Monday, June 25, 2012

Null opposes "miracle" water infomercials


My thanks to The Pacifica Maven for pointing me to today's Gary Null Show wherein he takes Double Helix Water, its "inventors" and WBAI's pushers to task. After allowing one of its "discoverers", Shui-yin Lo, uninterrupted time to explain what Double Helix Water is, Null asks pointed questions and talks about the outrageous claims of "cures" made when the product was used to raise funds for a "non-commercial radio station". Not once does he name that station, but we all know that it is WBAI and that the main pushers were Tony Bates, Kathy Davis, and Vikki Hufnagel, the so-called "Ethical Doctor" (a true misnomer). These people are guilty of scandalous abuse of WBAI's air—all with the approval of Berthold Reimers who, when asked if he was going to do anything about it, suggested that it was okay, because Bates was using it, with good results. Reimers is the man in whose hands management of WBAI rests, and he seems to have been rendered impervious to criticism. 

I have excerpted the segment in which Null deals with this matter. You will hear Lo's double talk, just as he and his partner, David L. Gann, delivered it on WBAI's infomercials, and I think it will be obvious to you, as it is to me, that this is a con job. Notice that he is quick to assure Null that they make no claim of the water performing miracles—of course not, because they know that will get them in trouble, legally. However, if you heard Bates, Davis, et all selling this water over WBAI, you may recall that Lo's partner, Gann, was on the phone relating tales of miraculous cures—I particularly recall the one where he implied that the water healed an autistic child.

It would be interesting to hear how much WBAI paid for this "premium", which obviously was not received by the station as a philanthropic gesture. What do the apologists for Reimers, people that include Jim Dingeman and Frank Lafever, have to say about his giving Bates carte Blanche, even when it was to defraud the listener supporters? Was anything done with respect to the nor-so-ethical Vikki Hufnagel? Is it business as usual for Kathy Davis? Where was Knight, the station's self-proclained chief investigative reporter, when this was going on? Why wasn't he looking into what so obviously was a fraud being perpetrated on the station he himself has declared to be a symbol of truth and integrity? Did any of these people give a thought to WBAI and its listeners? I know that Mitchel Cohen did, and he tried hard to put an end to the scam, but if anybody listened, they didn't act.

Finally, why did it take so long for Gary Null to publicly question this? Did he have to wait until Tony Bates was kicked out? Perhaps he will explain that some day. In the meantime, he gets my thanks for challenging these scam artists on the air and, one hopes, paving the way for an honest fund drive—what a welcomed change that would be. 

 

7 comments:

  1. And my thanks to you, Mr. Albertson, for posting this information and providing a link to Mr. Null’s program.

    Two of my favorite programs on WBAI are Radio Unnameable and In The Moment. I can no longer stay awake all night to listen to them–Bob Fass’s show is 12 midnight to 3:00 p.m., Ibrahim’s program is now on from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., so I tape them using VHS cassettes. On 2 March 2012, I found that In The Moment had be preempted by an infomercial for double helix water. At about the 30 minute mark of the infomercial, Gann relates an anecdote of a man suffering from pancreatic cancer who was cured by using double-helix water. Although this was the most flagrant example of chicanery, it was not the only outrageous claim.

    Kathy Davis and Vikki Huffnagel should be fired. WBAI should offer to return the money of listeners who purchased this premium. I still have the VHS tape. Maybe I’ll send it to the FCC or to the office of the New York State District Attorney. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    WBAI is planning another fund-raising marathon for July. I urge those who are outraged at what current management has done to our station to interrupt the marathon with frequent phone calls questioning the station’s $1.5 million dollar payroll, it’s bigoted hiring policies, it’s awful programming, and its unethical premiums.

    Don’t support WBAI–Where Black Apartheid Izzat.

    The Pacifica Maven

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    1. I agree. I posted early on Chris's site. I'm a black female and this past week I gave myself a break from WBAI. I support two public programming stations. There are people of color who do commit themselves to diversity and intellectual dicussions. I have the opportunity to download programs from itunes. I want to support as much as I can, but what some programmers do to this station is disrespectful to listeners and they lack integrity.

