Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” –Charles Darwin

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A few years ago, after suffering a slipped disc in my neck (which an orthopedist mistakenly diagnosed as arthritis, believe it or not), I went to a neighbor-recommended chiropractor, who successfully identified and treated the injury. I’d been hesitant to go to a chiropractor in the first place because I’d heard horror stories about such practitioners, such as Dr. Ruth B. Drown, who warranted inclusion in a book (The ENCYCLOPEDIA of LIARS and DECEIVERS) that I mentioned in my previous post.

DR. DROWN (1891-1965) was quite the quack. Case in point, excerpted from her DROWN ATLAS OF RADIO THERAPY: “Any patient who is weak and depleted should never take shower baths and stand in the water over the drain, because the patient’s magnetism is washed down with the water through the drain. Also, a weak patient, after having had a tub bath, should leave the tub and have someone else drain the water. Too many people sit in the tub while finishing the bath, and their magnetism is sucked away through the drain pipes, leaving the patient with that much less reserve.”

After years of making false claims and promoting fraudulent devices, according to the Encyclopedia, “In May 1963 the California State Dept. of Public Health deployed an undercover agent to gather evidence against Drown. The agent gave Drown blood samples from ‘her three children’ to analyse. The blood actually came from a turkey, a sheep and a pig. She also bought a Drown Therapeutic Instrument for $588. An expert dismantled the Instrument, showing that its switches, which had settings from 1 to 10, were totally ineffective: the power in the circuit was the same irrespective of how they were set.” But Dr. Drown died before justice could be served. Did Drown drown? The cause of death isn’t stated.

But perhaps Dr. Drown’s most egregious humbug was that she “also discovered a hitherto unknown cause of cancer: jazz music,” which she claimed “could be reversed by listening to more soothing music.” Fortunately, I’ve learned that it pays to seek a second opinion. I recommend….