Tummy Ache

Spam is usually a nuisance, but sometimes it can be quite informative and even entertaining. Take this example received from one of my favourite spammers, Antoinette Pombo. She specializes in hawking dubious health products on behalf of an organization called Fleet Street Publications. It was Antoinette—by the way may I call you Toni? Antoinette is a fistful too far for my typing; in return you may call me Grumps—who provided me with first intelligence of the Q-link and the low-down on testicular cancer. Here is the start of her latest dithyramb, this time in praise of an individual called Jonathan V. Wright. I’ll try to preserve her HTML if possible to give you the taste and aroma of the sheer idiocy of her outpourings.

Shattering discovery

body’s worst enemy is…



Suffering from Asthma?

It’s your

you losing your memory?

It’s your

Are your arteries

It’s your

Or maybe you have
macular degeneration? Osteoporosis? Chronic Hives? Gallbladder disease?
Angina? Arthritis? Cockrot? Ingrowing Toenails?

all your stomach…

Here’s one simple
trick to tame your stomach and live healthier than ever

It goes on in much the same vein for another 2,000 words, so I won’t reproduce the whole thing here, but will share with you some of the more amusing quotes. I must state at this point that I had hitherto not heard of the good (or perhaps not) Dr Wright. In the course of my researches I discovered that he is the hero and blue-eyed boy of the arch-crackpot Suzanne Somers, which is not the right foot on which to be starting off. I am not qualified to know whether or not Dr Wright is a quack; I’ll merely point out that he is listed on Quackwatch with a red asterisk, indicating that he may very well be.

Toni begins by offering a series of anecdotes in which the hero, who is at death’s door, goes to see Dr Wright and within a few short weeks is totally cured. Take Hernando, whose legs were so knackered his doctors wanted to amputate. After seeing Dr Wright he was leaping like a hart (whatever that may be). Or John who had angina, or Sam who had macular degeneration, or…

All these people were allegedly suffering from hypochlorydria—too little stomach acid, which Dr Wright apparently knows how to cure.

After the “case studies”, Toni gives a truly boot-licking, sycophantic resume of Dr Wright’s career and qualifications:

“No other doctor of our time has crusaded harder or sacrificed more to bring the healing power of nutrition to ordinary people like you and me than Dr Wright.”

This is one impressive guy: he was awarded “the highest medical honour ever” which I must assume is an honour higher even than the Nobel prize. Well, Toni says it is, so who am I to argue? She is referring to the Linus Pauling Lifetime Achievement Award (LPLAA), of which I have never heard. I have, however, heard of Linus Pauling who is one of only two scientists to win two Nobel prizes, one for physics and the other for chemistry. (There is some speculation that he was in line for the Peace prize as well, but he was passed over.) In the latter part of his life he descended into crackpothood, though, advocating the consumption of staggering quantities of vitamin C.

A search of the internet reveals that the LPLAA is perhaps not what it’s cracked up to be: a google search for “Linus Pauling Lifetime Achievement Award” yields only three results, all of which are about Dr Wright. It seems no one else has ever been the recipient of this mysterious award, or indeed knows anything about it.

Then we are treated to the usual rants against “mafia-style pharmaceutical companies” and “the capitalist institutions that have a death-grip on our health and quality of life”, which Toni always inserts into her pieces. I’m sure she even sticks this stuff into her christmas cards.

And, at last, we get to the punchline. We too can be cured of just about everything if we subscribe to Dr Wright’s publication Nutrition & Healing which will cost a mere R57 per month. As is customary for quack remedies, Dr Wright’s snake oil is marketed as a substitute for not supplemental to science-based treatments, which means people will inevitably be harmed by falling for Toni’s nonsense. It doesn’t really matter though; if you’re dumb enough to buy this tripe, then you deserve your fate.

Creative Commons License
Grumpy Old Man by Mark Widdicombe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.

12 Responses to Tummy Ache

  1. […] Dr Jonathan V Wright of stomach acid fame? This should jog your memory: When Theresa’s husband started leaving his socks in the […]

  2. […] Dr Jonathan V Wright of stomach acid fame? This should jog your memory: When Theresa’s husband started leaving his socks in the fridge… […]

  3. Niki Ho says:

    ô grumpy old man, thank you ! very much … it’s not Toni whom I bump into during my daily wandering web walk but Miss Christine O’ Brien one be temped to call her Ttitine !!!
    Then, ‘m a not so old grumpy french woman living on a top of a little mountain in Provence, South of France and since 2006 suffering so much from my stupid miserable muscles I’m under high doses of morphine + extra other delicatessens from the pharmatical industry with alas not so much succes to relieve at least the pain …everyone knows that morphine never cures but is attended to relieve isn’t it ? alas alas … then i do mutiple researches by my own to first to undertsand, second to be able to talk with my DOCTORS, doctors at plural and to feed he hope will come the time to be cured … day and night of endless pain … then when dear Titine O’ Brien talked to me, so long boring internet video, was impatient to listen to the happy end and at last was able to do as you did, to check who is this revolutionary doctor that none heard about him until I received a mail from Dr Sears and so on and so on and was so intrigued by the nerve of Titine and her assertations I found you dear grumpy old man and you did me to laugh at me, to mock me that during few minutes I was quite trusting Titine and her miraculous Dr V Wright ! yes I must confess it … THEN thank you very very much Mister Grumpy you avoid me the cost of 67 $ + foolish dreams = again in a frozen loneliness my muscles and me … below the first words which attracted me as a fly by the butter … also forgive my clumsy scribbling, english isn’t my most clever way to express myself … whatever if by hasard you heard about another miraculous doctor, please give me a coucou, will do the trip to US immediately even on my wo little knees as much the pain is eating me brains and joy, quite to death that isn’t so funny a spring day ! my very cordials thoughts Mister Grumpy, nice to hear from you soon again , DHNiki
    ‘m used to grumpy old men, then don’t be shy …

    While drugs just suppress symptoms, spectacular new food & vitamin cures from
    award-winning Dr. Jonathan V. Wright can beat your symptoms and

    • Skm says:

      This is for Niki Ho from France. Dr. Mark Hyman is a very well respected doctor in Boston who is a functional medicine doc. He is the pioneer of this movement which gets to the root of the problem, not masking the disease with drugs. I found out tgat i had quite a few food allergies causing many health problems and my regular docs wanted to prescribe meds and didnt even check for food allergies. I feel much better now. Please check him out. Best wishes.

  4. Great and informative, am researching Dr Wright right now for articles on a site at http://www.bestwebsitetherapist.com.

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