The official site of bestselling author Michael Shermer The official site of bestselling author Michael Shermer

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Airborne Baloney

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The latest fad in cold remedies is full of hot air

I violated Feynman’s first principle during a recent book tour. I traveled daily through congested airports, crowded jets and crammed bookstores amid sneezing, coughing, germ-infested multitudes. One day, while squeezed into the sardine section of coach, with the guy behind me obeying the command of the germs in his lungs to go forth and multiply, I cursed myself for having forgotten my Airborne tablets, an orange-flavored effervescent concoction of herbs, antioxidants, electrolytes and amino acids that fizzles into action in a glass of water.
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Cures and Cons

Natural scams “he” doesn’t want you to know about
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Up to 139 times in one week, Kevin Trudeau pitches late-night viewers about his self-published book, Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About, a rambling farrago of uninformed opinions, conspiracy theories, and cheeky jabs at medical, pharmaceutical and governmental authorities (“they”). The book is so risibly ridiculous that even the most desperately ill would not take it seriously — would they?

Apparently they would, to the tune of millions of copies sold, elevating the book to the New York Times best-seller list. If readers had purchased Trudeau’s Mega Memory System, perhaps they would have remembered that he spent two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to credit-card fraud and that the Federal Trade Commission banned Trudeau “from appearing in, producing, or disseminating future infomercials that advertise any type of product, service, or program to the public, except for truthful infomercials for informational publications. In addition, Trudeau cannot make disease or health benefits claims for any type of product, service, or program in any advertising, including print, radio, Internet, television, and direct mail solicitations, regardless of the format and duration.” Trudeau had to pay $500,000 in consumer redress for his bogus infomercials and another $2 million to settle charges against him for claiming that coral calcium cures cancer (it doesn’t) and that an analgesic product called Biotape permanently relieves pain (it doesn’t). (continue reading…)

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