Wednesday, 11 April 2007

WCG Home Remedies

Charlie K. reminds us of the "good old days" when church members traded in suitably kosher advice on everything imaginable, from natural deodorants to dandruff cures. Two recollections:

Use Cold Cream instead of Anti-perspirant/deodorant.

Rub your scalp with apple cider vinegar to cure dandruff. (I know someone who followed up on this...What a stink! You couldn't get close enough to see if the dandruff cleared up).

Okay, so who can add to the list... bearing in mind the obligatory warning: try these at your own risk!


lussenheide said...

I remember HWA writing that a "vigorous daily rubdown" with a Turkish Towel was equivalent to a "workout in a gym".

Too bad it doesnt work ! It would have been a heck of a lot cheaper than the "Bowflex" that I bought!


lnrd said...

this one comes to mind.

The Hoary Head Is a Crown of Glory

Leviticus 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.

Proverbs 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.

Anonymous said...

Pour pure unrefined honey on your feet to cure athletes foot.
( wear socks to bed so as not to mess the sheets :)


Byker Bob said...

Wine and olive oil on external infections. That was actually an official one from the pulpit.

Various members had their owns, some of which worked, and some of which did not. A few come to mind immediately:

* Dolomite tablets to naturally cleanse the system and elliminate unnatural body odors. (As my grandmother commented concerning one of the advocates of dolomite, "P.U! We certainly know that doesn't work!")

*Fennel Seed to prevent stomach and intestinal gas. (See comment above concerning dolomite!!!)

*Lemon juice as a natural tonic (some suffered permanent dental problems as a result of this)

*Whiskey, honey, and lemon juice as a cough medicine. (I don't know whether it worked or not, but I personally enjoyed this remedy.)

*Baking Soda as toothpaste (except during DUB)

*Vinegar to the groin and genital area as a preventative measure against autosexuality. (A dorm mate at AC shared this one. I let the subject drop. Too much information already)

*Fasting for colds or other ailments. (Probably further weakened the immune system)


lnrd said...

use digression with this one

Then there was the one......

Use citric juice to prevent pregnancy.

It worked fine, only it seems to have taken a reverse, the Head it was applied to became Citric Lemons, leading, splitting and congregating into many conceived groups.


The Skeptic said...

Aw, man, this is bringing back memories. Anything "mainstream" was rejected, even evil, while anything "alternative" was considered somehow better, even godly. What were we thinking?

Anonymous said...

Cloves for bad breath....but we needed to brush our teeth cause the cloves smelled so bad. Some even joked, maybe the cloves could work for the underarms too.....ouch.

boston blackie said...

Wacking your liver repeatedly with back of the hand was reported as a favorite of HWA. The claim was made that it "stimulated the liver, increased circulation and aided in the cleansing of bile ducts".


We did this in club (once) as an exercise of sorts. Unfortunately, it also tended to increase flatulence and acid indigestion. IIRC, the men's room got a good work out that evening as well.


Anonymous said...

'THE GRAPE CURE' was big this was an old European idea (like British Israelism) where the the diet was confined to grapes, water and grape juice. TIME magazine mentioned a WCG minister puting a heart patient on this diet.

Lyle said...

Actually the apple cider vinegar trick for dandruff is not as insane as it sounds (but you should rinse it out eventually). Check out this link on dandriff remedies.

Here is the key quote:

Apple cider vinegar Apple cider vinegar will help restore the proper acid/alkaline balance of the scalp and kill a bacteria that clogs the pores that release oil to the scalp. The clogged pores result in scales and crusts being formed. Apply apple cider vinegar diluted 50% with water to the scalp and let dry. There is no need to rinse. Another similar remedy suggests pouring two tablespoons into a cup, applying the straight vinegar to the scalp, and leaving it on from 15 minutes to three hours before shampooing. Lemon juice may also be used. It is the acid in these remedies that helps bring the scalp back into chemical balance.

Anonymous said...

I had to have a chat with the church when I found their amazingly well behaved babies were sucking on bottles of water with red wine.

I used vodka in the water glass behind the lecturn but got caught when I said "David kicked the sh.. out of Goliah." I think I meant "slew" Just kidding.

Burt said...

Sometime after doctors were okayed in 1974, Don Waterhouse mused from the pulpit that, "We still feel guilty going to doctors, but we seem to feel less guilty if we see a quack."

