Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Cancer Cartel and Alternative Treatments

“It is scarcely possible to touch on any subject, that will not suggest an allusion to some corruption in governments.” — Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, Note 24 
“Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current.” — Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, 1943
Whether the man who swims against the current is a creator or a fool depends, of course, on whether he’s headed for undiscovered truth or a plunge over the falls.  What’s important and almost never allowed is the freedom to let the man swim.  

Thomas Edison had a good thing going with his invention of the incandescent light bulb and his own direct current electricity system, but a 28-year-old immigrant he hired off the boat in 1884 showed him a much more efficient way to transmit electricity over long distances, using alternating current.  Edison dismissed Nikola Tesla’s idea as impractical and refused to compensate him for his discovery, having promised him a $50,000 bonus then reneging on it, claiming he was only joking.  Tesla resigned, found odd jobs that included digging ditches at $2 a day, and finally sold his ideas to Edison rival George Westinghouse, who in 1893 provided AC current to light the World’s Fair in Chicago.  

Previously, during what is known as the War of the Currents, Edison had staged numerous public displays of the lethal power of AC, electrocuting stray dogs and once even a circus elephant before a large crowd on Coney Island, hoping to scare the public away from AC.  Edison even lobbied Congress to have AC banned on the grounds that it was a public hazard.  Tesla, though, fought back with demonstrations of his own, as well as a landmark lecture in 1888.

Today, alternating current delivers electricity to homes and businesses, though direct current is staging a comeback of sorts with High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC).  

I invite you to imagine the consequences if Edison had succeeded in getting the state to ban AC.  

Corruption of the Cancer Industry

We may cringe at the thought of the iconic Thomas Edison killing stray dogs to protect his investments, but how do we view the human lives lost to cancer when the iconic medical establishment prohibits treatments that could have saved them?

On December 23, 1971 President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act, diverting $1.6 billion in taxpayer wealth to the NCI to conduct a “War on Cancer,” thus launching another government crusade.  ($1.6 billion in 1971 is equivalent to $10.13 billion in 2019.)  It was a big deal at the White House when Nixon signed it, with heavy media coverage.  Even Nixon enemy Senator Ted Kennedy was optimistic about sending the federal behemoth out to slay the cancer monster.

There was even talk about eradicating cancer by the bicentennial in 1976. 

Forty-seven years later we find that cancer is still a leading cause of death in most regions of the world.  According to the National Cancer Institute, “In 2012, there were 14.1 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. . . The number of new cancer cases per year is expected to rise to 23.6 million by 2030.”  Apparently, the experts don’t expect an effective means of prevention for the foreseeable future.   

Again, according to the NCI (as of December, 2015), only about 5% of cancers are hereditary, “which means many cancers may be preventable.” NCI’s recommendations for reducing your risk of developing cancer include such novel measures as: Eat well, be active, don’t smoke or use tobacco, and lastly “get screened and talk with your doctor about your risk.”

It can’t be prevented, which is why cases will rise, but it can be prevented if you do the right things. . . which you probably won’t do.  Or maybe you would do them if you knew what they were.  “Eating well” is rather vague, isn’t it?  Your doctor may be different, but mine reads my blood specs and if anything is at all suspect I get referred to a specialist.  And the specialist is not paid to lecture me on nutrition or exercise.

Furthermore, the NCI reports that “rates for new cancer of any site cases have been falling on average 1.1% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have been falling on average 1.5% each year over 2006-2015.”  Meanwhile, the percent of cancer patients surviving five years or more has risen slightly from 1975-2015.

These statistics acquire a green tinge when considering the billions of taxpayer dollars shoveled at the NCI, the multi-billion-dollar uptake of the big pharmaceuticals and the many millions collected through donations and celebrity "fight cancer" events.  

Government Steps Up

The war on cancer is a government boondoggle taking cover behind a moral crusade.  Government wars on poverty, drugs, alcohol, illiteracy, illegal immigration, and terror stand as monumental successes but only from the state’s perspective, for fostering its expansion.  In terms of their stated goals, they have done what any first-year student of economics could have predicted: made matters worse. 

Thirty-eight years after he stood behind President Nixon at the signing ceremony Ted Kennedy succumbed to brain cancer, under care of the best oncologists money could buy.  Forty-seven years after government got heavily into cancer research, we’re told it will still be around 11 years from now, and probably much longer.  Then there was this, posted in 2009, when President Obama applied the SOP of throwing more money at the problem:
In the US, according to a gloomy analysis in The New York Times, cancer death rates have fallen just 5 per cent since the 1950s, compared with a 64 per cent fall in heart disease mortality and a 74 per cent decline in the death rate for stroke.
Many thousands of people depend on the cancer industry for their jobs.  An actual cure would force most of those people into a new line of work.  Patentable drugs for treating cancer without curing it has become a lucrative revenue source for the big pharmaceuticals.   

