Brian Clement and the Hippocrates Health Institute: Cancer quackery on steroids

brian-clement

I think we've spent enough time on Bill Maher's antivaccine posturing for now. There really isn't much more to say for now. I'm sure he'll probably dump some pseudoscientific nonsense about medicine on his show to provide me with more blogging material. Today, I'm moved to revisit a certain cancer quack whose offenses are threatening to suck me into devoting as much attention to him in the coming days as I have over the last three years to Stanislaw Burzynski. I'm referring, of couse, to Brian Clement, the proprietor of the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida.

I first encountered Clement and his wheatgrass enema treatments for cancer a little over a year ago in the context of discussing the story of Stephanie O'Halloran, a young woman with metastatic breast cancer who was deceived by Clement into thinking he could save her life. He didn't. He's been featured most recently in my discussions of the death of one aboriginal girl (Makayla Sault) in Canada and the almost certainly impending death of another due to their parents' having trusted Clement to treat their daughters' lymphoblastic leukemia. My main point of discussion was primarily how the Canadian government and the the girls' nations have failed them. Now I want to turn around and concentrate on the quack who led Makayla Sault to her death and is in the process of leading another aboriginal girl to her death.

The reasons are twofold. First, local NBC affiliate WPTV West Palm Beach just did a story about Brian Clement and his Hippocrates Health Institute. Second, I know there is another story in the pipeline, to be published later this week. (Shameless bit of self-promotion: I was interviewed for it.) I'll start with the WPTV story. When the other story comes out I'll discuss it, either here or (more likely) on my not-so-super-secret other blog, where I can go into detail about specific patient anecdotes in much the same way I did about Stanislaw Burzynski's patient claims.

Here is the story:

Overall, it's not a bad start to uncovering the quack that is Clement. First, we learn that the HHI is posh. Very posh:

Eat raw, eat vegan and help your body fight disease.

That's one of the claims that, each year, attracts thousands of people from around the globe to the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach.

But what the Contact 5 Investigators discovered about its director raises question if he's giving the terminally ill false hope.

From the air in Chopper 5 the Hippocrates Health Institute is an impressive sight. Nestled on 50 acres of lush tropical South Florida landscape, for 30 years people from around the world have congregated at the West Palm Beach institute paying thousands of dollars to indulge in the zenful secrets of healthy living, nutritional counseling and natural healing. But the Contact 5 Investigators found its director pitching claims modern medicine has yet to discover.

That's putting it mildly! Let's take a look again at the sorts of treatments offered by Brian Clement as part of HHI's "Life Transformation Program". They include:

  • Superior nutrition through a diet of organically-grown, enzyme-rich, raw, life-giving foods
  • Detoxification
  • Wheatgrass therapies, green juice, juice fasting
  • Colonics, enemas, implants
  • Exercise, including cardio, strength training and stretching
  • Far infrared saunas, steam room
  • Ozone pools, including: dead sea salt, swimming, jacuzzi and cold plunge
  • Weekly massages
  • Bio-energy treatments
  • Med-spa & therapy services

For those of you who don't remember what "implants" are. It turns out that wheatgrass "implants" are, in actuality, wheatgrass juice enemas:

When used as a rectal implant, reverses damage from inside the lower bowel. An implant is a small amount of juice held in the lower bowel for about 20 minutes. In the case of illness, wheatgrass implants stimulate a rapid cleansing of the lower bowel and draw out accumulations of debris.

Indeed, if you believe the hype on the HHI website, there's nothing that wheatgrass can't do. If the HHI is to be believed, wheatgrass can increase red blood cell count, decrease blood pressure, cleanse the blood, organs and GI tract of "debris," stimulate the thyroid gland, "restore alkalinity" to the blood, "detoxify" the blood, fight tumors and neutralize toxins, and many other fantastically beneficial alleged effects. Basically, combine a raw vegan diet with a veritable cornucopia of other kinds of quackery, and you have the HHI.

Lately, it seems, Clement is getting into "vibration" and "quantum." For instance, get a load of this video on Quantum Biology:

I admit that I didn't watch the whole thing. Not even close. It was just plain too painful, given how much pseudoscience is packed into nearly two hours. Nor do I expect you to watch the whole thing; that is, unless you're a total glutton for punishment. (Seriously, physicists and chemists viewing this video will feel a near-irresistible urge to claw their eyes out.) One brief example occurs at 1:11:30 or so, when he shows a highly simplified version of the cell followed by pure vitalism, where he talks about the "life force" gathered through nutrients. The cell is surrounded by words representing vitamins, protein, water, minerals, essential fatty acids, and oxygen (to which he verbally adds "electromagnetic frequencies." After this, there is this text:

These elements with their varied frequencies are attracted to the magnetic energy of the cell. This allows building and life maintaining processes. It also expels exhausted and used matter from the cell.

Clement "translates" this to mean that if you have the life force in the cell and the life force in the nutrients, they're attracted to each other.

Elsewhere, he describes quantum biology thusly:

Painting a picture to describe this fruitful exploration begins with yourself. Beyond the protein that holds your body together, the vitamin and mineral sheathing that covers it, the essential fats that fuel it and the water and oxygen that shape it, the underlying purpose for your body?s existence is the electricity that it takes in and creates. There is a continual and perfect communication from cell to cell and from gathering of cells (organs and / or skeletal) to gathering of cells. This communication also reaches beyond your body to all other life outside.

This rhythmic and energetic process is strong, yet fragile. It can be thrown off by a weakening of the anatomical integrity of the cells or their central electrical frequencies. This weakening can occur via poor nutrition, dehydration and / or polluted hydration, lack of oxygen, intake of heavy metals or chemicals or renegade electromagnetic fields such as cell phones, Wi-Fi, etc.

All abnormalities that have been labeled as diseases stem from the negative energies that are endured from the poor lifestyle choices and unsustainable environment that we have created on planet earth today.

Our core vulnerability stems from the reduction of bio-frequency that occurs in the cell, which heightens its fragility to make it ineffective in communication and contribution. When these disturbances are critical, they can even cause a cell to mutate.

