“What frightens the establishment about Antineoplastons, has nothing to do with some guy in Texas who invented them—based on some peptide-based extract. It’s about their loss of control and authority over a highly profitable share of the market that they’ve controlled since The War On Cancer was enacted.”Eric Merola Director: Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business Film Serious
The goal is to inject as much noise as possible to keep the public from deciphering the true signal.
The technical definition for these activities, is called “Astroturfing”. [click here for the definition].
The most recent example of Astroturfing in the news was exposed in an August 9, 2015 New York Times article titled “Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets”. The article explains how Coca-Cola (in response to a 25% decrease in sales the last two decades due to a decline in health for consumers) created a non-profit called “Global Energy Balance Network” and has placed millions of dollars into this non-profit for the goal of spreading positive pro-Coca-Cola propaganda trying to debunk the obesity and Type 2 diabetes health hazards from consuming Coca-Cola. The rhetoric is all the same, claiming “science-based” data, when in reality the data is the farthest from “science-based” at all.
Creating a fake grassroots organization to push an agenda of protecting an organization’s bottom line has proven to be one of the most effective forms of propaganda in our modern times. The average joe doesn’t know the difference between a propaganda campaign and a legitimate scientific study.
Another example of a past famous Astroturf campaign, is when health advocates began winning legislation to raise taxes and increase regulation of smoking in the USA—Phillip Morris, Burson-Marrsteller, and other tobacco interests created the “National Smokers Alliance” (NSA) in 1993. The NSA and other tobacco interests initiated an aggressive public relations campaign from 1994-1999 in an effort to exaggerate the appearance of grassroots support for smoker’s rights.
The anti-Burzynski/Antineoplastons group who ironically call themselves “The Skeptics” work the same way. Some are paid by third party interest groups, that appear to be unrelated to the industry itself, in an effort to destroy or at least stall the progress of Antineoplastons. (They aren’t exclusively against Antineoplastons, they go after anything that isn’t invented, packaged, and sold by the pharmaceutical industry). The rest operate under tight dogmatic “groupthink” behaviors, and blindly follow the paid ones, having no real idea of what they are writing and publishing due their weak intellectual vulnerability to desperately want to be accepted by the larger “paid” group. It’s a very intelligent and effective way to go about spreading disinformation in a world where many naive and vulnerable people want to not believe these activities occur, so they seek a google search to reinforce their core belief system—regardless if what they find relates to the truth or not. Just how right-wing groups prefer right-wing publications, left-wing groups prefer left-wing publications, and so on.
*If you read any of these “Anti-Burzynski” blogs you will notice their rhetoric is based on rabid hateful contention, resorting to character attacks and ad hominem attacks, while completely avoiding the facts themselves. Those who believe the unsubstantiated statements written in their blogs are their target audience. These very same people are the so-called “editors” who gate-keep the “Burzynski” Wikipedia page, then write their own blogs as “sources” to the very same unsubstantiated statements placed within the Wikipedia page.
There is little hope of changing the minds of these groupthink individuals, because they are not “science-based” individuals searching for the truth, and we wouldn’t recommend wasting your time with them trying to convince them of the proven facts before them. Groupthinkers have been a big part of the human culture since the beginning of time.
Because it is difficult to decipher who is an Astroturf Group and who is a well-meaning journalist, sometimes they are able to influence vulnerable members of the mainstream press. These same bloggers recently manipulated Liz Szabo of USA TODAY (in Nov. 2013) and worked together to create one of the most unsubstantiated and biased articles on Burzynski to date.
What are they so afraid of?
You will notice they do not attack other similar documentary projects the same way they attack this one. The reason being, most other so-called “alternative cancer therapies” do not stand a chance of actually reaching FDA approval and changing the paradigm of cancer therapy like “Antineoplastons” do. It’s a genuine threat that scares them to the core.
The reality is, if Antineoplastons were placed on the market for any type of cancer—anyone would be able to gain access to it under the FDA’s “Off label” clause. This would be permanently and detrimentally damaging to the cancer industry, as most any cancer patient who has experienced a failed surgery, or has an inoperable cancer would inevitably choose Antineoplastons over conventional toxic therapy, simply for quality of life issues. Also, since the patents on Antineoplastons have been around for a long time, they would only hold a 7-year exclusive patent upon reaching market before becoming a generic drug (like most antibiotics). Even if a member of PhRMA were to purchase Antineoplastons for distribution, it would destroy their company along with all other competing companies, upon the medicines reaching “generic status”.
The industry also profits greatly from all the anti-inflammatory medications, anti-nausea medications, anti-depressants, and more that are given as a standard to many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. The issue of Antineoplastons is merely a market issue, not a scientific one. Creating an aggressive Astroturf campaign is one of the final stages of defense when an industry is trying to preserve a monopolistic advantage over the market.
A little bit of advice:
Overall, you need to be able to think for yourself. Question everything, including us and this film. Feel free to verify all sources used for this film for yourself via the Sourced Transcript [link]. You will notice the Astroturf campaign related to the “anti-Burzynski bloggers” refuse to do that, they instead engage in ad hominem attacks to avoid the truth presented in this project. These Astroturf bloggers have an agenda, and are not open to any rational discourse whatsoever.
Our society is increasingly built on wars of information and disinformation. The fact that most people will basically believe anything they are told without bothering to find out if what they are told is true or not—makes them for vulnerable prey, especially when they are dying of cancer. The writers of the “anti-Burzynski” bloggers know this—and take full advantage of this. That is the entire goal of an Astroturf campaign.
Next time you read an article from ironically titled blogs like “Science Based Medicine” or “Science Blogs” take the time to actually “fact-check” what they are writing, and you will begin to see their house of cards for what it is.
In September, 2013 – Popular Science has stated they will be no longer allowing comments due to a small “fraction minority [which] wields enough power to skew a reader’s perception of a story.”