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3/07/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Have a Sip of Salvation

By J.C. Samuelson

Yes! You too can join the ranks of those blessed by the Grace of God for as little as $6.95 (plus shipping & handling). Wash away your sins, your guilt, and your thirst at the same time with Holy Spring Water™. Not recommended for ghosts, ghouls, vampires, and other evildoers or creatures of the night (i.e., atheists).

The latter website appears to be a parody similar to the kind found at Landover Baptist Church. Yet truth is stranger than fiction, and yesterday in the news there was an item about a man who actually does sell blessed drinking water.

His name is Brian Germann, president of Wayne Enterprises, Inc.. The product is called Holy Drinking Water™ and can now be purchased online at the company's website.

Mr. Germann got the idea for this blessed libation on June 6th, 2006 (6-6-6) after talking with his niece about the possibility of using holy water as a defense against evil. After finding a bottling company and a couple priests willing to bless the water (blessings have been offered by Catholic and Anglican priests), Mr. Germann began selling his water at Rinaldi's Market in Linden, CA.

Since January about 4,800 bottles have been sold, with over 35% of them having been purchased for donation to troops in Iraq.

Helping to spur interest is the product warning label, which reads:

"Warning to sinners: If you are a sinner or evil in nature, this product may cause burning, intense heat, sweating, skin irritations, rashes, itchiness, vomiting, bloodshot and watery eyes, pale skin color, and oral irritations."


Mr. Germann claims that the warning is both a marketing ploy targeting younger consumers and a means of protecting his product due to common perceptions concerning holy water. He also says that his product is not intended as a substitute for church.

Whether his intent was based on earnest belief or motivated by the lure of profits, the warning label has helped the company go national. Marketing through controversy is nothing new, and it seems likely the company will profit from the buzz generated by the label, at least in the short-term. The question is whether it will last.

What do you think?

References:

San Joaquin County Man Sells Bottled 'Holy Water'
Linden Company Bottles Holy Water
Video available at CNN.com. Click on Browse/Search Video, search terms "holy water."

10 comments:

Lorena said...

Laws should be passed to protect the naive masses from falling for such marketing schemes.

It is hard to believe that in this day and age in a first-world country, such fads can be made into law-abiding, money-making businesses.

twincats said...

Just think of the money they'll make when they expand into sacramental wine!

Dave, not the WM said...

Actually this isn't much different than Kosher foods blessed by Rabbis or whatever it is they do to it.

People will pay for anything, no matter how stupid it is.

freedy said...

I agree with Lorena. All televangelists should be banned from asking for money on t.v..They can raise their money elsewhere, or stay off the tube!

I used to think all televangelists
should be banned from television. No!,think of all the knee-slapping,outrageous
comedy we would be deprived of.

So I guess ministry mail fraud,religious quackery and spiritual con men are here to stay!

*Now that's entertainment!

Cathern said...

A fool and her money are soon parted. Lot of damn fools around that belive in this shit thanks to religion. -Vixentrox-

Telmi said...

That's the kind of situation that can easily develop when people are gullible.

Spirula said...

I used to think all televangelists
should be banned from television.


Frankly, I think these "sales" (which is in fact what they are) should automatically revoke their tax exempt status. Were that done, I expect these little con games would shrink dramatically.

Just Rick said...

spirula said : "Frankly, I think these "sales" (which is in fact what they are) should automatically revoke their tax exempt status."

I don't see why religion shouldn't simply be taxed anyway. One report I read stated that 1.2 billion dollars a year is generated from property taxes in only 800 cities samples if their churches were taxed (averaged from 1900 to 2000 at a 2% rate). Annual church donations each year exceed tens of billions of dollars and the Roman Catholic church is valued higher than America's top 5 corperations combined!

Is it no wonder that there are so many churches? Religion is lucrative when you don't have to give a sizeable chunk to the taxman. It's no wonder its a scam magnet. Standing on Main street in my home town I can count 11 churches in my line of sight. There are at least another 6 that I know of that I cannot see from that same point.

Tax religion! It's merely another businiess. Of course if that were to happen then we'd have to accept churches getting federal funding to "stay afloat".

jim earl said...

Just Rick said:

Tax religion! It's merely another businiess. Of course if that were to happen then we'd have to accept churches getting federal funding to "stay afloat".

Isn't that already happening under the "Faith Programs" our government has established?

I think we as nonbelievers should let everyone know we can drink it and not suffer any ill effects, so it's false advertising that the label states differently. Think of the effects it would have if the drink were the #1 choice of atheists.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jim. Let's give a coupla bottles to Charlie Manson and see if his tongue explodes and his innards fly out both ends like a recoiless rifle....

Of course, the Mythist would just truck out that "You're really a Xian, you just refuse to believe it" horse pucky.