Chapter 3 – The War Between Truth and Medicine

The QuackBuster Menance

How I Met Tim Bolen

 

Author’s note: I first met Tim Bolen after being sued for Defamation after this article was published. Please accept my sincere thank you Steven Barrett! (Although I would like to have the $40,000 in legal fees back that that frivolous lawsuit cost me.)

I decided to publish this back in 1996, risking a defamation suit, because the stooges were going after real doctors, and if I did irritate them enough to start a lawsuit, at least that would be time and resources that would otherwise have been trained on my new found heroes, alternative medical doctors.

We did prevail (as Tim Bolen always does against Barrett) in court. http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2003/2ndDistrict/October/Html/2020886.htm

We almost nailed his attorneys too,  who would have had to pay all court fees out of their own pockets if we had succeeded in a counter-suit based on an Illinois law against frivolous lawsuits).

THE MOST INACCURATE MEDICAL WEBSITE ON THE PLANET?

An Opinion by

© Owen R. Fonorow 1996 – Vitamin C Foundation

The proposition is so very manifest that it seems ridiculous to take any pains to prove it; nor could it ever have been called in question had not the interested sophistry of merchants and manufacturers confounded the common sense of mankind” (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book 4, 1776).

It was distressing and disturbing to read  Dr. Julian Whitaker’s experiences in his letter to Lyn Behrens, Presdient of Loma Linda Univerisity published in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, and to learn that there is a computer generated “quack list” compiled by Messrs. John Renner, William Jarvis, Stephen Barrett and Victor Herbert. There is no place in today’s society for black lists ala the McCarthy era, especially in science where the free exchange of ideas must be fostered.

If the great American scientific genius Linus Pauling is ‘quack listed,’ that indicates any person alive or dead can be labeled a ‘quack.’ If this label can be carelessly applied without question, many view this as a sad commentary on the state of science; especially the free exchange of ‘unpopular’ ideas and opinions in United States medicine.

This led many to wonder, how could such a list and organization that sponsors it, the National Council Against Health Fraud or NCAHF, exist in today’s society? Does the quack list protect the public? Or are we witnessing something sinister; the stifling of scientific ideas and research results that would harm vested economic interests? It is the author’s contention that blatant economic self-interest is the only reason these self-proclaimed experts would take the risk of listing a great American scientific genius Linus Pauling on their ‘quack list.’

Could it be that these perpetrators of the quack list are stooges of the pharmaceutical consortiums?

There can be little question, the “quack” attacks similar to those made by Herbert, Renner, Barret and Jarvis seek to restrain trade by harming competition to traditional allopathic medical practice. This assertion is superbly documented in the recent book RACKETEERING IN MEDICINE: The Suppression of Alternatives by Dr. James P. Carter, MD, DPH. These people appear to care not who they list, as long as the person listed poses an economic threat to their vested interests. Pauling is a “quack” only because his prestige poses such a threat.

A SHORT THANK YOU TO VICTOR HERBERT

Dr. Victor Herbert, one of the compilers of the list, is owed a debt of gratitude. If it weren’t for him, Linus Pauling may not have written his first book about Vitamin C.  On page 251 of the fascinating book Linus Pauling In His Own Words, Pauling relates:

“Here’s this man, this professor – I didn’t identify him when I wrote the book – Victor Herbert, who to this day keeps writing papers and giving speeches saying that no one benefits from taking extra vitamins … and he won’t even look at the evidence.

The upshot of this whole thing is that I finally became sufficiently irritated by this fellow that I decided I ought to do something about it. So I sat down one summer – here, downstairs in my study — and in two months wrote a book Vitamin C and the Common Cold.” – Linus Pauling

We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Herbert, as the good his work has unintentionally perpetrated on mankind cannot be measured.

THE QUACK-LIST IS BASED IN ECONOMICS, NOT SCIENCE

Not much has changed in the 200 years since famed free market economist Adam Smith wrote the following words in The Wealth of Nations:

“The violence and injustice of the rulers of mankind is an ancient evil, for which, I am afraid, the nature of human affairs can scarce admit of a remedy. But the mean rapacity, the monopolizing spirit of merchants and manufacturers, who neither are, nor ought to be, the rulers of mankind, though it cannot perhaps be corrected may very easily be prevented from disturbing the tranquility of anybody but themselves.

