Astroturfing and its relevance to agendas behind magnetic field therapy

The content of this TEDx talk is impressive. Sharyl Attkisson, an authentic investigative journalist explains the concept of astroturfing, how vested interests skew agendas.

Powerful companies and movements engage in astroturfing to fool you that there is widespread support for or against an agenda, when there really isn’t. They manipulate you into thinking you’re weird or gullible, when you’re not.

 

 

You dismiss health claims because so-called “medical experts” have labeled it pseudoscience and hence advocates for say magnetic therapy are quacks and nuts.

The following are hallmarks of astroturfing:

  1. The use of inflammatory language such as… crank, quack, nutty, lies, paranoid, pseudo and conspiracy
  2. Using charged language to debunk myths that aren’t myths at all. What if the whole notion of the myth is in fact the myth itself?
  3. Ad hominin attacks: Attacking persons and personalities of the movement, rather than addressing the facts.
  4. Focusing on those exposing the wrongdoing, rather than the wrongdoers. Instead of questioning authority, questioning those who question authority.

 

Proponents of magnetic field therapy haven’t done themselves any favours by some of the more dubious claims that are advertised (some even with PhD’s) giving its critics plenty of material to exploit. But this is the straw man argument, while there are now many credible researchers contributing in the field.

Wikipedia is an astroturfer’s dream come true. Anonymous editors control and co-opt pages on behalf of special interests. They forbid and reverse edits that go against their agenda which we experienced firsthand. A minor edit was made to the wiki magnetic therapy page to update it with credible research on Quadrapolar magnets and it was immediately changed back for unconvincing reasons.

Another case in point; we provided a set of Q magnets for the Virtual Medical Centre newsletter competition page. Even though the nurse who had won the previous month’s competition was delighted with her Q magnets and raved about how they helped her hand and knee pain, this was the reasoning we received back as to why they could not continue with the competition…

“I’m sorry to inform you that our Editorial Advisory Board has made the decision to remove this competition due to the lack of evidence to support the claims for pain relief. After promoting your competition in our health newsletter we have been approached by several organisations questioning our compliance with the HON code. We take the responsibility of complying with HON code standard for trustworthy health information, very seriously and do not wish to lose our credibility or academic support so this has been actioned immediately.”

Many health professionals in the conservative medical professions are closed minded and quite a few have strong agendas to push to maintain the status quo.  All the more amusing is that much of what is offered to patients seeking mainstream medical care lacks robust evidence. Meanwhile magnetism is a new frontier in medical research.

 

Neuromagnetics is such an exciting field to be part of and Q magnets are a therapy that is…

  1. Simple
  2. Drug free
  3. Non-addictive
  4. Non-invasive
  5. Painless
  6. Safe
  7. An immediate and local impact
  8. Performed at home
  9. Paid for by the individual
  10. Based on scientific evidence

 

And by a listed medical device that …

  1. Does not require any care or maintenance
  2. Lasts almost a lifetime
  3. Has no moving parts
  4. Is relatively inexpensive
  5. Consumes almost no energy
  6. Is a treatment which requires little expertise, and
  7. While not is use can be used to keep notices stuck to the fridge

Why would anyone not seek to support such a therapy?

 

 

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