For those of you who haven’t read my last blog, this is actually a continuation of my research on alternative cancer practitioner Dr. William Kelley. In my last my blog, I did my best to summarize his quite elaborate cancer protocol and the success he had with treating cancer. Dr. Kelley claimed a 93% success rate for patients who came to him first (not after chemo, radiation, surgery). He also claimed a fairly high success rate for those given 3 months to live at a slightly better than 50% chance. For those with less than 3 months to live he claimed a 25-35% chance of survival. In total, Dr. Kelley and his practitioners treated over a whopping 33,000 patients. Dr. Kelley’s success with pancreatic cancer, the most deadly of all cancers, was especially striking (I will give details later).
The obvious question must be asked, “Why have most people never heard of Dr. William Kelley?” Until about 4 months ago I had never heard of him. Surely if his treatments are truly as successful as Dr. Kelley claimed, then all cancer centres in the world would have his treatment as an option at the very least. Conversely one might also say, “Anyone can claim these type of success rates, it is quite another thing to have his medical records thoroughly investigated and have his treatments properly tested.” This is a very valid statement, as our world has produced no shortage of “snake oil salesmen”. Individuals who for whatever reason could not make a legitimate living and therefore resorted to fraud or number-fudging to sell their quacky supplements.
So, does Dr. Kelley bear the signs of a snake oil quack or maligned genius who has never been given his proper due? I would like to challenge you, my reader, to reserve judgement on Dr. Kelley until you have heard a sufficient amount of information from all angles. Do not rely on Wikipedia’s brief examination or a single study quoted from a quackwatch site. As Oscar Wilde states,”the truth is rarely pure, and never simple“. Truth, many times, is a hard thing to find, especially when powerful establishments in our medical community have monopolies setup which bring in billions of $$$$. These establishments do not take kindly to anyone cutting into their bottom line. I realize some may find this a bold accusation, but to me this is an inevitable conclusion to the serious student of alternative cancer practitioners, and alternative healthcare practitioners in general. We would do well to heed the advice of American founding father Thomas Jefferson,
“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take,
their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls who live under tyranny.” — Thomas Jefferson
As you may have gathered, my opinion on Dr. Kelley is no secret. In this blog I will serve as a type of lawyer presenting his case to you, my jury. In my last blog I explained his protocol, in this blog I will try to answer this question, is his protocol credible? Again, I will remind you, that up until 4 months ago, I had never heard of Dr. Kelley, and I have nothing to gain in his promotion. I am simply a man searching for truth in the fight against one of humanity’s greatest enemies, cancer. When I come across a truthbreakdown that is purposely being suppressed and at the same time leaves many lives in the balance, my blood starts to boil. I will try to keep this boil under control as I write, but it may leak out from time to time.
Does Dr. Kelley bear the earmarks of a Snake Oil Salesman?
The Lack of Success Test
One of the signs to look for in a quack is someone who has not been able to make it successfully in real life pursuits (education, business). If someone can honestly and legally earn a pretty good “coin”, why would they resort to quackery? Charlatans generally get desperate and therefore resort to deception. Does this fit Dr. Kelley? Dr. Kelley had a Masters in Science (M.S.) degree as well as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S). According to the American Dental Association the average salary for a Dental Specialist, which someone with a D.D.S. would be, in 2004 was about $315,000/year. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor, the average salary of an othodontist in 2008 was $195,000 and an established practice can see a net income of at least $400,000-500,000/year. I could not find any specifics about Dr. Kelley’s salary as a Dental Surgeon/Othodontist, but the reports say he had a thriving practice in Dallas. However you slice it, it appears Dr. Kelley had no problem making an honest living and most likely a well-to-do one. I see no reason from a financial perspective for him to resort to quackery.
It is true that Dr. Kelley had financial difficulties late in his life, but this was decades after his first cancer therapy treatments. These difficulties were multi-causal. In 1976 the dental board of Texas suspended his dental license for 5 years because he persisted on doing “non-dental” cancer therapy. In addition to this, according to an article by Dr. Gonzalez in the Townsend letter,
“he had become burnt out by years of hard work with the very sick, and by the relentless harassment by regulatory agencies, the conventional medical world at large, and the media. To make matters worse, his practice had never really recovered from the attacks brought on by his involvement with McQueen, so financially he was in terrible shape.”
