‘Wellness Warrior’ Jessica Ainscough dies from cancer

Comparing the eternally positive reflections of Jessica Ainscough with the reality of her recent passing from epithelioid sarcoma just two days ago, one cannot help feel somewhat disturbed. The ABC website has a leading description of Jessica’s struggle;

When initial mainstream cancer treatment didn’t work, one woman chose alternative methods that offer a different perspective on health and wellbeing.

Jessica initially underwent isolated limb perfusion. Her left upper limb was treated with chemotherapy. Initial signs were positive but within a year or so her tumor had returned. The surgical option she then faced involved amputation of not just her arm but the shoulder also. This disfiguring alternative may have offered some hope and Orac writes that before the choice of perfusion arose, Jessica may have been preparing herself to face the surgical option [2]. Ultimately she didn’t decide on surgery. A disturbing cornucopia of woo, “positive affirmations”, “cancer thriving”, coffee enemas, “the tribe”, etc… and surrendering to what the universe had in store led to The Wellness Warrior. Jessica also took on promoting the widely discredited quackery known as Gerson Therapy with gusto. You can read what Cancer Council Australia write about Gerson, and also check some citations here. This summary is from an article in today’s news.com.au;

Australia’s leading cancer organisations do not endorse Gerson therapy as a means of treating cancer. The National Cancer Institute says: “Because no prospective, controlled study of the use of the Gerson therapy in cancer patients has been reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, no level of evidence analysis is possible for this approach. “The data that are available are not sufficient to warrant claims that the Gerson therapy is effective as an adjuvant to other cancer therapies or as a cure. At this time, the use of the Gerson therapy in the treatment of cancer patients cannot be recommended outside the context of well-designed clinical trials. Cancer Australia says there is “little evidence” that alternative therapies are effective in cancer treatment. “Most have not been assessed for efficacy in randomised clinical trials, though some have been examined and found to be ineffective.” If you’d like to know more about cancer treatment in Australia, visit cancer.org.au or call 13 11 20.

The scale of denial Aiscough was in for so many years comes across in her piece published on ABC’s The Drum website. Eg;

How have I managed to escape the frail, sickly appearance that is so firmly stamped on the ‘cancer patient’ stereotype? I refused to follow the doctor’s orders. […] Our bodies are designed to heal themselves. It is really that simple. Our bodies don’t want to die. […] This is the basis of natural cancer-fighting regimes. While conventional treatment is hell bent on attacking the site of the disease and destroying tumors with drugs, radiation and surgery, the natural approach aims to treat the body as a whole. […] This stuff isn’t new. Reading Plato shows that holistic modalities have been understood for centuries: “You ought not to attempt to cure the eyes without the head, or the head without the body, so neither ought you to attempt to cure the body without the soul… […] …I will spend three weeks being treated at the Gerson Clinic. The basis of the Gerson Therapy is a diet, which includes eating only organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking 13 glasses of freshly squeezed juice per day in hourly intervals. The idea is to strengthen the immune system and load you up with heaps of minerals, enzymes, beta-carotene, Vitamins A and C, and other antioxidants that attack free radicals and ultimately the cancer.  According to the late Dr Max Gerson, if you can stick to the strict regime for a minimum of two years, Gerson Therapy has the ability to cure cancer like no drug can. Alternative treatments like Gawler and Gerson offer patients hope, choice and understanding. They also offer them a cure, not just remission. To me, that sounds like the much more attractive option.

