Doctor Doctor, Give Me The News

If you're lyin, I'm buyin.

Dr. Julio

I met a man today that might be insane.  It wasn’t apparent at first glance.  I thought he was just another old expat who had settled here in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; they’re all over the place although it doesn’t look like they’ve ruined it yet.  He got out his truck and listened politely as the street kid tried to sell him some peppers out of a bag.  He had a shirt with a patch on it so I could tell that he was somebody, even if a self-proclaimed somebody. He walked behind me to the bar, and I didn’t think anymore about him.

As he was walking out, he stopped and looked at me very directly and then shook my hand, introducing himself as Doctor "Julio.”  I put those in quotation marks because he’s about as “Julio” as I am. Right away, I could tell that he was German, Austrian, Swiss or something like that; he had that cold Teutonic stare, metallic blue eyes, and heavy accent.  He was friendly, but it seemed situational.  I felt expendable.  I make him to be at least in his 60’s. We spoke in Spanish for a minute then switched to English.  It looked as if he suffered from some type of palsy, a relevant detail to the rest of this story.

Within five minutes of meeting, he began to tell me a bizarre tale with sinister overtones.  The reason he so easily volunteered his personal situation was because I questioned the name of the organization on his shirt patch.  It read “Curismo.”  I thought this was a clever play on “Turismo,” so I asked him about it.  He told me that he was the last surviving member of a group of medical experts that had tried to treat people using stem cells.  The other members had all died under suspicious circumstances.  One of his partners was Elizabeth Taylor’s personal physician, and my new friend told me that he had personally treated Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega.  

By then, my internal lie detector was going off like crazy, but I’m drawn to these types of characters so I prodded him along.  His partners were killed by a cartel of medical industry heavyweights, mainly the drug companies who would lose a fortune if diseases were eliminated before they ever became manifest.  He had only survived because he had the good sense to move to Nicaragua. He had the personal blessing of Ortega and practiced with the full backing of the Nicaraguan government.  He claimed that they were working on six colonies of the cells and could cure diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and a host of ailments including tinnitus.  I stopped him when he said that; I’ve been suffering from that for years, and I’ve been repeatedly told that there is no cure.  He gave me the number of an Austrian physician here that could cure me, but counseled that his friend might be currently unavailable because he is working on his boat.

I think he even said that he had treated the member of Siegfried and Roy that had gotten mauled by the tiger.  By this point, I was pretty much knocked off the rails by what I had heard thus far.  I asked him if he had a laboratory here; he responded in the affirmative like brilliant, or crazy, people do, and acted as if I had asked him a very stupid question.  I experienced this reaction more than once while I attempted to interview him.  Finally, he had to leave, but told me that he was perfectly safe in Nicaragua but never traveled outside of the country without a weapon and bodyguard.  He fetched a flyer from his pickup, handed it to me and then drove away.  

I still don’t know what to think.  The Fox Mulder part of me wants to believe it’s true, and maybe it is.  If he’s telling the truth, then he probably is a genius.  All the name-dropping is suspicious to me, along with how freely he divulged the information.  Especially dubious is the fact that he obviously suffers from some type of neuromuscular ailment himself despite having the means to cure it, or else he was drunk.  Even if he’s lying I’ve got to give him his due respect.  A lie is nothing more than a completely fabricated story, a fiction; so he just may be a mendacious lunatic, but he’s also a pretty good storyteller.

Dusk Falls on San Juan del Sur

Nicaragua Photos

Sunset at San Juan del Sur
Credit: David Kendall

Beach View of San Juan del Sur


San Juan del Sur
Credit: David Kendall