The History Of Quackery
Mercury, the element, not the planet, was
nicknamed "quicksilver" because it is silver in color and a liquid
at room temperature. In German, the word is "quacksalber."
Mercury is a toxic heavy metal.
In the fifteen hundreds, physicians were a highly untrained
lot, having learned most of their trade as apprentices. Herbalism was the
medicine of the time; herbalism, magic and a bit of prayer thrown in.
The Church was the government.
A physician of the time by the name of Paracelsus seems to be
the first physician "lucky" enough to be labeled a quack. He made a salve
that had a bit of mercury in it. He massaged it into a patient's syphilitic
rash, and the rash went away. Other physicians of the time claimed that the rash
did not go away but went further and deeper into the patient’s body. They called
him a quack for using quacksalber.
Since there were no spelling rules or conventions established
at this time in history, there were a variety of spellings for quacksalber,
quacksalver being just two more. Some dictionaries tell us that a
quack was someone who applied a salve (from quacksalver) and
boasted (quacked) about it. This is the sort of thing that happens when high
school dropouts write dictionaries.
Other web sites we’ve perused claim, anachronistically, that
dentists using mercury fillings were the first to be called quacks. However,
mercury amalgam fillings were not to be found in the fifteen hundreds when
dentistry was handled by barbers, who, because of their strong stomachs, also
did a lot of surgery in those days.
Being called a quack was actually not all that bad in the
sixteenth century (fifteen hundreds). It was much better than being called a
witch. If a physician cured someone who was obviously supposed to die, he could
be called a witch and then burned. If a physician was called in to cure a dying
member of the archdiocese, a priest or a bishop, and failed to do so, he too
could be called a witch and get himself lit up like a candle. Quacks lived
longer than witches, because, as we all know, witches are extremely flammable.
With the introduction of mercury into the pharmacopoeia,
heroic medicine (and quackery) was born. Who would have predicted that mercury
would be in our medicines right up to the late 1990s when the pharmaceutical
companies would be forced to remove it from our vaccinations. Science moves
slowly when hindered by profits, it would seem.
Funny thing, but it's back. Mercury is back in our
vaccinations today (as of this writing) but the pharmaceutical companies have
been nice enough to remove it from animal vaccinations.
Today, what is a quack?
According to the American Cancer Society’s Journal, "Quackery
refers to treatments that are without value, offered by people who make claims
that are untrue."
It is generally accepted that conventional treatments have
been tested following a strict set of guidelines and have been found to be safe
Sadly, what is generally accepted to be true oftentimes turns
out to be totally untrue. Conventional treatments are
not thoroughly tested (as you will soon see -- just jump to the
very last paragraph
on this page) and as to their safety, well tell that to the quarter million (low
estimate) who die yearly from them.
The year is 1847. Physicians, who are sick and tired of
competing with Indians, quacks, and housewives (midwives) and who are barely
squeaking by earning a living, get together to form the American Medical
Association. The leader of the group is a young Dr Nathan Smith Davis, who had
attained his medical degree at the tender age of 20.
Dr Nathan Smith Davis had a cause and a goal: to elevate the
standard of medical education in the United States. A lot of physicians showed
up because they were broke and were quite candid about their pecuniary
situation. Dr Lawrence Wilson, MD in an article entitled: "Healing
the Health-Care System," gives us this excerpt from a
report submitted at that first AMA convention:
The very large number of physicians in
the United States has frequently been the subject of remark.... No wonder
that the merest pittance in the way of remuneration is scantily doled out
even to the most industrious in our ranks.
Medicine at the time, though called a "science" was really a
philosophy. In fact, a few who headed a Medical School also chaired the
Philosophy Department. The philosophy of medicine allowed for no dissenters.
Only "regulars" were allowed to join the AMA. The term
"regulars" meant no herbalists, no midwives, no homeopaths, and no Indian
doctors. In fact, soon bylaws would be enacted at the AMA in which any regular
physician even dealing with a "non-regular" could be tossed out. It got to the
point where one physician had his AMA membership revoked for buying milk sugar
from a homeopathic pharmacist. [Divided
The medicine of the time consisted of blood letting,
blistering, mercury poisoning, and a lot of other nonsense we all can laugh at
with hindsight. However, the goals of the AMA were rooted in decency and
- In 1847 the AMA Committee on Medical Education was appointed,
the AMA Code of Medical Ethics written and published, and the AMA sets first
minimal standards for medical education.
