Questions for an Interview with Doug Graham (draft)

(Minor edits made on 14 May 2012)

This is a rough & incomplete draft document, and is posted here for crowd sourcing and discussion. Hopefully readers will think of additional questions to ask Graham. If you have additional questions to contribute, please post them below. Eventually a version of this article may be placed on my website. The material below is the core of a possible article; it lacks an intro and closing. Some of the material below is reworked from my “guru article”, but there is a LOT of new material too, so please skim/read the whole article. 

In my opinion, these are the questions that should be asked of Dr. (Chiropractor, not an M.D.) Doug Graham, and answered by him in full with supporting documentation. Unfortunately the fanboy/fangirl-style interviews that appear in the raw media don’t address these serious questions.

Deaths of multiple people during or after attending your fasting retreats.

There are reports of deaths of at least two people, clients of yours, during or after some of your fasting retreats:

·        One person died  shortly after attending your fasting retreat in Costa Rica. You mention this on your forum on VegSource, a website known for a high ad and spam content. More information on this event can be found in the comments section of this blog posting.

·        An additional post includes a report of another death at one of your fasting events (from diabetes), and makes shocking allegations of lack of due diligence and a possible cover-up.

Because of the above, it is necessary to ask whether you did/do exercise due diligence and provide safeguards to protect your fasting clients. Please clarify the following issues, and provide supporting documentation:

1.     There are allegations (per links above) that the first death, from diabetes, was covered up. If this is not accurate, please provide documentation to show that the issue was openly discussed and publicized. Also, please provide details – when, where, age and gender of the deceased.

2.     What safeguards and informed consent procedures were in place for retreat participants, before the first death? Please provide copies of forms and documents supplied to retreat participants.

3.     What safeguards and informed consent procedures were in place for retreat participants, before the second death? Please provide copies of forms and documents supplied to retreat participants.

4.     What safeguards and informed consent procedures are in place for retreat participants, right now? Please provide copies of forms and documents supplied to retreat participants.

5.     If you did not (in the past) and/or presently do not screen prospective fasters via medical tests, please explain the rationale for not screening clients.

The last link in the preceding paragraph includes information that the person who died after attending your fasting retreat was a woman named Jane Mutti. Remarkably, you continue to use her testimonial for promotional purposes on your website, and also link to her testimony from your Facebook page. On seeing this, many people form the opinion that – even if you have permission from Jane’s partner to use the material (?) –  such usage is hypocritical, crass, and reflects a crude and callous disregard for the welfare of your fasting clients and people in general.  What do you have to say in your defense?

Disciplined by the Florida State Department of Health

Your license to practice as a Chiropractor (in Florida) expired in 2000.  During the time you were a Chiropractor, you were disciplined by the Florida (State) Department of Health, the government agency that regulates Chiropractors, Doctors, and other health professionals (case #199403741; click on “Link to Discipline” in preceding link). Discipline proceedings are public records by Florida State law, and your discipline papers were requested – twice – from the State. However, the State was unable to find the paperwork in their microfiche archives. Recognizing that discipline proceedings raise questions about the integrity and competence of a health professional, we ask you to explain the reason for and nature of your discipline, and to publish the full text of the discipline rulings on the internet.

Do you believe that homosexuality is unnatural and have a negative view of gays?

A post on the topic from the “Eating Consciously” blog, written by a gay vegan. The post mentions alleged claims/statements made by you and other prominent raw gurus. Do you think being gay is caused by environmental chemicals, and hence would never occur in a pristine, natural world?

Are you overcharging for your fasting retreats?

You charged $10,999+ for your 2012 fasting retreat. What do people get at the retreats that justifies the price charged, i.e., what is the value–added?

High failure rate on 80-10-10, yet it appears that you don’t warn followers of risks

You promote the diet as ideal for nearly everyone when real-world experiences of those attempting the diet indicates that it has an extremely high failure rate. Serious health problems have been reported on the diet. Why do you continue to promote it as ideal? How do you reconcile the high failure rate vs. the claim that 80-10-10 is the human “species-specific” diet? Why don’t you take a more cautious approach: advise your followers that the diet is an experiment and if it does not work for them, they should change diets? Wouldn’t a more cautious approach be more in line with the vegan ideals of not harming others?

B-12 supplementation only after deficiencies are found

In the past, you have recommended against preventive B-12 supplementation and advised supplementation only after a deficiency is found via testing. Please explain the rationale for this approach, as it appears to defy common sense by exposing your followers to possible harm. Also, are you still making the same recommendation today, to your followers?

Questioning the wisdom of your recommendation of a mono-diet of bananas

On what scientific evidence do you base your frequent recommendation of a mono banana diet to clients presenting with a variety of minor and serious health conditions? While such a diet will no doubt be, to some extent, detoxifying, have you considered that deficiencies may be at the root of health issues, especially among those who have been experimenting with restrictive diets such as raw vegan? In these cases moving to an even more restrictive diet – one that is by definition deficient in many essential nutrients – is more likely to make things worse than better? Please comment on the diet and address these issues.

Questions about your book and website

Why do you cite T.C. Fry as a “scientific” source in your book? He is regarded as unreliable source, to be polite about it. Please explain.

Your most devoted followers criticize the poor quality “science” and lack of scientific references on your website. Please comment.

How much of the 80-10-10 book was written by your assistants and/or ghost-writers? How much was written by you?

Are you as healthy as you claim?

Possible evidence of poor dental health in this recent (2012) video. In the comments for that post, the photo of you posted by Sean on April 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm, shows a clear gap in your teeth. Please comment.

Photographic evidence suggests that you are experiencing extremely rapid aging on 80-10-10. Here is another recent (2011 or 2012) photo. What is your explanation?

Inconsistencies in your message?

In 2001, in an interview with Living Nutrition magazine, you advocated 10-20% fat for athletes, suggesting 18% as a recommendation.  Nowadays you suggest 10% or less, and are so fat-phobic that some people accuse you of promoting anorexia. Please explain the inconsistency, and comment on the anorexia criticism.

You have claimed to be 100% raw for 20+ years. However, in this set of Vegsource posts, you appear to admit that you don’t follow the diet completely. Also, in the past, you have mentioned eating your Grandmother’s (presumably baked) cookies at some of your talks at American Natural Hygiene Society events. No one will criticize you for eating the cookies, but we do want to know: how often do you deviate from the diet (and only the diet, not asking about other factors)?

You claim there are “thousands and thousands of studies” that support the narrow, high fruit low fat diet you advocate. [Offsite link, Jan. 2010 video, Raw Life Health Show, starting at 8:35.] A focus on research is surprising given your previous statements (in 2003) regarding research studies, per the following links.

·        “I do not rely upon research per se, btw [by the way]…I prefer to reference my source material from textbooks.”

·        “The heck with studies, you can prove anything with them. Show him textbooks.”

It is common to hear claims among your followers that the 80-10-10 diet is “well researched” when in fact there are zero published research papers (as of May 2012) on 80-10-10 in the peer-reviewed biomedical literature.  There are published studies on conventional cooked vegan diets (not all of them positive) and a few on other raw vegan diets (again, not all of them positive).  The extreme nature of 80-10-10 means that to apply published research studies to the diet, is to extrapolate beyond the range of the research data. Such extrapolations are unreliable and people following versions of 80-10-10 should be advised on this point. Please explain the inconsistencies noted above.

Questions for an Interview with Doug Graham (draft), 87% based on 31 ratings