The medical elite were truly “relentless” in making sure Dr. Kelley’s work did not see the light of day. They blamed Dr. Kelley for the death of Steve McQueen. According to Dr. Kelley, Steve McQueen was murdered by someone posing as a physician who injected him with a blood clotting agent. Whether this is true or not will probably never be known for sure, but even if Steve McQueen did die in Dr. Kelley’s care with advanced mesothelioma cancer, does Dr. Kelly deserve all the harassment he endured from the media and the medical elite? Conventional oncologists have no cure for this type of cancer and McQueen was given no hope by his own oncologists. If every oncologist received the harassment that Dr. Kelley endured for losing a terminal cancer patient, would there be any oncologists left? It is clearly not a level playing field.
To get a feel for what Dr. Kelley endured, listen to what he wrote in his book “One Answer to Cancer”,
“I was a most serious threat to their $100 Billion a year Industry. These lawless Establishment Devils went to work and:
- Poisoned (food) me 3 times to the point of Grand Mall Seizures 3-4 times a week for 14 Months;
- Tried to shoot me once during this time;
- Sent the usual IRS agents to do me in;
- Bought off and bribed my Lawyer and Accountant;
- Set up a take over of the Kelley organization by employees and wife (standard Establishment procedure);
- Offered Kelley $500,000.00 to kill a counselee;
- Caused a vitamin manufacturer of supplements Kelley often used to take all active ingredients out of Kelley Program Supplements.”
You’re probably saying, come on Brent, Dr. Kelley is clearly a paranoid schitzo. If this was simply an isolated incident, I may agree with you. But having heard similar stories like this many times, it actually doesn’t surprise me. Dr. Max Gerson, according to his daughter Chalotte, was poisoned with arsenic. Dr. Gerson, verified this himself by testing his urine. Here is a statement from Charlotte,
“Dr. Gerson had a somewhat low blood pressure and enjoyed one cup of coffee in the afternoon. He noted at one point that every evening, after having coffee served at his office, that he had violent cramps and diarrheas. He stopped taking this coffee but a subsequent 24-hour urine collection showed that he excreted arsenic! He did not die immediately; however this weakened him considerably and he subsequently contracted a viral lung infection that killed him.”
You would expect a snake oil salesman to be profiting from his quackery. Dr. Kelley’s practice of cancer therapy did the exact opposite. He lost his once thriving Dental practice, his marriage fell apart, and basically had a mental breakdown late in life. To me, this shows that Dr. Kelley was in the cancer game for the right reasons. He successfully cured himself of the most deadly type of cancer, pancreatic, and he wanted to “pay it forward” regardless of the personal cost to himself. If you really think about it, if Dr. Kelley was able to cure himself of pancreatic cancer, and he clearly had a strong educational background in science (M.S. and D.D.S. degree), does it make any logical sense for him to have received all this backlash? If the medical elite are truly interested in the advancement of finding a cancer cure, should not there be some room for experimentation with someone like Dr. Kelley? What is the medical elite so afraid of? Is it really the health of cancer patients? Let’s not be naive, the main reason why the medical elite gets so vociferously upset with alternative cancer practitioners like Dr. Kelley, is $$$$$$!! Dr. Kelley paid a hefty price for his “against the grain” cancer therapy.
This reminds me of the movie “Flash of Genius” starring Greg Kinnear. Kinnear, portraying David Kearns, took on the Detroit automakers to keep his rights to his invention of the intermittent windshield wiper. He lost his marriage and endured many years of turmoil as a result of his fight with Big Auto. Eventually Kearns won his battle, but he paid a heavy price for this. Only time will tell whether Dr. Kelley will ever receive his proper due.
As a whole, I feel Dr. Kelley passes the financial gain snake oil test.
The Hiding Out Test
You would expect someone peddling quackery would want to stay “under the radar”. If you can get a good quack business going, you want to keep it going by not exposing it rigorous testing or evaluation. If what you are peddling has no real value, you will be exposed, and say goodbye to your little venture. Does this match Dr. Kelley?
