Burzynski Fanatic Threatens Bloggers 'Round the World

Categories: Whatever

drb.jpg
Daniel Kramer
Burzynski Bloggers Beware!
Here's a warning for anyone out there considering blogging or tweeting anything questioning the greatness of cancer-curing Houston doc Stanislaw Burzynski: You will probably be threatened by the head of marketing for the Burzynski Patient Support Group.

We first heard about loose cannon Marc Stephens's weird diatribes Monday, when a guy in England informed us that Stephens had earlier this month threatened 17-year-old Welsh blogger Rhys Morgan with a libel suit if Morgan didn't remove any of his comments questioning the validity of Burzynski's claims. Morgan is one of several bloggers around the world that Stephens has been threatening.

Giving the false impression he was an attorney representing the Burzynski Clinic, Stephens demanded Morgan "immediately cease and desist in your actions defaming and libeling my clients. Please allow this correspondence to serve as notice to you that published libelous and defamatory information." Showing off his legal chops, Stephens busted out the all-caps to admonish Morgan that he best "GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY."

Morgan replied cordially, explaining that "I am confirming I have read this email. I am, however, at high school for the rest of today....I notice you have stated that some tweets are defamatory. I would appreciate you linking to them please so I can deal with them appropriately."

Stephens never did share the allegedly defamatory passages, but he did write, "Please forward the notice to your parents if you are actually in High School....Because your statements have been read by third parties you are now also interfering with my clients business, and you are emotionally effecting Dr. Burzynski's as well as his cancer patients around the world [sic for spelling and grammar]." He ordered Morgan to "provide a public apology to Dr. Burzynski and his patients and post it on your websites, and social media sites."

Morgan first learned about Burzynski through the "Hope for Laura" campaign, wherein folks are raising money to send a young mother in Kent to Burzynski for treatment of a brain tumor. (Morgan explained in his blog that there have been many other similar campaigns, and Radiohead even donated a guitar to raise money for one girl's treatment.)

Morgan explained in an e-mail to Hair Balls that "I'm generally a science-based skeptic. I always do research into health claims I hear. When I saw the Hope for Laura campaign, I checked out the website and saw the costs....Then I looked for the evidence [of Burzynski's treatment], found none and instead [found] a bunch of conspiracies against the FDA. Typical of what other quacks say and do."

When Morgan figured out that Stephens was not a lawyer with a valid claim but just a goofball (our words, Stephens, not Morgan's, so direct your idiotic and hollow legal threats to us, not him), he didn't bow to his demands.

We've left several messages for Burzynski Clinic spokeswoman Renee Trimble, trying to find out if they knew about -- or approve of -- Stephens's actions, but we haven't heard back. That's what we call primo PR, Renee! Keep it up! We also e-mailed Stephens and have yet to hear back from him, either. But maybe we will as soon as he finds out that "third parties" read this blog. (Usually, we write for just first parties, and in some cases even second parties, but we figured this was deserving enough to reach out to that coveted third-party market.)

We hate to run the risk of getting all saccharine, but we just want to say that every month or so, we hear from a loved one of a person with cancer who's considering going to Burzynski's clinic, and they ask us for advice, which we, as mere reporters, cannot give.


My Voice Nation Help
35 comments
didymus.j.thomas
didymus.j.thomas

Craig, have you actually watched the Burzynski movie www.burzynskimovie.com yet like i have? Did you know that your "Puff-Piece" is quoted on Wikipedia but it mysteriously doesn't point out that you didn't actually "review" the movie before writing your "review" of it. If I was writing for Burzynski I wouldn't waste time responding to you either, considering your "hack" "reporting."

fruitcake
fruitcake

I was asked by a friend in NYC to pick up medicine for his dad at the clinic on west richmond in the early 90's and mail it to New York fo him. To my surprise, I discovered it was illegal to ship the medicine across state lines. I discovered this when the postal inspectors knocked on my door about a week later. The amusing thing was that a staff member at the clinic actually went to the shipping store with me and helped me address all of the labels on the boxes (probably about eight boxes at 20lbs each) without ever mentioning that it was frowned on by federal authorities. The upshot was I got to be a witness in a federal case (that the feds mysteriously lost). I never heard from my pal in NYC again.

