Conspiracy Theorist And Alternative Medicine Salesman Threatens To Sue Writer For Publishing True Statements About Him

from the high-on-his-own-supply,-apparently dept

When you start claiming you've been defamed and sic your legal team on allegedly offending writers, you'd better make sure you haven't built up a body of work that reinforces the statements you're now asserting are bogus.

Keith Kloor, writer for Discover Magazine's Collide-A-Scape blog has the details. And there are a ton of details.

[I]f you are someone who still wants to punish a journalist for something he or she has written, you don’t actually have to sue. You just have to rattle a few sabers and threaten legal action…
Which is what Mike Adams, founder and operator of the Natural News website did when Forbes published a critical piece by Jon Entine of the Genetic Literacy Project.
For his piece, Entine drew almost entirely on Adams' own writings, the public records of his various companies, and what scientists and other science bloggers had to say about him.

Adams did not appreciate the piece, which characterized him as "anti-science" and focused on his crusade against GMOs and how that commingled with his various conspiracy theories. He immediately went after Forbes and Entine.
Forbes published the piece on April 3rd. The following day, Adams sent a long email to Forbes expressing his disappointment at being portrayed accurately in such a negative light. He also casually mentioned he and his legal team would be "aggressively pursuing" legal action against Forbes and Entine.

The following day, he sent a similar email to Entine, only with added passive-aggressive wording -- apparently to give it a more personable tone. Threats of legal action that would drain Entine's financial resources were followed up with invitations to meet "privately," where the two would be able to find some sort of common ground.

When these failed to get the retractions Adams sought, his lawyers sent letters to Forbes and Entine demanding immediate action. The one sent to Forbes contained this wishlist:
We are now writing to request that Forbes 1) publish formal notice of retraction, explaining that the article lacked substantiation and contained false content, and 2) prohibit henceforth Jon Entine from serving as a contributing writer to Forbes, and reference this ban in the retraction.
The one sent to Entine contained a much more extensive list of demands:
We are writing to warn you of impending legal action we will take against you should you not abide by our following demands:

1) Immediately retract all content relating to Mike Adams and/or from all websites you exert control and/or influence over, including;
2) Agree to cease from publishing any further information relating to Mike Adams or;
3) Issue a public apology for publishing defamatory information relating to Mike Adams and;
4) Compensate Mike Adams in the amount of $3,000.00 for legal fees incurred.
It also enumerated everything Adams found objectionable about Entine's article. Unfortunately for Adams, everything stated by Entine could be backed up by several sources. Entine composed a 29-page response "backgrounder" and sent a copy of it to Forbes legal reps.

The biggest problem Mike Adams has is... Mike Adams. If Adams feels no one has any cause to question his credentials, methods and business tactics, he's going to be pursuing a long list of people and entities.

Meanwhile, Adams has spoken to Keith Kloor at Discover about the legal activity. His letter needs to be read to be believed, but to sum it up succinctly, his argument appears to be "I'm a credible scientist! Look at my lab coat! And lab!" (You can actually look at all of this stuff via a video produced by Adams that carries the awesome tagline of "No green screen required!")
What I find especially fascinating about the attacks on me by Entine and others is that after I was accused of being "anti-science" a couple of years ago, I took it upon myself to become well-versed in a particular branch of scientific study. I read academic textbooks, hired high-level analytical chemists and built a university-level laboratory where I'm personally running the ICP-MS instrumentation. This food contamination research has already achieved some extraordinary results in the interests of the public good and environmental protection as well. Scientific papers stemming from this research are in process right now and I hope to have some published this year.
Whether or not you believe a person can be qualified to run a "university-level" lab after a "couple of years" of reading textbooks is made completely immaterial by the large body of work Adams has "contributed" to the scientific field over the past several years.

Here's an entire section on chemtrails. Here's Adams claiming high doses of Vitamin C will "eliminate cancerous tumors" (something his lawyers deny he ever said). Here's Adams claiming the Aurora theater shooting was a false flag operation. Adams attacks "AIDS myths." Adams on President Obama's birth certificate (stored at as original post has been removed by Adams.) Another one of his removed posts combines both Sandy Hook and the 9/11 attacks into a big ball of conspiracy. If you need any additional convincing of Adams' lack of scientific credentials, there's always his appearance on Dr. Mehmet Oz's TV show.

When Entine calls Natural News "the most anti-science site on the web" (something Adams' lawyers are trying to get Entine to retract and apologize for), all he really has to do is point to Natural News itself as evidence to back up his claim -- but Entine provides several links to other scientists arriving at the same conclusion.

It doesn't appear that Forbes or Entine are just going to roll over for Adams. He may have claimed that he has the financial resources to outlast either of them in court, but it's highly unlikely the legal battle would last long enough to present a threat to anyone's bank account. The statements made by Entine are backed up with a ton of facts, most of them handily provided by Adams himself.

There's no lawsuit yet, but this one would appear to be a perfect SLAPP candidate, if filed in a state where such a law exists. (There's no telling where it might be filed, since Natural News' business address is an abandoned building in Tucson, Arizona, and his multiple sites are run through a Taiwan registry.) Adams may have thought he'd get an easy win with a little bluster and a lowball ($3,000) damage request, but that rationale appears to be about as solid as the "science" he pushes.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 28 May 2014 @ 12:35pm

    'It is better to be thought a wackjob, than to make empty legal threats, drawing attention to yourself and your claims, and remove all doubt.'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    CK20XX (profile), 28 May 2014 @ 12:40pm

    Anyone ever wonder how shallow and vindictive quacks like Mike Adams sabotage ideas that might actually have some merit to them? I mean, Hippocrates was probably on to something when he said, "Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food", but after seeing Mike Adams rant and rave, that idea seems as dead as the Batman movies were after Batman & Robin.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2014 @ 12:43pm


    I hope Ken White picks this one up. I'm sure he'd have a blast with it. If we are all really lucky, Ken will write something that will cause Mike Adams to try to sue him as well. The entertainment value for the rest of us would be enormous.

