Respectful Insolence

It’s been a while since I’ve done a bit of Your Friday Dose of Woo, and I actually kind of miss it. It’s not that there hasn’t been anything that hasn’t been worthy of this “honor” for a while. On the other hand, there hasn’t been anything in a while that combines just the right proportions of pure woo, utter ridiculousness, and pure pseudoscience to provide the perfect “inspiration” to start me on a roll. Oh, it’s out there, but for some reason I’ve let myself become bogged down by topics that are just too serious. It’s time to lighten up, at least for a little while.

So it was when I came across something that would be scary if it weren’t so obviously nonsense as I was in Scottsdale last weekend attending a meeting. Now, you might not know this (or you might very well know it), Arizona is woo central, so much so that it even licenses “homeopathic physicians” and even lets these quacks do surgery. Indeed, not within a couple of hours of where I stayed is Sedona, which might as well be the capital of crystal nation, and, the last I heard, the Health Ranger himself Mike Adams was living near Tucson, while the “Phaelosopher Adam Abraham” apparently lives in Phoenix. We last met him a few months ago when he was combining energy woo with The Secret.

Now, Abraham has kicked it up a notch, advertising what he calls the Genome Healing Workshop, which will take place from June 11-18 in Scottsdale. The woo is truly strong in this one:

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I love it. Not only is it “genome healing,” but it’s DNA/Stem Cell Healing! Because, apparently DNA and genome healing isn’t enough. But it goes beyond even that! How so? Well, what word is it lacking thus far? I bet you know. That’s right! It’s “based on the principles of quantum physics”! So there you have it: DNA healing, stem cell healing, and ignorant invocations of the word “quantum”! Truly, it’s the Holy Trinity of woo! I do wonder, however, what it means to “embdoy” our organs means. OK, OK, I know it’s a misspelling or a typo, but it’s a hilarious one that fits right into the general woo-iness of the entire concept. If I were publishing this stuff, I’d just go with it, I think, and use it as a made-up word that sounds impressive enough to suck in the yokels. It’s almost as impressive as this diagram that claims to show the role of consciousness in DNA:

i-76949002274503eee210af2f2fa18711-consciousness_to_cell-to-DNA-thumb-400x324-74289.jpg

But what is “Genome Healing”? According to the Carol Roberts this is what it is:

Genome Healing represents an inspired approach to the restoration of health and wellbeing for the new millennium.

The technologies and techniques taught in the Genome Healing training seminars are some of the quickest and most effective methods for emotional and physical transformation yet devised.

They defy common logic and challenge our sense of what is possible, not because such changes are impossible, but because we have believed, for so long, that true healing and restoration of health, even regeneration, is impossible.

For example, if we knew it was possible to regenerate a failing kidney, liver, lungs, or heart, how likely would present transplantation practices be? On the other hand, how many people rue the day that they agreed to allow their prostate, uterus, or breasts to be removed?

Are we saying that you will regenerate such organs through Genome Healing? No. We’re saying that such regeneration is possible, period, as a function of being human. Genome Healing methods and practices represent one method by which regeneration may indeed be achieved.

Hilarious! But it’s genius as well. Imply to the marks without actually explicitly saying so that they can regenerate their failing organs. Don’t promise anything, but tell them that regeneration is “possible” and that regeneration “may indeed be achieved.” In a way, you almost have to admire the purity of the lying going on here. At least, I have to think that it’s lying, because I find it hard to believe that anyone could really believe something so utterly full of grade-A 100% nonsense. On the other hand, I always did have an overly optimistic view of humanity.

In particular, perhaps I’m too optimistic given that the quacks claiming to be able to activate “genome healing” make these further claims:

  • Healing of numerous diseases diagnosed by doctors as incurable and in their last stages
  • The regrowing of organs, i.e. gall bladders, kidneys, pancreases, lungs, female reproductive organs, fingers, spinal tissue and teeth
  • Joyful optimism and total turnaround of depression and negative emotional states

If this is true, you’d expect that Carol Roberts and those who allegedly trained her, like Arcady Petrov, would have plenty of documentations of cures of the incurable and the regrowth of lungs and reproductive organs. Dammit, if these guys can do what they say they can do, I’d expect them to show me a woman who had a documented hysterectomy get pregnant and have a baby! Instead, we have vague testimonials of people with addictions getting better or even vaguer claims of improvement in a stroke patient. Then we have this:

So who is Carol Roberts? If you believe the blurb that Abraham has written about her:

Carol Roberts is one of Australia’s leading teachers of Thought Field Therapy and one of the pioneers of meridian tapping therapies in the world. In 1999 she studied in the US under Dr. Roger Callahan the founder of energy psychology modalities and has been teaching Australia wide for the last 12 years.

In her quest for discovering the most powerful methods for emotional and physical transformation on the planet, she was privileged to be trained in the extraordinary healing techniques of Professor Grigori Grabovoi and was also one of the first English speaking people to train under Professor Arcady Petrov at his Noosferra clinic in Moscow.

Carol is a also an advanced Theta Healing Trainer, Intuitive Anatomy Instructor and Reference Point Therapy practitioner. Her courses and one on one sessions are the culmination of over 30 years of study and training under a number of powerful spiritual teachers and healing masters. Carol offers a variety of highly effective methods for healing mind, body and soul.

