I came so close.
Yes, when I read the latest target subject of this piece of Insolence to be bestowed upon you today, I came so close to resurrecting a certain undead Fuhrer who used to roam this blog on a regular basis chomping brains and inspiring horrible Nazi analogies. Indeed, it’s been at least four years since the Hitler Zombie made an appearance on this blog; so the temptation was there, although there was trepidation too because four years is a long time. There are, of course, hard core long time Orac readers who no doubt would have cheered the Rotting Seig Heil’s return, but I’m guessing that a lot more would have the reaction of shaking their heads and going, “WTF?”
In the end, I didn’t resurrect that old staple of the blog for a simple reason. This time around, I had a hard time coming up with something funny because death lists are not funny. However, the hijinks around this particular purported “death list,” believe it or not, are. It’s just that I couldn’t pidgeonhole that funniness into Hitler Zombie schtick. So instead I’ll use my own schtick, as inadequate as it is to the task. Moreover, it all provides to me a “teachable moment” related to my talk at TAM two weeks ago, which was entitled “How ‘They’ View ‘Us’” and based on some posts that I did over the last year and a half entitled, appropriately enough, How “they” view “us”; How “they” view “us” (briefly revisited); and How “they” view “us” (2014 edition). I guess this one is “How ‘They’ View ‘Us,’ uh, 2014.1 edition, or maybe “How ‘They’ View ‘Us,’ Mike Adams edition.
A lot of you probably already know what I’m talking about, because this stuff developed over the last few days, starting with a post by the One Crank To Rule Them All, Mike Adams. (You’ll see the appropriateness of The Lord of the Rings reference later in this post.) Earlier this week, there appeared on that font of all things quack and wingnut NaturalNews.com a spittle-flecked article by Mike Adams entitled Biotech genocide, Monsanto collaborators and the Nazi legacy of ‘science’ as justification for murder. To those of us who’ve followed Mikey for a long time, it was a bit over-the-top, even for him, given that he has in essence blamed the Nazi genocide on science (labeling sciences as evil) and has a penchant to likening his enemies to fascists. Not long after, David Ropelik and Keith Kloor expressed extreme alarm at Adams’s screed, particularly this passage:
Interestingly, just yesterday German President Joachim Gauck celebrated the lives of those brave Nazi officers who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944. (1) Their attempted Wolf’s Lair bombing failed, but it was an honorable attempt to rid the world of tremendous evil by killing one of the people responsible for it.
This official ceremony sends a message to the world, and that official message from the nation of Germany to the rest of the world is that “it is the moral right — and even the obligation — of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of those engaged in heinous crimes against humanity.”
This fundamental philosophical truth is now enshrined in history by the highest office of the nation of Germany herself, the very nation where mass government propaganda spearheaded by a highly-charismatic political leader drove the population to commit genocide in the name of “peace.”
Not surprisingly, a lot of people were alarmed by Mike’s words, which seemed like a direct call to kill scientists involved in genetically modified organisms. In the context of the rest of Mike’s screed, which ranted against “Monsanto Collaborators,” likening them to, of course, Nazi Collaborators”:
“Nazi collaborators” were individuals and corporations that promoted the power and reach of the Nazi party, publishing pro-Nazi propaganda and attacking anyone who criticized Adolf Hitler or the Nazi regime. Collaborators included many scientists, academics, publishers and of course politicians, all of whom played key roles in furthering the genocide that saw over six million Jews heartlessly slaughtered by the Nazi regime.
Today, a number of once-independent media sites are selling out to corporate interests and quickly becoming Monsanto collaborators. This is readily apparent by noticing which media sites attack Dr. Mercola, the Food Babe, Jeffrey Smith, the Health Ranger or anyone else fighting against the scourge of GMO genocide against humanity. These attacks all have one thing in common: they are orchestrated by paid biotech muckrakers — people I call “Monsanto collaborators.”
And, of course, Mikey likens glyphosate pesticide to—what else?—Zyklon B, pellets that released the cyanide used for the mass murder of Jews. In other words, it was standard Mikey rhetoric, which is why my reaction tended more towards amusement than horror. As I described before, I’ve seen that movie, too. This is not the first time he’s used Nazi analogies about his perceived enemies:
What the United States Air Force did to Dresden in World War II via high-elevation bombing runs, the global chemical and food conglomerates are now doing to the world populations via the drive-thru window. But there are no bombs dropping out of the sky and there are no firestorms lighting up the cityscape at night. Instead, the silent, ignorant masses are simply marched to their deaths, one meal at a time, almost like a cargo train full of “useless eaters” clicking and clacking its way to Auschwitz.
On the way to their own deaths, of course, they pay the mandatory tolls to the pharmaceutical giants, hospitals, cancer clinics, doctors and health insurance mandates. Much like victims of Nazi genocide had their gold fillings pulled out of their mouths before they were gassed to death, today’s mainstream consumers are emptied of their bank accounts, assets and insurance policies before finally being discarded by the system.
I used an Archive.org link because the original link now just goes to Mike’s “science encyclopedia.” In any case, as I put it at the time, because food additives are exactly like the Dresden fire bombing and the Holocaust. And Auschwitz. Especially Auschwitz. I’m really surprised that Adams axercised a little restraint and didn’t list a number of other atrocities. He didn’t in this newest screed. He pulled out all the stops, “hoping someone will create a website listing all the publishers, scientists and journalists who are now Monsanto propaganda collaborators. I have no doubt such a website would be wildly popular and receive a huge influx of visitors, and it would help preserve the historical record of exactly which people contributed to the mass starvation and death which will inevitably be unleashed by GMO agriculture (which is already causing mass suicides in India and crop failures worldwide).”
This, of course, after quoting a postwar German leader about how just it is to assassinate evil leaders like Hitler. The implication seemed clear.
And, lo and behold! A couple of days later, there did appear a website called Monsanto Collaborators, complete with images of the train tracks heading to Auschwitz, swastikas, a Nazi rally, and piles of Holocaust victims. My first reaction was that I was disappointed that Steve Novella made the list of “journalist collaborators” and I didn’t. I mean, come on! Didn’t my epic criticism of the Seralini study and rejoicing over its retraction, mocking another study beloved of anti-GMO activists, and likening the anti-GMO movement to the antivaccine movement earn me any love? Well, a day later my name did pop up on the website, and I was satisfied.
Naturally, everyone thought at first that Adams was responsible for the Monsanto Collaborators website. A quick WHOIS search showed that the domain was registered under a proxy for privacy, no surprise there. So, for a few days, there was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth about how Adams had “gone too far.” I wasn’t particularly worried. My reaction was more, “Meh.” Indeed, I tried assiduously for three days to ignore the whole thing. When the Monsanto Collaborators site went online, however, I couldn’t any more, because several readers e-mailed me with concern, something I truly appreciate. Fortunately, in this case, the concern, I believe, was unnecessary. It’s possible that I’m too blase about Mikey’s antics these days, of course, but I don’t think so. On the other hand, Adams might be full of crap when it comes to his threats with disclaimers designed to provide him with cover, plausible deniability, but he has a wide readership.
In any case, Adams is a performance artist. He ramped up the hyperbole in his original post, and, right on schedule, is now ratcheting it back and denying he ever meant to threaten anyone. He’s added a long disclaimer to his original post, lamenting:
I have always stated in this story, as you can see below: “For the record, in no way do I condone vigilante violence against anyone, and I believe every condemned criminal deserves a fair trial and a punishment that fits the crime. Do not misinterpret this article as any sort of call for violence, as I wholly disavow any such actions. I am a person who demands due process under the law for all those accused of crimes.”
No, in context, Adams’ words were plenty bad, man. I just didn’t take them that seriously because, well, it’s Mike Adams. And my skepticism was rewarded richly, as Adams has now even gone so far as to disavow the Monsanto Collaborators site is a false flag operation planned in advance. (I’m telling ya, ya can’t make stuff like this up!) So evil are the Monsanto shills that, well, I’ll let Adams say it:
All this is just too carefully orchestrated. Whoever issued the press releases characterizing GMO skeptics as murderers clearly has been running this social engineering operation from the start. All they have to do now is wait for the entire community of GMO skeptics to be baited into endorsing this mysterious website, and then the GMO shills running it will post some sort of call to action that demands the murder of everyone listed there, perhaps venturing into militant threats of extreme violence.
In one fell swoop, they can paint the entire GMO skeptics movement as violent murderers when, in reality, GMO skeptics are people who love and honor life and who wish to protect the environment, protect seeds and plants, and protect their own health from the devastating effects of GMOs.
Adams even claims that his pointing out this false flag operation now places his life at risk! Of course, one wonders whether Adams is indeed responsible for the Monsanto Collaborators website, knowing the outrage it would cause in the context of his article quoting German President Joachim Gauck praising the Wolf’s Lair assassins who tried and failed to kill Adolf Hitler in 1944. Adams is disingenuous as hell, of course, but he also realizes that the outrage will allow him to dial back and then accuse his enemies (Monsanto and its “shills”) of trying to make him look bad.
