Saturday, October 07, 2006

Guilty of peddling fear, hope

This week, an article in the Lexington Herald-Leader was brought to my attention. The article shows how much of an influence the peddlers of false hope can have an an individual's life and the tragic consequences that can have.

The situation is the same method of operation that is used frequently in the health fraud industry. Victims are falsely diagnosed with a variety of illnesses using tests that are not recognised as legitimate. Once the illness is diagnosed, the victims are then sold a treatment that are just as fake as the original diagnosis.

John Curran diagnosed 23 year old Amanda Doumato as having thyroid problems, parasites in her blood and cancer. She stopped payment of $15,000 to John Curran after her family doctor advised her thyroid was fine, there were no parasites and she did not have cancer. What she had was cealiac's disease, which is a digestive condition.

Over 300 people paid John Curran an estimated $1.4 Million for treatments. Many had been told they had parasites in their blood. This is a commonly diagnosed condition that many people hear, yet the only common parasitic blood infection is malaria. Others such as
babesiosis and trypanosomiasis are very rare and only occur in certain areas of the world.


Many people with potentially terminal conditions who follow the poor advice end up dying. What is most disheartening is that they often die still believing that the person who has given them false hope.

This was brought out in alarming clarity by a young cancer sufferer in the linked article by Valarie Honeycutt Spears, part of which is as follows:

Gary Alves, a chiropractor, and his wife, Rhonda, took their daughter Taylor to the top treatment centers in the Northeast when they found that she had a rare form of ovarian cancer. But after surgeries, chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant, physicians told Taylor there was nothing more they could do.

One of Gary Alves' colleagues told them that his father had had good luck with Curran.
As a chiropractor, Gary Alves said, he knew that combining traditional medicine and alternative therapies might boost Taylor's immune system so that she would suffer less.


Curran surprised the Alveses by telling them that he could make Taylor healthy again.
He prescribed a dietary supplement, a green drink that he claimed to have formulated himself. (It was actually commercially available and he bought it from a distributor, prosecutors later learned.) He suggested that Taylor consume only the drink and numerous supplements.
The Alveses gave him $2,400.


"He told her that if she followed the regimen to the letter," Rhonda Alves said, "he could restore her health."

Taylor "had everything to live for," her mother said. "She soaked this up."

A talented and driven young woman, Taylor was an actress, model and filmmaker. HBO had purchased her documentary, The Art of Kissing, when she was 17.

She weighed 95 pounds when she went to Curran and, under his treatment, she lost another 15 pounds. She was losing a pound a day, her mother said.

On May 19, 2002, she ate one bite of a chicken sandwich because her aunt asked her to do it as a birthday present.

Immediately, Taylor blamed herself for breaking the regimen. "I've ruined it," she said.
From that moment until she died two weeks later at age 19, Taylor "blamed herself for her worsening condition," said Rhonda Alves. "I will never forgive John Curran for planting that seed in Taylor."


Alves said that she and Gary didn't initially file a complaint with the board of health because they aren't the kind of people who seek revenge. But she cooperated with authorities when they came across Taylor's case.

"I can still hear my daughter say, 'I ruined it,'" she said. "I can still hear my daughter's voice."
Curran's lengthy sentence was appropriate, said Alves.


"I feel like my daughter's voice has been heard."

Cases like this are what keeps this blog going. If just one person stumbles across this web-site and decides to visit a doctor rather than a naturopath, herbalist, chiropractor or other alternative medicine practirioner and gets the help they need for a serious medical condition, then the hours of work that go into this blog are worth it.

"There is only one truth. How we interpret that truth is called belief."
"The existence of belief does not indicate the presence of truth."

12 Comments:

At Monday, November 06, 2006 11:54:00 am, Blogger Stuart J. Adams, Nutritionist said...

Ironically, one of the most common false diagnoses that naturopaths give is "gluten intollerance" (they won't say Coeliac Disease of course, because CD can be diagnosed with a blood test - a real one). In fact, given the high estimated prevalence of CD that goes undiagnosed, you're probably more likely to be told you have "gluten intollerance" if you see a naturopath - even if you dont really have it. But then and again, I guess the wheat industry, the dairy industry, big pharma, the governments and the universities all get together to teach health care professionals that gluten intollerance (and dairy allergy) is not neccesarily the root of all evils after all, and this secret underground knowledge is privy only to the naturopaths - they know its true, because once you get them to stop eating fairy and gluten, their cold, flu or other likely temporary ailment clears up after a few weeks.

