Saturday, September 30, 2017

Complaint to FDA Criminal Division re Maui Racketeering Quacks

Office of Criminal Investigation
7500 Standish Pl
Rockville, MO 20855

This is to inform you about an ongoing criminal enterprise in operation for more than 15 years. Alive and Well Health Emporium on Maui violates federal anti-fraud and food-and-drug laws every day. It also illegally accepts food stamps (via EBT) as payment for supplements, herbal drugs, homeopathic products and assorted snake oils.

The owners, Dennis and Mona Jones, broadcast a weekly hour-long radio infomercial in which they claim that their products can cure every disease under the sun, including advanced cancers and HIV/AIDS. They also rant against all vaccines and urge listeners not to get their kids vaccinated. Instead, they say, listeners should buy their products that can prevent all the common childhood diseases.

The Joneses have no credentials in any health-related fields, but present themselves as nutrition- and alternative-medicine experts. In “personal health consultations” they practice medicine by telling people what is really wrong with them and what supplements, herbal drugs and homeopathic products they need. They often talk people into buying hundreds of dollars’ worth of these products.

They also talk people out of taking drugs prescribed by MDs – antibiotics, statins, anti-seizure medications, hypertension medications, etc – and into taking their products instead.

These racketeers are a hazard to the community, but the state authorities refuse to take action against them, probably because they pay taxes and employ 10-20 people.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter. Please mail the enclosed postcard to me. 

Kurt Butler

Monday, September 26, 2016

Maui Racketeering: the Jones Crime Family

Dennis, Mona and Darren Jones, through their company MDDR Health Solutions, Inc., own and operate the Alive and Well store in Kahului and online. This store has a health food fa├žade, but it is an ongoing criminal enterprise that is allowed to operate by special arrangement with corrupt government officials.

I have provided the details of the Jones family’s criminal activities elsewhere (links below). The allegations could be easily proved in a court of law, but the corrupt county government prefers to go after the whistleblower, me.

Here’s a thought experiment: if we lived in an ideal world and we truly lived by the rule of law, how many years in prison would the members of the Jones Crime Family be sentenced to?

Regarding the number of counts of some of their crimes, we can make only rough estimates. For example, if, using radio, the internet and personal meetings, they fraudulently promote and sell certain products and services a thousand times each, every year for ten years, is that ten thousand counts for each product promoted? Or is it just one count for each product, no matter how many times it is fraudulently promoted? I give a range of possible counts in these cases. Regarding the other criminal counts we can be more precise.

Fraudulent Promotion & Sale of Products   50-5,000 counts   
Fraudulent Promotion and Sale of Services    50-5,000   
Reckless Endangerment            50-5,000
Negligent Homicide                            100-500
Food Stamp Fraud                             100-1,000
Terroristic Threatening of a Critic    10
Violence against a Critic                      5
Conspiracy/complicity in Violence against a Critic   5
Abuse of Legal Process                         5
Lying to the Police (false reporting)               5
Perjury and Obstruction of Justice       25

Assuming an average sentence of one year per count, and taking the smallest number where a range is given, a reasonable estimate of likely prison time for each of the Joneses – Dennis, Mona and Darren – in an ideal and just world is 405 years.

This analysis is for state charges only. The Jones’ use of the internet across state lines and their food stamp fraud (accepting SNAP or EBT payments for non-food snake oils) could bring federal charges and double the estimate to 800 years.

For details, see below for other posts in this blog.

and see  KurtButlerBlogs 

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Maui news time
Maui’s Corruption Watchdog since 1992         Monday, August 31, 2016               Special Edition 25 cents
“They Killed My Baby!”
Maui News Time has uncovered a failure of consumer protection that, along with the priority given by the Maui county government to its personal vendetta against a whistle-blowing quack buster, has had tragic consequences for the victims of a long-running health fraud enterprise. It is clear that the politicians have been protecting the criminals rather than the public, and upholding their “right” to endanger people and rip them off rather than the quack buster’s right to free speech.
For more than a decade the Alive and Well Health Emporium in Kahului, Maui, has been running a criminal scam, claiming to cure dozens of serious and deadly diseases, including HIV/AIDS, advanced cancers, and Alzheimer’s. Maui News Time has heard from some folks who the store’s owners – Dennis, Mona and Darren Jones – do not want you to know about. These are the kinds of people the Joneses have been getting wealthy off of. Here is a sampling.

“They killed my baby! They said the supplements we bought from them would cure her very severe epilepsy, so we started the vitamins and herbs and stopped the medicine. After a day and a half she got terrible seizures, so bad I couldn’t get her to swallow the medicine. I called 911 but she died, poor baby.”   L.B., Lahaina
My wife died of breast cancer thanks to Alive and Well. We should have stuck with the medical treatment and stayed away from Alive and Well.”   S.J., Kihei
My grandfather had a heart attack and died because of the Joneses. They had him taking about a dozen vitamins and herbs and convinced him the statin would kill him, so he stopped taking it. But they killed him.”    B.H., Paia       
“We wasted 10 thousand dollars on Alive and Well garbage before we came to our senses.”    S.C., Makawao
“My brother had a stroke because the Joneses convinced him that his hypertension medicine was worthless and he stopped taking it. F---ing quacks!”    A.W., Kahului
“They said they could cure Mom’s Alzheimer’s. Believing their lies cost us thousands of dollars and didn’t help Mom at all.” C.M., Kula
“They get you in a little room and hit you with a sales pitch that’s hard to resist. I bought $300 worth of pills that didn’t help at all. In fact they made my problems worse.” P.L., Kihei
“My AIDS came back full-blown because those quacks at Alive and Well convinced me that I should go off my prescribed medicines and take their vitamins and herbs. I got pneumonia and almost died – stupid bastards.” D.K., Hali’imaile
“Our little girl got whooping cough because the Joneses told us the vaccine was dangerous. She caught it from another kid whose parents also believed Alive and Well lies about vaccines. She suffered so much. I’m really angry.”     F.R., Pukalani
“I broke a hip because they told me to take lots of vitamin A. Turns out too much vitamin A causes brittle bones.   Some experts!”   A.G., Wailuku

The Maui Case that Will Live in Infamy

For ten years the Maui county government has been running a protection racket for Alive and Well Health Fraud Store, and waging a war on Kurt Butlers First Amendment right to criticize and expose the store’s dangerous criminal frauds.
   This case is typical of the Injustice System on Maui and its cynical, ruthless ways. The County’s criminal actions will ring a bell with hundreds who have been subjected to its arbitrary, capricious, dishonest, unethical and corrupt behavior and contempt for constitutional rights.
   The full story of the License to Murder Kurt Butler, issued by Maui County to the owners and employees of Alive and Well Health Fraud Store, is available at;  
and MauiFascism., and the blogs they link to.  
   The License to Murder Kurt Butler has never been voided: if one of A&W’s thugs kills Butler, there will be no prosecution even if police officers witness the crime.
   The sad truth is, Maui is becoming a gangster- police state. The rule of law barely exists here. Violent conflict is inevitable because the people won’t tolerate tyranny forever.
   This case provides more evidence that the predictions made in the prophetic flash novel
Barbarians In Paradise – Terror Comes To Maui
are already being fulfilled.
The book is available in paperback and e-book at

Monday, April 8, 2013

Open Letter to Governor Abercrombie

Dear Governor Neil Abercrombie:

For about 15 years County of Maui and State of Hawai'i have knowingly allowed, aided and abetted a lucrative, harmful and violent criminal enterprise to flourish in Kahului and online. The county has gone so far as to allow the criminals to use violence against me to stop my lawful demonstrations that expose the scams. There is now an extra-judicial ban on my lawful demonstrations, a ban enforced by potentially-lethal violence and threats of murder. Details are provided in previous posts on this blog and my blog

The motive of the governments is clearly financial. As long as the business and its criminal owners pay their taxes, those who have sworn to uphold the law will look the other way. They are, in essence, running a protection racket for the criminal enterprise.

It is dangerous and illegal to claim to have OTC cures for HIV/AIDS, advanced cancers, heart disease and whatever else might ail you; and to claim to have safe and effective substitutes for "dangerous and deadly" vaccines while urging people not to get their children vaccinated. But this business, Alive and Well Health Emporium, does these things every day with impunity. The owners have no credentials in any health-related field, but they've been getting rich marketing their fraudulent miracle cures in hour-long radio infomercials for a decade and a half.

People assume that if the government allows such claims they must be true. The state's stubborn refusal to investigate my complaints makes it complicit and possibly liable for harm done to victims of the frauds.

