Even though I’ve been at this skeptical blogging thing, particularly about “alternative” medicine, so long (eight years now) that I think I’ve seen it all, that nothing the quacks do can shock me any more. It’s a foolish hubris, I admit, but, I hope, an understandable one after over eight years of blogging multiple times a week about science, skepticism, and quackery that can and has made my head spin. It is true that encountering something that gets my attention and truly knocks me on my posterior is getting rarer and rarer. It’s not so rare that it doesn’t still happen every now and then: Giving bleach enemas to autistic children, for instance.
This one isn’t quite as bad as that, but what makes it disturbing is that there is a video to go with it, which can be found in the form of a video called Bear Enema. No, it’s not a real bear enema. Rather, it’s what the video represents, which is a young child pretending to give her toy bears enemas:
The significance of this becomes clear when you read the post that links to and embeds the video, entitled Heal Your Child Instantly! Basically, it is a rant (no, that’s not my characterization but the characterization of the person authoring the rant):
Later this week I intend to address the information shared here in a video. Surely, I will be ranting in this upcoming video, because I am so tired of people stuck in the “system”, doing everything that they are told by “authority” figures such as their doctors and family members, all out of fear and weakness.
The information that I am going to share today with you in this article below is so basic and obvious to me and I feel extremely sad that the majority of the people will likely just brush this info off. I’m hoping that the many testimonials further below show you the truth behind this legitimate info. I feel very sorry for anyone who doesn’t grasp this concept today, as your childrens’ health is on the line here…
Ah, yes. You know you’re likely to be in for some serious quackery when the quack rants about how misunderstood his quackery is and then says he’s going to use anecdotal evidence to prove his detractors wrong. If you can detect a bit of the “They thought me mad, but I’ll show them all!” vibe in the rant, so much the better, and that’s the vibe I get from Matt Monarch’s rant here. We’ve met Monarch before, by the way, in a particularly hilarious way. Basically, a while back there was a quack war between Mike Adams and Matt Monarch, and apparently Adams’ quack-fu was stronger. In any case, Monarch runs a website he calls The Raw Food World because, well, he’s a raw food vegan who appears to think that cooking food kills it and poisons you, while eating only raw vegetables, fruit, grain, and plant matter is the secret to health. Indeed, Monarch, far from being creeped out by this video, which is the reaction that most supporters of science-based medicine will have when viewing it, praises it to high heaven.
Now, advocating a vegan diet is not quackery per se. While it is true that I’ve occasionally made fun of various vegans, it’s not because I think being a vegan is quackery. It is, however, more of a religion or ideology than it is based in science, because there’s no real evidence that a raw vegan diet is any better for you than a vegetarian diet or a pescetarian diet. Being a raw vegan (or just a vegan) is almost always a choice based far more in a personal ideology or morality than it is in medicine or science, and it is possible to be healthy on a vegan diet. It is not a choice I would (or think I could) make. Even if I wanted to, I like meat and fish too much. Even if I could give up meat and fish, I like cheese and eggs too much to give them up. However, there is no doubt that veganism is associated with a faction that views it as the be-all and end-all of health and overlay it with vitalism, in which even cooked vegetables are no good for you because they are “dead,” their “vital force” and nutrients sucked out of them by the cooking process. I’m sorry to have to say that, because I know there are vegans out there who are rational and make the choice to be vegan for what they think are very good reasons, but there are a lot of woo-filled vegans out there.
Vegans like Matt Monarch.
Matt, you see, also believes in the concept that nearly all disease is caused by toxins, in particular “autointoxication,” in which allegedly accumulated fecal matter piled up in your colon leaks its “toxins” into your bloodstream and makes you sick. Indeed, part of the “autointoxication” concept is that you—yes, you!—have pounds of undigested matter in your colon making you sick by leeching its toxins into your bloodstream. As any general surgeon (which I used to be before I sub-specialized in breast cancer) can tell you, it’s utter nonsense. If you have so much fecal matter in your colon that it’s making you sick, you will not be chronically sick. You will be septic and possibly at death’s door. In the world of someone like Matt Monarch, though, accumulated fecal matter is spreading its “toxins” and need to be purged. Worse, he’s willing to subject children to such quackery, which is what makes the video attached to his post so creepy. It portrays this young child above giving her Teddy bears enemas, shooting “water in the butt,” and then telling her bears to “push, bear, push.” This leaves little doubt that this child has either seen people getting enemas or has received them herself. My guess is both, regardless of whether Matt claims that he and his wife have only given their daughter an enema once:
I don’t believe it for a minute.
Be that as it may, Matt can’t resist discussing the wonderful anecdotes that to him prove that “detoxification” through enemas is the cure for everything that ails you:
Many months ago one of my neighbors who I was visiting was asking me if I had any Echinacea, Colloidal Silver or Ginseng. When I heard this, I knew something was going on. I asked why he wanted these things, and he told me that their child was bed-ridden. This little boy was extremely sick with a massive headache and couldn’t move. My inner core knew that the supplements they were asking for would do nothing in this case. All sickness due to purging toxicity is the same! It’s the body trying to purge out an overload of toxins that have build up. Taking these kinds of products is not going to help the body massively purge in the most beneficial way. This concept is being suppressed to dum*b-down the human popluation while taking all of their money in the hospitals at the same time.
Gently, I told these friends that I did have a few of the products they were looking for, yet my feeling was that they would get far better results from giving their child an enema instead. I even told them that the results might be instantaneous. This dear husband and wife looked at each other with their eyebrows scrunched up, smiling, stating that their child doesn’t like to do that sort of thing. I just shrugged my shoulders and let it be. I then started talking to the husband about other things for around 20 minutes. Soon enough, the wife and her little son came walking outside. The boy was on his feet, feeling completely better, as if nothing had happened. We both looked at them in surprise and the mom told us that she had just given him an enema, with amazing results!
