Consumers warned off miracle cures

Products being marketed as cure-alls by a religious cult were nothing more than bottled water, the NSW government has warned

NineMSN, Health Australia/July 16, 2001

Infinity Forms of Yellow Remember, a NSW-based religious cult, was selling 50ml bottles of the spring water at $80 each, claiming they cure everything from weak hearts, migraines and anxiety to drug dependence.

Included in the 270 different types of the Infinity-brand "elixirs" are Heart Spider, Hallucinogenic Elixir, and Puff The Magic Dragon.

Infinity claims people can take the bottles away and drink the water, refill the bottle with tap water and still get the product's healing powers, NSW Fair Trading Minister John Watkins said on Monday.

But there was a catch - the healing powers only lasted for two or three refills of tap water before they run out, and a new bottle must then be purchased.

As well as selling the waters, Infinity sells wands, body products, pendants and literature.

Thousands of the products have been sold throughout Australia over the four to five years the organisation has been active in Australia, according to a leading "cult-buster."

Director of Cult Counselling Australia, Raphael Aron, said today that Infinity was one of about 400 organisations listed by his group as currently active in Australia.

Infinity had shopfronts in Byron Bay in northern NSW, Gladesville in Sydney, and in Queensland, New Zealand and the USA.

"Infinity is probably one of the largest growing cults and fastest growing cults here in Australia," Mr Aron told reporters.

He said current members of the cult could see today's warning to consumers as part of a conspiracy against cult leaders.

"A lot of these organisations do thrive on some kind of persecution," he said.

Mr Watkins said Infinity was being further investigated by his department over the marketing of the elixirs.

"A person's religious belief is not a matter for the NSW Government, but the marketing of the waters is," he said.

"This is in fact a very old fashioned rip-off. It's the old sideshow spruiker selling the cure-all elixir, but it's dressed up in new age language.

"Sydney Water charges about 0.001 cents for a 250ml glass of water. On that price, there's a mark-up of about 400,000 per cent for the water that you'll purchase (from Infinity)."

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