Smut Clyde wants to tell you about a certain retired professor of pharmacology at the University of Texas San Antonio, a Dr Kenneth Blum. Who is completely bonkers, well not quite, Blum is still sane enough to get his idiocies funded by NIH, publish them in his own predatory journals, and then to make extra money selling herbal supplements to cure imaginary brain disorders (OK, other quacks do that), but also to improve yours and your future progeny’s genetic code (beat this, competition!).
Blum’s partners in this mind-bogglingly demented quackery is another UT San Antonio professor, Rajendra Badgaiyan, plus two University of Florida professors Marcelo Febo and Mark S. Gold (the latter retired) and other members of America’s medical and academic elites.
To Epigenetics! The cause of… and solution to… all of life’s problems
By Smut Clyde
Look what Neuroskeptic found! It is as mad as a barrel of green squirrels dancing a jig on a giant blue flower. Published by the Journal of Personalized Medicine, which is from the MDPI stable, because of course it is.
Here it brings Drs Kenneth Blum and Rajendra Badgaiyan under the rubric of “trending”, and provides another opportunity to
self-plagiarise recycle old posts from eusa-riddled. My attention was first drawn to Blum, Febo & Badgaiyan for what was either a ground-breaking advance in scientific illustration, or an attempt to win the inaugural Cheese Promotion Cup:
The intention of Figure 13 is to dramatise the heartbreak of Addictive Brain, and how to cure it through dietary supplements like KB220Z, which will bind up your brain in the manner of a well-aged fromage.
Some people have defective brain-chemistry neuroreceptors that force them to crave stimulation, so they seek out dangerous situations involving flying squirrels, or rats on strings.
In other cases the risky but stimulating behaviour manifests as an addiction to writing ostensibly-scholarly papers, but illustrating them with garish WTF diagrams — not entirely persuasive, and seemingly drawn in the throes of a tequila hangover — then paying low-life predatory publishers to put them on line, as if daring us to point and laugh:
What was going though the authors’ heads? Apart from a hypodermic needle full of Hydrocinnamic Acid to raise brain endorphines.
The recklessness of the authors was facilitated by a gaggle of mockademic grifters from Hyderabad: in this case “Austin Publishing Group”. In fact Blum and Badgaiyan feature on the Editorial Board of “Austin Addiction Sciences“.
Figure 7 above [‘Happy Brain feeling of wellbeing’] originally appeared in Blum et al. (2012), “Neurogenetics and Nutrigenomics of Neuro-Nutrient Therapy for Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS)“, from Journal of Addiction Research Therapy. Where JART is a journal-shaped dumpster from the skiving wazzcocks of OMICS Publishing Group, with Kenneth Blum as original Editor-in-Chief.
The scandal is that these tragic travesties receive the imprimatur of PubMed indexing, because Blum and his colleagues received NIH grants.
Get your predatory publishing into PubMed!
How to make an academic career in medicine, a guide for white men and their wives.
It so happens that I made a collection of predatory journals that can boast of the presence of Blum & Badgaiyan in their Editorial Boards. The acquisitive-completeness compulsion can take many forms. Some people collect stamps; others, guns. Some people collect old Heidelberg printing presses, especially the platen models with the windmill paper-feed mechanism, though perhaps that is over-specific.
I am impressed by their detective skills in ferreting out these skeezy little publishers to patronise with their recycled
papers press releases. Were Drs Blum and Badgaiyan using Beall’s List of rip-offs and parasites as a guide? The Wayback Machine has helpfully archived a copy of Jeffrey Beall’s less-than-positive assessment of Juniper Publishers (“Key to the researchers”), yet another wretched Hyderabad hive of scum and villainy, and sure enough we find Blum supporting the “Global Journal of Addiction & Rehabilitation Medicine“.
The theory is flawed, however, because another pair of Hyderabad low-lifes Symbiosis Online started their late-comer scampaign of ingratiating spam too late to receive the full Beall treatment, but Blum gravitated to them anyway. The name is apt… ‘symbiosis’ is a broad term that subsumes parasitism as a special case.
“Open Access Text” is yet another band of OMICS alumni, spamming out their grift from Hyderabad with a faked London address. To expect Blum and Badgaiyan to avoid them is like expecting a dog to stay away from vomit.
Ancestral Vices, prophesying war
Michael Persinger’s crank magnetism
“What about you? Do you find it risible when I say the name…” Michael Persinger? Either you are laughing already, or you wonder what this is all about. Both audiences will sure be entertained by the following guest post of my regular contributor, Smut Clyde. For this is about Professor Michael Persinger, born 1945, psychologist…
From all that, it is not a great leap to NeuroQuantology journal, a vehicle for outside-the-box thinking. Dean Radin publishes there, and the late lamented Professor Michael Persinger regularly graced its pages with his insights; and it is where Neuroskeptic found this classic of the genre, where the distance between the box and the thinking is so great that there is little chance of ever finding the box again. There is probably a cat sitting in it, or it was thrown out with the old Xmas-parcel wrapping.
