Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Naturocrit Podcast - Episode 003a Script & Annotations

here, I provide an annotated script for the first part of the third episode of The Naturocrit Podcast which deals with the late 1990's quite false claim that naturopathy is 'science not belief' by the AANP-Alliance consortia:

001. the Episode 003a script and annotations:
Welcome to, as that robot voice says, The Naturocrit Podcast, and thank you for boldly listening.

What ARE we even talking about?

Well, this podcast series is my take on naturopathic medicine, an area I've been studying for about twenty years.

My approach is a pairing of scientific skepticism and a deep knowledge of naturopathy's intimate details.

In the first episode of this series, I established that naturopathy is, essentially, a kind of knowledge blending and misrepresentation.

The science-exterior is mixed with what is scientific, then that whole muddle is falsely claimed to be science as an entire category, while particular sectarian science-ejected obligations are coded or camouflaged, therein effectively disguising naturopathy's system of beliefs in public view.

Naturopathy's ultimate achievement is an absurd erosion of scientific integrity and freedom of belief packaged in the marketing veneer "natural".

In this two-part third episode, I will dig deeply into some of the lobbying, advocacy and promotional materials of the AANP Alliance, its members, and its ND referrals from the late 1990s.

Specifically, I will draw from, in part one:

Alliance web pages that I printed in 1997 and what has been permanently stored at spanning the years 1998 and 1999;

and archived Alliance individual members' web pages including those of

the AANP proper, Bastyr University, National College of Natural Medicine and Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.

In part two, I'll look at a large 1996 naturopathy chapter authored by Bastyr founding dean [correction, founding President] and NCNM graduate ND Pizzorno that the AANP Alliance suggested, in 1997, for those interested in naturopathy "in-depth."

The overarching question for this episode, as particularly relates to the AANP Alliance, its component members and its ND referrals, is:

"historically, can you trust big naturopathy organizations and ND luminaries' labels used to describe naturopathy's contents and overall category?"

Still in my possession are AANP Alliance pages I'd printed in 1997, scanned images of which I will include in the transcript for this episode at the Naturocrit blog.

I consider these important claims because they highly informed my decision to go to naturopathy school in 1998.

I reasonably expected that the Alliance's descriptions were accurate and not false or misleading.

The AANP Alliance main page [here's its history], aimed at legislators, states that the site was created as a "legislative workbook [] rapidly accelerate the state licensing of naturopathic physicians" [here]:

So, basically, this set of web pages were for naturopathy's legislative lobbying activities

The Alliance states, confidently:

"we ask for your careful scrutiny. Be demanding with us. Ask your most difficult questions. Insist on documented answers. The deeper you look, the more comfortable you will become with voting for our licensing bill in your state."

This sounds very certain, as a sort of dare to 'rake us over the coals, at our request, because we definitely have the goods.'

I'm all for such a test: let's demand, scrutinize, rake deeply.

Most note-worthy on that main page is AANP Alliance's big posture that I'll call 'science not belief':

"naturopathic physicians are the modern day science based primary care doctor [...naturopathy] is not a belief system."

That's pretty explicit and absolute: science not belief, to state it tersely.

Now, wouldn't it be weird if I could easily show that what's ESSENTIALLY naturopathic is actually of a category that's science exterior and also of quite beliefy-religiousy stuff?

Oh, I already did that in Episode 001 of this podcast series.

I'll add this, too, as a casual observation, which one day will become an episode in-itself, regarding 'the essentially naturopathic'.

As I've said, naturopathy blends what's supported by science and what's science-exterior and then improperly calls that whole epistemic mixture scientific -- and of course naturopathic -- and sorting through naturopathy's blended, integrated or muddled knowledge can seem challenging.

But, this is quite clear to me: the ACTUAL science parts WITHIN naturopathy truly exist as discrete scientific areas already OUTSIDE of naturopathy, and are therefore NOT naturopathic in any meaningful sense.

There's no such thing as a unique naturopathic science category: such is a mislabeling.

But, let's pose the ESSENTIALLY naturopathic as science as a test, and see where such sits in terms of science.

