Archive for the Law Category

Matthias Rath: Apartheid was Big Pharma plot

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Conspiracy Theories, Law, South Africa on May 10, 2007 by moonflake

In response to a court case against him by the Treatment Action Campaign, snake oil salesman Matthias Rath has just filed a 320-page affidavit claiming that pharmaceutical companies were behind apartheid, and ascribing all sorts of underhand political machinations to the TAC themselves.

The apartheid regime was part of a global plot by the pharmaceutical industry, according to vitamin entrepreneur Dr Matthias Rath.

He said in an affidavit filed in the Cape High Court: “This regime was the political arm to turn South Africa into a bridgehead of the pharmaceutical interests with the goal to conquer and control the entire African continent.”

He also said the operations of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) were “almost a copy” of Hitler’s brown shirt storm troopers.

Do i detect a whiff of eau de lunatic?

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Philly becomes non-prophet city

Posted in Law, psychics on May 9, 2007 by moonflake

For the last 30 years, it has been illegal to make money from telling fortunes in Philidelphia. However, it was only just last month that the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspectors became aware of the law, and subsequently shut down a number of the city’s woo emporiums. If only the rest of the world would follow suit.

No prizes for guessing that none of the psychics saw it coming.

Worst Legal Defense Ever

Posted in Crime, HIV/AIDS, Law, South Africa on February 8, 2007 by moonflake

A year ago, South-African born Australian Andre Chad Parenzee was found guilty of intentionally endangering the lives of three women by having unprotected sex with them when he knew himself to be infected with HIV. Two of the women escaped uninfected. The third was not so lucky.

Sad to say, this in itself is neither uncommon nor surprising, especially to anyone living in SA where we hear about this sort of thing happening all the time. What is surprising is the tactic Parenzee’s lawyers chose to take in his appeal against his conviction. Their argument? That HIV does not exist, therefore he cannot have infected the women with anything and couldn’t have endangered their lives.

Yes, you read that right. His actual legal defense, which the Australian Supreme Court is currently entertaining to the extent that the appeal is being heard, is that HIV does not exist. The defense has brought two ‘experts’ to the stand to testify to this, and the prosecution is in the process of tearing them a new one. They have already pointed out that one of the defense witnesses, Ms Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, has intentionally deceived the court:

Under cross-examination, Prosecutor Sandi McDonald accused Ms Papadopulos-Eleopulos of misrepresenting studies presented to the court by omitting words from quotes that did not support her argument.

AIDS denialists quote mining? My goodness! It must be a day of the week ending in the letter ‘y’!

The witnesses for the prosecution are also having a fair go at those for the defence. Sir Gustav Nossal, a world-class immunologist, has called the HIV skeptics “a considerable scientific embarrassment”. Dr Elizabeth Dax, one of the world’s top HIV diagnosis experts, has accused the skeptics of presenting “dinosaur” evidence, referring to such tactics as presenting a paper from 1989 as if no recent discoveries have been made. Microbiologist David Gordon has compared them to UFO supporters.

The outcome of this trial should be obvious, if the judge deserves his position on the bench. And if not… well it will be a travesty.

Dr. Dunnit gets ten years

Posted in Crime, Law, Religion on January 22, 2007 by moonflake

Kent Hovind, aka Dr. Dino, was sentenced to ten years in jail on Friday for tax evasion, with a three year probation when he finally gets out. His comments in the court only go to show that he’s still remorseless and still willing to milk his followers for all he can get:

If it’s just money the IRS wants, there are thousands of people out there who will help pay the money they want so I can go back out there and preach.

And people still support this guy? I think it’s perfectly ironic that he will now be a long term guest in a facility funded by those who do obey the law and pay their taxes.

And before you start telling me that he’s a harmless old man who only wanted to spread the word of god and shouldn’t be bound by law, let me remind you of a few things. He lives in a country where the privileges that are afforded to him are paid for by those who obey the law, yet he feels he does not need to contribute, despite claiming those privileges. He left his employees without medicare or social security during the time they were employed by him, and he potentially involved them in a serious breach of the law. He got his wife involved and now she faces years of jail time too. He lied to his constituents about everything from money to evolution… what else did he lie to you about? This is not a man who deserves your support, so move your faith over to someone else who is doing some good for the world and not leading people astray.

Your god obviously wants Hovind punished. So should you.

Anthony Brink charges AIDS campaigner with genocide

Posted in HIV/AIDS, Law, Midweek Cuckoo, South Africa on January 11, 2007 by moonflake

Former Midweek Cuckoo Anthony Brink has proven just how deserving he is of the dubious honour. He has formally submitted a 59-page criminal complaint to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, charging TAC leader Zackie Achmat with genocide.