The buck stops with the Governor. If you don't instruct the Department of Health to do its job (see HRS 328-3 and 328-6), you will be personally complicit in the ongoing swindles, and you will show that the state's utter disregard for consumer rights and the rule of law, so prominent during the Lingle years, continues as unwritten policy.

Please do the right thing and put a stop to this despicable racket.


Kurt Butler

Links to my other blogs:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Killer Lies of Alive and Well Health Emporium


Links to my other blogs:
For more on the issues discussed here as well as related issues, read the now-classic book A Consumer's Guide to "Alternative Medicine." Available online at Prometheus Books and
Dennis and Mona Jones claim to be “experts in the field of alternative therapies.” In reality they are dishonest demagogues who dispense dangerous advice that they profit from. They do personal consultations in which they prescribe alleged remedies for health problems, and sell the customers those products. They falsely claim that all the products they promote are supported by clinical trials. But the Joneses have no credentials in any health field. Their expertise is in sales, and they are very good at selling people expensive products that are more likely to harm them than help them. Their claiming to be experts in health, nutrition, and disease remedies is about as legitimate as a stereo salesman claiming to be an electrical engineer.

A case could be made that Alive and Well's supplement peddling business is an illegal enterprise. It would go something like this: On the labels of all the vitamins, minerals, amino acid, pseudo-nutrients, herbal drugs and combination concoctions that they sell there is, or should be, the statement, required by law, that the product is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. But the Joneses claim the products do just that. By claiming their products do treat, cure and prevent diseases they are nullifying the labels and selling the products illegally. They spend thousands of dollars a month for the infomercials that effectively erase the tiny labels; they might as well take a black marker to the bottles.

By repeating the lie that all their products have been clinically proved safe and effective for the treatment and preventive purposes they recommend, they are engaging in a massive fraud, not only swindling their customers but endangering them as well.

Their Lies About Supplements Could Kill You
Of course, some people do benefit from low-dose supplementation. Pregnant and lactating women are examples, though even this dogma is dubious for healthy women who eat well. Reasonable supplementation for a person who can benefit should not cost more than a few pennies a day, but on average Americans spend several dimes a day, and many spend several dollars a day. The supplement industry, with $50-70 billion in annual revenues, is ten times as big as it needs to be, and still growing -- and the wrong people take most of the supplements. The pill peddlers can't get rich selling only supplements that people really need, so they engage in fear mongering and scaring people into believing they will get sick, stay sick and die young if they don't stuff their faces with dozens of pills every day. For example, they say that foods grown today have only 10 percent the nutritional value of foods grown 50 years ago, an absurd notion. People believe the lies because no one bothers to oppose them, save for a handful of Quixotes like myself.

Most people who habitually overdose on supplements do not realize they are poisoning themselves because they experience no symptoms while the damage is done silently, day after day for years and decades. While the scientific evidence of the toxic nature of unnecessary supplements is strong, it is hard to quantify the harm being done because the very powerful industry has successfully fought off all efforts to require the pill peddlers to report adverse effects. Nevertheless, a frightening picture is emerging. A key to understanding the hazards of some of the best-selling supplements, the so-called antioxidants, is to realize that they are actually redox agents, meaning that under some circumstances they act as antioxidants, but in others they act as oxidizing agents, so it is deceptive to market them as antioxidants. This probably explains the abysmal failure of these substances to perform as advertised in true clinical trials. The results have not been surprising to the few who have been skeptical all these decades.

To understand how supplements can be harmful, consider the analogy of using bleach in your laundry. If the bleach is well diluted and gradually dribbled into the sloshing water it works well. But if you dump the same amount into the water all at once, some of your clothes will be badly damaged. Similarly, a salad provides balanced nutrition with dilute vitamin C, beta-carotene and dozens of other phytochemicals in balance and acting in concert, working together to do your body good. However, taking large doses of the isolated vitamins is like dumping undiluted bleach onto your clothes. The large, concentrated doses can have many harmful effects, including the generation of dangerous free radicals. The excess concentrations of the vitamins can interfere with the beneficial actions of other substances, including antioxidants made by the body. This explains why vitamin C and E supplements negate the beneficial effects of exercise on insulin sensitivity in diabetics.

Any list of proven, probable and possible toxic effects of excess nutrients in the blood is only the beginning since most of the negative effects are still unknown, especially those caused by interactions and synergies. If you take large doses of a lot of nutritional supplements and herbal drugs for months or years, there are thousands of possible pharmacologic interactions among them. The pill peddlers are aware of these complications, but instead of inspiring them to be cautious it makes them even more reckless: they tell their customers they must take more of x, y and z to counter the imbalance induced by the megadoses of w that they insist are necessary. These induce still more imbalances, requiring yet more supplements and so on. We are in new territory here and there is no way of predicting the net effect of such an unprecedented barrage of chemicals on the body. However, the following summary of known and likely toxic effects of unbalanced intake of single nutrients should be enough to inspire great caution.

“Antioxidant” combinations: inhibition of the body's own antioxidant production, free radical generation, increased risk of heart disease and cancers, insulin resistance.

Alpha lipoic acid: liver disease, liver cancer.

Beta-carotene: increased risk of lung cancer in smokers.

Vitamin B-6: severe, crippling, long-lasting nerve damage.

Copper: Alzheimer's disease.

Calcium: Calcium supplements increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Some supplements, including a brand of coral calcium once heavily promoted by Alive and Well, contain toxic levels of lead. Excess calcium intake over long periods may promote some cancers, especially prostate cancer.

Carnitine:  Heart disease.

Choline: colon polyps, colon cancer.

Folic acid: feeds certain cancers, promotes certain precancerous growths, multiplies the risk of prostate cancer. These risks might be passed onto to progeny by epigenetic phenomena.

Iron: heart disease, cancer.

Lecithin  atherosclerosis, heart disease (via TMAO production).

Magnesium: diarrhea with loss of water, minerals, electrolytes and vitamins.

Niacin: severe liver damage.

Omega-3 fatty acids: sudden death in those with angina or congestive heart failure; prostate cancer.

Quercetin: generation of free radicals which promote cancer and heart disease. This nutrient is abundant in fruits and vegetables, and a beneficial anti-oxidant in these dilute forms, so taking supplements is as unnecessary as it is hazardous.

Selenium: type two diabetes.

Vitamin A: liver, nerve and brain damage; severe headaches; osteoporosis; dermatitis; and birth defects.

Vitamin C: promotes heart disease and cancer by generating free radicals and by increasing iron absorption and changing it to a toxic form. Cataracts. Aggravation of diabetes. The latter hazard could be a result of the nullification by vitamin C of the benefits of exercise on insulin sensitivity.

Vitamin D: calcium deposits in soft tissues including heart, kidney and brain. Combined with excessive calcium intake, excessive vitamin D is associated with brain lesions that could lead to cognitive deficits, depression and strokes. Very high doses are associated with and may cause pancreatic cancer.

Vitamin E: osteoporosis; lung cancer; prostate cancer; complications and premature deaths in diabetics. The latter hazard could be a result of the nullification by vitamin E of the benefits of exercise on insulin sensitivity.

Zinc: compromised immune system, leukemia, prostate cancer, reduced HDL (good) cholesterol, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, kidney failure.

Protein supplements: Kidney stress and aging; osteoporosis.

The Joneses like to repeat ad nauseum that poison control centers report no deaths due to supplement toxicity. This is typical of their sophistry. Almost the same can be said for tobacco, which rarely causes acute poisoning. The main problem with supplements and with tobacco is chronic poisoning, not acute poisoning. Nevertheless, about 23,000 emergency room visits are due to supplements. We must abandon the dangerous dogma of the pill-peddling industry that “more is better” when it comes to essential nutrients and replace it with “balance is better.” Foods provide balanced nutrient intake, but pills of concentrated nutrients induce imbalance. Unless strong clinical evidence supports large doses in special cases, their use should be reserved for cases of actual dietary deficiency and low blood or tissue levels.

There is no supplement regimen that can match the health benefits of a wide variety of minimally-processed fruits, vegetables, beans, yams, nuts, seeds, whole grains and other, mostly plant-derived, foods. Moderate amounts of low-fat dairy products, seafood, lean meat and eggs provide protein insurance and vitamin B-12. While these animal products are not essential, vegans should take vitamin B-12 supplements and speak with a real nutritionist (not a supplement peddler) about protein, iron and calcium. We should be adventurous and try things like quinoa, spelt, watercress, arugula, purple cabbage, endive, radicchio, kale, escarole and all kinds of fruits and berries. Our markets are full of beautiful and delicious produce, each item a treasure trove of beneficial phytochemicals that can never be matched in nutritional value by pills and potions. Minimize refined carbohydrates and saturated fats, but don't restrict fats in infants and young kids.

