[Meta] What's the deal with PaleoHacks, Dr. Kruse and the FBI?

by 10194 · August 27, 2012 at 05:25 PM

Alright guys --- was hoping this would blow over and we could move on from this sh*tshow, but apparently not, so here it goes:

Some of you may be aware that popular Paleohacks user Dr. Jack Kruse (AKA the Quilt) had been escorted off the Low Carb Cruise.

It looks like the facts are:

There was a Twitter account called @ShitKruseSays that collected Dr. Kruse's most ridiculous quotes.

Although the account was an obvious parody, they also engaged in role-playing and a tweet last week apparently read "security confiscated dynamite. talk won’t be as explosive as one at PaleoFx. still have vial of Legionnaires for epic biohack. #lccruise12."

Which was in reference to his use of the word dynamite as rhetorical device at PaleoFX and MRSA in his TedX talk.

Then, someone unknown, who apparently called themselves "Lance", called Carnival and warned them about a potential bio-hack, presumably implying it was a real threat and not a parody. Carnival alerted authorities who investigated and cleared Jack. Unfortunately, Carnival decided to remove him from the ship because they thought the situation was questionable.


Apparently, the next day they offered to fly him back to join the cruise at the next port, but Dr. Kruse declined. In the meantime, the FBI has been trying to find out who the "Lance" person is who made the warning call, including attempting to find the person who tweeted the parody tweets in case they have leads on "Lance". If you have information on the matter, we can give you the agent's contact info.

For the record, I called the agent and left a VM volunteering my help, as did other PaleoHacks mods.

Why even bother mentioning this?

This is a far cry from the picture Dr. Kruse is painting, which is that he has fed the FBI a list of his critics, major paleo leaders from Boston, Chicago, and NY and that they have traced IPs and may put the people involved in jail for twenty years. The FBI has not subpoenaed the SKS twitter account yet, so there are no IPs in question to talk about.

Kevin Cottrell, an organizer of PaleoFX, has written (very hysterically): "Let's see if Paleohacks is even standing after this investigation."

*sigh *facepalm *shaking of my head at the inanity of it all *double facepalm

PaleoHacks is not under investigation, the FBI is not coming for anyone, and while what happened to Dr. Kruse was terrible, it is unfortunate he is using it to threaten and scare people. And in fact, this says a lot about Kruse himself. C'est la vie.

The FBI also was not aware of the TedX talk that that SKS tweet was parodying and PaleoHacks mods informed them.

In light of these events, we have closed and deleted several threads that were either accusing Paleohacks of being behind the controversy or would have been a nightmare to moderate.

Let me absolutely crystal clear: PaleoHacks has been more than fair with the disturbance that Kruse is on this forum. There is NO conspiracy against Kruse. <---- Read this again.

If you would like to talk about the Quilt protocols and about this matter, we suggest going to his new forum. As far as the matter of what really happened, we think it best to let the FBI to handle the case and not speculate.

Those of you being completely awesome, keep at it. Those of you not so awesome, pay attention to the awesome people and you might learn a few things.

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28 Replies

1529 · May 09, 2012 at 07:19 PM

That I am taking the time to write this instead of spend time with my 6 day old daughter makes me really angry.

I’m not sure which night it was…Sunday, Monday…I’m not sure because I’d been up for the better part of 36 hrs after Zoe finally arrived. Anyway, I received a phone call from Jack Kruse. I had a wiggling baby in my hands so I let it go to voicemail and tried to make a mental note to check the message in the morning. The next day I read an email from Jack indicating he’d been removed from a Carnival Cruise ship due to the tweets of a parody twitter account, @shitkrusesays, and a phone call to Carnival claiming Jack had biological agents and explosives. You know the drill on the story by now. Jack was removed from the ship, no biological agents or explosives were found. This situation was all the result of an asshole(s?) who found their time better spent fucking with Jack than getting legit work done like helping people.

