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Naturopath Paul Theriault challenges Orac. It does not go well..for Not-a-Doctor Theriault

In the days before Orac left the blog in order to rest and recharge his Tarial cell, he got into a little…”discussion”… on Twitter with a naturopath named Paul Theriault. It did not go well…for Not-a-Doctor Theriault. Be careful what you wish for, naturopaths, when you encounter Orac. You might get it.

I must admit that these days I probably spend too much time on Twitter. On the other hand, Twitter is a lovely place to find blog fodder for days when the inspirational juices aren’t flowing quite as well as I would like and there doesn’t seem to be a study or news item so urgent that the burning desire to write about it jars me into action. So it was before Thanksgiving and not long before I disappeared on my vacation. Somehow I got involved in a Twitter “discussion” with a couple of naturopaths. One of them was named Paul Theriault, and the other is someone familiar whom I’ve written about on this blog and elsewhere before, Dugald Seely, the “naturopathic oncologist” who helped develop the Society for Integrative Oncology’s guidelines for breast cancer care and has two grants worth a total of $7 million dollars from an anonymous donor to try to “prove” that naturopathy improves survival in various cancers. Not surprisingly, Twitter being Twitter, Theriault and Seely were defending naturopathic oncology, while I (and a few other hardy skeptics) were pointing out that any specialty of which homeopathy is an integral component is not science-based. This led to Theriault challenging me, in essence tugging on Superman’s cape:

To which I sarcastically responded, in essence, “Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it.” At the time I was just joking, yanking Not-a-Doctor Theriault’s chain, so to speak. Really I was. I swear! But then I saw this response:

That made me curious, and my curiosity led me to start to do some digging.

I then realized that Anderson’s name sounded very familiar and kicked myself (metaphorically speaking) for not having immediately recognized it. I’ve mentioned him before. He is a proponent of intravenous curcumin, the treatment that resulted in the sudden death of a young woman in California, and issued a rather clueless defense of the practice in the wake of that tragedy. As Jann Bellamy characterized him, he’s also a tireless campaigner against FDA attempts to rein in compounding pharmacies of the sort that produced the curcumin that resulted in the woman’s death. In any event, he runs a practice in Seattle, Advanced Medical Therapies.

I didn’t recall having heard about McKinney before; so I Googled him too. He runs a practice called Vital Victoria Naturopathic Clinic, Ltd. Both Anderson and McKinney bill themselves as “naturopathic oncologists”, and apparently Theriault “trained” (if you can call it that) under both of them.

At this point, let me remind everyone that the discussion on Twitter involved Theriault jumping into a discussion about homeopathy to defend it, with Seely chiming in to call me (and others) dogmatic defenders of the medical “orthodoxy” while claiming that the arrogance of doctors, areas where medicine is not as evidence-based as it should be, and all the other problems in medicine make naturopathic medicine’s record appealing, thus giving me not one, but two opportunities to cite Ben Goldacre’s famous retort to these sorts of arguments:

So I decided to look into these “naturopathic oncologists”, who, if you believe Not-a-Doctor Theriault, are paragons of evidence-based practice. It’s a good exercise, and time was tight this weekend because my wife and I are fostering a rescue dog and her litter of puppies and their pen in our basement needs a good cleaning. Indeed, before I dig into the records of the two naturopaths, I think I would be remiss not to let you know where to see them if you so desire. Videos from the last week on my YouTube channel have the story, and the story of the other puppies we fostered this time last year can be seen there too, as well as a video that’s very appropriate for my discussion below:

Yes, we do discuss homeopathy in this post, because we have to. The post is about naturopathic oncologists and naturopathy.

