Is Kristie Alley’s new weight loss plan a Scientology trap?

March 16, 2010

Yup, Kristie Alley has forsaken Jenny Craig and is now promoting a brand new weight loss plan. I’m sure that it must work because Kristie Alley would never promote a weight loss plan that didn’t and she has such a great track record for these sorts of things. Which is obvious since she’s still fat to this very day.

Kristie Alley after "successful" weight loss plan

The very fact that she’s now promoting a new weight loss plan should speak volumes of how successful Jenny Craig was in the long-term and, for that matter, how successful any weight loss plan other than simple calorie restriction (the only scientifically proven method) is in the long-term.

But anyway, as clearly unreliable as Alleys’ weight loss endorsements have already proven (which didn’t stop Oprah from letting Alley use her show to promote), let’s take a look at this “Organic Liaison.”

Anonymous have found links between Organic Liaison LLC and Scientology — the firm’s accountant, Saul B Lipson, is a known Scientologist whose company is approved by the church and based near its headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. Along with utter quacks like Hollywood mystical doctor Soram Khalsa, the board features Michelle Seward, an active Scientologist.

While this is not enough to support Anonymous’ claim that money from Organic Liaison will be channeled directly into the church, it does lend credence to the assertion that the program itself is, to some extent, based on a Scientology plan called the purification rundown. This was prescribed by L. Ron Hubbard himself, but criticized for being at best bullshit that claims to detox through vitamins, minerals, drinking vegetable oil and sitting in saunas, and at worst dangerous.

. . .

Organic Liaison offers to combine an organic food diet with “organic and natural diet supplements that replenish your body with essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients without the pangs of starvation or cravings you may have felt on other diet plans.”

It’s certainly priced like a Scientology scam. Membership costs $10 per month, or $89 for a year, and the package of supplements, called Rescue Me, is a whopping $139 per month. One you’ve ordered the kit, it auto-ships and bills your card again every month until you stop it. The kit contains three supplements, Rescue Me (claimed detox and appetite suppresser), Release Me (claimed relaxant) and Nightingale (claimed sleep aid), featuring many cheaply-available vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs and aids like vitamin C, folic acid, L-Tryptophan, fiber, green tea, calcium and magnesium.

The company also offers other supplements — notably Relieve Me, an anti-constipation supplement that Anonymous claim is related to Cal-Mag, a noxious-sounding dietary liquid developed by Hubbard that contains calcium, magnesium, vinegar and hot water. And that led some of those church members forced to drink it to, um, relieve themselves.

The evidence, while suggestive, is by no means conclusive. What is safe to say is that thousands, millions even, of people will be over-paying for unproven herbal supplements combined with a common-sense diet.

But how could they be jamming us. . .if they don’t know we’re coming? Yeah, I smell trap.

Former high-ranking $cientology explains why high-ranking $cientologists are usually giant fat-asses:


The Jesus Diet

November 24, 2009

Have no luck with those other diets? Maybe it’s time you tried the diet that asks the question, what would Jesus not eat?

Faith-based diets take the principles of Christianity and apply them to our overwhelming craving for chocolate, chips and cheese.

Advocates say dieters learn to fill the spiritual hole inside themselves with something more powerful than saturated fats.

The basic principle common to the U.S. programmes Christian Weigh Down and Thin Within (‘Helps you grow in faith while shrinking your waistline’), and the British equivalent Fit For Life Forever, is that dieters need to identify the deeper reasons why they over-eat, before they can hope to lose weight and keep it off permanently.

And if you really want to experience the passion of the Christ, the most famous and popular “faith-based diets” is The Weigh Down Diet created by Doctor Gwen Shamblin

Just kidding.

She’s not really a doctor. She’s actually a Christian fundamentalist.

Her unique method of cheerleading support, underpinned with the threat of God’s displeasure, has encouraged hundreds of thousands of Americans to throw off their excess flab and praise the Lord.

