Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery

Entelev, CanCell, and Cantron: Not curing cancer since the 1930s

A couple of months ago, a reader sent me an article that really disturbed me. In fact, I had originally been planning to write about it not long after I received it. However, as I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to blogging, I’m a bit like Dug the Talking Dog from the movie Up in that I’m easily distracted. Unlike Dug, what distracts me aren’t squirrels, but rather bright, shiney pieces of pseudoscience, quackery, paranormal, or otherwise weird nonsense. Sometimes after I’m distracted I come back to the topic I had originally wanted to blog about. Sometimes I don’t. Or, sometimes (like this time), it takes me nearly two months. I realize that that’s kind of a lame excuse, but, well, that’s just how Orac rolls. Except that Orac can’t roll, being a square Plexiglass box full of multicolored blinking lights and all.

In any case, I just realize that, as far as I can tell, I’ve never blogged about this bit of cancer quackery before. Shocking, I know. I thought I had covered pretty much every major form of cancer quackery at least once over the seven and a half years this blog has been in existence. But I was wrong! This cannot stand! I must cover it!

Unfortunately, the article that brought my attention (back) to this particular form of cancer quackery is a story that is very sad. It is the story of Bernie Mulligan:

To Bernie Mulligan, chemotherapy is just a temporary setback.

The 45-year-old carpenter at the University of Windsor refused all traditional treatments for his terminal stomach cancer for about two months, until complications from an expanding liver landed him in the hospital.

On Monday, he reluctantly started chemotherapy for the first time.

Doctors say Mulligan will be lucky if he lives another two months, but he said he’s not worried. He just needs the chemotherapy to shrink his liver to the point where he can get back to the real cure, he said — a supplement in a rainbow-coloured bottle called Cantron.

“That’s the stuff that’s going to cure me. This stuff is not a cure, chemo’s not a cure,” he said. “When I got rushed into the hospital two weeks ago, yes, I thought I was done. But now I’m confident.”

Mulligan is one of many Windsor cancer patients who have crossed the border over the years to attend meetings of an organization based out of Warren, Mich., that promotes Cantron as a miracle cure.

Stomach cancer is, generally speaking, a bad actor. It’s the sort of tumor that’s hard enough to treat even when it’s localized to the stomach, but when it’s metastasized to the liver, as it has in Mr. Mulligan’s case, it’s incurable.

According to a video on the Windsor Star website, back in February Mulligan had been experiencing pains in his upper abdomen. He thought it was a “stomach bug” and was going to see his family doctor that very day when he started vomiting blood and ended up in the emergency room. At the time, it was found that he had numerous metastases in his liver. Ultimately the primary cancer was located and turned out to be what sounds to me like an upper stomach cancer or a cancer at the gastroesophageal junction, which, if true, is more esophageal cancer than gastric cancer. Be that as it may, esophageal cancer is a bad actor, too.

It’s a horrible thing when a man this young is faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis, and that’s exactly what Mulligan was facing. However, if there’s one thing I always try to emphasize, it’s that “incurable” does not mean “not treatable.” If there’s one area of cancer care that’s advanced enormously over the last 20 or 30 years, it’s palliative care. Even though palliative care is not designed to prolong life but rather to relieve symptoms, there is evidence that good palliative care results in prolongation of life. Of course, I realize that telling a 45-year-old man, who probably expected to live another 35 or 40 years, that we have good palliative care is not a message that is likely to be satisfying. We all want to live!

Enter the cancer quacks

Although it is the ethical and science-based thing to do to provide an honest assessment of prognosis based on the patient’s presentation and what we know from science, unfortunately, there are plenty of “alternative” medicine practitioners out there who are more than happy to give a message of hope when there is little or no hope. Such a message causes a lot of harm, such as leading the patient to waste huge amounts of money to the point where he might bankrupt his family and leave nothing left for them after he’s gone, causing unnecessary pain and complications, and, to put it bluntly, deceiving the patient with false hope. Of course, some patients are more susceptible to false hope than others, and Mulligan appears to be one of those patients. In his video, he talks about eschewing conventional therapy and going for homeopathic remedies before discovering Cantron.

But what is Cantron? The same basic formula has appeared under a wide variety of names, such as Sheridan’s Formula, Jim’s Juice, JS–114, JS–101, 126–F, Crocinic Acid, and, of course, Entelev, Protocel, and Cantron. The version of the magic cancer cure being used by Bernie Mulligan is sold by a company called Medical Research Products. It comes in bottles festooned with happy, cheerful colors, and its sales pitch runs like this:

Cantron® is an amazing bio-electrical wellness formulation. It provides astonishing health benefits like no other substance on Earth. It is the world’s most potent antioxidant and scavenger of abnormal proteins which accumulate in the blood, tissues, organs and joints. Cantron is known to dramatically aid the body’s own natural defenses. Since 1984, it has received rave reviews from those who have taken it. One customer summed it up perfectly on an Internet chat site when she emphatically stated: “How blessed we are to know about Cantron.”

I wouldn’t exactly put it that way.

Notice the pure snake oil-style appeal mixed with what I like to call science word salad. “Bio-electric wellness formulation”? It’s a meaningless term. “Scavenger of abnormal proteins”? Highly unlikely. “Dramatically aid the body’s own natural defenses”? That’s just another way of phrasing the quack’s favorite meaninglessly vague claim that his nostrum “boosts the immune system.” Then, of course, there is the appeal to testimonial, wherein no science is presented but instead we’re told how much people like the product and how much good it’s allegedly done for people.

But what is Cantron? It turns out that there are several products that are very similar to Cantron. The original was Entelev, later rebranded as CanCell, which, as described in the article and on various web pages and articles as having first been conceived and compounded in the 1936 by a chemist working for the Dow Chemical Company named James V. Sheridan, who first called his concoction Entelev. Why did he choose that name? In an interview, Sheridan once said that the idea came to him in a dream that he believed to be inspired by God, explaining many years later that the name Entelev came from “entelechy” (that part of the living process known only to God) and “ev” (which came from the word “electrovalent”), the latter being added so that the name would have something for everyone. Another version of the tale, told by a believer, can be found here.

According to the company website, Sheridan apparently did some animal studies in the late 1940s (one wonders why it took him 10 or 12 years to go from making up his concoction to doing animal studies), but there is precious little objective evidence from parties not selling the compound that he ever did anything of the sort. It’s also claimed that he attempted to do clinical trials while working at the Michigan Cancer Institute back in the 1950s. That claim actually raised an eyebrow, because, being in Michigan, I had never heard of the Michigan Cancer Institute. There is currently a Michigan Cancer Institute. However, it doesn’t appear to be a research-based institution but rather part of a private hospital. As is so often the case in stories like this, the history just doesn’t add up.

Be that as it may, according to the company website the next phase of the story occurred in the late 1950s through the 1960s, when, it is claimed, Sheridan was working for Battelle Laboratories, he did more work on his treatment. I don’t have direct knowledge that can help me evaluate this claim (although I do find it curious that so little is revealed about what Sheridan was doing , but I did do a PubMed search for James V. Sheridan and failed to find any publications by him at all. Given that he continued to work on Entelev at least into the 1980s, if he had published anything in the peer-reviewed literature it should be locatable on PubMed. It’s not. Then, from 1974 to 1983, Sheridan reportedly gave the formula away free of charge to over 1,000 people. In any case, the only evidence out there that I could find that Sheridan ever tried to do clinical trials is the existence of an application for investigational new drug (IND) status for CanCell (IND #20258) from 1982, which was not granted because the FDA asked for more information but didn’t get it. Specifically, the FDA asked for the chemical formulation (which is proprietary and has not been revealed by Sheridan or any others making the compound) and animal studies demonstrating activity against cancer, which are pretty basic bits of information required for all INDs.

Then, in 1984, a man named Edward J. Sopcak acquired the formula for Entelev. How this came about is somewhat unclear, but we do know that in 1984 the FDA issued an order to cease and desist distributing Entelev to patients. Whether that happened before or after Sopcak acquired the formula is unclear. The company claims it was before, because Sheridan realized the jig was up and that the FDA was going to shut him down; so he wanted to get the formula out to others. (Obviously, that’s not how they put it.) Particularly revealing, albeit no doubt unintentionally so, is this tidbid on the Medical Research Products website describing Sheridan, in which he is described thusly, “Jim also had no tolerance for complying with rigid manufacturing procedures that the FDA demanded.” No doubt, given that at that time he was manufacturing his product in his house, as documented in a famous Detroit Monthly article in 1984, Hope on a Hot Plate (the title was based on the way Sheridan cooked up Entelev on a hot plate in his pantry), and in another incident was observed to be carrying out pH testing in his kitchen while his wife was cooking chicken for dinner.

