Saturday, 24 November 2012

Errol Denton's Pretend Petitions

Fearless anti-racism campaigner Errol Denton has been hard at work this past week promoting his new pressure group CARBS (Campaign Against Racist Bloggers).

The group's launch hasn't exactly been a roaring success. Thousands of people were invited to 'like' a Facebook campaign page but, as of today, only a smattering of them have expressed their support.

As reported in an earlier post, Errol's attempts to attract signatures to a mass petition have also faltered. His early efforts, posted on a popular petition website, were repeatedly removed by the site's administrators (presumably for breaking their Terms and Conditions).

A neat solution to this little problem would, of course, be to start your own petitions website. 

Step forward !

UPDATE, 28 Nov: Shortly after this article was published, Errol's petition site was taken down. 

The site - which was created on the 14th November, remarkably on the same day that yet another of Errol's petitions had vanished in a puff of smoke - is nothing if not ambitious.

" aims to be the UK’s most respected and influential online petition website... At we harness the power of the internet in a bid to transform society and place this power in the hands of the masses... This public forum is privately sponsored and we reserve the right to refuse submissions. Petitions do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of or our sponsors..."

Like Errol's abortive Facebook campaign, the site has been slow out of the blocks. There are twelve petitions, most of them struggling to attract support:

Nationalise the energy section in Scotland after independence (2 signatures)
Return VAT on Air Ambulance fuel payments (3 signatures)
Give funds for Microarray testing in Wales (2 signatures)
Save the UK Film Council (2 signatures)
Unreasonable increases in Utility prices (2 signatures)
Stop betting shops taking over our high streets (4 signatures)
Support pensions for pre-1975 veterans (2 signatures)
Protection of the Cliffe historic and Archaeological landscape (2 signatures)
Save Our Welsh Cats & Dogs from Death on the Roads (2 signatures)
We are against Westminster City Council’s new parking regulations (2 signatures)
Upgrade the UK Party Political System to a Modular Democracy (2 signatures)

It's interesting to note that, just six hours ago, these eleven petitions had attracted only 6 signatures in the space of 10 days. 

This profound lack of interest among the general public was discussed on Twitter earlier this morning and - hey presto! - the number suddenly swelled to 25 signatures in just five hours.

A suspicious reader might wonder whether some of these petitions were fake, created solely to lend credibility to Errol's own petition (which has attracted 58 signatures).

And they'd be right!

The Westminster Parking Regulations petition has been copied word-for-word from a different petition hosted on a different site.

Nothing suspicious about that - campaign groups routinely cross-post their petitions across many different sites - until you notice that the original petition was closed after its real authors received some happy news.

"Thank you to everyone who signed this petition, I am sure you are all aware that we were victorious in our campaign and the new parking regulations have been rescinded by Westminster City Council."

It's also noticeable that the parking regulations were due to be introduced in 2011 - in other words, the petition was closed at least 12 months ago!

It would seem reasonable to assume, until we hear otherwise, that exists solely to promote Errol Denton's bizarre fixation with his critics, and that many of the "petitions" hosted on the site are not genuine.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Errol Denton, the only racist in the village

A remarkable new therapy that claims to diagnose almost any medical condition - Live Blood Analysis (LBA) - is spreading across the USA like wildfire and has several vocal proponents here in Britain.

If you're not familiar with it, an excellent introduction - written by a real scientist - appeared in the Guardian a few years back. Here's a quick a summary.

"The principle of LBA is fairly simple: a drop of blood is taken from your fingertip, put on a glass plate and viewed via a microscope on a video screen.... Proponents believe that the method provides information 'about the state of the immune system, possible vitamin deficiencies, amount of toxicity, pH and mineral imbalance, areas of concern and weaknesses; fungus and yeast", as another website puts it..." 

Despite its popularity, there's not a jot of evidence that LBA can diagnose anything at all. In one fascinating test (published in German), a professional Live Blood analyst was challenged to spot which of a set of blood samples had been gathered from cancer patients - and failed miserably.

Like many other quacks, LBA practitioners employ bait and switch sales tactics. The test itself is inexpensive (or free), but you'll pay through the nose for the "cure".

"The bulk of [the] money is made... by selling expensive nutritional supplements to the patient with the promise that these will correct whatever abnormality has been diagnosed... In other words, patients are potentially cheated three times over. First, you are diagnosed with a 'condition' you don't have; then a lengthy and expensive treatment ensues; and finally the bogus test is repeated and you are declared 'improved' or 'back to normal'." [Source]

And with that, it's time to introduce our titular quack. Meet Errol Denton!

Don't be fooled by the lab coat and the cheeky smile. Denton doesn't seem to have any legitimate medical or scientific training, yet he describes himself as 

" the UK's expert live blood analyst..."

