Feb 05 2018

Neuro-Quantum Entanglement Pseudoscience

On the Canadian Entrepreneur show, Dragon’s Den, the dragons were given a demonstration of a clip (that’s right, a small metal clip like you would use to hold papers together or put in your hair) that the creator claimed would improve your balance, strength, and health through the power of “quantum entanglement.” The clips, called Neuro Connect, were “developed” by a chiropractor and his partner. The Dragons fell for it, amazed by the demonstrations, and invested $100,000 for a 30% share.

The show aired, giving a huge boost to the company’s sales. However, the way the show works, even when the Dragons make a deal on camera, the deal is contingent on them doing due diligence for confirmation. When they did they found that there were serious scientific objections to the claims being made by company selling the clips, NeuroReset Inc. The deal was off.

But this did not stop the show from airing. The public did not get the benefit of their due diligence – they protected themselves, but completely threw their audience under the snake oil bus.  Canadian news outlet CBC contacted the producer to get their response:

Executive producer Tracie Tighe was asked what responsibility the show has to protect consumers from products that make false or outlandish claims.

“The entertainment value of this first meeting is what appeals to our viewers and is the pillar of success for this reality format,” she said in an email. “The pitchers sign extensive releases/agreements and they are required to confirm their business proposals comply with all applicable legislation.”

Typical – in other words, we don’t care if we are deceiving our audience. We hold ourselves to no responsibility. We will air the Dragons fawning over a product we now know is bogus and where they backed out of the deal without giving our audience this information, because it is entertaining (i.e, it makes us money). So the producers of Dragon’s Den are snake oil salesman also.

The Neuro Connect clip itself is just a recycled scam. This is the Q-bracelet, the power band, the Goop stickers all over again. The formula is now well established. Take any small cheap piece of plastic, rubber, or metal. Give it an exotic name or one that implies a claim or a mechanism. Then claim that by wearing the doodad you will have more energy, better balance, improved strength, or that great catch-all term, “wellness.”

How does this miracle little thingamabob work? Science, or something. Energy, bla bla, vibrations, bla bla, magnetic quantum phase inverters bullshit, bla bla.

That is really it. Anyone can be the next energy doodad entrepreneur. Just find a factory in China that can make small plastic widgets really cheap and print your custom log on it, and that make up some formulaic BS about energy, and that is apparently enough to fool (at least for a while) allegedly expert investors.

To really sell it all you need is knowledge of a few simple parlor tricks. Here is NeuroReset demonstrating the parlor trick to sell their snake oil. Here is Richard Saunders in 2012 exposing the same exact parlor trick.

There are a few similar parlor tricks that have done a lot of heavy lifting helping snake oil salesman make their sale. The one in the videos is an old “applied kinesiology” trick that has been used in many contexts. You have the mark hold up their arms to the side. Then you push on the arm so show how weak they are. Give them the quantum entanglement whatever, and then when you push they are stronger – you can’t break them. However, small changes in where and how you push make all the difference.

There are other tricks where you have people rotate to see how flexible they are – they always rotate a bit further on the second try, and when they have a target to beat (when they are using the magical device).

And of course this is a great example of using the latest scientific knowledge to dazzle a scientifically illiterate audience. There is simply no way that a Canadian chiropractor has unlocked the potential of quantum entanglement. It’s a fair bet he does not even understand what quantum entanglement really is, or how we experimentally know it exists. He has no explanation for what is actually happening, or how he managed to exploit quantum entanglement in a little metal clip (I’m sure the physicists of the world are fascinated).

And when confronted with this he gives the same answer that most snake oil peddlers give:

“Can you criticize me for no peer reviewed studies? Absolutely,” he said. “We’re helping too many people, which is why I’m standing up for it.”

That right – I am too busy curing people to bother with conducting rigorous studies. This is a giant red flag for a scam.

Regulatory agencies are trying to do their job:

In an email, Health Canada said it’s investigating potential additional claims for two other Neuro Connect products. The agency said appropriate action will be taken if it finds compliance issues.

Sure, but this is just a game of whack-a-mole. There is an asymmetry here in which it is far too easy to mass produce these snake oil scams, which then takes far too much time and resources for a government agency to investigate. By the time they do, the company has made their money and moved onto the next scam.

