Town Built Around No WiFi/Radio Waves Rules Is Right Next To NSA Snoop Center

from the i,-uh,-wait,-what? dept

In the realm of conspiracy theories, I suppose the baseless claims that WiFi signals can make people ill doesn’t really rank up there with chem-trails, Kennedy assassinations, and that one time former President Bush personally remote controlled alien inviso-missiles into the twin towers and the Pentagon before shooting down another plane over Pennsylvania. Still, the press likes to eat this stuff up, because what harm could come from scaring the hell out of everyone without doing a little fact-checking?

The result can be equal parts sad and hilarious. Take Green Bank, West Virginia, for example. Green Bank is a town of 147 residents that’s experiencing a relative population boom simply because it’s in an area where WiFi, radio signals and the like are not allowed.

At least 36 people moved to live in Green Bank last year, claiming that they suffer from a condition known as “Electromagnetic Sensitivity”, where symptoms include acute headaches, heart palpitations, tinnitus, eye problems and feeling the sensation of burning skin. Green Bank has only 147 residents and sits within the National Radio Quiet Zone, a large area of land measuring 34,000 square kilometres that restricts radio signal transmissions in order to protect radio telescopes, antennas and receivers belonging to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Sugar Grove US Naval Radio Station.

If you’re sure you’ve heard of Sugar Grove before, it’s probably not because the alien overlords are beaming those thoughts into your noggin through your wireless router. Instead, Sugar Grove is one of the prime hubs in which the NSA monitors communications of foreigners, domestics, and all those pets of ours that have somehow set up their own Facebook accounts. The delicious irony in a town growing because people don’t like electronic signals as it sits directly next to a government facility gathering all those signals would be pure fun if some of the personal stories of the residents weren’t so sad.

“It began with a constant ringing in my ears. I couldn’t sleep in the house anymore and felt sick all the time. Any food I brought into the house would make me feel ill. I got heart palpitations. It was like I was slowly being poisoned,” Deborah Cooney, a former bank vice president from San Diego told the Daily Mail.

Cooney, 50, claims that her symptoms began in 2011 after hundreds of Wi-Fi enabled smart meters were installed near her home, and that the Wi-Fi even affected her purebred Himalayan cat Mimi.

“Mimi went from being a typical house cat to one that would never stay home and eventually she ran away and never came back,” she said.

So we have a former VP at a bank, ostensibly a successful woman who was otherwise happy with her surroundings, moving to a completely different small town due to the unsubstantiated fear of the same WiFi signals that don’t seem to have any effect on the general population. That’s what you get when you have a press that refuses to take a critical look at these claims. Even this article gives too much credence to an organization with a clear conflict of interests.

Powerwatch, a not-for-profit, non-funded UK public information service has been studying the research done on how electromagnetic fields affect health for 20 years. The organisation feels that the evidence points to Electromagnetic Sensitivity likely being a real condition that is in some ways similar to Photosensitive Epilepsy, where some types of light can cause a person to have an epileptic seizure.

“I see no reason why it’s not possible. I’ve seen lots of peer-review published work that is good enough to say ‘Yes, we’ve found something,’ but not good enough to say ‘Yes, this is conclusively real’. What we’re lacking is good research to prove it conclusively and it’s difficult to get funding for the research,” Powerwatch technical manager Graham Lanburn told IBTimes UK.

Missing in that section of the article is the minor note that Powerwatch profits from the fear they push on people — and has been hyping up bogus claims of WiFi sickness in the UK for years. They aren’t a study group, they sell “tools” to “help” ward off the “effects” of WiFi signals, your cell phones, and ELF waves. Here’s a little tip for all you web surfers out there: the moment a home page for a lobbying group boldly features an entire section tab on “industry bias,” you should probably run far, far away. Besides that, that quote from Mr. Lanburn should be carved into stone so that future generations can have a wonderful example of a non-scientific statement. Claiming to have lots of peer-reviewed work to back your claim to the point of it being conclusive, while both never bothering to cite the studies and subsequently admitting you don’t have any research to prove it conclusively is one of the grandest exhibitions of bullshit I’ve seen this side of a politician. At the same time, actual studies have shown that that WiFi doesn’t make people sick. Considering that Powerwatch has been called out before for these kinds of claims, it’s kind of amazing that anyone still takes its claims at face value.

