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 Рthey 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.

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