Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Trump and his Trumpsters: like attracts like


Note: I've added some copy and a few links since this post was originally published.
~CC, 25 May 2016

Although physicists and psychologists tell us that opposites attract, the Secret-style Law of Attraction magickal thinkers have long insisted that like attracts like, and many are prepared to hit you with all kinds of faux-quantum physics babble to pseudo-scientifically "prove" their case. On the other hand, sometimes like does attract like, as psychologists also acknowledge, and it doesn't take any magickal thinking to see this principle at work. Take the preTrumptive GOP presidential nominee and a significant portion of his passionately misguided devotees (please). Trump attracts plenty of people who share, if not his membership in the fabled one percent, his prejudices and hatreds, his ego and arrogance, his dishonesty and compulsion to lie, and his propensity for running off at the mouth (or the keyboard, as the case may be).

I know, I know... not all of his supporters are horrible, hateful, stupid, or uneducated; some are simply tired of the status quo. I'll get to that in a little while.

But first, and focusing on the horrible, the example that pops up for me immediately as a like-attracts-like situation is that of another public figure and one of this blog's unfavorite symbols of evil and stupidity, the cancer quack/conspiracy nut/fake doctor
Leonard Coldwell, who is a profoundly devoted Trumpster. Lenny and his orange, bloated idol have a few notable things in common, the main difference being that Trump is much smarter and richer and altogether more successful than Lenny ever was and ever will be. Still he apparently sees Trump as a kindred spirit, and is constantly posting things on his Facebooks about Trump being the next president of the US, the Chosen One, the only person who can possibly save us from the machinations of the New World Order.

Trump's candidacy has apparently provided ample new fuel for the raging bonfire of profound stupidity that is the conspiracy contingent. Coldwell's buddy Mike "The Health Ranger" Adams, whom I blogged about again recently, published a video on May 5, 2015 to launch his new "news" site, Trump.news, which is actually a pro-Trump propaganda site. (Adams also launched an anti-Clinton propaganda site, Clinton.news.) In his video, which I urge you to watch to the end if you can stand it, Adams employs the usual body of NWO/Killuminati/"Them" conspiracy articles of faith to bolster the image of Donald Trump as some sort of anti-establishment, anti-elitist hero floating far above the politics of corruption -- when in fact Trump is the very definition of an establishment elitist who has often taken advantage of our broken and corrupt political system to further his own interests. And has bragged about it.

As I noted in my comment to the video, Adams is clearly pandering to the devoted conspiracy fans who hang on to his every word because he tells exciting stories, which are often more interesting and entertaining than nuanced realities. I sarcastically applauded his brilliantly insidious suggestion that martial law under President Trump will be necessary and popular, while the so-called martial law under President Obama (which lesser conspiracy nuts like Coldwell were constantly warning about, but which never happened) would have been the end of America as we know it. I can't help wondering if Adams' "prediction" was simply a little social experiment to see how many unthinking people would step up and theoretically embrace tyranny... or was he just being facetious?

I also sarcastically commended Adams' effort to turn tables on the political left, with his insinuations that leftist "domestic terrorism" is actually a thing in the United States -- when in fact the vast majority of mass shootings and other acts of domestic terrorism in the US for at least the past 20 years have been largely the work of right-wing fanatics. If Adams is even half as intelligent as he continually boasts of being, I don't see how he could believe much of the stuff he says and writes, but it does earn him attention and revenue, and I suppose that's all that matters.

At any rate, in case it isn't clear, Mike Adams is also a Trump supporter, or at least he is playing one on the Intertubes. 

We're not racist! No, not us!
One of the things that Lenny seems to adore most about Trump is the latter's promise to make and keep America safe from "the other." This of course is just my nice way of saying that Trump is an unapologetic racist and xenophobe, and
Lenny is too, though he insists that he's not and he even sued me (unsuccessfully) for insinuating he is.

And speaking of racists and xenophobes, by now you've no doubt heard about Trump's former butler and longtime pal, Anthony Senecal, whose social media posts about his desire to see President Obama dead
have recently captured public attention, along with the attention of the Secret Service. As Senecal's implied threats against the president came to light, so too did some of his other fine work on social media, including some racist rants and some nasty remarks about Hillary Clinton.

A couple of months before Senecal's loathsomeness hit the news cycle, there was a rather fawning story about him and his Donald in
the New York Times. Not surprisingly, the Trump campaign has since disavowed the former butler, in the wake of the brouhaha around his inflammatory statements. But despite the headlines declaring that Trump did the disavowing, I haven't seen any indication that Trump himself has done any such thing.

In any case, this Salon.com opinion piece outlines the reasons that
Senecal's racism and xenophobia actually matter.

...There is no need to rehash every incidence of racist swill in Trump’s long public career. But this all goes to explain even further the worldview that Trump has developed. He has ensconced himself in a bubble where he can hold court at some five-star Manhattan restaurant, gamely recounting the details of some racially charged crime he read about in that day’s New York Post, with no sense of what his ranting might sound like to people whose check he isn’t picking up. He has surrounded himself with racists and misogynists of every stripe, and didn’t throw in at least one or two confidants who could explain to him that he is not running for president exclusively in Alabama in the 1930s.

So why on earth would he notice if his butler was a raging nutball while the guy was exaggerating the distance Trump was hitting golf balls into the Intracoastal Waterway (an actual anecdote in the Times story)? One can picture them out on the Mar-a-Lago lawn, with Senecal telling him those 225-yard drives are actually 275 and nodding along in agreement when Trump rants about Obama refusing to release his birth certificate.

Because this is Donald Trump: An entitled, spoiled rich boy who cannot imagine that any of his pronouncements might be cruel or racist, because he has surrounded himself with people who believe the exact same things, and wouldn’t dare say otherwise if they didn’t because they think their livelihoods depend on keeping their mouths shut.

...It is of much more concern that the Republican Party frontrunner will revert to form and defend Senecal. But it is of the greatest concern that this will simply make no difference to Trump’s supporters – ironically, some of whom might well be the same people who have been screaming about
the Jeremiah Wright/Barack Obama controversy*] since 2008. Why should they care? The butler and his boss aren’t saying anything they don’t already truly believe.

[* embedded link mine. ~CC]

And speaking of the Secret Service, I wonder if they've taken note of this meme that was going around Facebook, originating with the page Our Eye on Islam 2:

With Trump and his loyal friends and followers, it's all one big hate-filled virtual family, and it goes beyond the insular world of the spoiled, entitled gentry. The lot of them -- King Donald and his loyal subjects -- are in fact mining
a deep vein of hate that embraces racism, xenophobia and misogyny.

Y'all are invited to a catfish fry

I thought of Trump loyalist Lenny yet again when another story emerged -- this one about Trump impersonating a publicist 25 years ago. He is now denying that he'd done this, even though he had previously admitted to it. So in addition to being a blowfish, the Donald was catfishing long before catfishing was even a thing, before there was really an Interwebz, even. (The question of just who leaked the damning tape is a story in and of itself.) 

