People who think they have “Morgellons” have usually self-diagnosed. There is no diagnostic criteria for Morgellons, and the case definition is overly broad, allowing anyone with general malaise to claim some of the many symptoms. But the people who end up convincing themselves of their Morgellons are generally people who have rejected their doctors diagnoses, and turn to “alternative” medicine. Given the mental issues that often accompany a self-diagnosis of Morgellons, it is not surprising that these people have become an easy target for many forms of quackery.
Morgellons has been associated with quackery ever since the media took up the story some time last year. I wrote about Dr. Schwartz pushing his book, various peddlers of remedies advertising on Google, and one of the earliest: DermatechRx.
A new arrival in the field is the web site MorgellonsHope.com, a front for a multi-level-marketing scheme centered around “NutraSilver”, a colloidal silver water treatment marketed by “Beneficial Solutions LLC”.
There are several players here:
James Matthews, M.D., who claims to have Morgellons himself, and claims to have been treated by Nutrasilver. Matthews is careful in his endorsement, and even notes that the FDA had declared such silver products as “not recognized as safe” and “misbranded”, that you might get argyria (but it would be worth it if it cured the Morgellons), and that he himself suffers from a conflict of interest, in that his company “Advanced Medicine LLC” gets money from the sale of NutraSilver. he is also a board member of “Life Medical Technologies, LLC”. Neither company seems to have made itself known on the internet.
Russell B. Altman, the man behind Beneficial Solutions LLC, who originally promoted the use of NutraSilver (then called SilverDyne) via email and message board postings (as russellbgood) at least back to June 2006. His friend Connie is the “star” of the MorgellonsHope video. He now promotes MorgellonsHope.
Charles Veach, founder of the “World Health Alliance“, the original promoters of Nutrasilver/SilverDyne, which was promoted as a water disinfectant. He recently stated: “Our hearts go out to the Morgellons suffers in this world; it is our goal that we make a difference in their lives.”
So what’s going on here? Perhaps Veach has been selling silver for a while in the third world, recruited Altman, who tried to market it in the US, discovered it “cured” his friend of Morgellons, so started marketing it for that, then met Sohler, who saw a multi-level marketing opportunity, and pulled in Matthews for a testimonial? Do they believe it works? It seems quite astonishing that they are marketing a product seeming based on ONE CASE, Connie, who got better for unknown reasons.
And yes, silver kills pathogens. So does bleach.