Hot Skeptical Action

Well so we’ve been drinking in bars and arguing on the internet, many of you are doubtlessly wondering when the JSS is going to be able to get around to doing some real, action packed (action not guaranteed) field work.

THE TIME IS NOW!

This guy, is coming to Jackson. “Doctor” Robert Dowling of the non-accredited Clayton “College”. He claims on his website to cure cancer, and the thing is FULL of red flags. Notably this one:

If a breast tumor is discovered during a screening procedure performed at a licensed QHM® Labs, QHM® will provide you with a complete cure within 90 days, provided it’s evident that the tumor is too small for discovery by a mammogram (generally under 1 cm). Pretty f-ing convenient if you ask me.

There’s plenty more, too many to count: “100% cure rate,” a bunch of listed links (including “so you’re a skeptic, here’s how to challenge the study”) that don’t work, and a lot of claims of “conspiracy” and whatnot. READ THE WEBSITE! And click on the links! There’s a mountain of BS here that needs shoveling.

He claims that there are “over 800” studies backing him up. Of the six he cites on his website, two are in journals his “North Carolina Institute of Technology” publishes. I can’t even find a website for the NCIT, which, as a technological institute, should probably have one.

He warns women NOT to get mammograms and to get his “treatment” instead.

And he’s coming to Jackson in his RV to spew more dangerous garbage. That is where we come in, skeptics.

The plan is thusly: I have been given permission to film this performance, so we need to PACK the audience with skeptics asking the RIGHT questions. We don’t need to be confrontational, we don’t need to be disruptive, we just need to have this quack back up his claims, and listen to the vile bile he gives for answers.

Remember: We’re not a bunch of shouting maniacs. We’re calm and rational folk, so we should sit, quietly listen (take notes) and hit him gently and with genuine curiosity, with questions we want answered. Take as many brochures and pamphlets as you can, get the “free facial screening” he offers, take notes, and remember everything you possibly can.

If you’re having trouble coming up with things to ask him, here’s a few:

1: Get him to show that his machine can actually thermally image. This may be a bust, it may work fine, but I found out here that many of them do not work as promised, and will show thermal variation in an object that does not have them. A water balloon filled with warm water should show up as a solid thermal mass. We can ask him to scan one.

2: Check the device out. Ask him the model number. If it’s a CRT 2000, or a Bioscan 2010 (or any number of thermographs) we should immediately contact the Attorney Generals office and see what can be done, these are illegal devices (well, when you use them for medical diagnosis, anyway).

3: Ask him which oral bacteria cause cancer. Write down the answer.

4: Get information about the treatment itself (not just the “diagnosis” and what it entails. Take notes!

5: Ask him if you have to join the Quantum Health Management Club to get the treatments (and if so, why?) because it says so on the websites.

6: How long does he track his patients for reoccurance? Most doctors don’t consider it ever “cured,” but talk about 1,2, 5 or 10 year periods cancer-free. So asking him if he checks for cancer later, or tracks his patients at all, might be a worthwhile opinion. It is also the method that Steven Barrett of QuackWatch recommended in phone conversations with one of our members.

7: Get information about the Clayton College and the NCIT. Ask him about accreditation, facilities, and staff.

8: Find out what journals he has published his studies in. Note that this should be studies HE HIMSELF has published, not studies someone else did.

A common alternative medicine ploy is to cite and quote studies by real scientists that, when viewing the abstract, mention the treatment, but when viewing the study, either do not support it or claim it is ineffective.

Another is to publish them in your own journal. Listen carefully when he says what journals, take notes, ask him to repeat himself and spell things, see if he gets defensive.

9: What studies has he done, and how many subject were involved? What were the protocols and procedures of these tests? Were the patients also receiving chemotherapy?

10: Where are his clinics located?

11: Does his technique work on cancers detected by mammograms and other traditional methods?

12: Get your face scanned. It may be a great time, or good way to get a view of the model number of the machine.

13: Finally, if you’re feeling a bit nasty and the day is getting late, ask him about Pam Hysong and her husband.

This guy will be at the Rainbow Coop in Jackson Mississippi at 7:00 PM, on April 20th. Meet me there, take it upon yourself to ask one of these questions. Don’t get in his face, don’t make a fool of yourself. Observe and report. We’ll have a meeting next week to discuss our findings!

Oh, and hopefully there will be video and/or audio of the event. That said, WE NEED CAMERAS! So if you’ve got AV equipment of any sort, let me know! Email the JSS at Jacksonskepticalsociety@gmail.com.

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4 responses to “Hot Skeptical Action

  1. I think we should distribute printouts from the QuackWatch page about him.

  2. jacksonskepticalsociety

    If you hand out the quackwatch printups before the talk, we really risk spoiling our hand. After the talk when they have heads full of woo it may be too late, but I’d rather plant the seed of doubt than risk a confrontation where Dowling looks the persecuted genius.

  3. Saw you mentioned over at Orac’s blog. Well done.

    And, oh, could you disable snapshots on your blog. Contrary to what Snapshots might suggest, it is not helpful and cannot be disabled by the viewer (I’ve tried multiple times). It’s frustrating.

  4. jacksonskepticalsociety

    You know, Andy, I’d been so annoyed by that for a while, that I completely forgot that I and I alone could disable it.

    DONE.

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