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Reader Gerard Hooton of Cork, Ireland, reports on the woo-woo situation in that part of the world:
Over the weekend, we had a “news” item on the first batch of students to receive their “diplomas” in psychic studies from a “college” set up by Emma King in Galway. They interviewed the “graduates,” who when pressed refused to say how much money they paid for the course. One student said he was a civil engineer and was thinking of taking up the psychic stuff full time. I just hope I never cross any bridges designed by him! Apart from someone expressing concern about people calling psychics and running up large phone bills and having their phone cut off, there was no real challenge made.
The giddy graduates, nine women and one man, had hardly filed out the door, each clutching a “Diploma in Psychic Development,” before a local ad informed the terminally-naïve:
For those who wish to grow their psychic ability the Academy of Personal and Psychic Development is enrolling for this year’s course. The course takes place in Cloonacauneen Castle, Tuam, over a nine month period. For one weekend of the month students meet in the castle to learn such things as aura cleansing, dowsing, numerology, and tarot cards. For more information contact Emma King… or email email@example.com.
Ms. King, who hails from Glenrothes in Fife, is president of the Scottish Psychic and Medium Society. In the radio interview, she explained in more detail the wondrous aspects of magic that are to be revealed to the neophytes:
We teach the students how to take away negative energy and replace it with positive energy. Also, we teach personal intuition, dreams, dream analysis, numerology – which is a science! – psychometry, crystal, tarot…
In a newspaper interview, she gave more details, citing “creating harmony in your life, better awareness and understanding, dowsing, clairvoyance, and mediumship” as additional benefits of the course, pointing out that students could even turn professional after receiving their prestigious Diploma in Psychic Development. Everything was taught them, perhaps including how to install a cash register.
The interviewer, who seemed rather less than convinced, asked a pertinent question of the civil engineer who reader Hooton wants put in a cage, about the tarot cards:
Try to explain to people, how does shuffling a deck of cards and putting them into three bundles, how is that able to tell you what my future holds for me?
There was immediate loud laughter from the graduate of the course, who suggested that since he was “only a student,” he would have no insight into such deep matters.
The question is: do any of these ten starry-eyed graduates have any insight into anything…?
New Zealand reader Stephen Cope writes:
A comment regarding “police psychics,” www.randi.org/jr/2006-05/052606action.html#i4. I was browsing a nationwide TV's website and came across an episode of 20/20 from May 18 2006 where they followed a desperate man looking for his missing daughter, and the psychic he had called in. It’s at tvnz.co.nz/view/page/716421
Watch the video. It's very good, except for the last few seconds about the light flashes.
In a nutshell, this poor bereaved man, Bob Martin, on the brink of tears has called in a psychic, Adelle Dishcombe, to help find his daughter. The psychic emphatically states she has found the body. Excerpts from her comments:
"Um, sorry, she's down there."
"Oh shit, oh yuck. Sorry, she's down, underneath the wild fern."
"If you go any closer you're going to be standing on her."
"She's in there, Bob, I felt her heartbeat. When you feel energy like that you feel a pulsing. She's in there somewhere."
"She's not very deep, but she's partly covered with a black bag."
"She's in there, and she's curled up like that, and her hands have been tied... Not very deep."
"She's definitely in there. Oh, God, you can taste it."
Bob Martin and his son, with assistance, dig and dig and dig and dig. Some kind person donates a mechanical digger, and a huge area is scraped in the search for the body.
Nothing is found.
In an interview afterwards Dishcombe weasels her way out: "I say that I can't always be right all the time." Dave Beattie from the police had a look at the video footage and wasn't impressed. It was all terribly cruel for poor Bob Martin.
Also Dishcombe is asked about her involvement with helping the police, and her role in Sensing Murder (local version: http://tinyurl.com/zxoud)
TV host: What are the specific enquiries you've worked on?
Adelle: I can't tell you that.
TV host: The police say they don't have any record of your helping.