When you ingest ionized, rich, raw plant-based foods, it provides foundational energy. You then have to consider avoiding negative energy fields or at least protecting yourself from them with electromagnetic field interrupting devices or tools.

What is more difficult to avoid and personally restrain from is the negative energy that we absorb or spew from discontented emotional states. Most of you have seen this and experienced it. Certain people, places or environments can make you feel uncomfortable, on edge and literally drained.

Arrrrgh! I can't take any more! Not only is Clement spewing total and utter BS about quantum theory and science a la Deepak Chopra, but he explicitly embraces a "Secret"-like concept that "negative energy" from people's "discontented emotional states" causes disease. Oh, and let's not forget "toxins" needing "detoxification." You get the idea. Clement understands neither physics, chemistry, nor biology. He thinks wheatgrass, either eaten or administered as enemas, is a cure-all. He treats cancer with a raw vegan diet plus a wide variety of quackery, even detox foot baths. He blathers spiritual nonsense about god, "energy" and consciousness.

And people with cancer believe it when he says he can cure them. Indeed, at the very beginning of the WPTV story, Clement is shown saying that stage IV cancer can be reversed and that the HHI has "had more people reverse cancer than any institute in the history of health care." (Later in the report he says that the "only place we get oxygen naturally is from living food." Oh, really? What about the air?) We also learn that Clement travels the world promoting the HHI, which explains how Makayla Sault, for example, heard about him. He's given talks in Canada in areas where First Nations people live.

Yes, the report finds things that we mostly already know, such as the finding that Clement is not a physician, that he claims to be a "doctor of nutrition," and that he got his doctorate from a diploma mill, the University of Science, Arts, and Technology. There is also an interview with the former director of nursing at the HHI, Steven Pugh, who reported that he told Clement that he was not a medical doctors and therefore, as a nurse, he couldn't take medical orders from him. Hilariously (and simultaneously sadly) Clement flatly denies practicing medicine without a license and claims that his statement about reversing cancer was "taken out of context." One wonders what "context" there could be that would make saying that acceptable.

Like so many quacks, Clement denies that he is running a "medical institute," claiming instead that he runs a "natural healing" center and that he has a doctor on staff not to treat people but in case people get ill:

Talk about disingenuous dodges! Clement says he is not offering "medical treatments" but says that his medical team offers "alternative treatments," including vitamins and hyperbaric treatments. The reporter (Katie LaGrone) asks about the vitamin treatments, which are administered intravenously and asks if that isn't a medical treatment. Clement does some more dancing with terminology and says it's an "alternative treatment" that he couldn't get from his general practitioner. No kidding.

It's equally depressing, albeit amusing, to watch Clement dance around questions about his educational background:

Particularly amusing, I must admit, is the part where the reporter points out that the University of Science, Arts, and Technology is widely considered a diploma mill and Clement replies that he worked three and a half or four years for 30 hours a week. Even if he's telling the truth (which I must question), that's a pretty darned easy PhD program. it would have been awesome if I could have gotten my PhD working only 30 hours a week.

The more I learn about Brian Clement, the more I wonder: How on earth has this guy been operating for three decades in Florida. Clearly, the State of Florida has utterly failed to protect its citizens from quackery. In fact, given how many people, such as Makayla Sault, come from all over the world, Florida has failed to protect everyone.

At the end of the report, the reporter asks Clement about accusations that he gives cancer patients false hope. He immediately replies, "There is no such thing as false hope." Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Hope is important, but cancer patients need that hope to be tempered with a realistic assessment of their prognosis. Clement takes that away from them.

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I wonder how many reporters would recognize that Clement's offerings are mostly recycled from decades or centuries-old quackery. His spa (apart from the luxury elements) would be easily recognizable to customers from the 19th century.seeking enemas/"implants".

The "emotional" factor in disease that Clement pushes sounds a lot like Ryke Hamer's "New German Medicine", hopefully without the anti-Semitic trappings.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Watching the video, I'm reminded of Jim Jones and ilk. Cult preachers that sometimes lead their followers to their deaths. The believers are brainwashed and won't believe anything negative about their cult or preacher. Hence the belief that the chemo killed the little girl, not the useless quackery that deprived her of proven, necessary medical care. They firmly believe in their "religion" just as the flocks of the various cult leaders do. I guess some people need religion. They think themselves all enlightened by dumping traditional churches but then fall to their knees in front of some charlatan preaching ridiculous fairy-tales about health. Different turd, same stink.

These claims read like Snake Oil Bingo, a sure warning sign for skeptics that what follows is a painful walletectomy as well as dangerous, untested non-medical procedures. One magical cure for everything that ails you that the medical-industrial complex is keeping a secret.

I am reminded of the movie The Sting where Hooker agrees to help the feds but only if they let them finish the play. The reply, paraphrased, "Hell yes, the mark gets what he deserves." I feel this is true for the rich fools looking for a fountain of youth. They do deserve to get taken for their gullibility but the cancer patients is a real low. How sociopathic must you be to take money from dying kids (or adults) and promising what you know you cannot deliver?

Even as a marketing tool, dead people cannot be the draw you would want to boost your business. Why would Clement aim for this market if he makes so much feeding vitamins to idiots?

This rhythmic and energetic process is strong, yet fragile. It can be thrown off by a weakening of the anatomical integrity of the cells or their central electrical frequencies. This weakening can occur via poor nutrition, dehydration and / or polluted hydration, lack of oxygen, intake of heavy metals or chemicals or renegade electromagnetic fields such as cell phones, Wi-Fi, etc.

Oy, there is so much wrong in just that paragraph. "Strong, yet fragile"? One of these things is not like the other. "Weakening of … central electrical frequencies" sounds like broadening of a classical resonant circuit, not a quantum effect at all (quantum mechanics does not work that way), but I suspect Clement knows as much about electrical engineering as about quantum physics (i.e., nothing whatsoever). Then we get not only toxin woo but EMF woo.

Basically, I wouldn't take this guy's unsupported word that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. He sounds even worse than Burzynski, who at least earned his degrees.

