Alive and well by philip e. binzel, jr., m.d.

ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
One Doctor's Experience
with Nutrition in the
Treatment of
Cancer Patients
Photographs and charts removed to reduce file size (1 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
This book is dedicated to my wife Betty who stood by me through all of the trouble she wouldn't have had in the first place if she hadn't married me.
Philip E. Binzel, a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, has been practicing medicine for
over forty years. He is a graduate of the Medical School at St. Louis University in
Missouri and did his internship at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1955 he entered
Family Practice in Washington Court House, Ohio, where he currently resides. (2 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
In 1974 he began to investigate the role of nutrition in human disorders and came to the conclusion that this was an important field of knowledge. Cautiously, he began to incorporate that knowledge into his medical practice and, based on personal experience, developed a highly effective protocol for the treatment of a wide range of disorders, including cancer.
This led him into conflict with mainstream medicine which continues to remain oriented toward drugs, surgery, and radiation. He has been forced to fight for the right to practice medicine in accordance with his conscience. He has chosen to do what he feels is best for his patients, regardless of pressure to conform to the narrow limits prescribed by orthodoxy.
Dr. Binzel is now officially retired but occasionally consults with patients and their physicians, usually without charging a fee for his service.
Here are the latest success stories of cancer patients who have used nutritional therapy. Many of them have been told by their doctors that their condition was terminal. Now, years later, they are alive and well! Dr. Binzel has been using Laetrile and other nutritional therapies in the treatment of cancer patients since the mid 1970s. His record of success is astounding. He tells of his ongoing battle with the medical establishment, but this is primarily the story of his alive-and-well patients, many of whom did not expect to survive their disease. Medical case histories are included.
Footprints in the sands of time.
Footprints that perhaps another (3 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
From The Psalm of Life by Longfellow Copyright 1994 by Philip E. Binzel, M.D.
Published by American MediaPO Box 4646Westlake VillageCalifornia 91359-1646 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 94-079593 I am grateful to my six children for their support and generous help in so many ways: Mary Anne and Kathy for giving their time to take care of duties at home so that my wife Betty could be with me during my travels to interviews, hearings, and meetings; Nancy for her outstanding research paper "Nutritional Therapy" which was printed as a booklet for private distribution by my brother-in-law, Philip S. May, Jr.; Bill for his invaluable legal advice during a very serious time; Rick for giving me a computer and teaching me how to use it and for doing the statistical analysis; and my son Ed for being my number one fan.
And my deepest gratitude to the following: (4 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
Dr. Ernst Krebs, Jr., who with great patience, taught me everything I know about nutrition.
G. Edward Griffin: Without his urging this book would never have been started and without his encouragement would probably never have been finished.
First of all, please understand that all that follows is absolutely and completely the fault of Mr. G. Edward Griffin.
Those of us who have fought for so long to preserve the God-given rights guaranteed us by our Constitution have, for the most part, fought a losing battle. Big Government, with its hoards of bureaucrats, has beaten the "little man" into submission. He must comply with all of its regulations of his business and his life, or else! Usually, if he fights Big Government, he loses.
In my attempts to use nutritional therapy, which includes the use of Laetrile, in the treatment of cancer, I have often been confronted by the Food and Drug Administration and by the State Medical Board. I have fought and, through the grace of God, I have won. For several years Ed Griffin has been after me to write a book. As he put it, "We have won some victories and the people should know about them." So, this book is being written to tell about these victories (and to get Ed off of my back). If you don't like the book or any parts of the book, don't blame me. Blame Ed Griffin. He made me do it! The facts in this book are true. The names are real (except where I say they are not). The dates may not be completely accurate, but they are as close as I can remember. (5 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
You are about to discover that the author of this book is no ordinary doctor. He is one of those rare birds that is able to leave the flock and fly alone. He has rejected the comforts and rewards of conformity and has chosen instead the hard path of integrity. In order to practice medicine as his conscience dictates, he has literally had to take on the entire medical Establishment. And, as you will see, it has been an uneven battle. The Establishment hasn't had a chance.
Dr. Binzel's motive for writing this book is almost unbelievable in today's world: he simply wants to share his knowledge so that lives can be saved. At the end of a long and successful career, he is not seeking to attract patients. In fact, he is now officially retired. He does consult with patients and their doctors from time to time, but usually at no charge. His present role is that of pioneer and teacher.
Binzel comes from the small town of Washington Court House, Ohio. He is a classical small-town doctor, and that's exactly the way he writes. But do not be deceived. He is at the cutting edge of medical knowledge, and there are few people from the scientific community — regardless of their impressive credentials — who are willing to debate with him a second time. His folksy style and genuine humility are refreshing, but he knows his craft exceedingly well.
The title of this book, Alive and Well, is appropriate for three reasons. First, there is the happy record of the patients who have received Dr. Binzel's care. Many of them previously had been told by their original physicians that there was no hope for survival, that their cancers were "terminal," and that they had, at best, only a few more months to live. To them, many years later, the phrase alive and well has a meaning that only those who have faced death can fully appreciate.
A second significance to the title is the fact that the use of Laetrile in the treatment of cancer is also alive and well—in spite of the fact that it has not been featured in the national news media since the height of its controversy in the late 1970s. Because it has not been on the evening news, many people have assumed that the treatment had been abandoned. As this story demonstrates, however, nothing could be further from the truth. (6 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
Finally, there is the fact that Dr. Binzel, himself, is alive and well in the sense that he has survived an incredible barrage of attacks from the medical Establishment. That, in fact, is an important part of this story. Until one understands the political power wielded by drug-oriented medicine and how that power is used against any physician who favors nutritional therapy, it is impossible to understand why nutritional therapy is not widely available to the general public.
Dr. Binzel does not use the word "cured" in describing the condition of his patients who have returned to normal life after treatment. That is more a question of semantics than substance. It is true that, once a person has developed full-blown clinical cancer — even after all their symptoms have vanished — they will have a greater-than-normal tendency to develop cancer again. That, however, assumes they return to their original life styles and eating habits. On the other hand, if they do continue to follow the dietary regimen described in this book, they will throw off that handicap.
So the question remains — are they cured? Who cares what word is used if the patient is alive and well? In orthodox medicine, they often speak of cures, but the patients are dead! According to the death certificates, they don't die of cancer, but of heart failure, lung failure, liver failure, or hemorrhage. But what caused these? They are the secondary effects of their treatments for cancer. "We got it all," is a common refrain. "I'm happy to report that we cured him of his disease — just before he died." This is not really a joke. It is the reality of orthodox cancer therapy.
What you are about to read is a radical departure from that scenario. Be prepared for a deep breath of fresh air. (7 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
It was early December, 1977. My office girl, Ruthie Coe, called me on my intercom to tell me that I had a phone call from a Mr. Robert Bradford in California. She wanted to know if I wanted to take the call now or to call him back. I had known Bob Bradford for about three years. He was the head of an organization known as The Committee for Freedom of Choice in Cancer Therapy. I had done several seminars on nutrition with him. I told Ruthie that I would take the call now.
Bob told me that the Food and Drug Administration (The FDA) had filed suit in Federal Court to prohibit the importation of Laetrile into this country because it was toxic. He said that he had found an eminent toxicologist, Dr. Bruce Halstead, who was willing to testify against the FDA, but he also needed a practicing physician who had used Laetrile and wanted to know if I would testify. I told him I would. Bob told me that the hearing would be in Oklahoma City in the court of Judge Luther Bohanon in about ten or twelve days.
I called our local travel agency and asked them to get airplane reservations for my wife, Betty, and me. I knew without talking to her that Betty would not want to miss out on the fun! The girl from the travel agency called me back in a few minutes. She said that she had no problem getting us a flight into Oklahoma City, but a big problem getting us out of Oklahoma City. The hearing was, I believe, to be on a Thursday. I wanted to arrive sometime on Wednesday afternoon. Not knowing how long the hearing would take on Thursday, I thought that if we planned to leave on Friday morning, that would work out well. The problem with the airlines was that the University of Oklahoma and all the colleges around the area were starting their Christmas vacation on that Friday. There were no seats available on any airline going in our direction until the following Monday. The last plane leaving Oklahoma City going in our direction that had any space was a three o'clock flight on Thursday afternoon. I took those reservations.
Betty and I flew out of Columbus, Ohio to St. Louis. There we changed to a flight to Oklahoma City. On our flight to Oklahoma City (coach, of course), I noticed that there were only three men flying first class. At that time, I don't think the word "clone" had been invented. If it had, these three men certainly could have been described as clones of each other. They were all about the same height, weight, hair color, and all had the same haircut. They all had the same sallow complexion, wore the same black suits and maroon ties, and they all carried the same type of briefcase.
Early the next morning Bob Bradford, Dr. Halstead, Betty and I met with the attorney, Mr. Ken Coe, (no relation to my office girl, Ruthie Coe). I told Mr. Coe of our predicament with our airline schedule. He assured me that he would discuss this with the Judge and do whatever he could to help.
