Accolades & Quackolades


"There are ~20 published reviews of my book, but this one must be THE BEST! THANK YOU."
Edzard Ernst

"Best blog of the day IMHO."
Simon Singh

"This blogpost is simply brilliant."
Mark Burnley

"You are a rude argumentative bully. You are a typical "skeptic" - not sceptical at all."
Andrew, anti-vaxer

"Your piece about House of Commons Science and Technology sub-Committee’s ‘evidence check’ on homeopathy was one of the best I’ve seen. Strength to your elbow."
Tony

"...an individual calling themselves ‘scepticat’ or ‘sceptikat’- a highly volatile dictatorial site run by a wannabe megalomaniac. A truly disturbed person with a anger management issue venting via their little site to their own personal herd of sycophants."
Centella, one of Dr Andrew Jones personal herd of sycophants.

"Excellent report, which I can vouch for completely."
Jack of Kent

"The ludicrous nature of the complaint, and some of the responses by Dr Ranj and the BBC, has already been expertly documented on the Skepticat UK blog".
Dean Burnett

"Choke on your own vomit and die in agony..."
r wesley edwards, aka @CommonCormorant, author

"A very good rebuttal…"
Anna Watson, anti-vaxer Arnica UK

"A staggering amount of pathological disbelief allied with a staggering amount of arrogance."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"I just love this blog, and this post is a fine example of it’s content – ‘Inside the spine wizard’s den’ – Skepticat. Why do some of us feel that we are above challenging argument and peer review? I just wish that I could write as well as some of these bloggers!"
Jonathan Hearsey, osteopath

"Skepticat is a particularly venomousness (sic) skeptic, a humanist who lives by the "golden rule", she refused to let me follow her on twitter because I am "bonkers" which may endear her to many in the chiropractic profession..."
Richard Lanigan, chiropractor


Facebook image helpfully captioned by Sandra A Hermann-Courtney (@brownbagpantry)


"Die Die die die!"
r wesley edwards, aka @CommonCormorant, author

"Loved that article. It really shows what chiropractors are really all about. What I call the "chiro show" Exposing people to totally unnecessary X-rays should be criminal. Thank you!"
mt

"I think skepticat is plain mad at not having children of her own. Hatred projected out to the world. It's sad to see someone with so much self hatred, destroying themself internally without even realising it."
Bebo, chiropractor (Note: In fact I'm the proud mother of two brilliant children, whom I mention frequently. Glad of the excuse to do so again.)

"Hooray for Reason! Just want to thank you for writing this. Even though the arguments presented are tired, and played out, they still must be refuted."
Elijah

"I understand that you have been traumatised by your experience and that this is your way of coming to terms with the emotional scars."
Stefaan Vossen, chiropractor

"All you really seem interested in is banging your repetitive drum and preaching to the converted."
Rick, osteopath

"All the entries I’ve read are excellent. I’ll be coming back to read more. Love the cat logo as well."
Derrik

"Research in Homeopathy Conference - Skepticat's hilarious account. She went to it."
David Colquhoun

"Her site is Skepticat UK... she wouldn’t know a punchline if it raped her. Or maybe she’d thank it."
Scott Cappurro, comedian

"I rather love the lunacy of the anti-Homeopathists, such as yourself."
James Pannozzi, acupuncturist & would-be homeopath

"Good blog from a skeptic which examines the "science" of Homeopathy in a very detailed way. Skeptics will love this. Proponents of homeopathy? Not so much."
SidDithers

"I really shouldn’t waste my valuable time with someone who obviously has at the very least a borderline personality disorder."
Erika Alisuag, homeopathist

"I’m finding it difficult to come up with some suitable words to say how good and interesting your stuff is. So, in the absence of suitable hyperbole can I say what a very well written and presented blog you have here. Really well thought out and researched. And passionate about it too! Complimenti!"
pv

"You’re whole life is worthless because you lack reason."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"Great stuff Skepticat."
Lifelinking

"When you have learnt some big words and also studied your history books you’ll find that the world was once thought to be flat…by people just like you."
Sarah Hamilton, homeopath

"Thanks for keeping the banner of reason flying high."
John Willis Lloyd

"This is just a general comment. I love this well-written an unfussy little blog (I don’t mean little in a derogatory way, but in the sense it’s not bombastic, self-important and posturing). Excellent material and a worthwhile focus, keep up the good work."
xenophon19

"Her website is a temple to diatribe – I have no sympathy for the homeopaths, etc, with whom she battles, but she clearly gets off on confrontation."
JF Derry

