Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

File under, “Boy, do I think you’ve gotten the wrong person”

One of the odd things about blogging is the e-mail. True, I don’t get anything near the quantity, quality, or sheer weirdness of the e-mail that, for example, PZ Myers, gets, but I do get my share. Some of it’s praise; a lot of it ends up being rants against my being “close-minded” or excessively harsh on quackery; occasionally I get the odd rant about religion; and sometimes I get something that’s just plain weird. In this latter category, very, very occasionally I get e-mails that show that the person sending it either doesn’t have a clue or sent the e-mail to the wrong person.

Enter “Carol” (name changed to protect the clueless):


My name is Carol from a tiny town in Iowa. Oh wow! The reason why I am contacting you is because I am writing a grant for a business to research some of this genius equipment and how it can change our future. A future in medicine I do hope. I am sure that is what some of the inventors intentions were. Well, I intend on filling in the hole or the gap so to speak. I would love to speak with you some time to see if you would be interested in such a task. I have recently used your bio photon ionizer. What an impressive machine.

I hope to hear from you soon. This grant may tend to be written differently should I receive some input from an inventor.

Extremely impressed,


Whoa. Definitely wrong person. I wonder if I should respond to her e-mail. I also wonder how on earth she could have sent this to my e-mail. Perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope that she’s visited the blog before.

In any case, I also wondered what a biophoton ionizer is; so I Googled it and found things like this, PHOTONIC Water Systems. Wow! This looks like Your Friday Dose of Woo material to me! Thanks, Carol! I didn’t have time to do a full deconstruction last night, but I will place your e-mail and these links into my Folder of Woo for future Insolence.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

49 replies on “File under, “Boy, do I think you’ve gotten the wrong person””

So her business will research inventions (genius equipment) and its impact on the future? I imagine it is because the genius inventors are too busy inventing genius equipment to consider the potential impact of their inventions.

I, for one, cannot wait to travel to the hub of genius equipment futures research in a tiny town in Iowa. Yea!

I am writing a grant for a business to research some of this genius equipment and how it can change our future.

Is it just me, or is there no evident, well, business there?

1. Get grant.
2. Research genius equipment.
3. Determine how it can change our future.
4. ???

Without a clear path to profits, it’s not a business…


Wow. I’m still somehow amazed at how much Grade 11 chemistry would correct these people.


With the Photon Ionizer® silly!

Easy peasy. Even a child could ionize photons with the GENIUS DEVICE.

Sheesh, you couldn’t make this sh*t up, eh?

Sivi, those aren’t normal photons, they’re biophotons! Aren’t you paying attention? Yeesh.

“WBiophotonic frequencies cover the full spectrum of light, from infrared to ultraviolet. Each color and shade vibrates at a different frequency, triggering specific responses in our DNA. Each biophoton can trigger many different responses before its energy is spent.”

The Force (of woo) is strong in this one, for sure.

Does this mean there are no biophotonic radio waves, or x-rays?

Oh boy oh boy! I can’t play the video at work but please tell me that’s Samuel L. Jackson interviewing Jesus!

I would get back in touch ask for a resume and a letter of intentions plus a formal proposal. If that doesn’t scare her off you can string her along to later drop reality on her ideas. Nothing malicious or mean but a lesson well learned from a mistake(or sloppy thinking).

The link references “living water.” Uh-oh. Don’t want to be killing the living water – that wouldn’t be nice. So no more drinking water for me! It’s just cruel.

Boy, that looks like a target rich environment. I wonder what this Theodore D. Hall, PhD character has his doctorate in?

So no more drinking water for me! It’s just cruel.

You gotta be cruel to be kind in the right measure. Cruel to be kind, it’s a very good sign.

I wonder..

hook up the biophotonic ionizer to the Kangen Water Machine and we will get free living energy. Apparently chronic dehydration causes disease, you know disease, that thing that is “bad”. Wait… if you then used your Bio photinized H- water and mixed with some AlphaGlycans PXP you know nano technology!!! Crap you’ll live for ever. I’m sorry Orac, I am so gonna put you out of business. I know it works, cause it’s got vibrations and nano tech and it’s ALIVE!!! And it will spit hydrogen bombs at evil medicine!

A future in medicine I do hope.

Was the writer’s real name “Yoda” by any chance?

What a target rich environment, those guys take homeopathy one step further. Since water has memory, it also remembers all the crap it got into contact with (haven’t we always asked that). But wait, their living light actually clears that memory, for denser, more hydrating water! So the best line is when water swirls through a mountain stream, improving its immune system while doing so to gather life giving information. That finally explains giardia.

@Sivi: “Photon ionizer” makes sense if you mean the photons (which would need to be in the UV or higher frequency part of the spectrum) do the ionizing. That’s why the ozone hole and gamma-emitting radioactive nuclei are generally considered Bad Things. Though somehow, I suspect that isn’t what the Photonic Water people are talking about.

You know, there’s something fishy about the grammar, vocabulary, and phrasing of this email. It reads a bit like one of those awkward Nigerian letters. A sweet young woman in Iowa? I’m going to guess cynical young-ish guy from foreign country, and this email one of many in some sort of scam — possibly one involved in selling said ‘bion photon ionizer.’

Hm. Consider me skeptical, on all levels.

OT ( but is woo-fully masquerading advertisement as informational content *ever* _truely_ OT at RI?) Today Mike Adams ( like Joey M. before him, tells us how toxic our personal care products *really* are ( horrors!),then naturally enough, goes on to “inform” us about his own, personal preferences ( which he also, BTW, sells at his web store).

