Gorski: The Background
David Henry Gorski is a board-certified breast cancer surgeon with a Ph.D. who works at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and is "Medical Director of the Alexander J. Walt Comprehensive Breast Center" while also teaching at Wayne State University's medical school. He's also been on Wikipedia since 2006 and an editor of the website Science-Based Medicine, where you can read about everything we have just written in a page he updated after our last article, except for the fact that he administrates the website which has a BLP article about him. A dumb example of him waggishly deflecting who he is:
A quack said you were David Gorski. I guess you're not, but that is high praise, in my book. Guy (Help!) 01:52, 30 March 2013 (UTC)As we wrote in 2015, Gorski's early work was writing about "....cancer drugs like desatnib (aka BMS-354825 and "Sprycel") and vinblastine ("Velban"), which gave many the suspicion that MastCell was doing paid editing on Wikipedia for the drug companies, which is an accusation made by his many anti-vaxxer enemies" and he liked to blog under the name Orac and the now-shuttered Respectful Insolence blog before he was involved with Wikipedia. That's Gorski's long-running problem: he gets into endless fights with anti-vaxxers, alternative medicine types, and the occasional cancer-cure proponent (his first edits were on the Dr. Matthias Rath article; Rath claimed he could cure cancer with micronutrients, and Gorski turned the article into an angry rant and he tried to tag Rath as an AIDS denialist.) This fighting predates his time on Wikipedia; possibly he has always been this contentious. He quickly became friends with JzG (Guy Chapman), Mathsci, and Future Perfect at Sunrise (Lukas Pietsch). It should be said that a lot of the early MastCell records have been "mysteriously erased" (quoting the notes).
Well, I make it a point not to comment one way or the other on speculation about my IRL identity. But that would indeed be high praise. Besides, if a quack said it on the Internet, it's probably... true? :P MastCell Talk 04:25, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
And...I heard from a bird that you were David Cellski, a Bay Area rapper and music producer. ```Buster Seven Talk 05:24, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually I think you're a better writer than Gorski, tbh. Much less prone to rambling :) Guettarda (talk) 06:06, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
D. H. Gorski went through a Request for adminship in May, 2007 co-nominated by Durova (Lise Broer) and Samir (name unknown). The one dissenting vote was pressured to change to neutral.
"Comment. That editor's attitude and comments make him worthy of permanent banning, regardless of POV. A threatening and uncollaborative attitude violates the essence of NPOV and consensus editing. -- Fyslee/talk 21:53, 9 May 2007 (UTC) "The only saving grace of MastCell is that he took the medical pages seriously and wanted disclaimers put on them, even going to Jimbo's talkpage to back Anthonyhcole's request for any sort of warning. No-one else involved with Wikiproject Medicine cared.
This quote sums up a lot of what Gorski has been doing on Wikipedia:
"He doesn't edit WP to improve its medical coverage, he obviously edits it to fuck with people. It's "fun" for him to shit on naturopaths and other nut-cases, and then ban them for violating the "rules". In recent weeks he's been spluttering about presidential candidates Ben Carson and Marco Rubio. For a "neutral Wikipedian", and an MD, he certainly does love to piss on conservatives and climate-change deniers. How "odd"." - Unnamed person to Eric Barbour in a personal correspondence, 2015Gorski: The Truth about Jinkinson
Eric Barbour thought that Jinkinson aka Everymorning was actually a Gorski sockpuppet, but the truth was revealed on the old board by minor member kuriouskat: this account was actually J. Payne Smith, a college student in the Atlanta, Georgia region. His original Wikipedia account was JPayneSmith, and while that account as a teenager in 2009, he wrote the following:
"Men are superior to women in every way, except perhaps as regards the aforementioned activities that may fall under the "household" banner, so women should be oppressed and forbidden to do what they cannot, as a collective whole and, it should be noted, not on an individual scale, do as well as men. This is owing to the historic-biological nature of the male to dominate over the female. The notion that this is not true is a neoliberal sociological construct and has been relentlessly shoved down our throats ever since a totally artificial movement began with (or was at least spearheaded by) Sojourner Truth."He also wrote this about homosexuality:
"It should be noted that it is an artificially self-induced perversion it is an artificially self-induced perversion in most of its "demographic group", as they like to pretend they are, while in a very few others, it exists owing to an earlier psychological disturbance, which often if not usually leads them to believe it is natural." (sic)After he was outed by kuriouskat, Smith put up an apology on the JPaneSmith userpage and claimed that he had "lost the password to the old account."
