The wisdom of charlatans

Bravo to Christopher Wanjek at for taking the time to write about just how much is wrong in Kevin Trudeau’s book More Natural Cures Revealed (no link provided to avoid endorsing this hackery).

Kevin Trudeau wants to save your life, and the Nazis at the FDA and FTC will stop at nothing to bring him down. They have made it clear to him that their intent is to imprison him, confiscate his latest book, and burn it.

So begins Trudeau’s self-published “More Natural Cures Revealed,” a fascinating cross between a health book, fictitious novel, and a paranoid, hate-filled rant along the lines of “Mein Kampf.”

Normally I wouldn’t highlight such lunacy for risk of advertising it. And at first glance, one would think that this book could only attract a fringe audience, like those websites advocating to drink your own urine. But “More Natural Cures” is a follow-up to the self-published “Natural Cures ‘They’ Don’t Want You To Know About,” which sold several million copies and reached the New York Times best-seller list.

To put in perspective how sad this is for American scientific literacy, consider that the magazine Scientific American, which I would like to see as required reading for all high school seniors, has a circulation less than 700,000. Both Scientific American and Trudeau’s books are available at the big-name bookstores. But millions of readers find Trudeau $25 paperweights the better buy.

. . .

Nearly every health claim in Trudeau’s book is patently false or misleading, aside from the generic “eat right and exercise” advice.

If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that all the worst claims of self-help, alternative medicine books are consolidated in “Natural Cures” for easy dismissal. Let’s examine a few.

Animals in the wild never get sick. Trudeau and others use this line to imply that heart disease, diabetes, cancers and other woos are not present in the natural world. Two words: Bubonic plague. It has killed a lot of rodents. Then there’s West Nile, Lyme disease, bird flu, the Ebola plague killing mountain gorillas… The list is endless. When animals get sick, they get eaten. They don’t live long enough to get serious arthritis because arthritis leads to either starvation or a predator’s meal. And sharks get cancer, despite the ridiculously titled book “Sharks Don’t Get Cancer.”

. . .

Medical science has completely failed to prevent or cure disease.  Well, on average people are living 30-some years longer than people did 100 years ago.  I don’t think this has anything to do with reading Trudeau’s book.  Small pox is on my short list of scores of diseases cured.  St. Vitus Dance is on my other list of diseases with funny names now gone.  Whooping cough only appears in groups who refuse the vaccine, which Trudeau is obviously against.

. . .

The most disturbing aspect of Trudeau’s book is the disclaimer, in which he states tongue-in-cheek to appease the FTC that his book “is for entertainment purposes only,” that “truth is sprinkled in to spice things up,” and that “the stuff in this book really doesn’t work.”

Maybe the book and the subscription-only website that Trudeau leads readers to for “more cures” will make him lots of money.  He’ll need some, being a two-time convicted felon who has had to pay more than $2 million to settle claims about bogus cancer cures and pain relievers. Still, it’s a tough sell.  The new book contains no new information, just a repeat of the last book, links to websites, his diatribe against the FTC and FDA, and his advice to not read newspapers.

Is he fraudulent or just delusional?  That’s for Trudeau to answer.  He’s the one that has to look at himself in the mirror every day and assess his value as a human being.

[tags], Kevin Trudea’s book, Hackery exposed[/tags]