Thursday, August 31, 2023

#2676: Geoffrey Clark

Hulda Clark remains a legend. Clark was among the most insane quacks who ever lived, whose big idea was that every ailment, including cancer and HIV, are actually caused by parasites, and whose business strategy was to sell you expensive nonsense herbs and randomly assembled electronic devices that would ostensibly cure you, including the legendary Zapper, a machine designed to give you a slight electric shock to kill off the mythical parasites. Clark didn’t escape the attention of the authorities after people started getting ill and dying from her products, and moved her business to Mexico instead, where she would continue operations until she, the author of The Cure for All Cancers, died of cancer, which she claimed to be able to cure, in 2009. Her business associates have since desperately tried to hide and lie about her cause of death.

After her death, the business was continued to be run by her son Geoffrey Clark, who continues to promote the Zapper, mostly through the Dr. Clark Store (a “Leader in Purity since 1993” currently owned by one Oskar Thorvaldsson – Clark remains a “consultant”) that offers a range of useless supplements, ridiculous cleanses and various silly devices, including water filters and a range of “Bernard Jensen products”. Hulda Clark’s ideas also continued to be promoted by her publicist Tim Bolen and by Precision Herbs, which continues to manufacture a range of ridiculous zapper produts, despite significant troubles from the FDA.

Diagnosis: No, we don’t have very much to say about Geoffrey Clark, but it was an opportunity to revist the insane silliness of Hulda. And although the popularity of this nonsense has waned, we thought it would be worth a mention in case it ever popped up again.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

#2675: Clay Clark

Clay Clark is co-founder (with Michael Flynn), master of ceremonies and ridiculous centerpiece of the ReAwaken America tour, and one of the unofficial leaders of the pseudo-fascist, white nationalist, QAnon-fueled clown train running havoc in the US at present.


Covid conspiracies and the Great Reset

A Tulsa-based entrepreneur, business coach and failed (expelled) student at Oral Roberts University, Clark rose to prominence as an organizer of networks of anti-vaccine activists, quacks and religious fundies in response to COVID-19 measures to push the idea that the pandemic was “part of a scam to control the population” and that the “official narrative about the virus was not to be believed.” Instead, according to Clark, the COVID-19 vaccine is a bioweapon containing luciferase, which was apparently created by Bill Gates by combining cryptocurrency technology with Jeffrey Epstein’s DNA to create a new species of human. No, there is no foundation in coherence or intelligibility, much less fact, but Clay has long since decided that the shallow chaos of his feverish imagination is all the foundation he needs.


Importantly, the COVID-19 vaccine is just one part of a nefarious plot to achieve the Great Reset, a conspiracy that is loosely based on a real initiative by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to reshape global fiscal policy in the wake of the pandemic, but in Clay’s and likeminded conspiracy theorists’ minds has become a demonic plot to take over the world through 5G, AI, weather modification, Black Lives Matter, and whatever else Clay doesn’t fancy.


The WEF and its founder Klaus Schwab have accordingly, for Clark, become the center of a Satanic plot, and was, alongside e.g. Barack Obama, Bill Gates and (but of course) George Soros, a recurring villain (of Biblical proportions) in propaganda associated with the ReAwaken America tour. Among his list of imagined villains, Clay has, in addition to Schwab, focused on historian Yuval Harari, whom Clark has accused of being the Antichrist, mostly because Harari is “openly gay”, “does not eat meat”, is named after a descendant of Cain, and is Klaus Schwab’s high priest and right hand (he isn’t; Harari is a two-time speaker at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and has apparently never met Schwab); apparently Harari “promises the WEF will turn humans into Gods,” which seems like a rather silly misunderstanding of a rather obvious metaphor about technology.


But back to the COVID vaccine, for Clark has a whole, delirious story about that one: According to Clark, the vaccine is actually the mark of the beast, and the “technology was cooked up by a spirit cooker [Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović] who prays to Satan, and the world’s most prolific pedophile [Epstein], teaming up with Bill Gates, who right now stands at the threshold of the Gates of Hell.” His interviewer for the occasion, Stew Peters, responded that “I believe everything you just said to be true. 100 percent” because Peters is an idiot who blindly trusts anything told him by other idiots (the guiding principle for his reasoning being, of course, Where We Go One We Go All). Clark also claimed, on David Brody’s program, that Congress wants to inject everyone with nanotechnology “to control your thoughts”; even a figure as deranged at David Brody apparently tried to distance himself from that one.


