Half of Americans Believe in a Medical Conspiracy


Research published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that about half of American adults believe in at least one medical conspiracy theory. “Science in general – medicine in particular – is complicated and cognitively challenging because you have to carry around a lot of uncertainty,” said the lead author. “To talk about epidemiology and probability theories is difficult to understand as opposed to ‘if you put this substance in your body, it’s going to be bad . . . Scientific thinking is not a very intuitive way to see the world. For people who don’t have a lot of education, it’s relatively easy to reject the scientific way of thinking about things.”

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Oliver, J., Wood, T., Medical Conspiracy Theories and Health Behaviors in the United States. JAMA Internal Medicine. Online March 17, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.190

Of further interest:
We’re a nation of medical conspiracy nuts
You’re Not Alone: Medical Conspiracies Believed By Many (Reuters)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Hmm, and what is the scientific way of thinking about things? Accepting drug studies that are financed by drug companies and/or ghost written with complete reservation like the infamous Paxil 329 study? Or is it truly evaluating mainstream and alternative med theories on their own merits as to whether they work or not without having preconceived biases.

    (A college graduate)

    PS – I am mentioning I am a college graduate not because that makes me better than folks who aren’t but due to the assumption that people who are critical of mainstream medicine lack education.

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  2. The authors’ use of “conspiracy theory” is troubling. Popular use of the word implies a view that is fringe and unsupported. Labeling uncertainty about GMOs, water fluoridation, etc. “conspiracy theories” immediately discredits those who question the “popular science” (popularity doesn’t equate to accuracy).

    Perhaps if the author’s left out the provocative title and use of “conspiracy theory” and replaced it with “alternative explanation” or stated that half of Americans do not believe the “popular explanation”…

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  3. It amazes me how often people cut others off with the very often heard cliche” I don’t believe in any conspiracy theories ” or something along those lines. Seems to me that people getting together to create business groupings for mutual benefit (Profit) has been going on for a long time.To think that among all these get togethers some of them aren’t outright predatory and even committing crimes against humanity is at this point at least naive. To believe that the medical guilds AMA ,APA, ADA are any more ethical than the tobacco companies or the pharma cartel is completely a grand illusion that has caused the premature death and unnecessary suffering of millions or even billions of people. The great danger is skepticism without any inclination to investigate . Check out EDWIN BLACK’S book “WAR AGAINST THE WEAK” also ROBERT YOUNG’S book “SICK AND TIRED”. Probably doesn’t help to emphasize emphatically. What else can I do ?

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  4. The author used “conspiracy theory” because that is what he was studying. Two examples of conspiracy theories that people were asked about are the theory that cancer cures are being suppressed and the theory that doctors continue to vaccinate children even though they know the vaccines are harmful.

    I personally know many people who believe both of these theories, and yes, they tend to be people who are not well-educated. When I try to explain to them that doctors do know that vaccines have risks, but scientists believe the risks of not being vaccinated are greater than the risks of the vaccine, many have a hard time understanding that. They have never studied probability and believe that vaccines must be either good or bad, they have a hard time understanding that doctors and scientists don’t know everything.

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    • If education polishes stones and dims diamonds.In light of ” operation paperclip” having brought to the U.S.A. “educated nazi” “top expert, war criminals” who committed crimes against humanity in chemistry,biology,physics,and whatever fields were deemed important , expunged their nazi past records ,and eventually turned hundreds of them loose in America to become heads of industries, and heads of university departments , is it any wonder that government and medical sanctioning of toddler forced psychiatric drugging is routinely accelerating in America ,among other crimes against humanity.Study RUSSELL BLAYLOCK MD and his videos and writings on vaccinations,and his website RussellBlaylockMD.com He’s got 94 videos on YOUTube. Check the internet resource TheTruthAboutVaccinesAndModernMedicine
      That cancer cures are being suppressed is truth and furthermore that the concept of managing illness instead of really looking for cause and cure (Which by the way the cure for cancer was uncovered long ago within Traditional Naturopathy)while collecting money for cancer research is one of the most humongous scams perpetrated on the people of planet earth. Seriously all yea educated, read the book “Sick and Tired” by Robert Young or come and visit me if you really desire education. I’m even willing to go to Harvard to teach if truth is what they are looking for and to help suffering humanity is their desire.

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      • I am not saying that there are not a lot of problems with medical research and practice. I believe there are many issues and self-interest is always a problem. For example, healthy lifestyle could prevent a lot of chronic disease but few people are promoting this because there is no money in telling people to go for a walk or eat their veggies. Having said that I simply don’t believe that there are conspiracies to hide cures for cancer or mental illness. The human body is extremely complex and there are still many unknowns in medicine. If you know the cure for cancer why are you not sharing with the rest of the world? I’m sure there will be a Nobel Prize for the person who is able to cure all cancers.