And yes, three to four years of 30 hour weeks is pitifully easy for a Ph.D. program. Even a brilliant theoretical physicist would be hard pressed to pull that off, and that's without experiments that inevitably will fail to work the first time around. Six years of 60 hour weeks is closer to the norm, especially if lab work is involved.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Clement is disgusting. And you know when something isn't going well for someone attending his clinic, he will, of course, blame it either on this quantum nonsense or on MDs.

It is depressingly amazing he has been hurting people for 30 years. I think the state of Florida must be competing with Texas for whom has the most callous disregard for its citizens. Then again, Florida also has that absolutely horrible chiroquacktor Gary Kompothecras, who clearly throws his clout around when he wants something from those in state government--so my guess is Clement has his own connections in state government that protect him as well.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Oy, there is so much wrong in just that paragraph. “Strong, yet fragile”? One of these things is not like the other.

Maybe it's like that deodorant, you know? "Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman."

It may be time for some literary mockery.

Ah, yes. The ubiquitous wheat-grass "cure". I cannot tell you how many times this was presented to me when I was going through my own cancer treatment. I was advised to juice it, to eat it in salads, and - yes - use it as an enema. I, finally, snapped one day (when some poor someone mentioned it for the umpteenth time and got the brunt of my annoyance) and snarled that I was not about to ingest anything that I gave to my cat to help him woof up a hairball.

By SelenaWolf (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

He immediately replies, “There is no such thing as false hope.”

Of course there's false hope. I hope that the Hippocrates Institute is shut down and that Clement goes to prison. I expect that won't happen.

I feel this is true for the rich fools looking for a fountain of youth. They do deserve to get taken for their gullibility

Sociopathy: It's not just for supervillains anymore!

By Chan Kobun, th… (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Oy, there is so much wrong in just that paragraph. “Strong, yet fragile”? One of these things is not like the other. “Weakening of … central electrical frequencies” sounds like broadening of a classical resonant circuit, not a quantum effect at all (quantum mechanics does not work that way), but I suspect Clement knows as much about electrical engineering as about quantum physics (i.e., nothing whatsoever). Then we get not only toxin woo but EMF woo.

The dude looks like a sleazy '80s stereo salesman, maybe that's it.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

"How on earth has this guy been operating for three decades in Florida?"
Edit
'How has this guy been operating for three decades? Florida.'

The last three Florida Governors: Jeb Bush, Charlie Christ, and Rick Scott have all favored 'protecting an open market for health services' - i.e. they've been shills for Big Quack. Look at the HHI digs! That's big money, and it's high profile. The pols in South Florida know who this guy is, they know what he does, and their take: he an upstanding member of the business community with A+ rating from the Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau.

"The Florida Department of Health had not confirmed any complaints or open investigations..." Right, because whether he's paying people off with campaign donations or not, he's paying taxes on that estate, bringing people with money into West Palm, and pumping up the economy.

That's why I was surprised and gladdened to see this story. As Orac says, it's not a bad start,. It only scratches the surface, but it's right scratches for a first story. But HHI has been around forever, and was ripe for expose from the get-go. So what the WPTV story tells you is that first time ever, someone with some clout in West Palm has decided that HHI is more of danger than an asset to the business scene. I wish I could think they had an attack of morality, but I know that's not how it works.

Still, there's some courage there. I'm sure Clement's still got friends in high places, and the attitude still could have been 'don't make waves'. We'll see what the rest of the Florida media do, and whether any networks pick up the story...

Clearly, a sequence of recent events were the straws that broke the camel's back for WPTV and ended the silence in West Palm about HHI.
1) U. S. Coverage of the First Nations chemo cases
2) The lawsuit (which probably wouldn't have been drawn up in the first place without the First Nations publicity)
3) Makayla's death (which all but guaranteed the lawsuit would go forward for now anyway).

So, though it's still sad to say, poor Makayla Sault, sacrificed to the Jesus of a bizarre religious sect* and the profit motive unrestrained by conscience, way not have totally dies in vain. This could be the first step to getting this quack shut down, and that could be a first step to a broader social vigilance against these monsters.
_______
* You have to actually watch a video of Ted Shuttlesworth in action. The written phrases "Evangelical Christian" or even "faith-healing televangelist" don't paint the picture at all.

@ Science Mom #12
I was in the consumer electronics biz off and on between 1976 and 1986, and I did sell stereos at one point, and no one in that world resembled Brain Clement, nor would he have been any good at it. He's way too slick to appeal to that customer base, and there was never enough moola in that field to appeal to him. My first job was in advertising for a chain of stereo stores, and in those days the salesmen were making straight comission only, but there was still only a very narrow range of things they could con customers about. Also, unlike Clement, they wanted to preserve return business.

There might be a better analogy, but the firs thing that comes to mind is Clement's like the sales mananger of a used car dealership. You know, here the salesman keeps gong 'well, I'll have to go ask my manager' and after gaming you with that for awhile, you actually get to go sit down with the guy and he gives you the real the hard sell with the paperwork all filled out including the expensive "extended warranty' you don't want, and he basically will not let you leave until you sign. That guy.

I have improved upon the woo:

paint a picture
describe this fruitful exploration
begin with yourself

our core vulnerability
strong, yet fragile
disturbances are critical

consider
interrupting devices or tools
feel uncomfortable

on edge
literally drained
absorb and spew

" girls’ communities" this is how you identify the nation of a First Citizen. A "community", sounds like a subdivision with a clubhouse, able to give people warnings for leaving up their Christmas lights too long. Not a First Nation, with their own government, police, hospitals, schools. No, just a "community". Not a people that have lived in a democracy centuries while your ancestors were allowing your kings to take the virginity of your wives. "A community",

Then you vent your rage that no one will listen to your "wisdom" when you treat them with contempt and derision. You demean their experience with the EuroCanadian experience, because even though the survivors of the holocaust of the "schools" still runs through the community, in their elders, in their elected leaders, you expect them to say they'll turn over the care of their children to your competent hands. Sure, this time it will be different. This time we won't starve and torture and bugger their children, beat the indian out of their damn souls and bury their desecrated corpses in unmarked graves. No, you think a generation ago is an eternity, and stupid the man that remembers. No, this time will be different. Always, this time will be different. Always, and always it will be so.

