Mike Adams, AKA the ‘Health Ranger,’ Wants Some Respect

By Keith Kloor | May 16, 2014 8:33 pm

In my previous post, I reported on legal threats recently made by Mike Adams against Forbes and one of its contributing writers, Jon Entine, who oversees the Genetic Literacy Project. Entine is hardly the first science writer/blogger to shine a spotlight on Adams, whose penchant for raw foods, alternative health treatments and various outlandish conspiracy theories enables him to straddle multiple fringe-dwelling worlds.

So before my post was published, I emailed Adams to ask if he has ever pursued legal action against any other writers who had written similarly unflattering articles about him. He never answered that specific question, but he did send a long response, which I post below in its entirety.

***

It’s great to hear from you, Keith!

I always appreciate hearing from journalists who are passionate about what they cover, and I especially appreciate those who take the time to check facts and reach out to those they’re covering.

You may be surprised to find out I’m not the person described by the likes of Mr. Entine whose articles can only come from a deep-rooted hatred rather than anything resembling legitimate journalism. Much of the information written about me by Mr. Entine and others is blatantly fictional, distorted or wildly exaggerated. None of it offers a fair representation of my true beliefs and positions on issues concerning science, medicine and the environment.

For example, I am not opposed to the theory of immunization. My concern is with the continued use of toxic adjuvants and preservatives in vaccines. In reality, I am a proponent of “clean vaccines” or what are called “single-dose vaccines” that lack mercury or other chemical preservatives.

What I find especially fascinating about the attacks on me by Entine and others is that after I was accused of being “anti-science” a couple of years ago, I took it upon myself to become well-versed in a particular branch of scientific study. I read academic textbooks, hired high-level analytical chemists and built a university-level laboratory where I’m personally running the ICP-MS instrumentation. This food contamination research has already achieved some extraordinary results in the interests of the public good and environmental protection as well. Scientific papers stemming from this research are in process right now and I hope to have some published this year.

I’m finding this scientific route to research very rewarding and eye-opening. Yet when people like Mr. Entine learn that I have embraced a scientific discovery methodology, instead of being welcomed for pursuing scientific research, I am unfairly mocked for it. In Entine’s case in particular, I believe he referred to my laboratory work as “a joke.”

Such a conclusion is grossly unfair and entirely without basis. There is almost nothing that sets my lab apart from university labs or even the FDA’s lab. We use the same instruments, methodologies and tools. In fact, I have collaborated with a university ICP-MS lab to validate many of my findings.

I attempted to engage with Mr. Entine in a polite conversation to explain some of this, and after a few emails back and forth, he abruptly stopped communicating for reasons that only he can possibly explain. Although I cannot comment on the legal proceedings against Mr. Entine and Forbes.com, in particular, I can acknowledge that such actions are underway but that they were pursued only as a last resort.

By default, I prefer to engage with people in a polite manner to discuss not only differences in views but even possible collaboration on projects such as article debates or quoting each other in our stories. I’m still looking for a rational, polite, science-based person who could offer me quotes for a number of stories on GMOs, vaccines, global warming, etc., but so far I cannot seem to find a reliable person who isn’t engaged in closed-minded hate speech (which itself is a disturbing realization).

If you have suggestions on such a person who might be a reliable source to offer opposing views on such matters, I’m open to learning more about them. Possibly YOU might be interested in such a collaboration? I would be open to exploring the idea of offering you quotes for your stories and simultaneously publishing quotes from you or others you might recommend in our stories.

One of the most important messages I would personally ask you to share with people like Mr. Entine is that my own current opinions on matters are never cast in stone. In the spirit of true science, I am constantly reevaluating and seeking to expand my knowledge, beliefs and online coverage of the issues.

Honestly, the smartest thing people like Entine could do would be to engage with me in intelligent, rational, polite conversation. The tactic of public character assassination only results in a deepening of the divide and justified mistrust.

