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I get asked about Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski quite frequently (more than I'd care to admit). I remain skeptical of him and look for any rational evidence to support his claims that his cancer treatment works despite him being heavily criticized by mainstream experts as being a quack and a fraud. In the meantime, someone did show me something interesting tonight.
Apparently, the Harris County Appraisal District publishes their work online as public records. We get a quick peek at what sort of living conditions Dr. Burzynski enjoys. Bear in mind that Dr. B. also owns his own clinic and pharmaceutical operation while simultaneously claiming that he works in wartime conditions (lacking resources to adequately operate).
Alright, so I have Dr. Burzynski's address. We'll come back to that later. For now, let's look at the results of his home's appraisal. His home (building only) is actually pretty damn big: 14,495 square feet. The entire lot takes up over 453,000 square feet. Just to put that into perspective, an average single family suburban home with a house and yard here in Louisiana is between 1,000 and 5,000 square feet. A 14,000 sq ft home is a borderline mansion.
Now, I could be reading this wrong. What do I know about appraisal records? Still, it looks as though Dr. Burzynski's home was appraised at almost $6 million. For a man who claims that he can't get through his clinical trials because no one is giving him any money, his home is sure worth a small fortune.
Maybe I'm reading the document wrong. We have Dr. B's address, so let's take a peek at his home. Wow! That looks like the gate to Wayne Manor. Is that a security guard station? Maybe this is just a ritzy gated community. Let's zoom a little closer.
As we can see, the initials "SRB" are welded into the wrought-iron gate. It appears that this is, indeed, Dr. Stanislaw R. Burzynski's home. Now, I am willing to be called thick-headed by saying that I am not yet convinced he is definitely a fraud, but I find myself increasingly skeptical that the man is too broke to fund his research properly when his living standards are what many of us might consider the American dream.
UPDATE May 21, 2013
I'm normally not one to goof off on Twitter. I have an account and was once in the habit of tweeting my blogs as I wrote them. I almost never read tweets that are sent to me. However, back when I originally wrote this blog, a supporter of Burzynski apparently didn't like my content. I didn't see their reply until today after I downloaded the Twitter app on my phone. Despite the comment being over a year old, I am willing to reply.
Does the term "excluded middle" mean anything to you? I am not asking the man to live in a shack. I know plenty of doctors and they neither live in a shack nor are they living behind a monogrammed iron gate with a personal guard out front. My point was that Burzynski doesn't get to cry about being too broke to afford proper peer review and clinical trials while living in a house that is worth $6 million. If he were truly passionate about his medicine and saving lives, he would sell the mansion, move into a cheaper but adequate home, fund his research properly, defeat the skeptics in the academic arena, make more profit, and move back into his stupid mansion. By going straight for the mansion now, one could suspect that Burzynski doesn't anticipate making more profit on the other side of peer review. Now, why is that?
Either the man is not as passionate about saving lives as he is about improving his own or he is lying about the quantity of resources available to him in order to dismiss critics demanding that he prove his medicine works through the appropriate academic channels. No matter how you slice it, he is dishonest about one or the other and, therefore, lacks credibility. That is why skeptics like me are on his back. He is fantastic at accumulating anecdotal testimony that isn't worth squat, but falls on his face when it comes to objective and independent repetition of his work. I won't say that he is definitely a fraud, but his modus operandi is comparable to others who definitely are frauds. He comes across as a snake oil salesman, so it would behoove him to stop doing what the snake oil salesmen do.
On the subject of stalking, cry me a river. A person's home address is considered public information (as is the above appraisal record) and one doesn't need to "stalk" to get that. If that alone makes me a "psychopath," I wonder what your basis for comparison is.