A pseudo-medical science grounded in antisemitic conspiracies continues to be practised in Canada. While professing that trauma can cause cancer, its founder and proponents claim to have the cure, a medical miracle that Jews have been hiding all along to orchestrate “a worldwide genocide of non-Jews” through chemotherapy.
Two of the most prominent voices, Dr. Caroline Markolin -- whose doctorate is in German literature -- of Victoria and Ilsedora Laker of Toronto, alongside a collection of other Canadian businesses, continue to promote the practice.
The term German New Medicine or simply New Medicine, coined by Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer after the loss of his son and his own testicular cancer diagnosis, envelopes a philosophy that psychological trauma is the root cause of conditions such as cancer, and that particular types of stress and trauma cause cancers to grow in particular organs.
German New Medicine involves a list of wild allegations which includes the idea that kidney cancer is caused when someone feels “like a fish out of water,” tooth enamel comes from a subconscious desire to bite people, and prostate cancer is often caused by sexual frustration.
Not content with this revelation alone, Hamer accused the Jewish people of always knowing the science of New Medicine and choosing to hide it from non-Jewish people, referring to traditional medicine in German as “the mad struggle of the Talmud Zionists to want to kill all non-Jews.”
German New Medicine became the subject of international controversy in 1995 when Hamer was asked by the leader of Fiat Lux, a doomsday cult that believed aliens would evacuate survivors in UFOs during the apocalypse, to treat the six-year-old child of two cult members. His refusal to treat Olivia Pilhar with chemotherapy for her four-kilogram tumour almost resulted in her death before Austrian authorities intervened. Hamer alleged that chemotherapy was a means of population control for non-Jewish people and in 2008 he co-signed and presented a falsified document with Iwan Götz, a Holocaust denier and member of Germany’s Reichsbürger movementt, that claimed that Jews were using chemotherapy to kill patients.
Often associated with both the New Age movement and far-right political movements, German New Medicine, often abbreviated to GNM, is often seen today as an obscure wellness philosophy for some holistic medical practitioners.
New Science, Old Scams
GNM’s popularity and persistence across different languages has not been without controversy within its community. Even before its creator’s death in 2017, the international GNM community disputed details of his teachings. In the English-speaking community, disagreement is especially common, as some practitioners have translated twice-removed teachings of Hamer’s written work that was already expanded upon in languages such as Spanish.
Two of the most prolific advocates for German New Medicine have a history ripe with conflict.
Both reside in Canada. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network found no evidence that either practitioner received any formal medical training in any field.
Toronto’s Ilsedora Laker’s website, formed in 2001, was once one of the most prolific English sources for information on German New Medicine. She currently runs a new resource website selling German New Medicine books and curated online courses.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Laker has focused GNM Online Seminar’s blog on downplaying the existence of the virus and on discussing her plans for a German New Medicine “College” complete with a “diploma” program. She referred to the global health crisis as “a so-called pandemic” and repeatedly argues that symptoms attributed to Covid-19 can be explained by “biological shock” – a German New Medicine term for a specific type of psychological stress.
Dr. Caroline Markolin is an Austrian Literature Academic living in Victoria, BC. Prior to practising German New Medicine, she taught at Concordia University in Montreal. Her website hosts learning materials and e-commerce for GNM presentations including DVDs of pre-recorded seminars.
Laker has attacked Markolin’s credibility for years and has accused her of forging Dr. Hamer’s signature. In 2017, she called Markolin “another self-designated expert on the GNM.”
In a 2005 open letter defending Hamer’s conspiracies, Markolin stated in German “the dissemination and application of his discoveries are boycotted by the ‘highest Jewish medical committee.’”
A representative of Markolin said in a statement that they “focus exclusively on the science of GNM and are categorically non-ideological. We therefore strongly dissociate ourselves from prejudiced statements about German New Medicine on certain websites.”
However, Markolin’s website has expanded upon writings on what one might consider ideological. On homosexuality, Markolin writes that “in a compatible gay relationship, one is right-handed and one is left-handed,” and “both take the position of a beta male.”