"Skepticat is strictly logical and attacks in unparliamentary words what she deems to be “quackery” – or suggestions that she sounds a little strident."
Andy Reporter

"LOVE the badass attitude! Seriously...KEEP IT UP!"
HelpIzOnTWay

"You were a playful little diversion for a. moment, but I do have better things to do with my time than waste more than half an hour of it stooping down to play your ego supporting self delusional mind games……"
Susan Elizabeth, homeopathist

"An excellent read, thanks for taking thr time to compose it."
Alan C

"You need to do a course in anger management."
katenut, nutritionist

"FWIW I think you manage your anger rather well...mostly by focusing it into a thin, narrow beam of incisive rage which you then use to inscribe words on screen. ;)"
Despard

"Excellent description of the events."
Simon Perry

"You seem to be of probably well-meaning, but bigoted and fundamentalist disposition, just parroting slogans from others without any really knowledge or insight yourself."
Neil Menzies

"Superb, as usual"
phayes

"You seem only interested in ranting against an enemy which you are apparently still struggling to come to terms with “fifteen years” later."
Rick, osteopah

"Bravo, great post!"
RBO

"One day if you are not very careful you will be left behind in the dark ages. I’m sure this will not be printed..but hope it is read by you poor little scaredy cats."
Sarah Hamilton, homeopath

"Brilliant piece!"
crabsallover

"While you babble on like a total airhead about Myhill, you ignore the real doctors who are a danger in the UK".
struck-off doctor, Rita Pal, 'NHS whistle-blower'

"I sincerely hope I never get to your stage of wilful ignorance. You know absolutely diddly squat about the subject but you think your opinion is the only opinion."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"Keep up the spin, you manky old chicken's foot."
JB, chiropractor

"I am forced to conclude you are blogging on behalf of a specific entity that does wish to remain anonymous."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"The person writing all this negative press on homeopathy must be getting a big fat check from one of the pharmaceutical companies who would dearly love to push homeopathy off the map."
Erika Alisuag

"Such reporting lands you clearly in the realm of fundamentalist extremism–much noise, no substance, and money from those who have something to sell. It is so unfortunate that your listening skills are in need of repair."
Tanya Marquette, homeopath

"She seems to revel in presenting the many insults that she has attracted as a column of “Quackolades” on her site, as if war wounds on display,"
JF Derry, self-publicist

"Oh shut up SK. You write hot air and spew rubbish as usual."
Rita Pal again.

The importance of being Ernst (2)

Ernst is vociferously campaigning against the very libel laws he has just invoked to threaten not me, but my 21 year old website designer who isn’t remotely connected to complementary therapy and had never even heard of Edzard Ernst until yesterday.

So says the diabolical blogger whose nasty, vicious and unsubstantiated attack on Edzard Ernst, I blogged about yesterday. Chris Holmes had posted three articles entitled ‘Edzard Ernst is a fake’ on a blog called Truth Will Out. Less than 24 hours later, I’m pleased to report that all three of these articles have been removed.

In their place Chris has posted another unbelievably silly attack on Edzard, whining that Edzard has threatened to sue his “web designer”, Nathan Beck. Here’s Chris in full fantasist mode:

I wonder why he didn’t contact me? Perhaps he’s not talking to me. Or maybe he read some of the things I’ve written and thought: “This guy calls powerful drug companies all the names under the sun, calls the Department of Health and the BMA corrupt liars with blood on their hands, and ASH, and the Royal College of Physicians… maybe he won’t be intimidated by an email from an academic…

Or maybe Edzard knows young Nathan isn’t just the web designer but is also the registrant for the Truth Will Out domain? It’s not exactly a secret, after all. The information is in the public domain and obtainable in a couple of clicks of the mouse.

Predictably, Chris can’t just graciously admit that his articles were indeed defamatory and remove them but has instead made a pathetic attempt to paint Edzard as some kind of hypocrite:

Can’t help feeling though, ‘Professor’, that in invoking the very laws your campaign says are outrageous when used on Simon Singh (and I agree), you just undermined your own credibility more effectively than The Mole from Thunderbirds.

Oh please! Nobody — not Edzard Ernst, not Simon Singh, not a single one of the thousands of us who are campaigning for libel reform — is arguing that we should do away with the libel laws altogether. That’s why it’s called the Libel Reform Campaign and not the Libel Abolition Campaign.

We all agree that we need libel laws designed to protect individuals from being hurt by malicious falsehoods being promoted by desperately nasty people like Chris Holmes. What we don’t need are libel laws that intimidate the scientific community from publicly challenging dangerous nonsense promoted by zealous quacks like the BCA.

