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Disciplinary Action against Robert F. Hofmann, M.D. (2003)

In 1999, I was contacted by the daughters of a deceased man who had been treated for colon cancer with intravenous vitamin C, a Rife machine, ozonized terpenes, and other questionable methods by ophthalmologist Francis F. Hofmann, M.D., of Austin, Texas. When the Texas Medical Board investigated, Hofmann said that after the patient’s death, his …

In 1999, I was contacted by the daughters of a deceased man who had been treated for colon cancer with intravenous vitamin C, a Rife machine, ozonized terpenes, and other questionable methods by ophthalmologist Francis F. Hofmann, M.D., of Austin, Texas. When the Texas Medical Board investigated, Hofmann said that after the patient’s death, his medical records had been inadvertently shredded outside his control and without his knowledge. The board determined that this violated its rule that records must be kept for at least seven years. Without admitting fault, Hofmann signed an agreed order (shown below) under which he was fined $1,000 and required to meet specified record-keeping standards in the future.


LICENSE NO. Gl918

IN THE MATTER OF

THE LICENSE OF

ROBERT FRANCIS HOFMANN, M.D.

§
§
§
§
§

BEFORE THE

TEXAS STATE BOARD

OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS

AGREED ORDER

On this the 7th day of February, 2003, came to be heard before the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners (“the Board” or “the Texas Board”), duly in session the matter of the license of Robert F. Hofmann, M.D. (“Respondent”). Pursuant to a complaint filed at the State Office of Administrative Hearing against Respondent on August 29, 2002, Docket No. 503-02-4146, Respondent, with the assistance of counsel, Henry Novak, Esq., voluntary enters this agreed order to settle all allegations set forth and described in the complaint. Walter G. Mosher represented Board Staff.

The Board was represented at the Informal Settlement Conference/Show Compliance Proceeding by David Garza, D.O., a member of the Board, and Phyllis Strother, a member of the District Review Committee. Upon recommendation of the Board’s representatives and with the consent of Respondent, the Board makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law and enters this Order as set forth herein:

FlNDINGS OF FACT

1. The Board has jurisdiction over the subject matter and Respondent. Respondent received all. notice that may be required by law and by the rules of the Board. All jurisdictional requirements have been satisfied under TEX. OCC. CODE ANN. §§ 151.001-165.160 (Vernon 2002) (the “Act”). By entering into this Agreed Order, Respondent waives any defect in the notice and any further right to notice or hearing under the Act, TEX. GOV’T CODE ANN. §§ 2001.051-.054, and the Rules of the State Board of Medical Examiners (22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §§ 187.1-.44 (2002)).

2. On June 15, 1982, the Board issued Respondent a Texas medical license.

3. Respondent holds Texas medical license G1918.

4. Respondent is a physician whose primary specialty is ophthalmology.

5. Prior to November 18, 1998 when the Board adopted Rule 200, Standard for Physicians Practicing Integrative and Complementary Medicine, Respondent provided various forms of treatment modalities in complementary and integrative medical care to the general public. Upon receiving information regarding the quality of care Respondent provided certain patients, the Board initiated an investigation of Respondent’s practice methods.

6. On March 29, 2000, pursuant to the Board’s request for Respondent’s medical records for patient F.M., Respondent stated that after the patient’s death the medical records had been inadvertently shredded outside his control and without his knowledge.

7. Board Staff maintains that the destruction of Patient F.M. medical records nonetheless violates Board Rule 165, Adequate Medical Records, which requires Respondent to keep patient records at least seven (7) years from the last date of treatment.

8. On August 29, 2002, Board Staff filed a complaint at the State Office of Administrative Hearing against Respondent for alleging violations of the Act relating to Respondent’s quality of care and medical record keeping.

9. Respondent answered and denied that he violated the Medical Practice Act as alleged in the complaint. Respondent specifically asserts that he complied with the Act and Board Rule 200 with regard to his quality of care and provided Board Staff with supporting information and materials to the effect.

10. While not admitting that he violated the Act, Respondent enters into this Agreed Order and agrees to comply with the terms and conditions set forth herein so as to avoid any further proceedings relating to these allegations and associated litigation expenses. Respondent further neither admits nor denies that the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law set forth herein are accurate.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

Based on the above Findings of Fact, the Panel concludes the following:

1. Respondent is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Section 164.05l(a)(l) of the Act based on Respondent’s commission of an act prohibited under Section 164.052.

2. Respondent is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Section 164.05l(a)(3) of the Act by committing a direct or indirect violation of a rule adopted under this Act, either as a principal, accessory, or accomplice, to wit: Board Rule 165, Adequate Medical Records.

3. Sections 165.001 and 165. 003 of the Act authorize the Board to impose a monetary administrative penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) for each separate violation of the Act or Board rule by a person licensed or regulated under the Act.

4. Section 164.002(a) of the Act authorizes the Board to resolve and make a disposition of this matter through an Agreed Order.

5. Section 164.002(d) of the Act provides that this Agreed Order is a settlement agreement under the Texas Rules of Evidence for purposes of civil litigation.

ORDER

Based on the above Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the Board ORDERS that the following terms and conditions are effective upon the date of the signing of this Agreed Order by the presiding officer of the Board:

1. Respondent shall pay an administrative penalty in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1000.00) within thirty (30) days of the signing of this Order by the presiding officer of the Board.

2. The administrative penalty shall be paid in a single payment by cashier’s check or money order payable to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners and shall be submitted to the Director of Compliance for the Board for routing so as to be remitted to the comptroller of Texas for deposit in the general revenue fund.

3. Respondent’s failure to pay the administrative penalty as ordered shall constitute grounds for further disciplinary action by the Board as provided for in the Act, and may result in a referral by the Executive Director of the Board for collection by the Office of the Attorney General.

4. Respondent shall maintain adequate medical records on all patient office visits, consultations, surgeries performed, drugs provided, and treatment rendered by Respondent. These records will include at a minimum, the patient’s name and address, vital signs and statistics, chief complaints, history and physical findings, diagnosis and basis for diagnosis, treatment plan for each patient visit or operative procedure, a notation of all medications prescribed or otherwise provided to the patient including the quantity, dosage, and rationale for providing the medications, and detailed records of all follow-up visits. Each visit shall be noted in the patient record and dated accordingly. Respondent shall make all patient medical records available for inspection and copying upon the oral or written request of Board consultants, investigators, compliance officers, attorneys, or the Executive Director of the Board.

5. Respondent shall comply with all the provisions of the Act and other statutes regulating the Respondent’s practice.

6. Respondent shall inform the Board in writing of any change of Respondent’s office or mailing address within ten (10) days of the address change. This information shall be submitted to the Permits Department and the Director of Compliance for the Board. Failure to provide such information in a timely manner shall constitute a basis for disciplinary action by the Board against Respondent pursuant to the Act.

7. Any violation of the terms, conditions, or requirements of this Order by Respondent shall constitute unprofessional conduct likely to deceive or defraud the public, and to injure the public, and shall constitute a basis for disciplinary action by the Board against Respondent pursuant to the Act.

8. Board Staff shall dismiss with prejudice all claims and assertions relating to these allegations currently pending at the State Office of Administrative Hearings within five (5) days after receipt of the administrative penalty identified above.

RESPONDENT WAIVES ANY FURTHER HEARINGS OR APPEALS TO THE BOARD OR TO ANY COURT IN REGARD TO ALL TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREED ORDER. RESPONDENT AGREES THAT THIS IS A FINAL ORDER.

THIS ORDER IS A PUBLIC RECORD.

I, ROBERT FRANCIS HOFMANN, M.D., HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THE FOREGOING AGREED ORDER. I UNDERSTAND THAT BY SIGNING, I WAIVE CERTAIN RIGHTS. I SIGN IT VOLUNTARILY. I UNDERSTAND THIS AGREED ORDER CONTAINS THE ENTIRE AGREEMENT AND THERE IS NO OTHER AGREEMENT OF ANY KIND, VERBAL, WRITTEN OR OTHERWISE.

DATED: January 27, 2003.

__________________________
ROBERT FRANCIS HOFMANN, M.D.
RESPONDENT

STATE OF TEXAS §
COUNTY OF TRAVIS §

BEFORE ME, the undersigned Notary Public, on this day personally appeared Robert Francis Hofmann, M.D., known to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to this instrument, an Agreed Order, and who after being by me duly sworn, on oath, stated that he executed the same for all purposes expressed therein.

Given under my hand and official seal and office this 27th day of January, 2003.

Karen Elaine Longshore
_____________________________
Notary Public, State of Texas

SIGNED AND ENTERED by the presiding officer of the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners on February 7th, 2003.

______________________________
Lee S. Anderson, M.D., President
Texas State Board of Medical Examiners



What Happened to Dr. J. Anthony Morris?

Vaccine critics often claim that criticism of public health measures is being suppressed because scientists who speak out against them have been fired from their jobs. In the mid-1970s, John Anthony Morris, Ph.D., portrayed himself as a victim on the Donahue show and in many newspaper articles. Morris was a GS-14 supervisory research microbiologist in …

Vaccine critics often claim that criticism of public health measures is being suppressed because scientists who speak out against them have been fired from their jobs. In the mid-1970s, John Anthony Morris, Ph.D., portrayed himself as a victim on the Donahue show and in many newspaper articles. Morris was a GS-14 supervisory research microbiologist in the FDA Bureau of Biologics. He spoke out against the swine flu program, and the FDA fired him shortly afterward. But—as I found out—these facts were not actually connected.

In March 1977, an article in Parade Magazine portrayed Morris as a competent and courageous scientist who was abruptly fired for claiming that the swine flu vaccine was ineffective and dangerous [1]. I was suspicious of this story because (a) Morris’s attorney, James Turner, was closely tied to the National Health Federation, a quackery-promoting group that opposed immunization and (b) the article did not include a response by the FDA. When I contacted the FDA, they sent me thousands of pages of hearings transcripts and other documents related to Morris’s firing. They also sent a detailed letter which said that Morris had been fired because, for several years, his research had been “so poorly conducted as to preclude drawing any valid conclusions from the results” and that he had been “so insubordinate as to make it impossible to correct his deficiencies and monitor his work.” [2] The documents I received included the FDA’s form-letter response to Congressional Inquires:

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE
PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
ROCKVILLE. MARYLAND 20852

FORM LETTER USED TO RESPOND TO CONGRESSIONAL
INQUIRIES ABOUT DR. J. ANTHONY MORRIS

Contrary to news stories which have appeared recently, Dr. Morris was not separated because of his statements on the swine influenza program. The action to separate Dr. Morris was initiated for other reasons long before the program of national inoculation against swine influenza ever surfaced. As you may recall, swine flu became a point of national concern between February 14, and March 24, 1976, after swine flu was diagnosed at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. The notice to Dr. Morris of intention to terminate him was issued July 11, 1975. The events and reasons leading up to Dr. Morris’ separation date back to 1972.

A great many things could be said about the reasons for separating Dr. Morris, but we believe it would be better to share with you the actual documentation involved. Although such documentation would normally be held by the Food and Drug Administration as privileged information, Dr. Morris has himself released statements concerning this issue and therefore, the memoranda are publicly available. Enclosed are three documents. The first is the initial letter to Dr. Morris dated July 11, 1975 advising him of intention to separate. Dr. Morris appealed that decision, and consistent with his rights as a Federal employee, he was given both an opportunity to meet with the Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a full hearing before a hearing examiner. The report of that hearing examiner, dated May 24, is also appended. The third document is a copy of the Commissioner’s decision dated July 12, 1976, and issued after receiving the report of the hearing examiner.

If you will look at the dates that are involved on each document, you will note that the decision was not made hastily, nor was the action against Dr. Morris concluded in a very brief period of time. In fact, in response to Dr. Morris’ request for an ”outside” review of his research program, the FDA requested its Advisory Panel on the Review of Viral Vaccines and Rickettsial Vaccines (made up of outstanding scientists from outside the Federal Government) to undertake such a review.

That review took several months and included open meetings at which Dr. Morris and his attorney were present and participated. The Panel found that in many cases his research was poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed. The Panel concluded that Dr. Morris’ research was wasteful of Government resources. A copy of the complete transcript of those meetings and the Panel’s report are available for public review in FDA’s Public Records and Documents Center.

We believe Dr. Morris was given a fair opportunity to set forth every possible reason why he should not be separated. Although ·the hearing examiner felt the proposed penalty was severe, he concurred with most of the findings. In his memorandum of July 12, 1976, the Commissioner set forth his reasons why the penalty was considered appropriate.

Dr. Morris has the right to appeal the Commissioner’s decision to the Civil Service Commission, and he has done so. Thus, he has another opportunity to present his case. And, if the Civil Service Commission sustains the decision to separate Dr. Morris, he has still another opportunity to contend his separation; he can appeal the decision in the Federal court.

We are not aware of the source of the article about Dr. Morris’ being fired allegedly because he criticized the Administration’s swine flu program. We can only assure you that the Food and Drug Administration did not initiate the story, because that was not the reason for his separation.

Further, the statements in the article about the disposition of Dr. Morris’ test animals, records, and staff are incorrect. The implication that Dr. Morris’ research was a part of the swine flu program is also incorrect. Dr. Morris’ research was not a part of the swine flu program.

We trust you would understand that the Food and Drug Administration is not prepared to continue the research of an employee who has been separated because in many cases, his research was found to be, in the judgment of his peers, “poorly conceived, poorly designed, and poorly executed.” Consequently, the FDA undertook a series of steps to resolve space, staff, and resources in a responsible way. Uninoculated control animals or normal animals not used in specific experiments were made available to other investigators. Experimental animals were evaluated and judged to have been held beyond the normal completion of the experiment. These were humanely disposed of in complete accordance with the laboratory animal care requirements. Laboratory supplies and equipment were made available to other investigators. Only small quantities of partly used consumables have been discarded. Laboratory notebooks and similar materials that were a part of Dr. Morris’ personal research efforts were packaged and turned over to Dr. Morris. Those materials requiring maintenance at low temperatures, etc., have been boxed and stored for the time being. Each of his employees was interviewed and given a new assignment with every effort made to match employee preference to Bureau of Biologics need.

We hope that you will review these documents carefully as we do not believe Dr. Morris was treated arbitrarily or capriciously. Most of all we are appreciative of the chance to communicate our side of this issue.

If we can be of any further assistance, please let us know.

Sincerely yours,

Robert C. Wetherell, Jr.,
Director Office of Legislative Services

 

After spending more than 25 hours reading the documents and interviewing FDA personnel, I concluded that Morris’s version of what happened was pure baloney. The final phases of his firing were summarized in four documents:

  • In July 1975, Morris was notified that the director of the Bureau of Biologics proposed to remove him from his research position because of a pattern of insubordination and sloppy research dating back to 1972 [3].
  • In May 1976, a hearing examiner recommended that Morris be suspended for five days without pay [4].
  • In July 1976, FDA Commissioner Alexander M. Schmidt, M.D., concluded that Morris’s work and attitude were so deficient that he should be fired [5].
  • Morris’s firing was upheld by the Civil Service Commission in June 1977 [2].

