The Origin of Multilevel Marketing
September 15, 1999 by

The roots of multilevel marketing are intertwined with those of the Amway Corporation and its Nutrilite product line. The Nutrilite concept is said to have originated about during the early 1930s in the mind of Carl Rehnborg, an American businessman who lived in China from 1917 to 1927. According to Amway publications, this gave Rehnborg …

Common Misconceptions about Quackery
August 30, 1999 by

Although most Americans are harmed by quackery, few perceive it as a serious problem and even fewer are interested in trying to do anything about it. Many misconceptions appear to contribute to this situation: Misconception #1: Quackery is easy to spot. Quackery is far more difficult to spot than most people realize. Modern promoters use …

Questionable Ad for Magnetic Bracelet
August 13, 1999 by

This ridiculous ad was published in the September 1999 issue of One Spirit, the monthly brochure distributed by One Spirit, of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, a Book-of-the-Month Club affiliate. As far as I know, copper and zinc don’t increase circulation, and, even if they could, wearing a bracelet would not cause significant amounts to be absorbed …

“The Rexall Tradition”
July 19, 1999 by

Rexall Showcase International (RSI), launched in 1990, is a direct marketing (“multilevel”) company that sells weight management products, homeopathic medicines, personal care products, nutritional supplements, and water filtration systems. It is a subsidiary of Rexall Sundown, Inc., of Boca Raton, Florida, whose stock became listed in 1992 on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated …

An Analysis of Rexall Showcase International’s “Doctors Speak Out” Audiotape
July 19, 1999 by

The tape begins with the statement, “Rexall has been one of the strongest names in American business, and has been supplying quality health products to customers for over 90 years.” This statement is misleading because Rexall Showcase International (RSI)’s parent company merely bought the rights to the Rexall name in 1985 and had nothing whatsoever …

Inappropriate Ultrasound Testing
June 3, 1999 by

Ultrasound testing (commonly called sonography or ultrasonography) is done with a device that transmits sound waves through body tissues, records the echoes as the sounds encounter structures within the body, and transforms the recordings into images that can be viewed on a television screen, recorded on videotape, and printed. Recent developments have greatly increased the …

The Nervo-Scope
January 20, 1999 by

Heat-detection has played a significant role in chiropractic’s search for its elusive “subluxation.” A 1990 chiropractic monograph on thermography states that D.D. Palmer used the back of his hand to locate “hot boxes” along the spinal column in an effort to detect differences in surface temperature from one side to the other. The authors observed …

Some Notes on Subluxations and Medicare
November 22, 1998 by

In 1972, in response to vigorous lobbying by chiropractors, Congress enacted a law providing for limited coverage of chiropractic services under Medicare. The law, which took effect in 1973, called for payment for the treatment of “subluxations demonstrated by x-rays to exist.” [1] A New York Times editorial called the enactment of Medicare coverage “the …

Questionable Ads for Magnets
September 19, 1998 by

Explorations, of Broomfield, Colorado, markets a large collection of books, videotapes, devices, and other items related to self-help and spirituality. Its products include a magnetic mug, a “Q-Ray Bracelet” alleged to “balance the body’s electromagnetic circuits,” and magnets claimed to provide pain relief in many parts of the body. The magnetic mug, which costs $45, …

Herbal Crystallization Analysis
August 30, 1998 by

Herbal Crystallization Analysis (HCA)—also called Saliva Crystillization Analysis (SCA)—is performed by adding a solution of copper chloride to a dried specimen of the patient’s saliva on a slide. The resultant crystal patterns are then matched to those of about 800 dried herbs to determine which of “24 body systems” supposedly have problems and which herbs …