New age holy water

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I grabbed this bottle of Claire Brightwater water at a Whole Foods on Columbus Circle in Manhattan and when I sat down to drink it, I read the copy on the label. It makes more sense than a Dr. Bronner's screed, but just barely.

This water has been programmed with music, crystals & prayers for good health, happiness, creative energy & prosperity.
Here's an excerpt from a 2007 New York Times article about Brightwater's "programming" technique:
It is a complicated process. Once the bottles arrive from their source near Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Ms. Brightwater said, she lays out tumbled stones that she has “programmed for love, health and prosperity” around and on top of each case.

She burns sage and sweet grass, herbs used by the Native Americans, to clarify and purify the energy of the water, and prays for its drinkers to experience good health, good luck and prosperity. She said she then asks “the Great Spirit to help feed the hungry children, keep the waters clean and to protect the two- and four-legged on this planet.”

She plays CDs of Native American and Buddhist healing chants for 12 hours a day, until the cases of water are delivered.

Ms. Brightwater has found a powerful distribution channel for her water: two Whole Foods Markets in the city have started carrying it this year. Bottled water, measured in units, is the company’s top-selling item, and she said she is already hearing from appreciative shoppers. “So many people have e-mailed me to tell me they can feel the energy flowing through them when they drink the water,” she said. “I’m astounded.”

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  1. Dr. Bronner’s label copy is far more entertaining, and therefore more likely true. I call this principle “Occam’s Whoopie Cushion.”

  2. She said she then asks “the Great Spirit to help feed the hungry children, keep the waters clean and to protect the two- and four-legged on this planet.”

    And what about the 6- and 8-legged? Or the amputees?

    Of course, not that it makes any difference anyway. But she could have been nice and included everybody, not simply arbitrarily excluded the differently-legged.

  3. to protect the two- and four-legged on this planet

    Oh great, more ant hate… like they aren’t persecuted ENOUGH already.

  4. Yeah, astounded that anyone bought into this malarky. Still, what feels good for you is not necessarily a bad thing…

  5. Woo-woo water!

    Man, you could have all sorts of programmed water. Like:

    Yee-Haw He-Man Desperado Water. The cases are stored in a pen full of tumbleweed, dried bull testicles, and horny coyotes, and are subject to three days of bombardment with country music and the sound of a revolver going off.

  6. Bottled water is one of the most deviously brilliant scams to ever reach such a wide audience. I’ve met countless people that consider themselves earth-conscious environmentalists yet don’t see the inherent wastefulness of shipping water across the country (or ocean) in disposable plastic containers.

    Unless you’re living in a third world country just drink out of the tap! If you’re extra picky you can always buy a filter.

  7. Sounds like the water’s going on a vision quest instead of on a truck ride to the Upper West Side.

  8. I’ve switched back to drink tap water. It’s so much fun getting (almost) free water piped right into my home!

  9. @5: what if you’re not at home or otherwise not near a tap? I’m not positive but I’d bet the majority of bottles of water aren’t consumed at home.

    I certainly agree with your premise though.

  10. They’re selling this in -New York-??

    I’ll spare you all the “some people really are idiots” rant that I’ve got going on in my head right now, and instead point, once again, to the quality studies performed by the NY Department of Environmental Protection:

    http://nyc.gov/html/dep/html/drinking_water/wsstate.shtml

    Basically, city water (the FREE stuff) is some of the cleanest, most pure water in the nation, if not the world.

    Next up, a link to a Gothamist story about a hipster in Williamsburg who makes his -own- new age bullshit water!

  11. Apparently “she lays out tumbled stones that she has “programmed for love, health and prosperity.”

    Tumbling stones is a very abrasive and disorienting thing to do to stones… I doubt if they’re very receptive to her programming after being treated that way. They’re probably bruised and angry.

