Probably Not

I went for a swim after work today, it was nice to get out of the heat for a while and get my arms moving. However, I was a little perturbed by one of the posters in the cafe area of the gym. To be honest there are many gym-type posters that are disturbing showing body shapes and types that are not achievable by most. This does seem to be changing over time as the advertising world recognises that people are who they are and don’t really buy into the perfect body. Unless you watch Love Island.

Don't Go Here
Sports Injuries

So, on first inspection this poster seems pretty good. It’s for a sports injury clinic and that should be a good thing. A special place for all to go to ensure that those niggles get sorted out. But, let’s look a little closer at some of the treatments offered:

  • Osteopathy – not a fucking thing and doesn’t do anything. Read my previous, controversial, communication.
  • Sports Massage – could be OK, I don’t really know what it entails.
  • Therapeutic Massage – again, I’m not sure what this is and I should probably discuss this in a future communication. I’ll look into it. I doubt it’s anything good.
  • Aromatherapy – massage with nice smells. Doesn’t do anything.
  • Physiotherapy – probably the only legitimate treatment on this advert. Go see a physiotherapist for those sorts of things. Don’t see woo.
  • Nutritional Therapy – most likely bollocks. If you want diet advice see a DIETICIAN, they are a proper profession. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist.
  • Acupuncture – bollocks squared.

Look, the issue with this clinic is not that they offer some legitimate therapies the problem is that they also offer a load of bollocks and so you can’t assume they will be good at any part of their job. It’s the company you keep that defines who you are.

Don’t go here.

I’ve just had a look at the website for this clinic and it is a beauty. I will add it to my communication drafts with the hope that I one day complete writing about it.

EXACTLY

I know I shouldn’t really but I have a few spare moments and thought I should share my thoughts.

I HATE THE DAILY MAIL

I’m not going to justify it. I’m not going to say much apart from moaning about this headline:

EXACTLY
EXACTLY

Fuck the Daily Mail. EXACTLY. Really. Have you looked at the outfits and seen they are EXACTLY the same. No you haven’t you fuckers because they aren’t EXACTLY the same. Fuck You you racist piece of shit newspaper.

I Don’t Get It

Union Flag and St Georges Cross.jpg
By THORSummer Sky in Southsea England, CC BY 2.0, Link

So, how does that make you feel?

It doesn’t do a great deal for me. In the past it has made me feel proud (?) or occasionally tingly but now it mostly leaves me cold. I’ve written about patriotism a few times before such as here, here and here.

As I don’t understand what it means to be British I looked up the official British Values in Google and there was lots of stuff that is accepted as Fundamental British Values for teaching in school.

Fundamental British Values

  • democracy
  • the rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.

Democracy – yep, we allow people to vote. But democracy is ruined by the political playing done by those in power who further themselves rather than act in what is best for the citizens of this country. I think Blair, May, Johnson, Rees-Mogg [cunt] and most of the so called “political elite”. See, there, that name “elite”, it reinforces that some are meant to rule and others should be subservient.

Rule Of Law – unless you are rich enough to bend that law. If you are wealthy then you can bend the rules and pay people to do that for you. You can find ways around tax and citizenship so you can play but don’t have to pay. Most of society is forced to behave in a way you find detrimental to your power. We’ve fought two wars recently, most likely based upon personal revenge and lies rather than for any humanitarian purpose. Oh, humanitarian war sounds oxymoronic but war to produce a better society fairer to all is probably the only legitimate reason for war. Politicians can lie and still keep their jobs or accept new jobs.

Individual Liberty – as long as you know your social limit I guess. This is something that people should have. They should have the ability to do what they want within the framework of a liberal legal and law system. You can’t have the liberty to break the law but by and large the state shouldn’t tell you how to behave or what to believe. As a humanist I can get on board with this one. I think the UK does this well. Although we have bishops in the Lords and the hereditary house of lords anyway. The law still states worship everyday in schools, but no school conforms to that. The people should be free to do as they wish. There are still politicians who don’t think that. There are still politicians who are anti-gay. They get elected by a population that is slowly becoming more tolerant, I hope, but occasionally I walk down the high street of my local town and see the intolerance in people and their attitudes.

Respect and Tolerance – sure. Sounds lovely. I’m not sure that’s the reality. So some people will always be scum and act horribly to anyone different. I think this country treats them as they deserve, we largely ignore them. Those who spout hatred and violence go ignored. Unless you are a MP for the DUP, in which case the more you shout the more likely you are to be elected.

