The Woo Boat

File this one under the category: You can't make stuff like this up. (At least, I can't.)

Let's say you're a die hard all-conspiracy conspiracy theorist and alternative medicine believer (a not uncommon combination). You love Alex Jones and Mike Adams and agree with their rants that there is a New World Order trying to suppress your rights. You strongly believe that vaccines not only cause autism, sudden infant death syndrome, a shaken baby-like syndrome, autoimmune diseases, sudden ovarian failure, and even outright death but are a depopulation plot hatched by Bill Gates and the Illuminati who support his agenda. Heck, you even believe that black helicopters are keeping an eye on those who have discovered this plot. To you, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are part of the same plot, pure poison and pure evil. And, of course, you just know that there is a cure for cancer—nay, cures for all diseases—out there but those evil pharmaceutical companies are keeping them from the people, the better to bolster their profits, just as they are preventing Brave Maverick Doctors like Andrew Wakefield, Mark Geier, and Sherri Tenpenny from telling the world the truth about vaccines. Heck, you just know that these same nefarious forces are even going so far as to kill vaccine "skeptic" heroes like Jeff Bradstreet (and, of course, make it look like a suicide) and holistic "pioneers" like Nicholas Gonzalez (and make it look like a heart attack).

And you like cruises.

So where do you go when you want to go on a cruise? Normal cruises are filled with people who just want to have a good time and tend to roll their eyes when you regale them with your ideas about how there is a shadowy conspiracy out there that is promoting toxic pharmaceuticals and vaccines and preventing natural cures from being used by the people, while simultaneously promoting GMOs to make people sick so that they think they need more of those pharmaceuticals and vaccines and more pliable so that their New World Order agenda faces less opposition. By the time you get to how they're also using chemtrails as another means of control, AIDS is not caused by HIV, and ebola can be cured with homeopathy, in other words, by the time you've been on the cruise a couple of days, you'll find yourself basically shunned, eating alone at dinner, and drinking alone at the bar. When you sit down at a table, everyone suddenly finds a reason to be elsewhere.

Fear not! There is now a cruise for you. See the Conspira-Sea Cruise next January, embarking in Los Angeles and taking you on a cruise through the Mexican Riviera:

Our "Conspira-Sea Cruise and Seminar-at-Sea" takes place right on our luxury cruise ship during our seven-day cruise, in conference rooms on the ship, and during our port calls in Mexico.

During this incredible, mind-blowing, truth-telling, spiritually enriching event, we will do our best to uncover the truth about things conspiratorial, including:

GMOs, Monsanto, bee colony collapse, ecology, global warming, climate change, fracking, HIV, autism, big pharma, medical suppression, vaccinations, flouridation, political corruption, government corruption, forbidden archeology, forbidden religion, Federal Reserve, truth about money, World Bank, IRS, strawman, property title, admiralty law, martial law, Bohemian Grove, Skull and Bones, JFK, cover-ups, September 11, Star Wars agenda, nuclear plants, chemtrails, HAARP, crop circles, IRS, MK-Ultra, Fukashima, NASA, NSA, Bilderbergs, sustainability, military industrial complex, pentagon, Waco, Malaysia 370, Pan Am 103, TWA 800, Gulf Oil Spill, Halliburton, Obama, Ruby Ridge, OK City, Vatican, New World Order, false flags, Montauk, privacy, surveillance, Area 51, Dulce, Project Rainbow, Nazi Bell, Vrill, U.S.S. Eldridge, Iron Mountain, psyops, population mangement, subliminal ads, Nibiru / Planet X, Cointel Pro, technology suppression, entity possession, electoral fraud, identity chips, 2nd amendment, and so much more.

Plus we will explore how to heal ourselves and others, and to attain self-mastery and greater integrity through:

Spirituality, meditation, affirmation, prayer, yoga, manifestation, self-development, holistic health, alternative lifestyles, organic foods, healthy living, wellness, self-sufficiency, prosperity, sustainability, freedom, human rights, discernment, wisdom, awakening, longevity, inner guidance, and inner peace.

The purpose of this cruise is NOT about being a victim of conspiracies. It is about taking back our power from corrupt and greedy institutions, attaining true self-authority, and realizing our genuine Self behind the masks. It is about discovering the truth, taking command of our lives, and attaining genuine inner realization.

This cruise will not only uncover the lies. It will show us the truth. As we dispell the darkness, and shine the light of wisdom, we enter the true light of consciousness.

When I first saw this link, I really thought that it had to be a joke, a Poe of some sort. There really couldn't be a cruise like this, could there? Then I looked at the company organizing the cruise, Divine Travels, which advertises itself as a "gateway to spirtual adventures," and I had to admit that this Conspira-Sea Cruise is legit and fits right in with Divine Travels' other cruises, which are loaded with woo, such as a tour of Egypt with Cindy Reed, an energy/spiritual healer, a New Age retreat where you can learn "spiritual healing," and more. In this case, Divine Travels has outdone itself. Look at this preliminary speaker list. There are antivaccinationists, such as Andrew Wakefield, who, hilariously is listed as a "Vaccination & Autism Researcher"; Sherry Tenpenny, who is listed accurately as an "Anti-Vaccine Activist"; and Toni Bark, described as a "Vaccination Whistleblower." I know Tenpenny and Wakefield's activities well, but I didn't remember who Toni Bark is. So I Googled her and quickly found her website—and with it, some serious quackery, including homeopathy, something called "lipodissolve," links to quack movies like Gary Null's Silent Epidemic: The Untold Story of Vaccines, and several appearances on The Gary Null Show.

OK, she fits right in, and I did start to remember her when I saw her picture. For some reason, I don't recall ever having blogged about her before.

But, hey, you say. Antivaccine conspiracy theories just aren't my thing. No problem! How about alt-med conspiracy theories. In addition to Toni Bark doing double duty on vaccines and general alt-med craziness, one of my "favorite" quacks (and by "favorite" I mean favorite target of mockery), Robert O. Young, the man who thinks all cancer is due to excess acidity and that his "alkaline diet" will cure cancer and all serious diseases will be there. So will Len Horowitz and Sherry Kane. Horowitz advertises himself as "The King David of Natural Healing" versus "The Goliath of 'Slash, Burn, and Poison' Medicine," while Sherri Kane is a journalist who works with him spreading his message, describing herself as an "investigative journalist, news commentator, psycho-social analyst, and political activist, specializing in uncovering media persuasion and manipulation, conspiracy realities and women’s, children’s, and animal rights issues." Together, they are collaborating on "Healthy World Organization (HWO), the alternative to the corrupt World Health Organization (WHO), HealthyWorldAffiliates.com, and The 528 Love Revolution advancing the power of the "528 hz" frequency of Love and Healing for a Musical Revolution and Spiritual Renaissance with 528Records.com and i528tunes.com."

He's also affiliated Medical Veritas, if you remember that. I sure do, particularly its cancer quackery and HIV/AIDS denialism.

But that's not all! There are (of course!) anti-GMO activists like Jeffery Smith; HIV/AIDS denialsts, such as Robert Strecker; and "holistic healers" like Dale Allen Hoffman and Dr. Dream. But, hey, medicine isn't your conspiracy topic. For you, there are—of course!—a whole bevy of "spiritual teachers." But that's not all. Don't think other woo has been forgotten! Oh, no! There are "paranormal investigators," an "earth advocate" and "global alchemist" (whatever thatmeans) named Laura Eisenhower, and near death experience survivors. There's Nick Begich, conspiracy theorist who believes that HAARP is a form of mind control. If that's not woo-ful enough for you, they even have a chemtrails researcher named Sharon Schloss, a crop circle maven named Patty Greer, and an astrologist named Helen Sewell. Truly, I'm hard pressed to think of a form of quackery, pseudoscience, or paranormal nonsense. Oh, wait. There's no cryptozoology, no Bigfoot maven. Well, it's still early. Maybe they'll find someone.

Of course, there are testimonials from previous Spiritual Travels cruises, such as:

"The panel of speakers was by far the best attribute of the trip. The speakers covered a wide array of topics... everything from Angel wings to the modern Nazi regime. It was all around enlightenment."--D.R.M., Wyoming

"Enlightenment" isn't quite the word I'd use to describe such a cruise.

When it was suggested to me that a skeptic should sign up for this cruise, I pointed out two things that would disqualify me. First, I'd have to waste vacation time. Second, Andrew Wakefield provokes such a visceral response in me that being in his actual physical presence, particularly on a ship, might actually make me physically ill. Come to think of it, the same can be said of Robert O. Young. Also, as people who know me know, although I would certainly be amused by some of these speakers, I am not very good at hiding my contempt for quacks like Wakefield and Young. After all, a skeptic mole would have to be able to avoid getting kicked off the boat!

Still, if there are any intrepid souls willing to do this, maybe a Go Fund Me page would be able to provide the travel and cruise expenses. I'm sure there'd be blogging material for many weeks. Heck, there might even be enough material for a book!

More like this

Hard as it is to believe, it’s been seven months since the Conspira-Sea Cruise, or, as I called it when I discovered it before it set sail, The Woo Boat. After it set sail and I started reading reports about it from two reporters who took the cruise in order to report on it, Anna Merlan, Bronwen…
About six months ago, I was highly amused to discover something called the Conspira-Sea Cruise, which I referred to at The Woo Boat. As I said at the time, file this one under the category: You can’t make stuff like this up. Certainly, I couldn't. I've never been on a cruise. Quite frankly, the…
I knew it wouldn't take long. I just knew it. The moment I learned that Robert De Niro had reversed himself and decided to pull Andrew Wakefield's dishonest antivaccine propaganda "documentary" from his Tribeca Film Festival after having admitted that he was the one who had greased the wheels to…
When last we left Andrew Wakefield, hero to the antivaccine movement, he was a headliner on the Conspira-Sea Cruise, a cruise filled with conspiracy theorists, crop circle chasers, cranks, quacks, and antivaccine activists. It was a huge come down from his formerly exalted position as chief…

Even if a Go Fund Me campaign covered the cost of the cruise, I'd go bankrupt from the alcohol I would need to consume to get through this fustercluck of nonsense.

Talk about crank magnetism. If I thought there were any validity to that long list of conspiracy theories (some of which I'd never heard of--what is "Nazi Bell" supposed to refer to?), I would stay the hell away from that cruise, because I would expect "Them" to wait until the ship sails, and arrange at least one of two things: (1) an unfortunate "accident" at sea or (2) difficulties with the customs and immigration authorities.

Since I am not a conspiracy theorist, I will offer two even better reasons not to go: (1) I don't like package tours (which includes cruises) and (2) I have even less tolerance for fools than Orac does. It would be a question of which idiot would push me far enough over the edge to throw him overboard.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Eric -

No need to be so crude. The trick is to make sure that you have conversations with at least 2 wingnuts at once, and whilst never directly contradicting them, subtly point out how their theories mutually contradict. Also raise the possibility that the cruise itself has been infiltrated by people wishing to discredit [insert cause here].

Within a week you'll have most of the ship to yourself.

By Andrew Dodds (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

because I would expect “Them” to wait until the ship sails, and arrange at least one of two things: (1) an unfortunate “accident” at sea

I thought of that, but didn't want to give the cruise directors any ideas to call off the cruise or make it secret.

Man, I regret not having taken that cruise ship band gig out of college.

Plot twist: this cruise is actually put on by the global bankster Illuminati and this cruise ship is going to be disappeared MH370 style via an exocet missile or the like.

A 'red wedding' of sorts against conspiracy theorists who are getting too close to the truth...

And I see Eric already posted that. Here's what I get for posting in my not-yet-caffeinated-enough mind fog...

Bwahahaha. The Great Andy Wakefield and Sherri Tenpenny reduced to talks aboard a ship full of whackaloons. How apropos. Now in light of the pHARMa/CDC/Gates hit jobs on alternative practitioners, is it wise to put such a notable collection of Truth Tellers and their wise flock together on such a convenient target?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

I've been on a few cruises...I get the feeling that the paying guests won't have very good rooms available due to all the (cough) celebrities on board. And WTH is the issue with Montauk? Sure, it's on the eastern end of Long Island, which in and of itself is suspicious, (I'm not a LI fan...) but I'd never heard of it being part of a conspiracy...

If I wasn't already going on a cruise next year, I would so be there. Sounds like it'd be great fun.

I wonder if the cruise directors are savvy enough to have a list of names of people not to sell rooms to for this cruise. :-)

Plot twist: this cruise is actually put on by the global bankster Illuminati and this cruise ship is going to be disappeared MH370 style via an exocet missile or the like.

The world should be so lucky.

Given the requirements for traveling on a cruise ship, it would be very difficult (and almost certainly illegal) to travel under a phony name. So--they could easily have a list of us big pharma trolls they don't want on the cruise, but if the cruise is not selling well, the cruise company is going to want to sell to anyone they can. My wife and I once got insanely cheap tickets to go on a themed cruise at the last moment to sell out the empty cabins.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

@ Eric Lund, Orac, EBMOD, Science Mom

Plot twist: this cruise is actually put on by the global bankster Illuminati

How comes it was the first thing so many of us thought about?

