Respectful Insolence

If there’s one thing about “alternative” medicine, “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), or “integrative medicine” that’s always puzzled me, it’s just how gullible some practitioners must think their clients are. In some cases, they might know their customers every bit as well as a car salesman knows his clients or an author knows his readers, but in actuality most people who fall for alt-med are no more gullible than average. However, some words seem to impress more than ever, as promoters of alt-med scramble to appropriate impressive-sounding science terms into their woo. I’ve seen a lot of them. What I’ve rarely seen is such quackery showing up at a mainstream show like the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013. I guess they’ll rent a booth to anyone, as you’ll see. But first, a little background.

Among the favorite real science term that quacks love to appropriate is “quantum.” I blame Deepak Chopra. Although I highly doubt he was the first promoter of alternative medicine and various New Age thought to use and abuse the term “quantum” as a seemingly scientific justification of what in reality is nothing more than ancient mystical thinking gussied up with a quantum overcoat to hide its lack of science, Chopra has arguably done the most to popularize the term among the science-challenged set. In Chopra’s world, the word “quantum” functions like a magical talisman that explains ™everything because in the quantum world anything can happen. Actually, I should clarify. While it’s true that many bizarre and wondrous things can be explained through quantum theory (such as quantum entanglement), it is not, as Chopra and his many imitators would have you believe, a “get out of jail free” card for any magical thinking you can imagine, and quantum effects do not work the way people like Chopra (say, Lionel Milgrom, who seems to think that homeopathy works through quantum entanglement between practitioner, remedy, and patient) would like you to think.

As much as the term “quantum” is used and abused in alt-med, I can’t recall seeing anything as impressively silly as QuantumMAN™, which bills itself as the “world’s first downloadable MEDICINE.” I’m guessing that spelling “medicine” in all capital letters just emphasizes that it’s, like, really “MEDICINE, MAN.” (Yes, the “MAN” in “QuantumMAN™” is also in all caps. Of course.) If you visit the main page of the QuantumMAN™ website, you’ll also see that QuantumMAN™ is apparently much more than just the world’s first downloadable medicine, but that apparently it represents this:

Treat disease with data not drugs!

Simply open a portal with your purchased product’s Portal Access Key™ (PAK™). Data then transfers from a remote quantum computer to your brain’s neural network for the benefits desired.

Holy Matrix, Batman! Actually, it sounds as though QuantumMAN™ is going one beyond The Matrix movies. After all, in those movies, human beings were connected to the Matrix through a giant cables that were plugged directly into connections implanted into the brain through what looked like a giant Ethernet jacks on the backs of their heads. That’s obviously far too primitive for QuantumMAN™, which eschews such primitive physical connections for, apparently, quantum connections. You don’t believe me? Well, it helps that QuantumMAN™ is apparently based on extraterrestrial technology, which is referred to as a “game changer.” No doubt. If QuantumMAN™ were truly based on extraterrestrial technology, it would truly be a game changer!

But how—how?—you ask, does QuantumMAN™ work? Well, the Zürich Alpine Group, which is what the group promoting QuantumMAN™ calls itself. Oddly enough, its acronym (ZAG) rather closely resembles another acronym beloved of cranks everywhere, ZOG. The jokes about this write themselves; so I won’t bother to. I will, however, take a peek at how ZAG describes itself and QuantumMAN™

The Zürich Alpine Group (ZAG) is a private humanitarian medical research group of scientists and physicians working cooperatively and quietly around the world in the quest to improve the quality, efficacy and costs of medical care. Working with those goals in mind, the group has developed a radical new quantum information technology derived from its discoveries utilizing quantum physics that has thrust it into global leadership in quantum computing. This technology offers solutions to previously insurmountable medical problems….solutions without the slightest possibility of adverse side effects from treatment. The team at ZAG has long understood the toll the drug industry has taken on the populace as it treats medical issues symptomatically with a chemical based approach. However, the universe including the human body and conditions that afflict it all operates according to the principles of quantum physics. Chemical based treatment systems do not operate according to those principles and, as such, are not compatible with the human host as evidenced by their toxicity. ZAG understands that quantum problems require a quantum solution and has found a way to transfer bioinformation from its quantum computer via quantum teleportation to the brain, also a quantum computer, to reprogram the brain to effect positive medical changes within the body and mind. These technological advancements have thus given birth to the world’s first downloadable medicines.

Naturally, ZAG is flying below the radar in order to prevent Big Pharma from crushing its technology, appropriating it for its own, and then charging exorbitant sums for it:

For several years, ZAG has quietly conducted clinical trials around the world testing its new developments for efficacy and safety. ZAG has shunned reporting its research and trials in the traditional medical literature because it believes this venue is heavily influenced by Big Pharma and politics. Finally, after years of testing, it has decided to arrange the creation of a web presence as the venue for the presentation of its numerous products developed from its technology.

I guess that explains why my searches of PubMed have failed to turn up a single reference supporting the use of these “quantum medicines.” Unfortunately, as much as I searched the site, I was unable to find even a description of this research outside of being published in peer-reviewed, PubMed-indexed medical journals. Go figure. What I did find were some nifty videos that purport to explain everything. For instance, here’s an introduction:

For having such an elaborate website and videos with fairly high production values, other than the robotic-sounding voice narrating them, ZAG sure isn’t very creative when it comes to how it introduces itself. There are the usual broadsides against “conventional” medicine, prescription drug deaths, and the like. Boring. I do like how ZAG claims that these quantum medicines are going to replace those primitive old “chemical-based” medicines. Of course, even if these “quantum medicines” worked, they’d still somehow have to alter the chemicals that make up the macromolecules that make up the cells that make up our bodies in a way to correct whatever dysfunction is being treated, which would in the end be a chemical effect, but I guess admitting that is just not as sexy as claiming that you can use some sort of digital “key” to “upload” various “quantum medicines” directly into the brain and body using—of course!—your computer, tablet, or smartphone:

And here’s a hilariously off-base description of why ZAG’s “technology” is allegedly so superior to what exists in medicine:

The entire universe including the human body and maladies that afflict it operates on the principles of quantum mechanics. Chemical based treatment systems do not operate according to those princicples and, as such, are not compatible with human physiology as evidenced by their adverse side-effects. Conventional pharmaceuticals are chemicals that act only on the physical level. On the other hand, QuantumMAN™ delivers medicine on a quantum level to the multiple realms within the human body with an efficacy unmatched by primitive drug delivery systems. Moreover, QuantumMAN™ delivers his quantum treatments without the slightest chance of collateral damage to the host.

