And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust (5/10/2019)
For the second week in a row there has been good news out of the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission as another naturopath, Barbara O'Neill, has been given a lifetime ban on providing any sort of treatment. Finally, the acronym authorities are exerting their authority to shut down a quack and provide the protection to citizens that they are supposed to provide. There are still too many naturopaths and other charlatans out there, but remember that old cliché from Chairman Mao about a journey of a thousand miles and that first step.
To their credit, the HCCC has published not only the notice of the ban but the complete justification with all the evidence. This means that there is no way back for the naturopath – she's gone and gone forever.
It is interesting to see the sort of "education" and "experience" that someone can claim (without evidence) in order to fool potential customers. Mrs O'Neill claimed to have nursing experience but her last work as a nurse was as a trainee in 1976 (she never completed training). She claimed to have a Diploma in Naturopathy awarded in 1990 but the now-deceased "Thompsonian Institute" appears to have been a one man band that was never registered as any sort of training organisation. Similarly, her claim to have a Diploma in Nutrition & Dietetics is also linked to an extinct training organisation (with the hilarious name of ICANT) that existed for a while but was never registered to provide any sort of recognised training. It turns out that she doesn't even meet the requirements for membership of the naturopaths' social club, sorry, professional association.
Mrs O'Neill had been working at Misty Mountain Health Retreat, but as the place is run by her husband maybe her CV wasn't given the critical attention that usually goes with getting a job in the health industry.
I could go through the HCCC statement in detail but it's probably easier for all concerned if you read it for yourself. The important part is the public statement of the ban, which you can read below.
The Commission issues the following public statement under section 41A(2)(b) [o]f theAct:
The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission conducted an investigation into the professional conduct of Mrs Barbara O'Neill, an unregistered practitioner who provides services as a naturopath, nutritionist and health educator.
The complaints under investigation alleged that Mrs O'Neill makes dubious and dangerous health claims regarding infant nutrition, causes and treatment of cancer, antibiotics and vaccinations that are not evidence based or supported by mainstream medicine.
Some of the non-evidence based comments made in Mrs O'Neill's publications include:
The Commission's investigation found that Mrs O'Neill has limited qualifications in the area of nutrition and dietetics, which she attained more than 10 years ago. Mrs O'Neill has not taken any steps to maintain and enhance her knowledge and skills in her field of practice to deliver a professional service to the community.
Of particular concern to the Commission is that Mrs O'Neill cannot recognise and provide health advice within the limits of her training and experience. Mrs O'Neill considers herself qualified to provide health advice in highly complex and specialised areas such as cancer treatment, use of antibiotics for Strep B and immunisation in circumstances where it is clear her knowledge is limited.
The Commission's investigation found that Mrs O'Neill does not recognise that she is misleading vulnerable people (including mothers and cancer sufferers) by providing very selective information. The misinformation has huge potential to have a detrimental effect on the health of individuals as Mrs O'Neill discourages mainstream treatment for cancer, antibiotics and vaccinations.
On the basis of the above evidence the Commission found that Mrs O'Neill breached the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Practitioners in that she:
The Commission is satisfied that Mrs O'Neil poses a risk to the health or safety of members of the public. The Commission therefore makes the following prohibition order:
Mrs O'Neill is permanently prohibited from providing any health services, as defined in s4 of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 (the Act), whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. Health services includes "health education services" under s.4 of the Act and clause 1(g) of the Code of Conduct.
I make an offer of help (5/10/2019)
I'm an author myself (and I've just visited Alice's Wonderland to rearrange how Amazon handles and pays me for some books I've written) so I know the problems facing a first-time author. In 2015 the University of Wollongong granted a PhD to Dr Judy Wilyman for something to do with vaccination. The thesis came in for some criticism (including even some from me) because some believed that it tarnished the status of the institution and might even have damaged the value of other degrees from the same university. (Macquarie University granted me two qualifications but then embarrassed me by opening a school of chiropractic. I turn the testamurs to the wall every Friday to hide the shame.)
