From Abracadabra to Zombies
October 13, 2009
Dear Mr. Carroll:
If I didn't think that writing you was a waste of time because of your pea-sized brain and vision I wouldn't be writing.
reply: That's one of the best opening lines I've ever read. I'm sure you thought long and hard before laying down your words like bricks on water.
And you're not even a Medical Dr. You're a "Ph.D."
reply: I'll bet you're going to defend a naturopath or a veterinarian. The smell of your burning herbs, natural but tainted, is coming through your eloquent words.
It's because of people like you that have been prodded by the pharmaceutical companies that people are dying from vaccines that contain mercury, dead human fetal cells, etc., surgeries that kill people, etc.
reply: People like me? You mean pea-brained Ph.D.s? Actually, people are saved from dying by vaccines, most of which no longer contain mercury even though mercury in vaccines has never been shown to be a cause of any illness. There were an estimated 30 to 40 million cases of measles in 2000, causing some 777,000 deaths.* How many deaths from measles vaccines were there? Zero. How many lives were saved by vaccinating millions of people. A few, I dare say.
Immunization saves approximately 9 million lives a year worldwide. A further 16 million deaths a year could be prevented if effective vaccines were deployed against all potentially vaccine-preventable diseases.*
I don't know of any vaccines that contain dead human fetal cells. Did Dr. Wallach give you that "fact"?
How many surgeries saved lives? You don't know and you probably don't care, but pea-brained people with or without Ph.D.s know that you shouldn't be selective in your use of evidence: you have to consider all the evidence, not just the part that seems to support your prejudices.
SHAME ON YOU. You have no conscience. You lie and you want everyone who reads your "educational" information to buy into it.
reply: You keep talking like this and I'll have to have my lawyer write you a letter reminding you of libel and slander laws. Someone as ignorant as you are regarding vaccinations is the one who should be ashamed. Maybe you've been watching too much Oprah or Bill Maher. (Click here for an antidote to Bill Maher prescribed by Michael Shermer.)
I, for one, have been taking Colloidal Silver for almost a year. This has been the healthiest I've been in my adult life. STOP DEMONIZING NATURAL "MEDICINES"... STOP DEMONIZING THE DR.'S WHO DISPENSE THE BEST INFORMATION POSSIBLE. You are the shill, not Dr. Joel Wallach.
These remedies have been around for years, even before westernized "medicine", which does not even cure but masks the symptoms of what is really happening in the body. With people like you who needs enemies.
reply: There's something that's been around a lot longer than snake oil salesmen like Wallach and their customers like you, Jan: poor causal reasoning. It's in our genes, you might say, to jump to conclusions regarding cause and effect. You've been taking colloidal silver for almost a year and you are healthier than you've ever been. You believe it is the silver that is making you healthy. Your only evidence is that one thing came after the other. This kind of thinking is illogical, but common. Some people, called scientists, have developed methods of thinking that avoid making erroneous judgments about cause and effect. I ran across an example of a bit of this scientific thinking last night while reading a biography of Benjamin Franklin.
Franklin was reporting on some experiments he'd done using electricity to treat palsied limbs. There were many reports in Europe at the time (about 1758) of "electrical cures." Many people felt healthier than ever after having a treatment involving the use of electrical jars and shocks sent to ailing body parts. Franklin noted that he'd had some success, too, with electrical cures. His patients were ecstatic at the results. Unfortunately, said Franklin, the positive effects wore off rather quickly. Nobody's "cure" lasted more than five days.
Here's how a scientist thinks: maybe it wasn't the electricity that had the observed effects. Franklin wrote: "And how far the apparent temporary advantage might arise from the exercise in the patients' journey and coming daily to my house, or from the spirits given by the hope of success, enabling them to exert more strength in moving their limbs, I will not pretend to say."
The way to find out whether something is a significant causal factor in the production of an effect is to do a randomized, double-blind control study, if at all possible. To find out whether colloidal silver has any health benefits, you can't just ingest it and observe whether you feel healthier. There are many things that affect a person's health and without controls you would have no way of knowing what, if anything, you are doing (or not doing) or ingesting (or not ingesting), is promoting good health.
Unfortunately, there haven't been any large-scale control studies on colloidal silver. We know that silver is not an essential metal for human nutrition and that the FDA has banned any nonprescription colloidal silver or silver salt product claimed to be effective in preventing or treating any disease. There is no such thing as a silver deficiency. We also know that before the development of antibiotics silver was used in such things as nose drops for its antibacterial properties. The evidence for the health benefits of colloidal silver does not come from scientific studies on people, but from anecdotes like Jan's and from some studies on the effects of silver on bacteria in vitro. I'm sure someone as sophisticated and knowledgeable as Jan would know that in vitro studies don't transfer automatically to in vivo cases. What happens on the Petri dish full of bacteria when a silver solution is added might be promising, but it doesn't mean that when that silver solution is ingested by a human it will have a beneficial effect.*
You still have time to repent and get your life right. And just remember... God don't like ugly.
reply: Maybe God don't like ugly but she sure must love self-righteous, emotional, and ignorant.
