Antivaccine nonsense Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Science Skepticism/critical thinking

Finally, the State of Florida acts against Brian Clement and the Hippocrates Health Institute

Every so often, it’s good to post some heartening news regarding quackery. After all, after a decade of blogging about this, preceded by five years in the trenches of Usenet battling quackery and Holocaust denial, sometimes it’s hard for me not to become depressed. After all, there are times when it really does feel as though we’re fighting a hopeless battle for rationality and science against unreason and harmful quackery. It’s a battle worth fighting, but I’m not laboring under any delusions that it will be won in my life time or even in the lifetimes of anyone currently alive. The various patterns of thought (such as easily confusing correlation with causation) are so hard wired into the human psyche that changing them for the better will take generations.

So it’s always a good thing to find out about a possible victory, even if it’s small:

The co-director of a controversial Florida health spa where two Ontario aboriginal girls sought natural treatment for leukemia after abandoning chemotherapy has been ordered to stop practising medicine by the state’s department of health.

The cease-and-desist order was made against Brian Clement of Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach on Feb. 10, according to documents obtained by the Star. He was also fined just over $3,700 for practising without a licence.
The institute has come under increased public scrutiny after the two girls abandoned their chemotherapy treatments in favour of indigenous medicine and other alternative therapies. They both travelled to Hippocrates. One of the two, 11-year-old Makayla Sault, died last month of a stroke, which her parents blamed on chemotherapy.

Clement did not return a request for comment. A spokesperson said he denies the allegations and intends to contest the order.

My only question is this: What the hell took the State of Florida so long? The Hippocrates Health Institute (HHI) has been operating in West Palm Beach since 1987, luring patients like Makayla Sault from all over the world to replace science-based medicine with Brian Clement’s quackery, which includes a veritable cornucopia of quackery consisting of practically every form of quackery I’ve ever heard of (and, as you will see, some that I haven’t heard of).

In the course of my discussions of Brian Clement, I’ve lamented time and time again the seeming inability and/or unwillingness of the State of Florida to do a damned thing to stop Clement’s preying on desperate cancer patients. Indeed, many in the comments have speculated that perhaps Clement has friends in high places who protect him from Florida authorities, while I’ve also realized that Florida has some of the weakest patient protection laws in the country that facilitate the existence of someone like Clement.

Of course, what Clement probably didn’t realize is that when he dazzled the mothers of two Canadian aboriginal girls with lymphoblastic leukemia, Makayla Sault and JJ (referred to as JJ in news reports to protect her privacy because of her parents’ legal proceedings seeking the right to use aboriginal traditional medicine to treat her leukemia), and they came to his “spa” and “educational facility,” that he would be bringing on himself far more attention from the mainstream press than is good for an operation like his. After all, operations like Clement thrive by flying under the radar while building up an online presence and a network of word-of-mouth recruiters using testimonials to sell his products. Unfortunately for Makayla Sault (who died as a result of her mother’s trusting Clement’s quackery) and fortunately for those of us who have been wondering how he could get away with it, internationally reported stories of two girls with leukemia being lured away from medicine with a good chance of curing them and having one of them die as a result was not good publicity. It even awakened some—but nowhere near enough—investigative journalism.

The media notices

Because I’ve adequately discussed the issues involving JJ and Makayla (that is, unless something new happens with respect to these girls’ stories), what I want to do now is to focus my attention more on Brian Clement himself and his practices. Over the last three years, I’ve spent considerable time and effort trying to pull the cover off of the machinations and abuse of clinical trial ethics by Stanislaw Burzynski. There’s been a growing thought in my mind that a similar effort should be directed at Brian Clement, because, although he doesn’t even make a pretense of doing clinical trials, he sells his cancer quackery the same way that Burzynski does: Through testimonials.

Most recently, this increased scrutiny has come in the form of news stories that have been appearing in the Canadian press, two just over this weekend:

I’ve already covered the WPTV story; so I’ll leave that out.

After having noted with sadness just how badly the Star screwed up with its execrable “exposé” on Gardasil (an exposé that the editors of the Star finally saw fit to withdraw under a barrage of well-justified criticism, although they clearly still don’t get it), I feel that in fairness I have to note that Alamenciak goes part of the way towards redeeming the Star after that journalistic debacle by actually traveling down to West Palm Beach and interviewing Clement, although Clement wouldn’t say anything on camera for this report:

What Alamenciak was allowed to see included several classrooms, the wheatgrass juicing room, and a greenhouse. Pointedly, they weren’t allowed into the Vida Building, where many of the alternative treatments are administered. (I wonder why.) Even more pointedly, Alamenciak was accompanied everywhere by HHI’s lawyer and PR person, as well as Clement himself. As you’ll note, Alamenciak and crew do a good job of putting the lie to Clement’s claims that he doesn’t promise he can cure cancer, using, conveniently enough, clips from Clement’s own talks in which he—you guessed it—tells his audience his raw vegan diet and wheatgrass can cure cancer.

Similarly, Tom Blackwell’s story quotes Clement as saying in one of his videos:

The appeal is powerful. Though he often insists he does not “cure” or heal anyone, Mr. Clement has repeatedly claimed impressive results.

“We have … the longest history on the planet earth, the highest success rate on the planet earth of people healing cancer,” he said in a Hamilton, Ont., talk, recorded and uploaded to YouTube in 2010. “We have dealt with mostly stage-three, stage-four catastrophic cancers — a big percentage of them, probably 25%, have been told they’re going to die. We have seen thousands and thousands of those people recover.”

Of course, Clement never manages to present anything resembling credible evidence to back up this claim.

