Wednesday, February 28, 2024

#2741: Zach Dasher

Though he is perhaps not considered extreme by 2024 standards, Zach Dasher was generally considered a notably colorful candidate when he ran for Congress in Lousiana in2014. He didn’t win that one, but he did get to serve as an at-large delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention. Dasher’s hopes were mostly based on his Duck Dynasty reality TV fame – Dasher is the nephew of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, an anti-gay conspiracy theorist and defender of Jim Crow. And Dasher has stated that “We share a very similar background and philosophy, and our spiritual beliefs are the same as well.” (His wife, Jil, is an advocate for conversion therapy.)


As Dasher saw it, “my platform begins with God. That’s really what this whole thing is about. In Washington, when we look at what’s going on, we see an erosion away from that platform.” Of course, people who believe they are representing God in politics have a tendency to project wildly, and Dasher followed up by accusing the federal government – not himself – of “believ[ing] that they’re God”; government is, according to Dasher, intent on “gain[ing] control over every aspect of our lives” as part of a plan to create a “culture of dependency.” And the “swift drift away from God will usher in tyranny and death”: “Tyranny will get its foothold – if it already doesn’t have it – and in the end, there will be mass carnage and mass death. It’s inevitable.


He then went on to blame the Sandy Hook shooting on atheists and post-modernists (though the shooter “was made in the image of God. But somewhere along the way he believed what the atheist says. He reduced humanity to nothing more than a collection of atoms” – Dasher cited no evidence, of course, since evidence is an atheist post-modernist tool), whom he also accused of “brainwashing a generation” through rap music and general “moral decay” and erosion of liberty (whatever he means by ‘liberty’). He also advocated for schools to “arm the teachers” but warned that government officials intend to repeal the Second Amendment in order to eliminate all other freedoms.


Apparently, the disturbingly insane documentary Torchbearer, a “Christian war film” about Phil Robertson directed by Steve Bannon, was the brainchild of Zach Dasher.


Diagnosis: Possibly old news. Dasher is a fanatic loon and conspiracy theorist, but might not possess the level of unhinged frenzy that seems required to make it into the limelight in 2024. Still, he does apparently have some powerful allies.

Monday, February 26, 2024

#2740: Mark Dankof

Mark Dankof is an at least semi-regular (we can’t really be bothered to check) contributor to American Free Press, an anti-semitic conspiracy outlet founded by a.o. Willis Carto with a long history of promoting insane conspiracy theories, including 9/11 conspiracy theories in which Jewish people are blamed for being behind the attacks. Dankof also makes regular appearances on Press TV, a conspiracy outlet operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. He also runs a website, Mark Dankof’s America (as well as something called the Dankof Report), where he features articles blaming the Israeli Mossad for, well, more or less anything, including the assassination of John F. Kennedy.


So yes, most of Dankof’s contributions to these outlets consist of free-ranting about various conspiracy theories he has dreamt up or found in the darker corners of the internet and which he has promptly adopted. For instance, his November 2012 Press TV segment “US, Israel plan Assad removal to hurt Iran: Analystclaimed, without evidence (screw evidence), that “Zionist-affiliated arms dealers, oil consortiums and bankers seek to overthrow the Syrian government …to pave the way for an American and Israeli military attack against Iran.”


And make no mistake, the Israeli regime orchestrated 9/11 attacks; Dankof is more than ready to rant about “the kinds of forces that some of us think are very much involved in covering up the truth about 9/11, and that includes a disproportionate power that the Israeli lobby has and that Jewish interests have in the United States in our news media that keeps some of this stuff from being discussed”; indeed, “it appears to me that the United States is, as obviously as we know, co-opted by the Israeli lobby, so is the United Nations and Israel is simply using the United States to buy what it wants.” Fortunately, as Dankof wishfully sees it, “The American people are increasingly sick of [Jewish control] they’re sick of the pack of lies that all of this is based on, they’re sick of the Israeli control of their foreign policy and their government and their news media.” In a 2011 article, Dankof even quoted from and wrote that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion accurately reflect the state of the world.


Diagnosis: Old-school neo-nazi. It would be somewhat curious to know how he responds to new-school QAnon-related antisemitism, but we frankly cannot be bothered to check or think too much about it.

