By Marika Sboros
If nutrition science proves anything these days, it’s that Karl Marx was right. Religion really is the “opium of the masses”. It’s why unscientific dietary advice continues to spread globally, says Australian orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke.
Fettke was a keynote speaker at the CrossFit Health Conference in Madison, Wisconsin on August 2, 2017. The title of his talk: The Central Role of Nutrition in Our Health, Education, Economics, Politics, Environment and Beliefs.
In the first of a two-part series, Fettke raises a taboo in nutrition science: Big Religion. He also shines a light on what one church calls its divinely inspired “medical evangelism”.
Fettke gave evidence to show that religious ideology informs and influences official dietary guidelines worldwide.
It also explains why financial and other conflicts of interest are rife in nutrition science. And why nutrition guidelines are increasingly “plant-based”. He said that some religious doctors and dietitians have appropriated the term “plant-based” simply because it distances them from overtly religious associations with vegetarian diets.
The consequences for health, economies and the environment have been “disastrous”.
Fettke has identified a church that believes in divinely ordained “medical evangelism” – the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church that started out in the US in 1863. Many of its members are vegetarians or vegans. Nothing wrong with that, of course. It’s just that many don’t declare their dietary bias when dishing out advice, he said.
Despite being relatively young, the SDA church is one of the world’s fastest-growing churches. It is also one of the most influential groups in the world on nutrition education and policy.
It has spawned doctors, dietitians and scientists who perform medical evangelism, Fettke said. They do so without declaring their religious beliefs as COIs. Thus, they make their beliefs into propaganda about diet and health across the planet.
Where is the best place to hide propaganda? “In plain sight,” Fettke said.
‘Educating’ children …
As medical evangelists, Adventists have been “educating” the health profession for a century, he said. They have also been “educating” children with cereal product placement in various media for decades. In fact, they were the first to come up with that idea.
Click to hear Dr Gary Fettke on: Central Role of Nutrition in Everything
Fettke went through the Church’s nutrition history, demonstrating how it developed in tandem with the processed food industry. And how, through their vegetarian bias, Adventists developed nutrition guidelines rooted in the processed food industry.
They helped to make the foundations of the future dietetic industry “rotten to the core”, Fettke said. Orthodox dietitians with religious leaning make “easy meat” for ideological, belief-based programming, he said. And it is in orthodox dietitians’ blood to associate themselves with industry and an ideology. “They probably don’t even realise it.”
Knowing the rules
Fettke showed how Adventists still routinely promote demonisation of red meat based on the visions of the Church’s founder, Ellen G White in the US.
Aged 17 in 1844, White started having visions that became the Adventist teachings. One vision was for medical evangelism.
“We are to work as gospel medical missionaries,” White wrote. For her, medical evangelism was “the right arm of the message”. Part of that medical mission, she wrote, was for disciples to set up hospitals, sanatoriums and places of learning.
White also had a vision about best foods: “Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator.” Crucially, her visions became gospel in medical and dietetic establishments globally, Fettke said.
Meat and cancer debate
At first glance, White’s values in her visions are “not that unreasonable”, he said. The temperance concepts of abstinence from tobacco and alcohol are there. White also encouraged exercise – “modest”, only – and involving community.
Her visions of nutrition values, on the other hand, turned out “not quite as planned”. The idea that “meat gives you cancer” also came from one of White’s visions, Fettke said.
“She started talking about cancer and meat in 1864,” he said. “We are still hearing that message despite no science behind it.”
Great news 4 all vegans and vegetarians. Carno vegetarianism is perfect health option. #wecantwait pic.twitter.com/OYgEMzHjGi
— Gary Fettke (@FructoseNo) August 4, 2017
‘Violent’ meat eaters
White believed that meat-eaters were violent, “cruel, bloodthirsty” and prone to masturbation, which she called the “solitary vice”. It made people “surely self-murderers as though they pointed a pistol to their own breast, and destroyed their life instantly”, she wrote.
White also exhorted her disciples never to place meat “in front of our children”.
