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2013 Millenium Awards

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First Place - The Anus Maximus Award
Anus Maximus Award  2013

Dr Stanislaw Burzynski

Burzynski lies about a cure

Dr Burzynski came close to winning the Anus Maximus award in 2000, and it could almost be said that he won it by proxy as the winner was an advertising site using a dying child. Dr Burzynski still likes to use dying children in his advertising because they are good for extracting donations out of people which can be used, for example, to buy polish for the gold initials on the front gate of his home. He has expanded his advertising lately to include video productions featuring anecdotes from people who have been miraculously cured, although he has yet to publish details of any of these cures in the medical journals. As he has been doing the same thing for decades it took something exceptional to get him to  the winner's podium, although his problems with the FDA during the year would have qualified him for an Encouragement Award. What brought him over the line was an image proudly displayed by one of his acolytes showing that brain cancer had been healed. As the "before" and "after" scan images were obviously not of the same part of the brain it was obvious that Dr Burzynski had been lying to the patient. This production of fraudulent "evidence" followed the revelation that he had systematically destroyed patient records showing their conditions at the start of treatment. Put plainly, with no evidence that the patients had cancer in the first place he was claiming cures, and when he had some evidence of a prior condition he lied about the outcome of his treatment. A true champion of medical fraud.

Dr Burzynski has been informed of his success.

Dear Dr Burzynski

Congratulations on winning the Anus Maximus Award in the 2013 Millenium Awards. There is always tough competition but the production of so blatantly obvious scans of different sections of a brain as evidence of a cure shows chutzpah that is not seen every day.

The award citation read:

[see above]

Please feel free to publicise your award and display the award logo on your web site. If you wish to collect the physical prize (a tube of haemorrhoid cream and a wire brush applicator) you can do so at your own expense, but please give me sufficient notice so that I can organise the location for the public application of the cream and the accompanying media coverage.

You can see the other winners at http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/history/2013/2013awards.htm.


Quote of the Year

Cowardly anonymous anti-vaccination liar

The following screenshot was sent to me by someone who had seen it in the Stop The AVN page on Facebook. Unfortunately Facebook's search facility leaves a lot to be desired so I wasn't able to track down the post, and in any case the comment would almost certainly either have been subsequently deleted by its cowardly author or deleted by page administrators. It encapsulates almost perfectly some of the major characteristics of anti-vaccination lying - the author is too gutless to use a real name, grammar and spelling indicate a low level of literacy, it uses insult instead of argument, and it explicitly states a lack of concern for anyone other than the writer.

I couldn't give a hoot if people like you vaccinate, not a single fuck shall be given, it's your life. And mine is mine, full of choices, I dont live in fear. Nor do I give a flying fuckarooney if any of you have kids who can't be vaccinated, not my fault your have shit genes, or contributed to their weaknesses, so don't expect the likes of me to carry you, fuck noooooo!
Anyways, lovely to chat again, happy vaccinating !


Highly Commended
Highly Commended  2013

The judges were tempted to give Highly Commended awards to cancer quack Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group and to fake psychic Sylvia Browne for their highly commendable actions of dying during the year and making the world a better place, but somewhere in the rules it says that awards cannot be made posthumously. If such a rule is good enough for the Nobel Prize committee it is good enough for us.

It should be noted that "Highly Commended" does not mean "Highly Recommended". Quite the opposite, in fact.


Doctor's Data

Doctor's Data is a laboratory that specialises in finding results that its customers want found and is therefore a favourite of the purveyors of snake oil and medical fraud. Need to find mercury in vaccines that don't have any mercury in them? Send the vials to Doctor's Data where they will do the unblinded tests with the product specifications in front of them and then lie about what they find. Want to sue a pharmaceutical manufacturer for something? Send some hair samples to Doctor's Data with instructions on what to find and then call some crooked lawyers. Came across an autistic kid with desperate parents? Doctor's Data will give you all the "evidence" you need to start the chelation necessary to move the parents' life savings into your bank account.

For the last few years Doctor's Data have been threatening legal action against Dr Stephen Barrett from Quackwatch because they don't like the way he speaks the truth about them. The judges had originally intended to give them an Encouragement Award for their persistence in pursuing a hopeless court case, but something they did towards the end of 2013 moved them into the Highly Commended class. They went back to the court to request a change in the action. Not to include more evidence, but to ask that the claimed damages be increased. This was breathlessly announced as a complete trouncing and bankrupting of Dr Barrett, even though it changed nothing. The case has never gone to trial and probably will never go to trial. Its purpose is to allow continual claims to be made that Dr Barrett is being sued, so little tweaks will be introduced by the lawyers from time to time to keep it alive.