By Colonel Tom (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

If that is the correct way of saying it, then I defer to your knowledge of the proper terminology and change the word "communities" to "nations."

The girls' nations failed them. A vile and despicable quack—and a Yankee one at that!—was allowed to prey on two innocent girls whose lives could very likely have been saved, and, as far as I can tell, no one tried to do anything to stop it except the EuroCanadian government you despise. If I'm wrong, please tell me about the efforts of the First Nation government to protect these children. I'll wait.

I would go further, in fact. Their entire society failed them, from their families to their communities all the way up to their nations and the Canadian government. Makayla died a horrible and unnecessary death because of these combined failures, and JJ will almost certainly die a similar horrible death within a year or two, also because of these same failures. Nor is the government of Florida lacking in culpability, as I took pains to point out in this post.

What I find frustrating is your continued tendency to use your anger at past transgressions of the Canadian government serve as a shield against criticism of these girls' nations. I'm sorry I have to be so blunt, but maybe that's what's needed here. One of the most important functions of a government is to protect the most vulnerable, and these girls' governments utterly failed in that.

@Colonel Tom

While I admire your passion, I would advise that if you want to offer a correction of terminology, you do so without flying off the handle. If someone, especially someone who is open to correction, is ignorant of some area of knowledge, just point that out. Orac isn't your enemy, here.

Also, before you ignore the blame that both Makayla's and JJ's nations share in all of this and point at the U.S. government as responsible, note that Orac does not shy away from putting blame on the Florida state and U.S. federal governments, either. Makayla's and JJ's nations failed to protect them. The Canadian government failed to protect them. The U.S. and Florida governments failed to stop Clement. All share blame in this.

Not a people that have lived in a democracy centuries while your ancestors were allowing your kings to take the virginity of your wives.

I dunno how the original inhabitants lived back in the day, but I don't let that vacuum be filled with a bunch of made up crap either.

At http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1139/did-medieval-lords-have-r… we read

If you believe the popular tales, the droit du seigneur prevailed throughout much of Europe for centuries. Yet detailed examinations of the available records by reputable historians have found "no evidence of its existence in law books, charters, decretals, trials, or glossaries," one scholar notes. No woman ever commented on the practice, unfavorably or otherwise, and no account ever identifies any female victim by name.

If you wanna hate the white devils, go right ahead. You don't need to make up reasons.

For someone so righteously angry about anyone spreading misinformation about his people (for which I can't blame him), Col. Tom is sure pretty lax about checking to make sure that what he is saying about Europeans/Americans/Canadians is free from misinformation (for which I do blame him).

Not a people that have lived in a democracy centuries while your ancestors were allowing your kings to take the virginity of your wives.

Nitpick: the supposed right of "primae noctis" is believed by many historians to be an urban legend. It allegedly was widespread in Europe's medieval period, but the only historical attestations of the practice occur in texts written centuries later talking about how horrible and backwards people were back then -- which we probably shouldn't assume is a really reliable source.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Hello ORAC, Saw this review of the Food Babe Way from a MD at Wayne State University and couldn't believe that the great ORAC could share a university with:

Joel Kahn MD, FACC
Clinical professor of medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and author of The Whole Heart Solution
"Vani Hari is a fierce protector of our health and well-being and millions will benefit from her heroic deeds. It would be nearly impossible for someone not to lose weight and feel better after following these 21 habits. They are absolutely life changing and I recommend them to my patients and students of medicine."

Sorry for being off topic, but thefoodbabeway [dot] com

By Dr. Johnson (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Sorry, I can't get over the irony.... Using Wayne State University to sell "The Food Babe Way", I mean, really?!?!

Oh the irony, the horror, the unfortunate popularity of the food babe contrary to all logic and reason. Ah well, it's like were swimming against the tide sometimes.

By Dr. Johnson (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

I have a sneaking suspicion that my previous comments were too off topic or too snarky. Sorry ORAC, it is just I thought I'd share the outrageous use of Wayne State University to promote the Food Babe. I apologize for being out of line. Thank you for being a pillar of reason and logic. I am not kidding, you are the most reasonable and fun blog I read. I don't agree 100% but prefer your brand of wit. This message is meant for ORAC's eyes only.

By Dr. Johnson (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Col. Tom and Orac:
I understand what you mean CT, but Orac had it right in the first place. A nation is one thing, a community is another, and they're not mutually exclusive. The New Credit reserve is part of the Ojibwe Nation, and in that reserve is a local community involving probably most but not all of the residents, and a somewhat narrower community of parishioners at the Sault's church. The smaller these social circles are, the closer to the participants and the more influential (c.f. Berger and Luckmann). In the cases of the two girls, once we get outside the circle of the First Nations, personal influence yields to formal social power, legal authority, and 'the dominant ideology'.

I must emphasize, again, how different the cases of Makayla and J.J. are. The nations had, by far, the least ability to protect Makayla. I basically agree with Orac: nobody gets a pass in her death. The only difference I'd make in the phrasing is to "Their entire society..." as "their' does seem to leave out (initially anyway) the failure of any U.S. group to do anything about Brain Clement. Maybe we could say 'North American society failed the girls' though that might be a bit broad.

But while everyone may have failed, some failures are more consequential than others. I don't see what New Credit chief Bryan LaForme could have done to rescue Makayla. On the other hand, the Six Nations council and chief Ava Hill are almost certainly more complicit in regards to J.J., though just how much is hard to gauge from the outside.

My take is that Col. Tom is reacting to the nations receiving too much fault, which is undoubtedly true, and if he doesn't find any fault with them, perhaps he thinks enough of that's been done, anybody who reads here will know that angle, and he's just trying to balance the scales a bit. My take is also that CTom approaches things more figuratively than skeptics are used to, and his harping on U.S. failures regarding Clement is basically a tropus for the wider sins of EuroNorthAmericans of all kinds to all sorts of people over the years. 'People who live in glass houses...' And in that, he has a point, not that the point settles the argument or wipes blame from anyone else.

