When Ignorance is Dangerous: The Potentially Lethal Force of "Natural Healing"

Someone very close to me has a rare, incurable, degenerative disease called Friedreich's Ataxia. It is an autosomal recessive genetic condition; consequently, it is determined at conception whether or not the individual will develop FA.  Most children are not diagnosed until puberty as symptoms are rather late to manifest.  Although signs of FA are most noticeable in the neuromuscular system, the disease also has several potentially lethal side effects such as diabetes, scoliosis, and cardiovascular problems (namely, cardiomyopathy and tachycardia).  There is no cure, although there are many medical treatments available to help mitigate symptoms, slow progression, and alleviate suffering.

Because this is an issue close to my heart, I have read extensively on FA.  Consequently, I am fairly well-versed on the medical details of the disease; however, I fully admit that my understanding is often rather crude as I have had very little formal scientific education.  Regardless of my incomplete comprehension, I was still shocked by the blatant lies and dangerous advice promoted by this video that I stumbled across while surfing through YouTube:

Raw Food Detox Diet * Natural Healing from Friedreich's Ataxia ❤


I was horrified.  This man is actively discouraging parents from seeking medical care for the treatment of FA.  All I could imagine was a distraught parent returning home from the doctor's office after receiving this heartwrenching diagnosis for their child.  I could see this mom or dad scanning the internet, desperately searching for an answer or some measure of hope.  I then imagine this desperate parent finding this asshole's YouTube proclamation that fucking raw fruit and herbs will magically cure their child's irreversible genetic condition.

Of course, I had to comment.  However, I was careful to keep my comment respectful--as much as it killed me to show any sort of respect to this man--as I knew that any show of aggression on my part would only be painted as an operant of Big Bad Pharma.  This is my initial comment:

shine7157
Why are you recommending a high-fruit diet for FA patients? Diabetes is a common complication of the disease; promoting a diet heavy in fructose seems irresponsible at best. Also, I hope that you encourage your friend and others to still seek medical attention and be regularly monitored for signs of cardiomyopathy and tachycardia. A whole-food diet may mitigate symptoms of FA, but it is incredibly irresponsible and cruel to promote false hope that somehow a raw diet will provide a cure.


To which he responded with this comment:

liferegenerator (uploader)@shine7157
If you have a disease just get healthy, it is so simple! For all the people who have eliminated this disease with a raw diet it was responsible and loving to promote this hope! Please get with the times! Diseases make money and health does not that is why you have been programmed to believe that something like this cannot be eliminated but I assure you if you eliminate the obstructions to the flow of life energy you will regain your health! So simple! So easy...Fasting/Raw foods


Apparently, he did not feel that his message had been properly delivered and proceeded to comment on my YouTube channel as well.  On a side note, I have my T|A profile listed as my homepage; as a result, he learned that I am an atheist and decided to include that in his response as well.  Here are the two comments left on my YouTube channel:

liferegenerator
(22 hours ago)

Oh no wonder, another atheist trapped in the intellect! Disregard my last comment! Without faith in the infinite power you won't get well...Sorry! :(

liferegenerator
(22 hours ago)


I read your website! I am sorry! I wish I could help you find the real Love of God! In your heart you know it is real! Allow it back into your life! :)

(Oh yes, apparently it is not the lack of FRUIT in my loved one's life but the lack of GOD that is allowing FA to continue its progression.  Sigh.)

Anyways, of course I had to respond with the following:

Apparently, your ten minutes of internet research have left you woefully uninformed about the full impact of Friedreich's Ataxia.  Your ignorance is clearly evidenced by your gross oversimplification of the disease.
 
By actively discouraging medical treatment, you are potentially contributing to worsened suffering and an earlier death caused by this condition.  Following your advice would only exacerbate the misery of FA.
 
FA is not simply a "nerve disease;" it is caused by an autosomal recessive genetic condition. Although the neuromuscular system displays the most noticeable symptoms, the disease has several potentially lethal consequences.  Patients must be closely monitored for the development of scoliosis, diabetes, and cardiovascular complications (namely, cardiomyopathy and tachycardia).  By dismissing this as some condition fabricated by Big Pharma and actively promoting the use of raw foods and herbs as the PRIMARY means of coping with this disease, you are wielding your ignorance as a dangerous force.
 
Also, you claim that I should recognize "all the people" who have been cured by following your nutritional plan.  Show me ONE documented case of a patient with diagnosed FA who has recovered from following a raw food diet and omitting conventional medical care.  You have no idea what it is like to watch someone whom you love deal with this.  Regardless of how entrenched you are in your own egoism, you are still fundamentally ignorant of the full spectrum of physical, psychological, and emotional problems incurred by victims of this disease.
 

I strongly urge you to either amend or remove this video.  Good nutrition is an indispensable part of mitigating the symptoms of any disease, but it is by no means a magical panacea for Friedreich's Ataxia.  Although your intentions may be good, please be aware that you are actually only making the situation worse.  Promote a good diet in conjuction with medical treatment, but to actively discredit the necessity of medical care in treating FA is unconscionable.

***

I really cannot express how angry this video makes me.  I know just how difficult FA can be even with all possible medical treatments and therapies.  I cannot bear to imagine a child--or anyone--forced to deal with the misery of this disease with nothing but a fucking wheat-grass shake and plate of raw fruit as treatment.

