Robert Carroll's Skeptic Dictionary | Natural Health Newsletter

Date: 05/07/2012    Written by: Jon Barron

Rebutting a Skeptic

Several weeks ago, the staff here at the Foundation brought to my attention Robert Carroll's "Skeptic's Dictionary" website that focuses on "exploring strange beliefs, amusing deceptions, and dangerous delusions." High on the site's list is alternative medicine. As the site says, "Some will be harmed by AM [alternative medicine] and many people will benefit from it, but the entire benefit from AM comes from the placebo effect and the reduction of stress hormones due to the calming effect of good ritual" -- a rather sweeping indictment, I must say. In any case, the reason the staff brought it to my attention is that there is now a featured page on the site -- dedicated to me.1 When I read the page, I found it uproariously funny, filled with misstatements, distortion of fact, and packed with innuendo and a number of juvenile comments -- surprising, considering that the site's author is a retired teacher of "logic" and "critical thinking," albeit at a city college. In any case, the staff insisted we craft a response, even though the site has no facility for leaving comments, and the site says that it will only rarely post them anyway. Nevertheless, I wrote one up, which the staff then toned down and sent on to Dr. Carroll (Ph. D.). The rebuttal was never published, and no response to the email was forthcoming from Dr. Carroll.

My feelings weren't hurt -- and I'm still mostly amused.  As a general rule, we pay no attention to people who have negative things to say about me or the Baseline of Health Foundation website. After all, we have one of the most trafficked alternative health sites on the internet, and our subscribers include reporters and health editors from large media organizations around the world including Reuters, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, Bloomberg News, the NY Times, the LA Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, health ministers from numerous countries, a number of people in the US government, 15 people at NASA, and a large number of medical doctors and clinics. A dissenting voice every now and then comes with the territory and isn't worth worrying about, but I felt that Mr. Carroll had himself proffered some "dangerous delusions" that are commonly believed in the anti alternative health world. And it was those delusions that I had addressed in my response.

In any case, since Dr. Carroll chose not to publish the response, we now will -- and not the toned down version my staff forwarded to Dr. Carroll, but the original version. Let's once and for all throw some light on some of the canards that these "skeptics" have relied on to bash the alternative health community. For too long, they've been allowed to get away with "strange beliefs and un-amusing deceptions" by claiming that science and logic support them. As you will see, they don't. The issues we will address include:

  • Cellular energy and its relation to cancer
  • Mercury, thimerosal, vaccines, and chelation
  • The need for supplements
  • Fecal matter in the colon

Cellular energy

In his dismissal of me, Dr. Carroll seemed to have a hard time with the concept of cellular energy -- referring to it as an "alternative claim." Surprise, it's not. It's actually science-based and medicine-based. Specifically, he challenged two statements of mine:

  • First -- that "the optimum cell voltage for most cells in the human body is in the -70 to -90 millivolt range.
  • Second, cancer cells have a lower voltage than healthy cells.

To challenge my first statement, he quotes from the self-published online book, NanoMedicine, by Robert Freitas2 in which it says that internal electrical sources at the intercellular and intracellular level typically range between 10 and 100 millivolts. As for my second claim, he refers to it as my personal "speculation." Dr. Carroll should really include fact checking as part of his critical thinking. As it turns out, he's wrong on both counts. The 10-100 millivolt figure that Mr. Freitas refers to is for all electrochemical gradients, ranging from individual molecular pumps to charges generated by the movement of tissue. My statement referred specifically to the "resting membrane potential" of a single cell. And that charge tends to be consistent across all cells in the body, generally running -70 to -90 mv. Here's a more detailed explanation.

Membranes are polarized or, in other words, exhibit a resting membrane potential. This means that there is an unequal distribution of ions (atoms with a positive or negative charge) on the two sides of the cell membrane. This potential in neurons, for example, generally measures about 70 millivolts (with the inside of the membrane negative with respect to the outside). So, the resting membrane potential is expressed as -70 mv -- the minus indicating that the inside is negative relative to (or compared to) the outside. And it is called a "resting" potential because it occurs when a membrane is not being stimulated or conducting impulses (in other words, it's resting). And this is true of all cells in the body, not just neurons. But don't take my word for it. An article on skeletal muscle physiology in the Oxford Journals clearly states, "The resting membrane potential in skeletal muscle cells is similar to that in neurons, i.e. −70 to −90 mV."3

Now, that we've cleared that up, we can put on our critical thinking caps and address the bigger problem Mr. Carroll has with me, my statement that cancer cells are almost always of lower voltage than normal cells. Again, this is not "my" speculation.  As we can see from reading just the first paragraph of the Introduction section in "Cellular Potentials of Normal and Cancerous Fibroblasts and Hepatocytes," the understanding that cancer cells have lower resting membrane potential than healthy cells goes back at least 50 years.4 To quote:

"The notion that cancerous tissues or cells may be in some way electrically different from their normal counterpart extends at least back to the work of Ambrose et al. (2), who found increased electrophoretic mobility of cancerous kidney and liver cells, and Schaefer and Schanne (5), who described a lower membrane potential in human cervical carcinoma than that found in any cell at that time. Cone (9) hypothesizes that a lowered membrane potential causes increased proliferation rates of both normal and cancerous cells."

