Saturday, April 8, 2017

Is Samir Chachoua For Real?

Samir "Sam" Chachoua has been a topic of conversation ever since Charlie Sheen visited Chachoua's clinic in Mexico in a search a cure to his HIV infection. He received another boost in visibility when he was a guest on Bill Mahers "Real Time" in 2016.

I'm not going to discuss Dr Chachoua's claims that he actually offers a cure for AIDS, cancer, etc because that has already been done by people with actual medical expertise. Neither will I discuss Chachoua's claim that he rid Comoros of HIV, which he didn't.

No, I'm going to discuss some of the claims that Sam Chachoua has made about himself that make my Bullshit Detector go off.

The Life and Background of Dr Samir Chachoua

First, trying to get any specific details about Samir Chachoua himself is quite difficult, since he reveals very little about himself. What little is said about his early life is only that which he or his supporters mention in efforts to make him look like the greatest medical genius who ever lived.

What can be established without a doubt is that Dr Samir Chachoua graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine (MB) and Bachelor of Surgery (BS) from the University of Melbourne, Australia in 1984. In Australia, these two degrees are always awarded together and they are the equivalent of receiving an MD in the United States. So, yes, he does have a medical degree. As far as the claim that he graduated "with honors", there is no documented evidence that this is true. It might be true or it might not. However, his registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency expired in October 2016, so he cannot practice medicine in Australia until he renews it.

In fact, a person claiming to be Dr Chachoua's biographer claimed that Sam obtained his degree at the age of eighteen, without providing evidence that this is true. Samir Chachoua doesn't even make the list of people who received doctorate degrees at a very young age. The youngest person to ever receive his medical degree is Balamurali Ambati who graduated at the age of seventeen, though he didn't actually complete his education until twenty-four. Even if Samir Chachoua did receive his medical degree at 18, it really wouldn't mean anything, since his medical training was still incomplete. No information is given regarding where Chachoua did his internship or residency, so even having his diploma doesn't mean that his education was complete.

Samir Chachoua has mentioned that his inspiration that led him to go into medicine was seeing his father die of multiple myeloma. However, his father's name is never given and neither is his mother's. His father was only identified by his profession as an oncologist. The only specific information about his family history is that he's part-Mexican and speaks Spanish fluently, which is apparently one reason why he opened a clinic in Mexico.

Although it doesn't matter in regards to his personal credibility, the name "Chachoua" is actually an Algerian name and most people with that surname live in either Algeria or France. His registration with the AHPRA indicates that he speaks Arabic and Hebrew, but no mention is made of him being fluent in Spanish.
What is never mentioned is how Sam is able to operate a clinic in Mexico. His MB/BS came from an Australian university, not a Mexican one and there is a complicated procedure for medical doctors with foreign degrees to come to Mexico and practice medicine. Neither Chachoua nor his supporters mention how he received approval to operate a clinic. If he didn't go through the procedures laid-out by the Mexican authorities and opened a clinic anyway, then he could be operating the clinic illegally.

We are even left in the dark about Dr Samir Chachoua's age. You would think that would be a big deal, but Chachoua doesn't even tell people how old he is. However, a website article published in 2001 gave his age as being forty. Assuming that the article wasn't rounding-up, that would mean Sam Chachoua was born in/around the year 1961.

But, that presents a problem, since his AHPRA listing indicates that he received his degree in 1984, when he would have been 23, not age 18 as his supposed biographer claims.
A Dead Man Walking?

There have been repeated claims that Dr Chachoua was the intended target of a car bomb attack. However, the date and location of this supposed attack has never been given. We are simply supposed to take his word for it. If the bombing occurred in Mexico over the past few years, it could simply have been a part of the Mexican government's ongoing war with the drug cartels, with Chachoua having been in the vicinity of the attack without his actually being the intended target. But, that's just a guess on my part because we're not told when or where the alleged bombing took place.

When I asked for the specific dates and locations of these supposed attempts on Dr Chachoua's life, David responded by blocking me. It's also rather funny that, despite David's claim to be Dr Chachoua's biographer, he isn't one of the people Chachoua follows on Twitter.

That's just the most outrageous claim put forward by Chachoua and his supporters: that his goat milk treatment is so dangerous to the profit margins of Big Pharma that they've actually tried to have him killed. I guess these people really aren't too savvy about how professional hitmen operate. In the current environment of Mexico's war with the cartels, it would be child's play to have had Chachoua killed, if Darth Pharma really wanted it done. Even if Big Pharma didn't want to hire a cartel enforcer, there are plenty of people out there who could have done the job and it wouldn't have been very expensive.

So, unless someone is going to provide me with actual evidence that Chachoua has, in fact, been the intended target of three attempts on his life, I'll judge this claim to be Total Bullshit!

