Steve Kroschel directs The Beautiful Truth, a vital, informative and provocative documentary about cover-ups in the health industry and the suppression of cures for many diseases and ailments, including cancer. As Steve Kroschel's teenage son, Garrett, does more research and listens to a variety of independent experts, activists and whistleblowers, such as Dr.John W. Olney, Dr.Russell Blaylock, Jack Samuels (co-founder of the Truth in Labeling Campaign)and ex-food processing scientist and engineer Carol Hoernlein, he discovers the true value of The Gerson Therapy (www.gerson.org), a diet developed 80 years ago by Dr.Max Gerson and founded 60 years ago by his daughter, Charlotte. It has been proven to cure cancer and other diseases and ailments by truly natural means such as eliminating toxins from your body and strengthening your immune system through proper nutrition, i.e. juicing up. It also includes the use of coffee enemas. One of the most provocative cover-ups is that of the existence of Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG), a harmful neurotoxin and excitotoxin used by food/beverage corporations as a cheap flavor enhancer. The term MSG can be used interchangeably with "Processed Free Glutamic Acid" because they're both essentially and functionally equivilant. Sodium has no function in MSG other than to turn it into the salt form commonly known as monosodium glutamate. Do you think it's so simple and easy to avoid MSG? Think again: The FDA allows Processed Free Glutamic Acid to be hidden in seemingly benign ingredients without disclosing its presence or precise quantity on labels of food and beverage products. Please see www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html for a list of those ingredients. Still don't believe all of this? Please watch the 60 Minutes segment about MSG from 1991. Also, please visit www.msgmyth.com (run by consumer advocate Debbie Anglesey) and www.msgtruth.org (run by ex-food processing scientist and engineer Carol Hoernlein) for more crucial information about the cover-up of hidden MSG and its harmful effects on your health. Director Steve Kroschel currently lives in a log cabin in Alaska with his teenage son, Garrett. He has previous written, directed and produced many nature documentaries for National Geographic and PBS as well as feature films such as Avalanche. It was a real privilege to interview him.
Cinema Libre Studios releases The Beautiful Truth on November 14th, 2008 at the Quad Cinema.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What kind of experience do you have in health activism?
SK: I’ve never been an activist in the health field, although I've always been steadfast about supporting any environmental cause that makes this world a better, healthier place. Since I was a small child, I did appearances with wild animals, even in New York on The Today Show and on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. As I got older, I started to make the connection between human health and the environment. That, I thought, would be a huge thread that could tie in a wide audience. That’s where Dr. Max Gerson came into play.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Which distributors did you approach before The Beautiful Truth ended up at Cinema Libre Studio? How did they respond to you?
KS: Paramount Vantage, Fox and Sony saw it and said that this was such a liability [to them] that they don’t even want to consider it. They didn’t quite know where to put the film because it was just in a class of its own. Then you’ve got this brave, dynamic little distributor, Cinema Libre, and they just loved it. We had an instantly positive relationship once they saw the film.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How did you manage to find the right balance between entertaining the audience and provoking them intellectually?
SK: I’ve been a filmmaker for 20 years, mainly for the BBC and National Geographic, and that’s like preaching to the choir. That’s a limited audience. I have been involved with several major studios in films that went wide, but they weren’t about health. I did learn over time that a film about cancer and chronic disease could be very dry and unsatisfying to an audience unless you had a good story. That’s why I would try that angle, especially since my 15-year-old son was so doubtful about this message being truly real.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Why do you think the majority of the American public has so much apathy toward their own health?
