18th October 2014
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
What is Quack-Quackery?
What is a quack? What is a quack quack? What is a quack quack quack? And why do we need to beware them?
Is a quack someone who sells ‘false medicine’. Not just that. Merriam-Webster defines a quack as “one who makes false claims of identity or expertise” – not just medicines. They are claiming to have expertise they do not have.
Does a quack know they are a quack? Do they really think they have the required expertise, or are they simply lying, perhaps to sell a dubious product, and moving quickly to the new customer? It doesn’t matter. Both the idiot and the liar fit the definition of a quack.
The Quack Quack
A quack quack is someone who claims to see a quack, but is actually “making false claims of identity or expertise” themselves.
The name ‘quackbuster’ is used by a group of people who claim to ‘bust’ quacks, exposing their quackery. It’s very easy for a quackbuster to be, or to become a quack – that is to say, a quack quack.
How can you tell if a quackbuster is just a quack quack? Check the width of their swath, and the number of quacks they find. The more quacks they find – the more likely they are quack quacks. If they find quacks everywhere, or if they find that everyone in a certain area of study is a quack – it’s clear that their quackfinder is ‘quacked’.
Tim Bolen from QuackPotWatch.com advises us that the quackbuster’s popular website Quackwatch.com is exactly that:
North Americans have known, or suspected, for some time, that there has been an organized assault by a group, against companies, and practitioners, offering alternatives to the drugs/surgery paradigm. That group calls itself the “quackbusters”…
According to Tim, Quackwatch is a collection of ‘quack quacks’ pretending to search for ‘quacks’.
Confused yet? Right now, it seems about as clear as the mud underneath the ducks. But stick with me, soon it will be as clear as the quack of a mother duck.
Contrary to the Mirriam-Webster definition, Wikipedia defines Quackery as the promotion of unproven or fraudulent medical practices. Suddenly ‘quack’ has been extended from “false claims”, to “unproven”.
How did this happen? If you check Wiki’s reference link you find none other than Quackwatch.com.
Does quackwatch have right to redefine the word quack? Or are they making “false claims of expertise about quackery”?
It seems Tim Bolen is right: Quackwatch is a ‘quack quack’, attempting to redefine “quack” to suit their organizational goals, and presenting their ‘new’ definition as if it was fact.
You might ask, what’s wrong with that definition? Isn’t it valid to add “unproven” to the list of ‘quack’ products?
Historically, a medical quack is someone who sells ‘quacksalve’, a salve or potion that does not cure. The top 70 best selling pharmaceutical medicines of 2013 do not cure, and if you check Drugs.Com for example, you can easily confirm these facts. Take your time. Are these drug manufacturers and their salesmen ‘quacks’? Or are they ‘proven’ because they are proven to treat ‘symptoms’, but proven to ‘not cure’ disease?
As Satoshi Kanazawa advises us in his article in Psychology Today, “Common misconceptions about science I: Scientific proof”:
Proofs exist only in mathematics and logic, not in science. Mathematics and logic are both closed, self-contained systems of propositions, whereas science is empirical and deals with nature as it exists.
Proof is for the courts of law, and for mathematicians. Proof is binary and absolute. Proof does not exist in science. Science searches for answers to questions, knowing full well that those answers do not provide proof – they provide access to more important, more challenging questions. Science does not believe in “proof”. Medical science does not believe in proof. Only quacks do.
Frauds, Myths, Fads and Fallacies
So it seems Quackwatch is a quack about quacks. Check their website, where it clearly says “Quackwatch is an international network of people who are concerned about health-related frauds, myths, fads, fallacies, and misconduct”.
Quackwatch does not seem to be interested in science. Quackwatch does not seem to be interested in truth, or facts. They believe in proof, and even go so far as to have a post about “extraordinary proof”. But while proof does not exist in science, Quackwatch seems to think it is even possible to find different gradations of proof, while concerning themselves with ‘fraud, myths, fads, fallacies and misconduct’.
In reality, Quackwatch spends its time searching for lies, documenting lies, and reporting lies. Can you find the truth by searching for lies? No. You can only find lies. And Quackwatch has lots of them. They take this to extreme, along with dozens of websites and pretend ‘organizations’ with similar goals – a final result of total nonsense.
The Quackwatch definition of ‘quackery’ is all over the map, using a well known sales technique called FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), designed to scare the client from actually investigating the details. The final statement on their page “Quackery: How should it be defined?” says “All things considered, I find it most useful to define quackery as the promotion of unsubstantiated methods that lack a scientifically plausible rationale”. Lots of big words. Sound and fury, signifying nothing.