The Cancer Council of Victoria has some great advice on the topic, “How will I know if claims of a cure are false?”. On page 39 of this booklet they note that the dishonest and unethical may;

  • Try to convince you your cancer has been caused by a poor diet or stress: they will claim they can treat you or cure your cancer with a special diet
  • Promise a cure – or to detoxify, purify or revitalise your body. There will be quick dramatic and wonderful results – a miracle cure
  • Use untrustworthy claims to back up their results rather than scientific-based evidence from clinical trials. They may even list references. But if you look deeper these references may be false, nonexistent, irrelevant, based on poorly designed research and out of date
  • Warn you that medical professionals are hiding “the real cure for cancer” and not to trust your doctor
  • Display credentials not recognised by reputable scientists and health professionals

Comparing Jessica’s beliefs and a small amount of advice from Cancer Council (Victoria) indicates Ainscough was entertaining a range of dangerous ideas about what both caused and might treat or even “cure” her cancer. Plainly the Cancer Council would reject Gerson Therapy based on its major traits. Tragically Jessica’s mother died from breast cancer after following her into trusting the disproved belief system. Orac writes in October 2013;

From what I can gather, it is the story of a death from quackery, a death that didn’t have to occur. Even worse than that, it appears to be a death facilitated by the daughter of the deceased, a woman named Jessica Ainscough, who bills herself as the “Wellness Warrior.” It’s a horrifying story, the story of a woman who followed her daughter’s lead and put her faith in the quackery known as the Gerson therapy.

An excellent blog is The View From The Hills by Rosalie Hilleman. It is an excellent examination – through postulation, questioning and evidence – of Jessica’s extensive deception and manipulation of her readers in order to maintain two illusions. One being that Gerson offers some efficacy. The second being that Jessica’s epithelioid sarcoma was not progressing with the morbidity expected for that condition diagnosed at the time it was.

EDIT: Jessica insisted she was “thriving”. Readers could easily be left with the impression that Gerson Therapy is effective. All the more because most don’t associate “cancer” with the bright, positive Jessica. This is why questions raised in The View From The Hills were and are so necessary. Gerson was actually doing nothing. In reality her cancer was markedly indolent – very slow to progress.

But it was progressing. It always was. Clinically, just as cancer of this type does progress. And now like her mother, Jessica Ainscough has died from cancer.

JessAinscough

One ring to rule them all… revisited

On April 2nd 2009 I wrote a post about a scam product claiming to stop snoring by stimulating acupressure points.

One ring to rule them all… looked at the AntiSnor “acupressure… modern miracle” that could boast of 140,000 satisfied customers. The post originated on the Atheist Age blog and fortunately attracted some comments from a David E. Woodley.

According to David there were some conflicting details about the ring’s inventor John R. Woodley – David’s father and, “our greedy and selfish and underhanded little brother John V. Woodley” or ‘Golum’ as he is affectionately called by family members these days”. This had led to two separate stories as to how the power of this ring was discovered circulating in the public domain.

golum_snor1annotatedOne story was that John Woodley, aka Golum had made the ring in an attempt to find pain relief following a car accident. The other story was that John Woodley Snr. had made the ring for his wife. She was heading to hospital and needed to control embarrassing snoring.

Clearly a magic ring was in order.

That I’d chosen the title, “One ring to rule them all…” and then found out later that he who coveted ownership of The Precious was nicknamed “Golum”, was indeed delightful. Or perhaps testimony to the limits of my imagination.

Since the post was written, the ACCC published a media release. On March 25th, 2010 they wrote in part;

Misleading advertising claims about an alleged anti-snoring ring have been withdrawn by the manufacturer and supplier after Australian Competition and Consumer Commission intervention.

More than 200,000 consumers worldwide are understood to have sought relief from the Anti Snor Therapeutic Ring which the supplier, ATQOL Pty Ltd, claimed used acupressure to stop a person from snoring and provide a relief from sinus, restless sleep and insomnia.

The ring was sold at most major chemist and health store chains in Australia and promoted through national television advertising and the company’s website.

Additionally, the company’s website, www.nosnor.com, claimed the ring had a ‘proven history of successful drug free treatment of snoring’ and was ‘Tested and recommended by a Physician’.