**read again laundry list of conspiracy theories, most of them being about suspicious deaths**

Never mind :-)

By Helianthus (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

I cannot stop sniggering over this "cruise". I can't believe it's real and not a joke. But it is real. To think of Andy Wakefield in the company of such loons and to think of the conspiracies flying when the diarrhoea outbreak happens is just so funny. Oh how Andy has fallen; I'd be embarrassed for him if I gave a toss.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

The seminar organizers haven't booked the entire 3080 passenger Ruby Princess, but appear to have booekd a block of cabins as reservations for the January 24th cruise to Mexico are available from other travel agencies which aren't advertising the seminar.

So while the seminar organizers might have their own 'no-cruise' list of names banned from attending their presentations/events, nothing would prevent anyone from going on the cruise itself and engaging seminar participants in the ship's common areas.

@ Science Mom--cruise ships are adamant about passengers hand-gelling before entering the dining areas. I feel for the staff who will have to deal with these toxinz-fearing, germ-theory-denying loons.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Oh, if ever a ship were primed to sail into the Bermuda Triangle and disappear...

By Roadstergal (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

And WTH is the issue with Montauk? Sure, it’s on the eastern end of Long Island, which in and of itself is suspicious, (I’m not a LI fan…) but I’d never heard of it being part of a conspiracy…

Montauk is part of the Hamptons, and of course everybody who is anybody in the financial world is expected to have a summer home in the Hamptons.

I'm also recalling a line from a movie called Deathtrap. One of the male leads, an aging playwright whose latest play has just had a disastrous opening night, is explaining why he didn't get home until after sunrise: "I passed out on the train and symbolically woke up in Montauk--the end of the line!"

Other than that, I got nothing.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Top insolence. Very very funny blog.

I wonder if the nursing staff aboard the ship will be required to treat seasickness with pressure point wrist bands instead of Bonine or promethazine.

Because you know, Big Pharma created sea sickness as a big conspiracy to sell these medications to unwary travelers.

You know, I take back my comment on the Exocet missile scenario. I'd be satisfied if there was a nice little food poisoning outbreak, instead.

Something lingering, as the Lord High Executioner says.

I can't wait to learn all about "Fukashima"

Panacea@23

I wonder if the nursing staff aboard the ship will be required to treat seasickness with pressure point wrist bands instead of Bonine or promethazine.

I was thinking the same thing. I have a friend who works as a paramedic on a cruise ship and he said they actually have very nice medical facilities. I feel like there's probably some kind of regulations they need to comply with but who knows, maybe a medical staff of naturopaths and chiropractors is good enough. Heck, they probably don't even need medical staff; you could swing a dead cat and hit an alt-med practitioner just among the guests and speakers.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

You have got to be kidding me. I cannot imagine a more terrifying week at sea.

That said, I've taken many cruises and have often thought what an attractive "soft" target a ship with 4000 people aboard would be for conspirators.

According to Princess Cruises, "All of our onboard medical facilities meet or exceed the standards established by the American College of Emergency Physicians. Our onboard medical facilities are staffed by full-time registered doctors and nurses."

I can only image the garbage these poor doctors and nurses will have to put up with.

Another thought- imagine the scene on board if the ship lost power or had a norovirus outbreak.

Norovirus is nasty, by the way. Got it on a cruise in 1994. I wouldn't wish that on an anti-vaxxer.

@ AdamG:

I saw that too!

Actually, might the cruise itself be a form of advertisement/ foot-in-the-door for woo-meisters/ spiritualists/ charlatans to sell future services?**

Let's say you front energy-healing or trance channeling, you can acquaint yourself with potential clients whilst a conspiracy theorist can also get a list of possible website 'insider' members/ store customers/ buyers of forthcoming books - it could be the start of a beautiful relationship. Passengers can socialise with presenters especially the stars of the show. Imagine that! Lunch with Andy and Sherri! Disco night with Toni!

I do find the cruise hilarious and entirely worthy of derision.

I wonder what they're going to eat as many alties/ conspiracies theorists fear standard cuisine: GMOs, non-organic food, meat ((shudder)), dairy, fluoridated, chlorinated water, chlorine, GLUTEN, regular salt, sugar, caffeine, alcohol etc?

There may be many food prohibitions and phobias: how can they ever supply their passengers' special dietary needs? Can you imagine waiters having to listen to this? "What's in that salad- is it organic? Is the chicken free-range? I only want raw milk!"

Aren't food and drink often the focus of cruises?

** currently, a woo-meister is testing out his future spa/ health resort through an independent radio station's fundraising efforts. Estates in Florida and Texas, the later will eventually provide altie treatment we're told.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

And WTH is the issue with Montauk?
Well, there's Montauk Monster - a raccoon carcass washed up on the shore that spawned some conspiracy teories due to it's unusual appearance. There's wikipedia article about that.

"How comes it was the first thing so many of us thought about?

**read again laundry list of conspiracy theories, most of them being about suspicious deaths**

Never mind :-)"

Yes, the glaring cognitive dissonance really stands out. Anyone who is truly paranoid enough to believe all of those conspiracies would surely not get within 1000 yards of this ship for fear of a trap.

Did just have another random thought, would make for an awesome prank to dress up the ship to look like a giant black helicopter...

@capnkrunch #27 I can just hear the shouts now as somebody crumples with a heart attack "Is there a homeopath on the ship"

@ Brook:

No no no!
The latest woo treatment for a heart attack or stroke is taking a megadose of vitamin C, a large dose of magnesium and cayenne pepper. **

( I wonder if anyone is so brainwashed as to follow this insane, potentially deadly advice?)

** via PRN

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Given the gullibility of the conspiracy theorist, it's never too late to plant an interesting conspiracy prior to this ship embarking on it's journey. Imagine you are Big Pharma, Big Government, Monsanto, or [insert group here]. Now, as a member of these groups, what is the easiest way for you "silence" those spreading the "truth". It seriously can't be that hard to plant that seed of a Woo-themed Inglorious Bastards style plot to take down the top who's-who of the conspiracy movement. Seriously, can we get Bristol-Myers Squibb, Monsanto, Nabisco, and American Airlines to sponsor this cruise? Just sit back and wait for the conspiracies to bubble up.

I'm most excited for "Introduction to the Constitution" (parts 1 thru 6).

an examination of the Constitution, Article by Article, and Section by Section, leads any thinking individual to the startling conclusion that most of what our government does is unconstitutional!

It's ok, you can still attend if you don't buy into the whole 'paper money' conspiracy!

The class is valued at $300 or more, however students may attend for only $150, or 4 ounces of .999 fine silver.

@ Science Mom–cruise ships are adamant about passengers hand-gelling before entering the dining areas. I feel for the staff who will have to deal with these toxinz-fearing, germ-theory-denying loons.

But but but...Diseases are good for you and strengthen the immune system. I so want to go, really I do.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

All those conspiracies! But didn't they forget alien abduction?

My tarot cards tell me that the stars say there is a Marie Celeste event in the offing, and my palm reader agrees. It'll be the final proof needed to wake up the world to the true nature of UFOs.

PS. Beware the one who calls himself Terry Wogan.

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

@Denice #34:

The latest woo treatment for a heart attack or stroke is taking a megadose of vitamin C, a large dose of magnesium and cayenne pepper.

Does the spell require the magnesium to be ignited before or after ingestion?

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

OK, somebody's got to do it...

"Woo, exciting and new
Come aboard, we're expecting you!
Woo, life's mindless reward,
Let it flow, it backfires on you.
The Woo Boat, soon will be making another run;
Conspiracies promising something for everyone...."

I was wondering how they would handle the contrast of "look the world is a dangerous place and we'll show you that they are all you to get you" with "join us for a nice, relaxing spiritual retreat in off the beautiful coast of Mexico".

All things considered, I think they handled it pretty well in their marketing blurb:

"The purpose of this cruise is NOT about being a victim of conspiracies. It is about taking back our power from corrupt and greedy institutions, attaining true self-authority, and realizing our genuine Self behind the masks. It is about discovering the truth, taking command of our lives, and attaining genuine inner realization.

This cruise will not only uncover the lies. It will show us the truth. As we dispell the darkness, and shine the light of wisdom, we enter the true light of consciousness.

And we are set free.

ALL are welcome to discover the real truth, together."

Classic marketing, actually. Create a fearful need and a way to relieve it. All at a price of course. I am sure this is all a set up for selling stuff at the seminars and/or in the future.

I'd be curious to monitor the mood during the course of the week. It looks as if the seminars are a mix all throughout so maybe you could lurk in darkness or smile with joy at your discretion.

Side note: While looking at the schedule, one thing stood out as not like the others. And that is Introduction to the Constitution, Part 1 of 6.

One of the most rational documents in all of history...on a ship of fools.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

The Montauk thing has to do with Camp Hero. Now it's a state park with hiking trails, but it used to be a fortified coast artillery battery. Supposedly it has something to do with disappearing/reappearing ships, time travel, and secret experiments. There was IIRC something about hauntings as well. The proximity of Plum Island, until recently a level four animal diseases lab also feeds in somehow.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

"I was wondering how they would handle the contrast of “look the world is a dangerous place and we’ll show you that they are all you to get you” with “join us for a nice, relaxing spiritual retreat in off the beautiful coast of Mexico”."

Assuming this cruise ever hits international waters, seems that someone with strong entrepreneurial skills and questionable ethics could stand outside the door to the conference room offering Xanax and a paper bag for nominal fee...

@ Rich Woods:

Ha!
No, they're all in capsule form- I forget exact dosages. Probably available at his website store.

Seriously can you imagine a poor; lost, misguided elderly person or their equally lost adult son or daughter, upon experiencing /witnessing symptoms of the aforementioned conditions, ACTUALLY adminsitering the woo to forestall or cancel the MI/ stroke?

What irresponsible self-aggrandisement to offer sh!tful advice like this to unsuspecting people!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Oops. Meant to write "we’ll show you that they are all out to get you”.

EBMOD, substitute some marijuana, Amanita mushrooms and cane toads for the Xanax and I'm sure you could do a banner business (as long as you didn't kill anyone).

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

It really doesn't surprise me. You have to remember that a cruise line is basically a chain of floating resorts. It's not much different from booking a convention center, but with a bit more exotic cachet. More expensive than booking a convention center in Watertown, South Dakota, but much less expensive than booking a Caribbean resort while still having a certain exotic cachet.

So yeah, it's pretty goofy, but think of it like a mini ComicCon of conspiracy theorists. ;-)

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

I'm having a problem with the bee colony collapse . Perhaps someone can help. Is there a conspiracy to wipe out honey bees or are the reports of bee colony collapse part of a deeper darker conspiracy? Come to think of it, I suppose it could be both.

There are 76 conspiracies listed here. It's going to be something like a major scientific conference with multiple sessions going all the time. How can one choose between bee colony collapse and false flags if they are on at the same time. And for that matter what is the false flags conspiracy?

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

The class is valued at $300 or more, however students may attend for only $150, or 4 ounces of .999 fine silver.

The current silver price is $15.22/oz, and my first thought is that I could make a fortune standing at the door, selling 4 oz for, say, $100, saving each fool $50, and me making about $40, but there probably aren't enough of those idiots to pay for the cost of the trip.

@ Denice Walter / Rich Woods

The latest woo treatment for a heart attack or stroke is taking a megadose of vitamin C, a large dose of magnesium and cayenne pepper.

Does the spell require the magnesium to be ignited before or after ingestion?

That's that the cayenne pepper is for.
True connoisseurs will go for the nanopepper. That's how you make nanothermite. Much more efficient.
The vitamin C is just here to give it a lemony flavor, really.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

It's obvious that there will be no nurses or practicing medical doctors on board. Rather, the spa will be staffed by acupuncturists.

@ jkrideau

I’m having a problem with the bee colony collapse . Perhaps someone can help.

At a guess, it's because strong suspects in bee colony collapse are pesticides.
I'll let you connect the usual dots up to Big Agro, GMOs and everything else.

In reality, from what I gathered from articles on the Genetic Literacy Project and other places, it may be a bit more complicated than just "chemicals".
Although it wouldn't be a bad idea to look more closely at the interactions between agriculture, apiculture and the use of pesticides (including organic pesticides).

By Helianthus (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Criteria for return to port from norovirus on-ship infection = more vomiting heads than the ship has heads to vomit into.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Run, run away, its a conspiracy! You are being lured onto a boat that will be sunk by Monsanto's minions.

I really should start reading the other posts before I jump in.

Princess Cruises is offering a special right now: unlimited alcoholic beverages if you book a cabin with a balcony.

I really feel for the other passengers who booked the cruise for a winter break and did not realize they were part of Conspira-Sea!

Yes. Coming so soon on the heels of the Holistic Doctor Murder Conspiracy, it is obvious that this "cruise" is a Pharma plot to eliminate the top practitioners of woo who threaten its financial security (what a coup to be able to dispose of Wakefield and Tenpenny in one fell swoop). Just ..connect...the.....dots.

Maybe they could combine the conspiracy seminars with an onboard Holistic Doctor Murder Mystery, inspired by those popular mystery trains. Wakefield turns up "dead" at the buffet - whodunnit???!?*

*gotta be the MMR.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

I suggest we take up a collection and send our esteemed host on this cruise. For one thing, it'll give him enough blogging material for three lifetimes, and for another, it will be interesting to see if he can retain his sanity until the cruise ends. We'll also have to include a pair of Groucho Marx glasses because if they find out he is on board, they'll probably make him walk the plank... Or perhaps have him hanging by the yardarm... If there is a yardarm on cruise ships.

By cloudskimmer (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

If this nonsense is successful**, can you imagine the economic lure of woo tourism?