Here's a list: 'life forces or vital forces', 'god power within you or autoentheism', 'spirits and supernaturalisms', and 'posed objective universal purposefulness and benigness' which I'll call teleology and its rewards.

Those seem essentially naturopathic to me, as I covered by way of ND Sensenig in Episode 001b, because they are at the heart of the 'homeopathy-nature cure / Hahnemann-Lindlahr and company' fusion that is the core of naturopathy.

Yet all such have been DISPOSED of by science, they are preponderantly science-exterior; but not according to naturopathy.

So, specifically, in terms of mislabeling: there are ACTUAL science stand-alone areas within WHAT THEY CALL NATUROPATHY, but its a sneaky phenomenon that I'LL CALL 'improper placement of ACTUAL, stand-alone science areas into what they call naturopathic AS IF inherently naturopathic'.

Diet, lifestyle, exercise, psychology, prevention, pharmacognosy, the basic and clinical sciences come to mind as discrete areas naturopathy purloins, amongst others.

But, those areas exist discretely, obviously, as professions and academic areas: nutritional science, epidemiology, exercise science, psychology, and medical and general sciences and specialties.

Naturopathy's purloining of various clusters of stand-alone sciences INTO naturopathy is the claiming of sciences which aren't INHERENTLY naturopathic as inherently naturopathic.

Simultaneously, on that same coin, there's the phenomenon of naturopathy placing their nonscience 'heart of naturopathy stuff' next to those ACTUAL sciences as if then it all magically becomes one kind of knowledge, science.

The long-running column in Arizona's Tucson Citizen. by ND DeVille comes to mind as an excellent example of both phenomena: claiming various sciences and knowledge areas as essentially naturopathic that aren't placing nonscience next to science and calling the whole thing, absurdly, scientific.

To cover both sides of that epistemic coin, so to speak, I can say in warning: 'the naturopathic plus the scientific does not equal solely scientific or solely naturopathic'.

For instance, in episode 002, I'd mentioned that AANP Alliance member Bastyr University, in their 2012catalog states, "the vitalistic context of science-based naturopathic medicine".

That phrasing is science plus the vitalistic-naturopathic nonscientific, yet, that language-proximity doesn't make the vitalistic scientific and it doesn't make the scientific naturopathic.

Bastyr currently states: "Bastyr [...] a pioneer in natural medicine [...] teaches the natural health sciences with an emphasis on integrating mind, body, spirit and nature."

Bastyr may have housed vitalism on a street with lots of science living on that same street, but that proximity doesn't magically make the contents of that nonscience containing naturopathic house science.

And, of course, naturopathy loves incorporating scientific things not essentially naturopathic as its own: so it would talk a lot about its prestigious science neighbors to elevate its own science-exterior naturopathic address.

I will get back to that in part two of this podcast episode, when I specifically deal with ND Pizzorno and his 1978 marketing, academic, clinical and political decree that all of naturopathy is, fundamentally, "science-based".

Regarding 'what's ESSENTIALLY naturopathic, in retrospect what the AANP Alliance did overall was very strange, IMHO: in the late 1990s, it published claims toward legislators that were categorically false and misleading if you understand naturopathy's lineage and contents, and the difference between science and belief.

Some might say those claims were purposely deceptive if one were to honestly hold naturopathy to the very high standards of professional, scientific, commercial, and academic TRANSPARENCY, and not engage in epistemic charity.

Back in the late 1990s, I was a prospective student naively reading this Alliance stuff and it never occurred to me that such a racket was going on couched inside a 'doctoral level science' labeled program.

I was consuming the Alliance's material in good faith.

I actually, at that time, didn't think such a racket COULD go on.

I mean, who in their right mind would pose a FALSE position to lawmakers -- aka states' legislative branches -- to further their particular commercial and ideological ends, and that such could EVER happen especially academically at the multiply accredited doctoral science level?

Boy do I know better now!

And it still goes on now.

Anyway, from an archived web page linked to that main page, the "Scope of Practice" page, the AANP Alliance referred the inquisitive reader to that ND Pizzorno authored chapter on naturopathy in the print book "Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine" from 1996 that will be part two of this third episode (1996, ISBN 0443053553).
That page also linked to the pages "Scientific Basis for Naturopathic Medicine", and "AANP Position Papers" which linked to "Oath", and the main page linked to "Education and Training of NaturopathicPhysicians: Your Constituents Deserve Standards for Primary Care" which emphasized, regarding science:

"[naturopathy] graduates possess knowledge and skills GROUNDED in a scientific BASIS [...] to attend naturopathic medical school, applicants complete the same BASIC science premedical requirements required by the conventional schools of medicine [...] the first two years of naturopathic education are comparable to the conventional schools of medicine emphasizing BASIC sciences."

The base, the foundation, the ground upon which naturopathy rests, is claimed to be STANDARD science and not specifically any kind of other-than-typical / other-than-mainstream / other-than-standard -- aka 'a faked kind' -- of science.

"when expert and objective scientists, educators, or regulators have examined the scientific BASIS of naturopathic medicine, they have concluded that naturopathic medicine, as practiced by the licensable professionals in the U.S., is well GROUNDED in modern scientific method and practice."
I'd love to know how to legitimately scientifically ground the science-exterior typical naturopathic stuff like:

I think that the primary science filter would be biological and medical sciences: how does applied kinesiology or even iridology pass through the consensus filters of scientific method and scientific practice successfully?

Perhaps their science is a faked kind of merely decreed or postured science, but not an actually practiced, legitimately vetted science!

Yet, we're told by the AANP Alliance:

"each of the major therapies used by naturopathic physicians is rooted in scientific literature [...] modern naturopathic medicine incorporates advances in science [...] scientific studies of methods utilized by naturopathic physicians not only validate naturopathic treatments, but leads to their improvement [...] the Textbook of Natural Medicine includes 10,000 citations of scientific studies on naturopathic methods [...] the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians publishes a peer reviewed scientific journal, The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine [I happen to have the first several volumes, by the way...and they tell us this information was] taken from [the] AANP Quarterly Newsletter [article] 'Is Naturopathic Medicine Scientific?' [by] Paul Bergner (Vol. 5, No. 3, p. 34)."
[Incidently, I received directly through USPS "Safety, Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness in Naturopathic Medicine" by way of the BCNA in Canada which has the root 'scien' in it at least 59 times:
Now, rather buried, hidden, coded or conveniently omitted at these Alliance pages, is the essentially naturopathic, the required and defining belief things not science such as vitalism and supernaturalism that an oath is taken to.

That Oath is mentioned, though its contents are rather opaquely presented.

In "Naturopathic Physician's Oath" we're told the ND will obligate his/ her -self this way:

"I will use methods of treatment which follow the principles of naturopathic medicine [...including] to act in cooperation with the healing power of nature [...] I pledge to remain true to this oath."

Wow, that's rather brief and very opaque for something as important as an overarching naturopathic essential belief set obligation.

Their Oath goes on with a further obligation:

"I dedicate myself [...] as a practitioner of the art and science of naturopathic medicine."

There's that overarching science claim again, upon naturopathy's principles and contents, as an oath obligation.

But, here's my take on the oath, after twenty years of observation: as a naturopath, you obligate yourself to a set of purposely coded or disguised beliefs falsely labeled science, as a general operating mannerism clinically, academically, commercially, and politically.

Yet, the oath claims high ethical standards, speaking of an ND's obligation to:

"the servive of humanity [...and a] genuine concern for humanity [...a] vigilance, integrity, and freedom from prejudice [...that a licensed ND] will abstain from voluntary acts of injustice and corruption."

That's quite ironic, and quite a reversal of values because when you rake beneath naturopathy's science veneer, you easily find an obvious corruption of scientific integrity and freedom of belief as their operating mannerism top to bottom.

As I got to know what was going on as I went through naturopathy school myself, slowly I realized I could not take their oath, knowing what's at their core and how they mislabel it galore.

The AANP Allaince main page stated:

"the Alliance, which sponsors this site, is a cooperative effort among the AANP, Bastyr University, National College of Naturopathic Medicine and the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences."

I'm now going to use the archived web pages of those AANP Alliance members to flesh out what naturopathy's usually hidden principles specifically are, with their own words.

They don't hide the heart of naturopathy all the time!

