Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pure Intentions

Next time you’re in the supermarket, go to the soap aisle and read the label of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.

Actually, that’ll take too long. Just read this. It’s a selection—one of the milder ones—from the aforementioned label
The 2nd coming of God's Law" Mohammed's Arabs, 1948, found Israel Dead-Sea-Scrolls & Einstein's "Hillel" prove that as certain as no 6-year-old can grow up free without the abc, so certain can no 12-year old survive free without the Moral ABC mason, tent & sandalmaker, Rabbi Hillel taught carpenter Jesus to unite all mankind free in our Eternal Father's great All-One-God-Faith! For we're All-One or none: "Listen Children Eternal Father Eternally One!" Exceptions? None!

Yep, that’s a soap label being quoted. And it goes on. And on and on and on.

Dr. Bronner, it turns out, cared about more than getting people clean. He wanted to reform mankind. The soap was a vehicle; it allowed him an outlet for his…philosophy.

I know all this because last night I saw Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox, a documentary on the great man. It was outstanding. With a subject as…intense…as Dr. Bronner, how could it not be?

I cannot possibly do justice to the movie or the philosophy in a few paragraphs. Here, though, is a very small selection of what I've learned about both.

1) Dr. Bronner’s philosophy (explicated, at length, on the bottle) centered around something called the moral ABCs. He believed his mission on earth was to teach the world the moral ABCs. Once he had done so, war would end and mankind would unite in love and happiness.

2) The Moral ABCs appear on every bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap. There are thirteen (which makes me think they should actually be called the moral ABCDEFGHIJKLMs. But no matter). Here is ABC number 11.

Essene & Chinese birth controls must reduce birth or Easter Isle type overpopulation destroys God's Spaceship Earth! God's law prevents all conception below pH3. Therefore, Essene contracepted for 400 years with rosehips, pH2! So, absolute clean, apply vaseline oil, butter or cream, insert teaspoonful juicy lemon pulp, pH2. O.K.! Next day, douche with qt. soapy water, pH8, restoring pH5 balance God made! Eggwhite is pH9. Dr. Bronner's soap, pH8, guaranteed the mildest made; below pH8 soaps biodegradable, synthetic-sulfides cannot. At conception, 10 grams contain 100 million humans! or... 10 HUMANS IN 1 INVISIBLE MICROGRAM - SMALLER THAN DUST!

3) Dr. Bronner believed that every 76 years, in time with Haley’s comet, a prophet would return to help guide man back towards peace and unity. Examples of past prophets include Jesus, Muhammad, Hillel, and—and I am not making this up—Mark Spitz.

4) Really.

5) Dr. Bronner was institutionalized in the mid 40s. He escaped and made his way to Los Angeles, where he dedicated himself to selling soap.

6) During the 40s and 50s, Dr. Bronner called the FBI on a near-daily basis. He complained, mostly, about the presence of communists within America. He hated communists.

7) As who does not?

8) During his life, Dr. Bronner filled more than 3000 audio cassettes with thoughts about his philosophy. Unfortunately most of it remains, to this day, untranscribed.

9) Dr. Bronner’s grandsons, who run the business today, are major figures in the drive to legalize industrial hemp.

10) His son, Ralph, recently starred in a one-man, off-Broadway play. In it, he tells stories about growing up with his legendary father. In his youth Ralph was left with strangers for years at a time so that his father could travel the country lecturing on the moral ABCs. Amazingly, Ralph holds no grudge.

11) This list captures no more than 10% of the Bronner family’s craziness.

12) Really, more like 5%.

13) You need to see this movie. Believe me.


Sebastian said...

Someone taught me the ancients regarded madmen as especially close to the gods. You and I, or someone, have discussed the mists between madness and genius.

That this week's blog posting has nothing to do with the Agricultural Revolution fills me with a bitterness I shall never overcome without the aid of an opossum or perhaps a judicious clowder of cats.

I am sorely tempted to re-work the 12-step program in the light of Dr. Bronner's philosophy. However, it is late. Doom follows.

JMW said...

Did you see this in the theater? Sounds great. It's not around here, but I don't see it on Netflix, either.