Optimum health (given ones genetic makeup) comes from eating right, exercising and avoiding bad habits. It does not come from taking pills and potions. My grandfather is a case in point. He died just short of his 104th birthday, and his mind was sharp up to the last few weeks. At his 100th birthday party he told me he would eat just about anything (variety), but never too much. He did not take supplements. One of the more absurd, ludicous and comical claims the Joneses make concerns eye drops containing N-acetyl carnosine which are purported to reverse senile cataracts and several other serious eye disorders. The Joneses call these eye drops nutrient supplements.

Why Is Mona So Sickly?

The biggest lie the Joneses tell is the same one that nutrition quacks and pill peddlers have been profiting from for decades. The lie is that optimum nutrition for optimum health comes from taking pills and potions. A companion lie is that “more is better” and the Joneses promote ever larger doses of an increasing number of isolated nutrients, pseudo-nutrients, herbal drugs, mineral drugs and assorted other snake oils. The third big lie that keeps the enormous racket raking in profits is that their products are natural and therefore safe. Pills do not grow on trees or in gardens. They are made in labs using smelly, hazardous, poisonous chemicals. How natural is that? And is it natural to take hundreds of times the known requirement of a vitamin every day, far more than you could ever get from food? And are there not hundreds of deadly poisons naturally present in plants and in soil?

Obviously, the claim that pills of single, isolated nutrients are natural and that natural equals safe is a huge lie. In recent years there has been a tremendous surge in research on the potential preventive and therapeutic benefits of nutrients and herbal drugs. Hopes were high in academia and the supplement industries that so-called antioxidants and other supplements could reduce the risks of contracting and dying from cancer and heart disease. Unfortunately, the results have been generally negative and the dangers much greater than suspected even by skeptics and critics. This helps explain the seeming paradox that many people who load up on supplements every day are in worse than average health.

Mona Jones is a case in point. She frequently tells their audience that she takes this or that supplement every day and urges others to do the same. She's a genuine pill-head, a person who compulsively takes pills in a desperate quest to feel better. I estimate that she regularly takes at least 20 to 25 different products, several of them psychoactive (relaxants, stimulants). Many contain multiple ingredients, so she probably takes at least 50, maybe 100, distinct substances in pill form.

A partial list includes large doses of all the required vitamins, minerals and amino acids, perhaps 45 substances; plus melatonin, allicin, DHEA (she calls this hormone a nutrient), colostrum, green tea extract, sam-E, various oral enzymes, fish oil, carnitine, butterburr, sambucol, hydrosol silver, rodiola, alpha-lipoic acid, L-glutamine, phosphatidylcholine, theanine, GABA, taurine, various combination herbal concoctions and ginkgo. This is a fantastic regimen of supplements and herbal drugs, one that would cost hundreds of dollars a month if she paid retail.

But the greater price she is probably paying is a price to her health. She has said that her mother gave her cod liver oil throughout her childhood. This particular fish oil usually has large amounts of vitamins A and D, both of which are extremely toxic, even lethal, in high doses. Her mother likely gave her other supplements as well. Mona has said that she takes 10,000 micrograms of vitamin B-12 every day. One of the most common and concentrated sources of the vitamin in the American diet is beef. A two or three ounce serving provides the RDA, though most people in the world get enough while rarely eating meat. They get it from unseen insect fragments in their food and even from rain water. Mona's intake of B-12 is several thousand times the RDA, and she fervently believes this much is essential to her health. But in fact, she hasn't the slightest idea what this prodigious amount is doing to her or to those who take it on her recommendation. It is clear that this is far from natural, in any sense of the word, unless eating several thousand steaks a day is natural.

The Joneses indulge in this kind of unnatural extremism in all their recommendations. Their constant claim that their remedies are natural is a giant fraud. They urge their customers to run risky experiments with their health so that they can maximize their profits on the supplements they promote with fraudulent claims. If you believe supplement industry propaganda you would expect Mona to be in radiant health. Yet she often talks about her many ailments and serious disorders. She suffers from, or has suffered from, liver disease, lung infections, asthma, allergies, arthritis, gall bladder problems, headaches, depression, severe acid reflux, irritable bowel disease, Chron's disease, diabetes, fibrocystic disease, heart valve problems, eye inflammation, and severe emotional fragility. In January of 2012 Mona added to this list by announcing she has multiple symptoms due to gluten sensitivity. She is now on a gluten-free diet.

Mona takes more supplements and herbal drugs than anyone I've ever known of, and she is just about the most sickly person I've ever known of. Is this just a coincidence? Not likely, given what we now know about the long-term dangers of excessive supplementation. It is more likely that the toxic doses of supplements fed to her (including while in the uterus) by her well-meaning but indoctrinated mother, and the supplements and drugs she has taken for decades, have saddled her with a lifetime of health problems. I believe that Mona's health problems have not been caused by vaccinations as she claim, but by decades of supplement toxicity which she makes worse by taking still more supplements. It's a classic vicious spiral. In my opinion, Mona is almost certainly a victim of chronic, lifelong toxicity and ill health due to a neurotic and cultish, rather than a scientific, common-sense, and more natural approach to health problems. It's a silent, invisible tragedy unfolding all over the country: millions of people are being slowly poisoned by the very nostrums they fervently believe are elixirs of near-immortality. It's as though Catholic Communion wafers were laced with sub-clinical, but cumulative, doses of arsenic which first cause vague, inexplicable symptoms and signs, then destruction and failure of vital organs, severe illness and death. In the United States supplement pollution and chronic toxicity from supplements probably rivals illnesses caused by air and water pollution.

During the last several decades many self-appointed, pill-peddling health gurus have made names for themselves by skillful use of the media, especially radio, television and book publishing. None of them were in unusually good health or lived unusually long. In fact, I would wager that most of them died younger than their peers. Consider, for example, Maureen Salaman. For many years hers was a familiar face in ubiquitous hour-long television infomercials in which she regaled viewers with fantastic stories of miracle cures of crippling and deadly diseases effected by her nostrums and concoctions -- much as the Joneses do in their infomercials. A few years ago she died of pancreatic cancer at about 70 years of age. This is more than a decade short of the average lifespan of her peers, wealthy white women. It is not unreasonable to suspect that chronic supplement toxicity played a role in her death. Other snake-oil peddlers who died relatively young include Adelle Davis and Jerome Rodale. A growing concern for experts, though still just a small blip on the radar, is that excess of some vitamins and minerals may have epigenetic effects, not only making people more vulnerable to some cancers, but tweaking the DNA just enough so the vulnerability is passed on to their progeny. If these fears are confirmed, the number of casualties will dwarf those of thalidomide and the lawsuits will devastate the supplement industry, including some large pharmaceutical companies. But even without this hazard, the Joneses' broadcasts and their personal consultations are dangerous to the public. How many people will get seriously sick and die sooner because of the Joneses' lies about supplements? There is no way of knowing, and apparently the Joneses don't care. I doubt they carry enough insurance to cover claims that might be made in a document-able case.

Their Lies About Herbs, etc Could Kill You

The Joneses preach that if it's natural it's perfectly safe and has no side effects. This is certainly untrue for isolated nutrients that they claim are natural and therefore safe. It is also untrue for the many herbs and other non-nutrients that they sell. The following is a small sample of known and suspected hazards of herbal drugs, hormones and other non-nutrients promoted and peddled by the “supplement” industry, though I can't be certain which of these Alive and Well sells (I'm not allowed in the store).

Aconite: vomiting, weakness, cardiac toxicity, death.

Angelica: cancer.

Aristolochic acid: kidney damage, cancers.

Astragalus: increased inflammation.

Bayberry: liver damage, cancer.

Bitter orange (an ephedra substitute): heart arrhythmia, heart attack, stroke.

Black cohosh: increased angiogenesis (blood vessel formation) in tumors; this effect can promote the growth and metastasis of cancerous tumors before you even know they are there.

Buckthorn: heart arrhythmia, potassium loss.

Calamus: various cancers. Celadine: liver damage, bloody urine.

Chaparral: liver and kidney damage.

Club moss: liver damage.

Coltsfoot: liver damage, cancer.

Comfrey: liver disease including cancer.

DHEA: liver damage, cancer.

Echinacea: general inflammation.

Fo ti: diarrhea, liver inflammation.

Germander: liver damage.

