BARRETT THE OBFUSCATOR - BARRETT THE EXTORTIONIST(?)...
November 14, 2001
Opinion by Tim Bolen
Stephen Barrett, a de-licensed MD, operating out of his basement in Allentown, PA, took issue with my opinion piece titled “The Last Days of The Quackbusters.”
Well, sort of...
Barrett didn’t challenge ME over the piece, he challenged, and threatened, OTHERS that circulated it. I suspect Barrett is well aware he has no legal case against me, and I don’t get intimidated by the neighborhood bully. So far, Barrett has made seven (7) EXTORTION attempts of people on the internet. He has demanded from $500 to $10,000, or in his words “I will flatten you.”
If he has done this to you, contact me immediately. I am in contact with the Allentown, Pennsylvania Police Department, and the Lehigh County (Pennsylvania) District Attorney’s office (where Barrett lives). We are gathering data at this time.
Besides the money demand, Barrett is ordering the extortion victims to put a link from their website to his. Barrett wrote what he calls a “response” and has set up a place on his website for everyone to read it. I want you to read it. I’ll tell you where to look in a minute.
To me, Barrett is the epitome of a streetcorner bully, an internet thug, who with his threats and intimidation techniques, has convinced the neighborhood that he’s invincible - or, at least, one very tough guy.
Barrett’s problem now, is that his “invincibility” is in question. Some guy named Tim Bolen (me) has, figuratively speaking, “walked up to him on his corner, in full view of the neighborhood, with a left jab, and a right cross, knocked him on his butt. The blood from his nose is getting on his shirt.”
The last thing a streetcorner bully can allow is to get “his nose bloodied in public.” For, after that, fewer, and fewer people are afraid of him. Barrett, to operate, needs to instill fear in people.
Barrett has the option to sue me in a court of law if he thinks I’ve libeled him. HE HAS NOT DONE THAT. Neither he, nor an attorney representing him, has even sent me a letter...
Instead, they send letters to other people, those they think they can intimidate, those people in the neighborhood who saw him “knocked on his butt.”
Barrett is bluffing. He knows that if he goes into the court system with me, It’ll be the end of him. Barrett is afraid of me - and rightfully so.
Rightfully so? Yes. Because I’m making people THINK about what Barrett, and company, are ACTUALLY DOING to the American public. I’m asking hard questions - questions whose time have come. Barrett, and his band of bullies, don’t want those questions asked, nor repeated.
The BIG question that I believe Barrett, and his minions fear, goes like this: “Have Americans suffered and/or died because of the “Quackbusters’” actions?”
Barrett does not want this question asked....
Ask yourself the question above. Has what Barrett, and company, done adversely affected Americans? Do the alternative treatments he, and his cronies denigrate, work? If Barrett discourages, or in some case stops, Americans from using “Alternatives” are those Americans being denied adequate health care?
The BIGGER question is this - “The alternative treatments for life threatening diseases, like cancer, have good success rates - therefore, is Barrett and company, by disparaging those treatments, causing the unnecessary deaths of Americans?
But the BIGGEST question is “If the answer to the questions above is YES - now what do we do?
Janet Reno, where are you?
Personally, I’m not competent to offer an opinion, or make a decision about whether Barrett, and company, are doing something illegal - but Janet Reno is. It is my job (and yours), as an American, to bring to the attention of competent authority (like Reno) what I (we?), as a reasonable man, view as a significant problem.
BARRETT THE OBFUSCATOR...
Four important points to consider when reading Barrett’s so-called “response”...
(1) In Barrett’s communications with those he threatens, he uses his title as “Board Chairman of Quackwatch.com, Inc. - not himself “Stephen Barrett,” an individual. Since my opinions were about “Stephen Barrett,” not about Quackwatch, why would he use that method?
Barrett used this non-profit vehicle to call me a liar.
I suspect he used that method to limit his personal liability should he be sued by me. Quackwatch.com is a non-profit corporation, which I suspect, has little or no assets for me to take upon winning in court (which I would). Barrett, writing, allegedly on behalf of Quackwatch.com, Inc is then writing as their agent, not as an individual. I suspect also, that Quackwatch has an insurance policy which would defend it in case of a lawsuit - at no personal cost to Stephen Barrett.
Barrett never claims, in his communications, or his “response,” that “Quackwatch.com” was harmed - only, he suggests, that he, “Stephen Barrett, the individual,” was somehow harmed.
I’m not going to sue an entity that has no assets.
(2) Barrett’s so-called “The facts” section disputes VERY LITTLE of the overall opinion piece. Consequently, since this is the sum total of Barrett’s “response” it must be assumed that Barrett admits to the validity of, and AGREES with my opinion in all other parts of the article.
(3) Barrett continues to make references to health humanitarian, and scientist, Hulda Clark - even though she wasn’t mentioned in the opinion piece - and no part of the article referred to, or was about her. Apparently, Barrett can’t resist bashing Dr. Clark every chance he gets. Barrett wants to be addressed as Dr. but he can’t allow Dr. Clark that title, even though she has earned a PhD in Cellular Physiology and is entitled to be called “Dr.”
