Thursday, February 14, 2019

Ripe and ready to the eye
Yet rotten somehow to the core

We are pleased for putting your profitable time in looking this blogpost

Jeffrey Beall described 'Juniper Publishers' as "Rotten to the Core", suggesting some familiarity with BÖC lyrics.

These "Juniper" gombeens offer a street address in Arcadia, Ego California - the latest in a series of CA apartments as their US fuckpuppets abscond from one rent arrears to another - but to the surprise of absolutely no-one they are hiring trainee scammers and spammers in Hyderabad. Incompetence in English seems to be one of the desiderata. They also hired some now-defunct Hyderabad graphic designers to replace their naff logo, though all the suggestions seem more appropriate for an Early Education centre.

This is all by way of preamble to the latest innovation in parasitical-publishing spam, inspired perhaps by the Piranha Brothers and their Other Other Operation, i.e. threats of unpleasant consequences if contributions for their journal-shaped jizzmop and their bank-accounts do not swiftly ensue.
Dear $NAME,

Hope you are doing well!

We are pleased for putting your profitable time in looking this email. My target is to place the forthcoming issue by the finish of February. In any case, due to lack of another article we are unable to release it.

So, I ask for you to submit your article if you have it promptly or something bad might happen if conceivable, if you don't mind proposing to your friends and colleagues and fill my plate in succeeding the issue.

We gently appreciate your understanding and immediate response in this matter.

Warm Regards,
Melissa Gerald
Annals of Reviews & Research (ARR)
I gently appreciate their understanding and immediate response dying in this matter a fire.

Friday, February 8, 2019

"History is a nightmare in which I am trying to get a good night's sleep"

It is a consolation to know that current events will ultimately prove to be a wholly fictitious farrago of imaginary, non-eventuating non-events -- decades (if not centuries) that never happened -- at least in the accounts of future History Truthers.

History Truthers, Uncle Smut? Like 'Fake not-News'?

Phantom Time theorist Illig
Totally a thing. I have learned, for instance, that the current date is really about 1720, because the 297 years from 614 to 911 CE were spurious interpolations into the historical record. The entire Carolingean epoch of operatic violence and incestuous dynasties was script-written by George R. R. Martin in a previous incarnation and staged by Crisis Actors; artworks were faked; documents were forged; new scripts were devised for those forgeries. All arranged at the behest and through the connivance of Pope Sylvester II and Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, all to let them celebrate the 1000 Millennium although the date was only 703 CE. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.

All that pales in comparison beside Fomenko and his New Chronology, or lack thereof, in which nothing happened before about 1500... or more accurately, whatever did happen had to be suppressed to further the political ambitions of non-existent countries like 'Ukraine'.

According to Fomenko's claims, the written history of humankind goes only as far back as AD 800, there is almost no information about events between AD 800–1000, and most known historical events took place in AD 1000–1500.

All of Classical, Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Middle-Ages "history" was cobbled together by cloning and copy-pasting the few events and biographies that were available, and papering over the gaps with hand-waving and pebble-dash.

Fomenko claims that the most probable prototype of the historical Jesus was Andronikos I Komnenos (allegedly AD 1152 to 1185), the emperor of Byzantium, known for his failed reforms, his traits and deeds reflected in 'biographies' of many real and imaginary persons.[19] The historical Jesus is a composite figure and reflection of the Old-Testament prophet Elisha (850–800 BC?), Pope Gregory VII (1020?–1085), Saint Basil of Caesarea (330–379), and even Li Yuanhao (also known as Emperor Jingzong or "Son of Heaven" – emperor of Western Xia, who reigned in 1032–1048), Euclides, Bacchus and Dionysius. Fomenko explains the seemingly vast differences in the biographies of these figures as resulting from difference in languages, points of view and time-frame of the authors of said accounts and biographies. He claims that the historical Jesus may have been born in 1152 and was crucified around AD 1185 on the Joshua's Hill, overlooking the Bosphorus.[20]

Fomenko was stealing from my own theory, which I have rigorously proven to the satisfaction of Mrs Spat the Cat, that Jesus Christ and Oedipus Rex were actually the same person... both kings, with pierced feet, who fucked their own mothers, and no-one ever saw them in a room together (the corollary follows that Tiresias and John the Baptist were also a single character). This creates interesting mash-up-scenario situations, like the oepisode where the Sphinx leads Oedipus up to the summit of the mountain and tempts him with sovereignty over all the nations of the world if only he will pledge his allegiance.