I’m sure it would be news to Richard Feynman (a.k.a. the real Quantum Man)—were he still alive of course—that chemical-based treatments (which are basically nothing more than chemicals whose reaction with chemicals in the human body, such as proteins, DNA, RNA, carbohydrates, and the like determines their activity) don’t operate according to the principles of quantum physics. In fact, come to think of it, I bet it would be news to Professor Feynman that quantum effects are not on a “physical level.” Seriously, though, if ZAG could find a single drug that somehow violates the principles of quantum physics and convincingly demonstrate that it did, there would be a Nobel Prize there for whoever did the research! Not surprisingly, there is the usual misunderstanding of quantum entanglement as somehow affecting large, macro-level objects that woo-meisters of many stripes routinely demonstrate. None of this is particularly surprising. It is, however, rather amusing. Or it would be, if these charlatans didn’t apparently charge a fair amount of money for their PAK™s.

In fact, there’s seemingly nothing that QuantumMAN™ can’t do! Apparently, you can vaccinate yourself against malaria, influenza, and even the common cold! You can even protect your children from becoming addicted to meth by downloading some ZAG goodness into them, or, failing that, cure them (or yourself) of meth addiction.. If you have an infection, you can treat it with a quantum antibiotic, and if you’re in pain, you can take Zaxis™, which promises 24 hour pain control. Why only 24 hours if quantum medicine is so much more awesome than regular medicine? Who knows? Then, of course, there are a wide variety of ZAG products designed to help you lose weight because, well, you know, all that dieting and exercising is just so “chemical” compared to the quantum goodness at the heart of QuantumMAN™. You can even undergo a form of “quantum gastric bypass surgery” by reprogramming your brain, if you want. Even more amazingly, if you’re a female going through menopause, you can provide yourself with quantum hormone replacement therapy.

And, of course, if all else fails, there’s always Quantum Doctor (QDr™) or Quantum Chiropractor (QChiro™), while you can also detoxify. Quantumly, of course:

ZAG, the private humanitarian medical research group that employs QuantumMAN™, developed Quantum Detox™ as a bio-weapon against disease for QuantumMAN™’s exploits. Quantum Detox™ is one of the many developments derived from ZAG’s radical new quantum information technology based on quantum physics. Quantum Detox™ is biosoftware that utilizes a set of PAKs™ that are downloaded to your personal computer, smartphone or tablet. When you click on the desired amount of PAKs™ you wish to dose, quantum bioinformation linked to their activation codes is uploaded directly to your brain’s neural network via quantum teleportation. This quantum bioinformation consists of physiologic directives that program your brain to the specifications of Quantum Detox™’s master programs. QuantumMAN™ is the personification of this quantum data which consists of repeater programs that deliver quantum bioinformation several times a day for 30 days.

Lovely.

But what about evidence? I managed to find ZAG’s “clinical trial” page. When I looked at the “clinical trials” described in the various links on the page, what did I find? If you guessed that I found actual clinical trial results, you’d be so very wrong indeed. If you guessed that I found anecdotes and testimonials, give yourself a PAK™ on the back! You’re a winner. For instance, in this case of back pain (re-evaluated with applied kinesiology, of course), using ZAG’s methods fixed her “alignment” issues, and apparently ZAG can even cure urinary tract infections and can fix your sex life (or at least let you download orgasms). It’s even good for horses!

And ya might not believe this little fella, but it’ll cure your erectile dysfunction too.

You know, after reading enough of this site to melt my brain in a quantum fashion, a question comes up. If QuantumMAN™ technology is so awesome, why does it require a smartphone, tablet, or computer to get the PAK™s to your brain? Why the intermediary? After all, if QuantumMAN™ is really using quantum teleportation, why can’t it just upload the PAK™s to your brain directly from its amazingly awesome extraterrestrial computers, wherever they are, when you need them? In fact, why does ZAG even need PayPal to collect its fees? Inquiring minds want to know!

There’s so much material on the QuantumMAN™ website, that I could easily have fun with it for multiple posts, but such is not the purpose of my taking this on. The thought also crossed my mind that the whole thing could be an elaborate hoax by skeptics designed to mock the use and abuse of the term “quantum” by quacks. I’d actually be fine with that, but I doubt that’s the case. There’s too much salesmanship going on, and there is an actual checkout for the store selling these “downloads.” I doubt skeptics would risk fraud charges by actually collecting money from the credulous for the sake of a joke or parody, but I suppose I could be wrong.

Which brings me back to the International CES 2013 and how its organizers will rent a booth to anyone. I also tend to doubt skeptics would go to the expense of renting a booth at the premiere consumer electronics show and travel in Las Vegas to man that booth. Yes, if you go to the sidebar of the the QuantumMAN™ website, you’ll see that it links to the CES 2013 and lists a booth from a company called Extraterrestrial Technology based in Honolulu whose website looks just like the QuantumMAN™ website. That’s unfortunate, because I was just in Honolulu last month and might have been able to check out this amazing company. On the other hand, I was on vacation; so I doubt I would have bothered even if I had known. If any of our readers are attending CES right now week, do drop by the booth. I’d love to hear a report of what sort of goodies ZAG has for CES attendees. It’s Booth 35853. I want pictures. I want reports.

I also realize that some readers might ask why I’m bothering with a site that is so obviously full of pseudoscience that is even more nonsensical than the usual pseudoscience we encounter on this blog. (Or maybe they wouldn’t.) The answer is easy enough. I sometimes miss Your Friday Dose of Woo since I realized I couldn’t always psyche myself up enough each and every Friday to do a post like this, so much so that I’ll occasionally do something like this on a Tuesday! In the meantime, however, my answers this question are threefold. First, I wanted to have a little fun. Second, I wanted to show an example of just how far quacks will abuse legitimate scientific terms in order to sell nonsensical products. And, third: Reductio ad absurdum. Except that I don’t have to do the reductio ad absurdum myself. The quacks have already done it for me.