You know that I am not defaming you. And no I did not take my talking points from DR. Wallach. You obviously have not read any inserts from any of the vaccines. Take for instance the H1N1 vaccine... http://remixxworld.blogspot.com/2009/08/what-ingredients-are-in-h1n1-swine-flu.html ,
Bob Carroll replies: This link goes to a blog that takes you all over the map, but one link is to a German site where it is claimed that the H1N1 vaccine is injected with a warm needle and contains cancer cells from animals. Maybe that's how they do it in Germany, but in the U.S. the vaccine is given in a nasal spray and it contains no adjuvants.* ("Adjuvants are substances added to vaccines to increase the immune response."* )
Bob Carroll replies: This link goes to a site that spreads the lie about the vaccine containing several dangerous adjuvants. "American flu vaccines do not contain adjuvants...."*
[Another link from Jan:] http://www.fluscam.com/Vaccine_Package_Inserts.html
Bob Carroll replies: This link goes to a site that offers silver as a way to avoid vaccinations and antibiotics, two of the most life-saving medical interventions in human history. It also purports to list the ingredients of a flu vaccine from Novartis. Dr. Harriet Hall writes:
Flu vaccines containing MF59, a squalene-based adjuvant, have been used in Europe for 10 years, with 22,000,000 doses given; and no serious adverse events have occurred, only mild local reactions. The vaccine does not raise the incidence or titers of anti-squalene antibodies. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers it safe.*
[Jan continues:] How about this link from DR. Sheri Tenpenny... http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14603 , http://drtenpenny.com/about_drTenpenny.aspx
Bob Carroll replies: This link goes to a site that tries to arouse fear of vaccines by listing ingredients and claiming they are unsafe. It repeats the message of most of these sites that the H1N1 vaccine contains squalene as an adjuvant and squalene is dangerous. ["Squalene is a natural and vital part of the synthesis of cholesterol, steroid hormones, and vitamin D in the human body."*] Again, the U.S. vaccine contains no adjuvants and, as noted above, Europe has had no serious adverse effects with its vaccines that contain squalene (22,000,000 doses over 10 years).
[Jan continues:] or this one DR. Rhima E. Laibow, M.D http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?page_id=193
Bob Carroll replies: This link goes to the Health Freedom USA site. Here's what I had to say about them in response to their notion that the government is planning to ban the sale of supplements:
The myth that our government is conspiring to take away access to these allegedly "vital elements of good nutrition" is being spread by anti-government fanatics such as Health Freedom USA. This group rallies around Dr. Gary Null* and sees any government regulation of food, medical treatment, or supplements as being the first step down the slippery slope to totalitarianism. This group is one of the leaders engaged in scaremongering regarding the swine flu vaccine. Unregulated supplements can be hazardous to your health,* despite what these anti-government folks say.
[Jan continues:] or this DR... DR. Leonard Horowitz, http://www.tetrahedron.org/ . Just three DR'S who say the same thing about vaccines, etc.
Bob Carroll replies: You saved the best for last. Leonard Horowitz deserves his own entry in the Skeptic's Dictionary but, as they say, so many fish, so little time. Horowitz also sells silver as the key to good health. He unites spiritual fiction with science spun out of pure New Age gibberish. Here he is touting one of his books:
Stunning evidence compiled herein proves DNA is nature's bioaccoustic and electromagnetic (that is, "spiritual") energy receiver, signal transformer, and quantum sound and light transmitter.
On his personal website Horowitz describes himself as Leonard George Horowitz (a.k.a., Dr. Len Horowitz, D.M.D., M.A., M.P.H., D.N.M, D.M.M.) None of the letters in this alphabet soup add up to M.D., yet he headlines his page with "DOCTOR BLASTS SWINE FLU MAKERS!" and links to another page he runs called FluScam.com.
[Jan continues:] But then again you'll probably dismiss what they have to say because they use alternatives.
Bob Carroll replies: I dismiss them because they are distorting the facts and fabricating evidence. I have no interest in whether they use alternatives. I think the public should be interested in lies and deceptions, even if told by people who sincerely believe their fantasies.
[Jan continues:] But then you'll probably be very happy when Codex Alimentarius goes into effect at the end of the year...
Bob Carroll replies: Until you mentioned it, I'd never heard of Codex Alimentarius. That might be a topic for another time.
Thank you for calling me ignorant and illogical because I'm
confronting you. Of course the FDA is going to discredit
anything that takes away from their profits.
And as far as God is concerned He encompasses both genders... how else would He be able to create Adam and Eve?
Bob Carroll replies: I call you ignorant and illogical because you lack knowledge regarding vaccinations and you reason that since you feel healthy after taking silver, the silver caused your good health.
I have no response to your last question, but it exposes a type of thinking I wouldn't be too proud of.
For those who want to read something factual about vaccines I suggest:
Jan replied: I thought I would give the benefit of the doubt... No matter what... you will only believe what you want. I am a very concerned American citizen who knows what is going on. Have a nice life.
Bob Carroll remarks: I thought that would be the last I'd hear from Jan, but it wasn't. She sent another e-mail with the subject line "have a nice day," the total content of which was a link to a page on a site that calls itself National Vaccine Information Center. The page Jan wanted me to look at is called International Memorial for Vaccine Victims. The site is a place of refuge for those who blame vaccines for their "learning disabilities and developmental delays, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, seizure disorders, mental retardation, diabetes, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other kinds of neuroimmune and autoimmune dysfunction."
Like Jan, most of the folks who blame vaccines for their medical problems have but one solid piece of evidence to support their claim of a causal connection: they became ill after being vaccinated.
The website in question also memorializes those who have died after being vaccinated.
