Let Oprah know that Kim Tinkham is dying of cancer

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Disturbing post by Orac. A salutary lesson on the perils of pseudo-science.

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16 thoughts on “Let Oprah know that Kim Tinkham is dying of cancer

    MyBrainHurts said:
    December 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    This article is out of control. Oprah has done way more positive things than negative. Everyone is responsible for making their own decisions.

      rationalbrain said:
      December 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm

      In what way is it ‘out of control’? It simply describes what has been happening. Oprah has been pushing every form of quackery out there. Some of them are harmless, but some are dangerous – for example, pyschic healing and using ‘the secret’ for life-threatening diseases. She pushes ‘dr oz’ like he’s the messiah, but he too talks about alternative therapies as if there’s some evidence for efficacy.
      Yes, people make their own decisions, but you can see on the news the effect Oprah has on people. Grown women crying about seeing here. She has influence, and that influence can be mis-used. She was first in line to support the anti-vaccine proponents, Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey. Her influence in this area has resulted in a severe upswing in some serious childhood diseases which were preventable. In the US, pertussis (whooping cough) was almost eradicated, as it is here, but it has made comeback because ‘herd immunity’ is being undermined.
      So when you say ‘out of control’ what do you mean? Is Orac lying? and for what reason? He is one of many, many practitioners who has made these observations, and I can give you plenty of other references.
      Sometimes the truth is painful, and although I’m sure she is well-meaning, she is also a gullible layman with too much power.
      OK, she’s built a school in Africa, and she give the audience cars and flies them to Australia. How many preventable illnesses and deaths does all that offset?

        MyBrainHurts said:
        December 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm

        I mean the Oprah bashing is out of control. I suppose the $250k she gave to the Australian man who has cancer so he can spend time with his family will be viewed in a negative light. Maybe she is making up for Kim Tinkham?
        So if the new Victoria Govt doesn’t provide enough hospital beds or cancer facilities or doesn’t help resolve the Ambulance issues then Baillieu is responsible for those deaths? That affects a lot of people. MBH

        rationalbrain said:
        December 14, 2010 at 4:22 pm

        Well, yes MBH, he is in a way. But it’s not a fair comparison. Teddy is making a call on the distribution of limited resources. Agree or disagree with him, the $ only go so far.
        But Oprah doesn’t have that limitation. If she advised people to seek expert medical/psychological/financial care instead of faith healers, mystics and other quacks, it would be a win-win. She could still donate the 250k, but also use her fame to help the people she’s not giving a cent to.
        No one is saying she’s misleading people deliberately – she’s been taken in as well. But she needs to realise she has a responsibility, and that the masses hang on her every word. Therefore that word can’t be crap.
        You may say that’s unfair on her – why should she have to be so careful? Well, she has put herself up there – taken it up herself to push the alt-med remedies, without taking expert advice. Therefore, she needs to live with the consequences – like Kim Tinkham.

    MyBrainHurts said:
    December 14, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Am I allowed to quote something I found by another blogger? It would take me far too long to find the right words myself but it sums it up.

      rationalbrain said:
      December 14, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      Yes of course. Just attribute them, or provide a link to their post.
      I’ll brace myself.

        MyBrainHurts said:
        December 15, 2010 at 1:42 pm

        Hmmmm sarcasm RB…

    MyBrainHurts said:
    December 15, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Comment from formulawonwriter on http://www.oprah.com/community/thread/149840

    It’s time that we all pull up our adult panties and accept the TRUTH that there is sooooooo much more to this life than what we accept from those we consider to be our leaders and teachers!!! The “church” isn’t the holder of the holy grail of intelligence nor is the media NOR the celebs like Oprah!!! LEARN FOR YOURSELF!

    KIM TINKHAM was her own person and she made her OWN decisions!!! She was intelligent enough to have a drivers license and a card to vote as well as run a business. She was once elected as President of the South Wise Chamber of Commerce and founded several different groups…so…she’s far from being a “stupid” or “a gullible person”! She made a decision to do what she did in following a particular person’s advice. No one put a gun to her head! Her husband certainly would have stepped to the plate to say “STOP! Kim you’re not handling your cancer in the right way!” But he didn’t! He didn’t want her to die! YOU LIVE (or die)BY THE CHOICES YOU MAKE!!! Make wise choices!

    end of comment

      rationalbrain said:
      December 15, 2010 at 2:39 pm

      Yes, well that comment reflects your position too, and that’s fine. We’re all grown up and we all have choices.
      When we make choices, on what do we base them? Do we analyse each and every thing? No we don’t because that would drive us mad. We often listen to other people and form a view on the best action – we listen to people like parents, churches, bosses, and brothers (this last one rarely). And, we also listen to scientists, Oprahs, Mr. Spocks and so on. We all do it.
      So what’s the problem with saying that some people that have listened to Oprah have come to harm?
      The writer of that comment is clearly an Oprah follower, and is entitled to her opinion, but it’s just and opinion. She cannot change the fact that the Big O has influence, and no matter how smart a person is, they may be susceptible to that influence.
      Actually, I equate her to a cult leader, like Jim Jones, or L. Ron Hubbard. All had adult followers, many of whom are dead, broken or poor as a result.
      And to save you the trouble, yes, Star Trek is a cult, but followers know it’s a fantasy. That’s the difference.

        MyBrainHurts said:
        December 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm

        Common sense needs to prevail wherever you get your advice or research from. I do drive myself mad analysing absolutely everything. If I don’t look after myself – who will? Also, don’t most cult leaders take money from their ‘subjects’? I think making even a slight comparison to that is fantasy.
        Just because O is well and clearly in the public eye does not mean she should be targeted. What about the ‘leaders’ who brought nothing BUT harm.
        And just because one may not study Biology, Physics, Chemistry etc in Form 6 does not mean one does not appreciate brotherly advice.

        rationalbrain said:
        December 15, 2010 at 3:32 pm

        No, many cult leaders just inflict psychological damage. But what they all have in common is that they are charismatic, and people follow them. BTW, they don’t have to be evil – the Dalai Lama is a good example. When he talks, people listen. Now when you get someone like that who is evil or just misguided, then trouble follows. Oprah is 100% in this category. Really, I think she is just misguided. She should just entertain or act – it’s what she’s good at, apparently. But sometimes that fame goes to the head, and suddenly they are giving all sorts of advice. I was impressed by Justin Timberlake in an interview I saw (he is in Social Networking). When asked what he thought about society and the social networking thing, he said ‘I don’t know, I’m just an actor’. Very honest.
        And I was kidding about the brother thing.
        Here’s some reading for you: http://www.newsweek.com/2009/05/29/live-your-best-life-ever.html
        Anyway, why don’t we leave it here and talk about something more interesting? No other articles take your fancy?

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