Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz


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Fish in a barrel

This is a guest post from Ian (@teachingofsci), which I think is a calm demonstration of why so many who try to engage with proponents of alt med end up seriously lacking a feeling of calm.

I have had similar situations in which I’ve tried to converse with otherwise intelligent, rational, friendly people, who have shouted that they will not read anything I ask them to read before we can continue the conversation with a bit more information behind us. If people are unwilling even to look at evidence that might not support their view, what’s the point, really?

Different people have different ways of going about skeptical activism, and advocating rational thinking – often with an ultimate goal of protecting gullible and vulnerable people from those who would profit from their ignorance, and perhaps simultaneously endanger their health. I don’t believe there’s a right way, but sometimes this kind of tactic can prove useful. Enjoy!

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ALL the trials!

Be aware of this new and incredibly important campaign: alltrials.

It’s time all clinical trial results are reported. Patients, researchers, doctors and regulators everywhere in the world will benefit from publication of clinical trial results.

Please sign the petition

Please do. Doctors cannot prescribe the most suitable treatments, if they don’t know what the most suitable treatments are due to lacking information. Patients therefore suffer. Academics cannot plan their research effectively without knowing previous results. The government cannot make appropriate funding decisions without this information, either.

So, help to make ALL clinical trial data available to everyone who needs it – all of us.

Edit 05/02/13: GSK have just signed up! Amazing! Ben has written a quick post on it and here’s the alltrials news.

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Libel Reform update: 3 years on

Background

A couple of years back I attended a Skeptics in the Pub meeting in Holborn at which Dave Gorman and Prof Brian Cox came to support Simon Singh. He had been served a libel threat by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) for criticising claims from chiropractors about curing colic in babies and so on. A dangerous claim to make, and, as Simon put it, a “bogus” one.

Fortunately, Simon won his case. Others haven’t been so lucky, and more threats are being issued.

There are many problems with the UK libel laws – lots of background information can be found here at libelreform.org and I’ve written some posts over the years (really rather a lot of posts actually), if you’re interested in past events.

Essentially libel laws are often used to silence fair, necessary and important criticism. People without the money to fight these hideously expensive cases tend to just give up. Individuals are bullied by large corporations, medical debates are stifled, unethical behaviour is hidden.

The libel reform campaign has been set up and run by the three charities, Sense About Science, English Pen and Index on Censorship. Two years ago there was the Big Libel Gig, to fundraise for victims of libel threats.

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Burzynski

I think it’s time for me to say something on this subject. It is after all very closely related to my current… vocation (if one can call it that, being a PhD student still!) and impacting directly on some of my friends.

One of those friends is my co-host of our long-neglected podcast, Super Duper Woo-Fighting Duo (With Capes)! – Rhys Morgan.

Edit: even BoingBoing is on it this evening!

Background

Feel free to scroll down to ‘The Threats‘ and ‘Some Interesting Correspondence‘ sections if you know all this…

The subject is one Stanislaw Burzynski, based in Houston, Texas. He offers an experimental treatment (though to call it that is probably a bit generous) to cancer patients called “Antineoplaston Therapy”. These antineoplastons are claimed to be peptides (bits of protein – though they’re generally not, technically – see comment 11 for more) found in urine. When a difference between cancer patients’ and healthy individuals’ urine peptide profile was found, an assumption was made that cancer sufferers were lacking these protein chunks and therefore replacing them should be an effective cure. A list of his patents and publications can be found here. This NYT article is extensive and demonstrates the shocking wealth accumulated:

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One Year On: Libel Reform Update

December 2nd 2010 at the Free Word Centre: an update on the progress of the Libel Reform

all-important refreshments

campaign.

Hosted by Jonathan Haewood of English Pen, John Kampfner of Index on Censorship and Tracey Brown of Sense About Science.

English pen have their photos from the evening on Flickr; I managed to avoid being in any of them this time!

From the literature distributed at the event:

The One Year On event follows weeks of further revelations of the impacts of the libel laws:

- Plastic surgeon Dr Dalia Nield was threatened with libel action by the manufacturer of a ‘Boob Job’ cream for saying she was concerned the product was potentially dangerous*

- A survey of bloggers and online forum hosts found that bloggers are particularly affected by the libel laws as they work without the support of a large company so suffer an inequality of arms, particularly where they are writing about companies, institutions and products.

- Yahoo!, AOL (UK), Mumsnet and the Internet Service Providers Association told Prime Minister David Cameron that the current laws make ISPs liable for content hosted by them and means material can get taken down in response to a threat when there may benothing defamatory about it.

* This is in reference to Rodial’s product, a cream called “Boob Job” – covered by Ben Goldacre, and we also mention it in Episode 7 of Super-Duper Woo-Fighting Duo!

Introduction

We were first assured that people’s counter-arguments have led to modification of positions and proposals within the campaign – differing interpretations have been taken on board and the aims of the campaign modified accordingly (in true skeptical fashion!).

It has sparked the first serious public discussion on libel in the UK; no insignificant achievement.

More MPs signed the libel reform EDM than any other in parliament. All parties made a commitment in their manifesto. A Libel reform bill has also come through the lords.

And, of course, Simon Singh won his appeal! Leading to the “Fair comment should be strengthened and clarified” resolution.

