Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Naturocrit Podcast - Episode 003b Script & Annotations

here, I provide an annotated script for the second part of the third episode of The Naturocrit Podcast which deals primarily with the claims of the late 1990's naturopathy chapter by ND Pizzorno in Micozzi's "Complementary and Alternative Medicine".

001. the Episode 003b 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, including my time in so-called 'scientific nonsectarian naturopathic medical school'.

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

In previous episodes of this series, I established that naturopathy is, essentially, a kind of knowledge blending, misrepresentation, and irrationality.

I have termed naturopathy both 'an epistemic conflation falsely posing itself as an epistemic delineation' and 'the naturopathillogical': the science-exterior is mixed with what is scientific, then that whole muddle is absurdly claimed to be science as an entire category, while particular sectarian science-ejected oath-obligations and -requirements are coded or camouflaged, therein effectively disguising naturopathy's system of beliefs in public view.

Naturopathy's ultimate achievement is a profound erosion of scientific integrity and freedom of belief packaged in the marketing veneer "natural" and improperly embedded in the academic category "science".


In this Episode 003 part 2, a continuation of my research into naturopathy's category claims from the late 1990s, I'll cite from the 1996 and 2000 editions of the printed compilation "Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine" (1996, ISBN 0443053553; 2000, ISBN 0443065764; published by Churchill Livingstone).

The book's 1996 naturopathy chapter was recommended by the AANP-Alliance for those interested in naturopathy 'in-depth', as I'd mentioned in this episode's first part.

Specifically, I'll be citing from the NDs Pizzorno and Snider -authored chapter titled "Naturopathic Medicine."

I'll also be citing from a book authored by ND Pizzorno from 1996 titled "Total Wellness: Improve Your Health By Understanding the Body's Healing Systems" (1996, ISBN 0761504338, Prima Publishing) and two interviews by ND Snider from the Townsend Letter.

By the way, you can easily buy these books and articles used and in great shape online for only a few dollars including shipping, and the transcript of this podcast episode will contain their ISBNs or web addresses.

With these sources to draw from -- which I have digitized for myself for easy searching after obtaining them in paper -- what's 'essentially naturopathic' may be revealed to us by way of these two NDs' very own words.

And, still, the central question of this podcast episode 003 part 2 is: "historically, can you trust big naturopathy organizations and ND luminaries' labels used to describe naturopathy's contents and overall category?"

I think, by the end of part 1 of this episode, I broadly answered that question regarding big naturopathy organizations, with a resounding 'NO, BEWARE.'

But what about an individual, highly-influential, intracontinental [North America!], 'luminous' ND such as ND Pizzorno?


I'm wondering if you like your medicine to largely include: scientific illiteracy, a quite selective knowledge of the history of the central premises of modern life science, and blatant absurdity and junk-thought bone-headed irrationality all delivered to you by way of a Pacific Northwest, straight-faced and very serious, authoritarian, expert self-promoter?

Regarding ND Pizzorno

I didn't find a biography page for him.

I guess one has yet to be written.

That's not too inconvenient though, because the first-page results of a web search for >Joseph Pizzorno naturopathic< is quite adequate.

You get: 

a) ND Pizzorno's biography page at,

 a page whose Web MD presence is rather strange because an ND as in Nancy is not an MD as in Mary, titled "Joseph E. Pizzorno Jr., ND", which states:  "Joseph E. Pizzorno Jr., ND is one of the world's leading authorities on science-based natural / integrative medicine [...he is] the author of Total Wellness [...] Pizzorno has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 2006 at the 50th anniversary of the founding of National College of Naturopathic Medicine, he was recognized as its most illustrious graduate."

Luminous, illustrious...

There's that naturopathy = natural medicine = integrative medicine formulation, that "Total Wellness" connection, the HUGE claim of authority-on-science, and NCNM as an alma mater [here is NCNM's Wikipedia page].

b) His very-own web page autobiography 

is "About Dr. Pizzorno" where we're told additionally: "he is the founding president of Bastyr University."

