Friday, June 29, 2018

#2035: Ralph Moss

One of the grand old men of woo, Ralph W. Moss specializes in cancer crackpottery and has been one of the main promoters of laetrile. There’s a good discussion of that particularly nasty piece of woo here, and more information here.

Moss consistently refers to himself as “Dr. Moss”, and he does indeed have a PhD – in classics. He does not have any relevant medical qualifications. He also claims to have been an associate director of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). The MSKCC says he was a science writer (their letter is here), but that is probably part of the conspiracy to hide the truth. Moss was in any case dismissed in 1977 after accusing the MSKCC of suppressing information supporting the efficacy of laetrile (demonstrably based on falsehoods). He subsequently served on the advisory board of the Office of Alternative Medicine, and marketed the “Moss Reports”, which promote various forms of quackery at a cost of several hundreds dollars per report. He is also president of Cancer Communications Inc., which – despite what Moss might claim – is not a research publication, and one of the “Harkinites”, the “experts” hand-picked by former Senator Tom Harkin to advise the Director of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine. Moss is apparently still on the Cancer Advisory Panel of the NCCAM, despite having said that “[t]here is nothing inherently ‘ludicrous’ about guided imagery, yoga, massage, homeopathy and therapeutic touch” in curing serious disease. There is.

Moss is the author of numerous books promoting cancer woo and various conspiracies by the medical establishment to prevent cures from emerging because cancer is big business. Moss may even be the inventor of the phrase “cancer industry” (his book Cancer Industry is reviewed here; it’s a garbage mess of distortions and falsehoods) to describe medical-industrial complexes that suppress novel cures for cancer to preserve their income flow from cancer patients, whom doctors torture and abuse instead of curing (“the direction of cancer management appears to be shaped by those forces financially interested in the outcome of the problem,” says Moss). Apparently the industry controls the whole health care system, including the most important journals, which are unwilling to publish “research” by independent altmed crackpots who have recognized that blinding and statistics are just tools of misinformation for the powers that be. Moss’s books have been very influential with Mike Adams, Joseph Mercola and Josh Axe and indeed what may accurately be called “the cancer industry”: the whole slew of ineffective woo and scams pushed on people in desperate situations by people like Moss and his followers.

Moss has suggested several cures for cancers, including utterly ridiculous coffee enemas, in particular the Gonzalez protocol. (He also continues to promote homeopathy.) But his go-to suggestion remains laetrile, which is utterly discredited but woo, insofar as it is based on dogma and religious creed, not science, rarely disappears. Laetrile remains popular among certain groups of conspiracy theorists, and Moss bases his advie on exactly the same old spurious and demonstrably false claims and conspiracies as always. In 2014, for instance, Eric Merola released a “documentary” movie, Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering, promoting laetrile, and heavily featuring Ralph Moss; as expected, the documentary portrays Moss as a whistleblower being fired from MSKCC for having realized that laetrile works, and bolsters that tale with (unverifiable, of course) meetings Moss claims to have had with various people in high places who strangely didn’t have any qualms about spilling the beans to him while being part of a grand and virtually airtight conspiracy to kill of millions of cancer patients to earn some bucks by some unspecified and unspecifiable business mechanism. The movie is discussed here.

Diagnosis: Despite being a deranged lunatic and conspiracy theorist, Moss is still a seriously influential guy, who has probably led a large number of people to their deaths or at least ensured that people die broke and in debt after wasting huge sums on treatments that didn’t and couldn’t have worked. At some level the distinction between delusion and vileness blurs, and Ralph Moss can accurately be described as “vile”.

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