QUACKWATCH

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Cromwell, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    Typed into Google gives a lot of information about claims for cures etc. Also links you to doctors who have had malpractice records, plus lots of other stuff. I find it very useful and you get to learn quite a bit about some of the w0orse quacksters. Some of the people who get listed, well, I don't really agreee with the Quackwatches medical opinion of them, as clearly there is a bias, but they give a lot of good information on credentials, background etc. and at least we get to make our own minds up. When you read the background on some of the so called Health Experts, well a lot of them are little more than crooks-it is that old adage, "If it seems to good to be true, then it is."

    Crom
  2. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    Crom, and others reading this post, as Paul Harvey would say, and now here's the rest of the story, for those checking out the quackwatch site, you might also then go to the quackpotwatch site for the other side of the story.

    As one familiar with the legal profession, I can attest that it takes thousands and thousands of dollars to bring one case to court. Where and how is Quackwatch being funded is my question and then one has to ask Why?

    Quackwatch brings lots of cases against small mom and pop operations, people that are trying to help all of us heal ourselves naturally.

    So where is all that money coming from? From donations, Quackwatch says, but I have to ask, donations from where?
    Pharmaceutical companies and the traditional medical profession are becoming increasingly more and more threatened as more and more dollars are being spent on the alternative avenues.

    Then if you really want to get the more truthful side of the story, you might want to check into all the frivolous cases Quackwatch brings that are thrown out of court.

    This doesn't dissuade Quackwatch though, as their real intent is to force these small mom and pop operations out of business with the expensive and time consuming court tactics.

    Just my opinion.

    Sbilek
  3. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    the sites that I wanted to read up about, find out backgrounds on some people who are into multilevel marketing schemes and such, and as I said, I did not agree with some of the medical comments on some other people, but I did agree with some of the other comments on some of these millionaire marketers, and at least one gets some background info particularly if one cross checks on other sites. Everyone is funded by someone, even this site. I DO think there are some people out there, quite a lot who are snake oil salespeople and they are looking for people who are very ill to scam, which is really low. A lot of them do make claims of cures for everything and tell peopl;e not to go to a doctor or take regular meds. For eg people who have seizures are being told that essential oils can work just as well, that sort of deal-I think when one can read up and verify on other sites that the people selling these products have criminal histories, then they are just scam artists taking advantage of very ill people. I DO think this site exposes scam merchants. I did not see any "mom and pop" organisations, the people I was reading about all seem to be millionaires or close- can you tell me how I missed them, the little mom and pop people? I don't mean this sarcastically, I really want to know how I missed that.
    Crom
  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    when there is such a mixture of good and bad info on a site, how can one believe or disbelieve any thing that is written on such a site?

    As a result, a site like Quackwatch becomes worthless in my humble opinion since they are not impartial.

    all the best,
    Victoria
  5. Muddieanne

    Muddieanne New Member

    As I have posted before Dr.Barrett's daughter suffers with fibro,so he is very concerned about our pain. He doesn't want us to be fooled by Kevin Trudeau and other scam artists. Trudeau,who is not a dr.,has become very rich from his rip-off book.

    I learned about Dr.B's daughter by reading about her on Quackwatch. Regarding Trudeau,what P.T. Barnum said years ago is still true,"There is a sucker born every minute".

