Why Does Wikipedia Want to Destroy Deepak Chopra?
Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD
Progressive Radio Network, September 11, 2019
For the past 40 years, one of the most prominent and important voices for the mind-body medical movement has been Dr. Deepak Chopra. Aside from his prolific publishing career with over 80 books and a couple dozen best sellers, he has also remained a scientist conducting original clinical research and publishing in peer-reviewed medical journals his efforts to validate the scientific evidence that the mind can influence the body and vice versa. Chopra was not the first to propose such a theory. Earlier William James in the late nineteenth century promulgated the importance of subjective experience to understand the power of consciousness. This trajectory continued through Harvard’s Herbert Benson’s investigations into the benefits of meditation to reduce stress responses and later Stanford neurosurgeon and psychiatrist Karl Pribram’s holonomic brain theory developed with quantum physicist David Bohm. These pioneers were awakening the scientific community to the principles that would become psycho-neuroimmunology, which showed what a person feels and thinks can have a direct impact upon the body for better or worse. Chopra, a board-certified endocrinologist has likewise contributed to this body of science through his work with Transcendental Meditation and Indian Ayurveda medicine.
However, if you wish to learn about Chopra’s background and accomplishments, you would Google him and be taken to Wikipedia. There you would discover he has been completely discredited, a quack who engages in pseudoscience. Wikipedia would wrongfully have us believe Chopra should be cast aside and scorned. Once a person has been targeted for condemnation by Wikipedia editors who belong to the fringe scientific cult of modern Skepticism, he or she will remain in Wikipedia’s perpetual Hades. Every effort Chopra has made to correct the misinformation and lies on his Wiki biography have been largely unsuccessful. Once Skeptics take control of an entry, they will protect it with the savagery of a three-headed Cerberus.
What we discovered among Wikipedia’s Skeptic edits is outrageously shocking but not unexpected given the character of the Skeptic movement. To accomplish their character assassinations on alternative medical practitioners, Skeptics balance on a fine thread bordering defamation. Non-conventional medical systems are treated equally harsh despite the overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. The Chopra Foundation’s Library Project now catalogues over 100,000 peer-reviewed studies that provide credible scientific evidence to support alternative medicine’s efficacy and legitimacy well beyond Skepticism’s rationalist plausibility arguments. Increasingly these therapies are now being recognized and accepted by physicians, clinics and medical schools. Why? Quite simply because the medical literature provides evidence of efficacy for a variety of physical and mental health conditions.
The question is how is it possible that so many Wikipedia editors, and Wikipedia’s Skeptic co-founder Jimmy Wales, who is alleged to have called Dr. Chopra one of the most dangerous people on the planet, can be so wrong about their reviews of the medical literature? How can Skepticism’s strategy to be justified, and what is its long-term objective?
Wikipedia Skeptics are not neutral editors; they have a very concise agenda. That is, to seemingly transform the encyclopedia into their own self-image. They act as the final arbiters who determine what should be deemed as authentic science and medicine.
Skepticism possesses a single-minded agenda: to ignite a coup d’état in our corporate, educational, medical and governmental institutions that might result in wider acceptance of its narrow, scientific materialist interpretation of reality. Skeptics hope their ideology will standardize the criteria to inform policymaking that will affect college curriculums, medical practice, research and funding. In an ideal Skeptic universe, the government would mandate with draconian measures what the public is permitted to read. This would include limiting exposure and access to beliefs and ideas, medical practices, and even consumer products such as medicinal herbs and supplements that the Skeptic clergy judges as pseudoscience. In a Skeptic world, Big Tech companies would be further encouraged to censor oppositional voices and websites questioning the safety of genetically modified foods, pesticides, fluoridation and vaccines. Silicon Valley’s efforts to blackout positive information about alternative medical practices and over-the-counter supplements are applauded. Jimmy Wales has already turned over the online encyclopedia to Skeptics and permitted them to further hijack and control the discourse on health. In every sense of the word, modern Skepticism is a dogmatic religion with inquisitional motivations.
During his 2008 TED talk New Atheism guru Richard Dawkins ushered a call to arms for Skeptic followers to launch a campaign of “militant atheism. Many heard the call, including Tim Farley and Susan Gerbec, the co-founders of Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia, to wage an offensive against religion and belief systems, complementary and alternative medicine and anything else that lay outside Skepticism’s worldview. Since its founding, Guerrilla Skeptics publicly take pride in reconfiguring Wikipedia’s pages to conform to Skepticism’s long-term objectives. In a recent article published in the popular Skeptical Inquirer, Gerbec describes her group’s operations on Wikipedia and Facebook as a highly organized “Secret Cartel” of anonymous Skeptic editors scheming together on strategies to further monopolize these websites. According to Gerbec’s most recent figures found on the internet, her Skeptics have succeeded in creating 981 Wikipedia pages that have been accessed over 43 million times.
