Damned Heretics

Condemned by the established, but very often right

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Qualified outsiders and maverick insiders are often right about the need to replace received wisdom in science and society, as the history of the Nobel prize shows. This blog exists to back the best of them in their uphill assault on the massively entrenched edifice of resistance to and prejudice against reviewing, let alone revising, ruling ideas. In support of such qualified dissenters and courageous heretics we search for scientific paradigms and other established beliefs which may be maintained only by the power and politics of the status quo, comparing them with academic research and the published experimental and investigative record.

We especially defend and support the funding of honest, accomplished, independent minded and often heroic scientists, inventors and other original thinkers and their right to free speech and publication against the censorship, mudslinging, false arguments, ad hominem propaganda, overwhelming crowd prejudice and internal science politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, health and medicine, diet and nutrition.

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Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

Skepticism is dangerous. That’s exactly its function, in my view. It is the business of skepticism to be dangerous. And that’s why there is a great reluctance to teach it in schools. That’s why you don’t find a general fluency in skepticism in the media. On the other hand, how will we negotiate a very perilous future if we don’t have the elementary intellectual tools to ask searching questions of those nominally in charge, especially in a democracy? – Carl Sagan (The Burden of Skepticism, keynote address to CSICOP Annual Conference, Pasadena, April 3/4, 1982).

It is really important to underscore that everything we’re talking about tonight could be utter nonsense. – Brian Greene (NYU panel on Hidden Dimensions June 5 2010, World Science Festival)

I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing ever interfered with my learning was my education. My name as you already perceive without a doubt is George Bernard Shaw, and I certainly approve of this blog, in that its guiding spirit appears to be blasphemous in regard to the High Church doctrines of science, and it flouts the censorship of the powers that be, and as I have famously remarked, all great truths begin as blasphemy, and the first duty of the truthteller is to fight censorship, and while I notice that its seriousness of purpose is often alleviated by a satirical irony which sometimes borders on the facetious, this is all to the good, for as I have also famously remarked, if you wish to be a dissenter, make certain that you frame your ideas in jest, otherwise they will seek to kill you.  My own method was always to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine) One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways. – Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness (1930) ch. 9

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Five million buy a book saying AIDS is great deception

But the source is banned huckster

Yes, before the AIDS dissidents get too excited, the author is Kevin Trudeau, the unstoppable infomercial salesman who is banned from selling any product on TV after being ordered to pay back $2 million for misleading the public about his cures.

However a book is not a product according to the rule, so he now has the best selling book on the Times advice list which five million people have bought so far ie a mega seller. It is “Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About,”

Trudeau was getting hammered on ABC Nightline tonight (Fri 13 Jan), but he opened his wide blue eyes and asked, “What fine?” “What finding of wrongdoing?” He then said that he was thinking of running for president, Senate or Congress.

What was interesting from the point of view of those following the uphill battle to open up the closed debate on whether HIV is truly “the virus that causes AIDS” was that he evidently mentions Duesberg and says in his book that AIDS is a tissue of lies and is caused by drugs.

Sadly this is not the kind of support that is likely to do Peter Duesberg any good. But that unfortunate Berkeley scientist must be used by now to troublesome supporters.

How much valid information is in Trudeau’s book is obviously questionable since he has no research qualifications in medicine or science of any kind, and has little regard for the truth. But it seems to us that his book’s rocketing success is not just the result of his huge performance as a TV huckster.

There is a hunger out there for some alternative treatment to drugs and surgery for cancer and other ailments, and the word “natural” is magical.

But it is a great irony that the best scientific review literature would agree with him about HIV?AIDS.

His Nightline appearance:

(show)

ABC News

January 13, 2006 | Get Your Local News and Weather

Is Infomercial King a Helper or Huckster?

Kevin Trudeau Courts Controversy Along With Great Success

kevin trudeau

Kevin Trudeau has a successful — but controversial — infomercial empire. (ABC News)

By JAKE TAPPER

Jan. 13, 2006 — Kevin Trudeau is handsome, charming and a financial success.

A few weeks ago in Chicago, at the multimillion-dollar pool tournament he has personally founded and financed, Trudeau bounded through his legions of fans and supporters like Sinatra at the Sands.

With a best-selling book, “Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About,” as well as the No. 1 ranked infomercial to promote the book, Trudeau says he has a following of millions.

Without question, he has a familiar face. If you’ve watched late night TV, you know Trudeau. “Since 1989, I’ve been on TV, talking about the products that I’ve authored — like Mega Memory, Mega Speed Reading and Mega Math,” Trudeau says. In infomercial after infomercial, he’s pitched products that he promised will improve — if not save — your life.

But at least some of those claims went a little too far for the U.S. government. In 2004, Trudeau became the only person ever banned from selling a product on television. The Federal Trade Commission said that Trudeau falsely claimed that a coral calcium product could cure cancer and other serious diseases and that a product called Biotape could cure or relieve severe pain.

“This ban is meant to shut down an infomercial empire that has misled American consumers for years,” said Lydia Parnes from the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Other habitual false advertisers should take a lesson: mend your ways or face serious consequences.” Read the FTC release at www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/09/trudeaucoral.htm.