I bet. I’m not sure, however, that the “instant results” are what Monarch seems to think they are. He’s also pretty challenged when it comes to understanding some basic human physiology. In actuality, the body, thanks to the liver, colon, and kidneys, has a very effective detoxification system. It takes a lot to overwhelm it. It’s not a wimpy little bunch filters that are so easily overwhelmed that you’ll become chronically ill if you don’t shoot water up your butt periodically to wash the poop out. To him, the body is always naturally “purging” but those evil “allopathic doctors” and pharmaceutical companies are pumping you full of drugs that to him “suppress” the body’s ability to “detoxify itself.”
It’s utter nonsense, of course.
What follows is a series of anecdotes, in which Matt seems to think that the cure for everything is is enemas. Got a headache? Give yourself an enema! Got a belly ache? Give yourself an enema! Got a kidneys stone? Enema! To Monarch, enemas fix everything:
In conclusion, this pattern for relieving disease via cleansing the colon is real. Next time you or a loved one is sick, I recommend getting a series of colonics or trying multiple enemas. For children it can actually be easier, as they are newer to this existance and usually less toxic than adults. Children have built up fewer toxins within their bodies, whereas over the years we have usually been repeteadly getting sick and taking drugs, which suppresses these toxins from being able to purge out of our bodies. Therefore, when adults embar*k on this type of healing j0urney, we’ve usually got a lot more detoxification to do. I hope that more people become willing to help children relieve illness via this simple method, rather than encouraging them to fill their bodies up with more and more toxicity.
And, of course, you have to supplement the enemas with raw vegetable juice and molasses. Even more typically, if you don’t get better, then it’s your fault. Monarch even says that if you are “truly doing all three of these things consistently for a good amount of time,” you have the potential to see practically anything heal. If it doesn’t work after truly doing this for a good amount of time, then my best guess would be it’s a spiritual phenomena that you have to figure out.”
In other words, you don’t believe hard enough.
I’ve never been able to understand this fascination among some parts of the alt-med set with raw “living food.” Quite frankly, whenever I hear “raw food” from these people, I can’t help but think of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, “Give it to us raw and wriggling,” except that vegetables don’t wriggle. That’s the funny part.
Advocating unnecessarily giving enemas to children at the slightest sign of illness to children is not funny at all.
139 replies on “Subjecting children to enema “detoxification””
Considering that some plants we commonly eat are poisonous until we cook them, I would be careful about what to eat raw.
Chick peas come to mind.
What is it with quacks and their fixation on enemas?
It feels like every other scam modality features some kine of enema.
@pris re: “enemas”,
Poop is black bile [of course!]
And it can make you melan-chol-y.
I think the crank obsession with enemas is a matter of projection. They’re full of dung, so they assume everyone else is.
@Martin, LOL, I was thinking the same thing.
You make a very spirited argument here and I commend you on your public efforts to stem the tide of ignorance (to rational thought and science). I’ve been a staunch critic of quackery since 1994 when I spoke to Dr. Fred Stare (deceased now), founder of Harvard’s School of Public Health. He publicly denounced all kinds of hokey nutrition nonsense and, so moved by his efforts, I asked him how I could get further involved in the cause. He put me in touch with National Council Against Health Fraud (Victor Herbert and Stephen Barrett now of Quackwatch fame). I did lectures all over Southern California at universities, conferences, etc in defense of responsible health messages. This post illustrates how people are so willing to be mislead, if not dying to be mislead. Sadly we both know that when you try to offer a voice of reason, they go into defense/attack mode. I’ve recently taken some potshots at the media in light of all this crap about “clinically proven” which, in reality means pretty much nothing. Couple articles here:
Overhyped media health messages.
Keep up the great work, Orac. I particularly loved your Mercola piece! Brilliant!!
All those enemas and his head is still stuck up his ass.
48 years ago I was in the hospital for nephritis and a nurse had to give me an enema (standard back in the dark ages). That I can still remember it all these years later indicates how traumatic it was. Reminds me too of scenes from the “Road to Wellville”.
The (deseased) anti-vaccine Quack Anita Petek-Dimmer wrote in her book about rabies:
You can treat a rabies infection with homeopathic remedies, but don´t forget enemas and footbaths
source: A Petek-Dimmer Rund ums Impfen AEGIS Verlag 2004
and for the vegan-quacks: Veganic nutrition is possible.
But breastfeeding vegan mothers are dangerous for their kids, because these are at risk of severe Vit B12 deficiency resulting in irreversible damage of the cerebellum. MR imaging from those kids looks desastrous.
Quacks can be dangerous for their kids.
@Ruth: enemas were fairly common in my house growing up for “constipation” (though generally my parents preferred just to do some stimulation with a carved bar of Ivory soap). And often used for fevers when we were young to lower the core temperature. To give my parents credit, though, once they found antipyretics were just as effective and less traumatic (and less work for them to administer!) they stopped.
The enema or colon cleanse obsession (at least in modern times) can be traced back to the late 19th century and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (the cereal guy) who, along with his brother, Will Keith, established a clinic in Battle Creek, MI. The clinic catered to the rich and powerful who spent large sums of money to journey to Battle Creek for enemas. I first learned about the Kelloggs and their fixation on feces some 35 years ago when I read a book called “The New Nuts Among the Berries” by Ronald M. Deutsch. This book, concerned primarily with what the author termed “foodism,” was the impetus for my fascination with health fraud. It’s long out of print, but it can be found on the shelves of many libraries and on online used book sources. I recommend it without reservation!
My mother was born in a generation that was still highly influenced by Kellogg and, from time to time, she submitted me to the indignity of an enema. There was no specific reason for it other than some vague notion that it was healthy. Today, an entire “detox” industry exists, apparently a direct offshoot of the Kelloggs’ zeal.