But what is it about? All of the imaginative but utterly meaningless word salad used to describe Carol Roberts doesn’t tell me anything about “Professor Arcady Petrov.” Oddly enough, even after having been at this for over seven years, I don’t recall ever having heard of this guy either. When I found his video Light of Eternity, I realized that his video alone could be the topic of at least one post. However, it appears to be necessary to provide the CliffsNotes version:

The main premise of Russian Organ Regeneration is that there is a state of divine perfection from which one deviates in illness and to which it is possible to return. The name for this state of perfection is “the Creator’s norm”. The second premise is that the healing of anyone benefits all of Creation, as it helps return Creation to the norm of perfection that the Creator intended. The third premise is that we are co-creators with the Creator, and therefore have a say in how things unfold.

The method works in part by going back to the time before the illness started, to the first event which caused one to deviate from the Creator’s norm. From that point in time a different path is chosen, the path that leads one back to the state of health that is the Creator’s norm. This is similar to some Hawaiian huna practices. In huna if you injure yourself you replay the scenario in your mind in a way that avoids the injury altogether. The body can then be tricked into behaving as if the injury never happened. But this requires a certain kind of concentration that most people are not able to produce. Some of the practices of Russian Organ Regeneration, meditations developed by Grigori Grabovoi, focus on developing this level of concentration.

Oh, yes. Methinks I might have to look into this Russian healing a bit more closely. It sounds truly woo-ful.

In the meantime, I ask myself: Do these people really believe this magical mystical pseudoscience, or are they hucksters making an easy buck from credulous marks? Inquiring minds want to know!

I know which option I vote for.

Comments

  1. #1 Mary
    May 11, 2012

    Heh. Arizona–the Meth lab of democracy. Maybe also the Meth lab of woo?

  2. #2 LW
    May 11, 2012

    Rats, they have an out on the regeneration claim. I was all set to propose clinical tests. You don’t even need a placebo or another arm of the test, or any blinding, and I don’t really see an ethical issue since there’s no currently available regeneration technology.

  3. #3 palindrom
    May 11, 2012

    From their brochure

    [These techniques] defy common logic and challenge our sense of what is possible …

    I’ll say.

  4. #4 Amadan
    May 11, 2012

    Learn how (or help others to) ‘embdoy’ our organ and systems and allow them to speak.

    My brain and my stomach tell me they’re in complete agreement about this, and I never even had to embdoy them!

    But why do woosters want their organs to speak? Don’t they tell us that it’s more important to follow gut feelings, not gut speech? Will they decry condemnations of their delusions as just splenetic words?

    But perhaps they’re right. Many words will ensue from this course, and we can predict with considerable accuracy which organ they will issue from.

  5. #5 Roger Kulp
    May 11, 2012

    It does sound like a variation,or offshoot from ThetaHealing®

    Theta Healing is essentially applied quantum physics. Using a theta brain wave, which until now was believed to be accessible only in deep sleep or yogi-level meditation, the practitioner is able to connect with the energy of Universal Divine Energy of the Creator of All That Is, to identify issues with and witness healings on the physical body, and to identify and change limiting beliefs.

    Marina Rose, Founder and Executive Director of Marina Rose, School of DNA Theta Healing® says “DNA Theta Healing it’s the most powerful, potent, profound, cutting edge and healing paradigm on the planet at this time.”

    http://www.dnathetahealing.com/pages/theta.html

    ThetaHealing® is a technique that focuses on thought and prayer. ThetaHealing® teaches how to put to use our natural intuition, relying upon unconditional love of Creator Of All That Is to do the actual “work”. We believe by changing your brain wave cycle to include the “Theta” state, you can actually watch the Creator Of All That Is create instantaneous physical and emotional healing.

    Upon learning the technique of ThetaHealing®, you will see that everyone has intuitive abilities that can be used to bring about spontaneous physical and emotional healing. Using this personal process, you will help yourself, as well as your friends and family.

    ThetaHealing® is designed by Vianna as a therapeutic self-help guide to develop the ability to change on all levels: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually using the Creator of all That Is. ThetaHealing® is best known for the Belief and Feeling Work on all four levels; Core, Gene, History, and Soul. With growing scientific evidence that toxic emotion can contribute to disease and the awareness that emotions, feelings and the power of thought have a direct bearing upon our physical health, there is increasing interest in changing how the mind influences the body to create optimum health. Belief and Feeling Work empower people with the ability to remove and replace negative emotions, feelings and thoughts with positive, beneficial ones. ThetaHealing® can be most easily described as an attainable miracle for your life.

    ThetaHealing® is also best known for the 7 Planes of Existence; a concept to connect to the Highest Level of Love and Energy of All That Is. Using this concept, the practitioner can achieve the highest clarity and wisdom love.
    http://www.thetahealing.com/about-thetahealing.html

    And yes,it healed her cancer

    After I was healed from cancer, people found me. The very sick came in droves. I asked the Creator how to help them. Some got better with just simple Healings. Others did not, and I was told they believed they should be sick. Working with Belief Systems was not new to me at the time. I had been married to a hypnotist and despite our differences he was good at what he did. But hypnosis was a long process. Some of the beliefs were genetic and historic. God showed me the Four Level Belief Work after I remarried my man from Montana, Guy Stibal. The results were amazing people came from everywhere to be healed and taught. Then the Feeling Work was formed. The ThetaHealing® book and Advanced ThetaHealing® describe the technique. There are certified teachers in ThetaHealing® everywhere as I share my answers and prayers with the world. Most of the teachers I’ve taught are amazing, only a few have brought me heartache. Still I am driven by a sense of purpose to share what I know. I know that there is a Creator and we are part of it. That we are divine and as we clear limiting beliefs, all things are possible. I cannot deny that I was healed as my x-rays of my leg are a constant reminder. I have witnessed many miracles inside the body and outside. (with witnesses of course) I have seen people heal and others that did not. But I have a knowing that the Creator is Real and no matter what religion you are you can tap into it

    Lots more here.Did you know parasitic worms are mind control agents?

    http://www.thetahealing-unmasked.com/index.html

    People that are infested with worms will sometimes have irrational fears that should they use herbal cleanses, the herbs will poison them and kill them. This is not the person talking but rather the parasite that is projecting emotions to the host. It should be made clear to the infested person that the parasite is attempting to control them and the feelings that they are experiencing will pass as soon as the worms are gone.

