Antivaccine nonsense Pseudoscience Quackery

Pierre Kory: “Poor poor pitiful me! (And ABIM is corrupt!)”

Earlier this month, COVID-19 quack Dr. Pierre Kory was told that the American Board of Internal Medicine had recommended removing his board certification. Kory’s answer? ABIM is corrupt!

Three weeks ago, we learned that the Credentials and Certification Committee of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) had voted strip two COVID-19 quacks, Drs. Pierre Kory and Paul Marik, of their board certifications. In my discussion a couple of weeks ago I noted that there appeared to be less than met the eye to this decision; first, because this decision was announced not by the ABIM but rather by the antivax quack organization founded by Kory and Marik, the  the ivermectin-promoting Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance, or FLCC (apparently after the two quacks had received letters from the ABIM) and, second, because a perusal of the ABIM website demonstrated that Dr. Kory was still board-certified in internal medicine and pulmonary and critical care medicine (which he still is as of early this morning), while Dr. Marik’s certification status was listed as “inactive” (which it also still is as of early this morning). As a reminder, the reason that Dr. Marik’s status was listed as “inactive” is because you need a valid state medical license to be board-certified, and Dr. Marik had let his license lapse in 2022, leading to his inactive status.

In my original post, I had considerable fun with some of the merch being sold by FLCCC that portrayed Drs. Marik and Kory as some sort of superheroes, which I republish below, because they are truly cringe and suggest the self-image held by Drs. Marik and Kory:

As I said, totally cringe.

Given this background and the FLCCC’s relentless promotion of antivaccine misinformation as well as repurposed drugs that were demonstrated to be ineffective against COVID-19 by early 2021 at the latest (making them quackery in 2023), perhaps you might have wondered what the FLCCC’s response would be after its initial response, in which the FLCCC decried the ABIM for “censorship” and “persecution,” even as they openly admitted that loss of board certificate will have no effect whatsoever on their ability to grift practice grift.

Lest you think that I am exaggerating when I refer to Dr. Kory as an antivaxxer, I’ll just leave this Tweet right here from last December:

I would argue that this is the very definition of “antivaccine.”

So what does Dr. Kory do for a followup? He takes to his Substack, of course—where else?—to launch a rather lengthy attack on the ABIM entitled The American Board of Internal Medicine’s Longstanding War On Doctors Is Escalating, for which he adds the blurb:

The ABIM’s history proves their present actions are political/financial and not scientific. They are making examples of us “dissenters” to scare the rest of the country’s docs to keep quiet.

Because, to conspiracy theorists, the ABIM’s decision, even as long-delated as it is—seriously, the ABIM should have stripped these two of their board certifications in 2021!—can’t possibly be a principled one. Indeed, I can’t help but suggest that the very fact that this decision took three years, given that the FLCCC first started promoting hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, along with its “COVID-19 early treatment” protocols mere months after the pandemic first hit, suggests an organization struggling with what its role should be in enforcing professional standards among physicians holding certificates and too cowardly to anything about any but the most egregious promoters of COVID-19 misinformation and quackery, like Drs. Kory and Marik.

Drs. Kory and Marik, of course, are clever, though. They take a common complaint about the ABIM that has at least some validity and then repurpose it to portray the ABIM’s action against them as totally corrupt, much as the FLCCC repurposed ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine from treating roundworm infestations and malaria, respectively, into miracle cures for COVID-19. I’ll quote Kory’s Substack to show you what I mean, starting with his introductory rant:

The unholy alliance of industry captured high-impact medical journals, federal public health agencies, professional societies (ABIM, AMA, APHa etc), and most importantly, the state medical licensing boards directed by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) are still going hard after us “dissenting” doctors. You know, those of us that very publicly called out the unscientific policies implemented by corrupted policymakers in a directed pursuit of profits and power. Their actions trying to silence us (and to scare other doctors from speaking out) are escalating.

In essence, this is the pharma shill gambit aimed at the ABIM and state medical boards. Personally, I find the pharma shill gambit aimed at state medical boards to be incredibly ridiculous even for fools like Dr. Kory, given that state medical boards are funded by taxpayers out of state budgets and are chronically underfunded and understaffed. One might think that if big pharma had such pull, financial and political, state medical boards would be far better funded, more powerful, and more willing to take action disciplinary against quacks. The real situation, of course, is quite the contrary, with state medical boards having long been toothless in the face of misinformation-spewing quacks, a problem that I’ve been lamenting for close to two decades. (In other words, it’s nothing new since the pandemic.) As I put it three weeks ago, state medical boards have always been toothless. The more interesting gambit comes in Dr. Kory’s attack on the ABIM for its maintenance of certification program.

Dr. Kory starts with a complaint about ABIM that many physicians have made. Indeed, peruse doctors’ websites for “maintenance of certification,” and you will find many harsh criticisms of the ABIM’s requirements for physicians to maintain certification, as well as the expense and effort required to do so. It’s not just the ABIM, either. Here’s a rant against the American Board of Pediatrics’ maintenance of certification program published on KevinMD in 2014:

Up until 1988, being board certified in pediatrics was a voluntary process of passing the board exam once in a career. The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) apparently realized this process didn’t make them much money, so in 1989, they abruptly ended “lifetime certification” and required an open book test and the associated fee every seven years.  I was in pediatric residency during this maintenance of certification (MOC) stage, the mandate was an annoying and costly change from lifetime certification, but an open book test seemed manageable for a busy pediatrician to complete.  I watched my attendings work on their open book tests over the lunch hour.  It was collegial and almost fun.

