We saw many other remarkable recoveries in the year and a half that we were at Tinker Mountain Retreat. For instance, we saw people with severe arthritis throw away canes and walkers. A woman with advanced diabetes (who had staunchly refused any type of treatment in her native Newfoundland) made a total recovery from this disease. And the answer was so simple; we are using the same methodology today with many people who would have become senile diabetics if we had not set them on the right path. Heart patients, cancer patients who were given up on by the medical community found a new lease on life. Yes, it was an amazing time.
However, there was a large medical community who were very annoyed at this entire group of people who were turning away from the chemical zoo that the doctors were prescribing and going back to basics…..good food, pure water, and the proper supplementation for their individual bodies. This was the time (in the late 70’s) when the medical profession was trying its best to shut down all alternative therapies. They tried to stop the sales of all vitamins and minerals, as well as herbs, saying they should only be used by prescription from an M.D. They ginned up several case studies to back up their claims for the harm done to individuals…one I especially remember was when they told us not to use Vitamin A as it had been proven to be deadly. Come to find out, they used a huge overdose on a young boy in Boston for the treatment of cancer. That overdose was so toxic to his body that he died from the effects of it. Then they came out with a huge article in the Journal of American Medicine that warned everyone not to use that horrible vitamin any more without a legitimate prescription. Other vitamins and minerals came under the same type of attack. Common sense tells you that almost anything can be toxic if given in huge doses; sadly, common sense was in very short supply at that time!
Unfortunately, a program like RBTI has always attracted a lot of charlatans who saw an opportunity to make a lot of money. Dr. Reams objective was to help people; however, he was not a saint! He also was very naïve when it came to dealing with money matters. We find that most geniuses are like that; they work on a different plane of consciousness than we do. That makes for some interesting problems when it came to running a retreat program, such as paying the rent, buying supplies, etc. Luckily, Dr. Reams had a good business manager in Jack Shaver and he kept him from a lot of disasters.
One day, the attorney general for the state of Virginia, who had been getting a lot of complaints from the medical community about this “crackpot group” at Tinker Mountain, decided to investigate the whole situation. Sadly, we did have a few people there that overstepped the boundaries of nutritional consultants and started playing doctor….even going so far as to put a stethoscope around their necks and wearing a white coat when seeing clients. I can assure you that Betty and I never played that game. Our job was to analyze the results of the testing (urine and saliva) and recommend the amount of water (distilled, of course), lemon water, dietary needs, etc. When the clients went home we had equipped them with as much information as they needed to stay on the program and continue on the path to better health.
In late summer, we came back to the retreat from a shopping trip and found armed guards at the entrance. The retreat was being closed down and no one was to go in or out. Imagine our consternation at that! We had many guests there, some fasting, some coming off fast and needing direction for the balance of their stay. The authorities had also sealed off the lab so that we could not test.
The guests were in a panic, and so were we. However, we got all the staff together and began making arrangements for some guests to go home. Then we started arrangements for others to be taken care of at home by testers in their area. We had to consult with each individual and set up a program for each one. We had 48 hours of very little sleep and a lot of tension trying to keep everyone calm and sending them on their way with proper instructions.
The whole situation was actually a set-up designed to catch Dr. Reams “practicing medicine”….which he never did. Also, he was not even at the retreat when this took place; he had been out on the west coast doing seminars and came back within a few days. Although he got the sheriff’s department to remove the guards from the gates, the damage had been done. Tinker Mountain never re-opened.
Dr. Reams had to eventually appear in court to contest the charges against him. Amazingly, when he got on the stand and started explaining what we did at the retreat, the judge became really interested in the entire process. I think he would have liked to have been tested by Dr. Reams, but that probably didn’t happen. Best of all, the judge threw the case out of court for lack of any evidence to support the charge of practicing medicine without a license.
Looking back on the high anxiety of that particular time, some may wonder why we stayed in the RBTI program. It was because we believed in it. We had seen what this program could do for literally hundreds of people, including ourselves. We saw people who came to us fairly sure that they were facing years of pain and suffering, surgeries and hopelessness. When they left the retreat, we saw people with a whole new outlook on life. They had been given a reprieve. Many of the ones that we followed up on went home to live productive lives, free from the pain and the fears that had trapped them for so long in a downward spiral of doctors, medications and expensive treatments that were not necessarily helping them. Why? Because most of the medical “solutions” were not addressing the causes of their discomfort. And what was causing the pain, the illnesses, the distress…metabolic imbalances in the body. I know that sounds simplistic, but it is amazing that once that balance is corrected, most of the problems disappear.
Lest you think that all of our experiences were anxiety producing and frightening, let me reassure you that the days spent in the retreats over a period of years were some of the happiest time of our lives. We were doing work that we believed in and we saw the results. Although the hours were long, the sense of accomplishment made up for that. We had fun times, too. Evenings were often spent in prayer and praise sessions. We performed skits portraying some of the guests (which they really appreciated). There was a wonderful interaction between all of the staff and the guests. We became a little community even though the guests changed every week or two.
Leaving Roanoke was difficult, but we came back home with a lot of knowledge and the confidence that God had more for us to do. Where? When? We just kept ourselves available for the next chapter to begin!