After Dr. Kelley successfully beat his own pancreatic cancer (that alone should make every oncologist stand up and listen) he began treating others. Once realizing his protocol was proving successful with others, Dr. Kelley wanted to investigate “mainstreaming” his protocol. Dr Gonzalez notes from one of first meetings with Dr. Kelley,
“At this point in his life, Kelley said, he only wanted the chance to have his regimen appropriately and fairly evaluated in clinical trials.”
Dr. Gonzalez, as a 2nd year med student at Cornell University in New York in 1981, never knew Dr. Kelley or had any connection to him. During this time, because of the McQueen incident, a friend of Dr. Gonzalez took an interest in Dr. Kelley. Prior to entering medical school, Dr. Gonzalez had spent 7 years in journalism, and this friend encouraged Dr. Gonzalez to investigate this “alternative cancer practitioner” and possibly write a book about him. Dr. Gonzalez took on this challenge under the supervision of Dr. Robert A. Good M.D. PhD of the Sloan-Kettering Institute of Cancer Research. Dr. Good was internationally known as the father of “modern immunology”, and according to Dr. Gonzalez he was “the most published author in the history of medicine.” Dr. Good appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1973 because of his work in immunology, the thymus gland, and bone marrow transplants. To me, having a young, energetic, and unbiased med student like Dr. Gonzalez take on this investigation of Dr. Kelley, under the direction of a world renown doctor like Dr. Good, sets a very credible foundation.
Dr. Good, even with all his conventional medical accolades, had an open mind to the possibilities in someone like Dr. Kelley. Dr. Gonzalez remembers Dr. Good saying,
“as a scientist, one must always look beyond the tried and true for the next new advance.”
Dr. Kelley, himself, was very excited to have someone of Dr. Good’s stature consider investigating his protocols. Dr. Kelley surmised that he would finally be given a fair shake. Dr. Gonzalez felt that whatever the result of his investigation, it would be enlightening. Dr. Good, himself, gave this advice to Dr. Gonzalez,
“even if Dr. Kelley turned out to be a total charlatan, I would learn a lot of medicine by going down to Dallas to sort out what was going on in his office. A student always learns best, he said, when pursuing a project of his own devising, rather than an assignment picked by someone else.”
As you may have gathered by now, Dr. Gonzalez not only found much promise in Dr. Kelley’s cancer protocol, but he now is the foremost practitioner of Dr. Kelley’s protocol today. This reminds me of the story of the former atheist and editor of the Chicago Tribune, Lee Strobel, who began a search into the tenets of christianity to prove its fallacy. After a thorough investigation, Lee reached the opposite conclusion. Now Lee is one of the leading christian apologists in the world today.
If Dr.Kelley was knowingly practicing a snake oil cancer therapy, would he really want a young whipper-snapper like Dr. Gonzalez under the direction of world renown doctor Dr. Good, taking a close look at his patient’s medical records? Highly unlikely. Dr. Kelley clearly felt his cancer therapy had sufficient merit to be willing to submit his records to this scrutiny. Dr. Kelley actually was very excited to have this investigation take place.
This not what you would expect from a snake oil salesman, so I say Dr. Kelley passes the hiding out test.
The Medical Records Test
There are 2 aspects to this test.
First, you would not expect a charlatan to keep a good record of his practice for the possibility of a possible investigation. As in the Watergate Scandal with president Richard Nixon, chief of staff H. R. Haldeman was supposed to “burn the tapes” to erase the evidence. For a snake oil salesman, the only real need for records to be kept would be for billing purposes, not for the proper medical evaluation of their patient’s progress.
Second, you would not expect a snake oil therapy to be producing good results upon investigation. Interviewing patients directly who were under Dr. Kelley’s care should have shown a clear lack of positive feedback. As well, I think I have sufficiently shown that Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Good had no special bias toward Dr. Kelley to fudge their investigation. Dr. Good, especially, would not want his good name tarnished. Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Good had really nothing to gain and potentially lots to lose by investigating Dr. Kelley. Proving Dr. Kelley to be a charlatan would have made a good book and would have definitely received accolades from the medical elite.
So what did Dr. Gonzalez uncover?
