Lynne McTaggart (born 23 January 1951, in New York City) is an American lecturer, journalist, author, and publisher. She is the author of six books, including The Intention Experiment and The Field. According to her author profile, she is a spokesperson "on consciousness, the new physics, and the practices of conventional and alternative medicine."
McTaggart is an anti-vaccinationist. She promotes this belief in her book What Doctors Don't Tell You and in other publications. This has drawn significant criticism of her work and has created controversy.
In her autobiography McTaggart reports that after recovering from an illness using alternative medical approaches her husband suggested she start a newsletter on the risks of some medical practices and devised the title: "What Doctors Don't Tell You". In 1996 McTaggart published the book with the same name.
She and her husband set up a public company in 2001, What Doctors Don't Tell You plc, later Conatus plc, which published newsletters, magazines and audio-tapes based on conferences and seminars including, What Doctors Don't Tell You, PROOF!, and Living the Field. This company was wound up in 2009.
A new company, Wddty Publishing Ltd, run by McTaggart and her husband, took over the What Doctors Don't Tell You website, and New Age Publishing Ltd for McTaggart's other publishing and public-speaking activities. Publication of their monthly magazine What Doctors Don't Tell You restarted in August 2012, in a glossy format aimed at newsagent and high-street distribution, instead of using the previous subscription model, and carrying paid advertising, something McTaggart had originally said WDDTY would not do.
In her book The Field, McTaggart asserts that the universe is unified by an interactive field, based on apparent misunderstandings of physics. The book has been translated into fourteen languages. In a later book, The Intention Experiment, she discusses research in the field of human consciousness which she says supports the theory that "the universe is connected by a vast quantum energy field" and can be influenced by thought. Michael Shermer states that this belief is contradicted by conflicting evidence (e.g. studies on intercessory prayer).
McTaggart has a personal-development program called "Living The Field" which is based on an idiosyncratic and incorrect interpretation of the zero point field as applied to quantum mechanics. She appears in the extended version of the movie What the Bleep Do We Know!?, (2004).
From 1996 until 2002 McTaggart and her husband Bryan Hubbard published the monthly newsletter Mother Knows Best, later renamed Natural Parent magazine, focusing on home schooling, environmental and health concerns, including nutrition and homeopathy. They also published related books: My Learning Child, My Spiritual Child and My Healthy Child.
Significant portions of her book about Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington appeared without attribution or permission in The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga (1987), by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin eventually resolved the matter with a public apology to McTaggart and a "substantial" monetary settlement.
What Doctors Don't Tell You has been cited for factual errors in its attacks on medicine, such as confusing the antiviral drug Tamiflu for a vaccine and attributing deaths to a nonexistent avian influenza vaccine. Ben Goldacre has described McTaggart as "viciously, viciously anti-vaccine" and notes that "In a radical move, even for the vaccine fear-mongering community, this time she has people dying from a vaccine that doesn’t actually exist".
McTaggart was reported to have threatened to sue Simon Singh after he contacted Comag, the distributors of WDDTY, complaining that the magazine was "largely unscientific" and "promoting advice that could potentially harm readers." "Also, many of the adverts appear to make pseudoscientific and unsubstantiated claims," he said. "I even offered to meet with Comag and introduce them to medical experts, but they have not accepted this invitation. When I suggested that I would blog about our email exchange, their reaction was to tell me in no uncertain terms: 'I should inform you that we have sought legal advice in respect of this matter. We would take any attempts to damage our reputation on social media or elsewhere very seriously.'"
In the months between first publication of What Doctors Don't Tell You in magazine form, and February 2013, 54 breaches of the Code of Advertising Practice in 11 adverts were adjudicated and upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority along with a further 11 informally resolved cases, concerning adverts in the first two issues, with more breaches in subsequent issues too.