Fomenko's mode of reasoning is strangely seductive when you think about the implausible similarities and echoes and reflections that link so many supposedly-different historical actors. I mean, most of them were kings or queens or nobility, and when you think about the tiny proportion of the population who were actually Nobles, how likely is that? Also, most of them were played by Nicolas Cage, Udo Kier, Klaus Kinski or Mads Mikelssen.

1066 and all WTF?

With new centuries of Past pouring out of the forgery factories to fill the needs of various conspiracies, there is no need to stop now. Here at the Riddled Museum of Comparative Clionics and Chocolate Hob-Nobs, we are in favour of pushing back the milestones of the past still further with even more centuries of freshly-woven dramatic tapestry, retro-fitted into the time-line. The important thing is that they be well-scripted, and entertaining, with good special effects. But NO ALIENS, and no Hitler-inna-time-machine, that just looks like the authors ran out of imagination.

I have not mentioned the Centuries of Darkness school of Bronze Age revisionism, because it is a minority position of scholarship but it is not completely condamine calenture fishsticks. The general notion is that there are missing centuries from several parallel columns of Bronze Age chronology (Minoan, Levantine, Egyptian, etc.), bridged with wattle and daub and vague postulations, but the gaps can be parsimoniously removed by sliding the two halves of the jigsaw together with some readjustment of the links between those parallel columns, without the need to assume missing pieces. Personally I find jigsaws easier to complete if I turn the pieces picture-side-down to eliminate the distracting shouty colours on them and I can concentrate on the geometrical niceties of their shapes, but that is why I was never invited to be a Bronze Age archaeologist.

* The printed version of De Selby's speculations on this topic are neither cogent nor coherent. Hatchjaw ascribed this to ambiguities in the holograph original, exploited by malicious editorial intervention by an unknown party. If Hatchjaw's tentative recension is correct, De Selby was drawing the corollary that many centuries of the future are also spurious interpolations, possibly fabricated but possibly the result of genuine error.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Nature attacks you and Nature heals you #2: My vegetable love should grow

This is an admirably forthright, doubt-free Review Article:

The authors sing the praises of carnivorous plant-squeezins as a Cure for Cancer, advertising a cancer-fraud product and seeking validation for the bafflegab surrounding it, without actually using its title "Carnivora". I eagerly awake their next project, of staging "Hamlet" while dispensing with the Prince of Denmark character.

We have encountered Carnivora before. Impressed by the ability of carnivorous plants to digest insects without digesting themselves (a common ability across the Animal kingdom), a small-town German doctor reasoned in the late 1970s that their juices would also be able to digest tumours. By energetic hustling, aided by cool stories of celebrity patients (Ronald Reagan and Yul Brynner) and their successful cures,* he managed to collect a loyal and vocal customer base, who lobbied on his behalf when he came to the attention of the authorities and of mainstream media in the mid-80s.

1985 and 1987 saw a couple of mockademic publications, though the world is still waiting for any records from his 15,000 patients to document his claims of a spectacular cure rate of (depending on source) 56%, 82% or 98%. The highest value relied on early detection and treatment: so early, in fact, that the only evidence of a cancer to cure might be Dr Keller's clinical intuition.

Here at the Riddled Research Laboratory we are inspired to extend Helmut Keller's work to triffid juice, which is bound to be even more curative, as soon as we open that portal to the John Wyndham Fictive Realm (don't worry about safety or the risk of escape, all the research will be conducted within our best-practice Fictive Confinement Facility).

The squeezings are not well-accepted in the US, where the Carnivora company fell foul of the FDA by importing it through a fraudulent labelling scheme. It is promoted mainly through Truther Health-Freedom channels, targetting barmpots who want to protect themselves against Chemtrail Toxicity and vaccine injury, and who take it for granted that the only cancer cures that work are the ones that the evil Gubblement is suppressing. Griftospheric channels like "Extreme Health Radio", or Jeff Rense's operation [as well as a conspiracy-weaponising conman, Rense is a literal, unabashed Nazi].

