Talk:Quackwatch/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Quackpotwatch is a website that's highly critical (to put it lightly) of Quackwatch and its founder. That's a simple statement of fact that doesn't make any judgement one way or another about whether or not it's correct to criticize Quackwatch. I don't see how that's editorializing. Several recent edits have been highly POV and rightfully reverted, but I disagree that we should use the vague, almost euphamistic phrase "alternative view". --Icarus 02:48, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

"Highly critical" is POV and suggests it is perhaps too critical. There is no reason to tell the reader what they should think, they can figure it out. Its either critical or its not. The word critical has caused problems with an anon user(s) so I found another word that is potentially less of a problem to avoid this thing showing up in my watchlist every day. Stbalbach 03:22, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
I disagree that "highly critical" is POV, but I can see how it could be interpreted as such. "He's wrong on several points, but has a lot of good information on his site as well" would, for example, be critical but not to the same degree as what the site actually says. Like I said, though, I do see how "highly" could be perceived as POV, and agree that because of that, it's probably best to keep it out of the article. Note, however, that "highly critical" was never in the actual article, only in an edit summary. I see only two POV edits to that link in the article's history, and only one was to a version that included the word "critical". The other was to a version identical to the current version, demonstrating that the current version does not protect against POV edits. Would that any version could!
Because of these things, I still think "criticisms of Quackwatch and Dr. Barrett" or some variation thereof is a better description of the link in question. --Icarus 03:55, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I agree that "criticisms of Quackwatch and Dr. Barrett" is a much better choice than "alternative view". I would like to see it changed back. In my opinion, it's not POV that Quackpotwatch is critical of Quackwatch and Dr. Barrett. Edwardian 04:11, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

It might be worth having a website critical of Quackwatch if a valuable such website could be produced. But Quackpotwatch is so uniformly shoddy that it's absurd to have it linked here. I'm removing it again, please cease reverting.

That's your personal opinion and a POV not shared by everyone. --Stbalbach 03:50, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
What are you, an idiot? It's my reasoned judgment, and that's the appropriate way to decide whether a link should be included anywhere. Journalistic incompetence is a matter of fact, not "point of view". I didn't accuse the site of, say, being boring or annoying. I remarked that it's not up to the standards of an encyclopedia, even of being linked to by an encyclopedia, which is a fact that can be assessed and judged. Disagree if you will, and provide reasons, but don't go shouting "POV" at what has nothing to do with that.
Here are just a few points, of varied character (I'm not trying to be systematic): (1) The grammar on the front page and throughout. It's not even written in complete sentences half the time. Use of elipses, uncontrolled use of quotation marks and italics, do not suggest an informed and knowledgeable source. (2) The site claims you should not call Stephen Barrett a doctor because he's not licensed. I'm not sure whether Barrett is licensed now (he was a practicing psychiatrist for decades, so I suspect he was), but this is simply false: he has an M.D., and that's the test for whether someone is a doctor. Dr Barrett is, anyway, reported by QPW to be "not in good standing" according to the Pennsylvania licensing board, but no source or link is provided for this claim; Dr Barrett is, furthermore, retired, and so there is no reason to think he ought to retain such standing (i.e., by paying fees, taking regular tests, etc.) (3) The site does not even directly link to Quackwatch anywhere that I can find (in any case, it does not do so on the pages devoted to Barrett). (4)It is not about Quackwatch specifically, notwithstanding the names: it purports rather to be a general response to medical professionals who oppose "quackery". (5) Among other things, his "criticisms" of Barrett include claiming that he is ugly and unwashed. (6)He offers half-baked psychological criticisms: "Stephen Barrett, in my opinion, has some SERIOUS mental problems. I believe he sees himself as a God" (Note that it is acknowledged as an opinion, not a supported conclusion. What's it doing here, then?) (7) The organization of the site: it consists of rhetorical questions in big letters, followed by replies that do not cite evidence. (8) More accusations: According to the QPW Dr Barrett is "evil", and has "declared war on reality", and QW is a "conspiracy". These are rhetorical exaggerations, not reasoned conclusions. What are they doing in a serious critique? (9)Multicolored and flashing texts: come on, this isn't even a competent web site, let alone a competent critique of QW.
I have better things to do than provide more negative evidence. The site is full of accusations, almost none of which are backed by specific citable sources, or, again, reports of claimed facts ("Dr Barrett has admitted to this, been charged with that") without citable sources. I'm not going to list all of them. Why don't you actually read the site yourself and try comparing it with Barrett's?
My point is that no serious and intelligent person can read that site and think it constitutes responsible journalism or scholarship. Removing the link again.
I agree with your comments, but they are irrelevant in determining whether or not the link should stay. Bolan's half-baked website is notable enough to warrant inclusion in Wikipedia, particularly since Barrett thought it notable enough to warrant comment on his part[1]. Edwardian 04:49, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
Dr Barrett replies because he has been involved in lawsuits with them and wants to make his position clear. He has been involved in lawsuits with a great many individuals and groups, and his website does not give any more attention to this one than to many others. If this article detailed extensively Dr Barrett's legal involvements, the link would make sense in that context. In the present context it suggests that QPW deserves more attention than the facts actually merit.
(Please sign your comments with ~~~~ .) I disagree. Wikipedia:Neutral point of view states: "Articles should be written without bias, representing all majority and significant minority views fairly." There is most definitely a significant critical view of Quackwatch that exists, so the next step is to represent that view appropriately in the article. Quackpotwatch is probably the most notable critical view of Quackwatch, and its two sentence inclusion in the article is proportional. Edwardian 07:41, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I did not see all this controversy before I added the link. Whether it is a good website or not, it is a critic of Quackwatch, and should be included. I glanced at it briefly, and noted that it talked quite a bit about chiropractors. I am not a big fan of chiropractors (except for the massage). Still, it is up to the reader to determine whether or not the site is valid. Since it is a critic, it probably should be included, for that alone. If there are other sites out there that are more legitimate critics, it would be useful to include those. I speak as someone not particularly interested in Quackwatch or its critics. In fact, this is the first time I saw the "Quackpot Watch" site.jawesq 01:54, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

anon sock puppet

..actually I dont know its Mr. Barett, my recent edit comment was perhaps a bit over the top. But, there does seem to be a concerted effort to remove mention of his critics from this page that has been ongoing for as long as this article has been around. The best way to counter it IMO is to expand on the criticisms. Stbalbach 02:09, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

I don't think there is a concerted effort. I consider myself to be a supporter of Quackwatch and I'm one of those who reverted an earlier removal of the link critical of Quackwatch. Cheers. Edwardian 08:10, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
I doubt it's him, his website is composed much better than that, just a minion most likely. By the way, how do you guys get the name/time/date automatically put in? I just have to type... -Tyciol

The 136. edits were all by me, and I am certainly not Dr Barrett. I continue to remove Quackpotwatch because of its poor quality. It appears that nearly all the edits returning this link were by Stbalbach, while the removals were by a great number of users. Perhaps Stbalbach would take this as a polite indication that he should bugger off.

Your doing more than deleting a website critical of Dr Barrett. Your also deleting NPOV language from the article. --Stbalbach 04:01, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I believe you meant "You're". (And, on your edit comment, "quackery" rather than "quakery." I am not sure of Barrett's opinions on Quakers.) I also wasn't deleting a website, but a link to one. Please think through your (sic) remarks before posting.

But no, I was not deleting NPOV language. There were two points, I will explain both. (1) The first line said the website detailed purported quackery; I changed it to say that it details quackery. A site that "detailed purported quackery" would be a site that listed which things are called quackery, i.e. are so called by someone. But QW attempts to report what is quackery. Possibly it is mistaken on what is, but that would be a separate issue. Saying the site details "purported quackery" is like saying that the New York Times "reports purported world events", on the grounds that it is sometimes mistaken. The opening sentence gives the aim of the website. If there is substantial reason to doubt that it succeeds, you could intelligibly reword it this way: "a site which purports to detail quackery." This is what the previous form of the sentence was trying to say, phrased correctly. But put this way it is clear that it is a heavily POV way of phrasing it--it actively calls into question the site's quality. All I did was eliminate a weasel-word.

(2) Consider your reverts of this paragraph (my changes in bold):

The site contains articles detailing a variety of purported therapies with explanations of why they may be (=are) unscientific, purported (rmv "purported) evidence on why they do not work, and how they could be (or (=and) in some cases have been) dangerous. It contains information about specific people who use these therapies, even including some cases where they have been convicted of crimes, either for the quackery in question or for other things.

Note that I added that the therapies in question are "purported therapies". This, I take it, is because "therapy" is a normative notion in this context: if it doesn't actually improve health in the way claimed, it's not actually a medical therapy (which is the implied sense of "therapy" here: I should have said, "purported medical therapies", though). (Hence we speak of "no therapeutic value".) And, again, to say he gives an explanation as to why something is not scientific is not to endorse his explanation: it is to describe what the explanation claims to be. He doesn't say, "this is contradicted by experiment, so it may not be scientific"; he says, "this is contradicted by experiment, so it isn't scientific." To say that he presents evidence--real, honest-to-god evidence, not merely the pretense of it--is not to say that it is good evidence. And it is simply absurd to deny that there is evidence on that site. There is tonnes of it. You can't just go around calling any evidence in support of contentious conclusions "merely" purported evidence. Finally, the "and" is simply a point of grammar. That you reverted this as well suggests you didn't read my changes.

These are my explanations. I notice, however, that you are happy to say that the subjects criticized really are medical therapies--you remove my "purport" qualifier there--but insist on saying that Barrett details only "purported" quackery. But this move is POV. The word for behaviour of this kind is hypocrisy. (anon user)

I'm having a hard time following this conversation. 1) sign a name, any name, it doesnt matter, so long as its consistent. Who am I talking to, the same person who posted before, someone new? 2) It's not clear, through the use of indentations, who you are talking too. Me? I guess so based on the Quaker remark. Please: sign up for an account (it gives you more credibility), sign a name on comments, indent paragraphs underneath the person you are responding.
Anyway I believe what your saying is you believe it's appropriate to flat out call these therapies "quackery" in the article with no qualifier, simply based on the fact they are listed on the Quackwatch website. Writing in a NPOV manner means remaining neutral, and calling therapies quackery, without qualification, is not neutral (and as an aside, one of the problems with Quackwatch, they dont define what quackery is, cherry pick some things and leave others out). That the qualification is "unspoken", based on the context of the article, is not right, there has to be some place in the article that makes clear these therapies are labeled quackery by Quackwatch -- indeed, it has to be made clear that this is not a scientific website but one for general readers. --Stbalbach 01:03, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

I am a Quackwatch supporter, but I support Stbalbach's reversions. I would have reverted those edits, too. Edwardian 04:39, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Criticizing is not the same as "countering"

I am a Quackwatch supporter and consider Quackpotwatch to be the best (worst....;-) example of a site critical of Quackwatch, Barrett, and "quackpots".

I am neither a supporter, nor critic of Quackwatch, although I wonder about some of Barrett's tactics. I have not had enough interest to search out the 'critics' sites. If "Quackpot Watch" is the best, then it probably should be included, at least as a reference & link. Or one or the other. I added it, because there was a wikilink to an article that no longer exists, and there should be some reference.jawesq 01:59, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I have made some changes to the "Critics" section: From:

The site is not without criticisms and debate. There is even a website Quackpotwatch devoted entirely to counter some of its claims. Quackwatch has been involved in numerous law suits, some that have settled for, and some settled against Quackwatch and its claims of fraud.


The site is a target for criticism and debate. There is even a website - Quackpotwatch - devoted entirely to criticizing the website, Dr. Barrett, and those who support the viewpoints presented on his website. Dr. Barrett has been involved in numerous law suits, some that have been settled for, and some settled against him and his claims.

The reason for the changes have to do with two factors: 1. Bolen doesn't "counter" any of Barrett's accusations (against Hulda Clark or others he considers to be quacks, unscientific, or unethical). He strictly uses personal "ad hominem abusive" attacks of the "poisoning the well" variety. He doesn't deal with the scientific or medical issues, since he doesn't really understand them. He's an ex-cop, not a medical person. He is Hulda's spin doctor, and attacks the person, rather than dealing with the issues. I often call him a liar in public forums, and he doesn't dare to object, simply because we have plenty of evidence against him, and his case is pending right now. His methods, deceptions, and errors are exposed here:

2. Bolen (who works for Hulda Clark) consistently attempts to fly under the radar, since he knows that he can't document his "opinion pieces", as HE cunningly calls them. (He thinks that by terming them "opinion", that he can't get prosecuted for libel, but that's not true.) I have been one of the about 30 instances sued by him and Hulda Clark, so I know what type of person he is. I have the court transcripts and discovery documents. The case is here, with my name as no. 22:

When it came time to go to court, Negrete (Hulda Clark's lawyer) promptly dropped the case, since he could not possibly have any evidence for a single one of the long list of false and ridiculous charges (worthy of a Mafia godfather!).

I vote for allowing short mention of Bolen's site, but without giving it any credence beyond the undeniable fact that it is very critical of Quackwatch and Barrett, as stated above. Any readers of the site with a little common sense (those types will also read Barrett's side of the story) will be able to recognize the shallow and cheap ad hominem attacks for what they are. Bolen has no credibility or honor. Truth doesn't interest him, only protecting his major client - Hulda Clark - and his income and power base.

If this is true then don't you think the reader can determine this? I have only glanced at the Quackpot Watch website, but it does not look very credible. So let the reader decide.jawesq 01:59, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Even people like Ralph Moss - who still disagrees with Barrett on some points - find Clark's nonsense objectionable: "When Quackbuster, Steve Barrett, and alternative therapies scholar and proponent, Ralph Moss, actually agree on something it's surely a remarkable event! To get agreement between these two must take something rather cut and dried - like the absurdity of Hulda Clark's Cure for All Cancers." -- CancerGuide: Hulda Clark's "Cure for All Cancers" (Read the section "Why I Should Have Spent More than Fifteen Minutes: A Modest Apology"]

Is there any other critic of Barrett that would be more appropriate to add here, in the 'critic' section?jawesq 01:59, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I have also added a TOC to this Talk page. Feel free to add appropriate subheadings. -- Fyslee 01:04, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Some you win, some you lose

Which cases have been decided against Quackwatch? I'd assume someone keeps score and is pleased to display a list. Midgley 21:34, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

What do you mean, court cases? I'm not sure if quackwatch has been prosecuted specifically... psychiatrist guy did sue Bolen for libel successfully though :) Tyciol 06:48, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Cases can be decided against Quackwatch that were brought by Quackwatch (eg Barrett could lose his defamation claim). I think there have been some libel cases that Barrett has brought that he lost. That doesn't necessarily mean that the allegedly libelous statements were true, however. It may mean that the fact-finder concluded that even if the statements were false, their author did not make them with actual malice (eg knowing they were false statements, or being reckless in not investigating). Since Barrett is a public figure, the bar is pretty high, and the First Amendment (in US) protects statements made negligently against public figures. jawesq 01:16, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Radical rewrite of Quackpotwatch necessary

Those showing detailed knowledge about Quackpotwatch in this discussion page have apparently not noticed that that article has turned into the nonsense it is now. Almost all of that article should be removed and the rest rewritten. Please see my comments on its discussion page. --Espoo 22:15, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Really? I have that on my watchlist too but I'm a bit behind checking. I'll take a look, but any further discussion should be on that article's talkpage. Tyciol 05:44, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
The matter has been decided for us. The article has been deleted as a non-notable site: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Quackpotwatch. In other matters that means that it can't be used as an internal reference, except on its own article, which is gone! -- Fyslee 16:23, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


This looks like lifted from Wikipedia:


The NCAHF has been accused of using the guise of consumer advocacy to present false indictments of complementary and alternative medicine professions such as chiropractic, homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal remedies, and naturopathy. Some critics state the NCAHF is a front for corporate medical interests [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. These critics dismiss the NCAHF's mission statement on consumer protection by claiming the NCAHF's real interest is in criticising alternative medicines as a form of turf protection [6] [7]. A common criticism of the NCAHF is that it is not in the public interest for a health fraud watch group to operate unrestrained and unendorsed by the government [8] [9].

