Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thoughts on a Thor's Day

Snake Oil, Charlatans & Quacks, Oh MY!

Wikipedia (not an acceptable scholastic reference) says:

"Snake oil is an expression that originally referred to fraudulent health products or unproven medicine but has come to refer to any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit. By extension, a snake oil salesman is someone who knowingly sells fraudulent goods or who is himself or herself a fraud, quack, charlatan, and the like."

The Free Dictionary defines Snake Oil as:

1. A worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills, - (medicine) any of various liquids sold as medicine (as by a traveling medicine show) but medically worthless

2. Speech or writing intended to deceive; humbug, deception, misrepresentation, deceit - a misleading falsehood

Wikipedia (not an acceptable scholastic reference) says

charlatan (also called swindler or mountebank) is a person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretense or deception.

The Free Dictionary defines a Charlatan as:

1. a person who pretends to have special knowledge or skill that he or she does not possess; quack; fraud.

2. a flamboyant deceiver; one who attracts customers with tricks or jokes

Mountebank, beguiler, cheater, deceiver, trickster, slicker, cheat - someone who leads you to believe something that is not true

OK, you get the idea where I'm going with this, so if you want to stop reading now, I'm alright with that.

When someone comes out of the woodwork and professes to be an expert at anything, my bullshit radar goes into overdrive. For quite some time now I have been seeing posts on Facebook, in the blogs I follow, and even gotten a few emails about people who have proclaimed themselves to be Life Coaches, Spiritual healers, Tarot readers, personal development trainers, experts in divination and oh so many other new and exciting titles for those who have no education or training in the field they are trying to convince everyone they are experts in. Whew! I even had one person contact me directly here on Aoibheal's Lair telling me she had over 20 years experience at reading Tarot cards and would LOVE to do a reading for me, for $50.00. Let me make sure I understand this new phenomenon. I send $50.00 to your PayPal account and you do a Tarot reading for me, right? Umm, NO!

I'm sorry, there is no way on this earth I am going to pay someone any amount of money to do any type of reading for me ONLINE! Especially when I have never met the person, do not have any idea what their qualifications are (even if they tell me a hundred times they have over 20 years experience, I'm not buying it), nor have I ever heard anything about them except maybe on Facebook or from the link to their site they sent me. Yeah, anyone can make up a professional looking site, that does not mean they have the credentials, education OR experience to be doing what they are doing.

Look, I get it that there are actually people out there who can do this type of work. Honey, it ain't the ones who keep tooting their own horns or pimping out their website or advertising a *sale* on their services. And it is especially NOT the ones who tell you anything you thought you knew about your life before they came into it is nothing but a lie. You know, the ones who try and tell you "It is all wrong and I'mma gonna fix it for you". Pluh eeze!!

Yeah, I'm cynical and skeptical, and those traits serve me well...