- In 1848 the AMA notes the dangers of universal traffic in
secret remedies and patent medicine.
- In 1849 the AMA establishes a board to analyze quack remedies
and nostrums and to enlighten the public in regard to the nature and dangerous
tendencies of such remedies. [http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/1923.html]
So there you have it, the biggest bunch of quacks in the
nation get all worked up and start a quack hunt. Well, it must have been
something to see, because it’s still going on today.
Of course, I’m being harsh. These physicians thought they were
doing what was best
given their level of understanding. Science had not even advanced to the
point of testing an hypothesis yet. In fact, testing was considered quackery.
The best physicians simply followed their teachings no matter what outcome
because it was accepted at this time that their knowledge came from a higher
source. The common person could not possibly understand the workings of their
As you can learn in our article on the
History of Medicine 1800 to the Civil War,
there was not a single visitor from Europe who did not return home to tell
others of the remarkable ill health of the average American. Our skin was
sallow, our eyes were sunken, hair thin, and our teeth and jaws were crooked.
Interestingly enough, these are all symptoms of mercury poisoning. The safest
place to be during these years was on the frontier where you had only a few
irritated Natives to contend with.
As long as there is a profit to be made, there will be
profiteers. And profiteers don’t always supply you with the best goods. From the
early eighteen hundreds to the present, there have always been quacks with
wildly exaggerated cures that could never possibly live up to the hype. (Just
look at the diet pill industry.) However, just because someone with authority
calls someone else a quack does not make it so. This is the history of quackery:
so-called authorities calling true healers "quacks."
Today, quackery has become, for the most part, anything that
takes money or prestige away from the one screaming "quack" or from those
represented by the one screaming "quack." This is the historical definition of
However, in any good witch-hunt, it is always advisable to
gather up a real witch now and then so as to lend an air or honesty and
credibility to the hunt. Quackery has little to do with the effectiveness of any
treatment. If it did, all things labeled quackery would be tested fairly prior
to the attachment of the label. Which they are not.
Traveling sideshows offering bottled cures show up in Westerns
(remember Little Big Man?). Most early remedies just made you feel good
because they contained alcohol. When heroin (and/or morphine; derived from
heroin) was introduced to this country, many new patent remedies cropped up.
Then there were the discoveries of cocaine and opium. Early Coca-Cola contained
cocaine. Early 7Up contained lithium. Laudanum was a very popular cure-all
consisting of alcohol and opium. Everyone got rich selling drugs. The first
snake oil sold, however, was an
The hawker got bit by a few snakes, gulped down a good shot of the tincture, and
nothing happened to him. He got rich selling his snake oil.
In 1905, Colliers magazine published an expose on the
patent remedy industry in a series of articles called "The Great American
Fraud." The series uncovered the dirty little secrets of this industry, warning
its readership of the cocaine, morphine, and alcohol contents of their
"feel-good" remedies. You can read the entire article at the
Online Museum of
Questionable Medical Devices.
The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices, is located (http://www.museumofquackery.com)
within the new Science Museum of Minnesota and holds the largest collection of
medical quackery to be found anywhere. With the advent of electricity and
gadgetry, also grew the medical device industry and if you are ever in Minnesota
and need a few belly laughs, this museum is just what the doctor ordered.
However, the one thing this museum does not have is a
collection of the thousands and thousands of pills with which conventional
medicine once dosed and overdosed the American public. Pills are not that
interesting, and if you consider the ACS’s definition of quackery: "treatments
that are without value, offered by people who make claims that are untrue," then
we have to admit that our conventional medicine has engaged in much more
quackery than anyone. The life span of any drug is just about ten years. Do
drugs go out of fashion? Are they suddenly life saving and then suddenly not
There is much more consistency in herbalism than in modern
pharmacology. Those herbs discovered 200 years ago are still being used today.
Pills are not interesting. Electronic devices that look like
space helmets from the movie Back to the Future which are supposed to
grow hair and stimulate brain function are much more exciting than a jar of
pills. Though, if one were to collect every single pill that turned out to be
worthless and present them all in one big bottle, now THAT would be something.
Yes, there are quack remedies out there and people promoting
them, but who among us can clearly state which is quackery and which works? I
recall one quotation claiming "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."
