Christopher Maloney is a Quack

… is the charge by several other bloggers. In the state of Main, where “naturopaths” can legally call themselves “doctor,” Maloney makes the following pseudoscientific claims:

Parents waiting for vaccinations can provide their children with black elderberry, which blocks the H1N1 virus. A single garlic capsule daily cuts in half the incidence and the severity of a flu episode for children.

Claims that are completely unfounded and potentially dangerous in that a child who is genuinely in need of a vaccine that would thwart a virus she could come in contact with, might not get it because a parent believes erroneously that “elderberry” and “garlic capsules” will be as effective. Well-meaning parents who love their children are being duped by apparent quacks like Maloney who seem to care more for their egos and pocketbooks than the lives of children.

According to the common understanding of the term, Maloney pretends to be a doctor. And, in the state of Maine, he can legally refer to himself as one with certain limitations. But the story doesn’t end there. Normally you can find Maloney at www.maloneymedical.com, but it doesn’t seem to be up. Perhaps because its suffering the Pharyngula effect. Perhaps there were embarrassing things mentioned that need to get cleaned off first, like wild, unsupportable claims. Maybe he’s cleaning house of some of the more nonsense claims before pressing his “actions” against bloggers like author Michael Hawkins who, in the words of PZ Myers, dared to criticize him by pointing out that “[n]aturopathic medicine is pure bull.” Which it is. Hawkins also stated, rightly, that naturopaths are underqualified and do not deserve the title of “doctor.” Which they don’t.

In fact, naturopaths who call themselves “doctor” devalue and diminish the term for those who have actually attained medical educations. To further quote Hawkins, these quacks “cherry-pick evidence, often lie and misrepresent facts.” For his efforts, WordPress was pressured, apparently by Maloney or another, to edit his content followed by censoring his blog.

Let’s be clear: Maloney is “naturopath.” Naturopaths are not doctors in the sense that we might commonly think. Maloney is not a doctor except in the state of Main where he can legally include the title “doctor” next to his name with certain limitations. He’s quack. For most people, a doctor is equivalent to a physician, but Maloney and other “naturopaths” are definitely not physicians.

Quacks like Maloney cannot stand to be questioned in the public eye. They fear the light of science and reason like cockroaches fear the light of the refrigerator door but rather than scurry off to dark corners, some will try to silence reason with cowardly tactics like the one Maloney employed on Hawkins through WordPress.


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About Carl Feagans 342 Articles

Professional archaeologist that currently works for the United States Forest Service at the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee. I’m also a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army and spent another 10 years doing adventure programming with at-risk teens before earning my master’s degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.

6 Comments

  1. Dear “Reverend” PZ Meyers,
    How fitting that, three hundred years later, the witch trials continue. If you recall, it was the herbalists that were burned then as well. Your flock has spoken to me, Reverend Meyers, with the shrieking common to all fundamentalist cults. I believe if you check you will find that fundamentalism involves a closed mind while doing science requires an open mind. It also involves a thing they call research.
    Do you do basic research into a person’s claims before posting? Did you perhaps go to medline and type the words “elderberry” and “H1N1”? Did you even bother to read my original editorial that cites Cochrane database and CDC raw data? If you had done basic research or contacted me directly you would perhaps not have posted lies in your blog.
    You can call me an idiot and a quack, but when you repeat the “fact” that I am not a doctor and not qualified, that is a written lie or libel. I am a doctor under Maine state law and meet the qualifications of that title.
    In terms of poor maligned elderberry, the medline citation is “The H1N1 inhibition activities of the elderberry flavonoids compare favorably to the known anti-influenza activities of Oseltamivir (Tamiflu; 0.32 microM) and Amantadine (27 microM). (Phytochemistry. 2009 Jul;70(10):1255-61) While this is a test tube study only, please keep in mind that we had no vaccine and were at the peak of the pandemic here in Maine. I never suggested elderberry as a vaccination but as a possible home treatment for sick children.
    Michael Hawkins is an undergraduate at UMA who replied to my editorial. His rambling editorial was not based on science or research, but his need to publicize himself. After failing to get an editorial published against God he decided I was, flatteringly, next on the list. All of the research and medline citations for my editorial are available under swine flu on my website, and were there for Mr. Hawkins to simply see. But, despite the reality that I practice evidence-based medicine, neither you nor Mr. Hawkins have ever bothered to read my site.
    Mr. Hawkins managed to get his own website suspended by arguing with his server about what constitutes libel and blames me. I have never directly contacted WordPress about him and I have never replied to either his hate posts or his email attacks on me personally. In doing my own research, I found that another individual is in the process of filing a lawsuit against Mr. Hawkins and requested that the individual write to Mr. Hawkins directly. It was this other individual in South Carolina, and not me, that helped Mr. Hawkins get himself kicked off. Since Mr. Hawkins has received that email today, I believe that your case against me as an enemy of free speech should be re-examined.
    It terms of his accusations against me that you have posted on your blog, I have taken the time to answer them at length and with scientific citations on my website: http://www.maloneymedical.com. I am also in the process of creating a more tolerable Youtube video for your flock.
    Thank you, Reverend Myers, for burning me without trial. It’s nice to know some things never change.
    Christopher Maloney, N.D.