In any case, Sheridan apparently teamed up with a history teacher from Plymouth, MI named Don Wilson who became a “missionary” for Sheridan; Orville “Orz” Feather, a chemical engineer; and, of course, Ed Sopcak. Thus was CanCell born; it was basically Entelev renamed. By 1989, the FDA asked for and received a permanent injunction against Sheridan and Sopcak prohibiting them from introducing their compound into interstate commerce on the basis that they were adulterated, misbranded, and unapproved new drugs. For several years, this seems not to have stopped Sopcak, who superseded Sheridan as the primary promoter of CanCell, from distributing it under the names Protocel and Entelev. Ultimately, in the 1990s, Sopcak and Sheridan complied, but that didn’t stop other companies from making the same or similar products.

Cantron: False hope

So what are Cantron, Entelev, Protocel, and the plethora of products based on Jim Sheridan’s original “juice”? Finding that out isn’t exactly easy because the formula has been proprietary. Moreover, the purported explanations of how it supposedly works are, to put it kindly, a moving target. However, there are several explanations in common that resemble to some extent the paragraph I cited above. For instance, the Alternative Cancer Treatments Comparison and Testing website, which has a wonderfully catty criticism of Protocel relative to Cantron, which is, according to the website, so much better than Protocel, even though the unwashed masses buy more Protocel because they “mistakenly believe that the Protocel formula is controlled by the developer or his surviving family”:

Both Cantron and Protocel work by reducing the ATP energy (adenosine triphosphate) in each cell of your body. (This is also one of the cancer fighting effects of Paw Paw and Graviola.) Our cells have an electrical potential that effects how the cell processes energy producing substances mostly blood sugar and oxygen from our blood supply…

By reducing this voltage level from 70 to 110 mv to something in the 50 mv region, normal cells can still function. However, cancer and viral cells cannot process energy at this low voltage level and start to starve. The process of starving is a slower process than being poisoned which is why Cancell works slower than chemo and why there was a dramatic reduction in the weight of tumor cells in the two day NCI test of Cancell, but only a small number of dead cells. Had that test run longer, all the tumor cells that showed such dramatic weight reduction would have starved to death. For more on the NCI test, go to the Comments on the NCI Test Summary for Cancell page.

It is always amusing to see such gross ignorance of basic biology, or, as I like to call it, burning stupid. Viruses are not cells. You can’t starve them. They also apparently don’t know that the membrane potential of cells is generally expressed as a negative voltage. I do, however, like the special pleading that the NCI test didn’t measure the right thing, as if the NCI doesn’t know what to measure when testing putative new cancer therapies in vitro and in vivo. Similarly, the part about reducing the resting electrochemical gradient across the cell membrane to the -50 mV range is pure nonsense. The main reason the voltage potential across a cell membrane decreases is either because the cell lacks ATP (which is the source of chemical energy for most cellular reactions, such as the ion pumps that maintain the gradient); something else (a poison, for instance) is inhibiting the ion pumps; or the membrane is leaky, dispersing the ion gradient. In any case, cells have a wide variety of resting potentials, and, in fact, promoters of Cantron get it exactly wrong. In actuality, resting potential corresponds with proliferative potential. Cells with a low proliferative potential tend to have high resting membrane potentials (say, -90 mV), while cells more able to proliferate have a lower resting potential. That includes cancer cells. Of course, it’s more complicated than that in that tumor cells tend to undergo a hyperpolarized phase (higher voltage) while replicating, but the makers of Cantron get the biology all wrong. More differentiated cells tend to have higher resting membrane potential, and lower resting membrane potential tends to be associated with dediffrentiation.

Another claim by Cantron promoters for how it works is Sheridan’s original rationale. In his IND application, he stated that cancer is a protein disease and that there are three kinds of cells: normal, primitive, and cancerous. In a “cancer relationship,” Sheridan argues, cellular proteins become less differentiated than usual and can only replicate cancer proteins. Of course, one notes that in general proteins do not replicate; they are made by transcription and translation of the cell’s DNA, but that didn’t stop Sheridan from claiming that Entelev allowed cancer cells to attain the “primitive state,” which would lead them to self-destruct. This is such utter nonsense from a biological standpoint that it defies reason that a biochemist could believe it, but apparently Sheridan did.

Sopcak’s explanation, on the other hand, was slightly different in that he claimed that cancer cells are mutated anaerobic cells caused by lack of proper diet that causes chemical and electrical damage. His idea of cancer causation is that Progenitor cryptocides becomes active and helps healthy cells respire anaerobically. According to Sopcak, when the cell’s energy needs outstrip the ability of anaerobic metabolism to supply them, the cell mutates and becomes a cancer cell in an irreversible process. One must admit that this sounds a heck of a lot more plausible than Sheridan’s explanation, with its clever co-optation of the Warburg effect and hypotheses that have been around a while about how metabolism can contribute to cancer development. So how does Entelev reverse this process? Here’s where Sopcak goes off the deep end. He claimed that Entelev changed the “vibrational energy and frequency” of cancer cells until they reach the “primitive state” postulated by Sheridan. The cells then autodigest, to be eliminated through the urine, feces, being coughed up, through perspiration, or even through a vaginal discharge. After this happens, cancer cells are replaced by normal cells.

Amusingly, Sopcak has also been quoted as saying that he believes all medicine in the future will ultimately be practiced by adjusting vibrational frequencies. Perhaps that’s why it didn’t take him too long to get into homeopathy. He even made a homeopathic version of CanCell and called it—I kid you not—CanCell, thus causing no end of confusion, particularly because the clear homeopathic version looked very different from the dark-colored original version. In any case, Enteleve/CanCell/Cantron has been promoted as a cure for AIDS, herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, endometriosis, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, diabetes, emphysema, scleroderma, Lou Gehrig disease, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, hemophilia, high and low blood pressure, mental illness, and some forms of epilepsy.

And ya might not believe this, little fella, but it’ll cure your asthma, too. I do note, however, that Cantron, or whatever one wants to call it, has been administered orally, rectally, and topically. If you want the nitty gritty of his pseudoscience, he expounds upon his beliefs and claims for Cantron in detail in this interview from 1996. In this interview, he admits that CanCell is nothing but “very pure water” and claims that it’s a “programmed crystal.” Even more amusingly, from a standpoint of homeopathy, he claims that he removes the memory from these water crystals and imprints the memory he wants. Elsewhere, he describes CanCell as a “vibrational catalyst”:

ACRES U.S.A.: Allow us to back up a bit. What is the substance called Cancell? What is the theory behind it? How does it work? How do you make it?

SOPCAK: The new Cancell analyzes as very pure water. That’s what it is.

ACRES U.S.A.: Just very pure water?

SOPCAK: That’s right. It is a programmed crystal. Water is a crystalline substance. If it weren’t crystalline, when it changes its physical state from water to a solid, you wouldn’t get snowflakes. I have simply erased the memory of the water. People make statements such as, There are no two snowflakes exactly the same. That’s because the memory in that crystal is so variable that snowflakes crystalize out just a little differently each time. Before you impress a memory on a crystal, you have to take out the memory that is there. I remove the memory.

ACRES U.S.A.: How do you remove the memory? Is this a case of magnetism?

SOPCAK: No, you can’t come close to this with anything electrical or magnetic, or with any of the dense material like magnets or minerals. We don’t do any of those things. I’d rather not get too deeply into that because I hate to see people become involved in what they don’t understand, and then put out something definitely harmful.

So let me get this straight. If Cantron is the same as CanCell, it’s basically water. However, in the photos on the Medical Research Products website Cantron looks like the dark liquid that Jim Sheridan used to sell as Entelev after cooking it up in on a hot plate in his kitchen and pantry. None of this stops him from going wild with the woo:

Basically, I get extremely fundamental once I make the statement that nothing exists in the entire universe except electromagnetic vibrational frequencies viewed from that plane of observation, that’s it. There’s nothing else. Then what you get into is diseases as vibrational densities. The problem is to raise the vibrational frequency of those densities, and then the body will return itself to normal. Diseases no longer exist.

Vibrations. Why does it always have to be vibrations? Every quack, cancer or otherwise, seems to think that vibrations are the be-all and end-all of everything; that is, when they don’t think that evil humors—excuse me, energy blockages—are the cause of all disease.

So what’s in Entelev/CanCell/Cantron? Not a lot, actually. In 1989, an FDA review found that it is made up of fairly unremarkable chemicals, including nitric acid, sodium sulfite, potassium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, inositol, and catechol. The Cantron website says that it contains copper, sodium, sulfur, postassium, as well as traces of iron, zinc, and bromine. None of what’s in Cantron appears to have any anticancer activity at the levels one might expect in the human body, per the NCI:

In 1990 and 1991, samples of Cancell/Cantron/Protocel were evaluated in NCI’s in vitro 60 Human Tumor Cell Line Screen. The test results are available online. The graphs and the numerical designations for each of the three cancer cell growth criteria (GI50, concentration required for 50% inhibition of cell growth; TGI, concentration required for total inhibition of cell growth; and LC50, concentration required for 50% cell lethality or death) are somewhat complicated, but a technical explanation is provided in the Appendix 3. There is little evidence that any of the constituents of Cancell/Cantron/Protocel would be available in the bloodstream of a patient in significant concentrations after its ingestion. Activity was seen in two-thirds of the cell lines, though at levels that would be roughly 275 times higher than the theoretical maximum concentration achievable in serum. Therefore, the in vitro effects are likely due to nonspecific effects of changes in salt concentration. Furthermore, cells in the NCI Tumor Cell Line Screen are grown in artificial media under conditions that do not truly mimic the in vivo situation in animals or humans, and that results obtained with the screen may not accurately reflect possible effects in humans. To place the findings for Cancell/Cantron/Protocel in perspective any conventional drug exhibiting this low level of in vitro activity in the NCI human cancer cell line screen would normally not be investigated further by NCI.

