Sunday is Quack Day at America's Best Community Daily. While the believers are in church, I’m home reading the “Health and Fitness” tab, an unending source of humor, better than the "funny papers" of my youth.
Today, for example, “Ask the Experts: Local medical professionals answer health-related questions and give straight answers on various subjects” contains this bit of hilarity:
“Q: I have heard a lot about internal cleansing, but why is this important? A: Internal cleansing is a common term used to describe the act of process of [sic] ridding the body of toxic substances that enter or are produced by the body. Harmful toxins existing in the body are of two types, those produced by external or environmental sources such as factories, industrial plants or mold. These are called exogenous toxins. The other -- called endogenous toxins – is caused by the body during its various processes. Accumulated toxins existing in the body are a serious problem. The results of numerous studies indicate that a number of toxic substances are responsible for many of the diseases prevalent today. Because of the vast amounts of toxins, the body is unable to naturally cleans itself completely. Internal cleansing assists the body with the removal of toxins. The process uses special herbs, foods and a number of other therapies and procedures.”
This little bit of Q&A compiled by De Soto Sun Editor Dawn Krebs (I don't believe for one moment a reader wrote in with this question), concludes with the note: “Gregory N. Whyte is a health education specialist and holistic health practitioner. He writes and lectures on topics and areas within the spectrum of fitness, holistic health and natural healing, and provides consulting counseling and training services."
Now, no one with an ounce of sense would read Whyte's Quack Day contribution without asking: what toxins? what studies? what prevalent diseases? what cleansing assists? what special herbs? what therapies? and what procedures?
But, silly me, I thought newspaper editors were supposed to ask these questions. After all "what" is about 20 percent of the five W's, right?
Here’s what the editor doesn't report about her featured "medical professional:"
Gregory N. Whyte makes no claim to having a medical degree, although he says he earned a bachelor's degree in phys ed from Hunter College in New York. Neither does he have -- or claim to have -- any health-related license in the state of Florida.
He does claim to be author of a book he has for sale: “Mold Management and Tutorial.” The book is a self-published book and costs $34.95. It is available only at his his Web site, “Advanced Health and Safety I.T.D. Inspection Testing Design." The Web site also sells home inspections for "air quality and other pollutants.” Whyte claims to identify “Environmental Disharmony” through poor interior design and decor.
A five-minute Internet search turns up Militant Islam Monitor, a Web site that lists Islamic activists and credits Whyte as “creator of Tiririka survival and development system.” That site's broken link to Whyte's bio is available in the Wayback Machine. It's a November 2005 page for The Truth Establishment Institute, listing a Chicago post office box address and several still-active links to stories about Louis Farrakhan and a mission statement about a "justified" society.
On his own bio page, Whyte says he has a master’s degree in exercise physiology from Columbia. He claims a fourth-degree black belt in Goshin-Jitsu and that he has “mastered” karate, judo, akido and weaponry. He says he developed a “personal martial arts system called Triririka [...] an African New World Martial Arts.” Whyte claims expertise in “African/Caribbean Folk medicine” based in part on “holistic health and herbology at the School of Holistic Health and Natural Living in New York City." On the same page, Whyte says he developed Modern Yoga.
I'm sure Gregory Whyte is a very nice man and well qualified to lead a phys ed or martial arts class. He may even have some unmentioned credential that qualifies him to detect and correct mold in the house, or advise me about decor or the arrangement of my landscape plants (another service he offers). But, Madam Editor, what makes this guy a "medical professional," and why have you directed a "reader's question" to him for a "straight answer?"