The day the man calling people a quack was exposed as a quack

This is what you call The Pot calling The Kettle black.

How sweet it is for some of those great visionaries who have been unfairly labelled by this appalling website.

For those Inspire members confused by what they read on Quackwatch, do yourself a favour - if it is survival, longevity, access to the latest technology and research and - above all - hope that you are seeking, give this miserable website a miss on your journey.


Report post

42 replies. Join the discussion

unbelievable! first and only time I will go there. Sean xxoo

Report post

This man has made a living out of questioning the qualfications of others, including some of the great visionaries of modern medicine.

Yet the real spotlight should have been on his own qualfications all along.

Report post

I'm not sure I see the point of mentioning that old 2005 press release from law firm of a chiropractic publication. The verdict seems to say nothing about the credibility of Barret's assertions about various medical quacks.

The verdict only found the chiropractic publication that criticized Barrett did not materially defame Barrett when it pointed out that Barrett did not keep his medical license to treat patients active (he retired from treating patients in 1993), that he had been the subject of a lawsuit (which was later withdrawn), and the publication called Barrett a quackpot (which is clearly just an expression of an opinion, not necessarily a verifiable fact).

IMHO, in evaluating the arguments offered by critics of debatable health advice, it is the actual arguments and evidence and citations that matter. Verifiable facts and logic matter, not the name of the author.

Best hopes,

Report post

Art, i'm chompin' at the bit -- I don't want to steal your thunder. but tag me, if you want -- i'm ready.


Report post

I agree Craig, how odd that this Canadian site picked this up yesterday and ran it like it is breaking news. It is seven years old, and everything you have stated is true. I couldn't have said it better myself :)

Report post

Classic case of pot calling the kettle black.

Quackwatch is the most misleading and hope-destroying site for health and wellness advice on the Net.

The stage is yours, Ron.

Report post

"seems to say nothing about the credibility of Barret's assertions about various medical quacks."

Excuse me? He's not even a qualified medico himself. Why on earth should he have the right to set himself up as the judge and jury on some of the brightest minds in medicine and health care in the world today?

His site is soul destroying and woefully misleading for anyone looking beyond the limitations of chemotherapy and the drug model of health and disease.

It's almost a case of one being wary of any medical doctor or researcher NOT listed on Quackwatch.

Report post

Isn't even a qualified medico? Gee, I thought having an M.D. from Columbia U.'s med school and having been a practicing physican until 1993 give him a little credibility even after retiring from that. I don't know if he's particularly good, but he seems sufficiently qualified to write about his opinions.

But in the USA neither pedigree nor degree are a prerequisite to being entitled to express an opinion and offer facts, citations, and logic. Journalists do it all the time. Verifiable facts & logic count, not a name.

And if his assertions were libelous to the "brightest minds in medicine and health care," a law suit would have quickly eradicated any libelous statements long ago (while earning the plantiff and his lawyer some $$$). If his opinions merely wrong, other people are equally free to present better facts and logic to expose any bunk in his opinions, as some have done.

Best hopes,

Report post

Thank you, Art.
You and I are in complete agreement about barrett.
And his being a quack is NOT insignificant given the many decisions cancer fighters find themselves making, they are entilted to much more truthful, unbiased research than they will ever find at quackwatch.

Inspirites should take from this discussion a sense of the kind of man Stephan Barrett really is -- and remember that the next time anyone here tries to justify some AMA santioned piece of advice with links to quackwatch.

This link explains how uncredentialed he really is.

I will put up one more post where ray sahelian just nails barrett for his bias.



What kind of man would drop out of the medical profession and dedicate his life to STOPPING advancement in the health sciences?

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to understand about Stephen Barrett is that...
It is common knowledge that Stephen Barrett has been Officially Declared by the US Court System, in a PUBLISHED Appeals Court Decision (NCAHF v King Bio), to be "Biased, and unworthy of credibility."

"Quackbusting" - is a Profitable Business...
In a Canadian lawsuit (see below) Barrett admitted to the following:
"The sole purpose of the activities of Barrett & Baratz are to discredit and cause damage and harm to health care practitioners, businesses that make alternative health therapies or products available, and advocates of non-allopathic therapies and health freedom."

