Monday, December 30, 2019

* The French language has 100 terms for different kinds of social-climbing upstart

The boy who win this kup must be noble, up-
right, brave, fearless, intreppid and honnest
It was "Talk like Thorstein Veblen" night at the Old Entomologist. Competition was tough, tension ran high in the closing heats of the competition, and the deliberations of the judging panel were lengthy, but eventually they awarded the J. K. Galbraith Cup for Recherché Nomenclature to Another Kiwi for his masterful deployment of 'otiose', 'nugatory' and 'invidious' within a single sentence.

The event was a timely one, given recent developments in the 'Immortalis Klotho' saga brought to us by 'Sacha' Stone and Marco Ruggiero.

These names might sound familiar... Stone is the Libertarian New-Age entrepreneur whose diverse activities include the New Earth Festival / World Health Sovereignty Summit -- a Bali-based, conspiracy-themed Fyre Festival Redux, aimed at alt-reality trustafarian trash who like to pose as Progressives.

While Ruggiero foisted a series of conceptual breakthroughs upon the medical world (GcMAF, GOleic, Bravo Magic Medicinal Yoghurt, Rerum, Non-Dairy Magic Yoghurt, Imuno...), each becoming no longer operative when supplanted by its successor.

This all makes sense in developed-world post-industrial post-Reagan economies, as income inequalities recreate the US Gilded Age and where Veblen's droll ethnography of that period's Leisure Class becomes more than usually relevant. Economists have coined the term Veblen Goods for products that are useless or absurdly overpriced wastes of resources, and therefore are acquired precisely to demonstrate that the purchaser has resources to waste. The resulting incentives for grifters to target the high end of the market are particularly powerful in the health sector... or rather in the Wellness industry, where actual medical benefits from Yoni Eggs and the like could detract from their appeal.

'Immortalis' aspires to that narrow niche, eschewing the mass market, on the principle that conning just one financially-endowed moron out of a lot of money is as profitable as conning a lot of impecunious morons out of a little bit of money each... and there is always the possibility that financially-endowed morons, as a class, will adopted the product as yet another way of signalling their privileged contempt for utility.

I have no problems with the concept of relieving eedjits of excess wealth; it is an improvement from defrauding terminal cancer patients and the parents of children with autism. What concerns me is the collateral damage to Satire and Parody. Quickly we enter the territory of Dave Barry "I am not making this up" disclaimers. Already our pair of louche rogues have arranged for their secretion to be sold in Harrod's - the department story of choice for parvenus, arrivistes and nouveau riche * - because that's where the suckers are. Thereby ensuring uncritical celebrity-fellation stenography in the Daily Torygraph:
“Biological immortality is not something that belongs to the field of science fiction,” explains Dr Marco Ruggiero, who last week visited Harrods to launch a probiotic that is meant to improve the production of klotho, a protein described as an ageing suppressor found in the guts of long-living humans, and with similar characteristics to the microbiome (or stomach) of the naked mole rat. Ruggiero, a tanned, lean-faced 63-year-old who moved to Arizona after retiring as professor of biology at the University of Florence, believes his microbial formula - Immortalis Klotho Formula (IKF) – is the secret sauce to living forever.
It doesn’t come cheap, though. A three-month treatment of IKF, which Ruggiero recommends half of which is taken orally, and half of which is taken by an enema, costs £8,000. Some of IKF’s customers include celebrities and royalty. But if you can live forever, what’s a little discomfort and hit to the wallet?
"Moved to Arizona after retiring" sounds better than "sacked from the University of Florence and now avoiding extradition"

Readers may also enjoy this puff-piece they commissioned from a celebrity-fellation specialist. It is in Vogue so the general tone is "You and I are far too refined to concern ourselves with the truth value of these amusing fabrications".

Actual "investigation" would
be tiresome & infra-dig
Only a few hundred people take it, including Middle Eastern and Hollywood royalty. This is fun to hear but unverifiable. The Immortalis website is password protected after the first page: “Welcome to the greatest health-science innovation in history.” There are testimonials. Francine in England: “I am 57. I feel 35 again.” Jill in San Diego, 79: “… a subtle yet powerful decrease in the jittery feeling of anxiousness and unease”.
More testimonials here; surprisingly many of them are from con-men and V14GR4 spam-bots who attained sentience.

Ruggiero, who left academia to found a Swiss company developing microbiome medicine, has touted his theories at conferences and in medical journals for some time. Is he snake-oil salesman or renegade scientist? He has done no clinical trials because he doesn’t need to - it’s only a supplement - but customers are encouraged to do before-and-after blood tests. One man described a 70 per cent reduction in his PINI score (of inflammatory markers) in three months. What’s more - shock horror - he had not been sticking to the ketogenic diet.
I have to get on that stuff. Supplies are limited, though. The Swiss clinic can make only enough for 800 people to take it a year, and the cost is prohibitive at £5,000 for a three-month supply of two capsules daily, presented in a satin-lined mahogany box. Most people, I am told, try it for three months and then sign up for a year’s supply at £20,000. It’s got the rarity of luxury goods, the promise of a magic bullet, and, far less irrationally, it exploits the potential for healing in our gut microbiome, the place that is the future of medicine.
It is certainly a step up from the parasitical mockademic journals where Ruggiero advertised his previous secretions, having signed on as Editor for the sake of exemptions from advertising fees when pukefunneling them into publication.