She also had “special plans” for Australia in one vision in 1875. She said that it was the only country that angels ever mentioned to her by name. As a result, Adventist medical evangelism and influence on nutrition and health in Australia became as extensive as in the US, Fettke showed.
From the outset, Adventists established close links with processed food industries, particularly the sugar, grain and cereal industry and refined food industry, he said. In the US, Seventh-day Adventists established around 100 cereal-based processed food companies, many of which have merged. Kellogg’s is the most well-known and ranked among the world’s wealthiest food producers.
White went to Australia between 1889 and 1900 to set up the Seventh-day Adventist church, hospital, publishing house, school and university. She also founded the church’s cereal company, Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing. The name is a misnomer, Fettke said.
The company’s highly refined, processed products can’t compare with nutrient density of foods of animal origin. Its flagship product is Weet-Bix, a top-seller in the breakfast cereal market. In essence, cereal- and grain-based dietary guidelines have “done the church’s business model no harm”, Fettke pointed out.
Adventists have continued pushing vegetarian and vegan agendas actively onto national health policies in many countries. They set up their own processed food companies around the world, he said.
Thanks to White’s guidance from “above”, Adventists have also become extraordinarily media-savvy , he said. Adventists were early adopters of medical programs on radio and cooking shows on television to spread their medical and health gospels.
The church now owns 62 publishing houses. Among its members are 25,000 “literature evangelists” tasked with “spreading” the vegetarian and health message in nearly 380 languages. It also owns 853 radio stations and 441 television stations. And it produces more than 70,000 podcasts each year in 229 languages with over 1.1 billion downloads in 2015.
Science v belief
The problem throughout, Fettke said is that discussions and communications are based on belief, not science.
Vegetarian groups regularly quote Adventist health studies in support of their cause, he said. As well, Adventists do these studies on themselves, often publish in their own press and cross-reference off each other.
Fettke hasn’t read all Adventist studies but of those he has read, he hasn’t seen any declaration of ideological or religious conflict of interest.
Fettke also showed how Adventist Lenna F Cooper co-founded the American Dietetic Association (ADA) in 1917. She was a protégé of Dr John Harvey Kellogg, one of the founders of the cereal industry.
The global ‘voice’ of dietetics
Cooper wrote textbooks that lecturers used for dietetic and nursing programmes around the world for 30 formative years. In this way, she became the global “voice” of dietetics.
Cooper also appears to have originated the idea of breakfast as “the most important meal of the day”. She wrote as much in a 1917 issue of Good Health. The publication is self-proclaimed as the “oldest health magazine in the world”, as Huffington Post senior editor Sarah Klein noted.
In A Brief History Of How Breakfast Got Its ‘Healthy’ Rep, Klein notes that the magazine editor was none other than Kellogg, the co-inventor of flaked cereal. Kellogg was a medical doctor, Klein writes, “but there’s no denying he had a product to sell”.
In this way, Adventist medical evangelism has persuaded health authorities to dish up vegetarian ideology to the public for decades, Fettke said. And as a result, they have turned authorities into “defenders of a faith without understanding its origin”.
Through Cooper, Adventists set out to establish dietetic advice “for the world’. The ADA only changed its name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) in 2012. AND remains the largest, most influential organization of food and nutrition professionals in the US.
But just what role has religious ideology played in current nutrition advice? “A great deal, as it turns out,” Fettke said. And ideological nutrition influence is not limited to dietitians’ groups.
Take the recent statement by the American Heart Association (AHA) on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease. Apart from cherry-picking the evidence, the researchers failed to declare recent funding from the vegetable oil industry, Fettke said.
They also failed to declare that several of the statement’s authors support vegetarianism and veganism. That makes their statement belief-based not evidence-based, he said.
A chief weapon Adventists have used to influence nutrition advice and guidelines is to make cereals and grains into the “sacred cows”.
Most Adventist medical evangelists probably mean well, Fettke said. They don’t set out to con people and manipulate. However, they appear to believe that medical evangelism makes them immune from ethical constraints governing the conduct of other health professionals.
