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The Ragtag Posse of Snake-oil Vigilantes
Rounding up outlaw 'net quacks since 2000

The Posse was a RatbagsDotCom project for a few years, but it outlived its usefulness. It was always a joke, and you can only tell a joke so many times before it loses its funniness. The name came from an article by Randy Barrett in Inter@ctive Week Online.

"Law enforcers aren't entirely alone, however. A rag-tag posse of snake-oil vigilantes occasionally helps identify culprits and even contributes to investigations."

One part which retained its relevance and was worth keeping was:

Our Song Book

These songs are for those people we know and love. Sometimes they don't love us back. All versions are written and © copyrighted 2001- by Peter Bowditch unless otherwise noted.

What a fuckwit

Dedicated to a certain anti-vaccination campaigner, whose two-syllable surname has been replaced by "XX" to reduce the chance of anyone getting sued. In any case, it has generalised application to any and all anti-vaccination liars. The words were written by my friend Darryl, who has assigned copyright to me. First public performance of this song was at the Skepticator Open Mic Night held in conjunction with TAM Australia 2010.

Now they say there is a secret chord
That XX plays and it shits the Lord
But no death threat will get the bitch to end it.
It goes like this
"I have to lie.
I just don't care that children die".
The sane amongst us murmur "What a fuckwit".

They say that up in Bangalow
They grow good weed and they smoke it slow
To ease the pain of cancer in the left tit.
'Cause XX says "No mammograms".
She chuckles when the coffin slams,
While orphaned kids are crying. What a fuckwit.

I had a dream on one fine day
That Satan came to make her pay.
He poured on boiling oil and said "Admit it".
But she laughed at him and then she said:
"Pertussis! That's more children dead".
He shook his head and muttered "What a fuckwit".

She says we take her name in vain
But she won't even speak my name.
She thinks that to ignore it makes it secret.
She might ignore my every word
But it doesn't matter what she heard.
The message still gets out. It's "What a fuckwit".

I've worked at this for several years
To stop this fool from spreading fears.
I told the truth, I didn't need to bullshit.
While she says "Measles is benign"
And thinks that Wakefield's fraud is fine,
The evidence is shouting "What a fuckwit".

Thank you to Leonard Cohen for the inspiration.
Original at
http://leonardcohenfiles.com/album8.html#61


Ghost Streamers in the Sky
Dedicated to all those people who are against all those chemicals.

An old mad loon went riding out
One clear and windless day,
Upon his butt he rested as
He went along his way,
When all at once a mighty grid
Of poison clouds he saw,
A-stretchin' 'cross the ragged skies
Above the desert floor.

Yippee-yi-ya, yippee-yi-yo,
Ghost streamers in the sky.

The chemicals came floating down and
The crystals shone like steel,
The grit was black and shiny and
A hot rash he could feel,
A bolt of fear shot through him as
He looked up in the sky,
For he saw the toxins comin' hard
As the Boeings thundered by:

Yippee-yi-ya, yippee-yi-yo,
Ghost streamers in the sky.

There's foot and mouth, they're burning cows
The wind blows from the south
There's fluoride in the water now
And merc'ry in his mouth
Autistic kids from MMR
His wife's tits leak, but why?,
Aspartame in his Diet Coke
Just listen, hear him cry:

Yippee-yi-ya, yippee-yi-yo,
Ghost streamers in the sky.

The Monarchs fluttered past him and
He heard one call his name,
If you want to save your soul from hell
And not turn out too strange,
Stop eating GM food today,
Or with us you will die,
And you will see your kids deformed,
Your testicles will fry.

Yippee-yi-ya, yippee-yi-yo,
Ghost streamers in the sky.


Unsweetened Taxi
Dedicated to Betty Martini, Robert Cohen and Ilena Rosenthal

Who's Nancy Markle?
Nobody's seen her before
Or since for that matter.
Somebody tell me the score.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what is bad
Till you're told
They rant and they rave
Act like they're quite barking mad.

