Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I was simultaneously alarmed and amused at how someone named Marc Stephens, who claims (although presents no evidence for his claim) that he represents the rogue physician and “researcher” Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, had taken to threatening skeptical bloggers who criticize Dr. Burzynski’s highly dubious cancer therapy, a therapy Burzynski dubbed “antineoplastons.” In particular, Mr. Stephens threatened a blogger by the name of Andy Lewis, whose nom de blog is Le Canard Noir and whose blog and website, The Quackometer, I’ve followed for years now. As a reward for my having written about the incident, it turns out that Mr. Stephens was kind enough to include me in a list of bloggers “privileged” to receive a cc’d copy of further threats to Andy Lewis. These were even more hilarious than the original set of threats. For two days I debated whether or not to post Mr. Stephen’s e-mail. On the one side, there were people whom I respect very much who told me that this was the equivalent of the proverbial wrestling with a pig in mud in that all that happens is that you get dirty and the pig likes it. There is much to be said for that point of view. On the other hand, I thought that it was important to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt just how unethical and beyond the pale one of Burzynski’s defenders was and to shine the light of day on how Burzynski operates. More importantly, by reposting Marc Stephens’ threats, I could give the Burzynski Clinic and Burzynski Research Institute an opportunity to disavow Mr. Stephens. What held me back, however, is concern about Andy Lewis. Because Andy was the one in the sites of Mr. Stephens, I thought it appropriate to give him veto power over whether I ever actually reposted the ramblings of Mr. Stephens.
Then two things happened. First, Andy reposted Mr. Stephens’s threats himself. Second, Mr. Stephens sent a followup e-mail, apparently miffed that for some reason the images in Andy’s post didn’t show up properly:
Are you afraid to post the images? You REDACTED the images exposing all of you weirdo guys. That is a sign of weakness, and a fraudulent cowardly move. You must make my email FULLY PUBLIC including the images. I can actually imagine you as a nervous wreck in the court room without a lawyer..or with your public defender who will file a template Motion.
Ratbag Peter Bowditch….you seem to be more competent with posting images. Can you please post my last email including the IMAGES..or are you afraid I exposed you all too much? Its beyond defamation. You have a question for me?
“I do, however, have a question for Mr Stephens. I have been posting this question to the Twitter user @BurzynskiClinic for some days now but for some reason they are too busy to answer”
Ratman…..SIGN THE AGREEMENT. I’ve been asking you for WEEKS now. If you are so sure my client is a quack, fraud, and a criminal sign. I also reduced the legal language so you would not put your rat tale between your cowardly skinny legs, and hide behind your mouse by clicking on the X to close my email request.
My agreement is posted on your website you forgot?? Instead of signing a burzynski petition sign my agreement to disclose all Burzynski information to you, which by the way is already available to the public and you know it. That is why you are not signing. Skeptics are afraid of the truth, which is why you are a skeptic in the first place. A Skeptic is someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs. Your network even had to create your own dictionary to hide from the true meaning..hilarious. The FDA, NCI all agreed my client and his treatment works, and is non-toxic. Sign the agreement and I will show you this in writing. Hint: Just look in court orders and you will find the answer.
PLEASE POST MY IMAGES.
I don’t know why the images don’t show up on Andy’s reposting of Stephens’ threat, but I’m more than happy to oblige Mr. Stephens. Here is the e-mail that he sent to me and several other bloggers on Friday. I particularly love the wacky “six degrees of separation” vibe:
Just so you know that I am very serious. I copied Renee Trimble the Director of Public Relations, and Azad Rastegar the spokesperson for the Burzynski Clinic. You and your supporters can stop asking if I am an attorney. Again, I represent the Burzynski Clinic, Burzynski Research Institute, and Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. If your articles remain online I will pursue you in court to the highest extent of the law.