Joseph Lister, who introduced aseptic surgical techniques, was
attacked and called a quack. Ignaz Semmelweis was persecuted for urging doctors
in 1859 to wash their hands prior to delivering babies. His life ended in an
insane asylum. Pasteur was called a quack. Penicillin was looked down upon and the
powers that be refused to test it for years.
"Penicillin sat on my shelf for
12 years while I was called a quack. I can only think of the
thousands who died
needlessly because my peers would not use my discovery." Dr
All medical innovations are "alternatives,"
and all alternatives must go through an initial phase of being labeled quackery;
this is one sad law of medicine.
The First Law of Quackery: Quackery is inversely proportional
to the amount of money backing the drug or procedure.
The more money, the more valid the therapy and none dare call
Take old Bill Rockefeller. He got
tired of farming and decided to hang up a shingle and practice medicine. Well,
somewhere between an office visit and a house call, the Rockefellers discovered
oil. Bill was quite saddened that the automobile had yet to be invented, so he
bottled up the crude oil, gave it a pretty name: Nujol, and sold it as a cancer
cure. [Beal, The Drug Story]
Years later when the empirical sciences started blossoming
(empiricism was quackery to the stodgy old school of medicine in most of the 19th
century; empiricism meant "testing" one’s theories [and therapies] and one just
did not test because good science was good science and that is that) someone
informed the Rockefellers that they really shouldn’t call their Nujol a cancer
cure since it wasn’t curing any cancer and all it did was give you a good case
of diarrhea. So Nujol became a laxative.
Next a group of scientists contacted the Rockefellers and
warned them that their Nujol was actually doing damage. It seems that it pulled
fat-soluble vitamins from those using it. The Rockefellers responded by
fortifying Nujol with some vitamin A and released the new improved version of
Nujol, which still leached vitamins and most likely caused cancer, but by the
time scientists were about to confirm that Nujol, or mineral oil (it had been
cleaned up a bit), was not a substance humans should be ingesting, the
Rockefellers had taken control of the pharmaceutical industry and they quietly
dropped Nujol from their pharmacopoeia while promoting other remedies that would
eventually fall by the wayside, but in the meanwhile, these drugs (all obsolete
today) helped these people of humble roots to become the richest people on
Never once was a Rockefeller treatment labeled quackery, and
as an aside, there is no museum of quackery in which a bottle of Nujol can be
"Before doctors rush to condemn the weak
evidence base underpinning these alternative therapies they should pause and
consider the record of orthodox medicine." Ulrich Trohler, Prof of history
of medicine at the University of Freiburg, Germany.
Many stories from the annals of orthodox medicine involve a
man who became the most powerful person in the history of modern American
medicine, who for nearly 50 years ran medicine in America, a man whom we will
discuss in depth (at a later date) in a biography, a man who "might" have been a
physician (though we cannot prove this for sure though he seems to have flunked
anatomy); a physician who never treated a single patient. His name is Morris
Morris Fishbein was a racketeer. If you wanted the AMA’s "Seal
of Acceptance" on your product, you had to pay Morris for protection. If you did
not pay, he destroyed you. We’ll discuss in depth Fishbein's stranglehold on
medicine as our series on the History of Medicine grows, I promise, but for now,
the Land O’Lakes story is a gem.
They paid Fishbein’s price, got their Seal of Acceptance, and
were allowed to advertise in the many journals the AMA oversaw. Then a little
while later when some contaminated product from Land O’Lakes killed a few
people, did the AMA drop their support? Not at all, because Land O’Lakes kept
renewing their advertising/protection payments. [Beal, The Drug Story]
Another well researched book (that took the author, Eustace
Mullins some thirty years of research to write) is Murder By Injection.
It really digs up the dirt on the AMA and medical fraud. Here is a piece
from his book:
Under Fishbein's editorship, the AMA health
magazine, Hygiea, Carried the banner headlines, "PURE FOODS, HONESTLY
ADVERTISED." "The Seal of Acceptance of the Committee of Foods of the AMA is
your best guarantee that the claims of quality for any product are correct and
that the advertising for it is truthful. Look for the Seal on every food that
you buy. White Star Tuna and Chicken of the Sea brand Tuna have this
acceptance." At the very time that Fishbein was running these advertisements,
the Food and Drug Administration was repeatedly seizing shipments of these very
brands of tuna, condemning them because "they consisted in whole or in part of
decomposed animal substance." So much for the Seal of Acceptance.
