It is a well established fact that Ben Carson says a lot of crazy, weird shit, and Wednesday night’s Republican debate was no exception. Carson was quizzed about his relationship to quack supplement pyramid marketer Mannatech, and weirdly tried to distance himself from the outfit, while also saying how great their quack product is:
QUINTANILLA: One more question. This is a company called Mannatech, a maker of nutritional supplements, with which you had a 10-year relationship. They offered claims that they could cure autism, cancer, they paid $7 million to settle a deceptive marketing lawsuit in Texas, and yet you’re involvement continued. Why?
CARSON: Well, that’s easy to answer. I didn’t have an involvement with them. That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda. I did a couple of speeches for them, I do speeches for other people. They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of a relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it’s a good product.
QUINTANILLA: To be fair, you were on the homepage of their website with the logo over your shoulder —
CARSON: If somebody put me on their homepage, they did it without my permission.
QUINTANILLA: Does that not speak to your vetting process or judgment in any way.
CARSON: No, it speaks to the fact that I don’t know those —
For now, I will leave it to others to parse what the definition of “relationship” is, but here he is being “interviewed” by a Mannatech co-founder in a video that’s still on the company’s YouTube channel to this day:
In his response, Carson also gave the misleading impression that his paid speeches were just him being paid for the same speech he gives everyone. That’s not so, and in his very first speech to a Mannatech gathering, he even told the crowd how Mannatech’s products had rid him of his prostate cancer symptoms. And THEN it got weird:
“I actually toyed with the idea of not having surgery done…But then I began to realize that having a high profile, that if I did that, a lot of other people might follow that example, too, but they may not be quite as diligent about taking the product as I was, and there would be a lot of needless deaths, and I didn’t feel as though I could have that on my conscience. So I went ahead and had the surgery done.”
That’s right, Ben Carson entertained the idea of curing his cancer with a product that is literally named after a miracle food that falls from heaven, but thought better of it because other people might die from not being able to count pills, or scoops of powder, or whatever the hell it is.
This was way back in 2004, and in the interim, Mannatech has been court ordered not to make any claims that “its dietary supplements can cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent disease,” so maybe Carson has evolved since then. Or maybe not. Here he is in January of this year claiming that Mannatech supplements have kept him from ever getting sick:
“Let me put it this way: Personally, I’ve been taking them for more than a decade, and since I’ve been taking them, I almost never get sick anymore. And I used to get sick all the time.”
I’m starting to think Donald Trump was being generous when he said Carson was an “okay doctor.”