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Defending Erin BrockoWitch

If you believe everything you see in the movies, you may as well skip this page. This is about the real Erin Brockovich, who is finally being seen for who (or what) she is rather than the tireless crusader for the little man presented in the film that bears her name. She appears to be entering into the winter of her days of fame, in great part due to lawsuit her boss Ed Masry filed that's contemptible and ridiculous even by their standards. (Which is like saying "It's hot in here even by Satan's standards.) As I wrote back in March, they were (and since have) filed suit against Beverly Hills High School and half the oil countries in America claiming that active wells under the campus have given alumni cancer. That column was then quoted by Time magazine columnist Leon Jaroff and as I write this articles in both Inc. and the New Republic, both of which I gladly assisted, are being prepared on the subject. But if Ed & Erin can't possibly win, why did they file? One guess is that they're hoping to get enough settlements based on avoiding bad public relations. But by naming so many defendants, they've diluted the bad PR pool and hence lowered their chance of making quick money. My theory, which I might add is based on nothing more than gut feeling, is that while Erin isn't the brightest star in the galaxy, she was coming to realize that her 15 minutes of fame ended about 45 minutes ago. The case in Beverly Hills may be idiotic, but she couldn't have picked a better place to get media attention. That's why newspapers (and yes, me) were writing about it months before the suit was even filed. In any event, things are not going well for Erin & Ed. After claiming to every reporter in the country (and nations) that students at Beverly Hills High were suffering extraordinary rates of cancer, both were ordered by a Santa Monica Superior Court judge to produce the documents or face a contempt of court hearing. Problem is, a local paper reported, "no such tests have been commissioned." In legal terminology that's called, "Really bad." But there's no evil-doer on earth, past and present, who hasn't had his or her defenders. Here are the adamant proponents of Evil Erin who will stand by her to (and past) the bitter end - even if a lot of them don't even know how to spell her name.

Cancer of the Gray Matter

I am a cancer victim with rare non-hodgkin's [sic] lymphoma. Normally, 20 or more students from BHHS [Beverly Hills High School] that are 32 to 34 would not have this disease. When I was diagnosed last year, You [sic] are a fuckface, and I hope that either you or one of your family members has to go through cancer treatment. I believe that Masry obviously only cares about the money. Who gives a fuck? I only give a fuck about money in my business. At least he has the balls to take on the case. And by the way, it is actually Barron [sic, "Baron"] and Budd who will be the attorneys of record for this case. I hope they only care about the money because that will mean that I can recover more from these assholes.

[omitted] Aragon

Dear Mr. Arrogant:

Twenty or more out of how many? Out of 30, absolutely. Out of thousands? That's a different case, isn't it? You have no idea what the denominator is, so the numerator means nothing. But more than that, you also have no real idea what the numerator is other than what somebody like Erin Brockovich has told you. You also ignored the part of my column where I pointed out that non-Hodgkin's is anything but rare in younger people.

And please keep your tenses consistent, as in, "When I was diagnosed last year, you were a fuckface." I or one of my family members almost certainly will go through cancer treatment, since there are six of us and as I explained in the very column you're responding to cancer is so common that one in four Americans will die of it. I give a f--- that Masry only cares about money because while despite what the media lead us to believe he almost always loses his cases, just by filing he terrifies people and brings nuts like you out of the woodwork. Finally, I have no problem believing you only care about money.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Hey nut sucker.....you are a measly yellow journalist and you know absolutely noting [sic] about cancer, statistics, etc. You even write for a shitty paper. [Actually, my column goes out to over 400 papers. But perhaps they're all of a fecal nature.] I only hope that you have to learn the hard way. Your argument is baseless. Crawl back up your ass and die.

Mr. Fumento,

Disagreement is not synonymous with "hate," and emails that rebut your contentions are not necessarily de facto "hate mail."

I was not in the least surprised to see that John Stossel, that master of hyperbolic anti-"liberal" vitriol came out in favor of big business and against another class action lawsuit. He also believes in stealing music over the internet because his son wants to do it. This is a glaring example of the sort of "reasoning" to which he all too often subjects his viewers. Apparently stealing is OK if it's high-tech theft and is committed by wealthy brats using high-priced computer equipment (why not take it further and just allow inner-city kids to steal CDs off the shelf?).

The fact that science may or may not be able, at the present time, to show myriad ways in which Chromium-6 [sic] can harm people does not excuse PGandE [sic] from their legal and ethical responsibility for behaving recklessly and disregarding dumping laws, and, further, for attempting to obfuscate the nature of that behavior. They obviously realized this and it's why they settled.

The 7th [sic] amendment of the constitution [sic] guarantees the right to a trial by jury when the value of controversy exceeds 20 dollars. It's interesting that this is the one area where certain professional lobbies and big business special interests suddenly wish to overthrow the constitution, believing the American public/electorate are not qualified to make rational decisions. Isn't that rather "elitist?"