Not-a-Doctor Paul Anderson: Chelation, micronutrients, and other nonsense

Visiting Not-a-Doctor Anderson’s website, it didn’t take me long to find this introductory video:

In the video, he touts “advanced processes” and “advanced protocols” in which he orders naturopathic interventions by protocols that he’s developed over his career. Now here’s an interesting thing:

AMT was founded by Dr. Paul Anderson with a specific focus on advanced therapies that he has developed over the past three decades to improve health via therapeutic synergy. With staff trained by Dr. Anderson, Advanced Medical Therapies (AMT) offers infusion therapy (IV), hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), and infrared sauna – mild hyperthermia (IRMHT).

AMT physicians are guided by Dr. Anderson’s protocols. Patients receive the most up to date treatments and protocols created in a team setting with Dr. Anderson and AMT physicians.

Dr. Anderson does not see patients one on one.

So, basically, this sounds like a franchise or a way for Anderson to make money and have a lot of patients seen without having to do a lot of work himself. The video itself also features Anderson explaining how some of his patients come with a plan of care to which he adds naturopathy and for some there is “nothing left” that conventional medicine can offer and how his processes are different for each kind of patient. No doubt (I’m guessing) he has to keep some of the rankest pseudoscience toned down for patients who are still seeing real doctors.

So what “services” does Anderson offer? It states that his clinic’s practice areas include IV therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and infrared medical therapies. None of these can be said to have high quality evidence supporting their use in the conditions for which Not-a-Doctor Anderson is using them. For example, check out the infusions they offer in his section on IV therapy:

Here at advanced medical therapies we offer a wide variety of infusions, ranging from nutritional IVs with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to chelation and detox services, to ozone and pharmaceutical therapies, including treatments such as antibiotics. With regard to nutritional IVs, these are infusions that have been designed and formulated from the collective experience of over three decades from the minds of Dr. Anderson and the other physicians at AMT, guaranteeing that you are given a customized and tailored approach for whatever symptoms or condition you may be experiencing.

So what about these “therapies”? I’ve written about “micronutrient therapy” in detail before. Suffice to say that it is pretty much useless and has resulted in FDA action against at least one company selling it. Chelation therapy is not only useless for anything other than actual medically documented acute heavy metal toxicity (as opposed to the bogus “heavy metal toxicity” diagnosed by tests sold by dubious companies to naturopaths to do “provoked urine testing”), it is potentially dangerous and can kill. It does not treat autism; it does not treat cardiovascular disease; it doesn’t treat much of anything except for the relatively rare case of acute metal poisoning; and it certainly doesn’t treat the plethora of chronic diseases and other conditions for which naturopaths prescribe it.

The same is true of “detox”. The whole concept of “detox” is based on the idea that our body is bombarded with unnamed “toxins” that are causing all manner of chronic diseases and that the only way to eliminate them is to “detoxify” by whatever scientifically-nonsensical means naturopaths (and other alternative or integrative medicine practitioners) come up with. A variant of the idea is that our bodies are “poisoning themselves” with our waste products (and have 20 lbs. of poop backed up in our intestines to boot!), meaning that we must “cleanse.” It’s an idea that actually dates back to ancient Egypt but was particularly popular during the Victorian era, when surgeons would actually do colectomies to eliminate the “autointoxication” and treat diseases having nothing to do with the colon, including psychiatric illness. (Because of the lack of antibiotics, this was a high mortality procedure back then.) As I like to point out, our livers and kidneys (and lungs) are quite good at eliminating “toxins” and only need help when they are failing. Such failure is not generally a subtle diagnosis. Renal and liver failure produce distinct clinical syndromes, for instance. Basically, “detoxification” is more akin to religious ritual purification than anything else. It’s a scam in our opinion.

I could go on and on about my conclusion that Not-a-Dr. Anderson’s protocols are pseudoscientific nonsense, just like most naturopathic treatments, but you already know that. After all, he offers intravenous ozone, high dose vitamin C, and a very cornucopia of infusions, all while claiming to be able to treat these disorders:

Additionally, when evaluating really any disorder or symptom, oftentimes at its root is an elegant solution based upon your complex biochemistry and physiology. Providing nutrients or cofactors for certain biological processes or tailoring nutrients for your genetics may be the missing piece in your treatment.