That it was the spirit of monopoly, which originally both invented and propagated this doctrine cannot be doubted; and they who first taught it were by no means such fools as they who believed it. In every country it always is and must be the interest of the great body of the people to buy whatever they want of those who sell it cheapest. The proposition is so very manifest that it seems ridiculous to take any pains to prove it; nor could it ever have been called in question had not the interested sophistry of merchants and manufacturers confounded the common sense of mankind. Their interest is, in this respect, directly opposite to that of the great body of the people. As it is the interest of the freemen of a corporation to hinder the rest of the inhabitants from employing any workmen but themselves, so it is the interest of the merchants and manufacturers of every country to secure to themselves the monopoly of the home market.”

After personally reviewing a small portion of the mountain of evidence written about vitamin C, Linus Pauling felt that the proposition that “Vitamin C is beneficial in amounts larger than the RDA,” based on 10,000 papers published during the 20th century, “was so very manifest that it seemed ridiculous to take any pains to prove it.

What many find hard to understand is why so few other competent medical researchers have reviewed all the evidence and weighed in.

Is it possible that the perpetrators of the ‘quack list’ have been able to intimidate an entire branch of medical research?

Some fear that this is true. If Pauling erred, it was by not taking into account the “interested sophistry of the drug merchants and drug manufactures to confound and confuse the common sense of mankind.”


WHO ARE THE STOOGES?

 

Who are the men who wrap themselves in the cloak of science, yet call one of the greatest scientists of all time a “quack?” Who tell me that I am not qualified to examine the scientific evidence and make up my own mind, but do not think Linus Pauling qualified either? Who attack people and not their work? Who fail to cite any evidence of a substantial body of research that supports their position? Who, when they do cite evidence, usually cite it in the form of some well-publicized “negative” study (e.g. the Finnish beta-carotene studies) that they claim disproves certain facets of their opponents arguments? Why is it that these individuals feel they are qualified to identify ‘quacks’? What are their qualifications, background, and education? How are they funded? Why should the public believe them, over say Linus Pauling? Were they at the top of the class in medical school? Do we even know if and where they went to medical school? Are their own patients happy with them? Do they even have patients?

The sad fact is that these individuals have much more influence on medical thinking than ordinary MDs. In order to satisfy an urge to learn “what doctors learn,” the author attended a pre-med Therapeutic Nutrition course in 1994 while also copying the class notes from the basic (200) level nutrition course and purchasing the Biochemistry textbook.

Buried in the class notes for the basic nutrition course was a checklist entitled ‘Ways To Spot A Quack.’ The quack checklist is included as figure #1. On this evidence alone, the author concludes that name-calling is the way to affect change and direct thinking in the nutrition and medical research professions.

Although the ‘Ways to Spot a Quack’ checklist is silly, the author did not object to the inclusion of this highly inflammatory checklist in the nutritional materials, due to his belief in free speech. However, it was observed that there was no semblance of balance, or even pretense that some scientists held contrary views. Yet the word “science” was repeated often; as though hearing the word was somehow reassuring to the instructor.

These young adults are taught early in traditional pre-med nutrition, to their great detriment, that MDs who prescribe in excess of RDA are, by definition, quacks. Case closed.

The nutrition misinformation starts early in the life of a medical student. After reading about the Quack Busters and seeing this website, it is safe to attribute this brain-washing to four specific individuals: wherein this article we will refer to them as ‘The Stooges.’ Their influence on the medical profession is much larger than it should be because they are allowed to infect young minds first; early in their medical education, and without any significant challenge.

It is difficult to understand how schools that only present one side of a controversial issue during the educational process can be accredited. The message these young students learn immediately seems to be, “doctors may not think for themselves. They must follow the dictates of the profession — or else.”

Any school that trains students on nutrition from the ‘Ways To Spot a Quack’ checklist, without also including relevant material with opposing viewpoints (on par with those of Linus Pauling), should question it’s ability to maintain its accreditation.

 

QUACKBUSTERS.COM: SNAKE OIL ON THE INTERNET?

 

With a computer generated “quack list,” one immediately wonders if it can be accessed via the Internet? A search began looking for the names of “quacks” in the author’s area. The search uncovered the ‘quack watch,’ accessed at http://www.quackbusters.com, which is maintained by The Stooges. This is not the correct URL. The real web site does contain a great deal of funny material.  Few competent medical scientists would want to be associated with such individuals.