Sincerely,
L. Gordon

Dear Mr. Gordon:

No, not all the mail on my hate mail page is hateful. Some of it is just there to provide entertainment value because of its absurdity - like yours.

I'm not entirely sure I see the connection between John Stossel's attitude towards pirated music, chromium-six, and the 7th Amendment. Obviously it's because I lack your genius. I do not support pirated music and don't support anybody who supports pirated music. It's theft of intellectual property. That said, I do think industry is blaming it for losses in sales that are attributable to other things such as slapping beautiful women on album covers who can't carry a note and expecting to sell five million copies. Why should I buy a $16 CD for a picture of a semi-nude woman when I can pay a third that for a magazine filled with pictures of women wearing tiny little bikinis, or even less?

There is a massive amount of science on the toxicity of cr-6 through various routes of exposure, and it's quite clear that it's harmless when ingested. But you don't like that, so you put science in permanent limbo. Personally I don't care whether or not you like or dislike what scientists have shown and neither does anybody else, including even old Erin herself. As to PG&E, they obeyed the law as it was then written. How would you like it if the street you live on suddenly had the speed limit lowered to two miles per hour and the police came to your door and gave you a speeding ticket for every day you've ever lived there? The State of California did an epidemiological cancer survey of Hinkley and found its residents to actually have significantly fewer cancers than residents in the rest of the state. It didn't test for other diseases, but this IPSO FACTO makes Brockovich a liar and Brockovich supporters dupes. What PG&E "realized" was that they were getting awful PR, especially from an ABC magazine show that Brockovich's pals arranged and virtually wrote the script for. That's why they settled.

And finally, no the 7th Amendment does not do what you say. I am a lawyer, a member of the bar, and specialized in constitutional law. But you don't need that to simply read what it says: "The right of trial by jury shall be preserved." It doesn't say anybody with a $20 claim can just march into court and get a jury and have a trial. That's why we have judges; to throw out nonsense suits and make other legal rulings. As it happens, judges have thrown out at trial level and overturned at appellate level virtually every toxic tort suit Erin B. has ever been involved in. Why? Because they couldn't withstand, and sorry for my use of legal terminology, "the laugh factor." Her latest idiocy in Beverly Hills is simply the most obvious example of this.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

A Thyroid Thingy

Hi,

I just read the article on Beverly Hills High,
I attended the school in 1967, and developed a thyroid problem in 75.
I have to take medication since then, for the rest of my life [sic].
My name is [omitted] (graduated Jill [omitted] in 67') [sic]
Feel free to contact me if you need to , I now live in Connecticut.

[omitted]
CandyMintz@[omitted]

Dear Ms. Mintz:

According to the American Medical Woman's Assocation:

  • An estimated 13 million Americans have thyroid disorder.
  • Women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to suffer from an overactive or underactive thyroid.
  • Approximately 1 woman in 8 will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
  • Five to 8 percent of women develop thyroid disorders after giving birth.
  • One in every 4,000 babies is born with hypothyroidism.

Therefore, unless Beverly Hills High School has more alumni than I think, it's safe to say that most women with thyroid problems graduated from some high school other than yours. It is also safe to say that Erin Brockovich doesn't want people to think in these terms.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Those Poor Toxins Are Being Exposed to Unsuspecting Students

THE FINAL ENVIORNMENTAL [sic] STUDIES HAVE YET TO COME TO THE SURFACE, BUT IF THERE IS ANY REASON TO BELIEVE THAT NEGLIGENCE EXPOSED TOXINS [sic] TO UNSUSPECTING STUDENTS, SHOULDN'T WE HAVE THAT RIGHT OF KNOWING THIS INFORMATION? THIS IS WHAT MASRY ANS [sic] BROCKOVICH SPECIALIZE IN. I AM A HEALTHY ALUMNUS OF BEVERLY, BUT I HAVE LOST A BRILLIANT BROTHER(CLASS OF '78) WHO DEVELOPED MELANOMA AND DIED AT 33, PERHAPS HIS 9 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER (WHO WAS 1 MONTH OLD WHEN HE DIED) IS ENTITLED TO THE ANSWERS THAT BROCKOVICH AND MASRY DEMAND. WHAT IN THE HELL DIFFERENCE DOES IT MATTER TO YOU? OBVIOUSLY, YOU CAN'T HANDLE OTHER PEOPLE'S FAME AND PROSPERITY.....GET A LIFE, BUDDY.

Actually we have all the studies we need, but you refuse to accept that because it doesn't serve your purpose. As I made clear, there is no reason to believe that the students were exposed to toxins. As to "toxins being exposed to students," as you put it, well, I think those poor toxins ought to get good lawyers and sue the pants off the students.

