Ear Candles and the FDA - Everything You Want To Know about Ear Candles
Doc Harmony, Ear Candles and the FDA
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Ear Candles - What is the Truth?
I hope by now that you have heard about those crazy, wacky things called Ear Candles … and, boy have they caused quite the commotion! In this blog, I am going to review and examine the debate surrounding ear candles, prove what the legal status of ear candles are in the USA, clarify exactly what ear candles do and do not do and I am going to share with you why and how to use ear candles. Of course, in the end it is up to you to decide for yourself about ear candles.
I am Doc Harmony and for the last 26 years, I have dedicated my professional, and a lot of my personal life, to Ear Candles. Why? In 1992, my son was very ill with ear infections for about 1 year. After being prescribed another batch of antibiotics, he began vomiting up the medicine. I had had enough. At this time, I went to Dr. Berryhill (our family Naturopath since I was 16) and he introduced me to ear candles. Of course, I thought this was a hoax but at this point in life, I had no other options. I wanted my son to be healthy! So I used 4 ear candles on my son and he has not had another ear infection to this day. Simultaneously, Dr. Berryhill called on me numerous times to encourage me to make and sell ear candles. I took his advice and thus began Harmony Cone Ear Candles.
Life was good, handcrafting and selling ear candles, raising my family, working and living together sustainably upon the land. I birthed 2 babies at home, became vigilant about natural health, and was homeschooling all three children. I went back to school and obtained my Masters in the Science of Natural Health. The company was successfully expanding and this allowed me to have the opportunity to help single mothers and other homeschooling families create their own microeconomic communities by handcrafting ear candles at home with our special technique and, of course, love.
In 2006, I began writing my Dissertation on Ear Candles, expecting this to be an easy paper to write (since I thought I knew everything about ear candles!). But I discovered that I had a lot more to learn about ear candles when when I came across Dr. Seely, a renowned doctor at Spokane Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, who orchestrated the now famous survey of 122 otolaryngologists in the USA and their observations about ear candles. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8849790 Needless to say, I was dumbfounded because I was like everyone else when he discovered that there was “no removal of cerumen from the external auditory canal” …
What! Ear candles do NOT pull wax out of the ear?
I was confused as I had witnessed many people use my ear candles for years with great success for a variety of reasons. So I became committed to discover what ear candles were actually doing by writing my dissertation on ear candles. Thus began a very lonely campaign with my team to educate the retailers and consumers about ear candles. Click here to check out my Dissertation!
During the last 26 years, my team and I have exhibited our ear candles at hundreds of natural health, massage, chiropractic, natural professional tradeshows with tens of thousands of visitors attending. We have worked tirelessly to educate and share the truth about ear candles with retailers and consumers across the world. We have exhibited as far north as Sweden and as far south as Argentina, Brazil and Australia.
I have probably candled more ears than anyone in the world, considering that at every tradeshow, I candled one ear every 15 minutes. (I wish I had documented all of them for the Guinness Book of World Records!) I know I have exhibited in at least 120 tradeshows. Each tradeshow is at least 22 hours long. 22 hours x 4 ears is 88 ears. That equals at least 10,560 ears candled by me personally. I am confident that the number is higher considering family, friends, and store demonstrations. I believe that the number is closer to 15,000 plus. There were NEVER any injuries and 99% enjoyed the experience.
This is why, when the FDA sent 16 warning letters about ear candles to vendor, manufacturers and retailers and it included us, I was shocked! We were not claiming to pull wax out of the ear. We were confused and scared. However, everyone at Harmony Cone Ear Candles decided to lead the way with research, funds and a commitment to Personal Freedom and sue the FDA for Constitutional Violations. We asked other manufacturers that had also received warning letters from the FDA to participate but we were the ONLY manufacturer to stand up against the FDA and eventually, stop them from outlawing the sale of ear candles. (Note: We did have a bit of financial support from Regal Labs and Becks Natural.)
Consider, we had made every single ear candle by hand and used them for 26 years regularly with no issues amongst friends, family and associates. We also have a 3-step process to ensure that they are handcrafted properly.
We could not help but wonder, why is the FDA including us?
