This is a "reprint" of what is now online at the Quackometer. We do this to support Andy Lewis in his fight against US-based charlatans with the name Burzynski.
Because of the embedded links, which are not transported, we urge you to read the original web page at the Quackometer.
Also, please do note, that Andy Lewis is a bit dumb (mildly put) with marking quotes, which makes copying a very unpleasant chore. So, the text now is copied rightaway, with no quotation marks and no embedded links...http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2011/11/the-burzynski-clinic-threatens-my-family.html
[*quote*]The Burzynski Clinic Threatens My Family.
November 24, 2011
By Le Canard Noir
A scientist would face criticism with arguments about evidence, not vicious legal threats.
Tonight, the entertainer Peter Kay will be performing the first of two special sell-out gigs in Blackpool to raise funds for a very poorly four-year old girl with brain cancer. The story of how this fundraising event came about was told in last weekend’s Observer. However, the £200,000 being raised looked like it was earmarked to send little Billie to a clinic in Texas to enrol in a trial that was using an unproven and questionable form of urine-based treatment.
I wrote about my concerns with this and how this might be giving false hope to a vulnerable family and how it may be funnelling money to an unproductive cause. Dr Burzynsli, who runs the clinic, is not allowed to treat people with cancer with his unproven antineoplaston therapy. He is, however, allowed to enrol people in trials. And he does so, and charges them hundreds of thousands of dollars. He has been doing this for over 30 years without producing the substantial evidence from these trials that would convince the scientific community that he has an effective and safe treatment.
It is a difficult thing to write about given the pain that must be felt by the family. The goodwill of those wanting to help cannot but underestimated. But I believe this to be an important issue. And it appears that others do too, such as set out in this excellent summary by blogger Josephine Jones.
However, within 24 hours of writing my article, I received the following email from a Marc Stephens who claimed to represent the Texas clinic.
Le Canard Noir / Andy Lewis,
I represent the Burzynski Clinic, Burzynski Research Institute, and Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. It has been brought to our attention that you have content on your websites http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2011/11/the-false-hope-of-the-burzynski-clinic.html
that is in violation of multiple laws.
Please allow this correspondence to serve as notice to you that you published libelous and defamatory information. This correspondence constitutes a demand that you immediately cease and desist in your actions defaming and libeling my clients.
Please be advised that my clients consider the content of your posting to be legally actionable under numerous legal causes of action, including but not limited to: defamation Libel, defamation per se, and tortious interference with business contracts and business relationships. The information you assert in your article is factually incorrect, and posted with either actual knowledge, or reckless disregard for its falsity.
The various terms you use in your article connote dishonesty, untrustworthiness, illegality, and fraud. You, maliciously with the intent to harm my clients and to destroy his business, state information which is wholly without support, and which damages my clients’ reputations in the community. The purpose of your posting is to create in the public the belief that my clients are disreputable, are engaged in on-going criminal activity, and must be avoided by the public.
You have a right to freedom of speech, and you have a right to voice your opinion, but you do not have the right to post libelous statements regardless if you think its your opinion or not. You are highly aware of defamation laws. You actually wrote an article about defamation on your site. In addition, I have information linking you to a network of individuals that disseminate false information. So the courts will apparently see the context of your article, and your act as Malicious. You have multiple third parties that viewed and commented on your article, which clearly makes this matter defamation libel. Once I obtain a subpoena for your personal information, I will not settle this case with you. Shut the article down IMMEDIATELY.
GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.
9432 Katy Freeway
Houston, Texas 77055
Now, there were many odd things about this. And we shall come to a few of those. And I know that several other people have been receiving similar threats. I know of another very prominent UK blogger who received a similar email a few weeks ago and I am sure this too will come to light soon. You will not be impressed.
However, for now, I replied,
I am sorry to hear that your client believes there is a problem with my web post.
My wife is due to give birth today, so you must forgive me if I am unable to respond promptly to your inquiries. In that light, I would kindly ask that you respond today with responses to the following points so that we may conclude this correspondence to our mutual satisfaction.
As I am sure you would agree, it would be unreasonable to demand that I remove a post simply because your client may hold divergent views. However, I do wish to make it clear that should there be factual inaccuracies in my writing or there is opinion that is unreasonable, then I am more than happy to examine the issue closely and make the necessary amendments.
