Chronicle Herald journalist tries to get health official fired for mythbusting

Stephan Neidenbach
Feb 12 · 5 min read

Journalist Andrew Rankin tried to get the Chief Medical Officer of Nova Scotia fired for trying to raise awareness of a medical cult causing real harm to its victims.

Taking a dive into the “rabbit hole” of fake diseases opened my eyes to a whole side of pseudoscience that I had never encountered before. One of the most infamous of these is “chronic lyme”.

Dr. Daniel Summers, a Massachusetts pediatrician, summarized “chronic lyme” for The Daily Beast.

The problem is that, and something I have had to learn to address with my own social media postings, is that there really are people suffering. Just not from “chronic lyme’”. Many of the so-called “lyme literate” doctors prescribing these antibiotics (along with many other questionable and dangerous “treatments”) needlessly are in fact misdiagnosing patients who really are sick. The Chicago Tribune gives an example:

So when Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer, posted on Twitter a retweet calling “chronic lyme” a cult, the backlash was swift and vicious. Imagine being told that something you think you are suffering from isn’t real. That would invoke anger.

Writing for the Chronicle Herald, Andrew Rankin wrote three separate articles filled with quotes from different elements of the cult, the second of which calling for the discipline or dismissal of Dr. Strang. The series of articles served as an even larger calling to the mob.

Calling the chronic lyme community of quacks and their victims a cult is in reality the best way to describe it. One definition in the Merriam Webster dictionary specifically defines it as:

By calling it a cult, Dr. Strang is acknowledging that the sufferers are truly victims. They truly have done nothing wrong. It is the cult leaders, the medical professionals misdiagnosing their patients, that are the wrong doers.

Dr. Strang is not belittling or insulting the patients, the victims, in any way. The tweet itself was a screenshot of one such victim that managed to break free from the cult. Rankin essentially gaslighted this person in his attempt to say they are wrong.

Another ex-cult member wrote a blog post just this week describing her experience and how she managed to get out.

Dr. Strang isn’t even the first to refer to the cult-like nature of chronic lyme. Both Entertainment Weekly and the New York Times have as well.

Perhaps instead of listening to the cult, Andrew Rankin should reach out to those who left it. Or at least some legitimate medical sources. The quacks misleading these people need to be called out, not the doctors who bravely do call them out.

I didn’t get paid to write this, but if you would like to support my classroom you can donate here: https://adoptaclassroom.force.com/donors/s/designation/a1mC0000002NxGLIA0/stepha-neidenbach

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Stephan Neidenbach

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The Method

Promoting sustainable technology and exposing those who demonize it.