Another book of interest is a fictionalized, hilariously funny satire on the life and work of John H. Kellogg: “The Road to Wellville: by T. Coraghessan Boyle. It’s a laugh-a-minute thigh slapper. A film was adapted from the book but it’s very pale in comparison.
“If it doesn’t work after truly doing this for a good amount of time, then my best guess would be it’s a spiritual phenomena that you have to figure out.”
This fits in with 1) blaming the disease sufferer/victim, and 2) the Superior Altie Hypothesis (“My psyche/immune system/gestalt is topnotch, therefore I don’t need your We$tern drugs and treatments”).
What though if it’s your infant that keeps getting sick and the purges don’t work? How do you investigate and fix spiritual derangements in someone that young?
I’ve often thought alternative medicine would be a great place for a sadist. You can make people do all sorts of horrible things and your victims will be your staunchest defenders.
What are the health risks of enemas? Obviously if someone is genuinely ill, giving enemas pointlessly will delay proper treatment, but given it’s somwhat invasive in itself, what other harm could people be doing to their children?
And some people like to shove things up their….
Seriously, there has got to be an erotic component involved for many who advocate this, which makes it all the sicker for inflicting it on children.
Another aspect of enemas/ colonics reflects the need to be or appear thinner. So I’d expect it to accompany eating disorders and exercise manias.
I know this, I’ve been reading fashion magazines for a long time. Not that anyone ever says this directly.
I’d like to see Monarch give a bear enema – to a real bear.
“No, it’s not a real bear enema. Rather, it’s what the video represents, which is a young child pretending to give her toy bears enemas:”
Reminds me of the videos they make of small children, after asking them to “Show me me on the doll”.
@Sarah – there are real health risks with enemas – including perforating the bowel, which is why they should only be utilized when necessary & not part of some quack treatment.
You say that as if something like sepsis were deadly.
You know, if you stub your toe really hard, you can make the pain disappear by crushing your finger in a vise. I know that I feel lots better when an enema is over, but it has nothing to do with detoxification and everything to do with an uncomfortable procedure being over.
In re: Raw Vegans: Does the phrase “many parts are edible” come to mind when you read about them?
When I first read the details of this fashion for bizarre enema based treatments, I had to wonder whether you’d been caught out in some sort of satirical joke. It’s just too weird and over the top. Bleach enemas to cure autism? I thought that surely that is just a new “bonsai kitten” meme – something so outrageous, it has to be a prank designed to provoke a reaction. I don’t think that now, which is just so disturbing. Untrained parents are doing unnecessary invasive procedures on their children, guided by “intuition”!
I guess every complaint about illness resulted in an unpleasant procedure like an enema, I’d soon stop complaining of illness. Monarch’s thesis is just the old fashioned idea that effective medicine has to be a nasty treatment.
Also, if Monarch is a vegan, how come he’s flogging Royal Jelly on his website?
I thought they sounded familiar! I did remember Matt but recallecd that Adams also featured Angela Stokes ( Matt’s partner)- see ” How Angela Stokes went from 294 lbs to a fit, thin body..” ( October 2010)- amongst other paeans to raw food.
Matt and Angela lived near MIkey in Ecuador.
I wonder if they flew the coop like he did?
I think I had the more entertaining concept of a “real bear enema.” That being an enema where the water used CONTAINS a real bear!
@Sarah and messing up your gut flora, potentially. You’ve got a whole ecosystem in there, friends and foes, and periodically subjecting it to ‘anyone who can hang on gets to stay’ is not good for encouraging a good community.
Oh, and in my not so humble opinions, I think that a great deal of the fuss and obsession about veganism AND raw food is really about weight – not purity.
Some people want to be thinner than everyone else around them- as if it were revealed their true and intrinsic superiority.
@Beamup — well, if it was a homeopathic bear, that’s all right then.
(Leading inevitably to the old saying, does a bear s**t in the water?)
It’s funny. Suddenly, advocates for colloidal silver (and Echinacea, etc) are now part of allopathic/mainstream medicine and of the big conspiration to keep people ignorant and sick.
Maybe next time a food supplement fan shows up, we should ask him/her how much the Man is giving him/her to suppress the Truth.
Somehow, there is a strong religious vib coming from these beliefs in the ultimate cure-all. All non-believers are heretics.
When I was a young child and visiting my aunt with my two siblings, we quickly learned to hide any sniffles or sneezes, because we were sure to face auntie who kept huge boxes of Swiss Kriss herbal laxative on hand.
“You need a good cleaning out”, according to auntie, just before she gave us a heaping tablespoon of that horrible stuff that tasted like bitter licorice and had the texture of hay.
The inventor of that herbal laxative was Gayelord Hauser who had some credibility with the Hollywood glitterati… “nutritionist to the stars”
I also recall my mom (auntie’s sister-in-law), reaming her out for shoving the crap into us.
I’m betting that Matt Monarch is not too pleased with this blog…
re the quote:
“My inner core knew”
Yes, inner knowledge originates in the abdominals.
Enemas for raw-food vegans — something odd there, since one would think they’re filling their gut with lots of undigested/partially digested plant fiber — they should be shitting all the time naturally, no?
@Denise Walter: People take enemas to lose weight? How’s that supposed to work – by messing up digestion?
More likely colonics and other spa services.
It makes them feel thinner- for real weight loss, there are ultra-low carb regimes And old-fashioned starvation.
I’d venture that many follow woo in order to be thinner.
If you take your enema or colonic immediately before you get on the scales you may see some weight loss.
On top of concerns about bowel perforation and gut flora, another problem I seem to recall, particularly with frequent enemas, is hyponatremia from having your electrolytes washed out faster than you can replenish them.
I think it fits in with the victim blaming. Nasty treatments, strange diets, and the quack hipster one-upmanship all seem to converge on the idea that health is something you have to earn by enduring hardship, and thus poor health is viewed as the result of poor character, rather than from biology.
