—-Setting The Stage—-
The year 2020 was a year of unprecedented deception and confusion. What began as a scientific quagmire of competing information surrounding SARS-CoV-2, numerous doctors found themselves being targeted for challenging the established medical orthodoxy. How that fact relates to Dr. Richard Fleming today is a story that began two decades ago.
As a Cardiology Fellow at University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (1989-1992), Dr. Fleming was involved in the testing of competing nuclear isotopes (tracers) Teboroxine and Sestamibi. At the time, these drugs were still experimental and they were being compared to other drugs already on the market. There was not a lot of
information on these isotopes though they both enabled better visual images. Their value in assessing heart disease, however, had been largely misapplied. Dr. Fleming wrote one of the first papers on Teboroxine and SPECT imaging. and the information therein reflected what research physicians and clinicians were being taught at the time. The industry standard required two doses of radioactive isotopes instead of one to capture appropriate heart images.
When using Teboroxine, physicians had to begin imaging within five minutes of administering the isotope. Dr. Fleming thought Teboroxine provided an advantage because more studies could be done faster, answers were derived more quickly and people could be moved along in the diagnostic process more rapidly. Teboroxine could also offer an advantage for hospital systems because the hospitalists would be able to process four times as many patients in the standard four-hour time frame. The competing isotope manufacturer who made Sestamibi, claimed their isotope did not redistribute in the same way as Teboroxine, so a patient would need to wait a minimum of thirty minutes for an image to begin emerging.
Despite other publications (1, 3, 8) showing that Sestamibi redistributed earlier than doctors had been led to believe, the company selling Sestamibi capitalized on the reported 30-minute delay convincing doctors that it would be easier to schedule and image patients with two injections and more flexible timing. As a result, doctors and hospitals chose Sestamibi over Teboroxine. Sestamibi was able to corner the isotope market.
In 1999, however, the manufacturer of Sestamibi requested Dr. Fleming investigate their isotope for use in breast cancer imaging. This request would change Dr. Fleming’s understanding of how Sestamibi worked and would result in several key changes in overall medical understanding of nuclear imaging. First, Dr. Fleming’s discovered that the standard two-injection administration of the isotope could be reduced to just one injection; that this single isotope injection would reveal essential heart images five minutes after the injection. And patients? They would be exposed to far lower levels of radiation.
Other doctors and universities would later validate Fleming (documents 19, 32, 33) and the need to use only one dose of radioactive imaging tracers. Like Fleming, they would report finding heart disease that had been missed by the delayed two-injection dose approach. By using a single injection of Sestamibi and imaging immediately, the five-minute image actually found heart disease that had been previously missed by waiting thirty minutes. It is estimated that heart disease in up to 100,000 critically ill heart patients is missed yearly by waiting this additional amount of time. This change in overall timing of injection and imaging was not only critical to seeing evidence of inflammation but foundational to Dr. Fleming’s development of the Theory of Inflammation.
This evolution in the understanding of isotopes lead to Dr. Fleming developing the Fleming Method for Tissue and Vascular Differential and Metabolism (FMTVDM). The FMTVDM integrates with any nuclear camera and any applicable nuclear isotope to produce "True Quantification" of regional blood flow difference and metabolism. Conventional nuclear images rely on human visual observation for subjective or "guestimate" evaluations. Using Fleming’s FMTVDM, physicians can now accurately measure the severity of heart disease while reducing the amount of radiation exposure.
Doctor Fleming’s troubles with the law began when he had to replace his full time nuclear technologist with a temporary technologist. It would be the latter who would report him to the FBI for illegal billing, despite the fact she was not a billing expert. Forced to close his practice, Dr. Fleming gave the FBI access to his imaging, copy machines, and any information they requested. Despite a lack of criminal evidence, the considerable amount of time and money spent on this investigation meant the FBI seemed determined to find culpability somewhere.
