Long time readers (and I do mean really long time readers) know that I used to do a regular Friday feature called Your Friday Dose of Woo. In the feature, I used to look for the silliest, woo-iest bits of quackery and pseudoscience that I could find, like quantum homeopathy, SCIO, Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface, or Magickal psychic amplification a-go-go. Over time, it got harder and harder to do that on a weekly basis, but I still think that, barring some new, deep, serious story, there’s value to ending the week with something on a lighter note. Yes, I know, this is a rule or tendency that I probably won’t always honor, but it will (I hope) lighten my mood. After all, I could write about the vicious, nasty, con job that is Trumpcare (or, as the Republicans disingenuously call it, the American Health Care Act), but that would really depress the hell out of me.
Thankfully, there is Gwyneth Paltrow, who appears to have the ambition of becoming the female Bill Nelson. True, she is much more attractive, famous, and wealthy, but she is every bit as scammy, with products marketed to affluent women through her website Goop of the type who would like and trust Paltrow and still have sufficient disposable income to buy her overpriced woo. (OK, given that her woo is the purest of pure quackery, pseudoscience, and nonsense sold with bafflegab, $1 would be overpriced, but give me some artistic license here.) Yes, who can forget the Jade Eggs that she sells for $55-66 that are claimed to “increase sexual energy, health, and pleasure,” “harness the power of energy work, crystal healing, and a Kegel-like physical practice, increase “chi, orgasms, vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and feminine energy in general,” and, of course detox. All it requires is that a woman keep the egg in her vagina while sleeping and walking around. I’m not a woman, but my main reaction to this bafflegab (my new favorite word for now) was (and remains) WTF?
What amused me this week, however, is that Paltrow was busted for making yet another false claim. Yes, I know. Ho-hum. Another week, another bullshit claim by Paltrow in the service of selling quackery. What made this slapdown unusual is the source:
Somehow, Goop—which previously encouraged women to shove eggs up their vaginas—has out-Gooped itself: the brand is now promoting stickers called “Body Vibes.” The product, which I remind you, is literally a sticker, uses “NASA space suit material” to “rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies,” whatever the actual fuck that means.
“Human bodies operate at an ideal energetic frequency, but everyday stresses and anxiety can throw off our internal balance, depleting our energy reserves and weakening our immune systems,” Goop says on its website. “Body Vibes stickers (made with the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor an astronaut’s vitals during wear) come pre-programmed to an ideal frequency, allowing them to target imbalances.”
Yes, these sentences sound like what you’d expect if you threw Enya lyrics in a blender. But what’s somehow worse is that Body Vibes is trying to invoke our beloved space agency to bolster its legitimacy. Obviously, we had to go to the pros.
“Enya lyrics in a blender.” Heheheh. That’s almost as good as “bafflegab.” Personally, I like to refer to it as woo-babble. Star Trek fans know what technobabble is, a form of lazy writing in which scientific terms and science-fiction concepts are thrown into a blender, like the aforementioned Enya lyrics, to produce sciencey-sounding verbiage that is used to explain our heros out of basically any dicey situation. Sadly, it doesn’t work as well for our woo hero Paltrow. Why? Because NASA is on her case:
A representative from NASA’s spacewalk office told Gizmodo that they “do not have any conductive carbon material lining the spacesuits.” Spacesuits are actually made of synthetic polymers, spandex, and other materials that serve a purpose beyond making their wearer look like a resident of Nightmare Coachella.
Wow. When a representative of NASA is willing to go on record publicly to tell you that your claims are bullshit, that’s a special kind of quackery. Yet, entrepreneur that she is, Paltrow is selling this nonsense for prices that run as high as $120 for a pack of 24 stickers, although there are several versions that go for $60 for a 10-pack, which is $6 apiece for each sticker, making the 24 pack seem a bargain by comparison at $5 apiece! (Aren’t volume discounts wonderful?) And get a load of the wonderful designs (click to embiggen):
Besides, the company whose work made these stickers possible, AlphaBioCentrix, is a target that would have been most worthy of a Friday Dose of Woo entry back in the day. It bills itself as “Software for the Human Body” (whatever that means), and if you don’t believe just how woo-ey this company is, take a look at some of its products if you don’t believe me. They rival the old Tesla Purple Energy Shield. There’s a Health Pendant, and, as many times as I know I’ve used the word, the marketing material is a lovely bit of bafflegab. Or maybe I should call it technobafflegab, which is even worse than technobabble:
AlphaBio Centrix is proud to announce the availability of a custom pendant that is made for “Long Term” healthcare support. The unique design is made to attach an individual “energy chip” to its face that is programmed with specific subharmonic frequencies that assist in the therapies listed below.
Each energy chip is color coded for identification purposes and made using a crystalline carbon substrate, then they’re domed for environmental protection. Programming the energy chips is a unique process that utilizes our patented Bio Energy Synthesis Technology; an infusion process, which when functional will hold bio frequencies to the substrate material.
When the health pendant is worn around the neck, the energy from the energy chip taps into your chakras. Balancing between the chakras promotes health and a sense of wellbeing. ─ Long known by the ancient healers, healing is a three-way arrangement between, body, mind and spirit. Today’s science has shown the human body has an “electrical frequency” and that much about a person’s health can be determined by it.
