Was It A War Against Cancer Or A War Against The Truth?

This is a tale about the War on Cancer.

ralphmossIt’s also a story of two people that spans 40 years and half the planet. One of the two became a pawn of forces trying to bury scientific truth, the other found herself pitted against those forces with her very life at stake.

And both answered a challenge that would test the limits of their courage and personal strength.

A new documentary, “Second Opinion: Laetrile At Sloan-Kettering,” tells the story of Ralph W. Moss, a young science writer hired by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the early 1970s to publicize the center’s work, especially its ongoing contribution to the War on Cancer.

One of Moss’ first assignments was to write a profile on Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura, a research scientist at Sloan-Kettering for over 60 years and one of its leading lights. Interestingly enough, Sugiura was also an original co-inventor of chemotherapy.  Sugiura had been tasked by Sloan-Kettering with testing an unconventional therapy called “Laetrile” in an effort to dispel the public’s rising interest in this allegedly “quack” therapy. Far from disproving Laetrile’s effectiveness, Sugiura’s extensive testing showed unexpectedly positive results in laboratory mice*, even when compared against chemotherapy.

Reporting back to his superiors at Sloan-Kettering, Moss was shocked and disturbed to find them almost unanimously determined to deny and stonewall the results of Sugiura’s lab experiments. One can only guess at their reasons for disowning the work of one of their most prestigious research-scientists, but between the FDA and the big pharmaceutical companies, Sloan-Kettering was under tremendous pressure to refute or obscure Sugiura’s findings.

This, of course, was Ralph W. Moss’ moment of truth. As a family man, the father of two young children, Moss couldn’t blithely walk away from a well-paying job that might easily prove to be the keystone of his entire career. prudence2

Fifteen years later…on the other side of the world, a young woman named Prudence Sinclair would be facing her own moment of truth. In 1990, Australian doctors diagnosed Prudence with stage 4 cancer—malignant melanoma—and told her she had six months to live.

After several surgeries, Prudence made a courageous decision to listen to her inner voice rather than the dictates of conventional medicine. With a death sentence hanging over her head she dove headlong into researching so-called “alternative therapies” rather than allow her body to be injected with chemotherapy’s toxic chemicals.

Australia, following the lead of America, had banned the use of Laetrile. So when Prudence’s research started to focus on Laetrile as a most likely way to arrest her cancer, she was forced to fly to Mexico where she received treatments with Laetrile, as well as other supplements that would boost her immune system.

As she told me in a letter, “I was a frightened young woman in my early 20’s who, against the wishes of my husband, family and doctors, flew halfway around the world to save my life.”

Back in Australia she had been warned by two oncologists that Laetrile treatments were not approved by the FDA and were dangerously toxic. In a touch of macabre irony, Prudence points out, “I am here today, and very much alive, while both my oncologists died of cancer.”

“Laetrile is not a magic bullet,” Prudence explains, “But it can stop metastatic cancer and give your body the time it needs to start the healing process.”

After four years of flying back and forth to Mexico, and lugging Laetrile-jammed suitcases back to Australia, Prudence’s cancer was in remission.

Meanwhile, back in the mid-70’s, Ralph W. Moss was facing a crisis of conscience. Unable to suppress his moral revulsion at Sloan-Kettering’s caving in to external pressures, he repeatedly tried to get his employers to publicize 
the truth about Sugiura’s findings. Finally, with every attempt rebuffed, he and fellow employees began anonymously leaking Sugiura’s test findings to the American public 
through an underground organization they named, “Second Opinion.”

There’s no way of knowing whether Ralph W. Moss’ decision to champion the truth about Laetrile—at the cost of his job, his family’s security and incalculable damage to his reputation—was directly responsible for Prudence Sinclair seeking out the laetrile treatments that saved her life.

But there’s no doubt that Prudence and countless others would have never known about Laetrile, or been given the chance to survive their cancer, if people like Ralph W. Moss hadn’t had the courage and conscience to speak out, and to stand up to the crushing power of modern medicine’s profit machine.

Laetrile, as any pharmaceutical executive could tell you, was derived from a natural substance and consequently could not be patented. And thus, more importantly, could not be exorbitantly priced.

