MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Trump says he never mocked a disabled journalist.

YET THE WHOLE WORLD SAW HIM DO IT!

UK Brexit politicians such as Boris Johnson claim they never promised £ 350 million per week of EU funds for the NHS.

BUT WE ALL SAW THE PICTURES OF THE CAMPAIGN BUS!

These are just two of the numerous, obvious and highly significant lies that we have been told in recent months. In fact, we have heard so many lies recently that some of us seem to be getting used to them. We even have a new term for the phenomenon: the ‘post-truth society’.

Personally I don’t like the word at all: it seems to reflect a tacit acceptance of lies and their legitimisation.

I find it dangerous to put up with falsehoods in that way. And I think the truth is far too valuable to abandon it without a fight. I will therefore continue to call a lie a lie!

And, by Jove, in alternative medicine, we have no shortage of them:

  • Homeopaths claiming to be able to treat any condition with their ‘high potency remedies’.
  • Chiropractors who claim that spinal manipulation improves health.
  • Healers who state that their paranormal healing affects symptoms.
  • Alternative practitioners who claim that they treat the root cause of diseases.
  • Naturopaths who pretend they can treat childhood conditions.
  • Acupuncturists who say that rebalancing yin and yang affects health.
  • Alternative practitioners who insist they can detox our bodies.
  • Politicians who claim that TCM save lives.
  • Slapping therapists who say they can cure diabetes.
  • Journalists who publish that Paleo-diet can cure inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Entrepreneurs who promote their unproven products as diabetes cures.
  • Academics who teach homeopathy to medical students.
  • Homeopaths who claim that their remedies are effective alternatives for vaccinations.

Do I need to go on?

These are not ‘post-truths’ – these are just lies, pure and simple.

We must not be lulled into complacency or false tolerance. Lies are lies, and they are wrong and unethical. In many instances they can even kill. To ignore or accept a steady stream of lies is not a solution; on the contrary, it can easily become part of the problem.

So, let’s continue to call them by their proper name – no matter whether they originate from the dizzy heights of world politics or the low lands of quackery.

29 Responses to Post-truths? No, they are simply lies!

  • It has been clearly demonstrated again and again that if lies are repeated often enough many people will come to believe them. It is not the uneducated in our society who are strongest supporters. It is those who have gotten degrees but no concept of critical thinking. They like to feel superior because they have insider knowledge beyond that of the simple “sheeple”. Once they have an ideology they are impervious to facts. These folks support their favorite charlatans and have have money and influence to get our lawmakers to support and license some of them. Without people like you to help me learn to read the literature I might even become uncertain. Welcome to the postmodern world of batshit.

  • I don’t think that using the phrase ‘post-truth’ means that people just lazily accept it. It is an acknowledgement that this is the depth we’ve sunk to. Although I have no doubt that it COULD eventually be used by the type of people who complacently claim ‘well everything is relative’, which is another way of arguing that ‘ my belief is just as valid as yours, even though mine is nonsense whereas yours is based on science and rational argument’. Similar to people who say ‘All newspapers are the same. You can’t believe anything in them. They just lie and distort. That’s why I read the Daily Mail’.
    I’m currently reading James Randi’s ‘The Faith Healers’, in which he and others try to figure out why people are willingly duped, even when the whole business has been exposed as trickery practised by charlatans. One conclusion seems to be that the gatherings are a kind of early pre-Christian manifestation of the battle between good and evil, and that many of the audience know subconsciously that they’re engaged in a huge morality play, and they just proceed to act out the parts allocated to them, alongside feeling too embarrassed or ashamed torwell-mannered to object.
    There are even stories of people being stuffed into hired wheelchairs at the events, then being told to get up and walk, to the joy of a delirious audience, even though they were always able to walk anyway. When they’re traced afterwards, they tend to be rather confused as to why they allowed it to happen. They just fell into the role assigned to them and couldn’t, or wouldn’t, think of a way of getting out of it. The election of JFK seems to fit. At the time he was elected, it was the narrowest win ever. But after he was assassinated, millions more people claimed to have voted for him than actually had.They’d decided, retrospectively, that they wanted to be associated with the romantic Kennedy myth, not with the scurrilous Nixon.
    Whether in time we’ll see a similar disavowal of support for Farage, or Trump, or altmed, only time will tell.

  • Two nights ago I met with Paul Zenon at The Magic Circle. Apart from being an excellent magician, he has exposed a medium he said was using tricks and illusions to ‘communicate with dead’ (as she claimed). He and the newspaper which published the story had to settle a libel case because they not prove she was not in genuine contact with the dead!

