Sep 24, 2011

The Dawn of the Post-Science Era

Logic? Reason? Science? Education? Fuggetaboutit!

Keep It Simple Stupid: Cults and Psychos with the Solutions

Local Woman Walks Fine Line with Medical Kooky Talk

New TV Series to Debut: That Dark Ages Show!

The timing could not have been worst. I had just completed a four-hour stretch, volunteering in aid of a local group organizing one of those common Charity Walks that we often see. I have certain skillsets of value to these types of efforts, and I'll gladly offer those talents from now 'til the cows come home to worthy organizations. In this case, the event was being staged to benefit the American Cancer Society.

After tossing off the shoes upon returning to the palace, I logged online to see get caught up on correspondences and web-chatter. Greeting me as the first entry scrolling across my Facebook Wall was this gem:

“I am so sick and tired of hearing about walks for Cancer! Why is that? It is because I have LEARNED about a CURE for Cancer with my interview with DR. STANISLOV BURZYNSKI. Here is their web site. My friends this is huge! PLEASE believe me! Send all your family and friends if they have Cancer. The Clinic needs to be walked more the American Cancer Society...they have only collected $$$ they have not claimed to cure Cancer...Burzynski has!!!“

See what I mean about that timing thing? I didn't react kindly, for both the obvious and at-hand reason, but also for the fact that this sort of nonsense/insanity seems to have become the standard for public discussion of modern affairs, whereby stupidity reigns supreme and formerly important concepts such as logic, science and reason are tossed aside and treated as quaint little relics from the past not worthy of a place at today's dinner table. Let us drill deeper:

The author of this post is a woman from my old hometown of Saratoga Springs, which is depressing enough in its own right – that fact means we likely graduated from the same high school. We supposedly met once ( I think she was looking for a job), which is probably the reason we appear on each other's Friends list in Mr Marky Z's neighborhood. A look at her profile and posting history reveals a flair for multi-level marketing programs, Sinatra, talk radio (surprise!) and male figureheads claiming to have the keys to human happiness (someone could do a Psych 101 term paper on that one). But fair enough; different strokes and all...

A past spitting match arose between us awhile back, related to her propensity to spew a wacky version of ultra-right wing politics thru some cult-like zombie organization called The Twelve Visions Party (aka the Neothink Society). Those of you that know me realize that while I can't stand this shit, I nonetheless have a bad habit of trying to engage these types of people in dialog. But that effort didn't exactly work out very well (it usually doesn't): this gal refused to engage in what-if scenarios or to go deep on the underpinnings of her position. Instead, the response was always to basically “go read the enlightened words” of the founding guru (some guy that looks like a California used car salesman on acid). She was either intellectually incapable of doing so or under direction not to – both of which are common cult characteristics.

There does seem to be a component of this Twelve Visions thing that includes a “live forever” (endless human life potential) mantra. Hey, I told you it was wacky, right – now are you starting to believe me? When the usual far-right doses of conspiracy theories and perpetual victimology are tossed into the mix, there emerges some sort of crazed babble about Big Pharma eugenics and the oppression of the rights of man. The second act of this Rand'ian drama, as always, is the Savior figure:

"I am just a messanger who has met some amazing people who are changing our world. Dr. B has FDA approved clinical trials. Robert has no clue as he did not research. I am demanding that all of our Federal tax dollars that are going to Cancer sent to Stanislaw Burzynskii "

"In his own words...Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski tells us he cures cancer...I'm just the messanger."

"... Someone who actually has cured cancer  … "

“ I am promoting real people who have experienced real cures.  “

"One patient was given 5 years to live with her brain tumor...she was told that Burzynski's treatment was not going to work...mri after Burzynski's was gone...duh...can you say this clinic can cure cancer? "

"Pass this to ANYONE you know who had Cancer. The Clinic CURES Cancer!!!"