Stephen Barrett testifies for money. He claims he's an "expert" in virtually everything. Those "expert witness" fees seem to be a significant part of Barrett's existence.

Records show that Barrett never achieved any success in the medical profession. His claim to being a "retired Psychiatrist" is laughable. He is, in fact, a "failed Psychiatrist," and a "failed MD."

The Psychiatric profession rejected Barrett years ago, for Barrett could NOT pass the examinations necessary to become "Board Certified." Which, is no doubt why Barrett was, throughout his career, relegated to lower level "part time" positions.

Barrett, we know, was forced to give up his medical license in Pennsylvania in 1993 when his "part-time" employment at the State Mental Hospital was terminated, and he had so few (nine) private patients during his last five years of practice, that he couldn't afford the Malpractice Insurance premiums Pennsylvania requires.

In a job market in the United States, where there is a "doctor shortage," Stephen Barrett, after his termination by the State mental Hospital, couldn't find employment. He was in his mid-50s at the time. He should have been at the top of his craft - yet, apparently, he couldn't find work.
In 1993 Barrett simply gave up his medical aspirations, turned in his MD license, and retreated to his basement.
It was in that basement, where Barrett took up "quackbusting" - which, in reality, means that Barrett attacks "cutting-edge" health professionals and paradigms - those that ARE achieving success in their segment of health care.


Report post

Barrett's worthlessness as a source of any medical information lies in his complete bias -- which would be laughable if it weren't misleading to many. He is so profoundly biased that any and all "alternative" treatments are deemed quackery -- and nothing from medical establishment is ever deemed quackery.

Ray Sahelian puts it well:


Is Dr. Stephen Barrett fair in his analysis of nutrition research and those involved in the nutrition industry?
I have not read every single page on Quackwatch but the ones I read give me the impression that in many cases he has done good research on many of the people involved in the alternative health industry, and has pointed out several instances of inaccuracies and scams (for instance, Hulda Clark and her pitiful book "The Cure for all Cancers"). However, I hardly came across reports on his website regarding some of the scams or inaccurate promotion and marketing practices by the pharmaceutical industry. Why is this? Why has Stephen Barrett, M.D. focused almost all of his attention on the nutritional industry and has hardly spent time pointing out the billions of dollars wasted each year by consumers on certain prescription and non-prescription pharmaceutical drugs? If he truly claims to be a true consumer advocate, isn't it his responsibility to make sure the big scams are addressed first before focusing on the smaller scams? It's like the government putting all of its efforts going after the poor misusing food stamps while certain big companies cheat billions of dollars from consumers with hardly any governmental oversight.

Why is there no review of Vioxx on Quackwatch? Why is there no mention on of the worthless cold and cough medicines sold by pharmaceutical companies and drug stores? Hundreds of millions of dollars are wasted each year by consumers on these worthless and potentially harmful decongestants and cough syrups. Why is there no mention on quackwatch of the dangers of acetaminophen use, including liver damage? There are probably more people who are injured or die from over the counter Tylenol and aspirin use each year than from all the natural supplements people take throughout a year. If Dr. Barrett had focused his career on educating people in reducing the use of useless and dangerous prescription and nonprescription drugs (even just one, acetaminophen) he would have helped many more people than attempting to scare people from the use of supplements.


I'd like to briefly note more examples of medical lunacy from quackwatch and barrett. I think many, many alt therapies are genuinely quack therapy -- but, I think Insulin Potentiation Therapy, in the hands of a skilled physician is really good medicine -- and of course Barrett dismisses it completely as dubious. I know too many smart doctors who really don't think IPT is dubious at all.

On another tangent, I'm a huge fan of the work of Weston Price, a dentist who studied tribes -- and Barrett's write-up of Price is offendingly, utterly moronic -- true idiocy. And a final example -- look up fluoridation -- he's all for it! -- really!?...really!?

And you seriously want to consider Stephan Barrett a source?


Report post

There are two side when it comes to approaching cancer treatment - the ones who turn to conventional medicine, and the ones who turn to unconventional means. The two sides are like the democratic and republican political parties here in the USA. Both sides believe they are right, and God help anyone who tries to change their minds.