COIs hiding in plain sight
Hidden COIs turn nutrition advice into a game with consequences that Fettke feels is criminal. And, if you don’t know the rules, you can’t play the game, he said.
Click here to read: Is DAA really in bed with Big Food?
In his public talks, Fettke makes a point of declaring his conflicts of interest. Chiefly, in this case, is that he advocates a low-carb, healthy-fat (LCHF) lifestyle. It is the fruits of his research over many years into optimum nutrition to treat and prevent chronic diseases of lifestyle.
Principles of the diet include reducing sugar and processed carbohydrates and reintroducing healthy natural fats. It also includes animal foods – and red meat. Fettke also emphasised that he is not anti-religion or even anti-vegetarianism. Tongue firmly in cheek, he described himself as a vegetarian who takes supplements (red meat and real food) to ensure a “balanced diet”.
Thus, he calls himself a “carno-ovo-lacto-pesco-pollo vegetarian”.
Foundation of ALL nutrition was rotten & was never based on science – only religious ‘visions’. Call to start afresh https://t.co/Y5PgXiNV4M pic.twitter.com/PXghr0Cg59
— Gary Fettke (@FructoseNo) August 2, 2017
Propaganda versus personal choice
Fettke is also not against personal choice. “I am against propaganda,” he said.
By way of example, Fettke referred to battles back home as a result of his support for LCHF. His own regulatory body, the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) slapped a lifetime ban on him from talking about nutrition.
Fettke and wife, Belinda, have set up a new website, isupportgary.com. It’s well worth a visit.
Fettke’s research into who and what are behind the attacks against him led straight to the Adventist Church. It also revealed many of the hidden rules of the game. He is, therefore, unambiguous about nutritional research and advice based on belief and to “prove a vision”. He calls it “criminal” enterprise.
- Part 2: The ‘unique’ partnerships that Adventists make to spread beliefs about vegetarian lifestyles
- Follow me on Twitter @MarikaSboros
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Jack Hoehn says:
27TH AUG 2017 AT 7:33 PM
Adventists were told by an inspired woman that God expected them to be healthy. And God expected them to share good health with their neighbors. That is a plot that most people of good will would applaud. And OH yes they will also advise you to not use tobacco, addicting drugs, or alcohol. Sorry that’s the plot, now get over it
Ummm, Jack Hoehn, Ellen White taught that volcanoes were caused by coal fires underground, and that Enoch of old currently lives on a planet near Jupiter. God expects Ellen White to share good info with her neighbors — she failed God 100%, no reason to listen to any of her “scientific” advice. New Testament Scripture is 100% against SDA nutritional theories; SDA’s disobey Jesus’ direct teaching about diet, showing SDA’s to actually be antichrist in their teachings, no doubt inspired by their antichrist spirit going all the way back to Ellen White and the other antichrist-spirit-driven prophet–William Miller of 1844 rebellious infamy.
Cheese should never be introduced into the stomach — Ellen G. White, Testimonies to the Church, Vol. 2, page 68 (such a vile sin, agreed?)
John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
Mark 7:18-23 …whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him … what comes from a mans heart is what defiles him — wickedness, deceit, pride, lies
Job 14:5 …mans days are determined, the number of his months are with God, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass:
SDA’s are not content with these teachings, so they seek to promote the dietary advice of a very false she-prophet, fatally violating Matthew 7:15-23 (a very large sin!) and pushing a very false 1844-concocted jesus (even more size-large sin!) which proves SDA’s are idolators as well as rebellious liars. Such people keep no days holy, certainly not their much ballyhoo’d sabbath day. Liars and idolizers keep no commandments holy if you believe the little sin-calculator app in James 2:10. All liars will join SDA’s in the lake of fire.
Diet is the least thing SDA’s should be fretting about when their little she-prophet has tricked them into worshipping 18 aspects of satan, thinking they are doing God a big favor by promoting their views around the world, but only since their initial rebellion against scripture, starting 1844.
