Tuesday, May 24, 2016

An Honest Review of "Tinnitus Terminator"

UPDATE: All of Tinnitus Terminator’s websites listed in this blog entry have either been switched to sell another product or have been shutdown. It appears that Tinnitus Terminator has been discontinued. I hope this blog post may have played, at least, a small part in this outcome.

Tinnitus Terminator is the latest in a long line of supposed "cures" for tinnitus. I found out about it when I clicked on a link to what I thought was a news article, but was just an advertisement.

The video was different from the others because it showed the actual person who was speaking. If they thought they'd garner some automatic credibility with this, they were wrong.

The presenter is a man going by the name Timothy Seaton and he claims to be a music executive. He never says what company he worked for, though. Doing a search on LinkedIn showed many professionals with that name. However, only one had anything to do with the music industry and he worked at DMX MUSIC as vice president of premier accounts. The person in the video claims to live near Denver, CO and the executive at DMX lives in Austin, Texas. So, it's obvious that they are two different people.

But, the Timothy Seaton shown in the video also presents an interesting problem: what does he really look like?

I know, the answer seems obvious: he's in the video. You can see him, so you know what he looks like, right?

Actually, no we don't.

Here's Timothy Seaton #1 from the video posted at tinnitusterminator.net showing this picture and the voice of the speaker identifying himself as Timothy Seaton.

But, there's a problem. This man's name isn't Timothy Seaton. This is actually a picture of Todd Bradley, who is a software designer from Denver, Colorado. Mr Bradley actually did have surgery on his left ear back in February 2015, but it wasn't for tinnitus. It was for autophony and here's the link to Mr Bradley's blog where he talks about it.

Now, here's Timothy Seaton #2 from the videos posted at
  • tinnitus-terminator.com (website shutdown)
  • tinnitusterminator-program.com (website shutdown)
  • tinnitus-terminator.net (website shutdown)

Timothy Seaton Author of Tinnitus Terminator

Obviously, they are two different people and other reviewers have noticed this, too. This should be a deal-breaker, right away. Why trust a product that uses two separate people going by the same name, both posing as executives in the music industry and using the exact same script in both videos? Between the two men, it is the second one whose video has been distributed more often. But, I wonder what enormous idiot forgot to take the first one down before someone like me found it?

It is possible that the scum behind all this would have been aware of potential problems if/when Todd Bradley became aware of their unauthorized use of his image in their video, so they got a second actor to play the part, but kept the backstory. Still, why leave the video online?

Fucking morons!

As I said, Tom Bradley did have ear surgery and here is a picture of him in bed shortly afterwards.

This picture is of Timothy Seaton #2 and you can tell that the picture is photoshopped and very badly, too.
Image result for Timothy Seaton

Unfortunately, you'll have to watch the video to see where they use it, since you have to watch the video straight through and you can't jump around.

I don't know if Todd Bradley is aware that his image has been used to sell this product, but I intend to inform him at my first opportunity. (UPDATE: Mr Bradley was contacted)

I didn't make this one myself. I got it from their website. Can you tell me, with a straight face, that it isn't the most obviously 'shopped picture that you've ever seen? Would it have been so difficult to have the guy lay in a bed and wrap a bandage on his head? It would have taken only a few minutes. It's like they aren't even trying!

Okay, now for the websites:

But, tinnitusterminator.net is registered in Panama (UPDATE: changed from Iceland), which puts it outside of US law enforcement's reach. However, its registration expires in August 2016, so it probably won't be around much longer.

UPDATE: the website  has been renewed and expires in 2017

ANOTHER UPDATE: tinnitusterminator.net now redirects to noiseaway.com, which is also anonymously registered in Panama. So, Todd Bradley's picture doesn't appear there anymore. The site noiseaway.com was created in November 2015 and updated in October 2016. I recently wrote a blog post about NoiseAway and you can read it here.

The other websites mentioned above have William Doil of Glenview Partners Inc as their domain registrant. Mr Doil isn't only putting up websites for Tinnitus Terminator, he's also registered numerous other sites that deal with stuff like hair loss, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, winning the lottery and numerous other subjects. Most of their websites have videos with a person speaking on-camera, which makes them a little better than Tinnitus Remedy or Tinnitus Miracle that I blogged about previously. People tend to trust a product more if they can actually see the person trying to sell it to them.

Given the involvement of William Doil in such a large collection of websites hawking such questionable "cures" for such a variety of ailments, it doesn't lend much credibility to Tinnitus Terminator, does it?

At the bottom of one of the Tinnitus Terminator websites I mentioned, I noticed this:
"Copyright © Timothy Seaton"

Well, if it's copyrighted and Mr Seaton lives near Denver, Co as he claims, then his copyright should be listed with the US Copyright Office. It should be, but it isn't. There is no copyright held by a Timothy Seaton, for anything and there is no copyright listed for Tinnitus Terminator.

I'm not surprised. Not at all.

But, what about Timothy Seaton's life history with tinnitus and the claims he makes about Tinnitus Terminator? How does they stack-up?

Not very well.

Mr Seaton claims that his doctor recommended a surgical procedure because it seemed that one of the three bones of his inner ear was broken and this was causing the ringing in his ears. So, they had to open him up to fix the problem.

He doesn't explain how one of these bones could possibly have been broken and I don't even know how that would be possible, aside from a traumatic head injury. But, the only surgery that I've heard about performed on the bones of the inner ear would be a stapedectomy which would be done as a treatment for osteosclerosis which is an abnormal hardening of the bones of the inner ear due to mineral buildup, not a breakage.

All these supposed "cures" for tinnitus claim that doctors and the pharmaceutical industry would rather sufferers paid for drugs or expensive surgeries to treat tinnitus, rather than giving them an outright cure. But, as I've said before, there are no drugs prescribed to treat tinnitus nor any surgical procedures recommended to correct it. So, Big Pharma is making diddley-squat from it!

While Tinnitus Terminator claims to use sound as a way to "retrain your bran" to cure tinnitus. use of sound therapy has already been used for years. So, this is old news, not a new revelation. As an example of how long sound therapy has been used, this is how William Shatner has managed to live with his tinnitus after being injured on the set of the Star Trek episode, "Arena".

For all their claims that there have been clinical trials for Tinnitus Terminator and that actual researchers have been involved in testing the product, they never provide you with the names of the people or institutions who conducted the trials or the actual scientists who did the work. You're simply supposed to take their word for it.

Here's something from their own website (scroll to the bottom) that you should see. I have not altered the text in any way.
All information and results stated on this website are for information purposes only. The information is not specific medical advice for any individual. The content website and product should not substitute medical advice from a health professional. If you have a health problem, speak to your doctor or a health professional immediately about your condition. The statements presented here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Neither the retailer nor the author are engaged in rendering medical or similar professional services or advice via this website or in the product, and the provided advice is not meant to replace the professional medical advice.

Naturally, Seaton claims that the Tinnitus Terminator videos are under constant threat of being taken offline because Big Pharma "doesn't want the Truth to get out". But, there are four registered websites and seemingly hundreds of people out there hawking this product. So, there's no danger of it being silenced.

But, what about the product, itself? What do you get in exchange for your money?

You get a digital copy of the book and some music files to download, which are sent to you via email.

"But, wait!" you say, excitedly, "what about the picture of the book I saw on the Interwebz?".

It doesn't exist. There is no physical copy of the book that you can hold in your hands, which again is different from Tinnitus Remedy and Tinnitus Miracle, which do provide you with books and even CDs.

You have to admit that it makes sense. Since there's less money that Tinnitus Terminator has to spend printing books, burning CDs and sending that crap out in the mail, there's more of your money that they can keep for themselves. Genius!!!

Of course, if you have a problem downloading it from your email, there's no way to contact these people to correct the problem. Either way, you're pissing away your hard-earned money.

***New Information Added on October 15, 2016***

Sometimes, when I blog about the various "cures" for tinnitus, people ask me if I've even read the book(s) the sellers are offering. Of course, I don't. I don't need to, since I have their websites or videos from which to draw my own conclusions.

However, I was able to obtain - for free - a copy of the "Tinnitus Terminator" book and I'm able to comment about its contents. No, I didn't hack their website or borrow someone else's copy. The link showed-up in a Google search because these guys are apparently morons.

UPDATE: The people running Tinnitus Terminator apparently discovered their screw-up and closed the link. 

So, here we go.

On the very first page of text, there is this:

No part of this document or the related materials may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior permission by the author/ publisher. The service and the materials contained in this eBook are based on the author’s research and experience. The research has been done through credible sources to the best of our knowledge.

In no event shall the author be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, or consequential damages of any kind whatsoever with respect to the service, the materials and the products contained within. This eBook is not intended to be a substitute to professional medical advice.

Apparently, they weren't counting on the Fair Use Doctrine, which allows limited parts of a book, video, etc to be duplicated for the purposes of review and commentary, which is what this blog is about.

The "research" that supposedly went into Tinnitus Terminator was done by the author, along with his "experiences". However, the author is not mentioned by name, so we are left to assume it was done by Timothy Seaton, who never even claimed to be a physician. So, a guy who doesn't even have a medical degree is going to give me advice about a medical condition? No, I don't think so.

The second paragraph is supposed to protect the author from any harm that may come to anyone who actually follows his advice. So, if anything good comes from you following Tinnitus Terminator, it's because of the author. But, if anything bad happens, you're on your own. See how that works?

On top of all that, they say that Tinnitus Terminator isn't meant to be a substitute for medical advice, which is interesting when you consider how they claim that physicians couldn't help Seaton with his tinnitus and would simply prefer to have their patients spend their money on drugs and surgeries that don't work.

