Among the millions of people pouring into South Florida each year, there's a large slice of health seekers, body-conscious or ill individuals hoping the change in weather could do them some good. Depending on one's beliefs — or degree of desperation — West Palm Beach's Hippocrates Health Institute may be a popular stop. But the facility — a lush lifestyle center which is focused on nutrition and registered with the state as a "massage establishment" — has faced tough criticism in the past about allegedly over-promising medical miracles.
Much of this opprobrium has settled on the institute's head man, Brian Clement. And now Clement is again coming under fire in Canada for recent comments about curing a patient with multiple sclerosis.
According to a report from CBC News, which has been relentlessly covering Clement all year, in September, the South Floridian had a speaking engagement in Montreal. There, according to a recording of the speech obtained by CBC, Clement told the crowd, "Last week, we had somebody at the institute that reversed multiple sclerosis."
He went on to explain that this had happened with other patients as well: "A nurse that came to us two years ago was crippled, had braces on. By the time she left Hippocrates, she reversed the multiple sclerosis... And mainstream medicine, they think it's remarkable. I've seen lots and lots of people over the years did that."
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This is becoming a pattern with Hippocrates. As New Times reported earlier this year, Clement and Hippocrates were at the center of another Canadian controversy involving two cancer-stricken girls from Ontario's First Nations tribe. The children — both 11 years old — left chemotherapy treatments for Hippocrates after learning of its program.The Institute offers a "Comprehensive Cancer Wellness Program" with "sound therapy" and "Bio-Impedance Testing and Treatment for Regeneration."
A legal tussle followed after the girls decamped. One of the girls — Makayla Sault — died. According to the CBC, the second girl is back in traditional cancer treatment.
In the fallout from that situation, the Florida Department of Health sent cease-and-desist letters to Clement and his wife, who the state claimed were passing themselves off as medical doctors (Clement does have a doctorate in naturopathic medicine and a nutrition PhD but is not an MD). The state opened an investigation into the facility — an investigation that slammed shut only a few weeks later. At the time, a state spokesperson told New Times the probe was halted due to "insufficient evidence."
The latest comments from Clement in Canada have thrown Hippocrates right back into the spotlight. The CBC report also turned up another former Hippocrates patient who went to the center for MS. Ten thousand dollars and a year later, the patient's condition had only gotten worse.