Sunday, February 17, 2013

#426: Robert O. Young

Robert O. Young, who claims to be a direct descendant of Brigham Young, is an absolutely ghastly health nazgul who is first and foremostly associated with the promotion of the alkaline diet. He has written several books on said diet with his wife, Shelley Redford Young, and runs several websites probably unintentionally devoted to make the world a less savory place. Young is a thorough crackpot, and as crackpots in general, he seems to be viewing himself as a pioneer in nutrition and as a cutting-edge biologist, claiming to have “discovered the biological transformation of red blood cells into bacteria and bacteria to red blood cells [and subsequently] several such transformations.” This seminal discovery remains, needless to say, unpublished.

His primary website describes him as a writer, a microbiologist, and a nutrition consultant. He says he's engaged in holistic healing by promoting an “alkalarian” way of life. His wife is described as a writer, massage consultant, and cook.

He nevertheless suggests that he has expertise in doing live and dry blood microscopy necessary to determine the proper diet for a person to maintain or restore health, although live blood analysis for determining a healthy diet is no better than tea leaves or tarot cards (courtesy of Robert Baratz), president of the National Council on Medical Fraud). Young has claimed to have studied microscopic blood analysis with legendary convicted quack and crackpot Robert Bradford, who had no college degree but ran an unaccredited “medical school.” Young’s own education in nutrition, naturopathy, and science stem from Clayton College of Natural Health, a defunct nonaccredited correspondence school. In fact Young himself was charged with two third-degree felony counts of practicing medicine without a license in 1995 (and claimed to have cured AIDS, but wasn’t convicted for that), but pled guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge.

Together with his wife, Young runs “The pH Miracle Center,” farms alkaline vegetables and fruit, holds health retreats, and teach live blood research (or whatever) through e.g. health conventions on what they refer to as “The New Biology.” He really came to notice through his claim to have reversed Kim Tinkham's breast cancer with his pH miracle treatment, promoted on YouTube and elsewhere. The videos were removed when Tinkham subsequently and tragically died from her breast cancer. Young, however, blamed Tinkham’s death on herself for failing to adhere to the alkaline diet.

Young has in fact made a rather long range of insane claims on a wide variety of issues. For instance, he has claimed that sepsis is notdue to bacterial infection, and has described cancer as a mechanism to protect the body from “rotten cells” spoiled by acid and that “[c]ancer is a liquid and this liquid is a toxic acidic waste product of metabolism or energy consumption”, which is … incorrect. He does not even have a cursory understanding of what bacteria are or how they operate, however  – or of organism or biology in general, failing for instance to distinguish between bacteria and viruses and describing the latter as “molecular acids” (argument: the etymology of the word. Kinda) – indeed, all disease is due to acids, apparently, and acids are created by negative emotions and thoughts and failure to respect the validity of wishful thinking as a curative technique.

Since he apparently fails to have the faintest clue about the issue, he has of course decided to go full-blown germ theory denialist instead – Louis Pasteur was a “fraud, impostor, deceiver and self promoter” – and promoted Simoncini’s fungus quackery, through Young seems to have so little understanding of what he’s talking about that it is unclear that “denialism” is even the right description. He even provided a garbled attack on fellow crank Andrew Weil when the latter failed to uniformly applaud Young’s lunatic ideas.

More well-researched info on Young can be found here. Illuminating information on bogus treatments in general can be found here and here.

Diagnosis: Severely delusional crackpot, it seems, but sufficiently influential to be considered a real danger.


  1. There are some updates on Young worth seeing (in particular his reaction to Angelina Jolie's recent decision) here.

  2. Young makes an appearance here (together with Gabriel Cousens and others).

  3. link in your article is no longer available.