Still Selling

Trudeau is permitted to sell his book since, under the First Amendment, it does not qualify as a “product.” As part of his agreement with the FTC, he paid $2 million in “consumer redress.”

But here’s how Trudeau presents his interaction with the FTC:

“There’s been no finding of any wrongdoing,” he says. “They filed charges against me, for alleged misconduct, and they had to drop all the charges.”

It was pointed out to him that a settlement is different from dropping the charges.

“How is it different?” he asked.

Dropping charges involves an acknowledgment that the government could not make its case, it was said. His 2004 settlement with the FTC “bans him from appearing in, producing or disseminating future infomercials that advertise any type of product, service or program to the public, except for truthful infomercials for informational publications.

“In addition, Trudeau cannot make disease or health benefits claims for any type of product, service or program in any advertising, including print, radio, Internet, television and direct mail solicitations, regardless of the format and duration.”

Plus he had to fork over $2 million.

“No,” Trudeau says. “There was not one penny in fines.” ABC News hadn’t called it a fine, however. It was $2 million in “consumer redress,” which Trudeau satisfied by giving the government more than $500,000 in cash, as well as his house in Ojai, Calif., and a Mercedes-Benz.

He’s a fast-talking fellow, Mr. Trudeau.

“The government situation is a joke,” he says when pressed, “and everybody knows it’s a joke. The government is trying to discredit me because of the book, because I’m exposing them.”

Dangerous Cures?

Instead of products such as Coral Calcium, Trudeau now hits the airwaves to sell his book, which promises magical natural cures. But not all of them are in the book. “Natural Cures” often refers readers to his Web site, which requires lifetime membership at a price of approximately $500.

But in the book or on the Web site, many doctors have expressed serious concerns about Trudeau’s cures, saying his advice is not only misleading, it could actually hurt people.

“Stop taking nonprescription and prescription drugs,” the book instructs. “Remember, drugs are poisons. This includes vaccines.”

Trudeau says drugs are only OK in exceptional circumstances — such as trauma or in surgery. His book makes other outrageous claims.

Trudeau writes in his book — which has sold more than 5 million copies and will be listed as No. 1 on this Sunday’s New York Times best-seller list for hardcover “advice” books — that “the sun does not cause cancer. Sun block has been shown to cause cancer. The ingredients in sun block are now strongly believed to be the number one cause of skin cancer.” He says “antiperspirants and deodorants contain deadly poisons,” and that AIDS is “one of the greatest hoaxes and deceptions ever perpetrated on the American public.”

The government and the pharmaceutical companies conspire to keep natural cures from you, he insists, to make money by selling medicine.

“It’s so profitable to the companies that sell it,” he says. “Chemotherapy kills more people than cancer itself.”

Trudeau has no medical training and no particular health expertise. What he does have is a following, and that’s what concerns so many in the established medical community.

“I tell people, ‘Don’t listen to me,'” Trudeau responds when asked why anyone should listen to him instead of their doctor. “I say, ‘I’m reporting, and I’m giving you facts, make an informed decision.'”

Trudeau asks why anyone should listen to the Food and Drug Administration. “This is the same organization that said Vioxx is safe and effective,” he said.”Then they said, ‘Oops, we were wrong.’ Why should we listen to them?”

But some of Trudeau’s claims do not stand scrutiny.

Asked for his “natural cure” for diabetes, Trudeau continually cites a study from the University of Calgary, which he says “has 25 years of research” of a natural way to make it so “diabetes can be, if not completely cured and wiped out in America, dramatically reduced by this herbal combination.”

But when asked, the University of Calgary told ABC News that “there is no scientific evidence that any herbal remedy can cure any form of diabetes. In our review of the claims made by Kevin Trudeau’s book, we have established that there have been no human studies conducted at the University of Calgary in the past 20 years on herbal remedies for diabetes.”

Trudeau responded that he was “shocked and amazed” and that he would send us documentation he was referring to. We never did receive that documentation.

The book also claims: “All of the author’s royalties on the sale of this book are being used to help fund the mission of educating people about natural health care and exposing corporate and government corruption.”

But that “mission of educating people” includes paying for Trudeau’s flights and luxury hotel stays as he jets around the country for interviews, he acknowledges.

He says it’s “just like when you give money to the American Cancer Society, and the president flies on a corporate private Gulfstream [jet], stays in the Four Seasons hotel, your donation paid for that because he’s — in his opinion — helping to spread the news about cancer.”

A Future in Politics?

But his latest, quite successful incarnation as an author isn’t the final stage of Kevin Trudeau’s career, he says.

After one of his rants against the pharmaceutical industry and tort reform, it’s noted to Trudeau that he sounds like he’s going to run for office.

“I am,” he says.

Really?

“Absolutely,” he says. “There’s 25 million people in this country who purchase my products.”

He says he hasn’t decided what office he’ll run for, but it would be as an independent and it would be for federal office. “In order to make a change, you have to stand up and expose the corruption in government, and the … connection between big corporations and government.”

House? Senate? Presidency?

“One of those three,” he says.