There are more than 30,000 Weigh Down groups in America, and the concept has just crossed to Britain.

Shamblin is a perma tanned, frosted-blonde size 6, given to homey pronouncements such as: ‘God created the wonderful flavours of blue cheese dressing, pepperoni pizza and chocolate brownies. He wants us to enjoy them – within His boundaries!’

She describes any desire to eat, apart from physical need, as ‘head hunger’, which, she insists, can be solved by an open heart rather than an open fridge.

And you know it’s got to work because it’s like designed similarly to Alcoholics Anonymous, which has a whopping five percent long-term efficacy rating, according to their own records. That’s much better than the quitting on your own. Oh, wait. It’s not. And like AA, Shamblin’s (which you can’t spell without the “sham”) diet requires the dieters put their faith in a higher power and confess to a room full of strangers as a means of confronting their demons:

‘Both offer a sense of spirituality, and recognise that someone greater than yourself is in charge – it’s not all down to you,’ explains Church of England Reverend Jan Harney, from Preston, Lancashire.

‘These groups offer a useful support network, driven by the belief that God wants the best for you, and helps to identify what’s holding you back.’

There are some weird foods mentioned like “brownies and blue cheese dip” but I’m pretty sure the diet requires one to eat nuts of one kind or another because after all, you are what you eat.


Calorie Restriction: Still the only weight loss plan that works

February 26, 2009

A new study has confirmed that weight loss is linked to calories in versus calories out. This study was put out by The New England Journal of Medicine. I’ve blogged about this issue before. It’s really nothing new, despite the fact that dozens of books come out each year peddling some other silly weight loss plan. None of them have been shown to actually work. But once again, this new study shows that it’s all about the calories.


News From Around The Blogosphere 10.2.08

October 3, 2008

Researchers catch Lake Victoria fish in act of evolving

Flirting with Palin earns Pakistani president a fatwa:

A radical Muslim prayer leader said the president shamed the nation for “indecent gestures, filthy remarks, and repeated praise of a non-Muslim lady wearing a short skirt.”

Speaking of Palin: Ron Numbers on Palin’s creationism

Pseudo-scientist Mike Adams compares Western Medicine to the subprime mortgage clusterfuck – Mike writes for Natural News aka woo central. And in a bit of wishful thinking, he writes this gem of an article entitled, Why the Institutions of Western Finance and Western Medicine are Both Doomed to Fail. To illustrate just how far gone this guy is, here’s an excerpt:

“The fraud of Western Medicine is that everybody can get healthy by taking fictitious patented chemicals (pharmaceuticals) rather than addressing fundamental issues of nutrition, exercise and exposure to consumer chemicals.”

With logic like that, I wonder if he’s related to Neil Adams.

Jenny McCarthy goes after the presidential candidates – Last year McCain said there was no doubt that a link between vaccines and autism exists. But Jenny says that McCain opted out of meeting with her at the last minute. According to the news sources, McCain denied her requests “after learning there’s no hard medical evidence linking vaccines and autism.” Man, I hope this is true because at least Obama has already spoken up recently and stated “I am not for selective vaccination. I believe that it will bring back deadly diseases, like polio.” I’ll take it.

Also, I previously blogged about a letter to the editor I wrote to my local newspaper concerning the antivaccination movement. Today an edited version of that article appeared in the paper.

New research casts doubts on calorie restriction?

Atheism 101 reading list

Sony promotes The God Delusion! – Dawkins bestselling book was prominent in the promotional setup for the Sony Reader — an e-book reader much like Amazon’s Kindle:

YouTube censors another cracker desecrating video – Only this time it’s not even a Eucharist, just an arbitrary cracker.

-

Answers in Genesis reviews Religulous – Somehow I doubt they’ll declare it a must-see. They’re still sore over having. . .

