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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

« More Glowing Cells: Chemistry Comes Through Again | Main | Old School - Really Old »

October 10, 2008

Kevin Trudeau: A Bit of Good News

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Posted by Derek

I thought, given all the recent news, that everyone could use a story that would bring a smile to their faces, so here we go: Kevin Trudeau, the infomercial king who makes his living slandering drug research and feeding conspiracy theories about diet and health, has been fined $5 million dollars over the marketing of his weight-loss book. He's also been banned from the infomercial business for three years, and found in contempt of court.

The judge in the case, clearly exasperated, called Trudeau "not a reliable witness" and said that he had "clearly, and no doubt intentionally" violated a 2004 order to restrain from deceptive marketing practices. To give you an idea, Trudeau stated repeatedly that his weight-loss plan involved no exercise, and could be completed easily at home. Lucky customers who sent in their money found that the plan included an hour of walking a day, and that it involved colonic cleansing, injections of human growth hormone, and that the last phase of the plan was stated to go on for the rest of their lives.

Hey, walking an hour a day is good advice, but you don't have to send money to some guy (who tells you that it isn't exercise) to find out about it. And that seems to describe his books pretty well: a mixture of obvious, well-known advice and lunacy, served up at the highest price the market will bear, over and over. If you want to get the Full Trudeau, this Washington Post profile from 2005 will be your window into his wonderful world - it starts with the electromagnetic chaos eliminator necklace he wears, which he says keeps his brain from being microwaved, and goes on from there. Is anyone surprised that he also recommends Scientology?

With any luck, this charlatan will be off the airwaves for a few years - or, if he reappears, perhaps we can all hope for a jail term next time. I'll cheer. After all, this is a person who goes around telling people that drug researches like me are deliberately poisoning millions of people and withholding cures. Whatever he has coming to him is fine with me.

Comments (41) + TrackBacks (0) | Category:


COMMENTS

1. James Lightfield on October 10, 2008 10:08 AM writes...

Non-Scientologits who are also religious, political and social leaders have gone on record acknowledging the effectiveness of L Ron Hubbard's easy to implement solutions to problems affecting individuals and society -- such as illteracy, drug dependency and human rights abuses. Visit www.Scientology.org to see their videos.

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2. KeeKee on October 10, 2008 10:09 AM writes...

Nice! Any time a con man is forced to hand over cash or go to jail I'm all for it.

They should have made him pay out $5 mil just for recommending the criminally convicted UFO cult that is scientology. Google ExScientologyKids for more info.

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3. Matt on October 10, 2008 10:22 AM writes...

I'm sure he learned his bait and switch scam tactics from the dangerous cult of scientology which believes we're all possessed by the souls of dead aliens. Funny thing is scientology won't tell you this little fact until you've forked over nearly $300,000 and spent years of your lifde being brainwashed by the writings of a third rate science fiction writer.

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4. anonymous on October 10, 2008 10:22 AM writes...

Yeah Hubbards solutions cost only $500,000 and along the way you find out you are possesed by alien ghosts and only scientology has the "technology" to cleanse you of them. He also said that gay people are covertly hostile and that covertly hostile people "should be eliminated quietly and without sorrow"

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5. Matt on October 10, 2008 10:23 AM writes...

I'm sure he learned his bait and switch scam tactics from the dangerous cult of scientology which believes we're all possessed by the souls of dead aliens. Funny thing is, scientology won't tell you about this stupidity until you've forked over nearly $300,000 and spent years of your life being brainwashed by the writings of a third rate science fiction writer.

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6. tuffgurl on October 10, 2008 10:29 AM writes...

James, you haven't done the research, have you?

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7. Anonymous on October 10, 2008 11:03 AM writes...

L Ron Hubbards treatment methods would be fine if they didnt integrate scientology bullshit. But they do, and thats the only reason they are there, not to help, but to propagate scientology, so they can seel more books.

You scientologists need to realise that Scientology does not work. It only makes you a brainwashed, out of ethics puppet of Lron. There is not enough money in the world to clear everyone. Think about that.

Leave the cult. It is not worth losing your family. It is not worth losing your money. Scientology DOES NOT WORK.

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8. xenubarb on October 10, 2008 11:03 AM writes...

James, doggedly parroting "Scientology saved my life. My life is better now. Scientology provides tools for everyday life" doesn't not constitute evidence or proof.

Funny how Scientology's front groups have been repeatedly debunked and ridiculed by actual, qualified evaluators. Yeah, I'm talking about Narconon (drug program kicked out of public schools in Cali, Hawaii and Boston) Applied Scholastics (use a dictionary! There's an epiphany!) and other self promotion purporting to address real social issues without offering anything of value at all...

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9. Fabrice on October 10, 2008 11:04 AM writes...

