I heard it on the radio
...it must be true!
Views from behind the Golden Haze
The following is a letter to protest the weekly infomercials by an American based chiropractor and Scientologist on Canadian AM radio stations. One of his web sites used to have pictures of Hollywood stars that he claims he treated. As far as we know, he has never had a license to practice chiropractic in California.
Just a few days ago I received good news. Several quack cancer clinics were shut down in Tijuana by the Mexican government. One of them was engineered and run by an infamous bunch of scammers, and the other one was probably part of an international business scam that many people feel was basically a stock swindle. So much for the good news.
Surprise, surprise, I was contacted by a big shot, Bay Street attorney from Toronto. The sole purpose of his fax, e-mail and phone call was to intimidate me.
His client, a Minnesota, and Florida based chiropractic guru felt that I had maligned him on my internet site. The high-profile barrister asked me to modify and remove several "offensive" comments I made on my website about this person, and his promotions. I decided to ask him some questions, and use this opportunity to educate the learned legal scholar. The letter below is my response.
Isn't it odd, that someone can threaten action against someone in Canada for doubting the motives AND the credibility of someone in the U.S.?
Here's a guy, who has probably never lived here, who probably doesn't even own property here, but he can take money from Canadians with no conscience. He has a legitimate business in the U.S., advertises on Canadian owned stations, and has the nerve to hire a Canadian lawyer to defend his right to do so.
Is there something missing here?
I challenged his credibility, his statements, his products and he doesn't like to hear anyone criticize it. It comes down to one thing, greed and more greed.
Canadian based media, AM radio to be exact, will not stop these bloody infomercials. Their side of the spreadsheet is basically swimming in red ink. For them to refuse paid advertising would be suicide.
My feeling is that the U.S. based pitchman has many friends in the Canadian media. They in turn allow him to say and do anything he wants. The government does nothing. The only loser in this equation is the Canadian public.
Why do we allow American based carpet baggers to dictate media policy in this country? Why do Canadian lawyers come to their defense?
This intimidation by U.S. based supplement makers, hell-bent on selling you their "next to useless" supplemenmts, will not stop until the stockholders of Rogers Communications, or any other media conglomerate does something to right the wrongs that have been done to our citizens.
Dear B.S. (Barrister and Solicitor):
Did you know that Thiamine deficiency causes growth failure? Yup, I
heard it on Kitchener, Ontario's CKGL NEWSTALK-570 radio station just a short while ago. It's Sunday morning and the preacher is on. He's talking to us about how he, god incarnate, has the solutions not only for your health problems, but for your kids' problems as well.
One of your clients continues to air his shows on Canadian radio
stations. He and the host of the show are basically not candid about the
research, particularly his own research. Let me put it this way. What
research has he done?
- Yes, if you have a panic attack you can take 2 capsules every 15 minutes
to stop it?
- Can you name the one person who said that he is dead set against all
drugs for ADHD?
- Who is it that said that Ritalin is not needed?
- Hey, it's a proven fact, he said it, it must be true.
- Do you have children who are bouncing off the wall? He can help you.
- You can't buy it in store. Just call his 1-800 number.
- The host agrees and that said he would put his kids on it. Would you?
- What is wrong with this picture Mr. B.S.?
Show me the money he spent on this, please. When you find them, send me
copies of them all, and enclose a letter that makes sense, because this
case demands immediate action. The public is tired of being duped by
people who can not back up their claims, medical, psychiatric, or just
plain old common sense.
Tick off the statements made below and answer each one if you really
want to continue the discussion:
- Someone makes unsubstantiated Medical claims for their "products"
- Someone makes unsubstantiated Psychiatric claims for their "products".
- You can only buy it from him, never in stores.
- The host of the radio show agrees with everything that he says.
- There is not one skeptical caller allowed on the show.
- The entire radio show is scripted and edited as an infomercial.
- The radio station's disclaimers are worthless bits of filler, just
like the show itself.
- The radio station's management don't care, they make money in any
case. They ignore all complaints about the substance and claims made because they have a disclaimer.
