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Hollywood and Megavitamin Medicine

Lois Lane's Vitamins


Reprinted with permission of Merrily Manthey.

Film Star Margot Kidder Supports Proposed New Ordinance for Mental Health:
Getting Patients Well is the New Goal 

By Merrily Manthey, M.S.

In a stunning presentation four years to the day of her very public exposure that branded her "crazy," actor Margot Kidder urged support for a landmark ordinance about to be voted on in King County, Washington (greater Seattle). People deserve "the right to wellness," she pointed out, "as opposed to a pharmacological lobotomy, which is usually what you get." 

On April 25, the international film star stood before Councilmember Kent Pullen, PhD, and his "customer services" committee agreeing that getting people well should be the goal of county mental health programs. Kidder also urged the use of natural medicine to treat the mentally ill. 

The Canadian born actress, who starred as Lois Lane in the blockbuster movie series, Superman, told the Council that she had been "treated" for mental illness for most of her life. Boldly she revealed that conventional medicine provided her with very little help. But by taking charge of her own healing, discovering natural methods that dealt with the root cause of her problem, and with the help of family and friends, she got herself well. 

The treatment she "discovered" and assembled on her own was, in effect, orthomolecular medicine, developed by Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD and his colleague Humphrey Osmond, MD., over 40 years ago.

I had met Margot Kidder at the orthomolecular conference held to honor Hoffer’s 80th Birthday. I mentioned to Councilman Kent Pullen, PhD, that I wanted ask the extremely articulate and knowledgeable film star to speak to the 13-member elected body in support of our new ordinance. I imagined she would make an impassioned and reasoned argument to help people change the way they view existing treatment of those diagnosed with a mental illness. Thankfully, natural medicine advocate Pullen was tremendously supportive of my idea. And I was deeply grateful Ms. Kidder agreed to come to Seattle to make the case for important change. 

Her appearance generated widespread US media attention and favorable "reviews" for the concepts she was presenting. Observers said she impressed them deeply with her humanity and personal success story, and, they told me, they would never feel the same about anyone suffering with symptoms of mental distress. Through her powerful testimony, Margot Kidder made them think differently about the biochemical differences that influence good mental health.

(More information at

I learned through public hearings in 1999 that 5% of patients treated in the county’s current mental health system were made well in the prior year. Shocked by the dismal numbers, we set out to raise the bar. The successful passage of this ordinance, Pullen notes, will "create a significant paradigm shift" in government policy. I will add here, we hope this concept will "catch fire" all across the North American continent.

Citing a Wall Street Journal article, New Weapons in the War on Schizophrenia, August 25, 1999, the ordinance notes that the economic cost to the United States of just one mental illness, schizophrenia, is $30-65 billion dollars per year, with 2.5 million persons afflicted. According to the NIMH, depression cost over $30 billion in 1990. Present treatments for the mentally ill have generally disappointing results and are characterized as high cost Band-Aids. 

The ordinance defines "well" and "wellness." Being "well" means, by definition, a client who is free of disability, employable, connected with friends and family; and has a generally positive outlook on life. If the person is taking medications or nutritional supplements, then the client is also free of adverse side effects. If the person is in the age range of 21-59 years, "wellness" includes being engaged in volunteer work, pursuing educational or vocational degrees, or contributing to family support. A client in that same age range lives independently or has chosen other living arrangements to facilitate the client’s activities with respect to volunteerism, education, work or family. Being "well" means that an adult client is not receiving publicly funded mental treatment except for occasional recommended periodic checkups, and has been discharged from the county’s mental health system. A client who is well, the ordinance spells out, may be characterized as having a GAF score of 81 or above.

Videotape A Message of Hope Set the Stage

The award-winning videotape, A Message of Hope, which documents Hoffer’s work and the effectiveness of orthomolecular treatments, was the impetus for the landmark ordinance and the personal endorsement of Margot Kidder.

For more information about the videotape, A Message of Hope, contact the Foundation for Excellence in Health Care: (206) 718-3334 or

To receive copies of the King County/Seattle area ordinance, contact Merrily Manthey at (206) 755-4206 or (941) 255-2152, or email .

"How many of your patients are well?" 
by Merrily Manthey, MS
Published in CHOICES, July 1997

Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, internationally-respected pioneering leader in effective treatment of schizophrenia, advised natural medicine advocate and Councilmember Kent Pullen that King County elected officials should demand a better job from their psychiatrists. At the invitation of Chair Pullen, Hoffer appeared before the Law, Justice & Human Service Committee of the King County Council in June. Dr. Hoffer suggested the elected officials ask the County psychiatrists a simple question: how many of their patients are well? If not, why not? 

Councilman Pullen readily acknowledged the importance of that telling question. He also opined that the Harborview board, which is appointed by the County, might also request such information from the medical officers responsible for treatment of mental illness at the County-owned Harborview. NOTE: Managed for the County by the University of Washington, Harborview is an academic teaching hospital for students at the University’s School of Medicine. 

The Terrible Costs of the Wrong Treatment

Families are destroyed, people are killed, billions of public dollars are wasted because proper diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia is not done, reported Hoffer. For example, he told the Committee that every patient not treated successfully costs the public at least $2 million over the patient’s lifespan. He felt every community ought to immediately investigate the cost savings by treating their patients with the simple and cost-effective orthomolecular protocols developed by Hoffer and others.

So how many patients are diagnosed schizophrenic? Dr. Hoffer says that a disturbing trend has taken hold in mental illness. Schizophrenics are not properly diagnosed. "Bi-polar" and "borderline personality disorder" are the more currently promoted diagnoses today. No one wants to use the term "schizophrenia" any more. Yet if strict diagnostic parameters are followed, many with such "modern" diagnoses are more properly suffering with schizophrenia which would lead to the proper orthomolecular treatment using Vitamin B-3, along with Vitamin C, other parts of the B-complex. 

Orthomolecular Psychiatry is Effective

Besides citing numerous double-blind studies that have been published in scientific journals, Dr. Hoffer told the Committee about his own experience since he began using orthomolecular protocols. He reported he has treated 5000 acute schizophrenics since the 1950’s. He has found 90% recovery for acute patients who stay on the orthomolecular program for 2 years. With chronically-ill patients Dr. Hoffer has experienced success but it took longer. He told the Committee not long ago he randomly-selected 27 patients from the 500 he has treated who met a certain criteria. The criteria was: the patients had been ill seven years prior to coming to see Dr. Hoffer, had failed to respond to all other (conventional) treatments, and who stayed on Dr. Hoffer’s program for 10 years. In that group he found 17 are well. Dr. Hoffer sadly noted the word "cure" does not appear in any psychiatric dictionary, although the word does appear in other medical dictionaries.

In closing, Dr. Hoffer said the orthomolecular treatment is the most effective treatment for the schizophrenic syndrome today. He hopes institutions will look into the treatment in order to perfect it. 

For more information:
Award-winning video featuring Dr. Abram Hoffer available, "A Message of Hope" produced by The Foundation for Excellence in Health Care 
Well-Mind Association (205) 547-6167



Andrew W. Saul


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