Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Science Skepticism/critical thinking Television

Mike Adams defends Dr. Oz. As usual, hilarity ensues.


After I woke up this morning, the haze induced by feasting and hanging out with family only slowly clearing, I debated about whether I wanted to post anything at all today. After all, in much of the English-speaking world, it’s still a holiday, Boxing Day. Although not an official holiday here in the US, when Christmas is on a Thursday, as it was this year, Boxing Day becomes an unofficial holiday that the majority of people not working in the retail sector seem to take off, the better to produce a four or five day weekend, depending upon whether they took Christmas Eve off as well. Also, it doesn’t help that Christmas Day is usually the lowest traffic day of the year and thus few people are reading.

Still, there were things I had wanted to write about but somehow hadn’t gotten around to. It happens. No blogger, not even one as prolific as I, can keep up with everything of interest. So I didn’t worry too much about it, even though one of these neglected topics was about one of my bêtes noires, Dr. Mehmet Oz, whom, if you type his name in the search box of this blog, you will find I have a great many problems with. However, bloggers I respect had already covered the story, namely a study in the BMJ that demonstrated that less than half of the medical advice offered up by the cardiothoracic surgeon turned talk show host is actually supported by the medical literature, such as Steve Novella. So, given the holiday and other stuff, I didn’t see a compelling need to comment further.

Until everyone’s favorite quack and conspiracy theorist, Mike Adams, gave me a Christmas present that I failed to notice before Christmas (it does happen sometimes) in the form of an article entitled, Mainstream media panics over Dr. Oz teaching disease prevention and nutritional self-care. Adams, remember, is now quite smitten with Dr. Oz since Dr. Oz made the horrific mistake of having Adams as a guest on his show and presenting him as a “food safety” activist. Since then, Adams has let loose his singularly unhinged rhetorical skills in the service of defending Dr. Oz from his imagined evil pharma shills trying to destroy him. This is no different. But, first, let’s briefly look at the study itself.

Basically, the BMJ study involved watching 40 randomly selected episodes each of The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors (another horrible daytime medical show that I cannot stand to watch) and having a group of group of experienced evidence reviewers independently searching for, and evaluating as a team, evidence to support 80 randomly selected recommendations from each show.

Surprise! Surprise! Both shows were found quite wanting:

We could find at least a case study or better evidence to support 54% (95% confidence interval 47% to 62%) of the 160 recommendations (80 from each show). For recommendations in The Dr Oz Show, evidence supported 46%, contradicted 15%, and was not found for 39%. For recommendations in The Doctors, evidence supported 63%, contradicted 14%, and was not found for 24%. Believable or somewhat believable evidence supported 33% of the recommendations on The Dr Oz Show and 53% on The Doctors. On average, The Dr Oz Show had 12 recommendations per episode and The Doctors 11. The most common recommendation category on The Dr Oz Show was dietary advice (39%) and on The Doctors was to consult a healthcare provider (18%). A specific benefit was described for 43% and 41% of the recommendations made on the shows respectively. The magnitude of benefit was described for 17% of the recommendations on The Dr Oz Show and 11% on The Doctors. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest accompanied 0.4% of recommendations.

Right off the bat, you know that the reviewers were giving these shows every benefit of the doubt, given that they were willing to consider case studies as the minimum form of evidence to support a recommendation. That’s a really low bar. By that standard, you could say that there is some evidence to support the idea that the MMR vaccine is associated with autism, given that Andrew Wakefield’s infamous 1998 study—now retracted—was a case series. Actually, since it was retracted, you couldn’t use Wakefield’s study, but there are plenty of other case reports and bad studies by antivaccine-sympathetic doctors and researchers out there that one could cite. In any case, that’s how bad Dr. Oz did, given how low a bar a case study is. When the authors raised the bar and used the slightly higher threshold of “Believable or somewhat believable evidence” then only 33% of recommendations on The Dr. Oz Show met that standard and 53% of the advice on The Doctors.

This is really bad. Pathetic, actually. The only thing that disappointed me about the study is that they didn’t look at what percentage of advice from Dr. Oz is based on pure fantasy (such as his episodes on homeopathy, using psychic mediums like John Edward and “Long Island MediumTheresa Caputo) as therapists, faith healing, and the like). We take what we can get. Overall, the study was quite devastating, and I wonder how representative the sample was; to be honest, I had expected it to be worse.

Be that as it may, Mike Adams is incensed. (Of course, he’s always incensed, but this time he was a bit more incensed than even his highly incensed usual.) Get a load of how he starts out:

The pro-pharma, anti-nutrition mainstream media is engaged in an all-out panic over the success of Dr. Oz in teaching nutrition and disease prevention to the American public. Not surprisingly, all the usual suspects — media outlets funded by Big Pharma advertising money — have unleashed a wave of hit pieces against Dr. Oz, claiming his advice is “unproven.”

It couldn’t possibly be that Dr. Oz is coming in for criticism because his advice actually is “unproven” and, let’s face it, often disproven. Oh, no. To Adams, it has to be because there’s a conspiracy by big pharma to take Oz down. To make his point further, Adams mangles the concept of number needed to treat:

This is rather hilarious from the outset, considering the irrefutable fact that nearly all the most popular drugs don’t work on most people. The FDA will approve a drug for a disease based on a mere 5% efficacy rate, meaning the drug doesn’t work for 95% of subjects. Flu shots, even when they do work unlike the failed flu shots formulated this year, only prevent the flu in about 1 out of 100 people who receive the shots. So almost 99% of the people who take them receive no benefit (but they do get the extra bonus of mercury, as flu shots administered in the USA still contain this toxic heavy metal which is intentionally added to the formulations). I verified this myself via ICP-MS laboratory instrumentation that conducts mass spectrometry elemental analysis using a quadrupole mass analyzer. (See

At least, I think he’s mangling the idea of number needed to treat (NNT). I can’t figure out if he’s referring to that or the use of p=0.05 or less as the general level to determine statistical significance in most medical studies. In any case, the concept of number needed to treat (NNT) or, in the case of screening tests, the number needed to screen (NNS) describes how many people out of 100 or 1,000 will receive the expected help from a treatment or, in the case of a screening test, will have death or serious complications averted due to earlier detection of disease. It’s heavily dependent upon the prevalence of a disease in the population. The fewer people who normally get a disease, the higher the NNT will be.