A dietary supplement?

So how do the manufacturers of Cantron and its many imitators get away with it? How is it that they keep selling it? The answer is easy: Blame the DSHEA of 1994. Cantron, according to Medical Research Products, is a dietary supplement, as explained in these bullet points:

  • Cantron is offered only as a dietary supplement.
  • Medical Research Products makes no claims nor prescribes this product (or any other product) for the cure, prevention or mitigation of any chronic disease.
  • Cantron is not approved by the FDA or endorsed by the AMA for the treatment of any medical condition.
  • The FDA has not evaluated any statements of “health claims” made by MRP.
  • DO NOT IGNORE THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN. Do not use Cantron in lieu of any life saving treatments which have been prescribed by your physician.
  • Cantron is one very important part of a Total Wellness Program where one treats the whole nature of the individual through nutritional supplementation, diet, exercise, meditation, prayer, etc..
  • Cantron may be taken by itself, however, it is the primary product in our ‘Total Wellness Program’, which is a portfolio of synergistic products designed to stimulate the body’s own natural healing processes.

This brings us back to Bernie Mulligan. How on earth is it that Bernie Mulligan can be deceived to believe that Cantron will cure his stage IV esophageal cancer, with his liver packed with metastatic tumor? Certainly Medical Research Products isn’t telling him that. To the company, it’s all just a “supplement” that “promotes wellness naturally.” Jerome Godin even emphasizes that in the article, stating in no uncertain terms that he is very careful to obey the law. He does, however, disingenuously add, “I just make my product and those who believe in it usually promote it on their own.”

People like Andy Johnson:

On April 18, Johnson did what he does on the third Wednesday of every month at noon — went to a hall in Warren, unloaded cardboard boxes full of photocopied pamphlets, books and bottles of Cantron, approached the podium and preached the good news.

And preached. And preached. Johnson, an 82-year-old man with wire-rimmed glasses, a neatly trimmed moustache and a tucked-in yellow golf shirt, spoke for an hour. He paused for half an hour to allow people who believe Cantron cured their cancer to tell their stories before launching back into his speech for another 40 minutes.


Johnson made all the claims the company that produces Cantron can’t, and then some. Cantron cures cancer, he said — along with AIDS, knee problems and the common cold. He jumped up and down to illustrate the part about the knee problems.

So what we have in Andy Johnson is a true believer, and, unfortunately, he has a group, the H.O.P.E. Group, to which he can preach his belief every third Wednesday of the month, promoting misinformation such as this, where he recommends that cancer patients use Cantron with a variety of other supplements, including shark liver oil, Enzyme Formula Tablets, Willard’s Water, and Pancreatin. Even worse, Johnson apparently encourages his group members to avoid science-based treatments. Interestingly, though, Johnson’s online footprint is actually quite small, as though he’s flying under the radar. His group doesn’t appear to have its own website, and it’s hard to find out much about him online.

Be that as it may, what we have here is, in my professional opinion, a cancer quack. That he believes in his quackery makes it even worse, because it probably makes him a more effective salesman. Meanwhile, we have a company doing the old “wink, wink, nudge, nudge,” while Johnson says the things that the law prohibits the company from saying about its product. A nice arrangement, isn’t it? The treatment isn’t cheap, either, its manufacturer’s claims of wanting to make it available to everyone notwithstanding. According to the article, it costs about $500 every 20 days.

Unfortunately, the article, after having revealed this quackery, dilutes its message by in essence adding some apologia for “complementary and alternative” medicine. For instance, the author Claire Brownell writes that it’s difficult for patients to separate science from fiction and hearsay (true) but that the also “won’t necessarily get much help from their doctors, who are usually poorly trained about alternative treatments and often dismissive of the entire concept.” She also notes that the case of Cantron “doesn’t mean all alternative treatments are a scam or useless” and then cites a completely inappropriate example to illustrate her point. That example is an application for clinical trials of a dandelion root extract that apparently showed some activity against leukemia in preclinical models. Again, people, that is not in any way “alternative” or “complementary.” It’s pharmacognosy (i.e., natural products pharmacology), which is an old and productive branch of pharmacology. To equate pharmacognosy to pure quackery like Cantron is an insult to cancer pharmacologists everywhere.

I don’t know whether Mulligan is still alive. The last report I could find about him is dated May 27 and is about his attending the Telus Motorcycle Ride for Dad. The saddest part, however, is that, even after Cantron has clearly failed him to the point where even with his aversion to conventional medicine in general and chemotherapy in particular he agreed to take chemotherapy, Bernie Mulligan still believes. It’s a truly horrible thing for a man in his 40s to see the specter of his end approaching 30 or 40 years too early, to contemplate not living to see his daughters grow up, or to have the joy of seeing grandchildren. It’s entirely understandable that, lacking the scientific background to realize that there is no scientifically plausible reason to think that Cantron will work and no scientific evidence supporting its efficacy against any cancer, a man like Mulligan might grasp at anything that he thinks can save him and participate in fundraisers to raise money for an “experimental” cancer treatment. It’s companies like Medical Research Products, whose owners give no indication of being the least bit troubled by the claims being made for its products by people like Andy Johnson, that are to blame.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

1,124 replies on “Entelev, CanCell, and Cantron: Not curing cancer since the 1930s”

“People make statements such as, There are no two snowflakes exactly the same. That’s because the memory in that crystal is so variable that snowflakes crystalize out just a little differently each time.”

Just wow.

JohnV — I think you mean “Just woo.”

Orac, I’ve been among those having issues with comments being refused because I’m “commenting too fast”, despite having not said anything for several days. Although I, for one, welcome our new ant overlords, they might want to look into this.

Jim’s Juice … CanCell

Are we entirely sure this isn’t all an elaborate parody?

“Water is a crystalline substance. If it weren’t crystalline, when it changes its physical state from water to a solid, you wouldn’t get snowflakes.”


Hint: liquid water does not freeze to give snowflakes

That paragraph on vibrations is some of the finest word salad I have encountered in some time. The individual words all mean things, and many of the two- and even three-word combinations are sensible, but none of the full sentences actually means anything.

I know that Medial Research Products has covered their posterior here, but does the law against making medical claims not apply to people like Andy Johnson?

They should make that an exercise in every MBA program. You have $1,000 to buy little bottles, food dye and some labels; make $1,000,000.
Or maybe that’s what we’re looking at here?

Eric, it applies to him, but as a single reseller he’s too small for the FDA to go after him; so maybe someone could get him for practicing medicine without a license. But it sounds like he’s giving his whole spiel a religious undertone, and all bets are off with that. And only if he’s got a connection to the manufactures (like getting wholesale deals directly) someone could get after the true culprits.

@ Eric Lund

The individual words all mean things, and many of the two- and even three-word combinations are sensible, but none of the full sentences actually means anything.

I couldn’t have put it better. One doesn’t know where to start the refutation.
Oh, let’s try this:

That’s because the memory in that crystal is so variable

Water suffers from Alzheimer’s?

(with apologies to people suffering from Alzheimer’s and their kin)

Water is a crystalline substance?

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

“That’s the stuff that’s going to cure me.”

And that’s the reason why we must keep as much woo-lly thinking and quackery out of the acceptable public space as is humanly possible.

This man is just like millions of others who lack the training or other skill sets to make valid judgements about healthcare – procedures, products, protocols, personnel – let alone prognoses. Leading to very bad decisions with horrible consequences. This man is so young. A few weeks more with a more reasonable quality of life could have been immensely valuable if he’d followed science based advice from the onset. There really are times when every day counts.

And many of those equally deceived others are probably equally impressed with all that sciencey talk about vibrations, structures, energy, quantum and all the other fashionable trigger words.

So sad.

OT ( but when is free-flowing woo un-restricted by higher mental processes ever TRULY OT @ RI?)

Today, Safe Minds’ Katie Weisman ( also @ AoA) announces that studies show that The DSM-5 will reduce the number of ASD diagnoses significantly- therefore ACTION must be taken immediately! Amongst these is an on-line developmental study currently in the works.

I believe that I am observing the germination and early embryonic development of a new conspiracy theory: the new *reduced* numbers that will be diagnosed are evidence of tampering by the powers-that-be; the DSM-5 is merely a cover-up for the ever-increasing and un-ruly growth of the REAL epidemic.

