Joseph Mercola Really Hates His Fans

Another day, another alt-med wackadoo revealing that there’s no reality to the image they try to promote: an image of a loving, wise, holistic healer who cares more about you than that cold doctor in Big Pharma’s pocket. Remember the way the anti-vaccination crowd called Steve Novella, Paul Offit and others baby-eaters? And the way they targeted sexist language at women like Amy Wallace, branding them as whores? Well, now it’s Dr. Joseph Mercola calling a female skeptic “fat” and “Big Pharma’s wet dream.” You don’t say!

Dr. Rachael Dunlop, aka Dr. Rachie, is composed not of atoms but of newly discovered awesatoms. This means she has the power to drive pseudoscientists absolutely batshit nuts by doing nothing more than winning an award for people who can type interesting thoughts in fewer than 140 characters.

Last week, @DrRachie was in second place to a different anti-vaxx quack in the #health category of the ShortyAwards. Word went out amongst us skeptics and she quickly shot into first. The quack and/or the quack’s followers then cheated, creating false Twitter accounts in an attempt to catch up. They failed, and the quack was disqualified.

That’s where Dr. Mercola came into the picture. He sent out a Facebook message to all his followers asking them to vote for him, saying:

Dr. Joseph Mercola

Need Your Help to Squash Drug Company Pushers

An arrogant group of science bloggers that have vilified me for the past few years have started a campaign to have an Australian shill to win a health award on Twitter. This overweight non-physician has arrogantly bashed nearly every alternative therapy and encourages reliance on drugs.

She is Big Pharma’s wet dream. If you want a real laugh to see just how ridiculous some of her positions are you can go to her site


His followers got in on the action with gems like Yanna Marshall writing “pretty sure that would be Dr Rachie or as she’s known [sic] to her boyfriend Dick Saunders, Rachel [sic] Dunlop. The tubby white coat wearing [sic] show woman [sic], plagued by cold sores on her mouth.”

Again: nice!

Mercola’s vitriol was apparently all for nought, since Rachael is still kicking ass in the #health category (vote for her if you haven’t yet!) and he was even disgusting his own followers:

from Jacqueline Newing
I’m also surprised by the amount of energy going into this … and by the way it’s degenerating into a name-calling contest. Careful, Dr M – if you belittle overweight people like that, you might find that those of us who are looking to you for answers decide to go elsewhere – this post just doesn’t sound the way I’ve come to expect you to sound! You are generally the voice of reason. Have you lost it?

Yes, Jacqueline! He lost it long ago, but thankfully it looks like you haven’t. Rachael got a screenshot of other irate former fans.

Considering these results, Mercola had a change of heart. He’s just posted:

I regret having stooped to their level of name calling and wasting any time and energy engaging in this matter in the first place.

Their tactics are nothing new.

I am accustomed to this type of opposition and have been ridiculed for many years.

Wait. What just happened there? I just looked back over Rachael’s Twitter timeline and she never once engaged in name-calling. Hell, I can’t even find an example of her calling him a quack, which further illustrates her awesatom-ness, or at least her eternal patience.

I guess Mercola can look forward to at least a few more years of ridicule before he hopefully fades to obscurity. Of course, the ridicule will have little to do with his appearance and everything to do with his promotion of dangerous quackery.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Wait, why does he bash her as being a “non-physician”? Seems kinda weird since:
    a: As near as I can determine, Dr Rachie is a real medical doctor
    b: You’d think that, given their non-belief in scientific medicine, alt-med enthusiasts would think that not being a physician would be a qualification for their respect.

  2. She isn’t a physician, she is a Ph.D. A scientist, and she is a relentless advocate for “real” medicine.

    Too often people look at alternative therapies as “inexpensive” solution to the rising health care costs- as opposed to something that simply doesn’t work and is a waste of money. Dr. R is amazing-

  3. @TerrySimpson: And it’s not like alt-med companies aren’t making any money. Everyone please be shocked if these quacks get a little testy when people start cutting into their sweet,sweet cash flow with a healthy dose of truth. “Fatty took my lunch bag!” Nice.

    As someone suggested elsewhere, they should accept homeopathic payments – just as good as the dirty money issued by Big Government.

  4. Wait. What just happened there? I just looked back over Rachael’s Twitter timeline and she never once engaged in name-calling. Hell, I can’t even find an example of her calling him a quack, which further illustrates her awesatom-ness, or at least her eternal patience.

    When woo-meisters have already indulged in so many delusions, can’t be hard to add a wholly manufactured victim complex.
    Probably didn’t even require the energy of one bottle of all-natural organic homoepathic guru-blessed healing-intent-purpose-charged holy quantum water.

  5. If you ask me, Mercola really ought to have played up the Australian angle. For example, he could have speculated that Dr. Rachie sleeps in a pool of vegemite every night and only communicates through interpretive didgeridoo music. Who would vote for a weirdo like that?

  6. @Rebecca: I’ve been reading a number of articles and papers on clinical narcissism lately because of a few recent clients. It appears pretty clear that many of the doctors and celebrities who are into the woo are pathologically narcissistic. And narcissists do not deal with challenges to their wonderfulness very well at all, and always blame others when confronted about their own shortcomings.

  7. Further down the facebook page, he claims that Vioxx has killed 60,000 people. Wow, would think that might make the headlines.

  8. @James Fox: I’d have to agree with you there. Mercola is definitely a narcissist. I was reading about his Emotional Freedom Technique and it made me want to spit out my pasteurized, homogenized milk (something he is fervently against). It is so similar to Eye Movement Desensitization – which has been so thoroughly debunked that it appears in intro psychology textbooks as an example of pseudoscience – it borders on the ridiculous. This guy is just one of many woomeisters lurking on the internetz who are making tons of money off of the gullible and credible.

    Here’s a little quote taken from a 2006 Businessweek article about Mercola:

    “Mercola gives the lie to the notion that holistic practitioners tend to be so absorbed in treating patients that they aren’t effective businesspeople. While Mercola on his site seeks to identify with this image by distinguishing himself from “all the greed-motivated hype out there in health-care land”, he is a master promoter, using every trick of traditional and Internet direct marketing to grow his business. (…) He is selling health-care products and services, and is calling upon an unfortunate tradition made famous by the old-time snake oil salesmen of the 1800s.”

    Says it all.

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