Studies Show. . . .
It seems that everyone everywhere on some occasion wants to prove to us something. We are bombarded with commercials telling us that this phone plan is cheaper than that one followed by a commercial from a competing company that tells us the exact opposite. Coke® wants us to think their cola tastes better than Pepsi®, and Pepsi® wants us to think it’s product tastes better than Coke®. Our government wants us to believe all sorts of things, that it is in charge, that we are all free, that our best interests and safety are its prime motivation. And Science (with a capital "S") is constantly proving that our previous generation of thought was, if not slightly off, completely inaccurate.
I recall the words of an old and wise professor when I uttered the term "scientific proof." He quickly, but tactfully, pointed out that the true scientist never uses the word prove, for the true scientist realizes that s/he can demonstrate something only for the moment, and that in the future, someone might discover a method of demonstrating the exact opposite, or at least, something quite different.
The word prove used to mean test. Thus the cliché, "The exception proves the rule," suddenly makes sense, in that the exception tests the rule.
There are three main methods of demonstrating to us a truth, and we will list them in the order of their validity, according to our scientific community:
2. Case Studies
Experimentation involves direct observation, controls, and data analysis. A controlled experiment means that one group is active in the experiment, while another group, the control group, gets either nothing or a standard treatment, task, or situation for which the results are already known. The reason for this is to compare the difference in the data resulting from a comparison of an effect on both groups, and also, in medical experiments, to demonstrate the placebo factor. The placebo factor, usually between twenty and thirty percent, is the number of control subjects who respond positively (favorably) to a placebo (a fake medication, usually sugar pills, or if given internally, a saline solution). This data tells the researchers the approximate percentage of successful outcomes in the experimental group that can be attributed to the placebo effect.
Another control reference you will hear about in scientific experiments is double blind, meaning that neither the experimenters nor the subjects know who is in which group, or who is getting what. This control tries to prevent observer bias. One last term you should know about is the use of cross-overs. A cross-over is a person in the control group, who after a designated period of time, will suddenly be crossed over into the experimental group, usually without the observers or subject knowing about it.
All the centers fighting cancer with unconventional methods as well as many of the doctors and care givers helping people suffering from degenerative diseases tend to believe that the use of controlled studies on people labeled "terminal" is unethical and immoral. They take this stand because, except for the placebo effect, the subjects in the control group are condemned to death.
Dr Richard Schulze’s methods (he was a naturopathic physician practicing herbal medicine) have come under fire from the scientific community because he employs a battery of methods—herbs, wraps, cleansings, hot and cold showers, and more—to heal his patients, and is often asked, "Well, which one worked? You don’t know, do you?" to which he responds, "I do what it takes to heal the individual and don’t really care which one worked."
It is our stand here at the International Wellness Directory that controlled experiments on dangerously ill patients is murder, plain and simple. No one who is dying need ever be in a control group. A virtual control group can be constructed from statistics gathered from previous experiments.
Many in our wellness community feel that the preference of controlled experiments over case studies by our scientists is due to the particular paranoia harbored by our medical community. Case studies are cheaper (usually just the direct observation of a person undergoing a particular line of therapy) while controlled experiments can run into the millions of dollars. This being the case, who among us would be willing to invest millions of dollars to prove that an herb growing wild in our backyards will help to heal cancer? No one. There is no profit in it, and profit greases the gears of our nation. In America, medicine and cancer are big business. In countries where they’ve incorporated socialized medicine, alternative methods and preventative medicine are promoted to rescue the government from the high cost of medical care.
The truly interesting thing about controlled studies is that they can be controlled to produce a specific outcome, the one the researchers are looking for. A perfect example is the 1994 Finnish study on antioxidants that concluded that there is no connection between the use of antioxidants and preventing lung cancer. The Finns were chosen for this experiment because they are heavy smokers and have an unusually high incidence of lung cancer. When the results came out, they hit the airways on the network news programs. It was big news, and we agree: it is really big news to find out that of all the hundreds of tests showing the positive effect on staving off and fighting cancer through the use of antioxidants, that one experiment should show anything different. However, the news media had a blind eye toward this issue and representatives from the established medical community were called in for comment: "We’ve been telling the public all along that vitamin companies have been ripping them off."
Investigation into the methodology employed in the Finnish study showed serious flaws that would result in their findings:
1. No one in the study was checked to see if they had already developed some form of cancer or if their immune system had already been compromised.
2. Many were given doses less than the established Required Daily Amounts, and no one got megadoses of anything.
3. People who dropped out of the study (didn’t continue taking their antioxidants) and eventually succumbed to cancer and died were counted as being in the study through to the end.
The bottom line concerning controlled experiments (as well as case histories and testimonials) is this: if someone has something to gain from the results of proving a particular outcome, that outcome will be realized.
Drug companies finance the FDA by paying them to test their drugs. It is in the FDA’s interests to perform successful studies because they need the money and because employees of the FDA can find high paid jobs with drug companies later on. Drug companies are the largest supporters of our nation’s medical schools. You can bet our young doctors will learn what the drug companies what them to learn.
Since the Nixon administration declared war on cancer, over 50 billion dollars have been spent on finding a cure for cancer, yet if you look closely, much of that money has been spent disproving the effectiveness of natural or alternative substances. The Essiac formula and Hydrazine Sulfate are just two alternative cancer fighters that have been buried by the National Cancer Institute. Penicillin, too, was buried for 9 years by researchers.
Another great story is the one about the Hoxsey formula. Hoxsey was persecuted for years by the AMA for practicing medicine without a license and Hoxsey was eventually jailed. Afterwards, one of his persecutors, a member of the AMA who fought to have him arrested, came down with cancer and ended up at the Hoxsey clinic for therapy, while Hoxsey himself sat in jail.
