Skepticat_UK is

Maria MacLachlan

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."

" 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!"

"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."

"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."

"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."

"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!"

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

"Great stuff Skepticat."

"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."

"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!"

"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. ;)"

"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"

"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!"

"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!"

"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 Jenny McCarthy body count

American Jenny McCarthy is a self-appointed vaccine expert, having graduated from the University of Google after an earlier successful career as a slapper, the grotesque details of which are described on countless websites less concerned with maintaining high standards of taste and decorum than this one.

Her venture into the lucrative field of childhood vaccination controversy was motivated by the diagnosis of her son, Evan, as having an autistic spectrum disorder, though he now’s been “cured” leading to speculation that he was misdiagnosed in the first place [edited 21.04.09 to add, he has apparently been cured by using “alternative means”. Yeah, right.] In addition to her enviable Google education, McCarthy comes with a wealth of experience as a former Indigo Mom.

The day I found out I was an adult Indigo will stay with me forever. I was walking hand in hand with my son down a Los Angeles street when this woman approached me and said, “You’re an Indigo and your son is a Crystal.” I immediately replied, “Yes!” and the woman smiled at me and walked away. I stood there for a moment, because I had no idea what the heck an Indigo and Crystal was, but I seemed so sure of it when I had blurted out “Yes!” After doing some of my own research on the word Indigo, I realized not only was I an early Indigo but my son was in fact a Crystal child.

McCarthy is at pains to point out that she is not anti-vaccine. Not at all. In an interview with Time magazine that reveals her sharp, analytical mind she says,

People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines. Please understand that we are not an antivaccine group. We are demanding safe vaccines. We want to reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins. If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f___ing measles.

I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s s___. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.

vaccine expert at work

Vaccine expert at work

In honour of this Joan of Arc of the vaccine movement, a website has been set up which helpfully provides a running total of the cases and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S. since Jenny McCarthy started “promoting anti-vaccination rhetoric” in 2007. The site points out that it is not blaming Jenny McCarthy for all this disease and death, “however, as the unofficial spokesperson for the United States anti-vaccination movement she may be indirectly responsible for at least some of these illnesses and deaths and even one vaccine preventable illness or vaccine preventable death is too many.”

Amen to that and I’m delighted that a clever blogger called the Lay Scientist stepped up to the plate and brilliantly made a widget out of it so we can all have Jenny McCarthy body count totals on our blogs and I am happy to sport one in my sidebar in solidarity with all those battling against McCarthy’s iniquitous campaign across the pond.

But it was our very own Andrew Wakefield who started the most recent wave of infectious disease promotion so how about somebody making a body count widget for the UK?

In the meantime, here’s The Jenny McCarthy Song. Enjoy!

Update 2/11/09.  See Crispian Jago’s blog for a nice wee video he’s made: The Jenny McCarthy body count. If you can stand it for long enough, you get to see McCarthy’s tits.

10 Responses to The Jenny McCarthy body count

  • I’m interested in doing a UK version, if I can find some good data. Perhaps a European version as well…

  • Jenny McCarthy is an idiot who capitalizes on her status as a celebrity to tout utter BS. Sadly plenty of people fall for it and millions of children (and eventually adults) will suffer as a result.

  • 1st paragraph – meeoww!

  • What about all the other paragraphs?

  • I love how McCarthy is willing to believe what a strange woman on the street has tells her without question. Secondly I wonder if she gave this woman any change.

  • Just to let y’all know I posted a follow up article on the subject of the anti-vax movement.

  • Whoops. Man, there’s something about this website that makes me enter incorrect web address information. The above link will lead you in a circle, this one will take you to my bloggity blog:

  • Halftruthsarelies/endaknob, you might want to do some research before you post a comment. There are placebo controlled trials of vaccines, just some random examlples:

    But even if there weren’t any, placebo controlled trials are not the only way to establish efficacy.
    Please cite a source for your claim that UNEP has “taken the Geiers’ recommendations”, and do tell how you came to the conclusion that “one (dose of?) vaccine contains 25 times the amount of mercury allowable in the average human body”. The “allowable amount” (or rather the ADI, the amount you can ingest daily for the rest of your life without negative effects) is 30 µg/day. 30 µg*25, that would be 750 µg in a single dose, name one vaccine that contains such an amount of mercury.

  • Well, let’s see, what about cohort studies? Are you telling me you never heard that different kinds of studies have different levels of evidence? You probably have but if you haven’t let me enlighten you:

    It’s okay that you don’t know everything there is to know (I don’t think I do), but it’s quite disappointing to see you somehow think this gives you an advantage in our discussion. Your arguments are full of holes that are easy to spot, yet you are so confident.