This quote not only addresses Mr. Carroll's first issue, that cancer cells are low voltage cells, but note the bolded section. It addresses the second premise he felt worth mocking -- that it is the lower voltage itself that causes the cells to proliferate. As he says, "Barron speculates that ‘as cell voltage starts to drop into the range where the very survival of the cell may be called into question, the cell begins to proliferate uncontrollably in an attempt to guarantee its 'survival'.' He's really just guessing here, and his guess is not shared by science-based cancer researchers." Again, Dr. Carroll is guilty of not fact checking. As we have plainly seen, it is not "my" speculation, but rather the observation of a number of "science-based cancer researchers." If there is a Nobel Prize due on this issue, as Dr. Carroll so sarcastically states, it is not due me, but rather Clarence Cone, who presented the concept and supporting data in his 1971 seminal paper,5 a paper that has been frequently cited by other cancer researchers.6  In summary, Mr. Carroll says, "Cancer scientists don't think the voltage of cells is why they turn cancerous." But as we can now clearly see, that statement is patently incorrect -- some scientists indeed do.

All of that said, I actually never claimed that low energy levels were "the" cause of cancer or that raising voltage would cure it. I merely said that it "may very well play a significant role" in preventing and/or reversing cancer. If anything, low resting membrane potential is a tertiary factor at the second level of causes. My position for the last three decades, and as clearly stated in "Lessons from the Miracle Doctors," is that cancer is fundamentally a disease of the immune system. What do I mean by that? In your body, as part of the normal metabolic process, you produce anywhere from a few hundred to as many as 10,000 genetically aberrant cells each and every day. Everybody does. So, why doesn't everybody get cancer? Because your immune system has the ability to recognize each of those aberrant cells and remove them from your body. That's what a healthy immune system does. This isn't speculation on my part; this is scientific understanding. Heck! They've taken videos of the process.


Then why do some people get cancer? Because one of three things happens (and, more often than not, all three together):

  • You expose yourself to toxins and outside influences (such as manmade chemicals in the environment, heavy metals, radiation, rancid fats, viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc.) that dramatically increase the number of aberrant cells that your body produces so that not even a healthy immune system can handle the load.
  • You compromise your immune system to the point that it can no longer handle all of the cancerous cells your body produces, thus allowing some of them to take root and establish themselves.
  • Circulation (in the broad sense as it applies to all of the body's circulatory systems -- blood, lymph, and energy) is impeded, leading to both 1 and 2 above. (And it is here that the concept of low cellular energy would come into play.)

As it turns out, this view is no longer out of the mainstream, and much research, including some of the most promising therapies for treating cancer, are now focused on working with the immune system, rather than against it, as is the case with chemotherapy.7

The bottom line is that the things that I have written concerning the nature of cancer and how cellular energy levels may play a role are not speculation on my part, as Dr. Carroll says. Rather, they are references to the peer reviewed work done by a number of cancer researchers over the last 50 years. Right or wrong-- who is to say at the moment?  But fanciful speculation on my part, not a word of it!

Mercury poisoning

Dr. Carroll also takes exception with a blog I wrote in which he "claims" that I said, "Vaccines are unsafe, because they are poisoning our children with mercury [incidentally, the blog doesn't actually say that]," and he references fellow skeptic Dr. Steven Novella's comments on the subject.8  What I said is that this study does not prove that injecting infants with the second most toxic metal known to man (just behind plutonium) is safe. That's actually quite a different statement, and in no way represents a generalized statement for all vaccines. It's starting to look like Dr. Carroll's method of argument is to misquote what someone says and then argue against the misquote. Unless I am mistaken, it would seem that during his years teaching philosophy, Dr. Carroll mastered sophistry.

Now let's talk about the dangers of mercury, which seems to give both Dr. Carroll and Dr. Novella such fits. Since Dr. Carroll taught logic, let's use a syllogism.

. By definition, mercury is a cumulative poison.

B. A cumulative poison is any substance that does not fully clear the body and that builds with each progressive trophic level. By definition, some remains in your body no matter how much you urinate or defecate, and levels build with each successive exposure. Lead is another example of a cumulative poison.

C. Therefore, thimerosal, which is 49 percent ethylmercury, must add to those levels. Implying otherwise, as Dr. Novella does, pretty much classifies his statements as "hardly reliable" -- or he is at least blinded to the science at hand by a personal agenda. A cumulative poison is what it is.

To be fair, the study in question argued that ethylmercury (as used in thimerosal) is different from methylmercury in that it clears from the body much more rapidly than methylmercury and is therefore perfectly safe. But that conclusion is only half right: ethylmercury is indeed different, and its half life in the body is shorter than that of methylmercury's. That much is true, but that doesn't mean that "all" of it clears, and it doesn't mean it's safe. In fact, other studies have shown that although most of it does in fact rapidly clear, what does remain tends to concentrate in the brain even more so than methylmercury.9 And indeed, there have been a number of studies that indicate that ethylmercury is highly problematic.10

On a related note, Dr. Carroll and Dr. Novella both mock my statements that mercury can be chelated out of the body.  Apparently, they are unaware that chelation therapy is the standard medical treatment for a patient showing symptoms of mercury poisoning. The chelating agents most often used for inorganic mercury poisoning are DMSA, 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS), D-penicillamine (DPCN), or dimercaprol.  In fact, DMSA is the only FDA-approved treatment for children suffering from mercury poisoning. On the other hand, there have been numerous studies that have shown that natural substances such  as cilantro (Chinese parsley) and chlorella can also remove accumulated mercury from your body -- not to mention the fact that chlorella is routinely used by municipal water treatment plants to remove heavy metals from drinking water.