Due to his emergence as a central figure in the COVID-19 conspiracy movement, Clark was subsequently invited to address the January 5, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally in DC as well as to various QAnon podcasts, through which he eventually ended up in the company of Michael Flynn. In April 2021, Clark and Flynn produced their first “Health and Freedom Conference” at a Bible college in Oklahoma, the first of a string of events (often designated as parts of a ReOpen America series) that would subsequently coalesce into their ReAwaken America tour. Clark’s January 5 speech was notable in particular for its Covid denialism, with Clark telling his listeners that the coronavirus pandemic was a hoax and instructing them toturn to the person next to you and give them a hug, someone you don’t know. Go hug somebody. Go ahead and spread it out, mass spreader. It’s a mass-spreader event!” At subsequent events, he has incorrectly asserted thatCOVID-19 is 100 percent treatable using budesonide, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin”, accused George Soros of funding remdesivir, which Clark, based on nothing but thin air, claimed to be “killing COVID-19 patients in the hospital because it causes renal failure”.


ReAwaken America

The ReAwaken America tour (full name: “Clay Clark’s ReAwaken America Tour”) is a far-right roadshow tour put together by Michael Flynn and Clay Clark some months after the failed January 6 insurrection. It is partially funded by professional kook Patrick Byrne. The tour is dedicated, through series of 15-minute talks from more than a 100 participants at various sites (mostly megachurches and Trump properties) across America, to promote Trump’s Big Lie, QAnon conspiracy theories, and Christian nationalism in general, and the events have taken the form of typical fundie megachurch meetings, with the trademark revivalist and spiritual warfare-style fervor and fevered, wild-eyed ranting. According to Clark himself, the tour was a result of him asking God “What can I do to stop the quarantines, the curfews, the mandates, the lockdowns?” The answer he received with “100% of God-ordained clarity” (since the source was whatever he already believed and wished for) “was to begin reawakening America.” Other sources of inspiration include a 1963 prophecy by Charismatic minister Kenneth E. Hagin, who predicted that “there would be an atheistic, communist, Marxist and racially divisive spirit that would descend upon America” and that “the spark of the revival would start from Tulsa, Oklahoma”, as well as a nonsense rant by the late South-African Charismatic evangelist Kim Clement.


Through its range of speakers, ReAwaken America has served as a unifying force for all things quackery-and-conspiracy, catering to and trying to bring together people supporting virtually any form of lunacy, including in particular support for the anti-vaccination movement, election denialism, and QAnon. “At this Reawaken America Tour, Jesus is King [and] President Donald J. Trump is our president,” says Clark, and the themes are generally explicitly dominionist and theocratic: At a San Antonio rally, for instance, Flynn stated thatIf we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion. One nation under God, and one religion under God.” Themes at the 2022 events have also focused on the connection between demons and US politics, including Mark Burns telling the audience that if you “wanna get rid of Lindsey Graham? Then get rid of the demonic territory that’s over the land” and Roger Stone alleging thatthere is a Satanic portal above the White House” that first appeared when Joe Biden became president and which “must be closed. And it will be closed by prayer.” Well, as long as they stick to prayer … thing is, though, that the rhetoric at these meetings has had a tendency to become rather more violent than that.


