The series of posts I wrote on Wellness Warriors and the misrepresentations that are made about health and wellness in cancer care are among the most important things on this blog. Participating in a range of forums where cancer treatments are discussed, it continues to amaze me how many people passionately believe unsubstantiated claims about suppressed cures, Big Pharma conspiracies, and government efforts to keep the medical-industrial complex in business. The problems here are rooted in a combination of legitimate fear and a lack of skeptical inquiry.
Too many people succumb to their own confirmation bias before even getting close to exercising basic critical thinking skills. And living in an era of Social Media, where the spread of Fake News is often faster than wildfire, it takes a lot more concerted vetting by readers to separate fact from fiction — an effort that few seem willing to make.
Because these posts were written over an extended period of time, I’m going to link them all here in one convenient place. My hope is that it will make it easier for readers to find them, or link to them all at once if they need to offer a substantial rebuttal to that friend or associate who has slipped down the rabbit hole of misinformation.
This first essay, the briefest of the four, is an introduction into how some people attempt to profit by misrepresenting their own illness or, in some cases, are true believers in fraudulent cures that they promote with a near-religious fervor until coming to a tragic end. The point is to highlight the dangers of following pseudo-science and believing too readily in people promising miracle cures.
Part two in the series deals largely with identifying logical fallacies in the presentation of alternative medicine, as well as looking critically at some conspiracy theories that have run rampant through “natural health” networks. This is a heavily researched piece with plenty of links to support the information I provide.
The third installment came about after a discussion regarding Ty Bollinger’s propaganda videos masquerading as documentaries. I was challenged about my claim that these videos had been largely debunked, and then went back and wrote this essay. It is nearly 12,000 words long, with many links to follow up with, and still only touches on a small fraction of what is wrong with those videos. I consider this one of the most important posts I have written and I wish more people would take the time to read through it. Truth IS meaningful.
Primarily a brief coda to the previous post, this is designed to show how two of the most prominent “Wellness Warriors” out there, Ty Bollinger and Chris Wark, deceive and manipulate their readers for profit using scare tactics and misrepresenting facts. Originally it was going to be a much more scathing profile of Chris Wark, but I decided to table that for a possible future post. Needless to say, I stick to the facts about these individuals and try to keep my personal opinions in check, but there are reasons that dangerous people like them need to be exposed for the frauds they are.
Going forward, I intend to keep most future posts focused on my own story and positive aspects of my experience. But it would be disingenuous to suggest that facts should be ignored or that science does not matter. Thousands of people living with cancer are alive because of the good work that medical professionals do, thanks to the advances made possible by real science. Thousands of people are dead because they ignored their doctors and followed some alternative protocol recommended by hucksters like the ones I wrote about. Fortunately, medical science is advancing at greater rates than ever before, saving more lives every single day. But there will continue to be Wellness Warriors out there who spread their false narratives, rooted deeply in fear, in order to lure the desperate and take their money.
Of course, there are non-medical, integrative approaches to wellness that help many patients — I am not suggesting otherwise. But these work primarily because they are done in conjunction with real medical practices.
If you haven’t already, please read the posts all the way through. Then let me know what you think! I’d love to hear what you think I missed or what I got right, or even where you think I should go with my next post.