Wednesday, April 10, 2024

#2758: Bob DeMaria

A.k.a. “The Drugless Doctor


Bob DeMaria is a chiropractor marketing himself as “the Drugless Doctor”. DeMaria is not a medical doctor, however. That doesn’t prevent him from having views – silly views – on all sorts of medical topics, like vaccines. DeMaria thinks that natural immunity is better than “vaccine-induced” immunity, and he believes that there is a link between vaccinations and autism (there isn’t), presumably because vaccines, as DeMaria sees it, contains elemental mercury (they don’t, of course). Or to use DeMaria’s own formulation: “In the human body, when we have vaccines, or when we have antibodies that are made, it is made in our body to fight an organism and it’s permanent. When they vaccinate a human being today, they use particles and the real issue is what are they using as the base, part of this whole agar and all this growing substance, which is mercury and egg whites and all that, and aluminium, that can be quite toxic to the system.” No, Bob DeMaria doesn’t have the faintest clue about what he is talking about. Fortunately for him, and unfortunately for humanity, neither do many of the people who cross his path.


DeMaria also thinks that girls who have the HPV vaccine become dirty sluts and that Coeliac disease is caused by vaccinations affecting glands in your neck (coeliac disease is of course an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine).


So what are his qualifications? DeMaria – or “Robert F. DeMaria DC, DABCO, FASBE, NHD” – can boast doctorates! One in “natural health from Clayton College of Natural Health, an unaccredited diploma mill that has also sold diplomas to people like Gillian McKeith and Robert Young, and one in Chiropractic from the National University of Health Science (NUHS), an alternative medicine school. As a NUHS graduate, DeMaria subscribes to the idea, invented by the founder of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, that subluxation is the sole cause of all disease, an idea Palmer claimed to have learned from a deceased physician in a séance, which still today remains the idea’s sole evidence-base and embodies its complete relationship with reality. As DeMaria sees it, God gave Adam the ability to heal himself, and that is an ability we have all inherited as his descendants – we just have to ensure that a chiropractic (him) clicks our backs into place, and then God’s breath will take care of everything else.


Most of all, though, DeMaria is “the Drugless doctor, and he has plenty of promotional materials about why he “became drugless” and has been practicing drugless “for nearly 30 years,” Of course, since DeMaria is a chiropractor with diplomas from diploma mills and not a medical doctor, DeMaria has never had the authority to prescribe drugs in the first place, and his whole schtick is really an attempt to muddy the waters about his credentials to attract potential victims. Of course, he does push plenty of useless dietary supplements, and if they did work, which he claims they do (they don’t), it is unclear how he could market himself as “drugless”; DeMaria doesn’t even attempt to square that circle, insofar as his followers don’t seem not to notice.


Apparently, his daughter-in-law, Casen DeMaria, is also currently a Drugless Doctor and starring in youtube videos that give people health information like “lungs are important for breathing” and falsely claim that chiropractic adjustment can help with allergies and asthma and that thermography is effective in screening for breast cancer (it really, really isn’t).


DeMaria has views about other health-related issues, too. Indeed, in his youtube series “Ask Dr. Bob” on YouTube’s worst channel for health-related misinformation, iHealthTube , DiMaria answers questions from fans on a range of topics, and consistenly ends up recommending using products that – remarkably enough – are sold on his website. You can for instance use his product chlorella to protect yourself from the radioactivity of the radioactive clouds that the American government are secretly releasing into the environment to prevent rain. He also claims, without evidence, that GMOs are harmful and must be avoided because why not when your whole business model is based on being completely disentangled from reality anyways.


ADHD misinformation

A common topic in DeMaria’s videos is ADHD. DeMaria has many inaccurate and potentially dangerous ideas about ADHD and potential (alternative) “treatments” for ADHD, trying to sell struggling parents supplements that have been shown not to work as well as restrictive diets that have been shown not to provide any benefit for the symptoms of ADHD.


According to DeMaria, “docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) bathes the brain, and gives the brain information that just helps the brain function optimally” (which is entirely inaccurate, of course) but certain foods “sabotage” DHA somehow and that’s the cause of more or less every mental problem. So, DeMaria recommends various dietary restrictions based on gut feeling, thin air, and supplements he happens to sell, including DHA supplements in the form of fish oil, which demonstrably do not work to alleviate ADHD symptoms. In another video entitled “Causes of ADD and ADHD Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About!”, he claims, of course, that ADHD is caused by misalignment of the spine. There are obvious reasons why you doctor doesn’t know that. DeMaria doesn’t tell you those reasons.


He also claims, without evidence of course, that dairy products, sugar, and food dyes cause or worsen the symptoms of ADHD. Well, he’s got no evidence, but he’s got a gotcha question that’ll probably stump you: “I’m not tell am not telling anyone to stop dairy, but when is the last time you saw a cow eating cottage cheese, milk, or ice cream?” It stumped us. He also says that “milk contains arachidonic acid (ARA) which sabotages DHA”, a claim that is supported exclusively by his imagination, lack of understanding of (and lack of understanding of the significance to such claims of) physiology, biology or chemistry. Also, a woman whom he adviced to stop giving milk to her child allegedly “wrote a five star review on Amazon for me”. So there is that. DeMaria’s claims that sugar damages DHA have similar evidential support and coherence, but at least pays homage to the debunked suger-hyperactivity-link myth. Then there are food dyes and the insane piece of quackery that is the Feingold diet.


Of course, as the “drugless doctor”, DeMaria also peddles all the dangerous myths and conspiracy theories that exist about actual ADHD medication that demonstrably does help people with ADHD, including (but definitely not limited to) the egregious myth that children who take ADHD medications are at a higher risk for developing a substance abuse disorder. He also accuses, contrary to evidence, fact and decency, parents who give their children ADHD medication of child abuse, apparently in contrast with his own practice of making a living out of selling potentially dangerous and ineffective supplements and misinformation to parents and children in difficult situations. In reality, diet doesn’t make much difference to ADHD, which is mostly genetic … DeMaria, who apparently never misses an opportunity to heap abuse on anyone deciding to follow the path of reality, denies that obvious fact, and instead claims that “ADHD kids become ADHD adults. ADHD adults usually have ADHD kids, and the reason is: they eat from the same trough.



Another alleged cause of ADHD is transfat. DeMaria has written a book about transfat, Dr. Bob’s Trans Fat Guide: Why No Fat, Low Fat, Trans Fat is Killing You. Now, there are good reasons to limit trans fats in the diet, so to that extent DeMaria’s conclusion isn’t wrong. But instead of reality, DeMaria supports it with an almost otherworldly array of pseudoscientific nonsense and made-up claims, and what is instructive is how much of an impact DeMaria’s nonsense actually seems to have had. Multiple websites have for instance promoted the myth that trans fats are metabolized very slowly and have a half-life of 51 days. As DeMaria presents the claim: “Do you remember in science class when your teacher talked about Madame Curie’s discovery of the half-life of uranium? Well, trans fat has a half life as well. Through research and experience, I have learned that the half-life of trans fat is fifty-one days.” That claim, of course, is bizarre nonsense and reveals, if more revelation is needed, DeMaria’s complete lack of appreciation for facts or coherence. But he goes undeterred on, with no more concern for accuracy, to blame trans fats for ADHD, depression, and Alzheimer’s. He is just making up blathering nonsense as he goes along.


Applying that principle has, of course, made DeMaria rather productive, and he has, in addition to the transfat one, written a number of books characterized by exactly zero concerns for reality, evidence, research or what harm his misinformation could possible cause. Titles include:


-       Dr. Bob’s Guide to Stop ADHD in 18 Days

-       Dr. Bob’s Guide to Optimal Health: A God-Inspired, Biblically-Based 12 Month Devotional to Natural Health Restoration

-       Dr. Bob’s Drugless Guide to Mental Health

-       Dr. Bob’s Guide to Prevent Surgery

-       Dr. Bob’s Drugless Guide to Balancing Female Hormones


Diagnosis: Completely devoid of any appreciation for reality, fact, accuracy or how things work – so much so that even in the few cases where his claims are actually supported by reality, his own explanations are a bizarre stream-of-consciousness mess of bullshit and falsehoods. He is a living, breathing embodiment of the principle of PIDOOMA. What you can be certain of, is that DeMaria’s claims – reality or not, harm or not – will end up aligning with his financial interests. In a reasonable society, there would be justice waiting for vile pieces of garbage like Bob DeMaria. In the actual world, he gets money.


Hat-tip: Myles Power; Braden MacBeth @Sciencebasedmedicine


  1. I'm surprised our pal BP8 hasn't come rushing to Dr. Bob's defense.

  2. Thanks for inviting me to the party.

    I'm not familiar with DeMaria, but if I had to choose I would probably take his opinion any day over Doctor G.D., Dr. Power, or a software engineer in Pennsylvania.

    Concerning "Chiropractic", Wikipedia says, " in the last decades of the 20th century, chiropractic has gained more legitimacy and greater acceptance among conventional physicians and health plans in the U.S. " "Mainstream healthcare and governmental organizations such as the WHO consider Chiropractic to be complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)"

    The fact is, "real" doctors as you call them, use chiropractic too!