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Welcome back, folks! It's time again for the Snake Oil Bulletin, your weekly guide for all the hottest tips and tricks to feng shui your crystals into an alignment more conducive for your chakral energy surges. Y'know, bullshit. We've got a full collection of stories to cover so let's dive right in.


Anti-vaxxer issues nice death threats to California lawmakers, for the children

First on our agenda, a California man had a, hmm, let's say "difference of opinion" with Governor Jerry Brown over his most recent piece of vaccine legislation. In the wake of the bill's passage, our intrepid hero, Marlon Brian Andrino, decided to show his support for civil discussion and freedom of medical choice by threatening to murder California legislators.

Police say Andrino spray-painted “4 Every Kid Afflicted A Public Figure Will Die, SB 277” at four locations: the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, West Hollywood City Hall, on an Interstate 10 sound wall in east Los Angeles and a freeway on-ramp in the Baldwin Park area. “Andrino is unhappy with the passage of SB 277 (mandatory vaccination bill),” the memo reads, and he spray-painted the message “to express his dismay.”

Aww, you guys. He's so dismayed! Poor baby. You can understand his plight. He saw the rash of children across his state not getting polio or measles anymore and that couldn't stand. What else ya gonna do but threaten to execute public officials for made-up vaccine injuries? You could go to Twitter like some kinda butt-talker, but Mr. Andrino ain't no PANSY, brother. He goes hard or goes home. Oh, no. We mean he literally went home. Rather than detain Andrino, a man who has made overt threats to the lives of public officials, the California Highway Patrol has decided to let Andrino go home on bail. So that's fun. But don't worry your little heads none! The police were polite enough to issue a warning to the whole California legislature that maybe they should be careful now that this guy is roaming free, which is almost like doing something to help them.

In a final insult to injury, the Sacramento Bee lets slip that Andrino isn't even a Californian. Dude's a native of Ontario. In CANADIA. What is it with these Canucks hating needles? Wonder if they'd be more compliant if the needles were full of poutine...

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Someone finally doing something about those kid bleachers

Hopefully we can wash that dirty taste of anti-vaxxer violence out of your mouth with a story of a sorta victory against the people who put bleach in their children for "health." Yeah, you thought those assholes were gone, didn't you? Kerri Rivera is the High Sparrow of the Miracle Mineral Solution, a dangerous quack treatment for just about anything -- up to and including autism -- that involves ingesting or squirting industrial-strength bleach up the keister. And she advocates this system for children. Resume your wretching. Rivera lives in Mexico to keep the feds off her tail, probably to avoid the fate of her buddy Louis Daniel Smith, but it seems she wasn't fast enough. After visiting Chicago back in May to speak at the quack-riddled Autism One conference, Rivera tried to escape to the wiles of Mexico before anyone was any the wiser, but thanks to the efforts of some brave protestors, the Chicago Attorney General's office found out in time and mobilized.

[Illinois Attorney General] Lisa Madigan’s office dispatched investigators to a Rivera appearance at a suburban Chicago hotel in late May. After her seminar, they served her with a subpoena, demanding that she substantiate the claims she had made of her protocol’s effectiveness in treating autistic children.

Rivera negotiated with the AG's office, which eventually compelled her to sign an assurance of voluntary compliance to never do business in Illinois again:

As part of the agreement, signed by Rivera, she agrees to no longer present at seminars and conferences or sell any products in the State of Illinois. A Madigan spokesman told NBC 5 Investigates it is the Attorney General’s opinion that that promise includes a ban on conducting paid online consultations, which Rivera offers on her website.

She was doing online consultations too? Was there a side-scam this lady wasn't running? We'll say this about killing kids for a grift: you sure can make a pretty penny. It's the editorial opinion of your beloved Volpe that we'd have preferred to see Rivera locked up in Litchfield for a few seasons, but this isn't a terrible compromise. We'd also like to extend kudos to A.G. Madigan, who called Rivera in no uncertain terms a "complete and total quack" and her enterprise a "terrible scam," which make for some refreshingly slanderous statements to hear from an attorney. Now we just need Rivera to slip up 49 more times and we'll finally nail her but good!