It also seems to me that — being as geographically distant as any of us from these actual events — Col. Tom has a tendency to forms of confirmation bias in interpretation that may run counter to the precise facts. Specifically, I'm thinking of his references to the role of clan and band in making decisions about the girls' health care. While that may indeed be a factor with J.J., I have seen zero evidence of it playing a role with Makayla at all.

The reductionist-but-mostly-accurate capsule version of Makayla's death is 'Her parents sacrificed her to a fringey religious cult, and the only people with the de facto power to have a chance (just a chance) of saving her – the senior administrators of McMaster Hospital and their attorney – made the wrong moves at every turn'. I have plenty of evidence to support that, which I'm still working on to put in presentable form – no simple task. Again, J.J. is another matter...

Colonel Tom: May I humbly suggest we set aside the First Nations issues, just for the time being, and continue the discussion in the spirit of the OP, focusing on what we all can do to help expose and limit the activities not just of Brian Clement, but of all the quacks our society allows to profit handsomely from leading cancer patients to premature ad painful death?

Dr Johnson - new commenters are automatically placed in moderation.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

No snark at all seen here, doc. And given Clement is leveraging the whole 'natural foods' schtick – “only place we get oxygen naturally is from living food" – I don't Food Babe as being that OT, either. Just IMHO.

experiments that inevitably will fail to work the first time around
Transformations that were too hard to find.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

You then have to consider avoiding negative energy fields or at least protecting yourself from them with electromagnetic field interrupting devices or tools.

Say, for example, a tinfoil hat?

By Emma Crew (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

How hard could it be to pull his nutrition license? Florida could at least bring some charges against him.

This website https://appsmqa.doh.state.fl.us/FinalOrderNet/ lists enforcement actions against health care providers including nutrition counselors (NC) in Florida. Most actions against NCs seem to be for failing to complete continuing education requirements. Two actions were initiated against NCs over their spurious claims to have PhDs: 1992 against against Sam Feder who claimed a degree from a diploma mill and a 1999 action against William Frazier who claimed a degree he didn’t have. Both lost their licenses.

So if Clement’s degree is from a diploma mill, he obtained his Florida NC license fraudulently and committed fraudulent advertising by holding himself out as a Ph.D., both grounds for losing his license. He also clearly falls under this category “It is the legislative intent that any person practicing dietetics and nutrition or nutrition counseling who falls below minimum competency or who otherwise presents a danger to the public be prohibited from practicing in this state.” http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&…

The section of Florida statutes governing nutrition counselors in Florida are here:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&…

He’s also open to action under 468.518 (1) (m) for “Advertising, by or on behalf of a licensee under this part, any method of assessment or treatment which is experimental or without generally accepted scientific validation.”

I listened to the last part of the 2nd video (question/answer period) to see how he summed everything up, and ended up in the fetal position under my desk after 5 minutes.

Q: Can you change your DNA?
A: You can change your DNA, and we've been rapidly changing DNA for 57 years--we have a machine from Germany. Gives you healthy chromosomes.

Q: (something about protein & the brain--I had wads of post-it notes in my ears right then)
A: The most important thing we offer you at Hippocrates is
psychotherapy.

Other gems:
His crowd knows as much or more than doctors because they have been treated by doctors (aka intellectual mutants)

His children do very well in school because he believes in giving no food till the child is 2, only breast milk; then slowly starting them off on wheat grass. And algae.

We need reflexology today because we're not farming barefoot like everyone did until the last 5-6 decades, so we don't get the earth energy through our feet.

I wonder if Orac caught the exchange with the breast cancer surgeon at 1:20, where he bombarded her with his "understanding" of the science. Come to think of it, what was a breast cancer surgeon doing there?

Orac @ #18. Righteous!

By Michael5MacKay (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

"Later in the report he says that the “only place we get oxygen naturally is from living food.”"

Hmm. So he's advocating we eat live food?

That must explain why Klingon's grow up to be so big and strong.

Gagh for everyone!

Later in the report he says that the “only place we get oxygen naturally is from living food.”
Great, he doesn't need to breath; he won't mind if you put a plastic bag over his head.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

...and fill it with his favorite wheat grass.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

@ Chris Hickie:

No no no, Dr Chris- the wheat grass goes somewhere else.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

I'm pretty sure the people who buy into these scams think a cell is exactly like PacMan -- busily gobbling down anything you throw into its path. A current fad among cancer patients is to fast before chemo so that the cells will be so hungry they'll swallow the chemo by mistake.

By Yodel lady (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Later in the report he says that the “only place we get oxygen naturally is from living food.”

Move over Food Babe, we have a new champion ignoramus.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Denice Walter #36:
With the bag of wheatgrass over his head, wouldn't the wheatgrass be in the proper location for an enema?

By Se Habla Espol (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Talking about quakery there are no bigger quaks than most of the medical doctors supported by the murderous mafia of the FDA and the ACS, they do not hesitate a bit to give false hope to the thousands/millions of brain washed americans who believe

Look whos talking about healing, and about making money with the pain of the people, if if we can say something about that or if someone is guilty of that is the FDA and the ACS, they never get tired of asking for money for a "cure" that never will come for the simple reason that there is no money on the cure only in the treatment and big money billions of it.

It all seems so obvious and cheesy.
But didn't someone say about what we in Europe call the nigerian scams, that they make deliberately make them that way, to act as a sort of filter to eliminate the people who are never likely to buy (both metaphorically and literally) into that sort of thing? That way the scammers don't have to waste their time with unlikely prospects (i.e 90% of the population).

By Peter Dugdale (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

sorry..."that they deliberately make them that way".....

By Peter Dugdale (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Wasn't the judges' ruling in both cases specifically to allow the girls to seek-out "traditional aboriginal medicine"? I recall the ruling mentioned that very clearly...

