Last month I wrote about an article in The Jakarta Post by Australian businessman Murray Clapham, who claimed to have discovered a form of healthy smoking. The amazing technology, combining ancient wisdom with nanotechnology, was the work of a group of unidentified “Indonesian scientists”, he said.
Clapham is a director of the Victor Chang Foundation, a charity named after pioneering Australian heart surgeon Victor Chang. Fellow directors quickly disowned Clapham and rejected any suggestion that they endorsed any form of tobacco smoking.
It’s worth having another look at some of Clapham’s bizarre claims:
Tobacco and smoking cigarettes were regarded as healthy and a successful part of medicine in many countries without a clear scientific explanation long after Columbus. Only in the last 40 years the link between poor health and cigarettes has become a focus. Why did it change and what should we do about it?
The Indonesians working on this project suspect it’s a combination of factors. Environmental pollutants affecting the tobacco leaf, pesticides and the fertilizers, together with some of the handling techniques and the chemicals placed in cigarettes…
There is growing evidence of the major impact of mercury in our environment and particularly dental interventions affecting our health that need study in the context of the smoking issue.
More exciting is the combination of ancient knowledge of tobaccos healing properties, new developments in science and nano technology providing the possibility of placing nano particles into cigarettes. The smoke then acts as a conduit to reach all parts of the body quickly to fight disease.
To conclude, let’s ban unhealthy cigarettes and promote healthy smoking. This will serve many purposes, the pro smokers can have their cake and eat it without fear, the anti smokers are likely to have a new cheap readily available healing tool.
So you see, tobacco is really good for you. The health concerns raised in the past 40 years are really just a matter of “focus”, and much further research is needed before we can settle this controversial “issue”.
All this left me wondering what motivated Clapham and where he got these strange ideas. Who are these scientists he so emphatically endorses and what research have they conducted?
Then I came across an Indonesian “doctor” called Gretha Zahar and her cohort of “meditative” scientists. They are peddling various cures and treatments for everything from cancer to autism, based on free-radical theory, traditional Indonesian herbs and massages, and “divine cigarettes” which use “nanotchnology” filters to transform, they say, ordinary cigarette smoke into fumes with quite incredible healing powers.
One of Zahar’s treatments includes blowing the “magic” cigarette smoke into the ears of children to cure them of autism. Packets of nano-treated cigarette filters are being flogged on the Internet for just over a dollar each. She is described as a nuclear scientist but neither Zahar nor her accomplices (including a “Budist with six sence”) seem able to reveal their breakthroughs in cancer research in normal English, hence the google-translater English on their website:
Not easy to understand explanation Gretha bu. Modern physics, nuclear chemistry, combined with nanotechnology, when incorporated into the description, the menus are pretty hard to digest. But apparently everything is very simple in practice. Medicine for all diseases it turned out there in our own kitchen: no eggs, coffee, salt, garlic, coconut milk, fermipan … Only one drug is unusual: a cigarette! Cigarette therapy is mixed specifically, the smoke blown into the ear canal, nose, and mouth of a patient through a tube. Patients placed on a copper board, dibalur with 7 kinds of potions, while smoke therapy conducted at the sidelines of the process. It is strange to see a sophisticated invention is practiced with so easy and simple, as simple as an old school era of village-style treatment.
There are also a few disciples willing to spread the word with uncritical blogposts:
Foundations for future growth of science that has been prepared by the bu Gretha and friends. This is a multidisciplinary science that not only holistic, but also unique, because it brings and realize the ultimate dream of mankind since the classical period. Me and my friends endlessly amazed to see a scientist who once ‘healer’, a moment to talk about advanced science in a mixture of Indonesian and English languages, and then he blew membalur and patients with bare feet, without gloves and caps nose. In the morning, dusk and midnight, ‘healer’ This took him membalur themselves with coffee, coconut and egg white mixture, or salt.
In her spare time she only needs to just lay down the floor, while blowing smoke into the ear klobot Divine. “The floor good for your health, because the Earth to neutralize the excess electric current that causes the rhythms are not in harmony in our body. Salt is good for capturing free radicals in our bodies. The best treatment is to use their bare hands, not the gloved hand, let alone machines, because … knowest thou not that the human body are molded nano greatest in the world? “, he said, smiling, as if to justify the ritual of our traditional healers have long used salt, eggs, bare hands, also floors in their medical practice. It is very appropriate to its name: Gretha means pearl, Zahar’s brightness, Revealed, grounded.
I wonder whether the elderly Ibu Zahar – or “strange granny” as one of her admirers affectionately refers to her – is among the eminent “scientists” of Clapham’s article. They surely deserve Nobel prizes for medicine if their claims are true! Clapham himself didn’t name them, so he leaves us with no choice but to speculate.
Anyone curious about the latest credible research into cancer and free radicals can check out the National Cancer Research Institute website. Basically there is no reliable evidence that antioxidants (such as Vitamin E and A) can prevent or even slow cancer, let alone cure it. And, ahem, the institute seems unaware of the fascinating Indonesian research into nano-treated filters on “divine cigarettes”.
Zahar and her friends also make claims about the causes of autism related to vaccinations. These have been floating around for some time but again, there is no reliable evidence of any connection. There is also no evidence that mercury in dental fillings can cause cancer or any other disease. The US Food and Drug Administration last year said: “While elemental mercury has been associated with adverse health effects at high exposures, the levels released by dental amalgam fillings are not high enough to cause harm in patients”.
For more information on mercury scaremongering, check out this article at Quackwatch called The ‘Mercury Toxicity’ Scam: How Anti-Amalgamists Swindle People. People with a special interest, like Clapham, might also be interested in this article: How Quackery Harms Cancer Patients.