Evidently the authors have watched a Deepak Chopra derpspirational YouTuber talk and therefore fancy themselves as experts in quantum theory and superstrings and relativity, although they have never grappled with the terms of a Hartree-Fock approximation nor could they model a SU(2) gauge field on an inhomogeneous spatial lattice if the life of Schrödinger’s Cat depended on it. At least there can be no doubting the authors’ grasp of the ‘neuro’ side, for the third author boasts of his unique expertise in the field of Electroceuticals. Though they are under the impression that anticholinergic alkaloids like scopolamine and atropine give Mandragora “extreme aphrodisiac powers” so I will turn down invitations to their parties.
The clown-car of wibble is as bonkers as a Carlsbad-Cavernful of guano from rabid chiropterans. It is as if Klaus Kinski ravaged the Sokal Hoax and impregnated it with a baby of gibbering bug-eyed star-craving nescience, ideally played by Udo Kier.
Alternative title #2:
Some are Born to sweet delight. Some are Born to Endless Night
Blum and Badgaiyan hew to a Calvinist predestination worldview, dividing humanity into two moieties, the pre-saved and the pre-damned… Eloi and Morlocks, as it were. The latter inherited a genetic endowment for lives of thrill-seeking, addiction, crime, and Republican party membership. But all is not hopeless, for B & B offer a chance for epigenetic reprogramming: a chance to counteract the bad genes so that your children at least might enter the ranks of the Elect, even if it is too late for you.
Their thinking has much in common with Danny Vendramini’s TEEM theory. Vendramini holds that we are never free from the negative experiences of previous generations, for intense emotional trauma lays down inherited cellular engrams, so that future generations can re-live those traumata and learn from them. It is a kind of psychic Lamarckian evolution. Our gonads have ‘write mechanisms’ to record these near-death experiences in the non-coding segments of the genome (the so-called “junk DNA”), which “contains a hidden natural language” – the exact language is not reported though it is unlikely to be Esperanto.
Especially the ancestral memories of (a) predation by cannibalistic Neanderthals, or (b) being a predatory cannibalistic Neanderthal.
The search for the intellectual progenitor of this Blumean jibber-jabber could go even further back, to Elron Hubbard’s “Dianetics” and $cientology, and past-life engrams that breed endless neuroses until they are cleared. But I digress.
As noted, Blum & Badgaiyan assure us that we can pass on positive epigenetic engrams to our descendants, making up for our genetic inadequacy. Especially engrams created by using their proprietary brain-feeding diet supplement, KB220z! In fact the assurance is two-fold, for the authors were so impressed with how well they had phrased their self-congratulatory paper that they paid two different predatory journals to publish it:
1. The OMICS scampire, operating under the name “
esciencecentral” “Longdom” in an understandable attempt to hide from their bottom-feeding reputation;
“Thus, we are proposing for the first time ever an holistic-therapeutic model for RDS which includes GARS (diagnostic); CARD (outcome measure) and KB220 ( prolonged D2 agonist therapy) along with 12 step fellowship and other holistic modalities (e.g. low glycemic index diet; yoga, meditation etc.) known to naturally release neuronal dopamine.
Can we overcome DNA polymorphisms by promoting positive epigenetic effects which can be transferred from generation to generation ? With this in mind we wonder if we have been “licking our pups” enough, so that we could potentially attenuate substance and non-substance seeking- behaviors through love-understanding that “love needs care” [58,59].“
2. Those lovable scamps at ‘Peertechz’. Yes, two third-generational Hyderabad scammers really called their company ‘Peertechz’, and on a Scale of Griftiness from 1 to 10, they are up there at “Potato”.
“Thus, we are proposing for the first time ever a holistic-therapeutic model for RDS which includes GARS (diagnostic); CARD (outcome measure) and KB220 ( prolonged D2 agonist therapy) along with 12 step fellowship and other holistic modalities (e.g. low glycemic index diet; yoga, meditation etc.) known to naturally release neuronal dopamine .
The unanswered question is can we overcome DNA polymorphisms by promoting positive epigenetic effects which can be transferred from generation to generation . We have been “licking our pups” enough? Could we possibly attenuate substance and non-substance seeking- behaviors through love?“
It never occurred to me that Blum would associate himself with a pack of gombeens called “Peertechz”, but here we are.
So the background to all these papers – the rich, burgeoning, well-composted loam in which the thoughts sprouted – is Blum’s “Reward Deficit Syndrome“, RDS. I scoured the fringe literature to learn about dopamine-pathway dysfunction, and how this causes the “Reward Deficiency Syndrome” underlying addictive behaviours, and how this can be treated with the dietary supplement neuroadaptagen KB220z, alias SynaptaGenX, alias Synaptamine™, alias Synaptose, marketed by K. Blum’s companies.
