I really enjoyed this book. It is a good look at the sleazy underbelly of the snake-oil "One True Cure". And it is funny. The author has a first class sense of humor, which is rare in serious journalism.
The book has an extensive bibliography. But no index! That is weird. Computers make creating an index very easy. It is a bit of work to do it right, but it is worth it for the reader.
The narrative takes a different course than most books. Instead of telling a series of stories about seven One True Cure (OTC) promoters, the books chops each quack's tales into four pieces… roughly speaking: Getting started, the early years, the latter years, and the end. This allows you to compare each whacko's experiences with the others over time. The down side is that is it hard to keep up with narratives like that. You lose the thread of one nut-bar and then have to pick it up again three more times.
The main players and their One True Cures are:
Larry Lytle; A laser pistol OTC
Toby McAdam: Herbal Supplement OTC
Robert O. Young: Bleach OTC
Alicia Kolyszko: Leeches OTC
Dale and Leilani Neumann: Prayer OTC
An Alien inside a human skin: MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution) OTC
Mara-A-Lardo is mentioned many times, but only by the moniker "former game show host".
As I mentioned, I find humor injected into the serious work of journalists who are trying to get to the truth is a necessity when the truth is that these people are nuts, evil and/or self-deluded. Twenty-five years ago (or so) I a wrote a piece on the difference between pseudo-science and proto-science. The I issues I raised in that piece, not surprisingly, cropped up constantly in this book.
Many people needlessly die in this book, and there is nothing funny about that.
Well researched, and a very fun read. But no index. If you take dietary supplements, you might find it illuminating.
Lee Moller is a life-long skeptic and atheist and the author of The God Con.