There is always a place for infusion services in your treatment; however, at AMT we specialize in complex, chronic degenerative diseases and conditions which generally do not respond to conventional medicine. IVs are used alongside the other treatments to assist with a variety of conditions such as for those suffering with chronic infections, neuropsychiatric conditions, pediatric disorders, and supporting persons with cancer.

Chronic infections? I wonder if he means chronic Lyme disease, a favorite fake diagnosis of naturopaths. He also claims his infusions can offer “immune support”—whatever that means; it’s basically a fancy way of saying a favorite meaningless quack phrase, “boost the immune system“.

And I haven’t even discussed the hyperbaric oxygen treatment (which is only evidence-based for a very few conditions not including many of the conditions for which Anderson uses it, like autism) and infrared sauna mild hyperthermia, which Anderson claims can be used for “anti-infective, cancer, toxicity and many others”.

Of course, Anderson has also written a book, Outside the Box Cancer Therapies: Alternative Therapies That Treat and Prevent Cancer. Not surprisingly, the excerpt featured on the website touts an alternative cancer cure testimonial in which the patient survived five years with metastatic cancer but there was no mention of whether the cancer size actually decreased or increased, just that it was still there. He also offers review courses for the naturopathic licensing examination and sells webinars.

He’s also heavily into epigenetics and has even posted what is entitled a “master class” in epigenetics, nutrigenomics, and cancer. I tried listening to it, but soon abandoned it to protect my battered neurons. Let’s just say that @SartoriusMD (whose Tweet was quoted above) was correct in his characterization of Anderson’s beliefs about metabolism, cancer, and epigenetics. You can watch if you like, but don’t say I didn’t warn you:

Let’s just put it this way. If Theriault wanted to provide an example of a naturopathic oncologist who is practicing every bit as much evidence-based and science-based medicine as any conventional oncologist, Paul Anderson was a poor choice. I can see why Theriault trained under him.

Not-a-Doctor Neil McKinney: Homeopathy!

So let’s move on to Theriault’s other hero, Neil McKinney. He was even easier to peg as a typical naturopath than Anderson. For instance, he unabashedly and unashamedly uses “classical constitutional and complex homeopathy for acute and chronic illnesses.” He also embraces “energy medicine,” in particular reiki, or, as I like to refer to it, faith healing substituting Asian religious beliefs for Christian religious beliefs, complete with a reiki master in his practice:

Reiki (“Ray-Key”) is the laying on of hands in a traditional manner to direct healing energy to a specific part of the body, or the entire body. Reiki is not a religion, cult, dogma, or specific doctrine.

Reiki will…

  • Alleviate Pain, accelerate physical healing
  • Promote deep emotional release, relaxation, and bring peace to agitated minds
  • Support allopathic and holistic healing
  • Allow space for spiritual connections
  • Balance the energy system in our bodies.

Reiki is compatible with all other modalities of healing, whether traditional or alternative. It is non-invasive, safe and gentle for all ages. During your treatment, all your clothes are left on (except shoes). Usually your whole body is treated, while you lay on your back on a treatment table.

Not surprisingly, McKinney also offers acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, as well as these:

Dr. McKinney has innovated new and affordable therapies for cancer as well as powerful support for conventional care such as chemo radiation and surgery as well as palliative care. He has also formulated reinforcing therapies for maintenance, cancer prevention and remission.

Dr. McKinney provides alternative therapies for the treatment of cancer which may include high dose vitamins, tinctures and vupplements [sic] including Reishi mushroom, Indole 3 Carbinol, Curcumin etc. He also uses powerful therapeutics such as artemesinin, mistletoe therapy and low dose naltroxone.

Because he also uses low dose naltrexone too.

