“Are You a Paid Shill
Or Just Plain Stupid?”

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

February 24, 2020 [printfriendly]


I had a virtual dagger thrown at me. So much rage, loathing, and mistrust are out there.


Someone in the cyber universe read my recent article about the Carnivore Diet. Yet, that stranger who read my words was so offended that he or she took the time to message me and questioned my integrity and intelligence. He or she wrote, “Are you a paid shill or just plain stupid?”


In that Blog I explained how I integrated an animal-based way of eating into my Daily Cancer Protocol. I described my current experiences and reasons why this diet made sense to me. In that article as well as my other updates, I explained the medical science that I could find that supported the biological benefits of the Carnivore Diet.


I did not hold a gun up to the head of anybody to read my thoughts or to agree with me. I did not push over-marketed, ineffective, and expensive gimmicks for purchase. I did not produce fake news to cloud and confuse my personal research and desire to get healthy. I just cited peer-reviewed research and case studies that impressed me enough to begin the Carnivore Diet to help me heal from incurable bone marrow cancer. I just wanted to share.



My First Impression

The reason I wanted to bring life to this reader’s comment is because it is indicative of the world in which we live today. What brought me to writing today’s blog is reminiscent of what stimulated me to write a blog I published on my website on March 9, 2019. I titled that post, Vitriol in Healthcare.


When I opened Messenger and read “Are you a paid shill or just plain stupid?”, I was taken aback. My first thoughts were how could someone accuse me of being “on the take” for some unsavory or fraudulent company pushing a worthless product? And why did he or she accuse me of blatant stupidity?


Then, I was disappointed that this person did not use a real name so that I could have some sort of discourse with him or her. I really wanted to know who my accuser was and what prompted that statement.


And then I rationalized that this person was in personal pain – possibly intense pain. I thought he or she was severely led astray in the past. Maybe this individual had serious medical problems. Perhaps he or she knew a close friend or relative whose life had been gravely damaged or ended by a medical mistake or complication. I’m just guessing here; I don’t know. But I don’t have any resentment toward this person. I just wish I could help this individual deal with his or her sadness and discomfort.


Coincidentally, while trying to unpack what that message really meant to me, I received an email from a reader who also read the same article about my Carnivore Diet and my Cancer Journey. In contrast, Melissa G. wrote to me:


“I now consider you a hero: what Dr. Wahl’s is to multiple sclerosis, you are to multiple myeloma, the carnivorous diet, and the importance of oral hygiene in health! I am grateful that you are sharing your experience so that all of us can learn and benefit from it. As you know, it is so difficult to know “what is what” in the medical field, and your background and training make you such a perfect and trustworthy conduit of complicated research and information. You empower us to take control of what we can. You inspire us with your positive attitude. You tell us Your Gut is Killing You!  But you tell us why and what we can do to regain control and foster good health.”



My Place Now

Since my diagnosis and realization of my mortality, I’m in a place where I want to “give back” and “pay it forward”. I have so much for which to be thankful.


I literally am dying to communicate with you, but not because I was diagnosed with an incurable bone marrow cancer in September 2018. And not because I was told at the time of my diagnosis that I probably would be dead by the end of 2018.


I wish to convey to you that I have taken this devastating life challenge and changed it into an inspiration for me to heal my body without chemotherapy or other chemical insults. How could I accept caustic drugs destroying my immune system and other cells and then still die from the complications of this aggressive multiple myeloma? Remember, I said this disease of malignant plasma cells is not curable through conventional methods today and will eventually kill me.


I hope to impress in you that no matter what life-shattering or life-threatening challenges you or your loved-ones have, you can reframe your outlook. As I see it, there are two paths you could travel:


  • In one direction, you have the option to go into denial, falling into an abyss of depression, and believing you are the victim. I’ve been there; I’m only human too. But I never stayed there. 
  • In the other direction, you could see your glass-of-life half-full and ready for you to become proactive and create memories for your family and close friends. You could create a quality of life for your remaining months, years, or decades on this earth. You could begin to “give back” and “pay it forward”. You could establish a legacy of whom you really are in this universe.


I want to encourage you to research your situation, ask all the pertinent questions, and never take “no” or “it can’t be done” for answers. Acknowledge your support group of family and close friends who are there for you. Don’t reject them or push them away. They are hurting – not as you are but in their own special ways. For me, my wife is my strongest pillar. She is the star in my unconventional cancer journey. She pulls me up when I get depressed (as I said, I get deeply depressed at times). She gives me tough love when necessary to get me back on the straight and narrow. She is undaunting in her commitment to me and my struggle. You too have someone who cares about you as much as my wife cares about me. Show that person unconditional love and appreciation for what he or she is going through and doing for you.


I’m excited to let you know that I am doing exceptionally well and may actually cure this incurable monster that has attacked my skeleton and immune system. I’ve had too many fractured bones stemming from this cancer coursing through my body. However, my experiences after the diagnosis have strengthened my resolve, my spiritual being, and my physical body. My life has been dramatically changed by this malignancy, but it has been changed for the better.