    Worms are drawn to people with certain associated belief Systems. Belief Systems associated with worms deal with issues surrounding people that take advantage of them.

    — Vianna Stibal, “ThetaHealing Disease and Disorder”, p. 423-424

  6. #6 W. Kevin Vicklund
    May 11, 2012

    In her quest for discovering the most powerful methods for emotional and physical transformation on the planet,

    What unit of power are those methods measured in? Yoctoergs?

  7. #7 Amadan
    May 11, 2012

    W. Kevin Vicklund @ 5: What unit of power are those methods measured in? Yoctoergs?

    No: in Wootts

  8. #8 Denice Walter
    May 11, 2012

    Oh Great and Omniscient Orac, you are perspicacious as you are perspicuous…. but this humble and extremely well-mannered minion- *moi*- dares to hint that Mikey is now living in Austin where he raises chickens and inhales the heady atmosphere of being amongst the blessed, i.e. St Andy, Patron of Perpetual Barratry….

  9. #9 Jim Plassard
    May 11, 2012

    I am sure that this seminar will be filled to the rafters. It is sad that people like this pray upon the week-minded and desperate. I am pretty sure that the power of one’s mind has nothing to do with the formation of Okazaki fragments.

  10. #10 Dangerous Bacon
    May 11, 2012

    Some of the genome healing stuff is scary. What if I target the wrong telomere and generate a third kidney? Will I have to pee half again as much as I already do? And why would anyone want to regenerate their gallbladder, wind up with more stones and painful gallbladder attacks?

    If I could get a second brain, I’d be able to finish my day’s work in half the time. The only problem is where to stow it…

  11. #11 Composer99
    May 11, 2012

    Are we saying that you will regenerate such organs through Genome Healing? No.

    At least they’re honest about something.

  12. #12 Composer99
    May 11, 2012

    The method works in part by going back to the time before the illness started,

    Here I was, all keen and thinking they had a time machine, only to be sorely disappointed.

  13. #13 Politicalguineapig
    May 11, 2012

    Dangerous Bacon: Easy, just follow the sauropod model and store the second brain on your spine. Of course, I’m assuming that these new organs would be half-size.
    Another organ no one wants to regenerate: the appendix. Thankfully I haven’t had any problems with mine. *knocks wood for luck*

  14. #14 JGC
    May 11, 2012

    That’s one hell of a quack Miranda. “Are we saying we’ll give you what you’re paying for? No. We’re only saying getting what you’re paying for is possible. Now give us your money.”

  15. #15 lilady
    May 11, 2012

    heh,heh…I just linked to the Genome Healing Workshop website and look what I found at the bottom of the page:

    http://phaelosopher.com/2012/05/03/genome-healing-an-awakening-opportunity/

    2 Responses to “Genome Healing: An Awakening Opportunity”

    Your Friday Dose of Woo: Heal your genome? : Respectful Insolence Says:
    May 11, 2012 at 5:01 am

    [...] Abraham has kicked it up a notch, advertising what he calls the Genome Healing Workshop, which will take place from June 11-18 in Scottsdale. The woo is truly strong in this [...]

    1

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    Rate This

    Reply

    The one *thumbs up* is mine. Vote for Orac, folks!

  16. #16 Denice Walter
    May 11, 2012

    This sounds very much like Gary Null’s charlatanery about fixing ‘broken DNA’ which also promises “reversals of end-stage” disease ( yes, he says that), in fact, he has testimonials from many who have been healed. Average folk can live to be 140 or so.

    So what does this miracle involve? Like the above, it is a pastiche of nutrition- vegan diet very low fat, high fibre, much raw- juicing, handfuls of supplements, naturally, de-toxification, programmed exercise, meditation, spirituality and … wait for it… occasionally, a laying on of hands by the Master ( this method is available piecemeal via books, tapes, lectures and *health retreats* at said Master’s ashram).

    The sales spiel relies on the fact that most people know precious little about DNA so there is a bit of shuffling and dancing about just how the DNA gets fixed ( repairing broken rungs on the helical ladder?); energy balancing through energy exchanges with the healer is suggested. Being ‘spiritual’ through meditation and prayer as well as cleaning up your toxic environment and relationships are included (“Get out of my life, you contaminant!”). The Guru is assisted by various ‘professionals’- including, unfortunately, a real doctor or two and a nurse/ life coach ( respectively, Feldman, Robbins, Pennesi).

    These ‘treatments’ are applicable to *all* physical and mental illness and are 100% pharma-free.

  17. #17 Eric Lund
    May 11, 2012

    Do these people really believe this magical mystical pseudoscience, or are they hucksters making an easy buck from credulous marks?

    These two options are not mutually exclusive.

  18. #18 JGC
    May 11, 2012

    But does the broken DNA go on to become 12 stranded after being repaired? Inquiring minds want to know!

