Over 200 Scientists and Mental Health Professionals Respond to President Museveni Regarding Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

In a February 3 letter to Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, over 200 researchers and mental health professionals from around the world joined together to provide a statement of scientific consensus regarding sexual orientation. The letter was in response to Museveni’s call for evidence regarding choice of sexual orientation as he deliberates about his response to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The letter was distributed for comment and signature among various professional and academic listservs during a 3 day window of time. Many more wanted to sign the letter but because we wanted to get the letter to President Museveni in time for his political party retreat, we were unable to add all that asked to sign on.  However, those wanting to add their support may do so in the comments section or via email (see the letter).

Click the link to read the letter.

John Catanzaro to Appeal License Suspension

On his website yesterday, John Catanzaro, Mark Driscoll’s naturopathpartially addressed the growing controversy surrounding his license suspension.

To our valued patients and friends of Health and Wellness Institute of Integrative Medicine:

From: Dr. John Catanzaro

As many of you know, the Washington Department of Health (WA DOH) has raised concerns about our use of experimental autologous peptide vaccine in research. We disagree with the WA DOH and are appealing. We are working diligently with our legal team on our appeal.

We continue to provide personalized wellness and cancer care and all of our physicians, nurse team and admin team are here to serve you. There will be no interruption in our ability to provide you excellent quality care.

We want to sincerely thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time. Our admin team can assist you in identifying ways you can support us during this process.

Warm Regards,
Dr. John

The Washington Department of Health did more than raise “concerns.” The naturopath board suspended his license to practice. In contrast to the message of “no interruption,” he is not supposed to practice while it is suspended. According to the Washington board, he has until Monday, February 17 to appeal.

Catanzaro only partially addressed issues which have been raised. Prior to the state board’s action, Catanzaro claimed to have a collaborative relationship with Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Ken Anderson an oncologist at DFCI, and the University of Washington for the purpose of developing cancer vaccines. In recent days, DFCI, Ken Anderson and UW have denied collaboration with Catanzaro or his clinic. If I was considering alternative care, this would be a huge red flag for me.

Another question is how naturopaths in this group are able to treat cancer at all. Naturopaths must work collaboratively with a MD or DO in order to treat malignancies in the state of Washington.* None of the medical staff listed on the website are credentialed as a MD or DO.

*WAC 246-836-210 (4) Naturopathic physicians may not treat malignancies except in collaboration with a practitioner licensed under chapter 18.57 or 18.71 RCW.

Click the link to read the State of Washington complaint.

Reference to Dana Farber Cancer Institute Removed from John Catanzaro's Clinic Website; U of WA Says There is No Connection

Since John Catanzaro’s license to practice as a naturopath was suspended in January, many websites have been scrubbed. Immediately, Mars Hill Church removed all 18 of John Catanzaro’s articles from The Resurgence website (you can see the posts here). Then, after being warned by Harvard’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute, references to the alleged collaboration between Catanzaro’s Health and Wellness Institute for Integrative Medicine and Cancer Treatment and DFCI have been removed. The current link doesn’t mention DFCI, but last week it did:

The other reference to DFCI was on Catanzaro’s Linked In page, and now that is missing as well.

Unless Catanzaro can offer proof of a collaboration with DFCI (I have asked for such evidence), it appears that he never did have a connection. He also claimed to be collaborating with the University of Washington “in the development of personalized cancer defense vaccines.” About that claim, UW spokeswoman Bobbi Nodell told me, “We cannot find a connection to UW.”*
More Scrubbing
In May, 2013, Mark Driscoll promoted Catanzaro’s ebook on marijuana on Facebook and Twitter, but those links are now broken. (Google cache tells the tale. Click the links to see the posts – Facebook; Twitter)
Mark Driscoll’s foreward to Catanzaro’s book was once on the HWIFC website, but isn’t now.

