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Antivaxers are well known for bogosities and inability to admit defeat. I've covered this previously but recently, some more bogus facts pushed by antivaxers simply chafed me wrong.

On 27-JAN-2019, in a bit of debate on flu vaccine, someone brought up the "Bill Gates is antivax" hoax. I quickly replied with a rebuttal citing.


Politifacts tracked down the source to a website called Yournewswire, who have NO citing at all. No name, no proof, nothing. Indeed, it is a fake news clickbait site.

Not that it matters to the claimant, who simply dismissed the rebuttal, so I called him out on it.


So he jumped over to Google and pasted the first link he found that supposedly proves it.


Which leads to this article:


At the bottom, the "source" is cited as Transcend Media Service, where a virtually identical article can be found, but the ORIGINAL source was revealed to be YourNewsWire... the very source debunked in the article I linked.


Indeed, YourNewsWire has a long history of publishing fake news clickbait later debunked by Snopes that now number in the dozens.

Sample headlines published by YourNewsWire includes:

"Katy Perry: 'Human Flesh is The Best Meat; Cannibalism Got A Bad Rap'"

"George Soros Orchestrates Devastating Plan to Kill 100000 Haitians"

and so on.

But none of this bull**** has any effect on the original poster.


Guess we have to consider him an antivax troll.
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If you look on Youtube for health advice, you may have come across Dr. Bob DeMaria, who goes by the moniker "Drugless Doctor", and sometimes, "Dr.Bob".

The problem is, he never got an MD. The closest credential he got was a chiropractic degree he got from the "National College of Health Sciences" (now National University of Health Sciences) back in 1978.

Bob mentioned in his LinkedIn profile that he went to Clayton College for further studies. What he did not mention was that Clayton College of Natural Health was NOT an accredited school, does mostly distance learning, and closed in 2010 instead of seeking accreditation, and was sued by students who got neither degree nor refund. Indeed, one investigation by the state turned up someone who managed to obtain FOUR diplomas from this school over 14 month period: BS, MS, Ph.D., AND "Doctor of Naturopathy".

Clayton College is also known for selling their founder's nutritional supplements "Doctor Clayton's Naturals", from minerals and vitamins to homeopathic remedies.

But that's not the most disturbing thing about Bob DeMaria (I refuse to call him doctor)...


The most dangerous part about Bob is Bob gives medical advice on Youtube from the utterly ridiculous to ones that can literally KILL YOU. Among his past claims:

When challenged by a British skeptic to provide peer-reviewed studies to support his anti-GMO views and his research on chlorella, Bob's reaction is to delete all of the skeptic's comments.

But he will gladly sell you some nutrition (-al supplements) that he claims are not drugs, but will help you nonetheless, for whatever that ails you, including ADHD (which is obviously, NOT a part of chiropractic studies), not to mention a lot of OTHER stuff unrelated to chiropractics.

Bob DeMaria's website where he'll sell you plenty of stuff
NOT related to chiropractic, the only thing he's certified in

Why would anyone trust his non-chiropractic advice? Are they all dazzled by his (not) doctor demeanor?

My skeptical advice to you is to NEVER follow any medical advice you got on social media and Youtube. Youtube is great for DIY mechanical stuff, but complete garbage when it comes to health.
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On Friday, 25-JAN-2019, the Washington attorney general filed a lawsuit against LulaRoe, the clothing marketer, for operating as a pyramid scheme that defrauded the "fashion consultants" it employs.

Without going into too much detail, LuLaRoe is best known for selling leggings (and other stuff) on a lottery system. Each consultant is expected to buy $2000 to $9000 worth of stuff upon signing up. Yet they will not know what they will receive.  Since 2014, over 3500 Washington residents signed up, but less than 2000 remain active today. Between 2014 and 2017, LuLaRoe consultants receive bonuses based on how much inventory they and their recruits have PURCHASED (not sold) from the company.  It is obvious that the more the consultants recruited (and each recruit bought THOUSANDS of dollars of stuff), the more bonuses were paid out. The compensation plan was changed in 2017 to be only based on sales of the consultant alone.

There are PLENTY of other problems with the company's practices. The leggings have to be unpacked to be show to potential customers (including for eBay), yet LuLaRoe have refused to provide refund if the package was opened. There were frequent charges of "low quality". Multiple designers have charged LulaRoe of stealing their designs and patterns without their permission. After multiple complaints, LLR seems to have moved to taking vector art and remixing them, but again, many seems to have been used without the proper license.

MLMSkeptic had penned a commentary "Is LuLaRoe eating its own tail?" in 2017, when LuLaRoe attempted to serve a "discovery" on a blog critic who goes by MommyGyver, claiming she had disclosed company secrets.
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Woman claimed to have purchased software from Europe that can let doctors to remotely examine and talk with patients, and need more money to pay taxes and fees.  But it was all a ruse. In the end she got $5.4 million from about 50 people and spent it mostly on herself and her friends, only 300K actually went to the software, and it's not even purchased.

