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Albe Geldenhuys / USN responds to CamCheck posting

Posted 26 January 2015

On the 9 March 2014, CamCheck published, “Albe Geldenhuys of USN, a master scam artist“. This article was picked up by TheHub (a cycling website) which resulted in a flood of visitors to CamCheck, and appears to have reached the attention of Albe Geldenhuys of USN.

USN has posted a response to their Website which states the following (my response follows):

Continue reading » Albe Geldenhuys / USN responds to CamCheck posting

Video says many MLMs, including Herbalife, are pyramid schemes

Posted 20 January 2015

Pershing Square Capital Management, whose president, Bill Ackman, is urging government regulators to shut down Herbalife, has produced a brilliant 6-minute video explaining why many multilevel companies (MLMs) should be considered pyramid schemes. The video states:

Most companies that sell products make money by selling them to consumers. But many MLMs make money by selling overpriced, difficult to sell products to their own distributors who are typically aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to fill the business. To qualify as a distributor, you must buy a minimum amount of product from the company. This can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Once you purchase enough of the product to qualify for commissions, you will soon realize it is difficult to resell the inventory you purchased and generate retail profits. At that point, you will learn that recruiting others to become a distributor is the only way to have a chance of recouping the money you invested. You will likely be pushed by the distributor who recruited you to convince others to buy in and become distributors. . . . This constant emphasis on recruiting new distributors is a telltale sign you’re dealing with a pyramid scheme.

MLM Watch has the full-text of the video

Dutch Society Against Quackery dates back to 1880

Posted 19 January 2015

The Dutch Society Against Quackery dates back to 1880 and is probably the oldest as well as the largest of its kind in the world.

Discontentment with the massive violations of the influential Dutch prime minister’s (Johan Rudolf Thorbecke) health laws led to the foundation in 1880 of the Dutch Society against Quackery. Within a few years the Society had over 1100 members. Initially quackery mostly consisted of the unauthorized practice of medicine and the peddling of industrially manufactured ‘secret remedies.’ After World War II, however, the energy of the Society focused mainly on magnetizers, especially after they gained support from the field of parapsychology, lay-manipulators of the back and herb doctors. 

Continue reading . . .

The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

Posted 16 January 2015

“The Fine Art of Baloney Detection” is an essay by Carl Sagan in his seminal work against pseudoscience, The Demon-Haunted World.

In this essay, he gives advice for devising conclusions, as well as advice for avoiding logical and rhetorical fallacies. Together, the set of warning signs for common fallacies constitutes what Sagan calls a “Baloney Detection Kit.” Sagan categorizes the logical and rhetorical fallacies as below. Here is given the type of fallacy, a definition of each, and an example from the current internet.

The RationalWiki page includes What to look out for, and The Bullshit Detection Kit

Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) – The man who encourages the sick and dying to drink industrial bleach

Posted 11 January 2014

An article written by  Martin Robbins  and published some years ago in the Guardian, but still relevant.

The man who encourages the sick and dying to drink industrial bleach

Martin Robbins

Vulnerable people with cancer, Aids, influenza and malaria are being urged to drink Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) – described by the FDA as ‘industrial bleach’

Continue reading » Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) – The man who encourages the sick and dying to drink industrial bleach

Skeptics will always face an uphill struggle against pseudoscience

Posted 07 January 2015

Vulnerable people fall for the claims of psychics and their ilk because irrationality is ingrained in the human psyche

A great article from the Guardian

Continue reading » Skeptics will always face an uphill struggle against pseudoscience

Detox: What “They” Don’t Want You To Know

Posted 3 January 2015

“Detox” is a legitimate medical term that has been turned into a marketing strategy – all designed to treat a nonexistent condition. Real detoxification isn’t ordered from a menu of alternative health treatments, or assembled from ingredients in your pantry. Actual detoxification is provided in hospitals under life-threatening circumstances – usually when there are dangerous levels of drugs, alcohol, or other poisons in the body. These are not products you can purchase in a pharmacy for personal use. What you’re seeing promoted as “detox” is using medical terminology, but only to give the perception of scientific legitimacy to medically-useless products and services. Fake detox is built around a number of easily-debunked premises. Once you can spot the flaws, it’s easy to tell fact from fiction.

An article by Scott Gavura and published on Science Based Medicine, explaining how scam artists lure you to purchase a worthless product.

The article concludes:
Any product or service with the words “detox” or “cleanse” in the name is only truly effective at cleansing your wallet of cash. Alternative medicine’s ideas of detoxification and cleansing have no basis in reality. There’s no published evidence to suggest that detox treatments, kits or rituals have any effect on our body’s ability to eliminate waste products effectively. They do have the ability to harm however – not only direct effects, like coffee enemas and purgatives, but they also distract and confuse people about how the body actually works and what we need to do to keep it healthy. “Detox” focuses attention on irrelevant issues, giving the impression that you can undo lifestyle decisions with quick fixes. Improved health isn’t found in a box of herbs, a bottle of homeopathy, or a bag of coffee flushed into your rectum. The lifestyle implications of a poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, lack of sleep, and alcohol or drug use cannot simply be flushed or purged away. Our kidneys and liver don’t need a detox treatment. If anyone suggests a detox or cleanse to you, remember that you’re hearing a marketing pitch for an imaginary condition.

 

You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth.

Posted 22 December 2014

From the Guardian  5 December 2014

So how do you get healthy?
There’s no such thing as ‘detoxing’. In medical terms, it’s a nonsense. Diet and exercise is the only way to get healthy. But which of the latest fad regimes can really make a difference? We look at the facts.

Best to continue reading on the Guardian’s page, but if not accessible, continue below.

Continue reading » You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth.

BMJ study blasts “Dr. Oz” and “The Doctors”

Posted 21 December 2014

Canadian researchers have concluded that the advice given on “Dr. Oz Show” and “The Doctors” is untrustworthy. [1] After evaluating 80 randomly selected statements made on each show, the researchers concluded:

  • For recommendations in The Dr Oz Show, evidence supported 46%, contradicted 15%, and was not found for 39%.
  • For recommendations in The Doctors, evidence supported 63%, contradicted 14%, and was not found for 24%.
  • “Believable” or “somewhat believable” evidence supported 33% of the recommendations on The Dr Oz Show and 53% on The Doctors.

1.  Korownyk C and others. Televised medical talk shows—what they recommend and the evidence to support their recommendations: A prospective observational study. British Medical Journal, Dec 17, 2014

Continue reading » BMJ study blasts “Dr. Oz” and “The Doctors”

BetterYou Transdermal Magnesium

Posted 07 December 2014

BetterYou Transdermal Magnesium, although a British company, is marketing their product in South Africa. They claim that using the product will assist relieving stress (sheer nonsense), and that the claims of transdermal absorption is supported by three studies. In fact, the first was conducted on dead pig’s ears, the second by the discredited test called hair analysis, and the third, a study that is pending and has not yet been conducted. Will the study confirm efficacy for the product’s absorption? Who knows, unlikely, but let us see the results.

However, in writing to the owner of the company, he stood by his website claims and did not allude to the fact that the UK ASA had received a complaint, had evaluated the evidence, and threw it out!

Yes, the UK ASA said the claims are not supported by the evidence!

Continue reading » BetterYou Transdermal Magnesium