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Taxed To Death Very Slowly – The Spam Of The Health Sciences Institute

“Taxed To Death” – That was the subject of the unsolicited email I received this weekend from Paul Amos, Associate Director of HSI.

The email shows all the signs of a spam scam operation. There are live links embedded within a text weaving a vague conspiracy theory that doesn’t match any publicly available information. HSI is never identified. The mailing address left at the end is for a UPS store in Overland Park, Kansas.

taxed to death spam email

“Dear American,

Will Obama’s latest disaster destroy Hillary’s presidential hopes?

Why? Because an online video has revealed the biggest government scandal in American history. In fact, at this very moment, over 45 million US lives are being put at risk (including your own) and Obama’s fingerprints are all over the crime scene.

Democrats will do anything to keep this video under wraps… especially with so much on the line for their front-runner Hillary.

I urge you to click here to watch this video now, before the powers-that-be have it taken down.”

Two years ago, an email sent under that name purported to blow the lid off a secret government program to purposefully poison people with dangerous drugs. A month ago, another email warned people that “if you are 55 years old or older, you are right in their sights… with a bulls-eye on your back. Bottom line, you must know the truth before this cover-up kills you or someone you love,” and used the mailing address of a Christian Science building in Baltimore, Maryland.

At first glance, what tickled me this email, enough to get me to read it before sending it to the trash bin, was the claim of being “Taxed To Death”. I thought it was hilarious that someone would be taxed to death, but in those last moments before dying, would have gone to the effort to have produced a video, constructed a web site, then sent out a spam email to promote it.

The deeper story is the fraud being committed by the Health Sciences Institute. These emails on behalf of the HSI appear to be full of garbage, but Paul Amos is a real person. He is the Associate Director of the Health Sciences Institute, a right wing alternative medicine business that spreads unsubstantiated medical information, Christian faith healing scams, and weird conspiracy theories about the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton.

Two days ago, a senior citizen from Ovid, New York reported agreeing to pay the Health Sciences Institute for a Senior Membership, but was then sent an email informing her that she would be charged $179 for a membership – with an automatically renewal. A member of the Health Sciences Institute from St. Louis, Missouri reports that the HSI refuses to cancel her membership. Additional consumer complaints describe a pattern of unauthorized credit card charges from the organization.

The Health Sciences Institute web site makes it very difficult to gain access to any actual information about the conspiracy theories and health threats that it supposedly has, hinted at in its emails. However, this much is clear: The Health Sciences Institute is claiming to be able to teach people how to cure their cancer using a “miracle mushroom” that has no side effects.

There is zero clinical evidence that mushrooms can eliminate cancer tumors in human beings. There have been a small number of laboratory experiments showing that extracts from some mushrooms can kill cancer cells, but that isn’t evidence of therapeutic benefit. An article from Matthew Jenkin in The Guardian explains, “lots of things can kill cells in a lab, not just mushroom extracts. Whether it is bleach or leaving the incubator door open, there may be many reasons for the positive results. It doesn’t mean they are all treatments for cancer.” Furthermore, although some species of mushrooms are edible in small amounts, there is good reason for concern about the toxicity of any mushroom in large amounts. Jenkin writes, “Eating too many mushrooms could even damage your health because of fungi’s complex mixture of chemicals.”

Any organization that sells products claiming that mushrooms can “defeat cancer” “side effect-free” is committing a cruel fraud.

Last September, Tim Murphy of Mother Jones revealed that Health Science Institute is actually just one part of NewMarket Health, a company that specializes in selling fake cures for deadly diseases – including the fraudulent Bible cures for cancer promoted by Mark Stengler.

Back in 2014, the Health Sciences Institute, like Mark Stengler, claimed to have found a cure for cancer simply by reading the Book of Matthew in the Christian Bible. It should go without saying that browsing through ancient religious texts is not a reliable way of finding cures for cancer. The Health Sciences Institute is hoping that many Americans won’t realize that, and, desperately searching for a cure for their diseases, will provide their credit card information in hope of a miracle.

This Book of Matthew cure for cancer was promoted by, among others, Christian preacher and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. However, it turns out that the supposed cure for cancer wasn’t even really based in the Book of Matthew. The cancer cure was to simply eat fewer carbohydrates – a suggestion that is not present in the Bible, which features stories of The Messiah encouraging his followers to eat bread.

There is no proof that anyone ever has had their cancer cured by any remedy promoted by the Health Sciences Institute. The business has had many customer complaints about dishonest practices. The medical reasoning behind the company’s products is unsound. The marketing techniques used by HSI are disreputable.

In short, the Health Sciences Institute is much more than just a funny right wing conspiracy theory factory. It’s a cynical and dangerous operation that profits from people’s fears, hatreds, and irrational hopes.

The truth is that cancer is a diverse collection of illnesses, not any single thing that can be cured in just one way. Thanks to professional scientists who put faith off to the side, there are some forms of cancer that can be effectively treated – but it’s never easy. Anyone who comes your way promising a simple way to cure all cancers using substances that carry no risk of side effects is nothing more than a snake oil salesman.