KS: Dr. Max Gerson said himself that, “Cancer is easy to cure. The problem is that it’s in people.” He also went on to say that, unless the surgeon’s knife is at their throat, they will not follow his message. It’s just something innate in us, I think, that we want to self-destruct. I think people are their own worst enemies. You can take someone to court if they spit on your shoe, but [yet], if we eat the wrong [food] every day, it’s like we’re stabbing ourselves with our spoons and forks and knives that we have at the kitchen table. It’s still a bit mystifying to me why people remained unconcerned. Also, so many in the past “claimed” that they have a cure and can defeat cancer and chronic disease because, after all, some of those that have tried it in the past, were just a big joke and were called quacks. Then you have the trillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry that is always updating their progress in curing diseases. There’s an incredulous nature in us, too, and that just drives me more to make this film attractive to everybody.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you respond to the common public response that “everything should be in moderation”?
KS: The way our bodies are designed are for us to eat in a certain way. We have violated that time and time again. What is so extreme about eating a baked potato and drinking a glass of vegetable juice when you compare it to the orthodox, conventional treatment of breast cancer by cutting a woman’s breast off the save her from cancer? Which one is extreme? Dr. Max Gerson was all about the baked potato and the vegetable juice; conventional medicine and Big Pharma are about drugs that are completely unnatural [and] as we’ve discovered, i.e. Vioxx it sometimes kills 50,000 people, or about taking out people’s organs while still not curing their disease.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Why don’t mainstream media help to expose such important cover-ups?
KS: Look at the nightly news, for example. It’s supported by corporations that are promoting drugs. I don’t have a television up here in my Alaskan cabin, but the last time I looked at a TV at an airport in Juneau, the advertisements were all about drugs. Most of the drugs advertised in these commercials are promoting an answer for something, whether it be a headache or insomnia, with a drug. Dr. Max Gerson’s therapy alone would cure that and you wouldn’t have to buy anything. The only way that the mainstream media will be finding something like this attractive is if the people vote. [Democracy] would be [occurring] by going to see this film and examining it for yourself. You just have to dig under all the crud of everyday media and find the real truth, the beautiful truth. The science is there. The facts are there. It’s undeniable and can be scrutinized right down to the letter. It is a real thing that’s never really been picked up.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Are food, beverage, hygiene and drug corporations as well as the FDA and other agencies, such as the American Dietetic Association, part of a cover-up of crucial information that’s relevant to consumer health?
KS: There’s absolutely a cover-up. They don’t want to talk. We contacted Monsanto, ConAgra and a number of food companies. Most of them wouldn’t even return our calls and when we repeatedly went after ConAgra and Monsanto, they just bullied us. It was nothing that I had expected otherwise, but I lived it out. We went to the ConAgra facility as a last effort, but we were pushed away right at the gate. If they do talk, they have prepared statements. It’s nothing off-the-cuff. They won’t tell you the truth, but I wanted them to. I wanted them to speak. I tried to make it a balanced film. What you see in this documentary is the truth. It’s Garrett’s journey. Garrett still today can’t believe what he saw with his own eyes.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How did the FDA respond to you?
KS: They didn’t give us any response. We had to go with the printed word that was available in libraries and various other sources. We did include, at one point, a comparison between Monsanto’s explanation of genetically modified food and their position on it that the FDA is supposed to determine what’s healthy and safe to eat. Garrett showed that statement from the head of Monsanto and then we also had a statement directly from the FDA which stated that ultimately it is the food producer who is responsible for the safety of food. Those two statements side-to-side should pretty much erase the confidence of the general public that the FDA is looking out for their health.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Who should ultimately be held accountable? The cheaters or the administration(s) that allow them to cheat?
KS: They all have to be held accountable, but maybe that’s hoping for a perfect world. In reality, we have to hold up the hope that the public can put enough pressure on government agencies to reexamine their policies and to take a different path. Ten years ago, this might not have been so urgent, but at this stage of history, with the degradation of the environment, we have to move fast now because we have reached a milestone in human history. If we do not pay attention to these “tiny” details of what we eat everyday, we are not going to leave a healthy legacy for our children. What kind of a future do we have for them? I have a very difficult time keeping a positive message for young people. When I presentations about the natural world at schools, it’s becoming increasingly harder to convince young people that they have a future. Many think that there’s not going to be any clean air to breathe or clean water to drink and they’re 25-years-old. It goes on and on. You can see clearly in the last ten years, that what we have taken for granted in the food we eat and the water we drink, that so much has changed. There are so many toxins everywhere now that we have to make a change whether we like it or not.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you expect the public to react to the exposures of all these health cover-ups?
