Friday, October 11, 2013

Dangers in Samaritan Ministries, Part 2

Some time ago, I wrote the article "Dangers in Samaritan Ministries." Since that time, there have been some things that have improved, and some that have not. Let me mention both of them below. (Part three was also written after this part two.)

I'm thankful that there are warnings about New Age practices that now occasionally appear in the Samaritan newsletter. Furthermore, it appears that explicit promotion or recommendation of apostates has decreased. These are wonderful changes for the better. For example, the August newsletter mentioned Chi in a less than positive manner. This is very good.

Furthermore, in the October 2013 newsletter, after spending several previous newsletters promoting the idea that essential oils can cure all kinds of disease, in this newsletter about one column of one page quotes proponents of medical science  (also here) who mention that there is no evidence that the oils can cure or change the course of any disease. It is good the newsletter at least knows that science-based medicine exists.

Unfortunately, the rest of the article slams science-based medicine. A lady who makes money selling Young Living Essential Oils is quoted to try to undermine the science-based medicine. The following information about Young Living Essential Oils is not mentioned:

  • Gary Young is an uneducated huckster with a track record of arrests for health fraud. He has repeatedly inflated and falsified his education, credentials, and experiences. His inability to recognize the limits of his knowledge and training contributed to the death of his own child. Sherman Johnson, M.D., a medical director of the now-defunct Young Life Research Clinic, deliberately administered a lethal dose of narcotics to a long-time friend, and then attempted to cover his actions by falsifying the death certificate. There is no reason to believe that either Young or Johnson has sufficient judgment, skill, or ethics to appropriately care for seriously ill patients.
  • Patients visiting the Young Life Research clinic were likely to waste large sums of money on worthless treatments and be guided away from effective legitimate medical treatments. At best, their life would be needlessly complicated by the prescription of elaborate irrational regimens requiring overpriced products sold only by Young Living. At worst, patients could suffer direct harm from the misuse of essential oils and other dubious treatments.
  • Treatment at the Young Life Research Clinic was unwise and expensive. Proper medical care can be obtained elsewhere from legitimately educated, licensed, and experienced health care providers.
  • Young Living's essential oils cannot treat or cure any medical illness.
  • Raindrop Therapy is potentially unsafe. Essential oils for aromatherapy use are available from many suppliers do not make ridiculous claims and whose prices are not inflated by dubious multilevel marketing practices. (Quoted from here.)
Furthermore, on the next page, people who say that "Essential oils treat antibiotic resistant infections" get a whole page. A man who says "We wiped out TB, killed it, in 40 minutes. No antibiotic does that," is in big print in the middle of the page. If somebody has tuberculosis, and he just puts oil on his body that smells nice instead of getting the tuberculosis treated, he is going to die, in all likelihood. This is foolishness.

The October Newsletter also has a large book review, which is very positive, of a work called Tarnished Gold: The Sickness Of Evidence-based Medicine. A review of this book, that shows the tremendous problems with it, is here.  None of the problems with the book are mentioned by Samaritan. On the contrary,  Samaritan's review agrees with and promotes the book. Samaritan decries the "use of evidence-based medicine (EBM) with its reliance on statistics, large clinical trials, and meta-analyses." It states that "EBM is junk science."  Samaritan's newsletter has never called any quack therapy "junk science," as far as I can recall – but evidence-based medicine, it seems, is "junk science."  It states that evidence-based medicine "harms patients and suppresses medical progress." Employing evidence to determine what is good medicine should be eliminated: "Eliminating the scourge of EBM from our profession [of medicine] will save money and lives, and improve our health."

Samaritan Ministries's decision to attack evidence-based medicine is very dangerous and totally unscriptural. The biblical commands in Genesis to subdue the earth and have dominion over it are only possible if God has designed the world in such a way that we can employ evidence to determine how to use the world he has made. Rejection of evidence-based medicine is a rejection of the biblical worldview concerning science. It would dishonor God, return us to the dark ages, and  bring back an average lifespan of 30 years or less. Instead of using evidence-based medicine,  it appears that physicians are supposed to use the "anecdotes and testimonies" that are commended by Samaritan in the article on essential oils. It is very regrettable that Samaritan has consciously decided to attack evidence-based medicine. Most advocates of quackery are simply ignorant, but here it appears that a deliberate, conscious decision has been made to reject evidence, and thus the biblical worldview of science, in favor of the testimonies and anecdotes that can "prove" any quack therapy from homeopathy to yoga. I call upon Samaritan to repent of its rejection of evidence-based medicine and its embrace of quackery, and to return to the biblical method of subduing the earth and having dominion over it by employing the evidence God has left us in the world He rules by regular laws.


If you are a member of Samaritan Ministries, and you are opposed to the New Age and quackery, I would encourage you to politely contact them here.  Please show them the respect due to professing Christians, those who profess to be adopted by God the Father through Jesus Christ by the Spirit.  Please also consider letting others you know who are members of Samaritan about these issues with the ministry.

-TDR

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