Smith started editing as Jinkinson in January, 2013. After a few random articles he wrote the first version of the Gorski BLP, using hard-to find sources, which gave Barbour the false flag. Everymorning was later used as a possible meatpuppet by posting the first version of the Natural News Wikipedia article in March, 2013. That article quotes Gorski as Orac, and may have been assembled by the Guerilla skeptics group. More on Natural News later.
Gorski: The Camera is his Friend
If you do a simple Google image search of the words "David Gorski", there are around thirty images of David H. Gorski, some taken from his Science-Based Medicine page, some from YouTube, etc. These are the first fifteen photos.
Gorski: Wikipedia's Skeptical Sage
There is a deep love between MastCell and the Guerilla skeptics group and they have blown up his BLP to 37 kilobytes in length by this year, with 56 references, and that got the attention of people like Dr. Mark Crislip, who has his own BLP on Wikipedia with a photo of him meeting Gorski at the 2011 The Amaz!ng Meeting (the now-defunct Las Vegas skeptics confab run by the James Randi Educational Foundation, itself in not-too-good shape). A feedback loop was created by the skeptics, and now Gorski gets quoted constantly in Wikipedia articles, even though he is an administrator. A few examples below:
"Surgical oncologist David Gorski has written that Dossey utilizes straw man arguments, misrepresents and misunderstands medical research and "the evidence base in favor of the woo that Dr. Dossey favors is pathetic in comparison to that supporting science-based medicine." In 2010 Dossey co-wrote a post in the Huffington Post called "The Mythology Of Science-Based Medicine" with Deepak Chopra and Rustum Roy, which Gorski characterized as "an exercise that combines cherry-picking, logical fallacies, and whining, raising the last of these almost to an art form."" - Larry Dossey BLP
"Martin has been criticised for his role in the Judith Wilyman PhD controversy where medical academics and the AMA raised concerns of whether Professor Martin had the necessary knowledge to assess the topic of vaccine science. David Gorski has criticised Martin, claiming that he is not distinguishing between dissent based on facts, science and logic as opposed to dissent based on pseudoscience and misinformation, and The Australian has criticised him for not recognising academic rigour over academic freedom." - Brian Martin (social scientist) BLP
"David Gorski examined several publications from this research, including the Explore-published paper on whole systems complementary and alternative medicine using complex systems theory. This was an observational study which divided subjects into "flourishers" and "languishers", and was "not very interesting," according to Gorski." - Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing article
"David Gorski has called the topics of Cohen's research quackery and a waste of taxpayer dollars; he has criticized Cohen for taking a credulous stance on pseudoscience." - Lorenzo Cohen BLP
[Quote from Eric Barbour: Cohen, a respected medical scientist attempting to study traditional Chinese medical practices for useful cancer therapies, evidently became "roadkill" under the Gorski Bus Of Rage. (Amusingly, Cohen's Wikipedia biography was entirely created by his colleague Robin Haddad.)]
"David Gorski on the website Science-Based Medicine pointed out that United States Senator Tom Harkin (who was instrumental in drafting the legislation that funded the Office of Alternative Medicine but later criticized the self-same office's reliance on evidence-based testing) wrote two different commentaries in the journal's inaugural issue:
"In these two articles, Harkin basically introduced the new journal as a “journey—an exploration into what has been called ‘left-out medicine,’ therapies that show promise but that have not yet been accepted into the mainstream of modern medicine.” and explicitly stated that “mainstreaming alternative practices that work is our next step.” Unfortunately, he had a bit of a problem with the way medical science goes about determining whether a health practice—any health practice—works and railed against what he characterized as the “unbendable rules of randomized clinical trials.” Citing his use of bee pollen to treat his allergies, went on to assert, “It is not necessary for the scientific community to understand the process before the American public can benefit from these therapies....”"
"... Truly, this was a profound misunderstanding of how science works." - Quote from Gorski's blog in the article on Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
"Cancer researcher and alternative medicine critic David Gorski disagreed with Amri's assessment, saying, "My best guess was that Jobs probably only modestly decreased his chances of survival, if that.""
- Gorski quoted in the Steve Jobs BLP, as inserted by skeptic meatpuppet MrBill3 in the summer of 2013.
