Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Trashing Trudeau, saving America


September 27, 2005

Trashing Trudeau, saving America
I could go on and on about all the tactics Kevin Trudeau uses to hustle people. So I will.

By Mat Koehler

All right, maybe you can sometimes believe the things I write. Just don’t believe professional infomercialist Kevin Trudeau, who has marketed everything from cleaning supplies to sets of knives, claiming the products are true miracles. “Consumer advocate” is his professional title, but that’s a simple way of saying he has no credentials. In his latest book, he claims there are natural cures for cancer, viruses and disorders. These allegations, along with a continual television spot on shopping networks, have earned Trudeau’s book a long-standing top spot on The New York Times best-seller list.

The absolute idiocy of the American public never ceases to amaze me, but at least I would never try to immorally exploit this stupidity, as I fear the fires of hell. Trudeau, however, doesn’t seem to have that fear. I suspect it’s because he’s the devil, and hell is his home anyway.

Jeez, people — why do you buy this crap?! It’s $35 including shipping for the latest edition of his ghostwritten masterpiece, “Natural Cures ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.” The infomercials alone should be enough to deter even the most gullible. They are obviously scripted — though not as much as MTV’s “Laguna Beach,” but it’s just as nauseating. Plus, there are several different versions of the same interview-style commercial. One is with a Larry King wannabe, another with Tammy Faye Baker and yet another with unknown “British TV personality” Chloe Marshall. Wait a second, Tammy Faye Baker? A woman made famous by her cheating scam-artist husband has a scripted interview with Trudeau. Jumping Jehosaphats.

I could go on and on about all the tactics Trudeau uses to hustle people vulnerable to half-truths. So I will. The overabundant use of the word “virtually,” for example, cues every suspicious statement Trudeau makes. You’ll hear him say things like, “My book will allow you to cure virtually every illness” or “The Food and Drug Administration virtually disallows me from telling you the details of the book.”

In reality, the Federal Trade Commission, not the FDA, pursued legal action against Trudeau, but not because “he is a threat to the FDA,” as you might hear him say. The FTC announced earlier this month that Trudeau is permanently banned from selling any medical devices or supplements because “he falsely claimed that a coral calcium product can cure cancer and other serious diseases and that a purported analgesic called Biotape can permanently cure or relieve severe pain.” As a result, Trudeau settled further prosecution by handing over millions of dollars in exotic cars and properties.

Trudeau now avoids legal trouble by “writing” books and newsletters, which cannot be censored or regulated because of freedom of speech, to add to his company’s $2 billion net worth. I’m sorry to say that while some of the things Mr. Trudeau says may be technically true (like when he says “without sick people, there would be no drug companies’), the context and insulations that follow are rarely of any value.

So read closely: There is no conspiracy with the FDA, all of Trudeau’s medical claims have no evidence or are skewed and his book is just a bunch of diet suggestions. If his book had cures for any of the things he mentions, one of the millions of book owners out there would speak up (besides those he pays to call in to his infomercial).

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