So, I think that I am meant to be proud of these values and accept them as British, as part of the fabric of this country. But when I think of this country I think of the following and I am ashamed:

  • Imperialistic past
  • Pretensions of being a “world” leader
  • Incompetent politicians
  • War mongering industry
  • Iraq war
  • Slavery
  • Riches through stealing
  • Racism and xenophobia

I find it very hard to identify with the flag and the country. I am well aware that at least I live in a country where it is OK to say that. I live in a country with mostly liberal and progressive laws where freedom is cherished. But stand without and look upon the face of this bullish country and it makes me feel sad.

I tried explaining recently to a group of friends why I don’t stand for the national anthem. It was not easy to elucidate my reasons but I tried. I think they possibly forgave me and let it pass knowing what sort of person I am. Trump would, of course, have me sacked because he is very obviously an idiotic bully.

If it was the law that we had to stand I would like to think I would still stay seated. What does showing respect mean? Why do I have to stand for it? I struggle with this all the time. Oh, how I am a tortured soul [I write ironically].

My friends replied that even if I don’t like the government I could stand for “pork pies and picnics”. Yes, I could stand for that I think, even though I don’t like either. But where in the list of things this country has done is that subsection called “quaint English things to do when it doesn’t rain”?

To be honest I am also struggling with forms of address. Why, if we are all people do I have to call someone else something specific. I am very willing to listen but just because someone does a specific job I have to call them something special? This is reinforcement of the ruling classes over everyone else. It confers a level of respect that possible isn’t due to that person. As an extreme example lets just consider all those parts of the Catholic Church, including the fucking pope, who have covered up / defended / NOT TOLD the police about all the kid-fucking.

I have my moments, when I think, “Wow, that was cool, look at what we can do as a group of people”. But I will not accept this as becoming because of the country. The UK has borders clearly defined by the sea, the parts of Earth where humans can’t live. We should be proud of Newton and Watt. But, they were only born here by chance, others would have worked those things out. Claiming people for your country is weird. Da’Vinci was Italian? Nope. Italy didn’t exist then. But they claim him now don’t they? Just because he entered this world geographically within their imaginary lines on this Earth. See, what does it matter who was born in your country?

I think I started thinking about this when I started work at my current school. On Speech Day we would sing the national anthem and also the school song, Gaudeamus. I found that the national anthem made me feel anger. It doesn’t stand for what I believe. Whereas the school song resonated more with me, even though it is a terrible song. I’ve a feeling this is about the level of community offered by both of these. The school community is more measured and tangible than what this country offers. I know the values and people of this place of work more than I do this country. I know what I sing for when I sing the school song, although that is changing towards a worry about the problems of indoctrination.

So, I do not feel proud to be British. I consider myself a person first and therefore part of humanity. I accept things that fall into the category of “being nice to people”, I reject things that miss that category. Nationality is a label and divides us, much as religions, class and sports teams do. I think this flag stands for dislike and internal-ism, it stands for selfishness and exclusion. It does nothing for me.

 

 

 

Note: This communication was started in February 2017 and thought about a lot. I will miss points I want to make. I have struggled with this problem of identity for a long time and the Brexit vote made me feel it even more. I do not recognise what this country or its people stands for. The current government is inept. The rise of hatred and general xenophobia horrifies me. I write as a stream and much like my lessons I lurch from one thing to another. It is me.

Irresponsible

I know they are the best we have but sometimes there needs to be some serious editorial control from the BBC because they publish utter rubbish like this:

Bad Headline

This is the first article in the Health News section for today. Click on the story and you get this:

Terrible Article

First up, a warning. The word CHIROPRACTIC already flags this up as a terrible article. The only responsible news item that mentions CHIROPRACTIC is one where there is a decent discussion of why it is rubbish and doesn’t work.

Rather than get enraged at the poor reporting lets look at the data and quotations included in the article.

First the BCA is quoted as saying that clothes can be bad for us. Then in the next paragraph:

However, the research has been rejected by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and other back experts.

They say we shouldn’t be afraid of our clothes.

Real doctors and scientists say this is bollocks. Then there follows plenty of gumpf from the BCA about what items can be damaging. While the BBC do “balance” this with more quotations from proper scientists they have already done the damage by publishing this shit.

In a section called “What’s the reality?” [it’s not reality, it’s written by the BCA] the BBC write:

The BCA’s poll of 1,062 people found 73% had suffered back pain and 33% were not aware that clothing could affect their back, neck or posture. They warn that any item of clothing that restricts movement, or that leads people to stand or walk unnaturally, can have a negative impact on the posture, back or neck.