Yes! that's real good news.
althought I have to admit It was kind of fascinating to watch this guy being on cable every single night. He's got such a liar face! I don't have any numbers but I would bet he has been one of the most visible persons on late night TV programs for the last couple of years. Scary...

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10. kardinal69 on October 10, 2008 11:09 AM writes...

"James, you haven't done the research, have you?".... tuffgurl, James Lightfield just spends his time trawling the net and putting up sychophantic plugs for scientology, like a cheerleader with pom poms only without the high I.Q. level

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11. Marcab Soldier on October 10, 2008 11:40 AM writes...

Hey James Lightfield is back. Does anyone else get this sudden uncontrollable urge to tell everyone that the leader of scientology, David Miscavige, has been altering Scientology doctrine since he took over? Whenever James posts I just get that strange urge. It's very odd.

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12. Anonymous on October 10, 2008 1:28 PM writes...

But can it core a apple?

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13. Hap on October 10, 2008 1:40 PM writes...

I'm playing a dirge for KT on the world's smallest violin.

Here's hoping he gets to stay in jail for some extended time period with regular access to McD's home cooking. (Yes, Mr. Trudeau, your belly button will pop out when your liver's done.)

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14. inscrutable on October 10, 2008 2:34 PM writes...

James Lightfield has done nothing to back up his ridiculous claims that Scientology has any value whatsoever. You ask him for studies to prove his point, he can not produce any. Notice that he has not expounded on the subject of the article: con-man Kevin Trudeau. If this is the kind of guy Scientology depends on for positive endorsement, it lays bare their intent to trick, lie, steal, and take freedom away from their parishioners and dupe uneducated folks into believing in a worthless waste of time.

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15. Doug Sundseth on October 10, 2008 6:23 PM writes...

What James Lightfield has done, though, is provide a brilliant Freudian slip, to wit, "Scientologits".

"What is that bozo on about now?"

"Oh, he's a Scientologit. He can't help it."

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16. Anonymous on October 10, 2008 7:22 PM writes...

I don't know, I work as a medicinal chemist in the pharmaceutical industry, and I think it's one of the most crooked dishonest businesses around. Sure maybe that guy was full of it, and a con artist as well. People really should realize how the pharmaceutical industry uses it's lobbying power to influence politicians and keep health care prices in our country at ever escalating levels.

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17. Skeptic on October 10, 2008 7:23 PM writes...

I don't know, I work as a medicinal chemist in the pharmaceutical industry, and I think it's one of the most crooked dishonest businesses around. Sure maybe that guy was full of it, and a con artist as well. People really should realize how the pharmaceutical industry uses it's lobbying power to influence politicians and keep health care prices in our country at ever escalating levels.

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18. Greg Hlatky on October 10, 2008 9:37 PM writes...

Really, if the pharmaceutical industry knew of "'all-natural' cures for serious illnesses including cancer, herpes, arthritis, AIDS, acid reflux disease, various phobias, obesity, multiple sclerosis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, attention deficit disorder [and] muscular dystrophy," the MBA's would fire the entire R&D staff and dump them on the street within the hour.

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19. Chris Croy on October 11, 2008 12:44 AM writes...

I don't know what depresses me more: That a scientology spam bot hit this story or that a dozen people googled said bot and turned up here to yell at it.

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20. Sili on October 11, 2008 5:46 AM writes...

Does anyone else get this sudden uncontrollable urge to tell everyone that the leader of scientology, David Miscavige, has been altering Scientology doctrine since he took over?
I didn't even know that, but it does help confirm the claim that $cientology is a genuine religion. Pliable dogma seems to be par for the course.

This is good news indeed. Together with the dropped suit by Rath against Goldacre and the Guardian as well as the increased disdain for Holford and The Awful Poo Lady, there may well be hope for the future yet.

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21. Modemac on October 11, 2008 8:15 AM writes...

All the Scientology crap aside, it's worth remembering who Kevin Trudeau is, none other than Mister "Coral Calcium" himself. Back in the 90s, he was all over the infomercial scene hucking this silly "memory power" program that supposedly gave you the ability to memorize huge lists and read books at super-speed. After getting in trouble over his "coral calcium" crap, the FTC finally put a ban on Trudeau using commercials to sell anything except published books. (Publishing a book is an act of free speech covered under the First Amendment, so they can't ban that.) And now here's Trudeau, hucking conspiracy-laden books whining about how THEY don't want you to know about his secret magical cures, and THEY are out to get you, and THEY have just fined him $5 million for it. Boo hoo hoo, I'm so upset.

http://www.modemac.com/wiki/Natural_Cures

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22. Chocononymous on October 11, 2008 12:26 PM writes...