Oh, and yes: Doom follows.

Biby Cletus said...

Hi i just surfed in searching for interesting facts on Essenes in the blogs.
you have a cool blog. Do keep up the good work. I'll be back for more. i live
far from where you live. its nice to be able to see what people from across
the world thinks.

On a related note perhaps you might find the following article interesting.
we are currently doing a series of posts on essenes and their culture and i'll
like to hear your take on the subject via comments. See ya there....

Facts on Essene Culture

Warm Regards from the Other Side of the Moon.
Bijoy Cletus - Kerala, India

Sebastian said...

The Slusho! story is of magic and triumph!

Noriko Yoshida dedicated her life to refreshment! Her classmates called her the Smallest Whale because she would drink endless amounts of beverages at every meal.

Truth was Noriko loved libations so much, and drank so much, she did not join while other children opened their fun, she rather experimented with flavor mixtures - combining different fruits, vegetables and other ingredients naturally grown form her father's (Ryuta Yoshida) farm to make great new beverages.

Her deliciousness made her loved throughout many towns and villages on Honshu.

And every year she would try to beat herself by coming up with a new flavor mixture, so unique to anything else - she was never satisfied!

But tragedy struck for the Smallest Whale! Noriko set off on a sea adventure to find the greatest, most tastiest ingredient to the world, and was never heard from again!

She left behind her only son, Ganu! Ganu also liked to experiment, but not with the beverage-making enterprise that killed his mother, but for science!

He abandoned his mother's drink business to his cousin, because the pain of her loss was so great with every flavor mixture Gano attempted. Truth is that he became a lead ocean scientist. His accomplishments are many, and very big.

And one fateful day, he and his teammates discovered a deep sea ingredient unique to anything else!!! While the team pondered miraculous ways to use it, Ganu had the best idea of all!! Because that night he had a dream - he was a tiny fish, and a whale came and told him to drink the new ingredient. And as he did drink lots and lots of the ingredient, Ganu grew from a small fish into an enormous whale!!! He woke up with tears, he knew he had found the magic ingredient Noriko had set off to find!

He decided he would make his mother's dream live - make the tastiest drink, unlike anything on earth! Because the ingredient was discovered on the deep ocean floor, under amazing pressure and in the most extreme cold, Ganu knew he had to serve the ingredient in a near-frozen state to preserve its freshness!!

He re-joined with his cousin, and combining the incredible drink-making knowledge of Noriko's business with the new ingredient, SLUSHO! came to life!!!!!!!

Everyone who drinks a SLUSHO! tastes Noriko's dream, and becomes a small whale like Noriko - because you want to drink huge amounts of SLUSHO!


Cartooniste said...

are you telling me that this was your first exposure to dr. bronner's magic soap? jeez, where have you been, man?
there was a period of time, during my most intense high school hippie phase, when i used dr. bronner's peppermint castile soap for everything: clothes, self, teeth, hair. and i conditioned with vinegar. this lasted for a week, maybe two, when one day my hair contracted into an impossible snarl and i went back to using proper shampoo. but i still buy the peppermint stuff. great for camping, good for the earth, available in the bulk foods aisle at the co-op. and it smells great.

all one god faith! Ok!

Mr. Guapo said...

1) Seb: what on earth is that? Where did you find it? Should I have heard of this? It is nutty. But nutty in a way Japanese products often are. It reminds me of the "South Park" episode dealing with Pokemon.

2) JW: I am ready for doom. The movie is in theaters. In New York and LA. You live in the latter. Check that: you OWN the latter. So get to it.

3) Cartooniste: I can believe it. I know what a hippie you were. You would enjoy the interviews with dedicated Dr. Bronner's users in the film. They are an intense bunch.

4) Biby: welcome! My first post from someone I haven't browbeat into reading my blog! I feel happy.

Sebastian said...

Bryan found it on a T-shirt in the trailer for the hush-hush monster-destroys-NYC flick being promoted by one of the creators of Lost (I know; your favorite show since Dallas); SLUSHO! is almost certainly part of the Web promotion. The history section reminded me so much of Bronner's text that I felt compelled to post it here.