We are NOT just selling ear candles, we are in the trenches … educating …
Mostly everyone that uses ear candles for the right reasons know that they are relaxing. This is why I am writing this … I want to share our story about Harmony’s Ear Candles and how facetiously the FDA has tried to have them removed.
Thank you for caring and reading,
What are Ear Candles, What do they do and Why should I use them?
Let’s Start From the Beginning: What is an Ear Candle?
For a full description of what an actual ear candle is, please visit: http://www.earcandling.info/what-makes-a-great-ear-candle/
In a nutshell, a properly constructed ear candle is a hollow candle handcrafted (or made on a machine) with organic cotton strips and a clean burning wax. Once the actual candle is handcrafted it is super important to insert a properly constructed safety tip and a burn line label. Both of these items are integral to the safety of the user.
In the original complaint that was filed against the FDA, I maintained (and still do) a firmly held belief that candles are an integral part of personal comfort and health security that is grounded in the integration of body, mind, and spirit through their effective use of subtle energies. What? In other words, the warm smoke created from the ear candle helps the body to be able to relax and when the body relaxes, it stimulates the autonomic nervous system to shift away from a sympathetic state of being (think high stress, fight or flight) to a parasympathetic state of being (think relaxed, healing, calm. With the relaxation that takes place as a result of this transition, stress is meant to fade away and create a calm sensation that can help the mind and body connect in a way that heals the soul. https://www.aapsonline.org/hhslawsuit/aaps-v-sebelius-09-13-2010.pdf
Dr. Patrick Quanten, M.D., http://www.activehealthcare.co.uk/, who resigned his post as a medical doctor after he realized that his practice of Western Medicine was not only preventing people from recovering from illness, but was actually introducing illness, summarizes the effect of ear candling:
“For almost a century, scientists have proven that everything in the universe is energy, that all matter is essentially compressed energy.
A human being is an energy field. The physical part is at the centre of a large field that brings together waves and frequencies of a great variety. How this centre functions depends on the interactions that go on within the more elusive part of the human being.
All interactions between a human being and its outer-world are therefore also energetic. The result of these interactions we may observe in our physical world.
In fact, ear candles do not alter the physical state of your tissues in any direct way at all. Ear candles work in the way our physicists state the universe works; it has an energetic influence on the human functioning. Fire has traditionally been a powerful way to deliver heat and dryness to a malfunctioning system, as well as lighting it. Fire is a powerful healing tool, and has been for many thousands of years; a well trusted and tested tool, at that. Ear candling is one way of using this power in healing. People have used this method in all the major societies that humans have created throughout the ages, and across the whole globe.
Thus, all the effects observed from ear candling are a result of energetic changes brought about by the burning of the candle at that moment in those circumstances. Hence, the effects vary widely, as we also experience with everything else.”
Click Here to read more from Dr Patrick Quanten, M.D.
“Ear candling does not remove earwax from the ear canal;
Ear candling delivers energy, which helps the body to heal itself.”
Patrick Quanten, MD
Bottom line: Ear candles are intended for relaxation not for removing ear wax. The proper use of ear candles encourages relaxation techniques, which as part of a healthy lifestyle, may help living with:
- Ear Infections
- Flu Symptoms
- Sore Throat
- Rough Days
- The FDA … just kidding LOL!
Dr. Quanten wrote a lengthy paper on Ear Candling and its Energetic Healing. Consider that the explanation of everything always leads us back to a conversation about energy. Ear Candles are no different! The extra energy that the fire of the candle brings to the energetic part of the human system is delivered to the densest parts of the human, the physical body, via the ear. Hence, there is a high concentration of energy surrounding that part of the body. (ed. Consider the fact that there are over 60 plus reflexology points in the ears, 3 chakras in the head region and 8 of 12 meridian pathways that start an end in the head region as well.) In a reasonably well-functioning system, this powerful energy will dissipate extremely quickly and the energy will flow away from the entry point across a large part of the field.
Ear candles are a part of good energy hygiene and are a synergistic approach to relaxation. Why?