Particularly amusing is McKinney’s list of references supposedly supporting naturopathic oncology. It’s basically everything but the kitchen sink. If any supplement any time ever was shown to kill cancer cells in a dish, its reference is probably there. If there’s an alternative cancer cure testimonial turned into a publication in a quack journal, it’s probably there too. If there’s an article touting a supplement or alternative treatment to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy, it’s likely there too. Overall it’s 86 pages, too long to examine in detail today, although perhaps I should peruse some of the articles in a future post.

Again, if Not-a-Dr. Theriault thought he would impress me by naming Not-a-Dr. McKinney as a practitioner of evidence-based “naturopathic oncology” treatment (yes, I know that’s a contradiction in terms), he was sadly mistaken.

Be careful what you ask for, Mr. Theriault…

This entire post started almost as a lark. I wasn’t sure if there was anything useful to be gleaned from taking Theriault up on his seeming challenge to look at the work and careers of two of his naturopathic mentors. Let’s just say that his mentors were less…impressive…than Theriault believes them to be. I suppose it’s no wonder that when I looked at his blog on his practice website I found that the vast majority of his posts were defenses of homeopathy in which he claims that homeopathy has good in vitro evidence, calls the claim that homeopathy lacks clinical trial evidence a “lie” (all while making excuses for why homeopathy can’t be easily subjected to double blind randomized placebo-controlled trials), and even suggests potential homeopathic “provings” for crocodiles. (I kid you not.)

Maybe this post is still a bit more “lark-like” than my usual post, but I still think it was a useful exercise. It served to demonstrate to me (and, I hope, to you) that what a naturopath considers to be “evidence-based” or “science-based” is a far cry from what is really evidence- or science-based. Even “naturopathic oncologists”, who seem to think of themselves as the most scientific and evidence-based of naturopaths, embrace rank quackery. Same as it ever was.

Oh, and, Paul, remember what Jim Croce once sang.

Finally, I’ll just take this opportunity to let you all know that it might be a two or three days before I get back into the groove of blogging regularly again. Part of the reason is the puppies that I told you about when I left. For instance, tonight we have a meeting with a trainer for the puppies’ mom, and that might not leave me time to produce the sort of Insolence, be it Respectful or not-so-Respectful, the you expect. Fear not.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

73 replies on “Naturopath Paul Theriault challenges Orac. It does not go well..for Not-a-Doctor Theriault”

Particularly amusing is McKinney’s list of references supposedly supporting naturopathic oncology. It’s basically everything but the kitchen sink. If any supplement any time ever was shown to kill cancer cells in a dish, its reference is probably there.

Obligatory xkcd reference.

When my HIV patients asked about this or that blue-sky “treatment” or “cure” they would inevitably return to the Sunday supplement that carried it. I used to ask them, “If the newspaper claimed you could be cured by taking a couple of blows to the head, can I bring a Louisville Slugger to your next appointment?”

My first thought, when seeing Anderson’s face in the first video, is that he doesn’t look very healthy. He looks very red in the face and overweight. I’m certainly not suggesting that doctors need to be paragons of health in order to be good doctors. However, given how much NDs and homeopaths blather on about things like “optimum health”, I’m a bit dubious about his abilities to live up to his profession’s hype.

Actually, I think it does matter–sometimes anyway. As my PCP has put on significant weight the last three years, she has taken to scoffing at any discussion of my own weight (which is important to my health as I was diabetic before my weight loss). She quips things like, “oh, a study says being a little overweight is healthy”.

I am looking for a new doc.

I watched his video. He equivocates about everything. Everything is too complicated. Only a few people can understand. You can fix one gene and another breaks and the cancer doesn’t remiss. He couldn’t cite any data. It was all just his brilliant ability to eventually find the answer. Sometimes you need an antioxidant. (Vitamin C and some weird vitamins no one has ever heard of.) Sometimes you need an oxidant. (Chemotherapy.) Don’t take your vitamin on the same day you get chemo. Take them the next day. Sometimes your genes do one thing. Sometimes they don’t. You will need a lot of tests.

