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Saturday 26 September 2015 Second letter to Mr. Panesar forum owner.

Mr. Panesar replied to my first open letter here. His letter is reposted here in quote marks and italics. My reply.

Dear Mr. Panesar

Thank you for your swift reply to my first letter.

At the time of writing this letter, I have two lines of thought. Do you have any idea what has gone on at your forum for years? and if not, as Captain of the ship, you are highly negligent. If you do know what has gone on, you are highly complicit in the lamentable situation observed by so many for years. What ever way you look at it, a very sad state of affairs indeed. Now I will answer the points raised in your letter.

“Thank you for your letter. I appreciate you taking the time to outline your concerns. But frankly, your complaints are based on a deliberate misinterpretation of what we do. The Diabetes Forum has played a key part in the low-carb movement: the community was the driver, and the forum the platform.”

No misinterpretation, I have commented on what I seen on your forum with my own eyes, as have countless others. We have the screenshots and links that prove the dishonesty, bullying, banning and duplicity that is the cornerstone of how your forum operates. Yes the community is the driver, not you, not your biased and corrupt mods. You have provided a platform, so have I, big deal. I don’t think you realise, it is the forum members who are the collateral, the real value, not the providers of platforms, the admin or the mods. It is the members who have provided 99% of the content, and they work for love, they work for free, not profit or self aggrandisement as you clearly do, as witnessed here.

A classic example of how your forum operates. Within recent days, one of the hardest working, most honest Lady I have ever known died. Her name was Hana, she posted over 8,000 posts on your forum. She helped people for years and was a total asset to the diabetes community. A great deal of her time at the forum, was spent fending off attacks and ridicule from the ‘usual suspects’. Your mods, their multiple accounts stooges and the 'protected ones'. (Multiple accounts are encouraged by your Admin as can be seen here.) What sickening hypocrisy we have been treated to by some of the ‘usual suspects’ who offer condolences after her sad and untimely death, yet done their best to make her forum life a misery at times. Hana never gave up, she worked to help others until the end. She kept her dignity, and never ever rose up, to the bait offered by people not fit to clean her shoes.

“You accuse us of deliberately silencing the low-carb voices on the forum as part of a collusion with pharmaceutical companies. As even the most cursory glance at our website shows, this is completely untrue. Here are just a few examples:”

I have not said you collude with pharmaceutical companies. I have merely quoted your words and those of Sales Director Barry Summers as seen here and here. You have made no secret of the fact you are looking for partnerships with pharma companies, you have also made no secret of the fact forum members are available for drug trials. You have silenced hundreds possibly thousands of low carbers by banning, thread locking, post deletion and post alteration. This I stated in my first letter to you, which you clearly chose to ignore. But the truth cannot be denied, even though you may choose to deny the facts staring you in the face.

"David Unwin publishes more evidence of low-carb diet benefits in the BMJ

“Ignore the guidelines, eat low-carb and high-fat”: Dr. Sarah Hallberg on how to reverse type 2 diabetes

Reversing type 2 diabetes low-calorie vs. low-carbohydrate

Low-carb diets and power of our community

“Every last shred of evidence”: Why low-fat dietary guidelines should never have been introduced"

Interesting you should list David Unwin's work and contribution to your forum. When he joined your forum, he was met with derision and ridicule from the ‘Usual suspects’ chief bully boy Sid Bonkers, aka The Enforcer, who said “Forgive me if am wrong but I smell a low carb troll here” he said this here, he went on to make other highly antagonistic and derogatory posts. The posts still stand. Nothing unusual for Sid, he has got away with this sort of behaviour for years, because he is one of the protected 'usual suspects' Dr. Unwin has stayed, many would have left, so many have, after receiving the Bonkers welcome pack and third degree. 

Incidentally the ‘usual suspects’ are a small group of low carb antis, who have been responsible for almost all the thread locking, banning, misinformation, and trouble on your forum. Some are ex mods fired in disgrace and some are present mods who make up the bulk of the wreckers and miscreants. I cannot argue that low carb features on your forum, let's face it, almost all the success is about low carb. How can you not pay at least lip service, when so many world renowned medical professionals are coming on board, and supporting low carb for not only diabetics, but for almost all.

