The mind blowing grandiosity of quacktivists Jennifer Margulis and Kelly Brogan

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Every notice how quacktivists often suffer from grandiosity?

According to Wikipedia:

Grandiosity refers to an unrealistic sense of superiority … as well as to a sense of uniqueness: the belief that few others have anything in common with oneself and that one can only be understood by a few or very special people …

Take Jennifer Margulis, for example.

I’ve written many times about Margulis and her wacky theories. My personal favorite is the stupidest excuse for homebirth deaths ever.

Margulis and Brogan come across as pitiable, but they are also dangerous.

Margulis doesn’t do well with criticism. Her latest book received a scathing review in The New York Times Book Review. She couldn’t do anything about that, but she did try to manipulate the Amazon reviews of the book.

But she’s outdone herself this time. She’s actually written to Linda Birnbaum, the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences offering to explain the purported rise in autism.

What are Margulis’ qualifications to opine on this topic?

I’m an award-winning science journalist and book author with an interest in children’s health and autism. I am also a Fulbright grantee — I lived and worked in Niger, West Africa in 2006 – 2007. I was also in Niger in the 1990s, working in part on a child survival campaign. I think it is important to have a global perspective on health.

I have a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from Emory.

Her degrees are in English language and literature! As far as I can determine, she has no training in science, medicine or statistics. In her grandiosisty, she thinks she doesn’t need them.

My extensive research has a journalist has led me to suspect that two environmental factors may be directly contributing to the autism epidemic:

1) Over/ill-timed exposure to prenatal ultrasound…

2) The use of Acetaminophen, especially before or after infant vaccination.This may be the smoking gun…

No matter that the theories are incompatible with each other, let alone the fact that there is no proof for either one. Perhaps most pitiful is Margulis’ offer to educated Dr. Birnbaum,  a toxicologist with a PhD in microbiology whose dozens of publications focus on “the pharmacokinetic behavior of environmental chemicals; mechanisms of actions of toxicants, including endocrine disruption; and linking of real-world exposures to health effects.”

I imagine you are already familiar with these issues but I’d be delighted to send you more information or to talk on the phone, if that would be helpful.

While Margulis’ grandiosity is pathetic, that of “holistic psychiatrist” Kelly Brogan is frightening.

Consider her latest piece, ironically titled Sacred Activism: Moving Beyond the Ego, which is a paean to outsized self regard:

I was seemingly born with a fire in my belly and a sharp tongue. My mind stays sharp under pressure – maybe it even gets a touch sharper – and I’m notorious for saying what I mean. Just ask my family. These qualities made me a pretty righteous babe my entire young adulthood. Strong opinions, lots of critical thinking, a heaping portion of skepticism, and belligerent atheism, I took a vow of matrimony to science in my late teens.

But Brogan is just getting started:

I felt an ancient fire kindle inside me that churned and twisted with my own native force. I held my sword aloft. I began writing, speaking, lecturing. I changed my practice. And, of course, I was given the gift of my own health challenge to initiate me into the realm of self-healing and the power of food as information. Now I had proof – my recovery, and then the recovery of dozens of my patients as I began to arm them with what they intuitively knew to be the reason they had been stuck: our systems are making us sick and then profiting off of our ongoing illness.

The monstrous path of the righteousness

I was lionized. But I also felt alone. I felt awash in a sea of thinkers, doctors, and scientists, each with one pet interest they were willing to stick their neck out for. The anti-GMOer who would trust the same corrupt industry with their life if they got a cancer diagnosis. The anti-vaxxer who ate Twinkies for breakfast. The homeschooler having their babies at the hospital, just in case “something went wrong”. The green revolutionary screwing curly Q mercury-laced bulbs into every socket. The anti-fluoride campaigner turning a blind eye to escalating prescription of stimulants to toddlers. And the list went on.

Her thoughts are ugly:

… I would sit at my daughter’s birthday parties disgusted by parents handing out epi-pens and asthma inhalers to their pizza-eating, juice-box guzzling kids. I longed for the Schadenfreud [sic] of a prominent political figure struggling with vaccine injury. Somehow further news of catastrophe at the hands of industry would only validate my beliefs and intuition that everything was wrong.

And downright scary:

There were times the Truth felt so oppressive I wanted to be dead. I wanted not to have brought children into this corrupt, twisted world where everyone is self-sedated and complicit in evils beyond all imaging. Playing sports and watching TV while babies are being experimented on in the name of sound science and the greater good.

I won’t bore you with the rest of her logorrhea. The key point for Brogan is that she, in her monstrous grandiosity, seeks to spread the “Truth.”

I understand now, that I have a choice – a choice to put my energy toward that more beautiful world I do believe in, or to seek to feed my wounds and my ego by dwelling in the misery of how far off the golden brick road we have wandered. Both in my office with patients, in my teaching and writing, and with my daughters, I hope to offer an experience of the Truth. And a glimpse of what we all know is still possible.

Margulis and Brogan come across as pitiable, but they are also dangerous. As quacktivists, their grandiosity leads them to spew deadly health misinformation … and the children of those who believe their nonsense are the ones who pay the price.

  • Anthony

    Hey Amy, with your critique of Dr. Brogan, you cited her writing — none of which seemed to refer to anything other than her own personal thoughts and journey — and then said “ugly.. scary…dangerous” but I didn’t actually see what specifically you were objecting to or what was dangerous about her.

    Kelly seems to be offering an alternative to the mainstream psychiatric paradigm that is failing for many people (and isn’t based on anything scientific — the DSM is based on the consensus of opinion of Psychiatrists, no experiments or tests whatsoever.)

    In a world where you can be diagnosed as having clinical depression days after a spouse dies and given a dangerous and addictive chemical that often doesn’t work better than active placebo, isn’t the idea that environmental and dietary changes could help worth listening to?

    I am skeptical of some of Brogan’s claims, mostly the foundation of her nutrition regiment (which she admits is based on her experience of outcomes and that there is limited to no research on the effects of nutrition and mental health), however to call her dangerous, ugly and scary for simply speaking the truth (that anyone who digs into the foundation of psychiatry ultimately finds) seems unprofessional. You’d make a better case by challenging her research.

    Finally, if Brogan is offering people an alternative to getting caught up in the psychiatric cycle, and they are actually getting better — how is that evil?

    Psychiatrists struggle to do better than active placebo (for example, most depression seems to resolve on it’s own after 6 months or so ) and they also saddle people with expensive, dangerous drugs with lots of side effects.

    • Clare

      SSRI’s aren’t addictive. At all. And there’s a mountain of evidence that they work better than placebo. And the DSM5 accounts for recent trauma. And is based of the consensus of psychiatrists informed by again, mountains of research.

      • Anthony

        Hey Clare, I wish you would cite your claims and also have a profile I could see your others ideas and posts!

        A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that SSRI’s like Paxil and Prozac are no more effective in treating depression than a placebo pill for a majority of people on them. (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/185157).

        You are right in the sense that the current language around SSRI’s doesn’t use the word addictive, however going off of SSRI’s can be deadly or induce very intense with-drawl symptoms including seizure and brain shocks (I witnessed this first hand in a woman I was dating who was a Stanford Psychiatrist on SSRIs). So while people aren’t chasing after a high from SSRI’s, going off of them can be very dangerous once someone has been using them. Since they only suppress symptoms and don’t actually cure / heal anything (they appear to actually interfere with the bodies natural ability to heal) people essentially have to face the parts of themselves that they’ve been holding back with these medications — and they often come back with interest, so to speak.

        The DSM5 removed bereavement as an exclusion for depression, so if your husband died last week and you are grieving and depressed, you can be prescribed an antidepressant. Some would argue that this is because you can be both depressed and grieving, others argue it’s yet another step in the pathologizing of human experience.

        We live in a culture in which people are very uncomfortable with their own emotions, let alone anyone else. This is at the core of our sickness and why depression and suicide is growing.

        Psychiatrists (and most doctors in general) have very little understanding or training in how to review medical research or the validity of experiments — in fact, most of them have never done research. Also, the pure amount of new research going on would require an MD to spend most of their time reviewing papers vs. practicing medicine.

        The salvation of Psychiatry will be when MDMA concludes the FDA Phase III clinical trial for PTSD, as then we will have access to psychedelic medicines that are showing promise in creating a context for accelerated healing that goes beyond symptom management. Finally these folks who had great intentions will be able to provide healing to the folks they work with vs. simply offering suppression of symptoms.

        • Heidi

          Your link doesn’t work.

          • Anthony

            Sorry, the discus formatting was off. Fixed now, and here it is again.

            https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/185157

          • Roadstergal

            I read the paper, and missed the part where it demonstrated that “SSRI’s like Paxil and Prozac are no more effective in treating depression than a placebo pill for a majority of people on them.” Can you point that part out?

          • Anthony

            Here is another study that found that those treated with placebo OR antidepressant did better than *just* theraputic support, but that there was no significant difference between taking a placebo pill or an actual antidepressant.

            So in this case, taking a pill helps, but doesn’t seem to matter what is in the pill.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25213159

            Here is an article reviewing the same topic with a few more citations of related research.

            https://theconversation.com/antidepressants-may-be-no-better-than-a-placebo-so-why-take-them-32430

            From that article :
            >>

            In this most recent study, people with at least moderate depression received support and encouragement alone, or coupled with an antidepressant or a placebo. Those who received an antidepressant or placebo did better than those who got only support. But placebos improved depression nearly as much as the active drug and the difference wasn’t significant.

            An earlier review found antidepressants offered minimal benefit over placebos except in very severe depression, where the benefit was substantial. And a 2008 study found antidepressants were no more effective even in severe depression; very depressed people were just less responsive to placebos.

            <<

          • Roadstergal

            Gish gallop. Back to the original claim, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. You posted a meta-analysis and said it supported your claim – just dig in a bit and tell us where it did. You read it, obviously, and considered the entirety of the analysis, including the self-described limitations and caveats – just point us towards where your original citation supported your statement.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            One would think if I were addicted to my ssri i’d be less prone to forgetting to take it.

          • Anthony

            Yes I used the word addiction haphazardly. My intention was to convey that many people experience extremely dangerous withdrawl symptoms when trying to come off of SSRIs.

          • Anthony

            I made a claim and provided 2 citations that support it, it’s unclear what more you’d like to see.

            Are you saying that the conclusion that the authors reached is off? Or are you saying my understanding of the conclusion of the study is off?

            The study doesn’t mention Paxil by name, if that is what you mean – ok. I already said I used SSRI’s & Paxil where the study said “antidepressants”. But as best as I can tell SSRIs and Paxil were included in the data sets they were analyzing — again, if you have evidence otherwise, I’m happy to update my model of the world.

