Modern Alternative Mama’s flight from Facebook: the dawn of a new day for science on the internet

science chasing

The internet is the oxygen of contemporary pseudoscience movements.

Pseudoscience movements like anti-vaccine advocacy existed prior to the internet, of course but they were stunted, enfeebled shadows of what they later became. Why? Because prior to the internet, it was easy to tell the difference between science, which appeared in textbooks, journals and at professional conferences, and pseudoscience, which was transmitted by mimeographed newsletters shared among the true believers.

The internet allowed purveyors of pseudoscience, as well as charlatans and con men, to inexpensively create an image identical to that of actual science. Just about any internet tool that is available to those attempting to teach laypeople about science is equally available to those attempting to profit from pseudoscience. A layperson is hard pressed to tell the difference between the two. Moreover, widely available web services like Facebook allow for easy communication of pseudoscience between the true believers and the uninitiated. A shared post on Facebook looks the same to a layperson whether it came from a legitimate source or a pseudoscience clown.

That’s why Modern Alternative Mama’s announcement that she is fleeing from Facebook is a victory for science. Of course, just as Katie Tietje has spewed nonsense about vaccines, childbirth and anything else you can think of, she’s spewing nonsense about why she’s leaving Facebook. She claims it’s about privacy, in a post disingenuously titled If Privacy Matters to You, It’s Time to Leave Facebook but it’s really about the inability to hide from dissent on Facebook.

We all know that what we say on there in groups and on pages could be shared. Sure. We know if our profiles are public, then friends or even employers could look us up and see what we do with our time. It’s the internet, and it’s forever.

But.

Did you know that even if you are posting in a private or secret group, Facebook can read and even use that information? They can (and do) share it with marketing partners. And if you post a picture of your kids and set it to show to “close friends” only, Facebook owns that image and could use it in advertising. Without letting you know first — because you agreed to it when you signed up.

If anyone believes that’s why Katie is leaving Facebook, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell you.

The real reason is this:

Discussing any controversial topic, especially vaccines (which I tend to do often) is fraught with landmines — namely, trolls, who like to bully and harass people who don’t believe what they believe. I try to avoid talking about them, because the general line of thought goes that if you ignore them they’ll go away. Here’s the thing: they won’t. It’s not about attention, it’s not even about me. It’s about their mental instability and need to bully those who aren’t like them, and no strategy (ignoring, retaliating, etc.) will ever make them stop.

I know plenty of you are fed up with that, too. You just want a safe space, like it used to be, to ask questions about natural living and connect with like-minded parents. (emphasis in the original).

Ever notice how pseudoscience cranks like Katie, and others (Gina Crossly-Corcoran immediately springs to mind) behave like men’s rights activists who scream “discrimination” whenever they are called to account on their abusive tactics, or racists who scream “racism against white people” whenever they are called to account about their prejudice, Katie, and her ilk scream “trolls, bullies” whenever any dares to point out that their nonsense is contradicted by science.

As in politics, so it is in science: sunlight is the best disinfectant. Katie Tietje’s beliefs are like ice cubes; they can’t withstand the glare of the truth. So Katie needs to find someplace dark and private, and most importantly, needs to be able to ban any hint of actual scientific evidence, because otherwise her nonsense will be eviscerated.

Poor Katie just wanted a “safe space” where she could transmit her nonsense free from anyone’s attempt to interject actual science.

Now, there is such a place.

It’s called MeWe, and it’s a new social media site. They take privacy seriously — you own all your content, not them. They also don’t allow bullying, trolling, or harassment. They won’t allow people to target pages or groups and be nasty to them. They won’t allow them to start hate groups. And every group can choose their privacy settings, so that they have to approve all new members before they join (which keeps trolls out, if you screen members carefully). Plus, if someone is nasty, you can ban them — and they actually stay banned.

This creates a safe space for like-minded people who just want to have a real discussion about all things natural living. One of the main guys over at MeWe is actually a “natural dad” himself, and I’ve spoken to him about some of this — it’s for real. It’s not going to end up like Facebook. (emphasis in the original)

Right, it’s not going to end up like Facebook; it’s going to end up bankrupt.

Because of Facebook’s blatant violation of privacy and obvious censorship of natural communities, I’m moving my operations over to MeWe.

It’s going to take a few weeks to actually get the word out to everyone, and help everyone get set up over at MeWe. We are screening members because we want a solid, positive community. But after awhile, I’ll delete my presence on Facebook. I just can’t be a part of that business anymore. I disagree too strongly with what they are doing.