All members claim that these principles survive scientific scrutiny, and with such a categorical claim of science, it does mean that they all claim that these principles are objective fact, that what is entailed is really here, actual and science filtered!
In terms of ND officers, according to the AANP Alliance, from their archived main page:

"Dr. Rick Brinkman [was then] President of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians [...and] Dr. Nancy Aagenes [was then] Chair of the Alliance on the State Licensing of Naturopathic Physicians."

[For ND Brinkman, click here; for ND Aagenes, click here].

Now, the AANP proper's oldest web pages, hosted at, are saved by since 1997


Yet, even on their principles page "Naturopathic Principles and Philosophy", which supposedly existed to explain the basis of naturopathy, we are not told transparently about naturopathy's essential, science-ejected core principle or context and treatment goal with any kind of honest detail, which is fascinating.

Plus, we're told: "naturopathic medicine is a distinct system."

Distinct now means not being transparent about the 'heart of naturopathy' and using false epistemic labels, I guess.

That's pretty vile, but all is not lost in terms of finding vitalism by way of the AANP proper.
It links to archived versions of theirJournal of Naturopathic Medicine, that I'll call JNM, which, as I mentioned earlier, was touted as scientific by the AANP Alliance.

The JNM article "The First Atlasand Text of Bio-Energy Therapy", published in volume 1 number 1 -- which has terrible spelling, and I've proofed it against the printed journal copy I own, and it too has the really bad spelling -- states:

"Arnaldo Zanetta, Professor at the University of Milan [is] president and founder of the Institute for Research of Radiant Bio-Energy [...he is] from the world of science [...and supposedly has] with an array of electronic instruments [...] measured, calibrated and documented manifestations of life energy from the hands of recognized healers [...during their] laying on hands [...and has written] an atlas of standardized bio-energy healing [...] the existence and significance of bioenergy has been the cornerstone of the Oriental healing arts [as qi...] this ancient knowledge [...aka] energy medicine [...] life energy [...] the subtle bio-energies."

Life energy, qi, bio-energy or energy medicine is, of course, the vitalism-spiritism at the heart of naturopathy -- the healing power of nature -- that they didn't specifically or transparently mention on the AANP Alliance or AANP proper web pages, particularly in their Oath.

It doesn't exist, by ND luminary Sensenig's own admission, as we saw in Episode 001b.

So, overall, finding 'it that isn't' is rather like the N-Rays self-deception of Blondlot, on the part of author Zanetta, IMHO: pathological science

[Zanetta, Zanatta! My bad].

And we're told in the article of:

"the pioneering scientists of the recent past, such as Wilhelm Reich", yet his work is completely discredited.

Throw the word science a few times into an article about something that doesn't exist EVEN THEN and is science-ejected, and that's naturopathy for you.

Yet, as I mentioned earlier, AANP Alliance said the JNM was a scientific journal.

Was science used as a method and practice upon this article?

No, it merely reinforced a naturopathic essential belief through summarization of a trade publication as if that work too was truly scientifically vetted.

Now volume 2 issue 1 of the JNM had ND Bastyr on the cover, and stated in its caption:

"John Bastyr [...] N.D. [...] was for many years a popular lecturer in both basic and clinical sciences at National College. Dr. Bastyr continues to see up to 30 patients daily. When asked about the future of naturopathic medicine, he replied gently, 'keep on with the scientific research, but don't lose the philosophy' [...the] statue of Dr. Bastyr [is] courtesy of Bastyr College of Natural Health Sciences, Seattle Washington."

So, lets go to Bastyr University's archived web page, since Bastyr is that "science" place.

The [1997] homepage of Bastyr states:

"Bastyr University was founded in 1978 to train naturopathic physicians with a scientific approach [...with a] mission to serve as an effective leader and a vital force in the improvement of the health and well-being of the human community."

Hmmm, somebody is having fun.

Yes, the overarching science claim upon naturopathy and the TERM vital force.

The usage there, though, is unusual for naturopathy.

Vital force in naturopathy is a physiological claim as we'll see from NCNM, a school which Bastyr is essentially a branching from, and here it is used in a more poetic or figurative, shall I say, sense.