While we were sitting there, Mr. Coe received a phone call. It seems that there had been a (8 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
young girl in New York who, some months before, had gotten hold of a bottle of Laetrile pills belonging to her father and had taken an unknown quantity of these. She was taken to a hospital and a number of blood tests were done over the next two days. The girl exhibited no symptoms, but, for whatever reason, on the third day the doctors decided to give her the antidote to cyanide. The girl died the following day.
From what I know, the FDA had contacted the girl's mother and wanted her to testify about the toxicity of Laetrile. She had refused but said, instead, that she would testify against the FDA. She had flown out of New York early that Thursday morning and was due to arrive in Oklahoma City about nine o'clock. It was she who was calling to let us know that about two or three hundred miles out of New York someone on the plane had a heart attack. The plane turned around and went back to New York. She was not going to be able to get to Oklahoma City. Mr. Coe said, "We'll go with what we've got." We arrived in the court room shortly before nine o'clock. The first thing that I noticed were the three "clones" I had seen on the airplane the day before. They were the FDA attorneys. Why were there three of them? A friend of mine explained that to me sometime later. He said that, in case they lose, each attorney always puts the blame on the other two! The thing that bothered me the most was that Betty and I had to pay our own air fare, and we flew coach. My taxes were paying their air fare, and they flew first class.
Judge Bohanon entered the court room. Mr. Coe, as promised, immediately asked for and received permission to approach the bench. He explained to the Judge the problem that Betty and I had with airline reservations. Judge Bohanon very kindly agreed to change the usual procedure and to allow the defense to present its case first.
I testified first. Responding to Mr. Coe's questions, I stated that I had used Laetrile both by mouth and by intravenous injection on several hundred patients, and that I had not experienced any toxic reaction in any of those patients. On cross-examination the FDA attorney asked me if I was familiar with the term "agmpxyztpwrquos" (or something like that). I said, "No." He then asked if I was familiar with the term "mvchrtonlxty" (or something like that). Again, I said, "No." I was then dismissed from the witness stand. To this day, I do not know the meaning of the two terms. The FDA attorney never gave the definitions. I had never heard the terms before and have never heard them since. I am not sure that they didn't just make up two terms to see if I would bite.
Dr. Halstead then took the stand. He carried with him a book which he put in his lap. Under direct questioning from Mr. Coe, Dr. Halstead explained how all substances known to man can be toxic. He showed that while some oxygen is necessary to maintain life, too much oxygen can be fatal. He went through the same procedure with water, salt, and other substances. He then showed that aspirin, sugar and salt were, milligram-for-milligram, more toxic than Laetrile. He further pointed out that chemotherapeutic agents which are (9 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
commonly used in the treatment of cancer are, milligram-for-milligram, hundreds of times more toxic than Laetrile.
On cross-examination, the FDA attorney asked Dr. Halstead to give the toxicity figure for some substance (I don't remember what the substance was). Dr. Halstead said, pointing to the book in his lap but never opening it, "On page 311, Table 2, in this book you will find that the toxicity of that substance is . "(whatever it was). The FDA attorney then named another substance and asked for its toxicity figure. Dr. Halstead answered, "On page 419, Table 3 shows it to be . "(whatever it was). The attorney tried a third time. Again, Dr. Halstead came up with the page number, table number and toxicity.
The three FDA attorneys-stared at each other for a minute, then one of them said, "How do you know all of this?" Dr. Halstead calmly replied, "Because I wrote the book." "Impossible!" yelled the attorney. Without saying a word, Dr. Halstead took the book from his lap and handed it to Judge Bohanon. The Judge opened the book to its first page and read the following, "Textbook of Toxicology, written by Dr. Bruce Halstead, as commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States." The Judge said to the FDA attorneys, "You fellows should have known that. You didn't do your homework very well." The FDA attorneys had enough of Dr. Halstead. They dismissed him from the stand.
When Mr. Coe informed Judge Bohanon that the defense had concluded its testimony, the Judge turned to the FDA attorneys and said, "The court is now prepared to hear your witnesses and view your evidence." One FDA attorney replied, "Your Honor, we don't have any." The rest of the dialogue went like this: Judge: "You are telling me that you have filed suit in this court that Laetrile is toxic, and you don't have a single witness or a shred of evidence to support such a suit?" Attorney: "That is correct, Your Honor." Judge: "Then why have you filed such a suit?" Attorney: "Because, Your Honor, Laetrile may be dangerous." Attorney: "Dangerous to the Federal Government, Your Honor." Judge: "How could Laetrile possibly be dangerous to the Federal Government?" Attorney: "Because, Your Honor, the Government may lose control." (10 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
With this the Judge, now obviously angered, slammed down his gavel and said, "Case dismissed!" As Mr. Coe, Dr. Halstead, Bob Bradford, Betty and I left the court house, we saw a six-foot by four-foot poster on the wall in the lobby. It read in large letters, "BEWARE OF LAETRILE! IT IS TOXIC!" At the bottom, in small print, was the statement, "Must be posted in all Government buildings by order of the Food and Drug Administration of the United States." Is it possible that the FDA was lying to the people? So, how did a Family Physician from a small town in Ohio ever get involved in a conflict with the FDA in the first place? If you read the Preface, you already know the answer. It was the fault of Mr. G. Edward Griffin.
In 1973 I was in the family practice of medicine in Washington Court House, Ohio. I had graduated from St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1953. I did one year of internship and one year of Family Practice residency at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. In 1955 I began my private practice as a Family Physician in Washington Court House. I was very content with what I was doing until the day a friend of mine, Mr. Charles Pensyl, invited me and a number of others to his camera shop to see a new film that he had just gotten. The title of the film was World Without Cancer. World Without Cancer ran about fifty minutes. It was about a substance called Laetrile and what this substance could do to help people who had cancer. I took a very dim view of this movie because I felt that it made many statements for which there was no supporting medical evidence. The film was produced and narrated by G. Edward Griffin. (11 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
This caused an immediate problem. As a long time member of the John Birch Society, I had read almost everything that Ed Griffin had written. I had read his book, The Fearful Master, A Second Look at the United Nations. I had read numerous articles written by him in the magazine American Opinion. He had produced some films, The Grand Design and More Deadly Than War. All of these, I knew, had been researched extremely well.
To compound the problem, I knew Ed personally. From 1968 through 1972, I served as the doctor for the John Birch Society Youth Camps in Michigan and Indiana. Betty was my assistant. In the first camp that we did, Ed Griffin was the closing speaker. He was to speak on Friday night. He came into camp on Thursday. The staff of the camp was housed in one building. It was the custom of the staff to get together after "lights out" for the campers to discuss the various "opportunities" that had presented themselves that day. (Please note that there was no such thing as a "problem." These were "opportunities.") Ed Griffin attended both the Friday night and Saturday night sessions. I got to know him very well and was impressed with his depth of knowledge on a wide range of subjects.
So, you can see my problem. I didn't think the film Worm Without Cancer was medically accurate, but it was produced and narrated by a man for whom I had the highest respect. I had the feeling he knew something that I didn't know. I felt he would not have produced the film if there was not a great deal more behind this than he was able to show in a fifty-minute film. For three months I vacillated, being sure one minute he was wrong and suspecting the next minute that he just might be right.
Finally, I decided that this mental turmoil had to be resolved. I had a good friend, Steve Michaelis, who was a pharmacist. I called Steve to see what he knew about this "Laetrile." He was far ahead of me. He told me he had done an in-depth study of Laetrile some months earlier and was convinced that it had merit. He suggested that I contact a group known as The Committee for Freedom of Choice in California. I did. I told the young lady who answered the phone about my doubts about this whole thing, but, if there was information available, I would study it with an open mind.
Within a week, I received a package of material about six inches thick from The Committee for Freedom of Choice. It contained reprints of articles published by Dr. Ernst Krebs, Jr., Dr. Dean Burk of this country, Dr. Hans Nieper of Germany, Dr. Ernesto Contreras of Mexico, Dr. Manuel Navarro of the Philippines, Dr. Shigeaki Sakai of Japan and others. Most of these articles had been published in foreign medical journals and had been translated and reprinted. Some of these articles dated back to the early 1950's. It took me eight months to go through and fully understand the significance of what these men had done.
From the time that cancer was first diagnosed (some three hundred to five hundred years (12 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
ago) to the present, most members of the medical profession have treated this disease
using the theory that the tumor is the disease. This theory said that, if you can remove the
tumor or destroy the tumor, you will cure the disease. Drs. Krebs, Burk, Nieper, and
others said in essence, "Wrong!" These men had seen thousands of cancer patients die.
They realized that ninety-five per cent of these patients had their tumors treated with
surgery, and/or radiation, and/or chemotherapy. It was obvious to them that, if removing
the tumor or destroying the tumor cured the disease, ninety-five percent of these people
would be alive and well. It was, therefore, equally obvious to them that removing the
tumor or destroying the tumor did not cure the disease. This meant, of course, that the
tumor was not the cause of the disease but was merely a symptom of the disease.
