The game is to see how long it takes to get banned from an alternative medicine or other irrational site. I tried it with http://www.mercola.com. I have been monitoring the site for some time, and the other week decided to see how tolerant Joe Mercola would be to someone telling the truth. So I created an account and submitted two comments about mobile phone radiation which Mercola says is potentially lethal. Much to my surprise, the comments passed moderation and appeared on the site. I am Asolepius on this site. So I tried again, this time commenting on an article about organic food. Again, my comment was published. But right now you are wondering why you can’t see it. The reason is that the very next day my account had been disabled, and the second and third comments deleted. So how long did it take me to get banned from a `natural’ health site? Three days and only three comments. Can anyone beat that? For a few days the comments still appeared when I searched on my user name, but they have gone as well now – someone has manually gone through the site and purged me.
Now I don’t suppose for a moment that Joe Mercola ever reads this blog, but of course the whole purpose of his site is to sell his vast range of questionable products, such as special cooking pots (because aluminium ones give you dementia), and his air tube mobile phone earpiece. Is he, or anyone else in that field, the slightest bit interested in defending their claims with rational argument? Of course not, they just delete adverse comments and ban anyone who challenges them. Go to the FDA site and search for `Mercola’. You get 88 hits. Maybe more by the time you read this. A lot of them are his crackpot lobbying of the FDA to promote his business, but he gets a steady stream of warning letters and enforcement actions, which he seems to wear as a badge of honour. Well there is no honour in blocking debate about what he does.
Contrast this with my policy here. I have published two comments so far (to posts here and here), dissenting from my views. I won’t block such comments, on one condition. I have to understand them. Now I know that English is not everyone’s first language, but it’s the language of this blog so you have to be able to express yourself clearly. I won’t publish comments that are unintelligible. The two adverse ones so far are not very clear so I gave them the benefit of the doubt, so in future by all means argue with me, but make your points clearly please.
Meanwhile I am not bothering with Mercola any more. I thought about starting up http://www.mercolawatch.com but it would be a full time job and I have to earn a living. It would be satisfying to point out to him the difference between sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, but I would have to start up another account and life is frankly too short.