(4) MOST IMPORTANT - Barrett LIED in his “response” about a very important point. He says he never heard of Salvatore D’Onofrio (the innocent man who was arrested as a sex criminal for using ozone therapy.) I have copies of the police reports available which prominently implicate Stephen Barrett MD in the police actions, and I have a summary of the “telephone interview of Stephen Barrett MD” by the police investigator.
Now, take your anti-nausea pill, and READ THE “RESPONSE” at www.quackwatch.com/s/a.html. Then come back here for REALITY.
Barrett says “A conspiracy is an agreement to perform an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act. None of the people who are fighting quackery are acting illegally...”
Bolen says “let’s assume Barrett’s definition of ‘conspiracy’ is a good one. I’m not qualified to give an opinion on whether something Barrett does is ‘illegal,’ I’ll leave that up to a Federal prosecutor to evaluate.
But I am qualified to give an opinion on whether something is ‘wrongful’ or ‘subversive.’ The dictionary defines ‘wrongful’ as ‘full of or characterized by wrong; unjust or unfair,’ ‘Wrong’ is defined as ‘not in accordance with what is morally right or good, not correct in action, judgment, opinion, method, etc.’ ‘Subversive’ is the adjective form of the word subvert. ‘Subvert’ is defined as ‘to overthrow something (established or existing), to cause the downfall ruin, or destruction of, to undermine the principles of; corrupt.’ In my opinion Barrett, and his Quackbusters, are engaging in a conspiracy to perform wrongful and subversive acts against “Alternative Medicine.”
Barrett says” Our consumer-protection activities are done as a public service and not for personal gain."
Bolen says “That’s crap. As soon as Barrett sues me I’ll get his financial records in discovery, and I’ll publish the details. In fact I intend to write a book about his activities from 1969 to the present. In the meantime, considering what I already know, I’ll stand by my statement - ‘In my opinion - the conspirators are acting in the interests of, and are being paid, directly and indirectly, by...’”
Barrett goes into a long, garbled, boring (yawn) explanation of the Chiropractors vs the AMA.
Bolen says “After reading all of Barrett’s drivel - you can see (if you don’t fall asleep in the middle) that what I said up front was a clear concise statement that was pretty much what Stevie took 500(?) words to say. I said ‘The Federal Judge ordered the AMA’s covert operation shut down - and leave the Chiropractors alone.’"
There was an error - my earlier opinion piece text should have read ‘lost the court battle to the Chiropractors in Federal court IN A CASE FILED in 1976.
Barrett says “I don’t have the AMA files...”
Bolen says “Barrett bragged to too many people about where he got his files...”
Barrett says “ This passage suggests that I made a false police report, which would be a criminal offense. I never heard of Salvatore D’Onofrio...”
Bolen says “Gotcha Stevie. Got Barrett’s name on the police reports. Got a copy of an investigator’s summary of a telephone interview with Barrett.
Caught Barrett red-handed in a very BIG LIE - right here, right now.
Barrett says “ Since I graduated from an accredited medical school, blah, blah, blah.”
Bolen says “Simply speaking, Stephen Barrett is not licensed to practice medicine anywhere in the United States, and has not been since 1993. MDs, in order to keep their licenses, have to maintain certain minimum requirements - like Continuing Medical Education. Also, a governing body keeps a licensed MD accountable for the MD’s actions, using the title of “MD.” Barrett has lost the ability to “practice” as an MD. He cannot diagnose, treat, prescribe, etc., etc., etc. That “license” makes a big, big, big, big, difference...
Furthermore, Barrett holds himself out as an expert in things “Alternative” with his criticisms, without pre-qualifying himself to his readers. He doesn’t start out to say, when he writes some article on “Alternative Medicine, “I’m no longer licensed to practice medicine, and I haven’t had ANY training in this field I’m about to write about, but...”
Barrett lets the “Stephen Barrett M.D,” logo, and the bio that describes him as a “retired Psychiatrist,” do his work for him to SOUND AUTHORITATIVE on any subject. In fact, last year Barrett was dis-qualified as an “expert witness” in a case in New York when it was discovered that although he claims to have “been a Psychiatrist for 35 years” he NEVER passed the requirements to be admitted to the Board of Psychiatry, and hence was never “Board Certified.” Hmmm?....
MDs do not rate automatic “expert” status just because they are MDs. There are official steps that must be taken (like Board Certification) to be acknowledged as an expert. As far as I know, Stephen Barrett has NO educational training in any medical specialty that might be remotely labeled “Alternative Medicine” - therefore, I do not believe he is qualified to advise, criticize, or comment on it.
NEXT STEP? I’m glad that Barrett pointed out to us that the Federal Judge, in one of the Chiropractic cases, is still alive. I’ll take good information from any source. Anybody know where I can find the plaintiffs in that old case? Maybe they’d like to share in some of the information I’m gathering about Barrett, and company’s, activities.
You know the old saying - “Tell it to the Judge.”