No mention is made of the benefits to society of vaccination programs. This part of the evidence is simply ignored or dismissed by Jan and the anti-vaccination crowd. This same kind of reasoning would have us ban water because so many people drown each year, or automobiles because so many are killed or maimed in crashes, or guns because so many are shot each year, or surgery because many people die in surgery.
These people are quite hysterical in their distrust of government and pharmaceutical firms. Their hysteria makes it impossible for them to do a thorough and fair assessment of the data. The fact that pharmaceutical firms are often excessively aggressive in promoting their wares should not blind us to the fact that drugs save the lives of millions of people each year and make life more pleasant than it would be otherwise for millions more.
Furthermore, if government did not intervene on behalf of children when parents prefer praying to having their child treated by a proper medical doctor, more children would die. My What's the harm? pages have numerous examples of harm done to innocent children because of the irrational beliefs of their parents. If the parents want to die with their beliefs on, let them. But government has a duty to act as a parent for those citizens whose parents neglect their duty because of some misguided belief.
If government did not intervene by requiring vaccinations when contagious diseases might run rampant and kill or maim vast numbers of citizens, then government would not be doing its duty. If our government did not require proof of immunization against a contagious disease when someone tries to enter our country from a place where that contagious disease is rampant, then our government would be derelict in its duty to protect us.
What appalls me is that some of these anti-vaccination websites have testimonials from people who allege to be physicians and nurses who refuse to be vaccinated, make claims about the ineffectiveness or harmfulness of vaccines, and advise people not to have their children vaccinated for H1N1. The evidence so far strongly suggests that younger people are most vulnerable to H1N1 and that many children wil die from the so-called "swine flu." There does seem to be some immunity for those of us who are older and have been exposed to many viruses over the years.
It is true that most people survive the flu. But about 200,000 people will be hospitalized and about 36,000 people will die each year in the U.S. because of the flu and flu-related complications. It is also true that there is no such thing as a flu vaccine that protects us from all forms of viral influenza. You are being given partial protection (how extensive the protection is depends on how accurate the guesses are of those who decide what viruses will be dominant this season). The H1N1 vaccine is designed specifically for a particular virus. The nasal spray version contains live but modified viral material and cannot cause the flu.* It also contains no thimerosal.
Howard LeWine, M.D., of Harvard Medical School answers some concerns of those investigating the wisdom of getting flu shots:
2. This H1N1 flu vaccine is very different from older flu vaccines and hasn’t been tested for safety.
In fact, the H1N1 flu vaccine is not different. It is made the same way flu vaccines are made every year. Experts predict what the most likely strains of flu will look like during the next flu season, so the virus in the seasonal flu vaccine varies from year to year. This was done early in 2009 for this year’s seasonal flu vaccine. The manufacturers devised the seasonal flu vaccine according to the experts’ recommendations.
Most of the seasonal flu vaccine had already been produced by the late spring when the new H1N1 flu virus emerged. No one predicted the sudden emergence of this particular flu strain, especially during warm weather. Because there was no time to add killed H1N1 virus particles to the seasonal vaccine, manufacturers needed to make a second flu vaccine containing these particles.
Manufacturers have followed exactly the same procedures to make H1N1 vaccine as they have used to make seasonal flu vaccines. So, apart from the type of virus in the vaccine, the recipe is the same as for regular flu vaccines. It is therefore just as safe as the seasonal flu vaccine already available and carries similar risks. Some people have been worried that manufacturers have included extra ingredients (adjuvants) to stretch the supply of H1N1 vaccine. The H1N1 vaccine available in the United States does not contain any adjuvants.
3. Manufacturers of the vaccine used shortcuts to get vaccine produced quickly.
The same companies that have been making flu vaccines are the ones producing the H1N1 swine flu vaccines. The process is identical. The vaccine has been tested on thousands of volunteers. The side effects have been the same as all other flu vaccines. The H1N1 vaccine did provide an immune reaction in most people within 7 to 10 days that predicts good protection against this virus. We won’t know if the immunity seen in blood tests is enough until after the flu season has passed. But this is true with influenza in any given year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration used the same measures to license this H1N1 flu vaccine as it has for past vaccines. No shortcuts.
4. This new H1N1 flu strain usually just causes mild symptoms and there is only a very small chance of getting very sick, so there really isn’t a good reason to get the vaccine.
This is partially true, meaning that so far this H1N1 virus is not more dangerous, on average, than seasonal flu. However, it does seem more severe than regular flu in children and healthy young adults. Some very healthy people have become extremely ill and died from this infection. Because no one can predict whether that might happen to one of us or our children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging everyone eligible for the vaccine to get it. In fact, people at highest risk of this new H1N1 virus are those under the age of 50. They have not been exposed to a flu strain that is similar to this one. So they have absolutely no natural immunity.
Typically flu viruses tend to be more contagious and to cause more severe disease in cold, dry air. The H1N1 virus began during spring and summer in the northern hemisphere. As winter approaches, some experts worry that the disease caused by the virus could become more severe. That may mean that the generally mild form of the illness we saw in the spring might be more significant this winter.
