Saturday, January 9, 2016

The dream will soon turn sour

Here at the Mad Scientist Anti-Defamation League we were intrigued by this recent paper in Frontiers Neuroscience:
Not so much by the content, which is so non-controversial that one wonders why the authors paid Frontiers to publish it. It is devoid of interesting ethical violations or explorations into forbidden knowledge, being (a) an acceptance of the mainstream position on autism (genetic origins, non-environmental, early development, yadda yadda), and (b) an exercise in spinning the authors' own previous paper (featuring the misuse of an ultrasound scanner) so as to stake out precedence over a recent report in Nature. More intriguing is the second affiliation.

Inquiring minds found themselves wondering what aspects of oneiric mastery they investigate at Dream Master Laboratory. Lucid Waking? Dream Theory in Malaya? Quests to Unknown Kadath?

If the lab is named after Zelazny's novel, it will involve the advanced neuroimaging / virtual-reality technology that allows a psychotherapist to enter and reshape a patient's dream -- though at the risk of becoming enmeshed in the dream if its narrative is sufficiently engaging, unable to emerge.* Perhaps featuring an ultrasound scanner for the neuroimaging.

Imagine, then, the depths of our disappointment upon discovering an absence of cutting-edge research, and even of analytical testing. For despite its aspirational title, Dream Master Laboratories is simply an importing agency, bringing Chinese green tea,** pomegranate extract, and milk-thistle extract into the US. Perplexingly, the trading address -- in a suburb of Phoenix, AZ -- appears to be a vacant lot.

Conceivably DM Lab is a branch, or street name, for the company Dream Master Llc (laboratory-free!), based a few blocks away in the suburb of Chandler. DM-Llc is in turn part of John Anderson's food-supplement multilevel-marketing Isagenix operation. If so, then the tea imported by DM-Lab and DM-Llc is presumably organic and anti-oxidant. Anderson's address (and that of Isagenix, and DM Llc), was used by Ruggiero to register Bacterix Llc, which is the American recension of his business trading in therapeutic yoghurt. The shared address may not harbour laboratory facilities but it looks to have many compensatory advantages.
(Anderson's main gig is in weight-loss products, i.e. low-calorie substitutes for food, but he is also a partner in Bill Andrews' herbal-telomerase immortality pills. As a child, in a church in Utah, he learned of the mission and divine calling that God had for him, which was to make a lot of money selling pills through affinity marketing).

In other Ruggiero-related news, Dora at HIVForum reports his admirably skeptical assault on the worthless snake-oil variously known as GcMAF, MAF, VDBP and EF-022. Variously sold in such forms as suppositories, injections, homeopathic skin creams, and therapeutic yogurt.

Ruggiero informs us that people had been diagnosed with cancer using an equally worthless "Nagalase" test, so their dramatic recoveries from cancer after GcMAF treatment were simply fraudulent.

It is as if he has awakened from a bad dream... a dream in which he swore blood-brotherhood with frauds, and treated cancer patients with GcMAF in Noakes' clinic after testing their Nagalase levels, while he and his students found themselves signing their names to a whole series of papers pimping GcMAF for all it is worth as a dramatic death-bed cure for cancers, autism, HIV, CFS, and cadmium poisoning.

But can he really wake up? Perhaps he is enmeshed in the fantasy... or has he just entered another layer of dream where the nightmare continues?
Perhaps his affiliation is a cry for help.

* This is a familiar trope in fiction and cinema, but it was novel 50 years ago when Zelazny published.

Dream Master is notable for the engrossingly Arthurian dream narrative Zelazny constructed, mashed up with plot elements from Parzifal and Tristan***, and I will wager many shiny milk-bottle-tops upon my certainty that Zelazny had a well-thumbed copy of Campbell's "Creative Mythology" open beside his typewriter as he worked.

** Green tea is known to have deleterious side-effects.

*** The plot of Tristan & Isolde is also recycled in Harness' Firebird. Are there any other SF appearances?
Belatedly UPDATED with bonus Dream Theory in Malaya. Mrs Cheryl Anderson proves to be inadequately briefed on the difference between Dream Master Laboratory [fictive existence, for Export-Import purposes only] and Dream Master Llc [actual legal entity], and takes photographs in KL as Personal Executive Assistant to the former.

Let the record show that the Riddled Dream Machine was not involved in the preparation of this post.


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

** Green tea is known to have deleterious side-effects.

I don't want no tea, it gives me a headache.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I rate for Dream Weaver Labs (instead).

Jeffrey Beall said...

Note that Dr. Ruggerio's latest potion is called Rerum, and it will ship from New Zealand starting on 2016-02-01:

Smut Clyde said...

That will probably be a blogpost soon. One thing I have learned from watching Larry Cohen movies is not to consume anything with a name that translates as The Stuff.

A few days ago the launch date was to be January 18, but there have evidently been delays.

Over in Australia, Darren Fleming claims to have Rerum for sale at $AUS950 for a 3 ml vial, although Fleming is not an entirely reliable narrator.

For further confusion (and hilarity), Peter Trayhurn -- also of Australia -- reckons that he's the approved partner with the right to sell Rerum around the world (but especially the West Island).

This will not end well.

Anonymous said...

If you want some more interesting info on these companies look into John Andersons academic achievements as well as his physical health and everyone in his family they are not people you want to take health advice from yet they are all peddling it. I cannot believe people buy this sludge. I was weeks away from marrying into that family, the sheer depravity of these people knows no bounds.

Smut Clyde said...

Surely John Anderson's academic attainments are beside the point; he is good at convincing other people to give him money, which counts for a lot. And he seems to be well-regarded by his peers in the diet-supplement / MLM industry, for his contributions to the general cause of convincing the wider population that just eating food is not an adequate diet (because "ionic minerals" and such as).
What can one do? Mundus vult decipi.