More often than not, our sense of well-being is out of balance. People all over the world are seeking peace, relaxation and moments of happiness to balance the opposing rigors and stress of everyday life. People desire and need a feeling of security, peace of mind, as well as a sense of personal well-being that is inseparably related to happiness. Many people get that sense of well-being from the use of ear candles because it helps them relax during times of stress.
In this day and age, trying to meditate and find this state of Zen seems almost impossible. Who has time? How many people actually can do this? We all know transitioning to a relaxed and comfortable state is extremely valuable when we experience sensations of pain, congestion, pressure, etc.
It has been discovered through a study in Germany that this shift from the parasympathetic to the sympathetic state of being actually happens and is not a placebo effect of ear candling.
Many people report that using ear candles have helped them relax during these types of stressful situations:
- Ear aches
- Sinus infections and pressure
- Releasing blocked energy
- Relieving pressure points of tension
- Headaches and migraines
Could it be a placebo effect? Yes, we know that when we relax, that tension, stress and pressures disappear or more like, melt away. BUT, when tens of thousands of people all over the world report great benefits from using ear candles, it’s hard to contest the value of ear candling.
While no one can claim that ear candles treat or cure any condition or disease, they do appear to bring balance and promote healing to the body. Isn’t that the idea anyway? Giving our body the opportunity it needs in order to heal itself vs ‘curing’ its self with medications that have so many potential side effects? This is exactly what I noticed when I first ear candled my son.
Biosuns study provided a most valuable clue to the relaxation effect of ear candling. During the many years of candling tens of thousands of ears, I have noticed that one ear candle is just the beginning. As most people lay upon my massage table over the years, in the BETA state (do I scientifically know that – no. But I can assure that most of the volunteers were stressed out and could not wait to ear candle!) and as I began to ear candle them, they became calm, their breathing became more even/controlled/relaxed, many of them went to sleep or drifted off into relaxing dreams.
99% of the people that got up from my table had a smile on their face and a relief of pressure and tension. The most common compliment was/is “wow! I feel so open or relaxed or clear!” …
We witnessed over the past 25+ years that the second and third ear candle takes the ear candle user deeper and deeper into healing states of being that were otherwise easily unattainable …
The FDA does NOT Ban Ear Candles! Consumers win!
The FDA vs. Ear Candles
Imagine Harmony's surprise when, in February 2010, the FDA sent Warning Letters to 16 companies including Harmony Cone Ear Candles. The general message of these warning letters were that Ear Candles are a medical device, they were dangerous and they did not work. But we knew that this was not true as Ear Candles are all about energy and healing not curing and interfering with the human body. In the warning letter the FDA stated:
Wow! That is pretty scary sounding. However, my husband, team and I decided to sue the FDA and stop them from violating our most precious choice in life: Our Right to Choose Our Own Health Care. We believe very deeply that health care is very precious and that no government or any other person has the Right to make those types of decisions for another human being.
It took two years to get to the Supreme Court but we did it and we protected the Right To Choose Your Own Personal Health Care … well at least for Ear Candles!
Regrettably, we have been afraid to share our testimonials that thousands of people have shared with us. Why? It is important to note that the FDA made it very clear to us in our deposition that they would never approve of ear candles … ever. (FDA interview with Kevin Boulton and Larry Becraft March 2010) Seven years have passed since this time and we pretty much wanted to stay off the FDA’s radar for the rest of our lives. But I am extremely dismayed by all the false information on the internet about ear candles.
FACT: Ear candles are NOT illegal, nor have they been outlawed in the USA.
Oddly enough, in the past six years not one person has written to the Holistic Candlers and Consumers Association, the organization created by me, partner and team that sued the FDA, nor the attorneys and asked for any information from us. Not one! I am amazed at how many articles and blogs there are on ear candles that perpetrate the lie that ear candles are dangerous or illegal or do not work. It finally occurred to me that no one was reading the lawsuit, the motions to dismiss, the Citizens Petition, nothing! They were just regurgitating what other people had written which most, if not all, originally came from what the FDA had written!
Harmony vs. The FDA
The Results: We Prevailed
“If we are going to insist on using science as a base from which to work from, it would be good to take into account the “facts” science has established so far.” Dr. Patrick Quanten
Since the FDA issued 16 warning letters, February 2010, regarding ear candles, there have been a lot of articles and ‘experts’ that have been repeating the FDA’s website in various forms and fashion. Their message has merely been that of the FDA’s: Ear Candles are dangerous and do not work.
