The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

“Natural Cures” Quack Kevin Trudeau in Big Court Trouble

Posted by mattusmaximus on February 13, 2010

Many times you’ll hear skeptics venting their spleens about this huckster or that charlatan and “How is it possible they’re allowed to get away with this crap?!”  One of the worst such pseudoscientific offenders in recent years has been “natural cures” quack Kevin Trudeau, who has used his infomercial sales pitches to convince countless people that he has a cure for cancer (he doesn’t) and that they shouldn’t trust modern, science-based medicine because “‘They’ don’t want you to know the truth”.  I think it would be reasonable to say that Trudeau has not only bilked people out of millions of dollars with his bogus “cures”, but in addition that his nonsensical anti-scientific conspiracy mongering has even gotten some people who believed him killed.

Well, now it seems that Trudeau has finally gone too far.  Recently he was in an Illinois federal court as the latest chapter in his long-running battle with the Federal Trade Commission, and he messed up, BIG time when he encouraged his followers to send emails to the judge.  Here’s the Chicago Tribune article on the matter…

Best-selling author and infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau was held in criminal contempt Thursday and threatened with jail after he urged visitors to his Web site to unleash a massive barrage of e-mails that crashed a federal judge’s computer in Chicago.

U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman’s computer became hopelessly clogged with e-mails from admirers of Trudeau’s diet book and other volumes, the judge told a hearing. Court technicians had to be called in to make his inbox usable again. Something similar happened to his BlackBerry, Gettleman said.

Gettleman has overseen Trudeau’s long-running legal battle with the Federal Trade Commission, which claims ads for Trudeau’s books offering cures for dozens of ailments — from faltering memory to hair loss — misrepresent the facts.

The judge said Trudeau urging the deluge of e-mails was harassment.

“The penalty I will impose will probably include some custody and a fine,” the calm, soft-spoken Gettleman said after holding Trudeau in direct criminal contempt. He ordered Trudeau to post a $50,000 bond and surrender his passport.

Gettleman said the glut of e-mails delayed court business and will force the U.S. Marshals Service to do a threat assessment.

Trudeau arrived in court voluntarily after Gettleman threatened to send marshals to bring him in. He sat silently through the hearing before being led away for fingerprinting and a mug shot.

Well, I think this is one case in which the charlatan is getting his just-desserts.  Of course, to Trudeau’s followers, this will likely be interpreted as more evidence of their “Big Pharma/Big Medicine/Big Government” conspiracy theory, and they will paint Trudeau as a martyr for the alt-med cause. Which is fine with me, so long as Trudeau is a martyr in jail.

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21 Responses to ““Natural Cures” Quack Kevin Trudeau in Big Court Trouble”

  1. I bought his book about natural cures. There wasn’t anything new that alternative medicine people haven’t already been talking about. He just recycles information and promises more if you visit his website for more information. When you reference his site, it only asks for money. After that experience, I can’t look at the guy without thinking “scam artist”.

    • chris said

      All info is recycled in one form or another unless its a straight up research magazine. keep digging.I got a collection of CDs for free from him. no strings attached. and it was great info. do the research and stop believing the media. when u cost corporate money they go after you. furthermore, if he was a true scam artist, he would be in jail!! no ifs and or butts. think about it and use common sense.

  2. j davis said

    Why this dangerous sociopath is walking around free is beyond my understanding. Let’s hope the FTC finds a way to shut Trudeau down forever and seize all of his ill gotten gains. Anyone who would believe anything this moron says has got to be a total idiot! Lock him up!!