The fringe publications are all slight circular-rut variations on a common theme, roughly as follows.
- Aberrant allelles of a few genes cause dysfunction in the dopanergic pathways;
- Reward Deficiency Syndrome is a Protean phenomenon that can variously manifest as opiate addiction, thrill-seeking, alcoholism, sex / porn addiction, eating disorders, problem gambling, lucid dreaming, compulsive publication, collecting Heidelberg presses, and possibly country dancing
- A simple though trademarked Neurogenetic test (GARS™) can tell whether an individual will develop RDS, for the benefit of potential employers and other interested parties — contact Kenneth Blum for more information about Genetic Addiction Risk Score™ ¹
- RDS can be treated with the right mixture of dopamine precursors and herbs²
- America will not be great again until the world accepts the reality of RDS and the prescient unrecognised genius of Kenneth Blum.
But don’t take my word for it! Take the word of quondam Blum co-author, Brian Meshkin, who wrote Blum’s original Whackyweedia entry:
- 1 Academic Background
- 2 Dr. Blum’s Famed Genetic Research Into Addictions
- 3 Dr. Blum’s Expertise Has Been Recognized Worldwide
- 4 Dr. Blum’s Research Has Been Published in over 300 Scientific Journals
“Scoured the fringe literature” is here a term of art, meaning “In a series of blogposts, Neuroskeptic took a good whack at this paper-shaped piñata of FAIL and great was the deluge of plagiarism and derp; then I copied everything“. Neuroskeptic’s host subsequently tried hard to obfuscate the links to those posts but here they are anyway:
- The Strange World of “Reward Deficiency Syndrome” (Part 1)
- The Strange World of “Reward Deficiency Syndrome” (Part 2)
- The Strange World of “Reward Deficiency Syndrome” (Part 3)
The gist of the story is this: Blum’s main contribution to the sum total of knowledge dates back to 1990, when he announced the isolation of the genetic basis of all addiction.
A key point about Blum’s unique and challenging insights is that they were not condemned out of hand. Other investigators were convinced, and raced to replicate them… while coming first might be what wins you a Nobel but even coming second is still the foundation for a secure career. And at first replication was successful (for the research assistants and post-grad students who do the work knew what results were acceptable). It took a while, a chance for people to chat quietly on the fringes of conferences, for the collective recognition to crystallise that it was OK not to repeat Blum’s results because no-one else could repeat them either.
Cynical readers can replace “KB220Z” with “hydroxychloroquine” and “Blum” with “Raoult” (I could not possibly comment). The broader lesson here, my excuse for rehashing the story, is a reminder that replications are good but not sufficient.
Didier Raoult fraud: “Je ne regrette rien”
One year on: more fake data, financial fraud and illegal and falsified clinical trials by the chloroquine guru Didier Raoult.
But this has not deterred Blum from monetarising his methods for detecting and ameliorating incipient addiction, with a range of companies and websites, some now vanished and known only to the Wayback Machine. Multilevel Marketing is involved; also liposomes, and nanotechnology, to ensure that the magic amino mix survives digestion and crosses the blood-brain barrier.
This is the short version, but there is clearly enough material for a Journal of Advanced Blum Studies. That does not exist… what we have instead is the Journal of Addiction Science. It was J. Reward Defic. Syndr. & Addiction Sci., published by Blum‘s OMICS-clone company “United Scientific Group” through “blumsrewarddeficiencysyndrome.com“; and before that, Journal of Reward Deficiency Syndrome. Despite the changes, Kenneth Blum remained as Editor-in-Chief, and the first issue was largely written by him, about KB220z and such.
It is not clear why Blum spreads himself so widely and pumps so much money as ‘processing fees’ into the parasitic-publication industry – embracing the whole ecosystem as a way of disseminating his Deep Thoughts – when he runs his own mockademic outlet.
- “Dominion Diagnostics” emerged from “DocBlum.com“, Quackwatch explains:
‘The test involves swabbing the inside of the cheek with a foam-tipped applicator, applying the applicator to an indicator card, and mailing the card to a lab. A home test kit sells for $275, and the products cost $59.95 per month for pills and $29.95 for a corresponding oral spray that is said to provide 1-2 hours of relief from “cravings.” The Web site also includes an application for becoming a “Reward” distributor for Nutrigenomic products.’
- Quackwatch again: ‘The “Reward” product line is marketed by Nutrigenomics, Inc., of San Antonio, Texas. It includes six formulas: Alcoholism/Heroin, Cocaine/Stimulants, Smoking/Tobacco, Weight Management, INFOCUS/ADD, and PMS, each of which contains vitamins, herbs, and amino acids. The “anti-alcohol” formula, for example, contains vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folic acid, vitamin B12, biotin, pantothenic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, chromium, 5-hydroxytrypthophan, dl-phenylalanine, l-glutamine, rhodiala rosea, chamomile flower, passion flower, hops flower, oat straw powder, skullcap herb, motherwort herb, valerian root extract, and Jamaican dogwood extract.’
