Ghost Cancer: Psuedoscience and New Age Profiteering

EMF_Environment_Collage_01b

 

Oh yes, I do so love a bargain. I was raised by a thrifty grandmother who insisted on showing me how to stretch a dollar.

So when I found out that ghosts cause cancer, I was thrilled!

Confused? It’s okay, I will elaborate.

I came across some internet click-bait the other day proclaiming ‘3 Common Mistakes Smartphone Users Make That Destroy Their Health & How To Avoid Them Once & For All?‘. The link included a 35 minute video promoting the belief that cellphones cause illness, potentially including cancer, due to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) poisoning.

This was not the first time I had heard of EMR poisoning or similar imaginary illness, such as electro-magnetic hypersensitivity (or ‘Wi-Fi allergy’) which was briefly mentioned in the video. This was, the first time I saw a product advertisement that went along with it.

The product, a 24-karat gold plated ‘EMR Protection Device’ produced by VodeOX. The ‘patch’ as it is referred to in the video, sells for $49 and is purported to work for 1 year by placing the patch on a specific spot on the cellphone or laptop computer.

The video peaked my interest, mostly because it sounded like complete hokum from the beginning, but when I dug deeper, it got weirder.

The original video promoting the VodeOX patch was recorded by Rainbow Heart Freedom Eagle, a self-proclaimed healer and energy-worker, and appeared on her and her husband’s website BearandRainbow.com amid several videos promoting their various shamanic endeavors. The video lacked any evidence that EMR poses any danger but, instead spent much of the video listing vague anecdotal stories and insisting that EMR poisoning; makes people fat by increasing cortisol levels in the body, disrupts and counteracts the effects of chemotherapy, and causes cancer and/or leukemia.

With no evidence, I followed links provided and found a video on VodeOX’s website.

In the video, a VodeOX ‘chairman’ uses Electromagnetic Radiation Detector to demonstrate how his product prevents ‘harmful’ EMR. Since the video includes the use of both the VodeOX patch and its packaging, it may well be that the cardboard in the packaging and not the gold-plated sticker is blocking the electromagnetic frequency signal.

The point remains that EMF is harmless, but that is addressed further below.

A thought came to my mind, because I have seen EMR Detectors before.

Where have I seen that before?

I did an internet search for EMR Detectors and found that they are one of the key pieces of equipment used in Ghost Hunting.

So, I figured it out. Ghosts cause cancer.

Well, not really …

It does stand to reason though, however tongue-in-cheek that I put it, that the primary way in which ghost hunters claim to locate ghosts is the alleged ghost’s emission of electromagnetic radiation AND a growing community of believers in pseudoscience claim electromagnetic radiation causes all the worst possible illnesses including cancer AND the belief in ghosts and belief in pseudoscience are not mutually exclusive that somewhere, someone (or, perhaps, several someones) believe that prolonged exposure to ghosts can cause cancer.

But I digress…

Evidence!(?)

As the EMR Detector video shows (or seems to show), electronic devices emit electromagnetic radiation. What it does not show is whether or not this EMR is harmful, even though the ‘chairman’ of VodeOX and Rainbow Heart Freedom Eagle both assert that it is.

They are not alone. People all over the world are becoming more fearful of Wi-Fi, cellphone electromagnetism, computer electromagnetism, etc. This is one part lack of knowledge and one part confirmation bias. Since none of the YouTube videos, New Age Health websites, or well-meaning cranks off the street could provide me with the clinical evidence, I sought it myself.

First off, ‘electromagnetic radiation‘ is all the radiant energy from any electromagnetic process. So, even though the term EMR includes X-ray and gamma radiation, it encompasses all radiation from all electromagnetic sources; including radio waves, visible light, ultraviolet light, and microwaves. X-ray and gamma radiation are both ionizing, meaning potentially harmful, high frequency radiation. On the other end of the spectrum, radio waves and microwaves are both lower frequency and non-ionizing …

Meaning not harmful …

Meaning, the guy who insists that microwaves cause cancer was just another well-meaning crank I met at a bus stop. I have to quit repeating what folks like that say at parties.

Here’s a reminder of what we are talking about.

EMSpec
Notice the distance between harmful x-rays and non-harmful microwaves (the range that includes cellphone frequencies) and radio waves.

Cellphone emits radio waves, a low-frequency and non-ionizing form of radiation. The fear of EMR from cellphones is unfounded, but reinforced by something that does develop as a result of non-ionizing radiation; namely, heat.

Cellphones due heat up due to the effects of non-ionizing radiation. This effect, however, is not enough to heat up the core body temperature to a harmful level and, furthermore, poses no long-term health issues. If one were so inclined, they may place their phone in speaker-phone mode to avoid a case of ‘warm ear’.

No need for a $49 sticker on your cellphone.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 vodeox 1
VodeOX product comparison, via company website.