Golden seal: miscarriage, death of breast-feeding infant, seizures, heart damage. The likely cause is the component berberine, which Mona calls a nutrient.

Golden thread: same as golden seal.

Indian snake root: vomiting, depression, convulsions, diarrhea, cancers.

Kava kava: liver damage, depressed brain and nerve function.

Life root: liver damage.

Mate: increased risk of cancer of the esophagus, stomach and intestine.

Melatonin: disruption of the sleep-wake cycle, confusion, drowsiness, headache, increased blood pressure. The usual dose of 3 milligrams brings blood concentrations to 10-40 times normal.

Pau D'arco: vomiting, diarrhea, anemia.

Sage: brain damage from toxic thujone.

Sassafras: nerve damage, cancer.

Silver: neurological problems, kidney damage.

Yohimbe: tremor, anxiety, heart failure.

Since each herb has hundreds of molecular components and there are hundreds of thousands of herbs, the peddlers have a bottomless pit to pull millions of drugs out of. No matter how many are proved to be worthless or dangerous, they can always introduce hundreds more. It's a huge scam, but the industry gets to legally lie in their ads and on their labels by calling the snake oils “supplements” as if they are required nutrients that most people don't get enough of. But they are clearly drugs every bit as much as aspirin, antibiotics, cocaine and morphine are drugs.

Their Lies About Vaccines Could Kill You I
n one of their infomercials Mona said that an article in the Journal of the AMA suggests that vaccinations can cause multiple sclerosis. She gave the date, but there is no such article in the journal. In fact, the issue she mentioned contained an article about the global reduction of polio by 99% thanks to vaccination campaigns. She did not mention this article that illustrates the spectacular success of immunization around the world, but made up an article that alleges supposed dangers. This is typical of how Alive and Well deceives people about vaccines. Dennis said that the only people who have contracted H1N1 influenza are those who received the vaccine against it. The Joneses are obviously out-of-control pathological liars, utterly unrestrained by the facts. There is apparently no limit to how brazen and preposterous their lies can be. Next time you hear them rant against vaccinations call them up and ask whether they were not saying the same thing in the late 1970s and in 1980 when the World Health Organization was closing in on the last cases of smallpox in Africa and the successful eradication of the centuries-old plague from the face of the earth. I have no doubt they were, and if they had their way people would still be dying from smallpox. Now we're close to eradicating measles and polio, yet they continue to agitate against all vaccinations. An estimated hundred million died from smallpox alone, but it seems the Joneses aren't concerned about millions more suffering and dying from new and reborn plagues.

Many of their recent anti-vaccine rants have been aimed at the MMR and flu vaccines which they claim cause autism, Alzheimer's and other horrors. In one infomercial Dennis claimed that a major CDC study conclusively proves that mercury in vaccines causes autism. This is another utterly fantastic and brazen lie. They must believe their audience is hopelessly stupid. Anyone can go to the CDC web site and see that the conclusion of all the studies is the exact opposite of what they claim. Now that Andrew Wakefield, who started the MMR-autism panic with a phony study, has been exposed as a scam artist in league with scam-artist attorneys one might think that the Joneses would be contrite and maybe even admit they were wrong. But no, that would cost them money, so they continue with their lying rants against vaccines. Wakefield is undoubtedly responsible for illness and death. The same is likely true for the Joneses, or will be if they don't mend their lying ways.

Other absurd lies they tell about flu vaccines are that they cause viral infections, cause influenza, wipe out the immune system and make you more susceptible to every kind of disease. You might as well get an injection of HIV as get a flu shot. Instead of a flu shot, naturally, you should go to Alive and Well and buy a couple hundred dollars worth of supplements every few weeks. In most of the infomercials they claim or stongly imply that a multi-supplement regimen can prevent all influenza. In others they claim that NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) prevents flu. In one they claimed that vitamin D prevents all flu of all types.

At its peak several decades ago measles killed almost one million children annually around the world. Thanks to vaccines, that number is down to about 150,000 annually. If WHO, UNICEF, the CDC, the Red Cross and others continue to expand the availability of the vaccine, the disease could go the way of small pox. If the Joneses have their way and the vaccination programs are ended, the measles body count will return to one million and more in no time. There is a new vaccine now available, and it could prove to be one of the greatest triumphs of modern medicine yet. Gardasil is a vaccine against HPV, human papilloma virus, which causes cervical cancer. It also appears to prevent some throat cancers apparently caused by HPV (oral sex is presumably involved in such cases). Naturally, the Joneses are busy disseminating fantastic lies about it, calling it a killer vaccine and trying to scare people away from it. But the data show that the vaccine is safe, and the Joneses' lies should not dissuade those considering getting it. Listening to them could cost you your life.

How many people will get seriously sick and die because of the Joneses' lies about vaccines? There is no way of knowing, and the Joneses obviously aren't concerned about the possible outbreak of new and renewed global pandemics that kill millions. This is a big mistake, and this attitude is what makes the anti-vaccination movement dangerous to everyone. With the growing threat of new plagues (because of over-population, further penetration into and disruption of jungles and rapid global mobility), the dirth of effective anti-virals, and the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, we have no choice but to rely more and more on vaccinations. Civilization depends on it. Nineteenth-Century-style patent snake oils, which is what the Joneses peddle, won't cut it. Seasonal influenza kills about 36 thousand Americans each year. Three times that number are hospitalized. Now we have a global epidemic of H1N1 flu which has sickened more than 50 million American and killed more than 10,000 of them, and the Joneses continue to rail against and lie about vaccines. They have said that the only people who got H1N1 flu were those who got vaccinated against it. There is apparently no limit to the lies they will tell in order to sell their pills. Since they claim to be health experts, anyone who is persuaded, then harmed by their advice not to get vaccinated might have grounds for a lawsuit.

Their Lies About Cancer Could Kill You

Some of the most vicious and dangerous lies the Joneses tell are about cancer. They rail against modern cancer treatments and claim that no progress has been made in the treatment of cancer by modern medicine. It's all a scam, they say – cutting, burning and poisoning. People should avoid them and use “natural” remedies. This is the rhetoric used by peddlers of the infamous cyanide-containing snake oil Laetrile in the 1970s and 1980s, and it raises the question whether the Joneses were involved in that horrendous debacle that led to so many deaths. It would be reasonable to suspect they were. The Wobenzyme that they have promoted as an arthritis remedy was an integral part of the infamous killer Laetrile regimen. Many quack remedies, when exposed as worthless for one disease, are reborn later as a remedy for another. The suspicion that the Jonese have long been involved in the Laetrile and related cancer frauds is further supported by their promotion of pancreatic enzymes as a cancer preventive and remedy. They cite the long-discredited century old theory of Edward Howell to this effect as well as the more recently disproven claims of notorious cancer quacks Nicholas Gonzales and Dentist Donald Kelly who, the Joneses claim, "have used enzymes like Pain Power for years to prevent and treat cancer."

This is a flat-out lie and, because it is an illegal promotion of their bogus product Pain Power as a cancer remedy, constitutes felony cancer fraud. The truth is that the lives of millions are extended many years, even decades, by early diagnosis and proper treatment. My mother was one of them. Fighting cervical and breast cancer, she lived an extra 25 years thanks to modern cancer diagnosis and treatment. In the last few decades steady progress has been made against colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, leukemia, stomach cancer and several others. Experts say the death rates from these have been declining by 1-3% per year for several decades. One lie the Joneses tell is so preposterous, vicious and dangerous that it constitutes reckless endangerment and again shows a gross disregard for the safety and health of their listeners. They say that, if diagnosed with cancer, most oncologists would not undergo chemotherapy – the same chemo they administer to their patients – but instead would go to Mexico for “natural therapies.” It is well known that Mexico – especially the border towns – is a haven for criminal quack clinics that prey on sick people with money, and that “natural” is their favorite propaganda phrase used to impress Norte Americanos locos. Oncologists know this better than anyone.

This lie shows there is no limit to how low the Joneses will stoop to make a buck. Why do they want you to believe all this bullshit? Because they want you to go to their store, instead of an oncologist, for cancer remedies. They have claimed that several customers were cured of advanced cancer by supplements purchased at Alive and Well on their advice. The chemo was killing them, they say, and they convinced them to take lots of supplements. Even though the cancers were very serious (breast, cervical, colon, esophageal), metastatic, and late stage, miraculous cures were effected by the nutrients. They claim that one of their products lowered a man's PSA level dramatically and caused a lump in his testicle to vanish. They also claimed that their supplements essentially cured two men of HIV infection by driving detectable levels of the virus to zero. These are all dangerous, fraudulent, felonious lies. I don't buy a word of it. I believe they are flat-out lying about all these cases, and I challenge them to document and prove these fantastic stories. I also believe they should be prosecuted for promoting and profiting from bogus cancer remedies, which is a felony in Hawaii.

