Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Naturocrit Podcast - s02e02b2 [Episode 012b2] - Script & Annotations

here, I provide an annotated script for the second half of Part Two of Episode Twelve of The Naturocrit Podcast. I cover the AMA Code of Ethics, the CT and NY medical societies, the NYANP mimicking 'society', and the verdict of the Ezekiel Stephan trial:

001. the Episode 012b2 script and annotations:

Standard Introduction:

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 veneers "natural, holistic, integrative and alternative" and improperly embedded in the academic category "science".

Episode Synopsis:

In this Naturocrit Podcast Episode 12, aka s02e02, titled "Preponderant and Universal Medical Ethical Codes and North American Naturopathy's Transgressions", I've been looking at modern medicine's ethical commitments, and comparing those stringencies to naturopathy's 'anything goes' laxity.

In this second half of Part Two, I'll be looking at the American Medical Association's Code of Ethics, as well as some pages from the Connecticut State Medical Society, the Medical Society of the State of New York, and the naturopaths' mimicking 'society' in New York State and their ND Bongiorno.

I will also cover the recent verdict of the Ezekiel Stephan trial in Alberta, Canada.

Main Text:

Before I get to the AMA Code of ethics and other things I'd just mentioned, I'd like to touch back on a label I'd used upon naturopathy from part one of Part One of this episode:

"required fraudulence."

I'd said then:

'required fraudulence' is FINE within naturopathy.

As an example, let me present ND Shikhman. 


ND Shikhman:

Now, as I searched with google.com for New York and Connecticut naturopathy stuff for this Episode, I got amongst the results placed paid advertising from regional naturopaths, as a search engine is prone to do these days.

I must include one particular practice that keeps quite aggressively appearing, that of ND Shikhman:

There's a certain kind of ADMIRABLE and DIGNIFIED – and I mean that sarcastically in the sense of naturopathy's typical reversal of values -- 'everything is there'-ness about her web pages that cannot be kept secret.

They are just SO JUICY, VERY succulent in factlessness and lack of historical knowledge.

The naturopathy practice is in Stamford, Connecticut, a city which is geographically close to Connecticut's border with New York State.

The ND cannot help but serve as another MODEL naturopath, actually, because:

'she do that naturopathy commerce voodoo that she do so well'.

And obviously, her mainstream advertising means her stuff is NOT SECRET VOODOO, and has not been secret for several years:

I guess I'm the fool not getting paid like Google while mentioning these NDs all the time, likely increasing their Google PageRanks for free.

So, ND Shikhman is a UBCNM graduate (2016 archived), the Connecticut school, who was, according to naturopathy's partner, the State of Connecticut, licensed in 2005.

And her practice, “White Oak Center”, I absolutely LOVE in terms of its contents and my mission's context.

whiteoakmedical.com web pages have been curated at Archive.org since 2007.

That's roughly ten years of this naturopathy nonsense in terms of commerce, 'curated for eternity'.

First, of course, lets see what kind of science claims are made, and then we'll look at what BELIES that 'of science claim or label or posture'.

In other words, let's look at 'the naturopathy science that ain't science' aka 'typical naturopathic commerce' that's endorsed by SO MANY:

so many, so lowly.

ND Shikhman Science Claims:

On the page “Licensure and Regulations” (2016 archived) we're told:

“a licensed naturopathic physician (N.D.) attends a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an M.D.”


same doctoral-level science.

But that's not true, as we've seen from the sausage that that UBCNM factory spits out, as we've seen based on the components inside of the factory:

the science at Naturopathyland University contains abject nonscience.

That is not a matter of opinion.

ND Shikhman, in the flesh, IS the sausage spit out 'by that so malfunctioning of an educational apparatus', UBCNM.

Ah, the tree and the apples that fall from it:

perhaps we should somewhat forgive the ND in the sense of 'dyseducation sectarian brainwashing', because the supposed science she was taught at Naturopathyland University truly contains abject nonscience falsely labeled science.

But, I can't forgive:

her words and actions are HER responsibility, as one's words and actions always are.

Particularly when you have to live up to a social contract such as 'a supposed physician' has to.

We're also told on that page:

“Dr. Victoria Shikhman, N.D. is a licensed naturopathic physician in the State of Connecticut […] a naturopathic physician takes rigorous national board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician. Also, licensed naturopathic physicians must fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually, and will have a specific scope of practice defined by their state's law[s].”

That's a promise of “continuing education” as in 'an integrity of knowledge'.

What kind of knowledge integrity?

Well, her alma mater, UB -- by way of their bridgeport.edu, that categorically terms naturopathy and its contents “health science” -- had this KIND of continuing education recently:

Levels of Health” (2016 archived), which, when you see the details of its contents, is homeopathy as 'continuing education'.

In fact they tell us:

“CEUs: 12 hours for the weekend”.

That's 'state-mandated continuing education pseudoscience'.

Ah, that licensed falsehood partnership between North American naturopathy and the State of Connecticut.

And a supposedly “rigorous national board exam” that SOCIOPATHICALLY claims homeopathy is a “core clinical science” (2016 archived).

So, how “continuing” is naturopathy's education if naturopathy's false claims about homeopathy and kind persist and persist when so patently science-ejected?

Core education things stopped, me-thinks, in Naturopathyland, somewhere around two centuries ago because naturopathy -- the essentially naturopathic -- is mired in the 1800s in terms of thought and consumer rights.

Naturopathy, in that respect, is archaic at its core, in terms of the essentially naturopathic:

And there's the page “Naturopathic Philosophy” (2016 archived), which states:

“the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six underlying principles of holistic healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of health and disease, and are continually re-examined in light of modern medical science.”

So, there's the VERY BROAD claim that:

naturopathy's essential premises survive scientific scrutiny, naturopathy's 'core'.

Also there's the page “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” (2016 archived), which states:

“naturopathic medicine offers scientifically-proven and evidence-based alternative therapies […] effective treatments for many acute and chronic conditions.”

Yes, that's what we're told, affirmatively:

'scientific, evidence, effective'.

Then we're told:

“it blends centuries-old holistic medicine with modern medical science.”

Wait, AGAIN how is the 'scientific mixed with' equal to the 'scientific distinct'?

And we're told:

“therapies that are used by naturopathic doctors today have been scientifically validated, especially in the areas of acupuncture, herbal medicine, clinical nutrition, and homeopathy.”

That's batshit-bullshit-horseshit CRAZY:

'homeopathy and such'?

No way.

“how does modern science explain acupuncture? The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.”

And yet we know acupuncture is an elaborate placebo: 

And keep in mind, her alma mater UB claims that acupuncture too is a stand-alone “science”, like naturopathy.

“naturopathic medicine is as old as healing itself and as new as the latest discoveries in medical sciences [obviously it's a kind of blending...] is naturopathic medicine scientific? Naturopathic medicine incorporates scientific medical advances with its own unique body of knowledge that has evolved and was refined over centuries. Most of the therapies that are used by naturopathic doctors have been scientifically validated, especially in the areas of acupuncture, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, and hydrotherapy. Research departments at naturopathic medical schools conduct extensive clinical studies to evaluate existing methods and develop new alternative therapies. These studies are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.”

So science:

again 'affirmatively declared BROADLY'.