According to Mullins, the AMA had no facilities to test any of
the food products or drugs they put their Seal of Acceptance on; the only
qualification was their ability to pay Fishbein his protection fees, or,
advertising fees, as they were called then.
After the publication of "The Great American Fraud" in
Colliers, something very significant occurred. It was touted as a boon to
food safety. It was called: The Food Safety Act. Our first formal regulation
concerning our food supply. However good it was to mankind, it was an absolute
affront to the Constitution of the United States, but lately, what isn’t?
By regulating the drugs in this country, the profits left the
hands of the many and were dumped into the hands of the few. This was out and
out restriction of free trade, but in the name of "science" the government had
to protect "the little guy" from being bamboozled by these purveyors of junk
medicine. In reality, the laws protected the big guys who sold us our drugs. No
one protected us from them then, just as no one protects us from them now.
We are told by the FDA, AMA, and NCI that the medicine we get
is based upon science. Just how good that science is and while highlighting the
prejudice built into the system is the main purpose of this essay.
Science, like justice, is blind. The answers cannot be bought,
finagled, or cajoled. The answers given to us by science are objective and true,
given the same parameters. This is true, objective science.
Progress is always shocking, always difficult. As Albert
Einstein stated: "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from
mediocre minds." Great spirits are often called quacks by mediocre minds.
Having mention two famous quacks, Semmelweis and Lister, we
can now tell you that the two innovations they gave us plus the advent of
personal hygiene (women began to wash diapers right around the Civil War period;
rather than just dry them out and reuse them) that added over 16 years to the
average life span in America by the turn of the 20th
century. When people tell you that the long life spans of today are due to
modern medical science, you can say, yeah, sure, in the form of cleanliness,
hygiene, and carbolic acid (the basis for today’s Listerine). We’ve already seen
Josephine Baker did to the infant mortality rates in
America around the turn of the century. With hygiene and hugs, Dr Baker is
credited with saving over 82,000 lives.
So, where are we today? Let us take a look at "Racketeering
in Medicine," by Dr James Carter, MD.
It’s always good to get the viewpoint of someone in the
profession about that profession, for as outsiders, like myself, we are often
told that our opinions are invalid.
The Second Law of Quackery (also known
as the law of skew): The chances of a study being skewed are directly
proportional to the amount of money to be lost or gained by the outcome.
On just page three of his book, Dr Carter asks, "May we assume
that objectivity goes hand in hand with scientific inquiry?" and answers, "No."
"Corporations now control the practice of medicine with the weight of their
wallets. Driven by the stock market, medicine is embroiled in an economic turf
He goes on to say, "The financial giants of business and
industry and their corporate sponsored philanthropies, such as the American
Cancer Society, spend and lobby mightily for laws representing their
As Deep Throat said to the two reporters for the Washington
Post: "Follow the money."
How do the entrenched power battle the encroachment of
alternatives? According to Dr Carter, there are two main methods:
- "Negative peer review is usually authored by doctors and
researchers who know little, sometimes nothing at all about the alternative
methods they have been asked to criticize." [see also,
Judge Declares: Quackbuster Not
- "Sloppy or contrived research has, at times, been used to
debunk an alternative therapy." [as demonstrated by the
quackwatch web site]
Then finally there’s the, what I like to call, Watergate
To suppress alternative medicine, organized
medicine resorts to bad behaviors: disinformation, smear campaigns of libel and
slander, harassment, unwarranted IRS audits, enticement of patients and family
members to sue doctors where there is no reason (even offering financial payment
to do so), entrapment by undercover agents posing as sick patients who may
persistently beg for alternative treatments, illegal wiretaps, and break-ins and
records theft. [Carter,
Racketeering in Medicine: The Suppression of Alternatives]
Licensing of physicians can be viewed in a number of ways. For
one thing, it allows the State to tell the individual what is good for that
individual. Although there is little proof that the Sate really knows what’s
good for the individual (and lots of historical evidence to the contrary), we
the people have allowed this iniquity to occur. [See also:
Health Care for Dummies, or How the Rich Got Richer While the Sick Got Sicker]
Any licensing or regulating of medicine is unconstitutional
because it restricts free trade. Attorneys for the very rich pharmaceutical
companies argue that without licensing and regulations quackery would abound.
Attorneys for the people, well, they don’t exist. However, continue reading and
you will see that licensing and regulations have never really stopped quackery
since there are many a licensed quack still practicing.