You state that there is material in my post that is factually incorrect. I would therefore ask you to state explicitly the wording in my post that you feel that is wrong and the reasons that it is wrong. I am keen to ensure my post is as accurate as possible given the subject is a matter of public health.
Please be assured that when I receive clear information on the wording you feel is problematic, I will deal with the matter as soon as I can.
Very quickly, I got this response,
FINAL NOTICE TO CEASE AND DESIST
I am not here to grade your article, or play games with you. You fully understand what you’re doing, which is why you are trying to hide behind your so-called “opinion”. You have a history of lying in your articles since 2008. All articles and videos posted from your little network are being forwarded to local authorities, as well as local counsel. It is your responsibility to understand when you brake[sic] the law. I am only obligated to show you in court. I am giving you final warning to shut the article down. The days of no one pursuing you is over. Quackwatch, Ratbags, and the rest of you Skeptics days are numbered.
So, since you have a history of being stubborn, you better spend the rest of the day researching the word Fraud, you better do full research on the relationship of Dr. Saul Green and Emprise, Inc., and you better do full research on Stephen Barrett who is not licensed, or ever was licensed. So his medical opinion is void, which I am sure you are fully aware of his court cases. So your so-called opinion means nothing when this is disclosed in court, and by law you must prove your statements are true. Your source of information are all frauds, and none are medical doctors. You being apart of the same network makes you guilty, in the eyes of the jurors.
Be smart and considerate for your family and new child, and shut the article down..Immediately
You are still accountable for Re-publishing false information, and disseminating false information. None of the previous attorneys that contacted you about defamation had documented history in the courts. We have well documented history which is on record with the court, which is available to the public. So, when I present to the juror that my client and his cancer treatment has went up against 5 Grand Juries which involved the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Aetna Life Insurance, Emprise, Inc., Texas State Medical Board, and the United States Government, and was found not guilty in all 5 cases, you will wish you never wrote your article. In addition, my client has treated multiple cancer patients around the world, which is fully documented by the FDA, NCI, and Kurume University School of Medicine in Japan, and has finished Phase II clinical trials with FDA approval to move forward with Phase III. I suggest you spend more time with your new child then posting lies and false information on the internet that will eventually get you sued, which will hurt you financially. I am going to pursue you at the highest extent of the law.
If you had no history of lying, and if you were not apart of a fraud network I would take the time to explain your article word for word, but you already know what defamation is. I’ve already recorded all of your articles from previous years as well as legal notice sent by other attorneys for different matters. As I mentioned, I am not playing games with you. You have a history of being stubborn which will play right into my hands. Be smart and considerate for your family and new child, and shut the article down..Immediately. FINAL WARNING.
This foam-flecked angry rant did not look like the work of a lawyer to me. And indeed it is not. Marc Stephens appears to work for Burzynski in the form of PR, marketing and sponsorship. This does not look like very good PR to me, but I guess that does not matter too much when newspapers like the Observer can do a much better job for you.
Lawyer or not. It is worth taking such threats seriously, and so I persisted,
Once again, can I ask you to document the precise nature of your substantive concerns about my article. I shall then be more than willing to act accordingly.
And the response,
As I mentioned, I will not advise you on how to break the law, or go around the law. Once the article is shut down I will consider explaining to you.
One last try,
As I a sure you are aware, the pre-action defamation protocol requires you to state the wording you object to. Without such detail, it is difficult for me to act appropriately. Your demand for me to remove the entire post is unreasonable without there being clear and specific grounds for me to do so.
I urge you to treat this matter as seriously as you say it is.
And a final response,
You better start paying attention. I do not have to be verbatim with you. Let me quote what I just written in my previous legal notice to you:
“We have well documented history which is on record with the court, which is available to the public. So, when I present to the juror that my client and his cancer treatment has went up against 5 Grand Juries which involved the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Aetna Life Insurance, Emprise, Inc., Texas State Medical Board, and the United States Government, and was found not guilty in all 5 cases, you will wish you never wrote your article. In addition, my client has treated multiple cancer patients around the world, which is fully documented by the FDA, NCI, and Kurume University School of Medicine in Japan, and has finished Phase II clinical trials with FDA approval to move forward with Phase III.”