    ‘The Amazing’ James Randi exposed Peter Popoff who used radio to receive covert information from his assistant/wife.

    Both Popoff and ‘mediums’ continue to do well financially, but Zenon, and I (!) and of course Edzard, Zeno, Orac and so many others tell the ‘truth’ as it (probably) is.

    It remains a mystery why some many folks go along with the claims of mediums, camists, quacks.
    In the case of patients suffering the pangs of bereavement – I hope to induce the BMA to campaign to reactivate Bills which have now been set aside but which did offer some protection.

    (The Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 prohibited a person from claiming to be a psychic, medium, or other spiritualist while attempting to deceive and to make money from the deception (other than solely for the purpose of entertainment – but surely that is disingenuous? Are these ‘mediums’ lying when they say they can contact the dead? Or when they claim they are simply providing entertainment, as their disclaimers proclaim?).
    This Act repealed the Witchcraft Act 1735, and it was in turn repealed on 26 May 2008 by new Consumer Protection Regulations following an EU directive targeting unfair sales and marketing practices (!!!).)

    Other than that I can but plug my ‘Real Secrets of Alternative Medicine’ (Amazon), wherein 31 secrets are exposed. Purely for entertainment purposes!

    At least the term ‘post-truth’ is now being discussed more widely – so by linking CAM/camistry with the idea that P-T is lies, those of us with integrity might get some traction to push against the forces of un-reason.

    • Richard Rawlings- I’ m currently reading the Popoff section of the Randi book. I knew the story, but it’s expanded here, with plenty of jaw-dropping detail.
      I don’t know if you’d agree with the analysis he and others put forward about gullibility and the willingness to go along with stuff that people really know deep down is quackery, which I referred to earlier?

      • My son has made a video to promote Popoff, so I have some inside track! (On a commission – he normally does music videos).
        Why people believe weird things is not known.
        ‘Cognitive dissonance’ comes in to it.

        Magicians take advantage of gullibility – but we are honest. We tell folks we are going to fool them!
        I do one trick in which I want the spectator to see I am putting the ball in my pocket, but so many simply do not notice.

        This thread is not for the discussion of magical techniques as such (which I will not expose) – but the whole domain of the ‘psychology of belief’ would benefit from an airing.

    • Back in the ’80s and early ’90s I was an amateur magician. During that time, I also passed my wife off as a real psychic being investigated by the Toronto Psychic Research Group (or some such other fake organization). I did this for a professor at the University of Toronto. In the course of our demonstration (in which I had also engaged a couple of friends of mine to act as researchers, complete with clip boards and white lab coats), my wife correctly guessed cards she had no way of seeing, moved a match in a completely sealed container, and a number of other amazing feats of psychic powers. At the end, i revealed the whole thing to be a hoax and then lectured on the dangers of simply accepting anything a “psychic” told you.

      But what surprised me most was the difference in the way the audience acted. When faced with a confessed magician, audiences often wanted to examine my props and would do anything they could think of to expose the tricks THAT THEY ALREADY KNEW WERE TRICKS. But they couldn’t bend over backwards enough to accommodate a “real psychic”.

      As an extra note of interest, when the class was over my wife went to the washroom down the hall where several girls told her that they still believed in her psychic abilities.

      • FrankLee MeiDere
        As Edzard and others have shown, there are many whose only reaction is ‘Well maybe she does have mystical powers, but simply doesn’t realise it’.
        Yours,
        Igor Blimey.

  • For all but the most recent examples of altmed quackery, practitioners in the Big Snakeoil industry have been telling the same lies for very many years: centuries even. What then, in the context of this blog’s theme, is new?

    • Richard partly might have answered you question:
      “At least the term ‘post-truth’ is now being discussed more widely – so by linking CAM/camistry with the idea that P-T is lies, those of us with integrity might get some traction to push against the forces of un-reason.”

    • @Frank

      Big Snakeoil? Telling lies for many years, you state? Hmmmmmm….

      Take Paxil, when prescribed for children, for example. It would seem that “modern medicine” itself is guilty of mpromulgating such lies…..and its ramifications often are dire.

      A major reanalysis just published in The BMJ of tens of thousands of pages of original trial documents from GlaxoSmithKline’s infamous Study 329, has concluded that the antidepressant paroxetine is neither safe nor effective in adolescents with depression. This conclusion, drawn by independent researchers, is in direct contrast to that of the trial’s original journal publication in 2001, which had proclaimed paroxetine “generally well tolerated and effective.” The new paper, published under the restoring invisible and abandoned trials (RIAT) initiative, has reignited calls for retraction of the original study, putting additional pressure on academic and professional institutions to publicly address the many allegations of wrongdoing.

