Respectful Insolence

It was a rough day yesterday. I spent a long time in the O.R. It was one of those days that I couldn’t figure out what happened. The number of operations that I had to do should have allowed me to finish operating by around 2 PM, leaving me time to do other things that needed to get done. But between delays in getting a patient back from nuclear medicine, long turnover times between cases, and a case that took me nearly two hours longer than it should have, it was well after 5 PM by the time I was done–and I still had a bunch of work to do. I’m not complaining; these things happen and there are lots of surgeons who don’t run a lab and therefore do this sort of thing every day and finish much later than I did, but I sure was beat by the time I got home. I’d need some serious reconditioning if I were ever to go back to being full-time clinical. In fact, I was so beat that I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to deliver the expected edition of Your Friday Dose of Woo. For the first time ever yet! That would not do. It’d take an all-nighter operating to keep me from producing this weekly bit of amusement. I’m actually rather amazed that I’ve been able to keep it up for a year, I’m sure I’ll be forced to miss one someday.

But not today.

Of course, it was very clear that I wouldn’t have the time or energy to devote to composing one of my famous long-winded pieces delving into all aspects of some really tasty woo, but that’s OK. I need to learn the advantages of brevity. Besides, there’s Big Woo (like quantum homeopathy or DNA activation), but Little Woo has its advantages. For one thing, it can wash the sweat off my body and rejuvenate me after a long day in the O.R.

Yes, indeed, such Little Woo is a wonderful thing, Little Woo like Miracle Soap. After all, you can’t go wrong with a product whose recipe was handed down by God Himself:

It was God who gave me the formula for the Amazing Miracle II Soap. I awoke one night in July, 1980, to see names of minerals all miraculously flashed on my bedroom wall, along with the formulas on how to mix them.

What, no burning bush? Truly God works in mysterious ways, flashing names of minerals on the bedroom wall of some random dude named Clayton Tedeton. But listen to Clayton tell more:

I had been talking to God and He was talking to me. My wife would hear me talking and would ask, “Clayton, what in the world is going on?” And I would tell her, “I don’t know, I cannot explain to you what is happening in my life.”

I talked to God and He said, “I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU SOMETHING THAT EVERY PERSON THAT I HAVE CREATED ON THIS EARTH WILL NEED, AND AS LONG AS YOU GIVE ME THE GLORY, YOU WILL PROSPER AND SEE MY GLORY.” One day later at 1:00 a.m., the formulation for Miracle II was miraculously flashed on my bedroom wall. The days following this I began to assemble and mix this product. The voice of God told me what to name it and how to package it.

As time passed and all this time the voice of the Lord was saying, “IT’S TIME TO GO TO WORK.” At this time, I did not know exactly what to do.

In December 1980, I talked to the Lord and said, “I have got to have instructions so that this product can be used.” A day later the Lord instructed me to take some of this product to a woman and tell her to use it for everything. I did not know the lady at this time. After three days, she called me and said, “Every time I use this product, the strangest things happen to me, I’m going to have to pray about this.”

I’ll bet they do. Maybe it’s things like mysterious lists of minerals being flashed on your wall. I’d find that strange too. I’d also find it strange if a soap could really do this:

God started sending people to me, telling me of the healing merits of both the SOAP and the NEUTRALIZER. Skin cancers being healed were the first healings I heard about from my customers. Then, other healing reports began to come in; Psoriasis, warts, poison ivy, bedsores, athletes foot, and many other skin problems. In this way, little by little, the many products uses became known, many people were saying the SPIRIT of God told them to use the product in a certain way.

Wow! How, I wonder, could a mere soap cure skin cancers, bed sores, psoriasis, and so many other skin problems? It must be Removing Toxins:

The body gets loaded down with toxins from the many foods we eat that have been sprayed with all kinds of poisons. The toxins go into the body and they cannot get out of the body because the pores of the skin are stopped up from the many oils and soaps that are made from animal fat. Miracle Soap is the only body cleanser that will clean all the sweaty, waxy residue from the pores of the face, body and scalp. When this happens, the body works the way Nature made it to work, to detoxify itself.

