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Thread: Ten Most Wanted Celebrities Who Promote Harmful Pseudoscience

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    Cool Ten Most Wanted Celebrities Who Promote Harmful Pseudoscience


    #10 - Montel Williams

    He's all the way down at the bottom of the list because his daytime talk
    show is no longer on the air and he doesn't have much influence anymore,
    but when he did, he was best known for promoting psychics as the best
    way to solve almost any crisis. You can quarrel with psychic predators like
    Sylvia Browne, but her career was created by Montel Williams. Montel's
    worst offense was to use psychics to provide made-up information to the
    parents of missing children, which he did on many occasions, not just the
    one or two high profile cases that made headlines. Without exception, this
    information has always been either uselessly general or flat-out wrong. All
    the while, Montel Williams unapologetically promoted psychic powers to his
    millions of viewers. Read Dr. Hal Bidlack's Open Letter to Lt. Commander
    Montel Williams from one military officer to another, in which he asks
    "Have you lost your honor?"

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    #9 - Chuck Norris

    He deserves to be on the list anyway for making nothing but stupid
    movies, but Chuck Norris' main offense is his frequent public appeals to
    teach a Biblical "alternative" to science in public schools. In a series of
    public service announcements (here and here), Chuck and his wife
    advocate the mission of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public
    Schools, a nonprofit organization with its own 300 page textbook
    advocating Young Earth fundamentalism, The Bible in History and
    Literature. Although Chuck and the Council state that it's legal and has
    never been legally challenged, this is patently untrue, its having failed
    every Constitutional challenge brought forth against it. Chuck, become a
    Sunday School teacher in the church of your choice. You should not use
    your celebrity status to wage war against religious freedom, or to further
    erode the quality of science education in the United States.

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    #8 - Joe Rogan

    Comedian Joe Rogan does what he can to promote virtually any
    conspiracy theory that he stumbles onto, apparently accepting them all
    uncritically with a wholesale embrace. He believes the Apollo astronauts
    did not land on the moon. He believes the U.S. government was behind
    the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He believes the Oliver Stone version of the
    Kennedy assassination. He believes aliens crashed at Roswell in 1947
    and the government is covering it up. He thinks Men in Black from Project
    Blue Book stole his friend's camera, even though Project Blue Book ended
    over 38 years ago. The worst part is that he promotes these ideas to the
    public at every interview opportunity, but gives himself the intellectual
    "Get out of jail free" card of not needing any evidence by hiding behind
    the childish debate technique of saying "Hey, I'm just the guy asking
    questions." Joe, if you're going to put so much effort into promoting
    conspiracy theories and eroding what little rationality the public has left,
    at least have the courage to come forward with a cogent argument and
    well-sourced evidence, instead of the lameness of "I'm just the guy
    asking questions." Take the responsibility.

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    #7 - Ben Stein

    There's nothing wrong with being a religious person, but actor Ben Stein
    takes it many steps further, employing fallacious logic to claim that
    everything bad in the world is caused by non-Christian ideas. His favorite is
    that the study of science caused the Holocaust. He's now infamous for his
    quote "the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to
    do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that's
    where science leads you." Ben's open hostility toward scientific literacy is
    aptly described by Scientific American's John Rennie, who wrote: "Ben Stein
    wants you to stop thinking of evolution as an actual science supported by
    verifiable facts and logical arguments and to start thinking of it as a
    dogmatic, atheistic ideology akin to Marxism." Science is, quite properly,
    independent of politics and religion. A celebrity who argues that science
    should be subservient to either, especially one who exploits the Holocaust
    to do so, is an intellectual felon.

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    #6 - Pamela Anderson

    Although we here at Skeptoid endorse their annual "Running of the Nudes"
    in Pamplona, Spain, we don't like anything else about PETA, People for the
    Ethical Treatment of Animals. Pamela Anderson lends her celebrity tothem
    and serves as one of their primary spokespeople, as do many other
    celebrities. Senator James Inhofe has criticized PETA for its support of
    self-described domestic terrorist groups Earth Liberation Front and Animal
    Liberation Front. Groups like PETA do far more harm than good to the
    animal rights movement by exploiting the Holocaust for its advertising or
    for complaining only about the death of a donkey in a Jerusalem bomb
    attack that killed dozens of people. And Pamela, you might want to think
    twice before donating money to PETA. The Better Business Bureau's Wise
    Giving Alliance has noted that PETA fails to meet several Charity
    Accountability standards, and a Senate committee has questioned its tax
    exempt status for funding organizations later designated as terrorist.