            And by majority of people I do mean that. That study found in mild & moderate depression there was no difference between placebo and antidepressants. Only in severe depression.

            The study didn’t say “the majority of people” those were my words used as shorthand — but as best as I can tell, the majority of people being prescribed antidepressants have mild to moderate depression.
            If you have data to show otherwise, please share it and I am happy to update my model.

            But I also provided a study to show that even in severe depression, antidepressants weren’t working any better than they ever do, it’s just that there is less placebo effect with folks at higher levels of depression.

          • Roadstergal

            I mean that you don’t know how to actually read papers, you just scanned looking for what met your pre-determined conclusions.

          • Anthony

            Well it’s possible that I made an error of course.

            Perhaps we could start with the stated conclusion of the paper — do you find error in that, as it is presented in the paper? I’m curious as to where you are finding flaw — in the methodology?

          • Anthony

            The study above found that antidepressants barely did better than placebos except in very severe depression, where the benefit was substantial but a 2008 study found antidepressants were no more effective even in severe depression; very depressed people were just less responsive to placebos.

            From:
            https://theconversation.com/antidepressants-may-be-no-better-than-a-placebo-so-why-take-them-32430

          • Roadstergal

            Please point to where the paper you cited to support your statement “SSRI’s like Paxil and Prozac are no more effective in treating depression than a placebo pill for a majority of people on them” actually supports your statement.

          • Anthony

            Sure, right here in the conclusion section of the paper. Here is the pubmed version > https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20051569

            I’ve inserted the words you quoted above in parentheses so you can see what they are referencing.

            CONCLUSIONS:
            The magnitude of benefit of antidepressant medication (SSRI’s like Paxil and Prozac) compared with placebo increases with severity of depression symptoms and may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms (no more effective in treating depression than a placebo pill for a majority of people on them). For patients with very severe depression, the benefit of medications over placebo is substantial.

            So for patients with mild or moderate depression (for whom make up the majority of people being diagnosed, by definition) that study found antidepressants were minimal or nonexistent.

            And in the context of the work done on controlling for the decrease in placebo with severely depressed people, the 2008 study found that even in severe cases there wasn’t an increased response to medication it was a decrease in the effects of the placebo.

            From Kirsch, et al.
            >>
            Conclusions: Drug–placebo differences in antidepressant efficacy increase as a function of baseline severity, but are relatively small even for severely depressed patients. The relationship between initial severity and antidepressant efficacy is attributable to decreased responsiveness to placebo among very severely depressed patients, rather than to increased responsiveness to medication.
            >>

            http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045

          • Roadstergal

            Where in that 2010 JAMA meta-analysis conclusion you just posted does it say that “SSRI’s like Paxil and Prozac are no more effective in treating depression than a placebo pill for a majority of people on them”? You inserted that language in parentheses, but reading the paper, the data do not support that statement.

          • Roadstergal

            It’s actually a pretty decent paper, it just doesn’t say what he thinks it does.

          • Anthony

            What does it say? What do you think I think it says?

          • Roadstergal

            You have told us that you think it says that “SSRI’s like Paxil and Prozac are no more effective in treating depression than a placebo pill for a majority of people on them.”

          • Anthony

            You keep saying this — do you agree I am correct if you drop the brand names? My point was antidepressents (of which those are two of the biggest and to the best of my understanding, included in the data set).

          • Roadstergal

            I do not see where the paper supports your assertion regardless of brand names.

          • Anthony

            I actually misspoke re: Prozac, the two drugs in the study were Paroxetine and Imipramine, commonly referred to as Paxil and Tofranil.

            So, I’ll try to rephrase this…

            The benefit of antidepressants Paxil (SSRI) and Tofranil (TCA) may be minimal or nonexistent, on average, in patients with mild or moderate symptoms.

            Also, keep in mind the 2008 study which found that antidepressents are also not much better for severe depression either, it’s just that the placebo has less of an effect.

          • Heidi

            Yeah, I can see that.

        • Roadstergal

          “going off of them can be very dangerous once someone has been using them”

          The same is true of insulin for T1D.
          Fix your link, and we can read and comment on it.

          Also, link to the Phase III of MDMA in PTSD. I only see a small open-label Phase II that is not yet recruiting.

          If MDMA passes clinical trials and becomes part of the accepted treatment paradigm for PTSD, will you then start railing against it as establishment medicine?

          (BTW, I underwent treatment for PTSD that involved ‘conventional medicine.’ It was not ‘suppression of symptoms,’ it very much treated the underlying condition and allowed me to be alive, happy, and med-free today. Again, a very conventional treatment regimen for PTSD.)

          • Anthony

            Agreed re: insulin. However no human has an SSRI deficiency, and insulin doesn’t change the underlying brain structures in ways that prevent healing (or even falling in love in some cases).

            Maps Phase 3 Trials:
            http://www.maps.org/research/mdma/ptsd/phase3

            They are even running a trial soon that will allow folks with PTSD and their spouse to both undergo MDMA therapy to help heal their relationship. We just got breakthrough status designation from the FDA, so this is a huge breakthrough for integrating psychedelic medicines into mainstream treatment.

            I’m all for evidence based medicine and treatments that work. Western medicine is world class at crisis interventions like broken bones, heart attacks, etc. But for mental health and chronic conditions we really don’t do as well. Especially because we rarely address lifestyle, relationships or emotional issues. I don’t think that is railing against traditional medicine, just important to understand where it’s effective and where it isn’t.

            I’m sorry that you had PTSD and am glad that you have found healing and are med free! What specific modality did you use?

            There are numerous things that have shown promise for PTSD from EMDR, NARM, Exposure Therapy, etc. Some of them reaching efficacy levels that rival what we are seeing with some of the MDMA trials (as high as 86% reporting no signs of PTSD at 12 months after 3-4 sessions).

            There is a good movie coming out that includes testimonials from soldiers and people in the maps study at http://MDMAtheMovie.com

          • Roadstergal

            “Especially because we rarely address lifestyle, relationships or emotional issues.”

            In what world? Everyone I know who has had mental health treatment, including me, has had therapy as part of it, that specifically addresses lifestyle, relationship, and emotional issues. Lifestyle is a big part of non-mental health, as well. Every time I go in for a checkup, they check my weight, blood pressure, and other general health labs, and discuss diet and exercise.

            Zyprexa in combination with therapy.

            “no human has an SSRI deficiency”

            You’re being pedantic. SSRIs

          • Anthony

            If that is the case for your community and social circle, that is great, but it doesn’t reflect what is going on in the US medical system — at least in the work I’ve done professionally consulting for venture backed medical start-ups, my own health journey, and in working with many others.

            A few recent headlines:
            Doctors not taught to discuss diet, nutrition with patients

            http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sc-doctors-diet-nutrition-health-0803-20160801-story.html

            Making Lifestyle Medicine Standard Practice
            https://catalyst.nejm.org/valuable-healthier-lifestyle-choices/

            And this is from today:
            Human survival in America depends on a health care shift to disease prevention
            http://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2017/10/10/American-healthcare-isn-t-improving-our-health/stories/201709210170

          • Roadstergal

            Those are two lay press articles and an opinion piece, not papers. The opinion piece even notes that lifestyle modification is becoming more and more a focus of healthcare and professional health organizations these days.

            IMO, it can definitely go too far in that direction. Kaiser is very big in heath care out here, and they emphasize lifestyle to a fault. Once m’boy got off of them and onto my ‘interventionist’ health care, he had some things fixed that Kaiser had deferred for ages under the lifestyle-focused, non-interventionist model. Carpal tunnel release (minor quick surgery that 100% fixed the issue), labrum tear repair (it had been steadily getting worse under the ‘exercise more!’ Kaiser model), and osteoarthritis of the shoulder due to an old injury treated with hyaluronic acid derivatives (ditto). My interventionist health care allowed me the choice to fix my collarbone break with surgery, which let me get back to running, swimming, and biking very quickly, while my Kaiser-covered friend spent months in a brace in the name of ‘natural’ healing.

            I’m a _big_ believer in prevention. That’s why I’m such a big fan of vaccines and clean water (and to the subject of the blog – early formula supplementation and term induction). I’m also a fan of interventions early on when things go wrong to prevent them going more wrong.

            Mental health is tough. Reducing it all to fruits and veggies, cannabis, and anti-big-pharma sentiment isn’t helping.

          • Anthony

            Are you in SF? I spent a bit of time helping Peter Thiel launch a medical start-up aimed at personalized evidence based medicine.

            Yes agreed re the articles, they are opinions of doctors. I live in NYC and people line up at clinics and basically are given opiates for most pain problems — no one suggests yoga, quitting smoking, etc.

            I agree re mental health. Psychedelics are very promising — I encourage you to read the maps work. I’m just back from the HorizonsNYC.org conference and there was some incredible studies presented. But even things like writing gratitude letters or volunteering aren’t taken seriously but they are the most effective ways of overcoming depression.

            From my vantage point, most all mental health stems from Trauma (developmental, shock, intergenerational, environmental). Until we heal the underlying issues and create optimal environments to live in, with health relationships and ways for people to connect and contribute – no pill or procedure is going to be the answer.

          • Roadstergal

            On what evidence do you base your assertion that all issues with mental health stem from trauma alone? What, specifically, is an ‘optimal environment’?

          • Anthony

            I’m happy to have this conversation with you, but don’t have too much capacity to start another thread just now. But generally, from my experience professionally, through my relationships with therapists, doctors and trauma and addiction specialists, and my own clients.

          • swbarnes2

            That Chicago Trib article is mostly a single guy, whom the paper asserts is “prominent”. He’s an MBA who has books to hawk. The articles in Pubmed by “Colby B” are almost certainly not by this guy.

          • Anthony

            Yes, I presented these as headlines, not studies. Simply showing other perspectives that lifestyle is not being adequately addressed in hospitals.

            We are good at crisis medicine, we aren’t good at preventative or lifestyle. Look at our culture and rates of addiction, obesity, heart problems, etc.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          In a comment elsewhere, Anthony referred to himself as: “someone who healed himself from Schizophrenia and then Bipolar diagnosis *without* long term meds.”

          • Anthony

            Yes, that has been my experience. I write and speak about it fairly regularly.

            Of course, we are all unique individuals and our experience is an n of 1.

            For me, I accepted that there was something going on and that the tribe of Psychiatry had a name for it. What I didn’t trust was their ideas on how to heal it (or rather, to medicate it).

            I found support in a variety of places and through my own research and self experimentation was able to resolve the paranoia, dissociation, depression, mania and anything else that made life very difficult to exist in. What is left is deeper sense of understanding of myself, my place in the world, and a desire to share my story with others in hopes it may help them or the greater psych community.