  19. #19 Denice Walter
    May 11, 2012

    In Other News- Sticking it to the Man Dept

    Today at Thinking Moms’ Revolution, following the Rev’s Declaration of Incompetance, Mamacita offers “Freedom to Think” which details a young mother’s experience ( fictional, I believe) confronting a doctor and nurse who give her a handout sheet about vaccination because of her reticence. She, in turn, goves them a handout of her *own* ( provided by link) which is the famous list of vaccine dangers. She stomps out, full of independent thinking spirit. Tra la.
    OK, I have to say it: I studied thinking, I know people who think and sweetheart, what you’re doing ain’t thinking.

    @ Natural News: Mike Adams issues an SOS alert that informs us about how “out-of-control science will destroy us all.”

  20. #20 Chris
    May 11, 2012

    I’m waiting for a remix of a certain Marvin Gaye song to go along with this.

  21. #21 nastylittlehorse
    May 11, 2012

    How can anyone read a pamphlet like that and not immediately think “scam”?

    Surely the organisers know it’s bunk? And wouldn’t that qualify as fraud?

  22. #22 tdoc
    May 11, 2012

    There is an obvious test that could be done. Ms Roberts has one of her fingers or even an arm or an eye surgically removed and then, she grows a new one. That would conclusively demonstrate the power and truth of her therapy. How could she refuse?

  23. #23 FacelessMan
    May 11, 2012

    “Intuitive Anatomy” – hm interesting, I wonder how many surgeons practice this.

  24. #24 Denice Walter
    May 11, 2012

    Alright, I just googled Scottsdale:

    home values are about twice as high as the state average
    median age is 45
    83% of residents are white
    household income is about 40% higher than the state average
    a higher proportion of residents are college grads**
    a higher percentage are professional, scientifc, technical**
    many residents are in finance and sales

    -in other words- prime woo territory. I hereby rest my case.

    ** as counter-intuitive as that is.

  25. #25 Narad
    May 11, 2012

    Given that Grabovoy claims to be able to teleport, I don’t know what all the hoo-hah was over his being locked up for fraud.

  26. #26 The Midwesterner
    May 11, 2012

    “Russian Organ Regeneration?!” I’m trying to think of one product or idea from Russia anyone would pay a dime for.

  27. #27 Mike
    May 11, 2012

    the organ will tell you it has a whole new operating system

    You mean I can trace all my illness to organs running Windows, and installing Linux will cure me? That’s -awesome-! Now my Liver will have the same stability as my workstation and full interoperability.

    Can’t wait.

    Or, um . . . not?

  28. #28 Greg Fish
    May 11, 2012

    I’m trying to think of one product or idea from Russia anyone would pay a dime for.

    Rocketry (A Russian physicist is widely credited with proving that rockets were indeed possible), Tetris, AK-47s, vodka, oil, natural gas, literary epics…

    Maybe I’m biased for having lived in the former USSR, but Russia is not a country that has absolutely nothing to contribute to the world at large. Obviously this organ regeneration nonsense is insane, but the funny part is that they have to sell it in the U.S. because they would be laughed out of any room in Russia. It’s generally a terrible market for woo.

  29. #29 Bronze Dog
    May 11, 2012

    How can anyone read a pamphlet like that and not immediately think “scam”?

    Surely the organisers know it’s bunk? And wouldn’t that qualify as fraud?

    It’s a sad state of affairs that the altie culture raises people to be sufficiently gullible so they can fall for this sort of thing.

    I suppose soft sci-fi would also be a contributing factor. One line I got sick of that showed up in some of the series I watched (Star Trek: Voyager, I’m looking at you) was “his DNA is rewriting itself!” followed by a transformation of some kind.

  30. #30 Wrysmile
    May 11, 2012

    One product from Russia – Vodka

  31. #31 Shay
    May 11, 2012

    “I’m trying to think of one product or idea from Russia anyone would pay a dime for.”

    They knit lovely lace shawls in Orenburg.

  32. #32 taylormattd
    May 11, 2012

    @15 – Denise Walter

    So what does this miracle involve? Like the above, it is a pastiche of nutrition- vegan diet very low fat, high fibre, much raw- juicing

    The least these people could do if they are going to rely on the raw juicing stuff is tow a boat with their teeth, as did Jack Lalanne. His woo was much more impressive. And besides, who doesn’t like a nice juicer?

  33. #33 lilady
    May 11, 2012

    Adam Abraham has his own *healing center*

    http://www.photonicenergycenter.com/about-us.html

    Look at his *treatment room*:

    http://www.photonicenergycenter.com/technology.html

    Is that a “Photon Genius” contraption he is using?

    http://www.photongenius.com/

  34. #34 Old Rockin' Dave
    May 11, 2012

    Allow our organs to speak? So *that’s* what an organ recital is!
    Really, though, I’ve just gotten used to the voices in my head and now I’m gonna have to listen to voices in my colon too?

  35. #35 Raging Bee
    May 11, 2012

    Are we saying that you will regenerate such organs through Genome Healing? No. We’re saying that such regeneration is possible, period, as a function of being human.

    So they’re not saying you ever WILL get any results; but you CAN, as long as you don’t actually expect proof that you can…you know, like results? This could be the most unintentionally honest wooiness you’ve ever discussed.

    Oh, and I absolutely love the DNA-cell diagrams. It’s still the same cell and the same DNA, but it’s shinier when it’s “embdoyed” with consciousness. Who knew?

  36. #36 Queen Khentkawes
    May 11, 2012

    “I’m trying to think of one product or idea from Russia anyone would pay a dime for.”

    The periodic table.

  37. #37 qetzal
    May 11, 2012

    In the meantime, I ask myself: Do these people really believe this magical mystical pseudoscience, or are they hucksters making an easy buck from credulous marks?

    Well, they do claim you can “Quantum boost your relationships & finances,” ‘Nuff said?