5. The flu shot contains thimerosal, a dangerous mercury-based substance.
Most influenza shots do contain a substance called thimerosal. Thimerosal is needed to prevent vaccines from become contaminated with bacteria or other germs. It is used for multiple dose vials of vaccine. Thimerosal does contain a small amount of ethyl mercury. Studies have shown that, even in infants, exposure to much higher doses of mercury do not cause serious harm. The theory that thimerosal can cause autism has been thoroughly studied. There is no credible evidence that there is any link between them. For parents who remain concerned about thimerosal, thimerosal-free vaccine is scheduled to become available. There is no thimerosal in the nasal spray vaccine.
7. I am pregnant and fear that the flu vaccine can hurt my baby.
This is a very normal concern. But pregnant women are at especially high risk for serious illness and death from any influenza virus, but especially the H1N1 virus. The safety of the H1N1 flu shot appears to be equal to the well established safety of previous flu shots. The swine flu shot, similar to the seasonal flu shot, is made from purified killed virus. There is no chance that you or your baby can get an infection from the vaccine.
Pregnant women should get the H1N1 flu shot and the seasonal flu shot for several reasons:
They can protect infants who cannot receive vaccination. The mother can pass protective antibodies to her fetus.
They may help protect the baby after it's born. If you do get the flu, you have a higher than average risk of getting pneumonia. Pneumonia lowers your blood oxygen level. This means your fetus may not receive the oxygen needed for normal development.
Having the flu in pregnancy increases your risk of a miscarriage or giving birth too early.
Women who have a fever during early pregnancy are more likely to deliver a baby with a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida.
9. I heard that a similar swine flu shot in 1976 caused a deadly neurological disease.
The swine flu vaccine developed in 1976 was associated with a risk of getting a condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome. In this condition, multiple nerves become inflamed and damaged and thereby weaken muscles throughout the body. The risk in 1976 was 1 in 100,000. Since then, other flu vaccines containing particles from H1N1 viruses have not shown any higher risk of Guillain-Barré compared to seasonal flu vaccines. That risk is about 1 in 1 million. In fact, some studies indicate that the flu itself can lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome as often and perhaps more often, than the flu shot. So by not getting the flu vaccine, you raise your risk of getting the flu, which raises your risk of getting Guillain-Barré syndrome—the very thing you were worried about. Guillain-Barré can be mild or severe and is treatable. Today, the prognosis is quite good with treatment.
28 Sept 2009
I challenge you and your readers to read Minerals for the Genetic Code by Charles Walters, [self-]published in 2006, which is "an Exposition & Analysis of the Dr. Olree Standard Genetic Periodic Chart and the Physical, Chemical & Biological Connection." It will CHANGE your Life!
And, before you slamdunk the author by criticizing credentials, please be advised R. T. Carroll, I hereby commend any person interested & motivated, to self-educate themselves because that is the Only way a person can be entirely convinced & satisfied, not having solely relied on "authority" figures...
reply: You start by appealing to someone you consider an authority and then tell me not to rely solely on authority. What you seem to be saying is that your authorities are better than mine. I don't think so.
I'd never heard of Dr. Olree or Charles Walters until now. My guess is that most of my readers have never heard of them either, and with good reason. Olree sounds like an eccentric, a loner who works by intuition. Here's what I've been able to find out about Richard Olree.
Richard Olree is a chiropractor in Hillman, Michigan, who has been "working on a kind of unified theory of natural health involving trace minerals, subatomic particles, DNA, chiropractic, acupuncture meridians, and the I Ching."* He's worked out a chart that links specific minerals with genes, based on who knows what. Like Wallach, he's a mineral hawker. He runs a website called emineral.info where you can order such things as "chickweed healing salve" and "cell rejuvenator." You can get 16 ounces of some sort of magnesium potion (in different flavors) called "natural calm." It's supposed to relieve anxiety, but at $37.95 a pop, I think I'd rather try a glass of warm milk and petting a puppy.
Charles Walters (1926-2009) was the founder and editor of Acres U.S.A., a magazine devoted to "commercial-scale organic and sustainable farming." He was a proponent of organic farming and food systems. "From 1971 until his death, he wrote thousands of articles and dozens of books on economics and agronomy, along with two novels."* A blogger and admirer of Walters (and subscriber to Acres) who has read Walter's "exposition and analysis" of Olree has this to say:
Minerals doesn’t even have a bibliography, let alone footnotes, and when these are absent from bold claims of governmental or agribusiness malfeasance, it makes Walters sound like a crank.
....The basic concept [of Olree's chart] is this: certain minerals are required by certain genes, but are replaceable by certain other minerals, with ill effect. When mineral balances are off, health degrades as the body uses the wrong mineral. Some minerals are necessary for the uptake of others. Some minerals can help protect against radiation and other mutagens.
....The 3rd part (and 1/3 the book) is the most useful. It is a guide to sourcing trace elements from herbs and foods, with biological and common names, parts used, and parts per million of the element. If government has its way, we won’t be able to buy supplements, and this may help us with mineral balance.*
Walters's defender seems to be a leader of Glenn Beck Nation (the blogger refers to President Obama as a mulatto) who admires people who make a living scaring people into thinking that the government is doing such things as trying to ban the sale of vitamin and mineral supplements. The myth that our government is conspiring to take away access to these allegedly "vital elements of good nutrition" is being spread by anti-government fanatics such as Health Freedom USA. This group rallies around Dr. Gary Null* and sees any government regulation of food, medical treatment, or supplements as being the first step down the slippery slope to totalitarianism. This group is one of the leaders engaged in scaremongering regarding the swine flu vaccine. Unregulated supplements can be hazardous to your health,* despite what these anti-government folks say.