That is the alma mater of ND Snider.

c) Incidentally, a 2013 biography of ND Pizzorno, 

in "Merging Medicine XIV", that I have archived, that was up at the California Naturopathic Doctors Association, states  [see, which is now empty; vsc 2013-04-26; archived here:]: "Dr. Joseph Pizzorno is a world leading authority on science-based natural medicine, a term he coined in 1978".


d) And Bastyr University states

in "Founding of Bastyr": "three NCNM graduates [...] naturopathic physicians [...] Drs. Les Griffith, William A. Mitchell, Jr. and Joseph E. Pizzorno, Jr. [...] saw an opportunity to create a new naturopathic school in Seattle [...] building the school on a science-based foundation."

That science, science, science a base, as a foundation.

From Where Does ND Pizzorno's Science Credentials Come From?  

As far as I can tell, from reading web-posted and various printed biographical and autobiographical sketches [see] ND Pizzorno is NOT a scientist in any professional or academic sense if we regard such a qualification as possession of, minimally, a Master's degree or a PhD or Doctorate degree in a science discipline and MOST IMPORTANTLY since science is an ACTIVITY,  influential / high status publication of important, ground-breaking science.

I'll often refer to him as Old Science-Based Joe, a nickname I COINED and have used in past blog posts.

I met him once in person around 1999-2000 while in naturopathy school at UBCNM during lobbying activities for naturopathy licensure in Massachusetts.

By the end of this podcast episode, you will be quite aware that what Old Science-Based Joe is claiming is that within science, amongst other things, is the vitalistic-supernatural and the homeopathic.

That is quite RADICAL and revolutionary: such if true would easily be worthy of a Nobel Prize, the scientific 'proving' of stuff that has been patently science-exterior, for several decades and a few hundred years.

But, don't get your hopes up too high in terms of Stockholm: Old Science-Based Joe merely has a 1975 doctorate in naturopathy from the National College of Natural Medicine, formerly called the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, and a well-practiced ability to use Pubmed.

I see his activity as, to be polite, literary publication through noncritical CAM outlets, often by cherry-picking weak and extraneous stuff that's out there to supposedly support the essentially naturopathic as well as citation of mundane or shall I say other-disciplines' good quality stuff that obviously doesn't specifically support 'the essentially naturopathic' at all.

We are, after all, in a land of blending, perloining and vagarity, as opposed to analysis, authenticity and specificity when we deal with naturopathy!

Overall, it appears to me that ND Pizzorno constructed BOTH his and naturopathy's 'science-based authority or expertise status' much in the same way Hollywood movie studios would create a set representing a Western cowboy town that ends up, when you start poking around, being merely a facade.

Constructed, coined...

So, that's me dealing with "a Pacific Northwest, straight-faced and very serious, expert self-promoter."

By the adjective 'authoritarian' I mean, specifically, "of, relating to, or expecting [or demanding] unquestioning obedience" [see].

Well, I cannot obey the 'science-based emperor's decreed labeling' no matter how often it is emphasized: I know too much about what science actually does and supports and the actual contents of naturopathy in terms of what it does and believes to see that science-based label as anything other than an inaccurate veneer.

My strongest weapons are my refusal and my accumulated knowledge, and I KNOW that we need to go to Oregon sources to understand that 1975 NCNM credential.

NCNM and

Now, I will forever love and in terms of what those two sources communicate about naturopathy's epistemic contents.

I'd mentioned “scientific illiteracy, a quite selective knowledge of the history of the central premises of modern life science, blatant absurdity, and junk-thought bone-headed irrationality."

Therefore, NCNM and!

The apples don't fall far from their trees or alma maters, and these are the seeds naturopathy has planted.


The principle page that covers naturopathy's contents at NCNM presently is "About Naturopathic Medicine".

Its science claims include: "the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease and are examined continually in light of scientific analysis [...] our mission is to educate and train physicians, practitioners and pre-professionals in the art, science and research of natural medicine."

And yet we're told on the same page: "homeopathic medicine is based on the principle of 'like cures like.' Clinical observation indicates that it works on a subtle, yet powerful, energetic level, gently acting to promote healing on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels [...] the physician must also make a commitment to her/his personal and spiritual development [...] causes may occur on many levels, including physical, mental-emotional, and spiritual."

