Monday, April 10, 2017

#1822: Webster Kehr

Webster Kehr is a legendary crackpot and crank magnet. Kehr is a religious fundamentalist (Mormon) creationist and conspiracy theorist, notable for promoting free energy suppression conspiracies and denying the existence of photons (and thus the technology required for the screen on which you are reading). Kehr writes for the website, CancerTutor, which promotes a range of fake, unproven and utterly ridiculous alternative cancer treatments. CancerTutor is formally the website of the organization “Independent Cancer Research Foundation, Inc.” (ICRF), though Kehr and his gang wouldn’t know the difference between research and making up lunatic conspiracy theories on the spot. Nonetheless, the website actually seems to be somewhat popular, and is among the top hits if you search for “natural cancer cure” (which you have no reason to do: go here instead). Kehr apparently retired in 2015, whereupon he received some kind of lifetime achievement award from Ty Bollinger; yeah, that kind of stuff – Kehr wrote the foreword to Bollinger’s book Cancer – Step Outside the Box.

According to Mr. Kehr “cancer is caused by microbes inside the cancer cells.” This is not true, but shows that Kehr probably doesn’t even care whether he got it right. He seems to have gotten the idea from legendary crackpot Royal Rife, who in the 1930s described unknown, non-existent bacteria he thought, without much evidence, were the cause of cancer, the “Bacillus-X”. The main treatment pushed by the CancerTutor webpage is accordingly the BX Protocol, which is advertised to help not only with cancer but, for good measure (remember: the broader the range of application, the greater the income base) “most diseases”, including Alzheimer’s, autism, asthma, autoimmune diseases, blood disorders, cancer, COPD, diabetes (type I and II), epilepsy, heart disease, lupus, Lyme disease, malaria, neurodegenerative disorders, Parkinson’s, respiratory infections, tuberculosis, and “most bacterial and viral conditions”. (The “inventor” of BX protocol is “Dr” Dewayne Lee Smith, who runs the Delta Institute and claims to have a Ph.D. in “biological sciences” from “University of Canterbury” or “Canterbury University” – he seems unsure; The University of Canterbury is a real university in New Zealand, but “Canterbury University” a Seychelles-based diploma mill). What the BX Protocol actually is, is a bit unclear, and it is hard to make sense of Delta Institute’s “explanation”, except that it is supposed to be a “new paradigm” and that Western medicine is flawed because it is merely “treatment of symptoms, and not causation” – and for the BX people there really is the cause of disease: A mythical and undefined “mitochondrial dysfunction” involving undetectable “stealth pathogens”. The protocol involves what is basically homeopathy, an “energized non-toxic biomolecule created from pure crystalline fructose” (i.e. sugar-water) that is potentiated through some unspecified magic ritual involving light(?), and which will “seek out and bond with toxic structures” and “dismantles” the toxins with an “electric field”. Indeed.

The CancerTutor website apparently makes money by referring readers to various quackery and crankery sellers, especially the BX Protocol cure-all (data leaked from Delta Institute show that CancerTutor/Webster Kehr received 15% commission on fourteen sales of BX Protocol.) The current retail-price of BX Protocol is $16,995. Kehr suggests to his readers that they may for instance sell their life-insurance for half its value to a broker he knows personally to pay for the BX Protocol.

How does Kehr know that his advice is good? Well, he’s got anecdotes! He even admits that “[w]e depend on cancer patients to contact us if the [treatment] protocol is not working.” Given that their treatments are often aimed at the terminally ill (or at least people who would die without proper treatment), you can perhaps discern a potential problem with this way of testing the efficacy of the advice you are giving.

It’s not the only cancer cure pushed on CancerTutor, though. Kehr says that there are more than 20 ways to turn cancer cells into normal cells (even though he is demonstrable unable to distinguish a cancer cell from a bacterial infection), and these are “[i]nexpensive, safe and gentle cancer treatments (with 90% cure rates) have existed for decades, but very, very few people know these treatments even exist.” For instance, CancerTutor also advocates biological dentistry and dentists trained by Hal Huggins. Why do few people know about these cures, you think? Ah, you didn’t need to ask: “The reason the media blacklists the truth about the 90% cure rate treatments is that the media is owned by multi-billionaires and the treatments that have 90% cure rates are not profitable enough to satisfy their lust for profits.” Those multi-billionaires also die of cancer, but apparently the profit margin is more important. Why the media and its owners have an economic stake in hiding cancer cures is less clear.

The CancerTutor website is currently run by Kehr’s associate, “acupuncturist /naturopath” Gary Edward Teal. Teal is most notable for his expertise on and promotion of Rife machines, which Teal thinks cure both cancer and infectious diseases (though he is for legal reasons forced to admit that the devices “are sold as electronic test instruments. No suitability or claims for any other purpose is stated or implied … We make absolutely no claims of any cure for any disease”).

As for Kehr, his pseudoscience is – as we mentioned at the outset – not limited to cancer quackery. Kehr is also a creationist and thinks “evolution is the most absurd scientific theory in the history of science!!” He has even written a couple of books about that. The main claim in The Evolution of Evolution is, according to himself, “that human DNA cannot contain enough information to ‘morph’ a fertilized egg (e.g. of a human) into a newborn baby.” So his main beef is apparently not with evolution but with genetics altogether. And in Introduction to the Mathematics of Evolution, his main beef is apparently with Cantor, insofar as he thinks that the set of naturals and the set of reals are the same size (he might not realize precisely what he’s claiming); he admits there is no bijection between them, though, which makes it rather obvious that he doesn’t have the faintest idea what he is talking about – yes, he describes himself as the author of many mathematical papers; MathSciNet doesn’t list a single one, however. (Otherwise the book seems apparently mostly to confuse evolution with abiogenesis and standard PRATTs such as “evolution by mutations cannot add new information” and “random chance cannot produce a human”. Anyone who thinks that line of reasoning is relevant has emphatically not remotely understood the basic principles of the theory of evolution.) Kehr also rejects Einstein’s theory of relativity and, as mentioned, photons.

Diagnosis: One of the most impressive crank magnets on the Internet. If you have a stupid theory or idea, Kehr is apparently willing to adopt it, especially if you cannot procure evidence or reason for it, since the fact that you can’t demonstrates that there is a conspiracy to suppress it. Raging lunatic.

1 comment:

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