Ah, just what I needed last night, a soap to clean all the sweaty, waxy residue from the pores of my face, body and scalp. I wonder if it’s any good for pimples. (Yes, unbelievably to me, even being over 40, I still sometimes get pimples.) Fortunately, I don’t need it for its other claimed uses:

Customers began to tell me how they used it to kill fire ants, roaches, spiders, fleas, ticks, and many other insects. God has revealed that this product, once it becomes known, will revolutionize CLEANING and will be the answer to HEALTH PROBLEMS, and it will also be a miracle in AGRICULTURE. It will also be the means of employment for people everywhere, thousands of people are selling Miracle II nationwide at this time and giving the glory to God.

So let me get this straight. God gave Clayton the recipe for this most excellent woo-ified soap. The soap supposedly kills all manner of insects and cuts grease off of dishes, as well as a number of other what sound to me like harsh uses. Yet, this guy expects me to put it on my skin. What will it do, strip the epidermal layer off? That would certainly get rid of all the sweaty, waxy residue, but I can’t say that I’d much like it. On the other hand, get a load of these conditions claimed to be benefited by Miracle Soap II: AIDS, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease. cancer, Crohn’s disease, constipation (what do you do, drink the stuff?), eye wash (never mind the burning). Best line:

AIDS – Put 7 drops of Miracle Neutralizer in orange juice every morning and night. Rejoice in the Glory of God.

Sarcasm aside, I do believe this soap is miraculous, depending on how you define miracle. After all, look what it did for Clayton Tedeton:

As of this date (January 1, 2001), God has made it possible for me to tell about Miracle II nationwide and to people in 26 countries. The Lord has changed my professions from a rental property owner and brick distributor and has made me a BEARER OF GOOD NEWS and has given me a MASTERS DEGREE in SPIRITUAL CHEMISTRY, MEDICINE, NERVOLOGY and AGRICULTURE for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.

Because it is God’s will that we live in health, have a sound mind, prosper and go about doing good.

If that’s the case, then why did God make so many bacteria and allow us to be prone to such nasty diseases as cancer? However, I do have to wonder, where do I get a degree in SPIRITUAL CHEMISTRY? Better yet, I want a degree in NERVOLOGY, that is, if anyone can define it for me. Maybe it’s just like NEUROLOGY, only nervier.

In any case, perhaps the most hilarious thing about this soap is the disclaimer:

ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THE SITE, INCLUDING INFORMATION RELATING TO MEDICAL AND HEALTH CONDITIONS, PRODUCTS AND TREATMENTS, IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ADVICE PROVIDED BY YOUR OWN PHYSICIAN OR OTHER MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL OR ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED ON OR IN ANY PRODUCT PACKAGING OR LABELS. YOU SHOULD NOT USE THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THE SITE FOR DIAGNOSING OR TREATING A HEALTH PROBLEM OR DISEASE OR PRESCRIBING ANY MEDICATION. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY READ ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE MANUFACTURERS OF THE PRODUCTS ON OR IN THE PRODUCT PACKAGING AND LABELS BEFORE USING ANY PRODUCT PURCHASED ON THE SITE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR OWN PHYSICIAN AND MEDICAL ADVISORS. INFORMATION AND STATEMENTS REGARDING MIRACLE SOAP PRODUCTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION AND ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE. ANY CLAIMS CONCERNING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE MIRACLE II PRODUCTS ARE LIMITED TO THE EXPERIENCES OF THE PERSON OR GROUP OF PERSONS MAKING SUCH CLAIM.

God’s perfect soap needs a disclaimer? In all caps, yet?

Maybe Mr. Tedeton’s faith is not nearly as strong as he says. Or maybe even God can’t help a woo-meister who’s dragged into court.

Comments

  1. #1 Christophe Thill
    July 6, 2007

    From the FAQ:

    “Eloptic” was a word invented by Clayton Tedeton to be used in reference to the process in which he passes an electrical charge through the water molecules and tunes their frequency to vibrate at the same frequency as Aloe Vera molecules.