In addition, Jonathan has written:

In a year’s hard campaigning we’ve seen a lot of activity – but nothing has actually changed. We are now looking to the Government to produce a Bill that protects the public interest and recognises our changed media environment. We are commmitted to upholding free speech, reputation and access to justice – we just hope that the Government is too.

However, there have also been worrying trends. Scientists, publishers and bloggers are still  regularly being threatened with libel writs.

At the very least we can probably accept that everyone wants to:

- protect free speech

- recognise the importance of reputation

- maintain access to justice

Richard Allan

(Director of European policy, Facebook)

He states the importance of being able to talking with people as freely as possible, then mentioned the “Twitter bomb threat” (which prompted me to tut loudly; people need to stop calling it a ‘bomb hoax/threat’ because it wasn’t) – speech issues are on the agenda in both the public and political spheres.

In his view, the objective is: legal support for speech (as long as that speech isn’t illegal; i.e. recognise the existence and [lack of] implications of casual talk or ‘the Pub vs. the public) – let’s have a better environment.

They don’t want to have to respond to solicitors’ casual threats of libel. Instead:

- The complainant should go to the author first

- Obtain documents from court to say it’s a genuine complaint

Internet companies take content down first and ask questions later! (Once bitten…)

There needs to be a single publisher rule; a limitation of 1 year; long enough for someone to take action if it is in fact actionable.

Facebook is globally accessible but libel tourism isn’t acceptable.

We need to respect that people have views on things – they do and will continue to discuss them in public fora, including online.

Unless this is understood, it is simply “an accident waiting to happen” – will it take a few solicitors to pick it up and run action to have dramatic chill, before things change? Let’s get legislation now rather than fix it after the fact.

Emily Cleevely

(Head of Policy, Publishers’ Association)

Emily started by asserting the value of publishing and why it’s in the government’s interest to protect it, having generated £4bn revenue in the UK in 2009; up 2.6% in 2010 – in the current market. If we’re to get out of the recession, surely we should be supporting growing industries?

Is publishing the key? It also aids with social mobility e.g.  in the form public libraries.

Creativity should be protected – authors must have freedom of expression without great fear of libel action. Not just trials but also the threat of libel, the chill, that convinces too many that silence is a safer option.

Emily gave the example of Wayne Rooney’s book, which apparently had a lot of things taken out/changed. Not sure anyone was too impressed with this point, particularly Matt

The PA will continue to be active in politics and media regarding Libel Reform.

Most interestingly, Emily gave some stats from a survey conducted in October this year regarding the effects of libel on PA members (which will be published in a January 2011 report): 100% (of the 65% total membership that participated in the study) said they had modified content or language in a book prior to publication to avoid the risks presented by current UK libel laws.

Richard Mollet, CEO of the PA, said:

The Publishers Association has been campaigning for libel reform for many years and is concerned about the chilling effect which the current law has on freedom of expression. The results from our survey demonstrate that libel law as it currently stands is a huge burden to many publishers in the UK and may act as an obstacle to growth, innovation and freedom of expression within the sector.

Tom McNally

(Minister of State, Minister of Justice)

[Most of the time he was speaking, I kept wondering what he was fiddling with in his jacket pocket. Anyone else??]

Having only been a minister for 6 months, McNally wanted to quote the ‘Dick’ Crossman diary (1964) on ministerial duties [roughly, as I couldn’t quite write fast enough!]:

One of the curious features is that one cannot distinguish day from day or night from night

[I think that’s the case with plenty of jobs, to be honest!]

He did say we “should have a Draft Bill in Spring” (which means sometime before June 1st 2011)

Going from the Lords to legislation is a slow process and the importance of “future-proofing” whatever we do was emphasised.

In my notes I then have something about ‘the next parliament March 2012′ – even after reading some Wiki on our parliament, I don’t know what he/I meant by this (please comment if your memory and political/legal understanding is better! This is not difficult to achieve, mind).

McNally implored us to continue:

Don’t stop! … This is the end of the beginning for your campaign

The Draft Bill is a rough outline of what the government will commit to. When it comes out, we may not like phrasing and bits might be missing..!

He then addressed Simon Singh:

My son is 17 and doing Maths, Physics and Chemistry in St. Albans – your ordeal was very rough but you’re a hero to young scientists and have inspired a lot of young people in science

Which, I think, we all very much agree with.

Having read Douglas Hurd‘s paper on communications, focussing on “Quality, Diversity and Choice” – he wants to ensure we have that in our media, unrestricted by the libel laws.

Questions

Q (DAG): Do the activists only come in after bill publication – can’t we input now? [Tom A: wait a bit!] You said ‘hopefully’ there will be a slot in 2011/2012 – does that mean there might not be one? [Tom A: No minister can commit to anything in the preceeding financial year]

Q: Have you considered vulnerable writers (like the disabled) and the use of sensitive/offensive terms – legislating on which are acceptable, and how does one defend one’s reputation? [Tom A: regarding hate crimes, the issue hasn’t come into libel reform yet] – I think the general opinion here was that this was a bit of an irrelevant/off-the-mark question.

Q: (Simon) – Interview in Aus with Questions: regarding homeopathy – threat of London libel. Someone blogged anyway. People someone quoted have asked to be anonymous for fear of libel. [Tom A: Contrasting legal advice: is the Master of Rolls looking?] From the audience: “At every stage…” – some ramble that didn’t mean a lot, from where I was sitting!