    You know, the entertainment value of

    1. Setting up some sort of scam or fake anti-science web site.
    2. Waiting for someone to publish something about you.
    3. Filing a lawsuit against them in a non SLAPP state
    4. Quietly emailing them Ken's email address.
    5. Threaten to sue Ken when he responds.

    Makes it almost worth while. Fortunately, there are enough stupid nut cases out there that we don't have to fake it ourselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      G Thompson (profile), 29 May 2014 @ 3:00am

      Re: Popehat

      >> Fortunately, there are enough stupid nut cases out there that we don't have to fake it ourselves.

      That is NOT a good thing!

      oh and PONIES!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    radarmonkey (profile), 28 May 2014 @ 12:47pm

    Adams should add the following to his qualifications letter:

    "How dare you question my expertise! I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2014 @ 12:58pm

    And he's a spammer, on top of all of this

    The link about that lying quack fraud Dr. Oz includes a link to: s-and-the-reality.html?start=1 which documents his career peddling spamware.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Trevor, 28 May 2014 @ 1:13pm

    People know him.

    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

    - Mike Adams, probably.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2014 @ 1:40pm

    It's Not True!

    False statement: That Natural News is the "Most Anti-Science Site on the Web."
    Fact: Natural News is the second-most anti-science site on the web.

    False statement: That "Adams has claimed that high-dose Vitamin C injections, which he conveniently sells, have been shown to 'annihilate cancer.' "
    Fact: Mr. Adams has never made such a claim in any form...of Swahili.

    False statement: That "[Adams] is also an AIDS denialist, a 9111 truther, a Barack Obama citizenship 'birther' and a believer in 'dangerous' chemtrails.'"
    Fact: This statement contains no citations and is based entirely on ramblings published by someone who closely resembles Mr. Adams.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2014 @ 2:01pm

    Most Anti-Science Site on the Web

    False Statement: That Natural News is the “Most Anti-Science Site on the Web.”

    Is this allegedly “false” statement capable of being proven true or false?

    Milkovich v Lorin Journal (1990)
    Foremost, we think Hepps stands for the proposition that a statement on matters of public concern must be provable as false before there can be liability under state defamation law, at least in situations, like the present, where a media defendant is involved. . . .

    Next, the Bresler-Letter Carriers-Falwell line of cases provides protection for statements that cannot "reasonably [be] interpreted as stating actual facts" about an individual. This provides assurance that public debate will not suffer for lack of "imaginative expression" or the "rhetorical hyperbole" which has traditionally added much to the discourse of our Nation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 28 May 2014 @ 2:49pm

      Re: Most Anti-Science Site on the Web

      Yeah, when I saw that "most" I thought along similar lines. In a situation like this, I don't see how it's possible (without an exhaustive -- and very expensive -- analysis of all web sites) to prove that qualifier. That statement is on dangerous ground. They should have said "is an anti-science site" or even "is one of the most anti-science sites".

      But I doubt that that one single word will result in a victory for Mike Adams in the end.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 28 May 2014 @ 2:34pm

    A university-level lab, a business address, a legal team...

    The clothes have no emperor.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tom Landry (profile), 28 May 2014 @ 6:42pm

    what stands out for me is that his attorney is charging him 3k for a threat letter.

    Unfortunately its not an uncommon price tag for the scum in the legal profession.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2014 @ 8:02pm

    And again, what does it have to do with tech, Mr Cushing?

    Can you tell your boss to hire someone with IQ higher then door handle?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2014 @ 11:57pm


      "higher then door handle"

      Obviously not you, you waste of space.

      But if you're looking for a job I hear Cary Sherman's looking for spare cocksuckers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 28 May 2014 @ 11:44pm

    Remember What Tim Minchin Said About “Alternative Medicine”

    “Alternative Medicine” has either not been proven to work, or has been proven not to work. If it has been proven to work, then we call it “Medicine”.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan G Difino, 29 May 2014 @ 7:33am

    On certain 'conspiracy' theories

    Its so easy for people to side with what they think is the logical side of some of these alledged conspiracy theories based soley on what has been craftily written denying them, but if you really want to make a sound judgement, you should investigate each matter completely exhausting resources and not throw this into just another conspiracy theory pot like so many would love you to do. There are billions of dollars at stake counting on your kneejerk reactions. And they just love to come up with another ism to throw at you laughingly. You can't possibly be doing yourself any favors to actually be hiding yourself from the truth.

    In the end, you will just look silly for not hunting down the truth that will some day jump up and bite you in the ass. And then what, you are going to ask me for a bandaid? So sorry, Charlie.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    An actual girl, 29 May 2014 @ 3:46pm

    Practical people go with what works

    A few alternative health people, like Mike Adams, have gained the trust and appreciation of millions of people because they are able to offer advice that works in many situations where the medical establishment denies all remedy.

    This is exactly as it should be.

    (To clarify: people trusting those who provide remedy is as it should be. The medical establishment gratuitously doling out hundreds of thousands of death sentences is *not* as it should be.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Sunhawk (profile), 29 May 2014 @ 9:53pm

    Myself, I'm rather skeptical of the guy's claim at being able to outlast Forbes (which a quick wiki suggests have a circulation a bit south of a million) in court.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 May 2014 @ 11:35am

    Snowden is considered a wackjob by the NSA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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