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When Healing Becomes a Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative Therapies 1st Edition

41 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0892819256
ISBN-10: 0892819251
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  • When Healing Becomes a Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative Therapies
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Editorial Reviews


"It will help readers become wiser patients, and could even save their lives. A magnificent contribution. -- Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Words and Prayer is Good Medicine

"Physicians, patients, medical students and governmental officials could all benefit from reading this book. -- Andrew Weil, author of Spontaneous Healing

An expose of medical policies which have limited and affected promising alternative cancer therapies in this country. -- James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Reveiw

An important book . . . in demonstrating the methods . . . through which modern medicine achieved its present status. -- New Jersey Naturally, Summer/Fall 2000

Ausubel's book is essential for anyone interested in the history of medicine or the history of herbalism. -- Stephen Buhner, HerbalGram, 2000

Ausubel's book is particularly timely in view of the recent tokenistic attempts by the cancer establishment to appear open-minded to alternative therapies. -- Samuel Epstein, M.D., author of The Politics of Cancer and the Safe Shopper's Bible

Hoxsey's fate--shared by other maverick therapists--has dramatic relevance today as alternative cancer treatment gains mainstream acceptance. -- Jim Motavalli, E Magazine, July/August 2002

Investigative journalist Ausubel presents powerful and convincing testimony. -- Napra ReView, Sept/Oct 2000

Kenny Ausubel takes this subject very seriously, while maintaining a very reader-friendly style. -- Russ Reina, Talking Leaves, Winter 2001

This book is riveting. . . . The amount of scholarship that went into writing it is admirable. -- Dana Ullman, Whole Earth, Fall 2000

From the Back Cover


“Freedom comes in many varieties--religious, political, and, as this book stunningly reveals, medical. The bitter power struggle for dominance within medicine has always been one of its dirty little secrets. For anyone who believes modern therapy is only about facts, evidence, and data, this book will come as a shock. It will help readers become wiser patients, and could even save their lives. A magnificent contribution.”
--Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Words and Prayer is Good Medicine

“With this book, Kenny Ausubel establishes himself as one of the truly great writers on contemporary America. Lucid, hard-hitting, well researched, comprehensive, this book will no doubt raise more than a few eyebrows in the medical and cancer establishment--and hopefully raise the consciousness of all Americans regarding the possibilities that some natural treatments might contribute to the war against cancer.”
--Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council

“The story of Harry Hoxsey and his fight with the medical establishment over unorthodox cancer treatment is both a fascinating medical drama and an important historical episode in the development of alternative medicine in the twentieth century. Physicians, patients, medical students, and government officials could all benefit from reading this book.”
--Andrew Weil, author of Spontaneous Healing

Harry Hoxsey claimed to cure cancer using herbal remedies, and thousands of patients swore that he healed them. His Texas clinic became the world’s largest privately owned cancer center with branches in seventeen states, and the value of its therapeutic treatments was upheld by two federal courts. Even his arch-nemesis, the AMA, admitted his treatment was effective against some forms of cancer. But the medical establishment refused an investigation, branding Hoxsey the worst cancer quack of the century and forcing his clinic to Tijuana, Mexico, where it continues to claim very high success rates. Modern laboratory tests have confirmed the anticancer properties of Hoxsey’s herbs, and a federal government–sponsored report is now calling for a major reconsideration of the Hoxsey therapy.

When Healing Becomes a Crime exposes the overall failure of the War on Cancer, while revealing how yesterday’s “unorthodox” treatments are emerging as tomorrow’s medicine. It probes other promising unconventional cancer treatments that have also been condemned without investigation, delving deeply into the corrosive medical politics and powerful economic forces behind this suppression. As alternative medicine finally regains its rightful place in mainstream practice, this compelling book will not only forever change the way you see medicine, but could also save your life.

