Can we talk about....Ivor Cummins et al?


#1

Hi all, I’ve been hooked into the keto community for a few years now and as many of us do I follow some of the community ‘spokespeople’, so to speak, on various social media platforms, people like Ivor Cummins, Zoe Harcombe etc.

Over the past year I noticed something I thought was odd, I started getting what seemed like strange ‘recommended tweets’ and the like, basically it seemed as though I’d somehow fallen into a world where these social platforms thought I was some kind of new world order/covid/anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist and were recommending lots of content to suit. Odd, considering I’ve never held these views or sought out these communities but interesting to get an outside in view of the echo chamber.

On closer inspection I now realise that I’m pulled in by association because of people like Ivor, who are re-tweeting increasingly ‘far out’ content, videos and click bait style post titles that allude to shadowy dealings and global conspiracy, content that strongly suggests vaccinations are somehow a plot but seems pretty weak on the specifics.

This seeming departure from the data and science, the things I always thought our community was supposed to be upholding, now has me doubting… are some of our biggest proponents just in the business of being controversial? Of ‘finding the conspiracy’, be that covid, carbs, seed oils or the next thing they can latch onto in order to claim the mainstream, government or big business is keeping us in the dark due to some nefarious capitalist or political motive? My respect for some figures in the community has certainly dropped - a lot, not necessarily because of the specific views they now seem to support, if there is a conspiracy then I’d like to know, but more that we seem to have lost the focus on unbiased science, and the data presented, even if accurate, always seems coupled with the conspiracy conclusion which for me is a step beyond what is reasonable based on what we know.

Bringing it back to keto, I guess really it’s shaken my belief in whether everything I’ve been doing with my diet has been right, or as well informed as I thought, given that many of these people played a role in forming my views on it initially.

Anyone else have any views or experiences like this?


#2

Well, if you’re insane enough to use mainstream social media than expect to be categorized and profiled. Do one thing that the hive mind disagrees with and you’re the crazy person… that’s how it works!

Conspiracy’s seeming crazy and only believable by crazy people are specifically WHY they usually work!

Any examples of what Ivor’s been saying? I somewhat pay attention to him and haven’t heard anything out of the ordinary or weird coming from him.


#3

I don’t follow Cummins (and didn’t pre-Covid - he’s not really my style) but I love Zoe Harcombe and I remember her complaining about the corollary to your post: that as a progressive she’s been worried about the effect of school closures etc on kids and somehow that puts in her a “conspiracy theory” algorithm. Ditto with the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration.

It’s something like this:

  • Your tweets runs counter to the mainstream message about nutrition = you’re alternative and don’t know the science

  • Your tweets runs counter to the mainstream message about vaccines and shutdowns = you’re crazy and dangerous.

I think you can look at the science around oils and fats and come to your own conclusions.


#4

I expect to be profiled, comes with the territory, just wasn’t expecting to end up in this camp! Ivor posts and retweets a bunch of stuff that plays into the conspiracy narrative of a deliberate, sinister plot to somehow destroy society or control the population, a couple of examples below

image

You only have to read a few of the comments or replies to these things to see the kind of personalities they appeal to.


#5

I have to say, that in my experience, he’s not all that far off - I see terrified people doing things they never would have dreamed of not long ago, many with a surprising faith in pharmaceutical companies, and all the while the science of actually protecting folks from Covid is being ignored - I just don’t see it being a deliberate coordinated plan and don’t find much use in following that stuff.

But… that’s probably going to get us into a whole other discussion. Maybe don’t follow him if it takes you into an unpleasant algorithm?


#6

You’re disagreeing with that? Sorry dude you must be on another planet than I am if you’re claiming that’s not what’s happening.

The handling and actions/reactions of this from the gov’t remind me of the Rahm Emanuel famous

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

This started as a horrible health pandemic, it very quickly morphed into a population control test and social experiment. I can’t think of anything else in my lifetime that has wrongly become a political game more than this has.


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #7

Ivor Cummins and whoever else has his/her right to an opinion about how the so-called pandemic has been handled. Whether you agree with those opinions or not does not have bearing on whether or not Ivor Cummins or others are wrong about their metabolic/health claims. They’re separate issues.


(Marion) #8

I am confused by the posturing and claims of superior knowledge from Ivor cause he’s an engineer. The requests for money are right upfront and I am getting information from Dr John Campbell who I find offers more references and less self righteous indignation.
I am concerned about the conflation of keto diet with anti vaccination and what I regard as emotive propaganda.
What particularly concerns me is that people die of Covid and the variant from India is very highly infectious…playing on the fear of “big brother” and politicizing and getting on the rah rah bandwaggon of what is a serious health issue is very contentious and I have become wary of people like Ivor who seems to be riding a wave that will generate income.


#9

To OP main question- yes, this is definitely a concern of a lot of folks in the LC and Keto communities, but Cummins can be right about some things and not about others. Do your research, use common sense, and see what works best for your body and your life.