            Of course, it doesn’t escape me that some might just say, well if it’s gone, you never had it in the first place, were misdiagnosed, or perhaps it will come back again, etc. It’s not my place to convince anyone and all I can do is honestly share my experience.

            It’s also possible if someone might still diagnose me as those things, but I really don’t feel like I’m having much difficulty.

            Since I was primarily interested in healing myself and I’m one person, I’m not an empirical study. Though I have been told by some that my experience may inspire new lines of research and I’ve made myself available for that.

            Really, it came down to feeling my emotions fully and using non-ordinary states of consciousness (like breathwork) to allow my brain to form new pathways while in a safe environment. Having a healthy loving relationship helped, as well as having some mentors who supported me.

  • Susan

    Being someone who acquired permanent neurological disorders and became gravely ill do to psych meds and was said to be a hopeless cause by several doctors, I have to say that the work of people like Kelly Brogan saved my life. No conventional doctor could help me. I was turned away over and over again for two years. My life was wrecked by the drugs I prescribed. I developed paralysis while on Zoloft as well as palinopsia that never left. So when I found a holistic MD- my life forever changed. My hair grew back. I slept again. My depression, depersonalizations, psychosis, chronic insomnia, and overwhelming anxiety healed. You are a skeptic. And that’s completely unfortunate for you because Kelly Brogan has a massive success rate. Way higher than the 60% success rate of conventional psych treatment. My hope for you would be that you open your closed mind that’s clearly driven by big pharma and do some more extensive research other than bashing successful people.

    • [citation needed] Preferably in a peer-reviewed journal.

      • Kerlyssa

        i was waiting for the bit where the psychic/witch/sorceror spelled her man back

    • Azuran

      Kelly Brogan massively screens everyone who wants to see her to make sure the people she sees are already believers of her crap and very susceptible to the placebo effect of pseudoscience.
      Do you have some kind of independent study about her success rate? Or did you just take her own words about it at face value?

      Being a skeptic means that we are ready to believe as soon as one is able to provide proofs. Which Kelly Brogan hasn’t done.

      • FFL

        SHE is living proof! She did not go to Kelly Brogan but she said that she went to see a holistic MD who “forever changed” her life! THAT is her evidence, not ‘taking someone’s words at face value’! What kind of “independent study” do you need over her own life experience which has provided her her personal truth? She just gave you, detail after detail, all of the ways that seeing a holistic doctor has positively, permanently, changed her.

        It seems you may just be on a witch hunt, and perhaps only against Kelly Brogan — but then call that for what it is, and don’t mask it as protectionism against the quackeries of holistic medicine. This poster is her own living proof that holistic medicine worked, and legitimately forms her belief that other practitioners like Kelly Brogan can similarly help others as well. I would never invalidate her personal experience and ask for an independent study in a peer-reviewed to confirm that what she has experienced is truly real.

        • Azuran

          One person getting better (or worse) after taking or stopping something isn’t proof of anything. All illnesses get better or worse over time on their own without any outside intervention.

          That kind of stupid thinking is why people think vaccine cause autism.
          Her getting better can be because that was the course her illness was going to take whatever she was doing, or she got better due to placebo effect. It is, also, possible that whatever she did absolutely did help her, we are not saying that’s impossible. What we are saying is that pushing unproven treatment is unethical and can lead to arm.

          If what kelly brogan does really does help people and isn’t just placebo effect, than she should work toward proving the validity of her work. Promoting unproven treatment is unethical and potentially dangerous.
          If you were diabetic and someone started selling a new kind of insulin because ‘it helped them personnally’ without having done any kind of safety and efficacy test. You’d take it?

  • Rachel

    The point = ⤴️ WAY over the author’s head. Lol. Gotta love ignorance and lack of self awareness.

  • FFL

    Like I said in another post, I do not agree with Kelly Brogan. I believe that her views are extreme and that medications are valuable and have helped many people. That said, she seems to be someone with strong views based on her own experiences and she is living her life passionate and with integrity. I do not see her forcing her views upon unwilling patients; she respects free will. So I do not understand what is the point of these hateful posts bringing focus to her sense of “grandiosity” and “superiority” and “uniqueness.” This kind of logic is like attacking the author’s personal traits, and not her argument and contributions; what do you have against her as a person? Personally, I think her ideas are beautiful and idealistic in theory, possibly unrealistic; but so is the advancement of medical technology also beautiful. The world is big enough to accommodate both opposing views. Quite frankly, you sound like a jerk.

  • No Left Turn

    From personal experience, I can definitively say that the techniques Dr. Brogan describes in her 2016 book, “A Mind of Your Own” actually work. I discovered much of this through trial and error and my own research more than a decade before her book was published. Why Dr. Tuteur would make such an unwarranted attack on Dr. Brogan is mystifying. Professional jealousy, perhaps?

    • FFL

      Improving health based on nutrition is not a mind-blowing or radical new idea, so Dr. Tuteur’s claims that Kelly Brogan is a horrifying menace to society is as you say mystifying. I do not understand what would personally motivate a person to do it, and I think it is ironic that this post criticizing grandiosity comes from someone who literally name-calls other doctors on a public forum terms such as “ugly,” “pathetic,” “stupidest,” “wacky,” “pitiable,””frightening,” and “downright scary.”

      • Anthony

        Amen. She is describing what she see’s in the mirror that she has mistaken for Kelly Brogan.

        “Improving health based on nutrition is not a mind-blowing or radical new idea” << Most doctors have only a couple credit hours of nutrition training and almost none of them every really do much with it, so in that sense, it is a radical idea.

  • Stephanie Courtney

    Dr. Tuteur, Dr. Brogan claims that ultrasounds are dangerous and gives examples of Chinese research studies that point to this. I’m pregnant and my partner seems to be starting to pick this as his “cause” just as he did anti-vaccines in the first pregnancy. Please respond to her “research” with what you have seen in research. Thank you.

  • Jason

    She just said on JRE that she only takes on certain people. She says she scans them for “readiness”. What I take this to mean is she scans for people whom have nothing really wrong, so she can say she healed them. The truth is, she’s a proponent of the placebo effect. She doesn’t take on people who are trully ill, because no medicine is her only medicine.

    • Brian

      She probably also drops people who don’t get better who miss one or two things of her strict regimen and blames them missing those one or two things for the reason why they aren’t getting better. And then drops them when they can’t comply 100%.

      I do like that she’s advocating for diet, exercise and meditation. But she’s also advocating for the same bullshit that caused the measles outbreak at Disneyland.

      • Young CC Prof

        That’s a common thing with quacks: Give a regimen that is incredibly complicated, so some degree of noncompliance is inevitable, then the treatment failures can be blamed on noncompliance.

        Actually helpful advocates of diet and exercise work with their clients to develop a regimen that fits the client’s life, one that they can stick with for the long term.

  • Vanessa

    You’re attempting to label Kelly Brogan MD, who graduated from MIT with a degree in cognitive neuroscience and went on to complete her psychiatry program at NYU Medical Center, as a quack? Insert eye roll: sorry, you’ll have to do better than that to try to discredit doctors more interested in ethics than Big Pharma’s profits. It’s clear who you’re working for.

    • So … she’s not got any experience or training in the things she’s talking about then. She doesn’t know anything about immunology, so why is she talking about vaccines? The whole point of getting a PhD is that you delve deep into one subject, but it doesn’t mean you know everything about everything.

    • TKnyc

      Are you aware that to see Dr Brogan it’s going to cost yoi 2.8k? And no she doesn’t accept insurance. And no this doesn’t inclue various tests… again out of pocket. Ethics? Profits??

      • No Left Turn

        Not dealing with insurance companies cuts costs in a physician’s practice. I’ve consulted with no-insurance docs who gave me much better results than the ones locked into the “system”.

        • TKnyc

          I was actually wrong. Her fee is $4800. I’ve seen doctors who are out of network. I’ve paid around $500. In NYC a “Park Avenue” psychiatrist might charge $1000. NO ONE charges that much. PS I am in the business, not as a psychiatrist, so I do know what I am talking about.

          • No Left Turn

            Dr. Brogan’s clients need to determine whether her services are worth the cost. If they think the fee schedule is too high, they can try negotiating a lower price or find another practitioner. That’s how a free market works.

          • Anthony

            Most people are stuck on meds paying $1k / month for a shrink each week for years or decades.. Paying a few thousands dollars to heal something for good seems like a bargain.

            She can charge whatever she wants for her time, she also has books and programs people can use as well.

          • Roadstergal

            Lack of coverage for mental health care is indeed a big issue in the United States, and it does indeed drive people to all sorts of ‘alternatives’ out of desperation. People with mental health issues deserve better.

            She can indeed charge whatever she wants. And we can comment on it.

          • Fourfingeredjake

            Yes, there are some psych meds that are that expensive, but that is in the extreme. “Most people” are not paying anywhere near $1000/month for meds and psych care.

  • Robin

    Kelly Brogan’s words sound amazing, honest, and accurate. Thank goodness there are people like her that are questioning the status quo!

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      She may be honest in her beliefs, but the status quo isn’t automatically bad, either. Another status quo in the US is teaching kids to count and read and that adults work in some way or other. People have been questioning vaccine safety since the beginning. And yet, despite all the studies and all the generations, vaccines are *still* recommended.
      You’ll never convince me that vaccines are bad. I lost half my hearing to a common childhood disease that most people just get over. I don’t even remember feeling that ill, just waking up one night and thinking I had laryngitis because I couldn’t hear myself call for my parents. My husband is congenitally blind and on the border of the Autism Spectrum because his mother caught german measles while she was expecting him. He’s the only person in his family any where near the spectrum.

    • Heidi

      “I longed for the Schadenfreud [sic] of a prominent political figure struggling with vaccine injury. Somehow further news of catastrophe at the hands of industry would only validate my beliefs and intuition that everything was wrong.”

      Yeah, it’s pretty amazing she would be honest about wishing this on her fellow humans.

    • Julez

      Edit: I had to update my post After being in her group and witnessing her every attempt to take money from clients and people that are struggling financially, I have lost respect for this woman. She is a business person not a Healer. I agree with what she has to say in terms of medication and how what we eat affects our well-being, but I think that she’s a bit of a con artist. And she is willing to drop clients who don’t fit her ideal or who she feels may end up making her look bad. Even those who have a lot of respect for her and are trying to do everything she says.

    • Vanessa

      Agreed!

