Pro Factoids - Vol.4 No.2

"live-food only" diet is the latest food fad. According to a February 13, 1998, report in the Capitol Press, Oregon's agricultural weekly, advocates of a live-food diet promote eating only uncooked foods. According to the report, some live-food dieters will eat uncooked meat, but most are also vegetarians who eat only things like sprouts, seeds, fruits and nuts, and avoid such vegetarian staples as dried beans and rice.

"Foods start losing some enzymes and life energy at 105 degrees. By 118 degrees ... you've killed all the enzymes, the life energy," said Rhio, author of several live-food recipe books. "This is the way animals eat, and they don't suffer from the 20,000 diseases that we suffer from."

Live-food vegetarians aren't worried that their diet provides less protein than science-based research recommends. Conventional science is wrong. One strict fruit eater was quoted as saying, "You look at a bull that's eating many hundreds of pounds of grass, and go 'Wait a moment-where's it getting its protein?' From the grass!"

Never mind that the bull has a four-compartment stomach, including a rumen which ferments the grass with the help of any army of microorganisms that eventually also become a protein source for the bull!

At the dietary extremes of the live-food fad are the "sproutarians" who only eat sprouts and "fruitarians" who only eat raw, seeded fruits, a subset of who eat only unpicked fruit from off the ground. The most extreme, however, are the "breatharians" who attempt to "emulate ascetic saints" by getting all their nutrients from the air they breathe. "I've met some people that are trying to do it. They're doing it occasionally, but they're not at 100 percent. Yet," said Rhio.

From the Heliogram, the newsletter of Heliotrope Natural Foods in Salem, we learn it is important that you base any new diet upon your personal "metabolic type." According to the article, which was "reprinted with permission from the newsletter of Dr. Michael Hardt, ND," the easiest, though "not foolproof," way to determine your "metabolic type" is by taking the Niacin Challenge: "Take 25 milligrams of niacin on an empty stomach."

Feel hot, turn red, develop a rash and itch? You're a carnivore. Only slightly warm and flushed? You're an omnivore. No reaction? You are a vegetarian type.

God's Salvation Church leader, Heng-Ming Chen, his Taiwanese followers, and two young boys, who Chen says are reincarnations of Jesus Christ and Buddha, moved to Garland, Texas, to await God's arrival in a UFO at 10:00 a.m., March 31, 1998, according to a report in the Oregonian, March 4. Chen, a former social science professor, reportedly "talks to God through his hand and discerns godly wisdom from golden balls that he sees floating in the sky."

Chen's followers quit their jobs and sold their belongings to move to Texas-although most bought round-trip tickets and have only temporary visas. Their relatives say Chen "swindled and brainwashed the members into paying him for the privilege of taking a ride on a flying saucer to heaven," the report stated. Rumors circulated in the Taiwan press that a mass suicide might occur if the UFO doesn't appear, although Chen denied it and said if God doesn't appear his followers could punish him as they wish.

According to the report, "the group is known as the most controversial outgrowth of a booming national interest in unidentified flying objects. Numerous associations and quasi-religious organizations that track sightings or predict arrivals of UFOs have cropped up on the island."

The Statesman Journal, March 26, reported Chen announced that God would appear Tuesday, March 26, on Channel 18 to tell the world of his impending arrival on March 31. Followers waited, but by midnight it was clear God had not interrupted programming as predicted. Chen reportedly told his 140 followers they were free to return to Taiwan.

Meanwhile, according to the Statesman Journal, March 28, the media poured into Garland on speculation of a mass suicide, or on the outside chance the sun would go dark and God would "take to the airways" and then arrive in a UFO. When the God's Salvation Church leader finally admitted God probably wasn't coming, he offered this face-saving response: God had sent the reporters to spread the Word of God across the Earth.

"You, are proof of what we believe," Chen told reporters. "Only God could bring us so much attention. ... We didn't ask you to say we were going to commit suicide."

Against the Grain, November, 1997, reported recent rulings in the Urantia Foundation v. Maaherra case. A threshold issue was whether the written words of celestial beings are copyrightable. Maaherra, who had copied and distributed the Urantia Book on computer disk, argued the book was not copyrightable "because it lacked the requisite ingredient of human creativity." Both parties believed the book was "authored by celestial beings and transcribed, complied and collected by mere mortals."

"Copyright laws do not expressly require 'human' authorship," the article states. "Although the Second Circuit agreed with Maaherra that the copyright laws were not intended to protect divine beings," the court ruled in the Foundation's favor, stating "some element of human creativity must have occurred..."

First there was Drosinin's The Bible Code, promoted by Oprah Winfrey. Then Dave Thomas, president of New Mexicans for Science and Reason, debunked it by showing that, using Drosinin's methods, anyone can find hidden messages in almost anything (see Skeptical Inquirer 21(6):30).

Since then skeptics have been having a heyday finding hidden messages. Thomas reports finding "The code is a silly snakeoil hoax" and "The code is evil" hidden in Drosinin's own book (NMSR Reports, October, 1997). And James Randi reports a fan "found the 1927 Sears Roebuck Catalog contains the score of every Chicago Cubs game ever played."

"Now, friends, that's prophecy!!!" writes Randi.

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