The ABP apparently realized this process didn’t make them enough money either, because in 2003, they abruptly required a secure exam every seven years. This was a bigger deal, requiring participation in expensive $1,000 board review courses, offered conveniently by the same academic doctors who established this new requirement. Secure exams, in addition to costing more to administer and prepare for, also require taking time away from the office and patient care for the actual test.

Then out of the blue, just seven years later, the rules changed yet again.  Passing the boards once in a career wasn’t enough, an open book exam every seven years wasn’t enough, a secure exam every seven years wasn’t enough: Pediatricians needed to remit $990 and enroll in a continuous MOC program.  Because pediatricians are a compliant lot, I did as I was told.

Now, here’s Dr. Kory about the ABIM:

At the end of my training, I became Board Certified by the ABIM in three specialties (Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases, and Critical Care Medicine).

What is the ABIM? Well, from this devastating article by Kurt Eichenwald, an accomplished corporate investigative journalist who did a devastating takedown of the ABIM and its officers in a Newsweek piece in 2015:
The ABIM is a purported nonprofit that certifies new physicians as meeting standards of practice. Beginning in the early 1990s, the ABIM ordered certified doctors to be recertified, again and again. Without the ABIM seal of approval, lots of internists and subspecialists can’t get jobs and can’t admit patients to hospitals. So by taking advantage of that monopolistic power, the ABIM has forced hundreds of thousands of physicians to follow recertification processes that doctors complain cost them tons of money (paid to the ABIM), require tons of time (taken from families and medical practices) and accomplish nothing.
In many doctor’s opinion, this cash grab of the ABIM by selling “certifications” is a corrupt farce. There is no evidence that certifying doctors in this highly costly way does anything to improve the quality of care delivered. The ABIM has not only refused to produce data showing the program improves patient care but also hasn’t conducted any studies on that matter. In fact, the ABIM and its related organizations are:
harming American medicine and diminishing the quality of scientific research, pushing physicians to close practices rather than wasting time on expensive and frustrating busywork, and forcing specialists to play a game of medical trivial pursuit. (Even Baron has admitted that he was tested for recertification on topics he never used in his practice.)
But it sure does generate cash for ABIM executives. Note that Board Certification used to simply be a sort of “honor” denoting that the member passed a more rigorous examination in their specialty. That “honor” comes at a price though…

So, yes, my colleagues in internal medicine and pediatrics and their subspecialties do have legitimate complaints about the ABIM’s onerous maintenance of certification requirements, which have only become more and more onerous with each passing decade. I like to compare these requirements to the much more reasonable requirements mandated by the American Board of Surgery for maintaining my certification in surgery, which was to submit a case list, continuing medical education credits, and some other documentation every ten years and pass a written secure test. (My board certification expires at the end of 2028, as anyone who wants to can verify.)

More recently, the ABS has created a different track for maintaining board certification for subspecialists who are board certified in general surgery but have sub specialized. We have to submit the same CME and other documentation about our practice, but instead of a massive test on all of general surgery, including the parts that I haven’t had to deal with since residency (like vascular surgery) or early in my career as an attending (like trauma) every decade we can now elect to take smaller, more specialty-focused open book tests every three years that don’t require, for example, me (a breast cancer surgeon) to review vascular surgery and trauma (kinds of surgery I never do anymore) every ten years. That is certainly the option that I plan to take in 2028, my having recertified a year early for the “old school” full ten year term in 2017, right as this newer maintenance of certification program was coming into being and its form was still uncertain. Indeed, the existence of this program eliminates a dilemma that I had feared, namely whether it would be worth going to all the effort to certify for another decade when I hope and plan to retire several years before 2038. (Yeah, I’m that old.)

But back to Dr. Kory. In his rant, he cleverly weaponizes legitimate criticisms of the ABIM to imply that the real reason he and Dr. Marik are being “singled out” (along with another COVID-19 quack, Dr. Peter McCullough) for “special treatment” by the ABIM. To do that, he attacks Dr. Richard Baron, president and CEO of ABIM using a bogeyman, a PR firm called Weber Shandwick. Why? Because one of Weber Shandwick’s specialties is crisis and reputation management, which involves combatting disinformation and announced two years ago its new Weber Shandwick Media Security Center, described by the company as “an industry leading, cross-disciplinary team with AI-driven technology at its core, built to address what the overwhelming majority of executives say is one of the leading reputation issues businesses faces today – the spread of disinformation.”

The company website continues:

The Weber Shandwick Media Security Center is powered by insights from some of the leading institutions combating misinformation and disinformation and an exclusive partnership with threat detection platform, Blackbird.AI. The Media Security Center is designed to help clients navigate a volatile media landscape with bespoke solutions that protect reputations and commercial interests.

Manipulated media is no longer just a reputational concern – it is now a financial, employee and organizational security concern, notes Peter Duda, head of Weber Shandwick’s Global Crisis and Issues Management Practice. “We are currently working with clients in healthcare, government, technology and CPG as they battle a potentially harmful information landscape littered with bot created content, artificial distribution and erroneous stories that often spread undetected until they’re unmanageable.”

AI…of course, it had to be…AI.