(Old Baconian) #10

It’s helpful, in situations like these, to remember the number one dogma the Two Keto Dudes have: “Show me the science!” Anyone can go off the deep end, even people who have made stellar contributions in their time. And even the worst of the worst can sometimes get things right. The corrective is always to learn the science.

At a time when the science is evolving, there are going to be honest disagreements about the implications of the data. When the pandemic hit, it seemed to me that a lot of people, for whatever reason, were latching on to certain aspects of the early data and running ahead to conclusions that didn’t appear entirely warranted. Some of them have revised their thinking to take account of later data, while others have not. Also, there is a lot of nuance to the global situation, and the mass communications media—not to mention the social media—are incapable of dealing with nuance.

Personally, I don’t find conspiracy theories all that helpful, but that’s just me. While I admit the possibility that the complete absence of all proof is the surest sign that the conspiracy is working, I do happen to know some government officials, and I have relatives who deal with the public health. So I know for a fact that there are decent people out there, doing the best they can with the data available to them, who are not enmeshed in the global conspiracy. (I can, of course, make no claim to knowledge about public officials not in my acquaintance or about public health workers who are not part of my family. :grin: )

Putting my admin hat on for a moment: Please allow me to remind everyone that above all we value civility on these forums. The respectful presentation of data is what we are striving for, not the rehashing of animosity against people who don’t share our opinions. This thread has the potential to become acrimonious, but I am hoping that everyone will remember it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.


(GINA ) #11

I don’t follow Cummings either, but to be fully invested in the keto diet, especially to the level of spokesman, requires the complete rejection of the government line on nutrition and medicine. We all know that the government has ignored science to recommend a diet that is contrary to the health of the people it is supposed to represent. Why? It could be a legitimate mistake, or a purposeful effort to enrich big food and pharma, or somewhere in between.

I don’t think it is that big of a stretch to not trust the same government on covid.


(bulkbiker) #12

But it’s nonsense…

Deaths per million of population in India are at 180
Deaths in the UK at 1,871 10 times worse yet all we hear about is how dreadful India is…

27,000 people die in India every single day of all sorts of things.

This is why Ivor and many get so angry… we are being mislead by half truths and very poor science.

When you look at data and not news reports then the misrepresentation of what is in fact happening starts to cause major concerns.

Ivor and Zoe are just two of many who are raising these concerns… context when looking at the disease number is hugely important but seems to have been the major victim of COVID hysteria (and yes that is exactly what it is).


(bulkbiker) #13

Or indeed trust the government on anything at all…?


#14

There’s a LOT of income generation happening with Covid. I’m not sure that Ivor is the main one you want to be looking at if you’re wondering about financial motives.


#15

Yes!

^this is data. It’s not the only data (in this case, India’s numbers per million are likely climbing), but it’s highly relevant data. Headlines that use words like “catastrophic” are not data, but they get a lot of clicks because as @KetoRocks1 says they “play on people’s fears,” and they do seem to be much more powerful in swaying opinion.


#16

Numbers aren’t reliable anyway. I don’t bother with Covid anymore, it’s not like it has any real impact on my life but my SO said that the reported cases and the extra deaths in the last year compared to the previous one (not like it’s that simple but still) shows interesting things in some countries. They are close for my country. And yep, even Gibralter is left behind, Hungary has the biggest number for reported covid deaths per population.
And almost half the country is vaccinated…? I don’t follow the numbers.

But my woe? That’s unaffected. I never followed anyone, basically, I just experimented on my own body as asked for its input. Science is nice and I like to know things but it’s complicated and I want to do good to my own individual body.


(GINA ) #17

I think the problem is how tribal we have become. We don’t let people hold a particular view anymore without assigning them to a ‘camp’ and extrapolating that they accept every fringe belief that anyone else in that camp has.

I can simultaneously believe that covid is serious AND politicians are over-blowing it to gain power.

I can believe covid is serious AND be wary of a vaccine developed so quickly that the manufacturers have no liability for.


#18

Yes, thank you. :clap: Well said.


(bulkbiker) #19

Oddly I read this just before you posted which really resonated with me.


(Joey) #20

@Keto_Tom I appreciated your post. Answer: yes.

I question such things often…

I wonder what I’m missing? What else I need to know? Whether next year’s test results will confirm why I’m feeling great? Or will I discover some hidden dangers I’ve created through this minimal carb eating style?

The trick (at least for me) has been to dabble in healthy skepticism while consuming the most reliable science I can find that’s on point.

All the while, I strive to keep mindful focus on how I’m actually feeling - as it helps me stick to reality and maximizes joy along the way.

But yes, some of those fringe characters are merely that … i.e., just characters. They’re monetizing their “fringiness.” Perhaps it’s entertaining in small doses, but it quickly grows tedious. I recommend you not waste your eyeballs on them.

Bottom line: “Social media” is a sinkhole for your precious time and energy. Remember that your attention and behavioral data is the product. And you’re giving it away for free.

Onward! :vulcan_salute: