Respectful Insolence

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About a month and half ago, we learned that über-quack Hulda Clark, the woman who said that she had the Cure for All Cancers, had died on September 3, 2009. I was criticized for entitling my post Requiem for a Quack, but, given how Clark’s quackery had contributed to the suffering and deaths of an unknown number of cancer patients, I didn’t really feel too bad about it, although I do realize that the taboo about speaking ill of the recently dead is a strong one.

At the time, I was curious what the cause of Dr. Clark’s death was, because it seemed rather mysterious, being described as the result of a “spinal injury,” with no further description. Then, a reader sent me a scan of Hulda Clark’s death certificate, and this is what it listed as the cause of death:

Multiple myeloma. Cancer of plasma cells, a form of lymphoma.

Don’t believe me? Check out Hulda Clark’s death certificate (certain addresses whited out) for yourself. Even Hulda Clark’s own website admits that she had multiple myeloma:

Dr. Clark helped many people get well, but she couldn’t help herself. Her first symptom was excruciating pain in her arms. Pain medicines were ineffective. It would turn out she had deterioration in her neck vertebrae which was pinching those nerves. Her hands stopped functioning. It would turn out later she had carpal tunnel syndrome. So as soon as Dr. Clark knew there was something wrong, she physically could not use her Syncrometer techniques to investigate it because her hands and arms did not work well enough. Her health deterioration was a mystery.

Well, not really. The cause of her health deterioration, while perhaps a mystery initially, is quite clear now. She had multiple myeloma. It’s also a pretty lame excuse. I mean, come on! Clark “trained” dozens of acolytes to use her Syncrometer. Are they really saying that not a single one of them could use her device, which she claimed as part of the “cure for all cancers,” to cure her cancer, as she claimed she could cure all cancers? Not that it would have done any more good for Clark than it did for any of the cancer patients who misplaced their faith by putting it in her, but the excuse used to explain why Clark died of cancer when she had spent so many years claiming that she could cure it is lame in the extreme. Surely there must have been someone who could have operated the Syncronometer for her! In any case, this is how Hulda Clark’s site describes what happened next:

Dr. Clark could see from her blood tests that she was anemic. She got a transfusion but was uncertain if the anemia was significant because she had occasional anemia all her life. She also saw reduced kidney function. She spent a lot of time trying to figure that out but unbeknownst to her, chasing that clue would not lead anywhere.

She stopped being able to walk without severe pain. Dr. Clark lived with months of severe hip pain before two hip replacement surgeries and three months of rehabilitation let her walk again. Dr. Clark lived with unrelenting nerve pain for over six months before finding a medication that worked. She suffered more than she should have because she wanted to solve her problems herself, even in the face of her severe physical limitations.

In other words, like her patients, Hulda Clark suffered because she eschewed conventional therapy longer than she should have:

Dr. Clark was scheduled for a procedure to fix the vertebrae in her neck. While doing routine blood tests in preparation for the operation, high calcium levels were noted. The surgery was cancelled and the hypercalcemia was treated. Her doctors evaluated all of Dr. Clark’s symptoms and decided multiple myeloma was the best explanation. That is a blood and bone cancer. No biopsy was performed, so it was not one hundred percent certain, but that didn’t matter because the treatment would be the same in any case (monitor calcium and anemia).

Ironically, Dr. Clark documented helping a multiple myeloma sufferer in The Cure For All Advanced Cancers. Perhaps if she had known what to look for earlier she could have better helped herself. But it was too late. In her last few months, Dr. Clark was physically unable to function well. Her family took care of her and was with her when she died peacefully one evening.

It is simply not true that there is no “conventional” treatment for multiple myeloma other than monitoring anemia and hypercalcemia. For patients under 65, the treatment is often high-dose chemotherapy with hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. Hulda Clark, of course, was 80, and thus almost certainly too old for such a harsh regimen to benefit her. However, for such patients, there is a more mild treatment, namely chemotherapy:

If you’re not considered a candidate for stem cell transplantation, your initial therapy is likely to be a combination of melphalan, prednisone and thalidomide — often called MPT — or melphalan, prednisone and bortezomib (Velcade) — often called (MPV). If the side effects are intolerable, melphalan plus prednisone (MP) or lenalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone are additional options. This type of therapy is typically given for about 12 to 18 months.

Also, ironically enough, thalidomide has fairly recently been shown to be an effective treatment for multiple myeloma. Either Hulda Clark was so debilitated that she couldn’t handle even the standard therapy of thalidomide, which is a pretty mild drug (unless you’re a reproductive-age woman who becomes pregnant and whose child suffers the birth defects thalidomide causes, which Clark clearly was not), or she chose not to have any science-based therapies. Not surprisingly, I suspect the latter. After all, let’s review the titles of some of her books, shall we? There are:

  • The Cure for All Advanced Cancers (It sounds as though Clark’s cancer was advanced. Why couldn’t her methods cure it? After all, her book says she has the cure for all advanced cancers. Of course, that makes me wonder if maybe she didn’t have the cure for early stage cancers.)
  • The Cure for All Cancers (Never mind that last comment. Clark suffered from a cancer, period. Why couldn’t she cure it if she really did have the cure for all cancers?)
  • The Cure for All Diseases. (This is my favorite of all; I mean, shouldn’t we “allopathic doctors” be out of business, other than trauma and orthopedic surgeons if Clark really had the cure for all diseases?)

