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Claptrap!

Back in the 18th century a theatrical line that was delivered to shamelessly elicit or “trap” applause from the audience was referred to as “claptrap.” The line was commonly some bit of fluff or silly babble, and “claptrap” soon became synonymous with “nonsense.” These days I use it often.

Our brain controls the production of certain hormones and neurotransmitters such as melatonin, serotonin and dopamine. Simplistically, one can say that “rest and repair” hormones are activated by a lack of light, while “coping with stress” hormones are produced when light is abundant. But the situation is actually more complicated. Hormonal activity is governed by messages sent from the eye in response to specific wavelengths and problems arise if there is exposure to an unnatural mix of wavelengths, termed the “unnatural wavelength effect” (UWE). This is characterized by an imbalance between “day hormones” like cortisol and insulin and the “night hormones” such as the antioxidant melatonin and the immune system enhancing prolactin.

The major problem, however, is that the unnatural wavelengths trigger the production of the recently identified compound, “esnesnon,” a chemical that in the laboratory has been shown to have a yen for certain receptors on the surface of brain cells that have accordingly been christened “yenolab” receptors. Stimulation of these receptors has been linked to impaired central nervous system activity, which in turn affects all body functions. Because virtually all dyes used today are synthetic, we are at increased risk for UWE. Whether we are gazing at clothes, furniture, our lacquered fingernails or our bed sheets, we are exposed to a range of wavelengths with which our ancestors never had to contend.

Luckily, there is a way to overcome UWE. Exposing the eyes to an abundance of natural wavelengths can curb the production of esnesnon and reduce the chance of illness. Fluitex (flower and fruit exposure) therapy involves placing a variety of coloured flowers and fruits around the house to ensure our eyes are constantly exposed to all the natural wavelengths in the 600-700 nanometer range, effectively blocking the light waves reflected from synthetic dyes.

Subjects undergoing Fluitex therapy report an enhanced feeling of well-being, a resolution of aches and pains and a brighter outlook on life. The effects appear to be directly proportional to the variety of colours displayed, with a spectrum provided by red roses, yellow daisies, blueberries, green apples, purple plums and oranges being especially therapeutic. Fluitex therapy is devoid of side effects. Of course, it is also devoid of any sense. “Esnesnon” is nothing but nonsense spelled backwards. As far as “yenolab” receptors go, well, just reverse the letters. I made it all up. It’s all a bunch of nonsense and baloney! Did I snare anyone? Probably.

So what’s the point? That total nonsense can be made to sound totally believable. I know, because I get questions all the time asking if I think this or that bit of poppycock is true. For example, I was forwarded an email that’s going around claiming that wi-fi is dangerous because “man-made wireless signals in the microwave range are unnatural and therefore incompatible with life.” Just as much nonsense as my “esnesnon.” How about golf gloves equipped with a wristband to “produce negative ions to help your body’s performance and recovery.” Bunk! Ditto for those “energy bracelets” that contain a hologram “embedded with frequencies that react positively with your body’s energy field to improve your balance, strength and flexibility.” You need a flexible mind to swallow that claptrap.

Energy bracelets are sort of benign nonsense. But matters become more serious when claims are made about some liquid preparation that cures cancer by "lowering the voltage of the cell structure by about 20%," causing cancer cells to "digest" and be replaced with normal cells. Might such poppycock not distract some desperate patients from proper treatment? How about the “Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface Machine,” described as “the most advanced medical assessment and therapy device in the world today?” What does it do? Well, it “loops all 200 trillion human cells within a 55 channel biofeedback system to gather bioenergetic data at nano-second speeds, creating optical wellness.” Are not some people bamboozled by such hogwash? Judging by the number of QXCI machines sold, they sure are.

And should you want to be in tune with some more nonsense, you can tap a “quartz crystal singing bowl” with a mallet which will then “transmit energy into the atmosphere, filling your aura with vibrational radiance which translates into seven main colours of the rainbow.” You should also know that “through pure tone one can repattern the energy field organization that ultimately affects the cellular expression of disease and wellness.”

And if that doesn’t work, there are always “garments powered with infra-red technology to enhance and improve athletic performance, recovery and general well-being.” If you want infra-red technology, just wear clothes. Any clothes. Infrared rays are nothing more than radiated heat. Some clothes can indeed improve athletic performance. Just ask a cyclist in the Tour de France. Fabrics that conform to the body cut down on air resistance! But as far as recovery and general well-being, well that is …what can I say…claptrap!


@JoeSchwarcz

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