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Ever find a spot where you could pinpoint where something went wrong and broke-shit on such a massive scale that the damage is still being undone? See Freud on incest…


We need to take a large step back in time for a
moment, to the early part of Freud’s era, when
modern psychology was born. In the 1890s, when
Freud was in the dawn of his career, he was struck
by how many of his female patients were revealing
childhood incest victimization to him. Freud
concluded that child sexual abuse was one of the
major causes of emotional disturbances in adult
women and wrote a brilliant and humane paper

called “The Aetiology of Hysteria.” However,
rather than receiving acclaim from his colleagues
for his ground-breaking insights, Freud met with
scorn. He was ridiculed for believing that men of
excellent reputation (most of his patients came
from upstanding homes) could be perpetrators of
Within a few years, Freud buckled under this
heavy pressure and recanted his conclusions. In
their place he proposed the “Oedipus complex,”
which became the foundation of modern
psychology. According to this theory any young
girl actually desires sexual contact with her father,
because she wants to compete with her mother to
be the most special person in his life. Freud used
this construct to conclude that the episodes of
incestuous abuse his clients had revealed to him
had never taken place; they were simply fantasies
of events the women had wished for when they
were children and that the women had come to
believe were real. This construct started a
hundred-year history in the mental health field of
blaming victims for the abuse perpetrated on them
and outright discrediting of women’s and
children’s reports of mistreatment by men.
Once abuse was denied in this way, the stage
was set for some psychologists to take the view
that any violent or sexually exploitative behaviors
that couldn’t be denied—because they were
simply too obvious—should be considered
mutually caused. Psychological literature is thus
full of descriptions of young children who
“seduce” adults into sexual encounters and of
women whose “provocative” behavior causes men
to become violent or sexually assaultive toward
I wish I could say that these theories have long
since lost their influence, but I can’t.”

-Lundy Bancroft.  Why Does He Do That? p. 684 (of 1020)

Hey, lets stuff burning stuff into our orifices, think magical thoughts, and *poof* feel better.  Let’s go along with Concordance as he takes a bit more time to explain exactly inane ear candling is and why, at the same time rational people still do it.


If you want to take down somebody else’s argument, a certain familiarity with the nature of intellectual or philosophical (as opposed to playground) argument is required, so that you can construct your own counter-argument.  In an intellectual argument, the person putting forth an argument sets out a number of premises (statements of facts), which, when you add them together, at best makes it impossible for their conclusion to be false (deductive argument), or at least makes it much more likely that their conclusion is true (inductive argument).

If you want to show that somebody’s argument is wrongity wrong, there are two, and only two, tactics allowed:

  1. Show that at least one of the premises of the argument is untrue.
  2. Show that even if the premises of the argument are true, the conclusion does not follow logically and/or inductively.

Tactic #1 requires good research skills, including the ability to find good sources, and the consideration to provide links and references so that others can evaluate those sources.  Research does not include saying, “Well it’s never happened to me, and nobody whose opinion I consider valid has every described anything like this to me, therefore the person recounting their experience must be mistaken.”

Tactic #2 requires an understanding of formal logic and logical fallacies, as well as an understanding of inductive reasoning, for example, the scientific method and statistical inference.  Be sure you know what a Straw Man argument is, both so you don’t make one, and so you don’t go calling somebody else’s argument a straw man incorrectly.  Be familiar with Ad Hominem and Ad Hominem Tu Quoque fallacies, and again, refrain from using them, and don’t go accusing others of using them, unless you actually know what they are.  Understand that correlation does not equal causation, but that scientific research can still draw meaningful conclusions even if not all of it can meet the gold standard of perfectly-designed, randomly-assigned, double-blinded, longitudinal, etc etc etc experiments.

I know, I know… that’s a lot to ask of somebody who just wants to assert that their knee-jerk, market-wisdom-based, common-sense, status-quo-supporting opinion is Truth.  Especially since going through the work of checking facts and reading the research may prove you wrong, and then what do you do.

Just like using Vitamin C to treat cancer...

Just like using Vitamin C to treat cancer…

“It’s a case that has Canadians and the legal community buzzing.

Earlier this month Ontario Judge Gethin Edward ruled in favour of a First Nations girl and her family, who stopped chemotherapy to treat her acute lymphoblastic leukemia, choosing traditional medicine instead.

The judge rejected an application from McMaster Children’s Hospital that would have required the Children’s Aid Society to intervene in the case.”

Buzzing indeed.  Let us be clear up front – evidenced based medicine works.  Anything else is just a fine grade mixture of bullshit and the placebo effect that happened to work in that specific case on that specific day.   We can safely assume that “Traditional Medicine” falls into the later category and most definitely not the former.