The fact that these hucksters are purposefully using right wing memes and power structures to access the most gullible segments of the American population also tells us something unfortunate about Republican politics. The opposition to progressive politics is functioning like a faith healing tent revival, and we can’t expect ordinary methods of rational discussion of facts to easily break through the fervent beliefs associated with it.

6 thoughts on “Taxed To Death Very Slowly – The Spam Of The Health Sciences Institute”

  1. Quinton Underwood says:

    Mr. Peregrin Wood,
    The only thing I know about mushrooms is there is a kind that with onions sautéed it is good on a steak and the Portobello that can be sliced
    and eaten in a sandwich . There is also a mushroom that when put in a pot and heated to the point of giving off vapors, people would lean over the pot breath the vapors and in just short order a person could reach the point of just passing out. “CANCER”, cancer can be cured, not just in remission but cured and Doctors and the AMA knows this. The only reason cancer is not cured is the doctors do not make the enormous amount of money in curing as they do treating the patient to death. Most doctors will not treat to cure because of fear of the AMA and losing their license, while all the time knowing the treatment is killing the patient and not the cancer.
    “I make a living by what I get, I make a life by what I give”

    1. J Clifford says:

      Quinton, what you say is actually not true.

      It’s not only factually untrue, but is logically flawed.

      In a big profession like medicine, individual doctors and the hospitals that they are working for are looking for ways to bring patients in to their offices in particular. There isn’t any financial incentive for low quality of care. If someone could figure out how to cure all cancers, that person would become very, very wealthy.

      You’re just talking off the top of your head, repeating phrases that are traded by conspiracy theorists on social networks like Facebook and Pinterest. Never, ever, do the people who repeat these messages give concrete proof that what they’re saying is true. You haven’t either.

      Healthy skepticism is always called for.

      Your skepticism isn’t healthy. It’s ignorant.

      If you really think that I’m wrong, go find the evidence. Go find the proof. Go find concrete documentation of a cure for all cancer that has gone through clinical trials in human beings.

      Please don’t give us the snake oil trash about there being an extract of cannabis, or of mushrooms, or of bananas, that kills cancer cells in laboratory environments. Leaving the heat off or petri dishes unattended to for a short while will result in the death of cancer cells in laboratory environments.

      Show me the evidence that anyone anywhere has taken human cancer patients through clinical trials that delivered a cure for all cancer.

      There are cancers that can be effectively treated, using expensive and often dangerous therapies. The available therapies are getting less expensive over time, and with decreasing side effects, because there are new treatments developed every year, and because there are laws that lead branded ownership of medical therapies to expire after a relatively short amount of time.

      There are plenty of things that are truly wrong with our health care system. There are real problems that you can blame on doctors, or insurance companies, or pharmaceuticals manufacturers. Focus on those real problems, if you really care. Don’t waste your time spreading the conspiracy theory bullshit, Quinton.

      1. Quinton Underwood says:

        Mr. J. Clifford,
        If you would keep your mouth shut and your fingers off the key board you would not be perceived nearly so stupid. I did not indicate anywhere that all cancers in all people would be cured. There are cases where a cancer will take the life of one person and in another
        person the same type of cancer, same location, etc., etc., will be cured.
        It is absolutely stupid of you to link me with any such radical ideas such as, depending on hair brain schemes from Facebook or Pinterest
        which I know nothing about. I have a Facebook only to connect with friends and keep up with family and grand children, other than that I do not even know how navigate Facebook.
        Your asinine idea of connecting me with cannabis oils, mushrooms, some type of bananas and other such radicle methods of curing cancer only comes because of your mind fixation that you think that you are intellectually above every one else. You also in error, refer to the cost
        medicines being used, I said nothing about cheap medicines. There is nothing cheap about Chemo or radiation, there is nothing cheap about a regimen $4000.00 spent in pills per month, added to the cost of Chemo and Radiation. Also if you were to look back at my writing you would know I did not project any theory.
        “I make a living by what I get, I make a life by what I give”

        1. J Clifford says:

          Quinton, you linked yourself with the hare-brained social media memes claiming that medical doctors are sitting on secret cancer cures that they don’t want to use when you wrote, “cancer can be cured, not just in remission but cured and Doctors and the AMA knows this. The only reason cancer is not cured is the doctors do not make the enormous amount of money in curing as they do treating the patient to death. Most doctors will not treat to cure because of fear of the AMA and losing their license, while all the time knowing the treatment is killing the patient and not the cancer.”

          This is the most astonishing lie. It’s not only dishonest, though. It’s idiotic and ignorant.

          I asked you for EVIDENCE, Quinton. PROOF to back up your assertions.

          You are giving NONE.

          Typical.

          On your web site, you hawk second hand get rich quick schemes to the gullible and the desperate.

          Don’t expect that when you come here, tossing outlandish right wing fantasies left and right, and then promoting unfounded conspiracy theories spread by people seeking to profit from the fear of cancer patients and their families, that we will stand back and meekly accept your ugly absurdities without talking back.

          You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

    2. Jim Cook says:

      Did you know that the AMA does not license doctors, Q?

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