Let me compare this with appendicitis. The patient with appendicitis complains of pain. The pain is a symptom of this disease. I can give that patient enough morphine or Demerol to stop the pain. Do I then say to the patient, "Your pain is gone. You're cured!" No! I know that the pain will come back, because I have done nothing to correct the condition within the body that is causing the pain. I have to remove the infected appendix in order to treat the cause. These researchers used this same line of reasoning — they said, if you just remove the tumor and don't treat the condition within the body that allowed the tumor to develop in the first place, the tumor will come back. Of course, they are right! The tumor almost always comes back.
These men dug deeper. While each was working independently, they were all happy to share any of their findings with anyone who would listen. One would find something and send it to the others. One would add something to that and send it on. The result of all of this work was that these men found that the body does have a normal defense against cancer, and they were able to describe how that defense mechanism functioned.
They found that the cancer cell is coated with a protein lining, and that it was this protein lining (or covering) that prevented the body's normal defenses from getting to the cancer cell. They found that, if you could dissolve the protein lining from around the cancer cell, the body's normal defenses, the leukocytes (white blood ceils), would destroy the cancer cell. They found that the dissolving of the protein lining (or covering) from around the cancer cell was done very nicely within the body by two enzymes: trypsin and chymotrypsin. These enzymes are secreted by the pancreas. Thus, they said that the enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin formed the body's first line of defense against cancer.
What's an enzyme? I just knew you were going to ask! An enzyme is a catalyst. What's a catalyst? Back in your high school chemistry you were taught the definition of a catalyst. I'm sure that none of you have forgotten that definition. Just in case that definition has (only momentarily, of course) escaped your memory, it is as follows: A catalyst is a substance which causes a chemical reaction to take place without, itself, becoming a part of that chemical reaction. See, I knew you would remember! There are numerous enzymes within the body that are responsible for the hundreds of chemical reactions which must (13 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
take place in order to keep the body functioning normally. You have now completed Physiology 101.
In addition to finding that trypsin and chymotrypsin formed the body's first line of defense against cancer, Dr. Krebs et al. found that the body has a second line of defense against this disease. This second line of defense is formed by a group of substances known as nitrilosides. The cancer cell has an enzyme, beta-glucosidase, which, when it comes in contact with nitrilosides, converts those nitrilosides into two molecules of glucose, one molecule of benzaldehyde and one molecule of hydrogen cyanide. Originally, it was thought that only the hydrogen cyanide was toxic to the cancer cell. Recent evidence has shown that, while the hydrogen cyanide may exert some toxic effect, it is the benzaldehyde that is extremely toxic to the cancer cell.
What is so significant about this is that this is a target-specific reaction. Within the body, the cancer cell and only the cancer cell contains the enzyme beta-glucosidase. Thus, the benzaldehyde and the hydrogen cyanide can be formed in the presence of the cancer cell, and only the cancer cell. Thus, they are toxic to the cancer cell and only the cancer cell. The normal cell contains the enzyme, rhodanese, which converts the nitrilosides into food.
These researchers found that all of us probably have cancer many times in our lives. If our defense mechanisms are functioning normally, the body kills off the cancer cells, and we're never even aware that it happened. If, however, there is a breakdown in that defense mechanism when the cancer cells appear, there is nothing to prevent the growth of those cancer cells and soon there is a tumor.
What causes a breakdown in that defense mechanism? Suppose you have an individual who is eating large quantities of animal protein. It takes large amounts of the enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin to digest animal protein. It is possible that this individual is using up all, or almost all, of his trypsin and chymotrypsin for digestive purposes. There is nothing left over for the rest of the body. Thus, this individual has lost his first line of defense against cancer.
Suppose this individual has little or no nitrilosides in his diet. This is quite possible. Millet, which is very high in nitrilosides, used to be the staple grain. We went from millet to wheat, which contains no nitrilosides. Our cattle used to graze and eat large quantities of grasses, which are high in nitrilosides. Now we grain-feed our cattle. There are no nitrilosides in the grain.
So, you now have an individual who, because of his high intake of animal protein, has lost his first line of defense against cancer and who, because of his low intake of nitrilosides, has no second line of defense against cancer. Should cancer cells appear at this time, there is nothing to prevent their growth. The results? Tumor! (14 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
As Krebs et al. then pointed out, you can remove the tumor, but, if you do not correct the defects in that individual's defense mechanisms, that tumor will come back.
This means that you must markedly reduce the intake of animal protein in these people and replace it with vegetable protein. Vegetable protein requires nothing in the way of the enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin for digestion. Thus, you can free these enzymes from being used up for digestive purposes, put them back into the body and re-establish the body's first line of defense against cancer.
It means that you must also restore the body's second line of defense against cancer by establishing an adequate level of nitrilosides in these individuals. While there are some 1,500 foods that contain nitrilosides, the researchers found that the most rapid way to build up the nitriloside level was by the use of Laetrile. They did not proclaim Laetrile as a "miracle drug" or a "cancer cure" but merely described it as a concentrated form of nitrilosides, which was able to rapidly raise the nitriloside level and to re-establish the body's second line of defense against cancer.
Perhaps the thing that impressed me most in this large volume of material that I was trying to assimilate, was that all of these researchers stressed the point that cancer was a multiple-variable disease. One of the problems with those of us in the medical profession is that we are used to looking at chronic metabolic diseases (diseases which start within the body, such as diabetes, scurvy, pernicious anemia, pellagra, and cancer) as single-variable diseases. For example, in diabetes, the single-variable deficiency is insulin. In scurvy, it's Vitamin C, and in pernicious anemia, it's B12. Cancer is a multiple-variable deficiency disease.
These researchers showed that there can be a number of deficiencies within the cancer patient. This, they said, did not mean that all cancer patients had all of these deficiencies, but that any given cancer patient could have six, or eight or ten of these deficiencies. They found, for example, that zinc was the transportation mechanism for the nitrilosides. They found that you could give Laetrile until it came out of the ears of the patient, but, if that patient did not have a sufficient level of zinc, none of the Laetrile would get into the tissues of the body. They also found that nothing heals within the body without sufficient Vitamin C. They found that manganese, magnesium, selenium, Vitamin B, Vitamin A, etc., all played an important part in maintaining the body's defense mechanisms. The most important thing they stressed was that, unless you correct all of these deficiencies, you are not going to help that patient. Thus, they were talking about a total nutritional program. They were talking about a program that consisted of diet, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and Laetrile. (15 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
After having spent those eight months studying all of the material sent to me by The Committee for Freedom of Choice, I still was not completely convinced that this nutritional approach to the treatment of cancer would actually work.
I called my pharmacist friend, Steve Michaelis, and learned that Lawrence P. McDonald, M.D., in Atlanta, Georgia, was actively using this form of treatment. I did not know Larry McDonald at that time, but I knew of him. I knew that he was a member of the National Council of the John Birch Society and was a renowned urologist in Atlanta. (This was, of course, the same Rep. Lawrence P. McDonald, Member of Congress, who was on the KAL Flight 007 when it was shot down.) Steve Michaelis knew him very well. Steve called him to let him know that I would be calling.
When we finally talked, Larry could not have been nicer. We discussed at some length the program that he was using. My final question was, "Does it work?" Larry's reply to me was, "If it didn't work, I wouldn't be using it!" While Larry certainly gave me a push in the right direction, my final decision did not come until I could answer the question, "If I had cancer, or my wife had cancer, or one of my children had cancer, how would I have this treated?" I realized that my answer was, "I'd go with nutritional therapy." It was at that point that I decided to treat my patients with the same method.
Several weeks before I had reached that decision, a very good friend of mine had asked me if I would be willing to give Laetrile to his sister-in-law. This was a hopeless case. The woman had cancer of the breast. In spite of, or maybe because of (depending on your point of view), all the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy that had been done to this woman, she had developed metastases to the liver, lungs and brain. She had been sent home from a Columbus, Ohio hospital and told that she would die within a week or two. She became my first patient. I wish I could say that she lived happily thereafter. She (16 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
didn't. But she did live for about four months with a minimal amount of pain and suffering.
Within a week after I started treating this first patient, I began to get calls from cancer patients all around this part of the country asking if I would treat them. To this day, I have no idea how those people knew that I was involved in nutritional therapy. I never asked, and they never said.
Most of my first patients were those who had all of the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy they could tolerate and their tumors were still growing. I did for these patients the best that I knew to do.
My biggest problem at this time was understanding nutrition. In four years of medical school, one year of internship and one year of Family Practice residency, I had not had even one lecture on nutrition. How to use the Laetrile, the vitamins and the enzymes was no problem. How to instruct these people on proper nutrition was a big problem. If you know very little about nutrition yourself, how are you to instruct your patients? Simply giving them a diet sheet and saying, "Eat this, but don't eat that," doesn't work. In my years of working with patients with weight problems, I had learned that you never hand a patient a diet sheet. You must explain to the patient why it is necessary to eat certain things and to avoid other things. Once the patient understands this, you then have the patient's full cooperation.
After a few months of using this nutritional program, I was invited by The Committee for Freedom of Choice in Cancer Therapy (and I have no idea how they knew I was using nutritional therapy) to participate in some seminars on nutrition. It was hem that I first met Dr. Ernst Krebs. After listening to him for a few minutes, I realized that this man knew more about nutrition then anyone I had ever met.