Picture if you can
- being led on a pristine, shining path through the mountains until you behold magnificent _Machu Picchu_ where you will stay in a stone hut, be treated by native shamans all whilst the pan pipes flute away and you ingest medicinal mushrooms!

- learn ancient Brythonic self-healing with herbs and distilled elixirs from a Real Druid nearly in the shadow of Stone'enge! Collect berries, nuts and pretty rocks with an authentic high priestess named Fiona! Hook up with someone in the pub!

- climb cliffs alongside the mysterioso Pacific when taking classes in chanting, meditation, spirit-guides-made-simple and hot yoga as you enjoy an organic juice fast and various water treatments in beautiful Big Sur! Lose weight and cares!

** my best guess is that it won't be
-btw- Mikey tried something similar in Ecuador

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Look at the rest of the Divine Travels website. There's already quite the market for woo cruises, apparently!

If there is a yardarm on cruise ships.

No, but they have radar masts.

"ALL are welcome to discover the real truth, together."

But I thought they already know the truth. Their problem is that no one else believes them. Than again, there wouldn't be a conspiracy if everyone was in on it.

"Big Pharma specifically Bayer is killing the bees."

The conspiracy is to kill the bees, causing a global agriculture crisis, and discovering that only Bayer has the technology - Pollen-Copters - to artificially pollinate food crops. You can get a Pollen-Copter in any color you want, as long as it's black.

there probably aren’t enough of those idiots to pay for the cost of the trip.

Never underestimate the supply of idiots.

One of the most rational documents in all of history…on a ship of fools.

The Constitution itself is quite rational. I'm willing to bet that this so-called Introduction to the Constitution is not. There are plenty of conspiracy theorists who are into political conspiracies. The whole "birther" conspiracy, for instance (although that's actually been debunked thoroughly enough to have fallen by the wayside). Another example would be the notion that county sheriffs are the law (this would be problematic in Alaska, which has never had county government or the equivalent, and Connecticut, which got rid of county government in the 1960s) and the feds have no basis for enforcing federal law--at least one current state governor, Paul LePage of Maine, is known to have bought into that one (his AG has, at least for now, persuaded him otherwise). Then you have the yahoos who think the amendment allowing income tax was not validly adopted (courts have taken a dim view of such arguments), and the maniacs who are in love with their guns. I expect this so-called "Introduction to the Constitution" to be on board with most if not all of these positions.

There are legitimate, fact-based reasons for thinking that the US government is doing things that are constitutionally dubious. But I don't expect there to be more than coincidental overlap with the viewpoints that will be espoused in this seminar.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

And while I'm on the subject of political conspiracies, Talking Points Memo reports that a(nother) GOP presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina, has come out against vaccine mandates. According to links therein, several other GOP candidates are also on record opposing vaccine mandates, and all of the candidates who have so stated have done so since the Disneyland measles outbreak earlier this year.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

So, how about we try to block buy a section of the ship for a skeptics cruise? Seriously, if I was independently wealthy, I would totally do that for the fun of being able to create those easel stand things that promoted lectures like "The truth behind vaccines" to lure them unsuspectingly into lectures that present them with the stuff they so badly do not want to hear. Also I would do subtle things to mess with them like have a meeting sign outside a conference room that had the illuminati eye/pyramid on it and said "steering group meeting". It would be truly joyful.

I'll go. Just as soon as I've figured out how to do that thing the James Bond baddy did when he fiddled the ships coordinates so they didn't know thaty they were in enemy waters. Wonder if the fund would stretch to a stealth submarine?

By Charlotte (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Of course, Bayer's Imidacloprid is only toxic in bees at level of exposure about 20-fold what could realistically be achieved by use of the compound as an agricultural insecticide. (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0118748)

But the conspiracy theory types liable to pay for the cruise have probablynever heard of the fundamental principle of toxicology "The dose makes the poison).

# Roger & Heliantus

Oh, of course! How could I be so stupid. Monsanto is in the list as well as Bayer.. Okay, so it is a conspiracy to kill bees not to cover it up? Or is AgCanada and/or the USDA also doing a coverup?

We have been hearing a lot about neonicinoids as a major danger to bee colonies around here but there seem to be other problems. A friend's father lost 50% of his hives two winters ago but that was partly due to a hard winter.

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Ooh, I really really hope that the only remedy taken aboard for treating seasickness is homeopathic ... At least there should be a plentiful supply of shaken water on a ship ...
Come to think of it, how would they make a homeopathic seasickness remedy? Just dilute shaken water, as the ship's motion is the cause? Or would they have someone with seasickness heave in a beaker, and dilute that to infinity? At least we can be pretty sure that the stuff will *cause* the symptoms in higher concentrations ...

Anyway, thanks for this hilarious blog entry, and for all the other comments -- nothing can wipe this grin off my face for hours to come!

Many of those conspiracies are mutually contradictory like matter and antimatter. Concentrated contradictory ideas like this may very well react the same way, and the ship will either disappear with a bang, or rip open the space-time continuum and never be seen again (least not this century).

By Dan Andrews (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Even if a Go Fund Me campaign covered the cost of the cruise, I’d go bankrupt from the alcohol I would need to consume to get through this fustercluck of nonsense.

Just use a credit card. By the time the bill comes due your liver will have gone to the big body cavity in the sky.

By Andreas Johansson (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

The cruise is less crank caserole, and more crank smorgasbord. In the manner of trade conferences, there are parallel sessions so cruisers will likely follow their own fave CT(s) through the sessions. They might not all get along at dinner either. 'Why are you sheeple worried about Monsanto? Don't you realize GMOs are just a false flag designed to distract you from the alien shape-shifters walking amongst us right now!'

[Yes, Rich Woods, the cruise will offer a session on shape-shifters, by speaker Rosemary Ellen Guiley, identified as a board member "of the Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters, a scientific organization to educate, support and research the field of ET and entity contact and abduction experiences."]

And, indeed, the 'star' of the cruise – getting a whopping six sessions, is 'Introduction to the Constitution' presenter Michael Badnarik.

Michael Badnarik is a philosopher, author, and constitutional scholar. He is a political activist and was the Libertarian Party's nominee for President of the United States in 2004. He now devotes his time to "Lighting the fires of Liberty" by lecturing, and teaching an eight-hour class on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He is also available to speak to community groups on a variety of subjects related to private property and individual rights. He is the teacher you always wish you had. Michael will be available to sell and autograph books, as well as answer questions about the Constitution, and the possible civil war our country now faces.

Fit's right in. Might be a phony, though, if he takes silver. Gold, man, it's gotta be gold.

One of the most rational documents in all of history…

[cough, cough, ahem] slavery [ahem, cough, cough]
Fie! The electoral college makes no rational sense at all!

A chance to attend seminars by a former Libertarian candidate for president? it's tempting to go, just to see if he can answer any of the questions delysid proved so utterly incapable of addressing.

Roger Kulp @ 38 - That link is quite the dive into the deep end of interlocking and cross-pollinating conspiracy theories. It contacts all the other crap and through crank magnetism starts to form a informational black hole. Easy to see how one might immerse oneself and get lost.

Rational Wiki has a thrilling article on the Montauk conspiracy. Best bit:

Nikola Tesla, whose death was faked in a conspiracy, was the chief director of operations at the base (which, if they started in the 80s, would make him 120+).

By TGuerrant (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

"By the time the bill comes due your liver will have gone to the big body cavity in the sky."

I'm sure they have liver-detoxifying foot baths.

By Roadstergal (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Erik Lund at 67:

a(nother) GOP presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina, has come out against vaccine mandates.

It looks like it is more complicated. Matthew Herper's on the case:

.....This is not usually the decision of the local school district – making it so would be a politically conservative support of local government – but of state law. But all the much-publicized California law to force vaccinations does is remove exemptions that allowed children to attend public school without getting their shots if their parents had a religious or philosophical justification for not vaccinating. Nobody is going around vaccinating children at gunpoint. So that would actually mean that Fiorina is for strengthening vaccine laws, but is cleverly making it seem as if she is against doing so.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2015/08/14/carly-fiorina-is-a…

Come aboard, we’re expecting you

The ominousness of this line was the first thing that I thought of.

Are the people worried about "flouridation" anti-gluten activists or paleo dieters?

By Joseph Hertzlinger (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

The cruise is less crank caserole, and more crank smorgasbord. In the manner of trade conferences,

A Conspiracy Cafetaria.
The list of catered conspiracies -- presented as a range of alternative realities, all equally valid and equally plausible -- It's like, how much more post-modern could this be? and the answer is none. None more post-modern.

"Belief" in these theories does not seem to be the objective. Rather, they are ideas to play with. For entertainment purposes only . With Andy Wakefield reduced to employment as a cruise-ship entertainer.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

They left out depleted uranium!

They even left out any mention of Freemasons!

By Joseph Hertzlinger (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

That said, I’ve taken many cruises and have often thought what an attractive “soft” target a ship with 4000 people aboard would be for conspirators.

One might recall that Richard Lester's Juggernaut is the locus classicus for the red wire/blue wire dilemma.

Do they have wifi on board? If so, sign me up! I'll be your spy.

By Mainstream Mandy (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

I volunteer as tribute.

By Mainstream Mandy (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

That's going to be one busy seven days. I counted 99 different subjects (why wasn't it an even 100? what do two nines mean? numerologist, please!) with the promise of much, much more.

The music should be good: a whole crew of HAARPs, Skull & Bones is undoubtedly Jerry Garcia's Band From Beyond, and I assume the Bohemian Grove is where one goes to sing a Rhapsody.

Are there any side trips offered? Perhaps a three-hour tour?

I wonder if any of these folk have read, "The Marching Morons" and wondered why this ship of woos is set to sail (er, steam)?

By Candice H. Bro… (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

#75 [cough, cough, ahem] slavery [ahem, cough, cough]
Fie! The electoral college makes no rational sense at all!

Ah, sadmar, the Constitution holds a special place in my heart so I felt a need to respond. But not me specifically as I am not that bright. Although I knew there were compromises made in the writing/adoption of the document, I could not provide a cogent reply. Therefore, here is one from a JD with a special interest in constitutional law. He graduated from an Ivy League law school so, even though lawyers are worse than scientists in their level of disagreements, I hope you don't proceed to write him off as not knowing what he is talking about.

"1. Slavery was lawful and common throughout the world in the 18th Century. There's nothing inherently *irrational* about slavery. His objection is one based on morality, and thus impertinent to your point.

2. The electoral college is not at all irrational. It, like other aspects of our system (e.g., the Senate), provide a slight countermajoritarian balance so that the least populous states are not ignored and are assured at least a reasonable minimum amount of influence in the political process. Small states would have little incentive to join the Union otherwise."

Feel free to respond but I don't plan to continue on this subject or on going back to the lawyer. He wasn't interested in entering this discussion, and even though he was kind enough to reply to me once, I have no intention of intruding upon him again.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

substitute some marijuana, Amanita mushrooms and cane toads for the Xanax

Not sure if Amanitas would work so well as a substitute for Xanax, or as an anxiolytic at all; the effects are quite radically different, or so a friend tells me.

With Andy Wakefield reduced to employment as a cruise-ship entertainer.

Somewhat similar was mentioned upthread. I am sure it has to gall him that this is where he ended up.

But I'd guess the money is a balm to his shattered ego.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Charlotte @69

Or maybe navigate the ship off course into The Bermuda Triangle.

Samar @75
Of course.It's all about selling book$,DVD$,etc,or in Andy's case,booking future speaking engagements.Conspiracy mongers gotta earn a living too,you know.

By Roger Kulp (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Of course it's a conspiracy, but on whose part?

Maybe Wakefield, Tenpenny, Bark, Young, etc., wanted a cruise holiday for free.

They conspired for their marks to pay $1279 for an interior room on the "Conspira-Sea Cruise." A normal cruise-goer will pay $579 for the same cruise.

To me, that means a $700 donation straight to the woo-meisters. Conspiracy?

^A ship full of woo-meisters dosed with Amanita Muscaria would be doubly entertaining, though. Or hellish, I suppose.

The woowoo ship is being filled
A thousand jeers, a thousand fears
A million ways to spend your dime
When we get back, I'll drop a line
- with apologies to The Doors

JP, someone who isn't you tried that!?! I understand it has quite powerful effects but I truly would not know. I've never felt psychedelics and I would mix well.

Anyway, I was thinking more along the lines of if you are seeing psychedelic trails then you'd be less concerned with ChemTrails.

However, I think you are on to something with the "hellish" speculation. What if their trip lead to the invention of yet another, even weirder, conspiracy theory?

No, no, no.

Unless of course they provide me with a cut of the profits from all woo sold under same theory.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Or maybe navigate the ship off course into The Bermuda Triangle.

Someone might notice the passage through the Panama Canal.

I don't want to wish norovirus on anyone, but part of me would love to see Robert O Young trying to cure it via "alkalinizing."

I had a case over the Christmas holiday a few years ago. There was a bit of an outbreak at the time, and one of the papers quoted an infectious-disease doc who put it as succinctly and accurately as possible. "It is characterized by the violent expulsion of fluids from the body."

Chris, that paper is a crock. I'll be there with references in hand...

– with apologies to The Doors

Consider the kind of believers one would meet on a Crystal Ship cruise. Let us not go there.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

AdamG, woot!

JP, someone who isn’t you tried that!?

No, it actually was a friend, back in college; the fly agaric was not terribly hard to come by, considering we lived on the border of a North American rainforest. Not as popular as cubensis, though, and really a rougher ride, as I understand it.