Adelle: No, of course they won't. No way they will have any record at all. There's no way.
As for the “light flashes” Stephen mentions, this appears to be a desperate attempt to salvage some woo-woo aspect so that the miserable “news” item won’t be a total bust. Any reflective surface passing before the lights, a nearby vehicle, or a glitch in the video recording, could explain the almost-unnoticeable flicker, which would never be looked upon as significant under any other circumstances. But this is straw-clutching for survival…
Are you surprised when I tell you that even after so many repeated failures with Dishcombe, Mr. Martin is still consulting with her? It was ever thus: there is never enough negative evidence, failures or contrary indications that will discourage the True Believer from staying with a delusion.
Back at www.randi.org/jr/02-09-2001.html – and a few times after that – I mentioned the fabulous Archimedes Palimpsest, an important and seminal ancient document which has already revealed even more of the genius of the Greek mathematician, physicist and inventor (287–212 B.C.E.) known as Archimedes, than had ever before been suspected. Things have moved along at a good pace ever since, and on August 4th we’ll have a wonderful opportunity of seeing real science at work, live, “warts and all,” as science should be performed, in a webcast format. You’ll recall the 1986 Geraldo Rivera show when he went live on TV to excavate a suspected cache of documents, articles, and mementos of gangster Al Capone? People laughed at the resultant fiasco when nothing but dirt showed up – but this was a bold spirit-of-conviction event that broke all records for the time. I think that the Exploratorium, the National Science Foundation, the Stanford Linear Accelerator, and the Walters Art Museum folks are to be lauded for their willingness to present a live attempt to use super-technology in solving another small part of this exciting adventure. The preliminary results of the new scanning application have already yielded good results. Yes, I expect they’ll find something – perhaps only a few words from Archimedes, but it will be the live experiment itself that counts, and I’ll be glued to my computer screen…
You can lean more about the project at www.exploratorium.edu/archimedes/. Using a super-intense X-Ray beam generated at Stanford University's linear accelerator, some of the original Greek text may be revealed for the first time – during the webcast – to the modern world. Some of the original scrubbed-off text now lies behind layers of gold leaf put there by a previous owner of the book who tried to enhance its value but quite possibly cost us access to a great and wondrous view of an ancient genius. Only the Stanford X-Ray beam can penetrate this metallic barrier practically without incinerating the original parchment, and even then it must be kept moving constantly over the surface. At http://tinyurl.com/e9qlf you’ll see even more specifics about the Synchrotron device and how it will be used.
As you’ll see from the palimpsest illustration, the original text lay at right-angles to the modern over-writing, making recovery somewhat easier. However, deterioration of the document is even now taking place, and we can be very happy that the Stanford technology is now being applied.
Hosts of the webcast will be Mary Miller of the Exploratorium and Neil Calder of the Stanford Linear Accelerator, along with a variety of guests, each involved in a different scientific aspect of imaging the Greek content. Dr. Uwe Bergman of Stanford, and Abigail Quandt, head of book and paper conservation at The Walters Art Museum, will be on hand to answer questions during the webcast as the lines of text are slowly revealed, joined by William Noel, curator of manuscripts and rare books at The Walters Museum and the project director for the Archimedes palimpsest project. Noel will help those of us who aren’t ancient Greeks, to read and interpret the ancient hidden thoughts of Archimedes and other secrets contained in this absolutely unique manuscript.
I urge my readers: don’t miss this “live” event. You’ll need RealPlayer, available for free download. You can learn more about this event at www.exploratorium.edu/archimedes/webcast.html. You’ll have to go through a bit of song-and-dance to watch, but it’ll be worth it. Click on “Watch the live webcast!” – third line from the bottom of the page, not the one at the top – and you’ll see a test video bit, which will change to the actual webcast when the time is arrived at, after you press “reload” or “refresh” on your screen. The time is 4 p.m. PDT on August 4th. Experience real science at work. This discovery is important and exciting. Be there when it happens.