(Edit: Either YouTube is really screwed up, or this man has deleted most of my comments and blocked me from leaving further comments on the preceding video. In my opinion, his censorship of opposing opinions just proves that he knows he is wrong yet remains insistent upon deliberately promoting misinformation. He is now aware of the harm he is potentially causing and continues with his actions regardless.)

Tags: Friedreich's, ataxia, diet, food, healing, natural, pseudoscience, raw, woo

Views: 63

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Here is the video (I can't seem to get it to embed directly in the post):
So, I've eaten nothing but black coffee all day and my thoughts are feeling pretty furry at the moment, but is this video actually happening? It's weirder than a Terry Gilliam movie.

Setting aside the fact that he seems to call it 'Extaxia' about a minute into the film, I'm confused as to why someone who seems to decry medical science and genetics is trying so damn hard to sound like a scientist. Trying. Failing. Horribly failing. Does he make money off this somehow? I can't understand what sort of desperation would lead a man to embarrass himself this much. Usually that level of douchebaggery is only called upon when a guy thinks it's gonna get him laid or wealthy.

Wait, what the hell? 4:10-ish (after we're done alkalizing our bodies with fruit). "Unfortunately the medical paradigm is still sort of stuck in a [strange hand hand gesture indicating perhaps a microwave?] uh, a bit of, uh, a paradigm." My brain just exploded. That's some powerful stupid right there. Profound.

Well, under the assumption that 'trapped' is meant in the sense of 'adorned' then I will agree that your problem here is that you are 'trapped in the intellect'. I think my current furry thinking has yielded a more fitting response to the video: I'll pin his arms back while you beat him over the head with a pineapple. Right before he slips out of consciousness you can say something along the lines of "Looks to me like fruit isn't doing much for your health." After that I'll be all like, "Here's a banana to treat your fractured skull with."


This video has given me nothing but a hunger for violence, absurdity and fruit salad.
I'm totally stealing "douchebaggery" and "powerful stupid." I will use it daily.
This video has given me nothing but a hunger for violence, absurdity and fruit salad.

Haha, this was totally my reaction. I got pissed, grabbed some pineapple out of the fridge, and went back to reading Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. (I've been trying to reread both of Carroll's book before Burton's Alice in Wonderland goes out of theaters; literary absurdity fit just perfectly after watching this video!)

Oh yeah, and he totally mangled the pronunciation every time he said it. It's pronounced FREE-dricks uh-TAX-ee-uh, not "Fredick's Extaxiar" or whatever mangled nonsense he was spitting out. I mean, not to split hairs, but if you are going to pronounce bonafide healing methods, it helps to pronounce the disease correctly.
This guy has quite a loyal following. This is whole cults start and how "snake oil salesmen" reel in their victims. Apparently a lot of people honestly believe this whole juicing crap cured them of a wide variety of ailments. This goes against the whole scientific method.

My response to him:
"I won't be as kind as my friend here. You're a manipulative fraud! You have the medical diagnostic skills of a mosquito and you only seek to profit off of other people's misery of diseases you have no understanding about! You're probably another one of these stupid religious freaks who believe in the power of faith-healing and eating "God's products." You talk about pseudo-science garbage like "life energy" but that's exactly what it is! GARBAGE!"
Thank you for commenting on the video, Mario. I'm having problems uploading the rest of my response and I'm extremely frustrated! Apparently, YouTube is already in maintenance mode for me.

I know that nothing we say will change his mind, but I only hope that anyone who sees the video will read comments like ours and think twice before implementing his dangerous advice.
Cheers! :D
Yeah, I'm getting nothing but errors, as well. I was only able to post the first bit of my lengthy response and I'm chomping at the bit to get it all out there!

And I totally agree, this guy is a complete insult to people who actually have to deal with the reality of an incurable, degenerative disease.
Jesus pose... yes, that's exactly what it was (I was originally going to write 'nailed it' until I caught the awful pun). When he says that it'd take him three days to do a written response early on in the video, I figured it was simply due to his troubles with the English language. I think now that it would have taken him three days just to relate all that was conveyed in those finger snaps.

Sometimes a single finger snap is worth a thousand words -- a thousand incredibly stupid words. He pulled off the double snap. What does this tell us?
What I want to know is how this guy is still pushing the juicing fad when it was exposed as being fraudulent a long time ago?
This is unbelievable to me. UNBELIEVABLE! I am all for a healthy diet and eat clean myself, although not raw. I have heart disease myself that presented after I gave birth to my child, cardiomyopathy with tachycardia. No one knows why, possibly due to a virus during pregnancy. I feel good when I eat well, of course I do, but my disease is not gone. If it was possible for people to wish away diseases, well we would be a very overcrowded world. And if it was possible for me to perform a miracle by just wishing it, I would reach into the computer and punch this man then go tell him to heal himself with raw food. I commented on his youtube as well. And for him to have hunted you down and researched you to find something to attack you about leads me to believe he is not the stable and secure individual he is trying to be. He makes it sound like a psychological disorder calling it a nervous disorder and the way he says it, he obviously has no medical training at all, not even medical terminology. I really empathize with you and your loved one having to go through this. I'm truly sorry that there are people like this in the world who refuse to see all sides of the truth.
LOL. Like "Faith heal your ripped off testicles, asshole"?

RSS

Blog Posts

PI = 4

Posted by _Robert_ on September 16, 2014 at 8:53pm 4 Comments

Invictus

Posted by Marinda on September 11, 2014 at 4:08pm 0 Comments

Ads

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service