Interestingly, Amanita muscaria and Xanax both act on the GABA system, though, but with very different results.

I understand it has quite powerful effects but I truly would not know. I’ve never felt psychedelics and I would mix well.

You never know until you try it, I suppose, but IMHO they're the most interesting of the "recreational" drugs. If the idea of them freaks you out, though, probably best to leave it alone.

{Deisher] has a new paper.
Ah, I see that Dr Deisher has progressed from publishing in mockademic journal-shaped scamjournals from predatory publishers, to "Issues in Law and Medicine"
“Issues in Law and Medicine” [...] on close attention turns out to be a nozzle through which the “National Legal Center for the Medically Dependent and Disabled Inc” squeezes out an unprocessed stream of anti-abortion, anti-contraception theocratic bullsh1t .
Even the bloggers at 'Rational Catholic' are pointing at her and laughing.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

@ jrkrideau:

Some alties say that GMOs kill the bees.

*false flags* are when the ( evil, corrupt, gottverdammte) government uses ops to deliberately create a mass shooting, 'terrorist' attack, bombing strike or other mayhem in order the frighten the sh...people into believing that they need surveillance or suchlike. Then you take their guns and their Freedom.

You need to read more Mikey.
-

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Ha ha! Orac!
Divine Travels indeed!**

So a Peruvian Indian dude takes you to visit *muy mysterioso* sites in the Andes! For 2 weeks?

I suppose some people have very bland lives and need faery tales rather than learning and experiencing reality.

I would visit those places to see art, architecture, nature, history, an interesting culture and living people.
-btw- a university friend photographed Inca ruins there so I've seen her visions

** but I got 404s for the price list

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

A question to anyone:
what do you suppose the presenters are being paid?

I imagine that the room and food are included but beyond that?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Denice,

Maybe they follow, if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it?

Seriously though, I would love to go to places like that too.

I looked into volunteer digs and internships years ago but that was still outside my budget so I didn't persue it.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink
I understand it has quite powerful effects but I truly would not know. I’ve never felt psychedelics and I would mix well.

You never know until you try it, I suppose, but IMHO they’re the most interesting of the “recreational” drugs.

Muscimol is a psychedelic now?

They conspired for their marks to pay $1279 for an interior room on the “Conspira-Sea Cruise.” A normal cruise-goer will pay $579 for the same cruise.

And fares for this kind of trip are normally quoted per person, double occupancy, so that's $1400 if you bring the spouse/SO/mistress along, as most would.

Not all of that $1400 goes straight into the woo-meister's pockets. Presumably, Divine Travels gets a cut for marketing and conference logistics. The actual owners of the ship probably get paid for room rental (though this fee is probably less than for comparable facilities on land). Meals are usually included in the cost of the cruise, and the sort of food that woo-prone types like to eat tends to cost more (often, a lot more) than the stuff on your supermarket shelves or offered by typical restaurant supply warehouses. But yes, a big chunk of that is going into the pockets of Wakefield, Tenpenny, et al.

I really really hope that the only remedy taken aboard for treating seasickness is homeopathic

Given that homeopathic remedies are often mostly if not entirely water, taking them in large quantities for some shipboard maladies is actually a medically viable if expensive plan. Dehydration is a major issue with many food-borne illnesses. Of course, it's just as effective and much cheaper to drink water that isn't claimed to have a fraction of a molecule of some specific ingredient. And the people who sell the homeopathic remedies would obviously prefer that the cruise attendees not catch on to this particular conspiracy.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

"Someone might notice the passage through the Panama Canal."

Not to worry. They'll dismiss the evidence and insist they're still in the Pacific.

Denice #109,

I obviously don't know how things work in the altie world, but at similar type events and conventions where there is a captive audience of potential customers, the speakers actually pay to appear, as this is considered advertising. To a very motivated and affluent audience.

I imagine the "A" list speakers like Wakefield are being paid, as they are the bait used to attract suckers, but many of the lesser lights on the cruise who have books, services or products to sell may not be paid or are in fact paying to speak. I'm sure they use the seven days of exposure with alt customers to drum up business everywhere: around the pool (oh no! chlorinated water!), etc.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

(In a way, this reminds me of the cruises scientology runs on their rusty barge The Freewinds. Constant pressure to buy, upgrade, donate and spend money on scientology.)

By Woo Fighter (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Not a Troll,

JP, someone who isn’t you tried that!?! I understand it has quite powerful effects but I truly would not know. I’ve never felt psychedelics and I would mix well.

I was given some fly agaric mushrooms a few decades ago by some friends who were too afraid to try it themselves - they found them in Thetford Forest in Norfolk UK IIRC. I had a copy of Stafford's 'Psychedelic Encyclopedia' which suggested roasting or otherwise drying to convert the various chemicals to their psychoactive forms, so I stuck them in a low oven until dry. A small amount I smoked, just to see what happened (not a lot), and the rest I made into a tea, which was surprisingly delicious.

I remember a mildly altered state of consciousness, and I even collected my urine to recycle the drug, but lost my nerve, as repeating the mildly altered stated did not seem worth the effort of overcoming my psychological aversion to urine-drinking, and I was afraid of attracting unwelcome herds of reindeer. I concluded that a larger dose might be interesting but lost my interest in such matters and developed a stronger sense of self-preservation before I had the opportunity - dried fly agaric mushrooms are easily available on the internet these days as 'incense' (wink wink).

Andrija Puharich described giving some fly agaric mushrooms to a chap who remembered incarnations as an Egyptian Priest. He went into a parallel reality that sounds like a dissociative belladonna alkaloid or ketamine trip. Puharich also claimed that Uri Geller teleported a car and its occupants several hundred miles so take what he wrote with as large a pinch of salt as you think appropriate.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Muscimol is a psychedelic now?

F*ck if I know, it's not really my bag, but the Gazoogle seems to suggest that is one, although not of the "classic" serotonergic variety. "Psychedelic" doesn't really seem to be a pharmacological category, anyway.

@ Woo Fighter:

Sure.
I notice that Bark's website ( for her offices in Illinois) lists various woo-tinged ( testing, nutrition) and aesthetic services ( mesotherapy, skin care, vibration-based exercise) and products. She caters to a ( probably) well-to-do, worried-well, fearful of aging set,
So do high-end hair salons/ spas.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

Muscimol is a psychedelic now?

No first-hand experience, but my second-hand impression is that A. muscaria is more of an inebriant -- a dissociating / euphoric drug.
I was harvesting porcini last August and ran into a colourfully-dressed young man who was wandering around under the same trees, and who turned out to be harvesting the fly agarics. Once we had established that we occupied different, non-competing mycophiliac niches, we had a chat. He preferred it to EtOH because the effects were more dissociating. Personally I stick with the alcohol, it is CULTURAL HERITAGE.

FWIW, fly agaric can be detoxified by simmering in salted water (because the muscimol is water-soluble) -- see the Appendix here:
http://www.davidarora.com/uploads/muscaria_revised.pdf

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

A cruise! Ahhh – so romantic. And the lysdexic pianist at the all-night bar tinkling the keys late into the night: 'Moo, moo, moo – hic – what a little woo-light can do.'

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

No first-hand experience, but my second-hand impression is that A. muscaria is more of an inebriant — a dissociating / euphoric drug.

My buddy described the experience as being significantly "speedy," which seems odd, but I suppose, say, alcohol feels pretty stimulating at certain doses also.

I’ve never felt psychedelics hallucinogenics and I would mix well.

Narad, I think I fixed it for you. I'm not exactly sure what Muscimol's classification is. There seem to be raging debates over this in the drug (ab)use forums and in the following paper, I'm not sure exactly what I've learned from it:

http://www.neurosoup.com/entheogens/hallucinogens_Halpern.pdf.

JP, no issues. I am the one who used the term not you. I tend toward the vernacular because it's all I've got, but Narad is cool to call me out when I'm incorrect. Even though impaired one should always try to be the best one can be. And if I miss the mark, I've just learned to accept looking like an a$$ sometimes.

Thanks for the info on the GABA receptors. I was on baclofen for a bit for suspected PLMD after a sleep study showed arousals not tied to breathing events. (My guess is that they were caused by silent reflux but they don't test for that around here so they picked up on a few leg movements to treat.) It was an interesting experience on Baclofen, and in getting off of it, but at the time I found it interesting reading about it as a GABA-B agonist. Hard to find anything on the internet not related to alcoholism treatment though.

Anyway, yeah, I'm the type who doesn't like to lose control of my own mind/body so all of the psychotropics are generally out. I don't know if this impacts the experience with hallucinogens / dissociatives / psychedelics or not but I've never been willing to take that chance.

I've certainly have had plenty of chances. One of my Job Corps Centermates went to jail for a year for selling LSD. However, it took them years to catch her. I hope she is well; over the years I lost touch with her. But last I knew she was married to a physician and living a normal life.

Speaking of which, Krebiozen, your comment had me laughing out loud. And, I think that you've confirmed that I made the right decision in avoiding them.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

^ Interesting. The strikethrough of the word "psychedelics" in my first (italicized) sentence failed. Not sure why and too tired to research. I hope it makes sense.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

I wanna go for the forbidden archeology. Also Vrill. And Nibiru / Planet X.

Interesting. The strikethrough of the word “psychedelics” in my first (italicized) sentence failed. Not sure why and too tired to research. I hope it makes sense.

Round about these parts, ya gotta use the "del" tag.

Thanks for the info on the GABA receptors. I was on baclofen for a bit for suspected PLMD after a sleep study showed arousals not tied to breathing events. (My guess is that they were caused by silent reflux but they don’t test for that around here so they picked up on a few leg movements to treat.) It was an interesting experience on Baclofen, and in getting off of it, but at the time I found it interesting reading about it as a GABA-B agonist. Hard to find anything on the internet not related to alcoholism treatment though.

Yeah, I've heard the withdrawals can be both awful and interminable. Similarly, regular use of benzos (like Xanax) can cause similar dependence with (possible life-threatening) withdrawal upon cessation. I haven't been offered even a small script for a benzodiazepene by my current psychiatrist, despite anxiety levels which were formerly through the roof (now slightly better), but I suspect this is a good thing, even though/because I would really like them a lot, I think. A high (200 mg) dose of sertraline is supposed to be a pretty effective anxiolytic in the long run, in any case.

I suspect there is some sort of genetic ineffectiveness to the GABAnergic system that I've inherited from my dad's side of the family; interestingly, everyone whom I've surveyed on that side of the family expressed a strong preference for alcohol over, say, marijuana. Indeed, the proclivity has in several instances been a problem.

Woo – nothing valid or new
Come aboard, we’re infecting you!
And WOO, snake oil merchants’ sweetest reward
Let it flow, like homeopathy turds, floating back to you!

By janerella (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

“Psychedelic” doesn’t really seem to be a pharmacological category, anyway.

Oh, come on.

It was an interesting experience on Baclofen, and in getting off of it, but at the time I found it interesting reading about it as a GABA-B agonist. Hard to find anything on the internet not related to alcoholism treatment though.

Leon Gussow is always worth checking out. The two final items here I've found to be quite interesting.

Puharich also claimed that Uri Geller teleported a car and its occupants several hundred miles so take what he wrote with as large a pinch of salt as you think appropriate.

"Ling-Ling was on close terms with Tim at the time, but disavowed any intent to perpetuate the relationship when I inquired. Her reason for being at Millbrook, aside from screwing around and getting stoned, was to advance the cause of a tiny device, contents unknown, which, when attached to any bone of the head, would unfailingly permit the deaf, even those devoid from birth of any auditory nerve, to hear with perfect clarity. This miracle was said by her to have been invented by Puharich and was in his possession."

testing, testing: if you put your passwords between two del tags it will show on screen as blocks

By Robert L Bell (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

@NaT:

I tend toward the vernacular because it’s all I’ve got, but Narad is cool to call me out when I’m incorrect.

I wasn't, and I apologize for giving you that idea. It was just idle riffing while I was catching up with the thread.

I had to restrain myself from a dive into the GABA binding sites as a way to repress the existence of my need to do the freaking dishes. It's a subject that I was quite interested in for a while, and following things down remains a temptation.

I had to restrain myself from a dive into the GABA binding sites as a way to repress the existence of my need to do the freaking dishes. It’s a subject that I was quite interested in for a while, and following things down remains a temptation.

There have been times in my life - and this is one - when I have considered whether just throwing the dishes out and getting new ones would be the wiser course of action, especially considering they are all mismatched things I've picked up at yard sales, etc.

My friend Sarah used to have a sign above her sink that read "Мыть или не мыть? Это не вопрос! Мыть, и сразу!" Which is to say: "To wash or not to wash? There's no question! Wash, and right away!" (The words for "to wash" and "to be" rhyme in Russian.)

This would be a good approach to take myself, but it doesn't help that I have a chronic sink-being-clogged problem.

Which is to say: “To wash or not to wash? There’s no question! Wash, and right away!” (The words for “to wash” and “to be” rhyme in Russian.)

Per the usual. (It's a longer story, but... utensils.)

If we're going to GoFund somebody, maybe Banachek can reprise his Project Alpha role.

But I’d guess the money is a balm to his shattered ego.

I can also imagine that a sufficiently deep contempt for the audience who has paid one to entertain them goes a long way towards maintaining one's amour-propre.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

“To wash or not to wash? There’s no question!"
My Russian colleague Galina sent me a birthday card with the message "To beer or not to beer? That is a silly question."