As one high level executive at the FDA said back in the 1970’s, “Nobody is going to pay $70,000 for a new cancer drug if they can buy Laetrile for 75 cents.”

In the end, this was a tale about corporate greed, government complicity and human failings laid bare in the War on Cancer.

But also a story about two courageous individuals who refused to become casualties of that war.

And that’s the Truth.

* Sugiura’s findings repeatedly showed Laetrile effective in containing and preventing cancer in laboratory mice. Contrary to popular myth, Laetrile was never proven to cure cancer in lab mice.


• Ralph W. Moss consults on cancer treatments, both conventional and alternative, through Cancer, The Moss Report, which offers targeted treatment information for different types of cancer, and his monthly Advances in Cancer Treatment newsletter.

• Prudence Sinclair works as an integrative health strategist on Boston’s North Shore. Through her LoveYourMedicine foundation she raises awareness and funds for people to make informed decisions about scientifically-proven cancer methodologies. For more information, go to:

• “Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering” can be purchased on, and is now showing in selected cities across America.





“I Am A Rock”, (How To Train A Rock, Part 3)

Dear Paul Steven Stone:

 I have been reading with great interest your articles on how to train rocks, and especially enjoyed your insights into the complexities of our inner workings (yes, I am a rock myself). Unfortunately, most of what you say is very silly and far from true. More like supermarket tabloid trash than hard rock reality.

graystonePaul Steven, I don’t believe you could recognize a real rock if you tripped over one in your kitchen.

In any case, the time for sitting back in stoic silence has passed. As a tribal elder, I have been asked to write and clarify  a few basic truths about rocks.

And, yes, to offer you a friendly warning.

For millions of years we rocks have lived our lives in quiet harmony with nature and its creatures, with the exception of one particularly troublesome species. I refer, of course, to you humans who can’t seem to live in harmony with anyone or anything except your own hubris and unquenchable appetites.

Many centuries ago, it was decided by the Council of Rock Elders that we rocks would conceal our highly evolved spiritual and intellectual development from your species until such time as you were able to relate to us as equals. Since it will take at least another millennium before human beings can evolve to even the lowest of rock levels, and since you persist in writing about us as if we were semi-conscious, emotionally volatile household pets, the time has come for rocks – humbly represented by myself – to step out of the closet.

To begin with, and forgive me if I appear immodest, but rocks are actually the most consciously and spiritually advanced creatures in the universe. I’m sure even you, Paul Steven, must have heard about The Big Bang; that cosmic explosion some billions of years ago that hurled matter in all directions and created the universe? But did you ever ask yourself what it was that actually exploded on that momentous day?

(With my extra-sensory perception I sense an answer already forming in your mind.)

Yes, Paul Steven, it was a rock! One giant, inconceivably humungous rock. The first inhabitant of our universe and Great Great Granddaddy to the entire worldwide family of present-day rocks.

Interestingly enough, that first colossal rock was originally called “God” until your species took up the term and used it as an excuse for heaping indignities and abuse upon each other. You can be certain rocks never kill each other, or fan the fires of hatred and intolerance, in service to our God. Occasionally, no doubt, someone gets hit in the head by a rock, but that’s usually a function of the natural laws governing moving bodies rather than messianic fervor or religious intolerance.

If I were your God and saw the way everyone behaved in My name, I’d sue you all for defamation of character.

As for all your innuendoes about our being dense and dumb, suffice it to say we rocks are deeply connected to our inner selves, which is why we sometimes appear heavy or immovable or, perhaps even “stuck” to imperceptive mutton heads such as yourself. No matter how we appear, however, the truth is you do not know us. You do not know what gentle, kind spirits we can be, even though time and again we have proven our innate rigidity and toughness. You do not know that we live our lives without envy, greed or acquisitiveness. Or that riches bore us as much as fancy attire or faddish styles.

You also don’t realize that once we were the rulers of this beautiful and fragile planet, but in our humility stepped back to allow others their chance at the wheel.

Paul Steven, I am a rock. Unadorned and unashamed. As we used to say back in the quarry, take me as I am or toss me at a ham.