There’s another segment as well with Steven Pugh, former Director of Nursing, HHI, who relates stories of Clement ordering blood work without a doctor and telling Pugh that he would review the results himself. This is what led Pugh to quit and sue. Because he is a registered nurse, Pugh can’t take orders for lab tests or other medical interventions from non-physicians. If Pugh’s allegations are true (and I personally have little doubt myself that they likely are), that is most definitely practicing medicine without a license:

“Almost every single patient there, the majority of patients, got an appointment with Anna Maria and/or Brian to go over their medical history, their labs, blood work, their disease process or just their wellness process and they would recommend treatment,” alleges Steven Pugh, Hippocrates’ former director of nursing and one of the ex-employees suing the facility.

Johnson offered a written response on Thursday to Pugh’s statement: “All blood tests are administered by a medical professional and reviewed by the medical director. As nutritionists, the Clements review the guests’ entire health history, which includes the blood tests, with a view toward nutritional recommendations. . . . The medical director is responsible for all medical decisions of any kind.”

Hippocrates, which houses as many as 100 people at a time, has one licensed medical doctor working for the facility — Dr. Paul Kotturan.

I had never heard of Dr. Paul Kotturan before; not surprisingly, I wondered what kind of physician would associate himself with an institute like the HHI. So I did some Googling. Dr. Kotturan appears to run an urgent care center, Hillsboro Urgent Care in Deerfield Beach, Florida. His role at HHI is described on its website thusly:

Under the supervision of Dr. Paul Kotturan, Hippocrates’ specialized therapies include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, cranial electrotherapy stimulation, IV nutrition and antioxidants, Aqua Chi detoxification therapy, advanced diagnostics, bio-frequency research, targeted supplementation, thermography and more.

What does that “more” include? According to Alamenciak’s report, it includes quackery such as:

One of the treatments often mentioned by Clement in videos is Cyber Scan — a machine that claims to read your “bio-frequency” and tells which diseases you have or are at risk for. The machine then spits out a magnetized card — similar to a debit card — that contains the “morphogenetic footprint” of whoever put their hand on the device.

For Pugh, the most surreal treatment moment came when he saw a man blowing a long alpenhorn on the feet of a guest at the centre. The man claimed to be removing “toxins,” Pugh said.

And, of course, supplements:

The institute also sells its own line of supplements, called LifeGive, as well as a store stocked with everything from $400 amulets that claim to block electromagnetic waves to a stool designed to angle one’s feet while on the toilet that is said to promote “more complete bowel evacuation.”

And, of course, there are stem cell treatments. Given that on the surface, the South Florida Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant Institute looks relatively straightforward, treating hematologic malignancies with what sound like fairly standard-of-care treatments, “why Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj would affiliate himself with an entity like the HHI?” is the first question I asked. Surely it does not speak well of him to be featured on the HHI website.

But back to Dr. Kotturan. I was actually rather amazed that it was difficult to find out much about him. He seems to have kept a relatively low profile compared to other doctors administering dubious therapies, at least with respect to the ability of Google searches to reveal much other than his clinic. (And, make no mistake, the medical therapies administered at HHI are highly dubious, ranging from wheatgrass enemas, to the “Cyber Scan” test, to the most unbelievably quacky treatments like Aqua Chidetox footbaths.”) One thing I was able to find out is that he was a site principle investigator of TACT.

For those who don’t remember, TACT stands for “Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy“; it was a $30 million unethical boondoggle of a multiinstitutional study designed to assess whether chelation therapy has any value for treating cardiovascular disease. It was basically a negative study, but its principal investigator, Gervasio Lamas, has been spinning it furiously as showing that chelation very well might work for cardiovascular disease and that, of course, “more study is needed” (preferably in the form of another large NIH grant to do a follow-up multiinstitutional study. In this Annals of Internal Medicine publication, Kotturan is listed as one of the investigators, which means he must have been administering chelation therapy during the timeframe of the study, which was several years. Certainly, Kotturan’s name comes up as offering chelation therapy and IV vitamin therapy for at least one “holistic retreat.” His name also pops up in this TACT Talk newsletter as one of the site investigators who won a Persistence Award in the 2005 TACT Derby for enrolling five patients over three months. He’s also a member of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), a leading proponent of chelation therapy and what Dr. Kimball Atwood likes to refer to as a pseudomedical pseudoprofessional organization. His ACAM entry lists him as providing “Allergy, Chelation Therapy, Cosmetic Laser Surgery, Family Practice, Gynecology, Holistic Medicine, IV Therapies.” One wonders what else is covered in the “holistic medicine” part. Does he offer the same sorts of quackery at his own practice as he does at HHI? Inquiring minds want to know! Actually, I suspect that I do know. I rather suspect that Dr. Kotturan probably keeps it legitimate at his own practice and uses HHI as the outlet for his more “holistic” approaches, but that’s just an educated guess.

Marketing HHI: Testimonials a-go-go

If there’s one thing all three stories show, it’s that Clement makes a lot of money running HHI. Blackwell’s story, for instance, reports that filings to the IRS indicate that Brian Clement and his wife Anna Maria Gahns-Clement, the latter of whom serves as HHI vice-president, earned almost $1 million between them in 2013, even though the HHI is classified as a non-profit institute and therefore tax-exempt. Almenciak reports that Clement and his wife were paid $529,363 and $432,291 in income and benefits that same year and that the HHI reported receiving $15.1 million in fees for its “services.” Given that HHI has been operating in West Palm Beach since 1987, one can imagine how much wealth the Clements have amassed from its operations and their evangelizing speeches all over the world. It’s also not hard to see where he might “earn” such money, given that he charged JJ and Makayla $18,000 each for their “treatment.” All three stories feature photos and video showing just how large and fancy the grounds and facilities of HHI are.

Like Stanislaw Burzynski, a key element of the Clements’ marketing campaign includes patient testimonials. They can be found on the HHI website and YouTube channel. I very well might analyze several of these testimonials, either here or at my not-so-super-secret other blog, but for now, given the length of this post, I’ll just look at two.