And we're told there:

“what is the education of a naturopathic physician?  Naturopathic physicians['...] rigorous academic curriculum includes training in the medical sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and neuroscience. They are trained in clinical diagnosis, pathology and such specific topics as pediatrics, gynecology, oncology, dermatology and gastroenterology. Overall, academic training in medical sciences of NDs and MDs is similar. Additionally, NDs are trained in natural therapeutic techniques and holistic treatment principles. In order to get licensed, NDs have to graduate from an accredited naturopathic medical school and pass two national board examinations.”

Promises, promises; assurance, assurances.

That's the assurance, by way of “accredited”, that naturopathy has INTEGRITY, has lofty standards.

That with accreditation, naturopathy is DIGNIFIED!

I'm reminded of a Bob Dylan lyric:

“hollow man looking in a cotton field...for dignity.”

You won't find dignity in Naturopathyland, you'll find the undignified.

Such as:


ND Shikhman Woofulness Activities That Belie Her Science Categorical Labeling:

First, lets search for 'the most wooful of stuff', homeopathy, 'to show how unlimited the boundaries here are'.

The ND has a dedicated page, “Homeopathy” (2016 archived), which states:

“homeopathy simply means 'like cures like' […] in the 1790's, Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor […] proposed the practice called homeopathy […] homeopathy uses animal, vegetable and mineral preparations to cure a person's illness and is practiced by millions of people around the world. When prescribing the remedy, Dr. Shikhman needs to study the whole person. Characteristics such as their temperament, personality, emotional and physical responses are taken into consideration. Dr. Shikhman looks at each patient and develops a remedy or treatment plan individually for him or her. So, she may treat different persons exhibiting the same symptom differently. There are over 2000 types of homeopathic remedies, all of which are recognized and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are manufactured by established pharmaceutical companies under strict guidelines. Homeopathic remedies are diluted to such an extent that there can be no possible side effects from even the most toxic substances. Homeopathic remedies have no side effects and are perfectly safe, non-toxic and non-addictive. To learn more about benefits of homeopathy, please call [...] to schedule a free consultation or make an appointment.”

So, homeopathy as an activity, government approval of these magic beans, claimed benefits for what we know to be placebos, an 'as if there's a there there'.

And that so often lean upon FALSE POSTURE that this stuff is somehow VALIDATED, in partnership with the U.S. Federal Government.

It not validated, it is actually treated with a kind of charity that exempts.

Homeopathy is truly THOROUGHLY science-ejected, yet WHERE is that information on this ND's page?

I guess we don't we deserve to KNOW, so we can then make an informed decision.

“naturopathic physicians use therapies such as botanical medicine, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, clinical nutrition, lifestyle modifications, counseling, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, exercise therapy, natural childbirth, minor surgery, and limited drug therapy […] naturopathic doctors are trained in homeopathy and utilize it as one of many different treatments. Many naturopathic doctors choose to specialize in homeopathy and use it as their primary modality of choice […] most of the therapies that are used by naturopathic doctors have been scientifically validated, especially in the areas of acupuncture, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, and hydrotherapy.”

Again a broad science claim which is a PURE misrepresentation.

Her practice's homepage states (2016 archived):

“at White Oak Center, we specialize in treatment of acute and chronic conditions utilizing the most advanced naturopathic therapies, including acupuncture and Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutritional counseling, and aromatherapy. Our preventative and wellness care program includes detoxification, anti-aging protocols, and facial rejuvenation.“

The ND's bio. page “Dr. Victoria Shikhman, ND” (2016 archived) states:

“Dr. Shikhman's extensive experience in naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, botanical medicine, homeopathy, and clinical nutrition allows her to successfully treat many acute and chronic diseases.”

Now all these therapies are presented as equals, in terms of their efficacy, usually, and since we know homeopathy is completely nothing it's rather interesting to think how that is equal to all the other therapies that are presented.

On the page “Licensure and Regulations” (2016 archived), we're told:

“the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling.”

On the page “Alternative Therapies” (2016 archived), we're told:

“White Oak Center offers effective scientifically-proven and evidence-based alternative therapies. We specialize in treatment of acute and chronic conditions with acupuncture and Chinese medicine, botanical medicine, homeopathy, nutritional counseling, and aromatherapy.”

“at White Oak Center, we effectively use advanced naturopathic therapies including acupuncture and Chinese medicine, botanical medicine, homeopathy, and clinical nutrition to treat many acute and chronic health conditions.”

'Effective homeopathy':

roll out the Nobel.

In “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” (2016 archived), we're told the DOUBLE science whammy again:

“naturopathic medicine offers scientifically-proven and evidence-based alternative therapies. [...] most of the therapies that are used by naturopathic doctors today have been scientifically validated, especially in the areas of acupuncture, herbal medicine, clinical nutrition, and homeopathy.”

Now, let's be clear:

to label homeopathy in a therapeutic context “science” is to label homeopathy 'effective'.

This is as an activity, as a behavior.

So, what kind of results do I get for “effective” at the ND's practice pages?

Well, in sum, we're told, and I'll hypertext link these excerpts to the pages they come from:

“while acupuncture may be most popular for its effectiveness in alleviating pain […] acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used […] a positive attitude toward wellness may reinforce the effects of the treatment received, just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other treatment [talk about an admission of placebo…] substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) especially in the week prior to treatment will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments [here...] there are many effective holistic therapies that could treat our existing medical conditions, prevent occurrence of new diseases, and help us achieve and maintain a state of optimal health [here...] prior to designing a treatment plan that would be the most effective for your case, our acupuncturist will review your [...] in-take form and conduct an extensive analysis of your health condition [here...] herbs are powerful medicines. They are effective and safe when used properly [here...] many medical conditions can be treated with diet improvements and nutritional supplements more effectively and with fewer side effects than when treated with pharmaceuticals [here...] only recently their effectiveness was scientifically proven as complimentary treatment to in vitro fertilization, IUI and ICSI [here].”

If something as 'stark raving mad as homeopathy, though, is considered effective,' how are any of these efficacy claims to be believed?


how can these claims be trusted when the ND's 'effective homeopathy' categorization is PATENTLY false, scientifically speaking.

So in terms of ethics, as an activity, as a behavior, the typically naturopathic is WRONG, is UNETHICAL in the grossest of senses.


White Oak Vitalism:

Now, ideas lead to activities, so we can also check for that 'vitalism idea and article of faith' which is at the core of naturopathy.

And this ND does not disappoint.

This is a by-oath obligation, by the way.

There is no “vital force” through google.com, but there is “life force.”

On the page “Naturopathic Philosophy” (2016 archived) we're told:

“the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six underlying principles of holistic healing.”

So, that's us being told that naturopathy's activities come from naturopathy's ideas about the world and how it works, including most especially the human body.

The ND goes on:

“[principle #1] vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature: 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 […] 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 [....because] the physician's actions can support or antagonize the actions of the vis medicatrix naturae.”

So, that's vitalism – red in tooth and claw -- falsely labeled on that page as able to survive scientific scrutiny.

And there's also the qi version of vitalism.

