Nerd Shield Activate! Defend Britt from Fake-Medicine-Industry Intimidation
Legal actions swirl around this scientific whistle blower because she has the guts to say that bullshit therapies are dangerous bullshit.
Britt Hermes is being threatened because she had the courage to tell the truth. About a decade ago she trained in the magical treatments of naturopathy, a discipline so flimsy even my spell checker red-squiggly-underlines it as I type. Britt “Dr.” Hermes obtained a degree from Bastyr University where they told her she had a medical-school-equivalent education, that she was a credentialed physician, and that she should be intervening as a primary health care provider with her non-conventional, yet highly effective therapies.
After running a practice of homeopathy, energy fields and herbs, she began to feel that here interventions were oddly inconsistent with her understanding of biology. She grew increasingly skeptical of the treatments and claims. She saw practitioners administering cancer treatments that were not approved for use in cancer, and witnessed patients suffer the consequences of costly (cash, up front, no insurance) non-intervention. Shortly after participating in the federal crime of using of a non-registered drug in cancer therapy, she hung up her pretend lab coat. She reported the offense to the (self-regulating) Naturopathic Regulatory Board where and the provider in violation received a verbal reprimand, then went back to not really treating patients.
Much respect to you, Britt. It takes tremendous character to sense the bias and exclaim self delusion.
Britt was duped by a system that fools kind people searching for a way to serve others, arming them with a dim kernel of actual science wrapped in a shiny degree, based on implausible therapies and outright fake medicines. Often they steal the precious time of a patient in need of legitimate medical care. Some of these treatments can kill.
Since denouncing the discipline Britt tirelessly continues to expose these dangerous woo-peddlers through her blog (Naturopathic Diaries), her many interviews and public presentations. Her lectures are shocking. I recently saw her present the tales of ill people that sought cures in desperation, only to receive an sham-cebo cocktail that emptied their wallet and accelerated their decline.
Sued for Defamation
Intimidation began shortly after she resigned. Some of the parties wielding naturopathic treatments are now suing Britt for defamation. She has received notice of legal action from her former school, Bastyr University. She also has a pending suit against her from Arizona naturopath Colleen Huber. Huber claims that she cures 90% of cancer patients with intravenous nutrition, reported as baking soda, vitamin C, and other questionable nostrums. She claims to have the best results of any cancer clinic in the world. Huber works out of the NatureWorksBest Cancer Clinic, which is ironic, as cancer is a natural part of biology.
Someone was squatting on domains bearing Britt’s name, sometimes linking them to naturopathic websites. The URL ownership popcorn trail led back to NatureWorksBest, and Britt discussed this on her blog, which they found objectionable. Britt has also been critical of the practices of NatureWorksBest and Colleen Huber, raising the ire and prompting the lawsuits.
Britt Needs Our Help
Britt Hermes is currently studying real science, pursuing a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Genomics at the University of Kiel in Germany. As a graduate student she is particularly vulnerable and not dripping in defense dollars especially since she’s still paying off student loans from the faux-medical education she can never clinically implement. Remember, she got into this pickle because she had the courage to tell the truth, in the interest of helping save lives.
A independent solicitation has been made to generate funds for her defense, to ensure her freedom to fight pseudoscience and save lives in the process. It also sends a clear message that scientists will not be silenced by threats of litigation, when they are simply telling the truth.
This link features the formal statement and a link to donate. The process is being overseen by the Australian Skeptics with great transparency and oversight.
The irony is that Britt Hermes has aided the health of more people, and probably saved the lives of more people, since she has emerged as the leading critic of naturopathy. It would have been easy to roll with it, take the dollars from credulous affluent patients, and deliver treatments that provide relief purely from a treatment effect and patient faith — especially when she is >$200,000 in the hole to Bastyr University.
But to stand up to the nonsense, endure the push back, and now face legal challenge and financial ruin, shows her character, shows her values, and shows precisely why she deserves our support.
This statement is the personal opinion of Kevin M. Folta and may not match the views of Britt Hermes or those orchestrating the defense fund. They are not necessarily the views of his employer, faculty, staff or students.