You better re-read your article.
I believe my article was raising serious issues concern on matters of public health and the ethical issues of charging hundreds of thousands from the desperate parents of terminally ill children. It is an important set of issues that the Observer failed to pick up on in an uncritical piece that may well send more parents down a path that has the potential to do serious harm.
In science, the truth emerges after ideas have been subjected to thorough experimental testing, and the results critically appraised by peers. This process can be harsh – and it needs to be. In medicine, despite the best of intentions, it is possible to do great harm when you believe you are doing good. Ideas only emerge as bad because of intense critical appraisal.
Dr Burzynski presents himself as a man of science. But, I would say to him and his associates, a man of science would welcome critical appraisal, would publish all the data he has, and allow the world to come to conclusions based on how good that evidence is. A man of science would not threaten critics and try to silence them. That is a sure and certain way that you will end up harming patients.
Such actions are typically not those of someone concerned with scientific truth but of someone concerned with protecting a multi-million pound income stream.
I challenge Dr Burzynski to show me that these are not his intentions, but that indeed he is a man of science concerned only with helping patients with cancer and discovering scientific truth.
To that end, I ask of him the following:
To immediately cease treating all patients with antineoplaston therapy until such time that independent peers can demonstrate that the therapy delivers greater benefits that harms and provides sufficient cost benefits.
To immediately stop enrolling children with cancer into his trials and asking desperate parents to pay huge sums of money for the privilege. Future trials should be funded by third parties to avoid placing vulnerable patients, who would do anything for their children, in potentially exploitative situations.
To turn over and publish all data collected over the past 30 years on patients treated for independent peer review to determine if there is a body of evidence to suggest antineoplaston therapy may be worthwhile.
To concentrate on defending yourself in the upcoming medical license hearing with the Texas Medical Board and to rely on using the evidence of your conduct and your clinical data rather than relying on ‘placard waving’ supporters drummed up by PR campaigns.
Cease threatening those who criticise you with legal action and engage with them in discussions of the evidence, as any good scientist would.
Such a course of action, I believe, would be in the best interest of current and future patients and demonstrate a commitment to truth, science and health. You may feel that your reputation is being lowered by such criticism. But reputations must come second to the well-being of small children who are desperately ill with cancer.
The False Hope of the Burzynski Clinic Yesterday’s Observer contained a full page, heart breaking story of a 4-year old girl, Billie Bainbridge, who has a inoperable and rare form of brain cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine...
The Finchley Clinic, Triamazon and the Law. There is nothing too remarkable about the Finchley Clinic in London. Apart that it is not really a clinic as you might understand the word. It is run by...
Las Mariposas Clinic: Costa Del Quackery Watching the antics of quacks is funny and I hope some of that humour comes across on this blog. Sometimes, however, humour just appears to be so misplaced. Las Mariposas...
Liverpool NHS PCT Drops Supernatural Cancer Claims from Website Six weeks ago I wrote about how Liverpool Homeopathic ‘hospital’ was advertising that it offered cancer treatments based on the supernatural beliefs of mystic Rudolf Steiner. Observing that mistletoe grew...
Evidence to Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill Parliament is currently looking at creating a new defamation bill.You can now see their report on the issues and much of the evidence submitted to them here.I submitted the paper...
63 Responses to “ The Burzynski Clinic Threatens My Family. ”
anarchic teapot on November 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm
You have my entire support and I agree that the letters as published are merely bullying attempts, until such time as precise details of the disputed statements are produced. Perhaps Dr Burzynski and Mr Stephens should look up the following terms “Boiron Italian blogger” and “Streisand effect”, as an example of how not to resolve disputes amicably.
Finally, I look forward to receiving my own email: http://blog.anarchic-teapot.net/2011/11/22/burzynski-piss-poor-cancer-therapy-at-a-hefty-price/
You do not stand alone.
Tom on November 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm
Thanks for not bowing to pathetic and vague threats, you do us all a service.
Phire on November 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm
Could those letters sound any less professional? The partners should probably be made aware of what kind of overtly threatening language their PR department is employing…
Imran on November 24, 2011 at 6:26 pm
I’m intrigued by this “a network of individuals that disseminate false information” – they sound like a terrible bunch.
