Is Dr. Buttar one of the top 50 doctors in the U.S.?

I haven’t yet finished watching the rest of Dr. Rashid Buttar’s endless logical-fallacy-filled and erroneous response to my brief (despite his claim that it was I who was long) comment on his blog, to which I’ve already responded to the first 2 parts here and here. And while I plan to at least finish watching it all, after the new information that’s come to my attention, I don’t know if it’s even worth my time to continue to feed his ego by making him feel like he’s worthy of a legitimate response to all 50 or so minutes of his unstructured rant that never seems to actually supply evidence for his claims. Of course I say this now. He’s likely to say something else monumentally stupid in the rest of this that may aggravate me enough to comment further. So we’ll have to see.

Sure, I never actually expected to persuade him that he’s wrong; true believers are typically far too emotionally wrapped up in their conclusions and their conspiracy theories to ever be swayed by evidence that they were wrong. But I hoped those on the fence who might visit his site might at least be encouraged to think critically and investigate further. This is still my hope. And as a somewhat novice skeptic I do see it as my duty to earn my stripes by debating the cranks too small for the big guys to bother with. But I’ve already refuted a lot of Buttar’s arguments and I can always continue to monitor his blog.

So anyway, on part one of my response to Dr. Buttar, his blog’s moderator, Joshua Pettit left a comment that to be perfectly honest, I didn’t really read very carefully at all earlier. After a few other commenters challenged some of the claims made in Pettit’s comment, I actually read the comment instead of just skimming it. Pettit stated:

“As one of the Top 50 doctors in the United States, with patients visiting our Clinic from 31 different countries, his speaking engagements, his teaching and Physician Training program, our seminar series, Know Your Options, The Medical Series DVD production, writing of books and his research with polypeptide sequencing and identification… his staff (mostly myself) assists with the distribution of information via our blogs.”

Wow! I’m honored that one of the top 50 doctors in the United States is taking such lengthy time out to address my concerns. My ego would love for that to be true. But is it? Like his employer, Pettit has a habit of not sourcing his information so I had to investigate on my own. I did indeed find numerous websites that made this claim, most of which used similar wording:

-The first site I came across was Dr. Buttar’s own website, drbuttar.com, where it says:

Dr. Buttar has been invited to and testified in front of the North Carolina Congress as well as the United States Congress, giving special testimony before the Congressional Sub-committee on Human Rights and Wellness. Phillips Publishing and Stephen Sinatra, MD have listed Dr. Buttar as being among the “Top 50 Doctors in the United States”.

-Then on this page it stated:

“These efforts have led Dr. Buttar to be cited as one of the Top 50 doctors in the US by Healthy Directions, Phillips Publishing and world-famous cardiologist, Dr. Stephen Sinatra.”

What’s the source of this information? According to this site:

“SOURCE The Center for Advanced Medicine and Clinical Research”

Could that be the same Center for Advanced Medicine and Clinical Research found at drbuttar.com in which Dr. Buttar serves as “Medical Director/CMO”? Why yes it is. Imagine that.

-Next, I found this claim on the Amazon page for a book that Buttar maybe co-wrote (his name is listed on the site as the second name under the “About the Author” section though his name isn’t listed above or on the book’s cover). The book is called (and I shit you not) “Gemstone Energy Medicine: Healing Body, Mind And Spirit” On the Amazon page it says:

Dr. Buttar has lectured worldwide at scientific congresses and professional symposia and is a frequently invited presenter at medical conferences. Phillips Publishing and Dr. Stephen Sinatra have listed Dr. Buttar as one of the “Top 50 Doctors in the United States.”

The book description reads:

“Simply by stringing pure, high-quality gemstone spheres into necklaces and wearing them around the neck, anyone can enjoy the full benefits of these revolutionary energy medicine tools. The stones can transform health, foster happiness, clarify the mind, and uplift the spirit. At the forefront of a revolution in energy medicine, therapeutic gemstones are among the most powerful healing tools available today. A quantum leap beyond the popular, but unreliable, crystal healing, the book includes

* Quick Reference Guide

* a 30-page chart listing 300 conditions and the recommended gemstone necklaces

* Step-by-step, illustrated instructions for performing 27 gemstone sphere therapies

* Guide to Care and Cleansing of Therapeutic Gems

* 30 full-color photographs and dozens of illustrations”

So Dr. Buttar seems to be promoting obvious medical quackery in the form of magic healing gemstones and magic amulets. Are you fucking kidding me?! If Dr. Buttar can heal people with magic gemstones, I recommend he apply for James Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge. If Dr. Buttar doesn’t like money he can always give it away to charity.

-Next I found the claim on the Amazon page for Buttar’s wacko cancer DVD, “Know Your Options: Cancer, the Untold Truth” You might think a doctor who rejects chemotherapy, radiation and surgery treatments for cancer would be discredited and no longer allowed to treat cancer patients.

Well, it turns out that that is what in fact happened to Dr. Buttar:

I came across David Gorsky’s criticisms of Buttar on the Science-Based Medicine blog where Gorsky states that Dr. Buttar was

“….disciplined by the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners. Basically, the Board restricted his practice so that he could no longer treat children or cancer patients.”