Reader Gerry Bagtasa in the Philippine Islands tells us of a “psychic” who was trapped by having to perform “live” on a popular local TV show:
Hi, I'd like to share a story about a "celebrity psychic" who joined the local franchise of "Deal or no deal" game show in the Philippines. Though I really don’t watch that show much, I was really excited to learn that he was joining. The moment he went on stage, he preempted everybody by saying that people with "powers" like him are really not allowed to use their ability for personal gain, he said that is the reason why psychics can't be (and are not) rich. But amazingly he joined the show anyway. The host then asked him what he would do with the money in case he won, and he readily answered, saying he will help his sister, blah blah blah. I mean, if you are giving away the money, then it isn’t for personal gain, is it? He joined a contest with cash prizes, yet he is not allowed to win money? My brain is having cramps!
Anyway, as the show went on, he was getting all the big briefcases, that was primetime comedy at its best, I tell you. At the end, he won like around $0.96!
St Leonard’s school in Exeter, Devon, recently featured a brouhaha involving the John Lennon song, “Imagine.” Pupils were banned from singing it after the head, Geoff Williams, decided that it was “anti-religious.” The move upset the youngsters who had spent weeks rehearsing Lennon’s most famous song for an end-of-term show, which went ahead without it. The song contains the lines: “Imagine there’s no Heaven… and no religion too.”
Well, let’s step back and look at the position of Mr. Williams. His school is predicated on the existence of Heaven and Hell, which call for religion. Such matters are articles of blind faith, with no supporting evidence, and this Lennon song encourages not going along with all the neighbors by following the path of least resistance. Williams was smart in vetoing the use of the song, which is dangerous to his position. What’s even worse is the possibility that after hearing or singing the tune, students might actually start thinking about why they’re being told – and forced – to accept the religious notions. It could threaten the very basis of their acceptance. The school’s governor warned:
The song expresses longing for a different world and for eternal happiness. But it says you can have this without religion.
As we all know, any changes and all happiness must come from religion. Along with suicide bombing, burning-at-the-stake, and beheadings. Just so you’ll see the insidious nature of the Lennon song, here are the proselytizing lyrics that struck fear into the hearts of St. Leonard’s directors. Judge for yourself:
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
Our most excellent and valued friend, Michael Shermer, is a prolific writer, and he’s hard to keep up to. I couldn’t resist extracting a paragraph – on the nature of skepticism – from his current webpage. It seemed rather special:
I am skeptical of the Holocaust skeptics, the HIV-AIDS skeptics, the 9/11 skeptics, and the global warming skeptics; I suppose that makes me a “believer” in the claims of which they’re in doubt, but “belief” is not a good word to employ when doing science. Scientists do not “believe” in facts of nature and history; these facts just are. We no more “believe in evolution” than we “believe in gravity.” Evolution and gravity are simply facts of nature. They exist whether we believe in them or not.
If you’re not “on the list,” I suggest that you go – no charge! – to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also browse, search, and read the eSkeptic archives online.
Reader John Carter has investigated an interesting phenomenon, and is puzzled by it. And well he might be.
In Jefferson Texas there is an old hotel (1850-something) that is still being used as a hotel. (Google Jefferson Hotel + Jefferson TX + ghosts.) This place is said to be literally jumping with ghosts. In one of the rooms there is a mirror over the bathroom sink that will fog up when hot water is run in the sink or tub. In this fog will appear the words "Help Judy murder." This works without fail as often as you keep fogging up the mirror.
It actually spells out “Help Judy redrum” – “murder” is spelled backwards with the "r" out of place. I have personally seen this, and have removed the mirror from the wall, then examined the wall, and there is nothing on the wall. I removed the mirror from the picture frame that surrounds it. There is nothing unusual on the back of the mirror; no marks nor scratches. There is not anything visible, clear or colored, on the face of the mirror, not even when viewed under bright light at every possible angle. The mirror does not appear to have been separated, tampered with, and put back together. It appears to be one solid piece of glass, beveled on the edges, with reflective surface on the back, shiny side appearing through the glass, dull grey on back just like any other mirror.