  2. Wow, you are quick to condemn and slow to apologize. Haven’t you looked at PZ’s revisionist “oops, I burned the wrong guy. Oh well, carry on.” The only thing worse that a thoughtless minion is a slow thoughtless minion. By the way, I have ample scientific data to refute you on my website under, you guessed it, “quackery.”

    A noisy duck who just can’t seem to hide like a cockroach. Perhaps you could show me how?

  3. One thing I just cannot understand is why in the world you people bash anything natural. The internet has become a place for freaks to hide behind a keyboard posting lies about other people.

    You and your group of really weird freaks have one the WhoDAT award for Dummy of the year.

    Get a life

    As always
    The WhoDAT Foundation
    An org dedicated to stopping freaks from keeping Americans healthy NATURALLY

  4. Why bash something “natural?” It’s quite simple: “natural” doesn’t imply “good for you” nor does it mean one gets to call themselves “doctor.”

    Maloney is NOT a doctor, but a quack. He feeds of the gullible (perhaps those such as yourself) who are willing to spend money on his “cures” and “treatments” simply because he includes the word “natural” in the description. This, my friend, is a con artist.

    “You and your group of really weird freaks have one the WhoDAT award for Dummy of the year”

    Someday I even aspire to win such an award. Please come back when you can say “you won” an award.

  5. Hi, I am not a doctor or part of any organization, but I am someone who can testify to natural foods being a good foundation for staying healthy. About two years ago, I started to focus on my diet and learning about nutrition and have not seen a doctor or had any cold/flu since then. Before that, when I was eating like any other American, I went to the doctor about once a year for having normal flu like symptoms and sometimes psoriasis, but all of those are alleviated.

    One thing to keep in mind about Naturopaths, they treat the causes which leads to symptoms (which MD’s treat). They are not trained in life/death situations, but in living a healthier lifestyle from the inside/out.

    I think your article is a bit harsh, since your idea of what a doctor means is in fact a matter of opinion. 100 years later, what we call a medical doctor will have changed dramatically. The medical profession is always an ever changing industry.

  6. I am someone who can testify to natural foods being a good foundation for staying healthy. About two years ago, I started to focus on my diet and learning about nutrition and have not seen a doctor or had any cold/flu since then.

    This is something I applaud, as would any physician. Diet and being cognitive of what you eat is vital to good health. I’m not as disciplined as I would like to be, but I try to avoid fatty foods, unhealthy snacks, and the like. Whether these foods are “natural” or not really doesn’t matter. And I’m not sure how you’re defining “natural” in this instance, since, by definition, anything existing in nature is natural. I’m still a huge believer in evidence-based medicine. I get a flu shot every year for the last 30 years. And I haven’t had the flu since. I visit my physician for a regular physical every few years -I get the same good news: “you’re in good health.” And I get the same advice about diet and exercise.

    See how anecdotal evidence works for us both?

    One thing to keep in mind about Naturopaths, they treat the causes which leads to symptoms (which MD’s treat). They are not trained in life/death situations, but in living a healthier lifestyle from the inside/out.

    Doctors, real ones, not the cracker-jack-box naturopaths, will treat symptoms. Sure. But they also look at the underlying causes of the symptoms and treat those. This is standard medical practice and its the way evidence-based medicine works. The difference, however, between real doctors and naturopaths is that when an underlying cause isn’t known, the real physician doesn’t make up a cause out of whole cloth and pretend to treat that, which is what naturopaths, chiropractors and homeopaths do on a regular basis.

    I think your article is a bit harsh, since your idea of what a doctor means is in fact a matter of opinion.

    It really isn’t. Either you have an accredited doctoral degree in a field of evidence-based medicine or you don’t. Spending a few months at a cracker-jack “naturopath” school that has no academic accreditation doesn’t entitle one to place “Doctor” or “MD” in front of or in back of their name.

    100 years later, what we call a medical doctor will have changed dramatically. The medical profession is always an ever changing industry.

    I doubt it. If so, then we’re a doomed society. This is a profession that is, and should always be, based on an evidence-based education with a goal to provide evidence-based treatments. Naturopathic treatments are rarely evidence-based. The first apparent goal of the naturopath (a.k.a. the quack) is power, prestige, and money. To be sure, these goals exist among doctors -the real physicians, but at least they endure 8+ years (depending on their specializations) of education and medical training and they admit to always being in “practice” to improve their knowledge as new evidence and new technologies improve medical science.

    Science is the path of right in this instance, not quackery.

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