  38. #38 JohnV
    May 11, 2012

    “I’m trying to think of one product or idea from Russia anyone would pay a dime for. ”

    Normalized cDNA libraries.

  39. #39 Wholly Father
    May 11, 2012

    The ad claims you can help yourself and others “Lengthen telomeres for health and vitality.”
    That is an oddly specific claim, and testable hypothesis.

    Didn’t the guy who promoted Enzyte make similar claim, and go to jail for it?

  40. #40 Kelly M Bray
    May 11, 2012

    Hey folks, a bit off topic. Some of you offered to go do battle at the Hive when something came up. Well, Washington State has declared a Pertussis epidemic, HuffPo had an article on it, and the burning stupid is a flowing. Any help would be appreciated. I know the place can be hell, but I think a lot of people who are on the fence are there and I hope they can be swayed away from the woo.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/whooping-cough-washington-epidemic_n_1507249.html

  41. #41 Kelly M Bray
    May 11, 2012

    I would pay more than a dime for Anna Chakvetadze!

  42. #42 Jay Chaplin
    May 11, 2012

    Their claim that you can “Quantum boost your relationships & finances” is pretty pathetic since by definition a quantum is the smallest possible unit of increment. “Hey, guess what everybody!? I just increased my finances by a penny!” Even when I pick up random change on the street I usually do much better than that.

  43. #43 lilady
    May 11, 2012

    @ Kelly: I’ve just posted at the Ho-Po…no snark, yet.

    Let’s see, when it comes out of moderation, if I snare some trolls :-)

  44. #44 harold
    May 11, 2012

    “Russian Organ Regeneration?!” I’m trying to think of one product or idea from Russia anyone would pay a dime for.

    1) Russian culture has produced a vast amount of great music, literature, science, art, cuisine, etc. The fact that you haven’t heard of any of it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    2) The problem here is not the “Russian” part. Probably every country on earth generates BS. The problem is that it is BS.

  45. #45 Denice Walter
    May 11, 2012

    @ harold:

    True, crap is generated all over the world. Today, I needed to look up a worldewide woo generator ( the World Anti-Aging Academy of Medicine – WAAAM- see website), they have a long list of affiliates, altho’ followers tend to cluster in Europe, N. America, E. and S.Asia, where the standard of living is higher, I suppose ( see map).

    Simlarly, the ANH started is the UK and is now global ( see website). They work very hard at influencing laws everywhere.

  46. #46 bad poet
    May 11, 2012

    Apparently these people are really holding motivational rallies and top-level achievement awards dinners for their methane regeneration MLM organization, if my super-secret ROT-13 decryption tool is working correctly.

  47. #47 herr doktor bimler
    May 11, 2012

    just splenetic words
    Ha.

    why would anyone want to regenerate their gallbladder
    My gallbladder is speaking to me about this but it is full of bile.

  48. #48 Matt f
    May 11, 2012

    Lilady and Kelly I have posted to over at huff post now. The stupid really burns over there today.

  49. #49 Pareidolius
    May 11, 2012

    Well Kelly, I did my best to start the whole discussion off in my usual measured, diplomatic way . . . with gasoline and a match.

  50. #50 Mark M
    May 11, 2012

    Adam Abraham, phallusopher…

  51. #51 Pareidolius
    May 11, 2012

    TELOMAXX NATIONAL SPOT B

    [Opening Shot: Two well-to-do women at a table in an elegant racquet club. They sip cocktails and stare hungrily at "Bob" off camera . . .]

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    WOMAN 2: Oh, I just love men with that “extra something!”

    [The women share a knowing glance.]

    WOMAN 1: You mean like that extra pancreas Bob’s packin’ there? Islets of Langerhanz for days!

    WOMAN 2: I hear that girlfriend!

    [Women continue to gaze dreamily at Bob who is just off camera.]

    VO: They say size doesn’t matter, but when it comes to telomeres the hard truth is that it does. If you want that “extra something,” a new pancreas, heart or just some really long pubic hair growing out of your elbow, you need . . .

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  52. #52 Denice Walter
    May 11, 2012

    @ Pareidolius:

    Despite what people might tell you, events as described in your very creative scenario *never* occur at racquet clubs or tennis courts. Never. We usually convene afterwards to guzzle over-priced drinks at place a called Ryan’s.

  53. #53 MikeH
    May 11, 2012

    she was privileged to be trained in the extraordinary healing techniques of Professor Grigori Grabovoi

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigory_Grabovoy

    Grigory Petrovich Grabovoy is a Russian self-proclaimed faith healer and a sect leader. He attracted a large media attention in 2005 as he promised to ressurrect the children killed in Beslan school hostage crisis. In 2006 Grabovoy was put to trial for fraud and sentenced to serve in prison.

  54. #54 herr doktor bimler
    May 11, 2012

    Grabovoy was put to trial for fraud and sentenced to serve in prison.
    Carol Roberts has definitely studied *some* of his methods.

  55. #55 TeloChem Natural Products
    May 11, 2012

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  56. #56 kraut
    May 11, 2012

    “I’m trying to think of one product or idea from Russia anyone would pay a dime for.”

    what an utterly arrogant know nothing idiot.
    Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Mendeleyev, Gorky, Landau, Mikhail Lomonosov, Chekov, Tolstoy, Pushkin, Gogol, Tsiolkovsky, Pavlov, Sakharov, Solzhenitsyn etc.
    Only an intellectual midget like the pooper posting such idiocies could be unaware of the russian scientific and artistic achievements.
    Typical american trash talk from a country that regularly does not even come up in the top thirty of PISA tests.