As we have note earlier, Dr Chopra’s Wikipedia page references a literal “who’s who” of prominent Skeptic celebrity voices including Stephen Barrett, Robert Carroll, Jerry Coyne, Richard Dawkins, David Gorski, Paul Kurtz, Robert Lee Park, Harriet Hall, Sam Harris, Timothy Caulfield, Paul Offit, and the founder of the Skeptics Society Michael Shermer. It is particularly odd that all of these individuals belong to the same club, Skepticism’s flagship organization The Center for Inquiry. If a reader comes upon a Wikipedia page referencing any of these individuals, it is highly certain Skeptics have taken control of the entry.
It is not only what Skeptics write on Wikipedia in order to ridicule non-conventional medical systems and practices, or to ensnare alternative medical practitioners into a virtual gulag of wrongful character assassination, misinformation and lies, it is also what is intentionally left out that is equally damaging. In the case of Deepak Chopra, it is impossible to edit by adding anything positive about his achievements or enter the honors he has received during a distinguished five-decade medical career. The reader of Chopra’s Wikipedia page would never learn about his numerous awards not only as a medical pioneer but also as a humanitarian. These include the Japanese Goi Peace Award, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine Trailblazer Award, the Einstein Humanitarian Award given by Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the American Journal of Psychotherapy, the World Business Academy’s Global Consciousness Award, the Great Immigrant Honoree from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Medal of the Presidency by the nation of Italy, and many others. Nor are we informed that Chopra is a fellow at the American College of Physicians and continues to be a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
Once Skeptics target an individual to defame, truth and accuracy are cast aside and his or her biography quickly becomes a malicious gossip column instead of an encyclopedic entry. All tools of deception are permissible. Recently we have had several conversations with a scholar and former Wikipedia editor who has gone head-to-head with Skeptics to edit health related pages, including Dr. Chopra’s. For ten years, this individual maintained a neutral position believing in Wikipedia’s mission but was eventually banned – a frequent tactic used by Skeptics to rid their critics and opponents. Wikipedia rules require editors to maintain a neutral point of view (NPOV). If external articles, studies and references are predominantly negative about a person or topic, then it is permissible to include negative content on Wiki entries. In the case of Chopra, as this editor pointed out, he has a 95% rate of positive press coverage, whereas his Wikipedia page is almost entirely negative aside from his early background in India and education. Skeptics have also created their own rules on subjects they consider “fringe” meaning all non-conventional medical systems and therapies that in their prejudiced opinion are unacceptable to mainstream science. According to this editor, Skeptics, who more often than not administrate controversial health sites, only permit negative references on subjects and individuals they oppose.
Wikipedia states that “Chopra believes that a person may attain “perfect health,” a condition “that is free from disease, that never feels pain,” and “that cannot age or die.” Anybody reading this would find her jaw dropping; however, as our former Wikipedia editor pointed out, this is an intentional misquote from Chopra’s book to make him appear as a lunatic. The actual quote states “there exists in every person a place that is free from disease, but never feels pain, that cannot age or die.” What Chopra is referring to in the larger context of his book is nonlocalized consciousness or, if one prefers, the soul. But this is not how Skeptics framed his actual statement.
Wikipedia would also have us believe that “the ideas that Chopra promotes have been regularly criticized by medical and scientific professionals as pseudoscience;” however, as noted about a review of the top 100 Google News results are 95% positive. So, who are these medical professionals Wiki editors are referring to? Doctors such as Stephen Novella, David Gorski and Paul Offit who espouse Skepticism’s dogma.
Wikipedia paints Chopra as an enemy of conventional medicine, yet, the truth is quite the opposite. His entry’s opening paragraphs intentionally excludes his being a board-certified physician thereby giving the impression that his professional standing is on the far margins of evidence-based medicine. There is a lesson here; that is, even conventional board-certified physicians who venture outside the tight parameters of the scientifically baseless Skeptic cult to explore alternative medicine can be subject to Skeptics’ contempt. As our years of personal experience have convinced us, these are ruthless and unforgiving people to go up against. They expose a guile that competes with medieval fire-brim stone preachers calling for a Crusade against infidels.
One blatant example is Dr David Gorski, a prominent Skeptic, co-founder of the Skeptic supported Science-Based Medicine blog, and a saint among Guerrilla Skeptics. For over a decade, Gorski has shown a personal vendetta against Chopra and consistently writes ferocious essays against his role as a leading international figure in the alternative medical field. Gorski is an adamant proponent of the oncogene paradigm of cancer causation and conventional medical cancer treatments. Notably neither Gorski nor Wikipedia mention that Chopra accepts chemotherapy’s role in the fight against cancer. However, at the same time, Chopra advocates strongly for conventional treatments being integrated with alternative immune-building and stress reduction regimens, including meditation and yoga, switching to a healthy diet, supplements, traditional therapies such as Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, etc. That is the very definition of complementary and integrative medicine now supported by federal health agencies and an increasing number of medical schools that include alternative health courses in their curriculums. Skeptics on the other hand oppose all forms of syncretism between pharmaceutical-based medicine and natural alternative treatments, which they deceptively portray as a threat to public health. Yet the oncogene theory, on its own grounds, no longer provides a realistic explanation for gene mutation; increasingly scientists agree on the role of exogenous environmental factors – such as toxic chemical and radiation exposure, poor diet, chronic stress, etc. — that interfere with cellular metabolism and hence giving rise to weakened conditions whereby mutagenic genes can proliferate. Even Gorski has accepted the recent shift to reconsider a theory first proposed by Dr. Otto Warburg that cancer is fundamentally a metabolic disorder.