The tour’s roster of speakers consists of an impressive cavalcade of extremists, conspiracy nutcases and Taliban-style fundies, the stars numbering – in addition to Stone, Burns and Flynn himself – Mike Lindell, Alex Jones, Greg Locke, Christiane Northrup, Simone Gold, Andrew Wakefield, Robert Kennedy jr., Donald Trump jr., Sherri Tenpenny (claiming that COVID vaccines are creating “quantum entanglement” between those who take them and “the Google credit scores and the dematrix and all of those things” – one can’t help but be a little bit curious about what ‘all of those things’ encompasses), Charlie Kirk, and Rashid Buttar (who died of congestive heart failure during the sideshow tour because he decided that he had been poisoned by the nefarious powers of the medical establishment, and refused to go to a hospital). Other speakers have included Amanda Grace, a self-described prophet who ministers to both people and animals and who warns tour participants of the dangers posed by technologically advanced “mermaids and water people”, Julie Green, another self-proclaimed prophet who apparently channels God on stage, Doug Mastriano, Ty Bollinger, Paul Gosar, Kash Patel, a former Trump administration official and deep-state conspiracy theorist who has written two children’s books about Trump, Liz Crokin talking about and promoting pizzagate, American Idol contestant Jimmy Levy claiming that people in Hollywood are drinking the blood of children, Jim Caviezel embracing the idea that global elites sexually torture children in Satanic rituals to produce adrenochrome), Lin Wood also claiming that pedophilic Satanic worship is ubiquitous among the American political elites, Peter Navarro, Stella Immanuel asserting that Pelosi, Biden, Bill Gates and others are really dead and have had their brains downloaded to the internet while their bodies have been replaced by demonic clones, former Congressman Devin Nunes, Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, Judy Mikovits, Peter McCullough exploring an alleged connection between vaccine injury and transgenderism, Jim Meehan and Melody “Mel K” Krell, who believes that the Nazis were relocated to New York after World War II where they founded the UN with the help of David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger (who are all demons), and that Rockefeller has been ruling the world for the last 50 years together with the Rothschilds and brainwashed everyone with a false version of American history.


Now, the cannibal claims of e.g. Wood and Levy aren’t particularly surprising in this context; Clark himself, a fanatic QAnon follower, also thinks that the world’s elites engage in the cannibalistic practice of “spirit-cooking,” and has claimed that he once became terrified after spending a night looking into said practice online – precisely what he might have been browsing on that occasion was left undisclosed. For good measure, Clark has also promoted the idea that Jared Kushner has been replaced by a clone created by the Chinese government; tour sponsor Eric Trump has not commented on the suggestion. By the way, Clark has also – but of course – questioned the gender of former First Lady Michelle Obama, claimed thatyou’re using Satan’s tool every time you use Google,” presumably because a quick google search will quickly yield information about him that is not unambiguously flattering, and tried to argue that the incident in which actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed a cinematographer was really part of a satanic plot to protect Bill and Hillary Clinton and part of an effort on behalf of Baldwin to “move up a level” within the Freemasons. “There’s definitely a parallel between people moving up a level in this sick world of celebrity and these satanic rituals”; it all adds up, according to Clark. It most assuredly does not.


In addition to its promotion of Christian nationalism, end-times drivel and deranged conspiracy theories, the ReAwaken tour is also a commercial venture – tickets are expensive and calls for donations ubiquitous, and the events are surrounded by purveyors of various merchandise, including Trump fandom paraphernalia, gold (e.g. from someone calling themselves “General Flynn’s Gold Buyer of Choice”), Kash Patel’s children’s book “The Plot Against the King”, a $3,300 vibrating platform that purportedly eases back pain and increases sexual function, blankets that supposedly shield users from 5G, and various New Age junk and alternative medicine products, including a “power pendant” that supposedly helps you absorb “the natural living frequencies to empower your body, mind and spirit.”


The tour gained momentum when it was endorsed by several rightwing politicians and, not the least, Eric Trump – indeed, Clark has bragged about how ReAwaken America had enabled connections between Trump’s “inner circle” and prophets like the aforementioned Amanda Grace and how he wanted “the prophets, the patriots, and the pastors all to be connected”. In any case, the whole affair was a huge success among MAGA crowds.


And like most conspiracy cesspools, it quickly and completely expectedly devolved into anti-semitism and even straightforward Hitler propaganda, notably through the contributions of Scott “Patriot Streetfighter” McKay and Charlie Ward, though they were hardly alone.


In another entirely unsurprising development, several speakers have also accused Clark of being part of zeh conspiracy; during a December 2021 in Dallas, Texas, several speakers, including Joe Oltmann and Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, became ill with what Oltmann quickly proclaiming that he was “99%” sure was anthrax (it was almost certainly Covid, of course). Clark denied the accusation, explaining that the alleged anthrax attack was actually just a fog machine, and also had to deny being part of the Illuminati in response to concerns from e.g. Mark Taylor and Chris McDonald.