  3. Magic Man said

    It is sad that America is the richest and SICKEST country in the world. It’s also sad that a lot of people think Kevin is a scam artist. The media is controlled by the drug companies. That is why you tend to see T.V. stations bashing him, calling him a scam artist, or snake oil salesman. I can tell you from personal experience, this man is amazing. If everyone started taking natural products, food, vitamins, clean (not tap) water, exercising, doing cleanses, eating food without chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizers, eating 100% organic fruits and vegetables, and stopped eating foods that are intentionally laced with chemicals that make you fatter, physically and chemically addicted to it, and increase your appetite, as well as stop taking all these pharmaceutical drugs that are toxic poisons, the drug companies would lose money and go out of business, because everyone would be putting nutrition into their body, and therefore NOT be sick. NOT need to take a pill every day, for the rest of their life. They would not have cancer. Animals in the wild don’t get cancer. They don’t need glasses because their vision doesn’t “mysteriously” go bad. Animals in the wild don’t get alzheimer’s, diabetes, fibromayalga, parkinson’s, arthritis, high blood pressure, etc. Doesn’t it make sense that food from the ground is what we need to be eating, as animals on this earth? We don’t need the chemicals they add in our food. We don’t need the “magic pills” they create in laboratories. I mean, what do you see when you turn on the T.V.? Drug ad after drug ad. Yet, most of the advertisement is filled with them telling you about all of the side affects. I’m surprised that ANTI-depressents can increase suicidal thoughts AND actions in children, teens, and young adults. Basically, everyone who takes it. Even after they stop taking it, they can experience these side effects. I can’t even force myself to want to have lower blood pressure, if that means that what I’m taking can cause deadly side effects. If it can kill me or cause so many nasty things to happen to my body, I definately don’t want to take it. If you want better sexual performance, you can get decreased or a total loss in hearing and vision from taking their magic pill that gives you better sexual performance. Ok, what are the side effects of 100% organic food? Hmm…I can’t think of any. Yet, they were on Earth before any pharmaceutical drug. We have been getting sicker and sicker, as a nation. We have also been consuming more prescription and non-prescription pills, than ever in history. Cavemen didn’t get diabetes, did they? Did they go to the local Walmart to get some drugs? Did they go buy some hand lotion, shampoo, hand sanitizer, tanning lotion, fingernail polish, makeup, cologne, filled with chemicals? No, they had natural food that came from the earth. Please, please read Kevin’s books. Go to http://www.ktradionetwork.com and listen to some of his archived radio shows. They are REALLY eye-opening. But, by far, the best thing I could recommend you to do is fork out a few dollars and purchase his C.D. series, “Your Wish Is Your Command.” It is the best secret I have ever learned in my life. I can apply this to get whatever I want and I want everyone else to have the same opportunity as I have. This is such a great C.D. series! You won’t get some key elements of the Law of Attraction from books like, “The Secret”, or “Think and Grow Rich.” Only on these C.D.’s, will you get the methods used by the most rich, famous, and successful people in the world. This is how they get very successful. It’s like having your own genie to grant your every wish. Thank you and please have a happy, healthy day! :)

    • mattusmaximus said

      The United States is the SICKEST country in the world? Really?!! You mean, even sicker than many sub-Saharan nations in Africa ravaged by HIV/AIDS to the point of an entire generation of children being essentially orphaned? Wow, I had no idea how bad off we had it – it’s going to suck living to an average age of 75-80.

      • chris said

        Yes, we are the sickest of developed countries! All this money, technology, education, etc.,and we have the most morbidly obese people in the world? Diabetes, heart disease, etc,etc. Using a third world country as your basis for argument is an epic failure. Furthermore, you need to learn about eugenics. You really don’t have any idea of what you are arguing against. You fight the battles that the powers that be present to you rather than doing your own research and digging deep. Follow the money.

    • UseYourNoodle said

      May I start in my response with a quote from our friend J Davis above:
      “Anyone who would believe anything this moron says has got to be a total idiot!”

      Now we begin:
      *A diet consisting of grass (I hope fertilized with feces from a variety species? Herbivore, Carnivore… Who cares? As long as it’s “organic”!).

      *Animals in the wild with no disease (I guess they live forever) and perfect vision too (I will tell that one to my friends the possums and armadillos).

      *Cavemen without diabetes (I don’t know, I have never met one, so how do you?).

      *Believing America is the sickest country in the world (Guess we should move to Sudan or even Europe for that matter, get real.).

      *Genies (No Comment).