My sarcasm aside and also leaving aside for the moment the question of whether Weber Shandwick actually delivers what it promises or not, you can see why a group like the FLCCC and doctors like Drs. Kory and Marik would hate a company like Weber Shandwick. Indeed, Dr. Kory makes it a point to quote a passage from his book on Weber Shandwick because he is convinced that the company was behind the “Horse Dewormer PR campaign,” that portrayed ivermectin as a horse dewormer. (Never mind that ivermectin’s most common use in the US is in fact, is as a veterinary deworming drug.) Moreover, as I’ve discussed elsewhere, the promotion of ivermectin by quacks like Dr. Kory did lead people to use veterinarian formulations designed for large animals like horses and cows. As I like to point out (and will do again), equine ivermectin comes packaged in syringes with “1.87% ivermectin paste. 6.08 g syringe treats up to 1,250 lbs. Safe for horses of all ages, pregnant mares, breeding stallions.” Another formulation comes as a 1% solution to be given 1 ml/110 lbs of weight. Basically, in horses the dose of ivermectin can be up to 1.200 mg, while the human dose recommended is only around 3 mg. In other words, even if Weber Shandwick was the originator of the “horse dewormer” anti-ivermectin campaign, so what? It was effective countermessaging against quackery and not anywhere near as deceptive as FLCCC’s ivermectin messaging has always been.

After a long rant that mixed legitimate criticisms of the ABIM’s imperiousness and ever-increasing “mission creep” with respect to board certification with conspiracy mongering claiming that because Dr. Baron engaged a PR firm like Weber Shandwick, whose clients also include pharma companies and describing how they and their lawyers had written a 76-page “rebuttal” to the ABIM’s findings about their spreading misinformation, Dr. Kory writes:

We sent that letter over 6 months ago… and finally got an answer a few weeks ago. To understand the misinformation committee’s response, note this statement from an editorial written by Baron where he tries to give examples of misinformation:
A whole range of statements with which many — or even most —physicians might disagree would therefore not trigger our disciplinary process. On the other hand, when someone certified by the ABIM says something like “the origin of all coronary heart disease is a clearly reversible arterial scurvy” or “children can’t spread Covid” or “vaccines don’t prevent Covid deaths or hospitalizations,” we are not dealing with valid professional disagreement; we are dealing with wrong answers.
That last sentence is critical as Baron literally is saying that the ABIM gets to determine what is a valid professional disagreement versus a “wrong answer.” Good to know, especially in regards to the fact that the narrative that “vaccines prevent Covid deaths or hospitalizations” was strongly refuted in our initial response letter.

Well, yes. That’s basically what boards responsible for board certification do. They decide, based on evidence and expert input, on a standard of care consensus for their specialty in order to design test questions to test physicians on that standard of care. You can disagree with the standard of care (and certainly boards aren’t 100% correct, nor are they anywhere near infallible), but to attack ABIM for doing what medical boards have done for decades is like attacking university for teaching students. I would criticize the ABIM for not being a bit more clear here, however. If I were writing the response, I might cite the same examples, but I would point out that, to qualify as misinformation, what is being said has to be so far outside the realm of reasonable scientific disagreement as to constitute medical error so gross that believing or spreading it should disqualify a physician from treating patients. As I like to say, this is not about “censorship.” It’s about quality control.

Just like medical cranks of all stripes, Dr. Kory really, really hates the concept of scientific consensus. He even cites Michael Crichton’s infamously bad paragraph about scientific consensus, the same one quoted by quacks, cranks, and antivaxxers since time immemorial (or at least since Crichton, who famously was a climate science denier, first said it), the one that says that the “work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus” and concludes, “If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.” It is a quote that is so full of bullshit and misunderstanding of science that I must paraphrase my usual response to it for Dr. Kory’s benefit, given how he is so impressed by the paragraph that he adds:

I love that last line so much it bears repeating, “If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

Wrong. Crichton was wrong then about scientific consensus, and Dr. Kory is wrong now. Crichton’s sentiment was, of course, always utter bullshit, a complete misrepresentation of how science works. No wonder Dr. Kory is so enamored of Crichton’s two decade old take. Science has always been about seeking a tentative consensus understanding about the real world based on evidence and systematic experimentation designed to reduce observer bias. It’s a consensus that can be changed—occasionally even by brave mavericks like Dr. Kory!—but that change requires evidence. Also, anyone can question a scientific consensus. Many scientists do just that but get no further. Why? Because it takes a lot more than mere “questioning” to overturn one. I would go further and say that, when a scientific consensus involves a discipline like medicine, which is more akin to applied sciences like engineering than to pure science in that it involves the application of scientific understandings and principles to achieve a specific end, consensus is even more important because lives are on the line. When doctors wander too far from existing consensus without damned good data to justify it, people die unnecessarily. Worse, in my not-so-humble opinion, doctors like Drs. Kory and Marik who peddle misinformation in support of their quack medical protocols profit off of people dying unnecessarily.

Dr. Kory in essence admits that he profits from what I consider to be his quacker all while invoking the very common excuse of quacks going back to Stanislaw Burzynski and earlier, that he needs “autonomy” to do his brave maverick doctor thing:

There is only one silver lining here. One – the impending loss of my certifications does not affect me materially because I have a private fee-based practice due to my need for complete autonomy and lack of restrictions in empirically treating the vaccine injured with various repurposed and alternative therapeutics. I thus cannot and will not accept insurance, and secondly, my academic career is over – no longer will I ever enter back into the system of medicine. 

About the only opportunity this whole attack has created is one where I get to defend myself on appeal in a debate with three academic white coats of their choosing. Bring. It. On.

Oh, goody. Dr. Kory is a “debate me, bro” doc too. In other words, as I have been emphasizing all along, even if Dr. Kory does end up losing his board certifications (which in my opinion he most definitely should), it won’t affect his grift one iota. Nor will it affect Dr. Marik’s FLCCC grift. It will, however, give Dr. Kory a perfect opportunity to do what he now does best, play the persecuted victim in order to attract that sweet, sweet cash for his “early treatment protocols” for COVID-19, all while spinning conspiracy theories:

I will then toss in a little lecture about how RCT’s have long ceased to be a credible means of proving anything in science given that in modern medicine only “Big RCT’s” count and that all “Big RCT’s” require such massive funding that the bias of the funders outweighs any objectivity such trials can profess to attain. I will also remind them that throughout modern medial history, the findings of RCT’s and retrospective observational trials are identical, yet academia has been taught to systematically ignore observational trials. Reason: only massively funded entities can conduct a “Big RCT” while any committed clinician willing to give up nights and weekends can conduct an observational trial. Pharma cannot allow research to be conducted that they have no control over – so they took over the journals and medical school curriculums which now literally teach that observational controlled trials can only be considered “hypothesis generating” and thus their results should not be acted on. Nonsense.