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  5. madincanada and other hopefully interested,
    I apologize for not replying sooner and thank you for your question.
    ” If you know the cure for cancer why are you not sharing with the rest of the world ? I’m sure there will be a Nobel Prize for the person who is able to cure all cancers .”
    My teacher Joseph Liss, N.D.,D.C. (He was a Traditional Naturopath) tried sharing with who ever would listen and was able to help ( He always said and demonstrated,”give nature half a chance .If there’s any life left Nature will always cure it.”)( “The medical doctors are so stupid , cancer is not local its constitutional, it’s in the blood. They see it, they give it a name, and hide what they don’t know behind terminologies. Everyone is born with some organ weaker than others ,cancer will manifest in the weakest area or organ,if they cut it off it will manifest in the next weakest organ it’s in the blood.Fat feeds cancer. The soil feeds the plant ,the plant feeds the man.The quality of the blood is directly related to the quality of the soil. “)(His over 60 years of practice with countless people verified in action the truth of the principals of elimination and purification and the practice of Traditional Naturopathy . Doc as we called him, a man in which there was no discrepancy between word and action was a true healers healer and interpreter of nature. He lived up to the sign on his front door “Enter not as a customer but as a friend and we will bestow health without end,” And so it was in the days of “Doc”. BTW I escaped from a mental hospital penniless specifically to arrive on time for an appointment with Doc.One of the smartest moves I ever made.That was in 1975, I was 28 years old.)He taught unknown numbers of individuals over many decades mostly on the north side of Chicago. Alvena Fulton N.D. Ph.D.practiced on the south side. As have other Traditional Naturopaths and medical doctors who have been honest and brave enough to throw AMA,APA,ADA sanctioned harmful modalities overboard once they see safe ones from other cultures or disciplines etc. even if it means making less money.People that don’t put money first are a rare find in any age.I believe there are people that comment and blog here that have that level of integrity some have described it as radical integrity. The integrity to follow truth where it takes them.The ability to admit mistakes and change to aline with what really works. Guilds don’t allow people to do that especially when they grow too big. Like the old saying “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Always a person must walk away when they find themselves hurting other people in order to surround themselves and their own family with ever growing material lifestyles….. instead of fabricating absurd rationalizations that allow them to continue torturing while maintaining a quiet confident air of professional competence . They need to be counseled to develop the “balls” to throw the bullshit overboard to the wind. I mean lives are at stake. As Doc Liss would teach, “Habit is like a cable, each day we weave a strand and in the end we cannot break it.”Quote first by Horace Mann. While medical guilds marginalize other natural magnificently effective healing systems like Traditional Naturopathy,Homeopathy,Energy healing systems like YuenMethod, many types of bodywork and others. The main way they do this is by denying insurance coverage for many effective modalities outside the usual suspects. Besides raiding there healing places ,stealing their records, locking their doors and not allowing them to practice or teach the art of healing. Also they buy natural healing university’s and subvert the curriculum to protect the AMA cancer concession for example. Two Naturopathic University’s in Oregon for example by inserting in the curricula the false chemo and radiation modalities which most of the AMA doctors would not allow to touch their own loved ones but are big money makers for the AMA cancer doctors and fostered on the public, although many employees of the cancer industry themselves have died prematurely contacting the radiation.I’m really understating their crimes.QuackWatch the entirely bogus and tireless AMA attack dog of real healing modalities and protector no matter what of AMA bullshit responsible for uncountable humungus amounts of death,suffering, and shortened life. Tell me why shouldn’t a human being be allowed medical freedom ???
    Nobel Prizes, save them for the true pioneers from days gone by like Royal Rife, Antoine BeChamp,Henry Lindlahr MD,Benjamin LustMD , Father Kniep and many other’s including 2 of my teacher’s Joseph Liss N.D.D.C. and Kam Yuen D.C. ,35th generation Shaolin from Northern China, worked as a rocket scientist for Lockeed , Technical advisor to the TV series Kung Fu starring David Carridine, and more who taught me the most advanced energy healing system in the world that I know of which he developed, YuenMethod. (continued) Other modern day heroes are Richard Schultze N.D. of http://www.herbdoc.com Linda Page ND( Traditional Naturopath) writer of Healthy Healing , Hilda Clarke who wrote “The Cure For Advanced Cancers,”I don’t want to forget Max Gerson MD personal physician to Albert Schweitzer 1952 Nobel prize winner for peace. He had to open his clinic in Mexico (his daughter still teaches today) to avoid the wrath of the AMA who’s dictates are many times enforced by a goon squad. No competition allowed. No reevaluations permitted that would tarnish it’s stellar reputation among the paying costumers even though only about 35% of their procedures (mostly in trauma medicine provide any real benefit) after all there’s more profit in managing disease then curing it. Imagine if they were auto mechanics . 2 thirds of the time after paying for repairs you wouldn’t be able to drive your vehicle out of the garage.But mechanics aren’t allowed to prescribe mind numbing drugs to blur the issue.