Meanwhile, duped people with wayward felines are flocking to Green Bank, passing an NSA snoop station on their way — which likely has way more powerful radio waves emanating from its caverns — all because these people want to pretend to do science. That’s both funny and sad, though I think the latter takes precedence.

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Comments on “Town Built Around No WiFi/Radio Waves Rules Is Right Next To NSA Snoop Center”

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David says:


The point of an NSA snoop station is receiving, not sending. In their own interests, they will keep RF emissions low.

So there is not much of a point to the article’s basic premise. One could try harping on the power lines for the snoop center (depending on where they are situated), but that’s not really a thing the “electrosensitivity” hype focuses on even though there are significant differences in cancer occurence close to power lines.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Frankly:

“there are significant differences in cancer occurence close to power lines.”

But there aren’t. Some studies have shown a slight increase in certain types of cancer in populations living or working near power lines, but nothing that could come anywhere near being called “significant”. Most studies show no statistically meaningful correlation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Look-elsewhere effect

As xkcd shows, if you have many studies, the probability that one of them will come up as “positive” solely due to random chance increases.

From the Wikipedia article:

“A Swedish study in 1992 tried to determine whether or not power lines caused some kind of poor health effects. The researchers surveyed everyone living within 300 meters of high-voltage power lines over a 25-year period and looked for statistically significant increases in rates of over 800 ailments. The study found that the incidence of childhood leukemia was four times higher among those that lived closest to the power lines, and it spurred calls to action by the Swedish government. The problem with the conclusion, however, was that they failed to compensate for the look-elsewhere effect; in any collection of 800 random samples, it is likely that at least one will be at least 3 standard deviations above the expected value, by chance alone. Subsequent studies failed to show any links between power lines and childhood leukemia, neither in causation nor even in correlation.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Frankly:

Because the studies are done by the electric companies , or by groups paid by the companies . the best way to control info is own both sides. like mining companies funding the environmental groups(secretively). The truth is we’ll never know the truth and unless you have all the answers (which know one does),it’s kind of idiotic to make assumptions. I hope these people live happy lives, who am i to judge.

Fushta (profile) says:

Re: Frankly:

you said, “the point of an NSA snoop station is receiving, not sending.”

Does the information they receive stay there? They don’t send that information to other NSA offices for study; other governments for swappy info?

I think they both receive, and send data. Given the gigantic satellite dishes in Green Bank, something is going on there.

Rabbit80 says:

Electromagnetic interference can certainly affect plants and suchlike – I remember as a kid noticing crops under high voltage lines being stunted in growth. Since radio waves / wifi etc are just electromagnetic energy I can believe that they can also have an effect on human health. How much of an effect, I don’t know.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I remember as a kid noticing crops under high voltage lines being stunted in growth.

or it could be that the farmers AVOIDED bringing too often crop weed dusters/fertilizers or other large mechanized farming tools under the high voltage lines.

Reasons could be many:
a) drivers of such farming vehicles were afraid of the electomagnetic energy – thus avoiding the area – and thus the crops remaining un-treated and their growth stunted

b) farm vehicle drivers avoid the areas under the power lines when there are crops there, in case a power cable happened to fall on the grown and is still powered on

c) some farm vehicle drivers hurry to get out from under the power lines -> the crops in that area receive less anti-fungal care or fertilizer treatment

d) and so on…

all of these can lead to stunted growth in crops -> self-fulfilling myth/prophecy?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The effect you describe does happen, but not for the reason you think. The issue is this: high voltage power lines that run across farms are only the visible indication of what is called a “utility corridor”. In many areas, this corridor is used for much more than just the power lines — buried under those lines are other utilities such as large water pipes, sewage pipes, etc., leading to and from population concentrations.