Clark has also, by the way, declared thatI am an alpha toxic male to the next level,” a statement that doesn’t exactly exude self-confidence, and bragged about how he wouldn’t tell anyone that he was gay even if he were: “I do not call in sick, I do not call in gay, I do not call in gender confused”. We’ll just leave that there without further comment.


Diagnosis: Despite being a living paranoid panic attack, Clark has managed to turn himself into something of an epicenter for all things insane, deluded and hateful in the US at present. He’s willing to promote anyone with a delusional conspiracy theory to offer, and he’ll gleefully endorse it all. It should be easy to write him off – a decade ago, we were even reluctant to cover people with untreated mental illnesses whose largely unread and incoherent blogs would occur in linkfarms at – but Clark and his allies are pretty much mainstream at present, at least to a substantial segment of the US population.


Hat-tip: momentmag

Thursday, August 24, 2023

#2674: Tim Clarey

Tim Clarey is a research associate at the Institute for Creation Research (IRC). Clarey is a central proponent of flood geology, the magnificently pseudoscientific effort to re-interpret geology in terms that make it consistent with a young Earth and the flood myth – the effort is a prime example of cargo cult science, complete with conferences, journals and its own jargon. Clarey works for instance on megasequences. Here is a commentary on one of Clarey’s dead wrong and feeble reinterpretation efforts (“special pleading” and “massively ad hoc” do not quite capture the quality of his efforts), and here is another. Yeah, Clarey is having a grand time: evolutionary biologists and classical geologists encounter open questions all the time, questions to which Clarey has an easy answer that those dumb biologists and geologists never manage to discover: magic. How dumb they are.


One example of the sort of questions young Earth creationists have to grapple with, concerns the Ice Age. Since the Ice Age doesn’t fit their presupposed chronology, they have to relocate it. Clarey places it after the mythical flood, and can offera biblical reason for the timing of the Ice Age and the dispersion from the Tower of Babel. The Ice Age was an essential ending to the global Flood.” Yay, science. Also, send him money.


Clarey is also the author of books, including Dinosaurs: Marvels of God’s Design, Carved in Stone: Geological Evidence of the Worldwide Flood, and Parks Across America: Viewing God’s Wonders Through a Creationist Lens (with Brian Thomas).


Diagnosis: Wheee! The sad thing is that Clarey has, in fact, had a job at a community college before officially committing to delusional pseudoscience full-time.




Monday, August 21, 2023

#2673: Ralph Cinque

The movie My Stretch of Texas Ground is a low-budget action movie featuring the government (and agents of the government) as main villains (remember Waco), and views, according to critics, “like an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger written by Ron Paul”. It wasn’t written by Paul, however, but by one Ralph Cinque.


Now, Cinque is not primarily known as a movie writer. Cinque is rather most famous for being a prominent JFK conspiracy theorist and figure in the Oswald Innocence Campaign (OIC), a group that pushes the claim that Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t shoot the president mostly because they have a blurry picture of a guy who is not Oswald in the doorway of the Texas School Book Depository at the crucial moment. Cinque cites James Fetzer. And his association with JFK conspiracy theories – of course government agents, not Oswald, assassinated JFK – gives you a clue to Cinque’s distaste for the gub’mint. There is a short step from his JFK views to thinking that the government was behind 9/11 too, and Cinque doesn’t hesitate to walk that distance; yes, Cinque is of course a 9/11 truther as well.


But that’s not his day job either. Cinque is a (retired) chiropractor and director of Dr. Cinque’s Health Retreat in Buda, TX, a quack retreat that offers detox regimes and other woo. Cinque is a quack’s quack, and as a quack, of course the gub’mint is the enemy – the gub’mint’s got rules and regulations concerning the extent to which you can sell nonsense snakeskin oil to people using false claims about health benefits, and such rules and regulations are of course anathema to the practices of people like Cinque.


And no, Cinque doesn’t like school medicine, and he will readily advice his victims customers to eschew their associations with science-based medicine and commit to his advice instead. In his post “One World Government: It’s Already Here” (no link; google if you must) he lays out his case: Modern medicine is “a cult”, and the problem is largely its entanglement with science. For instance, says Cinque, “[t]ake he guiding principle of Medicine and Biology, which is Darwinian Evolution” – the theory of evolution is, according to Cinque, “preposterous”, “absurd”, and he cites the Discovery Institute’s laughable petition A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism as support his judgments, as well as appeals to incredulity and an anecdote about the time he ostensibly debated a biology professor and didn’t understand the answer. Deniers of evolution are actively oppressed.