Patient Educator
Patient Educator

I had previously worked in patient education and many years ago, Bruzynski's clinic put out the word they were hiring.  They actually gave me a scientific "paper" of his for my reading pleasure.  It was embarrassingly simplistic high school level biology and chemistry.  I think I kept it for fun in a file somewhere, but thought the doctor would have been out of business long before now.  Guess not.

CancerSurvivor7878
CancerSurvivor7878

MD Anderson "non-profit hospital" located in Houston, Texas told a Texas resident patient (not international patient) that she would need $105,000 in cash before it would admit her. Just in case you thought that I mistakenly added an unnecessary 0 let me spell it - ONE HUNDRED FIVE THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS.  

You may have heard of the paper -- The Wallstreet Journal. Article titled "Cash Before Chemo: Hospitals Get Tough" http://online.wsj.com/article/...

I'm sure you called their offices to get that information too, being the reputable non-biased reporter you are.

But who cares about little details like what the "number one" largest cancer center in the world with nonprofit status allowing them to be exempt from taxes with a 2007 recorded $1.9 BILLION in cash, investments and endowment has charged a dying cancer patient! Irrelevant your honor!

Maslow, look up "parachute journalism" and tell me if it rings a bell or two.

Twinarp
Twinarp

Congratulations on tackling quackery.  These 'trials' are unethical, not peer reviewed and not 'treatment' that is legal.  See if you can get a list of all the unsuccessful (ie: dead) patients to actually check the percentages of survival that Burz claims. 

Darth
Darth

What a pleasant demeanor. I'm sure his bedside manner is wonderful, too.

True dat
True dat

Burzynski offers false urine-based hopes to patients who desperately want to live , takes their money & then they are broke when they die. 

Ophelia Benson
Ophelia Benson

Dude, once Marc Stephens reads this you are going to be in A WORLD OF TRUBBLE. He'll do some more of his REPRESENTING at you.

Liz Ditz
Liz Ditz

Hi Mr. Malisow,

Thanks for this There are two issues here:1. The Burzynski Clinic's basis in science (or lack thereof) and failure to publish results 2. Marc Stephens's threats to bloggersThe pseudonymous blogger Josephine Jones (who I believe is in the UK) is keeping a list of blog responses to both issues at http://josephinejones.wordpres... am keeping a list more focused on the issue of legal threats to bloggers at http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_s...

Fair
Fair

You should do a story on how much money M.D. Anderson charges to treat brain tumors that they don't cure.

didymus.j.thomas
didymus.j.thomas

Forgot to mention that your comment is highly questionable as well. Did you watch the movie? Thank you.

didymus.j.thomas
didymus.j.thomas

Please let us know when you post this scientific "paper" to back up your comments. Thank you.

Charles in San Diego
Charles in San Diego

Whether a particular cancer center charges a lot of money for actual, well-studied treatments is irrelevant. This argument is about Burzynski's unethical behavior: He charges a lot of money for a treatment that he refuses to subject to third-party study and review.

Neuroskeptic
Neuroskeptic

Yes, but we have 100% free healthcare here in the UK, and we still think Burzynski is nuts.

didymus.j.thomas
didymus.j.thomas

Congratulations on your comments which are I'm sure based on "FACTS" which you unfortunately did not have time to refer to. Thank you.

didymus.j.thomas
didymus.j.thomas

Where are your FACTS? Anyone can make unsubstantiated statements. Thank you.

Mikeamento
Mikeamento

But wait .....it gets better. Remember the old joke about whats the difference between a  lawyer and a prostitute.