Once Catanzaro promoted Driscoll’s ebook, Puff or Pass? as a free gift for subscribing to the HWIFC newsletter. Now it is missing.
One page that hasn’t disappeared (but I suspect will soon after this post goes up) is this reference by Catanzaro to Mark Driscoll as his pastor and his article titled, “A Christian Doctor’s Opinion on Pot.”
Here is another page still up on Facebook where Catanzaro is referred to as a “licensed physician.” However, if you click the link in this Facebook post you come to an empty page on The Resurgence website.
To see all posts on this topic, click this link.
*UPDATE: This comment was added after this article was posted.

Twenty African Leaders Attend David Barton's Capitol Tour During Congressional Prayer Breakfast Event

How did this happen?
Louie Gohmert was co-chair of the Congressional Prayer Breakfast this year (along with Janice Hahn D-CA) and so it is possible that the prayer breakfast committee promoted this to the African leaders. It is also possible that Barton sponsored it and used his relationship with Gohmert to spread the word.
Hard to say which stories he told. Perhaps he told them Congress printed the first English Bible to use in schools, or that most of the founders had seminary degrees. Despite the fact that even the Family Research Council removed a video of this presentation, Barton is still giving it, this time to international leaders.
The Fellowship Foundation helps to plan and run the prayer breakfast. When I attended in 2010, I attended the African breakfast and other events and did not hear Christian nationalist messages. All in all, it seemed pretty tame from a political perspective. I cannot imagine how this presentation by Barton would support the mission often articulated by the Fellowship.
 

Dana Farber Cancer Institute Issues Warning To John Catanzaro

As is also being reported at Wartburg Watch, Dana Farber Cancer Institute issued a strong warning regarding Seattle naturopath John Catanzaro.

Warren and Dee:
We have investigated the matter and taken steps to request that Dr. Catanzaro cease all unauthorized use of our name.
Sincerely, Teresa Herbert
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Communications Department

Previously, DFCI disclosed that oncologist Ken Anderson was not collaborating with Catanzaro to develop cancer vaccines.
There are other open questions that I hope DFCI will address next week but for now, this seems to be an indication that claims such as made on the HWIFC website will need to be removed:

We are developing individual treatment strategies that will enhance each patient’s ability to fight and win the cancer battle; effectively blending medical science and integrative treatment to reach the cure. To accomplish this we are collaborating with Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard as well as University of Washington in the development of personalized cancer defense vaccines.

Catanzaro’s Linked In page has been changed to remove reference to DFCI but this reference remains.
The folks behind Wartburg Watch have reported that they have been threatened since writing about Mr. Catanzaro’s cancer operation. I have as well. I do think Mr. Catanzaro should publicly condemn threats made with regard to coverage of his situation. I have emailed him and asked him several questions with no response.
I have also asked Mars Hill Church what prompted them to remove John Catanzaro’s articles from the Resurgence website with no reply.
Catanzaro is medical director of the HWIFC Cancer Research Group.  It is in this setting that the State of Washington’s naturopath board found the unauthorized use of cancer vaccines. The research group is registered with the IRS as a non-profit. You can review the 2011 990 form here. The form does not indicate that Catanzaro is medical director but it does show a substantial transaction of just over $344,000 between the non-profit and Catanzaro’s naturopath business.
Regarding the State of Washington complaint against Catanzaro, it appears that the board of naturopathy has already interviewed Catanzaro who, according to the board, was unable to verify Institutional Review Board approval or a Federalwide Assurance number. It is important to note that former patients brought the complaints which were then investigated by fellow naturopaths.
Prior posts on this topic:
Claims Of Resurgence Ex-Author And Naturopath Questioned By Esteemed Cancer Institute
John Catanzaro Speaks Out About His Cancer Vaccines; Mars Hill Church Is Silent
Naturopathic Doctor Touted By Mark Driscoll Suspended Over Experimental Cancer Vaccine

From Martin Luther To Mark Driscoll: A Literary Version Of The Telephone Game

Stories passed along from one person to another often vary significantly from the original telling. Over time, paraphrasing the work of other people can lead to some interesting but incorrect stories being passed down as fact.  Mark Driscoll’s books Real Marriage and Religion Saves contain illustrations of this telephone game in writing.
On January 21, I wrote about remarkable similarities between Driscoll’s Real Marriage and Leland Ryken’s book Worldly Saints.  In that post, I also noted another book apparently consulted by Driscoll based on the similarity of wording regarding a story about St. Francis of Assisi. On page 115, of Real Marriage, Driscoll claims:

Saint Francis made women out of snow and then caressed them in order to quiet the lust that burned in him.

This phrasing seems much like Shadia Drury’s wording in her book Terror and Civilization. On page 96, Drury writes:

Saint Francis tried to cool the lust that burned within him by caressing figures made of snow.

In her book, Drury cites a 1960 book by William Lazareth titled Luther on the Christian Home as the source of that informationOn page nine of that book, a paragraph briefly surveys the views of the church fathers on sexuality:

You will notice that this survey from Lazareth resembles various statements in Real Marriage and in another Driscoll book Religion Saves (click the links to see those books). The footnote in Lazareth leads to volume three of the six-volume Works of Martin Luther published in Germany between 1912-1921. The paragraph above is Lazareth’s translation of a paragraph by Luther dated 1538. Luther says Francis made “schneeballen” (snowballs) and “herzet und kusset” (hearted and kissed) them until his lust passed. However, the story is told differently by Celano, Francis’ biographer. Celano wrote:

How the devil, calling to Francis, tempted him with lust, and how the saint overcame the temptation
116 At the hermitage of the brothers at Sartiano, he who is always envious of the children of God, presumed to do the following against the saint. For seeing the saint continuing to increase in holiness and not neglecting today’s profit for yesterday’s, he called to Francis at prayer one night in his cell, saying three times: “Francis, Francis, Francis.” He answered, saying: “What do you want?” And the other: “There is no sinner in the world whom the Lord will not forgive if he is converted; but whoever destroys himself by harsh penance will not find mercy forever.” Immediately the saint recognized the cleverness of his enemy by a revelation, how he was trying to bring him back to lukewarmness. What then? The enemy did not stop short of inflicting upon him another struggle. For seeing that he could not thus conceal his snare, he prepared another snare, namely, the enticement of the flesh. But in vain, for he who had seen through the craftiness of the spirit could not be tricked by the flesh. The devil therefore tempted him with a most severe temptation of lust. But the blessed father, as soon as he noticed it, took off his clothing and beat himself very severely with his cord, saying: “See, brother ass, thus is it becoming for you to remain, thus is it becoming for you to bear the whip. The tunic belongs to the order; stealing is not allowed. If you want to go your way,
117 But when he saw that the temptation did not leave him in spite of the scourging, even though all his members were marked with welts, he opened his cell and went out into the garden and cast himself naked into a deep pile of snow. Then gathering handfuls of snow, he made from it seven lumps like balls. And setting them before him, he began to speak to his body: “Behold,” he said, “this larger one is your wife; these four are your two sons and your two daughters; the other two are your servant and your maid whom you must have to serve you. Hurry,” he said, “and clothe them all, for they are dying of cold. But if caring for them in so many ways troubles you, be solicitous for serving God alone.” The devil then departed quickly in confusion, and the saint returned to his cell glorifying God. A certain spiritual brother, who was praying at the time, saw the whole thing by the light of the moon. But when the saint found out later that this brother had seen him that night, he was greatly distressed and commanded him to tell the thing to no one as long as he lived in this world.

So passing down the story from Celano to Luther, and then from Luther to Lazareth, from Lazareth to Drury (or Driscoll) and from (possibly Drury) to Driscoll, the story changed a lot. Apparently, Luther adding the part about affection being applied to snowball people. By the time Driscoll told the story, St. Francis was making snow women to fondle.  While I don’t necessarily believe the original story, I think the strange retelling of the story may say more about Rev. Driscoll than St. Francis.
Before I leave this, I want to mention another odd story in Religion Saves on pages 186-187. According to Driscoll,

In the Victorian age, modestly became so extreme that long tablecloths were put over tables to hide the table legs for fear that men would see them and think of women’s legs and then lust.

