Some 10-15 years ago, I was approached by a friend asking a favor: Would I be kind enough to listen to the business venture idea of two of his friends and give them my reaction?  I met with two very charming and intelligent ladies who had just returned from a trip to their native Poland, all excited by their discovery of a significant medical development that would bring relief from a variety of ailments (and make them some money to boot).

Wanting to avoid redundancy, I won’t tell you what the product was because you’ll get a chance to read about it in greater detail in Dr. Joe Schwartz’ column in today’s Montreal Gazette. Dr. Joe is our celebrity science myth-buster, writing about the substantial gap between science and human gullibility.  He is the director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. This product was also presented to Dr. Joe some years ago, who did a rather large, if informal, “clinical” study of the development. The story has made it to his annals of “craziest ideas”. A very amusing read.

My advice to the two ladies at the time: Save your money and get out, it’s a scam. But hope springs eternal, and it was too late anyway; they had already bought about $20K of this amazing new discovery.

What strikes me both today and at the time is that both these women were highly intelligent, well-educated business women who had already started and run successful businesses. Once you read Dr. Joe’s article you’ll be amazed at how the smartest people can get taken.