Should any of these criticisms be here?

Anyway, at the very least, this controversy should probably be discussed. It appears that this is a war between "traditional medicine" and "alternative medicine". I would not spend money on untested media hyped 'cures'. On the other hand, there is plenty about 'traditional medicine' that is of concern, as well. I do wonder is whether Barrett is really as legitimate as claimed, since it appears that he may have been deceptive about his own qualifications.

Also, the AMA is a lobbying group for MDs - many people do not realize this, unfortunately. Therefore, it would be understandable that it would want to discredit chiropractors, and the like. jawesq 02:09, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I googled 'critics' and "Quackwatch" and came up with these, which I do not claim to be credible sources. However, the claims made here can be verified (or disputed) through a court transcript, etc, if one has the interest to investigate:

At trial, under a heated cross-examination by Negrete, Barrett conceded that he was not a Medical Board Certified psychiatrist because he had failed the certification exam.

This was a major revelation since Barrett had provided supposed expert testimony as a psychiatrist and had testified in numerous court cases. Barrett also had said that he was a legal expert even though he had no formal legal training.
Note that he may have been qualified as an expert at a trial, without being a 'legal expert'. Therefore, this sentence could well be misleading. jawesq 16:08, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I have gone back and read some of the discussion here, and on Barrett article. If Barrett is calling himself a 'legal expert' (as opposed to an expert witness), he is not being truthful. He lacks the legal education to be a 'legal expert' by any far stretch of the imagination.jawesq 01:06, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
The critics section was problematic, so I have temporarily deleted it. It may need to be there, because Quackwatch is of course criticized. Quackpotwatch doesn't really deal so much with the website as it does with Barrett, in a very personal ad hominem way. Bolen doesn´t debunk Barrett's charges against promoters of quackery, healthfraud, unscientific, and illegal methods. He simply attacks Barrett. The section needs to focus on criticisms of the site itself, not ad hom attacks on Barrett or the other myriad authors who write on it. -- Fyslee 16:17, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
You can't separate the two. Bolen criticizes Barrets professional activities, which includes Quackwatch. -- Stbalbach 17:10, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I modified the paragraph slightly, to say "the site and its founder" and under the 'critics' heading, linked to "Stephen Barrett" article - I just found this article, which seems to address the controversy sufficiently.jawesq 17:47, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
There is no legitimate reason for removing the "Quackpot Watch" site. An external link is not required to meet a standard of journalistic excellence. And a reference on an opinion is only that, and nothing more. I agree the Quackpot Watch website is pretty trashy. However, it is an example of a critic. Let readers make up their own minds. The Quackpot Watch does not speak well for itself.
I DID remove the sentence about lawsuits. It is not accurate to state that a lawsuit was settled 'for' or 'against' Barrett. Generally, the terms of a settlement are confidential, and certainly not capable of referencing. jawesq 01:06, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Critics - Peter Barry Chowka - there isn't any substnace there, that adds to the encyclopaedic nature of this article. WHy is it in - to bulk up the list of critics? Some of the "critics" are opponents, actually. Midgley 14:15, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

skepticism and pseudoskepticism, looking for input

Considering all the discussion on the all inclusive nature of categories, should we be talking about skepticism and pseudosketicism on this page? --Dematt 18:31, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Seems like such discussions would be extremely appropriate, especially coming from a secondary source as defined by WP:RS that discusses Quackwatch or similar media. --Ronz 17:25, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Discussions about Pseudoskepticism, a supposed pathology, are irrelevant, other than to use as an ad hominem. Discussions of skepticism and scientific skepticism would be useful. --Ronz 23:59, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Dematt, based on what is written on the Wiki article on pseudosketicism, especially the quote from Marcello Truzi, I agree that it is a relevant topic on this talk page. Another relevant topic is confirmation bias. A web site like Quackwatch who clumps together almost all alternative modalities as being quackery and does so under the umbrella of scientific skepticism, is not immune to the possibility of pseudoskepticism. It is certainly wise to have a healthy level of skepticism however it should not become a blindfolder that is used to make derogatory comments about eveything that a person does not like. It is not because science cannot explain or prove it today that it is automatically bad. NATTO 05:18, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, in the context of health (not to mention medical and professional ethics), "unproven = bad" seems quite appropriate. --Ronz 00:35, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for demonstrating my point so eloquently :-)NATTO 10:52, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
No problem. The point is that we don't want to confuse ethics with bias, or one might make the mistake of equating the lack of bias with the lack of ethics. --Ronz 19:01, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Independent skeptic, Barrett's favorite CSICOP site cited it

"not independent" is a theory of convenience - what, "not independent" since people breathe air on the same planet??? QW also publishes on many topics described as "quackery" by QW. JSE uses an open, skeptical debate & inquiry format, rather than simply a dogmatic dismissal or one sided attack. JSE and Kauffman were independent at the time of writing (final draft 2002) & publication. While one can surmise that QW'rs may seek to smear or engage JSE & JK adversarially in the future, AFAIK, JSE & JK are independent (financially, professionally) of the QW debacle and any alt med business at the time of writing. Kauffman is in an independent, non-alt med business (Professor at conventional university), NOT selling anything alt med to US consumers in ca 2001-2002. His book, criticizing medicine & pharma as a conventional scientist, is 2006. JSE was even cited favorably (included) by Barrett's favorite CSICOP site. From Google cache:" CSICOP:

CSICOP / Internet Resources... QuackWatch: Operated by CSICOP fellow Stephen Barrett, MD ... Journal of Scientific Exploration · Journal of Scientific Exploitation: Prometheus Books: - 31k - Cached - Similar pages

"This is G o o g l e's cache of as retrieved on Sep 17, 2006 23:42:34 GMT." (JSE now deleted in current CSICOP page)

Skeptical Resources

Publications about 3/5 down the page
Index to Skeptical Inquirer and other publications
Indian Skeptic magazine
Journal of Scientific Exploration
Journal of Scientific Exploitation
Prometheus Books:
USA, UK Reality Check
A newsletter of the Rationalists of East Tennessee. sci.skeptic Frequently Asked Questions on. Hmmmm, JSEis apparently too independent, it is now purged and ex-communicated. Let's face reality, the Kauffman paper documents an independent view from a somewhat similar, more academically balanced, skeptical perspective. The news, for QW, is unfortunately not pleasant. Restoring informative content.--I'clast21:15, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

. . WP:Vanity has nothing to do here

Sometimes establishing the context of information is critical. What makes this critique unique & notable, is that the individual has no built-in economic interest for alt med (I dare say there are a number of disadvantages for profs) and that it looks like a clean, independent, technical dissection of multiple QW pages for accuracy (demonstrates a pattern) from skeptical groups previously accepted, or perhaps even solicted, by QW / CSICOP. There is a lot of relevant information that needs to be succinctly summarized w/o significant information loss.
QW sympathetic editors' reverts seem conveniently over exclusionary of content, as does the CSICOP action above:
"An independent, peer-reviewed critical analysis", "an independent skeptic", "closely examine", "groundless dogma" *are simply not* Vanity
"groundless dogma" originally by QW sympathizer Jokestress, I didn't expand at the time to aid objective development
"With 80 papers on chemical and medical topics and 11 patents...", book: these are crucial, informative credential details at a crucial point of controversy.
"Most often, vanity edits are edits about the editors themselves, their close relatives or their personal associates" Nope, not me.
"As explained below, vanity by itself is not a basis for deletion, but lack of assertion of notability is." Important to establish b/g of author on crucial article
"# The insertion of any textual personal biographical information within an article which does not significantly add to the clarity or meaning of the article." ditto
Fys, histamine induced schlock: "Silence is golden" might be a better tactic, to handle the lump more analytically & quietly. It is a valid article, the QW symp backlash campaign might backfire. The more QW picks at the scab, the more it will probably bleed. You know, JK's article might not be the only one...--I'clast 22:13, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
David D, re: your edits[2],[3] the hallmarks of QW and its associates are disparagement, personal & professional attack, and intimidating tactics. If QW restrained itself to fair, scientific reviews, that might be one kettle of fish - it is not. A number of QW partisans have previously stated or agreed that QW is a (favorite) partisan site. Nor does SB make it a fine point. QW articles constantly attack the PhDs of lesser provenance and questionable conflicts of interest. Here, it is important that there is no such confusion, this was not an appeal to authority, these elements are all crucial details.--I'clast 22:31, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
David D, re: "closely" [4], "closely examines" is almost a direct quote, "examined closely" in the conclusion. Certainly this article is notably the closest academic, analytical examination of QW articles anyone has seen in 30 years of QW.--I'clast 22:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict with mastcell, who makes a similar point) I would diagree with you. Your stronger argument is to not quote the CV. Every time i see such things it makes me wonder why? You would be better off having people examine his credentials themselves. He is easy enough to find. The quality of a Ph.D. is fairly irrelevent with respect to the veracity of their opinion in later years. There are many examples of brilliant academics who have little worth hearing in later years. Typically they are the ones that flaunt their qualifications. In my opinon, by using that tactic it reflects poorly on him as an authority. David D. (Talk) 22:54, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
These are decent points, and normally, the practice. Here I think that the specific situation is important. I might normally agree "MIT" is a little blatant, and as you state, a situation with a somewhat checkered history - one might consider at least a link to his CV, so that the average reader can instantly access it - I think an average reader is challenged to read the whole article, much less exercise a search. I am concerned that the author's qualifications stand alone, because of the less known journal and the potential for ad hom on both the journal and the author in other places.(ahem) He's not pointing his creditials out, I am. With respect to other editors' comments above, I don't think this is a vanity piece for notoriety - it has been asleep for 4 years rather than promoted. I might suggest one "independent" & "skeptic". Perhaps we need to work on confirmation of the peer review policies in specific. My understanding is that the book reviews and such might not be but that the papers are peer reviewed. Thanks--I'clast 23:23, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I think a link to his CV might be worth while. But prose listing his accomplishments seems a little worthless, i agree with the most of the reasoning presented by mastcell below. There is a good reason why many people don't bother reading these types of articles. It is easy to spot the contentious articles since they always bring in extraneous content. It makes reading very choppy. If it has to be in the article it should be demoted to footnotes. With respect to the independant and skeptic i find the first to be unprovable and the second to be confusing. There is no doubt he is skeptical but the use this word might lead people to believe something else. That is the reason i support adding the recent book he has published. It very much sets the scene for his brand of skepticism. David D. (Talk) 04:04, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

The Kauffman criticism is obviously appropriate for inclusion, but it needs to be addressed and phrased in an NPOV fashion. I don't really care how the Kauffman paper reflects on QW, but I do care that it's presented neutrally and in proper context for Wikipedia. JSE is dedicated to counter-skepticism. QW is a skeptic's website. Calling the JSE "independent" in evaluating a skeptical, orthodox website like QW is misleading. The extensive description of Kauffman's CV is out of place and that's why, I would presume, User:Fyslee removed it. On a broader level, please try to assume good faith; I'm not out to silence criticism of Quackwatch, just to facilitate an NPOV. When you feel the need to buttress Kauffman's criticism with insistences of "independence" and lengthy CV's, it actually weakens the impact of what he has to say. Let the criticism stand on its own merit. It doesn't need your help to push its point across. MastCell 22:52, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to let the other editors chew on it tonight. Thanks--I'clast 23:23, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Considering that a leading argument against Quackwatch is that its main contributor, Stephen Barrett, is not qualified to make the kind of "scientific" judgements he makes, establishing the qualifications and credentials of those who should critique Quackwatch is not only allowable, it is essential. Levine2112 23:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Stating that Kauffman is a Ph.D. and holds an appointment at a respectable university establishes his credentials; he wouldn't have the university post if he didn't publish in the peer-reviewed literature. Citing an off-topic book (see below) and rehashing his CV in minute detail don't add anything useful for the purposes of this article, and straying off topic like that just makes it sound like a partisan advertisement rather than an (ideally) NPOV encyclopedia article. MastCell 00:13, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Back early for the "election". Think that the average readers need to alerted that the Kauffman paper is a different case, and the item that best, and most credibly, sets forth the technical consideration of contra-QW merits.--I'clast 04:56, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Kauffman's book

About Kauffman's book... I guess if you believe that authoring a non-peer-reviewed, hysterically titled book on medical errors has a bearing on Kauffman's comments about Quackwatch, then it's fine to include the book info. To me, it sounds like a plug for the book, is totally unrelated to the point Kauffman is making, and doesn't add anything meaningful to his qualifications (his Ph.D. and appointment at a respected university say what needs to be said). Again, my intention isn't to portray Kauffman as unqualified; I just don't think the book has any bearing on his qualifications on this topic. I'd like to get this criticism standing on its own feet, NPOV. I won't revert the stuff about his book, cause it's really not my intention to get into an edit war, but let me know what you think of my reasoning for cutting out the info on Kauffman's book. MastCell 23:50, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I mention this above but will repeat it here. i think i agree with you on all points except the exclusion of this book. My reasoning is that the book sets the scene for his brand of skepticism. It may not be relevant to this specific example but it will allow readers to see more of this scientist than the fact he is a biochemist. David D. (Talk) 04:04, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't know. I guess I don't find the title of the book all that hysterical and I have a healthy sense of humor. I believe that David D. is correct. Being an author of a book of this title definitely lets the reader know Kauffman's stance on mainstream medicine. This is entirely relevant, since Quackwatch's brand of "skepticism" is typcially extremely pro-mainstream medicine. Knowing that the person who authored this criticism has written a book condemning mainstream medicine is topical. It doesn't make him any more or less of a scientist. It just clues the reader in on Kauffman's POV... distinctly opposite of Barrett (and Quackwatch... same thing). Levine2112 04:19, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Definitely agree that noting the book provides insight into an unfamiliar author and gives dimension to both parties' claims of technical skepticism. This author and paper are significantly different in nature than the other QW critics in several aspects that set them apart. Careful consideration of any objections, about "overpromotion", "too detailed", etc, should be made with this point in mind: the Kauffman paper is a different case.--I'clast 05:38, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I can understand the viewpoints above, and if it were a differenet setting than an encyclopedia, I would definitely consider including the information about Kauffman. In this case it appears to be a violation of WP:VANITY information. This isn't Kauffman's article. If it were, even more information about him could be included without any violation. The information is unencyclopedic here and is available from the link provided. -- Fyslee 18:55, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
In case you missed it. Also, not having read the book, I am not so sure that the book itself is off topic. Malignant Medical Myths & its reviews certainly sound like it might have some discussions relevant to the QW article in it. In the technical sense, the JK paper seems to be the most notable critic although there are clearly more involved critics.--I'clast 21:23, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

If the book is relevant, cite something from it that's germane to QW. The relevant part of WP:VANITY is this: "The insertion of any textual personal biographical information within an article which does not significantly add to the clarity or meaning of the article." Unless something in the book can be shown to pertain to Kauffman's criticism of QW, it doesn't add to the article and violates WP:VANITY. This is an article on QW; the focus is already diluted enough. Finally, by way of clarification, when I described the title of JK's book as "hysterical", Levine2112, I didn't mean it in the sense of "exceptionally humorous". I meant that the title is inflammatory, emotionally charged, and sensationalistic. MastCell 21:31, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Merge proposal

Merge Quackwatch and Stephen Barrett

I am proposing a merge between the Quackwatch article and the Stephen Barrett article. A great deal of the information on the Quackwatch article is repeated on the Stephen Barrett article. I think that together, Stephen Barrett and Quackwatch are notable and deserve a listing in WP. The main point here is that Quackwatch is Barrett. Barrett is Quackwatch. Distinguishing the two is a bit of overkill, especially since the content of each article is so similar.