It is interesting that The Stooges claim their entire web site is copyrighted, and all duplication is strictly prohibited. This causes one to wonder, why wouldn’t they want this information disseminated as widely as possible and freely copied?

One possible answer is that this site isn’t set up for the general public, or to influence true scientists. It is there to counter-balance the growing mountain of medical information available on the Internet and meant to “influence” youngsters attending medical and pre-medical schools.

AMA CRITERIA FOR JUDGING MEDICAL INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET

Last month, the AMA announced its standards for assessing the value of medical information on the Internet. Although wary at first, I now see the value in this criteria:

  • AUTHORSHIP: Who wrote this and what do you know about their credentials and affiliations?
  • ATTRIBUTION: Upon what evidence, sources, and references does the author base a position or conclusion? Are you getting someone’s opinion (well founded or otherwise) or a string of anecdotes or scientifically valid statements placed in proper context?
  • DISCLOSURE: Does the author of the site you’re visiting have some kind of real or potential bias, because of economic, political or other considerations?
  • TIMELINESS: How fresh is the information?

One may be interested to apply these criteria to the “quack busters” web site, run by Stephen Barrett, MD. The entire article on the “dark side” of the “quack” Linus Pauling is included as exhibit #2. It reads:

“Although Pauling’s megavitamin claims lacked the evidence needed for acceptance by the scientific community, they have been accepted by large numbers of people who lack the scientific expertise to evaluate them. Thanks largely to Pauling’s prestige, annual vitamin C sales in the United States have been in the hundreds of millions of dollars for many years. The physical damage to people he led astray cannot be measured.”

This is a serious statement. The man who received the Nobel Peace Prize for almost single handily stopping above ground nuclear testing in the 1960s stands accused of causing “immeasurable physical damage to people.”

In order to apply the AMA criteria, we must ask the following questions. Do we know who wrote the page and their credentials and associations? Yes; Stephen Barrett, MD, takes credit for the site, although other names are also listed there.

What about Attribution? Does the site contain references? There are none listed on the Pauling page.

The lack of references for making such a serious charge against Linus Pauling is striking. Dr. Stephen Barrett is entitled to his opinion, but I would expect him to cite a reference for his claim that the recommendations of Linus Pauling caused anybody harm, much less “physical damage” that “can not be measured.” He does not cite a single unreferenced example of harm.

What about disclosure? Is the site visitor made aware of the financial affiliations that may indicate a bias?

Finally, what about timeliness? This criteria is not that important unless there has been on-going research, however The Stooges waited until after the death of Linus Pauling to publish their opinions.

It does not appear that the site meets the guidelines under the AMA’s own criteria. If one trusts the AMA, then one would not place any credence in the aforementioned material.

A CASE FOR LINUS PAULING?

The illnesses that Frederick Klenner, MD,  found that he could treat with high dosages of vitamin C include most viruses, (e.g. the common cold and the flu), crib deaths (commonly attributed to suffocation), crib syndrome, viral encephalitis, herpes simplex virus, diphtheria, hemolytic streptococcus and staphylococcus infections, trichinosis, measles, herpes z. (chicken pox), herpetic lesions, sub clinical scurvy, elevated cholesterol, heavy metal poisoning, monoxide poisoning, pseudamonis, shock, hepatitis, mononucleosis, urethritis, chronic cystitis, simple stress of pregnancy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, arthritis, tooth decay, abdominal wounds, rheumatic heart, tuberculosis, pneumococci, heat stroke, chronic myelocytic leukemia, pancreatis, severe burns, and several others. He also reported reductions in kidney and gallstones, and dramatic improvements in coronary artery disease. – Lendon Smith, Clinical Guide to Vitamin C

There is little doubt that Linus Pauling was human. Even when the discoverer of the alpha helix made one of his few mistakes, such as the now infamous incorrect hypothesis for the three dimensional structure of DNA, several people out of billions in the world would have had the capacity to understand the mistake, much less offer a competing hypothesis. From the recent biography Linus Pauling In His Own Words, on page 150 Barbara Marinacci writes “Pauling had first met Albert Einstein in 1927, when the latter attended a Pauling lecture at Caltech – afterward declaring that he would have to learn more about chemistry in order to understand what Pauling had said. “Linus Pauling – now there’s a genius!” [Einstein] is reported to have commented in later years to an acquaintance.”