A few days after Parade‘s article appeared, I complained to the National News Council that the article was one-sided because it did not quote an FDA spokesperson. The National News Council agreed:

The story of Dr. J. Anthony Morris and his dismissal from government service is obviously a complex one which the authors of the Parade article in question have chosen to reduce to one which is simple. It is—in their manner of presentation—a case of good guys vs. bad guys with Dr. Morris emerging as the good guy whose revelations about the government-sponsored swine flu program marked him as an outspoken enemy of entrenched and self-interested bureaucracy. The article starts with the headline: SCIENTIST J. ANTHONY MORRIS—HE FOUGHT THE FLU SHOTS AND THE U.S. FIRED HIM. There is no disputing that he fought the flu shots and that the government fired him. But in between the two events lies a saga of governmental hearings, witnesses testifying to the competence of Dr. Morris’ scientific methodology and conflicting evidence. However, nowhere in this article . . . is there any indication of the breadth of the controversy or that there might be some substantive arguments on any side other than Dr. Morris’—arguments that could and should have been presented without affecting the authors’ basic point of view. The Council, thus, does not challenge the right of the authors to champion Dr. Morris’ case. Rather, the issue before the Council is whether in this instance the presentation was so one-sided as to have strayed beyond an acceptable range of editorial judgment. The article neglected the other side of this controversy, and the arguments advanced by the opponents of Dr. Morris were ignored. As a result, an essential element of the story was clearly missing.The complaint is found warranted [6].

Morris continued to speak out but attracted little attention after 1980. He died of congestive heart failure on July 3, 2014 at the age of 95. A few Web sites still carry his story. Attorney James Turner has continued to represent vaccine opponents.

References
  1. Cockburn A, Ridgeway J. Scientist J. Anthony Morris—He fought the flu shots and the U.S. fired him. Parade, March 13, 1977.
  2. Braunig WE. Letter to Dr. Stephen Barrett, July 14, 1977.
  3. Meyer HM Jr. Letter to J. Anthony Morris, Ph.D., July 11, 1975.
  4. Moore HL. Proposal to remove Dr. J Anthony Morris from the Federal Service. Examiner’s report of findings and recommendations. May 24, 1976.
  5. Schmidt AM. Letter to J. Anthony Morris, Ph.D., July 12,  1976.
  6. Decision on Complaint No. 113, Barrett against Parade. National News Council, Sept 20, 1977.


The Short Life of a Homeopathic “Appetite Suppressor”

In 1988, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, federal marshals in California seized millions of dollars worth of “appetite control” kits that were being sold illegally by Meditrend International, of San Diego. Despite warnings by FDA that the kits were being marketed illegally, Meditrend had continued to sell them and even …

In 1988, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, federal marshals in California seized millions of dollars worth of “appetite control” kits that were being sold illegally by Meditrend International, of San Diego. Despite warnings by FDA that the kits were being marketed illegally, Meditrend had continued to sell them and even claimed (falsely) that they were FDA-approved or had met FDA standards [1].

Meditrend International was originally registered as a for-profit corporation in Nevada. Records from the California Secretary of State indicate that in February 1988, it registered in California. A few months later, it entered the marketplace as a network marketing company and suggested in its literature that people who joined early and worked hard could become millionaires [2].

The kits consisted of bandages that looked like spot bandaids plus a solution that was to be applied to them. In May 1988, the Los Angeles Times reported that a company spokesperson had said that the kits included instructions for a regimen of diet and exercise and that Meditrend was not claiming that the patch and solution, used alone, were weight-reducing agents [3]. However, I do not believe that was true. A company flier stated:

Now you can have power over your own weight control center. . . The Appetite Control Patch is an amazing new development by medical doctors. It combines two time-tested therapies:

  • The use of acupuncture points to apply the preparation.
  • Homeopathic preparations to produce the APPETOFF solution.

The APPETOFF solution is applied to a small spot bandage which is then placed on the wrist’s acupuncture point. A “bioelectrical” message is the sent to the brain’s appetite control center enabling you to control your appetite [4].

These claims, in addition to being illegal, were nonsensical. There is no known mechanism whereby a liquid applied to the skin can generate a “bioelectrical force” that can penetrate the skin. The retail price was about $30 for a package of 30 bandaids and a bottle of solution. Total sales were about $13 million in the first five months of 1988—with $6 million in April alone. The FDA estimated that the kits cost about $3 each to manufacture [5].

In June 1988, the government seized cartons of Appetoff patches and other material worth $474,000 retail at Meditrend in San Diego; $22 million worth of patches, Appetoff liquid, and other materials at Beco Chemical Co. of Lynwood, California, where Meditrend’s diet kits were made; and Appetoff labeling at Jerica Packaging Co. of Sylmar, California.

After the seizure, Meditrend stopped distributing Appetoff, and, as a result, distributors across the country returned their supplies. The FDA petitioned the court to seize the additional products, as well as newly manufactured kits that the firm had received from a supplier. In August, it seized an additional $4 million worth of the product. The seized products were destroyed in April 1989.

Between the seizure dates, the Meditrend was sold to Bokkie International. Both companies went out of business, but Meditrend’s owner, Gert Van Zijl, was able to relocate to South Africa with a substantial amount of money from the scam [6].

The FDA’s enforcement decisions in this case were very unusual. In the late 1980s, unapproved health products that were not marketed for the treatment of serious diseases were considered “economic frauds” and given near-zero enforcement priority. But in this case, the FDA not only did major seizures but did them quickly. When I asked about this, an official told me that the agency got so many inquires from consumers that it had felt pressured to act.

References
    1. Diet patches seized. FDA Consumer, September 1998, p 6.
    2. La Ganga ML. FDA looking into skin-patch diet aids, claims of two firms. Los Angeles Times. May 19, 1988.
    3. Major medical discovery: Appetite Control Patch. Meditrend International flyer distributed in February 1988.
    4. Keys to your success: Millionaires—Are they explorers, pioneers, leaders, or seekers? Meditrend International flyer distributed in February 1988.
    5. Diet patches destroyed. FDA Consumer, September 1989, pp 39-40.
    6. Johnson R. Testimony. Hearing on Deception and Fraud in the Diet Industry. Before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business, March 26, 1990.


My Psychic Adventure

In the late 1990s, actress Kari Coleman played the part of a psychic for Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular variety show on cable TV’s FX channel. This account of her experiences is slightly modified from her report in Volume 2, No 3-4, 1998 issue of Swift, the newsletter of the James Randi Educational Foundation. …


In the late 1990s, actress Kari Coleman played the part of a psychic for Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular variety show on cable TV’s FX channel. This account of her experiences is slightly modified from her report in Volume 2, No 3-4, 1998 issue of Swift, the newsletter of the James Randi Educational Foundation.


I’m sorry to say that my time of skepticism has come to an end, as—much to my surprise—I am a psychic. Yes, it is hard to believe, but you must let yourself go and be one with your psychic power, as I did. Well that, or get hired to play the part of a psychic and be horrified at how easy it is to make people believe.

I was taping a bit for Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular (the most skeptical show on TV) and I needed to be able to fool people with cards, palmistry and other “psychic” talents. Caesar’s Magical Empire, a major Las Vegas magic showcase, allowed me to work in character as a psychic Tarot card reader to get some practice. Oh, man.

I was dressed in their “Spurina” costume: a flowing purple gown with built-in breasts that created more cleavage than I have had the joy of knowing, this black kind of Las Vegas-conception-of-Cleopatra-looking wig and a lot of makeup. (I was to be the psychic advisor to Caesar, and judging from the costume, he enjoyed more than my “powers.”) I was set up to either walk around or use one of the tables in the “spirit bar.” I’d be working in the hub area with the pyrotechnic show: 30 foot flames, 3 adolescent close-up magicians in tights and me.

I was so nervous. I walked around for a while with my stupid Tarot cards in my hand going over my memorized lines and trying to remember the stuff I researched about the cards, in case I encountered a client who had read a Tarot book. For my preparation, Jamy Ian Swiss, the magic consultant for Penn & Teller’s Sin City, sent me a bunch of material on cold reading prior to my practice run. Psychologist and reformed palm-reader-turned-skeptic Ray Hyman gave me some great expert phone time, and I winced through a tape of James Van Praagh (direct link to heaven and one evil jerk) provided by Skeptic magazine publisher Michael Shermer.

Research

I had done lots of reading—not readings—to complete my research. The hardest part about this whole setup was going to the newage (“rhymes with sewage”) bookstore. I bought some Tarot cards, and then I went to the used-book section and picked up books on palmistry, Tarot, astrology and graphology so I could be versed in the lingo. The Bhodi Tree Bookstore makes me sad. A place filled with dazed-looking losers, and there I was buying crap just like the rest of them. It would be so nice if everyone there was doing research for a Penn & Teller bit, but I don’t think so. Ugh. I had to go home and shower.

The Cards Tell A Story

Now it was time to go to work in my makeup and padded bra at the Magical Empire. I sat down, fanned out my cards and tried to look all-knowing. One of the guides brought over my first “client.” My heart was ready to leap out of my chest, and I was sweating in my Spurina padding. The woman sat down, and I went into my spiel while I was looking her up and down. I said all the stuff that makes them want to help and gives me an out when I’m wrong, like, “The cards tell me a story. I receive pictures and images that will not mean anything to me, but perhaps are very significant to you. If you remain open, then we can explore together and find insight into your destiny.” Then I launched into the usual statements that appeal to everyone.

She was into it. I looked at her and for some reason she looked like a nurse to me. I had a zillion outs if I was wrong, so I took a chance and asked her if she was. I was correct, and she was amazed. Sometimes nurses look like nurses. Lucky guess=major hit. I was golden.

I was rolling the rest of the night. The standard stuff would hook them and then I would start making guesses based on my observations and their feedback. One person wrote up on a comment card that I was a terrific addition and amazing, and two people summoned the manager to tell him how I knew stuff I couldn’t possibly have known.

Jamy, who was lurking in the background, watched me read a man who was skeptical at first. I hit him hard. Why would a guy surrounded by his wife and another couple (all kidding him) sit down at my table? His question isn’t going to be any-thing sexual (his wife either already knows or he doesn’t want her to know-why push his luck?). Men, as a rule, don’t voluntarily sit down for a general reading, so I guessed something big was weighing on his mind. I gave him my opening, while looking for the card that was supposed to represent him. The next card I flipped over I put my hand on as if I was getting something from it. I looked him right in the eye and I said, “you have dreams and aspirations that seem unrealistic to you. You are taking steps to make them a reality and you are frightened.” Then the catchall, “Does this mean anything to you?”

Of course it did, he’s obviously either quitting his old job and starting his own company, getting a job doing something he’s always really wanted to do but was afraid, whatever … I pretty much knew it had to do with his occupation and a big move he was considering. It’s the only safe question he had in front of his friends. I gave him the “you’re frightened” because I knew it would make him uncomfortable and scare him into thinking I might say something personal in front of everyone. I had a hit (his wife was going crazy smacking his arm and giving me all the signals I needed), and I really had his attention. His face no longer masked anything from me and the rest of the reading was a cinch. Jamy followed him out (I’d become a fraud and turned my friend into a stalker) and listened to him telling his wife that usually these things are just generalities, but that this woman was different.

Evil Woman

Now I was evil. All the acting training was paying off, and I was getting really good, really fast. I started out being “okay” and by the end of the night I had a woman cry on me. I gave her the standard “There are untapped resources you have yet to put to your advantage.” She said, “Like what?” I said, “Something you do alone, an endeavor of some sort,” to which she replied, “It’s not really an endeavor, it’s a search.” Well, who does a late thirtyish woman search for? Either a kid she gave up, or some sort of relative, right? Fifty-fifty, I turned over a card that was male, and said, It’s a boy,” thinking she gave up a child. She started to cry and nodded. Meanwhile, I turned over two knights and said, “Who are the two men?” figuring that everyone has two men in their lives, and she would define them for me. Sure enough, she cried and said, “My husband and the ha-f brother I’m looking for.” Well, at that point I knew that I was wrong, but to her I was right on the money. She will forever recall that I came up with the fact that she was looking for her half-brother.

So, now what could I do? She wanted to know if I could see him, and I told her that I couldn’t have any connection with him because she didn’t know him and that all my vision was through her. (I’d gone too far with her, and I couldn’t confess everything without causing a huge scene in a place where they were doing me a favor to let me practice.) Then I figured the only good I could do was give her some good advice, so I told her, “Your search is a noble cause, and you can continue it, but remember what is most important: that which you have control over and that is your children, your husband and your home.” I tried to give her some encouragement, but also let her know not to be obsessed with an exciting search for a missing person, a search that could destroy her own home life.

Make Your Own Magic

The whole night was like that. I really did try to end all the readings with stuff like, “You have good instincts. Trust yourself. You make your own magic.” These were words that at least alluded to self-responsibility. I just can’t believe how easy it was to make this happen. I did a week of research and then made people believe I could “see.” Man. It freaked me out. I had to keep taking breaks and sitting alone to get my head together.

People just want to hear positive things about themselves. That’s all it is. Tell them what they want to hear. Make some guesses and keep going when you miss. I made some big misses that were killing me. One time I turned over a card with a queen that has a cat seated at her feet, so I thought, what the heck: “Do you have a cat?” The woman replied, “no.” “Does a friend, or someone you know have a cat?” “No.” (What are the chances of that?) “Okay,” I said, “keep that,” and moved on. At the end of the reading I smugly stated, “In two weeks, when that cat shows up, you think of me, okay?”

I’m charging Penn & Teller more because I have real gifts.

Psychically yours,
Spurina

* * * * * * * * * * *

Kari continues. . .

The Taping

It is the end of the day. We finished the taping today and I’m kinda nuts right now, but I need to get this out. What I did today was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I’m hoping that what I did today was right, but I don’t know. I’m crying as I type this, so I don’t think I’m that good a judge right now. Today we set up the location with a phony book signing event with fake posters and cameras and a director and many production people around. I was presented as a psychic. The first “book” and the first sign had my name on them and said that I was a Tarot card reader. I was dressed a little goofy, but nothing even close to my night at Caesar’s. I was a real person. It was my name up on the board. One by one, I read people’s cards and palms, or held an object and “talked to the dead.” I made a few “hits,” worked in the standard paragraph that we’d prepared, and then asked them on camera how I did. I asked how suited to them the reading was, or how much it applied only to them. They all responded favorably, and I called for the cameras to shut down.

“I Am Not Psychic”

At that point, in each case, I took hold of their hand and explained exactly what had just happened. I looked them right in the eye and told them everything. I said, ”What you have experienced is called a cold reading. I am not in any way psychic. The techniques I used on you are techniques that all psychics use. It’s a psychological profile that all of us respond to. You are not alone. I’ve said the exact same thing to all these other people and they responded favorably as well.” In some cases, the crew had fed me information, and I confessed to that.

What you cannot know until you’ve done it is that when you are reading someone, they trust you. They open themselves up to you, and you tell them nice things about themselves. Sometimes they off er up very personal hopes and dreams. This happened several times today. I then had to face them and tell them I’d lied. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I was successful in doing Van Praagh. I convinced a man that I was in contact with his dead mother who he had helped care for. The first lady I did cried, and we can’t use that in the TV program—real tears aren’t appropriate in a comedy-variety bit. The second man I was able to keep positive and it all worked out. In the two cases where this kind of reading was attempted, I then took a walk with the person and really talked with them for a long time. Speaking with both of them, I cried. I said, “I’m going to tell you something that you will find hard to hear, and I am finding very difficult to tell you. What has just happened is not anything supernatural. I am not psychic and we did not contact your dead relative. What I did was a cold reading. Everything I said to you is information that we all have after we lose someone. I lost my Granny last year. After watching people take advantage of the grieving, I decided to fight back. This is my way of doing that.”