There are major problems here. First they say a survey found that people have suffered back pain. So fucking what? I’ve suffered back pain. Most people have. Then, apparently, one third of people aren’t aware that clothing can affect your back, neck or posture. Well, given it’s not a thing they can’t know about it can they? This article relies on people being unable to understand a causation-correlation problem. Surveys are the worst of scientific evidence, but slightly better than anecdote.

At the base of the BBC article there is a quotation from the head of practice at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy who says that disseminating this false information could lead to real problems. The BBC need to get an editor who understands a load of bollocks when it is written and when to pull it. I am not going to look but I bet there are loads of news articles online and in print running this bollocks too.

Steve Tolan, head of practice at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, says “reading scare stories about skinny jeans is probably more harmful than actually wearing them.

“People should wear whatever is comfortable and they feel good in – skinny jeans and hoodies included. They certainly shouldn’t fear that their clothes are going to do them harm as there is no evidence for that.

“What is probably more relevant is whether a woman thinks that they are wearing something that is damaging their back, says Dr O’Keeffe.

“The beliefs about the jeans and bags may not only be incorrect, but detrimental if they cause worry about the spine being fragile and discourage women from moving normally and wearing what they want.

“Misconceptions regarding the causes and treatments of low back pain are widespread. This story about skinny jeans and heavy bags is just another myth in the long list of myths about back pain.

“It fits with the misconception that load and movement are bad and that the spine is a vulnerable structure that is easily damaged. Strong evidence shows that this is not true.”

I thought I ought to look at the BCA article or press release to see what it said. So I went to their website.

Front Page Of BCA

I clicked on the link, which I shall paste here:

https://chiropractic-uk.co.uk/womens-back-heal%E2%80%A6ing-sake-fashion/

I get the following page:

Not Found

So, I can’t even read the actual article.

Scratch that. I found the proper link using their site search. I hope others don’t bother.

Women’s back health suffering for the sake of fashion

The “research” was probably a telephone or internet based survey. The BCA don’t link to the actual results. There is so much wrong with this article it infuriates me. As my tweet earlier said:

This “news” article is an advert masquerading as serious science. It’s bullshit. It’s designed to make people think “oh, I feel like that”, then they visit the BCA website and try to find a local chiropractor. This will cause proper injuries as chiropractic DOESN’T work.

Don’t Patronise This

While waiting for my fish and chips to cook last night at the world’s most homo-erotic chip shop I saw a magazine with the following advert:

Mostly Bullshit
Mostly Bullshit

The Young Men’s Christian Association has a Wellness Centre which I guess promotes wellness.

WELLNESS is NOT a DEFINED MEDICAL TERM. Therefore it means fuck all in this context. It’s why promoters of bullshit use the term, because it DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING. Look, I used bold and block caps there! I must be annoyed.

Even the logo looks new-age and bollocks.

Of the services offered at the religious centre (which probably isn’t religious but the name is) some are utter bullshit before we’ve even had to look into them and some are possibly iffy by association. I have looked at their website and I will quote so in the following.

Osteopathy

I have rubbished this within these communications and so I can tell you now, it is bollocks. On the website there is information about osteopathy and babies. Just don’t.

They claim to be able to help with

  • migraines and headaches
  • asthma
  • sports injuries
  • disc problems
  • sciatica
  • trapped nerves
  • tennis elbow
  • arthritis (wear and tear)

I very much doubt this as there’s no good evidence to show that osteopathy works for anything. They even lost “lower back pain” recently. Have a look at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). God, this makes me so sad.

“Oh but it worked for me/my relation”

No, it probably didn’t. We humans are terrible at separating out what really happens and our experience.

Sports Massage

It feels nice. It massages you. It costs you money. They claim it helps you but these are all self-limiting problems and while a massage can do damage it might help you.

Acupuncture

Grade A bollocks. They claim it works:

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the skin at predetermined points to affect the internal levels of energy. It may be deficient, excessive or stagnant and therefore not flowing in the most efficient manner. When energy, called Qi, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is not in balance then we see symptoms, at all levels. Some symptoms are obvious, such as those affecting the physical, others less so, such as those that affect the emotional and mental.

There is absolutely NO evidence for Qi. In fact different practitioners will use different locations on the body to cure the same thing. It doesn’t work.

Acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicine was promoted during the Barefoot Doctor scheme the communist government of China so that Doctors, who were short on real medicine, could “do something” to keep people happy even though it clearly didn’t work.

