Archive for January 3rd, 2009

Keeping it unreal

January 3, 2009

A correction: Matthias Rath vs. Ben Goldacre and the Guardian

In September 2008 the Badscience Blogosphere, in common with media outlets, reported that controversial vitamin entrepreneur Dr Matthias Rath had dropped a legal action for defamation against writer Ben Goldacre and the Guardian, a major debacle for Rath.

We now realise that this impression, conveyed in headlines like:

”Fall of the doctor who said his vitamins would cure AIDS”

(The Guardian, Sept 12th 2008)

”The Matthias Rath case exposes the difference between science and its imitators”

(The Times, Sept 20th 2008)

”One small additional reason to despise Matthias Rath – he sues over good honest journalism”

(Holfordwatch, 12th Sept 2008)

”Matthias Rath drops his million pound legal case against me and the Guardian”

( 12th Sept 2008)

”The Gripes of Rath”

(DC’s Improbable Science, Sept 13th 2008)

(and many others, see also here (Gimpy), here (the Quackometer) and here (jdc 325))

– was wholly misleading.

These articles conveyed the erroneous impression that Dr Rath and his organisation had, in effect, lost the court case. We had inferred this from the reports that Dr Rath had abandoned the legal action, in which he had been seeking judgement and damages against Goldacre and the Guardian, and been ordered to pay the newspaper’s legal costs.

However, this state of affairs was, we are now forced to admit, only true in one particular frame of reality. This particular reality is commonly described as “reality”, but we must now learn to call it instead the “False Pharma-Reality” – because it is clearly a corrupt product of the “Pharma-Geschäft mit der Wirklichkeit”, which translates from the original German as ”the Pharma business with reality”, or “the Pharma trade in reality”.

In fact, as reported in the parallel reality on the website of the Dr Rath Foundation, the court case was a tremendous and epochal victory for Dr Rath. This can be seen from the triumphant coverage here and here:

“In a historic case at the High Court in London, the British newspaper The Guardian was sued for maintaining the fraudulent claims that ARV drugs are life saving and life prolonging. Dr. Matthias Rath, who initiated this litigation, together with his colleagues, gave the newspaper and its team of ARV promoting experts the opportunity to defend their false claims under oath. They could not. The details of this historic litigation are documented here.

The year 2008 marks a watershed for the multi-billion dollar ARV business: it has been exposed as a hoax in sworn court testimonies. By publishing this historic exchange of scientific arguments conducted under oath – and details of the capitulation of the ARV promoters in the face of the scientific facts – insurance companies, governments and above all millions of patients now have a legal base from which to hold responsible the drug companies involved in such unscrupulous and criminal behavior.”

This also makes clear why no nutritionist in the UK has ever commented on the Rath vs. Goldacre case. Simply put, in the nutritionists’ particular reality the case was, as described, a triumphant vindication for Dr Rath, and not a defeat.

We are delighted to have the chance to print this correction, and apologise unreservedly to our readers for having led them to believe that there was any such thing as reality.


Following publication of the above correction, the organisation “Concerned Citizens for Reality Freedom” has asked us to print the following article in our recurring “Comment is Free (of reality)” feature, where people involved with an issue the BadScience Blogosphere has covered respond to the coverage.

We demand universal freedom of reality – a basic human right

“We are delighted to hear that the true story of how Dr Rath won a magnificent victory for truth by spending a great deal of money on lawyers’ fees has now been told. It is typical of the lies and deceptions of the bought-and-paid-for front men of the Illuminati New World Order Icarus-Sect Lizard Overlords global Pharma-Cartel that they are promulgating the discredited idea that an account of what actually happened can ever constitute any kind of meaningful “truth”.

All concerned citizens must be eternally vigilant against those who will try to claim that “reality” is truly “reality”, rather than “Pharma-Reality”. They should be especially sceptical of the claims of blinkered scientists, doctors and other “experts” in the pay of the global Pharma-Cartel, who will try to insist that this “reality” represents some kind of privileged empirical reality, as attested to by verifiable scientific data. As a mark potential cash-cow useful idiot concerned citizen, you should not believe them, but should instead stand up for your human right to a reality of your choice, as Dr Rath has so successfully done.

Our unreality is under threat! Get involved! Join us in the global campaign for ”Reality Freedom”. Our two key slogans, which we expect to be available soon on a range of badges, T-shirts, mugs and bumper stickers, are:

“Reality – no thanks!”

(from the original German: Wirklichkeit – Nein Danke!)


“Keeping it unreal”

Come and fight alongside us – for a personal reality of your own choosing.“



Useful links:

UK press gazette – brief interim coverage of earlier stages of the case from March 08. The story concerns an “evidentiary” legal decision relating to the case that can be found in full here (NB – PDF).

Brief video in which Rath gives his own account of the libel case he brought against the British Medical Journal a couple of years ago. Interestingly, his view of what the case was about does not seem to match the BMJ’s published apology. A comment on this intriguing discrepancy can be found here.

Extended video clip from the Guardian detailing Rath’s activities in South Africa. Anyone who is unclear about the nature of the Herr Dr’s “engagement” should watch this.

Guardian page with links to all their coverage of Rath and the court case.