Waterworks4u and Peter Goodgold An example of snake oil

An Introduction:

I am a youtube user known as Answers in books. I have posted this written post on science of reason because it would seem any attempt to criticize or even mention the company waterworks4u elsewhere is targeted by parties keen on censoring me. I am
eager for my voice to be heard for anyone looking to get a water ionizer be it from waterworks4u, Kangen water, Water for Life,Tyent, Alkalux, IonQuench, Chanson, Watershed, Jupiter, Alkazone, Enagic, Alkalife or any of the other companies selling these machines needs to understand the world they are venturing into. I thank SkepticTV for this opportunity and hasten to point out that science of reason have nothing to do with my written content presented here. Should any of the named parties have issue with this article then they should be clear that I am the lone person responsible for it.

I intend here to set out the following:

  • An account of waterworks4u and Peter Goodgold’s attempts to censor me.
  • An account of the questionable business practices of Peter Goodgold.
  • An expansion of why these water ionizer devices are of great concern.
  • Organizations that should be monitoring the water ionizer industry.
  • A collection of ways that you may get involved.

Waterworks4u and Peter Goodgold will be used as the example case of a water ionizer company. This is due to my most unwanted familiarity with them and their attempts to crush my criticism of them. I do not claim them to be wholly representative of their industry however I suspect that some if not all of their actions may find parallels with those of their
corporate rivals.

An account of censorship:

For anyone who is unaware of the events that befell me over this waterworks4u / Peter Goodgold scam controversy here is a ‘brief’ summary: I uploaded my video “Ignorance is no excuse: water, water everywhere but none of these drips can think” about three months ago. At the time there was some flow from my channel to the channel of waterworks4u and I expect that they were aware of the video’s existence.

A mirror ( re upload) of this video can be found here:

I received the ‘notice’ from waterworks4u on Sunday 30th of January. I replied in text and in video both of which said I would not back down to these threats. I also stated that civil conversation does not take place under threats. A link to a mirror (re uploaded version) of this video can be found here:

Other youtubers came out in support of this stand against censorship and started uploading copies of the original video and the video above. Somewhere over 100 of these now exist.

PZ Myers blog post also appeared at this time where he also repeated the statement I had made about waterworks4u and in particular that the company owner Peter Goodgold is a scam artist.

My first video was taken down by a copyright notice by ‘waterworks4u’ on the 1st of February. I counter filed against this action almost immediately. I posted a video of 19 seconds showing the take down notice letting supporters know of this action taken by waterworks4u. This is the one video of mine on this subject that at the time of writing still exists on my channel and can be viewed here:

DMCA'd by 'waterworks4u'

Waterworks for you then had their channel closed by youtube for ‘multiple or severe terms of use violations’. I suspect this was due to users who supported me pointing out to youtube that these people are engaged in a scam. I was also made aware that a twitter account of the same name had been suspended.

My second video was taken down by youtube for ‘inappropriate content’. No further explanation was given. I produced a video on Sunday 6th of Febuary 2011 updating my subscribers. I did not comment on waterworks4u’s product nor their CO. I mentioned the company name only in noting that their channel had been closed by youtube. Speculating that perhaps this part of customer protection. A mirror of this video exists here:

What a week update on answersincourt

I received a message on the same day that indicated the information from my counter notice had been leaked. A comment on this website’s article about this fiasco had been written by ‘Son of Peter’ that included this information. Whilst this is not illegal as far as I am aware it is in my opinion another indication that they seek to intimidate me into silence. The page in question is here: http://scienceofreason.org/blog/164-waterworks4u-wants-to-silence-our-friend

On Tuesday 8th of February my update video was taken down by youtube for ‘inappropriate content’.
And finally on the 9th of February I received word that another user who uploaded a video critical of waterworks4u yesterday had their video taken down as well. This video was produced by http://www.youtube.com/Lapkine
As of the 12th of March 2011 the current number of censored videos is 4. All videos are able to be found here: http://www.dailymotion.com/answersinbooks So now you are up to speed and aware of the facts. It is my opinion that Waterworks4u is censoring my output online in order to protect their business. A business that produces devices that have no known medical benefit that is not already achieved by conventional medicine at a fraction of the cost and that hypes their product on fictional primacies and bogus science such as all disease being a symptom of one condition acidosis.