      *Oh, I forgot that the person who will hopefully spend the rest of his time behind bars, both knows (and tells) the secrets of the most rich, famous, and successful people in the world (people who wouldn’t give this liar the time of day because he IS a snake oil salesman). “Everyone” can do it with little effort… ITS EASY! Hard work means nothing (tell the majority of those successful people that and you will hear more than one laugh, I assure you). But then again, I guess it depends on how gullible your followers are, as you have just proven.

      All I can say is wow, it does sound like a good book (note the sarcasm if you haven’t already).

      I still think Star Wars is better — and who needs audio CD’s… I can’t get that on DVD. I’d rather give my money to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg anyway. At least they are honest in promoting it as “science fiction” and for entertainment only.

      I wasn’t going waste my valuable time in a reply, but there is just too much ignorance in that comment to keep quiet. It is called “critical thinking”, though you may need to start with the basics, “logic”. It will serve you well, I promise.

      • chris said

        I’ll just say that they can tell which diseases proliferated, were or weren’t present, in cavemen and Egypt. You really need to become more educated. You don’t know what you don’t know. Keep studying and stop believing in what you think you know without doing any solid research.

  4. UserYourNoodle said

    My above post was sarcastic, but this is a serious matter and I should have abstained from it.

    I actually hadn’t seen much about this guy in particular, though I did see his books in stores (just recognized his face from the pictures on the covers). It is totally sad that so many people are falling for what this guy (and so many other alt-meds say). Coming out of the medical field I have seen way too many people hurt or die from this pseudoscience. All this alt-med talk about conspiracy, etc. Give me a break, it is the group pointing the finger that is playing so many people and goes about unregulated!

    A visit to that guys website shows how insane and ridiculous these claims are, but just as important, how much profit these organizations make. Their income easily rivals anyone they are pointing fingers at, I assure you. If it is less, they don’t have as much overhead so it evens out. They have much more of a potential, to con, cheat and steal with no set regulations or certifications to maintain.

    From parents delaying medical treatment for their kids (who then end up suffering for life, literally) to others just avoiding medicine all together. There is so much sickness and death from that alone it is truly heart wrenching — and I have seen it firsthand.

    The sad thing is that almost everyone I met in the medical field truly cares about their patients, etc. and that is why we do/did our job everyday in some rough conditions and many a rough patient. Talk like this is a direct insult to health care workers across the world and it makes me sick.

  5. tony said

    wow – i’m guessing you won’t let this comment through either as this seems to be one of those ‘don’t mess with our AMA clubs’ sites.. you do realize karma will bite you in the ass some day..

    • mattusmaximus said

      Oops! It seems your comment got through :)

      I have no problem allowing people to make idiots of themselves on the comment section of my blog.

  6. tony said

    wow.. and name calling also.. par for the course for hard headed ama members..

  7. J Davis said

    Anytime anybody posts the truth about Trudeau and his criminal scams the ‘Trudeaubots’ show up en masse and start their paranoid nonsense about how the big bad evil government is out to get Trudeau. In fact Trudeau can be seen whining like a little girl in some of his infomercials about how he is being ‘persecuted.’ There are hundreds of complaints from people who have been duped into ordering his ‘books’ things like unauthorized credit card charges, unwanted calls from telemarketers and an email inbox full of span. (Trudeau sell the information of people who order his ‘books’) If it comes to a choice between a twice convicted fraudster and sociopath and a doctor who has invested large amounts of time and money getting a proper education, I’ll take the doctor every time. I look forward to the day when the FTC will be able to put Trudeau in prison where he belongs and seize his ill gotten assets for consumer redress!

    • chris said

      I suggest you go google Dr. Butar Scam, and you’ll think beyond a shadow of a doubt this man is a quack. THEN, go to his website and read the court documents,the transcriptions, 20 pages at least, and you will be educated as to how people can be persecuted and made to look like a scammer/quack. Do some actual research rather than getting your info for hearsay.

  8. Wayne said

    I don’t understand all these attacks on Trudeau. They’re all so emotional and ad hominem. That’s a huge red flag that the people doing the attack have been intellectually defeated, so they’ve gone to other tactics to ‘win’ an argument.

