I almost never bother to interact with spammers on this blog. Their verbal torrents of incoherent blathering about Michael Kors shoes, Xanax or Viagra are promptly destroyed after being sucked into nothingness by the click of a button. However, some spammers post stuff that are so mind-numbingly stupid that I see it as a civil service to refute it. These spam comments are typically very generic and can be found all over the Internet, especially on blogs or websites that do not use an efficient spam filter. Someone who finds themselves being drawn into this nonsense will hopefully perform a Google search and reach this post.
Let us go over this message, point-by-point./p>
“I am here to testify on how […]”
This is perhaps the most obvious sign of an ideologue whose main goal is to spread his nonsense, rather than inform or discuss. Although typically a feature of religious evangelism, it frequently occurs when listening to ingrained proponents of pseudoscience.
“[…] I was healed from my HIV/AIDS disease by Dr. Ariba the great spell caster […]”
Really? You think that a HIV/AIDS, an infectious disease, can be successfully treated by a spell caster? Current treatment consists of antiretrovirals that suppress viral replication and viral load. The average life-expectancy of individuals with HIV/AIDS are approaching the life-expectancy of the general population. People who are pushing quack treatments for HIV/AIDS, such as alternative medicine or “magic spell casting”, are scamming vulnerable people for money. Individuals with HIV/AIDS deserve the best available treatment. The phone number given has a +234 area code, meaning it is from Nigeria. So this sounds like a classic Nigeria scam.
“[…] I was having serious headache thought I take treatments the headaches never goes off, I was told to go for check-up, I did the result was that I am having the HIV […]”
Primary HIV infection typically presents with flu-like symptoms, which can include headaches. This was the only part of the spam message that even came remotely close to making sense. Presumably, the person had additional symptoms.
“[…] I was not myself ever since that day, everything went worse day by day. I was hoping for death. I was told about a great spell caster who can heal any disease in this life. […]”
This sounds like the revelation that he had been infected by HIV triggered a depressive episode and that someone took advantage of his desperation and recommended this alleged “great spell caster”. Although a lot of people would recognize the absurdity in the claim that a “spell caster” can “heal any disease”, this is not as simple when you are vulnerable, desperate and ill. Wishful thinking may be difficult for some people to resist in these circumstances.
“[…] I believed him based on testimonies I had seen on the Internet […]”
Never trust testimonies, especially on the Internet, when it comes to medical treatments.
“[…] he asked me to buy some items which I bought […]”
This is another warning sign: the person with this secret and magical treatment wants you to buy “some items”. Although the items are not mentioned in the comment, I suspect they are pretty extreme since it involves “spell casting”.
“[…] he cast the spell and told me that there is holy water that will be sent to me. I paid for the courier service […]”
Another red flag, where the quack wants you to pay even more.
“[…] My parcel arrived, I took the cure as prescribed by him […]”
Drinking stuff sent to you from a quack who claims to be able to cast spells with the held of obscure items is an enormous leap of faith and should not be done. He had no idea what was in it. It could have been very dangerous.
“[…] I started feeling normal, I thank Dr. Ariba […]”
Either this is the result of placebo effects, especially since I suspect that he paid a lot of money for this quack treatment, or it is the result of taking antiretroviral medication. It is ironic that, when some people take both science-based medicine and quack treatments, they attribute improvement to the quack treatment and not the effective one.