Even Erin and Ed have made no claim that all cancers that arise at Beverly Hills High are caused by toxins. Melanoma was not on their list. That would be going too far even for them - though obviously not for you. What I "can't handle," as you put it, is greedy lawyers and their assistants exploiting other people to line their own bulging pockets. It is the lowest of human activities. Anybody who really cares about people should want to see Masry disbarred and Brockovich tossed back into her old trailer home instead of living the good life in the mansion she bought with her blood money from Hinkley. Why don't you make a serious investigation into finding some outlet for your energy other than throwing around insults concerning issues you understand nothing about?

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Save the Skeeters!

Dear Mr. Fumento:

I cannot speak to the Erin Brockovich case in any detail, but I will say that there is enough evidence that Chromium-6 is hazardous that it is inexcusable for it to be in anyone's drinking water.

My daughter Katherine died of cancer nearly a year ago; we have good reason to believe that her cancer was caused by chlorpyrifos, which our city was spraying for mosquitoes. It was banned for most applications in 2000 but is still being sprayed for mosquitoes. Though not classified as a carcinogen, an overwhelming amount of epidemiological data ties it and other pesticides to cancer, particularly leukemia, lymphoma, Wilm's tumor, and brain cancer. Simularly [sic], arsenic is not itself a carcinogen, but causes higher rates of cancer when combined with carcinogens to which we are all exposed, including UV radiation. How else do you account for the 30% increase in pediatric cancer over the last 30 years, if not by environmental factors? Our child was raised on organic food and never had a french fry or a hot dog before her diagnosis.

I think you would feel very differently about each of these risk factors, if you, or more so your children if you have them, were victims of exposure due to others' negligence. People should have some freedom from others' pollution, as well as freedom to be notified of it so they can decide for themselves the risk.

Hate? My daughter's death has changed a normally charitable person into a person who would wish cancer on polluters and perhaps even the "debunkers" who cover for them: not, however, on their children.

[omitted] Kauth

Dear Mrs. Kauth:

Let me get this straight. You're convinced without other evidence chromium-six is hazardous in drinking water because you're also convinced without evidence that your daughter died of cancer from a completely unrelated chemical. One is a metal that's been shown only to kill through massive inhalation and by causing lung disease; the other, chlorpyrifos or O,O-Diethyl-O-(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridyl) phosphorothioate, is a synthetic chemical that acts on the insect's central nervous system. Even rodent studies, which tend to grossly overstate the potential carcinogenicity of chemical, have found it prompts no type of cancer in the animals. See for yourself at: (ftp://potency.berkeley.edu/pub/tables/chemicalsummary.rodents.text)

The same is true of human exposures. Again see for yourself at PubMed at: (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=Search&DB=PubMed). It is precisely because there is no evidence linking the chemical to cancer of any type, much less "an overwhelming amount of epidemiological data," that the EPA gives it no cancer rating. You are also absolutely wrong about arsenic, which the EPA rates at level "A," a known human carcinogen.

Your problem is not pesticides but psychology. You can't accept that your daughter died of cancer while very few children do, so you're grasping for absolutely anything you can. But if you want to grasp, why not blame the organic food? Ah, but you can't do that because you fed her that food. The whole point is to blame somebody else, ANYBODY else, isn't it? I am sorry for your loss, but also sorry that rather than doing something useful like contribute money or time to a charitable foundation that helps children with cancer, you've lashed out at a chemical which helps prevent the deaths and permanent brain injury that sometimes accompany West Nile Virus. You are helping no one but the mosquitoes, ma'am.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

I expected confirmation that you are an idiot, but not quite so soon. You certainly answer your email quickly enough. Perhaps we're tit for tat on the ad hominem [sic] attacks, but you also are guilty of a straw man fallacy for your misrepresentation of my argument. I would argue that neither Chromium six nor any known carcinogen should be allowed in drinking water, and if it is, that information should be made available to the general public so they can filter their water.

[188 words omitted]

I am find [sic] the single-animal studies much less persuasive than epidemiological data, which repeatedly links pesticides, including chlorpyrifos, with cancer. In any case, I was never willing to take that risk with my children, and I had a right to be informed that we were, in fact, being sprayed.

[650 words omitted]

I think I will end here with a comparison of credentials: yours are a B.A. and a law degree. My undergraduate degree is in science with four years of experience and a publication in neurology; I later obtained a PhD in humanities, though that is less relevant. My husband has a PhD in chemical engineering and follows this topic closely, as you can imagine.

Excerpts:

"Noncancer risks were uniformly higher for children due to a proportionately greater inhalation rate-to-body weight ratio compared to adults and other factors" (Lee S, McLaughlin R, Harnly M, Gunier R, Kreutzer R. Community exposures to airborne agricultural pesticides in California: ranking of inhalation risks)..