An account of questionable business practices by Peter Goodgold and waterworks4u (an example of an industry):
As mentioned previously Peter Goodgold and Waterworks4u are being used as an example here. This is due to the fact I have grown more familiar with Peter and his company over the course of the attempts to silence me. I do not expect that all of Mr Goodgold’s business practices are also conducted by his competitors however I feel that many may translate well.

Peter Goodgold also would appear to own 68 domains. These are not all waterworks4u related however many of them are. The company appears to operate under multiple company names including but not limited to:

Indeed even ‘waterworks4u’ owns domain names including but not limited to:

There are even websites linked to waterworks4u that is registered to third parties such as his son, again including but not limited to:

Lastly potential resellers also carry much or the waterowrks4u content.

Your response to all of this may be ‘so what’? and I would urge you to consider this situation. Peter Goodgold owns many domains, has renamed versions of his waterworks4u website and a variety of businesses. This is something highly suggestive of someone who expects to be shut down or require to move shop at a moments notice. A concern for someone about to part with their money on one of these devices. Indeed it has come to my attention that one ‘Peter Goodgold’ was brought before a Florida Southern District Court (the jurisdiction that waterworks4u falls under) to defend a charge under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Now a fact that by its self is not damning but does throw up a great many questions of its own. The following link is to a website where various computer programming and website building projects are advertised. The site then allows for contractors to bid to take the job on. This page is a job posted by a user called “richway”. http://www.scriptlance.com/projects/1208016576.shtml

The job is to work on the waterworks4u website. User richway is logically either Goodgold or his commissioned web designer who is subcontracting. Well whatever the situation the user richway has commissioned several suspect projects including what are described as clones of myspace and youtube.
http://www.scriptlance.com/projects/1160772728.shtml
http://www.scriptlance.com/projects/1153846601.shtml

Now I stress these facts are not enough to prove any illegal or immoral conduct however if clones of these sites were made one potential use could be for phishing. Again this is by no means evidence but it may be opportunity.

However I am a heretic non-alkaline-water-believer, how about persons who unlike me actually believe in the devices Goodgold sells and had the misfortune to part with their money.

The first case found on a complaints board was that of a customer that purchased a misting lamp from one of Goodgold’s other ventures http://www.misterworks.com where he sells mass produced misting bowls that would most likely be imported from China for a fraction of their $59.99 retail price. These bowls are sold with the familiar medical benefit claims including:

  • Romantic “mood enhancement” lamp!
  • Beneficial negative ions purify the air – remove dust, dander, pollen,
  • smoke, mold spores!
  • Relieves stress, headaches, insomnia, stuffy nose, allergies, asthma,
  • sore throats!

The customer who made this public complaint has a tale of woe along these lines. They called an ordered one of these misting lamps when it arrived the box contained only wires and was not what they ordered. The following is their report of customer service at this stage.

the woman on other end of the line told me I misunderstood what I ordered. When I tried to tell her of my discussion with this person she cut me off and told if I returned it there was a 20 dollars restocking fee.

Well why I should pay a fee for something I did not order. I immediately called my credit card company and disputed the charge. I then called back the scammers and asked to speak with a manager and got the head scammer on the line. Again I was told I did not understand and I assume it was Peter because he told me that he trains all “his girls” very well so he was positive that no one sold me the mister lamp. He too would not let me get a word in edgewise and had his whole scam thing down. He informed me that he had not sold these lamps in 3 years. I called him creepy and hung up on him.

This customer also came to a conclusion similar to that I have formulated on Goodgold.

Also he has other sites misterworks is one of them. I guess the heat is on is currently site so he has move around.