ABC News’ Ted Gerstein, Zena Barakat and Melinda Arons contributed to this report

Copyright © 2006 ABC News Internet Ventures

Here is the FDC decision of September 2004:

(show)

FTC

September 7, 2004

Kevin Trudeau Banned from Infomercials

Trudeau Settles Claims in Connection with Coral Calcium Supreme and Biotape

A Federal Trade Commission settlement with Kevin Trudeau – a prolific marketer who has either appeared in or produced hundreds of infomercials – broadly bans him from appearing in, producing, or disseminating future infomercials that advertise any type of product, service, or program to the public, except for truthful infomercials for informational publications. In addition, Trudeau cannot make disease or health benefits claims for any type of product, service, or program in any advertising, including print, radio, Internet, television, and direct mail solicitations, regardless of the format and duration. Trudeau agreed to these prohibitions and to pay the FTC $2 million to settle charges that he falsely claimed that a coral calcium product can cure cancer and other serious diseases and that a purported analgesic called Biotape can permanently cure or relieve severe pain.

Trudeau is paying $500,000 in cash and transferring residential property located in Ojai, California, and a luxury vehicle to the Commission to satisfy the $2 million monetary judgment against him. In the event that the court finds that Trudeau or his companies misrepresented their financial condition, the order would require Trudeau to pay $20 million pursuant to an avalanche clause.

“This ban is meant to shut down an infomercial empire that has misled American consumers for years,” said Lydia Parnes, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Other habitual false advertisers should take a lesson; mend your ways or face serious consequences.”

In nationally-televised infomercials, Trudeau advertised that Coral Calcium Supreme, a dietary supplement purportedly made from Japanese marine coral, provided the same amount of bioavailable calcium as two gallons of milk, could be absorbed into the body faster than ordinary

calcium, and could cure cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, lupus, and other illnesses. In a separate infomercial, Trudeau claimed that Biotape, an adhesive strip, provided permanent relief from severe pain, including debilitating back pain, and pain from arthritis, sciatica, and migraines. In June 2003, the FTC filed a complaint in the Northern District of Illinois against Trudeau and some of his companies, alleging that these disease claims for Coral Calcium Supreme were false and unsubstantiated. The Commission also alleged in a separate action that Trudeau violated a 1998 FTC order by making the Coral Calcium Supreme claims and the pain-relief claims for Biotape.

In July 2003, Trudeau entered into a stipulated preliminary injunction that prohibited him from continuing to make the challenged claims for Coral Calcium Supreme and Biotape. This summer the court found Trudeau in contempt of court for violating this preliminary injunction when he disseminated a direct mail piece and an infomercial making the prohibited coral calcium claims. The court ordered Trudeau to cease all marketing for coral calcium products.

The settlement announced today permanently bans Trudeau and the other defendants, Shop America (USA), LLC, Shop America Marketing Group, LLC, and Trustar Global Media, Limited (“defendants”), from appearing in, producing, or disseminating infomercials that advertise any product, service, or program and, regardless of the advertising medium used to make the claim, from making representations that any product, program, or service can cure, treat, or prevent any disease or provide health benefits. The order’s ban on future infomercials exempts infomercials for books, newsletters, and other informational publications.

In addition, the order prohibits the defendants from transferring, selling, or renting personal information collected from customers who purchased Coral Calcium Supreme and requires the defendants to destroy this information for certain customers. Finally, the order contains standard recordkeeping provisions to assist the FTC in monitoring the defendants’ compliance with its prohibitions and requirements.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the stipulated final order was 5-0. The stipulated final order for permanent injunction was entered in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division on September 3, 2004.

Note: This stipulated final order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendants of a law violation. A stipulated final order has the force of law when signed by the judge.

Copies of the stipulated final order are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Brenda Mack,

Office of Public Affairs

202-326-2182

STAFF CONTACT:

Heather Hippsley or Daniel Kaufman

202-326-3285 or 202-326-2675

(FTC File No. X980014/X030066)

(Civil Action No. 03-C-3904)

(http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/09/trudeaucoral.htm)

Related Documents:

Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff v. Kevin Trudeau, Shop America (USA) LLC, Shop America Marketing Group, LLC, Trustar Global Media, Limited, Robert Barefoot, Deonna Enterprises, Inc., and Karbo Enterprises, Inc., Defendants, and K.T. Corporation, Limited, and Trucom, LLC, Relief Defendants., United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, and, Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff v. Kevin Trudeau, Defendant., United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division Civ. No. 98-C-0168, File No. 032 3064, Civil Action No. 03 C3904

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One Response to “Five million buy a book saying AIDS is great deception”

  1. noreen martin Says:

    I believe that Kevin Trudeau has set back the natural movement many years by all his hype. Don’t get me wrong, I for one do believe in herbs, vitamins, supplements and other treatment that are not mainstream.

    Nevertheless, he overzealously spouts cures which are no where to be found in his book. He only makes general reference to things and then refers the person elsewhere.

    Unfortunately, there are many people out there who are desperately seeking alternative treatments and he is a shyster, just leading the public on and is only helping the mainstream’s viewpoint, that natural cures are worthless.

    I do believe that he should be allowed to speak his mind because that would be worse than his book already is.

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