Armed with this information about Olree, Walters, etc., I don't think I'll accept the challenge to read their odes to minerals.
... doctors don't have the Keys to the library on information and it's well known that conventional M.D.s receive abysmally few hrs of education on nutrition (the reason is obvious once you've seen the big picture).
reply: Nonsense. Medical schools train their students in nutrition. It is a myth that the typical science-based medical doctor knows nothing about the nutritional requirements of a healthy person. You supplementaphiles have added to this myth by proposing all kinds of quackery regarding supplements, organic foods, and what you call "nutrition." Some of you claim that cancer is due to diet and that you can prevent and treat cancer with coffee enemas, carrot juice, and various supplements. (See Gerson therapy, Gillian McKeith, Dr. Christine Daniel (who combines faith healing with lies about herbs curing cancer), and beatcancer.org for examples of the kind of nonsense these folks spew.)
A person who is a sincere truth seeker is always grateful to let go of an erroneous belief when it is replaced by irrefutable facts and I look forward to one day finding that you have recanted on your critique of Joel Wallach's foundational message that minerals are indeed essential to health, foundational, and are sorely lacking in the food supply. Yes, plant based minerals, chelated forms that animals (humans) best utilize.
reply: I'll ignore your attempt to bait me by saying if I don't agree with you I'm not a sincere truth seeker. And I won't dignify with a response your assertion that these mineral hawkers are supported by irrefutable facts.
Of course minerals are essential to health! That's not the issue. We in the industrialized world are not suffering from a general lack of access to nutritional foods. Most of us, even those of us who don't eat very healthy meals, don't suffer from mineral deficiencies. In those countries where there is a great lack of availability of nutritious foods for the general populace, supplements are not what that populace needs. People suffering from malnutrition need real food. Dietary deficiencies in such things as iodine, folic acid, vitamin D, etc. are now added to our foods. Why? Not because some naturopath or veterinarian did the science.
I will concur that many products in the health food stores & on WalMart shelves are bunk, that buyer beware. But in this case, Dr. Wallach (a real doctor of veterinary medicine, investigator of animal husbandry and yes, a naturopathic doctor as well) - what do you do when you find conventional medicine severely mislead, you go "alternative"... holistic. That's a no-brainer!
reply: No, that's a false dilemma. Just because you have a problem with scientific medicine does not mean that some "alternative" is good for you. The so-called alternative may not really be an alternative, may be harmful in itself, or may be preventing you from getting beneficial treatment for what ails you.
I will say that you are doing a fine job of encouraging others to seek knowledge themselves.
reply: Obviously the saying "seek and you shall find" is not true. My advice is to eat two carrots, get some rest, stop watching Oprah, and read Steven Novella, M.D. on science-based nutrition. Here's a snippet:
....science-based nutrition includes the recognition of nutritional deficiencies, the increased need for nutrition in situations of physiological stress, the risks of dietary excess, and the role of specific nutrients in mitigating specific diseases and conditions. This is all part of standard medical training, ongoing medical research, and everyday practice.
*note Gary Null is not a medical doctor. He says he has a Ph.D. in human nutrition and public health sciences from The Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, an accredited institution but not one with traditional academic standards.* Shari Liebermann was another quack nutritionist who got her doctorate from The Union Institute.
31 May 2009
Concerning Dr. Joel Wallach: It amazes me that once something good comes down the pike, there are people like yourself who just can't leave it alone and take it for what it is. Just because the A(merican) M(edical) A(SSociation) doesn't (gasp) approve, doesn't mean it isn't so. You may want to do your homework on the AMA and the F(***ing) D(umb) A(SSes). You just might be MORE "skeptical" of the these two entities. They are NOT in the business of helping people...AT ALL.
You admit you are not a doctor. So, where is YOUR credibility on all this? I am a skeptic myself and question many things, however being skeptical is one thing, being nasty is another. It must really suck to be a miserable person like you. Life is too short for that. There is an old saying that goes like this: It is one thing to be quiet and thought a fool. It is another thing to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
reply: I couldn't have said it better myself, Craig. It's rare that I receive such an eloquent and well-tempered diatribe from a person who has obviously been around the block a couple of times. And remember Craig, eat your veggies when following your veterinarian's advice. (For those who don't keep up, Dr. Wallach is an animal doctor who sells love of minerals and hatred of medical doctors, while draping himself in pseudo-patriotic garb.
29 Apr 2007
I am just wondering how you explain the miraculous recovery and/or results so many of us have had because of Dr. Wallach's recommendations/advice. Too many to be classified as coincidental.
reply: There are two issues to explain here. First, there is the issue of customer satisfaction. Second, there is the issue of scientific evidence. The scientific evidence does not support the claim that mineral supplements, colloidal or not, can be beneficial to anyone unless they suffer from a mineral deficiency. Nor does the scientific evidence support the claim that colloidal minerals are more effective than solid mineral supplements.
If all those who give testimony to Dr. Wallach's recommendations have been ill due to a mineral deficiency, then there would be nothing to explain. The customers are satisfied because the cause of their illness was identified and they followed the recommended treatment.