And here are the color codes for the “energy chips” that you have to attach to the pendant:
- Blood Sugar (Diabetic) – Blue Chip
- Stress & Anxiety (Helps Calm) – Aqua/blue
- Female (Mood Swings) – Orange
- Pain & Inflammation (Reduce Pain) – Red
- Healing XL (Promotes Healing) – Purple
- Environmental – (Allergies) – Green
This is sheer quackery, of course, but note how the wording is careful. AlphaBioCentrix never actually claims that its products can cure, diagnose, or treat anything, although it does rather skirt the edges of the law. After all, the implication of the “Blood Sugar” Blue Chip is that it will do something that helps a diabetic control his blood sugar. And all of this for a mere $149.95 for the pendant and $39.95 for each additional energy chip!
Another AlphaBioCentrix product is particularly hilarious. Get a load of the Digestive Solution™ Energy Card (because, of course it’s trademarked):
The Digestive Solution™ energy card is made for Human Carbon units.
“Human Carbon Units”? Seriously? It would appear that AlphaBioCentrix is making a subtle (or not-so-subtle) dig at its customers. Take a look at the Urban Dictionary for its definition of “carbon unit“: “A low-grade worker; a peon. A dumb person doing a dumb job, often in retail, food service, or warehousing.” Of course, “low grade workers” generally can’t afford to waste money on the products sold by AlphaBioCentrix (and, of course, Gwyneth Paltrow). You would, however, have to be fairly gullible to believe how this product supposedly “works”:
You can NOW boost your “Body’s Energy Signature” by simply placing this Digestive Solution™ energy card under your food plate and the beverage of your choice and receive energy from the card instantly. The energy card has a magnetic strip embedded in the back that holds digitally enhanced information that once your food or beverage comes in contact with it, the energy is delivered immediately to the food and beverage, thereby boosting the energy to your food to maximize the nutrition you consume.
The Digestive Solution Energy Card is an energetically enhanced products. Our engineers have achieved the correct ratio response of frequency signatures through a technology that matches the same energy you receive from the nutrients you get from the food you eat and drink. When we consume food it converts into chemical energy, which provides the nutritional needs for energy and growth. This connection is defined by the laws of thermo-dynamics that requires all humans to ‘burn’ food for energy.
Now wait. Does this card deliver energy to the food, or does the food deliver energy to the card? Perhaps the rest of the entry will clarify. It says that all you have to do is to place the plate or bowl containing your meal on the card for 20-25 seconds and then place your beverage on the card for the same amount of time and “your body will receive the bio energetic signatures from the energy card.” Well, that certainly explains things.
Then there’s Gravity Balance™. Basically, these “Gravity Balance” chips looks like polished glass disks with a pattern embedded in them. At only $59.95 for a set of five, they supposedly do all these things:
Gravity Balance encourage proper cell reproduction while sleeping – The energy chips rapidly promote and activate the necessary resources to optimize body and brain function, restore missing cell communication, and accelerate the body’s natural ability to heal itself, while sleeping.
The Gravity Balance™ energy chips maintain continuous support therapy for proper cell reproduction while sleeping. The human body depends on a strong inner magnetic core for healing. Proper placement of the chips on your bed mattress will support the body’s energy core to increase individual cell’s reproduction.
Technobafflegab. Energy bafflegab. Woo Bafflegab. Profitable bafflegab, too, I’d guess. After all, these chips only last six months. (How would you tell if theyu weren’t working any more?) Then you have to replace them. P.T. Barnum was overly optimistic about human nature.
Of course, I noticed right away that AlphaBioCentrix doesn’t sell its products directly to the public. It sells to distributors, who then sell retail to the public. In this case, Body Vibes claims to be working with AlphaBioCentrix to bring these miraculous stickers to the world, and Goop is promoting them. There’s even a video:
The claims are more of the same:
Inspired by frequency research conducted by the biggest U.S. defense contractor, AlphaBioCentrix pioneered Bio-Energy Synthesis Technology (BEST), a process using a one-of-a-kind, FDA-approved device, the accelerator frequency generator (AFD). The AFD captures bio-frequencies from a comprehensive catalog of known frequencies that are then digitally transferred to Body Vibes.
How much do you want to bet that this patter about frequency research by the biggest US defense contractor is as much nonsense as the claims about NASA, a claim that is in this video and no doubt was what Goop picked up on when repeating the claim. I certainly know that this is nonsense:
Body Vibes work by targeting the Central Nervous System, our natural hub of energy, powered by a network of electrical signals that vibrate along our nerves. Body Vibes emit a bio-frequency that resonates with the body’s natural energy field. Each body vibe is programmed with a specific sub-harmonic frequency to target a particular lifestyle concern. Use Body Vibes smart stickers to optimize brain and body function, and increase the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Since everyone is unique, effects of Body Vibes may vary. Some people experience immediate benefits, while others realize the results over time. We recommend wearing Body Vibes for at least one month to experience a complete mind-body reset.
Personally, I will give Goop credit for making one claim about this product that is undoubtedly true:
P.S. Leaving them on for the prescribed three-day period left a few goop staffers with marks on their skin, so be careful to stick them somewhere concealable if you’ve got an event coming up.
Good to know. They are, after all, stickers, and you wouldn’t want nasty marks from the adhesive show near your cleavage or bare shoulder while wowing everyone at the latest party for beautiful people.
I used to make fun of Bill Nelson all the time back in the day (say, ten years ago) for his claims about “frequency,” “vibrations,” and quantum physics, as well as his supremely ugly SCIO, Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface, software that broke new ground in hideous user interface design. Sadly, it appears that Nelson was ahead of his time. AlphaBioCentrix and Body Vibes have taken up the challenge to sell this pseudoscience to affluent fools, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is more than willing to help them by promoting their products.
Sadly, Body Vibes and AlphaBioCentrix products aren’t the quackiest things Paltrow promotes and sells. More’s the pity. But Body Vibes does use beautiful models to sell its products; so that’s something.