In fairness, a news report did surface in June 2015, where Dr Chachoua accused Charlie Sheen of hiring some men to beat him up. Reading through the story, I was amazed at how these supposed hired thugs would be so incompetent to send text messages to their boss using Chachoua's cell phone and then to leave the cell phone behind when they got away. The police report filed with the Mexican authorities is available at this link. There's so much about the news report that smacks of fakery, in my opinion. But, in the interest of fairness, I mention it here.

When you think about it, it doesn't really make sense for anyone to try to kill Samir Chachoua. After all, his "treatment" is rather expensive, according what I've read, which puts it out of the reach of most people. Instead, you'd think that the evil drug companies would be bumping-off faith healers. Faith healers still cost a lot of people money, but not as much as Sam could. When Peter Popoff was out there claiming to heal people of all sorts of ailments, why didn't Big Pharma have him killed?

I'll tell you why: you have as much of a chance of getting cured by Peter Popoff as you do by Samir Chachoua, which is none.

Moving on.

Martyred by the Legal System?

Dr Chachoua and his supporters like to claim the Chachoua did not succeed in his legal case against Cedar-Sinai because of judicial corruption and the use of violence against Dr Chachoua himself.
While I do not have access to the case file for Chachoua's lawsuit against Cedar-Sinai, there is a way to find out how the judge came to her decision to dismiss the case. Sam was later sued by one of the attorneys who had represented him in that case. Dr Chahchoua seemed to play musical chairs with his attorneys, which is a tactic sometimes employed in court cases in an effort to cause the case to drag on longer than it really requires. In civil cases, it's sometimes a tool used to cause the opposing party to have to spend more money on their own legal representatives, in the hopes that they may decide to cut their financial losses and settle the case. If that's what Chachoua was planning, it didn't succeed.

Chachoua's former attorney, Jean Marie Hansen, sued Chachoua over legal fees, which Sam refused to pay. Since lawyers expect to be paid for their services, she took him to court. The following in excerpted from the "Opinion and Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgement as to Complaint and Denying as Moot Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss Counterclaim" from pages five and six in Hansen's case against Chachoua. The words "the California action" in the quotation below refer to Chachoua's unsuccessful case against Cedar-Sinai:
As Judge Morrow stated in denying Chachoua’s motion to reconsider her dismissal of the California action, the central reasons why the action was dismissed were:
[Chachoua’s] consistent refusal to comply with court orders regarding representation; his pattern of using medical excuses as a device to prolong the action unnecessarily, avoid appearances for deposition or other court proceedings, and obtain continuances at the last minute; and his pattern of substituting counsel in order to secure deadline extensions or continuances of potentially dispositive proceedings.
See Pl.’s Mot. for Default Judgment Ex. A at 11.  Reading the Ninth Circuit’s opinion,
Judge Morrow’s decisions in the California case, and the transcript of the  proceedings on
November 13, 2001, when Judge Morrow dismissed the action based on Chachoua’s failure to appear for the second trial, the Court is struck by how similar Chachoua’s dilatory tactics and manipulation of the judicial system have been in that action and the matter pending before this Court.
In case you haven't guessed, Chachoua also lost the case against Hansen.

Where's the Paper Trail?

When attempting to judge whether a scientist, including medical doctors, really know what they're talking about, a good way to determine that is to see how often they have published research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Publication, by itself, isn't always a good meter to use; it's also important to see how many other researchers in their field have cited their papers in subsequent publications.

As far as I can tell, Dr Samir Chachoua hasn't had any research papers published in peer-reviewed journals, which automatically makes me doubt if he really has the medical chops to backup his claims. On a now-defunct website, apparently created by Chachoua to answer his critics, he claims to have published scientific papers in various journals. In response to a claim by Stephen Barrett, M.D. that Chachoua has never published, Chachoua said this:
1.) Your claim that I have never published.
I published at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, PRECIS and other articles you may not have found on the Internet.
The names that follow mine and yes, I was 17 when it was presented for review and a year older when it was published. The names that follow mine were and are the biggest in cancer research and the institutes: The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne University, Peter McCallum Cancer Institute and The Walter Eliza-Hall Institutes are the Australian equivalent of the MAYO Clinic or UCLA, and they are internationally known Institutes where my work was done.
If Dr Sam was going to claim to have published papers in science journals, it would have been nice if he had given the specific dates when his papers saw the light of day, as well as the names of the journals in which they were printed. Just throwing names out there doesn't count as proof; I'd like to know specifics.

Let's clear something up regarding scientific papers published in peer-review journals:
Initially getting the paper published is just the first hurdle. The paper is reviewed by other researchers in that specific field before it ever goes into print. If it get published, it will subsequently be read by other researchers in that field who will then conduct their own research in an effort to either confirm its findings or to refute them. Scientists conducting experiments is related field may even cite this paper in order to backup claims in the own studies.

So, if Chachoua got his papers published, what was the reaction from the general scientific community? Did they conduct their own studies and confirm them or did their research reveal Chachoua's findings were completely wrong? We won't know until Sam tells us which journals published his findings and when they did so.

Just getting published in a journal isn't automatic evidence that you're right. After all, well-known fraud Andrew Wakefield got published and the medical researchers ended-up tearing him a new asshole.