Commented on by now-banned member The Devil's Advocate over at Wikipediocracy's board: "We can talk about MastCell's bio at the David Gorski page. Namely how the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia group openly boasted of how they were heavily editing the article and plugged him in the Steve Jobs article to get his page more views. A little further down in the blog post Miss Gerbic brags how one of her group got the ball rolling on some massive negative section at Jenny McCarthy's bio covering the reception of her selection as a host on The View."
"Sometimes it is the little things that give me that kapow feeling. We managed to get Gorski mentioned on the Steve Jobs page. Its kinda lost in the mass that is Jobs page, but still with the hit count it receives, it can't hurt. Searching for "Gorski" on the page, I learned that according to Gorski, the 9 month delay with the cancer treatment may not have killed Jobs, interesting. Another thing I just learned is that even now in June 2013, Jobs is ranked number 70 in top Wikipedia views." - Susan Gerbic on the GSoW blog, July 2013.
James Randi at the 2014 The Amaz!ng Meeting. Who is the photographer? Susan Gerbic.
Gorski: At War with Natural News
This is the bit that will get the most flak maybe because people will think I'm promoting Natural News, or that this is the true reason this article was created. No, this entire post was to bring up Jinkinson, just to stick it to whomever took the old board down. At any rate MastCell hates Mike Adams' website, as do most of the Wikipedia skeptics. So when Google delisted Natural News, Gorski crowed about "fake news" and how the responsible people were striking back, completely forgetting that he and the Guerilla skeptics have been going after Natural News since 2013.
Mike Adams tried to rebut with Gorski's ties to James Randi and the "blackmail tape" (which is its own horrendous web of evasions/confusions/contradictions) but of course that has no power over Gorski or the Guerilla skeptics.
Gorski: Why GamerGate?
Just to prove that he is as up to date with the Internet cultural nonsense as everybody else, MastCell decided to get involved with GamerGate topics; he locked Crash Override Network page and deleted leaked chat logs in September of 2016.
"...Wikipedia’s administrator, MastCell, has locked the Crash Override Network Wikipedia page after removing the mention about their illicit involvement with harassment, sabotage, doxing and targeted abuse, all of which were documented in the leaked chat logs. The reason? Not enough reliable coverage from mainstream media. Other users, like MjolnirPants, who identifies as a “male feminist” according to his user profile, have begun to filibuster — alongside MastCell — the Crash Override Network article with sophistry and equivocation centered around Ashe Schow and the Washington Examiner. Evidently, they’re attempting to discount the inclusion of the mention of the leaked chat logs because they question Ian Miles Cheong’s credibility, and believe Schow is just an “opinion writer”." - The One Angry Gamer blog
Gorski: My own View
From a personal email:
There are always too many examples with Wikipedians; they like to bury themselves with their own written words, shit decisions, or general awfulness; with David "Yes I have a Ph.D. and a M.D. but I am still willing to get into dick-measuring contests on Wikipedia" Gorski it's all three at the same time. And by doing all this backroom shit, the "Guerrilla Skeptics" have helped to sink Wikipedia, because they act like the place is the Catholic Church and they are all priests, bishops, etc. - untouchable figures whose decisions cannot be countered by anybody except for the papal class of WMF employees or Jimbo "Jesus Fucking Christ" Himself. So the normal grinding editors (and Gorski denies he is an editor, somehow) are slipping away rather than be abused....but we know that already. The way the "Guerrilla Skeptics" act is very much modeled on James Randi's debunking behavior in the 1970s-1990s: use ad hominem insults constantly*, choose your target carefully, always have a group of assistants (some secret**), always have an out if things go south badly....pretty much Randi took his magician persona and modified it into a "debunker persona" and it worked, as long as people didn't ask questions. I wish these clowns acted more like Carl Sagan, but that would take deep thinking and real wit to pull off.
* Read his book Flim-Flam!; he is constantly insulting parapsychologists and other figures he doesn't like.
** I'm thinking of the probable ham radio operator or scanner dude he got to scan frequencies in the '90s ABC-TV 20/20 Peter Popoff expose, until they found the frequency Popoff's wife was using to transmit ailments and personal information into a hidden earpiece receiver. That was low power stuff probably in the VHF or UHF business bands, so scanner dude had to be in the parking lot of the church Popoff rented out, tape recorder running the whole time, while he monitored her transmissions on a pair of headphones.
