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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« What Sort of Training? | Main | Sir2 Surprise »

November 17, 2005

A Man, A Book, and a Plan. Several Plans.

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Posted by Derek

So, what's Kevin Trudeau up to these days? (Besides counting those great big stacks of money, that is). Back in August he was selling huge loads of his "Natural Cures" book, which is a rather huge load in and of itself, even though people seemed to be catching on to the fact that there are no cures in it. The New York State Consumer Protection Board certainly caught on back then, calling Trudeau's book a fraud "from cover to cover".

Well, he's still moving truckloads of the book, much to my disgust. Demolition jobs like this one in the major media don't seem to have slowed things down much at all. Still, Trudeau seems to have branched out a bit. Customers are now complaining that they're being signed up for his newsletter ($71, don't you know) when they order the book by phone. Oddly enough, it proves to be difficult to cancel the newsletter (and its $14.95/month charges), since no one seems able to get through to customer service. No doubt the next phase will see people involuntarily signed up for a "lifetime membership", which runs a mere $499.

Not content with that, the latest report is that he's reselling his mailing list - which must be sizeable - for even more money. And as you'd expect, he only deals with the classiest marketers:

'Customers who call one of Trudeau's toll-free order numbers have received spooky junk mail from a Nevada company, claiming to be a 'secret society' with 'personal knowledge' about these consumers. This junk mailer calls itself the 'Nouveau Tech Society,' but it is actually another book publisher in Henderson, Nevada that sells a $150 book teaching people how to rule the world. . ."

This appears to be the Neo-Tech/Zonpower people, who are a batch of crazed scamsters from way back. I thought about putting a link in there, but the tiniest Google search on any combination of those names immediately throws up dozens of pages of over-the-cliff weirdness. (You'll go from a standing start to UFOs full of Bavarian Illuminati very quickly, so be warned.) Quite a crew to work with, I have to say - the only thing that I can be sure if is that if they're dealing with Kevin Trudeau, their checks must have cleared.

Trudeau's response to this complaints? A press release of breathtaking arrogance, titled "Bureaucrats Try to Interfere With the Sale of Trudeau's Best-Seller." (That link is worth reading, although if you have a tendency to high blood pressure, I'd think twice.) As usual, Trudeau wraps himself in the First Amendment, pretending to having never heard of the concept of commercial speech.

So, Mr. Trudeau, just for you I'm going to exercise my First Amendment rights. In my considered opinion, you are a fraud. A con man. A shameless opportunist and peddler of lies and gibberish. You are urging cancer patients, HIV patients, diabetics and people with every other life-threatening disease under the blue sky to throw away their drugs, stop seeing their doctors, and send their money to you in exchange for all the dust you can shake from your expensive shoes. Enjoy your money, won't you?

Comments (15) + TrackBacks (0) | Category:


COMMENTS

1. SRC on November 17, 2005 11:43 PM writes...

Don't take it seriously, Derek. Darwin works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform...

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2. JBK on November 18, 2005 10:46 AM writes...

I'm not a doctor, and in no way claim to be qualified to make an official diagnosis, but it seems to me Mr. Trudeau presents a number of symptoms of Bipolar Disorder (likely bipolar II). The extremes of intensity, carisma and personability, delusions of granduer and reference, and the making of unkeepably grandiose promises (see the Washington Post piece when he was working at Nutrition for Life) are all frequently halmarks of manic episodes, and memory disruptions (such as his claim that his prison stint constituted a "very blurry time in my history with all the stress") are consistently associated with depressive episodes in the disease. Again, I'm not a shrink, but I wouldn't be surprised if a well monitored dose of lithium wouldn't do him and everyone else some good.

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3. Marc on November 18, 2005 11:09 AM writes...

When you recommend lithium, is that large chunks of the metal, taken oraly ?

There is nothing wrong with publishing books about alternative medicine. I would strongly encourage public and private debate about the virtues of various alternatives. Talk to your doctor, as they say.

But this is much more than that

Doesn't the first ammendment does have limitations when it comes to speech that causes public harm ? and if not, why not.

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4. Timothy on November 18, 2005 11:20 AM writes...

Alternative medicine is usually just the placebo effect. Which, you know, if that works for your allergies, headaches, mentstrual cramps and other obnoxious-but-not-deadly-or-even-harmful maladies, well, fine. Go ahead and be a weird vitamin-popping hippie.

But when you get down to cancer, diabetes, HIV, and other diseases that can, really, threaten death (often quite painful, at that) upon the sufferers, well, I think anybody peddling homeopathy for those thing is, to use a technical term, an asshat.

I guess it's no wonder that there's a guy in my office who believes in homeopathy (like "glyconutrients" for his type II diabetes) AND miracles.

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5. Sigivald on November 18, 2005 1:05 PM writes...

Enjoy your money, won't you?

He probably will, is the thing.

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6. milo on November 18, 2005 3:21 PM writes...

So...and let me get this right...If I order the book in question, I'll learn how to use natural things to cure cancer, AIDS etc.... (this is much cooler than just chewing on willow bark for a headache) I'll then be contacted and given the opportunity to learn how to rule the world? All for under $200? Can I use my credit card to avoid C.O.D. charges? Should I remove my foil hat first?

Seriously though, I love these posts.

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7. GATC on November 18, 2005 3:59 PM writes...

Oh come on Derek, lighten up a bit; its Friday for crying out loud. These guys are not worth the effort. Bill Clinton was elected not once, but twice and ol' Hillary carpet-bagged her way from Little Rock to NY so what do you expect?

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8. Derek Lowe on November 18, 2005 4:35 PM writes...

Actually, this is the sort of thing I do for fun. De gustibus non disputandum est, eh?

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9. nwt on November 18, 2005 9:58 PM writes...

didn't everyone figure out that Trudeau was a fraud like TEN YEARS AGO when he started to peddle his ridiculous schemes on late night TV? I mean this is like OLD NEWS. Somebody should lock him up pronto. Calling Eliot Spitzer!

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10. Galen on November 18, 2005 10:30 PM writes...

You know, I think a list of the most gullible consumers in America would be quite a valuable thing to have...

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11. SRC on November 18, 2005 11:02 PM writes...

A perusal of the demographics of Trudeau dupes on the ripoffreport.com is enough to shake one's faith in the wisdom of the 19th amendment.

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12. UndergradChemist on November 23, 2005 3:19 AM writes...

"When you recommend lithium, is that large chunks of the metal, taken oraly ?"

They're just lithium salts, not the metal, which would just break down before it ever got to the brain at all. I don't think anyone really knows how they work...

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13. Derek Lowe on November 23, 2005 8:51 AM writes...

Actually, in Trudeau's case I agree with the large-chunks dosing method, which is what I think Marc had in mind in the first place.

(For the non-chemists in the audience, lithium metal bursts into flame on contact with water. . .)

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14. SRC on November 23, 2005 10:21 PM writes...

Actually, I would recommend the azide, not the metal, but that's me.

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15. Larry Lamour on November 24, 2005 4:00 PM writes...

Interesting how the comments on this site identify Mr. Trudeau's fraudulent nature. On the Amazon.com page for this book all of his paid croneys have been logging in to leave rave reviews. Notice that they are mostly five stars (the fakes) or one star (because you can't leave zero). There are very few 2,3,or 4 stars- I'm sure he wants to get his money's worth. They all sound scripted. All should go to Amazon.com and look at this book and leave an honest review instead of the bogus ones he has paid to have put there.

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