Their Fabricated Testimonials Could Kill You

“It's a miracle! Praise God!” No, it's not the Benny Hind faith-healing show. It's Dennis and Mona Jones, whose infomercials have a strong evangelical tone. Like Peter Popoff and other religious charlatans, they liberally sprinkle their program with “Hallelujah,” especially when presenting alleged testimonials about miraculous healings achieved by remedies from Alive and Well. In their world there are the sinners, who don't take the sacraments (supplements and herbal drugs); the converts who do take the sacraments; the devils of the drug companies and medical profession; and the high priests like themselves who supply the miraculous healing sacraments. As with the evangelical charlatans, the Joneses' alleged miraculous healings are never supported by objective evidence or follow-ups. They tell these stories and we're supposed to believe on faith. A man is miraculously cured of advanced esophageal cancer (one of the deadliest) by supplements from Alive and Well. A boy is cured of autism and severe seizures in 36 hours. A woman is cured of diabetes after just two weeks on Alive and Well supplements. A woman and a man are cured of advanced Alzheimer's by the supplements. A man is cured of prostate cancer thanks to supplements recommended by Dennis. A woman is cured of metastatic breast cancer by the miracle supplements. Pain Power healed the crippling arthritis in a woman's hand in just four days.

“The doctor was amazed,” and “The doctor called it a miracle,” they always say. I've heard dozens of these testimonials, but never from the mouths of the lucky recipients of the miracles or from their doctors. The Joneses used to invite people to call the program and speak on the air, but no one ever did and they gave up on that. Why are the lucky people so shy? Why don't the doctors who witnessed the miracles write them up in medical journals? If I were a doctor and witnessed a miraculous healing in one of my patients I would want the world to know about it, especially if the same miracle was available to millions more if only they knew about it.

The truth, no doubt, is that the miracle cures never happened and the Joneses fabricated them. The Joneses never mention cases where their nostrums failed, but I guarantee there are many. One woman told me about her child who had a severe seizure disorder with several attacks each day if she wasn't medicated. When she heard the Alive and Well infomercial she went to them for a personal consultation and was sold several hundred dollars worth of supplements. They did not work. The Joneses not only fabricate positive testimonials; they are silent about negative results. Testimonials are the first and last resort of the quack. I hereby challenge the Joneses to properly document their claims of miraculous healings or stop making them.

Their Lies About Miracle Enzymes Could Kill You

Suppose scientists announced the discovery of a miracle substance that, for the price of dinner and a movie for two, could cure a dozen of our most serious diseases without any side effects whatsoever. Suppose other scientists examine the studies, repeat them and confirm them. There would be universal rejoicing, headlines around the world and Nobel Prizes awarded to the developers of the amazing panacea. For several years prior to 2009 Dennis and Mona raved about and peddled just such a substance. They called it Modenzyme-S and claimed it performed all kinds of miracles. They said it cures and prevents infections, allergies, asthma, heart disease, lupus, Alzheimer's, cancer, gout, arthritis, osteoporosis, gum disease and much more. They touted its versatile power and presented testimonials about it curing a girl's bladder infection within hours, curing a woman's lupus in two weeks, and curing an elderly woman's advanced dementia. How does this miracle substance work? It is, they say, a plant-derived enzyme that functions like a swarm of Pac Men (from the video game). It goes through the body gobbling up necrotic tissue, debris, “negative proteins” and infections agents. It then dumps these into the intestine for excretion.

For years the Joneses repeated these claims in almost every infomercial. They said the enzyme breaks down the cell walls and coatings of bacteria, fungi, viruses and cancer cells. “Praise God for Modenzyme-S,” they would say. “It's truly a miracle!” But there was nothing about it in the news, and my doctor friends had never heard of it. I searched the internet and found nothing. Very strange. Then, in late 2008, Dennis announced a new product. He said they had previously sold an enzyme product for many years, but the results had been disappointing. So they had another one formulated and it works miracles. They no longer sell Modenzyme-S. They call the new product Pain Power and make the same claims of miraculous results they used to make for Modenzyme-S: it's an enzyme that acts like a swarm of Pac Men, breaking down bacteria, fungi, viruses and cancer cells, and gobbling up “negative proteins.” The product miraculously heals severe injuries and gives dramatic relief for severe pain of all kinds. Taking it for just a few days saved one person from knee replacement surgery and another from hip replacement. It dissolves and digests amyloid plaque in the brain that causes dementia in Alzheimer's. In the bone marrow it is converted to natural killer cells that kill viruses and bacteria, fungi and cancer cells. (This claim contradicts their other claim about how the product works.) “Praise God for Pain Power! It's a miracle!”

Meanwhile they have also been selling another miracle systemic enzyme that they called Cardiozyme which, they claim, cleans out arterial plaque from all parts of the body, including the brain, heart and kidneys. “It works for everyone in all instances,” Dennis said. They have repeatedly claimed that the product removes amyloid plaque from the brain. I checked the internet again. No Pain Power. However, there were a couple short entries for systemic enzymes, but without any data or detailed studies. Systemic enzymes were once part of the killer Laetrile fraud. Now they've come out of hibernation to perform even greater miracles than mere cancer cures.

Of course, the claims are utterly preposterous. Enzymes are large protein molecules and, taken orally, are digested like all proteins, not absorbed whole. And if they were absorbed whole or injected into the blood stream they could not possibly perform as claimed. Enzymes are highly specialized to perform specific functions in the organism that makes them. These enzymes are supposedly not specialized but broad-spectrum. And they are highly selective in that they perform exactly as humans need them to, always gobbling up the bad stuff and leaving the good stuff unscathed. How miraculously convenient! But never forget the old saying: if it sounds too good to be true, it's surely bullshit. There is no rejoicing over Pain Power or other enzyme products, and there are no headlines and Nobel Prizes because fraudulent cure-alls are old news, a dime a dozen.

Miraculous, cure-all systemic enzymes are patently fraudulent products. Where are the clinical trials? Where are the pharmaco-dynamic studies? Where is the evidence that these products do anything other than swindle the customers? This is another example of the complete lack of consumer protection in this field and the fact that anyone can put anything in a bottle and sell it as a cure for anything -- in this case, for everything. The problem is not just monetary loss. If you have a serious disease and believe the lies about miracle enzymes you might take them and forgo effective treatment. This could cost you your life.

Corruption and Conflicts of Interest Could Kill You

Now let's deal with another big lie used by the Joneses and other snake oil peddlers. They constantly harp on, and often exaggerate, the rotten ethics – the conflicts of interest, falsified studies and so on – of the pharmaceutical industry and its duped or cynical partners in the medical profession. This diverts attention from the embarrassing fact that their own role as self-appointed nutrition experts is obviously a conflict of interest with their role as retailers of the very products they recommend. Medical doctors don't operate this way, and legitimate nutritionists consider pill peddling unethical. The Joneses protest doctors getting a few pens and an occasional dinner from drug companies, while they make a profit of 100-200% or more on each bottle of snake oil they sell on the basis of their bogus expertise. So next time you hear these self-serving hypocrites get on their corrupt-doctor soapbox, ask them how they figure they do not have a conflict of interest much stronger and more corrupting than that of medical doctors.

The enormous “supplement” industry – more accurately called the quackery mafia – has corrupted Congress with millions of dollars in campaign bribes and ensured that it is exempt from government regulation and truth-in-advertising laws. They can put anything in a bottle and call it a remedy for anything. Who in Congress ensured the quackery mafia this special status, this right to legally deceive and defraud its customers of billions of dollars? Mostly it was the powerful Senator from Utah, Orrin Hatch, who is also the main champion of big pharma. He has fought for years for the drug industry's interests and their right to rip people off in the ways we now know so well. Why shouldn't he do the same for the snake-oil industry largely based in his state? The supplement and pharmaceutical industries are different in this important way: in the U.S. we could do fine without the supplement industry, or at least 95% of it; but we need the pharmaceutical industry, or at least half of it. This is because we can get all our nutrients from actual foods; we cannot get essential and useful drugs by eating foods, though we could probably reduce our drug consumption by half with more benefit than harm to our health.