But it’s not only science’s commitment to the theory of evolution that is the problem, here. The same oppressive mechanisms are at work in “the whole realm of ‘vaccination science’,” which, as Cinque sees it, is a field that is “very autocratic, hierarchical, and dogmatic”. And the doctors who follow the advice of the scientists don’t know anything about vaccines, according to Cinque, but follow the scientists’ advice blindly and based on faith. Has he ever talked to a doctor, you might wonder? Bah, that would be checking whether your claims are correct, and Cinque is not in the business of doing that; why would he, when he is already in possession of the tools of conspiracy theories and idle speculation?


And the scientists are lying to you about the coronavirus, too: You think they have isolated the corona virus? Well, Cinque is here to tell you that they haven’t, and cites Canadian germ theory denialist David Crowe (“whom I greatly respect”) as his source. Oh, yes, he is! According to Cinque, the “whole paradigm of viral infections is fraught with uncertainty and inconsistency.” An example? “Why is it that having Corona antibodies is good while having AIDS antibodies is bad?” asks Cinque – you don’t need medical education to answer that one, but to Cinque it just doesn’t make sense.


Oh, and the one-world government thing? “I see a lot written online about the new world order and the coming one-world government,” says Cinque, which tells you quite a bit about his what kind of sources he tends to use. But his point is that, regardless of what the situation might be on other arenas, “[m]edical globalism is already a reality. Medicine is a global cartel.” And “that to me is truly the scariest thing of all.” Yes: the fact that there are international efforts to prevent the spread of viruses is one thing, but the truly horribly point, to Cinque, is that scientists across the globe agrees on the facts, and make similar recommendations everywhere. The horror! Different places should have their own, national sciences, that come to vastly different conclusions. That’s freedom.


Diagnosis: Yes, he covers all the bases, often in a single post. It’s almost impressive, or would perhaps have been impressive if he had made at least attempted to back any of his claims up with anything but the most basic of the familiar, named fallacies.

Friday, August 18, 2023

#2672: Madonna Ciccone

A.k.a. Madonna


Celebrity loons are boring stuff, but some of them may conceivably have some influence, so we feel obliged to write up at least some of them, like Madonna. Madonna is an avid member of the Kabbalah Center and served as a sort of spokesperson for the cult (it’s a cult), most notably for the center’s range of woo products such as its Kabbalah water. Kabbalah water is cheap Canadian mineral water that members of the cult meditates over to make it “dynamic, living, fractal and crystalline” (the “Kabbalistic blessings and meditations that are used to create Kabbalah Water, for example, bring about elegant and balanced crystalline structures in water, while negative consciousness has an opposite effect;” apparently this is “hugely important,” for “[i]n a very literal way, Kabbalah Water is life’s original blueprint information brought into the modern world”), and then sells at a steep price to stupid celebrities and people in difficult situations. Oh, but they explain what it’s about: a process called “Quantum Resonance Technology” supposedly “restructures the intermolecular binding of spring water” and makes it able to cure disease and perform magic tricks. Yes, it’s quantum woo, and you don’t need to know much about quantum physics, or physics in general, to recognize the scam for what it is. But plenty of people, like Madonna, don’t, of course.


So Madonna has supposedly paid close to $10,000 to get Kabbalah water into the central heating system of her mansion, and she has indeed claimed that the nonsense water can solve radiation problems – she and Guy Ritchie (another cult member) has been actively lobbying the government and nuclear industry over a scheme to clean up radioactive waste with the supposedly magical water, claiming without a shred of support that it has proved successful in neutralising dangerous nuclear waste at Chernobyl. And the purported science behind it? “Kabbalah water is an excellent information transmitter. Positive, health-giving information is defined by symmetry and high energy, while low energy and entropy – like static in TV or radio reception –characterize muddled information. Therefore, the condition of the water we take into our bodies determines the quality of the information being transmitted to our immune system, digestive system, circulatory system, and even to every atom of our bodies.” Note how much weight is carried by that random insertion of a “therefore”. And it would probably not be very interesting to hear Madonna try to explain why you want your information to be symmetric. It’s nonsense to make even Masaru Emoto blush.