...which is akin to describing yourself as "the UK's leading safe-cracker" or "the UK's most successful mugger". For it can be stated, with utmost confidence, that Denton is breaking the law.

Working from premises in London and the Middle East, Denton's "clinic" promotes itself with a glossy website which claims

"Live blood analysis is for everyone that really cares about their health overall wellbeing [sic]. The test is suitable for young children right up to mature people in their seventies or above... As 'prevention is better than cure' it is not just for people who have health problems; it is equally beneficial to very healthy people... because it acts as an early warning system..."

Denton is not at all shy in listing the "health problems" for which LBA is "beneficial".

"Healh Conditions Treated: Allergies/Intolerances - Arthritis - Autoimmune - Back and Joints [sic] Pain - Bad Sleep Patterns - Blood Pressure - Candida/Thrush - Celiac - Cholesterol - Cold Sores Mouth Ulcers - Crohn's Disease/IBS - Depression - Dry Skin/Rashes - Eczema Psoriasis/Acne - Fatigue... Gout - Hair Loss... Hormonal Imbalances - Infertility - Insomnia - Lupus - Migraines/Headaches - Menopause/Hot flushes - Mental fogginess - Overactive Thyroid - Parasites/Urine Infections - Skin Challenges - Stroke - Smoking - Training Endurance - ...Diabetes - Water/Fluid Retention/Bloating - Yeast - Weight loss and weight gain..."

All of this is, it goes without saying, illegal

Most of the health claims are supported only by anecdotes from "satisfied customers". Here's one, picked entirely at random. It's the story of a Mr Derrick Brown of Luton (which makes us near neighbours!)

"After two knee operations I had endless trouble with my knees. I was also overweight... My sister said to go and see Errol Denton. 

"I visited him in June 2008 for a live blood analysis, the results of the test showed I had too much acidity in my blood, Errol explained to me as to what I was seeing on the monitor. Errol advised me that I needed to change my eating patterns to produce a more alkaline blood flow, in which would help my knee problems (arthritis) and help me lose weight...

" October 2008 I had lost 28lbs I've never drank [sic] so much water in my life which hydrated my body and I felt a lot better as a result of seeing Errol."

Denton is notable not for his law-breaking activities - there are hundreds more like him - nor is he particularly unusual in running a quack medicine business from Harley Street.

What sets Denton apart is the, errr, unusual way in which he responds to criticism.

And there has been plenty of criticism. Two bloggers in particular - Josephine Jones and Jo Brodie - have been subjecting Denton and his fellow Live Blood Analysts to close scrutiny for some time now. Here's a short taster of their articles.

"In addition to making misleading claims in his advertising, one practitioner, Errol Denton, has even - according to comments made online - been treating customers appallingly, resulting in a 'mass refund' from Groupon, as well as an adjudication by the Advertising Standards Authority against the original ad." [Jones]

"There have been three Advertising Standards Authority adjudications against misleading claims made by Errol Denton's... two websites, one from me and two from someone else. The entire premise of nutritional microscopy [LBA] is nonsense." [Brodie]

It's instructive to compare the nasty, vindictive tone of these writers with the carefully-considered and rational responses from Denton. (I've taken a few screenshots to prove I'm not making this up - click to enlarge.)

"RACIST bloggers why do you lie so much? Why do you pretend that your RACIST attitude is not true? These are your expected responses you filthy RACIST COCKROACHES lowest vermin on the earth. Sociopathic RACIST Bloggers you can be read like a book... You are RACIST, RACIST, RACIST SCUM... RACIST blogger bitch you have certainly past [sic] your prime. RACIST, RACIST BITCH YOU ARE LOWER THAN A COCKROACHES' [sic] BELLY. RACIST coward scum never start what you cannot finish. Playing with fire gets RACISTS [sic] thugs burned with the truth." [Denton, 'KKK RACIST Bloggers Are Lower Than A Cockroaches' [sic] Belly', 10 Nov]
"RACIST, RACIST, RACIST, RACIST, RACIST Bloggers you are like serpents slithering with lies but the subject will not change. You are Sociopath RACISTS no better than the RACISTS that murdered Stephen Lawrence. They too denied they are RACISTS... What is you next move Sociopath RACIST? Is it more lies?... The truth is getting out there about your filthy RACIST agenda just like Adolph [sic] Hitler and your pathetic attempts to cover it up." [Denton, 'KKK Racist Bloggers The Subject Is Always You Are RACIST Bloggers', 10 Nov] 
"The problem with such cowards are [sic] their mindset will never admit to the fact that they are filthy Sociopath RACISTS so the truth will have to be repeated day after day until they get the message.... The war chant is: RACIST, RACIST, RACIST, RACIST, RACIST, RACIST, RACIST, RACIST, RACIST, RACIST, RACIST, RACIST... Adolph [sic] Hitler was a bully and a coward just like these filthy RACIST bloggers..." [Denton, 'Understanding The Brain Computer Mindset Of Sociopathic Racist Bloggers [sic] Jo-Jo', 10 Nov]

Most bizarrely of all, Denton recently put up a petition calling for the "Sociopath RACIST RACIST [etc]" bloggers to be held to account. Before being removed, the petition had attracted an impressive 36 signatures, among them noted anti-racism campaigners such as, errr... Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini!