The Carnivora webshop provides a helpful Note from the Founder, Dr Keller himself, in which he retconned his rationale for the product and rebranded it as an immuno-modulator rather than a direct dissolver of cancers:
From this observation, I concluded that the Venus Flytrap plant must have an advanced immune system capable of distinguishing between harmful intruder organisms and its own materials.
In fact, the plant only digests the "primitive" undeveloped, undifferentiated cells of its own prey. These "primitive" cells are the same kind of cells that intrude into the human body.
Did I mention that Carnivora now cures non-diseases like Chronic Lyme Disease as well?

The webshop also provides contact options for dead people, which is unusual even by the standards of medscammers.
Senior Vice President
the late Robert Ostrow 1927-2014
the late Dr. Helmut Keller
It is tempting to email them to see if a pre-recorded message bounces back (along the lines of Brian O'Blivion), or even a response: "For God’s sake! — quick! — quick! — put me to sleep — or, quick! — waken me! — quick! — I say to you that I am dead!”

Disgraced data-forger as co-editor:
a positive for intended readership
Keller's magical thinking resonated more successfully in Europe. The mystical mind-set of "Nature knows best" / "Nature Heals All" is not exclusive to Europe... the "green nanotech" tradition of alchemical-compost junk science is universal (this is where nanoparticles are synthesized using juice or leaves from some culturally-valued medicinal plant and thereby inherit the plant's magical powers). Bharat Aggarwal managed to leverage his systematic curry-based science fraud into a lucrative decades-long career, because natural product! BUT that mysticism seems to be especially strong in the German Mitteleuropa culture-sphere, for which I am inclined to blame Goethe and the whole Romantic anti-Aufklärung backlash.

"Anti-Inflammatory and Anticancer Drugs from Nature"
Nature vitalism: Often ends in
human sacrifices to green cats
So Carnivora was dragged along in the slipstream. In the Green Millennium tradition of phytopharmacology / ethnopharmacology it makes perfect sense to delve into medieval-herbalist magic from different cultures, and to genuflect before the toxic scammocopoeia of Indian Ayurveda [shorter version: arsenic and cowdung poultices cure everything] and Traditional Chinese Medicine [shorter version: tiger bones and mercury cure everything] and Traditional Renaissance Medicine [shorter version: antimony and trichobezoars cure everything]. Also, to treat some mountebank's recent-past brainfart with the same reverence for Time-Honoured superstitions, as if it were just another Tribal Healing Modality.

This makes it difficult to distinguish between authors / researchers who were on the Big Carnie payroll, and those who believed the lies that fell out of Keller's face-hole and were sincerely convinced that flytrap constituents must be therapeutic (because plant-based) so it only remains to determine how and on what they therapeutise. There is a substantial genre around flytrap toxins, scrutinising their Petri-dish injurious effects on cancer cells as well as normal tissue (though actual clinical trials have not been repeated after the early negative results: Hauser 1988). In the former group we find the Bulgarian group of Todorov and Ilarionova, whose laudatory paeans to the active ingredients in Flytrap Juice and how well they killed cancer in test-tubes were promulgated as in-house reports for Carnivora-Forschungs GmbH.** I am not so sure about the papers and posters of Kreher, Wagner, Jurcic and / or Neszmelyi. Readers who like this sort of thing can find the motherlode in Kukułczanka & Budzianowski (2002), whose comprehensive literature review cries out to be illustrated with artwork by Philipp Otto Runge.

Anyway, Kreher & Wagner cite Keller (1985) in reverential terms (and are in turn cited approvingly on the "Science" page as the most credible sciency support for the fraud). Gaascht et al. (2013) read and cited Kreher & Wagner, so they were aware of Keller’s central role as instigator of the whole Better-Living-through-Flytrap grift. As noted, they take trouble not to mention "Carnivora" directly or cite the primary source, so they were also aware that Keller’s reputation as a lying gobshite charlatan might raise concerns, even among Frontiers reviewers.
[H/t Leonid Schneider @For Better Science]

* "...President Ronald Reagan who received the substance postoperatively following his operation for malignant polyps of the colon. The President took Carnivora drops for their healing and preventive powers against cancer recurrence." "Actor Yul Brynner also received dosages of Carnivora in injections and/or Carnivora drops. Yul Brynner's lung tumor's were rapidly diminishing in size until he foolishly followed the recommendation of a New York City oncologist and failed to keep up with the remedy."

** Todorov, Ilarionova & Pajeva (2000) did stovepipe one of their paid fabrications into the legitimacy of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
UPDATE: Keller and his followers were not doctrinaire about flytraps and were open to the possibility that other genera of carnivorous plants would be equally all-curative.