  • keepitreal

    That comment about innocent kids being ‘pizza-eating and juice guzzling’ is just cruel and typical of many sanctimonious moms pretending to care about the well being of others when, underneath, they’re really just mean girls grown up into mean bitchy moms, and, in the case of Brogan, with a credential and degree. She is just one of many who is sneering at many a hardworking well intentioned parent and oblivious child just going through their day. Mean people truly suck. They suck even more when they bully others either blatantly or covertly under a guise of concern and ‘truth’ and ‘health.’ They are some of the sickest people out there.

    • AnnaPDE

      Lol, so now eating a reasonably balanced meal with carbs and some vegetables and protein (pizza) plus keeping properly hydrated with a vitamin-containing fruit-based beverage (juice) is suddenly the epitome of the unhealthy junk food lifestyle?
      How far we’ve come, that “eating mainly chips and washing it down with cola”, a formerly not unheard-of way of life for picky children, is so unimaginable it doesn’t even get mentioned as a bad choice.
      It is also telling that the obsession with losing weight has gone so far that anything that is not suitable as a routine meal in a calorie-restricted diet is classified as VERBOTEN even for a healthy, growing child.

      • PG

        The juice industry is a racket. There are absolutely no health benefits, it’s just a gateway drug for babies to a lifetime sugar addiction. They’ll drink gallons of it and have the tooth decay to show for it. It blows my mind how many people come in who say that their kids refuse to drink water because they don’t like the “taste”. Plain old life-giving water. Don’t give your kids juice!

        • AnnaPDE

          Sugar addiction? Yeah, dead give-away for someone pushing a stupid orthorectic ideology. It’s perfectly possible to consume sugar as part of a healthy diet, and obsessing over every single bite that’s not nutritionally perfect according to the latest fad diet is the opposite of healthy. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with an active and healthy kid drinking juice if they like the taste of it, as long as it’s actual drinking as opposed to marinating their teeth with constant little sips.

          • Shawn Green

            Lol. Do you work for the sugar industry? Literally nothing you said is true.

          • momofone

            I’d love to hear your specific areas of disagreement.

          • AnnaPDE

            Nope, I’m just not sucked in by the “sugar is going to kill us all” bullshit that is apparently the latest fad.

            Also maybe it helps that I’ve been enjoying a healthy and fit body (including teeth) for 37 years while basically eating and drinking whatever I feel like, and know enough people who have done the same, and therefore have the perspective to see that the scaremongering about sugar and juice that you’re trying to push is trying to feed off people’s unhappiness about their weight — a trick that only works when there’s something to be unhappy about. So you can just go and try to peddle your ideology somewhere else, m-kay?

            And just before someone misunderstands what I’m saying about my health and weight — I’m pretty certain that a large part of that is pure luck, of genes and circumstance. But it’s also clear that a glass (or bottle) of juice here or there is not what makes a difference.

  • JLM423

    How about the fact that a two hour consultation and one hour follow up charge is $4,497?! What does that tell you?

    • Shawn Green

      That’s crazy if true, where’d you get that?

    • TKnyc

      I have $2850 for the consult. Did her prices go up?

  • Ricky Is

    As an authority, can you please provide DATA and an actual argument against Dr. Kelly Brogan? This blog post is “grandiosity” talk and you sound like CNN and the Fake News lame stream media.

    Also, can you please give a break down of her international best seller, A Mind of Your Own?

    Waiting..

    • momofone

      What possible bearing could “her international best seller” have on anything except her profit margin?

      • Ricky Is

        Please, show me the data.

        • momofone

          My question has nothing to do with data.

          • Ricky Is

            So I ask the author if she can provide supporting refuting evidence of Dr. Brogan’s international best seller, A Mind of Your Own. Respectfully, stop trying to change the subject.

          • Ricky Is

            So I ask the author if she can provide supporting evidence refuting Dr. Brogan’s international best seller, A Mind of Your Own. Respectfully, stop trying to change the subject.

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            A “best seller” is not a scientific study or clinical trial. The information in a “best seller” does not have to be verified or even factual. So what exactly would there be to refute? What specifically? Nevermind that just from the quotes in the article above, Dr Brogan sounds like a completely egotistical loon. Seriously! “I felt an ancient fire kindle inside me that churned and twisted with my own native force. I held my sword aloft” She sounds like a fire and brimstone preacher, NOT a medical doctor!

            You act like Dr Amy owes it to you to debate the merits of Dr Brogan’s book. Thsi being Dr Amy’s blog she can debate or not debate people who comment here at her own discretion. And she can change the subject whenever she wants. Again, her blog, her rules.

          • Ricky Is

            Okay, lets say it proves nothing. Like you explained 50 shades or darker or whatever it’s called is a best seller. Now that we can agree on something, people continue to say she’s wrong. I’m asking, what is she wrong about? If people are going to say she’s wrong about this and that and perhaps she is, then please provide substance to your arguments. I may not even agree with Dr. Brogan, so I want to know what she’s wrong about. Go, do it. Come on. I double dog dare anyone reading this post. One thing.. just a single piece of tangible evidence 🙂

          • Mark Dodd

            How about you just use Google and find the thousands of pages refuting that pile of dung rather than being lazy and asking us to rehash it for you. Start here. https://ctmoavr.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/part-1of10-refuting-dr-brogans-a-mind-of-your-own/

          • Shawn Green

            Oh another blog article lol that’s not proof.

          • Nick Sanders

            One thing she’s wrong about? She apparently believes in homeopathy, for starters.

            http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2015/07/1422-kelly-brogan.html

          • Ricky Is

            Nick, I appreciate you bringing a level of substance to the table and I’ll look into the homeopathy thing. Like a pack of wolves circling the wagon wheels, I find commenters in this community sniffing for blood and ready to bring down anyone who dares to ask questions. I ask the author and others to elaborate, provide more information about Dr. Brogan because there may be something there given her huge following, but apparently asking questions is a crime. Apparently trying to have a thoughtful discussion, to get people to talk about FACTS is a SIN among this community. It’s a like a religion, or a cult. Asking questions is met by slurs and hatred rather than followed up by reason and evidence. In this article zero evidence is provided, except a mediocre character assassination of Dr. Brogan, along with mixing in her credentials with another so called medical professional that may be a total quack. I’m not a medical professional, so it’s good to get peoples input that may that may have more knowledge than me, but instead, I’M SEEING ADULTS ACT LIKE A BUNCH OF CHILDREN. Nice work.

          • Amazed

            Ricky Is, I don’t appreciate your whining and playing the offended little child. You asked your very first question with arrogance, so stop lying that you were just trying to learn something. You got treated like every arrogant newcomer coming here and thinking that they “got us” without anything to back your smugness up.

            FYI: The fact that Dr Brogan chose the book format hints at her being afraid to try the scientific one. Because scientists won’t look at her with wonder and adoration like you do. Book format is the refuge of cowards.

          • Nick Sanders

            Look, if you can’t compliment me without using it as a platform to whine about how tough you have it and tear down people I like, then in the future please keep such “compliments” to yourself.

          • chuck1prillaman

            Data is a word quite in fashion with the uneducated in comments. Substance is another. Critical thinking, comparative reading, and evidence (where none is needed) are also popular. Please stop.

          • Shawn Green

            Lol a blog article is not evidence lol wow

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Do you deny that she believes in homeopathy?

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            I only just realized that ancient fire quote could just as easily be fanfic porn.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            “International best seller” only proves that it appeals to a lot of lay people. So does Fifty Shades of Grey.

          • Ricky Is

            Show me the data. I’ll start small.. give me one scientific claim disputing Dr. Brogan. GO

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            No. I’m not talking about Dr. Brogan. I’m talking about you continuing over and over to mention that her book is an international bestseller like being a bestseller proves anything.

    • Exadyne

      Where’s Brogan’s data first. She’s making assertions about the cause of health issues that are radically outside current practices, where are her published studies showing her treatments exceed placebo effect?

  • Joseph R Frisbie

    Kelly Brogan may be full of herself just as you are. Because you failed unlike Ms. Margolis you failed to prove that Dr. Brogan’s therapies are unsuccessful, wrong or worst harmful. You may disagree with her methodologies but you cannot disagree with the results.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      What results?

      • Ricky Is

        Amy Tuteur MD, you don’t even attempt to refute Dr. Brogan’s research and publications. You say, “what results?” Respectfully, that is not an argument. Show us with data and supporting evidence how Dr. Brogan is very quack you claim her to be.

        • compguy83

          No. Where are Brogan’s results? Where is HER data?

          She doesn’t have any. There’s nothing to dispute because *she has nothing*.

        • Terry Hill

          “What results” is correct. “Claims” are not results. “Anecdotes” are not evidence. THIS is where Brogan fails.

  • So here’s how you mislead your readers. You start with probably an easy target Jennifer Margolis who happens to talk about stuff that you understand – Gynecology, giving birth… – that’s your education and speciality. You mention her low level of education and then describe what she says and how she’s wrong – fine. Who cares?! But then when it comes to Dr. Kelly Brogan you forget to mention her credentials. All you talk about is how full of herself is. Well you know what maybe Kelly Brogan is full of herself but she can allow herself to do so because she did her MA BS in Brain and Cognitive Science/Systems Neuroscience in Massachusetts Institute of technology – MIT and her MD in Cornell University. At least on paper she’s way more educated in Brain/Neuroscience related stuff. But your readers see what you say about the first woman, then skip on to your description of how full of herself Dr. Brogan is – and bottom line – the two women are quacktivists… I mean if you want to claim that Dr. Kelly Brogan MD is a quacktivist – by all means – go ahead and do so. Give us some data, some proof….

  • Aussieborn

    Interesting the Harvard Medical School in November 2015 is talking about Nutritional Pyschiatry in a blog
    – and research articles on the same topic are coming out thick and fast I believe. Maybe some of these quacks watchers need to keep up. Drugs in psychiatry of course, have helped soooo many people become well again – about 30% in total I believe. Maybe it is time to open ones eyes to see if there might be something else out there.

  • The credential observation about Margulis is fair but the criticism of Brogan looks like an ad hominem attack at best. If you want to take down an author, please serve up the same level of evidence you demand of them. Brogan’s ego doesn’t make her wrong. I was looking for useful info on her and you have failed here.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      The claim was that her ego makes her grandiose. She also happens to be wrong, but that’s a separate issue.

      • E.P

        wrong how exactly?

      • Shawn Green

        So she’s grandiose because she is one of the only Drs speaking out about the pharmaceutical industry? How do we know you’re not some industry paid stooge attacking her? You literally provide no evidence for your claims. Seems to me you sound a little jealous or have a bone to pick with her because she is against the main stream.

  • Mishimoo

    OT, kinda. Is Norman Doige a quack or actually worth reading? My mother is currently telling me that neuroplasticity will cure benign cerebellar tonsillar ectopia which sounds like an incredible amount of woo.