No, the findings of observational studies and RCTs have not been “identical,” although I know why he said this given that a lot of ivermectin studies cited by ivermectin hawkers like Dr. Kory are low-quality observational studies. If such were the case, randomized controlled clinical trials would never have been developed because they wouldn’t have been necessary. Basically, what Dr. Kory is doing here is what all promoters of disinformation like this do: Sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

That, and sell beach towels with himself portrayed as a superhero on them:

Kory beach towel
In this image, FLCCC inadvertently demonstrates what a Dr. Kory beach towel is best for: Wiping one’s ass. Seriously, how can anyone take these doctors seriously?

Basically, Dr. Kory is trying to confuse you and thereby convince you that you can’t know anything for certain. He’s attacking expertise, knowledge, and science themselves. To do that, he is co-opting reasonable criticisms of the ABIM’s maintenance of certification program and how the organization is run to imply that the only reason ABIM is coming after Dr. Marik and him is because it is in bed with big pharma, as well as casting the usual doubt that cranks try to cast on the very concepts of expertise, deep subject knowledge, and scientific consensus.

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]

77 replies on “Pierre Kory: “Poor poor pitiful me! (And ABIM is corrupt!)””

“Basically, Dr. Kory is trying to confuse you and thereby convince you that you can’t know anything for certain. He’s attacking expertise, knowledge, and science themselves’.”

These are exactly the tactics that my Dad and other science denialists in my life use, basically because to them, no science is valid, then any science can be valid and is open to one’s own opinion and interpretation.

To them there can be no evidence or proof that Paxlovid or Vaccines are effective and scientifically tested and proven tools against Covid, therefore they also believe that there exists no proof that Ivermectin does not work.

The scientific method is meaningless to people who have this thought process, which is undoubtedly why climate science is also totally invalid to those with this thought process.

As a trained historian, I see many parallels between science denial and the denial of history. Studying and learning Holocaust historiography uses similar methods to the scientific method, (although by no means identical), which is a powerful tool to understand that scientific and historical fact is achievable with the right set of skills.

If more people had these skills it would be much more difficult I believe for grifters and quacks to play on those who do not believe that obtaining facts through physical and social sciences is possible.

Just curious…

Does your dad question mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, etc?

Or just topics affected by big money, cancel culture, and extremist politics?

Igor, the fact that you make money concocting conspiracies about “big money”, cancel cancel culture, and extremist politics [which would be the right wing folks you align with] doesn’t mean your bullshit is valid: it means the people who subscribe to your subcrap blog are stupid.

I notice that is not even Big Pharma any more. None of negative ivermectin trials were funded by it.
Any number of Republican senators have intervened in this case. Seems politics for me.

Not quite true. Let me give you one example (there are more). A big crypto thief and the second largest Democrat donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, donated $15 million to the TOGETHER trial which found “ineffectiveness of Ivermectin”.

This “Reuters fact check” has all the facts – just read it critically:

“Fact Check-TOGETHER Trial says involvement with FTX began after testing that found ivermectin ineffective”

Sam Bankman-Fried, obviously, was not a fool and was giving fifteen million dollars for a reason.

lthough federal election receipts show that Bankman-Fried donated almost exclusively to Democrats, he claimed on a November phone call with YouTuber Tiffany Fong that he donated an equal amount to Republicans and Democrats.

“All my Republican donations were dark,” he said, referring to political donations that are not publicly disclosed in FEC filings. “The reason was not for regulatory reasons, it’s because reporters freak the f—k out if you donate to Republicans. They’re all super liberal, and I didn’t want to have that fight.”

Given that he donated nearly $40 million to Democrats in the 2022 election cycle—and he admitted to giving an equal amount to Republicans—his total political contributions may have actually been around $80 million.

Way to cherry pick igor. As to why he contributed to the study: it’s hard to say anything other than your implication that he funded it to sway the outcome is, like every single one of your vaccine comments, completely without supporting evidence.

You shoud check who funded TOGETHER trial for ivermectin:
Funded by FastGrants and the Rainwater Charitable Foundation; TOGETHER number, NCT04727424)
The funders had no role in the design and conduct of the trial; the collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of the data; the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. Ivermectin was purchased at full cost.
Notice that they did not get free ivermectin, even.
Fast Grants is explained here:
You should read actual papers, they show funding.

Climate science is incomplete because it relies on speculative models and simulations which don’t have the complete picture. Similarly vaccines may (may not) prevent covid but at what cost re safety we may never know. When the pushers are unaccountable and the products mandated and reactions ignored – who knows?

“Climate science is incomplete because it relies on speculative models and simulations which don’t have the complete picture”

Relativity isn’t the complete picture but it does a damn good job. The current climate models are quite accurate, if a little optimistic – the changes we’re seeing are slightly more severe than the models’ predictions.

In short: your comment about climate change is just as much bull shit as your repeated false claims that companies can’t be held accountable and the entire system is corrupt. The only thing here that is blatantly false is, as usual, your assertions.