I am genuinely curious to discover your journalism approach from here forward, come to think of it. I recall you were an editor for the Audubon Society, and if so that means we have a lot of common ground from which to carry out a discussion. I am a strong advocate of environmental protection, wildlife habitat preservation and conservation, for example.

In fact, I am currently setting up a greenhouse laboratory, where one my next projects is to study and document the uptake of heavy metals from soils to plants, using my ICP-MS lab combined with aquaponics. This research may lead to very valuable breakthroughs on the phytoremediation of soils as well as learning which plants resist lead uptake, for example.

Would you be interested in covering this research when it’s ready?

You may not be aware that I’ve already documented high levels of the heavy metal tungsten in organic rice protein products. In fact, I am now the one person within the natural products community who has spearheaded the scientific scrutiny of organic products for heavy metals contamination. Because of my work, all the top protein manufacturers are reformulating right now to ultra-low metals products. I would invite you to consider the importance of that position for a moment: an activist-turned-scientist going public with explosive revelations about the dangerous contamination of organic products. That certainly doesn’t sound like someone who is “anti-science.” It sounds like someone who has embraced science for the public good.

Honestly, I think I deserve a little credit from the scientific community on this. Why is no one from Slate saying, “Great job with the lab!” and encouraging me to apply the same scrutiny to other issues? It is baffling to me that the “science” community often seems more interested in badgering opponents than furthering the cause of science itself. The way to win allies, in other words, is to identify those people moving in the direction of solid science and encourage them, not harass them.

Lastly, would you reciprocate this email and tell me a little more about yourself, your interests and passions, etc? I would like to learn more about you and your focus. You never know where all this might lead. We might end up wanting to co-author an article of some kind. And that would be very valuable to the public, I think.

Feel free to share this email with Mr. Entine if you would like, and I would ask that if you make any of this public, please have the courtesy of quoting it in context.

Thank you,

- Mike

***
I prefer to let this response speak for itself, but I’d like to clarify one thing: I was an editor at Audubon magazine (from 2000-2008), not the actual organization. On the same day Adams sent me his response, I saw that he tweeted a link to an article he had just published at his Nature News site.

I don’t envision having a fruitful exchange with someone who thinks the U.S. Department of Agriculture is turning into a paramilitary outfit. But I’ll keep you abreast of wherever this conversation with Adams leads.

  • mem_somerville

    Oh, my. That just reeks of Dunning-Kruger. I haz a microscope! I haz a mass-spec!

    And I saw someone else comment on the USDA body armor, and my first thought was: oh, no, are they getting threats from crazy people spawned by folks who say stuff like this?

    To march government SWAT teams into the corporate headquarters of all GMO seed companies and shut down all operations at gunpoint would be a mild reaction– and fully justified. To indict all biotech CEOs, scientists, employees and P.R. flacks and charge them with conspiring to commit crimes against humanity would be a small but important step in protecting our collective futures. To disband all these corporations by government order have their assets seized and sold off to help fund reparations to the people they have harmed is but a tiny step needed in the defense of life.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/037262_gmo_monsanto_debate.html#ixzz31vgLnYNX

    Um, but isn’t that what he just tweeted he’s afraid of? I’m so confused.

    • PositronicGirl

      As soon as they make a reality show about him you’ll know he’s hit full Dunning-Kruger I think.

    • awaken2it

      No, it’s big government paramilitaryNazis who are arming and planning to silence anyone who doesn’t go along with the big government/big business mantra.

      • Khan Trailer

        Riiiiight

      • A D

        Are you making Poe statements or do you really believe this silly jazz?

  • Karl Haro von Mogel

    Owning scientific instruments does not make you a scientist. Mike Adams has lots of money from selling woo, and feels like putting on a costume and acting like he is one.

  • DavidAppell

    Keith: I admire your restraint in the face of so much baloney.

    • awaken2it

      Keith: a member of the neo-Marxist fascist left who wants to permanently silence anyone who dares to disagree with his concept of “science.”

