"If everybody were to eat just 12 to 15 apricot pits every day, there would be no more cancer. This could wipe out cancer in this country," said Arlin J. Brown, peering out of the TV set at his unseen audience.
"We've done research on this and we have yet to find a single person who's come down with cancer if they just use this simple little precaution. Just eat your apricots every day."
Most medical experts don't agree with Brown, and he had few complimentary words for them during a recent "Health Talkback" program aired on Metrocable Channel 3, the public-access station on Arlington's cable television system.
Brown is one of dozens of local residents who have gone on Channel 3 to express their views on everything from cancer research to needlepoint. Public-access channels, Brown said in an interview, "give us a chance to bring things out which are not normally brought out in the conventional media."
The founder of the Arlin J. Brown Information Center--a referral service on holistic health (treating the whole body, mind and spirit), nutrition and cancer treatments--anticipated criticism. "People practicing nontoxic treatments are generally labeled as quacks. So the medical establishment is using the term 'quackery' to control anything they don't like," he told his cable audience.
"The drug companies, the surgeons and hospitals want to keep the money coming in, don't they? So they attack nutritional methods, nontoxic methods, holistic methods, metabolic methods, biological methods. Anything that works, they're against, right?"
Arlingtonian Anthony Frato, who has produced three "Health Talkback" segments, says the purpose of the show is not to "take on the entire medical system," but "to establish a dialogue" between holistic health practitioners and the conventional medical community.
The only dialogue Jeff Sachs is trying to establish on his Cable Comedy Network shows on Channel 3 is a parody of the Bob and Ray comedy team. The show is also an attempted takeoff on "SCTV."
A mild-mannered, conservatively dressed lawyer by day, Sachs is transformed on tape into a harried interviewer of an inept crime-fighting adviser or the referee of "Congressional Wrestling."
An aspiring specialist in telecommunications law, Sachs writes most of the CCN scripts. A sample from the wrestling match that pitted the fictional Rep. Morris (The Hulk) Rosenbloom of New York against the masked U.S. House Minority Leader, nicknamed "The Whip," during a debate on defense appropriations:
Whip: "I'll hit you with so many motions, you won't know your left wing from your right wing."
Hulk: "I'm the master of the dreaded filibuster sleeper-hold, the most dreaded hold in all of government."
Later, during "Darcy Sim's World of Survival," a commercial takeoff, he dons a fright wig and asks the audience: "Are you prepared for the upcoming holocaust? . . . At Sim's World of Survival we have a full line of top-rated survival gear to please the most discriminating, fashion-conscious survivalist. Not only will you survive the upcoming catastrophe while your neighbors are incinerated by radiation or murdered for the shoes on their feet, but we'll save you 10 to 20 percent off what you'd pay at a posh downtown boutique."
You really have to see it to believe it.