When skeptics start questioning the scientific basis for the Burzynski Clinic’s highly controversial and expensive “antineoplaston” cancer therapy, that’s the time that the clinic should rebut using proofs of therapeutic benefit. As noted by Cory Doctorow: issuing threats instead tends to make it look like the Burzynski Clinic just doesn’t have any proofs to offer.
You may have already read many of the articles I’m linking to here: I’m not adding much new information to what’s already out there. The reason I’m posting the links and the email quotes below (from Mark Stephens, allegedly the clinic’s legal representative) is to add another teaspoon full of linkjuice, highlighting the strong possibility of false hope being held out to desperate people, to any internet searches for the clinic. If you are considering spending money at the Burzynski Clinic for cancer treatment, please ask yourself this question – why aren’t they responding to the skeptics with proofs? Why are they resorting to threats instead? Especially Threats against a teenager, and threats against a family with a newborn?
Sent to Quackometer: 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…If you had no history of lying, and if you were not apart of a fraud network I would take the time to explain your article word for word, but you already know what defamation is. I’ve already recorded all of your articles from previous years as well as legal notice sent by other attorneys for different matters. As I mentioned, I am not playing games with you. 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.
Sent to Ratbags: Although many citizens do not yet realize it, comments made to chat boards, newsgroups and even mailing lists are all forms of publication. Criticisms of companies or their goods can be a basis for libel charges if the poster misrepresents facts, or fails to qualify his or her post as opinion. [ed: this is incorrect. In the USA, the Communications Decency Act immunizes people from libel claims arising from message boards and similar]…
Ratman…..SIGN THE AGREEMENT. I’ve been asking you for WEEKS now. If you are so sure my client is a quack, fraud, and a criminal sign. I also reduced the legal language so you would not put your rat tale between your cowardly skinny legs, and hide behind your mouse by clicking on the X to close my email request.
My agreement is posted on your website you forgot?? Instead of signing a burzynski petition sign my agreement to disclose all Burzynski information to you, which by the way is already available to the public and you know it. That is why you are not signing. Skeptics are afraid of the truth, which is why you are a skeptic in the first place. A Skeptic is someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs. Your network even had to create your own dictionary to hide from the true meaning..hilarious. The FDA, NCI all agreed my client and his treatment works, and is non-toxic. Sign the agreement and I will show you this in writing. Hint: Just look in court orders and you will find the answer.
Sent to Anaximperator: View the MEDICAL RECORDS of the patients on the website. I am not politically correct..so you will not receive a sugar coated response from me. You are disrespectful and ignorant. DO THE RESEARCH. How about talking to the little kids that had brain cancer. How about looking at the news that followed them from initial diagnosis to being CANCER FREE.
I demand an apology from you on this matter. As well as reposting your answer after you do your research. The people you claim are DEAD are ALIVE and that is called DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. The patients of Dr. Burzynski are in the public eye as well as your comment about them, and you could be held liable for your “MEDICAL ADVISE”, and defamation of character. I recorded the screen with your comment as well as conducted research to, if necessary, file a legal suit if your comment is not corrected immediately. These people have families and you are causing great emotional distress to them by your uneducated comments and medical advise. Thank you. Marc Stephens
I wonder if Mark Stephens has a copy of this book lying around?
Further reading: the Streisand Effect
Categories: ethics & philosophy, health, medicine, Meta, skepticism
Maybe he could have done with a dictionary too. Or at least spell check. Bastards who peddle false hope to make a buck make me sick. Oh hai diet industry.
FYI, the Communications Decency Act immunizes people that *host* message boards (such as ISPs) against things they didn’t write but their users did. The original posters are still entirely responsible for anything they publish online.
Other than that, yes, these people are despicable and need to be exposed
A strong point made by commentor TFox on Boing Boing that just about nails it for me:
* how can the clinical trials possibly be both rigorously double-blind and ethical when the subjects are paying a fortune to take part?
* Is the Burzynski clinic seriously making their control subjects pay for the equivalent of sugar-pill placebos?
* or are they giving all their paying subjects the same drug, so that they therefore don’t have a control group at all?
Because if they are taking the same money from the subjects who are part of the control group then they are callous swine, but if they’re giving everybody exactly the same treatment because they’re all paying? Then they’re not performing a proper clinical trial.
Okay, that made me laugh.
I am sure that there are many good and talented people in Texas. Still, I sort of cringe whenever I hear about something like this happening there. Is it me, or is that state overburdened by individuals with spurious claims?
tree, IIRC Texas is one of those states which proudly proclaims how it doesn’t shackle commerce with all those latte-sipping regulations that other states have, which obviously attracts certain kinds of businesses that can’t manage to meet regulatory standards elsewhere.
Tigtog: I did a bit of reading (yuck) and they claim to still be in phase II, which aren’t the full-blown double blind etc phase III trials required for drug approval. Mind you, there are doctors saying that when you’ve been in phase II that long with so little in the way of results, you chuck in the towel (if what you’re doing is research).
But as a general rule, no, patients should not be paying to be in clinical trials. Burzynski is relying very heavily on “the mainstream is against me, I’m a maverick with the secret you need” to motivate patients (or their families) to fork out money.
Interesting: it seems odd at the very least that they haven’t moved on to Phase III trials by now if they’ve truly got something that works.
Absolutely, and they certainly shouldn’t be paying anything like US$200,000 (or is it UK£200,000 ? the news stories seem unclear). The generosity of everybody who has been involved in fundraising for this little girl in the UK is wonderful, and they deserve better than to have those compassionate instincts taken advantage of by people who are not doing proper science or proper medicine.
so imho this must be another example of “reality IS stranger than fiction”.
p.s. fyi, just found this (as a look into the financial bg of burzynski clinic)