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71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The scare phenomenon
Booker and North posit a "scare phenomenon" by analysing a series of scares, starting with HIV/AIDS and salmonella in the 80s, though BSE, the Y2K bug and passive smoking amongst others, to the global warming scare of today. They identify a pattern that starts with scientists making exaggerated claims based on inadequate evidence, becoming so obsessed with their theories...
Published on 7 Dec 2007 by Nicholas J. R. Dougan

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The problem is this is pure hindsight...
Booker and North are to be applauded for their collection. This includes: the 'hygiene police', passive smoking, ritual child abuse and the anal dilation test, confusions with types of asbestos, and listeria. I liked the 'speed kills' and speed cameras chapter - most accidents aren't speed related (we're told). The authors regard lead in petrol as an example of a...
Published on 5 May 2009 by Rerevisionist


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5.0 out of 5 stars What a cover up, 28 Jan 2014
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Ann Isherwood "annisherwood" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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A really interesting read. The governments have made statements about things that they haven`t a clue about. This book will explain a lot of scams.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dangers of the media, 16 Oct 2012
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Bryan Walker - See all my reviews
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Brilliant book showing the power of the media and a frightening example of how 2 plus 2 make 5 !
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4.0 out of 5 stars The scare phenomenon, 25 Aug 2011
By 
RR Waller "ISeneca" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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The modern culture seems to demand someone to blame, compensation for effects, media attention and the notion that governments of every hue, simply by virtue of being in government, should be "in control"; increasingly, governments have slipped into that role as the media - for whom bad news is great copy, the worse the better - have donned the mantle of "seekers after truth", sensational or otherwise.
Twenty-four hour news at our finger-tips (literally) is what we have been led to expect; Booker and North show how this culture is seen nowhere better than in our responses to scares, scares which are now broadcast in minute detail by the investigative journalist who is "working on the public's behalf to bring the truth".
Scientists misread, politicians mispoliticise and the media broadcast and print all - including the misprunts and misreported while, at the same time accurate assessments are made and publicised of genuine scares. Generally, with the benefit of twenty-twenty hindsight, the authors analyse a wide range of such events - BSE, DDT, passive smoking, bird 'flu, Millennium Bug and so on - and show how expensive these have been in many different ways.
In an age when there is increasing public expectation of the "government's being in control" fanned by media attention, they build a startling picture. Readers may not agree with all their findings or approaches but they may be scared to death with what they reveal.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read. Timely and well-researched!, 19 April 2009
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J. Milton - See all my reviews
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Having lived through all the scares that are in this book I was intrigued about what this book had to say about each.

From the moment I picked it up I was gripped. Each scare is well researched - the authors having been personally involved in all the food scares in the book - and written.

The book really does reveal that each of the scares in the book, which at the time really were scares, were over-reactions triggered by the need for a good scare story to sell papers combined with a complete lack of rigour and objectivity by scientists and stupidity and panic by politicians.

It also deals with the biggest scare of them all - climate change. It deals with this current scare in a logical, objective way and is a necessary read for anyone who is concerned about the headlines about climate change in newspapers.

A fantastic read. The only gripe I have is the speed camera 'scare'. It's not really a scare and it just comes across as if the author was annoyed about recently being caught speeding by a camera. Ignoring this though, it is one of the best books I have read in a while. A real eye-opener! Highly recommended!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - 5 stars, 24 Feb 2009
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A keen reader "A reader" (London) - See all my reviews
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The authors have do an outstanding job explaining how a list of scares came about, who manipulated the scientific results and why.

My reaction to the book: I am relieved that my scepticism about GAG (the Gospel According to Gore) was not unfounded, and I am really scared to read about the power of political parties and action groups.

Meanwhile Al Gore continues to peddle the lies on his website. And the gullible media and the public think he speaks the truth.

But hey, the truth will out. Type in the words "global" "warming" and "hoax" into Google and you get 2 million results. Try it.

Balanced scientific facts and the cooling of the climate we have seen since 1998 will start to convince people that global warming is just another scare, like asbestos and others. I wonder what will be next? Aliens, I guess!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars POSSIBLY THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK WRITTEN IN THE LAST 100 YEARS, 13 July 2008
This book should be compulsory reading for every politician, national or local, and every public servant. It is a horrifying book that describes in accurate detail how those in authority lie, deceive and cheat the very people who vote them into power. The sheer amount of money that has been squandered in this way would have been enough to feed everyone on this planet for the next hundred years!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS TOPS, 4 Jun 2009
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This book is a well-researched study of the "Hype phenomenon" presenting a number of cases: a fine piece of information for responsible citizens who do not want to be fooled by politicians and media. The chapter about the Climate Hype is especially worth reading - including the pages on the windmill-hype.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Deniers" Are Often Right!, 4 May 2010
By 
Ian Millard - See all my reviews
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This is, arguably, one of the most important books of the past few years. The authors detail a number of scares and scams which have been pushed by politicians, bureaucrats and, especially, self-interested or unbalanced "scientists" in the past couple of decades. They cover, inter alia, bird flu, dangerous eggs. CJD, foot-and-mouth, "satanic child abuse" hysteria, man-made "global warming" etc. Excellent throughout. It gripped me from the start.