First, there is this testimonial from Dr. Jackie Campisi:

Jacki Campisi’s story is horrifying. Basically, she started out by denying herself her one best shot at survival after her diagnosis. My observations on the brief video include:

  • It is not clear in the video whether Dr. Campisi ever had surgery for her primary tumor or not. She says that she was told that she would require “chemo, radiation, and drugs.” Besides the chemo, which drugs? Tamoxifen? Arimidex? Herceptin? It turns out that she did have a mastectomy, but I had to do some Googling to discover this (and also to discover that she’s an optometrist, not a physician). In any case, that same link revealed that she embraced quite a bit of cancer quackery six and a half years ago, before she ever encountered Brian Clement.
  • Dr. Campisi recurred six years later with spine metastases. Doesn’t that tell you that what she did wasn’t really working? Unfortunately, her spine metastases resulted in fractures, as spine metastases all too frequently do.
  • It’s quite possible that Campisi had a fair amount of healing from her fractures while at HHI, but it’s obvious that she still couldn’t walk until after she had surgery. Also, her weight loss probably made a big difference.
  • It’s good that her spine surgery helped her quite a bit. Surgery for malignant fractures usually does help. It’s unclear to me what operation she had, though.
  • A four day hospitalization sounds about right for the surgery Dr. Campisi had, neither too long, but certainly not significantly shorter than the usual range.
  • It’s very telling that Dr. Campisi doesn’t explicitly say whether she still has spine metastases or if her tumor is gone. She does, however, go on and on about the oxygen in her blood, her blood glucose levels, etc. I presume the cancer is still there.
  • Overall (and fortunately for her) Dr. Campisi seems to have a variety of breast cancer that is slow-growing and indolent. That it took six years to recur suggests it’s probably estrogen receptor-positive, and that it doesn’t seem to have progressed much since also argues that it’s probably fairly indolent. If this is true, she could still live quite a long time with such a tumor, as it appears to have favorable biology. However, it would be interesting to know some things: Stage at diagnosis; status of estrogen and progesterone receptors; HER2 status; the specific operation she had.

Basically, here we have a woman who underwent surgery alone for a stage III cancer, apparently refused radiation and chemotherapy in favor of a raw vegan diet and other “alternative” treatments, had a recurrence in the spine, found Brian Clement, and is continuing to make the same mistakes. I’m glad she seems to be doing better, but, sadly, Clement is not going to save her. Nothing can. Fortunately, she might still live several more years because of the seemingly-favorable biology of her tumor. Unfortunately, she might have done even better if she had accepted standard-of-care palliative therapy. Also, she will likely credit Clement for how well she does.

Another testimonial, mentioned in Blackwell’s article, is Samantha Young:

One Canadian woman, Samantha Young, says she was given just months to live after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and maintains she was rid of the frightening disease after visits to Hippocrates.

Young’s testimonial can be found on the HHI website as well, oddly enough, filed under “Depression,” rather than cancer:

Back in the late nineties I found myself suffering unimaginable fatigue, nausea and constant interrupted sleep brought on by the excruciating pain in my stomach. My physician conducted some investigative blood work which appeared completely normal. Finally, upon my insistence, she suggested an ultrasound. That revealed a ten centimeter mass in the tail of my pancreas.

The doctor explained that if I were older, she would believe that the tumor was benign. However, because I was young she suspected it might be cancer. Just that word instilled so much fear in my heart. My mind started to race, ruminating on all the medical statistics about the increase of cancer and how treatments most often are more harmful than helpful. Of course the doctor advised that my options were surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

What could that benign diagnosis have been? If there are any general surgeons or gastroenterologists reading, I bet they know. I’ll get to it momentarily. In the meantime:

Finally, my physician suggested that I see a specialist, Dr. Taylor, who supported the pancreatic cancer diagnosis with finality. Thank God my five daughters came and nurtured me. They adjusted their schedules and stayed with me at the onset of this sad period of my life. They described my color as gray green. Every day seemed insurmountable. On top of all of this the doctors finally admitted that although chemotherapy and radiation treatment were suggested, they ultimately would not make any difference in my case, nor would they prolong my life. They told me, “I am sorry, Samantha, get your house in order.”

We’ve heard this story before. Of course, a 10 cm mass in the tail of the pancreas would make me consider something other than pancreatic cancer in the diagnosis. Run-of-the-mill pancreatic cancer, the kind that kills most patients within a couple of years of diagnosis even if operable and successfully resected (expected five year survival after a Whipple operation, for instance, for pancreatic cancer is only on the order of 25%), generally doesn’t grow to 10 cm without metastasizing. That this one did implies that it’s either a less aggressive form of pancreatic cancer or not pancreatic cancer at all. Notice, in any case, that nowhere is there a report of a biopsy confirming the diagnosis. (Actually, rereading the testimonial, I don’t see any evidence that Young ever had even a CT scan, which is considered mandatory for determining whether a pancreatic cancer might be resectable.) Of course, if pancreatic cancer has already metastasized, then expected survival is measured in months. So what happened? Young found Dr. Clement, of course, and this happened:

I slowly adopted the program and was so impressed when I microscopically viewed cancer cells thriving on cooked food. This wrenched me into the full adoption of the living food diet. Slowly but surely, my color returned to a more acceptable yellow pallor, and as time passed my normal complexion prevailed.

In addition to the diet I also used far infrared therapy to gently heat my body up to 40 degrees Celsius. I also made sure to include lots of massage and reflexology, as well as continuing my medication and creative visualization, along with copious amounts of wheatgrass.

After two years the tumors had shrunk from 10 centimeters to 4.5 centimeters.

Before I knew it, I was in remission. Now I understood fully that cancer can be beaten.