As much as I dislike KT's horrid quackery and shady billing practices, the wording and advertising techniques he used weren't much different than any other mainstream ad for a weight loss product. Almost all claim that they are different, almost all claim to be easy, almost all claim that you can get results without effort - Blah, blah, blah. The stop-smoking industry is the same. The claims do NOT match the effort needed by the individual to get the desired results, which is what the suit was about.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Mr. Trudeau. He's a slickster and a fraud. But, I think that he's an easy target compared to the pharmas (especially when it comes to their stop smoking product claims) and the big corporations who make weight loss products. That's why he's been slapped and they haven't. Ultimately, this decision will have far-reaching, unintended consequences.

And don't think for one minute that this will slow him down. It won't. He pulled his ads for Weight Loss Cure a long time ago. Debt Cures has been out for over a year. He's ready to move on from Debt Cures now. I'm betting that he'll just switch to some sort of radio/Internet thing since he's effectively banned from television.

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23. David Miscavige on October 11, 2008 8:16 PM writes...

James, I am disappointed at the brevity of your original comment, and your lack of subsequent rebuttals. You are clearly downstat at the moment, and you will no doubt know the consequences of this.

Comments have been made about the alteration of the LRH texts.

If any of you took the trouble to do a little basic research, you would note that ALL Dianteics and Scientology titles have been constantly revised and updated to keep content fresh.

In fact, for the record LRH is NO LONGER credited as the author of any of the works - which are the EXCLUSIVE copyright of RTC (to keep a degree of familiarity, the phrase 'L. Ron Hubbard' forms part of the publication TITLE and does not reflect the identity of the author - which is RTC)

I hope that this clarifies the situation, but please feel free to contact my assistant, Paul Fetch, in the event of further queries.

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24. Nick K on October 13, 2008 9:04 AM writes...

How did a blog dedicated to the pharmaceutical industry get hijacked by pro- and anti-Scientologists?

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25. Bored on October 13, 2008 6:30 PM writes...

Cyanogen Azide was a much more interesting topic.

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26. SRC on October 13, 2008 7:35 PM writes...

Was I the only one to get a small thrill on reading the reference to microwaving Trudeau's brain?

Microwaving Trudeau's brain...microwaving Trudeau's brain...

Damn, I feel better already.

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27. Hap on October 14, 2008 10:12 AM writes...

There's nothing wrong with KT's brain that a direct shot with a nuclear-pumped X-ray laser couldn't cure. Let's see your necklace stop that.

I think the problem isn't that KT's brain is being microwaved, but that those of his "clients" have been. He should thank his lucky stars, in that case - if not for gullible people and microwaves, he'd have a street corner of his own somewhere (with his own cardboard box and sign, even).

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28. Joe Momma on October 16, 2008 3:43 AM writes...

I would expect this type of retoric from a 'Drug Dealer' like yourself! Looooser!! To bad you care more about 'Money' than you do people's Health!

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29. Hap on October 17, 2008 1:05 PM writes...

I call Poe on #28. The spelling and punctuation are clearly too bad to be from one able to use a computer - they would seem to require functional competence with only crayons and construction paper. You might want to keep the big people scissors and the ballpoint pens away from Mr. Momma, just in case.

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30. Steve Parker, M.D. on October 18, 2008 5:30 AM writes...

I've been waiting for this news almost a year. Why did it take so long?

Trudeau's hardcover book is still a very respectable seller at Amazon.com. The mass market paperback comes out in December.

The fine is not adequate - Trudeau deserves jail time also.

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31. rallenza@yahoo.com on October 25, 2008 3:31 PM writes...

If KT has been banned from making infomercials,then why did I just see one on TV less than 1 hour ago? I live in the Phx. metro area and saw it on TV .

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32. Charles on December 19, 2008 7:11 PM writes...

to #31.
In Kevin's follow up book "More Natural cures" he goes on to state that the FTC often discredits him and "debunks" his claims about the "truth" and fills the media full of his "crimes" against consumers. Then with out the publics knowledge they drop all charges and state that "KT has not been found guilty of any of the charges."
All in an attemp to make the consumers feel "cheated" when in reality he is just promoting a Clean and healthy diet and life style... When he says to use Organic food, is that such a crime... It sure is a crime to the Huge Industries that produce those synthetic additives for food, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, dyes and even synthetic drugs... Its is no lie that nutrition plays an all important role in the health of all humans and animal. There is no doubt that certain chemical compounds found in cancer were antagonists.

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33. Steve Parker, M.D. on February 14, 2009 11:59 PM writes...

In October last year I blogged about the Federal Trade Commission’s judgment - over $5 million - against twice-convicted felon Kevin Trudeau.

Who are “they”? The Federal Trade Commission, apparently.

The FTC objected to Trudeau making false claims in his infomercials for the book.

On November 4, 2008, federal judge Robert W. Gettleman amended the judgment to $37,616,161, the amount consumers paid in response to the deceptive infomercials.