Venturing further into the territory of "Things I did not make up" brings us to the Cuixmala Resort. Another Vogue celebrity-fellation specialist advises that it is the 'New Tulum', now that Old Tulum is spoiled by the fact of too many people having read about it in Vogue. Cuixmala offers a back-to-Nature immersion in free-spirited authentic Reality but without the dirt or the physical labour or the common people. The exclusivity extends to "untouched wild beaches not overridden by plastic umbrellas and chairs, a place where one really feels at home with the elements". It may well feature a perfumed, Delft-tiled milking-shed for guests who want to play at being milkmaids.

Needs moar guillotines
It was built as the domicile of James Goldsmith, a French / German / English magnate who retired to Mexico. Goldsmith's accomplishments include the pre-UKIP political party he founded to promote closed borders and zero immigration (because the freedom of international mobility is too important to be shared with the serfs), but I digress.

I write this not from some sudden seizure of Random, but because of this prospectus for an upmarket-resort Immortalis Retreat there. Just look at it!
Moist-lipped doe-eyed orgasmic Immortalis
Director Hollywood wannabee not included

For those who seek only the highest-reward life experiences, people and environments. Be the first to embody the full immersive Immortalis experience in one of the most exotic and desirable locations in the world.

Catalyzing evolutionary growth through the groundbreaking biotechnology:
Immortalis Klotho Formula (IKF)
quantum biology :: age reversal :: health restoration :: life extension

Now back when GcMAF and Bravo Medicinal Yoghurt still worked, Ruggiero and his then-colleague David Noakes were operating the First-Immune clinic in Bussigny (Switzerland)... a cash-extraction facility for terminal cancer patients, devoted to maximising the guests' intake of placebos through all available orifices, and to minimising their surplus savings that their families could inherit. I suggested at the time that the Ruggiero Protocol a.k.a. "The Swiss Protocol®" would make a good title for a Ludlum thriller, but did anyone pursue this avenue? DID THEY BOGROLL. Anyway, the experience evidently led Ruggiero to realise that his true métier lay not in research, nor in ultrasonic radiography incompetence, nor in editing puke-funnels parasitical journals, but rather in the up-market hospitality industry. Hence the Immortalis Retreat. In his mind the sub-let suites at Cuixmala are a combination of the Grand Budapest Hotel and the Volmer Spa from 'A Cure for Wellness'.

The First Immune clinic closed under less-than-glorious circumstances on account of excessive bodies. At the end of his UK prison term for med-fraud, Noakes was extradited to France for trial on GcMAF-related criminal conspiracy charges there; the Swiss authorities will have to wait their turn. Thus I am skeptical about Ruggiero attending that Harrods product launch in person (his Telegraft stenographer did not claim to have directly met or interviewed him in the UK, and might have been lied to).

Ruggiero's customers were barred by NDAs from writing about their treatment at the clinic, which seems unnecessary and unenforceable, since the gagged witnesses all died anyway from untreated cancer ("What was more ridiculous is that we were not allowed to keep a copy of the NDA – what were they trying to hide?"). 'Rona', blogging at "BisforBanana", merely advised prospective visitors to scrutinise its claims with at least as much diligence as they would apply at a second-hand car-yard. Rona found the salesman Ruggiero to be charming and personable and the best part of the experience, especially in contrast to Noakes who was an irascible socially-maladroit bully. Other reports agreed... it is possible that Noakes had even fooled himself into believing at some level in the value of his scam, hence his impatience with clients who stubbornly, intransigently refused to be healed.

Rona did not direct her scrutiny toward Ruggiero and never questioned his self-accredited mad skills with an ultrasound scanner; even when his sanguine assurance that the treatment was regressing her tumor turned out to be fantasy.
I may or may not have got shrinkage. Prof Ruggerio maintains I did, but my own radiologist and surgeon could find no difference.
...Even when Ruggiero abused his clinician's position of power to subject immobilised patients to sadistic mind-fucks his 'wicked sense of humor'. This sort of thing gives us ordinary decent sociopaths a bad name.
So the helpless patient is lying absolutely rock-still on the table, going blue in the face from not breathing when suddenly Prof Ruggiero says out loud: “where’s the serrated knife?”
...Even when that intuitive wizardry allowed him to distance-diagnose thyroid cancer recurrence and an incipient thrombosis in another patient, just for shitz-'n'-giggles.

It will not be so easy to screw around with clients when they are perfectly healthy and non-desperate. I am not sure how well Ruggiero has thought through this whole Cuixmala Resort gig.


Harrods has also been in the news for their way of celebrating the Spirit of $mas: a Santa's Glitz Grotto of truly Trumpian vulgarity and mendacity, hugely profitable with a £20 charge, but still unavailable for children whose parents have not thrown away enough money at Harrods lately. To keep out the riff-raff and make the concept of £20 for a 10-minute appointment more appealing.
[research all stolen from Dora]

UPDATE: Dora informs me that Noakes has not been extradited to France and is a FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE, having skipped bail. Inquiring minds are wondering how long a dude with no passport and a proven inability to keep his mouth shut can evade recapture.

I can only guess that Noakes has none of the money left that he extracted from his victims, having squandered half of it on collecting classic cars and bars of bullion (and the other half he wasted), for our health-fraud-lobbyist friends the NHF are paying his legal bills.

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