SDA’s are so worried about proving that their processed soy foods and nutritional advice will extend somebodies life by a few years, totally oblivious that the same Bible they claim to go by proves they will spend eternity in a big torment barbeque — and that my friends is a very unhealthy example they are setting! Sorry Adventists, that’s the plot, now get over it.
Different Gospels – The SDA Church: gospeloutreach.net/sda.html
Eating meat & cheese is SDA sin: remnantofgod.org/sinful-meat.htm
thank you for your work. so many comments with thought provoking and eye opening information on the depth of “evangelical” involvement.. I have been doing my own research for a long time for my own suspicions.. This is a deep rabbit hole!.. Ill keep digging.. If anyone doubts it. I encourage them to actually look at the connections in the i original post and some of the comment information provided here to start, then look up the names and corporations yourself. . I have no doubt there are good people in the church doing good work.. but most have zero idea of the corporate involvement of the bad science and payoffs to perpetuate a dangerous propaganda that is clearly showing deadly consequences globally. The millions of deaths caused by the low fat processed food push in the food guidelines that seem to be erected and immovable for no good scientific reason as the building block of nutrition for basic health are astounding and continuing to grow. I have no problem with faith.. Love God deeply.. This is an atrocity on both the secular and spiritual scale!
I am an adventist physician. I am very sad that Dr Gary Fettke could attack a church for its health message with so much enthusiasm and ignorance. While the world was saying how wonderful smoking was 100years ago, Ellen White then preached strongly on the harmful effects of smoking. Over 100 years ago, she wrote about the harmful effects of animal proteins and said that “disease and suffering that everywhere prevail are largely due to popular errors in regard to diet” (CDF 127). Today science is saying 70-80% of our chronic diseases are related to lifestyle choices.Today the number killer in Western society, coronary heart disease can be completely reversed and cured by a whole plant based (vegetarian) diet. This wonderful conclusion was made by objective scientific studies absolutely without any religious bias. Through these studies, non-adventist Dr Dean Ornish said ” We now know what the truth is: a whole food, plant-based diet can prevent and treat heart disease saving hundreds of thousands of Americans every year”.(China Study 133). He also wrote” I thought that these studies might have a meaningful effect on the practice of mainstream cardiology, but I was mistaken. I realised that reimbursements was much more powerful determinant in medical practice than research”( Amer J of Health Promotion, mar/apr 2011vol 25 no4).
Many extremely powerful businesses are not happy about the growing momentum of the plant-based diet dogma and they are very happy with Dr Fettke and his Adventist scapegoat. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth will make you free”John 8:32.
It comes down to 2 things. Money and control. The SDA Church has its hands(and money) into cereal, grains, and soy products around the world. So of course, it is going to protect its business interests with lies and propaganda as needed. A clear case of dogma and money trumping science and reason.
Critique=attack? Pretty standard position for all religions.
quote: In the first of a two-part series, Fettke raises a taboo in nutrition science: Big Religion. unquote
Somehow I have missed the followup url reference of this two-part series or I am somehow confused which article is the followup url.
If you could provide and un-confuse me that would be great and most helpful. Thanks
Yes Gary and Tim are fighting back and you are giving us the blow-by-blow reporting – for which Many and Much Appreciations!!
Looking forward to your reporting for the 21-23 Feb sequel.
Hi Robert, the links are: https://foodmed.net/2017/08/medical-evangelism-adventist-diet-advice/ and https://foodmed.net/2017/08/lifestyle-medicine-front-religion-war-red-meat/ – I obviously didn’t make it clear! Thank you for your support and kind words!