After all, sundews (Drosera sp.) contain many of the same toxic secondary metabolites like plumbagin and hydroplumbagin.

Predictably enough, this has inspired another genre of bad science. So far, "Plumbagin Suppresses the Invasion of HER2-Overexpressing Breast Cancer Cells" (2016) has been retracted for an unaccaptable proportion of faked results, while "Ramentaceone, a Naphthoquinone Derived from Drosera sp." (2016) is under investigation.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

We cannot call a mortal bein happy
before he’s passed beyond game free from pain

Is it wrong to be piping the classics of Greek Tragedy through the Gizoogle Textilizer?

PRIEST: Oedipus, rula of mah natizzle land,
      you peep how tha fuck playas here of every last muthafuckin age
      is crouchin down round yo' altars,
      some fledglings barely phat enough ta fly
      n' others bent by age, wit priests as well -
      fo' I’m priest of Zeus - n' these ones here,
      tha pick of all our youth. 

OEDIPUS: What tha fuck iz tha oracle, biatch? So far yo' lyrics
      inspire up in me no confidence or fear.
CREON: If you wish ta hear tha shizzle up in public,
      I’m prepared ta speak. Or we could step inside.
OEDIPUS: Speak up ta everyone. Da grief I feel
      fo' these playa hatas is even pimped outer
      than any pain I feel fo' mah own game.
CREON: Then let me report what tha fuck I heard from tha god.
      Lord Phoebus clearly ordaz our asses ta drive away
      tha shittin' on stain dis land has harboured-
      which aint gonna be healed if we keep nursin dat shit.
 If it is then I don't want to be right.
CREON: Laius was killed. And now the god is clear:
those murderers, he tells us, must be punished,
whoever they may be.
OEDIPUS:                       And where are they?
In what country? Where am I to find a trace
of this ancient crime? It will be hard to track.

CREON: Laius was capped. Y'all KNOW dat shit, muthafucka! And now tha god is clear:
      dem murderers, tha pimpin' muthafucka drops some lyrics ta us, must be punished,
      whoever they may be.
OEDIPUS:                       And where is they?
      In what tha fuck ghetto, biatch? Where is I ta find a trace
      of dis ancient crime, biatch? It is ghon be hard ta track.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Texas Brain-sore Massacre

This post was earlier cross-posted at Leonid Schneider's site, hence the nonfrivolity and Explaining Voice. The version there is improved by Leonid's editing, explanation of the back-story, and illustrative inserts. It attracted a gratifying amount of attention from readers and Tweeters who had not encountered the scandal in all its schadenfreudilicious glory.

Like the Force, and like duct-tape, the new digital media of science publishing have two sides. There is an admirable, encouraging trend for research reports to provide access to the experimental data with links to an archive. Over on the Dark Side, though, freed from the pressure of page space to enforce discipline and difficult choices, Figures are bloating out into unstructured, unselective omnium-gatherums. Multiple panels form a smorgasbord of cell-biology methods, depicting all aspects of an experiment in different plotting techniques, with no unifying theme or graphical coherence: grasping the logic of any one panel brings you no closer to understanding the next one.

A homing system targets therapeutic T cells to brain cancer

This recent Nature paper illustrates both trends. The 16 Figures (six in the main article and 10 in Supplementary Data) are like David Salle post-modernist / neo-figurative paintings: juxtapositions of multiple graphic styles, without privileging any one style as higher-priority than the others. They give me a headache. It is as if the 27 authors all contributed something, and between their 25 academic affiliations they could not agree on what to leave out.

The paper holds out the prospect of effective immunotherapy of otherwise-intractable brain cancers, by redesigning immune cells for better penetration of the blood-brain barrier. Spotting its potential as a source of citations and an adornment to the journal's reputation, the Nature editors singled it out for headlines in the News and Views column ("T cells engineered to home in on brain cancer"), and extending the cruise-missile metaphor, as a Research Highlight in the Nature Immunology section ("Missile guidance for brain tumors"). With so many institutions claiming credit for it, the press release was circulated and went prokaryotic viral across the science-churnalism sites.