Take this home with you. You are the author, producer, and director of this play called “Your Life”. You are in control. You can make things happen. You could include many scenarios in your play. Make your play as memorable as the best Broadway production ever casted.


My newest news about the benefits of the Carnivore Diet as it relates to my Unconventional Cancer Journey is just an extension of me “giving back” and “paying it forward”. I’m neither a “shill” nor “just stupid”. I am sincere and honest. My aims are to inform and help wherever and whomever I can. In turn, I want to celebrate a quality life for as long as possible with those I hold dear.



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  1. I’m with you Dr. Al.

  2. Bravo! You are indeed the hero mentioned in the second message, and so many are grateful for your sharing your path and your incredible knowledge and insight.

  3. It was gratifying to hear that you got communication that acknowledged how you are generously sharing your journey to balance out the first communication.

    It’s hard to know in any specific situation what’s going on with people. I do think polarization has increased.. at the same time, the friction for people to communicate is so low with the internet that opinions of extreme minorities can now be heard quite easily. Is the first communication to you an instance of the extreme polarization now? Or simply an example of easier communication?

    It’s probably both. The trust horizon is definitely closing in when compared to, say, 40 years ago. I told my doctor recently that I did not use the medicine he prescribed after I went home and googled the side effects. Would my parents have done that?

    Trump and the support he gets for his authoritarian tendencies are also a symptom of the trust horizon closing in.

    What closes the trust horizon? In part it’s the ease with which we can confirm that the government is frequently deceiving the people, knowingly or unknowingly. For instance, perhaps a quarter of the population understands that the low-fat diet was a disaster and is watching the government continue to promote it. The people know because bread sales are down and butter sales are up.
    Knowing what I know about nutrition while watching the government continue to suggest diabetics eat high carbohydrate meals means I will never listen to government pronouncements and automatically believe them.

    Cameras inexplicably not working during Epstein’s “suicide” as he awaits to give testimony against some of the most powerful people in the world? Corona virus originating from a fish market in Wuhan while there is a BSL-4 laboratory down the street a Harvard scientist is arrested for transferring knowledge to the Chinese ànd a quiet bioweapons race is underway around the world, with now almost 60 BSL-4 labs in existence?

    There is no good reason to believe the American or the Chinese government.

    So I would say don’t take it personally…. It almost certainly is part of a larger trend.

  4. As a primal health coach I leave comments on the resolution of 12 health issues (T2 diabetes being my tripping point) at the ‘hands of food’ – a primal correction 8 years ago. These people use their real names and leave comments such as ‘diabetes can’t be helped, only controlled’ and ‘why would I believe you – my doctor (who has an education!) says you can only manage diabetes. The ingrained thought of society that the only thing you can do with health issues is slow down progression and manage pain is keeping them on a downward path of vitriol and a poorer quality of life.

    I read all of your posts (even before you cancer diagnosis) – Al, you are a wonderful contributing member of society. I have been meaning to send you a message for more than a year. You may never know if anyone will benefit from your story, but putting a ‘question mark’ in the minds of your oncologist (or other health care professionals) may someday bear fruit.

  5. I have experienced all kinds of things lot that in my postings. Love to you. Keep on giving.

  6. We recognize and appreciate who you are and what you are doing, so I am glad that you will not be deterred by people questioning your motives or the soundness of your program.

    My guess is that this message is from a vegan who treats veganism as the holy grail.

  7. Oh, that I would have the grace to respond to rude, insensitive and just plan ignorant attacks as you just did. Thank you for your insight into why someone might be so cruel. thank you, too, for the encouragement to research and pursue conditions labeled by western medicine as incurable. I’ve been praying about how to do that with macular degeneration. You’ve given me some keys to try to unlock my particular challenge.
    Many thanks!

  8. Dr D., you continue to show an amazing level of empathy for someone who wrote such evil words to you
    Perhaps they are showing their ignorance after watching a one sided film called game changers or they are part of the vegan religious cult all based on belief and they tend to dismiss reason and science
    I believe their diets are contributing to mental health issues and more
    I am so in awe of how you are approaching your Illness both in mind and body.and pray that you will have a full recovery
    I Always enjoy your blog and thank you for sharing your wisdom and journey

  9. I admire you so much, Dr Dannenberg, and have greatly benefited from your communications around your experiences. I am very grateful for your courage, persistence, and generosity. Thank you!

  10. For every “hater” out there, there are many more of us who find your honesty and transparency a refreshing gift. I read every one of your posts with great interest…wondering, as I click on the link, what new research I’m going to read about and how it might inspire a change of direction – or at least an opening for a change in thinking – for me and the many others who read it. Keep moving forward, doc!

  11. Medical Doctor Paul Saladino recently released a book titled “The Carnivore Code”.

  12. Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

  13. Especially in today’s culture, and on the net, “haters gonna hate.” It eats them up inside, so we need to be careful not to let it spread. So many more quiet readers (like me) will send you our gratitude and friendship. Be well, and keep at it!! Thank you for your writing and sharing even in the face of the (passive-aggressive!) vitriol.

  14. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  15. I, too, love the carnivore diet, but my cholesterol was way too high. Can I nonoffensively ask how you deal with that end? It seems we can heal one part of our bodies and destroy another. How are your cholesterol numbers doing on this diet?