“Edward ruled that it was the mother’s aboriginal right — which he called “integral” to the family’s way of life — to allow her to choose traditional medicine for her daughter.

While many hailed the decision as a victory for aboriginal rights, others call it a failure in the protection of child welfare”

While others like myself would be calling this a death sentence for the child in question.  Treating cancer with magical mumbo-jumbo almost always ends in tragedy.

“I’ve never seen a judge recognize a broad right for a First Nation like the Mohawk Nation to have their medical practices — their traditional ways of life regarding health and healing — protected by the Constitution under Section 35,” said Larry Chartrand, professor at the faculty of law. 

    “Chartrand specializes in aboriginal governance and health, and while he states that this decision is positive in terms of aboriginal rights, “the unfortunate circumstance is that it revolved around a fact situation where a little girl’s life is potentially at stake. So that makes the decision very difficult to appreciate.”

The ‘decision very difficult to appreciate my ass’ – Leave it to lawyers to miss the point.   We have this thing called medical science, it is the justified, tested and reviewed methods of saving lives.  Denying a child access to life saving treatment is neglect.

“McMaster doctors said she has a 90 to 95 per cent chance of survival on chemotherapy, but that they didn’t know of anyone who had survived acute lymphoblastic leukemia without the treatment.”

Traditional methods of healing in this case means death for the child.

“I understand the mother’s decision. I have a 12-year-old son, and I’m not sure I would make that decision myself under the circumstances. But I understand why, because of the impact of colonization, the distrust of the mainstream system, and the need to protect Mohawk culture — sometimes at all costs.”

If protecting Mohawk culture means sacrificing your child to woo, it may be time to rethink that aspect of Mohawk culture.  If the child dies because of this fanciful foray into neglect the parents should be charged with child endangerment and neglect causing death.   Welcome to the other end of the legal system – the one where murdering children, even for cultural reasons is against the law.

“A Florida health resort licensed as a “massage establishment” is treating a young Ontario First Nations girl with leukemia using cold laser therapy, Vitamin C injections and a strict raw food diet, among other therapies.

The mother of the 11-year-old girl, who can not be identified because of a publication ban, says the resort’s director, Brian Clement, who goes by the title “Dr.,” told her leukemia is “not difficult to treat.”

Vitamin C?  Raw Food?…   To treat lymphoblastic leukemia?  *shakes head*  Using woo to treat cancer, this is going to end badly for everyone.

Orac over at Respectful Insolence says it best:

“My view is that what matters the most is the life of the child and making sure that child is given her best shot at life by being treated with the best science-based medicine has to offer. Everything else is secondary and, to me, important only inasmuch as it helps or hinders achieving the goal of saving the life of the child. I don’t care much about whether I offend by criticizing a religion that would allow a child to die. I don’t care much if it bothers anyone that I criticized a racial, ethnic, or cultural group that facilitates the medical neglect of children. And I don’t really care that much, in the context of this case, about the historical grievances native peoples have based on past transgressions of the Canadian government. That’s not to say I don’t recognize them as important; rather, it’s that I do not accept them as valid reasons to let a child die.”

[Source 1: –  Aboriginal right to refuse chemotherapy for child spurs debate.]

[Source 2: –‘Doctor’ treating First Nations girls says cancer patients can heal themselves.]



One video, sixteen minutes equals deep insight into how American society runs.  (Hint: Most likely not for your benefit.)


I grow tired of hearing arch-conservatives rail on about the evils of regulation and how it stifles industry.  People die because of deregulation and lax standards – but somehow the profit motive trumps all that human welfare shit, almost every time.


quack-doctor    Why oh why do people still want to normalize the use of magic and illusion into the practice of medicine?

We’ve spent decades codifying and rooting out the bullshit practices and have steeled ourselves against ‘good common sense’ notions and looked where the evidence points us.  There is no mystery to evidence based medicine it has been shown empirically to work.  Contrast that with ‘alternative or integrative‘ or ‘whatever term the quacks are using now to sound legitimate and authoritative‘ which is not evidence based, not rigorously tested and not frakking effective.  What is most saddening is that professionals who have been well-educated can fall into the woo-trap just as easy as the common bloke.  The CBC reports on a quack siting here in my home town:

“An Edmonton doctor who recently won a major medical prize says the only way to bridge the divide between traditional medicine and alternative methods is to listen to the needs of patients.”

Oh FFS!  Alternative Medicine … has either not been proved to work, or been proved not to work. Do you know what they call “alternative medicine” that’s been proved to work?  Medicine.  “Bridging gaps” with quackery results in dead people.  It is that simple.

