Arguably my biggest beef with Debunkers is the use of broad brush and deflection tactics to attempt to discredit something much bigger than what they're targeting. The area I see this the most is Integrative Medicine (IM). I am a proponent of IM as are many physicians who practice it and many patients who have benefited from it. I also acknowledge that it is not without faults, as do many physicians who practice it and many patients who have witnessed the faults.
Debunkers use many tactics (see here) to attempt to discredit IM, while at the same time deflecting attention from much bigger problems in Conventional Medicine. I have been calling out these tactics for many years and have connected with a very large number of physicians and patients along the way. Many are sickened by the tactics and behaviour of some of the Debunkers, especially the ones that use these tactics. I have amassed a fairly large following, and I have also attracted a fair bit of attention from some of these Debunkers.
I have witnessed the dog piling that follows when a Debunker targets someone (often a celebrity) on twitter, or attacks someone that disagrees with their views. I have been blocked by very good people who I have never interacted with. These good people are often contacted "behind the scenes" to suggest that people like me are "bad players". I have even had an MD suggest that "Ken Jaques should eat my poo." Facts don't seem to matter, the important point seems to be to attempt to silence dissenting views from accounts with medium to large followings.
I could be bothered by this, and sometimes I am. Sometimes I have responded, and even been known to lash out. Along the way I've learned a lot. The biggest lesson is that we're not going to out-yell these Debunkers and their clan sitting on their perches in their echo chambers within their ivory towers. It won't work. They're organized and they can be vicious.
But what we can do is keep calling out the nonsense .... respectfully. When they go low, we go high. And then we go higher. As more and more people see the tactics and behaviour of these folks, people are gaining a greater understanding of what's at stake. Their health. The people who are most often targeted by these Debunkers are those that are challenging the status quo. Those that recognize that healthcare is more appropriately labeled as "Sick Care." Those that recognize that people's health is being sacrificed by the "Big's" that are focused on profits over patients. Big Ag, Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Medicine. Each of these play a significant role in contributing to the chronic disease and mental illness epidemics we are presently facing. And the people that call out the Bigs and the Debunkers that are supporting them, people like me, must be silenced.
I for one am going to keep calling out the nonsense. I will continue to be targeted. I will be blocked, stalked, and mocked. And I, and others just like me, will continue to grow our own followings. As more folks take notice, our tribes will grow. It's already happening. Doctors are joining us, practically begging patients to gather together and "make noise." We will not be silenced. We will make enough noise to impact the prevalence of chronic disease and mental illness.
Population health may be a mess. Healthcare as practiced is a house of cards that is set to crumble. Even with the Debunkers using their broad brush and deflection tactics, there aren't enough bandaids and scotch tape to hold it together. When it crumbles, the Debunkers (aka Status Quo Warriors, SQWs) will go with it. And when it falls, the "new" systems will focus on health AND care, on patients over profits, helping patients retain / regain health. It will take a village. And the community is growing.
To the Debunkers, thank you. Please continue doing what you're doing. Your efforts to target good people help introduce us to more good people. Your behaviour helps people better understand your tactics. Your broad brush efforts to discredit Integrative Medicine are bringing doctors and patients out of the woodwork to support it. Your efforts are raising awareness and attention for many worthwhile causes.
Yes, I will continue too. And no, I will not be taking up the doctor's offer to eat his poo.
To YOUR Health!
P.S. If you're wondering about the image I chose for this post, that is the spoon I bent at a spoon bending workshop I participated in at a whole health medicine (for non-physicians) series a few years ago (see my story here). Check out "spoon bending" on twitter, the obsession with my story and ongoing vendetta is truly bizarre.