John Ellis Magic Water Ad In Popular Science

Seeing as how I was pissed off at BET for promoting Peter Popoff (the faith healer) and his exploitation of African American viewership, I think it only fair to mention a similar advertising pitch found regularly in Popular Science.  You’ll either see a  quarter page ad or this full page ad displayed below, and if it happened once I would chalk it up to the advertising department of the magazine taking the money and hoping no actual science enthusiasts would notice or not bother to complain.

But this is a recurring ad. I’ve complained once to the editor and posted a small rant on one of my personal cartooning sites, however, that site isn’t read as much as Freethunk. Because I still have a subscription I just received the new issue and again saw the ad thus prompting me to post it here.

I’m certainly not naive that my complaint is a drop in the bucket, but I’m hoping other science readers, regardless of religious persuasion, we’ll see this ad for what it is–an outright hoax! It’s understandable that a magazine, especially one that may not have a mass appeal, will take smoking ads, ads for sex pills and even the recurring ad in the back for free books and DVDS regarding the Anti-Christ. As an atheist I could say the Anti-Christ is a hoax too, but really it’s a mythology and I don’t see a scientific claim associated with it. Science enthusiasts are not all atheists and if they want to read about religion, fine by me. For the cigarette and vaping ads, they have large disclaimers on their ill-effects and the health risks are well-known. For the sex ads, the claims can be hyped to a certain extent, but Viagra will get you hard and they are required to place all sort of medical disclaimers by the FDA.

The John Ellis magic water ad is different then the rest and I believe it is dangerous to consumers and damaging to Popular Science’s reputation. The main claim of the ad? To increase the water properties back to pre-Flood (the biblical flood) times. This is apparently done by increasing the “Hydrogen Bond Angle (HBA) in ordinary water from 104 to 114 degrees.” In plain English, the claim is that if you drink John Ellis water you will live longer and your body will be younger (similar to the people who lived long lives before The Flood).  To further clarify in plain English, this is B.S.. Changing the bond angle of water molecules or altering water to match a pre-flood era (as if you could know what that is from a religious text) is not going to make you live longer. It’s no better than a placebo.

It’s extremely disappointing to see this ad in Popular Science. Fact is, it’s shameful. I’m sure with the rise of the Internet print has been pressured to take advertising from any and every source. But just as I would not expect Popular Science to accept an ad promoting “Nazi Eugenics For Societal Health” or “Alchemy Kit Will Make Make You Rich” or “Psychic Surgery Cruise To Heal Cancer,” I would not expect them to allow the Ellis magic water ad. Advertising is always a compromise, but I’m increasingly getting tired of it with scientific resources that do not use discretion. Admittedly, it’s harder to control with online advertising (click ads that rotate are very random) and I could see dismissing an Ellis water ad that was funneled in via Google advertising–but again, this is print! There’s no mistake, the ad was accepted with full knowledge of what it claims.

If Popular Science magazine needs to go the way of the dinosaur because it cannot support the print edition with reasonable advertising compromises (the cigarette ads, the alcohol and sex ads, the religious literature, etc) then so be it. I have to draw the line at this hoax. I’m receiving renewal notices now from PS and will be ignoring them. There are too many options to be scientifically informed to justify rewarding Popular Science with a magazine renewal.

To contact the Popular Science editor, here is the email address:

However, I don’t think it will do as much good as either linking to this article or creating your own article or a Facebook or other social media entry. Commercial enterprises don’t listen until they realize their target audience is ticked off  at something they are doing and will eventually cause a drop in readership. I guess Popular Science can go the way of Discovery Channel Networks and start reporting on Bigfoot, aliens, ghosts and psychic phenomena. There’s always going to be more money found when placating the gullible.

There’s a nice overview of the hoax at



Singing Nun An Embarrassment

This nun can justify singing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” all she wants. All I see is someone who wants to be a star with a recording contract and while sacred art may be an illusion, this certainly shatters any feel of the sacred. What’s the point of being a nun? To have the church support you until you hit it big? You’re a novelty, another reason why unbelievers don’t see a reason to join your church. Feel free to be “of the world.” If you were more sincere you would have walked away as a nun first and then started your dream of being a singer. But then it wouldn’t be a novelty if you weren’t a nun, would it?

BTW: “Like a Virgin” is about sex–Madonna’s whole career is about sex. There are only a few artists I know who can change the meaning of a song (Johnny Cash did it with “Personal Jesus”) and you are not it. All I see is a virgin (if that) singing about being touched for the very first time. But then who knows what nuns do behind closed doors.


Where Has Freethunk Been?


It’s November of 2014 and I have not touched this site in several months. Quite a bit has to do with the general busyness of life and this site is mainly a labor of love, or intellectual interest–whatever sounds good when you work on a site that isn’t for profit. The other part of not updating in quite awhile has to do with some apathy. It just felt like the same arguments keep being spun on faith and that  everyone insists science doesn’t know everything (True! Science doesn’t know everything, that’s the point: to use the scientific method to investigate everything, even the fallacy of faith-based arguments or even the fallacy of poorly argued science). I honestly became sick of both atheism and religion and found myself reading up on optimism for the future with new technology and science. Old mythology has nothing on the future. There are plenty of pitfalls coming, I anticipate the large percentage of them to be economic, but life does progress.

I’m also wary of the in-fighting I’ve read about in skeptical and atheist circles. It’s inevitable that such arguments will occur, some will be rather vicious. Atheist in-fighting is no different than the infighting we find among believers. We’re human and humans can be petty.

After combing through the comments and deleting the spam, I do appreciate the comments from readers giving their point of view. All are welcome to comment.

My plan is to continue to work on some book projects and hopefully resume posting on this site with some new News Bites and cartoons. Feel free to visit and be offended or chuckle or sarcastically reply. I’ll do my best to provide more fodder if you do.

Monster Energy Is Now The Work Of Satan

monster-energy-satanJust when you thought you had seen it all. Apparently, Monster Energy is the choice of drink for Satanists and ignorant victims of Satan. I admit, I have a bit of a nostalgic twinge for this sort of thing when family groups were going after heavy metal in the eighties and nineties looking for any symbolism or backmasking possible. Of course, the bands were all too happy to give it to them as they loved to offend.

Admittedly, I’m a fan of Monster Khaos which is getting harder and harder to find, but maybe the Satanic element to these drinks is simply that they contain too much sugar?