There are many cultures around the world who have been vegetarian for thousands of years, without having any Adventist affiliations. Please do proper research, using meta-analysis of large population studies before attributing Adventists with the “honour” of influencing the entire health advice given on avoiding chronic diseases. Yes, they are interested in health, but not as powerful as this article makes them out to be. It reminds me of the old “Jewish conspiracy theory” stories about how the Jews really run everything and have lots of money to get everyone to do what they want. Dr. Gary Fettke has every right to say what he thinks, but basing everything on only what he says seems unbalanced at best, and at worst, very biased. Seperate case studies of vegetarians having bad health outcomes don’t even touch on what happens to those who follow the unnatural Westernised diet of high fat, high sugar, ridiculously high animal protein, alchohol, etc., Most cultures have had a traditional diet that is mostly vegetarian with miniscule amounts of animal protein, unless they were rich. Ask the big movers and shakers who promote a plant-based diet – Campbell, and Esselstyn. Neither are Adventist, and both grew up loving meat. They started out aiming to promote high animal-protein diets, but changed their minds – why? Campbell, for one, noticed that the children of rich people in the Philippines were suffering from an alarmingly high rate of liver cancer. If you really want to see some proper research, please have a look at his book, “The China Study”, a book that convinced President Bill Clinton to go vegan to avoid having future heart surgery. Thank you.
That book has been debunked so many times and in so many ways, that I won’t even begin to start. Just do a search on debunking it and prepare to read for hours.
Are Australians particularly susceptible to conspiratorial excitement? You people crucified an Adventist pastor and his wife in 1980s over a dingo attack. (Lindy and Michael Chamberlain). You now have a carnivore is raving ( yes, look at the verbs used in this article –“the church has spawned doctors…”) about dark conspiracies to take your meat away from you. There is nothing hidden, no secret funding, no plot to start a “College of Medical Evangelists” which is what Loma Linda University was once called. There is no secondary gain from having the most mission hospitals in Africa and Polynesia of any protestant church in the world. Taking care of poor sick people is not a conspiracy, it is a mission. If Fetke knew anything about the Adventist “Health message” he would know sugar and refined carbohydrates are more strongly condemned by their prophetic health reform message, than meat. And even if non-Adventist Kellogg cereals is more interested in making money than being healthy, real Adventists do not eat frosted flakes! This is a hysterical, ranting about nothing. Adventists were told by an inspired woman that God expected them to be healthy. And God expected them to share good health with their neighbors. That is a plot that most people of good will would applaud. And OH yes they will also advise you to not use tobacco, addicting drugs, or alcohol. Sorry that’s the plot, now get over it and live as well as you can. And thank your Adventist neighbors for doing their part to help you.
Dr Fettke has made many of the points you make as reflected in my reports. As I understand it, he is simply saying that the Church has had and continues to have an unusual influence on public health policy based on belief, not science. That applies particularly to its stand on meat. He is not against anyone having religious views. Rather, he is against anyone not declaring the basis for views when giving advice to patients.
Adventists have religious views in their religious books. You can buy them and read them if you want to know why they think Christians should consider plants their primary food. But in scientific journals they are not promoting their religious views, they publish peer reviewed articles with scientific evidence. To attack the science because of the race, gender, sexual preferences, nationality, or religion of the scientists is bigotry, not science. The evidence of an association of red meat with colon carcinoma is very solid. The evidence of a plant based diet reducing ASHD, CVAs, Obesity, DM2 is solid science. Argue your case on the scientific facts, not on your anti-religious bias. You can make fun of eating nuts and berries, but the science, not the religious motivation for the studies, is the evidence. And that people who accept the Adventist health advice live longer also is not an opinion, but a fact. Your article and its presentation is full of innuendo and bias. Saying they “spawn” doctors is a snide slam on the thousands of excellent physicians trained in SDA medical schools in many countries. Calling this little church “Big Religion” is an innuendo that they are like “Big Pharmacy” trying to squeeze dollars from the gullible. Suggesting there are financial ties between the scientific work and the church shows absolute ignorance. Adventist universities are supported by the church for their religion teachers. All the science research is supported by grants from governments and non-religious commercial organizations like the Almond and Walnut growers and Olive Oil producers whose interest in the evidence is strictly commercial, and not at all religious. Responsible journalism would be to recognize a rant and innuendo based opinion for what it is.