Reflexology / Aromatherapy

See “massage”. This is all bollocks. Aromatherapy smells nice. Reflexology feels nice. It doesn’t do anything else. The Wellness Centre says:

  • Boosts the immune system, which is weakened by constant stress.
  • Can relieve stress as it calms and soothes.
  • Is a good preventative medicine.
  • Improves the circulation.
  • Can be very helpful at encouraging the body to heal itself and gives the recipient a feeling of well being, relaxing mind and body.
  • The Digestive system is encouraged to work to optimum efficiency.

Boosting the immune system means nothing. Is a good preventative medicine for what? Encourages the body to heal itself, now I’m laughing, such a wishy washy phrase.

Psychological Therapy

This is probably the most important here and possible the one that can the most effect but I would worry about the company that this service keeps and I would prefer to book myself into a proper clinic. Yep, having looked over the website this seems quite legit. It’s just a shame it’s in a house of crap.

Physiotherapy

This is another that is probably good. Physiotherapy is a protected term and so it should be the real stuff. The problem is it’s hard work and some people obviously want the quick fix of bullshit medicine (see above). The chap’s website looks pretty flash but overall this is the second worthwhile thing on here.

Nutritional Therapy

This is bollocks. If you want the proper stuff you go see a DIETITIAN, that is a legally protected term for someone who has qualifications in diet. ANYONE can call themselves a nutritionist because it’s not legally protected. She claims she is a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist, this fills me with utter fear. Naturopathic is a nonsense term invented to sound great but mean nothing. According to her website she can help with the following:

Some of these things are diet related but I wouldn’t want a quack telling me what I’m allergic to. Proper allergy testing takes a long time. Oh, and notice that Cancer is mentioned in there. Fucking Cancer. from the website:

“There are numerous studies suggesting a link between some foods and certain types of cancer. However, it would be a broad statement to claim that diet can directly cause or treat cancer.”

I can correct her if you want. It would be ILLEGAL to claim to be able to cure cancer. It shows just how fucked up these people are when they make iffy claims.

Pilates

I know nothing about pilates but isn’t it posh yoga? Just helps you move.

There are more claims on the website of these people and I will cover a few of them here with my crude guide to efficacy.

Food Intolerance Tests – more than likely bullshit.

Hypnotherapy – I’m becoming convinced it’s bullshit.

Neuro Linguistic Programing – bullshit.

And, I’m done. There’s only so much I can take of this bollocks. Look, it says Wellness. It doesn’t mean anything. Don’t go there. It’s in a christian association building for fuck’s sake.

Beat Them Up

I need to vent some anger and rage. I’ve been so annoyed recently at what politics and society has become that it has to come out. Normally I can get away with a rant with friends at work or friends elsewhere, definitely not the family though, there are some relationships that probably would cope with that level of anger potentially aimed towards their actions.

Now I’m picking on a soft target for my anger. Education news. And I hate talking about education. I’ve been involved in education since I was 4. I don’t have the answers but there are times when there’s plenty of bollocks and bullshit messing with kids learning things.

So, the BBC headline is:

schoolsbrexit

You can go ahead and read the story if you wish, I’ll be here, waiting.

This is a classic case of “shit goes wrong therefore blame education”. This country’s education system gets blamed for an awful lot. If there’s a need to tweek the way people feel about things then why not introduce that into schools? The government has always done one of two things:

  • Blame the education system for not influencing pupils enough the right way.
  • Blame the education system for influencing pupils enough the wrong way.

You see, the government thinks that all teachers are lefties, pinkos, commies, or liberal. The government doesn’t like teachers having power over pupils because all teachers are, by definition, caring about the future and society as a whole. The government sees schools as hot beds of resistance to the progress of society. That’s why teacher are called upon to include more and more social manoeuvring in all that they do. The government recognises that we have influence and while we influence lots the wrong way we can influence almost nothing the correct way.

What you should do is have a look over headlines and see how often “we will get schools to deal with this” crops up. It’s almost as if it’s a way for governments to say “we are dealing with that at an early age so it’ll be ok”.

Right, Brexit. In my opinion what caused Brexit? fucking austerity and a political class that shows little regard for the common man. A political class out to promote itself and not actually work for society and the progress of all. A political class whipping up notions of acceptable fascism and racism and a political class who consistently use an “us and them” rhetoric.

So there’s a correlation with social deprivation and the Brexit vote. Which means there’s a correlation with schools. THAT’S NOT CAUSATION YOU FUCKING TWAT.

So, here’s some of my views [no, they aren’t social science or proper investigations, therefore they are anecdote, but I don’t care].