Here is a summary of the facts of our case filed in the US District Court for the District of Colombia, Case: 1:10-cv-00582.
OUTLINE AND RESULTS OF OUR CASE:
Ear Candles are not outlawed or banned in the USA.
- We believed that the FDA’s Warning Letters to 16 companies in February of 2010 to vendors selling or manufacturers of ear candles forced a ban on the sale and use of ear candles.
- We created The Holistic Candlers and Consumers Association which filed suit against the FDA April 12, 2010. Of those manufacturers/sellers served Warning Letters, ONLY Harmony Cone Ear Candles led the way for Justice. https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FDA-2013-P-1297.
- The FDA stated in their Motion to Dismiss, filed June 10, 2010, on pages 16 – 17:
Even if FDA were to take enforcement action at some point in the future against one or more ear candle manufacturers, it would not confer standing on the other plaintiffs in this case, any of whom could still obtain ear candles from the large number of remaining manufacturers of these products … Click Here for the Motion To Dismiss
On Page 14, they affirm the same:
Each of plaintiff’s claims for relief in this case is premised on the misguided notion that FDA’s Warning Letters effectively outlaw ear candles, and thus constitute final agency action that plaintiffs have standing to challenge. But under settled law, FDA’s Warning Letters are not final agency action.
Page 18: more of the same:
Contrary to plaintiff’s claims, FDA has not ‘effectively outlawed’ ear candle devices. Click Here for the Motion To Dismiss
- We responded and then came the Judges’ Memorandum of Opinion dated March 16, 2011. On page 7, the Judge stated that we did not have a case against the FDA:
The FDA has initiated no enforcement action, seized no personal property, imposed no civil fine, and banned no device. Click Here for the Motion To Dismiss
THE JUDGES RULED IN OUR FAVOR!
However, we were not satisfied. We wanted to a final ruling pertaining to Ear Candles. So we went all the way to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court dismissed the case and asked Harmony Cone Ear Candles to go to the FDA and submit a Citizen Petition:EAR CANDLES ARE NOT OUTLAWED PER THE COURTS! WE CLAIMED THAT THE FDA HAD OUTLAWED EAR CANDLES AND THE COURT RULED AGAINST US STATING THAT EAR CANDLES WERE NOT OUTLAWED AND DISMISSED OUR CASE.
- A Citizen Petition was filed September 26, 2013. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2013-P-1297-0001
- The FDA responded November 18, 2013 with a letter of acknowledgment. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2013-P-1297-0002
- The FDA responded August 26, 2019 with an interim response letter. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2013-P-1297-0024
- The FDA is asking for more time to assess our requests, which are:
- To Issue a ruling that Harmony’s Ear Candles are not a medical device.
- To grant our request for a public hearing on the issues presented in our petition (Mostly safety issues)
- To stay any regulatory enforcement action against any HCEC manufacturer, distributor or seller during the pendency of this petition.
Ear Candles are NOT Dangerous
Question: IF EAR CANDLES ARE SO INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS WHY DOES THE FDA NEED 6 PLUS YEARS (time since the warning letters have been issued) TO PROVE THEIR DANGER? WOULDN’T THERE BE A PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE?
A Properly Made Ear Candle is a Safe Ear Candle
We agree with the FDA that an improperly constructed ear candle that utilizes a heavy beeswax or wax can and will drip inside the ear candle. This is why a safety tip is of the utmost importance and a burn line label.
A valid concern raised by us in our Citizen Petition is the absence of “safety tips” in Ear Candles produced in the USA. All but one of the other ear candle companies in the USA refuse to use safety tips. Since 2009, Harmony’s ear candles have used their patented safety tip that has been proven 100% effective.
Since safety tips are not mandated by law, most companies do not choose to use a safety tip. Nonetheless, this is an integral part of the Citizen Petition before the FDA. We want ear candles that are as nearly perfectly safe as possible considering that human beings are using them. In the Citizen Petition we are asking the FDA to put safety guidelines into place regardless of the cost to us.
