NY Times Nails Huckabee for Scamming His Followers

The mainstream media has picked up on something many blogs like mine have been reporting for years now, the way conservative figures have made large amounts of money selling scams — fake cures for diabetes and cancer, survival supplies, gold investments, etc. — to their followers. They focus this article on Mike Huckabee.

In a wood-paneled study lined with books and framed family photos, the prospective presidential candidate looks into the camera. “I’m Mike Huckabee,” he says with all the folksy charm that propelled a career as a preacher, politician and broadcaster.

But this is no campaign ad. It is an Internet infomercial for a dubious diabetes treatment, in which Mr. Huckabee, who is contemplating a run for the Republican nomination in 2016, tells viewers to ignore “Big Pharma” and instead points them to a “weird spice, kitchen-cabinet cure,” consisting of dietary supplements.

“Let me tell you, diabetes can be reversed,” Mr. Huckabee says. “I should know because I did it. Today you can, too.”…

A spokeswoman for Mr. Huckabee declined to say how much he earned from these efforts. But she said he had broken off as a spokesman for the diabetes cure a couple of weeks ago, suggesting concerns that the unusual endorsements may appear un-presidential…

One ad arriving in January in the inboxes of Huckabee supporters, who signed up for his political commentaries at MikeHuckabee.com, claims there is a miracle cure for cancer hidden in the Bible. The ad links to a lengthy Internet video, which offers a booklet about the so-called Matthew 4 Protocol. It is “free” with a $72 subscription to a health newsletter.

Another recent pitch sent out to Huckabee’s supporters carried the subject line “Food Shortage Could Devastate Country.” It promoted Food4Patriots survival food kits, described as the “No. 1 item you should be hoarding.”

In his diabetes video, Mr. Huckabee promotes the “Diabetes Solution Kit,” a $19.95 booklet with advice on eating, exercise and dietary supplements. “Just sit tight,” he says in the two-minute, 40-second pitch, “because in a moment, a free presentation is coming up.” He promises it will reveal “all the natural secrets that are backed by real science that really work.”

But rather than science, the second, lengthier video peddles a diabetes “cure” consisting of cinnamon and chromium picolinate. Both the American Diabetes Association and the Canadian Diabetes Association warn that dietary and herbal supplements are ineffective for treating diabetes, which is an epidemic in the United States and is tied to obesity.

“Most big pharma companies don’t know squat about how to reverse your diabetes,” the video says.

Mr. Huckabee, who lost more than 100 pounds after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2003, says in the video, “Techniques just like you’re going to find in this kit worked for me.”

Asked this month at an appearance in Iowa if he had used cinnamon and chromium picolinate to reverse his diabetes, he said he had not. “No, I reversed it by taking better care of my health,” he said. Pressed about the dietary supplements promoted by the company he endorses, for which he was paid an undisclosed fee, he said: “I’ll do anything that promotes good health. Yes, sir.”

Translation: I’ll accept money from anyone who sells a fraudulent product that claims to offer good health. I’ll even pretend that their product helped me personally when it didn’t. Because I’m an immoral shitbag who pretends to worship Jesus when I really worship money.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Alverant

    Is he the guy who has the “prayer warriors”?

  • John Pieret

    Hey! St. Ronnie used to pitch cigarettes! Phony diabetes cures can’t be worse than that!

  • dingojack

    I wonder why the right seems so attracted to these kind of scams, particularly? Is there some psychological reason? (It can’t be just about the money otherwise they’d all be doing it, regardless of their political affiliations).

    Dingo

  • raven

    the way conservative figures have made large amounts of money selling scams

    Old news.

    Their biggest scam is pretending to run for president and setting up PACs. Palin, Huckabee, and Ben Carson are the most notorious. This even made the cover of Time magazine a few months ago.

    Much of the money donated to GOP elections is skimmed off by PACS and various political consultants. Which IMO, is a great idea. Makers of luxury goods and fast cars need to eat too.

  • moarscienceplz

    claims there is a miracle cure for cancer hidden in the Bible. The ad links to a lengthy Internet video, which offers a booklet about the so-called Matthew 4 Protocol.

    The only thing I see in Matthew 4 that is remotely about health is the claim that Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. I suppose that could be the basis for a cancer cure because if you did stop eating for 40 days and 40 nights you probably wouldn’t be troubled by cancer anymore. You’d probably be dead of starvation.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    You gotta take the long view: by 2016 “we” (the media) will consider all this a youthful indiscretion.

  • beergoggles

    Eh, I look at this for the good thing it is. Huckabee supporters have less money to throw at really damaging issues that would affect the rest of us, plus they get to go to their ‘heaven’ faster. It’s a win-win situation for all concerned.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1399822355 markmckee

    Why would anyone be surprised by this. The rich and super rich back in the 50s realized that people like FDR, by instituting all kinds of policies and programs and taxes and regulation that resulted in the biggest explosion of middle class wealth and prosperity the planet had ever seen, but also saw the erosion of the overwhelming advantages for themselves in the old models decided they had to do something. They were aghast that their omnipotence in the marketplace had been eroded. They realized they needed to get themselves a political party and a congress and a presidency and they needed to do so ASAP. So they created the Heritage Foundation, the CATO Institute and numerous other entities to effect that goal.

    Now knowing that there were not enough rich people to win elections they embarked on one of the most successful scams since the 19th century. The scam was to manipulate large swaths of the voting public to vote against their own interests and against the interests of the nation.

    People like Palin and Sean and BillO and Rushbo and Huck and Beck and on and on look at the success of that scam and decide if the rich can do this so can they. And millions have been made.

    Oh, and a big part of that scam is to get people on the left to perceive these spokes people as “stupid”.. So while people in this forum and other forums laugh at the “stupidity” of people like Huck and Beck and Rush, they are laughing all the way to the bank.

  • JustaTech

    This is much worse than cigarettes, or gold, or ‘survival supplies’. People are going to see this ad, believe Huckabee (for whatever reason), and ignore proper medical care for their diabetes. And then they will go blind, or have to have a foot amputated, or just plain die. And there will be a huge amount of pain and suffering for them and their family. And a huge cost to the medical system. This is monstrous.

  • D. C. Sessions

    JustaTech, think of it this way: these people are (whether they know/admit it or not) social Darwinists. And they’re putting that whole “selection of the fit” thing into practice.

  • http://thebronzeblog.wordpress.com/ Bronze Dog

    I wonder why the right seems so attracted to these kind of scams, particularly? Is there some psychological reason? (It can’t be just about the money otherwise they’d all be doing it, regardless of their political affiliations).

    It’s my understanding that it’s called an “affinity scam.” It amounts to peer pressure, tribal signalling, insecurity with one’s station among peers, and so on. “I’m a conservative, and other conservatives believe in this product, therefore you should buy it because people are questioning your conservativeness. Distrust makes you a pinko liberal commie.”

  • grumpyoldfart

    Americans. Such funny little people.

  • shadow

    Because I’m an immoral amoral shitbag who pretends to worship Jesus when I really worship money.

    Adjusted to better align with the Huckster’s non-existent moral compass.

  • marcus

    Because I’m an immoral shitbag who pretends to worship Jesus when I really worship money.

    Well, to be fair, money is pretty sweet.

  • marcus

    grumpyoldfart @ 12 Awww…. Gee, thanks grumpyoldfart.

    You grumpy old fart.