He mentions his weight. It’s got something to do with the food and quality of life being low compared to what happened in his grandparent’s day. His parents are living and in their 90s so turn of the 20th century I guess. The crap that is modern life has “turned on” the bad genes and now he’s more susceptible to weight gain.

Like I say he was all over the place and there was no clear indicator of what you should do to accomplish anything. My fave moment was when he mentioned toxins.

“Everyone knows what toxins are; everyone knows what they do.” Well, no.

re epigenetics

Unfortunately, woo-meisters use the term to describe whatever they like as I know from frequent expositions by Null ( Lipto is a frequent guest):
it could be your diet, your attitude, your parents’ belief system, your early experiences. Anything can affect anything else.
Genes can be “turned on or off” ( their parlance, not mine). Just like that.

Funny, but this explanation reminds me a bit of what the loon says about memory:
everything that happens to you is recorded somewhere and affects your health, cells, telomere length etc. whatever happened to your parents early in life affects you.
Of course all of this is vaguely true: if your parents lived in poverty if might affect how they
lived, being careful with money, teaching you the same affecting your choices
BUT I think that they mean it in a much less educational or sociological way – more like a bad thought LITERALLY changes how a gene functions. And this is cumulative.

When Asterix goes to Britain, he finds that they have their own infusion from a much different plant, and they attribute their strength to that one – meant to be tea, of course.

He also uses powerful therapeutics such as artemesinin, mistletoe therapy and low dose naltroxone.

Mistletoe was one of Steiner’s contributions to the medfraud scammocopoeia. At some point the leprechauns in Steiner’s Teutonic underwear informed him that cancers are really a kind of parasite, and therefore a distillate of parasite would cure cancer, and then he revolutionised oncology by introducing tapeworm extracts.

No, wait, he didn’t; the cure had to be a plant parasite, and specifically mistletoe. You might think that fully parasitical plants like dodder or Rafflesia or the NZ Woodrose Dactylanthus taylorii would be twice as potent as as the merely hemi-parasitical mistletoe, but they do not provide the pharmacist with an excuse to go climbing trees with a golden sickle.

Oh, if it’s a Steiner thing then that explains a lot about a certain “clinic” in my neck of the woods…

“Mistletoe was one of Steiner’s contributions to the medfraud scammocopoeia.”

Interesting, another part of Steiner’s legacy, as we’ve been exploring here recently. How it is that people today can accept that sort of clearly-obsolete hogwash is beyond me. If Steiner ever had anything worthwhile to offer, it’s far eclipsed by the harm his acolytes do in his name.

OTOH there are still pockets of resistance to the germ theory of disease. And, judging from the generally lackadaisical attitude of large segments of the public when it comes to washing hands after using the toilet, sufficient ignorance of the matter to produce a result equivalent to a wider swath of germ theory denialism.

That plus the internet serving to hook up and empower all manner of cranks and nuts who might otherwise be isolated and powerless. Makes one wish for the days when they had to use mimeographed newsletters sent via postal mail, advertised in magazine classifieds and requesting 25-cents for postage.

Does anyone else here remember those? “Modern Medicine Is Killing You! Find out the dirty truth! Send 25-cents to Box 1234, Podunk Iowa!”

I thought it meant you stood under the mistletoe and kissed the boo-boo better. But Getafix is another possibility.

Orac writes,

…“immune support”—whatever that means; it’s basically a fancy way of saying a favorite meaningless quack phrase, “boost the immune system“.

@ Orac,

Welcome back, and remember not to spit in the wind when challenged. Also, let’s remember that MJD’s first published effort ( ) is intended to trick the immune system in an effort to inhibit metastasizing.

Natural allergy oncology:
trick not boost;
cancer cell loose; but
not allowed to roost.

Also, let’s remember that MJD’s first published effort…

… didn’t even make it into Pubmed from an open-access “journal.”