So, those are claims that the contents of naturopathy, in theory and practice, survive scientific scrutiny and are objective fact: including the supernatural and homeopathic.

Also we're told, and here we go into the quite science-exterior sectarian: "these principles stand as the distinguishing marks of the profession: [#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 [#2...] first do no harm, primum no nocere: the process of healing includes the generation of symptoms, which are, in fact, expressions 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 vis medicatrix naturae [...naturopathy is] the practice of promoting health through stimulation of the vital force."

Now, regarding "scientific illiteracy, [and] a quite selective knowledge of the history of the central premises of modern life science" vitalism aka life force aka HPN or VMN aka 'this process' is science-ejected and science does not contain the supernatural, in fact.

But, in fact, as we will see, Old Science-Based Joe's "Total Wellness" explains that this idea of "life force" is "spirit."

So, we have at the heart of naturopathy a specific kind of supernaturalism...aka the sectarian... mislabeled scientific objective fact.

Now, regarding "blatant absurdities": homeopathy...enough said.

And regarding "junk-thought bone-headed irrationality", since when is a profession based upon falsehood and opacity?

And remember, this is the alma mater of, and its contents are the main credentials of, a similarly 'self-decreed' "science-based" authority.

NCNM is in the state of Oregon, and the naturopaths have managed to '.gov codify' the very same content I just covered by way of NCNM into state statute.'s page "Welcome to the Board of Naturopathic Medicine" states: "the mission of the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine is to protect the public by licensing and regulating naturopathic physicians. The Board will promote physician excellence and will foster communication within the profession and with the public. The State Board of Naturopathic Medicine, established by the 1927 Legislature, is empowered to protect the public by licensing and regulating naturopathic physicians in Oregon."

How ironic: protection, regulation, excellence, communication, professionalism, licensing aka permission! tells us of science in "Naturopathy": "naturopathic physicians (N.D.) [...] are educated in conventional medical sciences [...] the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six underlying principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, and are continually reexamined in light of scientific analysis [...] a growing body of scientific knowledge validates the naturopathic approach [...and speaks of] scientific research"

And yet, it also states, entailing sectarian science-exterior ideas and goals: "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 treatments are chosen to work with the patient’s vital force [...] it is these principles that 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 complimentary to and synergistic with this healing process. The physician’s actions can support or antagonize the actions of the vis medicatrix naturae [...] the healing power of nature: nature acts powerfully through healing mechanisms in the body and mind to maintain and restore health. Naturopathic medicine restores and supports these inherent healing systems when they have broken down."

Or shall we say 'metaphysician'!

State-endorsed: science subset nonscience commerce, falsely labeled all science.

Cash registers are standing by.

And again I repeat: "scientific illiteracies, a quite selective knowledge of the history of the central premises of modern life science, blatant absurdities and junk-thought bone-headed irrationality."

This is a very inappropriate use of the label science, and licensed falsehood marches on.

My biggest question is: why would a state become an accomplice to all this falsehood?

The Naturopathy Chapter of 
"Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine" 1996
In the 1996 version, solely authored by Old Science-Based Joe, the naturopathy chapter has 35 instances of the root 'scien'.

The biggest of broadest science statements includes: "in 1978, the John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine later renamed Bastyr University was formed in Seattle, Washington, by Joseph E. Pizzorno, Jr, ND, Lester E. Griffith, ND, William Mitchell, ND, and Sheila Quinn to teach science-based natural medicine […and speaks of] an appreciation for the appropriate use of science [p.171]."

This parallels my citation from the AANP-Alliance in the first half of this podcast episode -- which Bastyr was a member of, and NCNM ND Pizzorno's alma mater was a member of -- when they quite untruthfully told us a naturopath is "the modern day science-based primary care doctor."

Ah, the appropriateness of posing nonscience as science...


Another of Old Science-Based Joe's broad statements includes: "naturopathic medicine, as well as the entire concept of natural medicine, might appear to be an unscientific fad that will soon pass away. To the informed, it is clear that naturopathic medicine is at the forefront of the future of medicine. The scientific tools now exist to assess and appreciate many aspects of natural medicine [p.179]."