Don’t even get me started on Bill Nelson’s EPFX/QXCI Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface. Maybe later in 2013. Or, if that’s not bizarre enough, there’s always DNA Activation.

Comments

  1. #1 elburto
    January 8, 2013

    This is… I have no… Wow.

    Comedy genius, pure fried gold. I’ll have to check the site out thoroughly, it sounds amazing!

    I wonder if there are many side effects.

  2. #2 MI Dawn
    January 8, 2013

    Hmmm…orgasms, antibiotics and weight loss, all with no evil side effects. Too bad I don’t have the money to waste testing out this…uh….Quantumly spectacular stuff.

  3. #3 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    January 8, 2013

    If QuantumMAN™ technology is so awesome, why does it require a smartphone, tablet, or computer to get the PAK™s to your brain?

    That is so they can beam the signals to the correct brain. You can’t go about teleporting willy nilly now can you?

  4. #4 Shay
    January 8, 2013

    Don’t be unkind. After the bottom dropped out of the cuckoo clock market, the Swiss had to come up with something.

  5. #5 palindrom
    January 8, 2013

    Quantum Xrroids?

    I think you can get a cream for those.

    The outfit described here does fit right in to a certain segment of the consumer electronics market — people have been known to buy little weighted rings that go around CDs to make them spin more evenly and make the music sound better. Selling those is like printing your own money, except that it’s legal.

  6. #6 Denice Walter
    January 8, 2013

    Reading through their descriptions of their products.. I don’t know.. it sounds as if they are selling drugs: Bliss(tm) sounds like mdma and the various aphrodisiacs and hormone replacements sound a lot like herbal and pharma products.

    Are they counting on audience confusion- patrons who might expect REAL drugs and herbals? ( legal XTC, Viagra without the doctor?) ” I wanted some pills but all I’ve gotten is this crappy download!”

    They also sell Tri-corders (!) and pet products.

  7. #7 Mu
    January 8, 2013

    What leaves the question, does the FDA have the power to regulate quantum entanglement treatments? Or do they have an “for entertainment purposes only” Quack Miranda warning on their page?

  8. #8 Denice Walter
    January 8, 2013

    OT: but is Quantum Stupid ™ EVER truly OT @ RI, I ask you?
    Didn’t think so.

    Today at AoA, Peter Breggin’s take on meds is linked

    Today at Natural News, MIke Adams details the new revolution he is fomenting with Alex Jones against the tyranny of Empire – as represented in the person of Piers Morgan.

  9. #9 Composer99
    http://composer99.blogspot.ca
    January 8, 2013

    C’mon everyone, sing with me!

    QuantumMAN­™! QuantumMAN™
    Does whatever a quantum can
    Does the wave, any size
    Cures what ails ya with his PAK device
    Look out! Here comes the QuantumMAN­™!

    Is he strong? Listen, bud
    He’s got quantum-entangled blood
    He won’t collapse when he’s observed
    But maybe his health claims are a bit absurd
    Look out! Here comes the QuantumMAN­™!

    In the box with the cat
    At the scene of the crime
    Teleporting in a snap
    He arrives just in time!

    QuantumMAN­™! QuantumMAN­™!
    Uncertain position-momentum QuantumMAN­™!
    Giving dogs tasty treats (*)
    His vibrational action can’t be beat
    Look out! Here comes the QuantumMAN­™!

    There goes the QuantumMAN­™!

    Here comes the QuantumMAAAAAAAAAN­™!

    (*) An homage to How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, written by ScienceBlogs‘ Chad Orzel (and which I happened to get as a gift for Christmas).

  10. #10 THS
    January 8, 2013

    Tuesday woo. Too much entangled fun.

  11. #11 THS
    January 8, 2013

    The electronic voice in the introduction video – who do the think they are, Anonymous? The glassware is quaint.

  12. #12 Eric Lund
    January 8, 2013

    If QuantumMAN™ technology is so awesome, why does it require a smartphone, tablet, or computer to get the PAK™s to your brain?

    Because ZAG, like the Psychic Friends hotline and their ilk, actually don’t know your credit card number. Key difference: at least it’s plausible that ZAG would not know your credit card number (setting up the quantum state for teleportation would require equipment that most people don’t have on hand). As the joke goes, if Psychic Friends were on the level they would know your credit card number without having to ask you for it.

  13. #13 Scottynuke
    Land of no cookies
    January 8, 2013

    Cookie cookie cookie starts with “C”… :-)

  14. #14 S
    January 8, 2013

    OT: but is Quantum Stupid ™ EVER truly OT @ RI, I ask you?
    Didn’t think so.

    Today at AoA, Peter Breggin’s take on meds is linked

    @Denice, without opening a can of worms, could you summarize for me please more specifically what you find objectionable about Breggin’s comments? Is it that you do not share the opinion that medications which act on the central nervous system (psychiatric medications included) could possibly effect certain individuals in such ways as he mentions?

    I would guess you have experience seeing people experiencing withdrawal and symptoms caused by dosage changes on these meds. Have you ever seen someone who is otherwise stable totally ‘lose it’ when their dose is changed? Would you attribute that loss of control solely to a presumed diagnosis of mental illness, or at least in part to the effect of the medication change? And what if those individuals eventually stopped all such medications and were shown stable for many years after stopping – would you be more inclined to attribute that increased mental stability, for lack of a better word, to the stopping of the medications and stabilizing after their withdrawal, or only to a recovery in their mental illness/disease coincident with the stopping of their medications?

  15. #15 Denice Walter
    January 8, 2013

    @ S:

    Breggin – however he may present himself- summarily dismisses any and all meds for psychological problems.
    He has a long and storied history disparaging the usage of meds: that’s what his books and internet radio show promote ( see PRN.com)

    Like many alt med advocates, he may start out sounding reasonable. No one ever said that meds work perfectly or have no side effects or that withdrawal is NOT an issue with many drugs. That’s the difference between SBM and woo: we look at all the data, not only those we like. Breggin’s ‘job’ includes ignoring positive and therapeutic effects.