When you bury things like that, the soil is compacted and is less fertile as a result. Crops grown on that soil (which can’t be deeply tilled for obvious reasons) will be smaller and thrive less. This is what is causing what you see. If those power lines were disabled or removed, it wouldn’t affect the crops underneath one bit.

You can see supporting evidence for yourself — not every utility corridor has stuff buried underneath the power lines, and if you look around you’ll see many instance of the same kind of lines with perfectly normal crops growing underneath them.

Correlation is not proof of causation.

MM_Dandy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Or the effect just isn’t there to begin with – I can’t say as I’ve noticed any difference between crops growing under power lines and those that don’t, and I pass fields under high-energy power lines on my work transit. Besides my observations, high energy power lines usually have tens of feet of clearance, and the lower energy lines (ie. the ones that service homes and such) run in the right-of-ways of public roads, either outside of or within the first couple of feet on the edge of a given field. Which makes sense, of course, because having easy access to the lines makes it much easier to work on them.

I’ve seen different variations of how crops are planted under low energy lines. Sometimes, the farmer decides it isn’t worth going around each of the poles, and just doesn’t plant those few feet. This is especially the case where the edge is relatively short. On longer fields, the farmer may decide not to let that space go to waste.

I can only think of one or two places where those low power line actually cross over a field – I know in at least one of those cases, the farmer attempts to plant every inch of his fields he possibly can, so I’m pretty sure he plants under those lines, but I can’t recall if I’ve ever noticed any difference in plant size.

High energy line pylons take up considerably more area, and run across property in any direction. Farmers almost always opt to plant under the lines and go around the pylons.

But, maybe I just haven’t paid enough attention. I’ll pay closer attention this summer, and see if I can see whatever differences there are.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Since radio waves / wifi etc are just electromagnetic energy I can believe that they can also have an effect on human health. How much of an effect, I don’t know.”

But researchers do. This has been studied intensively since at least the ’70s. The answer is: no, or almost no health effects.

Electromagnetic energy can certainly affect living things, including humans. Many animals (even your dog) can, for instance, tell which way is north by sensing the electromagnetic field of the Earth.

However, to get adverse effects, you have to have an insane amount of EM energy. Way more than could ever be produced by radio towers, power lines, etc. And you have to be really close to the source — remember that EM energy decreases at a rate of the square of the distance from the source.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:

remember that EM energy decreases at a rate of the square of the distance from the source.

But the source are power lines rather that points, so electric and magnetic fields around a single line only decrease inversely proportional to the distance.

But we are not talking single lines here, but rather matched lines with net voltage/current being close to zero (at least with AC, no idea about DC transmission). And multipole fields decrease a lot faster over distance because of cancellation.

btrussell (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I am not making a case for either side, but would like to point out:

Some people are allergic to nuts. I’m not.

Some people are allergic to poison ivy. I’m not.

At 14 years of age, I was not allergic to bees. After turning 30, I was/am. I now no longer go to the hospital when stung. I do not carry an epipen. The effects seem to be getting less and less every time. My understanding is it is supposed to get worse.

My point is, different strokes for different folks.

JBDragon says:

Re: Re:

The Wifi signal is very weak! It would have zero effect on anyone. Your FM/AM Radio signals are stronger. Hell you have XM/Sirius Satellite Radio Beaming down signals into the entire country. There’s no place to escape that. Really high voltage power lines right over the top of something 24 hours a day is a trillion times different. Even then with tests done on people, there’s been nothing.