Your scheme fails to take into account the great genetic variability among the cells of the same cancer, varying and competing in much the same way as organisms evolve. This means that there is always a chance in certain cancers of escaping any method of chronic control. This is one of the reasons for multidrug regimens. This is one of many reasons your idea is lacking.


“Thomas A. Kruzel N.D. is a naturopathic physician who is in private practice at the Rockwood Natural Medicine Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona who specializes in non-invasive hemorrhoid treatment (also known as the Keesey technique)”

The VNMI indicates your understanding of the clinical application of the healing arts and sciences of Vitalistic Naturopathic Medicine.

So it is, literally, a certificate in magic.

“Thomas A. Kruzel N.D. is a naturopathic physician who is in private practice at the Rockwood Natural Medicine Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona who specializes in non-invasive hemorrhoid treatment (also known as the Keesey technique)”

You are putting me down a rabbit hole that no one should go down.

You are putting me down a rabbit hole that no one should go down.

If I were younger, I might have been flexible enough to make it a DIY project. It would have had to be AC, though (this seems to be a matter of debate), for lack of a rectifier.

Honestly the two of you, so incorrigible. I find it disturbingly amusing that this topic of Emmuncterology is a two-part course required for a shonky accreditation.

I always thought that the Keesey technique involved taking psychedelics and riding around in a painted bus so I can’t see how that could possibly help anyone.

Reiki! Reiki is my absolute favorite. Could there be a more perfect con? “I’m not even touching you…I’m just going to put my hands NEAR you…that’ll be $100.” Beautiful!

You can place your hands near my wallet, that contains $ 100, but you are not allowed to touch it. I suppose that is a good payment.

You appear to be unfamiliar with chip cards which you tap to pay. Reiki could be more costly than you expect if they successfully palm a card reader.

Where Orac posted that list, I couldn’t help but play “Fill In The Blanks”:

= Alleviate Pain, accelerate physical healing

(Placebome spoken here.)

= Promote deep emotional release, relaxation, and bring peace to agitated minds

(“Telling that Reiki quack he was full of sh!t, was the best emotional release in weeks! After that I went home and relaxed!)

= Support allopathic and holistic healing

(They do like that word “allopathic,” don’t they?)

= Allow space for spiritual connections

(“After I learned that Reiki is horse sh!t, I decided to use the time I saved to tutor some ex-Waldorf kids in math and also work in the local food bank.”)

= Balance the energy system in our bodies.

(Do they also claim that “unbalanced energy” is the reason you get a spark when you touch a metal object after shuffling across the carpet?)

I believe reiki might be a time travelling healing modality if you are a black belt. Which means any of you guys who ever recovered from an illness owe me a lot of money. I plan to begin training when I retire. Should reach sage level about ten minutes later. At this point I will retroactively cure you of sickness. I’m not superman so I may miss one or two terminal conditions. Apologies.

Does anybody recall who brought the bastardized version of reiki to the Occident? The Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai is some sort of secret society, and IIRC, it then got exported by an acolyte or something.

It states that his clinic’s practice areas include IV therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and infrared medical therapies.

In fact Anderson is claiming to have invented all three. That alone reveals him as a shameless conman.

Mainstream medicine is just mainstream quackery.

Medical science is an oxymoron.

Vaccine safety is an oxymoron.

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

Research waste is still a scandal—an essay by Paul Glasziou and Iain Chalmers

Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science

Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals

Quality and value: The true purpose of peer review

“… scientists understand that peer review per se provides only a minimal assurance of quality, and that the public conception of peer review as a stamp of authentication is far from the truth.”

What’s Wrong with Science—and How to Fix It

Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it. -Niels Bohr

Anyone who is not shocked by vaccine safety problems has not understood it …

People who live in glass houses …

People who live in glass houses …

Oh, the irony.

P.S. Anybody who is shocked by quantum theory at this point has not understood it. You either need less dated aphorisms or a neurological workup.

