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Quacks, on Quacks

As we were preparing to ship off this edition of our newsletter, ABC's Prime Time Thursday did an exposé of  "Alternative Cancer Therapies," a new low point in journalism. [The link we originally published no longer works.]

We know modern American medicine is running scared to lower the bar—this low.

Prime Time focused in on a lot of the scams occurring across the border in Mexico. Yes, there are quacks who offer false hope. People will sink low for a buck. But focusing on obvious fraud, they quickly pour all alternatives into one bowl of cereal, NEW Quakers SugarQuacks, and invite you to breakfast.

The show was laughable.

Of course they knocked coffee enemas because it's just plain funny to think of taking coffee up your butt. When I'm doing a detox and following a liver cleanse with coffee enemas, and a friend calls and we arrange to meet for coffee, I'm sure to mention, "Don't ask me how I take my coffee."

Mixing truth, half truth, and obvious mendacity, they liked to poke fun at things, but never mentioned if something has been tested by an objective third party. Conventional medicine's stand is: this is unproven, but then never take time to have it tested (by an objective third party). Proponents of things outside of convention are willing to have their methods tested. They want testing, they ask for testing, they plead for testing.

Do coffee enemas have a place in health and wellness? Do they do what they are purported to do? I personally think they work. I have to take the word of those geniuses, and genuine healers who have used them in the past. The American Cancer Society, back in the fifties when they were attacking Gerson for having the audacity to claim that food programs could actually help people with cancer (the ACS's official stand today), really had a hay-day with his coffee enemas. They came down hard on the comedy and quackery of serving coffee up the wazoo. But, did they win? No, not really. Gerson's records were thorough and detailed, he kept his medical license. But what about coffee enemas? Do they work? It is quite simple to have an independent laboratory test them, but it's a lot easier just to laugh at them. Ignaz Semmelweis was laughed at too for asking doctors to wash their hands after performing autopsies (and before assisting at births).

The show attacked hyperbaric oxygen even though the medical benefits of HBO therapy are supported by over 10,000 studies. Was there evidence in all these studies that cancer patients improved? Yes, it was reported. Today much of the civilized world uses HBO for hundreds of maladies including AIDS, chronic infection, and strokes. In Russia there are 3000 tanks. In America there are fewer than 300. Shame on you, ABC. You didn't do your homework.

They attacked Bio Pulse. We pulled them and their IHT from our pages when we discovered something was wrong. They were obvious quacks and charlatans. Journalism is at its best when reporting the obvious.

They attacked one of the pioneers of this alternative movement Dr Donsbach, a chiropractor. Yes, he is a character, blows his own horn, and is a bit off center, but his heart in the right place. He refused to chat with Prime Time. Hell, I'd refuse to chat with them. They didn't like his claim that he's helped people recover from MS. Personally, I first heard about Dr Donsbach while interviewing patients who had attended his facility. They were given NO hope by conventional medicine but lived to tell their story. I personally interviewed one who had reversed her MS while there at his clinic, and another who got over her lupus. For all I know Dr Donsbach might be utterly insane and mentally incompetent, but his center, staffed by many physicians, and expensive as any modern hospital (actually, a bit less, it just looks expensive because YOU have to pay it, not your insurance) helps people heal.  His clinic stays in our directory.

It's so easy to attack a few obvious quacks. It's just as easy to lump 'em all together. Conventional medicine is running scared.

America is ranked 24th in the world for curing cancer (not the first nor the last time you'll hear me say that). This means that there are 23 countries doing a better job than we are. The Cancer Research Industry is the second largest industry in the world. Think of it. We're spending more than all these 23 other countries put together. And yet ABC's conclusion is "alternative" medicine (I dislike the term; I prefer "natural" wellness) is trying to rip us all off. Duh-hey?

They attacked Donsbach for telling the truth: "There has been no appreciable, demonstrable help from chemotherapy since its inception." In 1972, in a special report to the American Cancer Society, we learned that the average life span of a person diagnosed with cancer who sought conventional medical help was four years. For those who never sought help, their average life span was 12 years. You might argue, "But that was in 1972. Things have improved since then." Have we come a long way since then? Take a look at your Encarta™ for your odds of survival for a particular cancer. Even with the success of recent chemotherapies, there is NO appreciable difference in the average life span of a cancer patient from 1972 than today. And look at how much we've spent.

One of their "experts," a Dr Rosenberg states: "When patients turn down treatments of known effectiveness to receive treatments that have very little chance of being of benefit, I see that as a major public heath problem."

I believe he is correct. When a patient turns down mushrooms, antineoplastons, graviola, phycotene, and more (all of which have a better track record in studies than chemotherapy); when a person turns down these for our slash, burn, and poison conventional techniques, yes this is a major health problem. People are dying.

Modern medicine is running scared. The most successful cancer treatment in the world (proven in all the studies you'll ever need) also makes a tasty stir-fry. Their only weapon left is fear.

The exposé closed by focusing in on a patient who had been duped. The camera catches her weeping, saying, "They did this for only money. Only money."

I took pity on her, but she jumped at a cure without finding a coach. Without getting enough information. Without careful consideration. We all get burned when we leap before we look. I felt sorry for her. Though, even while feeling sorry for her, I could not erase the irony of her cries. "They did it for money. Only money," could also refer to the quacks in our own cancer industry. These quacks are the ones making the laws, making the protocols, and making all the bucks.

Quackery and corruption happen.

This is why our site is run entirely by volunteers who don't make a dime from their work. This is why we are a non-profit organization. If you heard it here, no one has profited from that transaction.

After ABC's Prime Time exposé, almost as an aside, it was mentioned that our government is testing alternative cancer therapies for effectiveness. I had to laugh. There is presently 6 billion dollars worth of research on drugs (pharmaceuticals) in the works while less than 10 million has been set aside for testing alternatives. [The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

Journalism: it sure ain't rocket science.

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