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The 2004 Healing Arts Directory of 375 Quacks

Presented is “Omaha’s 375 quacks,” an account of the 2004 Healing Arts Directory published by The Heartland Healing Center (Michael Braunstein, q.v.) in cooperation with The Reader.

Omaha’s 375 quacks.

The 2004 Healing Arts Directory, published in cooperation with The Reader by The Heartland Healing Center (Michael Braunstein, -see The Braunstein Chronicles) begins as follows:

“Heartland Healing began maintaining a database of practitioners of alternative healing arts back in 1994. As demand grew, so did the list. This year, there are over 375 practitioner listings in the Directory. [They]...seek to work with nature ...” etc. As usual Michael goes on to badmouth the conventional medicine that has doubled our lifespans. But then a hint of reality intrudes:

“Yet the possibility exists that alternative therapies can become as commercially bottom-line based as any other endeavor. When the drive for the dollar eclipses the desire to facilitate healing, so-called alternatives can become misguided.” But don’t look to Michael for any help in spotting the frauds! Instead, on page 31 we find this article:

“Acid in the Balance: Whether our inner terrain is acid or alkaline can affect health. ....” Let’s just stop right here. Once again he’s full of baloney and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The body automatically maintains a balance; it’s a matter of life or death. Asked about this “inner terrain” assertion, a PhD biologist friend of mine who teaches Anatomy & Physiology commented: “Meat is acid-ash food, and vegetables are alkaline-ash, but ... your inner terrain doesn't change in pH without dire consequences. E.g. blood pH ranges from 7.35 to 7.45. Outside this range you can't live for very long.” (If you don’t recall your High School chemistry, pH or “potential Hydrogen” is how we measure acidity/alklinity, with 7 being neutral.) Now back to Braunstein‘s article: “What if everything you thought you knew about the cause of disease was wrong? What if there really was a way out of this scary scenario?” More to the point, the reader should be worried about what if everything Braunstein thought HE knew about the cause of disease was wrong! And what‘s with this “Scary scenario” phrase? Like George Bush, first he scares us, then offers us snake oil. The one thing neither of them would ever ask us to do is to think.

Now here’s a hoot, on page 10. Randall Bradley, peddler of distilled water (see homeopathy, above) has the nerve to tell us to watch out for the fake quacks; buy your snake oil only from genuine quacks. It must be hard to tell the difference, since there is no real science to learn for a quack degree, just some jargon! But Bradley takes a stab at it:

“ ...a thriving market has developed for mail order doctor ’degrees.’ The most popular of these bogus degrees is naturopathy....While these practitioners may be well-meaning and may actually help some people feel better, they are often not aware of the huge gaps and misinformation within their knowledge....One mail order naturopath was recently convicted of manslaughter.”

That won’t stop ’em. All they have to do is say, exactly as “Dr.” Bradley does, “MY magic is the REAL magic, not like that rival witch doctor’s!”

Business must be good; Bradley has hired an accomplice, a naturopath (but one with a certificate!), to help fleece the gullible; Linda Sorenson, whose article on page 14 boasts that “in Nebraska, medical and osteopathic doctors, dentists and chiropractors may legally use the modality of acupuncture as part of their practices whether they are licensed acupuncturists or not.” (That’s supposed to be reassuring?)

Finally, I close with Christine Zorad, she of the criminally negligent field of chiropractic, who has a color ad up front: “Specializing in Expectant Mothers, Pediatrics, and Family Wellness.” I’m sorry, but in an honest world it would read “Specializing in Irresponsible Mothers, Pediatric Endangerment, and Family Death” because she is one of Omaha’s alt-med leaders in the fight to get families to stop immunizing their children. Because of her baseless, unscientific, voodoo ideas about the causes of disease, she opposes vaccination, putting our children at risk.

Three hundred and seventy five such “practitioners” are listed in the slick full-color Directory, which is distributed all over to Omaha businesses. Let’s hear some applause, ladies and gentlemen, for Omaha’s 375 quacks, every bit as entertaining and as dangerous now as they were in the 19th century, when they operated out of the back of horse-drawn wagons -and occasionally got tarred & feathered (if we‘re to believe Martin Balsam‘s scenes in the movie “Little Big Man”)! If only we could send them all back there to those good ol’ days! The rest of us would then be free to create a better, more rational, less superstitious world. And they could experience the healing balm of tar and feathers, substances that are, after all, natural and organic ...