Burzynski Clinic Issues a Statement

What to make of the press release issued by the Burzynski Clinic?

Well, the good news is that Marc Stephens, the PR man who threatened my family, has had his ‘professional relationship’ severed. In this statement, we find out that Burzynski had indeed asked Stephens to stop criticisms of his business interests appearing on the web. And to do so, Stephens resorted to threatening bloggers, with the worst example being sending an image of a 17 year old blogger’s house to him. This is not ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. This is not science. This is gangsterism.

But has the Clinic changed its tune? It does not look like it too much. Burzynski states that bloggers will be contacted by his attorneys. So, instead of engaging in debates about the science of his questionable antineoplaston therapy, he is sending in his legal troops.

I await their communication. I hope to get a full apology and a bunch of flowers for the wife.

In the meantime, Burzynski has stated that bloggers will be told about ‘false and defamatory’ statements they are making.

We are told that Burzynski does not make his antineoplastons from piss. The drug is synthesised from ‘chemicals’ apparently. Yes, chemicals. What the statement does not mention is that originally, urine was used.

We are told that bloggers have accused Burzynski of falsely claiming to have a PhD. I am not aware of anyone who has done that. People have questioned his PhD, and we look forward to seeing the evidence that he holds a higher degree and the details of it.

We are told that Burzynski has published plenty of evidence for his treatment since 2006. To me, the list of publications looks misleading as the vast majority of them are conference presentations – not peer reviewed original papers published in high impact journals. The central concern over Burzynski is that he has no good evidence his treatments work. By publishing this list, he makes himself look either incompetent or uncomprehending, or at worst, firing off a smokescreen of ‘referenciness’. I hope he will correct this misleading representation of the state of research done in recent years.

What is most alarming is his choice of attorneys. Far from taking a more measured approach, his legal team appear to specialise in silencing bloggers to protect commercial interests.

The web site of Doziers Law is quite explicit. From their web site,

“Attack bloggers” need to be reined in. We are having pretty good success dealing with these types without having to file lawsuits all the time, but when it comes to push, we usually will pull the trigger and sue the “attack blogger”. It’s not free speech to create outrageous lies and propagate them all over the web. So, if you get a communication from us, be it a letter, a copy of a lawsuit, or a telephone call, consider the consequences that are about to ensue. The great majority of you already get the picture and agree to our demands. Smart move.

They go on,

And, for many of those intellectuals who relish this new toy called the web, and you are in high school or college, or have a life and a career and an employer, consider how it is going to look when, for the rest of your life, a lawsuit describing your misconduct in vivid and creative terms shows up on the first page of Google results for your name. Do you honestly think that a business is going to take a chance on hiring someone who has exhibited such poor judgment and inappropriate conduct? No. The business is going to move you to the bottom of the stack of applicants.

So, when you get a communication from us, understand the consequences. These lawsuits will show up on the front page of Google results under your name. SEO is not the sole province of bloggers, by the way. While your lawyers, particularly those involved with the public interest groups, use your case to gain attention and raise contributions, your reputation is being ruined forever. Your reputation as an employee, your reputation as a college applicant, your reputation as a job applicant, your reputation as a private person, your reputation as a husband, and your reputation as a father or mother.

Charming.

I see Marc Stephens may have learned a thing or two from them. I shall allow my readers to draw their own conclusions about the moral worth of these people.

A glimmer of humour may be gained from the fact that they do not appear to be able to manage these techniques for themselves. A google of ‘Dozier Law’ returns a number one hit of “Dozier Internet Law SUCKS”.

It would appear the Dr Buzynski is making a number of increasingly bizarre and bad decisions.

27 comments for “Burzynski Clinic Issues a Statement

  1. gimpy
    December 1, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I’m no lawyer, but doesn’t Burzynski admitting they asked Stephens to stop criticisms means they have accepted responsibility for his actions, which border on criminal harassment?

    • 4tis
      December 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      That’s what I was thinking. I believe you have some responsibility for the behaviour of those acting on your behalf, though IANAL.

      • December 2, 2011 at 10:53 pm

        Not really. You cannot hold an employer responsible for an overzealous employee unless he was specifically told to be overzealous and any suit would have to be filed with with the employee to the best of my recollection.

        However, by hiring the legal thugs for hire from Doziers, they’re making a very vocal statement that if they are more than willing to go for the kneecaps with a legal brass pipe. I’ve dealt with stooges like them before. They’re full of hot air and have nothing up their holster but empty threats.

        But the Dozier lawthugs bring up a good point…

        It’s not free speech to create outrageous lies and propagate them all over the web.

