Dr. Christine Daniel, who is both a doctor
and an evangelical minister,
appeared on a religious TV program
hawking her herbal cure.
Hawking unproven medicines has a long history of fraud.
Many of the doctors selling these medicines are complete fakes, with "Doctor" being a bogus title used to impress, and not referring to any sort of actual medical knowledge.
There's also a long history of "affinity fraud," where the con artist - as a trusted authority figure in a group they have affinity with, thus the name - cons members of their own group, which makes it easier, of course, because the group trusts them.
This type of fraud is found in many religious groups, where people tend to be more trusting and look for the good in everyone.
Dr. Christine Daniel was both a doctor - and yes, she was a real doctor - and an evangelical minister. She went on television claiming her medicines would help people. In fact, she claimed her herbal treatments could completely cure Stage 4 terminal cancers.
About 55 desperate people believed her. And her cure wasn't cheap. She charged her patients over $4,000 for a week's worth of medicine. They spent a total of a million dollars.
Nobody was cured.
When authorities analyzed the herbal mix she mixed up and prescribed, they discovered nothing that would have worked against cancer. The most interesting ingredients were sunscreen preservative and beef extract.
Dr. Daniels also told her patients to say their treatments were donations, which allowed her to not report over a million dollars in income.
I believe she - just maybe - might have betrayed both her medical oath, which says to do no harm, and her religion's golden rule, which says to treat others as you would like to be treated. You know, that "Do unto others" thing.
She was found guilty of multiple charges of fraud.
- Doctor convicted in fake cancer treatments - Christine Daniel faces 150 years in federal prison and $5.5 million in fines for selling phony cures for cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's, preying mostly on evangelical Christians. LA Times>>
- Valley woman convicted of cheating the hopeless, Contra Costa Times>>
- L.A. doctor-minister faces prison time, KABC-TV Los Angeles>>