      Thank you

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    2. You write, "There are people of color who do commit themselves to diversity and intellectual discussions." That is a fact that continues to be dismissed by the WBAI management. They obviously wish to appeal to people of color and seem to believe that such a shift in audience can only be obtained if the intellectual content of WBAI's programs is replaced by vacuous entertainment. To save WBAI and win it the respect it once enjoyed, requires a major overhaul that eliminates the strained "cuteness" and reintroduces or exceeds the original intellectual standard.

      WBAI should not aim at any specific ethnic group—its programming should be geared to reach people with intellectual curiosity, people who wish to be enlightened an all areas. That group knows no color or ethnic origin.

      When the listener is disrespected—as we see today—we cannot expect anything but a serious exodus—as we see today.

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  2. Went on Gary Null's website and found that he is the inventor of the CHI Belt and Magnetic Mask- products he promotes and sells - curious about the disconnect between his invention, promotion, and sale of "magnetic medicine" remedies are challenge to the double helix phenomena. Would love to hear your thoughts.

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    1. I thought I had posted a response to your question, but it seems to have disappeared into cyberspace. I apologize for that. Basically, I said that I had looked up the products you mention but that I did not have the time it would take to get sufficient details. THerefore, I gave you a general answer re my thoughts on Gary Null. I see him and WBAI reaping mutual benefits, but he ends up gaining more from the association, because he is getting air time that would cost a small fortune if he had to purchase it. Yes, he donates his products to the station for use as premiums—or so he says—but the promotion is invaluable. WBAI, on the other hand gets a mixed reward; Null does quite well for the station during its endless fund raisers, but he is also—I am told—responsible for opening the door to the legion of quacks that bring the station down. This began when Null was there the first time around and he is of course not personally responsible, but all that quackery has seriously altered the nature of WBAI, for the worse.

      You will notice that Null's challenge to the miracle water scammers came after it had been pushed hard on two fund raisers. I suspect that he waited so long because he was protecting his WBAI turf and Tony Bates, who brought him back to the station, was out of the way. The fact that he avoids mentioning the station by name is also significant. Null has his good points, but he is the slickest of WBAI's opportunists.

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  3. Thanks to Anonymous for her comments.

    Tuesday night at the Rose Theater at BAM, Bob Fass’s life and career were celebrated with the showing of Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson’s wonderful film, Radio Unnameable. I believe that Mr. Albertson appears in the film.

    After the film was shown, comments were invited from the audience. WBAI’s inept GM, Berthold Reimers, had the temerity to stand up and request contributions to WBAI for making Radio Unnameable possible. The next person to comment attacked Reimers for having the nerve to ask for money at a gathering of fans of Bob Fass. He pointed out that WBAI has a payroll that exceeds $1.5 million, not one cent of which goes to Bob Fass. His words were cheered by the audience.

    WBAI’s new website no longer lists paid employees. In my opinion, this is a good strategy for the station. Why would management want people to know that mediocrities like Esther Arma, Kathy Davis, Robert Knight, and Tony Bates get generous paychecks while people like Barbara Day (creamy voice, first rate mind), Bob Fass, Ibrahim Gonzalez, the Law and Disorder Team, and other first rate people get zilch?

    Re Gary Null. He’s definitely a mixed bag. Smart, manipulative, at times courageous, at times dishonest. His PRN has many outstanding programs that should be on WBAI-- I’d rather hear Glenn Ford and the other first rate journalists of Black Agenda Reports, who have a program on PRN, than that bombastic fool Playthell Benjamin offering disingenuous apologies for Barack Obama.

    He offers space on his program to Vandana Sheva, Helen Caldicott, and Chris Hedges. On the other hand he plagiarizes the work of others and defends nonsense like chelation therapy and homeopathy. I guess one should take him with a grain of organic,
    antioxidant salt.

    The Pacifica Maven

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  4. This may be one of the worse events in the half century of Wbai's history. Well former program director Mr. Bernard White's era of black bigotry, and Jew Hate still has the gold on this, but this one is certainly the silver in the shooting ya self in the foot Olympics.

    Insane. This was madness. As if our reputation couldn't get lower.

    A few of us on air folks took this on directly when it first turned up. That the whole staff didn't refuse to co-operate is a shame on us.

    Uncle Sidney

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