Awesome! Katie can slink off under a virtual rock where only the faithful who affirmatively choose to subject themselves to her nonsense will be able to hear her.

But if you think she’s permanently retiring from Facebook, think again. She’ll be back because she wants to proselytize; that’s why she joined Facebook in the first place. Over at MeWe she might as well not exist. Only the choir will follow her there and what fun is that?

I’m not the only blogger to do this. Many of my natural-living colleagues are jumping ship and heading over to MeWe, too. See, they care as much about privacy as I do, and the ability to reach their fans without censorship.

Way to go, Katie! Take all the other “natural living clowns” who “care about privacy” with you when you go, and the internet will be a better place.

Careful, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  • Creekside

    I don’t believe in evolution. I believe in devolution. I believe that absent of nature, than humans are making themselves weaker and weaker through directing the most resources into the weakest of the species. But, we all have the ability to read. We don’t all have the ability to discern fact from fiction, and since there is no ‘peer review’ for the internet, I believe this will just hasten the demise of human kind.

    So, the quicker the dumb ones kill themselves off by following Dr. J. McCarthy et al’s direction, the more air for me to breathe…

    • Nick Sanders

      That’s not even remotely how natural selection works. And, beyond that, natural selection is not in any way a sensible basis for social policy.

  • Helen

    Cut from a similar cloth, Jessica Gianelloni doesn’t allow comments on her blog if they disagree with her. Today I’ve been involved in a Facebook discussion with her asking why she doesn’t allow freedom of speech. Not allowing comments on a blog is a great big red flag and I wish more of the followers of these people (MAM, Jessica Gianelloni etc) would see that.

  • Amy

    I wonder how many fans or followers she’ll have on MeWe. Her 50k + likes on FB aren’t fooling anyone…her posts have hardly any likes or comments except from detractors.

  • Sue

    This post really resonates for me at the moment, as I negotiate my presence of the FB page of the author of “Sweet Poison” – an ex-lawyer who lost weight and wrote a book about it. He firmly believes that fructose is ”toxic” and has a band of FB followers who exchange recipes where they sweeten things with glucose or rice malt syrup, to avoid fructose.

    His posts used to be greeted with almost universal agreement until I became a fly in the ointment some months ago. I agree with them about the need to minimise added sugar and empty calories, but disagree with using pseudo-science to support what they do and say. I frequently correct misunderstandings in chemistry and physiology – comments which are generally met with disdain and accusations of arrogance.

    Interestingly, the page owner has chosen not to ban me – he says that he allows me to post there to be a “laughing stock” and to show his readers what an old-fashioned arrogant professional sounds like.

    Most recently, they’ve been asking me why I continue posting there, and why I don’t just start my own blog. They bristle at the accusation of “cult”, but they certainly don;’t want their fixed ideas challenged.

    These people don’t close their groups, though, precisely because they want the followiing.

    • He doesn’t know that fructose, glucose, and dextrose are used the same way in the body or that the only real difference between them is that if one tastes “sweeter” than another, it means one can use less of one kind of sugar [cheaper therefore for the manufacturer] in whatever is being produced?

      • Sue

        There is a different metabolic pathway in the liver for Fructose, ANtigonos, which leads to both glycogen and triglycerides. This is normal physiology, but the fructose-is-poison want to blame fructose for all obesity.

        • Thanks for the clarification. Since I took my physiology classes literally 50 years ago [1965!! gosh!] I ought to keep my mouth shut on topics like this.

          • Sue

            No worries – the ongoing discussion has been good for keeping up my ongoing education!

            In reality, the types of sugar ingested only make a difference in significant excess.

        • SporkParade

          Since I know absolutely nothing about anything, do other sugars raise triglycerides as well?

    • Who?

      Isn’t he rude-his tone is like so many male middle aged lawyers who don’t like being challenged: you’ll find the same tone on the current Australian federal government front bench. It’s eerie actually. And yes I do feel comfortable with sheeting it home to the males because they tend to manage their various disappointments by denigrating others.

      I love how you’re the arrogant one for disagreeing with him.

      So for what it’s worth my view is sweet is sweet and less sweet is better. All this cavorting around to sweeten with increasingly obscure, expensive and difficult to source additives would be funny if it wasn’t such a waste of time.

      Though watch what might happen to you if you give up sugar cold turkey….
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UZJRR8OHhY

      • Sue

        I love that whole series – brilliant!