    Although psychiatric meds have problems, they also can benefit many people: weighing and measuring all effects is what research is all about. Similarly, doctors AND patients make decisions about what level of negatives they are willing to accept in exchange for the positive changes that the meds bring about.

  16. #16 Andreas Johansson
    January 8, 2013

    His vibrational action can’t be beat

    Does that mean what I think it means?

  17. #17 Composer99
    http://composer99.blogspot.ca
    January 8, 2013

    Andreas:

    It can mean whatever you want it to mean. It’s quantum!

    (To be fair, I was casting about for a phrase that sounded ‘quantum-y’, referred to the sCAM nature of QuantumMAN™, and rhymed with treats. They can’t all be winners.)

  18. #18 robb
    January 8, 2013

    quantum medicine sounds great!

    the only drawback i can see is that you need your brain in it’s ground state. this requires dipping your brain in liquid helium, putting it in ultra high vacuum and vibrationally isolating it from the surroundings.

  19. #19 Denice Walter
    January 8, 2013

    @ Composer99:

    Gives your doggie a quantum treat
    (His vibrational action can’t be beat…)

    -btw- your phrase can’t be beat
    oh and ” he can’t collapse if he’s observed”
    I’d better stop now

  20. #20 S
    January 8, 2013

    @Denice, I see that Dr. Novella wrote an excellent article on this issue. The best article I’ve seen yet.

    http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/1967-the-legacy-of-the-anti-psychiatry-movement.html

    These are matters where I feel I could offer much insight, but I think most patients would be hesitant to comment publicly for a variety of reasons. I am curious as to whether Dr. Novella and others understand that although some of the laws have been changed, they are not necessarily being followed. Laws such as allowing patients the right to refuse medications, to avoid restraints unless they are really necessary to stop someone from causing physical harm, or even that patients should only be detained against their will when/if they pose a possible risk to themselves or others. In some cases these laws are not being followed and are being misused by others to ‘abuse’, for lack of a better word, the patient.

    In other cases, I see the increase in community-based services as an overall improvement, although I have no personal experience as being in any state-run psychiatric institutions as he mentions in his article. One problem with community-based services is that they too often have peers and recovered patients in charge of other patients, which can lead to misdiagnosis of symptoms by unqualified individuals. The overall concept of peer involvement is good, but in practice it is greatly lacking in expertise and as such, potentially dangerous or harmful to the patient under active treatment.

    @Andreas, I’m curious as to how QuantumMAN would compare with Reiki Sex.

  21. #21 Mike
    January 8, 2013

    I’m not convinced this isn’t a hoax. While I’ve seen some pretty outlandish claims on some seriously whacked web sites, this one is just so far out there it just screams “How far can I push the envelope and still have people believe?”

    If so: Epic satirical comedy genius.
    If not: Epic . . . stupid.

  22. #22 Mike
    January 8, 2013

    @Composer99

    You made my morning with the QuantumMAN song.

    Thank you.

  23. #23 Bronze Dog
    January 8, 2013

    The implied dualism is funny. If QM is non-physical, why is it considered a part of physics?

    I suspect there’s a lot of language to blame for making people susceptible, since even I get sloppy and refer to “physical” wired connections as opposed to wireless connections in computer contexts. Sometimes in games, I’ll refer to “physical” attacks to mean melee as opposed to ranged. There’s also physical versus magical in games where dualism is canon for the fantasy world. Games that feature both energy weapons and conventional slug throwers will sometimes refer to the latter as “physical.”

    And there’s the popular woo meme of “energy” that sows confusion by treating physical energy as non-physical because it’s not as easy to grasp as matter.

  24. #24 Bronze Dog
    January 8, 2013

    Oh, yeah, and if this quantum downloadable medicine is so great, why don’t they release it as a positive computer virus? Oh, wait, that’s right: It’s quackery motivated by greed.

  25. #25 Narad
    January 8, 2013

    Another issue with Breggin’s comments is this:

    A recent study of reports to the FDA of drug-induced violence has demonstrated that antidepressants have an 840% increased rate of violence.

    What’s at the other end of the link he provides to support this? Chantix. That’s plain dishonesty.

  26. #26 Denice Walter
    January 8, 2013

    @ S:

    It’s a complicated and terrible problem that’s expensive as well.
    SMI has biological components as well as social and educational ones. Everything can’t be solved with drugs- atlhough their are “chemical” aspects there may also be structural aspects that meds can’t fix.

    If you liked Dr Novella’s take you might want to read Fuller Torrey on de-institutionalisation. There’s tons of material.

    -btw- I don’t work with SMI clients- or their families- currently .I am more a mentor than a therapist these days.

  27. #27 Denice Walter
    January 8, 2013

    THERE are “chemical” aspects

  28. #28 Todd W.
    harpocratesspeaks.com
    January 8, 2013

    There does not appear to be any quack Miranda warning on the site. I searched for FDA and the only references I found were to “FDA-approved” drugs or black box warnings for drugs, and that testosterone is classified as a controlled substance. Nothing saying that their products have been approved by FDA or that the claims made have not been evaluated by FDA.

    I also wasn’t able to find any mention that the site is just a big joke (though the jury’s still out on that one). Assuming, then, that it is a serious site actually selling this stuff, they are in violation of FDA regulations, since they are selling their “treatments” within the U.S. and make claims to diagnose, treat or cure diseases or conditions.

    I wonder how that’ll work out for them.

  29. #29 robb
    January 8, 2013

    watch what you say Todd W! they just might beam you over a stomach parasite!

  30. #30 Todd W.
    harpocratesspeaks.com
    January 8, 2013

    Oh, good. My tapeworm (most logical reason for my ability to eat lots and remain slender) could use some company.

  31. #31 S
    January 8, 2013

    @Denice, I’ll look into that site.