The writing at first appears to be "on" the glass surface, but looking closer it appears to be "in" the glass but not on the reflective surface itself. Finger prints can be seen at the end of some letters. The mirror is about 2ft.X 3ft. as best as I remember from a year ago.
I may not be as skeptical as you when it comes to spirits, but I immediately thought this was a hoax. Even the local ghost book writer "Mitch Whittington" agreed. My thought was that some one had finger painted something on the mirror that would dry clear. Something like wax, polish, silicone, Rain X, windshield rain or fog repellant, etc. So I cleaned it 3 times with fingernail polish remover (acetone), but the writing kept re-appearing when it fogged up. The legend is that a prostitute in the 1870's was cut and stabbed many times and left for dead in the bathtub. She died 2 days later, still in the bathtub. This must be a good magic trick! How does it work?
Well, John, I admire your curiosity and your approach to a solution, which you almost arrived at. This is an old magician’s stunt, and since I’m an old magician, I know about it and will reveal all. The letters are written onto the front surface of the mirror with hydrofluoric acid (HF), let stand for only a few seconds (it varies with the type of glass) and then washed off. That process very slightly etches – roughens – the glass, but quite invisibly; the surface change could only be detected by a microscopic examination of the surface. Since a mirror with a beveled edge is probably a more expensive one, the front surface of the glass of the mirror in question was likely polished with extremely fine abrasive – rouge, which is Fe2O3. The etching effect by the acid allows water vapor to condense more easily on the treated area. It’s quite a permanent feature, and certainly can’t be washed off.
I think the Jefferson Hotel either had a prankish guest in the past, or the hotel proprietors have tried to promote its haunted reputation by a bit of a trick…
In passing, in case anyone gets ambitious, hydrofluoric acid – and its fumes – are VERY poisonous and dangerous. The acid must be contained in polyethylene or teflon bottles, since it dissolves glass.
Last week’s item on the Humana health insurance folks – www.randi.org/jr/2006-07/072106gentle.html#i10 – brought many pertinent comments. From reader Michael Kubiniec of Rochester:
From my perspective as a dentist who "fights for benefits" with insurance companies every day, I would like to suggest a likely motive for Dr. Sam's support of alternative therapies at Humana Health Services. Of course Humana doesn't provide coverage for these services, so if the therapy(ies) work (ha ha), then the company is less likely to have to pay out benefits for the health problem.
But it goes deeper than just that. In healthcare, especially when the health problem is the kind that frequently goes away by itself (minor sports injuries, sprains, strains, "back-pain"), an insurance benefit delayed is often an insurance benefit avoided. Dr. Sam and Humana are all too happy to have patients with minor aches and pains waste their time with alternatives, while time heals the wounds. Even if the patient does eventually seek medical care for which Humana would pay, the delay lets them hold onto the money for a longer time, which adds up to more interest income when you factor in thousands of patients with Humana health insurance.
Another similar point of view from reader “Dante”:
I can tell you with 99% certainty that the sole reason Humana is promoting homeopathy and other alternative remedies is to reduce their claim costs (in the short term, of course). They don't care if it works or not. Note the following: Dr. Samuel "Sam" Benjamin, Humana's corporate medical director of integrative health strategies, says, "This harmless and potentially helpful therapy can be purchased in many pharmacies and health food stores without a prescription."
And because it can be picked up without a prescription: 1. You don't need to see a doctor to get it, and Humana doesn't have to pay for an office call. 2. Since it's not a legend drug, it isn't going to be covered by the Humana insurance plan. The upshot is that, if you choose a homeopathic remedy, you're not using your insurance coverage to get a real prescription drug. You are saving them money.