In other words, she did nothing to treat her presumed cancer. Of course, I doubt that she ever had cancer in the first place. Given her clinical history, what I rather suspect (and, I bet, any general surgeons out there suspected) is that she really had was a pancreatic pseudocyst. Pseudocysts often arise after a bout of pancreatitis. Early in her testimonial, Young describes herself “suffering unimaginable fatigue, nausea and constant interrupted sleep brought on by the excruciating pain in my stomach,” all of which can be symptoms of pancreatitis. Not knowing more of her clinical course, I find it not hard to envision that Young suffered pancreatitis and developed a large pancreatic pseudocyst, which slowly resolved spontaneously, as many pancreatic pseudocysts, even ones larger than 5 cm, do. Moreover, pancreatic pseudocysts are sometimes misdiagnosed as cancer and vice-versa, but less commonly these days given that virtually any large pancreatic mass can be biopsied pre-operatively, something that wasn’t necessarily true 20 years ago when I trained. Again, we have no evidence of a tissue diagnosis anywhere to help guide us, and, given that, I rather suspect that this was indeed a pancreatic pseudocyst that resolved.

In Blackwell’s story, we learn:

Mr. Pugh said it is quite possible that some of the cancer patients at Hippocrates are cured, but in the little over a year that he worked there, he was not personally aware of any such successes.

“I would get emails occasionally from a family member saying a patient had succumbed to cancer,” he said.

I’d be willing to bet that no one at HHI survives cancer due to anything done for them at HHI. Indeed, as Alamenciak reports, there are testimonials on the HHI website whose stories have not been updated to report that the patient died, patients like Annalisa Cummings, who died in 2009.

Cancer quackery unfettered

The more I learn about Brian Clement, the more I wonder: How on earth has this guy been operating for three decades in Florida? Clearly, the State of Florida has utterly failed to protect its citizens from quackery. In fact, given how many people, such as Makayla Sault, come from all over the world, Florida has failed to protect everyone. Clement and his wife are both registered as nutrition counselors. Clement’s PhD in nutrition comes from the University of Sciences, Arts and Technology, a school licensed by the government of Montserrat, an island in the Caribbean with a population of about 5,000. It’s widely viewed as a diploma mill. Yet, thanks to a loophole in Florida law (see below), the Clements continue to get away with making promises they can’t fulfill, all the while with a “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” disclaimer that they “don’t promise cures,” even though everything they say in their promotional literature and talks would lead one to think that they can cure stage III and IV cancers where scientific medicine can’t.

What’s going on is so obvious, too. The Hippocrates Health Clinic has a Massage Establishment license, issued by the Florida Board of Massage Therapy. Also, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) licenses health care facilities, such as health care clinics and hospitals, and processes complaints about the quality of care in these facilities. Further, it is known that a complaint was filed with ACHA against the HHI for operating a health clinic without the proper state license. However, as our resident Florida lawyer and SBM regular contributor Jann Bellamy informed me when I asked her about it, under state law, only clinics receiving reimbursement from third-parties, such as public or private insurers, are required to have an AHCA-issued license. Because Hippocrates is a cash-only business, AHCA was apparently without jurisdiction to take action. The result of this gap in state law is that clinics offering only unproven treatments, which aren’t reimbursed by insurance, are the very ones who are outside the reach of state supervision. Meanwhile the FTC won’t say whether it’s investigating or not.

In both the WPTV report and Tim Alamenciak’s report, Clement is asked about accusations that he gives cancer patients false hope. He immediately replies, “There is no such thing as false hope.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Hope is important, but cancer patients need that hope to be tempered with a realistic assessment of their prognosis. Clement takes that away from them, and he’s damned callous about it too, as his answer to Alamenciak’s same question reveals:

When confronted with the testimonials people wrote — testimonials full of hope, that have not been updated to indicate those who later died — Clement says:

“That’s not false hope. I’m going to die. Do you realize that? You’re going to die,” he says. “I have hope that I’ll become a multi-billionaire some day and be able to change the world. Is it going to happen?

“I would never tell somebody don’t do chemotherapy. I’m not a medical doctor, nor do I believe I should tell them to do that … I’m going to die; they’re going to die. Does it mean that I did something wrong because they came here? Maybe they were very, very sick at some point and they went home and eventually died? What do I have to do with that? Explain, what does Hippocrates have to do with that?” said Clement.

In response to questions about Stephanie O’Halloran, Clement is quoted thusly:

” … From a one-hour lecture in Dublin, this woman decided that I could heal her? That’s not even realistic when you think about that,” said Clement said in an interview in his Florida office.

These are, of course, the sorts of questions that a con man asks when confronted to deflect responsibility from himself to his marks. It’s not his fault they believed him!

As good as it is that the State of Florida has finally done something, I’m under no illusions that this is a major victory. It’s simply a victory in one skirmish in a war that’s likely to go on a long time. After all, a $3,738 is nothing to a guy like Clement, and he surely has high price lawyers who are even now fighting this order. Given the laxness of Florida’s laws protecting patients, it wouldn’t surprise me if he won. But there was no chance that he could lose as long as the State of Florida stood by and did nothing. At least now there’s a chance the HHI could be shut down.

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]

208 replies on “Finally, the State of Florida acts against Brian Clement and the Hippocrates Health Institute”

After all, a $3,738 is nothing to a guy like Clement

I had the same reaction. His institute is cashing about $ 6000 a week per patient.
Sure, he has to pay his employees and put a bit aside for maintenance and consumables, but wheatgrass farming isn’t that expensive.
Actually, I don’t know. Gettting an alpenhorn blower on the staff may not be cheap. Did he try a vuvuzela instead?

