Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Vegans, lies, and the death of Dr. Stephen Byrnes

with 5 comments

Dr. Stephen Byrnes was a naturopath who lived in Honolulu and worked with HIV+ patients and the elderly. He was a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a regular contributor to thincs and he wrote a book about heart disease which pointed to links between heart disease and refined carbohydrates, vegetable oils, and trans-fats. Byrnes was an advocate of a low-carbohydrate animal protein diet, and he ran a website called (now defunct).

Byrnes was an ex-vegetarian, and amongst his prolific writing he composed an article called The Myths of Vegetarianism. After Byrnes wrote the article, which includes a discussion of the importance of animal foods, he became a target for vegetarian and vegan hostility.

And as for your thought that vegetarians like to have the upper hand in nutritional matters, you’re absolutely right. They do NOT like being challenged. Actually, they can’t believe that someone is actually challenging them and their beliefs because they are so used to having it “their way” in the media. Also, don’t forget that the emotional factor enters in, too. 99% of the nasty letters I’ve gotten from vegetarians have simply been emotional outbursts about what an evil person I am, how I’ve been paid off by the meat industry, how I hate animals, how I’m a disgrace to the health profession, etc., etc. Stephen Byrnes

Sadly, Dr. Byrnes died of a stroke at the age of 41.

When the vegetarian and vegan world found out about this, the bile erupted on messageboards everywhere. Examples of the bile spread by these people can be found here, here, here, here, and here. Ha ha ha. Anti-vegetarian doctor dies of stroke. It serves him right, we vegans rule and we never get sick. Byrnes’ age was changed from 41 to 30 in numerous posts, to make the news seem all the more devastating. Said vegans even sought out his books on Amazon and left smirking comments in the reviews section, like this:

The author has no special information about nutrition that mainstream doctors and scientists don’t know about–he is just plain wrong. Sadly, he died of a stroke at a young age in 2004. Ignore his advice and look for books with solid scientific references.

The fatal stroke that poor Dr. Byrnes suffered was undoubtedly the “rupture” type rather than the “clogging/clotting” type which is attributed to animal fat and cholesterol by the morons of mediocre medicine. Clogging/clotting strokes are extremely rare in the young. Even if animal fats could be attributed to clogging/clotting strokes (which they simply haven’t been), they certainly are not attributed to rupture strokes, which are much more common amongst the sushi-loving Japanese. The cause of the stroke had nothing to do with the meat and dairy Byrnes advocated eating.

It had entirely to do with the fact that the poor guy had AIDS. Rupture strokes are very common causes of death in AIDS sufferers. Byrnes knew he had AIDS, and he was busy trying to save his own life, and the lives of fellow sufferers. Medical drugs destroyed his health and made him feel worse, so he opted for naturopathy as a way to make himself better. Sadly, things didn’t work out for him.

Some of the more accurate hearsay that abounds on messageboards includes:

Stephen Byrnes tested positive for HIV after coming down with PCP [Pneumocystis carinii Pneumonia, a common complication of HIV] and that his doctor told him he had only a T-cell count of 54 and would soon die if he didn’t take the anti-retrovirals. Messageboard

Stephen suffered a seizure about six months ago and had numerous health problems following that, many due to all the drugs he was given. He was actually improving, but then had the very serious stroke. Messageboard, attrib. Barry Groves of

He wrote an essay about his struggle with AIDS, and published it in the final issue of his newsletter in May of this year … SAVING MY LIFE: HOW NOT TO DIE OF AIDS (, by Stephen Byrnes, PhD, LMT. Messageboard

Have you heard anything about Dr. Stephen Byrnes experience after an HIV+ test despite his knowledge of the subject which included authoring a book on how to naturally overcome AIDS – it took everything he had and knew to prevent the medical practitioners from forcing him onto ARV therapy. He subsequently experienced a period of restoration before finally succumbing to a stroke last June. Messageboard

It’s practically impossible to type Stephen Byrnes’ name into a search engine without coming across another poorly researched piece of vegan bile designed to wreak the poor guy’s name and hold him up as an example of someone who was mean to vegans and died because he ate fat. It’s a shame that these people can get away with this kind of bullsh*t and even use it as a recruitment strategy against Byrnes after all he stood for.

The reason Byrnes’ friends have remained so quiet on the subject of his death is that Byrnes was an AIDS dissident – he didn’t believe that HIV inevitably led to AIDS and death and he wrote a book on the subject. He believed that recreational drugs like amyl nitrates, the very drugs used in the treatment of HIV, and other factors such as benzene, were the ultimate causes of death by AIDS. Byrnes’ death turned into an embarrassment for the AIDS dissident community, because the accusation levelled against them could be “AIDS dissidents don’t use AIDS drugs, so they don’t die of AIDS, right?”

Wrong. Regardless of what you choose to believe about HIV and AIDS, HIV+ AIDS dissidents sometimes catch pathogens that almost kill them. AIDS dissidents sometimes get pumped full of drugs whether they want them or not. AIDS dissidents frequently already have immune systems that are thoroughly destroyed – whether you believe HIV or recreational drugs or HIV drugs are the ultimate cause is up to you.


Written by alienrobotgirl

28 March, 2006 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Vegetarianism

Tagged with

5 Responses

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  1. “It’s a dreadful shame that such people can get away with this kind of bullsh*t…” – its called free speech, whether you agree with it or not. You don’t sound like a very intelligent person, but I may be wrong.