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The OMICS website only lists Blum as squeezing out 12 papers and 7 Conference Proceedings through the scampire’s spigots, but that is because so many OMICS journal-shaped jizzmops have been rebranded as ‘Hilaris’ or ‘Longdom’ or some other polyp, in the hope of washing the stink off them. Blum regularly appears as Keynote Speaker at OMICS scamferences; his dedication to publishing is tireless, prolific, compulsive, and possibly treatable with KB220z.
Further below the bottom of the publishing barrel, Dr Blum can be found pimping his products through spamming, shameless OMICS-wannabee mooks like
It feels like cheating to count Blum & Badgaiyan’s contributions to e-Science central or the lovable CamelCased scamps at SciTechnol (“Key to Open-Access Science!”) where Blum moonlights as an Editor-in-Chief, as both are simply pseudopods or fleshy excrescences of OMICS, extruded for the benefit of customers who need to avail themselves of OMICS’ negotiable virtue peer-review standards but are understandably reluctant to be seen doing so. Nor does his Editor-in-Chief role count at SM Journals, as the SM Group is the other buttock of the same bum as the Austin Publishing con. Suffice to mention Blum’s editorship at Gavin Publishers, fine upstanding public-spirited citizens of
Not to be outdone, Dr Badgaiyan padded out his CV with a Prestigious Editorial Role with Herald Scholarly (“a leading, internationally publishing house“). Also, in no particular order, in a bumpy road of CamelCase: eSciencePublisher (“A Peer-Reviewed Journal!“), Elyns Publishing Group (“Explore and Expand!“), American Research Journal (“An Academic Publishing House“), Scholarena (“With the support of strong Editorial Board we provide quality publication through our rigorous peer review process“), SmartSciTech (“A smart choice for publication!“), The Scientific Pages (“Science for All!” — “The journal offers fastidious emphasis to papers that assimilate the findings of academic research into realities of clinical practice“), theIRED (“Let your research do the talking!“), OpenAccessPub (“Invented for inventions!“), and Remedy Open Access (“An international, peer-reviewed, open access, mega journal“) from
I do not count Badgaiyan’s editorial roles with JSciMed Central [“Bringing Excellence to Open Access!”] among his qualifications, as JSciMed is simply a thinly-disguised metastasis of “spamming, shameless OMICS-wannabee mooks like Jacobs”. Jacobs, JSciMed, Juniper… I don’t know what it is with Hyderabad cyberscammers and initial-Js.
And then there was this instantiation of Betteridge’s Law –
– no jazzy logo on the PDF because the owner of “ESMED”, one Dylan Fazul, is a class act. There was no money for such frippery, as Fazul only charged the suckers $2900 for each extrusion through his spigots (also charging potential readers to ensure that there are none and the papers remain write-only). The paper itself is the usual self-advertising exercise in self-citation, calling for more application of Blum’s worthless GATTACA-wannabee gene test to children so their nascent addictive behaviours can receive remedial treatment with KB220Z™. The authors must have hoicked up the extra charge to make it ‘open access’. That’s what NIH grants are for.
But predatory journals without mockademic meetings are like a pint of Old Scythe-Sharpener without an akvavit chaser. So there are RDS conferences, organised through “United Scientific Group”… between the emphasis on prompt payment, and the relentless spam solicitations (which begin in true Hyderabad style with “Greetings for the Day!”), Neuroskeptic classed these as a commercial venture.
Madridge Publishers LLC boast addresses in California and Delaware but the company registry places them in Hyderabad. Known for “Empowering Scientific Idealogies“. They would like to extend into the more lucrative scamference grift, and Dr Badgaiyan is here to help them:
(where “always” means “since incorporation in 2015”), and if you believe that, there’s a Windows help-desk representative on the line, who has identified a serious security flaw in your home PC and would like to talk you through the process of fixing it.
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- As for ancestral engrams, here at Riddled Research Laboratory we have had success treating them with the ‘Psychoplasmics’ method pioneered by Dr Raglan… which is to say, we lock the customers in the Evolvamat and twiddle the dials until they catharsise the inherited neuroses physically, manifesting them as bodily extrusions. The Riddled laboratory is now overrun with these little embodied gremlins of neurosis, capering around underfoot and farting like imps in the margins of a medieval manuscript, but it is a small price to pay. And infinitely preferable to some $cientology gobshite with an e-meter.
- Title stolen from Tom Sharpe.
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On top of all of the the fake science, Kenneth Blum’s hair is definitely also not real.
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