It seems ludicrous that a computer scientist by training, who does not have the medical credentials to even bear the label “quack,” must defend some 30 years of medical research work by Linus Pauling.

One can’t argue with Barrett’s last sentence, which reads that the “damage to people [Pauling] led astray cannot be measured,” for there was no such damage. On the contrary, it is relatively easy to measure the great benefit to the U.S. and world population since Linus Pauling’s book on vitamin C was first published.

Furthermore, as Barrett freely acknowledges, much of the high volume of vitamin C that is consumed in this country can be traced to the prestige of one man: Linus Pauling. Pauling pleads guilty on this charge. And what do we now know about the intake of higher levels of vitamin C (higher than the U. S. RDA)?

One must first consider “the harm” to the man Linus Pauling himself. First stricken with an illness, considered terminal in the 1940s, Pauling lived and begun taking a multivitamin tablet. In his sixties, after learning about the value of large amounts of vitamin C from Irwin Stone, he began consuming 18 gm of ascorbic acid daily to approximate what animals produce in their own bodies. He died at the age of 93, some 30 years later with a clear mind and remarkably active body. Thanks to an increased intake of vitamin C, other antioxidants, and other vitamins; mankind has the benefit of 30 years of medical research, conducted by one of our greatest scientists, during a period in life when most of us hope to be able to enjoy golf during our retirements. 18,000 mg of vitamin C did not harm Linus Pauling.

Science supports Pauling, as well. Vitamin C and Heart Disease: A Chronology, issued by the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine, provides the historical background for what follows:

  • 1941: Canadian cardiologist Dr. J. C. Patterson reports that more than 80% of his heart disease patients have low vitamin C levels.
  • 1954: Dr. G. C. Willis shows that vitamin C supplementation can reduce arterial deposits.
  • 1960: Biochemist Irwin Stone and others recommend increased dietary vitamin C supplementation to improve health.
  • 1970: Dr. Linus Pauling publishes his first book on vitamin C.
  • 1970: Vitamin C consumption in the U.S. rises by 300%. Mortality from heart disease decreases by 30% in the U.S.-the only country with a significant drop in heart disease fatalities.
  • 1986: Dr. Pauling summarizes the evidence for vitamin C against heart disease and other diseases in his book “How to Live Longer and Feel Better”, which becomes a best-seller.
  • 1989: Dr. Rath and Dr. Pauling discover that optimum dietary vitamin C prevents the deposition of lipoprotein(a) in artery walls.
  • 1991: Dr. Rath and Dr. Pauling publish “Solution to the Puzzle of Human Cardiovascular Disease”. This scientific paper explains (a) that vitamin C deficiency is the direct and most frequent cause of heart attacks, (b) how plasma risk factors lead to atherosclerotic deposits in arterial walls, (c) why humans suffer from heart attack and stroke but rarely from failure of other organs, and (d) why animal species who are able to produce their own vitamin C in the body do not develop heart disease.
  • 1992: Dr. Enstrom and colleagues (UCLA) show in over 11,000 Americans that increased intake of vitamin C reduces the death rate from heart disease by nearly half and prolongs life for more than six years.

After Dr. Pauling’s book was written, as Dr. Barrett acknowledges, vitamin C consumption in the U. S. rose by 300%, according to the Pauling institute. Mortality from heart disease decreased by 30%-40% in the U. S., the only country with a significant drop in heart disease fatalities.

This causes one to wonder, is it a coincidence or correlation?

We now know, thanks to Dr. Enstrom, that increased intake of vitamin C (approximately 500 mg) reduces the rate of heart disease by nearly half, and prolongs life for nearly six years. This is a benefit that can be measured; the number of lives saved can be calculated.

If one attributed this reduction in the death rate of heart disease entirely to vitamin C, then gratitude is almost entirely due to Linus Pauling. We can compute roughly 6,250,000 lives that have been saved over the past 25 years. According to the American Heart Association, somebody dies of heart disease in the U. S. every 34 seconds. This means approximately 927,158 people die in this country every year. Assuming a 30% higher death rate otherwise, then roughly (on average) 250,000 more people would have died prematurely this year.

Although a recent news story based on a published medical journal article attributes the 30-40% drop in the heart disease death rate to an ingredient in junk food, this author concludes that a more reasonable hypothesis, based upon the Enstrom study and the Pauling/Rath work on Heart Disease, is as follows. The increase in Vitamin C alone, not junk food, is the most important reason for this significant drop in the heart disease fatality rate.

