British Chiropractic Association: Afraid of Criticism

August 18, 2008 at 11:44 am (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic, Legal Chill, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

 Well I’m late to the party, but I’ve never been one to turn down an opportunity to highlight the cowardice of Alternative Medicine practitioners so frightened of legitimate criticism that they will run to the law to silence dissent – so here’s a bit more on Chiropractic legal threats. Sadly, Simon Singh is being sued. Holford Watch have a post up with links to coverage of the affair and some background to it (see also links to Frank Frizelle saga below), Dr* T has something on this: another back cracking quack attack and Gimpy has posted the full article and a separate commentary on the situation. Jack of Kent makes reference to the Derbyshire Rule and the right to freedom of expression in his commentary. Basically, Simon Singh wrote a piece for the Guardian that was critical of Chiropractic and the British Chiropractic Association have issued a writ through the High Court. This follows recent legal letters in New Zealand sent to Professor Frank Frizelle and the NZJM (also naming Professor David Colquhoun and Mr Andrew Gilbey). The Holford Watch piece on Frank Frizelle includes a fairly comprehensive list of legal threats from Alt Med types that should cover the ones I referred to in Legal Chill and Other Threats. I will also point to a couple of bits linked to from the NZJM response to Chiropractors, the brief piece Frank Frizelle wrote in 2005 titled Lawyers and Letters and a couple of webpages on publication ethics at Uniform Requirements and Sponsorship, Authorship and Accountability. As Frank Frizelle said to the Chiropractors’ Association in New Zealand, so I say to the British Chiropractors’ Association: Show us your evidence, not your legal muscle.

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More Legal Chill – from Spine Cracking Chiropractors

August 8, 2008 at 2:31 pm (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic, Legal Chill, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Cool:, and are all covering the latest woo legal chill. DC’s recent post Doctor Who? was an article he’d had published in the New Zealand Medical Journal on Chiropractors naughtily using the appellation “Doctor”, there is a PDF of the NZMJ response here: classy, and I’ll quote one of my (and Holford Watch’s) favourite bits: “let’s hear your evidence not your legal muscle”. Something quite a few practitioners of Alternative Medicine should perhaps think about – legal chill and other threats.

This really is a tactic they deliberately use isn’t it? They can’t debate the evidence, so they bluster and threaten. Kudos to Professor Frizelle for an excellent response to yet more Altie bluster.

EDIT: more links – bone doctors, Norburyness, weak-minded, ignorant and superstitious.

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Quackometer Silenced. Netcetera Tossers. Obi A Disgrace.

February 18, 2008 at 5:56 pm (Alternative Medicine, Bad Science, Bloggers, Woo) (, , , , , , , , )

The Quackometer’s hosting company Netcetera are spineless losers. Earlier this afternoon, Gimpy posted the sorry tale of the removal of the Quackometer blog. Netcetera have removed the entire blog in response to threats made by Joseph Chikelue Obi. This follows the previous removal of specific Quackometer posts by Netcetera (which I referred to on this blog as a Quack Attack). If anybody is in any doubt about the character of the man who has made these ludicrous allegations then please read this post, which details the disgraceful conduct of this erstwhile NHS employee. And for all those web hosts out there, please remember: there’s a difference between defamation and criticism.

New posts are popping up on the Bad Science blogs page and Shpalman and Dr* T also have a list of blogs that have posted on this so far. Not that I’m one to play favourites, but… best use of links: Netcetera are spineless morons; best post: Quackometer gagged by Netcetera.

Netcetera’s response to the Quackometer’s comments:

Thanks for your comments. We do not wish to be in a position where we could be taken to court, and incur the loss of time and expense that would involve. Consequently Netcetera have decided to suspend the Quackometer website, with reference to our Acceptable Usage Policy, the first part of which is quoted below. The full policy can be found on our website”Acceptable Usage Policy
This policy is subject to change, without alternate notice, so please check regularly for updates. This policy is in addition, and considered part of Netcetera’s Terms and Conditions.
Netcetera will be the sole arbiter as to what constitutes a violation of this provision.
1) Web Hosting
1.1) Netcetera reserves the right to suspend or cancel a customer’s access to any or all services provided by Netcetera, where Netcetera decides that the account has been inappropriately used. Netcetera reserves the right to refuse service and /or access to its servers to anyone.”
We will prevent public access to the site as of noon today 18th February 2008. You will be able to access the content to be able to transfer it to another host if you so wish.
We will hold the content available to you for 30 days, and then we will remove it from our servers.

Rather than sign up to a host such as Netcetera, you might be better off with, say, Positive Internet.

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Joseph Chikelue Obi – A Bit Of Background

February 1, 2008 at 3:47 pm (Alternative Medicine, Bloggers, Society of Homeopaths, SoH, Woo) (, , , , , , , , )

Joseph Chikelue Obi is an interesting character. Provost of the Royal College of Alternative Medicine, Obi is very fond of using the word “ethical”.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Quack Attack

January 23, 2008 at 10:55 am (Alternative Medicine, Bad Science, Bloggers, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Well, it’s all kicked off again. The latest legal threats from the Alt-Med lobby have resulted in the removal (by hosts Netcetera) of a page on the Quackometer blog. I won’t go into too much detail about Joseph Chikelue Obi here, as others have already done so. PV has posted an excellent piece titled “Legal Threats and Extortion to Suppress the Truth”, Ambrielle has posted “Mr Joseph Chikelue Obi vs The Quackometer” and Dr*T has written about CAM once again using bullying to cover up quackery.

This has also been covered here and here (incidentally – this is an interesting online news article). This really is a recurring theme in Alt Med circles – Ann Walker got terribly upset at Prof David Colquhoun’s views on gobbledygook, Patrick Holford has sent letters/emails to all kinds of people from Holford Watch through to David Colquhoun and the SoH controversy will never be forgotten (at least by me). Apathy Sketchpad covered the SoH v Quackometer hullabaloo and made reference to Netcetera’s lack of backbone when faced by ludicrous legal threats from a ludicrous organisation. In the latest post on Apathy Sketchpad, Joseph Chikelue Obi features and a comparison is made to the situation with the previous threats made by the Society of Homeopaths.

There are more useful links here, here and here. More blog posts and mirrored pages to follow: BrainDuck Blog, Soberish, Orac, Skeptico, Fooeey, MrHunnyBun… are all linked from teh Shpalman. There may well be more posts later, as the good people listed at BadScienceBlogs find out more about what’s going on. Update 4.30pm – Flammable Flower post. Edit: Bad Chemist has an updated list and the following blogs have reposted or commented on Le Canard Noir’s original articles: Mugs and Money, Mugs and Money 2, Away From The Bench, JQH, Apathy Sketchpad, AP Gaylard, Chemobrain, SciencePunk, Gimpy

A couple of final points: I think it is disgraceful that rather than debate the issues, AltMed lobbyists and practitioners threaten and bully bloggers. I also think it is somewhat less-than-heroic of the blog’s hosts to take pages down without good reason. Anyone can threaten to sue and backing down in the face of vexatious and frivolous claims can only encourage groundless accusations of defamation. Remember – defamation and criticism are not the same thing. Le Canard Noir’s original articles appear below:

Read the rest of this entry »

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