The worst of conspiracy theories.

There are countless conspiracy theories out there with new ones springing up every day. The internet has provided a whole new platform where theorists can bounce poorly sourced anecdotes and links to oddball sites to help reinforce their perception of reality on a subject no matter how far from reality it may actually be.

In the real world, any conspiracy involving more than a handful of people won’t last more than a few months without general exposure to the truth. People simply aren’t all that good at keeping their mouths shut. That doesn’t stop those paranoid few who have managed to convince themselves of conspiracies that involve the complicit participation of thousands and even sometimes millions of people. Conspiracy theorists aren’t always crazy or stupid. These are just a class of folks who somehow feel compelled to set aside all rational evidence on a subject and have convinced themselves that things happen due to closed groups of people (or aliens) with nefarious intent. Usually if a person is into one conspiracy theory, one can find with a few questions that the person in question is into all sorts of conspiracy theories.

Most conspiracy theories are harmless and irritating at worst. Some are even offensive. No big deal. We don’t have the right not to be offended. I usually dismiss people pushing such theories as it is pointless to try and debate them with facts and their theories are not causing any real damage. Things change when we get into medical conspiracy theories though as many of those theories are outright dangerous and may drive some ill and vulnerable people into some very poor medical choices.

I was listening to the radio and the subject of vaccination came up. The usual horde of cranks popped out of the woodwork with their usual bullshit anti-vaccination pap. These folks have convinced themselves that polio and smallpox just vanished all on their own and the only reasons that vaccination is being promoted is to control minds or make money.

While anti-vaccination kooks are damaging enough, it is the anti-cancer care kooks that piss me off even more. Often these kooks are one and the same.

The main basis of the vapid anti-cancer care conspiracy theories is that the evil empire of “big pharma” has been purposely hiding cures for cancer as it is more lucrative to treat the disease than it would be to cure it. I know that facts are wasted on anybody who really believes such bullshit, but I do want to document exactly why this very dangerous conspiracy theory is bullshit as we see some very scared and vulnerable people who have been diagnosed with cancer falling for and clinging to the idiocy of these conspiracy theorists. This is what makes conspiracy theories in this realm dangerous and repugnant in the extreme.

OK. It seems that pretty much everybody can agree that “big pharma” is greedy and only in it for profit. I can live with that. The purpose of private enterprise is indeed to make a profit. There is utterly nothing wrong with that. That fact is also the first one that blows a giant whole in the bullshit theory that “big pharma” is suppressing cancer cures.

There are thousands of pharmaceutical/biotech companies in the world and they are all trying to make a profit. What better crown could any of these companies wear than that of being the one who came up with a cure for cancer (or even one type of cancer)? If a company, small or large came up with a cure for cancer you can rest assured that their share value would immediately rise by billions of dollars. The researchers would be immortalized with world prizes and pretty much everybody at a senior level at the company could relax and retire as a multi-millionaire. Are we really to believe that thousands of companies are all holding back in order to take part in this grand conspiracy? They are willing to make small profits or even go broke before releasing a cure for cancer? That’s what cancer conspiracy theorists want us to believe.

With thousands of companies we have millions of staff and people involved in the medical field involved with cancer treatment. Are we really to believe that these millions of people are willing to let their loved ones die in order to hide a cure for cancer? Are we to believe that these millions of people are so dedicated to the conspiracy that they will die themselves of cancer before letting the cure leak out? These heartless monsters are willing to watch millions of people endure the grueling conventional treatments for cancer and still will not break away from their conspiratorial group? That’s what cancer conspiracy theorists want us to believe.

Do you really think that the millions of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and such would be suddenly unemployed if cancer were to be miraculously cured? There are huge waiting lists around the entire world for every possible kind of medical specialist. We can all rest assured that all of those professionals will still be making good money and be quite busy if they were to be suddenly placed in a cancer free world. I doubt that these millions of people are hiding the cancer cure in order to keep their current jobs. That’s what cancer conspiracy theorists want us to believe though.