Question: How do wheatgrass...'plugs' (ew!) and "color-puncture" at a place called "Hippocrates" (for G*d sake!) qualify as aboriginal medicine?! i.e. Could this not be construed as a violation of said ruling?

...I'm guessing even if it was, that would be 'half the battle' (the easy half)... the other: transplanting a backbone into the crown (aka the prosecution) so that they would pursue this

re:
[Ontario Court Justice Gethin Edward]:
“Rather it is a decision... steeped in a practice that has been *rooted in their culture from its beginnings*.”
“It is this Court’s conclusion therefore, that (the mother’s) decision to pursue traditional medicine for her daughter is *her aboriginal right*. Further, such a right cannot be qualified as a right only if it is proven to work by employing the western medical paradigm. To do so would be to leave open the opportunity to perpetually erode aboriginal rights.”

and it goes on:
“It was the right decision,” said New Credit Chief Bryan LaForme. “He could not rule any other way. It’s upholding our traditional rights.”

quoted from: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/11/14/ontario_girl_can_rely_on_tra…

@soteros:

I guess that must be why there's a near 100% cure rate for stage I cervical cancer, because doctors offer false hope and are supported by the murderous FDA.

Many cancers are quite curable and respond well to treatment. Some don't. But blaming the medical profession and government agencies for the fact a successful treatment hasn't been developed yet is insane.

Since quack therapies don't work at all, I question why your rage isn't directed at people like Mr. Clement, who charges big bucks for a "therapy" that is not proven to work and leads to hundreds if not thousands of needless deaths.

I guess that's also why no one ever invested the funds to develop LASIK surgery as a cure for near-sightedness, in order to keep selling people eyeglasses and contact lenses to treat it instead.

Oh, wait.

I just want to point out, Brian Clement has an alternate evil universe goatee. You can never trust anyone with an evil goatee.
Also, whoever wrote it above, no food until 2? Is the man insane! No wonder the kids ate the wheatgrass and algae, they were starving at that point. Geez whiz, I started feeding my son baby food at 6 months, just so he would be full. He is a health thriving child and the veggies we fed him don't seem to have hurt him any. He wasn't very fond of meat as a baby and still refuses most every meat except chicken. And to this day at the age of three always eats the veggies first. Plus for some reason won't eat much starch, no potatoes or pasta. But he does love bread so not a total mutant. Jus the first toddler I have met not to love the mashed potato.

Kiiri

And to this day at the age of three always eats the veggies first. Plus for some reason won’t eat much starch, no potatoes or pasta. But he does love bread so not a total mutant. Jus the first toddler I have met not to love the mashed potato.

Obviously not Neurotypical. Must have been the too many too soon vaccinations.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 12 Feb 2015 #permalink

@Militant Agnostic - Well he had all his vaccines. On time. And he isn't really typical as his father (stay at home dad) is teaching him addition and subtraction now and we'll probably have him reading on his own in another 6 months. He is really close, he recognizes many words, can draw most of his letters (and most of the time you can tell what they are), has known his alphabet and numbers for a while now. So no, not very typical. Very smart and loving though.

@ bhilleli #44

You are lamentably uninformed. If you knew even the first thing about this issue, you would know that there was only one court case, concerning J.J. and J.J. alone.

You would also know that Judge Edward's decision was made after both girls had completed their 'treatments' at HHI.

Thus, the problem with Judge Edward's ruling, and why it sets such a horrible precedent is exactly that it appears to allow “traditional aboriginal medicine” to be defined however the heII any individual parent chooses to define it.

As such, alone, his decision should be open to reversal on appeal. Moreover, he cherry-picked the law he cited in the decision, leaving out the part that traditional aboriginal practices (this relates to anything, not just medicine) are not protected rights if they may result in serious harm.

The First Nations leaders see this almost entirely as a sovereignty and child custody issue. You may find that wrong, but that is the context for interpreting their statements. You need to understand where Bryan LaForme sits and the moment he was asked the question. Yes, he thought the decision was right, and Edward had no choice.. He's not a constitutional attorney, so those aren't legal opinions, but moral beliefs. He's saying. no, Canada should not have the right to apprehend our children by force. The little vague tag of 'traditional rights' is just a nudge-wink concession to the bogus excuse Edward gave for the ruling -- playing along, as it were, as all politicians do.

The elephant in the room question to which I have heard no answer, or even a guess at a possibly valid explanation: Why has McMaster Hospital failed to appeal Judge Edward's decision? As far as I know, they are the only party with standing to do so. Yet they are sitting on their hands. .

Explain that, and maybe we can talk about the bands.

Speaking of Canada...
Brian Clement is scheduled to hold 5 events in British Columbia between April 18-21. Would any Canadians here dare to hazard a guess as to why he still has a travel visa to your country, or whether national or provincial authorities might arrest him for any number of possible crimes?

Obviously Florida should be responsible for this quack, but he appears to have some kind of 'deal' with TPTB there. But he travels to various cities around the U.S. as well, not just Florida and Canada. Before he gets to BC, he will give his spiel in CT, MA, MD, ME, NC, NJ, NY, PA and WV. I assume he will make the same false medical claims, and pass of the same fake credentials in these places as documented on this page.

Can anyone explain how he gets away with this?

sadmar,

List the crimes or better, punt them out to me at:

alain.toussaint

securivm.ca

And I shall take care of the problem.

Alain

Yep. I'm rather surprised that sadmar thinks he needs a visa. He does need a passport (thank you, 9/11, before which Americans didn't even need that to travel to Canada), but no visa.

Actually, you don't even need a passport if you get one of the specially enhanced drivers' licenses. Given that the Canadian border is only maybe three miles miles from where I work, I invested in one of those drivers' licenses.

thank you, 9/11, before which Americans didn’t even need that to travel to Canada

Getting back in was a separate matter. It's been quite a while, but I was hassled at the lesser crossing point after the Rainbow Bridge one time for only having a U.S. driver's license.

I noticed that Clement's web site has a good Web of Trust rating.

Brian Clement is scheduled to hold 5 events in British Columbia between April 18-21.