This tale is generally considered to be false and may have come from the notes of one of two French writers, either Flora Tristan or M. Larcher (Pierre-Henri Larcher). According to this 1860 essay in Charles Dickens’ magazine All The Year Round (Vol. 4, p. 142-144), these French writers had misconceptions of the English. Dickens (or another unnamed writer) makes fun of the observations of the French writers by giving account of all the characteristics supposedly displayed by the English. The relevant section is here:

Cutting the leaves of this veracious volume in a sleepy, indolent kind of manner, I am suddenly aroused by finding that I never take off my hat to a lady, but only to a horse the reason being, that a woman causes me to spend money, and a horse causes me to gain it:wherefore I love, pat, and caress my horse, but in no wise love, pat, or caress my wife ; nor do I salute any lady whatsoever, but only my favourite racer. I also find that my wife and sisters put trousers on the legs of their pianos, chairs, and tables; that they never talk of the leg of a fowl, or ask for a slice of leg of mutton, but prefer a modest request for the limb of a chicken, and desire a little slice of that limb of mutton. Anything else would be “very shocking,” and would put English prudery quite out of countenance.

This English magazine article appears to sarcastically dismiss the French account. I can’t find any historical accounts which support the claim. While it may be a small historical point, it is not possible to research Driscoll’s claim since he does not provide a source.  I suspect a telephone game style changing of the original observations to the questionable story told by Driscoll.
 
 
 

David Barton Calls for a Constitutional Convention for Some Reason

Today, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze breathlessly announced that “another big name” has endorsed the calling of a Constitutional convention.  For some reason, David Barton wants to convene a convention of states to do something.
Barton and others on this road believe the federal government operates unconstitutionally but what they would do to stop it with a convention is not clear. Given what Barton thinks about the Constitution (it quotes the Bible verbatim), I am hoping his big name isn’t successful in his new quest.

Claims Of Resurgence Ex-Author And Naturopath Questioned By Esteemed Cancer Institute

Last week, I wrote about John Catanzaro, a naturopath who Mark Driscoll has called his doctor. Driscoll has promoted Catanzaro in his sermons as the one who helped him overcome adrenal fatigue. This diagnosis is not a medical diagnosis but rather a theoretical concept often advanced by alternative medicine providers. Mars Hill promoted Catanzaro on the Resurgence website until recently when someone at MHC scrubbed all of Catazaro’s articles from the site. Although MHC has not given an explanation, the articles may have gone missing because Catanzaro’s license as a naturopath was suspended over allegations that he was giving untested cancer vaccines to patients.
To at least one patient, Catanzaro claimed he was working with Dr. Ken Anderson, an oncologist at Harvard’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute. On his Linked In page and his clinic website, he claims a special relationship with DFCI. However, it appears those claims are questionable.
On his Linked In page, Catanzaro says:

Dr. Catanzaro is pioneering movement toward personalized genetic and adaptive integrative immune treatment to fight cancer. He is working in a private movement with expert Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard cancer scientists in the area of cancer proteomics and molecular genetics in developing individualized HLA matched cancer peptide strategies through a subcontract with NeoBioLabs, Cambridge Ma.

Catanzaro’s clinic website says:

We are developing individual treatment strategies that will enhance each patient’s ability to fight and win the cancer battle; effectively blending medical science and integrative treatment to reach the cure. To accomplish this we are collaborating with Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard as well as University of Washington in the development of personalized cancer defense vaccines.

