Dr. Ben Carson says some nutty things. The retired neurosurgeon-turned-Republican presidential frontrunner may be an excellent surgeon, but he’s said some mind-blowing statements that ignore well-known fact. Below are 11 outlandish things the presidential candidate has said.
When Carson lied about having any involvement with snake-oil seller Mannatech.
Carson denies having any involvement with the Mannatech group, a company that came under a class-action lawsuit and investigation for illegally selling herbal supplements they said cured cancer and autism. Carson appeared on Mannatech’s website, endorsed the product in speeches, and appeared in an interview with the company’s founder.
Regardless, the Republican frontrunner flat out lied about working with the company at the CNBC Republican primary debates. However, Carson still said Mannatech’s herbal supplement was a “good product.”
“I didn’t have an involvement with them. That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda,” Carson said. “I did a couple of speeches for them, I do speeches for other people. They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of a relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it’s a good product.”
Here’s a video of Carson being interviewed by the CEO of Mannatech.
Once he said his prostate surgery was to save other people’s lives.
Carson said Mannatech’s herbal supplement reduced his prostate cancer symptoms, but still decided to have his prostate surgically removed. He said he underwent the prostate surgery to set an example for others.
“I actually toyed with the idea of not having surgery done…,” Carson said at a Mannatech conference. “But then I began to realize that having a high profile, that if I did that, a lot of other people might follow that example, too, but they may not be quite as diligent about taking the product as I was, and there would be a lot of needless deaths, and I didn’t feel as though I could have that on my conscience. So I went ahead and had the surgery done.”
When Carson said the Egyptian pyramids were built by the bible’s Joseph to “store grain.”
BuzzFeed dug up a 1998 Andrews University commencement speech where the retired neurosurgeon said that the pyramids weren’t built by the Egyptians, but by biblical figure Joseph to store grain.
“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Carson said. “Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.”
Carson’s theory was popular in the Middle Ages, but the Egyptian pyramids were built at least 500 years before the time of Joseph, said Yale Egyptology Professor John C. Darnell to BuzzFeed News.
On Nov. 4, Carson told CBS that he still believes the pyramids were built by Joseph to store grain.
Speaking of history, Carson said he thinks advanced placement (AP) high school history courses convert students to ISIS.
“I think most people,” Carson said. “When they finish [the AP history course] they’d be ready to go sign up for ISIS.”
Another time he said he’d “rather be rich” than live a Christ-like life.
At first, Carson wanted to be a “noble” doctor, but when he turned 13, he decided he’d rather go the greedy route.
“Having grown up in dire poverty, I decided I’d rather be rich!” Carson said at a Mannatech gathering.
Carson said he’s obsessed with knives.
In the same strange Mannatech speech where he talked about stabbing someone, Carson professed his love of knives.
“I locked myself in the bathroom that day and started thinking about… knives,” Carson said.
Carson believes the big bang is a “fairy tale” and that evolution is the work of the devil.
“I personally believe that this theory that Darwin came up with,” Carson said. “Was something that was encouraged by the adversary.”
Watch Carson’s talk about the big bang and evolution, courtesy of The Young Turks.
Carson said ObamaCare is worse than slavery.
“ObamaCare is the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” Carson said at the 2013 Values Voter Summit. “In a way, it is slavery, because it is making all of us subservient to the government.”
Saudi Arabia should’ve handed over Osama bin Laden.
Disregarding the fact that the Saudis were enemies with bin Laden, Carson told ABC’s George Stephanopoulous that if the U.S. was not dependent on Saudi oil, the Mideast kingdom would’ve handed over bin Laden.
Carson said prison makes people gay.
In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Carson said that being gay must be a choice because some people come out of prison gay.
“Because a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay. So did something happen while they were in there?” Carson said.
Cuomo appeared a tad baffled by Carson’s words.
“I am not denying that that’s true, but I am denying that that’s a basis of understanding homosexuality,” Cuomo said.
When he blamed the victims of Oregon’s Umqua Community College shooting.
Carson blamed the victims of the Umqua Community College when on air with Fox and Friends. He implied that the victims were cowardly and said if he was in their situation he would’ve fought the shooter instead of waiting to be shot.
“In a situation where you had a madman who was systematically assassinating people after asking them a question, and they’re all there waiting their turn, I would not wait my turn. I would say let’s do something,” Carson said.
[Image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]