To say that I presumed on this man's good nature would be the under-statement of the century. I told him what I was doing and how little I knew about nutrition.
These seminars usually lasted for three days and two nights. Dr. Krebs invited me to his room after the first evening's meeting. I was them until the wee hours of the morning and there again until the wee hours of the following morning learning about nutrition. When I think back on all of the stupid questions that I asked, I cannot understand why Dr. Krebs did not bodily pick me up and throw me out of his room. But, I was beginning to learn nutrition.
The second seminar was only a few weeks after the first. Betty was with me on this trip. We started somewhere in the Cleveland area and then flew to St. Louis to do another. Each night Betty, Dr. Krebs and I would get together in Dr. Krebs' room and my education of nutrition would continue. (17 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
These seminars went on for several more months. Through the great patience of Dr. Krebs, I became much more comfortable in trying to explain good nutrition to my patients.
When I started using this nutritional approach, I had no preconceived ideas of whether it would or would not work. I went into it with a completely open mind. I had decided to try it for one year. If it worked, fine, I would keep it up. If it didn't work, I wouldn't do it any more.
The first thing that I became aware of was that, within a matter of a few weeks, many of the patients were "feeling better." They had less pain and were eating better. While I was not sure that the treatment had added anything to the quantity of the life of these patients, I was sure that it had added something to the quality of their lives.
Some of the most beautiful letters that I have received have come from the relatives of patients who have died. They described how wonderful it was that their mother (or sister or brother or wife) had been free of pain and had been able to die comfortably at home rather than in a hospital.
That was encouraging, so I continued. Toward the end of that first year I noticed something else. I realized that a number of the patients that I had seen, who were supposed to die within a few months, were still alive. True, they still had their disease, but they were still alive! Some of them were now up and around and participating in family activities. Some were, once more, working in their flower beds. So, again, I continued.
At this point let me interrupt the story and define the terms "primary cancer" and "metastatic cancer." Primary cancer is cancer in one place in the body. The usual progression of this disease is that it spreads into other areas of the body. When the disease spreads from its primary site into other areas, it is called metastatic cancer.
Sorry about the interruption, but it was necessary. Now, back to our story.
My biggest surprise came at the end of my third year. At that time I sat down and went through all of the records of all of the patients that I had on this nutritional program. To my amazement, I found that not one single one of the patients that I had seen with primary cancer had developed metastatic disease. With "orthodox" treatment, by this time, most of them should have. This was when I knew that I had something! You would think that a small town doctor working with a few cancer patients and a relatively new approach to the treatment of cancer, would be ignored and left alone. Right? (18 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
To the best of my knowledge, there was no law in the State of Ohio which would prevent me from using Laetrile. I had checked with several attorney friends. I had asked them to see what the law was. They reported that there were no laws in the State of Ohio regarding the use of Laetrile.
I called the Ohio State Medical Association. A woman answered the phone. Our conversation went something like this: "I would like to know the present legal status of Laetrile in Ohio." "Laetrile is illegal," I was told.
"If Laetrile is illegal, there must be some statute which says it is illegal. Would you please give me that statute number so that my attorney can look it up for me." "Laetrile is illegal," I was told again.
"Yes, I understand that, but what is the statute number that makes it illegal?" "Laetrile is illegal," I was told for the third time.
"You have told me that three times now, but you have not given me the precise law that makes it illegal." "Well, it is not approved by the FDA," was the reply this time. (19 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
"Why, then, did you tell me three times that it was illegal?" "Because that was what I was told to say if anyone inquired about Laetrile," was her reply.
You can imagine my surprise (shock would be more like it) when, in the Fall of 1976, I received a certified letter from the Medical Board of the State of Ohio requiring me to appear, two weeks hence, before that Board for a hearing because I was using Laetrile. The first thing I did was call The Committee for Freedom of Choice in California. I do not remember with whom I spoke, but it was probably Bob Bradford. The advice I was given was to contact an attorney by the name of Mr. George Kell.
Mr. Kell was the attorney who defended Dr. John Richardson in his long and difficult legal battles with the State of California over the use of nutritional therapy and Laetrile. The story of Dr. John Richardson, and his fight for the rights of his patients to choose the type of treatment they wanted, became a best-selling book entitled Laetrile Case . In my opinion, Dr. John Richardson is one the great heroes of medicine.
Because of his work with Dr. Richardson, George Kell was probably the most knowledgeable attorney in the country at that time on the subject of nutrition and Laetrile. I called Mr. Kell and we talked at some length. He told me some things that I should do and some things not to do. He told me a number of things that my attorney should and should not do. Finally he said, "The best thing to do is for me to be there." Among other things, Mr. Kell had recommended that, in the two weeks time that we had, we contact as many of my patients as possible and ask these patients to write to the State Medical Board on my behalf. For the next five days and nights we did exactly that. I had two telephone lines coming into my office. My office girl, Ruthie Coe, (without additional pay, bless her heart) and I would return to my office every night and make telephone calls until about 10:00 P.M. Meanwhile, Betty, having a list of her own, was making calls from our home. The response was overwhelming! I do not know how many letters actually went into the State Medical Board. I do know that there were some forty or fifty patients who were kind enough to send me copies of the letters they had written. The ground work, as directed by Mr. Kell, had been laid.
The hearing was scheduled for a Thursday morning. George Kell arrived at the Columbus, Ohio airport about 10:30 P.M. the night before. Until the wee hours of the morning we stayed up and discussed strategy. Mr. Kell explained to me that he would attempt to make the Medical Board angry at him, thus taking their anger away from me. (20 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
During the hearing, Mr. Kell was extremely successful in doing just that. On at least four occasions he said to the members of the Board, "If you decide to take this matter to court, you will have me to deal with." As things turned out, it became obvious that the Medical Board of the State of Ohio did not wish to deal with Mr. George Kell. For his wonderful performance, I am eternally grateful to him.
For those who are wondering how much it cost to bring in an attorney from California to defend me, let me say that Mr. Kell's charge was extremely reasonable. He charged me only for his air fare (coach, of course) and for his time before the Medical Board. This came to about $700. There are still some people on this earth to whom principle is more important than money. George Kell is one of those people.
Several months went by before I heard anything from the State Medical Board. Then, an Enforcement Officer of the Board, as he called himself, appeared in my office without an appointment and insisted that I see him immediately. As soon as I finished with the patient at hand, I did see him. He wanted to know if I was still using Laetrile. I assured him that I was. He told me that the Medical Board wanted to take away my medical license. I told him I knew that, but, in order for them to do so, they would have to go through the courts. I told him I would insist on a jury trial, and that I would parade before the jury all of the patients who had written letters to the Medical Board. He said, "Oh, no, no, no! We don't want to get involved in anything like that." I assured him that was exactly what the Board would become involved in, and that they would again be confronted by Mr. George Kell.
At this point he backed down. We discussed a few irrelevant things. Then he said, "I just want you to know that the State Medical Board is not happy with what you are doing." I said to the Enforcement Officer, "I was not placed on this earth to please the State Medical Board. I was placed on this earth to please God. I know that the nutritional program I am using adds far more to the quality and quantity of life of the cancer patient than anything offered by orthodox medicine. Therefore, I am obligated to God to do what I know to be right. Whether the State Medical Board agrees or disagrees is not important. It is important only that I do what pleases God, because, at my death, I will be judged by God and not by the State Medical Board." Except for a letter in 1978, that was the last that I heard from the Medical Board of the State of Ohio for fourteen years (until 1990). I'll tell you about that later.
1See Laetrile Case Histories; The Richardson Cancer Clinic Experience, by John A. Richardson, M.D., and Patricia Griffin, R.N., B.S. Originally published by American Media and later by Bantam. The book is currently (21 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
My first confrontation with the FDA came when Patrick Mahoney, a long time friend, who was then working for Birch Research Corporation, contacted me. Part of Patrick's job was to review all major newspapers and government documents and to file any information which may at sometime be of any news value. Patrick had run across a notice in the Federal Register which said that there were going to be Administrative Hearings on Laetrile in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 2-3, 1977. According to the notice, anyone who wished to speak for or against Laetrile was to write to the given address and ask for time to present testimony. At Patrick's urging, I wrote to that address and asked for fifteen minutes.
I really had no idea what this was all about. But, by this time, I had three years of experience using Laetrile as a part of a total nutritional program. I knew that it was part of what was necessary to improve the quality and quantity of life of many cancer patients. Again, I felt that I had a moral obligation to present my findings at that Administrative Hearing, so Betty and I went. It wasn't until after we got there that I fully understood what was going on.