Health shouldn’t be taken for granted, of course, but one of the big things in real medicine is removing and reducing hardship associated with treatment whenever possible so that the patient can enjoy life without unnecessary burdens.
The other big thing in real medicine is that practitioners tend to be candid about efficacy.
Unlike the chiropractor who has promised my admin asssistant that for $6K he will “cure” her chronically-ill son. He promised 100% success.
He has also informed her, after one office visit and no tests, that the issue is with the boy’s thyroid and autoimmune system.
You don’t see the potential for harm inherent in constraining a small child and injecting things into his/her rectum? Even before we consider the potential problems mentioned above.
The child in the bear video either did have the procedure more than once, or saw it done repeatedly, or was heavily coached. I’m not sure which of those options I find the most disturbing.
I’ve come to look upon various “detoxification” schemes and odd dietary regimens (which someone once referred to as “orthorexia”) as having a vague pseudo-religious slant.
These kinds of practices always seem to come with some reference to “spiritual” health. Talk of “cleansing” the body sounds a lot like “cleansing the soul.” The people who espouse this sort of thing remind me of true believers who feel that they have to follow a rigid doctrine of adhering to the faith, as well as their eagerness to proselytize others about the righteousness of their beliefs.
I’m sure someone better versed in theology would be better at interpreting this than me.
@Andreas – maybe it works on the same principle as purging with laxatives?
@Denice – while I don’t think it’s specifically being done for sexual purposes, it does have a disturbing sexual element.
You can treat a rabies infection with homeopathic remedies
Oh yes. Just don’t expect the treatment to make any difference.
a book called “The New Nuts Among the Berries” by Ronald M. Deutsch
Alex Comfort’s “The Anxiety Makers” is very good on the old fixation with enemas and auto-intoxication and bowel contents (up to and including the fad for surgical bowel resection to ensure faster through-put).
the life and work of John H. Kellogg: “The Road to Wellville: by T. Coraghessan Boyle
…which also introduced readers to the Fin de siècle discovery of vaginal massagers / vibrators as medical therapy. And touches on the bowel-resection business.
you have to supplement the enemas with raw vegetable juice and molasses
It is as if Monarch read Martin Gardner’s “Fads and Fallacies” looking for forms of woo that went out of fashion at least 50 years ago, in order to revive them. Perhaps he is worried about copyright infringements if he used anything more recent.
Am I the only one who read that as ‘big constipation’ at first glance?
@dedicated lurker: I confess I don’t know how (if) purging with laxatives works wrt weight loss either.
I’m one of those people who stay slim without trying, so my familiarity with weight loss schemes is distinctly limited.
It should be obligatory to quote Wllliam Burroughs at this juncture:
To be fair, it’s not just Americans. The Brits and French and Germans have all been equally obsessed with the inadequacy of normal colon function.
T Herling, that is an insight that I hadn’t thought much on before. It does sound a lot like magic rituals to drive out demons, doesn’t it?
A gentleman I once treated was concerned he had become allergic to his own feces. He felt it made him progressively more stupid, until he was able move his bowels. The problem, he described, was that he he had become constipated and by the third or fourth day without a bowel movement he was really clouded in his thinking. Fortunately he had stumbled onto a treatment for this ailment. He found that if he smoke marijuana, he could move his bowels and it would clear his head.
His family Dr (I wish I could take credit for this) had told him “your logic is sound…however, I have never heard or read of such a condition. Perhaps we can write up your case and submit it to a medical journal for publication. We will call it the Allergic Sh$# Syndrome… or A.S.S. for short.”
True story. Funniest thing I’ve ever heard.
Unfortunately I know quite a bit about eating disorders:
I didn’t actually study it formally- only glancingly- but I have perused research in the area later because:
one of the cousins’ daughters developed a serious problem,
I enjoy fashion and am intrigued with its relationship to obsession** and self- image
and it’s important in the psychology of women.
The DSM-5 should list ‘orthorexia’- concern with correct eating- which I think covers many of the woo-meisters and anti-vaxxers’ bizzare regimes for their children.
Another commenter mentioned the religious-aspect;;
transgression, punishment, forgiveness …
and endorphins, I suppose
I seriously don’t want to go there….
we’ll be here all week
** not the Calvin Klein product.
“They don’t like it up ’em!” Actually, in the case of the enema brigade, it seems they do.
Wavy lines again as I dip Into my dark and murky medical past.
One of my first jobs a ward was a Rectal Washout.
It involved insertion of a tube and repeated flushes with ‘Enamae Saponis’ (soft soap).
We used to pour in 50-70 litres (not all at once!) to prepare them for a colonoscopy.
With reference to Mr Kellogg, wasn’t he a 7th Day Adventist who developed corn flakes so nobody had to work on a Saturday?
There was another chap (again the name escapes) who made a fortune out of this shit (pun intended) and really and actually carried ou
Apologies, my mobile went herbal.
I meant to say this bloke carried out Total Colectomies.
Apologies for the lack of links and total reliance on anecdote.
I’ve had a very, very long and bad day.
@Narad, “Am I the only one who read that as ‘big constipation’ at first glance?”
Not only did I read it as “big constipation” at first glance, that seemed so reasonable that I didn’t look at it twice and didn’t realize I’d misread it until you pointed it out.
I wasn’t speaking necessarily of driving out demons, but more so that the idea of a lot of woo diets and enemas being based on some abstract idea of self-purification as a way of “cleansing one’s soul” by putting yourself through different trials of “denying yourself worldly goods,” that sort of thing.
I dated, very briefly, a woman heavily into woo who tried to get me to eat stuff that seemed like the gastronomic equivalent of the monks in “Holy Grail” hitting themselves in the head with boards.
Givum an enema againema!
The fixation with enemas does not originate with Kellogg. It likely goes back to antiquity. Certainly, it was big enough for Moliare to lampoon it in his final play, “La malade imaginaire.”
We clearly must expose Big Consta.
