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Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop double down on quackery by featuring an HIV/AIDS denialist and antivaccine quack at its upcoming Goop Summit

Earlier this year, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop held a quackfest in New York City. Well, the second in Goop Health quackfest is coming in January, and Goop is doubling down on the quackery by featuring Dr. Kelly Brogan, HIV/AIDS denialist and antivaccine and anti-psychiatry quack.

As amazing as it is, I hadn’t really paid much attention to Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s online empire devoted to selling “health, beauty, and wellness” to (primarily) women until earlier this year. Oh, sure, I was both amused and alarmed a couple of years ago over reports of Gyneth Paltrow recommending that women steam their vaginas, although I had noticed the trend before I had ever heard of Paltrow’s Goop. And, yes, I did notice when Dr. Jen Gunter had some fun mocking Goop’s sale of jade eggs almost a year ago. In case you don’t remember, jade eggs are highly polished, egg-shaped pieces of jade that Goop sells for $55-$66 a pop and that are intended for women to stick up their vaginas, If you believe Goop and Paltrow, jade eggs provide all sorts of wonderful benefits, such as stronger orgasms, balancing hormones, and improve “female energy.” Oh, and jade eggs provide crystal healing. Lots of crystal healing. However, Jen Gunter and Tim Caulfield did such a good job taking down this ludicrous nonsense that this appeared to be one of those rare circumstances where there wasn’t much left for Orac to have fun with.

Then Goop did something that even I couldn’t resist commenting about. It started advertising a product that reminded me of one of the most woo-tastically quacky bits of nonsense I had ever seen in the 13 year history of this blog. Basically, Goop was promoting something known as Body Vibes stickers, which were basically stickers to which miraculous properties were attributed, such as restoring the human body’s “ideal energetic frequency” and “targeting imbalances.” These stickers even used something their manufacturer called its patented Bio Energy Synthesis Technology, which supposedly, when functional, will “hold bio frequencies to the substrate material.” All for prices ranging from $120 for a pack of 24 stickers to $60 for a 10-pack. What a bargain. The laughing over that particular bit of ridiculousness apparently caused something to snap in Goop editors, because after that, Goop, echoed by Gwyneth Paltrow herself, launched a counterattack against Dr. Jen Gunter and other skeptics. As I noted at the time, the doctors who wrote those counterattack articles were not exactly what you would refer to as science-based. In fact, they were pretty darned quacky. Sadly, though, none of this richly deserved mockery of Goop and Paltrow seemed to slow down in the least their raking in of huge quantities of cash hand over fist. In June, Goop held its “Goop Summit,” and easily continued to sell lots of expensive nonsense to credulous people with more time and money than sense.

Well, the second Goop Summit is nearly upon us. Scheduled for January 27, 2018 in New York City, the second Goop Summit, dubbed in Goop Health, looks to be at least as quacky as the first Goop quackfest. Tickets range from $650 for the “Turmeric” level to $2,000 for the Ginger level, and both levels are sold out. One thing, however, that people have been noticing, is just how quacky one of the keynote speakers for the event is. This time around, Goop is giving a highly coveted platform to a genuine HIV/AIDS denialist, psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan:

As Joanna Rothkopf reported for Jezebel, a doctor named Kelly Brogan, who will be featured in January’s Goop summit (a ticketed event run by Goop that includes panels with health professionals and other “trusted experts,” as the site refers to them), published a since-deleted blog post with false claims contradicting proven medical knowledge. In 2014, Brogan, a private-practice psychiatrist based in New York, called the idea that HIV is the cause of AIDS a “meme”—a fleeting cultural concept or catchphrase passed around the internet—rather than the established fact that health authorities worldwide consider it. “Drug toxicity associated with AIDS treatment may very well be what accounts for the majority of deaths,” Brogan wrote.

Asked about those statements in the blog post, which is still available here, in an interview with Newsweek, Brogan called the link between HIV and AIDS an “assumption.” That assertion directly contradicts medical knowledge; according to the National Institutes of Health, there is abundant evidence that HIV causes AIDS.

I checked out the article referenced, which is no longer on Brogan’s website but, thanks to the almighty Wayback Machine at is still available. It’s worth citing more of Brogan’s post, dated November 22, 2014, just to remind everyone what an utter quack she is. In her post, Brogan approvingly cites HIV/AIDS denialist Celia Farber’s claims about HIV/AIDS:

This fact would be less concerning if this trial was not the foundation of empirical treatment of pregnant women around the world with a medication so toxic, it kills mother and their unborn. She raises questions about assumptions we have come to believe are truths –

That HIV is a meaningful diagnosis (she references the false positive testing likelihood in pregnancy, the unstandardized lab standards from country to country, and the abandonment of even those criteria in Africa where an HIV diagnosis can be conferred based on symptoms like malaise and diarrhea alone).

That HIV causes AIDS (a syndrome of 25 illnesses that does not satisfy Koch’s postulates of infectious disease).