The object, as it states quite clearly on the LRC website is

to simplify the existing law, restore the balance between free speech and the protection of reputation,

Got it now?

Chris Holmes has already made a big show of having signed the petition yesterday so he could write his latest sanctimonious post. But to anyone who hasn’t signed, please do so now and write to your MP if they haven’t signed Early Day Motion 423.

36 Responses to The importance of being Ernst (2)

  • And in a similar vein, please write to your MP if they *have* signed Early Day Motion 908 (http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=40517&SESSION=903), urging them to withdraw their support.

  • I saw Holmes’ blog for the first time yesterday and noticed his “Homeopathy NHS Funding Withdrawn” article. Thinking this was something new I took a look. It appears it’s just about the “recommendation” from the Science Committee though the withdrawal claim is repeated in the first two sentences.

    I’m in Oz so I might have missed something but it would appear the article headline and opening statements are absolutely wrong and I assume funding continues for now.

    For now, that article sums up the whole blog for me.

  • AndyD

    The Government has still to consider the Select Committee’s report and make any decision. I don’t know when anything is likely to happen, but it could be a while. No doubt if there were minded to close the ‘hospitals’ they would want a public consultation — just in case the Science and Technology Committee got it all wrong…

    As for quacks and others getting it completely wrong, nothing new there.

  • Zeno

    no bigotry there then. Although I agree that all forms of healthcare must be brought to task, I have read on this block that because someone who would obviously by his job, be considered a woo practitioner, because he has posted that he agrees with Prof Ernst, he ‘isn’t’ a quack. Once again rules within rules. However, as I said before if you attack on the manual therapies were inclusive, I could see that. But to single out one group because of politics is wrong. If you feel there are no politics involved, maybe another individual who is truly sceptical should critique your blog.

    Sad days for the world of scepticism. Maybe changing the z to an x would better define. Come on Zeno, get back on track. I await your obvious next step if you are serious in your scepticism and motives. When are the other complaints be sent, if at all.

  • Actually, having re read my post, it comes across as a personal attack on Zeno, not the intent. I leave that form of posting to others. My criticism of Zeno is his current direction which he unfortunately has taken under the grossly inaccurate guise of scepticism. Please accept that for me, all things should be reasonable and fair and the fact that Zeno isn’t being, is my criticism.

  • So, The Bruce, can I assume since you have specifically mentioned Zeno that you support all the other sceptics? Do they pay you or are you politically motivated to single Zeno out for special mention?

    Also, do you have a blog somewhere where you take these other manual therapies to task so we can all see how it should be done?

  • The Bruce

    I don’t know whether you are just being obtuse for the sake of it or whether you really don’t understand what’s already been said.

    OK, let’s put it another way: What quackery do you think I should be ‘attacking’ tomorrow? Tuesday. Wednesday? Actually, not Wednesday because I’m volunteering for a charity on Wednesday and won’t have much time to spare. Is it just manual therapies you want me to critique, or other quackery? If I just critique manual therapies, will you accuse me of being a bigot for not attacking the others for ‘political reasons’?

    Alternatively, please estimate the amount of time you think I will need to spend on examining the evidence, making the complaint, etc, etc. And please take into account my current workload (both paid and unpaid) and allow me time for meals, coffee breaks and comfort breaks. Please.

    Once you’ve set out my work schedule, you’ll no doubt be free to set up your own blog and tell us about the quackery you’re most interested in. It does puzzle me as to why you’ve not already done this. Perhaps you already have and are just being shy? Maybe you’re just taking a break from your quack-busting to attack what I’m doing? We should be told.

  • I didn’t sign the petition just so I could write that post, I really believe the petition is right. I notice you did not mention here that I also called for the BCA to drop their case against Singh. Could that be because it might confuse the picture a little here in your attempts to demonise me?

    I wouldn’t care if there were no libel laws. I really do believe in free speech, and I can’t imagine bothering to sue anyone regardless of what they say or write. Newspapers write lies all the time. Politicians lie all the time. Mistakes, falsehoods and misrepresentations occur on all sides of political and scientific debates and always have. The truth usually comes out in the end.

    Consider the removal of those posts a tactical withdrawal Skeptipussy. Ernst just made a threat, he didn’t suddenly become credible. If he’s going to bring the law into it, I’ll just have to choose my words particularly carefully, but don’t go thinking he’s going to shut me up that way. Truth is I really couldn’t be bothered sifting through all that material (including the comments that followed) to try to guess which bits might be risky from a legal point of view, if any. Personally I think Ernst was bluffing and so did Nathan, I’m not at all sure any of it was libellous really, but then I don’t know a lot about libel law.