 
At Monday, November 06, 2006 11:54:00 am, Blogger Stuart J. Adams, Nutritionist said...

Ironically, one of the most common false diagnoses that naturopaths give is "gluten intollerance" (they won't say Coeliac Disease of course, because CD can be diagnosed with a blood test - a real one). In fact, given the high estimated prevalence of CD that goes undiagnosed, you're probably more likely to be told you have "gluten intollerance" if you see a naturopath - even if you dont really have it. But then and again, I guess the wheat industry, the dairy industry, big pharma, the governments and the universities all get together to teach health care professionals that gluten intollerance (and dairy allergy) is not neccesarily the root of all evils after all, and this secret underground knowledge is privy only to the naturopaths - they know its true, because once you get them to stop eating fairy and gluten, their cold, flu or other likely temporary ailment clears up after a few weeks.

 
At Tuesday, December 12, 2006 5:08:00 pm, Blogger Kevin Paine said...

Reposted: Anonymous said...
breast cancer network australia

Here's some useful info on breast cancer network australia which you might be looking for. The url is (deleted)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 3:40:54 PM

 
At Tuesday, December 12, 2006 5:11:00 pm, Blogger Kevin Paine said...

The breast cancer network link posted in the above comment has been deleted.

Sorry, but while I'm happy for people to comment on what they like and dislike about my blog, I'm not going to allow people to publicise web-sites that tell people they can cure breast cancer by eating special tablets that contain a vital nutrient that only they can provide. Especially, when it's something as simple as sugar.

 
At Tuesday, April 03, 2007 12:23:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your site when doing some research and I must comment:
1. I had cancer (cervical) in 2003. I had the cancer for 16 months before my board certified/licensed/college educated physician bother to mention that a test that she ran showed I had the cancer. It is a miracle that I am here to write this email and my son still has his mommy.
2. My fiance's father was murdered by licensed physicians and the insuance industry - all in the name of saving a buck.
3. I was in an auto accident many years ago and sustained nerve damage. My left leg atrophied and all the licensed physicians could do was torture me with horrible tests and tell me it was all in my mind (they just chose to ignore the auto accident I was in.) I finally gave up on the "physicians' and went to a chiropractor. He got my leg back for me. I am now healthy thanks to that chiropractor and no thanks to the quacks that called themselves "M.D."
4. I broke out in a rash and even after suffering through three different types of physicians and numerous tests - they threw up their hands said they could not figure out what the rash was or what was causing it. They again resorted to the old standby "oh! your female so it must be all in your mind!" Jerks!
Just because someone has "M.D." after their name does not mean they are a true healer. I have learned firsthand that in the western medical community the only thing that matters is $$$$$, the patient means nothing.
I don't care where you go, western or holistic/homeopathic, there are good and bad in both areas.
I would challenge that the consumer is at least partially responsible for researching (especially now with the internet being so prevelant) any provider they choose to use before handing over their money. I would also say that using both western and holistic medicine is a good thing. Many places (University of Miami is using hypnosis for surgery) are finding wonderful results with the combination of the two. Instead of being an alarmist I would put forth that buyer should beware and if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. To attack entire professions for the sins of a few is a sin in itself as there are those out there who may be cheated out of the help they need.
I could go on with many more examples that I (one individual) know of personally where supposed modern medicine and allegedly licensed physicians either screwed up or were just too stupid or lazy to truly heal someone, but I doubt there is enough room here for all of them. Do your research no matter what side you choose and don't let your emotions rule your choice. Use your brain, thats what it is there for.

 
At Friday, April 27, 2007 7:25:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Saturday, June 28, 2008 2:41:00 pm, Blogger Kevin Paine said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Saturday, June 28, 2008 2:45:00 pm, Blogger Kevin Paine said...

This is a re-post without the link to the website with false information regarding breast cancer.

Breast Cancer network
Common Breast Cancer Myths

The first myth pertaining to this disease is that it only affects women.

Second myth that is associated with this disease is that if one has found a lump during an examination, it is cancer.

Third is that it is solely hereditary

The next myth associated with breast cancer is downright ridiculous. Would you believe, that in this day and age, some individuals still think that breast cancer is contagious?

Conversely, some individuals foolishly believe that breast size determines whether or not one gets cancer.

Finally, another myth that is associated with this disease is that it only affects older people. This is not so. Although the chance of getting breast cancer increases with age, women as young as 18 have been diagnosed with the disease.

You can find a number of helpful informative articles on Breast Cancer network at URL Deleted by blog administrator

Breast Cancer network

Friday, April 27, 2007 7:25:00 PM

 
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