//Double Strike for the Pie Man

Double Strike for the Pie Man

The Pie Man has been alerted to an article in the American Journal of Medicine by the erstwhile Edzard Ernst and Michael Baum, stomach his co-signee of the notorious letter (inappropriately written on NHS note paper) to Patient Care Trusts (PCTs) all over the UK. In the letter – as you can see – they attempt to persuade these trusts (comprising mainly non-doctors) to thwart the desire of NHS GPs to send patients on the NHS to NHS medical qualified doctors practising homeopathy in NHS hospitals! I’ve written of this before and mentioned how I would have tolerated them writing to GPs to dissuade them from making these referrals but am abhorred by their attempt to go over GPs’ heads.

Anyway in this article in the AJMed. the two honourable and esteemed Disciples of Scientism (my words for them and the  other signees of the above-mentioned letter) once again lash out at homeopathy, order this time in a crude and lazily written ‘article’. I have no intention of discussing their regurgitation of the same stuff they have been spouting for a long time but as they cite me personally, and I feel I must respond.

Reference 1. in their article comes at the end of a paragraph that ends with a sentence that says These individuals have a conflict of interest more powerful than the requirement for scientific integrity and yet defend themselvesby claiming that those wanting to carry out the trials are in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry and are part of a conspiracy to deny their patients tried and testedpalliatives.’1

And the reference given is: 1. Kaplan B. Hypocrisy of attacks on homeopathy to be exposed soon. Available at: http://www.wellsphere.com/general-medicine-article/hypocrisy-of-attacks-on-homeopathy-to-be-exposed-soon/31269. Accessed April 3, 2009.

Now I can prove that I’ve not touched that article since April 3 so if you read what I said there, it will be crystal clear that it does not support the reference, thus illustrating just one aspect of how poor an article this is. I have never claimed that these professors are ‘in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry and are part of a conspiracy to deny their patients tried and tested palliatives’. Perhaps Ernst just fingered me as what he thought of as an example of such an individual and pressed the speed-type button on one of the references he has on me. However  in the end I must admit defeat and take off my hat to these two eminent professors. It is no mean feat to get a lazily-written, supercilious diatribe, high on opinion and low on facts like this published in a prestigious medical journal. A colleague of mine has just had a brilliant riposte to the article turned down by AJMed – no surprises there! Perhaps he can be persuaded to put some of his excellent points in the comments section here.

So all that’s left to me is to order the Pie Man to deliver this pie to both Ernst and Baum. Ernst knows of this pie and once made a pathetic attempt to ‘refute’ it in his column in Pulse. To him I say: Meet me anywhere at any time for a debate on this. To Prof. Michael Baum, please study the pie carefully.  It was baked by the British Medical Journal after all.

By | 2009-11-10T15:24:31+00:00 November 10th, 2009|The Pie Man Strikes!|6 Comments

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  1. paul November 10, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you for you clear and precise expose of these disciples of “new scientism”. One cannot help wondering why the AJMed was not willing to publicise an answer? Do they have close links to the AMA I wonder? It is worth looking at how historically they have always had an anti-pathy towards those “Damned homeopaths”.

  2. Dr. Kaplan November 11, 2009 at 12:48 am

    I am heartened by your prompt and positive response to a post that I personally regarded as important and that should be read by hundreds of thousands of sceptics 😉 Am I a salmon swimming against the tide? I think I will have to resort to Provocative Therapy (the cutting edge in the use of clinical Reverse Psychology) to deal with these people. Well, you know something, at least one intelligent person read what I wrote. That makes me ALMOST HAPPY.

  3. Ruth November 11, 2009 at 4:27 am


    I’m glad you have chosen the high road and simply defended yourself with fact, as well as a good face-pie. The inverse and intrinsic nature of this world is that untruths, deception, savagery, demagoguery and other forms of magic, quackery and voodoo are IN, while truth-tellers get burned (or crucified) at the stake. It has always been like this.
    The pie contains truth that is unassailable and it stands ready to be tackled by anybody with balls AND facts. IF…and only IF it can be dissembled, will I (for one) rethink the position of evidence in medicine. So far, no serious takers, eh??

    Even lawyers are evidence-based ‘practitioners’.
    Moreover, if you were a doctor-lawyer, you would not have been abused; his sorry ass would have ended up answering a string of subpoenas, a tax audit, as well as private detectives crawling up his sorry sigmoid….for starters. Quite a deterrent, eh? When the shingle outside your office reads ‘I SUE’ and not ‘I HEAL’, then you will get the respect you deserve.

    WAIT A SECOND KABONGO! What the hell am I doing wasting my time trying to be reasonable, calm and ummm, level-headed…hahahaHA!?

    THIS is what you MUST understand; just say “YES!!”…..
    This is the way the world works. Why don’t you join the bullshitters? They make lots of money, drive fancy cars and have luxury residences. You can simply postpone wrestling with your conscience ad infinitum….beyond reincarnation.
    There is no solution to problems of veracity. Move over to the dark side and start living a better life. You will be a Professor-Doctor in less than one year, IF you adopt the credo that the chief occupation of mankind is to insist on believing the palpably untrue. Free will is a philosophic joke…..HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Take care Doc. Health IS wealth ;^)

    Fritz Kabongo MD.

    • Dr. Kaplan November 11, 2009 at 10:45 am

      I say YES! to that. Perhaps a pie of truth is a small obstacle if one at all in the path of those who will not see. When one has strong and militant opinions, it’s best not to be confused by facts

  4. Andrew November 11, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Nice one Brian- Ernst posted a diatribe in pulse just recently – he seems to be veering away from any sense or sensibility- just like politicians who sack scientists who don’t tow the party line– he tows too.

    • Dr. Kaplan November 11, 2009 at 10:53 am

      Indeed Andrew. Edzard Ernst is a man who has found his time and place (our ‘evidence-based’, authoritarian, surveillance society). However there are signs that the English people are starting to tire of those who bleatingly acquiesce to ‘tighter controls’ ( a phrase used by Ernst in relation to CAM) on their desire to make their own choices about all sorts of things including healthcare. As the tide hopefully slips away from him, he deserves not only our sympathy, but also our retrospective congratulations on riding his wave for so long, self-righteously attacking (eg acccusing CAM practitioners of lying to their patients) anyone who agrees with his limited, deterministic, overly mechanistic and scientismic view of the world, life and medicine. So I say: ‘TWO CHEERS FOR PROFESSOR EDZARD ERNST!’.

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