It also occurs to me that Hulda Clark’s death teaches us something important about quackery. Specifically, it tells us that many of the practitioners are just as deluded and misguided as those whom they lure away from scientific medicine and towards ineffective and even harmful quackery. There are two kinds of alt-med quacks. First, there are the ones who, like Kevin Trudeau, don’t believe at all, ones who are basically con men. Then there are the ones like Hulda Clark, ones who really believe. While the former can do major harm, I fear the latter more. Because they believe the are the more persuasive for it, and, in the case of Hulda Clark, it is clear from her reaction to her deteriorating health that she almost certainly really believed in her pseudoscience. Of course, its lucrative nature probably didn’t hurt, either, but at her core, I suspect that Hulda Clark really did believe that she had the cure for all cancers, even though it was clear from her own end that she didn’t have a clue about cancer. How she could maintain that belief in the absence of any evidence that her woo did anything, in the absence of a single truly “cured” patient? Who knows? Whatever her motivation, she did incalculable harm to her clients and in the end, by rejecting science-based medicine in favor of her own quackery, Clark blew her best chance at treating her cancer and maintaining her quality of life for as long as possible.

I realize that the universe is not fair in any sense of the imagination. All too often, bad people prosper, and good people suffer horrible fates. However, in the case of Hulda Clark, if I believed in divine justice or some sort of karma, I’d have to believe that her end was completely fitting. The woman whose quackery caused so much suffering among cancer patients during her life ultimately succumbed to the very disease she claimed to be able to cure but was not. Having recently watched a love one succumb to stage IV breast cancer, I wouldn’t wish such a fate on anyone–not even Hulda Clark. However, now that it’s happened to her it’s hard not to feel that, just this once, there were a certain symmetry and justice in the universe. Maybe there is such a thing as karma after all.

Comments

  1. #1 Amy Alkon
    October 27, 2009

    Tragically, the terminally ill good friend of a good friend went to Mexico in a desperate attempt to cure his cancer, when his money and time would have best been spent on his wife and newborn. I didn’t say anything to my friend — the guy was already there — because I realized this was a desperate attempt to have some hope by a guy who had otherwise seemed rational. Orac, I’d like to see you write some mainstream op-eds to reach people like this.

  2. #2 FreeSpeaker
    October 27, 2009

    I had seen an un-redacted copy of her death certificate and checked out the addresses. The family home was in a trust since 1995, a technique to keep property judgement proof. Quackery pays.

  3. #3 David C. Brayton
    October 27, 2009

    Placing a home in a trust is an estate planning technique that is used all of the time by all sorts of people. There are probably millions of homes in the US that are owned by a trust. The implication you are trying to make is not legitimate.

  4. #4 Richard Eis
    October 27, 2009

    It is truly sad that someone could ever believe they have the “cure for all diseases”. Good riddance to bad woo.

  5. #5 marcia
    October 27, 2009

    As the great poet, Justin Timberlake once said, “what goes around, comes around.” (A person’s actions, whether good or bad, will often have consequences for that person.)

    Karma? Heh.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyJdt6Q2Y-Y#t=4m4s

    Is this how we say goodbye?
    Shoulda known better when you came around
    That you were gonna make me cry
    It’s breaking my heart to watch you run around
    Cause I know that you’re living a lie
    But that’s ok, baby, cause in time you will find

    What goes around, goes around, goes around, comes all the way back around
    What goes around, goes around, goes around, comes all the way back around

    Yeah

  6. #6 Vindaloo
    October 27, 2009

    marcia, I’m waiting for the poet’s “quack in a box” skit.

  7. #7 Denice Walter
    October 27, 2009

    I haven’t written about this because I don’t know most of it “first-hand”(I learned more as I grew up): my uncle was married to a woman who seemed quite smart and rational *until* diagnosed with early breast cancer.She refused surgery(despite argument from my relatives and doctors),got involved in prayer and healing groups(much to my atheist uncle’s dismay),finally taking her life-savings and desperately flying to NM, then Mexico, for laetrile.After a few months,my uncle was summoned to take her home,needing an *air-ambulance*.While she did finally accept surgery,it was, at that point, not much help.She lingered for nearly a year in a hospital.This happened about 40 years ago,however I have heard quacks (and those who love them)still talking about laetrile.

  8. #8 Jon H
    October 27, 2009

    “The implication you are trying to make is not legitimate.”

    Sure it is. “Estate planning” is another term for “tax avoidance”, and any approach that shelters property from taxation likely also shelters it from adverse legal judgements.

  9. #9 Uncle Dave
    October 27, 2009

    Orac stated;
    “Surely there must have been someone who could have operated the Syncronometer for her!”