So, how does this all relate to “How ‘They’ View ‘Us’”? Simple. Adams might be an alt med and New World Order conspiracy theorist with a flair for Internet performance art, but he really does seem to believe much of what he writes. More importantly, as I pointed out in my TAM talk and in my various “How ‘They’ View ‘Us’” posts, antiscience cranks, be they antivaccinationists, Mike Adams, anti-GMO cranks, or whatever really do believe that there is a conspiracy against them (or at least their favored woo) and that they are engaged in a war against evil. Indeed, just in time to reinforce this point, there appeared a post at the antivaccine crank blog, Age of Autism by Kent Heckenlively entitled PLAGUE – An Alliance of the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth. It’s basically the same belief system as Mike Adams, but using The Lord of the Rings as an analogy. In this case, Heckenlively views himself as Aragorn, one of the heros of the story, the fulfillment of ancient prophecy, the King who returns to save Gondor and the free peoples of Middle Earth from the Dark Lord Sauron:
You should probably know I worship at the altar of The Lord of the Rings. As a cinematic evocation of loyalty, friendship, and courage I believe it has no equal. I tell my son that if someday in the distant future I am not around and he wants to explain to his children or grandchildren what his father hoped to be, he should pop in the DVD and let them view the trilogy.
When I watch I imagine myself as Aragorn, taking the Dimholt Road under the mountain, clutching the sword, Anduril, Flame of the West, offering a deal to the souls of the dishonored dead if they would join me in battle. I picture myself as Aragon, astride my horse in front of the Black Gate, telling my troops, I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! Then I jump off my horse, and with the setting sun behind me, a reckless, almost manic glint in my eye and a crooked grin, I am first to charge into the enemy army.
This is, of course, one of my favorite scenes from both the books and the movies. In it, Aragorn had brought his forces to the Black Gate of Mordor to challenge Sauron to battle, not with any hope of victory, but as a diversion to distract the Eye of Sauron and to allow the hobbits Frodo and Sam to cross Mordor and reach Mount Doom, there to destroy the ring. Aragorn, Gandalf, and his companions fully expected to die in the effort, and it looked as though they would when the battle was joined. They were saved because Sam and Frodo did reach Mount Doom and the ring was destroyed, thus destroying Sauron’s power and causing his armies to flee. (Of course, one of my favorite scenes from LoTR is King Theoden’s stirring speech to the Rohirrim (the horsemen of Rohan) before charging into battle against heavy odds to break the siege of Gondor. Peter Jackson captured that scene from the book almost exactly as I pictured it, but that’s just me.)
The point, of course, is that Heckenlively, like Adams, views himself (or fantasizes himself) as a heroic figure from the world of epic fantasy like Aragorn. Walter Mitty-like, Heckenlively fantasizes that it’s him leading a doomed mission to the very Black Gate of Mordor, knowing he’s unlikely to come out of it alive, in order to give others the chance to defeat the great evil against which he strives. He fantasizes that it’s him at the Council of Elrond helping to unite the fractious and squabbling races of Middle Earth to join in a heroic quest to defeat great evil. More importantly, he views the scientists, bloggers, and doctors who support vaccination as Sauron, who, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world, was the nearly all-powerful embodiment of all that is evil, bent on subjugating all of Middle Earth and destroying any who stand in his way. Similarly, Adams takes a historical example, likening anyone who criticizes anti-GMO pseudoscience to the Nazis who systematically slaughtered millions for their ideology. Against such evil, almost any act is justified.
This is the world view those of us defending science must face. We see it in the antivaccine movement, who really truly believe that vaccines made their children autistic. We see it in Stanislaw Burzynski patients and families, who really and truly believe that Burzynski is the only person who can save them and view those of us trying to shut him down as people trying actively to kill them or their loved ones. We see it in Mike Adams, who believes that Monsanto and GMOs are destroying humanity. We will not change these people’s minds. We can only hope to counter their influence and change the minds of those who sit on the fence.
Finally, it is critical for skeptics to remember that we are just as prone to this sorts of Manichean world view, in which light battles dark and, oh, by the way, guess which side we’re on? It’s easy to dismiss cranks like Adams, because they’ve gone beyond the pale and might not even be sincere. However, many antivaccinationists, like Heckenlively, have severely disabled children for whom they have to care and have mistakenly blamed their children’s disabilities and autism on vaccines. Similarly, many Burzynski supporters have family members who are dying and have mistakenly concluded that Burzynski can save them. While we might reasonably conclude that a man like Mike Adams is an enemy, the Kent Heckenlively’s and Burzynski patient families of the world are not. While it is necessary to counter their views, we should never forget the human shortcomings that we all possess that led them to their pseudoscience and quackery.
142 replies on “How “they” view “us,” Mike Adams and Kent Heckenlively edition”
I think there’s additional context that people need to place Adams unhinged state into place. He’s been convinced by folks like Vanadana Shiva’s falsehoods that Indian farmers have killed themselves.
He’s been told by Jack Heinemann and Judy Carman that GMO wheat will kill babies.
Sane people can tell the facts from the fictions here, but he’s incapable of that.
“Instead, the silent, ignorant masses are simply marched to their deaths, one meal at a time”
And yet, somehow, world population continues to rise as do life expectancies. Odd, that.
Everyone named by that web site should call the FBI and tell them that they feel threatened. Then, perhaps Mike Adams will her the attention he truly craves.
LW — you do realize, don’t you, that WHO and the CDC are in cahoots to falsify those figures.
(I’d better label this as snark because there are some people out there who probably believe it).
A few thoughts;
Adams ( in a recent post about his “brush with poverty”) finally tells us in upon which area what his “science” degree focused: it was technical writing. Although to me, his writing is technically awful.
The loons @ PRN promise a scathing expose of “physicians who promote Pharma’s agenda” so I imagine their view will be similar. There’s also a lawsuit.
@ Mary M:
Vandana Shiva is often a guest on Null’s shows @ PRN and featured in his films such as “Seeds of Death”.
Reading Heckenlvely’s drivel confirmed my suspicion that he lives in a fantasy world unencumbered
by self-reflection and evaluation BUT did he HAVE to go and [email protected] with LOTR?
And dear J-sus, if you’re going to be fantasy-driven at least include more adult thematic material.
Orac, perhaps the list wasn’t updated when you wrote the post, but your name is definitely on the list. 🙁
Your subtext reads, “Key perpetrator of the poisoning of hundreds of millions of children with GMOS and vaccines “.
I should have kept reading– Disregard previous comment.
Methinks Kent is more Boromir than Aragorn.
Mike is playing with fire here. There is a risk that this will play out the way things have gone in the anti-abortion movement, with somebody who takes Mike a little too seriously killing one of the targets. I’m not saying that Mike would do such a thing, but he doesn’t need to–he can sit back and “tsk tsk” when somebody follows through on his rhetoric.
That Mike is publicly distancing himself from the Monsanto Collaborators website suggests that he is aware of this potential and wants to insulate himself from anything that might be attributable to that website.
You should probably know I worship at the altar of The Lord of the Rings. As a cinematic evocation of loyalty, friendship, and courage I believe it has no equal.
Why am I not surprised this mook references the films and not the books? But then, if he had any reading comprehension skills to speak of he probably wouldn’t be antivax, would he?
Also – Aragorn? Delusions of grandeur much? I always identified more with Frodo, myself: he’s just an ordinary guy who suddenly has this huge responsibility thrust upon him and has to deal with it as best he can, even though he’d rather be safe at home living an ordinary life.
@ BA – Nah, he’s like Eowyn: he’s attracted to the glamour of the idea of Aragorn, without understanding who he really is.
I think the “enemy” question should be separated from the “evil” question. Someone who sees you as evil is an enemy. Someone who fights to promote harmful misinformation can be an enemy. That doesn’t make necessarily them evil, doesn’t make them someone to destroy at all costs or attack. It does make them someone you should watch out for, and it does make them someone you, as you point out, probably won’t be able to reason with – and both things are important to know.
You don’t have to hate someone who is an enemy. You shouldn’t forget they are human. But it does affect the way you interact.
…at least he’s not a holocaust denier?
I really like your last paragraph, Orac. I admit I sometimes feel a certain smug, self-righteousness when I ready some of the blatantly false things people have to say about vaccines. It’s important to remember that often the blind certainty with which people hold on to anti-vaccine (and other anti-science) views stems from very real pain and desperate need to make sense of suffering.
read, not ready
But then, if he had any reading comprehension skills to speak of he probably wouldn’t be antivax, would he?
I happened to work with Kent just as he was starting to sip the antivax Koolaid. I remember him coming into the office very excited about an article he’d just encountered, discussing a possible link between vaccines and autism, so this was very early days indeed.
At the time, he struck me as a reasonably intelligent guy who was willing to do anything to help his autistic daughter. He was always happy to talk about her music therapy and any little “breakthroughs” she had. He was a nice guy and, as a lawyer, not entirely absent of reading comprehension and whatnot – you can’t really pass the bar if you can’t comprehend complicated concepts.
I was very sad to see how much he’s changed in the intervening years. 🙁
The loons @ PRN promise a scathing expose of “physicians who promote Pharma’s agenda” so I imagine their view will be similar. There’s also a lawsuit.