Reviewing in detail just a few of these, one that struck me most forcibly was the "satanic child abuse" hysteria. I recall that when I returned to the UK after living for a while in the USA in the early 1990's, this was in full swing. What frightened me (despite my not being a parent) was how easily quite intelligent and educated people believed the most arrant nonsense. A well-regarded fellow barrister told me, at the bar of one of the pubs by the Inns of Court that children were being born, never registered and were, in fact, being bred for abuse and satanic sacrifice! He seemed to really believe it. He also thought that it was circumstantial evidence of guilt that, in one of the Orkney cases, the families involved had relocated as a loose group, to a remote island. since when, in English law, has relocation to another part of the country, whether in a group (I think that was not so, anyway) or individually, been any evidence of crime? Incredible.

The part played by a few unbalanced individuals within charities and social work arenas is well detailed. In Middlesborough, two people, "Dr" Marietta Higgs and some, probably quite perverse, other "doctor" called Wyatt seem to have caused the whole problem. One of them went on a course to learn some crazy American technique for (supposedly) examining children naked and so easily spotting "abuse". Children were put through a humiliating and degrading conveyor belt examination process. One six year old recalls Wyatt shouting at her, while Higgs is said to have had a nasty expression. These people were the real "abusers". What happened to them? Are they still officially "doctors", very well-paid members of our sainted NHS?

It seems that a lot of the trouble was caused by a relatively small number of such, shall we say..."odd"... "experts", who enjoyed exercising the power and influence which, otherwise, they never had had and never afterwards would have. I recall reading, much later, an account by some of the persecuted Orkney families, who recalled a woman called McLean, from a child protection charity, an unpleasant and enormously fat woman whose attitude was aggressive and bullying. People do not think of that when they put their pennies in the collection box to "help children" or "prevent abuse" etc...The entirely false, faked "eminence" of these "child experts"seems to have blinded many courts and even such luminaries as Mr. Justice Kay into believing the most unlikely rubbish, akin, as the authors say, to the witch trials of previous centuries. Ironically, the most skeptical seeem to have been the ordinary police. The ordinary copper cannot believe the sort of evidence given by the children who talked about satanic rituals and witches flying on broomsticks ...and the like.

The families had children dragged away from their homes screaming, put through a secret police type of interrogation, alone with their persecutors until they gave the testimony the questioners wanted. In the UK, in the late 20th century...

Likewise, in respect of the global warming and health scares, the damage has often been done by scientists pronouncing outside the area of their specific expertise. The "white coat" phenomenon is well and truly alive in the UK and had dazzled some of our most superficially clever but really quite mediocre politicians, including Al Gore, Tony Blair, the Milibands et al. And who can forget little Nicky Clegg, currently enjoying absurd temporary celebrity, who talks about "climate change deniers" etc. His own knowledge? Zero.

The authors make the point that a lot of the data about man-made "global warming", "carbon emissions" etc, is false, sometimes directly faked and one of the main centres of falsity is...the Uni. of East Anglia Climate Change department...yet this book was published well BEFORE the latest set of scandals involving that same institution.

The connection between the "global warming" narrative and the "Holocaust" narrative is made, though shied away from by the authors. There are, however, marked similarities: the bizarre and often provably untrue claims: lampshades and furniture covered with human --Jewish-- skin; vast amounts of hair shaved off Auschwitz inmates, not for health reasons, but to stuff Wehrmacht overcoats or cushions! Well, of course, the German Army and SS would love to wear overcoats stuffed with lice-infested human/Jewish hair! What rubbish, but many still believe it! They go to the grisly Auschwitz theme park, see rooms full of human hair and swallow the story whole! The Brothers Grimm had a better story (hair spun into gold, in Rumpelstiltskin). It is often the small details that trip up the lies and scams.

The authors point out that some "global warming" fanatics even want to have "Nuremberg" trials for those who "deny" their accepted "climate change" narrative. Amazing and it gets worse and worse as the intellect is left behind.

The authors also make the point that some possible sources of death and destruction are scarcely noted by the mass media, such as possible nuclear warfare and, also, the loss of bees in the world. The latter would lead to the death of all human life 5 years later, as Einstein opined. That seems to me to be a REAL threat of which to be scared!

This book is stupendous and should be read by every politician and, I should add, every citizen in the UK and elsewhere.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, 15 May 2008
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This should be required reading for every voter! I've always thought some of these fiascos defied common sense but hadn't realised just how far down this road the lunatics running the asylum had taken us!
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How did this happen?, 24 May 2010
By 
Mark C "Aviator" (Preston, Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought this book at the same time as AirCon (reviewed separately)
I had known about it since I read a review by Clarkson some years ago in the ?SundayTimes?

The book deals with a series of "scares" which have cost the taxpayer literally billions of pounds.(not to mention may people's lives!!)
Salmonell in eggs, BSE, SARS, Asbestos, Dioxins... The list is huge.
I all comes down to the self interest/aggrandisment of scientists "advising" the Government, and a combination of ignorance and fear of blame in those who over-react to this advise.
The opportunistic seizing of each opportunity by Brussels to increase its control and influence is breathtaking, and it is horrifying how much sovereignty we have alreay ceded to the EuroBeaurocrats.
The dynamics of a typical "scare" are cleverly analysed, and most "scares" include a section showing how government has managed to wriggle out of responsibility once it becomes obvious what a mess they have made of things yet agin!!

It's a book which will by turns make you angry and depressed. It is also a very good argument for distrusting ANYTHING told to us by our "leaders", and for resisting any attempt by them to interfere more in your life

thoroughly recommended..
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