‘Terror Plot’ Tweet Gets 'Diet Guru' Booted From Cruise Ship

May 9, 2012
(1:20 p.m. EDT) -- A neurosurgeon turned "diet guru" was removed from Carnival Magic Sunday after a Twitter account bearing his name referenced a bio-terrorist attack.

Jack Kruse was scheduled to give a lecture on Jimmy Moore's 5th Annual Low-Carb Cruise, a themed voyage scheduled to embark from Galveston, Texas, on May 6. But before the ship left port for the Western Caribbean, Carnival was "notified of a Twitter message under the handle of Kruse alleging he intended to cause harm to one of our ships," said the line in a statement.

"The Galveston police, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard were informed immediately and, shortly thereafter, authorities boarded the vessel to investigate the matter," said Carnival. "Kruse was questioned, and since the investigation was ongoing, he was asked to disembark the vessel just prior to sailing."

The source of the tweet -- a parody account that mocks Kruse and his controversial teachings -- wrote that “security confiscated dynamite. talk won't be as explosive as one at PaleoFx. still have vial of Legionnaires for epic biohack. #lccruise12.” (The account has been deactivated.) Kruse, who says on his Web site that he once weighed 350 pounds, is a low-carb advocate who touts "Leptin reset" (leptin is a protein hormone that plays a role in appetite and metabolism) and "cold thermogenesis," a method that uses ice baths, as part of his diet plan.

In a phone interview with the Tennesseean, Kruse said "he believes those who disagree with him are behind the anonymous Twitter account."

There is some confusion over the disembarkation. Kruse told Nashville's News Channel 5 that he was cleared by the FBI and Homeland Security and yet was still denied boarding by Magic's captain, Giovanni Cutugna.

Carnival, however, states the investigation "was ongoing at the point the ship needed to depart," and thus in the "best interest of all guests and crew to err on the side of caution and not allow him to sail."

"Subsequently, the FBI was able to confirm that Dr. Kruse was not responsible for the threatening Twitter message," said the line. We've reached out to Carnival via e-mail for clarification; a spokeswoman for the FBI said she was unable to comment on the investigation.

On Monday, Carnival offered Kruse the option of flying to the ship's next port of call at the line's expense to rejoin the voyage. Kruse, who was scheduled to speak on Monday, declined the offer, which would have delivered him to the ship in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Wednesday.

--by Dan Askin, News Editor, and Jamey Bergman, U.K. Web Content Producer