    25 April, 2007 at 3:21 pm

  2. Yes, you may be wrong, especially when you edit a sentence down in order to make your point. Lying is not freedom of speech, it’s lying, and you can sue people for it.I guess you or one of your pals is the person who signed me up for the PETA newsletter. Don’t you know PETA put down healthy dogs and cats because they believe death is better than the “oppression” of being forced to live in a human household? Disgusting.I speak as an ex-vegetarian of eight years. I think that gives me some right to criticise.

    Alien Robot Girl

    27 April, 2007 at 9:00 am

  3. thank you for your efforts with posting this – i find it very helpful. marta


    9 March, 2008 at 11:11 am

  4. I followed the link to this page hoping for insight into Byrnes passing. Instead it reads as a bash on all vegans (even if only a few rude ones made the comments). And oddly, instead of defending him (haha vegans were wrong, meat didn’t kill him), it read as a different kind of ignorance killing him (his wrong ideas about HIV/AIDS). I left with a bad taste in my mouth — is the conclusion of this article that both vegans and Bynes are stupid?

    As a veg’n myself, I don’t think it’s ok to mock anyone’s death. And mocking deaths is not a veg’n trait alone, so vilifying the vegans isn’t really fair. I see by the follow-up post you also have a thing against PETA. You have every right to like or hate PETA, but assuming all veg’ns are PETA followers is a gross generalization and not correct. How many animals PETA puts down in a shelter has nothing to do with the effects of saturated fats on our arteries.

    Thanks for considering my point of view.


    20 July, 2009 at 3:36 pm

  5. Funchy,

    Despite having never done a thing to you, you think it’s fine to go and character-assassinate me on public messageboards. According to you I am:

    “an angry ex-vegetarian who thinks anyone who chooses not to eat meat is a PETA brainwashed follower… and in one of her posts she went on some tangent about how PETA kills dogs in shelters, so therefore it’s stupid to eat vegetables (um, ok?!). I think she must’ve overdosed on bacon grease, and it’s affecting her ability to reason. So consider the source before taking her advice. She couldn’t figure out vegetarianism, so her blog is all about how the rest of the world is wrong and she is right.” Ref

    How charming. And I should consider your point of view, should I? I really wouldn’t mind logical criticism, but you had to get your claws out and resort to infantile, over-emotional bitching.

    Despite the fact that I have written a total of six articles on vegetarianism on a blog of around 400 posts, according to you, my entire philosophy revolves around being an “angry ex-vegetarian”. Had you taken your head out from where the sun doesn’t shine and made an effort to learn more about my blog before rattling off random nastiness about me, you would find the reason I dislike vegetables is because they make me physically very ill.

    If you’re going to bitch about me on messageboards for supposed “smart people”, you could at least make the effort to accurately represent me instead of making up or distorting facts as you see fit to make your point, which wasn’t a very good one. Try using logic and reason in the future instead of slander and misrepresentation, it will make you appear smarter. IMHO, if this is your reasoning level, YOU don’t look very smart to ME.

    For the record, I certainly have figured out vegetarianism – it took me a while but I got there in the end – I figured out that it gives you anaemia and worsens thyroid problems and makes you ill. Perhaps you should go and figure that out too. The “rest of the world” have, that’s why so few cultures embrace vegetarianism, and when they do it is rarely voluntary.

    So now let’s take a look at your atrocious misreading of this article. The article clearly states “Stephen suffered a seizure about six months ago and had numerous health problems following that, many due to all the drugs he was given.” It is open-minded as to whether Byrnes died of HIV, or of HIV drugs complications. Byrnes did not believe that HIV inevitably lead to AIDS, and I have not challenged that anywhere. You are the only person who has asserted that his ideas are wrong. The fact is he died of HIV or HIV drugs related complications, stupid or intelligent has nothing to do with it. If that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, I suggest you change your diet.

    The article reads to YOU as a bash against all vegans because you are on a paranoid defensive. Clearly Byrnes has been savaged by members of the vegetarian and vegan world. Nowhere have I found savaging like this from omnivores. This article is a defence of Byrnes against that vegetarian/vegan savaging. Nowhere do I state that the ENTIRE POPULATION of vegetarians and vegans in the whole world go around mocking the deaths of innocent people. What planet are you from? Reason logically, not emotionally!

    No, I don’t particularly like PETA. They are hypocrites who put down healthy dogs because they quietly believe that “death is better than domestication.” The fact is some vegetarians who took against this article and complained about it loudly on their forum, decided to subscribe me to the PETA newsletter. Not a gross generalisation, another fact, and a good example of radical vegetarian mentality, since they are notorious for bullying and silencing ex-members of their community – just like you, it would appear.

    I am not sure why YOU think that PETA putting down healthy animals has *anything* to do with the effects of saturated fats on the arteries or on whether one should eat vegetables. According to you this has something to do with “bacon grease affecting [my] ability to reason.” Since I never reasoned any such thing, you simply read something and got it all mixed up in your brain and regurgitated it without thinking it through, clearly a LACK OF B12, IRON AND PROTEIN must be affecting YOUR ability to reason!

    Now Funchy, it’s not pleasant being on the receiving end, is it? So try being a little nicer and more logical in future, please?


    22 July, 2009 at 12:48 am

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