In early 1977, Mr. Glen L. Rutherford from Oklahoma City developed cancer. He chose to go to Mexico for the treatment of his cancer because they were using a nutritional program that included Laetrile. A few weeks later, when Mr. Rutherford returned to the United States, his Laetrile was confiscated when he crossed the border. This was done by Government order. Mr. Rutherford then filed suit in Federal Court against Joseph A. Califano, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and against Donald Kennedy, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration et al. for the right to have his Laetrile. This I know to be true because I have the court record. What follows I do not know to be true because I was not there, but I will relate the story to you as it was told to me by those who were there. (22 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
The trial between Mr. Rutherford and the Government went on for several weeks. Federal Judge Luther Bohanon presided. Each day the FDA attorneys would tell the court that the FDA had hundreds and hundreds of studies that proved that Laetrile would not work. Toward the end of the trial Judge Bohanon said to the FDA attorneys, "Tomorrow, when you come into court, I want you to bring with you all of these studies that have been done by the FDA on Laetrile." The following morning, when the trial began again, the Judge asked for the studies. The FDA attorneys said, "Your Honor, we did not bring the studies because they are so scientific that we don't think you can understand them." This, as you can well imagine, did not please the Judge. He insisted that all of the studies must be in his court room the following morning.
The next morning there were no studies. When the Judge asked why, the FDA attorneys said the studies were so voluminous they were not sure that all of the studies would fit in his court room. The Judge then stated that, if necessary, he would empty the entire court house, but he wanted all of those studies in his court the following morning.
The following morning there were no studies. Again, the Judge asked why. The FDA attorney said very simply, "Because, Your Honor, there are no studies." Of course, the Judge was irate. The FDA attorneys explained that each evening after the trial they would call Washington. Each evening the Washington office of the FDA would assure the attorneys that they had all of these studies. When the attorneys finally pinned down the Washington office, they said that they had done no studies at all on Laetrile. This was when Judge Bohanon called for Administrative Hearings.
In truth, as time has gone on, I have found much evidence to make me believe that the FDA had, indeed, done a great many studies on Laetrile. The problem was they apparently had found that — when properly used with other vitamins, minerals, enzymes and diet — Laetrile could be very beneficial to many cancer patients. There was no way the FDA was going to admit this! For more than fifteen years they had been saying that Laetrile was of no value. To come out now and say that they had been wrong was unthinkable. The fuss and furor that would have come from the people of this country would have been tremendous. Congress, rapidly, would have been forced to do away with the FDA. To the government, this would have been a terrible loss. After all, the "most important" function of any government bureaucracy is to perpetuate itself. It is my opinion, and only an opinion, that it was easier for the FDA to say that they had done no studies than to reveal what their studies had actually shown. It was far less dangerous to go through Administrative Hearings than to admit that they were wrong.
These Administrative Hearings were something else. Of the perhaps two hundred to three hundred people who were there, almost all were pro-Laetrile. There were, of course, many (23 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
doctors from the FDA who testified against Laetrile. The thing I remember most about these hearings was that, shortly before I testified, a doctor from the FDA testified that if you open a vial of Laetrile, it must be done in a large room with all of the windows open and that everyone in the room must wear a gas mask. Otherwise, he said, everyone would die from the cyanide fumes from that vial of Laetrile. Shortly thereafter I testified that I had opened some four thousand vials of Laetrile. I stated that I had opened them in a small room with all of the windows closed and that neither I, nor any of my staff, had worn a gas mask. I assured the Administrative Judge that I, and all of my staff, were alive and quite well.
The Administrative Judge was sitting to my right and behind me. I could not see him while I was testifying. According to those in the audience who could see him, he obviously became quite angry and turned very red in the face. He had allowed some of those testifying for the FDA to run overtime with their testimony. Just as soon as my time was up, he banged his gavel and said sternly, "Your time is up!" I assured him that I would be finished in less than a minute. Down came the gavel again, and again he said angrily, "Your time is up!" I had a typewritten copy of my full testimony, which I then gave to the recording secretary. All of my testimony did appear in the full record.
The full testimony of everyone who took the stand at this Administrative Hearing was sent to Judge Bohanon. He then went through all of this material. On December 5, 1977, he rendered his final decision in the case of Rutherford vs. United States of America, Joseph A. Califano, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare; Donald Kennedy, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration et al. For those of you who have access to law libraries this will be found in THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA, No. CIV-75-0218-B.
Parts of Judge Bohanon's decision are as follows: The action of the Commissioner of Food and Drugs dated July 29, 1977, is declared unlawful and such action, findings and conclusions are hereby vacated, set aside and held for naught.
The Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and his subordinates in the Food and Drug Administration are hereby permanently enjoined and restrained from interfering, directly or indirectly, or acting in concert with United States Customs Service or others, with the importation, introduction, or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce by any person of Laetrile (Amygdalin) .
The Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and his subordinates in the Food and Drug Administration are hereby permanently enjoined and (24 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
restrained from interfering with the use of Laetrile (Amygdalin) for the care or treatment of cancer by a person who is, or believes he is, suffering from the disease; The Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and his subordinates in the Food and Drug Administration are hereby enjoined and restrained from interfering with any licensed medical practitioner in administering Laetrile (Amygdalin) in the care or treatment of his cancer patients.
In giving the reasons for reaching his decision, Judge Bohanon cited the testimony of many of us at the Administrative Hearing. I am proud to say that he cited my testimony on several occasions.
The result of this decision is what became known as "the affidavit system." The way this system worked was-if a patient wanted Laetrile, he would have to sign an affidavit, with five copies, stating that he wanted it. He would have to give his name, address and telephone number. The doctor had to sign the same affidavit (all five copies) stating that he would administer the Laetrile. Both the patient's and the doctor's portions of the affidavit had to be notarized. This was then sent to a pharmacist who kept one copy and sent the rest to the FDA. The FDA would send the purchase order to Mexico, where the Laetrile was manufactured. The order would be filled, packaged, addressed to the patient and sent from Mexico to an FDA office in California. There it would be checked with the proper affidavit and sent to the patient. It was not at all unusual for the FDA to call the patient to make sure that he had ordered that amount of Laetrile. To some patients this was merely annoying. To many others it was very upsetting because they were made to feel that they had done something illegal.
This is where we ran into an early problem. The FDA did not want to comply with Judge Bohanon's court order. When the packaged, addressed orders were sent to California, the FDA would allow the packages to sit for many days in their office before forwarding them to the patients. A pharmacist in Baltimore, Maryland found an answer to this. His customers were complaining that they were not getting their Laetrile orders. He gave them the telephone number of Judge Bohanon's office. The customers began bombarding the Judge's office with complaints. The Judge would call the FDA, and for awhile things would run smoothly. Within a few weeks, however, the problem would again occur. The result was more phone calls to the Judge's office. The pharmacist here in Ohio, who was handling my patients, was not involved in the phone call procedure to Judge Bohanon. He did, however, receive a call from the Judge's office asking him to "call off the dogs" because the Judge would take care of the matter. Exactly what the Judge told the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Donald Kennedy, I do not know. I do know that this hold-up never happened again with any of my patients. (25 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
Judge Bohanon's decision and the affidavit system went from court to court. Many courts upheld his decision. Some courts did not. His decision and his affidavit system were finally overturned in February, 1989.
I am not sure what the status of Laetrile is in most states, but I do know what it is in the state of Ohio now. No doctor in this state may write a prescription for Laetrile, but anyone in this state who wishes to have Laetrile may obtain it without prescription. If the patient buys the Laetrile and takes it to his doctor, his doctor may then give the Laetrile to the patient. This is, of course, bureaucracy at its worst. I can buy penicillin and I can give it to a patient. But, I cannot buy Laetrile and give it to a patient. The patient can buy the Laetrile and bring it to me, and then I can give it to him.
Anyway, in the state of Ohio, the patient can get Laetrile and the doctor can give it to him in the proper manner and the proper dosage. I thank God for small favors! In Chapter Five I mentioned the testimony of a doctor from the FDA who said that Laetrile contains "free" hydrogen cyanide and, thus, is toxic. Somewhere in this book I wanted to correct that misconception. Perhaps this is the best time to do so.
There is no "free" hydrogen cyanide in Laetrile. As pointed out in Chapter Two, when Laetrile comes in contact with the enzyme beta-glucosidase, the Laetrile is broken down to form two molecules of glucose, one molecule of benzaldehyde and one molecule of hydrogen cyanide (HCN). Within the body, the cancer cell — and only the cancer ceil — contains that enzyme. The key word here is that the HCN must be FORMED. It is not floating around freely in the Laetrile and then released. It must be manufactured. The enzyme beta-glucosidase, and only that enzyme, is capable of manufacturing the HCN from Laetrile. If there are no cancer cells in the body, there is no beta-glucosidase. If there (26 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
is no beta-glucosidase, no HCN will be formed from the Laetrile.
It is worthwhile repeating something I said in Chapter Two: In 1977 it was thought that the hydrogen cyanide formed in the above-mentioned chemical reaction exerted the toxic effect against the cancer cell. In the past several years there has been much evidence to show that this chemical reaction produces only a minute amount of hydrogen cyanide, that the hydrogen cyanide is quickly converted to thiocyanate and probably has little, if any, toxic effect on the cancer cell. It is the benzaldehyde formed in this chemical reaction that is extremely toxic to the cancer cell.