  12. Considering Masaru Emoto’s research into how water actually is affected by ‘positive energy’ projected towards it, maybe it is not as silly as it seems? Also, bottled water- terrible packaging, as plastic bottles leak toxins and is extremely wasteful, but then tap water has added fluoride, which is a mental suppressant, and then there is the assortment of prescription drugs found in most tap.
    (not making citations as you can google yourself :)
    -HPL

  13. “So many people have e-mailed me to tell me they can feel the energy flowing through them when they drink the water,” she said. “I’m astounded.”
    Your not the only one.

  14. Ugh, bottled water.

    This stuff, at least, has the distinction of being totally hilarious.

    Like Brainspore says at #5, it’s an insanely wasteful scam. I live in Scotland, a cold, grey damp, damp, damp place on the scuzzy end of the Bristish Isles. Therefore, I am pretty well served with water fangyewverrymush, and yet people (who often make many complaints about how skint they are) don’t see that bottled water is an unethical and expensive way to slake their thirst. “But look it isn’t environmentally unfriendly; the bottle squashes up small.”

  15. Hmmm… I’d like to program my water to run a nano-GPS system in my bloodstream. Sounds totally plausible.

  16. I bought some “fat free” water once. I’ve got a picture of it somewhere. I wish I could find it…

  17. @Airship

    Haha…yes, I’d like to see that “sourced from the pure air of New Zealand £10.”

    *psssftttt* *snuff* “Hmm, smells like sheep farts.”

  18. #10 phillamb168 wrote:
    Basically, city water (the FREE stuff) is some of the cleanest, most pure water in the nation, if not the world.

    Yeah, NYC water is great. A lot of folks don’t let it run long enough to get through crummy building pipes (that could be full of lead and stuff, too).

  19. I hope you paid lots and lots and lots of money for this bottle of miracle water!

  20. Is there a crystal-free version? I only like music and prayer (I grumble “Oh god” several times a day).

  21. Now Buddhists and the Hopi have one more thing in common besides the swastika. Maybe she should put that on the label.

  22. It could only be better if it were dehydrated water. Beats oilin’ snakes like we use’ta!

  23. of course they won’t mind paying me a little protection money to keep me from uttering curses over a map of North America and one of their labels.

  24. @19

    I’ve patented Bottled Sight. It’s like binoculars without the annoying magnification and lenses.

    “Everything looks better though Ted’s Bottled Sight®”.

  25. Why pray over them just until they have been shipped? Isn’t there time when sitting on the shelf where they might be prime for deharmonizing influences? Shouldn’t they be fully covered by prayer until consumed? After? Who set the limits on the prayer anyway? Wouldn’t 15 minutes work just as well, for full lifetime coverage?

    Voivoed@3: Apparently they are employing the classic Muhammad Ali system of exclusion. ;D

  26. @ #8 posted by wrybread:

    what if you’re not at home or otherwise not near a tap? I’m not positive but I’d bet the majority of bottles of water aren’t consumed at home.

    [begin Cranky Old Man rant]

    Back in MY day we used drinking fountains when we were outdoors and got water by the glass when we weren’t! And if we had to go somewhere without water we would carry a CANTEEN, dammit!

    [end Cranky Old Man rant]

  27. Man 7: Hi, uh, I have a little bit of pain in my balls whenever I watch VH1.
    Carlos Ramirez: Oh, here, try this, man. Ah, this is allll-naturalll ball juice. [the man takes it and drinks. Carlos and Chief Pinto chortle]
    Man 7: Wow, I feel better already! [walks away. Carlos and Chief Pinto laugh some more.]
    Miss Information: [joining the two men] And next we have Mrs. Broflovski’s son. [Sheila drags Kyle in by his jacket collar]
    Sheila: [let’s him drop to the floor] Okay, here he is.
    Chief Running Pinto: Ahahem, that kid looks really sick.
    Miss Information: Yes. He really needs his toxins flushed again.
    Chief Running Pinto: No. I mean, he look REALLY sick, man. You should take him to, like, a doctor.
    Customers: [look ar each other] Hmm?
    Sheila: But you’re more in touch with the earth.
    Chief Running Pinto: Look, bein’ in touch with the earth has nothing to do with dyin’, man.