21 responses so far

21 thoughts on “Neuro-Quantum Entanglement Pseudoscience”

  1. Nidwin says:

    Lucky bastards, both Neuro Reset and Dragon’s Den, that I can’t “communicate” the tingles to someone else otherwise I would make them feel, the hard way, the imgaginary energies, central nervous system influence and all that pseudo poop.

    And you have that amazing 3d animation of the whatever flow from bottom up to the brain (central nervous system up the the grey matter) that even I would think twice before truly trying it out to see how that feels. I admit, after giving it a second thought, I tried it and it tingles.

    And of course this is going to take ressources to debunk that could have been spent on usefull stuff. Sad panda here.

  2. michaelegnor says:

    ‘On the Canadian Entrepreneur show, Dragon’s Den, the dragons were given a demonstration of a scrubber (that’s right, a small metal scrubber) that the creator claimed would remove excess C02 from the air and save the world through the power of “climate science.” The clips were “developed” by Al Gore and his partner. The Dragons fell for it, amazed by the demonstrations, and invested $100,000,000 for a 30% share.’

    Pseudoscience is everywhere.

  3. Kawarthajon says:

    This story is quite interesting because Dragon’s Den is a show that airs on CBC, but the Neuro Connect was outed by another CBC show, called Marketplace, a show that does a lot of consumer protection stories: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/quantum-wellness-clips-marketplace-1.4513382

    Health Canada is the real fail in all of this. They have told the company to remove the products from shelves not because they don’t work, but because the company failed to register them with the Natural Health Products directorate. It is an empty process to get your NHP registered, with no requirement to show efficacy of your product, so we’ll expect to see these useless products back on the shelves soon enough.

    BTW, Marketplace is a great show, which is frequently responsible for debunking pseudoscience and exposing crooks involved in so-called “natural health products”. I highly recommend it to any sceptics:

    https://watch.cbc.ca/marketplace/season-35/03294e04-2c88-4df7-8182-39c87944a9e8

  4. SFinkster says:

    michaelegnor says “Pseudoscience is everywhere.”.

    Agreed. Many call it ‘religion’.

  5. BillyJoe7 says:

    Michael Egnor,

    “Pseudoscience is everywhere”

    Yes, and your multiply recycled pseudoscience and denialism was just debunked again on the “Carbon Capture” thread.
    …which is, of course, why you’ve ducked out and are hiding out here.

  6. bachfiend says:

    BillyJoe,

    ‘The Duck’ prefers to peddle his pseudoscience on Evolution News, which doesn’t allow comments at all, not just ones debunking his nonsense.

  7. johnpowell says:

    Someone should sue the producers for fraud – after all the show says they endorsed these guys to the tune of a $100,000 investment when in fact they did not.

  8. SleepyJean says:

    This exercise (minus the clip) is a test for balance, crossing your legs over, using your spine and arms for stability. Assuming your alignment is average, this exercise when practiced in sets, allows you to succeed at balancing on a flat surface. This can also be repeated as a tightrope walk.

    This balance exercise can become more complicated for stretching purposes if you bend down to touch the floor and pause, holding a few seconds before straightening yourself upwards. If you had a Neuro clip on the top of the sweatshirt as shown, you would get clipped in the face when performing the exercise.

  9. string puller says:

    Egnor- what predictions has has “ID science” made since 1970?

  10. bachfiend says:

    Another case of Michael ‘the Duck’ Egnor living in his simple-minded echo-chamber world of conservatives and alt-right authoritarians and their conspiracy theories as an attempt to understand a complex world – and failing.

  11. bachfiend says:

    Anyway. I downloaded the sample Amazon provides of ‘Green Tyranny.’ I think I won’t have any trouble deleting it. The author argues that acid rain doesn’t exist, that a nuclear winter wouldn’t occur after an all-out nuclear exchange (so there’s nothing to worry about an all-out nuclear exchange?) and there’s a ‘climate industrial complex.’

    Th final straw was at the start of chapter 2 ‘Malarial protozoa infest the mosquito’s brain to attract the insect to humans. Once the human is infested, the Protozoa alter the host’s door to make it attractive to mosquitos.’

