Sunday, August 26, 2018

Jack Scott writes

Snake Oil

I am the TRUTH,

 the LIGHT, 

I am HOPE!

My HOPE sign is lit 

if you come at night, 
but I’m out to TRUTH 
while it's still light
Image result for snake oil salesman paintings The Snake Oil Salesman -- Morgan Weistling


  1. For centuries Chinese physicians have extracted fat from the mildly venomous, rear-fanged Chinese water snake (Enhydris chinensis) as an ointment to treat ailments such as fever, joint pain, and headache. Chinese laborers building the First Transcontinental Railroad introduced it to the US. Entrepreneurs soon began marketing "snake oil liniment" (usually mineral oil mixed with various household herbs, spices, and compounds) as a panacea for all ills. Clark Stanley, who claimed he was born in Abilene, Texas, in 1854 (though the town was not founded until 1881) claimed that he learned the "secrets of snake oil" from a Hopi medicine man at Waipi, Arizona, and began marketing his product (containing capacin and camphor) at traveling medicine shows, which included various entertainments such as freak shows, flea circuses, musical acts, magic tricks, jokes, storytelling, acrobatics, ventriloquists, or trick shots, to warm up the audience until a self-proclaimed "doctor" peddled his wares. (By 1900 the patent medicine industry was worth $80 million.) Stanley, the self-styled "Rattlesnake King," established Snake Oil Linament production facilities in Beverly, Massacusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island. he advertised it as a treatment for "Rheumatism, Neuralgia, Sciatica, Lame Back, Contracted Muscles, Sprains, Swellings, Frost Bites, Chilblains, Bruises, Sore Throat, Bites of Animals, Insects and Reptiles. Good for Man and Beast. A Liniment that penetrates Muscle, Membrane and Tissue to the very bone itself, and banishing pain with a power that has astonished the Medical Profession." In 1916 the Bureau of Chemistry examined his elixir and declared it to be both overpriced and of limited value, and then federal prosecutors in the US District Court for Rhode Island charged Stanley for peddling mineral oil in a fraudulent manner. His plea of nolo contendere (no contest) was accepted, and he was fined #20.00. The ruling set a precedent for government bureaucracies to exert greater authority over traditional practices in health and medicine and control or ban substances such as marijuana and opium.

  2. John 14:6 quoted Jesus as saying, "I am the way and the truth and the life" in response to -Thomas' question, "We do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?”


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