Comment: (Síle Lane) – from a Sense About Science survey, of the editors of scientific journals (in all subject areas):

- 32% have been threatened with libel action

- 44% have asked authors to modify articles

- 38% have refused to publish due to fear.

Tom A: We’ll try! We can’t go into detail; we need laws to protect science discussion and criticism. Legislation needs to be right, not flawed and open to criticism. Then a comment about public opinion/support that I missed – perhaps, the public generally supports making sure scientific claims & criticisms can’t be silenced by legal threats? I don’t know if there have been any surveys on this.

Q (Evan Harris): A claimant lawyer can make their case (and have it rejected!) –  we need to create a public interest defence; incorporating a ‘threshhold’ of damage caused to reputation (in this country), given what is published abroad. [Tom A: Something about the Lester bill and 2 sides interacting, that I missed. Plus, there’s another chill for people with ‘media intrusion’, who are met with “don’t like it? See you in court”]

Response (Evan): Individuals need to be able to sue. Companies, less so. [A: this must be looked at.]

Comment (Nigel Tait – Carter Ruck (!) ): ‘Please don’t worry about us lawyers!’ – because they’ll keep making money regardless, basically. Which is true.

Q: (Tracey Brown) – Is it a good thing (economically) that London is a litigation centre? There are other ways though;  so that we would not be blocking world discussion, but leading it.

Q: (Matt Flaherty) – The recent Supreme Court case that replaced “fair comment” with “honest comment” – how big a deal is that?

- we didn’t get an answer to Matt’s question, sadly, even though it was arguably the best one (but perhaps we’re just biased ‘cos we love Matt. Still, it’s a shame no one offered a response).

Q: I want to bring up the elephant in the room, or perhaps the country; I’m sympathetic to PA and Facebook but what about people exposing military abuse; will you allow Assange to stay in the UK? – people chuckled at this a bit.

Richard makes a joke and someone says “Assange is not a subject for mirth”.

(Richard): Sorry, World insanity causes me to resort to black humour! When you hear of people ordering assassinations for something the person has said, that’s just insane.

A (Tom): I Can’t answer this! Ask the attorney general. Q: What’s your view of the leaks? Patience! – is all I’ve got in response to that, but I can’t remember if any more was said.

Comment: The burden of proof is not actually biased to the claimant (I had a semi-drunk argument/discussion about this – the unfairness of the law re: the accused who makes the libellous comment – in the old London SitP pub, then about 2 weeks later I bumped into the guy at Westminster Skeptics and he said I was right and he’d been talking rubbish. Always nice to know!).

Q: One of the main reasons for libel tourism is that our lawyers charge 40-50x fees! No one can afford this! Would the lawyers really want to remove this source of income?

A (Joanne Cash): – Yes we will go against our paychecks! “If you need any help, you know where I am!”

Comment (Emily): People ask about the value of science vs. creative works and biographies. Science must be critiqued. Perhaps there should be a seperate – legal, if I recall -category for science?

Audacity! We use that for Superwooduo

Hey, Audacity! We use that for SDWFD(wc)

Personally I don’t think I agree with that. If you start treating science as a really special case, this could potentially damage an already shaky relationship with the layperson. Though evidence-driven criticism is especially vital in science and particularly medicine, I don’t see why such criticism should be actively discouraged (with such great effect as the current libel law has) in any field.

Closing comments

Tracey: When we started, we heard “don’t bother” because: it’s too complicated; you’re small; the government is uninterested.

Remember this is as much about the public right to read as for people to speak. Uncertainty leads to debate and often uncovering the truth.

For example, take the case of Peter Wilmshurst as one that gives a simple perspective (we  want the public to be made aware of things that might be dangerous, rather than people deciding not to speak out to protect others, for fear of losing their house, their job, their livelihood).

When small people say things to power sometimes things happen

I’m sure many of us still like to think that could be true.


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Protesting the Pope

A fantastic day! Read the official campaign’s page for links to speeches etc.

from @toxicpath

The sun shone, the peace was kept and we all had a good sing & shout. Getting people to sing along to ‘Every Sperm is Sacred’ whilst we played our kazoos and wotnot was, so to speak, divine.

For a feel, have a look at this video diary, listen to some interesting PodDelusion audio (also the iPadio snippets at the end) and here’s my Flickr set.

What an amazing bunch of people – seriously, I don’t gush about the wonderful nature of human beings very often but having been surrounded by ~12,000 (according to the Met) lovely individuals, today I feel I have to.

Atheists, humanists, catholics, muslims, hindus, agnostics – just about all faiths and none, I reckon (mostly none, of course, but plenty of decent ‘believers’ also).

The only thing that shocked me was some of the pro-pope lot shortly after the march started. At first we couldn’t really hear what they were saying, it was just to the tune of various football chants. But then it became clear.

There the dead go! *clapclap clap clap clap* There the dead go!!

I really couldn’t believe that children and adults alike were standing there shouting that at us. It was truly horrible, many of us looked at each other with disbelief, but we didn’t have much to return except the peace-Vs and a bit of “use condoms!”.

from Leah van Zyl

That bit of unpleasantness aside, we had some chants – a few were amusing

from @edforchoice

Get your rosaries off my ovaries!