Between Two Worlds

There are degrees of vileness, but when you get near the bottom of the cesspit it is sometimes hard to tell what is worse than some other thing down there. A perpetual contender for the nadir is the practice of fake psychics approaching the families of missing children and pretending to have some knowledge of where they are or what happened to them. Thankfully with the death of Sylvia Browne there is one fewer of these parasites in the world, but there is always someone to take their place. What is always surprising, however, is the way that outwardly rational and caring people rush to the defence of these frauds. No, they are not bringing comfort and closure to grieving relatives, they just bring lies, pain, and more grief. And invoices.


Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: The best possible start

Initially the judges wanted to give this site an Encouragement Award but after some discussion it was decided, quite rightly, that the use of university degrees that one does not have should not be encouraged in any way, not even as a joke. Dr Buckley wins a Highly Commended Award for her adamantine refusal to do the right thing and for her suggestion that there might be some way that someone who has a living family thanks to medical intervention in childbirth would want to cooperate with someone who opposes the use of such interventions. I watched doctors save my daughter's life, just before they saved my wife's life. I have little time for anyone who suggests that neither should have been done.


Encouragement Awards
Encouragement Award  2013

Fair Dinkum Radio

There are some sites on the Internet, such as Alex Chiu's Immortality Rings and Gene Ray's Time Cube, which make you sit back and wonder at the mental processes of their creators. I've listened to this Internet-only radio station and it gives me the same feeling. The award judging panel kept tapping their headphones and asking whether the psychiatrists at the mental hospital were violating patient confidentiality by letting us listen in, but I eventually convinced them that this was real. I even told them that Meryl Dorey from the AVN was a regular guest, and had even managed to attract the attention of the TGA over her apparent advertising for a dangerous non-cure for cancer. (Both the AVN and the radio station were asked to display disclaimers. They refused. Of course.)

The reason that sites like this need encouragement is that long-time kooks like Gene and Alex will die one day (maybe not Alex) and their web sites will disappear when their estates forget to pay the hosting charges. Leon at Fair Dinkum is well placed to take over and has shown that he has the requisite amount of crazy to fill the gaps and be a worthy successor.


Direct Selling Association

I can't remember the first time I was told that multi-level marketing would replace at least half of all retail sales within the coming two years, but it was many years ago. Yet here I am, still buying my groceries from Coles, Woolworths, IGA and Aldi, still buying cars from dealers, still paying a real telephone company for my phone and Internet connections, still buying clothes from shops with racks and change rooms, ... It appears that none of the promises have come true, but they never really were going to do that anyway. Nobody's shown me the plan for a couple of years so I don't know if the predictions have changed. I do know that in 2005 the combined sales of all the US pyramid scheme members of the DSA was only a little above the sales of a single Australian supermarket chain, so I think they need encouragement to lift their game. Go Diamond and get that 50% of the market.

I was introduced to a board member of the DSA once. It took hours to wash off the slimy feeling left behind after I shook his hand.


Australian Vaccination Network

The Australian Vaccination Network has appeared twice before in the Awards listings (in 2001 and 2009), and it is time to give them some more encouragement, especially as this will be the last time they can appear using that name. 2013 was a bad year for the AVN, losing court cases initiated to silence critics by abusing the legal process, seeing legislation changed to close a loophole that allowed them to avoid government scrutiny, finally being told that there are people with the authority to order them to change the deceptive name, seeing the introduction of stricter rules designed to keep the pox-ridden spawn of vaccine deniers away from children in prescools, and getting Facebook to look at the way that their complaint systems can be manipulated by liars.

The AVN needs encouragement now more than ever before. Encouragement to continue the downward spiral into oblivion. They will leave a vacuum that will almost inevitably be filled by another organisation or group lying about the dangers of vaccines, but that replacement group will be working in an environment much more hostile and aware than that which allowed the AVN to flourish and endanger children for so many years.

Dear Ms Dorey and Mr Beattie,

Congratulations. The Australian Vaccination Network won an Encouragement Award in the 2013 Millenium Awards presented by The Millenium Project. This makes the third time the AVN has appeared in the winners' list. Hopefully it will be the last. The award citation read:

[see above]

Please feel free to publicise your award and display the award logo on your web site. If you wish to collect the physical prize (a tube of haemorrhoid cream and a wire brush applicator) you can do so at your own expense, but please give me sufficient notice so that I can organise the location for the public application of the cream and the accompanying media coverage.

You can see the other award winners at http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/history/2013/2013awards.htm



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