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    #5 - Larry King

    Larry King's job as a professional interviewer is to bring on a huge
    number of people from all backgrounds and let them speak their minds,
    and this is a good thing. We hear from people doing good, people doing
    bad, people we agree with, and people we disagree with. But Larry's
    show is supposed to be better than all the other interview shows. Only
    Larry gets to talk to heads of state, U.S. Presidents, the top movers and
    shakers. He hits them hard, asks them the tough questions, puts them on
    the spot. Unless — and that's a very big unless — they are on the show
    to promote some pseudoscience or paranormal claim. Of these guests,
    Larry asks no tough questions. He gives them an unchallenged platform
    to promote their harmful claim. He gives their web addresses and shows
    their books and DVDs. He acts as their top salesman for the hour. Larry
    King gives every indication that CNN fully endorses celebrity psychics,
    conspiracy theorists, ghost hunters, UFO advocates, and promoters of
    non-scientific alternatives to healthcare.

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    #4 - Bill Maher

    While we love Bill Maher's movie Religulous and appreciate that his is one of
    the very few public voices opposing the 9/11 conspiracy myths, we can't
    deny that he has a darker side. Bill Maher is a board member of PETA — one
    of the people actually approving their payments to people like convicted
    arsonist Rod Coronado — but his ongoing act that's most harmful to the
    world is his outspoken denial of evidence-based medicine. Yes, Bill is correct
    that a good diet and exercise are good for you, but he seems to think that
    doctors deny this. Not any doctor I've ever spoken to. Bill made it clear on a
    four-minute speech on his show that he believes government and Big
    Pharma conspire to keep everyone sick by prescribing drugs. If even a single
    person takes Bill's claims to heart and avoids needed medical treatment as a
    result, Bill Maher is guilty of a terrible moral crime. Considering the huge size
    of his audience, this seems all too likely.

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    #3 - Prince Charles

    What's even worse than a comedian denying modern medicine is when the
    future King of England does the same thing. This is the kind of medieval
    superstition we expect from witch doctors like South Africa's former health
    minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, not from the royal family of one of the
    world's most advanced nations (well, it would be, except that royal families
    are kind of a medieval thing too). Through The Prince's Foundation for
    Integrated Health, Prince Charles attempts to legitimize and promote the
    use of untested, unapproved, and implausible alternative therapies of all
    sorts instead of using modern evidence-based medicine. He has a
    "collaborative agreement" with Bravewell, the United States' largest
    fundraising organization dedicated to the promotion of non-scientific
    alternatives to healthcare. As perhaps the most influential man in the United
    Kingdom, Prince Charles displays gross irresponsibility that directly results in
    untreated disease and death.

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    #2 - Jenny McCarthy

    The most outspoken anti-vaccine advocate is, by definition, the person
    responsible for the most disease and suffering in our future generation.
    Jenny McCarthy's activism has been directly blamed for the current rise in
    measles. She also blames vaccines for autism, against all the well
    established evidence that shows autism is genetic, and she spreads this
    misinformation tirelessly. She believes autism can be treated with a
    special diet, and that her own son has been "healed" of his autism
    through her efforts. Since one of the things we do know about autism is
    that it's incurable, it seems likely that her son probably never even had
    autism in the first place. So Jenny now promotes the claim that her son is
    an "Indigo child" — a child with a blue aura who represents the next
    stage in human evolution. If you take your family's medical advice from
    Jenny McCarthy, this is the kind of foolishness you're in for. Instead, get
    your medical advice from someone with a plausible likelihood of knowing
    something about it, like say, oh, a doctor, and not a doctor who belongs
    to the anti-vaccine Autism Research Institute or its Defeat Autism Now!
    project. Go to StopJenny.com for more information.

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    #1 - Oprah Winfrey

    The only person who can sit at the top of this pyramid is the one widely
    considered the most influential woman in the world and who promotes every
    pseudoscience: Oprah Winfrey. To her estimated total audience of 100
    million, many of whom uncritically accept every word the world's wealthiest
    celebrity says, she promotes the paranormal, psychic powers, new age
    spiritualism, conspiracy theories, quack celebrity diets, past life regression,
    angels, ghosts, alternative therapies like acupuncture and homeopathy,
    anti-vaccination, detoxification, vitamin megadosing, and virtually everything
    that will distract a human being from making useful progress and informed
    decisions in life. Although much of what she promotes is not directly harmful,
    she offers no distinction between the two, leaving the gullible public
    increasingly and incrementally injured with virtually every episode.

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