It's underhanded and deceptive and stupendously cynical, and it depends on the ignorance of their covered members ("patient education" in Humana literature is a joke – I'm covered under Humana through my employer, so I get their ridiculous "newsletters" regularly). Rest assured that Humana, at least, knows that homeopathy doesn't work. They aren't dumb. If they believed that it was effective, homeopathy would be covered... and it isn't.
You know, I’m exposed to such silly theories, claims, notions, and rantings every day, that I sometimes lose my sense of humor and my perception is compromised. As a result of the ridiculous video we featured last week (www.randi.org/jr/2006-07/072106gentle.html#i4) a couple of readers have suggested that my take on the item was naïve. Reader Lawrie Cherniack of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, wrote:
I think the guy who made the ETB 3000 deliberately created a spoof. The video is too carefully done. His remarks about Open Source Code contrast too greatly with the webpage talking about keeping everything secret. His laughter at the sounds of the "aliens" sounds too knowing.
Great to have at least this one-way communication with you! I know how busy you are, and I am very grateful that you have apparently recovered from your recent illness. Please keep on truckin'!
Now that I look at the video again, I see that the guy's face is carefully kept out of the close-ups, and it’s difficult for me to believe that anyone who could use a screwdriver and tie his own shoes would fumble so grandly with a simple video project. Another reader, Benjamin Millard of Laurinburg, NC, wrote:
I went to the ETB3000 site and watched the video. There he states that the software is “open source.” Automatically I thought "Great! I can look at his client/server code and see that he's not trying to pull a fast one!" Then, I went to his second page and had my hopes crushed with:
Software: Classified. Sorry, but if I revealed this I'd probably have some mysterious agent spooks at my door the next day!
What a rip! It's obvious that he has more than one computer set up. It's also obvious that the "alien" voices are something along the lines of the voice synthesis found with Windows software. You can get different voices for this and I think, make up your own.
On a side note, the near-instant communication with the mother ship is acting much more like terrestrial network traffic; as in, it's not going out to space and coming back. It's more like a program running on his LAN!
So, Lawrie and Ben, and all you others who feared I was going soft in the head and had tumbled for what I’m now pretty sure is a cute hoax, be assured that you won’t find me at Walgreen’s buying Head On, or sending Sylvia Browne my credit card number so she can take $700 for a vapid over-the-phone chat that will give me the names of my guardian angels and of my former-life bodies…
Reader Marnie MacLean tells us:
I was just reading an article on the Sun Sentinel’s site about a man who has written books proclaiming that all coincidences are, as he puts it “Godwinks.” Those would be god’s way of letting you know he’s looking out for you. The article’s at http://tinyurl.com/eh74b.
If that isn’t trite enough, the author was asked his thoughts on negative coincidences for which he had the sort of answer most purveyors of quackery are inclined to offer:
“I've never found any negative or tragic ones," he says, preferring to attribute such bad things to fate. “Fate is something you can't do anything about." "Coincidence or godwinks are the signposts of reassurance." Or, as he puts it in his book, "Making sense out of senseless things is one of the tasks we are all called on to perform from time to time."
Isn’t that just great? All the good stuff is an act of God encouraging you, and all the tragic stuff is your bad fate to sort out on your own. Spiffy. This is the same sort of thinking that has people cashing in their social security checks to buy lottery tickets and magnetic bracelets.
Reader Robert Lancaster is worried about the safety of the 70+ JREF Cruise passengers who will be traversing the dreaded Bermuda Triangle late in August, and asks:
Someone has to stay behind in case you all are abducted by aliens. By the way, this makes me wonder: when traveling in the Bermuda Triangle, should one pack a phrase book by Charles Berlitz?
No, his Martian and Xenusian dictionaries have gone out of print, Robert. Or are you trying to hoax me…?