But, I'll hazard to guess, I think this is a kind of dog whistle strategy: a usage of the central vitalistic naturopathic term softly, indirectly, slimily.

Bastyr, in my research experience, has been the least likely to transparently relate the essential vitalism directly which is at the core of naturopathy and instead maintains what I'll call a 'science, science, science' labeling.

As I've already cited in this part one though, Bastyr, by 2012, placed the term vitalistic in their catalog and used it in its truly usual vitalistic sense as opposed to a poetic or figurative dog whistle sense.

We hit pay dirt at NCNM's archived pages, and I find that appropriate since NCNM is the trunk of the North American naturopathic tree.

It's graduates, including ND Pizzorno, started Bastyr.

"the College has been at the center of the profession, preserving and extending the legacy of naturopathic medicine".

Now, its 1998 archived "Philosophyof Naturopathic Medicine" page does not transparently explain the vitalism at the heart of naturopathy, stating:

"six principals of healing form the foundation for naturopathic medical practice. [#1] Vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature: the healing process is ordered and intelligent. The body has the inherent ability - the vitality - not only to heal itself and restore health, but also to ward off disease. Illness is not caused simply by an invasion of external agents or germs, but is a manifestation of the organism's attempt to defend and heal itself. The physician's role is to identify and remove agents blocking the healing process, bolster the patient's healing capacity, and support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment."

In "Program of Study" [1998] we're told:

"the first two years focus on the standard medical sciences."

In their page "About This Catalog" [1998] we're told:

"here at NCNM, we honor our roots in the ancient healing wisdom of many cultures, while we contribute to new scientific knowledge that underscores and expands this wisdom [...] each of these skills is developed only after the completion of premedical and basic science educational requirements that meet or exceed those of any mainstream or alternative medical school."

Yes, a science claim of a general kind of science, a standard science, of colleges, universities and professional scientific organizations.

That's weird because when you look at their page "The Profession" [1998] we're told:

"naturopathic medicine is a distinctively natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integration of the whole person [...] causes may occur on many levels, including physical, mental-emotional and spiritual. The physician must evaluate fundamental underlying causes on all levels, directing treatment at root causes rather than at symptomatic expression."

So there's supernaturalism by way of spirit, called natural.

It goes on:

"naturopathic medicine is heir to the vitalistic tradition of medicine in the Western world, emphasizing the treatment of disease through the stimulation, enhancement and support of the inherent healing capacity of the person. Methods of treatment are chosen to work with the patient's life force, respecting the natural healing process [...] these principles distinguish the profession from other medical approaches [...#1] the healing power of nature, vis medicatrix naturae: the body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician's role is to facilitate and augment this process [...#3] first do no harm, primum no nocere: illness is a purposeful process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the life force attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complementary to and synergistic with this healing process. The physician's actions can support or antagonize the actions of the vis medicatrix naturae" [you'll notice quite similar language at, because they've drank the cool-aide too.  A state well-steeped in the pseudoscience and quackery racket!].

So, there's science-exterior vitalism, NOW EXPLAINED finally.

And we're told:

"the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six principles of healing [...] based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease and are examined continually in light of scientific analysis [...and speaks of awareness of] the age of scientific inquiry."

And now we've entered the land of false science claims, at NCNM, the trunk of the naturopathy tree particularly in the United States.

Even in 1998, vitalism was science ejected, as I'd cited in episode 001.b. by way of the 1996 position paper of the National Association of Biology Teachers at the National Center for Science Education [here it is archived in 1997].

For the vitalism at SCNM, which falls in line somewhere between Bastyr's typical opacity and NCNM's eventual transparency, I will leave a link in the transcript of this episode to my continually accruing web page 'appendix' [here].

So to answer my overarching episode question with what's been covered so far:

"historically, can you trust big naturopathy organizations and ND schools' labels used to describe naturopathy's contents and overall category?"

Well, if you are of the mind that 2 + 2 doesn't equal 5, then I'd say No, You Can't.

Science cannot be legitimately used to label obvious nonscience, in a world of sane people at least.

In part two of this episode 003, we'll see if such a mislabeling happens by way of ND Pizzorno's 1996 chapter.

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