Comedian John Oliver had a few things to say about this matter, as well as a couple of other items that have kept Trump front and center in the comic news cycle for the past week and a half or so. 

As regular readers of this blog may know, Coldwell also has a tendency to pretend to be someone else in the service of boasting about his imagined greatness, and/or attacking his critics. He does this via his Facebook posts and fake email accounts and comments on various web sites. One of his former students told me that apart from using fake email accounts to communicate, he even called on the phone once, apparently using a device to disguise his voice and pretending to be someone else; this person called him out on his fakery.

I mentioned Coldwell's email ruses on
my very first full blog post about him in May 2012, and noted them again on several other occasions, sharing screen shots such as this one, where, accusing me of being both a dog-killer and a sexual predator, Coldwell pretended to be his brother "Nicolas" (real name Jens Anskohl). Sometimes he has even pretended to be someone else pretending to be someone else, as in this post where he pretended to be one of his assistants, writing on behalf of his brother.

As Bernie at the GINtruth blog documented
on a March 2013 post, Coldwell has also used the name "Rudi Kauder" as an alias to threaten his critics and defend himself. During two different [failed] lawsuits against Salty Droid -- one in 2014 and one in 2015 -- he used aliases and fake email accounts to try to intimidate Salty. And as I've mentioned here a few times previously, even before Bernie or Salty or I ever wrote a word about him, Lenny was trolling on other sites where he'd been criticized, pretending to be someone else, such as his longtime business partner and friend, Dr. Thomas Hohn of Germany. Here's an example from 2010; see the first comment. Clearly it is all Lenny, all the same semi-literate writing style.

But Lenny is just a fourth-rate huckster, and although he has taken up an inordinate amount of space on this little blog, and despite my sincere belief that he has hurt and continues to hurt many people with his misinformation, deception and alleged other atrocities, he really isn't the potential threat to the free world that Donald Trump is. In other words, I recognize that Trump's boorishness and hatefulness, not to mention his history of impersonating others and then lying about it, matter much more in the big scheme of things than do Lenny's rants and loony ruses.

As several commentators, including comedians such as John Oliver, have noted, the fake-publicist story didn't even have to be a story. Trump could have simply said what he said back in the day: It was a joke, an admittedly childish prank, gone sideways. Instead he has chosen to lie, pretending that he hadn't even been aware of the accusation till an interviewer pointed it out to him.

But that incident demonstrates how, then as now, Trump has tried to control the narrative about himself. Like Lenny Coldwell and many other narcissistic psychopaths, Trump loves being the center of attention but hates it when the conversation about him isn't going his way. Both Drumpf and Lenny can dish out the nasty comments about others without flinching but are remarkably thin-skinned when they are the target of even mild criticism. And also like Coldwell (and for that matter like the Church of Scientology, another insane control freak), Trump has found that the Internet has made such control immensely more difficult than it was back in the 1990s. Of course that doesn't stop Trump (or Lenny or the CoS) from striving to maintain control, via spreading lies about their critics, suing or threatening to sue them, trying to suppress publication of critical material -- and in the case of Trump, threatening to gut the First Amendment if he becomes president.
Dirty money
Another matter that should have raised a red flag or two for Trump's followers, but so far doesn't seem to have done so, is that whole "self-funded campaign" issue, which came into focus again after billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, whom many of Trump's fans have condemned for being a "Zionist,"
recently pledged to donate $100 million to the Trump campaign. It appears that Drumpf is now poised to do the very same thing for which he only recently mocked "Little Marco" Rubio.

Writing on Redstate.com, Jay Caruso noted:
The issue here is, Trump managed to sell himself to the 39% of the people who voted for him in the primaries as a true "outsider" who wasn't controlled by anybody. Trust me, I've had more than enough Trump supporters yell at me their guy is not "bought and paid for."

So much for that.

Chances are, there will be some kind of rationalizing this complete change of heart but it will likely be a laughable excuse. After all, this is the same man who proclaimed anybody that booed him at a debate was somebody that gave somebody other than himself, money.

This really is not surprising. Trump is not a man at all concerned about principles or ethics. He wants to be President and while railing about money and donations during the primary helped him, he no longer needs to engage in such rhetoric. To him it was a means to an end, nothing more.
I'm still half wondering whether Trump actually wants to be president, or whether he merely wants to be the last contestant standing in what he views as just another reality show.

Of note, Lenny Coldwell is one of those rabid anti-Zionists (and actually anti-Semitic) Trumpsters I referred to above, but so far it appears that he hasn't uttered a peep about the Adelson money machine and the Trump campaign.

The Trump train chugs along
Will the latest revelations about Donald Trump even matter to the loyalists? Probably not. As Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, said about some of Trump's other atrocities:
"People don't care."

Indeed it appears that the Trumpsters don't give a flying fudge about their idol's shortcomings. They aren't put off by his
offensive and belittling treatment of women over the decades, for instance. (The link in the previous sentence doesn't even go into the more sordid allegations. Long before there was "Katie Johnson" (whose lawsuit, particularly given the timing and other issues, doesn't seem credible to me), there was Jill Harth, whose lawsuit was apparently real but who subsequently withdrew the suit, possibly for reasons that might make you go, "Hmmmm." Also see this link for more on the Harth story.)

Nor do the Trumpians care about potential irregularities with Trump's tax returns, nor about his racism and xenophobia or that of his close associates (in fact for many, Trump's starring role in the hatriarchy is a plus), nor about his alleged mob ties or his numerous bankruptcies, nor about his Scamworld ventures such as Trump University and the Trump Network, nor about his sleazy behavior regarding the million bucks he pledged to donate to help veterans. Most notably they don't care about the fact that he has been lying and lying and lying -- and has consistently been easily snared in those lies -- since his presidential campaign began.

They love him anyway, because he makes them feel good by providing them with scapegoats and validations of their own worldviews, as well as inflated hopes for "taking America back" to a golden past that
was anything but golden for untold millions of people.

Some of you will say I am being too hard on Trumpsters and glossing over the fact that for many, the sense of disillusionment with "politics as usual" is as genuine as the disillusionment that drives Bernie Sanders supporters. Moderate-conservative columnist David Brooks was kinder to Trump supporters than I have been, writing, in this
March 2016 opinion piece for the New York Times:
...some respect is in order. Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. They have suffered lost jobs, lost wages, lost dreams. The American system is not working for them, so naturally they are looking for something else...

...Trump’s supporters deserve respect. They are left out of this economy. But Trump himself? No, not Trump, not ever.

