30 May 2009


Abram Hoffer, Canadian orthomolecular psychiatrist and researcher, friend of Linus Pauling, Ph.D, and editor of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, died in Victoria, British Columbia on Wednesday, May 27 after a brief illness and a long, healthy, productive and brilliant life.

He was 92.

In a release announcing the death of Dr. Hoffer, the Alliance for Natural Health said, "He and his co-workers are credited with discoveries about the therapeutic uses of vitamins, which are the roots of orthomolecular psychiatry and medicine as it is known today. They were also the first doctors in North America to conduct double-blind controlled tests in psychiatry, and were later the first to recognise and to publish its many defects and flaws."

Born November 11, 1917 on a farm in Hoffer, Saskatchewan, Abram Hoffer attended a one-room schoolhouse and studied on horseback, eventually graduating from the University of Saskatchewan (BSA, MSA), the University of Minnesota (PhD in nutrition) and the University of Toronto (MD). He specialized in psychiatry and was, for many years, director of psychiatric research for the Saskatchewan Department of Public Health and associate professor of medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. In these capacities he carried out groundbreaking research in several areas, ultimately authoring more than 500 peer-reviewed and popular articles and more than 30 academic monographs and popular books.

He challenged the then-dominant view of schizophrenia as a psychological disorder caused by poor mothering, and contributed importantly to the formation of the field of neuropsychopharmacology. He co-authored research on the genetics of schizophrenia with the renowned geneticist, Ernst Mayer. He co-discovered the first effective lipid-lowering agent, the B vitamin niacin. He developed a controversial treatment for acute schizophrenia based on the principles of respect, shelter, sound nutrition, appropriate medication and the administration of large doses of certain water-soluble vitamins, in the process carrying out among the first controlled clinical trials in psychiatry.

He advanced a plausible biochemical hypothesis to explain the cause of schizophrenia and how niacin and vitamin C could eliminate its symptoms and prevent relapses. Intrigued by the concept of metabolic “models of madness,” he and his research colleagues, notably his close collaborator Humphry Osmond, studied the properties of the hallucinogens and pioneered the use of LSD, which in conjunction with skilled compassionate psychotherapy, was found to be an effective treatment for alcoholism. His work with alcoholism led to a close friendship with Bill W., the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

He organized a self-help organization for people with schizophrenia, Schizophrenics Anonymous. Participants at SA meetings occasionally exchanged the friendly greeting, “Salutations and hallucinations!” His colleague and friend, the American chemist Linus Pauling, championed the biochemical model for treating schizophrenia that was developed in Saskatchewan and provided a conceptual underpinning for the notion that large doses of certain naturally occurring substances can favorably alter disordered brain biochemistry, coining the term “orthomolecular psychiatry.”

Abram Hoffer moved to Victoria in 1976 where he practiced psychiatry for many years, becoming a founding member and president of the Senior Physicians Association of British Columbia. Sometimes criticized from afar for his controversial views, he was beloved by his many patients and close colleagues. He devoted his life to the goal of curing – not palliating – schizophrenia. His son Bill died in 1998 and his wife Rose died in 2001.

He is survived by his daughter, Miriam (and her husband Guy Ewing), by his son John (and his wife Yehudit Silverman), and by four grandchildren: Adam, Megan, Joshua and Rebecca. At his request, the funeral will be private. Donations can be sent to the International Schizophrenia Foundation, founded by Abram Hoffer.

Photo and story Credit: Darren Stone, The Victoria Times Colonist

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25 May 2009


TODAY IS MEMORIAL DAY IN AMERICA. Thousands of miles away in Belgium, however, young schoolchildren began their day at the Flanders Field cemetary, honoring the fallen American heroes from World War I who helped save their country at a desperate time in Belgian history. Under a clear blue sky, they sang the Star Spangled Banner and placed small American flags next to Belgian ones in memory of those who died to preserve the liberty of this great nation.

It gives me pause to consider that we're nearly 100 years removed from the first ‘Great War,’ yet small children in Belgium still take the time to learn our national anthem and pay homage to our nation’s sacrifice.

This Memorial Day evening, a family friend named Eric — an 18 year young man who just graduated from high school — ships off to boot camp as a Marine. With the world in turmoil, it pains me to think that his tour of duty will probably mean hazardous time in Iraq or Afghanistan. Nonetheless, I am proud of him — and honor his selflessness and courage.