Dr Wilyman has now published the thesis in book form. Following my Kind and Gentle policy of reaching out to people with whom I might have had disagreement at some time, I picked up an olive branch and pointed it in Dr Wilyman's direction. I haven't heard back yet, but I'm optimistic.
Dear Dr Wilyman,
I'm a freelance journalist (MEAA Member Number 2011631) and I was wondering if I could get a review copy of your new book. I write for several publications including my own web sites which are read by several thousand people each week. Some of the reviews I have written can be found at https://peterbowditch.com/writing/writing.htm#reviews.
Thank you in advance.
Mail mystery (5/10/2019)
Subtitle: Whisky Tango Alpha Foxtrot Question Mark
It's not hate mail, more like love mail where people want to help me. The help seems misdirected, though, so I'm not sure of the value to the senders.
As well as this site I have another hobby – I drive all over the place doing media work for car rallies and for my own web site. (It's at https://ausrally.com/ if you are interested.) That site received its first ever spam a few days ago offering a business deal. Now I'm always looking for new ways to pay the costs of all that driving and photographing, but this spam had relevance to the interests of The Millenium Project as well, as you can see (I also would like more money to run this site).
Subject: [Welcome] Get More Bookings
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2019 03:21:50 +0000
From: "Bridal Bible Weddings" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Grow Your Wedding Business Less than a dollar a day Join our network and reach new clients. We reach over 80,000 prospects monthly and growing!
It's not really my line of business, but I have a friend who is a marriage celebrant so I think I'll pass the opportunity on to her. She might not be a Bible person, but a dollar is a dollar. You can see the email in all its glory here.
More mail mystery (5/10/2019)
This one misses on two counts – it is highly unlikely that I would want to have anything to do with "multi-channel marketing" (a new expression to hide the truth?) and Omegatrend slipped into the sewer where it belonged in 2006. Some work had been done by the writer, however, because the email wasn't addressed to the email address at the link on the bottom of pages here but to another ratbags.com address altogether. The writer also seems a bit unsure about what I do here despite offering to help me do it better, plus the number zero "0" is not the letter "o", but who's quibbling. (I did a big study at university on the effects of confusing characters like these, so I'm a sort of expert I suppose.)
From: "Monica Taylor" <email@example.com>
Subject: B2B Contact Lists for Omegatrend
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2019 12:50:58 -0500
We provide Business lists with information that can be used for multi-channel marketing.
We also specialize in appending services for your existing databases that might have missing or outdated information. If you are willing to give our service a try, please fill in your target audiences criteria below and one of our Business Development Executives will be in touch with you shortly with relevant details.
Industry Type: ________________
J0B Title: ________________
Our list includes:- Company Name, URL, Contact Name, Job titles, Email Address, Phone Numbers, Fax Numbers, Postal Address, Employee Size, Revenue Size, SIC C0de, Industry Type and an optional Media link.
Replying with the subject line changed to Exclude me will ensure that you do not hear from us again. My apologies in advance should you need to do this.
Looking forward to hear from you,
It's all Meryl for the rest of this week.
Hypocrisy 1 (5/10/2019)
Meryl Dorey, once president of the Australian Vaccination Network but now just the puppet master behind the curtain, decided to have a go at people who claim that professional anti-vaccination liars are in it for the money.
The little fact that the AVN has collected about $2 million over the years to pay for overseas trips and other essential activities related to lying about vaccines seems to have slipped her mind (I use the word "mind" loosely here). That figure is what people were able to ascertain from the annual reports submitted (usually very late) to the government body charged with the oversight of non-profit associations. More has come in since a change in the law has meant that only income over $250,000 a year has to be declared in any detail but we will never know how much.
To show another example of her hypocrisy, here's an email from 1999 posted to the AVN's mailing list (from which I was banned).
You're right Heidi (and I love the name of the page – vaxquax :-) Not only that, but he has given me the links to a lot of pro-choice sites that are missing on the AVN web site so he's done my research for me. I am very proud that the AVN site is at the top – we must be doing something right (of course, it's alphabetical too ;-).