Even without delving into the specific claims made in the book itself, I quickly realized that the book probably isn't copyrighted. The reason is that it contains other people's copyrighted material. You cannot copyright something that contains other people's copyrighted work without first getting the permission of the original copyright holder. Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • a photograph of Jimi Hendrix on page 3. All images of Jimi Hendrix are the property of Experience Hendrix, LLLC
  • a cartoon illustration is placed on page 10, but with the artist's signature edited out. Despite this rather dirty trick, I was able to find the original and discovered that it's owned by Canadian artist, Brian Fray;
  • a picture of Macaulay Culkin from "Home Alone", a film owned by 20th Century Fox, is on page 25; and
  • on page 62, there's a picture of the character Nemo, from the Disney-owned film "Finding Nemo".
Other pictures featured in the book may also be copyrighted works, but most appear to be clip art.
It appears that whoever put this book together didn't spend a lot of time worrying about other people's copyrights, though warning people to respect his own.

Much of the book consists of describing the different types, causes and treatments of tinnitus that are already available to read online in various websites, so you didn't need to buy the book to get this information. In fact, you can browse through the forum at Tinnitus Talk and get all that information and more for free. To me, it looked like the author is trying to impress people with his knowledge. In my case, he failed.

In my opinion, the book makes a rather idiotic claim that
By the time you have finished this book, you will no longer be yourself. This book can help you find a better life for yourself, one where you can be more relaxed, more at peace, more in tune with the world and, above all, completely and utterly happy.
I'll admit that, for many people with tinnitus, having it gone from their lives would lift a tremendous amount of personal stress off their shoulders. But, for most of us, tinnitus isn't so crippling that our personal happiness is impossible. Even if my tinnitus were gone tomorrow, it wouldn't necessarily mean that I'd spend the rest of my life "completely and utterly happy"; I'd simply have one less bit of stress in my life.

I also found it laughable that the book recommends and gives instruction for meditation, as if no one else would have thought to use it to cope with the stress caused by tinnitus. I've read numerous books about meditation, all of them written by authorities in their field. I'm certainly not going to take any tips from some clown selling a supposed "cure" for tinnitus when I know absolutely nothing about him. You can learn about meditation for free from watching YouTube videos, browsing the Internet or reading books from your local library.

In Chapter 4, as part of the Tinnitus Terminator program, two forms are provided to print out and use as part of a self-evaluation test. Supposedly, the test was developed by "reputed audiologists", but the reader isn't told who these audiologists are and what credentials they possess. Sure, audiologists work with people suffering from tinnitus, but we don't know how much experience the test developers have in that field. They could have a lot, a little or none at all.

As far as the actual program is concerned, it consists of using sound therapy. You can download some music files to listen to which are supposed to "retrain your brain", but that's not how sound therapy works. It's more like a masking effect that covers the tinnitus sounds you're hearing. Again, such masking sounds are available for free download off the Internet. Personally, I just turn on my electric fan when I'm home.

Despite admitting on the very first page that Tinnitus Terminator isn't a substitute for medical advice, they say this on page 5:
This program uses sound therapy to physically re-train how your brain works – cutting off tinnitus without the drawbacks of drugs, doctor visits or surgery. You’ll stimulate the parts of your brain responsible for properly perceiving sound and even cure your tinnitus within 30 days.
The author has no medical experience, but he knows how your brain will be affected by the program? Where did he get this information from? Nowhere in the entire book is the name of a single medical doctor who will vouch for Tinnitus Terminator and back-up the claims presented in this book. No qualified physician is going to put their name out there and risk their reputation on this quackery!

Essentially, Tinnitus Terminator tells you to relax and feel good about yourself, keep a "Can Do!" attitude and listen to some music. That's about it.

You can go to the link I provided above to read it for yourself.

***End of New Material***

These people are parasitically feeding off the frustration felt by many people living with tinnitus, especially those whose condition causes disruption of their personal and/or professional lives. While tinnitus doesn't physically cause you pain, you can suffer on an emotional or psychological level, due to the nonstop noise. There have even been reports of people committing suicide because they couldn't live with tinnitus anymore.

If you really want to talk to people who know what you're going through and you want to keep informed about the latest research on tinnitus, I strongly suggest that you join the forums at Tinnitus Talk. Members of this forum do live with tinnitus of various degrees of severity and they do keep abreast of ongoing research. They all know what you're going through because they're going through, too.

For the sake of Full Disclosure: I have tinnitus in my right ear and I have been living with it for most of my life. Most of the time, it isn't too bad. But, sometimes, it seems like I can't hear anything else but the constant buzzing in my ear. I've learned to live with it.

Legal stuff: My posting of pictures from Tinnitus Terminator affiliated websites, as well as from Todd Bradley's blog are covered under Fair Use. So, there!

Duane Browning

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