In “Frequently Asked Questions: Acupuncture” (2011 archived), we're told:

“the ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called qi [...] present in every living creature. This energy is said to circulate throughout [oops, I say 'through'] the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur. Acupuncture works to restore normal functions by stimulating certain points on the meridians in order to free up the chi energy and reestablish its natural flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.”

And we're also told in “Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine” (2016 archived):

“the ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called qi [...] present in every living creature. This energy is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur.”

And we're also told:

“the modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.”

That's interesting:

qi as an explanation is considered “ancient” and not “modern” and not mentioned 'when talking scientifically about acupuncture',

and in that sense it is extramundane or beyond or metaphysical.

It's an interesting preference of the ND.

Yet, why is her preference that “life force”, qi's synonym, claimed to survive scientific scrutiny in naturopathy's main principles on her web page,

'as if that article of faith figmentation is some kind of mundane thing not like qi as is here and physical'?

Naturopathy's contradictions abound, because in Naturopathythought:

2+2 equals anything you want it to.

So, in sum, I find ND Shikhman to be a delightfully unfiltered example of naturopathy's "required fraudulence."

What junk thought!

In action, as behavior, as commerce.

This is the sausage doing it, what it was trained to do in ND school.

She is rare in that you get it all:

the beliefs that are science-exterior yet claimed to survive scientific scrutiny, the activities that are pseudoscientific.

And the ND is not an exception in terms of this content and context:

all this stuff is IN the Textbook of Natural Medicine by NDs Murray and Pizzorno,

and IN UBCNM's curated archive.org pages, all as what is ESSENTIALLY naturopathy.

As I'd said:

required fraudulence is FINE within naturopathy.

It is, actually, DEFINITIVE of 'the essentially naturopathic.'


The American Medical Association's Code of Ethics:

Wikipedia tells us in “American Medical Association”:

“the American Medical Association (AMA) [was] founded in 1847 […and] is the largest association of physicians […] and medical students in the United States. The AMA's stated mission is to promote the art and science of medicine for the betterment of the public health, to advance the interests of physicians and their patients, to promote public health, to lobby for legislation favorable to physicians and patients, and to raise money for medical education. The Association also publishes the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which has the largest circulation of any weekly medical journal in the world."

Also, as background specifically regarding ethics, the AMA tells us in their web page “History of AMA Ethics” (2016 archived):

“for the more than 160 years [...] the AMA's Code of Medical Ethics has been the authoritative ethics guide for practicing physicians […] the Code articulates the enduring values of medicine as a profession. As a statement of the values to which physicians commit themselves individually and collectively, the Code is a touchstone for medicine as a professional community. It defines medicine’s integrity and the source of the profession’s authority to self-regulate."

Now, even so, AMA membership is not mandatory.

We're told, at ama-assn.org, in “Frequently Asked Questions in Ethics” (2016 archived):

“approximately 30% or 300,000 of American physicians are members of the AMA […] the AMA serves as an umbrella organization of state medical associations and national specialty societies. Because of this role, the AMA is not in a position to investigate allegations of unprofessional or unethical conduct at the local level. Instead, we defer to state medical societies and national specialty societies to conduct fact-finding investigations when such allegations are made. If the physician in question is a member of the AMA, the investigative body will forward its findings to the AMA for review by the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) […the CEJA] does not review complaints submitted by the general public. At the conclusion of its proceedings [...the CEJA] has the authority to acquit, admonish, censure, or place on probation the accused physician or suspend or expel him or her from AMA membership […] however, the AMA is not in a position to take action against a physician’s license to practice medicine."

So there's mention of State medical societies:

that's why, in this part two of Part 2 of Episode 12, I'm citing some CT and New York medical societies pages and naturopathy's New York impersonation of such.

The VOLUNTARINESS of AMA membership is very interesting:

a minority quantity of American physicians DIRECTLY committed to a preponderant ethical code.

That's quite a kind of contradiction.

Though I take it that, in sum, in terms of all that the Physician's Charter and the AMA Code cover, a medical practitioner cannot escape 'modern medicine's ethical preponderance' because the State medical licensing boards must defer to such a preponderance.

But it all seems rather tangled / composite.

Also, at ama-assn.org, there's a handy table of contents to the AMA Code titled “AMA's Code of Medical Ethics” (2016 archived) which, of course, I'll provide a hypertext link to in the transcript.

From that live online link, we are directed to the page “Principles of Medical Ethics” (2016 archived), which details 9 central ethical principles.

The AMA Code's “Preamble” states:

“the medical profession has long subscribed to a body of ethical statements developed primarily for the benefit of the patient. As a member of this profession, a physician must recognize responsibility to patients first and foremost, as well as to society, to other health professionals, and to self. The following Principles adopted by the American Medical Association are not laws, but standards of conduct which define the essentials of honorable behavior for the physician.”

And these are the 9 principles of 'honorable medical behavior', which all start “a physician shall”:

“[#1] be dedicated to providing competent medical care, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights

[...#2] uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or engaging in fraud or deception, to appropriate entities [ah, the 'snitch clause'...

#3] respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes in those requirements which are contrary to the best interests of the patient […

#4] respect the rights of patients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and [...] safeguard patient confidences and privacy within the constraints of the law […

#5] continue to study, apply, and advance scientific knowledge, maintain a commitment to medical education, make relevant information available to patients, colleagues, and the public, obtain consultation, and use the talents of other health professionals when indicated […

#6] be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide medical care […

#7] recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and [to] the betterment of public health […

#8] while caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount […

#9] support access to medical care for all people.”

So, mentioned there was:

fiduciary duty, honorable behavior, competence, compassion and respect, human dignity and rights and patient rights, professionalism, honesty,

reporting those “deficient in character or competence or engaging in fraud or deception”,

 scientific knowledge as the knowledge type,

transparency as “making relevant information available”,

access, and “the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.”

And that's the AMA Code.

The AMA Journal of Ethics:

There are a couple search results for “naturopathic” in the AMA Journal of Ethics online.

There's 2009's “When Patient and Physician Disagree on Patient’s 'Best Interest'“ (2016 archived) and Dr. Atwood bio. shows up in another hit, in a June 2011 contributors section to this Journal's CAM issue.

We're told:

"Kimball C. Atwood, MD, practices anesthesiology at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts, and is an editor and regular author at the Science-Based Medicine blog, a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, a member of the boards of Citizens for Responsible Care and Research [...] and the Institute for Science in Medicine [...] from 2001 to 2003 he served on the Massachusetts Special Commission to Study Complementary and Alternative Medical Practitioners and wrote its minority report opposing licensure for naturopaths."

His article is titled "'CAM' Education in Medical Schools — A Critical Opportunity Missed", which I'll likely cite from later in this Episode.


Now, I live in the State of Connecticut, and there's a Connecticut State Medical Society, CSMS.