Thanks for pointing this site out Jan – I don't really think there is much point in corresponding with the person who has done this – they are on somebody's payroll (or payrolls) – but we are in very good company and like Heidi says – anyone who goes to this page will get some great resources to choose from for information.
There is reason to believe that this is the first detected example of the Pharma Shill Gambit in the wild. So it's perfectly acceptable to accuse me of being "on somebody's payroll (or payrolls)" without any evidence but evidence of a lot of income can be ignored when it applies to her and her cohort of liars.
Two million dollars and counting but they "don't make a cent". Actually I suppose that last statement is true, because the make a lot more than "a" cent.
Hypocrisy 2 (5/10/2019)
According to Wikipedia, Dr Richard Pan is a Democratic California state senator representing California's 6th Senate district. He is also a practicing pediatrician. Prior to being elected to the State Senate in 2014, he was a member of the California State Assembly. Dr Pan was born to immigrant parents from Taiwan.
Dr Pan is a target of hatred by anti-vaccination liars because he initiated and pushed through legislation limiting the ability of parents to lie in order to avoid having their children vaccinated. As anyone who has observed the liar species knows, anyone who opposes them must be vilified, demonised and generally abused. Here's something Meryl Dorey thought was an appropriate comment to make about Dr Pan.
And did her followers criticise her for this or think that suggesting murder was going a bit far? Don't be silly.
I should point out that even as an atheist I'm offended by this appropriation of Jesus to the anti-vaccination agenda, but since when have principles or sensitivity to the thoughts and beliefs of others ever mattered to this vile collection of creatures? The end always justifies the means. As she is supposedly a practising member of the Jewish faith, I wonder if Ms Dorey might like to discuss the image and its connotation with her Rabbi. But what would he know anyway? He probably allows his children to be vaccinated.
And where does the real hypocrisy come in? Dorey seems to think it's acceptable to threaten a vaccine proponent with death but she wasted a year of my time and wreaked enormous and permanent damage to my personal and family life because I told her to leave my family out of her campaign against me and she thought this threat was enough to involve the courts.
I never use bad language on the front page of this site so I will just have to ask someone else to tell Meryl Dorey to fuck off whenever she's ready.
And theft (5/10/2019)
Meryl Dorey has been producing series of videos using the title "Under The Wire". These videos aren't at YouTube but are hosted on a site owned by the disgusting Mike Adams of Natural News infamy (you know those old clichés about being known by the company you keep and lying down with flea-ridden dogs?). Sadly for her (but a cause of amusement to the rest of us) not enough people have been clicking on the "Play now" links and Adams threatened to remove the series, but now everything seems to be back in line and the videos can stay. (I helped by starting to view one. I was counted even though I stopped watching after a few seconds. I'd just had lunch and didn't want to regurgitate my sandwiches over the keyboard, although I do keep a spare keyboard handy following earlier experiences.)
Here is the image used to promote the video series. As Ms Dorey has form for stealing other people's work I thought I'd see who actually owned it. (I once tipped Dorey into Getty Images for using one of their pictures without the required accreditation, and the AVN was caught stealing for profit in 2010.)
The image was tracked down to a photograph collection made by Patrick Hendry, so I wrote to him.
I thought that you might like to know that a group of anti-vaccination liars are using what looks like one of your photos as the masthead for a series of videos. I assume they haven't asked permission. I know that I had to report the same people for using a copyrighted photo from Getty Images once before so they have form.
Ugh, yeah that's one of the down sides of free photography. Unfortunately they can use this all they want. The only way I can pull images down is if they're adding them to products for sale. I cannot do much about this one.
Thanks for the heads up.
Mr Hendry was caught in that same dilemma that faces anyone who puts material up on the web. There's not a lot you can do without a lot of expense. All my stuff is copyrighted with Creative Commons but if some low life steals it all I can really do is publicise the theft. Stealers still gonna steal.
Found on Facebook. I acknowledge the anonymous author.