"The data support the view that chronic exposure to an OP may reduce the threshold for toxicity of some, but by no means all, environmental agents" (Axelrad JC, Howard CV, McLean WG. The effects of acute pesticide exposure on neuroblastoma cells chronically exposed to diazinon).

[DNA damage in female workers exposed to pesticides in banana plantations at Limon, Costa Rica]

Ramirez V, Cuenca P.

I did not misrepresent your argument. Your only support for your assertion concerning chromium-six was the alleged dangers of a completely unrelated chemical. Now you're changing your argument, but you're just as wrong. As the EPA notes on its toxicity database, "No data were located in the available literature that suggested that Cr(VI) is carcinogenic by the oral route of exposure." By the way, "oral," means through ingestion through the mouth. I thought we should clarify that.

In your last nasty email as well as this one, you spoke of the epidemiological data on chlorpyrifos, obviously without having the least understanding of what "epidemiological" means. It means studies of groups of humans. Therefore the study you cited on neuroblastoma cells hardly fits the definition. That by Lee ET AL. does fit the definition, but am I missing something here or are not the very first words you quote "noncancer risks"? Even as far as that goes, it merely states that children would be at greater risk because of their lighter weight. It doesn't go to the issue of whether the pesticides, of which chlorpyrifos is only one, are actually dangerous at all. Your final study merely mentions DNA damage. DNA damage has been linked to a generally higher risk of cancer, including that from ultra-violet rays in sunlight. (I suppose we should ban those, too.) But there is no evidence in that study that the banana workers had higher rates of cancer. So you took three swings and struck out. Yet your previous letter claimed "an overwhelming amount of epidemiological data ties it [chlorpyrifos] and other pesticides to cancer, particularly leukemia, lymphoma, Wilm's tumor, and brain cancer" and the current one repeats the theme. You provided zero evidence for any of that. Finally, regarding your attempted comparison of credentials, I have long said that the letters after a person's name don't count for squat if he can't back up what he says. Assuming that for once you're telling the truth, you are the single best example I have ever found.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Subject: PG&E Cover Up and Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich is a hero to all of us that [sic] lived in Hinkley. I was four 41/2 [sic] years [sic] old when my parents moved there in 1952. I moved to Barstow in 1967. My mother died on November 4, 1989, from Gastonia Cancer [sic] caused from [sic] Chromium, VI [sic], a long slow death.

My sister has been living on $700.00 a month on disability for about 7 years and she is only 57 years old, you wouldn't believe her problems so I won't list them.

I'm 54 this month and know I have but a short time, too. I just wish that people who have no idea about what they are talking about [sic] would check out the facts before they go on National [sic] TV or write article [sic] in the Wall Street Journal on subjects they know nothing about.

We are people, too. Most of our friends have already died. Many times I remember another classmate or another neighbor or another Teacher [sic] I had forgot about, just wondering if they are still alive. You don't know what you are talking about.

jmaydock@[omitted]

Dear Brockovich Worshipper:

There's no such thing as "Gastonia Cancer," although there is a Gastonia, North Carolina. I see nothing relevant about when you moved to Barstow nor that your sister is among the vast number of people on disability in their 50s. Since you don't provide your age and don't even live in Hinkley – indeed, you can't even spell it, which is rather suspicious, I'm not sure how important it is that most of your friends have died. Finally, I don't think that your wondering about whether people are still alive is a symptom of chromium-six poisoning.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

My Pal, Erin

Dear Michael,

I am a former student of Beverly Hills High School, and had cancer. Can you email a [sic] contact info on Erin Brockpovich [sic]? [Maybe she married Maury Poovich and I never got the word.]

Sincerely,
Chris

Dear Chris,

No.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Oily Pockets

Hello Mike:

After reading your filet of Brockovich and Masry I can't help but think your [sic] in the pockets of the oil companies. My two brother-in-laws [sic] have lymphoma and one has passed away from the disease that turned into leukemia the other is still taking chemo. They lived within a !/4 [sic] mile of Beverly Hills High School and attended this infected [Infected?] school. What are the odds of that happening? Why would Venoco [sic] postpone reopening the oil well's [sic]? Maybe you should rethink your position?

Sincerely,
Leonard Horowitz

Hello Leonard:

Regarding the first assertion, if you go to my website you'll see that I "filet" Erin and Ed on a regular basis for the simple reasons that they 1) do bad things to people, and 2) get treated as superheroes for trying to line their own pockets. This is the first "filet" that has involved an oil company; moreover Erin and Ed are also suing the City of Beverly Hill plus Beverly Hills High School. I'm truly sorry about your relatives, but your understanding of odds is unfortunately typical but not correct. As one epidemiologist put it, "Disease doesn't spread itself evenly like fallen snow." If you flip a normal coin ten times, you actually have very little chance of getting five heads and five tails. Indeed, you have a chance of getting ten heads or ten tails. Similarly, if there can be two concurrent lymphomas not just near a school but within a single family. Is that proof of external causation? No, it simply means that while cancer is common some families will get far more than their share, some will get far less, and a few will get the average. That's why you need to go beyond tiny numbers and look at big numbers. Flipping a coin a thousand times will get you something close to fifty percent heads and fifty percent tails. You also need to look at etiology, or causation, which is what I did in the piece you read. There is no evidence that petroleum fumes cause the diseases you mentioned even in those with massive daily exposure over decades, much less from attending a high school.