“Dr. Vohra was recently awarded the 2013 Dr. Rogers Prize for Excellence in Complementary and Alternative Medicine. At $250,000, it’s the largest prize of its kind in North America.”

Quack wins quackery prize.  This just in, earth still orbiting the sun ONCE every 365 days.  Let’s take a peek into history and dude behind the Dr.Rodgers Prize (many thanks to

Dr. Hoffer’s obituary mentioned that he had won the Dr. Rogers Prize for Excellence in Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2007. I never knew such a thing even existed. It does though.

Dr. Rogers is another individual who appears to have dedicated his life to helping people but probably did just the opposite. He worked in family practice for over 30 years and was a clinical instructor at the University of British Columbia. He founded the Thera Wellness Centre in 1977, a not for profit organization devoted to complementary and alternative practices in medicine. Later he created The Centre for Integrated Therapy which evolved into Centre for Integrated Healing in the late 1990′s which later evolved into Inspire Health. A quick review of Inspire Health’s website reveals it is an organization that promotes all sorts of pseudo-scientific nonsense as benefiting cancer patients — from Reiki to therapeutic touch to acupuncture.

According to the Dr. Roger’s Prize website, Dr. Rogers was appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the province’s highest honour, for his pioneering work in alternative and complementary cancer care. In other words, BC awarded him the provinces highest honor for selling worthless cures to desperate cancer victims. Not something that immediately comes to mind as worthy of an award, but then again, I have never won the Order of British Columbia, so I am certainly no expert on what it takes to win a medal. I do know there was a time when, good intentions notwithstanding, we threw snake oil salesmen in jail. Now we give them the Order of British Columbia.

The Dr. Rogers Prize for Excellence in Complementary and Alternative Medicine was established in recognition of Dr. Rogers contribution to complimentary and alternative medicine and his tireless efforts to gain widespread recognition for – and acceptance of – complementary and alternative cancer treatments in this country.

I don’t know what alternative universe the folks at the Dr. Rogers Prize are living in, but back here on planet earth we instinctively know that recognition and acceptance of medical practices shouldn’t come from phony awards awards funded by those pursuing an agenda. It comes from sound scientific evidence that the health practices or modalities being promoted actually work.

Regardless of how well intentioned or tireless Dr. Rogers efforts (and I don’t doubt either), they amount to little more than the promotion and sale of snake oil to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Now in his eighties and suffering from Alzheimer’s, it is sad to reflect on a another man who desperately wanted to help but probably did just the opposite.

   Ah, it must feel good to win the snake-oil award for selling cures to desperate people, it must be so gratifying on many levels; how can profiting from the misery of others be anything but? 

“Dr. Vohra is the founding director of Complementary and Alternative Research and Education (CARE) at the University of Alberta, the first academic pediatric integrative medicine program in Canada.”

Write down the name and avoid this person at all costs because this sort of medical mendacity gets you dead and impoverishes your family.

“For the sake of her patients, she set about becoming fluent in alternative treatments.”

What a nice way of saying – has stopped listening to Reason and embraced all the magical woo available to the detriment of her patients.  Awesome!

“Now she has credibility in both worlds – as a leader in both conventional and complementary and alternative medicine – […]”

Oh LOLfovever.  The-fuck-you-don’t get credibility for embracing woo.  You don’t get medical credibility for embracing non-evidence based medical practices. Not now, not ever, young padaquack. All you should rightly receive is scorn and derision for making the decision to abandon the scientific method and starting to peddle woo.

“She says studies indicate that 70 per cent of Canadians use complementary therapies, and a significant percentage of them mix traditional and non-traditional remedies without knowing what impact one will have on another.”

Could I get Argumentum ad populum, with a side citation-fucking-needed?!  Ring-Ring!! Rationality is calling, Dr. Vohra; and it would, most desperately, like you to return to the fold.

Go to for more information on “alternative and integrative” therapies and the harm it causes people.

*Update* – Mother faces criminal charges as she let her son die of a strep infection

Criminal charges are pending against a Calgary mother who police allege relied on holistic treatments instead of getting medical help for her seven-year-old son’s strep infection.  Police allege the mother did not take the boy for treatment, giving him holistic remedies instead.

“The treatment rendered at home was homeopathic in nature. This would include herbal remedies. The mother refused to take the child to a medical professional. No excuse given — just her belief system,” said Staff Sgt. Mark Cavilla.

The boy was bedridden for 10 days prior to his death, police allege.

My defence rests. :(

For the people who think this stuff works…  With many thanks to Cool Hard Logic for such a engaging presentation.

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