Christopher Scarfe is a DipION nutritionist practising in Cornwall, who previously claimed to have been a Director of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION). However, we found that some of the biographical information on Scarfe’s website was inaccurate and asked him for more information about this and about his role in the early history of the ION.
We wrote very politely to ask Scarfe some quick questions, and he replied with an unwarranted barrage of unpleasantries – insulting us, our blog, blogs in general, and our lolcats. We’d rather not publish the full correspondence – we don’t think it looks very stylish, and there’s already more than enough ill-framed discourtesy available on the Internet – but if Scarfe wishes to question our account of this correspondence in any way then we will very happily put the whole exchange online. Anyway, while I can take a rude e-mail or two, Scarfe went too far when he criticised the looks of our lolcats: how can you see the cute ickle kitty cat above and say that it looks like it needs omega 3…?
Scarfe’s website – where potential clients could learn about his experience and qualifications (the site also gives details of fees, contact info, etc) – used to claim that “In 1986 Christopher Scarfe graduated from The Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION)…He then became a co-owner and director of ION between 1986 and 1991.” That sounded very impressive – becoming Director of your alma mater so soon after graduation, even if the school in question was the ION. However, we triple-checked the Companies House Records for the ION: Scarfe was not listed as a Director. Obviously, accuracy is important to us – so we contacted Scarfe to ask why his Directorship was not registered with Companies House. Aside for the aforementioned insults to Emo Kitty, Scarfe did eventually correct his website – when we pointed out that Companies House records are at variance with the claims on his website – and thank us for pointing the inaccuracies on his site. The new site states that Scarfe “became a partner and co-owner of ION between 1987 and 1990.” This does appear to be consistent with the Companies House records: during ION’s 1987 liquidation, it realised three payments of £383.33 from Holford and Scarfe, attributed to sale of assets (interestingly, the records also list disbursements of £314.99 and £25 to Holford and Scarfe, attributed to settlements of insurance claims).
In other words, Scarfe’s role at the ION was different from how he described it on his website – until he was corrected by Holford Watch – and took place over a shorter period. Aside from the aforementioned gratuitous insults to Emo Kitty, we do feel that it is important to be accurate about these things and we’re therefore pleased to see that Scarfe has corrected the inaccuracies on his website.
We know this might seem excessively detailed, but it’s very interesting how complex accounts of the history of the prestigious ION – alma mater of most of the ‘qualified’ UK nutritionists, and of Patrick Holford – can become. Because this, and Scarfe’s rudeness to our lolcats, we’ll keep a note of these inaccuracies up here for the record.
At the top of this post, I can almost see Emo Kitty smiling.