Tag Archives: rhys morgan

How to deal with a PR man who emails like a lawyer

There’s a fascinating case study going on across some skeptics blogs on dealing with legal threats from another country.

The Quackometer and Rhys Morgan have – among others – received emails from Marc Stephens, who claims to “represent” the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas, and threatens them with legal action for libel, among other things.

What is notable is how both have researched both Stephens and the law, and composed their responses accordingly. From Rhys Morgan:

“I have carried out some internet research, and I have not been able to establish whether or not Mr. Stephens is a lawyer; certainly he does not appear to be a member of the California Bar nor the Texas Bar in the light of my visit to the California Bar Association’s and the State Bar of Texas’s websites.”

From Quackometer:

“This foam-flecked angry rant did not look like the work of a lawyer to me. And indeed it is not. Marc Stephens appears to work for Burzynski in the form of PR, marketing and sponsorship.”

There’s plenty more in each post, including reference to case law and the pre-action defamation protocol, which provide plenty of material if you’re ever in a similar situation – or hosting a classroom discussion on libel law.

via Neurobonkers

From a 15-year-old’s blog to MSM: Bleachgate and Miracle Mineral Solutions

Bleachgate - Rhys Morgan's video blog

Rhys Morgan's video blog on Bleachgate

Journalists wanting evidence of the value of blogs should take a look at the ‘Bleachgate’ story which has taken a month to filter up from 15-year-old Rhys Morgan’s blog post through other skeptic and science bloggers into The Guardian.

Rhys has Crohn’s Disease and was sceptical of the Miracle Mineral Solutions ‘treatment’ being plugged on a support forum that was also described by the FDA as industrial bleach. The forum didn’t like his scepticism, and banned him. He blogged about his concerns, and it went from there.

I can only hope that enough people link to The Guardian’s piece with the words Miracle Mineral Solutions to help raise awareness of the concerns. *Cough*.

AFTERTHOUGHT: What deserves particular attention is how the Guardian reporter Martin Robbins is responding to critical comments – providing further details of how the forum dealt with his approaches, and addressing conspiracy theorists. This is journalism that gets out there and engages with the issue rather than simply broadcasting. Wonderful.

Martin Robbins' replies to comment

Martin Robbins' replies to comment