What? Funny how Dr. Buttar didn’t seem to mention this. And how many Top 50 doctors in the country are forbidden to treat children and cancer patients? My guess: ZERO! I highly recommend people read Gorsky’s blog entry on Buttar.

So who are these sources that dubbed as one of the top 50 doctors in the country this discredited doctor who’s kept away from from treating children or cancer patients for their own safety?

Apparently the only one that seems to be making this claim is Buttar himself and his employees. And they sure like to mention the claim as often as possible–I guess Buttar’s just being modest. [rolling eyes]

The inaccurately named “Healthy Directions” actually used to be named “Phillips Health” according to their website, meaning that some of these sites are counting the same organization as 2 different sources. Imagine that. Oh, and that “world-famous cardiologist, Dr. Stephen Sinatra”–yeah, he works for them too. It says so on their website. Imagine that. So all 3 of these sources that we’re told dubbed Buttar as one of the top 50 doctors in the country turn out to be JUST ONE FUCKING SOURCE!

And the company isn’t some leading medical industry. It’s just an ordinary company made up of a few alternative medicine practictioners like:

Dr. Stephen Sinatra – “Dr. Sinatra formulates and sells nutritional supplements under the brand name Advanced BioSolutions. Products are available at his web site, drsinatra.com.”

Dr. Julian Whitaker – “He is a member of the American Medical Association[citation needed] although he has never been certified in any specialty recognized by this body.[1]” “Anti-aging medicine has been criticized by mainstream medical practitioners.[5]“

Dr. David Williams – No data

Dr. Susan Lark – “Lark advocates a holistic approach that favors safe, natural alternatives over toxic drugs and surgery.”

Dr. Marcus Laux – No data

and Dr. Janet Luhrs – No data

Why would anyone take their opinion seriously?

Does the rest of the medical world know about this little sham operation Buttar’s got running where he just has bullshit companies award bullshit doctors with over the top accolades so they can bilk more unsuspecting patients? Correction: not patients; I mean CUSTOMERS!

Conclusion: Dr. Buttar, his employees, and a single organization not recognized by the mainstream medical community dub Dr. Buttar one of the top 50 doctors in the United States. That doesn’t make it true. NOT EVEN CLOSE!

Maybe if I pay Healthy Direction enough money they’ll dub me the number one best doctor of everything in all of human history without me having to even attend a single class at med school.

Fast forward to the 1 minute, 30 second mark for what appears to be an accurate depiction of Healthy Direction.

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23 Responses to Is Dr. Buttar one of the top 50 doctors in the U.S.?

  1. autismne says:

    Actually, Buttar does mention his problems with the North Carolna Medical Board. It’s on his website. I just read it the other day. It says that Buttar has been so effective that the North Carolina Medical Board is after him. Like you said, pure bullshit. I just went back to his site and couldn’t find it. You have to spend some time looking for it, and frankly life is too short.

    Does Buttar still offer urine injections?

  2. mjr256 says:

    No clue. Probably.

  3. This is funny.

    What little bit Dr. Buttar heard of your last reply he was frustrated that you didn’t know the difference between a “study” and the manufacturers “Material Data Safety Sheet” (ie it’s not a study, it’s the information supplied by Eli Lilly, the manufacturer).

    And as per the medical board information, the information is right on the home page of http://www.drbuttar.com and explained in more detail at http://www.DrButtarTruth.org What skepapabra writes above is not correct. Dr. Buttar DOES have a medical license, and is not restricted in any way. He sees Cancer patients and children in our clinic every day.

  4. mjr256 says:

    Buttar’s dismissal of the charges as a ridiculous conspiracy against him is an insult to science and reason. Serious accusations were leveled against him by the North Carolina Medical Board and their recommended disciplinary action was to prohibit Buttar from treating children and cancer patients. The hearing was scheduled for February 20, 2008. Now I have emailed the North Carolina Medical Board inquiring as to the outcome of that hearing. I hope for Buttar’s sake that I won’t find out from them that the recommended action was ordered. http://glsuite.ncmedboard.org/DataTier/Documents/Repository/0/0/5/9/df8fd9ba-c3da-4f0f-9338-0291be76dd7e.pdf

    I highly recommend everyone read the whole notice (linked to above) of allegations against Buttar as they suggest Buttar is such a danger to his patients that if everyone in the world read the charges no one would ever seek his treatments ever again.

    But of course, you can’t simply dodge the main subject of this blog, which is that Buttar has lied about his credentials by trying to pass off the insanely high praise of alternative medicine practitioners as if some recognized medical authority had named him among the top 50 doctors in the U.S. This is tantamount to fraud. If you wish, I can keep digging up more skeletons in Buttar’s closet. I’ve already found a few more you might enjoy:

    http://oracknows.blogspot.com/2005/11/dr-buttar-has-new-protocol.html
    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=234
    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=383
    The American Board of Medical Specialties (http://abms.org/) doesn’t seem to have him on file, suggesting he may have a fake board certification with a non-recognized certifying agency.