      • Khan Trailer

        Riiiiiight

      • A D

        Please look up both marxism and fascism because you keep using the terms incorrectly. Education is important, please educate yourself so the ignorance will melt out of your brain.

  • Ellie

    Don’t get me wrong, he’s one of the most dangerous quacks out there right now (for so many reasons I’d likely die of old age before I could completely list them).

    That said, he seemed so genuine in his email, it was almost hard to read. He truly believes he’s being unfairly demonized and almost comes off as desperate for friends. It was kind of sad, actually.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

      I had somewhat of a similar reaction.

      • First Officer

        Con men typically seem like the nicest guys in the room.

        • August Pamplona

          It doesn’t sound like he was that nice to Entine.

    • JH

      I guess he thought he’d become a scientist and the idol of the scientific community when he bought a mass spec. The fact that he’s getting just the opposite reaction seems to sting.

      Would be interesting to see the methods of his “scientific” work. Does the work follow any standard lab practices and experimental methods, or is it just a tool to put a veneer of respectability on a bunch of sloppy work with a pre-determined outcome?

    • mem_somerville

      I get what you are saying. But I actually think that makes him more dangerous–I’ll bet he can be charming and appealing when he wants to use that to manipulate people.

      The vibe I got was that this is like a guy who shows up with candy and flowers the morning after beating his wife and kids to a pulp the night before. And when the cops showed up he charmed them away with tales of how she tripped on something….

      But that still doesn’t excuse the fact that you don’t go on to Dr. Oz with your results before they are in a reputable publication. Putting on a lab coat for photos ops ≠ science.

    • First Officer
  • Davis Goodman

    Truth is in action and not words. Your letters were threatening and agressive. You haven’t published anything that meets basic scientific standards and you still promote and sell products that are thoroughly untested with claimed of unproven or non-demonstrated health benefits and are yet to retract the bulk of your denialist-woo and conspiracies. Instead of writing letters and suing people … why don’t you achieve things? Publish actual scientific papers. Sell products which are proven to work using extensive trials and rigorous testing methods. Retract your more extreme comments on AIDS and vaccines. Admit your mistakes and errors from the past. Without doing any of this you will never have the respect you clearly wish to have.

    • mem_somerville

      This is something I’d want to see before I thought for a second he was trying to go legit. So if you’ve found science, certainly you’ll want to revisit the bad information provided before, and update us all, right? So I went to look at his recent twitter output. Yeah–SSDD.

    • awaken2it

      His letter was reasonable and respectful. He has the respect of a lot of thinking and reasonable people.

      • Davis Goodman

        In response to an article which demonstrated how barely scientific his “research is” he responded with this letter:

        “You are no doubt also aware that I have many friends in law enforcement
        and that we are simultaneously pursuing an effort to have you arrested
        and charged with cyber bullying crimes. I honestly cannot say for sure
        whether such an effort will be successful, but it is one of the areas we
        are actively pursuing against you.”

      • Khan Trailer

        No, no it wasn’t.

        No.

        No he doesn’t.

    • A D

      He makes far more money being a quack. He can write books, make websites and sell ineffective products with little to no effort needed. It’s very easy to sway a huge percentage of the public into believing idiocy. He has fairly decent manipulation skills but thank the gods is nuttier than a fruitcake so those of us with common sense see right past him. However, the desperate, the ill and the generally stupid or ignorant won’t be able to see past his exterior to his real motives of profit. He has no interest in real science, he has no interest in helping people, he is in all this for himself. He found he could benefit off the easily led conspiracy theorists and he is making a mint off of them just like all the other quacks. Meanwhile they call us asleep sheep lol. Adams is pretty much the charlie manson of quackery, he can convince people to do what he wants and threatens those that confront him or show him for what he really is. He’s just as loony as manson too.