For instance, what is Adams talking about with respect to the flu vaccine? I think it’s best described in this article, which starts out by pointing out that in a typical flu season, there’s about 3-4% of the population will get the flu:

Statistically, in well-matched years in the US, the average likelihood of getting the flu is around 4%, or one in twenty people. If you get your flu shot in well-matched years, you reduce your risk of getting the flu to 1%, or one in a hundred. In other words, it is still possible to get the flu even though you were immunized, but you have reduced your risk by 75%…A total of three people out of 100 did not come down with the flu because they were vaccinated.

So, in well-matched years, if we divide 100 people who got the flu shot by the three people who benefitted, we get a Number Needed to Treat of 33. In well-matched years, for every 33 people who get immunized, one will benefit by not getting a bout of influenza she otherwise would have suffered.

A NNT of 33 is, by the way, a fantastically good therapy. This is far better than the NNT to benefit of many, many other common therapies, like, for example, anti-depressants, anti-hypertensive drugs and prostate cancer screening.

So where did Adams’ “1 in 100” figure come from? It probably came from the fact that this year the flu vaccine is not as well matched as we would like, which could mean:

In not well-matched years, the overall risk of getting the flu drops to 2 people out of 100. The flu vaccine cuts that number in half, for a 50% risk reduction. If you do the math, one person out of 100 benefits from the flu shot, making the NNT in not well-matched years 100.

What’s the NNT of homeopathy? Or of the various bogus Ebola “biodefense” preventatives promoted by Adams and his ilk? Infinity and beyond?

As for the the bit about “toxic heavy metals,” that’s pure hilarity, as I described several months ago. Basically, it’s a case of a scientific ignoramus going wild with an expensive piece of equipment that he has no clue what he’s doing with.

Next up is a prolonged rant about the bad things big pharma has been caught doing. That’s all very well and nice, but, even if each and every depredation of big pharma described happened exactly and absolutely the way Adams describes, it wouldn’t have anything to do with the lack of scientific support for Dr. Oz’s recommendations, nor would it “prove” that the recent criticism of Dr. Oz is all a big pharma plot to discredit him. Actually, Dr. Oz does a fine job of discrediting himself, which is perhaps why Adams trotted out the old trope that hospitals and medicine are supposedly the number one cause of death.

Even more hilariously, Adams can’t resist bringing up the whole “CDC whistleblower” affair, as though that demonstrated anything. As I pointed out before, all it showed was that Andrew Wakefield was wrong about the MMR vaccine being associated with autistic enterocolitis, thanks to an utterly incompetent analysis by a man named Brian Hooker (since retracted) and the utter betrayal of a rather credulous, high strung CDC psychologist. It’s a story that has quite properly faded into the oblivion that it so richly deserved, having failed to get anyone other than antivaccine reporters like Sharyl Attkisson the least bit interested.

Adams concludes:

It is people like Dr. Oz who offer advice that can help people eliminate their need for dangerous medications and even prevent disease so they never need the meds in the first place.

Without a doubt, Dr. Oz is saving lives. Big Pharma is destroying lives, and the pro-pharma publications are co-conspirators in the shameless exploitation of human life for profit. Dr. Oz is a great American hero. He’s a beacon of truth standing out like a lighthouse above a sea of lies and deception spewed out by a pharma-funded media that has no qualms about promoting an industry that preys upon human suffering and sickness. We should all support Dr. Oz in his effort to teach people food wisdom, nutritional therapies, self-care and how to make healthy decisions that prevent disease and eliminate dependence on the corrupt medical cartels.

You know, I wonder if there’s a conflict of interest here. Adams has his lips so far up Dr. Oz’s posterior, that he’s tickling Oz’s tonsils. No doubt Adams wants to be a guest on Oz’s show again.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

100 replies on “Mike Adams defends Dr. Oz. As usual, hilarity ensues.”

Poor Mike can’t decide if Dr. Oz is a hero or a tool of Big Pharma. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that NN was bitterly attacking Oz for demonstrating support of vaccination (in an article having the following headline):

“Dr. Oz caves to Big Pharma, pimps vaccines on public after admitting he does not necessarily even vaccinate his own children with every recommended vaccine”

Oz can only depend on Adams’ support so long as he closely adheres to the sacred principles of woo.

I’m sure that Orac and his minions are aware that Mikey is habitually following his year’s end ritual by promising great scientific breakthroughs/ inventions to be unveiled in January
( see his post last Friday) compleat with a brand new website,**, where you can
“BUILD your own non-electric system for producing food, medicine and mineral supplements”.
All you need is a 3D printer or parts supplied by Mikey.

Apparently these innovations will SAVE the world or something. So when there are food shortages, financial meltdowns and riots in the streets next year and you are absolutely starving… don’t say he didn’t warn you!

** but it’s not about bread

“your own non-electric system for producing food, medicine and mineral supplements”

Isn’t that called a garden?

@ LW:

No, this is extra-special technology and requires parts which he designed and produces with his Lulzbot ™ 3D printer**.
I imagine it’s a hydroponic/ aquaponic system without electric pumps and lights

I hope that minions who know about this stuff will take a look at Mikey’s recent material.

** its real name -btw- and lulz aplenty will be produced

@ JP:

But he already sells _heirloom_ seeds… Sheesh!

It seems that our web woo-meisters are scaring people ( esp thinking moms) about ALL foods which aren’t produced at home… except for their ultra-pure products and catastrophe survival kits.

-btw- I personally eat actual poultry, vegetables, grains and dairy products and don’t need to subsist entirely on dry powders from mail order companies and dusty health food stores.
AND I know people who eat red meat- with blood dripping and everything…and sausage. and SHORTBREAD!!! and have survived!