Concurrent with this investigation, Dr. Fleming was working with another doctor who had recruited Fleming to assist in the study of this doctor’s soy chip product. The study sought to prove that if women would eat one to two bags of his soy chips instead of a meal, they would lose weight. The accusation next levied upon Dr. Fleming by the FBI involved the requisite number (60) of patients in the study and a supposed “tip-off” from a coerced part-time front desk employee. The employee, whose husband had been previously incarcerated for crimes committed, was contacted by the FBI and told that she needed to give them (FBI) something on which they could pin on Dr. Fleming, or else they would go after her husband. The employee changed jobs during the study and was replaced by her daughter who also only worked part time. Both reported to the FBI they never saw 60 participants show up for the study.
Despite evidence and data to the contrary, the Judge on Fleming’s case and the attorneys involved prevented evidence of actual innocence from being presented on both the nuclear isotopes billing fraud indictment (4, 5, 6, 7 and 9) and the soy chip study results (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17). The results of the soy chip study had been mailed to the soy chip doctor and account for the charge of mail fraud. On April 23, 2009, following Dr. Fleming’s recognition that evidence of actual innocence was being blocked from being admitted in Court (14, 15), Dr. Fleming pled guilty to two items (16), neither of which are crimes. In addition to being placed on 5-years probation (with 6-months of home confinement and an order to pay restitution based on all patient billings in that year, not just the ten what were tried in the court case), the Nebraska Medical Board revoked Dr. Fleming’s medical license, without giving the legally required notification to Dr. Fleming. The Iowa Board of Medicine would later admit to the fact their consequential actions were part of a “subpar” investigation (25, 27, 28).
In addition to the prosecutor’s intentional interference of the presentation of innocence, a clear violation of the law according to the US Supreme Court ruling in the 1963 Brady v. Maryland, the Public Defender, violating attorney ethics, the Judge, violating Judicial Ethics; the prosecutor asked for and then received permission from the Court to destroy all documents connected with the case (22). The prosecutors certified they had notified Dr. Fleming of their “Notice of Intent to Destroy Exhibits.” However, Dr. Fleming did not receive such notification and would not have agreed to the destruction of this evidence. Dr. Fleming has demonstrated by filing in other Federal Courts his desire to address this violation of his US Constitutional rights. Had his request to produce evidence been granted, he would have, in fact, needed these exhibits.
Dr. Fleming has since tried to address both the ineffective assistance of counsel and the hiding of substantive exculpatory evidence (2, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24) only to have the Judge refuse to address these concerns outright. Dr. Fleming has brought evidence of Judicial Misconduct to the attention of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (23, 29, 30, 31) and called for the impeachment of the Judge and debarment of the attorneys (35) involved in his case.
Dr. Fleming has asked the FDA to further investigate the pharmaceutical company that continues to promote the use of the delayed two-injection Sestamibi isotope and the possible harm to patients resulting from this practice (34).
—-Why Did Dr. Fleming Plead Guilty?—-
Dr. Fleming acknowledges he is frequently asked why he would submit a plea deal if he were innocent. He explains rather simply that he did it to protect his youngest child. Having realized that proof of his innocence was being blocked from admission to court (14, 15) and realizing a plea bargain was the only way to protect his son, he pled “guilty” by submitting a holographic plea (16) to two items. Neither of which are crimes or what he was indicted for.
—-Why Was Dr. Fleming Targeted?—-
Cardiologists like Dr. Fleming are the physicians responsible for looking for coronary artery disease by injecting the arteries of a patient’s heart with isotopes to highlight the interior view of the artery. By 1991, Dr. Fleming had shown not only the errors (2, 3) physicians were making in interpreting the results of these tests, but also that heart disease itself was something different than was previously thought. Dr. Fleming proposed that heart disease was the inability of the arteries to relax and carry more blood to an area of the heart when needed, and that chest pain (angina) was the result of regional blood flow differences. He would later show that these differences could be accurately measured using FMTVDM (FlemingMethod). Dr. Fleming discovered that the inability of the arteries to relax was the result of inflammation building up in the walls of the arteries. Eventually, inflammation can narrow the inside of the artery, which leads to coronary artery disease. This disease process can be detected - and maybe stopped or slowed - by looking at inflammation when it first appears.
In 1994, Dr. Fleming presented his theory at the American Heart Association conference that cardiovascular disease was due to inflammation and infectious disease, among other things. What was theory in 1994 has become a well known fact for decades and was highlighted in 2004 with a feature on ABC's 20/20 News.