WRT to cannabis and being plugged up, one might expect a CB1 agonist to have the opposite effect, although this seems to be complicated, including the question of central versus peripheral action. Anecdotal reports of kif relief aren’t that hard to find.
I went googling for “Big Clyster” and found some images that frightened me.
Calm down, it is the food Beijing citizens like most. Don’t they have chitterlings in the Antipodes?
Offtopic: my most popular post with 286 views so far is barely worth mentioning, except that it mention Wakefield’s patented vaccine. Stay tuned…
Have the foodies come out to play. They eat chittelins in the U.K. and in Europe as well. In fact they eat every part of the part of pig, except the oink.
“They eat “faggots” too (must be an idiom).
Aha, faggots are meatballs made from pig scraps and offal.
Crepinettes (in the French), I believe; they are wrapped in caul fat, which of course is not offal but a rare and valuable commodity along the lines of leaf lard.
(I also now recall that ‘kell’ for ‘caul’ is anything but “obsolete.”)
Caul I believe is the membrane that covers a newborn animals body. It supposedly gives the child supernatural powers.
My friend was born with a piece of caul and she was the granddaughter of an old Norwegian seaman…I wonder if he kept her caul to protect himself.
Born “in the caul” from Wikipedia…
Not in cookery; it’s the omentum (note to self: remember ‘epiploon’) found in the abdominal cavity.
Right you are Narad. If it is omentum…they should call it omentum. Have you ever had cow cod soup?
We had a LPN who cared for my son in our home and she joined us for meals when she was on duty. Nicest person you could ever want to care for your child. She offered to bring some home made ox-tail soup for my husband who loves exotic foods. Half way through eating the bowl of soup she told him it was cow cod soup…he thought it was superb.
Me…I like regular cuts of pigs, lambs and beef…not omentum or tripe or organs or offal.
Cooks know what ‘caul fat’ means. (I don’t offhand have a notion of how often “operculum” is actually invoked in instructions for cleaning whelk/scungilli.) It’s kind of like a sausage casing that melts.
Is that what that is on escargot…lesson learned.
Could be. Could be the other end, too. I haven’t seen snail meat in decades.
Meanwhile, there is a lively discussion going on at LB/RB. I think Lara is handling this guy quite well and I kinda chased Parker off the blog. Parker was also haunting Autismum’s blog with that same old story about her child’s “vaccine-induced encephalitis”.
Parker’s new shtick is, ta, da, “Screaming Syndrome”.
As others have mentioned, this is a health obsession that is found in many different places and times — it’s really a very obvious synergy between commonsense and psychology.
No one has yet mentioned Mohandas Gandhi — he was adamant about the curative properties of the enema, did so at least once a day, and would reliably and regularly encourage his associates to adopt the practice.
What do ‘scrunched up’ eyebrows look like? This Monarch guy is a piss poor writer!
I also recommend “The New Nuts Among the Berries”. I read if after reading “The Road to Wellville” and I was shocked at how many quacks are saying essentially the same things Kellogg did, 100 years later. It is as if the entire accumulation of 20th century advances in nutrition and physiology has passed them by, i.e. they continue to spout the same nonsense that Kellogg did; one can forgive Kellogg to a certain extent as medicine was still breaking out of its medieval past but some 100 years later and the nuts today are saying the same thing. Nuts indeed.
some 100 years later and the nuts today are saying the same thing.
I’m with lilady on the cuts of meat spectrum. Never heard of cow cod, bovine dangly bits and scotch bonnets. Good to know.
I always thought “thinking with your gut” was a metaphor, but some take it to heart.
Urine not only cures cancer, but will keep you looking younger if you drink your own. Prolly read that here.
Perhaps they misunderstood the British expression “taking the piss” and interpreted it literally.
Scotch bonnet is an extremely hot chile with a Scoville rating of 100,000 – 350,000 units! Compare that with the jalapeño, which most of us perceive as hot at only 2500 – 8000 units.
Consuming a few of those Scotch bonnets will obviate the need for any other type of purge! It’ll clean you out real good and real quick!
And while we’re on the subject of really bad ideas that might cause harm to innocent children:
today ( AoA) Dan Olmsted, in his weekly ‘Wrap and Toss’, instructs us that:
” a few very bad ideas, very strongly held by a relatively few key players, have caused the rise of the autism epidemic”.
And those bad ideas, you might ask? Well, they’re not his. But those odd notions that there is no epidemic and that autism is genetic.( He leaves out that autism has never been shown to be connected to vaccines). Oh where do folks get these ideas?
Opposing them are “thousands of parent observations, a great deal of troubling science and natural history “( the last being based on his and Blaxill’s book) “were completely ignored”.
The right ideas? Autism is new, an environmental illness and is increasing in ” epidemic proportions”. Vaccines and mercury are the most likely causes.
Olmsted is riffing off a political reflection about bad ideas in high places in recent years. I’m surprised he just didn’t drag out Groupthink and mis-apply that idea.
Actually Groupthink might be somewhat relevant in this case but not in they way he might think.
note to self: remember ‘epiploon’
“The Greater Omentum” would be a great phrase to use in the esoteric mysteries of a made-up religion.
Gack . . . “gently.”
Having lived in Sebastopol, the captial of the Axis of Me-ville, for more than a decade as a card-carrying denizen of Wooville, I know these “gentle,” indigo souls. They do everything oh, so very gently and humbly. They speak softly. Their clothes are cruelty free. They wouldn’t crush a black widow in their little, toxin-free, spawn’s nursery (they’d reason with the spider and envision it going harmlessly back to its perfect place in the universe . . . under the water heater). Their filthy, ancient Mercedes diesels are filled gently gathered driftwood and feathers, and fueled with homemade biodiesel. They lovingly (blindly) appropriate the ceremonies and trappings of “wise indiginous ones” willy-nilly. Yes, they are skinny, and they usually smell of B.O. and Young Essential Oils.
