Think Satanic panic disappeared along with Geraldo and acid-washed jeans? Well, not quite. Welcome to the world of Jordanian Satanists conducting ceremonies in college bathrooms, panty-stealing gremlins, demonic mermaids - and the deeply misguided authorities who persecute them. We'll get to Satan, but first: Yet another alien body has surfaced, this time in China.... Continue Reading →
Flim-Flam Friday: Chlorella
Last week I glimpsed a Facebook ad for "nature's perfect superfood", Chlorella, a freshwater green algae that grows naturally in certain parts of Asia. Every single time I hear the term "superfood", this happens: There are two reasons for that. 1. Sure, certain foods are nutrient-dense, but foods slapped with the prefix "super" usually turn... Continue Reading →
Flim-Flam Friday: A** Coffee
I first heard about coffee enemas from "Gus", a raging conspiranoid who wanted to screen The Beautiful Truth, a documentary about the German quack physician Max Gerson, in my city. You wouldn't think a film with both "truth" and "beautiful" in the title would involve squirting coffee up your butt, but Gus was adamant that... Continue Reading →
Flim-Flam Friday: Cherry Supplements
For the past few years, one of the trendiest trends in the alternative-health universe has been dietary supplements made from sour (tart) cherries. They're particularly popular with athletes and arthritis sufferers. What does the product supposedly do? Cherry supplements supposedly work as anti-inflammatories, helping to relieve joint pain and muscle soreness without the side effects... Continue Reading →
Ads that Make You Go "Really?"
A few TV commercials set off my B.S. detector the other day, so I decided to look at the products' active ingredients and figure out if they can really do what they supposedly can do....Mouthwash reduces "biofilm". An ad for a popular brand of mouthwash implies that in addition to tartar buildup, plaque, and gum... Continue Reading →
How Do Ion Foot Baths and Foot Detox Pads Work?
"Ion foot baths" (also known as ionic foot baths, ionizing foot baths, or aqua detox) are showing up at countless naturopathic clinics, salons, and spas these days. You've probably heard at least one person you know raving about them, urging you to try one as soon as possible. They can supposedly draw toxins out of... Continue Reading →
Wedneday Weirdness Roundup
Some 9/11 Truthers in the U.S. and Canada will soon be standing outside newspaper and media offices to hand out fliers that advertise a website devoted to Barry Jennings, in the hopes that the truth about his death or disappearance will finally come to light. Jennings was a New York Housing Authority emergency coordinator who,... Continue Reading →
Hocus Pocus, All of It’s Bogus…
A must-read article on the myth of homeopathy, by the Guardian's Ben Goldacre: "A Kind of Magic?"
I don't think Nexus magazine is intended to be entertaining, but that's just what it is. Only Mad makes me laugh harder. It's a breathtakingly dumb repository of debunked hoaxes, quacky cures, "alternative energy solutions", and completely crackpot conspiracy theories. It still promotes Erich von Daniken's Gold of the Gods (though von Daniken himself admitted... Continue Reading →
AIDS Conspiracy Theories (ACTS)
Celia Farber's article "Out of Control", published in this month's Harper's (see my article on that here) has spurred me to post some more of the outrageous ACTS that have been gaining momentum since the '80s and '90s. Biologist Jakob Segal of Berlin's Humboldt University was the first person to declare publicly the ACT that... Continue Reading →