    1. Apparently there is not enough of a following to find anyone else to use the syncrometer for her.
    2. Apparently there was no one smart enough that she trusted with her syncrometer.
    3. Most of her followers are big on the cure hype however when it comes to following through with it they are difficult to find.
    4. She knew she was screwed from the start (cancer) and realized the jig was up (this thing doesn’t really work and I know it).

  10. #10 James Sweet
    October 27, 2009

    Sure it is. “Estate planning” is another term for “tax avoidance”, and any approach that shelters property from taxation likely also shelters it from adverse legal judgements.

    Eh, no.

    My parents are looking at doing something similar (either putting the house in a trust or signing it over to one of their children), not to avoid taxes, but to avoid Medicare deciding, “Hey, you’ve got a house! Before we start helping you pay for assisted living, how about if we sell that? Oh, and any other nest eggs you have saved up for your childrens’ inheritance? Yeah, cough it up. Then maybe we’ll help you out.”

    Of course, I suppose one could still call that “tax avoidance” in a sense. If you really think it’s right and good that people’s life savings should be rapidly drained away just because they happen to outlive their ability to live independently… then I suppose you have a point.

    (Not trying to defend anything Clark has done — surely the amount of suffering and death she has wrought is something that is horrific to contemplate — but in regards to “estate planning” being something that only under-handed rich people do, ah, no.)

  11. #11 Sastra
    October 27, 2009

    or
    5.) A lot of her followers used the Syncronometer on Clark, but it didn’t work so they decided not to mention that part, and pretend they believed all along that only Clark could work the damn thing.

    I remember reading about a famous health food guru who claimed that, if you ate only the right things, you would never get sick. She died of cancer in her early 60′s. But, instead of realizing that she was wrong, she attributed her cancer to the fact that, in her early 20′s, she had not eaten only the right things. It must have been that hamburger and fries.

  12. #12 S.M. Elliott
    October 27, 2009

    RIP Quack. And RIP all your victims.

  13. #13 BladeDoc
    October 27, 2009

    James, not only is that “tax avoidance” medicare can go back for 5 years and “claw back” any property/money that is gifted to family or placed in these trusts. Right or wrong the government states that you should use accumulated assets to pay for your ling-term medical care before using taxpayer money. PS that clawback period is steadily growing (it used to be only 1 year IIRC). And from a moral standpoint frankly why it’s not “the kids’ inheritance until you’re dead. Until then shouldn’t it be, oh I don’t know, “the money that we use to pay for ourselves”.

  14. #14 Fannin
    October 27, 2009

    Didn’t you recently recommend When Prophecy Fails by Festinger and two co-authors? If Festinger is right, it’s entirely possible that Clark and the people around her believed, in part, because they never cured anybody.

    When it comes right down to it, though, I don’t really care whether she believed in her own extraordinary powers or not. When you have enough power over other people’s lives — and she certainly exercised power over other people’s lives — you have a moral obligation to ensure that you use that power responsibly, and there are ways to find out for sure whether all cancer is caused by liver flukes or not.

    I don’t rejoice in her death, and I don’t rejoice that it was as unpleasant a death as it surely was, but I am glad that her career in snake oil is finished.

  15. #15 emerson cardoso
    October 27, 2009

    Are you blind or what?

    See what is on her website:

    “Her doctors evaluated all of Dr. Clark’s symptoms and decided multiple myeloma was the best explanation. That is a blood and bone cancer. No biopsy was performed, so it was not one hundred percent certain, but that didn’t matter because the treatment would be the same in any case (monitor calcium and anemia).
    Ironically, Dr. Clark documented helping a multiple myeloma sufferer in The Cure For All Advanced Cancers. Perhaps if she had known what to look for earlier she could have better helped herself. But it was too late. In her last few months, Dr. Clark was physically unable to function well. Her family took care of her and was with her when she died peacefully one evening.”

    http://www.huldaclark.net/

  16. #16 Warren
    October 27, 2009

    I do realize that the taboo about speaking ill of the recently dead is a strong one.

    So if I’m a cannibal, and the person I just ate is giving me indigestion, does that make it rude to mention it?

    The taboo against speaking ill of the dead is, indeed, strong — but that doesn’t make it less foolish.

  17. #17 James Sweet
    October 27, 2009

    @BladeDoc: However you feel about the ethics of that, my point is that it’s stupid to act like “estate planning” is something that is only done by sneaky rich people.

  18. #18 James Sweet
    October 27, 2009

    And anyway, about this whole “paying for yourself”, you are really going to say that a modest inheritance should be entirely obliterated by one or two years of basic assisted living, and that this is just and good? Especially when taken from people who have been paying into the system for their entire lives? Come on.

    If you want to invoke personal responsibility, that’s fine, but then you have to give back every dime they’ve paid into Medicare. But what’s the point of taxing everyone to provide basic medical care to the elderly, if you intend to zero out everything they have worked for before you chip in?

  19. #19 nlgirl
    October 27, 2009
  20. #20 gaiainc
    October 27, 2009

    My assets are in a trust so that when I die, my kids don’t have to give up most of it to taxes. That does nothing to protect my assets in a legal judgement and I asked my lawyers extensively if there was anything to be done in regards to that. My only defense against a legal judgement is my malpractice insurance which thankfully is pretty good and picked up by my employer. However, I am not a lawyer.