As to your final question, companies that have done nothing wrong will often take great steps to try to keep from pouring fuel on a fire of someone else's making. Veneco made a PR move and a cheap one at that. Finally, your assertion that that one of the cancers started as a lymphoma and "turned into leukemia" calls into question the very existence of the alleged cancers. When a cancer spreads, it can go from being that of, say, the bladder to a being a liver cancer as well. But no cancer "turns into" another type of cancer, and a lymphoma that spreads never turns into leukemia. So at the most basic level, the information you provided is utterly unreliable.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

A Gut Feeling

I was just looking up Erin Brockovich to see if she was a link to any legal aid, since it seems the law is often used to usurp me and my goods. I then saw your page, and read your comments on her "heroism" and her responses to you. I have not formed an opinion with my brain – do not think I have one – I get "check-mated" so often. But my heart and gut [sic], do not like you. You might be a sooth sayer [sic] with all the facts correct and lined up in a row, but your condescending attitude [sic], toward simple things like punctuation, and honest opinion [sic], makes me think you miss the larger picture. You do not have to respond. Just want you to know, I am turned off by you... That's Okay [sic], lots of people are turned off by me also...

Betty [omitted]

Of that, madam, I have no doubt.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

These Claims Are Really Getting Moldy

Mr. Fumento; [sic]

I just read your essays on Erin Brockovich and found them most enlightening. As you may know, she has recently been embroiled in a legal dispute over the so-called toxic mold - she claims it is making her sick. I actually sympathized with her plight until I discovered your website! I had no idea she was such an opportunist!

What is your take on this whole "toxic mold" thing? Is this just another greedy attempt on Ms. Brockovich's part to make a mountain out of a mole hill? Is this purported "toxic mold" just a lot of hype like the whole "hexavalent Chromium" thing was? Certainly, no mold could be THAT dangerous! I have become a regular visitor to your informative website, and I must say that I have come to believe a lot of things I was never sure of before.

The most important thing I got from your site, however, was the firm belief that you are b. If you actually believe that Chromium 6 is "perfectly safe", I can only assume that you also believe Stachybotrys Chartarum (toxic mold) is harmless as well... if this is the case, then you are without question among the most ignorant know-it-alls on Earth (you might want to check the fine print on the back of your college degrees to see if you can get your money refunded).

Dear Sir:

I may or may not be "an ignorant prick" (I've never heard of an intelligent one), but nowhere have I written that Chromium 6 is "perfectly safe" without including words to the effect of "when ingested orally" which is exactly the exposure Brockovich claimed the people in Hinckley had. I worked mightily to get across the point that some chemicals are highly toxic through one route and harmless through another. (Plutonium when inhaled, for example, is a terrible cause of lung cancer. When consumed, it passes right out the body.) But you simply ignored that. As to my citing myriad such sources as the EPA, the State of California, and others - well, we're all just part of a big conspiracy, aren't we? (We're also covering up the UFO crash at Roswell.) Since you lack the ability to even comprehend this, I'd say your chances of getting your college costs refunded are fair while your chances of getting your college to deny it every graduated you are excellent.

How dare you characterize the loss of a son or a daughter to these toxins as "unrelated" or "coincidental".[sic] Whatsmore [sic], it seems to me the main complaint you have with Erin Brockovich is how much money she made from the PG&E case. I must know: how much money do you make cranking out your half-assed form of irresponsible journalism? How much does the CDC and the EPA pay you to slander the victims and then insinuate to the general public that their illnesses were "unrelated" to the toxin in question? How do you even sleep at night?