  • Society has no control over what influences kids these days, social media is what influences them. They don’t watch TV like I used to or chat to their mates.
  • In the old days music was a concern because teenagers were obsessed with it. Now it is social media. Music didn’t try and sell them fake news and bullshit.
  • I might have a particular class for four hours a week. There are about 25 kids in that class. I am meant to be able influence each of these kids?
  • Kids spend 5 hours a day in lessons. Maybe another 90 minutes in school. The school enforces some of society’s rules and expectations. But that’s not a major influence on them.
  • Education, in this country, is not prized or treated as a good thing. If you have a keen, educated society you are less religious, more socially aware and more understanding. You might even pay attention to politics and things.
  • Knowing things (the correct things) should be prized. YES there are things that are correct. There is a right way to find out these things.
  • Learning to critically think and appraise news sources needs to be a skill ALL people have before being allowed to vote.

Possibly a little controversial here, but let’s face it, this communication has wandered a great deal. We have UK citizens [sorry, but really it’s fucking SUBJECTS] voting about shit they don’t understand, BREXIT, the general populous voting on a subject that the media has consistently FAILED to educate the public about what the EU does. A public that has taken all the information un-critically and voted correspondingly.

We also have the next PRESIDENT of the world’s most powerful country telling the world that you should let people make up their own minds about what is true! Utter bullshit. People have to be informed and have the facts as best determined by fucking experts. You very much don’t let the people determine what is true. You have experts, people who understand things explain WHY things are true to people.

I despair.

 

God Reaffirms His Commitment to the UK

Last night I had a few drinks at The Red Bull, a pub in my village. I say “my village” but really I mean the collection of dwellings in which I reside. The pub is nice, except it was expensive. I say “expensive” but I don’t really know, I don’t often drink in pubs although £8-50 for a wine and a bottle of beer seemed expensive.

Just as the sun was going down a very beautiful double bowed rainbow appeared in the east. It looked fantastic. I took some photos with my phone but they don’t really do it justice. I wish I’d had a better camera with me and time to play with the settings.

After a while it went weird. It looked as though the two rainbows had merged for form one large rainbow. I should point out it wasn’t raining and I couldn’t see any around so maybe it was cloud stuff or ice?

Covenant
Covenant

 

As I said, this picture doesn’t really do justice to it. The rainbow looked wonderful.

Closing In
Closing In

 

As for the west. It also looked truly wondrous.

Just Lovely
Just Lovely

The person I was with said that the rainbow was god’s covenant with Noah for the future of mankind. Well, that’s a nice little story. I’m not convinced he can do a great deal about the UK because we seem pretty much fucked.

I have seen that the titles for the last two posts seem a little like Daily Mail headlines and so I promise to change back to something more my style soon

Psychic News

As part of Bullshit Saturday I went to a psychic and holistic fair. I have written some information on the linked communication. While I did not verbally interact with anyone at the fair I did pick up a copy of Psychic News and offered to pay, but was allowed the copy for nothing.

Psychic News Front Cover
Psychic News Front Cover

I have read this. I have to say, obviously, that I’m not impressed. It’s full of bullshit. I was going to spend time breaking down individual articles as this would give me plenty of future communications. I may still look at a couple of them and a few of the adverts. It is a fascinating read as I enter the world of people who really believe this stuff.

One other thing for now, this is issue 4138 and assuming that they number sequentially and in base ten then these guys have been publishing for over three hundred years!

Oh, the church of spiritualism was started after two sisters made shit up and didn’t back down about their lies. They later confessed but the church was already unstoppable. This is much like the Miracle Of The Sun. The moral shouldn’t be that god or the afterlife exists but more that “kids make shit up”.

Indigo

This is Part One of Bullshit Saturday.

Two weeks ago a flyer dropped through my letter box. It advertised the Indigo Spiritual and Holistic fair. I decided to go. This may seem a surprising decision given my very clear declarations here that religion is bollocks along with alternative (not) medicine. I thought it would be a good idea to try the dark side and visit, to see what actually happens at these events.

I struggled a little bit because I had to pay to get in the fair. This money would go towards organising more of these things, but my paltry GBP1.50 entrance fee probably would be much among the total takings.

I was actually excited about this. I wanted to see what manner of stuff is said and sold here. I also find it utterly fascinating just how much the human brain can deceive itself.

This fair took place in a small village hall. There were stalls and talkers in the main hall, the healing room was off to the side and there was also a room where talks were taking place. I will point out now that anything I quote in this communication will be a direct quote form a leaflet. I did not have the guts to actually talk to anyone, next time I will. I felt as though I had a massive arrow above my head saying UNBELIEVER or worse SCEPTIC. I was an explorer in a strange new world.