Are the accusations fair? Are Jones and Brodie motivated not by an altruistic search for truth, but by racial prejudice?

Let's use science to find out!

A thorough analysis Jones' blog reveals articles criticising Robert Young (who is white), Keith James Russell and Ian Clifford Garbutt (both white), Jackie Reader (genetic heritage unknown), Guenther Enderlein (white), David Parker (white), Brina Eidelson (white), Ross Bridgeford (white), Ruth Daber (white), Gareth Edwards (white), Stephanie Morgan (white), Andrew Wakefield (white), Colette Haydon, Martin Kelly, Natascha McElhone, Patrick Mallucci, Norman Waterhouse and Simon Withey (all white), Gill Hart, Peter Horlock and Nick Varey (unknown), Charles Buck (white), Peter Smith (white), Nina Knowland (white), Joan McKerron (white), Phillipa Craske, Cheryl Cox, Izabella Perry, Elizabeth Barber and Tracey Hudson (all white), Marie-Claude Lambert (white), Matt Traverso (white), Janette Warren (unknown), Julie Delaney (unknown), Matthew Moat (white), Michelle Zielinski (white), "Neil" (white), Merlee Harris (unknown), Brian and Celia Wright (white), Jane Thurnell-Read (unknown), Andrew Bell (white), Jeff Hope (white), Ben Katz (white), Mike Wilson (white), Gillian McKeith (white), Samantha Pearce (unknown), Allan Sweeney (white), San Gogana (unknown), Stanislaw Burzynski (white), Hilary Jones (white), John Matthias (unknown), Gloria Gilbere (white), Ruben Bartolo (white), David McGlown (white), Ian Marber (white), Kate Winstanley (white), Dessi Bell (unknown), Stephen Hopwood (white), Tullio Simoncici (white), Barbara Wren (white), Matthew Manning (white), Alan Papier (unknown), John Hagger (unknown), Robert Verkerk (white), Hedda Kraker von Schwarzenfeld (unknown), Sarah Myhill (white), Claudius Van Wyk (white), Kevin Wright (white), Robin Daly (white), Marianne Greenwood (white), Peter Ebdon (white), T. Colin Campbell (white), Charlotte Gerson (white), Marc Stephens (unknown), Katrin Hempel (white), Max Gerson (white), David Beckham (white), Dana Ullman (white), Chris Woollams (white), Rosy Daniel (white), Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson (both white), Michael Dixon (white), Michael Driscoll (white), Michael Gove (white), Patrick Holford (white), Boo Armstrong (white), David Bellamy (white), Jerome Burne (white), Monty Don (white), Susan Greenfield (white), Peter Hain (white), Patricia Peat (white), Rupert Sheldrake (white), David Tredinnick (white), Jeremy Hunt (white), Lynne McTaggart (white) and HRH The Prince of Wales (some kind of alien lizard, apparently).

Besides Errol Denton (whose Facebook page describes him as a "Black Microscopist"), Jones also mentions Mukesh Batra (Asian), Surinder Sandhu (Asian), "Mr Fakole" (presumably black), Andre Young-Snell (black) and another Live Blood analyst, Stephen Ferguson (black).

Totting up these figures reveals that, of 107 identifiable individuals who are criticised on Jones' blog, 83% are white, 12% are of unknown race, 3% are black and 2% are Asian. (The list includes every named person I could track down, but omits several companies whose owners can't easily be found.)

It's interesting to compare these results with the "case studies" published on Denton's website.