    Marie
  6. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I did not know that Dr Barret's daughter was ill. I thank people for their imput and I will continue watching this site and others to check for the scam artists. I also do like some of the doctors he doesn't seem to value completely, like Dr Chapra for eg, but I don't really think he is saying anything damning about him. I actually want a site(like ours) that offers a variety of opinions so we can use our brains as poster said. There is an element that has crept into alternative medicine too, of ridiculing anything aliopathic,(traditional drug company meds like Ultram etc - which I actually don't use but respect the people here who need to use them) as terrible for the body, and also this element of blaming the sufferer for bringing the disease upon themselves because of "toxic living". Nuns get FM?CFS too you know. I was even told last week that my little boy "wanted" to hang onto his autism probably due to his bad diet, then laid into my parenting! This person knew nothing about me,had never spoken to me before, or she would have known I have always been an organic, fish/veggie,who exercises all the time, taking great care with his diet plus I am expert in autism studies. She even added, "Look at his spots, get him off the coke mom!" Gee, he never gets soda. I did retaliate, and pointed out that she had 1) Dyed hair, 2) was wearing lots of makeup 3)was wearing overpowering perfume and 4)she had dry cleaning hanging in her car. I just hate these people trotting out condemnations of others. Even when someone dies, they say "she brought the illness on herself" because why, she wouldn't fall for some millionaire run pyramid scheme selling an overpriced product with tons of false claims?
    I BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD BE WORKING ALONGSIDE ALL TYPES OF DOCTORS AND USING COMPLIMENTARY TECHNIQUES AND FOODS AND MEDICINES AS NEEDED. BUT with highly trained naturapaths, not sleaze bags who bought a degree in the mail. THESE SNAKE OIL SALEsPEOPLE ARE JUST TAKING ADVANTAGE OF PEOPLE'S PAIN TO MAKE MONEY,HOWEVER. They do a lot of harm, and I am glad of a site where I can get some info(which I can then verify elsewhere). In fact I call the FDA and others to find out exactly if Dr Barret is telling the truth and so far, he has been.
    Crom
  7. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    I have to respectfully disagree with Bruins' comments re it not costing much to sue.

    Yes, granted, you can get any ambulance chaser to "file" a lawsuit for free, but it's the guy on the other end that gets the raw deal, the small mom and pop operations that then have to shell out thousands to defend themselves.

    Being a court reporter, believe me, I have first hand knowledge how much these lawsuits cost and it is not cheap, let me tell you, also wasting tax payers' dollars for court time.

    Quackwatch has been chastised by judges not more than once for these frivolous lawsuits they have filed.

    All the info is there on the web for those interested, and all court info can be verified through the specific courts, for anyone interested.

    Sbilek
  8. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    WHAT ARE THESE MOM AND POP ORGANISATIONS AS I RESEARCHED AND COULD NOT FIND ONE. WHO ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT SBLK? I AM REALLY WANTING TO KNOW, PLUS LET US KNOW WHO THE ONES THAT WERE IN COURT WERE SO WE KNOW WE CAN NOW TRUST THEM.
    THANKS CROM
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    He has it in for Dr. St. Amand's Guai treatment. He cites the original study on the Guai which was too flawed to be of any scientific value and he has to know that. Still, he uses it to try to discredit the treatment. Even a first-year college student could see the flaws and understand this. I do not know why Dr. Barrett persists in his attacks on the Guai. He appears to otherwise be a good doc.

    I don't even think Dr. St. Amand knows the full story of how and why the Guai works because no further studies are likely to be run. I believe his phosphate debris theory is only part of the story. Still, I have experienced the results, so I know that it has worked for me.

    I had heard that Quackwatch attacked the Guai treatment, which is a shame. It might keep someone from trying it and getting the results I have gotten.

    Love, Mikie
  10. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Barrett attacks most anything that is not 'standard western medicine' from about 30+ years ago it seems;

    in addition to attacking the guai treatment, he has in the past attacked such things as acupuncture, biofeedback, and hypnosis, all of which have been shown to work well in respected journals...

    And yes he has lost in court for frivolous lawsuits...

  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I know that when docs become more well known, a lot of professional jealousy can enter into things. It's really too bad.

    Love, Mikie
  12. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    First off, Sharon, I extend my sympathy for your personal situation, and I hope I did not offend you with my comments, but unfortunately, that is the reality of the situation, as far as the cost of bringing one case to trial.
    You have not experienced this as you were dealing with pro bono attorneys, the type that will file a case for you at no charge and pick up most of the costs along the way, in the hopes that they will win that big one in the millions of dollars, and then they are set for life.
    Plaintiffs file lawsuits. Dr. Barrett is the Plaintiff bringing lawsuits against herb stores, small alternative practices, chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, anyone he thinks he can bully into "giving up."

