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← Penn and Teller: Placebo Effect

Penn and Teller conduct another one of their famous "Bullshit Tests". From Penn and Teller Bullshit!: Alternative Medecine

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Showing Revision 1 created 12/27/2011 by Priscilla Brinkmann.

  1. Yes, medical bullshiters prey on people looking for cures and desperate or bored people
  2. will believe what they want to believe. So, just to believe how strong the power
  3. of suggestion really is, we spent all day at a popular mall. We set p a bunch of
  4. outrageous fake medical equipment along with our very own fake doctor, who demonstrated our products to a
  5. lot of willing believers. Like this lady. Tell me a little bit about what your problem
  6. is. Oh, my problem is with my right wrist, it is something that kind of comes and goes and it makes it hard
  7. for me to move my wrist where it is painful.
  8. Magnet therapy, in case you didn't know, has been around for thousands of years. The
  9. idea is that the magnets attract the iron in the blood so if you would like to try it, . . .
  10. Sure - anything that would help relieve this pain . . ..
  11. Alright. We started with a child's toy magnet to see how that would work.
  12. Ooo. I do feel . . . Oh it feels like there is something kind of rushing through there . . .
  13. A little rushing sensation.
  14. Well, that magnet really seemed to be doing the trick. The only thing is, that earlier we demagnetized
  15. all the magnets and they were not doing diddley. Since the small magnets worked so well,
  16. how would a bigger magnet do? especially a phoney one made out of aluminum rain gutter?
  17. Wow!
  18. We want to put it above your hands here and start moving it and you tell me if you
  19. feel anything. Is that stronger or . . .?
  20. Oh, I feel it - right in here!
  21. And it is a little stonger!
  22. Our fake big boy magnet seemed to be doing the trick. But we were not through yet.
  23. So let's try our magnomitts, and these not only have magnets on the outside, as you can see,
  24. they have them sewn on the inside. See if this helps you to make it easier to do that for you?
  25. You know something? I actually think I am feeling some kind of relief with this magnet!
  26. Well, the magnomitts were really working, so our next product should be even more beneficial. [music]
  27. Our very special magnohat. Our patient gave the product a thorough workout before giving us her verdict.
  28. I have kind of a sensation of uh maybe a little more energy?
  29. Well, the power of suggestion was working its magic, so we wanted to know how much she would pay for
  30. a pair of magnomitts?
  31. Uh, magnomits like this? Oh, maybe 30 dollars for the pair.
  32. You know, if we worked her, she would go $50.
  33. Our phony doctor had is own bit of chiropractic fun flammery to try out. But was anyone going to
  34. fall for it? We have here a chiropractic coat. This is the first comsumer self-adjusting chiropractic
  35. coat. it is all done with weights. Can you feel that weight?
  36. Yeah.
  37. I can see that you are just sort of listing a little bit to the left here.
  38. Okay.
  39. You can just pull these weights and redistribute them, if you wanted to just stick that
  40. there, for example, very simple. Right?
  41. Yeah.
  42. Now we are going to take these weights here, and place them here.
  43. So what we are going to do now is let you walk in the coat, and we will tak to each other
  44. on this walky talky.
  45. Okay. [Flute music]
  46. How is it feeling?
  47. It feels good, It feels good. Everything feels pretty much balanced. Might have a little more
  48. weight to my left than my right.
  49. Try changing that right now.
  50. Okay, I made the adjustment.
  51. Let me know how if feels.
  52. It feels really good. I can feel it working my vertebras.
  53. Raise your right arm. Lets put the right arm out and the left arm up. Try lifting
  54. your leg onto the bench and just walking forward with your left foot on the bench and your
  55. right foot on the ground.
  56. Before using the chirocoat I felt more sluggish and after using the chirocoat I felt more energized,
  57. it kind of pulled my vertebras together and made me feel a lot better than I did before.
  58. What would you pay for a coat?
  59. I would pay upwards to about 200 bucks.
  60. So - let's go back to the mall to see if someone would take part in our good doctor's most ambitious s
  61. scheme yet.
  62. I hear your are here to have a little facial with our new patented mucous mask.
  63. Yes sir.
  64. Snail mucous, for example contains glycoprotein.
  65. Yeah - he said snail mucous.
  66. They are not really going to let us do this - are they?
  67. Let's start going here. Feel good?
  68. Mmhmm. They are nice and cool on my face.
  69. Feel that?
  70. Oh yeah.
  71. As they move its like me feeling across my face - where they leave their mark, my skin
  72. is tightening up.
  73. Yeah - he is enjoying his snail facial, and it wasn't just him - others went along with this too.
  74. Actually this is the first time I have ever heard of the mucous mask. It is a very
  75. relaxing experience.
  76. It feels better - I can tell especially underneath my eyes.
  77. There is a little circular massaging movement.
  78. Actually it is feeling pretty nice.. Like a mini-massage on my face. Like a little snail massage.
  79. Its really cool, I like that.
  80. And the snails can really sense where those eye wrinkles are and even more important, the snails
  81. really care about getting rid of your wrinkles.
  82. But surely people would not pay for this kind of treatment.
  83. I would probably pay about $25 for a mucous mask treatment.
  84. After their relaxing snail facial, it was time to find out what they felt were the benefits
  85. of the mucous mask.
  86. Oh, yeah, the wrinkles are gone around my eyes.
  87. My face does feel tighter, like I have used an astringent or some type of mask.
  88. It was all dry under there and now it is nice and smooth and relaxed.
  89. [music]
  90. These people are not stupid, these people are us. People trust others and sadly, sometimes
  91. that is the problem. We hit the people in the mall with the snail and had a good laugh and
  92. walked off. But some of these other doctors are at best taking money, and at worst hurting people.
  93. In between taking people away from treatments that could really help.
  94. Look, it is not our job to tell you how to live your life, but you don't want to be ripped off
  95. just because you are not asking enough questions. Fortunately there were plenty of people
  96. at the mall that knew the snails were bullshit, it just wasn't as funny, so we didn't show that.