Earlier this week, the anti-vax “Vaccine Police” leader Christopher Paul Key, who set out on a road trip seeking to conduct citizen’s arrests of Democratic governors and was arrested for criminal trespass, urged his followers to swear off COVID-19 inoculation and to instead drink their own urine as a cure.
As it turns out, the anti-vaccine activist got that unscientific medical advice from Dr. Edward Group, a chiropractor who is a pal of Alex Jones, and who sells online coursework for learning the benefits of drinking the “golden nectar.”
Key said in a video posted on Telegram, a platform favored by the far right, last weekend that the COVID-19 vaccine “is the worst bioweapon I have ever seen.” Instead, he told followers, “The antidote that we have seen now, and we have tons and tons of research, is urine therapy. OK, and I know to a lot of you this sounds crazy, but guys, God’s given us everything we need.”
He proudly declared: “I drink my own urine!”
In a subsequent conversation with The Daily Beast, Key identified Group as his guru on drinking piss. The anti-vaccine activist said he spoke with Group after getting out of jail for his trespassing charges, and “he told me that he and his team have been looking over those who have been vaccinated and taken the jab, and they have anecdotal evidence of blood clots totally disappearing from using urine therapy.”
Group is a Houston-based, self-styled “natural health” expert whose dubious credentials and connection to Alex Jones were explored in a 2017 torching by HBO’s John Oliver. In that segment, Oliver revealed how Group—who reportedly has a chiropractic certification but no undergraduate degrees—frequently appeared in ads touting InfoWars supplements on behalf of Jones, in one clip claiming the far-right conspiracy website’s health products could ward off any number of ailments, including the “mass amount of parasites or harmful organisms” he claimed were carried by refugees.
Group’s relationship with Jones, as well as his dabbling in far-right conspiracies like Pizzagate, had allegedly been a source of consternation for the wellness guru’s staff, Jezebel reported at the time, but the Infowars connection generated “millions in revenue” for the Global Healing Center, Group’s natural health venture that sells a variety of supplements, skincare products, and books or DVDs pushing his holistic beliefs.
Many of those eccentric holistic beliefs pivot around consuming urine. The anti-vaccine doc not only claims that drinking pee can help fight against COVID-19 but also HIV, cancer, leukemia, and obesity. If you prefer not to drink your own urine, Group also suggests gargling, snorting, or injecting it. Elsewhere, he has recommended massaging muscles with urine, or using it as a decongestant. “I found that it works really well with pain,” Group said during a late December video vouching for his “urotherapy,” which lacks any clinical or scientific medical backing.
The Texas-based wellness sherpa’s urine treatment seems to have found an audience with anti-vaccine elements of the far-right, including Key.
Last month, Group shared the stage with MAGA stars like Eric Trump at a Nashville conference titled The Truth About Cancer. In one video promoting his appearance, Group told viewers that he is “most likely risking my life… revealing one solution that is going to revolutionize the health-care industry and protect you and your family from any major obstacle coming your way.”
That “one solution” appears to have been drinking urine, as NPR reported that Group told the gathering—during a presentation titled “The Golden Therapy for Health and Freedom! Eliminate FEAR forever!”—that “they should drink their urine as an alternative to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.”
“Even in the worst-case scenario, if I was thrown down and at gunpoint and brought to a concentration camp somewhere, I would at least have my own urine I could drink,” Group further explained on his YouTube channel followed by more than 179,000 subscribers. “I could still survive,” he proudly declared.
Group’s medical advice “makes perfect sense,” Key, the self-appointed anti-vax “Vaccine Police” activist, declared to the Beast, insisting the doctor is not a “crazy nut.” (Key further said that Group was on former President Donald Trump’s “COVID task force,” a claim the doctor himself made last year. There is no evidence that Group ever served on a White House task force or met with the ex-president. Group did not respond to The Daily Beast’s multiple requests for comment.)
Dr. Jon B. Klein, director of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, told The Daily Beast that “there is absolutely no scientific evidence that drinking your own urine can cure COVID.”
Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Dr. William Schaffner, an expert in preventative medicine and infectious diseases, agreed that Group’s urine therapy has “no validity.”
“If you look at urine in the index of medical textbooks, you will not find it referenced as a therapeutic agent, your own or from anyone else,” he said. “There are no studies of any kind of quality to show that drinking one’s own or anyone else’s urine has a medical benefit.”
Schaffner further said that Group’s claims are merely a modernized version of the “snake oil” pushed by roving salesmen purporting to be doctors at the turn of the 20th century.
“You have to be reminded of the cure-all elixirs that were promoted by people who used to travel town to town in the 1880s and the 1890s.” he said. “By the time the purchaser, the pioneers, swallowed them down, the peddler was long gone. They were in the next town.”
Nevertheless, Group seems to be a true believer: “I have been drinking about a half-gallon a day for roughly about four months,” he admitted in one video.