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Aug 2015 #permalink

@ Narad, #133
Is there still anyone remembering the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers?

By perodatrent (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

re dishes and sinks:( although cooking is not my be-all and end- all cause in life)

I never leave dirty dishes in the sink**. That is forbidden.

HOWEVER I have solved the nagging dilemma of either having accumulations or being engaged in perpetual washing-
by only washing the 'serious' dishes/ utensils - i.e. those you absolutely need to cook and serve particular foods.

Everything else is disposable: paper plates, plastic containers from other products, etc. If a pot or pot is too hard to maintain, it is tossed . I also use frozen foods often.

** it's messy plus the cat likes the sink too much.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

Whether or not speakers/celebrities taking part in cruises get well-compensated, there are definite hazards to the job.

We have touched on the mysterious disappearance angle, but this is a very real phenomenon on cruise ships.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2040248/Why-165-people-gone-m…

Cruise ships also break down and/or are halted by bad weather. The Ohio State football coach found this out when he got stuck on a ship with a horde of fanatical football fans:

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/02/urban-meyer-cruise-ship-2500-ohio-state…

Just imagine poor Andy Wakefield, marooned on the Ruby Princess while the crew frantically works to restart the engines and keep a bunch of conspiracy-theorizing woo-sters from going into full-blown panic...

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

# 91 Not a Troll
Those of us who are not US citizens have tendency to contrast the revolutionaries' Declaration of Independence with its ringing words We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness with the US Constitution which seems to have omitted this concept

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

# 107 Denice Walter
Oh clearly my suspicious mind could not handle something that simple. :( False flags showed up when I was reading the Hornblower novels as a teenager. I thought it had to be something much more nefarious.

What me paranoid?

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

@ jrkrideau:

Oh it's simple alright- created by the simple minded for simpletons. No wonder they've found each other.

Oddly enough, today Mikey ( Natural News) recounts and interprets his vivid dream about a false flag attack,

What a psychologist might interpret instead is that Mike makes up elaborate stories presented as somehow prophetic in order to push his agenda of frightening and then, controlling, how other people think to his own benefit.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

"Some alties say that GMOs kill the bees."

No, but GMO agriculture practices are contributing to the bees' decline. The bees depend on various 'weeds' being part of their habitat. They don't do well with only large areas of monocropped plants. IIRC, it has nothing to do with the GMO crops themselves, but the Roundup-resistant crops let the farms dump the glysophate more indiscriminately, killing off more non-crop plants over a wider area.

But, again IIRC, that's only one part of the larger picture of bee habitat disappearing. Land is being cleared for other uses, and folks other than GMO farms are using more herbicides.

And the habitat problem is separate from the issues with neonicotinoids. The independent research published so far suggests a strong link between neonicotinoids and Bee Colony Collapse, and Bayer did suck the FDA into approving them by use of a commisioned study that proved to be, uhh, riigged.

Conspiracy theories articulate discontents about real things via metaphoric projection onto other things. Sometimes, they just make stuff up, but other times they twist real problems to meet their fantasy melodramas. Just because a conspiracy theoriat rants about something, that doesn't mean it's not an actual and important issue. The conspiracy fan is likely to have some facts wrong, but others right. And the conclusions drawn are likely wacko, since again, e.g. the CTs aren't really interested in the bees, but in how the bees can serve as a symbol for Something Else.

Fwiw, the leading bee scientist in the U.S., Marla Spivak, has only advocated restrictions on neonicotinoids, not a ban. Among other things, within market realities, she doesn't expect farmers to go without insecticides, and she worries that replacements for neonicotinoids could be even more toxic to the bees. But as 'the dose makes the poison' she does think the present doses of neonicotinoids are way too high: “Do we have to use them on everything all the time?”

@ sadmar:

You're right- I should have been more clear.

Unfortunately, I've heard that pesticides are the problem ( therefore, " Go organic!") GMOs contribute ( therefore, " Go organic!) and hey, EM radiation and cell phone towers are RUINING everything ( therefore, " Go back to the 19th century"). I'm not joking.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

@hdb #84

Any sort of Concept Cafetaria is mutil-session seminar format is quintessentially modern, not pomo. The thing is, WE may recognize the menu of this event as filled with incommensurable alternate realtiies, but the hosts and attendees don't necessarily see it that way. To the contrary, since the schedule includes several sessions where all the speakers appear together, the organizers appear to think all these folks can talk to one another, and appear to modeling some kind of unified movement against 'them', and nothing could be more modern than that.

What is unquestionably pomo is that this occurring on a sea cruise with a name so silly it could be from The Onion. Whether anyone involved has an "objective belief" in any of these theories is irrelevant. As part of a getaway-vacation-package, 'play with' and 'entertainment' values may not be the ONLY purposes present, but they dominate and dwarf any pragmatic agendas.

And, since pomo culture rules, Andy Wakefield being employed as a cruise-ship entertainer, isn't being "reduced", it's moving up the ladder from making YouTube videos., validating his status as the C-list entertainer he's always been.

In among all the lunacies is "Cointel Pro", which was actually real. It was the FBI's name for a project to infiltrate and disrupt left-wing political groups in the late 60s and early 70s, and was a major subject of the Church committee investigations later in the 1970s if I recall.

In 1971 a group of Philadelphia peace activistst broke into an FBI field office in Media, PA, and stole al lthe files in the dead of night. They sent all the hinky stuff to newspapers, and cointelpro was discovered a little while later by an investigative reporter going through the trove of documents. It proved to be very exstensive, and utterly extra-legal. The peace activists were never caught, and no one breathed a word about it until one of the conspirators spilled the beans over 40 years after the fact! There's an excellent NYT video about it all.

By palindrom (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

Just imagine poor Andy Wakefield, marooned on the Ruby Princess while the crew frantically works to restart the engines and keep a bunch of conspiracy-theorizing woo-sters from going into full-blown panic.

I've been imagining them ending up stranded on a desert isle ... either due to rough weather setting in or the other passengers, tired of being lectured about evil vaccines and other woo, tossing them overboard.

They'd finally be free of the tyranny of Big Pharma and similar evil entities and able to put their "natural living" and, for some, libertarian beliefs to the test.

Sort of a Gilligan's Island meets Lord of the Flies meets Survivor type of thing.

I'm sure much hilarity would ensue.

@ Denice #143

Oh, I know you're not joking, and it can get worse than what you mentioned.

That's one reason the movement-woo anti-s upset me so much: they such up all the oxygen in the room around real issues, and send critiques that need to be made off in the wrong direction. I'm convinced GMO foods are safe to eat. I'm also pretty well convinced that Monsanto develops and deploys their safe and potentially beneficial products in ways that cause great economic and cultural harm to indigenous people, and push Big Agra deeper into land-use practices that have negative long-term consequences for both the ecology and the agricultural economy – which have nothing to do with GMos per se; the new tech just adds more grease to the skids already in place.

Alas, there's so much noise about 'GMO POISON!' the legitimate critiques barely get heard, and the discourse has become so polarized that anyone who says anything critical about Monsanto or the land use issues exacerbated by GMO development and production automatically gets lumped in with the crazies and dismissed...

One source of potential strife on the Conspira-Sea Cruise looms on the seminar calendar for January 26.

There's a scheduled discussion on autism and what causes it (the choices are vaccines and GMOs), with panel discussion leaders Andy Wakefield, Sherry Tenpenny and Jeffery Smith (the GMO-phobe). What happens when the first two jump on vaccines and Smith insists it's the GMOs? Will a food fight break out as audience members join the fray?*

*I've learned not to underestimate the potential for violence at actual professional conferences. I was at one just last month and an audience member repeatedly interrupted the speaker with disagreements on the topic at hand. The speaker finally had enough, got down off the podium, into the heckler's face and a shouting match ensued (the moderator finally pulled the speaker away). It was the most entertaining moment of the entire conference. If I'd been faster I could have had a cellphone video which surely would've gone viral on YouTube.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

@ Dangerous Bacon:

I'd love to see that video!

-btw- there seems to be yet another causative factor being hooted ( most recently at the Autism One's 'recovery panel') amongst the TMs : antibiotics caused their child's autism- one of them - the so-called *Prof*, Zoey O'Toole, claims that her son had no vaccines.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

NaT #91:

The coughs and "Fie"! we're meant to indicate a lighthearted, comic, theatrical jibe. I also intended a joke, by citing the more trivial Electoral College issue directly while 'repressing' the slavery question 'off mic'. In short, I was just having a bit of fun, and meant no all-encompassing dis on the Constitution, just "don't go too far overboard there, OK?"

But since you've brought your Ivy League JD (Junior D-bag?) into the mix, I shall feel free to respond, though I'm chill with you staying out of it, and would advise you NOT to solicit further opinion form this lawyer.

1. Slavery was lawful and common throughout the world in the 18th Century. There’s nothing inherently *irrational* about slavery. His objection is one based on morality, and thus impertinent to your point.

If this fool didn't come with Ivy League authority, I might consider it beneath me to rebut someone who attempts to puff up an air or erudition in a condescending put-down, but misusing 'impertinent' instead of 'irrelevant.' But...
1. Argumentum ad populum. Authoritarian theocracy: common in the 18th century = RATIONAL!
2. Defining rationality as exclusive of anything that could come under the heading of morality just auto-Godwin's itself.
3. Putz has no clue what my objection to slavery is based on. Talk about Dunning-Kruger.

2. The electoral college is not at all irrational. It, like other aspects of our system (e.g., the Senate), provide a slight countermajoritarian balance so that the least populous states are not ignored and are assured at least a reasonable minimum amount of influence in the political process. Small states would have little incentive to join the Union otherwise.

Cute tense confusion: I wasn't aware The U.S is encouraging small territories to become states these days. Oh, he meant 'would have had little incentive. Well, besides being false (military protection, interstate trade, etc etc. weren't "little": see 'War of 1812'), his lead sentence says – minus the double negative – claims the Electoral College IS rational. Which:
1. Takes him out of the Constitution as written by the framers, which did not allow for a popular vote for President.
2. Ignores the fact that at present, the counter-majoritarian effect of the EC is anything but slight, and the influence of small states is so far above a 'reasonable minimum' that Congress is a bad joke in terms of democratic representation. (Oh yeah, "slight balance" = grammar fail #3).
_______

For a contrarian take on the view of the Constitution as 'great document of liberty!', check out Charles Beard.

Suzanne @58 that was my first thought, too - how sorry I felt for the average Joes whose long-saved-for splurge of a cruise happened to coincide with the boat full of lunatics. Though if the loons are in seminars the whole time, then there are fewer folks using the usual amenities like deck chairs and swimming pools, so it might be a win!

re: Norovirus, I wouldn't wish that misery on anyone. Well, OK, maybe Wakefield.

By Emma Crew (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

If rumors of plots to infect everyone on the cruise with measles, ebola, Salmonella, or a new GMO microbe, that would start a conspiracy panic and most conspirators would be too paranoid to want to go on the cruise!

By Dr. Raymond G… (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

This is beginning to sound like what is taught in emergency planning classes as the 'Zombies on Air Force One' scenario.

Someone has to write a scenario for a disaster exercise and starts with terrorists on a cruise boat. But that won't exercise all of the target capabilities so they add a disease outbreak. Then a busload of Girls Scouts, then zombies, then Air Force One, etc.

On the other hand, bad things often come in multiples (think Fukushima). I met an employee of the county health department for Ferguson, MO at a conference. While the riots were going on they had a major food-poisoning outbreak and all of their servers crashed.

And, indeed, the ‘star’ of the cruise – getting a whopping six sessions, is ‘Introduction to the Constitution’ presenter Michael Badnarik.

I've noticed that the people who refer to the Constitution and the Bible the most often are usually the ones who have read neither.

@Narad,

I'm sorry my reply was delayed. I was traveling earlier in the week and now back home there is much to catch up on, including sleep. But at least I came home to a clean sink. Yay!

I appreciate the explanation. No apology is necessary. The psychiatrist I correspond with refers to emails and blog comments as projective tests. I don't know how clinically he takes that but in my layman's mind it means to me that these are communication mediums that are highly subject to misinterpretation, especially of tone, and that the interpretation is greatly influenced by what is going on in our own heads.

Thanks so much for the link to The Poison Review. Interesting articles, and the link lists are fantastic!

That incident they describe in Syracuse is macabre. I didn't know about it until you directed me there (I don't watch news on TV so I'm often miss large chunks of semi-local & local news) and I hope there are no more close calls like that one.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

@ sadmar,

I'm not interested in continuing to discuss the points of the Constitution as I stated. However, regarding your comments:

1. I thought you were being cute in your first comment, but you are correct, at no point did I think you were just kidding. The fact you replied with arguments and I link to an argument appears to support this.

2. I didn't contact a lawyer with a specialty in constitutional law in defense of me in my assertion that the Constitution is one of the most rational documents. I am able to defend myself; I don't need a lawyer to do so (unless in a professional capacity). I contacted this particular lawyer so he could defend the Constitution on the points you raised to question the rationality of it.

3. I didn't name / title drop for any other reason than to avoid the Dunning-Kruger card being played here because it doesn't apply (unless you're someone trained on the US Constitution and then I would be wrong). Well, I failed epically on this task because you didn't merely insinuate it, you flat out laid the card on the table.

