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


  1. If this guy's ego were any bigger, it could qualify for its own zip code.

  2. Just an illustrative detail: One of the codefendants in one of his court cases was his daughter Karla. In other words, his is 'Karl' and he named his own daughter 'Karla'. I mean, to those of us who already think you to have an ego somewhat bigger than what's healthy for you ...