I’m Getting An M

I said to the man who lost his Mom, “To me, it is an insult to your memories to have someone tell you that you need them to talk to your Mom. I always thought if there were an “other side,” then my Granny would do anything possible to contact me and talk to me. She would not need to go through some idiot who can’t come up with any substantial communication and only says, ‘I’m getting an M.’ You keep your Mom with you in pictures and memories that are so special. I’m telling you that because you seem like a great man. You’re fun-loving and good-spirited, and I know this just from our talks before and during the reading. That’s what your Mom left behind for everyone to see and enjoy. You are part of her, and your relationship is a wonderful legacy. I don’t have to be psychic to know all that stuff. I’m just a human being who is being honest with you about what I see.” We said more, but basically that covers what I talked about. We cried some and hugged. I thanked him for being a part of this and for helping me in my fight.

Now here’s the amazing part. All of my “talks” were difficult. Some not so much, but others were like the ones above. I didn’t know, when I started today, how people were going to react. The man from the conversation above told me this was the best thing that happened to him all day. He hugged me and told me what a special person I was to tell the truth. He introduced his lover to me and walked away telling everybody what a great lady I was, and how happy I’d made him. A grandmother brought her family over to meet me, and laughed when I explained how I’d guessed her husband’s name. Almost everyone was incredibly happy and the rest were just fine and a bit bemused.

Taking Away The Voodoo

I think I have finally found my answer to people who tell me that skepticism takes the joy out of life, that you need God to experience morality, and that without him it’s just a heartless existence. People were happy to talk. They really just wanted someone to listen to their problems, or share their hopes and dreams. They wanted to go over funny stories about a loved one they’d lost or just sit and remember them out loud with someone. When I took away the voodoo, the fact that we had “shared” didn’t go away. There is all the joy you need in human interaction. I really made sure that after we were done I gave each person, for lack of a better way of saying this, a part of me. I felt I had taken away something fake and I needed to replace it with something real. Human contact, human caring, human interaction.

I think it worked. Like I said before, I don’t know. I’m not thinking correctly right now. Maybe someone went home and felt cheated and used, but maybe not. I don’t know if I changed what people believe, but I think that I made them stop for at least a moment and open their eyes. Hopefully, if I only succeeded in getting them to like me, then they will remember that they liked me and that I felt it was important enough to spread the word about what is real. Maybe that will make them think, and then they will change their minds or just be more skeptical the next time. Who knows?



Wheat Germ, Rice Flour, and Nutritional Baloney

Where do consumers go for special low cholesterol, low sodium, or “allergy free” foods? Probably the local health food store. Many health food stores do carry specialty items and assorted whole grain products. But health food store shoppers risk being the target of poor—even dangerous—medical, nutrition, and supplement hype. Last year, Claudia Morain, San Jose …

Where do consumers go for special low cholesterol, low sodium, or “allergy free” foods? Probably the local health food store.

Many health food stores do carry specialty items and assorted whole grain products. But health food store shoppers risk being the target of poor—even dangerous—medical, nutrition, and supplement hype.

Last year, Claudia Morain, San Jose Mercury News staff writer, and I surveyed nine health food stores from Campbell to Cupertino. While Morain observed and took notes, I posed three questions to a clerk or “nutritionist” in each store.

These store “nutritionists” cited a variety of questionable qualifications including “learning from my customers,” “used to be a pharmacy professor,” and “I’m a registered nutritionist in Japan.” One store was staffed by a new clerk who “didn’t know” the answers to my particular queries, but suggested instead an assortment of vitamins for “energy.”

What else did these health  food store salespeople recommend? None answered all three questions correctly though all gave nutrition advice and recommended vitamins and other supplements without hesitation. And, none volunteered disclaimers about their lack of medical training.

Here are the three questions asked and a summary of store personnel response:

BONE MEAL AS A CALCIUM SUPPLEMENT FOR TEENAGERS

QUESTION: My 16-year-old daughter takes dolomite as a calcium supplement. Is that a good idea?.

CORRECT ANSWER: No, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers, especially pregnant women and growing children, that bone meal and dolomite are sometimes contaminated with toxic lead.

HEALTH-FOOD STORE SCORE: 5 WRONG, 3 RIGHT

Four clerks incorrectly said dolomite is OK or safe and one said it’s “too powerful.” Two correctly said it contains “impurities” and one specifically identified the impurity as lead; one didn’t know. Most recommended a more expensive substitute for dolomite, frequently a “chelated” calcium for “better absorption,” although scientific tests show no advantage for chelated products. A hodgepodge of other vitamins and minerals also were recommended to go along with the calcium. No clerks suggested calcium carbonate, the inexpensive form of calcium most often recommended by nutrition professionals, and none emphasized that food, especially low- and non-fat milk products, is the preferred source of calcium.

BLOOD PRESSURE ABOVE 200

QUESTION: A friend’s blood pressure is 200.What should he do?

CORRECT ANSWER: See a doctor—pronto! A systolic blood pressure above 200 is dangerous; stroke and kidney failure are but two possible results.

HEALTH FOOD STORE SCORE: 6 WRONG, 2 RIGHT

Six clerks failed to recommend a doctor; two did so correctly; one didn’t know what to do. The best response was in Cupertino: “He’d better hot-foot it to a doctor,” said the salesman. “With pressure like that, you ‘re going to start popping things.” Most clerks wisely promoted eating a low fat, high fiber diet; not smoking; reducing salt; and exercise. The worst recommendation came from San Jose: “Take 1000 mg of Vitamin C. Vitamin C builds up your immune system. If you have a strong immune system, you can beat anything.” Altogether, salespeople at the nine stores recommended a total of 14 vitamins, herbs, and other food supplements—some worthless, most costly, and all dangerous when used instead of medical care.

FLASHING AND HALOED LIGHTS

QUESTION: I’m seeing flashing lights and halos around lights at night. Is there something you would recommend?

CORRECT ANSWER: See a physician immediately. Those symptoms could describe glaucoma, a serious eye disease.

HEALTH FOOD STORE SCORE: 2 WRONG; 6 RIGHT

Six clerks correctly recommended seeing a doctor. However, in Sunnyvale one alarmingly recommended 25,000 units of Vitamin A (the recommended Dietary Allowance [RDA] for Vitamin A is only 5000 units); one dido ‘t know but nonetheless suggested trying Vitamin A; and one didn’t know at all. Other inappropriate suggestions included Vitamin B; the herb, eyebright; “vitamins for night vision”; and carrots. The recommendations for Vitamin A were especially dangerous since the elderly are the most likely to experience visual problems and may be adversely sensitive to even low-level Vitamin A supplements. Tufts University researchers recently found liver damage in the elderly taking as little as 5000 units of Vitamin A.

Science-Based Recommendations

When looking for health advice on nutrition products, use these guidelines:

  • Get medical and nutrition advice from trained professionals rather than from salespeople.
  • Reliable nutrition information is available from nutrition departments of universities and medical schools; and from Registered Dietitians in private practice or with cooperative extension, hospitals, and public health departments. Another consumer resource is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrition Information Service.
  • When shopping for specialty nutrition products, look around for the best prices. Lend a deaf ear to the nutrition sales pitch for the many supplements that pose a threat to both your wallet and your health.

Vera L. Fritz was a registered dietitian with a masters degree in public health. This article originally appeared  in the Winter 1988/89 issue of The Health and Nutrition Newsletter which was published by the Santa Clara County Medical Society in collaboration with the San Jose Peninsula District of the California Dietetic Association. Claudia Morain also wrote about the investigation, but the editors of the San Jose Mercury News rejected it because they felt that the Information was obtained under “false pretenses.”



Frequently Asked Questions about My Activities

What got you interested in fighting quackery? What promoted you to start the Quackwatch Web site? What qualifies you to write on so many topics? Do you yourself follow a healthy lifestyle? What are your goals? What is the status of your medical license? What would you do if you were told you were terminally …

How did you become interested in this subject? Did some experience make you bitter? Were you a victim of quackery yourself?

I have never been seriously victimized in any way and am a very upbeat person. I grew up in a family atmosphere that placed great value on education, science, and fair play. My interest in quackery began by accident and was not related to any strong feeling on the subject. During the mid-1960s, I read two books that irritated me greatly. One was about the government’s struggle to clean up the patent medicine fraud that was rampant during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The other described how chiropractors had achieved legal recognition even though the theory behind their work was nonsense. When I voiced my concern to my local medical society president, he suggested that I organize a committee focused on quackery. Further discussion led us to form a group that was broad-based rather than composed just of medical doctors. The more we looked at, the more deeply I became concerned.

During the mid-1970s, I began writing about what I found and gradually evolved into a medical writer and editor. As I did so, I gradually reduced my psychiatric work until 1993, when I retired so I could spend more time writing about my findings. The original committee, renamed Quackwatch in 1997, has evolved into an informal network of individuals who provide help when asked.

What prompted you to start the Quackwatch Web site?

My intent was to provide source material for students and instructors who were using my Consumer Health textbook. But when I grasped the importance of the Internet, I decided to do much more.

What qualifies you to write on so many topics?

My medical education has provided the background to understand most aspects of health, disease, and health care. Many experts are available to review what I write and answer questions that come up. The most convenient is my wife, who happens to be a very scholarly family physician. Much of my writing is based on my own investigations of the health marketplace. My resource library contains thousands of books, tapes, and periodicals and more than 100,000 miscellaneous documents collected since the early 1970s.

Do you have a healthy lifestyle? What do you eat? What do you do for fitness?

My lifestyle is quite healthy. My diet is 10%-15% fat and adequate in fiber. To keep fit, I do 2-4 sessions of swimming and two sessions of strength training plus walking per week. My program has resulted in excellent cholesterol levels (TC 132, LDL 62, HDL 61, TG 43 when last checked) and a resting pulse of 52, which reflects a high level of fitness. After moving to North Carolina in 2007, I began swimming competitively and have won 140 state championship events, 46 awards in national events, and 16 medals in international events and have set 19 state records.

What are your goals?

I hope to promote accurate health information and increase consumer protection in the marketplace. I focus on attacking misinformation because very few people are doing that. But our Internet Health Pilot site helps to promote high-quality information by steering consumers to sites that provide it. I am also campaigning for lower drug costs.

What is the status of your medical license?

In 1993, I decided to devote my full energy to investigating and writing about quackery and inactivated my Pennsylvania license. Since 1999, there has been an organized attempt to destroy my reputation by falsely describing my status as “de-licensed”—a derogatory term that means having one’s licensed revoked for misconduct. I have committed no misconduct and retired in good standing. Since I no longer see patients, I have no need for a license. I sued several of the people who libeled me by calling me “de-licensed.”

If a doctor says that a patient is terminally ill and nothing more can be done, would you recommend rolling over and dying rather than trying an alternative? Is that what you would do for yourself?

I recommend taking whatever steps are needed to determine the accuracy of the “terminally ill” prognosis. If it is correct, I would recommend spending the remaining time in the most productive way. In my own case, I would eat pizza (which I gave up many years ago to protect my coronary arteries), place my affairs in order, and continue to write about the topics I believe are most important. I would not waste 10 cents or 10 minutes looking for something that does not exist.

Additional Information about me
Additional Information about Quackwatch


Medical and Osteopathic Board Actions

All of the physicians listed below have been the target of at least one regulatory action by their licensing authority. Most cases involve the use or alleged use of methods that are criticized on our sites. The links lead to copies of complaints, orders, and, in many cases, to summaries of the relevant regulatory history. …

All of the physicians listed below have been the target of at least one regulatory action by their licensing authority. Most cases involve the use or alleged use of methods that are criticized on our sites. The links lead to copies of complaints, orders, and, in many cases, to summaries of the relevant regulatory history. Where possible, the documents reflect final actions, including decisions and any court appeals. However, a few cases are ongoing. If you encounter any complaints, final orders, or court documents that you believe should be added, please notify Dr. Barrett.

United States
Australia
Canada
New Zealand
United Kingdom
Additional Information


Disciplinary Actions against Lloyd A. Wright, D.C.

In 1997, the Florida Department of Health charged that Lloyd A. Wright, D.C., had treated a patient many times without documenting a need the amount of service. The administrative complaint (shown below) stated: Between November 1988 and April 1995, the patient received chiropractic care approximately 205 times. Between March 1993 and December 1994 the patient …

In 1997, the Florida Department of Health charged that Lloyd A. Wright, D.C., had treated a patient many times without documenting a need the amount of service. The administrative complaint (shown below) stated:

  • Between November 1988 and April 1995, the patient received chiropractic care approximately 205 times.
  • Between March 1993 and December 1994 the patient had undergone 29 separate Metrecom tests. [The Metrecom skeletal analysis system is a  computerized goniometer designed for postural evaluation, spinal analysis, and measurements of joint range of motion. Aetna considers it “experimental” because its use has not been proven to improve treatment outcome.]
  • Wright failed to reduce the frequency of tests or spinal adjustments after maximum medical improvement was reached in December 1990.
  • Wright’s records did not justify the extent, frequency, total amount, or type of treatment he administered.

In 2008, the case was settled with a stipulation in which Wright agreed to (a) pay an administrative fine of $2,000 plus up to $750 for the cost of processing the case, (b)serve six months on probation, during which his practice would be monitored, and (c) complete 25 hours of continuing education that included at least one unit on record-keeping. 

In 2002, the board charged Wright with exerting influence over a patient for financial gain by ordering excessive tests without documenting a need for the tests. The case was settled in 2007 by a stipulation in which Wright agreed to (a) receive a letter of concern, (b) pay a $2,500 fine plus $5,000 for administrative costs, (c) take 5 additional hours of continuing education, and (d) serve probation with monitoring for two years. In 2008, the Department of Health suspended Wright’s license for failing to pay the $7,500.

Wright began practicing in Florida in 1977. In 1980, a former patient sent me court documents indicating that Wright had sued him for refusing to pay for treatment of acne. The cost included a charge of $65 for a worthless hair analysis test. The judge dismissed the case after concluding (based on expert testimony) that it was inappropriate for a chiropractor to treat acne. However, a motion for a new trial was granted, and I don’t know what happened after that.


STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH,

PETITIONER,

vs.

LLOYD A. WRIGHT, D.C.

RESPONDENT.


