Belligerent Burzynski rep gets on the wrong side of Rhys Morgan
Rhys Morgan is a 17-year-old sceptic from Wales who exposes pseudo-science in his spare time. Marc Stephens* is a representative of the controversial Burzynski clinic who has been sending threatening messages to bloggers who point out the lack of evidence for the clinic’s “miracle cure” claims.
Today, Marc Stephens found out what happens when you get on the wrong side of Rhys Morgan.
In a detailed article, Morgan revealed that Stephens had sent him a series of threatening messages over a blog post he had published way back in August. Alongside the standard-issue libel threats common to those of his ilk, Stephens had threatened to complain to Rhys Morgan’s school, and, even more bizarrely, emailed him Google Maps screenshots of his house, in an apparent attempt to intimidate him.
Morgan initially took the blog post down while he sought legal advice and tried to clarify what, specifically, he had said that Marc Stephens took to be libellous. Morgan then carefully explained to Stephens that the pre-action protocol for defamation requires complainants to specify the precise words to which they are taking exception. Vague, generalised demands, without a clear explanation of the actual basis for the libel claim, are not sufficient.
Eventually, Rhys Morgan gave up trying to get Marc Stephens to provide this information, restored his original blogpost, and published the abusive threats that he had been receiving. News quickly spread through Twitter and other social media – adding to the already-quite-substantial outrage about the Burzynski clinic and its supporters, and ensuring that yet more people heard the criticisms that Marc Stephens had been trying so hard to suppress.
While the UK media has been characteristically slow in picking this up – presumably the Murdoch press are too preoccupied with their own problems and the Guardian Media Group still frozen in the headlights after the Observer got sucked into the controversy – bloggers all over the world have been ensuring that this story continues to grow.
*Not to be confused with Mark Stephens…