  • @zeno
    “I don’t know whether you are just being obtuse for the sake of it or whether you really don’t understand what’s already been said.”

    the Bruce is just a troll who’s entertaining himself by adopting some outlandish ‘more sceptical than thou’ persona. Look at the bare-faced lie he’s just told about my response to Jonathan H on the previous thread. Notice how he keeps bellowing that challenging chiropractors’ false claims “isn’t scepticism” yet he never says what scepticism is.

    He’s a troll – probably a chirotroll – who knows as much about scepticism as I do about the ancient art of Chinese face reading.

  • Yeah, Chris, I’m sure the reason you waited until yesterday to sign a petition that’s been open for months had nothing to do with the timing of Edzard’s communication to you.

    As for me “attempting to demonise you”, LFMAO! I feel I should bill you for a new irony meter because mine’s just exploded.

    I helpfully provided a link to your blog so that people can read for themselves what your about. I note you didn’t reciprocate the courtesy.

    And, yes, I realise you don’t know a lot about libel laws. Or about anything else, for that matter.

  • Well done skepticat, so let me get this straight. All who don’t agree with you or who disagree with those who exist within your communication bubble are wrong, trolls and even better a chirotroll. Where do you get these from. I presume that it must be easier for you to think that anyone who criticises your approach to life, who doesn’t blindly follow your husband/partners current battle cry, who has the audacity to believe that there is blatently discrimatory and politically biased attacks going on, which does not represent ALL sceptics, is wrong.

    I said before that this is not personal, but your ability to communicate without personal jibes is simply a mark of you as a person or a quirk on your personality, but hey I don’t have to live with it. I am not offended by you on any level, rather you make me smile, thank you for that. Maybe I should change my avatar to Shrek lol.

    I hope you have a nice weekend.

  • @The Bruce:

    “Well done skepticat, so let me get this straight. All who don’t agree with you or who disagree with those who exist within your ommunication bubble are wrong, trolls and even better a chirotroll.”

    Nope, neither said it nor implied it.

    The reason I call you a troll is because you don’t engage with any of the arguments – you ignore them just as you have ignored Zeno’s response to you. Instead you just repeat the same gratuitous and unsupportable insults.

    Next?

  • The Bruce said, “But to single out one group because of politics is wrong”.

    What do you mean ‘because of politics’?

  • @Alan Lawson

    He doesn’t know what he means. It just one of those words he slings out because he doesn’t actually have any arguments.

  • Tut tut skepticat there you go again using jibes, very well if that is the best you have to offer, maybe I have to put up with your inability to communicate without insults.

    Politics: let me see, Zeno has said that the attack on the chiropractic is on the main because of the libel case against Simon…. Politics. He has chosen a specific group when others, as easily accessable are making the same claims, based on my previous statement, one has to assume therefore there is a political motive.

    My question is why has he not attacked them all globally via their regulatory bodies and the ASA, why politics. Therefore I feel that he is being discrimatory and bigoted towards one group. I await his next move if he really has the public’s best interest at heart, rather than ego and agenda.

    Sadly all the toys being thrown out of the pram by skepticat dies not change the facts. Zeno is playing at skepticism these days by selling his soul to the media hype and back slapping he is getting. Get away from the politics and back to core values.

    Signed shrek lol

  • Bruce said, “let me see, Zeno has said that the attack on the chiropractic is on the main because of the libel case against Simon…. Politics.”

    Just repeating the word ‘politics’ isn’t an explanation.

    Bruce said, “He has chosen a specific group when others, as easily accessable are making the same claims, based on my previous statement, one has to assume therefore there is a political motive.”

    That isn’t a rational assumption and it still doesn’t explain what you mean by a ‘political motive’. Come on, dude, spit it out. What exactly is this ‘political motive’ you are accusing Zeno of? What do you think he is trying to achieve, politically?

    You say “My question is…” but I followed the link to Zeno’s blog and I see that your question has been answered there as well as here loads of times. (and this blogger is right – you have ignored the answers). Is Zeno an organization with unlimited time and resources at his disposal? No. He’s an individual skeptic, one of thousands, each doing what they can to combat quackery and, like it or not, Zeno’s work is proving successful and chiropractors are backing down.

    Now why wouldn’t you be applauding that? Why would you spend so much of your time posting petty comments on skeptic blogs and fooling nobody?

    I agree with skepticcat – you’re a chiropractor, aren’t you? Come on, be honest…Unlike chiropractic cervical manipulation – it won’t kill you! 😉

  • “let me see, Zeno has said that the attack on the chiropractic is on the main because of the libel case against Simon..”

