President of Institute for Natural Healing responds to her advertising being described as a scam

I wrote a blog post in December about cancer scams. A representative of one of the companies I mentioned commented on the post and then the president of the company agreed to correspond with me via email. Below is the email I sent to Angela Salerno. After that is Salerno's response to my email. The only change that I've made is to delete the "testimonials" at the end of her email because I don't want to use this space for advertising of her product. I have also written a response to the emails in my most recent post.

My email

Angela,

I mentioned your company in one of my blog posts. Rene LeMire posted a comment on behalf of the company about the post. She wrote:

As a representative of The Institute for Natural Healing, I can tell you, unequivocally, that we are not a scam. At INH we have just one goal: To offer you the best, most up-to-date knowledge so you can make the very best decisions for your health. We only use solid research and evidence-based science to back up our free articles and monthly Natural Health Dossier newsletter.

The example you give here is a sales promotion for our newsletter. It is not a scam. As our 38,000+ subscribers know, when they become members they receive not only the full details on the information we describe in our videos, but so much more on the latest natural health research and solutions for cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, and so much more. And while we do give away a ton of free content on our website and through our free daily e-letter, Health Watch, we do charge for our monthly Natural Health Dossier newsletter.

Why? For the same reason the New England Journal of Medicine and other publications don’t give away all of their research for free. Research costs money. The American economic system depends on earning a fair profit for a job well done. The Institute for Natural Healing is not funded by anyone—government, foundation, pharmaceutical company. No one. If we do not earn a profit, we do not exist. That would be a great loss for our readers. Because what we deliver really does a lot of good for our readers. Way beyond what we charge for it. We know this, because they tell us.

I wanted to respond to a few of her comments and then ask you a few questions. I appreciate your willingness to answer them. I called your advertisement, which appeared on Facebook a "scam," which I define as cheating someone for the purpose of profit. When I subscribed to your newsletter to find out what your company considered "better than chemo.....that kills cancer dead," I discovered that the only way you would disseminate that knowledge was if I purchased a subscription. In contrast, research that is peer reviewed by reputable scientists in the New England Journal of Medicine is readily available at no cost to consumers through our local libraries. In fact, NEJM doesn't advertise to consumers or patients and it has never, to my knowledge, made unbelievable or grandiose claims about something that could "kill" cancer.

While I do not begrudge you the opportunity to make money, I do object to your making a profit from frightened, sick people, especially when you are selling something that doesn't exist. There is nothing that can kill cancer, and it worries me to read that you consider something better than chemo, the standard treatment for many cancers based on the research and protocols of thousands of researchers and organizations, such as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN.) Their website and protocols are available here: http://www.nccn.org/default.aspx

Here are my questions:

• Does your company actually conduct research? If so, where are your facilities and who actually conducts the research? If not, from where does your research come?

• Is the research that you report on peer reviewed and vetted through the scientific community at conferences and in academic journals?

• Do you have any scientific evidence to support the claim that cancer can be killed?

• Does your company sell any of the products that you report on?

• Do you recommend that people not follow the protocols for cancer treatment supported by NCCN and oncologists?

• Would you be willing to provide a financial report on the profit that you have made from this publication?

• Would you send me a single copy of your newsletter to review without charge?

Thank you for your interest in my blog. I look forward to reading your responses to my observations and to my questions.

Her Response

First, let me begin by pointing out how truly unfair you are being. You accuse my company of being a scam—one reason being that you apparently feel we do not do our due diligence. Yet you post untrue accusations about INH without first doing your research. With that said…

Calling us a “scam” somehow implies that we are tricking people into sending us money and then not delivering on our promise. This is simply not the case and nothing could be further from the truth. We deceive NO ONE. Our subscription fees are more than reasonable. I sleep soundly each and every night knowing that I am—in my small way—doing some good in this world. We provide THOUSANDS of articles, at absolutely no charge on our website. Yes, we also offer a paid subscription. With that comes various well-researched reports and monthly newsletters. If I could somehow survive and put food on the table for myself and my daughter (as well as my entire hard-working team here) giving all of the research away for free, I would. But I’m sure you see that is not only impractical, but completely impossible.

As a person who has had too many people close to me die of cancer (including my own father), I only wish that they had known about this information. My aunt battled cancer for over 20 years, various types—and several most likely due to the chemo and radiation treatments she endured. As you may know, standard cancer treatments often cause secondary cancers. This is a fairly detailed look at the issue:  http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002043-pdf.pdf

To answer questions 1 & 2:  Does your company actually conduct research? If so, where are your facilities and who actually conducts the research? If not, from where does your research come? Is the research that you report on peer reviewed and vetted through the scientific community at conferences and in academic journals?

Do we conduct research? Yes. Do we do it in a laboratory? No. We don’t say that we do, nor do we even imply it. We interview the doctors and scientists who are involved in the research. We source only the most respected medical journals with real results. For example, in the cancer report you have singled out, our findings came straight from research out of the Department of Pathology, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia; Drew University of Medicine and Science;  studies out of the National Cancer Institute; the International Journal of Immunotherapy; the Journal of Clinical Oncology; British Journal of Cancer; Journal of Biological Chemistry. Those are only a few. The list goes on. And that is just ONE report.

Question 3: Do you have any scientific evidence to support the claim that cancer can be killed?

As an Associate Professor of English, I don’t expect you to have a working knowledge of Biology (so perhaps you shouldn’t go online reporting on things before you’ve even researched them) but since you asked, yes, of course cancer can be killed. One example—your own immune system. Your body produces natural killer (NK) cells that kill cancer on a regular basis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14710949, http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/07/health/cohen-cancer-study/

There’s also grapeseed extract: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01635581.2013.783602?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3dpubmed&&#.Ux809fldV8G

Curcumin: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2758121/

And many others.

Question 4: Does your company sell any of the products that you report on?

My company does sell supplements but it is a completely separate division. We do not report on the ingredients in our supplements with reports or special articles. We adhere to strict FDA guidelines in every possible way.

Question 5: Do you recommend that people not follow the protocols for cancer treatment supported by NCCN and oncologists?

We do not give any kind of personalized medical advice. If a person feels that their best course of action is the mainstream course of therapy, I offer my prayers and truly wish them the best of luck. However, people have a right to know what ALL of their options are! And just a few minutes of research will show you that the American methods of treating cancer are far behind much of the world.

Question 6: Would you be willing to provide a financial report on the profit that you have made from this publication?

This question is inappropriate. We are a private company. As such, so are our financials. Furthermore, we do not in any way present ourselves as a non-profit.

Question 7: Would you send me a single copy of your newsletter to review without charge?

I can send you a copy of our latest monthly newsletter. As a reminder, our intellectual property is protected.

If I come off as angry or defensive, please understand this is the position you have put me in. You have questioned the integrity of a company that I am very proud of. You have questioned my character. If you don’t like our advertising, that is your right. But to call us a scam in a public forum because you don’t like it? That is out of line. All of us here work very hard. We take what we do seriously. We are paid for our jobs. And at the same time are doing our small part to make the world a better place. I call that a win/win scenario. Not a scam.

I’ve included just a few testimonials from our paying subscribers who I’m sure would agree –

Angela Salerno

President, The Institute for Natural Healing

I have deleted the testimonials.

 

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