When I googled the definition of quack, the first one listed is “the sound a duck makes”. This article is not about ducks.

This article is about the “snake oil salesman”. He (I found no examples of female quacks)usually an alleged “doctor”. In the late 19th and early 20th century, quackery was big business. 

Promising a cure for any and all ailments, the audacious quack rode into town on his horse drawn carriage with great fanfare.  You could buy one elixir for men’s ailments and another specifically for women. Both boasted “cures all—–”. The best of the quacks made money. It was working. Enough people were either gullible or desperate enough to believe him. 

My research on this says that the level of quackery peaked in the late 1800’s. The first Food and Drug act in 1906 was just the beginning of the control and/or ban of ‘snake oil” sales. However, it took another 21 years to legislate the enforcement power necessary to curb the quackery. The designation, Food and Drug administration (FDA) became law in 1927. Think about that for a minute —- 100 years passed before an alleged enlightened society like ours actually acted to stop these scams.

Now, suppose there was an internet in the year 1830. Instead of reaching only 20 people on each stop, the quack was able to reach 20 million pairs of eyes without leaving his home. (Note: I found no mention of any female quacks, hence, the male pronouns.)

The term “quack” is seldom used today, but the quackery is as pervasive now as it ever was.

I recently forced myself to listen to a long-winded promotional video exhorting the miracle curative values of sound waves. With the right frequency buzzing in your ear, all your stress, pain, and anxiety disappear. 

I said I ‘forced’ myself to listen to the spiel because the narrator offers no specifics such as cost or how the product functions. It is agonizing just listening. The sole purpose of the video is to convince you that you need sound waves without any substantive information. Just send the guy some money.

There’s one category of current TV prescription drug commercials which falls into the same category as sound waves and that’s drugs for Diabetes “Type 2”. There’s diabetes, a person’s physical inability to produce insulin and, then there’s that other “Type 2”. In layman’s terms, Type 2 means you probably eat crappy food, don’t exercise, and probably consume too much alcohol and/or nicotine.

I fixed my Type 2 just by stopping all that bad behavior and so have millions of other Americans. Friends and business associates who have done the same have told me my diabetes “went away”. Although the strategy and resources of “snake oil” sales are vastly different from 1830, the aim is the same —- send money!!!

About a year ago, without telling him my motivation, I asked my brother, a Pharmacist for 30 years, “Is there really such a disease as Diabetes Type 2?”. His immediate response — laughter! The same laughter you can hear as the Pharmaceutical giants deposit their profits.

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