Maybe it was continued guilt feelings that kept some of these "remedies" alive.


Trader said...

A weekly coffee enema was the rage among Pasadena WCGers in the late 1970s-early 1980s. Colonic cleansing was the goal, and at one point, the Ministerial Refreshing Program included a segment on colon health that had some rather "interesting" examination issues.

I am not making that up.

Anonymous said...

Urgent to athlete's foot sufferers!

I had a friend at SEP who tried honey on his athlete's foot. The honey dramatically worsened the athlete's foot, and he ended up unable to walk, sitting in the SEP infirmary for weeks.

If you value your feet, don't try that one!

Jared Olar said...

Honey for athlete's foot??? All that's going to do is deliver a mega-dose of sugar to the fungus!

"Yum!" the fungus says. "More please?"

charlie kieran said...

Burt - You probably hit the nail right on the head!

BambooBends said...

Aloe Vera was the cure all in the Phoenix church.

It seemed half the church was engaged in selling Aloe Vera products to the other half.

Although it tastes a bit like stale tequila. Or that barrel cactus juice they have you drink in desert survival class.

The active ingredient in aloe, salicylic acid, does help head aches. Birch bark (found in natural root beer) also has salicylic acid. Asprin is derived from salicylic acid.

Phoenix Pastor, Bill Rapp, used to take coffee enema's for his leukemia, along with juiced organic calfs liver. It didn't cure him, but he did live twice as long as the doctors predicted.

Neotherm said...

All this fits in with the Armstrongite view of special knowledge and exclusivism. Many people attracted to Armstrongism had been marginalized in society. It is a boost to the self-esteem to believe that you have special knowledge that makes you more effective than a medical doctor.

But this is a lethal mistake and it is precisely at this juncture that Armstrongism encouraged practices that resulted in death. But, of course, we had all been taught that these deaths were really caused by "lack of faith". So when somebody died, we knew the "plain truth".

I know of people who had easily correctable medical conditions but suffered with these problems for years. They would try naturopathy or go to a chiropracter instead of a medical doctor.

Somehow this was an issue of faith. But I could never quite understand how going to a chiropracter was within the bounds of faith and going to a medical doctor was not. They are both men and they both represent seeking healing from some source other than the direct healing intervention from God.

Dr. Wilmer Parrish once told me that "our people", referring to the WCG back in the Seventies, are willing to go to a health food store and buy things off the shelf that will hurt them worse than what a medical doctor would prescribe for them.

By the way, this moderation scheme is really a wet blanket. Is there that much that needs to be screened? It diminishes the currency of the comments you read -- like talking to someone on a cell phone with a long, long lag.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes,COLONIC IRRIGATION ("Trader")......
as far as it goes
is effective.Patients feel all clean inside afterwards.Yes,even modern "alternative health" practitioners still recommend HIGH coffee enemas.

Ti-tree oil or castor oil are good escharotics for removing benign excrescences(must check my spelling of that one)from the skin.They actually work.Take longer to act, but cheaper than cauterisation or diathermy administered by a physician.

Dollar-mite has essentially been devalued by some authorities.When I think fertiliser I think of Dolomite.Essentially it is Calcium Magnesium Carbonate.
They say it is good for cramps.

Peppermint tea is supposed to be good for "windy" conditions as described by Boston Blackie.

The Sodium Bicarbonate one always gave me a chuckle.This stuff is naturally inside your body and is connected with your respiratory and excretory mechanisms.To deleaven properly,we should have removed our lungs and kidneys.Bicarb Soda is used in home cleaners,fire extinguishers,water treatment,sometimes MUNICIPAL,butter/cheese manufacture etc etc.

And we did indulge in HERBAL remedies.Herb was most interested in the MINT bush for some unknown reason.


Anonymous said...

Some members covertly used wedge-shaped aspirins for splitting headaches.


Anonymous said...

WCG home remedies brings back many memories. I did do the Vinegar treatment for dandruff. I believe it worked. The only drawback was getting vinegar in my eyes - ouch that stung!

Anonymous said...

"A weekly coffee enema was the rage among Pasadena WCGers in the late 1970s-early 1980s. Colonic cleansing was the goal, and at one point, the Ministerial Refreshing Program included a segment on colon health that had some rather "interesting" examination issues."

And the joke was...will you have that with cream or sugar.....

Anonymous said...