It’s all in the persons head. As in they are crazy! It’s not Wifi. So I guess these people move to this place and don’t on a single TV because that would put out more electrical Radiation then Wifi. Hell, they shouldn’t own a phone either. Hell shouldn’t have any power in the house period as that would be much worse then Wifi. So I guess they’re building Log Cabins and manually pumping their own water because no electricity. No TV, No phone, no nothing. Down to basics, because anything else, it’s in their head!!!

Of course they’re still not getting away from Satellite Radio. No different from Wifi. GPS is another. Lots of things beamed down from the sky you can’t hide from except in a lead lined cave.

Cosmic Surfer (profile) says:


I guess the idea that a very common ailment (especially for those born into the rock concert giant Marshall amp generation) called Tinnitus can’t possibly be the answer. Nah – that would mean accepting responsibility for noise pollution created by loud engines, congested cities, airports and aforementioned concerts (louder than loud stereo systems in small closed vehicles, spiked volumes with headphones and a plethora of brain-rattling, inner ear destroying hi decibel invaders). “Paranoia strikes deep” isn’t just a song lyric…And in the good ol Feudal States of America…Cashing in on paranoia is what we do best

weneedhelp - not signed in says:

Re: Tinnitus

I was a stagehand for 8 years & I did front line security. I have Tinnitus. I am the only one out of 30 ppl that I worked with that has it. They all spent more time around it as most of them are still in the business. One would think that if it was caused by volume alone there would be a plethora of metal bands, stagehands and construction workers coming down with it.

Its onset was long after I left that industry and please excuse the gruesome details but it happened after taking a strenuous bowel movement and walking downstairs. The hum started and never went away. Its around the 16k frequency.

Ninja (profile) says:

Given it is a zone that can’t have such radio emissions I’m inclined to think that NSA snoop-hub will actually just gather what’s collected elsewhere via fibers thus generating no radio waves. In fact it might be intentional as if they detect waves that aren’t supposed to be there they can be sure there’s something going on and possibly pinpoint the source.

The choice NSA made may actually be much clever than we first thought…

aldestrawk says:

Re: Re:

I am not sure the NSA actually needs that site. It may be just convenient as there are already facilities there now. The original rationale for using the radio-quiet area is to avoid radio interference in detecting weak signals reflected off the moon (USSR, cold war, etc…). The original concept of a 600 ft. radio dish antenna was never completed. I will hazard a guess that it was replaced by the utilization of Diego Garcia which, via atmospheric properties and positioning on the globe, allowed for monitoring of Russian radio signals. So, Sugar Grove’s main purpose for the NSA has been as a COMSAT receiving station. These are our own satellites so weak signal detection is not an issue. I don’t think that the fact this NSA facility is in a quiet area is going to help them detect nefarious groups who are trying to snoop on the NSA. Most such radio frequency snooping is passive. Better solutions are encryption and physical protections like the false facade of the Puzzle Palace.

Keroberos (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Plus all the other sources of EM radiation we come into contact with in our day to day lives–like everything that uses or transmits electricity and the radio waves from aircraft, air traffic control stations, weather stations, TV and radio stations, and satellites. Also, that giant ball of fusing hydrogen that our planet orbits around has been found to emit EM radiation like all the freaking time.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Incidentally our own liquid nucleus generate fields that happen to filter those deadly solar EMR bursts. But I digress. If they get TV signals they are exposed to EM radiation already so.. While I do believe there are those sensitive to radiation I also think they are kind of doomed nowadays unless they live secluded, hermit lives several hundred kilometers away from anything resembling modern civilization.

JBDragon says:

Re: Re:

They are living in Log houses with zero power right? That Electricity moving around your house is 1000 times stronger then Wifi. Satellite Radio Beaming signals down, GPS, etc. What a joke.