The same website lists three organizers of GNM events in Canada, including Alvin De Leon, a Richmond Hill, ON chiropractor who wrote case studies and newsletters published under the name of Markolin’s organization. De Leon’s employer, MedRehab Group, runs eight physiotherapy clinics across Ontario. Their website includes a page about German New Medicine, which they cite as a means of treating symptoms including skin rashes and diarrhea.
In addition to distancing themselves from each other, Laker and Markolin both take issue with Melissa Sell - the face of German New Medicine’s rebirth following Hamer’s death - who Laker called a “charlatan.” Both have criticized Sell’s apparent lack of knowledge and Markolin has accused Sell of plagiarizing her.
Sell, a California-based chiropractor, has gained a wide audience on social media posting content promoting German New Medicine, including over 18 thousand Instagram followers. Her podcast about German New Medicine has hosted Dr. Christiane Northrup, a QAnon influencer who promoted a conspiracy theory that Canada was creating concentration camps last October, and Dr. Andrew Kaufman, a psychiatrist who claims demonic possession causes some mental illnesses.
Last October, a global virtual summit hosted by Sell’s organization featured a joint presentation by Canadians Kathrine Willow and Luishi Springfield.
Willow, a naturopathic doctor and author of a book on the subject, practises German New Medicine at Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre just outside of Ottawa.
Luishi Springfold owns MindTree Health, a mostly online personal coaching business north of Toronto. When reached for comment about her decision to practise German New Medicine, Springfield stated, “I have chosen to practice [sic] GNM/GHK in the same way that most physicists today have chosen to ‘practice’ [sic] Newton's laws or Einstein's Theory of Relativity.”
She emphasized, “I am not a medical practitioner, and I do not diagnose, advise, or treat.”
A lack of evidence behind German New Medicine has been reported by studies from both medical academics and proponents of holistic medicine. A 2001 report by the Swiss Cancer League stated “We believe that the method promoted by Hamer is dangerous, especially as it lulls the patients into a false sense of security so that they are deprived of other effective treatments.”
In 2006, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences called German New Medicine a “Death Sect.”
MedRehabGroup and Carp Ridge Ecowellness Centre did not respond to a request for comment.
Hamer would claim to have “discovered” New Medicine in 1981, five years before losing his license to practise medicine in 1986. His career shift from practising medicine to blaming cancer deaths on Jews was marred by controversies from the start. Hamer repeatedly alleged his license was revoked due to his unwillingness to renounce German New Medicine. A more common version of the story is that it was revoked because Hamer was running unlicensed cancer treatment clinics between 1982 and 1985.
In 1997 Hamer was sentenced to 19 months in Germany for practising medicine without a license on several patients, some of whom died in his care. Following a trial in which his fans claimed he proved the judge presiding over his case was “the head of the rabbinical Talmudic school in Chambery and the highest-ranking rabbi in France,” Hamer served a two-year prison sentence in France from 2004 to 2006. He would later refer to his confines as “Jewish-French prison.”
Following his death in 2017, more prominent GNM advocates sometimes whitewash Ryke Geerd Hamer’s life and his message. Between denying the existence of the COVID-19 virus and pushing untrue claims about facemasks and vaccines, proponents rarely mention Hamer’s mentions of Jewish plots, despite it being a core part of his philosophy. Stories have instead focused on deifying Hamer, praising his athleticism as a fencer, his capabilities as a composer, and toting German New Medicine as “the greatest discovery in human history.”
Social media channels can sound a different tune, however. In conversations from a German New Medicine Telegram channel from March regarding Lev Tahor, a community of Canadian Orthodox Jews who were forced out of a Guatemalan village in 2014, one member referred to the Holocaust film Schindler’s List as “propaganda at best.” Another stated, “They (Jews) despise the goy. They want white people eliminated. So how is that ok? As someone who’s white, this group is a direct threat to me, my heritage and culture, and my kid’s future.”