Friday, February 23, 2024

#2739: Jennifer Daniels

Raymond Damadian was an MD, a pioneer of magnetic resonance imaging, religious fundamentalist and young-Earth creationist) where the latter position was based not on any evaluation of that science (which would not touch upon his area of expertise) but on incoherent religious ramblings and paranoia. But Damadian is also dead.


Jennifer Daniels is another one-time MD gone rogue, and though she is still alive (as far as we know), she is no longer an MD, having surrendered her license in response to being confronted with the legal dimensions (having her license revoked) of her absolutely batshit nonsense claims about health and medicine; indeed, Daniels had been in trouble with the New York Department of Health over her claims and behaviors for a long time before surrendering her license. According to herself, though, she “had her medical license suspended due to not prescribing enough drugs and truly healing her patients,” which is demonstrably a bald-faced lie. She currently resides in Panama, where she produces books, radio shows, and videos; sells supplements; advises clients as a health coach; and provides “Holistic Mentoring Consultations”.


Daniels is perhaps best known for her advocacy for turpentine, no less, which according to Daniels is the Fountain of Youth and able to cure a wide range of conditions (including a number of fake ones) but which according to reality is poison with no recognized or plausible benefit for any condition whatsoever. Among the conditions turpentine was supposed to be able to cure, according to Daniels, was chronic Candida; now, it is technically true that patients after taking turpentine would no longer suffer from chronic Candida, but that would of course be for the reason that none of them had chronic Candida in the first place. Chronic Candida is a fake disease.


Daniels allegedly got the idea of using turpentine from asking African-American patients if their slave ancestors had an affordable miracle cure that cured everything. In the beginning, she tried it herself, and it is worth quoting her description of what happened at some length: “I think my IQ went up like 50 points, I could just feel it, all this mental energy and understanding and clarity, just like when I was 10 years old, everything was very clear and focused. I said WOW what a feeling. I did some math problems, I said this is pretty good.” Since she had heard that turpentine could cause seizures, she went on to determine the maximum safe dose: stopping when she felt a little twitch or “even softer than a twitch.” Then she gave it to her family. How Daniels obtained a medical degree in the first place is a very, very good question –Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have things to answer for.


As for scientific evidence, Daniels refers to a review study from France that doesn’t at all say what she claims it says. In general, however, Daniels is “not much of a fan of research”. The reason she gives for not being a fan is “because every research project I’ve been involved with, I’ve been asked to falsify data.” Given her general grasp of things (and level of honesty), we suspect that she might have misunderstood some instructions and the distinction between falsifying a hypothesis through testing and making up data.


If you are going to use turpentine, you have to follow her instructions, however: First, you take her Vitality Capsules, which according to her “clean out the bile ducts and the gall bladder system as well as the small intestine, large intestine”, promote circulation and contain “no chemicals. Then you must to follow her diet instructions (organic, and abstaining from GMOs and dead food). And then turpentine will be so successful that Daniels, according to herself, stopped using antibiotics in her practice (but if you experience some worries here, Daniels reassures us that “[t]here is no medication that turpentine interacts with”, a claim she pulled directly out of her ass and for which she has no evidence or tests to back it up). She has also recommended turpentine for children; indeed, children should start getting turpentine in castor oil when they reach 30 pounds to prevent Candida and parasites.


Moreover, turpentine ostensibly improves eyesight (users were, according to Daniels, able to discard their reading glasses) and resolves tinnitus, and it helps with diabetes by healing the pancreas – it will ostensibly allow Type I diabetics to lower their insulin dose. That said, Daniels’s recommendations aren’t limited to turpentine; she can also give you thicker and less gray hear: “use minerals, small willow flower, and shou wu.


Apparently, according to Daniels, “Liver time is 1-3 AM; lung time is 3-5 AM.” We’ll just leave that there without comment.


Oh, and she is of course anti-vaccine: “There is no vaccine or injection Dr. Daniels recommends.”


Diagnosis: It’s hard to imagine that she is unaware of the ridiculousness of her claims, but it probably doesn’t matter, since at this level, stupidity becomes indistinguishable from malice. Completely bonkers, but contrary to what you’d probably think: there are people to listen to this kind of stuff.