Consistent with Catanzaro’s claims, these bloggers describe a phone conversation where Catanzaro claimed he was working with DFCI and Ken Anderson to develop a cancer vaccine:

We are preparing for the development of the next immunotherapy vaccine with the Health & Wellness Center. I had a 2-hour conversation on the phone the other day with Dr. John Catanzaro, who talked us through why this vaccine is different and something to be particularly hopeful about… the most significant being that he is now partnering with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston!
The first time that Chelsa and I read anything speaking of a CURE for Multiple Myeloma was forwarded by a friend from an article published about advances by doctors at Dana-Farber. This provided us with a great deal of hope, as well as assurance that the treatment we are pursuing with Health & Wellness Center is legitimate. It was SUPER encouraging to hear Dr. John say that he is now partnering with Dr. Ken Anderson at the Dana-Farber Institute to develop the same kind of vaccine for Chelsa that Dana-Farber Institute has experienced so much success with. (I included some links below if you want to know more).

With the help of Dr. John Peteet, a friend at DFCI, I was able to make contact with Ken Anderson who replied simply that there is “no connection” between Catanzaro and Anderson.  A call to DFCI yielded a similar result. Teresa Herbert, spokeswoman for DFCI, told me:

Dr. Ken Anderson and John Catanzaro are not working on any projects together. They spoke on the phone once or twice but they are not working on any projects together and I am not aware that they ever were.

On his Linked In page above, Catanzaro mentions a sub-contract with NeoBioLabs. NBL is not a research group, but rather sells equipment and reagents used in research. In other words, the implication that Catanzaro is working with DFCI via NBL is misleading at best.*
Via email, twitter and Facebook, I asked Catanzaro and the Health and Wellness Institute for references or contacts at DFCI who could substantiate the claims but there has been no reply. Yesterday, Catanzaro appears to have responded indirectly to his suspension on his website. DFCI has promised to address several additional matters as soon as possible.
There are significant questions which remain for Catanzaro and DFCI to address. According to the information presented by Catanzaro’s patient, Catanzaro claimed that DFCI was being paid to help develop an individualized vaccine. However, since Catanzaro’s lab is not conducting approved clinical trials, it seems odd and frankly hard to believe that DFCI would provide the kind of services Catanzaro claims. Hopefully, DFCI can address this question soon. If there isn’t and hasn’t been a connection, then Mr. Catanzaro may have to explain more than his suspended license to his patients.
 
*Thanks to Dee Parsons for passing along the information on NBL.

John Catanzaro Speaks Out About His Cancer Vaccines; Mars Hill Church Is Silent

As reported last week, the license of Mark Driscoll’s naturopath, John Catanzaro was suspended by the Washington State Department of Health. According to the complaint, Catanzaro uses unapproved vaccines to treat cancer. Soon after the complaint was filed, Mars Hill Church removed all of the articles written by Catanzaro from the Resurgence website.
Now, Catanzaro has responded indirectly to the controversy. In an article on his website, he defends his approach by citing Frank Zappa and what he claims is an illustration of a successful use of the vaccines.  Regarding the use of the vaccine with one patient, Catanzaro wrote:

She did have very mild reactions from the chemo, but they were minimal because of the immune support. The immune support did not compromise her chemo regimen it enhanced its effectiveness. I considered this a success!

This is a very delicate topic. On one hand, you have Catanzaro and a cadre of satisfied patients who seem to view the vaccine treatment as integral to their successful battle against cancer. On the other hand, the mainstream medical community has a wonderful track record of advances against the disease via careful research and clinical trials. In my reporting on this subject, I do not mean to seem critical of anyone who is trying to do the best they know how to do.
In a future post (possibly today, maybe tomorrow), I want to present some information which can provide full disclosure for those considering vaccine treatments from naturopaths or other off-the-grid providers. The Mars Hill approach of just removing materials without comment (I have asked) and pretending that John Catanzaro never existed or was not promoted at MHC seems less than helpful. My understanding from anonymous sources I trust is that Catanzaro’s treatments costs thousands of dollars and were provided to senior staff at MHC as a benefit of employment. Now, he is a non-entity.  Mark Driscoll recommended Catanzaro and promoted the bogus diagnosis of adrenal fatigue as recently as this month in Christianity Today. Now, he is gone from the Resurgence website.
(H/t to Sean in the combox)