Steal this Chapter

You may remember (if not, here’s the link) that a couple of weeks ago I said we’d have a whole post on Matthias Rath.

For those of you who don’t know, Rath is amongst the elite cadre of psuedo-scientific woo-slingers, the HIV deniers. But unlike the completely unbelieving quadrant of that group, Rath believes that HIV does in fact cause AIDS.

It just happens that his vitamin supplements (and not antiviral drugs) are the cure. Antiretroviral drugs that actually prevent the spread of HIV and the progression of AIDS are – wait for it – toxic western medicine, untested, profit-driven, and… you’ve probably heard the rest of this spiel. You may even know someone who spills it whenever drugs are mentioned.

The pharmaceutical industry is a tough beast to defend. People like Rath are strengthened by unethical tests in Africa, record-breaking profits, and obscene marketing dollars urging you to “ask your doctor.”

But denouncing them does nothing to make Rath and his treatments effective. The fact that companies do not make their anti HIV drugs available cheaply in Africa will never make vitamins and supplements prevent AIDS. And as those of us who deal with the devil know, his medicine usually works.

Of course, Rath is visible in the US as a guy who claims that vitamins can prevent heart disease, cancer – you name it. When someone says that whatever they’ve got can cure whatever YOU’VE got, the skepticism department of the brain should sound all the alarms.

When UK JournalistBen Goldacre exposed Rath, he was sued. In England, where libel is a serious matter (they should know, they invited the “lie bill” and the crime itself). So, when he wrote his book, “Bad Science,” there was a chapter he had to leave out. Thankfully, you can have it here, now.

I can’t add anything better than what Goldacre can, so I’ll shut up now that you’ve read it.

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One response to “Steal this Chapter

  1. Pingback: Chiro-attack! « Living Better Skeptically

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