The diet your anti low carbers cling to, as promoted by the NHS,DUK, BDA et al has failed diabetics totally and countless millions of others. The antis like to tell all, the low carb diet has not been proved in the long term. I put it to you and them, the diet has been used for around three million years. Man did not evolve on Mars Bars, Cornflakes, Coca-Cola and low fat yogurt. It was meat, fish, fat, vegetation, berries, nuts and seeds. Exactly the diet us low carbers eat and recommend, it's been one tough gig on your forum for so many. The low carbers have been many, the antis so few, but of course the antis have the ban button the delete button, and their posts stand, while many thousands of the low carbers posts have been deleted.

“We’ve published a book in association with Dr. David Cavan, head of Policy and Programmes at the IDF, on reversing type 2 diabetes. The book fully supports a carb-restricted diet.”

I look forward to reading it.

“We’ve published low-carb meal plans (and haven’t charged a penny for them) and thousands of low-carb recipes. We’re working on three projects (the details of which, for now, are top secret) focused on food.”

There are countless free recipes out there on the internet, including the Low Carb Diabetic sites. 'Free low carb meals plans book'. Is that the digitised book your members have to give huge amounts of their personal information to you to get? as seen here. and I presume this information provides sales mail shot and guinea pig lists for the big pharma trials that earns you money.

“The forum is full of low-carb success stories. You’ll notice that none of them have been banned or otherwise silenced.”

Completely wrong again. I know of many low carbers who posted in the low carb success thread including me, posts deleted and banned. With respect, have you spent more than a modicum of your time actually reading your own forum? I think not, if you had, you would never have had the audacity to make the comments you have made in your letter. Let alone pulling the character assassination job you tried on me.

“We have been featured in the Daily Mail, Mirror and a number of magazines where the diabetes community forum is referred to as the place individuals first find out about the benefits of low carb. Real people saying that if it wasn’t for the community and understanding the impact of food, their health wouldn’t have improved. The community is absolutely fantastic – propagating positive health outcomes through engaging.”

Agreed, but it is the low carb members who worked so hard to promote the low carb way, not you or your back-room staff, and certainly not the 'usual suspects' who have worked over-time to de-rail threads and make so many members life hard work to say the least. The low carbers have succeeded, despite the onslaught of counter attacks, by a few dozen people over the years. Very often aided and abetted by mods with a very dubious and tainted agenda. Can you remember who started the low carb way on your forum? Fergus, Dr. Katharine Morrison, Dennis, Timo, et al, all have walked, all worn down by the 'usual suspects'.

“I have a personal connection to all this: type 2 diabetes runs in my family. My grandmother passed away from heart complications. When my grandfather was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I supported him in reducing his carbohydrate intake. His doctor is amazed by his blood glucose and HbA1c results.”

I am sorry to hear that, as I have said publicly I come from a family with four generations of type two diabetics. Chuffed to read your grandfather is doing well by reducing the carbs. Frankly I have never heard of a diabetic who did not improve his control by reducing carbs. As you say his Doctor is amazed at his HbA1c results. It really does make you wonder, why the low carbers have had such a tough time on your forum, does it not? Of course, there is very little money to be made by the heavy promotion of the low carb way. Big pharma becomes very nauseous and weak at the knees, every time they hear the words low carb I am told.

“Safe to say, we support low-carb. I support low-carb. But it doesn’t work everyone, and our project has never been about aggressively insisting on a particular lifestyle. The Forum, first and foremost, is a place of support, where members can respectfully and kindly debate diabetes management. We encourage these debates, but we demand that they be conducted decently. Health is a deeply sensitive issue, and we won’t tolerate bullying.”

I think I have covered the points raised in that paragraph.

“Which, unfortunately, is what much of your behaviour constituted. We saw the relentless trolling, bullying and victimisation of the diabetes community that you and your friends have spearheaded. I have consoled many members of the team and fielded calls from at least 15 people in the last 18 months alone, all of whom felt harassed and threatened by your community. Most of them agree with low-carb in principle.”

I make no apology for lampooning and shining the spotlight on bullies, liars, and treacherous people. If you have consoled members of your team and at least 15 people over the last 18 months, why has it taken so long for you to make your initial contact to me via twitter on Monday? My name, mug shot and contact details have been out there for years. I'll hazard a guess why you contacted me Monday, because you now realise far too many people, some in high places with great influence are reading my words. Not only reading them re-tweeting them to thousands of their followers. The duplicity and corruption at your forum is becoming widely known. Could you be on a damage limitation mission?