KS: Enraged to the point of action and not just talking about it. Write letters to congress, vote in the right way and get educated and learn about these things. With the advent of the internet now, there’s so much information and disinformation out there. You’ve got to do the homework. Your health and life depends on it. We have no time to waste. Things have reached a crescendo. That’s why I made this film, virtually, singlehandedly because I want to get the public aware of what’s going on. Dr. Max Gerson warned about this 80 years ago. He said that the soil is our external metabolism. What’s happening to our soil and our farmlands? There’s nothing left in the soil that grows our food. When you add all the chemicals and everything else to it, no wonder everybody’s sick. No wonder that every one out of two people get cancer.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Do you think that history is repeating itself like what happened during the cigarette and tobacco industry cover-up?
KS: History is repeating itself because we are just too complacent to a fault.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What agencies can the public truly rely on to protect their health?
KS: One of the best ones is The Natural Resource and Defense Council which has attorneys that leverage our basic rights to put pressure on these companies, including Monsanto. Then, you can go to the Sierra Club, The World Wildlife Foundation, The National Health Federation and National Health Freedom. If you go onto any of those links, then you can start to network, learn the truth and get yourself educated.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What does the word “Natural” mean when stated on a product?
KS: Natural doesn’t mean anything anymore. It has to be organic. Natural popcorn can have arsenic dust on it, but it’s still natural [based on the FDA’s definition of natural]. Organic popcorn is free of chemical sprays and poisons. Natural, conventionally grown vegetables would not be that way. Organic crops have all of the nutritional minerals thought our body needs. Also, [the term] “natural” could include genetically modified foods, which are far from natural, but they still fall under the [FDA’s definition] of being natural. It’s a very misleading term and it has worn out its welcome. No one is really following it. Virtually all food manufacturers know better, but they still print out their promotional ads with a straight face and that’s very, very sad. There’s a few [manufacturers] that try [to be honest], but, [again], “natural” is a very misleading term.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What’s stopping the FDA from directly answering questions about such important health matters?
KS: The FDA is owned by food and pharmaceutical companies. As a matter of fact, in the The Beautiful Truth, we show you names of people who have worked on both sides. Some who have worked for the FDA also have worked for Monsanto. It goes back and forth, so you have what’s called a “revolving door”. Garrett just touched on it in his homework lesson, [but] it’s so pathetic and shocking that people won’t be able to believe it [even though] it is the truth. Do the research that Garrett did. He’s 15-years-old. If he could do it, then most of us could do it.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Should the American public trust the FDA?
KS: No. There’s this inside pressure from the corporate giants who control and the FDA is merely a puppet. Herbert Lay, the former Commissioner of the FDA, himself said, “The thing that bugs me is that people think the FDA is protecting them. It isn’t. What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it’s doing are as different as night and day.”
NYC MOVIE GURU: What will it take for the FDA to finally face the music about all the health cover-ups?
KS: The only thing is going to make a difference is public pressure, to stop buying those kinds of products, and to refuse to accept drugs as a treatment for our chronic diseases. [We should] refuse the various kinds of foods that are truly poisoning us and [should] buy whole foods that are organic and healthy. We should look seriously at alternative forms of treatment for cancer and chronic disease. There are a number of them and they have been ignored. The Gerson Therapy is one of the main ones, it has been tried and proved for eight decades.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What will it take for corporations to truly listen to the public?
KS: If money is the bottom line, then money is what speaks, apparently. When they start to lose it and people start to get educated about it and demand a change, then it can happen. We’re at a very great turning point where we have the internet and we’re able to communicate very rapidly. It worked so fantastically in our latest elections, for example.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How could doctors, employees of corporations and of government agencies live with themselves and behave in such an amoral way yet still have a conscience? Don’t they care about their family and friends?