His logic? ARVs are toxic. Zackie Achmat was the driving force behind finally convincing the SA government to supply the populace with ARVs through the public health system. Therefore Zackie Achmat has committed genocide. Seriously, it’s like charging oncologists with genocide for prescribing chemotherapy.

Read his 59-page rant (PDF) if you want to. But here’s the bit that for me shows that Brink has gone so far off the reservation that he’s not even in the same zip code anymore:

…it is respectfully submitted that the International Criminal Court ought to impose on him the highest sentence provided by Article 77.1(b) of the Rome Statute, namely to permanent confinement in a small white steel and concrete cage, bright fluorescent light on all the time to keep an eye on him, his warders putting him out only to work every day in the prison garden to cultivate nutrient-rich vegetables, including when it’s raining, in order for him to repay his debt to society, with the ARVs he claims to take administered daily under close medical watch at the full prescribed dose, morning, noon and night, without interruption, to prevent him faking that he’s being treatment compliant, pushed if necessary down his forced-open gullet with a finger, or, if he bites, kicks and screams too much, dripped into his arm after he’s been restrained on a gurney with cable ties around his ankles, wrists and neck, until he gives up the ghost on them, so as to eradicate this foulest, most loathsome, unscrupulous and malevolent blight on the human race, who has plagued and poisoned the people of South Africa, mostly black, mostly poor, for nearly a decade now, since the day he and his TAC first hit the scene.

I almost hope that the ICC doesn’t refuse to prosecute on the ground of stupid. Because if the trial goes ahead, and a ruling or dismissal is in Achmat’s favour, then by my understanding he will have legal reason for a counter-suit of malicious prosecution. At the very least, even if the ICC laughs in Brink’s face, Achmat and the TAC should be suing Brink for defamation. The interesting thing about a defamation case is that, unlike most legal matters, the burden of proof is on the defendant to prove that their alleged libelous or slanderous statements are either true, or those that could be expected from a reasonable man. I’d love to see Brink trying to prove either.

And the funniest part of it all? Brink is a lawyer. He should know better.

Frankly, if anyone should be sued for genocide before the ICC, it’s Brink, Manto, Rath and the others who have created such a culture of misinformation regarding HIV and AIDS in this country that we suffer literally hundreds of thousands of AIDS deaths a year.

(PS it looks like I’ll only get to this week’s MC tomorrow. It’s becoming something of a weekend cuckoo, but unfortunately I have a job that gets in the way of my hobbies)

Televangelist sued for claiming God cured her brother of cancer

Posted in Law, Religion, Stupidity on January 2, 2007 by moonflake

A televangelist is being sued by her nieces and nephews for claiming that their father, her brother, was cured of his cancer by the power of prayer and the will of god. How is it that they can prove that it wasn’t god who cured him? Because he’s dead.

Darlene Bishop apparently convinced her brother Darrell “Wayne” Perry to go off the chemo. He went into (probably spontaneous) remission, and Darlene claimed it to be the work of god. They toured, she wrote a book, money was made. Months later, he was dead.

Of course, as support for her actions, Darlene also claims that the devil gave her breast cancer because she refused to stop preaching when he told her to. For pain medication, she wrote scripture on paper and put it in her bra, and prayed to god to heal her. God eventually did. Of course, the fact that her symptoms included bleeding could point to a number of other causes besides cancer, including infection or absess, which could clear up spontaneously or if she just took some antibiotics. She also doesn’t say that she ever went to a doctor and received a diagnosis of cancer. Her brother, on the other hand, was diagnosed with throat cancer and was undergoing chemo. There was no doubt that he was going to die if he didn’t get treatment.

According to her family, her brother’s death may have been averted if not for her interference, and are arguing wrongful death. I sincerely hope they win.

Hovinds Found Guilty on All Counts

Posted in Law, Religion on November 3, 2006 by moonflake

It’s all over but for the sentencing. Kent and Jo Hovind’s defense team rested their case without presenting any evidence or calling any witnesses, claiming that the prosecution had failed to make their case.

The jury deliberated for only 2.5 hours before finding Kent Hovind guilty on all 58 counts, and Jo Hovind guilty on all 44. Kent faces a maximum sentence of 288 years, and his wife faces 225. Jo has been released on her own recognisance until sentencing in January, but Kent is going to be in jail until then.

I guess Dr Dino won’t be coming to SA after all. What a shame.