Physical scientist here. Your characterization of climate science is wildly inaccurate. The climate is a complicated sytem, so predictions cannot be exact, but the physical mechanism by which increasing CO2 (in particular) leads to an increase in the earth’s equilibrium temperature is understood in detail. I suspect your characterization of vaccine risk is similarly off-base.

The great atmospheric physicist Ray Pierrehumbert wrote an article for Physics Today some years back, called “Infrared Radiation and Planetary Temperatures”. It takes some background to understand — it’s for a “general physics audience” — but it’s not ultra-technical and it’s really well-done. Highly recommended for those who’d like to learn more, and easily found using your favorite search engine.

Climate science hss data backing it. I notice that you think Big Pharma always lies and Big Oil always tells truth. Strange,that.

Spoken like someone who has never conducted any scientific research in his life….

I can only imagine how hard it is to deal with a relative caught in that trap. I read quite a few of the books about misinformation, and the solutions for helping someone caught in the rabbit hole are so limited, it’s sad and depressing.

It’s amusing to see the complaint about “big RCTs” coming from the quarter that whinged to high heaven about the supposed inadequacies of the trials of the COVID-19 vaccines. I couldn’t begin to count how many comments I’ve seen around the web stating that “it takes [x, I think 7 was the most common] years to test a vaccine” which of course confuses the historically average time taken to develop a vaccine with that taken to test it.

I wonder of some of the escalating certification requirements of the ABIM might be because there is evidence or suspicion that the IM barrel has somewhat more frequent instances of rot than found in the barrels for other specialties.

Yup. THEY™ are lying to everyone in order to control them, but WE are to smart and perspicacious to fall for it. It’s virtually identical to the beliefs of flat Earthers and Sovereign Citizens.

Thanks to whomever came up with THEY™ – it’s perfect for the purpose!

Orac writes,

“Dr. Kory really, really hates the concept of scientific consensus.”

MJD says,

There is an area in medical research wherein scientific consensus is a rate limiting step for discovery. For example, allergies are considered a chronic disease.,harmful%20and%20overreacts%20to%20it.

Allergies are a natural immune response, and part of our evolution. Furthermore, rational theory suggests that allergies may have an anti-cancer effect.

@ Orac,

In my opinion, re-classifying allergies as “immune-stimulation” may help support cancer immunotherapy research i.e., natural IgE-antibodies and associated effector cell responses.

nobody cares about the opinions of someone who thinks chronic allergies are a GOOD thing. you’re literally insane. provably, quantifiably, insane.

Ichthyic writes,

“you’re literally insane”

MJD discloses,

Researcher Conclusions: On the basis of our findings, we suggest that allergic subjects seem to have a better prognosis than non-allergic ones for disease outcome after cancer therapy.

@ Orac,

Exactly my point, we have been brain-washed by the scientific consensus to believe that allergies are a chronic disease to be avoided or eliminated.

It follows then, that we should be exposed to latex products from the moment we’re born, in order to maximize the chance of developing an allergic response which will help us beat cancer later on.

Right, Michael?

@ Dangerous Bacon,

No, there are some allergens that should be avoided during early stages of neurological development; complications could occur based on IgE cross-reactivity.

BTW, why don’t I ever get “Like” votes? Can you please give me a “like” vote on this comment to make sure the system isn’t rigged?

The system is not rigged. You don’t get any “like” votes because no one likes your comments enough to give you any.

BTW, why don’t I ever get “Like” votes? Can you please give me a “like” vote on this comment to make sure the system isn’t rigged?

Someone give mjd some cheese to go with that.

Science isn’t about consensus – it’s about brave, maverick scientists giving me the answers I want!

Y’know, that blonde model with the beach towel is undoubtedly a nice-looking woman, but if I were on the lookout for romantic companionship now (which I’m not, being (a) married and (b) at least 40 years too old) I would see that towel as a giant Red Flag.

Here’s an anecdote: I own an antivax T-shirt saying “Vaccines not needed, I have an immune system” (or something similar).

Back around the end of 2021 to the first half of 2022 I would wear it while shopping at Costco and such.

This T-shirt was a great attention-getter.

Some attention was negative: I remember a masked mother with masked children, who, upon seeing me in the shirt, quickly scooped her children and scooted away. She probably thought that I would give her Covid due to being unvaxed. Some people gave me bad looks and muttered something, probably bad thoughts about me. (some of them could possibly be reading this blog!)

But most attention was positive, some of it, to my great surprise, was unsolicited female attention. I am married so I did not entertain it, and did not give out my number, but it was amusing to say the least.

I am not particularly good looking so it was the shirt, not me.

I enjoyed all kinds of attention, positive as well as negative – the shirt was a way to make vaccine resisters realize they are not alone, and a way to place a seed of doubt in COVID vaccine supporters.

On the subject of T-shirts: I was at a faculty lunch the other day and a relatively recent hire showed up — she was in the med school’s research arm, senior hire, nearly as old as I am, which is saying something. There was a lively conversation, and then I noticed her Fauci T-shirt — it was in the style of a portrait of a Medieval saint, and simply said “Fauci”.

I think she’s a fan. Then again, she’s evidently a first-rate medical researcher. Those seem to be correlated, based on a small sample.

The whole subject of incels being scum really hit a nerve earlier, didn’t it?

Not only did you grow a wife and kids in that comment thread, now your anti-vaccine t-shirt causes attractive women to, unsolicited, ask for your number.


Where is this story of your going to go from here?

I am married and have kids.
I never said that the woman who asked for my number was attractive, she was not particularly attractive. She was not hideous, she was just an average middle aged woman you see at Costco.
Yes, I always felt bad about incels being demonized and used for cheap propaganda that associates undesirable ideas with “incels”. I feel for them despite NOT being an incel myself.