There are all kinds of cancers out there with all sorts of treatments. Some have a very high survival rate with relatively minor treatments. Some have a moderate cure rate with some pretty intrusive treatments. Some have a tiny cure rate and involve horrific treatments and some at this time are simply incurable. This is why upon diagnosis of any kind of cancer that it is so damn important to ignore the cancer conspiracy cranks and find out as much as possible from true, medically trained (not bullshit naturalists) doctors who specialize in cancer before making what literally could be the most important decisions of your life.

My mother was diagnosed with a type breast cancer a few years ago. It took a radical mastectomy and chemotherapy to treat her cancer. Quite an ordeal. I am happy to report that my mother is alive and well today after having undergone treatment and am confident that she would be dead had she refused it. Not all breast cancers can be beaten but we were fortunate in that hers could.

My cousin Shawn was diagnosed with an oral cancer caused by HPV a few years ago. He fought it with all he had. Shawn underwent multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and some horrific radiation treatment that put him through agony. For a short time, it appeared that the cancer had been beaten. Unfortunately, it had metastasized and returned with a vengeance which killed him before he could reach 50.

If he could turn the clock back would Shawn have chosen to undergo those agonizing treatments only to die a couple years later? I suspect that he would have as Shawn indeed lived for and deeply loved his young family. He would fight for every possible minute to stay with them and that is exactly what he did. What a terribly difficult sort of decision to make though. These sorts of decisions happen with cancer patients every day and we can’t let these choices be clouded with bullshit conspiracy theories.

There are countless, shitbag, parasitic fake cancer treatment centers all over the world. Mexico has turned into something of a hub for these heartless pricks. I personally have known a few people now who turned to Mexican clinics for cancer treatment. The mortality rate in my anecdotal experience with those places has been 100% so far.

These ghoulish criminals prey on people when they are at their most desperate and cancer conspiracy theories are one of the most effective tools in their toolbox.

Many cancer treatment prognosis are pretty awful to behold. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be told that you will endure agony caused by radiation and chemotherapy only to have a 20% chance to live for example. Perhaps some people will choose to take the shortened life and eschew the treatment. Perhaps some will take that chance and hope to be in the 20%. I can’t think of a decision more personal or important to somebody. I can’t think of something more sick though than having that decision mired by false promises from some crooks with an “alternative” therapy who will not only kill the patient, but will empty their bank account while they are at it.

I don’t blame people for trying the alternative options especially if the diagnosis from medical doctors has been terminal. It is a desperate choice that I so far have been fortunate enough to not have to try and make. Who knows, maybe if I was diagnose with a terminal cancer I would still fall for a pitch from one of these “alternative” treatment pushers. I despise seeing crooks push false hope with those faith/herbal bullshit treatments though. These cancer victims are suffering enough already.

Some people will say “well if it’s terminal, what is to be lost in going to these alternative clinics?”. Not to be crass but what can and would be lost is money. Tens of thousands or possibly even hundreds of thousands of dollars can be spent on these witch doctors. While money may not be the most important thing on the planet, it still will be damned important to the family left behind and I would rather see cancer victims leave their money to their children than some repugnant con-artist selling a fake cure.

Go ahead. Talk about how the moon landing was fake. Rant on about how the Illuminati are controlling the planet. Hell, deny the holocaust for all I care. It’s all bullshit but you have every right to believe it. Don’t try to feed me those medical conspiracy theories and keep them the hell away from people who need to make very real and serious medical choices however. You will be causing real damage then and your theory will have gone from a crackpot notion to an assault on an innocent person’s well being. Just keep that crazy shit to yourself and let people make their decisions.

Don’t bother flooding my comment section with links to medical conspiracy shit either. I am pretty open with differing views in the commentary but will not give any time or space to that crap so there is no sense wasting your time and mine.

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Saint George and the NDP Dragon

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As time passes George Clark (of kudatah fame) has been becoming less and less lucid. His postings increasingly demonstrate a whole plethora of conditions from simple paranoia to a martyr complex to a distressing messiah complex.

While these observations on an individual should usually only be of concern for friends, family and mental health professionals, in George’s case it is a little bit different as he has managed to gather a sizable following of folks nearly as delusional as he is.

