Caveman Blogger Fights for Free Speech and Internet Freedom


This is the story of a caveman, defending the first amendment, and Internet freedom. Steve Cooksey was an obese, junkfood scarfing, couch potato. He nearly died. Was rushed to intensive care, and diagnosed with type two diabetes. Steve decided to go forward by leaping back in time. He adopted the diet of our paleolific ancestors. Fats, meats, nuts, and veggies, but no sugars or grains. He also exercised like a caveman, running and jumping in bare feet. As Steve went from flab to fab, he stopped needing drugs and insulin. He started a blog called diabetes
warrior. He’s part of a nationwide movement of
regular people taking responsibility for their health, by sharing ideas and advice over the Internet. Soon Steve had thousands of readers and became friends with many. His new friends often ask for advice about stone age eating. Steve discovered a passion for motivating people, and he started a coaching business to provide for a fee the exact same advice and moral support he had been giving his family and friends for free. In December, 2011, Steve even started a Dear Abby style
advice column on his blog. North Carolina officials got mad. They told Steve that giving dietary advice is not free speech. That’s assessing and counseling. which requires a government issued
dietitians license. They told him that private advice to friends is illegal assessing. That his Dear Abby
column is the legal assessing and counseling, and that his new coaching business is
illegal too. In North Carolina’s view. the government chould throw Dear Abby in jail for not having a psychologist license. and even shut down the Facebook pages and Internet forums where people share advice on diet, pregnancy, parenting, marriage and a million other topics. But under the first amendment, the government cannot use occupational licensing laws to ban ordinary people from giving
advice. No one thinks of getting advice about what food to buy at the grocery store from an
online colomn, a friend, or a motivational life coach is the same as going to a doctor. That’s why Steve has joined with the Institute for Justice, to stand up for his rights. Together their defending free speech and Internet freedom for Americans everywhere. Who do you think should win? The caveman? Or North Carolina’s regulatory dinosaur?

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Reader Comments

  1. frustratedcrusader

    I literally laughed out loud at the absurd argument made by TheKimbellsNbits that Steve is plagiarizing. Obviously by that argument my high school physics teacher should be paying royalties to Isaac Newton.

  2. Mayhem

    A person has every right to share his knowledge to whomever he/she pleases and charge if he/she pleases if there are people willing to pay for such services. They pay this man for the information he has researched himself albeit a different method of learning should not make a difference.He was self taught.

  3. Kyle B

    Honestly, I think this Steve guy was fine up until he started charging people for his advice. At that point, I think, his free speech ends and he needs a license. Everything prior, including his answering questions blog dealie, counts as free speech. Once money changes hands for advice is the problem.

  4. jerseygrl5

    Well, here is the real issue at hand……The State of NC doesn't want any healing from diabetes without drugs. Actually what they really want is for people to stay sick and then die.

  5. Douglas Aubin

    Just wanted to point out NC is full of a population of STUPID Americans who still either don't believe in dinosaurs ( because they happened before their bible story) OR Truly believing they are watching a documentary in the "Ken Ham Theory" ( i use the word theory loosely of course). Great video.

  6. Brandon Peters

    FUCK NORTH CAROLINA!!!!!!
    FUCK THE COMPANYS! SUPPORT THE STEVE!!
    to be honest any words as language that comes out of the mouth and is understood is free speach…

  7. vivverinelink

    and for everyone who thinks that north caroliners whini babys rich republicans who hate everyone and everything so thumb this comment down or up i guess it would have to be up

  8. PianoKeyz

    It's pretty simple for people to understand and like freedom, yet they still vote for big government folks like Obamney. I just don't get it.

  9. SuckerFree Games

    I say as long as there is a disclaimer claiming he is not a doctor and does not have proper medical/nutritional training then it should be fine for him to give advice.

  10. uhhoh777

    Boycott 2012!

    Do not allow corrupt politicians take away our freedom!

    Speak not as one, but as many and all!

    For that is the internet's way.

  11. steelydon19

    My medical sources recommend a vegetarian diet as superior to the neolithic diet, but both approaches are a great improvement over eating a mediocre or poor diet.

