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Careless Reporting by Tim Bolen

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

When false ideas are attacked, their promoters often spread lies about the critic. That's happened to me in response to information I have posted about Hulda Clark, an unlicensed naturopath who claims she can cure cancer, AIDS, and many other serious diseases, sometimes within a few hours. Since 1999, "Tim Bolen" (real name Patrick Timothy Bolen) -- whom she hired as her "publicist" -- has been distributing false and defamatory messages about me through the Internet. One diatribe -- posted in mid-September 2000 -- is titled "The Last Days of the Quackbusters." Because it achieved wider circulation than most of his other previous messages, I have decided to respond to it. Here are several passages from "The Last Days of the Quackbusters" that show why Bolen should not be regarded as trustworthy.

What Bolen Said The Facts
The "Quackbuster" operation is a conspiracy. It is a propaganda enterprise, one part crackpot, two parts evil. It has declared war on reality. A conspiracy is a an agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act. None of the people who are fighting quackery are acting illegally, and the information we distribute is accurate.
The conspirators are acting in the interests of, and are being paid, directly and indirectly, by the "conventional" medical-industrial complex. Our consumer-protection activities are done as a public service and not for personal gain.

The "Quackbuster Conspiracy" was started shortly after the American Medical Association (AMA) lost the court battle to the Chiropractors in Federal court in 1976. The Federal judge ordered the AMA's covert operation shut down - and leave the Chiropractors alone.

Barrett, and his minions, had the common sense to stay away from criticizing Chiropractors until (I believe) the Federal Judge died.

Federal judges have a way of enforcing their decisions using shackles, Federal Marshals, the federal prison facilities, asset seizure, etc... Even Barrett, in all his incredible arrogance, isn't dumb enough to match wills with a Federal Judge.

In 1976, various chiropractors began a series of civil suits against the AMA, other professional organizations, and several individual critics, charging that they had conspired to destroy chiropractic and to illegally deprive chiropractors of access to laboratory, x-ray, and hospital facilities. Most of the defendant groups agreed in out-of-court settlements that their physician members were free to decide for themselves how to deal with chiropractors.

In 1987 -- not 1976 as stated by Bolen -- federal court judge Susan Getzendanner concluded that during the 1960s "there was a lot of material available to the AMA Committee on Quackery that supported its belief that all chiropractic was unscientific and deleterious." The judge also noted that chiropractors still took too many x-rays. However, she ruled that the AMA had engaged in an illegal boycott. She concluded that the dominant reason for the AMA's antichiropractic campaign was the belief that chiropractic was not in the best interest of patients. But she ruled that this did not justify attempting to contain and eliminate an entire licensed profession without first demonstrating that a less restrictive campaign could not succeed in protecting the public. The case was decided on narrow legal grounds (restraint of trade) and was not an evaluation of chiropractic methods. The judge enjoined the AMA from doing certain things that it had stopped doing several years previously. The AMA was not enjoined from issuing justifiable criticisms. The full text of the decision is posted on the Chirobase Web site.

I was not a party to the suit but, even if I had been, the judge's order would not apply to anything that I do. Bolen's notion that the judge died many years ago shows how carelessly he "investigates." It took me less than a minute with a search engine to find that she was practicing law with the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Chicago.

The AMA files, library, etc., ended up in Stephen Barrett's 1,800 square foot basement in Allentown, PA. I don't have the AMA's health fraud files. If they still exist, they would be either in the AMA library or in storage facilities controlled by the AMA. As reported on my Web site, my basement contains 1,500 square feet.

In that early, educational case for me in California, Stephen Barrett and two slime-ball investigators from the California Medical Board, had convinced members of the Laguna Beach Police Department that a nutritionist using ozone therapy was "a sex criminal preying on women." Flak-jacketed thugs screwed a gun into Salvatore D'Onofrio's ear, forced him to lie on the ground, and thus began a brutal, anything goes, persecution.

Sal D'Onofrio, through his attorney, hired us, at day 43 in solitary confinement in the Orange County Jail. He was in "solitary" because that's what they do with sex criminals. He was in jail because the judge had set bail at $500,000, an amount his supporters couldn't raise. Barrett's minions were ruining D'Onofrio's life in the press.

We organized a bail hearing for day 48 of incarceration. . . . The judge let D'Onofrio out on his own recognizance. Seven weeks later the prosecutor dropped the charges.

The passage suggests that I made a false police report, which would be a criminal offense. I never heard of Salvatore D'Onofrio and, at the time Bolen made this accusation, I did not have the slightest idea what he was referring to.

Bolen subsequently claimed to have copies of police reports and a summary of a telephone interview of me by a police investigator. The documents, which we obtained through the discovery process, indicate that in 1996, a police investigator questioned me about the American College of Nutripathy, a nonaccredited correspondence school from which D'Onofrio had obtained three "degrees" during a 21-month period. I have no recollection of his name neing mentioned during the interview, and nothing in the polioce report indicates that it was. At a deposition, Bolen also produced a newspaper article indicating that D'Onofrio's arrest was triggered by a woman who had complained to the police that she had been inappropriately fondled during an examination in D'Onofrio's home. The article also stated that at least ten other women had made similar complaints after the arrest was made public.

If you peruse Stephen Barrett's (don't call him doctor, he's not licensed) website, you get the impression that "allopaths" are to be classified somewhere next to archangels - and "alternatives" are snake-oil salesmen, akin to the devil's minions. Since I graduated from an accredited medical school I am entitled to be called "doctor." I have been licensed in four states and practiced psychiatry for 35 years before retiring in December 1993. When I retired, I had my licensed placed on "inactive" status. Since I retired in good standing, I can reactivate it simply by paying the licensing fee and obtaining insurance as required by state law. Bolen would like people to believe that I misrepresent my credentials, but I don't.

Examination of Barrett's operation proves that the "Quackbusters" are a paper tiger. . . . Their membership is small, they have an even smaller core group, the industry is turning its back on their extremism, and their leadership "public presence" is laughable. Their support network could best be described as "pea-brained."

Their "annual meeting" for the conspiracy was held in a Super 8 motel in Missouri - 25 stalwarts attended from, at least, six different plotter groups. Not very impressive.

Bolen lacks a clear picture of what he is discussing. And he appears to fill in the gaps by adding details that suit his fancy. The "annual meeting of the Quackbusters" to which he refers was a National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) board meeting to which a few other members and guests came. The meeting took place in the president's home, not a motel. NCAHF has more than 900 members. I have no idea what he means by "six plotter groups."
"Bizarre" Stephen Barrett, his cronies and minions, even labeled two time Nobel Prize Winner Linus Pauling as a "Quack." This statement is false. It derived from a libelous article written by someone who claimed that the NCAHF maintained and distributed a "quack list" containing the name of Linus Pauling. Neither I nor any other NCAHF official has been able to locate any such list.

Further Information on Bolen
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This article was revised on March 30, 2003.