We have Pansy Knight (black), Frances McLean (black), Simeon Ndimele (black), "Anne" (black), George Matsas (white), "Anonymous" (unknown), "Anonymous" (unknown), Maria Chus Molina De Aragon (unknown), Catriona Grove (white), Dora Steinborn (white), Lorraine Clarke (black), Anjalee Bhurton (Asian), Hilary Banks (black), Kintu De Coninck (black), Lynton Noel (black), Eli Anderson (black), Margaret Guillen (white), Nates Nalbantoglu (white), Moira Swayne (white), HRH Sultanah Pahang Kalsom Shah (Asian), Steve Pope (white), Fiona Harvey (black), Homer Campbell (black), Ruth North (black), Andrew Prodromou (white), Derrick Brown (black), Angela Cowan (black), Fergal Collins (white), Elaine Jackson (black), Mark Warmer (white), Helen Dixon (white), Dion Lawrence (black), Genni Rigoberts (black), Gwendolyn Walker (black), Nygen Robinson (black), Ricky Smith (white), Margaret Groom (white), Jenni Williams (black), Vanessa Harris (black), Jason Stephens (white), Robert Rollins (white), Karen Lovett-Hurran (white), Anthony Houghton (white), Olive Cowan (black), Laura Gilbert (white), Desline Shoultz (black), Cathriona Powell (black), Carol Bishop (white), Ray Marshall (white), Frances Fraser (unknown), Adam Dixon (black), Heena Vekaria (Asian), "Janice" (black), Shahidah Annahs (black), Ndela Phola (unknown), Sofeta Jackson (black), Cathleen Coleman-Cooke (white), Tracey Butler (black) and Heather Woodward (white).

This works out as 49% black, 37% white, 8% unknown and 5% Asian (from a group of 59 patients).

Of course, only a man with a brain the size of a pea would argue that, because half of Denton's patients are black, he must be some kind of racialist.

Quacks get most of their business from word-of-mouth, and it's quite conceivable than Denton is recruiting his victims from among his own friends and family, or maybe even from his church (if he belongs to one).

But Denton's contention that Jones is a "RACIST, RACIST BITCH" who is "LOWER THAN A COCKROACHES' [sic] BELLY" begins to lose its credibility when we consider that the vast, vast majority of people criticised in her blog are white. (A comparable spread of ethnicities can be observed in Brodie's blog.)

It's a sad fact that female sceptics are routinely subjected to the most repugnant streams of abuse, far in excess of anything that is propelled at me. Denton's vile output - ten blogposts in just under a month - is a particularly horrifying example of accusations and threats.

Besides a weird fixation with the Nazis (11 mentions), Adolf Hilter (10 mentions) and the Klu Klux Klan (5 mentions), Denton uses the terms "racist" or "racism" an astonishing 143 times, the terms "sociopath or sociopathic" 37 times, the terms "bullies", "cyber-bullies" or "bullying" 14 times, "cockroaches" 5 times and "vermin" 4 times. 

There are also two charming incidences of the word "bitch" considerately presented in CAPITAL LETTERS. (These figures would probably double if we took into account Denton's various tweets, Facebook pages, petitions and hashtags.)

With assaults like this, it's little wonder that bloggers like Josephine Jones prefers to write under a pseudonym. The tone of Denton's posts is steadily becoming more and more deranged and has now descended into thinly-veiled threats such as

"However this time it is too late and there is nowhere left for them to hide even behind a fictitious pseudonym..." (Source)

"Run for cover RACIST Blogger Cockroaches with your filthy spawn the darkness is where you operate best..." (Source)

"RACIST coward scum never start what you cannot finish. Playing with fire gets RACISTS [sic] thugs burned with the truth...." (Source)

It seems unlikely that Jones or Brodie are ever going to reveal their real identities with a crazed madman like Denton trying to hunt them down, but I'll make it easy for him. 

I don't write under a pseudonym and my address is widely known in the alternative medicine industry. (If that's not good enough, my details are available to Denton's solicitors, should they care to get in touch.)

Errol Denton, you are a fraud. 

You happily promote your bogus Live Blood Analysis service as a "treatment for all diseases" although there is not a jot of evidence that it can diagnose any disease, much less suggest an appropriate treatment. Your marketing methods are illegal and you profit from misleading your customers. You pose as a respectable health professional in a lab coat from premises in Harley Street, yet it appears you have absolutely no legitimate medical training. 

To the untrained eye, your blog most closely resembles the work of a man with an undiagnosed mental health problem. You make at least one hundred and forty-three accusations that your critics are racist, a claim that is supported only by a vicious tirade of abusive invective. In reality, there is only one racist in this conversation - and that person is Errol Denton.


1. My claim that Errol Denton is a fraud is based on this promotional article which contains a claim to treat cancer (contrary to the Cancer Act 1939) and innumerable claims on Denton's blog and company website to treat other named diseases (contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008).

2. I have never met either Errol Denton, Derrick Brown, "Jo Brodie" or "Josephine Jones".

3. The authors of the "Jo Brodie" and "Josephine Jones" blogs are both fully-qualified scientists, unlike Errol Denton (and me).

4. The statistics used in this article were compiled with pen and paper, not with an appropriate software package. I'll be happy to make corrections if anyone can spot errors in my arithmetic.