Whom is suing whom? For some reason our servers are blocking this (who says machines aren’t smart?).
@Denice Walter: I didn’t know she appeared on Null. I can’t say this surprises me, but I never look there–thanks for the tip.
What pisses me off the most is that there’s no accountability for that kind of misinformation. It’s designed to ignite the vulnerable–like Adams, and acolytes therein–but there’s not even a hand-slap for peddling lies or misinformation that result in either this kind of violent incitement, or the harder-to-measure interference with public health.
How I understand it, there’s an article ( which was supposed to be unveiled- i.e. read aloud and posted- this week- that reveals the dirt on the physicians who are pharma’s b!tches: it is the work of Null and his thrall/ enabler, Richard Gale ( who might actually have some sort of a real bio degree). His team of crack lawyers ( or lawyers on crack, if you will) is currently writing up the suit against these ‘enemies of the people’ ( heh, reminds me of a play I’ve read). Or so they tell me.
So far, I haven’t heard more: most lf the time I just scan his daily show tapes as it takes less time than listening.
It will be posted @ PRN’s “articles” section and on Gary Null.com,most likely on the section next to the “store”. The head honcho has a history of suing rational people: so far, he’s never won anything and wiki-p hasn’t changed a word on his bio and neither has Lee Phillips. Barrett’s material comes up high on searches of him.
I imagine that he has a little list of traitors to humanity and that Orac & Co figure prominently on it as he’s been mentioned by name and nym by the thrall/ enabler.
@ Mary M:
If you search ‘Vandana Shiva Progressive Radio Network’, you’ll find that she’s appeared on several shows netcasted there. She has also appeared in Null’s films, such as “Seeds of Death”. You may watch that swill for free on the net.
And re “no accountability”
There is only accountability to reality.
And sometimes, RI is it.
Yeah, some humans’ human shortcomings come shorter than others’.
Johanna @15: An interesting coincidence. Was the paper in question by any chance a 1998 Lancet article with one A. J. Wakefield as first author? Of course we didn’t know at the time of Wakefield’s conflict of interest or his data fabrication.
Heckenlively seems to have changed professions since then–last I heard, he was a middle school teacher somewhere in the East Bay, criticized on this very blog for abusing said position to influence kids with anti-vax propaganda. Leaving the law profession is not by itself a bad thing; I know of people who have gone through law school and become lawyers only to discover that law wasn’t what they wanted to do for a living. Except that “schoolteacher” is a profession from which many bail out in a similar manner.
More likely press coverage of ditto, but yes, exactly. At that time, Wakefiled still looked kinda legit and I can totally understand why some parents would want to believe. Oh well.
“…..today’s mainstream consumers are emptied of their bank accounts, assets and insurance policies before finally being discarded by the system. ”
Says the man with a bottle of vitamins to sell………
Orac missed a big part of Adam’s skeeviness. Adam’s was NOT “quoting German President Joachim Gauck praising the Wolf’s Lair assassins who tried and failed to kill Adolf Hitler in 1944.” Rather, after noting that Gauck had attended an event honoring these officers, Adams offered HIS INTERPRETATION of the significance of this as “it is the moral right — and even the obligation — of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of those engaged in heinous crimes against humanity.” Those are Adams words and his alone. He is not “paraphrasing” anything Gauck or anyone else said. He is making shit up. He’s not just a liar, he’s a very BAD (i.e. transparent) liar.
But he’s “winning,” for as, among other things, he seems to have sucked Orac into a mirror image of his Manichean shtick. There is neither a monolithic ‘they’ or ‘us’, and it’s disturbing to me to see Orac use that language, even in bracketing quote marks. An acquaintance of mine is an anti-Monsanto activist. He’s an environmental scientist with a degree from Berkeley. If he has questions about the health effects of GMOs, he hasn’t mentioned them, nor have I heard him go on about Indian suicides. But he’s studied what Monsanto’s doing on the ground (and TO the ground) in Hawaii, and he’s collected, you know, actual evidence, and it does not paint a pretty picture.
Rational thought recognizes that just because a crazy person or a scam artist advocates a position doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It could be entirely possible that Monsanto’s GMO products are as safe for consumption as mothers’ milk AND Monsanto has manipulated the seed market in India in ways that have caused the financial ruin of a significant number of local farmers. Based on what my acquaintance has documented, the later strikes me as more likely than not.
But a lot of very different things are getting conflated at monsantocollaborators.org, and IMHO skeptics should be unraveling the threads, not buying into false dichotomies.
I suggest that the relationship (or non-relationship) between Adams and monsantocollaborators.org matters a lot. Assertions that the collaborators list was motivated by Adams screed or possibly orchestrated by Adam’s himself are as much post hoc fallacy as “my kid was diagnosed with autism after she was vaccinated, so vaccines must be poison.” I realize skeptics are often metaphor-challenged, but nothing on the collaborators page indicates it’s invoking the Nazi comparison as literally as Adams. It could just be figurative hyperbole. (Do I THINK it’s just a trope [old-school defn.]? No. Do I know? No.) Nor is it in-and-of-itself a “death list”. All it actually does is call-out certain individuals and organizations for scrutiny and critique on grounds that are basically nonsense. It is ADAMS who has framed ANY list of anti-anti-GMO folks as engaged in such “heinous crimes against humanity” as to create a moral OBLIGATION for “human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing” of them.
(I’m not as stoic as Orac. Pasting that in just now really freaked me out. My stomach’s turning over, hands shaking… How can anyone believe in a benevolent diety in a world where Adams not only exists but has thousands of followers? The only God imaginable is the one Iago sings of in Otello: “I believe in a cruel God who has created me in His image. I am evil because I am a man. Whatever evil comes from me was decreed for me. The honest man is but a poor actor. Everything in him is a lie.”)
**recovering** What really gets me about Adams is that possibiltiies for perfectly rational legitimate criticisms of Monsanto’s corporate practices are being suffocated in Wal-Mart of ideas because Adams is sucking all the air out of the room (or filling the room with Zyklon B, if you prefer…)
Eric Lund says Adams is playing with fire, which he certainly is, and likens Mikey to anti-abortion radicals. I happen to know a lot about ‘The Army of God’. The primary advocate for the notion that killing abortion providers was a moral obligation for the Godly was/(is?) the Rev. Michael Bray, who cites as his exemplar the Lutheran theologian and ethicist Deitrich Bonhoeffer, who left the safety of the Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1939, returned to Germany, and participated in (you guessed it) the Wolf’s Lair plot to assassinate Hitler, for which he was hanged in 1945. Paul Hill, the former Presbyterian minister who murdered abortion provider Dr. John Britton, was friend and follower of Bray, and also cited Bonhoeffer in justifying his action.
But I have to say that comparing Mike Adams to Bray and Hill is unfair…
…to Bray and Hill. They weren’t making money shilling nostrums through Dr. Oz. They owned the violence they advocated, and never tried to bait the hook and then back off with some “in no way do I condone vigilante violence against anyone” weasel BS. They actually believed a fertilized ovum was the moral equivalent of a new-born child (crazy, but no more so than a lot of stuff people believe), and in that belief abortion providers ARE the direct active agents of mass-murder on a truly horrifying scale. These were the people they targeted. They did not argue for the killing of anyone analagous even to the genocidal accusations against Monsanto, much less “collaborators” in the press, academia etc. The worst you could say about Monsanto is that they don’t care if people die as a side-effect of their pursuit for profit. They’re not sending out agents to dismember Indian farmers in their sleep and suck up the diced little pieces with a big vacuum cleaner.
Don’t get me wrong. I take the deeds of Paul Hill as a terrifying cautionary tale about the perils of moral certitude.* My point is that even dangerous nutters like Bray and Hill would find Mike Adams’ rhetoric ludicrous, unjustified, an affront against any form or morality and/or reason. He’s that bad.
* Not that I would offer “science” as an antidote. Say what you will about the theory of The Scientific Method, but no fair-minded empiricist can discount the historical track record of the human damage that could not have been wrought with the a-moral participation of real-world scientists. Not that science is always a-moral either, just mostly. Sometimes it’s downright immoral. Bonhieffer-ish sci-fi hypothetical: If an alien presented me with a time machine, a death-ray, and a fool-proof plan for execution and escape — and asked me to back in time and off Edward Teller as a child, would I do it? I think not, but I’d probably mull over whether that was the right choice for the rest of my days. (And THAT, dear Orac, not the hypocritical ranting of Mike Adams, is “performance art.”)
I find it interesting that MonsantoCollaborators.org is being hosted in Iceland with http://orangewebsite.com/
Entine says he has confirmed that Adams is being it http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/07/25/mike-adams-claims-monsanto-set-up-kill-gmo-supporters-website-as-scientists-journalists-face-death-threats/
Orac, you missed a golden opportunity to analyze Kent Heckenlively’s quest for answers to his child’s autism on Father’s Day, 2014.
His “Here I Stand” post on AoA, was based on family lore. For some reason, he envisions himself as the anti-vaccine’s movement equivalent of Martin Luther:
Cripes, I despise lawyer/science teachers who subject their autistic kids to abusive, painful, dangerous, unproven stem cell *treatments* for autism at filthy, unregulated, offshore clinics:
As I’ve mentioned previously, I hear and read a great deal of hatred on these sites (primarily NN, PRN, AoA, TMR) which I try to point out here @ RI because it has a rather large audience and because its gracious host’s heart** is in the right place.