Hat-tip: Skepdoc

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

#2738: Jim Daly

Focus on the Family is a fundamentalist hate group – presently self-designated as ‘a church for tax disclosure purposes – that we’d have had plenty of opportunities to cover already. Jim Daly is its current president (or, since it is now a church: “head deacon and elder”) and as such generally responsible for the group’s efforts to promote in particular anti-gay propaganda and legislation, including fighting restrictions on conversion therapy. He is also the main host of the Focus on the Family radio program.


Though Daly is behind efforts to repaint his group’s messages in friendlier and more inclusive terms – mostly just emphasizing how much they love people while denouncing them as being manipulated by Satan and claiming to be nonpartisan while taking explicit positions on political issues – Daly has himself spread plenty of hate against LGBT people. He has, for instance, claimed that same-sex marriage endangers civilization and that Satan himself is behind same-sex marriage since “he hates marriage because it’s a reflection of God’s image the Enemy hates that, it’s disgusting to him,” said Daly, “and with that, he wants to break it down, he wants to destroy it.”. Here is Daly trying to invoke Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel to argue why it is important to denounce the decision to allow “openly practicing homosexuals” in the Boy Scouts, which, as Daly sees it, will undermine “the character and safety of the boys.”


In a more conspiratorial mode, Daly has also claimed that “homosexual activists” wish to restrict the speech of anyone opposed to homosexuality, and that campaigning on behalf of LGBT rights it really is a form of fascism.” On the pseudoscience side, meanwhile, Daly has supported and promoted the discredited anti-LGBT study by Mark Regnerus.


Diagnosis: Yes, it’s hate, and hate pinned up by pseudoscience; and trying to portray your hate as something other than hate isn’t going to make it less hateful. But the religious right remains a powerful political force in the US, and Focus on the Family remains more or less in the center of the religious right; Daly’s political influence is, in other words, difficult to overestimate.

Monday, February 19, 2024

#2737: Guggie Daly [pseudonym]

Despite increased popularity of anti-vaccine messaging, antivaccine views are still widely regarded with the suspicion and ridicule they deserve. One tried-and-tested method for changing people’s minds, however, is: Newspeak. If you can’t change the facts, obscure them by inventing a new nomenclature. That, at least, was the motivation for antivaccine lunatic Guggie Daly in an article (‘Vacctivism Terminology: How to Empower Instead of Cower’) she wrote for the insane rot of pseudo-religious pseudoscience and denialism Natural Mother Magazine: Instead of calling your kids “unvaccinated,” wrote Daly, use “vaccine-free” or – to maximize the potential for being misleading – say that your child “has an intact immune system”; and instead of “vaccine-preventable diseases”, use “vaccine-associated diseases” (Daly denies, against all evidence, and all of reality, that vaccines effectively prevent disease). And of course: instead of calling yourself “anti-vaxxers” – a term that media manipulation has made so “negative” – use “vaccine safety advocates”: That, by the way, is an Orwellian ploy as old as the antivaccine movement itself. “I encourage transparency and better ethical standards from pharmaceutical companies,” added Daly while encouraging precisely the opposite for her own group of fervent denialists.


Of course, redecorating the map doesn’t change the terrain, and in reality, vaccines were and are safe and effective. But Daly and her ilk have left reality behind a long time ago. As Daly mistakenly sees it, vaccines “are an optional, experimental product based on an unproven theory. Informed, consenting adults can choose to take them if they want. But it’s medical malpractice to force them onto non-consenting children. Instead of people demanding that vaccine companies, doctors and the government prove that this medication is safe, effective, necessary treatment in our children [which we do demand, and the demand has been thoroughly met], we take on undue responsibility to prove that vaccines are ineffective, unsafe and unnecessary. Completely backwards.”


As for Daly herself, ‘Guggie Daly’ is apparently the pseudonym of a Missouri-based “mommy blogger” who has, apparently, achieved some popularity in antivaccine movements for her (deranged) posts on vaccines and home birth. There is a brief portrait of her here.


Diagnosis: Absolutely insane antivaccine conspiracy theorist who has elevated her antivaccine views and her ‘crunchiness’ to a New Age-religious identity. She is garbage, and anyone who takes advice from her is garbage, too.