In an Update on October 25 the paper acquired the Scarlet Letter of Shame in the form of an Expression of Concern Editor's Note, and even now the authors will be trying to work out which of them (and how many) were responsible, and how much of the paper is salvageable. Quite possibly it will be cited often in years to come, but not in a favourable way. For as well as illustrating the trends I began with, it is also a showcase of different ways of fabricating results. One could prepare an entire Data-Faking Masterclass around it.

The critical discussion thread at PubPeer is currently up to 46 comments. It began on October 16 -- six weeks after the publication date of September 6 -- when 'Gymnopilus Purpureosquamulosus' observed the presence, within the line-ups of fluorescent murine corpses, of some identical-twin pairs of mice.

The reuse of a few mouse portraits could be an innocent error, from researchers paying too little attention to mouse individuality. This is Nature, so duplicated images could in fact be convergent evolution. But the commentator also remarked on many other repetitions within the Figures. Subsequent commentators explored further connections, and alternative methods of dramatising the data-integrity concerns. I have picked out a few subthreads.

Readers come to 'For Better Science' expecting to see dodgy Western-Blot electrophoresis gels, and I am happy to oblige. G. Purpureosquamulosus pointed out a triplicated lane within Supplementary Figure S2A, supposedly representing the expression of three different proteins:

'Leucanella Acutissima' extended this to Figure S2A, noting that "Many of the lane similarities are partly obscured by vertical or horizontal squishing, or by flipping", while increasing the contrast of both images with a pseudocolour gradient map to emphasise the replications.

'Salsola Zygophylla' preferred to regroup the lanes to show their family relationships.

Any attempt to redesign T-cell signalling will involve flow cytometry and FACS plots: histograms (or two-dimensional distributions) of how many cells are found with different levels of some protein (or proteins) expressed on the outside of their cell membranes. Cells of the desired kind are cultured under the desired conditions, and decorated with fluorescent flags attached to those proteins so that they can be measured and counted as they are pumped down a narrow pipeline.

If identical histograms result from completely different cell lines, treated in different ways, then Houston we have a problem.

At left below is G. Purpureosquamulosus' original observation of identical two-dimensional cell-count plots in Figure 6A. At right is an extension from 'Pseudonocardia Adelaidensis', where certain plots have been coloured either red or blue, and then overlapped with semi-transparency, so that dots (cells) with identical protein levels (coordinates) in both plots appear as purple.

When more points overlap than chance could explain -- the vast majority of points, perhaps -- this could be a clue that both plots come from the same raw file of flow-cytometry data, but with different "gating" parameters for excluding spurious signals.

While on the topic of raw data, we have already noted the admirable trend to provide or link to raw data. This opens up new possibilities for colour-coding, as here for the Source Data for Figs 4c and 4d, to emphasise values which appear (a) unexpectedly often, or (b) in parallel between columns that come from different experiments and should be independent.

Or one can just graph the values from any two columns in a scatter-plot, expecting a chaotic cloud of points because of that independence. Certainly not expecting a diagonal line.

Which reminds me of how a scatter-plot appears twice in the paper, illustrating different associations between protein expression. Somehow the same distribution of points is summed up by two different correlations.

In Figures 4g and S5d, each panel is a kind of distribution of distributions. The goal is a statistical comparison, within each panel, between the populations of normal, control T-cells and altered, HS-expressing cells -- the left-hand and right-hand columns respectively.
g, Characterization of migrating T cells through collective quantification of actin MFI, focal adhesions, area of spreading, and podosynapse formation by high-throughput deconvolution microscopy at HS–ALCAM interface in a representative donor (n = 200–800 cells per condition). Each column represents cells in one well.
Although the panels show different measurements, sets of columns recur (with some variation in the horizontal NT and HS bars, i.e. which columns are included in which group for statistical purposes). This phenomenon could be described in several ways but "admirable thriftiness" is as good as any.

These repetitions are glaringly obvious once they have been pointed out. They are impossible to unsee. It is tempting to criticise the reviewers, and the authors of the approbative side-columns in Nature, for not spotting them... they should be looking at themselves and thinking about their poor life choices. But we need to ask ourselves here, "Would I have done any better without image-enhancement and prompting and priming?" For we do not all have Terminator Vision.

Is it reasonable to expect peer-reviewers to spot the cyclic repeating snaggle-teeth of Figure 1c? 'Condylocarpon Amazonicum' noted this "scenic plot" of "autumnal forest colours", "the forest march[ing] on in regular step", but that observer was already in 'data sleuth' mode: assuming that the data are flawed somewhere and should be scrutinised until the flaws are found. Should this adversarial approach become part of a reviewer's duties?