    Treatment for multiple myeloma has changed. The last patient I had who had MM was treated with methotrexate and did well for a long time. Good to know that there are treatments out there.

  21. #21 Karl Withakay
    October 27, 2009

    @BladeDoc and James:

    You have a right to bequeath any assets you leave behind to your designated heirs; you do not have a right to have assets to bequeath.

    Beyond that, it becomes a social contract issue.

    Seeing that Medicare is a social welfare benefit, it seems illogical to expect everyone to pay their own way on an individual basis.

  22. #22 Dianne
    October 27, 2009

    Perhaps if she had known what to look for earlier she could have better helped herself. But it was too late. In her last few months, Dr. Clark was physically unable to function well.

    I saw a patient a few months ago, a few years younger than Dr Clark but with the same diagnosis and in, if anything, worse shape than Dr. Clark was at diagnosis. Her kidneys had completely shut down due to the myeloma, her normal blood cells were being crowded out by the disease and her calcium level was sky high. She got treated with aggressive supportive care, bisphosphonates, and chemotherapy. Today she is in complete remission. Thanks to Big Pharma and even moreso to startup pharma. She’s not cured, but she’s not dying in horrible pain either.

    So, why can’t the author of the books on how to cure advanced cancer, cancer, and all disease cure herself? Why was it “too late” at any stage short of rigour mortis? Traditional medicine might well have had something for her-if she’d been willing to take it-even up to very late in the disease.

  23. #23 Karl Withakay
    October 27, 2009

    “Seeing that Medicare is a social welfare benefit, it seems illogical to expect everyone to pay their own way on an individual basis.”

    That comment wasn’t intended to be a stealthy libertarian jab at social welfare benefits, but it struck me that it might be interpreted that way by some.

  24. #24 Joseph C.
    October 27, 2009

    Ironically, Dr. Clark documented helping a multiple myeloma sufferer in The Cure For All Advanced Cancers.

    Wow! Then it must be true! Who wouldn’t trust a non-MD/DO practicing medicine out of an office in Tijuana?

  25. #25 Chris Noble
    October 27, 2009

    How is Tim Bolen going to spin this one?

  26. #26 M.
    October 27, 2009

    Hi Orac,

    In the unlikely case that you are in the need for new targets, there is a new anticancer therapy that is starting to become more and more popular in the southeastern Europe (esp. in Hungary and Romania).

    It is deuterium-depleted water. It comes with some cover in form of preliminary studies, but an oncologist’s opinion on all this would be highly appreciated:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&cmd=DetailsSearch&term=%22deuterium+depleted+water%22

  27. #27 Dave Ruddell
    October 27, 2009

    Just imagine if you used the light water as the basis for a homeopathic remedy! Or maybe a homeopathic preparation of light water, diluted with regular water…

  28. #28 Marcus Ranum
    October 27, 2009

    James Sweet writes:
    My parents are looking at doing something similar (either putting the house in a trust or signing it over to one of their children), not to avoid taxes, but to avoid Medicare deciding, “Hey, you’ve got a house! Before we start helping you pay for assisted living, how about if we sell that? Oh, and any other nest eggs you have saved up for your childrens’ inheritance? Yeah, cough it up. Then maybe we’ll help you out.”

    What about that isn’t trying to shelter $$ from the government? Be it taxes or medicare – you’re basically saying “the government has no right to take this asset so we’re going to shelter it.” Which is exactly the same trick as the con-person who wants to prevent the government taking an asset and turning it over to someone else as part of an adverse judgement.

    Hurts when it’s your ox getting gored, I know.

  29. #29 Mark P
    October 28, 2009

    “The taboo against speaking ill of the dead is, indeed, strong”

    Correctly so, when talking to or near family. It is incredibly rude to speak ill of the dead when they might not be able to avoid it.

    However the taboo does not extend to distant people and third parties. Especially if they are effectively public people by choice. Why should it? Would anyone hesitate to speak ill of Hitler, just because he is dead? I recall raising a hearty toast the day Pol Pot died, and I will do the same again for Kim Jong Il.

    The only reason for citing this taboo is fear that the truth is unpalatable.

  30. #30 Bing
    October 28, 2009

    It’s sad that all she could aspire to is that the world is a little worse off for her having been here.

    I hope Kevin Trudeau gets kicked in the face by a camel.

    That is all.

    HJ

  31. #31 David Evans
    October 28, 2009

    I’ve been doing HIV treatment education for 19 years. Over that time I’ve talked to or met hundreds of people who bought into quackery and denial. HIV-positive people used to send us quotes from Hulda’s book, “The Cure of All Diseases”, at the hotline at the organization I worked for, or call us and ask about it.

    I’ve learned one thing over the years in dealing with sick people who’ve bought into quackery—especially the ones who want to believe that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, and that it’s HIV treatments that kill people—they’ve made their decisions from a completely emotional place and so the only way to bring them over is also an emotional argument, not a factual one.