      • Sue

        It goes on – it’s a real contest for him

        • Who?

          He’s a broken toy….

      • Nick Sanders

        I don’t denigrate others when I’m upset, you’re just a big stupidhead.

        • Who?

          I would have just ‘liked’ this but can’t as I’m not signed in…

  • Staceyjw

    They really abuse the idea of safe space, to the point where it’s meaningless. Safe spaces are for oppressed groups, and are supposed to be where people can be with others that face the same issues, without needing to hear from, or cater to, their oppressors. A place free from slurs and whatever particular hatred the group deals with everyday (ie: a group for black women to talk freely, away from men/ white women, and the racism and misogyny they bring.)
    When privileged Anti Vaxxers act like they need protection from the big, bad world, it’s making a mockery of the whole concept, tbh. I realize it’s just an dea and is oPen for interpretation, but I sure wish they would use different terminology. Acting persecuted by facts is pitiful and offensive.

  • Angharad

    This is off topic, but does anyone know how/why the natural parenting world picked up on goat milk as the best thing since breast milk? My little one has multiple food allergies, including cow milk and soy, and I’ve had several people tell me that instead of hypoallergenic formula I should just feed her goat milk. From what I can find, goat milk still contains casein and also I would assume it isn’t a complete nutritional food for infants. Are they just being contrarian?

    • Trixie

      It’s slightly better than cow’s milk, I guess, if you have no commercial formula. But that’s not saying much.

    • I think they might be oversimplifying it. A lot of people in my family can’t have similar allergies, so, the family conveniently having a goat farm, they’re able to have that instead.

      That’s just our experience, though. I’m not sure what makes them allergic to cow dairy and why goat dairy is okay, so it would be best to talk to your pediatrician or your kid’s allergist. It might be that his allergy is more severe and affects dairy across the board, because it seems weird to me that a pediatrician would point you guys towards hypoallergenic formula when there’s a cheaper alternative.

      • Montserrat Blanco

        For infants it is just not adequate. There is people on the internet advocating feeding babies with goat’s milk. The problem is the same as it would be with unmodified cow’s milk: protein content, vitamin content, etc. Buying hypoallergenic formula for an infant with cow’s milk allergy is the way to go (or having a nursing mother that has NO dairy products at all for as long as breastfeeding lasts).

        • Right, which is why I suspected that a doctor wouldn’t recommend it, being the more expensive option, unless there was a good reason. As much as these movements like to claim otherwise, I have never in my life seen a pediatrician suggest an expensive or unnecessary plan when there’s a valid alternative; by and large, they’re the first to do so.

    • Nick Sanders

      It’s not just the natural parenting circles; for whatever reason, goat’s milk has been picked up a lot of nutritional woo, and a lot of alt med people treat it as one of the best things ever.

      According to wikipedia giving it to babies is a bad idea:

      The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages feeding infants milk derived from goats. An April 2010 case report[43] summarizes their recommendation and presents “a comprehensive review of the consequences associated with this dangerous practice”, also stating, “Many infants are exclusively fed unmodified goat’s milk as a result of cultural beliefs as well as exposure to false online information. Anecdotal reports have described a host of morbidities associated with that practice, including severe electrolyte abnormalities, metabolic acidosis, megaloblastic anemia, allergic reactions including life-threatening anaphylactic shock, hemolytic uremic syndrome, and infections.” Untreated caprine brucellosis results in a 2% case fatality rate. According to the USDA, doe milk is not recommended for human infants because it contains “inadequate quantities of iron, folate, vitamins C and D, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid to meet an infant’s nutritional needs” and may cause harm to an infant’s kidneys and could cause metabolic damage.[44]

      The Department of Health in the United Kingdom has repeatedly released statements stating on various occasions that[45] “Goats’ milk is not suitable for babies, and infant formulas and follow-on formulas based on goats’ milk protein have not been approved for use in Europe”, and “infant milks based on goats’ milk protein are not suitable as a source of nutrition for infants.”[46]

      Also according to the Canadian Federal Health Department – Health Canada, most of the dangers or counter-indication of feeding unmodified goat milk to infants, are similar to those incurring in the same practice with cow’s milk, namely in the allergic reactions.[47]

      • In before “formula industry conspiracy”, “FDA AIN’T GONNA TELL ME HOW TO RAISE MY BABY”.

      • Amy M

        How many of lactivists are all; Cow milk is for baby cows!!! but I guess goat milk is baby humans.