That drug toxicity associated with AIDS treatment may very well be what accounts for the majority of deaths.

Farber also references the role of vitamin A in reducing HIV transmission, if we are to accept the clinical relevance of this concern, and how unacknowledged the role of nutrition is in infectious disease – stating that before the discovery of niacin and vitamin C, pellagra and scurvy were thought to be contagious.

See the nonsense there, particularly the bit about AIDS being a “syndrome of 25 illnesses that does not satisfy Koch’s postulates.” One analysis of Farber’s 2006 article in Harper’s Magazine, Out of Control, counted 16 misleading claims, 25 false claims, ten instances of unfairly ascribing evil motives to someone or an entity without evidence, and five examples of obvious bias, but Brogan accepts Farber’s article as brilliant reporting, noting, “Through the lens of human ecology, we see that forcing a system to adapt to a pharmaceutical grade chemical is a misguided assault on their very humanity.” Elswhere in the article she claims, “Because we have barely observed the natural course of a now-labeled pathology, we attribute toxicity of medication and treatment to the disease process itself or to other incidental variables, giving pharmaceutical companies a wide birth to harm us, and even kill us.” The problem, of course, is that by 2006 we certainly had observed the natural course of untreated HIV. One of the aspects of HIV natural history that gives denialists a target is the variability in the rate of its progression and the long time that can lapse between infection and the onset of severe immunodeficiency leading to opportunistic infections. No wonder she linked to Rethinking AIDS, one of the oldest HIV/AIDS denialist groups and an article on GreenMedInfo about Angelina Jolie that basically denied that cancer-causing genes in fact cause cancer.

As befits a former speaker at the antivaccine quackfest known as Autism One and someone who’s laid down some neuron-apoptosing ignorance about Gardasil with Sayer Ji, Brogan approvingly mentions William, Thompson, of the “CDC Whistleblower” conspiracy theory hatched by Brian Hooker and Andrew Wakefield in 2014.

Yes, Brogan is antivaccine to the core, as well. She published an E-book entitled Vaccines and Brain Health that is chock full of antivaccine misinformation. In it, she implies or outright claims that vaccines can cause depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders, citing a “peer-reviewed” article that she published in a bottom-feeding alternative medicine journal on the topic. Lots of the antivax greatest hits are there: Vaccines as a cause of “inflammation” (never mind that getting the actual diseases vaccinated against cause way, way more inflammation than any vaccine); the claim that vaccines cause neurodevelopmental disorders like autism, as well as psychicatric disorders like anorexia, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She even cites Anthony Mawson’s utterly execrable study comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated children and claiming to find that unvaccinated children are much healthier than vaccinated children. It was a study so risibly awful that it received an extra helping of not-so-Respectful Insolence when it was ultimately retracted. She also appears to buy into all the usual fear mongering about aluminum adjuvants, as provoked by a recent terrible study by Christopher Exley, as well as a number of other “greatest hits” as well:

Furthermore, the vaccine schedule is a one-size-fits-all approach that has never (not once) been studied in its ever-growing entirety. Additionally, vaccine formulations have never been studied against a true placebo for FDA approval. These studies can be even further compressed since the introduction of ‘fast- tracking’ in 1992, a method that pharmaceutical companies can pay extra for to accelerate FDA approval of their vaccine candidates, like Gardisil. These fast- tracked vaccines are often studied against false ‘placebos,’ like aluminum or another vaccine, raising the background rate of adverse events and ultimately making it impossible to identify the true risks of the vaccine relative to non- intervention. When they are, like in the Cowling et al study of the flu vaccine, the results are not industry-favorable – this study showed a 4x increase risk of non-flu infection after receiving the seasonal shot.

Ah, the “no true placebo” study trope. It’s nonsense, of course. What antivaxers mean when they say this is that many vaccine studies look at the vaccine versus vaccine minus the actual antigens and including the aluminum adjuvant. This is, of course, the scientifically rigorous way to do a trial: Use controls that have everything except the “active ingredient” of the vaccine. However, antivaxers who fear aluminum and ascribe all sorts of evil to this particular adjuvant claim that such studies obscure reactions due to the aluminum. Of course, for many vaccines, it’s not too hard to find randomized controlled clinical trials using saline-only controls. Whenever an antivaxer says that there are no studies using “correct” controls, they’re either lying, parrotting antivaccine talking points, or ignorant. Brogan also invokes the “toxins gambit.” On steroids. Seriously, I might have to do a post just about this E-book, except that it would probably have to be a multi-part post. The misinformation, pseudoscience, and outright lies are just that numerous and densely packed. To give you an idea, she even cites the “deathbed confession” of Louis Pasteur in which he supposedly “admitted” that the “microbe is nothing.” The claim that Pasteur’s last words were to admit that he was wrong is a myth long promulgated by Bill Maher and germ theory denialists. (Yes, such people exist.) Denying germ theory is a very common belief among HIV/AIDS denialists and antivaxers, and Brogan goes down that path as well:

And what about contagion? Has it ever actually been proven that germs travel from one person to another and infect them? Does a yawn spread that way? What about women’s menstrual cycles syncing up when they live together? What about fear-induced illness, which is strikingly demonstrated in a study in which women who were convinced that they were inhaling “contaminated air” got sick when they saw others get sick from it – despite the fact that there was nothing wrong with the air[6]. Then there’s people who only get symptoms of the cold when they believe themselves to be unwell at baseline; perhaps they sense not their immunological vulnerability, but the need for their body to take an opportunity to rebalance[7].

