when quack marketing crosses the line

Quack extraordinaire Mike Adams has crossed a line from typical snake oil salesmanship to predatory fear-mongering.
snake oil

Sometimes I’m convinced that there’s a mystical place in which there’s a fountain of witlessness and not only are there people who drink from it, but some come back for seconds and thirds. One such person is a rather ghoulish alt-med promoter named Mike Adams, who’s primary occupation is convincing people that cancers can be cured by a vegan diet and lamenting how celebrities are being systematically poisoned by evil doctors and pharmaceutical companies engaged in a conspiracy to suppress “alternative medicine” in the name of profit. Worse yet, he races to type out his infuriating lamentations before the bodies of those in question had a chance to cool. So obviously, as soon as Patrick Swayze succumbed to pancreatic cancer, Mike wasted no time in spitting out his typical hackneyed tripe

Beloved actor Patrick Swayze died yesterday evening after a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Having put his faith in conventional chemotherapy, he largely dismissed ideas that nutrition, superfoods or “alternative medicine” might save him, instead betting his life on the chemotherapy approach which seeks to poison the body into a state of remission instead of nourishing it into a state of health. […]

Could Patrick Swayze have saved his own life with natural medicine? Absolutely. Without question. Even late-stage pancreatic cancer can be reversed (yes, reversed) with full-on naturopathic treatments involving Chinese herbal medicine, deep body detoxification that includes sweat saunas and colon cleansing, radical changes in diet from “dead” foods to “live” foods, a healthy dose of vitamin D and the daily consumption of raw anti-cancer living juices made from fresh, organic produce like cabbage, broccoli and garlic.

Obviously Mike has never actually seen or dealt with a pancreatic cancer patient or talked to an actual doctor with a real medical degree. Pancreatic cancer is an extremely aggressive disease that’s very difficult to detect early enough to treat with any chance of success and the prognosis for those diagnosed is usually very poor. While the brightest minds in oncology work on cutting edge research in targeting and suppressing tumors to save lives, this bozo is actually talking about sweating and eating veggies as the ultimate cure for any cancer, and accusing drug companies of “keeping natural cures a big secret” so they can make more money? This is inexcusable idiocy that should carry with it legal responsibility and it’s inane on every level, from the science to the business. Nothing about his statements makes any logical sense when put in relevant context.

Imagine for a moment that just eating vegetables cures any Stage IV cancer. Do you have any idea how fast a pharmaceutical company would be packaging and selling whatever enzymes suppress tumor activity? You’d hear a sonic boom as the scientists rush to their labs with lettuce, carrots and broccoli and executives would be giving speeches on how they can not only supply a cure for cancer, but they don’t need to spend billions of dollars on developing a new drug, just cover the costs of production. Big Pharma is and always has been into making easy money and vegetable extracts as cancer cures is about as easy as it gets. For them to keep this a secret so they could plow tens of billions of dollars into oncology research that may or may not pan out and probably won’t be able to cover the development costs, makes absolutely no sense. Either Big Pharma execs and the vast army of researchers they employ are clueless, or Adams simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Call me crazy but I’m willing to bet on the latter.

From a scientific standpoint, Mike’s claims are basically just a string of meaningless alt med buzzwords that are of absolutely no use to any doctor with a grip on what actually causes diseases. What toxins should we be getting rid of? What are they? How did we get them? How do we live with them in between diseases? What’s the toxin accumulation threshold? Nobody in the alt med world knows. They just invoke this stuff to sound like they actually studied something that passes the smell test of scientific jargon. Likewise, what are all of these potent anti-cancer juices? How do they work? How have they been tested? What’s the active ingredient? And if this stuff works as well as Adams vows it does, where are all the people who were cured by his therapy? How come we don’t see them on National Geographic or featured in the news? Big Pharma conspiracy? Uh-uh. In the real world, you’re going to have to do better than that. Appeals to conspiracy are the adult version of saying that the dog ate your homework. Even if it did, you should be able to re-write it.

By the way, has Mike ever heard of Steve Jobs who tried to treat his pancreatic cancer with alternative and folk medicine only to realize that his only chance to survive was a surgery by real doctors? Of course he has! He even tried to give public health advice to Jobs on his blog, admitting he didn’t have access to the relevant medical data but without letting such little things as zero medical training or knowing the patient’s history get in the way of going in with both barrels loaded with pure insipidity. So even in the face of evidence that alternative medicine is useless against a serious disease which requires attention from actual doctors with a legitimate medical education, he’s still trying to push his pseudo-cures.

Here’s the bottom line. Mike Adams is a good, old-fashioned snake oil salesman. It doesn’t matter whether he really believes what he writes. What matters is that his advice to eschew medicine that actually produces real results in favor of pseudoscience that comes with no explanations and is sold on the basis of vague rhetoric about “toxins” and “poisons” designed to scare patients into trusting their lives to a bunch of quacks, is an inexcusable public health hazard. Has anybody told Mike that selling false hope to people who are seriously ill to line your pockets is just evil and when you ask them not to help themselves to make a buck, it makes you a lesser human being? I wonder what Mike will do if he needs real medical attention. Something tells me that he won’t just be munching on broccoli and giving himself enemas in a sauna…

# health // alternative medicine / health / new ageism / pseudoscience / quackery


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