Published January 13, 2015
This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 10, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Unresolved Problem" segment tonight, protecting your health. Many of us want to be proactive in warding off disease and physical deterioration. A best-selling book called "Natural Cures They Don't Want You to Know About" plays into that mindset by using an infomercial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN TRUDEAU, AUTHOR: "They" in this case are really several government agencies, U.S. government agencies and other agencies around the world, and the drug industry primarily. But also it involves the food industry.
There are certain groups, including government agencies, as well as the food industry, the drug industry, and even some news and television and newspaper organizations, that don't want people to know about cures for diseases that are all natural because people can't make money on all- natural cures.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now the pitchman you just saw there and author of the book, Kevin Trudeau, was supposed to be here this evening but isn't. Some kind of foul-up. We're not exactly sure what that was.
But joining us from Chicago is his attorney, David Bradford, and from Boston, a critic of the book, Christopher Dreher from Salon.com.
CHRISTOPHER DREHER, SALON.COM: Yes?
O'REILLY: ... is this total fraud in your opinion, or is it just some mistakes? Or what's going on?
DREHER: It's more than a matter of just a few mistakes. Basically, Kevin Trudeau has a long history of run-ins with government agencies about lying in the products that he's selling.
In fact he was the first person ever banned from being in infomercials to sell products or services. The one exception there was he could sell a book, which he's gone on and done.
He's used the same techniques and the same ideas that he used to sell other products that were just completely untrue, to sell the book and obviously, very successfully.
O'REILLY: Yes, he sold a million and a half copies. But I need you to tell me what you object to in the book. We know that Mr. Trudeau served time in prison for credit card fraud.
O'REILLY: It's on his sheet. He admits it and says he made a mistake, says he's a law-abiding citizen now. But you know, a million and a half copies. A lot of folks buying the book. What's wrong with the book?
DREHER: Well, specifically, in the book there aren't natural cures in there. I mean, there are a few who are talking about pretty much common knowledge solutions and things like colds and things like that. You're not going to get any cure for cancer in this. There's no cure for any serious illness.
Most of it, for example, is his advice, you know, ranging from -- he says don't use deodorant. Don't antiperspirant. Don't...
O'REILLY: Yes, his philosophy, because I've read the book, is don't put anything on your body you wouldn't eat. So he doesn't say don't use deodorant. He said don't use Right Guard. Or don't use the others, because they have chemicals. Use a natural deodorant.
But to me, you know, I mean, natural, that sounds good. I don't know how it works or not.
But let me get to you, counselor. I mean, I don't want you to sit there lonely here. It is true that Trudeau has a very shady past. And why should we believe him now when he's saying, for example, the cure for colds is green papaya extract, enzymes, raw ginger, crocodile protein peptide. And I don't know how you get that. But if you have to wrestle a crocodile, I'd rather have the cold. You know what I'm talking about?
DAVID BRADFORD, ATTORNEY FOR KEVIN TRUDEAU: Sure. First of all he's never been found guilty of false advertising. He has been investigated, regulated, scrutinized like nobody else in America, because he is so critical of the government. And he has never, ever been adjudicated...
O'REILLY: All right. But the Federal Trade Commission bans Trudeau from the air waves last year in an attempt to, quote, "shut down an infomercial empire that has misled American consumers for years." I mean, that's what the FTC says. So I don't think we can put a happy face on that, can we?
BRADFORD: In fact, Mr. Trudeau agreed not to make sales of products through infomercials because he wants people to know he has no vested interest, no financial stake in any product, any program, any service that he discusses. And he's the one man who we all know has no financial incentive to steer people one way or another and can be a true objective consumer advocate.
O'REILLY: OK. But he's putting himself up -- he's putting himself up as a medical expert.
For example, natural cure for tumors, and tumors, this is serious business now, a tumor. He says hydrogen peroxide therapy, ozone therapy, flax seed oil mixed with protein, shark cartilage. Again, do I have to wrestle a shark?
I'm worried about it. I'm just worried that people might buy into this if they have a tumor and wind up dead. Mr. Dreher?
DREHER: I mean, that's really the crux of a real serious problem with this book. I mean, when Kevin Trudeau is selling things like Sable's Hair Farming System or whatever, where they said that, you know, you put on whatever, the serum, and suddenly the hair sprouts back. And in six months you'll have a full head of hair for the rest of your life. I mean, you know, it's obviously false.
In this case we're talking about issues where people's health is, you know, in the balance. And my concern, really, I think everyone's concern should be that people are actually going to follow some of his advice.
O'REILLY: Well, that is my concern, too. Now, Mr. Bradford...
BRADFORD: If I might respond to that. He says...
O'REILLY: Go ahead. But I have a question for you as well. But go ahead.
BRADFORD: But right up front in the book the first he says is "I'm not a doctor. Don't do anything I tell you without seeking a licensed health care professional."
DREHER: He's required to say that. He's required to say that.
BRADFORD: Let me finish if I might. He says it repeatedly, not just once but dozens and dozens of times throughout the book.
O'REILLY: OK. Mr. Bradford...
BRADFORD: He encourages people to seek medical advice.
O'REILLY: That's true.
BRADFORD: And he is trying to expose people to a broad spectrum to make a point...
O'REILLY: Let me ask you one thing, and this is personal to me, and I have to ask you, Mr. Bradford. He says in the book, and this really threw me, the sun does not cause cancer.
Now, my father died from melanoma. My father was a sun worshiper and did not use sun block back then. And every doctor I know, every dermatologist I know, I have to douse myself with SPF-30. And all Irish guys and Scandinavian guys and German people should, as well.
And this guy, Trudeau, says the sun doesn't cause cancer, going against every single study I'd ever seen. When I read that that's when I knew I had a book of stories, sir, because I think that's fallacious and dangerous. Go.
BRADFORD: These are his opinions. He makes it very clear that they are his opinions. In many cases he backs them up with references to various studies, articles, and so forth. But he makes it clear that these are his opinions.
The larger point, rather than picking one small passage in the book, is he is exposing people to a broad spectrum of alternative health possibilities which are not promoted in television advertising, because they're not patented. Nobody is going to pour billions of dollars into promoting these alternative health opportunities, because there isn't the kind of profit to be made that there is on patented pharmaceuticals.
We're spending more in pharmaceuticals than...
O'REILLY: I've got to stop. I think we both got our points across, all three of us did, and we'll let the audience decide. Gentlemen, thanks very much. We appreciate it.
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