Got a link for this? If he's appearing in my neighbourhood, I think a little "publicity" would be in order.

I dont understand all the hostility. Each makes their own decisions regarding their own healthcare. If you get cancer, you take chemo, radiation and surgery & remove body parts. Me, I will continue to eat green, juice green, and do alternative therapies. I will do this to prevent illness. If you think healthy food is quackery, you are delusional. and I feel sorry for you. It is clearly a sign of the times and how disconnected you are from the dirt, water and plants. I can not imagine how much fake processed and fried foods you eat. All the negativity still creates positive vibes for the man you are attacking. Everything you say and do with negative intentions will only come right back to you. It probably already has. Be easy and stop judging someone until you feel that you yourself are perfect. Until then work on yourself and be good, do good and see good. Or be quite.

@Jennifer

The problem is that Brian Clement promotes treatments for cancer which have no basis in reality. This leads people, like the parents of the girls mentioned in the original post, to go away from conventional therapy that is proven to work to try quackery that cannot work, thus dooming these kids to an untimely and painful death. If Clement's recommendations actually work, then he should have no problem putting together a well-designed study to confirm his claims. That would shut us up really fast. Instead, he chooses to scam people out of their money and give them false hope.

I have no problem with people deciding for themselves what they want to do. However, when the decision involves someone else (e.g., a child) then I have a problem. I also have a problem with con artists.

If you think Clement has the goods, then pressure him to do the studies.

The hostility is to a man who is making money at the cost of children's lives.

You eating green vegetables, or lots of juice, may or may not keep you healthy, but it's not harming other people.

If all Brian Clement was doing was taking his unproven and probably worthless medicine himself, that would be his own business. He's not. He is making a living off it, while people suffer and die because he steers them and their parents away from treatments that might cure them.

Jennifer, you are, of course, welcome to consume any food which you believe will prevent or cure cancer. You comment on this thread where the death of a young child is directly attributed to a quack, is cruel and insensitive.

I have a problem with your blanket statements about the eating habits of other commenters here.

I just wonder how many people are given "false hope" with conventional cancer treatments. My friend was convinced to do chemo therapy with Stage 4 Cancer on the hope it would prolong her life. Even traditional cancer sites state that chemo may only increase your life by a few months (maybe). This was never explained to her and she spent the last months of her life in unbelievable pain and suffering due to the effects of the chemo.

Peter at 42: Spot on! The quantum quackery is a filter to weed out people who won't pay to put wheatgrass up their bum.

Sadmar at 51: 'Before he gets to BC, he will give his spiel in CT, MA, MD, ME, NC, NJ, NY, PA and WV.'

Splendid opportunity! Nine stops in the USA plus at least one stop in Canada: surely there must be people on this blog who live in those places? One or two witty sceptics in the audience could turn 'Doctor' Clement's medicine show into a flying circus.

Alternately, set him up for a sting by claiming to have cancer and recording the Q&A.

The more this evil wretch tries to peddle his swill to the masses, the more he increases his surface-area and vulnerability to attack. By all means take full advantage.

What I don't get is, where people like this get the money to buy expensive land and build expensive buildings. Did someone fund them? Did they have investors? Has anyone looked into the possibility of investment fraud?

I haven't heard that the dying process from cancer is all that pretty even if you refuse all modern medicines of all kinds (although I hope people will take the pain meds and palliative care offered that can keep one comfortable in the mean time as I'm not sure how much pain relief you get from wheat grass juice no matter where you put it).

There is a push to do more shared decision making with patients when it is really a matter of which painful way do you want to die and how fast. A lot of people would rather die painfully in 2 months than live a few extra weeks with the chemo side effects and I think the full extent of what each means needs to be talked out before a treatment plan is decided on.

Cancer deaths are for the most part not good deaths. Even my Dad's that was really quick (he was offered hospice care so it was near the end but his tumor ruptured and he bled out and died within a minute or so while he was still able to live at home) was not that easy clean death we all seem to hope for. At least it was quick and the crime scene clean up crew was able to handle the mess.

Oh I should add that his cancer death was during the 3rd recurrence of that cancer (and he had a 4th cancer, prostate that was likely unrelated).

As bad as he felt during the other treatment rounds it did give us several more years with him that we wouldn't have had otherwise and he had several healthy years in between. Why it is important, IMO to do the effective treatments first rather than wait until stage 4 (assuming you know before hand) to turn to science.

@Kay Marie - one problem science-based medicine has (a handicap, if you will) is that it is honest, and shares real, evidence-based possible outcomes with you. Where some quack will assure you they have "reversed hundreds of stage four cancers in the past five years," an oncologist will say, "You have this cancer, this stage, this is your best treatment option and research says it gives you this chance at x years, this chance at this long, and this chance at five years..." etc.

Real science-based medicine doesn't say 100%. They know that nothing is perfect. So, between the internet and lack of education, people end up misled and worse by alternative providers and their supporters, and are scared to death of chemo and radiation (some of which has changed drastically).

So people like these innocent girls' families make decisions that throw away a rather good opportunity for a cure to follow the sure thing of someone who believes shoving wheat grass into an outtie will do just as well.

Good to see you, Mrs. Woo!

" This was never explained to her and she spent the last months of her life in unbelievable pain and suffering due to the effects of the chemo"

Which would represent a failure by the physician in communicating the probable outcome of the treatment to his patient, not evidence that the treatment itself offered only false hopes (as you note yourself, the probable benefits of the treatment in cases of stage 4 cancer had been made publicly available.)

It's sad when people are blasted with several doses of poisonous Chemo... and then as a last resort they seek "holistic healing." Often these people will die because their bodies have already been destroyed by medical "treatment." Yet the Holistic methods are blamed. Healthy people don't get cancer, period. Prevention is everything.

It is interesting how nobody is talking about how many people die with traditional medical care. It is what you don't put in your body that makes a huge difference. The food they feed you in a hospital is an embarassment. They call it PRACTICING medicine for a reason. Nobody is a magician. It is all a lifestyle package, and you never really know what will be thrown our way with our fast pace, complicated current lifestyles.