Friday, February 16, 2024

#2736: Kate Dalley

Radio talk shows are still apparently popular in far right and conspiracy circles, and the amount of bullshit, hate and nonsense propagated on the airwaves is staggering. The Kate Dalley Show, which is part of TheBlaze Radio Network, is just one serial offender. Her work has also been featured on Alex Jones' show.


Now, much of what you’ll encounter on Dalley’s show is precisely what you’d expect from wingnut conspiracy theorists, albeit embellished with an even for ridiculous wingnuts startling amount of allusions to violence, and there is, frankly, little that otherwise distinguishes her contributions from the rest of them. Dalley is an antivaxxer, for instance – virtually every major antivaccine activist in the US has appeared on her show at some point – and has in particular promoted various falsehoods and conspiracy theories related to (of course) the Covid vaccine: “Pfizer admits that vaccinated people can shed the vaccine on unvaccinated people,” says Dalley, completely without any foundation in anything resembling reality. Even more disconcertingly, Dalley has been pushing conspiracy theories suggesting that hospitals are actively killing Covid patients rather than helping them by pushing real medicine instead of fake cures conspiracy theorists have deluded themselves into thinking are efficacious.


In August 2021, for instance, Dalley presented a longer segment in which she explained how she ostensibly saved her diabetic husband from murderous hospital staff when he got “COVID pneumonia”: Apparently her husband went to the hospital with extremely low oxygen levels after his Ivermectin failed to cure him (Dalley convinced herself it was just because the dose was too low), but although doctors wanted to put him on a ventilator, he was able to walk out of the ICU after just a few days because, as Dalley’s utterly unverified anecdote has it, she had demanded that the hospital give him massive, intravenous doses of vitamin C instead. Then she provided instructions on her website for people who want to fight the hospital COVID protocols, including “Don’t let them do Remdesivir. It can cause organ failure,” and “REFUSE THE VENT” because apparently ventilators are instruments for mass murder rather than life saving – Dalley’s guiding idea being apparently that hospitals allegedly (facts have nothing to do with this) has a financial incentive to put people on ventilators because it gets much more federal money for the treatment than it would for vitamin infusions that don’t work.


Of course, Dalley’s conspiracy mongering isn’t restricted to antivaccine nonsense. In 2018, for instance, she quickly dismissed the news that several explosive devices sent to Democratic Party figures and Trump critics as a false flag operation based on nothing but wishful thinking: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the false flaggy time of the year,” said Dalley. Her show has also been described as one of the best sources for information about the New World Order by precisely the kinds of people you’d expect to claim such things.


Diagnosis: According to Dalley, “[t]his country is need of truth and logic right now,” so she’s basically admitting that you shouldn’t listen to her program. Take that piece of advice.


Hat-tip: Mother Jones

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

#2735: Steve Daines

Steve Daines has been serving as the junior United States senator from Montana since 2015, and has generally taken the wingnut positions – opposition to marriage equality, attempting to overturn the presidential election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania in 2020, opposition to net neutrality and to creating an independent commission to investigate the 2021 Capitol attack – you’d expect, including attitudes toward Donald Trump that are strikingly illustrative of the principle of political expediency.


For our purposes, however, Daines is most notably for his rather consistent denialism on scientific matters. A climate change denialist, Daines has claimed that “to suggest that [climate change] human-caused is not a sound scientific conclusion.” Of course, Daines wouldn’t be able to distinguish science from incoherent substack rant if his life depended on it. Daines is also a creationist and has advocated for creationism being taught in public school: “What the schools should teach is, as it relates to biology and science is that they have, um, there’s evolution theory, there’s creation theory, and so forth. I think we should teach students to think critically, and teach students that there are evolutionary theories, there’s intelligent-design theories, and allow the students to make up their minds. But I think those kinds of decisions should be decided at the local school board level. Personally I’d like to teach my kids both sides of the equation there and let them come up to their own conclusion on it.” Yeah, he systematically covers virtually all the talking points of the Discovery Institute-led intelligent design movement there, leaving little doubt from where he has gotten his information, and it is certainly not from science.


His views apparently enjoyed some support among Montana constituents, however.