The ACCC raised concerns that these claims were likely to mislead consumers to believe that the product had proven medical outcomes in treating snoring, sinus, restless sleep and insomnia when this was not so.

antisnor ring

AntiSnor: Purportedly the two impressions place pressure on acupressure points on the inside of the finger and thus relieve snoring

It was claimed in 2009 that this modern miracle works because the little bumps apply pressure on key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. The two prongs on the inside of the Antisnor Therapeutic Ring press on the heart meridian and the sterling silver metal also gives energy to this channel. Wearing the ring increases energy flow to what is referred to as the upper jiao, which contains the heart and lungs. This allows for improved breathing, which leads to the cessation of snoring”.

Yes. The ACCC were onto something to be sure. Pharmacy News confirmed that the manufacturers of the “deceptive” One Ring had complied.

Time has passed.

In 2011 Choice listed AntiSnor amongst “quack” health products pharmacies sell.

A year ago Choice included AntiSnor amongst it’s collation of dubious pharmacy-sold products.

The website now lists results and a conclusion from a purported 2012 clinical trial, conducted in France by Proclaim. Under the heading, The ACCC and AntiSnor acupressure ring it is no surprise that we read, “ATQOL first developed an innovative natural therapy product in 1999, based on nerve point stimulation and the ancient Chinese practice of acupressure. After being approached by the ACCC in 2009, we began scientific research into Western medical reasoning behind why this product is so effective. This lead to conducting an independent Clinical Trial performed in France with alarmingly positive results.”

It continues with some Peacock terminology;

Clinical trials concluded in 2012 conducted by PROCLAIM ( France ) supervised by Sonia Guillou ( Study Director) Lydie Guiard (Technician) and Dr Mathilde Rauch ( Pulmonologist Specialist)
2009 , Registered in Germany (DIMDI) Class 1 medical device for Acupressure Snoring Device ( UMDNS Reg; DE/CA67/53.2-2678.400/102 )
Registered with the Australian TGA (184173)
After a two year filing process in 2012 the ANTISNOR Ring was given an exemption snoring device sold over the counter by the USA FDA.

So now the AntiSnor acupressure/reflexology ring has a proud website boasting on the home page:

antisnor_home page

A visit to the site confirms that the registration of TGA listed products in Australia still benefits the sponsor of these products more than consumers. Despite the fact that testimonials are not evidence and there is no evidence of a control group – or indeed the much touted study itself – readers are informed this very same product is now “clinically proven” to reduce snoring. Somehow it even involves “modern medical technology”. The link to “articles” takes readers to blurbs crafted to support the logic of an “acupressure” ring.

We’re also informed, “Our website may contain links to other websites “ONLY” operated by ATQOL Pty Ltd”. And the study is condensed to this bar graph based on participant answers:

sleep quality

Whilst the study may be absent, there is a “conclusion”:

The report concludes that “77% of the spouses and 80% of the snorers were satisfied with the anti-snoring ring” (page 25) and that … “the anti-snoring ring … tested under the supervision of a pulmonologist doctor by 30 couples, was effective in reducing snoring and improving the sleep quality of the snorer and his spouse” (page 25)

Presently the ring remains on sale in Australian pharmacies and consumers are offered testimonials as evidence of efficacy.

“Deal or Dud” judges AntiSnor

Plot to cull humanity via vaccines is “real news” claims Meryl Dorey

Mainstream media won’t listen to or report the REAL news until they are forced to do so. THIS is the real news – and they are intentionally suppressing it.

Meryl Dorey: October 9th 2014

I’ve lost count of the number of times Meryl Dorey has provided evidence of not just her belief in conspiracy theories, but of conspiracy theories wild and whacky.

A strident defender of Meryl, and an active critic of the notion Australian Vaccination-sceptics Network lends credence to conspiracy theories is Professor Brian Martin. Please note from here on I’ll refer to AVsN simply as AVN because in material I’ll source and at the time frame I’ll often refer to, the group was AVN Inc.