Josephine Jones on November 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm
I am hugely impressed with the way LCN has handled the rude and unprofessional threats. I’m also relieved that he has received such emails before me and dealt with them in this way. I don’t think I would have had the guts.
I haven’t yet had any legal threat from anyone claiming to work for Burzynski. I expect it is only a matter of time…
Incidentally, in case anyone missed it, similar exchanges have been posted here: http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/burzynski.htm
LeeHW on November 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm
May rationality and evidence win the day!
Daibhid C on November 24, 2011 at 6:34 pm
The reply given in the case of Pressdram vs Arkell would seem to be aposite is this situation.
Mike Warren on November 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm
Well done Andy.
Can I join the “network”?
David Robert Grimes on November 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm
Congratulations, this is precisely the kind of integrity we need when fraudsters ply their trade. Please keep us posted, and if there is anything we can do, just say the word!
Malky on November 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm
Surely asking people to pay money to enrol in trials is unconstitutional?
Can’t they be sued?
martin on November 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm
Unconstitutional I don’t know. But a clear conflict of interest, should the good doctor ever choose to publish in a peer-review journal.
James on November 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm
With all best wishes for the imminent birth of your child, I hope you treat this correspondence from Burzynski’s agent with the disdain it deserves.
At the very least, this supposed PR professional seems not to have a basic grasp of his profession and its methods.
Keep up the good and valuable work!
Bob on November 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm
I am not a lawyer. However, I wonder if this Marc Stephens person is also not a lawyer, at least one not licensed to practice law in the state of Texas. A quick check through the State Bar of Texas website (http://www.texasbar.com/am/template.cfm?section=Advanced_Search
) looking for the last name ‘Stephens’ and scanning entries with a first or middle name of Marc (or Mark) turns up a few entries, but none which seem relevant (i.e. near Houston.)
Again, I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know whether non-lawyers can issue Cease & Desist letters or not. Still, I’d ask someone who does know Texas law whether this Marc Stephens person is effectively impersonating a lawyer and if his behavior is legal or even worth worrying about. I have an attorney friend in Austin, TX I can bounce this off if you’re curious.
I suspect Stephens is merely a PR flack paid to threaten Burzynski’s critics; if so, he deserves (at most) a Pressdram vs Arkell response.
Charles Lambert on November 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm
Please share this with as many people as you can, on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. These people need to be exposed – always and everywhere.
jli on November 24, 2011 at 7:29 pm
He is not a lawyer. A few months back he harassed a poster on yahoo answers, and made legal threats. See the comments to this question: http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110319041727AAIL4BL
Marc Stephens is the one called MAS. When people refuse to take his legal threats seriously (and ridicule him a bit). He launches teenagerish insults – that’s all.
A bit ironic that “MAS” inspired me to take a look at the “evidence” presented in the movie. Those of you who have visited the anaximperator blog know what that led to: http://anaximperator.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/burzynski-the-movie-does-it-prove-the-efficacy-of-antineoplastons-against-cancer/
Bob on November 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm
This is the motherfucker who went after my friend whose son was dying of brian cancer! I had to tell her that if what he was saying were true that hed have multiple Nobel Prizes. Thank you for giving me a name. I will not forget it.
Leens on November 24, 2011 at 7:41 pm
The level of lack of professionality is just embarrassing.
If they had any ground to rightfully sue you, they wouldn’t bother with these frankly desperate attempts to threaten you.
Since when do bloggers bend to bullies?
kirrus on November 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm
His responses seem a lot like an ‘angry internet man’ troll, rather than any other considered useful response
Mike on November 24, 2011 at 8:04 pm
Many thanks for standing up and being counted. Adding to your wholly praiseworthy forensic dissection of this disgusting practice by eliciting this level of semi-literate unprofessional bullying only reinforces the point. Let’s hope Peter Kay, The Observer et al have the grace to take the hint and retract.
Now where do I make that New Year’s Honours List nomination?
By the way – also having fun with the phone scammers.
