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Burzynski Lawyer Distances Clinic From Threats to Bloggers

I've just received a response from Rick Jaffe, the real attorney for the Burzynski clinic. Here's a part of it relating to Marc Stephens, the person claiming to represent the clinic who has threatened Rhys Morgan and Andy Lewis, among others:

"On the Marc Stephens thing, that's what I need to look into and see what happened. What I can tell you now is that I believe that he is not a clinic employee but is an independent contractor doing web marketing, the exact scope of which I'm not sure of right now." [...] "I can also tell you that based on my limited current information, no one at the clinic approved of or had advance knowledge that he would be sending a google map picture of a high school kid's house to him."

This is a bit of a late response, but of course it was Thanksgiving weekend in the US. First impression is that it stacks up quite well with what else we know so far, but others with more time will comment I'm sure!

He's promised to find out more and get back to me. I'll blog more on this when I can...
Philip Plait (The Bad Astronomer)'s profile photoRyan Gagne's profile photoMichael Marsh's profile photoKash Farooq's profile photo
An attempt at damage limitation? If so,he's got a big job on his hands.
Indeed, I'm cynical about this. Didn't Mr. Stephens cc-half the PR department into one of the emails to Andy Lewis? If none of them realised this was a bad idea, then it mightn't have been sanctioned by the actual lawyer, but it certainly was sanctioned by the staff at the clinic.
Could be, but the onus now is on people making the assertion to prove the connection if they can. For what it's worth, my gut feeling is that the lawyer has been straight with me above, Burzynski is apparently out if the country, and that Stephens did this without official support, but perhaps with a couple of clinic staff egging him on. We'll see though, I'm keen to gather as much evidence as possible before jumping to any conclusion - that is supposed to be the skeptic way after all...
Well, Rhys did mention that he sent an email to some corporate address that then ended up in Stephens' hands; if that's true then there must be some sort of connection.
Judging on the evidence is the skeptic way, true, but given that the evidence presented so far includes the nature of the 'business' and charging methods, testimony of people who were badly dealt with by the click while under 'trial', combined with the reasonable conclusion that other staff appear to know about this, both in their PR department and the person to whom Rhys' email was sent, and also Mr. Burzynski's own responses to critics of his journal article, I'm not sure we can, or should assume good faith on the clinic's part here.
As an aside, none of this necessarily negates the honesty of the actual lawyer who contacted you.
Pat D
There is little doubt Rhys emailed the clinic, here is a quote from Rhys' blog:

"Seeing as he’d not bothered to reply to me, I considered reposting the blog as well as an earlier version of this one. First though, I sent an email to the Burzynski Clinic’s corporate email address with a copy of the email thread between Marc Stephens and me, a copy of the original blog and an earlier version of this post. I wanted to know if they considered anything factually incorrect or not.

Dear Sir,

I attach an email (titled Email Thread.pdf) I have received from one Marc Stephens, who claims to represent you. As you can see from the attachment, he states that he represents you, and furthermore threatens me with libel proceedings in respect of material I posted on my blog.

I have carried out some internet research, and I have not been able to establish whether or not Mr. Stephens is a lawyer; certainly he does not appear to be a member of the California Bar nor the Texas Bar in the light of my visit to the California Bar Association’s and the State Bar of Texas’s websites. Please could you confirm for me whether he does in fact represent you and, if he does, on what basis he does represent you.

In the light of Mr. Stephen’s email I attach a copy of an article (titled Burzynski Blog Final.pdf) I propose to post on my blog as well as the original blog post (titled The Burzynski Clinic.pdf) which is currently offline. Please could you tell me within 7 days what, if any, of the blogs you object to, and, in particular, whether you believe any of the blogs to be factually untrue.

Yours faithfully,

Rhys Morgan

This seems to have been then forwarded on to Marc Stephens. He seemed rather irate and replied with this:"

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