When a licensed physician employs an alternative therapy in
his practice (such as intravenous vitamin C or chelation therapy), organized
medicine will target in on that physician in the following manner, according to
- Negative, sometimes fabricated, evidence is presented to the
state board of medical examiners with a request for an official investigation.
- The process results in prosecution.
- Intimidating pressures are exerted on doctors to cease his
alternative approach or lose his license to practice medicine.
- The licensing boards engage in investigations and proceedings
which are often confidential and kept secret even from the doctors.
The only recourse is to go through the process, and then go to
court afterwards suing the medical boards, which many physicians have done, but
only if they can afford the process. You see, the moneyed agencies
(Board of Medical Practices, FDA, Post Office, IRS, you name it) can spend as
much as they want because they have the bottomless pockets of the government to
reach into. The accused (accursed) has only her/his limited income to fall back
on. One way of destroying any practice is for the richer of the two combatants
to continually file frivolous lawsuits till the poorer goes broke. Isn’t
"I do not believe the word
'person' in the 14th Amendment includes corporations." Supreme Court
Justice Hugo Black (1938)
The Modern History of
Here is where the story really gets good. Sure there’ve been
quack hunts for centuries. Anyone can call anyone else a quack, but once you get
organized with a load of capital behind you, then you can not only call a person
a quack, you can totally destroy that person and the therapy that person has to
offer, despite the validity of that therapy.
The AMA created the Department of Investigation to hunt out
quackery in 1906. The DOI was disbanded in 1975. In its sixty-nine years, the
DOI went after a lot of true quacks as well "enemies" of the AMA, such as those
who would threaten their profits or the profits of the pharmaceutical interests.
Dr Carter writes, "Files were kept on Dr Andrew Ivy, Dr Wilhelm Reich, the
National Health Federation, the International Association of Cancer Victims and
Friends (recovered cancer patients of alternative physicians), Dr Carlton
Fredricks, and the Palmer Chiropractic College, among others. This department of
the AMA also kept files on such subjects as health foods, vitamins, acupuncture,
faith healing, and scientology."
In 1963 the AMA Committee on Quackery was established by its
Board of Trustees for the sole purpose "to study the chiropractic problem." H
Doyle Taylor, who had served ten years on the AMA’s Department of Investigation
was appointed the Secretary of the Committee. In 1971, in a memo to the AMA
Board of Trustees, Taylor wrote, "Your Committee has considered its prime
mission to be the first containment of Chiropractic and ultimately the
elimination of Chiropractic."
In 1964 the AMA formed the CCHI (Coordinating Conference on
Health Information) as an offshoot on their committee on Quackery. According to
Dr Carter, the CCHI was a secretive, covert organization with no public
scrutiny. It spawned the infamous NCHF, National Council Against Health Fraud.
"The director of each regional chapter must actually swear an oath of secrecy."
The distance between the AMA and the NCHF was established just wide enough to
provide "lots of plausible deniability to the mother organization, the AMA,
which gave birth to it." [Carter]
The CCHI was made up by many more than just representatives of
the AMA. The list includes: members of the Federal Trade Commission, the FDA,
the US Postal Service, the Arthritis Foundation, American Pharmaceutical
Association, the American Cancer Association, and Better Business Bureau. Why
would so many non-physicians join this club? Retirement is always easier on two
incomes than just one.
The CCHI existed formally for ten years. Its goals became the
goals of Congressman Claude Peppers (as you’ll see below). They disbanded, about
the same time the Committee on Quackery also formally disbanded, but PJ Lisa,
who wrote his book
Are You A Target for Elimination? suggests they
did not really disband, but went underground. It seems that, according to Lisa,
before disbanding, each member received a very thick document of the goals and
objectives of the CCHI while turning over its functions to some other entity.
Members were told that the proceedings were for the members only and that
minutes should not be formally recorded.
Lisa contends that the activities of the CCHI were turned over
to the NCHF, California Council against Health Fraud, and the others. Dr Carter
tells us: "The first official meeting of this group [a shadow organization of
the CCHI], under the rubric of Clearinghouse for Health Information Against
Fraud, was held in May, 1984."
Though they would have us think they are a consumer advocate
organization akin to Ralph Nader and his people, "when you analyze their make-up
and how they came into existence, you soon realize that they don’t represent
consumers at all."