Paul Morgan on November 24, 2011 at 8:08 pm
I wonder if this “Marc Stephens” would clarify his status within the Burzynski Clinic organisation? The link you give clearly lists him as working in (or running) Marketing and Sponsorship for The Burzynski Patient Group, a support group who (according to the Burzynski Clinic website) meet weekly at the clinic and have the website you link to. There doesn’t seem to any mention of him on the actual website of the Burzynski Clinic. Could he therefore please clarify his relationship to Dr. Burzynski and the Burzynski Clinic and his status, e.g. attorney-at-law ?
GCB on November 24, 2011 at 8:11 pm
What an idiot! To me they appear to be praying on the vulnerable whilst being protected by a privatised system (god save the NHS). Shame on the Observer too – surely this is only Daily Mail stuff these days?
Please keep exposing…if they do believe in what they do they can publish the evidence. Simples. On a plus side – his mardy reponse was much funnier than Peter Kay.
Kulvinder Singh Matharu on November 24, 2011 at 8:14 pm
Justifiable concerns and questions have been raised, and the Burzynski Clinic needs to respond in an objective and professional manner with supporting high-quality evidence demonstrating efficacy, etc.
My own link: http://www.metalvortex.com/blog/2011/11/24/695.html
Jonno on November 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm
Carry on the good work. Truth will out.
Mirik on November 24, 2011 at 8:31 pm
The dude doesn’t call himself a lawyer even, obviously a PR-intimidation lackey.
Obviously not helping Burzynsi’s case, should be clear. Why not work WITH the people that criticise you to show how they are wrong, as opposed to intimidating them, creating only more dissent through distroust & dislike. Shows nefarious motives to me, that don’t bode well for the science behind it all.
This moron must not be familiar with the Barbara Streisand-effect.
Also, I think the blogger who previously was harassed by these goons is Simon Singh, because his post on Burzynski WAS removed, and he is a prominent (the most prominent?) skeptical blogger on matters of medicine.
I thought this whole Burzynski business was rather interesting, having a penchant for underdogs & how they were treated by the medical establishment, but now they seem like just any other bullying quacks, damaging their own credibility, insofar they had any.
Libel laws are absurd. Should be replaced by ‘accountability laws’ that work the opposite way. YOU as a corporation or institution make extra-ordinary claims, we have the right to slam & sue YOU until you provide extra-ordinary evidence that it is so. Reverse-libel.
That’s the real offence, lying for profit by ‘medical’ corporations. Scepticism is never a crime, it’s a way to truth, don’t punish it, punish the profiteers who give people false hope.
anarchic teapot on November 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm
While he does not pretend in as many words to be a lawyer, claiming to “represent” and frequent breference to “my clients” is obviously intended to give that impression, along with the use of the words “cease and desist”.
Acleron on November 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm
Well done, you have the support of everyone who is interested in driving out the irrational and fraudulent in health care.
Jack of Kent on November 24, 2011 at 10:23 pm
Well done Andy for standing up to this misconceived and illiberal libel bullying.
Happy to help in any campaign if this chap threatens any thing more.
In the meantime Dr Burzynski could perhaps be usefully referred to the leading case on this sort of libel threat, as set out at my post here: http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/2010/05/reply-given-in-arkell-v-pressdram.html
Drive Like Jehu on November 24, 2011 at 10:55 pm
Why do proponents of ‘alternative’ cancer treatments rail against ‘Big Pharma’ because ‘they’re just interested in profits’, then line up to defend Burzynski (typical cost of a years treatment c.$40-60k)?
As has been pointed out elsewhere, a reputable scientist would respond to criticism with evidence, not lawsuits.
Mike Taylor on November 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm
It reads like a chapter out of Carl Hiaasen’s Native Tongue. amazing.. Please keep up the good work.
Dr Aust on November 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm
As Jack of Kent says, well done for standing up to yet more attempted libel chill, Andy – and good luck with the imminent family event. Let us know if we can help, beyond the re-tweet (already done).
Interestingly, just a day or two ago I saw a recent episode of the excellent US TV series Law and Order dealing with a doctor offering ‘miracle cancer cures’, but without any actual documented successes. I wonder who they could have been inspired by?
Sadly, I imagine they were probably spoilt for choice. Which is all the more reason this sort of stuff deserves a public airing.
NobodyKnows on November 24, 2011 at 11:22 pm
How can anyone be so monumentally incompetent as to defame somebody, not to mention threaten them, in an anti-defamation notice? One can only imagine what the office must be like, with people comically crashing into each other and slipping on banana peels.