        And it’s also not a good legal practice to represent frauds who bend the law and sell snake oil to the terminally ill to make a buck off their misery. I hope they’ll enjoy their reputation as the goons for bottom feeders without a conscience.

      • Mojo
        December 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm

        “You cannot hold an employer responsible for an overzealous employee unless he was specifically told to be overzealous…”

        I’m not sure about that. As far as civil law goes, I think an employer can be held vicariously liable for the acts of its employees if they are things done in the course of their employment. For example if a delivery driver causes an accident by running a red light in the course of their employment the employer can be held liable, even if they hadn’t told the driver to run red lights. I am not a lawyer either though.

  2. December 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Ha bloody ha. I am 66, an independent consultant, and couldn’t care a fig about getting a proper job.

    Q. Why would lawyers make good laboratory animals?

    A. Because they will do things that rats would never think of.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      December 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      and the technicians don’t get so attached to them.

  3. Hamish
    December 1, 2011 at 9:57 am

    “Consider how it is going to look when, for the rest of your life, a lawsuit describing your misconduct in vivid and creative terms shows up on the first page of Google results for your name”

    And the other 9 results are about how that lawsuit was laughed out of court! Yes, I think that would look just fine, thanks.

  4. Rab Austen
    December 1, 2011 at 10:19 am

    @gimpy that sounds like a job for the 64th most influential man in England

    Wow! is all I can say about the Dozier website. Even with all that barbaric text they still can’t beat a “Sucks” spoof to the top.

    I’m not sure why we are all so surprised by this whole thing. For a man that has zero morality, when it comes to acquiring money off of the vulnerable, he doesn’t really have to change his frame of reference much to engage in immoral/illegal practices to protect his nest egg.

    • Peter English
      December 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      The reference to ‘the 64th most influential man’, for those who don’t know, is to David Allen Green, author of the ‘Jack of Kent’ blog, who has recently been awarded that accolade.

  5. December 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Stephens, Burzynski, and now Doziers.

    One down…

  6. December 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    While I agree with pretty much everything written on Burzynski, I take issue with this single point:

    “We are told that bloggers have accused Burzynski of falsely claiming to have a PhD. I am not aware of anyone who has done that. People have questioned his PhD, and we look forward to seeing the evidence that he holds a higher degree and the details of it.”

    I believe this to be a false distinction. If you express the desire to see evidence of a claim, you acknowledge that you think it may be false, which to my mind constitutes an accusation, albeit an implicit one. It’s not a direct accusation, and therefore carries less weight, but it’s in the same category. If you fully believed that he has a PhD, you wouldn’t have asked in the first place.

    The same tactic was used in the Obama birth certificate nonsense. More than one person said “I’m not saying he wasn’t born in the US – I just think that the question needs to be answered”. If they didn’t think he had a case to answer, they wouldn’t ask.

    • Le Canard Noir
      December 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      Quite happy to accept that Dr B has a degree awarded as a PhD. The problem that was pointed out was that this was awarded within a year, I believe. Which is most unusual. And therefore, there are good reasons to get to the bottom of understanding what this means.

      • James
        December 3, 2011 at 2:22 am

        Whilst looking at his biog/ credentials page for more on his PhD, I saw that he claims to be a member of the ‘Royal Medical Association (UK)’. I’m not a medical professional, but I’ve never heard of this association. Has anybody else?

      • Mike
        February 14, 2012 at 2:32 am

        His name is on the Universities website as a graduate. Do your research.

    • December 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      There are two problems with the PhD claim, the first being the unusually short timespan you mention.

      The second is that Lublin Medical Academy didn’t award PhDs in Biochemistry, yet that is where he claims he got it.

      This is not the same as accusing Barack Obama of not being born in Hawai: that was something easily verified and perfectly plausible. On the other hand, the PhD qualification for Stanislaw Burzynski, MD cannot be verified and *does* seem implausible, on the basis of currently-available information. Hence requests for proof.

      I will quite happily admit that, on the basis of currently-available evidence, I do not believe Burzynski’s PhD to be genuine, although I would be delighted to be proved wrong.

    • Patricia
      December 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      While questioning the PhD and saying “I look forward to evidence” implies that the writer thinks the PhD claim is inaccurate, it has one significant distinction: it’s a question, not a statement, and shouldn’t carry the same risk of potential libel (though IANAL). If libel laws are so strict that we can’t even ask questions with implications, then the chill is even worse than I thought.

      Meanwhile, academic credentials are not supposed to be converted. If he has some other degree that is claimed (or even accepted) to be equivalent to a PhD, that’s still not “having a PhD”. Though I find the credential-questioning to be a bit of a distraction; I’m more curious about the potential substance of his dissertation, which might give some idea of the extent of his research training. Plenty of questionable researchers have PhDs, often in fields with little resemblance to their current practice.

