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I Said "No" at a Sales Party
My Neighbor Held

Judy Komorita

Several years ago, my next-door neighbor (a registered nurse) invited me to her house for a 'demonstration' of sorts. Two sellers were there, and about 15 friends and acquaintances. The sellers (a man and a woman) talked about this miracle healing product made from a plant that commonly grew in Australia. They claimed it was good for healing wounds and making skin softer. They told us wonderful stories of how the Australian army men carried it everywhere and used it for all sorts of skin ailments and wounds.

The sellers gushed over the product's healing properties, gave testimonies of how it helped wounds heal in half the time it would otherwise take, and urged us to buy it. In several forms. Soap, lotion, healing cream, maybe more.

After listening for a while and reading their flyers, I asked them for some scientific evidence. They started in with, "Well it's all right there in the flyers. See?" I told them "No, there are lots of claims, and some numbers bandied about, but that isn't scientific evidence." The woman came back with another testimony: "I used it on my arm, and it healed me in ten days when it would have taken 15 or 20 days with something from the doctor."

I said, "Look. I appreciate your testimonials, I really do. But they aren't verifiable, falsifiable evidence. Were double-blind tests done? Where are the test reports? Where's your scientific data?" We went back and forth a couple more times, then the man huffed up a little and said flatly "I'll send you some when we get back." (They were from out of state.)

The talk went on, the couple didn't look at me again, and then the party ended. I took the flyers home and stuffed them in a pile of other junk, and waited for the scientific data to arrive in the mail. It never did.

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This account was posted on June 28, 2000.