Blue Bubble on November 25, 2011 at 12:06 am
Just going to bed … but just had to respond with another “we’re right behind you”.
Absolute scumbags … grrrrrr.
JimR on November 25, 2011 at 12:33 am
You have been bogusly SLAPPed.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation
A SLAPP law suit is filed to shutup someone. In reality it is filed in a court by a real lawyer. Hard to defend due to costs.
Alan Henness on November 25, 2011 at 2:51 am
I see that Burzynski claims to be a member of the Royal Society of Medicine: see page 1 of his 34 page CV. I wonder if the RSM would be interested in what is apparently being done in the name of one of its members?
Dr Richard Rawlins on November 25, 2011 at 9:52 am
Sadly, the answer is that they couldn’t care less.
I have asked them before about how membership applications are scrutinised – they are not, beyond noting the applicant has an interest in healthcare. you do not have to be a doctor or any kind or regular, regulated healthcare professional.
The RSM is currently running a campaign for funds – selling a space on its Wall of Honour – glass screens engraved with the name of the person you want to see honoured. Self nomination allowed.£1000 please.And there are some very starnge names indeed including John McTimoney of McTimoney Chiropractic fame.
A number of Camists are now joining the RSM and then froudly claiming in their promotional literature that they “have been elected as fellow of the RSM”. Which is true. They have.
IMHO the RSM needs to attend to this issue if it is not to be brought into disrepute – but it is a very commercial organisation and is proud to have lay members.
(The next President is Sir Michael Rawlins, but he is no relation to meyself!)
anarchic teapot on November 25, 2011 at 12:21 pm
The RSM’s 2012 Wellcome lecture is to be given by a certain Baroness Greenfield:http://www.rsm.ac.uk/academ/well2012.php
It looks like they’re already well on the way to becoming the next wrecthed hive of CAM and quackery.
mandas on November 25, 2011 at 3:37 am
File those idiotic letters where the belong – the trash.
Monkboon on November 25, 2011 at 4:07 am
I have met Dr. Barrett, and have friends who know him much better than I. I believe Mr. Stephens has himself libeled the good doctor by claiming he has never been a licensed physician, which isn’t at all difficult to confirm. He may have retired 18 years ago from medical practice, but his license is still active and in good standing.
It is also rather clear that Mr. Stephens is not an attorney simply from his statements. Aside from his appalling grammar, he seems to be unaware that in matters of criminal law in the US, grand juries do not determine guilt. They are charged with determining whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, nothing more. The unlikely event of a grand jury declaring the clinic “not guilty” does not mean that any form of prosecution had ever taken place, merely that accusations had been made.
Jules on November 25, 2011 at 7:01 am
Well done for not giving in to the quacks, Andy. You’re doing very important work. Of course no credible lawyer would write such ridiculous and threatening letters!
paul clayton on November 25, 2011 at 9:26 am
Bravo Andy. We may not agree on all issues but I support what you are doing here 100%. If not more.
Ron on November 25, 2011 at 10:02 am
You have my support, it must be a worry having all this hate I hope our support outweighs it. Carry on the good work.
Neuroskeptic on November 25, 2011 at 10:05 am
Looks like Mr Stephens has bitten off more than he can chew here. I’m right behind you.
Adam Jacobs on November 25, 2011 at 10:07 am
Great stuff Andy. Others have already said it, but I’ll add my voice too: you have a lot of support here. Well done for standing up for the truth.
It would be laughable how utterly bogus their libel threats are were it not for the fact that any libel threat, no matter how bogus, is no laughing matter. But really, sending from a gmail account from someone who clearly isn’t a lawyer, has absolutely no idea about appropriate pre-action protocols, and can’t even mention a single sentence in your post that he believes to be factually inaccurate? It sounds like Burzynski has hired Laurel & Hardy for his legal team.
Keep up the good work!
Matt Smith on November 25, 2011 at 10:18 am
Fantastic stuff, and well done for standing your ground.
Mike Eslea on November 25, 2011 at 11:17 am
These people really are the lowest form of scum. Well done Andy, and let’s hope this little girl gets better through proper treatment, without falling prey to these ghouls.
b on November 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm
If you do eventually need money for a legal fund, please email me to let me know.
You do not stand alone.
Graeme Hanigan on November 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm
To keep it brief Marc Stephens sounds like a complete twat!
Zoe D Katze PhD on November 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm
As both a scientist, and the spouse of a wife of 33 years who went through a 4+ year battle with Lymphoma before passing in December of 2009 I’d like to have the following entered into the official Le Canard Noir Record:
The “quantum quancer quackers” such as Burzynski, those who gather like lambs to the slaughter to try and take advantage of desperate and naive people with their quackery, should simply be ridiculed, laughed at, mocked and ignored.
Why offer them anything more than they do to the victims of their quackery?
Here is what I publish on my own site,
The only people who would be expected to complain about the contents of this site are those whose beliefs or practices are criticized and exposed by the information here.
Anonymous complaints are ridiculed, laughed at, mocked and ignored.
Complaints from real people are read, filed, published on this site, and again laughed at, mocked and ignored, unless evidence is offered of inaccuracy in something appearing on the site.
I wish I could put this as succinctly as my “new most excellent anonymous friend” anarchist teapot did, however I have never been known for utilizing an “economy of words.”
I can say (albeit long windily) “Dr.’s Barrett, Hall, Orac” and others at “Quackwatch” keep up with your postings on Burzynski et al, as I’m the member of the forum who consistently links to your site.
Don’t be bullied, and don’t discontinue your posting, it’s important work for a 21st century society to stop this pseudo-scientific mind mush and nonsense, and as I say on my own site:
“Debunk The Dubious, Quantify The Quacks, and advocate transparency in government and medicine by fostering a secular society based upon critical thinking, science, reason and Pastafarianism”
Keep a good spirt and a sense of humor about it all, as
1. “long run is a misleading guide to current affairs, in the long run we are all dead”
2. “creationists make it sound as though a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night”
and remember as theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli said about the ever credulous, “Dr” Burzynski long before the narcissistic nonsensical neophyte ever started espousing his quackery,
3. “not even wrong,” i.e., an expression, that we scientists use to describe the lowest rung on the intellectual ladder; Levels of ignorance–like many wrong ideas and opinions–that are so completely useless as to be a waste of time.
Andy, please publish whatever you want, including but not limited to my name, my web site, my IP address, and my opinion.
Both Mr. “Stephens” and “Dr. Burzynski” clearly avail themselves of the philosophy that
4. “I’ll get my facts first, and then I can distort them as I please,”
5. “before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.”
Lastly, I believe I can unequivocally state that we here at “Quackwatch” are all with you, best to your wife and new baby and may “his noodliness” the “flying spaghetti monster” bless you and “touch you with his noodly appendage”
If “Mr. Stephens” or any other “pseudo-lawyers” contact you with “cease and desist” letters, and/or emails, please free to tell them I said to address their complaints/issues either here:http://debunktionjunction.org//2011/09/25/cease-and-desist-letterdo-we-have-to-tell-you-again/
or here: http://debunktionjunction.org/category/love-letters/
Or if thats not satisfactory, in the “alternative” (bad pun) have them contact MY “lawyer’s”
Jay Livingston at:
Scott P Soniat at
Best regards to a fellow “quackbuster” who’s fighting the good fight,
Zoe D Katze PhDhttp://debunktionjunction.org
P.S. There’s an actor in the U.S. named Ashton Kutcher who has made a career out of what we call “punking”
As it relates to “Dr” Burzynski it would go something like this:
One dubious “medical facility” located at 9432 Katy Parkway, in the I-10 Business Park, Houston, Texas, USA, curiously registered with the Harris County Texas, Tax Assessors Office to Gregmont Investments LLC c/o Stanislaw Burzynski,
SIX MILLION DOLLARS,
Obfuscatory reference’s to neoplasms by virtue of the quackery laughingly called anti-neoplatons, coined for a group of simple peptides, amino acid derivatives and human urine,
Whatever it costs for a “web master, web site and search engine optimization” to publish non-peer reviewed cheap anecdotal testimonials spammed all over the internet
Having the last laugh by doing the right thing, exposing and punking Stanislaw Burzynski and seeing him either
1. debt ridden,
4. All of the above
Chris on November 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm
Marc is well burzy makin’ a tool of himself.