Their purpose? To preserve the monopoly enjoyed by
In the late 1970s, Congressman Claude Pepper sponsored his
"Strike Force" bill (HR6051) calling for the establishment of a clearing house
for information on medical quackery and a Strike Force to go after persons or
groups accused of health fraud. The AMA had attempted to establish a secret
strike force in the early seventies. However, because House Bills are not
prepared in secrecy, the house was inundated with mail opposing the Pepper Bill,
as pro-choice advocates in health care groups (like the National Health
Federation) launched an all out effort to keep their health options opened. The
bill failed to reach the floor.
In 1984, the AMA created their own strike force.
The amazing thing about this Strike Force was that, after the
Pepper bill failed to go anywhere, all the agencies that would have been
involved in the working of the bill carried on as if it had been passed,
only secretively and covertly. Dr Carter highlights a bit of disinformation
inserted by the Strike Force into a speech by the Deputy Director of the NCI
alleging that Dr Burton’s vaccine used in his immuno-augmentative therapy had
been contaminated by the AIDS virus; the only mention anywhere of HIV was in
this speech. Yet it was enough to close Burton’s clinic temporarily in Freeport,
One more example? Half a million dollars was awarded by the
NCI to establish a database of "unproven" therapies, as was originally proposed
by the Pepper Bill, that is the "failed" Pepper bill.
The bill was never passed, but the agencies to be involved
carried on their disinformation campaign.
Even the American Cancer Society got in on the action claiming
that 28 billion a year was spent on unproven methods; a statement which was
quickly picked up by USA today. The ACS claimed that this figure came from the
OTA (Office of Technology Assessment). The OTA’s response: "We would be
reluctant to give a figure as data are not available on which we could ground
such an estimate. Thus we cannot support any figure, including $28 billion."
During the sixties and seventies the AMA’s COQ (Committee on
Quackery) launched a smear campaign fraught with such well-organized dirty
tricks that would make Karl Rove blush.
Chiropractic colleges got faked letters that enticed them into
making medical claims. If a claim was made, the letter was turned over to postal
inspectors as evidence of mail fraud. Some students to Chiropractic colleges
were plants from the AMA while other "observers" attended chiropractic
conventions. The Committee on Quackery also pressured the Department of Labor to
remove their chapter on Chiropractic in their Health Careers Guide Book.
And in a scenario that has been played out repeatedly
throughout the history of Quackery, the AMA sponsored a study on chiropractic to
be carried out by the Stanford Research Institute and then falsified the data to
achieve negative results. (Remember the
Second Law of Quackery?) Then it
got the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to accept the study as
objective, independent research.
Though a successful anti-trust
lawsuit played out against the AMA in 1976 by chiropractors, the AMA continued
on in their conspiracy to restrict free trade. Finally, having gathered enough
evidence of wrong doing, the chiropractors sued the AMA. The FTC agreed with the
chiropractors and ruled that the AMA was in violation of monopoly laws, but the
lengthy battle of Wilkes v. AMA finally landed in a federal district court where
Judge Susan Getzedanner, in 1987, ruled that the AMA had engaged in an illegal
conspiracy to destroy the chiropractic profession by engaging in "systematic,
long-term wrong-doing with the long-term intent to destroy a licensed
profession." The AMA was ordered to cease and desist. Judge Getzedanner also
ordered "a permanent injunction against the AMA, forcing them to print the
court's findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Several other of the defendants settled out of court helping to pay for the
chiropractor's legal expenses and donating to a chiropractic non-profit home for
disabled children, the Kentuckian Children's Center.
"This decision was upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1990
and again by the U.S. Supreme Court that same year." [http://www.svpvril.com/amavchir.html]
If you visit the quackpot web sites, you’ll still find the
AMA’s attack on chiropractic, but supposedly by people not associated with them.
They still quote the faked study from Stanford.
The AMA has been on a witch-hunt since its conception. In rare
moments, it has been candid in its motivation: profit. The AMA has opposed all
forms of medicine that have cut into its profits, not just non-traditional forms
of medicine. They’ve attacked midwifery, acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy,
massage therapy, physical therapy, nutrition, optometry, chelation therapy, and
the list goes on. Since 1977, the National Council Against Health Fraud seems to
have become their mouthpiece, along with a network of seemingly different
organizations, though according to an article published in
Vegetarian Times called "The Health Fraud Cops—Are the Quackbusters
Consumer Advocates or Medical McCarthyites?" "… leaders of each organization are
on the boards of nearly every other affiliate group.
- The National Council Against Health Fraud (NCHF) – receives
funding from the National Pharmaceutical Council, the AMA, and food industry.