Laetrile does contain the cyanide radical (CN–). This same cyanide radical is contained in Vitamin B12, and in berries such as blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. You never hear of anyone getting cyanide poisoning from B12 or any of the above-mentioned berries, because they do not. The cyanide radical (CN–) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN) are two completely different compounds, just as pure sodium (Na+) — one of the most toxic substances known to mankind — and sodium chloride (NaC1), which is table salt, are two completely different compounds.
If the above is true, how did the story ever get started that Laetrile contains "free" hydrogen cyanide? Guess! No, it was not G. Edward Griffin. It was the Food and Drug Administration.
I remember reading in some newspaper back in the late 1960's or early 1970's a news release from the FDA. This release stated that there were some proponents of a substance known as "Laetrile" (I'd never heard of it before) who were saying that this substance was capable of forming hydrogen cyanide in the presence of the cancer cell. The release continued by saying that, if this were actually true, we had, indeed, found a substance which was target-specific, and would be of great value to the cancer patient. But, the news release went on to say, the FDA had done extensive testing of this substance, "Laetrile," and found no evidence that it contained hydrogen cyanide or that any hydrogen cyanide was released in the presence of the cancer cell. Thus, they said, Laetrile was of no value.
When it was clearly established some time later that Laetrile did, indeed, release hydrogen cyanide in the presence of the cancer cell, how do you suppose the FDA reacted.? Did they admit that they were wrong.? Did they admit that they had done a very inadequate job in running their tests? No! They now proclaimed that Laetrile contained hydrogen cyanide and thus was toxic! So, here is a bureau of the Federal Government which, a short time before, had said that the reason Laetrile did not work was because it did not release hydrogen cyanide in the presence of cancer cells. Now, when they find that it does, they say that it is toxic. When (27 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
offered an opportunity to present evidence of Laetrile's toxicity in Federal Court, they admitted that they had none. (See Chapter One) When anyone tells you that Laetrile contains "free" hydrogen cyanide, that individual is either mis-informed or wants to mis-inform you.
1For a more detailed analysis of the theoretical action of Laetrile against cancer cells, see G. Edward Griffin, World Without Cancer (Thousand Oaks, CA: American Media, 1974).
Between the years 1975 and 1980 there were so many things happening that I am sure I do not remember all of them. Some of them were going on at the same time. These stories need to be told. While the exact chronological order of these stories may be incorrect, the stories are true.
Certainly one story that needs to be told is that of Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura. In 1975, Dr. Sugiura was, and had been for some years, one of the most respected cancer research scientists at Sloan-Kettering. In working with cancerous mice, Dr. Sugiura found that, when he used Laetrile on these mice, seventy-seven per cent of them did not develop a spread of their disease (metastatic carcinoma). He repeated this study over and over for two years. The results were always the same. Dr. Sugiura took his findings to his superiors at Sloan-Kettering, but his study was never published. Instead, Sloan-Kettering published (28 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
the results of someone else who claimed that he had used Dr. Sugiura's protocol. This "someone else's" study showed that there were no beneficial effects from the use of Laetrile. Dr. Sugiura complained. He was fired. A book was written about all of this entitled The Anatomy of A Cover-up. This book has all the actual results of Dr. Sugiura's work. These results do, indeed, show the benefit of Laetrile. Dr. Sugiura stated in this book, "It is still my belief that Amygdalin cures metastases." Amygdalin is, of course, the scientific name for Laetrile.
A few months later, a cancer researcher at Mayo Clinic, in a private, informal conversation with a friend of mine, stated that it was very unlikely that any positive effects from the use of Laetrile would ever be published because "the powers above us want it that way." During this period of time, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) stated that it wanted to run a study to show the difference between patients treated with orthodox therapy (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) and those treated with nutritional therapy. I was asked to participate in this study. I went to New York to meet with one of the doctors who was conducting the study. I will call him Dr. Enseeye (not his real name, of course). There was a group of perhaps six or seven of us who had dinner that night with Dr. Enseeye. Betty and I were seated next to him.
Dr. Enseeye explained the study to me. The NCI would take a group of cancer patients and treat them in the orthodox method. Those of us who were using nutritional therapy would take a similar group of patients and treat them by our method. The NCI would then compare the results. This is the conversation that followed: "What will the NCI use as a criteria for success or failure in these treatments?" I asked.
"Tumor size," Dr. Enseeye replied.
I said, "Let me make sure I understand what you are saying. Suppose you have a patient with a given tumor. Let's suppose that this patient is treated by one of these two methods. Let's say that the tumor is greatly reduced in size in the next three months, but the patient dies. How will the NCI classify that? "The NCI will classify that as a success" "Because the tumor got smaller," he replied.
I then asked, "Suppose you have a similar patient with a similar tumor who was treated (29 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
with a different method. Suppose that after two years this patient is alive and well, but the tumor is no smaller. How will the NCI classify this?" "They will classify that as a failure." "Because the tumor did not get any smaller," he said. Dr. Enseeye went on to say, "In this study the NCI will not be interested in whether the patient lives or dies. They will be interested only in whether the tumor gets bigger or smaller." I chose not to participate in this study! During this period, the FDA was sending speakers throughout the country to talk about the' "evils" of Laetrile. One such speaker was scheduled to appear on the campus of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota in the spring of 1978. It just so happened that my son Rick was a sophomore at Macalester College at that time. Rick was very knowledgeable on the subject of Laetrile. When he found out when the talk was to be given, he called his older brother, Bill, who was a senior at the University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse. Bill was equally knowledgeable about Laetrile and agreed to come to Macalester for the speech. Rick had also recruited a friend who was a freshman at his school, Michelle Kleinrichard, who knew as much about the subject as the two of them.
The three of them went to the speech, but they did not sit together. Bill sat near the center just beyond half-way back in the auditorium. Rick sat toward the front on the right. Michelle sat toward the front on the left.
According to all three of them, the speaker left much to be desired. It was easy to see he had been given the speech to read, and that he had only a superficial knowledge of the subject. At the end of the speech he asked for questions. The first one on his feet was Bill (in the center). What happened was as follows: Bill: "You said that you knew of a patient who had cancer and was treated with Laetrile. You said that the patient died, and this proved that Laetrile was worthless. Hubert Humphrey had cancer and was treated with chemotherapy. He died three months ago. Doesn't that prove that chemotherapy is worthless too? But, that's not my question. You also said that a little girl in New York took five Laetrile pills and died from cyanide poisoning. The parents now state that she took only one Laetrile pill. She was fine for three days. Then the doctors started treating her for cyanide poisoning. The next day she died. How do you explain this?" Speaker: "I have no explanation for this." (30 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
Speaker: "No, we'll go to someone else." With this, the speaker turned to another nice looking young man on his left. This other nice looking young man was Rick. (I have to say they were "nice looking" because I'm their father.) Rick pointed out that the speaker had stated that work done by Dr. Harold Manner, using Laetrile alone, had shown no positive results on cancerous mice. This, the speaker had said, was considered to be of great scientific value. Subsequent work done by Dr. Manner using Laetrile in combination with pancreatic enzymes and Vitamin A had shown excellent results. Yet, the speaker had indicated that these latter results were of no scientific value. Rick's question was why were these latter results ignored. The speaker could not answer that question.
The speaker then turned to his right. There, standing and smiling at him, was a pretty young lady. The speaker must have thought, "At last, a friendly face." The young lady was Michelle. Michelle was a member of the debate team at Macalester. The speaker was badly out-classed. She hit him with both barrels. She asked for a full explanation of why, if so many people die from chemotherapy, is chemotherapy so good? Why, if Laetrile makes people feel better, is Laetrile so bad? She asked who determined that Dr. Manner's recent results were not scientific. The poor speaker was in trouble. He hemmed and hawed, but never answered her questions. Finally, he said, "The question and answer period is over." He turned and rapidly left the stage. In five minutes Bill, Rick and Michelle had completely destroyed the credibility of the forty-five minute speech.
So, you ask, whatever became of those three free-thinking undergraduates who perpetrated this dastardly deed on this unsuspecting FDA speaker? (You probably weren't going to ask, but I'm going to tell you anyway!).
Bill got his law degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He worked for Congressman Lawrence P. McDonald as his legislative director until the KAL Flight 007 incident. Subsequently, he worked for Congressman A1 McCandliss as his legislative director. Later, he became the Republican counsel for the House Banking Committee. He has since gone to work for a private business.
Rick got his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Texas. He is a professor of astronomy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rick was, incidentally, the first astronomer to view the moon around the planet Pluto.
The International Astronomical Society has named an asteroid (a small planet), Asteroid 2873 Binzel, in his honor. In 1982, Rick and Michelle were married. (31 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
Michelle, in addition to being a full-time housewife and a full-time mother of two children, has also managed to complete her Ph.D. in Business Management. When those two children become teenagers, Michelle is going to need all of her debating skills. I don't know anything about business management, but as the father of six children, I sure do know about debating. I wish I had taken it in college.
