A little sip and you can join the Mile High Club and Solve the Credit Crunch

3rd September, 2008 16

One of the themes of Ben Goldacre’s new book, Bad Science, is the ‘medicalisation of everyday life’. (read and except here). Everyday experiences are turned into illnesses that need medical solutions. The pharmaceutical companies do it and so do the quacks. The quacks have a great ability though of also turning food and drink into medical products. We learn that Waitrose is to launch a new drink soon. Mile High [read more…]

Go on, you deserve it. Slap yourself with a Healing Broom

27th February, 2007 75

Following on from my last post about whether the people that run quack web sites are deeply deluded or just plain old frauds, I had to share this gem with you. For all aficionados of quackery, this is truly a collectors item to be savoured. Thanks to whoever entered the healingbroom.com web site into the quackometer. It is a treat and scores a perfect 10 canards. The healing broom looks [read more…]

Quack Word #40: ‘Energy’

12th October, 2006 15

Or ‘How to be debunked by a nine year old schoolgirl’ In the special world of the quack, the crank and the pseudo-scientist the word ‘Energy’ holds the highest place in the league tables of misappropriated and abused language. I often get complaints that the quackometer only spots quacks and lets cranks off the hook. That is deliberate on my part – one thing at a time. The crank is [read more…]

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

4th October, 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…]

Do Hedgehogs Give My Cat Acupuncture?

31st July, 2006 3

I thought my post on Reiki Healing for Hedgehogs was going to be a one-off. But a recent trip to the garden centre has opened up a whole new compost heap of prickles. Now, I live in hedgehog country. I have a hedgehog hospital within feather spitting distance of my pond, and I see them around me all the time. I am fond of them. My prickly, vespertine friends come [read more…]

“Hands-off” Healing of Hedgehogs

18th June, 2006 6

Quackery is often accompanied with grand associations with complex science, the harder the better. Usually, quantum theory is the science of choice: it has plenty of counter-intuitive results, is riddled with deep mysteries, and most importantly, you (the quack’s target) are very unlike to understand it. The recipe is simple. My quack theory is mysterious; quantum theory is mysterious, therefore quantum theory helps back up my own theory. In addition, [read more…]