I was reporting on Dr Fettke’s talk to CrossFit. All those mentioned on Foodmed.net have right of reply. That is part of my responsibility as a responsible journalist. I emailed Dr Wahlqvist and others for comment. They chose not reply.
For an Australian wholly owned Seventh-day Adventist Church company, the Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company sell a lot of highly processed, sugary foods. They are the most ‘trusted brand’ for breakfast cereals in Australia and New Zealand and now distributing in China and India.
There is a global obesity and diabetes epidemic and the Church is contributing to the marketing and selling if highly processed foods and are involved in the Australian dietary guidelines.
“Weet-Bix and UP&GO are the first Sanitarium products to arrive on shelves with front of pack Health Star labelling. UP&GO scores four and a half stars and Weet-Bix scores five under the Health Star Rating system.
The Health Star Rating system, which was endorsed by the State and Federal Governments in June, scores products on a scale of 0.5 to five stars based on nutrient and whole food content, and is aligned with the Australian Dietary Guidelines. In June, Sanitarium made the commitment to adopt the new Health Star Rating system across its entire product range.” http://c-store.com.au/2014/12/04/sanitarium-rolls-health-star-rating/
I have NO issue with the health message of eat less sugar and processed foods but …
We have a serious health issue in Australia and our leading cereal, soy manufacturer is wholly owned by the Church.
Sorry, Belinda, that you seem to have a chip on your shoulder against Sanitarium and Adventists. I am not sure how this came about but I hope it wasn’t by a personal bad experience.
I hope that you can someday experience what a lovely company Sanitarium is. They sponsor so many worthy causes and give generously to many community initiatives – some of which I am sure you are aware – kids’ triathlons, etc.,
They are one of the few companies left that give back a lot without just thinking about profit. I don’t work for them, so I can say I think some products are high in sugar, and I am very much against sugar, but Weetbix is one of the only breakfast cereals that is relatively low in salt and very low in sugar.
I don’t buy any sweet drinks, cornflakes, rice bubbles, coco pops etc., and also I am a fourth-generation vegetarian. My great-grandmother lived to 100 years old on an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. She also had enough quality of life to live independently, garden, and do pilates every day. Her memory stayed clear the whole time.
My children are, thank God, hardly ever sick. We take vitamins, eat only a little bit of sugar, have healthy plant proteins for every meal, which are not costly. We also eat a lot of fresh fruits and veges.
People can get sick on vegan, vegetarian and meat diets, and the common factor, I believe, is processed food. However, for most people healthy meat from healthy animals is hard to come by. How do you know unless you actually see the animal?
Bingo! Money and profit trump science and reason, as usual.
Alas Chelle, (8 Aug, late morning)
More than one ‘Scientific’ study has shown the cardio-protective effects of living in a supportive, clearly-defined (beliefs & behaviours) and close-knit social structure. Add strong, genuine religious faith which of itself is a positive health factor…and I’m surprised SDA’s ‘only’ last an extra 10 years… Bear in mind that their ‘well’ are likely to be involved in praying for their ‘UNwell’ – and we have another life-extender.
The power of prayer has also been the subject of Scientific Study, with surprising (for the non-believer) results. Page 3 of this link:-
Ross, we promise not to tell anyone about your little nutritional lapse… ego te absolvo.
In the words of SDA prophet Ellen White, meat is devilish and grains are heavnely:
“If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers. Grains and fruits prepared free from grease, and in as natural a condition as possible, should be the food for the tables of all who claim to be preparing for translation to heaven. The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled. Gratification of taste should not be consulted irrespective of physical, intellectual, or moral health.”
Oh this is brilliant!
For a while now I’ve been looking for links between the Militant Vegans, Militant Statinists and Militant Cholesterol Believers since they seem to hang out together, especially on Twitter and blogs, and the way they constantly attack science and support low fat dogma.
I was assuming money was behind their quasi-religious fervour. Now I see that it actually IS religious fervour. (Though the money obviously helps).
