The Promotion of Counterknowledge

March 24, 2009 at 6:09 pm (Alternative Medicine, Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Bloggers, Briffa, Conspiracy, Dangerously Wrong, government, Media, Nutritionism, Patrick Holford, Religion, Supplements, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

[BPSDB] Those promoting Counterknowledge are winning. Possibly because the public actually don’t really care that much*. (Damien Thompson’s book Counterknowledge is available from local libraries in my area, yet I am the first person in the 14 months since it has been in the library catalogue to borrow it.) It is also possible that Counterknowledge is spreading at least partly because people with a measure of influence in society are among those who promote it. Members of the British royal family, politicians, the mainstream media, celebrities, Alternative Medicine practitioners posing as authority figures, members of churches, and even universities have helped to promote Counterknowledge. Not to mention maverick scientists such as Andrew Wakefield. Those with less authority are playing an important part too, though. For example, full-time conspiracy theorists such as the owner of the website are disseminating bullshit that is reproduced on forums such as What Doctors Don’t Tell You, or JABS. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 5 Comments

This Post is Dedicated to…

June 25, 2008 at 1:23 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Big Pharma, Conspiracy, Fun, Miscellaneous, Trivial) (, , , )

Everyone who has been slated by John Scudamore on The pharma gang and shill pages are my favourites. Frankly, I’m a bit gutted that I don’t get a mention – I’ll have to be more vocal in my criticism of JABS and Whale in future. Richard Doll is a shill (as are Ernst and Goldacre) so I don’t think it would be appropriate for someone of my limited talents to be listed on that page, but how about a mention on the ‘pharma gang’ page John? Honestly – it would be like a badge of honour for me. The really interesting thing is that one name on the pharma gang page is John Stone. Is it a mistake or are there ideological differences (and perhaps even ‘trust issues’) in the JABS camp? Just in case it is a mistake and John Scudamore realises his error, I’ve JKN’d the page here.

Permalink 8 Comments

BBC Guidelines – Worthless

June 13, 2008 at 4:07 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Media) (, , , , , )

OK, it’s just a brief post today instead of my usual Friday verbosity – because I’m watching the Holland game tonight.

I’ve been trying to find out more about why the BBC links to JABS and how they can justify doing so. Between my complaints to the ECU and my FOI requests, I’ve managed to get an initial opinion of a BBC employee that their linking to JABS would be “well within what is permissable in [their] guidelines”. I am grateful to my correspondent for passing this on, but I am appalled that the BBC have issued guidelines on external linking that allow them to link to a site such as JABS that contains dangerously wrong information. If they can link to the views of HIV-denialist Doctors and laypersons who advise parents of infants to discontinue medical treatment and switch off baby monitors, then the BBC can link to anyone and, this being the case, there is no point having guidelines on external links in the first place. As a tenacious obsessive, I’m inclined not to let this go. I am still awaiting the outcome of my complaint to the ECU, but I don’t expect to get the result I was hoping for. So what’s next? Do I join the green ink brigade and start a letter-writing campaign in the style of John Stone or do I go for the sit-down protest outside Broadcasting House? You decide.

My BBC Complaint

Why does the BBC link to JABS?

JABS and Whale

An open letter to JABS

EDIT 7.45pm: I’ve noticed a perceptive comment on the Bad Science forum from DeeTee: “they [JABS] are a single issue action group, and not a support group. Why cannot the BBC realise this?” – which is something I should probably stress to the BBC next time I contact them.

Permalink Leave a Comment

JABS and Whale

February 15, 2008 at 12:46 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Conspiracy) (, , , , , , )

The JABS anti-vaccination forum has several regular posters who link to the site. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 1 Comment