Anyway, it’s a start.

only clinics receiving reimbursement from third-parties, such as public or private insurers, are required to have an AHCA-issued license

That’s some catch, that Catch-22.

filings to the IRS indicate that Brian Clement and his wife Anna Maria Gahns-Clement, the latter of whom serves as HHI vice-president, earned almost $1 million between them in 2013, even though the HHI is classified as a non-profit institute and therefore tax-exempt

Of course the HHI isn’t making any profits, because they pay Mr. and Mrs. Clements so much in salaries. Actually, if the 2013 numbers are typical, the HHI isn’t as egregious as some “non-profit” organizations: the institute is only paying Mr. and Mrs. Clements a bit more than 6% of their gross revenues. I’ve heard of cases where the non-profit organization not only pays the person controlling it a hefty salary, but a big chunk of its non-salary expenses are paid to vendors also controlled by that person. Granted, I don’t know who is supplying HHI with wheat grass enemas, anti-toxin foot baths, alpenhoorns, etc., but HHI does have to pay staff salaries. Not to mention lawyers.

“… a stool designed to angle one’s feet while on the toilet that is said to promote “more complete bowel evacuation.”

While exceedingly glad to see the article in my local paper concerning this, I must confess that the above phrase caused undue hilarity on my part. Seems somewhat apropro that someone like Clement, peddling his particular brand of horse … um … feathers would provide a support with which to facilitate the removal said horse … um … feathers from his unlucky victims.

I understand Prince Charles during his tour of the US is opening a new wing of the HHI !!

Actually no, but the quackery seems right up his street.

These two are completely different characters though, Clements is a smart, rich unscrupulous and despicable con man, Charles on the other hand is just a fairly dim buffoon.

Campisi states: ” I have formally trained as a physician… ” and that she has an interest in natural medicine.

I have searched in vain to find out what her credentials are. Is she actually a physician? Or is she nothing more than a chiropractor or naturopath?

Sorry, I don’t see this as a victory. It is simply a minimal action to deflect bad publicity while protecting Florida’s friendliness to schemes, scams and sponges.

10-15 in Max for this guy would be a deterrent to the next one. A dollar amount he may well spend on one fancy dinner with guests, no.

When I read this post, I thought how incredible it is that people fall for such mumbo-jumbo, but then I saw a woman on Dr. Phil who sent $1.4 million to a man she had never seen who promised to marry her (variation of Nigerian letter scam).

When I read this post, I thought how incredible it is that people fall for such mumbo-jumbo,

Desperation and/or hopelessness can do funny things to people.

This what Carolyn’s comment, at #9, is referring to:

Sponsored by and benefit for Dr. Jacqueline Campisi of Stonington, in support of her recovery from stage 4 metastatic cancer to her spine. Having been diagnosed by Dr. Chris Deveau of East West Chiropractic and Groton MRI on April 15th, Jackie flew to the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach FL where she was mentored by Drs. Brian & Anna Maria Clement. Here she learned about the power of living foods and quantum/energetic medicine. The process helped her loose 50lbs -greatly reducing the impact to her spine where she had 2 compression fractures from a tumor at L4-5. While detoxing from heavy metals, sugars and toxins that contributed to her decreased health, she experienced many unique treatments offered at the center. These enabled to her to decrease inflammation and pain which allowed her to return to CT for surgical care. Her spinal surgery and treatment at The William W Backus Hospital was such a success, she did not require ANY post-operative medications after an 8 hour procedure by Dr. Ken Paonessa of Norwich Orthopedic Group, PC. She credits Amy Dunion, RN, LMT Coordinator of the Center for Healthcare Integration at Backus Hospital. Amy offered an array of complimentary alternative medicine while preparing for surgery. Jackie’s chance meeting with Lisa Zaccheo of 2 weeks prior to surgery was another reason she felt success.

Her mentor, Dr. Brian Clement will speak on the topic “Power of Live Food to heal Diseases and Conquer Aging” In this lecture, he will address the half century of work on disease and longevity conducted at the renowned Hippocrates Institute. These lifestyle protocols enabled Jackie to decrease inflammation & strengthen her immune system.

Dr. Clement will discuss how the living foods lifestyle can provide abundant energy and extraordinary nutrition that protects cells from early death, thereby extending lifespan. Cardiovascular Disease, diabetes, MS, ALS, Parkinson, Fibromyalgia and more can be altered, prevented, and at times conquered with Phyto-chemicals, antioxidants and other nutrients consumed on a diet of organic vegan living food. Dr. Clement will explain the basic science and extraordinary mechanisms that bring about a heightened and balanced immunity. Hundreds of thousands worldwide share enthusiasm in their greatly improved health by utilizing unprocessed green foods. One look at Jackie and you will see that this is true. She is a Stage 4 Cancer survivor full of energy and vibrancy. Her family is grateful for all that she has learned and passed onto them so that they may thrive not just merely survive.

Fresh Organic Raw Coconut water by Noelani will be provided for purchase along with Green Juice- World Famous Hippocrates Recipe and Wheatgrass shots grown by Sprout it out!

Book signings by Dr. Clement will occur after the lecture. Proceeds will be donated to Jackie’s family.

Having been diagnosed by Dr. Chris Deveau of East West Chiropractic and Groton MRI on April 15th

This is within the chiropractic scope of practice in Connecticut?

I think simply diagnosing spinal metasteses would fall sufficiently within the defined scope, under

2) Examine, analyze and diagnose the human living body and its diseases, and use for diagnostic
purposes the x-ray or any other general method of examination for diagnosis and analysis taught in any
school or college of chiropractic which has been recognized and approved by the State Board of
Chiropractic Examiners

From a one-hour lecture in Dublin, this woman decided that I could heal her? That’s not even realistic when you think about that,” said Clement said in an interview in his Florida office.

And so of course Dr. Clement did the right thing and declined to treat her, hexplaining that it was unrealistic to believe that any interventions he offered could cure her disease…

No, wait. He took her money and treated her anyway.