On this Memorial Day, while we honor all of the brave men and women who fought and died in foreign wars, perhaps we should also ask, “what will we do to support Eric and others when they return home from war?”

And I wonder, will young Iraqi children pay homage to the American dead in the decades that follow?

. . .I wonder.

As a very young boy, I tried, unsuccessfully, to extract the meaning of war from my father, who served in the Army overseas during World War II. He resisted, time and again, looking rather distressed and puzzled by the notion that his youngest son — the second last of seven children — had this persistent curiosity about his time in Italy fighting Hitler and Mussolini’s troops. Being a Southerner by birth, Dad was always a private man, with little interest in divulging excessive emotion or grandiose stories. After years of pestering, he finally told me some painful stories about his fallen brethren in WWII. He had been sobered by war, to be sure — and he knew that we should never subject young men and women to its cruelty and death unless absolutely necessary.

I have a friend — a fine Hollywood actor and Vietnam veteran — who rails at many Veterans' organizations for demanding the kind of attention afforded to vets every Memorial and Veterans Day, because he thinks it glorifies war. As he ages, however, I suspect that even he must know that his sacrifice is worth such unconditional respect.

So today, I choose to give thanks to not only our veterans and those who died in faraway lands, but to the new recruits like Eric who are ready to fight with valor if asked to.

On this special day of memoriam, however, we should also thank our friends, the Belgian people.

For, thousands of miles away at Flanders Field cemetery — while most of us were sleeping — the next generation of Belgian leaders stood with their elderly citizens and paid homage to the memory of America's fallen warriors from nearly a century ago.

It’s the ultimate Memorial Day gift. And that's what friends do.

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21 May 2009


WHILE EDITING MY FILM LET TRUTH BE THE BIAS in 1994, I was surrounded by people who tried desperately — and unsuccessfully —to exert their will over the contents of my first-ever film about health freedom. I was inundated by the musings of extremists on every side of the issue, and one of the quotes that people kept mailing me was supposedly written by Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution.

The quote attributed to Rush was relatively unknown at the time, but has since become a rallying cry for those pursuing what I call “medical freedom of choice” in America. You can find it on hundreds of websites — but not in LET TRUTH BE THE BIAS.

"Unless we put Medical Freedom into the Constitution,” Rush is reported to have said, “the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship. . . restrict the art of healing to one class of men, and deny equal privilege to others. All such laws are un-American and despotic and have no place in a Republic.”

Rush was a Physician, writer, educator, and was also ‘the father of psychiatry’ in many ways. If it were true that he had spoken or written those words, it would have provided powerful fodder for my film. Imagine, one of the framers of the Constitution who had the foresight to include medical freedom alongside religious freedom!

So like any good journalist, I tried to verify the accuracy of the quote attributed to Rush. I looked in the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and finally, spoke with historian and author Alyn Brodsky, who had examined thousands of documents while researching his book "Benjamin Rush: Patriot and Physician." Brodsky assured me that he had seen nothing even remotely similar to the quote — and told me that it didn’t even sound like Rush, a man who was revered for using bloodletting, mercury and other elixirs as agents of “healing.” He researched it further, however, and months later concluded that the quote was not genuine.

Today, now more than ever, though, I wish Rush had spoken those words. And more importantly, I wish he had inserted those words into our Constitution or Bill of Rights.

For today, I'm commiserating the fact that a poor mother and her 13 year old son were forced to run away from home in Minnesota because the government was going to FORCE chemotherapy on the lad.

It's another sad day in the 'Home of the Free.'

We have allowed often corrupt and ill-educated people — from within corrupt and misguided entities like “Child Protection Services” to exert their will over free beings. . .over parents . . .and in truth, over us all. These are the same groups who decide to “protect” 50 percent of foster children by drugging them with mind-wasting anti-psychotic drugs, who often rip children from the arms of their loved ones, and who force their idealogy on millions of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

And now they’ve done so to Daniel Hauser.

Daniel, a 13-year old boy from Minnestota had the audacity to ‘say No to Chemo,’ for his Hodgkins. The “Child Protection” authorities forced his parents into court, where another clueless and spineless judge decided that Daniel must undergo chemotherapy to ‘save’ his life.

