Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week

Hey there skeptifans. Here are the Fails and Wins you sent me this week.

This correction ran in the Ottawa Citizen on June 21st. Thanks to @kjstrickland for the picture.

Soldier’s mystery illness solved in 15 minutes
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a case of woovertising. This one plugs a naturopath by telling the story of a man suffering chronic pain. The naturopath figured out he had worms by pushing on his arm. But what do we really know about the case? How long since the treatment has the man been well? Did he have intermittent pain before? Could it be a coincidence? Did he have other treatment around the same time? Did he have anyone confirm the diagnosis of worms? We will never know. Thanks to Grant for this link.

Hamilton company shining brightly in growing field
Thanks to Martin for this woovertising Fail. The CBC ran this article about a local company making good. Except the thing they are selling is light therapy. There are some legitimate applications of light therapy, but lately people have been popping up with various light gizmo’s that promise to treat everything under the sun.

The effects of invisible waves
Thanks to Art for this Fail. A Toronto hospital is now treating “Environmental sensitivity disorder”. Our old friend Magda “invisible waves” Havas was part of a workshop they held about this disorder. The people suffering from “EMS” are real, but their suffering is usually linked to anxiety or other psychological problems. Delaying treatment of the real issue has a very negative effect on the health of these people. Skeptic North reader, Mark, also let me know that the hospital has been sending around press releases claiming to be the first hospital to treat wireless disorders.

Did you spot a media Fail or Win? Send it to me at

One Response to “Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week”

  1. Agashem says:

    Seriously? Liver parasites? That was it all along? Sorry, I cannot believe this story is actually published in any type of media. Besides, who calls in these stories? I have had things happen to me at work that should merit this type of attention. So my question is, did the naturopath contact the journalist or did the patient? If the naturopath, isn’t that a breach of privacy laws? If the patient, well I don’t know if I would want everyone knowing I had liver parasites.
    I am in despair that people read this stuff and don’t understand that this guy was seriously mentally ill, IMHO of course.


  • Melany Hamill

    Melany proudly uses the titles of both geek and nerd. As a science-enthusiast and fan of debate, Melany likes to get her facts straight. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Since then her career path has meandered to its current spot as a project manager at a video game studio. Melany lives near beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. She is not seeking treatment for her caffeine addiction.