    @Narad, I noticed the Chantix reference as well, and I don’t appreciate anyone confusing that issue as he did. However, does Chantix essentially have the same or extremely similar effects as an antidepressant, but just being marketing to help people stop smoking? My knowledge and experience is limited to other medications, and clearly, I’m not a pharmacist either.

    @robb, it seems everything needs perpetual treatment by quacks. Parasites, bad energy ,.. Isn’t any illness ever readily treatable?

  32. #32 S
    January 8, 2013

    ^ marketed

  33. #33 JGC
    January 8, 2013

    If nothing else, the quantum computer they’re using to deliver that healing information would represent a medical drug delievery device, no different really than Norplant contraceptive or a Nicoderm patch. Anyone think they’ve done the mandated clinical testing required for approval by the FDA (or EMEA, given the’re Swiss)?

  34. #34 Sastra
    January 8, 2013

    Of course quantum effects don’t take place on the physical level. Quantum particles are made of Pure Mentality — iow, non-material Thought. Quantum effects take place entirely in your mind.

    Therefore, the effects of Quantum Medicine are all in your mind. Easy peasy.

  35. #35 Narad
    January 8, 2013

    However, does Chantix essentially have the same or extremely similar effects as an antidepressant, but just being marketing to help people stop smoking?

    I’m not sure what you mean by “the same or extremely similar effects.” Mechanism of action? It squats on nicotinic receptors and partially agonizes them. This isn’t where SSRI/SNRI agents do their thing. Has it been looked at for antidepressant activity? Sure. There’s not much there, and others have proposed the opposite for antidepressant design.

    It’s a smoking-cessation drug. The other smoking-cessation drug, Zyban, which is Wellbutrin, of course is an atypical antidepressant and apparently also shows antagonist effects on these receptors.

  36. #36 herr doktor bimler
    January 8, 2013

    Swiss? Hard to tell. The website is operating out of a server in Duesseldorf. It appears to be a subsidiary of “quantumchiropractor.com” (the golden rule of crank magnetism is that you can never have too many separate forms of woo in the combination).

    It may be that the single traceable director — living in Honolulu – was hired, for the convenience of using a Honolulu shipping address for the duration of CES.

    Apparently at CES their main product will be the QuantumVET Tricoder Plus.

  37. #37 Narad
    January 8, 2013

    BTW, I’ve taken both. Not similar to each other in my case, nor to my SSRI/SNRI/NaSSA* experience.

    * Fun fact: Remeron was brought to you by Organon International.

  38. #38 Steve D
    Green Bay, WI
    January 8, 2013

    PAK is trademarked? Copyright troll lawsuit against Pakistan in 3…2…1…

    Also, testosterone is a controlled substance (I knew that already). So all us guys have to report to the FBI.

  39. #39 lilady
    January 8, 2013

    O/T Alex Jones has a meltdown on TV over gun control and a gazillion other topics…

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/07/us/piers-morgan-guns-debate/index.html

  40. #40 Narad
    January 8, 2013

    O/T Alex Jones has a meltdown on TV over gun control and a gazillion other topics…

    In related news, armchair commando is still fat.

  41. #41 Alain
    January 8, 2013

    @Andreas, I’m curious as to how QuantumMAN would compare with Reiki Sex.

    No clue (and I’m not Andreas) but shouldn’t we have an interesting picture (or movie) in mind when performing quantum sex?

    Alain

  42. #42 S
    January 8, 2013

    @Narad,

    What you said is exactly what I meant, and indeed the reason I asked was because I knew that Zyban and Wellbutrin were the same thing. Thanks for explaining it in better detail.

    OT, speaking of medications, you may be interested in reading this article about Oxycontin. I find it difficult to believe that so many physicians were really misled into believing that Oxycontin use would not cause drug tolerance and dependency problems.

  43. #43 Denice Walter
    January 8, 2013

    @ lilady:

    See my OT above.
    Right now Mikey is praying fervently that his connection will bring him mainstream media attention FINALLY!
    -btw- so am I.
    Not that I pray but you know what I mean.

  44. #44 S
    January 8, 2013

    If you liked Dr Novella’s take you might want to read Fuller Torrey on de-institutionalisation. There’s tons of material.

    @Denice, I just read Torrey’s Wikipedia article. Do you mean that Dr. Novella basically shares the same opinions as Fuller Torrey as far as forced medicating and involuntary confinement? If so, perhaps I was a bit premature in offering an opinion.

  45. #45 S
    January 8, 2013

    @Denice, I must have misunderstood something. The article Novella wrote just does not seem to support those same opinions.

  46. #46 Denice Walter
    January 8, 2013

    Both professionals are aware of the real world effects of de-institutionalisation which include homelessness and the mentally ill often residing in jails. They also recognise that SMI has tremendous costs ( monetary and otherwise) in industrialised societies.,

    Fuller Torrey does not advocate forced medication and involuntary confinement as a general measure but only for highly circumscribed cases. Serious mental illness may include the inability to understand the necessity for meds as well as how to manoeuvre about the world safely..
    Xavier Amador also deals with medication in practical terms. I should mention that both Torrey and Amador have siblings with SMI: they are not cold-blooded outsiders to these problems.

    Unfortunately not all people can live independently and without meds. Fiifty years ago, no one saw them or discussed them because they were hidden away in institutions without rights. Now we are aware of them and their problems. SMI and developmental disabilities are not going to go away- they are part of the human condition.

  47. #47 bad poet
    January 8, 2013

    QuantumMAN, ring your bell (ring, ring)
    And play those vi-i-ibes I know so well
    QuantumMAN, upon my street
    Those things you sell move my feet

    – apologies to Jonathan Richman, although “I’m a Little Dinosaur” might be more appropriate, substituting “quantum slime-o-saur”

  48. #48 MarkL
    January 8, 2013

    Anyone seen the ZAG founder’s statement? It is hysterically funny. An alian abduction fantasist!

    It seems to be the work of a Michael H Uehara of Hawaii. After a brief google, he has been involved in the past with “E-ceuticles”, “hydroceuticals” and the “quantumizing” of Ayahuasca.

    He has tried to get Bill Gates interested in his quantum Malaria cure on twitter, so i am guessing we are not dealing with a scam, but someone who has “taken a break from reality”.