Uh-huh. I can think of at least one friend of mine, in Portland, who’s been posting recently on Facebook that she “doesn’t trust anything she doesn’t grow in [her] own garden anymore!” I mean, don’t get me wrong, gardens are great, and you can’t beat fresh, sun-warmed basil and tomatoes. (On some crusty bread with fresh mozarella and a little balsamic vinegar… yum.) But hey, I live in an apartment, and can’t grow all that much on my windowsill, plus I like to eat fruits and veggies out of season, and I sure as heck don’t have time to do a bunch of canning and all that. (Though I do find that stuff kind of cool, when people who have time to do it do it, just because I sort of have a soft spot for self-sufficient farming type stuff.)

But yeah, the fear-mongering a,bout food really gets my goat, and it’s not doing anybody any favors. Poor people in particular need to just be eating more fruits and vegetables in general, not freaking out that they aren’t organic or there’s GMOs in the food or whatever the scare-du-jour is. Myself, I think I eat pretty sensibly. Okay, a substantial portion of my calorie intake probably comes from beer, but that has, like, vitamins and stuff in it, right?

Gin often contains a plethora of herbal essences and spices – most of which have been found to be natural medicines.

I verified this myself via ICP-MS laboratory instrumentation that conducts mass spectrometry elemental analysis using a quadrupole mass analyzer. (See

Has Mike ever posted an actual mass spectrum?

At least, I think he’s mangling the idea of number needed to treat (NNT).

It’s certainly not the correct metric for calculating benefit over time.

@ Mephistopheles O’Brien:

Whilst they’re not exactly flower pots, his kits** DO include greenhouse trays.

** Urban Window Garden
Urban Readiness Garden
Urban Countertop Garden
Complete Home Microgreen Kit
( see Store @ Natural News)

Oh crap! He does sell gardens.

“at least a case study”??? Okay, the plural of anecdotes is not data, but the singular of anecdote is not useful. Okay, now I’ll go back and finish the article 🙂

Typo…the plural of anecdote is not data. The plural is anecdotes. Which is what I wrote accidentally.

If I were in Dr. Oz’s shoes (very stylish shoes, no doubt), I would be mortified that I was being defended by the likes of the Health Deranger.
Hell, I would decide that it was time to turn in my medical licence on the grounds of being cognitively unfit to practise medicine.

Call me Mr Controversial, but I think that realizing that doctors give wrong information half the time is a rite of passage, rather like taking homeopathic cold remedies.

Methinks this research, much like the recent breathless revelation that academic institutions sex-up their press releases, would be as useful in a Christmas cracker.

I seem to remember, from my enthusiastic reading of self-sufficiency books in the 70s, that you need at least an acre to provide one or two people with all the food they need without buying any from outside. Most of this acre would be given over to beans and vegetables, with just a corner for meat animals – chickens, a pig, maybe rabbits. If you wanted milk you’d have to settle for a goat, since a cow eats too much and would need to have her forage bought in. You’d have to spend several hours a day during most of the year just looking after everything, plus canning, preserving, grinding, cooking, wood-chopping….. That’s if you’re young and fit of course – get long-term ill, or just get old and arthritic, and you couldn’t keep it up.
Mikey’s selling the suckers a fantasy as usual.

That statement that 5% of the population gets flu every year was surprising to me. Just goes to show my observations are biased as no one makes and office appt with me to say “I don’t have the flu”
However the CDC’ seasonal Infuenza Q&A page says the estimate is annually 5-20%.

The 1 in 100 thing is from Peter Doshi’s presentations at antivax conferences, like “Selling Sickness.” One of his slides features this number prominently, and it comes from his misunderstanding (apparent) of CDC flu data. Mikey’s “affiliates” have been pushing Doshi’s “scathing report” (aka opinion piece) around the last few weeks.

That statement that 5% of the population gets flu every year was surprising to me.

You can shave a point or two off if you look around, but it’s only a scaling term at the end of the cumulative individual risk day.

@ TBruce:

You can look up Dr Oz’s stylish ( but rather ugly) estate- see ‘Dr Oz’s house in Cliffside Park’.

Another fantasy merchant making a fortune off of the gullible.

The promos for Mike Adams’ garden kits at the NN store are comedy gold.

Customers are asked to believe that they will be able to raise tomatoes, turnips and cabbage on their windowsills, using plastic trays (the horror!) and “organic grow mats” under low light conditions. I hope these people have plenty of friends who’ll take all the excess from their bumper crops…

Best of all, when you fork over $159 (before shipping) for the Urban Window Garden, you’re not buying a pricey, largely useless grow kit, you’re making an Investment!!!

“Investment Hedge – Seeds are an excellent alternative investment to paper money, stocks and securities, even gold if the markets were to dive long-term.”

Yep, I’m sure you’ll be able to sell old seeds in lieu of investments to send the kids to college.

Somebody should invest a few token bucks to buy an NN kit and test the seeds and supplies at a reliable lab for heavy metals and other contaminants. Given that organically grown produce has in the past been found to have relatively high levels of such contaminants, it’d be fun to see NN’s reaction if they turned up in the seeds sold in the kits (they’d have a hard time arguing that _any_ heavy metals are insignificant, seeing how often we’ve been told there are _no_ safe levels of “toxins”).

@ Dangerous Bacon:

AS you may know, I follow these idiots’ economic/ societal predictions as well as that which they ( wrongheadedly) call ‘health advice’:
since the financial crisis they have really pulled out all the stops on fear mongering- thus it isn’t just “Bad foods will cause cancer/ heart disease’ but also
“Street gangs will rule suburbia”, “Hyperinflation will decimate your savings”, “CHINA!”, ” Food shortages”, “Police State”, “No electricity!”” on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Thus, Mike prepares his audience for each new product line over months prior to its release-
if all food is contaminated, he sells *pure* food, tested in his lab.
If societal collapse is just around the corner, he’ll show you how to survive b growing your own food ( and having gun)s.

Both he and the other idiot also recommend buying precious metal ( as old silver coins primarily) because hey, money now is just paper. Which brings us into gold bug territory.

“My father used to refer to beer as liquid bread.”

Well, we know commercial bread is bad since Food Babe says it’s made with the Yoga Mat chemical azodicarbonamide. She says azodicarbonamide must be bad since it’s banned as a food ingredient in Europe because it’s linked to respiratory illness. She doesn’t mention that this is an occupational safety regulation. The respiratory problems happen to workers who inhale the stuff during it’s manufacture. Eating it won’t hurt you a bit.

