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Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About

This is an excerpt from another entry on this blog. The original entry was so long that I wasn't sure people would read the whole thing, so I've decided to pull out the best parts into their own entries.

I was watching TV one night with my wife, and I can't remember what channel or show it was that we were watching, but at the time, some book called Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau was the second best selling book in America, followed behind Harry Potter. Since I first saw that, while channel surfing I've seen Kevin Trudeau numerous times either being interviewed legitimately about his book, or more often on an infomercial in a staged interview trying to sell his book. Apparently, he's doing rather well. when I first checked the New York Times Best-Seller Lists this past August, the book was at the number one spot for hardcover advice. When I checked again at the end of October, 2005, the book was still at that spot. And really, it just amazes me how he can do so well.

Before I even get into looking at the claims that this man made, let's take a look at his reputation, first. Here's a very good page on the Federal Trade Commission website. He was banned from doing any more infomercials because of the number of lies he told. Here's a quote from the FTC page:

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.

This man is, almost literally, a snake oil salesman. With the type of repuation that this person has, how can people continue to buy his book? I guess the answer is that most people who see a book in the bookstore won't go and research the author before buying the book, and if they see it on the Home Shopping Network they won't do a lot of research, either. But really, after watching the infomercial and the types of claims he's making, you'd think people would do some checking into it. Part of the problem also lies with retailers. I know we need to have freedom of expression, but what about responsibility for what you're selling? Wal-Mart is well known for its refusal to sell certain controversial items, like music albums with explicit lyrics. How can they in good conscience sell a book like this one? Well, I guess businesses stay in business by selling what people want to buy, and apparently that means this book. Plus, allowing dishonest people to publish there books in the interest of free expression is better than censorship. So really, most of the blame does come down to the people being gullible/ignorant enough to believe this man's claims and to buy his book.

So let's take a look at some of those claims. Here's a transcript of one of his infomercials (along with the webmaster's commentary) on InfomercialWatch.org.

In the interest of keeping this essay from becoming too long (both for the reader's sake, and so that I can actually complete it to post it on my website), I'm only going to look in detail at one of his claims. Here's one of the exchanges that took place in that interview, regarding multiple sclerosis. I included the first few lines so you can see the exchange leading up to his claims about MS.

TRUDEAU: There are. There are all-natural cures. You'll never hear about them because the manufacturers can't tell you what they are. Diabetes, migraines, cancer, heart disease, acid reflux, Attention Deficit Disorder, depression, stress, phobias, fibromyalgia, pain of all sorts, arthritis, the list goes on. Lupus, multiple sclerosis; there are cures for multiple sclerosis. There are cures for muscular dystrophy that are all natural and people are not being allowed...

MATTHEWS: Now muscular dystrophy, for example ...

TRUDEAU: -[to tell the truth].

MATTHEWS: How long would ... well, I mean, I guess it depends on the case. But on the average, what kind of program of homeopathic medicines would someone have to get on and ... ?

TRUDEAU: There is ... in the book I tell you, in most cases, MS symptoms are caused by something you're eating. It's a food additive. And when you stop eating it within ... in some cases, days, the symptoms of MS go away. Now isn't that shocking?

MATTHEWS: Well, it is shocking.

TRUDEAU: It's caused by a food additive in many cases. In many cases, MS is being diagnosed when a person doesn't have anything. It's a food additive that's causing the problem.

Well, to start off with, this is a bit misleading. You can see in the first statement by Truedeau that he's claiming a cure for MS. But then in the rest of the discussion, he talks about treating symptoms of MS, not the disease itself. Notice the slight shift in his claim there. He goes on to say that the symptoms are caused by food additives, and that doctors are misdiagnosing the disease. If I were a doctor, I'd be highly offended, that somebody would make such a serious accusation, that I'm not just misdiagnosing a case here and there in the less severe cases, but most cases of MS. I don't think doctors are that inept. My wife's a nurse, and through her I've met several medical doctors. And they are very intelligent people. They have to be to get through all of the schooling it takes to be a doctor. I don't think it would be very easy for food companies to add an additive to their foods, and to trick all of the doctors into thinking that the symptoms were actually caused by MS. Not just that, but I think enough research has been done that people have a pretty good idea of what the causes of MS actually are. To read some real information about the disease, visit the National MS Society.

I hope that specific claim helps to show how ludicrous his claims are, but let's discuss the claims in general. Read that transcript I mentioned above if you've never had the displeasure of watching this man's infomercials. Most of his claims, which should be evident enough from the title of the book, are very conspiratorial. He's saying that all of these natural cures are out there, but there are all these cover-ups to keep them from being known, so that drug companies can continue to make money. While I'm not willing to dismiss the power of greed in driving people to certain actions, you really have to consider how many people would have to affected by such a conspiracy, and you really have to have a low opinion of people on top of that. I mean, consider just how many people work for drug companies doing research. It's a huge industry. Not one of those people has a high enough moral standard to speak out for the greater good of the world? And what about other research institutions, like universities? Are all of those professors, not to mention their grad and undergrad students that are doing large parts of their research, also a part of the conspiracy? It just seems ludicrous. They're human beings, with the same compassion for humanity as everybody has. They'd jump at the chance to find a cure to save all of those people. Even at a selfish level, don't you think somebody would want the fame of being the one to uncover a conspiracy and give the world the cure for cancer? or any of the other maladies Trudeau is claiming are being covered up?

And just to wrap up the discussion on this book, here's a link to the book on Amazon.com. At the time I posted this, there were 1734 reviews of the book, so go ahead and read some of them for yourself. Apparently, the book doesn't even have all of the content that Trudeau claimed it would in those infomercial interviews.

It just boggles my mind that so many people are buying into what this huckster is claiming. I mean, it's not just his claims that get me worked up - anybody can be an idiot on their own time - it's that he's got one of the best selling books in America based on those claims.


How can it be lies that he is just telling people to eat healthy and walk? Why don't you read the book before you decide anything about it. You probably work for the freaking FDA!

The FDA is corrupt. Look at all the money they spend on campaigns to rush things through. They own the presidency and most of the congress and senate WBR LeoP

The FDA is corrupt. Look at all the money they spend on campaigns to rush things through. They own the presidency and most of the congress and senate WBR LeoP


Alternative Medicine

Want to start your private office arms race?

I just got my own USB rocket launcher :-) Awsome thing.

Plug into your computer and you got a remote controlled office missile launcher with 360 degrees horizontal and 45 degree vertival rotation with a range of more than 6 meters - which gives you a coverage of 113 square meters round your workplace.
You can get the gadget here: http://tinyurl.com/2qul3c

Check out the video they have on the page.


Jacob Roder

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