Jerome German is a retired manufacturing engineer, husband, father of eleven, and grandfather of a multitude. His parochial activities have included music ministry, faith formation, and spiritual direction/talks for men’s retreats. He contributes articles to Crisis Magazine and Catholic Stand.
St. Louis chiropractor Dr. Eric Nepute is being sued by the DOJ at the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to the tune of half a trillion dollars for promoting vitamins. Yes, you read that right—half a trillion. The complaint states:
Starting no later than June 2020, [Nepute] began advertising a protocol that customers should follow to protect against, prevent, or treat COVID-19. This protocol, which has varied over time, advises consumers to take substantial quantities of emulsified Vitamin D3 and zinc, as contained within the products advertised. The complaint goes on to say that “no published studies prove Vitamin D protects against, treats, or prevents COVID-19.”
Nepute is also the owner of Quickwork, an LLC doing business as Wellness Warrior. Nepute’s case is set to go to trial in Missouri federal court in March. According to the suit, his “lack of factual or scientific bases for these claims [are] frequently accompanied by equally unsupported assertions regarding applicable science.”
And it’s not just Nepute that they’re after: “In short, defendants are selling their products by disseminating information, exploiting fears [amid] a pandemic, and posting a significant risk to public health and safety.”
“Disseminating information” is now, apparently “a significant risk to public health and safety.” Saints preserve us! What about the dissemination of the CDC, whose website states that Vitamin D “helps the immune system fight off bacteria and viruses,” or Anthony Fauci’s declaration during an Instagram live stream that vitamin D “does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection”?
Noticeably absent, to be sure, in the verbiage of any of the plethora of charges filed by the DOJ against Nepute for allegedly transgressing the December 2020 COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act will be any mention of the fact that said Covid-19 vaccines were experimental; they were authorized for emergency use only, largely bypassing historical protocol for vaccine testing; were not actually vaccines in any traditional sense (the word had to be redefined—no problem!), and were not even tested to see whether or not they prevented transmission!
Mind you, I’m not saying that Nepute and others didn’t overstate their cases. But if overstating a case is the subject—given the history of the FDA—could there be a more obscenely hypocritical case of projecting one’s faults onto another?
Of course, Nepute is just one among a multitude of practitioners who promoted natural means to fight Covid. It is clear that his prosecution is the template for obliterating an industry that has been a pain in the side of big pharma for a very long time. We have been headed toward a pharma/surgery monopoly for more than a century. With Congress as their cheerleader, their obvious hope is that this will be natural medicine’s last hurrah.
It is, of course, ludicrous to suppose that someone at the FTC or DOJ suddenly thought, “Oh, wow! This vitamin mongering is getting way out of hand!” Nope. That’s not how this works. They are pawns, and it’s not hard to figure out whose.
Nepute is spending his life savings on his defense, and big medicine’s federal thugs are more than comfortable with simply sucking the financial life out of their victims.
Bureaucrats are monarchs without pedigrees. They never get fined and put out of business by claiming certain things that are later proven to be incorrect—like their claim that vaccination against Covid prevents the spread, something that they now admit was never even the subject of testing.
Or consider the FDA’s decades-long promotion of low-dose aspirin for heart disease, a recommendation that they had to walk back in 2014, citing well-established side effects like dangerous brain and stomach bleeding in older adults.
The most hideous face of that particular offense is that, from the start, they lacked any clear evidence for promoting its use to patients who had never had heart attacks. You see, the chosen ones can make all the scientifically unbacked claims they like, and do so with impunity. They can make off-label recommendations all day long without sufficient data to back them because, well…because!
Laying medicine aside for a bit, the Church sees our life on Earth as a continuous struggle against evil. Hence, we have the designation Church Militant to describe those of us still living; that is, still engaged in the battle against evil—engaged in promoting our own spiritual health and that of others.
Similarly, natural medicine sees health as a constant battle. It seems our bodies and minds as constantly under siege from germs, viruses, parasites, toxins, fatigue, and stress—the list of aggressors is nearly endless.
In the moral realm, as in the natural, the thing that differentiates a true understanding of the human condition from the modern tendency to see ourselves as our own potential saviors is a humility that recognizes our innate weaknesses: our unwavering attraction to ease, pleasure, and power. Our best spiritual defense is to address our innate weaknesses head-on by humbly seeking God’s plan and His help in all things.
Conversely, it seems to me that modern conventional medicine practitioners have become purveyors of sort of a noble savage concept of health—we are naturally healthy and all is grand until some crisis occurs.
