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Part IV: Fact distortion and mess-up (3517 查看)

November 13, 2012 11:57PM
【Note: The PDF file is more reader-friendly. Click the title to open it.】


Shamelessness Shouldn’t Be Anyone’s Nature
──An Open Letter to Nature (Part IV)


Xin Ge, Ph. D.

Columbia, SC, USA



Fact distortion and mess-up

The Nature editorial started his praise of Fang by this sentence:

“In 2000, Shi-min Fang started to expose these escapades in his New Threads website.”

The 13 words contain at least 3 factual errors: According to Fang himself, it was in 1998 when he initially “challenged official support of traditional Chinese medicine.” (Original Chinese: “在1998年,我已对中医有过系统的批评。” Fang Zhouzi. My relationship with TCM. 《我与中医的关系》). Also, Fang’s campaign against “bogus medicines” started as early as 1999, when he published an article in China Youth Daily entitled “Investigation on ‘Melatonin phenomenon’” (《“脑白金”现象网上辨真伪》). And, according to a statement issued by Fang to a court in 2005, the New Threads website does not belong to him:

“Beijing Xicheng District Court may not know the legal status of the New Threads website, mistaking it as my personal property, and wanting me to be directly responsible for the website. Although the website is managed by me, it is not my private property, it belongs to the New Threads Chinese Cultural Society, which was registered in 1996 as a corporation in the state of New York, the United States. I am merely its legal representative. If anyone wants to pursue the legal responsibilities of the New Threads, he should sue the New Threads Chinese Cultural Society, instead of its manager.” (Original Chinese: “西城区法院可能并不清楚新语丝网站的法律地位,误以为它是我的私人财产,要我个人对新语丝网站直接承担法律责任。新语丝网站虽然目前由我主持,但并不是我的私人财产,而是新语丝中华文化社的财产。新语丝中华文化社是1996年在美国纽约州注册的法人机构,我只是其法人代表。如果要追究新语丝网站的法律责任,应该起诉新语丝中华文化社,而不应该直接起诉其主持人。” Fang Zhouzi. A statement on Beijing Xicheng District Court’s accepting the lawsuit against Fang Zhouzi by the agent of “Jindi deposits.”关于北京西城区法院受理“金娣存款”代理人告方舟子一案的说明》).

The question is, how could Nature make such simple mistakes? Although I don’t have an affirmative answer to the question, my educated guess is that Nature just told the world what he was told by Fang and his follower “Dr.” Yuan Yue. Then, why would Fang and “Dr.” Yuan Yue lie about these small things? I do have the answer to this question: these small things hide big dirty secrets.

From republic to dictatorship: Fang and “his New Threads

In every sense, the New Threads website (hereinafter abbreviated as XYS) is indeed Fang’s website: he has the sole and absolute control of the website since its start in 1998, and he has been in charge of everything, especially its “The Newly Arrived,” which are articles Fang publishes on the home page regularly. So, how these articles “arrived” at Fang? Some of them were written by Fang himself, some were submitted to him, but a majority of them were collected or pirated by Fang from the internet. The fact is, XYS has been called one of the most infamous strongholds of piracy. (Original Chinese: “考察现在的网络书库,如中文书籍最著名的网站‘新语丝’、‘黄金书屋’之类,无一例外地都是盗版的大本营。” Yu Jingsong. e-Book and freedom of press. 俞敬松:《e-book与出版自由》,《计算机世界日报》2000.5.8). Of course, Fang would never publish anything he dislikes on his website. In his own words: “I have never published any articles I oppose without comments.” (Original Chinese: “我从来就没有不加评论地刊登过我所反对的文章。” Fang Zhouzi. Tian Song and Liu Bing’s “Goodbye” and Fang Zhouzi’s replys. 《田松、刘兵的“就此别过”和方舟子的答复》).

So how did XYS started? How did Fang gain the total control of the website owned by a “society”? It is a rather long story, but I will try to tell it as brief as possible. For those who are interested in details, please read Dr. Liao Junlin’s article: The complete story of Fang’s stealing of XYS. (《方舟子盗取新语丝始末》).

XYS started in February, 1994, as an online Chinese cultural monthly magazine, and Fang was one of many founders, who would rotate to edit the magazine. In 1996, XYS reached an agreement with a commercial online company, AAN, that the company would provide XYS $2,000 a year, and in return, XYS would acknowledge AAN’s sponsorship on its cover, and give AAN the exclusive rights to publish its multimedia edition. This agreement was approved by all of the editors of XYS, including Fang. In January 1997, it was Fang’s turn to be the XYS editor. Fang not only edited the text version of XYS, he also prepared the multimedia edition. However, AAN had a professional to prepare the multimedia edition, and most editors of XYS, except Fang, thought the professional did a better job than Fang did. Also, as one of them wrote to Fang: “People also concern about the copyright of the pictures you use.” However, Fang won’t listen to any of them. To him, either his way or no way. On Jan. 20, 1997, Fang sent a personal email to AAN to terminate the contractual relationship between AAN and XYS. The editors tried to resolve the matter by voting. Fang first tried to stop the voting, then threatened, “Don't try to use the ‘vote’ to push me. I don't accept this kind of ‘voting process’ and its result.” On Jan. 22, 1997, 7 XYS editors finally voted on the matter, five people voted Yes to AAN’s version, Fang voted No, another person voted a half “no,” so the matter seemed solved. However, In Jan. 25, 1997, Fang announced that he had already registered XYS in New York State as a not-for-profit cooperation, the board consisted of three people, Fang designated himself as the president. The other two board members almost never involved in the daily operation of XYS. Of course, all the editors who voted “Yes” were forced to leave XYS, and XYS practically became Fang’s personal property.