For example, their entry on Naturopathy, called ‘naturowatch’ says: “Many naturopathic theories and practices are not based on the body of basic knowledge related to health, disease, and health care”. But on their mission page, ‘Limks (sic) to Recommended Companies’ you will find a listing for the book “Herbal Medicines, Third Edition” — which, if you drill down, claims to be written by ‘distinguished contributors (who) hold doctorates in pharmacy, biochemistry, and naturopathy’. There are several congratulatory reviews of this herbal medicines book, by Quackwatch and their supporters. I could only find one objective reviewer, who concluded that ‘Essentially the book reads like a bad joke.‘
Quackwatch does not appear to be interested in science unless it supports their mission to find ‘quacks’, and anything that opposes that mission is labeled as “fraud, myths, fads, fallacies”, and is summarily dismissed. They have a quack hammer, and everything they see is a quack nail. But they are careful to never turn their quack detector on themselves, even though the “proofs” they present are proof that they know nothing.
Quacks, and quack quacks, find “proof” by using a system of logic that is closed. Arguing with a quack is nonsensical, resulting in circular conversations that never leaves the closed system. The only difference in arguing with a quack quack, is that ‘quack quacks’ reach a higher level of nonsense than quacks, capturing more victims with their quackery.
What About Quack Quack Quacks?
So what about quack quack quacks? This is a post about quack quack quacks, right?
Are there people who are accusing ‘quack quacks’ of quackery, using “false claims of identity or expertise”? Is Tim Bolen a quack quack quack? Am I one? Nope.
How can we tell?
It’s actually easy to tell that I am not a quack quack quack, and that Tim Bolen is not a quack quack quack. How? Check our logic for ‘openness’. A quack argues that they have definitive “proof”, enclosing their logic and their arguments with proof.
Tim Bolen does not offer ‘proof’ that Quackwatch is a quack, he provides information, and clearly states, several times, “I believe”. Tim Bolen does not need to argue with the ‘proofs’ presented by quackwatchers, he simply presents facts and his opinion. This is much closer to science than ‘proof’.
I don’t need to argue with Quackwatch either. You can read their mission yourself, and learn that they already know everything, about everything. The whole thing. But anyone who claims to “understand it all” has found their God, not our science. Yet Quackwatch claims to see it all, proving in those statements how blind they actually are.
What is a quack quack quack? Do quack quack quacks exist?
Yes. But a quack quack quack is not a ‘higher levels of quack’. A quack quack quack is someone who knows almost nothing, with absolute certainty. With this certainty, they announce “Quack quack quack” and have little more to say. If you attempt to argue with them, the response will be more of the same: quack quack quack.
Quack quack quacks are people who support groups like Quackwatch, without honest questions or analysis. Quack quack quacks are not deliberately lying, they’re simply laying down with the other silly quacks, the quack quacks, and the quack quack quacks, and quacking their agreement.
Beware the Quack Quack Quack
Quacks are selling fake medicines, and either don’t know what they are talking about, or are simply lying. They want your money, and as a result, you won’t have money to buy a real medicine. The challenge is that all medicines are sold by salesmen, and all salesmen are prone to, shall we say, ‘exaggeration’. It’s not trivial to beware of quacks. You need to do the work yourself – your government, the quack quacks and the quack quack quacks are not going to help you find your truth. Your freedom is not a door opened by someone else.
Quack Quacks, like Quackwatchers, sell fake information about quacks. Their goals are not to provide information. Their goals are to limit your freedom to choose alternative medicines.
Quack Quack Quacks
Quack Quack Quacks are not selling anything except their ego. They are quoting the quack quacks, trying to impress others with the strength of their knowledge, without actually doing any research themselves. The danger from quack quack quacks is that they unwittingly support the goals of quack quacks – to limit your freedoms.
Stand Up for Your Freedom
Stand up for your freedom to think, to act, to choose. Stand up for your freedom to access clear information about all medical alternatives. Stand up for your freedom to choose. Stand up to the quacks, the quack quacks, and the quack quack quacks. Fight for your freedom.
With apologies to Lewis Carroll although, we don’t know, he might just approve…
“Beware the quack quack quack my son,
the laws they spite, sciences they hatch.
Beware the hate hate bird, and shun
The frumious band who snatch.”
Lewis Carroll advises us to ‘beware the Jabberwock and the Bandersnatch’, which of course he did not define. Was he writing nonsense, or was he telling us to beware of nonsense?
Beware the quack quack quack my son.
Take your sword, and check the facts.
Previous articles by Tracy Kolenchuk:
- 10 Reasons to Love Your Homeopath
- We Study Illness with Infinite Precision – But Who Measures Health?
- Community Healthiness: Love and Virtue Strengthen Our Communities
- Body, Mind & Spirit: Understanding the Links Between Health & Consciousness
- Curing Cancer Requires a New Kind of Thinking
- 10 Common Nutrition Myths and Misconceptions
- The Alternative Medicines Myth
- Fatergy Drinks: The “Energy Drink” Myth De-Bunked
- Are You Getting Enough Vitamin M?
- Generic Cancer (Part 4): The End of The War on Cancer
About the author:
Canadian born Tracy Kolenchuk is author of two books: Introduction to Healthicine: Theories of Health, Healthiness, Illness and Aging Healthicine: The Arts Sciences of Health and Healthiness.