Yes, Dr. Brogan. It has been demonstrated many, many times that “germs” travel from person to person and infect them, causing disease. Where on earth did you get your medical degree? Consistent with her invocation of the myth of Pasteur’s deathbed recantation of germ theory, Brogan goes full Bechamps, only gussying up Bechamps idea that “the germ is nothing” and the “terrain is everything” (i.e., germs can’t make healthy people with an “inhospitable terrain” sick):

Germs as pathogens is a complex question that science has contributed rich literature to in the past two decades. With the dawn of the microbiome – our inner ecology that reveals not only our harmonious relationship to but our dependency on the very microbes we have demonized – everything about orthodox medicine should have changed. Including the discovery of so-called viruses embedded in our own genomic material, calling into question whether or not viruses actually exist in the way we have assumed. Has a discrete virus, deemed unable to exist independently, ever been visualized under electron microscopy – or are we still inferring? What about exosomes –the packets of genetic material that travel between the environment and our physiology and influence gene expression? Science is revealing that these exosomes look a little too much like viruses for our comfort, leaving us, once again seeing the enemy as a critical part of ourselves.

Quacks, particularly those inclined to deny germ theory, do so love new science on the microbiome, because they think it demonstrates that it’s the “terrain” that’s the problem. Here’s the thing. There’s nothing about germ theory that’s incompatible with the idea that there are also beneficial microorganisms living on and in us that disrupting this “microbiome” can make us more susceptible to disease. Heck, we’ve known an example of this for decades, namely how antibiotics can wipe out the colonic flora and leave us susceptible to C. difficile colitis. I’m surprised she didn’t invoke epigenetics in her post. Quacks love epigenetics almost as much as they love the microbiome. Oops. I spoke too soon.

Brogan endorses the use of coffee enemas to “detox your mood”; so no pseudoscience or quackery is beyond her.

Indeed, it’s not surprising that Brogan advocates coffee enemas for anything. Her mentor was, as she describes him, the “late, great Nicholas Gonzalez“:

My mentor, the late, great Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, was one specific influence in my life that reinforced this fearless approach to illness. He helped to blast away any residual carve-outs -any circumstances in which I might say, ‘well that does require conventional medicine.’ As I studied and learned of his natural healing protocol that enabled decades-long outcomes with terminal cancer patients, I knew that there was, indeed, nothing to be afraid of. Ever. And when patients who had otherwise been hexed by the medical establishment met with him, they too shed their fear in favor of faith in the body’s capacity to self-regulate and heal, even if part of the healing looked like sickness. And they did heal, by the hundreds.

While Nick had a protocol based on personalized nutrition, detox, and supplementation (one that has greatly informed my own), is it possible that this protocol only fortified the body’s self-healing response, but that it wasn’t actually what healed the patient?

Nicholas Gonzalez was a cancer quack who peddled a version of the Gerson therapy for cancer, complete with lots of supplements, juices, and, of course, coffee enemas to “detoxify” the liver and body. Through a cherry picked “best case series” of twelve patients with advanced pancreatic cancer treated with his protocol who did better than expected, his advocates finagled an NIH grant to do a randomized trial of his protocol. When the results were published, it was a disaster—for patients on the Gonzalez protocol, whose median survival was around one-third that of patients receiving standard-of-care. The Gonzalez protocol was, not unexpectedly, worse than useless for pancreatic cancer. Gonzalez, of course, made excuses for the failure of his protocol, but none of them could explain such a huge difference in outcomes between the two groups in the trial. None of this stopped him from, in his later years, claiming that he could have saved Steve Jobs if only Jobs had come to him.

She’s also very much into the quackery known as the German New Medicine which posits that cancer is actually the body’s healing reaction to some sort of internal conflict that the patient might not even be aware of and that this conflict must be dealt with in order to heal the patient. Actually, it’s not just cancer. German New Medicine is a theory of everything in medicine, postulating that all disease is due to a “shock experience that catches us completely off guard” and that the remnants of these psychic shocks can be visualized on CT as a “lesion that is clearly visible on a brain scan as a set of sharp concentric rings.” This is all utter twaddle, of course, as is the French bastard offspring of the German New Medicine, Biologie Totale. To Brogan, cancer therapy treatment “with chemotherapy and radiation not only disrupts a complex process that needs to actually be supported, but also it induces secondary harm, both psychically and physiologically. When we interfere and war with the body, we keep the fight alive – you can’t win the battle against yourself. This is the sort of quackery that kills.