    • Who?

      He might be interesting to read (or not) but I wouldn’t put too much store in a cure from that source.

  • namaste863

    Pssssst. That “Ancient fire” of which you speak? It’s called indigestion. Try tums.

  • Philip Vassar

    Truth needs no capital “t”, unless you start the sentence with it. Kelly needs analysis… or thorazine.

  • Commander30

    Hey now, I have an English degree!

    …which is why I trust doctors to help me make the best decisions for my health.

    That second woman sounds unhinged. I think she could benefit from some therapy, although she’s so far gone in her “TRUTH” bubble she probably would refuse to even consider attending.

    • Brix

      Yes! Therapy with a capital T.

  • demodocus

    You have to wonder about any English speaker who capitalizes “truth” when it’s not at the beginning of a sentence or you’re talking about Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

  • anh

    I’d like to share I also have a degree from Cornell University…in comparative literature (so not too far off). I’m also a professional analyst. I have no idea what causes autism.

    in my experience most Fulbright recipients are super young idiots who need more taking care of than the average student and do nothing useful

  • araikwao

    Gosh, I think Dr Brogan needs a psychiatrist herself. Preferably not a holistic one.

  • Gatita

    OT and terrifying: Federal health officials are debating whether to warn pregnant women against travel to Brazil and other Latin American and Caribbean countries where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in newborn babies.

    http://nytimes.com/2016/01/14/health/zika-virus-cdc-travel-warning-brazil-caribbean.html?referer=

    • Young CC Prof

      I wouldn’t go to a tropical country while pregnant right now, Zika does sound like a pretty big problem. Brazil’s government has seriously recommended that women just stop having babies until the situation improves.

  • mythsayer

    How DARE a homeschooler have a baby at the hospital? I’m outraged! I thought homeschoolers knew better!! Is the rumor that your child must have been born at home to be eligible for homeschooling true???

    /sarcasm (if you couldn’t tell)

    • FEDUP MD

      Well with attachment parenting why would they ever want to or need to leave the house?

    • Linden

      Also, how *dare* parents give their children life-saving devices such as epi-pens and inhalers when they haven’t completely run through my nutritional holistic healing plan that is sure to work, always. And I can prove it by giving your child the peanuts she’s allergic to!

  • Sue

    I’m imagining the conversation:

    Margolis to Birnbaum:
    ” I imagine you are already familiar with these issues but I’d be delighted to send you more information or to talk on the phone, if that would be helpful.”

    Birnbaum to Margolis: “Ahaaaahahahahahahahaha. Thanks. But no.”

  • Sue

    Brogan’s stuff is Logorrhoea indeed. Interesting to read that she had her own “health challenge” – mental health, perhaps. People suffering severe mental illness are vulnerable to dietary scams, just like those with any other severe illness. They should not be persuaded to see effective medication as some sort of evil or failure, or their disease as a failure to eat well. This is the antithesis of good medicine.

    • Shawn Green

      Yeah eating heathy is dietary scam lol. There is literally massive evidence backing up her claims about sugar.

      • 1complexmolecule

        Then produce it.

  • Medwife

    That is some Unibomber level writing.

    • yentavegan

      thank you for putting into words what I viscerally felt and thought but I was unable to identify. Unibomber crazy.

    • namaste863

      Right?! Unibomber crazy! (Well, okay, in my defense I came up with L. Ron Hubbard)

  • Dr Kitty

    OT:
    I solved the reverse cycling (I hope).
    Big bowl of baby rice mixed with breastmilk at dinner time, milk feed at 10pm and he slept from 11pm to 6am.

    Clearly, at 19 weeks he’s ready for solids.
    The fact that I lost weight over Christmas despite eating like a pig and he’s jumped up two centiles in weight and three in length since birth should maybe have been a clue.

    • CSN0116

      My babe is 4 months tomorrow. She gets a bowl of oatmeal in her bath tub every night before bed (while she’s still learning the mess goes down the drain :). All five of my kids started “solids” well before the “recommended” age 😉 Glad you figured out your bub’s issue!

      • crazy grad mama

        Yeah, when you’re not fixated on the purity of exclusive breastfeeding, it turns out that the best time to introduce solids is when your kid is ready for them!

        • CSN0116

          Yeah it has always varied with each baby, but whenever they start eating 28, or so, ounces and sleeping through the night – I introduce some oatmeal at bed time and slowly build up foods from there.
          I have this totally unscientific observation: so the push to delay the introduction of solids was something about decreasing obesity and allergy rates, right? But kids are fatter and more allergic than ever? Clearly not causational, but peculiar? Can we at least say we haven’t met the damn objective?
          Also, my TRULY unscientific observation: we started my twins in a private preschool from ages 2-5. It was a mid-range price level. Rate of allergies: about 20% of any given class they were in. Rate of moms who glowed over extended breastfeeding of their kids: about 50%.
          Then come kindergarten I thought I didn’t want to be a “snob” and we went the public school route. I do sit as an elected trustee on the town’s Board of Education, after all. Seemed the right move. Rate of allergies: 0% in their class. There was a good amount of mixed income and I only ever overheard a couple lactivist-like convos.
          Well, the public school shit didn’t last but a year. Now we’re in a high-range price level private elementary school. Rate of allergies: over 75% in their class have an allergy. Four of 24 kids are allergic to 4+ things. Rate of lactivism: take a guess.
          Is this suburban mom syndrome? Or something far more sinister? Muh hahaha.

          • Inmara

            75%?! Are those real allergies or something in parents heads?

          • CSN0116

            I don’t know! HIPPA and whatnot, I only know that the “STOP allergies” signs are all over the door and room. And teacher said we have near my 20 allergy kids in class this year (when justifying her restrictive snack list and such). I’m hosting a bday party this weekend and given the RSVP conversations, that number seems accurate.

            Are some if these overstated? OMG yes. I’ve seen the kids eat themselves, or sit right next to somebody eating their forbidden gluten, sit, dairy …and they’re fine.

          • demodocus

            I should think the number of people with a life threatening allergy to something just by touching it would be pretty low. Mom could break out in hives by touching lanolin, but it couldn’t kill her.

          • CSN0116

            Yes, “allergy” versus “sensitivity” or “intolerance” – these are pretty different things. But these people seem to just throw the words out there like they’re synonymous …and demand massive classroom modifications, as is our case. Ugh.

          • Angharad

            To be fair, my daughter’s allergist says that a previous allergic reaction (like hives) is no indication that the body will always react the same way to the same allergen. Apparently you can react with hives the first several times, and then one day go into anaphylactic shock, especially if the previous reactions also involved a second bodily system (such as developing hives and watery eyes).

          • Medwife

            That can go the other way too. The first time I gave my son bread he broke out in hives head to toe. I reintroduced wheat 6 months later and it was fine.

          • T.

            I read a link not long ago here which showed how if you introduced a food after the child was one year old the chance of the child being allergic to it increased drammatically.

            I remember it was about peanut allergy and the mothers of one group were encouraged to feed their children bamba (a peanut butter based baby snack) at around 4 to 6 months old. Compared to the control group there were something like – 30% peanut allergies.

          • Inmara

            These findings are reflected in January 2013 statement from American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology https://www.aaaai.org/practice-resources/Statements-and-Practice-Parameters/AAAAI-Statements.aspx
            Of course, when these clash with “EBF your babies as looooong as possible” narrative, guess who’s going to win?

          • T.

            EBF as long as possible. Ugh.

            Now I hate to use evolutionary arguments but they sort of make sense that once upon a time people would start introducing solids ASAP since that freed up the mother’s time.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Again, the moronic insistence on exclusive breastfeeding.

            How about giving solids AND breastfeeding at the same time? Oh, it might shorten the length of time of breastfeeding? Seriously, in the US, even the minor benefits of breastfeeding are gone by probably 6 months, and for sure a year. What’s wrong with EBF for 4 months and then introducing solids, and ultimately doing baby food and breastfeeding for the next 6 mos or until the baby gives up breastfeeding on their own? What’s wrong with this picture? Not a thing, of course. The EBF only whackos would see that as a failure. I would say, hey, they breastfed for almost a year! Great!

          • CSN0116

            I read some gem on the infamous kellymom.com the other day rambling on and on about why you should wait. Some drivel about how eating food will reduce the absorption of breast milk and it could kill mom’s supply…amongst other bullshit, of course. Your proposal makes 100% sense. I sometimes think that introducing food means that mom is no longer the sole provider – which means she’s not as needed – which means she’s not as special – which makes mom sad. Same with formula supplementation. And these feelings will be avoided at all costs. She must never feel inferior. Superiority at all times.
            I know sane women EBF all the time. But I’ve never known one, personally. I have seen totally sane women start to breast feed, just to go bat shit crazy with excuses for starving their babies, allowing their babies to sleep next to never out of hunger, they develop extreme anxiety, never sleep themselves, and it all becomes about mom-centered feelings like mentioned above. My combo feeding friends, or EFF friends, do not seem to behave in this way.

          • AirPlant

            My anecdata!
            One reasonably crunchy friend, EBF two children to six months, complementary solids after and weaning a little after a year. Stayed super sane.
            One hyperrational friend, EBF two children, went absolutely batshit insane by the middle of the second month. Her husband needed to stage an intervention because her kid was losing weight and she was refusing supplementation.
            I felt like the difference was that mom A was breastfeeding for financial reasons. Formula costs money and as long as breastfeeding went well she didn’t want to spend $$$ if she didn’t have to. Mom B was coming from a place where she felt like she had to prove that she was a good mother and somehow she decided that breastfeeding was the way to do it.

          • Sue

            Sure eating solids as you grow older can reduce appetitie for breast milk (not ‘absorption’), and hence reduce supply. Isn;t that how weaning actually works?

            DOesn’t essentially the entire world;s population wean eventually onto solids?

          • Megan

            Well according to the “expert” Mayim Bialik babies only need breastmilk and nothing else for up to a year.

            http://www.cradlechronicles.com/?p=1321

            Of course she also says that only less than 1% of women are truly unable to breastfeed… Will that lie never go away??

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Well according to the “expert” Mayim Bialik babies only need breastmilk and nothing else for up to a year.

            It’s not that they can’t get away with just breastmilk for a year, but the question is, why does it have to be ONLY breastmilk? How is introducing solids at 4 – 5 months hurting them? As I said, it is absolutely possible (and not all that uncommon, in my experience) for babies to start having solid food at 4 months AND continue to breastfeed past a year. We didn’t do it because both kids quit nursing at 9 – 10 months, but I know plenty who have gone well past a year.