4. I also failed to recognize that my straightforwardness, ok bluntness, would offend you in addition to the word "impertinent". He wasn't saying you were insulting my arguement, he was using it according to its legal definition.

5. I think he missed the word "had" in the small states sentence also but I didn't insert [sic] in it because I thought it was self-evident that he meant when the document was adopted.

6. Your personal attack on him was uncalled for.

Closing thought: The Constitution is rational enough to include a means to change it if you consider any part of it irrational. So if you're an American and you want to change something in it, you are free to apply yourself to that end.

HTH HAND [hat tip to Narad]

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

.....where are a large crew of pirates when you need them?

Ummm, would you believe on a cruise?

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 15 Aug 2015 #permalink

Haha, my god, they seem to never realized that half their conspiracies contradict each other, especially in medical one. If chemtrail, haarp, fluoride, tv, ads and media are all a mind control device, how come the illuminati are so bad at it? The world is a freaking chaos and would the new world order focus on the loon first?

Seriously, I doubt the company putting those cruise together believe in them. There so much themed cruise, they saw a niche that was not covered, a niche of people that would not go on a history (real history) cruise. All the new age spiritual people needed to be covered, and that market niche was open, so in a way, marketing wise, it's brillant. Those Loons are getting conned lol. That's just speculation, but I feel that the cruise would have been named something like "the Truth Cruise" not conspira-sea, that sounds and look ridiculous, something Jimmy Kimmel or John Oliver would have come up.

By Frederick (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

While there's been speculation here on how much Woo Boat speakers will make from the Conspira-Sea cruise, the amount surely will pale in comparison to what big-time woo docs are hauling in.

For instance, there's the host of the upcoming Dr. Roizen's Integrative and Preventive Medicine Show in Las Vegas (a conference featuring various types of woo, sponsored by Cleveland Clinic). Michael Roizen (the chief "wellness officer for CC), who already has quite the financial woo empire built up, turns out to be one of five Ohio docs who collected more than $1 million last year from medical device and/or drug makers (Roizen's reported take was $1.7 million in 2014 from this one source alone).

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/08/16/industry-ties-…
http://medcitynews.com/2011/11/cleveland-clinics-michael-roizen-his-man…

Even Mercola might be jealous. And it beats having to mingle with conspiracy loonies on a boat in return for chump change.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

One is temped to start a crowd funding campaign to hire a submarine to torpedo the ship.

Torpedoes are old hat; these days, there's something called a cruise missile. Better to send in a Marx Bros-look-alike team with hidden cameras and mics. It would be pure gold.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

I think everyone should read the paper Chris links to @ 101.It's a winner as far as sheer antivax paranoia,poor grasp of science,and novel ways of trying to connect vaccines to autism

What known biologic processes could explain this apparent causal relationship between fetal manufactured vaccines and ASD prevalence? We suggest that the contaminating fetal cellular debris and DNA fragments as well as HERVK retroviral fragments may lead to autoimmune attack and/or insertional mutagenesis in children.This paper
focuses on the potential for insertional mutagenesis.

Snipped

Furthermore, increased DNA uptake after LPS activation suggests that systemic inflammation or immune responses could increase the susceptibility for exogenous DNA uptake. Vaccines that are manufactured using human fetal cell lines
are contaminated by exogenous DNA and retroviral fragments,and vaccines elicit systemic inflammation and immune activation, a combination that may be particularly
amenable to insertional mutagenesis in vaccine recipients.

By Roger Kulp (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

Oh, how I suddenly wish the Bermuda Triangle was really real! I picture five Grumman Avengers diving down out of the clouds and raking them stem to stern with bombs and machine guns.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

sadmar, the Electoral College makes lot of sense if you think of it as a way to enhance the voting power of slave states. The infamous "three-fifths of a person" rule was actually a compromise to keep the major slaveholding states from filling up the census rolls with too many nonvoting slaves in order to have more seats in Congress. The other side of the coin is that Electoral College votes follow the total number of Senate and House seats a state has (This you know.), making it more difficult to overwhelm the more thinly populated slave states than a popular vote would.
Not for nothing, I recommend that all my fellow USAnians check out the National Popular Vote Compact, and if your state hasn't signed on, urge your legislators to enact the National Popular Vote Act.
http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/index.php

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

Oh joy! The Aluminati are back!
http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2015/08/04/another-frontiers-in-journ…
In which our friend Tomljenovic takes advantage of the multilevel-marketing aspect of the Frontiers business model to instigate a Research Topic, then to recruit, edit and peer-review submissions from her fellow True Believers Gherardi and Exley.

The title of Exley's contribution indicates its level of objectivity:
"Why Industry Propaganda and Political Interference Cannot Disguise the Inevitable Role Played by Human Exposure to Aluminum in Neurodegenerative Diseases, Including Alzheimer’s Disease".

The other two contributions to this Research Topic are from Pogue and Lukiw, who are new to me.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

Candice H. Brown Elliott,
Please, oh please, don't invoke "The Marching Morons". Its biology is pathetically bad, on a par with 1930s eugenics. Larry Niven and Isaac Asimov co-wrote an essay, "On the Marching Morons", that takes it apart in detail. Unfortunately, the link to the only online posting has gone 404, so here is the link to a blog post on the subject by PZ Myers: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/05/08/there-are-no-marching-mor….
Also, here's a link to the Biology in Science Fiction blog post about it: http://blog.sciencefictionbiology.com/2007/05/marching-morons-and-inher….
I can't say how much I loathe this story, along with its companions, "The Little Black Bag" and the last section of "Search the Sky". They all are entertaining and well-written, but they are oh, so wrong in a seriously bad way.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

Mein Herr Professor Doktor: "Oh joy! The Aluminati are back!"
I'm glad I'm not the only one warning about the danger of the Aluminati. They are so insidious, putting their siding on houses, getting us cooking in their pots, wrapping our food and our heads in their foil, replacing our good all-American steel in the bodies of our all-American pickup trucks, and extending their perfidious control over our minds by inserting their toxin into our vaccines. If you think Monsanto is evil, you haven't looked into Alcoa deeply enough. I only pray it's not too late.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

Shirley you mean "Al-Coa".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

herr doktor,

That's a crafty way of using the multilevel-marketing model, and even craftier of you to perceive that analogy..
____

Old Rockin' Dave,

The PZ Myers piece reminded me of something. Have grown up so poor I lived in a shoebox in the street that I have been told that poverty such as that doesn't exist in America, I can say that people may find it surprising where some of the most vicious elitist prejudice I've experienced has come from. But, more to your point, it doesn't do anyone any favors to assume they are morons and treat them as such.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

If I had that many dollars looking for places to live (I don't), I'd be tempted by this strictly for the humour value. I'm actually quite fascinated by "conspiracy theorising" as a manifestation of popular paranoias and fringe moral panics.

I am slightly disappoint, though; I don't see anything that blatantly screams "THE JOOZ DIDDIT." What's a telephone game (the collective noun) of conspiracy theorists without an invocation of Rothschild or two? (Which brings me back to my first point...lu hayiti Rothschild...)

By Interrobang (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

Did someone here already use the term "Conspiracon"? Imagine the money to be made by inviting all the fuster-heads to one annual event of events. Talk about missing the proverbial boat! First Prize would naturally go to the best conspiracy theory to explain the increasing incidence of conspiracy theories as a cover-up for something (anything) more sinister.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 16 Aug 2015 #permalink

Need an iceberg, anyone ?

There's legitimate things in there, like MK ultra, which was a ridiculous waste of money to see if things like psychics were able to control people and other paranormal was real, it turns out no lol, no results. But on those kind of conspiracy circles it did, work! They will talk about it as if it was successful and created supersoldier and telepathic spies and what not. And contelipro would be use as a example to what is happening to them , they believe they are watched since they have THE Tuth. And since those were real "conspiracies " it will also be used as proof. Since those were real ( but they were discovered pretty fast and did not include half the planet, but chuute don't tell them that) every conspiracies they now come up with is real. That's always like that. I talked to a lot of believers and they always bring a legitimate thing, to prove their point, but they failed to ee how in fact it mostly disprove it.

By Frederick (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

I can only imagine the intense waves of paranoia among passengers aboard that ship. No pun intended... :p

By Chadwick Jones (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

NaT:

FWIW, I didn't take offense at you. I'm a 'Not a Troll' fan. I also like straightforward and even blunt ;-). While it's not cool if the thing put bluntly is somehow 'wrong'/unfair/upsetting/whatever, I'd rather get that honest and up-front than veiled in a cloak of feigned gentility. Having grown up in a shoebox on the street :-), I'd guess you too have experienced the hard fist that lurks behind 'country club' manners.

Club med sucks!
Authority sucks!
I hate golf!

Yes, we should leave the Constitution alone on RI, though I can guess the take on it offered during the Woo-Cruise would have us shuddering in harmony. (See following comment)

I confess: I do get bent out of shape have by a certain type of Ivy League snob (not that your lawyer necessarily is one – I ass-u-me'd) – having spent 10+ years amongst a college faculty dominated by same. Actually, I'm pretty OK with pretentious folks who live up to their pretentions, but... well this particular pompous cadre of colleagues said some of the dumbest shit... And they were masters of that never-straightforward fist-behind-politesse thing, too.

Anyway, re-reading #150 I see my language appeared to be ad hominem not just at the attorney, but at you for querying him and passing on his comments. But, per #156-2, I didn't have a problem with you seeking support from someone qualified in the field – it just makes sense. Nor do I think you should be reluctant to post such a response. I do sincerely apologize for my words that suggested otherwise.

I did go ad hominem on the attorney, and while that was kinda figurative, it was wrong in this context. I'm in no position to judge the lawyer on the basis of one brief comment. I should have directed my reply to the comment not the person. The comment was facile, condescending and clueless – presuming to 'know' my "objection is one based on morality" simply from the word "slavery" bracketed by juvenile coughing SFX. Perhaps, in another context – say, something other than quickly-fired-off web one-liners – I might find this fellow quite astute. Or not. But lacking more info, I shouldn't be presumptuous either, eh? Mea culpa.

I did some Google checked on Michael Badnarik, he of the 'U. S. Constitution class' on the Woo Boat. Turns out his 'constitutional scholarship' concludes that the "secret" of that document is the 'sovereign citizen' thing: the assertion that the government actually has no power to compel you to get a drivers license, settle up parking tickets, pay taxes... Oh, and for the "teaser" excerpt of his new book on his website, he's pulled a passage that specifically mentions medical 'freedom':

Does the FDA really have the authority to prevent you from drinking raw milk? Does the federal government really have the power to force you into healthcare insurance that you don't want and can't afford? Are you really going to stand there and submit to mandatory injections or passively accept the universal RFID chip under your skin? If so... close {this] book now... You are already a slave, and you shouldn't get caught reading objectionable literature such as this.

So he'll no doubt be telling the woo-cruisers that if they just say "I will not comply", they can get around all those nasty unconstitutional laws and regulations impinging on their free exercise of woofulness.

A few more choice Badnarik quotes:

• I am opposed to any individual taxes until we eliminate all of the unconstitutional agencies, and I suspect we wouldn't need a tax after that.
• Gun control means being able to hit your target. If I have a 'hot button' issue, this is definitely it.... if you try to confiscate my guns, I will feel compelled to give them to you, one bullet at a time.
• If you don't enforce the constitutional limitations on your government very soon, you are likely to find out what World War III will be like. I'm quite sure that I will never experience that war - because dissidents are always the first to be eliminated.
• Since when do we let the government decide what is or isn't good for us? What the hell does Congress know about nutrition, anyway? If the government can use force whenever something is "in our best interest" ..fast food establishments should be torn down and replaced with bars that serve carrot juice and alfalfa sprouts, since - "it's in your best interest." This paternalistic attitude that "the government knows best" and that you are merely a helpless child is insulting and reprehensible. Hitler used the same attitude to persuade the Germans to subjugate themselves to the "Fatherland."
• If [Franklin D. Roosevelt] were alive today I would assassinate that S.O.B myself...

Even a lot of the far-fringey anti-government libertarians think Badnarik is a dangerous kook.

In a possible case of dupe-magnetism, the cruisers who choose his sessions will be shucking out an extra $150 (or 4 ounces of .999 fine silver) apiece for the pleasure of hearing the man himself deliver a 'class' that is available on video in it's entirety for free on YouTube and archive.org. I suppose the in-person appearance could generate $150 worth of entertainment value if anti-vaxers start whining about SB277, Badnarik chides them for turning over their kids' education to the nazi-nanny state instead of home-schooling, setting off a donnybrooke with an angry posse of Thinking Moms, who get so upset they rush the dais, and he pulls his Smith and Wesson...

I was gonna write 'but I don't think that will happen', but on second thought, with the potential volatility of this mixture of hole-istic characters, I'm not making any predictions one way or another. But if I was Andy Wakefield, not only would I be lamenting having fallen into such outre company, I'd be scouting spots to get clear of potential crossfire from the moment I got on board, and packing a kevlar vest, just in case.

You guys have me laughing esp since Ian, #157.

At any rate, I believe that I can add to the general temper of merriment by offering a tasty bonbon which may contain an inner filling that inadvertently reveals a common altie MO:

"The real reason Donald Trump is so popular: He's the surrogate mouthpiece for the things most Americans deeply believe ( but are afraid to say)"- Mikey, Natural News, today.

And like the Donald, Mikey too is your "warrior" ( his word, not mine) poised to intrepidly battle corruption, malfeasance and other horrors perpetrated by government/ industry/ media/ those-people-you-don't-like-who-live-down-the-street.