Now, whether thimerosal causes autism or not is a different issue, and one not discussed in the blog. My point on mercury in vaccines is not about autism. The point is simply that adding a highly toxic, cumulative poison to vaccines, especially when it's unnecessary, is unjustifiable. Arguing in favor of thimerosal in vaccines defies logic. In any case, if you want to actually read a complete (and accurate) discussion of my position on vaccines and thimerosal, check out Part 3 of my series on the Anatomy and Physiology of the Immune System.

And one final note on vaccines. If you haven't already read it, you will love the article in the Atlantic Monthly that rips apart the cohort studies consistently cited in support of the flu vaccine.11 When you take those studies to their "logical" conclusion, you learn that the flu vaccine not only is remarkably effective against the flu, it is also equally effective in protecting you from death by car accidents, lightning strikes, physician error, and terrorist attacks. Now that's some vaccine…or some flawed study.

The need for supplements

Dr. Carroll states, "Barron is a promoter of the idea that food alone cannot supply a person with enough of the right kind of nutrients to maintain health. Like many other "alternative" nutritionists, Barron recommends a daily array of supplements. He also promotes organic food as healthier than conventional food. The science does not support the notion that organic food is superior to conventional food in any meaningful way."

Yet again, Dr. Carroll has willfully misstated my position so he can argue against it. Truly, he has mastered the art of sophistry.

I do not claim that food alone "cannot supply a person with enough of the right kind of nutrients." In fact, what I say is that if you eat a perfectly balanced diet of nutritionally dense foods, and if you avoid the intake of all toxic substances, then you don't need anything that I recommend. Unfortunately, for most of us, that's nigh on impossible. Which leads us to Dr. Carroll's second statement -- that organic food is not superior to conventional food in any meaningful way. Oh contraire! Let me give you a clear, logically irrefutable example.

Let's start with a simple premise. If an atomic element is not in the soil or air, it cannot be in the plant when you harvest it. For example, if the soil is selenium deficient, any plant grown in that soil will be, by definition, selenium deficient. Conventional farming does not remineralize soil. It uses nitrogen based fertilizers that are not mineral enriched -- too expensive. Selenium is not a component of nitrogen based fertilizer. Selenium is not in the air. After a number of crops are grown in the soil using conventional farming practices, the soil must be selenium deficient -- as will be anything grown in it. I'm sorry, but this is irrefutable. If it's not in the soil, it can't be in the plant.

And the same holds true for all the other minerals.

Quite simply, over time, crops grown using conventional farming methods must contain lower levels of minerals than crops grown in soil that is actually replenished. And if you rely on those conventional crops for your minerals, you will be deficient -- thus the need for supplementation…unless you consider minerals not "meaningful."

As for removing toxins from the body, we need to understand the game that's played by government bureaucrats and the chemical industry. There are now well over 100,000 untested toxic elements that have been released into the environment over the last 50 years. The game that's played is that because there are so many toxic chemicals, you can't tell which one is doing what -- so everyone gets to claim plausible deniability. And for every study claiming that a particular chemical might be culpable, there's another study saying it's not that one it's another one. But even more disturbing is that no one knows what these chemicals are doing when they mix together in your body. Too many variables to test for!

What we're left with is that everyone can claim that there's no conclusive proof that any of these chemicals are causing cancer or distortion of sexual characteristics or whatever. What we can see, however, is the epidemiological evidence that something is going on. The average age of puberty in young girls has dropped from 15 or 16 to seven or eight -- and even as young as three in some cases. The incidence of boys being born without fully descended testicles has been steadily increasing. And the incidence of cancer is up some 800-1,700 percent (depending on whose numbers you use) over the last 50 years. As Bob Dylan said, "You don't need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."

Can anyone identify which single substances are to blame? Nope! But quite simply, trying to eliminate as many of these toxins from your body as you possibly can on a regular basis only makes logical sense. Refusing to acknowledge the problem merely makes you an ostrich. The bottom line is that organic food and supplementation may be unproven to Dr. Carroll, but they are fundamental to good health, at least to anyone who doesn't have their head in the sand.

Fecal matter in the colon

I saved the best for last. Dr. Carroll seems to have a problem with my assertion that a sluggish bowel can retain pounds of old toxic and poisonous fecal matter ("2--3 pounds is common, 10--20 pounds is not as unusual as you might think, and up to 65 pounds has actually been reported in exceptional cases"). With great finality, he pronounces, "The idea that our bowels are retaining pounds or tens of pounds of 'toxic and poisonous fecal matter' is false, false, false. "

This was a surprise to me on several levels. First, it surprised me that a teacher of critical thinking seems to believe that merely saying something three times makes it true. If he's correct in that assumption, that certainly makes proving your point a lot easier. Or perhaps, as a teacher of logic, Mr. Carroll is using a new syllogism that the rest of the world is unfamiliar with: If A, and A, and A; therefore B.

So let's examine Dr. Carroll's contention and see how "false" my premise actually is.

To be sure, I've read numerous emails from doctors who write into the Foundation, "I've been doing colonoscopies for years, and I've never seen this mythical fecal matter." But think about this for a moment. What is every patient required to do the night before they get their colonoscopy? They are forced to drink a gallon of purgative -- to clean out their colons. Duh! So doctors do not see large amounts of fecal matter, they see only the damage that fecal matter has left behind -- prolapsed colons, polyps, and diverticular disease for starters. And speaking of diverticular disease, it's worth noting that the medical community denied its existence for almost a half century. The alternative health community, at least as far back as Dr. Harvey Kellogg in the late 1800's, referred to diverticula as "bowel pockets" and "herniations of the colon." The medical community said, "We've been doing autopsies for years and never seen any sign of these mythical pockets. It's alternative health nonsense."