- The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) – funded by
industry, National Agricultural Chemicals Association, duPont, Monsanto, Procter
and Gamble, Dow Chemical, and many from the food industry: Frito-Lay, Burger
King, Land O’Lakes, Oscar Meyer, Hershey Foods. Their main job is to counter all
claims against pesticides, irradiated foods, genetically engineered foods,
antibiotics, hormones, etc.
- The Consumer Health Information Research Institute (CHIRI) –
its constituency is the health insurance industry serving the industry by
determining which therapies and disabilities qualify for insurance compensation.
Disabilities that have been at odds with this organization include fibromyalgia,
multiple chemical sensitivity/environmental illness, chronic fatigue. They
maintain a database of some 40,000 physicians and health care using
"questionable medical practices"
- The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of
the Paranormal (CSICOPS) – its purpose is to debunk all forms of faith/spiritual
healing as well as ESP and paranormal experiences.
Herbert, referred to often as a legend in his own
mind, was a long time member of the NCHF. His attack on Dr Warren Levin, MD in
New York stands as a lesson in history. The only person with a complaint against
Dr Levin was Herbert; no patients had any complaints. The battle began in 1980
and ended in 1994 with Levin coming out on top, if you consider being
bankrupted, both personally and professionally, as coming out on top.
The NCHF created a list of 2,500 doctors they determined to be
Quacks. Two time Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling was on that list. There were,
probably, a few on that list who were quacks. Always good to toss in one or two
so you can prove your point.
Stephen Barrett (we won’t call him doctor as he is no longer
licensed and no one seems to have come forward to stand up for him by telling us
that he’s actually practiced medicine—heck, you’d think he’d have at least one
patient who would stand up for him) is another so-called quackbuster, though we
will refer to him as a quackpot from now on. He attacked Dr Shari Lieberman, RD,
PhD, winning a slight victory against her; she was stripped of her credentials.
However, it soon came to light that the charges against her had been falsified:
"Under cross examination, Dr. Barrett admitted that he was not in fact, an
expert in nutrition science, describing himself instead as an expert in
'consumer strategy' and a 'journalist.' This deposition clearly showed that Dr.
Barrett did not have a thorough grounding in the scientific research relevant to
the serious charges he made against Dr. Lieberman that caused her substantial
harm," writes Dr Julian M. Whitaker, MD [http://www.internetwks.com/pauling/quack.html]
Elizabeth Whelan of the ACSH is another name you should know
about. Her job is to tell us that sound scientific principles, though funded by
Dow Chemical, Monsanto, and Burger King (see above), prove that we are safe
little kittens consuming foods bathed in pesticides, herbicides, and whatever
other chemical just happens to make its way into the food chain. She tells us
emphatically that, "its wrong to terrify people about trace levels of chemicals
that cause cancer in mice …." Whenever someone, like Oprah for example, stands
up to the food industry for trying to poison us, it’s the ACSH that will send
out their pseudo scientists to tell us the exact opposite. [iahf.com]
This is where we stood on Quackery in America as of the year
2000. But I am happy to tell you, things are beginning to change.
Enter Tim Bolen, health freedom advocate, consumer advocate,
and all around nice guy.
From an article he wrote called, "Quackpot
Watch," we get:
I've been following the activities of the
"Quackbusters" for about five years, ever since the name Stephen Barrett (www.quackwatch.com)
came up, as a player, against a client of mine in California. I asked the
question "why would this group be using a doctor from Pennsylvania, as their
witness, when there are 300,000 health professionals in this State?"
Thus began my education. Now I'm going to educate YOU...
The "Quackbuster" operation is a conspiracy. It is a propaganda enterprise, one
part crackpot, two parts evil. Its sole purpose is to discredit, and suppress,
in an "anything goes" attack mode, what is wrongfully named "Alternative
Medicine." It has declared war on reality. The conspirators are acting in the
interests of, and are being paid, directly and indirectly, by the "conventional"
medical-industrial complex. [quackpotwatch.org]
Tim tells us that the Quackbusters are on the run now; their
end is near. They are the ones being hunted.
After the AMA lost their battle against Chiropractic and were
told to "cease and desist," a true conspiracy began. Now, I’m not big on
conspiracy theories, but what do you call it when, after being told to stop what
you are doing, you continue doing it on the sly?