    Another bare-faced lie from the chirotroll. Quelle surprise.

  • Hi Skepticat and Zeno!

    I see you’re having lots of fun playing with your troll!

    Keep it up Brucie baby – you’re doing a great job showing visitors here how bankrupt your arguments are and showing off your complete inability to hold an adult conversation.

    Nice one.

  • “Yeah, Chris, I’m sure the reason you waited until yesterday to sign a petition that’s been open for months had nothing to do with the timing of Edzard’s communication to you.”

    It might have been open for months but I’ve only been hearing about the ernst/goldacre/singh stuff fairly recently. I knew that Ernst wasn’t looking at CAM therapies objectively but was actually campaigning against them as soon as Michael Baum’s open letter came out but apart from writing the original post on Ernst, hadn’t really paid a lot of attention to it since then.

    It may surprise all you blogging skeptics to know that there is no AltMed community… there isn’t even a hypnotherapy community really, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other so-called ‘alternative’ therapists are similar, so most of what Ernst and Singh were doing, and Ben’s success with Bad Science are things many therapists didn’t even know a thing about. I never read newspapers either so most of this recent anti-CAM movement has built up without most of us noticing.

    I do understand that you guys genuinely believe that CAM therapies are bogus and that “evidence-based medicine” actually is safe and effective because ‘Science’ says it is. Some of it is, for sure. But Ben’s concerns about the drug companies running the drug trials – which they certainly didn’t do in the beginning – must be of serious concern to anyone who knows anything about how these fiercely competitive global concerns run their affairs.

    Given that you all assume that Ernst is above board and his work simply objective – because YOU have no reason to suspect otherwise – I can understand that my anger towards him would indeed seem like a “nasty, vicious and unsubstantiated attack”, but that is exactly what Ernst’s publications over the last seventeen years look like from where I’m standing so once I actually started reading up on it and realised that other therapists also feel that these pronouncements bear no relation to our experience as therapists I began to smell a rat.

    Of course I know what you’re all assuming: that we’re only hostile to Ernst because he’s ‘telling the truth’ blowing our cover and revealing us all as charlatans. But if that were actually true, I wouldn’t even be a hypnotherapist. The constant skeptical suggestion that we’re all in it for the money is utter crap. I never met a hypnotherapist that didn’t love what they do, and it’s the job satisfaction – the brilliant results – that makes us all feel that way. So when Ernst publishes incorrect information which is officially reckoned to be ‘expertise’, we are bound to get pretty angry about that – especially when it becomes obvious that the guy is on a mission, and he seems to have gathered some pretty vociferous support around him and in the media and all these people are painting us in a very black light.

    Ernst started this fight. For a long, long time most of us didn’t even know there was a fight going on, but we’re waking up to it now. It is a long way from being over.

  • Chris

    So many straw men and, shall we say, inaccuracies’, so little time.

    “I knew that Ernst wasn’t looking at CAM therapies objectively but was actually campaigning against them”

    Any evidence that he isn’t objective. (No ad homs, please, just address the results/methodology/etc of any papers.)

    “It may surprise all you blogging skeptics to know that there is no AltMed community”

    Who said there was and what has that got to do with the lack of evidence for AltMed?

    “I do understand that you guys genuinely believe that CAM therapies are bogus and that “evidence-based medicine” actually is safe and effective because ‘Science’ says it is.”

    Straw man, there, Chris. No one is saying all EBM is safe and effective. Much of it is, but not all of it. But here’s a question for you: if you eschew science as the arbiter of what is safe and effective, what would you suggest, if anything, as a method of deciding efficacy and safety? The personal experience of Chris Holmes, hypnotist?

    “But Ben’s concerns about the drug companies running the drug trials – which they certainly didn’t do in the beginning – must be of serious concern to anyone who knows anything about how these fiercely competitive global concerns run their affairs.”

    Yep! All treatments have to be considered on the basis of benefit v harm. Yep, all proper medicines have an element of harm – some more than others. This isn’t really surprising since proper medicines are pharmacologically active. Homeopathy on the other hand has no direct side effects because it is pharmacologically inert. And, yes, Big Pharma is a concern to many people. How does any of that change the evidence for AltMeds?

    “…drug companies running the drug trials – which they certainly didn’t do in the beginning”

    Can you be more specific? When?

    “…from where I’m standing so once I actually started reading up on it and realised that other therapists also feel that these pronouncements bear no relation to our experience as therapists I began to smell a rat.”

