Who the hell does Marc Stephens think he is?
Now I’m sure many of you have been following the Burzynski fiasco like me. And if you haven’t here’s a little catch up.
Many well renowned skeptic bloggers have recently been writing about a certain Burzynski clinic in Texas. This is because Dr.Burzynski (although his PhD doesn’t appear to exist) claims to be able to cure cancer using antineoplastons which are certain peptides that are found in your errrr urine. These antineoplastons appear to occur less in cancer patients so the thinking is that because they’re lacking if you give them some then suddenly they will get better. I will not even bother to explain why that is such a ridiculous conclusion.
Anyway the FDA apparently agree with me and Dr.Burzynski is not allowed to offer this as a treatment let alone a cure, as he claims it is. This is because of the lack of evidence from good trials i.e. randomised controlled, you know the drill. But Dr.Burzynski clearly has a much better business mind than a medical one (although that doesn’t seem difficult), and he charges families thousands of pounds to take part in his ‘trials’. But don’t take my word for it, read the word of some other people,
Now I hope that none of these people mind that I am including them in this post, but I suppose if they had a problem then they could point it out to me and I would respond and then we’d work the problem out, that’s how civilised society works. Well apparently not for the Burzynski Research Institute.
The people at the BRI were very angry with what people were writing about them, but one man was more angry than most. His name is Marc Stephens. As he has told people time and time again he is representing Dr.Burzynski and the BRI, but I don’t think very well.
Here’s the 1st email in full that he sent to Peter Bowditch @ http://ratbags.com/rsoles/
From: “MAS” <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2011 00:47:54 -0400
Subject: Demand to Cease and Desist and Removal of Webpage/Articles
Demand to Cease and Desist and Removal of Webpage/Articles
I represent Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, Burzynski Clinic, and Burzynski Research Institute. It has been brought to our attention that you have content on your website http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/burzynski.htm that is in violation of several state and federal laws. This is a legal complaint regarding the article you posted online titled “The Millenium Project – The fundaments of the Net – Burzynski Research Institute. This correspondence constitutes a demand that you immediately cease and desist in your actions defaming and libeling my clients. Please allow this correspondence to serve as notice to you that you published libelous and defamatory information.
Please be advised that my clients consider the content of your postings to be legally actionable under numerous legal causes of action, including but not limited to: libel, defamation, and tortious interference with business contracts and business relationships. The information you assert in your postings is factually incorrect and posted with either actual knowledge, or reckless disregard for its falsity, and with the actual and specific malice to injure my client’s business relationships in the community.
I am sure you are familiar with Defamation (Libel). If not, I will assist you.
What is Defamation (Libel)
Libel is a published or fixed form of defamation of character; a civil wrong that falsely impugns the reputation or character of a person or entity, opening the target up to public scorn or ridicule. Libel might appear in a magazine, book, newspaper, or in a radio or television broadcast. Signs, billboards or posters can also be mediums for libel. Online libel, or cyber libel takes electronic forms such as email, mailing lists, newsgroups, chat rooms, podcasts, vodcasts and Web pages. Although many citizens do not yet realize it, comments made to chat boards, newsgroups and even mailing lists are all forms of publication. Criticisms of companies or their goods can be a basis for libel charges if the poster misrepresents facts, or fails to qualify his or her post as opinion.
Every comment you made in your article is highly incorrect. I suggest you remove the article in its entirety or I will file suit against you immediately. I find it surprising for you to make careless statements without researching. You are highly aware of what you are doing, and I have court documents to prove this.
Although you try to disguise your statements as your “Opinion”, Please note by law you are held accountable for posting incorrect information from a third party..including from the original source. I am not sure where you obtained your incorrect information, but you will be held liable for your statements. REMOVE ARTICLE IMMEDIATELY.
GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.
9432 Katy Freeway
Houston, Texas 77055
Now I am not a lawyer and am not familiar with their techniques but generally the use of capital letters for effect is the choice of the internet troll not a professional representing someone else. So that made me think, is this man actually a lawyer. You would assume he is because he sounds like an arsehole and is threatening legal action but you can never be sure.
So what do we find. Well it turns out that Mr Stephens is in fact a marketing representative for the BRI. Now that doesn’t mean that he isn’t a lawyer but if he is then he’s not a very good one as he is doing PR work. So we can safely assume that he isn’t a lawyer, so what is he. Well have a read of this http://anaximperator.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/is-marc-stephens-really-a-representative-of-burzynski/ and see what you think. To me this shows he really is a troll. My favourite part is this ‘You are CLEARLY a fraud..as well as the rest of the people on your page.. which is probably you with multiple accounts.’ This is Marc Stephens commenting on a fairly innocuous post on yahoo answers about the Burzynski clinic. I don’t think the word hypocrite even covers the amount of vile hatred displayed by this man.
But not content to accuse people of being a fraud he can do threats as well ‘ Be smart and considerate for your family and new child’. This lovely message was sent to Andy Lewis of quackometer.net (full post here: http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2011/11/the-burzynski-clinic-threatens-my-family.html ). I have not taken this out of context, you can see the full post, and the fact that this man is being allowed to represent the company makes me think that the BRI is an equal opportunities employer.
So threatening peoples families, hypocrisy and trolling. Are there any levels this guy won’t stoop to. Apparently not because he also sent emails to a certain Rhys Morgan. These emails were, as the previous, spiteful and vitriolic but also contained a Google Earth picture of his house, see transcript here: http://rhysmorgan.co/2011/11/threats-from-the-burzynski-clinic/
This somewhat childlike intimidating didn’t work. After a short time Rhys reposted the original and added a new post including the emails he had received from this Mr Stephens. For which he should be commended and has been by the skeptic society. Yes, the skeptic society. Apparently Marc, I think we should be on first name terms, believes that there is an underground group of skeptics all working together to bring down his boss. Evidence is in the emails he sent to individual skeptics which I have already linked to earlier, here are some quotes, for context follow the links.
‘Quackwatch, Ratbags, and the rest of you Skeptics days are numbered.’ (e-mail to Andy Lewis see here)
‘Please convey this message to your entire Skeptic Network, which includes but not limited to, Ratbags.com, thetwentyfirstfloor, quackwatch, etc.’ (e-mail to Rhys Morgan see here).
With Marc’s paranoia, short temper and overuse of capital letters I think that he probably needs to take a break, I’m sure that his employer wouldn’t mind (he’d probably pay him to).
So to answer the question which is the title of this post, Marc seems to think he is someone who can threaten and bully people into submission and there be no repercussions and that he is perfectly within his rights to do so. I say that Marc is someone who should be treated with the same contempt as anyone who portrays the same personality traits as he does. That is to say, bullying, hatred for anyone who does not share his view, childish attempts at intimidation and threats to innocent people.
I hope that the BRI release a statement soon saying that Marc Stephens has been sacked because otherwise he just does the skeptics job for them.