Hands off my eggs, Benedict!

And some more standard, to-the-point

Gay/trans/women’s/children’s rights are human rights!

No state visit!

We don’t want your homophobia, nope to the pope!

Faith schools indoctrinate!

See some (minimal) BBC coverage here – can’t believe I missed Ian McKellen!!

The speakers were excellent, when we finally arrived at Downing Street. All the unedited audio is here on PodDelusion.

BHA chief exec Andrew Copson was surprised and very pleased with the turnout (rightly so!).

Also from Leah – brilliant!

Some very moving speeches from survivors of childhood abuse at the hands of the clergy (Sue Cox for example – see/hear us ‘singing’ at the beginning too!). They expressed their thanks for everyone showing up and making them realise how many people do care about them, having been told for so many years that they should keep quiet, then that they were lying.

Peter Tatchell did his thing and spelled out why we were all there.

Richard Dawkins got big cheers from the crowd and was actually rather amusing! Link to best Youtube vid so far.

Hear Johann Hari’s speech here.

Ben Goldacre’s usual sobering AIDS-kills-2 million-every-year stat had all the blown-up condoms bobbing around above the crowd. Listen to a bit  o’ Ben here.

Also on the stage was Geoffrey Robertson, author of The Case of the Pope – an exposé of all the monstrous activity he’s uncovered in the Catholic church.

One of the most horrific things was to hear of  the many women in Brazil and other countries turned straight to the authorities when they arrive at hospitals seriously injured after enduring a backstreet abortion out of desperation. Instantly criminalised due to draconian laws based on religious beliefs, stripping them of their rights; reproductive rights and basic human rights.

Father Bernard Lynch told of his anguish, witnissing fellow gay Catholics losing hope and dying from AIDS following Benedict’s vile words and policies.

Maryam Namazie spoke for the One Law For All campaign and the crowd voiced their support for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who may be stoned due to Iran’s oppressive islamic regime.

After it all finished, the crowds dispersed quickly and quietly, the roadsweepers did a great job clearing up (but most people I saw were carefully keeping their litter to themselves or finding a bin – not easy in London!) after us and we went to sit in a pub.

from @brumplum

It was fantastic to meet some Facebook friends in person, to sing with the BHA choir (thanks to everyone who joined in!!), bump into old friends and make new ones.

I had a great day and I hope we’ve made a bit of a difference somehow.

——————————————————————————–

Audio

Here are the PodDelusion snippets from James & Liz:

Belivers And Protesters http://ipad.io/OUQ (and James’ experience of trying to get some interviews from pope tourists – not too good)

Speakin To John, Who’s Going To See The Pope http://ipad.io/OUT

Finally Found Some Protesters At #protestthepope http://ipad.io/OUY (featuring yours truly! Eating my breakfast/lunch)

Chanting http://ipad.io/OUt

Another Interview http://ipad.io/OV1

Signs And Banners http://ipad.io/OV9

Shame On The Pope! http://ipad.io/OVO

Aftermath (recorded Saturday) http://ipad.io/OaE

Video

My recordings:

My new favourite video here.

Also search ‘pope’ on John’s youtube channel for a few excellent videos http://www.youtube.com/user/johnjrp01

Media

Honestly we’re all quite pissed off about this, I think. The estimates for attending are consistently under-reported, many of the interviews and footage taken seem not to have materialised… it’s all a bit fishy, but also unsurprising I suppose.

Here’s a good riposte to tall the people saying the protest was anti-catholic (who have missed the point entirely). The NSS has done a nice write-up with photos.

Video from ITN, not sure what actually made it on the TV news though. Press Association coverage.

New York Times article isn’t too bad. The BBC coverage has been fairly predictably rubbish so far.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11358115

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11355258

Photos

Buzzfeed’s funniest signs!

See my friend Delia’s blog, Tanya’s photo blog, Hampshire Skeptics, Jonathan Warren‘s site and the BHA’s facebook album for some great pics.

The BHA has also set up a Flickr pool for the event!

On Flickr, fab pics from: Joe, Colin Grey, maddington, Stormy little teacup, pug50, Cat Burton, Stephen Darlington, Loz, Zeitgeist images, Greg Gerrard, Andrew Brown.



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#Bleachgate: The Plot Thickens

Rhys is becoming a skeptical celebrity! His Twitter following is increasing exponentially and he’s off doing interviews for the likes of Pod Delusion [Edit: do have a listen, great episode!] and Skepchick. He’s written up the events himself on his blog. Joely has put her thoughts down, on why people are sucked in by ‘miracle cures’.

Rhys has assembled a small taskforce to document all the people selling  MMS, contacted the FDA regarding Mr D Bergy, has spoken to BBC Wales and is generally making excellent use of his holiday time. Kudos. Edit: now in line to take part in a Crohn’s/MMS documentary with a Yorkshire production company!

But now, something I couldn’t leave until tomorrow.

A Horror Movie

I just had to write about this video I’ve been watching; an interview with Jim Humble (reckon that’s his real name??) on the discovery, mechanism and results of MMS. Basically he seems to think he’s a miracle healer and that this stuff cures everything – and I mean everything.

