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Great Achievements in Medical Fraud

April 20, 2017

If you were diagnosed at the turn of the century with lumbago, puking fever, black vomit, consumption, decrepitude, falling sickness, milk leg, ship fever, softening of the brain, St. Vitas dance, trench mouth, dropsy or heaven forbid, dyscrasy then chances are you were in big trouble. Not only did the “modern” medical community misunderstand most of these diseases, they were also clueless as to how to treat them.

To the Rescue

Facing a life of interminable pain and suffering, many sufferers of these diseases resorted to hundreds of unfounded medical treatments – sometimes they worked and sometimes they didn’t. Here’s a brief list of some of the more popular medical treatments and the claims by their originators:

  • The Magnetic Mug – Magnetic forces have long been used to cure everything from fatigue to lower back pain. A Colorado firm stated in their 1998 catalogue of products that their Magnetic Mug stores material between the stainless steel exterior and porcelain interior that magnetizes any beverage contained in it. By magnetizing the liquid, space is created between the beverage’s molecules, adding alkalinity to it. The alkalinity in beverages was refuted to facilitate absorption, minimizing dehydration and flushing out body toxins.
  • The Battle Creek Vibratory Chair – Many people who enjoy a bowl of Corn Flakes in the morning are familiar with their inventor, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan. Dr. Kellogg also designed a number of therapeutic devices, including The Battle Creek Vibratory Chair. After strapping the patient into the chair, it would shake violently and “stimulate intestinal peristalsis” that was beneficial to digestive disorders. Prolonged treatments were also used to cure a variety of maladies from headaches to back pain.
  • The Toftness Radiation Detector – If the Toftness Radiation Detector looks suspiciously like the PVC piping and couplings you bought last summer at the Home Depot, it’s because it is. By passing PVC tubing outfitted with inexpensive lenses over the patient’s back, Chiropractors listened for a high-pitched “squeak” that meant that the device had detected areas of neurological stress, characterized by high levels of radiation. The device was widely used until 1984 when it was deemed worthless by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • The Foot Operated Breast Enlarger – In the mid-1970’s, silicone breast implants were still in their infancy so, many women pining for larger breasts spent $9.95 for a foot-operated, vacuum pump and a series of cups that promised “larger, firmer and more shapely breasts in only 8 weeks”. As it turned out, over 4 million women were duped into buying a device that produced nothing more than bruising – even if they bought the entire kit that included a 1-ounce bottle of “Cleavage 6 Breast Enhancement” capsules.
  • The Crystaldyne Pain Reliever – One of the most popular pain relievers on the market in 1996 was nothing more than a gas grill igniter. When the sufferer pushed on the plunger, the device sent a short burst of sparks and electric shocks through the skin to cure headaches, stress, arthritis, menstrual cramps, earaches, flu and nosebleeds. After being subjected to FDA regulations for medical equipment, the company disappeared with thousands of dollars, telling their consumers that “their device was in the mail”.
  • The Prostrate Gland Warmer and The Recto Rotor – Even someone without the slightest imagination would cringe at the idea of inserting a 4 and a half inch probe into their rectum while connected to a blue light bulb and a 9-foot electrical cord. However, for thousands of adventurous consumers the gland warmer and recto rotor (that’s not rooter) promised the latest in quick relief from prostate problems, constipation and the piles.
  • The Radium Ore Revigator – In 1925, thousand of unknowing consumers plunked down their hard-earned cash for a clay jar whose walls were impregnated with low-grade, radioactive ore. With no more radioactive material than that found on the dial of an inexpensive wristwatch, the Revigator promised to invigorate “tired” or “wilted” water – “…the cause of illness in one hundred and nine million out of the hundred and ten million people of the United States”.
  • The Relaxacisor – For anyone who hated to exercise but still wanted a lithe, athletic body, the Relaxacisor was the answer. Produced in the early 1970’s, the Relaxacisor came with four adhesive pads that were applied to the body and connected by electrodes to a control panel. The device would deliver a series of electrical jolts to the body, taking the place of regular exercise – while reclining on a sofa. All 400,000 devices were recalled for putting the consumer at risk for miscarriages, hernias, ulcers varicose veins, epilepsy and exacerbating pre-existing medical conditions.
  • The Timely Warning – In 1888, one of the most embarrassing and debilitating experiences a man could endure was an “amorous dream” or “night emission”. Fortunately, Dr. E.B. Foote came up with the “Timely Warning”, a circular, aluminum ring that was worn to prevent “…the loss of the most vital fluids of the system – those secreted by the testicular glands…”. For better or for worse, no diagrams have been found to support exactly how the device was worn.
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    All Entries Crime and Justice Humor Leisure and Sports