So I suppose all snow-crystals made from a bottle of homeopathic “medicine” are exactly the same, considering they all are supposed to have the same memory. Otherwise it wouldn’t work. At least they claim it works, because the water rememers the stuff that has been in it before they started diluting and shaking the stuff.

It is sad. Very sad indeed. I was a “regular” at’s support forum for breast cancer patients like me, but I’ve all but given up and thrown in the towel there after being driven away by a group of very vocal and very anti-science posters. I have such mixed feelings about this Protocel post because there’s currently a Stage IV breast cancer patient there sharing her “protocel 23” progress, measured by using a ruler and a protractor, and “evidenced” by eye discharge, nasal drainage, etc. I’m happy to see this science-based discussion of this quackery, but at the same time it breaks my heart to see her believing in the scam instead of seeking “real” treatment.

Enteleve/CanCell/Cantron has been promoted as a cure for AIDS, herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, endometriosis, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, diabetes, emphysema, scleroderma, Lou Gehrig disease, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, hemophilia, high and low blood pressure, mental illness, and some forms of epilepsy.

Geez,no mention of autism,yet? And with that pretty little spectrum label,too.

Mulligan sounds just like a “warrior mom”.Anything that mentions cure,is something you should run from as fast as possible.

Thanks for a very informative,and educational post.How DO you ever get the time to do surgery,and stuff.

Denice,for once ASAN,Safe Minds,and AoA are on the same page.ASAN has been screaming about the DSM,and issuing talking points for quite some time,that it would decrease the number of “autistics” diagnosed.Both groups hate that new social disorder designation that the DSM-V will create.

ASAN wants people diagnosed with autism who don’t meet the full criteria.

I don’t really find much I agree with either group on.

I only recently realized that most of the numbers fueling this “epidemic”,and subsequent biomed/woo movement were at the mild end of the spectrum.I sometimes wonder what parents are making all the fuss about.

I never said this on one of these blogs before,but I am one of those old timers,who was diagnosed as having “childhood schizophrenia” in the early 70s,when I was in elementary school.It was either go into an institution,or get doped up on antipsychotics.

When I was reevaluted as an adult,after the DSM-IV,they did not know where to put me.I was much worse than Asperger’s,but not as bad as classic autism.This in addition to all the metabolic-autoimmune stuff.

“Basically, I get extremely fundamental once I make the statement that nothing exists in the entire universe except electromagnetic vibrational frequencies viewed from that plane of observation, that’s it. There’s nothing else. Then what you get into is diseases as vibrational densities. The problem is to raise the vibrational frequency of those densities, and then the body will return itself to normal. Diseases no longer exist.”

Sounds startlingly similar to Terry Bohner from “A Mighty Wind” describing WINC (Witches In Nature’s Colors), “This is not an occult science, this is not one of those crazy systems of divination and astrology. That stuff’s hooey and you’d have to have a screw loose to go in for that sort of thing. Our beliefs are fairly commonplace and simple to understand– humankind is simply materialized color operating on the 49th vibration. You would make that conclusion walking down the street or going to the store.”

Only, y’know, Mighty Wind is brilliant satire, and CancerWoo is dangerous bullshit.

Dextrose, Maltose, Sucrose, Fructose, corn syrup, etc. It FEEDS cancer (like putting gasoline on a fire) and raises energy levels,defeating Cantron. Natural sugar in limited quantity is acceptable.Being positive and believing in what you are doing will help get you well and is the most important component to increase your chances to getting

Amazing this is the same kind of woo,we have heard for years from the antivaccine crowd,about autism,and its “connection” to yeast/fungus//candida.

Those bullet points are just a variant of the quack miranda warning.

Jim’s juice,Willard’s water at least these people have a sense of humor.Disturbing images of Bruce Davison notwithstanding.

“According to the article, it costs about $500 every 20 days.”
But we have to cover our expenses! All those bottles, all that distilled water, all those coloured labels, they don’t come cheap y’know! Plus, I have decades of expertise in woo – that’s worth paying for as well. We’re barely breaking even and only doing this out of the goodness of our hearts. Not like Big Pharma, who are gouging money out of desperate, sick people, just to poison them!

And now the ad at the top of this blog is for “J. Humble approved MMS Miracle”….


I know who you are talking about and it really pisses me off how that certain group of anti-science, anti-intellectual alties are cheering her on.
I have had enough of the idiots cheering on Chilli and let them have it. As a result the moderators have banned me from the boards.

Chilli is a woman that was stage one, hormone postivie, HER2-, breast cancer. Instead of treatment she embarked on a host of alternative therapies. She started a blog and became an MLMer. Her goal was to help and council people cure themselves from cancer with alternatives, while she made a living at it at the same time. Her slow growing indolent tumor grew very slowly over the next 7 years and she felt healthy. Year 7 it broke through her chest and spread like wildfire. The pain and the terrible stench brought her back to conventional medicine. For the past 3 years, she has had chemotherapy to try to shrink the tumor so she could have a mastectomy. She has not reported any other distant metastases besides the widespread skin mets. Chemo failed at clearing up the skin mets. She reports that the first two chemos work and by the 3rd chemo, her skin mets start growing again. She has numerous small tumors that have broken through the skin and some rather large ones. The most remarkable is a 23 cm fungating tumor on her breast that has spread halfway down her abdomen and to her back. The pain is excruciating esp. when she showers or tries to dress. The pain and the stench are so bad that she can no longer leave her house. She is on heavy duty painkillers.

Last month her oncologist decided to start her on the chemo drug Adriamycin and she reports that it was stopped after the 3rd treatment because it wasn’t working and her oncologist “gave her the talk”.

She posted a link to a site that sold black salve from Indonesia. There were very graphic picures of a fungating breast tumor which Chilli reported as looking exactly like hers. I told her this was a scam on the message board and pm’d her why. The alties called me stupid, ignorant and mean spirited on the boards and in personal messages.

Nevertheless, Chilli tried black salve on her smail tumors and also bought something that she’s taking in capsule form, which she claims is black salve. She claims she has tried black salve on her smaller tumors and the pain is excruciating but she has drawn out the tumors “including the roots” She explains that her salves are working differently as one is pushing out the tumor and the other is pulling out the tumor.

The alties cheer her own and tell her she is making a medical breakthrough. They tell her to document everything and save her tumors to be studied by researchers. None of them even have the basics down of biology, physiology or what cancer is or how it works.

I submitted a post on the alties lack of understanding and tell Chilli again that this is a scam and the only thing that black salve is doing is burning a big hole through her tissue. Of course this started an altie shitstorm and there were cries to ban me. Nothing new as the alties have been trying to get me banned for the last year. I get a notice that I have been banned but only until the 25th of June for violating forum rules. Alties are then free to post comments like, “so what if black salve might cause infection and bleeding. Any women getting a mastectomy has the same risks and no surgeon will operate so it makes sense for her to burn her breast off with black salve. What does she have to lose?”

Thenewme, I don’t think that I am going back to BCO, either. I have had quite enough. The mods quickly put up a quack miranda warning after my post. That site is owned by 2 physicians and supported by donations. It brings in millions of dollars every year and both physicians take salaries in the neighborhood of $200,000 a year. I would love to see them both cough up a mere $15,000 a piece and hire a physician, nurse practioner, or physician’s assitant part time to debunk the psuedoscience on the altie boards. But I am sure that would be asking too much. Whenever I complained about this to the moderators, who also have no background in science or medicine, I was told BCO supported that everyone has consent to make their own choices. What they don’t seem to understand is that the alties on that forum do not have informed consent. There are so many of them that have progressed to stage four because of all the support that they have gotten on the altie boards. I would love to see those boards taken down but it aint gonna happen.

As a counter to the woo contingent’s labeling of mainstream cancer treatment as “cut, poison and burn”, maybe we should refer to altie cancer care as “enemas, vibrations and metastasis”.

@Dangerous Bacon

But the alties have to omit burn out of “cut, poison and burn”, because that is what black salve does.
Oh wait, the mechanism of action is” pushing and pulling out tumors” and not burning.. Any hard core alite will tell you so and they certainly have.schooled me.. Black salve also has the ability to differentiate between cancerous tumors and normai tissues. My bad.

This page is carrying an advert for MMS Miracle 4oz for $8 in the header section. It says it’s J. Humble approved.

@Black-cat : Having never heard of ‘Black Salve,’ I looked it up on Bing.

1: QuackWatch was the sixth hit – unfortunately, under the Shopping link.

2: Holy jumping $hitballs, people _do_ that?

Hey, Black-Cat! Good to see you here! Stinks that you were banned from BCO! I’ve been banned so many times for daring to mention any evidence-based information that contradicts their quackery. It’s so sad and very disturbing that real cancer patients are looking to that site for treatment information and the site apparently isn’t interested in maintaining any sort of evidence-based standards.

@Roadstergal, yep! Not only do people do that, other “breast cancer patients” cheer them along, praising them for being so brave and heroic. People who post *real* information are quickly driven away/banned/etc. Ugh.