            So sure, babies can survive on only breastmilk for a year, and in that respect, that is all they need, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t get by with something else, too.

            As I have said, those cases like I described above, where the baby started solids at 4 months and continued to breastfeed through one year shoudl be considered SUCCESS stories for breastfeeding, not failures. Although it all begs the question of why it matters that they even made it to a year.

          • Megan

            Actually, I’d have concerns about the iron and vitamin D levels of a 6-12 month old only getting breastmilk.

          • T.

            EBF that long likely raise your chances of getting allergies too

          • ElaineF

            I think “food before 1 is just for fun” (note, I’m not saying I agree with this statement) is most often used to reassure parents whose kid is not eating much of what they are offered or who doesn’t seem interested.

            My kids weren’t all that into food until around 7 months and then they ramped up slowly. I kind of wondered if I should be trying to make them eat more, but I offered them plenty! But we did baby-led weaning because we were too lazy to try to get them into purees after they rejected them a few times.

          • Wren

            I tend to really annoy the lactivists because I did breastfeed my second to nearly 3 but I don’t find it important. Of course, she started solids around 5-6 months and ate proper meals by a year. We kept it up because it worked for us, period. Given that she is home from school sick today, it clearly failed to give her a magic immune system.

          • Sue

            Ironically, the passive immunity conferred by those maternal antibodies that transfer through breast milk can also inhibit the child building their own specific immunity.

            I suspect your child has some of the millions of common viruses we dont vax against, but it’s amazing how often lactivists misunderstand immunity.

            Instead of “building up” little Johnny’s tiny little immune system, they might be delaying its maturity. Imagine that!

          • Wren

            GP says it’s a virus. I believe it. We vax for a very tiny number of viruses. She’s almost back to normal today, so it seems to have done her no lasting harm.

          • demodocus

            stupid viruses. Toddler-boy and I are enjoying one right now.

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            Yes, and Mayim is the same genius who though that it was perfectly fine for her the over 1 year old son to not be rolling over, much less crawling or walking (he apparently also was not speaking at age 2) so I would not take her advice about anything:

            http://www.today.com/parents/why-i-dont-force-my-kids-say-please-or-walk-1C7398514

            “My
            boys were physically very cautious, shunning jumping, running, and even
            climbing long after their peers mastered them; and my younger son did
            not roll over unassisted until, wait for it: the day he turned one.
            He apparently has a weak set of core muscles that he now compensates
            for beautifully, without anyone noticing but me and my husband.”

          • swbarnes2

            But she also says that her pediatrician was okay with their development. One hopes that she didn’t pick a crunchy-to-the-point-of-negligent pediatrician, but she is not flying completely based on her motherly instinct.

          • Roadstergal

            She apparently has a pediatrician who’s fine with not vaccinating, so my hope is not strong on that point.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            ***COUGHBobSearsCOUGH****

            I don’t know for sure, but could just as well be.

          • Amy M

            That’s just dumb. I mean sure, keep breastfeeding, but most babies SHOULD be starting to eat solids around 6mos. At what point would an EBF (no solids) child end up malnourished? A year?

          • Allie P

            The lactivists make these cute little rhymes like, “food before one is just for fun”. Um, my daughter is DEAD FREAKING SERIOUS about her solids, and she’s six months. And it’s ENTIRELY baby led on my part. I had to start feeding this kid when she grabbed food out of our hands and stuck it in her pie hole. And she won’t TOUCH purees.

          • CSN0116

            We responded at the same time lol

          • T.

            My sister was the same! She used to steal my focaccia and my mther didn’t believe me when I told her. She was weaned on pasta al pomodoro and is now a healthy 20 yo 🙂

          • CSN0116

            According to crunchies, “food before one is just for fun!”
            Yeah, my 20 some pound 10-month-old definitely doesn’t need those three full-on meals per day. A liquid diet would totally suffice. All that food is just for fun! Seriously?!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            According to crunchies, “food before one is just for fun!”

            So what if it is “just for fun”? What’s wrong with that? Shouldn’t babies and parents have fun?

          • demodocus

            The frequent implication that older babies don’t need solids at all is what’s wrong. Some kids are fine without much, but a lot of kids most definitely need solid food.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            But it doesn’t matter. Why does it matter if you are feeding the baby solids because they need it or if it is “just for fun.”? There’s nothing wrong with giving a baby (who can handle it) solids “just for fun”

            Saying that “food for one is jut for fun” is a total non-sequitor. Even if it were true, it would not be a reason not to give the baby solids.

          • Inmara

            It matters because a message like “just for fun” implies that solid food is totally optional until 12 months. It is NOT because EBF babies don’t get D vitamin and especially iron from breastmilk. Around 6 months their inner iron storage runs out but growing bodies need iron to produce hemoglobin and sustain other bodily functions. Unfortunately some crunchies translate “solid food is just for fun” as “avoid solids as long as possible because breastmilk is so superior” and it can impair development of their babies.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Unfortunately some crunchies translate “solid food is just for fun” as “avoid solids as long as possible

            You are missing the point. I am saying that the translation you provide above does not follow. Even if it is “just for fun” it does mean that you need to avoid it. The response to “just for fun” is so what if it is?

            I’m sure for some babies, solid food before 1 is indeed “just for fun.” However, that does not mean they shouldn’t get it.

            The point is, even their “cute little rhyme” doesn’t lead to the conclusion they think it does.

          • Brix

            I understood the stupid nursery rhyme to mean that solids before the age of one are unnecessary.

          • demodocus

            met an 18 lb 6 month old today, happily chugging down a bottle. He’s going to need 3 square pretty soon!

          • crazy grad mama

            And the science coming out since 2013 (like the peanut study mentioned above) all continues to show that, at least as far as allergy prevention is concerned, 6 months should be considered the upper limit on solid introduction, not the minimum.

            With the AAP, we’ve got the clash of ideologies where one group supports introducing foods at 4-6 months depending on baby’s readiness, while the breastfeeding policy still pushes EBF for 6 months.

          • Gatita

            OT but can I ask why you bailed on the public school? I find it depressing that do many public schools are places to flee from.

          • demodocus

            Public schools can really vary in quality. Mine were awesome, but others are less so.

          • Wren

            Could higher rates of allergy diagnosis in the better off school be at all related to better healthcare and therefore actually diagnosing it when a rash or a constantly runny nose just goes without diagnosis for those with lower income?
            I’m assuming you are only talking about food allergies here. My kids probably don’t have any (my son has always hated bananas raw and we have a couple of people with allergic reactions to raw banana in the family) but my daughter is definitely allergic to most sun screens.

          • momofone

            Obviously private schools cause allergies.

        • Inmara

          And again I’ll share my favorite resource http://scienceofmom.com/2015/05/14/starting-solids-4-months-6-months-or-somewhere-in-between/
          Nice overview of available scientific evidence regarding introduction of solids. What’s really interesting is that EFF or combo fed babies can be introduced to solids later because they don’t have risks of iron deficiency which is the case with EBF babies beyond 6 months. That’s seriously overlooked by the whole baby led weaning ideology (if you wait until baby is sitting and capable to grab food for himself, it could be that baby lacks iron for his development for a few months). Contrary to this evidence, FF babies are advised to start solids at 4 months, at least where I live, but I think that it’s some inertia from Soviet era when available formula was indeed inferior to breastmilk.

          • crazy grad mama

            I love Science of Mom so much! Our pediatrician said the same thing and suggested introducing iron-fortified cereal to our EBF baby at 5 months.

      • demodocus

        My mini-musician was trying to eat my apples when he was 3 1/2 months old. He still thinks all the apples belong to him, lol. I try to limit him to 2 a day. On a related note, he doesn’t get constipated.

        • CSN0116

          My 1-year-old steals apples from the fruit bowl all day long. I find them half-nibbled and abandoned in the most peculiar spots…

          • CSN0116

            He does not struggle with constipation either.

          • Mishimoo

            Carrots for my 2.5 year old, but he feeds them to the dog when he’s finished.

    • Megan

      Wow, 19 weeks already?? Time flies!! Glad your issue is fixed!

      • Dr Kitty

        I know! This time last year I was pregnant, vomiting multiple times a day and hoping that meant we had a viable pregnancy! Crazy how time flies.

    • Medwife

      He slept 11p-6a?????

      I just wiped away a tear.

      • Dr Kitty

        Yep.
        That had been his usual sleep pattern before the holidays.
        Easy, contented and a good sleeper, we got very lucky with him!

        • Inmara

          I call this winning an infant lottery. Mine (22wks) is sleeping from 7-8 PM until 4-5 AM and then wakes up at 7. Seems that for sleeping through the night he will need solids, going to start any day.

          • Linden

            My little one is 19 months and still only rarely sleeps through the night. :’-(

          • Inmara

            My niece was 3 years when she finally did it. But at least it’s 3 and not 6 or 9 or 13!

          • Wren

            My son was 3 when he did it with any regularity, despite out-eating every other kid we knew his age from before 12 months. He’s 10 now and still eats way more than most of his friends despite remaining slim.

          • Medwife

            That actually sounds like sleeping through the night, he just needs to push it all an hour or two later!

    • Allie P

      Mine was six months this week. We started solids last month, because she started grabbing food out of my hands. Still doesn’t sleep through the night, though. Does about 8-1, and then again at 3 or 4. Gah.

      • Allie P

        And last night it was 8, then 11, then 2, then 6. She just woke again. And seriously, for the first 3 months she only woke ONCE a night and never had to be rocked or sung to or anything. Now that she’s “online” she never sleeps. Naps are almost non existent, too, unless she’s being worn in a baby carrier.

    • Tosca

      My second child was born 9lb 3oz and 56cm…at 36 weeks. At one stage he was gaining a pound a week, completely breastfed. By six weeks he needed a full feed every 2 hours around the clock. I started giving him a little very runny rice cereal. It enabled him to go 4-5 hours between feeds and I could sleep a little.

      Different babies have different needs! Who knew?

  • Elizabeth A

    I do think that someone handing their kid an epipen ruins a birthday party. Anaphylaxis is just not festive – I try to accommodate known allergies of guests, and provide appropriate food labels so everyone will be warned, because having a guest swell and wheeze is sort of a personal nightmare for me (and is, of course, worse for the person doing the swelling and wheezing). I would feel so terrible for having failed to prevent it.

    A kid who needs a rescue inhaler at a party is probably also not having the best of times. Poor kid.

    But it’s not parents who responsibly supply these items that ruin the mood.

    TL;DR – Eff you Kelly Brogan.

