Thursday, July 28, 2016

Deconstructing Danger, The Story of Mike Adams, The Health Ranger: Part 1

I thought that for one of these first few blog posts a good idea would be to let my audience know about my little ball of yarn, The Health Ranger.  The man behind the self aggrandizing pseudonym is actually Mike Adams, an ex-software company CEO whose advice should be labeled under the category "the idiots guide to experiencing natural selection first hand"  There are a number of articles out in publications and blogs about Adams that any reader should go to in order to better understand who he is and what he does.  Dr. David Gorski has written a number of good articles about Mike Adams an example of which can be found here.  Brian Dunning of, a terrific science education site, called Adams' main site,, "Without a doubt, the wrongest site on the internet"  But I figured a novel way to go about it is to dissect Adams' own biography on his web site  I encourage anyone who wants a good laugh to read it, as it reads like a child describing how great he is to his friends at summer camp.

On the home page of his personal site, the first thing a person sees is a photo slide show, showing several awards Adams has won for outstanding journalism, followed by (when I visited) a photo of Mike with the caption "Health Ranger calls for improved science education in America".  i can assure you all that the very last thing mike Adams wants is improved science education because it would drastically reduce his own income.  These awards for journalism were given at the Sacred Fire Of Liberty Gala.  A few google searches reveals that the event was sponsored by Emord & Associates, a law firm notorious for defending the fringe supplement and natural products industry.  They are also, according to The HuffingtonPost, attorneys for Mike Adams. 

Adams' biography is incredibly long and self aggrandizing, playing himself as a savior sent to save the world from just about everything.  It seems to have been written around 2012 because of some dates used, but for this article's sake, I'll assume not much has changed.  To start with, Mike calls himself an outspoken health advocate, award winning investigative journalist, and science lab director among other things.  I'll come back to the science lab director part later, but first I want to address the award winning journalist claim.  I am unaware of when and if Mike Adams currently is or ever was a client of Emord & Associates, however if, as the Huffington Post claims, Adam's is a client of Emord, and if he was their client before 2014 when he received his awards, then it certainly takes much of the wind out of those awards he prominently displays on his site.  Most of the other mentions of awards I was able to find were from small radical groups in the same vein as Adams.  Next, a list of several of Adams' websites,,,,, and are listed, leaving out others like and many others.  All of these web sites are continuously linked, citing each other as primary and secondary sources, to the point where it seems Mike has built the worlds largest ideological echo chamber completely online.

Biographical History

Next comes the biography, giving the usual date of birth and such, but also claiming that he:

 "scored in the 99.9th percentile across all U.S. students. He aced the English, Mathematics and

Science sections of college entrance exams, scoring 100% on 3 out of 4 sections earning numerous

offers of scholarships from various universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

(which he chose not to attend)."

Of course, who would ever choose to attend stupid old MIT?  That's where all the idiots go to school. The biography does not say where Adams actually went to college, but only that he has a bachelors in science from "a prominent university in the midwest".  It is somewhat strange that the man who loves to trumpet his achievements and awards does not say where he went to college or display his diplomas. The biography does say that Adams chose not to attend graduate school, begging the question how can he claim a scientific expertise in nutrition and health.  This section also describes Mike's experience as a CEO of what he merely calls a "software company".  For a very good detailed history of this company and what it did, read this excellent article in Health Wyze, part of a whole series on little Mikey.  What Mikes software company was best known for is developing ways to get spam email past spam prevention programs.


The next interesting section is on little Mikey's education.  Claims made here include that he started college before graduating high school, a practice common for many seniors at least in California where I grew up, that he studied many different topics (in other words a general lib arts education), and that he was offered a position as head of sound design for a theater department at a "large university", which of course he turned down.  Then come some of my favorite claims.  The bio says that he

"was found to extraordinarily gifted in music composition. He began studying piano and keyboard at

the age of five. He took on percussion studies at age six. By age twelve, he was creating elaborate

keyboard compositions and publicly performing at music talent competitions."

I have listened to some of Mikes music videos on his sites and I would describe him as anything but "extraordinarily gifted".  My little brother and i recently spent about half an hour on You Tube laughing our asses off at the amazing impression Mike does of a two-bit karaoke star (oh wait, those are his music videos).  I encourage anyone who is a fan of listening to a washed up backstreet boy with a head cold and a recent conversion to the church of what the fuckery to check it out.

Technical Projects

Continuing on are a series of claims that read as though the dorky kid in class is claiming he lost his virginity over the summer to a girl from out of town that you don't know, and he lost her number so don't even try to reach her guys. I'll go through them in order.