Thanks to the many years of fine research work by E. Cheraskin, MD, DMD, et. al. at the University of Alabama, as summarized in the book The Vitamin C Connection,

“There are more than ten thousand published scientific papers that make it quite clear that there is not one body process (such as what goes on inside cells or tissues) and not one disease or syndrome (from the common cold to leprosy) that is not influenced — directly or indirectly — by vitamin C.”

Dr. Cheraskin discusses some of this research in his most recent book Vitamin C: Who Needs It? This new book is based on 50 randomized and double blind clinical studies.

Irwin Stone’s insights are from his classic 1976 book The Healing Factor: Vitamin C Against Disease. Stone begins his book by stating,

“The purpose of this book is to correct an error in orientation which occurred in 1912, when ascorbic acid, twenty years before its actual discovery and synthesis, was designated as the trace nutrient, vitamin C.

Scurvy, in 1912, was considered solely as a dietary disturbance. This hypothesis has been accepted practically unchallenged and has dominated scientific and medical thinking for the past sixty years. The purpose of this vitamin C hypothesis was to produce a rationale for the conquest of frank clinical scurvy. That it did and with much success, using minute doses of vitamin C. Frank clinical scurvy is now a rare disease in the developed countries because the amounts of ascorbic acid in certain foodstuffs are sufficient for its prevention. However, in the elimination of frank clinical scurvy, a more insidious condition, subclinical scurvy, remained; since it was less dramatic, it was glossed over and overlooked. Correction of subclinical scurvy needs more ascorbic acid than occurs naturally in our diet, requiring other non-dietary intakes. Subclinical scurvy is the basis for many of the ills of mankind.

Because of this uncritical acceptance of a misaligned nutritional hypothesis, the bulk of the clinical research on the use of ascorbic acid in the treatment of diseases other than scurvy has been more like exercises in home economics than in the therapy of the sequelae of a fatal, genetic liver-enzyme disease. One of the objects of this book is to take the human physiology of ascorbic acid out of the dead-end of nutrition and put it where it belongs, in medical genetics. In medical genetics, wide vistas of preventive medicine and therapy are opened up by the full correction of this human error of carbohydrate metabolism.”

Later, Stone adds the following,

“We can surmise that the production of ascorbic acid was an early accomplishment of the life process because of its wide distribution in nearly all present-day living organisms. It is produced in comparatively large amounts in the simplest plants and the most complex; it is synthesized in the most primitive animal species as well as in the most highly organized. Except possibly for a few microorganisms, those species of animals that cannot make their own ascorbic acid are the exceptions and require it in their food if they are to survive. Without it, life cannot exist. Because of its nearly universal presence in both plants and animals we can also assume that its production was well organized before the time when evolving life forms diverged along separate plant and animal lines.”

Robert Cathcart, III, MD, after reading Pauling’s Vitamin C and the Common Cold  book and trying vitamin C, discovered that he could control a recurring infectious illness acquired in childhood. After reading all he could on the subject, he began treating patients with “bowel tolerance” doses of vitamin C. In 1981, after observing 9,000 patients (today after observing more than 20,000 patients) on high dosages of vitamin C, Cathcart describes the bowel tolerance phenomenon. Patients whom can only tolerate 4-15 gm of vitamin C per day when well, tolerate much more vitamin C when ill or when their bodies are otherwise under stress. The proponents of the 60 mg RDA of vitamin C have yet to explain why the human body seems to require ascorbic acid in such large magnitudes for these temporary periods, while under stress. They have had 16 years to formulate their response. However, medical science responds with silence. The important work of Cathcart is ignored by the mainstream.