Fortunately he talks slowly and I type very fast so it’s not taking too long to transcribe – most of it is terrifying and of highly dubious legality, I’d say. I’ve not used the quote format because it’s almost all his words; my commentary in italics.

Discovery

After going through his past life as a gold prospector and other random things, he starts talking about how he gave glasses of water with his ‘purification drops’ to people suffering from malaria in Africa and watched them spring up and start laughing about how bad they were feeling before. From about 12:00 onwards:

They were willing to try anything

Well exactly, sir. Desperate people are often open to anything.

He says the Guyanan government stopped him because US pharma companies threatened that they’d stop sending drugs if he kept ‘curing people with malaria’ and they needed their drugs in the hospitals. The usual ‘big pharma is witholding your cures!’ stuff.

I realised I was using stabilised oxygen and I started working with it.

Chlorine dioxide is what’s available in stabilised oxygen [stuff sold in health food stores]

It took me a year to figure it out, any good chemist probably would have figured it out in a day… a lot of chemistry I really didn’t understand [NO, surely not?!]

You simply add some vinegar or lemon juice and the acid releases the chlorine dioxide and that is what does the work… not the same as chlorine… it doesn’t create the chemicals that chlorine creates in the body or in water purification systems… carcinogenic chemicals, but chlorine dioxide does not.

He then uses some fallacy (possibly of composition, not sure) about how salt (sodium chloride),  which is harmless (although it isn’t always!), is very different from chlorine, therefore chlorine dioxide is harmless too.

Then he rambles about how it’s a better oxidant than Hydrogen Peroxide!! Well, anyone who’s bleached their hair will know that you certainly don’t drink that stuff.

It only attacks the pathogens! … There are no side-effects… after a few hours it turns into such a small amount of chloride (that’s table salt)… it leaves nothing behind to cause side-effects

Mechanism?

Interviewer: how does it single out pathogens in the body?

Pathogens are anaerobic… the anaerobic micro-organisms are the ones that do the damage. Oxygen-using bacteria are much stronger than disease-causing anaerobic micro-organisms so they cause all the trouble and are weak. [This is, as you may realise, rubbish]

Most people have been out in the woods and they’ve seen fungus growing on the trees. That’s anaerobic; you can walk up and knock it off because it’s very weak!

Er, what? 1. Fungal blooms don’t exclusively respire anaerobically. 2. You can knock them off because you’re many times their size and strength. Same reason you can push a kid off a swing, doesn’t mean they’re pathogenic!

It’s the same way in your body.

When you put chlorine dioxide in the body, it’s a weak oxidiser so it can single out the pathogens – it only has enough power to oxidise the pathogens.

Although it’s much weaker than ozone and H2O2, it has a much greater capacity; it’ll oxidise 2 or 2.5x as much as ozone but it can’t oxidise as many different things. Those things that it does oxidise, it does so with a great deal of power. [Eh?]

Chlorine dioxide is an explosive in large quantities… The way it kills a pathogen is it blows a hole in its skin. [NB/ bacteria do not, of course, have skin]

The normal antibiotic that you take, that antibiotic has to be built for that particular pathogen because it has to go inside and make the nuculeus [sic] quit working properly [That is not generally how antibiotics work, since bacteria don’t have nuclei – the ones that cause human diseases don’t, anyway].

But ClO2 blows a hole in the side, there’s no possibility of any pathogen ever building a resistance.

It kills viruses in a slightly different way. Instead of trying to kill the nucleus of the virus [a virus does not have a nucleus], it prevents the formation of the virus proteins resulting in the destruction of the virus… it also kills fungus and parasites.

Now for the SCARY bit [Edit: or so I thought; it gets much worse]

Contemptible Claims

1. Malaria

For example, malaria is caused by a parasite and normally a person with malaria given MMS will be well in 4 hours.

I’ve treated 2000 people personally and the people I’ve trained have treated over 100,000 people and in that 100,000 normally 400 people would die.

There were no deaths reported in that 100,000 at all. It really works well with malaria and a lot of other parasites, even worms.

Interviewer: You say in the trials, people had treated 100,000 people, in Africa?

Yes, in Kenya and Uganda. Then there was [sic] guys who I’d give the material and MMS to and they went to Sierra Leone and quite a few people in Tanzania were treated. I treated a number in Malawi. (Chuckle) All these countries are in Africa if you don’t recognise them.

Interviewer: What happens when word starts to spread?

A lot of other people come in but unfortunately things happen that sort of slow things down. A couple of missionaries decided I was evil and told all the missionaries in the area so that sort of slowed things down. They quit using the MMS. People didn’t get treated.

2. Miracle Healing

Interviewer: Because you were a threat to the power struggle?

Maybe. One woman came to me with pain in her hands. She put her hand on mine and I said ‘can you feel my fingers?’… ‘oh! the pain’s going away, I can feel the tingling’. A missionary came in and said stop it, stop it… she decided I was evil.

I developed a technique for healing by touch. The basic theory is that the brain controls all the healing in your body so if you can increase the communication between the brain and the area that’s bad, it will heal faster. In minutes sometimes… a little bit like reiki but not really!

—-

Interviewer: What response have you had from the orthodox medical establishment?

It depends on where you’re at. In the US, the medical establishment is pretty much against MMS.