Another poor customer purchased a water ionizer system from Goodgold at one of the many fares that Goodgold attends to sell his devices. The customer purchased a working system from the trade stall and ordered some additional equipment set to be delivered in a reasonable amount of time. This delivery did not take place in that time frame and the customer changed their mind about requiring these additional devices. They informed Goodgold via email of their wish no longer to proceed with the order and that they wanted to cancel the remainder, being reimbursed for the $1, 929 they had paid up front for them. Instead of receiving a reply they rang waterworks4u several times receiving no firm answer as to why they had not been refunded. Almost a month after emailing their cancelation the following happened:

After my July 6th email cancellation and at least four conversations with Peter and Michelle, guess what showed up on my doorstep on August 6th? That under the counter filtration unit plus two replacement cartridges valued at $1, 929. I immediately rejected the unopened shipment and had UPS return the package to Mediaworks4u. The UPS Tracking Number was 1Z539EW10349755780. Peter Goodgold had the audacity to resend that package back to me about 2 weeks later and illegally charged my MasterCard for another $25 shipping charge!

I once again called Mr. Peter Goodgold and his response was that we had a ‘contract’ and he simply fulfilled it. He never acknowledged my email or multiple conversations and tried to say my unit was ‘special ordered’ from Taiwan. He never called my order a ‘special order’ before. Remember when I placed my order on 5/15/08 he stated that the units were ‘almost’ arriving at US customs and should be through some time in mid-June. Nobody orders one unit from Taiwan. His cargo container must of contained hundreds if not thousands of these units. They are even offered on his website. It also takes 4-6 weeks to cross the Pacific Ocean therefore my unit was NOT a special order.

Despite managing to get a full refund thanks to paying by masterCard the customer had this to say of Goodgold and his company:

I will never do business with Peter GoodGOLD or MediaWorks4U again. STAY AWAY FROM THIS SCAMMER.

The final example of Peter Goodgold’s unsatisfied customers I will give here is that of a customer that purchased an alkaline water pitcher for $140 after tasting the water from a pitcher at a show.

When I received the pitcher and used it, the water had a terrible taste. I immediately called and was told to rinse it out a few times. Still the same taste. I called again and was told that it must be because the water in San Fran where I both the pitcher was different than the water in my own community. Living very close to SF, I used the San Fran water, still a bad taste. When I called again and asked for my money back because the water did not taste the same as what he samples, then I was told that it was it must be because my body was too acidic…

At this point the following was Peter Goodgold’s response:

He did say that he would take it back, with a 20% restocking fee and would have to charge me $59 for the filter, just about the cost of the pitcher.

The customer’s advice?

I would advise not to deal with this company as I question their integrity.

All reports taken from: http://www.ripoffreport.com/directory/WaterWorks4u.aspx

I remind you that none of these people are ‘skeptics’ on the issue of ionized water. Indeed two of them bought specifically alkaline water production devices. These cases illustrate the business practices and I would argue the ethos of waterworks4u, Goodgold and the industry as a whole. The ethos of this industry is one of profit, make a profit and have no ethical obstacles to get there. These examples in my opinion show that ethos at work.

This mindset is not simply contained to the field of water ionizers or alkaline water, it is so pervasive that a simple exercise device called a rebounder is a colossal $299.00. Now anyone unfamiliar with a rebounder may think that is a fair price. Well rebounders have a more common name ‘trampolines’. A very similar looking trampoline located in Florida for sale on ebay costs $49.95 with free shipping. That is just the retail price, needless to say the wholesale will be far lower. Sold with medical claims such as:

  • “It tends to slow down aging”
  • “It minimizes the number of colds, allergies, digestive disturbances, and abdominal problems.”
  • “specifically stimulates the flow of lymph fluid”

I think my case is made for me in respects to the money centered goals of Goodgold and his ilk.
http://waterworks4u.com/proddetail.php?prod=other_needakhard_rebounder
http://www.waterworks4u.com/education/rebounder.php
http://www.waterworks4u.com/education/more_rebounder_effects.php

An expansion of why these water ionizer devices are of great concern:

To start with either watch my original video on the subject here:

Ignorance is no excuse: Water water everywhere but none of these drips can think

Or read this webpage: http://www.chem1.com/CQ/ionbunk.html

These water ionization devices are sold with outlandish medical claims, going so far as to state that “acid in our body creates moulds, funguses and yeasts. These are the precursors to all disease.” Quote from Peter Goodgold of waterworks4u taken from a promotional video. Such a statement is the antithesis of scientific enquiry. If the marketing of these devices were to be believed by individuals as it indeed must be for the industry to survive, then people will waste vast sums of money and potentially turn from medicine that can help them.

