Thursday, December 11, 2014

#1235: Joel D. Wallach

Joel D. Wallach, M.S., D.V.M. and N.D. (Naturopathic doctor – or “not doctor”) is a veterinarian and naturopath with a long history of involvement in dubious health schemes. He is particularly infamous for claiming (in the bizarre audio tape “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie”) that all diseases are due to mineral deficiencies, that everyone who dies of natural causes dies because of mineral deficiencies, and that just about anyone can live more than one hundred years if they take daily supplements of colloidal minerals harvested from pits in Utah. It is probably needless to say that the information is not entirely accurate (there’s a discussion here). The (a?) website for the tape is here, and it is worth linking to for its glorious design and color scheme, which makes it even more incredible that Wallach has actually had some influence: He’s probably the main US promoter of colloidal mineral supplements, which, by the way, are completely and utterly bunk.

Wallach claims that minerals in foods and most supplements are “metallic” and not as effective as “plant-based” colloidal minerals, which is as nonsense as a claim can get (colloidal minerals are also “metallic”). This is something Wallach ostensibly learned from living on a farm, doing necropsies on animals, and reading National Geographic and the 1934 novel The Lost Horizon. He certainly didn’t learn it from science. And it hardly matters that science has falsified his claims about the benefits of mineral supplements (e.g. here) it’s also worth adding a link to a discussion of the recent results on multivitamin supplements in general here, though Wallach is way beyond standard supplements). Mineral deficiencies are certainly not a major cause of disease and death, either. But to back up his claims to the contrary Wallach uses anecdotes and fiction, for instance claiming that there are five cultures in the world that have average lifespans of between 120 and 140 years: the Tibetans in Western China; the Hunzas in Eastern Pakistan; the Russian Georgians and the Armenians, the Abkhasians, and the Azerbaijanis, which is … well, fiction through and through and so obviously and easily verifiably false that one wonders how he thought he’d get away with it (but apparently he does; gullible people are not only buying his supplements, but repeating his claims). Equally false is, of course, his claims about South American people who sustain longevity by mineral rich “glacier milk”. On the other hand, Wallach says, “the average lifespan of an American doctor is only 58 years!” (hence the title of his tape). That number has absolutely no connection with anything real either, of course. There is a resource on Wallach’s claims here.

On the aforementioned tape, "Dead Doctors Don't Lie", Wallach can tell us that “... what I did was go back to school and become a physician […] and they allowed me to use everything I had learned in veterinary school about nutrition on my human patients. And to no surprise to me, it worked.” He doesn’t emphasize that by “physician” he means N.D., which is as much a doctor as a monkey in a lab coat. Wallach is not medical doctor. Still he claims to have made 3,000 autopsies on humans in that period, and discovered that “every human being who dies of natural causes dies of a nutritional deficiency.” How an N.D. gets to do human autopsies in the first place is probably something relevant authorities might want to look into …

According to Wallach, not only can we not get all nutrients we need from our food (no data). Nor can we buy them – the supplements available in stores are not “colloidal” and can, apparently, not be absorbed by the body. We need colloidal minerals from that pit in Utah. His explanation is well covered here (I am indebted to that article for this entry; also check the reader comments).

To make the relevant products available to as many suckers as possible, Wallach founded American Longevity, a multilevel marketing company (for which “Dr.” Paula Bickle, who has a degree from the diploma mill Columbia Pacific University, Jerry Bergman’s alma mater, is a leading distributor.) At least the market structure keeps non-suckers away from the get-go, thus providing some insulation for his rank ridiculousness.

Wallach has also been noticed for testifying in favor of the late James G. Keller’s fraudulent Tumorex device, a “radionics” device that allegedly could transmit “subtle energies” from a person with a hair strand, a drop of blood, or even a photograph, and send and receive “healing energies to that particular object.”

Diagnosis: Make one up yourself. Wallach apparently doesn’t care to know anything about how reality works, and – deliberately, it seems – therefore targets his bullshit at people who don’t know the basics either. A winning scheme for him; a losing scheme for humanity.


  1. His website alone is reason enough to dismiss this man as an ignorant buffoon. In just one small example he rabbits on about King Philip of Macedonia marrying Cleopatra of Egypt, calling her a "teeny-bopper" and ignoring historical fact that she would only be born 300 years later?

  2. He is one of the great healthcare scientists of our time. As Edison said, the true doctors are the ones who focus on and use nutrition to heal. Maybe you'd know that if you had done as many autopsies on animals and humans as he has. One of his studies is in the Smithsonian as an American treasure.

  3. wow. I practically owe the guy my life. I feel sorry for you.

  4. If metallic minerals are equally absorbable as colloidal/plant derived, then why don’t cows get their calcium from eating dirty instead of via grass? And what makes “Americanloons” creditable? There is an unlimited budget from Big Pharma to discredit anything that jeopardizes their disease management of chronic illnesses. No money in the cure, right? Anyone who reads anything that discredits nutritional medicine over pharmaceutical medicine be warned. Who would choose a pain pill over eating an orange for scurvy?

  5. He was a perfectly good exotic veterinarian and zoo curator/director here in Memphis in the 1970s. I wonder what happened?