On the other hand, it seems unlikely that more than a just few of Wallach's customers suffer mineral deficiencies. He sells his products in the industrialized world, where malnutrition is not a major problem. Bad nutrition would be the main cause of mineral deficiency worldwide, although there are specific situations where supplements of folic acid, iron, calcium, potassium, or other minerals are known to be called for. In the industrialized world, your medical doctor would know of these situations and would make appropriate recommendations. If you are malnourished in the industrialized world, my guess is that you don't attend health revival meetings or search the Internet for health gurus. My guess is that the kind of people who are attracted to Wallach are people who have a strong distrust of scientific medicine and Big Pharma, and who are more likely than not to think there is some sort of conspiracy that keeps the Wallachs of the world from their rightful place at the top of the list of benefactors to mankind.
In short, there's no good reason for thinking that the vast majority of people who follow Wallach's advice and buy his products are truly suffering from mineral deficiencies, especially the ones who claim that scientific medicine could do nothing for them. If they had a mineral deficiency, odds are that their doctor would have identified it. I grant that there could be some whose doctors misdiagnosed them and minerals are what they actually needed. I have no reason to believe that this number is very large, however.
There is a more reasonable explanation, but first you have to understand that there have been numerous scientific studies that have tried to find some great benefit to taking vitamin and mineral supplements. The studies haven't found compelling evidence that taking supplements has any general beneficial effect. Given that most of Wallach's success stories probably don't suffer from mineral deficiencies and that mineral supplements don't have a general beneficial effect, the more reasonable explanation for the so-called "miracles" is not coincidence, as you suggest, but rather a combination of the power of suggestion, the placebo effect, and the regressive fallacy. The success stories are helped by the fact that Wallach keeps no records and publishes no data on them and there is no follow-up. Those who feel like fools who have wasted their money on a charlatan do not usually post testimonials. The dead don't post testimonials, either. There are a few dissatisfied customers who have criticized Dr. Wallach. Some of them have even set up websites to post their criticisms. Lawyers have shut down some of them. Others, like Stuart Adams, have had to couch their criticisms in polite ways.
Perhaps if you would put that logical and critical thinking of yours to good use by putting some supplements where your mouth is, try them by scientifically testing the products that would be logical choices for any concerns you have, you might change your mind. If you do not have any health concerns, then why do you bash something that helps the rest of us? You have no knowledge here. Reminds me of a male doctor telling a woman what it feels like to birth! He can talk all he wants, but whether he really knows for sure will never be known!
reply: Testing of these products should not be the burden of the potential customer, but of the one marketing and selling them. My knowledge here consists of knowing that those who have done scientific testing of minerals on health have not found compelling evidence to support the kinds of curative claims made by Wallach. I don't need to jump out of an airplane without a parachute to know that the effects of such a procedure would be fatal in most cases. On the other hand, the assumption you make is faulty; if I did suffer from some ailment, took Wallach's minerals, and then found relief, it doesn't follow that I should change my mind about the effectiveness of his products. Just because one thing happens after another doesn't mean the first thing caused the second. People seek out the Wallachs of the world when they are in distress. Most people in distress will find that their distress fluctuates and that when it is at its worst, any change is likely to be for the better. If they use some intervention at their low point, as they improve they are likely to attribute the improvement to the intervention. They could be mistaken. A critical thinker knows that personal experience can be very convincing and that scientific testing is an effective way to avoid error and self-deception.
It is so easy to sit back and criticize, especially when one has a personal/business grudge against another. I can think of no other reason why you would waste so much of your precious time and energy on insulting this wonderful human being who has helped so many people! Maybe his books are selling more than yours? Just a guess.
reply: I'm not a competitor for Wallach's customers. The person you consider a wonderful human being seems like someone who says things that aren't supported by the evidence and who sells things that are not likely to work the way he says they will. I'm sure Peter Popoff and other faith healers seem like wonderful human beings to their customers, but to the objective observer they appear like scoundrels.
I have two sons. Both are critical and logical thinkers. One is quicker to judge than the other based on reasoning. The other takes his time and learns the FACTS and does his own TESTING before JUDGING! This younger son is the more successful in his judgement in my opinion. This is not to say my older son is always wrong, but he wastes a lot of time debating his perspective when he could put his time and efforts into more research before opening his mouth!
However, both boys know the value of Dr. Wallach's products, as they have watched most of the adults in my family recover from a number of ailments - ailments that the medical profession could not, or did not address to help us even though we gave them the 1st shot at it.
Please reconsider your opinion after you have actually tried the products responsibly yourself. God Speed and God Bless.
reply: I'm glad to hear that your family members have recovered from whatever ailed them. You have put your faith in Wallach's products and believe they are what brought about the relief. This could be so, but your sons, being good critical and logical thinkers, should be able to explain to you why Wallach's products may have had nothing to do with the recoveries. They should also be able to explain to you why having one more satisfied customer would be irrelevant to the issue of whether these products are effective.
Dr. Carroll, I came to learn about Dr. Wallach after I had already cured myself--yes, cured myself, of a handful of conditions--some of them very ominous.
reply: I am curious. What conditions? You say you cured yourself. Did you also diagnose yourself? If not, who diagnosed you? A physician, naturopath, chiropractor?
I started on the road to healing at the age of 35, when I read about how the drug companies, the AMA, and the FDA conspire--intentionally and unintentionally--to keep us ignorant of the power of supplements.
reply: I am also curious as to where you read this and why you thought it was true.
At that time, I changed my diet, and began to take supplements.
reply: I'm also curious as to what changes in your diet you made. Did you stop eating or drinking particular things?