I guess Brian has a vested interest in setting up his approach to belief in conspiracy theories about as close as you can get to demanding evidence for a negative without actually saying so. That vested interest is his role as PhD supervisor of Judy – vaccines are a crime against humanity – Wilyman. In “preparing” for her PhD Wilyman has played many conspiracy cards from the paranoid to the dishonest. Little wonder Martin has argued for pointlessly high standards of confirmation before considering the AVN or Dorey entertain conspiracy theories.

I got interested in what I initially, and still, think is an unworthy issue for an academic around mid 2011. It struck me as a cheap shot to try to discredit the purpose of SAVN or defend the malignancy of the AVN over something so petty. Brian Martin summed up his viewpoint and level of evidence required on July 27th 2011 as part of an email exchange (emphasis mine):

Thanks for your emails. I think I understand where you’re coming from. You’ve provided what you think is good evidence for AVN members believing in various conspiracies. Let me state again my perspective on this. In “Debating vaccination” I noted that SAVN’s Facebook page had, as part of its basic information, the statement that “They [AVN] believe that vaccines are part of a global conspiracy to implant mind control chips into every man, woman and child and that the ‘illuminati’ plan a mass cull of humans.” I called this an “unsupported claim” because no good evidence for it was provided by SAVN or anyone else. It is, to my mind, a rather extraordinary claim, requiring persuasive evidence to be credible, for example a survey of AVN members. I consider the claim to be an attempt to discredit the AVN based on assertion rather than evidence. The claim was prominent on SAVN’s Facebook page, which is why I gave it such attention in my analysis.

There is a quite a bit of research on conspiracy theories. I believe it is accurate to say that many people believe in conspiracies of one sort or another. The obvious way to find out is to ask them, and that has been done often enough in survey research. To back up SAVN’s Facebook claim, it is not enough to show that some AVN members believe in this or that conspiracy – it’s necessary to show many or most believe in the mind-control-chip conspiracy, as stated.

Okay, so he has set the confirmation bar rather high. In fact out of reach. A survey of AVN members? Impossible for any cooperation. The “good evidence” I “think” I provided was in fact conspiracy references from AVN members, a screenshot of a post by Dorey on a video on mandatory vaccination and microchipping and part of this blurb from Dorey;

Injected Chips? To me, the scariest thing about the health smart card, is that it is only the beginning. The next and most logical step is the use of microchips which will contain all of the same information contained on smart cards but which will be injected into us and read and updated from a distance.

Now, before you start to think that this would never happen and that it’s all a bit too much like science fiction, be aware that as of January 1999, the NSW State Government has mandated that all domestic animals be injected with a microchip which would identify them. Pet owners don’t have a choice – they must do this by law or face fines. And how are these chips being put into the family dog or cat? Why, through their vaccines, of course. These microscopic chips are nothing more than contactless health smart cards. How long will it be before you or your child receive this “gift” from the government? They will sell it to us as a gift too. You will no longer have to worry about robbery because nobody will be carrying cash – this chip will contain your bank details so you can pass your hand over a reader and have the amount of your purchase automatically deducted from your account. Your child will never have to worry about getting lost because they will have an indelible identification mark which would have been inserted at birth. It’s all so exciting, don’t you think?

                            – Source Internet Archive – Wayback Machine

I won’t list all the references I sent to Brian Martin. He was defending Ms. Dorey’s management of, and honesty with free speech at the same time she was falsely claiming ownership of material to execute bogus DMCA take-downs of material on Scribd, actually owned by SAVN members. His erroneous claim that the AVN and Meryl Dorey were quite separate has been shown wrong many times. Reasonablehank touches on DMCA here, along with some seriously messed up AVN conspiracy leaning.

Suffice it to say I decided to take the statement Martin objected to, examine as much material confirming AVN members and Meryl Dorey’s belief in wild conspiracies and see how much of the statement could be supported this way. It turned out not much was needed. The offending comment Brian wanted evidence for:

They [AVN] believe that vaccines are part of a global conspiracy to implant mind control chips into every man, woman and child and that the ‘illuminati’ plan a mass cull of humans.