Lying Liar Belle Gibson's book praises her "authenticity and integrity"

Last on our carousel of crackpots, we bring you some lulz from the file of one Belle Gibson. You remember her. She was the Australian liar who told everyone she cured brain cancer with diet and exercise, but then TO EVERYONE'S SHOCK she turned out to have never even had brain cancer to begin with.

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Well remember how we said she had a book coming out, but that its US release was shitcanned after word came out that she was a lying liar? Turns out the book still made it to shelves in her native Australia, and a delightful skeptic by the name of Kylie Sturgess managed to procure a copy from her local library of all places, and poured over the nuttery contained therein.

Sadly, it seems Gibson's book is mostly cookie-cutter organic recipes, vague warnings about fluoride and "hormones" in tap water, and assorted puffery for the book's star. If you want to read some truly vile recipes for "Chocolate, Raspberry, Beetroot and Zucchini Breakfast Muffins" (hork) you go knock yourself out, buddy. But thankfully for us, from the muddy waters of mediocrity shine a few golden nuggets of bullshit, namely the aforementioned puffery included in the book's 30-page (!) introduction:

Now I am settling into a diet without a label, because gluten-, grain-, mostly dairy- and egg-free, anti-inflammatory, with Ayurvedic principles is just too much to stick into one category.

It's good to know that Belle is so rich and well-cared for that she can spend all her free time thinking up new lists of food she won't eat.

I said right from the start that I was a brain cancer patient, on a quest to heal myself naturally. I was totally overwhelmed by the immediate response to my first posts… what I was writing about was really resonating with my community, and it still amazes me how we’ve all come together.

Yes, it's amazing how outright lies resonate with people who are so desperate for any kind of cure that they are willing to believe a stranger on Instagram. Funny that.

But perhaps the Kamehameha blast of hypocrisy comes in the form of one of those fakeass Q-and-A self-interviews toward the front, and all we can say is that it broke us:

What do you think it was about your Instagram posts that attracted so many followers?

Authenticity and integrity. It really is that simple. Too many people over-edit themselves. There’s not enough honesty out there. It’s human to feel sick, to ask questions, to search for answers… I used to feel quite self-conscious and sheltered, but now I embrace rawness and honesty. Never refine yourself in a way which takes away your heart, message and truest self.

Oh Belle, you card.

Flotsam, Jetsam, and Hokum

  • Loser Senator Scott Brown ain't a loser no more, no siree! He's found himself a killer new business opportunity! We like to think of the corporate structure as less of a "pyramid" and more of an upside-down funnel.
  • Rick Santorum is super jazzed for his upcoming nuptials to his labradoodle Mitzy. What, you thought we'd name the dog Duke or Fido? That'd be fucking gay, dude.
  • At Donald Trump's totally real not fake university you can double major in Trump and Trumpology with a minor in Trumpnotics, and still have time in your schedule for some extraTrumpular activities.
  • Fox's resident psychologist (minus the -logist) Keith Ablow had some scoldy thinky words to bellow at domestic violence victims; namely if you weren't such unladylike sportball players, your menfolk wouldn't need to smack ya up so hard, sugartits.
  • Thank God someone finally figured out that the real reason Bill Cosby definitely raped all of those ladies is because of all that rap music he loves so much.
  • For the next edition of Wonkette Book Club, we'll saaaay that we're reading Texas' new super pro-Confederate schoolbooks, but really we'll be hiding that hawt Kirk Cameron crockoduck erotica hidden between the pages.
  • Remember Jim Carrey? Neither does Hollywood.

[The Sacramento Bee / NBC Chicago / Committee for Skeptical Inquiry]

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