EB writes: “I have a friend who is getting involved in direct sales for a company called CieAura. Specifically, my friend is going to be representing the CieAura Transparent Holographic Chips™, which the company is touting as a “revolutionary new technology combining holographic data storage and sophisticated homeopathic processes with Chinese medicinal practices devised over the past 3000 years. . . . This all sounds very ‘New Age’ to me. Can you confirm or deny? I’d like to warn my friend to stay away from this company if my suspicions are correct.”
EB, your suspicions are 100% correct. This is a New Age MLM (multi-level marketing) scheme that presents a variety of problems to me.
As you state in your e-mail, the Transparent Holographic Chips™ are computer programmed holograms that supposedly react with a person or animal’s natural bio-magnetic field surrounding the body. The site claims that this causes “minute positive disruptions of the bio-field that allows the body to balance its own energies.” When applied to specific acupuncture sites, people experience positive results such as improved stamina, deeper and more restful sleep.
The chips are small, clear plastic decals that affix to the body and are non-invasive, meaning nothing penetrates the body, and they contain no chemicals.
For Catholics, the primary concern about these products is that their mechanism of use is based upon the pantheistic belief in a universal life force energy that permeates the universe. This is how the company describes it on its website: “The natural meridians in our body get out of balance and cause blockages in the natural energy flow between the vital organs, cells and tissues of the body. The body works to connect these energy flows; however, without help, there is rarely if ever a balance in our body that keeps energy, concentration, stamina, and plus and minus (Yin and Yang) at the optimum level. With the introduction of CieAura PureEnergy plus Holographic Chips, we see and feel the body meridians come into balance, relieve blockages, and the energy flows take over.”
As CieAura founder and CEO Ken Rasner recently explained to the Houston Chronicle, when his chip is placed near the body, the body’s electromagnetic and biochemical energies “sense” or “understand” the energies that are in the chips. He claims to the process, which works via “vibrations” and “meridians” through a proprietary process he developed with a business partner.
(It’s interesting to note that Mr. Rasner has two degrees, one in music and the other in administration so I’m wondering where his scientific background comes from.)
Another concern is that there is no scientific evidence – not a shred – to support any of his claims, which is a very serious consideration as far as potential lawsuits are concerned. In fact, the company itself tiptoes around this issue by repeatedly stating that CieAura should not be used to treat medical conditions because this could get it into trouble with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
It does employ a disclaimer (big red flag): “CieAura assumes no liability or risk involved in the use of the products described here. We make no warranty, expressed or implied, other than that the material conforms to applicable standard specifications.” Not exactly a solid money-back guarantee, is it?
Serious scientific opinion on the chip is far from encouraging.
Dr. Rory Coker, a physics professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told the Chronicle the product “doesn’t even make sense. A hologram is just a piece of plastic with scratches on it. That’s it. It’s just a transparent piece of plastic with scratches.”
(A box of 18 of these “pieces of plastic with scratches” sells for a hefty $54.95.)
Dr. John Rodgers, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine’s immunology department, called the product “worthless” and attributed positive testimonials to a placebo effect. “I think they’re a gimmick, a product for a company to sell.”
Dr. Stephen Barrett, who runs Quackwatch.org, a Web site debunking questionable health-related claims, called the chips “total nonsense.”
Another issue that worries me is that CieAura’s founders are experienced in multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes including LifeWave, a similar holographic chip product that claims to work with the body via light waves, and that has been the subject of considerable consumer scrutiny for their claims.
It’s also worth noting that Ken Rasner also co-owns Harmonic FM, LLC, the company that produces the chips for the product – which means that at least someone is making a lot of money off this product!
Personally, I would never get involved in selling a product people use for health purposes that is not backed by its own manufacturer. How much liability might a rep have to assume if someone gets hurt with this thing – such as a child choking on it, or an allergic reaction to the plastic or adhesive, etc. In this legalistic society, someone will find a way to sue for damages and I wouldn’t want to be in that particular line of fire.
But above all, I would never sell something that promotes belief in a false god, such as the energy force this chip allegedly cooperates with.
For more information about New Age “energy”, read /?p=4
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