  12. Steve Cronk

    Does it change your opinion to learn that every one of Steve's customers was fully aware that he was not a licensed dietician?

  13. Cavin DeJordy

    Stop the presses! This just in! You must pay a university thousands upon thousands of dollars and the government the same to have a valid idea in which you can support yourself and your family! Even after full discolsure of your unprofessional status you must give more than taxes to institutions to have an idea! If you are not in crippling debt that will motivate you to be a capitalistic pawn you have no voice!

  14. Zzzz Whatever

    Um no. This is supposed to be a free country. As long as he's not claiming to be an expert or qualified on the matter, customers should have the right to prefer (and pay for) HIS advice to Joe Bob from a doctor's office. People need to learn the difference between creating a civilized society and trying to control shit that's not even broken.

  15. Nicholas Bishop

    As that goes more into depth. The argument turns into "who can buy what with their money". In an excessive view, this will evolve into the government trying to say "you can't pay someone for advice unless they have a degree. Period." Which is total bs.

  16. Nicholas Bishop

    His clients, knowing that he wasn't licensed, chose to go to him perhaps because they only wanted a quick summary or tips for a healthier life style. Also knowing -whether they paid or not- they could, on their own experiences, decide if they wanted to follow his advice. Which is exactly what is it. Advice. Not a spreadsheet of their families records with legalese and calculations that you would pay a few hundred for, were you to go set an appointment with a dietitian.

  17. Nicholas Bishop

    I don't think this is an argument of speech (which it is, don't get me wrong) as it is an argument of what we can spend our money on. I can either spend hundreds on a dietitian to tell me that I'm fine so long as i see them 40 times this month at $50 an hour. or I can just get a watered down maybe not 100% but-still-close-enough for a hell of a lot cheaper. and Even if they cost the same, I should still have the right to choose what i spend money on. As long as he isn't claiming to be licensed.

  18. Mr. Patrick Henry Cheryl

    More like 65-75, but the average is skewed because of infant mortality. They also had no means of dealing with infections or trauma, so a flu or twisted ankle at 50 could mean death. Their diet was just fine and not to blame for any of that.

  19. Curtis Hays

    If only our doctors were educated in nutrition and gave us good advice instead of throwing pills down our throats we could turn to them. Instead I will take responsibility for my health and find better answers online. I vote for Free Speech.

  20. drjaneUSA

    We have been dealing with the dieticians and their nonsense in Ohio since the late 1980's. Dozens of practioners either agree to cease praticing or spend tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees yearly. Watch thye TFS media video on four Ohio cases.

  21. Bryon Lape

    I have never met a licensed dietician who gave actual advice. They quote the party line, taught by the government. Following the food pyramid is the best way to become obese.

  22. gjc82071

    This is a blatant violation of the 1st Amendment. Government officials in N. Carolina are outside of their own minds. They've overstepped their authority….by leaps & bounds. Whoever is responsible for this should be severely punished & massively fined for their deliberate violation of civil rights. I'm curious. If I were to tell all the men here NOT to try circumcising themselves @ home with a rusty table-saw, would I need a medical degree? Seems like I would if I lived in N. Carolina.

  23. joemama114

    Free speech, as in no money changing hands. The SECOND any money chages hands that makes him a MEDICAL CONSULTANT and as such he NEEDS to have a medical licence. If he simply tracked his progress online and allowed others to read and learn about it for themselves that's fine. Imagine if somebody died while on his diet possibly due to medical concerns Steve goes to court and the entire medical board of N. Carolina would be ass reamed for allowing him to practice without a licence.

  24. Jim Claunch

    #TechCrunch #AndrewAuernheimer #weev #jdzarlino #cya2
    Editor’s note: Andrew Auernheimer, also known by his pseudonym weev, is an American grey hat hacker and self-described Internet troll. Follow him on Twitter @rabite. In June of 2010 there was an AT&T webserver on the open Internet. There was an API on this server, a URL with a number at the end. If you incremented this number, you saw the next iPad 3G user email address. #discussthispostonreddit

  25. joemama114

    If he want's to give his advice for free to anyone who'd listen and get a job to pay for his bills then that's his decision. When he takes to selling his advice, he's consulting and that's of serious medical concern.