    Ah! Therein lies the problem. You are pitching personal experience against the more independent results of science. Yes, the latter can have flaws, but usually far less so than the baised views of practitioners. You’ve heard of ‘experimenter bias’? What science tries to do is to eliminate everything that could possibly cause bias and affect the results other that the actual treatment itself. That is the best way we’ve found to identify what does and what does not work. Do you accept that practitioners – intentionally or otherwise – can affect the results? If so, what do you think would be the best way to reduce or eliminate that bias?

    “Of course I know what you’re all assuming: that we’re only hostile to Ernst because he’s ‘telling the truth’ blowing our cover and revealing us all as charlatans. But if that were actually true, I wouldn’t even be a hypnotherapist.”

    Well. That’s telling. Is there anything – anything whatsoever – that would make you re-think hypnotherapy? If you say that nothing – absolutely nothing – would persuade you, then do you think that makes it look more like a religion than something grounded in reality?

    “Ernst started this fight. For a long, long time most of us didn’t even know there was a fight going on, but we’re waking up to it now. It is a long way from being over.”

    No. The AltMed nonsense has been around for ages (but frequently not as long as many supporters claim). Along comes someone who examines the evidence, finds it lacking, dares to say so and the best you can do is say, “well, it works for me”?

  • @Chris

    “I knew that Ernst wasn’t looking at CAM therapies objectively..”

    Post proof or retract! What possible grounds have you got for saying that?

    “It may surprise all you blogging skeptics to know that there is no AltMed community… ”

    I’ve no idea what you are talking about or why you think that is relevant.

    “I do understand that you guys genuinely believe that CAM therapies are bogus and that “evidence-based medicine” actually is safe and effective because ‘Science’ says it is.”

    You understand nothing. I look at the both the plausibility and the availabe evidence for any given therapy before believing whether it is safe and effective or not. Science is a method, not some god to be mindlessly followed.

    “Given that you all assume that Ernst is above board and his work simply objective – because YOU have no reason to suspect otherwise – I can understand that my anger towards him would indeed seem like a “nasty, vicious and unsubstantiated attack”, but that is exactly what Ernst’s publications over the last seventeen years look like from where I’m standing ”

    How can his publications look nasty, vicious or unsubstantiated when – unlike your filthy character assassination – they are fully supported and referenced? If you want to attack his work, then do so scientifically. Pick any of his reviews and tell us what exactly you think is wrong with the methodology. Go on, do it!

    “Of course I know what you’re all assuming: that we’re only hostile to Ernst because he’s ‘telling the truth’ blowing our cover and revealing us all as charlatans. But if that were actually true, I wouldn’t even be a hypnotherapist. The constant skeptical suggestion that we’re all in it for the money is utter crap. I never met a hypnotherapist that didn’t love what they do, and it’s the job satisfaction – the brilliant results – that makes us all feel that way.”

    That you do it because you enjoy it as well as for the money, changes nothing. Anyone who has invested so much in what they do is going to find it difficult coming to terms with the discovery that what they do is actually worthless. I don’t know whether there is anything to hypnotherapy or not but I do know there is nothing to a lot of the other ‘therapies’ that Edzard has reviewed and the reason I know is because I have researched them myself and looked at the claims and at the evidence.

    “So when Ernst publishes incorrect information which is officially reckoned to be ‘expertise’, we are bound to get pretty angry about that ”

    If he publishes incorrect information then the onus is on you to correct the information. What’s so difficult about that? Why resort to ridiculous insinuations about vested interests and supposed lack of qualification?

  • I didn’t see IainD’s comment before posting but I see he’s made similar points.

  • Wow, so now I am a troll and a chiropractitioners, my goodness you guys are wonderful. Unfortunately I have read nothing to date that makes me believe that zenosblog current attacks are not politically motivated. Unfortunately I am not the one who needs to explain myself. Good greif, I now find myself being forced into a position where I am sceptical about the motives and actions of ‘so called’ sceptics.

    What killse is you guys are that paranoid , that anyone who doesn’t toe the party line is obviously s
    a CAM therapist or a chiropractor. You guys kill me, funny stuff. But doesn’t change my opinion that the current attack on this group is political, bigoted and discrimatory. With that in mind, it is not scepticism and rather than being in the public interest, instead it for self interest and agenda. As for repeating the same arguments, have you read your own postings? Lol

    I wear the troll badge with pride lol, you guys, I am sure there are many groups who started out claiming to be sceptical of another group which unfortunately lead to far more serious times in our history, I hope that scepticism will not be tainted by the actions of a few.

    Happy hunting lol

    Thank you for keeping me smiling.