CASE NUMBER: 95-14457

ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT

COMES NOW, the Petitioner, the Department of Health, hereinafter referred to as “Petitioner”, and files this Administrative Complaint before the Board of Chiropractic against LLOYD A. WRIGHT, D.C., hereinafter referred to as “Respondent”, and alleges:

  1. Effective July 1, 1997, Petitioner is the state agency charged with the regulating the practice of chiropractic pursuant to Section 20.43, Florida Statutes (Supp. 1996); Chapter 455, Florida Statutes: and Chapter 460t Florida Statutes. Pursuant to the authority of Section 20.43 (3) (f), Florida Statutes, the Petitioner has contracted with the Agency of Health Care Administration to provide consumer complaint, investigative, and prosecutorial services required by the Division of Medical Quality Assurance, councils; or boards, as appropriate.
  2. Respondent is, and has been at all times material hereto, a licensed chiropractic physician in the State of Florida, having been issued license number CH 000275. Respondent’s fast known address is 801 W. Granada Blvd., #301, Ormond Beach, FL 32174.
  3. From on or about November 14, 1988, through April 20, 1995, Respondent provided chiropractic care for Patient H.O. approximately two hundred and five (205) times.
  4. From on or about March 11. 1993, through December l. 1994, Respondent’s medical records for Patient H.O. revealed documentation of twenty-nine (29) separate Metrecom tests.
  5. Respondent failed to reduce the frequency of tests or adjustments once Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) was reached on or about December 1990.
  6. The written chiropractic records as maintained by the Respondent do not justify the course of treatment for Patient H.0. because:

a) Respondent’s written records do not justify the extent. frequency, total amount or type of treatment rendered by Respondent;

b) Respondent failed to provide medical documentation justifying the Metrecom testing for Patient H.O from on or about March 11, 1993, through December 1, 1994;

c) Respondent failed to document in the daily notes any information that changed the treatment plan for Patient H.O.;

d) Respondent’s objective findings and assessments for Patient H.O. were substandard.

COUNT I

  1. Petitioner realleges and incorporates by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs one (1) through six (6) as if fully stated herein.
  2. Based on the foregoing, the Respondent’s license to practice chiropractic in the State of Florida is subject to discipline for violating Section 460.413 (l)(m), Florida Statutes. for failing to keep written chiropractic records justifying the course of treatment of the patient ‘including, but not limited to, patient histories, examination results, test results, X-rays. diagnosis of a disease, condition, or injury.

COUNT II

  1. Petitioner realleges and incorporates by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs one (1) through six. (6) as if fully stated herein.
  2. Based on the foregoing, the Respondent’s license to practice chiropractic in the State of Florida is subject to discipline for violating Section 460.413 (1) {n), Florida Statutes, for exercising influence on the patient or client in such a manner as to exploit the patient or client for financial gain of the licensee.

WHEREFORE, Petitioner respectfully requests the Board of Chiropractic enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties: revocation or suspension of the Respondent’s license, restriction of the Respondent’s practice, imposition of an administrative fine, issuance of a reprimand, placement of the Respondent on probation, and/or any other relief that the Board deems appropriate.

SIGNED this 27th day of October, 1997.

_________________________
James T. Howell. M.D., M.P.H.,
Secretary

BY: Nancy M. Snurkowski
Chief Attorney
Agency for Health Care Administration

COUNSEL FOR PETITIONER:

Gregory W. Files
Legal Trainee
Agency for Health Care Administration
Post Office Box 14229
Tallahassee, Florida 32317-4229
(904) 487-2225

Filed: 10-31-97



Index to Information on Laetrile

Laetrile is the trade name for a synthetic relative of amygdalin, a chemical in the kernels of apricot pits, apple seeds, bitter almonds, and some other stone fruits and nuts. Proponents claim that Laetrile kills tumor cells selectively while leaving normal cells alone. Many have called it “vitamin B17” and falsely claimed that cancer is …

Laetrile is the trade name for a synthetic relative of amygdalin, a chemical in the kernels of apricot pits, apple seeds, bitter almonds, and some other stone fruits and nuts. Proponents claim that Laetrile kills tumor cells selectively while leaving normal cells alone. Many have called it “vitamin B17” and falsely claimed that cancer is a vitamin deficiency disease that Laetrile can cure. Although Laetrile has been promoted as safe and effective, clinical evidence indicates that it is neither. When subjected to enzymatic breakdown in the body, it forms glucose, benzaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide. Some patients treated with Laetrile have suffered nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness, and a few have died from cyanide poisoning. Tests of Laetrile in at least 20 animal tumor models have found no benefit either alone or together with other substances. Studies of human case reports have also been uniformly negative. 

In 1975 a patient named Glen Rutherford filed a class-action suit to stop the FDA from blocking the distribution of Laetrile. Early in the case, a renegade federal district court judge ruled that cancer patients could import a 6-month supply of Laetrile for personal use if they could obtain a physician’s affidavit that they were “terminal.” In 1979 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is not possible to be certain who is terminal and that even if it were, both terminally ill patients and the general public deserve protection from fraudulent cures. In 1987, after further appeals were denied, the affidavit system was terminated. Today few sources of Laetrile are available within the United States, but it still is utilized at Mexican clinics. In 2011, a Cochrane review concluded that there is no reliable evidence for the alleged effects of Laetrile or amygdalin for curative effects in cancer patients. 

Critical Articles
FDA Laetrile Rulemaking Proceeding
The Rutherford Case
Other Civil Cases
Criminal Prosecution
Licensing Board Actions
Proponent Organization
Proponent Publications


Nearly Paralyzed under Chiropractic Care

In 1972, I read the book At Your Own Risk by Ralph Lee Smith and was startled into an awareness that exactly the same procedures and techniques as quoted by Mr. Smith were used on me about a few years before that when I was “cared for” by a local chiropractor in Allentown. The beginning …

In 1972, I read the book At Your Own Risk by Ralph Lee Smith and was startled into an awareness that exactly the same procedures and techniques as quoted by Mr. Smith were used on me about a few years before that when I was “cared for” by a local chiropractor in Allentown.

The beginning of the story started one day when I suddenly experienced a sharp pain in my lower back and nerve pain down my left leg. This was soon after some work during the construction of my new home.

A few well-meaning friends suggested a local chiropractor. I proceeded to make an appointment and made my way to his office. The first step was an immediate x-ray. This method (the entire back) was identical to that described by Ralph Lee Smith. Indeed, I never saw the actual x-ray, as the chiropractor simply returned from an adjoining room and informed me that I had a “subluxation” of the lower back.

The cure was the now recognized method of lying on the special motorized couch and the manipulation of my lower back, legs, and entire vertebrae, accompanied by comments such as “My, you really are tight,”

The charge for this first visit was $28.00, twenty dollars of which the chiropractor explicitly told me was covered by Blue Cross – Blue Shield.

When I suggested that he submit the bill for payment (the normal procedure), he suggested that this was not the method he used and gave me a receipt after I had given him my check. I submitted the bill and found out that such coverage does not come under the Blue Cross-Blue Shield Plan. Nor did it ever come under the plan. I have concluded that the chiropractor either was totally ignorant of such coverages or deliberately deceptive. I questioned him later about the coverage, and he simply replied with a quizzical attitude.

The cost didn’t bother me, for, if cure was possible, it would have been worth it. But after many repeated visits (all of them suggested in identically the same wording and manner as that indicated by Mr. Smith’s book and the quotations of a guidebook for chiropractors) After one year my painful condition was not being cured. In fact, I was getting worse and I was losing the feeling in the left side of my foot.

At this point I had a close personal friend who was a resident surgeon at the Allentown Hospital and one of the most respected doctors on the staff. Up to this point, I had failed to heed his warnings and advice. But now, with numbness in my foot and literally unable to get into or out of bed without severe pain, I decided the time to consult my doctor friend was at hand.

He advised going directly to bed and to making an appointment as soon as possible with a local orthopedic surgeon. This I did, and after a few days wait for the appointment, he examined me.

The rest of the story is much brighter—as with pointed alarm, he indicated to me what was happening. Following x-rays (this time by a trained technician on only the affected area of my back), he ordered me to bed for at least a month. Otherwise, hospitalization and possible back operation would be necessary.

Needless to say, I followed his instruction to the letter. and within a two-month period, I was walking comfortably and began to exercise slightly. A few months later (and incidentally, with only about four check-up visits to the orthopedist) I was cured. My back has never bothered me again. I have watched with caution what I lift and do take caution on how I exercise.

Since this experience, I have watched with great interest the practice of chiropractic. I have never considered myself to be a leader in a specific cause, but I feel strongly that citizens should be aware of the methods used by chiropractors. If, after exposure, they still choose to visit them, then that is their fate, I thank God I was able to walk away with my health.

I also have become increasingly alarmed at how chiropractors are attempting to infiltrate our governments with lobbyist tactics for the coverage of Medicare payments and other compensation. This amounts to nothing more than precious tax dollars going toward the support of ‘quack’ medicine.

I almost lost the use of my legs. Others, no doubt will lose their lives by innocently entrusting their care to these so-called “doctors”. I hope you will do everything in your power to oppose chiropractic inclusion in Federal health programs.


Mr. Johnson edited and published MEMO magazine. This report is a slightly edited version of a letter he sent to his local Congressional representative in 1972 to oppose chiropractic inclusion under Medicare.



Judge Awards $2.1 Million in Chelation Case (1995)

In December 1995, the Houston Chronicle reported that State District Judge Mark Davidson had found Mohammed Kakvan, M.D. negligent in the 1992 death of 61-year-old Frank Vecchio. Testimony in the case indicated: Vecchio underwent quadruple bypass at age 46 but experienced no other major health problems until 1992 when he began experiencing chronic chest pains. …

In December 1995, the Houston Chronicle reported that State District Judge Mark Davidson had found Mohammed Kakvan, M.D. negligent in the 1992 death of 61-year-old Frank Vecchio. Testimony in the case indicated:

  • Vecchio underwent quadruple bypass at age 46 but experienced no other major health problems until 1992 when he began experiencing chronic chest pains.
  • Veccho began chelation with Kakvan on October 20, 1992 but died of a heart attack on November 20th.
  • Chelation had been condemned by major health organizations.
  • Kakvan should have recognized the severity of Vecchio’s symptoms and referred him for hospitalization under the care of a heart specialist.

The judge awarded $600,000 in actual damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages to Vecchio’s widow and his estate.



Disciplinary Actions against Michael D. Margolis, D.D.S.

Michael D. Margolis, D.D.S. who practices what he called “biological dentistry,” has been disciplined by the Arizona Board of Dental Examiners ten times. In 1984, he was placed on one year’s probation and ordered to take 21 hours of continuing education. In 1987, the board concluded that he had failed to adequately document the reasons …

Michael D. Margolis, D.D.S. who practices what he called “biological dentistry,” has been disciplined by the Arizona Board of Dental Examiners ten times.

  • In 1984, he was placed on one year’s probation and ordered to take 21 hours of continuing education.
  • In 1987, the board concluded that he had failed to adequately document the reasons for several procedures that the board suspected were questionable. After concluding that he had acted unprofessionally, it fined him $200 and placed him on probation for one year.
  • In 1989, the board censured him for installing a crown improperly and ordered him to pay restitution of $330 to the patient.
  • In 1995, the Board censured him for failing to supervise a dental assistant whom he had authorized to polish teeth.
  • In 2004, 2012, and 2013 (shown below), he was disciplined for inappropriately diagnosing and treating a patient for “neuralgia inducing cavitational osteonecrosis” (“NICO”) and unnecessarily extracting teeth based on diagnoses made with a Cavitat device. He had also performed invasive jawbone surgery that was unnecessary and had left the patients with persistent jaw discomfort. In the 2004 case, he was ordered to take 12 hours of board-approved continuing education. In the 2012 case he was ordered to take 24 hours of continuing education. In the 2013 case, he was ordered to pay restitution of $11,986 to the patient.
  • In 2015, he was fined $2,000, required to take 12 more hours of continuing education, and ordered to pay restitution of $7,000 to the patient for doing unnecessary surgery on a patient who had  been treated for NICO by another dentist.
  • In 2016, the board fined him $5,000 for doing an unnecessary procedure and failing to properly investigate the cause of a patient’s jaw pain.
  • In 2019, the board concluded that Margolis had failed to meet the standard of care in his management of two patients, one of whom had been repeatedly overcharged and had had implants improperly placed. He was placed on probation for two years and required to take continuing education in implantology.

The NICO diagnosis is used by a tiny minority of dentists who claim that most facial pains and even pains and diseases located far from the mouth are caused by cavities (cavitations) within the jaw bones that can be diagnosed with a Cavitat device and should be treated with invasive and irreversible surgeries and extractions. The Cavitat is an ultrasound device that does not have FDA approval for diagnosing disease. In 2012, the American Association of Endodontists issued a position statement that concluded:

The American Association of Endodontists cannot condone surgical interventions intended to treat suspected NICO lesions. Even when a NICO lesion is suspected to be associated with an endodontically treated tooth, no surgical procedures should be performed until orofacial pain specialists confirm the diagnosis. . . . In addition, the practice of recommending the extraction of endodontically treated teeth for the prevention of NICO, or any other disease, is unethical and should be reported immediately to the appropriate state board of dentistry.

Despite the many board actions, Margolis’s website still promotes and offers treatment for “cavitations.


BEFORE THE ARIZONA STATE BOARD OF DENTAL EXAMINERS
IN THE MATTER OF:

Michael D. Margolis, D.D.S.

Holder of License Number D 2957
For the Practice of Dentistry
In the State of Arizona

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Case No. 201300171

DISCIPLINARY
CONSENT AGREEMENT
AND ORDER

 


In order to resolve this case quickly and judiciously, the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners (Board”) and Michael D. Margolis. D.D,S, enter into this Disciplinary Agreement and Order (“Consent Agreement) in lieu of further administrative and judicial proceedings. It is consistent with the public interest and the requirements and statutory authority of the Board, specifically, A.R.S. §§ 32-1263.01, 1263.02 and  41-1092.07(F)(5). This Consent Agreement shall resolve all issues the Board has reviewed and investigated regarding the allegations in this matter.

Therefore, in lieu of further proceedings, Michael D. Margolis, D.D.S. admits and understands that:

  1. Any record prepared in this matter, all investigative materials prepared and received by the Board concerning the allegations, and all related materials and exhibits may be retained in the Board;s file pertaining to this matter.
  2. Dr. Margolis waives any right to a hearing or re-hearing of this matter and any right to judicial review of  the attached Findings of  Fact,  Conclusions of of Law, and Order.
  3. Dr. Margolis has the right to consult with an attorney prior to entering into this Consent Agreement.
  4. The findings contained in the Finding of Fact portion of’ the Consent Agreement are conclusive evidence of the stated facts. The Board may consider this Consent Agreement when and if future disciplinary proceedings arise.
  5. This Consent Agreement is subject to the Board’s approval and will be effective only when the Board accepts it and it is signed on behalf of the Board. In the event that the Board, in its discretion, does not approve this Consent Agreement, it will be deemed withdrawn, will be or no evidentiary value and shall not be relied upon or introduced in any disciplinary proceeding by any party. Dr. Margolis agrees that should the Board reject this Consent Agreement and this case continues through the administrative process, he shall assert no claim that the Board was prejudiced by this review and discussion of this document or any related records.
  6. Dr. Margolis further understands that this Consent Agreement, if approved and signed by the Board,  constitutes a public document that may be disseminated as a formal action by the  Board, including being reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank.
  7. Dr. Margolis agrees to the Board approving the following Findings of Fact,
    Conclusions of Law and Order.

DATED this 12 day of November 2012.

_________________________
Michael D. Margolis, D.D.S.

FINDINGS OF FACT

1, Dr. Margolis holds license no. D 2957 initially issued by the Board on June
22. 1983.

2. Patient DT initially presented to Dr. Margolis on January 25, 2010. Dr. Margolis noted that DT had 3 endodontically treated teeth in the maxillary left quadrant which he identified as teeth nos, 13 14, 15 or 16. Dr. Margolis also noted that DT has, multiple health problems that correlate to her teeth. including headaches, sinus problems, low blood pressure, allergies, a history of breast reduction surgery, fatigue, and sleeping difficulties. Dr. Margolis obtained a complete set of radiographs and 3-D cone beam radiographs.

3. Dr. Margolis advised DT of NlCO (Neuralgia Inducing Cavitational
Osteonecrosis). On January 20, 2010, Dr. Margolis performed Cavitat on DT;s upper 1eft quadrant.

4. Based on the results of the Cavitat, Dr. Margolis treatment planned DT for the removal of teeth numbers 13, 14 and 15. with a biopsy of tooth no. 16 area. He completed the procedures on March 1, 2010., The treatment included removal of bone with the biopsy. DT’s treatment records do not indicate that any of the teeth Dr. Margolis removed were symptomatic.

5. On May 27,  2010. Dr. Margolis delivered a partial denture for DT’s maxillary left quadrant.  DT experienced persistent discomfort. Dr. Margolis adjusted the partial denture several times. DT alleged that the partial denture never seemed to fit. Given the removal of bone in the maxillary left quadrant, it is likely that the partial denture would not have a secure fit.

6. The consent form and documentation Dr. Margolis provided DT for the upper partial denture and surgery did not describe the removal of bone and likely difficulty with removable appliance retention. IDT was given and signed a standard consent form. This form did not describe the end result of bone removal and how this would impact further restorative procedures in this area.

7. Dr. Margolis performed a second Cavitat on DT that, according to Dr. Margolis, indicated abnormality in the mandibular right quadrant. On November 16, 2010, Dr. Margolis performed invasive surgery in the maxillary right and mandibular right quadrants involving the regions of teeth nos. 1 and 32. Following (that surgery, DT had persistent numbness of her lower lip on the right side.

8. Dr. Margolis, on six occasions, saw [DT subsequent to the November 16, 2010 surgery and provided multiple homeostasis and autodyne light therapies in an attempt to improve DT’s condition of numbness. On April 28, 2011, at DT’s six-month recall appointment. Dr. Margolis noted in DT’s treatment records that DT had persistent numbness at that time. DT’s treatment records do not contain any documentation regarding a referral to a micro-neural specialist.

9. Dr. Margolis should have referred D’T to a specialist for her numbness within the first 4 months following its onset. DT has permanent numbness or the right side of her lower lip.

10. Dr. Margolis made no notes discussing the physical status or radiographic findings associated with the maxillary left, maxillary right and mandibular right quadrants.

11.  Dr. Margolis’ treatment of DT was predicated on the results of a Cavitat. The Cavitat has not been found conclusive for pathology requiring invasive and destructive procedures. The surgery and removal of asymptomatic endodontically treated teeth Dr. Margolis performed was not indicated by routine, accepted methodologies of diagnosis, It is Dr. Margolis professional opinion that the Cavitat, in combination with a 3D cone beam x-ray, clinical examination and patient complaints, is sufficient to provide a diagnostic basis to support removal of bone tissue.

CONCLUSION OF LAW

The conduct and circumstances described in the above Findings of Fact constitute unprofessional conduct as defined by A.R.S. § 32-1201.21(n).  Such conduct is grounds for discipline under A.R.S. § 32·1263(A)(1).

ORDER

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, within thirty days from the effective date of this Consent Agreement and Order. RESTITUTION in the amount of $11.,986,00, payable to  Complainant. Dr. Margolis shall submit the restitution in certified funds to the Board for delivery.  In the event Dr. Margolis fails to timely comply with this paragraph, the Board may take further disciplinary action, after notice to Dr. Margolis and an opportunity to be beard,

2. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Dr. Margolis is hereby CENSURED.

DATED this 10th day of December,  2013.

ARIZONA STATE BOARD OF
DENTAL EXAMINERS

_________________________
Elaine Hugunin
Executive Director

A copy of  the following mailed by CERTIFIED MAIL this 11th day of December to:

Michael D. Margolis, D.D.S.
2045 S. Vineyard Road
Mesa, AZ 82510

D.T.

A copy by US MAIL to:

David W. Williams, Partner
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC
80 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Suite 401
Tempe, AZ 85281



Socially Harmful But Unapparent Effects of the NCCAM Columbia University Gonzalez Protocol

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has a mandate from the US Congress to investigate methods that are generally not accepted by the scientific medical community. In so doing, it has broad options as to which of hundreds of methods to study, and under which conditions. The NCCAM has chosen as one …

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has a mandate from the US Congress to investigate methods that are generally not accepted by the scientific medical community. In so doing, it has broad options as to which of hundreds of methods to study, and under which conditions. The NCCAM has chosen as one of its studies the protocol of Nicholas Gonzalez, a physician in New York City who claims that his method of special diet, supplements, and coffee enemas has resulted in pancreatic cancer patients living longer than normally expected. The NCCAM and the implementing institution, Columbia University, in sponsoring the study, lend an air of legitimacy to the protocol, which is recognized as ineffective by most oncologists. The physician investigators, in not giving patients informed opinion on the protocol background and the plausibility of its effectiveness, divert patients from more plausible studies and contribute to patient uncertainty and emotional distress.

While the untimely death of a loved one is not a unique circumstance, I hope that the following account of my recent experience with cancer, which involved both a highly regarded medical institution and an “alternative” medical protocol, will inform others and be of some benefit to readers.

In 2002, I was pursuing a PhD in mathematics at the City University of New York. On March 26, a close friend, the 46-year-old father of two boys, one of whom was my son’s best friend, discovered that he had stage IV pancreatic cancer. I, along with other friends and relatives, tried to help him and his wife get good medical advice, and I decided to devote my time to researching treatment of the illness.

His first scan had been at New York Hospital, where a small cyst was found on the tail of his pancreas. Exploratory surgery was recommended. The surgeon chosen by my friend was John Chabot MD, of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, who has an outstanding reputation.

Every year, approximately 30 000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and every year approximately 30 000 die. Many of them die within the same year. When my friend received the bad news that his cyst was, in fact, a cancer, that it had metastasized, and that no standard cure for his disease was yet available, we began to look for clinical trials that would give him the best possible chance of prolonging his life.

Initially, my friend consulted with various doctors in New York, including another highly regarded surgeon, Murray F. Brennan, FACS, at Memorial Sloan Kettering, who agreed that further surgery was not indicated. Dr O’Reilly, an oncologist at the same hospital, offered grim statistics: while a small percentage of patients (10%40%, depending on whom you ask) on chemotherapy achieve remissions that last 6 months to a year, ultimately metastasized pancreatic cancer returns and progresses.

My friend’s wife was a believer in homeopathic medicine. She and others in her community suggested that he look into a protocol run by Nicholas Gonzalez, MD, who advocates vitamins, enzymes, and coffee enemas as a possible cure for cancer. Dr Gonzalez claims that some patients of his lived up to 2 years after this same diagnosis. His protocol was being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and implemented at Columbia Presbyterian. My friend’s surgeon was one of the investigators.

While I broadened my inquiries about possible clinical trials, my friend decided that the Gonzalez protocol seemed to offer the most hope for survival. I had heard nothing about the doctor, so I had no opinion. My friend arranged to meet with Dr Gonzalez during the 2 weeks that followed his recovery from surgery to determine whether or not he was eligible for the trial. He was encouraged when he was found to be acceptable. Dr Gonzalez told him that in order to meet the criteria one had to be still strong enough to follow an arduous regimen: 150 vitamin and enzyme tablets and capsules, along with 1 to 2 coffee enemas daily for 16 days, followed by 5 days of rest. Diet was strictly controlled. Meats and most fats were eliminated for the 16 “on” days. During the “resting” days certain foods (strawberries and cream or specific oils, for example) were permitted, depending on Dr Gonzalez’s classification system. The trial investigator, Dr Chabot, advised him of this and other options. He also assured him that he could start the “alternative” protocol and drop out if he wanted to try chemotherapy.

By this time we had ascertained that standard combination chemotherapy involved gerncitabine and other drugs, and that there were no reports of any one protocol showing decided advantages over any other. My friend decided to try the Gonzalez protocol first, as one was no longer eligible for it if one had already had chemotherapy. He was anxious to begin some form of treatment and not lose other options.

I had contacted other well-known institutions: Dana Farber, the M. D. Anderson Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, and the University of California, San Francisco, among others. By April 8 I had found that at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, patients were being accrued to start a Phase II trial for a vaccine targeting metastatic pancreatic cancer. The results from the Phase I trial of the vaccine looked promising, but Phase II was not to start until May. I accepted an invitation to visit the research facility, which I was to do on April 18, bringing a specimen of my friend’s tumor to the laboratory.

During this time I also investigated the Gonzalez protocol. I had obtained a copy of an article by Michael Specter in the February 5, 2001, issue of the New Yorker magazine. The article seemed to indicate that although this protocol had been funded by the NIH, was some debate as to its value by physicians at Columbia Presbyterian. I was disturbed to read that Dr Gonzalez had been successfully sued and that New York State had made attempts to remove his license. On Monday, April 14, I placed a call to Dr Chabot’s office. It was not returned. I proceeded to place a call to every physician mentioned in the article, and also spoke to Michael Specter.

On April 15 I placed two calls to Pierre Guesry, PhD, an advocate for Dr Gonzalez, at his office at the Centre des Researches Scientifiques for the Nestle Company near Lausanne, Switzerland. He said he thought that Dr Gonzalez’s results were extraordinary and that experiments were being conducted on ferrets at the University of Nebraska in order to study them further. When I asked him under whose direction, he said that the information was confidential, and hurried off the telephone.

Dr Gonzalez advised my friend to have fillings from his teeth removed by a dentist in Connecticut, which he did on April 16. He had just begun the vitamin and enzyme protocol, which was very time-consuming. He had also contacted doctors at Johns Hopkins, but decided not to accompany me on my visit. He planned to go there nearer the time when the vaccine trial started. His wife was by that time already extremely busy obtaining all the pills and foods that were required for the Gonzalez regimen.

That same day, I called Karen Antman, MD, head of oncology at Columbia Presbyterian, whom I had met when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had given me excellent advice at the time. This time she said that my friend had been offered many different treatment options, and had chosen the Gonzalez one. She encouraged me to do further research.

On April 17 I once again called Dr Chabot’s office and spoke with his secretary, saying that I had some questions about the Gonzalez trial. I was informed that I should speak to Michelle Gabay, the nurse who was running the protocol, but that she would not be able to return my call until the following day. As I was to be in Baltimore, it would be a few more days until we spoke. When we did, she had no answers to my questions about Gonzalez protocol results.

By April 17 I succeeded in contacting Tony Hollingsworth, PhD, the recipient of the grant for cancer research at the University of Nebraska. at their facility. He informed me that to his knowledge there were no animal models for pancreatic cancer under study at the University of Nebraska or anywhere else. I also spoke with other physicians—one at Columbia Presbyterian, William Sherman, MD, who expressed great skepticism about the Gonzalez protocol.

My friend was determined to try as hard as he could to maintain the regimen, which is extremely difficult. He had been told that pain might be an indication that the tumors were being dissolved, and that he could expect weight loss as he was detoxifying his body. I saw him on April 26, when he told me that he was in more pain. It was obvious that he had lost a significant amount of weight. In the next few weeks he was to describe himself to his mother as looking like “a concentration camp victim from Auschwitz.”

He was having difficulty sleeping. Whether this was because of coffee enema stimulation or because he was experiencing ever-increasing pain and stress, I do not know. I told him that I had been impressed by what I had learned about Hopkins. He was interested, but said that he was going to stick with this regimen until the next appointment, when he would get the results. He was determined to give it his utmost effort.

I told him that I was going to attend the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and would report on other options to him. Once at ASCO, I learned quickly and definitively that the Gonzalez protocol was a fraud; no mainstream doctors believed it was anything else and they were surprised that anyone with education would be on it.

Despite this, I had spoken with Dr Chabot and asked him to speak with my friend about his appointment being moved ahead, as he was not doing well. Dr Chabot said that I was free to speak to my friend, if I wished, and said his secretary took care of appointments.

During the following month, my friend lost 3040 pounds and became so weak that he could no longer walk his dog around the block. The pain was becoming unbearable, and he was eager to be evaluated and have another scan.

I went to the hospital on May 30 to ascertain when he would be scanned. We were eager for the scan as he needed explanation for his symptoms, and to make the next treatment decision. The sooner he got chemotherapy, the better were his chances at achieving a remission, and he had already lost 45 days.

My friend was not scanned until Sunday, June 2, when he received bad news. The tumors had progressed. The Gonzalez regimen had not worked.

On Monday he made an urgent appointment with Dr Sherman, the oncologist at Columbia Presbyterian, whom I had spoken with and recommended.

By this time my friend was extremely thin and weak. He was given prescriptions for pain medication and chemotherapy, and scheduled for additional intravenous therapy the following week.

At one point I said to him, “You are not ever going to feel as bad as you felt last month (while on the Gonzalez protocol), from here on,” and he said, “I think you’re right.” He felt better in June. I continued to look for hope, attending a conference in Houston given by the M. D. Anderson Tumor Institute. Although my friend  started eating regular food and sipping concentrated food supplements, he was unable to regain weight and did not show an obvious early response to his 3 chemotherapy treatments during the month of June.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, between chemotherapies, his lungs filled with fluid. He was rushed to a hospital near his home and then transferred to Columbia Presbyterian hospital on the following Monday. Over the course of that month he stabilized somewhat, but he continued to weaken. He went home on Friday, July 26, intending to talk to his doctor, who had been away that week. He did not live to have the conversation. During that week, he also asked me if he could try the vaccine on a compassionate basis, but I had been told by the doctors at Hopkins that he was no longer eligible, and that the trial there had been delayed.

By Sunday, hospice care was called in and he died a few days later, in the early morning of August 1, 2002. That he died was not surprising, as pancreatic cancer is a terminal disease. That he died as quickly and as brutally as he did, however, is tragic.

The care he received did not reflect the reputation of the institution he turned to. Specifically, neither the surgeon nor the medical oncologist involved in the Gonzalez study told the full truth about Dr Gonzalez or his therapy. The information given was “neutral”; the protocol being described as neither good nor bad, reasonable nor unreasonable, or whether positive results were plausible or not. If the surgeon had such information, he did not share it, referring us to the protocol nurse, who could not answer penetrating questions. Only Dr Sherman, the oncologist we consulted, gave us usable information and confirmed what I had found on my own.

This situation irretrievably affected my friend’s access to treatment options, the quality of his life in his last days, and his ability to enjoy his remaining time with family and friends. My friend was not in denial, and did not go in search of false hope. He did not seek out Dr Gonzalez because he was unwilling to confront the possibility that treatment might not work and might have side effects. A graduate of Harvard, he was an intelligent and courageous individual who believed what that he would get honest answers when he went to the mainstream medical community.

He was an artist—a painter and a sculptor—and he had little scientific knowledge. When Dr Chabot was neutral about the Gonzalez protocol, and when Dr Antman said nothing adverse about it, my friend assumed that they must genuinely believe that the treatment could work.

We had many conversations about treatment options, and he intended to meet with the doctors at Johns Hopkins, but the Gonzalez protocol quickly overwhelmed him; first by being impossibly time-consuming and then by being so physically debilitating. Had he realized this in early April, he would have had a real chance to examine his options. But once the decision was made to begin the Gonzalez protocol, with the apparent support of those involved in his care at Columbia Presbyterian, he became committed to it.

By remaining neutral about the Gonzalez regimen, physicians at Columbia Presbyterian who place patients in this trial effectively preclude them from starting other options, because of the demands it places on patients and their families. If physicians believe they are truly being neutral by not fully explaining the Gonzalez protocol’s nature to cancer patients, it is they who are in denial.


This article was published in the Fall-Winter 2003-2004 issue of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine. At the time it was written, Susan Gurney was a Ph.D. candidate in the mathematics department of the City University of New York. The NCCAM-funded study to which this article refers demonstrated that Gonzalez’s treatment did not prolong survival and lowered quality of life. Gonzalez died in 2015.



Stephen Barrett, M.D. Biographical Sketch

Stephen Barrett, M.D., a retired psychiatrist who lives near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has achieved national renown as an author, editor, and consumer advocate. In addition to operating Quackwatch, he is a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. In 1984, he received an FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation Award for Public Service in fighting nutrition …

Stephen Barrett, M.D., a retired psychiatrist who lives near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has achieved national renown as an author, editor, and consumer advocate. In addition to operating Quackwatch, he is a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. In 1984, he received an FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation Award for Public Service in fighting nutrition quackery. In 1986, he was awarded honorary membership in the American Dietetic Association. From 1987 through 1989, he taught health education at The Pennsylvania State University. He is listed in Marquis Who‘s Who in America and received the 2001 Distinguished Service to Health Education Award from the American Association for Health Education. He is also a board member of Prescription Justice, a nonprofit group that is working toward lower drug prices. His research library, pictured below, houses more than 5,000 books and 100,000 documents and recordings collected over a 50-year period.

An expert in medical communications, Dr. Barrett operates 23 Web sites; co-edits Consumer Health Digest (a free weekly electronic newsletter); and has been a peer-review panelist for several top medical journals. He has written thousands of articles and delivered more than 300 talks at colleges, universities, medical schools, and professional meetings. His 53 books include The Health Robbers: A Close Look at Quackery in America and eight editions of the college textbook Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions. One book he edited, Vitamins and Minerals: Help or Harm?, by Charles Marshall, Ph.D., won the American Medical Writers Association award for best book of 1983 for the general public and became a special publication of Consumer Reports Books. His other classics include Dubious Cancer Treatment, published by the Florida Division of the American Cancer Society; Health Schemes, Scams, and Frauds, published by Consumer Reports Books; The Vitamin Pushers: How the “Health Food” Industry Is Selling America a Bill of Goods, published by Prometheus Books; and Reader’s Guide to “Alternative” Health Methods, published by the American Medical Association. His most recent book, Homeopathy in America: The Ups and Downs of a Medical Heresy, was published in 2019 by Kindle Books. From 2012 through 2016, he served as North American co-editor of the journal Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapy (FACT). His media appearances have included Dateline, the Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC Prime Time, Donahue, CNN, National Public Radio, and more than 200 radio and television talk show interviews.

Since moving to North Carolina in 2007, Dr. Barrett has been swimming competitively and has won 140 state championship events, 46 awards in national events, and 16 medals in international events and has set 19 state records. At the 2012 U.S. Masters Spring Nationals, he and three teammates earned Relay All-American Awards for the fastest times swum in the U.S. in 2012 in the age 75-79 men’s 200 freestyle and 200 medley relay events. During the 2013 season, he won 3 three gold medals at the North Carolina Senior Games, 3 silver medals at the National Senior Games, and became a world champion by winning the age 80-84 men’s 50-meter butterfly event at the Huntsman World Senior Games. In 2014, he won 2 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals at the U.S. Masters Summer National Championships and 5 gold and 1 silver medal at the North Carolina Senior Games. In 2016, he became certified as an instructor in the U.S. Masters Adult Learn-to-Swim program.

The Center for Inquiry began maintaining the Quackwatch network of Web sites in February 2020 and will receive Dr. Barrett’s research library later this year.

Additional Information
How to Contact Dr. Barrett (Please mention how you found this Web site)
  • E-mail: Click here
  • Snail mail:
    287 Fearrington Post
    Pittsboro, NC 27312 .
  • Telephone: (919) 533-6009
Any Questions?

When time permits, your questions related to consumer health will be answered by e-mail. The most interesting ones will be posted (without the sender’s name) to this Web site. Before sending a question, please search Quackwatch to see whether the topic has been covered! If you prefer to phone, please send an email message first so I can retain your contact information.



FDA Commissioner Blasted for Political Cowardice

Eric Topol, M.D. editor-in-chief of Medscape, has severely criticized FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D., for making COVID-19-related policy statements based on pressure from the Trump Administration rather than on science-based information. In an open letter, Topol urged Hahn to either stand up for science or to resign. The letter stated: Dear Dr. Hahn, I’m writing …

Eric Topol, M.D. editor-in-chief of Medscape, has severely criticized FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D., for making COVID-19-related policy statements based on pressure from the Trump Administration rather than on science-based information. In an open letter, Topol urged Hahn to either stand up for science or to resign. The letter stated:

Dear Dr. Hahn,

I’m writing because I’m gravely concerned about your leadership of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The circumstances of your statements in recent days has led to a crisis in confidence. Not only has your credibility been diminished but so has that of the FDA, its 15,000-plus staff members, and, most importantly, your ability to oversee the health interests of the American people.

Let me remind you of the FDA’s mission statement:

FDA is responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medical products more effective, safer, and more affordable and by helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medical products and foods to maintain and improve their health.

The emphasis here is on accurate, science-based information. Since you were sworn in on December 17, 2019, you have serially demonstrated your willingness to deviate from this bedrock premise. Immediately after President Trump widely and aggressively promoted hydroxychloroquine as a “miracle drug,” on March 30, 2020, you granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for this drug without any sufficient or meaningful supportive evidence. Proof of that was borne out on June 15, 2020 when you revoked that EUA, acknowledging lack of efficacy and “ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other potential serious side effects.”

The second major breach of accurate, science-based information came on August 23, 2020 when you participated in a press conference with President Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar billed as a “very historic breakthrough.” You said, “I just want to emphasize this point, because I don’t want you to gloss over this number. We dream in drug development of something like a 35% mortality reduction. This is a major advance in the treatment of patients. This is a major advance…[A]nd a 35% improvement in survival is a pretty substantial clinical benefit. What that means is — and if the data continue to pan out — [of] 100 people who are sick with COVID-19, 35 would have been saved because of the admission of plasma.”

Every part of that statement is incorrect and a blatant misrepresentation of the data. Your statement was based on a preprint, which by definition has not been peer-reviewed, published by Mayo Clinic’s Michael Joyner and coauthors. It is a retrospective, observational study of over 35,000 patients who received convalescent plasma, without any controls or untreated patients for comparison. The claim of reduction of mortality is totally unsubstantiated. That was based on improved survival in a subgroup of a subgroup of a subgroup from about 1000 patients, who were partitioned by timing of plasma administration (early vs late), whether they had endotracheal intubation, their age, and level of antibody in the plasma they received. The antibody level was determined post facto. You know full well as an oncologist and researcher that this is an illegitimate analysis that, at best, is hypothesis-generating, requiring a prospective, placebo-controlled trial to confirm.

Nonetheless, you posted this data-dredging subgroup analysis on the FDA website with the headline statement “Another Achievement in Administration’s Fight Against Pandemic.” Your EUA announcement came the day after President Trump tweeted “The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult…@SteveFDA”, addressing you directly with your Twitter handle.

It took 24 hours before you started to make a correction on Twitter. You wrote “What I should have said better is that the data show a relative risk reduction, not an absolute reduction.”

That is a grossly insufficient correction and does not represent the truth. Here’s what you didn’t say:

  1. There are no data or evidence from prospective, randomized trials for convalescent plasma to support any survival benefit.
  2. The data I am citing are from a subgroup analysis from a preprint, which is intended to formulate a hypothesis without any definitive findings or conclusions.
  3. The 35% survival benefit, and 35 people’s lives saved per 100 sick with COVID-19, was completely off-base. If the preprint data held up in a proper randomized controlled trial, it would be avoiding deaths of 3 or 4 people per 100 who would have died. We know that fewer than 1 out of 100 people who have a COVID-19 infection die, so it is impossible to save 35 people’s lives of 100 people sick with COVID-19. I made a terrible, monstrous error and I deeply apologize for that.
  4. It is frankly unlikely for there to be a major survival benefit of convalescent plasma, as it contains a broad admixture of patient antibodies, most of which are not neutralizing — that is having no effect against the virus. We need randomized trials to determine if there is any benefit and, if so, what is the magnitude of benefit. Such trials are ongoing and need robust support and participation.
  5. There are still potential safety issues of convalescent plasma that are unresolved, such as transmission of a virus or immune reaction.

The third breach of evidence-based data was your EUA issued August 28, 2020 broadening the remdesivir approval to include any patient hospitalized with moderate COVID-19. There are insufficient data to support this approval, as it is based on small, open-label studies with subjective endpoints. Remdesivir is an expensive drug, costing approximately $3000 per treatment, in short supply, and even its approval for severe COVID-19 was based on time to recovery in a relatively small trial of just over 1000 patients. That is unlike the proof of dexamethasone benefit for survival in a randomized trial of over 6400 patients.

These repeated breaches demonstrate your willingness to ignore the lack of scientific evidence, and to be complicit with the Trump Administration’s politicization of America’s healthcare institutions.

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, you said you were prepared to authorize a vaccine before Phase 3 trials were complete. May I remind you that Phase 3 trials are in progress for a few vaccine programs and have only now fulfilled half of their enrollment? It will take many months to establish both safety and efficacy. While most vaccines are safe, trials are needed to demonstrate that participants in these trials do not develop severe immune-mediated reactions to exposure of the virus via antibody-dependent enhancement or immune complex disease. Efficacy data are needed to prove there is a substantial suppression of infections in the vaccine group, compared with placebo. Both safety and efficacy endpoints require adequate statistical power. All of this takes time.

Any shortcuts will not only jeopardize the vaccine programs but betray the public trust, which is already fragile about vaccines, and has been made more so by your lack of autonomy from the Trump administration and its overt politicization of the FDA.

You have one last chance, Dr Hahn, for saving any credibility and preserving trust in the FDA at this critical juncture amidst the pandemic. You need to organize a press conference and tell the truth. Tell Americans exactly how you were pressured to make a breakthrough announcement. Tell all of us how you completely misrepresented the facts about convalescent plasma, and not hide this with the obscurity of technical terms such as relative and absolute differences. Tell us that you are capable and worthy of this pivotal leadership position and that you will not, under any condition, authorize a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine approval before the full Phase 3 completion and read-out of a program.

Otherwise, you need to resign. We cannot entrust the health of 330 million Americans to a person who is subservient to President Trump’s whims, unprecedented promotion of unproven therapies, outrageous lies, and political motivations. You have two choices to do the right thing. We cannot and will not rest until you make that choice.

If you agree with Dr. Topol, please express your concern to Dr Hahn.



Herbalife Agrees to Pay $123 Million to Resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Case

U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, August 28, 2020 Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”), and Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced today the filing of criminal charges against HERBALIFE NUTRITION, LTD., a …

U.S. Department of Justice
Press Release, August 28, 2020

Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”), and Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced today the filing of criminal charges against HERBALIFE NUTRITION, LTD., a multinational corporation headquartered in Los Angeles, for conspiring to violate the books and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). The charges arise out of a decade-long scheme by HERBALIFE to falsify books and records and provide corrupt payments and benefits to Chinese government officials for the purpose of obtaining, retaining, and increasing HERBALIFE’s business in China. In connection with the filed charges, SDNY and DOJ entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with HERBALIFE. Pursuant to the DPA, HERBALIFE admitted to participating in the charged conspiracy and will pay a criminal fine of $55,743,093.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As admitted in the deferred prosecution agreement entered into today, Herbalife approved the extensive and systematic corrupt payments to Chinese government officials over a 10-year period to promote and expand Herbalife’s business in China. Moreover, in an effort to conceal this widespread corruption scheme, Herbalife maintained false accounting records to mischaracterize these improper payments as permissible business expenses. In addition to admitting its criminal conduct, Herbalife has agreed to pay combined penalties of more than $123 million. This case signifies this Office’s commitment to ensuring that companies operating in the U.S. do not gain an unfair advantage through corruption and illegal bribes of foreign officials.”

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt said: “By engaging in a decade-long scheme to falsify its books and records to conceal corrupt and other improper expenditures, Herbalife misrepresented the information available to investors. Today’s resolution reflects the department’s ongoing commitment to combating corruption and ensuring that investors can trust the accuracy of the financial statements of publicly traded companies.”

According to the allegations contained in the criminal Information, which was filed today in Manhattan federal court, the statement of facts set forth in the DPA, and other publicly available information:

HERBALIFE conducts business operations in China through a group of wholly owned subsidiaries based in China (collectively, “Herbalife China”). By 2016, Herbalife China was responsible for approximately $860 million, or approximately 20 percent, of HERBALIFE’s worldwide annual net sales, which exceeded $4 billion. In China, to engage in direct selling – selling a company’s products through independent sales representatives – Chinese law required a company to obtain a direct selling license from national authorities as well as local authorities for each province in which a company intended to engage in direct selling. From March 2007 through 2016, Herbalife China obtained licenses to engage in direct sales in 28 provinces.

Yanliang Li, a/k/a “Jerry Li,” was the director of sales and/or sales vice president at Herbalife China from in or about 2004 through in or about December 2007, and then the managing director of Herbalife China from in or about December 2007 through in or about April 2017. From in or about December 2012 through in or about February 2017, Li also held the title of senior vice president at HERBALIFE. Hongwei Yang, a/k/a “Mary Yang,” was a high-level executive at Herbalife China and the head of external affairs from in or about 2006 through in or about April 2017.

Beginning in or about at least 2007 through in or about 2016, HERBALIFE, through Li, Yang, and others, engaged in a scheme to falsify books and records and provide corrupt payments and benefits to Chinese government officials, including officials of Chinese government agencies and a state-owned media outlet, for the purpose of obtaining, retaining, and increasing HERBALIFE’s business in China by, among other things, (1) obtaining and retaining certain of Herbalife China’s direct selling licenses; (2) improperly influencing certain Chinese governmental investigations into Herbalife China’s compliance with Chinese laws applicable to its business; and (3) improperly influencing certain Chinese state-owned and state-controlled media for the purpose of removing negative media reports about Herbalife China.

During the course of the scheme, in order to conceal these improper payments and benefits, HERBALIFE, through Li, Yang, and others, knowingly and willfully conspired and agreed with others to maintain false accounting records that did not accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of HERBALIFE’s assets, by, among other things, falsely recording certain improper payments and benefits as “travel and entertainment expenses” and maintaining false Sarbanes Oxley sub-certification letters in HERBALIFE’s books, records, and accounts.

In a related matter with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), HERBALIFE agreed to pay to the SEC disgorgement and prejudgment interest totaling approximately $67,313,497.

In November 2019, the Government unsealed related criminal charges against Li and Yang, both of whom remain at large. See United States v. Li and Yang, 19 Cr. 760 (VSB).

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department Justice’s Office of International Affairs of the Department’s Criminal Division, and also thanked the SEC for its assistance and cooperation in this investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and the FCPA Unit of the Fraud Section of DOJ’s Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Joshua A. Naftalis and Scott A. Hartman, and Trial Attorney Jason Manning of the FCPA Unit, are in charge of the prosecution.



Liefcort for Arthritis: Worthless and Dangerous

Liefcort was a drug mixture developed and marketed by Robert Liefmann, M.D., of Quebec, Canada, for treating the symptoms of arthritis. Its principal components were prednisone (a form of cortisone), and testosterone (a male sex hormone), and estradiol (a female sex hormone). The American Medical Association, the Arthritis Foundation, and the U.S. Food and Drug …

Liefcort was a drug mixture developed and marketed by Robert Liefmann, M.D., of Quebec, Canada, for treating the symptoms of arthritis. Its principal components were prednisone (a form of cortisone), and testosterone (a male sex hormone), and estradiol (a female sex hormone).

The American Medical Association, the Arthritis Foundation, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) all warned that Liefcort was dangerous. Prednisone has legitimate use for some types of arthritis, but it could have serious side effects, including internal hemorrhaging, peptic ulcer, cataracts, spontaneous fracture of bones, and mental derangement. Dosage must therefore be carefully regulated and individual patient reaction closely observed. Supplies of Liefcort were sold by Dr. Liefmann to patients who had traveled long distances to obtain the drug and took them for months without further medical supervision.

Testosterone and estradiol, which had no proven value therapeutic value in treating arthritis, can also produce serious side effects. An FDA analysis found that the amount of estradiol was ten times the usual medically prescribed dose [1]. Time Magazine reported that Canadian arthritis specialists that men taking Liefcort developed enlarged breasts and women had grown beards [2].

Liefmann studied medicine at the McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Canada. In 1954 he took the examination for licensing as a private practitioner but failed the oral examination in surgery. In 1962 he passed this examination and was certified by the Quebec College of Physicians and Surgeons to practice medicine in Canada. Prior to his licensure he worked as a researcher at Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

He was suspended by the hospital for implanting the pituitary glands of newly slaughtered calves into the thighs of six arthritis patients. He was later reinstated but then left his position and set up a commercial operation called Endocrine Research Laboratories, in Beaurepaire, Quebec, which created and distributed hair tonics, hair-growing preparations, and vitamin preparations [3].

In 1957, a warrant for his arrest was issued in the United States on charges of introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce in violation of the U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The case involved distributing an alleged baldness cure called “R-20” that contained estradiol and isopropyl alcohol. The FDA charged that the preparation was both worthless and dangerous. Although Liefmann lived in Canada, investigators determined that he was trying to market the product through a distributor located in Minnesota. The arrest warrant was issued after Liefmann failed on several occasions to appear in Federal District Court in Syracuse, New York, for arraignment. He avoided prosecution by remaining in Canada.

The FDA learned that Liefcort was compounded in Liefmann’s home in Montreal and labeled as being distributed by Endocrine Research Laboratories [4]. The agency prohibited the importation of Liefcort into the United States and on two occasions initiated seizure and destruction of shipments that came to the U.S. from Canada. The Canadian Food and Drug Directorate prohibited the distribution of Liefcort to Canadian doctors for investigational purposes. In 1959 it also seized bottles of Scalp Antizyme RX-200 and RX-20 because the estradiol content exceeded the labeled potency by 35 times. Two lots of a vitamin and mineral preparation called Vita VO-25 were also seized during that year [5]. The Directorate, however, was not empowered to prohibit a licensed Canadian physician from prescribing drugs and therefore could not stop Dr. Liefmann from selling Liefcort to his own patients.

A 1962 article on Dr. Liefmann and Liefcort in Look Magazine [6] attracted widespread interest in Liefcort and caused many U.S. and Canadian arthritis sufferers to journeyed to Dr. Liefmann’ s office in Quebec to obtain a supply.

The FDA reported that a 71-year-old California woman developed uterine bleeding after taking Liefcort, was hospitalized, contracted pneumonia after an operation to stop the bleeding, and died. In 1963, the medical director of the Arthritis Foundation told the Senate Committee on Aging that at least two other people had been killed by the drug. He also accused Look Magazine of “irresponsible journalism” for describing Liefcort as a “secret cure” when the article’s author knew what it contained and that the article would cause thousands of people to rush to Liefmann’s clinic [7].

In 1968, the Canadian Food and Drug Directorate raided Liefmann’s clinic and charged him with marketing an unapproved drug and other violations. In 1969, he was convicted on 16 counts of violating Canada’s Food and Drugs Act and fined $2,400. However, he was able to continue treating his own patients while appealing his case [8]. He died in 1972 while the case was still on appeal.

In 1979, Consumer Reports noted that Liefcort or similar preparations could still be obtained from a few sources in the United States, Canada, and Mexico [9].

References
  1. Arthritics warned on using Liefcort. AMA News, Oct 29, 1962.
  2. Medicine: Border crackdown. Time Magazine, Oct 19, 1962.
  3. Data sheet on Liefcort. American Medical Association. Undated, distributed in 1960s.
  4. Hunter M. Arthritis pills barred from U.S. The New York Times, Oct 10, 1962.
  5. FDA press release, May 20, 1962.
  6. Zimmerman G, Breslin C. New arthritis controversy. Look Magazine, May 22, 1962.
  7. Hecht A. Hocus-pocus as applied to arthritis. FDA Consumer, Sept 1980.
  8. Lamont-Havers RW. Testimony at hearing on frauds and quackery affecting the older citizen. January 15, 1963.
  9. A two-part report on arthritis. Consumer Reports, June/July 1979.


Government Action against the Fremont Christian Clinic (1961)

The Freemont Cancer Clinic, which operated in California, was shut down in 1961. The following account, obtained from the files of the California Cancer Advisory Council, describes how they defrauded patients. The Freemont Cancer Clinic was operated by four individuals—the ringleader of the group, Roy W. DeWelles, a chiropractor; two elderly physicians, W.W. Sherwood, M.D. and …

The Freemont Cancer Clinic, which operated in California, was shut down in 1961. The following account, obtained from the files of the California Cancer Advisory Council, describes how they defrauded patients.


The Freemont Cancer Clinic was operated by four individuals—the ringleader of the group, Roy W. DeWelles, a chiropractor; two elderly physicians, W.W. Sherwood, M.D. and Charles L. Hawk, M.D; and a business manager named Schickadanz. On February 29, 1960, Mr. and Mrs. B.P. went to this clinic because of an intestinal condition in the wife. She was given a short physical examination, and X-rays of the chest and colon before and after a barium enema were taken.

In consultation with Dr. Hawk, she was told that the right lung was full of cancer and that the left showed a beginning of cancer. Hoxsey medication was prescribed. The total cost for the physical examination, laboratory work and Hoxsey medication was to be $580, but, since there was only $190 in the checking account, DeWelles, who had now taken over from Dr. Hawk, suggested that the husband write two checks: one for $190 and the other for $390, and he would hold the latter until a transfer from savings to checking account had been made. The wife was also told that her intestinal condition would require additional colonic therapy which would cost approximately $400.

After return to their home, the wife was examined by a local physician and no cancer was found.

In June 1959, Mr. T.P.M. received a diagnosis of tumor in the bowel and an exploratory operation was recommended. The patient was ready to submit to surgery but was diverted to the Fremont Christian Clinic by a friend. The usual diagnostic studies were performed there and he was told that he definitely had cancer. The Hoxsey treatment was prescribed for him, as well as intestinal treatments consisting of the instillation of oxygen into the large bowel. The price was between $800 and $1,000. He took the oral medication and the oxygen treatments but became progressively weaker. This continued until December 10, 1959, when he had a massive intestinal hemorrhage and was taken to a local hospital. A week later, surgery was performed and a large malignant tumor was noted.

At his ninety-day checkup after surgery, the wife was told that his cancer had metastasized widely. The patient died in May, 1960. His conventional treatment had been delayed six months while he was treated with the worthless Hoxsey medication.

S.J.M., a 2½-year-old child, had a diagnosis of sarcoma of the lower leg made at the University of California and an amputation was recommended. This was declined and, on April 9, 1960, the child was taken to the Fremont Christian Clinic where a diagnosis of cancer was confirmed without biopsy. Krebiozen was prescribed, and three injections were given in Los Angeles. This treatment was continued by the family physician when they returned to their home. After a dozen injections, there was no improvement in the child’s condition and the Clinic was so informed. Following this, the parents received a package of various pills and liquids which were identified as the Hoxsey treatment. The pills were too large for the child to swallow, and the liquid was refused because of its taste. The child expired on August 3, 1960. A refund, which had been promised the parents by the Clinic should the child die, was not made.

On June 22, 1960, an undercover operative visited the Clinic for the Department. She was given a superficial examination, X-rays of the chest were taken and, although she had no signs of cancer recurrence, the Hoxsey remedy was prescribed “to prevent a recurrence.” The total bill was $545.

On July 22, 1960, another undercover operative visited the Clinic. Everything about the Clinic—the instruments, the enema tube, the surgical gowns, the dressing room floors and a blanket were described as dirty. She was given a superficial examination, including an anoscopic, but a diagnosis of cancer was not made until she stated that, since she did not have cancer, she was not going to pay almost $600 for the Hoxsey medication and the examinations. At this point, Dr. Hawk reversed his diagnosis and stated that cancer did show up on the chest X-rays.

It later was learned that a supply of X-ray films was kept in the view box and were represented as belonging to the patient whose diagnosis was then being considered. One of the persons working in the Clinic in a clerical position finally became suspicious and reported her suspicions to the bunko squad in Los Angeles. The incident which finally convinced her that there was a fraudulent operation going on in the Clinic occurred one day when a male patient was told that he had cancer in both lungs. He was shown an X-ray of the chest which they said was his but actually was from a female patient and the breast shadows of the latter patient were pointed out to the male patient as representing cancer in both lungs. After he had purchased his medication and departed, the operators of the Clinic laughed uproarously over the whole incident.

The bunko squad, on receipt of the above-mentioned information, reported it to the Bureau of Food and Drug Inspections of the State Department of Public Health and this Bureau desired to take criminal action. Consequently, the administrative action of the cancer quackery program was deferred pending results of the criminal action. The principals of the Clinic were arrested on March 29, 1961 and, after a Grand Jury indictment, the trial began on January 15, 1962 and lasted ten weeks. It ended with a hung jury. The second trial began in June, this time without a jury and, after two or three weeks, the judge found all defendants innocent of all charges. Prior to the arrest, the cancer quackery program had held investigatory hearings on September 28 and October 19, 1960 and the accusatory hearing, initially scheduled for the spring of 1961, was deferred as indicated above, awaiting the criminal trial. In July of 1963, both Dr. Sherwood and Dr. Hawk consented to the issuance of Cease and Desist Orders which were then issued on August 29, 1963. After the trial, Dr. DeWelles, the guiding light of the Clinic, disappeared from the State, but word about him was received a year or two later. It seems he had been carrying on a diagnostic racket in Indiana and a federal agency had determined this and had him convicted of fraud, receiving a 10-year jail sentence. Subsequent to that, it was learned that the Bureau of Internal Revenue had assessed him for approximately $160,000 for unpaid income taxes

Dr. Sherwood has retired from practice, but Dr. Hawk is in practice by himself and specializes in weight reduction—much of it probably directed to the pocketbook.



Government Actions against Everett W. DeLong, M. D.

Everett W. DeLong, D.O. was disciplined in 1965 by the Medical Board of California for violating California’s Cancer Law. The following summary came from the files of the California Cancer Advisory Council. In February 1958, Mr. B.S. went to DeLong because of a growth on the right ear. A salve was applied. later, several lesions …

Everett W. DeLong, D.O. was disciplined in 1965 by the Medical Board of California for violating California’s Cancer Law. The following summary came from the files of the California Cancer Advisory Council.


In February 1958, Mr. B.S. went to DeLong because of a growth on the right ear. A salve was applied. later, several lesions on the face were removed with a liquid, and similar treatment was attempted to remove a small lesion on the base of the nose. None of these lesions was biopsied. The nose lesion became worse and laetrile shots and Mexican animal cell treatments were prescribed.

In March, 1962, the patient was seen by a surgeon in Redlands, where biopsy revealed squamous cell carcinoma. A surgical procedure followed, in which part of the upper lip, the lateral portions of the nose and the nasal septum were removed.

In January 1962, recurring cancer was removed from the lip, the upper jaw and the nose.

In March 1963, a further recurrence was noted and radiation therapy was applied.

In May 1963, a massive recurrence was noted. Further surgery was believed contraindicated, but further irradiation therapy was applied. The patient died in June, 1964, after having paid $2,168 to DeLong during a two-year period prior to seeking conventional help.

Mr. L.K., in April, 1961, had a kidney removed for cancer, following which chemotherapy was recommended but refused. Farly in August, he went to DeLong, where he received laetrile three times a week and was promised a cure. later

in August, Mucorhicin was prescribed. $380 was paid to Dr. DeLong. Still later in August, Mr. L.K. went to Dr. Hendricks, where he received the Koch treatment for $75, cellular treatment for $150, bbod and urinalysis performed in Switzerland—$150. The patient died of his disease in January of 1962.

Mr. W.I., an undercover operative who had carcinoma of the prostate, visited Dr. DeLong in February of 1962. No physical examination was performed but De Long took the patient’s word for the presence and type of disease. The patient was given an injection of laetrile and chorionic gonadotropin, a supply of the latter for home use and a bottle of Mucorhicin. At the time of this visit, De Long admitted to the use of several other agents.

On September 5, 1962, an investigatory hearing was held at which Dr. De Long was directed to bring samples of laetrile, pancreatic enzyme, chymotrypsin, Mexican cell treatment, Mucorhicin, ointment for external cancer, liquid for external cancer and instructions for performing the Bolen Diagnostic Test. Dr. DeLong brought none of these to the hearing.

An accusatory hearing was scheduled for March 6, 1963, but, because of repeated continuances in deference to a criminal trial which was pending against him, the accusatory hearing was not held until August 9, 1965. The hearing officer found in favor of the Department of Public Health and recommended that Cease and Desist Orders against the agents named in the subpoena be issued. This was accomplished on October 14, 1965.

Subsequently, Dr. DeLong was convicted in criminal court of wiretapping and insurance fraud. The sentence was five years probation and a charge to cooperate with the probation officer for medical treatment and to obey all laws, orders, rules and regulations of the Probation Department and the Court.



Regulatory Action against Wendell G. Hendricks, D.O.

Wendell G. Hendricks, D.O., was disciplined in 1963 by the Medical Board of California for violating California’s Cancer Law. The following summary came from the files of the California Cancer Advisory Council. Complaints about Dr. Hendricks’s practice began in approximately 1952 and, although there were numerous investigations by the Board of Osteopathic Examiners, nothing came …

Wendell G. Hendricks, D.O., was disciplined in 1963 by the Medical Board of California for violating California’s Cancer Law. The following summary came from the files of the California Cancer Advisory Council.


Complaints about Dr. Hendricks’s practice began in approximately 1952 and, although there were numerous investigations by the Board of Osteopathic Examiners, nothing came of them until the 1960s.

One complaint was made by Miss V.P. , who went to Dr. Hendricks because of a breast lump. She continued with him for 18 months and received in succession the Koch treatment, the animal cells, a poultice applied locally which was supposed to bring the tumor out through the skin and, finally, injections of two other agents which produced chills and fever. She paid a total of $1200 and, at the end of 18 months, went to a surgeon where malignancy of the breast was diagnosed and a radical mastectomy performed. She later died of her disease.