Burn Line Labels
Placing a burn line label acts as a second safety defense. The burn line label is a label wrapped around the ear candle at the 4-inch mark. This clearly indicates to the user when to extinguish the flame out in water. It is imperative to give enough room and time just in case there is any wax that may be on the inside of the candle to cool down and harden. This is also part of the Citizen Petition before the FDA.
In regard to the hot wax “issue”, most ear candle companies provide instructions that clearly recommend putting a paper plate or aluminum foil around the burn line to prevent excess wax from falling onto skin. In life accidents can and do happen. Air conditioning vents kick on, cats and children pull on you … you get the point. This is why one must have a partner with them while ear candling to avoid life’s little glitches.
The type of wax is critical to this safety issue and the Citizen Petition is asking the FDA to approve a specific type of wax to help prevent any injuries that could be caused by using an inferior and cheaper wax.
The FDA has placed an import alert on ear candles to prevent ear candles from entering the USA marketplace since there are no uniform safety standards established.
Summary: what makes a safe ear candle?
- Lovingly Handcrafted with Good Energy
- Certified Organic Cotton Cloth
- Double Wrapped
- A Burn line Safety Label
- High Quality Food Grade Wax/Super Clean and Filtered Beeswax
- Safety Tip
Ear Candles Safer Than Household Candles No Evidence to Prove They are Dangerous
First, let’s examine the famous Dr. Seely’s survey in 1996 that most EVERYONE quotes as the gospel proving that ear candles are dangerous. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8849790 )
Dr. Seely’s survey was exactly that, a survey of 163 doctors. 122 responded. ONLY 1/3 of the physicians (40) were even aware of ear candle usage in their patients. And overall ONLY 14 doctors had treated patients with alleged complications of ear candle usage.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the usefulness of ear candles in the management of cerumen (ear wax). The safety of ear candles was also studied.
It was determined that ear candles do not remove wax from the ear. (I have been reporting this and educating about this since I wrote my dissertation in 2007, where I concurred with these findings.)
No negative pressure was generated by any of the burning ear candles at any point during their investigation. The wax found in the ear candle comes from the ear candle itself.
Dr. Seely wrote that candle wax was deposited in two of the four cerumen-free ears that were tested. Later in an interview with former FDA investigator, Dr. Arthur Evangelista, Dr. Seely revealed that he did not analyze this residue: “The ear residue was a fine ash-like substance” but the research team did NOT do an analysis of it. He “felt” that it was a small amount of a very fine particulate material that “may have been” consistent with very fine ash and wax, mixed, in a fine coating of “material”. Read 937 Arthur Seely exhibit G
Are feelings and what ‘may have been’ science?
This survey does not prove that ear candles are dangerous. It indicates that there are problems with ear candles that are made improperly, that people are using ear candles for the wrong reasons and that there is a serious lack of education.
Second, let’s review the number of Adverse Event Reports (AER’s) that have been reported to the FDA, Maude reporting system (The FDA’s online reporting system for Drugs, Devices, Food when there is an adverse affect.)
Let’s review the complaints over the last 13 years. Since 2006 there have been ONLY 10 legitimate adverse event reports. That is less than one a year. Let’s compare that to over 52 million ear candles sold in the last 13 plus years.
Ear Candles only have an injury rate of .00000025
Let’s compare ear candles to household candles
Household Candles: From 2012-2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 8,200 home structure fires that were started by candles per year. These fires caused an annual average of 80 deaths, 770 injuries and $264 million in direct property damage. https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Top-fire-causes/Candles
Health Food Stores like Whole Foods will not sell ear candles because they believe them to be dangerous. Yet, they promote and sell a variety of candles to be used in the home. No one would dare consider suing Whole Foods or Yankee Candles for damage caused by a lit candle that a consumer lit and used in their homes.
To be transparent, there has been one death that the media TRIED to attribute to ear candling:
Alaska Fire Marshall Gary L. Powell has reported two instances of significant fires associated with ear candling, one of which led to the user's death. On January 27, 2005 a 59-year-old woman fell asleep on her bed, while ear candling herself with no assistance, woke up startled and ignited her apartment when she threw the ear candle from her ear into the bedroom curtains. The woman did escape but suffered an asthma attack and died in a hospital emergency room. Read Alaska Fire Report
In this instance, the user did not follow the instructions and attempted to use the ear candle by herself.