1.  Adams was accused by a teacher of practicing witchcraft for writing computer code on paper in 5th grade.
  •  I'll say this one could be true, I'm not going to do the math and figure out how old Mike was in fifth grade to see what computers were available at the time and make a guess at whether this story is a fabrication or not, but since he made his money in programming, I'll mostly believe this one. 

2.  In seventh grade Adams was able to solve a Rubik's cube in under a minute and had a record time of under 26 seconds. 
  •   Funny that Adams has never demonstrated this in any of his hundreds of YouTube videos, at least as far as i can find, but I invite him to demonstrate the ability and I will gladly say it is true.

3.  That at 14 Adams was a completely self taught computer programmer doing his own complex algorithms and developed one of the first "cannon wars' games for the Apple IIe.
  •   Again believable but not provable.

4.  That at 25 he built a program that could beat the stock market averages by 20%, of course he chose to pursue his software company making spam email instead.
  • This one makes no sense.  Being able to beat market averages by 20% is incredible and would have made him incredibly wealthy.  Either it is not true, Mike has very bad judgement, or he is a crazy super genius that was bored with stocks and wanted to make spam email software instead.  I can guess which one he would choose, but I'll keep my guess to myself.

5.  That at its peak his software was used by 100 fortune 500 companies
  •      Fine, I believe it, his terrible software company was successful after all.

6.  Some technical jargon about search engines and Natural News' popularity that the programmer friends and Redditers I asked all said is not that uncommon anyway

7.  Adams' web site publishes 10 million abstracts from the National Library of Medicine. 

  • In other words he thinks it is an amazing achievement to have access to part of what is already freely available through PubMed, located on his site.  Of, course his site doesn't get advertising revenue when people use PubMed, so making himself more money I guess is the accomplishment here.

8.  Adams created, which he calls "a database of hundreds of thousands of quotes from over 1,000 books on health and nutrition."

  • Out of context quotes from 1000+ books that likely had to Pass Adams' test before they were included.  As flawed as Google may be, it still provides amazingly better results than anything you will find on Naturalpedia.

9.  My favorite paragraph is the last one of the section, which reads as follows:

"Adams' technical specialty is in the use of computer science algorithms to parse written text. Over

the years, he has developed numerous algorithms for finding hidden signals in large bodies of text.

Adams possess the technology to monitor trends and make predictions about bank runs, epidemic

disease, race wars and other issues reflected in human communications on the 'net. To date, he has

not deployed such a technology and has not announced any plans to do so."

  • I swear that the first thing I thought of when I read this was a memory from kindergarten having someone say "well yeah I have superpowers, I just don't want to use them right now, because i'm tired".  But what if Adams really does have such technology? (Which I doubt).  Would it not be absolutely immoral for him to withhold life saving technology that could incredibly benefit the human race?  So either way, whether this is a lie, or a truth, i think all can agree Mike is an asshole because of it.


If there's anything we have learned about Mikey so far it is that he is a very special boy, that's really smart and had every idea first. 

So it comes to no one's surprise that Mike was the original inventor of a Google Glass-like device.  Unfortunately he just didn't have the money for the patent process in 1995 (after he has already started his software company). Today, the cost of a patent application is a $150 filing fee, attorneys fees, some drawing fees and others that attorney Gene Quinn estimates average to about $14,080.  That's no chump change, but for someone who at that time had their own software company and who claims to have already invented software at that time that could beat market averages by 20%, it probably should have been do-able.

And of course, Mikey is developing the world's greatest battlefield soldier active camouflage ever.  Because I'm sure Mike's superpower as a kid was always invisibility... and every other superpower (we all remember that kid).  Well Mike there's one thing we can agree on here, I also wish you could dissapear.

If you've made it this far CONGRATULATIONS.  I know this was a very long article, but I'm not joking when I say how long, redundant, and unbelievable his own Bio page is on his web site.  Please look for yourself at this link to the the Mike Adams Biography.  Unfortunately I'm not even done writing about this pile of slop, I'm barely even halfway, but for my readers enjoyment and my own sanity, I will stop for the time being until I can muster up the intestinal fortitude to write part two.  As always, thank you for reading, and science is power.

Update 7/29/16:  In this article I referenced an outfit called Healthwyze.  I should have mentioned that Health wyze is an alternative medicine and naturopathy outfit that supports many thing that have no scientific basis, the usual natural cancer cures etc.  However, much of the report they wrote on Adams is quite good journalism if you ignore the wacky health bits they claim.  I reached out to the editor to ask for an interview regarding their reporting on Mike and have not heard back yet, but hope I will get to hear more about why they wrote it and how they feel now, three years later.  Hopefully soon I'll have that story for my readers.

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