- The Advertising Standards Council says that if a product does not have a DIN number (Canadian Drug Identification Number), they trash the complaint off to Health Canada.
- Health Canada's Health Protection Branch does nothing because they are waiting for the birth of the new Office of Natural Health Products, which does nothing, too.
- The entire Canadian government, influenced by herbal and vitamin manufacturers has taken a point of view of not just mild indifference. Their own Canada Health Networks web site refuses to link with well-known anti-quackery sites, like ours, or Quackwatch, yet they have links to leading producers of quack practitioners across this continent.
Hey, it's the 21st century, and we must respect quack medicine and any and all claims made by anyone, for any reason. We must kowtow to the masses, no
matter what the cost.
- The media regulators in Ottawa are as guilty in a sense that they allow
the broadcast industry to get away with the promotion of
products, and devices, that in most cases, and in some cases are illegal.
- Many people in this world think that some radio broadcasters and
so-called "experts" are psychotic, delusional, or worse. Most of them can be heard on Canadian radio on Sunday morning
- Unfortunately, some people may actually believe those people. The end result might be that they could actually kill themselves, or injure others because they are convinced that vitamins should be taken instead of their psychiatric medication.
- Many people feel that they have just listened to a real "Dr.", a real scientific researcher, a real save-the-world guru who has come to cure their every ill. They are told by this latter-day-mesmer that to follow your doctor's advice might kill you.
- This less than frank golden-tongued orator says that he has developed and researched product(s) and yet he gives us zero evidence to support those claims.
- This pied-piper of pablum specifically targets the parents of young children with promises that his product will basically change their lives forever. His product(s) are all that you need for their ADHD.
It is particularly sad that the products have so little, no let's make
that no basis in fact. It's more like a really bad science
fiction story in a really bad barbershop magazine. One might feel that
it belongs in a chapter of an old Orwellian novel. Who knows, but your
client seems to know it all, doesn't he?
All you have to do is to listen to any one of his shows on the internet,
and come to your own conclusion about the state of the person, and the status of the companies who are making these claims.
assure you that my own personal Ritalin, Risperdal, and Prozac levels are below zero.
I can also tell you that I have enough thiamine, niacin, other trace
minerals and vitamins in my daily diet that I don't have to snort
Vitamin B-12, guzzle calcium/magnesium mixtures, or hook myself up to an
e-meter to cleanse my soul.
Guess what, if I had a child who needed psychiatric care, I would not
deny them that for an instant. Would the person who invades my home on
the radio deny his children medical care? Does he have any children?
I assume that your lifestyle is as healthy as mine. You burn the candle
at both ends, you end the day with a little Jay Leno or David Letterman
monologue, and you are tucked into bed by a lovely woman who pats you on
the head and tells you what a wonderful guy you are.
We are so lucky to be alive today. So why do we need to be rescued from a fate worse than death, according to media moguls and talk-show hosts who sit there in near silence while endless and mostly meaningless jibberish comes out of a "Dr.'s" mouth?
The world doesn't need more saviours, gurus, liars and talk show hosts
who support them, and a government that looks the other way?
What we need is a legal profession that will come to the aid of the
people who are being scammed and robbed of their dignity and savings by
scoundrels and carpetbagging Americans who are assisted by our law.
My conscience feels really good right now. I have no need for cleansing,
or purifying, or anything else some IAS thug feels that I, or anyone
else in Canada needs now or in the future. I will not be bullied or
intimdiated by anyone who feels that Canadians are easy prey.
Have a great week. I know I will.
Michael R. Pinkus
MPDIRECT - dubious claims
The Touch of HealthLen Horowitz
Cass Igram (Ingram)
Clark ResearchKulhay Wellness
Advertising Standards Council
Health Claims - CFIADrug-like claims - CFIA
Testimonial regs. - CFIA
CAB Code of Ethics
FAIR'S Media Activist Kit
Misleading internet adv.
Canadian misleading adv. law
Canadian Food and Drug Act