I could go on, but I’ll stop there. I can’t, however, finish without also noting that, for a psychiatrist, Brogan is an anti-psychiatry crank who’s cranky enough that I wondered if she is a Scientologist. If you peruse her blog, it won’t take you long to find posts basically advocating treating depression by basically overcoming it yourself and describing a “natural antidepressant journey.” This is some grade-A, weapons-grade dangerous advice here, the sort of stuff that, were a depressed patient to take it, potentially lead to suicide. This is one of the keynote speakers appearing with celebrities, such as Drew Barrymore, Chelsea Handler, Laura Linney, Meg Ryan, and more, and other dubious medical people and “therapists” whom I don’t have the energy to discuss in this post.

One wonders what these celebrities would think if they knew they were going to be sharing the stage with an HIV/AIDS denialist, antivaccine activist, anti-psychiatry ranter to rival any Scientologist, and all around quack like Kelly Brogan. I keep hoping someone will ask them the next time they do a major interview.

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]

83 replies on “Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop double down on quackery by featuring an HIV/AIDS denialist and antivaccine quack at its upcoming Goop Summit”

Well, Brogan is a certified KRI Kundalini Yoga teacher and on the board of GreenMedInfo, so there.

She also is said to have graduated from Cornell University Medical College and done postgraduate training at NYU, where they are hopefully wearing bags over their heads in response to her (relative) celebrity.

If any Cornell faculty members need a bag, I can lend them the one I use as a UBC graduate for the shame of Shaw and Tomljenovic.

BTW, Dr Jen Gunter and Jezebel also put the boots to Goop and Brogan.

Given that Brogan feels she knows more than every doctor about everything, one would expect to find her working with the most ill patients in New York, curing them of their diseases, emptying out the hospitals and ERs. Instead, she charges $4,500 for a first visit and screens out potential patients to make sure none of them are really that sick to begin with. She has spent infinitely more time on stage and in front of movie cameras patting herself on the back for being “awake,” than actually caring for sick people. Meanwhile, anonymous interns spend hours in the hospital actually trying to heal.

My only objection to the recent criticism she has been receiving is that she is being called “anti-medication.” This is false. She is very pro-medication/pro-chemical, so much so that she runs an online empire of chemicals (and other products) she sells. Click on the link and take a good look at corporate medicine.

$4500 (cash only, I presume) for an initial visit? I can at least take comfort in knowing that “Dr” Brogan is scamming the worried wealthy, rather than impoverishing people in actual need.

Is miss Brogan a doctor, or does she run a food-store?
At that resources link, I find links to 2 meat-stores, a fish-store, real salt (probably much more expensive than ordinary table-salt, I can buy a whole bag of, for something like 30 cents, which will be enough for several years, and a whole lot of other stuff which probably can be bought cheaper in any ordinary grocery-store.

“Has a discrete virus, deemed unable to exist independently, ever been visualized under electron microscopy – or are we still inferring?”

This is a truly outrageous statement. Boatloads of these images have been published and can be easily found using Dr. Google, including the original papers in Science reporting the discovery of what is now called HIV. Those papers included electron micrographs of the viral particles budding from cells.

I suppose that this is not terribly surprising for a psychiatrist. There are enourmous problems in that field which deals with syndromes that have no biological markers. I have run into another psychiatrist who is into her own special form of quackery, and I have been wondering just how widespread that is. Maybe it is more widespread than I would be comfortable with,

Including the discovery of so-called viruses embedded in our own genomic material, calling into question whether or not viruses actually exist in the way we have assumed.

It’s unclear to me just what this “question” is supposed to be.

I’m embarrassed to say that, for a short time some decades ago, I was dubious about HIV (among other names) being the cause of AIDS, even though I did not rule it out. My doubt derived mainly because all of Koch’s postulates were not fulfilled at the time.

Koch’s postulates were fulfilled many years ago and there is no more doubt that untreated HIV will progress to AIDS.

The question was resolved by ongoing scientific research.

Only quacks would deny the HIV/AIDS connection these days

Naturopaths are bad enough, but quacky MDs are far worse; most people haven’t really heard of NDs, but a “real” doctor endorsing such garbage could cause lots of damage.

A quack a day keeps the un-harmonious frequencies away! That and they make your wallet so much lighter for carrying…

Brogan is also very much into nutritional quackery, and full of anti-GMO nonsense.

“Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) have become a staple in the Standard American Diet. Beyond being a population-wide experiment in manipulating nature’s design, these foods, by definition, have been heavily treated with pesticides and herbicides. Since these chemicals have been designed to kill, it make sense that they’re quite toxic to our own human and microbial cells. Indeed, studies have shown that the common pesticide Roundup (glyphosate) causes cancer.

