Who wants to live in Quackistan?

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What if we created a special geographic area, a new state, for those who don’t want to vaccinate? We could carve out a piece of an existing state with low population like Wyoming or Idaho and call it Quackistan!

I can see the real estate brochures now:

What happens in Quackistan stays in Quackistan.

Come live in an unspoiled wilderness — with soaring mountains, pristine lakes and abundant wildlife — together with those who share your philosophy that natural is best! Never again worry about government intrusion into healthcare decisions. There are no vaccinations in Quackistan, no “allopathic” doctors; you can have a homebirth (it’s actually your only choice), breastfeed freely anywhere and everywhere and homeschool every child who survives. Reject technology for an all natural lifestyle!

Best of all, the cost of living is in Quackistan is extremely low. Home prices start at only $10,000 for a family of 6. How can they keep prices so affordable? It’s easy: there’s no central heating (build a fire in your hearth), no running water (fetch it from the pristine lakes), no toilets (outhouse in the back yard) and a single bedroom for your family bed.

There’s no need to buy costly health insurance because there are no hospitals in Quackistan; our ancestors lived for tens of thousands of years and we are still here! Obviously hospitals are unnecessary. There are also no pharmaceuticals; you can grow your own healing herbs. Best of all, detoxing is free. Just drink the water from the pristine lakes and streams and the vomiting and diarrhea from giardia will clean you out in no time.

Quackistan is so healthy because toxins and GMOs are banned from supermarkets. In fact, supermarkets themselves are banned. Grow your own food or shoot it on the hoof! It’s up to you; you — not the government — are the boss in Quackistan.

Of course, whatever happens in Quackistan — whether it’s diphtheria, hemorrhage in childbirth or a stroke from untreated high blood pressure — stays in Quackistan. The surrounding states are refusing to treat the residents of Quackistan because they have no health insurance, but we don’t need to worry since everyone is going to be healthy all the time just like our Paleolithic ancestors. And if they’re not, remember that only the fittest survive!

The folks in Quackistan will elect their own officials, but it seems to me that Gwyneth Paltrow would make a great choice for governor. Joe Mercola would be an excellent director of Health and Human Services, Aviva Romm could be in charge of Maternal and Child Health and Kelly Brogan could run all the mental health facilities. They’re quacks already! Obviously they would have to repudiate their medical degrees and licenses first but I for one can’t wait to see how they keep the state’s inhabitants healthy with their positive thinking and rejection of conventional medicine. There will be no more cancer or heart disease, no newborn or maternal deaths, and no mental illness, either!

The greatest innovation of course will be the complete absence of vaccines. What about whooping cough, measles and tetanus? There won’t be any because everyone knows they were all disappearing long before the advent of vaccines. When was the last time anyone saw a case of tetanus in the general population? It has become so rare in modern times with great nutrition that there’s no need to worry about it.

So how about it folks? Who wants to live in Quackistan? Surely all the anti-vaxxers, homebirth advocates and GMO opponents will be rushing to move there, finally free to live their most cherished values.

Wait, what? No one wants to move there because they depend on the herd immunity of the people who do vaccinate? No one wants to move there because they rely on hospitals to rescue them from homebirths? No one wants to move there because they don’t want to live like our Paleolithic ancestors who died in droves and had an average life expectancy of 35 years?

I don’t believe it. They would never pass up the chance to inscribe their most cherished motto on the license plates of their bicycles and electric cars: Live Unvaxxed or Die!

  • Steph858

    Slightly OT, but I’ve come to a realisation about woo.

    Quacks use ‘lifestyle’ as a Trojan horse. In order to appeal to those who would otherwise unceremoniously dismiss the quacks’ woo of choice as the nonsense it is, in public the quacks say that their specialism (be it Reiki, Homeopathy, Acupuncture or whatever) is all about preventative holisticism. Your friendly neighbourhood crystal therapist wants nothing more than to teach you how to eat your veggies, go for a morning jog and de-stress with a nice relaxing meditation session. All that guff about ‘quantum healing vibration energy’ is hidden away from public view and shown only to those who have already been converted by the ‘healthy lifestyle’ cover story.

    Quacks are especially insidious when they try to imply that their woo of choice has the monopoly on common-sense healthy lifestyle advice. One could perhaps reasonably argue that real medicine fails to place sufficient emphasis on improving patients’ lifestyles (treating the cause, not the symptom, as the woos would say) and that GPs don’t get enough training in diet and nutrition to properly advise their patients on such matters (which is why ‘dietetics’ is a specialism). But even if one concedes this argument, and also agrees that the solution isn’t to help GPs offer better advice on such things but is to entrust the dispensing of lifestyle advice to quacks, that doesn’t mean that the pseudoscience the quack peddles should get a free pass. Quacks would have us believe that their pet pseudoscience is the foundation upon which lifestyle advice is built, and that if their pseudoscience is removed then the whole healthy lifestyle building will collapse. No. We must not allow the quacks to imply to the public that only massage therapists’ patients can get their 5 a Day.

  • Amy

    I bet a surprisingly high number of people would find this attractive. One of the biggest shocks to me, and it still rattles me even a decade after first realizing it, is how much the whole “natural family living” ethos overlaps with the far right. Establishing a libertarian paradise in the mountain west is right up their alley. See also: Cascadia (http://crosscut.com/2015/07/hate-filled-zone-a-group-of-white-racists-wants-a-nw-secession-a-vile-dream-with-deep-historic-roots/)

    I remember when I was more into the woo I thought that all the crunchy-granola types were liberal hippies (mainly because all of the crunchy granola people I knew personally were actually liberal hippies, all of whom lived in Vermont or western Massachusetts). It wasn’t until I had a baby and got involved with LLL and ICAN that I realized how ultraconservative a lot of these people were and are. Dr. Amy has, of course, outlined the backgrounds of Grantly Dick-Reed and the women who started LLL. But a lot of the biggest names on the alt-right are also huge proponents of going off-grid and all-natural– in their case they’re coming at it from a libertarian, going-their-own-way philosophy, but there’s also a whiff of being able to survive when the evil Muslims/Mexicans/Africans/Liberals infiltrate Real America™. (I think I’ve commented before that Dr. Amy’s political posts more than anything else helped me to see the toxic side of earthy-crunchy extremism.)

