reply to post by pause4thought
On Doctor Matthias Rath in SA: The curious tale of a vitamin seller.
"He (the husband) remembers Noluthando meeting two women at a prayer meeting and being intstructed by them to take 20 of Rath's VitaCell tablets
every day if she wanted to rid herself of HIV. The young woman, still trying to come to terms with her diagnosis, took the 20 tablets and reported
feeling dizzy and nauseous the next morning. Zondani recalled how his wife would vomit every time she tried to eat. He was convinced that his wife had
ignored his pleas and the advice of her clinic doctor to stop taking the vitamins. 'She was never the same after she started taking those tablets.
She could do nothing ... they finished her'." ("The Virus, Vitamins and Vegetables: The South African HIV/AIDS Mystery". Kerry Cullinan and Anso
Thoms (eds), Jacana: 2009. Pp. 113-114.)
The German vitamin and mega-dosage-micro-nutrient guru (a bit of a paradox) had already caused hostility and rejection in other countries with his
heart-disease and cancer "cures". The HIV-Aids denialism of President Mbeki and the connection between various quacks was led by Anthony Brink, a
lawyer with no medical training and a court case against AZT that was so dated in its information that it was thrown out of court.
Activists (the TAC - Treatment Action Campaign) demanding cheaper HIV/Aids drugs were labelled a "front for the pharmaceutical industry"! This
ridiculous and false claim by the quacks will nowadays be met with legal action. They cannot prove that the TAC is funded by the very big pharma it
opposed, and apart from the word games and rhetoric, they have never produced a shred of evidence for their phony claims.
Rath firstly brought in his vitamins with fake labels, which promised half the dosages of the labels they were replaced with. Rath kept the images of
people who had died while on his "treatments" on his website, as a phony proof. Rath's henchmen would clear the homes of pill-boxes and other
evidence after "patients" died. He was accused of using a Cape Town township (Khayelitsha) for human experiments and photographing patients in their
underwear and taking blood samples. It was also subsequently claimed that the Rath Foundation approached impoverished people with initial offerings of
groceries and payment, although no proposals for such clinical trial procedudures were submitted. It seems that Rath saw himself protected by the then
ANC administration and its preference for discredited HIV theories.
Khayelitsha would also be Rath's undoing in South Africa - despite the ANC government's avoidence of ARV provision as they came under the sway of
internationally dismissed mavericks, the township had been the site of highly successful ARV distribution by international charitities. So when Rath
turned his attention from cancer and heart disease to Aids, and arrived in SA in 2004 (he fled two years later), it was the one township where people
had already witnessed the efficiency of ARVs.
Eventually Rath alienated many initial allies, as the court cases began to grow. Most of these court cases were initiated by Rath himself as an
intimidation tactic - a methodology that would back-fire. The senior ANC stalwart, Professor Kader Asmal said: "His quackery deserves the old
Afrikaans response: Voetsek (bugger off)!"
Eventually, worst of all: "Increasingly, doctors in Khayelitsha were growing worried that Rath's VitaCell bore an uncanny resemblence to efavirenz,
, one of the main ARVs in the drug combinations offered to HIV patients" (p. 115). This means that Rath was giving people a single ARV under the
guise of vitamins, that would cause some initial improvement, but eventually the virus would conquer it, and these people would henceforth be immune
to a crucial anti-viral in a region that had few options.
The eventual TAC court case linked Rath directly to 12 deaths, selling and distributing products that were scheduled, and making all kinds of false
claims. However Rath had already made a run for it, and began his operation elsewhere (usually with a double-page newspaper add claiming falsely that
ARVS are toxic, and that mega-doses of certain vitamins can cure AIDS).
Despite these rubbish claims, and claims that modern people are somehow deficient with balanced meals, the "alternative" industry makes Rath
believable (although most alternative practitioners don't actually support his specific claims - the local homeopath (Rees) who organized Rath's
arrival eventually also distanced himself). After all, the "alternative industry" also promises cure-alls for serious conditions with common amino
acids and ingredients that even ketchup provides. I once spent R400 on something called "Barley Green". What did it do for me? Nothing. Can any body
actually tell me what it's supposed to do? At least if I get my barley and hops from German Windhoek Beer it still gives me a buzz.
In the Western world, if somebody develops Aids from HIV, I can tell you now that despite all the anti-modern "back to nature" romanticism (which is
a world-view, not a proof) - people will eventually take the medicine (with over 4000 peer-reveiwed supporting articles) because for most people it
It was however encouraging to note that several complementary medicine practitioners in Europe had already turned on Rath. Most of these practitioners
make no unfounded claims and aim to work alongside proven medicine.
However, anyone who thinks that common foodstuffs can replace ARVs is seriously mistaken, and is under the financial rip-off sway of the denialist
industry and con-men like Rath.
Well, nobody is forced to take anything, and each to their own. Sadly, such claims do more to set back complementary medicine than anything else, when
it has some really good things to offer.
[edit on 5-2-2010 by halfoldman]