@Roadstergal. My message to you got lost in cyperspace. It may be because I posted inks. As thenewme stated, people do this. I have found black salve testimonials all over the net.

You can see the black salve site and Chilli’s post on BCO if you go to breast cancer org, forums, alternative medicine and go to the thread, “topic:scary bc removal photos”

@thenewme-another good person was also driven away. You know the one.. She has a degree in microbiology at the graduate level and had a lifelong career as a microbiologist in research. Two of her children are also physicians She has been told that she is extremely ignorant by an extremely ignorant alte. Another alitie has told her that she doesent know how to read and interpret the studies she posts and suggsted that she should get educated before she posts anything.on the altie fourm again.

It’s amazing, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a snake oil that -didn’t- claim to cure chronic fatigue and Lyme disease.

My daughter used to post at an altie parenting site. She started when she was breastfeeding her first child. Now she says there are new rules. You will be banned if you talk about weaning, circumcision, or vaccinating your child. I have also posted at and it has become apparent that the regulars on the altie threads there want that type of control over what is posted about breast cancer treatment.
When people don’t have facts on their side they turn to bullying. It is a shame. But at least we can come here for a dose of sanity.

@ Roger Kulp:

Yes, according to studies @ Yale ( reviewed by Jon Brock) the diagnoses of Asperger’s will be most reduced.

I think I’m slightly older than you are. Despite my education in psych, autism was considered a relatively rare syndrome- whereas MR and various ‘neuroses” and ‘psychoses” were more often the topics of discussion. Altho’ we were starting to regard *social* cognition in child/ adolescent development.

Personally, throughout my peripatetic degree quest: *wherever* I was or *whatever* I was studying, I believe I knew quite a few gentlemen who would have been diagnosed as having Asperger’s if they had been born later. I think that Simon Baron-Cohen may be on to something with his ideas of certain career choices- engineers, scientists,- the organisers. Doesn’t the UK study of older autists show a figure of around 1% despite age? I would expect that.

RE: black salves

The entire sordid, despicable tale of Greg Caton and *Cansema* is recounted at Wikipedia and other places.

Bizarrely enough, when he was caught, chief amongst his *defenders* was MIke Adams, the Health Ranger ( see stories at Natural News via search function)
Health freedom,, right. Freedom to harm.

@Denice Walter I have sent the woman using black salve the link to quackwatch. I read the wikipedia article but failed to send her that one. I don’t think it would have mattered if I did. The alties on BCO claim that quackwatch is a hate site and that wikipedia does not support alternative medicine.

The person who has the indonesia black salve site calls himself Wayan. He has personally called her and sends her frequent emails. She’s eccstatic that someone so important cares about her and can make her look normal again. She has stopped seeing her oncologist and is resorting to emails.

It just figures that Mike Adams is a black salve supporter. The alties rant and rave about their health ranger hero.

whoops, I got canton and black salve mixed up. I can’t keep track of all these miracle cures.

@ Black-cat:

About quackwatch:
one of the woo-meisters I survey tells the faithful that Dr Barrett is chief amongst alt med’s enemies ( Orac has been mentioned as well) . Oddly, he nevers mentions the site’s real name – he calls Dr Barrett and other sceptics, “quackbusters”- I believe it’s because that name leads to Bolen’s anti-SBM site, not Barrett’s – lord forbid his audience read that!

Supposedly, Barrett, wikipedia and other sceptics will meet their eventual comeuppance in court where brave health freedom fighters fight most of their scientific battles.-btw- The idiot’s 100million USD suit against wikipedia has already been dismissed. ( courtesy of quackwatch)

SOPCAK: “No, you can’t come close to this with anything electrical or magnetic, or with any of the dense material like magnets or minerals. We don’t do any of those things. I’d rather not get too deeply into that because I hate to see people become involved in what they don’t understand, and then put out something definitely harmful.

Basically, I get extremely fundamental once I make the statement that nothing exists in the entire universe except electromagnetic vibrational frequencies viewed from that plane of observation, that’s it. There’s nothing else. Then what you get into is diseases as vibrational densities. The problem is to raise the vibrational frequency of those densities, and then the body will return itself to normal. Diseases no longer exist.”

It’s been awhile since my psych rotation, but that sounds awfully similar to the things I’d hear from the inpatient schizophrenics…

The quacks who sell Protocel and related compounds have quite a scam going. Patients are told that its effects wax and wane so if there is evidence of the tumor getting larger they should just continue on with the therapy. wasting valuable time they could have been using on cancer therapy that works.

@ GRichard:

Altho’ it does indeed sound like in-patient schizophrenics, it *also* sounds a great deal like Royal Rife AND Gary Null.

@Denise Walter
The alties on BCO love TIm Bolen. He is their mentor and savior. They post all his latest updates on Dr Barret and of course the vulgar rants on Orac. They have posted that Dr Barret is delicensed and works as an estesian in a nail salon in a strip mall. They know this because Timmy told them so.

I posted parts of Timmy’s depostion in the aetna lawsuit against the maker of that bogus dental advice. You know the ones where he forgot where he lived and did not remember how many years he went to school.
Really pissed off the alties.

@Denise Walters:
Here are some of the greatest hits of the BCO alties concerning Quackwatch and Orac:

What’s more, you don’t have to be a descendent of Einstein to know that Orac, Quackwatch and all their so-called reliable sources have no real place on an alternative medicine forum. It’s just spam

BEWARE of Quackwatch–biased “research” from Wikipediia
“Watching the Watchdogs at Quackwatch” by Joel M. Kauffman, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at University of the Sciences

I get really cranky when people invite themselves to the Alt forums with their quackpot propaganda and leave trails of insults. I’ve seen minimum half a dozen links to the quackwatch and Orac’s sites in the past 24 hours. There are way too many squatters of that sort here and BCO should address this major problem before things get really out of hand

Quackbusters: “Bullys” Barrett, Baratz, Sued For 1.3 Million in Canada

According to court documents recently filed in Canada, Barrett and Baratz’s “bullying” was listed in 86 separate “claims,” with 176 separate “allegations,” 463 requests to admit, backed by a demand for authenticity of 47 documents
Dr. Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch Exposed In Court Cases

Now, that sounds pretty hostile to me, and your casewatch and quackwatch sources laughable

Could not find much on Tim Bolen except for his website (very interesting reading) but did find a whole lot of very confused ramblings from the quackwatchers/skeptics’ guru. Oh Boy !! he thinks he’s a prophet, scarrrrry

While quackwatch is busy trying to shoot down those who promote alternative cures and use of supplementation, a nasty drug like Cipro slips through the cracks and causes permanent injury

Glad most of you enjoyed the article about the quack who runs quackwatch.

have been keeping abreast of what is happening with a group called, quackwatch, often cited around here, as a source for “exposing” holistic health businesses. Here is the latest on a lawsuit that hopefully will exonerate those who the quacks at quackwatch are trying to push out of business:

Could the Doctor’s Data “Protective Order” Actually Shut Down Barrett,
Quackwatch, and the Skeptics?

Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen

Vivre, this is excellent news. That QW site is just a hate site with no review system or any way to remove inaccurate or biased information. Thanks for posting the other site.

The newspaper described Barrett who runs the quackwatch site as a de-licensed doctor who runs a hair removal parlor in a strip mall. You can’t make this stuff up.

I tried to read a Hulda Clark book once but it was really technical and way over my head. If her methods work, then the parasite theory is a moot point. After all, pain killing tablets still work regardless of whether we understand what exactly caused the pain.

I like to look for similarities in cancer treatments that have had some success. Intestinal cleanses, fasts, juicing, low energy diets, these seem to be common to many versions of treatments though it’s hard to know how successful each treatment was without proper studies.

I posted this about Bolen and it worked. The alties have stopped quoting him.

You probably did not know that Tim Bolen is indigent and collecting welfare. Yep, our tax dollars are paying for the trash that Tim Bolen is spewing. He is vulgar, highly dishonest, has no intregrity or class and seems to attract the same kind of people. Like attracts like. I understand that he is Vivre’s mentor and hero, also. He has such a potty mouth that I like to refer to him as Timmy Toilet Mouth or simply timmytoilet. His real name is Patrick and he has a cousin named TIm that wants him to stop using the name as he does not want to be mistaken for this moron.

Here is is trying to remember where he lives which is hilarious. Timmie summers in a post office box and winters in a shack in the Cleveland National Forest. He has no electricity and uses a squat toilet. What kind of person lives in a shack in a national forest? Can you say unibomber. I knew you could.

I hope not to sound crank-ish, but …

is it really productive to attempt to bring science to places whose purpose is provide a congregation for arrogant, spiteful anti-science con artists? These people look less like innocent victims and more like a mob.

It might be better to encourage them to document their progress, including “temporary” setbacks (all the more evidence that faith healing overcomes!) and scrupulously avoid pharma/radiation/hospitals and rigid conventional logic. Encourage photos, measurements and exams by conventional MDs but no nasty conventional medicine. One needs to have some 3rd party records.