On their page “CSMS: Our Medical Heritage” (2016 archived) we're told:

“the Connecticut State Medical Society […was] chartered by the State legislature in 1792 […by way of] the first private charter granted by the state […back then] the General Assembly of Connecticut saw fit to grant to physicians a charter [...providing] self-regulation and continuing education […] the Society is believed to be the third oldest such group in continuous operation […and] has begun its third century as the voice and focus in our state for the men and women who inhabit the ever-changing world of medicine. All this time, the mission of the Connecticut State Medical Society has been to serve both these physicians and their patients, the citizens of our state […] over the years, medicine has changed, and the Society has faced new issues never dreamed of by our forebears, but one thing has never changed: the perennial necessity to foster and preserve the independence and freedom of physicians to render to each and every patient the best care possible […] physicians still have this responsibility. The professionalism it implies is demonstrated every time a patient is treated, every time a colleague’s credentials or treatment is reviewed by his or her peers, every time a continuing medical education [...] program is planned or attended, and every time the physicians of this state and of its several counties claim their ancient heritage to gather together, to speak with one voice, and to take concerted action on behalf of their profession and of their patients […actually] a CSMS physician, Jonathan Knight, was the president of the two national medical conventions that succeeded in the founding of the American Medical Association in 1847 […such] membership and participation in medical societies is the key to preserving the integrity and independence of physicians for their professional descendants centuries hence. This is the way physicians perpetuate the legacy that gives devoted practitioners a meaningful life well spent in learning and service.”

So that's:

 integrity, and self-regulation, and staying up to date.

In terms of medicine's ethical preponderance, CSMS hosts the page “AMA Principles of Medical Ethics” (2016 archived).

They DO include 'the snitch clause', and what I'll call the 'continuing scientific education integrity clause'.

And CSMS does have the page “Health Equity” (2016 archived), which states:

“Healthy People 2020 defines health equity as 'attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities'.”

That is laudable.

On the CSMS page “A Word About the AMA” (2016 archived), we're told:

“the American Medical Association is a national organization of medical professionals – doctors, who have dedicated themselves to the health care of all people. To meet the multiple responsibilities with which the profession is entrusted, the AMA was founded in 1847 as a non-profit, public service institution. Connecticut physicians, in particular, long ago realized that physicians should speak out together in a strong voice in order to prevent the erosion of professional independence and to promote the public health. A CSMS officer was the president of the two national medical conventions in 1846 and 1847 that resulted in the founding of the AMA […] the AMA is a federation of constituent state medical societies and national medical specialty associations. Its membership includes physicians from every segment of medicine and representing every form of practice. The AMA House of Delegates is the body that determines policy and elects the trustees and other national officers. The AMA is, in fact, a member-oriented organization where the majority prevails, according to the best standards of representative democracy […] CSMS delegates have watched ideas of individual members, first proposed at the county association level, go on to receive support at the state meeting, and then be carried by the delegates to the AMA, where they are aired, argued, and actually adopted as policy for action at the national level, all in a matter of months […] it assures an organizational vehicle by which the best ideas and attitudes of the individual members can, by common agreement, quickly become effective in the national forum […] as monitor of educational standards, guardian of professional ethics, publisher of scientific information, and in many other ways, physician members of the AMA have exerted a major influence in creating the environment and providing the tools for medical progress. Nothing is more important to the integrity of medicine than the freedom of its learned practitioners to exercise independent judgment, in accordance with informed standards democratically imposed by the profession upon itself, not dictated by others, and to act in the patient’s best interest.”

So we have mention there of scientific information, integrity, informed standards and fiduciary duty.

There is a CSMS page titled “Ethics Committee(2016 archived), which states:

“the CSMS Ethics Committee is an advisory committee that studies and makes recommendations on medical ethical issues that are of immediate or long-term concern to the medical profession. The Ethics Committee makes recommendations to CSMS on how to best educate and inform its members on matters of ethical concern for physicians in Connecticut.”

I get a lot of hits for naturopathy when I search the CSMS online.

For instance, there's the page "2016 Bills and Testimony" (2016 archived), which states:

"House Bill 5534 Advanced Naturopathy [...with the link to the PDF] CSMS Testimony."

That testimony (2016 archived), dated March 7, 2016, states:

"Senator Gerratana, Representative Ritter and members of the Public Health Committee, on behalf of the physicians and physicians in training of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), thank you for the opportunity to provide this testimony to you today in opposition to House Bill 5534 An Act Concerning the Practice Of Naturopathy [...] if naturopathic principles are sound and effective, it should not be necessary for the naturopaths to seek to transform themselves into something they are not [as in MDs] simply by seeking legislation to expand into the practice of medicine [as in MDs and DOs] without the proper training. We urge the Committee to reject HB 5534."

So, CSMS is opposing the expansion of naturopathy's scope in CT.

In fact, in Connecticut Medicine, the Journal of the Connecticut State Medical Society, there's the article “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor” by [then] CSMS president MD Russo in their 10-2015 issue [rb] wherein he states not so subtly:

"it seems everyone who has taken a course in some pseudoscience is now applying for the right to practice medicine. Homeopaths, naturopaths and others claim that they should have the right to provide patient care, because there aren’t enough doctors. You can’t make this stuff up."

Now that is candor:

'pseudoscience subset homeopathy and naturopathy', from the  Connecticut State Medical Society.

It is interesting that CSMS apparently WON'T say these words directly to the Legislators, which actually contains fans of alternative medicine.

For instance, there's the State Representative Gayle Mulligan who was featured recently in a YouTube video on the CTHouseRepublicans account.

In a Naturocrit post titled "Licensed Falsehood's Boosters: Connecticut's Representative Mulligan Supports Naturopathy (video)", I included her language that's in support of the bill the CSMS opposes expanding naturopathic licensure:

"I stand in support of this amendment / bill [...] I have been going to a naturopath / homeopathic medicine for a long time."

I seriously doubt evidence will sway her:

too much has already been invested.

Now, there is also a more local Fairfield County Medical Association, fcma.org, which is where, coincidentally, the CT naturopathy college is because Fairfield County contains the University of Bridgeport and its College of Naturopathic Medicine.

FCMA's page “Membership Eligibility” (2016 archived) states:

“if you are a Fairfield County physician and not yet a member of the Fairfield County Medical Association, we invite you to join approximately 80% of your colleagues who are members and who rank among the 7,200 Connecticut physicians in the Connecticut State Medical Society […] all members must subscribe to the Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association, and must not hold themselves out as practitioners of sectarian medicine.”

Very interesting:

because sectarian is the kind medicine that naturopathy is.

And sectarian is such an infrequently used label in terms of health care.

The word always reminds me of the late-great MD Wallace Sampson.

I think most people have heard the word as:

'fights within Islam in the Middle East', or 'fights within Christianity in Northern Ireland' and such kinds of conflicts.

And there's little scholarship that employs that language.

There is a JAMA 1987 article by Gevitz, “Sectarian Medicine” that I've been aware of for quite some time.

In that article, Gevitz writes:

“dominant groups in religion, politics, and medicine have often used the term 'sectarian' to describe one who subscribes to a 'false' doctrine. However, those practitioners so labeled usually prefer more positive terms to characterize their ideas and organizational structure. In medicine, such movements seek to be referred to as the 'reformed' or 'new' practice, or more generally as a 'school' or 'philosophy,' with the regulars in turn being called the 'old' practice or the 'majority school,' but never 'scientific medicine' without the modification 'so-called.' Some academicians analyzing the relationship between these oppositional [oops, I say opposing] forces have sought to devise less value-laden terminology. However, the term 'sectarian medicine' will be employed here, for it more fully describes the deviant social status and social movement participation of such practitioners so covered. Of the numerous major and minor sects that have flourished in the United States, the most important in both numbers of exponents and the degree to which they paralleled the role and services of the regulars are homeopathy [...] and osteopathy.”

