Monday, 14 October 2013

What 'What Doctors Don't Tell You' really told you

Last updated 2013 October 17 09:05 UT

The tacky health-scare magazine self-styled "journal", What Doctors Don't Tell You, has been getting a little hot under the collar recently about things that it claims it is reported to have said but didn't really say. It's also been making some rather surprising assertions about other things. Some of these are clearly silly "couldn't be bothered to check"-type errors, others are more than that. You be the judge.

This post will be added to as time and information permits.

The Claim The Reality
McTaggart (said) her journal would accept no advertising - "we have to remain pure" - Not only is approximately a quarter of each issue devoted to advertising (based on June 2013 issue), in February 2013, the Nightingale Collaboration reported that the Advertising Standards Authority had adjudicated against advertising in WDDTY to the tune of 54 CAP-Code breaches. This is in addition to eleven "informally resolved" cases (i.e. the advertising was acknowledged to be in breach of CAP-Codes and was amended voluntarily.)
"...the Nightingale Collaboration, a ragtag group who meet in a pub of the same name..." Errr.. there is no pub called The Nightingale Collaboration.
"...the pharmaceutically backed organization [Simon Singh] fronts, 'Sense About Science'...." Sense About Science is a charity. Its accounts are therefore open to scrutiny.

Less than 5% of its funding comes from companies; none of these is a pharmaceutical company.
WDDTY complained: "The Times stated: we said vitamin C cures HIV."

"Five Live followed up with a television debate about our magazine." Five Live doesn't do TV debates. (Clue: It is a radio station!)
"It's also apparent from the information published in The Times and in all the media following that not one journalist or broadcaster has read one single word we've written, particularly on the homeopathy story, and for very good reason: the article and the magazine containing it in fact have not yet been published." Ummm -- WDDTY published their claims for homeopathy months ago!

And bragged on Facebook about doing so!

(To the Times) 

"You have no idea yet what we're going to write about, so how can you say we're going to write that homeopathy 'cures' cancer?"
Ummm... Maybe they were referring to a claim WDDTY has already made? (See above)

"Just to clarify yet another lie about us: we are not 'pro' or 'anti' vaccine." From WDDTY, June 2013: "The safest interpretation is that the MMR increases the risk of autism by 5 per cent"

"Not one of the newspapers, radio shows or television stations bothered to contact us, even to solicit a comment,,," The Times journalist who reported on the campaign to get the magazine off supermarket shelves sent this email:

And phoned twice:

(Having had no reply from the "Editorial" department, he next tried "Accounts and General Management")

"...the Swiss government decided that there is some proof of homeopathy..." It did nothing of the sort! See Zeno's Blog for what really happened.
"For months, Singh, whose Sense About Science group has the sponsorship of the British Pharmaceutical Association..." If the The British Pharmaceutical Association actually exists and is not just something else made up by McTaggart, it is not a sponsor of Sense About Science.
"[Waitrose] are not one of our stockists" Curious. That's not what the distributor thinks:

"The letter being sent out by the Times to our readers..." The Times is sending out letters to WDDTY readers?
Is WDDTY implying that the Times somehow get hold of the WDDTY subscriber database?
Has anyone ever actually seen one of these letters?

What does become apparent is that WDDTY needs some sort of disclaimer on a lot of what it asserts!


  1. Looks like Ms McTaggart is no more in contact with the real world than her magazine contents indicate. I know someone on a forum who would make a fine friend for her - just as deluded!

  2. I've been told that some people are having trouble posting comments. Sorry about that -- seems that I might not have chosen the friendliest blog host. AIUI, a Google ID is most reliable.

  3. "jdc" is one of those unable to comment here. He has asked me to post this on his behalf:


    Re the claim that it is a "lie" that they are anti-vaccine: in their 'Vaccination Bible', they say that their writings "make an unabashed case against" vaccination - http://jdc325.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/is-wddty-magazine-anti-vaccine/

    In the articles I've read online and in print, WDDTY have been consistently critical of vaccines and have actually written positively about the serious infectious diseases they prevent, such as measles.

    I think it's pretty clear that they are anti-vaccine.



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