Brief shoutout to Dave Allison of Heavens Corners church in Ohio for this one (note that the phrase that really qualifies him for being mentioned is “loving warning”), but it’s old and Allison is too minor to merit a full entry – besides, he’s already received plenty of roasting for his ridiculousness. Harry Alsleben is perhaps also yesterday’s news, but as opposed to Allison, Alsleben is not that minor and far less funny.
Alsleben is a versatile quack and pseudoscience promoter. At one point, at least, Alsleben ran his own correspondence school, the University of the Healing Arts, which offered pseudo-credentials in nutrition, including “Clinical Nutrimedicine and Biological Sciences,” “nutri-medical dentistry,” “nutri-medical eye and visual health care,” “nutri-medical homeopathy,” and “therapeutic nutrimedicine”, all based on ideas about nutrition and health pulled directly out of Alsleben’s own ass and unfettered by the constraints of evidence for efficacy or safety. Apparently Alsleben later partnered up and merged operations with legendary quack Kurt Donsbach, no less.
More recently, Alsleben has been running an MLM organization, Essentially Yours Industries, that, if you joined, would give you discounts on CALORAD (http://skepdic.com/refuge/essyours.html), a magic potion that would allegedly help you lose weight while you sleep. Apparently his MLM was not an ordinary MLM, but instead a “binary” sales organization with a “binary” compensation plan. Apart from the label, the set-up seemed to be the same as the set-up of other MLMs. Claims of efficacy were supported by testimonials and a distinct lack of substantive evidence. The product itself was at least marketed with a prominent Quack Miranda Warning.
Now, Alsleben himself was actually an MD once upon a time, though his California licence was suspended already in 1978 for “acts of gross negligence” and revoked two years later for failure to comply with the requirements of his probation. He hass enjoyed a long and variegated career in pseudoscience, woo and quackery since that time, including pushing pseudoscientific nonsense and conspiracy theories about Candida (a quackery fad in the 1990s), as well as a product called “Cellfood” (we don’t know, and don’t need to know).
Diagnosis: That he is running an MLM scheme should be sufficient for reasonable people to distrust his medical advice – it really is diagnosis enough – but the targets of Alsleben’s marketing are of course not reasonable people. Moderately dangerous (if he’s still in business).