The Society instructed lawyers to write to the Internet Service Provider of Dr. Lewis' website because the content of his site was not merely critical but defamatory of The Society, with the effect that its reputation could have been lowered. Dr Lewis, in his article, stated as fact highly offensive comments about The Society and it is for that reason that The Society decided it had no option but to take action. The very crude abuse posted on various websites and e-mailed to The Society since our action suggests that these bloggers/authors are not people who are interested in a real debate on the basis of either science or the public good but who simply want to attack homeopathy, for the very sake of it.
Due to the unpleasantness and surprisingly vitriolic nature of the postings on the Quackometer website and others, The Society has taken a conscious decision not to respond to these bloggers.
Oh boo hoo. No – don’t respond with any actual arguments to refute what was written; don’t respond with any evidence that homoeopathy works (it doesn’t). Play martyr instead. That’s the ticket. And what about these “crude” and “vitriolic” emails they’ve received that they’re too important to respond to? Emails like the one from, ooh let me think, Andy Lewis, owner of the banned Quackometer. It’s here in full. A sample of the crude vitriol Andy sent them:
I hope you understand that my concerns are genuinely held and my motive is the wider highlighting of a problem that may well end in harm or even death to people unless action is taken. I am sorry you have felt it necessary to ask my web hosting provider to take down the page in question. If you could tell me urgently what the wording is that you feel is incorrect, defamatory or not fair comment I will examine it immediately and will ensure a friendly and swift resolution of this matter. In addition, if you wish to respond to my concerns on the site, I will be more than happy to prominently publish your thoughts in full on my web site.
Read the full thing. It’s all equally vitriolic and crude, and unworthy of a reply (apparently).
They’re right about one thing though – I do want to attack homeopathy. But not “for the very sake of it”. I attack homeopathy because it’s quackery that doesn’t work. And because telling people it will prevent or cure malaria is criminal. Or it should be.
One more thing. As an example of the Society’s tin ear and / or total lack of self-awareness, I wish to highlight their claim that the content of The Quackometer post was “defamatory of The Society, with the effect that its reputation could have been lowered”. Because, of course, their threat of legal action has completely obliterated the post (and thus its lowering of The Society’s reputation) from the Internet. Or not, as it turns out. To show the ludicrous nature of their continued banning, I give you just a few sites that repost the article in full and/or comment on it further. Feel free to replicate them on your blog.
You’ll let me know if I missed any.