Unlike a prostitute who stops screwing you after your dead Burzynski has been known to bill patients his outrageous fees when they are 6 ft under.  I kid you not. Know someone who works there.

didymus.j.thomas
didymus.j.thomas

So you back up your comments with those of a guy who writes; and I quote: "This whole section of the movie is introduced thusly by a narrator with an exceedingly creepy, robotic voice, complete with ominous-sounding background music:..." really? Really?? REALLY??? I actually watched the movie and took the position that the narrator was talking in a composed manner in order that the listener would focus on the information being presented rather than the narrator. "[O]minous-sounding background music:..." REALLY? Have you read "The Burzynski Saga" by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. which is available on the Internet? Thank you.

MadMac
MadMac

Could be worse. Could be a world o' tribbles.

MrGamma
MrGamma

Patrick Swayze wants his money back!

MadMac
MadMac

I'd love to see a cost comparison based on FDA approved treatments, Mr. Step-- uh, "Fair." BTW, M.D. Anderson doesn't do hard-sell or strong-arm cancer treatment.

Craig Malisow
Craig Malisow

In addition to what Wyatt said, at MD Anderson (and most hospitals), the treatment is at least partially covered by insurance. This of course doesn't mean the patient won't have to pay anything, but antineoplastons are considered experimental and aren't covered at all. 

And, just because I feel like it, I hasten to add that, if I ran a clinic and had the cure for cancer, I would be conscious about covering overhead and paying to keep the lights on, but I would probably do everything within my power to sell people my antineoplaston treatment at cost -- considering how the stuff is manufactured in-house anyway. I may have to sacrifice by driving a piece of junk car and forgoing some luxuries, but I'd sleep better at night knowing that I was helping as many people as I possibly could.

But hey, that's just me. I'm not smart enough to cure cancer, so what do I know? 

Wyatt
Wyatt

Yeah because it's feasible for hospitals to guarantee results when dealing with cancer

didymus.j.thomas
didymus.j.thomas

Please substantiate your comments with FACTS. Anyone can make statements based on nothing. Thank you.

didymus.j.thomas
didymus.j.thomas

So, do you speak for everyone in the UK? Maybe the "we" in the UK are "nuts" because you live in a Fairytale world of Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses, Dukes, Dutchesses, Barons, Baronesses, Earls, Counts... Just sayin'!

didymus.j.thomas
didymus.j.thomas

Craig, are you saying that you are a "Compassionate Conservative" like Mr. "Mission Accomplished" George W. Bush?

Have you viewed these Internet resources?

www.burzynskiclinic.com

www.burzynskiresearch.com

www.burzynskipatientgroup.org

The Burzynski Saga by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

SkepticalHealth
SkepticalHealth

You'd be happy to know that the antineoplastons Burzynski sells are common chemicals. Two of the primary antineoplastons Burzynski uses are antineoplaston A-2.1, which is phenylacetic acid, and "soluble A-10" which is phenylacetic acid and phenylacetyl-glutamine. These are available in chemistry catalogs for about $5 for pound. But Burzynski charges over $200,000...

Check it out:

http://www.skepticalhealth.com...

MadMac
MadMac

"But hey, that's just me. I'm not smart enough to cure cancer, so what do I know? "

Apparently neither is Dr. Burzynski. Just saying.

jdplus33
jdplus33

@didymus.j.thomas 

YOU should read what you just posted, and then come upo with some FACTS.  A blind, 3rd party study will do.

Apollo Chun
Apollo Chun

I'd be happier to know if anyone had come up with his use for those common compounds that apparently nobody else thought of....  please tell us when you discovered it and first began using it effectively first? 

One thing for sure when you have cancer your choices are few.  I think they haven't updated the chemo since roughly 87 ... any idea how much of that they sold since then?  

Given the unsupported cost you quote, assuming it were correct who would be to blame for the increase in cost to provide the treatments if the major portion of the cost were due to an ongoing battle to keep his doors open, to the tune of more than 2 million in Attorney's fees?

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...