    What I learned to do was to acknowledge to the person how frightening the prospect of HIV (or cancer) can be, how insensitive the medical profession can sometimes appear, and how the side effects and limited efficacy of many treatments can make sometimes make treating the disease, or deciding whether to treat it, so agonizing. I would then explain that there are a lot of people who work on the traditional side of medicine and science who care very, very deeply for those who are ill. I’d end by saying that I respected their right to do what they thought best for themselves, but that I genuinely hoped that they wouldn’t wait too long to give the traditional meds a try, and that I would make myself available any time to talk about their fears and to walk through some of the decisions.

    It was excruciatingly difficult to keep the anger and judgement out of my voice sometimes (not at the person, but at the people who were trying to take advantage of them through quackery), but I found that showing that anger and judgement never worked. I also found this to be the best approach, because, as is stated here, many quacks are actually “true believers.”

    For another example of this, Google Christine Maggiore. She’s an HIV-positive woman who denied HIV as the cause of AIDS for most of her adult life and tried to get others to think her way. Her denial ultimately took her HIV-positive daughter’s life, and Maggiore ultimately died (most likely of AIDS) as well. Nothing anyone ever said got through to her, not even her own daughter’s death. That’s what we’re up against when we try to deal with this kind of thing.

  32. #32 paxsarah
    October 28, 2009

    Regarding trusts – my grandparents put their assets into a trust less to avoid taxes and more to avoid probate. Why tie up the estate administratively for months and pay all the lawyers (note: my dad is a lawyer) even more, when a basic trust can avoid all that? Estate taxes were still paid, so it wasn’t about the taxes.

  33. #33 D. C. Sessions
    October 28, 2009

    RE: trusts and tax avoidance.

    Not always. My major assets are in a trust for the rather simple reason that my kids are grown but as yet I have no grandchildren. I’m leaving the major assets to cover the educational expenses of the grandchildren (if any) but since they’re not yet breathing it’s necessary to set up an intermediary.

    ‘Nuff said.

  34. #34 science-based humanist
    October 28, 2009

    As an estate planning attorney, I am delighted to see Orac’s website high-jacked by discussion of trusts! Trusts have multiple uses, the vast majority of them being perfectly innocent (such as privacy and probate simplification). As to tax reduction, if the law allows it, one would be a fool not to take advantage (why not take a deduction for a mortgage on your income tax return?) Imagine, though, having Hilda as a client?! Argh.

  35. #35 intercostalwaterway
    October 29, 2009

    Well, I’d argue that in an ideal world we’d all save for our own retirements, and government (i.e. taxpayer) money would go to only those who can’t work/forced to retire because of medical or industry (=won’t hire people over XX years old) issues. I don’t think there’s a ‘right’ to retire at 60, 65, or any other arbitrary age… it’s a luxury, not a human right.

  36. #36 louise
    November 2, 2009

    I’m not so sure that she believed her own quackery. I think she was as big a con artist as Trudeau.

    The way she often worked was to diagnose the cancer or AIDS herself, then claim to have cured it – so patients would believe themselves to be cured of a disease they never had in the first place.

    She was run out of the US after she falsely diagnosed a Department of Health undercover agent with AIDS, telling her ‘I can test you here. It’s a one minute test and it’s all electronic’. She then told the agent she was ‘full of the virus. And we will cure it in three minutes’.

    Wicked old fraud. Good riddance

  37. #37 Chris
    November 3, 2009

    I have been doing research on Dr. Clark the last few months. I’m skeptical, I can tell a lot of people hate her. There are literally hundreds of people posting to the contrary though at
    http://www.inmemoryofdrhuldaclark.com
    Also,
    My family has lived in San Diego for 9 years. We’re not poor, I’m from Huntington Beach and we now live in a nice area of San Diego. We (all my family, friends & I) go across the border to Tijuana for Medical and Dental.
    I knocked that too, and I guess I would think it was odd living somewhere else in the country, go to Mexico for medical!?! Until I put myself in a doctors head that didn’t want to deal with the us insurance crap.
    The Clinics in TJ are clean, fast, just as professional. And CHEAP!! San Diego has better health care than most cities because those who can’t afford medical insurance, can all get quality care 30 minutes away.They even pick you up so you don’t have to drive across teh border. It’s great.

  38. #38 Chris
    November 3, 2009

    Are those clinics in Tijuana the ones practicing real medicine? Not every clinic in Mexico is a quack clinic, so of course you can find good inexpensive real medicine with very competent doctors. You just have to make sure to know which is which.

    By the way, the clinic Hulda Clark worked out of was visited by the author of this blog post:
    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/clark08.htm

    Compare it to the clinics you are describing.

  39. #39 Militant Agnostic
    November 4, 2009

    Chris @ 37 – louise @ 36 offered a good reason why many people would testify that Hulda Clark cured their cancer – they never had cancer in the first place. Another possibility is that those who plan to carry on the fraud posted a bunch of phony testimonials. If I were sufficiently devoid of ethics to become a cancer quack, my website would be full of testimonials before I fleeced my first “patient”.

    Anyone with an ounce of knowledge of biology would realize that Hulda Clark’s treatment was totally implausible. Hell, it was ludicrous.