Reading this piece reminded me again that yes, it is likely that some Trump supporters are not bigots, xenophobes, misogynists or all of the above, though undeniably many are,
and some are darned proud of it too. It is likely that there are decent folks among the support base, people who are still striving, with some degree of success, to filter out some of the more hateful and disgusting aspects of the Trump persona so they can continue to justify their support of their candidate. (And there are some who simply do not believe the myriad allegations of racism and abuse, and see those accusations simply as spin by a hostile liberal/mainstream media.)

Many of these people loathe Hillary Clinton because of what they see as the utter nastiness of the whole Clinton legacy or because they don't see her as genuine (though I also suspect that many of these folks are either ignorant of or willing to disregard her history, and some of the factors that made her who she is today). They may also fear Bernie Sanders because the word "socialist" makes them quake in their boots (
though the quaking really isn't justified), and/or they see him as increasingly unstable. Even so it floors me that people are so disillusioned with American politics that they would ever seriously consider voting for Biff Tannen as the nominal leader of the free world.

Most of all, the current
"enthusiastic embrace of ignorance" in America truly distresses me.

Bringing it back around to the main beat of this blog, the observation that "people don't care" also holds true for Scamworld hucksters (like Lenny) and their loyal fans, who may be hampered by various combinations of their own vulnerability, lack of education, desperation, cynicism regarding the status quo, or innate credulity. In the end critics have very little influence on idol worship. "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on." So it has always been. I don't expect things to change any time soon, if ever.

Where Scamworld is concerned, I have accepted that there are No Neat and Tidy Endings -- NNATE, as my friend Julie likes to abbreviate it -- and that my little barking and snarking efforts on this remote outpost of the blogosphere don't make much difference. People who want to believe in someone or something will believe it, and even those who acknowledge irregularities or misdeeds will insist that the message is more important than the messenger anyway. (That's an opinion
with which I beg to differ, though in the case of most Scamworld gurus and right-wing politicians, I dislike the message as much as the messenger.)

The point is that Scamworld's job security is something I've grown to accept, if begrudgingly. But I sincerely hope that a sufficient number of people
who are so attracted to or hypnotized by Trump's bombast and hateful rhetoric will at some point be repelled. Let's hope that something -- ideally, the combined force of millions of "dogs" who are willing to make a deafening noise at the polls -- will stop the madness that is the Trump caravan (or the "Trump train" as some of his prideful followers and meme-sharers like to call it) before it hauls the whole of America over the cliff and into an abyss from which we may never emerge.

Related musings, on this Whirled and off:

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Wood you buy a $200 book from this scam?

If Whirled Musings isn't a political blog, except when it is, it is even less of a sportsblog, as I am almost totally lacking in the sports-fan gene, and the part of the human brain that is responsible for sports and games comprehension apparently is woefully underdeveloped in my particular brain. Don't even try to explain to me how football works -- or card games, for that matter -- because I will never, ever understand any of it. And I'm okay with that. I'm okay with you being an avid sports fan (or card game or board game player for that matter), as long as you're not so obsessed that you are a danger to yourself and others, but don't expect me to share your enthusiasm.

Now that we have that out of the way, there are some sportsy topics that interest me from a larger-context, pop-cultural perspective. There is for instance my general annoyance over the fact that our culture worships sports celebs and that professional athletes are blatantly so much more highly valued than everyday people who do far more useful work, such as nurses and teachers and paramedics and cops and firefighters. I do think that overall the culture has an unhealthy obsession with sports, and this fixation breeds everything from the above-noted pay disparities, to the unfair burden that taxpayers so often must assume for overfed billionaires' privately owned sports stadiums, to our tendency to give celebrity athletes or coaches a pass when they commit egregious misdeeds. But there's an aspect of sports that intersects more neatly with this blog, and I credit my blogging colleague Steve Salerno of SHAMblog for making me aware of it. It was Steve who, beginning with his 2005 book SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless, and continuing via SHAMblog throughout the years, pointed out the ways in which "sportsthink" is influenced by the selfish-help/motivational-geek culture (most notably the mandatory-positive-thinking mindset), and vice versa.

In recent months I've been alerted to yet another related area of interest for this blog, and it has less to do with motivational mindlessness and more to do with the unhealthy union of professional sports and Scamworld proper. It first came to my attention some time in the fall of 2015 that New England Patriots quarterback
Tom Brady, star of the Deflategate (aka Ballghazi) scandal (ably mocked by Saturday Night Live), had partnered with a serial huckster and former fake doctor named Alejandro (Alex) Guerrero, the latter of whom Boston Magazine described as a "glorified snake-oil salesman. The two of them, Brady and Guerrero, are apparently cleaning up in a health-and-fitness scampire, TB12 -- and this business seemingly has the endorsement of the Patriots organization, and the NFL doesn't seem to mind a bit.

a December 2015 piece, Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe wrote:
The Patriots, in an unusual departure from National Football League practice, have created a revenue stream for a private business owned by their franchise quarterback, Tom Brady, and a partner who faced federal sanctions after falsely presenting himself as a medical doctor and deceptively promoting nutritional supplements.

One notable product that Brady’s partner, Alejandro “Alex” Guerrero, promoted — and the quarterback enthusiastically endorsed — was marketed as helping to prevent and heal concussions, a grave health issue for NFL players and a challenge to the sport’s image. The Federal Trade Commission effectively shut down sales of Guerrero’s “neuroprotective’’ drink, Neurosafe, in 2014, repudiating his “extraordinary claims.’’
[Note: Neurosafe was marketed as
providing protection from concussions and the effects of traumatic brain injury. ~CC]

Nine years earlier, the FTC sanctioned Guerrero, who doubles as a fitness specialist, for marketing a beverage made largely of organic greens that he falsely claimed could help prevent or cure cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.

Guerrero’s past has not dissuaded the Patriots from forging a business relationship with the company he owns with Brady, the TB12 Sports Therapy Center, at the Patriots Place complex adjacent to Gillette Stadium. Since the center opened in 2013, the team has paid the company for Guerrero and his staff to provide treatment services and nutritional advice to multiple Patriots players.

Alex Guerrero has also been associated with that champion enabler of scammers,
Donald Barrett of infomercial production company ITV Direct. And Barrett, as mentioned here a few times previously, has been involved in some of the schemes of serial scammer Kevin Trudeau, aka KT, aka Katie. That seems like considerably less than the proverbial six degrees of separation. In fact Guerrero, Barrett and Trudeau all came under fire from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2004 for claiming that various dietary supplements could prevent and cure cancer and other diseases. With Guerrero it was the above-mentioned organic greens concoction, which he called Supreme Greens, and with Katie it was Coral Calcium Daily.

It's a small Scamworld, after all, as we are fond of saying on this blog.

I'd had this Brady/Guerrero thing on the back burner of the blog for more than six months, but it popped up to the front just the other day when the sports and general media announced that
Tom Brady is set to release a "nutrition manual"/cookbook -- with a wooden cover, no less -- and he's selling it for $200. That's pretty hefty even for the most elegantly designed and produced book, which this one doesn't seem to be.

"Oh, but it has
Tom Brady's recipe for avocado ice cream, so it must be worth it!" said nobody I personally know, although clearly someone is ordering the book, perhaps in the vain hope that it will make them look or perform like Brady, or look like his supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen, depending upon the gender identification specifications and personal goals of the individual (sadly deluded) buyer. As it is, the book only has 89 recipes, although it's designed to be expandable, no doubt so Brady can sell you more egregiously overpriced recipes and bits of wisdom.

sales page on the TB12 web site describes Brady's magnum dopus thusly:
TB12 Nutrition Manual is a limited-edition "living document" containing information about our core TB12 nutritional philosophies and featuring a library of 89 seasonally-inspired recipes that you can use to support your TB12-aligned nutrition plan.

The TB12 Nutrition Manual is designed to be modified and expanded over time using its unique screw post binding: as we periodically update this manual with new or modified recipes, we will send additional pages to all purchasers of the manual.

The manual is printed and hand assembled in the United States, and is printed on thick 100 pound text paper. The covers are made from natural wood with a laser-etched TB12 logo and title. (Note: because of the natural materials used, some variation in covers is normal.)

"Unique screw post binding?" Sounds to me like those posts aren't the only things being screwed. And I am not sure exactly what is meant by a "living document" but I am thinking that maybe that's one reason used to justify the inflated price. I am not convinced that it is alive enough to shell out $200 for, though. Now, if you want a true "living document," this is more like it:

Something like that, I might consider to be worth $200. Maybe even more.

Just in case you're thinking of buying a copy of Brady's woodbook and then returning it to get your money back once you've scanned or photocopied that coveted avocado ice cream recipe, be warned:

Please note that due to its unique content and binding, all sales of the TB12 Nutrition Manual are final sale (the manual can not be returned or exchanged).
So there, cheapskate.

Some might argue that this "nutrition manual" and "living document" seems to be based not upon the wisdumb of Alex Guerrero so much as on the ideas of Brady-Bündchen's personal chef,
Allen Campbell. Apropos of that, here's a more critical look at that diet. Even though it's a bit more dismissive of GMO concerns than I'm comfortable with, the author sums the other issues up quite well, I think -- reminding us of the painfully obvious point that many people conveniently shove under their mental sofa cushion when they're whipping out their wallets:
As much as you want to look like Tom and Gisele, remember, that's genetically coded. Boston's golden couple could step away from their nutty diet and still be absolutely healthy and beautiful. You can't eat your way into looking like the model and quarterback next door, but you can say no to their bullshit. 
In any case Guerrero reportedly works with chef Campbell, according to this largely uncritical January 2015 New York Times piece.
Soon after we met in New York, Brady embarked with his family on a pre-training-camp vacation in the Bahamas. The trip represented a rare separation between Brady and Alex Guerrero, his best friend and ever­present guru for training and many other things. While Guerrero is known as Brady’s “body coach,” that label significantly understates his exhaustive reach into Brady’s life. Guerrero is his spiritual guide, counselor, pal, nutrition adviser, trainer, massage therapist and family member. He is the godfather of Brady’s younger son, Ben. He accompanies Brady to almost every Patriots game, home and away, and stands on the sidelines. He works with Brady’s personal chef to put together optimally healthful menus [bolding mine for emphasis ~CC]; he plans Brady’s training schedule months in advance. Above all, during the football season he works on Brady seven days a week, usually twice a day. These sessions focus on Brady’s legs, thighs and right arm, the one he throws with, which he calls “the moneymaker.”
And the overarching point here is that regardless of how much or how little input Alejandro Guerrero had in this wooden wonder of a "book," the TB12 Nutrition Manual is all part of a larger hustle being run by Brady and Guerrero, and it seems pretty clear that both the Patriots and the NFL are enabling the hustle. Moreover Guerrero himself apparently continues to be involved in some dodgy doings, including falsely claiming that Gisele endorses his "health supplements"; declaring that he sold a company for $500 million when he was actually bankrupt; and targeting fellow members of his Mormon Church in Utah to buy his health frauducts. (And yes, I know that link is from the Daily Fail, but it might be worth reading anyway.)

It's not surprising that there's a Utah connection to all of this, seeing as how
Utah is kind of the fraud capital of the US. In January 2015 the Deseret News posted an article noting that Brady "relies on LDS (Mormon) trainer for guidance in all aspects of life." That LDS trainer would be Guerrero, of course. The Deseret News piece linked to the New York Times piece I quoted above, which also said:
...Guerrero, 49, is a practicing Mormon of Argentine descent with a master’s degree in Chinese medicine from a college in Los Angeles. His philosophy is built on three components: “We work on staying physically fit, emotionally stable and spiritually sound,” he says. He can sound somewhat Stuart Smalley-like in his mantras. Guerrero shares with me a saying that he and Brady invoke a lot: “Where your concentration goes, your energy flows and that’s what grows.”

Brady is always telling his teammates to see Guerrero. Many do, with varying levels of commitment. The former Patriots receiver Wes Welker, Brady’s close friend, was a disciple, as is the current receiver Julian Edelman. The linebacker Junior Seau finished his career in New England, where he worked with Guerrero; Brady says Seau nicknamed Guerrero “Mr. Miyagi.”
Wes Welker, as noted elsewhere in the New York Times article, has "too many concussions to count. Will he know when to walk away? What will even be left of Welker in 10 years?" Evidently that NeuroSafe snake oil that was "powered by TB12" didn't help him much. Still, Welker enthusiastically endorsed NeuroSafe back in the day.

Here's another piece that provides
a bit of an inside look on how Brady foists Guerrero on others. It features an email exchange between Brady and another wealthy, wed-to-a-supermodel pal, and as the author notes, "It goes about how you expect ridiculously rich men to talk."

As might also be expected,
Brady has defended his good friend and bidness partner Guerrero. So have others, including Tom E. Curran (sort of), who wrote:
I don’t think Guerrero’s a quack. I don’t think he or Brady are out to dupe the masses to make a buck.

I think they believe passionately in some unconventional training methods that -- speaking from my experience –- have great benefit. They want them to be accessible to normal people, not simply professional athletes.

If they save the lofty claims and stay out of the FTC’s face, they’ll probably be able to do that.

But this uncovered information has not been a positive business development.
Keep in mind that this was months before the $200 woodbook story broke. Tom, you might want to reconsider that statement about not thinking that Brady and Guerrero are out to dupe the masses or make a buck. If you absolutely must, give Brady a pass for now, but for gosh sakes, don't let Alex Guerrero off the hook.

* * * * *

From a strictly capitalistic perspective, totally stripped of moral or ethical considerations, I suppose you can't really blame either Tom Brady or Alex Guerrero for wanting to get on the health/fitness/weight loss moneywagon. I mean, duh. That's just about the easiest scam in the book, if you can manage to "stay out of the FTC's face" (or the FDA's), and there will always and forever be a hungry (so to speak) market. In a January 2015 blog post about the Paleo diet craze, syndicated fitness columnist James S. Fell, CSCS, of "Body for Wife" fame, wrote:
One of the things I describe in detail in my book is “Weight Loss Inc.” It’s the crap-filled industry of which I am a part, although I try to set myself apart from the excrement. Not everything in the industry is something you’d be better off flushing down the toilet. Anyway, I reference an FTC report that determines weight loss is the #1 form of fraud in the U.S., and it has been for a long time. More people get taken in by weight loss scams than any other type of fraud.
Indeed, weight loss/diet fraud -- specifically, some intentionally deceptive advertising claims for a book about his wacko version of the the infamous Albert T.W. Simeons hCG protocol -- was at the heart of the contempt charges that earned the aforementioned Kevin Trudeau a ten-year prison sentence for criminal contempt, and a $37.6 million fine for civil contempt. The saga of Katie's legal battles has been a fairly frequent topic on this blog over the past few years.

And another formerly frequent snarget on this blog,
Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale has on more than one occasion enthusiastically promoted a be-all and end-all for weight loss (on this 2009 post, see "Another miracle in a bottle...and another 'permanent' weight-loss secret"). I could give scads more examples, but you get my drift.

So really, you can't blame Tom Brady. After all,
the Wood Book has already sold out, prepublication. Which just gives more credence to the "Thirteenth Precept" in the 1990's parody book, The Philistine Prophecy (mentioned in this 2006 Whirled post):
"People Will Buy Just About Anything."

Especially if it has a celebrity's name attached to it. And most especially if it's a sports celeb. But all is not lost if you're not motivated to shell out a couple hundred bucks for a wood book, but are pining, so to speak, for
an avocado ice cream recipe, The Interwebz is replete with ideas, and it won't cost you a penny to get the recipes.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

True Spanish lies: A scam in any tongue is still a scam

For some time I've been aware (and have blogged and Facebooked about it) that certain Scamworld sociopaths in the US love to hate on "the illegals," by which, traditionally, they most often mean Hispanic/Latino immigrants from Mexico and Central America. More recently the hucksters have been hating on Syrian/Muslim immigrants as well, warning that the Muslims are taking over Europe, raping all the women in their path, and that the US is next -- but by no means have these vociferous xenophobes let "the Mexicans" off the hook. Some have been griping for years about the influx of undesirables from South of the border.

For instance, there's currently imprisoned serial scammer Kevin Trudeau, aka KT, aka Katie,
who, as reported in this June 2011 Whirled post, came down hard on the "Mexicans" a few years ago. In November 2012 my pal Salty Droid also paid tribute to Katie's apparent racism (or at least Katie's pandering to racists, which is just as bad).

And on the Fourth of July, 2014 (cue patriotic music), former Trudeau b.f.f. and alt-health/cancer quack/fake doctor/conspiracy theorist/racist Leonard Coldwell, linking to the aggressively nativist NumbersUSA site, wrote about how he is proud to be "AND [sic] AMERICAN." He wrote that "they" (the New World Order and Obama and all enemies of freedom) "want to destroy our national pride, our way of life, our language and our culture by flooding us with these illegal immigrants." By "our" language I assume he means English, which he is doing quite an effective job of destroying on his own, but I digress.

More recently, LoonyC shared this on Facebook, linking to yet another article that attempts to indict all "illegals" for the crime committed by one. Obama is blamed too, of course; it wouldn't be a proper Loony rant (or in this case, Loony-approved rant) without vilification of our president.

Then of course there is GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, and if you don't think he belongs in a discussion of Scamworld,
read this. Apart from that whole "build a wall" shtick, Trump has made himself very not-loved by Latino voters by running off at the mouth about illegal "Mexican" immigrants being diseased criminals.

Here's a recent Facebook posting from the aforementioned Loony Coldwell, citing an article regarding yet another Trump tweet about "Mexicans."

Of course the scammers, including and perhaps especially Trump, mostly insist that they're not, not, NOT racist, and that they have nothing against "Mexicans." It's just those lazy, diseased, sexually predatory illegals they don't like. By way of proving that he's not racist and actually likes Mexicans, for instance, Kevin Trudeau said, back in 2011, that he admires Che Guevara and likes guacamole. Things haven't gotten any better since then. If anything they're worse, and If you call someone who's clearly racist out for being clearly racist, the least violent response you can expect is to be jeered at for being "politically correct" and a "libtard."

But for even the most racist scammer, one yuuuuge thing trumps (so to speak) white Western Euro-purity, and that one thing is, of course, money. And any scammer worth his or her salt has realized by now that the Spanish-speaking market is enormous and potentially very lucrative -- and damned if they're going to let a good cash op pass them by.

Accordingly, Kevin Trudeau's scampire has been
peddling some of his info-frauducts in Spanish for years, both online and via infomercials. I'm sure the company currently handling those info-frauducts would gladly accept moneys from the undocumented, no questions asked. For that matter, I bet that Katie's legal defense fund would be similarly open-minded.

Leonard Coldwell, brave guardian of the English language and American culture, brags that his "mega bestselling" books are being translated into Spanish, but I'm guessing that he won't be demanding proof of citizenship status before taking money from those people who are helping to destroy said language and culture.

And despite his apparent racism, and the fact that he has
shot himself in the foot business-wise with his racist remarks about Latinos, Donald Trump would gleefully welcome the Latino vote and has said he's confident he'll get it if he wins the nomination, because, he asserts, "Latinos love me".... though thousands of Latinos nationwide apparently disagree. (Illegal immigrants have no voting rights, despite what the wingnuts would have you believe.) Regarding "illegals," Trump has little room to speak, given his own business practices. And he knows as well as anyone else that if all illegal immigrants were suddenly deported, the US economy would implode.

Although there's no way of knowing for sure, I have little doubt that had Trump's more blatant Scamworldly enterprises such as
Trump University and the Trump Network been longer-lived, those scams would have penetrated deeply into the Spanish-speaking market. As it is, Trump is currently dealing with a class action lawsuit over the alleged fraud that was Trump U, and he blamed the fact that the suit wasn't thrown out on the hostility of a "Spanish" judge.

But as Salty Droid indicated in his posts about Trump U and Trump Network, linked to in the first sentence of the paragraph above (and you should read those posts, if you haven't already), Trump has proven himself to be a fan of network or multilevel marketing, or, as Salty put it, "the MLM fraud vortex of doom." Which is as good a way as any to segue into this point: If you think the MLM industry is sitting on its hands when there are potentially so many millions of Spanish-speaking victims to suck into that vortex, you simply haven't been paying attention.