That hatred is directed against governmental agencies, elected officials ( mostly in the US), researchers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, corporate officials and even media employees. Rabid opposition to particular politicians and executives is often quite un-nervingly painful to hear. It makes me feel un-settled and worried- and I am not a person who feels this way very often. Plus, I’ve been around all sorts of un-hinged people and actual violence.
Stories are assembled to anger people and set them up against an enemy (i.e. a person who isn’t in line with the host’s agenda) and in support of the speaker. These lunatic woo-meisters have unhealthily loyal followers who might possibly take extreme actions in order to please their guru: I realise that it may only be one out of 100 000 or a million but one is all it takes.
What bothers me nearly as much as the thinly veiled invitations to rebellion/ violence is that these miscreants revile education and plot against real researchers, educators and scientists whom their posturing mimics poorly whilst they *pretend* to be highly informed critics of the present school/ university system in the English-speaking world.
As their own lacks and envy shines through their pressured speech brightly.
** or I should say his CPU?
The thing is:
To the limited extent that I’ve ever had anything in the way of fantasies about heroically vanquishing the people whom I think are in the business of perpetuating and profiting from evil, destructive, deadly lies, they haven’t f’ing been about killing them. FFS.
Some people don’t even want to win, though, I guess. They just want to fight.
It’s a shame.
From that Archive,org link to the article in which the firebombing of Dresden by the US Air Force is somehow part of the Holocaust:
Excepting behavioral addictions, which didn’t exist until recently, none of those things is radically on the rise.
In case it needs saying.
Wait, wait, wait.
Mikey now says:
And where did it start, again?
@ ann ( # 28):
I find Heckenlively’s fantasy a bit juvenile for a guy who is most likely over 50- it’s also too dependent upon someone else’s ( Tolkien’s) material. I think he also did something similar a few weeks ago with a scifi detective ( in the post about his book?). Ah, a trend!
Sometimes seeing things in blacks-and-white is apropo, e.g. when you’re writing fantasy tales for both children and adults as JRRT did HOWEVER in KH’s case, it emotionally distorts his real life experiences as an autism parent into a Sturm und Drang unreal melodrama.
“It’s possible that I’m too blase about Mikey’s antics these days, of course, but I don’t think so. …”
I think you’ve downplayed this a bit much. Obviously it’s not Mikey himself one needs wot worry about — but he does seem to have some unhinged followers.
I agree with cacarr. What he wrote might be less than a cause for extreme alarm, but it’s more than over-the-top rhetoric.
@Denice Walter —
Oh, I agree. “Juvenile” isn’t even necessarily a bad quality in a fantasy, ftm.
It has always been my opinion that the sort of exercise that Mikey has got into needs to be called out in the strongest possible terms.
As cacarr states, it is not Mikey specifically one needs to be concerned about, but his crazed followers. Only one his crazed followers needs to take heed of this and decide to do something for it to all stop being a joking matter.
To understand Mikey, read his bio @ healthranger.com.
He presents himself as an incredibly brilliant scientist/ innovator yet when we read his more recent musings ( the post about his brush with poverty) , you’ll find that he has a degree in technical writing and made money by translating Chinese techie material into English ( probably with the assistance of his Chinese-speaking wife) and creating advert software.
Similarly, Null: he has a 2 year business degree an “alternate routes’ dietician degree and a facsimile doctorate. His research experience is nearly entirely based on reminiscence, not articles in normal periodicals. His phenomenal successes with patients are tales told to an adoring audience: his lifestyle change studies involve measuring self-reports of improvement..
In short, there’s little science or medicine but lots of press agentry, ad writing and self-promotion. No wonder they dislike people who know better and can point this out to their audiences.
Mikey is a cancer of this world.
Kudos to Orac for saying the dupes are not the enemy “While it is necessary to counter their views, we should never forget the human shortcomings that we all possess that led them to their pseudoscience and quackery.” +2
In that vein, I urge everyone here to take a look at the film “Lord of the Universe” available for viewing online at http://mediaburn.org/video/lord-of-the-universe-2/. It’s a 1974 cinema-verite documentary about 15 year old Guru Mahara Ji, chronicling “a gathering of his followers at Houston’s Astrodome as they wait for its promised levitation.”
I recommend it for 3 reasons.
1. Mainly, I think you’ll be entertained. Woo-meisters are hoisted by their own petards. Funny as hell. It’s just great film-making above all else.
2. Though the bad guys are exposed, the people suckered in to the scam are often shown with sympathy and compassion. There’s a lot of insight here into “Why People Believe Weird Things.” The sequence beginning at 46:00 may be the most concise expression of the dichotomous relationship of magical thinking to human experience ever captured in pictures.
3. It’s NOT science. Call it “Art Against Woo.” I don’t fancy this will be particularly important to RI readers, but with true healers like a certain surgical oncologist not unknown in the parts being labeled as Holocaust Collaborators. I’d like to think some science-based skeptics could find a bit of comfort in some evidence that there are folks in the arts and humanities, who, though they engage the world with very different approaches than you do, are nevertheless rational and skeptical in their own fashion, stand against many of the same plagues on our common social body you stand against, and actively involved in combating them with their own creative/subjective tools.
Among certain left-leaning circles, the Holocaust, the US bombing of cities like Dresden or Hiroshima, and the use of the defoliant agent orange are one and the same – just different facets of fascism in action.
“Agent orange” is sometimes used as a synonym for “Monsanto shill” on French anti-GMOs blogs.
It’s an opinion I have witnessed a number of time among young leftist French people. Or with my own dad.
It’s likely to happen among circles with a strong anti-US government/anti-establishment bias.
So I’m frightened, but not surprised by the “Monsanto collaborators” website. A logical endpoint of the rhetoric of calling your opponents fascists or nazi.
Don’t be too sure. There is a strong overlap between anti-establishment and anti-semitism (or at least anti-Israel sentiments – I realize it’s complicated).
I don’t know about him, but part of his audience may be.
In short, don’t be surprised if Mike start talking about false flag operations to pander to this audience. Populism in action…
I don’t blame the victims, or hold them responsible for their desperation. However, I do hold Mike Adams, and his ilk responsible for their bulls**t.
Orac, you may not think his threat is serious, but you should still join us in reporting him to the FBI, and DHS. You can rest assured someone will act on his commandment.
We need you, and the others on the list to remain safe.
Holy crap. It just occured to me: Earlier tonight, I heard on the news about a gunman who went into a hospital, and tried to shoot someone. Could this be related?
…I don’t just lean left myself. I stand squarely with the unreconstructed left. (Or, in other words, practically by myself.) And it’s not really like I’m a fan of dropping bombs on civilian populations, either, however strategically effective it may be.
I guess it’s just that when it comes to the good old-fashioned virtue of being able to hold the terms of an analogy in mind from the end of of one sentence to the beginning of the next, I’m a conservative.
Perhaps just the language has changed; now we blame ‘addiction’ when we continue with an activity which we aren’t supposed to be doing, instead of blaming witchcraft.
lilady, I have vaguely followed Mikey’s antics for a few years. It would not matter how sensible or how nutty he was, I would still be calling him out for inciting his followers to harm people he doesn’t agree with. One of those followers might just be silly enough to take Mikey at his word.
As a Brit I’m not proud of the fact, but the bombing attacks on the first night of the raids that destroyed 90% of the city’s center and killed most civilians was carried out by the British Air Force. The USAF were supposed to be a part of it but bad weather prevented them from joining the raid. They did bomb the city the next day, but due to radar problems a number of them missed and bombed Prague and other cities instead.
Bombing raids in other cities (Tokyo and Hamburg for example) caused far more civilian casualties than the bombing of Dresden, but it has come to represent the deliberate targeting of civilians in bombing raids. I think this is partly because the Nazis seized upon the incident as propaganda material, multiplying the true casualty figures by 10, and partly because of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ which includes eyewitness accounts of the horrors people experienced in Dresden that night. For some reason Vonnegut didn’t mention British involvement, which may be why many Americans assume it was carried out by the US.
I finally got around to reading ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ recently and found it a very strange book indeed: the hero randomly jumps around in time and spends some time as an exhibit in a zoo on an alien planet, as well as in Dresden as a POW. Weird.
Tssk, “were carried out”.
Helianthus: “Monsanto shill” on French anti-GMOs blogs.
It’s an opinion I have witnessed a number of time among young leftist French people
… among circles with a strong anti-US government/anti-establishment bias.”
Here in Finland many anti-GMOs seem to swallow Russian propaganda uncritically so they are anti-US too. Except Green Party people who seem to quite anti-Russian and anti-GMO.
@sadmar24″Rational thought recognizes that just because a crazy person or a scam artist advocates a position doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”
True but so what?
“It could be entirely possible that Monsanto’s GMO products are as safe for consumption as mothers’ milk AND Monsanto has manipulated the seed market in India in ways that have caused the financial ruin of a significant number of local farmers. Based on what my acquaintance has documented, the later strikes me as more likely than not.”