And another thing . . . you write that rocks are quiet creatures, often silent because we have little or nothing to say. Another patently false assumption based on your species’ inability to hear the high-pitched frequency at which rocks normally speak. Once again, it is your failings that cause you to infer our deficiencies. Were you able to hear rocks speak, you would not believe the high level of our discourse.

From time to time, when we wish to purposely inject elevating rock influences into the human zeitgeist – say through philosophy or literature — we employ human savants, secretly tutored by rocks, as vehicles for our messages.

With whom did you think Plato was actually conducting his dialogues? And the Immortal Bard? The truth is, without the assistance of his Rock Muses, Shakespeare wouldn’t have been able to come up with a rhyme for spoon in the month of June!

But now we are traveling through worrisome times, Paul Steven, both rocks and humans together. Evil energies have been set loose by the collective madness of your pitiful race and if they are not soon put in check they will destroy all that we rocks have striven to create and preserve.

That is why I have been asked to write this letter. As a friendly warning that we rocks will once again resume management of Earth’s planetary affairs if you humans aren’t up to the task.

This is not a threat by some hostile alien force, Paul Steven.

 This is a promise from the rocks of the world.

Either clean up your act, or take the next train out of town.

Don’t make us play hardball, Paul Steven.

You could get hit by a rock.


Sincerely yours,

Graystone Of The Back Garden


This was the third in my rock trilogy of essays detailing “How To Train A Rock,” which coincidentally is also the name of my story and essay collection. To read the first essay in the trilogy, go to here; you’ll find the second essay here.. For more information about “How To Train A Rock,” go to Amazon or my web site.




How To Train A Rock, Part 2

Our last blog posting on the care and training of rocks drew emails and letters from rock owners anxious to build upon the article’s understandably superficial lessons. Today, we offer targeted advice in response to your questions. dancing rocks

William G. of Hartford, Connecticut writes: “For some time I have observed Sparky, the favorite of my rock collection, frequently disappearing, sometimes for days on end, only to return covered in bruises and what I can only characterize as a smug, satisfied expression. What do you think is happening and, more importantly, what can I do to keep Sparky safe at home?”

William G., it’s my sad duty to suggest that Sparky isn’t actually a rock but a rolling stone. If that proves true there is little you can do other than accept Sparky’s natural inclination to periodically roam the highways and byways whistling Bob Dylan songs at sub-atomic auditory levels. This is perfectly natural behavior on Sparky’s part and nothing you should take personally. Besides, rolling stones deserve the same tolerance the Holy Bible teaches us to extend to all our fellow creatures (except, perhaps, gays, blacks, Asians or undocumented immigrants).

Ethel B. of Hingham, Massachusetts asks: “Is it bad form for me, as a young single woman, to take

my favorite rocks along with me on my dates? I ask because my rock collection clearly acts jealous and resentful when I display interest or affection towards possible suitors.”

Training your rocks should not be a struggle!

Training your rocks should not be a struggle!

Thank goodness you wrote for our advice rather than acting on well-intentioned impulses. Ethel B., DO NOT take your rocks with you on dates. As you’ve already seen, rocks are terribly jealous creatures with so little emotional control they will attack a rival suitor with deadly, gravity-defying intent. If your rock collection is large enough, it is conceivable your suitor’s very life could be at risk. Far better to pretend you are working a second job than to flaunt your active dating life in front of your rock collection. In fact, given that your rocks have already displayed disturbed emotions around this subject, I would strongly advise you not to sleep with them in your own bed. Of course, if there’s one particular rock you find especially attractive . . .

Moving on, Max W. of Clearwater, New Jersey writes to ask: “What is the ideal number of rocks for one’s rock collection? There are times when I think I may have more rocks than I can emotionally care for. As you know, rocks are such needy creatures and once ensconced in your life so very difficult to get free of. Tell me what you think, but please keep in mind I love all my rocks.”

Of course you love your rocks, Max; we wouldn’t suggest otherwise. To answer your question, however, there is no ideal number of rocks for one’s collection. Human beings, like rocks themselves, are all different, with different sets of needs. You might be a two-rock person while I might be a 2000-rock person. Nobody is wrong in this matter. There is no right and wrong when it comes to sharing your life with these stolid, long-term companions.