Igor, do not feel bad for incels. I will say this again and again, they are terrible people who say and genuinely believe terrible things about women. I cannot emphasize this enough. Most of them have nothing but contempt for women. Do not feel bad for people who hate women and then wonder why the objects of their hatred have no interest in them.

Also, if you like making stories, can I make one for you?

That masked woman with masked children who saw your shirt and hurried away did so to keep from crying in public. She was thinking about her husband, his own immune system ravaged by terminal cancer, and how if he were to catch anything it would rob him of what precious little time he had left. Worse, if she or her children were to catch anything at all it would prevent him from being able to spend that much more time with them when there was already so little left.

Please feel some sympathy for her and her children as she is now a widow and they are now fatherless.

You know, instead of wasting it on incels.

she was not particularly attractive. She was not hideous, she was just an average middle aged woman you see at Costco.

Your method of describing women is disgusting.

“Unsolicited female attention”


Back to pornhub with you

I need that one today. Guess what I have? A @*%# COVID case on one of my floors. Saw another one in the ED last week. It’s baaaaaaack

Igor wearing his antivax t-shirt, Pierre Kory in his superhero outfit. Man, they’d have to beat the babes at Costco off with a stick.

RI judges can decide what pheromones Igor is giving off in that getup.,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

Meanwhile, here’s Igor hosting a monthly meeting of his wildly popular antivax group:

A better quality picture is here:

It is from Sep 2021…

This “I have immune system” really tells how little you know. People had immune system during Middle Ages Black Death hit regardless . Pathogens can circumvent your immune system.SARS CoV 2 that, too.

Yup. “I have an immune system” is the dumbest antivax slogan ever, and there’s a lot of competition. If everyone’s immune system were capable of stopping microorganisms with little harm, there would be no need for vaccines. Sometimes the immune system is part of the problem, as in the influenza pandemic of 1918, in which the disease appeared to kill younger, healthier individuals because they mounted a too-robust immune response.

@Aarno ==> This “I have immune system” really tells how little you know. People had immune system during Middle Ages Black Death hit regardless .

I agree that the message on the T-shirt lacks nuance.

But it is a T-shirt, it does not have room for a page of disclaimers and links to substack articles. The T-shirt is just for showing up at Costco and giving good people hope and support.

Orac, glad you found a T-shirt you like.

Definitely wear the T-shirt with the message you approve Orac – you will meet a lot of nice interesting people who will compliment you

“The T-shirt is just for showing up at Costco and giving good people hope and support”

….and, apparently, to demonstrate your lack of knowledge of how vaccines and the immune system work and the reason for vaccination in the first place.

I once wore a self-designed double-helix t-shirt with the message “Food Tastes Better With DNA” into a Whole Foods, anticipating a reaction from anti-GMOers.

Sadly, no one appeared to notice. 🙁

Most likely, nobody at Costco paid attention to Igor’s idiotic t-shirt except for silent eye-rolling, his fantasies about flirtation by hot Costco women not withstanding.

his fantasies about flirtation by hot Costco women not withstanding

I would not be surprised to see his next story begin

Dear Orac, I never thought this would happen to me.

You have an overly active, yet PG-rated, fantasy life. I look forward to part two, in which you run into Dr. Fauci in a Walmart parking lot and he confesses that COVID is a hoax and then Taylor Swift sees your T-shirt and yells “I’m an anti-vaxxer too, and you’re so handsome!”

Igor isn’t bad looking but that’s not the issue: promoting anti-vax isn’t a good look in itself because someone might follow it.

It’s cavalier to misinform people who might follow your lead and transmit a virus or get sick themselves; of course, no one could link it to you. Many anti-vax mothers routinely stop young mothers/ pregnant women in shops and warn them about the dangers of vaccines ( AoA, TMR, X) and leave anti-vax lit in doctors’ offices as well as writing on the net. They might be harming people they will never meet.

For many years, my parents lived with serious illness: my mother had type 1 diabetes/ complicated issues and my father lived to extreme age developing heart failure in his last decade; in addition, I counselled people who were hiv+ but you would have never known that by looking at me yet I could be a vector of harm.

When you express a position that contradicts medical consensus you are in effect pretending to be the ultimate authority about infectious disease and public health without any of the requirements that would entail. Any one can say anything on the net but you may influence vulnerable people who are already primed by internet provocateurs who benefit from their outre views for profit, admiration or accumulation of followers.

As I’ve said before, I could criticise geologists about the existence of tectonic plates and people might admire my rebellious science but it might hurt people who live in earthquake zones.

“probably bad thoughts about me”

Most likely ‘Look out, there’s someone whos so undereducated that they think their overeducated’.

I noticed she had her back to the camera. She didn’t want her face to be associated with the product.

EmJay writes,

“She didn’t want her face to be associated with the product.”

MJD says,

That’s one perspective. Another perspective is that she’s literally parting the seas as she walks into the ocean. In my opinion, the towels were free and this person agreed to be photographed just for the fun of it.

Where is this story of your going to go from here?

Please to not encourage that dipshit to post any more of his drivel!

Sorry about that!

I just never imagined that in addition to alternate history, science fiction and fantasy Igor also dabbled in romance when his capricious muse took hold and was (morbidly!) curious about that.

Contrarian physicians ( or as Orac calls them, quacks, grifters and brave mavericks) are all the rage amongst the alt med/ anti-vax mis-informers I survey because they allow them to have it both ways:
they can rant and rail against SBM/ consensus AND simultaneously, claim that their position reflects reasoned,superior medical expertise by esteemed doctors.