Brown folks' money is just as green as white folks' money.
A long-running theme on Salty's blog is the destructive force that MLMs have been in the lives of so many people. I published a two-part guest post about the matter myself in December 2013. (
Here's the link to Part 1.)

One of Salty's most frequent targets has been
the mega-scam and pyramid scheme Herbalife, which he addresses yet again in his post of April 26.

I'm sure he'll have more to say about this subject soon, in light of his yet-to-be-completely-told tale of stowing away on a scammer sea cruise last fall, and of the recent release of a documentary about the Herbalife scam, Betting on Zero, which made its debut at the recent Tribeca Film festival. For the time being he has embedded a heartbreaking thirteen-minute bilingual video that poignantly demonstrates how a scam is still a scam, even in a loving tongue.

There is also a thriving Herbalife wannabe called 90 for Life, which is the unholy child, spawned in 2012, of Youngevity (founded by long-time frauduct peddler and former veterinarian Joel Wallach) and Livinity (founded by Barb and Dave Pitcock, who cut their huckster teeth with Kevin Trudeau back in the late 1990s). I've mentioned all of these folks on this Whirled previously, and here they are again. Loony Coldwell and his ex-bro Peter Wink were even involved in 90 for Life for a while, under the company name Coldwell Brothers LLC, until Loony blew his little balding top at Barb Pitcock some time in 2013, and that was that.

But more to the point here, 90 for Life, which peddles a large line of overpriced nutritional drinks and supplements and potions, launched its big Hispan-o-scam a couple of years ago, and front and center in that scheme was another longtime Katie bud (and frauduct/flopportunity peddler, Scamworld circle jerker mutual admiration society member, apparent xenophobe and Trump lover) Fred van Liew. who has also been mentioned here a few times.

"I am heavily invested in this project to open the door to the Huge Spanish speaking community throughout the world, as well as the US and Canada," said Fred in 2014. And here's a May 2015 upload of Spanish Financial Freedom with Dave & Barb Pitcock: "The most effective system for building wealth ever created."

I only recently found this upload and felt a need to join in the conversation, but so far it's just a monologue and not a conversation. I seem to run into that problem a lot. On the other hand, that particular video has only had 206 views at the time I'm writing this, so there's that.

But... if you've seen one scheme, you've seen 'em all. As Salty wrote in his April 26 post about Herbalife:

Everything they do :: everything they say :: everyone they hire … it’s all about perpetuating a lie that facilitates some of the world’s richest people str8 stealing from some of the world’s poorest people.

Every distributor I’ve investigated :: every lead generation method :: every retention method … everything … fucking all of it … lies

Yep, that about says it all. A good rule for financial, emotional and perhaps even physical survival is this: If some smirking, overfed huckster approaches you blathering about a new opportunity to realize the American dream... solo di no.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Health Danger and Fact Rearranger Mike Adams spews again

Like most career fear-mongers and conspiracy tale peddlers, Mike Adams, aka the Health Ranger, head of the NaturalNews "independent journalism" scampire, seems to care far more about sensationalism than about accuracy. This is no big secret. I'm not breaking any new ground here. The skeptical blogs have been on his case for years, and RationalWiki has an entry about him, which redirects to their entry about NaturalNews.

But I've mentioned Adams a few times on this blog too.
I first wrote about him in June 2013, in response to a Natural News post about one of this blog's favorite topics, imprisoned serial scammer Kevin Trudeau, aka KT, aka Katie. In that post I cited Adams' disregard for accuracy, as reflected in a patently false statement about the $37.6 million FTC fine hanging over Trudeau's head. Mike Adams' big headline proclaimed:

Kevin Trudeau ordered to surrender his passports as feds try to force $37 million in GIN refunds

And to this day, nearly three years later, the headline remains intact.

GIN, as most of you probably know, is the Global Information Network, a major scam that was originally Trudeau's brainchild and personal piggy bank. It was officially launched in late 2009 and continues operation to this day, under"new" ownership (a group of Katie's longtime buddies).

But here's the thing (as the stunning, slow-motion-walking, marginally age-appropriate and vaguely predatory-looking women love to say on
the Viagra commercials that are currently airing in the US). Wait, I lost my train of thought. Oh, yeah. Here's the thing: that $37.6 million fine Adams blared in his headline has nothing to do with GIN refunds. Rather, it is in relation to a civil contempt case (which also became a criminal contempt case, and it's the criminal case that ultimately landed Katie in prison). The fine had to do with claims Trudeau made in an infomercial about his diet book. But the case itself had been ongoing since 2003, though Trudeau's history of wrongdoing dates back years before that. Even after Trudeau serves his ten-year sentence he will still owe that fine, probably with interest, unless he can negotiate to get it reduced or reversed.

But as I explained in my 2013 blog post, the fact that the fine had nothing to do with GIN refunds was of no import to Mike Adams, whose own post provided only the lamest of criticisms of Trudeau's possible wrongdoings. The main purpose of Adams' post wasn't to call out Trudeau's fraud, but rather to engage in one of Adams' favorite hobbies: wingnut political ranting against President Obama. Adams scoffed at the description by ABC News of Trudeau as a seller of dreams and false hopes, citing Obama as a much worse offender in that regard. Had he chosen to do so, Adams could have corrected the error on his post regarding the fine, and still left his political rants intact. But he didn't. And for the most part he seemed to be defending Trudeau rather than criticizing him, which is why I referred to Adams as a phony hero in the battle against Scamworld.

I recognize, though, that the misstatement about Trudeau's fine is just one small and relatively trivial goof in Adams' massive and seemingly quite profitable ouevre of misinformation, distortion and outright lies. And he's not just a deceiver; he's a deceiver who has, according to several reports, physically threatened those with whom he disagrees, as I mentioned in
this 2014 blog post (see under the subhead, "Who is oppressing whom?"). Adams' claims that he is constantly being persecuted, threatened and endangered seem hypocritical when you consider some of his attempts to intimidate and threaten others.

More recently, Mike Adams was front and center in the conspiracy speculation about actor Rober De Niro's decision not to show the anti-vaccination fraudumentary Vaxxed at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Here's my blog post, in which I linked to one of Adams' rants about the matter. And now we get to the main point of my present post: Adams uses that rant to seriously defame someone with whom he appears to be obsessed these days: a popular physician blogger. With this series of defamatory posts Mike Adams and some of his staffers appear to have reached a new low.

Mike Adams defames Dr. David Gorski
Adams and Dr. Gorski (aka Orac, author of the Respectful Insolence blog)
have been at odds for years, but Adams' recent series of vicious attacks on Dr. Gorski almost seem like he's asking for a lawsuit. Here's another one of his screeds. In this one as in others, Adams falsely links Dr. Gorski with a fraudulent doctor, Farid Fata, whom Dr. Gorski does not know but has repeatedly described as "evil."