But what's really disturbing is how she exploited her friends and victims, making them believe they just need to lie a little, she'll get the money soon. Even more, she convinced two ex-air-marshals into pretending to be still active to intimidate people into coughing up more money.

What's even more disturbing is she apparently believes she will be offered probation because of her education and career... as she somehow has degrees in electrical engineering and law...

Unfortunately, this time, the law has documented all of her lies... Like her claim that a fictitious billionaire will "lend" her 74 million, and the time she claimed to be in negotiation for the "loan", she's actually in Jamaica, celebrating one of her girlfriend's birthday. And she had been to Bora Bora and other ritz-y resorts around the world, all while claiming medical emergencies and tough negotiations to her victims, trying to squeeze even more money... Once, the victims even sent her the social security check...

And it's not just the money, but the devastation it left behind on the victims. Most of the victims had invested their life savings, and even mortgaged their homes and businesses to put in even more money for a "sure bet". Now they have lost everything, all based on lies, lies, and more lies.

Meet Keisha L Williams, who will be spending the next 15 and a half years in Federal prison. And this is her story.
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According to a recently published paper, 13000 people paid over 1.4 million dollars to help 200 people commit suicide. Except they thought they were paying for zero-evidence treatment for desperate cancer patients. In other words, these so-called do-gooders paid scammer quacks to help sick people commit suicide by paying huge amounts of money for water... i.e. homeopathic cancer treatments.

That's 1.4 million bucks raised to pay for some VERY expensive water proven to do nothing, that could have been used for palliative care or other purposes that may have made final moments of life more bearable. 1.4 million bucks could have paid for a lot of weed or even more powerful opioids or whatever the cancer patients needed to spend the final days in peace, and leave some for their family to cover other expenses.

Instead, the money is going to cancer quacks, doing NOTHING for the actual patients, who have to live their final days with treatment proven to do NOTHING, see their hopes dashed and pain unmanaged.

Basically, the 1.4 million bucks paid for suicide by water and pain.



Crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe (but also YouCaring, CrowdRise, and FundRazr) are the go-to place for desperate people to solicit money to try these quack medicine. So much so, it's now a BILLION dollar industry.  And these platforms, claiming neutrality, will NOT restrict funds raised by their platforms to be used for legitimate medicine. One does wonder whether the fees they collect are the primary reason for the claims of neutrality.

But that's only the beginning. Bogus and unproven treatments are advertising themselves online, and telling potential patients/victims they should crowdfund their care. Examples include oxygen hyperbaric treatment for brain injury, stem cell for brain and spinal cord injury, long-term antibiotic therapy for "chronic Lyme", and more. And they are raising millions that are going into pockets of people providing these questionable and sometimes, outright dangerous therapies.

The donors are basically helping patients commit suicide while enriching people deceiving the patients with false hopes.

You wouldn't pay for someone committing suicide. But if you paid for someone's "alternative medicine" crowdfunding treatment, you've done exactly that.
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One of the ways scams and woo spread is by linking a famous person to it, never mind that famous person actually said the EXACT OPPOSITE.

Recently, there was a Twitter debate when someone rehashed the myth that "cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment", and cited Dr. Otto Warburg, 1931 Nobel Laureate, and even claimed that's what he got the Nobel prize for.  But it wasn't.

This alkaline nonsense was thoroughly busted by Snopes back in 2016, as well as by practically every major medical news website and several hospitals and medical schools. To make a long story short, it's circular reasoning. Dr. Warburg actually discovered that cancer cells produce MORE lactic acid by using a different metabolism method than healthy cells. While a cancerous body is slightly acidic than normal, this is the effect of cancer, NOT THE CAUSE. And you can't force a body or blood to be acidic through diet (that means your kidneys have FAILED!). It's clear that whoever listened to this nonsense doesn't understand cause and effect. They think cancer -> acid, then anti-acid = anti-cancer. It doesn't work like that.  A caused B. B does not cause A.

But the way they try to validate their nonsense by citing Dr. Warburg via the false citing was the reason for this post. Falsely citing a celebrity is a common scam tactic, usually ignored by the company as that would imply they willingly violated state or Federal laws on False Endorsement and Right of Publicity Claims. In fact, some companies are known to have set up fake news pages claiming links between their products and actors and celebrities such as actor Will Farrell and celebrity chef Paula Dean.

Back in 2004 Actor Ray Liotta sued Nerium after some Nerium reps falsely claimed via Facebook posts that Mr. Liotta's facial complexion improved due to the use of their products. The case was later settled out of court. But this hardly stopped other overeager reps from claiming things that have no basis in science or fact.