For about 5 years, from 1982 to 1986, Dr. Gonzalez was able to spend a considerable amount of time scouring over Dr. Kelley’s medical records and interviewing patients. Eventually Dr. Gonzalez wrote a summary manuscript of his findings, which has now been published as a book called “One Man Alone”. Dr. Gonzalez comments on his first initial findings,
” Kelley, as promised, opened his patient files to me without hesitation. I spent many hours each succeeding day poring over his records, and what I found I thought was quite remarkable: patient after patient with properly diagnosed advanced cancer, including pancreatic carcinoma, who had done well under Kelley’s care, either in terms of disease regression or significantly prolonged survival.”
Over the course of Dr. Gonzalez’s 5 year investigation (which was clearly not rushed), he reviewed over 10,000 patient records and interviewed over 1000 of Dr. Kelley’s patients with a special focus on a group of 455 of them who had done particularly well on his protocol. He then summarized a detailed list of 50 case reports representing 26 different types of cancer. Dr. Gonzalez was in continual consultation with Dr. Good to ensure proper execution of his investigation. This was clearly a thorough, non-haphazard approach. In a letter to Dr. Good, Dr. Gonzalez wrote,
“I found these results, particularly for pancreatic, quite intriguing. His overall survival rate for all cancer in this first group is 93% – and as I have found going through Dr. Kelley’s records, virtually all of his patients have advanced disease. Many have come to him because no further conventional treatment could be offered.”
So as you can see, the Dr. Kelley’s claim of a 93% success rate was also independently verified by Dr. Gonzalez. As you can also see, Dr. Gonzalez was particularly intrigued with Dr. Kelley’s success with pancreatic cancer. Dr. Kelley was able to reproduce similar results to his own personal success with pancreatic cancer. Dr. Good was also keenly interested in any records that showed success with metastatic pancreatic carcinoma (pancreatic cancer). Dr. Good told Dr. Gonzalez,
“if I could find even one patient diagnosed with the disease (pancreatic cancer) who had lived five years on this nutritional regimen, he would be impressed, since to his knowledge no one else in medicine anywhere had such a case.”
Even the late former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, with all his financial resources and high level intelligence could not beat pancreatic cancer with the most advanced present day therapies. According to the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) the 5 year survival rate between 1950-1995 of someone with pancreatic cancer is a measly 3%.
Dr. Gonzalez was able to identify 22 cases of Dr. Kelley’s patients with pancreatic cancer who had consulted Dr. Kelley between 1974-1982. Of the 22 cases, 10 of them had not followed Dr. Kelley’s protocol for a single day. All of these 10 were now deceased and had an average survival of 63 days. They were encouraged by their doctors and family members to give up on this “unconventional approach”.
As an aside, were any of these doctors or family members held accountable for this advice? I think you know the answer to that one. The only ones ever held accountable for advice which leads to death are “alternative practitioners”. On top of that, why would a doctor recommend a change in protocol if conventional medicine only has a 3% success rate or less with pancreatic cancer. Of all the types of cancer, doctors should be the most open-minded toward pancreatic, but it is clear that years of anti-alternative indoctrination becomes an almost insurmountable wall to cross.
Dr. Gonzalez also identified a group of 7 pancreatic cancer patients who partially followed Dr. Kelley’s protocol. With this group some had followed Dr. Kelley’s protocol anywhere from 4 weeks to 13 months. Of these 7 patients, all were now deceased and the average survival increased to 302 days. Dr. Gonzalez noted that this was longer than would be expected as the average life expectancy is anywhere from 3-6 months. He also found that these individuals also received a lot of pressure from doctors and family members to give up on the protocol.
The final group Dr. Gonzalez identified were 5 patients who had fully complied with Dr. Kelley’s protocol. By the time Dr. Gonzalez had completed his study, all 5 of these patients were still alive and had an average mean survival of over 8 years!! Dr. Kelley’s personal success with pancreatic cancer was remarkable enough, but then to have 5 of his patients beat it as well was truly astounding. In actuality, this surmounted to a 100% success rate for those who fully followed Dr. Kelley’s protocol. A sample of 5 patients may be too small to authoritatively announce to the world about 100% success rate with pancreatic cancer, but as Dr. Good originally stated, he would be impressed with even a single successful case report of a 5 year survival of pancreatic cancer.