  • David Skurnick

    I never heard of Mike Adams. I don’t think he and I would agree on much. But, there seems to be some truth in his claim about the USDA:

    “Dept of Agriculture Orders Submachine Guns with 30 Round Magazines

    “The US department of Agriculture issued a solicitation calling for the commercial acquisition of submachine guns. Specifically, the forty caliber Smith and Weston is being solicited. The idea is to make the guns have…

    “A May 7th solicitation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks “the commercial acquisition of submachine guns [in] .40 Cal. S&W.”

    “According to the solicitation, the Dept. of Agriculture wants the guns to have an “ambidextrous safety, semiautomatic or 2 round [bursts] trigger group, Tritium night sights front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore group) and scope (top rear), stock collapsible or folding,” and a “30 rd. capacity” magazine.

    “They also want the submachine guns to have a “sling,” be “lightweight,” and have an “oversized trigger guard for gloved operation.”

    “The solicitation directs “all responsible and/or interested sources…[to] submit their company name, point of contact, and telephone.” Companies that submit information in a “timely” fashion “shall be considered by the agency for contact to determine weapon suitability.”"
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/05/14/Dept-Of-Agriculture-Orders-Submachine-Guns-With-30-Round-Magazines

    • trog69

      Yes, a link to the zombie Andrew Breitbart site. Sure, that’s as persuasive as the letter in this article, which is to say not at all.

      • David Skurnick

        trog — If the Andrew Breitart site isn’t accurate, I’d like to know that Your comment seems to reflect merely your prejudice against conservatives. Do you have a source showing whether or not the Dept of Ag requested the weapons Breitbart says it did?

        • BillTheCat45

          Breitbart is not a news site and is just as removed from reality as Adams.

          • http://tinyurl.com/1-dacia-1 - o s g o -

            it might be removed from reality, but I find it impossible to deny the source – which is Hallmark 101 of decent journo, no? How about checking the real thing out @ http://tinyurl.com/usda-smg

            What’s disappointing in posts like the above is demonstrated abject refusal to look at facts even if they don’t adhere to one-thought rule. I’m also wondering if the USDA is having some sort of giant Gun Sale After Church. Or something.

          • awaken2it

            Breitbart is more of a news site than the state run leftist propaganda sites like the MSNBC, NBC, CBS, NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times, etc.

    • AlexG55

      It’s actually not that surprising that the USDA are buying weapons and body armor. Most US government departments contain at least one armed law-enforcement unit. In the case of the USDA, that’s the Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations Unit. So the guns etc. are probably for them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/grahamshevlin Graham Shevlin

        In case nobody here has noticed, a bunch of anti-federal extremists in Nevada have recently been threatening and intimidating federal government employees. If the Forest Service is investing in protection gear for employees working in the West, I have no problem with that. There are some dangerously delusional people out there who want real harm to be done to federal employees.

        • awaken2it

          It was a peaceful demonstration supporting a rancher who had grazing rights before the Department of Interior was established,

          • A D

            Awaken2it: That rancher is a real piece of sh**. If he considered colored folks different from whities and believed slavery was a fine idea, then he is not a good person and he did not have grazing rights on federal land. Peaceful demonstrations do not involve firearms by the way…gah, what planet do you wackadoos come from?

      • awaken2it

        So why would the USDA submit a bid for ballistic body armor, trauma plates along with millions of rounds of ammunition unless they plan to become a fascist paramilitary force? It does sound troubling!

        • A D

          Because wackadoos are allowed to have firearms in this nation. It’s getting to a point where we will have to send school children to school in such gear so it’s really not that surprising they would need gear like that given the fact so many people go ape sh** crazy and use guns to solve their mental problems.

  • Viva La Evolucion

    I get the impression that Keith Kloor is extremely jealous that the alternative health, conspiracy theorist, Mike Adams has started doing scientific lab testing of organic food products. Adams wrote such a reasonable polite letter to Keith, and the best Keith can do is try to talk some trash about how Admas is crazy for thinking the USDA is becoming paramilitary group, when actually Adams was simply bringing attention to the fact that the USDA is trying to obtain some ballistic vest and body armor, which does seem a little strange. It is my opinion that Keith Kloor is a wannabe scientist who is envious of Mike Adams for doing real productive useful science in the form of testing foods for contaminates.