When I first heard all this I was wondering if the story (Jack getting removed, bioterroer etc) was even true. Shortly it became apparent that yes, it was true. Jack texted me and said the FBI were involved, I replied “Nail their ass to the wall” because if I could get my hands on the @shitkrusesays and I had no legal recourse for my actions, it would not be pretty. This jack-ass has created a hell of a situation and ironically the Law of Unintended Consequences is having a laugh, at least initially at your expense. You landed Jack on the media, gave him a phenomenal story and an opportunity to curry support and favor.

Smart work asshole(s).

I seem to remember counseling against behavior like this, allowing attacks from anonymity, but that was ignored and someone pointed out I’ve changed my position on fish oil dosage, so everything I say should be held in contempt.

I then received an email with a link to the Kruse news piece. I tweeted it saying something to the effect “some folks have done some stupid shit.” I did this because…well, people have done stupid shit. This situation did not, as I just wrote above, materialize out of thin air. People who dislike Jack made all of this happen. If you do not see the accountability here you are a moron on par with the folks who do not see how training the Taliban against the Soviets might have had long term repercussions for us. When I shot out that tweet I was under the impression that an investigation was underway, we’d see some results sometime soon. Then I became aware Jack was naming people HE suspected might be behind things…to the MEDIA. That is NOT how you conduct a criminal investigation. You clam the hell up, don’t let potential suspects know what you are up too and then you allow law enforcement to do what it’s supposed to do. Instead Jack used this as an opportunity to silence his critics, waving around the specter that they would be under FBI investigations soon. Lists of angry/problematic bloggers had been (theoretically) provided, the shit was about to come down.

Now I think Jack made a huge mistake doing all this. On a number of levels. But despite my reservations about people getting named publicly in this thing I felt stronger about getting the whole bioterror story out. People need to cool it on the anonymous, back biting bullshit. We need to operate with some professionalism and focus on helping people, period. I had a number of folks finger wagging me that I was being duped into this thing. If you people think I’m a big enough moron to not see the conflicts here you are beyond lost and you also missed the fact that IF what Jack was claiming was inaccurate, then his goose was cooked. Credibility gone, we don’t even need to tackle MRSA injections. I thought that through, apparently you folks did not AND are squeamish with sitting in the hot seat to affect change. I guess after multiple dealings with CrossFit HQ, both on the internet and via lawyers I have thicker skin and can handle some heat if it means winning the fight. Apparently you are only willing to fight for a cause while it’s comfortable?

All of this is a big enough steaming bag of shit, but what pushed me over the edge was tweets by some of Jacks main folks to the effect “Anyone in the paleo scene not commenting on this should be beheld suspect.” To the folks who said shit like this, thank your stars I’m not naming you directly. Most folks will be able to put the pieces together, but that was the final straw. THAT started feeling like the WitchHunt, McCarthyism that I experienced in my CF dealings. No more. I’ve tried to just keep my head down and do good work help folks and HOPE that folks are able to figure out the right answers in this. Well, let me spell some things out: 1-Jack used this as a power grab. He was HORRIBLY victimized in this, I will not forget that nor let it go. But he also used this situation to his advantage and to the serious detriment of the Ancestral Health movement at large. 2-Thugish McCarthyism tactics were used to silence people. This is beyond appalling and is completely unacceptable. 3-Jack has made outlandish claims about self injection with MRSA, surgery sans anesthesia. This seems outlandish at best. I have just left this alone, again preferring to let folks try to figure things out. My Organic Chemistry teacher made an interesting observation of my character once: “Robb, you give most people far too much credit…” 4-On Cold Thermogenesis: I talked about this on my podcast and on Abel’s podcast. It is ANOTHER hormetic stressor. Like fasting, ketosis, exercise and sunlight. Some is good, too much will be bad, some people are not appropriate for it at all (late stage adrenal fatigue comes to mind). If you think this is arm chair speculation please look at this photo: http://robbwolf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/wolf-wanker.jpg

that was posted in 2007. We have had a cold dip tub at NorCal Strength & Conditioning since 2004. I have tinkered with cold immersion since the early 90’s. I also studied heat shock proteins and clathrin chaperones. It has benefits, it is not Chuck Norris’ Tears. Cold immersion, saunas and fasting are parts of every system of health (accepting allopathy I guess). There is nothing new under the sun, gurus do not exist, if you are looking for one you are lost, and I don’t mean like you misplaced your keys, like your fucking soul is lost.