Simultaneously, Dr. Fleming sat on the Physician Cholesterol Education faculty for the American Heart Association. It was one more example of his commitment to reviewing information coming through the medical system, always questioning, and on occasion, boldly proclaiming, “You know...the party line isn’t exactly right!” Dr. Fleming believes that the only way to advance science is to continue questioning it. Early in his life, Fleming was taught to do just that - to question the status quo and to think outside the proverbial box.
Two other examples of challenging the status quo, in addition to his challenge of the traditional way of looking at heart disease, include the Atkins Diet and SARS-CoV-2. In both cases, Dr. Fleming used his understanding of inflammation and heart disease to question the efficacy and safety of the Atkins Diet and to question the way the medical community has handled the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. No one can prove that Dr. Fleming was targeted or mistreated, but it is clear that he has been criticized for disputing the mainstream medical community’s party line.
—The Travesty of Targeting Disruptive Discoveries: Humanity Loses—
The difference between how the government wanted the billing code to read and how Fleming’s billing clerk legally billed for the diagnostic studies equated to roughly $50. In fact, according to the American Medical Association, documents that were not admitted in Court, Dr. Fleming actually under-billed (4). As Dr. Fleming states, “Why would I throw away my medical career for $50 x 10 studies? It makes no sense.” The bottom threshold for a felony charge is $500. Hence, the 10 studies x $50 used by the Court to arrive at the indictment.
Even though the charges brought were only on 10 patients, the Court calculated restitution based on all the patients for the entire year, approximately 100, even if Dr. Fleming were not paid for the entire amount that he billed. The restitution statement reads, “The Defendant shall pay to the Clerk of the Court the total sum of $107,244.24 as restitution. From that total sum, $72,244.24 shall be disbursed as restitution for health care fraud and paid to the victims and in the amounts set forth in filing 170. From that total sum, $35,000 shall be disbursed as restitution for research fraud and paid to Physicians Pharmaceuticals (Revival Soy Chips) at an address to be supplied by the United States Attorney.” Physicians Pharmaceuticals was to receive $35,000 even though they paid $25,000 for the Soy Chip study. $10,000 for separate work Dr. Fleming had with Physicians Pharmaceuticals was added even though there was no question nor charges about this other work.
No other insurance company complained about Fleming’s billing charges and an expert for Blue Cross and Blue Shield testified in court stating that he had “no reservations or concerns about the billing.” No other insurance companies, including Prudential, Mutual of Omaha, Tricare, United Health Care, and others, and no patients, ever showed up in court to complain about billing. Nonetheless, the Court decided that all monies billed for the tests done that year, not the year before, nor the years after, had to be paid back as restitution. This amount totaled $72,244.24.
When Dr. Fleming entered Medical School, the Dean told their entering class that 90% of what they would be taught would one day be proven wrong. That same Dean encouraged the students to make a difference by finding these mistakes and correcting them. Fleming takes that directive seriously even if it means ruffling some feathers.
Fleming reported on the damage caused to the hearts of people given Fen-Phen and what could be done to heal that damage.
The FDA was informed by Dr. Fleming about the dangers of the rubidium generator and its leaking of radioactive material all over the state of Texas.
Dr. Fleming developed his theory of inflammation and heart disease, presenting it as a paradigm shift in 1994, even though he was a member of the Physician Cholesterol Education Faculty.
Dr. Fleming patented the first method (FMTVDM; Fleming Method) for correcting errors made in nuclear imaging providing quantitative measurements of heart disease, cancer, SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.
Dr. Fleming believes we need to be careful in our evaluations. What the medical community is promoting today might one day be regarded as quackery or worse. “We can never stop asking questions.”
When the Institutional System comes after those individuals who seek to make life better for all of humanity, a chilling effect settles on many. Not so for Dr. Fleming. Unfazed by the attackers and naysayers, Dr. Fleming marches on to the beat of a different drum. Seeking the truth, developing disruptive technologies, challenging the status quo, and pushing the envelope for the health and benefit of mankind. The gavel is yours; look both ways before you cross the street; take the red pill.
For more information, Dr. Fleming speaks candidly on the record with Dr. Sheri Tenpenny and with Alex Newman at The New American in interviews #36 and #37.