Reader “Teri” tells us that Allison Dubois of Phoenix – mentioned at www.randi.org/jr/121704no.html#5 and several other places – was interviewed by Pat McMahon of KTAR Radio:
As widely reported, Phoenix has been terrorized by two serial killers. There haven't been many leads, and the police have asked for the public's help. Since Allison DuBois resides in the Phoenix area, one may believe she can accomplish what she claims. That being the case, she would be able to "tune" into whom the serial killers are, using her "psychic" powers, right?
Not so much...during her interview on a local radio station, she was asked if she knew anything about the two cases. Allison stated that she was not hired by the police to work on the case, so she has not done so for that reason. Her sole purpose for that interview was to promote her book and future books as well as her television series, "Medium."
I found her behavior unacceptable. I called the radio station and spoke to Rosemary Scarfo, the producer of Pat McMahon's program. I informed her about Dr. Gary Schwartz's statement about Allison on his web-site, entitled, TRUTH. Rosemary was unaware of this and other non-creditable words, deeds and actions demonstrated by Ms. DuBois.
Since Allison claims to have the power to see through the predators eyes, she should be able to look at the location of where "they" live, what they drive, where they will strike next, and most important who they are. The interview was conducted in a Larry King, softball manner.
Reader Chris Borum of Elk River, Minnesota, alerts us to another book:
On the subject of Charles Mackay's "Extraordinary Popular Delusions...", which has long been one of my favorite books, there is a followup volume written in the early 90's by Joseph Bulgatz called "Ponzi Schemes, Invaders from Mars, and More Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds." I picked it up about 10 years ago and have read through it several times since. It includes a thorough retelling of the original Ponzi scheme and a review of the Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" broadcast and the ensuing insanity. In addition to the title episodes, there is an extensive section on the Tulipmania, more detailed than Mackay's, the Florida Land Boom of the early 20th century, the madness of soccer crowds and music fans (If you think Beatles concerts were crazy you should have seen Sinatra in the 40's! Well, maybe you did). There are also sections on dowsing and perpetual motion that dissect all the issues raised in your own writing!
I have enjoyed both books, and actually found the Bulgatz volume a little easier to read. The prose is more modern and the subject matter more familiar to today's readers. Just thought you'd like to share this one as well with your readers.
Aryn Corley of Point Blank, Texas, wrote to ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” following a recent wide-eyed item they featured on the so-called “Indigo Children,” whose stage-mothers drag them all over the country demonstrating “intuition” and other mystical nonsense. Aryn commented:
Indigo Children are bogus and are not psychic. Why does a reputable news program such as “Good Morning America” choose to do a story about the ridiculous claims of so-called Indigo Children? It's obvious to me these kids are being taught this information by their parents. I took these quotes (and added my comments) from the story on the GMA website:
They often talk about speaking with God, angels or people who have died.
Really? My three year-old talks with God, angels, the members of KISS, and various animals. However, this isn't evidence of the paranormal. Rather, it's consistent with the notion that he's a small child with a vivid imagination.
Skeptics, however, believe these children may be autistic, have attention deficit disorder or suffer from some other behavior disorder.
While other skeptics feel these kids may be doing this to get attention from others, I betcha it makes them feel accepted and appreciated. Or, maybe they're motivated by cash...
Indigo children are often rebellious to authority, nonconformist, extremely emotional and sometimes physically sensitive or fragile.
So are non-Indigo kids. Jails are full of adults who choose to behave this way.
Baby Orion, 2, is too young to express his Indigo abilities, according to the Glovers, but he likes to call himself “Buddha."
Yeah. Right. This child calls himself "Buddha" but talks to God and angels? Someone needs to help this youngster put his dogmas on a leash.
"This is based in a firm belief in God," Aaren Glover said. "It's not religion, but a universal experience of spirituality and a sense of being infinitely connected to the divine."
Isn't religion a sense of spirituality and being connected to the divine?