  57. #57 kraut
    May 11, 2012

    “I’m trying to think of one product or idea from Russia anyone would pay a dime for.”

    what an utterly arrogant know nothing idiot.
    Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Mendeleyev, Gorky, Landau, Mikhail Lomonosov, Chekov, Tolstoy, Pushkin, Gogol, Tsiolkovsky, Pavlov, Sakharov, Solzhenitsyn etc.
    Only an intellectual midget like the pooper posting such idiocies could be unaware of the russian scientific and artistic achievements.
    Typical american trash talk from a citizen of a country whose students regularly do not even show up in the top thirty of PISA test results.
    And especially from a country where over 40% of the population still believes in creationism as the explanation for bio diversity..
    If that poster does not hail from the US, he should be even more ashamed of his status as the “village idiot”. From US citizens such a response is at least not unexpected and not unusual.

  58. #58 Русский По
    May 12, 2012

    Old prejudices die hard, er, “kraut.”

  59. #59 Chris
    May 12, 2012

    I was going to say something about Stephen Timoshenko, except I just looked him up and found out he was from the Ukraine. Though in our structural mechanics classes we often called him that “Irish guy” (Tim O’Shenko, it was a joke).

    Okay, he did bring modern structural mechanics to the USA that he learned in St. Petersburg, which had strong science/engineering institutions. His History of the Strength of Materials is not a bad read.

  60. #60 peter
    May 12, 2012

    “Old prejudices die hard, er, “kraut.” ”

    Sorry for the double post – something went wrong with the server.

    As to prejudices:
    Americans seem to forget that Russia is not the USSR, that the USSR was an unfortunate, maybe even necessary part of Russian history as was the french revolution a necessary part of french history to get rid of an aristocray that for a long time had managed to enslave the greater part of the population to the benefit of a miniscule minority – almost like what happens at present in the USA.
    Still Russia was able to produce great scientists and artists and engineers, among whose achievement was not to put on the moon some humans – in the end a useless achievement, but to produce robots for remote research, the fruit of that research now still crawling on mars.
    So much for the dimes being paid for Russian ideas.

    And let us not forget – it was the Russian soldiers and generals who really kicked the shit out of the Nazis, breaking them in Berlin, after the beginning of the end in Stalingrad, with tremendous sacrifices.

  61. #61 Chris
    May 12, 2012

    A movie suggestion: Russian Ark.

    Peter, you might want to explain this phrase in your comment: “managed to enslave the greater part of the population to the benefit of a miniscule minority – almost like what happens at present in the USA.”

    Like you, I get distressed when one person is the cause of an entire country’s accomplishments being diminished. Do not make the same sweeping assumptions that you are trying to argue against.

  62. #62 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 12, 2012

    Is “the Creator’s norm” Norm Peterson from Cheers (played by George Wendt) or Norm Abram from This Old House?

  63. #63 palindrom
    May 12, 2012

    Highly recommended, from the great Charlie Pierce:

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Welcome_Back_Whooping_Cough

  64. #64 warthog
    May 12, 2012

    I like the clear depiction of how their alt-med works. Consciousness = brilliant glow of chromosomes and, for some reason, cell walls.

    It leads to a simple test. Lead one into a closet, close the door, turn the light off, and ask them to concentrate. You can’t immediately read a book by the light emanating from their every living cell? Test over.

  65. #65 harold
    May 13, 2012

    managed to enslave the greater part of the population to the benefit of a miniscule minority – almost like what happens at present in the USA

    This is off topic, but I’ll ask forbearance and discuss what I think Peter may be alluding to. Of course, I am not Peter, and he may correct me.

    I suspect that Peter referred to the simultaneous situation of growing income and wealth disparity in the US, temporally associated with the decline of the US in world standings of quality of life indicators.

    I don’t want to get going too far off topic, so I’ll leave it at this one comment, but as what I think was a salient example of attitudes contributing to this trend, I was intrigued by congressman Paul Ryan’s recent comments on student aid.

    Ryan argues that subsidized student loans and Pell grants should be cut, because cutting them would slow the rate of tuition increases. As a dual US/Canadian citizen, I could note that Canada has similar to somewhat better student aid, but has not had as severe a tuition inflation issue.

    But more to the point, I would note that Ryan’s idea would massively harm students who need to pay for or significantly contribute to their own education, even if he were right. If you cut off student aid some potentially good students can’t attend college, even if mean tuition does subsequently increase more slowly. For example, I worked and borrowed my way through college in Canada. My tuition was very low, and so were my other expenses, but the money had to come from somewhere, and without student loans, I couldn’t have done it.

    I recall another Republican congressman, some years ago, arguing against student aid on the grounds that his “working class” constituents paid taxes to support it but didn’t go to college – obviously implying that they and their children would not or should not go to college, since they are the very ones who would potentially benefit from student aid.

    These types of things, and I used access to higher education only as an example, reveal what seems to be a commitment to reducing social mobility – the defining characteristic of an aristocracy based system.

    Circa 1970 the US used to be near the top in quality of life indicators like infant mortality, life expectancy, educational scores, social mobility, etc. Now we rank near the bottom of the rich countries on most such measures. While cause of complex social developments is never clear, Peter may imply that political and economic trends in place over the last couple of decades have had the effect of reducing quality of life and social mobility for most Americans.

    I’ll make this my final comment on these issues, as this is off topic.

  66. #66 Alia
    May 13, 2012

    Well, reading about this Russian healing woo, I couldn’t help but think about Rasputin.