        • Angharad

          Well I knew I caused my baby’s allergies by damaging her microbiome by feeding her artificial industrial milk. If only I had fed her nature’s perfect food for babies who aren’t breastfed she probably wouldn’t even have allergies.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “by feeding her artificial industrial milk”

            Don’t try to downplay what you did! You fed her Industrial-Complex artificial chemical food replacement solution, and you know it!

          • Amy M

            Well that depends…was she born via Csection? Or did you have an epidural? If the answer to either of those is “yes” than she was screwed no matter what you fed her. You may as well have pureed McDonald’s and gave her that, since she’s obviously already doomed.

          • Angharad

            I did have an epidural! And an instrumental delivery. AND I was induced! At this point I may as well just throw some Coke in her bottle and call it a day.

          • Roadstergal
    • Elaine

      I thought that goat milk>cow’s milk for babies who couldn’t be nursed was a thing historically, and I assumed that was why it had gained traction as an alternative to formula, because obviously it’s more natural than formula and our foremothers fed it to their babies and blah blah.

    • Angharad

      I assumed it was something like “tradition, natural, blah blah blah.” The weirdest part is that all the people who have told me this have made really outlandish claims, like, “If you use goat milk instead of formula, you won’t have to worry about germs because goat milk is naturally pasteurized” and “goat milk is the same as breast milk, so you don’t have to worry about her nutrition.” These are just so clearly made up, and if they were true, wouldn’t goat milk be at least as popular as formula? I guess I just don’t know why these people latched onto goat milk as opposed to, say, sheep milk, or camel milk, or some other kind of milk.

      • Young CC Prof

        Probably because they can’t find camel milk. You know they would if they could.

        I think I’m going to start calling it the Internet Law of Crank Magnetism: Someone who truly deeply believes one nutty thing will believe multiple others, and the best way to discredit such a person is to just keep her talking while the whole chain spills out.

        • Nick Sanders

          And I think you should be ashamed for stealing that name from RationalWiki. :p

      • yugaya

        Goats are recommended by grandmothers because goats were more easily owned than cows back in the day. A hundred years ago for a family with no cow, a mother who cannot breastfeed and a newborn baby that needs to be fed a goat was probably as good at fighting off death as a wet nurse was.

        Despite whackos promoting these centuries old practices, we live in year 2015 when there is no need to resort to them – we have formula.There was this program on the NICU unit in central national hospital in my country, and the doctors there spoke how their biggest problem is seeing babies who were born premature and saved back in the hospital after their mothers from very rural and underdeveloped villages feed them “natural” alternatives to special formula. Goat’s milk was the culprit in many cases of severe complications because it is still believed in places like that to be the most superior food you can procure for your child.

      • Cobalt

        Goat milk is naturally homogenized. And even though homogenized and pasteurized are next to each other on the jug, they are not the same thing. Unpasteurized milk is dangerous. Unhomogenized milk will just settle and separate.

      • Leah

        lol. I’ve heard the pasteurized thing too. I think it comes from confusing the meaning (and the words) pasteurization and homogenization. Because goat milk is (kind of) naturally homogenized. The fat is in much smaller clusters and therefore more distributed through the milk and doesn’t rise to the top as much as with cow milk.

      • Leah

        I’ve also heard lots of claims that goat milk doesn’t contain lactose and that’s why people/babies tolerate it better. The thing is, I think that some people DO tolerate goat milk more easily than cow, but when it comes to the reason, perhaps best to just say “I know know…”

      • Daleth

        Don’t you know? Goat’s milk is from Narnia.

    • Who?

      My mum (now in her 70s) fed me goats milk as a baby (early 1960s) as I was such a tender little plant. It was apparently superior to carnation brand evap and water which is what the other babies had. She has no definitive reason why this is so, and they lived in a country town so presumably could source it somehow.

      So it’s been around awhile.

      • Angharad

        It has been around awhile! One of the people who is always telling me to use goat milk is my grandma. Every time I see her she asks if I’m still using “that strange smelling formula” and if I’ve tried goat milk instead. Of course, before we switched 100% to formula, she also kept telling me that dairy I ate couldn’t get into my breastmilk because babies can’t be allergic to their mother’s milk. I wish!

