Like anyone who’s spent time in the celebrity gossip mines, I’m always here for a round of What Stupid, Pseudo-Science Horsesh*t Is Gwyneth Paltrow Selling to Rich White Ladies Now? But while Goop has nestled up to the occasional anti-vaxxer nutjob — which is practically impossible to avoid when you’re vagina egg-deep in the snake oil biz — you could very generously say that Gwyneth is mostly exploiting wealthy rubes who want to cheat death by swishing a cold brew inside their butthole. Granted, celebrities endorsing pseudo-science is exactly how we have measles outbreaks in the year 2019, but again, it’s not unreasonable to say that Goop is targeting a niche audience and isn’t masking her capitalistic intent. The price tags are clearly visible and met with the correct response of “You gotta be sh*tting me, lady.”
Jenny McCarthy, on the other hand? Welcome to a new level of evil.
In an extremely thorough and recommended read, Jezebel’s Anna Merlan lays out how McCarthy’s charity Generation Rescue has a shady as hell penchant for peddling autism “cures” to parents while conveniently failing to disclose that its board members profit from the sales of said “cures.” So not only is McCarthy’s organization cruelly toying with confused and overwhelmed parents by giving them false hope of reversing their child’s autism, but the vampires on Generation Rescue’s board are making bank in the process. Oh, and that’s on top of continuing to spread anti-vaxxer propaganda, because apparently, that’s not killing kids fast enough.
Again, the whole article is worth a read, but here’s a brief glimpse at the three major examples of products that Generation Rescue pushed even though they’ve been thoroughly debunked by the medical community.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers
If you’re thinking to yourself, what the hell does a treatment for decompression sickness have to do with autism? Not a goddamn thing. But that didn’t stop a quack from suggesting it could treat “inflammation” in the brain, and soon enough, Generation Rescue was promoting one of the most dangerous pseudo-science methods of autism therapy. Also, surprise, one of its board members just happened to be the president of a company that made hyperbaric oxygen chambers, and of course, it gets worse.
Generation Rescue has also, for obvious reasons, never mentioned that OxyHealth was sued by a family who alleged that one of their chambers was responsible for the death of their 19-year-old son, Jarred Bryan Sparks, who died in 2011 while inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber at the family home; according to court documents, Sparks asphyxiated. The Sparks family sued OxyHealth, alleging the company had provided inadequate information about the dangers of potential asphyxiation using their products, but a Florida court ultimately found the company not liable.
Unlike slapping your kid into an oxygen chamber and suffocating the autism out of him, B-12 lollipops are, for the most part, relatively harmless. In fact, they’re entirely useless, but that didn’t stop Generation Rescue from shilling them to parents at their wit’s end, and once again, it wasn’t out of the goodness of Jenny McCarthy’s heart.
The maker of these evidently miraculous B12 lollipops is a man named Stan Kurtz, a past president of Generation Rescue and the co-founder of a company called revitaPOP. As the science blog Left Brain Right Brain discovered in 2011, Kurtz also filed a patent application for a “methyl B12” nasal spray. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in 2011, Generation Rescue hailed nasally-administered methyl B12 as something that could potentially treat symptoms of autism in autistic kids and even help with their “improvement of language.”
Those Bullshit Ionic Footbaths
What’s hilarious is I just went through an entire ordeal with my mom a few months back where she was absolutely convinced that a spa she went to removed blood parasites through her feet because the water changed color. How do you argue with that?!
Anyway, ionic footbaths are Grade-A horsesh*t, so of course Generation Rescue was all over them and essentially promising parents that the baths will… suck the autism out of their kid’s feet?
Nonetheless, Generation Rescue has been bullish on the foot baths, which run close to $2,000 for an at-home kit. It’s one of numerous products that has been sold at the Generation Rescue-run Autism Education Summit, and it’s credited with truly miraculous improvements in children’s health by parents who are quoted in glowing testimonials on the GR website.
Those articles don’t mention that IonCleanse is a listed Generation Rescue sponsor, namely an “angel investor,” which GR says on their website is an organization that donates “at least $25,000 annually to our general fund.”
I understand being overwhelmed with a child who requires a level of care that I can’t even imagine. I will never know what’s that like, and I want to make it very clear that I’m not judging anyone in that position. That’s not my intent here. But a magic foot bath? I mean, if people are that broken down and desperate that they’ll believe anything, goddamn Jenny McCarthy for not only preying on them but risking their kids lives while she’s at it. Goddamn her to hell.
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