I’d bet you if anyone did a blind test and put a Wifi Router right behind the person and then tell the person when it was on/off, the person would FAIL!!! If you can FEEL it, this should be a simple test to get right. Point blank range!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

I think the bigger question that everyone is missing is this:
If this phenomenon is real, should we be allowing these people to continue to breed?
A sensitivity such as that which they claim to have would be passed down to their offspring.
In an ever-increasing wireless world, things are only going to get worse and we can’t have a bunch of signal-sensitive people stopping the flow of progress.

mcinsand (profile) says:

Re: self-limiting, I think

For people that believe that wifi can create these symptoms, breeding should be self-limiting, especially given the frequencies and power involved. These people will no doubt have significantly more trouble finding the correct orifice for reproduction than members of the average population. And, just to make this even more insulting to that group, I’m including the US voting public in the average.

Wally (profile) says:

About Greenbank

Greenbank, West Virginia is a hub for astronomy…It has a network of radio telescopes working in unison.

That being said…while WiFi cannot make people seriously ill, the idea radio signals screwing with our brains is not all that uncommon and does have a more scientific base in psychology than one thinks. It cannot cause damage, but one cannot forget about how humans used to find where north is pointed.

Mind you I do find it a bit ironic that a certain conspiracy group is encouraging people to move to a radio free zone that happens to be the home of an NSA listening post…I just cannot totally discount the psychological results of living and growing up in a radio free zone. This means people aren’t totally focused on the demands of being on social media and get on with their lives.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: About Greenbank

” the idea radio signals screwing with our brains is not all that uncommon and does have a more scientific base in psychology than one thinks”

EM radiation, properly modulated, absolutely can induce psychological effects including full-blown hallucinations. However the power levels required are such that you won’t find them outside of the lab or very physically close to certain specialized installations (some military radar, for example).

There is no actual evidence that the EM radiation levels found in everyday life — even if you live near a TV/radio/cell tower — has any effect. There are a handful of studies that show a minor effect, but they a a small percentage. Most studies find nothing statistically significant.

David says:

Re: Re: About Greenbank

Actually, if you don’t switch your mobile off, probably even keep it near your bed, chances are that you’ll sleep better with a cellphone tower in reasonable vicinity.

Because then the intermediate bursts with which your cellphone contacts the next tower will use less power.

WiFi is peanuts against cellphones.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: It's time to make money!

“a rock that could transform WiFi signal into a ”Natural signal””

Could be something to that. Rocks have been around a long time contributing to the magnetic field of the whole planet – have you EVER seen a rock get sick and die?

Maybe the protective effect of being close to a Natural Magnetic Field Rock ™ would cancel out the wifi, leading to alleviation of symptoms of suffering humans and the return of wandering cats.

Anonymous Coward says:

While i agree there is no proof, i don’t summarily dismiss the concept that EMFs are completely harmless, but harm has to be proven, i know many people who are so susceptible to the placebo effect that i can claim to have a cold and they will have one tomorrow because they were in my presence even though i didn’t have anything and just said i did.
On the flip side i’ve seen many legitimate warnings to avoid electric heating pads because the EMFs they put out are bad for you, i assume that means they are a very high level, but if they are harmful then low levels may have some effect.
A few simple precautions are reasonable, but these people who claim they are being harmed should consent to be tested in controlled condition, in a double blind manner, then it can be determined if they are just placebo affected or they would be proving there can be actual effects.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“i’ve seen many legitimate warnings to avoid electric heating pads because the EMFs they put out are bad for you, i assume that means they are a very high level”

No legitimate researcher will ever say that EM radiation is “completely harmless”. I don’t say any such thing either. What they will say is what the evidence supports — that any effect observed so far ranges from statistically meaningless to extremely minor.

“i’ve seen many legitimate warnings to avoid electric heating pads because the EMFs”

Why do you say they’re “legitimate warnings”? Who issued them? Based on what?

I’ve seen plenty of legitimate warnings about heating pads and such, but not because of EM radiation — but rather because of the possibility of burns or electrical faults.

I’ve also seen people warning about EM radiation from such things, but they’re the very same people who warn about all the other EM sources and based on the same, nearly nonexistent, evidence.

