Here is a sequel to the story we brought you earlier this week regarding the Bainbridge Cancer Charity…
It is very telling when the response to criticism of a scientific claim is not counterargument, but a legal threat.
It’s therefore extremely discouraging to read of the recent experiences of the Quackometer’s Andy Lewis, who has been subjected to several bizarre and pseudo-legal rants, threatening a defamation lawsuit, over his sensitive critique of the Burzynski Clinic in the US.
Andy Lewis is not the only blogger to have received threats of legal action from Burzynski’s PR department. A fine example of similar threatening behaviour is documented here. In this case the complainant (seemingly the same individual issuing threats against The Quackometer) careers between accusations, threats and insults.
Credit: The21stfloor on Twitter
Streisand Effect engaged. I’m going to leave all their quoted links in there so you can visit. Any so-called medical facility ought to play fair and address the claims, not be cowards and resort to legal avenues.
UPDATE: It’s getting worse. The main source of these reports, Quackometer prints an email he and others have received that tells accuses them of libel and defamation, and to cease and desist. When asked what exactly is not factual in the posts that is causing the uproar, Andy Lewis of Quackometer gets a disturbing response:
I am not here to grade your article, or play games with you. You fully understand what you’re doing, which is why you are trying to hide behind your so-called “opinion”. You have a history of lying in your articles since 2008. All articles and videos posted from your little network are being forwarded to local authorities, as well as local counsel. It is your responsibility to understand when you brake[sic] the law. I am only obligated to show you in court. I am giving you final warning to shut the article down. The days of no one pursuing you is over. Quackwatch, Ratbags, and the rest of you Skeptics days are numbered.
You have a history of being stubborn which will play right into my hands. Be smart and considerate for your family and new child, and shut the article down..Immediately. FINAL WARNING.
As Andy notes, this does not sound like a lawyer, since he just threatened his safety and accused him of lying. Andy notes that the letter has indeed come from not a lawyer but Burzynski’s marketing person. Some PR. Amazing.
Update November 26: Marc Stephens has included Doubtful News and its syndication feed site, Skeptic.com in the latest email tirade which asserts that the community of skeptics is some evil network of bad guys. More to follow.
Here are a list of links about the story:
From Orac’s Respectful Insolence blog -A P.R. flack from the Burzynski Clinic threatens a skeptical blogger and Harnessing Peoples’ Good to Pay for Woo
and Stanislaw, Streisand and Spartacus collects other links from around the web.