Please make comments and cast your votes here. Thank you.

  • Can we merge all three under the AMA and Pharma? --Travisthurston 16:53, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge. Levine2112 23:56, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Barrett's page contains a significant amount of material on libel actions involving Barrett, his professional credentials, ad hominem criticism of Barrett, etc that probably shouldn't be included on the QW page. On the other hand, an argument could be made that Barrett isn't notable enough for his own page. Overall, though, I'd be in favor of keeping both, although there's certainly going to be some overlap. Quackwatch is operated primarily by Barrett, but the organization has a substantial "advisory board" that helps research and prepare articles, etc. The site is clearly bigger than Barrett alone, although he apparently retains primary control of it. Reducing it to "Quackwatch = Barrett" as a justification for the merge seems simplistic and incorrect. MastCell 00:35, 28 September 2006 (UTC) (I've merged my previous comments)
  • Merge QW is the tool used by Barrett to express himself so the QW article should be merged with the SB article, especially since most if not all the info on the present QW article is already in the SB article. QW is somewhat more than Barrett, however without Barrett QW would not exist. Readers of QW know this and the name of Barrett is prominently displayed at the top NATTO 00:20, 28 September 2006 (UTC) ( additional comments merged )
  • Merge The QW article can be condensed and inserted with the SB article. Maybe the critics sections can be combined in one place.--Hughgr 00:59, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I agree with MastCell and all his points, especially the confusion caused by thinking "Quackwatch = Barrett". --Ronz 02:25, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • PURGE the QW article from WP by shrinking it considerably since it is basically similar to other Stephen Barrett Enterprise 'sites', then merge what's left into the SB page keeping link farming to a minimum. Steth 03:30, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge for the reasons stated above. TheDoctorIsIn 03:32, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose Personally, i see these as distinct articles. There is plenty of precedent in wikipedia to keep these types of article separate. David D. (Talk) 03:51, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge support this as 3rd choice. Something needs to merge, preferably one of the other two merger options.--I'clast 04:39, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose They are both notable in their own right and are not synonymous. -- Fyslee 04:53, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge per nom. --apers0n 05:30, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose different issues, such as court cases, needs to be kept separate. MastCell makes a good case for kepting them separate. Arbusto 06:59, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Don't merge Barrett, who is independently notable and needs WP:LIVING patrol. Ignore POV warriors who hate the fact that this even exists. Guy 11:29, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose These are clearly distinct articles. The proposers of this merge seem to have some POV and ideological opposition to the subjects of the articles. Jpowell 11:52, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Fyslee. Note that this seems to be in response to requests for AfD's for some (at least marginally) pseudoscientific articles. Note further that the merge requests don't all link here, so that they shouldn't yet be considered formally opened. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 12:58, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • OpposeBarrett has done stuff outside quackwatch and Quackwatch has stuff beyond Barrett.Geni 13:07, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Guy et al. WP:BLP, you know. · j e r s y k o talk · 13:37, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose SB article is a Biography article. It should be a narrative of his life and follow the rules for Living Persons. The professional controversy material should be aggregated into one article somewhere, perhaps a new article, not unlike Criticism of Coca-Cola. -- Stbalbach 13:57, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose for same reasons given by others above. There may well be a time when Barrett is not the principal operator of the website or organization. alteripse 15:14, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as above. One is about a person, the other is about an organization. Bubba73 (talk), 15:23, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per Guy's WP:LIVING concerns. FCYTravis 01:32, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as per above. JFW | T@lk 22:46, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Barrett has his own biography, and his biography has little in common with QWs history. Redecke 22:53, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Guy •Jim62sch• 10:12, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Not writing the same article into each would also be a good idea. Midgley 14:01, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Although I'm not sure I agree with Fyslee that each is adequately notable in their own right, I do agree with Guy on the overriding importance of WP:LIVING. By keeping the articles separate, V RS criticism of Quackwatch can be included in the Quackwatch article without gratuitously sliming Barrett, an outcome that I think is desirable for all sides. regards, Jim Butler(talk) 05:13, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Merge proposal 2

Merge Stephen Barrett and NCAHF

I am also suggesting a merge with the NCAHF article, which also contain information which can all be found on the Stephen Barrett. Again, the NCAHF is Barrett and Barrett is the NCAHF.

  • Merge. Levine2112 00:13, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The NCAHF page seems to be mostly a forum for bashing NCAHF and Barrett, and currently has a "neutrality disputed" tag on it; the content shouldn't be merged until those issues are resolved. The NCAHF page could possibly be merged with Barrett's, as there is quite a bit of overlap there, but Quackwatch is a little bigger than Barrett alone, so I'd be against merging NCAHF or Barrett into Quackwatch. MastCell 00:18, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge The NCAHF says that it is a private non-profit health agency located in Massachusetts but the State of Massachusetts has no listing for NCAHF. It should be merged in the SB article. QW is somewhat more than Barrett, however without Barrett QW would not exist. Readers of QW know this and the name of Barrett is prominently displayed at the top.NATTO 00:33, 28 September 2006 (UTC) (additional comments merged )
  • Merge I also agree, this is another part of SB enterprises, they can all be on the same page.--Hughgr 00:59, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Again, I agree with MastCell. Again, there's enough problems confusing Barrett with the organizations he is part of. --Ronz 02:29, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge for the reasons stated above. TheDoctorIsIn 03:32, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • PURGE Ideally, NCHAF should not be in WP since it is a fake so-called 'non-profit' run like the other SB Enterprises from SB's basement in Allentown, PA and whose profits only profit the ex-psychiatrist prophet of gloom. Having it here only serves to elevate it's dubious self-importance, not to mention corral further hapless surfers into it's web, thereby using WP to increase donations. But MERGING it into the SB tribute page would be the next best thing. Steth 03:43, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • oppose for similar reasons to proposal 1. David D. (Talk) 03:52, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge, support this as 2nd choice for a merger, and as the easiest step, see below Merge Proposal 3.--I'clast 04:39, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose They are separate entities. -- Fyslee 04:55, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge per nom. --apers0n 05:30, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Mastcell. Issues must be resolved first. Arbusto 07:01, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose as above. Guy 11:30, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the same reasons I oppose Merge Proposal 1. Jpowell 11:53, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Fyslee. Note that this seems to be in response to requests for AfD's for some (at least marginally) pseudoscientific articles. Note further that the merge requests don't all link here, so that they shouldn't yet be considered formally opened. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 12:59, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per above. · j e r s y k o talk · 13:38, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, same reason given above for Merge Proposal 1. -- Stbalbach 14:00, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose for same reasons given by others above. There may well be a time when Barrett is not the principal operator of the website or organization. alteripse 15:14, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as above. Bubba73 (talk), 15:24, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as per above. JFW | T@lk 22:46, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, same reason as above. Redecke 22:54, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose see above.
  • Oppose dittos. Midgley 14:02, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Can we merge all three under the AMA and Pharma? --Travisthurston 16:53, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose for same reasons as Merge #1 above (WP:LIVING trumps notability), plus NCAHF is more clearly differentiated from Barrett than Quackwatch is by virtue of the visibility of other participants (Wallace Sampson, etc.) Jim Butler(talk) 05:17, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Merge proposal 3

Merge Quackwatch and NCAHF

  • Merge. NCAHF is the arm of Quackwatch. On its own, NCAHF isn't notable enough to warrant its own article. Perhaps, it can ride the coattails of Quackwatch, but recognize that essentially they are the same beast. Levine2112 00:24, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge, with caveats. The NCAHF page has a POV tag on it, so we should be very careful about merging its content into other articles. I agree that NCAHF isn't notable enough to warrant a page on its own. Since the NCAHF page is mostly a rehash of Barrett-bashing, it could probably be merged (carefully) with the "Criticism" section of Barrett's page. MastCell 00:32, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge. The NCAHF page should be merged with the QW page which should then be merged with the SB page.NATTO 00:37, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose Both of these should be on the SB page, if they are to be combined, there should be a page with all twenty or so of his websites, but I don't know what you'd call that page...Stephen Barrett's webring?--Hughgr 00:58, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge for the reasons stated above. TheDoctorIsIn 03:32, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • MERGE the whole mess together into the homage to Stephen Barrett page, ensuring that it doesn't spawn new links like weeds on a lawn. Let's try not to elevate SB's 'contribution' to society to the same level as the invention of the personal computer or municipal water treatment or a cure for cancer. Steth 03:49, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge I do think a merge of all the quack watch related sites is warranted. I do not know enough about NCAHF to know if it is a strong candidate, but in principle it sounds like a good idea. David D. (Talk) 03:54, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge *If* neatly ordered, tight sections & prose can be generated, support this as 1st choice in a 3 for 1 merger, otherwise slightly prefer QW and SB+NCAHF over QW+NCAHF and SB. Although QW and NCACHF, for both WP and SB editorial purposes, appear to be largely alter egos for SB, QW has more historical content from other former contributors. QW = SB + NCAHF + everybody and therefore QW should be primary title of combined article with SB, NCAHF sections. Flow & tight prose become important.--I'clast 04:39, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose They are separate and different entities - a website and an organization. Quackwatch is Barrett's personal website. He is the webmaster of the NCAHF website. Both websites have numerous other authors. -- Fyslee 05:02, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge per nom. --apers0n 05:30, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Fyslee. They have different authors, different perspectives, and are not mouth pieces for each other. Arbusto 07:03, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Neutral. Seems reasonable on the face of it but Fyslee makes a fair point. Guy 11:32, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose Again the people pushing for this merge seem to have POV issues, and seem to be attempting to consolidate information so they can censor or push for deletion of it all together. Jpowell 11:55, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Fyslee. Note that this seems to be in response to requests for AfD's for some (at least marginally) pseudoscientific articles. Note further that the merge requests don't all link here, so that they shouldn't yet be considered formally opened. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 13:00, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Opppose. These are different organizations. -- Stbalbach 14:14, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose for same reasons given by others above. The website and NCAHF are not the same. alteripse 15:14, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as above. Bubba73 (talk), 15:25, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as per above. JFW | T@lk 22:46, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose again. website and NCAHF are not the same. Redecke 22:57, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Also resist the temptation to write the same article on each page, which lengthens them and reduces tehir focus on the particular subject. Midgley 14:04, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose; cf. Merge #2 above. Jim Butler(talk) 05:18, 5 October 2006 (UTC)


The situation is similar to the Coca-Cola series of articles. Eventually it settled into 3 articles: The Company (Coca-Cola Company), The Product (Coca-Cola), The Criticisms (Criticism of Coca-Cola). A similar series could be done here. Keep all the current articles and add a new one which aggregates all the controversy/criticism material. Of course you can still have criticism material in the other articles, but it would be in short summary format, with a Main article to the main criticism article Criticism of Stephen Barrett. This solves the problem of duplicate material across multiple articles, and greatly simplifies life for everyone. It also addresses the concerns that the Criticisms are POV because they take up too much of the article in proportion. -- Stbalbach 14:14, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

So I understand this: You want the three articles merged and a new article with criticism of Barrett created? Arbusto 18:06, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I believe the proposal is to keep the three articles as they are, but remove the criticism from each and place it in a new "criticism of Barrett" article, with a link and probably a relevant summary in the three. · j e r s y k o talk · 18:58, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
That's what it sounds like to me. That type of article would be somewhat different than the Coca-Cola series mentioned above, and for several reasons:
  • We're dealing with a living person (WP:BLP), and very special rules apply.
  • Because of this Wikipedia policy and common decency, negative information (the exclusive purpose of the article), must be extremely well-sourced, or it must be removed immediately by any editor, and the 3rr rule doesn't apply for removal, but applies to anyone who reinstates the negative information.
  • Anyone can write wildly and nonsensical negative information on the internet, and such information can be documented using verifiable sources, but that's not good enough. Documenting the existence of criticisms isn't good enough. The same information must be verified to be true using good sources, otherwise its presence here degrades Wikipedia to a gossip column, "tabloid journalism" (as Jimbo Wales puts it), and yellow journalism.
  • Any information that is potentially libelous is forbidden. If it can be well-sourced (notable, reliable, verifiable sources), then (by the time such requirements for quality sources have been met, and it usually takes time) it is no longer libel, but has been proven to be true. In such case, no matter how negative, it is allowed if well-sourced. The rules for immediate removal are even stronger in such cases.
Jimmy Wales has said:
"I can NOT emphasize this enough. There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of random speculative 'I heard it somewhere' pseudo information is to be tagged with a 'needs a cite' tag. Wrong. It should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced. This is true of all information, but it is particularly true of negative information about living persons." [5]
He considers "no" information to be better than "speculative" information and reemphasizes the need for sensitivity:
"Real people are involved, and they can be hurt by your words. We are not tabloid journalism, we are an encyclopedia." Jimmy Wales [6] [7]
-- Fyslee 19:22, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Stbalbach, i would think that a page devoted to critcisms of Barratt would be considered a huge POV fork. I am actually surprised the Coca cola pages were consolifated that way. Criticisms should stay on this page and the Barratt page. Good use of foot notes will stop the criticisms becoming over long. David D. (Talk) 21:01, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
If done properly, it's not a POV fork, it's a content fork. Content forks for long articles, if done in "summary style" are perfectly legitimate and in common practice. I believe that's what happened with the Coke articles. · j e r s y k o talk · 21:43, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually a better model might be the Bill O'Reilly page. Almost all the criticism is on a content fork that just survived an AfD, so now you mention it, this practice is clearly acceptable. David D. (Talk) 21:48, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Both the Bill O'Rielly (34 kb) & "controversies" (38 kb) pages are each overlong articles, as is. QW & SB articles are both shorter than 32 kb. The fortuitous sanitizing effect is an issue.--I'clast 22:13, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Note to all: A content fork is different than a POV fork as David explained. In this case combining the articles to make a criticism page would be a POV fork. The Coke Criticism page is a content fork if you look at it.Arbusto 00:13, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Ballot question from Merge Proposal #3

Can we merge all three under the AMA and Pharma? --Travisthurston 16:54, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Of course not. Keep such comments out of this section. Undocumented conspiracy theories are the refuge of .... minds. -- Fyslee 20:09, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Redirect of affiliated site to this page

I made a bold move and just redirected all three of Homeowatch, Credential Watch and Chirobase to Quackwatch. Hope this is appropriate, it seems much better than the acrimony that may occur going through AfD. See Barratt talk page for a more detailed discussion. David D. (Talk) 21:51, 28 September 2006 (UTC) David D. (Talk) 21:51, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Well done. There was one phrase in Chirobase which should (if accurate) be copied over. I'll take care of it. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 23:09, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Kauffman again