It is my position that these devices also have the potential to cause harm. From the papers I have read on the subject it is possible that drinking alkaline water may reduce bone calcium resorption. E. Wynn et al. 2009 Bone 44, 120-124

That drinking alkaline water may lead to stunted growth in humans in particular the young as shown in rats.

long-term exposure to alkaline drinking water seems to have profound systematic effects manifested as significant growth retardation, as a result of mechanisms that require further studies. – M. E. T. Merne et al. 2001 Int. J. Exp. Path. 82, 213-219

In 1993 a community in Texas was accidently exposed to a highly alkaline water via their domestic water supply. 248 medical records from the city hospital were reviewed and found that 54% of patients suffered skin problems such as burns, inflammation, irritation and rashes. 24% of patients were diagnosed with burns and 25% suffered from gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and vomiting. J.D. Brender et al. 1998 J. Environ. Health, 61. Indicating that the imbibing of caustic substances is not a wise idea despite the pronouncements of companies such as waterworks4u that alkaline substances are good for our health.

Indeed from the scientific literature the basic premise of these devices is flawed. Bacteria have been found surviving quite happily in water with a pH greater than 12. G. S. Roadcap et al. 2006 Ground Water 44, 511-517. This hardly fits with the notion of alkaline water curing all disease.

Equally however fish have been examined from alkaline waters and been found to be suffering from ill effects. Unable to excrete their wastes some fish are forced to migrate. Despite the differences between humans and fish much of our biochemistry is the same. It may not be conclusive but it is at least suggestive that alkaline water may not be quite so conducive to the health of vertebrates.

The studies mentioned above did not use water ionizers to produce the alkaline water however the variety of solutions that they used in their methodologies are reasonable to compare with the out put of these machines.

The imbibing of alkaline substances can lead to a condition called alkalosis. This is in short a condition where the normal bodily regulation of pH is disrupted. The consequences of alkalosis include urine being acidic. SO anyone using urine pH as a measure of their body pH could easily see their urine as acidic and presume their blood is also. This is a practice that does indeed take place in the alkaline water community. One of the causes of alkalosis is the administration of exogenous alkali. In a cycle of desperation and profit an individual could use alkaline water, have acidic urine because of this and then invest in more alkaline products.

Information on alkalosis was obtained from Davidson’s Principles and practice of medicine, eighth edition.

In brief the water ionizers sold by waterworks4u and many others like them (e.g. Kangen water, Water for Life,Tyent, Alkalux etc.) are not capable of producing ‘pure ionized water’ as advertised. It is not feasible for any device to produce such a thing. The products these devices could produce are varied dependent on the dissolved chemical species in the water. However none of what comes out the tap is ‘pure ionized water’. I can say this with the same conviction as a physicist can say a perpetual motion machine does not exist. If you do not believe me. If you think that the science is too hard to check this for yourself. Then by all means either open a chemistry textbook or published paper in a respectable journal and show me to be wrong. Either that or kindly remove yourself from the conversation. Personally speaking I have had enough of people who are too lazy to think for themselves and too tied up in a given position to honestly question its validity. These devices cost thousands of dollars and people who are on this side of the fence called reality may wonder why people would spend their money on these heaps of garbage. To my mind there are a few ways that people can make their way to thinking that these machines are a good idea.

  1. They are irrational and justify the purchase on some emotion, instinct or woo woo.
  2. They rationalize it by accepting as fact the erroneous information given out by those who sell these devices.
  3. They are desperate because they have little or no ability to get proper medical treatment e.g. in a purely private medical system where some can not get coverage and therefore cling to any placebo effect these machines may give.
  4. They simply have more money than brain cells.

Now if you have bought one of these devices and that assessment upsets you then I am sorry but it is your problem. If you have relatives who have wasted their money on these devices (people have contacted me about this very situation) then I am very sorry but this is the state of play as I see it. Gullible or irrational the outcome is that those who have bought these machines feed the companies that make them and keep them in business to plunder the savings of others.