Tons of papers, files, lists had been written, compiled, and
gathered despite the failure of the Pepper Bill to pass, as you've already read.
The AMA could no longer continue it’s crusade, so suddenly it had a ton of
materials to get rid of, and where did they go? According to Bolen, it all,
"ended up in Stephen Barrett's 1,800 square foot basement in Allentown, PA."
quackbuster.org consists of all these papers. The
articles at this site, though claiming to be the word of God, are so full of
misinformation and disinformation that it is best to believe the exact opposite
of what is touted there. Barrett is not very bright; he could not have written
all those articles. And even though his site is given the seal of approval by
URAC and is even listed by AARP to be one of the top
ten medical sites on the web, many people are beginning to see through the smoke
and mirrors. AARP and the URAC are running interference for the drug companies
that pay their fees.
Barrett and his minions are currently being exposed for who
and what they are. We reported in a newsletter that Barrett had been busted:
Judge Declares: Quackbuster Not
Millions of health freedom fighters suddenly realize that this
network of quackbusters is really just a handful of crackpots whose most recent
annual meeting at a Super 8 motel in Missouri proved laughable. They are, as
Bolen writes, "paper tigers."
And finally there is the public outrage. People are up in arms
that a relative had to die because of a suppressed therapy. In December of 2002
the New England Journal of Medicine came down hard on chemotherapy and boosted
interest in alternatives. In fact, it seems that conventional treatment of
multiple myeloma ranked no better than no treatment at all in a study
published in the
British Journal of Cancer [2000;82:1254-60]
In November of 1993, the state of Wisconsin finally gave up in
its case against a chelation doctor while at the same time dumping the
quackbusters (quackpots). You can read about it in the article entitled:
State Drops Case Against Alternative Medicine Doctor:
"It is a victory for freedom of choice, and I think it's a victory for
complimentary and alternative medicine and, quite frankly, I think it's a
victory for Dr. Kadile, personally,"
Yes, a victory for the people as now the State Board of
medical licensing must allow physicians to use chelation therapy, but mainly it
was a great victory for all humans as the quackpots were shown to be the
ludicrous, frothing, liars that some of us have known them to be all along. The
icing on the cake is that the quackpot originating the malicious lawsuit in the
first place against Dr Kadile is now being sued in Federal court:
Read about it here.
So what is quackery? Quackery is fraud. What is
science? Science is truth, or at least a search for truth. Though
somewhere along the line science turned into fraud and humans turned
into cadavers, unable to get the health care they needed, their
health freedom being abrogated by those who "know better."
The Third Law of Quackery: Beware of the person calling
another a "Quack," for he is most likely to be what he would dignify the other.
The Times, They Are a Changing
Stick around. We've got more on the many frauds perpetrated
upon the American public, ostensibly in the name of science, but truly in the
name of greed, avarice, and power:
Medical Fraud. If you want to know
how "conventional medicine" got its monopolistic hold on health, read
Health Care for Dummies, or How the Rich Got Richer
While the Sick Got Sicker.
However, if you would like to truly
understand the width, breath, and depth to medical fraud in America, all done
under the supposed name of "science," you might wish to peruse a publication by
the Office of Technical Assessment. We learned from Dr Carter, in his book,
Racketeering in Medicine, that, "in 1978 [the OTA] published a report
that only 10 to 20% of all medical procedures currently used in medical practice
have been shown to be efficacious [effective] by controlled trial." Furthermore,
"The OTA further notes that [these 10 to 20% medical procedures] which purport
to having been proven effective are in some cases based on flawed research." We
found the publication on the web, and if you want to do some homework, here it
Assessing the Efficacy and Safety of Medical Technologies.
Oh, and please don't write to me that 1978 was a long time ago, because all
signs show that the situation has gotten even worse since then.
Today, we are killing, according to Dr Carolyn Dean MD, ND,
Death By Modern
Medicine, 784,000 people yearly in America. Saddam
Hussein did not kill that many people each year. No one in conventional medicine
has a right to point any fingers.
References and Further Reading:
Divided Legacy, Harris L Coulter
Racketeering in Medicine: The Suppression of Alternatives
The Drug Story, Morris A Bealle (Out of Print)
Murder by Injection, Eustice Mullins Highly
Death by Modern Medicine, Dean, Carolyn, MD, ND
Fifty Years of Folly and Fraud "In the Name of Science":
From Crossroads to the Healthcare Crisis,
by Irwin Bross, PhD