More recently, Madonna has ventured into Covid conspiracy promotion, for instance by posting a video pushing misinformation about the virus and hydroxychloroquine and claiming that a vaccine for the virus had been developed but was being withheld to “let the rich get richer.” “The truth will set us all Free! But some people don’t want to hear the truth,” said Madonna, oblivious to the irony in that statement. The video, which also featured testimony from Stella Immanuel, was retweeted by then-President Donald Trump.


Diagnosis: There are few things more repugnant than celebrity loons. Madonna is a repugnant person, a rotten human being, and her obvious lack of intellect is, frankly, no excuse.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

#2671: Youngran Chung & Robert Charles Dumont

Homeopathy is quackery, and possibly the ultimate example of silly medical pseudoscience. Wife-and-husband team Youngran Chung and Robert Dumont push homeopathy. Thing is, though, that they aren’t merely promoters of homeopathy; they actually got real medical training as well – at least Chung’s a pediatric pulmonologist at Northwestern’s Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago; Dumont is an “integrative pediatrician” affiliated with the pseudoscientific Raby Institute for Integrative Medicine (and has been associated with the work of Anju Usman). One would think the training necessary for obtaining a position like Chung’s would give you some insights into how to assess evidence or test hypotheses in medicine, but – assuming basic honesty – apparently not. Chung and Dumont are deeply into all things woo (under the heading integrative medicine) and Chung even admits to being board certified by the American board of Integrative & Holistic Medicine (ABIHM) and having been trained/certified in medical acupuncture, homeopathy, and medical hypnosis. She also claims to be interesting in finding “effective ways to treat patients”, but not really.


Still, homeopathy is, to Chung and Dumont, not a side issue; apparently Chung uses it “extensively in her pulmonary practice, and has authored articles in medical journals as well as book chapters on the topic of homeopathy,” in addition to giving “symposiums and presentations on homeopathy at conferences in the United States as well as abroad.” And yes: Northwestern University has a genuine physician/homeopath on its faculty. You should probably be aware of what passes for acceptable medical practice at Northwestern University if you ever are in a situation where you need to assess the quality of your medical provider. At least Northwestern seems to remain somewhat wary of the Raby institute and Dumont.


To get an idea of what Chung and Dumont are up to, you could consult the abstract for their posterHomeopathy, an Effective, Practical, and Safe Therapeutic Approach: Principles, Evidence and Examples of Practical Application”, which points out a striking number of times that “homeopathy is an extremely safe modality” (true, partially(!), since it’s water) but doesn’t even try to indicate that it is effective for anything whatsoever – which, of course, it isn’t.


Dumont, meanwhile, is also into autism quackery, having for instance given a presentation on “Use of Clinical Homeopathy in Autism Spectrum Disorder” (reality check: don’t) at the International Conference of Clinical Homeopathy in Los Angeles. He has also served as an expert witness for multi-billion quack company Boiron.


And what do they actually do? Chung is, perhaps surprisingly, open about some of her treatment suggestions. She has for instance described a case of a 14-year old with a sore throat including burning, stinging pain that was worse with warm food and drink but better with cold food or drink, and for whom she prescribed homeopathic APIS (bee venom), because like cures like and bee venom also causes a kind of burning and stinging pain. Yes, that’s the reasoning behind homeopathic treatments (and no, there is no evidence whatsoever for efficacy), and if it sounds too dumb to pass as treatment even in rural Medieval Europe, that’s because it is. Even though Chung is open about what she’s doing, at this level incompetence and malice are hard to distinguish. And yes: this comes from a member of the faculty of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.


Diagnosis: Complete fucktards and real threats to human safety and well-being.


Hat-tip: Respectful Insolence

Sunday, August 13, 2023

#2670: Cheryl Chumley

Cheryl Chumley is a WND Books author (The Devil in DC: Winning Back the Country from the Beast in Washington), and, as her position would suggest, she is wrong about most stuff. Since she is wrong, and people sometimes point out that she is wrong and are unwilling to promote her mistakes, Chumley considers herself censored. Her writings tend to be relegated to such outlets as the Moonie Times and, of course, the WND; yeah, ‘censored’ doesn’t mean prevented from speaking but not being taken seriously.