Hence their nearly total lack of interest in diet, exercise, balanced sun exposure, fresh air, and health maintenance in general. To ignore health maintenance by granting natural physiological homeostasis to some magical aura is reckless.
The noble savage concept, of course, is the well-worn mythical Tarzan typology—innocent, honest, noble humans untainted by civilization; a concept for which no real-life examples can be cited simply because the myth is entirely unfounded.
The purveyors of this fantasy love to paint natural and supernatural religion as original sin—the destroyers of innocence, and therefore, of noble savagery. Tarzan was the new Adam. Untainted by his Ivy League education, he walked and communed with the animals. Such a pretty, stupid story.
I’ve seen a lot of savagery in my time, none of it particularly noble, and nearly all of it can be laid at the feet of a godless religion, not natural or supernatural religion. Savagery has everything to do with ease, pleasure, power, and self-worship.
Natural medicine is not reactionary. Recognizing that health is, from day one, a constant battle, natural medicine prepares properly for that battle. Furthermore, natural medicine recognizes the value of tradition.
Conversely, modern medicine has a kinship with modern philosophy, and like its sibling, it largely holds antiquity in disdain.
Patent medicine is designed for monopoly—the expense involved makes it so. No one can afford to employ the testing methodology required of pharmaceuticals for testing natural products because there is no opportunity to own and therefore profit from the knowledge acquired.
That is to say that when mainstream medicine’s mouthpiece—the FDA—states that “there is no evidence that” something helps in healing a certain disease, what they are saying is that there have been no gigantic, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies done—employing the protocols that they have created—to back up the statements being made. They hold the natural to unnatural standards.
Though there are literally thousands of studies done on various natural products—some of them, in fact, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies—many simply have not used large enough populations of participants to place them in league with the demands of pharmaceutical testing. Therefore, the FDA, with smug certainty and a straight face, can tell you that “no evidence” exists when, in fact, there may be a veritable mountain of it.
My approach to health care is no different than my approach to the rest of my life. I am an independent fact-checker. Sometimes my effort is shallow, sometimes deep, and sometimes I am mistaken; but there’s no one I trust to the point that I would farm out that activity, regardless of how much the big tech shame game insists that I do so.
Nothing distorts facts like a good old-fashioned conflict of interest. One of my favorite memes features a picture of Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, one eyebrow lifted, with a caption that reads, “You take health advice from someone who profits when you are sick?”
During his campaign, Joe Biden proclaimed, “we choose truth over facts.” Most of us scratched our heads, but a certain crowd understood: a constituency that sees truth as that thing that one chooses to believe, nature and logic be damned.
Natural religion (not to be confused with Naturism) is, of course, the source of natural law. When Christianity strays from its natural religious roots, we are left with skeletal remains of the likes of Puritanism (soulless adherence to law), Gnosticism (the delusion of being granted “special knowledge”), and Antinomianism (once saved; always saved). Of natural religion, The Catholic Encyclopedia says:
By natural religion is meant the subjection of oneself to God, based on such knowledge of God and of man’s moral and religious duties as the human mind can acquire by its own unaided powers. It does not, however, exclude theophanies [personal encounters with a deity, that is, events where the manifestation of a deity occurs in an observable way] and Divine revelations made with the view to confirm religion in the natural order.
The Encyclopedia goes on to say that,
Supernatural religion implies a supernatural end, gratuitously bestowed on man, namely a lively union with God through sanctifying grace, begun and imperfectly attained here, but completed in heaven, where the beatific vision of God will be its eternal reward. It also implies a special Divine revelation, through which man comes to know this end as well as the Divinely appointed means for its attainment. Subjection of oneself to God, based on this knowledge of faith and kept fruitful by grace, is supernatural religion.
The Judeo-Christian ethic has deep natural religious roots. Supernatural religion does not replace natural religion, it perfects it—just as patent medicine should augment the natural, not bully its practitioners.
Natural religion is indispensable in our search for God. It builds upon what we can sense and measure and, therefore, also includes that which can be deduced from sensory experience; that is, it includes sound logic. It is the commonsense side of Christianity. It is foundational to the moral Commandments, four through ten, and adds support to the theological Commandments as well.
Natural religion, like natural medicine, is openly despised by many who are religiously captivated by technological advances—the carpe diem / “We’ve got this!” crowd, who will never “seize the day” because humanity does not have it all figured out, and we never will. To them, both natural religion and natural medicine are snake oil. Believing so is an easy intellectual feat for anyone who chooses “truth over facts.”
Ultimately, their techno-worship will not serve their health and happiness well in this life or the next.