I already knew that Kellogg invented his breakfast cereals to prevent masturbation (which obviously works if you eat enough of them to induce diabetic neuropathy and arterial damage) which makes PETA’s recent campaign to “prove” that meat causes impotence even more bizarre than it already is
WARNING! Do not look if you have anything in your mouth that may damage your keyboard when you snort it out your nose!
Previously I saw the SDA as “mostly harmless” – and I’ve seen “ordinary” Christians decrying low carb diets on the basis that not eating bread is an affront to God – but this explains a LOT and takes it on to another level entirely in terms of tying together a bunch of loose ends.
Thanks Gary and Marika!
Meat industry marketing, that is what you support. Promoting animal suffering.
Sheep grazing in open fields, converting grass to protein, is ‘bad’. Crops grown in monocultures with pesticides, scarce water and mowing down millions of smaller creatures is somehow ‘good’. It’s not that simple.
So why is it that SCIENTIFIC study after SCIENTIFIC study show that SDA’s live an average of 10 years longer than most other people??? Gary can say what he likes with all his obvious bias but am not interested in a word of it. Where are all the references to what he has stated here as if it is factual. Sadly lacking it seems. Anyone can say anything about anyone but it doesn’t mean it’s true. Don’t be a follower without doing some deep solid research of your own! I would go with the group that on average lives 10 years longer than people like him. The SDA’s do a tremendous good in our society and even more so in third world countries and around the world. Their hospitals and medical establishments are first class facilities in every way. I have the utmost respect and admiration for these beautiful people. If that is what you call religious ideology then bring it on!!! APHRA – maybe they were not so wrong in their decision after all???
SDAs are self-selected. Proves nothing.
They live longer because they don’t smoke or drink alcohol, and they live in close-knit communities. Only half of all SDAs are vegetarian. You’re right about their hospitals and medical facilities.
Just being religious improves your life expectancy, whatever you eat.
If you do studies on volunteers with a belief system, they perform better – they have something to prove.
Whereas if you look at ordinary people who are vegetarian or vegan, they don’t live longer and have higher rates of depression and anxiety, something belonging to a church as supportive as the SDA one would prevent.
Good points, George. I suspect the low-fat diet is strongly implicated in much of that depression and anxiety.
Because they eat less processed food and sugar. Nothing to do with meat at all.
I’d found Gary’s talk by googling around to see in the meantime. It was a very impressive piece of work. He’s really got to the bottom of this. I have the most profound admiration for his acumen and energy in researching this.
Gary has totally changed my view on this. I had been assuming that agribusiness was the major culprit and that vegetarians were merely fellow travellers, on account both groups have somewhat convergent agendas. But now I’m convinced that Gary has *shown* that the reverse is true—that the major problem is the vegetarians/vegans, and that it’s the Seventh Day Adventist cult that’s behind that.
However, I think he’s also shown how one can hardly differentiate between the Seventh Day Adventists and Commerce: it’s separating in thought what’s intimately entwined in practice. I’m reminded of the naive adherents of Free Market ideology who thought that they could solve all the former USSR’s problems by a process of privatisation in Russia. But in fact it seems you can run through such processes, but at the end of the day there’s no real way to separate business, the State, State bodies like the FSB (KGB replacement), and organised crime in Russia: they all interpenetrate and morph into each other. Similarly, this “Church”, the businesses it owns or influences, and companies like Coca-Cola seem to cooperate so closely as to be inseparable in their operations.
I have two quibbles with Gary, though in view of his magnificent achievement in unearthing this it’s maybe unfair to have any. First, I think he’s too kind to these people—although I suppose he does get around to using the word “criminal” eventually. And in my view it’s too simplistic to assume that people like this “mean well” or are “trying o do the right thing” or whatever. All that means is that they’re approving of themselves in their own consciences. That’s not good enough. Anyone who REALLY wants to do the right thing has to strive be right: that means looking at evidence—as much as you can get and all different forms of it—and considering it as fairly as you can. If you don’t do that, then you’re not sincere in any belief you might have that you “mean well”.