One of the more recent victims of false endorsement was Malaysia sprinter Watson Myambek. In November 2018, someone was spreading claims on Facebook that Nyambek is a Bitcoin millionaire to promote some sort of crypto-scam. He categorically denied such allegations and said he will file a report with police and want the lying culprit found.

The point is unless you can trust the source, like a reputable newspaper article, you should NOT believe anything you read on Facebook and similar social media platforms.
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Remember in the book 1984 by George Orwell, the government rewrites history when the policies change? "We've always been at war with Eastasia"? Turns out, MLM participants does that every day.

Just the other day, someone posted this to reddit's /antimlm subreddit


I have nothing to say about Bear Grylls. I do have something to say about the revisionist history though.

Notice where it says "juice plus has been tested and trialed for the past 40 years"?

That's impossible. Juice Plus didn't exist until 1993. This is from their own homepage:
All Juice Plus+ products share a common nutritional philosophy that traces back to our beginnings in 1993
Before 1993, Juice Plus sold water filters, air purifiers, and smoke alarms under the name "National Safety Associates" as an MLM. They swapped companies names in 1993 and changed focus entirely. It's a brand new company, but they kept the leadership, so they can kinda keep claiming they were founded almost 50 years ago (in 1970 under a different name).

I am NOT going to get into the bogosity of "juice plus cure my cancer" stories on Youtube. I'll just refer you to the article written by a real retired MD
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You will often find that chiropractors claim to be able to treat everything from ADHD and Alzheimers to diabetes, infertility, all the way to Down's syndrome, and they are all over websites, blogs, and social media postings. There is absolutely ZERO evidence chiropractic can treat those afflictions. It seems one professional organization is finally doing something about these unsupported claims... and it's a chiropractic organization.

College of Chiropractors of British Columbia (Canada) has warned all members from making efficacy claims in its latest policy clarification, mandated any claims to be removed ASAP, and the deadline passed three days ago (on 01-NOV-2018).

What is also interesting is BC Chiropractors are NOT allowed to give public opinions about vaccination (for or against) as chiropractors are NOT trained in infectious diseases. Yet it didn't stop some chiropractors, including two BC College of Chiropractors board members, from taking an antivax stance on social media. Both promptly deleted their antivax post after being reminded of the college policy. And one vice-chair has resigned after posting a video claiming a smoothie is more effective than a flu shot at preventing flu.

So where are such regulations or policies in the US?



It's clear that the Canadian chiropractors are far more careful in their allowed claims. But let's face it, chiropractics itself is just... unscientific. I won't go into the history of chiropractic. Suffice to say, it's one guy who claims through massaging the spine he can cure all sorts of things.

It may be surprising for you to learn that there is no "one" school of chiropractic. There are at least FIFTEEN different schools of manipulation of the spine, some may even have some sort of "scanner" (a Neurocalometer and its descendent, the Nervo-scope). They differ on which vertebrae to manipulate, how much, and how hard. Some don't even adjust the vertebrae, but the ligament.   (Meric, H.I.O, Logan, SOT, etc...)

But NONE of them can actually prove they do something objectively.

government report by DHHS Inspector General shows that about half of the Medicare money paid to chiropractors between 2010 and 2015 were improper. That's 250-300 million EVERY YEAR, not to mention millions in co-pay paid to such practitioners.  This rate is also about 4-5 times HIGHER than improper payments in other parts of Medicare system (where improper payments are just over 10%)

Why do we even keep chiropractors around anyway?  Esp. when they are prone to fraud, has no scientific proof of efficacy, and tends to believe in woo and unscientific things like antivax, that their own organizations had to rein them in?
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Some of the more recent MLMs have latched onto CBD, or cannabidiol as their next big thing, and several companies have started selling products based on CBD oil for topical and other uses. However, what those people failed to consider is CBD is NOT legal in all 50 states. That's right, holding CBD oil in certain states can get you arrested for drug possession, which can RUIN YOUR LIFE!

Fact: DEA considers CBD oil as a schedule I controlled substance, with ONE exception
DEA considers CBD oil "marijuana extract" and remains on schedule I (same as cocaine and heroin). DEA has allowed a specific formulation, containing less than 0.1% THC, and approved by the FDA, to be reclassified Schedule V. This happened in October 2018.

This is often misquoted by CBD advocates as "DEA legalized CBD" when nothing of the sort took place.

With that said, DEA has bigger fish to fry, like the opioid epidemic. But it's illegal. And if your state law enforcement wants to bust you, it can, as a man in Indiana found out. He was arrested for possessing CBD oil and prosecutors chose not to charge him because the state legislature made CBD legal AFTER his arrest.