Except there isn’t any azodicarbonamide in bread after it’s baked. The heat of the oven causes it to break down into three component chemicals. Food Babe ought to know that, since she identifies one of them, semicarbazide, as a carcinogen. Except semicarbazide 1) is only maybe-a-carcinogen in humans, 2) a very weak carcinogen in any lab creature on which it’s been tested, 3) and there are only trace amounts of it in baked bread.

Oddly, what Food Babe doesn’t mention is that one of the other chemicals left after the azodicarbonamide decomposes in the oven — present in significantly higher quantities than the almost-not-there-at-all semicarbazide — is the known carcinogen urethane. You’d think FB would be all over that since she could claim you’re eating a stinky wood finish — although the stuff at Home Depot is polyurethane, a completely different thing than urethane, and Minwax etc. just drop the ‘poly-‘ to yield a less tongue-twisting product identifier, not that such subtleties have ever bothered the likes of Vani Hari.

It’s possible she’s laying off the urethane because it’s in pretty much any kind of raised bread, whether the dough was made with azodicarbonamide or not. Azodicarbonamide actually does the same thing in bread it does in Yoga Mats: create air bubbles that make the finished product more spungey. It’s the wonder in Wonder Bread. The good old yeast in regular non-Wonderful bread makes bigger more irregular holes — and leaves as much or more urethane behind in the process.

Not that there’s actually so much urethane in any kind of bread you should worry about dropping dead of cancer. There’s up to 6,000 times as much of the stuff in another yeasty consumable…

Yup, beer.

So as far as carcinogens are concerned, a glass of beer isn’t a liquid slice of bread, it might be a liquid truck-full of loaves!

Of course Food Babe runs scares about beer too, never once mentioning the caricingens created by brewers yeast that’s in every beer from Old Milwaukee to home brew. The “shocking ingedients” she wants Miller and Busch to disclose are mainly GMO grains.

If Food Babe was actually worried about folks getting cancer from air-bubble-making-stuff, you’d think Food Babe would want consumers to know how much urethane winds up in their brewski, since while it can be up to 6,000 times as much as in bread, it can be as little as 7 times as much as in bread. But then you’d be thinking Food Babe is concerned about something other than promoting Food Babe®, which in this case works out fine as air-bubble-making-stuff in any quantity is hardly on the list of top 100 carginogenic dangers most folks encounter in everyday life.

I was already thinking of dear Ms. Hari reading Mikey’s spiel on the ‘benefits’ of the grow-your-own veggies he’s touting for FoodRising.Org. “Easily grow better-than-organic foods… producing high-zinc, high-selenium, high-magnesium plants at laboratory-validated levels that vastly outpace store-bought organic produce.” Let’s see. Zinc is the stuff they use to coat galvanized hardware. Selenium is the main component in solar cells. Magnesium is used to make Posche engine blocks, and per Wikipedia “widely used for manufacturing of mobile phones.” So Health Ranger wants folks to put MORE of that stuff in our veggies than would occur in an organic growth, even though he knows cell phones cause cancer? ‘Natural’ foods? I think not!

[N.B. Circa 2001, one of my students was the child of a very high muckey-muck at Motorola. I later learned said student had confided to a close friend that Motorola had done studies showing a link between cell-phone radiations and cancer, but had hushed-up the results for obvious business reasons. Knowing the student, I neither credited nor discredited this bit of information. I wouldn’t be surprised if science someday establishes that holding a cell-signal transmitter next to your head for long periods of time does have some measurable health risk factor, and i wouldn’t be surprised if science someday definitively establishes that it doesn’t.)

“this is extra-special technology and requires parts which he produces with his Lulzbot ™ 3D printer.”
Lest that phrasing confuse the Minions, Lulzbot is a leading maker of 3D printers, and not associated with Mike Adams in any way. Health Ranger is trying to coat-tail FoodRising.Org on Lulzbot’s rep and open-source advocacy: “we are proud our LulzBot 3D printers are the first hardware product ever certified by the Free Software Foundation to Respect Your Freedom.”
The use of ‘Lulz’ in the name reflects a certain self-reflexive humor in the high-geek subculture of 3D printing. One component part of a Lulzbot printing setup is a Budaschnozzle. Nowhere on the Lulzbot site could I find any reference to FoodRising.Org, Mike Adams, or Natural News. I did however discover a tech startup is developing a system to print pizza in zero-gravity using a modified Lulzbot, with hopes of selling it to NASA.

The link you posted above where Adams had criticized Oz has joined the multitude of NN URL redirects, as it now points to: “Top ten scientific achievements of Natural News and the Health Ranger (so far)”. It seems Adams knows his Orwell, Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia. Should Oz develop the sense to put a little distance between himself and Mikey, today’s pro-Oz link will no doubt follow down the wormhole: Oceania will always have been at war with Eastasia.

Denise observed: “If societal collapse is just around the corner, [Health Ranger] will show you how to survive by growing your own food…”

And be breathlessly cheerful in the promotion!
“This is the ultimate self-reliant system for producing your own nutrition, totally off-grid — preppers and survivalists will love these solutions.”

Imho, there’s something disconcerting — and thus revealing — in a weltanschauung that accomodates “love” in a sentence referencing the Apocalypse.

Neverhteless, I suspect this is sales-hype theater on Adams’ part, as actual survivalists would know that when the grid goes down they won’t be able to order spare parts for FoodRising gizmos on the web. Which would pretty much restrict the concept to survivalists well-heeled enough to have their own wind-turbines to generate the juice to run their Lulzbots. And I’d guess Health Ranger wouldn’t devote any ad copy to a demographic of that size, so he’s appealing to a more ersatz version of social-collapse imaginings.

Imho, there’s something disconcerting — and thus revealing — in a weltanschauung that accomodates “love” in a sentence referencing the Apocalypse.

Yeah, it freaks me out too. I’ve mentioned it before, but when I was 12, after my dad had died, my mom became a Jehovah’s Witness. They’re positively ghoulish. “We have Good News! God is about to kill off 99% of the human population, including babies, in a bloody holocaust! Only the faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses shall remain!” “Uh… that’s nice.”

