Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

Good For What Ails You!

From the old west to the post civil war era into the early days of the twentieth century … elixir peddlers, also known as snakeoil salesman, blanketed the rural country side, towns, and cities of Americana life. Eventually replaced by mail order catalogs and US government regulations on patent medicines being  required to list the ingredients and that their colorful, outlandish claims be proven and substantiated. In their heyday they offered entertainment and a show for the price of one bottle of their liquid miracle remedy that cured everything from baldness to arthritis. “Good for what ails you, friend. Step right up … don’t be shy … take the answer to your prayers home in this handy, dandy bottle.”

Most of the time there were no medicinal ingredients. But you felt better. Why? Nothing like a good 10 cent drunk to make you forget your pain and misery.

In this 21st century sophisticated mindset we think …. how simple were those people to fall for that? Hold on. We stay up and watch infomercials and buy stuff guaranteed to make us rich, lose weight, grow hair, improve skin tone, and the list goes on. The snakeoil salesman is not extinct and just a part of our history. He’s alive and well online and in your home. He comes to you as a friend at work or church. He’s got the natural herbal answer to your weight problem, sluggish afternoon drop off, and mental fuzzies. AND not only does he have the product or products to help you physically … why he’s got a way to help you financially as well. Become a distributor on his team. In other words, you can sell this crap too!

You may detect sarcasm and a bit of an edge to my tone. You bet your boots you do, baby!

Did I mention I think this stuff is crap? 

First… most of these all “natural” herbal products are a hoax. Caffeine, ginsing, (even if they claim not to use those ingredients … other ingredients they have mixed together produce the same effect) and some vitamin value. I can get vitamin value in a box of sugar cereal. Does that make it good for me?  These products are not regulated by the FDA. I have a dear loved one dying from mixing and using these natural concoctions.  It destroyed his pancreas. People think because they have googled, surfed the net, and done some online “research” they are experts. Most of these people who get sucked in have little to no chemistry background, no real knowledge of science, and no biology. They think because they watched a video or sat through a presentation in their home or at a Ramada Inn Conference room they’re informed. Nope. Duped.

Watching propoganda prepared by the maker’s marketing team is not research. It’s indoctrination.

Second… I detest the Ponzi/Pyramid/Multi-Level marketing they suck people into. “Don’t just buy this stuff … sell it!” I especially hate it among Christians.  The push to recruit other friends, family members, and people is unbelievable. Guilt, manipulation, and taking advantage of relationships becomes the standard operating procedure. Why? Make money by draining those you love and care about. Great plan…

When I see this at church I cringe. Church is place where we are to pray for one another not prey on each other.

Well, what about the lady who sells Avon? What about her. She leaves the book somewhere … office, lobby, information desk. Flip through it, order if you want something or leave it if you don’t. No pressure to attend meetings, sign up relatives, or increase recruitment. In the late 70’s and 80’s I watched Amway cause more church conflicts. Then came the discount long distance phone plans and cards church members were selling.  Now it’s health products. Next time you’re approached ask them where they received their medical-health training. Ask them what degrees they hold in dietary nutrition. Ask them what pharmaceutical training they have.

Forgive me for being blunt… but when a fat person offers to sell me weight loss pills I just shake my head, walk away, and laugh.

Remember in the 90’s when that one guy in your church was offering multiple programs that were guaranteed to make you prosperous and wealthy? Ever notice how the guy offering those programs was unemployed, wore suits with stains, and drove a car without  a muffler, driver’s door handle,  and no bumper? “Tell ya what. You make a million dollars and come back. We’ll talk then.”

Sadly, the medicine shows are still around. Snakeoil is selling well and somebody is getting rich. Usually not the poor shlep harassing everyone he knows to get involved. Evangelists recruiting pastors and pastors recruiting other pastors who in turn recruit church members.

Did I mention, I hate this CRAP!

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