These people are also some of the most seething, fearful, self-righteous, passive-aggressive, angry a$sholes I’ve ever met. I know this from personal experience. I’m fairly sure I used to be one, though I never drank quite as deeply of the grape flavored Maté . . . hey, I got better.
It was only after waking up and seeing all of that New Age glop for the nonsense that it truly is, that I was able to see what a hypocrite I was most of the time. I also understand that I am the same person and will always have to watch out for the litany of characteristics listed above, even as an atheist/rationalist/skeptic (maybe especially), but at least now I own these behaviors and apologize when they squeak through from time to time. Back in Wooville, my free-range hypocrisy ran wild, though it actually stemmed from the fact that I wasn’t really a True Believer™ (I was probably best classified as The Worried Well). I would often rage in a most ungentle way at the evil big Pharma and Big Medicine (because I was just existentially anxious) and then I’d do some breathing, and a few downward dogs, wrap myself in an orgone blanket, douse myself in some helichrysum, burn some sweetgrass, recite the Green Tara and then I would ever so knowingly-know that I had surely been forgiven by GodGoddessAllThatIs.
Namasté . . . away.
Possibly not entirely inappropriately, my primary associations with the name “Sebastopol” are of distinctly non-gentle war.
(Sebastopol, a/k/a Sevastopol, in the Crimea, was the scene of major sieges in 1854-55 and 1941-42.)
Keep in mind that you can see through its web rather easily.
‘Tis a symbol of Maya!
I think Pareidolius is referring to this Sebastopol. 🙂
Nothing gets ’em like a good Cthulhu reference…..
All of the preceding comments shine a light on how much you know about physiology. You need vaccines, chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and their deadly side effects, which you deserve. Enjoy.
“These people are also some of the most seething, fearful, self-righteous, passive-aggressive, angry a$sholes I’ve ever met. I know this from personal experience.”
A friend and I don’t refer to them as “indigo children” but as “the magenta people,” because of their frequent postings on Facebook, for example, of pictures of unicorns and rainbows that always seem to have magenta as the predominant color. Angels, hearts and fairies are also quite common subjects.
Such as: http://www.etsy.com/listing/55779679/heather-ross-far-far-away-magenta
What with the trend to put a joke in the Location space, I’ve been fighting the temptation to write “the far off islets of Langerhans,” but it would be to borrow from Firesign Theater. And I would have to write the first three words in Turkish.
Re: the comments about Sebastopol and inhabitants:
I wonder if the main temperamental difference between the scientific types and those referred to as the woo meisters is really pretty simple — the woo folk are not tolerant of being unsure about anything. This is a predictable correlate to the idea that the woo syndrome is analogous to a fundamentalist religion. The scientific types, on the other hand, are never completely sure about anything, at least anything new. I think it is possible to be sure to eleven decimal places about the classical laws — Newton’s laws of motion, the gas laws, the laws of thermodynamics — but even in these cases, we make room for the possibility that some adjustment may need to be made to account for new modifications such as relativistic effects.
In contrast to the scientific approach, the woo folks are willing to be sure — presumably because it suits their psychological needs and simultaneously allows some of them to make a good living off of sales — but for them to be so sure of things, they have to dumb everything down to buzz words and platitudes. In other words, they can’t be specific enough to generate a testable hypothesis, and when they do so by accident, they have to go through contortions to discount the very idea of scientific testing itself. I believe that the latter statement has been adequately explored by Orac and other commenters.
I don’t know how often I’ve read the phrase that some miraculous herbal extract will strengthen the immune system. My second thought on reading this line (the first is fairly unprintable) is something like this: “Oh great. If it really worked, it could generate or stimulate MS, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Grave’s disease, and myriad others.” The reason the herbal peddlers get away with this shtick is that the immune system is sufficiently complicated and its effects so varied that talking about immune stimulus is kind of a get out of jail free card for the hucksters. Of course they are not alone, considering the billion dollar corporations that are willing to sell you a bottle of grease (look at the actual contents) with the promise of keeping your skin youthful.
One of my colleagues just showed me an advertisement for an herbal supplement mix that is supposed to stimulate your stem cells. It’s not surprising, since the popular press is full of stories about stem cell therapeutics and whatnot. May I be one of the first to predict that we will start seeing ads for products that use microRNAs in the near future?
It’s curious that mitochondrial dysfunction may be a substantial part of aging, and not only that, but various other degradative disorders, but I’ve seen and heard seriously little in the informercial world that promises to cure your mitochondria. Perhaps this is because it would be too easy to disprove such assertions, but it is of interest.
Didn’t one of Madeleine L’Engle’s novels involve curing sick mitochondria with the power of love or something? And that would have been 40 years ago.
Are you implying enemas could replace chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and vaccines?
A Wind in the Door, apparently. I revisited A Wrinkle in Time a year or so ago. It kind of sucks.
Like Pareidolius, I can vouch that Sebastopol is one of the most achingly hipesque locations I have ever visited – and I have been in places that had Druids.
AND in Boulder.
I spent an interesting afternoon there- in uncharacteristic 100 degree weather- so yes, the sun beat down upon the patchouli-ed folk whilst their natural fabric costumes wafted in the breeze, allowing gentle air circulation and revealing natural body scents as well as those of Gaia-blest oils.
I sometimes wonder why did they gather there? Did Luther Burbank’s experimental farm lure them in? Or was it the apples? Or the redwoods? I don’t know.
What is truly hilarious is that whenever I visit this sort of town- for some un-God(dess)ly reason- I am welcomed as a fellow traveller or soul sister. They like me. Even when they aren’t trying to sell me beaded bracelets or transparent-y Indian cotton embroidered clothing.
So in Sebastopol, I drank iced Morrocan mint tea and watched the bio-diesel vehicles fume by. I even took a few photos of local folk, peddling their wares in environmentally-friendl, sustainable ways while expressing their own spiritual essentiality.
