Subjecting children to enema “detoxification”

Even though I’ve been at this skeptical blogging thing, particularly about “alternative” medicine, so long (eight years now) that I think I’ve seen it all, that nothing the quacks do can shock me any more. It’s a foolish hubris, I admit, but, I hope, an understandable one after over eight years of blogging multiple times a week about science, skepticism, and quackery that can and has made my head spin. It is true that encountering something that gets my attention and truly knocks me on my posterior is getting rarer and rarer. It’s not so rare that it doesn’t still happen every now and then: Giving bleach enemas to autistic children, for instance.

This one isn’t quite as bad as that, but what makes it disturbing is that there is a video to go with it, which can be found in the form of a video called Bear Enema. No, it’s not a real bear enema. Rather, it’s what the video represents, which is a young child pretending to give her toy bears enemas:

The significance of this becomes clear when you read the post that links to and embeds the video, entitled Heal Your Child Instantly! Basically, it is a rant (no, that’s not my characterization but the characterization of the person authoring the rant):

Later this week I intend to address the information shared here in a video. Surely, I will be ranting in this upcoming video, because I am so tired of people stuck in the “system”, doing everything that they are told by “authority” figures such as their doctors and family members, all out of fear and weakness.

The information that I am going to share today with you in this article below is so basic and obvious to me and I feel extremely sad that the majority of the people will likely just brush this info off. I’m hoping that the many testimonials further below show you the truth behind this legitimate info. I feel very sorry for anyone who doesn’t grasp this concept today, as your childrens’ health is on the line here…

Ah, yes. You know you’re likely to be in for some serious quackery when the quack rants about how misunderstood his quackery is and then says he’s going to use anecdotal evidence to prove his detractors wrong. If you can detect a bit of the “They thought me mad, but I’ll show them all!” vibe in the rant, so much the better, and that’s the vibe I get from Matt Monarch’s rant here. We’ve met Monarch before, by the way, in a particularly hilarious way. Basically, a while back there was a quack war between Mike Adams and Matt Monarch, and apparently Adams’ quack-fu was stronger. In any case, Monarch runs a website he calls The Raw Food World because, well, he’s a raw food vegan who appears to think that cooking food kills it and poisons you, while eating only raw vegetables, fruit, grain, and plant matter is the secret to health. Indeed, Monarch, far from being creeped out by this video, which is the reaction that most supporters of science-based medicine will have when viewing it, praises it to high heaven.

Now, advocating a vegan diet is not quackery per se. While it is true that I’ve occasionally made fun of various vegans, it’s not because I think being a vegan is quackery. It is, however, more of a religion or ideology than it is based in science, because there’s no real evidence that a raw vegan diet is any better for you than a vegetarian diet or a pescetarian diet. Being a raw vegan (or just a vegan) is almost always a choice based far more in a personal ideology or morality than it is in medicine or science, and it is possible to be healthy on a vegan diet. It is not a choice I would (or think I could) make. Even if I wanted to, I like meat and fish too much. Even if I could give up meat and fish, I like cheese and eggs too much to give them up. However, there is no doubt that veganism is associated with a faction that views it as the be-all and end-all of health and overlay it with vitalism, in which even cooked vegetables are no good for you because they are “dead,” their “vital force” and nutrients sucked out of them by the cooking process. I’m sorry to have to say that, because I know there are vegans out there who are rational and make the choice to be vegan for what they think are very good reasons, but there are a lot of woo-filled vegans out there.

Vegans like Matt Monarch.

Matt, you see, also believes in the concept that nearly all disease is caused by toxins, in particular “autointoxication,” in which allegedly accumulated fecal matter piled up in your colon leaks its “toxins” into your bloodstream and makes you sick. Indeed, part of the “autointoxication” concept is that you—yes, you!—have pounds of undigested matter in your colon making you sick by leeching its toxins into your bloodstream. As any general surgeon (which I used to be before I sub-specialized in breast cancer) can tell you, it’s utter nonsense. If you have so much fecal matter in your colon that it’s making you sick, you will not be chronically sick. You will be septic and possibly at death’s door. In the world of someone like Matt Monarch, though, accumulated fecal matter is spreading its “toxins” and need to be purged. Worse, he’s willing to subject children to such quackery, which is what makes the video attached to his post so creepy. It portrays this young child above giving her Teddy bears enemas, shooting “water in the butt,” and then telling her bears to “push, bear, push.” This leaves little doubt that this child has either seen people getting enemas or has received them herself. My guess is both, regardless of whether Matt claims that he and his wife have only given their daughter an enema once:

I don’t believe it for a minute.