“. . .experienced Maher’s subterfuge and dishonesty last year in gaining access to the Creation Museum and AiG President Ken Ham for a (fictitious) documentary on the “cultural landscape of the United States.”

This is ironic considering how fine they were with the far more elaborate subterfuge by the makers of the anti-evolution mockumentary “Expelled.” Pot. Kettle. Black. Bullshit!

Do TV, movie, and game ratings really do any good?

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

New Species Thanks To Different Ways Of Seeing – “A study of brightly coloured fish has now demonstrated that this has less to do with aesthetics than with the sensitivity of female eyes, which varies as a result of adaptation to the environment. Females more attuned to blue will choose a metallic blue mate, while those better able to see red will prefer a bright red male. These mating preferences can be strong enough to drive the formation of new species – provided that habitat diversity is not reduced by human activities.”

Short RNAs May Have Contributed To New Species – “MicroRNAs, the tiny molecules that fine-tune gene expression, were first discovered in 1993. But it turns out they’ve been around for a billion years.

Evidence reported in Nature on October 1 by scientists in the lab of Whitehead Member and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator David Bartel provides a window into the early evolution of these key regulators, placing their origin within the earliest of animal lineages. The research also suggests that microRNAs present early on have undergone extensive changes, which likely have altered their functions across various lineages.”

New Dinosaur Species Had Bony Frill And Horns – “The fossils revealed a herd of dinosaurs that perished in a catastrophic event 72.5 million years ago. The animals are characterized by a bony frill on the back of the skull ornamented with smaller horns. They also had large bony structures above their nose and eyes which lends them their name: Pachyrhinosaurus (thick-nosed lizard). These structures probably supported horns of keratin.”

Compact Fluorescent Lights: Mercury Problems? – “A team of Yale scientists has found that certain countries and some U.S. states stand to benefit from the use of compact fluorescent lighting more than others in the fight against global warming. Some places may even produce more mercury emissions by switching from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lighting.”

HIV/AIDS Pandemic Began Around 1900 – “New research indicates that the most pervasive global strain of HIV began spreading among humans between 1884 and 1924, suggesting that growing urbanization in colonial Africa set the stage for the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”

Teens With Certain Gene Have Delinquent Peers – “Birds of a feather flock together, according to the old adage, and adolescent males who possess a certain type of variation in a specific gene are more likely to flock to delinquent peers, according to a landmark study led by Florida State University criminologist Kevin M. Beaver.”


News From Around The Blogosphere 9.30.08

October 1, 2008

THIS DAY IN GOD:

Not all religiously-motivated terrorist attacks on U.S. soil are caused by Muslims – Some nutty American Christians sprayed gas into a mosque filled with kids. Some suspect this is connected with an anti-Muslim “documentary,” Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.

Consequences of Pulpit Sunday – As I mentioned in my blog 2 days ago, a group of religious organizations planned to preach from the pulpit to tell their parishioners who to vote for, deliberately violating the rules that afford them tax exempt status on Sunday. Americans United for Separation of Church and State is already filing complaints with the IRS.

Religious sentiment in New Zealand – A recent New Zealand survey suggests only 40% of the people believe in a god, and 10% do but have doubts. Only 52% believe in an immortal soul, and 80% accept evolution. Not surprisingly, this secular paradise is not the crime-ridden distopia theists would have you believe. Quite the opposite.

CREATIONIST NEWS:

Creationists are losing the battle in North Carolina! YEA! - I blogged about the creationist goings-on in North Carolina 2 weeks ago (here). Apparently the creationist Newspeak gambit isn’t working no matter how many times they insist:

Religion is Science

Science is Religion

Bill Gates funding the Discover Institute? – Et tu, Bill? As if there weren’t enough reasons to switch to a Mac.

CRANKS IN THE NEWS:

Mayor of Fort Mill, South Carolina sent a chain email around that said something to the effect of, The Bible says the anti-Christ would be a Muslim, Barack Obama is a Muslim, ergo, Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. Can’t argue with that bulletproof logic.