Sound familiar?

It actually wasn't until the early 1950's that the Merck Manual, the physician's bible, first mentioned diverticular disease. As to its mythical existence, the Merck Manual now states that every American will have many diverticula if they live long enough. Not bad for a one-time "mythical" disease identified by alternative health practitioners some 50 years before the medical community could finally see what had always been in front of their eyes. The bottom line is that just because the medical community denies the existence of a condition "now" does not mean that they won't acknowledge it "later" -- of course, never giving credit to those who recognized it first.

In any case, if you choose to look for the accumulated fecal matter, instead of purging it before you inspect, you will find it. Bernard Jensen probably did more documentation in this regard than anyone else, recording the photographic results of colon cleanses that he ran on a number of patients. These images are now widely available on the internet. Ah! But perhaps this graphical proof of stored fecal matter is not convincing. After all, Dr. Jensen is not part of the medical community. Perhaps he faked the pictures. So let's turn to an indisputable mathematical proof.

The average American eats about 1,996 lbs of food a year, or about 5 ½ pounds a day -- totaling about 2700 calories (and growing). Theoretically, about 2/3 of that consists of liquids, water, and "fuel" content that you urinate, sweat out, or burn up. But that still leaves about 2 lbs of solid waste per day that must pass out through your bowel. If that seems high to you, then consider that just one Burrito Ultimo® at Baja Fresh, a typical fast food lunch item, weighs about 480 g, or just over a pound -- and there isn't a lot of water in it. At Sizzler, the steaks alone run 8-14 oz, exclusive of any sides. So, bottom line, we have 2 lbs of fecal matter -- give or take -- produced every day in the average American. So what?

According to the medical community, it is normal to have a bowel movement anywhere from three times a day, to three times a week. Three times a week works out to once every two days. If you produce 2 lbs of fecal matter a day and you only go to the bathroom once every two days, that means -- mathematically speaking -- that you are regularly storing upwards of 4 lbs of fecal matter in your colon…mathematically speaking. Since we're still in the average range for bowel movements, we're talking tens of millions of Americans who regularly store 4 lbs of fecal matter in their colons. Let's drop a pound off that in case we have a rounding error, and we're still at the low end of my assertion that 2--3 pounds of fecal matter stored in the colon is common.

But constipation is a severe problem in the developed world. According to a 2007 study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, the incidence of chronic constipation in the United States is just over 17 percent, or well over 50 million people.12 With a bowel movement once every five days, you're talking about 10 lbs of fecal matter stored in the colon -- at once every seven days it's 14 lbs. And statistically, we're still talking about several million people. So, my statement that 10--20 pounds is not as unusual as you might think, holds up…again, mathematically speaking. And let's keep in mind, these numbers assume that 100% of this stored fecal matter is evacuated from your bowels during your once a week movements -- a questionable assumption at best. As for the 65 lbs, I did say that has been reported "only in exceptional cases." The simple mathematical truth is that the concept of people storing pounds of fecal matter is not "false, false, false." It's mathematically "true, true, true!"

Wow!  Saying it three times really does make it feel more true.  

The rest of the skeptic's dictionary

The rest of Dr. Carroll's complaints are barely worth dealing with. They are mostly snarky comments that deliberately jumble facts and misinformation. For instance, he deliberately distorts his description of "The Barron Effect" -- blending it with a discussion of scalar energy, which is an entirely different subject, turning it into mumbo jumbo. But the Barron Effect is merely a non-chemical technique for reducing the surface tension of the alcohol and water solvents used in making tinctures. By reducing the surface tension, it allows the solvents to better extract. Pretty simple concept, really. On the other hand, it answered a question that had puzzled herbal manufacturers for many, many years. It's actually an extremely petty position to imply that taking pride in the accomplishment and naming the principle after myself is somehow out of line -- particularly since it is common practice in everything from physics to astronomy to the discovery of diseases and even to figure skaters naming moves after themselves. And let's keep in mind that Dr. Carroll did publish his books under his own name -- not as "Anonymous."

And as for my making money selling products based on my expertise: how is that a problem? These products are not sold on the Foundation website and with one or two small exceptions, aren't even mentioned by name on the site. Everybody else is allowed to get paid for their expertise. When Mr. Carroll taught philosophy, he got paid for it. When he sells his books, he gets paid for it -- and he even pitches them on his website. For shame! And who in their right mind would go to a medical doctor who charged for his services? How unconscionable would that be -- or perhaps Dr. Carroll is applying a double standard here, where only people working in alternative health are out of bounds.

A couple of final thoughts

We addressed four of the main shibboleths of the skeptic community, explaining how they are not speculations of the alternative health community as suggested, but rather verifiable, science-based principles:

  • Cellular energy and its relation to cancer
  • Mercury, thimerosal, vaccines, and chelation
  • The need for supplements
  • Fecal matter in the colon

Let's put those to bed. And now, let's get personal for just a moment.