Validation by Social Media

Instead of telling us where his medical research was published in peer review journals, Dr Chachoua uses his Twitter account and YouTube channel to provide us with patient testimonials to validate his claims.

Patient testimonials are completely useless for validating any sort of research. You could have thousands of people claiming that they were cured of some disease by Dr Chachoua and it wouldn't mean anything unless the claims could be validated and replicated in a controlled experiment. You could find as many people claiming to have been cured by a faith healer and it wouldn't make it true either.

Chachoua's use of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook is simply a lazy way for him to advertise himself. His website is still active, though it doesn't seem to get as much attention as his social media accounts and the website which was created specifically to answer claims by Quackwatch has recently been suspended, for reasons unknown.

I also need to mention that both and are registered anonymously.

In Bed with Multi-Level Marketers?

At the bottom of Samir Chachoua's main website, you see this:
Site Owner: Jeunesse Institute MRF Corporation
5Ta Avenida 5-55 Ciudad de Guatemala, 01014
Guatemala, Centro America
Contact: Dr. E. Alves – Director

So, who is Jeunesse Institute MRF Corporation? They are a corporation registered in Panama. I gave a link above to a lawsuit where Samir Chachoua and the Jeunesse Institute were co-defendants with others in a fraud case that was filed in 2008, stemming from someone actually dying while undergoing an allegedly Chachoua-advocated "treatment". Other defendants in the case include Jeunesse Cosmetics Company Pty. LTD., Jeunesse Foundation, Jeunesse Global Holdings, Jeunesse Institute and Jeunesse Trust.

So, what kind of company is Jeunesse? A medical research company that's a leading force in the latest scientific breakthroughs?

Don't be a silly goose! They're a cosmetics company.

Yeah, a company that sells skin care products via multi-level marketing is running Samir Chachoua's website. Think about that.

Okay, what about that address, 5Ta Avenida 5-55 Ciudad de Guatemala, 01014? Well, Jeunesse doesn't seem to have an office at the business plaza located there, so they're either using another business' address as their own or it's a mail box. Not exactly a confidence-booster, is it?

Not Even China Will Copy It

The Chinese are notorious for copying Western-designed products. Whether it's electronics, toys, motor vehicles, clothes, whatever product is known to work and is in demand, China will copy it and then sell it.

Western companies, including such juggernauts as Apple and Microsoft, have been mostly unsuccessful in stopping the production of copycat products in China. A Western corporation is almost entirely powerless against an unsympathetic Chinese government and legal system.

So, let's say, for the sake of argument, that Dr Sam Chachoua's scheme actually works. Okay? Let's pretend it does, just for shits and giggles.

If it works, then why haven't the Chinese copied it? Seriously, they can copy anything else, almost exactly, why not copy Chachoua's treatment program, if it worked? It's not like Sam Chachoua could stop them; he couldn't even win a court case against Cedar-Sinai or even his former attorney. So, how could he possibly prevail against the Chinese government? The Chinese judges, on the payroll of the Chinese Communist Party, would laugh Sam out of court. Then, they'd start selling treatments to anyone with money to pay and the willingness to travel to China. Imagine how much money China could make providing the treatment to ailing foreigners, as well as their own citizens with life-threatening diseases.

But, they haven't copied him and I doubt they ever will. The reason is obvious: Sam Chachoua's system doesn't work and the Chinese government isn't going to invest the time and money to copy his bullshit program.

When your product is too crappy for even the Chinese to steal and copy, it's a sign that your product is worthless.

Final Thoughts

I'll keep doing more research as time allows, but I don't know what else I could add to all this.

Here is an encapsulation of my observations regarding Dr Samir "Sam" Chachoua:
  1. he deliberately keeps us in the dark about his personal, educational and professional background;
  2. his medical claims are not supported by medical science;
  3. he makes unsubstantiated claims about attempts on his life;
  4. he falsely claims to be the victim of a corrupt legal system in the United States, when it's obvious that he lost the cases against Cedar-Sinai and Jean Marie Hansen due entirely to his own actions;
  5. he has submitted no research papers to the peer-review journals for his medical colleagues to examine;
  6. he relies heavily upon social media to broadcast his message in an attempt to lure desperate people to seek treatment from him, rather than by developing his reputation by professional research and affiliation;
  7. he is linked to a multi-level marketing company that sells skincare products, rather than a hospital, university or medical research company;
  8. his treatment program is so useless that even China won't steal and copy it.
I've lost numerous relatives to cancer. I've seen the pain, suffering and fear that they endured. The available medical science of the time did what it could for them. While it could prolong their lives, ultimately, it couldn't save them.

With that said, I have nothing but contempt for people who offer fake cures, not only for cancer, but also for diabetes, AIDS and numerous other diseases and conditions.

Until Dr Samir Chachoua can scientifically demonstrate that his claims are true and will provide more information about his experience and qualifications, I'm going to side with QuackWatch on this clown.

Duane Browning
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