Furthermore, on the vitamin C front, it is important to summarize the findings of one physician who accidentally discovered some of the most important medicinal properties of ascorbic acid. Frederick Robert Klenner, MD wrote in a 1974 paper SIGNIFICANCE OF HIGH DAILY INTAKE OF ASCORBIC ACID IN PREVENTIVE MEDICINE as reprinted in Roger J. William’s Handbook of Orthomolecular Medicine,

“A few grams of ascorbic acid, given by needle, while [physicians] waited for laboratory procedures or examination to fit their schedule, could have saved their lives. I know this to be a fact because I have been in similar situations and by routinely employing ascorbic acid have seen death take a holiday. In a paper title “An Insidious Virus,” I reasoned that it should be a maxim of medicine for large doses of vitamin C to be given in all pathological conditions while the physician ponders his diagnosis. The wisdom of this dictum is backed by many hundred cases under our supervision…”

According to Klenner, the importance of daily high intake of ascorbic acid in preventive medicine has no limits. Klenner recites, among some 28 papers that he wrote on his clinical experience, the litany of human illnesses he was successfully able to treat with administration of large doses of the vitamin.

The illnesses that Frederick Klenner, MD,  found that he could treat with high dosages of vitamin C include most viruses, (e.g. the common cold and the flu), crib deaths (commonly attributed to suffocation), crib syndrome, viral encephalitis, herpes simplex virus, diphtheria, hemolytic streptococcus and staphylococcus infections, trichinosis, measles, herpes z. (chicken pox), herpetic lesions, sub clinical scurvy, elevated cholesterol, heavy metal poisoning, monoxide poisoning, pseudamonis, shock, hepatitis, mononucleosis, urethritis, chronic cystitis, simple stress of pregnancy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, arthritis, tooth decay, abdominal wounds, rheumatic heart, tuberculosis, pneumococci, heat stroke, chronic myelocytic leukemia, pancreatis, severe burns, and several others. He also reported reductions in kidney and gallstones, and dramatic improvements in coronary artery disease. – Lendon Smith, Clinical Guide to Vitamin C

Much of his experience has been clinically confirmed by the few physicians who employ so-called ‘megadoses’ of vitamin C; one of these being Dr. Robert Cathcart, III. Klenner’s papers include detailed and sound medical reasoning why ascorbate is so effective in treating each of these illnesses. This 1974 summary paper stated that

“The potential is so great and the employment so elementary that only the illiterate will continue to deny its [vitamin c] use.”

The proposition is so very manifest that it seems ridiculous to take any pains to prove it; nor could it ever have been called in question had not the interested sophistry of merchants and manufacturers confounded the common sense of mankind.”

E. Cheraksin, M.D., D.M.D., in his recent book Vitamin C: Who Needs It? states that,

“So, what do the experts tell us about a vitamin C connection in the control of sugar metabolism?

We turned to five of the leading textbooks dealing with diabetes mellitus published during the last five years. Would you believe? There was not one word indicating any connection — or a lack of correlation — between ascorbic acid and carbohydrate metabolism!

This is even more incomprehensible when one realizes that reviews of the literature as far back as 1940 showed that blood sugar can be predictably reduced with intravenous ascorbate.”

In this decade, one of the greatest minds of all time is now labeled a “quack” because of his efforts to bring this, and the 10,000 various other scientific studies and reports, to the attention of the medical profession and mankind.

It is probable that the suppression of this knowledge, as practiced by The Stooges and their ilk, continues to perpetuate great harm upon mankind.

According to Dr. A. Hoffer, MD, Ph.D., in his recent article THE VITAMIN PARADIGM WARS, folic acid is another safe water-soluble vitamin (thus one The Stooges have maintained is only necessary in the amount that prevent its deficiency disease) and one where the cost of not using it can be calculated. According to Dr. Hoffer,

“folic acid has been used in doses up to 15 mg daily. There has been a report that this dose caused gastrointestinal disturbances but in another study with the same dose this was not seen. Most patients do not need more than 5 mg. Recently it has been proven that women will give birth to babies with spina bifida and similar Neural Tube Defects (NTD) much less frequently if they take supplemental folic acid, 1 mg per day. I generally recommend 5 mg daily. Dr. Smithells[25] in 1982 showed that giving pregnant women extra folic acid decreased the incidence of NTD’s. Before that he had measured the red cell folate and white cell vitamin C levels of mothers who had babies with NTD’s and found they were lower in both. It was thus known since 1981 that a multivitamin preparation containing folic acid would decrease the birth of these damaged babies.