Chumley is for instance wrong about science, as she carefully illustrates in her otherwise vapid Mooney-time intelligent design creationism-promoting article “Science’s godless problem” (science needs God – but apparently it’s got to be her version, not some liberal, progressive God).


Mostly, Chumley writes about various religious political issues, however, espousing more or less the views you’d expect (“all of patriotic America should pray for the Biden Administration to go down in flames. It’s what’s best for the country” and globalism leads inevitably to communism, and so on). In 2019, after Obama and Clinton offered their condolences and support to the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, Chumley was aghast that they referred to the church-goers as “Easter worshippers”; apparently, the condolences were therefore “anti-Christian” and possibly signalling the transformation of America into a secular, postmodern wasteland.


She is no fan of LGBT rights either, of course. So when the International Human Rights Defense Act was put forward back in 2014, Chumley was quick to point out that its protection of LGBT rights (“alternative lifestyle choices”, according to the WND) was not only unconstitutional, but would “make America look even more impotent on the international stage” because the bill “reeks” of Obama’s “special interest agenda, and – just as our nation’s military under Obama is tasked with pursuing a radical environmental agenda” (yes, she’s a climate change denialist; what did you expect?). There are some dots we struggle to connect in her reasoning, but we suspect “nebulous mass of things I dislike” figures prominently in Chumley’s, well, mind. A similar lack of ability to draw distinctions seems to have played a major role in her reaction to the removal of Confederate statues in 2020: because statues are being pulled down, said Chumley, “Christians have the right to wrap an American flag around a Baphomet statue’s head and set it on fire. And they should”; it would conceivably be bizarrely interesting to try to grasp the reasoning process here but we can’t be bothered.


During the pandemic, Chumley predictably assumed the role of a vaccine skeptic – not only are the vaccines dangerous (no, vaccines reduce the risk of myocardial infection, even in young people, when you take the total risk, including the risk of myocardial infection after having COVID, into account), but there are conspiracies afoot! Did you hear the rumor that pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer haver pushed “to keep secret its COVID-tied pharmaceutical information for 75 years”, for instance? It’s nonsense, of course, but Chumley has never been overly concerned with the sense/nonsense distinction, and she will push whatever antivaccine talking point comes her way.


Diagnosis: Oh, there’s a lot of them around, and Chumley is hardly among the loudest. But she is incredibly dumb, and she does have a significant audience of like-minded people.

Monday, August 7, 2023

#2669: Travis Christofferson

The internet is saturated with delusional kooks, quacks and conspiracy theorists, and Travis Christofferson and his website Single Cause, Single Cure should not be particularly notable. But yes, Christofferson is a quack, and as his website’s name makes clear, he claims that there is a single cause of cancer. Cancer, as Christofferson imagines it, is a metabolic disorder caused by your bad diet, and he is there to sell you the cure. Christofferson has, of course, no background in medicine; he has a “Pre-Medical undergraduate degree and a Master’s degree in Materials Engineering and Science” (a “Pre-Medical undergraduate degree” means “no degree, but did at some point state an intention to pursue medical studies”), and he fancies himself a “science journalist” His scam is predicated on a common cancer quack trope, appeal to the Warburg effect and his regimen to treat cancer involves, apparently, targeting the Warburg effect with a ketogenic diet. If that doesn’t tell you that you’re dealing with fraudulent nonsense, you probably shouldn’t seek medical advice on the Internet.


Christofferson is also founder of something called the Foundation for Metabolic Cancer Therapies, and his ideas are laid out in the book Tripping over the Truth: How the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Is Overturning One of Medicine’s Most Entrenched Paradigms. As suggested by the title, his ideas are in direct conflict with current science and evidence – and as so many other quacks, Christofferson tries to pitch that as a good thing. The book, of course, has nothing to do with truth.


Christofferson’s nonsense would probably have been quickly lost to internet noise were it not for the fact that it was endorsed by supreme quack Joseph Mercola, who promoted Christofferson with “Wouldn’t it be interesting if there were a simple dietary tweak that could not only prevent but treat the vast majority of these cancers?” Yes, Joe, it would.


Diagnosis: Silly git, and though his influence is probably limited, he is indeed a part of the festering malignant tumor that is cancer quackery on the internet.


Hat-tip: Pharyngula