A fringe cancer doctor has unexpectedly passed away, fueling even more baseless ideas that some foul play is occurring. Those who buy into alternative meds can be too easily led into false correlation. The same delusion goes with a conspiracy theory that groups coincidences under a common cause, made more prominent by media who wish to push their off-the-edge agenda.
From the web page of Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez
It is with great sadness that the office of Nicholas J. Gonzalez, M.D. relays news of his untimely death on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. The cause of death was cardiac related, it appears, as he suddenly collapsed and was unable to be revived. Dr. Gonzalez was in excellent health otherwise so his passing is quite unexpected.
Gonzales authored What Went Wrong: The Truth Behind the Clinical Trial of the Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and wrote for other “natural” health websites, such as NaturalHealth365.
Dr. Gonzales believed that cancer was caused by the changing of an ectopic germ cell into an ectopic trophoblast cell. He believed in “detoxification” and that the person could eliminate their own cancer. He prescribed coffee enemas, megavitamins, trace minerals, glandular extracts, and a change in diet. He followed patient progress by hair analysis. None of his treatments are supported by evidence to suggest they work. Gonzales was not an oncologist.
As we previously posted, the deaths of some alternative practitioners over the past month has been construed as suspicious by some in the holistic health community. The person who appears to be most involved in fueling the conspiracy is Erin Elizabeth of Health Nut News. The story began with the obvious suicide of Dr. Jeff Bradstreet. A federal raid on his offices just prior to this event suggests that Bradstreet had some trouble brewing, possibly regarding the unapproved drugs he was using to “treat” autism.
Right after Bradstreet’s death became public, Health Nut News connected these to the deaths of Dr. Teresa Sievers who was murdered in her home, and Dr. Bruce Hedendal who was found in his car and assumed to have died from natural causes. Also added to the “list” was Dr. Ronald Schwartz, 64, of Palm Beach, Florida and Dr. Baron Holt, a holistic chiropractor, also in Florida. Finally, Dr. Lisa Riley, died of gunshot wound.
Therefore, we have this timeline:
Bradstreet, June 19, suicide
Holt, June 21 (undetermined)
Hedendal, June 21 (undetermined)
Sievers, June 29, homicide
Riley, July 10, gunshot
Schwartz, July 19, homicide
The deceased have not all died in the same way and there is no need to invoke poisoning or some covered-up intent. A concerned community is linking disparate facts and posing a needless, fear-based agent when there isn’t one, creating a false “cluster death” idea. A facebook site promotes these poorly-evidenced ideas that “activists” are being killed. Holistic doctors are NOT exactly activists. Those who support this alt med agenda play loose with their definitions.
Erin Elizabeth of Health Nut News coupled these deaths with two missing doctors: Jeffrey Whiteside (June 29) and Patrick Fitzpatrick (July 3). She includes these missing doctors from North Dakota and Wisconsin into this concocted “mystery” as well as mentioning 3 additional doctors deaths in Mexico. There is no rational reason to connect all these deaths and disappearances except to support her speculation.
Doctors are a common profession. And they die every day. Of COURSE you could string together facts and make an erroneous conclusion as she does. She even admits it:
There are many other doctors who have died around the country in a few strange accidents lately; but I’ve only really been focusing on the ones in this area, which have happened in such a short amount of time.
This is an artificial construct, not a good representation of facts. At first, she attempted to link all the doctors to Florida, even though Bradstreet was in Georgia. The missing doctors, however, are NOT in Florida and the other dead are in Mexico. She isn’t even clear if those in Mexico were holistic healers. Yet, she says she will “keep reporting” on missing and dead doctors while hinting there is a coverup and stating that she fears for others. She notes she is being contacted by mainstream news. Unfortunately, those sources are not clarifying that her piece is a mish-mash of cherry-picked data.
By not clarifying the errors and tacitly endorsing the leaps to unjustified assertions, media outlets spread the false fear. Additional natural health sites are saying “Doctors are dropping like flies” and are also promoting a single agent as part of the equation by asking “who is killing the doctors and why?” There is no justification for assuming there is an agent and these deaths and disappearances are connected. Commentators on these sites, however, believe there is something to it – that the doctors have been murdered. This is the thread they are encouraged to believe by the writers.
There is NO evidence that there is any sort of conspiracy or dirty deeds theme running through these unfortunate and unexpected deaths. (Deaths are OFTEN unanticipated.) As with many alt health news sites, their story is sensational, their supporting evidence sorely lacking.
DN readers may know that simply covering this story, even in a rational way against any conspiratorial ideas, will unintentionally promote the nonsense ideas. But we feel that a rational rebuttal to such outrageous claims is warranted.
Sources: healthnutnews.com: 2 More Doctors Go Missing, after 3 Found Dead in 2 Weeks;
5th holistic doctor age 33 died in Florida making 5 dead and 5 more missing – Health Nut News; healthnutnews.com: MD Found Murdered inside Florida Home Today. This makes 6 in 30 days, 5 still missing
Updated 23-July 2015 with minor corrections to text.
Reminder: Comments calling me an idiot without a high quality citation for such will not be posted.