Threats to your family? You mentioned to me that you just had a child. I advised you to spend more time with your child instead of lying to the public. I also advised that you will be affected financially once a lawsuit is filed against you. Why would you be so selfish and inconsiderate to your family to go through the stressful and financial burden of multiple court proceedings knowing that you are posting lies and propaganda?
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
You are apart of a network started by Michael Shermer called “Skeptic Society”–http://www.skeptic.com/, which is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization that examines….alien abductions”. Your network is linked to other fraudulent websites and individuals, such as, quackwatch.com, ratbags.com, the21stfloor, Peter Bowditch, Rhys Morgan, Stephen Barrett, Dr. Saul Green, etc. I also have you guys linked to the Wikipedia page of my client. You should know that the IP Address is publicly recorded by Wiki. A subpoena is used to obtain your personal information. By law, the government does not need to notify you, or disclose when they are pursuing your personal information. see Wikileak personal information.
You define your network as individuals that “prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid…. A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence”. Your evidence comes from Stephen Barrett and Saul Green who are apart of your skeptic network, so how fair and valid are your assessments..?
You are fully aware that the quackwatch website is not reliable, valid, fair, or a thorough assessment of available evidence, and that its owner, and your network, were exposed as frauds, not licensed, and maliciously disseminating false information to the public. Your Skeptic network uses the quackwatch.com website as the Bible to your mission of lying to the public. You are not posting your “opinion” and “concern for public health”, you and your network are posting malicious propaganda against my client which stretches back over 10 years.
Your opinion and concern for public health “defense” will not stand up in court. Your statements are not True, you have no absolute, conditional, legal privileges, or consent to post, and your statements consist of actual malice. As you already know, Dr. Burzynski is a public figure and the Burzynski Research Institute is a publicly traded organization. So your libelous statements are now interfering 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.
Again, I advise you to shut down all libelous articles about my client immediately. Your network is full of lawyers, and I am sure they know the source of information that you use, such as quackwatch, are considered fraudulent and void, in addition to the conflict of interest between my client and Saul Green. I am showing that you have no source of information, and you will not be able to show proof of your statements against my client in court. What is the source of your allegations? You formulated your opinion based on statements made by other skeptics blogs, and Quackwatch, which consist of false information per court orders. Opinions must be supported by facts. You are aware of the fact that my client is involved with FDA approved clinical trials, completed phase II, and has approach Phase III. Phase II, as you know,— to see if it is effective and to further evaluate its safety. You have full access to evaluate the data of Antineoplaston phase II results, you and your entire skeptic network refuse to acknowledge the results.
Let me quote what’s on your website: “When we say we are “skeptical,” we mean that we must see compelling evidence before we believe”. Here is some compelling evidence for you about your network. I will use this information in my legal complaint filed against you and many of your associates. You no longer have a right to an opinion when its proved your acts are malicious.
The Main Skeptic website
Andy Lewis – A Skeptic. Yes, that is you. Quackometer..Quackwatch no difference.
Your twitter Andy – Guilty by association? That is Ratbags Peter Bowditch…
Peter bowditch – Ratbags owner/A skeptic
Mr. AUSTRALIAN SKEPTIC – see title below
Peter Bowditch – You people look up to this guy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E0XN1Xmtsk&feature=channel_video_title
Saul Green – A skeptic
My client Sued AETNA…AETNA hired Emprise, Inc. who went out of business..Saul Green unemployed.
Saul Green’s RESUME: This is public information
Saul Green the Unemployed Skeptic Retaliates with a LIE. A few weeks later Shontelle Hiron is cured by my client and make news worldwide. Due to my client saving her life, She even carried the Olympic torch in 2000 with my client by her side.
Rhys Morgan, attacked my client – A skeptic
I Shut his site down. He was a nice kid.
