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GNC offering iridology

15/04/2008

Iridology is one of the biggest crackpot ideas I’ve ever encountered. It’s a form of alternative diagnostics that is completely unscientific, easy to disprove and is about as useful as palmistry. Furthermore, it doesn’t even diagnose what you currently have, but often claims to predict conditions that you may develop in the future, which you can’t falsify until the practitioner has already collected her money. It is often paired with homeopathy, so you can treat conditions you don’t have with medicines that don’t exist

I walked past my local GNC outlet and noticed a huge sign in the window offering iridology consultations. What the hell is up with GNC? They prey on people’s superstition and need for a competetive edge and perfect health by selling unproven supplements, ridiculously high doses of vitamins and fake alternative medicines. Now iridology? What’s next? Free tarot readings every full moon? It just goes to show that it’s not just patchouli scented hippies who fall for alternative medicine. Spandex clad gym rats are shelling out big bucks for placebos too.

Side note: It’s funny how tacking the suffix “-ology” can make something sound completely legit.

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One Comment
  1. emmajeans permalink
    17/04/2008 7:04 am

    GNC offer free iridology*.
    *= to members who pay a bunch of money per year to join.

    Free Iridology is a scam, even if you believe that iridology is not equivalent to palmistry. Basically, you go in and if they can’t find anything wrong with you (presuming, of course, they have the ability to find something meaningful – we’ll leave that point alone for this comment!), they ‘prescribe’ some store-brand vitamins. Expensive ones, of course. Ones that taste bad or are inconvenient, so you feel like you are doing something worthwhile. Ones that contain things that are useful or at least not harmful – iron supplements, vitamin C, folate, B vitamins…
    And they have it set up so you Can’t Get Out without walking past their counter.
    The language they use is designed to make you feel obliged – they have given you something for free, so now you must buy overpriced gunk-water that you don’t necessarily need, or feel something bad (guilt?) when you go in/walk past in future.
    GNC’s ‘free iridology’ pisses me off more than most, because not only do they do all these things, but in actual fact, it is not even really free.

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