    One news source quotes Buttar actually denying that autism even exists and declaring that he can cure the symptoms of autism.
    http://www.wcnc.com/6newsextra/investigators/stories/wcnc-0714-ad-autism.a7fa1a7b.html

    Dr. James Laidler, who once promoted chelation at conferences, states : “Most of his improvement came after we stopped everything, ” and
    “Those folks have never even shown that it’s even absorbed through the skin.”

    Buttar’s rebuttal? “No, we haven’t done that. Why would I waste my time proving something that I already know is working innately?” THAT’S BUTTAR’S GREAT EVIDENCE? He already knows it works innately? Anecdotal evidence? Sorry, NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
    Further, according to the article: ” The drug contained in the drops has not been approved by the FDA for use in the United States.”

  5. Gregg Billingsley says:

    So what is happening to Buttar’s autism patients? What percentage of them actually become well? Do most of them simply not respond to the treatment? Is he a snake oil merchant? I’m just someone with a friend with THREE autistic children and I just came across a video of him on YouTube. Do I mention him to them or what?

  6. mjr256 says:

    I don’t have any solid information about his patients but I feel quite safe in saying that zero percent of them actually “become well.” Buttar claims to be able to cure diseases and disorders that nobody in the medical community can. And he makes other highly dubious claims insisting that he knows better than the entire medical community for no reason other than he “knows” it works even when the evidence shows that it doesn’t. I can’t believe he still has a license to practice medicine and hasn’t been thrown in jail. I recommend this blog for more info. on Buttar:

    http://oracknows.blogspot.com/2005/11/dr-buttar-has-new-protocol.html

    So yeah, I think he’s a snake oil salesman. I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s children. I can’t stress just how much I WOULD NOT mention Buttar to them. First, because the chelation therapy has already proven to not be an effective method for treating autism and because it’s very dangerous, so dangerous in fact that the National Institute of Mental Health chose not to do another chelation study on children:
    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j71A7ZN9GaxtikP7Mo0ZmINil4aQD938LO603

  7. Gregg Billingsley says:

    Thanks very much Michael for your reply and your email. I must say though, perhaps for the benefit of any parents who may read this blog, that it seems that many children have shown significant improvement following chelation therapies, on which Dr Buttar does not hold a monopoly. It’s something that definitely warrants further investigation for parents of autistic children.

  8. mjr256 says:

    This is what individuals like Buttar would want us to believe but it isn’t so. In fact, nobody in the mainstream medical community agrees, as evidenced from this very telling article from the Associated Press. Here’s the last paragraph of the article:

    “The treatment removes heavy metals from the body and is based on the fringe theory that mercury in vaccines triggers autism — a theory never proved and rejected by mainstream science.”
    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j71A7ZN9GaxtikP7Mo0ZmINil4aQD938LO603

  9. Gregg Billingsley says:

    You are correct that nobody in the mainstream medical community agrees publicly, however it is now (slowly) becoming common knowledge that the CDC and FDA covered up the truth about thimerosal in vaccines with the help of the Institute of Medicine.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/7395411/deadly_immunity/

    ’The CDC paid the Institute of Medicine to conduct a new study to whitewash the risks of thimerosal, ordering researchers to “rule out” the chemical’s link to autism.’ Deadly Immunity: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. investigates the government cover-up of a mercury/autism scandal. rollingstone.com

    So you see the situation is that it IS mercury from vaccines that caused the huge increase in autism since the number of vaccinations was increased. The body burden of mercury built quickly to a point where 1 on 166 children in the US developed autism – or rather the mercury poisoning caused mimicry of the symptoms of autism meaning that the majority of cases of autism are in fact mercury poisoning. Mercury toxicity is also a factor in ADD and other neurological conditions. This is due to genetic and other factors causing a significant percentage of children to not excrete mercury adequately.

    This is why thimerosal was EVENTUALLY taken out of MOST vaccines, although the third world is unfortunately still receiving the ‘benefits’ of that unwholesome preservative!

    There is another mercury scandal on the cusp of breaking regarding dental amalgam fillings – this also adds to the body burden of young children as mercury from amalgam fillings passes the placental barrier and also passes into breast milk. The ADA and FDA once enlisted mainstream science to help cover this up too. It’s unbelievable – yet true… Amalgam fillings carry a risk to adults too.

    I’m afraid it’s naïve to trust the ‘authorities’ on issues of health where large pharmaceutical conglomerates have MAJOR influence. Health comes second to profits in this world as you seek to demonstrate above! The bottom line is that you can’t trust ANYONE with your health! Least alone big business…

    Buttar may be a quack, and I hate quackery as much as you, but in this instance chelating mercury from the children is the correct thing to do.

    I’d like to see your talent for scepticism (which I find very agreeable and why I sought your opinion in the first place) turned on to those whom we trust to deliver ‘real’ science. They need to be exposed!