Now, coincidentally, homeopathy is a major mandatory part of naturopathy and the ND-granting school in Connecticut UB is self-described as:

ironically “nonsectarian.”

So naturopathic medicine at UB is about as nonsectarian as it is scientific.

I'll also include a link to the CTDH CT Medical Examining Board, though here in this Episode I'm more so interested in medical societies' commitments.


The Medical Society of the State of New York:

You will later her of NY naturopaths' complaining that the MSSNY is standing in the way of ND New York licensure for NDs.

So, let's take a look online at that medical society.

Their homepage is mssny.org.

We're told in “About MSSNY” (2016 archived):

“welcome to the website of the Medical Society of the State of New York, representing the interests of patients and physicians in an ongoing effort to assure quality health care services for all New Yorkers.The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) is an organization of approximately 30,000 licensed physicians, medical residents, and medical students in New York State. Members participate in both the state society and in their local county medical societies. MSSNY is a non-profit organization committed to representing the medical profession as a whole and advocating health related rights, responsibilities and issues. MSSNY strives to promote and maintain high standards in medical education and in the practice of medicine in an effort to ensure that quality medical care is available to the public.”

Generally, regarding “Alternative Medicine” (2016 archived), MSSNY has this to say, in a position statement:

“MSSNY has adopted policy that maintains that all physicians, including practitioners of alternative medicine, should be held to the same standards of practice and that this policy be utilized in educating our legislators and the general public regarding the problem.”


'alternative medicine, a problem'.

A search of the MSSNY online ACTUALLY results in a few pages about 'naturopathy or naturopathic'.

There's a MSSNY PDF titled “S.4828-A (LAVALLE) A.7860 (PERRY)” (2016 archived) which is named for the current naturopathy licensure bills.

Overall, we're told:

“this measure would license doctors of naturopathic medicine and allow them to administer, diagnose, and treat patients […] the Medical Society of the State of New York strongly opposes this bill.”

I think we've heard this before.

There's also “Enhancing Quality Of Care” (2016 archived) which states:

“some specific examples of legislative proposals relating to expansion of scope of practice which we oppose are […] licensing or certifying naturopathic providers as naturopathic physicians or doctors of naturopathy.”

And there are a couple other similar results.

What's interesting is that I don't have any hits with the search “code of ethics.”

And I don't get any discrete explanations of the ethical obligations of New York medical doctors from mssny.org.

Oh, ethics.

I forgot: this is New York.

How many politicians are in jail so far, over the last few years?

There ARE current bylaws at mssnybylaws.org, but overall reading the MSSNY's online material in terms of its content and format is quite annoying and uninformative.

Considering the fact that they claim to have 30,000 members, I'm actually quite DISAPPOINTED in their web presence.

But at least they have a position statement AGAINST naturopathy.

Another interesting thing is that in searching for the terms “homeopathy” or “homeopathic”, they only show up as cited language inside the naturopathy bill.

And the New York county society on the boarder with Connecticut, believe it or not, has no hit on its site for “ethics.”

The “About” page of the Westchester County Medical Society, at wcms.org,

“since 1797, the WCMS has dedicated itself to 'improvements in the healing arts as well as the general good of mankind.' Specifically, the Society is committed to: the advancement of medical science in Westchester County […] the protection and improvement of the public health […] the establishment and enforcement of the highest standards of medical competency and character among the physicians of the County […] the proper and ethical education of the public in matters of medicine and public health.”

That was the good of mankind, science, public health protection and improvement, high standards, and ethical education of the public.

Naturopaths claim to be educating about naturopathy all the time:

in a misrepresentation kind of way, the sort of unethical education of the public which seems to be opposed by the WCMS.

And at WCMS, I don't find any 'naturopathy or naturopathic' there.

Again, another rather disappointing web presence...lost opportunity.

The NYANP, recently on Facebook, pointed to a washingtonpost.com article titled "Researchers: Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in United States".

And NYANP wrote:

"let your representatives know how important it is to license NDs in NY – that there is a healthcare crisis and people should be able to have a choice when it comes to their healthcare. This is a great article to reference when writing or calling your representatives in Albany. It's time New York! ‪#‎LicenseNYNDs‬."

What's the thinking here?

Because medicine has errors, naturopathy with its hugely erroneous premises and methods should be licensed, because there's a crisis.

Yet I don't see the New York State medical society's presence providing direct responses to the naturopaths' push.

Because I don't see any responses for naturopathy or naturopathic on the Facebook page of MSSNY.

The naturopaths are winning on social media and likely in terms of legislators:

they will wear down eventually.

That's how the naturopaths eventually get licensed usually.


The NYANP and ND Bongiorno:

For several years now, the AANP-AANMC-CAND type NDs have been lobbying for licensure in New York State.

I include the Canadian national ND association because, of course, New York shares its border with Canada.

The NYANP homepage has been curated at archive.org since 2001 and a bill is even mentioned then:

"A7109 Naturopathic Title Bill: the Bill known as 'The Naturopathic Title Bill' has been introduced in the New York State Assembly. Bill A7109 has been referred to the Higher Education Committee for review. A7109 will set educational standards for people calling themselves a naturopath in the State of New York. The purpose of this article is to provide standards for the title of naturopathic medicine, to educate the public health, safety and welfare and to provide a means of identifying qualified naturopaths. We strongly support this bill and you should to […] naturopathic physicians (ND's) are primary care physicians that use natural treatments. Naturopathic physicians treat disease and restore health-using therapies from the sciences of clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, exercise therapy, counseling, natural childbirth and hydrotherapy."

The sciences that aren't categorically science:

like homeopathy there.

This fraud has been going on for an awful long time.

The NYANP 2001 "Mission" page states:

"the primary objectives and purposes of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians shall be to promote the philosophy, art, and practice of naturopathy; to support and strengthen the standards of naturopathic practice; and to promote ethical conduct in the practice of naturopathy in the state of New York. Also: to promote the science and art of medicine and health care throughout the United States; and, to improve the public health; and, to encourage scientific research in natural medicine; and, to improve, promote and maintain high standards in naturopathic medical colleges, and to promote licensing of naturopathic physicians for the protection of the public and allow for freedom of choice in alternative medicine practitioners."


high standards in ND colleges, ethical conduct, science, public health and protection.

Yet, in "Related Links" from 2001, we're told:

"Bastyr University [of] Natural Health Sciences."

That's 'science subset naturopathy', which is directly in conflict with the NYANP mission purposes and objectives:

of high standards in ND colleges, ethical conduct, science, public health and protection.

"licensure would be the ultimate goal with title protection as a first step to ensure that standards of training are maintained and qualified naturopathic physicians are available to people who choose them […] why do naturopaths need title protection? […] title protection will offer the public a way to find qualified naturopaths […] all qualified naturopathic physicians have doctorates of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.) and have graduated from four-year, graduate level, federally accredited naturopathic medicine colleges […which includes] the same basic and clinical sciences as orthodox medical students […] natural therapies include clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, lifestyle counseling, naturopathic physical medicine, natural childbirth and basic training in Oriental medicine […] why should the citizens of New York not have access to properly trained Naturopathic physicians.”

