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 The Burzynski Clinic
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25771 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2011 :  10:01:05  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wish I had the time and energy to write this up better, but it's all over the Web so most of you have probably heard about it anyway. For those who haven't...

Read this.

Now, go check out the response to the response to the above.

And then, the response to the response to the response.

And last (for now), an examination of some of the claims made.

Basically, a blogger criticized an alt-med clinic. A web developer for that clinic tried to pass himself off as a lawyer and threatened the blogger critic and some other people with libel and defamation lawsuits. A huge storm of outrage swept across the blogosphere and as a result, the clinic has fired the web developer, but is still threatening legal action in Britain, where libel laws are very complainant-friendly. They, like so many quacks before them, are forgetting the First Rule of Holes and also the Streisand Effect.

Spread the word around. The answer to attempts to squash legitimate criticism is to make sure the criticism is known to everyone.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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chefcrsh
Skeptic Friend

Hong Kong
380 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2011 :  18:47:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send chefcrsh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I thought the first rule of holes was: "everyone has one and they all stink", though I like this one too.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25771 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  09:59:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Popehat:
That squishing sound you hear is Marc Stephens being thrown under the bus by the Burzynski Clinic.

But just because they're pushing poor, angry, frothing, rather inarticulate, possibly crazy Marc out on an ice floe, don't think they are backing down. The rest of the press release asserts that bloggers are making false statements about Burzynski's methods. (Protip: if it becomes necessary to issue a press release saying, in effect, "we don't pee on people", something has gone
very badly wrong with your public relations strategy.) The press release goes on to single out U.K. bloggers (a tell that the clinic is probably contemplating the loathsome practice of libel tourism) and warns that their attorneys will be in touch. Who will represent them? Well, Rhys Morgan got a hint:
Then, on Wednesday, 23rd September one day before the new deadline was up I received an email from a law firm called Dozier Internet Law. They informed me they had been hired by the Burzynski Clinic to "investigate and address the issues regarding [my] blog" and respond to my questions in the email sent directly to the Burzynski Clinic.
Ah, yes. The Dozier Law Group. They are the shrewd practitioners that like to send threatening letters and assert that the letters are copyrighted and that publishing them on the internet will lead to lawsuits, in a comically stupid effort to thwart the Streisand Effect. Those guys. Burzynski Clinic, let me tell you: if your aim is to repair the damage to your reputation caused by Marc Stephens buffoonish threats, then you're heading in the wrong direction. As a public relations move, firing Marc Stephens and hiring the Dozier Law Group is roughly like firing Jeffrey Dahmer as your sous-chef and hiring Hannibal Lecter to take his place. Hannibal is far more polished, but you're not really changing the message you're still talking about eating people.
H/T: Ophelia Benson.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13315 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  10:55:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Popehat:
That squishing sound you hear is Marc Stephens being thrown under the bus by the Burzynski Clinic.

But just because they're pushing poor, angry, frothing, rather inarticulate, possibly crazy Marc out on an ice floe, don't think they are backing down. The rest of the press release asserts that bloggers are making false statements about Burzynski's methods. (Protip: if it becomes necessary to issue a press release saying, in effect, "we don't pee on people", something has gone
very badly wrong with your public relations strategy.) The press release goes on to single out U.K. bloggers (a tell that the clinic is probably contemplating the loathsome practice of libel tourism) and warns that their attorneys will be in touch. Who will represent them? Well, Rhys Morgan got a hint:
Then, on Wednesday, 23rd September one day before the new deadline was up I received an email from a law firm called Dozier Internet Law. They informed me they had been hired by the Burzynski Clinic to "investigate and address the issues regarding [my] blog" and respond to my questions in the email sent directly to the Burzynski Clinic.
Ah, yes. The Dozier Law Group. They are the shrewd practitioners that like to send threatening letters and assert that the letters are copyrighted and that publishing them on the internet will lead to lawsuits, in a comically stupid effort to thwart the Streisand Effect. Those guys. Burzynski Clinic, let me tell you: if your aim is to repair the damage to your reputation caused by Marc Stephens buffoonish threats, then you're heading in the wrong direction. As a public relations move, firing Marc Stephens and hiring the Dozier Law Group is roughly like firing Jeffrey Dahmer as your sous-chef and hiring Hannibal Lecter to take his place. Hannibal is far more polished, but you're not really changing the message you're still talking about eating people.
H/T: Ophelia Benson.

Oh brother.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25771 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  13:59:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Marc Stephens digs himself in deeper. Absolutely incredible line from Popehat:
Marc, kindly take this post... as a formal, legally binding, 100% certified style invitation to snort my taint.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13315 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  15:10:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Marc Stephens digs himself in deeper. Absolutely incredible line from Popehat:
Marc, kindly take this post... as a formal, legally binding, 100% certified style invitation to snort my taint.

That post is hilarious. I'm almost sorry for Stephens. "Almost" being the oprative word.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13315 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2011 :  11:08:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I received this email:

penny lane
6:56 PM (15 hours ago)

to david_gluck, sbinfo

Hello skeptics and quack watchers,

A small, but I think significant, hat tip.

I thought you might be interested to know that this "documentary" about the cancer quack Burzynski that seems to be making quite a lot of converts out there was made by the same people who made the infamous conspiracy theory film Zeitgeist. In case you are not familiar with this film, it is essentially the mother of all crazy conspiracy films, including 9/11 truther nonsense, anti-Semite world bank conspiracy, and a lot of other really, really crazy stuff.