We had other actual survivalists around, too, growing up as I did in the backwoods. (My family had actually been around there for generations, came out on wagons, not in the 70s to go back to the land.) Mormons, Aryan nationalists, you name it. I had to be careful while indulging in one of my favorite hobbies, wandering around the woods for hours, because you might come across somebody’s mushroom patch or weed patch that they’d be defending with a dog or a shotgun.

But yeah, Mikey’s “gardens” and their promotions are hilarious. When the Apocalypse comes, we shall grow sprouts! And we shall prevail! Uh-huh. Frankly, if civilization does ever collapse, which I hope it doesn’t, I’d really rather go down with the ship…

I’m pretty sure that “Wonder” bread, by the way, is not food. Anything that I can smoosh into a ball the size of my thumb doesn’t really qualify as bread, as far as I’m concerned. My brother sure likes it, though. (Then again, he also drinks Coors Light. Pretty much exclusively.)

Oh, man, that’s really sad all the way around. I don’t recall actually running across hunters when I was out in the woods, but I was actually usually walking on private land (owned by timber companies, mostly, who didn’t care) and most people tended to hunt up in the National Forest further up the mountain. I did run across bears from time to time, though. I’d just walk away and never had a problem.

Read this post just before watching “Bug” for the I’m-embarrassed-to-say number of times. Couldn’t help but think of Mike Adams during every scene with Michael Shannon.

@Denice Walter:
>> Urban Countertop Garden

I read that as Urban Courtship Garden, and was hoping to get one on post-Christmas clearance sale!

As I mentioned previously, both Mikey and Null ( along with Trendcaster – sic- Gerald Celente) have been presenting their pre-Apocalyptic tales for a few years now.

Here is an overview/ mashup of their scenarios:
something BAD will happen ( hyperinflation, food shortages, monetary crises, gang war, riots, martial law, solar flares which wipe out the power grid, rising seas, terrorism, nuclear reactors melting down, war, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes etc)
and people will go absolutely bonkers and attack each other. .rob each other, kill each other etc….the police will flee.

Wise preppers will have already moved their abodes to the country-side where they can live sustainably and farm organically. Mikey stresses how important it is to be well-armed so that you can protect yourself, your family and your goods. Null stresses how being part of a like-minded community is paramount to survival.

People will go back to the land, farm, create crafts and barter ( since money will be worthless): they’ll select wise leaders who will steer them towards a future of abundance and spirituality.. without banks, a government, laws, police or universities ( which are especially despised by Null – I wonder why ?). Instead a committee of Wise Elders will share their knowledge and rule effectively.

Because there will always be survivors amongst the Wealthy ( who can hire protection) living in the Corrupt Cities, preppers may be able to sell pure, organic micro-greens and suchlike to them for money ( yeah, I know – contradiction) which will help the community and might be used for purchasing extra Lulzbots ™ and vitamins, I imagine. Thus these enclaves of the Pure should be within 2 hours drive of the Cities. See G. Celente ( But wait! Where’s the fuel?)

There are loads of tales like that but I am rather tired as I just returned from one of the world’s most concentrated areas of wealth and decadence where I viewed art, looked at fashion and had wine and Indian food ( but not together).

-btw- I note that these idiots prescribe diets that seem to be rather low on calories- mostly greens, sprouts, smoothies, dried seeds and other crudites.
Now they’re both supposed to be Fabulous Athletes and Big Men so how can they survive when a moderate-sized person like me needs to eat real food in order to function?

Wouldn’t all of that fibrous material lead to GI distress?

( Urban Courtship Garden..heh.. it makes more sense than what he’s selling)

Listening to Gerald Celente is almost as bad as nails on a blackboard for me. Worse, since his true believers apparently never write down any of his dire predictions they will point to what they were told he got right and ignore the fact he assured them the worst collapse in history was going to happen last October (or whenever).

I know people who garden and can in their 80s. They astonish me.

Neverhteless, I suspect this is sales-hype theater on Adams’ part, as actual survivalists would know that when the grid goes down they won’t be able to order spare parts for FoodRising gizmos on the web.

You make him sound like those Nigerian e-mail scammers ho don’t want to waste time dealing with the marginally skeptical, and who weed them out by exaggerating the crudeness of the scam. In Mikey’s case, by promoting 3D printers as a way of surviving the collapse of civilisation and the demise of infrastructure for distributing precision spare parts, raw materials, electricity and digital blueprints.

diets that seem to be rather low on calories- mostly greens, sprouts, smoothies, dried seeds

Seeds are mostly calorie rich, unless they are ground into flour, in which case all the magical goodness escapes.

Wouldn’t all of that fibrous material lead to GI distress?

Perhaps you’re thinking of the oligosaccharides in beans. Even at my most too-tired-to-cook slovenliness, I can easily get well over the RDA of dietary fiber just from my typical convenience fare.

So where did Adams’ “1 in 100″ figure come from?

If memory serves, there was an epidemiological study a few years back showing that, out of 100 unvaccinated people, about 3 of them would have a confirmed case of flu, and out of 100 vaccinated people, it will drop to about 1.6 confirmed cases.
Hence the meme about the flu vaccine effectively protecting 1 in 100.

Let’s not talk about the deep dishonesty of spinning this number on its head to claim that the flu vaccine is only efficient in 1% of the cases. By this logic, seatbelts are also very inefficient – the number of people using them is also far superior to the number people getting caught in a car accident…

Of course, that’s looking at the numbers by the large end of the spyglass. Three “minor” counterpoints could be made:
– the year this study was done, the vaccine was also not a close fit. So the protective effect is more of a bare minimum than an average result.
– the severity of the flu cases should also be compared, for a fairer study. Since the objective of a vaccine is to teach the immune system to react faster and more accurately to a pathogen, one would expect a decrease in the occurrence of complications and sequelae in vaccinated people – they may still get the illness, but they will get on top of it faster.
– 3% of people being sick may not sound a lot, but out of a population of 60 millions Frenchies or 360 millions Yankees… That’s 1.8 millions and 10.8 millions, respectively. That’s a lot of people staying home – for themselves or for taking care of a relative. That’s also far from a negligible charge on hospitals and other health services.
So lowering this number, even if only by one-third at worse, may be a perfectly sound medical, economical and political decision. The resources and grief saved at the end may be worth the investment.

tl;dr: I think Mr Adams just recycled an old argument, as per his usual modus operandi. That this argument was somewhat connected to the current situation brings back to memory the old saying about the stopped clock.