In an interview on BBC Radio 4, GP and author Dr. Margaret McCartney stated: "I'm astounded that Lynne thinks this is an evidence-based publication. It's anything but," she said. "The problem with evidence is that it can tell you things that you'd rather not know. A lot of the time medicine does do harm but that's why doctors and scientists are duty-bound to put their research findings out there and to stop doing things that cause harm. What we shouldn't do is abandon medicine and the scientific method and go straight for alternative medicine with no good evidence that that works either." She criticised stories in the magazine as "absolute rubbish" and "ridiculously alarmist".
In an article in The Times in October 2013 Tom Whipple, science correspondent, said that "Experts are calling on high street shops to stop selling a magazine that claims that vitamin C cures HIV, suggests homeopathy could treat cancer and implies that the cervical cancer vaccine has killed hundreds of girls"
- Kathleen Kennedy: Her Life and Times (1983) ISBN 0-385-27415-7
- What Doctors Don't Tell You: The Truth About The Dangers Of Modern Medicine (1999) ISBN 0-380-80761-0
- The Cancer Handbook: What's Really Working (2000) ISBN 1-890612-18-9
- The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe (2003) ISBN 0-06-093117-5
- The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World (2007) ISBN 0-00-719458-7
- The Bond: Connecting through the Space Between Us (2011) ISBN 1-4391-5794-4; ISBN 978-1-4391-5794-7
- Author biography at Harper Collins
- Goldacre, Ben (Feb 18, 2006). "The Great Tamiflu Vaccine Scare". Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- Bedford, Helen; Elliman, David (Jan 2000). "Concerns about immunisation". BMJ. 320 (7229): 240–243. doi:10.1136/bmj.320.7229.240. PMC . PMID 10642238.
- Dr. Mark Porter, Dr. Margaret McCartney, Lynne McTaggart (3 Oct 2012). Inside Health (Radio). United Kingdom: BBC Radio 4.
- "Whistleblower sees fast turnaround". Growth Company Investor. 14 March 2001. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Lynne McTaggart - Biography". Simon & Schuster. Archived from the original on 2011-09-09.
- "Petitions to Wind Up - CONATUS LIMITED". The London Gazette. 18 February 2009. Issue Number: 58983 Page: 2909. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Mark Henderson (October 30, 2004). "Junk medicine: Anti-vaccine activists". The Times. London. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
- Shermer, Michael (April 5, 2006). "Prayer & Healing: The Verdict is in and the Results are Null". ESkeptic. ISSN 1556-5696.
- "Down the Rabbit Hole (2006)". New York Times. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Compare: Goodwin, Doris Kearns (January 27, 2002). "How I Caused That Story". Time. Retrieved 2014-10-18.
Fourteen years ago, not long after the publication of my book The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, I received a communication from author Lynne McTaggart pointing out that material from her book on Kathleen Kennedy had not been properly attributed. [...] Though my footnotes repeatedly cited Ms. McTaggart's work, I failed to provide quotation marks for phrases that I had taken verbatim[...].
- Bo Crader, "A Historian and Her Sources," The Weekly Standard, January 28, 2002
- Jill Lawless, "Author Says Doris Kearns Goodwin Took 'Heart and Guts' From Her Book," Associated Press, March 23, 2002.
- Goodwin, Doris Kearns (January 27, 2002). "How I Caused That Story". Time. Retrieved 2014-10-18.
Though my footnotes repeatedly cited Ms. McTaggart's work, I failed to provide quotation marks for phrases that I had taken verbatim.... The larger question for those of us who write history is to understand how citation mistakes can happen.
- Ben Goldacre (February 18, 2006). "How to be beautifully, blissfully wrong about Tamiflu: just call it a bird flu vaccine". The Guardian. London. p. 7. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
- Jha, Alok (2012-10-03). "Simon Singh threatened with legal action for criticising health magazine". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- WDDTY #9 - Taking Stock, Nightingale Collaboration, 27 Feb 2013
- Tom Whipple (October 1, 2013). "Call to ban magazine for scaremongering". The Times. London. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
- "Biography: Lynne McTaggart". Intent Inc. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27.