Seriously: he and the other idiot ( PRN) have just announced in the past few days that they are now monitoring governmental crimes ( either through a new website focused upon acronymed agencies or new faux radio programming, respectively).These additions follow their "investigations" of corporate sculduggery ( pharma cons) and endless reports about how the mainstream media has been RONG so many times it's ridiculous!
Hey, if you don't like the news, write your own!

They know their audiences well enough- despite their own florid lack of interpersonal subtlety- to realise that there is a large group of people who ARE suspicious, angry and seething with venom for those who enjoy a modicum of intelligence, success or recognition. They tap into this vitriol easily because they share many of those characteristics themselves.

I venture that both of these prevaricators imagined themselves to be intellectually superior to the average, about to conquer the world of science and journalism until they were refused entry to either a decent university ( Null) or higher levels of education ( Adams) so they're still angry at authorities and experts since those days. Their bio material continuously rants about their own excellence and accomplishments since childhood as compensation.

Probably Andy, many anti-vaxxers and cruise ship presenters fit into this model as well. they're about to reveal the Truth about those corrupt b@stards who lord it over everyone and who have kept them out of the limelight (or journals or meaningful positions.)
HOWEVER what they reveal instead is primarily about their own inner workings and *betes noires*

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

sadmar,

Best not to be a NaT fan. That way I won't let you down someday. ;-)

No worries. Most things on the internet blow past me with real life being the actual challenge. And even though I defended the lawyer on a personal basis, I probably didn't need to. I am positive he's comfortable with debates of all kinds. However, I did find it interesting that you took what he wrote as condescending. To me, he just writes like a lawyer would. They write funny; more so than medical professionals.

I agree with you on treatment of the Constitution on this ship which is part of the reason I made my fools statement. Makes me cringe and he is just another charlatan playing to his audience.

I did see the extra fee but figured it was because it was 6 sessions long. The humor here is if they allow questions afterward, and it is anything like the lawyer-type seminars I've been to, he is going to earn it. Everyone and their brother is going to be telling him their story in great detail trying to get free legal advice out of him. That part would be fun to watch.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

There’s legitimate things in there, like MK ultra, which was a ridiculous waste of money to see if things like psychics were able to control people and other paranormal was real, it turns out no lol, no results.

No, MKUltra did not use psychics and other paranormal means, they used good ol' drugs and psychological methods, and they did get results. Not necessarily the results they wanted, but there were results aplenty.

I can't argue the 'waste of money', but not all projects work out the way you plan.

“The real reason Donald Trump is so popular: He’s the surrogate mouthpiece for the things most Americans deeply believe ( but are afraid to say)”- Mikey, Natural News, today.

Trump's main message is "Sociopathy and narcissism are the best kinds of personality to have; also vote for me because I have lots of money and came by it through my lack of scruples." Mixed in with racism and sexism.
Perhaps Mikey is right, perhaps more than a obstreperous minority of Republican supporters do feel the same way.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

No, MKUltra did not use psychics and other paranormal means, they used good ol’ drugs and psychological methods, and they did get results.

Something something Frank Olson something.

Frederick seems to have been thinking of Rima "Great Culling" Laibow's hubby's Stargate Project.

Herr doktor, what you say is true.

I imagine that our woo-meisters have even more in common with Trump:
they all worship celebrity and would do anything publicly in order to be famous/ stay famous.
Also they have poor taste, bad judgment and more money than most people.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

# 182 herr doktor bimler

Sociopathy and narcissism are the best kinds of personality to have; also vote for me because I have lots of money and came by it through my lack of scruples.” Mixed in with racism and sexism.

This sounds like a winning combination among a lot of tea-party Republicans.

I would refer you to the Robert Ford, the former major of Toronto. He makes Trump almost respectable and he got elected. Due to ill-health he did not run for re-election as mayor but was returned as a councillor.

Mind, to give him his due, I don't remember any,accusations of real racism against Rob. Perhaps a couple of slurs and so on but not real racism.

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

One, if not the only, reason that Darn Old Chump is so popular can be found in this article:
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/donald-trump-talks-like-…. If you don't have time to read it, the URL should give you the short answer. Or to put it in the words of H. L. Mencken, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

Mind, to give him his due, I don’t remember any,accusations of real racism against Rob.

He appears to have been admirably unprejudiced about the skin colour or ethnic background of his drug suppliers.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

hdb:

Sociopathy and narcissism are the best kinds of personality to have. Also vote for me because I inherited money, and despite bad investments and bankruptcies, have been able to fool the rubes into thinking I'm way more wealthy than I am, and have profited mightily by a lack of scruples, which have actually bit me in the ass financially, but exponentially increased my celebrity.

FTFY. ;-)

I wonder if the JREF can schedule their TAM for the same cruise.

"Offering a target-rich environment" would be a good draw.

Nah... the TAMers would never go for it. The conditions would be too dangerous what with all the unvaccinated and unmedicated lunatics aboard... but, it would be glorious.

FTFY. ?

Is it just me, or have the non-BMP/surrogate-pair emoticons* been on the rise lately? I know that the SB "IT" monkeys have been rewarded for cartooning up the joint by installing the freaking slow, utterly bourgeois Emoji plugin** for those who are now... cripes, I have no idea. There are perfectly serviceable emoticons built-in (e.g., ;-)),*** if one "needs" to resort to them.

But I'm curious how and why – in a practical sense, not versus the standard**** "vocabulary" – they're being injected. Is this something that, say, mobile devices are presenting as a default input method nowadays?

* No, marketing as "different" from emoticons does not persuade me. There is no meaningful advance over crap like ":comp:" (h[]tp://www.sherlockforum.com/forum/public/style_emoticons/default/comp26.gif).
** This is why we (tinw) can't have nice things. Like preview.
*** I'll see whether <code> works here for ;-) .
**** I'm aware of the origins/storage history.

^ Wait, the plugin overrides ;-)? Is one reduced to the noncanonical ;)?

Let's see: ;)

^^ Nope, it's that bad.

Narad, yes, you found out the proper way through your power of logic and reason what I stumbled upon earlier up thread when I was totally blind-sided by the fact that this site changed my subtle inflection to a winking smiley face commonly used by tweens for texting.

I wasn't happy.

+100 for preview. Can we get that?

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

^ Wait, the plugin overrides ; - )? Is one reduced to the noncanonical ; )?

Yeah, it's obnoxious. I have been known to use an emoticon on rare occasions, but the annoying cartoon things look horrendous, and not only that, but I personally feel that they're not, semantically speaking, even the same thing as actual emoticons.

(I have a friend who works in the German department and uses smileys very liberally in his emails, etc. It's actually sort of adorable coming from a 40-something year old German (by way of Singapore) man.)

I have a friend who works in the German department and uses smileys very liberally in his emails, etc.

I think he is safe until he starts using Comic Sans font - then the hammer will come down on him.

Oh, wait. I am unsure of this in academia. I am speaking of the corporate world.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

re #192: Let's drag out the old standby &zwnj;: ;‌-)

By Bill Price (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

Yup. By the way, ;‌-) is coded as ;&zwnj;-).

By Bill Price (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

I typed 'semicolon' - 'hyphen' - 'close parenthesis'. I would prefer it to be rendered as those characters, not as an icon. Not only are the icons too cutesy, unless I enlarge my screen like 400%, I can't see the wink vs. the normal smiley eye.

I would prefer not to use emoticons at all, but it seems I do need to, and my attempts at light-hearted funning tend not to read properly in text forums, especially here.

Testing:
‌-)

Testing #2:

;‌-)

Re. Sadmar @ 178, "....Sovereign Citizens...": A particular type of right-wing ideology that denies the validity of government above the level of counties, and whose adherents are known to drive with hand-lettered license plates (because "state gov is not legitimate"), and shoot the cops who pull them over for it.

Their tendency to shoot cops has made Sovereign Citizens a high priority for FBI & other LE agencies to keep an eye on, so the presence of one of their leaders on this cruise will virtually ensure the presence of at least two undercover ("u/c") officers or agents. That should be good for some extra paranoia on the part of the other attendees.

I was going to suggest that someone might want to do some "street theater" by getting together with a few friends and dressing up as "men in black" or whatever, and standing around the boarding area for the cruise, talking into their wristwatches and so on, as the passengers arrive. But if there are Sovereign Citizens in the mix, then there will be real u/c around to watch 'em, and skeptics w/ humorous intent might want to avoid stirring that particular pot.

What I wouldn't give to read the daily reports on the behaviors of these persons-of-interest and those who hang out with them!

---

Re. Chris @ 19: alcohol hand-sanitizer before entering cruise ship eating areas: That's a good start, but alcohol-based preparations are known to not kill C.Diff. But C.Diff or not C.Diff (that is the question;-), with all the Norovirus going around, you couldn't pay me to get on a cruise ship, even if all the passengers and crew had to line up at a sink and wash their hands with strong soap & water before each meal.

---

Re. psychedelic mushrooms: The Amanitas appear to be deliriant rather than psychedelic. Psilocybe species are psychedelic, per the active ingredient, psilocybin. Psilocybe mushrooms are sacred to adherents of certain native Mesoamerican traditions, who believe that they provide a means of direct contact between individuals and the deity.

When Swiss psychopharmacologist Albert Hofmann first synthesized psilocybin based on a sample of the mushrooms collected by (R. Gordon Wasson, if memory serves), he gave some of the synthetic psilocybin to an elderly shaman, who told him, "yes, you have brought the spirit of the mushroom into your pink pill." Nice example of how science and an ancient religious tradition were able to cooperate in a spirit of mutual respect. Today's adherents of herbal medicine would do well to welcome Big Pharma to seek out whatever active compounds might exist in their herbs (pharmacognosy), but they don't, and we have much to say about that in these pages.

One of the more recent (in the last decade) FDA-approved human subject research protocols for psychedelics is: 30 milligrams of psilocybin, lie on a couch listening to classical (or other instrumental) music over good stereo headphones while wearing dark eyeshades, with a psychiatrist standing by for supervision and intervention if needed. This appears to produce profoundly meaningful experiences that are typically described in religious terms. It would be interesting to see how that translates for atheists (seriously).

In an unsupervised setting, lower doses are useful as an aid to creativity and deep reflection on any subject of interest. That would mean approx. 1 gram of dried psilocybe mushrooms. OTOH spending a day deeply engaged in thought, is quite "psychedelic" in and of itself, without need of mushrooms or various compounds.

---

Interrobang @ 172: I was wondering why the promoters of this thing hadn't said "Teh Jewish Conspiracy" in so many words, but maybe they're hinting at it with a wink-nudge or a dog whistle that only other anti-Semites can hear?

---

Lastly an optimistic speculation:

At one point in his career, psychiatrist Milton Erickson was in charge of a hospital psychiatric ward, where two of the patients each believed himself to be Jesus Christ. One day Erickson arranged for these two patients to meet. The patients spent the day arguing with each other over which one of them was the real Jesus Christ. The next day each of them approached Erickson to say that they'd finally realized, for the first time, that they were crazy.

So the moral of that story is, perhaps when the Conspira Sea Cruize returns home, a decent number of the passengers, having encountered others quite like themselves in most ways, will also recognize that in the end they were crazy. One can hope.

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

sample of the mushrooms collected by (R. Gordon Wasson, if memory serves)

The mycophilia / mycophagia circles I mix with have been abuzz with recent realisations that Gordon Wasson simply made up a lot of his ancient shamanic mushroom traditions, and there is no ethnological value in his books. At least the realisations were recent to me.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

In other woo-centric news.. conspiracies with no boats involved

- Jake ( Autism Investigated, today), to the delight of his commenters, writes about our most benevolent and sagacious host:
" Anybody who thinks that G----- and others like him in social and news media are not intentionally distorting facts to help the CDC cover up facts about vaccine risks is simply a fool."

- Mikey ( Natural News, today) has discovered that he is indeed prescient because his vivid dream, as described a few days ago, just CAME TRUE** even the ( magical) number showed up*** in events that transpired in reality
He's a prophet who profits from his proffering.

- Commenters on Dachel's post ( AoA) about Silberman's new book are not exactly thrilled with its subject matter or its author .I'm sure that Dan will be especially miffed as it reflects upon the subject matter of his book.

Thus, minions, if we give them enough time, I'm confident that they'll find a way to implicate ALL of us into these dreadful plots, subterfuges, cover-ups and malfeasance in the service of Whomever

Ah yes, the world is a bizarre place to those amongst us who are not blessed with a capacity for self-criticism.

** except he got a few minor details wrong like the religion involved, the country involved, his own actions in the dream, false flags etc .
Mike, people can go back and check your predicitons.
*** if you look hard enough and twist the news enough

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

Congrats to Orac for being recognized (once again) by Jake.

But did we ever congratulate our fearless leader on achieving a #4 ranking in Sharyl Atkisson's list of Top Ten Astroturfers?

https://sharylattkisson.com/top-10-astroturfers/

True, he has to share honors at the #4 spot with other "science" blogs (the "scare quotes" are Atkisson's).

This list of Top Ten Astroturfers (signifying secret payouts by Big Whatever to manipulate the minds of readers for nefarious purposes) has to be bona fide, since it stems from a poll of 169 Twitter respondents, and all Twitterians who follow Atkisson undoubtedly have the facts to back up their suspicions. Along with science/skeptic bloggers, there's a wide slice of major mainstream media on the list, along with Mother Jones (which as we know has long been in thrall to major corporations).

