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Reader Forum: Peter D'Adamo, Bill Henry, Tom Ballard, Bill Manahan, Diana Miller, Mary Klifman PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Reader Forum: Peter D'Adamo, Bill Henry, Tom Ballard, Bill Manahan, Diana Miller, Mary Klifman

Summary: Peter D'Adamo, ND on the Wikipedia battle of his page and blood-type diets ... Bill Henry on the influence of the Bravewell Collaborative's leaders ... Tom Ballard, ND offers strategies for the integration and reform dialogue ... Health Freedom leader Diane Miller on her organization's role in pushing back McCain on dietary supplements ... Energy healer Mary Klifman's words to Congress ... Bill Manahan, MD with kudos and a suggestion for a political-energetic use of a Beatles song ... Plus a note on paid vigilantism in the Integrator ...
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D'Adamo: Given up on Wikipedia
1. Peter D'Adamo, ND on the struggles over his profile with Wikipedia

Peter D/Adamo, ND, a one-time Integrator commentator who has popularized the controversial blood-type diet in his best-selling Eat Right for Your Type books, sent in a personal commentary on the struggles one can have with Wikipedia.
"I've pretty much given up on Wikipedia. Any substantive reference to my books or research on blood groups gets immediately reverted back to an extremely jaundiced portrayal. This is typically done by non-experts opposed not just to the theory, but also to the notion that a naturopathic doctor could ever discover anything of scientific value.

"Any citation that documents or supports any of my assertions about a wider role for blood groups in nutritional science is quickly removed.

"Any citation that documents
any of my assertions about
blood groups in nutritional science
is quickly removed. On the other
hand, any negative reference
 is allowed full blossom."
"On the other hand, any negative reference (not matter how offhand, rudimentary or unsubstantiated) is allowed full blossom. Numerous friends and colleagues who try to  develop  a more neutral point of view are hooted at and shouted off.  For the record I am totally comfortable with a telling of both sides concerning my theories, but we can't seem to get equal time.

"An interesting story regarding what used to be my 'biographical' entry on Wikipedia: The repeatedly vandalized entry for 'Peter D'Adamo' contained personal attacks and character denigration so foul that it was distressing my children so I asked that it on me be removed.

"As it turns out, when Wikipedia concludes that you are a 'notable person' they will not remove your entry. So the only way to get taken off Wikipedia was to somehow convince them that I was indeed 'not notable.' A sympathetic person over there started the process and eventually I was removed. Unbelievably, a few weeks later, there was gloating on one of the skeptic sites at the news that I had been removed for 'non-notability.'

"Probably the only saving grace is Wikipedia's renown for poor scholarship, as evidenced by my brother's proposal for their motto: 'Wikipedia: Six trillion consecutive factual articles since 1865'.

"The problem with Wikipedia stems from the wider notion in skeptical circles that 'if an alternative therapy works it ain't alternative.' The logical fallacy (and a good hint of the bias at work) is that alternative medicine can thus only be comprised of things that don't work. Now, I agree that 'science is science' but for anyone to take that as a claim to ownership to all things scientific, to the exclusion of all others, ranks with the best of religious fundamentalism if you ask me."

Peter D'Adamo, ND
Author, Eat Right for Your Type
Greenwich, Connecticut
Comment: I contacted D'Adamo with my confusion about the Wikipedia links, since one can search Peter D'Adamo there and a page comes up. He noted that it simply triages one to "Blood Type Diet." He was relieved to see that the original D'Adamo page is not back up.

D'Adamo's issues echo those homeopaths face with Wikipedia. (See Dana Ullman on the War over Homeopathy in Wikipedia). Remember the early days of internet when pundits forecast the emerging personalization, individualization and democratization of media? Blogging, Facebook, Pandora, and scores of other manifestations are now taken for granted. I don't recall anyone talking about how mean-spirited many of those individuals who would be given voice are, including those who refuse open debate and information about D'Adamo's work. The pundits weren't celebrating how these individuals would be given platforms for manifesting their own totalitarian instincts. Pandora indeed.

