Archive for the ‘alt med’ Category

Editor’s Note: This post was originally a set of photos and comments on my visit to the OPERA Fair. It was brought to my attention that OPERA has a no photography policy. I unknowingly violated this policy. The posts have been removed.

Before we go any further, I want to talk to those of my readers who are pulling their hair out over this series. I’ve heard your feedback. Be patient. I’m a lefty, but I’m a gun-owning lefty. There will be a post responding to your complaints.

Yesterday, I wrote about Jack and his so-called answer to all things cream.

Today, we are heading in an even more implausible direction. Where homeopathy just abuses physics and the gullibility of its users, this product takes that over the crazy cliff. Where Jack is just trying to cure skin ailments, this product is trying to cure damn near everything.

Introducing Tuning Element, the silliest things since Power Balance. Here is what they are claiming to cure.

Apparently, bracelets cure EVERYTHING.

Let’s look at the alt med scam checklist:

1. Claims to cure everything? Check.
2. Violates the laws of physics? Check.
3. Invokes eastern mysticism or non-specific claims about energy? Check.
4. Makes references to toxins or pollutants? Check.

Warning! Warning! Scam Alert! Warning! (Note: I promise never to use four exclamation points in the same post ever again. Bad form.)

This really gets funny when the guys selling these products try and convince potential consumers that they are on the up-and-up. For example, when Damion tried on one of these massively over-priced bracelets, they asked him if he wanted to do a balance test.

Damion accessorizes.

For those not in the know, the balance test is an old trick that the Power Balance sellers used to great effect. Here is a short video showing how it works:

The fact that the person selling this product offers to do the trick is slam dunk proof that they know what they are selling is a scam. They’ve been coached to do this because it is impressive, but to successfully pull off the trick, you pretty much have to know that you are fooling people.

Like every crap alt med website, Tuning Element also has a testimonials page, but unlike many they also have a section called Science…and boy is it is doozy. There is so much wrong here. Whoever wrote this can’t possibly be serious. Apparently, science means making shit up and asserting it as true, with no citations or actual evidence to back up your claims.

The only claims made on that page that are verifiable are that resonance is a thing that exists, Russia exists, NASA exists, Georges Lahkovsky apparently actually lived, and all of the years listed are actual years. Pretty much everything else in that article is a bad joke. People don’t have cell frequencies. Schumann resonances exist, but they have absolutely nothing to do with health. Astronauts and cosmonauts don’t get sick because they are outside of Earth’s magnetic field. They do suffer health effects, but those are almost entirely due to the microgravity. Astronauts have never been treated with Schumann resonance frequencies.

Tuning Element is not based out of Oklahoma, so I won’t be following this story further. Nevertheless, I hope that the bad press that Power Balance has received lately will rub off on this up-and-comer as well.  I’ll leave you with this bit of wisdom from Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban.

This is something I wasn’t expecting to find at a gun show. Snake oil!

I haven’t written much about alternative medicine in Oklahoma…yet. Expect it to become a regular theme on here eventually. It is such a rich vein, but I never would have guessed that my first Odd Oklahoma post on alt med would be from the OKC gun show.

There were two different alternative medicine scams going on Sunday, and I’ll be covering only one of them today. Come back tomorrow for part two.

The first alternative medicine scam I came across was a so-called homeopathic lotion for pain relief.

Jack’s Answer raises some questions.

So, this is obviously a scam, but let’s go over all of the warning signs.

1. Homeopathy doesn’t work. It has been shown in study after study to be no more effective than placebo.

2. He has a cross on the container. That is a dog whistle for gullible people.

3. His cream supposedly cures everything ever associated with creams having cured.

4. There is nothing on this planet that cures arthritis AND fibromyalgia.

5. The website contains testimonials, but not cited research. Testimonials are not evidence. The plural of anecdote is not data. You need actual controlled trials to know if a medical product is effective.

All this product does is make your hand, and wherever else you rub it, smell bad. Jack thinks highly of his lotion, too. It is $19 for 4.4 oz of this crap.

You’ll notice from that sign that it is from the maker of “Blue Stuff.” You might be asking yourself, what is this Blue Stuff, and why isn’t it being sold as well? It is because Jack, the scam artist that peddles this drivle, had to pay a $3.3 million fine to the Federal Trade Commission for making health claims he couldn’t back up, namely that his Blue Stuff and Super Blue Stuff topical creams can relieve severe pain. All Jack has done is rename his product and continue selling it to gullible people. Avoid this product.

As part of their settlement, Jack McClung agreed not to make any more claims about his products without the evidence to back it up. I went ahead and filed a complaint with the FTC in order to bring this to their attention. I’ll also be visiting this Oklahoma City-based company soon to get more on this story.