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Journal of No. 118


April 18th, 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole @ 04:46 pm


Looking over Netflix' recommendations I bumped into the documentary Hoxsey: How Healing Becomes a Crime.

In the 1920's, Harry Hoxsey came up with an unorthodox cancer therapy, composed of wild plants and home remedies.
I'd never heard of this guy, but he has quite a following, even today [well, he's dead (from cancer, natch) but you can still get his therapy at his clinic in Tijuana]. Although the Wikipedia page is pretty skeptical, Googling produces a lot of hits from believer sites. The Amazon page is almost all glowing reviews, and the lone 1-star reviewer gets piled on by 6 comments accusing him of being a shill for the great medical conspiracy. Most of the Netflix reviews are 5 stars, with huge upvotes, and one 1-star review that 1 of 3 found helpful.

And sadly, it looks like a pretty complete scam. "In 1956, the FDA sent an investigator to Hoxsey's clinic posing as a patient. The investigator was told by Hoxsey's clinic that he had cancer (he did not), and that it would take a "long time" to cure him." It's just about the same story as the psychics who will cure you from that curse that's on you; all you have to do is bury a huge pile of cash. Except, of course, that some of these people really do have cancer, and forgoing standard medical treatment can be detrimental.

Yes, yes, I'm a shill for the AMA.
 
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From:edgyspice
Date:April 18th, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
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Oh man, there are soooooo many sketchy documentaries on Netflix. Sometimes Tim and I put on the alien ones and laugh at them. Have you seen the one with Dan Ackroyd talking about UFOs and whatever the fuck else is rattling around in his head? It's fucking hilarious.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:April 18th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
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I haven't seen it, and I'm not a big fan of "so bad it's good" cinema. Is it somehow worthwhile? One advantage(?) of getting all the skeptical literature is that I can read quick reviews of all this crap without having to watch it myself.
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From:edgyspice
Date:April 18th, 2012 08:22 pm (UTC)
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If you're not into the "so bad it's good" stuff (a description which in my experience is true maybe 1 out of every 1000 times), I'd recommend watching it with some loud, funny friends. Otherwise you'd probably just find it kind of exasperating. Tim and I are gluttons for punishment, hahaha.

Journal of No. 118