I’ve considered Jack my friend, we’ve had several phone conversations and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them. I doubt I’m going to be popular with Jack, or much of anyone after this and I just don’t care. I’ve done my damndest to do the right thing and to try to provide some kind of safety valve/glue for this movement. If we are too stupid/irrational to sort out our shit then we deserve mainstream medicine. We deserve what we get and we reap what we sow.

I had a huge post on Paleo and sustainability I wanted to get up today. Instead I’m pissing away my time on this. I am not happy and I’m disappointed in a number of factors. But I have a 6-day-old daughter who is a miracle and I’m going to redouble my efforts to make the world better.

14507 · May 09, 2012 at 01:18 AM

This story still confuses me, but one thing is crystal clear- between this guy and Nikoley with his tweets in regards to this, the Paleo-sphere is drowning in assholes. Thank goodness there are terrific moderators to help pull the drain.

55320 · May 08, 2012 at 07:53 PM

I was one of the mods who spoke with the FBI agent first and I can confirm all of this is true. No one needs to worry.

4983 · May 08, 2012 at 08:07 PM

Omg, finally! Some sanity in this whole mess. Thank you! This 'episode' has gotten beyond ridiculous. I myself was even implicated by Kruse because I dared to say I thought the original tweet regarding this was obviously not meant with malace. According to Kruse I need to brush up on my knowledge of FED law, because I have been "feeding" the shitkrusesays twitter account and it was implied this could lead to a 20 year prison term. Come on! I am nearly 30 year old mother who frequents twitter and happens to have strong opinions, I live in the UK. So because I am not afraid to call bullshit on Kruse that makes me a 'suspect' with a potential prison sentence. THIS IS RIDICULOUS. I am far from the only person not involved who has been accused. That is unacceptable. It is a shame he got kicked off the cruise, the sh** stirrer in this is the one who informed the boat. Not the person who sent the obviously paradoxical tweet. I just can not believe how far some people have ran with this one. Shocking.

8777 · May 08, 2012 at 09:48 PM

I am the supposed "ringleader from NY" mentioned in one of the interviews. As of this posting, nobody has contacted me. Which is no surprise as I have nothing to do with the what increasingly appears to be a publicity stunt and/or a way out of revealing Factor X (contract?) on the cruise as promised.

I'm not worried about any legal action -- civil or criminal. I am a tad worried about what legions of riled up internet folks are capable of.

10750 · May 08, 2012 at 08:50 PM

If you are here to discuss Paleo, welcome!

If you are here to talk trash and promote your pay-for-diluted-medical-advice website, don't let the door hit your e-ass on the way out.

332 · May 09, 2012 at 09:52 PM

Dear PH and everyone else,

If I may be so bold as to narrow this down to the basics:

  1. The basics of paleo nutrition are as follows: Eat whole unprocessed foods and stop/decrease the ingestion of processed foods in order to mimic the diet of preagricultural humans in accordance with the evolutionary, physiological and anthropological evidence. There are variations to this basic theme and there is much more to understand. Therefore, Jack's CT ideas are clearly NOT paleo. I make no judgement about the efficacy of what he proposes. I can say that the mechanism used to justify it has some holes in it physiologically, biochemically and developmentally. Nonetheless, therapies sometimes work without understanding.

  2. It is not OK to suggest bioterrorism in order to rattle or threaten someone. I would have preferred that this not have happened to Jack. If the responsible person is within this community, you have done the community a disservice by such an act.

  3. It is NOT ok to take advantage of the situation. Jack, I request that you cease posting CT information in Paleo Blogs/Facebook/etc. Again, it's simply not Paleo and it's truly divisive. I know you care about this community so please take this advice seriously. It would truly heal a lot of open wounds. What you do on your own blog is yours and more power to you.

  4. Implicating someone without due process is irresponsible and unethical.

  5. The continued discussions of this event are hurting our community.

So, I suggest dear friends, that we simply cease the discussion. Please be patient as things sort out. Take a break! Let some time go by! Come back in 72 hours! Let's see what happens. Please stop speculating. Get back to the basics of Paleo! Write positive blogs about how this nutrition program saved yourself or your friends and family.

