An interesting article emerged in the Montreal Gazette, among other news sources, over the weekend detailing the release of a new series of Holy Water products available for purchase over the internet and delivered to your home. All with a sin-cleansing guarantee.
Here are the three main front runners on the water-front of the lucrative godly goods market, big business which is forecast to generate $9.5 billion by 2010…
California based Holy Drinking Water
This is the brainchild of California businessman, Brian Germann, who self-professedly “thought people should have something like Holy Water that they could drink and consume and it would help protect them from the devil.” The contents have been blessed by clergy and, according to the label, can cause “burning, intense heat, sweating, skin irritations, rashes, itchiness, vomiting, bloodshot and watery eyes, pale skin colour and oral irritations” when imbibed by those who are “evil in nature.” However, several Catholic authorities disapprove of shopping for salvation, or in church jargon “simony”, as they see this as an abhorrent commercial venture similar to the indulgences sold by their own denomination back in the day of Martin Luther. How could they say such a thing?!?
Holy Drinking Water now has an online donation facility where, due to popular demand, customers can now donate Holy Drinking Water TM to troops in Iraq “for spiritual support and to boost heir spirits.”
Alberta based Holy Bottled Water (Yes, the photo shows the actual packaging of the beverage… Subtle, me thinks)
Alas, it is not just the bible-belt US cashing in on Jesus. Canadian Holy Bottled Water has also jumped on the bandwagon, labelling their produce with a lovely biblical proverb and caliming to have been “produced by man under the inspiration of God.” Since they’ve just finished extolling the virtues of the Rocky Mountain springs from whence the water came, I am a little puzzled as to where the “production” side really comes in. Let alone the “inspired” production.
Finally, and most hilariously…
Holy Spring Water
OK, I admit this one is not actually a serious company. The satisfaction guarantee on their website (worth a visit for some fine hilarity) reads:
Of the thousands of bottles that we have sold, we have only had a handful of returns, and no one has gone to hell. Our goal is to make our customers happy and free from the guilt of venial sin… Finally, and most importantly, that if you drink our water and follow the directions carefully, we guarantee that you will NOT GO TO HELL.
The FAQ section gives details ranging from the thermodynamics of hell to the punishment awaiting Bill Gates upon his arrival down below. Upon trying to order some of the brew, one is greeted with the message:
Your order has been placed, the confirmation number is 5551212.
God knows everything, so we don’t need your address and we don’t need your credit card number.
Thank you for your order.
However, whilst this site parodies the legitimate salvation product companies (which, amusingly, it also hosts ads for) it’s exaggeration is not really all that far from the truth, and it serves as a pretty convincing hoax.
And just in case some of you sinners out there were thinking of trying the stuff…
REMEMBER THE WARNINGS!!!!
All of the articles I read about this topic seemed to take a very light approach to the telling of the story. Clearly the news value most prevalent is the unusual or novelty value of the story. This is, at best a silly, light and amusing tale. At worst, it shows the utter tragedy of the commercialisation rife in contemporary society, particularly in America.