Here are just a few of the bizarre bits of nonsense I’ve encountered this week:
- “You can treat just about anything through the ears,” said a friend who had tiny adhesives stamped all over both of his ears. The adhesives, called “seeds”, are placed on acccupressure points. Every so often, he has to squeeze each one to help them do whatever-it-is they do, which will somehow lower his cholesterol. As the ears are mainly cartilage, I don’t see why the seeds wouldn’t be just as effective if placed on the nose or the knees. Or why they would be effective at all, for that matter. “But it’s an ancient practice!” you might say. Yeah, well, ritual human sacrifice is ancient, and I’m not putting any stock in that, either.
- Yet another conspiranoid warned me about one of the most sinister, the most fascistic, the most evil things the Illuminati criminals have dreamed up yet: The Codex Alimentarius. Gawd, even the name sends chills down the spine. What does it do? Does it involve high-tech new torture techniques that would make waterboarding look like a Sunday in the park? Is it a Satanic grimoire full of demon-summoning spells penned in the blood of virgins? Um, no. It’s a set of food, drug, and veterinary guidelines adopted by the World Health Organization back in the early ’60s. The guidelines are voluntary. They’re often used to settle international disputes over what’s safe for human consumption and what’s not (as with the “black-hearted chemicals” exported by China, for instance). The only reason people object to this perfectly sensible set of guidelines is that in some countries, it has been used when deciding to classify nutitritional supplements, herbal remedies, etc., as drugs. Typically this means that the products have to be properly labeled with all ingredients and safe dosages. If you’re selling a non-medicinal herbal concoction and claiming that it cures everything, you might be required to re-label/re-package your product. It does not typically mean, as other conspiranoids have told me, that armed SWAT teams will break into your health food store and confiscate all the vitamin C. It just means that non-pharma drugs have to be proven safe and effective, then appropriately labeled and marketed. Not a big deal, people. These guidelines have been around for decades, and I’m not seeing any decrease in the amount of snake oil available at every supplement/health food store.
- A chiropracter in my neighborhood is advertising “laser stop-smoking therapy”. Like the ear-seeds, this “therapy” relies on accupressure points. The pulsating light is absorbed by the skin cells at these points, stimulating endorphin production. This eliminates urges to smoke or eat, while relieving stress. How does this differ from traditional accupuncture, which might not even work? Well, it doesn’t. It just sounds a lot fancier, and it appeals to people who are not overly fond of needles. Respectful Insolence has a good post on “cold laser therapy”.
- The same conspiranoid who warned me about the Codex Alimentarius also informed me that Katrina survivors housed in trailer camps are really prisoners in lockdown, because they can’t return to the camps once they’ve left. Duh. Of course you can’t bip in and out of the camps whenever you feel like it; why should the government be paying for your housing if you’re spending half your time at a relative’s house? You have to prove that you don’t have a secondary residence in order to be housed for free. It’s just common sense. (BTW, even non-conspiranoid sources are pumping out alarmist stories about how the FEMA trailers are poisonous. What they won’t tell you is that all pre-fab homes have formeldehyde in them. This poses no serious health threat to the average person. And as for the domestic violence and gang activity that’s cropping up in the FEMA trailer camps? Show me one trailer park that doesn’t have identical problems.)
- Alex Jones and company have been freaking out over H.R. 645, a bill to “provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster”. Obviously, this would be a good thing. But Jones et. al. are freaked out by the part of the bill that says the facilities can be used “to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.” Admittedly, this is a bit troubling because it can be broadly interpreted. However, most rumours of American concentration camps turn out to be right-wing conspiracy theories based on misunderstandings, and they’ve been floating around since the 1930s. Let’s face it, if the U.S. really wanted to install a secret gulag system, they wouldn’t be telling you about it.