Beware of Snake Oil Salesmen

Yesterday it was announced that the first diagnosis of Ebola infection in the United States has been reported. Obviously it was brought across the unprotected border by illegal Islamic immigrants working for the Islamic State drug cartel (I’m sure that accusation will be making the rounds soon enough)! Sure enough wherever there is fear there are people ready to exploit it. There is also a notable overlap between libertarians and the alternative medicine crowd (and I wouldn’t have it any other way because I love being in a movement that takes in the oddballs). That means I’m being subjected to people screaming about how we need to start taking colloidal silver to stave off Ebola. What is colloidal silver. I happen to know somebody with a chemistry background and I asked him. Hoping for a zany answer I was disappointed when he explained that colloidal merely means particles suspended in a substance. In other words colloidal silver is nothing more than tiny particles of silver suspended in a solution.

Surprisingly there are no scientific papers describing tests that demonstrate colloidal silver being an effective treatment for Ebola virus. But we all know those testing labs are in the pockets of Big Pharma (that’s what my alternative medicine advocate friends tell me). So where are the claims that colloidal silver is effective against Ebola virus? From companies selling colloidal silver. Shocking, I know.

But I’m here to tell you that you’re being scammed. Colloidal silver is not the treatment you should be seeking. As a person who has read a great amount on the history of alchemy I feel it is important for me to explain how diseases work and why colloidal silver is ineffective.

Aristotle explained that there are four elements: earth, wind, water, and fire. These four elements have specific qualities. Fire is primarily hot and secondarily dry. Air is primarily wet and secondarily dry. Water is primarily cold and secondarily wet (yup, water is wet secondarily). Earth is primarily dry and secondarily cold. The human body is in perfect health when all four qualities are in balance. If one quality becomes more than another there is imbalance and that is how illnesses occur. The name for the cold derives from the fact that it is an imbalance due to an increase amount of cold in the human body[1]. Therefore treating illnesses requires restoring balance to the human body.

You’re probably wondering what causes imbalances in the human body. The answer to that is simple, impurities. How does one counteract impurities? By introducing purer substances. It is well know that silver, due to its low reactivity, is a fairly pure metal. But there is an even purer metal and due to how severely imbalanced a human body must be to become ill with Ebola we will need the purest substance there is. Gold just so happens to be that substance. It is the purest of all substances, which is demonstrated by its low reactivity. As it is the purest metal people should be looking to take colloidal gold instead of colloidal silver. I know, I know, gold is really fucking expensive. But that is mostly due to a combination of its scarcity and purity. Luckily for you I have a solution for this problem as well. We must cease funding all other research and divert those resources to relearning the art of creating philosopher’s stones. With philosopher’s stones we can take an abundant but impure metal such as a lead and transmute it into gold. Once we regain that ability we will cure humanity of all ailments. In other words I just explained how to save the entire human race from Ebola virus. You can thank me later.

Most of you who read this probably recognized it as bullshit. The theories of alchemy based on Aristotle’s four elements have long ago been disproved. But the diatribe I spewed above is no less scientifically sound than the claim that colloidal silver cures Ebola virus. At least what I wrote above was, at one time, scientifically sound based on the available knowledge at the time.

When I wrote this one of my friends jokingly remarked that I was in the pocket of Big Alchemy (which is now my tagline). Meanwhile the people advocating colloidal silver mocked me and said that my claim was bullshit and not based on any scientific research. Talk about irony. But what really irks me about this whole mess is the predatory nature of these colloidal silver peddlers. They have a bogus product and use fear to convince people to buy it. In that way they are similar to the state. And that’s downright irritating.

[1] Unlike most of this article, this claim isn’t bullshit. The name for the common cold originally comes from the belief that it was caused due to an increase in the cold quality. This was due to too much water element, which was believed to be responsible for symptoms such as a runny nose. You can read about this and other interesting facts regarding the history of alchemy in The Secrets of Alchemy, which is an excellent historical book and not some zany new age shit claiming to teach alchemy.