Because, overall, the ND qualification is 'accredited pseudoscience'.

And the bill, even back then and even now, coded and codes the vitalism at the heart of naturopathy, of course.

But, at NYANP historically speaking, you can find 'naturopathy's vitalism essential premise'.

In 2004's "Naturopathy" (2004 archived) we're told:

"naturopathic medicine encourages the self-healing process, the vis medicatrix naturae [...] the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae) naturopathic medicine recognizes in the body an inherent ability, which is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic doctors identify and remove obstacles to recovery and facilitate and augment this healing ability [...with such things as] homeopathic medicine. This powerful system of medicine is more than 200 years old and is widely accepted in many countries. Homeopathic medicines, when properly prescribed, affect the body’s 'vital force' and strengthen its innate ability to heal".

It's that 'proper kind of pseudotherapeutic aimed at a proper kind of figmentation'.

Currently, the only hit at NYANP for "vital force" is a PowerPoint presentation by ND Lytle titled "Facilitating Self-Healing" (2016 archived) which states:

"to facilitate the body’s innate ability to heal itself is a principle of NM [...] through nutrition (nutrigenomics), not only homeopathy, we can change the vital force and follow Herring’s Law [...it's] a tool for improving vital force to overcome drug-induced disease.”

If you're not familiar with Hering's Law, well, Hering's Law is complete homeopathic bunk.

Recently, this April, a short video was put up at Vimeo.com by the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians, which is a 'plea for support' NYANP's President and Bastyr ND graduate Bongiorno [bio. also here, and here].

The video is titled “Support Naturopathic Medicine Being Licensed in New York, Dr. Peter Bongiorno” [uploaded on the NYANP account 2016-04-03; vsc 2016-04-03].

In the video, the ND states:

"I'm Dr. Peter Bongiorno and I'm President of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians [...] I'm here to talk to you about healthcare and how you and I can change it for the better […] together, you and I can change health care in the State of New York and in the country […] we really need your support [...] you can support the NYANP to work with lobbyists and educate the legislature so we can pass the licensing of naturopathic medicine in the State of New York.”

Now, knowing all I know about naturopathy, and hopefully also with what I have shared through this podcast and will continue to share:

for healthcare to 'go naturopathic' is NOT to improve healthcare “for the better” when you truly are educated about naturopathy.

The changes would be quite RETROGRADE:

in the sense of ethics, epistemics, and consumer protection both clinically and academically.

But 'crazy can't see its crazy, it just wants support in its crazy to spread its crazy'.

He goes on with his pitch:

“according to the New York State Department of Health, 60% of New Yorkers will die of chronic but preventable disease [...] according to the Centers for Disease Control, 75% of our healthcare dollars go to treat chronic preventable disease [...] now that's not curing those diseases, that simply maintaining them [...] in 2005, the New England Journal of Medicine published a paper stating that in that year, children who were born would not live as long as their parents [...] it's interesting because, if you go to the NYS Department of Health web site, they say one of their top priorities is to bring in preventative healthcare and wellness to the healthcare system in New York and yet they will not license naturopathic doctors.”

I think you can see where this is going:

ND Bongiorno and the NYANP are positioning themselves as the SOLUTION to these diseases, by way of “preventative healthcare”.

It's not a bad rhetorical device, actually, on its surface, and lawmakers are quite shallow in their diligence, I've noticed, concerning naturopathy.

But, as I've said often, anything useful and helpful in naturopathy already exists in other parts of healthcare without absurdity, deception and irrationality tagging along.

Those areas should be bolstered instead, IMHO.

We should support areas of healthcare that BETTER things, and at the same time don't bring along 'sociopathical baggage'.

He affirms:

“naturopathic doctors are the answer to the healthcare crisis.”

Oh, my.

So, filling healthcare up with magic beans, unicorn tears, and flying carpets will solve a very serious crisis.

Talk about magical, superstitious, LAME thinking.

And here's the connection with the ND educational apparatus.

We're told:

“naturopathic doctors are trained in four-year, post graduate medical schools [...and] are trained in both conventional care and at the highest level in holistic and natural care modalities.”

Yes, “holistic and natural” like:

'homeopathic pseudoscience pseudotherapeutic pseudopharmacy and kind'.

Not “high” unless you mean STONED.

We're told:

“even the Federal Government recognizes naturopathic physicians [...] I want to read to you a resolution of the 113th Congress of the United States from 2013 [...] I quote: naturopathic doctors are skilled at preventing and treating chronic disease.”

Now, 'a political decree by ignorant legislators' does not confer upon naturopathy epistemic integrity.

He also affirms:

“naturopathic medicine is safe, effective and an affordable means of healthcare.”


Look at what they tout as therapies:

empty placebos are NOT 'effective, safe, or affordable' while such is lumped in with other naturopathics that are posed as equal.

Such is OBVIOUS.

Paying for 'empty pills under false pretenses' is harmful, not safe, in terms of consumer rights, in terms of trade.

Not only is what's being offered obviously NOT safe or effective, it's not affordable, because it is ineffective and therein wasteful.

And keep in mind, naturopaths have dispensaries because they make, I'll roughly estimate, half their monthly income from selling supplements, herbs, and homeopathics directly to their patients.

The NYANP President emphasizes:

“the licensure of naturopathic doctors helps address the shortage of primary care physicians in the United States while also providing consumers with more choice in healthcare'.”

I HIGHLY discourage anyone from using an ND as a PCP:

NDs are so poorly trained compared to physicians that comparatively it ISN'T a choice, a legitimate choice.

Unless, of course, you think you have a choice when you are offered 'an airplane and a flying carpet'.

And we're told:

“18 states are licensed for naturopathic doctors […] so, many citizens of the United States can see and visit naturopathic doctors [...] but New Yorkers are being held back.”

As if there's something GOOD overall in:

'licensed falsehood, in accredited pseudoscience.'

It is New York naturopaths who are being “held back”, obviously.

Which is good.

And we're told by whom:

“the Medical Society of the State of New York [MSSNY...] the representatives of the medical doctors […] will not allow naturopathic medicine to be licensed [...] we've had a bill for about ten years that has gone fairly far in the legislature but keeps getting blocked by the Medical Society.”

And I hope they keep successfully blocking it.

Now, I find it fascinating that in New York, the unlicensed NDs are posing themselves as SAVIORS for healthcare:

“skilled” saviors, being “held back […though] the answer” with naturopathy's “safe, effective, affordable” such and such.

My dear ND Bongiorno, need I remind you that your essential therapeutics are junk:

like HOMEOPATHY, like acupuncture?

Junk 'such and such' does not save the day.

Let's look at your junk, for a moment.

Not anatomically, of course, but your authored junk.


ND Bongiorno's Web Pages and a 2015 Book:

Web Pages:

ND Bongiorno is both an ND and a licensed acupuncturist, an LAc.

He is a 2003 ND Bastyr graduate, and his LAc is from Bastyr as well.

His current bio. web page “Dr. Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc” (2016 archived) in fact states:

"Dr. Peter Bongiorno graduated from Bastyr University, the leading accredited university for science-based natural medicine […where] he completed five years of training in naturopathic medicine and acupuncture"

[the “science-based” claim is repeated here] (2016 archived).