Xenu, er, I mean Vinu, I have a pretty fair recall for words, and I see that most of what passes for a post from you is the same old cherry-picking of quotes taken out of context and bundled into a dumpster fire of quotations passing for argument (Pardon the mixed metaphor.).
If medical science is quackery, then please tell me whether the congenital defect in my heart valves that caused them to become infected could have been treated any other way than the way they were – replacement with prostheses. If the surgery that saved my life was quackery, then thank god for medical quackery. What would you do in place of that – have someone wave their hands over you? Drink a glass of water? Sniff some flowers? Drink cow’s urine? Tell me, what alternative do you propose? If you can think your way through to a cogent reply, do please add some facts or at least some logical propositions.
Orac is being pretty indulgent with you. If it were my blog, I would put all your posts to one side until you come back with actual ideas of which a few should be in your own words..
“Anyone who understands Vinu’s posts has been taking hefty doses of lysergic acid.” – Old Rockin’ Dave

This comes from a person who is incapable to defend any of his immunological statements. Niels Bohr did much better.
For vaccine safety, do Google Scholar search with “hpv vaccine post licensure”. Your Bohr brain would certainly pick all problems peer review failed to notice.

Orac, i would have more respect for your writing if you were more sceptical which means more neutral more scientific. It seems to me that you are cashing some to just attack. You don’t come up with anything either proving they are wrong. You actually made me a believer of their views.

I call BS. You were always a believer or at least predisposed to belief. If I were nauseatingly polite and “civil,” you’d find another reason to discount me.

Re. Mart Jeanty: “You actually made me a believer of their views.”

Give away your power much?

Do you also respond to “special offers” on the internet?

Any truly evidenced based naturopath would follow the example of Britt Hermes

or Edzard Ernst.

But if a naturopath openly denounces homeopathy, acupuncture and reiki, I’ll at least give them a B for effort.

I’ve posed a question to a couple of naturopathic defenders in online forums and never gotten an attempt at an answer, so perhaps you’d like to step into the breach?

Name three naturopathic treatments that have been generally abandoned because they were shown to be ineffective, had too many negative side effects or a better treatment was found.

For a couple examples of real scientific skepticism, I recommend the 2015 PBS series currently running on Amazon Prime, The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements.

The first episode gives you a good view of what actual chemists were trying to do at the time Hahnemann was coming up with homeopathy. Humphrey Davy’s tests of various airs weren’t all that different from Hahnemann’s “provings”. Except that Davy went on to test his results and, after almost killing himself discovering carbon monoxide, he also discovered laughing gas, the first practical anesthetic and then used Volta’s battery to discovery two new elements on consecutive days.

As far as I know, Hahnemann never even tested to see which Bible was best for performing a succussion.

I always find it interesting when believers advocate MORE scepticism, science or neutrality.
Some of those I survey call for courses on critical thinking in standard education which would effectively cancel out their teaching:
I imagine that they don’t know what critical thinking actually means– if they did they wouldn’t be selling the ideas they do. How could THEY tell?

Partisan Tone Trolls don’t work here, Missy.
The old k00k gambit of – “I was undecided and innocently looking for answers but you’re such a big meanie that you convinced me that the woo-woo crackpots you are ridiculing are correct.” has been seen 100s of times before.
You’re not fooling anyone, Ms. Naturopathetic supporter. (Is that like an athletic supporter?)
I’m sending healing energy to you to restore your strength lost from all that pearl-clutching. (/sarc)

I am so offended by Mart’s post that I’m going right out to send $200 to the Society of Uncivil Skeptics.

People who live in glass houses …

If anyone should know, vinu . . . .

No one pretends there aren’t problems with medical research, or any kind of research. But as Ben Goldacre said: problems with aircraft design does not prove the existence of magic carpets. It does not mean we should throw out the baby with the bathwater.