"You and your friends publicly “outed” Giverny, our forum moderator, because she didn’t align with your paradigm and attempted to troll her on Twitter simply to ‘get off’. You did the same to Ben when he was Forum Moderator. Your blog is littered with hatred and contempt for those that don’t share your agenda. Moderators have resigned because they couldn’t handle the harassment that ensued with supporting a moderate view to diet. You repeatedly victimise diabetes forum members who don’t share your world view. In 2014, you wrote a series of spoof blog posts about how wearing a turban would help improve blood sugar levels. As a Sikh, it was upsetting and insensitive; the behaviour of a man more interested in doling out personal abuse than having a constructive debate. The IP addresses were from the same pool as other accounts you had created. We took legal advice. We had a strong case to impose a cease and desist, but we didn’t pursue it: it’s a distraction and we don’t want to engage with it."

The outing of Giverny as you call it was a link to her then open twitter page. I will tell you why that was done. At the time she was the administrator on your forum. I am sure she is a very nice and honourable young lady. But a non diabetic, and clearly from her twitter page, far too young and inexperienced to be the admin of "Europe's Largest Diabetes Forum" I can assure you it was not to "get off" as you have stated. The Sikh spoof post was taken directly from your forum. I never ever wrote that and can prove it. Although we did take a copy and paste to illustrate the lunacy going on at your forum.

There can be no greater illustration proving how sound and vital information has been suppressed on your forum than this. A text book example of the 'usual suspects' at their most dangerous and devious best. As posted on this blog here.

A few days ago, the email 'newsletter' from flagged a very recent study which showed that Type 2 Diabetics taking insulin had up to 3 x the mortality rate of Type 2s taking, for example, metformin. The authors also flagged the mechanisms by which the higher mortality rates were induced by the action of insulin (i.e. they were linking the higher risk of death directly with taking insulin not with, for example, any differences in risk due to the existing health profile of people likely to be offered insulin).

This information was absolute dynamite, when you consider what sort of type two diabetic would be likely to be an insulin user. Clearly this would be a type two diabetic, who had failed to gain control of blood glucose, by other methods or non insulin medications. Not of course the typical low carbing diabetic. It is a fact the more carbs in the diet the higher the BG for diabetics, hence many need injected insulin. The low carb antis were not slow in realising the ramifications of this new information.

A full blitzkrieg was mounted, by the same wreckers and thread lockers, who have operated the same way for years. The same people that say they have nothing against low carb, while lying through their teeth. The same people that worked overtime to stifle yet another debate and get the thread locked. The thread did get locked by Giverny, the non diabetic forum administrator. Who stated “Thread closed. This isn't the place to be scaremongering and dishing out potentially dangerous information. The thread can be read here.

You accuse me of bullying, yet have the effrontery to make veiled accusations of me being a racist, a religious hater and a stalker of a woman much younger than my daughters. BTW I was contacted by the Coventry based Police, evidently no case to answer. Rather slippery of your outfit don't you think, when you could have contacted me direct. Tell me is there a reason you never return my telephone calls or reply to the messages left with your staff?

“Beyond this, what exactly are you accusing us of? Yes, we connect patients to clinical trials – in order to not only provide a very valuable service but also to generate revenue – which is significantly reinvested into worldwide education, apps and management services. Yes, we are (or were) a start-up. Yes we’re interested in hearing from insurance companies – but you don’t understand the motive. We want to help (and we are!). We have evidence to suggest that using services such as the diabetes forum or Diabetes PA helps improve control – and that in turn can reduce insurance premiums. It’s for the benefit of the community.”

Save it for the advertising agencies and spin merchants. I have no problem with an honest profit and a business making a return on investment. But like pretty much everything in this life, it's not what you do, it's how you do it. I think I have made it manifestly clear, I don't like the way you do it. You are running an exploitation outfit in my opinion. Other great forums do not make the harvesting of members information, the selling of products, services and drug guinea pig trials their raison d'ĂȘtre. Needless to say, low carbers need none of the aforementioned. 