I've included these gems as an illustration of the absurdity of the whole story and not as an attack on these people. I do hold ABC News responsible for suggesting these people are genuine and for not allowing John Stossel to put in his two cents worth. I find it ironic that the previous story was about how to avoid being duped by scams!
I feel these people, who are making these claims on behalf of their children, are just trying to make a buck. Seriously, why should they settle for just one dollar? If they're true in their convictions, and the kids do have paranormal ability, then they have an excellent opportunity to make a big wad of dough! Please direct the families that you've had on your show to the James Randi Educational Foundation at www.randi.org/. They can contact Mr. Randi for a chance to claim his One Million Dollar Prize. Although a million dollars these days may not be much for Indigo kids, it's certainly a nice way to have a nest egg for college, technical school, or self-promotion. I can't speak for Mr. Randi, but I'm sure he'd be delighted to hear from these young folks who have such a grasp of woo-woo abilities.
Your intuition in this respect is quite correct, Aryn. But these parents won’t apply for the prize because they know full well that their claims are spurious. Nor will ABC-TV forward this information to them; no sense in ruining a spectacular story with evidence, you know. No, promotion of mythology is far too important – and it sells cars and headache pills. For a really negative treat, look at the sappy, unctuous account given by ABC-TV News on the “Special Gift of Indigo Children,” at http://tinyurl.com/o4suvIt. It speaks for itself. We now have to abandon any and all acceptance of ABC-TV News being able to represent any item with integrity. They simply can’t manage to do so.
Science marches on. And stumbles badly.
The latest major medical swindle being offered the American public is a raucously-cracked-up product we’ve now been introduced to through a massive TV advertising campaign. It’s named, “Head On,” a small waxy stick that one rubs directly on the forehead to relieve headaches. It sells for $8. Looking into it, I found it was – great surprise! – a homeopathic “remedy.” Each .2-ounce (<6 grams!) stick contains a “12X” concentration (?) of White Bryony – a type of vine – as one of the two active ingredients. That means that the whole damn stick contains 1 part of ingredient in 1,000,000,000,000 parts of wax, or a stick contains .000,000,000,005,67 grams of "ingredient!" Since there are some 100 applications in a stick, divide that quantity by 100… An additional ingredient is potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7) at a dilution of one part to a million parts of wax. Though this chemical is intensely red-orange in color, and is used as a disinfectant and as a stain for furniture, the 1:1,000,000 dilution makes the Head On product quite colorless – as well as without ingredients.
See how silly it gets?
When I heard that NBC-TV Nightly News was going to discuss this product, I was encouraged. Any hope I had quickly faded when I viewed the piece. They were only dealing with the inane, repetitious, TV commercial. The consensus was that the commercial – simply because it was irritating – would sell the product; not a word was said about whether the wax stick would really work, except that maybe if it didn’t work, people would stop buying it. Yes, they will, but only after they’ve been swindled and the makers have made millions in profits. For those of you in the USA and Canada who have heard the promo, but not for others, my version will be significant:
Head On: it’s a scam for the deluded.
Head On: it’s a scam for the deluded.
Head On: it’s a scam for the deluded.
What insanity. This product is proudly featured by Walgreen’s Pharmacies. Note in the photo that this fake – and another piece of quackery seen at the right side of the photo – “The Power of Magnets” for migraine relief! – are placed among legitimate products that actually do work. This is called, association by reputation. Prince Charles would, I’m sure, rush to purchase “Head On” – as do millions of Americans, every day. And George Bush would call it a “faith-based” decision…
Reader Devy van Leijenhorst tells us:
I now work in our new, state-of-the-art building in downtown Detroit, for one of the biggest software companies in Michigan, where according to our website only highly trained professional people work. The only thing missing is the 13th floor. Go figure!
But we do have a chiropractor...
I should hope so, Devy. How else to treat those who develop back pains from running between the 12th and 14th floor looking for the 13th?
For a strong, detailed and informative review of Kevin Trudeau’s latest book, go to http://tinyurl.com/rczfd.