Anyway. This isn't the newest of news, but it's less than two weeks old, so just in case you missed it....
One of Donald Trump's most histrionically vocal sycophants is pseudoscientist and conspiracy monger Mike "The Health Ranger" Adams, whom we've snargeted here numerous times before. Adams loves him some Trump and has even written that in order to save a divided America from civil war, Trump should do everything possible to "shut down" the subversive, evil left, apparently by imprisoning them and destroying all of their media. Now, as I've noted before, Adams could just be playing the role of provocateur in order to get clicks and sell his numerous frauducts to stupid right-wingers, and it's possible that he does not really believe that freedom of expression should be totally destroyed in the US. But you never know with these alt-right types.
Another thing to know about Adams is that he is irrationally and hysterically anti-vaccination -- in fact, that's another one of his pet causes, perhaps even more beloved than the cause of keeping his nose well-browned from rooting around up in Trump. On January 20 of this year, Adams posted about a threatening email that a deranged vaccine advocate apparently sent to another vocal anti-vaxxer, Suzanne Humphries, M.D. (Not-Doktor Leonard Coldwell, another alt-right lunatic who's considerably stupider and more evil than Adams, but is just as enamored of Trump, copied and pasted Adams' post for his own "blog.")
The email Dr. Humphries claims to have received is a blatant, expletive-filled death threat, but instead of treating it as an aberration the anti-vaxxers, including Adams, are reacting in their usual way, conflating an isolated loony with the entire "pro-vax" movement. Since the email is crude and only marginally literate, it could hardly be expected to be the work of professional propagandists from Big Pharma, but that is exactly what some of the alarmed anti-vaxxers are suggesting (just read some of the comments on this post on the Vactruth.com site).
Don't get me wrong. I'm certainly not claiming that Dr. Humphries is wrong to be alarmed; she should take every due precaution to protect herself. But tossing the sender of this lunatic threat into the same category as the millions of health professionals, scientists, researchers, and ordinary folks who don't practice the anti-vax true religion is either (1) ignorant; (2) misinformed; (3) disingenuous; or (4) just plain stupid. Indeed, the anti-vax movement is characterized by all four of those factors -- it's a big tent, so big that it even has room for Donald Trump -- so take your pick.
If the Health Danger had just stuck to his anti-vax message in his January 20 post, it wouldn't have grabbed my attention, but he apparently felt compelled to drag Dr. David Gorski, who writes the excellent Respectful Insolence blog under the name "Orac," into the drama.
After quoting -- in full -- the offending email received by Dr. Humphries, Adams added, gratuitously (and out of courtesy for Dr. Gorski, I have removed Adams' embedded links):
This threatening, psychopathic language, by the way, reminds me of Dr. David Gorski, an extremely dangerous, sociopathic vaccine-pushing doctor who viciously attacks and lies about anyone trying to expose the truth about vaccines. Dr. Gorski’s colleague, Dr. Farid Fata, was indicted by the FBI for cancer treatment fraud and is now serving 20+ years in federal prison. Dr. Gorski worked alongside this cancer fraudster and evil criminal in the Detroit area, with links to the Karmanos Cancer Centers.This is far from the first time that Adams has defamed Dr. Gorski (see this April 2016 post, f'rinstance, under "Mike Adams defames Dr. David Gorski"). On the very ill-named TruthWiki, which Adams has claimed is an "objective" alternative to that evil bastion of liberalism, Wikipedia, Dr. Gorski has even been gifted with special tags and categories (e.g., "lunatic blogger"). Now, that's real objective. On many occasions Dr Gorski has addressed these false accusations against him, but it does no good; Adams just keeps hammering away.
Natural News has previously reported Dr. Gorski to the FBI and has named him as one of the six most sickeningly evil propagandists currently operating in the realm of medicine. He currently works for the Karmanos Center Center in Michigan and spends his work hours editing Wikipedia to savage “vaccine truthers” by posting false, defamatory and slanderous information on their Wikipedia pages. Dr. Gorski is a surgical oncologist who scars black women for profit and pushes deceptive cancer propaganda on the public, much like his colleague Dr. Farid Fata also did before he was arrested and indicted for multiple felony crimes.