I characterize the loss of a son or daughter as unrelated to chromium-six because that's what the science says. I sympathize with the loss; I simply do not assume that the loss is caused by whatever chemical a set of trial lawyers claims. The money comparison is indeed a valid one, precisely because it's Brockovich (and now you) that make it. My fee for my original Brockovich piece was exactly $300.00. Not only did I get no outside funding, PG&E refused to even give me any type of help whatsoever. Apparently they were just tired of publicity. Regarding the CDC, they had no involvement at Hinkley at are and mentioned in none of my Brockovich articles. (That mold must really be getting to you.) Yet time and again, SHE (and now you) claim I was only in it for the bucks whereas she pulled in far in excess of $2 million just as her bonus. Since then she's sold her movie rights, sold a book, gotten herself a silly little mini-series, and gone on the speaking tour for tons more money. She's repeatedly claimed (including in the New York Times Magazine) that she's offered to debate me but has in fact repeatedly refused to do so. If I have trouble sleeping at night, it's knowing that wicked women like her are making hordes of cash preying off innocent victims and being defended by grassy knollers such as yourself. I do also worry about Brockovich's tactics of moving into a territory, convincing everyone in the area that they're on the cusp of death, then signing them up for a lawsuit and lining her pockets with their fears. Kathleen Sharpe wrote an excellent piece discussing how she did this at Hinckley.

Okay, Okay... I don't want to end on a sour note; in fact, just to prove that I can be rational about all this, I would like to invite you and your wife and/or kid(s) over for dinner sometime soon; I'm not the greatest cook in the world but I think you'll agree that my "down-home trichothecene/mycotoxin soup" (served up on water-damaged gypsum board) is delicious (and so are my Chromium 6 milkshakes). And of course I wouldn't let the kids go home empty-handed: for them, a swatch of drywall with a certified viable colony of Stachybotrys Chartarum & Penicillium. They can wear it around their necks and show all their friends!

No Regards,
MJW

Actually I've volunteered on public TV to drink chromium-six-laced water until I turn metallic. I think that goes a bit beyond what you ask. I also never said mold was harmless; in individual cases it can make persons quite sick. But the current mold mania is just that. If Brocko says she paid $600,000 to rip it out of her house she is lying, nuts or both. I'll let you decide; you've obviously got a Vulcan mind-meld with her. I know that for my $300 writer's fee I probably can't even get my carpet steam-cleaned.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

[He doesn't give up easily.]

Mr. Fumento: [sic]

I saw your reply to the previous e-mail I sent you in my mailbox and promptly deleted it. I have no interests in going tit-for-tat with the likes of you.

My focus these days are on protecting my wife and two young children (2 years old and 5 MONTHS old) from over 100 square feet of Stachybotrys Chartarum and Penicillium. Over the past few months, I have called literally EVERY agency I could think of asking for some sort of help (including your CDC) and have been refused every step of the way. It seems the health of my two children are not worthy of "expert" assistance . . . so I've taken matters into my own hands.

You see, unlike most people, I will not sit and wait for some sort of decision to be handed down from bloated lawmakers while my children are being exposed to this fungi; as long as there is the slightest chance that it may have hurt my children, that's enough for me . . . and may God be with those who get in my way. I'm not out to save the world, I'm just out to protect my children. Nothing else matters. I should think that ANY good parent would be as protective of their kids as I am, but it seems I may be the only one. [Yup!]

Ultimately, the sad thing about you is that you felt compelled to assail the character of Ms. Brockovich by asserting that the movie wasn't faithful to the truth. What's worse, you go on to cite a few "reports" from the CDC [Again, I cited no research from the CDC. I think the mold took him up into a flying saucer and impregnated him.] concerning Chromium 6 in an attempt to defend PG&E. In your mind, this must somehow establish you as a "defender of the common man" but in reality it is a thinly veiled attempt to pass off paparazzi journalism as some sort of scientific fact. Nobody really CARES if the film was "true" or embellished, or if the real Erin Brockovich is a crook or a hero; to those people who suffer from exposure to these toxins everyday [sic], your "tell-all" books and articles represent nothing more than literary tripe.

In conclusion, let me say that I would have liked to close this writing by stating that you and your ilk can take your political agendas and published "reports" and place them squarely up your ass, but I can't- it is quite obvious that your heads already occupy that space.

No reply needed.

Translation: You have no ability to go "tit-for-tat with the likes" of me, nor anybody else. The logical dictum of "Occam's razor" states that the most straightforward solution is probably the best. In this case, Occam would not hesitate to say that the reason all the agencies treat you like a kook is quite simply that you ARE a kook. It's not that they don't care about your kids; it's that they are already swamped with too many stories of fluoridated water turning people into newts. (Also, they're probably too bent over laughing picturing you standing on a chair fending of your Stachybotrys Chartarum and Penicillium with a broom.) Next time, try a little bleach. The reason "it seems" that you " may be the only" parent to care about your alleged problem is that as stupid as many Americans are (just look at the ratings for the "Jerry Springer Show") you seem to have done all of them one up. Your children do need protecting, however; they need protecting from parents such as yourself who use mold as a modern version of the bogey man. The biggest favor you could possibly do them is to stop calling agencies, stop writing hate mail, and get run over by a big moldy bus.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

A Moving Proposal

Subject: Epiphany

[Note: This letter was sent to me in 7.5 type. Like this.]