It just means we need to reform the system. Including quackery is not part of that reform.

“I’ve posed a question to a couple of naturopathic defenders in online forums and never gotten an attempt at an answer”

Speaking of which, it’s disappointing that M. Theriault hasn’t shown up to defend the rigorous scientific basis of his preferred woo, profess great offense at the skepticism of meanies, and then pick up his skirts in righteous indignation and flee, citing all the precariously ill patients who have demands on his time. 🙁

Do you have a problem with raging woo-natics in the family whom you encounter at Xmas gatherings?*

Here’s some advice, of limited practical value but mildly amusing.

*My sister once confided to me that she refused to have her children use sunscreen while recreating outdoors, as sunscreen is harmful. My peace of mind has improved markedly since deciding to avoid most family get-togethers.

He defines a naturopath as anyone who believes “nature is best”.
That does not actually include naturopaths in the ususal meaning of that word, because they use all manner of un-natural treatments.

That was really good DB. I’m fortunate that I don’t have a “Rachel”, altho it would be good sport if I did. I do, however, have “Diarmuid” who is an obnoxious religious zealot and with a straight face, find egregious fault with every family member, ethnicity and other religion (that isn’t his) whilst quoting biblical scripture.

I have looked around the table at my siblings and families, and not seen anyone deranged, so obviously we are all sane.

My grown-up and smarter sister sometimes comments at RI. She may have her own perspective.

There may be one in every family, but it is not my father or me and we are the only ones at the Christmas table.
I know some family members who might be, or might have been in quackery, but there is not much contact, so I don’t know.

Sadly, none of this helps me. My daughter, having a BSc in psychology from McGill, is now attending a college to get a degree in acupuncture. We have already had some words, and I now hold my tongue as I value our continuing relationship far more than being right.
I found out that her views on acupuncture can be dangerous. In the car on Sunday she was discussing it with my wife. It’s not safe to drive while rolling your eyes.

Thank God my brother and sister, their spouses, and their kids are all stable and sane people.

My cousin on the other hand, thinks the UN invaded Vermont quite a few years ago, and spends her off hours running around abandoned buildings scaring herself and her friends chasing ghosts. We don’t talk much anymore.

So I guess every family has one.

@ Mike Morris:

Believe it for not, no one in my family ever advocated for woo ( although my uncle’s wife quietly sought out an ineffective cancer treatments to horrible effects when I was a child) BUT
over the years, there have been THREE all-out family wars ( two by my father’s siblings , one by my mother’s great nephews/ nieces) over my grandmother’s, uncle’s, cousin’s wills- respectively- which dragged on for years, in courts and lawyers’ offices, costing loads of money. Unfortunately, my uncle’s ( prior to legal marriage) partner was also affected because they held joint assets in banks and mutual funds which were FROZEN.
So for once I’d say, ” I can tolerate a little woo” rather than lawsuits.

Denice, I was playing off Smut Clyde’s (I hope) snark. The inter-family wars are rough and can last a long time. My ex was a homeopathic supporter. I went with her to one session and was taken aback by the spirituality he was trying to engender without any scientific support. Garden setting, tell me how you feel, use a diary to capture feelings, etc.

I still need to remind my daughter to get her vaccines. Her SO now does most of the prodding but her mother really started her down the wrong path.

The joke goes something like, “One in 3 people are likely to be X. Look left and look right. If neither are X, its you.”

These people’s appropriation of curcumin really galls me. My hubby does legit research on cancer stem cells and curcumin, and I want to cough up a tree whenever I see a quack citing curcumin as some kind of treatment option. They know nothing. Every time I read something about their “research” on curcumin I just want to spit (sorry for the mixed metaphors). These cancer quacks are just evil.

We kill ourselves trying to get three dollars from the NIH for honest and well-designed research on these fringe topics, and then some not-a-doctor comes along to market some brand of crap and destroys any potential legitimacy for something new as a real research avenue.

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