Saturday, December 8, 2007

For Sale

Companies Sell 'Holy Water' | Newsweek BeliefWatch: Lisa Miller | Newsweek.com
You need only go back to the first chapter of Genesis to see how elemental water is to the observance of faith: "And the Spirit of God," the Bible says, "moved upon the face of the waters." In the Torah, water is used to ordain priests and to purify the sons of Aaron before they enter the temple. In the New Testament, John baptizes Jesus with water from the Jordan River. Observant Muslims wash hands and feet before they pray, orthodox Jewish women take ritual baths once a month—and every Christian denomination still uses water as part of its sacred rites. Mormons, when they take the weekly sacrament, drink water instead of wine.

So it's not surprising that a few savvy marketers would seize on this universal symbol of purity for financial gain. Inspired, perhaps, by vitamin and energy waters, a number of new companies have begun making more explicit claims: their water doesn't just promote good health, it actually makes you good. Holy Drinking Water, produced by a California-based company called Wayne Enterprises, is blessed in the warehouse by an Anglican or Roman Catholic priest (after a thorough background check). Like a crucifix or a rosary, a bottle of Holy Drinking Water is a daily reminder to be kind to others, says Brian Germann, Wayne's CEO. Another company makes Liquid OM, superpurified bottled water containing vibrations that promote a positive outlook. Invented by Kenny Mazursky, a sound therapist in Chicago, the water purportedly possesses an energy field that Mazursky makes by striking a giant gong and Tibetan bowls in its vicinity. He says the good energy can be felt not just after you drink the water but before, when you're holding the bottle.

The most recent entry in this niche is Spiritual Water. It's purified municipal water, sold with 10 different Christian labels. The Virgin Mary bottle, for example, has the Hail Mary prayer printed on the back in English and Spanish. Spiritual Water helps people to "stay focused, believe in yourself and believe in God," says Elicko Taieb, the Florida-based company's founder who was formerly in the pest-control business. All three companies give a portion of their profits to charity.
Me, I can vouch for the miraculous qualities of holy water, yeah. Around thirty years ago, somebody gave me a Blessed Mother bottle of Lourdes water. In all that time, it has never evaporated.

I wish I could remember where I left it.

I'd like to put it up on eBay.

Don't worry, I'll find it. God and Jesus and Mary all look out for me.

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