I've removed the link to Kauffman's "CV". It does not link to his CV. A CV is a objective list of academic and educational appts and a list of published work. The link you provided is basically praise for Kauffman from the Int'l College of Integrative Medicine. How can I tell it's not a CV? Here's a hint: CV's usually don't contain subjective and vague statements like "With 80 papers on chemical and medical topics, and 11 patents, including 2 on antituberculosis drugs, Dr. Kauffman has turned his attention to exposing fraud in medicine with publication of a book, Malignant Medical Myths, 2006." If you want to link to Kauffman's CV, fine. If you want to emphasize the fact that JK is a darling of the alt-med community, fine (although I think it undercuts his supposed "independence"). But call things what they are. MastCell 22:20, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Well that explains the quotation marks that i removed from the "With 80 papers on chemical and medical topics, and 11 patents, including 2 on antituberculosis drugs, Dr. Kauffman has turned his attention to exposing fraud in medicine with publication of a book, Malignant Medical Myths, 2006." comment that was in the ref link. It didn't sound like the kind of quote you would have in a CV. That should have been a heads up for me to check the link itself. David D. (Talk) 22:25, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I have replaced the link with a better one to the USP providing relevant information on Dr. Kauffman which is now professor emeritus at USP. His bibliography is also listed, including the book "Malignant Medical Myths", NATTO 22:34, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
That link is much better; thank you. Since his bibliography is included in the link, and it presumably establishes JK's credentials as well as they can be established, can we cut the part about JK's book as non-relevant to the Wikipedia article on QW? Also, I know there's a rush to bash Barrett and QW here, but please be a little more cautious about citing and describing your sources. Potentially valid points get lost when you overzealously flog or exaggerate them. MastCell 23:03, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Mastcell. Thank you for your warning. All criticisms included in the article are properly referenced and valid. It is a known fact that even skeptics have reservations about how the information is provided on QW. A site that is critical of so many things should be structured with very high standards and provide the information in a balanced, objective manner. The evidence is that it is not the case at QW. I am sorry if that does not fit with your views. Regarding the book "Malignant Medical Myths" I do not agree that it should be removed. It is in fact very relevant to the topic of QW since Barrett and QW claim to uncover and expose fraud and quackery in health care. Such fraud and quackery is not limited to the field of alternative health modalities and examples can be found in mainstream medicine as well. The review by Dr. Kauffman is not Barrett bashing but a well documented review based on facts not on personalities.NATTO 23:20, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Here's another example; you can't insert your own words in the middle of a direct quote just because you disagree with it. Then it's no longer a quote. It's misleading, and it makes it really hard to assume good faith. Again, I have no particular allegiance or connection to QW, but I do want to see a reasonably NPOV article; obviously (see here and above) that will require some vigilance. I'm concerned that the anti-QW sentiment sometimes gets the better of objectivity. MastCell 23:26, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the word claim should be outside the quote so I should have worded it differently. To use that to support your difficulty in assuming good faith.... well, hum. However it is true that it is what the site claims. There is no proof provided to show that it is actually impossible to obtain the information elsewhere. So until such proof is provided then it can only be a claim. As far as the anti-QW sentiment , it is out there so should be reflected in the article so that a balanced view is provided. There are editors who would also present only the positive side of QW and are active contributors to a website that has been shown to be unreliable.NATTO 00:32, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Once again, my problem is not with the word "claim" per se; I think it's appropriate. My problem is that twice now, you've misrepresented a source or altered a direct quote to accord with an anti-QW POV. Again, I don't care if you quote QW critics ad nauseum; I just want them presented accurately. Please don't let your hatred of QW overcome your committment to edit responsibly and in accordance with WP:NPOV. MastCell 17:51, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I already thanked you for your warning. So thanks also for the in depth psychoanalysis. I already feel better doctor. NATTO 18:01, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Independent review of QW website

At present this item is listed under critics. While it is critical of QW it is more than an opinion since the review has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, is well referenced and addresses specific problems with the information contained in articles written by the founder of the website as well as significant contributors that are board members of the NCAHF. The review concluded that the website fails to meet many of its stated objectives, a significant issue that is more then mere criticism. Thus is should have a sub-section titles - Independant review of the Quackwatch website. NATTO 01:54, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

The report you reference hardly seems to be independent or from an unbiased perspective - it comes from a journal whose explicit goal is to somehow make pseudoscience acceptable. FCYTravis 02:02, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Let's put it back under "Critics". That's the appropriate place for it. JSE is not a mainstream journal; it has a clear ideology that puts it into opposition with mainstream science. Finally, please, it's independent. MastCell 03:57, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
FCYTravis that is your opinion but the facts are that the review has been written by a qualified scientist with good academic credentials and if you read the review you will see that it is well documented and referenced. It is independent because the writer is not affiliated to any group critical of QW per see and he also does write on issue of quackery, albeit not specifically on the modalities favored by QW. Furthermore it is well know that even those supporting QW admit that the way the information is provided leaves to be desired. To list is simply as another critic in the context of an article on QW is to attempt to minimize the relevance of such a review. Since MastCell wants a NPOV article than he should, at least, consider, the point that the review by Joel Kauffman is more than just another "critique" of QW.NATTO 04:53, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Since there has been no reply, I have instead added a sub-section to the main Critics section so as to differentiate the review of the website and other critics. The review is relevant as it addresses specific problems with the information contained on the QW site.NATTO 06:30, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
It certainly should be included, but the clear POV of the JSE and, in turn, its writers, must be spelled out. The JSE is not the equivalent of the JAMA. FCYTravis 07:06, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Nobody said it was the JAMA and QW is far from being the AMA website for that matter. Irrelevant. As far as anti-skeptic is concerned if you just read the review you will see on the first paragraph: " Stephen Barrett gave a talk at our local skeptic group "... That does not seem to come from an anti-skeptic. Please also note that there is a WP article for JSE with a link to it so stop trying to push your POV here but as it stands it says about JSE "According to its mission statement, this publication "was established in 1987 to provide a professional forum for the presentation, scrutiny and criticism of scientific research on topics outside the established disciplines of mainstream science.". As far as the credentials of Dr. Kauffmann they are certainly of excellent quality. NATTO 07:46, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
FCYTravis, by the way what qualifies you to determine who is or is not a skeptic or for that matter to question the scientific validity of such a review ? NATTO 08:04, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
FCYTravis, the JSE issue *has been discussed* at length as mentioned in my edit summary, and it is poisonous (please, read JSE Talk, starting at JSE Talk.). The way you are editing, I *strongly doubt* that you have read & understood Kauffman's paper. The point of this section is not JSE, it is the article written by Kauffman, that primarily rests on Kaffman's scientific qualifications (which btw are much greater than SB's), the technical references used and the logical development of the article, not JSE. As a minor league vehicle, JSE is by-play, Kauffman simply is not published in the big (with well paid drug advertisements) league. Even if JSE *only* publishes "the moon is green cheese" every quarter, it basically means that academics like Kauffman have been so badly marginalized by QW & pharma camp followers that samizdat may be next. But, the Kauffman paper is still notable & deserving of respect on his, and its, own merits. Now, if only QW & SB would learn to write with as much scientific fairness & accuracy, I wouldn't have to bother here at all.--I'clast 08:25, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I fully agree with I'clast on this. NATTO 08:44, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I have added a list of academic contributors assistants to the analytical review of the QW website to further demonstrate that it is not simply the view of just another critic. The review involved a number of qualified academic including in the very relevant field of Information Science. It was then submitted for peer-review and publication. That is a far higher standard than the articles posted on QW. NATTO 17:39, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I feel like a broken record, but what you're doing reeks of desperation and actually weakens the thrust of Kauffman's criticism. The people you list are not coauthors or academic contributors; they're merely acknowledged for "additional aid". It would be unheard of for someone citing a scientific paper to name all of the "acknowledgements", much less the lengthy list of degrees of the acknowledged; such people are generally not considered significant contributors in an academic sense. If they were, they'd be listed as co-authors. It's also not clear that this article was truly "peer-reviewed"; it's presented on the JSE site as a "website review", not original research. I think you're fighting a straw man - no one has attacked Kauffman's credentials as a scientist, which are substantial. You're shooting your argument in the foot by flogging it too hard and in a way that's not fully supported by the facts. MastCell 18:07, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I have added the information to show that the review was not the sole effort of professor Kauffmann, as insinuated by some editors. In fact he had the assistance of other academics, some qualified in the field of information science, a very relevant field when the issue is the quality of information on a consumer information website. Like it or not , the review is very relevant on an article about QW as it goes to the core of what QW claims to be. It is much more than just another "critique". As far as the word contribution, I am quite happy with the word aid or assistance. The point is that he had help from academics qualified in Information Science. NATTO 18:23, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Quoting professor Kauffman " As a close friend and colleague reminded me, the operators of this site and I may have the same motivation - to expose fraud. It remains a mystery how they and I have interpreted the same body of medical science and reached such divergent conclusions. " Very relevant comment by another academic. NATTO 18:42, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Your addition and your comment make it sound like all of those "acknowledged" have signed off on the article's content and conclusions. This is wrong. Unless they're listed as co-authors, they cannot be presumed to be responsible for or in agreement with the article's content. The conclusions of the article are Kauffman's alone. This is a basic principle of the scientific literature. There seems to be a great deal of insecurity about the Kauffman paper, which is odd because no one is attacking its inclusion or its merit as a criticism of QW, nor attacking Kauffman's scientific qualifications. Finally, anonymous, unsourced quotes from close friends are not a typical part of the scientific literature. I agree with the anonymous colleague of Kauffman's, but question the scientific relevance of your citation above. MastCell 18:49, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I did not intend to use the quote from his friend in the article, This IS the talk page by the way. As far as the word "contributor" I agree it is not the appropriate word to use and changed it. However what is relevant is that professor Kauffmann also had the input of academics in Information Science, very relevant here. This fact adds credibility to the review because it adds an addditional layer of expertise on the issue. NATTO 19:13, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

A few points with regard to this dfiscussion. MastCell writes: "what you're doing reeks of desperation and actually weakens the thrust of Kauffman's criticism". This is exactly right. Presenting the qualifications of those mentioned in the acknowledgements sends off immediate alarm bells for any objective reader. If those acknowledged had ANY significant input they would be coauthors. Plus, this type of cheerleading is not needed, Kaufmans qualifications really do speak for themselves. This whole style of presentation makes this article look really bad and adds unnecessary fluff that hides the major points.

But then I'clast mentions that: "Kauffman simply is not published in the big (with well paid drug advertisements) league." Mmm, now I'm thinking that Kaufmanns qualifications don't speak for themselves. But one look at the link to his faculty page show this is not true. Just last year he published the following (Kauffman JM, "Water Fluoridation: Review of Recent Research and Actions", Journal of American Physicians & Surgeons, 10(2), 38-44 (2005).) There are several small article, possibly, opinion pieces or letters to the editor in the same Journal.

Maybe you can start to see this from the perspective of an objective reader here. Seeing all these appeals to authority will make them begin to wonder if Kauffman really is an academic in good standing. I mean, why would those who support his argument believe he needs to be puffed up so much? My attitude as a new comer to this page would be "well they should know, I guess kauffman's not as good as he looks". Do you see now how you are doing him a disservice with respect to his academic standing? David D. (Talk) 19:03, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

David. I am not married to a specific wording and do not wish to nitpick this to death. My point is simple. Kauffmann has very good academic credentials on the scientific issues reviewed in the 8 QW articles. Since he is not an Information Science expert and obviously realized that this is relevant when reviewing a consumer information webiste, he obtained help from academics who are expert in Information Science. This is to his credit and is relevant in the article. It can be phrased differently. Finally there are editors who have tried to minimize the relevance and importance of this review as just another critic so that it one reason I added the info on academics on Information Science. NATTO 19:19, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not going to revert what you wrote but I do think it is unnecessary. Why is being an information science expert even that important? Primarily he is reviewing the content of the 8 QW articles from the perspective of this article. To be more specific this articles cites his criticism of Quackwatch with respect to "factuality, fairness and scientific currency" So the aesthetic qualities of the site, while relevant to his website review, are not the reason it is being cited it in this article. To be honest, adding all the extra information will just switch people off. We need crisp prose to keep peoples attention. Continually breaking in with tangents makes it very hard to digest. David D. (Talk) 19:29, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

(If I can get a word in edgewise....edit conflict X 3, with some additional revisions) I do not believe that the criticism being published in a peer-reviewed journal deserves separate recognition, for a member of reasons....

  1. If it's actually a review in the journal; reviews, no matter how well written, are usually not peer-reviewed. At least the ones in the American Mathematical Monthly aren't.
  2. (The comment that it's not entirely Kauffamn's work is irrelevant. I could have paid researchers to help me write up an article, and it would still be my article.)
  3. The journal's charter specifying it publishes non-mainstream works is very relevant to credibility; the weight it should be given may be left to the reader, but the FACT is relevant.
  4. Kauffman's not belonging to a group critical of QW is irrelevant; he may be critical of QW because QW is critical of his work or the subject of his work. It's difficult to check, because QW seems not to be indexed by google.
  5. I don't consider Information Science credentials relevant, but the matter is open to interpretation.