@ Denice

Instead a committee of Wise Elders will share their knowledge and rule effectively.

I’m always flabberghasted that people who have been teenagers would look forward to putting their parents back in charge of their life.

And how is it not government? I have read some ethnological accounts of faraway tribes guided by a council of Wise Elders ™, and very often the rulers are strictly limiting the freedom of the common tribesmen (and tribeswomen even more). As Pratchett put it in one of his Science of Discworld, in the tribe model, anything which is not authorized is forbidden, and anything which is authorized is mandatory.
It may not be as dire as it sounds, but that’s nothing like the level of freedom a westerner is used to. To start with, Wise Elders everywhere take a dim view of youngsters expressing a counter-opinion.
On the other hand, in any tribe of hunters-gatherers, all adult men have the right to bear weapons. So as long as there is that…

Well, I guess people get attracted to these utopia because either they believe they will be the big heroes on top, or they like the idea of not having to worry about anything anymore, because Granddad is taking over all responsibilities.

I suppose I’m biased. I have read Ravage from the French author Barjavel. The story follows exactly the scenario you describe: first the collapse of civilization, and then the survivors gathering into small technophobe agrarian tribes. I was not convinced by the utopian quality of the new world order.


I have read some ethnological accounts of faraway tribes guided by a council of Wise Elders ™, and very often the rulers are strictly limiting the freedom of the common tribesmen (and tribeswomen even more).

When I was studying social anthropology I specialized in East Africa. My professor on the subject worked with the Samburu, a gerontocracy (they are the brightly dressed people often photographed and erroneously described as Masai, who dress less photogenically, and also invent pogoing as a dance). That meant that all the post-pubertal women were married off to old men, leaving the young men full of testosterone, resentment and aggression. This used to be dealt with through hunting lions and waging war on neighboring tribes, neither of which are acceptable these days. The result is big problems, predictably.

@ Mrs Woo:

I have odd tales about Celente as my fabulous cousin, B ( of the western branch of the clan) lives near his stomping grounds- and from my own research.

It seems he moved his Trends Research nonsense to Kingston, NY, a once-thriving port on the Hudson River which has seen better days. More recently business people there have tried to ape other river towns which have enjoyed a renaissance because artists/ writers could no longer afford rents in New York City moved there and frequent trendy shops, restaurants and cafes and employ trains to commute/ visit NYC.

However his town is much further ( 100 miles away vs 50) and on the western bank thus not as feasible for commuters. He took over an old hotel building to house his institute or magazine or whatever it is that he does. He sponsored a few conferences this past year about how to navigate trends ( one cost about 900 USD IIRC). At last notice, I’ve been told he also has a restaurant there. He announced that he purchased 3 of the 4 ancient stone houses at a street corner which bills itself as having the oldest original homes in the US ( the 4th building is a historic site). He must have money.

Interestingly enough, his website *lists* his earlier predictions ( much like Mikey does @ healthranger) so readers might gauge his accuracy. heh. heh. Very WISE of them)

I notice that he ( like Adams and Null) make sensationalistic claims that will occur ” in 24 months”- which may be hard for readers to track. The economy will always fail, there will be a police state, food shortages etc.

During the darkest days of the Great Recession – at market lows( March 2009) , Null told his fervent thralls to take all of their money out for the market, bonds and banks and BUY precious metals. Get out of real estate in and around cities Move to the country..
I understand that his economic mentor is Celente.

Now imagine if people had followed that advice.
Guess who did the exact opposite?

@ Narad:


But they also recommend ultra-light fare- primarily leafy greens and ‘watery’ fruits. If you check Null’s eponymous site, photos of his retreats in Florida and Texas illustrate what they feed their guests. Artfully arranged low calorie stuff. And guests are supposed to exercise for hours on that!

Seriously, I require 1800-2000 calories per day and while I exercise a few hours a week, I’m not obsessed. And I’m not very large.
I couldn’t live on salads.

Mike’s regime is more focused upon smoothies consisting of fruit and dried superfoods. He has videos of his recipes.

@ Helianthus:

But they don’t advocate making their parents the leaders for THEY are the wise elders/ soon-to-be elders.

It must be medicinal, for we aren’t drinking it for the flavour.

Seems to be out of my price range. I will say that a Malört-focused cuisine has yet to develop. Then again, the insight behind a sauce of bitters and sorrel is not immediately apparent to me.

@ Johnny:

I just noticed that- ‘comments closed’ at Epic Times.

Jake, who was *so* critical of AoA for not printing his comments now … uh.. er. doesn’t ALLOW comments at ET and moderates heavily @ AI.

Take a bow, minions ( you know who you are) – your work is complete.


@Johnny (49)

Thanks for the link.

I don’t have time to keep up with Jake or AoA and if the comment just before Jake’s is typical I’m not missing much.

The commenter links to a short video of an interview of Wolf Blitzer talking to Ben Carson about Carson’s Godwin-like comparison of the U.S. to Nazi Germany. They think Wolf Blitzer was being unfair to Carson for suggesting he modify that comparison!!!
Evidently the IRS is just like the Nazis who ran the concentration camps ?!?!?!?

Jake, who was *so* critical of AoA for not printing his comments now … uh.. er. doesn’t ALLOW comments at ET

I’ve left a comment asking why he ham-fistedly memory-holed the entire thread that set him off rather than just closing it to new entries.

he ‘memory-holed the entire thread’ because of various comments made by you, lilady, EpiRen, Reuben, justthestats et al who called him out on his facts, methods, journalism etc.

he ‘memory-holed the entire thread’ because of various comments made by you, lilady, EpiRen, Reuben, justthestats et al who called him out on his facts, methods, journalism etc.