    What is dehydrabiethylamine?
    Dehydrabiethylamine is a chemist’s designation word for the
    hydrogen-oxygen combination created when passing an electrical current through the water used in the Miracle II products.

    Why even bother to comment…

  2. #2 Save Your
    July 6, 2007

    Simultaneously funny and sad! Such an obvious fraud, but you know there are enough gullible people out there that some will invariably fall for it. (“You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time.”) How in the world did he even come up with some of those alleged beneficial uses except from his imagination? Oh yeah, God told him, I guess.

    Even so, I would rather see him exposed and rightly castigated by the media than see him dragged into court. Bringing the iron fist of the law down on him will only create a martyr.

  3. #3 SLC
    July 6, 2007

    This is a little OT but is Dr. Orac planning to comment on the subject of an apparent controversy over FDA approval of a drug called “Provenge?” Attached is a link to a Washington Post article on the subject.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/05/AR2007070502149.html?hpid%3Dmoreheadlines&sub=AR

  4. #4 isles
    July 6, 2007

    Why am I bothering to go to graduate school when I could just ask the Good Lord to hand down my degree?

  5. #5 michigander
    July 6, 2007

    uh-oh, Hulda Clark has a competitor in the “most brazen medical-sounding bullshit of the year” category….

    (I haven’t heard much about her lately–must go look. Perhaps she’s in prison, if we’re lucky.)

  6. #6 G. Williams
    July 6, 2007

    This appears to be an attempt to capitalize on the somewhat peculiar success of Dr. Bronner. The difference being that while the labeling on Dr. Bronner soaps is rather charming (DILUTE! DILUTE! OK!), this stuff…well, isn’t.

  7. #7 TheProbe
    July 6, 2007

    You may be too tired to write, but, according to the first Law of Woo, you will never run out of Woo to write about.

  8. #8 KeithB
    July 6, 2007

    Ah, you beat me to Dr. Bronner, but I was going to link to the straight dope:
    http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_386.html

  9. #9 natural cynic
    July 6, 2007

    New definition:

    NERVOLOGY – the science of the acquisition of chutzpah for the purpose of peddling woo.

  10. #10 Gadgeezer
    July 6, 2007

    On the matter of qualifications – for chuzpah, does Clayton out-blag a world authority in nutrition whose sole qualification in the topic is an

    honorary diploma from the educational institution that [he] founded and that is accredited by a university that is arguably the worst in the UK.

    Miracle soap sounds like the solution to all ills but I suppose that even panacea sounds pretty tame when you can claim a miracle direct from source.

  11. #11 Alex, FCD
    July 6, 2007

    It was God who gave me the formula for the Amazing Miracle II Soap.

    “Mysteries of existence? Nah, dude, I’m here to tell you about this sweet soap.”

  12. #12 B80vin
    July 6, 2007

    “…The voice of God told me what to name it and how to package it.”

    What a great salesman God is. “Let’s name it…hmmm…God’s Soap. No, too sacrilegious. How about…uhhh…Jesus? Got anything? What’s that? ‘Miracle Soap?’ I LIKE IT. Make it ‘Miracle Soap II’ That way you get the whole ‘new and approved’ vibe without saying so. Now, how are we going to package it, and we’ll need someone down there to reveal all this to. Sid, you get on that, and, let’s seeeee, Ralph you work on packaging.Let’s go angels!” Walks away talking to Himself: “Lessee, theme song…(singing) All pores bright and sparkling, all sickness washed away. Gets rid of bugs and viruses, wash with god’s soap every day…GREAT! Good me, I’m the deity!”

  13. #13 Ktesibios
    July 6, 2007

    Well, even though I’ve been beaten to it, I have to say that what was going through my mind while reading the Tedeton quotes was “You, sir, are no Dr. Bronner”.

    But then, a soap that works, smells like a candy cane and provides lots of entertaining reading is a hard act to follow.