Get back to the basics that made this movement work! We still have the ADA and the USDA myplate.com to take on! THAT is our true target for this movement! Sustainability is our goal. Diabetes and obesity is our target. Lean bodies is our goal. Healthier lives are our objective.

Suddenly, I feel like John Belushi in Animal House... "Who's with me.... LET'S GO!"

Yours in Paleo, Dr. David Pendergrass

567 · May 09, 2012 at 03:33 PM

My name was mentioned as one of the "possible perpetrators" too, simply because I have openly voiced my opinion about Dr. Kruse. It seems like any time someone voices an opinion that is contrary to that of the good doctor, he or his loyal lackey Kevin jump on them immediately.

For some reason people have seemingly forgotten that the very premise of Paleo, was to go against the conventional wisdom practices of the "mainstream" and question everything. Now, a person who does not deserve to be a figurehead of the movement is using strong arm tactics to force people into believing the things that he says....while frequently using the "call to authority" logical fallacy. The people that follow him treat him like a cult leader, and that's straight scary to me.

I don't agree with his theories, his science, his attitude or his tactics, and I will continue to make that known....as is my right.

I'm proud to have people like Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, and Chris Kresser, as leaders of our movement, but not a person who acts this way. The whole thing is a big three-ring circus right now, and it's going to do nothing but harm the movement. I don't even know what can be done right now, as far as damage control goes, but we would all be better served by distancing ourselves from this debacle.

At the end of the day, people like that will always self-destruct, if you just let them.....the problem is that sometimes they go up like Hiroshima.

18236 · May 09, 2012 at 03:49 PM

Patrik has already provided the best answer.

"Kruse is a victim of himself".

I'm all for stirring the pot every now and then, but when you stir it as vigorously as Kruse does, you're bound to fall in.

12048 · May 08, 2012 at 07:56 PM

I spoke with the FBI agent who is covering this case also.

1479 · May 08, 2012 at 08:50 PM

The Kruse-bashing stuff makes me really uncomfortable and I see it as a major flaw in the paleosphere. Collegiality is important for productive discourse. Ad hominem is useless, distracting, and perhaps the weakest form of argument. Kruse might not always abide by these rules, but that does not excuse the rest of us.

I can't believe someone made a twitter account dedicated to making fun of this guy. He's already an outcast here. I don't put faith in what he says, mostly because I can't understand it, but whoever is behind this twitter account has crossed a line by tweeting about a bomb/bio threat. What a thoughtless thing to do. It's totally foreseeable that it would end with an investigation. As for JK himself and his behavior, what did you expect? He is who he is.

Also, did anyone notice that the spokesperson for Carnival Cruise is named Jennifer De La Cruz? ha.

[EDIT for clarity: I recognize there have been useful and valid critiques of Kruse's (I almost typed Cruises) work and not everything written about him is ad hominem. One of the misfortunes of having so much ad hominem is that the valid critiques do get swept up in the mix and they are less likely to be heard and thoughtfully weighed. I think I am perhaps overly empathetic about the prospect of a twitter feed dedicated to making fun of someone, but also recognize the value in satire as a tool for exposing truth. If you put yourself out as an expert/celebrity/politician/whatever you will open yourself up to such commentary, particularly if you are controversial or polarizing. That said, tweeting about a bio-threat on a cruise foreseeably could result in an investigation. I think the tweeter should have factored in that someone would make the ridiculous mistake of taking it seriously and call in the threat, particularly now.

Also, I hope you won't downvote, but explanations for downvotes are helpful.]

5111 · May 08, 2012 at 08:41 PM

The man always came across as a charlatan to me and this episode just confirms that impression. Keeping "enemy lists", bullying people with baseless threats of criminal prosecution... If this precipitates his disappearance from this site, I say good riddance.

228 · May 09, 2012 at 02:29 PM

Being somewhat new to the Paleo world, it has become apparent that paleos are highly intelligent, eloquent, passionate folks. In addition, they seem quite good at being really mean. Just because we eat like cavemen doesn't mean that we need to behave like cavemen.