And make no mistake: As biased, untruthful and irrational as they are, Adams' defamatory rants against Dr. Gorski have exerted their influence on the search engines. Actor William Shatner was even fooled by Adams' nonsense last year when doing "research" on Gorski and the vaccination issue (see "Captain Kirk goes berserk." There's also a link to the Respectful Insolence post about the matter.).
So despite Adams' longstanding whines about Google suppressing and oppressing him, the world's favorite search engine has in fact been one of his greatest enablers.
What you probably won't be hearing from Mike Adams -- or Dr. Suzanne Humphries, for that matter -- is that Dr. Gorski is just as alarmed and disgusted about this email as any anti-vaxxer. And he stated this in no uncertain terms on a January 24 blog post on Respectful Insolence. Wrote Gorski/Orac:
OK, full stop right here. If you’re a pro-vaxer and want to make death threats against anyone, even antivax loons like Suzanne Humphries, you are not on my side. I don’t care what your reasons are. I don’t care if you weren’t serious. I don’t care if it was your idea of a sick joke. I don’t care if you were just trying to rattle her (which you clearly succeeded in doing in a spectacular fashion in this case). I disavow you. I condemn you. I spit on you. I hope the authorities find you, even though I know the chances for a successful prosecution in these cases are low.Following that, Gorski reproduced the email in its entirety, as Adams and the anti-vax web sites had done. He then added:
Now here’s the thing. I know of no pro-vaccine advocate who feels otherwise. I know of no one on our side who approves of behavior like this directed against antivaxers—or anyone else. We don’t want this sort of stuff being associated with our side, because it’s wrong. We don’t need it, because we have science on our side, and anything like this hurts our cause, not helps us...
Yes, this is utterly vile and despicable, and it just goes to show that there are assholes and disturbed people everywhere, and not all pro-vaxers are pure in motivation and behavior. Regardless of where they came from, such threats deserve only our contempt. Even if this idiot was not serious and was just trying to frighten or rattle Humphries, he (and it’s almost certainly a he) deserves nothing but contempt.
On the other hand…
Am I alone in thinking it…odd…just how eager antivaxers are to publicize this? I’ve gotten the occasional death threat before, albeit, admittedly, none quite so long and extravagant. I’ve never publicized them. I rarely mention them. I know a number of skeptical bloggers who’ve had the same experience. I’ve known skeptics who’ve had stalkers. They rarely mention the issue.
Yet, here we have Suzanne Humphries proclaiming the issue to the world. We also have the Health Danger weaponizing this e-mail against me...
And "weaponizing" is exactly the right word for what Mike Adams is doing to David Gorski. (I will say, though, that it's not really surprising that antivaxers, and indeed many of the most vocal alt-health advocates, are eager to publicize threats against themselves, both real and imagined. In the shrill video he made about the threat against Dr. Humphries, Mike Adams also brings up the fallacious "dead holistic doctors" conspiracy narrative -- which I initially wrote about in this August 2015 post, and then again in July 2016 (under "Dead holistic docs conspiracy rages on"). The alt-health hysterics never miss an opportunity to push that contrived story, which is part of a larger false narrative: that of the Brave Maverick Doctor.)
Gorski reiterates that all of the claims Adams made about him in his latest post are lies, as is the insinuation that Gorski would ever write anything resembling that email. He adds that he despises whoever made those threats against Suzanne Humphries, and then wonders if Dr. Humphries would do him a solid and "do the same thing regarding Mike Adams' campaign of lies and defamation" against Gorski.
"I won't be holding my breath," he writes. And given that Humphries seems to be allied with Adams (judging from at least one of her Facebook posts from April 2016), I think Dr. Gorski is wise to hold his breath:
It looks like Natural News is filing a legal complaint that names "Orac", the self-proclaimed sci-blogger whose real name is David Gorsky [sic]. I'm sure his backers will get him the most aggressive attorneys and spare no cost on cutting him loose from the charges. Most of us vaccine critical doctors have been on the other end of his pen...Much more recently -- on January 19, to be exact -- Dr. Humphries posted on Facebook about the death-threat email, saying that "the opposition is losing its mind."
I still think that Dr. Gorski may have the grounds for a seriously good defamation case against Mike Adams, but then again, I don't blame him for not wanting to waste time, money, and energy on the lunatic fringe of the anti-vax movement. Keep on blogging, Orac.
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