  28. @ #34: It seems to me the most efficient thing to do would be to pray for ALL the planet’s water at once and be done with it.

    In fact, if the Catholic Church had thought of that solution we could have killed off all the world’s vampires long ago.

  29. Not really any sillier than having some guy in a long robe wave his hand over it and mumble a few words, though, and some people seem to think that does something, as well.

  30. Water is tainted the world over. Test water in any city and you will find remnants of estrogen, nicotine, prozac, etc. Her water is no different. Tap water for most cities is Waste water turned back into drinking water. The tests they use only account for bacteria in the water and not for DRUGS or estrogen, etc. There are many ways to purify water but none are truly efficient or sufficient. Filter=expensive, and temporary. Reverse osmosis=much better but still allows drugs through. Then there is steam distillation=best possible method and if you have ever drank pure steam distilled water you will note that it seems extremely wet and bland, exactly how it should.

    ANY water touted as healing water or spirit water is a scam and anyone buying it and believing it should seriously reconsider how un-intelligent or gullible they are. For that matter Evian AKA NAIVE! Has made millions off of idiots. Literally the name is NAIVE backwards yet nobody seems to notice how naive and ridiculous they seem while buying or drinking a $2 a bottle water.

  31. Nothing was more disappointing than drinking a bottle of Nestle’s bottled water and finding out it’s not some sort of fancy chocolate water.

  32. The bottle might make more sense, but the fact remains: Dr. Bronner’s is a body soap nonpareil. (If I am wrong, please advise me. “Kiss My Face” and J/A/S/O/N need not apply.)

    This water isn’t any better than any other water.

  33. oops, turns out the labels were switched. the original labels read:

    contents: 100% natural & essential oils from free-range north american snakes

  34. Brainspore: Good point. Especially potent when it’s raining in Transylvania. Glad we worked that one out.

    It would seem that people shopping at WFM for water have more money than sense already, so it’s a good way to determine a good mark. They should have a bridge sweepstakes entry form on the back of the label.

  35. Well, there’s some Dr. Bronner’s soap in my shower right now and I have to say, the label makes a lot more sense than this stuff. Dr. Bronner’s stuff just promotes working together and peace and blah blah blah.

  36. re: phillamb168:

    Yeah, I’ve read those reports about NYC tap water.
    I totally agree: NYC tap water tastes excellent. I grew up in Arizona and got so tired of alkaline (hard) water. NYC water, which comes from protected snowmelt lakes upstate (like Croton reservoir) tastes great right out of the tap.

  37. @5: what if you’re not at home or otherwise not near a tap? I’m not positive but I’d bet the majority of bottles of water aren’t consumed at home.

    I certainly agree with your premise though.

    See this is where people should see the difference between a water bottle and bottled water. One you pay for once and because they’re generally of a higher quality than the cheap disposable things that bottled water comes in you are likely to keep re-using for years. I know I had one attached to my bike for about 4 years before the lid finally gave up. I doubt I’ve ever used a cheap disposable bottle of water for more than about 3 days, although again I’m sure this is possible. However most people do not do either of these things, they buy the water, throw away the bottle then buy another. It’s absurd.

  38. this has got me thinking… what IS the largest volume of water that can get blessed holy all in one go? Do they cover this in the manual somewhere? Any lapsed jesuits out there that can spill some trade secrets?

  39. Bottled water makes sense for people who live in some agricultural areas. You can’t imagine the nasty smelling stuff that can come out of a tap. It passes health muster, but you’d gag if you got it within a foot of your nose.

  40. lived on a volcano for a year where the ground water ran through so much broken geology it came out the taps white. Yeah, bottled water for cooking can make sense. But only because we weren’t set up to catch the two meters of rainfall.

  41. *snorts*

    One of the first tiem i’ve felt the need to post “meh” or similar. Most the folks above me ahve pointed out the absurdity of this.

    But then again: if it makes you feel good, more power to you.

  42. This reminds me of these morons that talk about needing to “cleanse” their Tarot cards because of negative vibrations (someone touched their cards), using incense and “magic” crystals.