Lastly, for this week’s “A Rock’s Throw”, a number of you have questioned whether I was being subtly political in writing last week’s “How To Train A Rock.”

Ira R. of New Paltz, New York complains: “I don’t like that you tried to slip a column so overtly political right past me. Fortunately, my 78 year old mother who has asthma and collapsed cheek bones pointed out how similar “A rock” sounds to “Iraq.” How to train a rock. I get it. And thanks, Ma!”

And Shirley S. of Bedford Falls, California, writes: “What the hell was that all about? It wasn’t funny; I didn’t get the jokes; if there was a political message, it flew over my head. Who the hell are you writing this crap for anyway?”

Well, Shirley, you should be able to figure that out.

I write for the rocks.


This was the second in a trilogy of essays detailing “How To Train A Rock,” which coincidentally is also the name of my story and essay collection. To read the first essay in the trilogy, go to here. For more information about “How To Train A Rock,” go to Amazon or my web site.



How To Train A Rock

The first thing one notices about rocks is they are essentially quiet creatures. Adverse to long discourses or extended bouts of conversation, they nevertheless are quite engaged in life.train rock Constantly pondering the deepest and densest of life’s mysteries, thereby distracted to an apparent state of inertia, they are thought to be dull companions and highly unsuited to racquet sports or most other forms of physical activity.

Here at the Stone International Rock Training Institute we have discovered, and proven, I believe, that rocks are far more capable and sentient than we humans generally believe. In fact, it’s the rocks’ very ability to conceal their considerable capabilities from the general population that underscores the scope of their hidden powers.

So, what to expect when you bring home one of these seemingly inanimate creatures as a pet?

Expect love. Lots of love. Pound for pound, there isn’t a more loving, open-hearted creature than a rock, though they can be fickle at times. Until recently it was thought rocks heated up in the sun because of the sun’s rays. After much research, we now know their rising temperatures are psycho-romantic reactions. Rocks tenderly exhibiting warm feelings for their cousin, the Sun. Similar to the way their temperatures will flare-up when they’re with their masters. Unfortunately, such displays of affection often go unnoticed, leading to a deep-seated fear of rejection and humiliation in most mature rocks.

As unfortunate as that may sound, this fear of rejection will prove an important tool in helping you train a rock of your own. A simple example will prove the point.

Let us pretend we are training a rock to keep us company while watching TV in the evenings. Right off, most of us would make the mistake of placing the rock on a nearby chair or perhaps on the TV itself.

Ask yourself, could you watch TV if you were sitting on top of the TV? Of course you couldn’t. And neither could a rock.

As for the chair, it demoralizes the intimacy-starved rock to be placed so far away from you. It derails the very trust and intimacy you were seeking to instill. Far better to place your rock on a nearby coffee table at the beginning of the training cycle. The idea being, of course, to gradually inch the rock closer to you on successive evenings. By tantalizing the trainee rock with your increasing proximity, you enflame its desire for closeness, and will soon find not only a docile rock sitting on your lap, but a companionable one as well.rock drill

The majority of rocks that visit the Stone International Rock Training Institute come here for our “Good Companions” curriculum, which trains rocks for companionable relationships with all types of masters except toddlers, who need to be first trained not to eat rocks or stick them in their playmates’ eyes. We also offer a curriculum focused on “Security” for rocks being channeled into careers as Watchrocks or, possibly, projectiles.

Training a rock requires, well, rocklike patience. Much like human beings, rocks form impressions and psychological patterns in their early years that help shape their entire lives going forward. These impressionable “teen” rocks should be treated with great care and with great tolerance for their periodic mood swings and narcissistic bingeing. Should you discover you’re in possession of a teen rock rather than a mature one, don’t expect to win its trust anytime soon.

Unfortunately, we won’t have time this week to discuss “strays”, the wild, untamable rocks you find scattered most everywhere. Suffice it to say, many of the wild stories one hears about these highly independent rocks are true. They are unstable creatures to say the least. Unfriendly, sharply cunning and not very trustworthy. I would not want a stray rock living in my home, not even with my children fully grown and out of the house.