  49. #49 S
    January 8, 2013

    @Denice, In my opinion there are way too many misdiagnoses for me to be able to support the views I read on his Wikipedia page. Too many patients are incorrectly falling into the mentally ill category and even some into the SMI category. Medications can cause people to hallucinate or have increased anxiety, and pain medications can cause depression, etc., and physicians can misinterpret those effects as mental illness and continue the path of the medications – without ever recognizing that the patient is indeed experiencing medication induced effects. Instead, they treat those effects with even more medications. That said, some day I would some like to sit down and have a long chat with a few people, Dr. Novella being one of them, unless you’ve got more to tell me.

  50. #50 Narad
    January 8, 2013

    apologies to Jonathan Richman, although “I’m a Little Dinosaur” might be more appropriate

    Or “UFO Man.” (I actually have a great 1986 live set from Holstein’s that I need to get off of a cassette. For some reason, the Spanish version is more readily available. Not that I’m complaining.)

  51. #51 Lawrence
    January 8, 2013

    @Narad – how about PUMA MAN!!!!!

  52. #52 Shay
    January 8, 2013

    @Herr Doktor :

    One of the joys of having a mild reading disorder (I have never been formally diagnosed as dyslexic but between the eye and the brain letters move around, sometimes), is that I initially read your statement as “….operating out of a sewer in Dusseldorf.”

    Which seemed so right, somehow.

  53. #53 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    January 8, 2013

    Shay, I also read it as “sewer.” I don’t know why, perhaps because it would have been so right.

  54. #54 Paul
    January 9, 2013

    Something tells me that if that guy switched places with Jenny McCarthy, all of our children would’ve been vaccinated by now and Jenny McCarthy would be in management at a business that’s doomed to fail in about six months.

  55. #55 flip
    January 9, 2013

    Just grabbing a cookie.

  56. #56 elburto
    January 9, 2013

    Also, testosterone is a controlled substance (I knew that already). So all us guys have to report to the FBI

    Women too. Everyone has testosterone coursing through them.

    Fortunately though, the Feds mean exogenous testosterone, not endogenous.

    Even the US can’t. mprison 100% of the population!* Who’d run the country and the prisons?

    *Dear USA – I know you really really like locking people up**, but please see my words as a statement and not a challenge. Even outsourcing couldn’t help achieve that sort of target.

    ** Relevant to what Denise is discussing, because PWSMIs are disproportionately represented in the prison population. That goes double for people of colour with SMI. They’re far more likely to receive a custodial sentence in cases where their white counterparts are given impatient therapy. Teens (and children) with MI are also subject to this divide, with white teens being more likely to be ordered into inpatient treatment facilities, and black and Latino teens being more likely to be sentenced to time in a punitive setting.

  57. #57 T Herling
    January 9, 2013

    “In this site, you are witnessing the most mind-blowing technology since man first step foot [sic] on this Earth”

    “Man first step foot” sounds like the kind of parody beatnik poem you’d hear on a 60s sitcom.

  58. #58 herr doktor bimler
    January 9, 2013

    their white counterparts are given impatient therapy.

    Because I am a bad person I am now imagining the therapists tapping their fingers irritably and yawning and casting conspicuous glances at the clock.

  59. #59 Krebiozen
    January 9, 2013

    S,

    I find it difficult to believe that so many physicians were really misled into believing that Oxycontin use would not cause drug tolerance and dependency problems.

    IIRC heroin was originally marketed as a non-addictive substitute for morphine, so it seems that some drug companies haven’t learned from history.

  60. #60 dingo199
    January 9, 2013

    How can this possibly not be a hoax.

    See the section on “Tiger Tail” – quantum male G-spot stimulator
    http://www.quantummansite.com/catalog/tigertail.php
    (Caution – may be NSFW)

    Apparently “it’s Grrrreat!”

  61. #61 MarkL
    January 9, 2013

    @Dingo199

    See the section on “Tiger Tail” – quantum male G-spot stimulator

    Oh you b*****, I just lost my lunch!. It’s Grrrrrrross!

  62. #62 Tatiana Racheva
    January 9, 2013

    Guys, I think it’s a practical joke, malepregnancy.com style.

  63. #63 S
    January 9, 2013

    IIRC heroin was originally marketed as a non-addictive substitute for morphine, so it seems that some drug companies haven’t learned from history.

    @Krebiozen, The drug companies likely aren’t going to change, but why haven’t physicians learned from that same history? How can physicians, according to the article, claim that they are being so misled and think that Oxycontin could not cause dependency? Can they not see the same history, or do too many merely believe everything they read, such as those misleading studies designed mostly for marketing purposes, and pharmaceutical company literature and sales gimmicks? As far as critical thinking skills go, it seems that there is a lacking in this area if physicians can be convinced for so many years that Oxycontin would not cause major problems with withdrawal, addiction and drug tolerance. It’s just too much for me to believe that so many *with a medical degree* could be so misled and for so long about opiates.

  64. #64 Krebiozen
    January 9, 2013

    S,

    @Krebiozen, The drug companies likely aren’t going to change, but why haven’t physicians learned from that same history?

    Because, generally speaking, they believe what they read in medical journals, and what is published in medical journals is more prone to bias than it should be. It’s a big problem, and there’s a long way to go to fixing it adequately.

  65. #65 S
    January 9, 2013

    Because, generally speaking, they believe what they read in medical journals

    @Krebiozen, This is unfortunate for the patients who have taken these medications and experienced acute symptoms and complications only to have them dismissed as a psychological problem or misdiagnosed as another disease warranting treatment – all merely due to the existence of these poor quality studies and lack of adequate critical thinking skills by their physicians. I presume that ‘lack of critical thinking skill’ is an appropriate way to describe it. I suggest that some physicians intentionally over-prescribe in order to maintain a patient population that keeps returning, paying for more treatment/prescriptions, while not knowing that they are experiencing the otherwise known effects of those medications.

  66. #66 sophia8
    January 9, 2013

    @Denice Walter
    That list of “Twelve real reasons why Piers Morgan is crazier than Alex Jones” on Mike Adam’s site is hilarious. They pretty much all boil down to “Piers Morgan is a limp-wristed milquetoast limey while Alex Jones is a REAL MAN!”
    Careful Mikey, your sub-text is showing….

