Wednesday, April 10, 2013

#505: Russell Blaylock


Russell Blaylock is one of the big legends in the most radical quackery and denialist movements, and one of the most influential peddlers of, shall we say, nonconformistic medical advice in the US (indeed, you can hardly enter any quack-related or denialist discussion, regardless of the particular topic, without encountering a reference to Blaylock – he is absolutely everywhere). Blaylock is a trained neurosurgeon, though he has retired as such in order to, instead, take up his roles as a perceived expert on nutrition and toxins in food, teeth, and vaccines. He claims that vaccines (in particular the H1N1 vaccine) are dangerous, that dental amalgams and fluoridated water are harmful to our health; and that aluminum cookware, aspartame (also here) and MSG are toxic substances causing brain damage. It is probably unnecessary to point out that science, research, and reality fail to agree with him on these points.

In particular, Blaylock maintains that vaccines cause Lou Gehrig's disease, Parkinson's, autism (yes, the old thimerosal idea) and all sorts of ills, and has vigorously peddled this idea in various books and for Newsmax (he has a section called The Blaylock Wellness Report). With respect to the H1N1 vaccine, Blaylock argued forcefully that it may be more dangerous than the flu itself since the vaccine contains squalene, which it doesn’t contain and which wouldn’t have been a problem in any case, but reality is apparently less important for this brand of people. According to Blaylock squalene has been strongly linked to the Gulf War Syndrome, despite the fact that there was no squalene in vaccines given to Gulf War soldiers. He has also suggested that the H1N1 virus may even be man-made and purposely released by someone with the ”Illuminati Depopulation Agenda” (yes, Blaylock is a regular guest at the Alex Jones Show)

Of course there is a Big Pharma conspiracy. It is interesting that such conspiracy mongers fail to see that the Big Pharma conspiracy hypothesis is blatantly internally incoherent, but I suppose that coherence matters just as much as truth and evidence for such people. Bill Maher has claimed that he’s found Blaylock’s rants extremely convincing, but then being convincing to the ignorant is the easiest part when you manufacture a manufactroversy.

Blaylock has also thrown in his alleged expertise in favor of the amalgam scare, the idea that the mercury in amalgam fillings is dangerous – a hugely successful scare franchise started by Hal Huggins (to be covered) in 1985, and immediately popularized by sensationalist garbage TV such as 60 minutes.

Joe Schwarcz points out that Blaylock, as a good, paranoid conspiracy theorist, thinks that the social drug problem in the United States was created by the former Soviet Union ”to weaken the resistance of Western society to Soviet invasion, undermine religion and make the youth unable to resist collectivism,” and that the Soviets were responsible for an epidemic of hepatitis, AIDS, venereal diseases and highly resistant tuberculosis. Relatedly, he thinks that current attempts to reform health-care in the U.S. are being masterminded by the self-chosen ”elite” who wants to establish a New World Order and institute death panels, as elites always does. As Blaylock puts it: ”this is really not that far away from the German National Socialist Party's thinking.” Ah, the power of paranoid imagination: ”Knowing they cannot easily pass a euthanasia law or just have them rounded up and exterminated, they (the proponents of socialized medicine) use the medical-care system to speed them along to their deaths.”

He seems to cargo cult his credentials as a scientist by his membership in the crackpot organization Association of American Physician and Surgeons, listed here, and by being an editor of the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association and on the advisory board for the Life Extension Foundation.

So what should you do? Well, of course Blaylock doesn’t only identify the problem (science-based medicine); he also promotes the solution (pseudoscience), and you can buy medicine and supplements he sells under the label ”Brain Repair Formula” from his website.
These supplements can apparently treat and prevent a range of ailments, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, by maximizing ”your brain’s ability to heal and reduce inflammation.” He may, according to himself, also have found the (secret) cure for cancer. Suzanne Somers included a section on Blaylock and his cancer approach in her quackfest book Knockout.