Being skeptical is actually a good thing -- as long as you're at least willing to consider "other" possibilities and new information. Starting out with a paradigm that everything related to natural health is by definition either harmful or, at best, a placebo, as does Dr. Carroll, isn't skepticism; it's paradigm blindness. It prevents you from seeing healing approaches that originate outside of mainstream medicine that even many medical doctors are now exploring. Obviously, there is much nonsense in the world of alternative health -- but there is also much nonsense in the world of medicine. And I ask you, which is more harmful when they get it wrong? In its entire history, alternative treatments have harmed but a fraction of the 55,000 people who died using Vioxx, or the untold numbers of women who got breast cancer from hormone replacement therapy.  And we won't even talk about all of the people who got lung cancer because their doctors told them that smoking cigarettes was a good way to lose weight. Until 1954, the American Medical Association actually allowed cigarette ads in the Journal of the American Medical Association!13

And finally, let me be perfectly clear: I've never claimed to be right one hundred percent of the time. Nor have I ever claimed to be unbiased. I favor natural alternatives as the first line of defense, but I don't negate medical intervention. I merely believe it should be reserved for when all else fails. But bias is not the same as having an "axe to grind" -- something Dr. Carroll accuses me of. On the other hand, one might be inclined to think that someone who uses lies, innuendo, distortion, and insult to make their point might themselves actually have an axe to grind. In fact, much of Dr. Carroll's site borders on the legal definition of libel.

Any intentional false communication, in print, photographs, writing, or broadcast, that harms a person's reputation; decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which a person is held; or induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against a person.

Let me leave you with one final thought that makes the intentions or Dr. Carroll's skeptic's dictionary crystal clear. For his page on me, he "appropriated" a copyrighted picture of me from my site (a legal nicety worth talking about at another time) and posted it on his page -- deliberately choosing to alter the proportions of the picture so as to make me look strange. The Foundation emailed him asking him to correct. He chose to ignore our email and not fix it -- thus making clear that the distortion was not accidental. On the left is the actual image from my site. On the right, Dr. Carroll's deliberate distortion of it as of 23 April 2012.


It's totally unnecessary, deliberate, and its intention to mock speaks for itself. It also runs pretty close to libel -- probably crossing the line. (Incidentally, on his bio page, Dr. Carroll notes that he also taught law.) When all is said and done, it speaks volumes for the quality of information you can expect to find in the Skeptic's Dictionary. Given that, I consider being singled out in the Skeptic's Dictionary a badge of honor!

Addendum 21 May 2012

Although Bob Carroll never responded to our email, we now know for sure that he got it. The deliberately distorted picture of me has been pulled. Not one of the misquotes or libelous misrepresentions are gone -- just the picture. The beautiful thing about the internet, though, is that nothing is really ever gone. So for your enjoyment, here's a snapshop of the page he devoted to me before he changed it -- a permanent record, if you will, of how far Bob Carroll is willing to go when it comes to distorting the truth on his site. In other words, be skeptical of the Skeptic's Dictionary.

  • 1.The Skeptic's Dictionary. (Accessed 21 April 2012.) <>
  • 2.Robert A. Freitas Jr. "Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities." Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 1999. <>
  • 3.Philip M Hopkins. "Skeletal muscle physiology." Oxford Journals Medicine BJA: CEACCP Volume 6, Issue 1 Pp. 1-6. <>
  • 4.Richard Binggel and Ivan L. Cameron. "Cellular Potentials of Normal and Cancerous Fibroblasts and Hepatocytes." Cancer Res 1980;40:1830-1835. <>
  • 5.C. D. Cone, "Unified theory on the basic mechanism of normal mitotic control and oncogenesis." J. Theor. Biol., Volume 30, Issue 1, January 1971, Pages 151--181. <>
  • 6.J J Killion. "Electrical properties of normal and transformed mammalian cells." Biophys J. 1984 March; 45(3): 523--528.
  • 7.David L. Porter, M.D., Bruce L. Levine, et al. "Chimeric Antigen Receptor--Modified T Cells in Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia." N Engl J Med 2011; 365:725-733August 25, 2011.
  • 8.Steven Novella, "Mercury Excretion in Infants." Neurologica blog 4 Feb 2008 (Accessed 22 April 2012.) <>
  • 9.Burbacher TM, Shen DD, Liberato N, Grant KS, Cernichiari E, Clarkson T 2005. "Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal." Environ Health Perspect 113:1015-1021. <>
  • 10.David A. Geier, Lisa K. Sykes, Mark R. Geier. "A Review of Thimerosal (Merthiolate) and Its Ethylmercury Breakdown Product: Specific Historical Considerations Regarding Safety and Effectiveness."Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, 10:575--596, 2007. <>
  • 11.Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer. "Does the Vaccine Matter?" The Atlantic Monthly. November 2009. (Accessed 23 April 2012.) <>
  • 12.R. S. Choung, G. R. Locke III, C. D. Schleck, A. R. Zinsmeister, N. J. Talley. "Cumulative incidence of chronic constipation: a population-based study 1988--2003." Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. Volume 26, Issue 11-12, pages 1521-1528. <>
  • 13.Martha N. Gardner and Allan M. Brandt.  "The Doctors' Choice Is America's Choice." American Journal of Public Health: February 2006, Vol. 96, No. 2, pp. 222-232. <>


    Submitted by Elliot Feldman on
    May 6, 2012 - 7:37pm

    Very well written response to a thoughtless attack. I guess Dr. Carroll could get away with it. Too bad he's apparently frightened to respond.

    Submitted by Guest on
    May 6, 2012 - 7:48pm

    Well done, Jon.

    I sincerely wish modern medicine would remove the blinders quicker than they are. Or maybe more physicians would like to speak more openly and cannot and keep their license because it would not be "standard care".