Testimonials are the weakest method of proving anything. Studies show over and over that the word of any individual is based upon too many factors to validate any of their claims.
One famous study is the "Soft Drink" study. The "new" soft drink was mineral water with a lemon squeezed into it. Subjects were asked to taste the soft drink and give their opinion. It was found that when the subjects knew they were on camera, they tended to report on the drink more favorably than the subjects who were told they were not on camera.
Another famous testimonial we’ve been bombarded with over the past decade is the "Great Folgers Crystal Switch." Every person knew they were on camera. They had also been given a free meal. No wonder they liked the coffee. They could have been given dishwater and, still, most would have claimed it was the best coffee they’d ever tasted. Now, if you want to get an opposite response from these subjects, make them pay for the meal, let them stand in line for a half hour, and then have them fill out a long form of questions about their meal with the last question asking them about the switcharoo.
Oftentimes a testimonial comes from that one-in-a-million who responded positively. Infomercials on "Get Rich Quick" schemes always hunt out the one-in-a-million who actually made a profit from their product or service. If a million people try a product or service, you are bound to find one or two who claim it was the best thing ever to come into their lives.
Another problem with proof is how it is presented. Advertising has been called "legalized lying." Though the FCC is supposed to protect consumers from false advertising, they are a large bureaucracy slowed down by ridiculous rules and regulations. Should a piece of fraudulent advertising make to the airways, by the time the FCC gets around to correcting the problem, the advertisement is off the air and the company involved has moved on, shut down, or changed its name.
There should be no doubt that advertising is no proof for anything because someone is trying to sell you something, and they will tell you (or not tell you) anything to make the sale.
The established media is not where you will get the whole truth and nothing but the truth. During Desert Storm, that made-for-television war, the established press were spoon fed exactly what the Pentagon wanted us to know. Every bomb they showed us on the nightly news hit its target. If you watched only the mainstream media’s portrayal of the war, it was a very clean and antiseptic war. If you wanted to know the real story of the war, things like only 25% of our bombs actually hit their intended targets, or that thousands of Iraqi soldiers were crushed and suffocated because our tanks (armed like plows) plowed them into their bunkers, or that fleeing patrols, convoys, and foot soldiers were wiped out like sitting ducks while our troops participated in target practice, then you had to read or tune into the alternative media, the ones who weren’t given press passes to the front lines and had to travel into Iraq from the north risking life and limb. Our mainstream media are more interested in ratings, advertising, and maintaining the status quo than truth, and when it comes to health care, our mainstream media is spoon fed stories by the mainstream medical community.
Finally, we should mention that no mater what you read, see, or hear, because people are involved, mistakes and misinformation will get out to you. Even we at the directory are fallible, and we will have to make a retraction or a correction now and then. People! There are tons of contradictory information resulting from numerous viewpoints and numerous studies. That is why we will always advise you to make your way to health and wellness with the help a professional care giver. You cannot do it alone armed with a smattering of information. And never believe everything you read. One more example:
Early on in our research on alternative cancer approaches, we came across an article published in a Philadelphia newspaper (we assume, the article claims to be from Knight-Ridder Newspapers) with the large bold headlines: Vaccine Stops Cancer From Returning. The article was old, so we stayed informed, and when the results of their final tests came out, we contacted them. They said it was a bust. Didn’t work. Wouldn’t work. No more testing. Now the question facing us was how could preliminary results so promising produce a complete failure? Was the first study faked or just misinterpreted because of observer bias, or has this last study been designed so as to bury the first study? We did not have enough information to draw a conclusion, however, we did have a hint that something was awry when we re-read the original article. After explaining the vaccine, the article went on to say, "The patients were also given cyclophosphamide, a medication that is typically given to boost the body’s immune response."
We picked up a copy of The Cancer Dictionary (an interesting book if you are truly interested in the established medical community’s approach to cancer and feel secure enough in your awareness that this is just one side of the coin), and looked up cyclophosphamide. We discovered that it has many names: Cytoxan, CTx, Endoxan, and Neosar. It is, according to the dictionary, "An anticancer drug sometimes used in the treatment of malignant melanoma, myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, mycosis fungoides, rhabdomyosarcoma, cancers of the breast, ovary, lung, testes, and endometrium." It goes on to state, "As many as 300,000 patients are treated with [it] each year," and that, "Studies have shown that people treated with [it] are at a greater risk for bladder cancer, leukemia, and other cancer." So we looked up Cytoxan, and found that the common side effects include nausea and vomiting, with occasional side effects of "bone marrow depression, hair loss, bloody urine, sterility, chronic lung problems, skin darkening, nasal stuffiness, second cancers, and eye problems." The clincher is that it, "has been listed by the federal government’s National Toxicity Program as a known carcinogen."
Now, was the information in the newspaper correct in that this drug was actually administered in this study? If so, why was it administered? Aren’t studies on experimental methods supposed to employ those experimental methods only in the experimental group, while letting the control group get either a placebo or standard method of treatments (which this drug would seem to be with 300,000 people already taking it)? And when you consider that the article said that this drug is supposed to boost the immune system and then we discover all of its possible side effects, we know it does not boost the immune system but does the reverse and that it is a known carcinogen producing secondary cancers. Something here is very wrong, though just what it is will take time to come out.
Don’t believe everything you hear, see, or read. A little skepticism is a good thing. A lot of faith is a good thing. And always look for the motivation behind any claim. Studies show . . . you’ll be all the wiser and healthier for it.
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