If you want to present new, innovative ideas about ways to approach the cancer battle, backed by sound research and clinical trials, that's great. But I have read through this thread and it is nothing but childish "political grandstanding rhetoric" at best. No offense, Craig, you didn't start this mess.

Report post

I agree that it looks like the political mudslinging we see every election year.

Instead of debating real facts and logic about real subjects, this discussion has mostly been mud-slinging yellow journalism focused on a person whose bio and work (however biased or imperfect it might be) wasn't even being discussed here until this spontaneous revival of an old 2005 PR release.

Verifiable facts and logic are what count, and counterarguments are fair play, but off-argument hyperbolic mudslinging is pointless and dimishes the credibility of those who engage in it.

Best hopes,

Report post

Thanks for the information Art and Ron! I've dealt with the likes of Stephan Barrett (speaking of hyperbole) several years ago. Good to have it brought up again (the Flat-Earther Society).


Report post


thank you so much for your kind words and good perspective.
...very much appreciated,


Report post

Annie: "There are two side when it comes to approaching cancer treatment - the ones who turn to conventional medicine, and the ones who turn to unconventional means."

The biggest load of hogwash in the history of Inspire.

Unconventional? What anything beyond chemotherapy and radiology?

How very sad, Annie.

Report post

Well, regardless of the fact that some parts of this thread caused disagreements, I nevertheless think that it was a good post to put up: even though the Quackwatch site may be old, we can still access it, therefore exposing Quackwatch for having some inaccurate theories is certainly a good thing.

This post made me realize that - although I have a healthy skepticism about allegations on any website and from any person, I tend to automatically believe as true anything started by anyone/any book/website from the position of claiming to expose other fraudulent claims, whether medical or otherwise.

Thanks Art, for making me more alert in my thinking - much appreciated. Tanguera

Report post

FYI, most of the articles I've stumbled across on quackwatch haven't been written by Barrett, but again, I still say one should focus on the facts and logic and not get hung up over the fact that he was stupid to file a lawsuit he couldn't have won. He has his biases as do we all, but when one is hunting for critics that is a good thing, and we have our own brains to rely on to know if he's blowing smoke or facts.

Best hopes,

Report post

The greatest thing about the internet is that you can search through and find multiple view points about pretty much everything instead of only having one source like Quackwatch for medical or Fox News for politics. Once you find those then you can make your own decisions instead of only believing one source.

As far as conventional and unconventional, I tend to agree with Annie. I'm currently receiving my "conventional" chemo but next week I will be going to the Block Center to find out about the "unconventional" with all the nutrition and stuff because my wife wants me too. Needless to say, I am a "conventional" kind of guy but am open-minded enough to have done the needed research to decide that it wouldn't hurt to try some of the "unconventional". My doctor wasn't onboard for it at first because he said that some things could interfere with my treatment but once I told him that I always pass everything past him first anyway then he was fine with it.

Report post

@ chitty going to block is the 2nd most important thing you can do for your health. See if you can get them to run any genetic wellness test. All the best, Sean

Report post

"next week I will be going to the Block Center to find out about the "unconventional" with all the nutrition and stuff because my wife wants me too. "

Chitty and others,

Your journey is surely not only about "treating the cancer". It is about identifying and supporting the functional breakdowns that led to you being the unlucky one who developed cancer in the first place.

Until that penny drops, it is indeed a tiresome journey along the snakes and ladders board of life when trying to "cure" cancer.

My advice is to take a step back, understand the treatment of disease is just one very important part of getting back to a point whereby you can life a rich and fulfilling life - free of the threat of disease and recurrence.

Restoring health and wellness is another sphere altogether and, if truth be known, it is often very simple changes that bring about the most life-changing benefits.

These are the basic, fundamental concepts of health and disease that Messrs Barrett and others - with their intellectual and academically defensive noses so high in the air - have totally lost grasp of.

Enjoy your day/evening.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Photo of Dave Grant

The Lung Cancer Survivors Support Community has provided support for patients, caregivers, families and friends since 2006. We welcome over 600 new members every month in the fight against lung cancer.

ALK mutations and lung cancer

Join the discussion about ALK mutations and lung cancer

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Community leaders