Diagnosis: Crackpot denialist and conspiracy theorist. There are, of course, plenty of them in positions of power these days, and Daines is fairly typical, but still! It is worth taking a moment to reflect on how absolutely insane it is that someone like Steve Daines would be entrusted with power.

Monday, February 12, 2024

#2734: Tyler Dahm

Tyler Dahm is an ultimately relatively minor Colorado-based anti-vaxxer who claims that her adopted child became developmentally delayed as a result of vaccines based on gut feeling, no evidence whatsoever and, presumably, a wish to be an independent thinker unfettered by science, fact or reason. Now, Dahm has occasionally claimed to be a physician graduating from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, though elsewhere she has admitted to dropping out of medical school because the professors didn’t believe her stories about vaccines (presumably because narrow-minded professors have been brainwashed into thinking that evidence matters). The people behind the Vaxxed bus tour did believe her, however, and promptly featured Dahm and her claims in their propaganda materials. (It is worth noting that Dahm’s LinkedIn profile doesn’t claim that she’s ever attended medical school, listing her instead as owner of the quack business Pathways Natural Wellness Center in the relevant period, a company that was selling useless junk medicine including a detox footbath to cure autism, no less.)


Dahm is primarily notable for a video she produced in which she accosted (then-)California state senator, vaccine advocate and frequent target of antivaxx hate Richard Pan at Denver airport. We are unsure how Dahm thought the video, which is discussed here, would support her cause, but at least it illustrates well the sort of unhinged thinking, cherry-picking and rank denialism we all associate with the anti-vaccine movement. Dahm concludes the video by pretending to be shocked by Pan’s patient, reasoned, well-supported, factual statements and labeling them “misinformation”. Even Dahm seems to have realized the video didn’t exactly help her case and promptly tried (and failed) to delete any traces of from the internet.


Diagnosis: Unhinged anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist and likely to be a danger to her immediate surroundings. Her broader significance is questionable, but Dahm is sufficiently crazy to warrant an entry in our Encyclopedia.


Hat-tip: Skepticalraptor

Friday, February 9, 2024

#2733: Karl Dahlstrom

Karl L. Dahlstrom is a self-proclaimed “modern Renaissance man and creationist who in 2013 self-published an anti-evolution book called The Organized Universe. According to Dahlstrom, his book offered “scientific proof” that Darwinism was a hoax. No, he doesn’t have the faintest clue, but his attempt was apparently based on Benford’s law – so the theory of evolution isn’t only false, but a genuine fraud. Experts in the field were not impressed.


Dahlstrom is most famous, however, for filing a frivolous lawsuit against Richard Dawkins and the Dawkins Foundation on the grounds that Dawkins, in a 1989 book review in the New York Times (yes, 24 years before Dahlstrom’s publication), said that “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane. Dahlstrom was convinced that the “somebody” Dawkins referred to in that statement was him, because, as he himself put it, he, Dahlstrom, “is the only individual on earth in the history of man that has scientifically disproven Evolution. This makes Karl L. Dahlstrom the number one candidate for Richard Dawkins attack, even though Karl L. Dahlstrom, i.e., the ‘somebody’, could not be ignorant, stupid, or insane.” Therefore “Dawkins has caused millions of persons to be prejudiced and biased against Karl L. Dahlstrom and injured his reputation and subjected him to hatred, contempt, ridicule and financial injury from persons not exposed to the truth about Darwinian Evolution and the position Plaintiff Karl L. Dahlstrom has taken on this issue.” Accordingly, Dahlstrom demanded that Dawkins pay him $8 million in actual damages and $50 million in punitive damages. How he calculated the numbers is unclear.


Of course, Dahlstrom’s stunt was purely motivated by publicity, which he achieved. A lot of people are currently aware that Karl L. Dahlstrom is ignorant, stupid and insane. May the present entry serve to remind us all. We doubt such publicity will lead to significantly increased book sales.