If I don't hear reasons not to do so, I'm going to trim the additional comments, and merge it back into the critical section. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 19:31, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree with David and Arthur. Again, no one has belittled Kauffman's academic credentials. In the only contribution described in any detail, Kauffman thanks one of the IS personnel for "expert online searches". Come on. The fact that Kauffman had someone from IS help him find things online really doesn't seem to meet the standard for inclusion in an article about QW. Describing Kauffman as "another critic" isn't minimizing his importance. This is an article on QW. In the context of QW, Kauffman is a critic. He wrote a critical website review. It's fine to put him at the top of the list of critics, because his criticism seems most robust, but we're in danger of losing perspective here. Arthur, I would support your proposed changes. MastCell 19:33, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I too would support the changes. David D. (Talk) 19:36, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
David. Information Science is relevant because QW is a consumer information website. The selection, classification and presentation of information on the QW website is an issue. The fact that Kauffman sought assistance from expert in information science simply confirm his thoughtfull approach to the review. The comment from MasCell is not completely factual. Only Mrs. Bowmann is listed as helping him find things online while others are listed for their aid and contribution ( Ted Pollard ). I do not agree with the view that it is just another critic. This is POV and an attempt to minimize a valid review which, in the context of the article, goes to the core of what QW is about. There are other editors who do not share the view expressed by Arthur but they are not part of the discussion at present. NATTO 19:45, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree the IS is relevant if one is critcising the web site design access layout etc. But Kauffman is critcising the content. We have time for the other editors to express and opinon. i don't think anyone is trying to force this through. David D. (Talk) 19:55, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
David. It did feel like Arthur is itching to revert it... With regards to IS :Information science is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information. Information science studies the application and usage of knowledge in organizations, and the interaction between people, organizations and information systems.. I am not sure what the basis for the comment about "web site design access layout" is...? NATTO 20:02, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Clearly I don't know the right terminology. My design = your collection, classification, storage and manipulation. My access = your retrival and disemmination. My layout refers to the interface, is it user friendly, I supose a combination of design and access similar to your "interaction between people, organizations and information systems". Either way that is not the point of citing thearticle the way it is currently written. As I mentioned above we specifically quote Kauffman as critising "factuality, fairness and scientific currency". No IS is mentioned in this article. So the point of highlighting the IS collaboration seems superfluous in the current context. Also, judging from mastcell observation above: "Kauffman thanks one of the IS personnel for "expert online searches".", this collaboration does not actually appear to involve a criticism of the website but some help in finding online articles. David D. (Talk) 20:17, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
David. Thank you for clarifying what you meant by web site design access layout. I still feel that IS is a bit more comprehensive than that. It is also about the application and usage of knowledge on QW which is one of the point raised by Kauffmann as well as others. Barrett and co-contributors only "select" info supporting their pre-ordained conclusions... Of course there is still more to IS but I do not think this is a debate on IS. If you read the review for yourself you will also see that he thanks others for more than expert online search. Of Ted Pollard he says "valuable contributions". This said I am not opposed wording the info on IS differently. The fact is that it is verifiable what he did acknowledge and the fact that he did quote their name and citing it in the article that way is NPOV. Trying to determine what he meant is a lot more subjective and can lead to various and potentially erroneous interpretations. NATTO 20:34, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Natto, I'm not trying to put down Information Science. I use online databases daily, so i know how important this stuff is. My point is that this wikipedia article, at present, is only criticising the content of Quackwatch.
Second, i just read Kauffmans article and he also is ONLY criticising the content. There is absolutely nothing in his article that relates to information science. The only mention of information science is in his acknowledgement of the librarian who did his "expert online searches". The others are mentioned for additional aid NOT for their skills in IS, although they may well have those skills too. How do we know they didn't just proof read the paper? Certainly when i write something i ask people to proof read it before publication. That is normal. If someone does a thorough job of copy editing then they would get acknowledged. But to assume they were giving input with respect to IS and Quackwatch is not a valid extrapolation. In fact, i could even believe that have they have never seen the quackwatch web site since Kauffmans article is completely self contained. David D. (Talk) 20:52, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
David. I do understand your point and you are making it well. And thanks for taking the time to read the review. What about the "application and usage of knowledge" on QW . Don't you think that it is relevant to the review and to comments made by critics i.e as mentioned above, Barrett and co only post on QW selective information supporting their POV ? I also understand your point about what could be the nature of the assistance offered, however don't you thinK that any such interpretation is simply that? It could be a as benign as proof reading, as you correctly pointed out, or as signicant on sharp advice and information about how the information is used and applied on QW based on sound principles of IS ( advice and info that can be used to write the review without directly quoting it ). I guess since we cannot speculate in the article we either ignore the information altogether as suggested by yourself. MastCell and Arthur or we put the information as it is written on the review by the author, in NPOV manner. I opted for the second option and explained why in my comments on this talk page. It does seem that in the end it will come down to a matter of opinion on the part of editors depending on their view of the overall topic. NATTO 21:12, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Personally i don't see the point of adding that x, y and z people gave him "additional aid". Is this informative? You suggest that they might have had input with respect to "advice and information about how the information is used and applied on QW based on sound principles of IS ( advice and info that can be used to write the review without directly quoting it". If this is the case it did not make it into the published version since I don't see any aspect of this advice and info in the article. All Kauffman's commentary deals with hard science issues. There is one comment where he critcises the quality of Green's references (page 8), but this is a stretch to associate it with IS. Since there is no IS content with respect to QW either mentioned or implied in the article, to then mention people from its acknowledgements for this wikipedia article would be very strange.
It is true "we cannot speculate" but why even add the "information as it is written on the review by the author, in NPOV manner." I can honestly say, it is unheard of to cite those mentioned in the acknowledgments. If done here it will look bizarre since their expertise is not even relevant to the point being made. In fact, as i read the article, it is not even relveant to kauffman's commentary in his article. I suggest you get an objective view from someone you trust as well as from an independant editor. David D. (Talk) 22:10, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
David. As usual, thanks to your reasoned comments and suggestions. I think we may be getting close to an agreement further below which would solve the entire issue :-) NATTO 22:17, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Also it is never implied that it is not Kauffman's article. Simply that he did obtain assistance, and properly so, from qualified academics in a field that he was not an expert in. As far as JSE. there is a link to the WP article so readers can read for themselves. There is no need for Arthur POV on JSE to be included in this article. The argument is that it is Kauffman's article, and I agree. I am not sure where in the article there is anything about " Kauffman's not belonging to a group critical of QW " That is on the talk page not the article. NATTO 19:53, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Arthur didn't add his "POV"; he added JSE's self-description, in quotes, from their website. Please don't fling POV accusations at everyone who disagrees with you; we're all trying to improve the article. Also, my statement was factual. I described Bowmann's contribution as "the only contribution described in any detail". Yes, others provided "aid and contributions"; that vague phrase could mean anything from fetching coffee to having a major role in the article. The point is, unless they are listed as coauthors, we cannot assume anything about whether they agree or disagree with the article's conclusions. You seem to have listed the "contributors" to emphasize that others share Kauffman's view; I think this is not supportable. MastCell 19:58, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
MastCell take a deep breath. Arthur wrote previously " a publication focusing on paranormal phenomena and other fields that are rejected by mainstream science." As per history HERE, He has now changed it which is fine by me. As for the the rest of your comments above your are free to interpret what is written by Kauffman , I simply stated that he wrote that the he obtained additional aid from the other people he named including valuable contribution by Ted Pollard. His words not mine and not my interpretation. Finally please apply your own advice about good faith, I already accepted that the word contribution in the article was not the appropriate word. How many times do I have to say it for you to be satisfied ?? NATTO 20:10, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I reverted to the version with paranormal from a version which stated "peer-reviewed" with no implication that it was not mainstream. But I should have removed the paranormal comment, so I accept the blame. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 22:36, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I prefer this more minimal version:

Analysis and review of QuackWatch
A critical analysis of Quackwatch by Joel Kauffman, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia,[22] is published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. Kauffman is also author of Malignant Medical Myths: Why Medical Treatment Causes 200,000 Deaths in the USA each Year and How to Protect Yourself.[23] His 36 page article in JSE examines eight Quackwatch articles for factuality, fairness and scientific currency.[24]...--I'clast 21:10, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I would also endorse this version without the reference to 36 pages. This is a meaningless number and is dependant on spacing, font size etc. David D. (Talk) 21:35, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I'clast. That is another approach. I can go along with that as long as the item can have it's own section above the critics section, and that other editors are willing to forgo characterization of JSE, leave the information about his book in the text and accept the title suggested, which has ,again recently, been changed. The reader can access the review and make up their one mind. As for David suggestion of dropping the mention of the number of pages, I agree.NATTO 21:37, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I think I'clast's suggested text is reasonable, also agree that the # of pages is superfluous but don't feel that strongly about it. I'd rather we work on improving the text in its own right, rather than using it as a bargaining chip to get our way in other parts of the article. I do agree that readers can access the text and make up their own minds; thus I favor the relatively minimalist approach along the lines suggested by I'clast, along with a link to the article itself. MastCell 21:43, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I did mention before that the review was more than mere criticism. That is why I did initially place it in it's own section in the article. Having a minimalist text is as NPOV as possible and there if there is no mention in it of criticism (if we remove the "critical" word at the beginning ), then we have the following:

"An analysis of Quackwatch by Joel M. Kauffman, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia,[22] is published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. Kauffman is also author of Malignant Medical Myths: Why Medical Treatment Causes 200,000 Deaths in the USA each Year and How to Protect Yourself.[23] His article in JSE examines eight Quackwatch articles for factuality, fairness and scientific currency.[24]..."

This way it is very neutral and readers who wish to know more can download the review and make up their own mind.NATTO 21:51, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm agreeable. Referred to 36 pp as a more factual form of "closely" but I can live w/o it.--22:03, 29 September 2006 (UTC)--I'clast 22:12, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Is the above comment from I'clast or someone else ?NATTO 22:06, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Yep, me, I'Clast.--I'clast 22:12, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
OK so I'clast and I suggest the above totally neutral text in it's own section titled "Analysis and review of Quackwatch".NATTO 22:20, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
A pleasure doing business with you ;) David D. (Talk) 22:25, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Generally acceptable to me, provided there is nothing about the journal being peer-reviewed. If there is, it must also be noted it is non-mainstream. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 22:36, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
OK. So unless there is a further objection I will make the editorial changes and place the following text in it's own section above Critics:

" Analysis and review of Quackwatch

An analysis of Quackwatch by Joel M. Kauffman, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia,[22] is published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. Kauffman is also author of Malignant Medical Myths: Why Medical Treatment Causes 200,000 Deaths in the USA each Year and How to Protect Yourself.[23] His article in JSE examines eight Quackwatch articles for factuality, fairness and scientific currency.[24]"NATTO 22:39, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I think that looks good; thanks for the suggestion and for working together on it. I just added back Kauffman's Ph.D., which had fallen by the wayside in all the edits. MastCell 23:18, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I read this. Now why does this keep getting deleted?

  • (Kauffman) found them to be contaminated with incomplete data, obsolete data, technical errors, unsupported opinions, and/or innuendo.

To me, this seems like a most relevant criticism of QW. Levine2112 06:14, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't know why it's getting deleted. I put it back. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 06:35, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks dude. Levine2112 06:40, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Arthur & Levine: because a polished package in the Critics zone below the "Critics" line has more quotes & is more interesting, closer to where we were Friday. The idea was that we find a more neutral expression, to allow the reader to decide, consistent with enough interest to open the article, and that this was a different situation than normal QW "critics".--I'clast 08:13, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
To all. I have restored the section on the review as agreed between all the editors above. Editors like Havermayer will probably pop in from nowhere, ignoring the discussions on the talk page , and revert or delete edits. This is the annoying part of WP. A group of editors may work hard at arriving at a consensus just to be reverted by someone who has no clue... NATTO 08:33, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Personally I have no problem with the additional comments edited into the Review section by David and Levine. If all the other editors involved in the original consensus agree as well then they can be added. What does MastCell, Arthur and I'clast have to see on this ? NATTO 08:38, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Where ever the review of QW goes, it's findings must remain visible. That's the whole point of including the review. That the review is critical was just the conclusion of the reviewer based on his scientifc analysis (because of the highly technical nature of his analysis, I do tend to agree that it doesn't belong in the criticisms section with all of the people who are just giving their opinion of the site). Levine2112 16:18, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't agree that it's "an independent review"; it's still critical, and, as the author is critical of some conventional medical thinking, and SB seems to be uncritical of conventional medical thinking, I see possible grounds for a lack of independence. Arthur Rubin 21:30, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Kauffman starts from an independent point at the university, with actual economic disincentives, selling no supplements & not embroiled in the legal, social, economic warfare typically associated with QW "recipients" who then become critics, their subsequent work not independent of QW. The independent adjective is absent in the NPOV version. I even removed the "peer reviewed" in "extensive peer reviewed references" from Levine's edit that included more description of Kauffman's article in order to (over?)honor Arthur's "peer review" request about JSE[8].--I'clast 21:59, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

characterization of Kauffman abstracts, Talk: reading & remembering


"OK so I'clast and I suggest the above totally neutral text in it's own section titled "Analysis and review of Quackwatch".NATTO 22:20, 29 September 2006 (UTC) A pleasure doing business with you ;) David D. (Talk) 22:25, 29 September 2006 (UTC) Generally acceptable to me, provided there is nothing about the journal being peer-reviewed. If there is, it must also be noted it is non-mainstream. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 22:36, 29 September 2006 (UTC) OK. So unless there is a further objection I will make the editorial changes and place the following text in it's own section above Critics: " Analysis and review of Quackwatch

An analysis of Quackwatch by Joel M. Kauffman, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia,[22] is published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. Kauffman is also author of Malignant Medical Myths: Why Medical Treatment Causes 200,000 Deaths in the USA each Year and How to Protect Yourself.[23] His article in JSE examines eight Quackwatch articles for factuality, fairness and scientific currency.[24]"NATTO 22:39, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I think that looks good; thanks for the suggestion and for working together on it. I just added back Kauffman's Ph.D., which had fallen by the wayside in all the edits. MastCell 23:18, 29 September 2006 (UTC) "