      • Le Canard Noir
        December 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

        It is true that the question about the nature of the PhD is not important, on the scale of things. It is, however, one of the three challenges that Burzynski is trying to refute. The first – the urine question – was trivial. The second, the PhD, interesting, but largely secondary. And thirdly, the attempt to convince people that he has lots of research to back his claims. That is one of the substantial claims and it is one that looks like his answer has easily been rejected.

      • December 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm

        (I don’t seem to be able to reply to the post below, so I’m here instead.)

        Good responses all round.

        So there is some definite evidence that Dr B’s claim on his PhD isn’t all that it seems (I’m prepared to trust the information above). The one-year time frame is unusual but not impossible, as has been pointed out. It’s interesting that no-one seems to have a definitive answer from the institution on this one – they’re the people who’ll know for certain.

        Of course, this is a summary article and therefore not all the evidence need be presented in it. I was just struck by the phrasing of that particular issue, and how insidious it could be (though I believe not intentionally in this case).

        @patricia: I have no idea how the law stands, but agree that asking a question is not the same thing as making an accusation. All I was saying was that it’s a good way to sow the seeds of doubt while pretending to be impartial. I was really just concerned that LCN shouldn’t stray into that territory, intentionally or otherwise.

        On a second reading, the urine issue is interesting too. The reading I take from it is that they don’t use urine, but they used to before they could synthesise the antineoplastons. Even if they did use urine, so what? If you could cure cancer with piss, why not use it? Hell, I’d drink the stuff if there was good evidence that it would cure my cancer. To my mind that’s less of an issue than the PhD.

        Of course, the big issue is the research, or lack of it. That’s the killer point, and the one that damns Dr B’s technique. Without peer-reviewed acceptance that the technique works, it shouldn’t be touched by anyone. It’s on that basis that Dr B should be judged, and that alone.

  7. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I think Steve Jones does have a (rather pernickety) point. The act of questioning Burzynski’s PhD is not a completely neutral question. But as Teapot says, there does appear to be good reason for questioning it.

    However, even if there was not, in the rough and rumble of public life I do accept that, as Steve says, false accusations can be laid and the mere asking of a question can be used as a tactic to try to do damage. But there are degrees of severity. If someone tried to damage me by accusing me of not having a PhD I’d get out my certificate and show it. Then my accuser would look pretty damn foolish. This is not like accusing a public figure of being a paedophile where the accusation could have a horrible effect yet is very hard for them to dispel because the accused is required to prove a negative. Being asked to demonstrate a simple positive should be a trivial matter.

    • Peter English
      December 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      In some countries an MD is, used to be, or can be unsupervised. You do the research and submit it to the university that granted your medical degree and, if they think it’s good enough, they award an MD. So doing this in under a year would not be so unusual. Might that be what Burzynski did?

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        December 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

        It think you’ve got your MDs and PhDs muddled.

        The MD is his basic medical qualification equivalent to the bachelors degrees in medicine and surgery of British medics. It’s his PhD we wonder about. In the UK this is a research degree and, I suppose, if you were brilliant you could complete one very quickly. It’s your thesis that matters. In the US, PhDs have large taught components so you can’t really shorten the process. Don’t know about soviet satellite Poland in 1968.

  8. Badly Shaved Monkey
    December 1, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I note in passing that the press release was issued on 29th November and it is now 1st December even in Texas, but I see no sign of that affadavit appearing on the website.

  9. December 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I recommend the reply given by the respondents in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.

  10. December 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Note that, from this video, John Dozier doesn’t think the ‘threat’ of the Streisand effect will prevent any particular person from being sued for defamation. At least, I think that’s what he’s saying:

  11. nobby68
    December 3, 2011 at 10:33 am

    i thinks it time we helped the burzynski clinic by identifying where they can find some of these defamatory and false comments. before you all start shouting at me here is a couple i have found to help them out:

    Cancer: The Complete Recovery Guide

    http://tinyurl.com/cch8nlj

    The encyclopedia of complementary and alternative medicine:

    http://tinyurl.com/cjrpx5o

    Evaluating alternative cancer therapies: a guide to the science and politics:

    http://tinyurl.com/czqj2s7

    i would be happy for them to take action against these people. i have shortened the links as they are google cached for ease.

  12. David
    January 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

    http://Www.hopeforlaurafund.co.uk

    Check the blog

    Her tumour is now 56% smaller than baseline on antineoplastons since August 2010 with a Gliblastoma Multiforme. The cancer will be gone in 2-4 months.

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