Vivian Virginia Vetrano is allegedly a chiropractor with special skills and knowledge in holistic medicine and alternative medical treatment. For many years, she operated – together with her son-in-law and daughter Gregory and Tosca Haag – the Rest of Your Life (ROYL) Retreat in La Vernia, Texas, where they offered fasting and other “natural hygiene” approaches. Natural hygiene is an offshoot of naturopathy (described and assessed in detail here) based on fallacious appeals to nature, and which is in direct opposition to most medical treatments, advocating instead (a) eating a “raw food” diet of vegetables, fruits, and nuts, (b) periodic fasting, and (c) “food combining”, i.e. avoiding food combinations Vetrano et al. considers detrimental. That, of course, is a bad idea, and Vetrano has predictably enough been involved in lawsuits following the deaths of patients with curable conditions, such as this one. She is still a hero of the raw food movement, it seems.
Natural hygiene, founded by Herbert Shelton in the early twentieth century, seems to be a major force of evil in today’s society. It was developed in detail and brought up to date (i.e. incorporating the usual fads) in the 1980s by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond and their enormously popular books Fit for Life and Living Health (Harvey has a “Ph.D. in nutritional science” from the unaccredited American College of Health Science), as well as through The Beverly Hills Medical Diet by the recent Judy Mazel, and Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins.
Diagnosis: Influential crackpot who is still in the business of unsupported claims that are evidently not to the benefit of health and well-being. A good argument in favor of more substantial anti-quack laws.