Barbara bounces back. Of course she does. (12/10/2019)
I mentioned last week that a naturopath quack (a tautology, I know – sorry) had been banned for life by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission for lying about her qualifications and being a general danger to public health. In a just society this would have been the end of things and she would have disappeared into the obscurity and poverty that she deserves. In real life, however, parasites like this just look for another host and Barbara O'Neill has resurfaced in the US (a place she describes as "a developing country" when whining to her followers) where her appearance at seminars attracts an extra fee of about $1000 from the suckers who attend.
The good thing is that she doesn't control comments on the GoFundMe page, so it will stay there for potential donors to read. With any luck it might cause people who don't know who she is and who might believe her lies to think again about giving her money.
In addition to stealing money from sick people, her business at Misty Mountains Retreat managed to get itself registered as a charity and has been collecting government grants as well as avoiding company income tax and allowing the tax deductibility of donations. This theft of money from taxpayers is now under investigation and you can read about it here.
The Guardian article carries this wonderful photo, prompting people to ask why she needs a microscope. One suggestion was to look for her conscience, but as it's not an electron microscope it probably wouldn't be up to the job.
Speaking of stealing taxpayers' money ... (12/10/2019)
I hadn't thought about Hillsong, the Church For Collecting Cash, for a while but I was reminded of them last month when I was reminiscing about previous visits to the MindBody$pirit Festival. Another reminder popped up this week when someone mentioned a newspaper article from a few years ago that examined the finances of this business pretending to be a church and the rivers of cash flowing to its owners, sorry pastor's family. It's worth a read, because the only things out of date in it are the dollar values, which now will inevitably be much higher.
Taxpayers support lavish Hillsong lifestyle
The tax office wants a special national body set up to monitor "not for profit" charities, admitting that churches – such as the multi-million-dollar phenomenon Hillsong – are literally "invisible" to it.
And the sector is expanding so rapidly that $31 billion a year is now being drawn out of the federal Budget in tax exemptions to the ever-growing list of groups claiming church and charity status.
The push to put not-for-profit groups under greater fiscal scrutiny comes amid revelations that senior pastors of the Hillsong mega-church and their families are enjoying lavish lifestyles virtually tax-free.
Critics say Hillsong – which makes millions by routinely demanding its followers hand over at least 10 per cent of their salaries for the church coffers – exploits tax exemptions designed to help small, struggling churches.
And another scam continues on its merry way (12/10/2019)
The frequently renamed Australian Vaccination-risks Network is at it again (they seem to change names about as often as they pretend to change presidents). They are holding another event where people are expected to pay to see a liar lying in a video that can be seen for free, and again they are hiding the venue until the last minute. The purported reason for the secrecy is to prevent harassment and disruption from pro-vaccine people, but the real reason is to stop sane people notifying the venue of the real nature of the event. When they were promoting another pay-to-see-a-YouTube-video they managed to lie their way into schools and public halls, seriously upsetting people like headmasters and council officials. But lying is what liars do.
And you can see it for free too if you have a spare hour to waste and a bucket handy to catch the vomit (and are prepared to risk damage to your esophagus from all that acid coming up). Just go here.
Something you might not know (12/10/2019)
Did you know that October is not only Breast Cancer Awareness Month (something ridiculed by believers in magic "medicine") but it's also "Vaccine Injury Awareness month in honour of lives taken or forever altered by vaccination"?
Now out here in the real world we know that severe reactions to vaccines are so rare that when they happen they make big news. There have been no deaths caused by vaccines in Australia for as long as anyone can remember, and the only recent serious reaction was from a young child who was mistakenly given an adult vaccine. The rules about which vaccines could be given to which children were strengthened and the family received much sympathy and even some monetary compensation.
Of course none of this matters to those evil creatures who want to see medieval diseases return and harm or kill children (and by opposition to HPV and flu vaccines cause harm to adults as well). As to them the end (more dead and diseased children) justifies the means (lying as if there's no tomorrow) it's business as usual for the merchants of death. Apparently there will be vigils across Australia to remind people about these non-existent vaccine injuries, and no doubt there will be collection tins rattled to raise some cash. You can see the list of events here.