    Skeptic Pro Tip – Anyone claiming a single cause or cure for all cancers, much less all diseases is deluded, a fraud or both. Always.

  40. #40 Chris
    November 4, 2009

    Thanks for the response, but what did this prove????

    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/clark08.htm

    Everything in Mexico looks like this, OR WORSE. Where are the photos from inside? The clinic my family visits looks worse on the outside than that. Once you enter it though, it’s amazing, much nicer than any urgent care, emergency room, doctors office, or hospital that I have ever visited in the states.
    I can see why anyone who has not visited Mexico, specifically Tijuana, for medical and dental treatment would find these pictures scary or unsafe.

    I have full medical & dental through the VA as I’m a Marine Corps Veteran. I also have amazing Medical and Dental through my work. I have used both and choose to spend my own $$ across the border because I feel like I’m getting such better care. The VA Hospitals I’ve had to visit have been much worse.

  41. #41 Chris C
    November 7, 2009

    “My parents are looking at doing something similar (either putting the house in a trust or signing it over to one of their children), not to avoid taxes, but to avoid Medicare deciding, “Hey, you’ve got a house! Before we start helping you pay for assisted living, how about if we sell that? Oh, and any other nest eggs you have saved up for your childrens’ inheritance? Yeah, cough it up. Then maybe we’ll help you out.””

    Wait, rather than having YOUR parents pay for their own care, you think that I should have to pay for it via my tax dollars? How the hell am I supposed to save up my own nest eggs if I’m paying for everyone else?

    Your greed has blinded you. It’s pretty clear that you just want your parents’ money.

  42. #42 Dave
    December 2, 2009

    What I have to say is very likely to anger some of you, and incur ridicule from others. Such is life.
    I cannot help but notice that everything posted in this blog is posted by someone saying that they knew someone, or of someone who had such and such an experience. I question why there are no posts from those who have had first-person personal experience of their own to report? I cannot say anything as yet about Ms. Clark as I have not personally investigated her claims, however I have personally eliminated leukoplakia from my mouth and gums using a “quack cure” (a Dinshah colored light gel – Quackary right? So it’s been said.) I’d spent two months having three other leukoplakia lesions surgically removed. As soon as one was removed another would appear. In the first month of my original diagnosis following doctors orders I had eliminated all spicy foods, coffee, soda, wheat, and what all. Nothing worked. When the third growth was biopsied after its removal and turned out to be precancerous I was willing to try something new. I tried the light gel and six days later all lesions were gone. That was six months ago and there are no more growths. Was it colored light that did this? Frankly, I cannot attribute the cure to anything else. The oral surgeon was aghast when I told him what I had done. He scheduled a final appointment with me to ascertain that the growths were indeed gone after another 10 days had passed, and after finding nothing – he has since refused to even speak with me. Quackery? Maybe, but all I can say is – it worked. Am I gullible? Perhaps but only to the degree of my own experience.
    One final note: the idea of experiencing schadenfreude at the death of someone because they believe something at odds with what you believe is at best small-minded, and at worst despicable.
    I can only wish for each of you to begin thinking for yourselves, experiencing what scares you the most head on, and that you may each live a life filled with peace and good health.
    One cannot absolutely declare anything impossible unless you have personally investigated the claims for yourself. Listen to no one as “the authority.”

  43. #43 qwerty
    December 2, 2009

    One final note: the idea of experiencing schadenfreude at the death of someone because they believe something at odds with what you believe is at best small-minded, and at worst despicable.

    Many people revel in the incarcerations or deaths of people that lie, chat, steal, and murder. There’s ample evidence that Ms. Clark has plenty of such despicable things on her resume.

    One cannot absolutely declare anything impossible unless you have personally investigated the claims for yourself.

    So…um…is the moon made of green cheese or not? I can’t know unless I go to the moon and take a taste?

    Your standard is quite ridiculous, isn’t it?

  44. #44 Dave
    December 3, 2009

    RE: “Many people revel in the incarcerations or deaths of people that lie, chat, steal, and murder. There’s ample evidence that Ms. Clark has plenty of such despicable things on her resume.”

    So because many people act like this (everybody does it/i>) – makes it right?

    RE: “So…um…is the moon made of green cheese or not? I can’t know unless I go to the moon and take a taste?
    Your standard is quite ridiculous, isn’t it?”

    Really? Is that all you’ve got? That statement is all you took away from my entire post? And here I thought the insolence around here might be respectful, and might potentially have a degree of real intelligence to it… I was hoping for a response from all of you, who seem know so much, that could somehow inform me as to how it was possible for light to cure precancerous lesions.

    Anyway, what I wrote was not in any way a defense of Ms. Clark but rather it was to raise the possibility that all is not as it seems in the world. I am only offering this: we do not and cannot know everything, and everything we think we do know – is not always correct.