The immediate reaction to the original findings was one of strong disbelief and hostility, and the establishment refused to advise women to take folic acid until the requisite number of double blind experiments was done. At last they are satisfied 11 years later, culminating with a report in J. American Med Ass in 1989. Folic acid provided protection for most causes of the defect. Even in women with a family history, the frequency of babies with the defects was more than five times greater – 18 per 1000 against 3.5 per 1000, in women who did not take the vitamin in the first six weeks of pregnancy. How many babies could have been saved by such a simple solution? Even if the original findings had been wrong, what harm would it have done to have advised them immediately about this very important finding? I was astonished in 1981 at the vehemence of the reaction by physicians and nutritionists, and I am still astonished. The recent studies showed that folic acid decreased NTD’s by 75 percent. If all the other vitamins were used as well I am certain that figure would be closer to 100 percent.

I cannot recall in the past 40 years a single female patient of mine on vitamins giving birth to any child with a congenital defect. I have been able to advise them all that they not only would not harm their developing baby by taking vitamins, but that their chances of giving birth to a defective child would be greatly diminished. I was frequently asked this by my patients who had been told by their doctors that they must stop all their vitamins while pregnant. They looked upon vitamins as toxic drugs. I am still asked the same question for the same reason today.

However, governments can learn and respond. It is now official that pregnant women should take extra folic acid in order to prevent spina bifida and other birth defects. The U.S. Public Health Service has issued the following advisory: “In order to reduce the frequency of NTD’s (neural-tube defects) and their resulting disability, the United States Public Health Service recommends that: All women of childbearing age capable of becoming pregnant should consume 0.4 mg of folic acid per day for the purpose of reducing their risk of having a pregnancy affected with spina bifida or other NTD’s”. This amount will not be provided by most diets and requires supplementation. Apparently the US Public Health Service is considering fortifying bread with folic acid. Folic acid is destroyed by heat but some will survive.

In USA about 25,000 babies are born each year with spina bifida. In Canada it has been estimated that each of these children will have cost about $40,000 by the time they are 14 years of age. Giving women folic acid early in their pregnancy would have avoided perhaps 3/4 of these births. Over ten years, while the cautious scientists were discussing whether folic acid was safe enough and was effective, 250,000 children were born at a total cost of 10 billion dollars (over ten years).

Folic acid for pennies per day could have saved the United States public 7.5 billions dollars over this ten year period. The saving in public health dollars will be enormous. The waste in this long delay is inexcusable, since folic acid is totally safe and could have been given to all pregnant women over ten years ago. This is the cost of inactivity, of the conservative stance of the profession when it comes to the super safe vitamins.”

We then proceed to Vitamin E, Vitamin A, the various B vitamins, the amino acids, and so on. Hundreds of books could be, and have been, written describing this research. The only people who do not seem to know about it are the traditional allopathic medical doctors. Their ignorance is, in large part, due to the conscious activity of The Stooges over the years.

There can be little doubt that Linus Pauling saved lives and helped countless people improve their lives. The enormous loss of life, which this author attributes to the “super-quackery” of The Stooges for the pharmaceutical industry, can be measured. Had they not tried to influence medical thinking against the vitamins and other nutrients through propaganda aimed at pre-medical programs and text books, more people would have postponed premature death, felt better, been healthier, avoided birth defects and a myriad of other illnesses.

MOTIVE

One may ask, what motive could there possibly be to keep this knowledge from the medical profession? For sake of argument, lets assume Linus Pauling was absolutely right and that Hoffer, Klenner, Stone, Cheraskin, Cathcart, et. al. are correct also. Lets assume that every disease these pioneers discovered could be treated with large amounts of vitamin C, because they are actually caused by inadequate vitamin C in the body because of a genetic defect. What would this mean to the pharmaceutical industry and allopathic medicine? This author hypothesizes that it would bring absolute devastation. By any calculation, the numbers approach the national debt.

Heart disease alone is reported to cost the U.S. around 100 billion dollars a year, or almost a trillion dollars since Pauling/Rath announced it can be ‘completely controlled.’ There are equally outrageous sums paid every year to treat cancer, arthritis, the common cold, viral infections, diabetes, allergies, and so on.

If you have heart disease today, it may be fair to put some of the blame on The Stooges. If you have cancer today, a large part of the blame could lie at the feet of The Stooges. If you suffer from, or know of any person who suffered or died from any of the illnesses that Dr. Fred Klenner discovered could be treated with vitamin C, one could also blame The Stooges and their ilk.