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

Surely if your own personal Belief System shows up in that list of lunacy then it must make you question its truth? Or is that too hopeful and people attending will actually think, "Well, all those fools believe in the lizard people but I know that's just a conspiracy started by Big Pharma to conceal the actual truth about how vaccines are being used to cull the population!"?

I really like the idea of a parallel skeptic cruise and was going to suggest the same thing. Apart from the potential head-messing fun anyone trying to counter this misinformation deserves a luxury holiday.

Oh Dangerous One:

That list includes WAY too many items to be a 'top 10', wouldn't you say?
But she didn't want to leave anyone out.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

@ Cate K:

As someone who used to attend various new age events and woo-meisterly presentations, I must say that it's hard work to suppress laughter and automatic eye-rolling- it can be exhausting if the idiot goes on for hours. And they do.

Incredibly, the woo/ altie in charge usually reels off lunacy at such a quick pace that I wouldn'[t recommend a week long excursion.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

Alex:

So, how about we try to block buy a section of the ship for a skeptics cruise? Seriously, if I was independently wealthy, I would totally do that for the fun of being able to create those easel stand things that promoted lectures like “The truth behind vaccines” to lure them unsuspectingly into lectures that present them with the stuff they so badly do not want to hear.

You don't have to be independently wealthy to do that. You just have to be able to sell enough people on the idea to get the trip funded. ;-) The price would be the cost of a cabin on board plus enough to cover the expenses of any guests that you book. It really is just like any other convention.

The tricky part to doing it at the same time as this would be a) making sure there is enough space on the same cruise and b) finding out about their event far enough in advance to be able to book the same cruise. ;-)

So, if there are any travel agents among the group, you could totally arrange something like that.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

I'll give Jake Crosby this: I can actually read at his website without wanting to claw my eyes out from the poor visual design and navigation that you find at Age of Autism, Natural News and a few others I've had the misfortune to land on. (I know, emoticons here, but those can be avoided. Besides, this is a pleasant site to view and it has the best site search relevancy of any I've ever used ).

To Denice, and others, who visit these awful websites I applaud your fortitude in subjecting yourself to that visual abuse in order to update everyone here.

Also, did I miss something in Mike Adams dream where he writes it was a Christian campus but happened at a Hindu shrine?

For the rest of the article, the machinations he uses to match his dream to the event reminds me of a special on the History or Discovery channel (?) on the prophecies of Nostradamus and what twisted logic needed to be applied to pull any relationships out of them.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

But did we ever congratulate our fearless leader on achieving a #4 ranking in Sharyl Atkisson’s list of Top Ten Astroturfers?

On 8 we find the Huffington Post, which strikes me as a bit ironic, considering how our beloved host considers it.

Wow, Eisenhower and her flying monkeys have really infested the comments section of that post.

(Completely OT, a few years ago I had to review resumes for an internship from two applicants named Eisenhauer and Nimtz. I wanted to hire both just for the enjoyment I'd get out of introducing them at meetings).

"Mikey ( Natural News, today) has discovered that he is indeed prescient because his vivid dream, as described a few days ago, just CAME TRUE** even the ( magical) number showed up*** in events that transpired in reality"

I once dreamed that 2+2=5. Upon awakening I found that my computer had crashed. Coincidence?

"I really like the idea of a parallel skeptic cruise and was going to suggest the same thing."

That would almost certainly require sailing on an ocean with a non-Euclidean geometry.

Sadmar@ 200

Lose the hyphen.
; ) = ;)

By Roger Kulp (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

@ Not a Troll:

Thank you for your kind words.

To be perfectly honest, I am sometimes extremely entertained by their idiocy and obviously mercenary activities.

Many of the sites are indeed ugly. I think Jake's isn't quite as bad because there is so little material on it,

Although there is certainly *visual* madness, let's not forget the terrible auditory manoeuverings resident at sites like NN ( Mike also produces music videos and lessons in various woo) , PRN ( the daily crapfest is, after all, radio), AoA/ TMR include video as well. Sometimes difficulties in verbal thought are more apparent in the spoken word than in the written one

About my own welfare despite immersion in woo-ful propaganda:
no one should worry, I am breathtakingly immune to its deleterious effects. I believe that I inherited the capacity to discern and be resilient against BS, advertising and mindless brainwashing because I am descended from a long line of business folk who managed to survive despite their exposure to prodigious amounts of similar tripe over the past ( at least) century or so,

As my late father would frequently say gleefully:
" Oh look, at this incredible line of crap they're trying to push onto people!"

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

“I really like the idea of a parallel skeptic cruise and was going to suggest the same thing.”
That would almost certainly require sailing on an ocean with a non-Euclidean geometry.

Reimannian geometry -- there are no parallel lines to cruise along.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

Yeah, it’s obnoxious. I have been known to use an emoticon on rare occasions, but the annoying cartoon things look horrendous

This wasn't my point; the new appearances are non-BMP code points. They don't render at all for me – all I see is a box with the six-digit Unicode hex in it. On the other hand, when Orac uses an emoticon, it's actually rendered as a GIF (these have also recently been restyled from large and yellow to petite and orange).

I don't particularly mind simple graphical, rather than text, emoticons at this point (so long as they're not animated); overuse is simply a reflection of the level of thought put into the comment by its author.

(I have a friend who works in the German department and uses smileys very liberally in his emails, etc. It’s actually sort of adorable coming from a 40-something year old German (by way of Singapore) man.)

In fact, the first instance of this phenomenon that I noticed was from a German commenter, which is why I was curious about how they were being injected, given that it seemed to be inconsistent.

It instead seems to be a (still weirdly inconsistent) case of the IT version of Intelligent Design, or something. Perhaps Orac's seeing some sort of graphical dashboard when replying that has buttons to insert the GIFs. I can't sift the HTML for the instantiations right at the moment.

DRLP [sic]: Don't expect that your emoticons are going to successfully appear for all readers in the post–Emoji plugin era.

Narad,

I mostly don't know what you are talking about with the non-BMP code but I can say that all of the images are .pngs for me.

I don't know if this helps but I found that the smileys and frowns (including Oracs) img srcs are hitting http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/wp-includes/images/...... while the winkeys are img class "emoji" and their src is hitting http://s.w.org/images/......

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

Herr doktor bimler @ 202:

Re. charges that Wasson made up most/all of it: Most interesting! How did that come to light, and where can I find out more? It's not in the Wikipedia article yet, but if it turns out to be correct, it should be included. Damn!, that is highly disappointing.

Two items related to Wasson remain fact as far as I know: that Wasson provided samples of mushrooms to Hofmann, and that Hofmann successfully synthesized psilocybin. But if Wasson didn't get his mushrooms from a native practitioner, who else could have told him which ones were the correct species? So it's reasonable to infer that he did have some assistance from local peoples, and then he embellished the stories and then made up other stories.

Hofmann worked for Big Pharma: Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, lately renamed Novartis (running away from their history?;-) Psilocybin was produced by Sandoz under the trade name Indocybin, and Sandoz LSD was more famously known by the trade name Delysid. Sandoz freely gave out samples of both of these to psychiatrists, hoping they would find clinical uses. At the time (1950s - mid 1960s), there was much excitement about psychedelics contributing to the emerging paradigm that mental illnesses were reducible to neurochemistry, and then later, that creativity and religious inspiration could be studied in a similar way.

If it turns out to be true that Wasson fabricated a bunch of his material, he ends up in the same category as Carlos Castaneda: what they wrote would have been good fiction (or perhaps great fiction in some circles), but by claiming it was fact, they disgraced themselves as frauds.

As far as I know, Hofmann was scrupulously honest, as was Sasha Shulgin (developer of well over a hundred new psychedelics and entactogens; I knew him when he was alive, he was world-class brilliant), and Humphrey Osmond (Canadian psychiatrist who launched Aldous Huxley on his first voyage with mescaline, which became the subject of _The Doors of Perception_), and Huxley himself was a leading mind of the 20th century. These guys were oldschool intellectuals and true Renaissance minds, with legitimate educations and achievements, and broad background in the sciences and humanities.

I have to wonder why it is that Wasson, Castaneda, and others, went way overboard. Probably some combination of quasi-religious zealotry and desire for worldly benefits such as fame and status. These outcomes, and their contrast to the works of Hofmann, Shulgin, and others, point to the need for serious caution, self-skepticism, and checks & balances, among everyone who has a legitimate academic or clinical interest in psychedelics, whether from the perspective of cog sci & psychology, psychiatry, comparative religion, the arts & literature, or other.

(I used to think these compounds should be reclassified to FDA Schedule III, but lately I've been more inclined to believe that Schedule II would be appropriate by way of reducing the risk of quacks getting involved. Credit to Orac & others here for pointing out the pervasive opportunism of quackery time and time again. The generalization applies, don't leave tempting things around where quacks might get at them. Schedule II should be a reasonable way to minimize that risk.)

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

Re Wasson: that's quite...interesting. He was one of the first people to call out Castaneda, according to Wikipedia. And now he appears to himself be a fraud.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 18 Aug 2015 #permalink

You guys should send me and Mr Woo. The wife of a True Believer would never be suspected... ;-)

Since there are mycophiles here:

Can you name this mycophile?

A 20th-century American avant-garde 'master' he made virtually no money from his celebrated creative works – living in poverty until the late 1950s – at which time he co-founded the New York Mycological Society, and began to generate a modest income by supplying (edible) mushrooms to elite New York restaurants. The income was enhanced when he appeared on an Italian '21'-type guiz show as a mushroom expert.

Each week, [he] answered, with deadly accuracy, increasingly obscure questions about mushrooms. On his final appearance, he was asked to list “the twenty-four kinds of white-spore mushrooms listed in Atkinson.” [He] named them all, in alphabetical order, and won eight thousand dollars.

I haven't checked the Goofle but I'm guessing Cage.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 Aug 2015 #permalink

Y'all won't be laughing anymore when we induce our somnolent solfeggio kitty signal onto the otherwise discordant, apathetic and chaos inducing drull of your typical world-encompassing Haarpagram.

http://mynoise.net/NoiseMachines/catPurrNoiseGenerator.php

======================

There is a strange, artificial signal permeating all of us. It seems to whisper 'sleep' insomuch as it sometimes doesn't:

If one happened to live near high-tension transmission lines and, for some reason, took a 9-inch hoop degaussing coil and hooked it up to an input on an old Denon amp, he would hear a pleasant 60 cycle hum.

If he took a second coil and placed it in series and antiparallel* to the first, his hum is cancelled and this strange, airy, quavering tone is left. The tone is often punctuated with sounds of old tarbell cassette transfere, to cicadas, to that special Jody Foster 'Contact' sound.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vFwTJ44lFw

Curious... Why would somebody abuse a consumer electronic component like that?? That's beside the point. People do. Anyways, the sounds turn out to be PLC (powerline carrier communication) and a 2kh tone as part of 'fault detection'.

I've run into the sound off and on without ever realizing what it was; I'd always attributed the somewhat soothing, shifting tone to parasitic oscillations. But could it be used for mind control? I suppose, given the lack of deguassing ring detectors, that they could take over the world somehow.

What I find really, really interesting is that most anything on Ambient Sleeping Pill goes perfectly with it; Pleasing harmonic symbiosis and punctus contra punctum all potted together into one masterpiece of serinderpitudinal symphony. How did that happen??
http://ambientsleepingpill.com/

*that is to say, at right angles to each other. Interestingly, the coil only picks up the hum when horizontal. Even the single coil 'nulls out' along any axis except obvious transformers; I take it there is some interplay between the house wiring and the transmission lines. One flipped opposite polarity cancels, as expected.

The non-colocated, opposite polarity arrangement gives surprising amplification and fidelity to a cellphone playing music inside one of the hoops.

"But could it be used for mind control?"

It's certainly controlling your mind.

Come on, rs; Can't you feel it??

Do you know what Bobby Ray Innman was doing before he was runnin' the microelectronics and the computer tech corporation? A CIA director. It's public knowledge.

Do you run out of Kleenex, paper towels, and toilet paper at the same time? You know it's true!

Puzzlin' Evidence
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdCfYHNctsc

I see that nobody is on board to talk about Orgone Energy, so another topic neglected. I see the woo pitchers have taken a page out of the book of the $cientologists, who own their own cruise ship (the Freewinds, a 50 year old rust bucket they've owned for 30 years, but they use slave labor to keep it looking presentable), which they use to deliver "high level courses" and since they have so few members now, apparently also rent out for other "seminars." http://tonyortega.org/2015/08/31/home-sweet-freewinds-we-get-a-rare-loo… The good thing about the ship format from their point of the view is that they can squeeze the rubes for money, and they have nowhere to run away to, they are trapped on board the boat.

By Don Alverzo (not verified) on 31 Aug 2015 #permalink

"Still, if there are any intrepid souls willing to do this, maybe a Go Fund Me page would be able to provide the travel and cruise expenses. I’m sure there’d be blogging material for many weeks. Heck, there might even be enough material for a book!"

Challenge accepted: http://www.gofundme.com/ss29jrfk

I'm planning a very non-confrontational approach, so please don't expect shouting and "gotcha!" questions. I have interviewed people with very strange ideas before, and vastly prefer establishing a good relationship. I would appreciate your assistance, even if it's just spreading the link, and your thoughts.

Bump... Go, Colin, go!