    • namaste863

      I knew a girl with a peanut allergy. She for whatever reason didn’t have an epi pen. She kissed her boyfriend. He’d been eating something with peanuts, unbeknownst to her, and really, who would have thought? She went into anaphylactic shock, and by the time the paramedics got to her it was too late. She was gone. She was only 17. When I read Kelly Brogan’s rant about epi pens, I immediately thought of her. If an epi pen is prescribed, it’s for a damn good reason. As in, a person will die without it. Fuck her. Fuck her.

      • Dr Kitty

        Had a walk-in to our surgery with anaphylaxis not that long ago.
        Not fun.
        My colleague and I got lines in and steroids and used an epi-pen before the ambulance arrived and the patient was fine, but I like calm primary care medicine, not the high octane stuff!
        Not a food allergy either.

        • demodocus

          Mom could get anaphalaxis off second-hand smoke from cannibis. We had a neighbor who enjoyed the stuff and sometimes the wind blew wrong.

      • Allie P

        PSA: write to your elected representative about the INSANE mark up on epi pens at present.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        A friend of mine has a son with multiple serious allergies. the worst is to latex, his mom was a dental hygienist and she had to keep a complete change of close and take a shower before coming home as the first time she came after maternity leave she sent him into anaphylaxis just from the latex residue on her hands/clothes.

        When he started school she had a long talk with the teacher and admin staff..

        at his 5th birthday one of the kids thought it was funny to chase him with a balloon they brought..

  • MaineJen

    Tin foil hats! Get your tin foil hats here.

    • Roadstergal

      Tin foil causes autism! Wake up, sheeple!

      • Mishimoo

        I have all natural organic bauxite hats for sale, only $400 each. They actually help cure autism by detoxing you from unnatural refined aluminum! If you’re concerned about the weight, well, I know a good chiropractor…

        • PeggySue

          Are they gluten free???

          • Mishimoo

            Gluten free and sugar free!

          • Who?

            GMOs?

          • Mishimoo

            No, no. These are the finest bauxite hats – no GMOs and we throw the arsenic, uranium, thorium, mercury, lead, and cadmium in for free! It’s all natural, that’s how you know it’s safe.

        • MaineJen

          Wake up, sheeple. The ONLY way to detox is through the colon. Duh.

          • Mishimoo

            That gives a whole new meaning to ‘asshat’

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    I finally read that Kelly Brogan screed, and I can’t even snark her. I think she might actually be having a psychotic break. That read exactly like the things my manic patients would write while inpatient.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Similar reaction here. It didn’t strike me as “mind blowing grandiosity”, but rather as actual clinical grandiosity. As in I’ll be documenting that in the mental status exam.

      • PrimaryCareDoc

        Yup. Grandiosity, flight of ideas…scary that she apparently has patients under her care.

    • Sue

      It’s not unusual for doctors with their own mental health issues to go into psychiatry.

    • FEDUP MD

      I want to find her with a haldol dart blow gun.

  • Dr Kitty

    How can anyone actually take Brogan seriously when she writes “I’m wonderful, me” stuff like that?

    Is it cultural? Is it my Irish cynicism and British reserve not getting American enthusiastic self belief?

    It reads like the self aggrandising nonsense that candidates on “the apprentice” say, only to be ridiculed for it.

    Or like things that should more appropriately be written in a private diary or said to a therapist.

    It certainly doesn’t read like the thoughts of a mental health professional who could be trusted to give sound advice.

    • namaste863

      No, it’s not just you. I’m a Yank, and this is what most would call outright pathological.

    • Chant de la Mer

      No, its not just you. It does have the flavor of woo that comes with the mental health woo groups though, there it’s all about saying things to make them true. crazy I know.

    • Mishimoo

      It actually sounds a lot like my parents and reinforces my personal opinion that if they just had a little more charisma, they would have cults.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    Sounds like Margulis has a bad case of Dunning-Kruger effect happening.

    As for Brogan: another belligerent atheist, great. Just what the atheist community needs.

    • Roadstergal

      She’s an atheist? Nice. We needed another credulous science-ignorant egotistical ranter.

      • Valerie

        The thing is that she isn’t entirely science-ignorant. It looks like she found some examples where she thought medical treatments were on shaky ground and then threw the whole baby out with the bath water.

        I get it. The scientific method and how scientific research is performed is flawed. Some (actually many) things that are published turn out to be nonsense. But to reject that entirely in favor of some kind of “trusting in a guide inside, and connecting, without fear, to a trust in the unfolding of the universe. An unfolding we are here only to witness, not to manipulate ” isn’t an improvement.

        • Roadstergal

          I actually think the scientific method is excellent, we just implement it suboptimally overall. 🙂 But it’s still the best thing we have going. If you think a medical treatment is on shaky ground and you call that out for discussion, that’s scientific. If you propose experiments to clarify those issues, that’s utterly in keeping with good science!

          • mostlyclueless

            Like Churchill said about democracy, I think the scientific method is the worst possible option, except for all the others.

        • PeggySue

          Especially when you start talking about the body’s ability to heal itself. Isn’t that a little more than witnessing?

    • Valerie
      • LaMont

        Yeah all that talk of “native force,” and capital-T Truth made me think “um, probably not”. She’s got Tim Minchin’s “Storm” written all over her, but weaponized. All I can think is, if she gets a treatable but otherwise deadly illness she will first deny that it’s possible (I live so perfectly!) and then die (cancer remedies are poison!). Unlike Brogan, though, my atheist ass doesn’t enjoy that image; it’s horrifying. Because when you see people endangering themselves, it’s not a referendum on your intelligence for avoiding that danger, it’s a fate you should be sad about!

      • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

        Ugh, now that she’s “seen the light” she’s mocking atheism as an “adolescent phase” on the spiritual journey. I think I strained an optical nerve rolling my eyes so hard.

      • PeggySue

        Oh, geez. However, her “Spirit” is firmly made in her own image and likeness. She’d fit in with a lot of woo around here. I work in hospice. I see of folks whose beliefs in the body’s ability to heal itself have not worked out so very well.

  • mostlyclueless

    The second one literally sounds like she has a psychotic disorder. Yikes.

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      I have a couple of personality disordered people in my life and her rage at people ignoring “THE TRUTH” (which of course, she has special knowledge of) is all too familiar to me.

  • Zoey

    I appreciate the recommendation in Brogan’s piece to “use logic and reason sparingly.” You’d pretty much have to do this to find anything that she writes even a little bit convincing.

  • namaste863

    Jennifer Margulis comes across as having fallen prey to the Dunning Kruger effect, and yeah, a bit arrogant. This Kelly Brogan character comes across as a bat shit nuts cult leader in the vein of Jim Jones, David Koresh, and L. Ron Hubbard. One would be forgiven for thinking she believes herself to be the reincarnation of Jesus, Buddha, or Mohammad. Very creepy.

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      I mentioned Dunning Kruger too, should have read down the comments first 🙂

      Einstein’s quote “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing” comes to mind. Seems she hasn’t the education to properly interpret the little knowledge that she has.

  • attitude devant

    Speaking of Jennifer Margulis manipulating Amazon reviews, I see that there is only one review on Amazon on The Business of Baby. And it’s a 5-star review. Also, the paperback version was printed with a new title, Your Baby, Your Way…..possibly to evade any potential buyers checking the New York Times review that savaged the book?

  • ArmyChick

    She sounds like a sociopath to me.

  • attitude devant

    We all laugh, but Margulis does real harm. I just had to talk a patient off the ledge after her idiot doula gave her a very glossy magazine with an article by JM discussing an ultrasound-autism link as if it were proven science. What an idiot.

    • Amy M

      Does Margulis offer some sort of mechanism of action? How do sound waves affect brain development, according to her?

      • attitude devant

        honestly? I was so angry that I only skimmed it. It was mostly an historical correlation argument.

      • Sue

        The only thing ultrasound can do is transfer heat. So, if that small amount of heating for such a short time could induce autism (or whatever), so could every mild fever or day in the sun. It;s just nonsense.

        In Aus, essentially every pregnant woman gets at least an 18-week scan as a matter or course – there is little or no paranoia about it.

        • Amy M

          Oh I recognize its total BS, but I am curious as to why Margulis thinks its plausible. I know anecdotes aren’t data, but I had tons of ultrasounds during my pregnancy. Not for fun, but to watch for TTTS, and neither of my boys is anywhere near the autism spectrum. I love how these people have no idea about something, so they just pick one (vaccines, tylenol, GMOs, fluoride, msg) and decide that whatever they chose is responsible for all the world’s ills. It would be funny, except that thanks to the internet, they can convince others (who have minimal science literacy) that their wackadoo ideas have merit.

          • Allie P

            Something something study that showed lots of ultrasounds correlated with left handedness, something something must mean brain changes something something autism.

          • Sue

            That sort of thinking always leads me to post the link to SPurious Correlations:

            http://tylervigen.com/old-version.html

    • Allie P

      The glossy mags are a REAL problem. They put them out in Dr offices and no one vets what is inside of them. That’s how i fell prey to all the lactivist nonsense with my first pregnancy.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Her degrees are in English language and literature!

    She does, indeed, have a PhD in American Literature from Emory, in 1999.

    The title of her thesis was, “Swarthy pirates and white slaves: Barbary captivity in the American literary imagination”

    Clearly qualified to talk about the causes of autism.

    Of course, the fact that she wrote to Birnbaum to give her input shows just how clueless she is. In fact, it’s pretty much the standard MO of cranks everywhere.

    Linda Birnbaum doesn’t want to hear your claims. For starters, that’s not her job. If I’m in Birnbaum’s position, my response is, “Write a proposal. Here’s the guidelines for submission and the criteria for evaluation.” If she has anything worthwhile to say, she can apply for support from the NIEH and do the necessary studies. NO government agency is going to give the slightest shit about some clown who contacts them with “you should study this!” No, YOU should study this. And then publish it. Hey, if it’s worthwhile, we might even support it. But Genius PhD doesn’t know that, because she doesn’t know the first thing about how science works.

    • attitude devant

      I love, love, love how she clings to that PhD like it’s some kind of life raft.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        It impresses some people, for sure. But for others? Meh. You don’t come here, for example, and parade a PhD around as if it means anything, because you will be laughed out of the joint. “I have a PhD!!!!” Yeah? So do half of the others around here. Some even have PhDs that are relevant to the topic at hand…

        • BeatriceC

          I have to cite a Ph.D. by association. I “only” have a master’s degree, and that’s in math, so not relevant, unless we’re hashing out the details of statistical analysis (my concentration area), but it’s still not a Ph.D. Whenever I get in over my head I have to harass MrC, as he actually does have a Ph.D. in a relevant area (biophysics, yet oddly his career is more biochemistry). However, even though he’s a real, honest to goodness research scientist, he works in pharmaceutics formulation, so we’re back to not really relevant. Though it is nice to have an in-house expert in my actual home to help me with some of the basics that I never learned or have forgotten from my undergrad second major in biology and minor in chemistry.