I must say though that like Homeopathy Awareness Week where people can be made aware of the fraud of selling magic water or Subluxation Awareness Month when people can be made aware of the dangers of letting chiropractors anywhere near their backs, Vaccine Injury Awareness Month could be useful to educate the public about how such injuries are really nothing to worry about and therefore get hesitant parents to do the right thing and have their children protected from diseases.
This regularly pops up in various places and I have no idea who should be credited with it. Sorry.
A day at the MindBodySpirit Festival having my chakras aligned, my kundalini raised and my sensibilities challenged, then some other stuff to do and then what looks like an attack of Man Flu, one of the most debilitating diseases there is. I'm going to take some medicine and lie down, and I hope to be better next week. Sorry.
Yes, I stole it.
Past, present, future (26/10/2019)
The trip to the MindBody$pirit Festival went well, and there will be a report on the adventure here shortly. The incipient Man Flu turned out to be a really bad cold, but a dust storm blew into town during the week and I'm still a bit (a lot?) clogged up so this week's updates will have pictures and things but not many words. I'm looking forward to giving my annual short speech to the Young Scientist Awards next Friday night, but as this involves a 600 kilometre round trip through kangaroo infested country on high-speed roads I tend to arrive home a little tense and frazzled so I might need a day of rest to recover. That's if I'm over the cold, of course, because if I'm not recovery might take longer.
Let's move on.
Solidarity forever! (26/10/2019)
Whenever a quack comes under some form of criticism all branches of the alternative to medicine industry immediately combine to respond. Their responses are almost always just a collection of lies, non sequiturs, abuse and logical fallacies. And almost inevitably there's a sighting of the Pharma Shill Gambit, where people who talk sense are accused of being paid for what they say. As I've said before, if I were to be paid to do what I do I would do more of it and better.
Here's an anti-vaccination liar defending someone who claimed to be able to cure (you fill in the blank) with baking soda, among other things.
Speaking of anti-vaccination liars ... (26/10/2019)
One of the few things that can make an anti-vaccination liar happier than hearing about a dead child is when the death of that child can be exploited to further their putrid agenda. It gets even better for them if the child had famous parents, because then the exploitation can be disguised by pretending to care about the parents' feelings in order to bring the celebrity's fans and followers into the tent. It helps if you can get your followers to interfere and increase the parents' grief.
(The name was covered by the person who took the screen shot. That does not happen when I take screen shots.)
Another thing that makes them happy is when they can endanger others by lying.
17-year-old-boy: Mummy, mummy. The girls at school won't let me have sex with them unless I'm vaccinated against HPV.
Mummy: Don't worry about it. Just lie to them and tell them you've had all the shots. By the time they are diagnosed with cervical cancer you will be long gone and it won't be your problem.
The doors of non-perception are opened (26/10/2019)
Everybody my age must have a copy of the Pink Floyd album "Dark Side Of The Moon" somewhere (I have at least three – very worn vinyl, first-release CD, 25th anniversary CD) and would therefore be familiar with the song "Brain Damage" which contains the lines:
The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is in the hall
Well, the paper boy was by busy at my place recently, trying to keep these on the floor:
Magical mystery mail (26/10/2019)
The "You've got mail" dinger keeps dinging, but sometimes what gets delivered is a bit strange.
From: Vestal Harner
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2019 19:38:43 +0800
I would like to inquire about models/sizes on Hot Stamp Coder you sell,so email me availability and let me know the types of payment you accept.Hope to hear back from you ASAP.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403, USA
I have no idea what a Hot Stamp Coder is and I don't want anyone to tell me because that would spoil the fun. Whatever one of them is, it certainly wasn't anything I sold in my IT business.
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2019 01:40:46 +0000
Subject: Will you work with us?
My name is Georgi and I am managing the marketing campaigns of a few gift related websites.
We're interested in sponsoring an article on ratbags.com. Do you accept pre-written content and how much does it cost?
The requirements we have for the article are:
1. to have a dofollow link
2. not to be tagged as sponsored
3. The article to be permanently placed.
If you'd like to write it yourself – that is fine as well.
Otherwise – send me a price and topics you'd like our writers to cover.
Thank you in advance!
A couple of points:
$3 million into my PayPal account would get the negotiations started, Georgi.