  26. grantcivyt

    I'm sure it *is* a concern to the medical establishment that people can freely choose who to accept advice from. Why would pay have any bearing, otherwise? Think it through.

    There is, of course, a legitimate concern for public safety, but that's one of the costs of living in a free society where people can make their own choices. Some people will make choices you disagree with.

  27. joemama114

    So then by your logic anyone who's in a bank, wearing banker looking cloths can give you advice on all your financial needs and it's not the banks responsibility to make sure they are actually trained in such things. Every time you go to a medical practitioner they don't need to be actually licenced in their field, they just need to have good advice and tell you what to do? That sounds very dangrous for the public no?

  28. grantcivyt

    That isn't how I look for financial or medical advice. I ask for recommendations from people. When I don't know people in an area, I go to a ratings site or service. Failing that, I'll go to a business that's well-established and has a reputation to maintain.

    Consumer reports and similar companies fill a valuable role that shouldn't be underestimated. Credit rating agencies fill a similar role.

    A license really has very little value except to the holder.

  29. joemama114

    But consumers are not paied for their professional opinion on a topic it's an option that some companies have developted for marketing research. If people like a but don't like b then it makes sense to stock up on a or less on b, or make b more like a, the list goes on and on. The "caveman" in this story is giving people professional advice, but he's not a professional as in he has not been professionally trained, he has expierence but no actual training.

  30. grantcivyt

    There's no reason to complicate the situation. If the "caveman" was transparent about his credentials, there's no reason I shouldn't be able to ask for his opinion and pay him for his time.

  31. Rob Reiken

    Here are the names of some things that cure cancer & or diabetes & other medical conditions:: Coconuts, Mangoes , Marijuana, Hemp, Oregano, Garlic, Ginger, Tumeric , Cumin, Astragalus Root, Lemons, Brocolli etc. Avoid things like drinking Sodium Fluoride RatSac Tap Water , Drinking from Plastic containers that have Bisphenol A in the plastic, GMO Codeath foods, avoid sugar that turns into formaldahyde that turns body acidic , avoid meats with bovines, Antibiotics & other poison in them.

  32. grantcivyt

    How did I validate your point? I said fraud should be illegal, but he's not been fraudulent at all.

    I don't know what industry you work in, but perhaps you'd be surprised how little practical value there is in all manner of degrees and certifications when it comes to technology. This is not a unique phenomenon.

    You should oppose fraud and deception, but don't be so presumptuous as to think you know enough to interfere with two people freely trading with each other.

  33. Lucy Gray

    Indeed he has no credentials. He is not claiming to. The evaluation his ability to give sound advice is up to the people receiving the advice, who are free to accept or reject it

  34. Lucy Gray

    Free as in freedom, not free as in free beer! You cannot separate commercial activity and civil liberty, because commercial activity *is* a civil liberty!

  35. mojomcmama

    Go Steve!!! To All Freedom Fighters everywhere I highly recommend the book: "Ain't Nobody's Business~The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society" by Peter McWilliams.It is jam packed with thought provoking and challenging ideas.We all need to think about what it means to be free as adults with out the government acting like a nanny that treats us as imbeciles.Common sense and self reliance is required and street smarts too-it's a double edged sword-free to choose and make mistakes.

  36. joemama114

    And I quote "If the caveman was transparent about his credentials…." Point Validated. He's not transparent about them because he has none. I'm not saying he's wrong in what he found and if he want's to give "friendly advice" to anyone who'll listen then that's his choice. People seem to think the first amendment rights apply to EVERYTHING but their's stipulations and addendums, it's not a blanket statement and it DOES NOT APPLY TO CONSULTATIONS.

  37. joemama114

    But not free to pay him for his advice, the second you pay him for his "advice" it's no longer advice, he is now consulting and requires a medical licence of some sort.

