This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001




A patient receives a controversial treatment in THE GOD CELLS

Cinema Village
22 East 12th St. between University Pl. & Fifth Ave.
Opens Friday, June 3

In his 2014 documentary, Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan Kettering, writer, director, producer, and coeditor Eric Merola investigated the controversy over Laetrile, focusing on Memorial Sloan Kettering science writer Ralph W. Moss, PhD, and the banning of the cancer drug, which resulted in patients flocking to Mexico to receive treatment. Now Merola, whose two-part Burzynski explored the cancer therapy Antineoplastons, turns his attention to the stem-cell controversy in The God Cells, another important documentary that, unfortunately, suffers from some of the same filmmaking problems Second Opinion did. The pacing is awkward, the narrative overly biased, and alternating front and side shots of various speakers are needlessly disconcerting. The film also plays out like an infomercial for stem-cell treatment, which is banned in the United States, so Merola follows numerous patients to Mexico, where they receive the shots and many have experienced remarkable results. Although Merola does note the antiabortion movement’s religion-based fight against the use of stem cells, he instead reveals that the bigger issue in preventing their use in the U.S. is that the FDA is making it as difficult as possible to get the treatment approved because of its potential financial impact on Big Pharma and doctors, who benefit from people taking more and more drugs and coming back again and again for various other, arguably less-successful treatments.

Merola meets with men, women, and children who suffer from lupus, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, severe arthritis, and Parkinson’s, among other diseases, and who report nearly instantaneous recovery after stem-cell injections; in fact, they are shown golfing, rowing, and participating in other sports activities when previously they had trouble just walking. Also singing the praises of stem cells are former football quarterbacks John Brodie and Jerry Kramer and Laugh-In creator George Schlatter. While some doctors go on the record in support of stem cells, others are more hesitant, fearful of retribution from colleagues and the American medical industry. Merola spends too much time with CIRM, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and celebrity doctor William C. Rader of Stem Cell of America, outspoken proponents of stem-cell research. And the film features an overly long section on television director and producer David Barrett (Blue Bloods, Cold Case), who talks about how stem cells saved his life as well as that of his grandfather, ninety-nine-year-old Dave McCoy, who might be deserving of his own documentary. Interestingly, Barrett is the executive producer of The God Cells. Still, it’s a critically vital film that will open your eyes on yet another medical controversy that raises the question: Is corporate moneymaking more important than the health of the individual? The film opens at Cinema Village on June 3, with Merola and special guests participating in a Q&A following the 7:10 show that night.

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  1. William Rader of Stem Cells of America is a compulsive liar and the fraud of frauds. Rader is a joke and a buffoon among his peers. His medical license was revoked for scamming millions of dollars from sick and dying people with a host of disorders and diseases that he claims he can cure with his snake oil injections. He sells false hope in the guise of stem cells, which have no effect whatsoever. The patients who claim improvement have all been debunked. Some are working for Rader, exploiting their children to make a buck, while lying to other prospective patients about the miracle that saved their child. It’s the vilest scam under the sun. The tiny amount of patients that have had improvements have either had legitimate therapies and medical treatments, coinciding with the snake oil injection, which makes them think they are miraculously better because of the snake oil. The overwhelming majority of Rader’s patients have had no improvements whatsoever, gotten worse or have died. Rader’s simple and inane injection is scientifically impossible to work. And especially one that cures everything from acne to cancer. Furthermore, he is not willing to share his so called miracle potion with anyone. No legitimate or ethical scientist would keep a cure all miracle to himself.

    Before revoking his medical license for fraud, the judge at the hearing strongly suggested that Rader have a mental competence evaluation. He admitted on the witness stand that he was a liar and changed his story, claiming that he was a mere middle-man- a marketeer advertising the product, with no involvement with any of the patients.However, he has claimed time and time again that he himself has cured mankind’s most devastating diseases, including AIDS. LOL, He also claims that the snake oil reverses the aging process. Well, they sure the hell haven’t done anything to rejuvenate his old and haggard aging face or body, or his wife’s or his shyster buddy, Robert Shapiro or anyone for that matter. Rader has self-induced delusions, claiming that he has been divinely chosen as a healer of mankind’s most devastating diseases and, at the same time, he swindles $ 30,000 from each of his victims for a 5 second injection of snake oil. If he was divinely chosen as some sort of Messiah, he surely wouldn’t be charging the cost of car to perform his self-proclaimed miracle. Can you imagine Jesus Christ charging Lazarus a fee, much less 30,000 bucks. Furthermore, he is so cheap that his patients are given the snake oil in run down seedy shacks or strip malls in 3rd world countries. Rader should be imprisoned or better yet, drawn and quartered

    The claim that big Pharma is not allowing stem cells to be effectively used is pure propaganda. It feeds into people’s fears and belief in conspiracy theories, like the government wants to take people’s guns away. Idiotic!! However, the same people who believe in irrational conspiracy theories are the ones that believe that these illegitimate stem cell procedures are miraculous In other words, these frauds appeal to and target the religious f-loons and the least educated. The real conspiracy is the web of lies and fraud that attract desperate and vulnerable people

    Before making a rash and remorseful decision and throwing your life savings away or taking out a loan for 30,000 bucks, talk it over with your family physician and call the International Society for Stem Cell Research, unless of course, you believe that your doctor and the ISSCR are in a conspiracy with the pharmaceutical companies

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