Workshops

There were four workshops planned for the day. They were titled:

  • Aura drawings
  • Colour Therapy
  • Guided Meditation
  • Tropic Skin Care

These seemed quite awesome. It would have been brilliant to attend some of these but not this time. I felt like a fish out of water. Next time maybe. However, a few words on each might be worthwhile. Aura drawings – bullshit, colour therapy – bullshit except that we each like certain colours, guided meditation – possibly bullshit, need to listen to the claims they make, tropic skin care – seems ok apart from some of the website claims.

Tropic Skin Care

Their website makes the following claim:

Our products contain the purest naturally derived ingredients and are free from harmful toxic chemicals.

ALL make up and creams are free from harmful toxic chemicals. It’s the LAW.

Colour Therapy

Maz provides information about colour therapy. I didn’t go to the talk but I did pick up a leaflet and I will quote from it now.

Did you know . . . . . Kylie Minogue painted her bedroom pink – the colour of love – to aid her recovery from cancer.

Now, I’m not sure I am surprised. A woman paints her bedroom pink. I would be interested to know how many women with pink bedrooms or who wear pink clothes or pink anything had died from cancer. Kylie also had a load of proper medicine. Also, pink is the colour of love. How very fortunate. How do you find out what colour represents which thing? Is it tested over time with a control group? How much pink do you need in your life? What shade of pink?

Here website is here, I have read it. Maz has an advance colour therapy diploma from the British School Of Yoga, not a basic diploma. Perhaps she knows more colours. Also she reckons she defeated her breast cancer through giving up medicine:

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 it was a major turning point in my life. My decision was to refuse all surgery and non-naturalistic treatment. I had previously worked as a Script Supervisor for TV and film, but when I was told of the ‘dis-ease’ in my body I immediately started to look at my life and make significant changes.

Note her use of the term dis-ease, alternative practitioners love it. I am glad she is cured but I question her choices. I would also like to know more about the extent of the cancer and what her physicians thought, we only have her word for it. I am now about to get inot full on rage mode having noticed something on her website.

I clicked on the tab that said read more about colour therapy.

Colour is simply light of varying wavelengths, and thus each colour has its own particular wavelength and energy. Each colour of the rainbow resonates with the seven main chakras in the human body, and understanding these colours and chakra relationships can be used to restore the balance of energy within the body according to where it needs it most.

Not quite rage yet, but if you invoke chakras then you are talking bullshit. It’s the next bit that is most disturbing.

What is colour therapy used for?

  • Treating cancer illness and disorder

This is wrong more ways than I can count. It is illegal to claim to cure cancer and she does not claim that. She does claim that colour therapy can treat cancer. I wonder what evidence she has to make those claims? She can fuck right off. Even more so that at the bottom of her page it says the following:

Marilyn Humphreys makes no claims to diagnose, treat, prevent, mitigate, or cure diseases  with any advice or product(s). Any health related information for educational purposes only. None of the information should be misconstrued as medical advice. The ultimate responsibility for your choices and their effect(s) on your health are yours and before applying any therapy or use of herbs, supplements, etc. you should consult your health care provider.

She has just told us that she refused medicine and cured her cancer. She makes claims that colour therapy will treat cancer. She can stop saying this shit for her own financial gain. I’m going for a breather before writing any more on here.

The Stalls

Here are my impressions on the stuff being sold at this fair. I walked around twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Again, I didn’t ask any questions, maybe next time. Also, I didn’t buy anything. I did have a cup of tea, but I bought no products.

Here’s my notes from wandering and writing what I saw being sold:

  • Crappy stone/semi precious stone jewellery
  • Motivational quotes on place mats
  • Pictures of unicorns, angels and wolves howling (lots of purple)
  • T Shirts
  • Hippy hair braids
  • Angel statues
  • Incense
  • Angel mugs
  • Minerals
  • Runes
  • A “real” witch selling herbs and stuff
  • Broomsticks and models of witches and wizards
  • Clocks
  • More angels

Lots of people had their faces painted, mostly because there was a face painter there, but this did add to the hippy atmosphere. Also, quite a few women had flower loops in their hair, it must have special properties or something.

There were people giving readings and I should do this next time. It seemed to be about GBP20 for the cheapest option but I am utterly fascinated with what they might say. The readings ranged from a psychic to someone reading runes, another with tarot cards and another with a computer telling you your life plan from your date of birth. This is all clearly bollocks but I am intrigued.