But still: Who is this clown? Well, it turns out that Karl Dahlstrom has a colorful CV – and not everything there is ultimately funny. Dahlstrom is apparently also associated (in some unclear way) with something known as the Pastoral Medical Association (PMA), a Texas-based group that “licenses” health and medical practitioners who subscribes to their “mission to promote scripture-based health and wellness concepts” (though Dahlstrom’s exact role with the organization is unclear). Subscribers call themselves “PSc.D.”, “D.PSc.” and/or “Doctor of Pastoral Medicine”, and offer medical services that require a government-issued license; the PMA, however, doesn’t recognize the authority of governmental bodies: “regulation of the Almighty’s health care concepts is outside the jurisdiction of .. secular regulatory boards”. In other words, to be “licensed” by the PMA, you don’t need a medical education or medical expertise; you need to subscribe to their religious doctrines, and most of PMA’s members are “natural health professionals” and chiropractors. And if you should wish to receive treatment from PMA’s “licensed” members, you’d need to join its “Member Share Program” and sign an agreement that shields practitioners from attention and/or lawsuits. The whole thing is pretty secretive, but they do run a “PMA Directory of Alternative Health & Medicine” where you can pay $49/year for a listing.


Dahlstrom does, however, have a long story of promoting and marketing “private membership association” for people who want to avoid government regulation on various issues. Accordig to Dahlstrom, members of these these groups enjoy Constitutional protection that gives them permission to “safely” exchange information (including health-related advice). Indeed, Dahlstrom operates the “ProAdvocate Group”, an association devoted to establishing private medical membership associations for unlicensed medical practitioners and other practitioners under attack for “alternative medicine”.


As you might suspect, Dahlstrom has spent several years in jail and has a substantial legal history, including convictions of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Government, mail fraud, securities fraud, operating as an unregistered broker-dealer, tax evasion and setting up sham trusts. In addition to The Organized Universe, Dahlstrom is the author of The DNA of Scripture: How True Natural Science Confirms the Holy Scriptures as True (2015) and How to Avoid Probate, gift, inheritance and Estate Taxes, Etc. (1977).


Diagnosis: Ignorant, stupid and insane. (And wicked.)


Hat-tip: Quackwatch

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

#2732: Pete D'Abrosca

Pete D’Abrosca is a wingnut extremist, political commentator and failed (due to incompetence) 2020 North Carolina congressional candidate. D’Abrosca is the kind of guy who claims that conservatives should “strip every Democrat of their committee assignments the minute they take back the House simply for being liberals, which should be criminalized” because freedom. His dislike of liberals is in fact so great that he bragged about how he wouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine solely to make the liberals mad. “My logic, as usual, is impeccable,” said D’Abrosca. It isn’t. D’Abrosca has also frequently written posts boosting the “died suddenly” anti-vaccine conspiracy theory.


Predictably, D'Abrosca is very concerned with LGBT grooming in American schools. He is also concerned with race issues; D’Abrosca was for instance unhappy with Joe Biden’s choice of running mate for the 2020 election, writing that Kamala Harris “is a radical black nationalist who will stoke racial tensions until America descends into a full-blown race war.” One is really left unsure whether he had any idea about who Harris is and one is probably forgiven for suspecting that he would have written the same about any potential pick. And don’t get him started on Ilhan Omar, who according to D’Abrosca “is a terrorist” because she disagrees with him on immigration and whether people in prison deserve medical services.


That said, D’Abrosca has managed to draw some attention to himself and his views on immigration, in particular after he was promoted by Tucker Carlson.


Diagnosis: We have to admit that D’Abrosca has the potential to do it big! But we don’t want to contribute to that by giving him more attention than necessary.

Monday, February 5, 2024

#2731: Al Czap

Al Czap is the former president of Thorne Research, Inc. (sold), and current leader of Tesseract Medical Research, neither of which is involved in research but in the development of a range of quack products marketed –blatantly disregarding actual research, evidence or facts – as health-promoting products. At least Thorne Research has been duly targeted by the FDA for its violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; the company’s product range included:


-       Perfusia-SR, marketed as being beneficial for a number of clinical conditions, including “Coronary heart disease, Hypertension, Erectile dysfunction, Diabetes, Peripheral vascular disease, Alzheimer [sic] and vascular dementia” by improving endothelial function.

-       Lycopene, marketed as having beenpositively associated with reduced risk of prostate, breast, and lung cancers.”

-       MSM-750

-       Calcium D-Glucarate, which apparently is a “detoxification agent targeting unspecified “environmental toxins”.

-       DHA (omega-3 from algae), which apparently helps cure your ADD.