By Freddy Smith (not verified) on 25 Feb 2015 #permalink

Why don't you asked those people who he helped? Your article really doesn't really view the whole scope of HHI.

Why don't you do an interview with an allopathic hospital and criticize them for the patients who they could not save? What about all the quackery in the allopathic medical science? How many medical doctors and pharmaceutical companies kill every year?

How many law suites are against Brian Clement? How many law suites are there against medical doctors and pharmaceutical companies.

I don't understand why you people think you are above everyone?

Three comments, dozens of accusations, not one shred of evidence. Typical.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 02 Mar 2015 #permalink

Rod, Freddy Smith, and bill - Could you please provide information on HHI's success rate and how it compares to other treatments? That would go a long way towards making your case. Thanks.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 02 Mar 2015 #permalink

Why don’t you do an interview with an allopathic hospital

Is Clement a homeopath as well, or do you not know what the word means?

#57-64 Clement's schedule
It's on the HHI website:
http://hippocratesinst.org/monthcalendar/2015/4/

#64 Where'd he get the money?
Good question! HHI existed before Clement, and it seems he worked his way up, but one would think at some point most businesses borrow money rather than just exist solely on incoming revenue, so HHI probably did/does have investors. Do you think they wouldn't have known what they were getting into?

# 53-54 visa. Oops. I have been to Canada, but it was a long time ago, and I didn't need a passport or anything Maybe I was thinking it was different because Clement is doing business there, or something, but let's just say I wasn't thinking. http://youtu.be/bOR38552MJA?t=21s

You people are all idiots and lower thinkers. Reading this whole Debunking Blog was a waste of my time and makes my wonder who is paying you for this. Why scumbags like you would waste your time bashing someone whom has saved so many lives if beyond me. Your idiots pure and simple. If you had a brain and then knew how to use it we would all be better off. All the studies on cancer back up what Clement is saying, and many people have benefited from this. I have seen this for myself, with bloodwork and just the plane way these people look while they are getting better every day they are there at HHI.

All the studies on cancer back up what Clement is saying

Are you able to provide even a single example of such a study, and explain in your own words how it supports Clement's techniques?

A bunch of hot air without any actual substance doesn't seem all that 'Badass,' don't you think?

You can make fun but my husbands niece had a bad case of MS. She found this center because nothing else worked. She is 40 yrs old was barely walking with braces was overweight and numerous other symptoms. She went for 3 weeks and if I hadn't seen it myself I might be making comments such as some in this blog. She is back working as a nurse, running half marathons, lost 30 lbs. etc. She got her life back!
So before you make uneducated syndicalism remarks perhaps you should talk to the people who have been healed or are in remission. Oh and don't tell me none of you haven't heard of doctors killing patients!

So before you make uneducated syndicalism remarks

I like to think that I am an educated syndicalist.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Mar 2015 #permalink

"How many law suites are against Brian Clement?"

At least three lawsuits have been filed so far. Suite!

"I have seen this for myself"

Presumably Clement's ex-staff who are suing him and his wife saw what was going on, on a daily basis.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 05 Mar 2015 #permalink

I agree with some things in this article... like Brian Clement went too far giving the actual M.D. at HHI medical advice for people receiving "treatment" at HHI. He is a bit of an arrogant fellow, however, he is also extremely knowledgeable about diet and natural healing (not alternative healing).

However, I see a LOT of hate and anger coming from people online here. It is sad that people have died from cancer, but some people are not able to recover from the damage done to their bodies in time to heal the cancer taking over their bodies. And some people do not follow the diet as strictly when they get home because let's face it... temptation is strong when you are sick and tired and just want to eat some ice cream or mom's meatloaf.

But I have a question... have any of you ever been to Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida? Did you receive any help or treatment there? I have and I did. I have experienced a complete 180 in my health over the past year due to the changes recommended by HHI and Brian Clement. I was hospitalized December 23, 2013 and received 3 blood transfusions, and an iron transfusion in February 2014.

In March 2014 I went to HHI and I learned a LOT of information about how to feed and heal my own body so that I won't have to see 4 different doctors just to keep living my life (in pain and exhausted every day). I do visit my general practitioner and he runs my blood work to be sure things are still going well and they are.

I am interested in seeing how all of this turns out, and if the girls who died continued to follow the strict program at home and how long they stayed at HHI for treatment, etc.

Mellyhoo, how exactly did you factually establish that the "complete 180 in[your] my health over the past year" was in fact due to the changes recommended by HHI and Brian Clement? It is, I trust, on some basis other than a post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy.

And some people do not follow the diet as strictly when they get home because let’s face it… temptation is strong when you are sick and tired and just want to eat some ice cream or mom’s meatloaf.

And the evidence that when people do follow the diet as strictly when they get home they obtain better outcomes than people who do not would be...what, exactly? Be specific.

You went to a spa in Florida run by the charlatan Brian Clement, who is not a licensed physician and not a licensed dietician. You could have saved your money by staying at home to consult with a licensed registered dietician...and by going to a health club for workouts and massages.

You don't like the tone of some of the comments here? Tough.

I have been to Hippocrates and experienced significant health improvement...if I found I had cancer, the first thing I would do would be to pack my bags and go there ASAP. Amazing to see the hostility of so many who have never been there.

if I found I had cancer, the first thing I would do would be to pack my bags and go there ASAP

Thanks for waiting two months to let everyone know.

Just some quick support to those posting who've commented with positive experiences - although I could only afford going there once for lunch, I have reaped the benefits of everything he talks about on my own - I even have a far infrared sauna at home :) - lost 50 lbs in 3 months on raw and living food & felt on top of the world - all minor ailments faded - I've encountered maybe 10-15 people who have either checked themselves in there or have had relatives go through the program, and every one of them has raved about what a life-changing experience it is. I, too, would check myself in at the onset of any serious health challenge. Remember, "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident." ~ Arthur Shopenhauer

By Sue Rushford (not verified) on 14 Apr 2015 #permalink