Another stall was offering aura photography and interpretation. Maybe next time but it is pretty interesting. Oh, by the way, you would think that if these people can capture the “aura” then science and medicine would use it so much for diagnosing and treatment. Hold on, what’s that you say? My doctor has never asked about my aura? Of course he hasn’t because your doctor knows bullshit when he sees it (or doesn’t). If your doctor mentions an aura to you, get up, leave, say “thank you” and never go back.

Leaflets

I am going to mention some of the leaflets I picked and ridicule appraise them.

Angels For You

This lady has psychic abilities and is priced “very reasonably”. Her leaflet claims she can perform “reiki” and use “Angelic oracle cards” along with her being guided by the “Angelic Realm”. Her website is here. She doesn’t really make any specific claims in her website but she will:

answering questions with my pendulum

Such power should only be used carefully I am sure. Oops, I just found something amazing:

We also offer Crystal Healing; we place crystals on different parts of your body, corresponding to chakras, constructing an energy grid, which will surround you with healing energy.

I love the idea of an energy grid. It sounds like the National Grid, mini pylons spread over your body to align your “energy”. So, if you want to impress people explain what the actual definition of physical energy is:

The capacity for doing work.

This means that anything that has an energy can be used to power something, however small, and, more importantly, it can be measured. See that, MEASURED.

Chakras:

reiki_chakra

Souls Intention

This woman was giving readings from her computer. I expect that she has a program that spouts loads of saved Barnum statements once you enter a date of birth and where you were born. Apparently this format of soul reading originates from “The numerology of Moses”. I am not going to look this up.

Your soul plan is a blueprint for your life, a map to guide you on your own life path. Later the leaflet explains that our

Soul contract which, on a deeper level, we chose before conception.

So, before your father’s sperm entered the egg inside your mother your soul contract was in place.

This woman also offers reiki. Of course she does. But more importantly she offers the

Usui Skiki Ryoho Technique

I don’t know how many types of reiki you can have but apparently there is more than one. Not only all this but also Mindset Therapy.

Here’s an idea of her costs:

  • Souls Intention Reading 1 hour £40
  • Souls Healing Session 1 hour £30
  • Full Souls Intetion reading 2 hours £75
  • Mindset Therapy 2 hours £50

Perhaps I am in the wrong business. But then at least I have measurable outcomes.

Hags Hollow

This chap is a witch. Yep, full on witch with spells and shit. He will undertake a reading and include a spell for GBP30. If you want just a spell then that’s GBP15. He also offers apprenticeships, for £140 you can enrol in the full course that covers the following:

  • Introduction to Ancestral Magic
  • Protection
  • Witch Lore & Craft
  • Spell Craft
  • Healing
  • Prosperity & Abundance
  • Cursing & Dark Casting

Because nothing says caring that learning how to curse. Luckily this man will also remove curses. He also goes no to explain what witchcraft is and offers the following disclaimer:

Both of these belief systems crossover into one another and there is no right or wrong way to practise the craft. These are both general explanations and in no way a reflection of anyone’s personal beliefs.. Simply follow your heart and be open to anything that the universe presents.

So, no right or wrong way to practise something that has no measurable outcome. I’m glad about that.

I have so much material I will spread this over a few communications. I also hope to attend some more of these fairs in the future. They are enlightening [but not how people there would think].

Hmmm. Snoring Cure?

So, stumbled across a snoring cure. You can see the website here. Now, I’m gonna call bullshit on this right now, but that would seem rather unfair to the company so let’s look a little closer at what they claim.

I have screen clipped their website and I will discuss each section. The main page looks like this:

Snoring1

This says that you wear the ring on your little finger and that it is a snoring treatment that is guaranteed to work. Apparently it’s also been clinically tested! They have made a very specific claim here that wearing this ring on your little finger will make you stop snoring. What else do they have to say?

Snoring5

This explains how it works. Or rather it doesn’t. All it says is that there are Acu-activators on the ring. A quick google shows that this isn’t a real term and isn’t used anywhere apart from the stop snoring website.

Snoring9

It’s not looking too good for this product and we’ve not even really started. I think they may be trying to imply that the things on the ring activate acupuncture points? This is irrelevant as acupuncture is clearly bullshit.

Next bit from the www.goodnightsnoring.com website:

Testimonials amount to nothing. The plural of anecdote is NOT data. I don’t care. 3500 years of history can’t be wrong can it? Of course it can. We now use medicine with evidence not rubbish about Chi and acupuncture points. Also, being mentioned in the Daily Fail is not necessarily a good thing. In fact if a medical “cure” is mentioned in the Mail or Express you can pretty much assume it’s bullshit.