Henry: Strong vote for Bravewell's influence
2. Bill Henry: The Bravewell trio represents the more powerful advance for integrative medicine

Integrator reader Bill Henry took seriously a question I posed in the last Integrator Round-up regarding the relative influence of two references tio integrative medicine, one in Vanity Fair and the other in the New York Times. Henry is the former chief operating officer of the International Diabetes Center, consults with healthcare organizations on issues of governance and strategy development and is associate director of MHA Executive Studies at the University of Minnesota.
"You pose the following: The question of the day is: Which most advances integrative medicine: a) the New York Times' inclusion of [integrative medicine] as a doctor-recommended cost-saving solution? (see related article under "Cost" in this Round-up); or b), this Bravewell trio being highlighted in Vanity Fair? 

"I suggest the question of the day is whether the NYT article would have appeared at all without the Collaborative's background work over the last several years and the leadership of Mack, George and Neimann."
Comment: My agreement with Henry is evident in the logo I chose to use on the Integrator homepage January 20, 2010 when I posted the following: A Short History in the Form of a Top 10 for the Decade in Integrative Medicine and Integrative Health Care. The logo for the decade is that of the Bravewell Collaborative led by the Vanity Fair trio of Penny George, Christy Mack and Diane Niemann. While the historicide in the group's biases and exclusions exasperates me, I agree with Henry that, without Bravewell, and despite the excellent work of Woodson Merrell, MD at the Continuum Center, there would quite likely have been no inclusion of integrative medicine in that story in the New York Times.

Ballard: Language and evidence strategies
3.  Tom Ballard, ND: Strategies for combating health care antagionists

Tom Ballard, RN, ND, an author and practitioner in the Seattle area, wrote a brief note in response to a recent Integrator piece on federal healthcare reform efforts. Ballard was last published in the Integrator with his column "We Need More than 'Relationships' in the New Medicine." He writes:
"Two comments:

"1. People in the CAM community would be better served by not allowing the insurance companies to control the language - instead of 'health care reform' which it is not, use 'health insurance reform.'

"2. When critics demand 'outcome studies,' turn it back on them and ask that pharmaceuticals also be subjected to long-term human studies (including safety) by third parties instead of the current industry-controlled conveyor belt which brings us Vioxx and the like."

Tom Ballard, RN, ND
Author of Nutrition-1-2-3: Three proven diet wisdoms for losing weight, gaining energy, and reversing chronic disease, and other books
Comment: In the introduction to Ballard's comment, I used the term "healthcare reform" to describe Congressional action as this is the term that stimulated Ballard's response. I presently favor "healthcare overhaul." The package is much bigger than "health insurance reform" which Ballard recommends. Regarding Ballard's second point, I do find the frequent reversals on the science of "proven" drug treatments, driven as they are by reports not only of less value than first claimed but also of frank harm, quite damaging to investment in the whole political-economic-scientific evidence-based medicine enterprise. My spouse, who recently completed her MPH, sometimes jokes that what the coursework mainly taught her was not to trust any research claims at face value. She means the face that shows up in media and on labels. I find it easy to retreat to a position of cynically wishing for the kind of cash big pharma has to ask the questions it wants, buy the researchers it needs, and bury the results it doesn't want published. Ah, scientific progress.

4.  Diane Miller: National Health Freedom Action also mounted opposition to McCain's supplement bill

The Integrator article stimulated by columnist Michael Levin on the roller-coaster of US Senator John McCain's February 2010 anti-supplement activity led to a note from Diane Miller, director of law and public policy for National Health Freedom Action.
"Thank you for your comprehensive posting and the Levin article. We will forward it on.

"Our organization, National Health Freedom Action, generated almost 7,000 emails into legislators (through this site) in a short time as well. Building our voices as a collaboration is so important. Thank you so much."

Best Regards,

Diane Miller
Director of Law and Public Policy
National Health Freedom Action

Comment: In the article to which Levin and I each contributed, I focused on the work to stimulate letter writing by the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Gretchen DuBeau, ANH executive director had shared with me that other organizations were also generating letters in opposition to McCain. Miller's NHFA appears to be one of them. Miller is right that "building voices as collaboration is so important."

