“Holistic women’s health psychiatrist” Kelly Brogan, MD, is an AIDS denialist who also questions established treatments for depression and the efficacy of vaccines. Despite such controversial views, there’s no denying she is very popular. In fact, as Forbes reports, she’s been invited to speak at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop in Health Summit in January, and she has been asked to join the 2018 SXSW Wellness Expo Advisory Board.
The advisory board will work to set up the SXSW Wellness Expo, part of the South by Southwest Conference and Festivals held during March in Austin, Texas, and primarily known for music and film events. The Goop in Health Summits will take place in New York City on January 28 and in Los Angeles on June 8 and 9.
Brogan’s inclusion in these events is drawing criticism from doctors and advocates who have taken to social media and blogs to speak out against her viewpoints.
Sadly, both @goop and @sxsw have embraced HIV/AIDS denialist, antivaxer, and all around quack @kellybroganmd. Looks like both the Goop Summit and the 2018 SXSW Wellness Expo will be similar quackfests. https://t.co/iTUVmsLElq— David Gorski (@gorskon) December 11, 2017
Writing on the science blog Respectful Insolence, David Gorski, MD, PhD, spells out many of the problems with Brogan’s anti-science beliefs, notably that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS and that depression can be overcome via self-treatment and without medications. Gorski writes:
“This is some grade-A, weapons-grade dangerous advice here…. This is one of the keynote speakers [at the Goop in Health Summit] appearing with celebrities, such as Drew Barrymore, Chelsea Handler, Laura Linney, Meg Ryan, and more.… One wonders what these celebrities would think if they knew they were going to be sharing the stage with an HIV/AIDS denialist, antivaccine activist, anti-psychiatry ranter to rival any Scientologist, and all around quack like Kelly Brogan. I keep hoping someone will ask them the next time they do a major interview.”
Meanwhile, the outcry over Brogan has led SXSW to issue a statement, printed in the Forbes article:
“While SXSW strongly disagrees with many of Kelly Brogan’s controversial opinions, we do believe that inclusion of a variety of viewpoints from a diverse group of people is important to creating a dialog for the community represented at the SXSW Wellness Expo. Kelly Brogan’s involvement is as a consultant on our Advisory Board for this trade show exhibition. She will not be speaking at SXSW, nor is she involved in programming conference sessions in any way.”