In my line of work, where I often find myself trying to dig into the truth behind some of the most surreal and outrageous stories, I do find myself doing a double-take at just how outrageous some of these stories can be. Case in point is the phenomenon of targeted individuals and electronic harassment. In this article, I’m not yet going to cover the situation of TI’s in detail – I’m not quite ready for that yet. However, I recently stumbled upon an outrageous, terribly unethical scam that I would be remiss if I didn’t properly expose immediately in its entirety. That scam is called the Human Protection Software Suite, and it is currently being operated by a man named Rafael Born Caravantes. It is an especially horrendous scam, because it focuses on individuals who are already suffering from a strange, life-altering phenomenon, and it makes their situations even more difficult and potentially life-threatening.
Browsing General Scams
It happens countless times, when you are debating someone that either believes they are psychic, believes someone else is psychic, or wants to make an audience believe they are psychic, that humans only use 10% of their brains…so just imagine if we could unlock the remaining 90 percent. Now, most of our readership is made of of fairly well-educated, open-minded skeptics and believers alike, so it’s likely most of you reading this already know that the 10% idea is totally false. However, there still remains a significant number of people in the world that continue to believe human beings only use 10% of their brains – you see it in movies, on television and hear it on radio shows all the time. The myth spreads even though it isn’t true. Even the producers of the recent movie Limitless (which was actually a pretty good movie), were too lazy to do their homework. The entire premise of the movie was about a guy that “unlocked” the unused portion of his mind with a little pill. This myth has been around for a long time. There are quotes as far back as the 30′s and 40′s of people making the claim, and even Einstein himself repeated it, saying that he actually used more than 10% of his brain. (1) Reviewing most of the literature related to this myth, I am convinced that the silly myth only lingers within Western culture because believers in psychic abilities continue to promote it – even today.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising the public to be wary of stem cell therapy scams after three people were arrested last December. According to the FDA’s advisory, the men were charged with 15 counts of “criminal activity related to manufacturing, selling and using stem cells without FDA sanction or approval.” A fourth man is on the run. The FDA alleges that a 48-year-old licensed midwife named Alberto Ramon provided Medical University of South Carolina researcher Vincent Dammai, 40, with umbilical cord stem cells. Dammai used his expertise and the school’s facilities to grow the cells without the FDA or school’s approval. Francisco Morales, 53, was charged with falsely claiming to be a medical doctor who offered stem cell cures at a Brownsville, Texas clinic.
Here at TopSecretWriters, we’ve sometimes investigated claims by organizations that a certain natural remedy product can have specific health benefits, but never before have we seen a natural-food scam quite as widespread as the Acai Berry weight loss fraud revealed by the FTC on December 1st. The FTC often invests time and resources into investigating the claims of various products. The Federal Trade Commission has an excellent record when it comes to scientifically debunking various scams throughout the health product industry. However, the latest Acai Berry scam is one of the largest and most complex frauds perpetrated by a natural foods company to date.
On October 17, 2011, HealthGrades issued a press release indicating that the site offers assessments on the nation’s hospitals. According to the press release, “Patients are increasingly demanding objective clinical quality measures on which to base their healthcare decisions.” The site states that it offers those measures to the public, and that it considers itself to be one of the most trusted sources for information about the quality of service provided by physicians and hospitals. HealthGrades has been around since 1999. It’s most recent release stated that quality ratings are available for American hospitals. After browsing the site a bit, I quickly learned that the information present on the site was somewhat lacking. That is not to say that the site is devoid of any information at all, but the information that is contained was not very useful. Most of this information can be ascertained simply by reading a phone book!
Pseudoscience is everywhere: unsubstantiated claims passed off as science for the gullible masses. Instead of the usual rigor and research, these claims are often vague, unprovable and in some cases simply absurd. Here are a few of the most outrages cases of pseudoscience. The Pet Psychic Television network Animal Planet introduced a series in 2002 called the Pet Psychic, hosted by Sonya Fitzpatrick. Sonya says she can hear the thoughts of animal around her and can even “cross over” to speak with animals after their death. Sonya also offers her services as a psychic pet detective. The absurdity shows in one particular episode, as Skeptic.com points out, when Sonya makes the prediction that a llama named Tony has some behavioral problems. Of course, she didn’t come to this conclusion through the visible jerking and flailing of the llama. No, it was her powers.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that an average of 1 in 110 children in the United States has some form of Autism. Autism, scientifically known as Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), encompasses a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. These challenges are because people with ASDs process information in their brain differently than people who are not affected by the disorder. Though the disorder is more prevalent in boys, it really knows no boundaries. It seems that ASDs can occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. As prevalent as this disorder is, doctors and scientists are still not sure what causes it. This lack of knowledge has led to a lot of pseudoscience surrounding the disorder, much of which can be dangerous. Much of this pseudoscience in autism treatment is based on misconceptions, misunderstanding of the science, and downright deception. Unfortunately, the main victims of pseudoscience are the parents and children who are seeking a treatment or even a cure for Autism.
Turns out Wikileaks founder Julian Assange couldn’t make good on his promise to release secret information that could supposedly take down a Swiss bank and create a PR nightmare for Bank of America. Assange made the claim in 2009 and last year, saying he had documents that would reveal an “ecosystem of corruption,” according to a CNBC report. He told Forbes he had scores of documents that didn’t prove the banks were breaking any laws, but did show they were far less-than-honorable. Assange didn’t name the Swiss banks, but vowed to release the information early this year. Now, it’s July and there’s still no sign of the supposed incriminating evidence. He also claims to have a hard drive from a bank of America executive containing some embarrassing info. Still no word on what that is either.
The Securities Investor Protection Agency is warning consumers about an elaborate phishing scam that targets investment crime victims. This time, the cyber fraudsters are taking aim at those who have already been victimized by investment scams. The agency issued the warning after the organization learned that crooks were contacting the victims of investment scams, pretending to be federal SIPC agents. The scammers target those who already lost money to an investment scheme, hoping to cash in. The victims are contacted via email or phone and asked to pay an up front fee to recover their stolen investments. The phony agents then have the victims fill out forms with personal information and return them.
That “salad” might not be as healthy as you think. Researchers at the University of South Carolina say that food companies are tricking dieters by giving junk food healthy-sounding titles. A soon-to-be published study shows that dieters believe a product labeled as “salad” would be much healthier than one labeled “pasta.” “The fact that people’s perceptions of healthfulness vary with the name of the food item isn’t surprising,” USC Marketing Professor Calgar Irmak said. “What is interesting is that dieters, who try to eat healthy and care about what they eat, fell into these ‘naming traps’ more than non-dieters who really don’t care about healthy eating.”