In spite of their differences, the most dedicated shills of both industries promote the same silly idea – that the Pill Fairy has solutions to all your problems. In some cases the manufacturer or the mother corporation is both a pharmaceutical giant and a supplement giant. For example, in some years the biggest money-maker for drug giant Hoffman-LaRoche has been its vitamin C, not one of its many drugs. And Bayer has probably always made more from its One-A-Day vitamins than from its famous aspirin. This is why we have to laugh when the Joneses rant on and on about the “drug cartel” conspiring to keep people from learning about and taking vitamins. So even though the evidence (from Vioxx to Premarin as well as tryptophan to bogus antioxidants) makes it clear that the standards need to be tightened on claims made for everything we put into our mouths for purported health reasons, we have this powerful quackery mafia quietly teaming up with big pharma and corrupt and deluded politicians to loosen standards.

The situation is bad enough in the pharmaceutical industry with the shoddy studies, cover ups, and conflicts of interest of regulators, but it's much worse in the supplement industry with no regulators, no requirement for studies at all and the entire industry anointed by the media as a sacred cow. All things "alternative, holistic and organic" are beyond criticism, according to new age correctness. It's enough to make a rational person suspect that supplements and herbs cause brain damage.

Homeopathy, perhaps the most absurd healing system ever dreamed up, is another example of political corruption on a massive scale involving a health scam. Because of the actions of a powerful Senator, who also happened to be a homeopath, the scam was exempted in the 1930s from government requirements regarding proof of safety and effectiveness. It remains a privileged, government-protected scam to this day, and dozens of homeopathic products line the shelves of Alive and Well. It should be noted that some very questionable products (such as Zicam) are promoted as homeopathic even though they don't meet the definition of homeopathic (not that they would work if they did) so they can be sheltered by homeopathy's privileged status. In February of 2007 the drug-addled gasbag Rush Limbaugh was in his umteenth day with a horrible cold, his worst ever by his own account. He had long promoted and endorsed Zicam as a great cold preventive and remedy. When one cheeky caller to his show asked why the Zicam didn't work, Rush replied that it would have been a worse cold without the product. The next day he was even worse and decided it was not a cold, but something else, which he did not specify. With this sophistry he justifies his claim that Zicam has a perfect record in preventing his getting a cold. This kind of hogwash and double-talk is standard operating procedure for pill peddlers. Limbaugh's ignorance, deception and double-talk about tobacco, AIDS, global warming and many other subjects is equally appalling, so we cannot be surprised at his snake-oil peddling antics.

Incidentally, it has been reported that some people have suffered long-term damage to their olfactory sense after using Zicam. If true it proves the product is not homeopathic. True homeopathic products cannot harm people because there is nothing in them. Rather, they are akin to holy water. For example, you could sit down with a pitcher of water and a case of bottles of a homeopathic sleep aid and gulp bottles of the pills or liquids for hours, then get up, walk to your car and drive away unimpaired. Try that with any real sleep aid. Homeopathic products are placebos, by definition because they have no pharmacologic effect.

"Homeopathic HCG": The Joneses have now outdone themselves with their most preposterous fraud yet, Homeopathic HCG for weight loss. All homeopathic products are scams (there is nothing or almost nothing in them but water and/or alcohol -- or, for pills, inert filler), but Homeopathic HCG is a scam even by homeopathic standards. HCG is a hormone that is alleged to stimulate weight loss. (This claim has been disproved.) A homeopathic product is a substance diluted to zero or near-zero concentration, and the effects are alleged to be the opposite of the effects of a regular dose. For example, the homeopathic remedy for insomnia is a miniscule does of caffeine. The homeopathic remedy for drowsiness is a miniscule dose of valerian or other sedative. The homeopathic remedy for nausea and vomiting is a miniscule dose of ipecac (which induces vomiting in regular doses). In homeopathy the doses can be so dilute that not a single molecule of the alleged active ingredient is left, and the more it is diluted the stronger it gets. This is all 19th Century hogwash and no homeopathic remedy has been proved effective for anything. But if you nonetheless believe in it you will see that homeopathic HCG is a fraud because, by homeopathic logic it should cause weight gain, not weight loss. Furthermore, HCG must be injected. Taken orally it does not enter the bloodstream.

HCG is a drug, not a dietary supplement. According to FDA CPG Sec. 400.400 it is illegal to sell homeopathic drugs without a prescription. Since there is no HCG in the product, they get away with selling it without a prescription, but it is a criminal scam because it is fraudulently mislabeled. It does absolutely nothing. It costs them a few pennies and they sell it for many dollars. The Joneses take this fraud to outrageous extremes by claiming that homeopathic HCG not only reduces appetite and fosters fat loss without lean tissue loss, but fosters the loss of fat from specific areas of the body, namely the waist and butt. Victims of this scam can and should demand full refunds and sue in small claims court if necessary to get them.

Their Lies About Clinical Trials Could Kill You

The Joneses often say that clinical trials support their claims for this or that supplement, then paraphrase from a study. But the study may involve rats, tissue cultures or mere observations, as opposed to true clinical trials. Nutrition is an extremely complex science and when a dietary thesis is researched it often takes many studies over years to ferret out the truth. No single study proves anything, especially no rat study, tissue culture study, or poorly-controlled observational study. But Dennis and Mona select certain goat droppings from a haystack and declare them to be pearls.

“All the information we dispense is from clinical trials run by physicians and published in major medical journals,” the Joneses say. "All the products we promote are backed by clinical trials." This is an outrageous lie and it clearly constitutes fraud. They sell scores of products that have never been proved in clinical trials. All their glandulars, homeopathics, flower remedies, weight loss concoctions (such as the disgusting Biosculpt made from slaughterhouse offal), fat-removing skin lotions, sleep aids, tranquilizers, and most of their herbal and nutritional products don't do what they claim and imply, and almost none has been proved in clinical trials. In fact, many have been proved ineffective and dangerous in rigorous trials. Naturally, if they mention such studies at all, the Joneses claim they were rigged by the researchers who are in the pockets of drug companies.

Lies, Lies and More Lies

The Joneses tell so many lies that it is difficult to keep up with them and refute them all. I will wrap this up with a brief look at some of their miscellaneous lies, ones that don't fall into the categories discussed above. Some of these may not actually be lies, but errors of ignorance, but in all cases the Joneses should know better.

Their claim that Cardiozyme cleans cholesterol plaque from the arteries of the brain, kidneys and other organs is preposterous and illegal. Their "alkalizing booster", which costs over $20 for a small bottle of a bicarbonate solution (which costs pennies to make) and supposedly does wonders for your health is an outrageous scam. Its effects would be like taking a few cents worth of baking soda -- none! They say that vitamin D-2 is worthless and only vitamin D-3 is effective. They also say the vitamin D in milk is worthless. This is false. Vitamin D-2 is just as effective as D-3 and the vitamin D in milk works very well. They say that biochemist Irwin Stone discovered vitamin C. Wrong. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi discovered it. Stone was granted patents in the use of vitamin C in food processing, but did not discover it. Strangely, Stone did not believe scurvy is a dietary deficiency -- he said it's a genetic disorder. They say that megadoses of niacin, vitamin C and other vitamins eliminate 90% of the symptoms of schizophrenia, essentially curing the disease. This is absurd. After decades of use, vitamin therapy for mental illness has proven to be a very expensive bust. They say that vitamin C is a proven cancer cure suppressed by the “drug cartel.” In fact, large doses of the vitamin likely feed and promote most cancers. They also say that large doses of vitamin C injected intravenously cure assorted viral infections such as hepatitis. In fact, there is no evidence for these claims and such injections have killed people.

The Joneses refer to their drugs as nutrients in order to disguise the fact that they are drug peddlers. Their silver, their hormones (DHEA, progesterone, melatonin), their enzymes and their herbs and herbal extracts are all drugs, not nutrients. Their Cordiceps eyedrops are drugs, not nutrient supplements (since when do we take in nutrients via eyedrops?). And many of their nutritional supplements have pharmacologic effects in the massive over-doses they recommend for preventing and curing diseases, which makes them drugs too.

They say that hypertension medications are worthless and harmful. This huge lie could kill you. These drugs are proven life savers. They say that drugs are switched to non-prescription when their patents expire. If this were true there would be hundreds of powerful, dangerous antibiotics, painkillers, psychiatric medications and other drugs available OTC, but it is false. They often lie by omission. for example, they rail against statins because of the side effects they cause in a very small minority of patients. But they won't tell you about the studies that show that statins greatly reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks in properly chosen patients.