    These people on the other end of the receiving stick are the Defendants. Defense lawyers charge $150 an hour, upwards to over $300 an hour.

    To bring one case to court, you have tons of hours of preliminary work, depositions costing in the thousands of dollars, just for the court reporters, the defense attorneys are charging for every minute of time they spend, researching, telephone calls. Then there are the expert witnesses that are called. They also charge $150 an hour upwards for their testimony.

    One expert witness, for deposition testimony, is usually $2,500. Then for court time they usually charge for the day, or some charge per hour, also costing $2,500 upward for just one expert witness.

    So if a defense lawyer spends 50 hours of pre trial time, that's $50 x $150, that $7,500. That's before trial. Most of these cases run a week or more, eight hours a day or more, times 2 weeks, that's $12,000 added to the $7500, that's close to $20,000 and that DOES not include the court reporters' expenses of depositions and the expert testimony which can easily run up another $15,000.

    So that's a grand total of $35,000 and that's on the low end of the spectrum.

    So, as you can see, not a piddly amount of change for a small practitioner to cough up, who is obligated to pay for the defense end of it.

    Dr. Barrett has been running willy/nilly for many, many years, but the tide is turning and the scales are turning more and more for the alternative way of things.


    Crom, I have been watching the illustrious Dr. Barrett for over five years now, I'm not sure how long you have been following his antics.

    I guess it goes back to my old scenario of the three types of people, relating to alternative treatment. There are those that are completely open to it, those that are a little skeptical, but will at least try something, and then those that won't even hear about alternative medicine.


    My personal intent on following articles of this type relating to promoting the Quackwatch site, as prior to my undergoing NAET, which is an allergy elimination treatment, I was a very sick, unhealthy fibro patient, whose immune system was completely shot, I could not breathe at all, and had just about every fibro symptom there was.

    Had I known about Dr. Barrett or read his Quackwatch articles, and believe me, there is a very good one, very persuasive, actually, on why not to go anywhere near any doctor that practices NAET, as I said, had I read that article, I probably would not have tried that treatment, and it was a Godsend for me. Restored my health, gave me my life back, and I'm 96% better and remain so to this date. That was five years ago.

    I read an article by Dr. Barrett on NAET, actually, while I was still underdoing the treatments, and then subsequently got some inside scoop from my alternative doctors about people and organizations like Dr. Barrett and why they exist.

    I firmly believe the real intent behind Dr. Barrett is to bully alternative practitioners into giving up their alternative practice, and this HAS been accomplished, and also to dissuade anyone into trying ANYTHING that has an alternative connotation to it.

    One really has to wonder why, at least I do. So my intent is to provide people an alternative site to go to, the people that are watching Dr. Barrett. True, that site is funded as well, funded by alternative practioners, not pharmaceutical companies.

    And, yes, one will not find any proof of how Dr. Barrett is funded, but I think a logical person can come to their own conclusion.

    Seems as if most of the literature at present, anyways, in regard to Dr. Barrett, is concentrating on the most recent Lehigh County Court case, where Dr. Barrett was thrown out of court and chastised by the judge, not the first time, I might add, and won't be the last. In the judge's own words, "Stephen Barrett wasted the Lehigh County Court's time."

    There was a thread discussion a while back about this whole case, I think I started it, actually, information that was on Dr. Mercola's web site. It went into details re this whole Lehigh Court case.

    This is edited, information was actually sent to me by the New Medical Awareness site, via E-mail. Trying to bump up that post currently.

    Oh, by the way, Barrett has sued Dr. Mercola, too. That case was either dropped by Barrett before Court date or thrown out, can't remember which now.

    Crom, I'm not going to do your homework for you, if going to the quackpotwatch site doesn't do it for you, Crom, I'm not sure if anything will, but for those interested, you might want to type in Stephen Barrett MD filing lawsuits, go to the healthfreedomlaw site, you could try Stephen Barrett MD versus, again go the health freedom law sonic net site.