  67. #67 Chris
    May 13, 2012

    harold, having actually lived and traveled outside of the USA I think you and Peter are clutching your pearls a bit too tightly. And Harold, there were several other issues in the 1970s that you seem to have forgotten. And actually from my travels it is not so much the USA has fallen, but other countries have risen (especially in the Americas where extraction economies have changed).

  68. #68 Chris
    May 13, 2012

    As a woman who majored in engineering in the 1970s, I have a less rosy colored opinion of the USA back then.

  69. #69 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 13, 2012

    I understand the rhetorical use of hyperbole, but have you actually seen a slave? Yes, there are stories of actual slavery in various countries, the US and UK included – but that’s illegal and prosecuted.

  70. #70 Chris
    May 13, 2012

    Harold, read 1493 for definition of “extraction economy.”

  71. #71 harold
    May 13, 2012

    As a woman who majored in engineering in the 1970s, I have a less rosy colored opinion of the USA back then.

    Nothing in my comment indicated a “rosy” view of anything.

    I strongly agree that educated women endure much less sexism and greater opportunities now than in 1970, in the US and in most other developed countries, and that this is a very good thing.

    harold, having actually lived and traveled outside of the USA I think you and Peter are clutching your pearls a bit too tightly.

    “Clutching pearls” refers to an exaggerated expression of emotional shock, usually implying pretensions to moral superiority. My comment did not have these characteristics.

    And Harold, there were several other issues in the 1970s that you seem to have forgotten. And actually from my travels it is not so much the USA has fallen, but other countries have risen (especially in the Americas where extraction economies have changed).

    First of all, it is clearly true that some of the decline of the US is relative. In other ways, such as having the world’s highest incarceration rate by a wide margin, or modest increases in infant mortality, the negative social indicators are new or worsening. But yes, in some cases, it’s just a case of the US stagnating on some indicators, while all other rich countries have improved.

    I have read “1493″. Quality of life indicators have specifically declined in the US. Some other rich countries, such as Norway and Canada, have resource-based economies, some don’t, and some have mixed economies. Nevertheless, the US has had a unique relative social and economic decline.

    To restate, the US has experienced a relative or absolute decline in certain quality of life indices, compared to other wealthy nations, over the last 30 or so years, and this has undeniably coincided with (not the same thing as saying “been caused by”) a well known social/economic trend. The indices I mentioned were infant morality, life expectancy, education scores, and now, in this comment, incarceration rate. If you think that this comment implies an endorsement of any individual policy, or the general state of affairs, circa 1970 in the US, you are misinterpreting the comment.

    I understand the rhetorical use of hyperbole, but have you actually seen a slave? Yes, there are stories of actual slavery in various countries, the US and UK included – but that’s illegal and prosecuted.

    That’s a good point. Even in the context of deliberate hyperbole, the word “slave” is too offensive. Slavery describes an incredibly inhumane practice which, although dominant in part of the US for 200 years, has been illegal here since 1865, but which still, horrifically, persists in parts of the world. Add that to the fact that many disadvantaged populations within the US are descended from slaves, and the word is, indeed, a deeply offensive one.

    (In Russian, and Slavic culture in general, the word has different implications. One possible etymology of the word “Slav” is that it essentially comes from the same root as “slave”, because enslavement of Slavic people by other civilizations was once common. Also, in Russia, much of the population, who were physically indistinguishable from other Russians, were “serfs” until well into the 19th century. It is possible that someone of Russian descent might not realize the offensive quality of that word, to Americans.)

  72. #72 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 13, 2012

    I think you’ve been too hard on Harold. All of these trends in the US—they’re very real, and they’re mostly negative, rather than simply being relative—have been inflicted on us as deliberate policy since the coup d’état of November 1980. The great Fridays sketch from four days before said it all: an Exorcist parody called Election Night—”When the polls close…the hooorrrorrr begins!” Truer words were never spoken.

    That said, the word “slave” is from “slovo” (word)—the Slavic-speaking peoples’ name for themselves. It implies “speakers”, vs. their name for the Germans: “nemets” (Nimitz), the “silent ones”. It was used for people captured and put to servitude in Europe because they mostly were Slavs, and another word was needed than “serf”, because serfs were bound to a particular parcel of land and not to personal servitude.

  73. #73 Chris
    May 13, 2012

    Point taken, but I still think that Peter was right to defend Russian history, but I still want him to explain how the majority of the USA is enslaved. And how that relates to healing your genome.

  74. #74 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 13, 2012

    Oh, was Harold the “nobody would pay a dime for anything from Russia” guy? Yeah, that was pretty stupid. We paid them a lot more than a dime to design and build about half the International Space Station, and to launch several big sections. We’re paying them more than a dime to launch our people to it, as well, since they have the only manned spaceflight capability now—if you’re not Chinese.

    Orac has said he watches The Big Bang Theory, so maybe it’s not too off-topic to vent my outrage here on the two separate occasions in the last few episodes they’ve spent a lot of time dissing Russian rocketry (in connection with Harold’s trepidations about his ISS mission). They’ve lost 4 cosmonauts over the years—the last ones 41 years ago—vs. 17 for us. I think the shoe’s on the other foot.

  75. #75 Barnesm
    May 14, 2012

    As an ex-pat Queenslander I would like to apologise unreservedly on behalf of my state of origin for not preventing Mr Roberts from peddling this aberrant nonsense beyond our shores.

  76. #76 harold
    May 14, 2012

    Oh, was Harold the “nobody would pay a dime for anything from Russia” guy? Yeah, that was pretty stupid.

    There are many ways to check what someone said in a thread of comments.

    One way is merely to read the comments.

    Another method is to use “control f” and type in something, for example, “harold”.