    • AnnaPDE

      Yes, there’s definitely a massive far right component to “natural” woo. A substantial part of the theoretical underpinnings of German antivax rubbish stems the theories of a guy called Ryke Geerd Hamer. He made up the “laws” of what he called New Germanic Medicine, in opposition to the evil Jewish conspiracy of germ theory, antibiotics and really pretty much any scientific view of biology. It’s worth having a look at his Wikipedia entry.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Ayup. I’ve said before and no doubt will say again that there’s a huge overlap with the liberal/crunchy/Nature Knows Best crowd and the conservative/crunchy/God Made Our Bodies To Function Perfectly crowd.

      • Who?

        Either way, they have a disturbing need to make everything Just Right, by which they mean, how they think they want it.

        There must be psychological conditions that predispose to these extremes.

  • Allie

    Just wondering… wouldn’t “live unvaxxed and die” be more accurate?

  • LaMont

    Of course Quackistanis will get vaccine-preventable diseases, they will properly blame it on a grandparent or great-grandparent having been vaxxed for it in the past, of course!

  • Who?

    Best thing about Quackistan? They would disappear off the internet.

    Not nacheral, you know.

    • Russell Jones

      That’s gonna be a serious problem for the Quackistanis. On one hand, unnacheral = bad. On the other hand, websites like Ranger Mike Adams’ “Natural News” (otherwise known as Fraudy the Clown’s Masturbatorium of Rube-Bilking) are mother’s milk to these folks.

      • Who?

        They’ll have to do it by carrier pigeon. Then when the pigeon is caught in bad weather (or consumed by a bird of prey) they can all complain how they were ‘blocked’. And how birds of prey are shills for big pharma.

        It’s the tinfoil manufacturers I’m worried about. Have we thought about what they will lose?

        • Russell Jones

          We’ll send in a carrier pigeon bearing the message, “Chemtrails cure vaccine injuries.” At that point we can sit comfortably on a hilltop and watch though binoculars as Quackistani heads explode.

      • Empress of the Iguana People

        gives the eye for that last pun.

  • Roadstergal

    No airplanes, no vehicles! They interfere with the Natural Order. (And we don’t want them spreading the diseases they surely won’t catch…)

  • Russell Jones

    This here is a grand idea! Surely the worshipers of all things natural will jump at the chance to separate themselves from the blood-soaked authoritarian Big Pharma hellscape in which us sheeple live, and take advantage of a lolbertarian anarchocapitalist utopia in which human beings are free to exercise their noble Galtian prerogatives without the filthy jackboot of Pharma-controlled government on their throats!

    Oh wait. Anti-vaxxers love stuff paid for with other people’s money. All they really want is to keep the free stuff without anyone imposing any conditions on their receipt and/or use of the free stuff.

    [Emily Litella] Never mind. [/Litella]

    • Steph858

      Does anyone else remember that ‘Freeman on the Land’ movement that came and went a few years back? Nicknamed ‘Freeloaders on the Lam’ by their critics, they portrayed themselves as just wanting to live without state interference; they didn’t think they should pay taxes because they didn’t voluntarily use any services paid for by those taxes. In reality, these FOTLers were the first in the queue whenever they did qualify to receive state benefits; they just wanted all the benefits of living in a civilised society with none of the responsibilities.

      The anti-vaxxers remind me of the FOTLers. It comes as no surprise that there is a significant overlap between the two groups; they both want free stuff and believe that the government is out to get them …

  • Charybdis

    Excellent! The modern version of a leper colony.

    But how are all those folks going to remind us of their “superiority” if they don’t have access to the internet? Google U will have to downsize their campus because they will lose a lot of their student base.

    • mabelcruet

      But its survival of the fittest-give them a hundred years and the survivors will emerge and become our overlords. They’ll be naturally geared towards supremacy-their systems won’t be weakened by chemicals and soft living. I, for one, will welcome our non-genetically modified, chemical and additive free holistically healing masters.

      And then they’ll all catch the flu and die……

      • Charybdis

        We could only be so lucky.

    • Roadstergal

      Wi-Fi is bad for your health! Jill Stein told me so. They can etch drawings in the rock. “See what I posted on my wall?”

      • Russell Jones

        lol Jill Stein

        The bicycle rap … good God Almighty, the bicycle rap …

  • kilda

    no need to create a new state – people could just move to one of the many impoverished rural places of the world where people already live like this. There are also many refugee camps that enjoy this kind of all natural lifestyle!

    • Steph858

      I would agree with you, but the last thing those poor refugees need is some condescending neo-hippy annoying them with her constant cooing about how pure and natural everything is out here. As if the threats of disease and starvation aren’t enough, the refugees would also have to worry about blinding themselves from constant strenuous eye-rolling!

  • The sad thing is people do live like this, in Idaho. And they call themselves faith healers, so when their children die of preventable disease the parents are immune to prosecution for child neglect and/or child abuse and/or homicide.

  • “our ancestors lived for tens of thousands of hospitals …”
    Perhaps you meant years?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Oops! Fixed it.