What does this have to do with Orac’s article? Orac explains exactly how certain crazies are crazy. He demolishes their claims systematically. Adams’ health claims are not right if it is the case that Monsanto are culpable, in any way, for the ruin of Indian farmers. These are two entirely unrelated questions.
You do realise that people like that don’t speak for all Christians? I’m a Christian, and I think people like that really make my faith look bad. problem is, I’m not sure how I should fight against them. Sometimes I feel like I should fight against them using the exact same tactics, like an eye for an eye would put them back in their place. But another part of me says that’s bad. I wish someone would help me there.
(And FWIW, I thought Iago was a good-for-nothing fool. Just sayin’.)
The Indian farmer suicides are quite real, but they were happening years before GM seeds appeared on the market there, and appear to be the result of the vulnerability of cotton farmers in that region rather than GM crops per se.
Sadmar: They actually believed a fertilized ovum was the moral equivalent of a new-born child.
I wonder what they think women are the equivalent of. Cattle? Test tubes? At this point, I’m convinced that most of that fringe doesn’t think women are human- and God doesn’t either. Then again, if I were concerned about what God thought, I wouldn’t have learned to read.
Sadmar: Not that I would offer “science” as an antidote. Say what you will about the theory of The Scientific Method, but no fair-minded empiricist can discount the historical track record of the human damage that could not have been wrought with the a-moral participation of real-world scientists.
Well, what else is there? One gets a choice between a clockwork universe, a remote and uncaring God, or a God who picks and chooses and leaves out vast swathes of the population. Individual scientists may have gone badly astray, but I’d rather take someone who could be convinced I’m human over someone who thinks I’m merely a jar.
Lucario: Sure, but they get most of the press. How much have you heard from left-wing Christians in the US, ever?* How many churches think women’s suffrage and birth control are good things? How many are okay with GLBT people in the congregation?
I know they’re out there, but they tend to occupy the same place in the universe as dark matter- they exist in theory, most people have never heard of them, and they don’t affect people’s lives to the extent that evangelicals and ‘real matter’ do.
The casting of Valerie Perrine (who also had the first topless scene broadcast on U.S. television) in the film version was prescient.
FYI – the Anglican church has supported contraception since the 1930s.
^^And that’s as good an example as any of the insidious power of narrative, because — as has been pointed out above — were your opinion based on the data, it might strike you differently.
I agree that it’s completely plausible as a generic proposition (ie — “Would an enormous multinational corporation be so wicked and unfeeling as to put a higher value on profit than it did on the lives of powerless, far-away people with whom it shared no communal bonds?”)***
But that’s not the question.
I guess I think of the firebombing of Japanese cities as the go-to example of the it’s-a-war-crime-for-losers/for-winners-it’s-just-war dichotomy. And IIRC, that’s probably because Robert McNamara says as much in (more or less) those words in The Fog of War.
I’m reasonably sure that there hasn’t been a war anywhere on earth in the last century-plus that didn’t include some or all of the usual atrocities on both sides.
But, you know. Newsflash: War is hell. That doesn’t mean context and details don’t count.
all I recall are the phrases ‘Billy Pilgrim, who became unstuck in time” and “Slachterhaus Funf’ ( sp?)
In other news
Dan Olmsted bemoans the rhetoric characterising anti-vaxxers at a “liberal rag”
@PGP – because these “left wing” churches and congregations don’t get in people’s faces about their faith (i.e. don’t act like typical dumb evangelicals) they certainly don’t get much press….if you hang around the more liberal or moderate areas of the country, you hear more about them, but since they don’t generate the negative feelings as do most denominations, they lack visibility.
The majority of people in this country are moderate to liberal in their stance – but they get overshadowed by the morons who have bigger bullhorns.
Are posts at GLP usually that incoherent?
In any event, I tend to doubt that Mikey is “facing multiple investigations from law enforcement officials, including the FBI.” There is this thing known as a “credible threat.”
PGP, I absolutely guarantee you that it’s possible to express feelings and observations about your personal experience without globally implicating all people or forgetting that their lives have been affected by a host of factors that are wholly unknown to you.
I don’t mean that in a harsh way. Believe it or not.
You seriously need to get out a bit more in the world of philosophy.
I saw that, but I saw no evidence presented to support his conclusion. It’s as though Entine just wants us to take his word for it.
Remember Mike Adams’ rants about the TSA — touching our junk, harvesting our DNA, stealing our valuables, training us in compliance for our future internment in retraining camps? Remember the mentally ill guy who left a note saying he wanted to kill a TSA officer and then drove to LAX and did so? Yes, he was crazy, but where did he get the crazy idea that the TSA needed to be stopped? As ridiculous as it is, you can’t laugh off this kind of hate-mongering. It has consequences.
About wishing people would stick to one analogy, I understand your pain.
But in this case, you are expecting it from someone in full “us vs them” rant; keeping the moral high ground and calling to the rescue the memory of every slaughter in history is more important than these pesky things known as accuracy and attention to details…
And as I said, from a certain point-of-view, it’s all the same: just a government or another disregarding human life. Very common among whose romanticizing history as a “David vs Goliath” fantasy.
War has never been a clean affair. From my reading of warfare history, civilians were always the first victims in a conflict, often intentionally so. I wholeheartedly approve of country leaders trying to resolve conflicts without resorting to the big military steamroller.
As you could guess, I’m not very fond of my French leftist culture. Coming to this, not very fond of the right either, but I spent more time perusing articles from the left side. Hoping, I suppose, to find a political current to my liking with simultaneously some backbone and not too much dogmatism…
To be fair, French anti-Americanism is explainable by history more than by ideology, and is partly justified because European countries and Americans have been alternatively allies and opponents on the world scene for 2 centuries, so a bit of mistrust is warranted 🙂
But I seriously resent the way my younger and not-so-younger compatriots simplistically equate whatever wrong the US – or US corporations – are doing with fascism.
*reading Krebiozen post #44*
Especially if the US or Monsanto were not in it, to start with.
On the GMO topic, I also deeply resent the anti-science vibes I feel among my fellow human beings. Too many of them fall for the naturalistic fallacy, but that part I can get over with. Everybody has biases.
But on top of this they actually want to be anti-corporation, and only manage to impede public research. Not even capable to keep the right target in aim.
I also suspect that many anti-GMOs don’t know more than me about professional-scale agriculture, that is, not much.
They dream of being exalted rebels and revolutionaries (Aragorn? Really?), but frankly with freedom fighters like this, monarchs and despots don’t have much to fear.
In short, the debate is over-polarized, off-center and full of exaggerations. It’s irking me no end.
We really don’t need irresponsible cranks encouraging name-calling of Nazism. The waters of the debate are murky enough already.
Ultimate questions about the true nature of causation or the functioning of the universe or whether g-d exists don’t really affect the quality of my daily life and how I interact with other people
BUT I do muse a great deal about how other people think, feel and how they became as they are presently, what actions they can take improve their lives and how we can support policies and ideas that achieve reasonable goals. I don’t suppose that most people ground their opinions from a political-religious position when making most decisions but they look to more practical concerns about costs, time, effort and aesthetics ( of course, that’s assuming they’re not loons).
OK, now this looks pretty convincing that Mikey is probably the one responsible for MonsantoCollaborators.org. It’s circumstantial evidence, but highly suggestive:
Narad: You seriously need to get out a bit more in the world of philosophy.
I took one philosophy course in college. Arendt was okay- actually, she’s about the clearest philosopher I ever read. Descartes- ugh, don’t get me started on that muddling mess. Mills and Locke are basically sound, given the limitations of their time.
Given that I share a surname with one of the above (not Descartes) I preferred theology, because at least one professor assumed I was related to the philosopher we were discussing, and that got odd after a while. I’m not sure if Rand counts as a philosopher, but I don’t like her either and Plato’s fawning gets old after three pages.
M’OB:Well, yeah, but that’s the Anglican church. The only thing farther to the left of it are the Unitarians.
Lawrence: if you hang around the more liberal or moderate areas of the country, you hear more about them, but since they don’t generate the negative feelings as do most denominations, they lack visibility.
I *live* in one of the more liberal areas, and you still don’t hear much about liberal Christian churches. I can think of maybe one family in my neighborhood that actually goes to church. Then again, I live in a city. Churchgoing is more of a suburban thing.
Ann: Did you not notice that I specifically mentioned American churches?
re Mikey’s newest project:
Too much looked/ sounded similar from my totally un-techie point of view.
The ‘go-get-them” rhetoric has been aroundNN as well.
As religion has once again reared its divinely ugly head, I’ll mention that in my recent essential reading catch-up spree I also finally got through Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’, and enjoyed it. I found myself agreeing with almost everything Dawkins wrote.
Dawkins includes some speculations about the evolutionary value of religious belief – ultimately futile ‘Just So Stories’ I suspect, but interesting nonetheless. Unquestioning acceptance of an adult’s declarations – “don’t eat that plant/play with that snake” – could clearly confer a reproductive advantage. If that tendency continues into adult life it could perhaps explain why some people cling so tenaciously to irrational beliefs. Maybe.