Alarmingly, these chemicals have been found in fetuses and breast milk, showing that the toxins used in modern farming are harming generations to come. Roundup is toxic to fetal cells and can lead to birth defects. This toxicant disrupts our microbiome, messing with the production of essential amino acids like tryptophan, absorption of minerals, and detoxification in the liver.

In addition to Roundup, the primary herbicide sprayed on GMOs like soy, GMOs also carry a variety of other toxicants that may be even more harmful in combination than alone. As even non-GMO foods can be contaminated with pesticides, I advise my clients, especially those suffering from depression, to eat organic.”

Too many depressing falsehoods to count. And Brogan seems blissfully unaware that organic crops are also treated with pesticides and herbicides, some more toxic than what are used in “conventional” agriculture.

Paltrow and her Goop cash cow have rejected anything remotely based in science so legitimate medical professionals are going to be very hard to come by to shill for her over-priced woo. But Brogan is really scraping the bottom-of-the-barrel for people with “Dr.” attached to their names to promote this crap. At best Paltrow and Goop did not vet Brogan and at worst, are fine with her harmful anti-science position. Either way, it’s going to bite Paltrow in the bum.

“And they did heal, by the hundreds”
That they all passed away almost immediately from completely unrelated causes, as determined by Dr. Gonzalez, is strictly coincidental.

One thing that stunned me when I finally figured it out is how many people diagnose themselves with cancer based on a lump or a spot or even just a general feeling. Or they get diagnosed by a healer, or a mystic, or a psychic. They then have to buy the green juice and coffee to heal themselves, and get retested and declared healed.

Of course adrenal fatigue, chronic Lyme, Morgellon’s and who knows what else work that way, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that people make themselves have cancer. But I was. I’ve had cancer, an aggressive and badly located basal cell carcinoma, so more disfiguring than anything else, but I cannot imagine imagining that for myself. Hell, it took me forever to admit that it was cancer in the first place.

That reminds me of a lady I met once who extolled the virtues of cranberries to treat UTIs. The science is a bit more restrained; there is modest evidence that consuming lots of cranberries — and I do mean lots — can reduce the rate of UTIs, but there is no evidence it can treat one that’s already started. I mentioned this to her, and she assured me that in fact, she knew, because she got a bladder infection once a month! Like clockwork! And every time, she’d take cranberry extract pills, and it would go away.

Now, I have a urinary diverticulum, and consequently am intimately familiar with the symptoms of a real bladder infection. I gently asked her if she went to the doctor for the infections, and she assured me that no, she did not, as there was no need; she knew what to do.

Yeah, she almost certainly never had an infection in the first place. (And if she did, and it came back within a few weeks, the cranberries didn’t work.) I refuse to seek medical help until I have at least three symptoms, because I know by now that there are lots of things that can mimic the infection, and there’s no point wasting everybody’s time by going in for a negative UA.

That experience was how I first learned how widespread and compelling is the tendency to self-diagnose, and then to draw conclusions based on the results.

How can one be a germ theory denialist and push probiotics? Doesn’t that imply the existence of un-probiotics?

It’s like how homeopathy never seems capable of having negative effects — just positive ones.

This is also one of the biggest quackery red flags — if they say it can only do good things, not bad, be suspicious.

What about fear-induced illness, which is strikingly demonstrated in a study in which women who were convinced that they were inhaling “contaminated air” got sick when they saw others get sick from it – despite the fact that there was nothing wrong with the air[6].

It’s a shame that she didn’t go full Millicent Morden and claim the same for rabies.

First of all, reading turmeric and ginger levels was almost too much. What’s the top level, ginseng?

Brogan is a member of that travelling circus of mercenary quacks who are always selling something or themselves on Null’s show. She partially hosts a show on as well: Fearless Parent, which was created by Louise Kuo Habakus and TMRer Alison MacNeil ( the latter later dropped out) which is basically anti-vax mother worship . It’s worth a look at their eponymous website to survey the topics they present.

GOOP also functions as a style guide and sells over-priced clothes and other crap Gynnie loves..
-btw- her mother, Blythe Danner, is a pharma shill for Prolia, an anti-osteoporosis drug.


The upper most level is the remotely controlled vibrating jade eggs level. The victims can orgasm by command. I would imagine they have jade rings for men.

As part of their core mission to encourage parents to “be fearless,” writers at “Fearless Parent” have warned against vaccines, fluoride, insulin, vitamin K shot for newborns, RhoGAM, antibiotics, GMOs, bras, plastic containers, cell phones, wifi, Tylenol, prenatal ultrasounds, Lyme disease, psychiatric medications, noise pollution, vitamin D supplementation, folate supplementation for pregnant women, toxins in cookware, plastics, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, an unhealthy microbiome, sugar, gluten, C-sections, baby formula, deodorant, and so much more!

They will also ban all dissent. Because they are “Fearless.”

Maybe next month they’ll be trying to avoid cell reproduction, because it has a chance of causing cancer.