All this may read as full of bile and you would be right. I have nothing but contempt for people who profit by selling non-medical devices for medical use. I recently lost an aunt to cancer and she was cared for by trained medical professionals. They kept her out of pain and alive long enough for me to get to see her. It would have been a different story had she been in a situation where she fell into the web of scammers like the ionized water industry. It makes my stomach turn and conviction harden to think of what might have been if people of this ilk are not challenged.

There is also the sizable cost of healthcare in the united states. If these devices are to be seen as the cure to the “one disease… acidosis” then they are a money saver. Get one of these devices and it is quite possible that within a year or two it would have paid its self off. In reality this will not solve medical problems, it will not save you money. I fear that out there now there are people who are in a situation where they spent the money for real healthcare on one of these snake oil pumps. I feel sorry for them and leave the reader to draw any take away message they care to from this situation.

In the end people will only believe the science if they are aware of it and understand it.
However these companies seek to confuse people as to the nature of their devices, obscure the science of them and in some cases outright lie about it. Organizations that should be monitoring the water ionizer industry

For that reason I set out here information on how to report any suspected scam in either the UK or USA. I will also attempt to include links to as many of the relevant sites for other nations as possible.

It is my hope that together with the vigilance and voices of as many concerned rational, skeptical and scientifically minded people as possible no one will have to actually live thru the dark scenario of watching anyone succumb to treatable disease by trusting in these machines alone.

Many of the companies that sell these devices are based in the United States. In the United States there are two main organizations that I feel would be able to regulate this industry.

The first of these is the FDA or Food and Drug Administration. Their remit includes the regulation of Drugs and medical devices. The FDA regulates even so humble a medical device as a tongue suppressor up to a vastly more complex MRI diagnostic instrument.

If a product is labeled, promoted or used in a manner that meets the following definition in section 201(h) of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic (FD&C) Act it will be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)4 as a medical device and is subject to premarketing and postmarketing regulatory controls. A device is:

  • an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article, including a component part, or accessory which is:
    • recognized in the official National Formulary, or the United States Pharmacopoeia, or any supplement to them,
    • intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, in man or other animals, or intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals, and which does not achieve any of it’s primary intended purposes through chemical action within or on the body of man or other animals and which is not dependent upon being metabolized for the achievement of any of its primary intended purposes.

As stated in the text taken from the FDA website a device can be classed as medical if they are sold or used with the intent of preventing disease. I would contest that when these devices are marketed with such phrases as:
That they fall into this category. Indeed even if the completely contradictory fine print found at the bottom of the websites of these companies is enough to cover them (A point I would heartedly contest), then all it needs is for one of the customers to be using it to treat or prevent disease in order for these machines to fall under this definition.

Regardless of my opinion on the matter I await a decision from the FDA on wether or not these are medical devices. If so it will be no small matter for the companies involved to comply with the regulations that they had up until such time not been subject to. In addition to this Alkaline water or alkaline electrolyzed water as it is also known, is attempting to chemically affect the body of humans. This may or may not disqualify them as medical devices under the definition above. That having been said they would not escape the FDA’s jurisdiction so swiftly.

The FDA regulate drugs as their name gives away clearly. What is a drug in the most of basic terms? Well I would contest that it is ‘a substance that chemically interacts with and affects a human or other animal body’.

With that definition in mind would alkaline water fall under that category. I would say most definitely yes. However my opinion is not the one that matters so I am awaiting a response from the FDA who will make that determination for themselves.

How you can get involved:

It is a question that a great many have asked me since this all began. The answer for many was to spread the word on youtube, blogs and other websites. However the effect is somewhat limited. With the goal of protecting the unsuspecting consumers of the alkaline water industry I suggest the following course of action.

Produce your own content on the water ionizer industry. Their output on youtube alone dwarfs that of those who recognize the industry for the scam that it truly is. Produce videos, blog posts, tweets, facebook groups etc and get the word out as far as possible so it can be easily found. A great resource for information on the science of these devices is http://www.chem1.com/CQ/ionbunk.html who also have a list of other water scams available here http://www.chem1.com/CQ/gallery.html.