    My own daughter's physician has put her on high strength omega 3's rather than a statin drug for elevated cholesterol. I am so glad to see the extended benefits from them in addition to anything they do for cholesterol. Good decision, Doc.

    I did not ask her if he even asked her about what she would choose since I had sent her links to Dr. Graveline and his opinion of statin drugs since she likes MDs.

    If the FDA gets its way and manages to get rid of almost all supplements plus irradiating almost everything that goes into our mouths, diseases like scurvy, beriberi & pelagra will almost certainly come back with the reduction in nutrients in food & drink.

    Submitted by Jogyata Dallas on
    May 6, 2012 - 7:55pm

    Excellent response to to a worryingly narrow-minded bigot. Swami Vivekanada used to say 'When the elephant goes to market the dogs come out and bark' - leaders and trailblazers in any field of human endeavor always have the critics yapping at their heels and Dr Carroll is a fine example of a rather frenetic lapdog with his silly scamperings. The age old battle between light and darkness, knowledge and ignorance plays itself out every day in our lives - we must be dauntless as we defend the truth. Gratefully, Jogyata

    Submitted by Bruce Jackson on
    May 6, 2012 - 8:14pm

    Dear Jon,

    This "Doctor" Robert Carroll must have gotten his license to practice in a 3rd world country or maybe even another planet. He has undoubtedly been turned loose on you by the folks at Big Pharma whose greed knows no bounds because they feel their racket is being threatened by Alternate Medicine. In reality there is enough money to go around and they just don't like competition.

    Dr. Carroll reminds me of the right wing trolls who post belligerent and snarky comments on Huffington when it comes to the levels he is willing to stoop to.

    While it may be your right to ignore his insults, might I suggest that you post THIS article on Huffington They are always looking for a good story and this one is a corker!

    As far as your copyrighted image is concerned I think you should retain the services of a lawyer and either make him take that down of face a lawsuit as there are certain limits and that is an abuse which in my opinion, crosses the line.

    I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

    Submitted by Cynthia Henrich on
    May 6, 2012 - 8:35pm

    Your work is incredibly valuable, well thought out, well presented, truthful, scientific, non-inflammatory (in many ways, lol), and never trades on sensationalism or in any way feels unethical. I work as a Holistic Health Coach and I send every one of the students that I coach for my school to your site to read your book, which I refer to as a handbook that we should get upon birth. Never let these people detract from your work, your feelings, your tremendous benefit to your fellow humans. It speaks only to his shortcomings and should serve only as a reminder for us all to remain open minded and receptive and integrative in our approach to health and facilitating the healing process. Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication and for your personal story of how it all began. Cynthia Henrich

    Submitted by Sundi on
    May 6, 2012 - 8:47pm

    It's hard not to feel a bit sorry for Dr. Carroll, a man so blinded by his own 'right' that he has to resort to slander. Ultimately, his is the sad plight of the very insecure human who knows on some level that he comes up short in his chosen area of expertise. Having no other way to justify his mistakes, he lashes out at those who inadvertently correct them.

    Personally, I am soooo grateful for JB and Baseline as well as the wonderful information provided on the foundation website. Thank you.

    Submitted by LIndaLee on
    May 6, 2012 - 9:06pm

    I'm with you.

    Submitted by Grant Andrews on
    May 6, 2012 - 10:28pm

    One of the things I love about the internet is that anyone can publish their point of view and gain an audience.

    One of the things I hate about the internet is that anyone can publish their point of view and gain an audience.

    Keep up the great works Jon, you're one of the reasons I love the internet, and one of the people I listen to and trust when it comes to the health of my family.

    Submitted by Guest on
    May 6, 2012 - 10:39pm

    it's as clear as a blue sky, that dr.carroll is bigPharma's puppet.
    that's why he doesn't know how to respond, because Don Corleone of the cartel didn't instruct him yet.

    Submitted by Dorothy Dumbra on
    May 6, 2012 - 10:46pm

    Yes, great article, Jon. I am an RN in alternative medicine over 30 years, as a clinical nutritionist and specialized kinesiologist with over 12,000 hours in A.K. studying with top; people nationally and internationally, acknowledged by various organizations and invited to other countries. I spend a great deal of time trying to educate the UN-educable, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Everything that I work with gets results in less than a month, diabetics off insulin, hypoglycemia symptoms lessened in 1 week, find a lot of low thyroid, and educate the patients to educate their docs or get a new one, this disease is so misdiagnosed, pain, phobias, allergies, no end, sometimes amazes me. I unfortunately watch those I care about, including 4 or my children's' health decline, cancer,, arthritis, obesity, pain, as they don't listen. Each disease I predicted months or yearsr before it happened. Sad. So closed and stupid is much of our population and M.D's. They cannot cure disease as they do not know good nutrition.

    Submitted by tjohn on
    May 6, 2012 - 11:21pm

    HEY! Jon!

    I’m speechless!

    Love your rebuttals.

    Touché, touché, touché. There … drove the points right in, didn’t they?

    Beneath that erudition and expertise is the accomplished humorist and entertainer! You’re truly amazing – all-round (I wouldn’t even start listing down your attributes! It would take an expert in neurolinguistic programming to really elicit your capabilities, strategies, values, etc – what you excel in – so that others can model after you, maybe as what the modern educated man should be.)

