Gerson Therapy  Documentary


Dying to Have Known:

A documentary film by Steve Kroschel

(80 minutes, 2006. DVD available from the Gerson Institute,
1572 Second Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 )


Reviewed by Andrew W. Saul

Assistant Editor, Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine


The best movies are those that we do not want to end. For a documentary to meet that criterion is unusual. One that definitely does is Dying to Have Known, a revealing, well constructed, interview-based presentation of the benefits of the Gerson therapy. The movie, which premiered in Manhattan at the New York International Film Festival, records experts’ statements as they make them, pro or con, guarded or otherwise. It is also entertaining and persuasive cinema, a movie with a mission. That mission is the unabashed promotion of nutritional cancer therapy, still controversial seven decades after Max Gerson, M.D., first employed it.


The strength of Dying to Have Known is its interview footage coupled with expert editing. Not incidentally, the photography is beautiful, but we would expect that from director Steve Kroschel, a 20-year veteran filmmaker who honed his craft working on Disney, BBC, and IMAX movies. Departing his home base in rural Alaska, Kroschel embarks on a 52-day Gerson-fact-finding journey of Europe, Japan, and the USA. He wields a confident hand interviewing a variety of researchers, editors, and physicians. The positive testimonials are admittedly powerful. But it is the negative interviews that define the film. Like matinee villains, they are what make this film so interesting, and literally elicit hisses and hoots from audiences. “How did he ever get them to say that?” That is the touch of the master documentarian.


As Max Gerson’s daughter Charlotte repeats her unequivocal statement “it is a scientific fact that the Gerson therapy cures cancer,” in counterpoint the “bad guys” offer up the usual objections: that there is no evidence of success, or whatever evidence there is has been exclusively anecdotal and the records have been kept hidden from investigators. Those old saws collapse into rust as you watch Dying to Have Known. This movie shows, and really quite convincingly, that the evidence for the Gerson therapy is good, is well-documented, and is not being concealed. Rather, the evidence is being ignored.


As you watch the film, skeptics and detractors repeatedly state their demands for placebo-controlled testing of the Gerson therapy. It appears they consider this to be their strongest point. In fact, it may be their weakest. The majority of medical procedures have never been adequately placebo tested. An example might be radiation therapy for cancer. Picture this: a sick, scared patient is told with confidence that, of course, radiation treatments are the best way to kill a given tumor. The patient is then subjected to long waits in waiting rooms with other believers; to high bills for the procedure; to awesomely large equipment with dials, lights, technicians and mysteries; and finally, to being placed nearly naked under or into an imposing machine.


To be scientific, let us have a second room, a placebo room, just as white and just as bright; housing a totally fake, placebo “radiation” machine. We shall make sure is just as impressive as the real deal, with lots of lights and dials that make the bridge of the starship Enterprise pale by comparison. We will provide research confederates disguised as fellow cancer sufferers, all chatting about the wonders of the impending treatment; and lots of dignified technicians, hurried doctors, and sky-high bills to match. Let this second “radiation” room be identical to the real one, but all completely phony. Then we will compare results.


In this case, might not placebo testing be seen as a ridiculous requirement? Yet, until it happens, we can only wonder what the success rate of the bogus "radiation treatments" would be. We will remain unsure exactly how much benefit is radiation, and how much is expectation. 


If we haven’t placebo-tested radiation therapy, and that is only one variable, how do we placebo-test the multiple variables inherent in a multifaceted nutritional treatment such as Gerson’s? With placebo vegetable juices?


It is unavoidably true that doctors’ success reports abound for the Gerson therapy. The film makes that plain, displaying on camera boxes and files brim full of verifiable physician records. To flatly dismiss this evidence as “merely anecdotal” is a convenient but specious argument. For, when attempting to scientifically prove the benefits of inoculation, did health authorities vaccinate 100,000 toddlers for polio, give another 100,000 kids injections of sterile water, and then wait a few years to see who got paralyzed? Not at all. They looked at physician reports. Lots of them, and very carefully. The same should be done for the Gerson therapy.


Surely one of humanity’s greatest fears is a diagnosis of cancer. When a natural, nontoxic therapy has support from the likes of distinguished professor of medicine Yoshihiko Hoshino, MD, and Cornell’s T. Colin Campbell, PhD, regarded by many as the world’s foremost authority on nutrition, it is time to look closer. A lot closer.


Dying to Have Known is natural healing right up there on the silver screen where it belongs. It is powerful, fast paced and compelling. If you are skeptical about alternative cancer treatment, see this movie. This film might do more than change your mind. It might change your lifestyle, change the world, and even change modern medicine. If this documentary is not immediately suppressed, millions of chronically ill people will get well. Good heavens, what a concept.


(Reprinted with permission from J Orthomolecular Med, 2006. Vol 21, No 4, 230-231.)


Disclaimer: In the movie DYING TO HAVE KNOWN, DoctorYourself’s Andrew Saul is onscreen between minutes 46 and 50.


To learn more about how to do the Gerson Therapy: is a transcript of a speech by Dr. Gerson himself. is a bibliography of published clinical studies showing the demonstrated benefits of the Gerson treatment is a bibliography of all of Dr. Gerson’s scientific writings.


Review copyright C 2006 by Andrew W. Saul.

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


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