I cured myself through supplements, exclusively--without any pharmaceuticals.
reply: But you just told me you changed your diet. Is it possible that some of the changes in diet you made were important to your feeling better? Did you change anything else about your lifestyle? For example, did you quit smoking or start exercising?
When I head DDDL everything made sense because I had been hearing about every basic tenet Dr. Wallach holds for years. I just never head a voice as bold as his. And few, like him, were willing to be so frank. Around 1998, when Dr. Wallach came to Lakeland, I went to hear him in person.
reply: I understand. What he had to say fit with what you already had come to believe. We all tend to do this. It's called confirmation bias, but just because somebody says something that fits with what we believe does not mean that what he says is true.
Are the colloidal minerals working for me? I can't demonstrate that because my health was already very good when I started on Colloidal minerals.
reply: So, from your experience, there has been no noticeable change when you switched from solid supplements to the colloidal variety.
But, after all I have read, from many sources, absorbable minerals are critical for the health; therefore, I will continue to take them; and I will buy Dr. Wallach's minerals.
reply: There are other sources you should consider. We shouldn't be selective in our choice of sources. For example, the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) says that "Colloidal minerals are basically clays dispersed in water. Such products differ greatly. Some contain aluminum or toxic minerals, others are high in sodium. Some do not contain detectable amounts of minerals listed on their labels. Finally, there is no evidence that colloidal minerals are more bioavailable than those found in other forms. [NNFA Today, 12/96]*
You might also read:
Colloidal Mineral Supplements: Unnecessary and Potentially Hazardous by James Pontolillo
Why don't you attack the public's BLIND BELIEF in the forces that kept me ignorant so that, at the tender age of 30, my body began to degenerate? That is, the drug companies, the medical schools, the AMA, etc. Not brave enough, Dr. Carroll? Or maybe you are brainwashed by them yourself? (I understand; they have formidable tools of persuasion)
reply: I don't attack the public's blind belief in these forces, as you put it, because I think you are dead wrong. Supplements are not a major threat to the profits of drug companies. Medical schools may not be exclusively devoted to nutrition (nor should they be), but that subject is not ignored and I would be very surprised to find that physicians are not trained to identify mineral deficiencies in patients. The claim that the AMA is behind some conspiracy to keep people from taking supplements is simply without any merit. Where is the proof?
If it was not for the relatively few enlightened people that opened my
eyes--I would probably be dead by now--or wishing I were.
reply: Your belief in why you are well is not something I am likely to change. I hope you continue in good health for many years to come.
30 Sep 2000
Wallach states that he did 17,500 autopsies, 3000 of which were on humans. He states at http://www.wellnesspublications.com/about.htm [dead link] that the autopsies were done between 1962 and 1967. That implies a rate of 2,500 to 4,300 autopsies per year or 8-12 autopsies per day, depending upon whether the period in question is from the beginning of 1962 through the end of 1967 (6 years) or from the end of 1962 through the beginning of 1967 (4 years).
reply: Whatever he claims, it is probably a lie. He ought to call himself Dr. Pinocchio.
29 Aug 1998
Regarding your skepticism on Dr. Wallach, I was profoundly impressed with his tape "Dead Doctors Don't Lie."
reply: Good, but I must say I am not very impressed with the segue from my skepticism to your profound admiration for the Mineral Doctor.
So far, it has been the only source of material I've read from Dr. Wallach, but I have to say that when I read your Web Article regarding his claims, I noticed that there was very little on your part to support your skepticism.
reply: Are you trying to flatter me, or what?
There were 'numerous' references on his tape to studies that were done by both respected sources and organizations both private and governmental.
reply: Which study were you most impressed with? the Senate document (undated but probably 30 or 40 years old) or the AMA study done in 1939?
I have worked in the medical field for over 10 years and have seen these pitiful sick people taking grocery bags full of this medicine and that medicine, sometimes prescribed by a half dozen different doctors.
reply: Well, you certainly have the credentials to recognize a charlatan when you see one.
I can admit, unbiased, that the only way I would believe his claims 100% is if I lived to be over a hundred years, but at the same time, I see no reason to disprove him.
reply: Neither do I, but I have good reasons for doubting his claims that just about everyone dies from some sort of mineral deficiency and there are five cultures where people live over one hundred years on average.
Although, he says the only place in the U.S. to get these vitamins is in a pit in Utah, do you know of another U.S. location where someone has found a source?
reply: Someone with your experience in the medical field should know the difference between minerals and vitamins. Anyway, I see good reason to doubt that the only minerals that are any good are "colloidal" minerals. Furthermore, I have good reason to be skeptical that only colloidal minerals which come from a place that the good doctor has an economic interest in are going to do me any good. I don't doubt, by the way, that many people have very good reasons for taking vitamin and mineral supplements.
I know there are several in the world and Dr. Wallach states more than once in his tape that you can get these supplements at most health food stores. I also contend that Dr. Wallach doesn't state that all you have to do is drink the "magic elixir" and all will be well. He never states that exercise, good eating habits and non-smoking will not affect your longevity. He doesn't even imply that. He refers to the "supplement" as a "supplement." Remarking that it is to be added to your daily regimen and not the cure-all for everything that ails you.
reply: He never mentions that his audience ought to exercise, not smoke, and eat healthy foods. In fact, he implies that it is pointless to try to eat healthy foods because most of the minerals have been depleted from the soil. I guess he doesn't know anything about modern agriculture. As for calling a supplement a supplement, I assume he meant that a person still has to eat, but he seems clearly to imply that what you eat isn't all that important, as long as you are getting everything you need in your colloidal elixir.