I had a millionaire who was willing to put up enough money to treat the entire country of Haiti. So I went there with the idea of doing that and I tried to communicate with people there and I talked to all of the missionaries there and every one of them was connected with a doctor in the US and he said ‘don’t have anything to do with it’ – quite a few were enthused but when their doctor told them not to…

The medical establishment in the last few years have not been very receptive.

I’m in Mexico now and there the doctors have been helping me and a non-profit civil association was formed. A number of doctors have put their names to it.

Ready for it?

3. AIDS and CANCER

We’ve started doing clinical trials for AIDS, Hepatitis C and Cancer and those trials have been going pretty good [sic] and we have a guy who’s head of the prison system there – he’s also helping us. And the local hospital has agreed to give us 300 blood tests for free.

We’ve been out to treat the local Indians and tribes out there. There’s a lot of bottles of MMS being sold in the US too – at least 15,000 a month.

Say it again?

Interviewer: Are you allowed to say here on camera that MMS will cure cancer? [36:20]

Sure! (Laugh) I can say it – MMS will cure cancer.

Actually, I think you’ll find that you cannot. Follow-up in progress.

Interviewer: What statistics have you got on that?

In my opinion, you know, I’ve treated a few hundred people in Mexico, some were cancer patients. I’ve treated, over the telephone when people call me, at least 2000 people over the telephone. I’ve probably treated by e-mail another 4000 people and I have a lot of stories of people who have been cured of cancer.

There was a girl down in Australia who had lung cancer. The doctor said ‘you’re gonna die in about 2 weeks’. She wasn’t able to get out of bed and so her doctor heard of MMS, brought it to her and she was of course willing to take it and in 11 days she was up walking around and in 15 days she got in her car and drove down the lake and walked around the small lake. Before the month was out she was back teaching school. She wasn’t completely cured then but since then she has been.

Just the other day my friend who works with me there in Mexico, his uncle got cancer, got worse and worse… it was pancreatic cancer and he said ‘I wanna go treat my uncle!’ – we said ‘sure!’ – we flew to another city, he was laying in bed totally depressed. He said ‘here I’m gonna give you some stuff, drink it’ – he did the whole protocol that we have, which is putting the MMS on the outside of the skin and several other things and by the next morning he got up out of bed and walked around a bit.

This is utterly shocking to me. Pancreatic cancer is still one of the deadliest cancers around. It is no laughing matter, only 2-5% of patients survive 2 years after diagnosis. This is an horrific claim to make.

By the third day he quit taking the pain tablets. It almost always happens with cancer patients. By the end of the week he was talking about going back to work. When I left Mexico he wasn’t totally cured but he was up living his life again at least.

Misunderstanding Cancer

Interviewer: Because it heads straight for anything that’s anaerobic and cancer cells are anaerobic?

There’s more to it than that with cancer. We put it on the skin and we use DMSO, a material that soaks into the skin [yeah and you don’t want that to happen; we use it in the lab, never ever without gloves! Think he’s cherry-picked from wiki, read from here for example], used by people that treat horses and other animals and people all over the world; if you mix it with MMS, it soaks into the skin and takes the MMS into the skin too.

So when it takes the MMS into the skin it heads directly for the cancer and it soaks into the cancer too. Instead of attacking the cancerous cells, the weak cancer cells, because it’s DMSO it soaks into the cell and it kills the little bug that’s inside the cell that’s causing the cancer and it’s causing the cell to be weak and cancerous.

CANCER IS NOT CAUSED BY ‘BUGS’ LIVING INSIDE CELLS – cancerous cells are cells growing out of control. They are not ‘possessed’ by bacteria or anything else. This is a patent lie, a complete misunderstanding of the biology of cancer and to claim that killing some imaginary cellular parasite with magic bleach will cure someone of cancer is beyond my words.

When you kill that little bug, the cell becomes healthy again so you no longer have to kill the cell. So the whole theory behind using MMS to kill cancer; is we use it 3 or 4 different ways all on the same guy, because we want to have as much MMS in that person’s body as possible. We want to make the environment of the body totally reject the cancer. The more we can get into the body, the more likely it will kill the cancer.

But we’re limited because we can’t make the person sick. We gotta give him just enough that he don’t get sick but he’s on the edge of getting sick! So we’ve got to keep him just on the very edge and therefore it’s pretty intense for cancer, he needs to take it 4/5 times a day, small amounts instead of a big batch.

Interviewer: What does ‘small amounts’ mean?

3-6 drops of MMS, of course you’ve got to activate it too, in small amounts. The MMS is put on the outside of the body, affects the body in a different way, it doesn’t cause um, uh, a Hexeimer… Herzeimer reaction [sic - I don’t know what he’s talking about] (being the reaction that’s caused by cells dying) because it goes in and it kills the bug that’s inside the cancerous cells and it kills the cancer. So it uh, we’re, been having a lot of luck with cancer and almost every other disease you can imagine.

Marketing & Poor Advice

Interviewer: It sounds like there will be people who are paying very close attention to what you’re staying because they may be thinking ‘this is my last hope‘. Do they buy a bottle ans start taking it, do they need to consult a practitioner? Are there different protocols for different types of cancer?

Some people can self-medicate. Boy, medical doctors hate that! It’s going to keep them from getting a few bucks. But it’s a good thing, people taking responsibility for themselves. If you can find someone who has experience, that’s good, get going. I have all the data on my websites, and the protocols tell you how to do it – the cancer and other things as well.