    Really? Mosquitos (or at least the mosquito species specialised to bite humans) don’t like biting humans?

  12. michaelegnor says:

    [Egnor- what predictions has has “ID science” made since 1970?]

    Junk DNA isn’t junk.

    We predicted ENCODE decades ago.

  13. RickK says:

    Jeez, don’t chase Egnor around like a cat chasing a light on the wall.

  14. bachfiend says:

    Michael ‘the Duck’ Egnor,

    Junk DNA is junk. ENCODE was wrong in adopting an extremely liberal definition of ‘functional’ as DNA that’s transcribed at least once in a cell. Most DNA in the genome of eukaryotes provide no benefit to the organism (prokaryotes are different – there’s very little junk DNA in them).

    ID didn’t predict the non-existence of junk DNA decades ago. That was an assertion of creationists who found trouble with the idea that an all-powerful creator would insert anything useless in humans. It was a religious, not scientific, argument.

    ID, when it originated in the ‘90s after ‘creation science’ was ruled out by the courts being taught in schools as science – because it’s religion – adopted everything from the creationists.

  15. bachfiend says:

    Anyway, I also downloaded the sample of another book Rupert Darwall wrote ‘the Age of Global Warming.’ It’s equally bad and deletable. Another example ‘By the end of the twentieth century, the Milankovitch cycles had fallen out of favour. Scientists now favoured theories that explained climate change in terms of changes in the atmosphere.’ Really?

  16. BillyJoe7 says:

    Michael,

    You’re just going on a Gish Gallop of claims to avoid replying to criticism of claims you’ve already made. Your first comment in the “Carbon Capture” thread contained no less than ten claims, all previously debunked on this blog with no response from you. Your link to the details of Ted Cruz’ senate subcommittee enquiry has also been previously debunked with no response from you, and debunked again in that “Carbon Capture” thread and, again, with no response from you. But you keep on posting these claims – which I must now call lies – every time any thread with even a slight connection to climate change is posted or, as in this case, even if there is no connection at all to climate change.

  17. bachfiend says:

    BillyJoe,

    I wonder when ‘the Duck’ is going to ascribe credit to Donald Trump for the nearly 8.8% increase in the Dow index over the past two trading days and the 1,175 point increase yesterday – the largest ever one-day increase?

    No, wait. It was a 1,175 slide (worse than the Black Monday crash in 1987 and larger than anything in the financial crisis) and a nearly 8.8% decrease.

    I suppose we’ve got the answer to the question whether Egnor would ascribe blame to Trump whenever the sharemarket plummets. It’s ‘no.’

  18. BillyJoe7 says:

    bachfiend,

    On the most recent episode of “Planet America”, they had a slide show of graphs depicting changes in various economic indices over time that Trump has taken credit for improving since he came into office. In every single case, the trend was there long before Trump was elected.

  19. BillyJoe7 says:

    As for Rupert Darwall, he seems to be a person of underwhelming importance. I can’t even find him referenced in Wikipedia. And no climate science websites seem to have bothered with him either. Of course, he’s not a climate scientist, or even a scientist. He’s into economics and history and has written a book on the history of climate change, and another on the green revolution. As Christopher Hitchens used to say “Don’t waste my time”.

  20. EvilTwinSelf says:

    Sadly the UK version of Dragons Den is no better. Many episodes feature some level of woo, often of the naturalistic fallacy food type (‘raw’ dog food anyone?). One of the regular dragons, Tej Lalvani, is CEO of a large vitamin/supplement company which means he is often described as a ‘perfect match’ for anyone pitching foods and drinks with dodgy health claims. Then there is Deborah Meaden who seems to be drawn to anything with an ‘organic’ label slapped on it.

    In the most recent episode, we were treated to a guy selling tea drinks that claimed to boost your immune system (‘Immunitea’.. ugh) or help you to detox, as well as a company selling hemp-based skin creams and other products where it was strongly suggested they had medicinal properties. Both received some investment, IIRC.

    The dragons appeared disappointed that the supposed pain-relief properties of the hemp products could not legally be used in marketing, but none of them questioned whether the claim was actually true, considering the lack of any trials done. Funnily enough, the guy trying to sell it swore by it….

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