Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dangers Of Charlatanism Electrifying

The Complaints Register of the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration makes interesting, if depressing, reading.

EoR is pleased to see that the (delightfully non-therapeutically titled) galvanic cock ring appears to have disappeared from the interweb.

when this device is fitted and the electrodes come into contact with the underneath of the scrotum and the base of the penis, the gentle current (Galvanic Current) helps relax the muscles in that area, allowing blood to flow more freely thereby assisting in the creation and maintenance of an erection (...) can be used as a tourniquet to keep blood in erect penis and assist in maintaining erection

EoR doubts the therapeutic efficacy of a penis torniquet. Nonetheless, the device was apparently claimed to be a "genius contraption". That would only be in the sense that any scam is designed to fleece the gullible, and the best scams are the traditional ones:

Another old scam is Hulda Clark's zapper, sold to cancer sufferers in order to lighten their finances, preying on the vulnerable solely for the unethical gain of profit.

In another recent complaint, the TGA has censured Natural Health Direct for selling this useless device, stating

The advertisement included claims that the advertised product “designed to kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites”, and made reference to a book called “Cure For All Diseases” by Dr Hulda Clarke, which was said to “describe in detail the correct use of the zapper”. The advertised device was said to be “made in Germany according to Dr Clark’s specifications” and “manufactured under licence to Hulda Clark.” The advertisement also advised consumers to “refer to Dr Clarke’s book” for a “full description of the correct use of the zapper”, and stated that “we make no claims for the zapper other than those made by Dr Hulda Clarke.”

The company were ordered to display a retraction (which may or may not have happened — it is certainly not there now) and to no longer make therapeutic claims for the zapper.

This is their advertisement that led to the complaint (click to enlarge):

This is their current advertisement (click to enlarge):

Can you spot the difference (other than changing the layout)? The phrase "designed to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites" has been removed, as the TGA ordered. The phrase "Please note: In her book Cure For All Diseases, Dr Hulda Clarke describes in detail her theory in relation to the correct use of a 'Zapper'. For more information on the correct use of the zapper, please refer to Dr Clarke's book." has not been removed, but simply moved to the bottom of the advertisement. So Natural Health Direct is still selling a useless device (for AU$236.80!), a device that doesn't work, a device invented by a woman who died of cancer herself. a charlatan who claimed:

The method is 100% effective in stopping cancer regardless of the type of cancer or how terminal it may be. It follows that this method must work for you, too, if you are able to carry out the instructions.

The 'method' here is extracting the largest amount of money possible from the most vulnerable people. It clearly works (but only to extract money). It continues to work (but only to extract money). Natural Health Direct should be ashamed. The TGA should have the legal power of the Australian Tax Office. Or the ACCC who previously ruled that Herbert Nathan, director of Raylight Pty Ltd, be required to give refunds to people who purchased his Parasite Zapper.

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