Another tired argument; doctors don’t want you to get better because it damages their pay-check!!1! Well guess what, doctors are almost universally less misanthropic than this bloke.

The latest one is a protocol for people who have life-threatening diseases and… we’re getting the best results for, life-threatening diseases like cancer.

There are a lot of things you don’t need to go that intense with, you can take it much easier. Normally, I have all those protocols on and a lot of other data too.

I have what’s called an MMS Answer Site with more than 800 questions and answers I’ve given people over the last year. Those questions are cross-referenced in a number of different ways so you can look up almost anything; pancreas, colon or a number of other things.

The Motive

Interviewer: So what you want is to give people the power to take their own health welfare back into their own hands away from the professionals?

Exactly, exactly. The more someone takes responsibility for his own health, the more likely he’s going to be happy and stay alive!

There’s MORE?

Interviewer: So we’re talking malaria, AIDS, cancer, what else?

Flu, colds, all types of diseases of the mouth.

Um, uh… most people find that even if they think they have healthy mouths, if they will brush with MMS twice a day, they’ll find that their gums will get harder, their teeth will get more solidly in place, their teeth will get wider [?!], the MMS kills any bacteria that’s on the teeth and helps enamel remain solid and build back to a certain extent because if you kill the bacteria, the enamel can improve to a certain extent.

All kinds of people who’ve had terrible, terrible diseases of the mouth – including abscess teeth! For a long time I was pretty much convinced that if a tooth abscessed from the inside, you couldn’t get MMS into it and therefore you couldn’t cure it if you couldn’t get it inside.

One guy said ‘hey I’m gonna try that DMSO!’ so he put it in and brushed with a real soft toothbrush for a while, with the combination just brushing it – in about 2 days, the abscess in his tooth went away. That’s a total impossibility, but it worked! So it does really great things with the mouth.

I’ve had lots and lots of people call me and tell me that their mouth was in terrible shape and tell me how it’d improved to normal or even better than what you’d consider normal.

Home-run: TB and H1N1 flu

Interviewer: There are 2 modern-day plagues that could spread. One is TB and the other is avian flu. Would you have reason to suspect that MMS could work against both of these?

I sure would.

The avian flu of course, although there’s been and entire multibillions [sic] of people on this earth, there’s only been 300 cases of avian flu and those guys that got that was in places it was highly succeptible [sic] to it, the chances of it ever happening is very very slim. Although, our president Bush thinks, has been talking about how he expects it to happen and, y’know… in the drug cartels they’re talking about how it’s going to be, it’s just gonna happen sooner or later. They just don’t know how soon but they know it will.

Note that ridiculously emotive choice of vocab there.

Yes, some people think it’s been weaponised but I think that the flu that’s been most dangerous is the 1917 flu, it killed 15 million people. They reconstructed it from people who were buried in ice in Alaska…

Read what actually happened re: the 1918 flu on wiki for starters; I did a virology module at university in which Spanish Flu was covered. The viral genome was sequenced using samples from the victims buried in permafrost, it was not used to infect people.

From the sequence, its origins were pieced together; flu virus genomes are mix-and-match; the bits get shuffled around if there are two virus strains in one organism at a time, and the consensus was that different bird viruses infecting pigs resulted in a hybrid virus that infected people and then spread directly from person-to-person; the transition feared of the latest H1N1 resurgence.

I think MMS kills any flu that I’ve seen so far and it’s just a pathogen so it should be able to kill that flu as well. the best way is to keep a bottle of MMS on your shelf. [Handy for his bank account, no?]

Interviewer: Is there anything you can say about this yourself? This started in Guyana when? (John: In 1997 so 10 years ago now) It’s now a worldwide phenomenon, on every internet forum… the alternative health community is abuzz with this. Where’s it going to go, what are your personal plans?

I’d like to start in Africa and take one single country and just cure all the malaria in that one country and we’ll get a lot of the AIDS while we’re at it. Of course it’s a much more complex disease and much harder to handle than malaria but I think we have some protocol, ways of using MMS that will probably work on AIDS.

Interviewer: Do you have a country in mind?

Probably Malawi, it may not be that, but it’d be a good one because I talked to all the people in the government there. They were all very helpful, they all were happy to see me, happy for me to be treating their people.

There was no governmental problems at all – they had a malaria department in the government and that department was happy to work with me so I’d like to go somewhere, I’d like to go there just because it would be easy to get things going without a lot of uh, of getting permission and problems, that would be the main thing.

Peer Review??

Interviewer: Is there any possibility that you could get scientific studies written up in the scientific journals?

Yes there’s a possibility but I discourage that! I’ve had chances – people have asked me if I wanted to do that and I have discouraged it because we have been a grass-roots movement from the very beginning. We’ve been very successful in being a grass-roots movement and when I say grass-roots I mean below the governments’ radar. They haven’t been aware of us.

Grass-roots seems to be his favourite altmed community-friendly buzzword.

I had one of my friends check with the FDA the other day, he went in and went to the third man in control in the FDA and asked him about MMS – what do they think about it? The guy said “well that’s just crap, we don’t worry about things like that. We have these multi-million dollar corporations that are furnishing [sic] herbs that are replacing some of the drugs and we have, we have a lot of, we don’t have enough money to control them” he said, “why are we gonna worry about some guy down in the street selling MMS!”