When Angelina Jolie made her hasty decision to undergo a radical mastectomy because she carried the BRCA1 mutation, which is suspected to be associated with aggressive breast cancer, Gorski came to her defense,
“I will start by asserting quite bluntly that in my medical opinion, from the information I have available, Angelina Jolie made a rational, science-based decision. How she went about the actual mechanics might have had some less than scientific glitches along the way… but the basic decision to remove both of her breasts to prevent breast cancer associated with a BRCA1 mutation that she carried was quite reasonable and very defensible from a scientific standpoint.”
The problem is that the evidence is not conclusive; undoubtedly, Gorski missed a lot of research otherwise available to him. A meta-analysis of 66 published papers on the BRCA gene mutations published in PLos One concluded, “in contrast to currently held beliefs of many oncologists and despite 66 published studies, it is not yet possible to draw evidence-based conclusions about the association between BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation carriership and breast cancer prognosis.” A later study published by Lancet Oncology looking at women 40 years and younger carrying either of the BRCA genes found “no clear evidence that either BRCA1 or BRCA2 germline mutations significantly affect overall survival with breast cancer after adjusting for known prognostic factors.” In fact, researchers at the University of California at San Francisco found that a rarely tested variation of the BRCA gene, K1183R, showed an INVERSE cancer risk.
When the oncogene theory became accepted in conventional medicine, it held out the promise of finally identifying certain gene and gene-related targets for the development of new cancer drugs. However, the oncogene theory, which continues to be the basis for the present course of treatment – radiate, chemo-drug, and surgery, has a long way to go before meeting expectations. This month, The Lancet published two critically important analyses out of Laval University and McMaster University in Canada that highlight facts behind the pharmaceutical’s war against cancer failing. Both studies discovered that cancer has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in 21 developing countries.
Consider that among the 62 cancer drugs approved over the course of a decade, only 43 percent offered a survival rate of three months or longer, 11 percent offered less than 3 months, 15 percent had unknown survival rate and 30 percent offered no benefit at all. Nearly half, 45 percent, had severe safety risks. This was a joint analysis conducted by Harvard and Imperial College of London. A similar study conducted by the European Medicines Agency came to similar conclusions. In other words, most new cancer drugs are almost useless. Moreover, the British Medical Journal’s review of the lack of new cancer drugs’ efficacy also noted that 69 percent of these drug approvals were based on studies only conducted on surrogate markers, such as a tumor’s size, and therefore provided no factual information on whether the drugs actually improved patient survival rates. A further study out of the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney Australia reviewed the literature for randomized clinical trials reporting a 5-year survival for 22 major adult cancer malignances solely based on cytotoxic chemotherapy in Australia and the US. The analyses concluded that the “overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2.3 percent in Australia and 2.1 percent in the US. In other words, almost negligible.
Yet in their fierce opposition to alternative medical therapies for treating cancer, Gorski, the Skeptics and Wikipedia continue to embrace and advance this failing paradigm. The good news is that the pharmaceutical paradigm is collapsing in the eyes of the majority of Americans. Earlier this month Gallup released its latest survey ranking how poorly regarded 25 industries are viewed by the public. The pharmaceutical industry has now unseated the federal government and the healthcare industry to earn its honors at the bottom of the heap, with over twice as many respondents regarding it unfavorably (58% Negatively, 15% Neutral, and 27% Positively).
Therefore, should we be surprised that patients recently diagnosed with cancer or already undergoing conventional chemotherapy and radiation and who face such discouraging statistics, would feel compelled to seek alternatives or look for relief from conventional treatment’s severe adverse effects with natural remedies? Dr Chopra, and other pioneering doctors and researchers who have ventured to discover medical remedies outside the confines of the pharmaceutical paradigm, should be commended for assuring patients they have alternative options. However, if Skeptics had their way, none of these alternatives would be available. As a patient, your sole refuge would be the pharmaceutical industry.
Finally, we must acknowledge that Skeptic editors and administrators on Wikipedia health pages would not be so successful and get away with repeatedly violating the encyclopedia’s rules of conduct and editorial parameters without having received blessings from on high. And all fingers point to Jimmy Wales, himself a Skeptic and a proclaimed enemy of alternative medicine. As the world’s leader in disseminating information over the internet to millions of viewers daily, it is past the time when Jimmy Wales, his Wikipedia and the Skeptics need to be held accountable.