    Seems like at present Dr. Barrett is most interested in suing anyone he can, claiming people are making libelous statements about him. One person in particular, Attorney Negrete, who handled the last case in Lehigh Court that was thrown out by the judge, who felt Dr. Barrett was wasting the court's time, which, by the way, equates to tax payers' money as we, as the tax payers, are paying for the court's time and the court staff.

    All the info that used to be on the web in regard to all Dr. Barrett's lawsuits, is probably way, way back in the antiquities now. And, yes, I do believe Dr. Barrett even used to have that same info on his quackwatch sites. He was very proud of having put all these small practitioners out of business.

    So, Crom, do your own homework, but as I said, the tide is turning now. People are realizing the only way they are going to get well is to take charge of their health themselves, not listen to their western minded doc who tells them, "sorry, nothing we can do for you except pain meds or anti-depressants."

    The tide is turning for many of those western minded docs, too, who are giving up their traditional practice and going alternative or integrating alternative medicine into their practice.

    So, Crom, spend your time and energy on Barrett's site and buying into all that negative energy of why you shouldn't take charge of your life and shouldn't try a little of that snake oil.

    As for me, bring that snake oil on. It sure helped me!!

    Just my personal opinion. Obviously I'm not alone.

    Sbilek

    [This Message was Edited on 01/27/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/27/2006]
  13. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    Blue Moon,

    My sentiments to Crom were not meant as a personal attack, only my usual sarcasm with a smile that I'm usually posting with.

    Crom posted in all caps to me his exasperation, I guess, in not being able to find any damaging info on Dr. Barrett.

    Personally, I don't know how he could have missed all the recent Lehigh Court case references this past October, so that was the only intent of my sarcasm with a smile.

    Sbilek
  14. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    SBLK. I ASKED YOU A DECENT QUESTION THAT I WANTED AN ANSWER FOR. YOU SEEM TO BE VERY ANGRY WITH ME. I am perfectly willing to do my own research. I do a lot of research both for myself and for others as a volunteer counselor. I work tirelessly in the autism field, and in the mental health field. Others on this board have been happy to share their research with me, I am sorry that I offended you into thinking I was trying to get you to do my research for me, I had thought that people on this board were all willing to help one another politely and with kindness. I still think that it is fine to read this Dr Barrett site (which has some useful and some useless information) or any other, and that one can form one's own conclusions, both for or against, or prompt them to do further research, which is exactly why I wanted an answer to "where are the mom and pop organisations on the site?" as I cannot find them. I also have visited a lot of Alternative Medicine sites that are terribly misleading about alliopathic meds,and do make unsubstantiated claims, as well as some that show great knowledge, so I take what I need from those sites too. I don't beleive in upgrading one's own product my degrading another's, is all, on any of the sites. If you look at all of my posts you will see that I am a compassionate, caring and intelligent woman who tries to reach out and help others. I don't beleive I have ever been mean spirited in my life. I can see you have strong feelings re this site, but I thought you were being a bit rude towards me. Perhaps this was not your intention so I forgive you. You made me feel very sad. I am actually trying the Guai protocol, and so I read the links on the Barrett site to the Oregon research, which I felt had tried to do a good job and certainly were not ever demeaning or rude toward Dr Armad(sorry I think I got the name misspelled)in fact I think they were really hopeful they could pull out some empirical evidence in support of the protocol. I havn't found anything derogatory on the Barrett site about him, but maybe I missed that. I do believe that there are some dangerous multilevel marketers out there and it is they that give alternative medicine a bad reputation really, and I am glad they are being exposed, no matter by whom. I personally like alternative medicine, I used to own and operate my own organic herb farm, and have to say the Guai either seems to be helping me or it is a coincidence I started to feel better, I suppose it could be either but right now I am leaning towards the Guai. But I also believe there is a definite place for alliopathic medicines too-it is not either or-had my 3 lb baby not had the amazing care in the neonatal unit he would never have survived, had my husband not had the excellent surgical interventions and therapy following his head trauma, then he would be dead. Maybe none of my family would be doing as well as we are if we did not eat only organic foods. However, my husband would die without his meds, so I am grateful for the scientists who made them. Many people on these boards also rely heavily on Pain Meds and Anti-depression drugs. I have never yet found anyone with true schizophrenia who could stop the overreactive neuro transmitters without neuroleptics, nor anything herbal that can control seizures, and there are certainly a lot of quack "cures" out there as well as alliopathic meds that don't work as well as they claim, and some that kill, and some herbs that can help somewhat-I have not come across any that cure cancer over a broad population, but I do have a brother who is alive today because of chemo, unpleasant though it was. I certainly am not defending anyone else's site, I just think there happens to be some useful information, alongside some very biased information, on that site. I do think almost all, if not all, of the folk who visit this board are very practical, intelligent people who a mostly in pain, who do a lot of research and are willing to listen to both sides of the story, as I would say of myself. I thank you for presenting your take on things, I just wish you could have said it in a rather more pleasant fashion as some of the other posters did. I agree with some of what you say and strongly disagree with damning the whole site and the person who runs it. I particularly liked his daughter's review on FM which was well presented and gave many link choices to peruse.

    Blessings
    Anne

    Thank you.
    Anne

    I do think, as I have said before, that this board is supposed to be for sharing and caring, and that we can all learn from one another I do feel that you have been rather unfair towards me and extemely defensive without having a cause to be so.
  15. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    I'm trying to bump up my thread I started entitled, info on Stephen Barrett, MD, where I went into detail of the Lehigh case.

    It was sent to me by the New Medical Awareness site, via E-mail.

    The most telling evidence, I thought, and so did others, was Barrett's admission, "under oath" where he conceded he was NOT a medical board certified psychiatrist because he had failed the cerifified exam.

    This is contrary to Barrett's info he posts about his illustrious credentials.

    Now, what is the truth? I guess one would have to get the transcript from the court reporter in that case to find out what he really said.

    That info from the New Medical Awareness site was verbiage from Negrete, the attorney who represented the chiropractor that Barrett was suing for supposedly libelous statements that chiropractor made about him.

    As I alluded to, Barrett has subsequently also sued Attorney Negrete, again for libelous statements, and to my knowledge, after a brief perusal last night, that case has also been thrown out and/or dropped by Barrett, more than likely because what Negrete stated was not libel, but the truth of what happened in that Lehigh case.

    Granted, I haven't been able to "quickly" put my hands on some of the mom and pop lawsuits, but they are there. It's kind of like the CNN and Fox news reports, it's not the news of the day, so it's buried in the archives.

    I do specifically remember instances, though, in some of my health magazines, where instances were cited of those mom and pop operations that had to close up due to being bankrupted by defense costs from Barrett.

    Sbilek
  16. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    Anne, please accept my humble apologies. I did not mean to be rude with my post. Aggressive in my beliefs, yes, but, again, I only tend to get a little on my high horse about Dr. Barrett, again because I think he dissuades a lot of people from trying alternative ways to help themselves. My health being a whole lot better than it used to be, I feel an enormous amount of gratitude to those same doctors that were labeled incompetent and snake oil practitioners by Dr. Barrett, so I assume some duty to take my time to expose the other side of the story.

    I am not familiar with your posts but take you at your word that you are, indeed, a caring compassionate person.

    Please, believe me, that my comments were, really, made with a smile.

    Perhaps sarcasm in any form is not a good idea, but it has been my experience that it does tend to get people's attention.

    To be honestly truthful with you, Ann, I did spend a good bit of time last night trying to find those mom and pop cases and did not have any luck.

    I know they used to be there, but that was four years ago or more.

    Times have changed recently and most of the news today is Barrett's lawsuits claiming libel at being exposed to be a fraud.

    And, also, times have changed re the attitude towards these lawsuits by the courts, which is a very good thing.

    When Barrett was winning these lawsuits, he had most of these mom and pop deals hiding under the covers. Now, the tide is turning and alternative medicine is "coming out", if I may use that expression.

    Courts these days are not as eager to hand over a verdict to Barrett, again, as I alluded to, the $$ have switched, and alternative medicine is a strong organization and are able to afford the high priced attorneys and cases that Barrett was winning in the past he is now losing, so now he is switching his tactics and filing lawsuits of libel against anyone printing discriminatory remarks about him.

    The next time I see one, though, may I have your permission to send it on to you? Meaning a mom and pop deal that is having to expend mega bucks to defend themselves against a Barrett lawsuit?

    Granted, his info may serve some purpose for some folks, but for me, it's a waste of my time.

    Again, Ann, accept my apologies????

    Sbilek
    [This Message was Edited on 01/27/2006]
  17. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    For crom, bruin, and anyone else interested, info finally bumped up, look for thread, Info on Stephen Barrett, where I went into details about the recent Lehigh court case involving Dr. Barrett and his supposed credentials.

    Sbilek
  18. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I don't know a lot about Quackwatch as I rarely go there, but one alternative technique which helped me enormously is Contact Reflex Analaysis (CRA), a form of applied kinesiology, or muscle testing. It helped me when traditional docs were useless or worse.

    But Quackwatch said that CRA is junk. So I don't bother with that site, it does appear that he just trashes anything outside of the mainstream.

    I don't see that site trashing doctors or drugs who are absolutely useless when it comes to CFIDS or FM or Lyme.

    Mary
  19. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member



    I can see you feel passionately about things. I have a best friend who is the same way and she nearly died as she refused surgery to the bitter end. I think that one thing denied does not make another better(one value v another) and visa versa. She is currently into essential oils, that may or may not have merits, but one thing is certain, that they will not stop seizures or cure cancer, although they may help alleviate some symptoms sometimes in some people, maybe. I see the person who started her in essential oils not only has terrible HX on every board (including Barretts)including Naturopathic ones but that he tells some real porkers (as we Brits call lies) overcharges for his products, and has left the country leaving the docs who ran his recently closed down clinic to take the heat. These people are a disgrace to alternative medicine and do the whole industry a great disservice. I worry a lot about my friend as she looks unwell and spends literally thousands being treated by dubious people. I also worry that when she repeats the claims of this man,selling the oils to others,that she may land in jail, or worse, cause harm to someone. I see you are Reikki 11, and I know the training you took to get there. It bothers me that so many people set themselves up as experts, after a two week mail order course, or by just deluding themselves they have more knowledge than they actually have. Or are "trained" in a $600 a day seminar to be an expert! You have to admit there are a lot of get rich quick people out there. Look at the crooked preachers who fleece people all the time as well. I think once we say "My way or no way", as my friend has, then we lose the ability to listen carefully and digest what we learn and thus close our options off. This is where the danger creeps in, when we close our minds. I would love to see a world where wholistic medicine that includes all branches of trained, informed professionals is embraced. So in this respect, Barrett has his place, as he also does list some dreadful people.

    Anyway, I see you have that edgy style of communicating,it is a bit too edgy for me,but I accept it is your personal style. I am a total love and light person, don't like sarcasm at all, had too much of it growing up in Northern England. However, you do have the grace to apologise and I certainly have the grace to accept. Yin to Yang and back!
    Blessings,
    ANNE(LOL that you thought I was a "he" BTW!)
  20. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    Crom, yes, again I apologize for erroneously assuming Crom was a he. Guess I should've checked your bio first.

    Yes, I'm into the light and love thing, too. Obviously I still have a lot of work to do!!!!
    Again, smile on my face. One thing about me, I can also be sarcastic with myself, too.

    Growing up with a very abusive mother and a very dysfunctional family, I guess my sarcasm was the only thing that got me through the day with a smile on my face.

    Sbilek