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Correcting the errors that Mark Ragg has published about this website

26th January 2013 - My hand has been forced to correct what is, in my view, outright untruths and defamation of my character published in the Sydney Morning Herald and elsewhere on the internet by Mark Ragg.

Mark Ragg published in the SMH an article entitled `doctor' Charged In Fake Cure Alert containing numerous errors. I have written to Dr Ragg to alert him to these errors, but he has not replied nor made any attempt to remove these errors from publication. The only response from Ragg's "Editorial Services" business RaggAhmed is an acknowledgement email from "Sarah".

Background

In 2000 I attended a lecture given at Sunshine Coast University to hundreds of people by a "Dr Storer" on the subject of my illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I spoke to "Dr Storer" at the end of the lecture and asked if I could place his lecture notes on this website, to which he agreed. I spent approximately two weeks writing up and designing the extra webpages.

Literally on the day that I published Storer's work, a national current affairs television show went to air with an expose of Storer who was not a qualified doctor and claimed that he was exaggerating the effectiveness of the treatment.

The next day I received a phone call from ACCC, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and, after explaining my situation, became a key witness in the subsequent WA Federal Court trial of "Dr Storer".

The story of the trial made national news and was widely written about by media organisations including the ABC and AAP. Only Mark Ragg in the SMH did not check the facts and appears to have invented parts of his story in place of proper journalistic research.

Mark Ragg's erroneous claims

Mark Ragg, who's website claims was "a senior writer and editorial writer at the Sydney Morning Herald" published an article in the SMH with a number of errors, namely:

1. Ragg wrote: "Calls to Mr Storer in Perth, to the Chronic Fatigue Advisory Centre, and to 1earth at Noosa were not returned."

That is completely untrue. No attempt was ever made by Mark Ragg to contact me at Noosa. If he had, he would have found out that I am a sufferer of chronic fatigue syndrome who was duped along with hundreds of others and was a witness for the prosecution of Mr Storer. 

The ACCC and other media organisations had no trouble contacting me via the telephone number on this website. All the other media organisations that actually spoke with me left my name out of their stories given the circumstances.

There was no-one else at my home for him to leave a message with to return his call. In my opinion, Mark Ragg invented his call to "1earth at Noosa".

2. Ragg wrote that Mr Storer claimed "that he was head of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Online Advisory Centre." This is completely false.

The ACCC documents show that Mr Storer ran a business called Perth Chronic Fatigue Advisory Centre. 

Mr Storer could not possibly have claimed that he was the "head" of my website - at the time that Ragg is writing about, Storer was publicising another lecture on his tour - we had not even met each other. Even so, I cannot see any reason why Storer would have been promoting my website when the purpose of his lecture tour was to promote his own business.

3. Ragg's article claims: "The centre's Web site also says: ``Now you can quit smoking in only 7 days, safely and easily, with all-natural herbal Smoke-Away. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed." There is no known quit-smoking product which has been found in tests to be 100 per cent effective."

At no time did this website ever claim to be the website of Mr Storer or his Centre.

This website has a Google ad account which is streamed from the USA-based service provider onto this website. Whilst efforts have been made to ensure the quality of advertisers by only allowing reputable advertisers from Google, I am not in a position to approve every individual advertiser that Google has signed up.

Following the phone call from ACCC they went over this website and, apart from the Storer material which was quickly removed, the ACCC found no problems or concerns.

A call on Mark Ragg to correct his errors

I am truly amazed that Mark Ragg claims on his website that he has "excellent communication skills" when he has made so many rudimentary journalistic mistakes in the form of not checking the facts concerning the business names and claiming that he had called me when he had not.

Mark Ragg claims on his website that his Vision is to "To live interesting lives in a healthy and equitable world." It seems to me that Ragg's "equitable world" places his position of earning a quick buck in journalism promoting his professional standing in the health industry, above the suffering of a disabled pensioner with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome who was the victim of "Dr Storer".

Ragg also claims on his website that his Mission is to:
* To treat clients, colleagues and ourselves with respect.
* To be true to our beliefs in equality, fairness, truth, beauty, justice, transparency, diversity and the benefits of enthusiasm.

I can see no "equality, fairness, truth, beauty, justice, transparency, diversity" in the error-filled, unverified and false claims made by Mark Ragg and published in a major newspaper and elsewhere on the internet concerning this website.

Again I am amazed at the hypocrisy of Mark Ragg, who subjects a sufferer of such a debilitating and incurable disease as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to the further indignation of defamation.

Ragg has failed to respond to my email concerning his errors and has made no attempt to correct his mistakes, which have gone 'viral' on the web. I have given Mark Ragg far more opportunity to respond than he ever gave me before publication of this rebuttal.

 I call on Mark Ragg to apologise and remove his defamatory articles from the internet.

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Disclaimer:  I am NOT a medical professional.
I am a CFS - EBV sufferer who is relaying some of his experiences and opinions.
None of the information on these pages is to be construed as medical advice.  Please see a doctor for such advice.
Due to the nature of my illness, I am unable to work for a regular employer in my former occupation as a journalist, and have started this Website, it's mirror sites and others, as an information resource and business. 
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Marcus Webb, Webmaster

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