When looking at Wikipedia, you may have assumed that it is an independent child of the internet age, run by a small army of volunteers committed to spreading truthful and independent information. This may be so – except when you challenge the interests of the multi-billion dollar investment business with pharmaceutical drugs.
How the facts aren't welcome on Wikipedia when you challenge the interests of the multi-billion dollar drug industry
Between February 2008 and April 2009, aided by some willing assistants, we attempted to correct some of the key factual errors and blatantly biased statements in the Wikipedia article on Dr. Rath. It proved to be an eye-opening experience.
Introducing ‘Keepcalmandcarryon’: Is he a “friend” of the ARV-promoting South African "brown shirts", the Treatment Action Campaign?
Is 'Keepcalmandcarryon' Nathan Geffen of the Treatment Action Campaign?
Wikipedia: Free access to the sum of all human knowledge, or just another way of supporting the scientific, political and social status quo?
By effectively forcing its editors to rely on medical journals, books published by "respected publishing houses" and mainstream newspapers for their references, the reality is that much of Wikipedia's healthcare-related content is essentially just supporting the same pro-pharmaceutical and corporatist ideologies as are pumped out on a daily basis through the world's Big Media and publishing outlets.
Any embarrassment Jimmy Wales might feel when asked about his controversial attempts to rewrite the past and paint himself as the sole founder of Wikipedia must surely pale away into insignificance compared to the public humiliation he suffered in 2008 following the breakup of his liaison with onetime Fox News pundit Rachel Marsden.
The Soros Connection
One of the most notable of the Wikimedia Foundation’s supporters is the so-called “Open Society Institute”, founded by the chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, George Soros.
In most normal encyclopedias, articles are written by people who are experts on the subjects they are writing about. In other words, you wouldn’t expect to find articles on subjects such as Alternative Medicine; Megavitamin therapy; Naturopathic medicine and Orthomolecular medicine being written by orthodox doctors and proponents of pharmaceutical medicine. On Wikipedia however, with a small number of exceptions, literally anyone who visits the site can edit any article. As a result, its articles on non-pharmaceutical forms of medicine tend to be written from a highly sceptical standpoint and are effectively “policed” by editors exhibiting a strong and open bias towards pharmaceutical medicine.
One example of such an editor is a Wikipedia Administrator known as ‘Mastcell’, who, right from his very first edits in August 2006, made it immediately apparent that his primary interest and knowledge base – and probably even his career – centers around the practice of pharmaceutical-based medicine.
A member of Wikipedia’s WikiProject Medicine, the first article Mastcell edited was on bone marrow examination. After this he moved on to contributing to articles on pharmaceutical drugs such as Dasatinib; Vinblastine; Doxorubicin; Bleomycin and Dacarbazine; and to articles on medical specialities including bone marrow; hypernatremia; flow immunophenotyping; anatomical pathology; the history of cancer chemotherapy; chemotherapy; blood transfusion and transfusion reaction; Hodgkin's lymphoma; hemolytic disease of the newborn; sickle-cell disease; thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; melanoma; acute myeloid leukaemia; myelodysplastic syndrome; granulocytic sarcoma; chronic myelogenous leukaemia; leukemoid reaction; neutrophilia; myeloperoxidase; ischemic colitis; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and esophageal varices, amongst others.
Mastcell’s other early contributions to Wikipedia included creating the page on exchange transfusion (the medical treatment in which a person's red blood cells or platelets are removed and replaced with transfused blood products); adding the logo to the article on the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; and editing the article on pharmaceutical marketing. All things considered, therefore, it’s difficult to imagine somebody less suitable to edit the Wikipedia article on Dr. Rath.
Mastcell began editing the article on Dr. Rath on August 31, 2006, when, amongst other things, he used it to accuse Dr. Rath of being an AIDS denialist. This was an absurd accusation, of course, as Dr. Rath has never denied the existence of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Since then, MastCell has pointedly removed references in the article to statements made by Dr. Rath himself, despite the fact that in some cases Wikipedia’s guidelines on biographies of living persons clearly permit these.
Perhaps most notably of all, MastCell has also removed reference in the article to a court judgement given in Cape Town, South Africa, in March 2006 in which the judge explicitly stated that he was not persuaded that the following statements about the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) were defamatory:
- The TAC organises rented crowds for the drug industry;
- The TAC pays people to participate in demonstrations;
- The TAC encourages people to take medicine which is harmful to them and will kill them;
- The TAC forces the government to spend millions of rands on toxic drugs;
- The TAC forces the government to spread disease and death among the people of South Africa;
- The TAC destabilises democracy in South Africa.
Significantly, therefore, following our publishing, in August 2008, of an article about Wikipedia in which we suggested that MastCell could perhaps be David H. Gorski – currently a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Michigan, United States – MastCell admitted that he’d been “outed” and has since announced on his Wikipedia talk page that he is “stepping back from most administrative matters for the foreseeable future”.
But stepping back to what? His job in Michigan as a surgical oncologist? If so, one thing’s for sure in that he’s sure spent a lot of time away from it. An analysis of the hours MastCell works on Wikipedia would appear to suggest that whoever is paying him is very sympathetic towards his spending time away from his job. Either that, or perhaps editing Wikipedia is his job…
- Promoting Old Drugs For Dangerous New Uses: Study Claims Calcium Channel Blockers Stop Spread Of Cancer
- Webinar with Celia Penny Moses-Nagbiku on 25 January, 2017
- Hospital Food And Nutrition Classes In Medical Schools: Can You Work Out What The Connection Is?
- Giordano Bruno – martyred for being years ahead of his scientific contemporaries
- Progress in Cellular Health Science: An End-Of-Year Message from Dr. Matthias Rath
- Women who take paracetamol and ibuprofen risk going deaf