Thanks, Phoenix Woman, I had missed this gem:

The state prosecutor in Massachusetts accused Clement of claiming his treatments could cure AIDS, serious burns, diabetes, cancer and other illnesses, as well as fraudulent claims by Clement that he had been honored by the Nobel Prize committee.

I hate this guy as much as I hate Burzynski. I wonder when (oh what’s his name the filmmaker) will get around to making a movie about poor, misunderstood, medical pioneer Brian Clements!



Nic e accidental typo 🙂
A portemanteau of hexing and explaining would be a nice descriptor of the behavior of Clement and other like-minded predators: explaining to you that great guys they are and as a result charming you into following them to their den…

Narad #14:
Yeah, I wouldn’t put any credence in any element of that blurb. Groton MRI is a legit facility used by many of the sbm docs in the area. ‘Diagnosed by chiro and Groton MRI’ doesn’t necessarily mean the two are connected. Her PCP or Backus could have sent her for the MRI, and her chiro given a ‘second opinion’. AFAIK, the MRI reports don’t interpret the results, but perhaps her report could have been so obvious even a chiro could look at it and say, ‘yup, cancer.’ I would guess a chiro can order an MRI in CT, but I don’t know for sure. The website for East West Chiropractic suggests Dr. Chris Deveau is closer to the ‘reform’ end of the chiro scale, “Chiropractors provide physical solutions to help the body heal from conditions that are physical in origin, such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, and poor posture.”

The whole blulb seems full of ambiguity designed for willful conflation of sbm and Clement’s quackery. Particularly suspicious:

Amy Dunion, RN, LMT Coordinator of the Center for Healthcare Integration at Backus Hospital offered an array of complimentary alternative medicine while preparing for surgery.

Hmm. Like what? I looked up what Backus offers:

Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster is a program using relaxation and guided imagery, a practice of visualizing positive outcomes to an event (e.g. surgery, chemotherapy) to lessen anxiety and promote pain relief. This process can enhance the body’s immune system and promote quicker healing. The patients receive a book and CD and attend a one and a half hours class, which is ideally taken 2-3 weeks prior to surgery.

The Backus Center for Healthcare Integration is under the auspices of the Oncology Department. Dunion was hired in ’03 to run the program, which then had three components: 1) the Prep for Surgery program, 2) massage therapy, 3) pet therapy – the later two designed to help patients deal post-op or during chemo/radiation treatments. Since the Center has added reiki/therapeutic-touch, reflexology and acupuncture. While all of this bears vague claims to ‘strengthen the immune system’, the focus is clearly on stress reduction and helping chemo patients keep their spirits up.

No wheatgrass. No natural cures. In short, I suspect any sort of compatibility between HHI and Backus Hospital exists only in the mind of Jackie Campisi as scripted by Brian Clement.

What the hell does “enhance the immune system” mean anyway, in physiological terms? How is the degree of enhancement over baseline measurements quantified?

Spectator #10
Bingo. A wrist-slap to limit the damage, given that the governor who guided the quack-friendly measures into Florida policy, Jeb Bush, is running for president.

I can’t imagine HHI has the influence to get a Bush to push policy changes just for its own benefit. I have to wonder how many other perhaps less egregious (perhaps not) health scams are operating in Florida. As Orac notes, Clement’s hubris in recruiting at Six Nations exposed him to international scrutiny. That kind of mistake gets you kicked out of the club into the scapegoat pen.

It’s probably now in the best interests of the quack-friendly politicians and all the other quacks for Florida to crucify Clement for public consumption, not just shut down HHI but toss him in jail for awhile. Bad apple extracted, ‘the system works’, pressure’s off, everybody else goes on with business as usual. The HHI campus is sold, and in a couple years another health spa with more modest quack claims opens on the grounds. I’m sure there’s plenty of money to make with all the pseudo-med-tech in the Vida building and even a wheatgrass kitchen without going to far as to claim cures for “stage-three, stage-four catastrophic cancers”. You know, it’s just “wellness education” (nudge, wink).

Clement was probably doing just fine nudging and winking and got greedy enough – or racked up some debt to not-very-nice people – that he went too far. Which could make him a liability to a variety of much larger enterprises. Hmm…

Maybe I’ve read too much Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen, but I wonder what names might be in Clement’s little black book, and what stories he might be able to tell. And if HHI continues to get media scrutiny, I wonder if anybody else wondering the same things might not want to wait on actions by the State of Florida lest any secrets Clements may hold be revealed in the process…

@ JGC #22

‘Nothing’ would be my guess.

And it’s not quantified because everyone at Backus knows at one level or another, it’s psychology one way or the other.

Maybe it’s the ‘holistic’ immune system, not the physiological one, and it’s just that you’re less likely to get sick (or maybe just feel sick) if you’re less depressed by the effects of chemo.

Off-topic, with apologies (I couldn’t find a right-to-try post with comments still open)

At Salon:

Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R), believes that cancer is a fungus, which can be flushed out from the body by means of an “inexpensive, cost-effective” and non-FDA approved treatment. ,,, She was announcing her intention to introduce a bill that would give terminally ill patients access to treatments that haven’t been approved by the FDA

JGC, sadmar: in quackery alternative/holistic/natural health belief systems, “immune system” mean “vital force”, or chi/qi, or prana, or whatever your favorite ethnic group that you don’t belong to calls it.

Regardless of the question whether Florida’s AG is going to pay attention, I suspect that it would be a world of asshurt if the 501(c)(3) status of a private spa (or “massage establishment”) were called into question.

I have been to Hipposcrates …..4 weeks to be exact. Attended many lectures by Brian Clement, never heard him say he could cure anything. I also am old enough to remember chiropractors being called quacks .Has anyone read the China study.??? What if it were true. Food is thy medicine. What would it mean to the medical industry ,insurance companies,drug companies? Follow the money,, grow up people, stay aware.


I suspect that it would be a world of asshurt if the 501(c)(3) status of a private spa (or “massage establishment”) were called into question.