The above if pretty clear. Arthur agreed to have the proposed text in its own section above the critics section. This is where it is now. That was agreed by I'clast, MastCell, Arthur, David and myself. NATTO 19:48, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Arthur obviously doesn't agree anymore, and I never did. It is a very critical, one-sided, and admittedly selective review, written by a scientist who is out of his field, who is a believer in pseudoscience, and a frequent contributor to a fringe journal that is no longer considered skeptical, but a pulpit for pseudoscientific ideas. It isn't taken seriously by real scientists, even though it uses some of the trappings. This is the best you can find. Fine. It should be mentioned. But it is critical, of that we are all certain and agree, and thus it belongs in the critics section. It shouldn't be presented as something that it is not. It is not neutral, but by pretending to be a serious review it is even more deceptive and misleading, especially since it is just his one-sided fringe POV. At least he explains himself. Other scientists with different (mainstream) POV would write very different reviews, and if they were positive they would not be in the critics section, but in a section for positive reviews. This one belongs in the critics section. -- Fyslee 20:17, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
OK. I think it's appropriate to briefly summarize Kauffman's conclusions, as the current text does. My own feeling is still that it belongs in the "Criticism" section, given pride of place at the top. However, I recognize we're trying to achieve consensus here, and I'll stand by what I said earlier: If it's crucially important to some editors that the Kauffman article have its own section, I can live with that, provided it is not labeled as "independent". This had been resolved in the consensus edit proposed above by NATTO. MastCell 21:03, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Clearly there is confusion here. The original section and title did not mention independant. And it does not now, as far as i can tell. I would not agree with the review being described as independant. i can, however, live with it having its own section distinct from the criticim section. David D. (Talk) 21:25, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Maybe I should have been more clear. I was just reiterating my stance from before in its entirety. No one has attempted to reintroduce the word "independent". The bottom line is that I can live with either way (having its own section or as part of "Criticism") and so will leave it to people who feel more strongly about it to hash this out. Although I will put in another plea for spelling independent correctly. MastCell 21:37, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
How long have people been spelling it with an e? ;) David D. (Talk) 21:39, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Dear all. The way it is now is at it was when all the editors involved at the time agreed on it. The word independent has never been part of the text, it is just in the heading of this section of the talk page. It would be appreciated if Fyslee would stop pushing his POV in spite of what other editors have discussed an agreed on. NATTO 21:55, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Levine. The agreement was to have a totally neutral text and let the reader access the review and make up their onw mind. As mentioned earlier if additional text is to be added then it should be discussed between editors on the talk page. Can you revert it to the original text so we can discuss any addition(s). That would be appreciated.NATTO 22:03, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
NATTO, I hear you. But I disagree. I don't see the point of mentioning that there was a review of QW without mentioning what the review says. Plus, the way it is wored, it doesn't encourage the reader to go read it and make up their own mind. I would rather have the gist of the review in this article. Especially a review of this caliber, one that truly analyzes in depth what is being said from a scientific standpoint. I really don't care if this review goes into the criticisms section, however I think it does stand out from the rest of the criticisms in that it provides an objective look at these QW article point-by-point, rather than making a blanket opinion. Levine2112 22:36, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
I would agree that Levine's version is a better encyclopedic summary. I do more strongly think that Kauffman's article needs a separate section. That seems to leave the exact title open and perhaps some trimming or adjusting on the words & phrases to buffer pro-QW sensitivities. If summary goes below the line (back in to the Critics section), might as well let the summary hang all the interesting, relevant quotes hang out. There are five identifiable phrases added to Friday's orignal minimal, "common ground" version" that could separately voted on: (1) found them to be contaminated with incomplete data, obsolete data, technical errors, unsupported opinions, and/or innuendo; (2) gives numerous examples with extensive,.[see #3]..references.; (3) peer reviewed(references) in #3; (4) it remains a mystery how they and I have interpreted the same body of medical science and reached such divergent conclusions.....It is very probable that many----have been misled by the trappings of scientific objectivity".(5) of the 2,300,000 vistors to the website--I'clast 23:12, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
As for me (although it should be in the criticism section, but possibly as an independent subsection.); (1) Appropriate, as discussed. The article says that; (2) probably not; conclusion, and would require a separate reliable source to that effect; (3) only if the journal is properly described, and possibly only with a separate source that the article was peer-reviewed, rather than appearing in a peer-reviewed journal. They're not the same; (4) acceptable as a quote; (5) probably not, as there's no real relevance. The "review" is critical, even if peer-reviewed, and even if called an "independent review" in the journal, and should be in the "criticism" section. Alternatively, we might add quotes from JAMA, giving that preference in the review section, and leaving three sections; reviews, favorable comments, and critical comments (preferrably in that order). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Arthur Rubin (talkcontribs) 23:36, 4 October 2006 (UTC) (UTC)
I clarified (3). On (2), usual encyclopedic summarizing the obvious vs OR limitation issues. JAMA quotes? You mean an elaboration of the Awards and Honors mention of JAMA? This last suggestion "reviews, favorable comments, and critical comments" has merit, but the implication is that "favorable comments" sucks in the "Awards & Honors" part - I think that QWr's might choke on that. And then what article (or how determined) gets top billing in the reviews...--I'clast 23:51, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry about the confusion on (3); no, I don't think it should be there, as it's part of Kaufmann's claims, and would be difficult to state while making it clear it's part of Kaufmann's claims. Adding a note that JSE is peer-reviewed requires the description of JSE to be added; if Kaufmann's paper is not in the "critics" section, then we would need "papers" (including JAMA and Kaufmann's paper), "supporters", and "critics" as the three categories. I feel that giving it a separate section gives it "undue weight". — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 00:38, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Interesting, that is how I see the article's structure at "Mission and scope", "Scientific and technical advisors", "Funding", "Reporting", "Awards and honors". Seriously, these other sections are heavy on billboard space w/o really incisive content or good use of space, which also dilutes the visibility & influence of the bottom articles.--I'clast
Ok, I was bold & fixed the structure to look more like an encyclopedia article.--I'clast 02:45, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
There is mention of a JAMA article. Is it a scientific review of the website ? It would really be nice to have another review of at least the same caliber. I agree with I'clast that the review is more than mere criticism and should be in it's own section and more could be added after discussion between the editors. Other reviews of similar quality or better could be added as well ( I would sure like to see one instead of all the talk about this review and nitpicking on the journal, whether or not Kauffman is a true skeptic or not , see my drift. NATTO 03:01, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Fys, re your "I never did." Translated: (after several edit conflicts)
  1. " admittedly selective review, written by a scientist who is out of his field," actually fields/articles selected by what he thought he was capable of and, more scientifically practiced & qualified than the editor of QW. Your comments are rhetorical. Homeopathy? If he was "qualified", you would still be chirping on about unqualified.
  2. " who is a believer in pseudoscience" Rabid speculation about an attendee at a skeptics society, that is willing to put up with 99% bs to examine popular questions/anomalies in classic academic skeptical inquiry, with a PhD from MIT in hard sciences. Sounds like guilt by association of publication as well as ad hom mischaracterization of the publication. Really. Who's just spewing?
  3. " but a pulpit for pseudoscientific ideas." Fys, nice to see someone not confused by ridiculous ideas of skeptical or scientific inquiry
  4. "fringe journal that is no longer considered skeptical" tough luck when those other fingers are *demonstrated* to point home, just another arbitrary pronouncement
  5. " real scientists" those who agree with you and Steve
  6. " one-sided fringe POV" his anaylses are based upon extensive, peer reviewed references - don't let any facts get in your way. Go read JK's EDTA section and SB's - do you even understand the differences of what is discussed? SB is trashing EDTA over misadministration screwups handling two different but related chemicals for two, much different indications and screaming "quackery".
  7. " Other scientists with different (mainstream) POV would write very different reviews, and if they were positive they would not be in the critics section, but in a section for positive reviews." Positive? If they wrote those glowing reviews about the same 8 articles JK did, they might be gutless administrators or yellow journalists perhaps with science degree covers, kept well away from dangerous labware and materials. How about a section, "Gutless Whores", if you find any?
  8. "This one belongs in the critics section." No, it is different than the rest, so it deserves its own categorization. If we characterize & summarize the points as critical, the separate section of notable & relevant points may as well earn the name.
"...believer in pseudoscience, and a frequent contributor to a fringe journal that is no longer considered skeptical, but a pulpit for pseudoscientific ideas. It isn't taken seriously by real scientists, even though it uses some of the trappings..." I can think of some parties that might fit that description alright, but we probably wouldn't agree.--I'clast 21:59, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Fyslee and QW

It is well known that Fyslee has a strong association with QW and it's owner. He is also a self-proclaimed quackbuster. He does not like the Kauffman review because it is not favorable to Barrett and QW otherwise he would promote it ardently and probably would put links to it everywhere in WP. NOW if he has an independantly published scientific review of QW that says the opposite i.e QW and Barrett's writings are reliable, accurate, unbiased, fair and balanced, then by ALL MEANS, please let us know about it. Otherwise can he please stop pushing his particular world view and POV on this. NATTO 22:09, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Attacking Fyslee for bias seems a little pot-kettle-black. I think it's safe to say we all have POV's about Quackwatch and its subject matter, or we wouldn't be here (myself included). Nonetheless I think we can work together to make the article better. Singling out Fyslee seems a little unfair. MastCell 00:27, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
No issue with POV on talk page however there are limits and a difference between an opinion an making biased accusations against a person who is not here to defend himself or herself. As far as working together to make the article better, I am all for it, however even some editors cannot even abide by what they have agreed to and other have no problem reverting what has been agreed by the majority discussing the issue... so where does that leave us ? Loose interpretation of WP policies based on one's world view ? NATTO 00:59, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

And I am still waiting for a review that would demonstrate that JK is wrong. What about it ? It is nice to be critical of his review but why not put up some real credible evidence instead of all the POV ? NATTO 01:01, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Here's why not - please re-read the WP:NPOV policy which you quote so frequently. Specifically, "To avoid endless edit wars, we can agree to present each of the significant views fairly and not assert any one of them as correct... Disputes are characterized in Wikipedia; they are not re-enacted." Getting into a situation where you cite Kauffman, then I cite someone to refute him, then we argue about the relative merits of Kauffman's review, etc etc is inappropriate for the article. The goal is not to demonstrate that Kauffman is "right" or "wrong"; it's to correctly characterize his criticism in its proper perspective, as part of a summary of both praise and criticism for QW. The constant efforts to minimize or muddy the praise for QW while buffing up its critics makes it really difficult to maintain a true NPOV in this article. MastCell 23:26, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. Of course my comments are based in what has been said by some editors on the talk page, not the article itself. I fully agree with you about what should be placed in the article. The talk page is where people discuss their point of view, discuss issues when edits are reverted or deleted. Having both sides of the issue discussed on the talk page help bring a balanced and factual article with good references. It is certainly required to present each of the significant views fairly and not assert any one of them as correct. At the same time the information provided should accurately reflect the source(s) and not be a partial interpretation of the editor(s) :-). NATTO 02:13, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Repeated changes to the review section

Well it seems that there are editors who cannot abide by what they have agreed. So much for trying to reach agreement... So let's go back to square one and add more of the critical comments in the review. NATTO 23:02, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Pls see the parsed options, phrase-by-phrase, in answer to Levine, above my long answer to Fys, ~23:11. This is a more comlete, critical summary of Kauffman's paper. I would ask each editor to give a rationale for/against each of the 5 phrases added to the minimalist verson.--I'clast 23:12, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
As above, I think it's reasonable to summarize Kauffman's conclusions and include one or two relevant direct quotes. I leave it up to editors more invested in Kauffman to choose which quotes are most relevant. As far as Fyslee, he has his POV (as do most of us editing this article), but he seems to edit in good faith and I'd argue that his presence facilitates back-and-forth and makes this a better article. I'm not sure what you mean by "Gutless Whores", but I think many scientists/physicians with solid credentials might disagree with Kauffman's analysis; hence the approval from JAMA etc. Characterizing those who disagree with you as "Gutless Whores" would seem to be counterproductive, but perhaps I'm misinterpreting. MastCell 00:13, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
I am not characterizing anyone directly. Kauffman lays on some hard references & arguments that are not going to magically turn into puff pieces for some of those articles he analyzes without some serious "dialectical materialism" type processing. I suspect that we all know of administrative and PR types that frequently try (and often, do) to rewrite reality, whereas good science stands, often alone for a while, against the test of time. "Science" authors so crass that they could reflate those 8 articles w/o compellingly addressing Kauffman's points, I would heartily criticize.--I'clast 00:32, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
It is required to assume good faith as it should be. However it maybe difficult to assume good faith on an ongoing basis when an editor is always clearly supporting the same point of view regardless of the available evidence. The comment made by Fyslee regarding Kauffman on the talk pages of the SB and QW articles is highly questionable. He is the first one to be offended when some negative remark is made about Dr. Barrett but when it comes to throwing dirt at other living persons, than its all go. It seems that he lives by a double standard. NATTO 00:40, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Another example- comments he made on the James Privitera talk page:

"Sure, provide any good biographical details you can document. If you want to defend a criminal, be my guest. The man broke the law. Fine, defend him. "A balanced view" can serve many purposes, and it can certainly be used to defend the crimes performed by criminals. As long as it can be done in a NPOV way, it's allowed here. A "balanced view" of Hitler's, Mao's, and Stalin's misdeeds allows that their justifications for why they murdered so many people be stated, but not presented as justifications or sold as the preferred viewpoint." Comments by Fyslee 10:40, 23 September 2006 (UTC) on Privitera talk page.

Dr. Privitera was convicted for using Laetrile in California and subsequently pardoned. Laetrile can be used legally in some other states. In the context of the offense of Dr. Privitera, the comments to Hitler, Stalin as well as "real" criminals is over the top and is somewhat akin to what Dr. Barrett has said. It is good to assume good faith but editors have to make efforts to demonstrate it as well. NATTO 00:40, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Take a step back for a second. You're also "assuming the same point of view regardless of available evidence". I'm happy to work with you although our POV's differ, but please... your conviction that the rest of us disagree with you because we're just too corrupt/stupid/unfamiliar with the medical literature is getting a little annoying. Accept the fact that some of us read the literature, appraise Kauffman's arguments, and may even have some actual experience taking care of patients... yet come to different conclusions than you do. Not because we've been bought off, or brainwashed, etc., but because reasonable people can come to different conclusions even when presented with the same evidence. In fact, the vast majority of people with advanced scientific and medical training agree more with Barrett than Kauffman. Is Kauffman a voice in the wilderness? Maybe. Is Kauffman just wrong? More likely. But please drop the idea that Fyslee is somehow uniquely biased in addressing this topic. MastCell 05:43, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
MastCell. I did change my point of view when we where discussing the issue of the review and, if I remember correctly, I proposed a solution that was accepted by the other editors at the time and that I tried to uphold. The fact that some did not honor it is not my fault. As far as our interaction, based on the fact that I had placed the word "claim" into a quote,( an editing mistake that I clearly admitted and fixed ) you automatically accused me of bad faith... ? Finally I do not think that you disagree with me all the time, on the contrary I think we can discuss things and come to an agreement and we have, I think you are a reasonable person that can also change his point of view when good evidence if provided. My comments were not directed at you at all, nor at David and the others. I do not doubt that you have practical experience as I do. We may see thing differently but that is not unusual so please look at both sides of the issue before drawing conclusions. The issue here was about reliability of information on QW and I know of skeptics who generally agree with the goals of Barrett but also have a problem with the way the information is analysed on QW. TO the question is Kauffman just wrong? You answer: more likely. That is your point of view. Now if you look at the scientific references he provided and can provided other references showing that he is wrong, then that will be better. By the way Mastcell, do you have any practical experience with chelation therapy or any of the other modalities discussed in the review ? NATTO 06:34, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Kaufmann quasi-quote

It seems too long. Nothing that we discussed that I said didn't belong was added, but I believe some of the sentences we didn't discuss don't really belong. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 03:33, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Arthur, all I can say is that if you had honoured the agreement we made earlier, this discussion would not be happening !NATTO 03:41, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

JAMA , honours and review of QW

It turns out that the JAMA item is simply an information flyer for physicians to dispense to their patients. There is no explanation or evidence given to support the listing so it is merely a POV expressed by someone at JAMA - no even a real article in the Journal so not peer-reviewed. As for the Forbes listing, after checking the reference, it is clear that they never gave QW their " Best of the Web" rating, as was stated in the article previously. They did list QW on the Web Site Review list but it was listed second to last at the bottom, way below the Favourite and Best of the Web sites. ( They did give the web site of Dr. Weil their Best of the Web rating... Interesting since QW is critical of Weil ). If that is the best that can be provided to support the reliability, accuracy and overall quality of the information and advice given on QW, then it is not convincing at all, especially compared to the extensive and well referenced review done by Joel Kauffman. Any skeptic worth his salt can see this. NATTO 07:12, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

A careful look at the Forbes web site will show that Forbes Web Sites Review provides a list of various websites in different categories. Of the sites listed Forbes gives special rating to some of the sites. The top site gets a Forbes Favorite rating and the site address is preceded by a YELLOW square, other sites near the top of the list are rated as Best of the Web and the sites web address is preceded by a BLUE square. In addition when you click on the site name, a separate page open with information about that specific web site. The Forbes Favorite and the Forbes Best of the Web pick contain a round logo to certify their status. Please note that the QW website has NO square in front of its web address and NO separate logo on its information page. It is clear that QW is not considered Forbes Best of the Web pick or a Forbes Favorite. It is listed near the bottom of the list.NATTO 10:45, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
As I mentioned earlier if that is the best evidence available to oppose the review of Joel Kauffman.... NATTO 11:18, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Health There is lots of quality health information on the Web, but finding it amongst the quackery can be a chore. Luckily many weaker players have fallen by the wayside, and more and more academic, government and research institutions are uploading their information onto the Internet. -- Leigh Gallagher

+- Forbes Favorite * - Forbes Best of The Web pick

Read our Review for: Visit: National Institutes of Health +

Aetna InteliHealth *

American Heart Association * *

Vital Options International *

WebMD * Health

American Cancer Society

American Diabetes Association



Food & Drug Administration





IVillage Health


Merck & Co.