      • araikwao

        Perhaps I’m showing my lack of cultural refinement, but seriously, who was giving away a PhD scholarship for a topic like that? How did that help improve the world?
        Edited to address autocorrect fail

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          There is no assurance she had a scholarship. She may have taught for support, but ta positions in English are hard to come by, but not impossible.

          And to earn the PhD, she has created new information by looking at an issue in a unique way. That improves the world.

          It does no good to rag on the legitimacy of her PhD, it’s just your own Dunning-Krueger. Otoh, that her PhD has no bearing on the causes of autism is clearly true.

          • araikwao

            Nope, no Dunning-Kruger here, I believe I was quite open about my lack of understanding of “how stuff works” for doing a PhD in the humanities. All I know of the system, and this applies to science and medicine-related PhDs is that there are limited scholarships available, and with research funding as tightly budgeted as it is, my mind boggles at $90-ish K being given for someone write about pirates rather than, idk, evaluate novel treatments for prostate cancer.
            Yes, maybe I don’t have the appreciation for American pirate literature that I should, but this is just a comments page on the internet, where people’s thoughts may not be fully worked through before posting, because we are just having a conversation. I feel like you are being particularly combative today.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “this is just a comments page on the internet, where people’s thoughts may not be fully worked through before posting, because we are just having a conversation.”

            So that means we aren’t allowed to disagree with one another? Because we need to keep in mind that others’ thoughts may not yet be fully worked out, so disagreement is combative and ruins the conversation?

            No, I agree with Bofa on this one. We can point out that Margulis’ research topic is so far removed from Science and medicine that it is worthless in those areas without having to say that it is worthless overall.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            my mind boggles at $90-ish K being given for someone write about pirates rather than, idk, evaluate novel treatments for prostate cancer.

            That’s because you don’t know enough about the education system and how it works. You claim you know about science and medicine PhDs. This is not a science PhD. It’s American Lit. So why do you think that anything you know about science PhDs applies? It’s a classic case of you don’t know enough about it, and your opinions reflect the fact you don’t know enough to know why you are wrong. The fact you preface it by admitting you don’t know how it works doesn’t change that, it just makes your comments even more ridiculous. “I don’t know how it works, but I am going to spout off about it anyway!”

            And I’ll say it again, you have no idea how her education was funded. You don’t know that anyone gave her a fellowship, or whether she was supported as a TA, teaching sections of Comp 101, or whether she paid it out of her own pocket. And even if she had a fellowship, someone thought it was worthwhile to give money to support that (it’s likely not coming from the university budget, because they don’t support a lot of research assistants, even in science; most graduate students on university support in science are TAs), so whether it boggles YOUR mind or not is irrelevant. People who apparently consider it important to them have provided money to do it. They have different priorities than you do, that’s all.

            I feel like you are being particularly combative today.

            When it comes to PhDs, I am especially defensive. On one hand, I am the first to jump on someone who has an illegitimate PhD. In fact, that’s kind of my thing. Someone claims to have a PhD, the first thing I do is look to see if it is legit. The key is, I know how to do that. I know where to look to find out that kind of information. However, after having established that the PhD is legit (as hers is), if it is in an area outside of my expertise, I am not in a position to judge it, either in topic or quality. However, in this case, I know enough about English academics to recognize that the topic looks perfectly legit.

            Similarly, I am a vocal opponent of people misusing their PhD and claiming it to mean more than it does. If I had questions about American Literature and the role of pirates, Jennifer Margulis would be a great person to talk to. She’s a legitimate expert on that topic. Autism? Not so much.

            There is plenty about Margulis to criticize, so criticize that instead of spouting ignorance.

          • araikwao

            I am sorry for making a throwaway comment. Consider me duly chastened.

          • Azuran

            I’m not too sure about the USA but where I live, Master and PHD are more about the ability to do it than what it’s really about.
            Sure, it always start with an interesting question they want answers, or a wish to improve something. But often they will find along the way that their initial hypothesis was wrong and that not much (or nothing) can be taken out of the project.
            My boyfriend is in such a situation. He’s doing his masters in engineering. More than halfway through the project, they found new info than made his whole project useless. He’s still doing it, and he’s still going to get his Masters degree because he showed he was able to properly do a research project and found new information, even if it’s never going to have any practical effect in real life.

  • Amy M

    Come on, guys…its SO HARD being the only one who knows the truth. I mean, all that self-righteous indignation takes a lot of energy. Some days, its difficult to decide whether to educate people, or excoriate them. Everyone that Brogan knows is WRONG…it would be nice for her to have one friend who is right, but nope, sea of failure all around. Maybe today she is building voodoo dolls, to ensure that all the wrong people get what they deserve,which is sickness, death and fewer cavities.

    • Sue

      “Truth”. A big red flag, right there.

  • Mel

    I had just finished reading a blog post about how well-meaning evangelical preachers launch themselves down the “I know what God wants because I am the only person standing against ALL the evils of society; God’s only surviving prophet” road to insanity.

    Kelly has decided that she is the prophet of “Health”, the last one living on Earth. Good luck with that; prophets don’t often have happy lives.

    Dr. Jennifer Margulis, IMHO, deals with a different problem. Her mother, Dr. Lynn Margulis, will be known for her unconventional and paradigm changing endosymbiotic theory. Dr. Lynn Margulis dealt with years of skepticism – all of it well deserved – before enough data was collected to support her theory that modern eukaryotic cells evolved from symbiotic relationships between bacterial cells.

    Dr. Jennifer Margulis is recreating her mother with limited success. She does cursory research into an area – not enough to be an actual expert, and never one area for very long – then hatches a new theory of whatever interests hers. Then, when people attack her theory for being harebrained or not supported by data, she floats into the “Time will prove me right mode.”

  • LizzieSt

    Heh. “Schadenfreud.”

    “I’m an MD but foreign languages are, like, totally hard and stuff!”

    Sorry, but if she can wish ill health on vaccine-supporting politicians, I can enjoy a childish jab. So to speak.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      Speaking of wonderful German words…fremdschamen. That’s what I feel for Margulis and Brogan.

      • Amy M

        I just learned that term last week! And I agree, it totally applies in this case.

    • Sue

      But, hey – she’s a psychiatrist. Of course she would quote Freud.

  • MLE

    Unfortunately a close family member was recently diagnosed as bipolar and she sounds just like him. I guess I shouldn’t be like her and try to diagnose her using my bachelor’s in music. Let me revise that to say she sounds just like Andy Bernard 🙂

    • Kelly

      I just started rewatching that series. I forgot how much I enjoyed watching it.

  • moto_librarian

    Trust me, Kelly. Those of us in need of professional help for mental illness do not need the assistance of a “holistic psychiatrist.” We need evidence-based treatment, be it therapy or medication. I find it difficult to believe that you are capable of being a healthcare professional given your disdain and outright disgust for anything that you perceive as weakness. You are a danger.

  • Squillo

    I felt an ancient fire kindle inside me that churned and twisted with my own native force. I held my sword aloft.

    That’s maybe the most verbal masturbation I’ve ever seen packed into a single paragraph.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      It sounds like it’s out of a Harlequin Romance novel.

      • attitude devant

        I was thinking LOTR fanfic.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Not erotic enough

          • Roadstergal

            It’s the start of a Mary Sue fic for sure. Just needs a little more ‘cerulean.’

          • PeggySue

            Can’t have too much cerulean.

          • Sue

            On the contrary, PeggySue. I;ve heard that there is no proven safe level of cerulean 🙂

          • attitude devant

            Bwahahaha! Remember the glorious porny nastiness of Bored of the Rings? How I wish I’d never given that book away!

        • Squillo

          This is “My Immortal”-level stuff.

          • Mishimoo

            Argh! Whyyyyy?! I’m sorry, but I had to:

            Hi my name is Cosmic Ethe’real Storm Dancer Day and I have long galaxy hair (that’s how I got my name) with purple streaks and red tips that reaches my mid-back and ice blue eyes like limpid tears and a lot of people tell me I look like a young Ina Mae Gaskin (AN: If u don’t know who she is get da hell out of here). I’m not related to Philip Day but I wish I was because he’s a major fucking hottie. I’m anti-flouride but my teeth are white and straight. I have pale white skin. I am also in touch with my ancient fire. I am empowered by my native force (if you can’t tell) and I only wear 100% hand-processed organic hemp. I was walking around outside my holistic health centre. It was sunny and I was embracing the healthful sun rays. A lot of pro-vaxxers stared at me. I put my middle finger up at them.

      • Amazed

        They aren’t this descriptive.

    • ArmyChick

      I would like some of the sh*t she is smoking.

      • Roadstergal

        I’ve yet to do any drugs that make me sound like that much of a tool.

        • AirPlant

          Sadly? I eat that overwrought shit up when I am tired or depressed. It is like water to my soul garden. I have deep deep shame.

          • Roadstergal

            I write fanfic, and I think the closest I’ve gotten to that was a moderately cracky Smaug/Bilbo fic.

            …which is the most popular fic on AO3 I’ve ever written, by orders of magnitude. :

          • SecretLibrary

            I read fanfic, and I think I may have come across – and enjoyed – that one. 😉

            Sorry for the thread-necromancy, I’m reading back posts to get up to speed, but I couldn’t resist commenting on this one.

        • BeatriceC

          My 14 year old has a fairly typical case of age-and-gender appropriate Dunning-Krueger disease combined with an in your face personality. I don’t think it’s possible for even him to do any drugs that would make him sound like that much of a tool (he doesn’t do drugs that I’m aware of, but given my teenage years, I’m not discounting the possibility).

      • demodocus

        Mom occasionally fed us pizza, so i’m probably allergic to it 😉

    • Inmara

      Sounds similar to that crazy woman who let her three children almost die of whooping cough. She too felt very passionate and very sure that she knows the only Truth.

    • An Actual Attorney

      Maybe she’s related to Sean Penn?

    • NoLongerCrunching
      • Roadstergal

        Oh man, I did not know that one…

      • attitude devant

        oh that is awesome…

    • sdsures

      Wow…

    • Chione

      That seriously sounds like some of the more purple stuff I wrote during my RPG playing days. We got extra experience for writing background stories for our characters, and it was all good fun. Of course that character would probably be a sorcerer whose talent was awakening or something of the sort, not some lady who just decided to believe that the problem was that everyone else was dumb and wrong.

    • Sue

      “Aloft”?

      Do people even use that word any more, let alone swords?

    • I’m seriously thinking of using that as my sig line from now on.