And indeed "evil" seems an understatement. Though ultimately prosecuted and put away for money laundering and fraud,
Dr. Fata's true evil lay in the fact that he administered chemo to patients for years, telling them they had cancer when they didn't, and then he billed Medicare. He also over-treated terminal cancer patients rather than let them die peacefully, and when he could profit from it he under-treated cancer patients who very likely could have otherwise benefited. Last year he was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison.

Equally as repulsive, Adams is also spreading unsubstantiated rumors -- lies, most likely -- about Dr. Gorski being very unpopular with his patients. The basis of this claim seems to be a collection of what appear to be fake reviews planted by some Gorski/Orac detractors who more than likely have never been his patients.

Clearly Adams is on the offensive to destroy Dr. Gorski's reputation. As has been the case with other scammers I've written about, Scientology Fair Game policies and practices come to my mind. And indeed, for several years rumors have been floating around that Mike Adams has been somehow involved with Scientology. He certainly seems sympathetic to them and some of their viewpoints. This doesn't mean that he is involved with Scientology now (he has said he is not a Scientologist) or that his own Fair-Game-ish strategies are dictated by that evil "Church." But he seems to be using some of the same strategies of lies and intimidation that CoS has been using for decades. And those are disgusting tactics, regardless of one's "religious" affiliation or lack thereof.

Here is one of David Gorski's posts outlining and deconstructing the series of lies that Mike Adams is perpetrating about him.

But Dr. Gorski's attempts to defend himself don't seem to be making a dent in the NaturalNews universe of deception. Turning the skeptics' own terms around on them, Adams labels evidence-based medicine and science "pseudoscience." (And in a particularly loathsome rhetorical strategy, he has co-opted the very real problem of Holocaust denial, nattering on about "vaccine Holocaust denial.")

Adams also labels Gorski as a charlatan and cancer quack, which, given
the sins of some of Adams' own alt-health colleagues and scammers, is a classic pot-and-kettle case. As I noted above, these days on Natural News he seems completely obsessed with Dr. Gorski. Immediately below is a screen shot of the home page of Natural News on April 24, 2016. Notice the list of links on the right hand side. The far right column ("Health News") semi-pretends to be a list of links from outside news sources, but they are all from NewsTarget.com, which is very much Mike Adams' site as well.

Trying to conquer the Internet, one comical alt-site at a time
But I guess all of this is to be expected from the guy who is so afraid of people finding out the truth about him and his colleagues that he started his own lame version of Wikipedia:
the very ill-named TruthWiki. (Here's the TruthWiki entry about David Gorski. And while we're at it, here's Gorski, as Orac, writing about TruthWiki in 2014.)

Adams is also the guy who decided to give Google a run for their money by launching the also ill-named
GoodGopher. GoodGopher very carefully filters out what they consider "disinformation" and government/Big Pharma propaganda, instead stacking their search results with alt-nutty and rightwing sites (which are euphemistically called "independent news media") such as NaturalNews (of course!) as well as Breitbart, The Blaze, Washington Times (owned and run by Moonies), Drudge Report, Western Journalism and more.

It's a pretty lousy search engine, but it's tailor-made for the no-evil monkeys who want to avoid any fact or opinion that might shake their carefully constructed world of alt-health advocacy, Scamworld delusions, conspiracy theories and right-wing spin.

And despite Google's well documented evils such as tracking and privacy invasion -- not to mention the whole thing about sponsored links -- Google does seem to be trying to preserve and improve the integrity of search. Moreover it's not as if Google censors Mike Adams or any of his other lunatic fraud buddies. If you Google "Mike Adams," the first couple of entries are his own sites. There are some inconvenient results mentioning his quackery, though, which of course you'll not find on GoodGopher.

Another example: If you Google "Leonard Coldwell," there's currently a big sponsored entry that pops up first, describing Coldwell as an "Author" -- and it's all fluff and no criticism. It even refers to him as a doctor. But again... darn those critical links, which seem to pop up in the top results no matter what Coldwell's SEO team does.
RationalWiki's piece always seems to be up there.

Speaking of which,
here's the RationalWiki entry on GoodGopher.

The conspiracy that isn't
Like so many in the "alternative media" sector, Mike Adams never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like, particularly if it involves Big Pharma and other aspects of modern medicine. Especially vaccinations. The vax-conspiracy fans have all sorts of stories about how vaccinations are a nefarious plot by the New World Order to control the population by making undesirables sterile or outright killing them... or that vaccinations are being used to implant RFID chips to track us... or they're being used to make us all gay... you get the drift.

Where Dr. Gorski is concerned Adams has gleefully fabricated several conspiracy tales, not just falsely linking Dr. G. with the loathsome Dr. Fata but also bringing Wikipedia and The Huffington Post into his twisted, tangled narrative.

In his latest series of screeds Adams has accused Gorski of creating, editing or somehow being involved in manipulating the edits of
a Wikipedia post about the documentary Vaxxed, which includes many critical comments about the film. Never mind that Gorski insists -- and the Wikipedia edit history indicates -- that Gorski had nothing to do with it. Adams continues to spread his lies, and his fans enthusiastically embrace his version of "reality."

Another tale that has the reality-impaired fringe of the Interwebz buzzing is the claim that Huffington Post pulled an article about Vaxxed that was written by a guy named Lance Simmens, who had been a contributor to HuffPo for eight years. Although that supposed "censorship" is actually a standalone story and has been treated as such by most of the sites that mentioned it, leave it to Mike Adams to conflate the story with his false accusations about Gorski, both in his headline and post on April 19.

Now, there are several reasons to be critical of Huffington Post, and I've criticized them in the past for posting fluff by scammers such as convicted killer James Arthur Ray and Scientologist Grant Cardone. Another reason to not be a fan is
their utter disregard for independent contributors. Dr. Gorski has also criticized HuffPo. And according to Wikipedia...
The Huffington Post has been criticized by several science bloggers and online news sources for including articles by supporters of alternative medicine and anti-vaccine activists and for allegedly censoring rebuttals written by science bloggers before publishing them.[64][65]
So I seriously doubt there was some conspiracy to quash favorable reviews of or comments about Vaxxed on The Huffington Post. I doubt even more seriously that Dr. Gorski was involved in "censoring" the article.

But Mike Adams knows his audience well. The comments on his various posts about this so-called "conspiracy" -- and indeed all of his posts about Dr. Gorski -- are truly comical, and none of his followers seems willing to believe that things could be other than the way Adams laid them out. A few defenders of Gorski (not me, but others), and even Gorski himself, have been allowed to comment but were dismissed by the minions. 

In truth there is no conspiracy here. But, to quote one of this blog's favorite mantras: The facts don't matter if the story is good. And Adams knows that his readers love them some good conspiracy whoppers, and he gives them what they want.

