A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a charlatan ex doctor who had been struck off by the GMC, threatening to claim millions of pounds in damages from Netcetera, for hosting The Quackometer. The Quackometer had written some truths about Dr Joseph Chikelue Obi and he made some groundless threats, and you can read all about it in my earlier post, Quackometer Under Fire.
On Monday, the writer of the Quackometer, known as Le Canard Noir (LCN), was given about twenty minutes notice by the Spineless Tosspots called Netcetera that they would be pulling the plug on the Quackometer, and other pages by the writer. All because a real life genuine quack and charlatan threatened to sue the spineless tosspots.
LCN received the following email from David Boswell, of Netcetera –
Thanks for your comments. We do not wish to be in a position where we could be taken to court, and incur the loss of time and expense that would involve. Consequently Netcetera have decided to suspend the Quackometer website, with reference to our Acceptable Usage Policy, the first part of which is quoted below. The full policy can be found on our website www.netcetera.im/SiteInfo/AUP/
“Acceptable Usage Policy
This policy is subject to change, without alternate notice, so please check regularly for updates. This policy is in addition, and considered part of Netcetera’s Terms and Conditions.
Netcetera will be the sole arbiter as to what constitutes a violation of this provision.
1) Web Hosting
1.1) Netcetera reserves the right to suspend or cancel a customer’s access to any or all services provided by Netcetera, where Netcetera decides that the account has been inappropriately used. Netcetera reserves the right to refuse service and /or access to its servers to anyone.”
We will prevent public access to the site as of noon today 18th February 2008. You will be able to access the content to be able to transfer it to another host if you so wish.
We will hold the content available to you for 30 days, and then we will remove it from our servers.
Lessons to be learned from this?
Don’t use Netcetera as your host if you can avoid it. Some companies enforce their “we’ll take your site off the internet if a total schmuck frightens us” policy.
Other people commenting about this include Rupert Goodwins at ZDnet , Gimpy , jdc , coracle , shpalman , Holford Watch , Apathy Sketchpad , Letting Off Steam , The James Randi Educational Foundation Forum (long one that), BPSDB.org , Dr. Aust and finally (at the moment) Dr.T .
You already know not to trust Dr. Obi, right?
One of the things seen often on the forums used by CLLers around the world, is a discussion on vitamins. Vitamin A, B, C, folic acid, ascorbic acid; if it has a name, you can be certain that somewhere a CLLer is taking it or investigating it, or knows somebody who’s uncles best mate’s third cousin has a friend who’s mum had her blindness cured by eating carrots.
I suppose that all this is understandable to a degree. After all, we have an incurable illness, and like other cancer victims, we have no real certainty about what our future may hold. Medicine offers us a great deal of hope, but no certainties, and many of us turn away from reality and invest their trust and hope in unproven remedies, quackery, lining the pockets of the unscrupulous in the process.
One of the most astonishing of the well known quack cures is the Gerson Method. Involving consuming up to 20lbs of juiced organic vegetables per day, plus three balanced vegetarian meals. Central to the method, is the coffee enema. This ‘essential’ component is part of the whole detox regime that the method is all about. It seems that this detox is supposed, by using all those organic, contamination free vitamin and enzyme rich veggy juices, to cleanse your cancer away.
Gerson web sites have some surprising things. Videos, containing the promise that they can cure your cancer, and nastily, warnings that chemotherapy and Gerson don’t mix. Something they don’t have is evidence of the wonderful cures that following the Gerson Method brings. They are in the UK too
I have just two more negative things to say about Gerson. Firstly, it is well known that detox diets only work for the shyster flogging the book, and there is no demonstrable detox effect at all.
There are some positive aspects to the Gerson Method though, and yes, you are reading this, this is real, nobody is twisting my arm up behind my back. I’m convinced that if you follow the diet, ditch all the junk, the pies, the burgers, the processed stodge, the fizzy pop, the alcohol, the additives and you drink the coffee, it would be a huge improvement on the average western diet.
Vitamins. That is where I started. It is well known that cancer patients take many more supplements than the average person. It is also well known that there is virtually no evidence that taking vitamins does you any good at all. This point was made in a very good article in the New York Times this week. (Via Badscience) Many vitamin supplements have been shown to increase cancer risk. When I see yet another CLL patient announce his/her regime of vitamins and supplements on a forum somewhere, I often want to scream at them to spend the money on fruit and veg instead.
The second negative thing about Gerson?