“these people who claim they are being harmed should consent to be tested in controlled condition, in a double blind manner, then it can be determined if they are just placebo affected or they would be proving there can be actual effects.”

Well, the study as you propose here wouldn’t work as the claimed harm has already occurred. What you want is to study healthy people and see if they suffer ill effects at a rate greater than healthy people who aren’t exposed to EM sources.

Lots of such studies have, in fact, been done (and are continuing) both with animals and assays of human populations (looking for things like clusters of illness close to large EM sources.) So far, nothing much has been found.

Anonymous Coward says:

This looks like an attack on a “company” (or w/e you want to call it) rather than a real serious critic.

You blame them for people for not doing their own research and blindly moving somewhere. Those people deserved it. It’s called common sense.

And you know… since plants die (or fail to grow) next to wifi, we’re sure all the studies are BS and this is obviously a conspiracy.

And finally, we all know the scientific value of “don’t seem to have any effect on the general population”. That’s really scientific right there.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“since plants die (or fail to grow) next to wifi”

This is simply, plainly, and provably false. In my own home, I have a more-powerful-than-normal WiFi rig that is hidden by houseplants. The rig wasn’t always behind the plants, and their growth didn’t change, for better or worse, once it was placed next to them.

If you don’t believe me, you can easily do the experiment for yourself.

JBDragon says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You just proved the point. Wifi is WEAK compared to pretty much anything and everything else around you!!! Has zero effect on a person. AM/FM is stronger and has been around for a hundred whatever years. You’re getting beamed on by cell signals that are stronger. Satellite Radio, GPS. Wifi is down on the bottom. This is all in the persons head.

Anonymous Coward says:

Why would you think that it might not be real? Is energy. And unlike solar neutrinos, we can’t say that we evolved with that energy in our environment. The rate of cancer is otherwise the highest that it’s ever been. We can blame increased solar activity, processed foods, exposure to new and noxious chemicals, and/or increased energy in our immediate environment, among other items. And what’s wrong the claim of some industry bias, I mean, we all know how much Big Tobacco let us know re the link between their products and cancer, right? So I take it as given that the producers of all these new energy waves aren’t exactly inclined to determine whether the same is going to kill us all, or mutate our children, via some DNA damage early on.

fred_jb says:

There may be no evidence of serious illness caused by Wi-Fi, but I am fairly convinced that it can have subtle effects on the brain.

The reason I say this is that over a period of time I have found that I have more vivid, bizarre, and memorable dreams when I sleep with the Wi-Fi router in my house turned on. I used to turn my Wi-Fi router off at night, but would occasionally forget, and it got to the point where I would know immediately on waking up when this had happened. I now have it on a mains timer to switch off overnight.

I have also heard anecdotal evidence of other people experiencing similar effects. As an example, my elderly in-laws moved house to be nearer to us, and soon afterwards started to complain of disturbed sleep and nightmare like dreams.

I realised that in their old house their router was in their study where everything was switched off at night. In the new house the router was located in the living room behind the TV and Hi-Fi, and was not being switched off at night. I put the router on a time switch to switch it off overnight, and they stopped having the problem.

Maybe this would make a good research project for someone. I understand from reading about sleep research that dreaming episodes during sleep can be detected. If intensity and duration of dreaming can be recorded with and without Wi-Fi, it might be possible to confirm this effect.

The Real NSA says:

Re: Re:

“The reason I say this is that over a period of time I have found that I have more vivid, bizarre, and memorable dreams when I sleep with the Wi-Fi router in my house turned on.”

Sorry, that was Jim, he’s a bit of a dick.

Actually the best way to counteract this is to leave all of your computers on as well, oh yeah and change any passwords to password. You’ll get the best night sleep ever.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Perhaps it’s haunted by a ghost who dislikes WiFi?