    • Carol, why do you believe that cholesterol being high will destroy something? Cholesterol is not our enemy. Do not blindly believe the lies of the pharmaceutical companies. I encourage you to read the work of Uffe Ravnskov, founder of The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS).

  16. Keep up the good work! You are inspiring. I agree with others who think the hater is likely a militant vegan, but your more generous interpretation of someone who may have lost a loved one to ‘quack’ treatments or lack of treatment could be true as well. People tend to think that all vegetables are good for you, but as you have pointed out, there are many which are not good for humans. I’d love to see an article on all of the vegetables you have found issues with. I have vegetarian friends and am concerned with their high intake of soy products, for instance. Thank you again for all of your posts!

  17. I’m sorry that person contacted you with such I’ll will. Praying for both them and you. I’m eternally grateful for the generous way you’ve documented your illness and the way in which you bring home to us all. Gods blessings to you and yours

  18. There are so many more people who find your experiences valuable than there are people who doubt or disbelieve. Your focus should of course be on those you are helping. Your intention is clear and honest. Ultimately none of us can control what anyone thinks of what we do or don’t do. I have found your posts thought-provoking and inspiring. Thank you.

  19. Keep the faith, Dr. Danenberg. Your continual patience and dedication even when confronted with hostility is admirable! Please know that your efforts to share your journey are genuinely appreciated!

    • THANK YOU!
      Please know that you are helping so many with your sincerity and knowledge!

  20. “Are you a paid shill or just plain stupid?”

    Notice the logical fallacy here?
    Either/Or logic.
    Black or White.
    Yea or Nay.

    I propose the third hypothesis. Neither/Or… AND/AND/AND/REASONING/OBSERVATION/ADJUSTING.
    Dr. Al is NEITHER a shill OR stupid AND he does solid research AND makes REASONED decisions based on that research AND ADJUSTS his approach after OBSERVING how the N=1 lab of his own body reacts to those experiments. This is the very hard work of the real honest bench scientist. This is what idealogues find impossible to grasp because the hard work of independent thought is beyond their limited imaginations.

    As someone who believes in the usefulness of the scientific method, the reaction of the idealogue is logical and predictable. It reminds me of that bit of wisdom from the Tao Te Ching:

    “When a wise man hears of the Tao,
    he immediately begins to live it.

    When an average man hears of the Tao,
    he believes some of it and doubts the rest.

    When a foolish man hears of the Tao,
    he laughs out loud at the very idea.

    If it were not for that laugh,
    it would not be the Tao.”

    Fools are fools. Whether they be madmen or the revered learned “expert” doesn’t matter. You have two paths you can follow:
    The path of reasoned inquiry.
    The path of foolish certainty.

    The fool ASSUMES Dr. Al MUST be EITHER/OR a charlatan or an idiot. By doing so, he brands himself the fool because he shows he lacks the imagination to engage in creative open-minded thought.

    Such people are obstacles in the path of progress. They are beyond reason, so it’s inefficient to dialog with them. But we MUST respond to their ill thought out attacks so that others may learn and NOT be fooled into foolishness.

    May your experiments be fruitful and may they lead to your health and happiness, Dr. Al. When fools gawk and guffaw at you, you know you’re on the right track.

    Be well,
    Ben Fury

  21. Standing ovation!! Bravo!!

  22. I am genuinely grateful that you took the time to share your story and I do hope with all my heart that you do heal your body and live a very long and prosperous life with the wife who obviously is your anchor and loves you to pieces. I am on my own journey of healing and I’m new to the Carnivore Diet myself….15 days on so far. I have a lot of health issues so I know things will take time. But, as another commentator said, “I believe in Science” and the research and statistics are showing that eating a high fat animal diet (just like our ancestors did in the beginning of mankind) is what will heal our bodies. The medical industry including Big Pharma are out to make a profit on the health of ill people with no knowledge and no desire to seek the knowledge to help themselves. I refuse to take all the medications that have been prescribed to me. I only take 1 and I will not be taking that one either as soon as my body does heal itself by reversing what our government has forced me to believe is the only way I could thrive and survive was by eating lots of sugary foods and high oxalate foods. No more. I’m done. Thank you so much for sharing again. I appreciate you!
    Rose Jackson

  23. I am so grateful that you are sharing your story with us! I worked in healthcare 30+ years and saw the good, bad and ugly from patients and their families. Social media allows folks to be so mean and express their otherwise, useless opinion! I have my own medical challenges, one is a mystery, and I keep searching for the root cause! Your information for us has helped me to expand my searches, and keep learning. I eat a 95% Carnivore diet for control of hemiplegic migraines, it works. My only carbs are HWC and a few onions/peppers/celery in my favorite southern dishes! You are making a difference Doc!

    • Thank you for sharing your journey. I really appreciate hearing about all you’re learning during this time. I’m just sorry that you are experiencing the vile side of humanity!

  24. Well said! I appreciate your knowledge and willingness to give back! I have digestive and skin issues and have discovered immense relief with the Carnivore Diet. I believe Dr Saladino is onto something! Thank-you!

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