And believe me, these dudes appear on broadcasts, or in videos and articles or advertise their books and services on all the well-known haunts of entrenched woo and BS artistry on the net: there appears to be a constellation of alt med/ anti-vax sites that these dudes frequent as well as more politically bent right wing/ chaos places and of course, Substack accounts.

If Orac writes about them, it virtually guarantees that they’ll show up on NN, prn or CHD and Naomi Wolf, Celia Farber, Kirsch or Igor will write about them.

re Naomi Wolf:
Her Substack actively discourages Covid vaccination for pregnant women because it kills “babies” in utero and newly born. AND Pfizer knew!
Wolf likes Igor’s stuff. Enough said. Is she as accurate with vaccines as she was with deaths for anorexia/ bulimia and of incarcerated UK prisoners? Wikipedia.

Naomi Klein on following her ‘doppelganger’ down the conspiracy rabbit hole – and why millions of people have entered an alternative political reality

For years the writer laughed off being mistaken for fellow author Naomi Wolf. Then her ‘double’ drifted into a world of conspiracy theories and became a favoured guest of Steve Bannon and Tucker Carlson. With the US standing on a political precipice, suddenly the stakes were a lot higher

by Naomi Klein

Sat 26 Aug 2023 03.00 EDT

Amazing article, retelling the bewilderment of a supposed “Naomi Wolf doppelganger” Naomi Klein, as to why Naomi Wolf is a media star, adored by hundreds of thousands, while Naomi Klein, well, is anything but.

Naomi Klein is very close to understanding:

Naomi Klein: ==> But here is the trouble: many of Wolf’s words, however untethered from reality, tap into something true. Because there is a lifelessness and anomie to modern cities, and it did deepen during the pandemic – there is a way in which many of us feel we are indeed becoming less alive, less present, lonelier. It’s not the vaccine that has done this; it’s the stress and the speed and the screens and the anxieties that are all byproducts of capitalism in its necro-techno phase. But if one side is calling this fine and normal and the other is calling it “inhuman”, it should not be surprising that the latter holds some powerful allure.

In other words, Naomi Wolf is not a formerly proper and Democratic, now suddenly crazy hateful right-wing figure – but a full-of-life human being who wants other humans remain unique and feisty, as opposed to being emotionless, well-behaved numbered consumers.

Her popularity stems from millions of people wanting to live, love, and make mistakes, as opposed to being corraled into tiny WEF-approved apartments, becoming numbered sexless consumers, and being given unproven and dangerous “Covid vaccines” on a whim of nameless bureaucrats refusing to even debate their decisions.

Her popularity stems from millions of people wanting to live, love, and make mistakes, as opposed to being corraled into tiny WEF-approved apartments, becoming numbered sexless consumers, and being given unproven and dangerous “Covid vaccines” on a whim of nameless bureaucrats refusing to even debate their decision

a) Your asinine hatred of WEF, based on your ignorance and fact-free conspiracies, is tiresome
b) Your “unproven and dangerous” bit about vaccines is also tiresome and simple bullshit. The fact that you are too lazy to look at the studies, and likely unable to understand them if you did, doesn’t make your assertions true.It isn’t just the fact that you lie so freely that’s disgusting, it’s the fact that you’re completely untroubled by the fact that you’re telling people things that, if they follow them, put them at great risk
c) The “refusing to debate their decision” bit is new, but it is no surprise that it is also completely false.

Have you ever told the truth about anything more complicated than your name and the current date?

re the hated of the WEF

Lately, NN, prn present toxic, blended smoothies of CTs involving dastardly plans by the WEF/ WHO/ world government to:
— get rid of all currencies and substitute CBDCs / fiat currency collapses anyway or is replaced by BRICS monies
— force people to live in tiny apartments in 15 minute cities with huge penalties for breaking rules ( more realistic account of this idea in Deutsche Welle/ DW March 2023)
–” You will own nothing and be happy”: distorting Yuval Harari
— If you don’t comply with orders, you won’t be able to buy anything ( social score for credit) like in China or Canadian truckers’ bank stoppage
— you will be forced to vaccinate, put kids in government schools, pay taxes, use only electric cars/ stoves
— replace your job with AI or robots
— you will be paid a stipend and medicated ( like soma in Brave New World) to comply and live by VR; others will be jailed and eliminated in a depopulation plan
— plans to control your thoughts through nanotech bots/ drugs

They tell followers how to avoid this by MOVING TO THE COUNTRY!!!! growing your own food, going off the grid, using old silver coins/ untraceable crypto, getting out of banks/ investments/ credit, getting independent power and water sources, training in medical care, repair of homes, vehicles and security ( guns).

Mike Adams warns ( yesterday) Watch out, people on the net are trying to scam you for MONEY
FINALLY, he’s honest.

As an aside….

I regularly monitor altie/ anti-vax sites as my comments show BUT even I must take a rest sometime so I did for several days and spent time observing Nature and Culture without looking at computers or phones. Primeval forests, rugged coastlines, posh agriculture, interesting architectural trends, swimming pools, diverse locals / cuisine ..
so much better than loons screaming about the WEF/ WHO and death by vaccines.
But somebody has to do it.

@Denice ==> re the hated of the WEF

… … …

You have an amazingly well written bullet point list laying out the plans of the WEF. Very well done!

The thing is, these plans were not concocted by crazy consipracy theorists – they are all spelled out in the WEF agenda articles and other documents. (I read new WEF agenda articles of interest every day)

@ldw56old == Your asinine hatred of WEF, based on your ignorance and fact-free conspiracies, is tiresome

I do not hate the WEF, I love writing about the WEF, it is very interesting. I want to soon write a post “what does the WEF really want” where I will explain how they think.