Christian Civic League of Maine blames Wall Street crash on gays – One would have thought the Jews would make better scapegoats for this one. But then again, who am I to tell the bigots how to do their bigotry?

“Our crisis is a symptom, not the cause,” writes Michael Heath. “I am not saying I know whether this financial crisis is God’s judgment or not. It is not for me to know that definitively.”

Hellmouth

Hellmouth

Conservative Christian reviewer calls Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast the “Mouthpiece of Satan” – Apparently he’s under the impression that all they do is sit around mocking god-belief. Though oddly, having heard every episode, I somehow must have missed that one. Oh, and also he also believes that autism is a “disease” and is one of many “judgments from God.” He calls it, “liquid blasphemy” (I guess it’s liquid because vaccines contain liquid). Of the podcast, he says:

“There is nothing redeemable in this podcast. It’s a propaganda mouthpiece for Satan and his followers.”

AND IN ANTIVACCINATION NEWS:

Jenny McCarthy fires back at Amanda “My Future Wife” Peet - I dare you not to laugh when you read this quote by Jenny:

“(Peet) has a lot of [nerve] to come forward and be on that side, because there is an angry mob on my side, and I like the fact that I can say she’s completely wrong.” She added, “I look at (Peet) now and say to myself, ‘That was me before I had autism in my life,’ and until she walks in our shoes, she really has no idea.”

Wah! Wah! Also, the national autism advocacy group Autism United is calling for a boycott of all of Amanda Peet’s movies:

“Our community will not support the continued misinformation that is funneled into the media by organizations like ECBT and the American Academy of Pediatrics. We are not against vaccines, rather we are for safe vaccines. Until they understand that, we won’t back down.”

Flash forward to a month from now when they’ve backed down. The difference between McCarthy and antivaccinationists at Age of Autism is:

“There’s a big difference. One teaches. The other proselytizes. May Amanda never need our help.”

Oddly, I agree on both counts. Peet teaches while McCarthy proselytizes nonsense and it truly would be a tragedy if Peet ever needed these delusional fools’ help. But yeah, as everyone knows the pediatricianazis are next to traitors in the center of Hell. Damn you, you pediatrician!!! Stop protecting our children!!!

Also McCarthy apparently couldn’t understand why Barbara Walters didn’t believe that her son, Evan, had recovered from the currently uncurable autism until Jenny found some convoluted explanation for Walters’ skepticism.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:

In Defense of Food – Here’s another blog recommending we stop listening to nutritionists and stupid fad diets and just eat rationally, citing the eating advice of one author who breaks it down to 7 words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Though blogger Harriet Hall makes a slight alteration to this advice: Eat a variety of foods. Not too much. Mostly plants.

What does a scientific consensus mean?

The Times investigates alternative medicine in a series of articles – But apparently in the most recent article, the author doesn’t take into account Bayes’ Theorem, which states that the more implausible the hypothesis, the less likely that any numerical data can confirm it.

Phil Plait interviewed for Popular Science Magazine regarding Moon Hoaxers

EPIC FAIL!

Congratulations to PETA for making the Epic Fail 2 consecutive weeks in a row!! That’s quite an accomplishment – Okay, I found last week’s stunt nothing but mildly amusing. But this time it’s personal! Now they’re blaming the genetic disorder autism on milk consumption. Anyway, Orac delivers a crushing debunking of their ludicrous, repulsive propaganda taking advantage of the current hysteria surrounding the disorder.

WHAT’S THE HARM?

Homeopathic/herbal scam artist sentenced:

A Shelby County man who scammed thousands of hopeful customers worldwide with bogus health-remedies pleaded guilty Monday to computer fraud and agreed to forfeit cars, motorcycles, bank accounts and other property. . . “We have victims from virtually every continent and there allegedly are several thousand victims,” said Steve Crossnoe of the District Attorneys Office White Collar Crime Prosecution Unit. “People were not receiving what they thought they were receiving. The medical research was fictional. The doctors were fictional.”

