2002)
One of the tactics of supporters of "alternative medicine" is to deflect criticism of quackery by pointing out that people sometimes die while under the care of real doctors. To rational people, this is not surprising as the people seeing doctors and being admitted to hospitals are sick. When a rare mistake by doctors is discovered, a feeding frenzy can sometimes break out and all discussion of "alternative medicine" is diverted by continual reference to the mistake. A recent example of this happened on the Usenet newsgroup misc.health.alternative ... [Read the rest of this article here.]
Madness abounds (12/1/2002)
The following email was sent to me about something on my Full Canvas Jacket site, but I thought it was worth sharing with a wider audience. There really are mad people out there who look sane. I have no idea why this person thinks I support the atrocity of mutilating the genitals of young girls, but she seems to be confusing what could have been a legitimate medical procedure to correct a problem with some barbaric ritual.
Subject: Yes for the mild form of female circumcision
I am a 26 years old mother and I support your opinion about elective female circumcision.I was circumcised 14 years ago by a doctor.He excised may clitoral hood and a small part of the labia minora which were protruded outside the labia majora.I reachs orgasm and enjoys sex so much.I am happy because I am circumcised I shall circumcise my daughter.Thank you. Susan M.Ali
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (19/1/2002)
I expressed an opinion about multiple chemical sensitivity in an alternative medicine forum and it was almost immediately suggested that I couldn't talk about it if I didn't have it. Part of my reply to this said: "MCS, like agoraphobia or fear of spiders, requires the sort of treatment that overcomes the anxiety and phobia. That is because it is a psychological complaint. Being psychological does not make it any less real or debilitating to the patient". The list then went feral as the true believers rushed to defend a "disease" which has no specific symptoms or signs because it can cause anything or look like anything, has no known physical cause that is scientifically or logically plausible, and for which no treatment will work if it has anything to do with conventional medicine. Leaving aside the obvious link with financial fraud (I'm sick, you caused it, pay me!), MCS, like its cousin Gulf War Syndrome, seems to be driven by a coalition of medical quacks, pseudoscientists and conspiracy theorists. I will have more to say about this over the next few weeks, and I expect that there may be some unfavourable reaction to my opinions.
Brain-dead MLM scammer of the week (19/1/2002)
Do you want a definition of "stupid"? This pack of MLM scamsters selling snake oil sent me several identical messages. All were sent as responses to different messages I had posted to Usenet newsgroups. And sent from Yahoo! too, so the scammers don't get their own domain blocked for spamming. Honest people. Nice people. Liars. The emails all said:
MELASASK - WWW.MELASASK.COM
MelaSask is looking for 500 new Marketing Executives to sell our oils, products, and services worldwide.
Find out more about MelaSask @ http://www.melasask.com
Email MelaSask @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Holidays in 2002!
Joseph D. Levins - MelaID# 33067481
Phone: 1-306-244-3916 MelaID# 33067481
Order: 1-800-282-3000 MelaID# 33067481
Enroll: 1-800-262-0600 MelaID# 33067481
Joseph D. Levins
Harassment Hilarity (19/1/2002)
The jokes just keep getting better! Now the Gutless Anonymous Liar says that it owns the ratbags.com domain. There appears to be some bureaucratic hitch in the Internet, however, as a whois enquiry shows that it apparently still belongs to me. Perhaps GAL will sort this out soon. In another burst of idiocy, GAL tried to send an email to a group of people in the Australian Computer Society (coincidentally, Mr William P O'Neill has mentioned the ACS on occasions, too, and has even sent them a fax) but it couldn't type the addresses correctly so nobody got the message. As it had pretended that the email came from somewhere in ratbags.com, I received the bounce message. It still cackled to me that it had written to my "colleagues", though. What a moron!
Shaken Baby Syndrome (26/1/2002)
Everyone who has had a child or has had to mind a child has at some time become irritated almost to the point of despair by the actions of the child. Most of us, however, do not reduce the annoyance by killing the child. Unfortunately, however, a small number of people are driven to violence and cause damage and even death to children, usually by shaking the child. It is bad enough when this happens, but the events are made worse by the actions of people who apologise for and find excuses for the killers. Yes, shaken baby syndrome can result from a single, unpredicted and unpremeditated error of judgement just as a death by motor vehicle accident can be a unique event. In both cases, however, there is responsibility for the death and the law recognises the crime of manslaughter for these tragic accidents. It is almost beyond comprehension for sane people that there are those who would see shaken baby syndrome not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to advance an agenda. I have spoken about how the despicable anti-vaccination liars have adopted a murderer with a history of violence as a hero, but the use of "vaccine damage" as a defence is becoming more widespread. I received an email from Pamela Rowse, the founder of the Kierra Harrison Foundation for Child Safety, containing her views on this abuse of the judicial process. I am happy to give her views a wider audience and you can read her article here.
Let's recognise some achievements (26/1/2002)
Nominations for the 2002 Nobel Prizes close on 1 February, so it's a bit late for this year. To minimise disappointment for those who were a bit tardy in getting the paperwork done, I have revived a quest I conducted during 2000. I didn't get much, or even any, response then so I thought I would try it again. The American Society for Microbiology has a page listing significant events in medicine over the last 125 years. (I know it starts in 1861 and that's 141 years, but ...) As Chiropractic has been going for about that long and Homeopathy even longer, I invite members of those professions to provide similar lists of advances arising from research in their disciplines. A suitable prize will be awarded to the person who lists the most breakthroughs. Don't forget the Nobel Prizes. Everyone else is invited to predict the results. Pick a number between zero and one ...
Harassment Hoot!! (26/1/2002)
Is it any wonder that my telephone bills are so high when my own daughter is ringing a Canadian ISP to connect to the Internet? We have perfectly good ISPs here in Australia that she can use for the cost of a local call. What makes it stranger is that she chose to use the very same ISP as Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group has been using recently to send nonsensical messages to newsgroups. And she even created a new Hotmail account to send the following message to the newsgroup misc.health.alternative. I just don't know what the young people are coming to these days. Seriously though, we all had a good laugh at this one and asked ourselves why Mr O'Neill persists in bringing my family into his mad vendetta when it is obvious that the tactic is not going to make me go away.
Hi I'm new to this group and have a question about my father.
I'm 12 years old and live Australia. My father, who is quite a bit older than I am is having problems. He hallucinates all the time and thinks bad people are always after him and he hears voices coming out of the toilet. He's gone to a lot of doctors and they tell him he should have brain surgery. My dad doesn't want to have surgery again. He recently had a quadruple bypass and if fed up with surgery.
Any suggestions would be helpful.
New South Wales
[Sent from the IP address 188.8.131.52]
And still they write ... (26/1/2002)
More people have written to me asking for help with their inchlessness. Maybe it was true what your mother said about activities that could make you go blind. Some people certainly don't seem to be able to see the quite clear disclaimer on my page about penis enlargement spam. Perhaps I should send them a copy of the famous Make Penis Fast chain letter.