Now that I think of it, can ghosts see microwaves (WiFi is in the microwave frequency range) like we see normal light? If they do, an idle WiFi access point would appear as a very weak light blinking at around 10Hz. That could be fairly annoying, depending on how that specific ghost feels about constantly blinking lights.

Jared The Geek says:


I guess they never used cell phones, microwaves or lived where there are radio and TV transmissions because all of those signals penetrate the body much more freely. I had to go through this at work with someone and she said she had issues with wifi exposure. Did I mention she was a heavy cell phone user, had a cordless phone on her desk and stood in front of the microwave warming her coffee?

Anything is possible, I am sure there are actually people that are sensitive to it. Crazier things exist. They have done blind studies and no one has been able to tell the difference from a box with LED lights labeled wifi and an actual wifi signal.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Timmah... are you confusing chem-trails with cloud seeding

Research into cloud seeding began in the ’40s. The first commercial cloud-seeding operations began in the ’50s.

“Are you saying we know the long lasting effects of dumping silver iodide into the sky”

I’m saying that we’ve been doing it for over fifty years, and in that time there have been numerous studies into its effects, both atmospheric and biological. Certainly there could be some problem with it that hasn’t been detected, but half a century of use and study isn’t exactly nothing.

PRMan (profile) says:

I know everyone wants to call these people idiots...

But a list of all the things that scientists “proved” were perfectly OK in the past include:

* Mercury (ingested for medicinal purposes even)
* Radioactive materials (drink that plutonium, it’s good for your body)
* Tobacco (isn’t addictive and doesn’t hurt your lungs…at all)
* Formula instead of breast milk (sorry, it’s actually missing tons of enzymes that prevent allergies and illnesses later in life)
* Soybean oil (absolutely can’t cause allergic reactions…unless it’s pressed…which it always is)
* Nutrasweet (I’m told that it absolutely doesn’t give me migraines, it couldn’t possibly)

It’s no wonder that people don’t believe scientists who are absolutely dogmatic about their opinions only to be found wrong a decade later.

Mohinder Suresh (profile) says:

What an astonishing collection of jackasses

It’s difficult not to be contemptuous of the author and pretty much all the commenters.

1. The people who have moved there didn’t ask to be written about. They’re not a lobby advocating sweeping changes in laws. They’ve experienced health problems; they self-diagnosed; they took a course of action that seemed wise; they’re happy.

A journalist decided they were kooks who could be used to fuel an easy story. So WTF is up the ass of the author or any of you?

2. There’s an astonishing amount of historical ignorance on display. If you read the history of pretty much anything that has been found dangerous and banned, you will discover that there were legions of studies showing that they were perfectly safe. Review the periodicals of the era, and you will find John Fendersons bellowing about the science.

You might want to google the name “John Ioaniddis” and learn a few things about the state of research as we know it.

3. The level of categorical statement here is laughable. While I don’t make any brief on behalf of the people who think power lines emit dangerous levels of radiation, what qualifications do any of you have to say that there’s no possibility that anyone could be affected to any degree?

You know this how?

Having had two partners who were systematically misdiagnosed– told that they could not be having the medical complaints they were expressing– I take a dim view of that sort of sweeping denial. My ex-wife had a problem that hit about one in 60,000 people; an ex turned out to have a 1 in 10,000 issue.

This does not mean that you put the policy recommendations of every Christine Maggliore or Jenny McCarthy into law– or that you endorse the woo of every John Harvey Kellogg.

It does, however, mean that you remember that the history of science– especially medicine– is the process of discovering that what we believed we knew was wrong. And that it is most appropriate to react to a theory based on its probable negative impact on people.

Whacky as he was, Kellogg’s ideas weren’t fatal. Max Gerson, who claimed his diet could cure cancer, on the other hand, was.

At the point where we consider passing laws to ban all devices that emit radiation, it’s appropriate for you all to get your panties into this twist. Short of that, you might want to STFU and be glad that you don’t have health conditions that involve chronic pain.

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