May 10, 2008

Selling Jesus by the Fluid Ounce

True Believers will swallow anything.There really is a sucker born every minute, you know.

There's a developing market in Christian bottled water here in the USA. All you have to do is shell out a little extra cash and you, too, can chug the Holy Spirit. But don't do it if you're a "sinner," because you might burst into flames. It's imagery straight out of the movies.

There's no end to the snake oil foisted off upon True Believers, and it makes sense. They're easy marks. Jesus-water, like prayer, is something quick and easy that makes the imbiber feel good about him/herself without having to actually do anything at all.

What would Jesus drink? Firm sells holy refreshment

MIAMI — The instructions are simple: Read the Prayer ... / Drink the Water ... / Believe in God! / Believe in Yourself!

Spiritual Water, the faith-inspired venture of two Sunrise, Fla., businessmen, offers its drinkers clearer focus, positive thinking and connection to a higher power. [NOTE: You knew there'd be a Florida connection in here somewhere, right?]

The 11 bottles in the company’s collection bear prayers and impressively detailed images of Jesus Christ, St. Michael and the Virgin Mary...

Last fall, Elicko Taieb launched Spiritual Water as a way to inspire Protestants and Catholics. The water, purified from a municipal source in Santa Ana, Calif., is not available in stores, but Taieb says independent distributors sell about 2,000 to 3,000 cases a month.

“Church is on Sundays, but people need something to help them through the week,” says Taieb, 33 and CEO of the company.

“The whole idea is for people to feel better and to know God is with them,” he says.

Spiritual Water’s message is delivered in a 16.9-ounce plastic bottle that sells for $2...

“You drink it, and you just feel like you are in church,” says Cecilia Joseph, a Sunrise real estate agent who liked Spiritual Water so much she became a distributor. “The pictures are so beautiful. You look at them and read the prayer, and it just feels good..."

“Water just made sense,” Taieb says... "The ingredients are the image and the prayer, which is for your body and soul. It’s water from God. It purifies your soul and helps you to think positive..."

California-based Holy Drinking Water offers a $1.49 half-liter that has been blessed in a warehouse by a priest. Founder Brian Germann, a former police officer, says his product is designed to promote good behavior. “It’s really a reminder for people to be better behaved ... and to think of God,” Germann says.

The message on the back of the bottle for those not so nicely behaved: Warning to sinners: if you are a sinner or evil in nature, this product may cause burning, intense heat, sweating, skin irritation, rashes, itchiness, vomiting, bloodshot and watery eyes, pale skin color and oral irritations...
Really, we've got two kinds of people mentioned in this article. First, there are a couple of cynical snake oil salesmen ready to reap a profit from the other sort of person, that type being typified by Florida real estate agent Cecilia Joseph. The second sort is someone who "just feels good" because they believe in the snake oil. It's a bit like masturbation, only you can do it in public without getting arrested.

I'll make a bet with Brian Germann or with anyone else who believes that their holy water can make sinners sick, though. Send me a factory-sealed bottle of your liquid Jesus brew and I'll drink it. Heck, I'll drink five of 'em. I won't give you my money, though, because I'm not one of your suckers nor ever will be. It's just filtered tap water, no different from Dasani or Poland Springs or any other bottled water that can be bought at any supermarket.

Jesus water is further proof that True Believers will swallow anything.

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