“It has been proven many times that when a homeopathic remedy is dissolved in water and then diluted to a point where not a single molecule of the remedy remains, the water is still an effective treatment. The dark side of this characteristic is that when we try to chemically remove pollutants and toxins, the memory of these harmful substances is left behind. Only the act of re-patterning the water can remove those destructive memories and restore biophotonic abundance.”

They don’t even understand homeopathy. They forget the succussion after each dilution that helps water to remember.
What a load of utter horsemanure…the age of magic is back in full.

“the age of magic is back in full” …but it tries SO hard to look like really really true science.

I, too, was from a small town in Iowa. Population 800. My wife was from a smaller town in Iowa. Population 50 needess to say, got the hell out!

Although I wonder what the ‘Oh my’ is about

@Eric Lund,

I’ll confess I hadn’t parsed it that way, but it would make more sense. Though sense isn’t really a given here.

I Owe the World an Apology
Idiots Out Walking About

Almost as good as Sven and Ole jokes.

@Sastra: you know, you may be right. I thought the wording seemed rather weird but didn’t pay a lot of attention. Now that you pointed it out and I re-read it more carefully, it DOES seem to be written by a non-native English speaker.

@Orac: is the email from a US server? Or is Sastra right, and the Nigerians are expanding to more “innocent” appearing emails?

Please don’t judge Iowans by this crazy lady! I am from Riverdale IA, pop 250, received an excellent public education and am currently ABD for a PhD in macromolecular biophysics. No woo here!

I agree with Sastra. It reads like quite a lot of the spam I get through my website contact forms. They’re almost always from an IP address that resolves to the Indian subcontinent; to get past the captcha spamtrap, humans drones are paid pennies to send them out (so much per thousand I believe, look on those international sites that advertise freelance work).
Keywords in blogs are used to target these spams – Orac occasionally mentions his grant-writing duties, as well as writing about medicine and wonder-woo machines.
Though I can’t really see the scam angle in this, unless it’s just advertising this guy’s woo-machine.

Dude! You had a bio photon ionizer all this time and didn’t tell us? They’re SOOO much better than ordinary photon ionizers! If only I’d known you had one last month, I could have borrowed it to…



…okay, I’m not sure what I could have used one for. But damn, dude, you shouldn’t keep your photons under a bushel!

This grant may tend to be written differently should I receive some input from an inventor.

Or a shrink. Either one could help her write something a little more…coherent.

@ Scott: Exactly. He’s the “Joey M.” I described. My personal theory: Joe and Mike want to convert Sephora’s** clientele.**( where the *real* money gets spent ).

PHOTONIC Water Systems LLC produces a water transformation technology developed for homes, agriculture, business, and industrial applications, that restore balanced energy through the release of biophotons. which encourages demonstrable changes in water’s behavior, thereby enhancing life.

lol.. what can one even say about this?

But doesn’t distillation remove “memory” from water? Does this mean that Homeopaths have been using tainted water for their “cures” all this time? OH, NOOOOOOOOO! Homeopathy really IS sh*t!

Can someone explain why industry needs life-promoting water?

The one that gets me is the woman I work with who has a water bottle with a little charcoal filter that sits at the bottom of the straw inside the bottle. And every now and then someone new will see this and ask what it is, and her response is always “it’s a homeopathic water filter”. Usually, the person questions either what that is, or how that’s possible given the definition of homeopathy. To which her response is always “I don’t know, that’s just what it said on the label.

Personally, I always wonder how much crud has built up in that charcoal…

I live in the hometown of Trojan Technologies, the real “photon ioniser” guys; they use UV lamps to finish off purifying drinking water, and their equipment gets used by Canada’s DART (Disaster Assistance Response Team) to supply potable water to disaster victims around the world. (Most recently in Haiti, I think.)

I respect them. I don’t respect “Carol”, the sender of this Spanish Prisoner spam trying to hijack this technology into setting up little portable Lourdeses in the homes of the gullible.

— Steve

“In fact, revitalizing water to its creative state not only inactivates harmful pathogens and chemicals, it does so by removing the memory they leave behind.”

OMG! This could be why homeopathic remedies don’t remember Caesar’s bladder!

Now, Orac, aren’t you sorry you didn’t adopt my suggestion to replace “science-based medicine” with “reality-based medicine?”

Hello I am writing on behalf of the Iowa Business Grants Administrations. we want to grants you millions of dollar, in order to continue your valuable Genius research on Bion Ionized laser water.
// Break //
hahaha! I’m having a laugh a minute!
Thanks, Orac.

It sure sounds like some kind of UV water purifier. They’re all the rage now that they have those portable, solar charged models for campers. We even bought a larger unit for our lake house, even though the lake water tested out fine. We’re belt and suspenders types. I gather it works by ionizing the molecules that cause the germs that cause infections. (They warn you not to change the bulb with the power on. Apparently, that UV lamp can give you a hell of a sunburn.)

It would be funny if they were selling a perfectly respectable water purifier by emphasizing its “woo” factor.

Maybe this is like that “energizing” product I saw in the back of Cosmopolitan, Lapsang 2000, almost certainly lapsang souchong tea. It tastes weird and it has caffeine.

How about a mystical rain cone to keep your head dry when it rains? “Space-god shape designed by aliens repels earthly water.” (It probably folds up nicely when not in use.)

Maybe we can push vaccination by dropping the science part and emphasizing the alchemical links and use horoscopes to time the vaccine sequence? Then, we can blame planetary alignments, or perhaps wayward asteroids, for the extremely rare side effects.

I know some scientific types don’t like the idea, but if feng sui means I don’t have to have a streetlight glaring into my bedroom, I’m for it.

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