Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Danger! Danger! Sonya McLeod

Posted by Ethan Clow on December 11, 2009

More news from our favourite fake news paper’s homeopathy correspondent!!

Actually for the most part I’m relaying information that I heard from my fellow skeptics at Vancouver Skeptics in the Pub last Tuesday.

So if you don’t know who I’m talking about allow me to bring you up to speed.

Sonya McLeod is a practicing homeopath who has written two articles for the Georgia Straight where she attacks “western medicine” and extols the virtues of homeopathy in its ability to cure things like bee stings or H1N1.

I wrote a short blurb about how the Georgia Straight is basically promoting disease and endangering public health on this blog and you can read that here. I also blogged on Skeptic North about the poor journalism of the Georgia Straight as well, you can read that here.

And I’m not alone. Excellent blog posts debunking and exposing the bad science (actually more like anti-science) and ridiculously bad journalism of the Straight and Sonya McLeod have been written by Steve Thoms and the Ass-hole Skeptic

Here’s the main problem: Sonya McLeod is a practicing homeopath. She writes for an “independent” newspaper that operates with no regulation, where she promotes homeopathic remedies which she herself sells at her Little Mountain Homeopathic clinic. Not only that, but she operates at the Straight with quite a bit of immunity. She is the owner’s daughter.
So major conflicts of interest here.

Recently she’s continued here anti-vaccination campaign only this time some on-the-ball Vancouver Skeptics caught her at it. Sonya was promoting her pro-disease mentality on her blog when some skeptics started posting responses which she was promptly deleting. So a few skeptics changed their tactics and tried to be polite. But Sonya eventually figured things out and deleted all the posts.

Obviously that alone says quite a bit about her mentality for open debate but let’s set that aside for the moment. Fortunately not all was lost! The comments were saved and are available on the Ass-Hole Skeptics blog, here’s a link to that post.

I just wanted to add a bit to what was said there, Sonya McLeod is dangerous. We debated at Skeptics in the Pub over whether she was consciously aware that she is wrong – that homeopathy doesn’t work and that science based medicine isn’t dangerous – and if that’s true she’s knowingly scamming people and a public health menace. OR is she so deluded by her own propaganda she actually believes science based medicine is dangerous and she is the only hope anyone has of getting safe treatment, in which case she’s still a public health menace but she’s just massively misinformed.

The truth could be some combination of those theories or perhaps she just doesn’t care either way…really her motives aren’t terribly important at this point because as we all agreed, she is dangerous!

Promoting homeopathy is one thing. Chances are, homeopathy won’t kill you; however, when you go out of your way to promote conspiracy theories that “Big Pharma” is out to get you. Or that your family doctor is a quack who will pump you full of drugs…or that you’re just very sick and if you visit her store and pay $200 she’ll fix you up real good… that makes her dangerous.

We’ve had quite a bit of evidence that H1N1 is bad. People have died because of it. And I’m the first to suggest (both in my blogs and on Radio Freethinker) that mass panic is unnecessary and that some of the news coverage has been more harm than good. But I’m aware of the evidence and the consensus of the scientific and medical community.

Many are now saying that H1N1 isn’t as bad as we feared. That’s great. But we did have a massive publicity program to encourage people to be sanitary. We also were able to use some pretty advanced scientific technology, the mapping of the genetic code of H1N1 was the fastest on record.

Nevertheless it could have been worse. If people like Sonya McLeod had a louder voice it could indeed have been worse. It could have been catastrophic.

Anyway, I encourage any and all skeptics to keep an eye on Sonya, keep blogging and writing posts about her. Write to the Georgia Straight and post comments to her blog. The more attention we can shine on her, the harder it will be for her to swindle people and promote her pseudo science.

Sonya has characterized the skeptical movement as “anti-environmental and oppose all restrictions on business, especially biotechnology.” Further, we’re also sexist. She has characterized us as “members of a extremist right-wing hate groups.”

Sigh.

Ethan the Freethinking Historian.

2 Responses to “Danger! Danger! Sonya McLeod”

  1. Brett said

    Somehow 'asshole' is 100x more offensive when written as 'ass-hole'…

  2. […] Some local skeptics complained to the paper and blogged about it, and like the Star, the Straight went on the defensive. […]

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