    Steroids Invade the World of Chess

    September 7, 2016

    Canton, Ohio – The professional chess world was rocked today when 13 year old chess prodigy, Bobby Baines, was disqualified from play for testing positive for steroids.

    Clayton Groman, Director of the United States Chess Federation announced during a press conference from his office in Crossville, Tennessee that Baines was one of 17 professional chess players ranging in ages from 8 to 97 years old that are under suspicion for taking performance enhancing drugs on the USCF list of banned substances.

    “We’ve had Mr. Baines in our crosshairs for quite some time,” said Groman. “We first became suspicious when we noticed that he was becoming much more violent during matches and began exhibiting impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility.” During one recent chess match, Baines became upset over his opponent’s delay in play, so he leaped over the table, hoisted him up into an Airplane Spin and threw him into the audience.

    “He’s just a boy,” pleaded Bobby’s mother and manager, Agatha Baines. “Like all boys his age, he’s bound to make mistakes.” When asked if she noticed any other recent changes in Bobby, Agatha confessed that she had noticed some small, yet noticeable physical changes in her son over the past six months. “For one thing, he started to grow more hair – a lot of hair.” she said. “I’m well aware that boys entering puberty are likely to experience changes in their bodies, but I saw Bobby in the shower one afternoon and his back was absolutely covered with hair. He looked just like my brother, Leo and he’s 67 years old. But what really alarmed me was when I saw Bobby trimming the hair in his ears. He’s only 13 for God’s sake.” She also confessed to witnessing some rather rapid weight gain in Bobby. “He gained over 35 pounds of muscle in one week,” she said. “We had to stop buying his clothes at Oshkosh B’Gosh and start shopping at Eagleson’s Big and Tall Shop for Men.” read more

    All Entries Business and Work Crime and Justice Humor

    Interview with a Felon

    April 7, 2016

    Hi. I’m here for the job. I’m sorry I’m late, but I missed the last bus from the halfway house because some of the other in-mates started throwing food around at breakfast. By the time the guards released us from lock down and found all the hidden knives, I had already missed my Thursday morning therapy session. Dr. Scheaselschwitz promised to write me a more powerful prescription so I can stop hyperventilating into brown paper bags every time I have an interview. But, it shouldn’t be a problem with this job.

    I read in the newspaper ad that you’re looking for a mature, sharp-dressed, post-graduate educated CPA with extensive computer experience. Well, I don’t have any of those skills but I’m a fast learner. Just ask my cell mate. Besides, this place is only 5 minutes from the detention center, so I’d probably qualify for a work release program. My HVA meetings (Hostility and Violence Anonymous) are right on the way home, too.

    I have a variety of experiences. I’m sure you’ll be able to find some of them useful at Mendelssohn’s Fasteners. I grew up in the Nelbert B. Tubbs housing project and ran my own gang before I was 12, so I’m experienced in supervising a wide range of personalities and delegating authority. I’m also good at rewarding quality work when I see it. For instance, one of The Mack-30 Daddies cheated me out of $50 and an 8-ball, so I told one of my homies to eliminate the problem. He did. As a reward, I gave him a nickel bag and let him spend the night with my little sister. read more

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