Friday, November 21, 2008

Coercion Watch: The Cure of "Quackery" (Coercion) is Worse than the Disease (Ignorance)

Stephen Barrett runs a site called "quackwatch" at ( ) where he purports to alert people to "scams and quackery". This would be OK, except that he places 100% of his faith in collective rule, and armed authoritarianism. He makes no mention of the fact that the juries in the cases where well-meaning scientists and doctors were convicted were instructed to enforce existing unjust laws by thei judges in the trials (contrary to the Constitution's mention of "common law" and "due process").

Of particular interest is his listing of an article by Dr. Benjamin Wilson listing B-17 cancer therapies as "quackery". Online here:

If you scroll down to the bottom of the preceding link, you will note that he features a section titled: "Recent Enforcement Actions", which he presumably presents in order to get you to agree that B-17 treatment is harmful. But wait: If a person chooses B-17 against their doctor's wishes and dies, then why does anyone need to be punished? They followed a treatment that was not successful, but one that is evidenced to have greater success than established treatments for late-term cancer. Moreover, early laetrile supplementation appears to actually do better than mainstream cancer therapies. So again, why does anyone need to be punished with the force of government, and why would their being punished indicate that Barrett is correct about B-17?

And note his sources, under the "Recent Enforcement Actions" section. No mention of any pro B-17 scholarship! Only the criticisms of it (mostly by government thugs and vested interests of the status quo)!

Moreover, from the first paragraph, he leaves out several critical facts. Let's analyze just the first paragraph to see if it sets off our bullshit detectors, after we watch this video about B-17. FIRST, watch the video:

THEN, read what Benjamin Wilson has to say while paying attention to both what he says and what he fails to say:

Laetrile is the trade name for laevo-mandelonitrile-beta-glucuronoside, a
substance allegedly synthesized by Ernst T. Krebs, Jr., and registered with the
U.S. Patent Office for the treatment of "disorders of intestinal fermentation."
This compound is chemically related to amygdalin, a substance found naturally in
the pits of apricots and various other fruits. Most proponents of Laetrile for
the treatment of cancer use the terms "Laetrile" and amygdalin

Amygdalin was originally isolated in 1830 by two
French chemists. In the presence of certain enzymes, amygdalin breaks down into
glucose, benzaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide (which is poisonous). It was tried
as an anticancer agent in Germany in 1892, but was discarded as ineffective and
too toxic for that purpose. During the early 1950s, Ernst T. Krebs, Sr., M.D.,
and his son Ernst, Jr., began using a "purified" form of amygdalin to treat
cancer patients. Since that time scientists have tested substances called
"Laetrile" in more than 20 animal tumor models as well as in humans and found no
benefit either alone or together with other substances. Along the way its
proponents have varied their claims about Laetrile's origin, chemical structure,
mechanism of action, and therapeutic effects [1,2]. Its place in history is
assured, however, as a focus of political activities intended to abolish the
laws protecting Americans from quackery.

So, Wilson tips his hand, in the last sentence above, as believing that Americans need to be "protected" from quackery. How protected? Look under "Recent Enforcement Actions": Silencing proponents of laetrile, shutting them up with physical violence and threats, and imprisoning them.

If B-17 treatment is "quackery", then why would one need violence to stop the sale of B-17? After all, many people believe that resveratrol supplementation prevents DNA oxidation. Others disagree. But if we follow the logic that all things that are ineffective are banned, then how will new therapies ever be developed? They won't! The research will be too expensive, and will be limited to pharmaceuticals that can be patented by large corporations. Natural substances like Stevia (a natural, safe, sugarless-but-sweet alternative to Nutrasweet) and B-17 containing aricot pits cannot be patented, and provide very little profit margin for large manufacturers of patentable synthetic molecules.

Even more amazing is Benjamin Wilson's dishonesty in criticizing B-17 therapy (at Stephen Barrett's website). He writes, "In the presence of certain enzymes, amygdalin (another name for B-17) breaks down into glucose, benzaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide (which is poisonous)." To which I respond: NO SHIT, ASSHOLE! 100% of B-17's benefits are caused by the fact that an enzyme found only in cancer cells releases cyanide into the cancer cells, mimicing the body's natural defenses against cancer (the killing of cancer cells by the bancreatic enzyme trypsin which also avoids healthy non-cancerous cells) killing them. So I guess that Wilson's primary intent is simply to scare people into not researching laetrile further, since his comments dishonestly ignore WHAT THE PROPONENTS OF LAETRILE SAY ARE ITS MERITS.

This is similar to a property rights advocate defending gun rights by stating that "guns save lives by allowing people to defend themselves", and being "countered" by an argument by hysterical anti-gunner that says "gangbangers shooting innocent children doesn't save any lives!". This argument is dishonest, because it doesn't address the point that the property rights advocate was making. It makes a new point, and attempts to divert the discussion down a path of lesser information. We all know guns can kill. We all know cyanide can kill. But the real discussion is about how well those things can be targeted against the negative things they are designed to fight.

In th case of guns, we want the guns to either kill or threaten criminals. In the case of Vitamin B-17, we want the cyanide molecule within B-17 to be released on contact with cancer specific enzymes into the cancer cells!

But you will NEVER find honesty in arguments in favor of big government. If they were smart enough to be reference the facts, they'd never advocate for the intercession of more force and coercion into people's lives.

The government has a holy war against freedom, lest you dare choose to experiment with harmless, and possibly life-saving alternative therapies. They dare not allow you to make your own medical decisions in a free market. After all, that would threaten the very idea that the bounds of your freedom need to be defined by an army of government-employed bureacrats.

I'm not certain that B-17 is a reliable cure for cancer. But I sure as hell intend to read G. Edward Griffin's book, and every other book I can on the subject until I find out to my own self-determined level of satisfaction!

My advice? ...Cure your ignorance by taking responsibility for it, and doing research --read a book. Don't ask the force peddlers in congress or the courts to ban certain forms of knowledge, advice, or products: when they make a mistake, it hurts innocent people.

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