Fighting Irrationality is hard

A fan of the site sent me this depressing letter, and it’s just another example of the difficulty we have fighting stupidity in today’s society:

Hi Jake,
Your stuff is always entertaining. This is connected with your latest tirade (and well-justified, I might add!) about so-called psychics. I have been trying to get something done about them here in the UK but am having little success. I did get an ad. feature pulled from our local paper for this guy, who was making blatant claims about his service that could not possibly be substantiated, but the main man I am trying to put out of business is here, if you can stand the excessive use of Flash! His website is good for a laugh, if nothing else!

See “shop for goodies”. I have reported him to our ASA. (Advertising Standards Authority) now they can investigate web ads, with a view to stopping him selling his so-called “healing cream” and other items (see also “quartz stone”) with his preposterous claims about them, but they came back with:

Thank you for your recent complaint about claims made by Quintin Smith on his website. I understand you challenge whether they can be substantiated. We have assessed the specific claims you highlighted but have concluded that there is insufficient grounds for ASA intervention on this occasion. Whilst we appreciate your views and acknowledge that many people will be sceptical about services of this kind, the claims you mentioned seem to convey the marketer’s own opinion and are unlikely to be mislead consumers to their detriment. We do not consider that they require objective substantiation and do not propose to investigate your complaint further on this occasion. I realise that this outcome will disappoint you, but thank you for taking the time to contact us with your views.”.

Total whitewash, in my opinion. It seems to me that he’s making quite clear, nonsensical statements about the products that can’t possibly hold water. Also tried our medicines regulatory authority. (After all, what IS the stuff? No provenance quoted. Could be anything). Answer: “We would expect these products to be regulated by the Trading Standards Services” Had a go at them, but an auto reply and nothing further. Seems I’m banging my head against a brick wall here!

Man, I feel like we’re fighting this war on idiocy with blanks! We can’t even get a bunch of scammers to stop selling their dangerous products to the public. How can we ever hope to win this thing?

Comments (6)

  • avatar

    andrew

    christ, never heard of this guy, needs stopping, and our stupid authorities let this shit ride, its the same when i read through my partners womens magazines, the backs full of mediums ads all preying the curious for profit. check channel 4 this easter monday for a derren brown ‘faith healing ‘ special.

  • avatar

    Apollo

    They both use all sorts of disclaimers on there websites. I’d be interested to see an undercover panorama investigation. See what they can catch them claiming in person. Though the actual likelyhood of them being prosecuted even then is low.

    Sickening.

  • avatar

    goldenarms

    the problem isnt the false claims. the problem is people are stupid enough to believe him and give him money. fix the cause, not the effect. complaining wont do anything

  • avatar

    HB

    Why should anything be done about these scoundrels? Clearly they fill a needed niche in our marketplace! Everyone needs a placebo now and again, or something that might end up being fatal. After all, don’t we need an extremely bad experience before we necessarily must take action, no matter what nonsense and inanity is being espoused?

  • avatar

    Darren Taggart

    Part of me thinks ‘idiot tax’
    That said, the NHS STILL provides homeopathy at taxpayers’ expense!!
    If we need to pick fights, we should do it aginst the state sponsoring of twaddle, where we all have a stake, rather than morons scamming each other.

  • avatar

    andrew

    hp and goldenarms wtf? howd you like it if someone you knew recently lost a loved one and in times of desperation got sucked into the web of lies these tossbags spin, and spent a load of money listening to the cold reading bullshit, youd be angry wouldnt you, you wouldnt say, ‘well its your fault for being stupid’ no, thats like saying im allowed to go out and take peoples wallets as a wallet inspector, its ok, they were stupid

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