Tag Archive 'cult'

The Cult of Nutritionism Suffers a Setback

(photo: gualtiero)

In a fine blow to the pseudoscientific cult of nutritionism, an intensive study conducted by the National Institutes of Health applied the same laboratory standards to vitamin supplements as are routinely applied to pharmaceuticals. Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that the supplements exerted no preventive benefit against cancer, heart disease, or any other illnesses. Dr. Edgar R. Miller, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, puts it nicely:

“These things are ineffective, and in high doses they can cause harm. People are unhappy with their diets, they’re stressed out, and they think it will help. It’s just wishful thinking.”
(Los Angeles Times)

As Damian Thompson argues in Counterknowledge (his magnificent polemic against the rise of quackery and conspiracy theories in contemporary society), the alternative in ‘alternative medicine’ is to science and modernity, and has entirely predictable results.


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Applied Russian Bride Rule

Our friend Steve Newton picks up on my post of Rudius Media’s forum rules, and applies it to the comment management of Delaware Liberal.

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Almost Like a Spirit

Barack Obama

Hotair has video of Chris Matthews talking about Barack Obama on the Tonight Show, in which he tosses objectivity to the wind and replaces it with a kind of turbid political idolatry. He suggests to us that he wouldn’t be an honest reporter if he failed to tell us about the “spiritual experience” one supposedly must have at an Obama rally. Toward that he argues that if one does not cry at said rallies, they are not American.

Charles Feldman has a quote from Democratic media strategist Dan Payne on the same themes:

“We don’t know much about him. He’s almost like a spirit. People like the feeling they get when they’re in his presence.”
(The Feldman Blog)

Between Matthews and Payne, there you have the tripartite ideology of the Obama movement: an unfocused yet visceral emotional reaction, a transcendent supernatural magnetism, and an essential enigmatic vagueness.

Looking at this as a campaign, I’m inclined to agree with the others on ASHC who have suggested that there is something subterraneously unhealthy about these characteristics in Barack’s accelerating personality cult. It’s both too easy too much to compare this combination of emotion, spirituality and ambiguity with the authoritarian personality cults. But it’s also difficult to think of leaders who predicated their entire political purposes on such animating properties, and then delivered sound leadership for their countries.

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