    All I know is that I’ve read Mr. Trudeau’s books, found that much of the information in the ‘cures’ category are supported by ‘mainstream’ medicine, and that his suggestions on hypertension and pre-diabetes have helped me tremendously. Using only his suggestions I have personally avoided pharmaceuticals and improved the results of my blood work and blood pressure.

    All of the facts that he presents are factual. It’s his opinions that get him in trouble with powerful special interests. If he said “it’s a shame that pharmaceuticals have so many side effects, I guess they’re unavoidable” he would be fine. Instead he says “it’s a shame that pharmaceuticals have so many side effects, I think it’s by design to keep you sick and buying more drugs”. Either way, if you or anyone else cannot tell the difference between a statement of fact (for example – some arthritis drugs have the side effect of death printed right on the label) and a statement of opinion (that these billionaires are capable and intelligent people who do things intentionally rather than bumbling idiots stumbling through life with all sorts of unintended consequences) then the reader is at fault for criminal stupidity. Either way, Mr. Trudeau has done nothing to warrant being charged with a crime.

    • Mike V said

      Weight Loss Infomercial Pitchman Kevin Trudeau Convicted of Criminal Contempt
      U.S. Attorney’s Office November 12, 2013

      Northern District of Illinois

      CHICAGO―Author and television pitchman Kevin Trudeau was convicted today of criminal contempt for violating a 2004 federal court order that prohibits him from making deceptive television infomercials that misrepresent the contents of his weight loss cure book. A federal jury deliberated approximately an hour after a week-long trial in U.S. District Court.

      Trudeau, 50, of Oak Brook, had his bond revoked, and he was ordered taken into custody by U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman, who set a schedule for post-trial motions but no sentencing date.

      Criminal contempt has no statutory maximum sentence. The Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

      The guilty verdict was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Tony Gómez, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago; and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

      According to the evidence at trial, Trudeau appeared in three television infomercials between December 2006 and November 2007 in which he willfully misrepresented the contents of his book The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About. In April 2010, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman issued an order to show cause why Trudeau should not be held in criminal contempt of a September 2, 2004 settlement in which Trudeau agreed not to directly or indirectly produce and broadcast any deceptive infomercials that misrepresented the contents of any book, including the weight loss cure book. (Federal Trade Commission v. Trudeau, No. 03 C 3904.)

      In closing arguments today, prosecutors listed a litany of blatant lies and misrepresentations made by Trudeau in his infomercials. These included his claims that his book was not a “diet,” when in fact it required at least three weeks of eating 500 calories or less a day, and that a hormone found only in pregnant women that was required to be injected daily could be obtained “anywhere,” when in fact it could be obtained in the United States only through a doctor’s prescription. He also claimed that after finishing the diet, consumers could eat anything they wanted without regaining weight, when in fact the diet required severe food deprivation that lasts for life.

      The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys April Perry and Marc Krickbaum.

  9. J Davis said

    Trudeau has as much credibility as a doctor who tells you that you can get the clap from toilet seats! Only a total idiot would believe this ex con and full blown sociopath!

  10. windyspirit said

    I have to laugh at this site. You spew garbage about Trudeau while all the big pharma drugs are advertised here. Who pays you to spew this out?

    • I have read a lot of the comments and I agree with both sides but both sides are a tad over stated.
      I know him personally and his arrogance is what gets him in trouble. He is extremely outspoken beyond the extent needed. He is in deep trouble currently, money laundering charges pending…….again for ignoring the laws in us- and yes they are knocking on the door cuz KT is arrogant and feels he is above the law.

      So yes his books and very educated background in natural medicine can be helpful but falling into his GIN “club” can be questionable……….

  11. Stella said

    Many claim he shall not achieve it with an attitude like this so the people struck him off and went on with their agenda.

  12. […] few years ago, I wrote a blog post about that most infamous of anti-medical charlatans, Kevin Trudeau, and how he was doing all that […]

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