Tackling intellectual harassment

The following was written and lodged as a complaint at ResearchGate by Professor Tim Noakes to tackle intellectual harassment. The complaint was adhered to and the mentioned article was removed. ResearchGate‘s response can be viewed at the bottom of this page.


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Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: A Critical Report About Emeritus Professor Timothy Noakes: A Review of Vaccine-Related Misinformation (Research Gate May 2020)

I wish to lodge an objection to the above article on the grounds that the content is erroneous, libellous and defamatory, and thus, abusive and inappropriate.

The author, Mr. Brett Chrest, does no original research. His article is not a “critical report”, as he purports. He does not “review” vaccine-related “misinformation”. He simply repeats a long list of false, libellous and defamatory claims and attacks against me by members of vested interests in groups in South Africa. This has now been on-going for close to a decade.

All these groups vociferously and proactively oppose significant, growing scientific evidence that challenges orthodoxy and dogma on optimum nutrition to treat, prevent or ameliorate a wide variety of life-threatening lifestyle diseases. Chief among these diseases are obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In part to disprove the false science on which these claims against me are based, I submitted myself to a 4-year-long multi-million rand trial in which I and my expert witnesses presented evidence under oath for a total of 12 days (with cross-examination). We spent a total of 28 days in court and proved to the satisfaction of the legal process that the dietary advice I have been advocating for the past 10 years is both evidence-based and is not unconventional. The court declared me innocent on 13 rulings and guilty on none. The story of my trial is retold in my co-authored book Real Food on Trial: How the diet dictators tried to destroy a top scientist. But apparently for some this is still not sufficient to terminated the continuing vicious attacks on my academic credibility and legacy.

Besides this lengthy court battle, I have addressed and refuted all these claims ad nauseum over the years. I direct you to links below to those  rebuttals.

By way of “evidence”, Mr. Chrest includes my tweets and opinions on social media, in articles and public talks, all out of context. He makes assumptions and presumptions on my opinions. He did not contact me beforehand for clarification and offered me no opportunity to re-butt his opinions. That would have been a professional and ethical courtesy and sign of good faith. I could have directed him to published evidence to the contrary of all the claims he makes.

Mr. Chrest also goes on illogical, unrelated tangents, for example, including chemotherapy for cancer. This suggests an agenda other than “critical” reporting on my supposed vaccine “misinformation” .

By attempting to give his article the veneer of academia by publishing on your site and with references at the end, he continues the unedifying example of academic bullying to which I continue to be subjected.

Mr Chrest does not acknowledge ongoing controversy, diversity of thought and opinion on all the topics he raises. He appears oblivious to the scientific difference between posing questions on any topic and in the case of vaccines, being totally opposed to vaccination. As opposed to asking questions about proof of vaccine safety. He presents that opinion that vaccine safety is not in question.

Yet if he cared to actually review the literature on vaccine safety he would have to acknowledge that there are major holes in the study of acute and long-term vaccine safety. Instead of acknowledging a place for and an important role for scientific scepticism – after all vaccine safety is an issue that affects essentially all living humans – he shows utter disrespect for my ideas and opinions.

This is clearly because he has a personal (and group) agenda that has absolutely nothing to do with the promotion of proper scientific debate of contentious scientific issues. But which does have major implications for the health of all the world’s populations.

All all this from a student who is not even in the medical sciences being taught at an accredited medical school.

By contrast, I am a medical graduate with 3 additional qualifications besides my basic medical training – an MD (in South Africa this is the equivalent of a PhD in Medicine), an honorary PhD and a DSc. The latter is the highest degree offered at my former University; it is granted only very rarely and then only to those who have made seminal contributions in science. I am considered to have made 2 seminal contributions to my field of sports science/sports medicine/nutrition. For the final 15 years of my career I was one of very few in my country afforded an A1 rating by the National Research Foundation for my expertise in sports science and nutrition. An A1 rating is granted only to those who are acknowledged by all reviewers as an established world leader in his or her field. I have been cited more than 19 500 time (Web of Science; much higher citation rate on Google Scholar) and my H index on Web of Science, the last time I looked, was 71.

By contrast, Mr Chrest claims to be a student at Brandon University in the Nursing Faculty. He is not a medical student nor in the pure biological sciences. He has no peer-reviewed scientific publication. He was tweeted that he did not produce his article under the university’s umbrella. Thus, ethical considerations do not apply.

Clearly it is unusual for a “scientific” paper of this nature to be presented to the reading public as if it has gone through ethical clearance at a reputable medical/scientific institution; that it was written with the oversight and under the direction of a senior researcher; and that it was peer-reviewed prior to publication.

None of this applies to Mr Chrest’s publication which is therefore nothing other than a biased personal opinion motivated by a deep personal dislike for me and the information for which I stand. It is profoundly dishonest because it appears to be a peer-reviewed “scientific” article but in reality has none of the trappings of hard science.

I direct your attention to some sources of evidence contradicting all Mr. Chrest’s claims and those of his sources:

I, therefore, request that you remove his article from your site as it contravenes your community standards and does not constitute “healthy” – or ethical – scientific debate, according to your standards.


Emeritus Professor Timothy Noakes
OMS, MBChB, MD, DSc, PhD (hc), FACSM, (hc) FFSEM (UK), (hc) FFSEM (Ire).
The Noakes Foundation’s Lab for Low Carb Nutrition Research


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