“Detox”: Ritual purification masquerading as medicine and wellness
If the "central dogma" of alternative medicine is that wishing makes it so, one of the most important of the other organizing dogmas of alternative medicine is that "toxins," whether they come from inside or outside, are making us sick and that we can't be healthy until we "detoxify." This is far more a religious belief than a science-based one.
The claim that Gardasil causes premature ovarian failure: Ideology, not science
It’s amazing how, to antivaccine activists, it just so happens that a vaccine that targets a sexually transmitted virus must also destroy a girl’s ovaries. It must be a coincidence, right?
Antivaccinationists and the Nation of Islam protest in front of the CDC, but don’t you dare call them “antivaccine”
Cranks of a feather quack together. Antivaccinationists team up with the Nation of Islam to protest vaccines at the CDC.
Taxpayers Fund Scientology Research on Gulf War Veterans
The “Hubbard protocol” is Scientology’s religion-based, pseudoscientific “detoxification” treatment used in its Narconon program to treat drug addiction. It was dreamed up by a science fiction writer with no medical training. Now it is being studied as a treatment for veterans suffering from Gulf War illness. Our limited public money for research is being wasted on a study with no scientific merit....
“Aborted fetal tissue” and vaccines: Combining pseudoscience and religion to demonize vaccines
As hard as it is to believe after seven and a half years of existence and nearly 2,400 posts on SBM, every so often, something reminds me that we here at SBM haven’t discussed a topic that should be discussed. So it was a couple of weeks ago, when I saw a familiar name in a news story that wasn’t about vaccines....
The war in California over nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates, part 2
California has passed SB 277 into law. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, SB 277 will eliminate personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements. This will benefit the health of California schoolchildren, but the law is not perfect and already antivaxers are looking for loopholes.
Answering Cancer Quackery: The Sophisticated Approach to True Believers
I got an e-mail with a link to a video featuring “Dr.” Leonard Coldwell, a naturopath who has been characterized on RationalWiki as a scammer and all-round mountebank. Here are just a few examples of his claims in that video: Every cancer can be cured in 2-16 weeks. The second you are alkaline, the cancer already stops. A pH of 7.36 is...
Scientology’s War on Medicine
Scientology is famously anti-psychiatry, teaching its believers that psychiatry is not only bogus, but downright evil, and in its place promotes a variety of unscientific and pseudoscientific practices. However, Scientology's war on medicine goes beyond just psychiatry.
What do we do about politicians and physicians who promote antivaccine misinformation?
There are politicians and physicians out there promoting antivaccine misinformation. None of us expect politicians to be scientists or physicians, but we do expect them to listen to them. Worse are physicians who betray their profession to promote antivaccine pseudoscience. What can be done about these very public figures who endanger public health?
Washington bills: Christian Science no longer an excuse for denying medical care
All states try to protect children from neglect, abandonment and mistreatment, such as deprivation of clothing, shelter, food and medical care. This includes civil laws which permit the removal of a child from the home and other protective interventions. Criminal laws protect children as well by, for example, making nonsupport a misdemeanor or criminal neglect a felony. Washington State law prohibits criminal...