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August 28, 2005
Kevin Trudeau's Snake Oil Empire
The time has come to take up the case of Kevin Trudeau. His pernicious book has hit the top of the New York Times best-seller list, a fact that the paper itself seems to find surprising. This 570-page doorstop is an ax job on my industry and my field of research, and accuses my peers and me of complicity in terrible amounts of human suffering. ("The drug industry does not want people to get healthy" is one of his favorite lines.)
How, you wonder, do people like me accomplish such awful things? Why, by denying consumers wonderful all-natural cures for just about everything that could possibly be wrong with them. And how do you find out about these wonders? By forking out for Trudeau's book, naturally. And when you find out that there's hardly a paragraph of specific information in the whole thing, then you can go pay him more money to get access to the untold amounts of crap on his web site. $499, according to the Times, will buy you a lifetime membership. This from a man who says "I changed my priority from making money to positively impacting people."
The medical rationales Trudeau offers are hardly worth even discussing, and make me feel like positively impacting the man with a spiked club. Readers who know some biochemistry might be forgiven if they haven't heard that "If your body is alkaline, you cannot get cancer. . .and if you have cancer, it goes away." I would be interested to hear what on earth he means by a person's body being alkaline - last I heard, my blood was at pH 7.4. But there's really no sense in arguing with the sort of person who can get things like this out with a straight face.
This is someone who spins tales of herbal clinics that cure cancer, every time. Of wonderful all-natural cures that will reverse type I diabetes. Of simple cures for multiple sclerosis, for heart disease. These are not harmless ideas - these are lies that can kill people, and given the number of books Trudeau has sold, they probably have. Perhaps his next book will detail the story of his consciencectomy. No doubt Kevin Trudeau moves around from mansion to mansion, but how he can sleep at night in any of them escapes me.
Update: Longtime reader Don Hertzog sends along this recent demolition of Trudeau in Salon (free registration required.) If you have some time on your hands, the Amazon review pages for the book are worth a look, too - there are over 800 reviews there, and most of them are from some pretty ticked-off customers.
Update 2: Ha!
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