From the early 1960s through the mid-80s, any medical physician who offered therapies that are now defined as alternative, complementary, or integrative could become a target of ridicule by the medical establishment. Board-certified physicians and registered dieticians, who had shown that a healthier dietary regimen, including nutrient supplementation, were frequently attacked and shamed by orthodox medical voices. 
Then, in the mid-1970s, a woman visited me at the WMCA station in New York City where I hosted a daily broadcast. She asked if I could help her husband, Dr. James Privitera, a pioneer in darkfield microscopy who was serving a long prison sentence in California for prescribing laetrile to cancer patients. The drug, derived from the chemical amygdalin found in the nuts of apricots, almonds, peaches, and plums, and first used in Russia to treat cancer in the mid-19th century, had not been approved by the FDA.
At that time, radiation, surgery, and chemo drugs were the only treatments in the oncologist’s tool kit. When I read the documents and letters, I was flabbergasted. Over 200 of his patients had requested the court to allow them to testify on the doctor’s behalf and show evidence they were alive and well because of his treatments. Their requests were denied. I recall not one patient complained nor brought charges against him. Dr. Privatera did not advise his patients to avoid conventional medical interventions but to work with their physicians in a complementary manner. Nevertheless, he was found guilty.
Later, a host of physicians including some highly-respected ones such as Robert Aiken, Warren Levin, Jonathan Wright, and Emmanuel Revici fell under the scrutiny of federal officials and the American Medical Association. Their crimes? A failure to be obedient to the medical establishment’s consensual protocols that were in vogue at the time. Their crime was challenging the monotheistic monopoly that ruled over American medical practice. 
I knew these physicians personally and worked with them on occasion. The government’s court witnesses were usually recruited from a group known as “quackbusters,” hitmen for the federal and state health agencies. Among their leaders, Drs. Stephen Barrett and Wallace Sampson, whom I had the unpleasant experience of debating on television, were scientific advisors for the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), an influential private industry front organization propagandizing on behalf of the tobacco, pesticide, fossil fuel, junk food, and pharmaceutical industries.
ACSH pretends to be a consumer protection group. The watchdog organization “Center for Science in the Public Interest” has called it a “consumer fraud… through voodoo or alchemy, bodies of scientific knowledge are transmogrified into industry-oriented position statements.” 
In the mid-1980s, a large assault was initiated to ban all vitamins from over-the-counter sales. The argument was that if vitamins were associated with treating certain illnesses and medical conditions, they were, therefore, unproven drugs and need to be regulated as such. If it had succeeded, you would need a doctor’s prescription to get 100 mg of Vitamin C. 
I met with government officials, such as Senator Proxmire and Representative Rogers, and provided them with reams of scientific literature showing that supplements had functional value and that the standard American diet was contributing to many of the most preventable diseases.
The science proved that a healthier diet with supplementation would help to reverse these diseases. This is even more important today because of our sedentary lifestyle and an increasing percentage of Americans who are vitamin deficient. I recall Senator Proxmire telling me in his Washington office that he was having difficulty getting others to come on board because even back then, Big Pharma was funding legislators’ electoral campaigns. 
Based upon the FDA’s logic, you are forbidden to state that any food or nutrient can prevent or treat a condition unless it has been clinically tested according to a drug-based model and then approved by the agency. Therefore, they wanted all supplements, except in very low doses, to be prescription-only. This was conducted under the ruse of protecting public health. Of course, the government’s argument is nonsensical. Three juiced oranges provide Vitamin C levels that far exceed what the FDA was recommending for regulation. 
Finally, our tough battles were won in 1994. Senators Orrin Hatch’s and Tom Harkin’s Dietary Supplement and Education Act (DSHEA) was passed. The bill defined a supplement and assured that vitamins, minerals, and medicinal herbs would be available over the counter and that they would be produced according to the best manufacturing practices. 
Fast forward to today. There is again a powerful movement underway to undermine all alternative and complementary medical and healing systems. Yet, these efforts are being launched by a younger generation “quackbusters” who identify themselves as Skeptics. They are highly organized in institutions such as the Center for Inquiry, the Skeptic Society, the Society for Science Based Medicine, and throughout university medical schools.
In particular, homeopathy is facing the greatest animosity, and there seems to be a good chance it will eventually be banned altogether in the U.S. However, Skeptics’ long-term agenda is to stop the practice of alternative and natural medicine altogether and to remove courses in these subjects from medical school curriculums. These are the same groups that have now hijacked the online encyclopedia Wikipedia to promulgate a metaphysical realism based upon reductionist materialism to denigrate nutritional science, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, naturopathy, chiropractic, energy medicine, and other healing modalities. 
Sadly, this concerted assault on health continues to go relatively unchallenged by the alternative health community. With very few exceptions, practitioners of non-conventional medicine have become exceedingly complacent and have almost resigned themselves to a fatalism that nothing can be done to prevent the gradual whittling away of our access to healing modalities outside of the drug-based paradigm.
Clinicians, professional organizations, publications, citizen journalists, and patients who have benefitted from natural therapies need to organize to push back against these enemies of health, who have a mission to construct a Church Scientific based on and funded by the pharmaceutical industry with our federal health agencies’ blessings. 
Having been in this battle for five decades, on numerous occasions, I have witnessed firsthand how utilitarian medicine, a medical paradigm solely based on novel patented drugs, shareholder profits, and lobbying in Washington, contaminates and destroys the art and practice of authentic medicine, which is supposed to cure rather than simply manage disease.
The good news is that the clinical scientific literature supporting the variety of alternative medical practices listed above is increasing. Moreover, the edifices upon which the pharmaceutical model has been based during the past century are cracking. People have less faith in their physicians and synthetic drugs’ promises than ever before.
If conventional medicine, however, fails to keep us healthy, we cannot expect the CDC, FDA, and the Department of Health and Human Services to wean themselves away from the pharmaceutical teat to act conscientiously on our behalf. 
Thus, we will need to become increasingly responsible for our own health and well-being. It is with this in mind that my future columns in the Trends Journal will hopefully better educate you to learn how to take your health and well-being into your own hands. 

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