Any crisis is an opportunity for people to show up with their personal priorities on display. The novel corona virus spreading across the globe is one such opportunity.  While thousands of health care and public service workers put themselves at risk to identify and care for the seriously ill, a TV preacher, previously convicted of defrauding his flock, is hawking an over-priced, unproven remedy as a cure for CVID 19. Please be alert for people whose priority is to take advantage of you, for their own profit.

Televangelist Jim Bakker, and a woman with spurious credentials he touts as an “authority”, are profiteering off public anxiety. The Attorney General of the State of New York has issued a warning to this multi-millionaire who is attempting to con the gullible out of $125.00 for a bottle of stuff that may or may not be helpful for a viral infection.  Bakker has already served 4 years in prison for defrauding his followers.

The efficacy of colloidal silver as an antimicrobial is not what matters in this case. The crucial points are:

  1. There is no medicine, natural or otherwise, proven to cure CVID 19, period, never mind in 12 hours as claimed
  2. The person backing up the convicted scammer Bakker, a woman named Sheriill Sellman, claims to be a naturopathic doctor. She is not. And that makes her and Bakker, liars and frauds.

Sellman has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and psychology, 1970. And she has a certificate from a mail-order outfit known as Trinity College, in Indiana, 2004. Trinity College is well known to the community of accountable, licensable naturopathic physicians. It is an entity that for decades has been passing out pieces of paper declaring that people who pay for their on-line, not accredited and unsupervised course are a “Doctor of Naturopathy”.

In states that do not regulate natural medicine practitioners, people with this piece of paper are free to present themselves as if they are trained as physicians at accredited medical schools. The harm they do has been difficult to document, because the jurisdictions that do not regulate their activities also have no trackable reporting mechanisms. However, we know that individuals who choose this path have been implicated in deaths. In 1999 a North Carolina girl died when her family were convinced by Lawrence Newman to take her off insulin and give her herbs instead. Throughout his trial and conviction this person was called a naturopathic doctor, because there is no law in NC defining naturopathic medical practice. Too late for 8 year old Helena Kolitwenzew, he was convicted of manslaughter.

Sellman is also a person without legitimate credentials, posing as an authority and selling, along with the TV preacher, a colloidal silver product that typically retails for about $35, at the outrageously inflated price of $125.00. Sellman can be heard in an interview stating that while this product has not been tested on the CIVID 19 viral strain, it has been shown to work on other corona virus strains. A search of PubMed, a database of the National Institutes of Health, reveals zero studies on the effects of colloidal silver on corona viruses.

Montana has regulated naturopathic physicians since 1990. It is illegal to call oneself a naturopathic physician, naturopathic doctor or naturopath in MT unless one is a graduate of an accredited naturopathic medical school, have passed the national licensing exam and qualified for a license from the state. A person like Sellman can call herself a naturopath in any of the 28  states that do not license NDs, and on the internet.  Prior to 1990 there were people in MT doing the same thing.

Now, when you add a ND to your health care team, you are assured you are in the care of a person who has invested deeply in a high quality education, proven herself through qualifying examination, who is maintaining that integrity with annual continuing education. And we make ourselves as vulnerable as our patients are, because we can lose it all if we do not take best care of you and our license is taken away. In the 30 years that NDs have been licensed in the state of MT, not been a single license to practice has been removed; the record of harm done by NDs in this state is a pristine zero.

Not everything natural is safe, not everything natural works for everything that’s claimed, and you deserve health care providers motivated by service and not greed for profit. To check the credentials of a person based in MT, contact the Alternative Health Care licensing board for their status. If you are considering spending money with someone you only know via the internet, due diligence includes researching their credentials. For more info on where you can find a licensable naturopathic physician, contact the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

Be safe! Be well.