"If you were to research his web site you would be able to read the MANY testimonials from his patients .. "

There you have it, folks: there is Exhibit A as to what passes as the modern era's state of discussion, fact finding and conclusions-making. Scientific proof? Bah, who needs it, we have testimonials (undocumented, of course). Peer review? WTF is that? Clinical trial designation as validation of a theory? Yes, that is the new paradigm (her words). A virtual library of journals discounting the good doctor's claims? P'tooey, didn't you look at his website? That's it: the fact that he CLAIMS to cure cancer means that he HAS cured cancer! Go back and read the above posts: that is exactly the logic this troubled woman is using here!

(Note: I could have also added a "spelling" comment, if not for the old "those who live in glass houses..." saying!)

No harm - no foul, you might retort? Well, what about the “Send all your family and friends if they have Cancer” part, I would ask in return. This woman is actively pushing this treatment option, all while making unsubstantiated claims as to its effectiveness. As pointed out by a mutual friend on the FB discussion trail: where is the line drawn between an individual legitimately voicing a personal opinion and that same individual participating in a campaign that is in violation of FDA guidelines? It is suggested that such a line is drawn if the actor is somehow involved as an integrated part of that “marketing” effort; i.e., a paid consultant or one who offers free airtime, etc. I don't know that answer to that question, but is sure is an interesting one, is it not?

Likewise, I do not know if Dr B's claims and treatments are the magic cure for this dreaded disease called cancer. I am not a cell biologist. But I do have some research methodology smarts, which tells me to await the data from this first round of clinical trials before offering some conclusions on that subject matter. I'm certainly not going to be broadcasting “this is fact” propaganda with such life and death implications to third parties without such benefit.

In the meantime and as promised to her: I'll keep an eye and ear on the online and over-the-air claims being made by this terminally underemployed MLM reject – turned – cultist on this specific matter. The first query has already been directed to the FDA.

Why? Because, as mentioned: it is a life and death matter.


Anonymous said...

Why not ID this person by name?

pbj said...

She has to be an Espian too, right? What is it up around Saratoga that gives rise to these cults there? Now that is where the real scientific invstigation needs to take place. My theory is that it is the PCBs in the water.

Nanoburgh? said...

Anonymous @ 10:09 AM,

That is a fair question, and one that I wrestled with a bit.

I think my current thinking is that she posted on Facebook, which (in theory) means she was conversing with a defined and approved semi-closed loop of contacts.

But I reserve the right to change my mind on that; to be determined.

It certainly won't take much on her part to tilt me to the opposite point of view.

For the energetic, all one needs to do is take a look at my FB trail of recent conversations to determine the WHO answer.


O' said...

A familar name it is.

I made the comment to Wifey here that the woman is a disgrace to us Irish, with our tradition of thoughtful writing and thoughtful meetings of minds.

Wifey corrected me, telling me the woman's name is not an Irish one. She also called me a Dummy for thinking that way, but that's beside the point.

But I'm glad now that she's not brought shame on my tribe. She's someone else's.

Canary in the Goldmine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Kokomo Kid said...

I agree. The inmates seem to have taken over the insane asylum. It used to be these demented individuals were only run into in rare instances. We'd read about some skinhead group or catch a Larouche infomercial at 4AM. But you'd rarely see them in daylight or out and about in a normal setting.

The first thought is that it isn't that they have grown in numbers but that they are just able to make more noise because of the rise of AM talk and the internet.

But I am not so sure anymore. I think there might, in numbers, be more of them now. Their profile is obvious: uneducated boobs susceptible to easy brainwashing. We've been through many years of the brainwashing now and I think it has had its desired effect. Fox News is the most watched news network, right? Now does anyone with a single grain of intelligence think that Fox does not exist with the primary goal of influencing the masses into a right wing perspective? Its founder even admits it.

Have you tuned into Savage or Beck or those other sociopaths lately? Years ago, we would have only run into these idiots in a corner of the park, where they'd be yelling at statues. Now they are given a microphone and allowed to be blasted into hundreds of media markets?

