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The false promise of miracle cures

Thursday 7 January 2010

Miracle ElixirsThe Canary Report has reprinted a two-part article about products such as amygdala retraining that claim to cure diseases such as ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity:

The false promise of miracle cures for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

All ten warning signs of a medical scam are present when it comes to curing MCS, CFS, and FM with amygdala retraining.

Op-ed by contributor Linda Sepp and guest contributor Lourdes Salvador, MCS America.

This post was originally published at MCS America.

The History of Health Scams

People with incurable illnesses are often the target of miracle cure scams. These promises usually involve the marketing of unproven cures for a fee. Often the cure is easy and painless and the aggressive marketing is loaded with lucrative testimonials and success stories in bold fonts and bright colors with flashing text and lots of exclamation points.

They come in the form of websites, word-of-mouth, multi level marketing, email marketing, printed ads, mail, telemarketing, and the backs of traveling wagons.

The danger is not merely the wasting of time and precious money to purchase these cures. In addition, these miracle cures often delay appropriate medical care. Some may even be harmful or interact with prescription medications in a negative way.

These scams are often widely touted by the chronically ill because they offer false hope. When one is sick, scared, in pain, and desperate for relief, the promise of being cured is easy to grasp onto. However, the pain of being duped and realizing it was only false hope can be devastating.

Ten Warning Signs of a Scam

  1. The Promise Of A Quick And Easy Cure
  2. Presents Unproven Patient Testimonials & Emotional Appeals Instead Of Science
  3. Claims To Cure Many Ailments Which Have No Cure In Medical Science
  4. It’s Not Sold In Stores
  5. It Has Undisclosed Ingredients Or Content
  6. You Have To Keep At It To Get Results
  7. It Doesn’t Work Because You Did It Wrong
  8. Science Hasn’t Even Bothered To Discredit It (No Threat To Pharmaceutical Sales)
  9. The Seller Lacks A Medical Degree Or Similar Qualification
  10. It’s Too Good To Be True

Targeted For A Scam

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) are debilitating illnesses which have no cure and leave sufferers lives in ruins. Even those with the best ability to adapt and cope often suffer from the abuse of other well-meaning people who think the ill somehow brought these illnesses upon themselves or that the illnesses don’t really exist. This can create a situation of desperation in which a patient is willing to try anything to get better.

Another thing that creates desperation is a persons unwillingness or difficulty to accept a change of circumstances, such as what occurs when a person with MCS must avoid contact with everything they once believed was safe. Life as it was known no longer exists. Friends, family, home, and career plans are all drastically affected. If a person has trouble accepting the new reality and isn’t willing or able to create a new life within this new set of circumstances and limitations, desperation can set in.

CFS has had its share of miracle cures. The recent discovery XMRV Retrovirus has led to the potential that this virus is the cause of CFS. Many CFS patients have been delighted with this news because it gives their illness long-awaited legitimacy. Still others are not so happy, believing that the drug companies may be behind this discovery with nothing more than intent to market a profitable new drug. Irregardless, in the face of emerging viral evidence, XMRV is now a newly emerged threat for purported cures.

People with MCS are also coerced into unproven treatments. Often, these treatments consist of over-simplified and unsupported views on a single barely-relevant component of a vastly multi-dimensional illness. These over-simplified treatments give false hope and address something that the person can quickly and easily address, such as the amygdala.

The full Part 1 article can be found here.

Part 2 can be found here.


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