      • toni

        One of the nurses at my prep school said she was raised on carnation milk. https://www.verybestbaking.com/products/3804/carnation/nestle-carnation-evaporated-milk/ I don’t know if the ingredients are the same as it was but it doesn’t look like it has much nutrition in it (no iron, no vitamin c – how did babies live on that??). I imagine goat’s milk is at least a little more nutritious. carnation milk tastes a lot better in my opinion though.Goat’s milk is so goatey :/

        • Roadstergal

          Goat’s milk is damn pungent, for sure. A goat’s milk milkshake was good, but it felt like it was going to grow hair _somewhere_ on me.

          • Daleth

            I once bought a pot of blueberry flavored goat’s milk yogurt. Could not finish it, because it tasted like someone had taken a gob of blueberry yogurt and smeared it across a goat’s anus.

          • toni

            lmao, you guys are too much!

          • Who?

            So’s the carnation evap-smells disgusting, and so sweet. Someone must be using it, it’s still available at the supermarket: there used to be a note on it to say not fit for infant feeding.

    • SporkParade

      I think so. There’s a lot of “this is a food staple, so it must be terrible for human health” going on. How else do you explain “wheat belly,” sugar being compared with drugs, anything having to do with corn syrup, the paranoia about arsenic in rice, etc?

    • Amy M

      Probably because its obscure and more expensive to get than cow milk,and not supported by a large industry. If it ever became more mainstream, they’d just switch to mare’s milk or something.

      That said, fresh goat cheese is truly delicious. 🙂

      • One word: gjetost. Norwegian caramel-flavored goat cheese.

    • Allie P

      Goats? Come on. All the cool alternative mamas rec CAMEL milk!

      • sdsures

        How about llama milk?

    • Leah

      This is really a mystery to me, too. I think it has something to do with the milk protein (A1 vs A2) and a sensitivity to the type of protein. Goat milk is more likely to have A2 and cow more likely to have A1, depending on breed. I’ve heard people say all kinds of crazy stuff, like that goat milk doesn’t have lactose.

    • Cobalt

      Goat milk, like any other unprocessed non human milk, is bad for infants. However, some older kids (and grown ups) that have trouble with cow’s milk tolerate goat’s milk. Three is a different balance of nutrients, it’s something to keep in mind for later.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        However, some older kids (and grown ups) that have trouble with cow’s milk tolerate goat’s milk.

        Likely true, but I also propose that, if the situations were reversed and goat milk were the “default” milk in our society, you would find it just as much the other way around, that there would be those who had trouble with goat’s milk that would be able to tolerate cow’s milk. IOW, I am suggesting that there is nothing magical about goat’s milk in this regard, it is just an alternative to cow’s milk.

    • Kelly

      I know for my friend who is allergic to dairy, they use goat milk but not when they were babies.

    • Random Person

      I would be cautious if you do eventually give goat milk. I am allergic to cow milk and cross-reactive to goat milk. It all depends on what protein sequences or structures your immune system picked to be angered by. If these are similar enough to those in goat milk, you’ll be allergic to both.

      Also goat milk is suited for kids that are nonhuman, i.e. baby goats. Human babies that need alternative primary nutrition should drink formula.

  • Empliau

    MeWe? It reminds me of Blackadder saying to cutesy Amy “All writteny-witteney by MeWe.” (Blackadder the Third). How can anyone take it seriously?

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Mega bonus points for the Blackadder reference. 😀

    • Roadstergal

      It reminds me of the shewee.
      http://www.shewee.com/

  • Dr Kitty

    So…
    How does this work?
    Everyone has to be vouched for by someone that the poster knows before they can post?
    And then I imagine everyone has a conversation which goes something like this:

    Platinum boobs: I HB, homeschool, don’t vaccinate, grow my own hemp, shear my own sheep, make my own kombucha and treat all ailments with homemade tinctures of lavender and milk thistle”.
    Earthmomma:”Way to go momma! I do all that too, but in addition I pick my own cotton and make my own paper from birch bark- you should try it, it’s really empowering!”
    Urban alt goddess: “Oh ladies, I <3 that, but we live in an apartment, so I'm just keeping a beehive in the bathroom. It is amazing what all you can do with honey, beeswax and healthful bee venom! I think the bees will add a lovely natural ambience when I give birth in the tub next week, and I can't wait for them to welcome our newborn earth side!"
    Momto9-8VBAC:"Sadly my oldest child is deathly allergic to bees, which I'm sure is because she once ate a piece of non organic fruit (and the CS, of course).Do you think we could get the same benefits as bee venom from the hornet nest in our barn? How do we get the correct dose of venom? Should the kids hit it with sticks or just stand under it and shout?"
    Mama bear:" I think you should start with just a rousing sing song, and gradually progress to hitting the nest gently with a broom handle, your intuition will let you know when you've all got just the right dose, but I'd make sure I had some homeopathic sage handy, just in case an extra sting or two occurs!"