We all have our own opinions and in mine, I believe that above all, "hope" is a very powerful tool. It makes you pay attention, feel good and have a positive outlook. Doctors tend to "be honest" with their patients and sometimes try not to give (false?) hopes. In fact, they try to not to give much hope at all. Some do though. Some give a great deal of hope. It helps promote better outcomes in the patient and those who are interested. I would be less likely to struggle through a bad illness if I thought there was no reason in trying.
reply: Hope is what Dr. Wallach and every other snake oil seller in the world is selling. It is a long way, however, from encouraging someone when they are facing a difficult obstacle, to defrauding and manipulating them with false hope.
I think Dr. Wallach deserves some credit. He was right on the money about many things. One of these was the study done with salt and HTN. People who took medicine for HTN and cut out the salt, had no clinically relevant change in blood pressure. Salt was not the thing that needed to be changed. Even today, doctors are suggesting people with HTN cut down on salt. Are doctors telling patients to stop taking homogenized dairy products and homogenized oils? Food products which are physically altered to the point where the microscopic particles are sharp and scar arteries? I bet not.
reply: I don't think he deserves much credit. You seem to think that if someone is right about one thing, we should trust him in all other things, even if the evidence is against him. I don't doubt that the medical establishment will be proved wrong about many things. However, no matter how many errors are made by medical doctors, the sum of those errors will never make a sufficient case to justify the Mineral Doctor's claims about colloidal minerals.
If you are really interested in salt, you might want to read Gary Taube's article, "The (Political) Science of Salt," in the August 14, 1998, issue of Science.
I believe that Dr. Wallach took a proactive role in health research. He left out medicine and other means and just concentrated on the mineral aspect. Of course, there wasn't enough room on the tape to cover "every" possible mention to health control and longevity -- he concentrated just on the mineral aspect. I believe he made his point. I believe he was credible and I believe that until someone can disprove him with more than conjecture and hearsay, I believe him and most people that see what he is trying to do, will believe him, too. In my humble opinion.
reply: Yes, he and every other quack and medical con man in the universe takes a proactive stance in health research, if by that you mean that they invent data at will to support their claims. I don't believe for a minute that the reason he focused only on minerals was because he was running out of tape. He spend a good deal of time ridiculing doctors, telling anecdotes about obituaries of medical doctors, etc. If he had anything else to say, he could have figured out a way to fit it on an hour-long tape.
The fact that you and others like you believe he is credible reflects your desire to believe him. He banks on your gullibility and desires. Literally.
Believe it or not, I am also an incredible skeptic.
reply: You don't have to tell me. You are truly an incredible skeptic.
16 Sep 1997
I found your OPINIONS to be very interesting on the subject of Dr. Wallach's tape and Colloidal minerals etc. But just as with Dr. Wallach's ideas, your rebuttal was nothing but opinion as well.
You're not implying that all opinions are equally reasonable, are you?
As for my reason to write you, I have been taking what you call the UNNECESSARY colloidal minerals for the last year. I am 32 years old and have, without fail, gotten a cold at least 3 times per year for the last 15 years of my life..sometimes 4. I am a teacher who works in enclosed rooms and buildings with hundreds of germ carrying kids 5 days a week. During the last year I have had no colds, flu, allergies, or any other health ailment that may be spread by a bug going around a school. You the eternal skeptic, may just call that a coincidence, I do not. And if you think that I may just be having a "Placebo effect" from the supplements I take, I say Who Cares? I'm not getting sick, I feel great and yes, even some of the premature gray hair on my head is going away.
Thanks for sharing the good news! I hope you haven't jinxed yourself by writing to me, the eternal skeptic. The last person who did so contracted yellow fever. Anyway, far be it from me to suggest you are having a placebo effect. You seem to be sure it is the colloidal minerals that is causing your change in health. Yet, you also suggest that you don't care if it is the minerals or not. Your cavalier attitude does not seem to me to be one I would want taught to my children. I would want my children to be curious as to whether it was the minerals that were making my hair change colors and making me feel so good. I'd want to encourage them to do a controlled study, to make sure it wasn't some other change I had made in lifestyle or diet, or that it wasn't a fluke, or that I wasn't self-deceived (if everyone else thinks your hair is as gray as ever, you need a reality check), etc. In short, I would care and I would want the teacher of my children to care. This will teach them the difference between unscientific/uncritical thinking and scientific/critical thinking. Or, perhaps you teach science from the Bible and do not wish to contaminate the minds of your young charges with such filth as science and critical thinking.
I don't know what kind of doctor you are, but even you must agree that you cannot
receive the nutrition you need from just food alone. Have an open mind, and besides if you
don't like what Dr. Wallach says....DON'T LISTEN (remember the 1st amendment)
Paul C. Stensrud
Average Joe Teacher
Colloidal Mineral Taker
Well, I have to admit that I am not a real doctor like Dr. Wallach, the naturopath/veterinarian, but I do agree that you can't receive all the nutrition you need from food alone. That is why I firmly advocate at least one Sierra Nevada Pale Ale a day. It will help you deal with people who confuse the First Amendment with the attempt to stifle criticism.
* AmeriCares *