Would you move to live in Hinkley? If you will move your family to live under that plant [The plant is miles from Hinkley.] then, and only then will I believe your "story." "Story" is the only label that I can label [sic] your article. You belittlle [sic] anyone associated with a toxic attrocity [sic]. Back up your "proof" by living, with your loved ones, in the suspected area. It's really easy to write a store [sic] and even easier to print a disclaimer or denial when you don't live in those people's [sic] shoes. Will you allow your mother, wife or daughter to live there? Do so and let's test them in five years. Are you about to trust the experts? Try it and then we'll listen to your "testimony."

Your whole article was one of incredulous disbelief. Why? Do you NOT think any of this could ever happen? They closed down a school by us in the next district that had been found to be placed on a toxic dump. Countless children had been exposed to this. Who knows what will happen to these children when they grow to adults with families of their own? Isn't it nice that you live in an area that that your children can grow "safe?" [sic] Better hope that the next land scandal doesn't happen near or on YOUR land. Wouldn't that be such a shame? Better have those "experts" look at YOUR property!

No questions? Just facts? What is the truth? Go to the human factor. If one person thinks that there is a medical problem caused by any corporation is that evil? What would a whole community do to fight the same evil? Especially if that evil had sent "health" notices out stating that a certain " element wasn't a problem [sic]. If your children and/or wife were becoming ill about the same time [sic] (five/ten years or so) [Huh?], would you believe it was a coincidence if it happen [sic] to you?

Can you really answer these questions morally? Or is it just a "story" to you to dog?

Patricia [omitted]

Would I move to Hinkley? No, I couldn't live in a town so small that the local theater consists of a neighbor's 60-inch TV set. But I realize that my failure to do so makes me lose all credibility with you and I want you to know how deeply that hurts me. Yet please consider that there are alleged Hinkleys all over the country. People in East Woburn, Massachusetts claim that a well contaminated by W.R. Grace is giving children leukemia when tests of the soil show that chemicals from the Grace plant couldn't possibly have reached the well. Further, there is no evidence that the chemical in question causes any form of cancer, including leukemia. Many years of studies of Long Island have proved beyond any doubt that, despite activists' vociferous claims to the contrary, not only is nothing causing their "extraordinary breast cancer rates" but that actually those rates are average for their demographic profile. Do you see the inherent difficulty in my moving to Hinkley, East Woburn, and Long Island all at the same time just to satisfy you?

It's not that I don't think anything such as was claimed at Hinkley could happen, merely that it did not. As I have written repeatedly, the list of symptoms in that town was so disparate that they could not possibly be linked to any one or even several toxic agents. Regarding cancer specifically, the State of California found that Hinkley residents had a lower rate than the rest of the state. Why does that set off your warning bells? As I have written repeatedly, study after study has found that chromium six is harmless when orally ingested. But none of that means anything to you. You saw Julia Roberts cussing and bitching in that tiny skirt and those high heels and that taped-up bosom and by God you're convinced that the character she played was telling the truth. Who needs science when you have low-cut blouses?

Finally, "If one person thinks that there is a medical problem caused by any corporation is that evil?" No, she could just be stupid. Yet I have read far more than enough of Brockovich's rantings to know she doesn't believe a word, foul or otherwise, that comes out of her mouth. What she says and does is strictly for the bucks; she is truly evil. You see, early in life she was exposed to some toxin that made her capable of seeing only one color - green. And you were exposed to a toxin that makes you utterly incapable of any sort of analysis that doesn't comprise pure emotion. Why don't you learn something about scientific methodology, learn how to send letters in type sizes that don't make people go blind, and write again when you've "grown as a person" as the touchy-feely set likes to put it.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

The type that I am writing in was initiated by my 13, 15 or 16 year old [sic]. Do you find the script offensive? I know that the grammar wasn't offensive (other than what you might find so in the content as not taking what you write as gospel). If you didn't like what I said, all I can say is that you didn't present a very good arguement [sic], so-called "experts" are easy to buy and I'm sure that there are many qualified experts which [sic] testified and backed up the testimony of those plaintiffs.

[No, actually the only names I saw were no-names and quacks.]

If you believe in your story... move!!! It's as simple as that. You can back up the "bad guys" as well as your most powerful logic to show us poor mortals that we really ARE as stupid as you think us. I do NOT condone frivilous [sic] lawsuits, in any way, shape or form.

However, if a person is continually sick or their [sic] child or children become ill (or god save us and them, terminal), whom are we supposed to blame? Fate? One is an accident, two is a coincidence, but three is definitely a harbinger. How many sick out of how many? Both of you [sic] and Ms. Brokovitch [sic] are very quick to give accusations, but I am concerned about the illness, hardship caused by sickness and eventual loss of life. How many people who lived in Hinkley (past or present) have died or had an illness that you wouldn't ever even dream on YOUR worst enemy? Or perhaps you would.