  45. #45 Bruce
    December 16, 2009

    Remember what you just stated in last comment ORAC and everything we think to know is not always correct! Look I have personally seen and know of people cured NOT by chemo or doctors but by what was necessary naturally. Pharma knows natural components cure disease yet cannot make money and try to synthesize. What makes what you think you know correct and in my reality PH balance ACV and other awesome cures work for me and others. It was nice to see the extremely bad cancer on my friends face fall off and he is cured. DR. Horowitz helped him with herbs. Gee did that fail? My friend used Clarks techniques in the hospital and doctors where amazed and he was cured of incurable cancer. He is still alive 15 years later. I have even helped and assisted these people. Wake up to who the real quacks are. The anixamperator site is a joke. Nothing natural works in their eyes… and all I see is the promotion of chemo on that site too. So there is NO success there as all patients who survive chemo do so cause of diet change and life style and alternative medicine. If you survive chemo your dead within 5 years. My friend 15 years later. Another 20 years later … colon cancer with oxtgen, an ozonator and pyslium husks cured himself. Everything does not work for everyone as the injury could be severe like one getting into a car accident and can’t be put back together or they don’t respond for some other reason. But the majority are safer the natural way than the chemical way. I feel after reading from your blog site and the other nutty one no hope and maybe I should just end it all as nothing will help.

  46. #46 Roz
    December 19, 2009

    Many of you seem to have much anger for Dr. Clark without even really knowing her. She was not evil and not a quack. My health has never been better since I have followed her practices. Many of you are angry because she had the guts and nerve to make statements that fly in the face of what you were taught in med school, and yes there are many many people she has helped rid themselves of cancer when “conventional” docs could not.

  47. #47 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 20, 2009

    there are many many people she has helped rid themselves of cancer when “conventional” docs could not.

    I’m sure you believe that’s true. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. That means we couldn’t conclude it’s true just because you say it’s true. We would need to know who these people are that Hulda Clark supposedly helped rid themselves of cancer were. We would need to know that they had actually had cancer (there are a lot of patients who swear that Hulda Clark cured them of cancer, but don’t put it together that she was the only one who ever told them they had cancer in the first place.) And we would need to know whether the proportion of Hulda Clark’s patients who recovered from cancer was significantly larger than the proportion of patients who undergo mainstream medical care and make similar recoveries, because if not, then those patients might indeed be able to say that their health is better, but Hulda Clark’s treatments played no role in it.

    Yes, Hulda Clark said many things that went against what they teach in medical school. That’s because in medical school they teach what the facts support, and Hulda Clark never felt bound by that stricture.

  48. #48 Richard
    January 23, 2010

    Thank you Dave for your logical and inteligent post.
    I have read through so many posts that feel that because she passed from a disease she claimed she could cure that her work was quackery. Well Doctors and surgeons have successefully treated cancers with Chemo therapy and radiation yet they still expire from the same maladies. Does that make them Quacks as well?
    Way too much false logic there.

    Dr. Clark’s theory was that Pollutants and Parisites were the actual cause of all disease. Is the fact that she succumbed to disease mean that her theory was incorrect? Again be careful of false logic.
    If you believe Dr. Clark a Quack you are free to continue ingesting insecticides, poison, pollutants, and parisites the rest of your life and prove her wrong. I double dog dare you and I wish you a long and healthy life dispite such rediculously false logic.
    When you are faced with your immenent demise may you pass without pain and suffering instead of hoping, searching, praying for some remedies to extend your time on earth just a little longer.

    Those that condem Dr. Clark based on her trying to earn a living and perhaps make a profit on her work, do you apply the same ill will and anger toward the disgustingly profitable, corrupt and self serving Pharmacuetical Industry? If not then perhaps you should examine your own hipocricy. Oh wait they’re the good guys becuase the govenrment and medical establishment says so. That say so bought and paid for with Big Pharma dollars.

    I do credit Big Pharma and modern medicine with saving many lives and doing good work and feel that perhaps what is termed traditional (mainstream) and non-traditional could work in synergy.

    Many of the remedies that I read in Dr. Clarks book are not exclusively hers. Some are based on medicines from many cultures and have been used succesfully. I believe they have merit and deserve further invetigation.

    For those who rejoice in another humans passing and try to justify it on your belief system being different from the departed I can only pray for your enlightenment before your time is up.
    I won’t invoke Karma upon your misguided being.

    I mourn the passing of a human being and pray that Humanity may one day be free of suffering from all ailments.
    Dr. Clark thank you for your contributions toward the betterment of humanity, may you find yourself in a higher place.

  49. #49 Voni
    January 26, 2010

    I appreciate the frustration of persons who out of empathy would care to defend humanity from someone they believe hurt others either purposefully or out of believed decency. I find it interesting that sometimes people do not realize that chemotherapy actually was first used by the Nazi’s. Many of the medical techniques we now use in fact were founded by tests done on specially gifted, elderly, and those deemed unnecessary by the powers that were striving for historic supremacy.

    If we can find from their evil ways to heal, is it not reasonable to also consider one whose intentions seem for the betterment of humanity. It is impossible to know her heart except to know her personally and intimately as none of you surely did. I do not judge nor deny her methods, as I do not know personally anyone who has used them.