Loony wants in on the drama
Not surprisingly, the aforementioned fake doctor, cancer quack and fellow conspiracy nutcake
Leonard Coldwell is faithfully copying and pasting the defamatory blog posts about Dr. Gorski on his own "blog" on his main web site. There are no comments there so far, though I tried to post a comment yesterday on the April 18 offering, with a link to this blog post of Dr Gorski's

One of the posts that Coldwell copied and pasted from Natural News wasn't written by Mike Adams but rather by one of Adams' staffers, Julie Wilson. It was published on April 20. This part, where Ms. Wilson quotes Adams, seems particularly defamatory:

"If we genuinely care about the health and safety of cancer patients, we must reasonably ask how many patients have died under the care of Drs. Farid Fata or David Gorski? How many of those patients were African-American?" asked Mike Adams, author of Food Forensics,science lab director of CWLabs dot com and creator of Medicine dot news.

"Is there a disparity in patient outcomes between blacks and whites? We already know that Dr. Farid Fata committed systematic medical murder involving Karmanos in Detroit. That is now established fact. What we don't know is how many other people have died from dangerous medical interventions carried out by other colleagues such as Dr. David Gorski."

Bringing the race card into it in this way seems to be a new record even for Adams. And Adams' continued insistence on linking Dr. Gorski with Farid Fata does seem almost criminal.

And this April 23 post by Adams himself, describing Dr. Gorski as "a deranged, mentally ill cancer surgeon who is widely known as a pathological liar" is over-the-top wacko, sounding very much like the kind of stuff that Coldwell writes about his critics (e.g., me, Salty Droid, et al.). Except the spelling is better than Lenny's. In this post Adams even brings other alt-health scammers into play, quoting Ty Bollinger of "Truth About Cancer"infamy. But again, I have to wonder if Adams is just baiting Dr. G for a lawsuit.

By the way, to give you another view of just how objective and reliable Adams' TruthWiki is,
here's the entry on Leonard Coldwell. As you can easily see, it is taken straight from Coldwell's web propaganda.

At any rate my attempts to comment on Natural News, as well as my attempts to comment on Coldwell's blog, have been a failure so far. It is probably a losing battle. But as long as the skeptical blogs remain up on the Internet, and searchable via real search engines, there's at least a chance for people to see Adams and his ilk for what they are.
Here is the Skeptical Raptor with a concise summary of Mike Adams' lies about David Gorski.

Happy searching. I'll try to keep you posted about developments in this ongoing drama, but you can also keep apprised via Respectful Insolence and Dr. Gorski's posts on the Science Based Medicine blog. For his part Dr. Gorski seems to be taking it all in stride. As he wrote, "being lied about by Adams is a badge of honor."
PS added on April 25: On the Science-Based Medicine blog, Dr. Gorski wrote:
NOTE: Anyone who has seen several derogatory articles about me on the web and is curious about what the real story is, please read this, this, and this.
I'd already linked to the second item a couple of times on this blog, but I thought it worth repeating, especially since the conversation there is ongoing.

PPS added on May 5: When Googling this topic this morning I came across a blog post on Forbes.com from another physician, Dr. Peter Lipson, a practicing physician specializing in internal medicine. Clearly Dr. Lipson is a friend of Dr. Gorski's and no fan of Mike Adams, and for me it's easy to see why on both counts. From Dr. Lipson's post:
Just this week, Adams published a piece titled, ”Karmanos cancer surgeon Dr. David Gorski linked to ‘skeptics’ kingpin James Randi caught on tape soliciting bl*w job from young man – source.” The really scary thing here is that the headline is the least inflammatory part of the article.
Let’s put aside the fact that the headline seems to imply that Gorski was the one doing the soliciting. Further reading shows that he simply knows the man who Adams is accusing of sexual improprieties. That sort of cowardly, defamatory garbage is just the lede. The real attacks come in the body of the blog. Here’s the point-by-point breakdown of Adams’s lies, dishonest allegations and defamatory (at least in my lay opinion) accusations:
  • Non-existent FBI investigation:
Dr. David Gorski–already the subject of a Natural News investigation that has submitted numerous allegations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation…
If you read carefully and follow the links, you see that Dr. Gorski is not the subject of any investigation but the one in Mike Adams’s own head. Adams’s writes that he himself has pestered the FBI to look into Gorski for…”reasons”? Making it seem as if a well-respected surgeon is the subject of a federal investigation is a dangerous road to go down.
  • Alleged “racketeering”:
    Dr. David Gorski…is the mentally deranged leader of an online hate group calling themselves “skeptics.” An ongoing Natural News investigation has revealed that Gorski is just one of several co-conspirators who engage in online racketeering, identity deceptions and alleged cyber crimes to commit scientific fraud while destroying their targeted enemies in the holistic health realm.
    Much of this is simply deranged opinion, but to state as fact that someone is “mentally deranged” and “leader of an online hate group” is dangerously close to making harmful, knowingly false statements about someone. And to state as fact that someone is engaged in a racketeering scheme seems to go well beyond “opinion.”
  • Guilt by association:
    David Gorski’s colleague was just convicted of massive medical fraud and sentenced to 45 years in federal prison
    This is as far as I can read without actually vomiting. Here in the Detroit area, a cancer doctor named Farid Fata was sentenced to prison for crimes that, for doctors like David Gorski and me, are so horrific as to be nearly indescribable...
I quoted Dr. Lipson at length -- and I hope he doesn't mind -- because the NaturalNews article linked to in his post (and here is that link again) appears to be gone now. Instead the link directs to a classically and characteristically arrogant but relatively innocuous August 2014 piece called, Top ten scientific achievements of Natural News and the Health Ranger (so far).

But clearly the offensive article existed for a while, since enough still shows up on Google search results from today (May 5, 2016) to indicate that Dr. Lipson wasn't just pulling words out of thin air.

And equally clearly, Adams isn't finished with Dr. Gorski, for here is yet another
defamatory screed from today.

How long will Adams continue to get away with this before someone takes legal action? As I said above, he seems to be baiting Dr. Gorski. Maybe he thinks he can nab Gorski et al. through discovery if they take the bait and sue him, or maybe he's just looking forward to being Gollum and crying that he meant no harm, but the fat Hobbit is out to get him.

But meanwhile Adams is possibly causing real harm to Dr. Gorski by pulling every dirty SEO trick in the book, littering the Internet with defamatory content via dozens of dummy sites in order to vilify the good doctor. (Why doesn't Google penalize Adams for that? Or do they? I don't know enough about how this stuff works to be able to tell.)

Amusingly, the dummy-site strategy is much the same thing that the profoundly stupid and evil Not-Doctor Leonard Coldwell accused me of doing to "defame" him, though in that case he was falsely accusing me, as I can barely keep up with my one little blog and my Facebook profile, both of which have my real name and online contact information.

And so it goes. The question is: when will it stop?

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