The Iron Skeptic - Home The Iron Skeptic - Articles The Iron Skeptic - Feedback The Iron Skeptic - Contact The Iron Skeptic - Miscellany The Iron Skeptic - FAQ

Alphabiotics: Sorry Fellas, it's a Cult.

"My long sickness of health and living now begins to mend, and nothing brings me all things."
~Timon of Athens, Act V Scene I

I’ve made some bad choices in my life. I once drank a quart of butter on a dare. I wrote an article about scientology wherein I called them a bunch of names, not knowing that scientologists regularly shoot people for such things. I shouldn’t have listened to Anthony’s advice about Evelyn. Even now, as I’m writing this, I’m eating sesame-covered anchovies in hot sauce, which I bought at the Chinese supermarket in Chinatown.

And what are the results of these poor decisions? It depends on who you ask. Other than high cholesterol and a blinding, irrational distaste for the state of Oregon, they’ve not had too much effect on my life. On the other hand, if you ask an Alphabioticist, they’ve had the effect of disrupting the True Flow of Life Energy into my Spiritual Consciousness, leading to a serious upset it my Right Intent.

Alphabiotics is sort of a medicine and sort of a religion. It was started in the 1920s by a certain Virgil B. Chrane and further developed by his son, Virgil Chrane Jr. The original Virgil's grandson, Michael, is in charge of it today, based out of Texas.

The Alphabiotics website is chock full of information, unfortunately, none of it states precisely what Alphabiotics are. They go on and on and on about the benefits, though: from Alphabiotic sessions one can expect to feel better, think better, achieve inner peace, have a tighter connection to their inner source of power, and take advantage of the body’s natural capacity for wellness. Sounds good! I could use all of those things. Except the tightening of my inner power source. That sounds unpleasant.

But how exactly do Alphabioticists achieve these results? Well, on their website they’re clear to state several dozen times that Alphabiotics are not a “treatment” and cannot be used as medicine: they’re a way of life. A way of life that apparently requires “…a gentle, though unique, movement of the head [that] is accomplished in less than fifteen seconds” whilst one sits on the “Alphabiotic couch.” In layman’s terms, that means a dude fondles your head until you have a spiritual awakening. Ladies, I’m willing to do this for free.

Apparently, the first time that this is done, it’s just a test to see how long you can hold the Alphabiotic state. The average person can expect their senses to be heightened, feel better physically, and have a deeper spiritual connection to the universe for between 72 and 75 hours.

I know what you’re thinking: where do I sign up? Sadly, comrades, you can’t just go and get Alphabiotic treatment. You’ve got to be a member of the International Alphabiotic Association. One of the goals of the Alphabiotic mission statement is, apparently, to achieve world peace by performing Alphabiotics on everyone, but there it is: you’ve got to pay to play. Remember, it’s not a treatment, it’s a way of life.

Yet the more I read about it, the more it seems that it’s not a way of life, but a really creepy way of life. Despite the website’s reassurance that Alphabiotics is not a cult, Alphabioticist John Brown testified to the Washington state Court of Appeals that Alphabiotics are “a sacrament of the Alphabiotic Church, of which… he is a priest.”

According to the dictionary, there are five requirements to be a cult: formal religious veneration (check), a system of belief and ritual (check), beliefs considered by the mainstream to be unorthodox or spurious (check), a system for the cure of disease (check), and adherence to a person, idea, object, or movement (check.) Alphabioticists, I’m sorry, but if you don’t want to be considered a cult, either stop ordaining Alphabiotic priests or take the argument up with the folks over yonder at Merriam Webster.

Now, being a cult isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In general usage, the word implies a certain abuse of members of the group. Surely Alphabiotics, so intent on healing and improving, would be beyond such accusations? No. The previously mentioned John Brown was testifying to the Court of Appeals in an attempt to get his chiropractic license back. He lost it in part because the Commission of Chiropractic Quality Assurance determined that “…certain techniques he used are associated with risk of stroke. It also concluded that his failure to warn of the risk of stroke -- and an inadequate response when one of his patients suffered a stroke during an adjustment -- were below the state standard of care required for chiropractors.”

Again in layman’s terms, this means that in an attempt to achieve spiritual enlightenment, he fondled a person’s head until their brain stopped working. Pair this tale with a line from the Alphabiotics website referring to the process that they use: “It's done to tiny babies, often when they are asleep without waking them.” I don’t have any babies. Not that I know of, anyway. I do, however, have the basic knowledge that one should not fondle the soft, squishy heads of babies as they sleep. Damn.

The words of Alphabioticists are like the index of a psychology textbook. We find such New Age favorites as:

Delusions of Grandeur: “Alphabiotics is the most scientific and effective helping system on the planet today,” “An alphabioticist does something that few others are capable of doing,” “Alphabiotic researchers… are at the cutting-edge in having developed an effective, thoroughly proven answer to this serious problem,” and “Not everyone is ready to receive the benefits Alphabiotics has to offer” are my personal favorites.

Paranoia: “Alphabioticists have been legally attacked by chiropractors over 20 times in the last 30 years,” “Chiropractic scam artists, who could not do the Alphabiotic Process properly if their lives depended on it, are around who teach a bastardized, extremely dangerous, and totally wrong version of the Alphabiotic Process,” and “In fact, it's probably disinformation, misinformation or propaganda--put there by persons who are not friends of Alphabiotics” get the flavor across nicely.

Pseudoscientific ramblings: “Alphabioticists see this inner Presence as being infinitely wise and purposeful and recognize that it is an expression of a greater Unified-Field, called God. Alphabiotics is grounded in quantum mechanics, relativity physics, and a spiritual theology” should be sufficient to kill any actual scientist that reads it. God is quantum mechanics? Feh, I say.

Cosmic Identity (the final stage of Paranoia): “[world peace] will involve a world wide awakening and Alphabiotics will be a vital factor in this positive change,” and the previous whatnot about a Alphabiotic church get the idea across.

So what does all of this mean? Well, in their investigations, the Committee of Chiropractic Quality Assurance in Washington State determined that “Alphabiotic treatments are indistinguishable from chiropractics.” That’s all this boils down to. A handful of chiropractors that want to be the saviors of the spiritual health of mankind. I’m all for having pride in what you do, but wow.

The Alphabiotics website says it best: “Unfortunately, anyone can put anything on the internet they want, or tell any lie they want. You must be careful. Use your intelligence and common sense.” Amen and Alleluia brother, you’re preaching to the choir.

Be seeing you.