I’ve never commented on the ET stuff, as I have exactly one Disqustink pseudonym, which for historical reasons isn’t this one. The only thing that seems to have changed over there is lilady.

^ Fun fact, though: it’s possible to downvote comments on a Disqustink thread that has been pseudo-disappeared in this fashion even for a user who hides their comments using wget (and, presumably, curl).

@ Narad:

I thought that you were amongst the scoffers at ET as well as at AI. Memory is funny like that.
Is it possible to resurrect the recently departed thread via wayback or suchlike? I’ll drink to that!

“he ‘memory-holed the entire thread’ because of various comments made by you, lilady, EpiRen, Reuben, justthestats et al who called him out on his facts, methods, journalism etc.”


“I’ve never commented on the ET stuff, as I have exactly one Disqustink pseudonym, which for historical reasons isn’t this one. The only thing that seems to have changed over there is lilady.”

There’s a back story to my posts at Jake’s Epoch Times blog.
I’ve got my very own cyber stalking “Imposter” on the Disqus commenting platform (lielady R.N.) who opened her account several months ago, specifically to harass me and confuse other commenters, and who follows me on Disqus, whenever I post comments under my Disqus ‘nym lilady R.N. She’s posted more than 300 vile comments at “lilady R.N.”.

So…because I am a naif when it comes to computer technology, I reached out to an email buddy who put me in touch with a nice person who assisted me in securing my Disqus account to protect my real identity. Ain’t nobody going to find my real identity through my Disqus commenting account.

BTW, Jake replied to one of my comments using his own name, minutes before he changed his name to “guest” and closed down his Epoch Times blog to any more comments and wiped out the existing comments. I replied to Jake/guest on the Disqus website and there have been no more comments from Jake or “guest” directed at me.

@ lilady:

So it was you, oh scourge of anti-vaxxers!
I’m sure that Jake, playing investigative reporter, will find you out…. only in his dreams.
Score another one for Orac’s minions!

I wrote a blog post about Jake’s commenting antics, with screenshots of him telling lilady why he loaths her. (Hint: She’s apparently poisoned kids with vaccines.) I don’t want to start a war with him. (The post talks about his attacks on me and accusations that I have threatened him, accusations he never ever has substantiated.) But I’ll post it if, by popular acclamation, you guys ask me to. :-p

@ Denice Walter: Nah, I’m but an insignificant person in the fight for truth, justice, the American Way…and vanquishing the anti-vaxxers. And, but for that wonderful person who helped me to secure my identity on the Disqus platform, I would not have ventured on to any of Jake’s posts on Epoch Times.

All in favor of Ren posting about this sordid situation on his own blog, raise your hands//raises both hands.

Due to having to do things with my family I have not visited the Epoch post. But I did get a cached version of the comments, and I’ll be reading it now. So far it is highly amusing.

Thanks for that Reuben.

My cyber stalking “Imposter” is lurking here right now. She really is fixated on me and on Orac. I just received this in my email:

“lielady, R.N. BS

BTW, Jake replied to one of my comments using his own name, minutes before he changed his name to “guest” and closed down his Epoch Times blog to any more comments and wiped out the existing comments. I replied to Jake/guest on the Disqus website and there have been no more comments from Jake or “guest” directed at me.”

Good grief, you are an idiot!!

When you comment under your name and then go back and delete the comment, it removes your name from the comment and changes it to Guest. This is a standard Disqus problem that everyone knows about.

The stupid…it burns!!!

11:53 p.m., Sunday Dec. 28 | Other comments by lielady, R.N. BS”

No need for caches. The comments are all here

You might actually be looking at a local browser–cached version of the page; that link is giving a naive Disqustink-enabled browser zippo-bang from my vantage point.

The most recent comment as of this writing is from EpiRen, “Also, you can delete the comment form on your blog post, but they’re all on the disqus forums. I’ll be sure to take screen shots.” If the foregoing link shows that for everybody else, then the problem is on my side.

No, wait, as of that writing, it was Reuben, “Why did Jake delete the comment? Does he have something to hide?” (2014-12-29T05:12:35)

The stuff is a pain to read without pretty-printing.

Glad you caught that comment that Reuben made was in reply to my personal cyber stalking “Imposter”… 42 minutes after her reply (I posted her comment @ # 66 above, in its entirety).

Here is the link to “lielady RN BS’s” comment on the Epoch Times:

She lurks on RI all the time and is probably lurking right now, because she is fixated on me and on Orac. It must suck to be her and the totally vicarious empty life she leads.

Here is the link to “lielady RN BS’s” comment on the Epoch Times

OK, that worked with an even more ancient browser.

I’ve never claimed to be “standards compliant,” to my recollection.

Narad…I’m still a computer naif and I still don’t understand at least half of the computerese terminology you post here. 🙂

Jake’s explanation for shutting down/removing the comments from this Epoch Times blog…and any future posts he puts up…is pure comedy gold:

“Jake Crosby on December 28, 2014 at 3:47 pm said:

All – comments under The Epoch Times version of this post have been closed due to ongoing abusive and harassing comments from certain trolls. Sorry to anyone who has been following the rules and lost comments in the process. From now on, please comment on articles here at AI and not through The Epoch Times website. Comments will be closed on all future Epoch Times posts.

Thank you.”

Reuben’s got the goods on Jake…and so does Ren.

My persistent personal cyber-stalking “Imposter” Troll posted yet another rant at me, one hour ago, just parroting my comment post @ 70 above…and some other totally indecipherable gibberish. Heh. She claims she posts on Respectful Insolence every week…under a different ‘nym.

@ Ren:

Great documentation.

-btw- a few years ago, whilst engaged in a *tete a tete* with Jake, I asked him how likely was it that far-reaching conspiracies- actually, an entangled imbroglio of conspiracieS involving thousands of people around the world- existed rather than a single fraudster making up data ( meaning Andy, of course) who GOT CAUGHT.

What I wrote above is of course a paraphrase and a synopsis of my comments which I must declare presently or else Jake might accuse me of self-plagiarism or suchlike.

So far he hasn’t reported me to anyone for either that or my questioning previously.