They took all the cows
Put 'em in a cow museum
And now Robert Cohen wants
A dollar-and-a-half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what is bad
Till you're told
They rant and they rave
Act like they're quite barking mad.

Hey, Betty, Betty,
Enough of the c-and-p.
Give me spots on my liver,
But just let me sweeten my tea.
Please.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what is bad
Till you're told
They rant and they rave
Act like they're quite barking mad.

Late last night
I heard the screen door close.
Two men in white coats
Took away Ilena Rose.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what is bad
Till you're told
They rant and they rave
But we know they're all barking mad.

(Thank you to Joni Mitchell for the
music and inspiration.)


Space Oddity
Dedicated to Ilena Rosenthal

Ground Control to 'lena Rose
Ground Control to 'lena Rose
Take your pills and put your tinfoil helmet on

Ground Control to 'lena Rose
Commencing countdown, neurons on
Check ignition and may God's love be with you

(spoken)
Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Liftoff

This is Ground Control to 'lena Rose
You've really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose breasts you wear
Now it's time to take the Ritalin if you dare

"This is 'lena Rose to Ground Control
I'm stepping through the door
And my coffee has a most peculiar taste
Aaargh! It's got aspartame. What a waste.

For here
Am I sitting on my implant
Far above the world
Planet Earth is flat
And I can't do much 'bout that

Though I've spent one hundred thousand bucks
I'm feeling very still
And I think I'll start forgiving folks. Oh shucks.
Tell Ros and Ratz I love them very much they know"

Ground Control to 'lena Rose
Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong
Can you hear me, 'lena Rose?
Can you hear me, 'lena Rose?
Can you hear me, 'lena Rose?
Can you....

"Here am I floating round in Usenet
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is flat
And I can't do much 'bout that."

(Thank you to David Bowie for the music and inspiration.)


An old sea shanty
Dedicated to people who "cure" cancer

Oh, hang the hag high, laddies, hang the hag high
Way aye hang the hag high
Oh, hang the hag high, laddies, neck her real good
Give me some time to hang the hag high!

A young girl is checking for lumps in her breast
Way aye hang the hag high
Her fingers meet something that don't pass the test.
Give me some time to hang the hag high!

Although it just doesn't feel like it should,
Way aye hang the hag high
She takes a deep breath and says, "Zapper me good."
Give me some time to hang the hag high!

Fast forward a few months, her funeral's today
Way aye hang the hag high
The clinic sends bills, her estate can pay.
Give me some time to hang the hag high!

"Neuroblastoma" is so hard to spell
Way aye hang the hag high
But Dad isn't broke yet, there's shares left to sell
Give me some time to hang the hag high!

But as soon as the credit and money runs out
Way aye hang the hag high
The boy will be "cured", of that there's no doubt.
Give me some time to hang the hag high!

If Grandpa has Alzheimer's all is not lost
Way aye hang the hag high
His life insurance will cover the cost.
Give me some time to hang the hag high!

So if you'd all like to join in a party today
Way aye hang the hag high
There's a use for a noose down ol' Tijuana way.
Give me some time to hang the hag high!


What a Lucrative World
Dedicated to the MLM spammers who pollute the netwaves
(this version by Mark Probert and Peter Bowditch)

Don't know much about chemistry
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about a science book
Don't remember any ethics I took
But I do know I love spamming you
And if you think that what I say is true
What a very rich man I could be

Don't know much about oncology
Don't know much pathology
Don't care much about real health care
Don't even care what a Zapper is for
Give me a sucker who's without a clue
And if we raise the price a dollar or two
What a lucrative world this would be

Now I don't claim to be an Internet scammer
But I'm tryin' to be
Oh maybe by being an Internet scammer, baby
I can suck your money to me

Don't know much about geometry
Don't know much trigonometry
What shape's a pyramid? I lost the book.
You can trust me - I am not a crook
But I do love what Alt Med can do
And I know that if you loved it too
What a great source of cash you would be

------ lead guitar ------

But I do like recruiting you
And if you con your friends and loved ones too
What a lucrative downline for me

(Thank you to Sam Cooke, Herb Alpert and Lou Adler
for the music and inspiration.)