  38. grantcivyt

    Again, that doesn't validate your point. He certainly does have credentials, but he also hasn't claimed to have the sorts of credentials you seem to want. Or maybe you can point out where he has.

    It's not just his choice to give advice, it's the listener's choice to listen. You forget there are two *willing* parties to the transaction, and who are you to say you know better?

    Lastly, I'm not arguing about what courts have ruled. I'm arguing for the rights of two free adults.

  39. gregdoh

    Hard to trust an organization that doesn't practice common sense. This guy is helping people, and the dietetics board wants to shut him down for that? If they were good people, they would allow him to do what he is doing. Guess I won't trust anything that comes of of the North Carolina board of Dietetics from this point forward. Nothing but greed.

  40. FoodOrFail

    As long as he doesn't claim to be a licensed medical practitioner, and does his due diligence to alert his clients to that fact, there should be no laws to stop him from choosing his own life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. I certainly understand the need for licensed professionals in various fields, because some people want those professionals. But many people DON'T.

  41. joemama114

    By giving advice he's done nothing wrong, by accepting money for that advice he's consulting someone on how to change their lifestyle. If anything happens to that person as a result of that, HE is responsable in part for the "advice" or consultation. The point I mentioned about being validated is him accepting money for his "advice" implies he has some medical knowlage, that the act of being paid for something makes you a professional and he is not.

  42. grantcivyt

    To the extent that his advice results in actual harm to someone, there is remedy in the courts. This is true for doctors and most other fields.

    However, if he hasn't misrepresented himself, and it doesn't appear he did, the other party to the transaction knew what he was getting himself into. I can pay a neighborhood kid to mow my lawn, but that doesn't make him a professional. I know exactly what I'm getting.

    In a free society, sellers and consumer have a right to make mistakes.

  43. joemama114

    Someone who has no formal training decides to be an electrition. He opens a buisness, tells his clients straight up and has had years and years of expierence with electrical work but no documented training. He can't legally take money for fixing or altering electrical circuts in someone's home, building, workplace ect due to lack of "training". You're arguing what should be right vs what is right, your feelings matter only as much as the effort that you put forth to change this situation.

  44. grantcivyt

    Not at all. I'm arguing about what is ethical versus what is presently illegal. I believe it is unethical for a third party to forcibly intervene between two persons, of sound mind and legal age, to conduct a private transaction.

    Insofar as ideas spread, this is one part of my efforts toward reaching a more ethical world.

  45. Sean Tosh

    North Carolina's legislators are no better than a sanctioned mafia. This is, by far, not their first offense against their own citizens, the free market, or intelligence in general.

  46. Amar Jit Singh

    govt. can't ragulate person to person contact, basically sharing his her own experience based advice by a citizen from another citizen. it is personal liberty with accountability, if the adviced recipient faces an adverse condition (which is another pandora's box) he or she can either reapproach him/her or sue him/her, what govt. does here is prevention of good causes. 
    it isn't govt.'s job to prevent citizens's from getting a experience based advice on the basis of paranoia. 

  47. Robert Simmons

    Another quack trying to line his pockets with $$$from all the idiots out there who will quickly part with their money to a snake oil salesman.

  48. Tina Silva

    Congrats!!  Last time I checked I still had freedom in PA.  If there were more positive mentors, coaches  around who wants to help  better me/you and mother nature…..this world would definitely be in better "shape". No punn intended. 😉  Keep spreading the health. (y) 

  49. Finsirith

    So now that the court told them that their regulation is unconstitutional, they're trying to get the legislature to pass a law that does basically the same thing!  HB 796 calls itself the “Modernize Dietetics/Nutrition Practice Act”, but it will prevent anyone from communicating dietary advice to a non-family member who has a medical condition.  Get involved!!

  50. Joe Tart

    Advice is free speech. Consulting for payment is "professional advice" and usually requires a certification of some sort, and a license. If you want to make money in a profession, the government wants it's protection money to guard that profession.

  51. grantcivyt

    "Victory for ‘Caveman’ Blogger in Free Speech Fight"

    https://ij.org/press-release/north-carolina-free-speech-release-2-18-2015/

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