  43. Re #33

    Dehydrated water originated at my High School in the early 1950s. It was called Yolland’s Reagent, and was stored in rthe lab for many years. It was invented for saving space in space ships.

    Also a bottle of water from the tap cost less a cent, and just as efficacious.

  44. I find it interesting that she doesn’t purify the water… rather, she purifies the water’s energy.

  45. Dudes, whatever. I drank five of these last night and even made one into a heady chai tea with soymilk, blasting Enya the entire time, wearing my crystal wrap necklace and eating gooballs and this morning I woke up levitating. So there.

  46. Anonymous “Water is tainted the world over.”
    Nice one. Water has a tough enough time with its body image as it is. Way to ruin the party.

    Test water in any city and you will find remnants of estrogen, nicotine, prozac, etc.”
    But that’s the nutrients!

    “Her water is no different.”
    Let me be the first to say, “Ew, gross!”.

  47. If she’s astounded, wouldn’t that mean that she never really believed it would do any good in the first place? Doesn’t leave me with the impression of someone who isn’t just trying to market on the growing number of ‘healthy and spiritualistic’ mindsets being adopted around the globe.

  48. I’ve been places (sadly in Canada) where the tap water is only safe if you boil it. So there bottled water is useful. Generally though – I agree – bottled water is very silly!

  49. Ok, … I’m going to sound crazy for this but…

    I’ve been in the presence of native american ceramonies and spoken with cheifs before. I was even passed given the name Runningdeer. The quotes on the left side of the label are exactly how they would talk. And I this person would actually have a very interesting story to tell.

    HOWEVER, to attempt to market and mass produce a gift like that I think is not only foolish, but distasteful, disgraceful, and dispicable.

  50. “Tap water for most cities is Waste water turned back into drinking water.”

    Actually, all water is waste water, most of it millions of times over. Directly reprocessed waste water is generally more pure than any natural spring. They have to make it that way, even though it could be far less pure and still have no effect on health, just because of the psychological factors.

    You’re right, of course, that distillation yields the purest water, but it’s also incredibly energy intensive. I’m totally willing to tolerate a few parts per million of whatever if the science says it’s not going to hurt me.

    1. I’m totally willing to tolerate a few parts per million of whatever if the science says it’s not going to hurt me.

      The same science that gave us trans-fats and thalidomide? That level of trust in science is amazingly reminiscent of believing in new age holy water.

  51. This is why we had punk rock.
    I dunno what is worse,The mush brained woowoo that people will (gladly) buy ,or the evil venal bullshit artists that peddle this pointless shit.Probably deserve each other.The perfect gullable/venal feedback loop.
    Anyone want to buy a perpetual motion machine based on the idiogreed of the newage?

  52. Don’t drink water – fish fucked in it.

    Having told the truth I can finally go to sleep.
    Cheers.

  53. @Relgin:

    This reminds me of these morons that talk about needing to “cleanse” their Tarot cards because of negative vibrations (someone touched their cards), using incense and “magic” crystals.

    Errr… I hardly see the “cleansing” part of that statement as being any weirder than believing in Tarot themselves. You may have just said “This reminds me of these morons that believe in Tarot cards.”

    Are vibrations any weirder than Tarot?

  54. “That level of trust in science is amazingly reminiscent of believing in new age holy water.”

    Right, except exactly the opposite. Often scientific knowledge is flawed or incomplete. Doesn’t make it not the best thing to go on.

  55. Science saved my life, so I have a certain measure of trust in it.

    That said, the water we all drink is the same that was here eons ago. Recycled a zillion times.

    The water we drink in cities is indeed full of strange medical stuff, the water they drink in the countryside stinks chemicals, the only water some countries have access to is almost deadly, the only pure water available nowadays is distilled water.

    But the human animal is a resilient thing! I think we’ll survive.

    Not, though, if too many of us keep on believing unveriefiable imaginary crap. That’s not just funny (it is!) it’s also dangerous.

    Michel

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