I have hardly started on the bewildering succession of enhanced and highlighted diagrams within that PubPeer thread. You should read the whole thing; it will help you imagine the plight of the peer-reviewers, confronted with a bewildering succession of diagrams in the original manuscript.

Data malfeasance is not a new phenomenon, of course. It may or may not be encouraged by the new possibilities of digital publication... or by a third trend, where funding bodies are encouraging researchers to network themselves into large-scale collaborations across institutions and across countries. This is just a particularly high-profile case, thanks to the publisher's decision to broadcast the paper through press releases and science churnalists.

We eagerly await the outcome of the editorial investigation into the paper's integrity (announced on October 25), to see who will be singled out as a scapegoat. It is hard to believe that a single rogue author could have faked so many different modes of data collection / presentation.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The starry wisdom
Owned by the Baron
And he’s got the cure [Carpe Diem edition]

Glymino? Glycolush? Glycovive? Glycoshyne? Are these really someone's well-considered choices for brandnames; or are they car marques from an alternative time-line, or the outputs of a neural network that has been trained on a list of small towns in Ontario and Saskatchewan? HA HA this is a trick question. These strange words come to us from the fertile glymagination of Darren Fleming, so they might as well be the work of a bot.

Fleming is arguably the world's worst conman, but fortunately he gravitated to the field of alt-med scams where standards are so low that even an absolute cockwomble can prosper. He first came to our attention, here at the Riddled Research Laboratory and Academy of Milking-Shed Innovation, by reverse-engineering Magic Yoghurt. All announced through a spray of March 2014 press releases and a portfolio of websites like and That is, he promised to find a coalition of yeast and bacteria which would not just curdle milk into yoghurt, but also transform the traces of the glycolated peptide VDBP in milk into the deglycolated and all-curative analog "GcMAF"... different from the secret microbe blends advertised as Bravo Yoghurt and MAF314 and MAF878. This would break the monopoly of the House Harkonnen usurpers, weaken the influence of the Bene Gesserit witches while keeping the Spacing Guild on-side, and THE SPICE WOULD FLOW in hitherto undreamed-of quantities.

Darren's entrepreneurial zeal commended him to Trevor and Lesley Banks, breakaway members of the original protein-alchemy cartel, who invited him onto the distribution list as the Australian rep of their GcMAF-fortified products. They may also have been glympressed by the string of 5-star accolades he had awarded himself in his persona as "Dr Fleming" at his 'World Naturopathy Clinic'. Or his activities on a support-group bulletin board: asking cancer patients about their alt-med experiences, while promising his own composite cancer-vanquishing Fleming Protocol and offering unsolicited advice about other therapies they could profitably try.* Or perhaps by his volunteer co-grifting at the "Cancer & Natural Therapy Foundation". I have seen horror movies like that, and the only way this Fleming character could be made any creepier is by dressing him in the make-up and livery of a clown.

There was in fact a website for the World Naturopathy Clinic, originally erected around the stolen identities of two Ayurvedic conmen in India. From 2012 to 2013 it evolved into an entire fantasy world of curative promises, decades of experience, detailed accounts of what clients could expect at a consultation, and plans for Australia-wide expansion, all without ever providing a physical address for those consultations: instead apologising for the lack of open appointment slots in the foreseeable future. This was either a weird conceptual art project (mixed with the urge to be taken seriously as a Medical Professional without the bother of training), or the least-functional grift EVAH.