I wonder what Adams’ early life was like, what programming he got. Anyone know?
That link @63 is pretty persuasive, though not totally conclusive.
Also, while fully stipulating that it’s an error-prone method, I do kind of read this…***
…and think: “Why, I’d know that voice anywhere.”
***That’s the collaborator site’s way of saying what would be::
If you read it in the NYT.
Yes, I noticed. But that’s not very specific. It’s a big, diverse country.
What I’ve gleaned from Mikey- despite layers of nonsense- is a middle class midwestern upbringing in Kansas. Earlier on, he said that his parents worked for pharma ( the late healthranger.com bio- not the current). His recent post on his “brush with poverty” says that there wasn’t enough money to send him off to college. He’s in his late 40s and state schools were inexpensive then AFAIK so- barely middle class would be my best guess.
He writes about having “traditional values’ whatever that means. He also tosses in some new-agey crap and space references. There is that meme that he may have been a Scientologist ( Orac has a post about it). For some reason, I doubt that he came from the more moderate-liberal churches- as with Null- I detect more disturbing rigidity frequently.
( I can almost hear the ” You backsiders are damned to hell!”).
Healthranger.com says he was born in Lawrence, Kansas. Citydata shows a mix of Christian denominations there and a Catholic element although that may have been less in the 1960s- 1970s when he grew up there.
I think you mean “backsliders”, but it’s an entertaining slip! Kansas is Bible Belt (by some definitions, anyway) so that fits with my hypothesis.
Krebiozen: Vonnegut has written more concise accounts of his wartime experiences, including this one.
Anybody who survives that sort of horror is entitled to be as weird as they like IMO.
I wholeheartedly agree. It wasn’t intended as a criticism; I like weird. I was just surprised as I expected a more conventional narrative about Dresden, like the one you linked to (thanks for that).
You mean that *doesn’t* happen to you?
@Lawrence, M O’B and PGP,
The list of LGBT friendly churches on Wikipedia is quite interesting. (Although, the Central and South America part needs a good edit. Most of those listed are in the USA.)
The list spans the spectrum from traditionally liberal like the Friends/Quakers and the Unitarians (who aren’t technically Christian any more) to the rather conservative like the American (formerly Northern) Baptists. They used to be opposed to dancing and playing cards (except Rook and maybe Uno) and now they’re LGBT affirming!
But, unfortunately the mainline denominations have been replaced as the public face of Protestant Christianity (I’ll set aside the Catholics for the moment) by the TV pastors and the mega churches because they’re the ones who generate the news.
I see that “get out more” was overly optimistic.
When did William Burroughs move in?
I just spent a moment picturing a long-ago afternoon shared by Burroughs and Adams, during which each spent the entire time that the other was talking thinking about what he was going to say next rather than listening to the other.
As I imagine it.
I might as well throw Hannah Arendt into the mix, too, as long as I’m at it.
“These are two entirely unrelated questions.” Exactly, and what that has to do with Orac’s article is that “us” versus “them” tends to conflate them, not that I find Orac to be overboard in that regard. I’m just raising a caution.
Yes, the AoG is the fringiest of the fringe, a much smaller ‘group’ than many on the Left would have you believe. Their influence and extent gets exaggerated for propaganda purposes to rile up the rank and file. Of course, they actually are responsible for killing people… And there actually is a “war against women.” It’s just more about legislation and judicial rulings than guns and bombs.
…..To clarify, my reference to the AoG had nothing to do with my being so emotionally overcome by horror that I had to stop typing and wound up SMH about belief in a benevelent God. I have my disagreements with Orac, but in part because two people I care about would be dead except for advances in surgical oncology, the idea of Orac being labeled a Nazi and put on what could amount to a hit list was simply more than I could take.
@orac (and ann)
Thanks for the link to the comparative analysis of the webcode between mikeysite and monsantocollaborators. I’ve done some coding, and I think it’s pretty persuasive. I also note the author is careful to state the limits of his analysis, so he seems really credible. I’m not sure the timing indicts Adams as he suggests, but maybe more impressed by the similarities in unusual source code forms than even he is. In legal rather than scientific terms, not conclusive BRD, but more than enough probable cause for a warrant.
No, Rand does not count as a philosopher.
If you like weird, see if you can find a DVD of J’Taime, J’Taime by the great Alain Resnais. It’s an unstuck-in-time story that ups the ante on Slaughterhouse Five by an order of magnitude or so. **Has anyone here seen Resnais’ Mon Oncle D’Amerique? It intertwines a narrative with behavioral scientist Henri Laborit presenting his work. 100% on Critics Tomatometer, 4 stars from Roger Ebert (review:http://tinyurl.com/qgrk3kq)**
Random time jumps, alien zoo exhibits and other Vonnegut stuff doesn’t happen to me (sigh…) Phillip K. Dick books, on the other hand…
(btw, hdb <3 <3)
OK, I had to run out and I’m not firing on all cylinders anyway today, but allow me to expand on what I was trying to say. PGP, you express a preference for “political philosophy.” (So long as it’s not the Republic, apparently.)
This is fundamentally story-telling. Yah, French Revolution, dandy, toss in “Mills,” whatever. But your original assertion was ontological in nature, and that’s where it failed.
I’m currently acquiring both those films, which sound like the sort of thing I enjoy. Thanks.
I have also seen the twipscience.com link. The writer makes it explicit that the evidence is only circumstantial, although the number of similarities does raise eyebrows.
Before that site was posted I got a comment from a friend who is far more literate than I am in such things pointing out the similarities in code between the two sites.
Sadly, the single most important factor is missing from this article. Mike “the Health Ranger” Adams is an ORGANIC activist.
In fact, most people opposed to the science of genetic engineering are organic activists. But I hasten to add that most organic farmers are not anti-GMO. They know it’s none of their business what their neighbors choose to grow on their own property.
With that explained, please have a look at the page I posted in response to having my name on this deplorable “Monsanto Collaborators” website: http://www.isitorganic.ca/biotech_collaborator
If they’re being quaintly old-fashioned about such things. yes. But they can intercept communications without one for computer crimes. So I don’t know why they would be.
Irrespective of all other things, I’d say that Mike Adams has very probably now attracted the scrutiny of the federal government.
But that’ll just confirm his worldview. So maybe he doesn’t care.
Ann: It’s a big, diverse country.
When it comes to religion, not really. Most of the conservative churches are whiter than white. African Americans are pretty churchgoing, but because of Falwell, Bob Jones and a lot of unreconstructed racists in the evangelical movement, they tend not to come to ‘pro-life’ events or show up to scream at Pride events. Also, they have their own problems. Americans of Japanese or Chinese heritage tend to choose older, established churches if they go at all. Because of the current Tea Party/Evangelical anti-immigration trifecta, I doubt many Hispanics are lining up to join evangelical churches in the States.
Narad: I *like* narratives. Most of my reading is fiction. A philosophy book without a narrative is just cloud-gathering. Heck, most philosophers have no idea how people work. They just form their concepts according to how they want people to work.
Frankly, I think Arendt fell down a little on the whole problem of evil. She thought most people were good, just following bad leaders, which is not a mistake you’d expect a Jewish woman who survived World War 2 to make. I personally believe that most people are just too *lazy* to be genuninely evil, though some, like Mike Adams, make good tries at it.
Under the federal Douchebag Statute?
@Mischa Popoff —
Thanks for the link. I was particularly struck by this assertion:
Because while it’s doubtless nothing, I was under the impression that you were affiliated with the Heartland Institute, the science director of which does work for Monsanto. You know. Jay Lehr, PhD. Author of “Mankind’s Impact on Climate Is Negligible.”
Seems like the kind of thing one discloses in order to avoid the appearance of conflict when none exists. Otherwise people might assume you work for or with him on stuff that benefits Monsanto. Or something.
But possibly I’m mistaken about the Heartland thing altogether. They list you on their website, though.
is this the same Mischa Popoff who writes for American Thinker as a climate-change denialist?
According to Wikipedia, he moved to Lawrence in 1981 and lived there until his death in 1997.
I wasn’t aware that he lived in Kansas, but I was off in the Air Force for most of that period.
I understood her to be saying something entirely different about evil. I can’t say that I recall her expressing any opinions about the inherent moral qualities of most people, per se, though she might have. But her attitude towards her subjects generally is pretty much exactly what I’d expect from a secular German Jew of her class, type and age.
Which is to say: Implicitly condescending.
I’m not sure what genuine evil is. Just anecdotally speaking, I guess I’d say that most people will do right under some circumstances and wrong under others, with moderate reliability.
Heh. See what happens when I’m in a rush and don’t edit. I’m not sure where they stand with the ‘backsiders’. Ahem.
At any rate, I am related to Wm Burroughs but not THAT Wm Burroughs.
I’m mildly amused that the PNG from the “collaborators” site has Adobe ImageReady in the IHDR chunk.
It’s kind of odd that it doesn’t want to give up Background-Body.jpg to a routine wget. Then again, I suspect the ventilation system on the high-rise down the street is about to explode. It sounds as though there’s a giant electric jug hovering over the area.
Heh. Port 25 is closed but port 21 is open.
