The trial of Valley Center’s Robert Oldham Young, best known for his pH Miracle Living Center, and popular series of books advocating an alkaline diet, resumed this month, more than 60 days after opening statements began in November.
Young faces nine charges in Vista Superior Court filed in late 2014 related to activities at his Valley Center ranch including two counts of grand theft and seven counts of practicing medicine without a license including allegations he applied intravenous lines to patients. He remains out of prison on $100,000 bond.
Waiting outside Judge Richard Whitney’s Department 21 courtroom last week, Young, 63, was very open about his thoughts on the case, even as he expressed relief the trial portion of his ordeal was coming close to conclusion.
Young was optimistic he would be exonerated of charges and continue his efforts at his 46-acre, 16390 Dia Del Sol Valley Center pH Miracle Center and throughout the natural health healing world.
“It’s finally coming to an end,” Young said in the halls of justice. “I’m looking forward to some sort of resolution and hopeful the judge will come to the right conclusion. Then, we all can breathe again and get back to helping people.”
Young continued: “My defense (by attorney Paul Pfingst and team) has been as good as one could expect. We’ve had people come from all over the world to testify on my behalf. They’ve even paid their own way to be here. Hundreds of people wanted to come and Paul had to decided who would speak.
Young added: “I think the judge has been very fair and that’s all you can hope for. I think he’s been fair to both sides.”
Young is best known for his book “The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health,” currently listed as No. 75 on Amazon’s top-100 list of best-selling weight-loss books. The book has sold millions, and been translated into at least 18 languages. He said he has written 60 books and is finishing up a sequel, so-to-speak to his pH miracle best-seller.
Not slowing down
A little thing like a criminal trial hasn’t slowed Young down. He just got back from a European lecture and book-promotion tour, saying, “I was able to travel to Germany, Switzerland, France, England, Spain. Unfortunately, I’m more respected in Europe than in the U.S, at least it feels that way.”
Following expression of his hopes to add maybe some grapes and hemp to his ranch’s avocado and citrus crops — “Farming is one of my passions,” he said, “next to science.” — Young discussed the specific charges.
“We don’t do treatments at the ranch,” Young said, “We educate. I am not a medical doctor. I don’t do medical treatments. My background is in biology and naturopathic science. This thing is catching fire. Whatever happens to me, the work is going to continue.”
Not a medical doctor, Young received doctorate degrees from Clayton College of Natural Health, a non-accredited and now- defunct Alabama correspondence school. He went from a bachelors degree to masters to doctorate in eight months, according to Deputy District Attorney Gina Darvas.
At opening statements in November, Darvas said Young told patients at his center he could treat their cancer and gave at least six terminally ill patients intravenous lines of baking soda.
For the prosecution
Prosecution witnesses included family members of cancer patients who had gone to the center and subsequently died.
Pfingst said people sought help from Young specifically because he was a naturopathic practitioner and not a medical doctor. Young never said his technique would cure cancer, Pfingst said. Needles used for intravenous treatments were applied by licensed doctors and nurses, he said.
During previous hearings, Deputy District Attorney Gina Darvas accused Young of treating people who had run out of hope with intravenous medication at his avocado ranch and health center. He also engaged in medical procedures only authorized for doctors, Darvas said.
Prosecutors in their original 13-page complaint, said Young charged four terminally ill patients at least $50,000 each for treatment. one paid more than $120,000 for treatment. All six terminally ill patients named in the original complaint have died, Darvas said.
Also charged in the complaint were Bennie Stephen Johnson, 63, listed as a medical doctor Young hired to help with patient care and Rocio “Rosie” Placencia, 32, a pH Miracle Center employee who allegedly lied to investigators and hid medical supplies in a shed at her Valley Center home. Court records didn’t list any additional information for those two cases.