"Aloe Vera was the cure all in the Phoenix church."

That is actually something the latin American's use for a lot of things.

Anonymous said...

Some more herbal revelations:

Stewed apple for those at a loose end or with a dire rear.The pectin in the apple soaks up all that excess fluid in your gut.

Olive Oil for those with a dire ear(softens impacted wax) or those Nordic members hard of herring.

Methylated Spirits for toe-jam(the alcohol removes the moisture in which fungus thrives).

Sinner Man powder for a dire rear.

Parsley tea for the waterworks.This reminds me of the hymn "All Hail The Power of Jesus Name". Remember the verse,"let angels prostate fall?"

Was apple cider darned rough on the scalp one wonders?

Jared is right about the honey feeding the growth...what a fun guy.Serious, folks.

The University of Waikato here in NZ is at the forefront of experiments with honey.Manuka honey,especially is good for burns,ulcers and other bacterial skin eruptions.Waikato Hospital(don't pronounce that latter word as does the Cockney)has had good results in ward trials with Manuka Honey.

Sugar and soap poultice for drawing boils.(I don't intend to bring things to a head.)

Cascara Sagrada or Senna Pods for those who are economical in their movements.Gallup Polls rate these as very effective.

That's it.


Ripley said...

In Pasadena, "Sugar in the Raw." Among other things, apparently.

Anonymous said...

Amazing how words fit together..colonic cleansing was an item on the agenda of the Ministerial Refreshing Programme, as "TRADER" relates.As far as it went, colonic cleansing was sehr gut(alimentary,my dear Watson),and very refreshing,leaving victims,oops patients feeling clean from top to toe.One wonders,though,about the sterilising techniques used for this length of hosepipe.

Garlic was good for all sorts of maladies,especially worms.Now, prolixity was an attribute of the average COG minister,but garlic left members long-winded in a different sort of way.

Cheese could be used to remedy a Calcium deficiency,but to some it was known as "bung".Out with the Senna Pods.

"Spirits of Fortification" (Sherry or Vinum Xericum)with grapefruit and honey somehow managed to prolong a bout of influenza.

Epsom Salts and Glycerine was an old remedy for drawing boils and carbuncles but not of the Simon variety.

And then there were prunes for those feeling seedy.Too many and you had the "Gripes of Wrath".

Tetanus shots were out,although at sermons you just wished that some of the clowns performing would develop a case of lockjaw.

Liquorice is tempting but I shall leave this well alone


BambooBends said...

1. An outgrowth or enlargement, especially an abnormal one, such as a wart.
2. A usually unwanted or unnecessary accretion:

A UCG member said...

...Dolomite. Essentially it is Calcium Magnesium Carbonate. They say it is good for cramps.

Cramps are often caused by calcium deficiency, and magnesium is essential in calcium absorption, so anything high in both is quite likely to relieve cramping.

The frustrating thing for me to see in people, both those who run to MDs for every little sniffle and think anything not from an MD is quackery, and those who think MDs are the ultimate personification of evil on earth but swear by "alternative" medicines, is the voodoo aspect of what they do. Neither group understands what's happening or why. Neither group is any better than "natives" going to the witch doctor.

Anonymous said...

Burt said:"
Sometime after doctors were okayed in 1974, Don Waterhouse mused from the pulpit that, "We still feel guilty going to doctors, but we seem to feel less guilty if we see a quack."

Our area was almost 15 years behind that little bit of information.

Three ministers came and went and not one of them mentioned it.

The last one was still preaching 'faith', not doctors up until Tkache took over, and then he did an about face and stayed on with Tkache.


Southern David said...

My brother had a bad case of athletes feet and applied the honey remedy to them. He went howling through the house to the bathtub and washed the honey off his feet. Dad a few months later applied honey to an open wound on his leg. He turned white as a sheet then passed out.

Here are some other remedies I remember;

After the death of Mrs. Armstrong, the church became obsessed about clean colons. A day without a BM, could mean a blockage of some type had formed. After all, this bloated feeling could lead to severe spiritual consequences. It could interfere with your daily prayer and bible study life. Satan knows just how to distract God’s people. He had already caused the death of Mrs. Armstrong and the whole church had become spiritually plugged.