Fact: Quoting the 2014 Farm Bill Will NOT automatically save you
Some CBD advocates claim that 2014 Farm Bill made CBD oil 50-state legal. However, this is again, creative misquoting. First, the bill has expired as of 30-SEP-2018 (though a bill extended the deadline to December 2018). Second, the bill actually says that only CBD oil sourced from a special state pilot hemp research program are legal. And only 19 states out of 50 have such state-licensed hemp growing programs. Unless your CBD oil or product is sourced from a licensed hemp producing state, it may not be legal.

There is a bill pending in Congress called Hemp Farming Act of 2018 which should legalize hemp farming across all 50 states, which will also likely legalize CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC.

Fact: Just because you can ORDER CBD oil across state lines doesn't make it legal
According to Michael Brubeck, CEO of Centuria Natural Foods, and the largest processor and supplier of CBD hemp oil in the country, "Well (shipping of CBD oil), it's tolerated. It's not being enforced. It is absolutely illegal, esp. according to attorneys of the USDA, DOJ, DEA, and FDA.", as quoted by Vice.

Conclusion
To market CBD based product in your state, you have to

1) make sure it's LEGAL in your state,

2) make sure it CAME from a legal state, and

3) make sure it's made from hemp SOURCED from a legal state.

Yet most CBD MLM participants cannot confirm any of these three requirements.
Which means they are breaking the law.
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Recently, I engaged a couple antivaxxers on Twitter. It was a learning experience. One just wants to talk about his conspiracy theory (There is no reason for the government to care about your health!)   (Uh, what about taxes?)  while the other ONLY want to talk about the harm done by vaccines and ignore all the good it did (Let's talk about how many children the original Salk vaccine harmed...)

Let's be absolutely clear here: Yes, the original Salk vaccine did sicken 200 children and killed 10, but it also saved about 15000 (or even 20000) children from paralysis THAT YEAR ALONE!  Go ahead, Google that yourself. A vaccine that saved 98.6+% of the children (210/15000) from a crippling disease such as polio was a success, NOT a failure!

But the anti-vaxxers only want to talk about the children that were harmed, not the 14000+ children saved that year from paralysis. They are NOT interested in seeing the whole picture.

I am not going to provide a blow-by-blow of my encounter. I'll just say that as predicted, they engaged in multiple goal-post shifting (trying to shift the topic), citing bogus experts (Mercola), claiming conspiracy theory and Galileo gambit (Wakefield and Sears), outright refuting facts ("measles is not dangerous"), name-calling ("Where are the honest provaxers?") then concluded with pigeon chess mixed with conspiracy theory ("You are stifling dissent, but you can't suppress the truth forever! ")

And this is the virtually identical pattern to the financial denialists I've engaged before. Except they want to somehow prove their pyramid or Ponzi schemes are legitimate money-making enterprises. Which pretty much proves that more than a few scammers are "financial denialists".




Scammers and their sheeple, who can only repeat marketing slogans and excuses, behaved virtually the same way.

When asked how their scheme can be legal, they only want to talk about buzzwords, not regulations. Some will Google certain words and take the wrong meanings from that, ignoring existing precedents.

When cornered on one issue, they will shift goal-posts, cite celebrities instead of experts, claim conspiracy and Galileo gambit, deny documented and proven facts, and conclude with pigeon chess and more conspiracy.

And this never changes.

Proliferation of Internet served to create more insular groups where such denialism runs unchecked by fact and truth.

Fortunately, proliferation of Internet also served as fact-check resources, with sites like Snopes and Wikipedia as the front-lines against lies.

I normally don't get into politics on this blog, but the recent debunking by Anderson Cooper of a Trump Jr tweet was too good to pass up. TL;DR version was Donnie boy (Trump Jr) tweeted a photo of Anderson Cooper covering Hurricane Ike in Texas back in 2008, where he was standing in waist-deep water, and thought it was Cooper covering the current hurricane in the Carolinas, and somehow it's a conspiracy to discredit his papa RealDonaldTrump by making the disaster look worse than it is.

The tweet was since picked up by multiple conservative bloggers, who obviously didn't bother to 'fact-check' the photo, and piled on their echoes of "fake news" and such sentiments.

Anderson Cooper completely obliterated the tweet and "fake news" arguments by multiple video clips of him clearly stating it was during hurricane Ike 10 years ago, as well as why he's standing in waist deep water just off the road.

You can no longer trust tweets and posts from people you know. Nobody fact-checks any more.

And that is the sad state of life we are living in... where our president and his family wants us to believe truths are lies and facts are fictions. 

And it's even sadder that some people believe such nonsense, making them more vulnerable to even more nonsense, such as bogus claims made by unscrupulous MLMs.  Remember, even Alex Jones started selling MLM. No, I wasn't kidding.
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