Her death was caused by the fire, NOT the ear candle. It is the same as a household candle, if the household candle caught fire to the curtains and burned the house down, would we blame and ban our favorite Bath and Body Works candle? Absolutely not.
As Dr. Patrick Quanten so eloquently states:
“Put in this framework we can now relate to problems resulting from the burning of candles in a person’s ear. As we are working with an open flame, we assume that adults are responsible people and capable of judging potential danger from the flame itself. If we are not then it is time to ban the sale and use of all ordinary candles too, as houses have burned down as a result of leaving candles to burn unsupervised.”
Why Would the FDA Want to Ban Ear Candles?
Why would they waste valuable man hours and tax payer dollars when they are not dangerous?
Here is my theory. After my initial shock when I received the Warning Letter from the FDA (remember, we do not have any AER’s, we did not make the claim that ear candles pull wax out of the ear …) I was convinced that the FDA had approved something that competed with ear candles. I was shocked when I discovered that:
Ear Candles were attacked the same month that Prevnar 13 for ear infections was introduced!
Now, I find this very interesting. The FDA approved Prevnar 13 for use in children for ear infections THE VERY SAME MONTH THEY TRY TO BANISH EAR CANDLES. https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer_receives_fda_approval_for_prevnar_13_for_the_prevention_of_invasive_pneumococcal_disease_in_infants_and_young_children
This is where it gets even more interesting: Prevnar 7 had worldwide sales approaching $3 billion, making it one of Pfizer’s best-selling drugs, and Credit Suisse analysts predicted Prevnar 13 will exceed $5 billion in sales by 2014. Pfizer is counting on it to become the company’s top revenue generator after its flagship drug, the cholesterol figher Lipitor, loses patent protection next year. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/business/25vaccine.html
Let’s compare injury rates between ear candles and Prevnar 13:
Prevnar 13 (PCV13) adverse reactions reported in infants and young children during pre-licensing clinical trials: injection site pain, swelling, redness, fever, decreased appetite, increased and decreased sleep, irritability, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, hives, hypersensitivity reaction including bronchospasm, facial swelling, and shortness of breath, seizures, pneumonia, gastroenteritis, bronchiolitis, and death (reported as SIDS). https://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/pneumococcal/vaccine-injury.aspx#_edn4
Read FDA’s Prevnar 13 Package Insert August 22, 2017, which states the word death 16 times in it!
Ear candles have an injury rate of .000000001923
Prevnar 13 have an injury rate, including death of 8.2%
Out of 4,279 infants there were 3 deaths related to Prevnar 13 in the trials.
Out of the 10,000 – 15,000 people I personally ear candled, including children and babies, there were NO deaths or injuries.
- Ear Candles are NOT illegal nor are they banned by the FDA.
- Ear Candles are safe when used properly.
- Ear Candles are safe when made properly.
- Ear Candles are relaxing.
“We don’t ban cooking because somebody burns themselves or gets hurt by grease fat. No, we educate them about the reality of the world they are living in. It is wise to make the most of powerful tools. It is also wise to train people in truth.”
Dr. Patrick Quanten
Join us and submit your testimonials to the FDA at: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FDA-2013-P-1297
Background and History of Ear Candles
The history of ear candling is surrounded by colorful and mythical tales that have subsisted through oral tradition; however, these are undocumented and unsubstantiated. These fables are written down by the ear candling manufacturers and self appointed ear candling experts who sell or disperse this misinformation to the general public.
Other than in the USA, most of the world thinks that ear candles originate with the Hopi Tribe in the USA.
Let’s review the facts:
The owner of Biosun, Udo Leshik, claims to have learned about ear candling from the Native American Hopi Tribe. Udo Leshik met with Martin Gashweseoma in 1992. However at that time Martin Gashweseoma was no longer a member of the Hopi Tribe.