Today, now more than ever, I wish Rush had spoken those words.

His mother Colleen took off in the cool of a Minnesota night on Monday — and is now a fugitive from ‘justice.’ There is a nationwide manhunt for Daniel and his Mom, and the blogosphere is full of righteous people screaming “Child Abuse!” and “Throw the Parents in Jail!”

The Hauser's are now enemies of the state.

I love my country. But once more I am ashamed to live in a nation where we really believe that this is justice — that we have the RIGHT to make these decisions for others.

If Rush had written those words, this would not be relevant. Parents — and individuals — would be allowed to make their own personal health choices. Just as proponents of chemotherapy think alternative cures are quackery, I can guarantee you that proponents of alternative medicines — tens of millions of them — believe that chemo is quackery too.

But none of that matters now, evidently. A frightened 13 year old boy — and his equally frightened mother are on the lam, sent into hiding by the powerful forces of "child protection" services, big medicine — and their equally senseless judges. It is they who made the decision, not Colleen Hauser or Daniel. It is they who want to take a precious child away from his loving parents simply because he doesn’t want any more poison in his body.

You can disagree — or you can think the Hauser’s are crazy — but NO ONE should have the right to force medical treatment onto a 13-year-old boy — tied to a gurney like a criminal — against his will. THAT is a medical dictatorship.

Oh, how I wish Rush had spoken those words.

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18 May 2009


Baily McLane Sikeston MO 573-471-2453 Tanner Street Church of God May 19th

Mark Meyers Glen Ellyn IL 630-868-8480 Glen Ellyn Theater May 18th 7pm

Paul Price Littleton CO 303-347-1112 Arapahoe Comm. College May 18th 7pm

Matt Milonas Naperville IL 630-428-0768 Classic Cinemas Ogden 6 May 18th 7pm

Abby Tebbe Dubuque IA 563-556-6252 MindFrame Theaters May 18th 7pm

Ashly Ochsner Orland Park IL 708-349-0040 Marcus Theater, Orland Park May 18th 7pm

Patrick and Jackie Newhouse Moline IL 309-764-3613 Putnam Museum IMAX May 18th 7pm

LaRelle Plubell Placerville CA 530-642-0224 Sequoia May 26th 6:30pm

Steve Nagel & Eric Dzwonkowski Longmont CO 303-776-6767

Fellowship Center LifeBridge Christan Church May 18th 7pm

Jeffery Harrison Sikerston MO 573-471-2453 Tanner Street Church of God May 19th

Randy Johns Texarkana TX 903-223-8776 Christ Nation Church May 18th 7pm

Anthony Ebel Crystal Lake IL 815-455-8213 McHenry Country College Auditorium May 19th 7pm

Michael Cody Crystal Lake IL 847.516.1688 McHenry Country College Auditorium May 19th 7pm

Joe Eunice Crystal Lake IL McHenry Country College Auditorium May 19th 7pm

Susan Mitchell Bloomington IL 309 828-6200 Naturally Yours Grocery May 18th 6:30pm

Ryan Cleland Edwardsville IL 618.655.0333 Meridian Ballroom, Morris University Center, SIU-E campus - May 26th 7:00pm

Jerod Posey Wildwood MO 636.273.4800 Chesterfield Galaxy 14 Cine May 19th 6:45pm

Nick Barnes Wildwood MO 636.273.4800 Chesterfield Galaxy 14 Cine May 19th 6:45pm

Nate Thompson Oswego IL 630-553-6149 Goodrich Kendall 10 Movie June 1st 7pm

Bill Koppari Rockford IL 815) 623-3379 Harlem Community Center May 26th 7pm

Bill Buchar Aurora IL 630-820-1330 Aurora/Eola Community Center May 28th 7:00 P.M.

Tiffany Brey Sikeston MO 573-264-1999 Tanner Street Church of God May 19th @ 7PM

Jeff Stickle Des Moines IA 515-255-3021 Plymouth Church May 18th 6pm

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09 May 2009

Wan-Qi Kim Talks About "Generation RX," Medications, and ADHD

Wan-Qi Kim is a Venture Capitalist, Founder of a Social Network for Gifted and Talented Students, and a popular blogger and teacher at his site, Journik.com. He is also Author of: "The Ancient Master of the Obvious," an Alchemist's book of secrets.