Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Ostentatores

The topic of today is...charlatans! I decided to write on this topic due to two experiences I have recently had. The first occurred last week when I flew in to the lovely metropolis of ----. While standing on the curb awaiting my ride, I was approached by a short man who appeared to be Indian (I found out later that he was a Hari Krishna, a sect of Hinduism I had never heard of before). He asked me if I was a student, and when I replied in the affirmative, he opened up two books he was holding, signed them, and handed them to me. He then explained that the books talk about things such as meditation and Karma, and that they were his organization's free gift to students like me. I would have given them back and talked to him about these topics, except for the fact that my ride was less than three minutes away. Therefore, I just thanked him, expecting him to leave. However, he then held out his hand and asked if I would like to make a small donation. I told him that I was a Christian, and could not help his cause financially. He tried to explain that it was a philosophy, not a religion, and asked again if I would make a donation. I again told him no. Then he took the books back and walked off! So much for the free gift!

A few weeks ago I found out that a person I know regularly buys Miracle II products. I was not familiar with these products, so I looked at one of his bottles of "Miracle II Neutralizer". It claimed to contain: "Electrically engineered eloptic** energized stabilized oxygenated water - Ash of Dodecyl solution - Calcium - Potassium - Magnesium." Basically, I thought to myself, it's bottled tap water that some buffoon is claiming can cure cancer. Having taken years of chemistry while obtaining my undergrad degree in biology, I was curious as to why I had never heard of "eloptic energy". Therefore, I decided to look it up online. I discovered why I had never heard of it before--it's a made up word, combining "electric" and "optical". Some guy in the early 1900s had theories about passing things through electromagnetic fields and light. What this would accomplish was unclear.

I was also unfamiliar with ash of dodecyl. I looked it up, and found that it is an irritant that is used as an additive in things such as rubber and lubricants. I then remembered that we used a form of it (SDS) to denature proteins in biochemistry labs. It is definitely not something I would want in my body.

Then, I looked at the price page, and my heart nearly stopped. $67 a gallon!!! $180 a gallon if one wants it in a gel!!! Let me summarize what this junk is---water that has been passed through 400 volts of electricity with a protein-denaturing chemical added to it. What would this cost to produce? My guess is that the plastic bottle they put it in costs more than the water.

You may very well ask, "Why would anyone buy this product?" The manufacturers claim that this trash can help cancer, speed up wound healing, treat psoriasis, warts, poison ivy, bedsores, athlete's foot, and many other skin problems. It "detoxifies" the stomach, makes crawfish grow twice as big, and prevents car batteries from corroding (question: do you really want to drink something that keeps metal from corroding?)! Interestingly enough, there is no proof given for any of this.

Who thought up this nonsense? A man named Clayton Tedeton. He claims that the formula appeared on his bedroom wall one night more than twenty years ago. After wandering the US and Mexico for nearly a decade, he decided that God wanted him to produce this stuff and distribute it (question #2: did God also want him to sell it for three hundred times its worth?). My favorite part of his story is that he obtained a masters degree in "Spiritual Chemistry, Medicine, and Nervology".

The easiest lie for people to believe is the one they want to hear. This water is most likely primarily bought by people who have chronic diseases or problems that they are willing to do anything to be rid of. It angers me very much that men such as Clayton manipulate people who need help by cheating them out of their money by pretending to have been given a revelation by God. At the same time, I am reminded of the proverb, "A fool and his money are easily parted."

8 Comments:

Anonymous hv said...

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7:32 PM  
Anonymous hv said...

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7:32 PM  
Anonymous hv said...

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7:32 PM  
Anonymous hv said...

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7:33 PM  
Anonymous hv said...

That is interesting. I guess people will believe anything!

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I guess hv had a lot of interesting things to say.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous J.J. said...

I hate it when my computer freezes up and my comments end up posting several times. Almost as much as I hate charlatans.

11:28 AM  
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8:51 PM  

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