I always wondered how much money those infomercials could rake in. That’s not pure profit, of course: Trudeau had to pay for production costs, air time, etc.

What if he can’t pay the fine? Jail time?

Don’t feel sorry for him. His false claims were so egregious that the $37 million he collected from customers is tantamount to theft. $19.95 at a time, plus shipping and handling.

Don’t be surprised if Turdeau cites this judgment as proof that the government and weight-loss industry have conspired to suppress his weight loss cure.

It warms my soul to know that there is indeed some justice in this life. To the FTC and Judge Gettleman: thank you.

-Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference: January 15, 2009 FTC news release: Marketer Kevin Trudeau Violated Prior Court Order

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34. ladderwalker on May 4, 2010 8:18 AM writes...

It's funny that every one has so much trash to talk about KT, but for being such a scam artist he has saved me thousands of dollars. I haven't spent a dime! oops sorry. I wish I could hop on the band wagon with you nay sayers but I listen to KT's radio show for free and he gives out a lot of good info. It sounds like most of the people on here are jealous that he is so successful, and they are just your average broke dick losers.

Oh actually I just remembered I picked up a used copy of Natural Cures (which is awesome) at a book fair for $3

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35. Barry Hershey on August 7, 2010 9:35 AM writes...

The debunkers overlook the fact that these aren't Trudeau's findings, but rather are the findings of DOCTORS which he's merely reporting. And isn't it interesting none of the skeptics and debunkers have obviously never bothered to actually test his cliams ... Whereas I have and still am, and thus far I've found only one half-truth, one contradiction, and numerous ty-po's in his natural cures and weight loss books, but other than that everything else has proven right on target including the use of Dianetics which I'm not a Scientologist ! In fact, being a researcher of the truth his first infomercial caught my attention as I knew he was telling the truth as i already knew much of this info long before he ever came along ... in fact, I can teach him a few things. I highly support everyone get and read Trudeau's 'Natural Cures' and weight loss books ... In fact, read 'Super Nature' by Lyall Watson - It might not make a convert out of you, but I guarentee you won't be a skeptic anymore either :) ...

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36. confidential on June 24, 2011 7:55 AM writes...

With my own experiences and research I can tell you how Mr. Con man gets his way. There are techniques practiced in underground societies that put con men and women ahead of the game. They learn remote viewing so they can positin themselves for gain, they can target individuals by way of distant subliminal messaging to promote a good emotional feeling about theie products and service. Not all people, but most can be easily influence as a follower. Wise advise never quickly make an impluse decision as it could have been triggered by subliminal efforts. However in the end con people pay the price. For the people who have been taken advantage of by these techniques, I wish them a positive turn of events in their life. May they never be manipulated again.

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37. confidential on June 24, 2011 7:57 AM writes...

With my own experiences and research I can tell you how Mr. Con man gets his way. There are techniques practiced in underground societies that put con men and women ahead of the game. They learn remote viewing so they can positin themselves for gain, they can target individuals by way of distant subliminal messaging to promote a good emotional feeling about theie products and service. Not all people, but most can be easily influence as a follower. Wise advise never quickly make an impluse decision as it could have been triggered by subliminal efforts. However in the end con people pay the price. For the people who have been taken advantage of by these techniques, I wish them a positive turn of events in their life. May they never be manipulated again.

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38. confidential on June 24, 2011 7:57 AM writes...

With my own experiences and research I can tell you how Mr. Con man gets his way. There are techniques practiced in underground societies that put con men and women ahead of the game. They learn remote viewing so they can positin themselves for gain, they can target individuals by way of distant subliminal messaging to promote a good emotional feeling about theie products and service. Not all people, but most can be easily influence as a follower. Wise advise never quickly make an impluse decision as it could have been triggered by subliminal efforts. However in the end con people pay the price. For the people who have been taken advantage of by these techniques, I wish them a positive turn of events in their life. May they never be manipulated again.

Permalink to Comment

39. confidential on June 24, 2011 7:59 AM writes...

With my own experiences and research I can tell you how Mr. Con man gets his way. There are techniques practiced in underground societies that put con men and women ahead of the game. They learn remote viewing so they can positin themselves for gain, they can target individuals by way of distant subliminal messaging to promote a good emotional feeling about theie products and service. Not all people, but most can be easily influence as a follower. Wise advise never quickly make an impluse decision as it could have been triggered by subliminal efforts. However in the end con people pay the price. For the people who have been taken advantage of by these techniques, I wish them a positive turn of events in their life. May they never be manipulated again.

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40. Zachary Wadell on April 12, 2012 4:09 PM writes...

Many Thx for this, it makes things clearer.

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41. Monty Stetson on July 9, 2012 5:11 AM writes...

We enjoyed your own write-up.

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