Wednesday, 17 August 2016

If You Are In San Bernadino County, California,

 and you want to go somewhere different,

go to the end of Zzyzx Road, a 4.5-mile-long rural road off Interstate 15 and visit the hot springs and spa of the Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa, of course the springs are not hot any more, someone let the boiler go out that kept the water warm! for a fascinating read of the history of the hot springs have a look here at the showmanship of Curtis Howe Springer who was one of those old-time radio evangelists, way back in the day, however, he wasn't actually a minister of any kind, He was born in 1896 in Birmingham, Alabama, and proclaimed himself to be the "last of the old-time medicine men", but the American Medical Association disagreed, they proclaimed him "King of the Quacks" in 1969, he also claimed to be to be a boxing teacher in the U.S. Army, the "Dean of Greer College" a defunct/bankrupt school in Chicago, He also loved making up universities, like the National Academy, The Springer School of Humanism, the American College of Doctors and Surgeons, the Westlake West Virginia College, and two non-existent osteopathy schools in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania and New Jersey and this is how he'd write his name on pamphlets for speaking engagements: Curtis Howe Springer, M.D., N.D., D.O., Ph.D.

in 1934 he began his career in radio broadcasting, which included selling his "medicines" His Antediluvian Tea was basically a laxative dressed up in a teabag, The Journal of the American Medical Association published a lengthy article titled "Curtis Howe Springer: A Quack and His Nostrums" in 1936, which details all of Springer's get-rich-quick schemes, Curtis founded several health spas during the 1930s and 1940s, including the Haven of Rest in Fort Hill, PA, and one in Wilkes-Barre, another in Cumberland, MD, and one in Davenport, IA. However, Curtis really hated paying taxes, so most of his "spas" were seized by the Feds, Springer even faked the hot spring! Seriously! He used a boiler to heat pools around the resort, which ultimately included a 60-room hotel, spa, mineral baths, a radio studio, and a church of course, so even though he wasn't a minister or a doctor, over 200 radio stations carried his program, listeners would send in donations for his "cures", unfortunately, this empire of carrot juice and laxatives all came crumbling down in the late 1960s when the Feds started noticing that Springer was making loads of dough off "donations" for his "cures" and Uncle Sam came a-knockin' and the rest as they say is history.

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