"When I was presenting the benefits of the diabetes community and the Hypo Awareness Program, having been nominated for Social Enterprise of the Year, and I was asked ‘why is your profit so low?’ The answer I have to the interviewer is the same I will give to you: because profit is not our motive."

Please forgive me, I have skipped most of the paragraph that included the above. Years ago when your forum was in it's infancy, Major Banks and big company advertising was flashing across your masthead, now each time I check, it's the win a free meter competition, no one ever lost. The meal guide features very heavily, but no big name companies. Do you ever wonder why that is? could it be the movers and shakers realise of the 200k members you constantly talk about, most left a long time ago, could it be because less that 1% of the forum members are regular posters. One thing cannot be denied, the forum offers no finer master-class in potential customer alienation. It is very clear to see why, if you take the time to look.

"I ask you to sincerely engage with what we’re achieving, rather than picking fights on spurious grounds. Look at what we and the diabetes community has done over the past three years. 10 years ago, the prospect of reversing type 2 diabetes was implausible. Now it’s very much a reality."

Nothing spurious about my accusations, I have talked fact. We have the links, the copies of threads, the screen shots. I will say much more at a later date, I expect many of the readers of this letter lost interest or nodded off a long time back. If you are still with me anyone, I admire your stamina and fortitude, bet most of you are low carb high fat, with that long range built in keto adapted fuel tank. You talk of three years, Fergus showed us the way over seven years ago at your forum, long before it went downhill, and Dr Richard Bernstein has been preaching the good word for decades.

"As always, you’re welcome to come to our offices for a chat. We have nothing to hide – we’re improving the health outcomes of those who engage with us – and we’re proud of that."

Sounds very cosy, but I will pass on that. For me that's a 200 mile four hour round trip, and my experience so far trying to track you down, has been about as successful as an NHS diet. I am proud of what I am doing, I was born to do what I have done, for fellow diabetics for over seven years. But I never forget, I am only a messenger, and so very fortunate, to work with an incredible team of people. People whose only agenda is to help and inform others. With them with me I cannot fail.

I look forward to your reply, I hope we can move forward. I hope we can progress matters. Hope is what we sell Mr. Panesar, hope and sound information, and we have never received a penny.

Yours sincerely

Eddie Mitchell


jo said...


Oh and I read your reply all the way through to the end. :D

Jo Catza.

paul1976 said...

Hi Jo!

Bravo indeed!! :)

I enjoyed reading this reply immensely and can't wait for Mr. P's reply!

Nice one Eddie!



Anonymous said...

Hanadr has been removed from the flog members list. So disrespectful.

chris c said...

He will have difficulty believing that was not an APPALLING display of confrontation and attacks on David Unwin so typical of his mods (anyone else think at least some of the anonymice are mods?) and anti-low-carbers.

Of course he may choose to delete the thread and claim it never existed, or he may choose to believe it when his mods inform him that Eddie was in fact both David Unwin and all the anonymous posters.

It all depends whether he has any integrity.

Anonymous said...

"I have consoled many members of the team and fielded calls from at least 15 people in the last 18 months alone, all of whom felt harassed and threatened by your community. Most of them agree with low-carb in principle"

In principle, I do wonder what that means?
Are your contact details out there Eddie, I thought they were. Yes they are, I have checked.

Perhaps Mr Panesar could have made the effort to contact you for 'this chat' a lot earlier?

Anonymous said...

Han has not been removed from the notable members list.

Lowcarb team member said...

Anonymous said...
I have consoled many members of the team and fielded calls from at least 15 people in the last 18 months alone, all of whom felt harassed and threatened by your community. Most of them agree with low-carb in principle"

The total of 15 pales into insignificance with the hundreds that have been harassed, bullied and banned by his forum mods, he claims to have the biggest forum in Europe but it must be also one of the most heavily censored too not a great advert for freedom of speech is it.


chris c said...

I've read a whole pile of diabetes (and other) forums over the years, and posted on several of them, and I can honestly say NONE have such heavy handed trigger happy moderators, OR so many posters being banned. Not even the ADA Forum, where most of the posters are low carbers. The only person I can recall being banned from there was actually their equivalent of Sid Bonkers, a militant anti-low-carber who deliberately riled numerous other posters. They let him return several times before eventually showing him the door permanently.