MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

If you ever receive an email from ‘edzardernst@yahoo.com’, please be aware that it is not from me. It comes from some clown who seems to want to pretend to be me.

How do I know? I received a short email from that very person. Here is its full text in all its beauty:

You are the most bullshit person i know who claim to be a good doctor by putting other professions down. you are a killer because of your false information.”

What does that tell us about the identity of the author?

  1. He does not seem to be an admirer of my work.
  2. He feels strongly about something.
  3. He does not mince his words.
  4. He does not write very good English.
  5. He is not very well-informed [I do not think that I ever claimed to be a ‘good doctor’].
  6. He is factually wrong [I have not ever killed anyone for any reason].

What he presumably wants to express is that, in his view, the information I publish on this blog and perhaps elsewhere has the potential to kill patients. This is a somewhat disturbing assumption because the opposite is truly my intention.

It is a great pity that the author of these lines did not manage to be a little more specific.

  1. Does he [somehow, I presume the author is male] think that, by warning readers of all sorts of quackery and outright health fraud, I might kill someone?
  2. Does he believe that my repeated warnings about the lack of good evidence for alternative medicine drive patients into the arms of even more dangerous clinicians?
  3. Or is he just an unfortunate sufferer of a serious mental condition such as paranoia?

As I am totally in the dark here and cannot even begin to answer these questions, I will leave it to you, the readers of this post, to decide.

Or perhaps the author of this charming email wants to enlighten us?

4 Responses to You are a killer because of your false information

  • That may not really be the email address of the sender. There are ways of disguising the sender’s address – many scammers use it. Usual reaction applies: anonymous = coward without proper arguments.

  • One more option: envy. This could explain impersonation – the troll craves attention but is unable to get it. Not very good English? Well, I have not seen anything new here in Latvia that has not come from American CAMists, but, since English is no problem and CAM-crap is published in Latvian anyway, one needs to do more than just read all the “theories” about alkalinity, cancer as fungus, rheumatic diseases caused by chronic constipation etc. One needs to have specific talent, charisma.
    So maybe this troll is an attention-craving person that has failed and is fully aware of it.

  • Could be a Mountain Troll as they are particularly dim. The poor English does not rule out an American. Our amazingly varied quality of education has resulted in many such people. They have their skills displayed in the comments section of many controversial blogs. The disguised ISP does suggest some computer skills and makes English a Second language more likely. When it comes to the ability to demonstrate the truth of the Dunning-Kruger effect, the Internet offers endless possibilities for trolls. You have too little so far in the way of evidence to be sure of anything.

  • Those who disagree and attack the person shows me that they have little of value to say. I disagree with “ideas”, philosophies and thoughts. (as those who read my posts know) but I do not attack people. When I debate on the University Campus, if my opponent resorts to “name calling”, I have won.

    I am sorry Edwartz, that someone is so unprofessional to do such a thing but such is the world we live in. I disagree with you on many issues but it is the issue I am against. I do not know you and would NEVER presume that you would hurt anyone. You have your beliefs and it is my job to show you a complementary path by discussing issues and not attacking people.

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