Their names are Peter Joseph Merola and Eric Clinton Merola. As the makers of Zeitgeist, they tried to keep their identity anonymous for a long time. They used their first and middle names for that project (Peter Joseph and Eric Clinton). In fact, to this day, the Wikipedia page for Zeitgeist doesn't say who made it. There's a link for "Peter Joseph" but it just goes to the other wackadoo Zeitgeist stuff.

One can imagine that when Eric Merola decided to direct this film about Burzynski, he didn't want people to know that his background is in making CRAZY CONSPIRACY MOVIES for a living. So when I figured this out, I thought I'd mention it on YouTube and on Vimeo. I did, and was promptly blocked. I thought that interesting, because you can look at my comments and they are not mean or vicious; they just give some background on Merola and Zeitgeist.

I don't think I need to tell you why it is so damning that this "documentary" was made by a man who never met a conspiracy theory he didn't love. And he obviously doesn't want anyone to know that. The Burzynski doc is being sold in Whole Foods stores all across America, and is on the Documentary Channel, and has won awards at film festivals. He has succeeded in pitching it to a "sophisticated" audience, none of whom are aware of the kinds of films he's made in the past.

Some background here:
http://anticultist.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/who-is-peter-joseph/
http://www.burzynskimovie.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64

Happy to answer any questions.

Thanks for your work,
--
Penny Lane
Dipper Films LLC

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25771 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2011 :  11:30:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't miss Orac's discussion of the movie, too.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25771 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2011 :  09:08:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski doesn't want you to know about antineoplastons:
...Dr. Burzynski's antineoplastons are not "natural, non-toxic compounds that cure cancer." They are drugs, plain and simple. Worse, they are drugs of unknown efficacy. Nor is Dr. Burzynski doing anything unique or in any way superior to what cancer researchers elsewhere do, his claims otherwise notwithstanding. In fact, what Dr. Burzynski does and how he does it are a pale shadow, a parody, of what real cancer research centers do. He does "personalized therapy" so badly that it's a joke, and he uses an orphan drug off-label in combination with other off-label chemotherapy drugs and targeted therapy while selling his combination as some sort of radical breakthrough in cancer therapy. Meanwhile, the alt-med underground promotes Dr. Burzynski as "the man who cures the most intractable cancers" naturally. He's not. He's being represented to desperate patients with incurable cancers as their "last hope," worth any price to reach. After all, what price would you pay for your last chance at survival or that of a loved one? Of your child? To what lengths would you go to get to the man who, you are told, is the only man in the world who can save your life?
And earlier this month, Robert Blaskiewicz started compiling a list of patient outcomes, which was continued a few days later. It could easily be described as a body count.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25771 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2017 :  06:35:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Texas Medical Board (TMB) vs. Burzynski:
On February 15, the TMB issued a proposed decision in which Burzynski would be fined $360,000, required to pay $20,000 restitution to a patient. Unfortunately, although the proposed decision included the revocation of Burzynski’s medical license, the revocation was stayed, with Burzynski to be placed on probation with a public reprimand. In addition to the fine and his probation with reprimand, the TMB would require that Burzynski meet these conditions:
  • The billing practices of the Burzynski Clinic must be monitored and patient records reviewed.

  • Burzynski must complete a Physicians Ethics program and undergo continuing education to obtain credits of completion in several topics of medical research. (I laughed at this one. Burzynski knows medical research regulations; it’s how he’s so good at skirting them.)

  • Burzynski must submit his informed consent forms to the Board for review to show that they comply with relevant regulations and laws, and each patient must receive and sign these new forms before treatment.

  • Burzynski must inform his patients that he owns the pharmacy [he] requires them to use. Ownership interest disclosure must be submitted to the Board for review.

  • Burzynski must pass a Medical Jurisprudence Exam.
Overall, this struck me as a fairly substantial penalty, but far less than he deserves. Worse, Burzynski would have the opportunity to submit a counterproposal, and that’s what resulted in the final decision issued on Friday, which is even less severe:
The board’s staff had originally recommended that Burzynski pay a $360,000 fine and $20,000 in restitution to a patient. They also wanted Burzynski put on probation, with the power to automatically revoke his medical license if he violated the terms.

Instead on Friday, the board opted for a lesser penalty that included a five-year probation with more lenient terms, a public reprimand, more training and oversight, along with $60,000 in fines and restitution.

Burzynski’s attorneys called the decision a win.

“It means that he gets to continue medicine. He gets to continue to save lives,” attorney Gregory Myers said.
That $60,000 includes $40,000 in fines and the aforementioned $20,000 in restitution to a patient. If Burzynski’s attorneys consider this decision a “win,” then for patients it is clearly a loss. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the final final decision yet; so I don’t know exactly how the terms of his probation are more lenient.

Still, even though Burzynski can continue to practice, I have some hope. For one thing, Burzynski is no spring chicken any more. He’s 74, and he had a heart attack a little more than a year ago. The terms of his probation will likely take him through most of the rest of his 70s, and, at his age, can he really stand to practice with even less stringent monitoring? He’s always been stubborn and arrogant, and I can’t picture him tolerating the regular monitoring of his billing practices and patient charts that will occur with much equanimity at all. Will he actually complete courses on Physician Ethics and study for a medical jurisprudence exam”? I’m not sure I can see it happening. Maybe he’ll retire.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1368 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2017 :  13:07:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quack Burzynski got off easy, boo!
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13315 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2017 :  09:54:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by ThorGoLucky

Quack Burzynski got off easy, boo!
If I ever want to open a quack cancer clinic in the states, it will be in Texas.

After all the reprimands, they still leave him his license to practice.

Amazing.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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