    Again, what’s the name of that vaccine that contains 750 µg mercury per dose (you were the one saying it’s 25 times the allowable amount, so I fail to see why all of a sudden such an amount is lunacy)?
    Please provide a source for the claim that UNEP has “taken the Geiers’ recommendations”.
    Tell me what we would expect as a placebo, if not either a vaccine that doesn’t contain the pathogen or one that contains another pathogen that is not responsible for the disease the study is about?
    Tell me how it is audacious to cite a study while it’s perfectly fine to spout bold statements for which you don’t cite a single piece of evidence? (You are not really saying that we don’t know what causes flu, do you?)

  • I wondered where you’d got to. It’s no good running away from a thread every time I make you look stupid. Just to remind you what I said on the thread you scuttled away from,

    I would appreciate it more if you could manage to present a coherent and supported argument with references and without the adolescent name-calling.

    I take particular exception to your infantile habit for adopting user names that incorporate insults to other posters here, especially when they have been perfectly civil to you. You have the option of choosing a non-insulting name and sticking to it or using the one I have chosen for you. Which is it to be?

    Now, let’s see what you’ve managed so far. You have

    1. Falsely claimed that the richest country in the world has a higher rate of infant mortality than two developing countries and implied that vaccines were the cause.
    2. Falsely claimed that vaccines are “exempt” from RCTS when pubmed has several hundred reports.
    3. Falsely claimed that one (unnamed) vaccine has “25 times the amount of mercury
    allowable in the average human body”. (Like Vicky, I would be most interested to know which vaccine you were thinking of and where you got your misinformation from but I won’t hold my breath).

    You have also said,

    Despite a massive campaign the vaccine industry is floundering, very likely near death – and that’s a very good thing. It may well be that, almost singlehandedly, Mark and David Geier, father and son, will provide the mechanism facilitating it’s demise.

    The United Nations Environmental Program on mercury has taken the Geier’s “mercury in vaccines” recommendations and made them part of the United Nations plans for the elimination of mercury in the environment – a massive victory for both the Geiers and the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMed).

    In an earlier argument you stated that the US was the most vaccine compliant nation in the world. I provided you with a link to a source that shows that many other countries all over the world also have very high rates of vaccination. That being the case, you’ll forgive me for dismissing your first sentence as empty rhetoric.

    Your second paragraph, i.e. the one you lifted from Bolen’s website, refers to the fact that UNEP has recently published the draft text – arrived at after two meetings of its negotiating committee – of a proposed globally binding treaty on mercury. It includes the recommendation that mercury be phased out of pharmaceutical products by 2021. This draft will be considered at a third session in November. Once the draft has been agreed, you will be justified in saying that it is “part of the United Nations plans”. What it is at the moment is a long-term goal, shared by many more than the Geiers’ ‘CoMed’ lobby, to remove thimerosal vaccines provided there are safe alternative means of preserving them.

    Now that we’ve got that clear, I think we can agree that your speculation that the Geiers will provide the “mechanism facilitating [the vaccine industry’s] demise” is a tad optimistic.

    Finally, you seem very hung up on what I said on Zeno’s blog and yet you only quote a bit of it. Let’s remind ourselves of that conversation, which took place here

    I said vaccines had saved millions of lives, to which you responded that “there isn’t a single efficacy study that supports this conjecture because all vaccines are exempt from RCT placebo trials”. By this I adduced that your understanding of “efficacy study” was an RCT or nothing. I responded that , “You don’t need an efficacy study when decades of experience and millions of doses provide a very impressive data set of both effectiveness and safety.” The bolded part is the part you keep omitting, for some reason. What part of it don’t you understand?

    By ‘data sets’ I mean the statistics that show a sharp decline in infectious diseases after immunisation is introduced. I’m sure you’ve seen the figures. Why don’t they persuade you? Here’s an example of a chart I would show the parents of any grandchild I might have if those parents were prevaricating over the mmr.

    Note what happens to the figures after 1988, when the mmr was introduced. Were it not for fraudsters like Wakefield and the Geiers, of course, we might have been close to eradicating this miserable disease by now. Shame on you, anti-vax cultists.

    I have read a great deal about the history and use of vaccines and it’s a chequered history involving many tragedies that should not have occurred. However, I am satisfied by the scholarly data that I have read that vaccines are one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine and I’m afraid your childish behaviour and silly comments here – I won’t dignify them with the name ‘arguments’ – have so far done nothing to disillusion me of that view. I would be most interested in what persuaded you to take up your position, if you’d like to share it.

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