Anyway, I occasionally giggle to myself when I imagine how he will manage a dissertation. Since he doesn’t tolerate criticism- especially coming from so-called authorities employed by the Matrix or whatever it is he imagines.

And keep up the good work, Rene.

Good luck at Hopkins, Ren!

And thanks to Reuben for sharing the link.
It looks fine for me on Chrome.

I haven’t been keeping up with Disqus much lately, but I logged in to upvote a few of those comments.

Taking our friend’s cue , I g—gled ( actually binged) *Jake Crosby* and here’s what I got- in order- on the first page:

Autism Investigated
Age of Autism
RI ( an article about JC)
Images of several guys including him
an environmental engineer at UC at Boulder
several guys on Facebook
a detective novel with a character named JC
Epic Times
Encyclopaedia of American Loons
Boulder guy again

I feel for Jake. I really do. Imagine growing up believing that you’re defective, damaged, even toxic, and making it your life’s mission to right that wrong that was done. Imagine being betrayed by your friends and realizing that they are dishonest and unethical. Furthermore imagine the cognitive dissonance piling up as you gain more knowledge and have to fight that nagging feeling that everything you thought you knew was wrong. Imagine having alienated yourself from pretty much everyone on every side of the one issue you care so passionately about.

@ justthestats:

Well, there is a way out of that fiasco:
you can admit mistakes and go on with your life- and you may even garner some respect from your audience by doing so.

A few years ago, I still had hope for his transformation but these days, I’m not so optimistic. BUT you never know.

@ Ren:

Ha! I don’t know if I’d call him that..
.I’d go with ‘entitled twerp’, ‘proto-wanker’ **, ‘waste of professors’ time’.

That does sound somewhat mean-spirited though- but I’m being honest.

** i.e. not quite up to it yet

Re. this:

‘Dr. Oz is a great American hero. He’s a beacon of truth standing out like a lighthouse above a sea of lies and deception spewed out by a pharma-funded media that has no qualms about promoting an industry that preys upon human suffering and sickness.’

Try this:

‘Dr. Oz is a great Marxist-Leninist hero. He’s a beacon of revolutionary truth standing out like a lighthouse above a sea of lies and deception spewed out by the running-dog lackeys of capitalism who have no qualms about promoting an ideology that preys upon human suffering and exploitation.’


Does anyone think that Jake’s physical stalking of respected scientists, researchers, physicians and science blogger/science journalists is appropriate behavior for him to engage in?

What about Jake’s communicating with Dr. G’s and Rene’s employers, and making outrageous false claims about Dr. G’s supposed conflict of interest/accepting of Big Pharma money and Rene’s supposed threats directed toward Jake? Is that acceptable behavior?

I’ve read every one of Jake’s 200 + posts when he was a contributing editor at AoA and most of them were “hit jobs” filled with libelous lies and filled with Jake’s unique six-sixty-six hundred degrees of separation analyses of his subjects’ supposed connections to big pharma, big gubmint and other nefarious connections.

Poor Jake, now he’s complaining that his post on the Epoch Times was attacked by “trolls” and he had to shut down the comments and remove all the existing comments from his blog post. Welcome to the real world Jake…it’s the world where you cannot moderate comments out of existence, just because they don’t appeal to you and just because they question your faulty critical thinking skills and conclusions.

@ lilady:

He’s working towards a doctorate- and altho’ I’m too lazy today to look up specific requirements at his U- I’ll venture that it includes *original research* which will be written up and questioned in some manner.

Does he seriously think that he can find supporters amongst the faculty who will allow him to persist in his folly when his ideas ( if we can dignify his material by calling it that) are totally out of line with SB epi in the real world where most of his profs/ committee/ etc probably live?

His adventures at GWU were enabled by the U’s association with the Geiers via Young and Geier Jr IIRC. Please don’t tell me he found another mentor to his liking in Texas as well.

Texas is a quack paradise. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Young Master Jake managed to find an Geier-equivalent in Texas.

Orac the Obstacle. Pushing Fascist medicine that frys your brain. What a paragon of filth…

And you consider yourself a medical professional.

You are a NAZI. Period. I hope you die by the same ‘medicine’ you damn your patients to……10,000 shots all at once.

j”Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

Fing chicken shit.

Someone should meet you in a dark alley and give you every shot/vaccine that has ever been made. AT ONCE.

Silly boy. First time commenters always get hung up in moderation. It cuts down on comment spam.

Perhaps the next time I’m in the Cleveland area, assuming you’re not visiting family and abusing their wifi connection (at least that’s where your IP address resolves to, assuming you’re not using a proxy). Or perhaps not.

“Dr. Oz made the horrific mistake of having Adams as a guest on his show and presenting him as a “food safety” activist.”

Now I know why you are whining. Nobody IMPORTANT wants you on their show!


OA, such a brilliant use of science and evidence! My goodness, we are astounded at your mastery of the English language.

So we shall all change and start worshiping [insert name of TV celebrity of choice] as you command.


Wait, what? It is not “Htrae Tongue in Cheek Opposite Day”? Then never mind.

@ Chris:

Ha! My father had his own version of that mode- he’d say the exact opposite of what he meant in an arch manner:
‘That’s SO brilliant!”
‘How wonderful that is!’
” We’re fortunate to learn that!”

I can usually manage it with a straight face. It doesn’t always come across effectively in print but I try.

Altho’ I didn’t intend it, my comment to Chris is awaiting moderation because I accidentally hit submit w/o my usual ‘nym. You’ll see.

Wow. I went offline for several hours and missed OA’s “brilliant” comments.

Denice Walter/Orac: I’m certain Jake will be able to find a kindly mentor to help him through his dissertation. IIRC, Uncle Alex’s six year appointment as a Regent on the U-Texas Governing Board ends during 2017.

A kindly mentor? Sure. But an entire dissertation committee willing to sign off on anything other than Ph.D.-level work would be quite a challenge to find.

Well, suppose society/civilization were to collapse in the manner Mike Adams says it will. Who would the types of people who would most likely survive such a collapse? How would they rebuild society afterwards? Or would they remain technophobic agrarians, as some sci-fi stories predict? What do historical records of societal collapses tell us?

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