I’ve been working on and off on a right catalog of adapted protest songs to memorialize the Mapleton elk. These poachers are going to hang.
But now there’s the Lyons miniature donkey to consider.
I appreciate that you differentiated between kooky raw vegans and people who simply prefer not to eat animals or animal by-products.
I am not a purist and will have the occasional bit of cheese or an egg (from my own hens), but basically am vegan simply because it best allows me to maintain a significant weight loss. I get more food without the calorie-dense animal foods. I also find factory farming pretty appalling. As a Foodie, I have learned to prepare some excellent vegan food which Find every bit as satisfying as any other diet I used to practice..
You like the foods you eat because you are used to them–you can get used to other foods and enjoy them just as much. There’s no big “ideology” for me, just an easier way to maintain weight and feel better about animal welfare.
@lilady: I realize, but towns with a more famous namesake (and at least where I’m from, Sebastopol, Crimea, is far more famous than Sebastopol, Calif. – not that either is well-known in absolute terms) are doomed to have any associations in its own right overwhelmed by the namesake’s.
A blast from the past, Vasha and Narad.
Wikipedia tells me that A Wind in the Door was published in 1973. I would hazard a guess that the mitochondria in the story resemble real life structures about as much as the other fanciful extragalactic beings in the story, or whatever they were, resemble us earth-borns. Still, the idea of mitochondria being susceptible to dysfunction was ahead of its time in some strange way. The mechanism provided in the book is more out of a fantasy novel than out of what we used to call hard science fiction, and the most recent understanding involves the fact that cells have lots of mitochondria, and each mitochondrion requires a certain amount of a mitochondrial-specific DNA. The mT-DNA is a small closed circle, very different from the chromosomal nuclear DNA, and is subject to a lot of oxidative damage due to what mitochondria do (oxidize substrate to provide energy in the form of ATP). One popular notion is that damaged mt-DNA, when it becomes a large enough subset of the total cellular mt-DNA, can result in cell death, possibly because the mitochondrion has another function in addition to its energy production, namely to drive programmed cell death (apoptosis). Do this to enough muscle cells, and you find out what it is like to be 95 years old.
And it would be nice if we could drink a little green tea and make this not happen.
Blame it on the parents and their choices, of course!
Playing devil’s advocate, there are plenty of child actors around the world who are coached on doing various things for horror films. I’d guess that coaching a kid to do something for a video is less disturbing than the other options, if you treat it as nothing but an act.
Case in point, the comment below yours by leaf.
The enemas for children thing is mostly child abuse. My stepbrother had been abused this way by his adoptive mother (before our families were blended). She also locked him in the basement and did other things to him. These were all punishment related, with other darker overtones. I didn’t meet her ever, but while I can’t be certain she was a pedophile, she was demented and cruel at the least.
Like Andreas Johansson, I had never even heard of the other Sebastopol (CA) and had no idea what that comment was about until I googled the name, despite being an American.
according to a local quackupuncurist, the physiology of chronic lower back pain is the result of the liver processing gamma rays in the skull…
I’ve heard it said that quacks love enemas simply because it’s the only intervention an unqualified person is allowed to carry out.
In view of the risks pointed to above, that would be pretty shocking
Leaf. Sweet, gentle, seething Leaf.
Thank you for making my case. Go over to East/West and have some Kombucha and get your chakras realigned. I’m sure you’ll feel better . . .
I don’t think she’d have to be a pedophile to do that, but rather a something with the potential to be much more disturbing: a sadist.
Hmm, when did we rate numbers? Has someone been messing with the code again?
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned so far (maybe because it is getting a bit off topic) is Dr Kellog’s enthusiasm for circumcision. For better or worse (depending on which side of the fence you are sit in the circumcision debate) for USA male babies the APA has now broadly endorsed Dr.Kellog’s views.
There might be a post about Kellogg in the wayback machine. I can’t recall if Orac ever blogged about him or not.
You said that that’s Matt’s daughter in the video. That’s not her. That video was of a young girl that looks to be about 2 1/2 yrs old. Matt’s daughter is only 14 mos old and looks nothing like that little girl in the video that’s giving her stuffed bears pretend enemas. And Matt has never claimed that that video was of his daughter. Plus, when Matt first showed that video, his daughter was only 1 yr old and definitely not able to speak like the little girl in the video.
Funny, I can’t find any place in the article where Orac claims this.
In fact Orac evens embeds another video which DOES show Matt’s daughter, and it’s obvious it’s not the same kid. I can see how there might have been some slight confusion but I know Orac hates pedantry so I won’t mention it.
Does any of this make it right to promote enemas as a cure-all, especially for two-year-old kids?
My last sentence/question is directed at rho. Methinks he/she has a connection to the enema movement (was that a pun?) and Maverick’s operation.
I’m so sorry. I definitely mis-read the article! Marc & AdamG, you are absolutely right! And, I don’t have a feeling about enemas one way or another, and have never given an enema to any of my children when they were little. I do apologize to Orac.
#109 Good say.
I think that shoving tubes up childrens’ bums (by definition, they cannot give valid consent) without a good reason amounts to child abuse.
Is there any chance of reporting these lunatics to the relevant authorities?
[…] not often that medical science seems nuttier than its alternative. On Respectful Insolence, Orac dismisses the enema as a cure for all ills, writing that the “liver, colon, and kidneys” are specialized to […]
I couldn’t agree LESS with this article… U clearly have never done an enema or at least not when u r sick. I have and I have had instant relief! Those people who are afraid to put something so small up their butt have their own issues and more fool you because instead u take man made drugs into ur body to solve every problem under the sun! <— that's the crazy s**t right there!! most medical problems are caused by what I have ingested- so flush it out! It's really not rocket science!