Would you be alluding to the sort of “massage establichment” that provides happy endings or am I misunderstanding you?

Are you posting everyone’s responses? I think not!
For anyone to be against cleaning their system out by eating a pure food diet is absurd. It’s common sense. Sorry you can’t make money off it. One day when you get sick or your loved one does let’s see if you consider it!

Dina, it was once “common sense” that the Earth went around the Sun. It was once “common sense” that bleeding people made them better. It was once “common sense” that witches caused diseases, and burning them was the solution.

Where is your evidence that it works? Real evidence, not just “I tried it and I felt better!”

I also am old enough to remember chiropractors being called quacks

This doesn’t really add anything to the observation that you got taken for four weeks’ bread by Clement, now, does it?

@Dina – IIRC the first time you post with a given email address it goes to automoderation. If you use a different bogus email (or mistype the one you have been using) you get auto-moderated.

Or are you just incredulous that there are not hundreds of posts from satisfied customers.

As for can’t make any money off of the idea of pure food. Do you know how big a business the juicers and the spas and all the people who make big money implying that food (and their specific version of food) will heal you?

FWIW all the science-based people tend to promote eating as much whole unprocessed food as possible. They aren’t just selling you the one juicer you need that is better than all the other juicers or a spa package for hundreds or thousands of dollars a week while pulling down million dollar salaries.

Damn we’ve been given away that advice for free or nearly free? Whoops.

Am not at all surprised of just another attempt or of own corrup tmedical system that ofcouse includes Big Pharma to discredit Brian Clement. I also went to Hippocrates a little over 5years ago. I was post lumpectomy for breast cancer and afterbeing told that theywanted me to ungerdo radiation and chemotherapy knew it was not the option I wanted to pursue because of my

own personal convictions and the Lords devine wisdom. believing that you cannot treat an immune disorder with poison
and radiation. Ssomething that our

e so called exalted medical community the AMA still believes in
and it’s killing people.In my case its been family members and
many friends and yes some people that I met in Hippocrates

who got there too late after the doctors had their way with

them.While at Hyppocrates I was never told by Brian himself or

any of his staff
That they could cure cancer. INFACT AT ORIENTATION I signed paperwork that spelled it out for me loud and clear. what I did receive an Epocrates with support knowledge and confidence that I didn’t have to let this disease devour me and that their treatments could boost my immune system dramatically and it didyes the food is expensive in the supplements as well but considering what it cost for a chemo treatment or radiation it’s a fraction of the costbut again he never said that he could cure cancer and certainly our medical community is doing nothing to cure cancer only trained people of their life savings and make the mortgage their homes to endure torturous and ineffective treatmentsand no I am very sorry for the experience of these two young women I do not believe in my heart that Brian Clement met them anomalous because I believe that he is a true humanitarian and brilliant nutritionist and Dr.

it and I could beat it


I’m sorry if some of what I said wasn’t posted properly but I think you got the gist of what I was trying to sayat the present time I’m being treated by a doctor the cancer specialist and believes in alternative and traditional treatment which I think is the most effective none of those include large amounts of chemotherapy or radiation so to those of you who have cancer or know somebody is going through that please consider all of your options before you submit yourself to traditional medicineto the cookie cutter treatments used today by most of the alliopaths.

Cyndi P: Modern cancer treatments are not “one size fits all”, extensive tests are done to see which method will work best for this cancer and this patient.

Oh, and the fact that you felt better doesn’t help your case. Lots of patent medicines from the 19th century made people feel better because they contained a large quantity of alcohol.

Gray at present I have a wonderful physician who Does NOT pracitce a one size fits all approach. What i am saying that it has been my u fortunate experience as well as many other folks that i personally know or have spoken with who have. And their treatments have been typical surgery chemo and radiation with not good resultr. The profit is NOT in the cure but the treatment. WHICH i believe by now should be readily available.

Cyndi, calling modern medicine a “one size fits all” approach suggests either appalling ignorance or gross dishonesty on your part.

Also, if your doctor prescribes the same diet for each of hundreds of different types of cancer, doesn’t that mean he follows a “cookie cutter” methodology?

Are you posting everyone’s responses? I think not!
I assume that Dina is responding to the failure of Debra Richardson ‘s comment to appear immediately.

a pure food diet
Hey, my diet purely consists of food! * No sand or expanded polystyrene for me!

* Beer and coffee are classified as foodstuffs among my people.

I went to hippocrates when western medicines had no answers. Contact me. I have proof that it works. I had 2 doctors logging my blood work and scans done for inflamation to prove it. You people think eating real food is a scam. Look around how sick and fat the world is. Food food food. What we eat is killing us. All the toxins. Dr clement is not practicing quackery. He is the smartest and most loving man I have ever met and his wife. Fear of what you don’t understand makes you attack things that work. Don’t knock till you try it. We have lost loved ones to chemo but know one goes after the real scammers. The ones whom are making billions off the the deaths of our loved ones. You think for one minute the drug companies are looking out for your best health. Grow up do your homework before you judge others.

Cyndi, breast cancers are not immune disorders. Who has telling you they are, and therefore chemotherapy and radiation are not appropriate interventions to reduce the risk of relapse?

And can you explain why you think alternative and traditional treatments are the most effective interventions for cancer, Cyndi–from what evidence does this conclusion derive?