KENNY AUSUBEL is an award-winning author, investigative journalist, and filmmaker. His critically acclaimed documentary film on Hoxsey won the prestigious “Best Censored Stories” journalism award, associated with Bill Moyers. He is the author of Seeds of Change and Restoring the Earth, as well as the founder of the Bioneers Conference and Seeds of Change, Inc. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press; 1 edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892819251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892819256
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kenny Ausubel, founder and co-executive director of CHI, is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker and social entrepreneur. He co-founded Seeds of Change, a biodiversity organic seed company, and wrote the book Seeds of Change: The Living Treasure. He is the author of the books The Bioneers: Declarations of Interdependence (Chelsea Green Publishing), profiling the Bioneers culture, and When Healing Becomes a Crime: The Amazing Story of Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative Therapies. Mr. Ausubel's feature non-fiction film, Hoxsey: How Healing Becomes a Crime, was chosen for the "Best Censored Stories" journalism award in 1990. He founded and operates Inner Tan Productions, a feature film development company to produce visionary feature films. Most recently, he edited the first two titles in the Bioneers book series with J.P Harpignies: Ecological Medicine: Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves, and Nature's Operating Instructions: The True Biotechnologies. He wrote the foreword to Diane Wilson's book An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
Warning, when you read this book you might be scared away from “conventional medicine”! If you are suffering of cancer or have a relative that is terminally ill and has been given up by doctors, I recommend this book as a “second opinion”.
This book tells the story of how an alternative treatment was sabotaged by the medical community and by organizations that are supposed to protect our health (such as the Food and Drug Administration). As a European, I have been quite skeptical about this agency for some time, and this book doesn’t help at all! The picture this book gives you is that the main reason a drug gets accepted or not might be linked to serious lobbying inside the conventional medical community and to the financial gains that are linked to it. This isn’t hard to believe if you see how the tobacco lobby succeeded for years to cover up the problems smoking causes.
Yet, there is hope as far "conventional medicine" is concerned. Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) teaches doctors that they should stay current with recent research on drugs and learn how to interpret studies before administering drugs to their patients. I studied this subject in preparation of my Ph.D. I believe that EBM practices do drastically enhance our chances as patients to get the right treatment, especially if you read that 50% of doctors risk giving you a wrong or outdated treatment. No wonder many doctors admit that many patients get better DESPITE their doctor’s treatment.
The problem with EBM is that apparently some often used treatments such as many current forms of chemotherapy lack the statistical data to back them up, and that doctors seem to treat patients with those cures because they don’t have anything better.
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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Kenny Ausubel, Bioneers on July 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
WHEN HEALING BECOMES A CRIME, Kenny Ausubel, Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000, 461pp., $19.95
Despite being involved in alternative medicine (specifically homeopathic medicine) since 1972, I have always had strong skepticism of alternative therapies for cancer. I questioned their true effectiveness, and even more, I questioned the ethics of their advocates. After reading Kenny Ausubel's newest book, I realize now how effective the propaganda against alternative cancer therapies have been on me, despite my own predilections towards alternative medicine and my strong skepticism of conventional approaches. I was truly blown away by WHEN HEALING BECOMES A CRIME. What the SILENT SPRING did for the environmental movement, his book does for the alternative cancer movement (perhaps this book should have been called or sub-titled THE SUPPRESSED SPRING, since the AMA, the FDA, and the drug companies have been so effective in suppressing any positive information about these therapies and have been extraordinarily effective in providing misinformation about them). The general public is interested in alternative medicine, not only in recent times, but Ausubel references a Chicago Medical Society survey that discovered that 85% of Americans used "drugless healers" in the early 1940s. The misinformation and demonization of alternative medicine by the AMA and the FDA is quite remarkable and sad (no, St. Johns wort won't cure this depression!).
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Ingrid Naiman, author of Cancer Salves: A Botanical Approach to Treatment on October 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Kenny Ausubel spent 20 years of the prime of his life researching a story that everyone needs to know. Paragraph by paragraph, he reveals the motivations of those who would deprive suffering patients of history's most successful cancer treatment.
Personally, I have never been able to take Hoxsey the man seriously, but what erudition Hoxsey lacked, Dr. Frederic Mohs had in abundance -- and what is extraordinary is that their bloodroot paste formulae were essentially identical. Hoxsey was persecuted for his efforts to make his treatment available; the Mohs microsurgery method is now widely accepted and practiced in such illustrious institutions as Harvard Medical School.
Ergo, the pattern of suppression detailed in Ausubel's book is all the more important because it was not based on science but rather on the politics of medicine, something that demands questioning since fifty years later, the basic problem is not solved.
There is no question but that the public deserves access to anything that might alleviate suffering, prolong lives, or cure them of their illnesses. The Government is charged with protecting the public from fraud; but in its zeal to brand outsiders as quacks, it has lost focus on the humanitarian as well as clinical aspects of healing.
I therefore disagree vehemently with the review posted below by fraud investigator. Hoxsey made his money in oil and operated affordable facilities for people seeking a cure for cancer. Yes, he was lacking proper credentials, but knowledge and experience can be acquired in clinical settings where keenly observant people can by-pass indoctrination and determine whether or not patients are responding well to treatment.
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