I’d like to introduce you to the men and women that drive the Predatory Health Market. Real faces that represent an industry designed to exploit your illness, your pain, your mental anguish and your suffering. These men and women are not healers. They are not interested in alleviating your suffering, only emptying your wallet. You are their cash cow and they will milk you into your grave and sometimes beyond.
What is the Predatory Health (PH) sector
This broad term, which Medika has coined for convenience, encompasses practitioners from almost all the fields of healthcare and includes the complimentary and alternate health (alt-Health) sectors,
For clarification, the alt-Health sector we refer to includes Complimentary and Alternate Health (CAM) – which includes fields like homeopathy and chiropractic – and is far less strictly regulated. The same is true of the other included sectors under this heading, including but not limited to, the natural products and supplement market, new age life coaches, and the grey area of unregulated health (medical) devices.
The alt-Health sector tends to far more representative of Predatory Health practices. Traditional medicine is broadly regulated and therefore less susceptible to the quackery of PH, but by no means immune to its perpetrators.
Predatory Health practitioners gravitate towards the alt-Health sector, attracted by lax regulation and the vast legally grey areas that allow them to operate and ply their wares almost with impunity.
The more outlandish and non-traditional the peddled cure or treatment becomes, the more likely the PH practitioner is to gravitate away from traditional medicine by embracing these fields, where their cohort welcomes them with open arms.
What does a Predatory Health practitioner sell?
Their main product is intangible. They are selling hope, albeit false, something terminal patients and those afflicted with conditions like chronic pain are desperate for. These patients cling to the hope of finding some relief or miracle cure and the predatory health market preys on this. Below is a non-exhaustive list of the typical markets (marks) and strategies these individuals exploit with their health cons.
- Offering miracle cures, treatments, and relief to the terminally ill. Cancer patients are a favored target, but any deadly disease offers these quacks the opportunity to peddle their dangerous and untested wares.
- If you or your child suffers from conditions like autism, you are a primary target. Support groups, especially closed groups on Telegram, Facebook, and other social media groups offer these practitioners the opportunity to exploit you in relative safety. Be wary of any individuals offering treatments for conditions that do not have known medical remedy.
- Chronic pain sufferers are a massive target for Predatory Health. They have an unlimited number of relatively safe, but ineffective treatments and natural products they can peddle to you. It isn’t in their interest to kill their cash cow, but there are unscrupulous merchants who will offer you products that are known to be very dangerous and sometimes fatal
- Obesity, eczema, high blood pressure, influenza, and covid. The list is endless as are the techniques and strategies these unscrupulous merchants will engage to appear legitimate.
- Mental Health is also catered for with New Age life courses offering all sorts of benefits from attending costly online seminars and retreats. It is hocus pocus and has no foundation in solid science. None of these things will cure your chronic pain, cancers, or autism.
- Machines claiming to offer some sort of medical benefit, some working on sound, some using vibration, and others still, claiming amazing unvalidated results and health benefits. Never, ever take endorsements at face value. If these devices actually worked, don’t you think your doctors would be using them?
- The exploitation of misguided activist groups like anti-vaxers to further promote their sales. More damage is done to the cause of vaccines by these individuals than any other group combined. It serves the interests of Predotory Health to promote distrust in traditional medicine.
False Prophets and Fake Prophets
There is a distinction between the two and in the examples and names I will highlight below, most occupy one camp or the other.
False prophets are usually doctors and medically trained individuals who, for unknown reasons, have latched onto treatments that are not evidence-based and they believe, without conclusive medical evidence to support their beliefs, in the safety and efficacy of the treatments they peddle.
Belief is a dangerous drug and the sustenance of religion. It has no place in evidence-based medicine.
Fake prophets, on the other hand, are under no such illusions. They know full well the potential dangers and risks of the products or treatments they peddle. They are highly skilled at manipulating marketing channels to ensure they reach their potential ‘marks’ and will often possess no formal medical training.
Both are equally dangerous. The fake prophets are usually limited to the alt-Health markets and prefer this environment as it allows for greater freedom to ply their deadly wares.
It is important to note that sales may not be the only motivating factor that drives certain Predatory Health practitioners. It can simply be a desire to spread disinformation, or, as they may see it, deeply insightful information they have come upon. These are possibly the most disruptive and dangerous voices from within the Predatory Health sector as they enable and empower the real charlatans by creating doubt in people’s minds.
Take for instance Dr Christiane Northrup, whose divergence from a reasonably distinguished medical career in women’s health has been abrupt and complete. Her adoption of conspiracy theories, 5G cell towers, microchips in vaccines, and other nonsensical rantings on YouTube and social media beggars belief.
Whatever her motivation, this doctor enjoys a broad following on social media, and her voice has impact. I have no doubt whatsoever that her rantings will result in eventual deaths. People avoiding the Covid vaccine because of baseless lies, people not inoculating their children, and an avoidance of traditional medicine because of the distrust she sows. She epitomizes the False Prophet.
Meet the Predatory Health Practitioners
The names below are linked to Medika’s Quack Scale, a tool designed to enable the public to identify quacks and charlatans operating in the Predatory Health sector.
The other end of the scale (Fake Prophets) is occupied by individuals like Dr Fitt, a marketing pseudonym for a disgraced doctor, Roby Mitchell, who now peddles bleach treatments and enemas to autistic children from his base in Texas. Purely driven by financial gain, Mitchell ranks among the bottom feeders in the world of predatory health.