I would argue that, conversely, the 'entire concept of natural medicine' is an unscientific fad to the informed, as it is an unnecessary 'thought diffusion by way of a vague and useless marketing label, natural'.

I'd also argue that the scientific tools have existed for several decades and a few hundred years which easily demarcate certain essential aspects of naturopathy as nonscience though the NDs have bundled-up such stuff in the category "science-based natural medicine."


Another very broad science statement is: "the most comprehensive compilation of the scientific documentation of naturopathic philosophy and therapies can be found in A Textbook of Natural Medicine [...] this two volume set is updated on a regular basis and now comprises over 200 chapters and references over 10,000 citations from the peer reviewed scientific literature [p.179]."

That is an ND Pizzorno co-edited text that will get a episode all to itself.

Really, the scientific documentation of naturopathy's science-exterior ideas and methods?

Where is the Nobel?


And finally, regarding science: "the [ND] training program is very similar to conventional medical education, with the primary differences being in the therapeutic sciences [check page…] the first two years concentrate on the standard human biologic sciences, basic diagnostic sciences, and an introduction to the various treatment modalities [...] the second two years are oriented toward the clinical sciences of diagnosis and treatment [p.179]."

Pizzorno from his book "Total Wellness"

Now, there are piles of science claims within this book with the most broad being: "in 1978 [...] Bastyr University was formed in Seattle, Washington [ NDs] Pizzorno [...] Griffith [...and] Mitchell [...] to teach science-based natural medicine [...with the graduates labeled] the new breed of scientifically-trained naturopaths."

We're also told, in terms of science in naturopathy: "[naturopathy's] basic medical sciences include anatomy, human dissection, histology, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, public health, pharmacology, and biostatistics [...] the second two years are oriented toward the clinical sciences of diagnosis and treatment [...] the natural therapies, such as nutrition, botanical medicines, homeopathy, acupuncture, natural childbirth, hydrotherapy, fasting, physical therapy, exercise therapy, counseling, and lifestyle modification are studied extensively."

There's that epistemic mixing again, such as: exercise science and then homeopathy, as if all things listed are a clinical science.

Now, we were just told that naturopathy is science based, but now we're told that naturopathy is based on something else, concepts or principles or a supposed philosophy which is couching all of naturopathy's actions.

Science-Based Joe tells us, first in that rather veiled manner that NDs usually employ [such as this recent Bastyr post which is quite veiled at]: "seven powerful concepts provide the foundation for naturopathic medicine and pave the way for a unique group of professionals to practice a form of medicine that fundamentally changes the way we think about health [...this] common philosophy of health and disease. This commonality distinguishes the profession [...#1] the healing power of nature, vis medicatrix naturae: nature acts powerfully through healing mechanisms in the body [...] fundamental to the practice of naturopathic medicine is a profound belief in the ability of the body to heal itself, the vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature [...] the practice of naturopathic medicine is grounded in vis medicatrix naturae [...] supporting the body’s own healing processes [...] the term vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature [is used] to denote the body’s ability and drive to heal itself [...] these inherent systems [...] the natural processes [...] naturopathic physicians assert that all true healing results from this principle. The application of vis medicatrix naturae [...] intrinsic healing process[es...] the natural healing process [...] the body’s healing mechanisms [...] diagnostic issues arising from the principles of naturopathy: the healing power of nature -- how is the healing power of nature supported in the case?"

And then that central premise and obligation gets more exposed, shall I say: "there is really but one healing force in existence and that is nature herself [...] naturopathic medicine is a vitalistic system of health care [...] naturopathic medicine is vitalistic in its approach: life amounts to more than the sum of biochemical processes, and the body has an innate intelligence that strives constantly for health. Vitalism [...] the foundation of naturopathic medicine is the vitalistic philosophy of vis medicatrix naturae, 'the healing power of nature' [...and it mentions] vital forces [...] acupuncture is an ancient Chinese system of medicine involving the stimulation of certain specific points on the body to enhance the flow of vital energy (qi) along pathways called meridians."