Oh and for the people who think giving enemas to children is wrong… I think u must be confusing it with child abuse which is the complete opposite to giving an enema! the person is caring and with plenty of lubrication it should not bother them too much …. Id say sticking sharp needles into their backsides and arms without consent is more abusive! But because drs tell you that’s a necessity you all jump at that!! It’s laughable!
Have you tried an enema using bleach? That is the topic under consideration. Why don’t you give it a try and let us know how good it feels.
@Anon – because spraying a child’s insides with caustic substances for no valid medical reason is acceptable to you?
@LW, I was told of a medical doctor who instructs patients to do water-based enemas as a detox method using 30-35 gallons of water several times a week.
Anon, there aresome conditions where administering an enema may be indicated.
There are no conditions, however, for which administering a bleach enema is a valid response.
Anonymous: A few exceptions to your post.
Many of these parents of autistic kids are mentally ill…they suffer from “delusionary parasitosis” (imaginary worms), which they *swear* they see in their childrens’ bloody diarrhea (caused) by bleach enemas.
The commercial bleach product sold as MMS causes their children to bleed from their rectums.
It is a form of child abuse, to inflict pain on your helpless developmentally disabled child…no different that a pervert who grabs a child…and takes perverse sadistic pleasure while inflicting pain.
BTW, which childhood immunizations are given to a child “with sharp needles in their backsides”?
Anonymous @ 113
Citations desparately needed
Sounds like you need to be more choosy about what you eat. I’ve only rarely, if ever, had medical problems caused by what I have ingested. I do occasionally have issues with stuff getting caught in a narrow part of my esophagus, but I suspect (pray?) that no enema will affect that.
If you meant that most medical problems in all people are caused by what they ingest, then I agree that a citation is needed.
If you meant that most medical problems in people other than yourself are caused by things that you, yourself have ingested, then that sounds clearly false.
Maybe if you used a pressure washer?
MOB, you just need to thread the enema tube all the way down from the oppsite end of the alimentary canal until you reach your colon.
Need a long tube, of course–and a team of German engineers–but that’s a small price to pay for restoring your ‘natural’ balance, isn’t it?.
@Militant Agnostic – Thanks for the suggestion. I need to check the warnings on my pressure washer to see if it says “not for internal use” or “not to be used as an enema device”. If not, we’re good to go! Stand back.
@JGC – no cost is too high to restore your natural balance! Will Austrian engineers work as well?
most medical problems are caused by what I have ingested
Sounds like my cat.
You ate your cat??
I’m sure you’ve ehard the Joke? In Heaven: the cooks are French, the policemen are English, the engineers are German, the lovers are Italian and the bankers are Swiss.
While in hell the cooks are English, the policemen are German, the engineers are French, the lovers are Swiss
and the bankers are Italian.
Herr Doktor, if Orac can eat puppies, I can consume a cat.
Quoth Anonymous in Virginia, “U clearly have never done an enema or at least not when u r sick. I have and I have had instant relief!”
First off, how many here have ever been subjected to an enema? I haven’t. The human body works pretty well at moving things along the digestive tract; if it didn’t, our species would have died out a long time before enemas were invented.
Second, an enema when you are sick may give relief, I suppose, for certain values of “sick” and “relief”, but repeated enemas, with or without bleach, with no medical indication are invasive and abusive.
Third, Anonymous likens enemas to shots; if the enemas were given as rarely as shots, with the same attention to the child’s well-being, and with similarly strong medical justification, I think there would be less objection to them. It’s not like children are generally hauled in daily, weekly, or even monthly for some kind of shot. My limited understanding of enemas suggest that even without bleach, a poorly administered enema could cause a lot more damage than a poorly administered shot.
#113 “most medical problems are caused by what I have ingested”
Oh dear. What on earth do you eat? If you have pica you should really seek treatment, it can be very dangerous.
I wonder if Anonymous just came in here a day late.
BTW, which childhood immunizations are given to a child “with sharp needles in their backsides”?
Sometimes the child attempts to hide under a chair and leaves only the buttocks accessible. It happened to ummm a friend of mine.
That reminds me of the Ayurvedic practice of swallowing one end of a long piece of cloth, while keeping hold of the other end, to “clean the stomach”*, known as Vastra Dhouti, one of the amusingly named Shatkarmas (no kidding) . Advanced practitioners allow it to pass right through until it emerges the other end, and floss the entire GI tract (kidding, I hope).
* Please don’t try this at home, or anywhere else.
I read about them daubing up stomach acid in order to rid themselves of it! Antacids are easier to take.
-btw- don’t cats like to eat string or cord? Often with bad results- sawed intestines from peristaltis.
@Krebiozen – I clicked on the link and that info was certainly, erm…gag-inducing? Nothing like spiritually-sanctioned bulimia to promote optimum physical and mental health. *headdesk*
Denice, the in-laws had a cat that swallowed tinsel every Chritmas. In due course, the tinsel appeared at the other end, and was gently pulled out.
The cat neither said “Mama” nor “Meow”.
So sticking objects up your butt is ok, but an injection of other substances into your arm is not.
Hmm, interesting logic you got there.
Ah, so before giving children enemas, you ask them first? And if they don’t want to do it, you don’t give it to them? Boy, I’m glad you have the ethical sense to ask the kids first, otherwise you’d sound pretty hypocritical.
Regarding sharp needles in backsides, most of the early childhood vaccinations (the intramuscular ones, anyway) are given in the quadriceps. In older children and adults, the deltoid is preferred because it’s so convenient, but the deltoid isn’t big enough in an infant; you need a bigger muscle. I could see some people getting confused between upper thigh and buttock, especially if they are already looking for reasons to be angry about vaccination.
I received two vaccinations in my own buttocks, as an adult. Rhogam. 😉 That’s a special case, though, and I dearly hope not often required in childhood given the context in which it is administered (maternity).
@ Anonymous: Show me which vaccines are administered with sharp needles in childrens’ back sides…