    • Michael Phillips

      Do you stand by the validlity of the claims he makes about the products he sells on his webpage?

      • Viva La Evolucion

        I just looked at his website, and I see that he sells things like nut butters, coconut oil, protein powders, vitamins, and other heath food type of products. I clicked on several of the products and didn’t notice any outrageous claims. In regards to his recent testing of products for contamination, I think that is a much needed public service and I applaud him for that.

        • Khan Trailer

          How about selling things to protect you from “the effects of chemtrails.” Do you also applaud that?

          • Viva La Evolucion

            no, i don’t applaud chemtrail fear mongering, but I did read something recently on his site about the continued use of leaded gasoline aka avgas in propeller airplanes, which does seem like a legit concern if one lives near a small airport.

          • Khan Trailer

            I suppose I agree, as a small aircraft operator. But the headline read “Chemtrails” on that article.

            Leaded avgas is being phased out, and will eventually cease to exist. It’s not a government program designed to kill people near small airports.

  • David Gorski

    If you want an idea of how silly Adams is with his “laboratory” check out the video in this post:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/05/14/americas-quack-dr-mehmet-oz/

    I also noticed how the whole thing is shot pretty much from one camera angle, except for brief exceptions. Indeed, I find it very odd how great care was taken not to show anything to the right of Adams’ mass spec or to the left of the fume hood. Even when there’s a closeup of the mass spec, it’s as if the camera person was trying very hard to show only the left side of the machine and not to let the right side show.

    It makes me wonder what’s on the other side of the lab, the part other than the tiny area of bench space that Adams takes so many pains to show. Your speculation that it’s a refurbished office sounds plausible, but maybe all Adams has is a corner in a larger room that he has to share, or something like that. Or maybe there are windows that show something that would reveal where the building is. Who knows? I just found it odd.

  • Kill The Upstart

    The stupidity… It burns…

    • awaken2it

      Talking about the leftist cabal again?

  • A D

    He’s a liar, he’s delusional, and he appears paranoid too…he’s a psychopath people, plain and simple. Let’s get this fellow, Mike Adams, a padded room.

    • awaken2it

      No doubt the neo-Marxist fascist left wants to permanently silence him?

      • Khan Trailer

        He can keep talking all he wants. I think most would like to see idiots discontinue funding him by purchasing his horseshit.

      • A D

        Wtf are you rambling about? Yes fascist left, we can pretend can’t we honey? I like how no one knows what fascism means yet these same people try to use it to describe liberal US politics and left-wing agendas when that clearly isn’t the side that is fascist at all. I would personally like to silence him because he’s nuttier than a fruitcake and is profiting off of people’s illnesses and desperation and off of other people’s stupidity and gullibility. But hey, willful ignorance is what makes the US what it is…a country full of idiots that have denounced science in favor of personal delusion, outrageously idiotic and impossible conspiracy theories, and quackery. This is why other countries make fun of us.

  • Sterling Ericsson

    Just because he’s now involved in something akin to science doesn’t suddenly make him not anti-science. His embracing of conspiracy theories and views that are clearly at odds with actual, published science are what make him anti-science, not on whether he is a scientist or not.

    • awaken2it

      Conspiracy theories or uncomfortable truths?

      • Sterling Ericsson

        HIV denialism is a conspiracy theory that gets people killed. And he practices it. So, yes, conspiracy theories.

  • Harry Phillips

    When he says “not closed minded” he means a person that is willing to accept his evidence free bullshit “reckons”

  • Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day

    one would think that the first step towards gaining respect is to stop acting like a three year old.

  • Lady Kayla

    He “read some academic texts” and set up a lab… this does not make him a scientist, not even a bloody lab technician. Just a twit in a white coat… lengthen the arms and let him hug himself for a while.