If an altie expires they’re just returning to the crystal energy sphere or whatever… how can they have a problem with that?

Should Orac post some insolence about BCO? Does he know the owners?

Black-cat, your experience with the breast cancer support forum seem eerily familiar. I had very similar things happen when I was on the Apraxia-Kids listserv. One person tried to get me booted off just because I mentioned that the MMR vaccine did not contain thimerosal, and I received lots of nasty grams when I wrote a comment saying chelation was a bad idea. So I left. And then Roy Kerry killed a kid just because he was autistic by forced chelation a month or so later.

Ah, yes! I remember Tim Bolen from those days. I had joined the Healthfraud listserv and posted some comments. Bolen had also signed up for it and was reading our emails, plus gathering them up to spam us. When I changed service providers I did not sign up again (except much later, but I only lurk). More on Tim Bolen:

@Kelly M Bray

The site is owned by Marsha Weis M.D. and Hope Wahl.
Here is their 2008 non profit tax exemption form:

In 2007, BCO pulled in 4.5 million with 1.4 million going to salaries. In 2008 BCO pulled in 2.5 million with 1.6 million going to salaries. They made a llittle more than half the money of the previous year but salaries were increased.

Marsha Weiss was compensated $240,901 and reported a 40 hour workweek.

Hope Wohl drew a salary of 196,119 and also reported a 40 hour workweek. 3 others have salaries of 100,000 including the director of marketing.
I don’t know what they are doing with their 40 hour work weeks as they sure haven’t showed up in the altie forums.

A cynical person would say that the crazies help drive the traffic. Kind of like making money off dead and dying people without really helping them…..


Oh God, we have the anti vaccers on BCO too. I think a good little militant altie has to be an anti vaccer to fit in and be excepted by the woo community.

I love ratbags and Peter Bowditch. That picture of him sitting outside Timmy’s post office box residence is priceless.
The video of Timmy in the deposition trying to remember his education is priceless. He spent 16 years in community college and could not remember his major and never graduated.

I read the whole deposition. I forget where I found it. It was scary and hilarious. I wish whoever has it would post it on the internet. I would love to see the video.

The scariest part was that Timmy admitted under oath that he has no employment, no income, is on county welfare for his wife’s medical bills and that he traveled across county (from southern california to the one of the southern states where Dr Barret lives) He stood outside Dr. Barret’s house and took pictures and posted them on the internet.

Timmy also admitted under oath that he owns guns, lots of guns and can’t remember the exact number or if his guns are registered with the state of california.

I found Ratbags and Peter Bowditch through Quackwatch. His site was the link to find the untrustworthy website (the 1000 links Bowditch did not like). From there I signed on to the Healthfraud listserv, and decided to spend more time on Usenet.

And on Usenet I was introduced to Orac. So here I am. I started commenting on his blogspot page when it started with my old poisonous ‘nym. The one in which Scudamore created a page for (something that makes me proud).

@Kelly M Bray

Re: A cynical person would say that the crazies help drive the traffic. Kind of like making money off dead and dying people without really helping them…..

The altie forums generate more traffic than any of the others esp. if there is an argument going on. If it gets too vicious, the moderators pull the thread from the active threads so nobody seesit and starts deleting posts. I had many non threatening rational posts deleted and asked why. The moderators told me that the thread was getting contentious and even though I did not violate forum rules, my post was upsetting the alties. They felt it better to pull it to keep the peace.

I am keeping a list of the women that have progressed to stage four and some because of that forum. One started out stage 1 and started out on the stage one forum. She found the altie forum, was told she could cure herself by some uneducated idiots. She found Robert O Young and believed cancer was a fungas. She has just been diagnosed as stage 4 with liver mets. She still believes her cancer is a fungas and is treating it with an intervenous antifungal drug given to her by an alternative nurse practionar

Than there is the 37 mother of 3 that was diagnosed stage 3 and had a mastectomy but was persuaded by the alties not to have chemo or radiation. She saw that drug addicted quack Thomoas Lodi at Oasis of Hope in Arizona. She is now stage 4.
I am keeping a list of all the women that were harmed by the altie boards on BCO

@ Spectator

is it really productive to attempt to bring science to places whose purpose is provide a congregation for arrogant, spiteful anti-science con artists?

The con artists and other leaders of these congregations are not going to be swayed, that’s true. But we can always hope to convince the fence-sitters and lurkers, and maybe get a few of the believers to check again what science has to say, but more deeply this time.

These people look less like innocent victims and more like a mob.

The two are not necessarily exclusive. It’s a community, whose gurus claim to be under fire by officials for daring to propose a super cure and competing with the big shots. So mob-like protecting behavior is to be expected, especially form the hard-core believers.
But at the individual level, most of them are innocent, unless you count believing in weird stuff as a crime.
I will amend this by agreeing that, in case of MMS by example, giving to your child a toxic substance after being repeatedly told of its toxicity (it’s bleach!) pull you out of the innocent group.

It might be better to encourage them to document their progress,[…]

On one hand, we would love for all of these promise-makers to document their treatments and publicize them, including the unsuccessful ones. It would make it easier to distinguish between the snake oil vendors, the deluded, and, who knows, those who may be onto something.

On the other hand, there are ethical issues (the woo believers are not treating themselves, but their children), and also, a number of them are mixing woo and mainstream treatments.
A typical story is for parents to give antibiotics to their sick child, not noting any improvement after 2 days, and then giving the child vitamin C, or whatever else is in fashion. And next day, voila, instant cure.

Only altie treatments that seem to have worked are publicized. Even those cases are “forgotten” if the patient dies of their cancer.
I am always amazed how nausea vomiting and weakness are evil side effects of conventional cancer teratment but with alternative treatment are sign that the body is ridding itself of toxins or fungi or viruses or the altie cancer cure de jour.

@ Black-cat
If I read your story about Chilli, I wonder how stubborn some people can be. Turning to alties to fight cancer, then, when it doesn’t work, go to conventional methods, which can’t offer much, because the spread of the cancer, and though the alties didn’t work and are responsible for the spread of the cancer, return to them, to make things even worse, if that is possible.

@Roger Kulp

Dextrose, Maltose, Sucrose, Fructose, corn syrup

and then

autism,and its “connection” to yeast/fungus//candida.

gee…I think I’ll have a lambic beer 🙂

seriously, how do they think beer was made for many thousand years before the discovery & use of saccharomyces cerevisiae and if beer was responsible for autism, you’d have a new meaning of the word epidemics…



I don’t think it’s about being stubborn but rather living in a fantasy world where you can have anything you want if you just want it hard enough.

One of the biggest and most dangerous moron’s of BCO announced a while back that she was going to make a living for her family being a day trader. Never mind that to be successful in this field you need to pursue an MBA and than intern wtih a good company when you get out. Even than a lot of people don’t make it. She was going to be a successful day trader because she thought she would be good at it and believed in the secret.

She returned 3 weeks later announceing that she had lost money and was very depressed that she wasnt able to support her family. The same women flunked out of nursing school and than naturopathic school and reasoned that it was because school was for elitists and she just did not fit in.

None of this stops her from counseling women not to get chemotherapy and radiation and to pursue alternatives. She also believes surgery spreads cancer.

She used to go by Sheila but her new name is JoyLiesWithin.
How profound.

Here are the blogs of the 2 oher women that I mentioned. We are not supposed to know how sick they are and tthese blogs are top secret. In fact JoyLiesWithin just reported on BCO that this women is doing OK.

This is the woman that started out stage one, progressed to stage 2 and found a quack cancer treatment center that agreed with her that cancer was a fungas. I believe she had 40 treatments consisting of IV laetrile, DMSO and vitamin C. They cost in the neighborhood of 60,000 cash. Cash only and they will not accept credit cards..

After her 40 treatments, she received a PET scan that revealed a liver met and that she was stage 4. She was told her cancer is very angry and that she needs more treatments. She has found a NP that will give her an IV antifungal.

When her cancer breaks through her skin and becomes a stinking, oozing, putrid, painful mess, she finally can rest assured that she has proved to herself that cancer is a fungas.

Here’s the blog of the 37 year old mother of 3 that is being treated by Thomas Lodi and now stage 4. This page is asking for donations because his treatment is 50 to 80 thousand dollars for 13 weeks.

Here’s her facebook page:

Eye of newt, toe of frog, yeast, water…let it ferment in a large covered cauldron and you should have beer in a few weeks. I am not a brewer, but enjoy a fine beer every so often.

@ Black-cat:

Those are horrible stories!
Unfortunately, I read/ hear the *other* side of the despicable anti-SB cancer care equation- i.e. those who *sell* the idea of use-less and dangrous TIME-WASTING treatments to trusting people who are terrified of medical interventions.

These liars broadcast/ blog falsities of easy cures and natural treaments without the horrendous side effects of SB chemotherapy and radiotherapy.( Actually without ANY effects). Over the years, these same prevaricators also boasted of their successful, non-pharmaceutical cures of HIV/AIDS. Most of the ‘cured’ are now in graves or funerary urns.