Ann:I’m not sure what genuine evil is. Just anecdotally speaking, I guess I’d say that most people will do right under some circumstances and wrong under others, with moderate reliability.
I think absent punishment or social sanction, most people would harm others or steal or deface property. Heck, a lot of people join organizations specifically to harm others or deface or otherwise interfere with organizations or people they hate. Look at Army of God or Greenpeace for example.
I did a bit more research on NatNews MonCollab similarities and posted it on twipscience:
I hate to weigh in at this late stage – but I summoned up the “courage” to look at NaturalNews. The most recently published article is entitled “The Agricultural Holocaust explained: the 10 worst ways GMOs threaten humanity and our natural world”.
Given that it is nestled among such gems as “How to make ‘natural sunscreen'” as apparently REAL sunscreens contain chemicals which actually increase the risk of skin cancer (that was a real head-to-desk moment for me) – why precisely would large corporations want to kill off swathes of their customer base? [Which is obviously the largest flaw in the “logic” behind the entire premise of MonsantoCollaborators.org…] I’m actually struggling to make the point I originally wanted to. Oh, yeah! It is the most concentrated pile of crazily stupid/stupidly crazy I think I’ve ever seen, which is saying a LOT. To Denise Walter & all others who regularly brave it: I really take my hat off to you.
The whole thing was frightening before the incitement to violence, well-timed backpedaling & ratcheting the terrifying rhetoric up again. I had intended to point out the relevant statistics about the incidence of psychopathy & those in the community who are both mentally ill & violent, but really, to actually believe the stuff published over there surely one would have to be just a little unhinged**? Does anyone think Mikey actually believes all or most of this stuff, or is he really much smarter than he looks?
**I apologize if this is construed as being seen to invoke an “Us vs Them” attitude
That’s sad. I’m sorry to hear it.
Can you think of any other reasons why someone might join Greenpeace or the Army of God? Or are they just two proximate occasions for harming others, as you see it?
If anyone wants to know who started the whole ‘Anti-GM’ movement the best place to start is the early 1980’s. This is when Jeremy Rifkin bought out a book called ‘Algeny’ in which he called on activists to oppose the transformation of nature into strings of data to be manipulated at the will of man.
Interestingly he used Creationist tactics in his attempt to paint evolution as ‘just an idea’.
See (Rationalwiki): http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Algeny:_A_New_Word–A_New_World
And this kind of ‘activism’ can have dangerous results. I can remember reading of a case where an Animal Rights activist tried to hire someone to find someone wearing a fur coat, decapitate them and bring both the head/fur coat back to the activist, though I cannot remember what the activist planned to do with the items.
From what I can remember though the ‘hitman’ was an undercover police officer and she ended up being arrested.
A lot of anti-corporate rhetoric seems to assume that being evil is inherently profitable. In my snarkier moments I’m tempted to ask whether Monsanto/Microsoft/incorporated evil du jour is being paid by Hell for making people suffer.
Here’s an interesting article about the provenance of the hit-list website:
I honestly never thought I would miss the dental student.
I’m appalled that anyone has had experiences that have led them to such conclusions. Is the fear of punishment or social sanction truly the only reason you don’t harm others, steal or deface property? Or does this only apply to other people and not to you?
Personally I try to live by the Golden Rule, and since I find other people’s suffering distressing I try to avoid causing it. I don’t think I know anyone who would disagree.
“why precisely would large corporations want to kill off swathes of their customer base?”
That’s a very popular view in the alt loon universe, describing the Truth behind vaccines, fluoridation, chemtrails etc. etc.
Near as I can figure, the concept envisions that They will pare down the population to the minimum needed to serve Their needs in some kind of underground society (like the one proposed towards the end of “Dr. Strangelove”).*
*of course, dreaming up this scenario suggests a minimum of organized thought (however deranged). I suspect most such doomsters don’t even think about the contradiction of corporations trying to kill off tons of people and thereby sacrificing their profits.
I think there’s some risk to painting with too broad a brush here. There are honorable people/organizations/arguments on both sides of the debate.
For example, @HDB:
Yes. And if you poke around the site he dropped by to promote, you’ll see that he’s also the same Mischa Popoff whose idea of “defend[ing] the SCIENCE of genetic engineering” is to say things like…
…to quote from “Hippies controlling our food system.”
Needless to say, he has every right to express his 100-percent independent views in terms that are indistinguishable from those used by the professional right-wing idealogues and apparatchiks he works with at Heartland, if that’s what he wants to do. Without fear of death threats.
But he shares a lot more common ground with Mike Adams than his detractors over at the Cornucopia Institute do:
I’d also give them the match wrt good-sportsmanship and basic reliability. And that’s true even though they, too, go the Nazi comparison route:
(It’s clearly rhetorical enough to be in-bounds in that case, imo. But I still wish people would stop doing it. Same goes double for Orwell/doublespeak.)
Anyway. It’s not that black and white.
Kreb: ’m appalled that anyone has had experiences that have led them to such conclusions. Is the fear of punishment or social sanction truly the only reason you don’t harm others, steal or deface property? Or does this only apply to other people and not to you?
Personally, I don’t harm people or deface property; it’d bring trouble I don’t need, and I honestly dislike hurting people. I wouldn’t describe myself as a moral person, as I’m not Christian or finger-waggy enough to do so. I think the only circumstances under which I’d harm someone would be in self-defense or if they’d hurt me really bad and I couldn’t find a legal way to punish them. But this isn’t about me. It’s about people like Mike Adams, the human version of a rabid dog. Lot of them out there, you know. And it’s better to expect the worst out of people-that way there are no surprises later on.
Ann: There might be a good reason that could lead someone to join GreenPeace, but most people join just because of the chance to raise a lot of heck.
As for Army of God, no. It’s like asking if there’s a good reason behind someone joining Al-Queda. And it’s no coincidence that both organizations are mostly made up of young violent men, looking for someone to kill.
I thank you for your kind words, oh Chic One!
(By way of explication:
as chance would have it, I am uniquely suited for this horrendous task. I have the capacity to deal with vast quantities of material on a regular basis: this ability- which I believe I may have inherited- served my ancestors and relatives well in business over the past century and a half – which is about as far as our clear records go: we can tolerate boatloads of incredible nonsense unflinchingly it seems. I was able to complete secondary school very quickly and as an undergraduate, studied about 4 separates areas** ( I don’t mean a course or two- more like 10 or 12+ apiece). Later, I studied Economics and Psychology, attaining degrees/ experience in the latter. I worked in advertising as well as in counselling/ related.
I manage my own money and don’t need to work fulltime as a counsellor/ etc. So why not?)
If you read these idiots’ bio material, you’ll find that they present themselves as well-educated even magisterial across many areas and attempt to bullsh!t their audiences about their VAST intellectual repetoire and expertise on the very subjects which I studied formally so, I can therefore attest to their simplistic, slapdash, superficial grasp of the material involved. They want to impress their marks and steer them away from real information in science and the arts in order to control them and their purse strings.
But there’s more to it than just lying and posturing for mere money, these guys have indisputable signs of saviour complexes: they require admiration and perhaps even followers. They want to be leaders of people.
Often, they call out for their thralls to protest, bother governmental officials and boycott various companies. They both frequently speak about uprisings, rebellions and suchlike.They provide link ups to advocacy groups. They proudly display their videotaped speeches to the masses.They warn of the endtimes a-coming: catastrophes, upheavals, wars and disasters that can only be survived by following their sagacious advice. They seek to become media outlets of choice for millions- even claiming that those numbersexist at the present time.
Thus I invite readers to examine their balderdash in detail paying special attention to their self- presentation. Look closely and try to surmise what they really, actually studied and what their true occupations have been and are.
** visual arts, English, life sciences, social sciences.
To be fair to Adams, he actually does offer an explanation for that somewhere in his little fatwa. Which is unusual.
I just can’t bring myself to look at it again. But to paraphrase: They don’t want to kill you, per se. They want to weaken, frighten and distract you for purposes of social control, and they’ve hit upon this method of doing it because first they profit by selling you the poison, then they profit by treating you for the ills it caused — which, as we know, they do by giving you more poison! — until you slowly shuffle off this mortal coil, thereby making room for the next sucker.
(He conflates agribusiness and medicine/pharma, IOW.)
A little googling shows Mischa to be an anti-AGW loon. Thinks he knows better than the world’s scientific community. He identifies himself with Galileo and Einstein because they challenged the scientific consensus. Mischa has no truck with consensus in science. He knows the truth. Whether the consensus agrees with him or not. He knows the truth because he is a genius, presumably, like Einstein and Galileo. CO2 isn’t a problem – he knows that.
Monsanto, at any rate, don’t agree with Mischa and Lehr. They don’t deny global warming and they don’t deny that CO2 is a problem. Quite the contrary.
“But to paraphrase: They don’t want to kill you, per se. They want to weaken, frighten and distract you for purposes of social control, and they’ve hit upon this method of doing it because first they profit by selling you the poison, then they profit by treating you for the ills it caused — which, as we know, they do by giving you more poison! — until you slowly shuffle off this mortal coil, thereby making room for the next sucker.”