Now, the website covers this with the following page:

Snoring7They claim that a good clinical trial was performed and the results were almost a miracle. This is good because if there is good evidence then I would be prepared to change my mind. The goodnightsnoring.com website doesn’t have a link to the clinical trial. I want to be able to read it and then change my mind. It seems that these are extraordinary claims and so it would be prudent to examine the evidence.

I searched PubMed. There was nothing about the Snoring Ring as being sold here. So I tried searching Google Scholar. Nothing again, just a paper about breast cancer. This was troublesome, my two main sources for scientific papers were showing nada. I decided to look using plain old Google. I searched for “snoring ring clinical trial”.

search1

From these results I wasn’t interested in the Snoring Ring website, there’s nothing on there. I also couldn’t care for a news article in the Daily Fail [they don’t know how to report science]. The other links were mostly places that sell the product and so have probably just got the blurb from a product information release. What interested me originally was the ASA link.

In 2012 a complaint was made to the ASA about the evidence for the claims that the Snoring Ring company were making. The complaint was upheld and the company were told not to make claims about the snoring ring. The so called medical trial was completed after this ruling by the ASA!

Also in the search results was a link to ANTISNOR, a company who produce anti snoring rings. Now, this company mentioned on this page a French company who had done the clinical trials.

In 2012, a French scientific research organisation, Proclaim (www.proclaim.fr), studied the effect of AntiSnor Acupressure Ring . . . .

The Proclaim website doesn’t exist. Even though ANTISNOR link to it. Oh dear, the trail has gone cold.

There are a number of RED FLAGS on the original website. The mention of the following aspects all cause concern. They don’t mean it doesn’t work, they just mean we should be sceptical until we have seen the evidence.

  • Money back guarentees
  • Testimonials
  • No links to the evidence
  • Publicity from the Daily Mail
  • Anecdotes
  • Non invasive and side effect free
  • Appeal to antiquity on the acupressure part of the site
  • No email address to ask for a copy of the clinical trial

So far, I’ve had some people say they think this work and no actual medical trials even though one is claimed. Back to Google.

Another link from Google heads towards Princeton Consumer Research. It appears that this company will undertake clinical trials for you and then allow you to use the results in your publicity. Here’s a Princeton Brochure with their claims. After finding this I found a company called Aspen Clinical Research. They had a pdf linked here and also Aspen-Clinical-Anti-Snoring-Ring-Media-Coverage1 from my site. This PDF essentially claims that the publicity they managed to produce for the Anti Snoring ring was brilliant. They seem to be more of a PR firm than a clinical trial firm. This makes me very wary.

Aspen Clinical Research even went so far as to persuade the press that there was a National Stop Snoring Week in 2014. This is depressing reading.

stopsnoringweek

I hadn’t realised there would be companies that are willing to be paid to undertake some form of research to legitimise PR claims and also produce media puff.

Both Aspen Clinical Research and Princeton Consumer Research do not seem concerned with legitimate medical trials, rather they concentrate on PR friendly trials to produce media results. Neither of the websites were searchable from their homepages. Also, both companies seem to be offering to pay participants. This can’t be a good thing, it would bias the results. All I want is a copy of the clinical trial for the Anti Snoring Ring and I can’t find it. What I have found are companies who provide easy results for PR.

It seems to me that these companies offer to do science the wrong way around and therefore they don’t offer science. It looks like the cycle goes:

  • You have a product and want to make specific claims
  • You will be banned from advertising if you can’t substantiate these claims
  • You PAY one of these companies to do a trial for you so you can then substantiate your claim
  • You then advertise claiming scientific proof.

The correct cycle should be:

  • Scientific research indicates that a specific product could work
  • The product is developed
  • A trial is designed and the details published before being conducted
  • The product is tested rigorously
  • The product is deemed to work, the product can be advertised with specific claims
  • The product is deemed not to work, the product can’t be advertised

I feel utterly depressed at the state of media manipulation and that there are companies that do this as their raison d’etre. Everything we see and hear is manipulated to sell products. I started this communication as a simple investigation into the evidence for a product as they claim. What I found was a collection of companies willing to provide you the evidence you want so you can claim what you want for your product that (probably) does nothing.

Anyway, I can’t get to the evidence for the Snoring Ring. I haven’t found the paper with details of the trial and so I am going to complain to the ASA about their website claims. Watch this space.