    • RGN

      Dr Kitty, I finally created a Disqus account so I could upvote your comment. It is one of the funniest I’ve read in a long time. Loved it!

      • Dr Kitty

        Thank you.
        Honestly, I don’t see this as working out well for them, but if it makes it less likely for the unsuspecting person who just likes slings, BF and cloth nappies to get sucked into the weird end of the woo pool, I’m all for it.

    • Sue

      That is brilliant!

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      Best comment ever!

  • Bugsy

    “We are screening members because we want a solid, positive community.”

    In other words, “we want an echo chamber.”

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      She makes no pre-tense otherwise. See the bolded comment above

      This creates a safe space for like-minded people

      It’s about “like-minded people” – people who believe differently aren’t welcome.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    She’s crying about censorship? Pot, meet kettle.

  • Butthurt crybabies. You can’t simultaneously proclaim yourself a revolutionary and a victim, but dammit if these mommies on the internets aren’t trying.

    Here’s the problem. They’re scared of hospitals, which is normal because hospitals are just inherently unpleasant, but they don’t frame their selfish decisions around that rationale because they know people will label them as sociopaths. So while the fear of hospitals and loss of control will play a role in their public crusades, it takes a backseat to this meticulously cultivated persona of themselves as VICTIMS of the Obstetrician Industrial Complex as well as BRAVE BRAVE HEROES for being free-thinking renegades.

    All this blustering is great because it reveals them for the cowardly whinebags they really are, just like anyone else with a disingenuously held belief that they KNOW is bullshit.

    • Allie

      I know you’ll find this weird, but I like hospitals. They’re full of (mostly) wonderful caregivers, you get to wear your pajamas all day, and people bring you your meals in bed : ) I would have stayed longer after I had my daughter, but after two nights it was Christmas Eve and we wanted to be home for Christmas. I guess I was just always used to them because I had a few (minor) health issues growing up that required brief hospitalizations and I was raised by grandparents, so I was used to being around old people and visiting various types of care institutions.

      • I think a lot of people have a few very negative experiences which make the entire process terrible. When I think of hospitals I don’t think of the multitude of compassionate, sensitive doctors and nurses I’ve had, but the few that treated me like a subhuman. Many homebirthers cite past bad experiences as a reason for their selfish decisions, unfortunately.

      • Roadstergal

        I’m totally with you. If I’m in a hospital, it’s because something is wrong with me, and I know I’ll get the best care there; it’s comforting. And even in the Spartan hospitals where I’m sitting in a cold room in a paper smock, people are just so _nice_…

      • toni

        Some hospitals are awful though. I’ve been to a lot. I was treated wonderfully on the maternity and post-partum wards and other times that I’ve been a long term patient. but last year after our car accident I was left for two hours on a stretcher with several broken bones and no pain medicine with my son still in his carseat, screaming his head off just out of reach. It was purgatorial. The ED wasn’t even busy, we were the only patients!! When someone finally came in (other than the lady asking for my insurance card) I asked for a bottle for my baby or if they could place him on me to nurse and they refused. One nurse took pity on us and brought him a cookie but he was 6 months old at the time and barely ate much puree food never mind oreos. They also left the fluorescent strip lights on the whole time so neither of us had any chance of resting. We were eventually transported to a big city hospital and the difference was night and day. That first hospital has terrible online reviews.

  • sdsures

    I wonder if she still loves her child that came out of her vagina more than the one who came out via C-section.

  • Amy M

    It’s kind of embarrassing to read anything by this woman, I cringe every time. I’m glad her followers are few in number. Anytime I see anyone peddling snake oil, I wonder if she really believes it herself, or if she knows full well she is scamming people. This lady seems full-bore looney, and might actually believe all the tripe she spouts, which, I guess, is why its so embarrassing to read.

    • Sue

      When I used to look at her site in the early days, I wondered why this young woman who was a music teacher held any cred for anyone in childrearing, nutrition, or anything much.

      How did she manage to get a following at all?

  • attitude devant

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around Kate, who famously told the internet that if one of her kids had to die she hoped it was her daughter and not her son, explaining “It’s the internet and it’s forever.”