Thinking takes effort; that's an investment the wingnuts and the freaks are not willing to make. It is much easier to let some loudmouth puppeteer identify a problem (whether it is real or fake is immaterial), the cause (the big conspiracy of the moment) and the taylor made solution in one easy to consume package. Just like a TV dinner.

A used car salesman on acid?
I looked him up, Mark Hamilton is the name, and you couldn't be any more accurate!

The Kokomo Kid said...

Here's a photo of the man with all the answers

Anonymous said...

now who the fuck would take this crazy bitch's advice and her fantasy expertise for a recommendation of cancer treatments for themselves or a loved one? are there really people out ther who a re so fucking stupid they would do something like that?

on second thought,

i withdraw my question.

SArAtOga saMMy said...


Kimmy said...

Fasten up. Are you ready for a GREAT BIG laugh?

Look at what your girl has just posted on her facebook page @ right now:

"I'm running for Mayor of Saratoga Springs in about 4 years from now...I've decided that I cannot go along with what has been. How about "no forced taxation"? How about creating our own Saratoga County Lottery? How about selling land to future corportations rather than using the taxpayer dollars and giving it away to Saratoga Plan. Are we as a people willing to buy land to support freedom of a butterfly vs the freedom of building on property where we can bring human beings in as well as corporations who will or could provide jobs? I Say...Bring the people in to help support the tax base as well as create jobs for our area? We as a community as a County NEED $$$...Organizations like Saratoga Plan has yet to give $$$ to our County, they only TAKE $$$ from our community. It is time that we find those organizations that give back as well as receive. Where are they? Who are they? We NEED to reduce the TAX burden on our people! THIS should be our MAIN Goal!!! How about selling off our City Buildings to Private Investors to reduce the tax. How about This will be my message in and about four years from now...I wll have many more ideas to create revenue for our beloved city."

Answer me this while I got you on the cell. What is a FUTURE CORPORATION? Am I? Are you? Is that rock? Or what? How do you sell land to somebody or something that doesn't exist now? Time travel?

You're going to have a field day with this. It's just too bad you have to wait 4 years for the fun to start!

Nanoburgh? said...

Actually, I don't have an issue with her free wheeling some municipal revenue ideas. This particular city could use some, although the single biggest reason for its woes is runaway employee/labor costs.

Once the "no forced taxation" is disregarded as cult talk (which it is), we must then ask "what land is the city sitting on that it could sell?" and "what buildings would it make sense to sell?" Keeping in mind that the Casino actually makes money for the city, and that the net-net to selling one or more may not result in any budget benefit. I believe a cost-benefit analysis has been done on this in recent years. But if not, it is worth looking into, I guess.

A local lottery would require a state constitutional amendment, I think (but not certain). But we must also look at it as the ultimate wealth transfer from the poor (who tend to buy lottery tickets) to the middle and upper-middle class (who tend to be the main recipients of local gov't spending. Should that be a goal?

There is obviously an issue there with Saratoga Plan. I would recommend that the folks at SP sit the lady down and clear up some of her confusion as to how they operate and where the money flies.

But again: why not...?

Anonymous said...

Val Keehn reincarnate?

(I guarantee you that the woman will not know what that above sentence means)

Anonymous said...

The "everything is a conspiracy" loonies are really victims here, not that I feel sorry for them mind you.

This medical story is one achapter in the fable. In their eyes This is another backroom deal, this one between all the members of the medical industry who are intent on keeping poeple sick so they can profit by the current protocols and medicines. Alernative miracles like this quack's are held down and destroyed. So the fantasy goes, at least. MEanwhile, who knows the effect iot has on people believing it and marching off toi this con artist, losing their savings and then their life, in that exact order.

Same with gold and silver investing, anopther favorite topic of the wingnuts, and all tied to the new world order and all of that. Their answer to the coming Armageddon borught on by these commies is to horde gold and silver.

Little do they know, many of the famous voices on the right are in the gold-selling business.

Anyone who took their summertime advice or sales pitches to buy gold and silver on margin would now be bankrupt.