Another example: they are silent on the slew of studies showing the ineffectiveness of saw palmetto for prostate enlargement, echinacea for respiratory diseases, ginkgo for cognition and antioxidants for cancer and heart disease. Nor will they tell you about evidence that large doses of vitamins C and E aggravate diabetes by suppressing the body's own antioxidant production during exercise, thus preventing the improvement in insulin sensitivity normally associated with exercise. And they certainly will not tell you about the study comparing chemotherapy with systemic enzyme therapy for pancreatic cancer. The chemo group survived four times as long as the enzyme group and rated their quality of life as much better.

When they do mention studies with negative results it is only to claim that they were rigged by corrupt researchers secretly working for drug companies who don't want people to know about the miraculous power of herb and vitamin therapies. As with most of their claims, they present no supporting evidence. Their attitude and tone are those of cultists, not of health professionals (nutrition experts and educators), which they pretend to be. Anyone who disagrees with them, anyone who conducts or reports on a study that negates the industry's claims about a product, and any doctor who fails to employ products from their industry is a tool of the medical-pharmaceutical axis of evil. All negative studies are rigged by anti-natural-medicine agents. They are all crooks and killers, mass murderers in fact – yes, they have used these terms.

You Can Sue For Refunds

The basic message of the Alive and Well infomercials is simple: for anything that ails you, even if it's a potentially lethal disease, you would be better off going to Dennis and Mona Jones for your health care rather than to a medical doctor, unless the doctor is one they approve of because he or she is known to recommend products from the supplement industry. Since there are no malpractice insurance policies for those engaged in quackery and health fraud, if their advice harms you and you sue them it's unlikely you would be justly compensated for your injuries. However, if you have spent a lot of money on supplements at Alive and Well because you believed the Joneses' claims about the products, you are entitled to a full refund no matter how long ago you bought them. There is no statute of limitations on fraud, and their claims that the products can prevent and cure diseases are illegal and fraudulent. If you demand a refund and don't get one you should have no trouble prevailing in small claims court. Feel free to contact me for advice on the matter.

The latest fraud from Alive and Well is a water filter purported to ionize and alkalize water and thereby confer numerous health benefits. This is so absurd it leaves rational people speechless. It is an outrageous lie, scam, and fraud. Selling this product with these claims is theft, pure and simple. The Joneses' involvement in this scam proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are either hopelessly ignorant or incorrigibly dishonest. If you bought one of these products I suggest you return it and demand a full refund, no matter how long ago you bought it or how much you have used it. If you don't get a refund feel free to contact me and I will advise you on filing a claim in small claims court.

Test Their Honesty

If you have read this far you have ample evidence to conclude that the Joneses are dishonest about the products they sell and about many of those they blast. But if you still are not persuaded, do this simple test. Ask them, in person or on the phone, whether the following herbs or herb extracts are nutrients or drugs: golden seal, ginkgo, rodiola, black cohosh, echinacea, St. John's wort, butterburr, and sambucol. If they say they are nutrients (which they have said for several of these) they are lying. Challenge them by asking whether opium, coca and marijuana are drugs or nutrients. If they are consistent they should answer nutrients, an absurd answer, but don't count on them to be consistent. There is not a legitimate nutritionist or pharmacologist in the world who would claim that any of these herbs are nutrients rather than drugs. But the Joneses will likely lie or obfuscate and deny the herbs and extracts they sell are drugs because they will not want to admit that they are drug peddlers.

Lies About My Motives

A lie the Joneses have repeatedly told the courts concerns my motive for protesting their activities. They claim that I am involved in a conspiracy with their competitor, Down to Earth natural food stores, in an effort to drive them out of business. They say my brother owns Down to Earth and I am a partner in the business. Here are the facts. My brother Chris Butler did found the Down to Earth chain, but I understand that he relinquished his interest in the business many years ago. In any case, I have had no contact, direct or indirect, with him or any of his business partners (if there are any) in more than 35 years. In the 1970s he entered a religious order and renounced all family ties. He no longer considered me his brother and made it clear he wanted nothing to do with me, and I have respected that. Ever since then I have had no communication with him and no knowledge about his personal life, his whereabout or his business interests. When the Joneses sued me (without success) several years ago they made this lying claim about my motives, but could not supply a scrap of evidence to support it. If I have a business interest in Down to Earth as they claim, how do they explain the fact that I have protested Down to Earth stores more times than I have protested Alive and Well? I used to regularly protest false advertising at the main Down to Earth store in Honolulu. On one occasion my protest was on the TV news in a feature about controversies in health and nutrition. I even went into the store to participate in a mini-debate with the manager.

A few years ago during the dengue fever scare Down to Earth did a big promotion claiming they had a preventive regimen involving an assortment of supplements and herbal drugs. It was an exploitative scam and I exposed it to the public with informational flyers. One late afternoon they held a seminar in their upstairs dining area. Their posters announced that an acupuncturist would talk about preventing dengue, and their flyers listed a couple dozen bogus nostrums that would allegedly help. At first I stood outside and handed out my critical flyers that pointed out that the enormous doses of vitamins (especially vitamin A) in their formula would make people sicker than the disease would. A few minutes before the start of the talk I went into the store, went upstairs where about 30 people had gathered, passed out my flyers and started speaking to the crowd. Keep in mind that when I protested Alive and Well I stood on a public sidewalk and complied with county laws in exercising my First Amendment rights. The Joneses and their employees nevertheless repeatedly subjected me to terroristic threats, theft of my flyers, assaults and several attempts in court to gag me (they all failed). Ironically and rather incredibly, they whined to one judge about their poor health and how my protests aggravate their health problems. The Down to Earth people, on the other hand, were courteous and never tried to stop me from distributing flyers, even inside the store. And they didn't try to shut me up as I spoke to their customers for a full five minutes. They never assaulted me, threatened me, called the cops or sued me. They were civilized and respectful, and I respect them for that. If I had tried this at Alive and Well, I probably would have been killed.

Though their food is terrific, especially the affordable bulk items and the local produce, I still strongly object to some of the products sold at Down to Earth. But at least the store does not run deceptive infomercials that rant against proven medical treatments and public health measures such as vaccines. Down to Earth does not present the clear and present danger to the public that Alive and Well presents. This is why I now confine my protests to Alive and Well. The Joneses' allegations about a conspiracy to destroy them are simply more of the same – lies, lies and more pathological lies. If they continue to repeat the slander they could find themselves in court over it.

Know Them By Their Heroes

The Joneses often cite and quote certain doctors and call them their heroes. Most of them are unethical, quacks and crooks. Lendon Smith is one of their favorites, and he is a notorious quack who got rich exploiting the American delusion that there is a pill, or a bunch of pills, to remedy every problem life might toss your way. Smith's books provide specific formulas for vitamin and mineral mega-dosing for every symptom, disorder, occupation, stressful event and unpleasant chore. There is not a scrap of evidence to support a single one of his scores of prescriptions. The concept in absurd and the practice dangerous, but it is very profitable for those like the Joneses who sell the pills. Smith got into the supplement promoting scam after the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners put him on ten years probation for improper drug prescribing. He later got into more trouble for over-prescribing Ritalin to children. In 1987 he surrendered his medical license rather than face charges for still more shady conduct, involving improper Medicare payments. He got busted for the drug scams, so he switched to supplement scams because there is no regulation or consumer protection in that field. One would think his history of improper drug peddling would turn off the Joneses, but his books help sell supplements, so he is a hero to them.

Another Jones hero is Dr. Robert Rowen, who pleaded guilty to a federal felony charge involving tax corruption. Another is Dr. Jonathan Wright who was involved in illegal supplement manufacturing. A raid on his operation revealed fungus growing in beakers and other dangerous violations of good-manufacturing standards. Another is Dr. William Campbell Douglas, notorious for being a big promoter of Laetrile, the killer cancer snake oil. Incidentally, I would wager that the Joneses were also big Laetrile promoters and peddlers before the poison was thoroughly exposed as a criminal fraud that kills people. Another of the Joneses' heroes is Dr. Joseph Mercola who makes enormous profits from his online snake oil peddling business. The FDA recently ordered him to stop making fraudulent claims about the products. Some of their heroes are not necessarily criminals, but are engaged in unethical supplement peddling and other foolishness. Dr. Julian Whitaker, who markets a slew of miracle-cure supplements, used to be an ardent supporter of estrogen replacement therapy, which should make him anathema to the Joneses. But, as with Lendon Smith, all is forgiven for a fellow supplement peddler.