      Few studies have sustained as much criticism as Study 329, a placebo controlled, randomized trial of paroxetine and imipramine carried out by SmithKline Beecham (which became GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2000). In 2002, a US Food and Drug Administration officer who formally reviewed the trial reported that “on balance, this trial should be considered as a failed trial, in that neither active treatment group showed superiority over placebo by a statistically significant margin. Yet this same year, according to the New York State Attorney General’s office, which sued GSK, over two million prescriptions were written for children and adolescents in the United States, all off-label, after a marketing campaign that characterized Study 329 as demonstrating “REMARKABLE Efficacy and Safety.”

      The disparity between what the manufacturer and study authors claim the trial found and what other parties say the data show was an important element in the US Department of Justice’s criminal charges against GSK. Imagine that….a drug company(pillar of “modern medicine”) failed to disclose pertinent research findings and instead allowed and encouraged physicians to prescribe the “no benefit”(for children) drug to millions of their patients. Paxil has been associated with hundreds, if not thousands, of serious side effects, even death. How many years passed before the recommendations for Paxil’s use were modified? The lies continued for quite a while.

      Medical quackery and lies have existed for many years; and they have surely cost more lives than the quackery within certain alt-med domains.

      Be well

      • perhaps there is a difference between the pharmaceutical industry and the medical profession; have you ever considered this possibility?

      • At least the monitoring system in medicine helps detect unknown or unrevealed side effects and lack of efficacy from initial trials, and in most cases changes are made. Where do CAM treatments have any system of monitoring or even initial evidence for use?

  • Defintion of health: 1. the state of being free from illness or INJURY 2. a person’s mental or physical condition

    It seems to me that treating/improving neuromusculoskeletal injuries by GP’s, physical therapists, CHIROPRACTIC PHYSICIANS, occupational therapists, physiatrists, etc. improves health. I wonder how Edzard could contrive a notion/implication that improving such a disorder would not improve health?

  • “Trump says he never mocked a disabled journalist. YET THE WHOLE WORLD SAW HIM DO IT!” This is the statement of Edzard, a PMR who should certainly understand the clinical manifestations of arthrogryposis, the affliction of the journalist Trump allegedly mocked. Arthrogryposis does not cause spasmodic contractures and the leftist media purposely promoted the post-truth/lie for consumption by liberals.

    Trump also used similar flailing arm gestures when mocking Ted Cruz at a S. Carolina rally. Cruz is not disabled.

    Trump also used similar flailing arm gestures when mocking a perfectly healthy general with whom he disagreed regarding ISIS.

    The empirical evidence in this matter is not at all persuasive that Trump dissed the disabled journalist.

    It appears that the post-truth in this conversation regards the false narrative that Trump did in fact mock a disabled journalist. The leftist media is expert at concocting false narratives to pursue its agenda.

    • oh yeah? pull the other one!

      • “Oh yeah?” posted Edzard. Yeah! Leftist propaganda can be quite pervasive.

        Be well

        • I love it when you disclose who you really are!

          • I’m scared to say anything now about Logos-Bios’ crazed, fanatical, Trumpton posts, in case he deliberately misinterprets things to imply that I’m calling him personally a crazed, fanatical, Trumptonite.

          • never argue about fascist comments – they might originate from a fascist!

          • Your inferences and assumptions are often wrong, or at least misguided when it comes to people with whom you don’t agree.

            Be well

          • “Fascist comments”? What a hoot! You have written a very nice article regarding Nazi Germany and medical school practices. You should know better than to post such nonsense.

          • @Barrie

            “Crazed, fanatical, Trumpton posts”? Barrie should consider the totality of the evidence regarding Trump’s alleged diss of the disabled reporter before he wrongly concludes that I am fanatical and crazed. I made my case as to why I don’t believe it. Barrie, as usual, merely offered and insult with zero countenance as to why he believes the opposite(surprise, surprise!). Some people(Hi, Barrie) simply accept whatever the propagandist media “reports” without critically evaluating the conclusions. Such pervasive propaganda was indigenous to, dare I say it, Nazi Germany.

            Be well, Barrie

    • Good lord Logos, one has to be blind or evil to deny the lies and despicable comments and attacks by Trump toward anyone who disagrees with him or falls within his self promoting arena of bigotry and pathological use of misinformation. Look up Malignant Narcissist.

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