One Tuesday night about eight o'clock, in late November, 1978, I received a telephone call from Professor Francis Anderson, a professor at the Albany School of Law in Albany, New York. Professor Anderson told me that he was representing an eight-year-old boy, Joey Hofbauer, who had been diagnosed as having Hodgkins Disease (a form of cancer o£ the lymph nodes). He told me that the Saratoga County Department of Social Services was trying to force the parents to allow the use of chemotherapy in the treatment of his disease. The parents did not want the child to have chemotherapy because they had already begun to have him treated with nutritional therapy. Professor Anderson explained that there was to be a court hearing on the following Thursday. He wanted to know if I would be willing to come to Albany and testify on the boy's behalf. I told him that I would.
The Professor then stated that the family did not have much money and asked me how much I would charge. I told him that I would charge nothing for coming. Professor Anderson said, "That's wonderful, because I am not charging them anything for my services either." I told him that, if they could afford to pay my expenses, that would be fine, but if they couldn't, I'd pay my own way. He assured me that paying my expenses would be no problem for them.
I arrived in Albany about 10:30 P.M. on Wednesday. I was met at the airport by Professor (32 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
Anderson, Mr. John Hofbauer (Joey's father) and by two brothers, whom I will simply call Bob and Harold, who were friends of John Hofbauer. They took me to my motel, and the whole group came up to my room. It was there that I learned what had been going on. I will tell you the story as it was told to me that night.
Joey Hofbauer had been diagnosed as having Hodgkins Disease some months earlier. His doctors said that the only treatment was chemotherapy. His father, John, knew others who had taken chemotherapy. He did not want this for his son. Instead, he took Joey to a medical clinic in Jamaica for nutritional therapy.
When Joey's doctors found out that his father had not only taken him out of the country, but was also not going to have him treated with chemotherapy, they became irate. They filed a "child abuse" claim against John.
A few weeks later, when John returned to Albany with Joey, the powers-that-be were lying in wait. Less than twenty-four hours after their return, a sheriff and several deputies literally broke down the front door of the Hofbauer home and kidnapped Joey. They took him to a hospital where, according to the Saratoga County Department of Social Services, he would receive chemotherapy whether the parents approved or not.
John Hofbauer called his family attorney and explained the situation. His attorney told him that he did not want to become involved in a case of this nature. John then took the telephone directory and called almost every attorney in Albany. The reply was always the same.
"While I sympathize with you, I do not want to become involved." It was now about eleven o'clock at night. John had gone through all of the attorneys in Albany. Out of sheer desperation he called his friends, Bob and Harold, in Boston. Bob answered the phone. John explained what had happened and about his inability to find an attorney to represent him. Bob told him that he and Harold would meet him in Albany the next morning.
Bob and Harold drove all night and arrived at the Hofbauer home about 6:00 A.M. The battle plan was drawn. At 7:00 A.M. Bob left. He spent the entire day visiting every radio and television station in the city. He told each and every one of those stations the story of Joey Hofbauer, and that Joey's father had not been able to find an attorney who was willing to represent him. By mid-afternoon this story was on every radio station and every television station in Albany.
Watching the six o'clock news on television was Professor Francis Anderson. He immediately called John Hofbauer and told him that he would be happy to represent him, (33 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
and that there would be no charge for his service. It was two hours later that Professor Anderson called me. To this day, I do not know how these people got my name. They never said, and I never thought to ask.
We were by now into the wee hours of the morning. Professor Anderson asked me if I had ever testified in a case of this nature. I told him that I had not. He took time to go over the types of questions he would be asking me on direct examination. This was not a problem at all. He then went into what I could expect on cross-examination. In the next hour, I probably learned more about court room procedure than I have ever learned since. He told me what questions I would be asked and how to handle those questions. The thing I remember most is that Professor Anderson told me that the attorneys for the other side would probably start naming a number of medical books and ask me if I had read them. He told me that if I had not read them just say, "No." He explained that the court does not expect that every doctor has read every medical book that has ever been written. If I had read the book say, "Yes." He told me that if I did say, "Yes," they would take some quote from that book and ask if I remembered that quote. If I did not remember that quote, I was to reply, "No, I do not remember that quote. My statement was that I have read the book, but I did not memorize it." This lesson, alone, has helped me through many subsequent court procedures.
When the news began to break on all of the radio and television stations, rumors began coming out of the hospital where Joey was confined. These rumors were that hospital was going to secretly transfer him to another hospital so that his chemotherapy could begin. Harold took care of that. He marched into the hospital with a cot under his arm. He went to Joey's bed and put his cot beside it. He then began to call various friends and neighbors of the Hofbauer's to set up a watch on Joey. Somebody was to be in that cot next to Joey every minute, twenty-four hours a day.
When our meeting in my motel room finally broke up, Bob and Harold told me they would pick me up at 7:00 A.M. I said that would be fine; I would be up and have had breakfast by then. They informed me I could not do that. They told me threats had been made against anyone who would testify against the medical establishment. I was told to remain in my room with the door locked until they, Bob and Harold, called for me. This seemed to be a little paranoid at the time, but I decided to just follow instructions.
At 7:00 A.M. the phone in my room rang. It was Bob calling from the lobby of the motel. He told me to look through the little peep-hole in my door. There, he said, I should see Harold. If it was not Harold, I was not to open my door but was to immediately call the motel security. I hung up the phone and looked through the peep-hole in my door. It was Harold.
The three of us had breakfast and then went to the hospital where Joey was confined. I (34 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
was there to examine Joey. I was taken to the office of the hospital administrator where the necessary procedures (medical license, personal identification, etc.) were carried out. I was then turned over to another doctor who was instructed by the administrator to render me every courtesy.
When Bob, the doctor and I approached Joey's bed we were immediately challenged by a woman who occupied the cot next to Joey. Bob assured her that we were "friendly." The doctor who was assigned to me could not have been nicer. While he never let me out of his sight, he did promptly, at my request, supply me with a tongue blade and a stethoscope. I did my examination of Joey.
We went from the hospital to the court house. On the way, Bob and Harold explained to me that there would be a number of people from the newspapers and the TV stations in the lobby of the court house, and that I was not to talk to any of them. We entered the lobby of the court house. This was my first, and only, experience at seeing TV camera lights come on and having at least a dozen microphones shoved in my face at the same time. It was not a pleasant experience. Since that time I have seen this happen to others on TV at least a thousand times. I don't blame these people for getting angry at some newspaper and TV reporters. They deserve it! Somebody yelled at me, "Are you the surprise witness?" My reply was, "I don' t know ? When we got into the court room, the hearing had not begun. The Judge was there and said that any of us who were to testify could not make any statements to the media until we had completed our testimony and had been released by the Court. Bob, Harold and I spent the rest of the morning listening to the prosecution present its case. It wasn't very good. While they had a number of oncologists and pediatric specialists testify, Professor Anderson was always successful, on cross examination, in getting them to admit that they had very little success with their form of treatment. When the prosecution finished its testimony, the Judge called a lunch recess.
It was at lunch that I found out who the "surprise witness" was. It was Dr. Michael Schachter, from Nyack, New York. It is my impression that Dr. Schachter had heard about the case and had volunteered to testify on Joey's behalf. The prosecution knew I was going to testify, since they had made arrangements for me to examine Joey that morning, but apparently they did not know about Dr. Schachter. Someone must have leaked to the media that there was going to be a "surprise witness." Dr. Schachter joined us for lunch. Professor Anderson covered the same ground with him that he had covered with me the night before.
The defense began its testimony after lunch. I was the first witness. Under Professor Anderson's guidance, I gave my testimony. It was nothing extraordinary. We went through the facts that cancer was the result of a nutritional deficiency which prevented the body's (35 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
immunological defense mechanisms from functioning normally. We covered the aspects of nutritional therapy and its abilities to help the body restore that normal defense mechanism. Of course, we concluded that Joey Hofbauer's chances for a better quality and quantity of life were greater with nutritional therapy than with chemotherapy.
The cross-examination was just about what Professor Anderson had said it would be. The attorneys for the County Department of Social Services used the usual attack by calling me a quack and a charlatan. This was nothing new for me. In my many debates with oncologists on TV, I had been called much worse than that. As I had learned before, and as Professor Anderson had cautioned me, "Don't let them make you angry." I just smiled. They then went into the book routine — had I read this or that book. I had read some of them. When I told them that I had read a particular book, they read some quote from the book and asked if I remembered that quote. My reply was just as Professor Anderson had coached me — "No, I don't remember that quote, but my statement was that I had read the book. I did not say that I had memorized it." This, as I best recall, concluded my testimony.
Dr. Michael Schachter followed me on the witness stand. It was the cross-examination of Dr. Schachter that I found most fascinating. Perhaps because he was a licensed physician in the state of New York, the opposing attorneys really went after him. I had never before, and have never since, seen anyone handle himself on a witness stand as well as Dr. Schachter did. I am sorry that I cannot remember the exact details of the questions asked and the answers he gave. What I do remember is that Dr. Schachter would, time after time, lead the opposing attorneys on, set a trap for them, and then at the opportune time, spring that trap. Each time he did, he would finish with a wide grin. He exhibited both his knowledge about the side effects of chemotherapy and his knowledge of nutrition. I had to leave before he was finished, but when I left, Dr. Schachter was grinning and the opposing attorneys were groaning.