More about strays later on. For now, I’ll close this week’s “A Rock’s Throw” by inviting you, as always, to send me your questions about rocks and their proper training. Again, I must sternly request you do NOT send me the rocks themselves. And whoever threw that rock through the Institute’s lab window yesterday, I should warn you your rock has already conveyed your vital information to the police who are now on their way.

I forgot to mention, rocks are notoriously disloyal.


With the world growing ever more chaotic and worrisome, I felt the need to share a laugh or two. This essay is the first of a trilogy (humorous I hope) from my collection, “How To Train A Rock.” 

BURY MY HEART AT THE SULLIVAN COURTHOUSE: A Dispatch From The Cambridge Zoning Wars

We started out small in numbers.

That’s how change often begins; first with a few diehard believers who loudly articulate the concerns of those who suffer and fret in silence. Our collective voice was easily ignored in those early days, but eventually, after far too many meetings, forums and protests, our message began to gain traction and resonance.courthouse

And then we had a real battle on our hands.

No longer could the reality of the problem be ignored, no longer could critical thinkers remain disengaged. Not when citizens were growing vocal as well as angry, frustrated by their elected leaders’ seeming inability (or disinclination) to protect and defend this city they swore to serve. Frustrated as well by city roadways growing ever more clogged, city neighborhoods growing ever more alien and congested, and city agencies and a Planning Board growing ever more deaf to the pleas of the city’s residents.

Meanwhile, apologists for the status quo scrambled to defend and protect a system that demonstrably worked against the best interests of those who live in our city, especially those most vulnerable to gentrification. In bursts of media-savvy sound bites they shielded their opposition to anything that might hinder Cambridge’s unbridled runaway development. In almost knee-jerk defensive attacks they accused us of “Nimbyism” and of being “Anti-Development.”

If the history of these struggles is ever recorded, it will be clearly seen that those who fought for more vigilance and planning as we grew our city were more concerned with what happened on our watch than in our backyards!

And now the genie is out of the bottle. 

City councilThis last year our numbers have grown substantially and we have helped elect two new members to the City Council (see front row left, first and second); councilors who share our concerns and who are asking their fellow councilors to re-think their views and votes of the past, and to recast a system put in place to serve a Cambridge that once needed a shot in the arm to grow, but was now in danger of getting seriously ill from an overdose of that same medicine.

After years of living with a system that gave critical development oversight to non-elected entities: city agencies whose mission was to facilitate development and a Planning Board that refused to believe it had the power to say “No!” we are on the cusp of change. Councilor Dennis Carlone has proposed a zoning change that would give the City Council final approval—temporarily, until a new Master Plan can be developed—for all projects 50,000 square feet or larger that require special permit review.

If you care about the future of Cambridge or the future of our neighborhoods, or just believe you have an obligation to leave Cambridge a better city than when you found it, you need to raise your voice and lift your pen. You need to tell the city council to vote for, to accept, and to USE—like a mighty hammer!—the power put in their hands if they enact the Carlone Petition.

You also need to voice your displeasure should they refuse to enact the Carlone Petition and effectively kill THE ONE SINGLE WEAPON the City Council could use to defend us against three mammoth, neighborhood-altering developments.

No matter how much they protest there are better ways to fix the system, or that the Carlone Petition would take up too much valuable council time, creating a polarizing political situation, the simple truth is they have NO OTHER VIABLE OPTIONS before them IF they wish to do their jobs correctly, acting to serve and protect Cambridge’s neighborhoods and its citizens.

So much depends—including the makeup of the next City Council, one might think—on whether they have the wisdom and courage to enact, and take up, the Carlone Petition.

We may have started out small in numbers, but wait till they see how we’ve grown!


If you see this in time, please plan to attend the City Council meeting on Monday, September 8th, 5:30 in the Attles School Committee Room at CRLHS, entrance on Broadway.  

Paul Steven Stone is a founding member of the Cambridge Residents Alliance, which for the last three years has been struggling to raise the alarm about Cambridge’s runaway development, and to give voice to those who fear for the loss of our sense of community, quality of life and diversity of population. To find out more about the Cambridge Residents Alliance, go to: