Wednesday, November 16, 2005

All Your Cures for All Your Money

EoR was chatting to his fundamentalist christian friend last night. The christian friend was expounding the amazing results various 'therapies' have had in curing his wife's Multiple Sclerosis.

(Is it just me? Many of the people I've encountered who have wandered the twisting paths of SCAMmery have also been devout christians. I guess they've already shown themselves to be predisposed to accepting one unlikely and unproven fantasy system, so piling on a few more is not any sort of intellectual leap at all.)

This particular cure involved Miracle Water (also here and here), mineral supplements from the naturopath, organic food, the clearing of heavy metals and toxins from the body, and 'faith'. EoR tried to point out that minerals could be supplied from the right foods, but no, he was informed, MS demanded special minerals, more minerals than you could get from food stuffs (so the naturopath assured them) and so they were resigned to buying the expensive ($A100 a week) stuff from the naturopath (who, remember, was the one who told them that only that would work - talk about conflict of interest). At least they've managed to save a little money as they no longer need the Miracle Water, having now installed a water filter (only $A2000). Isn't it just a little strange to be spending all that money putting in extra unwarranted minerals, and paying even more money to stop extra unwarranted minerals?

They were just thankful that they, unlike a lot of other people, had the money to afford all these miracles. But probably not as thankful as the SCAMmers.

Doctors are an evil blight on the face of the earth: they only want to prescribe drugs to her. At only 50% effectiveness rate! With side effects! EoR pointed out that at least there was research to back all this up, but to no avail. Tales of anecdotal miracle cures are all these people want to hear. This is a university educated woman, who 'researched' the topic on the internet. She obviously hadn't been to any of the MS societies. "Currently there is no cure for MS". "Such treatments may be a waste of time or money, and some could be potentially dangerous". "Can MS be cured? Not yet". "There is no curative treatment available for the MS". In fact, Alternative Therapies used by People with MS is full of phrases like "Ineffective in MS", "no evidence of benefit", "A Danish study suggests that the use of alternative medicines declines as the disease progresses" (of course, if they worked, use would increase as the disease progresses), "No results have been reported" and "May be associated with significant serious side effects". Even if you insist on a 'healthy' healing diet, which one is correct? Are they all?

This woman is the SCAMster's dream: wealthy, desperate, and with a disease that has symptoms that come and go (it is well known that symptoms may go into remission sometimes for years), and one of which can be "fuzzy thinking".

She has now become an internet guru for other sufferers of MS, recommending hair analysis, diet, minerals, magic water etc etc. And so the madness continues.

Finally, EoR gloomily wonders why the alternatistas don't point out that MS is a result of an overactive autoimmune system? Aren't they always talking about 'boosting the immune system'? Having MS should be seen as a success story.

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