I'm a "Snake-Oil Peddler"

So I've been called a "snake-oil peddler" for encouraging bulimic women to examine the spiritual causes and solutions to their eating disorder and to realize that they can walk free.

As Dave Barry would say, "I swear I am not making this up."

Funny, that accusation, in that NO biblical counselors worth their salt (myself included) take so much as a cent from their counselees (although purveyors of humanism, ie. secular therapists, often charge over $100 per hour for experimental theories and speculative treatment which does no good). Counseling for money is a huge ethics violation in the biblical counseling world, as well it should be. The whole counsel of God has been given to us freely; it is a privilege to help others apply His Word to their lives.

In fact, if a woman cannot afford a study Bible, I gladly purchase one for her out of my own pocket.

I wonder what the "snake oil" is that she refers to? Let's examine the meaning behind the term "snake oil". According to Wiki,
Snake oil is a traditional Chinese medicine used to treat joint pain. However, the most common usage of the phrase is as a derogatory term for compounds offered as medicines which implies that they are fake, fraudulent, quackish, or ineffective. The expression is also applied metaphorically to any product with exaggerated marketing, but questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit.

Second sentence drives home the irony of her charge - "compounds offered as medicines". Hmm, kind of like the psychotropic drugs routinely prescribed to eating disordered patients, depite the fact that they have absolutely no clinical success in decreasing bulimic behavior or anorexic tendencies?

Today's "snake oil" comes under names such as Celex, Celebrex, Lexapro, Prozac, Pamelor, and Elavil. Tricyclic anti-depressants and SSRIs have been so over-prescribed and proven so ineffectual in the long run that several years ago the FDA issued a statement cautioning against their use in children under 18. As the organism becomes dependant on the unnatural chemical effect, the patient requires an ever-increasing dosage.

Yet the mindset towards food and eating remains untouched by the drug prescribed to cure it. NOW who's the "snake-oil peddler"?

Ah, she argues, "eating disorders are PHYSICAL diseases!" (Right. And they've isolated the Compulsive Shopping Gene, too.) Actually, no; they are not. Not a single criteria for the definition of "disease" has been produced, in nearly 30 years of research. To meet the clinical definition of "disease", it must be proven empirically that the condition has an organic origin. Eating disorders certainly LEAD to physical symptoms and, yes, even diseases (such as renal failure), but the mindset and resultant behavior are not neurological in nature.

I am then informed that "repentance is not a viable medical cure" and that one should seek only medical treatment. (Tell that to the tens of thousands of us former bulimics who are now completely free - both of the behavior, and of the toxic thinking fueling it). Heaven forbid anyone should desire to turn away from this self-destructive lifestyle, or take responsibility for her own choices. That's wildly subversive stuff! Think of the implications!

This is from someone who endorses lap-band surgery as a cure for bulimia, yet (by her own admission), if hers were to be removed, she would probably go back to bingeing and purging tomorrow (her words; not mine).

Now you tell me who has the better answer.

What's sad, in my estimation, is just the blindness. Not only in this particular girl for whom my heart breaks - but the willfull, widespread blindness that people embrace, choosing to believe a pill or "looking within" or increasing their self esteem will get them out of their misery. By nature, we turn to counterfeit pleasures seeking satisfaction, but ultimately are enslaved by them (if this were not true, addictions and besetting habits would not exist). Yet rather than embracing personal responsibility and turning to God for help, there is something in us that prefers to see ourselves as victims. We want to be told that we are "sick", that our addiction is really a "disease", because it takes the responsibility off of our shoulders. The entire basis of behavioral psychology rests on humanism, which makes man his own god. Rather than embracing what we NEED to hear, if we buy into humanistic lies, we will pay good money to those who will tell us what we WANT to hear.

While doing research for my book, I was genuinely surprised at the sheer number of psychologists and psychiatrists who have walked away from the profession once they realized it was built upon a foundation of sand. Like a house of cards, once the lack of empirical evidence is brought to light, they are forced to admit that psychology is nothing more than a collection of subjective, ever-changing theories. It is not medicine, and as many disenfranchised psychologists have admitted, it is not a "science" in any sense of the word.

Yet desperate people cling to it's promises, frantically reaching for the next "magic cure" that will numb their feelings so they won't have to face them; hoping for something that will help them convince themselves that their addictions are "diseases". They are threatened by hearing that, yes, they are responsible for their own behavior and there is a God Who will hold them accountable for disregarding His counsel.

Learning that eating disorders, drunkenness, and other addictive deviant behaviors are sins rather that diseases should some as a relief; not an unpleasant shock. This realization means that it is possible to put them behind us, once and for all. How is this not preferable to being a passive victim of circumstance? In nouthetic counseling, even in clients where physiological conditions may play a role, (such as OCD; PPD; etc.) the emphasis is always put upon what the client CAN control. This produces better results, more lasting change, and ultimately happier clients than endless "self-awareness" and pill-popping that are staples of secular therapy.

And it certainly works better than lap-band surgery.

ETA: Thirty years ago, the American Psychological Association itself stated that psychology is not and cannot be a science. (The National Science Foundation subsidized the lengthy study from which this conclusion sprang). Hunt also quoted Karl Popper, a philosopher of science, as declaring that psychological theories have ‘more in common with primitive myths than with science’.[1] In the 1960’s, psychologists themselves began questioning the prevailing notions that roots of anti-social behavior lay outside of the patient himself. O. Hobart Mowrer, Research Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, published The Crisis in Psychiatry and Religion in 1961. The book was ground-breaking in that Mowrer questioned the validity of institutionalized psychiatry and refuted the prevailing psychological theories of the day.

[1] E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., Freudian Fraud (HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1992) p. 217

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting! Please leave me a message, share your testimony, or feel free to ask questions. Anonymous comments are welcome. Or e-mail me privately at marie4thtimemom@yahoo.com.