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.Forbes published the piece on April 3rd. The following day, Adams sent a long email to Forbes expressing his disappointment at being portrayed
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.
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: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.
1) Immediately retract all content relating to Mike Adams and/or NaturalNews.com from all websites you exert control and/or influence over, including www.geneticliteracyproject.org;
2) Agree to cease from publishing any further information relating to Mike Adams or NaturalNews.com;
3) Issue a public apology for publishing defamatory information relating to Mike Adams and NaturalNews.com;
4) Compensate Mike Adams in the amount of $3,000.00 for legal fees incurred.
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 archive.org 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.