Like all truly crazy and dangerous people, the WEF is not just about corruption, it is about a plan to save the planet and save the humanity. It has an utopian vision of the future, the so called “wellbeing for all” planetary vision. Wellbeing, of course, is something that the WEF reserves for itself to define.

@ Igor:

So what? Any organisation can lay out plans it doesn’t mean that the entire world will follow obediently. Last time I looked, there were many dozens of countries with multiple cultures, needs, economies and long term plans as well as economic engines, political parties and investment systems in place who often work in opposition to each other both between and within nations.

No, these ideas are tools fear mongers use to scare people about top-down control by governments/ corporations. When the pandemic hit, international organisations advocated for vaccine uptake to prevent spread of a novel virus for which no one had immunity. Some of the people I survey distorted realistic plans to terrify people about CONTROL by the powers-that-be, governments, pharma, evil doers when the main aim was to prevent another 1918 level pandemic.

Now, the chief aims of dis-informers is to frighten people about the sequelae of vaccination. People are dying or having heart attacks, still born babies, reduced fertility etc but NO legitimate statistics show this, only mis-interpretation of data allows you to believe this.

Where is your view about vaccine “destruction” superior to what RFKjr, Null, Adams, Mercola or any of the myriad quacks Orac discusses write? You encourage people to fear vaccines which could have deleterious consequences for them and others.

As if we should make judgments based purely on popularity- if that were true, I’d sure be watching different films and reading different websites/ articles!

Naomi Wolf presents herself as a feminist, reporter and educator so why has she such a storied history of mis-informing women? Her early book about eating disorders overestimates how many women suffer/ die from these conditions by ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE and later, not improved at all, she mis-represents gay men’s outcomes in prison by mis-understanding simple terminology which as an English student she should have known or at least, known how to look up!

Her latest adventures in fear mongering similarly mis-inform readers regularly: I imagine that more people read her material than do Orac’s but does that mean that her work is more important? She has eked out a niche for herself amongst far rightists and alt med proselytisers by attacking vaccines in order to gain a ready made audience of rebels and freedom advocates.

She might do better as a writer of fiction-
she already has a lot of experience.

I keep telling you, you should become a writer also – write thoughts like the above on your own platform and you will have good audience of people you like

I had to have a lot of contact with Wolf early in her career when she was heavily promoting The Beauty Myth. I thought it was really facile and unoriginal and she was being hugely overpraised as the next Important Feminist Theorist. I think she’s basically spoiled and can’t stand not to be the center of attention, so she gravitated to the lunatic fringe.

@ Sara:

You might “enjoy” reading her Substack, Outspoken. Her latest views might have been influenced by Brian O’Shea ( links to his Substack on her own) an “investigator” she hired then married. He sounds rather rightwing / CT mongering.

I refuse to take seriously any writer who entertains backwards, unrealistic, nonsensical notions :
anti-vax, hiv/aids denialism, homeopathy and various alt med ideas that Orac deconstructs regularly but are too numerous to outline here. Accepting or disseminating these tropes disqualifies a writer from consideration. Wolf’s errors I mentioned before should make her persona non grata. On second thought, they might even disqualify her as a fiction writer: novelists can be smart and portray reality artistically.

WEF approves apartments ? Why they are tiny, then ? There is more more money in expensive ones, you know?
Not to mention that you can buy as big apartment as you can afford,

I live in an appartment as well. And it has the same size as the appartment I used to live in with my parents.

Check out their Jul 19, 2018 agenda article “This tiny sustainable home could be the future of living”

This is about reducing the CO2 consumption.

Heck, the WEF may be even right!

Is it a conspiracy, or a plan to save the world?

[…] Far be it from me to argue against “ongoing research, humility, and the willingness to change established beliefs for the sake of patient care,” but you can see the game right away: to deceptively conflate the quackery promoted by FLCCC doctors with normal medical innovation, while equating critics of the FLCCC and its quackery with the doctors who, for example, refused to believe the 19th century findings of Ignaz Semmelweis, who linked lack of handwashing by obstetricians with puerperal fever that killed newborns and attacked him for his findings. (Hint: FLCCC is not Semmelweis.) Remember, FLCCC is a conspiracy-mongering bunch of grifting quacks promoting disproven “repurposed” treatments for COVID-19, such as ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and the grab bag of supplements and other repurposed drugs in their “early treatment protocols.” Indeed, two of FLCCC’s founders, Dr. Pierre Kory and Dr. Paul Marik recently reported that the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) had informed them that its Credentials and Certification Committee had recommended rescinding their board certifications, portraying the ABIM’s action as “persecution” by a corrupt organization. […]

He is one of the boldest, unrepentant liars of the pandemic. History will remember him so.

[…] Far be it from me to argue against “ongoing research, humility, and the willingness to change established beliefs for the sake of patient care,” but you can see the game right away: to deceptively conflate the quackery promoted by FLCCC doctors with normal medical innovation, while equating critics of the FLCCC and its quackery with the doctors who, for example, refused to believe the 19th century findings of Ignaz Semmelweis, who linked lack of handwashing by obstetricians with puerperal fever that killed newborns and attacked him for his findings. (Hint: FLCCC is not Semmelweis.) Remember, FLCCC is a conspiracy-mongering bunch of grifting quacks promoting disproven “repurposed” treatments for COVID-19, such as ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and the grab bag of supplements and other repurposed drugs in their “early treatment protocols.” Indeed, two of FLCCC’s founders, Dr. Pierre Kory and Dr. Paul Marik recently reported that the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) had informed them that its Credentials and Certification Committee had recommended rescinding their board certifications, portraying the ABIM’s action as “persecution” by a corrupt organization. […]

Comments are closed.


Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading