Sometimes quacks even launch campaigns to try to force Wikipedia to let them edit pages to remove things that can hurt their marketing strategies, or at least bring attention to Wikipedia’s bias against lies and untruths. Such efforts include a Kickstarter project urging people to “support the book that exposes the bias on Wikipedia and takes a stand for the truth about alternative health” to draw attention to the fact that what quacks strongly believe or want to be true isn’t good enough for Wikipedia. And although the primary concern of the guy behind the campaign, Mike Bundrant, is Wikipedia’s coverage of the pseudoscientific nonsense that is neurolinguistic programming (NLP), he cites Wikipedia’s articles on e.g. homeopathy as evidence of alleged bias as well. Quacks of a feather must unite their forces to combat the tyranny of reality, facts, accountability and evidence.
Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP Center, an NLP training center. NLP is a system developed as part of the self-help wave in the 1970s, and is based on the idea that success can be achieved by modeling the language, behavior, and thought patterns of successful people. As a system, it has failed every test of its core precepts thrown at it, partially because it is based on a nonsense theory of the mind and brain. (Adherents have tended to respond by appealing to special pleading: the fact that NLP fails scientific investigations must mean that science is inadequate for testing NLP – that way, they try to avoid the obvious problem that they don’t have any evidence to merit taking them seriously.) Bundrant, however, is unfazed by such failures.
And Mike Bundrant isn’t merely a conspiracy theorist with a blog: he regularly writes for PsychCentral, which should be an indication of skills. But he is also a conspiracy theorist with a blog: Bundrant also regularly writes for NaturalNews. Yes, he is, of course, a conspiracy theorists: How else would he try to explain the fact that Wikipedia doesn’t let quacks run wild? There is, according to Bundrant, “a darker web of editorial trolls” at Wikipedia who “get paid to post slanted information in favor of corporate interests.” Evidence for his claim of corruption? The editors write that pseudoscientific practices are, indeed, pseudoscientific. What more evidence do you need? Or dare you, perhaps, suggest that Bundrant’s beliefs about NPL are wrong? What is more likely: That NPL is, as scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows, bullshit, or that there is a large conspiracy to suppress the evidence for some not-entirely-clear reason (why Big Pharma would pay off a whole scientific establishment – and how they could possibly succeed – to undermine Bundrant’s favorite self-help technique is indeed less than clear)?
At the time of his campaign, Bundrant was asking for $67,100 to complete and publish his book in which he planned to “expose” the sinister forces at work at Wikipedia and defend the anti-GMO Movement, alternative medicine, the autism–vaccines connection, holistic health, detox therapies, dietary supplements, herbalism, acupuncture, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy, chiropractic, energy medicine, applied kinesiology, craniosacral therapy, iridology, naturopathy, reflexology, therapeutic touch, orthomolecular medicine, rolfing, yoga [the New Age pseudoscience version], reiki, therapeutic NLP, energy psychology and therapeutic hypnosis … or virtually every relatively well-known medicine-related branch of pseudoscience and quackery in existence. The project seemed to be going slowly, and we can find no indication that the book ever materialized.
Diagnosis: NLP is bullshit. Mike Bundrant responded to that fact by going full conspiracy theory and what can best be described as pan-quackery. It’s not surprising, but it does tell you a lot about what kind of person we’re dealing with. Stay well away.
Hat-tip: Respectful Insolence