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Column: Coronavirus has created opportunities for, shall we say, quirky cures

Televangelist Jim Bakker, seen in 1987 with his then-wife Tammy Faye Messner, is being sued by the state of Missouri for pitching a product he says can diagnose and cure COVID-19.
(AP)

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the best and worst in people. Dubious claims about miracle cures fall mostly into the latter category.

Some have received due notoriety, such as those made by televangelist Jim Bakker, who is being sued by the state of Missouri for selling a product called Silver Sol Liquid that Bakker claims can diagnose and cure COVID-19.

The lawsuit followed a warning from the Food and Drug Administration that Silver Sol Liquid and other products touted by Bakker “are unapproved new drugs sold in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.”

For every high-profile case such as this, however, there are numerous other products and services being pitched to consumers below the radar, many of which make equally questionable claims.

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One was brought to my attention the other day by Orange resident Robyn Palmer, whose sister is a registered nurse in the Boston area. Palmer describes her sibling as “generally having a rational approach to medicine.”

“Lately, she’s been promoting something called Scalar Light,” Palmer, 68, told me. “She claims it has protected her and her family from illnesses.”

Palmer’s sister also claimed actor Tom Hanks and his wife, who revealed via social media testing positive for the coronavirus, were successfully treated with Scalar Light, as was President Trump.

“I find all of this hard to believe,” Palmer said.

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Me too.

For the record, neither Hanks nor his wife, actress Rita Wilson, have any knowledge of Scalar Light, according to Hanks’ publicist. A White House spokesman declined to comment on Trump’s alleged use of whatever it is.

And that’s undoubtedly what you’re now wondering. Scalar Light? What the heck is that?

Before we go there, a word of warning: Natural disasters and emergencies can be a breeding ground for quirky claims and con artists. Be careful about anything that looks too good to be true.

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“Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits,” the Federal Trade Commission says. “Scammers are trying to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent the Coronavirus disease 2019.”

It’s particularly challenging to know if a potential remedy is on the up and up because Trump has been actively promoting malaria drugs as a possible cure.

Maybe these drugs do have medicinal value in battling the coronavirus. However, until such unapproved usage receives a green light from health authorities, such claims should be regarded as little more than wishful thinking.

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Then there are the out-of-left-field claims from the likes of Scalar Light.

I spoke with Palmer’s sister, Michelle Elise, 62. She struck me as a sensible, level-headed sort of person — until the conversation turned to Scalar Light.

Elise said both she and her 26-year-old daughter displayed symptoms of COVID-19 but, thanks to Scalar Light, neither tested positive for the virus.

“I think many people will say this is too good to be true,” she told me. “That’s because it’s a physics-based medicine, not a chemistry-based medicine.”

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Elise said she met the founder of Florida-based Scalar Light, Tom Paladino, at a “natural living” expo last November. Since then, she said, they’ve been in frequent communication.

She added, just so there’d be no misunderstanding, that neither Hanks nor Trump requested Scalar Light treatments. Elise said she was told by Paladino that he’d done it on his own, for free, from afar, “for the good of mankind.”

I reached out to Scalar Light. A company employee replied that “I have sent your message straight to Tom. He will get back to you as soon as possible.”

That was over a week ago. I’m still waiting.

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The company’s website, meanwhile, provides a sense of what’s being offered.

“Scalar energy originates from the sun and is a fundamental force in all of nature,” it explains.

The site says Paladino “has developed a remote treatment process whereby he is able to administer the scalar energy reverse-phase angle harmonic of a pathogen, thereby causing that agent of infection to disassemble or fall apart.”

“Scalar energy operates at the quantum level and is capable of disassembling all types of pathogens, thus eliminating the causative agent of disease,” it says.

Scalar Light says these energy bursts, which Paladino can deliver anywhere in the world using “a scalar instrument,” are good for viral infections, headaches, herpes, sleep disorders, stress, arthritis, digestion problems, chronic fatigue and other health issues.

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All for just $175 for a single month’s treatment or $145 monthly on a recurring basis. You can also sign up your pet.

Paladino’s LinkedIn page lists his profession as “doctor.” The Florida Board of Medicine has no license on file for a Tom Paladino. His Facebook page identifies him as a “researcher.”

It’s important to note the Scalar Light website doesn’t explicitly state that the company’s remote treatments can cure the coronavirus.

But a recent blog post from Paladino says that “an undeniably close correlation” exists between “the undertaking of a Scalar Light pathogenic cleanse” and a reduction in viral potency.

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“Test results for several other infectious agents are indicating that what works for one type of infection may be working for all,” he says. “Technology like this could be vital when addressing a pandemic.”

Or not.

A fine-print disclaimer at the bottom of the site says Scalar Light’s products and services “are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.”

It also says: “All sales are final, no refunds.”

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My advice is to listen to your doctor — and only your doctor — when it comes to treating the coronavirus.

That may not be as fun as disassembling pathogens at the quantum level. But I’m reasonably confident it’ll be both safer and more effective.


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