The “Parasite Zapper” can be purchased on the web along with Dr. Hulda Clark’s “best selling book” A Cure for All Disease. The Zapper is advertised as “a very popular, effective and safe method for ridding the body of parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungus...” The list of conditions it is said to be “effective in controlling” include, among many others, AIDS, appendicitis, athlete’s foot, autism, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lupus, obesity, schizophrenia, syphilis, ulcers, and warts. It supposedly alleviates allergy symptoms, and it is recommended for use on pets. Even more remarkably, the marketers of this device claim the Zapper does all this without harming the beneficial bacteria that inhabit our bodies!

     If effective, this would be a truly amazing medical device. I went straight to the section titled “How the Zapper Works.” Here I learned, “The electronic circuitry of the Zapper pulses the current through the skin by generating a positive offset square wave at a frequency of about 3.5 KHz. This wave form has AC characteristics, which is why it does not influence the polarity of the body.” We are told that “Dr. Mary Tomanio, of Eliot, Maine, has consistently measured an increase of vital energy with an amplified stethoscope in areas of the body over which the Zapper has been placed.”

     The website has lots of testimonials from pleased customers, but no reports of verifiable, objective studies on the Zapper’s efficacy. That lacking, I wouldn’t spend the $55 for the Original Zapper, $66 for the Quartz Crystal Zapper, or the $75 for Orgone Energy Generator Zapper.

On February 12, 2001, USA Today featured a story about a talking Congo African gray parrot named N’kisi whose owner, Aimee Morgana, claims is psychic. According to the report, Morgana contacted Rupert Sheldrake after reading his book Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals. Sheldrake ran a double-blind test of N’kisi and confirmed the parrot’s psychic powers. These tests are outlined on Sheldrake’s website.

     Sheldrake has conducted experiments on other psychic pets, including a 1995 test of a telepathic terrier named Jaytee that he videotaped for Austrian television. Sheldrake concluded that Jaytee could sense when his owner was coming home. He speculated animals are guided by “morphic fields” and telepathic influences from their owners.

     Richard Wiseman, Senior Research Fellow in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in England, also videotaped Jaytee. His results were published in the British Journal of Psychology (1998). Wiseman found no evidence for Jaytee’s telepathic talents. Jaytee frequently went to the front door while his owner was gone; the dog went to the door more frequently the longer his owner was away. Skeptics viewed Wiseman’s tapes at the 1998 Skeptics Toolbox in Eugene and saw Jaytee repeatedly running back and forth from his bed to the front door during his owner’s absence. On his website, Sheldrake says Wiseman’s data repeats his own and he criticizes Wiseman’s conclusions.

The New Zealand Skeptic (Volume 54, 2000) brings news from the Evening Post (Sept. 27 and 28, 1999) about new age spiritualist and breatharian Jasmuheen who claims to have lived for years on only the nutrition she receives from an “internal power source.” She does, however, admit to eating occasionally to be sociable.

     According to the Evening Post reports, Jasmuheen’s teachings have been implicated in the death of several of her followers. Her book Living on Light was found among the belongings of a Scottish woman who died of hypothermia and dehydration on the Scottish moors. At least two other women have also died after following Jasmuheen’s 21-day fasting program. While Jasmuheen was in Auckland, New Zealand to attend the International Gathering for Higher Consciousness, investigators in Scotland were examining the links between her teaching and the deaths.

     Jasmuheen’s webpage has information about her program to solve world hunger using her “Living on Light” program. WebAlert: Horrible colors found at this webpage along with "stars" that dangle from the cursor.

What’s New by Bob Park reports (June 15, 2001) that Washington state’s Higher Education Coordinating Board “authorized the Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences in Seattle to issue BA and MA degrees in Astrological Studies.”

     In an October 18, 2000, press release titled “Astrology Regains Academic Standing” Joanne Wickenburg, chairman of Kepler’s Board of Trustees, writes, “No other degree-granting college or university in recent centuries has integrated academically sound astrological teachings and research into its entire four-year curriculum.” The entire Kepler College curriculum is based on astrology. Kepler’s first freshman class began in July 2000. Students entering this summer may study either the “historical, political, philosophical and religious development of astrology” or “interpretation techniques.”

     The Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) approves degree programs offered by colleges and universities in Washington. According to its website, it “is a nine-member board of citizens, appointed by the governor, to represent the broad public interest in the development of higher education policy.”

     Washington may have the only college of astrology in the western hemisphere, but France may be hot on its tail. Science (April 27, 2001) reported Sorbonne awarded Elizabeth Teissier, personal astrologer to former President Francois Mitterand, a doctorate of sociology for her thesis on astrology in postmodern societies. At her defense, Teissier “argued that there is empirical evidence validating astrology.” Teissier wants a chair of astrology established at the university. Scientists and sociologists are protesting.

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