Water - Part II - People of the Documentary
(please note this is the second part of a series of blog post see here for the Introduction, Part I, and Part III)
As already outlined one of the main strategies of the documentary is to make the viewer believe, that well-established scientists present valid data, thus presenting them as a scientific authority. Here we will focus on some of the characters presented:
Effe Chow - presented as Prof. and Head of the Executive Council on Alternative Medicine, USA - Well on the internet this Executive Council is non-existent and I could not trace back at which University she is, or more likely, has held, a Professor position (and in this day and age it would normally only take seconds to find that out). Even in her own description she does not mention anything about a Professorship. She has a PhD yes, but not in Science, rather in Education. She certainly is into Qigong, and has thus founded the East West Academy of Healing Arts in San Francisco. A speciality are long-distance Qigong sessions over the telephone to "heal" people - well that is certainly not the way old Qi-Masters based their teachings on. She certainly is well connected, a good motivational speaker but I am afraid she appears to push the boundaries of Qigong and other alternative medicine techniques far beyond its original scope in order to fill either her pockets or increase her self-esteem.
Herbert Klima - In contrast to Alois Gruber (see below) and Effe Chow he actually is or better was a scientist and held a Professor position at the Technical University of Vienna, (he is retired now, and the university profile describes him as only an Assistant Professor and not as a full Professor). He appears to have been strongly influenced in his beliefs by his previous PhD Mentor Fritz-Albert Popp who is a main supporter of the biophoton theories, which are not accepted by the scientific circle, and as a result forced him to start his own private laboratory (officially run as a club). Apart from that Klima appears to follow radiesthesia (like Uri Geller) and holistic ideas for which he supports the Austrian company Aquapol, which was founded by Wilhelm Mohorn (a self-proclaimed scientologist who apparently seems to be quite good in using the sects connections and who is not afraid to sue - here is a website dedicated to unmask the company and its products - German only)
Vasily Anisimov - He is a billionaire who is listed currently as 616. wealthiest person on the planet by Forbes. A huge guy in the Russian mining industry. God knows, what links him with a pseudo-scienfitic documentary. Probably somebody was just lucky or had good contacts to find a nice sponsor like him.
Pearl Laperla - Won't be hard to guess, yes also she runs a company. As far as I can see she runs even two (Vironpearl Biotech). The first one is a Lotus shop under the umbrella of "a non-profit organisation" and is just selling the usual homeopathic stuff pretty much harmless. But the latter company appears to be a completely different story in which lives could be critically endangered. Looks like a very dubious business model with a completely baseless science theory (I might dedicate a separate blog post once I gathered more information on its background). One page of the website is supposed to be dedicated to the "scientific background" of her treatments. It lists several papers of which all of them are unavailable (links are broken). Tried to search some paper titles in usual research databases and google - surprise - no hits. According to their website they produce their own remedies against all sorts of diseases but you have to fly to and get treated in Munich, Germany (as apparently the laws are more relaxed than in the States, although I still wonder how they pull that one). Why did I mention life threatening before? - In one of their testimonals - a diagnosed cancer patient was persuaded to stop his current radiation treatment and replace(!) it with their treatment option - then some short time benefits are shown (which are quite unrelated to the cancer progression), but what actually happened to the patient is unknown - he might just well be dead by now.
Adin Steinsaltz, Metropolitan Kirill, Imam Shamil R. Alyautdinov - Honestly, I had to smile, I seriously don't know if a rabbi, an iman and an orthodox bishop are the right persons to support such a documentary. On the one hand they want to appear scientifically but on the other hand they include some religious anecdotes. Yes, they probably all belief in some form of holy water but is that the point? Those interviews were solely included to please religious people and show them "Hey, believe in water, we got the blessing".
Kurth Wuethrich - He is the one who does not necessarily fit in with the other bunch of "researchers" not because he got a Noble price for his work in the 70s but mainly because I can not find definitive evidence that he is actually supporting the claims of this documentary. In addition, if one has a closer look in what he is saying during his interviews - there is nothing controversial, nothing ground breaking and nothing which supports the notion and ideas of the producers. It looks like they just got him to say some general words about water to have him on the documentary and make a big show out of it - "look he got a Nobel Prize you gotta belief us"
Two recurring people are Masaru Emoto and Rustum Roy which are well discussed in the already mentioned Sceptic Blog .
Alois Gruber (presented as Allois Gruber, Scientist) - no I did not just had a typo, they misspelled his first name in the documentary. His last name is correct, however they were again wrong when it came to the profession. Alois Gruber is in fact a businessman and founder of Naturkraft Bio-technology. What does he mainly offer?
"...Additional chemical treatment of the water contributes to the destruction of the information stored in the water. Developed by Mr. Alois Gruber, the EWO water vitalization method aims at restoring the original water quality, which means the retransmission of natural information to the water molecules."how is that done?
"...The EWO method effectively combines elementary processes such as water swirling for improving the assimilation of information, earth magnetization for specific impact on lime structures, deletion of damaging frequencies, and the specific transmission of information through a special information core. In detail, the ordinary tap water is channelled through the EWO DNA spiral, where it enters a swirling process that prepares it for energy absorption. Moreover, the water flows through an integrated magnetic field, which results in the transformation of the lime crystals in the water. As a consequence, calcite is transformed into aragonite, which puts an end to pipe calcification, and the tap water is ready to assimilate the original information from the spring water - the major goal of the vitalization method..."...sorry I know a lot to read and it sounds very complicated. In fact it isn't - Two things are employed - one is a regular vortex (remember Part I) and the second is a electromagnetic field which claims to transform calcite into aragonite. This should mainly act as a water softening technique and stop the build-up on limescale. Useless to say but so far there has been no scientific study published which shows any benefit of those systems. Actually it quite contradicts several basic physical/chemical laws. One problem could be that neither calcite or aragonite are ferromagnets (not responding to a magnetic field). Normally it is believed that some of those systems only work, to reduce the limescale build-up, because they have a small ion-exchange resin installed in the front (one way of cheating). At this point I have to mention the ion-exchanger is the regular way of softening water. Irregardless if this system reduces small amounts of limescale it sure does not transform your water into some magical liquid releasing the powers of the water's memory. But they have more to offer which could be of use, if we want to waste some money:
...I mean come on seriously?"The company's portfolio includes effective accessories that make use of the valuable energy encapsulated in water. There is, for instance, a pendant available in gold and silver, filled with high quality water whose energy flows into the human body. Worn around the neck during the day, the nickel-free pendant reduces stress and harmful environmental rays and thus increases and improves the zest for life and balance.Also filled with information water, the enterprise's practical EWO energy rod is the smallest water-vitalizing instrument available and is ideal for travelers. The rod is used to vitalize all liquids by stirring them for 30 seconds or you can use it when you wash fruit and vegetables. Naturkraft Bio-Technologie's special belt is made with hoses filled with water whose natural energy positively influences problem zones of the human body"
At this point I find it quite ironic that probably many people following those water beliefs or homeopathy in general, would eagerly dismiss established science with the argument that most scientists and insitutes are heavily biased and under the influence of pharmaceutical companies. Well, ...
Part III coming soon.....