Secondly, I find the thing about not having emotions a bit grating. There’s nothing wrong with emotions. We’re human beings not robots; they’re part of our make-up. One should try to keep the wrong sorts of emotions that will mislead, like pride and envy, in check, but that’s not the same thing as being emotionless. The thing is to have the right emotion towards the right object in the right degree at the right time (as your ancestor Aristotle said, Marika), not to not have them. And in practice I’m sure generous emotion is what is helping to drive Gary’s excellent work.
Excellent report. Cudos to you and Gary.
The fundamental reason for the existence of religion and churches is for the aggrandizement, power, glory, and financial benefits accruing to the leadership of the organisations. It is therefore totally understandable why they act as the do. Trouble is too many folks just don’t get it.
Very good article, Marika. It’ll be interesting to hear Gary’s talk when it’s posted. It’s terrible that these people have been dishonestly pushing what is in an essence a theological agenda on whole populations.
Of course, from a Christian point of view forbidding people particular foods is heretical anyway:
The idea of someone’s “vision” – phenomena which have always been regarded as suspect and more likely than not delusional – as a guide to what to eat is preposterous. Imagine all those visits across the globe and all that careful recording Weston Price did! If only he’d known that all he had to do was sit at home and have a vision!
My article now includes a link to Dr Gary Fettke’s talk. You can find it on YouTube: The Central Role Of Nutrition In Everything
Thank you Marika for this interesting piece – looking forward to the next one !
Oops, sorry, auto-correct! Marika
Thanks to your tweets I was able to watch Gary live. It was the most amazing presentation! As an atheist I really could not give a damn what people believe their imaginary friends have informed them, but to reach out to influence wider society in this damaging manner is quite shocking and shameful.
Keep up I the good work, Marina,
Just buried my wife’s too young brother at a SDA church service and grave side ceremony today. As a faithful Adventist he was doomed to diabetes, then cancer, then heart attack and death. He worked for an Adventist cereal company, Sanatarium, and the family described how the cupboards were stocked with the cereal/sugar products. We tried, but their whole diet/religion is so deeply ingrained, (no pun intended).
We saw and heard other church members telling of their common fight with the same diseases.
On a happier note, we attended our own denomination in the town we visited, and they served sausages after the service with coffee or tea. Most were eating the sausage wrapped in a paper serviette, while some had a slice of bread. I was told by local members that paleo was being followed by a number of the church folk. No cakes, iced buns etc to be seen. I hope this catches on in our own congregation in our home town where cakes and such like are common fare after services.
Must confess my own lapse as the food served at the after funeral function was all high carb!
Ross, reading about your visit to your own denomination made me smile. Most spiritual functions do indeed end with cakes, cookies, pies and all manner of sugary fare, but to think of a church which is getting into whole, real foods makes me really happy! 🙂
This is amazing stuff, Marika and Gary, thank you for your efforts to inform. Gary’s own experience (along with Prof Noakes) with Med Authorities (MA) and LCHF has shown that MA are so seriously rattled by the move to LCHF that they have had to come out into the open to fight it. This latest insight from Gary gives us a chance to attack the root of the problem, and finally show this charlatan ideology for what it is – a great big power grabbing, money making con!
Good God!! 🙂
Bravo Marika, once again!
Ellen G White would be disheartened to know (in her grave) that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian.
There is good in the bad and bad in the good!
YIn and Yang.
Sanitarium does not pay tax; its profits go to the US where they are in part invested in pharmaceutical companies and medical research. SDA researchers work for the so-called Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, a vegan propaganda organisation. Does the SDA also fund PCRM directly, or through its shell company PETA, from its untaxed income? PCRM has a declared income of over $10,000,000 per year.
If the SDA church is contributing to this, or to research that PCRM requests, then when you buy their products, the money saved by tax avoidance, increased by investment in drugs, then goes to feed the propaganda that restricts your access to good medical advice and threatens your access to more nourishing food.
Is there a video available of his talk?
Not yet. Will put up a link when it is.