Is it possible to pack a DVD with idiocy so dense that light bends around it? I don’t know, but I found someone who gave it a damn good try. The Beautiful Truth is a 2008 documentary about Gerson Therapy, the supposed diet-based cure for cancer. It produced by earth NOW! a small indie label from the Cinema Libre Studio. There are numerous excerpts from the movie on YouTube, which give a fascinating insight into the nonsensical, incomprehensible world that the filmmakers live in.
(weirdly, YouTube links all of them to a video entitled ‘How masturbation damages the body’. It’s not clear why, but it’s an appropriate signpost to the bizarre territory we’re entering). Let’s start off with the trailer:
First we’re asked to accept that every medical expert on the face of the earth is bound up in a global conspiracy orchestrated by drugs companies. With these conspiracies, I always wonder at what point every doctor, nurse, surgeon and other medical expert is indoctrinated into the shadowy cabal. Are they steadily brainwashed over several years of medical school? Or is there some small print in the Hippocratic Oath that no-one notices until it’s too late? Regardless, pay attention, because this is the closest to reality we’ll ever get during this article. To prove the existence of this conspiracy, we’re shown antique film clips of ‘doctors’ endorsing Camel cigarettes. Well what do you know, doctors smoked cigarettes at a time when their carcinogenic effects weren’t well known (shock, some doctors still do!). Never mind the fact that collectively, doctors were one of the first professions to stop smoking once the dangers became apparent. All doctors are untrustworthy, got it? Before your mind has managed to digest that cockamamie argument, you’re asked why it was that Dr Albert Schweitzer declared Gerson ‘the most eminent genius in medical history’. But wait – we’ve just been told that we can’t trust medical experts. Now the film-makers are invoking a doctor endorse Max Gerson. THIS MAKES NO SENSE. I’ve seen less than three minutes of this film and already my brain hurts.
Anyway, the trailer ends by encouraging us to find out more, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. When you first arrive at the website, you’ll see this image:
You might recall also that the trailer started off with some satellite-eye shots of a cloudy Earth. Well you can forget both those slices of imagery now because they have absolutely nothing to do with the film. This is a film about cancer and nutrition. The only reason they’re included is that the folks at Cinema Libre are hoping some of the glow from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth will wash off on them, or that people in the video store might pick up a copy of The Beautiful Truth thinking it was his film. So the people behind this movie are already trying to trick us. Not a good start.
So what is this film about anyway?
After the unexpected and tragic death of his mother, 15-year old Garrett, who is an animal-loving teenager, was spiraling downward and fast… Growing up on an Alaskan animal reserve, Garrett’s father recognized his son’s interest in the dietary habits of their animals. That prompted him to assign a book written by Dr. Max Gerson, which maintains that there is a direct link between diet and a cure for cancer. Fascinated and curious, Garrett embarks on a cross-country road trip to investigate the merits of The Gerson Therapy. He meets with scientists, doctors and cancer survivors who reveal how the multi-billion dollar medical industry has made it their mission to dismiss the notion of alternative and natural cures.
Wow! Pretty exciting stuff. Let’s see what kind of evildoers and machinations young Garrett uncovers during his quest.
The opening salvo is on Harold Hodge, a toxicologist who, we are told, approved the use of fluoride. Garrett tells us that the doctor oversaw injecting people with plutonium and uranium like this is a bad thing. It is, of course, but Hodge didn’t know how bad – he was working to ascertain the elements’ safety limits. The reason his reputation was so battered by this episode was because he didn’t give informed consent to his patients, which is pretty unforgivable. This important difference whooshes like a cruise missile past Garrett, who is already preparing to drop his own bombshell, telling us: “Harold Hodge, along with a group of scientists, helped develop the atom bomb.”.
Are you f*****g kidding me? That is your argument?! That Hodge palled around with a group that happened to include some of the greatest minds this planet ever saw, and developed a whole new branch of science? So, Hodge, you know, he’s just a guy who happens to have Albert-goddamn-Einstein on speed-dial, and you’re expecting me to take the word of a fifteen-year-old over his?! Are you serious?
OK, let’s take a moment to calm ourselves and proceed onto the second clip. It’s not going to get any more coherent from here on in, so prepare yourselves. Garrett is still laying it down like it is on fluoride, and he’s got an ace up his sleeve. Because, you know who else wanted to put fluoride in water, don’t you? Yeah, you know who.
