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Thread: For profit company "advertising" on CareCure

  1. #11
    Mike C, thank you for your comment.

    I think that the issue is not whether the treatments are for-profit or not. After all, most therapy that have been discussed on these forums have some kind of for profit link, whether it is for a doctor, company, clinic, or individual, etc. Discussing a treatment that may lead to profit for somebody is not a problem for our forums, in my opinion.

    I was wondering what we would do now if another Neuralyn-like discussion were to surface on these forums. For those who are not aware, several years ago, a couple in Idaho claimed to have a cure for spinal cord injury. They charged thousands of dollars for a salve that could be rubbed over the skin and defrauded hundreds of people who travelled to their clinic. The "doctor" turned out to have false credentials and the treatment was a scam. The Spinewire and New Mobility were full of angry postings from believers and non-believers.

    At that time, I wrote an article in which I outlined the hallmarks of a scam. If I remember, I suggested the following hallmarks of a scam:

    1. The purveyors of the therapy typically charge substantial amounts for the treatment, often thousands of dollars or more for unproven therapies.

    2. They often claim remarkable beneficial effects, mainly supported by glowing testimonials of users.

    3. Little or no published information is available concerning the therapies.

    4. The people sometimes have false or exaggerated credentials of medical or other training.

    In my opinion, neither Project Walk nor Al Bohbot's therapy have these hallmarks. Although Project Walk is relatively expensive, it is offering very intensive therapy that requires substantial investment in equipment and personnel. I don't think that Project Walk has made outrageous claims of benefit for their exercise. To my knowledge, they have not falsely claimed or exaggerated their medical credentials. Likewise, to my knowledge, Al Bohbot charges minimally for his laser puncture, has not made claims of cure for the therapy, and has not claimed medical credentials. I also know that Al Bohbot is presenting his results to critical audiences.

    On the other hand, Dragon's Way is charging what seems to be a high price for an unproven therapeutic program, i.e. about $250 for an initial evaluation, $1000 to get the therapy, and then $500 for 8 sessions per month. They suggest that people may recover from severe spinal cord injury within months. The doctor says that he has a medical degree from Western Reserve University and a doctorate from Boston College, as well as the highest rank in Qigong, a Chinese exercise philosophy. There is little or no published research about the treatments. Please understand that I am not saying that Dragon's Way is a scam.

    I believe that Dragon's Way is a legitimate topic for the forums. The Dragon's Way topic was started by a member of the forums and it is generating substantial and spirited discussion. In fact, I think that such discussions are crucial for the spinal cord injury community. We must learn to distinguish legitimate therapies from scams and to be critical of unsubstantiated claims of miraculous therapies.

    It is important that people remain civil in the discussion and refrain from attacking each other. Those of us who were around then should remember the flame wars regarding Neuralyn on Spinewire and New Mobility. Many people were hurt by those discussions and it was silly to allow a scam therapy such as Neuralyn to divide and hurt the community.


  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Granbury, Texas, USA
    Great post, Dr. Young!

  3. #13


    A couple of months ago I was accused of advertising on this forum, at that time I indictated I would stop posting if the majority of the members of this forum wished me to. Dr. Young indicated that he felt the information I was providing was relevant to this board and he hoped I would continue, so I have. If you look at who posted both of the Business Wire releases you will see that neither of them was myself, and they are not employees nor clients of Project Walk. I did post the press release here before it was available to the mainstream media, as I felt it was very relevant to the topics this board discusses i.e. Research projects.

    I have also just yesterday posted the news article about PW. It was written by a reporter who spent approx. 1-2 weeks observing our program and our clients. She wrote about what she observed and our clients experiences. She also included several doctors opinions on our program. Would the only newspaper in the 5th most populated county in America allow a reporter to write a 3 page article on someting they thought wasn't newsworthy or just an "advertisement"?

    Eric Harness,CSCS
    Project Walk

  4. #14

    Bad place for scammers to post.

    As Dr Young pointed out neuralyn was the rage for awhile. Talking to people one got great reports. However, as attention became focused on neuralyn Scott LeFee from San Diego did an article in June 1999 which crushed the scam. Scott went with Steve Crowder in April. I volunteered to go in May, unknown to Vigil's, as part of his article with the objective of proving it true or false. I paid them $2500 out of my own pocket but I was able to provide Scott and later the FBI with a two inch stack of information right down to what each room was used for and where their records and computers were located. Was it worth $2500? You Bet. As for PW, Dragon's or anyone else enough people from here will go and validate the results or lack thereof. If I were wanting to run a scam I would not want the publicity in this group. The truth will evenually come out good or bad. I am hoping good. If it is I want to know. If bad I want to know. Watching and hoping. Good luck to those who are checking these out for all of us.

  5. #15

    free speech

    While I agree with your position regarding advertising, I think, the best thing about all the postings, commercial or not, is that people have a chance to look at ALL of the information. By having access to every piece of information available, people can make up their own minds up about which therapies/procedures are for them and which stuff is snake-oil.

    The only way to uncover the truth is by allowing MORE speech. When you start limiting speech or covering things up, you automatically cast a doubt upon your motives. I would think people are intelligent enough to weigh the risks involved- whether it is the risk of money loss or the risk of detremental health effects- and proceed accordingly. By allowing people to have all information available they can form their own opinions about the topics presented.

    I think you were getting at the idea of using a public forum as advertising rather than limiting speech, if I am reading your initial post correctly. I do think that smacks of impropriety, however, in a free society we can all shout our opinions long and loud. Only by people investigating our claims can the truth be known.

    "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked..."
    - Allen Ginsburg

  6. #16
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    West Monroe, LA, USA


    Well stated, I concur!

  7. #17
    I happen to agree with Justin on this one. These are subjects that should be put out in front of everyone to scrutinize and determine their validity.

  8. #18
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    For-profit entities should identify themselves as such. However, they are options that warrant discussion on a board such as this.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Mike C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Justin, You understood my point correctly. Free speech is important of course, and even if I believe that advertising in this form is questionable, the majority rules. So good luck, and much success to PW, as well as other companies who wish to serve the SCI community. I´ll be reading your ads!

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