Now with Dr. Gonzalez having reviewed Dr. Kelley’s patient records very thoroughly, one would expect that his final manuscript would be applauded and well-circulated. Dr. Gonzalez said that at the time of his manuscript completion,
“Dr. Good no longer had the financing, the resources, or the power base that would have allowed for further laboratory and clinical studies under his tutelage. “
Given this fact, Dr. Good recommended that Dr. Gonzalez’s next best option was to get his manuscript published in book form for an eventual peer-review process. Dr. Gonzalez tried intently on doing precisely that, but he strangely didn’t get the response he was looking for. He noted,
“over the next year, no publisher, either trade or scientific, agreed to back the book, nor would any medical journal consider excerpting portions, even a case report or two. Some editors just didn’t believe that the records could be real, that an unconventional nutritional therapy could reverse advanced cancer. Others accepted the data as legitimate, but thought that the book would generate so much controversy that it might jeopardize their careers .”
Dr. Gonzalez began to realize that “alternative cancer therapies”, not matter how successful they are, are not treated on a level playing field. Dr. Good finally recommended a personal friend of his for whom he felt would give Dr. Gonzalez a fair analysis of his manuscript. Ironically, even this personal friend of Dr. Good reacted quite vociferously to the manuscript. He even accused Dr. Good of being “hoodwinked by a scam artist”. This shocked Dr. Good quite deeply and had a clear detrimental impact to Dr. Good’s continued support of Dr. Kelley or Dr. Gonzalez.
Just when Dr. Gonzalez began giving up any hope of getting his manuscript supported by mainstream medicine, in 1987 the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) began an investigation into Dr. Gonzalez’s manuscript. He and Dr. Kelley thought this was a promising development. In the meantime, news of this manuscript began to popularize in alternative circles and even in Japanese conventional circles. Dr. Atkins, the famous diet doctor, even interviewed Dr. Gonzalez on his radio show.
When the OTA finally came out with its report in 1990, it was strangely condemning by focusing on Dr. Kelley’s legal troubles rather than the data Dr. Gonzalez had collected. It became a character assassination rather than a fair examination of the data. I have seen a similar state of affairs in my research on the creation/evolution debate. Instead of the arguments being based on the actual evidence, the evolutionary establishment resorts to name-calling and character demeanor. “You’re stupid” is a common quote you hear which clearly denigrates the integrity of proper scientific investigation. Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled” gives a good commentary on this controversial topic.
With all this negative feedback and continuous harassment, Dr. Kelley himself began to breakdown. He began to even accuse Dr. Good and Dr. Gonzalez for colluding with the establishment against him. In 1995, even the prolific Dr. Good began to separate himself from this assault by stating in an interview that the patients in Gonzalez’s study “didn’t have cancer”. Dr. Gonzalez felt he was hung out to dry by Dr. Good. After all, Dr. Good had earlier reviewed and approved all the cases in the manuscript. This goes to show you how effective the establishment can be at pressuring even to the most prestigious of medical doctors who go against the grain.
Dr. Gonzalez, quite bewildered when looking back on the history of his 22-year-old manuscript states,
” It has been the subject of a misguided federal review, thrown across a Congressional hearing room, discussed at length in a Japanese book, litigated in a Pennsylvania courtroom, debated on national TV, and described in the pages of the erudite New Yorker. It has been lauded as a major breakthrough against cancer, dismissed as inconsequential, and despised as dangerous quackery.”
Thrown across a Congressional hearing room? For a manuscript that is simply a collection of data. For whatever reason, alternative cancer therapies create a very odd emotional response that goes well beyond the realm of logic. From my research of many other alternative cancer practitioners, I have found that this is not an isolated incident limited to Dr. Kelley and Dr. Gonzalez. After awhile it becomes almost predictable. For those curious about this issue, I would encourage you to check out this webpage http://www.whale.to/a/persecuted_doc_h.html on persecuted doctors.
So does Dr. Kelley pass the Medical records test of snake oil salesman?