He has a 7-page CV up online I'll link to (2016 archived).

It tells us he was the “Physician of the Year 2008 - New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians.”

It tells us “Masters of Science in Acupuncture.”

In some states, NDs don't need to get that separate LAc and can practice acupuncture as an ND.

I usually consider acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine as within naturopathy's cornucopia, like homeopathy is, because Oriental medicine is a required course in an ND program.

For instance, in Connecticut, it seems that NDs can practice acupuncture under their ND license.

Or at least, at this time, they are not bothered if they do so by regulators.

acufinder.com states, in “Connecticut Laws & Details”:

“medical doctors, chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists, podiatrists, homeopaths, naturopaths, optometrists and veterinarians may practice acupuncture in Connecticut without any specific training. Acupuncture may be practiced by a physician assistant or nurse under the supervision of a licensed medical doctor. A physician assistant must have graduated from an accredited physician assistant program and passed the national physician assistant examination. A physical therapist may practice acupuncture provided he or she is licensed as a physical therapist.”

So, apparently Connecticut doesn't have the stringencies regarding QUACKupuncture that I think happens in other states with a strong TCM / acupuncture lobby.

I was taught acupuncture while in UB's ND program, though as I've said, UB offers a Masters in Science in that pseudoscience.

The ND LAc, a 1987 NCNM ND graduate, who was my teacher, is in fact at UB as “the founding director of the UB Acupuncture Institute” (2016 archived) within UB's pseudo ”health science center.”

You'd think that with such a “science” label, nonscience wouldn't be the basis of Bongiorno's activities.



We're told in "Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture" (2006 archived) at the ND's practice:

"the term naturopathy refers to the idea of 'nature cure,' which uses the healing power of nature in an effort to allow the patient to cure theft own illness by stimulating the body's vital force or qi [...] the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae): nature works through innate systems of healing in the body, and it is the NDs job to access this vital healing energy [...] both naturopathic and Chinese medicine thinking are generally very supportive of the vital qi energy [...aiming] for the patient to gain nourishment and build their qi."

We're told in "Naturopathic Medicine: A New York State of Mind" (2006 archived), also at his practice:

"a new type of doctor has emerged at the forefront of integrative and holistic thinking, the naturopathic doctor [...] the term 'naturopathic' refers to the healing power of nature that allows the patient to cure one's own illness by stimulating the body's vital force [...] the foundation of naturopathy rests on seven principles shared by all naturopathic doctors [...first of all] access nature's vital healing energy."

We're told in "The Doctors P Talk to the Nation" (2007 archived), also at that practice:

"with naturopathic medicine and the vital force each one of us possesses, there is healing that can take place that may not always be apparent with conventional views of medicine."

That's quite a promise that, by way of a figmentation, 'we will do so much better than regular medicine and its rigorous science'.

So there's the PRESIDENT of the NYANP stating 'science subset nonscience vitalism', in sum.


NOT an answer, please hold them back, until they pass K-12 science class.

Because vitalism is described in the Next Generation Science Standards as an epitome of the science-discarded!

Funny how, in the book I'm about to talk about, ND Bongiorno writes:

“if I had handed in an experiment and write-up like this in my high school science class, I would have failed.”

You can't make this stuff up.


ND Bongiorno's Book:

Now, I recently bought and OCR'd the 2015 ND Bongiorno book “Put Anxiety Behind You: The Complete Drug-Free Program”, which is ISBN 1573246301 9781573246309.

The back cover says “you don't have to feel this way”, and has an endorsement by Bastyr's ND Pizzorno.

Pizzorno states:

"'everyone wanting to develop healthy emotional status through nutrition, herbal medicine, and lifestyle will find Dr. Peter's latest book an indispensable resource' Joe Pizzorno Jr., ND, author of Total Wellness.”

I've cited from Total Wellness before because in it the ND claims “life force” is “spirit” and a “system” of the body.

With all that being “science-based”.

So the book is about a psychological disorder but I don't see, on that ND Bongiorno CV, any psychiatry-expertise or psychology-expertise academically speaking, clinically-speaking.


I don't see any science-expertise either, except for a 1990 B.S. in Biology from, ironically nearby to me, Fairfield University and a talk of doing research.

Nothing outstanding has been published scientifically speaking either.

But we're assured:

“there's a whole lot of information about natural health out there. Unfortunately, you cannot always trust it. Sometimes the science isn't very strong, or the motivation is more about money than health. The below list represents the best places to find good information and the right practitioners [...and first up are] naturopathic physicians and naturopathic medicine naturopathic doctors (NDs).”

How ironic:

"you cannot always trust it [...] sometimes the science isn't very strong."

We're also told, cryptically:

“NDs are trained in postcollege four-year medical programs. NDs learn all basics of primary care medicine at the same level as conventional medical doctors (MDs). NDs learn about anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, physical exams, minor surgery, blood draws, pharmacology [...] and so on. In a naturopathic curriculum […] the underlying tenet is to help the body to heal itself.”

That's coded vitalism.

And using 'postcollege' is a strange word choice:

I attended the College of Naturopathic Medicine at UB, it wasn't postcollege if it was a College.

It was doctoral-level, supposedly, but it wasn't 'postcollege'.

And a naturopathic program isn't a medical program, it's a naturopathic program.

Otherwise, a graduate would be able to use the M.D. credential.

And there is no mention of medicatrix in my OCR search of the book at all, by the way.

And we're ASSURED:

“naturopathic doctors are the perfect primary care physicians."

Really, "perfect".

What kind of 'fucking crazy' is this?

And he goes on:

"since there is a shortage of primary care doctors, naturopaths are needed more than ever […and we're told] I am [the] president of the New York State Association of Naturopathic Physicians."

ND Bongiorno Science-Claims:

Here's my favorite quote about science from the book:

“while this may sound a bit far out to you, the Chinese have thousands of years of scientific observation to back up these associations.”

That's BULLSHIT, because science isn't that old.

Again for naturopaths, science is whatever they want it to be.

That is delusion, that is hubris, that is incompetence.

And with such nonstandards, it is any wonder we've got...
Homeopathy in the Book:

The root 'homeop' occurs in the book at least 52 times.

We're told:

“antianxiety homeopathics [...] homeopathy is a system of remedies that will help bring physiologic change to the body when used in minute, or even infinitesimally diluted doses […] below, I have listed the top homeopathic anxiety remedies I use […] with a reputation for efficacy […] homeopathy is considered a cheap, safe way to effect great changes in a person's underlying energetic patterns to bring healing [...] homeopathic treatments have remained a part of successful care.”

And listed are about 16 so-called remedies in their Latin splendor.

So that was:

successful homeopathy, change from homeopathy, use of homeopathy by ND Bongiorno, efficacy, great changes.

Now, this is a 2015 book:

you'd think it would mention two definitive collective highly rigorous studies on homeopathy that dismiss the therapy outright.

Especially this ND, whose school says "science-based."

