If you've been in the low carb world since 2003, like myself, you've more than likely gone through some "Mercola moments."
Usually, it's in the course of researching something, and Mercola seems to be everywhere. And what we land on is likely to echo what we have discovered for ourselves: low carb is healthy, nutritional science is an oxymoron, and good health is more than taking pills.
But the more I delved, the more hinky my impression became. Whenever the search engine uncovered some sort of game-changer claim, I couldn't read the article unless I signed up for all kinds of things, like his newsletter (fair enough) to a special offer (for a one-shot? Foul play.)
The more often I visited his website, the more likely I was to be driven away by the relentless selling. My first impression, that of a dedicated medical doctor driven to heal patients, turned. He began to be far more of a salesman than a dedicated physician.
Turns out, I was not only right, I was giving him too much credit. From the New York Times
It's not the first time someone who seemed like the real deal showed feet of clay.
He wants to look like many of the dedicated doctors we do follow: Dr. Georgia Edes on food and mental health, Dr. Terry Wahls on keto and autoimmune, Dr. William Davis of Wheatbelly
, and even amateurs with skills and proven ideas. This is more like the "functional medicine" doctors I run across... that then turn up on sites with Tony Robbins, the self-help cult leader.
The article that appeared online on Feb. 9 began with a seemingly innocuous question about the legal definition of vaccines. Then over its next 3,400 words, it declared coronavirus vaccines were “a medical fraud” and said the injections did not prevent infections, provide immunity or stop transmission of the disease.
Instead, the article claimed, the shots “alter your genetic coding, turning you into a viral protein factory that has no off-switch.”
Its assertions were easily disprovable. No matter. Over the next few hours, the article was translated from English into Spanish and Polish. It appeared on dozens of blogs and was picked up by anti-vaccination activists, who repeated the false claims online. The article also made its way to Facebook, where it reached 400,000 people, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned tool.
The entire effort traced back to one person: Joseph Mercola.
Dr. Mercola, 67, an osteopathic physician in Cape Coral, Fla., has long been a subject of criticism and government regulatory actions for his promotion of unproven or unapproved treatments. But most recently, he has become the chief spreader of coronavirus misinformation online, according to researchers.
His website looks amateurish but it turns out he's part of a round robin of referring sites that make him seem like an expert... when it's all him and his girlfriend, the article notes.
Over the last decade, Dr. Mercola has built a vast operation to push natural health cures, disseminate anti-vaccination content and profit from all of it, said researchers who have studied his network. In 2017, he filed an affidavit claiming his net worth was “in excess of $100 million.”
This is a con artist tactic. They use real research and actual facts to cover up the hard sell lurking underneath. We trust them 90% of the way, and then comes the 10% that rips us off.
Be careful out there.