  67. #67 Narad
    January 9, 2013

    It’s just too much for me to believe that so many *with a medical degree* could be so misled and for so long about opiates.

    The abuse liability of oxycodone itself no secret prior to the introduction of the slow-release Oxycontin in 1996. It is suggested here that the perception of comparatively low risk may go back to earlier use in fomulations that combined other analgesics.

    And this is totally giving me a hankering for some tramadol.

  68. #68 Narad
    January 9, 2013

    ^ “was no secret”

  69. #69 Denice Walter
    January 9, 2013

    @ sophia8:

    If you are searching for crap, Natural News is the mother lode/ load.

    @ Narad:

    And who would’ve thunk you to be a dabbler?
    Moi? Jamais!

  70. #70 Narad
    January 9, 2013

    And who would’ve thunk you to be a dabbler?

    Only legitimate prescriptions. I’ve got exactly one held back from having cracked a couple of ribs a few years back, in case of emergency. It’s actually an interesting pharmacological candidate on the antidepressant front, as it has SNRI action. Real close structurally to venlafaxine, but subjectively with none of the (intolerable, in my case) unpleasantness.

  71. #71 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    January 9, 2013

    My GP would not prescribe anything like these in principle because of the addiction risk and the lower back pain specialist only did so with oxycodone or ‘contin in combo with cortisone injections for a month each for the same reason. After that…

    Luckily, I no longer require them. Perhaps as a result of the successful 2nd RCT for what would appear to be a unrelated thing.

    Even towards the end of the one which failed the spondylolysis/L5 fused to S1 on left and vertically cracked on the right generated pain(??) appeared to be subsiding from a constant 4-5 outta 10 (which increased to an 8 or so with little effort) to mostly nil.

    But then, the reiki masters should have been able to tell us that or about the couple of upper back issues I had some time ago.

  72. #72 Captain A
    Top of a circus tent looking down
    January 9, 2013

    This isn’t quackery. It is blatant fraud. The depths to which crooks will descend in order to cheat someone out of a buck continues to amaze, and amuse, me . Apparently PT Barnum grossly underestimated.

    It reminds me of the whole Encite (natural male enhancement) scam.

    C

  73. #73 T Herling
    January 9, 2013

    I can’t believe that there’s any way their “novel new malaria vaccine MalariaSafe™” can be legally marketed in the US.

    http://www.quantummansite.com/catalog/malariasafe.php

  74. #74 Todd W.
    harpocratesspeaks.com
    January 10, 2013

    @T Herling

    It can’t. At least, not without proper clinical trials and FDA approval. Here’s a handy little link for folks to consider:

    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/default.htm

  75. #75 herr doktor bimler
    January 10, 2013

    I can’t believe that there’s any way their “novel new malaria vaccine MalariaSafe™” can be legally marketed in the US.

    That might account for the choice of a German server as a physical base for the website.

  76. [...] has done a more detailed debunking of this quantum curing [...]

  77. #77 Jeff Rubinoff
    January 11, 2013

    I’ve forwarded a link to QuantumMan to my HistSci friend. It’s actually hard to say what makes science, science, especially the closer you look at it. This however clearly isn’t, though it looks “sciency.” So maybe interesting question, why is this clearly not science, whereas even a really atrocious paper in Phys Rev Letters still is?

  78. #78 Phoenix Woman
    January 12, 2013

    Somewhere, Lord Draconis is doing a facepalm, or whatever it is his race does when confronted by something breathtakingly brazen and stupid.

  79. #79 Narad
    January 12, 2013

    So maybe interesting question, why is this clearly not science, whereas even a really atrocious paper in Phys Rev Letters still is?

    What’s the last really atrocious PRL paper you’ve run across? It’s not all that pretty to look at, but it’s a reasonably high class joint.

  80. #80 Glaxxon PharmaCOM Terrabase DIA
    Level 244 - Red Sector
    January 12, 2013

    MESSAGE BEGINS——————-

    Shills and Minions:

    This is just the sort of thing I was warning my dinner guests about the other evening. It was the usual suspects, the Rothschilds, the idiot Koch hatchlings and Mr. Presley, and we were enjoying some very rare . . . uh, meat, yes, delicious, plain, old cow “meat.” It was paired with a perfectly balanced, hundred year-old Cabernet and everything was going along swimmingly until a certain very annoying “date” that Koch the younger had dragged along, decided to show us his wristband. “Dude, It’s totally quantum” it said with it’s awful, fleshy lips revealing its’ huge white teeth in a lopsided grin. The dreaded “Q” word . . . during the sorbet course.

    Shills and Minions, I’m a tolerant overlord. I am endlessly amused by humans with their peccadillos and curious mating arrangments, but I cannot, nay, will not abide bad etiquette at dinner. That, and the word “dude.” I’m sure I seem churlish and that all this quantum business sounds ridiculous to you, after all, you’ve seen earth from low earth orbit. But you must be aware that your mass shopping facilities are filled with swarming, credulous, mouth-breathing, monkey-cardholders who are all too willing to swallow this dreck hook, line and v’spaak.

    I’m sure I needn’t tell you that this is immensely upsetting to those of us whose raison d’etre is pharmaceutical enslavement and total, planetary subjugation. So, my shills and minions, kindly add these quantum hooligans to your long list of targets in what has already proven to be, as our host would say, “a target rich environment.”

    Whomever meets this month’s quota will win a lovely dinner with yours truly and a few close enemies. We’ll be having “meat” again, and I can assure you it will be . . . fresh.

    Stay sharp. Mock the Idiots. Roll in Lucre.

    Lord Draconis Zeneca, VH7ihL

    Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Pharmaca Magna of Terra, Where’s Eddie? That’s a tender subject.

    Terrabase DIA
    11101011110101110101110010101010100

    ————————–MESSAGE ENDS

  81. #81 Pareidolius
    January 13, 2013

    From the QuantumMan website . . .