I state this as an obligation because vital force as healing power of nature is written into naturopathy's oath.

Then we get to where the rubber meets the road, by what's meant by all this vitalism.

There are 35 instances of spirit in my OCR'd copy of Total Wellness.

Finally, we're told this: "seven underlying, health-sustaining systems of our body must function effectively to ensure our well-being, prevent disease, and allow a full life: the immune system, the detoxification system, the inflammatory system, the metabolic system, the regulatory system, the regeneration system, and our life-force (or spirit) [p.024]."

Life-force is spirit.

This will be touched on again in the 2000 version of the naturopathy chapter in "Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine".

Now there's an entire chapter in "Total Wellness" titled "Live in Harmony with the Psychosocial / Spiritual / Life-Force."

I'm not sure I understand why this vitalistic-spiritistic conception HAS to be equated with the "psychosocial."

Why SHOULD the mind and one's social connections be equal to an article of faith such as a life force or spirit conception?

The book's index, incidentally, states: "life force. See spiritual system [p.410]."

Ah, but the AANP-ALLIANCE stated that naturopathy wasn't a belief system!

The 2000 Chapter of "Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine"
and ND Snider's Interviews

Comparatively: there were 27 instances of "vital" in the 2000 version, an increase from 15 in the 1996 version; and there were 35 instances of the root 'scien' in the 1996 version, and that increased to 74 in the 2000 version.

That's interesting: more vitalism and more science, yet vitalism-spiritism is patently science-exterior.

Then we get to where more rubber meets the road, in terms of science, vitalism and spiritism:

Change #1: the language "with its unique integration of vitalistic, scientific, academic, and clinical training in medicine, the naturopathic medical model" was added.

I must note that to integrate is to blend, not to demarcate.

It is, obviously, conflation and not analysis.

Change #2: "vitalism has reemerged in today’s terms in the body-mind-spirit dialogue. Matter, mind, energy, and spirit are each part of nature and therefore are part of medicine that observes, respects, and works with nature."

So, there is that kind of metaphysical construct or belief system of spirit-vitalism, panspiritism or animism, that truly doesn't distinguish between science and nonscience, and nature and supernatural.

Now, I have no problem with people believing whatever they want in terms of freedom of belief because that is a fundamental right.

I do have a problem with engaging in commerce, particularly education commerce as I experienced, with false science labels upon sectarian often hidden beliefs!

In claiming these beliefs as scientific fact, choices are being removed by naturopathy in terms of freedom of belief.

Change #3: "what distinguishes naturopathic medicine’s clinical research from biomedicine’s [...] is not the presence or lack of science. It is a collective confidence in the perception of a vital force or life force."

Yet vital or life force is science-ejected, period.

And as spirit or the supernatural, it is not science-processable.

Also, ND Snider, a Bastyr graduate, is on record in a 2005 interview in the Townsend Letter stating: "naturopathic medicine relies on the vital life force within human beings."

And a Townsend Letter for Doctors April 1992 interview has ND Snider [which I own in paper] stating: "we believe in the vital force which has inherent organization, is intelligent and intelligible [...] we have vis medicatrix naturae. Our way is to research the mystery and beauty of the life force, in which we have faith."

Now, what's even more interesting is that ND Snider was co-chair of the naturopathy principles project that put all these ideas down on paper, as Bastyr recounts [noticed the coding] and hosts.


Well, this has been quite an historic tour of old naturopathy stuff from the late 1990s.

The central question of this podcast episode 003 is: "historically, can you trust big naturopathy organizations and ND luminaries' labels used to describe naturopathy's contents and overall category?"

At the end of the first part of this episode, in terms of the organizations, my answer was 'NO, BEWARE.'

And now, at the end of this second part, specifically in terms of the very illustrious ND Pizzorno, I must also state 'NO, NO WAY.'

Naturopathy, in so many ways, is a complete reversal of values.

What's labeled distinct is actually blended, what's labeled science is actually science-exterior, what's labeled not a belief system and nonsectarian is actually faith-based and sectarian GALORE.

If you stuck through this analysis of naturopathy-the-epistemic-train-wreck, you have my admiration.

This has been....
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