  10. mjr256 says:

    Um, no. Robert Kennedy Jr. is a politician, not a member of the medical community. Like every other anti-vaccinationist, he’s got no evidence whatsoever to back up his conspiracy accusations. If he had, we wouldn’t be having this conversation because this would have been a major political scandal that would have made EVERY other major political scandals seem quaint by comparison.

    But all this is BESIDE THE POINT. It’s a total red herring argument drummed up by the anti-vaccinationists to dodge the fact that all the evidence goes against their claims. Even if there were a hypothetical conspiracy that still would not change the evidence. You can’t fake your way into the peer-reviewed medical journals that requires that you show all your work. Further, studies are being done all over the world, not just by the American CDC and FDA like the anti-vaccinationists would have you believe. Look at the Scandinavian studies and the Canadian studies. This argument is totally absurd. And as I reported just the other day, even the anti-vaccinationists are beginning the process of shifting their claims away from thimerosal onto aluminum just like they once shifted their claims from something else over to thimerosal.

    Scandinavia and Canada removed thimerosal from virtually all their vaccines in the mid-90′s and the U.S. removed thimerosal from virtually every vaccine in 2001. The rate of autism has shown no significant decrease as a result, even now that children are receiving less thimerosal than the generations prior. And in California, the rate of autism has even increased since then. The thimerosal hypothesis is as much of an EPIC FAIL for the anti-vaccinationists as the MMR vaccine hypothesis (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0003140)

    The reason thimerosal was removed was not because of any proven link to autism but because of political compromise. You can go ahead and make up your own alternative conspiracy reason why it was removed but the burden of proof is on you to prove it.
    Amalgam fillings, like tuna fish sandwiches, have proven to contain safe levels of mercury. There’s no serious debate over this issue. Aside from the superficial comparison of neurological disorder, mercury poisoning shares no symptoms with that of autism. Every single one of Robert Kennedy Jr.’s accusations has been debunked for the propaganda nonsense that it is.

    I think it’s incredibly naive of you to assume the entire medical community as well as anyone who disagrees with your limited medical knowledge is merely trusting the “authorities.” In fact, that very claim suggests you don’t even know how science works and wouldn’t know how to get a peer-reviewed article published even if you could devise an experiment to test your hypothesis. Are you aware that every scientific study is require to include error bars? So where’s the amazing anti-vaccination research I keep hearing about anyway? Cause it seems to me that all they’ve got is blatant misinformation, appeals to conspiracy theory, emotional appeals, and anecdotal evidence. I suggest you apply the same level of scrutiny to the anti-vaccination claims as you do to the entire rest of the medical world.

    Why did you even bother to ask me about chelation therapy when it’s obvious you already pre-determined that chelation therapy worked? If you really do have a friend with autistic children, I seriously hope your friend’s children won’t have to die before you and they come to your senses and actually seek treatments that won’t subject the children a catastrophically dangerous procedure that has proven to have zero chance of success.

    As always here are my sources:

    Debunking Chelation:
    http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/chelation.html
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=164#more-164
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8087928&dopt=AbstractPlus

    Research disproving vaccine hypothesis:
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0003140
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/09/yet_another_really_bad_day_for_antivacci_1.php
    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=372
    http://www.chop.edu/consumer/jsp/division/generic.jsp?id=84662
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22542677/
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=14

    Debunking the Wakefield Study:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=200
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield

    Debunking Chelation & Dr. Buttar:
    http://glsuite.ncmedboard.org/DataTier/Documents/Repository/0/0/5/9/df8fd9ba-c3da-4f0f-9338-0291be76dd7e.pdf
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=105
    http://oracknows.blogspot.com/2005/11/dr-buttar-has-new-protocol.html
    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=234
    http://neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/138

    General debuking of anti-vaccinationists:
    http://www.csicop.org/si/2007-06/novella.html
    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=341
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal.htm
    http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/vaccines.htm
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/memo_to_mccain_vaccines_not_li/
    http://www.autismvox.com/the-vaccine-autism-urban-myth/
    http://www.daylightatheism.org/2008/01/popular-delusions-viii.html
    http://www.quackwatch.com/03HealthPromotion/immu/autism.html
    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=308
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/02/incredible_shrinking_causation_claim.php
    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=339
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/07/dr_jay_gordon_pediatrician_to_the_stars.php
    http://www.medpagetoday.com/Campaign08/Campaign08/tb/8610
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/09/dan_olmsted_destroys_yet_another_irony_meter.php
    http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm946.cfm
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/09/what_were_up_against_aluminum_as_the_new.php
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=14
    http://autism-news-beat.com/?p=29
    http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020301/tips/14.html
    http://www.chop.edu/consumer/jsp/division/generic.jsp?id=75807
    http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm
    http://www.hhs.gov/autism/
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal.htm
    http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/q_a_thimerosal-eng.php#2

    What’s the harm?
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26291109/
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15210587/
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm57e501a1.htm
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/07/thanks_andrew_wakefield.php
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26333787/
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/07/thanks_jenny_mccarthy.php

    Hannah Poling case:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23519029/
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/03/the_hannah_poling_case_and_the_rebrandin.php
    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=341
    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/358/20/2089