There’s a good Blaylock resource here, and another one here; he even has his own whale.to page (though I won’t be bothered to link it).

Diagnosis: Supercrackpot and professional conspiracy theorist. Given his fame and influence Blaylock remains a huge threat to civilization, even if he doesn’t quite manage to float the mainstream in the manner of Mehmet Oz and Andrew Weil.

17 comments:

  1. I would listen to Dr. Blaylock any day of the week vs the doctors and pharmaceutical companies who are making millions off the pain and suffering of cancer patients they cannot cure, but still give the meds and take the money!!

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    2. Russell Blaylock works in the free market, something that totalitarian statists like you don't understand. It is up to individuals/consumers and whoever they trust to decide who and who is not a medical professional, and what is and is not effective medical treatment. The health care system in America is extremely fascistic and regulated. The operations of doctors and clinics are none of the government's business, no matter the amount of quackery that may or not be going on. The only crimes punishable would be violence, theft, and fraud/contract violation. Not following the thousands of rules, restrictions, and regulations of the state is no act of crime or injustice.

      An economy and a health care system based on capitalism and property rights, voluntary exchange, self-ownership and individual liberty is the only moral and just system. Government is pure violence and totalitarianism.

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    3. So, Landon, even granting your premise for the sake of argument: shouldn't your conclusion be that people "like me" are doing everyone a service? After all, no one has the time to carefully research all aspects of anything before making a decision, so if all government regulations of medical practices were removed then sites like this, providing information about certain practices to consumers, would indeed be very valuable, right?

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    4. Your site has the value that people give it, so yes, but the value is entirely subjective. It is worthless to some and has great value for others. It had some value to me because I spent time to read some of it.

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    5. Excuse me, if I may. The loons of the alternative media are the fools that would publish this page. Who ever the losers are remind of the heckler that Peter told to hold his tongue (shut your mocking mouth). Unfortunately, I have not the authority.

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    6. Landon, 'It is up to individuals/consumers and whoever they trust to decide who and who is not a medical professional, and what is and is not effective medical treatment.' you are out of your mind buddy. That's not at all how it works. You can go and line the pockets of quacks and charlatans with your money for all I care, that's your choice. Treat an aggressive cancer with homeopathy and then tell me what is an effective treatment though. Efficacy is assessed by science, science doesn't differentiate between 'alt med' and 'med' just what works and what doesn't. It's not 'up to individual consumers' to decide what's effective. That's for sure!

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    7. G.D. "How do you reconcile that reasoning with the fact that Blaylock earns far, far more money than regular doctors"

      Care to provide a reference for this very specific claim?

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    8. It's been too long since the comment was made, but you're right: I cannot, at least at present, find a reference to back up the claim for Blaylock in particular (as opposed to e.g. Mercola), so I deleted it. To demonstrate the lunacy of Blaylock's antics unsourced claims are hardly needed.

      He has recently endorsed chemtrail conspiracies, you know.

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  2. Patsy, there is no way I could listen to him all day. the man is mega boring and basically wrong on many levels. He may have once earned a moral living as a doctor but he has strayed from the path and is now little more than a snake oil salesman.

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  3. http://www.mpwhi.com/references_proving_vaccines_are_deadly.htm

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  4. Well, there are two points (aspartame and flouridated water) which are now being seen as a health risk by the overall medical community, so we have to give Blaylock that one. But his stance against vaccines is appalling to the point of being damned near criminal. I've done the research, I looked through the myths, and the stuff this guy peddles is akin to Voodoo. He should be prosecuted for the next death caused by his anti-vaccine diatribe.

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    1. "there are two points (aspartame and flouridated water) which are now being seen as a health risk by the overall medical community"

      Care to provide a reference for that claim?

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  6. So....mercury in the fillings is not dangerous? everyone I know has long ago taken out their mercury amalgams. Have you been living under a rock? Oy vey! Even this Canadian government side advocates to avoid mercury amalgams.
    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/environ/merc-eng.php

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