In years gone by folks like George wouldn’t get much farther than standing on a street corner wearing a sandwich board while predicting the end of the world or some other sort of conspiracy. In today’s age the internet has given folks like Mr. Clark a much bigger street corner to rave from and it has allowed him to gather a flock of kindred souls.

While the Church of George only appeals to a tiny fraction of Albertans, that still is of concern as this adds up to a few thousand folks who are very angry, paranoid and delusional. As I wrote in a recent posting, George Clark has convinced himself and his following that he has found some odd legal loophole which will allow him to bring the Notley government down through petitioning.

Clark is planning a rally on the steps of the legislature when it opens where he claims he will bring down the government. While everybody rational knows that Clark will never bring down the government, we have to be concerned that he will manage to gather upwards of a couple thousand people on the legislature steps who are not rational. How will these people react when they learn that they have been chasing a myth? Certainly George Clark will claim that the government is corrupt and has robbed them of their hard earned kudetah. Will George and his followers simply throw up their hands and go home? In reading the writings of Clark and his followers I suspect that they wont go that easily and things could possibly go out of control no matter how much Clark keeps talking about his creepy “fight them with LOVE” lines.

Below is a series of screen caps of discussions when Clark and his following discovered that some internet URLs had been purchased by folks who don’t support the kudetah. Yes, these folks don’t even understand the internet and copyright laws at a grade 1 level yet they feel they can overthrow an elected government.

I want to keep documenting these sorts of things in hopes that people glancing at George Clark’s movement can research and see just how nuts this is. I also want it well recorded that this is a fringe group that has no connection to any formal opposition party or rational opposition group as NDP supporters are trying their very hardest to tie people to Clark’s cult.

I will start with a snap from George’s own tantrum when he discovered that the rules of the internets don’t always work in his favor. The domain wasn’t “stolen” as he never owned it. Notley doesn’t him anything, much less an apology. He doesn’t even understand how domains are purchased and retained, he sure as hell doesn’t have the capacity to find out who bought it (the WHOIS is anonymous). It gave George an opportunity to try and play victim some more though of course.

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Now, on to the reactions from George Clark’s followers.

In this post, loons speculate that it may be Rachel Notley’s husband and go on about how union members should be fired if they are found to be behind it. You cant sue them or bring charges against them but rage on. Delusional as always. I suspect that the government is less than scared of George Clark. Anybody with a few bucks on a credit card can purchase domains. No government conspiracy required.

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Here, some of Clark’s followers think the destination of the URL is not due to a purchase of a domain but is due to malware or hacking.

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In this posting, George’s crew goes on about how the world is controlled by Soros and the Rockefellers who are apparently behind this domain purchase. Another feels that this should be investigated by the FBI. I hate to break it to her, but we are still in Canada. No FBI here.  Soros probably owns the FBI anyway. There was a conspiracy theorist speaking on how reporting the legal purchase of a domain to the police was pointless as the government controls all the cops anyway.

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Here George Clark demonstrates that he is as ignorant of communications and trademark laws as he is with electoral ones. I wonder how many lawyers are going to have to try and explain this to him and his followers?

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There are all sorts of other ravings on George’s thread but the one below is the most telling. When frustrated by a dose of reality, Clark’s followers invariably start wandering down the path of speculation of what would happen if they simply chose to ignore laws. I fear that these answers would come pretty quickly to these folks if they decide they are above the laws created by a legally elected government. I just hope nobody gets harmed if and when they try it.

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Sadly, the passage of time only seems to be making these folks even more paranoid and delusional. They are distracting from real efforts to improve our current government and to replace the current government in the next general election (the only way they can and will be replaced).

These people are few and these people are nuts. They need to be watched though and I strongly suggest that anybody rational who has crossed paths with them should disassociate themselves as soon as possible. If and when things hit the fan on the steps of the legislature on opening day with George’s gang, the crap is going to spread far and wide and nobody wants to get smeared in that.

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Anti-vaccination nuts picking up where the religious ones left off.

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With most conspiracy driven crackpots I generally roll my eyes and let them go on with their imagined world ills. Reasoning with the conspiracy-inclined is an exercise in futility and only invites a barrage of links to youtube videos and blogs that are poorly sourced and created by other conspiracy types as they feed from each other’s paranoia and delusions.