  • Right, let’s see what have we got:

    1. No denial that he’s a chiropractor.
    2. No explanation of what he means by ‘politically motivated’.
    3. Complete inability to present a coherent argument.
    4. Repetition of meaningless infantile taunts.

    Yep, he’s been rumbled.

  • “Is there anything – anything whatsoever – that would make you re-think hypnotherapy?”

    I re-think hypnotherapy all the time. Some people do what they’re taught to do and some people question it and I’m a questioner. ‘Hypnosis’ as it is commonly imagined does not exist, and a great deal of what is written about hypnotherapy is either over-complicated or some sort of misunderstanding. There are some hypnotherapists who dismiss what I’m saying about nicotine out of hand (without actually reading any of it in detail) because they have already developed smoking cessation programmes that use the standard ‘addiction’ model as their starting point and they don’t WANT to reconsider it because that would be inconvenient and might involve having to acknowledge being incorrect about something, and humans often prefer to avoid that… these things are every bit as normal as the fact that some people see it immediately and adjust their approach accordingly.

    “Anyone who has invested so much in what they do is going to find it difficult coming to terms with the discovery that what they do is actually worthless. I don’t know whether there is anything to hypnotherapy or not but I do know there is nothing to a lot of the other ‘therapies’ that Edzard has reviewed and the reason I know is because I have researched them myself and looked at the claims and at the evidence.”

    That first sentence is just as true of skeptics and doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists as it would be of anyone in the so-called ‘alternative’ field. And you might be right about some of the ‘therapies’ that Ernst has reviewed, I honestly don’t know. But when he says that hypnotherapy may be of some limited use for anxiety and pain relief but of little use for smoking cessation HE COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG, so it is not too surprising that I prefer to keep an open mind about the other things for the time being. I have my doubts about certain approaches both conventional and unconventional, but I am not a cynic, I prefer to be generally patient and interested.

    How do I know he is wrong about the smoking cessation thing? Because the vast majority of people who come to me have been referred by previous clients, and this goes on over years and years. Previous clients routinely come back for other issues, if it was just the placebo effect or pretty hit and miss I would have gone bust a long time ago, and I also would have got bored or disillusioned within a year or two. I get bored really easily, I could never have carried on if the results weren’t really surprising and exciting. You have to understand, most of my clients are not ‘believers’ in hypnotherapy. They are generally skeptical. Not cynical, like bloggers that call us “quacks” – that’s a different attitude. Skepticism is just ordinary doubt and low expectation, but that is no bar to hypnotherapy success.

    It is very galling to hear someone state that something you do virtually every working day of your life “doesn’t work”. This is especially true when you know that all this person is really doing is reviewing old studies that probably didn’t involve any real hypnotherapists anyway, but some doctor or psychologist who does not help people quit smoking for a living, they earn their living some other way. How do you get good at something? By doing it for real with thousands of real people who don’t really expect you to be able to successfully do that anyway, they’re just trying one thing after another and usually come to us last partly thanks to people like Ernst… whilst at the same time, paying your mortgage absolutely depends upon your consistent success. Which is what I’ve been doing for the past decade, there’s nobody subsidising what I do.

    As I said in the book, getting doctors or scientists to do the ‘hypnotherapy’ in scientific trials is a bit like assessing the usefulness of some new and exciting surgical procedure by asking ME to have a go at it. I have met a lot of hypnotherapists but I have never met one who was involved, or was ever asked to be involved in any scientific trial.

    When I was challenged by Channel M television to demonstrate one-session smoking cessation with one of their staff, I accepted that challenge without hesitation. If Ernst was right, surely I would have known from experience that the odds were against me and I would have found some pretext for avoiding the challenge. But I knew from experience that the reverse was true, and although there was obviously still an outside chance that I would end up looking an idiot because no method has a 100% hit rate, I jumped at the chance to prove that hypnotherapy is genuinely effective, especially when it is done properly.

    I would be quite happy to repeat that exercise a thousand times, and although I wouldn’t expect a thousand successes, I would be very confident of proving Ernst’s statement about hypnotherapy and smoking cessation entirely wrong, not with some arbitrary ‘review’ system but with real people, and I think that is the way all these therapies should be put to the test. If some prove to be no better than placebos then that won’t bother me in any way, but I know for sure that if the exercise involves real and talented hypnotherapists then we certainly have nothing to worry about. The others can look out for themselves, but if they turned out to be more use that Ernst claims, you will be more surprised than I.

  • Flaming Nora!

    He’s like a creature possessed, isn’t he?