White Powders
Dedicated to arch-conspiracist and cell salt believer Carole Hubbard
(this version by Robert Bronsing)

One cell-salt makes you larger,
and one cell-salt makes you small;
But the ones that Mother gives you, don't do anything at all...
Go ask Carole, when she's ten feet tall.

And if you go chasing rabbits,
and you know you're going to fall,
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Carole,
when she was just small

When the men on the chessboard,
get up and tell you where to go,
and you just had some kind of cell-salt and
your mind is moving low,
Go ask Carole, I think she'll know

When logic, and proportion,
have fallen sloppy dead,
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head"
Remember, what the dormouse said:
"Feed your head
Feed your head
Feed your head"

(Thank you to the members of Jefferson Airplane for the
music and inspiration)


Old Farmer Hubbard?
Another song for Carole Hubbard
(this version by Doug Adam)

Kooky Carole has a site E I E I O
And on that site there's conspiracy stuff E I E I O
With a coverup here and a coverup there
Here a plot
There a threat
Everywhere a coverup
Kooky Carole has a site E I E I O!

Ol' Hag Hulda
Dedicated to quack cancer "curer" Hulda Clark

Her clinic is pink, down in Tijuana,
She sits there at work, while the victims pay,
Bankin' that cash, from dawn 'til sunset,
Laughin' like hell, 'til the judgement day.

Over the fence from where the FDA is,
Suckers can die, She don't give a toss.
Stayin' down south of the Rio Grande,
There's an old stream, that she dare not cross,

yeah....

Ol' hag Hulda, that ol' hag Hulda,
She might know sumpin', but don't cure nothin',
She jus' keeps zappin', She keeps on zappin' along.

She don't cure cancer, though cash she's gotten,
And them that's "cured" is soon forgotten,
But ol' hag Hulda, She jus' keeps zappin' along.

You an' me, we sweat and strain,
Cuttin' out cancers and treatin' pain.
Prostate (male), breast (female),
While she's in Tijuana to stay out of jail.

Folks gits weary an' sick of tryin'
With AIDS and cancer, An' skeered of dyin',
But ol' hag Hulda, She jus', keeps zappin' along.

(Thank you to Oscar Hammerstein II for the inspiration)


The Mexico Clinic
Dedicated to quack cancer "curer" Hulda Clark
(Based on the poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service.
This adaptation by Rich Shewmaker)

There are strange things done in the noonday sun,
In a Mexico border town,
Behind pink walls, the Devil calls,
But today he wears a frown.
He kind of groans, for the soul he owns,
Is the hoard of an ancient hag,
Who smiles today, for she's on her way,
To the bank with a money bag.

In this clinic stark, here is Hulda Clark,
She has fled from the law to hide,
With a heart that's black, this altie quack,
Is an evil personified.
She has found a way to make people pay,
This filthy entrepreneur.
She plays her trick on the desperate sick.
Sells a non-existent cure.

There's nothing you've heard, that's more absurd,
Than her claims for her "syncrometer."
But it's just the bait to catch those with a date,
To visit old St. Peter.
Her voice gets most shrill when she says doctors kill,
You with knives and with poisons and nukes.
What causes of cancer? This witch has an answer.
It's South Asian liver flukes.

She'll sell you a Zapper in a plain brown wrapper,
Guaranteed to cure what offends.
And when that's done its work, this altie quack jerk,
Will sell you a liver cleanse.
She'll make sure you're clean from your ass to your spleen,
And if your wallet's not cleaned out as well,
It's then time to send you to see her best friend,
The "holistic" dentist from hell.

Yes, there are strange things done in the noonday sun,
By this doctor who's not a physician.
By the clinic gates, a car there waits,
That's owned by the local mortician.
It waits for those who are in the last throes,
Of death, and it's not the least funny,
Though they didn't thrive, Hulda kept them alive,
'Til they finally ran out of money.


Ilena
Another song dedicated to Ilena Rosenthal.

