Erik Johnson



Erik Johnson became aware of the negative effects of toxic mold on his health in the early 1970’s as a student at Truckee High School in the Lake Tahoe area of California.

He later became very severely ill in the myalgic encephalomyelitis outbreak in the Lake Tahoe area in 1985 (and was one of the first patients to be examined by Dr. Paul Cheney or  Dr. Dan Peterson).

He recovered part of his health as a result of mold avoidance in the late 1980’s.

Then in 1998, he used the training in bioweapons protocols that he had learned 20 years earlier while serving in the U.S. Army to develop a protocol allowing him to avoid even tiny amounts of cross-contamination from mold toxins.

As a result, he went from being extremely sick to climbing Mt. Whitney (the highest mountain in the contiguous U.S.) within six months.

He has continued to work full-time and to exercise vigorously on a regular basis since that time.

Since 2000, he has spent most of his free time helping scientists to understand the role of toxic mold in M.E. and other illnesses as well as educating other sufferers with regard to how they can use his techniques to improve their own health.

Most of the books mentioned on this page (except for ones written in collaboration with Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker) are published by Paradigm Change.


Back from the Edge

Erik’s story is presented in a straightforward and engrossing way in the Amazon Kindle book, “Back from the Edge: How One Man’s Discovery Brought Him From Desperately Sick with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to the Top of Mt. Whitney in Six Months.” The book includes a number of photographs from Erik’s collection and is an easy read. It was favorably reviewed by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker and also has received many positive reader reviews on Amazon. A free PDF copy is currently being provided to those signing up for occasional emailed updates from Paradigm Change.


A Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance

The basics of the mold avoidance approach pioneered by Erik are presented in this detailed book (co-authored by Lisa Petrison). The book is available for Amazon Kindle and also is being offered for free in PDF format to those signing up for occasional emails about mold avoidance topics from Rabbit Hole.


Erik on Avoidance

This fully illustrated book includes writings about mold avoidance topics by Erik Johnson from 2000-2015. The book is available through Amazon Kindle and also in PDF format for immediate downloading.


The Role of Toxic Mold in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This downloadable compilation of public writings and correspondence from Erik includes a wide variety of information relevant to pursuing mold avoidance, as well as details of events that occurred during the Lake Tahoe epidemic in the mid-1980’s. A group discussion with physician Dr. Keith Berndtson, M.D., also is included.

This PDF collection is more than 900 pages from 2000 to 2010 and is organized by topic. Also available is a very brief summary of Erik’s avoidance approach from the blog “My Chemical-Free House.”


Writings with Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, M.D.

Erik wrote about some of his experiences in full chapters of Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker’s two most recent books. In Chapter 23 of Mold Warriors (titled “Mold at Ground Zero For CFS: History Doesn’t Remember the Critics”), Erik shares his experiences during the Incline Village epidemic in the mid-1980’s. In Chapter 17 of Surviving Mold (titled “The Novice Pilot: CFS and Other Medical Mistakes”), Erik reflects on what he has learned about the role of toxic mold in chronic multisystem illness during the more than 40 years that he has been observing its effects. Erik’s story is also shared on the Surviving Mold website. (Pictured: Erik on the top of Mt. Whitney with his copy of Mold Warriors.)


Paradigm Change Blog

Erik is a regular contributor to the Paradigm Change blog, writing about topics such as outdoor biotoxins, the depression response and the causality of modern neuroimmune disease. (Pictured: Erik rode across the U.S. for mold avoidance purposes on his motorcycle in 1992.)


CFS Untied

Erik collaborated with Khaly Castle on several CFS Untied blog articles on the topics of environmental toxicity, mold avoidance, and illness politics. In addition, Erik and Khaly wrote an article on aerotoxic syndrome in 2011 for the Eco Hustler website. (Pictured: Erik in 2008.)


The Erik Johnson Effect

This Facebook group focuses on issues of interest to Erik, including  the role played by mold toxins in chronic fatigue syndrome, the ignoring by researchers of the initial history of CFS, and the prospective future of mold-related illness.


Information on this website is presented by Paradigm Change. Links are in orange (no underlining).