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      She said WHAT?

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
      • attitude devant

        Oh yeah. It was spectacularly ugly. You know how all these idiot mommy bloggers think that spewing their undigested thoughts is laudable ‘because honesty’? Well she had this long post where she announced she was going to break a taboo and talk about how we all love one child more or less than another….and then she launched into this long saga about how her daughter was born and how she never really bonded and….yep if one of her kids had to die she’d be less sad if it was her daughter.

        On a public blog page.

        The outcry was huge and she backtracked and edited and defended like mad, but it was really quite shocking….she clearly thought it was A-OK to think and publish those things.

        I was the one (out of many) that my mother disliked and I finally made my peace with it in my mid-forties, so it’s all too easy for me to know that if WE know that Kate doesn’t like her daughter, her DAUGHTER knows it too. And the whole internet knows it. Forever.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Crap. Sophie’s choice is supposed to be a HARD decision to make. I’m not even willing to commit to which pet fish I’d least mind dying.

          • attitude devant

            It’s the little spotted one. Admit it.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Well, it’s true that the little spotted one wasn’t born by vaginal delivery…

          • Mishimoo

            Mine were all brought earthside in a lovely intervention-free waterbirth.

          • Kq

            I see what you did there

          • Mishimoo

            I had to, it was such a perfect opportunity! *giggles*

          • fiftyfifty1

            Kate’s Choice.

            Kate: “Kill the girl. I never really liked her anyway.”

            The End

          • Medwife

            I pick the cat that peed all over my carpet. If I started feeling bad about that, I’d just go downstairs and take a nice big whiff.

        • Mel

          To me, there is a world of difference between
          – knowing which of your kids you like more or less (human nature)
          – showing which kid you like more or less (also human nature, but should be avoided like the plague)
          – deciding which kid you would feel less sad about dying (That puts you into the category of “less human emotion than a cow”)

          • attitude devant

            And then there’s the level of breathtaking cruelty that leads you to tell the world about it.

          • fiftyfifty1

            and then the level of clueless narcissism that makes you imagine yourself to be a Warrior for the Truth for telling everyone about how difficult to love you find your unfavored child.

        • Staceyjw

          I didn’t realize this was that Kate. Oh my! She’s a horrible person for doing anything with that thought other than keeping it hidden deep in her mind, where it belongs. Parents have ugly thoughts, but caring ones don’t share them with the world. Putting that online was really inconsiderate.

          • Elaine

            I understand wanting to share thoughts that you find painful, to bring them into the light and maybe shed light on them for other people who are having the same experience… but I also think that some things are best discussed in anonymity and that’s probably one of them. She should have used a pseudonym for that post for sure.

          • momofone

            But then she couldn’t trumpet her incredible honesty to the masses! “See? I call it like it is! I’m not one of those sheep, pretending to care for all my children equally!”

    • seasprite

      Holy balls! After my cat died, I blurted to my husband that I had sort of wished it was our other cat (the one that died was barely a year old) and immediately felt like the most horrible person. Seriously, worse than Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot combined. Luckily my husband knew it was grief talking, but I never posted this on the internet because I knew I would get a huge backlash and would have deserved it. Could not imagine talking about a human child that way!

      BTW, I am very happy my other cat is alive and while I miss my baby kitty even four years later, we found another cat who needed a loving home and our two boys are inseparable.

    • Who?

      Makes you wonder what she would consider too personal, damaging to others or flat-out crazy sounding to post, doesn’t it?

  • Votre

    What is going to stop someone who has been blessed off as being “safe” from going in under her radar, gathering some of her choice bits of nonsense and then broadbanding them – along with unflattering editorial commentary – out on the open web using an entirely different identity?

    You can run on the web. But you can’t hide. Far from fencing her opponents out, she’s merely fencing herself in. Her strategy, caried to its logical conclusion, means it’s only a matter of time before she ends up with a tiny coterie of yes-sayers and sycophants who operate strictly within her very private mutual admiration society. (Not such a bad thing when you think about it…)

    But that cuts back significantly on her perceived celebrity status and audience doesn’t it? What to do? What to do?

    Hmm…Maybe she’d be better off going back to using e-mail for input and publishing an old fashioned newsletter?

  • Amy

    Her….ability to reach fans without censorship? When she is crowing about how easy this new network makes it to….censor?

