Elephants in the room

Oct
5
2012
by
Lynne McTaggart
/
0
Comments

When one of my daughters was small, she was mad about elephants.  At the zoo, the elephant bath was the high point of our visit. Her room was covered in toy versions, even on the duvet. When she sat down to watch a video, nine times out of ten it was Babar. They were sweet little cartoons, with a gently instructive message to them, and this week’s tumultuous events, when attempts were made to ban our new magazine, reminded me of one in particular.

In this episode, one of Babar’s aids rushes in to tell the young elephant king that the rhinoceroses, led by Rataxas, are blockading their kingdom and demanding white feathers.  Babar’s subjects begin rounding up mountain of white feathers from every corner of the kingdom, but as soon as they are delivered, the news comes back:  Rataxas isn’t satisfied. He has no use for white feathers; now he wants fuchsia feathers.

When one of my daughters was small, she was mad about elephants.  At the zoo, the elephant bath was the high point of our visit. Her room was covered in toy versions, even on the duvet. When she sat down to watch a video, nine times out of ten it was Babar. They were sweet little cartoons, with a gently instructive message to them, and this week’s tumultuous events, when attempts were made to ban our new magazine, reminded me of one in particular.

In this episode, one of Babar’s aids rushes in to tell the young elephant king that the rhinoceroses, led by Rataxas, are blockading their kingdom and demanding white feathers.  Babar’s subjects begin rounding up mountain of white feathers from every corner of the kingdom, but as soon as they are delivered, the news comes back:  Rataxas isn’t satisfied. He has no use for white feathers; now he wants fuchsia feathers.  

Babar’s aid is despairing. How are they going to get hold of fuchsia feathers at such short notice?

‘We’re not,’ says Babar. He tells the aid to ignore this latest demand. ‘It’s not about white feathers.  It’s not about fuchsia feathers. It’s about standing up to bullies.’

A life lesson
This little life lesson proved helpful when this same daughter was 15, and a bully I’ll call Claire, a very unloved kid living away from both parents at the time, began making my daughter’s life miserable.

She made fun of her in the school yard. She’d call up with a batch of other girls at a party to mock her. My daughter had been the only one of her friends with the courage to stand up to Claire, and they, in their fear, deserted her.

For a while my daughter cowered.  She refused to go to school and for a good part of a term she did her work at home – and this during the first year of GCSEs (the UK’s qualification tests).

And then one day she decided to go back to school.  As soon as she did, she went right up to Claire, handed her some flowers and said, ‘I forgive you.’

My daughter was never bullied again by Claire or anyone else again.

Attempted ban
I remembered all this when our own version of Claire showed up this week.  Dr. Simon Singh, who inspired the Nightingale Trust, an organization devoted to attacking alternative medicine for unsubstantiated claims, and Sense Against Science, a trust devoted to ‘making sense of science and evidence’, has sought to ban our new magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You.  

He wrote to our distributors, WH Smiths and all the supermarket chains we appear in, asking them not to distribute or stock it, and launched a letter writing campaign against us.

This same Singh, you may recall, in a high court libel case, declared himself to be the champion of ‘free speech’ in science.

The attempt failed after many of our supporters wrote in our defence.

I explained that on my Facebook page, which was suddenly crawling with trolls, with the usual personal derogatory statements and the usual lack of any sort of reasoned argument.  

The Guardian non-story
By Thursday, an article in the Guardian claimed that I was ‘threatening Simon Singh with libel.’ Trolls are now sending this article to our distributors.

I have not, ever, threatened Simon Singh with libel.  I would not ever threaten anyone with libel.  If I wanted to sue someone I would just do it, as I successfully did when a book of mine got plagiarized by a well-known author.

Singh now has the Advertising Standards Authority onto our advertisers, to try to get them on unsubstantiated claims. Even if they dredge up something, they cannot stop us from publishing or indeed our advertisers against advertising.  And it is not a major part of our income.

Please join the dots. The Guardian is listed on the Sense Against Science website as a supporter – as is the British Pharmaceutical Association.  (Call me old-fashioned but I thought the press were supposed to be impartial and not aligned, much less a supporter, of any vested interest.)

Simon Singh is, to all intents and purposes, Sense Against Science.

I repeat:  I’m not suing Simon Singh.  I have an international magazine to get out.  

The whole elephant
What I am interested in is the question that should be concerning every true scientist and doctor here, the giant elephant in the room:

Why are you attempting to silence any discussion of alternatives when the British Medical Association has just released figures showing that just 13 per cent of standard medical treatments actually work?

Why are you calling modern medicine ‘scientific’ when the American Medical Association has declared that correctly prescribed drugs are the third leading cause of death in America (and now in all of the West)?

And how scientific are such tools when the British Medical Association lamented that probably two-thirds of all medical research has been spin-doctored and written by PR spin-doctors hired by the pharmaceutical industry?

The British people are losing faith in modern medicine. For years more people have gone to alternative practitioners than go to GPs. A tiny figure are harmed in comparison to the millions who are killed or put in hospital by conventional treatments.

We launched What Doctors Don’t Tell You to open this debate, to examine what else to do, to find out what else is out there with any chance of success.

Because by any measure, modern medicine is corrupt and clearly is not working.

So my challenge to Singh and every troll and indeed anyone from Big Pharma is this: when you can debate the issues like grown-ups and not schoolyard bully boys, and look for genuine solutions that aren’t simply about lining the drug industry’s pockets, then I’m happy to do so.  

In the meantime, I forgive you.

If you would like to show your support of What Doctors Don’t Tell You. . .

If you want to end the conspiracy of silence and believe that we need an open forum like WDDTY to discuss better treatments in health care and medicine, please write to the following distributors and tell them of your support of our magazine:

WH Smith
Customer.Relations@WHSmith.co.uk

Waitrose
customersupport@waitrose.co.uk

Sainsbury’s
customerservice@sainsburys.co.uk

Have a beautifully Bonded week.

Warmest wishes,

Lynne

Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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