There's the UK's House of Commons 2009 Science and Technology Committee's “Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy” which states:

“the Government’s position on homeopathy [...] it accepts that homeopathy is a placebo treatment. This is an evidence-based view […] the Government should stop allowing the funding of homeopathy on the NHS. We conclude that placebos should not be routinely prescribed on the NHS. The funding of homeopathic hospitals, hospitals that specialize in the administration of placebos, should not continue [...the] NHS doctors should not refer patients to homeopaths.”

Oh, snap!

That's 2009, PATENTLY conveniently ignored by Naturopathyland and ND Bongiorno.

“based on the assessment of the evidence of effectiveness of homeopathy, NHMRC concludes that there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.”

Again, unmentioned by Naturopathyland and ND Bongiorno.

Maybe he can get a little bit of forgiveness here, since it's the same year as the publication of his book.

And the ND tells us in the book:

“for now, it is unclear whether homeopathy may work for you […] my clinical experience tells me it is quite safe and certainly worth trying.”


It is QUITE clear NOW, in this day and age that homeopathy is certainly WORTHLESS.

This is 'science-denialism on the part of the ND and his supposed profession, while claiming to be science-based'.

Oh the reversal of values by Naturopathyland.

And we're also told:

“it is highly possible that studying homeopathy using a more holistic, systems-based paradigm might show better results.”


lower the bar.

That's the only way to get homeopathy through:

poke holes in the filter.


Vitalism in the Book:

There aren't piles of vitalism in this book, actually.

Here's one instance:

“the life energy force known as qi.”

Ah, the science words 'energy and force', abused.

ND Bongiorno actually recently did a 28 minute audio interview (2016 archived) for this book at the podcast Healthwatch.

He was interviewed by an LAc, Ellen Goldsmith.

She called him an “expert.”

ND Bongiorno talked of his own psychological history of anxiety.

I'd be anxious too, or I'd have to spend a lot of time managing my anxiety, if I was involved in the organized racket known as the naturopathillogical...

Regarding the Energy of ND Bongiorno:

So, we were told by ND Bongiorno “the life energy force known as qi” and “the body's vital force, or qi [...] the healing power of nature (vis medicatrix naturae).”

I've always liked Bob Novella's year 2000 article up at the New England Skeptical Society “Energy Crisis: Vitalism Pseudoscience”.

We're told:

“of all the scientific terms that have been usurped by pseudoscientists, the word 'energy' would have to be the most abused. This word has a very specific meaning to physicists, but the lay press, and many people who are not familiar with its proper usage, distort its meaning and use it in misleading ways. This is especially true when the term is applied to organic matter such as the human body. This erroneous belief exists, in part, as a remnant of ancient beliefs in vitalism and chi in which a mysterious animating life energy pervades the human body, distinguishing it from non-living matter. Modern concepts of biology and energy, however, are diametrically opposed to this belief, exposing it for what it is, an ancient superstition with no place in modern scientific society.”

Hear, hear.

Historically, we're told also:

“the concept of vitalism dates back to the 1600’s. It is part of the philosophy of idealism that contends that abstract immaterial aspects of the universe give rise to the material world. Proponents of the vitalism theory believe that the primary distinguishing factor between animate matter and inanimate matter is a 'vital force' or 'energy' that suffuses organic matter, rendering it 'alive.' So widespread was the belief in vitalism in the scientific community, that Isaac Newton himself spent years fruitlessly searching for evidence of this energy in his many alchemical experiments […] the concept of a 'life energy' itself, however, is not a mere four centuries old. Many ancient cultures have had similar beliefs since recorded time. China’s version, chi or qi, is probably the most well known […] belief in chi is not limited to China, however. The concept exists in many countries and goes by many names such as prana in India and ki in Japan. Franz Anton Mesmer called it animal magnetism, and to philosopher Henri Bergson it was the √©lan vital (vital force). Many alternative health practices employ the concept of a vital life-energy (or in modern parlance, bio-energetic fields) as the cornerstone of their belief systems […] chiropractic, developed by Daniel David Palmer in 1895, is entirely based on the vitalistic, chi-like belief that an energy or spiritual life-force pervades the human body. This energy, referred to as 'innate-intelligence' is said to emanate from the brain, travel through the spinal cord and peripheral nerves to all the organs of the body.” 

And finally Mr. Novella tells us:

"there are no experiments, observations or even viable hypotheses that require the fundamental change in our conceptions that chi or the HEF would demand. No proponents of acupuncture, chiropractic, therapeutic touch or any of the others have ever produced the proper double blind, placebo controlled, reproducible scientific evidence to support their energy claims [...and quoting physicist Victor Stenger] 'the bioenergetic field plays no role in the theory or practice of biology or scientific medicine. Vitalism and bioenergetic fields remain hypotheses not required by the data, to be rejected by Occam’s razor until the data demand otherwise'”.

Hear, hear, hear.


The Recent Verdict of the Ezekiel Stephan Trial in Alberta, Canada:

The parents of ES were found guilty by a jury.

The New York Daily News, of all places, at nydailynews.com, wrote on April 27, 2016 in "Canadian Couple Found Guilty in 18-Month-Old's Death for Treating His Meningitis with Homemade Remedies":

“a Canadian couple has been found guilty of their son’s death after homemade remedies failed to cure his meningitis [...] the Stephans are expected to return to court in June to set a date for sentencing, and face up to five years in prison.”

We're told at Canada's theglobeandmail.com, in "Parents Can’t Put Science Aside When Their Children are in Danger" from April 28th:

"all the time Ezekiel was slowly dying, his parents were convinced they were giving him the best possible treatment, according to their beliefs. But that’s not good enough, the court has ruled. It remains unreasonable to rely on a selective course of unproved treatments for a sick child simply because your faith-based principles are deeply held and fatally consistent. Science and the law are both designed to distinguish right from wrong within rational, evidence-based systems that elevate objective facts over personal prejudice and discredited beliefs. It is not just arrogant for parents to assume that they alone have all the answers – it can also be dangerous and wrong."

There's also, at Canada's cbc.ca from the same date, "Alberta to Review Naturopathic Regulations in Light of Toddler Death" (2016-04-28), which states:

"Alberta's health minister wants to know if the rules governing naturopathic practitioners in the province are tough enough, after the high-profile death of a toddler [...] 'I think it's important for us to know whether or not the regulations for the naturopathic college [as in regulatory body] could have prevented this from happening if they were in place at the time that Ezekiel did die,' Hoffman said. 'I think it's important for us to look at what has been established through having a college and if that code of conduct that is part of a professional governing body [...] would have provided more assurance that the individual would have done a referral in this situation, because certainly I think it's really important that if you do require medical support that you get it' [...] Hoffman has asked her department to review the regulations that are in place to see if anything can be done to strengthen them. The province will also review the college's standards of practice and code of ethics."

So, let me get this straight:

the health minister doesn't know, on-hand, what the rules governing naturopaths and whether or not they're stringent enough.

Naturopaths certainly have been quite left to their own devices.

Well, if I'm to take the CNDA response on face-value, which I spoke of in part one, wherein I was told the rules don't basically exist yet, by email:

what is the health minister looking for?

The rules that aren't there?

'Are the rules strong enough'?

'What rules'?

CNDA told me there aren't any rules yet in terms of practice and ethics...

And naturopaths are still practicing fully in Alberta anyway!

This has been the end of Part Two of the Naturocrit Podcast Episode 012, aka s02e12.
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