In 1977, at the age of 47, Hollywood actor Jason Winters was told that he had 3 months to live. He was diagnosed with cancer of the throat, tonsils and tongue, & had a tumour the size of a grapefruit wrapped around his carotid artery & attached to the wall of his jugular vein, resulting in a death sentence from his physician. He was given 52 doses of cobalt radiation, then was told that his condition was hopeless, as the treatment had no effect. Sent home to die, he started reading the Bible, in which herbs used for medicinal purposes were mentioned 27 times. Sir Jason contacted the Archbishop of Canterbury to find the name of the herb mentioned in the Bible. It turned out to be Red Clover, which has been used extensively in Europe for thousands of years to cleanse the blood.
He has been honoured by Congress (though what the "meritorious achievement" he was honoured for, Sir Jason remains coyly silent about). His product is used and endorsed by Peter Brock. EoR can't imagine a better recommendation for a health product than from a racing car driver. Never mind efficacy studies, if you can get someone famous (even better, a famous sports star) the people will come running with open wallets. He also has one (count them: one) doctor (a certain Dr Pierce who, it is claimed, is a Scottish oncologist) who is quoted on his site to support his claims:
When he was sent home to die after being told that there was nothing more that could be done to help, Mr. Winters turned to herbs and prayer. He contacted Lord Coggan, the most revered and right honourable Archbishop of Canterbury. Mr. Winters asked what herb he thought was mentioned in the Bible so many times for blood purification and good health. Lord Coggan did some research and informed Mr. Winters that the herb was quite possibly Red Clover, which is a herb that has been used in Europe for centuries. Jason had also heard from a Buddhist monk that Herbalene was very good for tumours. Jason also found that the American Indian people use a herb called Chaparral to cleanse the body. After obtaining all three of these herbs from three continents, Mr. Winters was making a tea of each one separately which was time consuming as well as ineffective. It was only after mixing the herbs together that the effects of the combination were felt. Mr. Winters' recovery was quite rapid and noticeable.
Ah, "research". EoR is worried about God's stupidity in spreading the magic mix of Three Herbs that Will Cure All Diseases on three different continents. What was He thinking? Maybe he was distracted at the time by creating Creationists. Dr Pierce continues:
We found that the herbs are not a cure all, but merely purified the blood to such an extent that a person's natural immune system starts working and the body has a chance to heal itself. These herbs would have the same effect on most illnesses.
The good old nonfunctioning immune system. Why did God put that in there when it's obviously so hopeless at fixing anything? But at least Sir Jason's tea and tiffin cures everything. So much, it's a miracle cure:
And the miracle happened. From the first sip, he felt the life flowing back into his wasted body. He brewed a gallon of the mixture and drank it. [...] "There are thousands of people I have met who were expected to die of cancer years ago. They all had one thing in common they agreed that God is smarter than their doctor," he stressed.
Doctors are amazed at him:
After drinking the herbal tea blend he formulated, Sir Jason went back to the hospital for a check up. The doctors were amazed that they couldn't find a trace of the cancer. His doctors said, "Keep doing what ever it is you are doing". Jason continued to eat healthily, not smoke or drink alcohol and drink his Classic Blend Tea regularly. He has not been diagnosed with cancer since. Sir Jason recently underwent a routine medical examination at the Southwest Medical Associates facility, located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over a five-day period, Jason was subjected to over 100 tests, including x-rays, blood, cholesterol and triglyceride testing. When it was all over, his physician, Dr. Haulk, found absolutely nothing wrong with him and gave him a clean bill of health! Dr. Haulk and the staff at Southwest Medical even wrote Sir Jason a letter of congratulations. It seams even they were amazed that a 70-year-old man could be this healthy! Sir Jason is currently 74 years young (2004) and spends most of his time travelling around the world, telling his story, to help his fellow humans.
For all his marvellous miracle stories, EoR is disconcerted by that little disclaimer that all these sites carry (principally to avoid being sued for fraud since there's no way they could prove their claims medically or scientifically):
The information found in this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition
Nonetheless, $A36 for 30 teabags is a small price to pay for immortality and the Cure for All Cancers. Then there's the DVDs, filters and juicers ($A$1086.37 for a water filter, $A$362.73 for a juicer!), books, and supplements.
More of his amazing life story is to be found at the Sir Jason Winters Story where he relates his many adventures:
crossed the Canadian Rockies by hot air balloon [...] retraced Sir Alexander McKenzie's footsteps down the McKenzie River by canoe, a trip of more than 2,000 miles [...] crossed the Sahara Desert by camel before working for the New Zealand government testing seat belts by crashing cars into brick walls [...] Jason attempted to be the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean by balloon but crashed half way. Unlike most balloonists, Jason removed the typical basket from beneath the balloon and replaced it with a small boat, a fact that may have saved his life as it took several days for him to be rescued after crashing into the Atlantic.
There's also profuse mention of his many awards, media appearances and "thousands" of testimonials. EoR was bemused to see no mention of his scientific research or evidence. Presumably because there is none.
Alas, how well does the life of this Victorian-style adventurer and renaissance man hold up? EoR went looking for the truth. He found no record of Jason Winters or Dr Haulk at the Southwest Medical Associates. He found two different Jason Winters at IMDB, but neither of these are an actor. He found no reference to Jason Winters at the Order of Malta (which he claims granted him a "diploma"). He could find no record of a transatlantic balloon flight attempt (though a Mark Winters is listed for 1968). He could find no record of live humans being used as crash test dummies (cadavers, yes - perhaps Sir Jason was brought back to life by his magic tea?). He went looking for Dr. Ian Pierce M.D, but the only references to him were on Mr Winters' own sites and associated alternative health sites (where the good doctor's single paean is repeated ad nauseum). EoR didn't bother trying to confirm whether Sir Jason really has a knighthood from Malta (he wonders why he would have received this honour?) and whether it really entitles him to be so modest as to constantly refer to himself as "Sir" and register the domain name www.sirjasonwinters.com. Nor whether he's really on first name terms with Prince Charles and the Archbishop of Canterbury. He'd probably only be disappointed.
EoR also found a passing mention of Sir Jason on a non-Sir Jason site: BC Cancer Agency where it is pointed out that
December 21, 2005 Health Canada is warning consumers not to ingest the herb chaparral in the form of loose leaves, teas, capsules or bulk herbal products because of the risk of liver and kidney problems. [...] "Chaparral may also be mutagenic. One case has been described where a patient developed cystic renal cell carcinoma after regularly drinking chaparral tea." (Ernst)
The dangers of chapparal are also detailed by Cancer Research UK where one trial is mentioned in which four people taking chapparal tea had a decrease in the size of their tumour (lasting 10 days to 20 months). Unfortunately, the other 41 had an increase.
So. Yet another shyster with no provable claims (personal or medical), who proclaims on his front page that he doesn't "diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition". This means that all the people flinging their money at him in a desperate attempt to survive cancer are, to use the technical jargon, "suckers".