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    • (continued from my last comment ) For each person Doc treated the initial consultation was for approximately 2 hours . It cost $15. If you didn’t have it, no biggie. Treatment was customized for the individual person.First Doc would listen to their story.There were many factors he had to consider among others the persons occupation ,health history,diet ,exercise ,social position,whether or not they had people around them that would support and not thwart their efforts to follow Doc’s recommendations based on principals of Traditional Naturopathy.Especially given the High Priest like status AMA physicians brain washing, most people including ourselves have been subjected to since birth. Having one of those fervent true believer in the AMA worshippers around yapping at us when we are trying to let nature cure us with the guidance of a Traditional Naturopath as experienced as Doc ,screaming about how we should go to an AMA doctor whether they are family or not has been the first step toward the premature end of many and is an unacceptable environment for regaining health.
      Mike Chud a friend of mine since childhood and also a student of Joseph Liss N.D. , lived in Glenwood Springs Colorado with his wife Esther and daughter Lena. One day when Mike was listening to music in a coffee house a friend of his told him her mother had seen the “best doctors” in Aspen, Colorado and was told she had only 6 months left to live as she had bone cancer. She asked Mike in desperation,” do you think you can help my mom get healthy again?”Mike said ,Yes I can ,if she listens to me and if you and your dad are supportive and help her as needed with the strict regimen I recommend according to what I learned from Doc. Mike’s friend her mother and father showed up at Mikes home the next evening for a consultation. What follows is Mike’s customized recommendations for his friends mother.
      On an empty stomach first thing in the morning.Take an enema with lukewarm purified water Twice a day, squeeze in 1/2 lemon with each enema——(evening before bed take 2nd enema. If you can’t take it twice a day do it once in the evening,– lemon to alkaline system–in an alkaline system disease dies .) Then( DLPA phenylalanine, 2 capsules totaling 750 mg.with E-Mergen-C & filtered water) , if your doing chemo-radiation just forget the whole thing. It will take a good six months and you will start feeling much better .This is very hard to do ,your going to feel real sick and weak, fearful,your going to need support from family. There will be members of your family who will be totally against what you are doing and you will need all the willpower you have to get through it. Your chances of living with chemo-radiation will just prolong your agony. You may live 2 years of bad quality of life. Must continue the regimen diet all your life. (not the enemas).
      herb tea, chamomile,or peppermint with fresh lemon made with filtered water. Heat water for enema’s in stainless steel pots also water for tea. Throw out aluminum cookware.
      One hour wait after taking the DLPA then tea with lemon or plain, may have a small amount of raw honey if she wants (optional -prefer without) Then one bowl organic oatmeal made with filtered water. Can put a little rice milk in there for flavor and or black strap molasses or raw honey or rice syrup. Can use black strap molasses in tea if she wants. Drink herb tea & or filtered water throughout the day.Drink as much fresh made vegetable juice as she wants mostly carrot juice & celery, no tomatoes ,no potatoes. Eat organic brown rice , millet.
      Raw food through the day ,apples,black mission figs,dates, Only cooked food in the cereal in the morning. Has oil which provides energy— No wheat, no gluten.
      Put one heaping tablespoon flax seed in cereal,one heaping tablespoon later in the day can go in green salad.
      Main meal of the day is a green salad 2Tbs cold pressed olive oil or 2Tbs cold pressed safflower oil. carrots celery (no tomatoes) onions, cabbage,dill,radish,alfalfa sprouts ,Take 9 capsules shark cartilage per day with salad.
      No beans, no bread, no sugar ,no sugar substitutes
      Do another Emergen-C pack during the day. May mix it in tea if she wishes. Can do 3 or 4 Emergen-C a day if she wishes.Two at the low end.
      The diet is Elimination & Purification
      (You can gradually taper off your morphine)
      When she feels up to it walk, use water filter on shower and 1/2 cup sea salt in tub. Mike was always available for follow up, encouragement , and questions.(All foods and herbs organic.) Nuts and seeds — Almonds , sunflower seeds, sesame seeds , raw organic. can grind ,almonds – take skin off by short soak in hot water.

      Well 5 years later Mike visited his friends mother working in her daughters wood shop and drinking coffee, saw dust filling the air. He advised her that she shouldn’t be doing this.

      Such is the power of nature if you give her half a chance.
      Sincerely, Fred Abbe

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