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

Mass Extinctions And Evolution Of Dinosaurs – “Dinosaurs survived two mass extinctions and 50 million years before taking over the world and dominating ecosystems, according to new research published this week.”

New Dinosaur Had Bird-Like Breathing System – “The remains of a 30-foot-long predatory dinosaur discovered along the banks of Argentina’s Rio Colorado is helping to unravel how birds evolved their unusual breathing system.”

Mars Lander Sees Falling Snow On Red Planet – “NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds. Spacecraft soil experiments also have provided evidence of past interaction between minerals and liquid water, processes that occur on Earth.”

Second-hand Smoke May Hook Kids On Nicotine – “Parents who smoke cigarettes around their kids in cars and homes beware – second-hand smoke may trigger symptoms of nicotine dependence in children.”


News From Around The Blogosphere 8.17.08

August 18, 2008

Tea Dieting – Sorry, you can’t lose weight by drinking green tea. Give it up, fatty. But why don’t you try my get thin quick diet? I can even sit around and make up 12 steps to make it sound more impressive.

Fellow bloggers Steven Novella & Rebecca Watson mentioned in Wired Magazine

Abbie Smith pretty much sums up my total disgust at the presidential candidates agreeing to participate in Rick Warren’s world of crazy after turning down a science debate.

And now for a moment of science:

New Bird Species Discovered In Gabon, Africa – “Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution have discovered a new species of bird in Gabon, Africa, that was, until now, unknown to the scientific community.”


The secret to weight loss and how to keep it off

August 7, 2008

One thing you probably don’t know about me is that I earn a little extra cash on the side by going to local libraries, buying their discarded books, and selling them on Amazon.com. I don’t make a lot of money this way but then again I don’t put that much time into it. I currently have over 500 books in my inventory.

But I’m not here to talk about my book-selling hobby. After starting this hobby a few years ago, over time I began to get a sense of what kinds of books sell for a lot of money and what kind aren’t worth buying at all because they’re a million copies on Amazon being sold for a penny, and thus next to worthless. One example of these books likely to cost me more money than they’ll make are bestsellers from a few years ago. What happens is that once everyone owns the books, most of them are going to put it on sale. And as with everything, competition brings down the price. And since bestsellers have so many copies being resold, the price has dropped to a penny.

But another type of book that I know to avoid are books selling a new diet plan…from several years back. That’s right. The library discarded shelves are the nearly final resting places for these failed miracle diet plans that have been marketed by “experts” for decades, and which were once trumpeted by a gullible mainstream culture as the answer to weight loss until they finally gave up.

So it occurs to me seeing all these diet miracle plans of the past now collecting dust in libraries across America that I’ve grown pretty cynical of contemporary diet plans, which largely employ the same marketing tactics of testimonials from satisfied customers, etc.

It seems to me that in at least one way diet plans work similarly to cults. For instance, when someone in $cientology isn’t seeing the results they were promised, the officials at “the church” have an easy out. They simply tell the sucker–err, I mean church member, that it’s they’re own fault they’re not seeing results because they’re “not following the plan.” Is this not the obvious out for unsuccessful diet plans? If you don’t lose weight, it must not have worked because of you’re lack of willpower or your laziness or whatever. It didn’t work because “you didn’t follow the plan.”

Diets don’t work, folks. That’s the conclusion I’ve reached. Sure, in some cases people might see results but it’s generally rare and takes a more commitment than I think is reasonable to expect from a person.

So what is the answer? I think Steve Novella has the best answer you’re going to get.

That’s it. Put down your Subway sandwich, Jared, Stay in control of your calories and you’ll probably do alright. Sure, the other stuff matters. I’m not denying that. But calories still remains probably the most important element in successful dieting.


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