-       Olive Leaf Extract


Czap has in fact been involved in a number of pseudoscientific ventures as a self-styled “inventor, founder, ground breaking industry guru and product pioneer”. He does not appear to have any medical background, but hardly views that as a constraint. Currently, Czap is primarily involved in autism quackery, claiming to have “tamed the most offensive yet most therapeutic molecule available, Butyric Acid”, which is almost like magic when it comes to autism treatment: According to Czap (but not reality), autism involves “excess propionic acid and insufficient butyrate”, and based on his own description of[s]eeing the therapeutic response to the butyrate from a local autistic child”, he is now changing lives! And as opposed to Big Pharma, “Czap’s efforts are pure and patient-focused, free of the medical industry’s traditional constraints”; said constraints would be facts, evidence, accountability and concerns for safety and efficacy.


He has also served (as secretary) on the board of directors of The Alliance for Natural Health USA (formerly the American Association for Health Freedom), a lobbying organization whose goal is to persuade government that various types of quackery are good and dubious health claims are correct through political rather than scientific means.


Diagnosis: If you’re lucky, your spam filter will mostly take care of this one, but you should nevertheless stay alert. Yeah, one of those guys.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

#2730: Doug Cutler

Andrew Cutler was one of the leading promoters of pseudoscience and conspiracy theories related to mercury toxicity in the US for a while (especially anti-amalgam pseudoscience and anti-vaccine conspiracy theories), and would have been an obvious candidate for a substantial entry had he not suddenly passed away. But Doug Cutler, though perhaps somewhat less famous than his namesake, is a comparable threat to human flourishing for reasons that are ultimately not that dissimilar.


Doug Cutler is a Michigan-based naturopath and, like many naturopaths, anti-vaccine activist. According to Cutler, childhood vaccination is a huge experiment with “our children as the guinea pigs”. Well, it’s not really an experiment, as Cutler imagines it, since he already knows the conclusion: that vaccines are safe and effective (they are) is “the biggest medical fraud (perpetuated by Big Pharma”. Cutler knows this based on his “intimate association with hundreds of mothers that had vaccine injured children” – i.e. any medical problem children might suffer from are vaccine-related, therefore the fact that there are many children with medical issues shows that vaccines are dangerous. Yes, he starts his reasoning with his conclusion as his premise and promptly goes on to lambast advocates for science for their “dogma/bias”. Fuck the studies and the evidence.


Of course, Cutler also draws upon his “training and knowledge of environmental toxins” to analyze “the actual ingredients of each vaccine, one by one”, concluding that he “could never in good conscience justify those known toxic ingredients”. Sometimes, he tries to run with the “too many too soon” gambit, as well – “10 vaccines from birth to 6 years in 1983 and 36-38 vaccines from birth to 6 years in 2010. Insane,” says Cutler without bothering to even cursorily compare his antivaccine website sources to the facts – but it really all comes down to “I am opposed to all sources of toxins therefore I am against vaccines”. Like a lot of quacks these days, Cutler is obsessed with alleged toxins – demons won’t fly with his target demographic if you use that term, but yes: that’s what he means, and this is religion; it has nothing to do with science – and his grift is fundamentally based on identifying various “toxins” that are allegedly possessing you and then sell you various regimens and life-style changes that will ostensibly exorcise them and purify your soul wallet body.


And Cutler is not just another conspiracy theorist with a computer and a severe case of paranoia. Cutler’s practice, Cutler Integrative Medicine, is one of the larger naturopathic practices in Michigan, and it offers a range of woo: Here you can get subjected to constitutional and colon hydrotherapy, applied kinesiology, homeopathy, Nambudripad Allergy EliminationTechnique (NAET), and TrueRife Technology (oh, yes). NAET is ostensibly a “non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to alleviate allergies of all types and intensities using a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine,” i.e. woo pinned up by your usual blend of vague goobledygook and falsehoods. And naturopaths are still seeking to be licensed in Michigan, which would give people like Doug Cutler an official stamp of approval.


Diagnosis: Dingbat paranoid conspiracy theorist whose advice on health is significantly worse than chance. A danger both to his immediate surroundings and to people in Michigan and the US in general – Cutler seems, in fact, to be a rather significant voice of authority in naturopathic communities in the US.