Could be stripped of one word and remain accurate:

They [AVN] believe that vaccines are part of a global conspiracy to implant mind control chips into every man, woman and child and that the ‘illuminati’ plan a mass cull of humans.

But yes, yes I know. Brian had already told us this. As he finished off in his email to me, it’s necessary to show many or most believe in the mind-control-chip conspiracy, as stated. So. No human culling? Perhaps he was in a hurry or something.

Let us then consult Prof. Martin’s What SAVN doesn’t want you to read, published by Martin last July 14th. I did visit this article in a post and discussed the relevant piece September 2012: SAVN and conspiracy theories. As you can see I chose not to focus on his reference to conspiracy theory, but instead on his reference to Peter Tierney and myself.

Do note however that Martin only refers to the mind control chip conspiracy and omits his initial concern with human culling. Again. It would seem if we were to apply the same standard of required evidence to Martin he appears to have intentionally drifted away from human culling.

Today Meryl Dorey has again confirmed her belief in this wild conspiracy of human culling through mass vaccination.

Dorey_Abel Danger

Following the link we find at one of the worst of the worst conspiracy madness sites, this delight (scroll down to CDC busted for burying vaccine related autism link);

Nanbot main text

A visit to this site Dorey refers to as “REAL news” reveals ample conspiracy – including the “Hear This Well – Vaccines Do Cause Autism” YouTube rubbish. Nonetheless what Dorey is believing here is clear.

  • Outbreak of the Ebola virus is a hoax and the plan behind it has precipitated removal of anti-vaccine websites.
  • A vaccine designed to kill human cells using a “T4 bacteriophage nanobot” and cause a human cull will be spread worldwide by the “elite” – The Illuminati.
  • This is part of the New World Order for global depopulation “and the establishment of compact slave cities that can be managed with ease”.
  • This is why “they are pushing vaccines so hard”.

♠ Elsewhere on Meryl Dorey’s “real news” page we find material contending that:

  • Jews want to “dumb down” all children via tainted vaccinations causing autism.
  • As owners of YouTube Jews are censoring audio on “many videos” and will likely remove the “Hear This Well – Vaccines Do Cause Autism” channel.
  • Vaccines are a “bioweapon”.
  • “FACT: Vaccine induced autism is an intentional act of war on Western civilization and anyone else who is in competition with a certain tribe (the Jewish race)”.

As an academic who writes extensively on dissent one would expect Professor Brian Martin to address this in depth. Arguing that AVN is not Dorey or a few AVN members are not “the AVN” just does not cut it with this mob. Any AVN members who were not Dorey clones were banned and the content deleted. Martin would argue in the absence of Dorey plainly stating – perhaps via interpretive dance – that she believes every word there is still nothing conclusive. Technically he would be right. But actually he would be wrong. It is clear he has failed to defend his claim that Dorey has no love for this depth of nonsense.

—————–

  1. David Icke’s microchips and the human cull – copied and published by Dorey.
  2. Hank responds to Dorey’s “dossier”.
  3. Visit the corridors of Brian Martin’s mind in the comments

♠ 4 points added after publishing.

Climate science infographic

Of 13,950 peer reviewed papers on climate published between 1991 and 2012, only 24 reject global warming.
Climate change infographic

Thus, it’s a safe bet that denial of global warming is not based on science.

Randi Does Radio

James – The Amazing – Randi chats to Jon Faine and Stella Young on ABC 774.

The occasion was The Conversation Hour on Friday November 30th in Melbourne. Randi was in Melbourne for the Australian Skeptics National Convention for 2012. Join in as Randi, Jon and Stella revisit some of Randi’s memories of earlier visits, including the always-asked-about Don Lane episode.

Download the audio of Randi on The Conversation Hour – or listen below.

randi

Randi enjoys a joke during the Australian Skeptics National Convention