169 · May 09, 2012 at 04:11 AM

I don't listen to Kruse anyways, he blows too much air out of his butt for me to take seriously. The fact that he is trying to scare certain people to silence them is really pathetic, I just can't take him seriously. Let him huff and puff. Over time his following will dwindle and he will be insignificant. I don't think he will get a full 15 minutes of fame. 10 maybe, but not the full 15.

3227 · May 08, 2012 at 10:20 PM

The whole thing is so bizarre that it's hard to believe, honestly who would have bet that on a Paleo/LC cruise (who takes a cruise devoted to food in the first place?) a terrorism threat would arise?

You can't make this stuff up, if you wrote a fictional story about it nobody would believe it. Your agent would send it back and ask what the heck was wrong with you.

Ultimately it will make good "News Of The Weird" material.

4145 · May 09, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Hey, look on the bright side: this "case" could convert a few FBI agents to the paleo lifestyle. Healthier government agents? Win.

405 · May 08, 2012 at 08:10 PM

Sorry to hear about this mess. I hope everything clears up and smooths over soon! I enjoy this site and all the inforamtion I can get and encouragement from others. Hopefully Karma will catch up with this person quickly!

77340 · May 12, 2012 at 06:58 AM

"Leader in the paleo community..."

"leaders of our movement..."

"major paleo leaders from Boston, Chicago, and NY"

Leaders? LOL. It's just a way of eating! I didn't know we had leaders. Can somebody tell me who my major paleo leaders in Spain are, so I can tell them that I don't need a leader? LOL.
"Paleo" gets worse by the day.

8777 · May 14, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I'm answering this again so it gets bumped.

I knew if Jack kept talking long enough, he'd be his own undoing. And that's just what happened over the weekend. I blogged on this: http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2012/05/its-over.html

Jack claimed on Nasty Dick's blog that his team had tracked down "Lance" to NY, a 320 lb non-paleo innocent bystander who was alarmed by the tweet and alerted Carnival. All of this he knows because his attorney in NY has deposed "Lance".

You don't want to miss Kurt Harris channeling Quilt in the comments and other hilarious commentary!

48 · May 09, 2012 at 08:11 PM

There is certainly a lot coming from all directions on this. I think what was done to Jack was clearly not funny and seriously stupid. The FBI will likely find the person behind it and I hope it's not a leader in the paleo community. I also feel badly for Jimmy Moore and company for having a cloud cast over an event that takes a lot of time to plan well in advance. Jimmy mentioned to me before he left that there is no internet on the ship, but I'm sure there is at various ports of call. I have yet to see anything from him on this, but I'm sure he'll address it.

All that said, I wish Jack had provided his list to just the investigators. There's no doubt they would have asked him whom he believed might be resposible. But to go public was unnecessary. I can only think that Jack feels he has been so publically excoriated by other people in the low carb/paleo community that he wanted to repay the favor. Unfortunately, that was the low road.

In the end, I hope this all blows over. I and a lot of people who are trying to learn about diet and health and who genuinely need help are going to be turned off by all this infighting. Is it really necessary to be so critical of different views to the extent that you personally attack and denigrate a person's hard work?

6332 · May 09, 2012 at 01:10 AM

Really, my hope is that the acrimony from everyone goes away. I went by Kruse's blog to see what he had to say.

"On the Low Carb cruise I was going to present some of the things that happened in my mind at the base of Michelangelo’s David in help me realize that the missing piece to the obesity and insulin resistant story was the “off switch” in how we make fat and how we continue to make fat cells. Gary Taubes was scheduled to the featured speaker for the cruise but he could not attend it so Jimmy Moore asked me to step in his role. Gary wrote a book called, “Why we get Fat” but I clearly am not Gary Taubes, and I was not here to tell them why we get fat……..I was going to tell you how to reverse being fat and insulin resistant……because unlike, Mr. Taubes, I have done it myself pretty successfully. Obese humans have a difficult life to live. I know the life they live because I was one of them for close to decade. It is very hard to take advice from someone who has never had obesity. To understand the mindset one has to have walked in the shoes. Most of the people giving out advice however have not had a successful tract history of losing the weight and keeping it off."