    • Martin

      To be fair though, that’s not far off what happens in some academic institutions. So it’s not surprising that people feel they can do it alone; I’m not saying that makes them good (or bad!), but that often we label academics as ‘scientific’ when they don’t deserve it.

  • awaken2it

    So why would the USDA submit a bid for ballistic body armor, trauma plates along with millions of rounds of ammunition unless they plan to become a paramilitary force? It does sound troubling!

    • FlaEMT

      The Forestry Service and it’s Forest Rangers fall under the FDA. Forrest Rangers are full law enforcement officers and need things like body armor for more serious events that my occur in their jurisdiction. The Ammo is for practice sessions for their officers, They don’t just give them a gun and then let them carry it for years without ongoing practice and training.

  • Khan Trailer

    This guy has major reach and should not be ignored. Sad, fear driven paranoia peddler. He’s doing very well while driving those looking for answers futher down the rabbit hole.

  • Amy Jo Turner

    I realize Mr. Adams is a lil off his nut and I suspect much of his rhetoric and exaggerated headlines are for shock value as well as to draw in curious readers. But the fact is that much of what he is fighting for are good things, so why all the back lash. Monsanto is a horrible corp., they do attack and put the small farmer that doesn’t conform to their seed out of business and they do have a reputation for violence. It is a fact that the White House and the FDA are littered with Monsanto upper management. There is significant evidence pointing to vaccines being a major cause of Autism, 1 in 100 children are now being DX as autistic and its always after certain vaccines.

    Its not like we haven’t discovered throughout history that people have been used as guinea pigs for medications, pesticides and intentional exposure to various other forms of toxins. Anyone remember Silkwood? many drugs used on pregnant woman caused birth defects and worse. How about countless women being used as test subjects for various pregnancy drugs which later cause massive birth defects and death. We already know for fact that our government could care less about the average joe, we are all expendable. So why does it cause so many such anger and retribution when someone tries to educate, even if it does sound crazy.

    “I don’t envision having a fruitful exchange with someone who thinks the U.S. Department of Agriculture is turning into a paramilitary outfit”, I would think any would find this to be an entertaining conversation at least. A couple drinks and your off to the debate. Isn’t that what everyone here likes to do, Debate their beliefs and opinions?
    I am in no way saying I follow Mr. Adams, he is a bit far out, but I don’t believe in the degradation and humiliation of another person just because I don’t agree with them. Just curious as to why so many find the name calling and callus cruelty (aka Bullying) to be so entertaining?

  • craigamunson

    mike adams has a B.S. in technical writing. He writes VERY well in succinct and most articulate language. This for me is refreshing considering all the garbage writing that exists. I do have one bone to pick with his style of writing is the repeating of the topic several times in the same article , but he has toned it down of late. He reminds me of that brilliant writer on the NON-FICTION book: ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE by Persig. The is not for the faint of heart nor is it easy to read, best to listen to it as an audiobook. Because his ideas go against main stream thinking we tend to dismiss the man. I came to similar conclusions independently. I am about 99% apposed to using derivatives of OIL ie Pharmaceutical drugs as medicine because it is not FOOD and the body WILL react against it. Can anybody remember THIALIDAMIDE ? Most new knowledge is fought against at first. this is our nature. Having been injured by the medical community many times in my lifetime I do not NEED a peer-reviewed bunch of scientic articles to teach what i have experienced PERSONALLY. Can you overcome Cancer using natural methods? Ask DR. ROBERTSON MD Lakeland FL. He give a FREE seminar once a month to tell you about it. Know ANY physicians that give away anything free including their time? Does Mike Adams have a big ego? You Bet! Just like my deceased friend Wayne Green who introduced me to the world of alternative medicine and homeopathy. Then the genius knucklehead goes and gets a prescription from the VA and promply dies from it after 1 month. Anyone who thinks western medicine is great should do some historical research including Dr. Morris fishbein and Johnny D Rockefellar.

  • TR

    okay, then someone explain why the Ag Dep’t needs ballistic armor and assault rifles.

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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