We live in an age where literally has come to mean figuratively so I guess it isn’t all that surprising that fearless can mean frightened of damned near everything. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

Has a discrete virus, deemed unable to exist independently, ever been visualized under electron microscopy – or are we still inferring?

Wow, that is breathtaking.

Herpes virus

Does she think microscopists are just sitting around looking at navel lint or random raindrops all the time?

I guess I’m sort of stumbling over what she even means by that sentence. Is she talking about lysogenic viruses or is she talking about some version of pathogen which doesn’t ever have a capsid? A transposon maybe?

I know our scientists haven’t been looking at lint but I think their “scientists” have.

The arguments Brogan and Farber make about HIV/AIDS were the same ones made by Thabo Mbeki.
It’s sad. Mbeki was probably the smartest ever man to hold the Office of President of the Republic of South Africa. He was also an arrogant, insecure and dictatorial man who ignored the experts and launched vicious personal attacks (including the race card) against anyone who crossed him. Intelligence and wisdom are not the same.

I had an anthropology prof who was teaching us menstral sychronizing was a thing. I see on wiki it isn’t. I don’t feel as bad about typically sleeping through her classes. Although not to happy I paid a lot of money for those classes.

“That HIV causes AIDS (a syndrome of 25 illnesses that does not satisfy Koch’s postulates of infectious disease).

That drug toxicity associated with AIDS treatment may very well be what accounts for the majority of deaths.”

This is just the same old AIDS denialism that Peter Duesberg peddled 20-odd years ago. It was wrong then, and it’s still totally wrong now. Drug toxicity was indeed a serious problem with first-generation treatment regimens, but fortunately real medicine based on good fundamental science was applied to this problem, The result is that current therapies are much better tolerated with fewer side effects, so that the vast majority of HIV-positive people can just take a couple of pills a day and get on with their lives.

Brogan graduated (I’d like to think last in her class) med school in 2004. It’s possible she didn’t see/treat much HIV/AIDS This does not excuse her flaming ignorance/stupidity regarding HIV/AIDS (because you need to know it to get your medical license on your USMLE) but it does remind me how a lot of anti-vaxxers haven’t seen the diseases being prevented by vaccine. Geez, nevermind–Brogan is in that worst type of quack physician who just makes crap up as they go–all in order to enrich their bank accounts selling untested crap. I do think HIV/AIDS denialists in the US have been getting more of a pass than they did 20 years ago because much of the public doesn’t hear much about HIVAIDS because of the advances that have made it more often a chronic rather than imminently fatal condition.

How would she not see much HIV/AIDS? She did her residency in NYC, didn’t she? (I could be wrong about this.) Personally, I went to medical school in the late 1980s, and I saw a lot of HIV/AIDS. Then, during my surgery residency in the first half of the 1990s, I saw even more, as the issue of precautions when operating on AIDS patients and HIV(+) individuals came up all the time, and we sometimes had to do consults on patients with full-blown AIDS. True, I did medical school at the University of Michigan and my residency at CWRU’s University Hospitals of Cleveland, both tertiary care centers, but Brogan did her residency at a tertiary care center too—in NYC, specifically NYU Medical Center.

My mistake. I didn’t realize Cornell Medical College was in NYC (and not Ithaca). Also my view may be tainted by my experience during residency with psychiatry residents who never liked being on the medical wards and had a residency program that didn’t give them much exposure to them. Also during my peds residency I only cared for a handful of children with HIV (but it was still more than enough to reinforce didactics to clinical experience)–maybe just due to regional differences in HIV prevalence

Brogan doesn’t have much of a pub med footprint (all that “research” and no pubs…typical). I found a 2003 JAMA writing by her about her brother’s friend dying from lymphoma and you can even then see a distrust of the system she now so gleefully trashes:

@ Christopher Hickie:

I read that JAMA piece:

interestingly, a few of the woo-meisters I survey mention serious illness or death of family members occurring earlier in their lives ( Adams, Null esp.) I wonder how much of a formative issue this was in the evolution of their partisanship? They rant that doctors made the person sicker or killed them. Probably this is just a defence mechanism or exemplifies their lack of knowledge BUT it might have been enough to set them on the path of inquiry to alternatives and explain their hatred- although there are other discernible influences that I have observed such as romanticising Nature and the agrarian/ rural lifestyle as recalled nostalgically by those who grew up long ago near, but not ON farms: I suspect the latter would be more realistic.

I know by the early 2000s a lot of HIV/AIDS care was done via infectious disease specialists. I worked in the office of a clinic where ID doctors served as the primary care physicians for all the HIV/AIDS patients. Outside of “I think I broke my ankle” they didn’t really see Internists or Internal Medicine doctors. And by then, the dramatic, horrific deaths of the pre-anti-viral age were almost unheard of (thank God). So it’s very possible that has no clue what untreated HIV looks like.

What do you want to bet that by having someone board certified in integrative holistic medicine at the summit, Gwyneth thinks she is improving her credibility?