But that doesn’t really make sense either. Somebody who is chronically ill/weak can’t work very well, or at all, so they won’t have much of the means to buy the poisons that Big Pharmagri is selling them. Plus, with so many of the population too chronically weak/ill to work properly, Big Government won’t be able to collect enough taxes to give to their friends in Big Pharmagri. And with a dwindling core of productive producers and affluent consumers, the country will slowly collapse and eventually there’ll be nobody to produce the poisons that Big Pharmagri is selling and nobody to buy them….
Oh wait, I forgot, Big Pharmagri is being financed by Satan anyway, so all that economy nonsense doesn’t matter anyway!
Obviously, inconsistencies reign at these sites ( You were expecting reason? Look elsewhere please!)
One of the most mindshattering:
they try to get their following to doubt governmental officials/ governmental agencies, SBM/ universities/ research/ journals, corporations and the media YET
entirely trust their miserable lot.
If you should mistrust all of these entities, WHY oh WHY should you trust a loon on the internet/ internet radio who is trying to sell you crap?
“If you should mistrust all of these entities, WHY oh WHY should you trust a loon on the internet/ internet radio who is trying to sell you crap?”
Well, you should always trust anyone who is a target of government agencies, physicians and smarty-pants intellectuals, especially if they’ve got a big pile of testimonials.
Awesome. Went to the page Mischa linked but didn’t go far enough to pick up the wing-nuttery. Now THERE’s a conspiracy theory. Clowen and Pivard–>SDS–>Bill Ayers (which we all know is Palin-eque short-hand for ‘Al Gueda). Uh, that would be no, not really, and hell no, respectively. C’mon, Mischa! You forgot to include Hilary Clinton and trace it all back to Satan Saul Alinsky! Well, what can you expect from a guy who knows so little about his scapegoats he can’t even spell their names right.
Speaking of Bill Ayers… He’s an ass hat, but he’s not a ‘terrorist.’ I think pgp is trying to drive me into apoplexy by putting AoG and GreenPeace in the same sentence, and doing the same with “harm others or steal or deface property.” Hell, if we’re gonna be that broad, lets add mass murder on the front end and jaywalking on the back.
Bill Ayers did some MAJOR ‘defacement’ of property, but he never hurt anybody. The Weather Underground cell in NYC, former close associates of Ayers, planted one bomb that might have killed someone had it not failed to go off, and were planning another bombing that absolutely WOULD have killed a number of U.S. Soldiers at Fort Dix has they been able to carry out their plan, but they were clueless enough about explosives that they succeeding only in blowing themselves into unidentifiable goo attempting to assemble their device. Ayers was in Chicago, and was not involved in the planning or execution of either plot. IIRC, he to having known about them both, and assenting to the first. He may have approved the Fort Dix plot as well, or initiated an effort to stop it. For my purposes, it doesn’t as matter. Just his failure to stand against the first plot is skeevy enough for me, and I have zero sympathy for the guy. BUT…
…to draw any kind of equivalency between Ayers and Timothy McVeigh is to mock any legitimate scale of moral judgement. McVeigh attempted to kill as many people as possible, intentionally parking his truck bomb next to the part of the Murrah building that housed a pre-school attended by a lot of minority kids, and setting the detonation for a time he knew they would be in the room. In 2003, Ayers said, “Whenever we put a bomb in a public space, we had figured out all kinds of ways to put checks and balances on the thing and also to get people away from it, and we were remarkably successful.”
I find the hubris in that pretty appalling. I mean, I’m glad Ayers’ group of the WU not only had no intent to kill people, but put some real effort into avoiding unintended consequences. But the best plans may fail, and Ayers is lucky have sat in a Professor’s chair at UIC for 18 years instead of doing 20-life in prison for felony murder.
But where are we if lump together ‘might have accidentally’ and ‘intended successfully’? We’re in Mike Adams head, that’s where. Where Monsanto=Hitler. Would his screed be any less insane if Monsanto’s trade practices DID lead to the financial ruin of Indian farmers who went on to commit suicide?* No. It would not.
So, as noxious as Mischa Popoff may be, I can’t lump him with Mike Adams. Not saying much there, I suppose, but sometimes not much still has to be said.
*I grant that claim is BS, btw.
update 7/27, 2:27PDT
http://monsantocollaborators.org/ now only returns:
“Bandwidth allocation exceeded”
Greenpeace is an international establishment-compatible environmentalist NGO, not a rag-tag band of unconstrained extremists. You do realize.
“Good” was not a requirement. I just asked for reasons.
I don’t lump them together.
I hold that they share a lot more common ground with each other than Adams does with the Cornucopia Institute, though both he and it are anti-GMO.
Because my point was that there was some risk to speaking of an “anti-GMO movement” as if it was a monolithic entity the provenance of which could be traced in a straight line back to a single point of origin that shed light on its true (and, I assume, suspect) nature.
I mean, there are plenty of reasons to oppose hegemonic corporate agribusiness. (Big Farm-a?)
And while it’s possible that the Heartland Institute occasionally does something besides connive, deceive and propagandize, I’ve never seen an example of it.
(They’re mostly known for creating and underwriting climate-change denialism. But they really are pharma shills, among other things.)
For example, Popoff and Adams are both seething with hostility to taxes, regulation, and China, In case that point needs illustrating.
Oddly enough, though Mikey doesn’t believe in AGW AFAIK Null over-exaggerates the threat- e.g. he predicts coastal flooding and sea level rise several times more rapid than what experts cite.
All the more for scaremongering.
If cancer, heart disease, obesity, vaccines, doctors, pesticides, GMOs, gang warfare, the police state, hyperinflation, Fukushima’s radiation, solar storms or corporate greed don’t get you- the oceans’ rise will wash you away!
Has it really been four years since the Hitler Zombie last appeared? Gad I feel old.
Popoff and Adams are both seething with hostility to taxes, regulation, and China
Also in common: Inventing new qualifications to self-ascribe (in Popoff’s case, “Advanced Organic Inspector”).
Ann: Greenpeace is an international establishment-compatible environmentalist NGO, not a rag-tag band of unconstrained extremists. You do realize.
Oh. I only hear about their nuttier exercises. It’s kind of like PETA- they do some good, but the insane stuff goes viral and outstrips the good, and everyone remembers the fringe adherents.
That had escaped my notice somehow.
So I guess that apart from some death threats, there’s not a lot driving a wedge between Popoff and Adams besides the interests for which they shill.
[…] three days ago, I updated my ongoing series How “They” View “Us.” This time around, I used Mike Adams’ likening of various pro-science activists, including Steve […]
Sorry I wasn’t clear. I didn’t think you were lumping. I thought your distinctions were quite clear. Popoff and pgp were lumping, and as I was talking about not-lumping I just tossed in the _I_ would include, Popoff and Adams in the not-to-lump, not to suggest anyone had.
I see the MonsantoCollaborators site now simply reads:
Is this Mikey’s way of taking the site down while trying to appear not to, and appear to make the site look insanely popular? The page is returning a 200 response code (OK) – rather than the 509 response code (Bandwidth exceeded) which would be the expected response if the bandwidth allowance genuinely had been exceeded.
I just discovered that last year: it’s not a topic on which he pontificates frequently but here’s something recent ( last month) : *Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions* ( his bolding). There’s other stuff about CO2 as well.
Sadmar: I was responding to Ann’s lumping, in case that wasn’t clear.
If anyone wants some a-grade amusement that isn’t related to Adams or Age of Autism, you should check out PETA’s attempt to rebrand fish a few years ago.
Then there is this, which indicates the person who scripted the NN site and the person who scripted the MonsantoCollaborators site are one and the same.
Can you enlighten me?
I suppose it’s not the name the Dutch fish promotors though of, which was translated ‘seameat’. It sounds better in English.
What exactly have they done that is “good”?
There was none.
PETA’s attempt to rebrand fish a few years ago.
Can you enlighten me?
The idea was that people would stop eating fish if PETA called them “sea-kittens”.
Can’t help myself….
Weird Al Yankovic never gets old. Literally. Or figuratively. Or something. Skip to 1:15 for the payoff.
hdb @ #135:
Catfish are a thing, but that doesn’t stop us from eating them. (And being Northern-by-birth-yet-Southern-by-the-grace-of-DOYC, I think they’re delicious!)
HDB: Yes, that’s it.
Lucario: Yes, they are.
Inf: Heh. I needed that in my life. I suspect that song will be going north with me.
Inf Moderate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SvdecwnYJ4
[…] readers will know that über-quack Mike Adams got himself into a bit of a pickle last week. Basically, he wrote a now-infamous post in which he likened scientists working on GMOs to Nazi […]
The last line of the article:
“While it is necessary to counter their views, we should never forget the human shortcomings that we all possess that led them to their pseudoscience and quackery.”
I’ll have to remember that when next I’m called a “BigPharma troll” or “shill”.
By the way, does anyone know how to get money from “BigPharma” for said shilling? I could use the cash.
[…] want is profoundly unethical, but antivaccinationists see themselves as warriors for good fighting the evil forces of big pharma, the government, and defenders of science like Paul Offit and, yes, yours truly, […]