In June 1961, the Osteopathic Board received a telephone call from Mrs. M.D., who had a cancer background and who expressed her intent to seek cancer treatment from Dr. Hendricks. The patient’s suspicions were aroused because of the very strong “sell” by the receptionist when an appointment with Dr. Hendricks was requested. Since she did have this suspicion and since something was known of Hendricks’ operations, the patient agreed to serve as an undercover operative and to visit Hendricks for treatment.

She was told by Dr. Hendricks that he would treat her with a cancer antitoxin which originated in Russia but which he now obtained in Canada, and if she had cancer she would get a reaction with chills and fever. Later, after continued treatment, when she no longer got such a reaction it would mean that she no longer had cancer. When that happened, he would then start on the cell treatment, an injection method—the agent being made from lyophilized cells of unborn animals, usually lambs. The agents are made both in Switzerland, where they originated, and in Mexico. He also stated that he had the Lincoln method of treatment and the Koch oxidation catalyst. This patient was charged $250.

In October, 1961, Mrs. T.T., another undercover operative, a laryngectomee with a ten-year cure, visited Dr. Hendricks. During the two visits this patient made, she was given an injection into the hip, supposedly the Koch treatment, and also an injection into the vein, presumably the detoxification agent or the antitoxin from Canada. She was also told about the cellular treatment which would be obtained from Switzerland and which could be administered to her for $1,300. This patient paid Hendricks a total of $160.

Dr. Hendricks was subpoenaed to appear at an investigatory hearing and directed to bring samples of the agent he used in the treatment of cancer. The names of these agents and their synonyms were listed on the Subpoena Duces Tecum. Hendricks appeared, was represented by counsel, but brought none of the agents with him. He was then summoned to an accusatory hearing held before a hearing officer where the State’s evidence was presented. The hearing officer proposed that a Cease and Desist Order be issued based on the feature of the law which permits a conclusive presumption that the agents in question are of no value if the proponent fails to produce requested samples or other information.

A Cease and Desist Order dated July 23, 1963 was issued against Dr. Hendricks.

In 1964, subsequent to the issuance of the Cease and Desist Order, additional complaints reached the Department of Public Health. One of these was from a patient with multiple myeloma who was treated with the cell treatment. A total of $3,000 was paid.

Another was a case of malignant melanoma which was treated by Hendricks with the Koch Oxidation Catalyst, and was promised treatment with the cellular injections. Both of these patients have died of their disease.

Since by this time, the Professional and Vocational Standards were interested in Dr. Hendricks’ activities, no further attempt was made by the State Department of Health to gather additional evidence. The action of the Professional and Vocational Standards resulted in the revoking of Dr. Hendricks’ license to practice medicine.



Regulatory Action against Howard F. Parsons, M.D.

Howard F. Parsons, M.D., was disciplined in 1965 by the Medical Board of California for violating California’s Cancer Law. The following summary came from the files of the California Cancer Advisory Council. On February 24, 1961, Mrs. O.J.R., the daughter of a patient having widespread cancer of the cervix, wrote a letter of complaint to …

Howard F. Parsons, M.D., was disciplined in 1965 by the Medical Board of California for violating California’s Cancer Law. The following summary came from the files of the California Cancer Advisory Council.


On February 24, 1961, Mrs. O.J.R., the daughter of a patient having widespread cancer of the cervix, wrote a letter of complaint to the San Francisco County Medical Association. With this letter, the daughter enclosed a letter from Dr. Parsons in which he complained about stoppage of payment of the daughter’s check for the mother’s treatments.

She felt that she and her mother were being victimized by a cancer racket sponsored by Dr. Parsons whose integrity therefore she felt to be questionable. One reason for her suspicions was the fact that Dr. Parsons had influenced her mother not to accept treatment from the University of California Hospital in San Francisco. She had tried to interest a district attorney in her home town and also the University of california in investigating Parsons but neither was receptive to her pleas for help.

In Dr. Parsons’ office, the mother was given a Bolen Test for cancer and injections of Koch antitoxin, both of which have been discredited by the Cancer Advisory Council and banned in California.

On January 16, 1963, Mrs. N.B.N. visited Dr. Parsons because of an intestinal difficulty. After physical examination and a blood test for cancer which was claimed to be negative, Dr. Parsons diagnosed her illness as a chronic virus infection and recommended that a vaccine be prepared from her urine by a laboratory in Oregon. It was the patient’s understanding that the treatment would last only about six weeks, but later on it developed that it was planned to keep her coming for treatment for from nine months to two years. The patient felt that he had misrepresented the facts and was engaged in misleading business practices. During the patient’s visits at Dr. Parsons’ offices, she heard about two cancer patients who had been treated successfully with similar vaccine. The patient complained of her treatment to the San Francisco County Medical Society and the complaint eventually reached the State Health Department. Since treatment of cancer was not involved in this patient, her testimony was not used.

Late in 1962, a complaint was received from Mr. R.S., an East Bay businessman regarding the treatment of his mother by Dr. Parsons. By use of the Bolen Test, he had diagnosed this patient as having a low-grade malignancy, and proceeded to treat her with vaccine prepared from urine. She received injections of this vaccine for approximately three months. He advised against biopsy or any type of surgery, stating that such a procedure would allow the cancer to invade the bloodstream and result in widespread metastases. Parsons stated the injections would case the cancer to be exuded through the skin. It did break down and discharged purulent materiel but certainly not as a result of the injections.

In 1963, a complaint was received from Mr. C.C., the son of a patient who had advanced carcinoma of the bowel. She had seen Dr. Parsons and bad the Bolen Test and the vaccine had been prescribed for her. However, the patient died before the vaccine could be administered.

As a result of these complaints, two undercover operatives were sent to Dr. Parsons’ office where they stated that they had or had had cancer and that they were concerned about a recurrence. The first of these, Mrs. B.C.T., was given the Bolen Test, was told that it was about 98 or 99 percent accurate, and that it showed cancer was present. The Koch Oxidation Catalyst was prescribed. She was given several injections of this agent at weekly intervals and, after the fifth visit, a Bolen Test was repeated and Dr. Parsons stated that the patient was showing wonderful improvement. This patient has had periodic health examinations since her original surgery for cancer of the cervix, 10 or 12 years ago, and has shown no evidence of recurrence.

The second operative, Mrs. D.C., made five visits to Dr. Parsons. On the first visit, the patient was given a Bolen Test and was told that she had cancer throughout her system. This visit was in July of 1961 and, to date, the patient has shown no evidence of recurrent cancer. An elaborate diet and numerous health foods were prescribed for the patient, as well as treatment by Samuels’ Short-wave Instrument. Dr. Parsons also stated that Krebiozen, Chymotrypsin, and Mucorhicin are of value in the treatment of cancer, but he administered unidentified injections on three occasions.

Dr. Parsons was summoned to an investigatory hearing where he denied using any of the methods described above in either the diagnosis or treatment of cancer. However, the State had evidence to the contrary, so an accusatory hearing was scheduled. Before this hearing came about, however, Dr. Parsons stipulated to a Cease and Desist Order. He has now closed his San Francisco office and has reopened in Menlo Park, after having stated that he was retiring from practice. He does not appear to be treating cancer, but advertises pain relief thru hypnotism.



Silly Claims for “Spine-Align” (A Dietary Supplement)

In the early 1990s, Vita-Herbs, of St. Louis, Missouri, marketed “Spine Align,” which the label described as a “biologically active concentrate of freeze-dried raw whole spinal column.” Literature for the product claimed that  contained “organ-specific cellular components ” that could “help repair, regenerate, correct, and normalize the specific cellular complexes they were derived from.” The …

In the early 1990s, Vita-Herbs, of St. Louis, Missouri, marketed “Spine Align,” which the label described as a “biologically active concentrate of freeze-dried raw whole spinal column.” Literature for the product claimed that  contained “organ-specific cellular components ” that could “help repair, regenerate, correct, and normalize the specific cellular complexes they were derived from.”

The product was also claimed to “activate the body’s own Innate.” (This referred to “Innate Intelligence,” the metaphysical term used by fundamentalist chiropractors to describe the body’s self-healing capacity.)

Vita-Herbs, Inc., was registered in Missouri as a for-profit corporation in 1966, by Ralph W. Rector and Harold Black. An article I found in a spiritualist magazine described Rector this way:

By trade, Rev. Rector is a pharmacist, specializing in homeopathy. He’s been a student of naprapathy, chiropractic and naturopathy. Rev. Rector is president of Physical Institute, Inc., a St.Louis based firm which dispenses homeopathy prescriptions and provides psychic healing treatments to those who seek attention. Mr. Rector’s shopis located at 7600 Broadway and is open three days a week. At 70, he’s not in the business to get rich, at least, not at $8 a visit. His prescriptions are merely suggested and offered along the same lines which you buy vitamins or patent medicines across the counter. . . .

Rev. Rector’s specialty is strengthening muscles. His bone adjustments are made by strengthening the respective muscles which then pull displaced bones into place. He believes in convincing his patients, a bit unusual for a practioner. Before he recharges your energy level, he often insists on testing the muscle strength. This is one of the things your chiropractor would do at the first visit. After a treatment, the process ¡s repeated. When you can feel vertebra out of place, Rector will ask you to note the sensitivity and the bulge if any, before and after. In that way, he believes, you receive a psychological lift too.

Occasionally, patients speak of feeling something shift in the back or other area treated. That’s all though, until the pain starts. And start it does within a few hours. The best comparison his patients give sounds like the aftermath of a severe series of adjustments by a chiropractor. The aches and sorenesses are there, but within a day or two all fades.

It’s uncanny the way Rector works. He’s not abrupt, and tries to answer every question. His magic isn’t restricted to touch, magnetic passes or space, so it seems. On occasion, he treats while out of the patient’s room. Put to the test he has purposefully thrown aligned bones out of place, then walked out of the room and willed them back. He doesn’t say, “try me.” He just likes to prove that his theories on magnetic energy can be duplicated again and again, whether he’s present or not! [1]

Records filed with the Missouri Secretary of State indicate that Black took over Vita-Herbs in the 1970s and that the corporation was dissolved in 2014.

Spine-Align was distributed by Spinal Support Systems, which was registered as a fictitious name in 1990. The product was said to be made from Whole New Zealand Bovine tissue specifically processed to preserve biologically active substances, naturally occurring nucleoprotein, enzymes, organ-specific nucleic acids & cellular components that occur naturally.” Literature I collected during the early 1990s suggested that Spine Align would “support” and “strengthen” chiropractic spinal adjustments by normalizing the parts of the body that corresponded to the parts of the cows from which the product was derived. These claims were nonsensical because:

  • There is no logical reason to believe that extracts of tissues from animals would target corresponding tissues in humans.
  • Even if “biological activity” was preserved by freeze-drying—which is unlikely—any proteins, enzymes, or nucleic acids capable of biological activity would be broken down by the user’s digestive process.
  • Rather stimulating any repair processes, they would merely add trivial amounts of nutrients to the body’s total supply.
References
  1. Painless chiropractics. The National Spiritualist Summit, Aug 1979, p. 18.
  2. Spine Align Brochures, Vita-Herbs, Inc., 1990


Miscellaneous Chiropractic Pamphlets (1950s to 1980s)

The pamphlets listed below come from many sources, some of which are not identified in the pamphlets. Most were issued during the 1970s. Nearly all exaggerated what chiropractors can do. Click here to read them. “Why Won’t You Go to the Chiropractir? For Your Family’s Health MS: CORRECT the CAUSE . . . and REGAIN …

The pamphlets listed below come from many sources, some of which are not identified in the pamphlets. Most were issued during the 1970s. Nearly all exaggerated what chiropractors can do. Click here to read them.

  • “Why Won’t You Go to the Chiropractir?
  • For Your Family’s Health
  • MS: CORRECT the CAUSE . . . and REGAIN HEALTH
  • Drugs Offer Only Temporary Relief
  • Children Are Subjected to Tremendous Shocks
  • Hay Fever
  • The Farmer’s Best Friend
  • Chiropractic Information Series: #10 Digestion, #40 Thyroid, #41 Uterus
  • How Long Will It Take to Get Well
  • Spinal Health & Wellness
  • How to Overcome Discouragement on the Way Back to Health
  • Chiropractic: The Good Health Habit
  • What’s Your Health Problem?
  • Chiropractic Do’s and Don’ts
  • Good Health Is a Family Affair
  • The Search for a Healthier Life Is No Mystery . . .
  • The Whip-Lash Injury
  • Your First Chiropractic Adjustment
  • What Kinds of Conditions Do Chiropractors Treat?
  • Chiropractic Practice in Oregon
  • What Is Chiropractic?
  • Chiropractic and the Working Man
  • Eye Trouble
  • Hay Fever
  • Liver Trouble
  • How Long to Health
  • Innate Intelligence: The Power Within
  • Why Is He Down in the Doldrums ?????
  • The Power of Your Immune System
  • Your Doctor Wants You to Know . . . Backache
  • Your Doctor Wants You to Know . . . Scoliosis

 



Pamphlets from the International Chiropractors Association (1968-1972)

The International Chiropractors Association (ICA), which is the second largest chiropractic organization in the United States, represents chiropractors who advocate subluxation-based chiropractic. During the early 1970s, I collected six pamphlets that the ICA issued to explain its views to patients: Health Is Natural claimed that (a) every organ and cell receives its supply of “nerve energy” …

The International Chiropractors Association (ICA), which is the second largest chiropractic organization in the United States, represents chiropractors who advocate subluxation-based chiropractic. During the early 1970s, I collected six pamphlets that the ICA issued to explain its views to patients:

  • Health Is Natural claimed that (a) every organ and cell receives its supply of “nerve energy” from the brain, (b) this energy activates and regulates body function (c) misaligned (“subluxated”) vertebrae interrupt the proper flow of nerve energy between the brain and affected body parts, (d) chiropractors detect subluxations and adjust the spine to correct them, and (e) this restores the normal flow of nerve energy, which restores the person’s health. 
  • Your Child’s Health claimed that active children are likely to experience “falls, jolts, jars, and sprains” that frequently produce spinal subluxations.
  • Stay Healthy Naturally claimed that “often only the spine stands between a person and good health.”
  • Chiropractic: Natural Means to Good Health claimed that “chiropractors are specially trained to keep your spine in alignment.”
  • Why the Spine Is Important to Patient Health asserted that “a thorough analysis and checkup should be made on every individual at regular intervals.”
  • Diabetes / Chiropractic claimed that diabetes could be caused by a spinal misalignment (subluxation) and corrected by spinal adjustment.

None of the above notions are accepted by the scientific medical community. The diabetes claim is particularly egregious. Click here to read the full text of these pamphlets.



Index to State and Local Enforcement Actions

(Listed in Reverse Chronological Order) Robert O. Young Sentenced to Prison (2017) Lawsuits against Trump University Settled (2016) Harris County Attorney Sues to Stop MMS Sale (2016) Texas Attorney General Sues Robert Linsey Duncan (2014) Texas Attacks Acai Product Marketing Scheme (2009) California Orders Be-Thin Inc. to Stop Selling Franchises Unless Registered (2008) Avian Environmental …

(Listed in Reverse Chronological Order)