With folks who feel that aliens are among us I can laugh or even those offensive ones who claim 911 was an inside job can be ignored. When the conspiracy kooks get into the realm of healthcare however they can become terribly dangerous to people at large as they try and occasionally succeed in spreading their misinformation.

One dangerous conspiracy theory is the one claiming that a cure for cancer is being suppressed by evil big pharmaceutical companies which is always rationalized by the profoundly simplistic, standalone statement of: “They make more money treating cancer than they would curing it.” Yes folks, tens of thousands of researchers, company presidents and doctors are all in on this and none leak while their friends, family and even they themselves die of cancer. Just take a short trip into the world of capitalism and project what really would happen if a pharmaceutical company came out with a cure for cancer. I assure you that every senior person in that company and investor would become quite rich as shares explode and the company moves to the top of the very competitive pharmaceutical ladder.

Those folks who believe that the cure for cancer is being hidden tend of course to feel that conventional treatment for cancer is a sham. These folks then can be prone to telling vulnerable and frightened, newly diagnosed cancer patients to seek alternative treatments. This is where a huge line has been crossed by these assholes. Mexican clinics and countless other sham herbalists and “alternative” providers are more than happy to suck the money from a person with cancer while that person dies in need of real treatment. While conventional cancer treatment can be ugly and awful to endure, the cure rates are quite good with many cancers as compared to those God damned Mexican herbal clinics with a near 100% mortality rate.

Now on to the anti-vaccination nuts. Despite overwhelming evidence showing the benefits of vaccination, an enduring movement still exists that wants to take us back a couple centuries where the life expectancy was around 30 years or so. While science does not support this movement (or even simple common sense), celebrities often do and they are given a platform to spew their dangerous nonsense on vapid daytime shows such as Ophrah Winfrey which unfortunately lends an air of credibility to their crap. Playmate model Jenny McCarthy has championed anti-vaccination pap for years and now has a seat among the hens on The View where she doubtless will be spreading more of her garbage.

Diseases like measles, whooping cough and even tetanus are harming children in the developed world again when they had been nearly wiped out by vaccination due to fools listening to air-headed celebrities rather than their doctor.

The HPV vaccine has been found to be more important than ever in preventing a whole host of cancers in both men and women if it can be applied early enough. This vaccine was fought vigorously by hardcore socially conservative groups and fools who feel that this vaccine would somehow encourage promiscuity. This nonsense has been losing steam and HPV vaccinations have been becoming more widespread and among both genders. I wrote awhile ago on my cousin Shawn’s battle with a cancer caused by HPV. The shot years ago would have saved him much more agony than any misguided efforts to preserve his chastity could have. Shawn and his wife have been working tirelessly to get the HPV vaccine extended to boys in Alberta as it had been predominantly given to girls.

The anti-vaccination gang while stinging from being utterly and totally discredited in their “vaccinations cause autism” bullshit have now put HPV solidly in their sights so that they may fill the void of idiocy left as the social conservatives gave up their opposition to this important vaccine. Armed with more links to conspiracy sites, youtube videos and other unfounded bullshit sites the anti-vaccination crowd is working hard to ensure cancers caused by HPV continue to harm people in the next generation. New conspiracies are being created along with more fabricated risks from vaccination.

I am long winded enough and I think I have made my thoughts pretty clear on the anti-vaccination bunch. I will save you some google time and provide two links below that put lie to this latest wave of idiocy and battling against beneficial medicine.

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/08/09/antivaccinationists-against-the-hpv-vaccine-round-5000/

http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/gardasil-researcher-against-vaccine-myth-debunked/

Don’t let the anti-vaccination conspiracy gang get a toehold on HPV vaccines. Let’s nip their misinformation in the bud and folks, get yourself and your kids vaccinated. You need only visit an old cemetery to see the young deaths that were so common prior to vaccination to see how it was. If you really want a dose of reality, ask some polio survivors what they think of people opposing the vaccines that would have saved them from childhood agony and a lifetime crippled.

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