  14. #14 Brian
    July 6, 2007

    What I really want to know is why this is Miracle *II* soap. Is this a reformulation of God’s Original Miracle Soap? Meaning, not only did God take the time to flash soap ingredients on a wall to this one guy; presumably, He did it before. This implies far more of a sense of humor than I thought God had. Or maybe he tossed his original soap down to the Israelites when they were wandering the desert and laughed his ass off.

    Re: dr. Bronner’s soap – my roomate had this soap and there were many showers that took 5-10 min longer than I should have because I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

  15. #15 Coin
    July 6, 2007

    What I really want to know is why this is Miracle *II* soap. Is this a reformulation of God’s Original Miracle Soap?

    It’s the second coming.

  16. #16 PennyBright
    July 6, 2007

    So….. use my soap – it gives you all the benefits of staying clean, plus god will like you? Until I got to the aids cancer stuff it all sounded like pretty typical “this soap is great stuff”.

    Not a patch on Dr. Bronners. Bronner was a nut (died in 97), but on top of it he made a darn fine soap – the stuff is practically a universal among backpackers.

    Not everyone likes the peppermint scent though. I’ve heard the compliment “You smell clean.” (after a three week whiff backpacker took a banadana bath with the stuff) answered with “No I don’t – I smell like Dr. Bronners.”

  17. #17 Harry
    July 6, 2007

    It’s really sad to see that even such strong ingredients as “prayer” and “the annointing of God” cannot make Miracle II Soap dishwasher friendly (according to the FAQs). All the annointing in the world apparently can’t cut down on Miracle II’s foaming action!

    As a sidenote, can the Neutralizer Liquid (or gel) “neutralize” Miracle Soap? If so, would it then be possible to use a Woo product to combat the Woo slinger?

  18. #18 Ezekiel Buchheit
    July 6, 2007

    Miracle Soap II – God f-ed up the first time.

    The whole instructions flashing on the wall bit isn’t that unbelievable. 10 years ago, as an undergrad at the University of Arizona, I totally saw stuff all over the wall. Lots of geometric shapes and colors and they pulsated and moved and faces came out of the walls and I swear, even a few snakes.

    I miss mushrooms.

  19. #19 Brian X
    July 7, 2007

    More Dr. Bronner love here — I have a quart bottle in the shower. I use it as body wash and shaving foam (I tried it as a shampoo, but it leaves my hair feeling waxy). As for miracle soap, I think it a safe bet that the caffeinated stuff you can buy on ThinkGeek is about as close as you’ll get to a real miracle…

  20. #20 Jeb, FCD
    July 7, 2007

    When I saw his name, i really started hoping (against all hope) that he isn’t from LA. And damn it, I click the link and in the first paragraph I find that Clayton is a fellow Louisianian.

    It’s so hard to fight the stupids here.

  21. #21 AJ Milne
    July 7, 2007

    Miracle Soap II – God f-ed up the first time.

    See also: Miracle Soap I was ‘abrogated’ by the later revelation.

  22. #22 Joe
    July 7, 2007

    I am afraid this guy has some serious competition. My local paper recently contained an insert “direct from the world-famous People’s Pharmacy.” For one thing, it turns-out that you can prevent nightime leg cramps by putting a bar of soap under the covers in your bed. This guy’s product is not in bar form.

    More importantly, evidence is mounting that mentholated chest-rub may cure everything (and it is not limited to application on the chest). That doesn’t leave much room for Miracle Soap.

  23. #23 Ron Sullivan
    July 7, 2007

    Miracle Soap II – God f-ed up the first time

    Not unprecedented, if one believes the account in Genesis.

  24. #24 Joe
    July 8, 2007

    Sunday, July 8, NPR Weekend Edition ran a pice on Dr. Bronner of soap fame. You can probably catch it on the Net.

  25. #25 Julia
    July 8, 2007

    You can get Dr. Bronner’s that isn’t pepperminty.

    I can’t remember all the other scents, but you can get an “unscented for babies” version (which I have used) and lavender, anyway. I have a friend who mixes peppermint and lavender 50/50 and uses that to shower with. (He generally smells reasonably nice, so it’s not a bad combination.)

  26. #26 wrg
    July 9, 2007

    Can God make a soap He can’t neutralize?