  • Oh, come on Skeptipussy! Don’t go all sensitive on us now! The name-calling is hilarious! I’ve only been on this blog five minutes and already I’ve been called diabolical, nasty, vicious, unbelievably silly, malicious, “desperately nasty” – which is a phrase I’ve never heard before, so that’s pretty creative – and sactimonious. You (and those of a similar viewpoint) regularly dismiss people as trolls, quacks, “woo” practitioners (???) and I was intrigued to discover when I ventured on to the Bad Science blog that some of them call us “gorillas”. So I started calling them Lab Rats.

    All these things could be construed as offensive, but it’s really just people letting off steam. Why is bigot more offensive than quack? Barring people is like suing people, just another way of silencing those you don’t like. Let them speak, and let the reader judge for themselves.

    When I was growing up, if someone said they’d “been to see the quack” they meant the GP.

  • Don’t forget ‘bigot’, which Bruce called you when he was only on here five minutes.

    Sorry, Chris, I’m not sure I can make the point any clearer than I have already but I’ll give it one more go:

    You spent several thousands words deliberately defaming someone knowing full well that you have no grounds whatsoever for doing so. That is a disgusting way to behave and you deserve everything you’ve been called – with the exception of ‘bigot’. I don’t know if you’re a bigot or not but I see no evidence that you are.

    Similarly, there is no evidence of any sort that Zeno is a bigot. Nevertheless, Bruce has repeated the same stupid insult 14 times and, frankly, I’m sick to the back teeth of seeing him say the same thing over and over without – as I’ve already said – making any attempt to engage with any of the arguments put to him by anyone else.

    “Barring people is like suing people, just another way of silencing those you don’t like.”

    Oh, don’t be so stupid. This is my blog and as the one who pays the bill, I can decide who can post here. There is nothing to stop Bruce starting his own blog and saying whatever he likes, though as he only has one thing to say, I doubt he’ll attract many readers. That’s why he has to troll our blogs instead.

    “Let them speak, and let the reader judge for themselves.”

    That would be why you didn’t publish my first comment on your blog, which contained no name-calling of anyone. By collecting all of Bruce’s comments in one place, ‘letting him speak and letting the reader decide’ is exactly what I’ve done.

    I’m not surprised that you should leap to the defence of someone who appears to be even nastier than you are. Birds of a feather etc.

  • I’m not defending anyone in particular, and I’m also puzzled by this reference to your “first comment” – I don’t censor anyone, what was the comment? What post were you commenting on? I’m quite happy to add whatever you like, doesn’t bother me.

  • Yes, I approved that, along with the others of the day. But immediately I took down the posts, I took down all the comments as well because they don’t really make sense without the original posts and some of them were comments by me which legal people might be able to get me with (I don’t know), so I just surgically removed the lot.

    I don’t censor anyone on Truth Will Out, whatever they say.

    re: “Don’t forget ‘bigot’, which Bruce called you when he was only on here five minutes.”

    Bruce called ME that? Where? I must admit I sort of skim-read those posts because I wasn’t particularly interested, but I’ve just glanced over them again and I can’t find an example of Bruce calling me anything. Not that I’m bothered, I’m just surprised by your comment.

    All insults are merely suggestions. A suggestion is like a ball somebody throws to you: you don’t have to catch it, but if you do catch it (react, take it seriously)then you’re playing their game. If you reject any suggestion it has no influence – the ‘ball’ falls to the ground with a thud.

  • Fair enough. It never appeared but it’s not important.

    Under my previous post the Bruce said this:

    Saturday 27 March 2010 at 12:51 PM
    The hypnotherapist’s attack on prof Ernst suggests a bigotry based on obvious political motive, but I see no difference between this guy and zenosblog current approach.

  • Oh, right. I probably missed it because my eyes tended to glaze over whilst reading those posts. Not sure if that’s because they don’t make much sense anyway or whether I wasn’t really trying because that was an exchange other people I didn’t know at all were already in the middle of…

    Maybe Bruce is just over-using the word out of habit. But if a word is used over and over again it quickly becomes meaningless. Like ceiling. If you repeat that word in your mind over and over, after about five or six repetitions it starts to sound ludicrous. Bruce’s writing is a bit like that.

  • Only you don’t have to repeat that five or six times. I’d be in a coma.

  • Edzard has commented beneath the previous post, if anyone’s interested.

  • Interesting somewhat, but at the end of the day Earnsty boy is a fake, he has no qualifications in any alternative or complimentary therapy so what’s wrong with stating that fact? Are we supposed to ‘believe’ that he knows what he is talking about?

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