KS: Some of them do [have a conscience]. Doctors and their families, [though], [rarely serve as] participants in using chemotherapy to treat [their own] cancer. They know better than that. There’s an example of the industry saying one thing, but doing another. Many of those who work for Monsanto don’t have that information. If they do, then they’re blind and can’t believe it themselves. Money speaks, so they’re willing to work there. It’s their living and that’s that. Do any of us really know how the executives of these companies truly live? Adolf Hitler, for example, kidnapped Dr. Max Gerson and followed The Gerson Therapy himself. He did not want the rest of the people to eat that way because they couldn’t control them. These are historical facts. What the general public does is different from the way that the heads and families of these corporations do themselves. There has been a great deal of inquiry and investigation into that and we’re learning things about. Coca-Cola and some of these soft drinks, for example, are not really part of the lunch period for some of the employees at various soft drink factories. They know that it’s not good for you.
NYC MOVIE GURU: In her response to inquiries about what she products she asked from the Republican National Committee, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin replied that, “I only asked for a Diet Dr. Pepper once in a while.” Does her consumption of that diet pop soda have any harmful effects on her health?
KS: Yes, it does because drinking those kinds of fluids clouds our minds, so we can’t respond right, because they have excitotoxins that destroy our brain cells. A simple act of drinking a Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper, which is one of the worst, can actually make us dumber. We’re getting dumbed down by the food and beverages that we eat and drink. So, we’re turning into a bunch of sheep. Adolf Hitler tried to do that with fluoride. He tried to control and sterilize the public by putting fluoride in their water, and [a similar thing] is happening right now.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Dr. Robert Atkins once said that “There have been many cancer cures and all have been ruthlessly and systematically suppressed with a Gestapo-like thoroughness by the cancer establishment”. Do you think that government agencies along with food, beverage and drug corporations are truly Gestapo-like?
KS: It’s even a soft word for what it actually is. Look at what’s happening to our healthcare. People are being killed [by drugs and diseases] needlessly, and there’s the suppression of natural treatments and answers, like The Gerson Therapy, to cancer and chronic diseases. Charlotte Gerson lived through the Holocaust and Dr. Max Gerson’s siblings were all killed in the Holocaust while she fled Nazi persecution. According to her, what’s happening now is worse than the Holocaust. She compares the whole healthcare system. It’s such a big issue in our world as to who’s going to pay for the drugs and surgery, but, basically, if you eat right, that is your healthcare. Doing something as simple and innocent as that can be your healthcare, so that, biologically, you cannot get cancer. Let’s say you were in fallout from a nuclear explosion, you will not be able to get cancer. Charlotte Gerson does not even have health insurance because she’s afraid that if she goes to a hospital, they’ll kill her. The errors that have been done by physicians every day in America alone is equivalent to three jumbo jets full of people crashing every day. Consumer health advocate and author Kevin Trudeau has done a lot of good to expose that. He’s exploiting all of that for great advantage.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How would you reform the FDA if you were its Commissioner?
KS: They shouldn’t be allowed to work for the corporations that they’re supposed to regulate at one time or another, for starters. They should be just, blind and holding the scale. The evidence needs to speak for itself. There needs to be independent research done that does not have the residue of any kind of drug, food or beverage companies. It should be done with true science and true testing, where science is living up to what it’s supposed to be. That’s long gone, so we need to come back to that.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Have there been any talks to make a narrative feature film about The Gerson Therapy?
KS: Firefly Productions in the UK is making a $40 million movie [about it]. They want Daniel Craig to play Dr. Max Gerson, they’re approaching Rachel Weisz to play Charlotte Gerson and they’re pushing Ron Howard to direct it. The production company is so afraid that they’re going to be accused of bias by contacting the Gerson family or giving us a single penny. The Gerson family has warned them that they are in for quite the ride if they tackle this movie.