254 · May 09, 2012 at 12:37 AM

You gotta admit that keeping the "fued" alive draws a lot of hits to the PH sites and other related sites. Keeps the paleosphere buzzing and drama is always good for more traffic. Sort of reminds me of Jerry Springer or Maury back in the day.

1299 · May 08, 2012 at 08:04 PM

Patrick, please consider phasing out all anonymity on your site and it will raise the quality of the overall exchange, IMHO. Require real identity for newbies and give a phase-in time for current folks. There is absolutely no valid justification for all this anonymity on a site such as this (and in much the rest of the paleosphere). Folks: We are talking about diet, health and wellness here! We are not whistle-blowing terrorist organizations/mafia, etc. Just reasonably identify yourselves, it's no biggie. This leads to an improved culture of respect and understanding, with more consciousness/less ego followed by true, meaningful cultural change.


John Collins

581 · May 09, 2012 at 08:19 AM

Thanks for clearing this up! I saw Robb Wolf's tweet about this incident, and was still pretty confused about what happened...

All confusion is cleared now. :) Very concise. Glad to know Paleohacks will still be around!

77340 · May 09, 2012 at 04:08 AM

...and don't ya'll wanna know what Factor X is?

77340 · May 10, 2012 at 04:51 PM

Patrik, the ultimate decorum and culture in PH rests with you. I've seen you make calls against ad hominem in threads before but then it continues without any restraint whatsoever. It's happening in this thread.

Examples -

"...he blows too much air out of his butt for me to take seriously."

"Better yet another self serving a**hole"

"If this precipitates his disappearance from this site, I say good riddance."

You've even participated yourself with, "Kruse is a victim of himself."

These serve no other purpose than to foment hatred and enhance a false self-esteem by publicly bashing others. I would imagine that this behavior has kept a good many doctors and other potential contributors from participating actively in PH because of the arrogant attitudes and air of divisiveness that permeates PH. I know I don't contribute as much because of the copped-attitude by a certain young moderator in an early-on post. Not professional at all.

I've been in quite a few forums over the past two decades, photography, guns, politics and other paleo, but there is considerable control over the content and attitudes that take place. If a post even smelled of possible ad hominem, a public cease-and-desist was made, the post deleted, or a PM sent to the perpetrator that his or her account was at risk of being deleted. You have made cease-and-desist orders but they have no teeth.

There have been a lot of intelligent posts and topics in PH and I've learned a lot but the immature culture that pervades PH with factions that swoop in with hatefests is beyond the pale and often I find myself being more disgusted than enlightened. These attacks have happened to Mercola, Taubes and many others whose ideas didn't coincide with a certain faction and the hype that that they lack credibility because they're selling something or promoting their own website is effete nonsense. Even one of the moderators promotes her own website, as she should. More power to them all in the war on SAD. Politics is not supposed to be discussed in PH (a good rule) but this thread and others like it are nothing but. The hypocrisy continues.

You had a good idea starting this forum but the format and management of it are lacking. John Collins' plea to require accounts would be a first good step to get this forum under control. The claims of bosses finding out about you are bogus as one could still be anonymous with a pseudonym as many do here already, but an account that can be deleted would subject potential offenders to repercussions. And the moderators should be held to stricter guidelines also.

But the hatefests are so thoroughy embedded in threads going way back that I don't know how you'd ever clean it up except by deleting entire posts, some of which you say you have already done... which is tacit admission that you know much of what I'm saying has validity. Instead of calling Kruse a victim of himself, maybe a good look in the mirror would reveal what web you have woven. If Kruse was allowed to engage in any ad hominem on this site, then again, the ultimate responsibility lies with you, not with Kruse.

327 · May 15, 2012 at 07:58 PM

the call was NOT the crime if it was made by a random person with no involvement in paleo or SKS etc.

SKS = bullies.

77340 · May 09, 2012 at 12:01 AM

I think Dr. Jack Kruse is the most awesome thing to hit the paleo world in a long, long time. We'll see who's laughing soon!

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