Actually two of the biggest offenders ( and there are many) now enjoy web popularity as they sell supplements and ‘educational materials’ at high profit while teaching the faithful that doctors are killers.

So what can *we* do? Well, we’re doing it.
More power to you!

@Denice Walter

Re: Actually two of the biggest offenders ( and there are many) now enjoy web popularity as they sell supplements and ‘educational materials’ at high profit while teaching the faithful that doctors are killers.

Let me guess: Mike Adams and Joe Mercola

@ Black-cat:
Partially correct: Adams and Null. Mercola is right up amongst the elect bu ist not as flaming, grandiosely mad. While Adams and Mercola may have a higher number at facebook, Null serves as a clearing-house and gathering place for all manner of woo- all the slime trickles down *chez lui*.

@ Denice Walter

Null is a new one on me. Just when you thought it safe to go back into the water.

I found this youtube video of the 2nd woman.

Trina is wornoutmom on BCO. She does not mention that she is receiving Hercepton and Zometa on BCO and wants the alties to believe that Lodi with his ozone treatments, vitamin C and IPT are curing her cancer.

She has posted videos of Lodi but remains hush hush of who he is because the man and big pharma are after him. She wishes she can shout the cure throughout the world but he tellls her to keep it hush hush for now

I forgot to mention Vivre, who sells Usana and other shit on BCO and gets away with it. Here is her latest post:

I have a wonderful doctor blogging for me, who survived BC without chemo, rads or surgery. Check her out on my website.

Here is her website:

Vivre is selling supplements on BCO and convincing women not to get treatment becaause conventional treatment kills.
She has been instrumental in persuading impositve and wornoutmom not to get treatment and to pursue althernatives. She is dangerous and sends personal messages to women that are stage one breast cancer even the ones that are HER2+. She scares them and sends them to her site and tries to sell them Usana.

She is also in Chicago and also advertises the antivax conventions with Christine Northrup.

Both thenewme and I have sent numerous complaints to the moderators that have just replied that Vivre just expresses that she likes usana and that’s OK.

Some of Vivre’s greatest hits on bco:

Check out this video from one of the docs I heard speak at the expo:
Hi all

Like Althea, I have been hangin out elsewhere lately. I just spent three days in holistic health heaven at The Health Freedom Expo in Chicago. I heard so many amazing doctors and speakers. Here are some of my favorites:

Dr. John Apsley-former Olympic swimmer hopeful who had a health crisies right before the Olympics in about 76. He had to change course and became a doctor who has studied healthy civilizations all over the world. He has a new book coming out about alternative cancer treatments.

Dr. Leonard Coldwell-An inspiring man who talked about the important of emotional healing. I got his new book “The Only Answer to Surviviing Your Illness and your Doctor”. Can’t wait to read i.

Dr. Carolyn Dean-I got an autographed copy of her book that I have had my eye on for quite a while about Magnesium.

I got to meet Marilu Henner. What a firecracker. She talked about how she finally met her soul mate, only to discover he had cancer 2 months later. She got him healthy with nurition and he is still alive, even though the doctors said there was not much they could do.

There were a lot of health freedom fighters as well. Jonathan Emord is the only lawyer who has successfully won cases against the FDA and I met folks from a non profit that I really trust, The National Health Federation, who are trying to stop the FDA’s push to get congress to regulate supplements.

You should all try to attend these events in LA or Chicago. It is a wonderful learning experience.

Also, I am looking into water distillation. PM me if you want more info.
The iodine protocol involves taking Lugols iodine or iodoral which is a tablet. The protocol must be taken with the companion nutrients of vit C, b’s, magnesium, selenium and “salt loading “. Just taking a couple of drops or painting in on will not amount to much. The best way to start is by getting dr. Brownsteins Iodine and Thyroid books. Read the books, then let me know if you have any questions.

Madpeacock-iodine helps to detoxify and kills infection. Why do you think it was a mainstay of medicine until they came out with all those other medications. Then they tried to get iodine off the shelves. It is almost impossible to find in Europe. We can’t have any cheap alternatives. We have to speak out and not allow drug companies to rule us. I am getting together with a few friends this week to mix our own lugols to save money. You can see how to make it on youtube.

Marianna-It sounds like you need to detox from the inside. Also, try fish oil. It is great for skin issues. Our skins is a picture of what is happening underneath. Your skin will clear up once you get all the toxins out. And I can identify with the appointment phobia, except that I was not worried about the outcome, I just did not want to go and argue with the doctors. So I went once and that was that. Have not been back to any doc who wanted to “monitor” me. I am not a child. I can monitor myself. I found my way to doctors who helped me to get well. Why do I want to go back to those who have nothing to offer but tests. I can get those done anywhere. And the therms give me such peace of mind, because I can see changes, which are mostly positive. (if I could j
ust clear out the damage from the friggin radiation).

GeeWhiz-try to find a doctor who specializes in hormones. Oncs usually have no clue. A great book to read is “Hormones Explained”. Dr. Raschid does a great job of explaining hormones, one of the best hormone books I have read, and I have read several. And also check your thyroid levels. For me, that was the key to hormone balance, along with diet, and as you discovered, sweating. Exercise produces serotonin and serotonin helps to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. All of the hormones are interelated and the thryoid is the regulator of them all. That is why I could not get balanced until I addressed my hypothyroid. I do not take any medications. I just follow the iodine protocol and add supplements as needed. I also use my far infrared sauna almost everyday, which releases built up toxins and helped me to sleep again, like I use to. My girlfriend was reluctant to spend the money on one, but she finally bought one because she could not sleep and she could not believe how it has worked for her. Check out the thryoid/iodine thread for lots of information about the iodine protocol.
Althea-Have you tried oil pulling? It works better than toothsoap any day. I had a gum flare up last week. I had the mercury amalgam removed almost 2 years ago but the tooth was still very sensitive so my holistic dentist told me to keep doing the oil pulling. When I started oil pulling, after a couple of days, it drew out bacteria and I ended up with a terrible toothache. I did not want to go to my dentist right away so I just worked on it myself. I doubled my Vit C and D, brushed with my Usana toothpaste, which contains xylitol which is a great for killing bacteria, and I continued oil pulling with coconut oil, with a drop of lugol’s and a dab of honey, which is also antibacterial. I also use kyolic garlic because it is concentrated and is also antibacterial. By the next day, all the pain was gone and has not returned! Regular oil pulling can get rid of peridontal disease. I looked at the stuff that was in that dental kit and it seemed pretty expensive. Adding up all that I used, it was probably under $20. Oil pulling sounds crazy but it does work. Another thing I like is a mouthwash called Spry that is only about $5 a bottle. It too contains xylitol, no flouride and lots of other good stuff.

how do they think beer was made for many thousand years before the discovery & use of saccharomyces cerevisiae

They don’t think.

Here are the blogs of the 2 oher women that I mentioned. We are not supposed to know how sick they are and tthese blogs are top secret. In fact JoyLiesWithin just reported on BCO that this women is doing OK.

… I thought I’d been desensitized enough and now this comes along. You mean these people are fully aware that they are sick as hell despite all the altie treatments they’re taking, but they’ve made the choice to lie to the majority of the world to try and make people believe the altie treatments are wonderful??

I just don’t know what to say. I can sympathize with someone who perceives a conflict between keeping their integrity or keeping their life. I’m speechless at someone who chooses to pour both into the latrine in the same motion.

@ Black-cat:

To be truthful, Null’s an old one. He’s been selling nonsense disguised as health information for 40 years! He is especially well-known for his ‘exposes’ of the cancer industry ( which appeared in an American skin mag) and preaching the gospel of ozone, mega- doses of vitamin C and coffee enemas. He is an HIV/AIDS denialist and works hard to frighten people away from SB treatments and medical expertise.

A good intro to his brand of crankery would be Quackwatch and Wikipedia. Also Orac, Dr Novella and others wrote about his poisoning by his own supplements. He has two websites : Gary and the Progressive Radio . Yes, his own internet radio station to broadcast dangerous health mis-information and sell his products. He has influenced many younger alt meddlers and provides a platform for woo of all stripes as well as political and philosophical dabblers.

@ Antaeus:

That sounds like some of the postergirls for HIV/AIDS denialism- correction, the *now deceased* postergirls.

Antaeus — I think it’s because pride is such a hard thing to let go of. They are willing to lie because it’s better than admitting the truth. They are likely lying to themselves as well, or they’re figuring that yeah, they’re not okay now, but pretty soon they’ll turn the corner, and the lies will be true. It’s not lies. It’s . . . anticipatory truth. Yeah. That’s it.

It’d be great material for a classic tragedy.

@Antaeus Feldspar
They all do it, even Kim Tinkum never mentioned on twitter or her blog that Robert O Youngs treatment failed her. Chilli is still an MLMer and has an altie blog that does not mention how sick she is.
Wornoutmom (trina) is getting zometa and herceptin from a real medical facility now and than goes to Oasis of Hope. She still posts on BCO that she is healing herself with her alternative regiman.