“These studies can be even further compressed since the introduction of ‘fast- tracking’ in 1992, a method that pharmaceutical companies can pay extra for to accelerate FDA approval of their vaccine candidates, like Gardisil.”

Nope, this new twist on the Pharma Shill gambit smells as bad as the original: there is no mechanism to “pay extra” to accelerate approval. Unsurprisingly, typically the FDA uses specific, evidence-based criteria to determine whether a drug or vaccine warrants a faster time to licensure (treats or prevents a serious condition, meets an unmet medical need, and if there is a standard of care the new product must be safer, more efficacious, or both). The decision is completely the FDA’s, and conspiracy mongers must be disappointed to learn that requests for faster review times are hardly guaranteed (so much for the so-called cozy relationship):

Which public health crisis led to the establishment of formal accelerated review mechanisms in the US? The emergence of the HIV epidemic and the resultant almost uniformly fatal AIDS in the pre-HART era…

I would like to note one thing: “Does a yawn spread that way?”
Obviously, yawns aren’t caused by very small microscopic organisms, but they do spread fast. Does Brogan live around people or pets, or does she only ever interact with people in her office? Also, does she think yawns are unnatural or something?

JF: I dunno, I never got the impression that Mbeki was terribly smart. A good manipulator, yes, and good at playing games, but not much going on up top. He’s smarter than Trump..but I could say the same thing about alligators or Turkey vultures. (Gives me an idea, actually. The only stipulation in the constitution is that the president has to be over 35 and male. They never said anything about the prez being human.)

Strange, I thought you were in the USA.

In my country, we allow both men and women to hold the office of President. Our Constitution is quite clear –

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

The last part, the New German Medicine and its French equivalent, sound a lot like the claims made by anti vaccine germ theory denier Tristan Wells.

I assume doctors don’t get to look at viruses through microscope during medical school, from her comments? That’s a sincere question.

“The last part, the New German Medicine and its French equivalent, sound a lot like the claims made by anti vaccine germ theory denier Tristan Wells.”

Aha! Now that name rings a bell. Someone with the same moniker turned up on several antivax FB threads that sprang up when one of our local (NZ) media outlets published a series of articles on VPD outbreaks. Spouted a whole lot of nonsense but after a while it was like groundhog day in trying to deal with him.

I assume doctors don’t get to look at viruses through microscope during medical school, from her comments? That’s a sincere question.

Viruses are visible under an electron microscope however I expect the typical medical student does not get to use an electron microscope unless they are doing an elective in virology.
Viruses are too small to be seen with conventional light microscopy,. however viral inclusions and cytopathic changes are readily visible. We certainly saw these in our histopathology labs.

Brogan, of course, is a fool on a level with the Food Babe.

I got to look at viruses under the microscope at medical school.

Admittedly, they were insect viruses, and under a phase contrast microscope, and multiple virioids encased in a protein capsule up to the size of a red cell, but they were still viruses.

As far as I know, all human viruses need an electron microscope to visualise them.

Johnny: No, it’s male only, as the last election proved. So, yeah, it’d be totally legal to run a campaign for an alligator or a parrot, as long as they were male, thirty five and incorporated, since a corporation is legally a person.

No, it’s male only, as the last election proved.

Couldn’t you be out donating kidneys and bone marrow and so forth rather than engaging in a futile effort to make everyone here slough neurons like so many Larsen C’s?

@ PGP:


I am really trying to understand your point of view:
are you truly saying that non-persons or so called legal persons ( corporations) could be elected ?
It says “person” : it means living person. It was written in the 18th century..
The corporative personhood is about other issues which came up later.
Corporations hold immense power as it is.

Awful political parties have no need of recruiting random alligators and velociraptors because they have PLENTY of people willing to follow the basic tenets of the party no matter how ridiculous.
Plus people are easier to feed, house and can usually take care of their own cleanliness needs.

I don’t know if you say these things figuratively or seriously. I know if something is horrible sometimes we want to make it sound even worse to communicate our disgust to others . That’s where sarcasm and hyperbole come in
We can signal that.
For example, when Orac calls something a zombie or a vampire, he does not seriously mean that it is actually one of these fabled entities which -btw- do not exist. He’s saying ‘as if” .It acts like a zombie or vampire or shares certain salient characteristics with those fictional creatures.

So be more clear. Sarcasm isn’t that hard to do.
Read up on how votes split amongst people in various locales as I described previously. Look at maps and charts.

Right now, a crappy/ creepy candidate who may be a child molester is running for senator in a very red state : he’ll probably win BUT he’s not going to get all of the votes, His opponent will most likely make a good showing and republicans may also write in candidates or stay home. Watch the returns.


As usual, PGP is incapable of viewing an individual human being as, well, an individual human being.

Hillary Clinton was not and is not the Avatar of Woman. She was and is a specific human being with a specific history. Some may not like her because she’s a woman, true, but a lot of people just don’t like that history. Clinton lost. The Avatar of Woman didn’t lose because the Avatar of Woman didn’t run.