    I can only share my story begins with environmental toxins that have caused many families and my own to suffer greatly. I have taken my son who was suffering from cyclical illness similar to that of a common cold and allergies with possibility of positive testing for strep once, rashes diagnosed as Rosalia, and ongoing bowel issues and fevers, finally leading to seizures lasting 45minutes and longer.

    We have been to infectious disease, Neurologist, Allergist, general practice and 4 other specialists with symptoms that vary from vertigo, blood in stools, passing out, rashes,lack of appetite, raging appetite, chest pains, memory fog, aching joints, extreme exhaustion in spite of sleeping over 12-16 hrs, facial hair growth, liver spotting on upper lip/facial and other areas, bruising easily, itching, etc.

    I finally began searching for answers myself, feeling the medical community had failed our family again.

    See my dad almost died when I was in High School due to misdiagnosis and being guinie pig for doctors who would not look beyond their books to find solutions to a problem that they had not seen before. I guess rather than deciding to put a band aid on what we now know as the ouch ouch disease (google it!) My dad would be dead if not for a “quack” who is also very much a medical professional and recognized cadmium poisoning for what it was and how it was giving him heavy metal poisoning.
    Did you know if the body has high levels of zinc it will not hold on to cadmium and that most people with cadmium poisoning will die of cancer (usually prostate for men) My mom was smart and researched. And though she is not a doctor, she continued to give higher than average dosages of zinc to my dad, he does not have cancer over 14 years after the chemical accident that caused his poisoning, ironically while working for Japan Airlines (remember I told you to google ouch ouch disease!). He has permanent brain damage but functions at a high level even in spite of a debilitating disease that would have left him dead. Zinc obviously is not the only thing my dad took, nor is it the only process to cleanse his system. I could tell you how he got sicker it seemed at first when he did KELATION due to residual toxins coming to the surface in his body, I could also tell you of the horrible way our entire family suffered as he was changed dosages of pharm. drugs which were of a narcotic nature, to treat symptoms of seizures and panic disorder he now has after the accident. But the point is, I learned from watching the doctors try to help him that most were just doing the best they could with what they knew at the time. Some just knew better.
    I am looking for someone who can use common sense to see that our family and that of others who have a mile radius in common could possibly have been infected with a parasitic mold, possibly in our water, or soil, or air via trees (look up where mistletoe comes from).
    Fungus is the toxin that when I treated myself, by detoxing I too went through a residual experience that brought back symptoms from almost a year before. The same symptoms that before had led me to see a Cardiologist, an endocrinologist, and several other doctors all good at what they do. No one brought up this possibility or could tell me that I could detox for toxins in my body, no one even wants to listen when you say the word mold or parasite. No one seems to think that besides viruses, and bacteria there could be anything else that causes issues with our bodies function. And after seeing 3 different allergists all doing their own tests (blood, comb, and combination of hair/blood/journalling) not a single doctor gave me the same results of my allergies. I can tell you by experience, watching a 3 year old child have seizures and having 3 MRI’s 1Cat scan 3 EEG’s and nothing to explain why…(by the way, my dad is my step dad so it does not run in the genetics for those who may have thought they had this one figured out)even after being in PICU for almost a week at one of the best Children’s hospitals in the USA.

    The moral of the story is. Whether you think you know it all, or desire to, you only know as much as you are willing to seek. I am still seeking, and will test my theory and do what I have to so that my family and those like mine who fail to receive quality care by medical professionals (did I mention my brother in law is in residency to be a Dr.)all of which are fallible humans who could very well die of the same diseases they treat others for every day. I would never wish it on my worst enemy though, and they would be wise to act like the professionals we as society need them to be and not the freaks that the Nazis were, willing to use living beings for their tests just hoping to reach their egotistical goal of supremacy. Just get off your high horses and start living by the creed you took! Find solutions that do less harm than those you are using by default! Give options rather than those like the surgeon that told my aunt over 4 years ago that she had to have a full mastectomy and removal of lymph within 6 weeks or die. Later we found out when denied a second opinion by her insurance, but paying out of pocket to get one…(another issue I have with insurance companies not covering methods they do not deem necessary) She asked the right questions got other options and came to the startling truth that the surgeon who had done a biopsy and hadn’t even bothered to leave a 1in border around the tumors removed…she somehow figured no one would question her diagnosis and so she never factored my aunt would have a brain as well as cancer in her breasts. My aunt did not have the surgery as it would not have helped in her case the radiation planned by the same Dr recommending the surgery would also have been unnecessary as it was a type of cancer known for its lack of response to such therapy. When these facts were presented along with the question as to why the rush for a full mastectomy it was further discovered that the surgeon was due to go on vacation and wanted to be sure she could perform this operation as well knowing she had not removed adequately those portions of tumors already biopsied!
    So, if you wonder why people are drawn to outside methods, maybe it is because the Dr’s themselves are sending their families to nutritionists and Homoeopaths for care that the insurance companies don’t pay for. That is who my aunt has been seeing and living for the past 4 years under the advise of. That is 4 years to see her 3 children graduate high school and enter college, and I believe years for her to see them grow into intelligent adults that have enough sense to ask for other options if they ever face similar health issues. I believe my children will learn to do the same.

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