21st floor – A skeptic
Genomic Repairman – After my legal complaint
Stephen Barrett – A SKEPTIC. Quackwatch and Ratbags court documents
Stephen Barret QUACKWATCH the SKEPTIC WEBSITE
This is a very serious matter. Be smart like Rhys Morgan and everyone else..including Google when I went after them. If your articles are still up I will pursue you. You have no defense, Andy. Honestly, what do you think the judge and jury are going to think about you when I disclose your connection, propaganda, and false information? Its not about your message, its about the context of your message. The context 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.
This email proves you and your skeptic network are maliciously attacking my client. ALL of the negative information on the internet about my client is linked to your skeptic network. I will prove this in court. Do me a favor and post this email on your website..that is another pattern of your skeptic network. I would greatly appreciate it.
Please remove all articles Immediately. Spread the message to your associates.
Consider it done, Mr. Stephens. I’ve posted your message to my blog, whose readership is not inconsequential, particularly in the skeptical blogosphere. I’m more than happy to do so, because I believe that every skeptic should read your e-mail and judge for him or herself what kind of a man you are. I would also like patients who might be interested in going to the Burzynski Clinic to be aware of the sorts of tactics it uses.
But why am I happy to do so? After all, the e-mail above is nothing more than some seriously bizarre rants. Saul Green, for instance, has been dead for years. The post at Tales of the Genomic Repairman, once removed, has been restored. I think the most important reason to disseminate this e-mail far and wide is to test the Burzynski Clinic. I’ve written in the past that it is my considered opinion that antineoplastons are unproven and Burzynski’s charging his patients tens of thousands of dollars to be in his clinical trials is in my opinion highly unethical. More recently, I wrote about how I don’t like legal thuggery of the type being exhibited by Mr. Stephens. The question is whether there is any connection between Mr. Stephens and the Burzynski Clinic. Stephens claims to “represent” Burzynski, although he never comes out and actually states point-blank that he is a lawyer. However, if you search the websites for the Burzynski Clinic and the Burzynski Research Institute, you will not find Stephens’ name anywhere. Rather, you will only find him being listed under Marketing and Sponsorship of an entity called the Burzynski Patient Group. By reposting Mr. Stephens’ legal threats in a public forum, I’m giving Dr. Burzynski a chance to publicly disavow the thuggish and simple-minded tactics of Mr. Stephens. If he does not do so, then I have little choice but to conclude that Mr. Stephens does indeed represent Dr. Burzynski in some capacity, although given the e-mails he’s sent I have a hard time believing that Mr. Stephens is actually a lawyer. To make sure that the leadership of the Burzynski Clinic can’t claim ignorance, I’ve e-mailed them to ask whether Mr. Stephens in any way works for or represents Dr. Burzynski or his clinic or institute. As yet I have not had a response, but if I do I will happily post it here.
Here’s a chance for Dr. Burzynski to prove that he is, as he claims, a man of science. After all, sending an pit poodle like Mr. Stephens out to harass and threaten anyone who criticizes him is not the act of someone who is confident in the science backing his cancer treatment. Sending legal threats to a teenager for having criticized the pseudoscience of antineoplastons, as Stephens has done, is not the act of someone who has the evidence to back him up. Otherwise, why allow men like Mr. Stephens to keep claiming to represent him?
In the end, oddly enough, I have to thank Marc Stephens. In the seven years this blog has been in existence, I’ve only written about Burzynski and his unproven cancer therapy a couple of times. Thanks to Mr. Stephens, it’s now on my radar. I won’t neglect it anymore, as I have in the past. In fact, to be sure of it, I’ve set up a Google search for “Burzynski and cancer,” so that I don’t miss any news relevant to antineoplastons.
It’s the least I can do for patients who suffer from cancer as a cancer surgeon, cancer researcher, and skeptic.
ADDENDUM: Peter Bowditch has also reposted Mr. Stephens’ e-mail. In any case, stay tuned for more. This post was just about the attacks on Burzynski critics. Sure, it was fun and a bit silly, but that’s because Marc Stephens is so silly. Another, more serious, post on antineoplastons is required.