Indeed, Fang has been using XYS for his personal gain and using it as a weapon to attack his personal enemies. So, whenever he wants other people to believe that he has every right to use XYS for his personal gain, or he wants other people to attribute XYS's “achievements” to him, he would imply the New Threads is “his.” However, whenever he causes a trouble on XYS, like being sued in a libel lawsuit, the New Threads Chinese Cultural Society would be pushed out by Fang as a shield. That’s the Nature of the relationship between Fang Zhouzi and the New Threads. No wonder Nature was confused!

From money-making machine to anger outlet: Fang and TCM

As already mentioned in Part II of this letter, the biggest pseudoscientist in the world is Mr. He Zuoxiu, the physics academician. Ironically, pseudoscientist He has been one of the biggest figures among those who “stand up for science” in China. In 1995, Mr. He initiated an anti-pseudoscience movement in China, and since then, anti-pseudoscience has become one of the major themes in Fang's daily activities. In 1997, Fang engaged in a heated debate on the pseudoscience nature of TCM, and his major argument and conclusion was: “Even though TCM can cure diseases, you still cannot say it is not pseudoscience.” (Original Chinese: “中医能治病不能说就不是伪科学”. ) So, according to Fang, TCM is pseudoscience no matter what.

However, in an article published in 2000, Fang changed his position: he classified holism into four groups, scientific, pseudoscientific, anti-scientific, and non-scientific, and TCM was neither pseudoscientific nor anti-scientific, but merely non-scientific. (Fang Zhouzi. Review on reductionism and holism. 《还原主义和整体主义述评》). Obviously, non-scientific was a neutral term, and Fang seemed friendly or forgiven to TCM. But this friendship lasted only briefly. A few years later, TCM would be Fang’s worst enemy and best example of pseudoscience.

So, the question is, why did Fang give TCM a brief breathing time around 2000? The reason was, in 1998, right before Fang quitted his scientist career, he set up an online bookstore with someone in China, and selling and promoting TCM books became an important part of Fang's business. In 1999 alone, Fang personally recommended about 100 TCM books on the New Threads. (Yi Ming. Investigating Fang’s anti-TCM motives by looking at the history of Hanlin Online Bookstore.《从汉林网上书城的兴亡看方舟子反中医的动机》).


Fang recommended TCM books to the readers of the New Threads
The red underline shows Fang’s email address, the red box highlights the book The Grand Compendium of Materia Medica, which would be one of the most frequently and violently attacked targets by Fang. All the other books in the list are TCM books.



A webpage selling TCM supplements on the New Threads websites from January 2000 to January 2007
The red English is my translation, the red box in the left corner shows the New Threads logo. The webpage has been deleted by Fang, but is preserved on WaybackMachine website.


Then, why did Fang “challenge” TCM again? One reason was that there was not much interest in TCM books among the readers of the New Threads. In 1999, none of the TCM books recommended by Fang appeared in the Top 50 Best Selling Books on Hanlin, compiled and posted by Fang. So Fang gradually lost his interest in TCM books. Also, as mentioned before, Fang had to stop using the New Threads to promote his online bookstore in 2006, which directly led to the close of the bookstore. So, from 2006, Fang’s hatred toward TCM started venting out like flood.


Fang’s love and hate to TCM

The red bars indicate the number of commercial ad for Hanlin Online Bookstore appeared on the New Threads each year, the blue bars indicate the number of anti-TCM articles published on the New Threads and saved in the collection of “TCM Imposters”.


From threatening to attacking: Fang and melatonin

Fang likes to talk about his fight against “DNA supplements,” which started in 2001, but he seldom talks about his earlier fight against another “bogus medicines,” a brand of melatonin called “Brain Platinum,” which started in 1999. Brain Platinum was the bestselling supplement product in China around 2000. So, why doesn’t Fang want to mark his “standing up for science” one year earlier to 1999?

The reason for that was simple. On March 21, 2002, Beijing Morning Post published an article, The black March of Brain Platinum(《脑白金的黑色3月》). In the article, Mr. Shi Yuzhu, the owner of Brain Platinum, told reporter:

“In 1997, I went to Los Angeles, a company run by local Chinese wanted to cooperate with us to market melatonin. They told me that if I don’t cooperate with them, they would let me fail, at most let me survive 1-2 years. They mentioned a few reasons they could do that, one of them was a person named Fang……” (Original Chinese: “1997年我去过一次洛杉矶,当地华人办的一家公司想与我们合作脑白金。说要是不跟我们合作,我们会让你做不成,也就让你存在一两年。他们提到了几个让我做不成的理由,其中有一个就是方某某……” )

Fang’s attack on Brain Platinum started on Oct. 25, 1999, exactly 2 years later.

On the same day The black March of Brain Platinum was published, Fang posted his comments on the article, refuting the article paragraph by paragraph. However, surprisingly, he didn’t refute Mr. Shi Yuzhu’s story.

Now, since the secrets are out, it's time for Nature to reveal his source of information about Fang.



被编辑3次。最后被亦明编辑于08/05/2013 07:09AM。
附件:
打开 | 下载 - Shamelessness shouldn\'t be anyone\'s Nature IV.pdf (192.1 KB)
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