    Mitochondrial Mutations hypothesis Debunked:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/08/why_the_whole_mitochondrial_disease_plus.php
    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=149

    Evidence autism is the result of genetic factors:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080717211651.htm
    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=336
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/earth/2008/07/10/sciautism110.xml

    Vaccine info:
    http://www.safeminds.org/mercury/mercury_releases/Thimerosal_content_of_US_vaccines.pdf
    http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/2008-schedule-0-6.htm
    http://www.immunize.org/express/issue649.asp
    http://www.immunize.org/express/issue649.asp
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=186
    http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/thi-table.htm
    http://www.chop.edu/consumer/jsp/microsite/microsite.jsp?id=75918
    http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/Immunizations.cfm
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1808438,00.html
    http://www.northjersey.com/news/health/18852679.html
    http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm946.cfm

    Good vs. Bad Medical procedures:
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=how-anecdotal-evidence-can-undermine-scientific-results
    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=342

    Big Pharma Conspiracy Theories:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/09/barack_obama_provaccine.php

    Laws:
    http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A10942&sh=t

    Anti-vaccinationists’ lame excuses from the horses’ mouths:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/09/is-autism-speak.html
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/09/olmsted-on-auti.html#more

    Bad Journalism:
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/plos-uro052108.php
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/08/sharyl_attkisson_of_cbs_and_generation_r.php
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=71
    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/07/08/cnn-spreads-hpv-vaccination-doubts/
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=128

  11. Gregg Billingsley says:

    Michael

    I asked you about Buttar because I came across your blog while I was researching the effectiveness of TD-DMPS. (Yes I do have a friend with 3 autistic kids. I came across a video of Dr Butar when researching mercury poisoning as I believe my chronic fatigue may be caused by amalgam fillings) By the tone of your blog I assumed that you had evidence that TD-DMPS doesn’t work and that there are thousands of ripped off families chasing him through the courts. I just thought you could fast track me to the negative anecdotes which I was having trouble finding – I still haven’t found any, but I’m still looking. I want to try TD-DMPS on myself also, but it’s got that ‘too good to be true smell about it.’

    I’m a fan of Michael Shermer, so when I saw his quote leading your blog I thought I might get the real skinny on Buttar. However, from your replies it seems that you have no evidence of any thousands of ripped off families and that you are concerned ONLY that Buttar’s methods are “unscientific” or “unsafe”. I don’t care if the chelation method is scientific, carries risk (what doesn’t) or not, I only want to know if it WORKS! Unless I missed one, none of the articles you sited mention any disgruntled autism families. I’ve Googled for it and can’t find any – if you have anecdotal evidence that TD-DMPS simply does NOT WORK then I want to see it before I ship any to the UK. All I’ve found so far is loads of parents saying how much their child has improved, and others saying it was very effective as a chelator for treating functional illnesses like mine. But there’s a lot about Buttar himself that I don’t like, so my jury is still very much out.

    And by the way, of what relevance is it that Robert Kennedy Jr. is a politician, not a member of the medical community? The issue was a political one is it not? If it was a doctor making those observations I feel you would accuse him of not being qualified to comment on politics! Also if Kennedy was libelling I think they would have hauled his ass to jail in a New York minute!

    Also, what do you suggest is the motivation for people who find a mercury/vaccine/autism connection? Are they shills for companies that are producing mercury free vaccines? What? People who witnessed their child become autistic following a certain round of injections? Just coincidence? For hundreds if not thousands of people?

    If heavy metals are known to be toxic – enough for major government environmental actions worldwide to reduce emissions. What do you think happened to the stuff before the reductions where made? Would you not expect it to actually be causing the health problems for which it is being reduced in order to curtail? Why would you be against chelation to remove the offending metals? I get the impression that pro-mercury people and thimerosal supporters would gladly suck on a car exhaust pipe and allow the government to tell them that they’ve developed ‘yuppie flu’. What for instance do you think happened to all the lead that had to be taken out of petrol, do you suppose that it was banned for killing the flowers at the side of the road? You know that people commit suicide by turning the car engine over in the garage right, and getting a hose to pump the emissions into the car? Why do big-pharma enthusiasts insist that when thousands of cars emit the same stuff into the cities it somehow has NO effect and that detox, chelation and other toxin removal PREVENTION therapies are useless compared to waiting till you get cancer or kidney disease and then go on a nice shiny high-tech million dollar chemo or dialysis machine?

    I’m sorry to rant, especially as you were very kind in helping me! And I am grateful for that, but it seems to me that there are an alarming amount of intelligent people allowing the ‘powers that be’ to pee on their back and tell them its raining…

    AND I’M NOT EVEN A CONSPIRACY THEORIST! If I was I would accuse you of being a controlled opposition skeptic like Michael Moor. But I haven’t. ;-P

  12. Gregg Billingsley says:

    Tell me how you debunk this video?

  13. mjr256 says:

    No, I don’t use anecdotal evidence because anecdotal evidence alone is worthless. If anecdotal evidence meant anything we’d all have to accept that millions of people have been abducted by space aliens.