The remedy was a specially mixed enema. The concoction contained well or spring water(too many pollutants in city water) a couple teaspoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice, and a couple teaspoons of red wine. Whew, sure glad our family never tried it. I remember families that had wells, bringing 5 gallon containers of water to church. After services people with an odd assortment of jars, would form a line to receive this magical water.

Now this next R/WCG remedy, is guaranteed to turn any pimpled face mamas’ boy into a virtual love machine. A few months before your wedding night, start wearing loose fitting boxer shorts, and sprinkle a couple tablespoons of wheat-germ on all your meals. Married men, are you too feminine to produce any male offsprings? Try the formula, it will have your wife popping out one son after another.

Well that wraps up my WCG remedies I remember.

Corky said...

Trader said...
A weekly coffee enema was the rage among Pasadena WCGers in the late 1970s-early 1980s. Colonic cleansing was the goal, and at one point, the Ministerial Refreshing Program included a segment on colon health that had some rather "interesting" examination issues.

I am not making that up.

No, you're not. My mother was instructed to do this to cure her colon cancer instead of having an operation . . . it didn't work.

Lyle said...

I'm sure glad that it was okay to use doctors in my area by 1972, when I was born. I was in critical condition and needed blood-plasma just to pull through. Had I been born JW instead of WCG, I would have surely died.

Those people who say you need faith to be healed can never quite explain how it was that Paul healed the whole island of pagans, whom he never once preached to. The account is in Acts 28.

Anonymous said...

alternative remedies often work however some of these were hilarious. Thanks especially to jeorg heinz and southern david whose postings were so funny.

Anonymous said...

The end-all, cure-all in the Cincinnati area, was to pay a visit to a quack homeopath who could tell what was wrong with you by merely looking into your seemed his standard diagnosis was "high blood pressure and low blood sugar."

When my parents took my sister to see him, because she was having siezures - he had a similar bs diagnosis - "Are you sure it's not epilepsy?" My parents asked.

"Absolutely no chance." Was his reply.

After increasingly worse and worse siezures - she was finally taken to a REAL doctor - where she was put on a regimen of proper medication for EPILEPSY, and has lived a normal life thereafter.


Anonymous said...

A minister in my church area years ago gave a sermon on white bread, (of course any refined flour, white sugar, white eggs, etc. included). Everything brown or green was o. k. to consume and good for us. He smashed the slice of white bread into a ball and bounced it on the floor like a rubber ball. Afterward, he asked the congregation "do you want to consume something like this"???

brave anonymous poster said...

my goodness.....did people check their common sense at the door when they came into the Church?

it makes me wonder how many true members of the Church there were in WCG (it sounds like most were simply looking for a man to follow)

Anonymous said...

remember a food sermon from the early 80s about the evils of all the "whites:" bread, crackers, pastas, potatoes; margarines; soft drinks (diet ones even more so). And then came what seemed to me like an even more than ever looney tunes admonition for the single men: never use PEPPER! The minister told us it was forbidden at the Ambassador College dining rooms. At a later time, in a one-on-one moment with the Pastor, I got up the nerve to ask why, and was told that pepper makes the "tickle stick" more, well, you know, and .....sin follows that.

Anonymous said...

As silly and strange as most of these "remedies" sound, they were used in almost all counter-culture groups. WCG was no exception.
I began attending in 1972 and I've heard them all.
Didn't practice any of them ... except for trying the lemon and honey cleanser along with a very expensive additive from a clinic in Pennsylvania. They had nothing to do with the church by the way.
It was awful and a waste of hard-earned money.

Honey, according to my college nutrition teacher has only marginal benefit over white sugar ... very trace amounts of minerals or something that is supposed to be good for you. And of course you NEVER feed honey to a baby. So what should you sweeten their "stuff" with? Why Brown Sugar of course!! (and for those of you who don't know, brown sugar is just white sugar with a bit of molasses added back to make it brown and slightly sticky!)

Most people did check common sense at the door and those who didn't had better pretend they did or they would find themselve out the door until they genuflected enough to the minister!

charlie kieran said...

Brave Anonymous Poster: Most of the WCG remedies and 'health' tips came from the podium. But I'll agree with you...Common sense was checked for many in the WCG, after all, we were told not to 'lean on our own understanding'.

Gavin said...

Reminder re "netiquette" - moderation policy is for no CAPS LOCK postings. Which is a shame when some of them are really relevant to the topic - as is whatmeworry's. I'd retype it, but there's only so much time...