He clearly had no reservation whatsoever allowing Dr. Gonzalez and
Dr. Good to examine his patient records. How many doctors can attest
to having a complete list of over 10,000 patient records? It was clearly a priority to Dr. Kelley to maintain accurate medical records for a variety of reasons. Dr. Gonzalez commented in a youtube video that no one cared more about his patients than Dr. Kelley. It was his mission to see them get well. Dr. Gonzalez from start to finish was very impressed with the sheer volume of Dr. Kelley’s patient files, not to mention the success he found upon reviewing them. Dr. Gonzalez was able to interview patients and therefore confirm the efficacy of the actual records. His investigation agreed with Dr. Kelley’s claims of a 93% success rate and the exceptional success Dr. Kelley had with pancreatic cancer patients.
If you trust that Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Good were capable of researching Dr. Kelley without bias, then I feel that it can be safely stated that Dr. Kelley passes the Medical Report test. There is no record that I’ve found that Dr. Gonzalez or Dr. Good had anything to gain from Dr. Kelley’s promotion, in fact both of them received unfair accusations and condemnation for having studied Dr. Kelley.
The Verdict is in
As a whole, I feel I have sufficiently proven, using 3 common tests of quackery, that Dr. Kelley simply does not fit the bill as a charlatan. He clearly was not in the cancer game for financial gain as he was already a successful othodontist and his cancer practice actually ruined him financially and personally. He never hid his therapy from investigation and he actually greatly desired his cancer protocol to be properly evaluated. He kept meticulous patient records which were independently verified by Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Good. These same doctors also verified Dr. Kelley’s success rate claims. Dr. Kelley passed and surpassed all tests directed at him. It is actually quite shameful how the medical establishment, the media, and the government treated this great man who saved so many sick people. Testimony after testimony after testimony. It would be well worth reading some of those testimonies for yourself.
The medical establishment terms testimonies as “anecdotal evidence” and basically gives some credence it. At the same time anecdotal evidence is considered quite inferior to evidence based on “studies”. Studies are generally multi-million dollar ventures which are controlled to test whether anecdotal evidence is reproducible in a controlled environment. Unfortunately, Dr. Kelley’s dream was never fulfilled as he was never given the opportunity to complete clinical studies in a controlled study. Finding funding and the medical will to complete this evaluation simply never happened, and I think that is strangely odd considering the success that Dr. Gonzalez uncovered.
I believe the success that Dr. Kelley achieved with his cancer therapy was not only due to his uncovering of Dr. Beard, Dr. Gerson, and Dr. Howell’s theories, but also his superior intellect which allowed him to adjust to patients who needed more personal direction when the standard theories did not work for everyone. His open-mindedness and flexibility allowed him to look outside the box and customize his treatments to the individual. This may be one of reasons why his stats are difficult to reproduce even when following his protocol as most health professionals do not have Dr. Kelley’s intellectual adaptability. For those 33,000 patients who were fortunate enough to receive treatments from Dr. Kelley, they witnessed a bright light that humanity has produced in a rare supply. Hopefully, history will remember Dr. Kelley fondly by his cancer protocol becoming more widely recognized. Dr. Gonzalez, even though his relationship soured with Dr. Kelley as Dr. Kelley had a mental breakdown later on in life, summarized the life of his mentor,
“In my estimation, Kelley, in his scientific thinking, was light years ahead of the rest of us, both orthodox and alternative. He deserves our respect for his accomplishments, for his trials and severe tribulations, and our forgiveness for his foibles. Someday, I believe his thoughts about the nature of cancer and human disease will become the foundation of a new medicine, not merely a fringe footnote, and the world will remember him at that time with well deserved appreciation. For now, let’s remember him kindly, with gratitude for what he did and what he tried to do.”
For those of you who have done your own research on Dr. Kelley and Dr. Gonzalez, you have probably come across a study by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Center (NCCAM) which is widely quoted throughout the internet which supposedly settles that chemotherapy is 3 times more effective than Dr. Gonzalez’s nutritional enzyme treatment. Because this study is actually based own Dr. Gonzalez’s own practice of cancer therapy and not directly of Dr. Kelley own practice, I will save a discussion of this for my next blog. And trust me, this study requires some discussion as it is a prime example of how a conflict of interest can wildly skew the actual results and that not all studies are created equal.