So they aren’t aware of what MMS will do, aren’t aware of what’s happening. I want to leave it that way.

Convenient. So, rather than tell the world you have a truly miracle cure that could potentially save millions of lives, you’ll not bother with bringing in the scientists to verify that because the government wouldn’t like it. How very convenient for your business.

I don’t want the governments and the various different drug companies finding out about it. I’ve had chances to go in national newspapers and one or two chances to go on national TV and I’ve always rejected it, although I’m happy to go on the internet and I’ve had a lot of different internet attention.

I didn’t wanna get it spread out so much that the government’s gonna get their hand in it – because you know what they do, they stop, they stop whatever they can. So I’ve been avoiding that.

Eventually it’s gonna come, though, eventually the news is gonna get out, but I’m gonna wait as long as I can on that.

I think, we’re going to be doing our best, Jim.

Anecdotes ‘R’ Us

Interviewer: You’ve heard one or two stories of people who come up against the powers that be and suffered a little bit for that haven’t you?

One guy I know pretty well, was selling Assam [tea?!] that affected cancer and actually is called, an Indian herb and has been sold for 70 years. The lady selling it has had about 3000 letters from people who’d been cured of cancer. He was selling it on the internet.

I’ve left his gender disagreements in, he didn’t seem to know what he was talking about.

As soon as the FDA heard about it they confiscated his house and his car and his bank account and everything! They put him in jail and kept him from talking to his lawyer by moving him from jail to jail. They finally charged him after 6 months and when he said ‘not guilty’ and the judge says ‘wait a minute, let’s go to my chambers’. He said ‘you got a choice. Either you plead guilty and go to jail for 3 years or I’ll make sure you go to jail for 20 years’. His lawyer wasn’t there and he didn’t know what to do so he pleaded guilty and went to jail for 3 years. He got out of jail a couple of years ago and now he’s down in South America, he doesn’t want anything more to do with the US.

I had another friend who’s become a friend because he knows what I’m doing. He was in Africa curing malaria and people representatives from the drug companies told him to stop and he wasn’t gonna stop, he was gonna continue to cure malaria. One night when he went to his hotel room and he opened the door – a bomb went off and blew both his legs off, didn’t kill him. He’s in California now, he’s in a wheelchair.

That’s just 2 people I know personally.

A lot of the older guys; back in 1917 a guy named Coke [?] cured cancer; his material was sold to many hundreds of doctors and more 100,000 people were cured of cancer before the FDA finally stopped him. I could go on, there’s a lot of other stories

Later on in the 1930s, Rithe [?], his equipment and things cured another 100,000 people  of cancer [he loves that number] – the FDA stopped him, burned all his books and laboratory equipment. It’s burned many things many times, the DMSO book was burnt! They burnt a lot of books. [He kept saying burnt books, over and over.]

You gotta stay out of the hands of the um, uh, drug companies. And of course the drug companies run the FDA! In case you don’t know how that goes, the executives from the drug companies take a sebbatical, take a leave from their drug company and they go over and be the guy that runs the FDA for a year. So the FDA in the US is run by the drug companies, and (chuckle) it’s ridiculous! And they have stopped everything that cures cancer, and they convince the people (which seems to be easy to convince) that these people who actually have cancer cures are charlatans and bad guys.

I’ve had 3 or 4 friends who died of cancer [couldn’t have cured them then?] and said ‘well I’m not gonna go to those quacks!’ and actually the medical people are the real quacks, they’re the ones that’s killing everybody! That’s the way it exist now and it’s a real shame.

Hiding Out

Interviewer: Have you had any threats against you?

Not yet, but I live in Mexico just in case! I’m paranoid so I keep under the radar. I think I probably have another year or 2 before the FDA says ‘uh-oh, this stuff is starting to reduce the income of the drug companies’ that’s the thing, when the money starts decreasing, when it looks like the MMS is starting to replace some of the drugs then that’s what’s gonna really make them mad.

Business Plan

Interviewer: So your goal is to get as much of this out there as fast as possible before they realise what’s happening?

Yep, get as many people using it as possible. My book tells you how to make it, it even tells you how to manufacture it in your kitchen. So you can buy the book and set it up yourself and furnish it to your neighbours or family.

Interviewer: In your book you’ve got instructions on how to be completely self-sufficient with MMS?

Yep, step-by-step procedure to make a few bottles for yourself, and to make hundreds of thousands to be sold.

A $20 bottle can last you, personally, if you want to take a maintenance dose every day, a $20 bottle lasts about a year and a half – for the whole family about 3-5 months.

I don’t sell it myself except I’m starting to in Mexico but for the last 10 years I don’t sell it myself, I give bottles away, let other people sell it. Everybody kept the price down. We want to keep the price down so everyone can afford it. We’re all selling it for the same price, $20 a bottle – I don’t care if it’s Germany, South Africa, Australia… [long list]

That’s less than a penny a dose. You can cure a case of malaria for 5 cents. Even the people in Africa can afford that. When we go we ain’t gonna charge them that much, we’re gonna do it for free at first but they could afford it if they have to.

Read on for the last 5 minutes of weird, worrying stuff.

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