    Meantime, keep doing what you do best. The world needs your brilliant mind and your caring heart. My wish is that more are exposed to it and start feeling grateful, admiring and blessing you, and blessing you, and blessing you. (There! it's well and truly anchored, isn't it!)


    Submitted by Patricia on
    May 7, 2012 - 12:23am

    Bravo Jon Barron, what a spectacularly crafted response !! I loved every bit of it, and am delighted to see someone prepared to take the trouble to stand up to the bullies who call themselves 'academics'! A response such as yours should be framed :-) Thank you for taking the time to write such a balanced and credible piece. Complementary medicine practitioners the world over should be grateful for your efforts.

    Submitted by Chrisb1 on
    May 7, 2012 - 12:57am

    An extremely well written rebuttal Jon. You have always been on the top of my list of Alternative health writers/researchers. This Dr Carrolls silence and refusal to publish your response speaks volumes. Well done, keep up your invaluable work.

    Submitted by Tony Isaacs on
    May 7, 2012 - 10:31pm

    Right you are, my friend. What an outstanding rebuttal! I was glad to see that you posted a link to this article at CureZone. I liked it so much that put it in my private forum there too, as well as on the front page of my website. I continue to be amazed at how well researched and presented Jon's articles are. Jon continues to be a hero and mentor of mine - and a valued friend too.

    Submitted by Guest on
    May 7, 2012 - 1:07am

    Wow! You're actually INTELLIGENT...and on Planet Earth! You don't seem to belong to any little clubs with annoyingly moronic secrets and you don't scuttle away from innovative thought to claw at the next carrot and the next, like Dr. Carroll. Thank you. I hope someone will have been worth it.

    Submitted by BoB on
    May 7, 2012 - 5:03am

    I have followed your newsletter for a year or so now. I always take each morning a healthy dose of skepticism it keeps me from eating crow at day's end.I have found that if you assume someone right as Benny Hill would say " you make an ASS out of U and ME". Knowing this I still do and must rely on people who are good at what they do it is a reality of life . The best that I can do is to choose someone who I think shows me that they can communicate, are thoughtful, up-to-date, informative, decisive yet open minded where necessary . I think any information dispensed under any other characteristics would be pushing an a gender that has nothing to do with finding answers or eliminating suspects. I believe I'm a fair judge of character so I won't be UN-subscribing my self from your newsletter. I suspect you have upset other academic beehives for their lack of doing a good job. Oh well so be it.

    Submitted by Craig B. on
    May 7, 2012 - 10:35am

    This whole us and them thing reminds me of politics with the tactics that Carroll employs. I would not be here today if not for alternative therapies. I was told by licensed medical practitioners that my fibromyalgia, diabetes (type 2), and major depressive disorder could not be cured, just medicated (which I could not afford). Like Tim Tebow says in the FRS commercial, "'preciate that". If not for medical doctors ignorance, I would not have been motivated to seek alternative therapies and would still be miserable. Jon, your rebuttal to Dr. Carroll expresses my sentiments. I just wish I had your knowledge and talents. Keep up the excellent work. Thank God for the Internet and people like Jon Barron, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Mercola, and all the others whose soul desire is to help people live a better life without medications.

    Submitted by Craig on
    May 7, 2012 - 10:43am

    Dr. Carroll's outlook of Alternative Medicine is truly bleak. To him, vitamins, supplements, homeopathic, chiropractic, naturopathic, and so forth consist of "the placebo effect." That means, if you believe in it strongly enough, it always works. He equates all this with voodoo. Well, why doesn't someone simply turn all that directly on himself and his own colleagues, instead?

    These allopaths are large and in charge, today. They are literally worshiped, and everything they say is "from god almighty" to most people. So with all that going for them, why would mainstream medicine need anything more than sugar pills? If we have anybody at all whom no one questions their all-wise solutions to our problems and feeds us the magic silver bullets that cure all our illnesses, its people exactly like Dr. Carroll! Talk about faith, and trust, and big bucks! Some people are losing their homes, thanks to them. That's what you call faith. It's the basis of all placebo effects.

    Add to that all-wise, all-knowing, awesome clinically divine presence, those wonderful chemicals, fancy tests, and magic medicines that always work (or so you claim), you should have an unbeatable combination, Dr. Carroll! So tell me then, you blind and stupid Olaf, if Alternative medicine has all the cures, and regular mainstream medicine has absolutely NONE, and with an iatrogenic disease rate of over 600,000 new ailments/year, brought on by mainstream medicine itself and its own side-effects (by its own admission and its own statistics), how is it then that your competition, who are just trying to heal disease, have a million-percent better success rate overall than you quack-phonies in mainstream medicine do?

    So, what are we doing, listening to a quack call the people who actually DO heal tens of thousands of folks with just good sense and trying to get straight to the cause of their illnesses, quacks? What kind of doctor treats the symptom, causing other new symptoms, and then treating more and mor

    Submitted by Susan. UK on
    May 7, 2012 - 5:14am

    brilliant response!

    I love these newsletters. So informative, down to earth and in depth!
    I find that in the UK, people are generally quite sceptical about alternative health, posibly because primary and specialist health care is free and prescription drugs minimal cost to the patient- or free for certain categories of status / income. Therefore, perhaps alternative health practitioners assumed to be the 'rip off' merchants

    Interstingly,'alternative' health medicines were routine and 'mainstreamm' until a few centuries ago!

    Keep up the good work! I really appreciate these high quality blogs.