    And Michael Shermer understands better than me why medical claims must be determined through controlled clinical trials instead of “I just know that it works,” which is how Buttar says he knows his treatments work. Although I haven’t read it myself, I recommend Shermer’s book, “Why People Believe Weird Things.”

    I have provided you with mountains of evidence exposing that chelation therapy DOESN’T WORK and CANNOT POSSIBLY WORK as well as exposing this particular fraud and others like him for the charlatans and quacks that they are. I’m somewhat limited in my ability to provide evidence in that I can’t actually move my arms through the computer screen and hand you a smoking gun. I’ve given you the information I have. Most of it comes from reliable sources. You can either read through more of it or not. I’m not a doctor myself and that’s why I recommend you consult a doctor in a related field.

    I think you’re making the assumption that medical quacks leave behind a huge trail of angry, dissatisfied patients suing because they feel cheating. If that was the case there’d be no profit in such a venture. Unfortunately alternative medicine quacks are skilled at seeming to be “the good guy” in all situations. I refer you to these 2 articles that illustrate how alternative medicine practitioners typically avoid the ill-will of unsatisfied customers. And the example used in these articles just happens to be quacks “treating” autism but they’re universally used by alt. med. practitioners:

    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=150
    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=151

    Outside of that, I probably can’t help you. You want to see anecdotal evidence of an unsatisfied customer and I want to see just one child who’s actually genuinely recovered from autism through Buttar’s methods, so I guess we’re both going to be disappointed. If Buttar ever wants to prove his claims he can always apply for James Randi Educational Foundation’s Million Dollar Challenge. All he has to do is prove he can do what he says he can do and he’ll win a million dollars. When he wins the million dollars, then I’ll believe him.

    If you want, I can show you anecdotal evidence of satisfied customers of faith healers, witch doctors, psychic surgeons, magic water, and all matters of woo woo nonsense healing claims. Sure, they’re satisfied…right up until the point where they die months after treatment. Here’s the first video that addresses faith healers who use the same ploys as the alternative medicine practitioners: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEvHflzKStU

    The rest of the documentary is also available on YouTube. This illustrates how they get away with peddling scam medicine.

    No, this is not a political issue. It’s a medical issue. Politicians don’t get to dictate what’s good science and what’s bad science. This is determined by evidence. For a greater debunking of Kennedy’s claims, see Dr. Paul Offit’s newest book. I forget the title at the moment. I think it’s called “False Prophets.” Now you said, “I feel you would accuse him of not being qualified to comment on politics!” I most certainly would not say make such bullshit response. Science is science and politics is politics. They are not even close to the same thing. Why is Kennedy not hauled off to jail is because we don’t haul people off to jail. We have a legal system and sometimes people get away with wrongdoing. But I’m not an expert on Kennedy, so again, I recommend you read Offit’s book on the subject. But are you so willing to believe any conspiracy theorist who doesn’t happen to be in jail for libel? Cause if so, I recommend Scientology. They make lots and lots of bullshit conspiracy claims and aren’t in jail either.

    I’m not going to launch into my own absolutist conspiracy claims to try to explain why the anti-vaccine movement does what it does, so all I’ll offer is my personal opinion. The anti-vaccine movement is as old as vaccines themselves. Mostly, I think they’re just victims of irrational superstition who’ve become so emotionally invested in their pet theories that they’ve deluded themselves. Others, such as the chelation therapists are clearly capable of profiting off the mercury/heavy metals causing autism myth…although I am NOT saying that means they’re all deliberate quacks. In fact, I truly think Buttar on some level really believes his treatments work. I just think he’s delusional and profoundly so.

    The principle logical fallacy that has helped perpetuate this myth is confusion between association and causation. Autism symptoms typically spring up before the age of 2. That just happens to coincide with a period where children get lots of vaccinations. That coincidence alone seems to have fueled the anecdotal evidence suggesting a “link” between vaccines and autism. But for starters, there’s no consistency in timing claims. Some parents notice symptoms the day after their child happened to get vaccinated, some a week after, some two weeks after. But not surprisingly, mostly we have people who saw no timing coincidence at all. And one has to wonder how accurate is the parents’ memory of when their kid got their last vaccine really is. Some parents might have remembered it was a week ago when it was two weeks ago. Some might remember it as two weeks ago when it was three weeks ago, etc. There’s no consistency in the timing claims at all. And my niece is one of the many whose symptoms did not correspond to a recent vaccination at all.

    And anti-vaccinationist Dan Olmstead makes a big case out of the claim that the Amish don’t get autism because the Amish don’t get vaccinated. It turns out he’s wrong on both counts. These anti-vaccine claims have been proven time and again to be worthless. And given the number of cases being diagnosed under the autism spectrum banner, it becomes statistically likely that millions of autistic kids will be diagnosed soon after a vaccination. It’s like the lottery. The odds are small of ever winning but if millions of people play it becomes statistically likely that someone will win. And if you prime parents to pay attention to potential harmful effects after vaccination, they’ll make the connection even if it’s a coincidence. Humans have a pattern-seeking brain that sees patterns even when they don’t exist. This is why we tend to remember the hits and not the misses. My niece just happens to be a miss. Someone else’s kid might happen to be a hit. So what? Unless there’s actual evidence to link autism to vaccines this is a coincidence. But the preponderance of evidence points to genetic origins.