A Closing Note Concerning Maui County Officials

In 1993 Maui Mayor Linda Lingle sponsored a women's health conference, an all-day affair at a luxury hotel. Attended by about 300 women and a couple dozen men, it featured dozens of licensed and unlicensed crackpot healers, many of them Lingle's friends and cronies, and not a single real physician. And it wasn't even billed as a conference on alternative medicine -- on Maui fraudulent nonsense has been mainstreamed. I happened to attend a seminar by a crystal healer at the same time Mayor Lingle did. The woman owned a shop that sold hundreds of crystals of various kinds, which she claimed were effective in the treatment of scores of diseases and symptoms. She said that angels told her which crystals were effective for what health problems. She also claimed that some crystals help cars and refrigerators run better. Her talk and the warm, approving response she received epitomized the delusional mind-set of most of the attendees. When she was done she asked if anyone had any questions. I raised my hand and asked if she had any scientific evidence for her claims. She brushed me off and said that she was not interested in such evidence, and that I could purchase the crystals and run whatever tests I wanted to. I then asked how we could be sure she wasn't imagining or dreaming the results she was claiming. At that Lingle quickly left the auditorium and spoke to a hotel security guard. When I went outside minutes later, the guard confronted me and said that he was told I was disrupting the conference and might be arrested. I had been on my best behavior, not at all loud or confrontational; just asking the sorts of questions that people ask at conferences. But on Maui asking the wrong questions can get you arrested. The security guard said the police were on the way and I would be arrested if I attended any more seminars. I showed him the ticket I had purchased to attend the conference and warned that I would sue him and the hotel if I were arrested. The police did come, but I managed to evade them. Such is the state of critical thinking, consumer protection and the First Amendment in Maui County.

Since then the situation has gotten worse. The ex-mayor is now Governor Lingle, and she has sponsored much larger crackpot health conference in Honolulu. She has spearheaded a drive to make Hawaii a leading "health and wellness" destination. This is code for a leading "rip off the sick and the worried well" destination. Make quackery tourism an even bigger industry in the islands than it already is. Governor Lingle also showed her dedication to consumer protection, the rule of law and common sense by leading a drive to bottle and export Hawaii deep-sea water with misleading health claims. The State licenses and certifies the product and gets royalties on the revenues. (It is frightening that Lingle has been seriously mentioned as a future Republican nominee for Vice-President. She is considered a moderate Republican, but her behavior betrays her as a New-Age Fascist.)

Given this atmosphere, it should come as no surprise that the role played by Maui County police, prosecutors and other officials, in the Alive and Well vs. Kurt Butler affair, has been despicable and a disgrace to the County. Five judges affirmed my right to demonstrate on the public sidewalk near the store, but the County refuses to recognize the rulings. The police have refused to investigate my complaints about Alive and Well employees repeatedly coming out of the store and onto the public sidewalk to harass, threaten and assault me and steal my flyers. Instead they have assaulted me themselves and arrested me for “protesting without a permit” (there is no such crime in America, something Maui's fascist-minded morons don't comprehend), and committed perjury against me in court.

They thus encouraged another attack on me when I again attempted to demonstrate legally and peacefully, and on that occasion I was seriously injured by the store's 320-pound security guard, who was illegally hired specifically to prevent my demonstration. The County is as responsible for my injuries as the assailant. Then, even though the police witnessed the last moments of the 20-minute assault and had to tell the thug (who is twice my size and a third my age) to get off of me, instead of arresting him they greeted him warmly and shook his hand. Apparently they felt some kind of brotherhood with him because he wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Security.” Such is the professionalism of Maui cops: wear the right shirt and you can commit mayhem right before their eyes with impunity. When I anxiously tried to tell them what happened they rudely told me to shut up or they would arrest me.

Still, after hearing our respective accounts of the incident, though they didn't arrest the thug they wrote up an incident report and told me he would be charged with assault. Then, during an entire year of dragging their feet the prosecutors repeatedly promised me that the case was moving forward. But when I filed a lawsuit for unlawful arrest in an unrelated case, the County, in obvious retaliation, immediately dropped the case against my assailant.

I complained about the case to Maui County Council Members and pleaded with them, especially Michael Victorino, to support my First Amendment right to peacefully sign-wave and distribute flyers exactly as they do during election campaigns. Not one of them would lift a finger to help me. Not one of them would stand up and say that I have the same free speech rights as they do, even though five judges had ruled that I do. Instead of helping the crime victim, the County encourages, aids and abets the criminals. What more proof is needed that in fascist Maui County we don't live by the rule of law, but by the whims of stupid, corrupt, venal individuals who abuse their positions of power for their own perverted and corrupt purposes. I would wager that there has never been another case in Maui County, or all of Hawaii, in which police witnessed a brutal attack take place on a public sidewalk, one which caused broken bones and other severe injuries, and the assailant was not arrested or indicted and no grand jury was convened....wait, I take that back. On second thought, maybe there have been. Maybe such selective law-enforcement is routine procedure for Maui Police. In any case, this much is clear: the County spiked the case to teach me a lesson -- don't screw with Maui merchants, no matter what crimes they may be committing and no matter how much harm they may be doing; and don't screw with the County or any of its agents. If you do, your constitutional rights will be voided and you will be dead meat.

All those involved, especially Officers Kihata, Gasmen, Gosney, Sagawinit and Kronoski, ex-Chief Phillips (a proven perjurer who brazenly lied under oath in federal court in another case I was involved in -- I hereby challenge him to sue me for libel for this allegation), Prosecutor Acob, Deputy Prosecutors Kosegarten and Sheppard, Mayor Tavares, Corporation Counsel Moto, and Deputy Counsel Lutey are morally bankrupt, corrupt, fascist-minded cowards. For reasons I cannot fathom they refuse me equal protection under the law, deny me rights guaranteed by the United States and Hawaii State Constitutions, and ally themselves with lying quacks who defraud and endanger the public. By giving the quacks a pass on two assaults on me, one of which caused broken bones and other serious injuries, they have given Alive and Well owners and employees permission to kill me should I ever attempt to demonstrate again. They may wear police uniforms or work in air conditioned offices and wear nice suits, but this cannot masquerade the fact that they are all gutless, lawless scoundrels with the ethics of sewer rats, and every one of them is a disgrace to his or her profession. The same goes for the Council Members who will not defend my First Amendment rights.

Now, because of the dangers facing the public from the killer H1N1 flu virus, I will once again risk my life by attempting to legally and peacefully protest the dangerous lies of Dennis and Mona Jones in their infomercial for their Alive and Well store. I do it because someone must and no one else will. It is my moral duty to society, to the innocent people of Maui who are getting mugged and don't even know it, thanks in large part to the County. The County would much prefer to keep people in the dark, and to give Alive and Well free reign to endanger and rip them off at will. After all, it benefits from taxes that the business pays -- Alive and Well helps pay the Mayor's salary. The corrupt government scumbags don't care if the lies result in the deaths of innocent children, pregnant women and other vulnerable people from the killer flu or from treatable cancers. Like criminal psychopaths, they completely lack a conscience.

There are those who believe that all consumer protection by government is wrong, that the people who are gullible enough to believe lies deserve to be ripped off and even killed by fraudulent products. This is the social-Darwinian "thin the herd" philosophy. Let the dumb ones die to improve the gene pool. But is it really so dumb or credulous to believe the promotions for miracle cures when the government allows them to be made on the airwaves? Wouldn't it be just as credulous to believe that in modern America, where almost all consumer products are regulated in some way, that an industry with the potential to severely injure and even kill people has become so powerful that it could gain exemption from truth-in-advertising laws and general anti-fraud laws that most industries are subject to? Can our legislators, regulators and prosecutors really be so stupid and derelict in their duties? Talk about an absurd notion! The thought boggles the mind -- nevertheless, the answer is yes; it is true. "If they are allowed to say it, it can't be a lie" is not such a daffy notion in a rational society. Unfortunately, it reflects the way things ought to be rather than they way they are. Ours is not a rational society, at least when it comes to the snake oil peddling industry. Because government officials have been corrupted by quackery mafia money, or because they believe in the "thin the herd" approach to health care, they give health-related fraudsters a pass. The victims of the quackery mafia are intelligent people, but naive and too trusting. They have no idea how incompetent, stupid, irresponsible, cynical, corrupt and venal most of our government officials are, especially in Maui County. Tolerating quackery thins the wrong herd.

For more about trendy "alternative medicines" read my book A Consumer's Guide to "Alternative Medicine", available at Amazon and Prometheus Books. The critics say:

"Superb" -- Dr. Victor Herbert in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Excellent" -- National Council Against Health Fraud.

"Five Stars" -- Cooking Light.

"Thought provoking; a great book" -- American Journal of Health Promotion.

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