    Either method would have revealed that no, I did not make, but in fact, strongly disagreed with, the comment you alluded to.

  77. #77 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    May 14, 2012

    My apologies, harold.

  78. #78 Margit
    May 14, 2012

    I see my dissenting comments were deleted. So much for freedom of speech in America.

  79. #79 squirrelelite
    May 14, 2012

    Margit,

    When did you post your dissenting comments?

    I don’t remember seeing them posted.

    Comments sometimes go into moderation before appearing. This can happen if there are more than two links included or the comment is especially long, but sometimes it just happens for weird reasons. The blog author is probably working today, so it may be a little while before he clears up the moderated comments.

    Please be patient.

  80. #80 Chris
    May 14, 2012

    Margit, did your comment have more than two URL links? That is a common reason for a comment to go into moderation. Otherwise I have not seen a message from you.

    Orac does not remove dissenting comments. He will, however, moderate certain known persons who often change their usernames. Try again, only make it short, to the point and without links.

  81. #81 Margit
    May 14, 2012

    Apologies, I commented on another post :) That would be a very good reason why it’s not here.

  82. #82 harold
    May 14, 2012

    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge –

    Apology accepted, of course.

    Margit –

    I see my dissenting comments were deleted. So much for freedom of speech in America.

    As it happens, this blog, like all pro-science blogs I am aware of, does have a high tolerance for dissenting comments.

    However, I would like to point out that there is a difference between your freedom of speech, which I strongly support and defend, versus anyone else having the obligation to publish, promote, or pay for your speech in a private venue.

    I prefer blogs that don’t censor critical comments, but you, I, and Orac all have a perfect right to put up our own blogs and allow or not allow whatever comments we want.

    If your comments had not been posted, that would not be a freedom of speech issue. This is a private, moderated venue, and the person who runs the blog does not have an obligation to post any particular person’s comments. In fact, it would be a violation of Orac’s freedom of speech if such an obligation were imposed.

  83. #83 Pareidolius
    May 14, 2012

    Ol’ Marg is a major leage Burzynski fan and foe of Teh Ebilz Kancer Industry™©®, so of course she’s a little gun shy around here what with all us mean ol’ Shills and Minions and our annoying facts and citations. Join the fun over on the most recent Burzynski post . . .

  84. #84 Marg
    May 15, 2012

    You misrepresent me, Pareidolius. I am not a major league Burzynski fan. Just a foe of Teh Ebilz Kancer Industry.

  85. #85 Chris
    May 16, 2012

    So, Marg, you would prefer to support the cancer quack industry that sadistically tortures cancer patients while fleecing their money and available time on this planet.

  86. #86 Interrobang
    May 18, 2012

    Marg apparently doesn’t realise that there are lots of other countries out there where doctors don’t, relatively speaking, make loads of money, and pharmaceutical prices are (rightly) controlled. Ho hum. The chemotherapy did an amazing job on my mother’s breast cancer, incidentally, and other than losing her hair and having some fatigue and blood cell issues, she came through it just fine. She didn’t even throw up once, and my mother has the kind of stomach that gets twitchy about everything. (My anecdata beats your unsupported assertion, especially because my mother, so there, nyah.)

    As to products from Russia that nobody would pay a dime for, I’ll see your nothing and raise you Lomonosov teapots…

  87. #87 Marg
    May 18, 2012

    In very poor taste, @Interrobang.

  88. #88 novalox
    May 18, 2012

    @marg

    Concern troll much?

  89. #89 squirrelelite
    May 19, 2012

    Sorry, Marg, I haven’t heard of

    “Teh Ebilz Kancer Industry”. Could you tell me where to get more information about them?

    My first google hit was an article by Gary Null back in April, but he was just pointing a finger at them, so I would hardly consider him a primary source.

    Would you include the cancer clinic that was built in the lot where I went to junior high school? My father was treated there after he was diagnosed with colon cancer about 6 years ago. He received the full round of chemotherapy and radiation treatment after two types of cancer were identified from a polyp removed as part of a colonoscopy.

    I guess their evil wasn’t powerful enough because he is still alive and well.

    Or are you referring to the people who sell Essiac tea, homeopathic remedies, etc. to people diagnosed with cancer. Or perhaps the people who claim that eating the right foods to keep your system from getting too acidic to cure your cancer? Their evil seems more powerful because my sister-in-law tried all three but she died of cancer anyway.
    ;)
    More seriously, those are just illustrative anecdotes of two very different cancers and way too little data to draw any statistically valid conclusions from.

    As for Russia, everyone seems to have overlooked Beluga caviar, although it may not be coming from Russia anymore. Personally, I paid a lot more than a dime for Landau and Lifschitz’ series of graduate level physics textbooks, but considering the price of textbooks these days, it was a good investment.

  90. #90 James
    May 23, 2012

    Very awesome web site! Thank you for taking the time to create this fascinating article!

  91. #91 Narad
    May 23, 2012

    Oh, hey, (robospam) namelinks now work. And, apparently, smileys. At least that latter glaring usability issue has been addressed.

  92. #92 Narad
    May 23, 2012

    Pardon me while I test it out.

    :) :D :( :o 8O :? :x :P :| ;) :lol: :oops: :cry: :evil: :twisted: :roll: :!: :?: :idea: :arrow: :mrgreen:

  93. #93 Narad
    May 23, 2012

    Oh, yeah, that totally classes up the joint.

  94. [...] a couple of weeks ago when I resurrected Your Friday Dose of Woo in order to have a little fun with a particularly amusing bit of woo in which a man who goes by the moniker “Phaelosopher Adam Abraham” was advertising [...]

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