Ilena gets a lot of attention because she begs for it, but she cannot be explained to anyone who has not met her on the 'net. The newsgroups alt.support.breast.implant and misc.health.alternative are good places to research the meaning of this song.

Ilena takes you down to her place in Costa Rica
The banana boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and coffee
That have never touched aspartame
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no cash to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she gives the scornful answer
That you've never been her lover
And you want to travel with her
(Oh, my God, you must be blind!)
And you know that she won't trust you
Though you've touched her natural body with your mind.

And Patrick was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time lurking
From his ivory office tower
And when he knew for certain
Only Susan S could see him
He said "The women will be sufferers
Until explants shall free them"
But he himself was found out
Long before the sky would open
She sued him, hundred million
He won the suit but never got a dime
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you'll trust him
For he's touched your damaged body with his mind.

Now Ilena takes your hand
And she leads you to the dumpster
She is wearing rags and feathers
And a fragrance just like popcorn
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the mailbox
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are villains in the seaweed
There are lurkers in the newsgroup
They are leaning out for truth
And they will lean that way forever
While Ilena holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can't trust her
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind.

Thank you to Leonard Cohen for the inspiration.
Original at
http://www.leonardcohen.com/us/music/songs-leonard-cohen/suzanne


The Fibromyalgia Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Blues
By Rich Shewmaker

I've got my copper bracelet,
I've got magnets in my shoes.
I take some melatonin when,
I feel the need to snooze.
I read Prevention magazine,
To get the latest news,
But I've got the fibromyalgia multiple chemical sensitivity chronic fatigue syndrome blues.

I've seen an iridologist,
A chiropractor, too.
Acupuncture twice-a-week,
I'm needled through and through.
I've been Reikied, rubbed, and healing touched,
And Rolfed until I'm bruised.
But I've still got the fibromyalgia multiple chemical sensitivity chronic fatigue syndrome blues.

I gave up meat and milk and sweets,
I live on nuts and greens.
I buy all kinds of supplements,
From herbs to spirolines.
I've done a thorough colon cleanse,
(I'll spare you the reviews.)
But I've still got the fibromyalgia multiple chemical sensitivity chronic fatigue syndrome blues.

I drink my urine every day,
I use Clark's "zapper", too.
I tie myself in yogic knots,
Do Tai Chi, and Kung Fu.
My psychic healer counsels me,
To heed my spirit muse.
But I've still got the fibromyalgia multiple chemical sensitivity chronic fatigue syndrome blues.

< blues guitar break >

I've tried Naturopathy, Aromatherapy,
Ayurvedic and Qi Gong.
Reflexology, psychic surgery,
Teas from old Hong Kong.
I've read the books and heard the tapes,
And learned alternative views.
But I've still got the fibromyalgia multiple chemical sensitivity chronic fatigue syndrome blues.

©Rich Shewmaker 2005


Heavy Metal Deceiver
This version by an anonymous writer
Based on Heavy Metal (Takin' a Ride) by Don Felder

Light a cig up & booze awhile
Leave the truth far behind
You can vent your rage at the ADA
Or claim that all the Jews here are liars
But if you're ready to lie into overdrive
Boyd Haley's the man you need
To post lies so insane
Debunked and arcane
You must become a Heavy Metal deceiver

Once you tell Boyd's lies, lies, lies
'bout Heavy Metals
It's the only thing gives you purpose in this life
Spreading lies, lies, lies, lies
'bout Heavy Metals
Facts denied
Lying 'bout thimerosal

My, oh my, how this bigot can lie
When she starts cutting & pasting
She won't put down her booze
Nor acknowledge the truth
She didn't get that author's permission

It's not a big surprise
Jan thought loa parasites
Were thriving inside of her colon
Jan searched through her pooh
As Hulda said to do
Then became a Heavy Metal deceiver

Once you tell Boyd's lies, lies, lies
'bout Heavy Metals
It's the only thing gives you purpose in this life
Spreading lies, lies, lies, lies
'bout Heavy Metals
Facts denied
Lying 'bout thimerosal

Heavy Metals 5x and fade out


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