Further, what is this nonsense about the president having to be male? As has been pointed out, Clinton won the popular vote. It wasn’t that a majority of the voters refused to vote for a woman, and it wasn’t that the presidency “taken away because she was a woman”; she didn’t win because she focused on the wrong States. If she’d gotten the same votes — or fewer — but just a relatively small number of additional votes in the midwest, she would have won. She didn’t get those votes because she didn’t campaign in the midwest and Trump did.

I really think that Clinton lost because people who should have known told her and everyone else that she’d already won a year before the election. Remember the 98% probability of winning? It appears to me that, given that she’d already won, she focused on running up the score: maximizing the vote counts. The easiest places to rack up the votes were heavily Democratic States like New York and California, so that’s where she campaigned and where she did indeed rack up the votes. If she’d been told from the beginning, as other candidates have been, that she had to fight for every vote, she likely would have won.

But, anyway, given that Clinton won the popular vote, it is idiotic to say that no woman can win the presidency.

Indeed. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been called a sexist or a “Bernie Bro” (strangers online usually seem to assume I’m a man) for criticizing Hillary Clinton (just by stating facts, honestly) I could buy a nice bottle of whiskey at least. Never mind that I voted for her in the general and didn’t badmouth her campaign during the race.

(I assume that people assume I’m a man because I am often called homophobic slurs that typically are hurled at gay men. I also get weird racialized insults, for some weird reason.)

Narad: Just telling the truth, why does that offend you? besides, running an alligator for pres would be hilarious.

PGP, you’re honestl starting to sound like trolls on Twitter (ironically) who spew made up stuff and then tell me that I “CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.”

On the other hand, it would indeed be hilarious to watch PGP try to run an alligator for president. Imagine the attempts to prove place and date of birth. Imagine even establishing the candidate’s name (does a name count if the candidate won’t answer to it?). Imagine the attempts at press conferences.

@ JP:

When you first appeared at RI, I naturally assumed that you WERE a dude- not that it really makes much difference. We are as we are.

In fact, because of how some people treat women on the internet I originally thought of using some variation of my last names- e.g. ‘Walter Howard’ ( or whatever it actually is) but later thought that that’s a poor choice for someone who supports ‘women’s place in society’, i.e. everywhere.

Jokingly, I even created a persona for Walter : it involved expensive horn rimmed glasses, messy blondish hair and usually ties. He would only look like a conservative commenter on television but totally be hipster or hippy.

Narad: Just telling the truth, why does that offend you?

Your mindless idiocy (e.g., “proved”) doesn’t so much offend as irritate me, in part because I haven’t had time to try to whomp up a killfile so that I can filter you and MJD — whom I consider to be your closest cognitive compatriot here — out of the perceived world.

A panel-load of true goops. Brogan is the most egregious of the pack. What I don’t understand is why no Deepak?

She’s also very much into the quackery known as the German New Medicine which posits that cancer is actually the body’s healing reaction to some sort of internal conflict that the patient might not even be aware of and that this conflict must be dealt with in order to heal the patient.

How does that make a particle of sense given that she is also very much into the quackery known as the Gonzalez protocol? How do coffee enemas deal with internal conflicts?


It’s kind of funny, because I actually use a picture of myself on Twitter. (Just my face, and I suppose I look like sort of a pretty guy.) I quit using my real name though – it’s just Comrade JP – which reminds me, I should change my @.

I don’t mind being taken for a man at all, I sort of like being gender neutral and letting people make assumptions, it can be fun. I suppose I would be “non-binary” anyway, which I didn’t know was an option until recently. I definitely just go by “she” around here though, it’s so much easier. And I don’t mind “she.” Or “he.” Or “they.” (“They,” I have noticed, has become the default pronoun for strangers on the internet among lefties.)

BTW, I no longer pine for Rachel Maddow. Now I want to marry Chelsea Manning. She’s closer to me in age… and politics. 😉

A day or two ago, I asked PGP to watch the Alabamian ( I hope that that’s a word) senatorial election returns: I predicted a close race, with the republican winning, many write-ins and some republicans sitting it out.

Well, guess what?
Alabama elected a DEMOCRAT who supports civil rights, women’s rights and prosecuted Klan members who bombed churches with children in them!
There were writes -ins, a lower turnout in many very red counties, high participation by black people. Hispanic people, youngsters and urban dwellers.
Support for Trump has fallen ( or else those who turned out were much different than those who voted in 2016).

If this can happen in Alabama in an off-year, off-month election…. all is not hopeless.

There were writes -ins, a lower turnout in many very red counties, high participation by black people. Hispanic people, youngsters and urban dwellers.

And a lot of pre-scandal absentee ballots, IIRC.

The Google tells me that Brogan is still claiming to have been awarded the “Rudin Scholarship for Psychiatric Oncology”, which has no existence outside of her own fabrications.

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