The Stooges have no interest in science, unless a particular study seems to prop up their side; and little interest in the welfare of the average patient. They do not appear to be interested in evidence. If they can’t attack people’s work, they attack people’s credentials or defame them. They are name callers. No M.D. or medical researcher wants to bear the label “quack,” and The Stooges do their best to keep ordinary MDs from straying too far from the party line. As Dr. Whitaker pointed out in his letter, these individuals don’t even pretend to consider the merits of opposing views. They appear afraid of debate. They appear to have no interest in the truth. They are in place for one primary reason, in my opinion, to influence the thinking of new doctors entering the medical profession. Their web site has no other purpose than this end. They influence “old” doctors, as well. Doctors must be told there is no value in nutrients as long as the fiction can hold out, because there are no good economic alternatives for the allopathic medical profession or their pharmaceutical benefactors.

WHAT ABOUT A VOLUNTARY FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE?

For the record, this author is willing to examine the proposition that he is wrong; that The Stooges are top-notch medical professionals with no monetary incentive whose only objective in life is the betterment of public health. Maybe they really are who they purport to be; humanitarians who, although misguided or poorly trained, really believe what they write and say?

As Dr. Matthias Rath might say, “How can we prove this?”

One way would be a full voluntary public disclosure of their financial records! Perhaps The Quack Busters/ Stooges, as men of integrity with nothing to hide, would be willing to publicly disclose their financial status and especially sources? Such an act would engender the utmost respect and help them meet the AMA Disclosure criteria.

Therefore, I issue the following formal public challenge to The Stooges:

Because the understanding of financial motivation is fundamental to whether or not your interpretations of medicine and nutrition can be believed, and in order to encourage the early release of this vital information, and if you expect the public to take your advise seriously, you should be willing to provide a complete financial disclosure statement. Please identify the sources and amounts of all grants, gifts, fees, payments etc. you and your NHACF and other related organization have received over the past 15 years. The public is interested as far back as 1984. Please post this disclosure on your web site. Also, please provide the name of your auditing/accounting firm.

P.S. We are all very interested in your supplemental vitamin intakes as well.

CONCLUSION AND CALL TO ACTION

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is condemnation without investigation.” –Herbert Spencer

It must be admitted that there are quacks in the medical profession. That said, upon reading the quack list, the normally pejorative term “quack” has taken on a benevolent meaning for me; it now summons to mind a doctor who is open-minded, who is focused on prevention, who is leery of drugs and surgery unless absolutely necessary, and who prefers a nutritional or holistic approach. The “quack” does not follow blindly the dictates of his or her profession. When he or she knows of a treatment that might help the patient, although currently not accepted in the profession, he or she offers it nonetheless.

However, it is unthinkable that name-calling is tolerated by the medical profession and especially medical researchers. Only in the medical profession, to my knowledge, is this behavior the norm.

The NCAHF and their “quack database” is not about medical quackery. It is about the suppression of an alternative medical viewpoint because it threatens the economic base of a powerful segment of society.

In fact, never have so few stood to lose so much as they do if the medical professional dam against the mega-vitamins breaks.

The Stooges waited until after Linus Pauling passed away to publish their defamation of him. If the American scientist Linus Pauling can be intimidated by these people, that means that any researcher, any where, and at any time can also be intimidated. This article took the unusual step of “name calling” in hopes that it will stimulate researchers who are “on the fence” or on the other side to find the research and prove me wrong.

So, what if anything can be done to limit the influence of The Stooges?
Abraham Lincoln said that you can fool some of the people all the time. The people that this author worries most about are young medical students. One would hope that medical doctors from United States medical schools would not graduate ignorant. Therefore, this author suggests that the 2,500 “quacks” blacklisted file a class action suite against The Stooges for restraint of trade, if not outright Racketeering. Such action would be a great service to their profession. The Stooges web site makes a strong case that can be used against them in the court of public opinion, if not a court of law. Their web site does not meet the AMA criteria. Their “quack list” proves that they employ unethical, unprofessional, and unscientific practices.

There is a cancer in the medical profession, which now requires surgery. All previous “non invasive” procedures, such as logical arguments with a gentlemanly approach, have failed. The 2,500 quacks listed can take further action to improve the public perception of the medical profession by filing complaints and bringing The Stooges before their state medical boards. This author believes that these measures are indicated, especially since the physical damage done to the people The Stooges have led astray can be measured.

Owen R. Fonorow

 


Monitor the War Between Truth and Medicine
Current Status of the Quackpot Menace by Tim Bolen

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