AMIRITE? Adolf Hitler, that’s who! The filmmakers tell us that the Nazis planned to mass-medicate water with sodium fluoride because they wanted to sterilise people and force them into submission. This argument literally makes no sense. Hitler was going to conquer people by sterilising them? Was he planning to wait until his enemies died of old age, and wanted to make sure they didn’t have kids who might grow up and fight him in the meantime? How was he going to put this into the water supply without sterilising the rest of the population? Of course, there isn’t any stock footage of Nazis adding fluoride to water supplies (we must presume, because it never happened) so instead we’re shown canisters of Zyklon B. Cyanide, fluoride, same difference, right?
Now that Garrett has invoked Godwin’s Law, I really don’t feel the need to spend any longer on his fluoride takedown. No-one associated with this film could even spell fluoride. No, really, they can’t. Take a look at the film clips and you’ll see it spelled as ‘flouride’. Every. Single. Time. Deadly, dangerous flouride.
If you can bear it, we’ll jump ahead to Clip 12:
The mind-boggling stupidity continues! We’re being shown two slices of carrot, analysed with Kirlian Photography. “What’s that”, I hear you ask, “some kind of scientific measurement?” No, it’s an outdated parlour trick used to create ‘auras’ from any object you attach the electrodes to. Carrot, crystal or coin, it makes no difference what the object is, or if it was ever alive. And what are Garrett and co. claiming to measure with this ‘photograph’? Energy. That’s all we’re told. Just energy. Mystical, unquantifiable energy. You may as well say the Force is strong with the uncooked carrot. Anyway, the arbitrary differences between the two images leads the narrator to utter the following earth-shattering revelation:
Pasteurised food… is dead
OF COURSE IT IS you slack-jawed idiot, that’s what pasteurisation is supposed to do! What the hell would the point of pasteurisation be if you swilled down gobfulls of E. coli and liver flukes every time you ate? I mean, why the hell do you think we cook food in the first place? Or do you think cooking is just a conspiracy maintained by the oven manufacturers of the world?
There are many other clips available to watch online, if you can stomach Garrett and his crew crashing from misconception to missed point, blathering about Terminator genes and ‘revealing’ that agricultural multinationals also make chemicals, and other rot. I can’t, so I swung back to the Beautiful Truth homepage to see if there was some kind of sense to be found there. After all, you can watch all 12 clips and still not know what the Gerson diet is or how it’s supposed to cure cancer, or any evidence that it does. There’s just a calendar-worth of feeble-minded hysteria, with each month represented by a different flavour of stupid.
Unfortunately back on the website, we discover that nothing coming out of earth NOW! makes any sense. Just check out the cover for another one of the videos, ‘Healing Cancer':
Do you see? One half is all healthy and colourful, while the dead ‘allopathic’ half covered in pills is represented by … err …a Joshua Tree? A plant that can thrive in deserts and lives for up to a thousand years?? Even these peoples’ metaphors make no goddamn sense!
The worst part of all is that there are very real worries about the treatment of cancer to be aired, including the influence of drug companies, but this label manages to miss all of them. It would be easier if earth NOW! was completely barmy, the kind of batshit insane that claims cancer can be cured with aliens and orgone and morphogenic rays. But instead we’re presented with a group of people who have the complete inability to form a coherent argument or construct a meaningful debate. These people aren’t mad, they’re stupid. And that’s the saddest part.
In my heart, I wonder whether this is really some form of subtle rebellion by the young Garrett. Perhaps he resented being taken out of school and send on a wild goose chase around the country. I think maybe he’s getting back at his hippy dad by compiling the most absurd, poorly-conceived documentary in film history and presenting to the old man like it was a cinema vérité version of Gandhi. That definitely seems like the more plausible scenario to me.
Or perhaps this is some kind of titanic deception? Maybe earth NOW! is really a false-flag sock puppet for Big Pharma, trying to debunk alternative treatments by compiling two hours of mindless tongue-flapping and sticking it in a box with Gerson’s name on the front.
I’ve watched these clips over and over again, and every time I do it looks less like a beautiful truth and more like a flabby hooker with stretch marks and liver spots who insists she’s just nineteen. That is to say: there is no beautiful truth, just an ugly, unconvincing lie.