    Regarding the topics in your last big paragraph, I don’t really know and I don’t really care as it’s irrelevant to the topic at hand. And I’d hardly consider myself a “big pharma enthusiast.” I’m no fan of the pharmaceutical companies at all. But I’m even less of a fan of bullshit, baseless conspiracy theorists that harm the lives of children. I don’t know anything about automobile emissions so you’ll have to ask “the big pharma enthusiasts” that question.

  14. Gregg Billingsley says:

    Michael

    “You want to see anecdotal evidence of an unsatisfied customer and I want to see just one child who’s actually genuinely recovered from autism through Buttar’s methods, so I guess we’re both going to be disappointed.”

    The point is though that there are plenty of people on the web who testify that their children have recovered, but few, if any, who state that chelation therapy did no good. I have even corresponded directly with one parent who runs a bog who told me her child ‘has made HUGE improvements chelating’ and she gave me her phone number to pass on to my friend. It wasn’t through Buttar’s TD-DMPS, but a different method, though she said: ‘I have not used TD-DMPS, but know that some people have had success with it.’ Though she also said: ‘from what I have heard about Buttar, he does not seem to be the most ethical guy.’

    Could he be a quack who has muscled into something that has some truth to it?

    Put all this together with fact that the CDC & FDA are KNOWN to have commissioned deliberately misleading ‘scientific’ studies, IMO the position of ‘conventional science’ on this matter (and consequently other matters) has be taken with rather a large dose of salt. Do you really think science is incorruptible? If it is then it’s the only human endeavour that is! Or has ever been! Why do you trust these people so much anyway? In the UK we don’t trust our authorities – including scientists and pharmaceutical companies – at all! We have been lied to too many times. The fact that your scepticism in this matter does not seem to extend to the science itself is I find… suspicious to be frank.

    One last thing…

    You talk about chelation as though it’s some kind of myth! You do know that chelation is standard medical procedure for heavy metal poisoning? If these autistic kids test positive for mercury poisoning using porphyrin tests as Dr Boyd Haley states in the video I posted above, then you would EXPECT an improvement in their condition following chelation, because metal toxicity can have all and more of the symptoms found in autism.

    Gregg

  15. mjr256 says:

    Pretty much the entire medical establishment will attest that chelation does not treat autism and that autism has nothing whatsoever to do with heavy metal poisoning. And while people may say their child is “recovered” no credible study has been found to show this to be true. There are no published papers in any peer-reviewed journals that show chelation therapy has any benefit to autistic patients. And as of yet no one has stepped up with their evidence to receive the Nobel Prize for curing autism. And I’m sure James Randi would be happy to give them a million dollars; all they got to do is prove they can do what they say they can do. But they don’t…or rather they won’t because they can’t.

    And what does “has made HUGE improvements chelating” even mean? Autistic patients make huge improvements on their own even if you don’t treat them. My niece has made huge improvements too and she’s never undergone chelation therapy. And where’s all the fully “recovered” children I keep hearing about? If you find one, please encourage their parents to step forward before the medical establishment and prove their child has indeed recovered. It’s a simple request.

    Again, I point you to these links showing how alt. med. practitioners get away with not doing anything and still making people think they have. It’s basic psychology:
    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=150
    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=151

    You wrote: “Could he be a quack who has muscled into something that has some truth to it?” He could, but he isn’t. And that is proven beyond any reasonable doubt.

    You also wrote: “Put all this together with fact that the CDC & FDA are KNOWN to have commissioned deliberately misleading ‘scientific’ studies,” Again, this is a red herring argument. Who cares? Where’s the evidence that chelation works and the evidence that the CDC and FDA are wrong? Oh right, Robert Kennedy Jr’s dog ate his evidence. What about the dozens and dozens of other medical organizations who’ve conducted similar studies to that of the CDC and FDA which have repeated their results? Are they too all in on “the conspiracy?” In Denmark? And Sweden? And Canada?

    You also wrote: “IMO the position of ‘conventional science’ on this matter (and consequently other matters) has be taken with rather a large dose of salt.” Actually, it’s been taken on a rather large dose of evidence. Science doesn’t base conclusions off of salt but off of the scientific method. This means claims must be falsifiable, testable, repeatable, peer-reviewed and rigorously challenged to make the grade. That’s how science works! To quote Carl Sagan, “One of the reasons for its success is that science has built-in, error-correcting machinery at its very heart. Some may consider this an overbroad characterization, but to me every time we exercise self-criticism, every time we test our ideas against the outside world, we are doing science. When we are self-indulgent and uncritical, when we confuse hopes and facts, we slide into pseudoscience and superstition. Every time a scientific paper presents a bit of data, it’s accompanied by an error bar.” – Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World).