I had to leave because either Bob or Harold told that it was four o'clock and that we had to catch a six o'clock flight out of here. With all the traffic, it would take at least an hour to get to the airport. Besides, we had to meet with the media outside.
I did meet with the media in the lobby of the court house. With lights glaring, I did a fifteen or twenty minute interview with the TV people. Finally, Bob and Harold said that we had to go or we'd never make it to the airport in time.
They were certainly right about the traffic. I don't remember which of the brothers was driving, but he drove like someone from Boston. I sat there most of the time with my hands over my eyes saying Hail Mary's. All I could hear was the honking of horns and the squealing of brakes from the cars beside us and behind us. Anyway, we did make it to the airport about a half-hour before the flight. As I walked through the terminal toward my gate, I passed one of those bars with a TV. I glanced at the TV and saw a familiar face. It (36 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
was mine. I was on the five-thirty news. It was much too noisy to hear what I was saying, and I was in too much of a hurry to get to my gate to stop and listen. It's a weird feeling, though, to suddenly look up and see yourself on television.
It would be nice to say that my flight home was uneventful. This was not the case. My flight from Albany was to go to Buffalo. After a short lay-over I was to fly to Columbus. We flew into Buffalo in one of the worst snow storms I have ever seen. How that pilot was able to put that plane down on the runway, I'll never know. When I went to the desk to ask about my flight to Columbus, the clerk just laughed. He told us that was the last flight in here tonight, and there would be nothing leaving until in the morning.
The clerk made reservations for me for the 8:00 A.M. flight to Columbus and told me that the airlines would put me up in a motel for the night. When I told him my wife was waiting for me in Columbus, he assured me that we would be able to contact her. He called the airline desk in Columbus. Betty was at the desk. I explained the problem to her. She had just driven through a terrible ice storm to get to Columbus and had no desire to drive fifty miles back home again. We agreed that she should find a near-by motel, spend the night and meet my flight in the morning.
The next morning I took the motel shuttle to the airport. It was still snowing. When we got to the airport about 7:30 A.M., there was only one clerk on duty and about fifty people in line. At about 7:55 A.M. he announced that the flight to Columbus was closed and was leaving. A howl went up from the twenty-or-more of us still in line waiting to get on that flight. Bless his heart, he called back to the plane immediately and told them to hold until he could get all of the people there checked in.
It was now snowing harder than it was when I had come to the airport. The plane taxied out to the runway, gunned its engines and started its takeoff. It had trouble getting traction, sliding back and forth across the runway before finally taking off. There was a little five or six foot wooden barrier at the end of the runway. We were so low that, if I could have opened my window, I could have easily picked up that barrier. We got to Columbus without any further problems. My wife was there to meet me. Our fifty mile trip home was no joy either. We slipped and slid all of the way, but were able to stay out of most of the ditches. When I went into my office at two o'clock that afternoon, my office girl (Ruthie) asked, "How was your trip?" I thought at the time it was like someone asking Custer, when he reached the Pearly Gates, "Other than that, General, how was your day?" At seven o'clock that night I got a phone call from Professor Anderson. The Judge had handed down his decision late that afternoon. He ruled that Joey should be returned to his parents and that he could continue to receive nutritional treatment. The Judge stated that nutritional therapy "has a place in our society" and that the parents of Joey Hofbauer were not guilty of child neglect in choosing that treatment for their son. The attorney for the (37 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
State Health Department said that he was "very disappointed" with the decision.
I wish I could say that Joey Hofbauer lived happily ever after. Such is not the case. I never saw Joey again after that day, and I don't really know what happened. I do know that he was under Dr. Schachter's care for a while, and I do know that he died about two years later somewhere out of this country. Chemotherapy, I am sure, would not have prolonged his life. Hopefully, whatever was done added to the quality of his life.
At the beginning of Chapter Seven, I stated that there were many things going on in the years between 1975 and 1980. Let me, at this point, try to give you some idea of what I meant.
I was in private practice as a family physician. Although my primary obligation was to my family practice patients, I tried to take one hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon three days a week to work with cancer patients. My waiting time for starting new cancer patients on the nutritional program was three months. This was terrible, but there were very few doctors doing nutritional therapy at that time. I was not in the office on Thursday, Saturday or Sunday. Almost all of my Thursdays were filled giving interviews, going somewhere to give a talk or to be on a television program. There were trips to Columbus, Ohio to testify before the Ohio State legislature and trips to Jackson, Michigan to testify before the Michigan State legislature. Many of my weekends were spent attending or speaking at seminars on nutrition.
Betty and our six children also needed some of my time. We had children graduating from high school, entering college and graduating from college every year during this period. The beginning and ending of the college year and college vacation time is still pretty much of a blur to Betty and me. None of our children went to the same college. Much of (38 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
the time Betty would take off in one direction, and I would take off in the other to pick up, or deliver, whoever was in that direction. During this time, we also had the weddings of our oldest son and our oldest daughter.
For these reasons, I don't remember every newspaper or TV interview or even every television appearance. I would, however, like to tell you about a few which stand out in my memory.
There are some very intelligent newspaper and TV people out there. There are people like Alice Hornbaker from the Cincinnati Enquirer. There are people like the woman from the Akron-Canton area of Ohio, whose name I cannot remember. She had multiple sclerosis some years before and had managed, through good nutrition, to control her disease. In our interviews, both of these women understood what I meant by good nutrition and wrote excellent newspaper articles about how nutrition could help the cancer patient. There was a woman from one of the Dayton, Ohio television stations that had obviously done her homework on nutrition. My TV interview with her was delightful.
Then, there are the others. My first experience with "the other kind" was with a television station in Columbus, Ohio. This would have been in the Spring of 1977. The station had called and we had set an exact date and time for their interview. I had picked 1:00 P.M. because my office hours began at 2:00, and I figured that one hour would be sufficient time for the interview. The TV crew arrived thirty minutes late. On camera, I explained to the interviewer that Laetrile was not a miracle drug or a cancer vitamin or a cancer cure, but was just a small part of a total nutritional program. I explained that, while I could put into the body the nutritional ingredients that the body needed in order to allow its defense mechanisms to function, I had no way of knowing how efficiently that patient's body would use those nutritional ingredients. Thus, I said, I could not guarantee any patient anything. My only guarantee to the patient, I told her, was that I would do everything I could to get that patient into as good a nutritional shape as I possibly could in order to allow that patient's defense mechanisms to function as well as they possibly could.
By now, patients with 2:00 P.M. appointments were beginning to come into the office. Since we were doing the interview in my waiting room, I insisted that we move the interview to the sidewalk in front of my office. This was done. In watching the patients come into my office, the lady interviewer got the brilliant idea that the crew should film the patients in the treatment rooms while I was giving them their Laetrile injections. My reply was, "These are sick people. This is not a circus." This made her very unhappy, and she immediately concluded the interview.
Betty was there while all of this was going on. When we saw how the interview was presented on the 11:00 P.M. news that night, we were both flabbergasted. The lady interviewer did most of the talking. Nothing concerning the nutritional aspect of all of this, (39 of 78)7/12/2005 9:29:32 PM ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
which I had so carefully gone through, was shown or even mentioned. This lady (and, perhaps, I use the term loosely) ended by saying, in a voice-over, that Dr. Binzel guaranteed that he could cure any patient with cancer.
Very early the next morning I was on the phone to the station manager. When I was finally able to get through to him, his tone was, to say the least, haughty. He just didn't have time to see me. When I suggested that it would probably take less time to see me than it would be to see my attorney, he agreed to give me an appointment. This appointment was for two o'clock that afternoon.
When Betty and I arrived for the appointment, he could not have been nicer. It seems that people from the Ohio State Medical Board had been there that morning. They watched the tape of the interview. The truth was in the tape. He was kind enough to show us the entire tape. At the end, he said that he just did not know how this woman had been able to make such a statement. He apologized for what she had done. I accepted his apology but told him that I might, because of what his station had done, be in trouble with the State Medical Board. He assured me that, if this were the case, his station would be more than happy to pay for any legal expenses that I might incur and to compensate me for any inconvenience. I never heard from the Ohio State Medical Board about this TV interview.
Perhaps the weirdest of my experiences with the media happened with a young female reporter from a Dayton, Ohio newspaper. (I'm not trying to pick on you girls. It just happened that way.) She called and made an appointment for late one Friday afternoon in the summer of 1977. I spent about two hours with her explaining nutrition and how nutrition was important in the body's defense mechanisms. I discussed Laetrile and its role in good nutrition. There was nothing unusual about the entire interview. What was unusual was the article that appeared on the front page of that Dayton newspaper on Saturday morning. There was absolutely no similarity between the article and the interview of the previous day. The article quoted me as saying that Laetrile was a miracle drug and would cure anyone's cancer. How was I so sure that there was no similarity? Because I had long been in the habit of making a tape recording of all interviews.
Early Monday morning I called my long-time friend and family attorney, John Bath, and explained the situation to him. John recommended that I first call the editor of the paper and demand a retraction. He said, "If that doesn't work, and if your tape is what you say it is, you and I may end up owning that newspaper."


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