I just moved into a new apartment about a month ago. Of course, Im still getting mail for person-who-used-to-live-here. Most of it is junk-mail (‘JOIN AT&T U-VERSE!!!’), but in the 4 weeks Ive been here, there have been 3 magazines… 3 thick, glossy, SEED-quality (construction, not content) magazines… from ‘Life Extension: The ULTIMATE Source For New Health And Medical Findings From Around The World.’
If you havent heard of this magazine, dont worry– its not an all-medical version of SEED or Discover, its a +100 page advertisement for dietary supplements disguised as a magazine.
Its got all the cliche ‘this is scientific!’ pics– A woman standing on a bathroom scale in an examining room. A male in a lab coat who is very concerned about a red-food-coloring-water compound in a glass test-tube. A woman in full BSL-3 regalia ‘working’… without goggles or face shield on.
Articles are alternatively titled:
1. “SCIENTISTS DISCOVER _____!!!”, where you are supposed to buy their supplement for ____, ‘scientists’ say so.
2. “SCIENTISTS PERSECUTE ____ THERAPY!”, where they state quite plainly that you cannot trust scientists who say ___ doesnt work, so you should take this ___ supplement anyway. Scientists dont want you to be healthy.
Anyway, I was particularly amazed to read an article where they were pushing their ‘get skinny quick’ supplements (emphasis original):
If we travel back to the early 1980s, a diagnosis of AIDS resulted in near-certain death within a year or two. The development of single-agent antiviral drugs provided HIV-infected individuals with only a brief reprieve. It was not until the implementation of multi-modal drug “cocktails” that HIV became a manageable disease.
The successful use of “multi-modal” therapy is by no means limited to HIV treatment. Cardiologists often prescribe multiple drugs (including prescription fish oil and niacin) that function via a wide range of mechanisms to restore the health of those stricken with severe heart disease.
… In this article, we introduce a novel multi-modal nutritional strategy to remove excess body fat stores, especially in the abdominal region. Peer-reviewed scientific studies substantiate impressive results using the individual components of this program. This multi-modal approach is an important first step that overweight and obese individuals should initiate to achieve maximal weight loss.
Yeah, so, you know how HIV patients have to take lots of drugs? THATS why you have to buy green tea supplements and African tree nut extracts and kidney bean supplements to ‘lose that stubborn belly fat!’ See, if you just take the green tea or just the kidney bean crap, it wont work. Youve got to take these ‘powerful drugs’ ALL at once, just like an AIDS patient!
Thats the ticket!
Oh hey and look! A couple pages after this really scientific article, there just happens to be an ad for the nut extract ($78), and they just happen to also sell green tea supplements ($28) and that kidney bean crap ($19). Oooh, and also a topical gel to help you get rid of BELLY FLAB ($48 for 6 ounces)! And dont forget the mail-order blood tests!
AND all these prices can be cut in half if you join their membership club, at $75 a year!
I think there is an important difference between scientists and woo-peddlers to note here– See, Im just in HIV-1 research for the money, hot chicks, and fame. Organizations like LEF illustrate just how little woo-peddlers care about money, and how they go into woo-peddling from a love of science and a desire to make peoples lives better.