    Submitted by M. Ferenczy on
    May 7, 2012 - 7:18am


    Submitted by Barbara Barry on
    May 7, 2012 - 8:27am

    I appreciate reading your original response Jon.
    Thank you for posting it. I learned so much more about cellular energy as a result of reading this.
    I wonder how much the "Doctor" made writing this piece and who paid him??? (That's 3 question marks)!

    I appreciate all you do and I know that I'm not alone!

    Barbara B

    Submitted by Lee Miller on
    May 7, 2012 - 9:19am

    Jon, Thank you for writing this article and yet for me it was not necessary. I do not bother going to websites that dispute natural healing, eating organic foods and GMO's. For the people who are on the fence in this matter, most will follow the advise of a Medical Doctor. Some of us do use logic and educate ourselves by visiting and learning from sites such as yours. I consider you to be an authority on providing your readers with scientific research on healing using natural methods.

    I now consider myself to be knowledgable in natural healing. Facing death will do that to some. I was diagnosed with male breast cancer in 2001. Chemo and radiation were the follow up treatments that were recommended. I had already started researching all other options to me even before I went to get the diagnosis. All has gone well since then, in 2001 I rejected Chemo and Radiation and became an expert in treating myself. I have not been back to a Doctor since 2001 but I must be doing ok because at 68 years old I can outwork anyone in our family except my wife. Neither of us need prescriptions for any health condition. Some of the information that I used was by people who are attacked from all sides by the pharmacutical and medical establishment. Do no harm is the oath that they take. Why do these two establishments hide the truth from the people? Evil profit!

    I have a framed poster from the 1950's that was provided by Parker and Davis Pharmacutical Company to Doctors showing Monks tending a Herb garden it is titled "The History of Pharmacy". In 60 years we have lost our way and past knowledge is being hidden from us.

    Now a word of caution on taking the route that I took. It takes much study so I would not recommend this route for people who will not put into use the information that is available. This is a path that should be taken by an informed person. I was a motivated and informed person.

    I trust you, Jon Barron, and the information that your provide.

    Submitted by Nancy Brady, RN on
    May 7, 2012 - 9:36am

    Hi Jon, I am a traditionally trained Registered Nurse for over 25 years and I am just now, in the past 10 years really beginning to understand the human body - a body that wants to heal itself and CAN! For the most part, conventionally trained physicians are cocky, rude, arrogant and either (in my opinion) paid well by the big Pharmaceutical Companies or just so greedy that they could care less about their human brothers and sisters of whom they made a pledge to "First, do no harm". The AMA (again IMO) is one of the worst organizations on Earth. They have put themselves so high on the pedestal and we bought into it! Just take a look at the statistics on how many patients die every day from medical errors, pharmaceuticals, surgeries, etc. They want to keep us STUPID and in the dark (as does our Government); therefore, when someone like yourself is attacked it's because (IMO) you're hitting a nerve with them; ie, you're informing and educating us too well! Bravo to you Jon! (should I say that 3 times?) I cannot tell you how many patients, friends and family that I've watched die and that I continue to watch die from Radiation, Chemotherapy and prescription drugs; I try to educate them but the power of that white coat and the AMA is just too powerful. As a last resort, my friends and family then turn to me. Their power (The AMA) is frightening and education of the masses is frightening to them so we MUST continue the fight! They're trying to take away our right to natural supplements; that shows you that we're making an impact. Please do some research before you automatically take a drug. I have not had to see a doctor for a serious illness for over 20 years since I've seen the light. Go back to basics; what goes into your mouth and into your heart and soul, is what is TRULY POWERFUL! Keep up the great work, Jon. I salute you!

    Submitted by Jim Shawvan on
    May 7, 2012 - 11:35am

    Instead of dignifying these characters with the name of "skeptic", which is their preferred term, I think we should call them "pseudo-skeptics", which is more accurate.

    Submitted by Gordon.UK on
    May 7, 2012 - 11:55am

    Well done Jon, all the above comments mirror my own. Keep up the good work.

    Submitted by Bill Johnson on
    May 7, 2012 - 12:42pm

    Hi Job,
    Don't know your political persuasion, but your description of and about Dr. Carroll's views, pretty much describes him as a bonafied "Liberal" (Controling Socialist).

    Submitted by Cathy G on
    May 7, 2012 - 3:03pm

    I always spread the word on your info, Jon. Get Pinterest added to your bookmarks.

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    May 7, 2012 - 3:11pm

    Thanks Cathy!  We are working on it.  

    Submitted by Chuck Bluestein on
    May 7, 2012 - 4:29pm

    Your article about vaccines was written in February 2008. CDC says "Since 2001, with the exception of some influenza (flu) vaccines, thimerosal is not used as a preservative in routinely recommended childhood vaccines."

    I have also seen this elsewhere. So why talk about something not used except in multi-dose flu vaccines?

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    May 7, 2012 - 6:05pm

    Jon was responding to Robert Carroll’s piece, which was published in 2012. Dr. Carroll made the issue current. And let’s look for a moment at the statement, thimerosal is “not used except in multi-dose flu vaccines.” When you think about it, it’s a bit like saying, “As long as we don’t count murder, rape, and arson, serious crime is down. So, how does that relate? Thimerosal is not used anymore in the vaccines you only get once or twice in your enitre life; it’s only used in the single vaccination that every single person, particularly the very young and very old, is supposed to get every single year: the flu vaccine. In other words, if there’s an issue with thimerosal, the fact that it’s still used in flu vaccines is a BIG deal.


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