“Once Dismissed as Hokum…” A Guide to Writing About Quackery in the Mail

October 4, 2006 3

“Once Dismissed as Hokum” is how Dr Danny Penman begins with a less-than-half-truth in his quacktasticly exceptional article about Spiritual Healing in the Daily Mail, “Could spiritual healing actually work?“ This article ought to serve as a case study in how to write about nonsense quackery for the madder end of the British Press. I thought it worthwhile to dissect this piece to show how you can write supportively about [read more…]

Organic Milk Is/Is Not Healthier

October 3, 2006 3

Those of you paying attention will have seen the quackometer spot these two stories from the past few weeks in the Daily Mail: Organic milk ‘better for a healthy diet’29th August 2006 Organic milk is not healthier, says food watchdog21st September 2006 So, just a few weeks apart and completely different slants. As an act of kindness, to save you from the pain of reading these articles and deciding between [read more…]

Right Royal College of Pompous Quackery – Dublin

September 28, 2006 7

I had to share this with you. Following on from my recent Quack Word ‘Doctor’ blog, I came across the Royal College of Alternative Medicine (RCAM) , a Dublin based – well, I’m not sure quite what it is… What caught my eye was just the shameless aggrandisement of the site. It is quite hilarious, if not a little repetitive at times. Calling yourself ‘Doctor’ is somewhat pompous when all [read more…]

Dr Wendy Denning: Diat Doktor [sic]

September 12, 2006 7

UPDATE 8th February 2007 Well, six months after first posting this entry, the complementary IT team at Dr Wendy’s support organisation have made a few spelling corrections. I thought this might happen soon, as this entry became the most widely read entry on the site. I guess it was being passed round a bit – thousands of times. So, it looks like, after much speculation, Wendy’s services are not complimentary, [read more…]

Quack Word #3: ‘Doctor’

September 5, 2006 28

UPDATE 12/2/07 Congratulations to Ben Goldacre and the crew at Bad Science for getting Dr Gillian McKeith banned from using the title ‘Dr’. In today’s Guardian she is fully exposed as a Menace to Science. The Advertising Standards Authority have agreed that her use of that cheaply acquired title is thoroughly misleading. One down…************************************************************ Yes, I know. This is surprising quack word, but let me explain. I’m not really writing [read more…]

Skinny Homeopathic Grande Cappuccino To Go Please

September 4, 2006 0

Yes, sometimes I do get filled with self-doubts, usually in the night. It soon passes. But you see, there is just so much quackery out there that any rational and honest thinker must fully entertain the idea that they have got something horribly wrong. After all, the sceptic should always be challenging their own assumptions. Is the black duck guilty of close-minded, self-dissembling and narrow thinking? Now, in the UK [read more…]

The Paradox of the Good Homeopath

August 31, 2006 3

A correspondent has made valid points about the quackometer that I should be careful to ensure that it only awards Canards to real quacks. A sentiment I share and I worry about how to achieve this. I was told to make sure I didn’t get the ‘good guys’ who look into the effectiveness of alternative treatments. Fair enough – but this is a murky world, and telling the good guys [read more…]

E-mail alerts of Quackery in the Newspapers

August 30, 2006 0

If you would like to receive emails whenever the quackometer finds a quack newspaper article, then provide your email address here. Email alerts will only be sent for the most quacky stories and you can choose which region of the world you want to know about. Your email address will only be used by the quackometer automatic alert engine to warn you about quack stories. The black duck is not [read more…]

Boots the Quack

August 29, 2006 11

I have recently been accused of working for the ‘drug industry’ and just picking on the ‘little guys’ who are using gentle, more human, and less capitalist healing methods. Well, as I say in my definition of quackery, quack thinking can come from all quarters and all sides of the orthodox/alternative medicine camps. ‘Big Pharma’ is a word that is pejoratively used to criticise drug companies in their pursuit of [read more…]

Quack Word #12: ‘Organic’

August 25, 2006 18

I believe that organic food is a con, is not necessarily more healthy for you, tastes no different, and is damaging to the environment. There, I have got that off my chest, but unfortunately I now feel like I have just admitted to being a child murderer, a racist or even a supporter of George Bush’s foreign policy. Let me explain… The word organic is now synonymous with everything good, [read more…]

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