Amid the staged war on cancer is a cutthroat political war on unapproved cancer treatments.  Any physician treating a cancer patient in any manner other than the big three of surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation (cut, drug, or burn) can count on being harassed by the government, especially the FDA.  Not only do they face criminal prosecution, but physicians using alternative treatments will be smeared as frauds, conmen or quacks.  

By 1952, Dr. Ernst T. Krebs, Jr. had developed the theory that cancer was a deficiency disease — that something essential was missing from modern diets.  The missing nutrient, he claimed, was a nitriloside found in over 1,200 edible plants around the world. 

Krebs understood cancer as a chronic, metabolic disease, meaning it does not pass away on its own and is not transmittable to others.  According to Krebs, there has never been a chronic, metabolic disease that was prevented or cured by drugs, surgery, or mechanical manipulation of the body.  The cure or prevention always came from adequate nutrition.  (Source, pp. 56-57)

In his research Krebs (along with others, including his father) did impressive work on the thesis that all expressions of cancer are characterized by biological uniformity.  Those curious about the quality of his research or his integrity are invited to study his 1950 paper, The Unitarian or Trophoblastic Thesis of Cancer.  Yet, the Wikipedia entry for Krebs characterizes him as an “American conman, who promoted various substances as alternative cures for cancer, including pangamic acid and amygdalin.”  

Krebs promoted amygdalin in its modified form, Laetrile, as a cancer cure, but according to Wikipedia “studies have found it to be ineffective.”  Not merely ineffective but a “canonical example of quackery.”  To organized medicine “quackery” is another name for competition.

The Big Cover-Up

Notwithstanding the disinformation about Laetrile, people with cancer were drawn to it because of claims from Laetrile patients that it worked.  (See Laetrile Case Histories for details.)  In 1972 the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City (MSKCC), the embodiment of conventional medicine, decided to bury Laetrile once and for all, and had it tested under direction of Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura, their most experienced and reputable researcher.  People who knew Sugiura readily acknowledged that “he was the very picture of a careful and scrupulous scientist. . . . He would not tell even a white lie in order to save a friend from embarrassment.”  [Source]

The board of MSKCC, whose leading members represented corporations that would lose a lot of money if the “cancer war” turned against them, viewed Sugiura’s testing in a less-scientific light.  

When Sugiura’s final report was published on June 13, 1973, it was a win for Laetrile.  Sugiura found that Laetrile:
1. Inhibited metastasis in mice  
2. Improved their general health 
3. Inhibited growth of small tumors 
4. Provided pain relief 
5. Acted as cancer prevention
Two biochemists at SK, Dr. Elizabeth Stockert and Dr. Lloyd Schloen, confirmed Sugiura’s results.  Schloen added proteolytic enzymes to his Laetrile injections (commonly done by Laetrile doctors) and reported a 100% cure rate among his Swiss albino mice.  [Source, p. 43]

Needless to say, these findings did not please the MSKCC board.  Subsequent tests confirmed Sugiura’s findings, but eventually, by altering the manner in which the testing was done, the SK board found deliverance.  The findings showed no difference between treated mice and controls.  Laetrile, therefore, was ineffective and SK announced it as such in a major press conference held in June 1977.  

Sugiura, who stood quietly in the shadows at the press conference, was asked by reporters if he stood by his results.  His reply: “I stick.”

Ralph Moss, the Assistant Director of PR at SK, recognized the cover-up and held a press conference of his own six months later in which he blew the whistle on what had really happened at SK.  He was fired shortly thereafter.  He has since written books about the corrupted findings, including “Doctored Results: The Suppression of Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research” and “The Cancer Industry: The Classic Exposé of the Cancer Establishment.”  There is also a movie about the cover-up, Second Opinion: Laetrile At Sloan-Kettering, released in 2014. 

Unfortunately, Moss blamed the “profit system” for the cover-up.  There would be an open field for profits and losses if Congress hadn’t been for sale.  On a free market, and with a government not possessed of the power to confer favors, there would be no favors to buy.  The butcher, the brewer, and the baker (along with most everyone who works for a living) will always be seeking a profit — where profit is understood in the subjective sense as the difference between the value of the costs incurred and the goal attained (Source).  

On a free market, Laetrile and other cancer treatments would compete in the open with the medical establishments’ regimens.  May the best one win, the winner to be chosen by the patients, not the politicians.

When we someday eliminate the political means for achieving profit, “profit” will lose its undeserved stigma.  And the numerous cartels that favor their members at the public’s expense will be a dark memory.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be interpreted as encouraging anyone to take Laetrile/amygdalin or any other purported cancer treatment.  If you suspect or know you have cancer, you are urged to seek treatment from qualified medical professionals.  

George Ford Smith is the author of eight books, including The Flight of the Barbarous RelicEyes of Fire: Thomas Paine and the American Revolution, and The Fall of Tyranny, the Rise of Liberty.  He is also a filmmaker whose latest work is a five-minute documentary about the Christmas Truce of 1914, A Christmas to Remember.


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