People Living With Cancer

Quackwatch -----------QW IS HERE..... NO + and NO *

+ - Forbes Favorite * - Forbes Best of The Web pick

NATTO, your edit summary is a straw man argument which you have created here. Here's your edit summary:
  • "No your POV is showing. The facts are clear. QW has not been chosen as either favorite or Best of the Web pick. Open your eyes.)"
No one but you has used that wording, so it's your POV that's showing. The NPOV wording avoids that wording (which you added ("pick") to the reference and sticks to NPOV wording that is factual, without adding positive or negative editorial comments, words, or OR.
Your current version is filled with your own twisted POV, as explained below.
All 24 of the sites are in the "Best of the Web" listing (look at the top of the site page and the categorizing method), with one site in each category chosen as a "Favorite" and a few other sites chosen as "Picks", which are listed above all the others. The rest of the list is alphabetical. If Quackwatch was spelled with "Z," then by your reasoning it must be the lowest rated site, and if spelled with an "A" it would be an excellent rating. The alphabetical listing is just that, with Quackwatch sharing the same listing status as many other highly respected sites. Your attempt to make placement in an alphabetical listing look bad is indicative of your attempt to press your negative POV on the article, as indicated in your edit summary. The wording must be factual and NPOV.
  • Please look at the list above. The sites rated Best of the Web are at the top and NOT in alphabetical order AT ALL. Only the non rated sites are in alphabetical order. NATTO 12:31, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
We're trying to write an encyclopedia here, so build the article, rather than deleting good information. If you feel any information is in the wrong section, then reword the heading or create a new section rather than deleting the information. Deletism is not only frowned on at Wikipedia, it is often destructive to the development of an article, and it shows disrespect for the work of other editors. Let's try to collaborate here. The chiropractic article immediately began to grow and develop rapidly when we got a chiropractor (Dematt) who was more interested in inclusion of all POV, than in deleting POV he didn't like. Since then the chiropractic article has grown to become a great article. We hope that it will end up the best article on the subject of chiropractic anywhere on the web. That can only happen if it includes all POV. No one should be able to read a Wikipedia article on a significant subject and be surprised by information they read elsewhere. The article here should have mentioned it or prepared them for it. -- Fyslee 11:30, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
The word factual is correct. The name of the item on the Forbes site is Forbes Web Sites Review. It lists a number of sites in different categories and of the sites listed, it selects some for A) Forbes Favorites B) Forbes Best of the Web pick. That is obvious. The fact is that Forbes HAS NOT RATED QW as either Forbes FavoriteOR Forbes Best of the Web pick. Simple as that. If we go for minimal wording than we can only state that QW was listed second to last on the Forbes Webs Sites Review. In addition the information I have added is factual vs what was there before: Forbes magazine named Quackwatch among the "Best of the Web" from 2000 to 2004 which as I have demonstrated above is not factual. I am sorry it does not support what you would like to be. If you can find a scientific review published in a Journal than I will be pleased to include it. NATTO 11:45, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
The current wording is now factual and NPOV, without any OR or attempt to paint a negative editorializing picture. The list is alphabetical and Quackwatch is in very good company, but even that fact is not included in the article, although it could be. -- Fyslee 11:51, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Is it denial or what ? Is there a BLUE square beside the QW address ? NO .... SO what is the obsession with trying to imply that Forbes gave QW a "Best of the Web" rating. THAT IS NOT TRUE AND NOT VERIFIABLENATTO 12:00, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
OK now I understand. Even if QW has not really been selected Best of the Web, it made the general list so to be NPOV we have to imply in the wording that QW DID make it as "Best of Web" pick.... Does that make sense... NO but anyway that is what you want so that is NPOV, according to....NATTO 12:17, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I'm afraid User:Fyslee is correct and User:NATTO is incorrect about the Forbes cite. The entire section is called "Best of the Web". My interpretation of the Forbes list is that QW is considered among the "Best of the Web", but not a "Best of the Web pick". I'll edit it shortly to reflect NPOV. Arthur Rubin 16:38, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth I am afraid that the person who frequently 'forget' to sign his posts is missing the point. The way it was phrased before 'implied' that QW had been picked as " Best of the Web " by Forbes when it had not. The latest rewording is correct but may be placing a bit too much emphasis on the Health category of the directory, which in fact, contains numerous other categories with many sites selected Forbes Favorite and picked as Forbes Best of the Web. QW was not one of them and that is important to mention in the article because it is a fact. Ignoring it would be POV pushing. And for what it is worth the latest edit is acceptable as is as it gives factual information instead of the wording by Fyslee who totally ignored one aspect of the facts. Stating the facts as they are in not POV. Ignoring the part of the facts that does not fit with one's personal view is POV NATTO 21:01, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

U.S. News & World Report

Can you please reference the exact page were QW is listed as a best site because I have not found it ? Also the other reference is simply a list of web addresses by topic. That is not an honor or an award at all. With 22 web sites QW will be posted on such list. Many websites are. Your are pushing it.NATTO 11:00, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

OK, I have found the listing at page 7 of 8 squeezed below ONHEALTH - WHAT MAKES IT GREAT and the Mayo Clinic Health Oasis - TRIED AND TRUE we have QW -WORTH A CLICK. You can see the enthusiasm going down... From GREAT to WORTH A CLICK..... I am not even sure if that really qualifies as an award or an honor but QW needs all the help it can get so...NATTO 11:21, 7 October 2006 (UTC) (comments merged)
I provided the correct link. -- Fyslee 11:26, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes you did. I did not say you did not. I simply asked for the page number and as I pointed out above, I found it above.NATTO 11:50, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
You asked for the "reference." It included the link which is to the precise page. -- Fyslee 12:07, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Good one. Adding favorable mention in journal.... Ah Ah :-) 12:04, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, headings should be improved when necessary. We are developing this article, and such changes and additions will be necessary in the future. Nothing's finished here. -- Fyslee 12:07, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Next we can add: Mention of the website on search engines... :-)NATTO 12:45, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Be my guest. I'm not going there, because that list would be endless and pointless....;-) -- Fyslee 20:56, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Almon Glenn Braswell

I have no knowledge about the above mentioned person. However, without judging him, I would like to point out that I have no doubt that there are dubious characters out there and that there are people involved in fraud. This said Barrett seem to have difficulty in separating the wheat from the shaff, attacking anything that is alternative or complementary without having a real good grasp of some of these modalities or issue. Please lets not throw the baby with the water.NATTO 11:54, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Braswell is a very big (one of the biggest of all time?) time con man that Clinton pardoned. It was a very big item in the USA news at that time. As for alt med, there are several sides to that coin. Some of us, including myself, have used it personally and practiced it on patients, and have studied both sides. It has caused deaths in my own family, and I have been involved in treatments of people who might have had a better chance if they hadn't been treated by the quack (but well meaning) doctors I worked with at the time. It is not a black or white issue, and even Barrett acknowledges that fact. He and I prefer to judge methods by whether they work or not, rather than exclusively by their titles. Titles can be simplistic and deceptive. -- Fyslee 12:02, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Well I am sorry if you had a negative experience, that is all I can say without knowing the details. This said it is important to remain objective. I could also give you numerous examples of people who have been hurt by well meaning allopathic practitioner ( M.D., D.D.S. and others )( I think you would call them mainstream ). As far as judging, before you can judge you have to really understand what you are tallking about. Pardon me if some of the sarcastic titles on QW articles and the "harsh" tone leaves serious doubt in my mind about what you said in your last point. Forbes did write : "Mostly attacking alternative medicines, homeopathy and chiropractors, the tone here can be rather harsh NATTO 12:09, 7 October 2006 (UTC) ( comments merged)
One more thing. If you indeed have used alternative modalities and cause harm, there is also the possibility that you A) did not really have a good mastery of the modality B) used it when it was not indicated. The same can and does happen with any modality when a person is out of his depth. NATTO 21:19, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
This is trolling pure and simple on the part of NATTO. The first sentence reads, "I have no knowledge about the above mentioned person." Fine - then learn something about him before posting. As it is, your initial post seems designed only to provoke more heated discussion without adding anything constructive. Mission accomplished. MastCell 23:05, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
At least I can admit when I do not know about something. Thank you for your POV.NATTO 03:24, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
You have just demonstrated to us that you are unwilling to support and applaud criticism of one of the most large-scale and persistent fraudsters and con men of the last century, tried and convicted of obtaining millions of dollars from thousands of elderly victims by fraudulent claims. This attitude suggests you have no business pretending to a knowledgeable, let alone a neutral, point of view on this article. Please desist. alteripse 05:03, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Thank your for your POV however I have done no such thing. I stated clearly that I could not judge this particular situation about this man since I was not informed about it. I have also clearly written " I would like to point out that I have no doubt that there are dubious characters out there and that there are people involved in fraud ". Not judging someone because you do not have information to do so is not unwillingness to support, it is simply common sense. At least get your facts right when you make accusations, so please apply your own advice. NATTO 07:35, 8 October 2006 (UTC) ( commetns merged)
I have now read some of the newspapers report on Braswell. He has been convicted of mail fraud and ,now of tax evasion. This is clearly illegal and should be definitely condemned. The proper authorities qualified to do so are taking care of this, as it should be and I support that entirely. They have all the available facts and evidence in this case so I fully support them in their duty.NATTO 08:09, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

But my point was that your attempt to prevent any favorable fact about Barrett to stand in this article made you initially assume you knew better than multiple better-informed editors who put a simple fact in this article. Your antipathy toward Barrett interferes with writing an accurate, descriptive article. If you want to defend individual con men, pretenders, fraudsters, and quacks, please do so in their individual articles, thanks. alteripse 13:21, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

ahem. Equating Natto's frankly admitted unfamiliarity with support for particular individuals is highly inapproporiate. Although slightly familiar with Gero Vital's ubiquitous junk mail & never interested (seemed poorly supported & wildly promoted), I had no idea who Almon Glenn Braswell is either. This QW article is slowly becoming an encyclopedic article. Natto has been a significant factor in challenging certain kinds of POV & omission of which there has been no shortage. Inconvenient, perhaps; interfering, pure POV. QWr's occasionally having to contact certain kinds of facts *is good* for the article. Please do not discourage legitimate edit(or)s to Wikipedia. Thank you.--I'clast 15:10, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Thank you I'clast for restoring some objectivity on this talk page. It does seem that questioning certain dogmatic views in this article does trigger generalized attacks by some editors. Some of them coming from "nowhere" ( i.e they are not normally involved in the editing of the article such as alteripse ). They just come in and make baseless accusations and assumptions.NATTO 15:18, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
First of all, alteripse came in and contributed; that's how Wikipedia works. Discouraging people from joining the article is wrong. Second, what triggered the "generalized attack" in this case was an inflammatory statement about someone you hadn't researched. I've mentioned above that this whole thread smacks of trolling - that is, stirring up controversy for its own sake - since you had no real point to make about Braswell to begin with and didn't know anything about him, other than that he's mentioned on QW and you don't like QW. For the record, I agree with alteripse that your unyielding hatred of QW and everything it stands for is getting in the way of creating a rational, balanced article. And don't bother labeling this "POV"; this is talk page. Everything here is someone's POV. MastCell 16:45, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Come on User:MastCell, give it up. You only comment when you have something negative to say. When I reply to your posts in a conciliatory tone... ( I.E I think you are a reasonable person that can also change his point of view when good evidence if provided ) no reply. When I ask a relevant question ( I.E. Mastcell, do you have any practical experience with chelation therapy or any of the other modalities discussed in the review? ) No reply. All, you do is spew accusations. Please follow your own advice... Finally its fine if you love QW, that is your prerogative but don't paint everyone that do not share your love of QW as black NATTO 16:58, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Please review the talk page. Your perspective is skewed. I don't "love" QW; I do want to see a reasonable, useful, balanced article. The primary editors of this article clearly despise QW and all it stands for. This makes it very difficult to prevent POV creep in the article. I'm fine with the lengthy "Criticism" section that dwarfs the actual description of QW itself, but I've also found that when the QW-haters are given an inch, they immediately go for a mile. I haven't made entirely negative comments - for instance, I appreciated your work on a compromise about the Kauffman article - and I'm sorry not to respond to every comment you've addressed to me (I do need to go to work and earn a living). But let's close this thread, for God's sake. It's clear you need to have the last word, and I'd like to let you do so in order to move on (as I've said, I regard this thread as trolling), but if I let you have the last word you accuse me of ignoring any positive comments so I can spew accusations. So go ahead, respond to this post, and then let's let this thread die a much-needed death. MastCell 20:04, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Dr Weil

As a living person, any comments related to him should be placed in perspective. QW is critical of Weil and he has been placed on the list on non-recommendable person. That is QW POV. There is another POV about Weil from a reputable, credible and verifiable source. Presenting both sides equally. It is relevant as per WP:RS and WP:BLP. NATTO 03:33, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

NPOV does not mean putting in your disagreements with simple descriptions of the site's contents. Link to Weil and his article can contain the appropriate mixture of praise and criticism. alteripse 04:39, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Agree with alteripse - this is a misapplication of WP:BLP. MastCell 04:42, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
As per WP:NPOV : all Wikipedia articles must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), representing significant views fairly and without bias. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one. Readers are left to form their own opinions.
QW is putting forward one POV about Weil, that is he is not recommendable. The other POV from Forbes is that he is quite respectable. That is totally in line with WP policy so giving the both POV about Weil is relevant and acceptable in this article because his name is mentioned in the article.NATTO
In an article that mention that an organization opposes a political view, you don't have to put additional sentences defending the political view. For example if we had an article about the group, Citizens Concerned for Families, and mentioned that it had opposed governor Smith's re-election, it would be unnecessary and distracting to add a sentence about how someone else liked him-- that would belong in the article about Smith. You are simply not understanding how to implement NPOV. Please take some time to look at how this implemented in other articles about advocacy groups. alteripse 13:15, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
I suspect that an anti-QW editor placed that information there. Just checking..... Yes indeed! It was Levine2112. He has indeed opened the door for further development, in case anti-QW editors want to press the issue. I have written on NATTO's talk page, we're trying to write an encyclopedia, not conduct a discussion group. -- Fyslee 13:30, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
I am unsure what you mean by this, but I do take issue. My intention was not to make QW look bad by adding that they don't recommend Weil (or Pauling). I merely chose two of the most well-known, respected examples from their list. I'd appreciate a little Good Faith, especially from you, Paul. Personally, I don't think that Forbes' stance on Weil is relevant there. I would have delted it, if someone hadn't beaten me to it. Levine2112 20:03, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
My apologies. I assumed...and I accept your explanation. Sorry about that. I have removed the offending words. -- Fyslee 21:35, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