Be that as it may, Matt can’t resist discussing the wonderful anecdotes that to him prove that “detoxification” through enemas is the cure for everything that ails you:

Many months ago one of my neighbors who I was visiting was asking me if I had any Echinacea, Colloidal Silver or Ginseng. When I heard this, I knew something was going on. I asked why he wanted these things, and he told me that their child was bed-ridden. This little boy was extremely sick with a massive headache and couldn’t move. My inner core knew that the supplements they were asking for would do nothing in this case. All sickness due to purging toxicity is the same! It’s the body trying to purge out an overload of toxins that have build up. Taking these kinds of products is not going to help the body massively purge in the most beneficial way. This concept is being suppressed to dum*b-down the human popluation while taking all of their money in the hospitals at the same time.

Gently, I told these friends that I did have a few of the products they were looking for, yet my feeling was that they would get far better results from giving their child an enema instead. I even told them that the results might be instantaneous. This dear husband and wife looked at each other with their eyebrows scrunched up, smiling, stating that their child doesn’t like to do that sort of thing. I just shrugged my shoulders and let it be. I then started talking to the husband about other things for around 20 minutes. Soon enough, the wife and her little son came walking outside. The boy was on his feet, feeling completely better, as if nothing had happened. We both looked at them in surprise and the mom told us that she had just given him an enema, with amazing results!

Instantaneous results!

I bet. I’m not sure, however, that the “instant results” are what Monarch seems to think they are. He’s also pretty challenged when it comes to understanding some basic human physiology. In actuality, the body, thanks to the liver, colon, and kidneys, has a very effective detoxification system. It takes a lot to overwhelm it. It’s not a wimpy little bunch filters that are so easily overwhelmed that you’ll become chronically ill if you don’t shoot water up your butt periodically to wash the poop out. To him, the body is always naturally “purging” but those evil “allopathic doctors” and pharmaceutical companies are pumping you full of drugs that to him “suppress” the body’s ability to “detoxify itself.”

It’s utter nonsense, of course.

What follows is a series of anecdotes, in which Matt seems to think that the cure for everything is is enemas. Got a headache? Give yourself an enema! Got a belly ache? Give yourself an enema! Got a kidneys stone? Enema! To Monarch, enemas fix everything:

In conclusion, this pattern for relieving disease via cleansing the colon is real. Next time you or a loved one is sick, I recommend getting a series of colonics or trying multiple enemas. For children it can actually be easier, as they are newer to this existance and usually less toxic than adults. Children have built up fewer toxins within their bodies, whereas over the years we have usually been repeteadly getting sick and taking drugs, which suppresses these toxins from being able to purge out of our bodies. Therefore, when adults embar*k on this type of healing j0urney, we’ve usually got a lot more detoxification to do. I hope that more people become willing to help children relieve illness via this simple method, rather than encouraging them to fill their bodies up with more and more toxicity.

And, of course, you have to supplement the enemas with raw vegetable juice and molasses. Even more typically, if you don’t get better, then it’s your fault. Monarch even says that if you are “truly doing all three of these things consistently for a good amount of time,” you have the potential to see practically anything heal. If it doesn’t work after truly doing this for a good amount of time, then my best guess would be it’s a spiritual phenomena that you have to figure out.”

In other words, you don’t believe hard enough.

I’ve never been able to understand this fascination among some parts of the alt-med set with raw “living food.” Quite frankly, whenever I hear “raw food” from these people, I can’t help but think of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, “Give it to us raw and wriggling,” except that vegetables don’t wriggle. That’s the funny part.

Advocating unnecessarily giving enemas to children at the slightest sign of illness to children is not funny at all.