LinkedIn and curing cancer in China
Many of the social-network sites where Mr Fleming composed his alternative biographies - rich with qualifications and accomplishments - have prolapsed into desuetude, CHIZ CHIZ. I especially miss his Alibaba entry, which boasted of Trumpian deal-making skills and project management around high-end golf-club and holiday resorts. But fortunately, like the Dude and like Earth, his 'Baron's Club' abides in the Wayback Machine...
Holiday resort
a kind of cigars- and poker-chip-infused on-line wet-dream, offered to sign up suckers who might pay for an entrée to the billionaire lifestyle. Russian arrivistes were specifically targeted by an entry in the VK Faceborg clone.
No no no, you should visit The Club yourself, I cannot describe the level of aspirational grandeur it attains. The goal appears to be a cheap Ashley-Madison knock-off, offering a social portal in which hoi polloi could rub shoulders and other body parts with an exclusive invite-only elite... so the promises of hot-totty-matchmaking are interlarded with Vegas High-Roller life-style signifiers of cigars and scotch and poker chips and private jets, all with the understated refinement of Donald Trump filming an advertisement for Lynx. When the Baron's Club emerged on FB in the course of June 2013, it could already boast of a two-decade history of wild success, so who am I to doubt that membership ever exceeded 1? There is aspirational talk of a luxury cruise liner for the club members, private islands, buying French chateaux. The most charitable interpretation is that the brashness is carefully cultivated to appeal to parvenu Moscovite oligarchs.
I hasten to add that Darren was not a complete fantasist, content to settle for grandiose dreams of a career as a scoundrel, for his email addresses were used to set up an entire virtual shopping-mall of credit-card-phishing sites in the guise of illegal-pharmaceutical outlets.

Now one of those e-addresses also featured in Darren's Global Fundraising Network, a kind of charity broker. The company's website has lapsed but it lingers on in small-business community listings. Community-minded on-line shoppers would be directed towards participating webstores, with assurances that some of their money would go to support signed-up charities.

The main beneficiary being 'La Trinite Church' -- a tax-exemption-claiming entity, previously trading as Fleming Couriers, staff consisting of Darren Fleming (secretary). You get the picture. What keeps me coming back to the GcMAF phenomenon is the delightful nature of the characters encountered there, and by that criterion Fleming comes under the Riddled rubric, also within the Riddled auspices, or for short, the rausbrices.

Subsequent snapshots of the webstore find Darren stocking the Banks' 'MAFactive' lifestyle accoutrements for a time, moving on to his own-brand no-frills colostrum-infused congelations coming Real Soon Now. Meanwhile showing all the conviction of a dude in a metro-station subway selling Genuine Gucci Merchandise spread out on a trestle table, as he hawked a series of short-lived, MAF-themed nasal sprays and suchlike, none of them likely to have ever existed outside of Photoshop.

In the wider Looniverse, "GcMAF" had meanwhile undergone an apotheosis and become a Worship Word in alt-med-consuming circles, losing its original biochemical meaning and coming to signify one's acceptance of a whole system of anti-Big Pharma values. So it did not matter when Yamamoto's papers were retracted for fraud, and Yamamoto's enzymatic process for deglycolating VDBP into GcMAF vanished in a puff of reality (i.e. the process supposedly performed by microbes during the fermentation of Magic Yoghurt). The persons making and distributing GlycoPlus unguents just shrugged, and dropped the pretense that their colostrum cow-squeezings had undergone any molecular transformation or contained actual magic molecules.

NRG = Energy, is joke
This is the context in which Darren's glyconic glychors -- Glycolush, Glycovive, Glymino and mustn't forget Glycoshyne -- could be a thing. For they are the current glyncarnations of his colostrum scammocopoeia. I earlier doubted that they would ever get past the 'Coming Soon!" conceptual stage and I feel so foolish now. In fact there is even a US distributor, Natural ReGenesis! (some June Lee who is new on the scene). Truly the student has surpassed the master.

On the topic of GlycoPlus, the brief careers of the Australian distributors is of note. Anni Diamond the Cancer Diva... Lucy Corrigan the Tasmaniac Lyme lady... one by one they pop up, staking out websites and FaceBorg support groups to lure in users, only to vanish from the scene again, as if into unmarked graves. Perhaps Darren is only posing as a hopeless bumblefuck, while he disposes of his rivals with a combination of canny business practice and ruthless midnight assassination.

But wait, it transpires that a new Australian shopfront has opened for the GlycoPlus product (under its Pacific title of GcMAFplus), in Brisbane! The Quantum Healing Centre is one of those all-in-one New Age Chambers, where the whole chromatic-light-healing spectrum of pissant woo practitioners have come together under one roof as if drawn by the attraction of Crank Magnetism, so you can have your aura read, your chakras balanced, and your bank-account detoxified without breaking a sweat. Someone should insure their lives, or warn them to watch their backs, whichever seems easier more lucrative.

* "If your wife is only on radiation and not chemotherapy I would only recommend that she uses Arginine 20 to 30 grams taken 30 to 60 minutes before each radiation session. This can help the radiation generate more free radicals due to enhanced blood flow the the cancer tumor as well as other benefits."