    Individual scientists may be corrupt. But the scientific method is designed to filter out false data over time. It’s the best self-correcting system humanity has ever devised. This is because science doesn’t deal in facts or certainties but is always subject to revision. And that is why no competing system for explaining the universe has ever come even close. No ideas are too sacred to be revised in science. We overturned the Ptolemy model of the universe when a better explanation came. Norton improved upon Galileo’s findings regarding gravity. Darwin overturned previously held theories. Even many of Einstein’s hypotheses and theories have been overturned over time. That’s because scientific claims are constantly being retested. Once Darwin introduced Evolution, scientists didn’t just close the door on Evolution. Just this year hundreds of studies have been done testing specific aspects of evolution. If a mistake was made in the beginning, something wouldn’t add up in the later testing. And what would be the motivation for scientists to just accept what they’re told. There’s certainly no glory or extra money in making no major discoveries. Rather scientists want to find new, better explanations for things. That’s their jobs. If they do their jobs well, it’s to their benefit.

    Science is not authoritative. I don’t just “trust” scientists and I don’t expect you to just “trust” scientists. For the areas that interests me like this one, I try to look at the evidence. For everything else, I recognize the significance of a scientific consensus and the intense peer review process that has been carefully designed specifically to prevent fraud. This might not sound impressive to those who don’t understand how the process works but if that’s the case I suggest you study how the process works. If after that point you see a flaw in said process, then report the flaw.

    If in the UK you don’t trust scientists at all, do you never, ever go to see a doctor for anything? Would you trust surgeons to operate on you if you received a gunshot wound? Or would you hold off on the surgery to ask the doctor to explain every minute detail of the operation first? Do you trust that your television will air your favorite TV’s when you press the ON button on the remote control? Do you trust that the Internet isn’t beaming mind controlling signals into your brain as we speak? Or do you only not trust science when it’s not too much of an imposition for you to do so?

    And given that you are so distrustful of scientists, on what basis has the chelation therapy managed to earn your trust? Given how hard it is to convince you of thoroughly proven science, I can’t imagine what it’d take to convince you of unproven pseudoscience. Oh, right. Anecdotal evidence. Well, I can make up one of those easily: I talked to this woman the other day who cured her cancer by leaping out of a 30-story window. It’s an anecdote! See! It must be true!

    And I’ve been very careful about how I’ve referred to chelation therapy and I never denied or even implied that chelation theory was not a legitimate treatment for heavy metal poisoning. I have, however, expressly denied that it is a valid treatment for treating autism, which is obvious given that autism is not caused by heavy metal poisoning but rather by bad genes. And indeed we found that chelation therapy makes no significant improvement on autistic patients when we put the claim to the test in controlled, double blind tests. If this Dr Boyd Haley can cure autism, please let him know that The James Randi Educational Foundation is prepared to give him a check for one million dollars just for providing the proof he claims to have. And if he doesn’t like money, tell him he can give it to a charity of his choice. I know lots of other people could use that million dollars.

  16. [...] sCAM using bogus biomedical boards and bogus medical organizations to sound legitimate – I’m reminded of “Healthy Directions,” the sham medical organization that named “Dr.” Rashid Buttar among the top 50 doctors in the country. [...]

  17. [...] I wonder if my favorite North Carolina quack Rashid Buttar is near [...]

  18. [...] Jennings been exposed as a fraud? It looks like the anti-vaccine community’s and my old friend “Dr.” Rashid Buttar’s favorite “victim of vaccine injury” might not have merely been a victim of psychogenic [...]

  19. Tony Deegan says:

    I’ve just started receiving links to videos made by Buttar’s buddy, Stephen Sinatra, where he is convincing people that “wireless technologies” are the single most serious health threat of the new millenium: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34fR4tlr0Lg
    Have you any insight into this muppet? I’ve too many hippy friends, and they’re going to start annoying me…

    • mjr256 says:

      I’m not that familiar with him but if you google his name and the word “quack” there seems to be a lot of material. And science has yet to show wireless technologies to be any more harmful than chairs.

  20. Jai B says:

    My child has lead poisoning and also a label of autism. We did chelation therapy with him and he improved dramatically. He is by no means cured of autism, but he has moved from having severe M.R. to moderate in a few short months. It’s not something you’d want to do for a long time because it removes minerals as well as heavy metals from the body. I also wouldn’t recommend it in a case of plain autism where heavy metals haven’t shown to be a problem but if your child ate lead paint chips like mine did it’s a good idea to get him or her tested. Heavy metal poisoning is a real ailment and is not uncommon especially in autistic or MR children because a lot of them mouth and chew non food items constantly.

    • mjr256 says:

      Those born autistic are indeed just as capable of also getting lead poisoning as anyone else. And those born autistic do indeed improve over time to varying to degrees. Chelation therapy may be an appropriate treatment for lead poisoning, but it can’t possibly influence an autism diagnosis anymore than surgery can treat Parkinson’s Disease. It’s very common for people to falsely attribute one thing as having caused another thing when one occurs shortly after the other, but that is not sufficient evidence that the two things have any true relationship to one another. In the case of chelation and autism, this has indeed been rigorously tested and chelation has been found to be definitely useless as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders.

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