Tag Archives: orthomolecular

Where I wish quacks would CEASE to fleece the parents of autistic kids

Someone on Twitter brought the CEASE “therapy” to my attention and suggested I read the book. That is not going to happen, unless he sends me a free copy, as I have this aversion to supporting quacks monetarily. So instead I went Googling and found the CEASE Therapy site.

Where to start on such a target-rich environment? The first statement on the site is absolute pure nonsense:

That is Dr. Smits’ conclusion after having seen over 300 cases of all levels of severity. In his experience autism is an accumulation of different causes and about 70% is due to vaccines, 25% to toxic medication and other toxic substances, 5% to some diseases. With isotherapy (see below), a form of homeopathy using the causative substances themselves in homeopathic preparation, the toxic imprints can be erased.

You have to be kidding me. Where is the control part of it? Which group of children who do not have autism did Dr Smits use in his observations and how large? This sounds like someone is trying to convince prospective customers that a set of anecdotes equals data. It just does not work that way.

Would someone also kindly enlighten me precisely how Dr Smits arrived at his results that “autism is… about 70% is due to vaccines”? What tests were performed to detect which substances and how were they determined to cause autism? What are these “toxic imprints” and how are they detected?

The next statement that caught my attention was:

CEASE therapists are trained during a 5 day course, given by certified CEASE therapy instructors, to guarantee the high quality of treatment and to ensure the correct application of this method.

A whole 5 day course? I bet that is some intensive, since real therapy courses can last up to 4 years full time.

Then they tell the prospective dupe errr… customer that their treatment uses something called “isotherapy.” This is described as “using the causative substances as a homeopathic remedy.”

This means that since Dr Smits believed – without any real evidence I could see – that vaccines are toxic, these preparations are vaccines diluted so many times that no original molecules can be left. They also add to this Classical homeopathy, which is meant to work on the similar principles, but it uses more substances than just vaccines, some of the more weird being the Berlin Wall, Vacuum and English Sunshine. The remedy in essence is just diluted water (or diluted water sprinkled on a sugar pill), and as such, completely inert. It will have no biological activity on the human body.

The next statement makes it clear we’re no longer even hypothetically dealing with medicine, but have entered the realms of magic:

Even illness, medication and vaccination in the energetic field of the father and mother before pregnancy can be transmitted to the child by energetic transfer.

What is the “energetic field”? What is “energetic transfer”? What is the energy involved in it? How is it detected and measured? How are vaccines and medicines transferred by it?

The people who run the website would not be able answer these questions, since what they are promoting is a faith-based belief.

In addition to homeopathy, comes orthomolecular “medicine”:

Along with the isopathic treatment we also add orthomolecular medicine to properly nourish the brain of these children and to restore proper bowel function.

Orthomolecular “medicine” is a form of quackery that prescribes megadoses of vitamins and nutrients, particularly of vitamin C, for various illnesses. It was popularised by Linus Pauling, who thus showed pretty conclusively that winning the Nobel Prize does not confer expertise in an area the Nobel winner has not thoroughly studied. Its basic concept is that if a little of something is good for you, then a massive overdose of that same something must be even better for you. What the proponents neglect to tell you that even vitamin C, though water-soluble, can with certain rare conditions be deadly as it can cause fatal nephrotoxicity. Other vitamins and minerals can have even more severe toxicity, and there have been cases where children have died from overdoses of vitamins D and E and from multivitamin formulas. Nowhere on the site did I see any warning about the dangers of such treament with vitamin overdoses.

What is also interesting is that homeopathy is the polar opposite of orthomolecular “medicine”. Homeopathy relies on diluting the substance into nonexistence and orthomolecular relies on massive overdoses. I’m not surprised that the proponents of this kind of irrational treatment are unable to see the basic discrepancy between the two modalities, and fail to understand even the admittedly irrational principles behind both.

And, of course, as with all the charlatans, the use of anecdotes abounds, since quacks without fail resort to anecdotes when they don’t have any science to back their claims. A brief perusal through the anecdotes reveals a few interesting things. First of all, Smits – or whoever wrote the anecdotes – appears to believe that autism is the complete cessation of development. This is not the case, as autism is simply developmental delay, not developmental stasis. The following case history shows clearly what is going on:

He has been vaccinated according to schedule from three months on. Apart from the DTPP/HIB and MMR he also received the Meningococ-C vaccination. I decide to detoxify both the MMR and the DTPP/HIB and to give three series of a month each of every shot. The MMR series lead to violent reactions and seemed to aggravate his autism, but after each DTPP/HIB series he clearly improves. Contact has increased, he looks you in the face, makes jokes and engages in question and answer games. Language comprehension improves and he displays a more extrovert attitude.

I prescribe three additional short series of the MMR as well as three of the DTPP/HIB. I don’t see him again until a year later. The series have had much effect. He talks a lot more and contact has greatly increased. Things no longer obsess him. He has found his place in the family. Serious behavioral disorders no longer exist. Before detoxification he would often spend hours in a corner of the room turning the wheel of a toy car. At times, he still flutters when very excited. His developmental retardation has not been fully restored, neither his motor skills or his cognitive abilities are up to par. His speech is somewhat staccato. Playing with other children than his sister still proves to be problematic at times. Now, after a meal he is satisfied, whereas before he continued eating.

The child is developing naturally, as can be expected, and the quack is taking credit for what his nostrums had nothing to do with at all. Moreover, as is clear from the case, the child is by no means “recovered” despite the claim of “a very effective way to treat autism with amazing results”.

This potentially dangerous nonsense does not come cheap either. Most of the registered CEASE practitioners were more than a little coy about their prices, but one posted them on her website. She cites £95 for the first appointment which lasts 1-2 hours and then £70 for follow-up appointments lasting up to one hour. Given that this protocol would demand multiple appointments before the parents finally give up on it when it does not work – unless the practitioner can convince them that natural changes were caused by their “treatments” – it is going to be a nice little earner.

It really makes me angry to see such worthless quackery promoted to vulnerable people. It’s giving people false hope while dipping deep into their pockets. Were I a parent with a child on the ASD spectrum, I’d never subject my child to such an unproven protocol.