When 29 naturopaths were sickened at a seminar in Germany this month, they summoned paramedics instead of calling on their fellow practitioners in the same room. But there was more to this story than delicious irony.
The naturopaths seemed to have been sickened due to the ingestion of an illegal, psychedelic amphetamine. It has yet to be determined if this was a drug orgy, medical testing gone awry, or a deliberate poisoning. But for those unencumbered by waiting for the results of an investigation, this was the continuation of a summer-long assault on alternative medicine clinicians by the government and/or the pharmaceutical industry. The other herbalist hits and homeopathic homicides took place in the U.S., so this adds a tantalizing cross-Atlantic twist to the mix.
The most prominent of these deaths was the suicide of anti-vaccination doctor Jeff Bradstreet, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound less than a week after FDA agents raided his office. Then a number of other deaths were tied to Bradstreet’s in what was presented as a genocide aimed at reflexologists, shamans, and applied kinesiologists. However, if Big Pharma is behind this, it is going about it in an inefficient manner. The alternative medicine practitioners are being killed off at a rate so slow, the mass murder is being outpaced by the number of new clinicians setting up practice.
Moreover, Reason.com examined the cases and found the number of deaths consistent with what would be expected from such a large pool of potential victims. Additionally, half of those dying were not alternative specialists, but authentic ones with medical degrees. So using the logic of the conspiracy theorists, there’s reason to believe that Big Alterna Medicine is whacking mainstream doctors. Reason is a libertarian-leaning website that doesn’t normally deal with skeptic issues, it brought this one up in order to segue into the following paragraph:
“What is known as ‘complementary’ or ‘integrative’ health is firmly entrenched in the medical establishment, with a well-funded center at the National Institutes of Health, working to promote alternative treatments at dozens of medical centers. Yet despite $5.5 billion spent over the last 23 years, they’ve found no alternative cures. It’s an astonishing record of taxpayer-funded futility.”
This highlights one of the absurdities of the theory. While it saddens and sickens me, counterfeit doctors now work along genuine ones in hospitals and at university medical centers. Reiki clinicians, radionics practitioners, crystal healers, acupuncturists, and aromatherapists have been given a place in integrative and complementary medicine wings, even at elite institutions.
I do not know when double blind studies became superfluous in determining which medicines works. I don’t know how techniques that bypass the Scientific Method became accepted as cures and treatments by the medical establishment. This is as nonsensical as Carl Sagan working with Sydney Omarr, or Stephen Jay Gould collaborating on a paper with Ken Ham. Nevertheless, the medical industry isn’t killing alternative practitioners. It is funding, embracing, and promoting them.
The hysteria over alternative medicine workers being slaughtered is the result of unjustified inferences and outright fabrications. For example, HealthNutNews reported that, on the day of Bradstreet’s suicide, three alternative doctors went missing in New Mexico. However, a subsequent article in the Daily Beast revealed that this trio were mainstream doctors, not alternative ones. Nor were they subject to an FDA raid or investigation. In fact, no one on these alleged hit lists were being targeted by the FDA, except for Bradstreet.
Others doctors who died or disappeared, and were falsely said to be alternative specialists, were: retired ophthalmologist Patrick Fitzpatrick; general family practitioner Amanda Crews; obstetrician-gynecologist Ronald Schwartz; dentist Norm Castellano; and pulmonologist Jeffrey Whiteside.
And there’s not much mystery among the alternative practitioners on these imaginary hit lists. Nicholas Gonzalez died of cardiac arrest. One osteopath and one holistic practitioner were murdered, but suspects with no ties to the FDA or pharmaceutical industry were arrested in these cases.
That leaves two chiropractors who died for undetermined reasons, and these two deaths do no not exactly leave alternative medicine on the verge of extinction. In fact, the number of alternative medicine practitioners who died of mysterious causes is exceeded by the number of people who have died after climbing into tiger cages. Maybe Big Pharma and Big Cats are in this one together.