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The shill gambit is a type of ad hominem or poisoning the well logical fallacy, wherein one party dismisses the other’s argument by proclaiming them to be on the payroll of some company. It is sometimes known as the Big Pharma Shill Gambit or the Monsanto Shill Gambit.

The shill gambit is used fallaciously when the only “evidence” given of such a connection to a big company or government is the endorsement of the position of the government or company, without any other evidence — the implication is that the claim is made only because they receive some sort of compensation from the company or other agency.

On the other hand when such conflict of interest is both demonstrated by verifiable evidence and can be shown to interfere with a person’s judgment of the evidence, then it’s no longer a logical fallacy.

Almost anyone who writes about scientific issues behind vaccines, GMOs, or anything is accused of being a shill for this or that corporation.

Example of the shill gambit

Clearly, anything the writer says about pharmaceuticals or GMOs can be dismissed because, even though I can’t prove it, they are obviously being paid by Monsanto and Big Pharma to spread the lies.

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