Dr. Kerri Rivera is another example of a doctor gone bad. Her exploitation of vulnerable mental health patients for profit is well documented and her association with Sayer Ji, an alt-Health proponent who used to sell health foods, has resulted in them spewing a sea of misinformation on Covid and other medical topics. Once again, their motivation is the sale of their products and treatments ay any cost
Kelly Brogan, Joseph Mercola, Zach Bush, the list is as endless as it is dangerous and the reason it grows daily is simply this. Money. There are fortunes to be made in the alt-Health sector, particularly if you claim to have the “cure for Covid” marketed of course as a drug or treatment to boost your immune system against influenza viruses. The FDA might be watching.
Millions of dollars change hands daily, paid over freely by those duped into believing the lies. Often, customers also pay with their lives.
The individuals who engage in Predatory Health are willing to risk being caught. The system grinds slowly and by the time the FDA catches up with them, the damage is already done. Their message is out there and they simply move the supply of their “toxins” to less mainstream channels. Loopholes and blindspots in current U.S legislation leave room enough to drive buses through. The system offers little more negligible punitive fines and smacks on the wrist, which are not a deterrent.
This is the nature of predatory health and it isn’t always easy to spot. Particularly if your desperation and need for relief or hope outweigh your common sense.
Buying from a “large” business isn’t always a guarantee of safety either. Take the following company Phoenix Biotechnology, whose aggressive marketing campaign to sell a “natural extract” called Oleander 4x is a textbook case of manipulating the health market to promote sales of a product that can potentially cause death.
Through the misrepresentation and manipulation of clinical studies, they have produced the illusion of medical acceptance and the latest FDA warning issued against them for offering their toxin as a treatment for Covid has exposed the true nature of their business.
Many other similar companies operate below the radar for years in relative safety, selling and enabling Predatory Health practitioners by making their fake treatments and products available to a global market.
It is a monumental problem that the healthcare industry and the American government can no longer afford to ignore. Every Predatory Health practitioner we allow to operate, particularly those who still have a foot firmly placed in traditional medicine, bring disrepute to the industry.
They encourage mistrust of conventional treatments to the detriment of many critically-ill people. The formally qualified quacks breach the oath they have taken and a legal option must be explored to permanently strip them of their qualifications and the right to their use.
Many of these individuals took an oath and their actions are a clear breach of this oath, thereby rendering the conditions of the degree null and void. Simply removing their right to practice is an insufficient response and continues to endanger public health. Where clear intent to harm and deceive is established, the full force of the law should be brought to bear on these quacks.
Legislation enabling medical boards to act more aggressively against medical professionals in the predatory health sector is desperately needed on a federal level. It is in the interests of public safety and in the continued interests of maintaining credulity in existing public healthcare institutions.
Dealing with alt-Health
Policing the alt-Health sector requires an entirely different approach which may include clear legal guidelines of operation, enforceable by institutions like the FDA. This is simply one mechanism though, and the problem will require a multi-faceted approach.
What compounds the complexity of the problem is the alt-Health sector itself. There are definite and real health benefits to certain treatments and therapies offered by the sector. Recognizing, regulating, and protecting these practitioners, products, and therapies will be critical to the future of this market. An excellent example of how a legitimate profession can be ruined by its association with predatory health is the Chiropractic industry.
Left unchecked, the alternative will be an eventual wholesale ban on many potentially helpful drugs, therapies, and products. This would be a knee-jerk response, an oversimplified solution to a complex problem and needs to be avoided at all costs. Sadly, all too often, this type of exaggerated response is typical of politicians who lack a clear grasp of an industry’s dynamics and are looking to simply exercise damage control.
There has been little effort shown by the alt-Health sector to police themselves and whatever results now from the proliferation of fraudsters within their sector, they will share blame in the outcomes.
If you’ve been affected by Predatory Health practitioners what can you do to stop others falling victim?
Stop enabling Predatory Health Practioners
Every time you come across these individuals and you paths will cross, perhaps frequently, as they proliferate on social media, call them out, unfollow them, report them, block them.
Their current success is largely attributable to the internet and their mastery of social media as a sales and marketing tool. The privacy of private groups on Facebook and other platforms allows them to operate with impunity, away from prying eyes.
They are usually only exposed when tragedy occurs, when someone dies from the poisons they peddle and that death is often a child. You can help by exposing them before this happens.
Websites like Medika Life and others offer pages that highlight the unethical and dangerous practices of these doctors. We also offer a page where the public can confidentially bring names to our attention. You can also report the professionally registered quacks to the relevant boards within their states or directly to the FDA if medication is involved.
Reporting accounts to the social media platforms is often futile as they are slow to respond, if ever, particularly if groups are closed. Take screenshots of offending materials and include these in a report to the websites listed below.
Your actions are essential to saving lives and stopping the spread of the rot of predatory health within our communities. By using your voice, you can join a growing community of people speaking out against disinformation. You will not be alone and somewhere on the planet, a child may owe you their life.
You can also sign a MOBILIZE™ Health petition if you would like to add your voice to a campaign to rid the industry of this blight by creating a formal watchdog, an Organization tasked with and legally enabled to, root out health fraud and the dangerous practices of predatory health practitioners.
Help us to help protect the most vulnerable sectors of our communities.