Similar to VodeOX, and the other three patches. The QuanThor cellphone patch takes the ‘New Agey’ feel to this pseudoscience product up a notch. $49 is the general price, it should seem but the QuanThor patch touts its use of “sacred geometry” alongside its claims of using 16 elements “uniquely balanced” for “optimal protection results”. QuanThor’s EMF/EMR Radiation Blocker is also apparently sold by a company named Healthy Self Esteem.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 emf hot head chart
QuanThor apparently helps prevent those pesky cases of hot ear due to prolonged cellphone conversations.
Screen Shot 2016-05-24 quanthor sgs
I am pretty sure they even got Sacred Geometry wrong. Are you sure you can trust your safety to these people?

I was to led believe there be talk of Ghosts?

So you are one of the approximately 74% of the American population that believe in ghosts, and you are also among the growing number of people who believe that electromagnetism can cause myriad health risks; what do you do?

The answer; buy an electromagnetic radiation detector!

So, you are in the market for a Ghost detector / emr detector. Where do you go? If you are like me, you go straight to the internet. I sought an EMR detector device in the selection on that internet shopping website ‘that shall not be named’.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 emf detectro 1
This is the standard (cheap) model. If you rather a machine that does the same thing, and completes other tasks, consider purchasing a radio, cellphone, or other wireless device.

The DT-1130 is a pretty helpful device if you want to know when you are being ‘bombarded’ with radio waves, micro waves, or other non-harmful radiation. It is, however, a very haphazard digital reading that shows multiple values within a fraction of a second. When a telephone call is being made, the readout will go from 000 (0 Hz, or no input) to 11575 Hz and back to 000 without time to record or note the result. There is an alarm, if you want to know that you are receiving radio waves, but this is still just a novelty. If you want to know if you are receiving radio waves, you can use a radio (a weather radio would be ideal). The moral of the story; you are always surrounded by radio waves.

Still, purchasers of the DT-1130 find that this product does, generally, help them find those non-corporeal interlopers they believe lurk invisibly.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 meter review 2
No, this is not a geiger counter.

Ghost Hunters use electromagnetic radiation detectors such as the DT-1130 for seeking out the idle dead. The rationale being, ghosts can be detected by minor fluctuations of EMF where they are not expected to be. Of course, since radio waves are everywhere, ghosts couldn’t be detected with EMF or these so-called EMR detectors because the electromagnetism is always already around and the levels may spike due to an incoming telephone call, or the movement of the device into or out of a radio frequency dark spot (such as near a conductive copper pipe or behind a concrete wall).

Still, ghost hunters not only seek out EMR detectors as part of their hobby, but tend to see spikes in EMF as read on EMR detectors as confirmation of their belief that they are in the presence of ghosts.

If you want to focus on ghost hunting, then the Ghost Meter is obviously a better buy.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 Ghost Meter 1
Not to be too facetious, but it is The Ghost Meter!

Solving the issue of erratic digital readings, The Ghost Meter uses an analog readout to measure milli-Gauss. Essentially, The Ghost Meter, along with the DT-1130 and all other EMR detectors are magnetometers and, thus, all magnetic or electromagnetic input can produce a reading. So, the analog readings aside, you are still only measuring ambient magnetism.

This, of course, is not how customer reviews of The Ghost Meter put it.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 ghost meter anss
Bob’s right. None of this makes sense.

So the conclusion, if taken to its ultimate extreme is as follows: either ghosts cannot be detected by minor changes in electromagnetism or in magnetism in general and/or there is no reason to believe that non-ionizing radiation such as radio and microwaves is harmful (which, is the verdict of nearly 100 years of research on the subject) or, if you will, ghosts cause cancer, live in magnets and may well be hiding in your cellphone.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 EMF Neutralier
This EMF Radiation Neutralizer receives dis-honorable mention because it is among the various products listed among those bought alongside EMF Blockers and Detectors. It is also, somehow $49 and, no doubt, does absolutely nothing.

 

How Belief Becomes ‘Real’

Is it crazy to say ghosts cause cancer? Is it completely ludicrous to think that radio waves from your radio are harmless but can cause cancer in high doses when they come from your cellphone or computer? No, its not crazy, its just wrong.

Just because there is no scientific base for the fear of EMF, that does not stop people from believing that they are at risk. The correlations in Rainbow Heart Freedom Eagle’s video connecting anecdotes and assertions as to the dangers of electromagnetic waves are generally how many people come to believe in a given imaginary illness, such as Wi-Fi allergy, or danger, such as electromagnetic radiation.

If a person whom you respect asserts an opinion, you are more likely to consider that opinion (perhaps without vetting the assertions). If that person is your significant other, in Rainbow’s case it is her husband, then you are all the more likely to adopt that opinion or belief (and, to a much larger extent, you are likely to have significantly aligned worldviews with your significant other, such that make said opinions or beliefs compatible). If the belief is strong enough, psychosomatic responses may further confirm that belief. It is possible for a completely unfounded, non-rationally grounded belief to not only feel real and have the appearance of being supported by evidence, and for everyone in your friend-group and family to believe and for it to not only feel real but to also have the belief effect you physically.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 emf chakras
Not sure how chakras factor in here.

This is the problem of paranormal and pseudo-scientific beliefs pose. The problem is not exactly a laughing matter, but faced with the shear impossibility of the situation as it constantly poses itself, it feels like humor is the only tool to maintain adequate mental health.

For Sale: One EMR Detector, Never Useful.

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