  • User:Fyslee Please abstain from answering messages addressed to ME on MY talk page. This is most questionable.NATTO 16:20, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
My reply to NATTO's comments and very serious accusation about my supposedly "threatening comments" are found here. -- Fyslee 21:08, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Ah, but how do we handle cases like Pauling where the QW article is actually in error but referenced w/o note as if in good standing, (Pauling's protocols & stmts for both cancer & colds were not even *close* to being accurately tested & evaluated, and hence, were not disproven, contrary to the rabidly promoted, popular medical belief, as now established per published NAS, NIH & the Finnish retrospective analyses 2005-6)--I'clast 14:09, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't make any difference if you believe QW is in error. That is an editor's POV. It is not the job of editors to correct its supposed errors here. The article isn't a discussion list. Such matters can be dealt with in the Pauling and Weil articles. Their opinions are allowed more exposure there. -- Fyslee 15:03, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
No, this is not POV. Hard factual failure, ie 1 is not equal to 10. Whether Wikipedia is a vehicle for true conterfactual POV is a concern, no matter how popular. This is one reason why QW can be such a fight amongst nominal skeptical and scientific types.--I'clast 15:16, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Error is an important issue to address and not a POV. If there are verifiable and reliable sources to show error, than it definitely should be included. It is not enough to give balanced information, the information has to be factual as well. A good example of POV attempt to alter the facts by User:Fyslee is the editing of the information about Forbes on-line. I indicated correctly that QW had not been selected by Forbes as a Forbes Favorite or picked as a Forbes Best of the Web. He removed the information so that readers may think that because it was listed in the Best of the Web Directory, it was actually picked as Best of the Web... Since the information was not favorable, he edited it out. That is clearly editing out factual information based on POV. NATTO 15:45, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Some very serious bad faith accusations there. Please WP:assume good faith. NATTO seems to be obsessed with some straw man of his own making. No one has implied that QW was chosen as the "Best of the Web" site (which NATTO has repeatedly accused on several places here at Wikipedia), nor has anyone (but NATTO) suggested that it was chosen as a "Favorite" or a "pick." It was listed along with the other sites, in alphabetical order. All the chosen sites are "Best of the Web" sites. Only one site gets chosen as "Forbes Favorite," which is always placed at the top of the list. The next ones are "pick"s. In this case five were chosen as "Forbes Best of The Web pick"s, and they were placed, as always, immediately afterwards. All the rest (18 very good sites) were then listed in alphabetical order, and were of course still among the "Best of the Web." That's the way Forbes does it. No one (other than NATTO) has claimed anything more than that QuackWatch was among the "Best of the Web" sites. Somehow the "forest for the trees" principle comes to mind..... The fact is that QuackWatch was mentioned in a positive way along with a number of other good sites, that were also mentioned in a positive way. What's wrong with admitting that and be done with it? Somehow NATTO just has to do some OR editorializing to squeeze a negative taste out of a positive orange. ("Wow that orange was sweet, but it wasn't seedless! Let's condemn it all the way to hell. We certainly wouldn't want anyone to notice that it was sweet! We only accept seedless oranges, no matter their taste.") That's pretty poor POV editing. Where is all this bitterness against QW coming from? Is it because NATTO's (User:Dr. Imbeau) method of dental practice or other dubious beliefs are threatened by the criticisms found on QW or DentalWatch? -- Fyslee 21:35, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Agree with Fyslee for the most part... this whole Forbes issue is giving mindless pedantry a bad name. The Forbes sentence was correct as it initially stood. NATTO sees red whenever anything remotely favorable to QW (however well-sourced) is mentioned, hence we've gone down this route about "Best of the Web" vs. "Forbes pick", thrown in a totally out-of-place defense of Andrew Weil, etc. Why can't we acknowlege that QW has received some praise, then summarize its criticism, in a rational manner? Have some perspective; no one except the few of us care whether the site was "Best of the Web", or "a Favorite", or a "Pick". The point is, Forbes had some balanced, primarily favorable comments about the site. Let's note that fact and move on. I have no idea what NATTO's dental practice is like, nor do I particularly care about his personal experience with Western or alternative medical methods. It's irrelevant for the purposes of this article, as is my experience when you come down to it. We're trying to create an encyclopedia here. MastCell 21:49, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Another important fact about the Forbes issue: If you look at Quackwatch and then at Ask Dr. Weil you will see that there is a phrase at the bottom of the comments Forbes makes about the websites. It reads: Obtain the Forbes Best of the Web logo for use on your web site.

And this is the info you can when you follow that link:

"Best of The Web Logo

Web sites that have been chosen as a "Forbes Favorite" or "Best of The Web" in the most recent Forbes Best of The Web may obtain license to use the Forbes Favorite logo or the Best of The Web logo (the "Mark") on its Web site or in advertising and promotional materials or obtain re-prints or e-prints by contacting Wright’s Reprints at 877-652-5295 or

In addition, please note that:

· You may use the “Mark” only as provided in the license and for a period of one year (or such other period indicated in the license). Upon expiration of the license, you must either cease using the “Mark” or renew the license with the written permission of Wright’s Reprints.

· If the “Mark” is used on your Web site you are required to create an active link to the "Best of The Web" section of the Web site, at, in accordance with the guidelines that you will receive together with the instructions enabling you to display the mark on your website.


To obtain a license to make reference to or quote from the review in advertising and promotional materials for Forbes “Best of Web” and “Forbes Favorites” please complete and sign the Forbes Favorites/Best of The Web license and send it, together with all required attachments, via facsimile to Tina Russo at 212-367-3371. You may not use the reference or quote until the license has been returned to you approved and signed by Forbes Inc. "

Clearly Forbes does not consider QW as Best of the Web since it did not offer QW the use of the Forbes Best of the Web logo. The way the item is written in the article is potentially misleading since it does not define what the subcategory is. In fact there are three categories : Forbes Favorite, Forbes Best of the Web pick, and the rest who did not make the two rating such as QW. NATTO 15:59, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

How do we know that Forbes didn't offer QW the use of the Forbes Best of the Web logo. All we know (or could determine, with reasonable effort — I haven't checked) is that QW is not using it.Arthur Rubin | (talk) 23:05, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Apologies. The pages wouldn't load properly for me. Still, if they were using the logo, and have properly licensed it, there's no reason to offer it again.... — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 23:19, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Arthur. The lastest wording is fine by me so that should put the issue to rest :-) NATTO 23:18, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Because Forbes' somewhat ambiguous "Best of the Web" title designations, some readers may be (as above) misled as QW's relative distinction e.g. #1 of 25 of Forbes vs #1 of 25 of Forbes' health sites vs. a basic/general level of recognition within Forbes' 25 Health sites. It may seem a somewhat fine distinction, but given how the QW site promotes itself, a less careful, a less familiar or less able reader might misinterpret the previous wording of the previous statement. Also this possiblity of over estimation or overstatement is a very oft expressed objection with QWr's general push to say "less accepted techniques" (not even just "alt med"!) are overstated. "Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander" To avoid the bruised feelings that seem to go with the "bronze" I will suggest careful description as one of 25, w/o reference level as to rank (btw, if I were to have put QW down, I would have said "3rd rate"). This is a careful neutral summary.--I'clast 05:56, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
I'Clast you got the point. Anyway as long as Fyslee is happy, we can all move on :-) NATTO 07:09, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Sentence is question

I have an issue with this sentence currently used in this article:

Quackwatch has been cited in reports on various subjects, including therapeutic touch, [1] Vitamin O, [2] Almon Glenn Braswell, [3][4][5] dietary supplements (especially when sold by doctors), [6] and the Mexican clinic where Coretta Scott King died. [7]

I checked the citations (and I encourage everyone here to do the same). Quackwatch is hardly mentioned, much less cited, in most of these references. For the most part, Barrett gives a quote and he is described as the founder of QW. I don't think that this qualifies as what this sentence is suggesting. I am sure that QW is in fact "cited in reports on various subjects". I think we should show those reports (and not news articles where Quackwatch gets mentioned).

Can someone please take the time to find these reports? Or we could change this sentence to read: Quackwatch has been mentioned in news articles on various subjects... Let me know what you all think please. Levine2112 19:58, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Your edit looks fine to me. It is more accurate. Quackwatch isn't peer reviewed research, so the word "cite" (which does mean to "quote") might be too formal an expression for non-English speakers. "Mention" is certainly accurate and informal enough to cover all types of mention, including quotes. -- Fyslee 21:40, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
I still think Levine's version was best and most accurate. The changes and moves from this point on are problematic. Levine's introductory wording in the sentence is most accurate, and the section thus fits under the revised (not latest) heading. Now it is moved, the sentence is changed back to the old inaccurate one, and the heading is also changed. They were a functioning whole before. -- Fyslee 05:35, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

We have two different possibilities:

  • Quackwatch has been involved in reporting on .....
(in the "About the site" section)
  • Quackwatch has been mentioned in news reports on various subjects, including.....
(in the "Awards, favorable mention, and use in press and journals" section)

I believe the first one implies something that may not usually be true. While Barrett and other editors may occasionally contact the media, most of the time it is the other way around, which explains why Quackwatch and Barrett are mentioned, and often quoted only briefly, though occasionally have obviously been consulted for the bulk of the information in the article, and also quoted more often in the article, but still at the initiative of the journalist.

The second option makes no implications about who contacted whom, but only about the fact of "mention," which is all that's necessary for its inclusion in the section on "Awards, favorable mention, and use in press and journals." We completely avoid any risks of OR or editorializing this way.

To include the content of the sentence in the "About the site" section, implies that Quackwatch has been actively and aggressively involved in investigative reports in the media, which only happens occasionally.

I vote for moving it back to the other section and rewording the start of the sentence as in the second option above, which is basically the version Levine2112 proposed. -- Fyslee 07:46, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Levine2112 16:54, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Nice work

I will say that, all arguments about Forbes, Kauffman, etc aside, the article as it currently stands looks remarkably good, and remarkably balanced, given the heated feelings its subject matter provokes. Nice work. MastCell 20:51, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I did a few touches... cleaned up some redundancy and developed the article's scope in the intro, but otherwise I agree with you. Nice work everyone. Levine2112 21:43, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Good addition to the lead. The controversial aspect did need mentioning. Wasn't there some mention at some time in the past? I don't remember. If not, it was needed, since the lead should mention important high points of the article. -- Fyslee 21:56, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Although I often prefer shorter, this sentence "Quackwatch has been involved in reporting on therapeutic touch, Vitamin O, Almon Glenn Braswell, dietary supplements, especially when sold by doctors, and the Mexican clinic where Coretta Scott King died." actually seems ~1/2 line too short to me on subjects covered by QW to accurately convey the scope of historical QW activity.--I'clast 04:46, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Let's hear any ideas. Introductions and descriptions should be revised if necessary to cover additional material, rather than material being deleted because it doesn't exactly match the heading. -- Fyslee 05:16, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Not deleting material, placed it by functional priority. Summarizing QW's notable press recognition would be better a one line bullet item if possible. I did invite additional coverage for the "about the site" based on my idea of improved coverage and visual balance & appeal. Just a little dry tonight to come up with a proposed summary.--I'clast 05:29, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I didn't intend to imply that you were deleting material now. It was just a reminder to guide us, since that has happened before. Your invitation may have been missed by me. (I unfortunately have to work and sleep sometimes....;-) Where is the invitation located? I just need the URL to the comment. -- Fyslee 10:50, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

"Mission and scope" section

A recent edit in the "Mission and scope" section needs to be looked at.

The edit summary:

  • "if the article is going to compare QW to the likes of Consumer Reports, it will have to be cited from a second-party source. Otherwise it constitutes a POV of WP editors. No?"

I have no special attachment to the present wording regarding comparing the "style" to "Consumer Reports and other general readership publications." The current wording is not a special claim or unusual or controversial POV regarding the "style" of articles written at Quackwatch. It is just a helpful description for the sake of the readers. Does that kind of thing really need a special form of documentation? I never considered that general common sense wording could be considered OR unless controversial. Does anyone doubt the current description of the "style" to be relatively true?

If that wording is really problematic, then let's hear why it is so considered, and then some proposed revisions that readers can relate to, using well-known examples. -- Fyslee 08:18, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Because with that distinction, the article is comparing QuackWatch to Consumer Reports. Who is making this comparison? An external source or is this OR made by an editor? Consumer Reports sets a high gold standard which, quite frankly, QuackWatch doesn't match up to... in my opinion of course. I realize that the intent here might just be to explain to the reader what QuackWatch is, however I think comparing it to Consumer Reports unfairly elevates QuackWatch in status, respectfully. Without a doubt, this is a POV statement and an unsourced one at that. Fyslee, imagine how you would feel about a statement such as: Chiropractic Today is a magazine not unlike National Geographic, in that it reports on matters of global scientific concerns. Outlandish! Right? Anyhow, I think we can let the reader know exactly what Quackwatch is without likening it to Consumer Reports. Sound all right? Levine2112 16:50, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Levine has raised a valid point. If the comparison can be supported by an independant and reliable source it should be included in the article in a way that reflects the content of the source. If not then I agree with Levine that it is a point of view from an editor and should not be in the article.NATTO 18:42, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree and removed the Consumer Report comparison, not because Quackwatch is poorer quality, but because it is not a testing and systematic comparison service for valid consumer products. alteripse 19:29, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

The following phare: "The website contains essays on a variety of misleading or fraudulent health-related therapies and enterprises loosely termed "quackery". " Is that NPOV, especially if we compare it to the Forbes comment "seeks to expose unproven medical treatments and possible unsafe practices ". Would "The website contains essays on a variety of health-related therapies and enterprises that are deemed misleading or fraudulent by the editors of quackwatch and loosely termed "quackery" be more NPOV. Also regarding the added comment about Weil. Previously editors removed a comment about the respectability of Weil as non relevant in the article... NATTO 19:55, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree with NATTO (!) that the phrase in question should be modified. What about something like "The website contains essays on what it deems to be misleading or fraudulent health-related therapies and enterprises, loosely termed "quackery"." ?? MastCell 20:03, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Sound good to me :-) NATTO 20:36, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
OK. alteripse 20:39, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

After a lot of edit conflicts.....boy is it busy on this freeway! :

I basically fully agree with Levine2112's comments above (16:50, 10 October 2006 (UTC))...... (Okay, now what's the catch?....;-) The catch is the assumption being made, which I suspect is a false assumption. The current wording doesn't compare QuackWatch to Consumer Reports, only the "style" and nothing more, and not just to CR, but also to the "style" of "other general readership publications." Nothing is said or implied about actual content.

Interestingly enough, a Google search for Quackwatch and Consumer Reports turns up many interesting accounts of Quackwatch, Barrett, seminars, speeches, collaborations, linking, etc.. (There is some duplication among the links.) Consumer Reports uses Barrett, including as a speaker, [9] where he explains his experiences working with Consumer Reports, and the process they use to rate products and sites, which he has learned from and also uses in some ways.

I have no idea who originally wrote that section, but it sounds pretty accurate to me. It is so general as to be uncontroversial, and therefore doesn't need any documentation. I was rather surprised that anyone would make it a controversial issue at all. It read very smoothly and encyclopedic to me. Can you find another example to use? -- Fyslee 20:46, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Excellent point, and worth putting in the article. alteripse 21:02, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Point 1: Consumer Report - The fact that Barrett was/is an invited speaker/presenter/panelist at Consumer report is certainly relevant in the article about him, more than in this one, which is about Quackwatch in general and not about Barrett in particular. ( Maybe it could be added to the existing "delivered more than 300 talks at colleges, universities, medical schools, and professional meetings " )? Regarding the comparison to Consumer Report or similar publications, of course if there is (are) specific independant source(s) that says the essays on QW are as the one on Consumer Report than it should be included in the QW article in a way that reflects the source(s).
Point 2: The proposed phrase by User:MastCell "The website contains essays on what it deems to be misleading or fraudulent health-related therapies and enterprises, loosely termed "quackery". Does Fyslee agree with that proposal ? NATTO 21:22, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
If that's what's in there now, it sounds reasonably true. -- Fyslee 22:47, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I have edited the article accordingly. NATTO 22:52, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

References (includes all references on this page)

  1. ^ Kolata, Gina (April 1, 1998). A Child's Paper Poses a Medical Challenge. New York Times
  2. ^ Siwolop, Sana (January 7, 2001). Back Pain? Arthritis? Step Right Up to the Mouse. New York Times
  3. ^ Eichenwald, Kurt and Michael Moss (February 6, 2001). Pardon for Subject of Inquiry Worries Prosecutors. New York Times
  4. ^ Associated Press (September 13, 2004). Man Once Pardoned By Clinton Again Faces Prison.
  5. ^ Another Dubious Pardon - U.S. News & World Report
  6. ^ Fessenden, Ford with Christoper Drew (March 31, 2000). Bottom Line in Mind, Doctors Sell Ephedra. New York Times
  7. ^ McKinley, James C Jr. (February 1, 2006). 'Eclectic' Hospital With a Founder Prone to Legal Problems. New York Times