After Erick Erickson of Red State called out scam PACs, I noted that he has also pushed scams to his readers by selling his email lists to fraudulent companies. Media Matters has dug up a whole bunch more scams that Erickson promoted on his mailing list. My favorite: Reagan’s secret cancer cure.
In an October 25, 2014, email with the subject line “President Ronald Reagan’s Secret Victory Over Cancer,” subscribers to RedState’s email list were informed that President Reagan had secretly overcome “three deadly forms of cancer” thanks to a “secret meeting in Germany.”
The email links to a rambling explanation from “Dr. Al Sears,” who claims that a “secret cancer cure” called the “8th Element Protocol” (or oxygen therapy) can help you “effectively rid your body of cancer or ANY disease, without side effects.”
Sears argues that though this information has been suppressed by the FDA and the “cancer industry,” it has been supported by “6,100 independent studies” and used by “wealthy elite” like Jack Nicholson, Cher, and Siegfried and Roy. The bottom of Sears’ pitch offers, “Even if you don’t have cancer yourself, or know someone who does, these proven techniques can easily ensure you and your family NEVER get cancer to begin with.”
Gee Erick, that sure sounds like a scam to me. But it’s a well-marketed scam that understands its target audience perfectly. Thus the invocation of St. Ronald the Magnificent, the claim that this “truth” has been “hidden” by elite forces, and so forth. Another blatant medical scam:
An ominous October 2014 email from RedState warned readers of the “urgent news” that there exists “a shocking cover-up involving Obama, Congress and the FDA” which “is threatening the lives of over 45 million Americans… including you.” The email continued, claiming people “need to know the truth before this cover-up kills you or someone you love.”
The email links to a video from “The Health Sciences Institute” sounding the alarm about a conspiracy cover-up of miracle, “natural” cures for a wide range of deadly diseases and ailments, including:
Cancer (“vaporizes cancer in six weeks… without side effects”)
Alzheimer’s (“protect you and your loved ones against Alzheimer’s and even reverse its effects. The best part is, this treatment is 100% natural, has no side effects”)
Heart disease (a “cure so powerful it could allow patients to cancel bypass surgery”)
And survivalist scams:
RedState sent a January 17 email from Food4Patriots warning there’s “bad news on the horizon” and readers should “hoard” their particular food survival kits or “you could be setting your family up to be hungry in a time of crisis.” The pitch linked to a page asking, “Why Has This Video Been Banned?” (even though the video is available) and claiming FEMA is attempting to stockpile food, possibly because “FEMA knows something we don’t and is worried that they see a full-scale disaster about to hit.”
It continues, “If I’m wrong life will go on as normal, and I’ll happily admit that I was off my rocker. But if I’m right this could force our friends and neighbors into FEMA camps.”
Then-Think Progress reporter Zack Beauchamp, now with Vox, examined Food4Patriots in January 2014 and found that its revenue “came on the back of some (arguably) really shady practices.” He noted that the group’s fearmongering about FEMA food hoarding is particularly dubious.
The email was also sent to lists of The Blaze and WND. Last year, RedState sent an email telling its readers to hoard “77 items.”
There are also Obama conspiracy scams and much more. As usual, Erickson is not against scams at all, he’s just against scams he doesn’t profit from.