Mike Huckabee appears to be preparing for yet another presidential run, and one of his first steps may have been to part ways with Joe Barton, a bald Christian entrepreneur you’ve likely never heard of until now.
Huckabee has been a spokesman for Barton’s diabetes cure, appearing in an online video and in advertisements on Rush Limbaugh’s show. Until recently, that is.
“His contract to discuss the importance of personal health habits for diabetes solutions ended last week,” Alice Stewart, Huckabee’s communications director, wrote in a statement on Tuesday. “It was something created several months ago, back in 2014, but due to possible future plans, he has concluded the relationship.”
What Stewart didn’t say, and what Barton’s company, Barton Publishing, wouldn’t confirm, was just how much that contract meant monetarily.
In introducing a lengthy video on a website for Barton’s “Diabetes Solution Kit,” the former Arkansas governor extolls the virtues of the homeopathic cure provide by the product. Once Huckabee is done speaking, a narrator takes over, imploring viewers to “Keep watching. We’re about to share these secrets with you!”
This goes on for some time.
You cannot stop the video.
And to learn the secrets Joe Barton has bestowed upon Huckabee, natural remedies that are supported by Barton Publishing employee Dr. Scott Saunders, you must stay tuned.
One by one, the secrets are revealed:
Cinnamon rolls contain a secret, diabetes-fighting ingredient!
Your spice cabinet holds still other magic bullets!
Barton Publishing operates a stable of websites that offer its products. That includes one selling Barton’s all natural erectile dysfunction cure, NaturallyStiff.com.
But unfortunately, it’s all an elaborate ruse.
Such remedies are not only untested, noted Dr. Anna Zisman of the University of Chicago Medical Center, but misleading as well.
“You can trust me or you can trust the guy on the Internet,” Zisman said, citing her years of education and multiple medical degrees.
Barton pushes natural remedies for everything from diabetes to kidney stones, all under the guise of saving average Joes from buying expensive prescriptions drugs—for a price, of course.
Barton Publishing operates a stable of websites that offer its products,including one selling Barton’s all natural erectile dysfunction cure, NaturallyStiff.com.
Boasting 15,000 customers nationwide, a few of whom felt so ripped off that they took to an online forum to express their frustration.
A few smart customers gave it a quick Internet search or went to their doctors before ordering the so-called cure.
Zisman discovered Barton’s work through a patient, who asked the doctor about the “Coca-Cola treatment,” a home remedy to combat kidney stones.
“My patient seemed very taken aback that I had not heard about it, so I figured that this was more common than I thought,” Zisman said of the treatment, which Barton has lauded as the inspiration behind his company.
The treatment requires kidney stone sufferers to drink 72 ounces of Coca-Cola as quickly as possible, followed by a half-pound of steamed and pureed asparagus.
This, Barton and others have attested, can cure kidney stones.
“It was almost comical as I pictured these little old ladies trying to chug six cans of Coke,” Zisman said. “It may help get rid of a stone just by pure volume, but so would water.”
As funny as it may have been for Zisman to envision her elderly patient chugging can after can of Coke, it was also a matter of grave seriousness for the doctor, who was concerned enough to begin looking into the remedy on her blog. She traced the Coke treatment back to Barton, who eventually developed an eBook on the subject, which he claimed has helped “thousands of people all over the world.”
On a scale of one to ten, Zisman rated Barton’s level of bullshit at 9.5.
She stopped short of calling Barton a fraud. That’s not her place, according to Zisman.
“All I can tell you is that there’s no scientific merit” behind the Coke cure, she said.
Barton, through phone calls and emails to his company, didn’t respond to requests for comment, and Huckabee’s team wouldn’t say what exactly his contract with Barton Publishing entailed.
But as spokesperson jobs go, it’s unlikely Huckabee was shelling for the Diabetes Cure Kit pro bono.
Information contained in the kit mostly involves eating healthy foods and exercising. The video’s narrator, meanwhile, speaks in conspiratorial language about pharmaceutical companies, calling their relationship with the medical community a “failed system.”
“The real problem is the fact that you’ve been lied to for years,” the narrator says. “One of these lies is that you have to take the pills or use [an insulin] needle. If you are one of the millions of people who’ve fallen victim to this lie, you must decide to believe now.”
Barton is a merchant of faith when it comes to his remedies.
Both he and Huckabee are also proud believers in Jesus Christ, publicly praising his teachings. But if Huckabee’s “possible future plans” include running for president, it may be for the best that he’s no longer a spokesman for one of Barton’s remedies.
Huckabee, a diabetes sufferer himself, knows well the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. He once said that he avoided telling others diagnosed with the disease how to fight it.
“I try not to go around saying, ‘Well, you ought to do this because I did it,’” he told the Washington Post in 2004.
Over the years, it appears, that has changed.
“Here’s the thing, you need structure to make the plan work,” Huckabee says in the video, laying out a natural alternative to prescription drugs and insulin shots. “That’s why I’m strongly suggesting that you look into this product from Barton Publishing.”