@Calli Arcale
All 3 women believe that alternatives will cure them of stage 4 cancer. and will blame themselves when death is immiment. It will be easy for Trina because she had to scale down her treatments due to not raising enough funds. I am sure Lodi will be pointing the finger.

@Denise Walter

Now I remember who Gary Null is. He’s the same one that overdosed on his own vitamin D supplements. The BCO alties love him and are always posting podcasts.

@ Black-cat:

I suggest you read about Null @ Quackwatch, Wikipedia,, RI, SBM so you might have concise repartee for his faithful. He discourages mammograms and SB treatments for breast cancer while encouraging supplements, diets and other nonsense. His gross earnings are in the vicinity of 10 million USD a year (;

I’m a psychologist so OBVIOUSLY I wouldn’t EVER diagnose anyone but I suggest that you listen to some of his rants or read his writing and decide for yourself how sound of mind he is. He is a nasty piece of work who likes to sue his critics as Dr Phillips and Wikipedia learned ( both cases thrown out of court).
I am fortunately, a very cautious person.

@Denise Walter

Thanks for the heads up. I will check out Null tonight. He appeals to the older women on BCO. They gush over how healthy, and younger than his age he looks. They think he’s a real dish. He has quite a following over there and I am sure they line his pockets.

10 million a year is sickening. If he is counseling against mammograms, he must be into thermagrams. I did get a good laugh out of Null overdosing on supplements.

My training is in paramedic and nursing. My goal was to get a dual nurse practionar and physicians assistant license and continue working in emergency.

Luckily, the prereqs of micro, physiology, anatomy, and chem gave me a basic science knowledge and allowed me not to fall for quackery when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I was diagnosed stage 3C, inflammatory breast cancer. It’s a very nasty, rare, and fast growing cancer and it is virtually undetectable on memmograms until stage 3 or 4. It grows in sheets through the skin.

It was quite a shock and I was overwhelmed with information on the type of chemos that I was going to have and radiation. My radiation oncologist told me that I needed to have a much higher dose than normal and let me know the real nasty side effects that I could have later on in life. Even with all this nasty treatment, I was given a 40% five year survival rate and a 30% 10 year survival rate. I was a basket case and needed anxiety medication and medication to sleep. I understand why the alties go into a fantasy world when someone tells them they have the cure. No breast cancer has a 100% certain cure rate.

Next week will be year 3 for me and time for another PET/CAT. If I am cancer free I am told my 5 year survival stats will go up.

I worked with impositive for 2 years to no avail. I looked up her stats on cancer math and her stage one cancer with treatment gave her an 85% cure rate. That wasnt good enough for her. She needed 100% cure guarentee and she went to quacks that would give it to her. Someone just sent me her blog along with Trina’s blog. When I read that impositive is now stage four it was like someone kicked me in the gut. I’m just numb and angry now. I would have given my eye teeth to trade diagnoses with her as would all of the women on BCO that were stage 4 from the get go. She went from stage 1 to stage 4 in two years. Trina had a 50% cure rate and she dropped it down to zero also. She was diagnosed stage 3 at 36 years of age and at stage 4 at 37 years of age.

I think I am done with the alties of BCO. I have pulled all the stops and they won’t listen to reason. I’m hated and resented there. I even told them that I was going to be a quack and make lots of money. An alite asked me what is the difference between an alternative practionar becoming rich or an oncologist becoming rich. I told her oncologists are not rich and they have to work for a living.

I posted this on how easy it would be to be a rich quack:

All valid scientific evidence presented against pseudoscience will be met with opposition and bizarre rationalizations. Vague and/or poorly documented anecdotes will be presented as concrete evidence that this specific woo can cure cancer by those who have a profound misunderstanding of basic science. Much of the evidence presented, will have some paragraphs poached from an intro to physiology, general, organic or biochem, or microbiology textbook for college freshman. This can be text, charts or diagrams. The only alterations will be whatever the woo du jour is being presented. This way it sounds all sciency and makes sense to those that would fail a high school biology or chem class.

I could be a very rich woo meister. It really would not take much effort. There would be very little overhead to get started and to maintain my woo business. I would appeal to the anti-science and the anti-intellectual crowd. I’ll have thousands of marks, er, uh, I mean customers.

I’ll just have to pay a web designer, get me some introduction to life science books, and of course empty capsules from the health food store, which I will fill with powdered sugar. Hey, I don’t even have to invest in powdered sugar. I could just fill the capsule with tap water and claim a homeopathy cure. Yea, that’s the ticket! If someone mentions Avogadro’s number it will just fall on deaf ears. My customers will just fold their arms in defiance and point out my sciency sounding paragraphs as concrete proof that my bogus remedy cures every disease known to man. Of course they don’t know that I poached those paragraphs from an intro to physiology book and interlaced them with a few poorly written paragraphs on my miracle cure. Hell, I’m too lazy to write paragraphs. I’ll just doctor up some of the sentences and change the wording to make it look like it’s all about my miracle cure. My highly gullible customers won’t have enough of a science background to figure it out. That quack Brownstein does it all the time and gets away with it.

I’ll make up some claims that my super duper capsules might cure cancer, Parkinson’s, dementia, shingles, HIV, lock jaw, malaria, depression, and whatever else ails ya.

I’ll have to put in a quack miranda warning, of course:…

Damn the FDA. Damn them. They are evil through and through. Satan is alive and well and here on earth people. He has manifested himself as the FDA.

Of course ORAC will take me down in his blog and will try to deconstruct my medical breakthrough and say it’s pseudoscience. I’m not worried. By the time they get wind of what I am doing I will have a big altie following and will have made lots of money. I’ll just tell my altie fans that they are really BIG PHARMA in disguise and they are the quacks. That’s all I have to do is mention big pharma trying to keep a good altie down and it’s back to business.

It’s such a shame that I have ethics. I could be such a good quack

They didn’t get it.

They all do it, even Kim Tinkum never mentioned on twitter or her blog that Robert O Youngs treatment failed her. Chilli is still an MLMer and has an altie blog that does not mention how sick she is.

I’m not shocked by someone who is very sick but insists to others that they’re actually doing very well on this or that altie treatment; it’s sad, but people have an incredible capacity to delude themselves. If they say “The Schmuck protocol is healing me wonderfully! What’s that? Oh, my intense projectile vomiting that follows each Schmuck supplement? That’s just herxing; I’m actually expelling the toxins that way!” I think they’re grossly deluded but I believe that they really believe it.

But from what you said, it sounded like these patients claim to other patients “I’m in great health! I don’t have any of those horrible symptoms that chemo would give me, like fatigue and vomiting!” and then have private blogs where they say “Oh my God, my fatigue and vomiting is getting worse, but I can’t tell that to anyone outside this private blog, because then they might think the Schmuck treatment isn’t working or is as bad side-effect-wise as chemo.” That intentional deception is what shocks me. Self-deception is an unfortunate fact of the human psyche, but that level of intentional deception is something else again.


That was thoughtful.
“But at the individual level, most of them are innocent, unless you count believing in weird stuff as a crime.”

I think there’s a mushy border. Believers become exponents, raising the propagation of woo to a (fractionally) higher power.

btw, how does one get updates on this blog? I didn’t see that there was a response to my comment until I re-opened the thread and searched within the page.

@ Black-cat:

Your diagnosis and treatments are certainly not the easiest burden for you to bear; you remind me a bit of a guy who was diagnosed HIV+, accepted SB treatment and became a great ( and hilarious) critic of HIV/AIDS denialists: he also has a background in medicine/ biology.

About *le grand idiot*- I saw the creature live, giving a lecture. He is profoundly un-attractive- in both appearance and manner. I wanted to question his credentials : he trotted right over to yours truly and asked if I had a question, I shot back, “Not about HEALTH!” and he trotted away. I did not persist because he was surrounded by scads of groupies- more than 100 strong- ready, willing and able to defend their master. Why these people think he is ‘hot’ is a total mystery to me. Looks aren’t the most important thing BUT when you claim to have found the fountain of youth and sell admission tickets to it, they are a variable to be considered. Especially when you maintain that you are able to reverse the greying of hair and sport an obviously bad dye job.

At any rate, take care, hang with us, we [email protected] rock.

@Antaeus Feldspar-
“That intentional deception is what shocks me. Self-deception is an unfortunate fact of the human psyche, but that level of intentional deception is something else again.”

BINGO. And *THAT* describes in a nutshell my biggest problem with That deception is not only allowed, but encouraged.

I went to Trina’s blog. She has not posted in a month/.Her choice of ITP is lauded as heroic at bco with nary a mention that she goes to a real clinic for Zometa and Herceptin, The rhetoric over there gets old and blackcat and thenewme should be the ones laudes for their work to try and show that the Emperor has no clothes. The powers that be at seem to just want to generate traffic. The site is run by two MDs who should know better
Protocel. is only one of the quack remedies that are pushed.

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