Gorski: He's Going Down with the Ship
You knew I was going to write these words when you clicked on the article, but David Gorski is never going away until Wikipedia does. It's as simple as that; he has an army of meatpuppets to do his bidding, he is beloved by them, why go anywhere else?
Addendum: Cla68 speaks!
Extremely long quote from Cla68 (Charles Ainsworth) in March 2016 on Wikipediocracy just before he was indefinitely blocked on the forum:
- "MastCell, as you all know, is a prominent member of the "pro-science" group in WP. As you're all also aware, I firmly believe that WP's "pro-science" group is one of WP's most stridently sexist editing blocs. When he removed Ms Nakamine's name from the article, I figured it couldn't be for "victim protection reasons" because the article had passed FA review with her name in it, and the article itself said that Ms Nakamine had repudiated victim status in the court case. She had petitioned the police to drop the charges, saying that she wasn't a victim and later, after the conviction, had asked the court not to impose a sentence on the defendant. It said so right there in the article."
- "So, I figured that one of the "pro-science" editors was wikistalking me because I had gotten in their way in some other article, global warming or alternative medicine or something, and didn't like seeing a woman's name in a WP article and removed it for sexist reasons. I'm used to seeing some of the "pro-science" editors behaving in antisocial ways like that (and not just JzG) and I'm not surprised that one of them was wikistalking me. I forgot about it for awhile, but remembered it recently and went back to try to restore the article to how it was when it passed the FA nomination process. FA articles deteriorate over time and you have to go back and fix them periodically. I had forgotten (or never even noticed) that her name had actually previously been oversighted."
- "Evidently, someone took exception and reported it to
ArbCom. ArbCom did not tell me who contacted them about it and I didn't
- "About a month ago at an ArbCom amendment request someone was complaining about something MastCell did with regard to a pseudoscience article. I mentioned that MastCell might have a COI because of his full-time work off-wiki lobbying against alternative medicine on the Internet. I didn't reveal any personal information. I was surprised when JzG, in response, then proceeded to out MastCell. I was even more surprised when my comment was admin deleted, but JzG's wasn't!"
- "A few days later I received an email from GorillaWarfare saying I was under investigation for "outing" MastCell. In response, I mentioned that JzG was one who actually outed him, not me. I then explained how MastCell was a full-time crusader against alternative medicine in real life, including speeches at medical conventions and that I wasn't sure if he was being paid for it or not (it has been speculated that, at least in the past, he was being paid by the pharmaceutical industry to speak out against alternative/natural medicine). I provided an example from the article on an Australian book which claims that breast cancer is caused by bras in which MastCell had repeatedly removed the mention of an academic study which had supported the book's conclusions. That was the last I heard of the "outing" discussion."
- "I'm still leaning towards not appealing. Almost every single one of the blocks over the past 10 years I've received has been because of ideological or power-jockeying battles between admins and editors who are editing WP with agendas that they don't even bother to conceal."
- "Look at this Michael Brown article. MastCell, as he openly admits in the post above, purposely uses his admin privileges to chase away editors who threaten his editorial agenda in WP. I have gotten in the way of the "pro-science" agenda (by the way, I put "pro-science" in scare quotes because if you read about how science academia really operates, it is nowhere near as authoritarian as the "pro-science" editors in WP claim it to be. Their "pro-science" ideology exists only in their myopic heads) numerous times, so MastCell follows me to the Michael Brown article and decides to use that as a trial balloon to try to get me banned. I took the article, along with all my other FAs, off my watchlist after the Mathsci fiasco.
Coincidentally, MastCell was involved in that episode as well and has never admitted fault or apologized for his actions in enabling that kook who harassed and chased a number of editors away from Wikipedia."
- "I checked the article again recently, noticed that someone had removed the name again, and put it back in for the reasons outlined above. Several days later- indef block."
- "Think of this, in real life MastCell is a surgeon, presumably accomplished and respected in his field, who spends hours each day chasing people away from website that claims to be an encyclopedia, but is really a free-culture experiment administered mainly by under-employed kids? Observing MastCell's behavior over the years shows to me that he's an authoritarian who is dangerously obsessive and lacks impulse control, much like Mathsci. And WP puts this weirdo in a position of responsibility and lets him run things with one of WP's major topic areas."
"Now, why would anyone want to be a part of a place that operates like that?"
That Crislip-Gorski photo from 2011, in case it is deleted somehow.
(Photo taken by skeptic Jamie Bernstein.)