Klifman: Messages to Congress
5.  Energy healer Mary Klifman: 3 top messages to her members of Congress

Mary Klifman has been an "energy field healer" for over 20 years. Klifman writes of herself that "prompted by her own near fatal case of toxic mold poisoning, (she) has become an activist for changing the current healthcare paradigm to include the life-giving protocols of natural modalities." Klifman lives on an
ocean bluff south of Los Angeles, California.
"I wrote the following (re my 3 greatest concerns) in my letters to my Congress people.   
"Insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid) coverage for holistic, natural and integrative healthcare, including practitioner coverage as well as coverage for their treatment protocols.

"Continued freedom to purchase vitamins, minerals, herbs and other natural health and wellness aids for self care.

Congressional oversight of the broken governmental agencies that were designed to protect the public (like the FDA) which do NOT do so since the are run by and  answer only to money driven corporate cartels such as the APA and Corporate Farming."
Comment: Regarding Klifman's 3rd point, I am reminded of an interview with former populist Oregon Congressman Jim Weaver many years ago when he submitted legislation to set up a government panel to oversee Cargill and the 4-5 privately-held multinationals that then controlled some 90% of the grain trade for the entire globe. Weaver's call for a public role seemed reasonable. A reporter asked (and I paraphrase): "But wouldn't the industry end up controlling the regulators anyway?" Weaver: "Sure, but we'd get a few good years out of it."

Black people were only 2/3 the value of a white person in the first U.S. constitution. Today, following the affirmation of the rights of o
ur corporate citizens by the Chief Justice Roberts' Supreme Court, the relative value of Klifman and the rest of us average citizens is a fraction of a fraction of the 2/3 of 1 value given a black man. The decision of the Roberts Court will make what Weaver forecast even more likely, and the road for Klifman's wishes even more tough going. Eternal vigilance is most easily practiced by paid vigilantes. The "building of (our) voices" called for by Miller, above, is that much more critical.

Manahan: Kudos, plus political use of a Beatles song
6. Bill Manahan, MD offers kudos and a political-energetic use for the Beatle's "Come Together;" plus, a note on Integrator sponsors

Integrator adviser and holistic medical leader Bill Manahan, MD sends me supportive notes from time to time which I like hearing of course. This last gives me an opportunity for some clarity. Bill wrote:

"John, you continue to do great writing, incisive thinking, and wonderful collaborative attempts. I especially like your thoughts and ideas related to bringing together the licensed integrative practitioners. Keep up the good work. Things are definitely changing, and you are the only one really writing about bringing it all together. Your role is an important one, but it seems to me not many people recognize that.  In other words, you need more kudos for the work you are doing.  So, here is to John Weeks!!!!!! Keep up the good work."
First, I wrote back clarifying that I get plenty of kudos (thank you all who write from time-to-time, and to Woody Merrell, MD who arranged a little something extra at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium in late February). Then I added: "But it's interesting, the resistance to coalition. Is it a won't-join-a-club-that-will-have-me-as-a-member phenomenon?" Manahan wrote back:
"That is it! That's the core problem. Any club that would have me as a member has to have something wrong with it, so I will not join. That is, of course, the problem of why the holistic and integrative groups just cannot come together. I have it. Let's pipe in the Beatle's "Come Together" song while all those people are sleeping. After a few weeks of that, they would be begging to collaborate and come together."
Comment: Please, anyone who values this work, take a look at the logos at the upper right. This work for the field is paid labor. My Integrator time is a collaboration and partnership with 4 individuals, and their 3 firms, who essentially donate the funds that this service can be here. These are the Integrator's patrons: Lou Sportelli, DC of NCMIC. Richard Sarnat, MD and Jim Zechman of AMI Group, Peter Amato of Inner Harmony Group. (My relationship with the other sponsors is different.) With these 4 individuals, the support of the Integrator is flat-out public service. I could not afford to do this were it not for the steady commitment of these individuals. To reference my comment after the Klifman letter, above, the Integrator is paid vigilante work. If you like this work, send some energy their way. This is theirs, coming at you.

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