    Returns and Cancellations
    All products have a MINIMUM of 30 days return policy if not satisfied with a product. Some products have longer return periods (see individual product pages for return period terms). NOTE: Customers granted a refund will have any and all benefits realized from the product(s) immediately reversed. This reversal is done remotely by ZAG’s quantum computerization.When anyone requests a refund, they are required to acknowledge and accept that this reversal process will occur before the refund is granted. Moreover, anyone repeatedly ordering the same product and requesting a refund may be blocked from buying that product further. To request a refund the customer must visit the Guarantee or Customer Service pages of the website, click the link to the Refund page, fill out the form, agree to the refund terms, and submit. Refund form will only work within the refund terms of the product. Payment funds will be returned to customer within 7-10 business days depending on payment method terms.
    (emphasis mine)

  82. #82 Pareidolius
    Party Turns to Tragedy . . .
    January 13, 2013

    From the QDr™ Tricorder Plus section . . . this is the closest thing to a QuackMiranda I have been able to find . . .

    NOTICE: Due to interference factors and/or extenuating circumstances such as non-compliance, prescription medications, inappropriate lifestyle, incompetent immune system, etc., you may require a second course of treatment to achieve the desired results.

    Important! While using QDr™ Tricorder Plus, discontinue any drugs that you are taking that:

    modulate the immune system.
    has one or more side-effects that match the symptom(s) you are suffering from.
    has a side-effect name that ends in “itis”.
    has a side-effect of causing an infection.
    These drugs may be contributing to your condition and/or may hinder your recovery. Consult your pharmacist or drug insert.

    They also note earlier . . .

    A Few of the More Frustrating Illnesses Recommended for Treatment using QDr™ Tricorder Plus

    The following is only a partial list of the illnesses for which QDr™ Tricorder Plus may be found to provide either significant improvement, control or a cure:

    Cystinosis
    Multiple Sclerosis
    Muscular Distrophy
    Irritable Bladder Syndrome
    HIV
    Hepatitis C
    Migrane Headaches
    Asthma
    Gout
    etc.

    This was funny. Now it’s enraging me.

  83. #83 Pareidolius
    And another thing . . .
    January 13, 2013

    This is sorta Mirandaish . . .

    Q: Will QuantumXtreme™ medicines work for everyone?

    A: Based on human programming they are built to work for everyone. However, due to certain lifestyles, inability to follow directions, lack of mind-body connection, and other sources of interference, some individuals will not experience positive results from QuantumXtreme™ medicines. Just as in the realm of physical medicine, there is not a single medicine or supplement that works for everyone. For this reason ZAG offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee so no individual will suffer a financial loss with use of its QuantumXtreme™ medicines, no matter what the issue may be. This guarantee sets ZAG’s treatments apart from high-risk, non-guaranteed modern medicine.

  84. #84 LW
    January 13, 2013

    “lack of mind-body connection”

    This suggests paralysis to me.

  85. #85 Melanie
    January 14, 2013

    Surely…surely this is satire?

  86. #86 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 14, 2013

    I’ve forwarded a link to QuantumMan to my HistSci friend. It’s actually hard to say what makes science, science, especially the closer you look at it. This however clearly isn’t, though it looks “sciency.” So maybe interesting question, why is this clearly not science, whereas even a really atrocious paper in Phys Rev Letters still is?

    Among other things, there’s the division between science (in both its bullpoo and non-bullpoo varieties) and technology (again, in both varieties.) Even a really atrocious paper in Phys Rev Letters would, I presume (it’s not my regular reading, so I could be wrong) be a claim about “here’s something we now know about the functioning of the universe, and here’s how we know it,” whereas QuantumMAN(TM) simply takes it as established fact that quantum physics works this way, and says “since we know quantum physics allows us to teleport healing quantum into your body, we’ve built our nifty computer that does that teleporting on command!”

  87. #87 Timothy Holtze
    Australia
    January 24, 2013

    I believe they have invented a digital placebo. Maybe the download is brainwave entrainment with some integrated mental programing but that’s at best. They also won’t affiliate market their product.

  88. #88 flip
    Talking to myself...
    February 9, 2013

    Simply open a portal with your purchased product’s Portal Access Key™ (PAK™). Data then transfers from a remote quantum computer to your brain’s neural network for the benefits desired.

    Sounds like some coding geek got a really ‘brilliant’ idea for easy money. This is like homeopathy for nerds. ;)
    What’s perfect about it is that downloadable products can get away with no refunds – can’t refund something that you can’t return – plus if you add a slew of blaming-the-victim crap, you have a perfect get-out clause for complaints. I can’t see paypal siding with you if you don’t receive what you paid for…

    (Ah, and now I see Pareidolius’ comment: smart move on their part to have their product ‘returned’ to them. “Discontinue if your drugs ask you to consult your pharmacist or drug insert.” That’s f*ing outrageous.)

    And yet… surely people aren’t that stupid to buy it?

    The team at ZAG has long understood the toll the drug industry has taken on the populace as it treats medical issues symptomatically with a chemical based approach. However, the universe including the human body and conditions that afflict it all operates according to the principles of quantum physics.

    Because, as we all know, quantum physics has nothing to do with chemicals.

    This quantum bioinformation consists of physiologic directives that program your brain to the specifications of Quantum Detox™’s master programs.

    Wouldn’t this put off people who are scared of government programs to control people, ie. the very same people who usually buy this hookum?

    Yes, if you go to the sidebar of the the QuantumMAN™ website, you’ll see that it links to the CES 2013 and lists a booth from a company called Extraterrestrial Technology based in Honolulu whose website looks just like the QuantumMAN™ website

    How likely is it that they paid the fee, someone thought “oh cool, a sci-fi gaming company” and left it at that?

    Also, you could play a drinking game with their marketing text: every time they mention ‘quantum’, take a drink. Just the excerpts alone on this blog would be enough to get drunk.

    Re: the director based in Hawaii

    Director of the Zurich Alpine Group, a charitable organization dedicated to rid the world of Malaria through Quantum Medicines.

    And yet they’re taking money for it over the net… hmmm… charitable, yes indeedy.

    @Composer99

    Love your song!

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