Gray I didnt say anything about my Drs diet and it is not raw food actually more ketogenic, what I did say is he combines the best of alternative medicines to boost the immune system as well as smarter tradtional medicine.He lectures at Harvard and is a pioneer in his field a y many of his later stage cancerpatients who were sent to hospice by their oncologists are now in remision. now back to dr Clement which is the main point of this article. it was my experience to know him as a very kind and caring and knowledgeable nutritionist doctor who helped a lot of the patients that came in to see him and I know that he had no malice toward any patience and one of the best for each of them from his heartbut he never told anyone that he was going to cure them just told them that he could boost your immune system and give them some wellness even in their disease and not to give up and that’s a lot more than what you get from the mainstream and by the way as I said before does anyone have a cure yet

my doctor is also a cancer scientist as well as a researcher and has done many scientific studies as well as keeps up with the latest to cancer treatments that are going on he’s very well informed if you want specifics you need to use the Internet Google

“[Cindy P] reckoned that [the use of basic punctuation and paragraph breaks] imposed an artificial structure on her stream of consciousness.”

Cyndi, I don’t care how nice you think your doctor is. Lots of people thought Ted Bundy was a nice guy. I want evidence.

By the way I also want to make mention that when I was first diagnosed with my breast cancer I was misdiagnosed by a local well reccomended Boca medical group, Later after my cancer relapsed found out that the patholgists made an error in the type of cancer I had.Instead of chemo they should have put me on a hormone pilii and if I had taken the poison would probably not be posting here now, Thanks the great wisdom of the alliopaths. GOD he intervened for me and put me in better hands 5 years later the tests proved differently.


Cyndi, I need real evidence. Double-blind studies, monitored case studies, anything! I’ve seen similar testimonials for snake oil. Actual snake oil. Seriously.

Oh, and when you use the word “allopathic” to describe, you’re repeating a lie by the alternative medicine folks. Tell me something, if you had no money, would they have treated you?

Oh, and when you use the word “allopathic” to describe, you’re repeating a lie by the alternative medicine folks.

Well, it’s actually “alliopaths” and variations thereof every time Cindy P invokes the term, so maybe it means something entirely different than what we’re thinking. Something to do with garlic, mayhap?

He is the smartest and most loving man I have ever met and his wife.

I think Christine means “…the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life (and his wife):.

You may jest, but wait until my paper “The Lady of Shallot: A Case Study” appears in the Journal of Alliopathy.

I have been to HHI with a very serious illness. I loved every minute of it and loved Brian and AnnMarie too. They saved my life, and I learned valuable life skills for being healthy and avoiding chronic disease. Why is everyone so eager to vilify them when they legitimately help so many people?! Their methods may be unconventional in America, but they are quite main stream in other countries- like Germany for example.
I wish them only the best for continuing to help people.
Lighten up, people.

What would that serious illness be? How did the Clements help you. Details, people! Details. You can’t reasonably expect to convince me or my readers without a lot more detail.

Yes that’s what I meant. They are wonderful people. Grey you keep saying you need evidence. I have blood work to prove how sick I was before going to hhi. I had ongoing test over the last 2 years to show thecresults. what they teach changes lifes. Sometimes it’s just to late for people. God made our bodies to heal itself if we give it what it needs. People die and we just want to blame someone for it.

What was your illness? What blood tests showed how sick you were? What treatments did the Clements give you? Details! Your story doesn’t allow anyone even to have the slightest idea if the Clements helped you.

What the hell does “enhance the immune system” mean anyway, in physiological terms? How is the degree of enhancement over baseline measurements quantified?

Or, as anybody with autoimmune diseases (including some forms of asthma) could say… ‘Why would I want to do that? It’s my immune system that’s trying to kill me!’

Gray, unfortuneately nothing is free but i have known some people who have gotten scholarships for the treatments at Hyppocrates.On the other hand I have a close friend who spent her life savings on expensive and torturous chemo and after all died a horrible death. UNTIL there is a cure everyone deserves to make their own choice of treatment and quality of life is important. C hemo and radiation is barbaric and destroys cells.

Cyndi, I can also find several people whose cancer went into remission and whose lives were saved by chemo. I need real evidence. They have plenty of money, why are they not performing real studies?

Gray Do you know how much Big Pharma gets for a typical 6 week couse of treatment for chemo? and you disagree with me that it doesn’t destroy your cell and what about long term side effects organ damage dementia heart damage to mention a few

and what about the thousands of people some of which I know that I’ve been mis diagnosed with cancer and treated with chemo and died from the chemo when they never even had cancer

the long term studies don’t seem to prove self they prove it adds maybe an extra few years to your life for some maybe they’re lucky but those years are very sick years especially for the later stage cancers there’s been no evidence to prove that Kino does any good for those people just kill them off quicker no quality of life

Cyndi, where is your evidence for any of this? I’m not just going to take the word of a complete stranger on the internet. If you really have a better means of treating cancer, why aren’t you doing studies?

Theres also been studies where tney actually asked the drs themselves that if they had cancer if they would take chemo and not surprisingly the vast majority would refuse.

Cyndi, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, but it’s unfortunate that you are using that experience to spread a lot of unsubstantiated misinformation. Yes, Chemotherapy does indeed destroy cells. Do you know what “cancer” is made of? There have been some wonderful recent advances in targeted chemotherapy designed to only affect abnormally proliferating cells in certain types of cancer, but these aren’t available for every type of cancer. Sometimes killing the cancer cells with a broader spectrum treatment that will also kill some healthy cells is still a better alternative than not treating with chemo.

You’re wrong about the success rate of chemotherapy overall. It’s unpleasant, no question, but in most cases it gives a better chance of survival than otherwise.

Where are these studies, Cyndi? And don’t ask me to look for myself, you made the claim, so you have to back it up.

“People die and we just want to blame someone for it.”

Especially when someone like Clement contributes directly to that death.

Theres also been studies where tney actually asked the drs themselves that if they had cancer if they would take chemo and not surprisingly the vast majority would refuse.

When your audience knows your talking points better than you do, you’re really just wasting everybody’s time.

there’s been no evidence to prove that Kino does any good for those people just kill them off quicker no quality of life

Are we talking Kino the rock band, or Kino as cinema in general? Both have added to my quality of life.

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