Peter Pulsford on November 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm
He says final warning and then sends 2 more. And he tried to criticize your accuracy….
“Let me quote what I just written” -I don’t think he’s anything to worry about.
PalMD on November 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm
Is there any way we can verify if this , in my opinion, unhinged person is actually associated with the Clinic?
PalMD on November 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm
I have written the Clinic asking them to clarify their relationship, if any, with Stephens. If none exist, this guy is even more of a wacko.
If they do not refute the connection, well, lots more blogs will be promoted to the cause.
Libby Cone, MD, MA on November 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm
It’s amazing how angry people get when you threaten their income stream, even when it is from vulnerable cancer patients who will grasp at any straw when told that there is a cure that “doctors don’t want you to know about.” People like this bring so much suffering and guilt to patients, their families, and the friends around them, many of whom are shaken down for money for useless treatments. You have my full support. Thank God the US libel laws are more sensible than those of the UK.
daijiyobu on November 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm
Wow. I will gladly begin also spreading word on this harassment you are experiencing. Last night I was, coincidentally, with family and friends and someone brought up “antineoplastons.” We live near NYC here in the US and for decades certain radio personalities have been highly promoting Burzynski. I gave a short run-down, to the person, on the therapy’s lack of evidence, and the difference between the weaker “evidence-based” model and the more rigorous “science-based” model anyway. It would be quite a shame if such a ‘false hope’ treatment route was taken and standard cancer therapy wasn’t.
Tom Carter on November 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm
Good luck with this! Its great to see someone not taking the empty threats of litigious quacks. It really is appalling that they’ve been able to get away with taking advantage of vulnerable people for so long.
endless_psych on November 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm
Starting an attempt to petition the clinic to release details of it’s trial methodology and the results it has gathered over the last thirty plus years (but largely guarded secretively).
If people might be so inclined to support this effort?http://bit.ly/rDGJGR
I doubt that we will get the data mind, but the hope is that it provides another source of doubt for those vulnerable people who might be taken in…
Zoe D Katze PhD on November 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm
Everybody at Quackwatch is with you, including Dr. Stephen Barret, Dr. Stephen Hawking and lots of other guys who are not Dr’s named “Stephen.”
In all seriousness, I am the contributor to the quackwatch forum that generally keeps everyone up with your posts.
The great and powerful “Orac” himself is a supporter also (pay no attention to that man behind the curtain)
Burch on November 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm
Streisand Syndrome in full effect. Well done for not taking the easy route.
Pete on November 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm
Will Burzynski now threaten Cancer Research UK? http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2011/11/25/hope-or-false-hope/
Barnie on November 25, 2011 at 5:52 pm
Heh, beat me to it
It looks like if any legal threats are carried through with they might well be met with quite a formidable wall of defence!
That itself obviously doesn’t disprove their efficacy or effectiveness, but does rather undermine their complaints.
Further, if proponents of antineoplaston therapy are so sure it works then I can’t help but feel that their time and money would be better spent proving it and spreading the good news than dragging well intentioned individuals through court ( or even threatening to do so ).
Threatening legal action while refusing to identify the specific issues which they’re complaining about seems to be the exact opposite of spending their time to achieve what they must surely see as the common good.
Of all the potential “turn offs” for this therapy, the unprofessional communications from Marc Stephen must rank fairly highly.
Monica Pignotti on November 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm
As someone who has also been repeatedly threatened and had an unsuccessful attempt at a SLAPP filed against me for speaking out against questionable practices, you have my full support. If they sincerely believe your facts to be inaccurate, let them name them. One thing I learned from my own experience is that people who have no substantive rebuttals to my concerns, quickly resort to either legal threats, internet smear campaigns or both.
You might want to consider adding the threat you received to the Citizen Media Law legal threats online database.
Monica Pignotti on November 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm
PS: Here is the link to the Citizen Media Law Legal Threats database:http://www.citmedialaw.org/database
Stella on November 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm
Keep up the good work Andy, people like this have to be exposed so that people aren’t wasting their time and money on something that won’t cure them, you, sir, have my wholehearted support.
P.S. Marc Stephens sounds more like a typical Troll than a ‘lawyer/PR consultant’