Contact the FDA or your own equivalent body for medical device and drug regulation. I will provide as many links as possible to make this process easier. Make appropriate inquiries into the status of these devices and report any companies in your country that you suspect of breaking the law.

FDA website for reporting drugs and devices: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/

If you have any questions about reporting a device the FDA help email is: MDRPolicy@fda.hhs.gov

Health Canada: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/md-im/legislation/index-eng.php

MHRA (UK regulation): http://www.mhra.gov.uk/Howweregulate/Devices/index.htm

Contact the FTC or any advertising standards authorities that operate in your country and report any concerns you might have about the advertising for these products to them. Name specific companies and sight examples of their advertising. Using the UK example of the ASA (advertising standards authority) there are normally codes to which advertisers and even company websites must comply. I examined the codes for the UK and found a large number that waterworks4u could be challenged upon. If you have the time to do the same in your country all the better if not report your general concerns.

FTC complaints https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

UK advertising standards agency: http://www.asa.org.uk/

UK advertising codes http://www.cap.org.uk/The-Codes/CAP-Code.aspx

Canadian advertising standards: http://www.adstandards.com/en/ConsumerComplaints/howToSubmitAComplaint.aspx

Contact the company that hosts the company website. Most of these hosting companies would not want anything illegal on their servers. If they are made aware of the nature of the companies that host their websites with them then they will likely look into the situation.

To find out who hosts a website perform a whois search. This can be achieved here http://whois.domaintools.com/ simply input the address of the website and the record of who hosts it will come up.

Lastly contact any other legitimate company or organization that deals with these companies and inform them of the nature of the scam. For example many companies use public relations companies to manage their public profile. In the case of waterworks4u this PR is taken on by this company: http://www.thebambooagency.com/marketing/publicrelations/publicrelations.html. Looking for the links and making the ethical case in force to partner companies could make them reconsider their associations.

In closing

Well if you have read this far you deserve a closing statement and so I offer this.
Hear me on this when I say that censorship will never go away. It will always be a threat to our expression but what is more it is a threat to our intellect. There are many out there who are literally buying what Goodgold and his peers are selling. This has to be in some measure due to a lack of education and understanding of the subject. Peter Goodgold showed the world his true colours when he made his threats towards me. He or his supporters continue to show this yellow streak today with my videos still under threat or censored. He seeks to protect his business from the light of scientific and skeptical inquiry.

However he is not alone and he is not the biggest fish in this pond. Kangen water for example dawarf Goodgold in size, however like a hydra they have many heads. Many of these companies use distributers and shield themselves behind them. It is not going to be easy to combat such an industry but I will not back down to it.

In the mean time I shall carry on and look forward to the day when water ionizers are regulated and marketed for what they truly are, bleach manufacturing devices.

Kindest regards to you all,
AIB

Links
http://www.youtube.com/answersinbooks

http://www.youtube.com/answersinb00ks (My youtube channel and its back up)

http://www.dailymotion.com/answersinbooks

www.daliymotion.com/waterworks4u (Waterworks4u new video hosting for their adverts)

http://www.chem1.com/CQ/ionbunk.html (The science of water ionizers)

http://www.aquatechnology.net/alkalinefraud.html (A website on alkaline water, not wholly reliable but does give some useful information)

http://www.waterionizerauthority.com/ (A website that lists a great many water ionizer companies)

http://thisiswater.co.uk/ (water ionizers in the UK)

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/02/peter_goodgold_is_a_scam_artis.php (PZ Myers Blog post)

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/ (Reporting drugs and devices with the FDA)

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfmaude/detail.cfm?mdrfoi__id=589071 (Patient report from a user of a water ionizer)

http://www.enagic.com (Kangen Water)

http://www.cap.org.uk/The-Codes/CAP-Code.aspx (UK advertising codes)

http://www.asa.org.uk/ (Advertising standards authority)

http://www.quackwatch.com/11Ind/young3.html (Quack watch report of ‘Dr’ Robert Young)

 

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