Just the fact that PG&E put in UNLINED retaining ponds is highly irresponsible. And YOU (and maybe a FEW others) don't THINK it could contaminate the ground water. [I've repeatedly made it clear that PG&E contaminated the water, just not in a harmful way.] How many years do you think it will be before there is DEFINITE proof that it DOES cause a number of illnesses and problems? Nicotine is not addictive and smoking doesn't cause lung cancer as well as other illnesses? Have you heard this before? How about having that water shipped to you so that you and your family can partake of this SAFE water if you can't move? How perfectly amazing that you can't imagine foreign chemicals [Does this mean they're imported?] causing a number of diseases.

Patricia [omitted]

It's not so much your script that I find offensive, though I would advise you that most people don't take seriously somebody who writes in bold 7.5 Maiandra GD rather than the commonly accepted 12.0 Times New Roman or Arial. I take offense that you are unable to comprehend that it is impossible for one person to move to every place on earth where somebody thinks they have identified a disease cluster. Even under the old practice of "drawing and quartering" they only sent your body to four parts of the kingdom. Yeesh! With thinking like that, if you believed I did present a good argument I would be having extreme self doubts right about now.

Whom to blame? Has it ever occurred to you that sometimes nobody is to blame? Has it occurred to you that, for example, people are genetically more or less inclined to either contract or not contract certain diseases? Has it occurred to you that many diseases are caused by pathogens, and not necessarily PG&E. Has it occurred to you that yes, there is something akin to "fate" that's called "probability"? Has it never occurred to you that people all get sick and die on a timetable all their own, without outside interference?

How many people who have "lived in Hinkley (past or present) have died or had an illness that you wouldn't ever even dream on your worst enemy?" Zero. Nobody in Hinkley has ever contracted a disease that is unique to that town. Those folks suffer from nothing that other people do not. Moreover, at least as regards to cancer - as I made clear - they're actually suffering less than their share. This I told you; this you ignored.

When PG&E put in unlined ponds it was the state of the art. Much less was known about subterranean water flow patterns. When the problem was realized, PG&E lined its ponds. I suppose you're also going to tell me how irresponsible it was for Ford not to put seatbelts or airbags in its Model Ts.

How many years before it's proved that chromium-six causes the problems you claim when ingested? If it were a human you could probably torture it until it gave you the answer you so desperately want to hear, whether the answer were true or not. But chromium-six is a chemical, one that has been tested and retested and retested. Some of the tests were intentional and controlled, in others people were exposed similarly to the way the residents of Hinkley were but in much higher doses and, as with the people of Hinkley, with no extraordinary rates of illness. I already told you once that I offered to drink chromium-six-laced water on national TV.

It's not that I can't imagine "foreign" chemicals causing disease, by which you presumably mean "synthetic." Both "foreign" and "domestic" chemicals (by which I am mocking you and referring to "natural") can cause disease. Ever hear of arsenic or cyanide, lady? How about the mold that your buddy Brocko is now waging war against? It's not a "chemical" and it's quite natural. Did you think that Phillip Morris invented tobacco? Wait! Don't answer that! Quit while you're behind.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

And Here We Go Again

Michael,

I, like I am certain you [sic], believe in the freedoms that living in our beautiful country offers [sic]. I watched A & E [sic] today and witnessed your comments on the PG & E [sic] (Hinckley, CA/Erin Brockavitch) [sic] case. I invite you, at my total expense, to relocate there and live in Hinckley for a period of not less than 5 years. As a requirement of your all expense paid vacation, you will have to bathe in and drink the water there. If you can stomach at least 1 gallon per day and agree to reside there for the aforementioned time frame, let me know and I wills end the contract followed by the first check. Yes, I am serious. Question this not.

I eagerly await your response.

Thank you,
David

Dear David,

I've got a better idea. I'm going to postulate that living in Nome, Alaska is extremely harmful for your health. Never mind that I have no evidence. Never mind if you have an absolute mountain of evidence that says I'm wrong, that perhaps you have actuarial data indicating that residents of Nome live 20 years longer than the average American, have half the cancer rate, and only a third the heart disease rate. None of that matters to me. To prove me wrong you are going to have to go to Nome, Alaska and live there for five years straight. Outdoors. Naked.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Jedi Knights Ain't What they Used to Be

Michael,

You are an investigator. I insult you not yet anyone can see clearly the residents there have a diet that is different than that of ours. As did the residents of Hinckley, CA. Their diets were rich in Chromium 6.

Hmmm?

David

David,

Hmmm. You insult yourself, yes? And your impersonation of Yoda, hmmm. Sucks truly, I would say. Yes. Hmmm.

Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

Introduction to Hate Mail and Other Hate Mail Volumes

A Review of Michael Fumento's Hate Mail

Fumento Flambé


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