  • Came accross this, rather romantacized tale of homebirth – http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/bigpicture/2015/03/01/family-welcomes-baby-boy-birthed-home/zD4EFANnHvbYBSrkPSaKSK/story.html?event=event25 . It has some pretty big lessons on how some patients make choices, and what might sway a mother. Happy it has a happy ending, but can’t help but think of Caroline Lovell’s ending. Does hospital birth need PR?

  • Guest

    Not that this is anywhere near the biggest problem with these bloggers, but have you noticed that none of them seem to know what the words “troll” and “bully” really mean? Trolling and bullying aren’t just disagreeing, just like stalking doesn’t just mean hate-reading a Fb page. These folks sure are special snowflakes, if they think that anything less than total agreement equals abuse.

    • Lisa C

      It reminds me of the meme featuring Will Ferrell that says “Sometimes I use big words I don’t fully understand in an effort to make myself sound more photosynthesis”.

    • Young CC Prof

      Definitely. Civil disagreement is not bullying. Getting into a heated discussion is not bullying. When someone tracks you across multiple websites, or doxxes you, or sends you nasty emails, you are being cyberbullied. When you put up a public post with a comments section, and people put on-topic comments in it, that’s called engaging like a normal properly adjusted person.

  • LibrarianSarah

    I love that she talks so highly of screening all of her followers and banning “trolls” (aka anyone who disagrees with her) and then accuses facebook of “censorship.” Project much?

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    See, they care as much about privacy as I do, and the ability to reach their fans without censorship.

    Aren’t these mutually contradictory goals? In order to have privacy you must have some level of censorship, at least in the sense of certain things not being allowed in the specific context. Conversely, to have complete freedom of expression you must allow dissenting views. I suspect that the mention of “censorship” is simply because they know that censorship is bad and want to have the moral high ground, somehow or another, whether the claim makes sense or not.

    • sdsures

      She keeps using that word (privacy). I do not think it means what she thinks it means.

      • Roadstergal

        Privacy is easy – just don’t post your shite on the Internet. She doesn’t want privacy, she wants her views widely heard and never criticized.

  • Part of the problem is that the scientific community failed to engage the broader public effectively – perhaps because those views were readily adopted by the established systems, so there was no need to “sell” those views. So when the “alternative”, “natural living” and any range of other quacktivist started to aggressively promote their views, they found a market (the lay public). I think the establised systems are starting to wake up to this, and are starting to understand that its not enough for those views to be the “default” as some people are exercising their right to opt out and/or can be sold on the alternative. They have to engage the public as well, they have to maintain market share or risk the disaster that emerges in the wake of pseudoinformation (see: Disneyland measles outbreak). MeWe won’t solve Modern Alternative Mama’s problems, unless the scientfic community decides not to engage on MeWe.

    • Mel

      I disagree on two points.
      First, home birth and anti-vaxx are not based on a flawed understanding of science. They are based on a slightly flawed understanding of science and a large dose of ego. As a scientist, I can help on the first bit, but if I do, I may inadvertently bruise an ego which makes the whole situation worse rather than better.
      Second, certain groups of people are more vulnerable to pseudoscience. In my experience, my acquaintances who got sucked into anti-modern-medicine had two traits in common: a bachelor’s degree and a need to be the best at something.
      Most people with below a bachelor’s degree are working in hard conditions to support their families and/or are genuinely self-educated through careful reading of books, the internet and listening to actual experts. Without a college diploma, this group can’t fall back on pretend academic credentials and so is more likely to show their intelligence by listening to the correct expert than risking their reputation on following Jenny McCarthy.

      If you have a post-bachelor’s degree, you usually have one or more subject that you are passionate about and pretty darn good at. (Of the two groups, the post-bachelor’s are more likely to go all in to natural medicine from a combination of off-message-overconfidence and that academic credential to pull on people…also known as ego.)
      And let’s be honest. It’s nice to be the best at something. You get a glow of warmth when you are the best. The tricky bit is that being the best requires an insane amount of work and the constant worry that someone else will undermine you. NCB et al lets each woman be the absolute best warrior goddess mama ever…as long as you do everything right. As such, you get the added bonus of hunting down people who step outside the box.

  • Monica

    She’ll be back, much like TFB who can never properly stick the flounce. And sadly I think her tinfoil hat will have gotten even bigger as well.

  • MegaMechaMeg

    I think you have a typo! About half way down in the paragraph beginning with
    “Ever notice how pseudoscience cranks like Katie…” you say “tolls and bullies” and I think you meant “trolls and bullies”

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Thanks! Fixed it.