"Gashweseoma had been the keeper of the Sacred Tablets until he was stripped by the Fire Clan for an attempted unauthorized speech at a press conference in 1990. He and Thomas Banyaka tried to warn the world about the expending strife they foresaw for the planet and gave a press conference in which he "brought the sacred tablets out." This did not sit well back home at the "Rez" [reservation] A political struggle ensued with Gashweseoma stripped of his custody of the Sacred Tablets in early 1991. . . ." [The Mysterious Valley --page 285 St. Martins Press, 1996]
Regrettably, Udo had met Martin during a time of strife and survival for him and this caused commotion for the Hopi tribe. However, this did not stop Udo from using the Hopi name, in violation of Treaty and Hopi Law, for his brand of ear candles and for marketing purposes.
There has never been any authorization or permission within the recognized and official Hopi Tribe elders, members and organization to use the Hopi name or supposed Hopi techniques given to Udo or anyone in association with ear candles.
As a matter of fact, the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office states their policy as follows:
The Hopi people desire to protect their rights to privacy and their intellectual property rights. Due to the continued misrepresentation and exploitation of the rights of the Hopi people, guidelines were established to protect the rights of present and future generations of Hopi people.
The Hopi Tribe requires that any entity whether private or commercial wishing to engage in research, publication, or recording activities on the Hopi Reservation first obtain a permit from the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, located in the Honahnie building in Kykotsmovi, AZ. (1)
As of this date, there has been no permit granted to Biosun to use the Hopi name, especially for commercial profiteering.
The Hopi Tribe, which is a very poor and devastated tribe, has asked Biosun to stop using their name illegally but they have been ignored by Biosun. Since the Hopi Tribe is indigent they have no recourse available to them except to respond to the claims that Biosun has made with the following statement:
The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office is not aware of Hopi people ever practicing “Ear Candling.” Biosun and Revital Ltd. are misrepresenting the name “Hopi” with their products. This therapy should not be called “Hopi Ear Candeling.” The history of Ear Candeling should not refer to as being used by the Hopi Tribe. Use of this false information with reference to Hopi should be stopped. (2)
Not only has Biosun stolen the Hopi name and used it for commercial purposes, but he has also misrepresented one of the United States of America’s most treasured assets – The Grand Canyon.
Biosun has placed a mural from the Desert View Watchtower next to Martin Gashwesoma in many of his marketing pieces to represent the use of ear candling in the Hopi Tribe. Biosun states that the picture is a “coloured wall mural in the Hopi tower Grand Canyon.”
This picture is not part of the Grand Canyon but instead was created in 1932 by architect Mary Coulter and constructed by the Fred Harvey Company.
According to the National Park Service of the United States of America:
The mural is one-quadrant of a 4 quadrant mural painted by Fred Kabotie in 1932 at the Desert View Watchtower (constructed by the Fred Harvey Company and designed by famed architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter). In her 1933 book entitled “Manual for Drivers and Guides of the Indian Watchtower at Desert View and its Relation, Architecturally to the Prehistoric Ruins of the Southwest,” the image displayed is one of the father giving prayer sticks to his son. The son is about to leave on a journey down the Colorado River in search of the snake people. The mural is part of the snake legend story of the Hopi people. The prayer sticks (feathers) are commonly depicted as part of Hopi customs. (3)
For the complete story of the snake people, please visit: http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-HtmlLegends/The_Origin_Of_The_Hopi_Snake_Clan-Hopi.html
Mary Coulter, commissioned the Wachtower at Desert View, which is where the picture you refer to is drawn. She drew on her southwest history to conceive a structure that told tales: (from Mary Colter, Architect of the Southwest)
In the USA, lots of people believe that ear candles are from the Chinese, Mayan Culture, Egypt or even Atlantis.
Russell Shepherd, a manufacturer of machine made ear candles in the United States and author of his sixth and expanded book, Practical Guide to Ear Candling, states:
“Ear candling, sometimes known as “ear coning” was used by the Egyptians, Essenes, East Indians, and Tibetans over 3,000 years ago. Ancient cultures of North and South America and Lemuria have also been associated with the technique.”
Russell continues his introduction with stories of ‘double helix carved cones being used for spiritual healing’ which were used by the spiritual leaders or shamans of the Aztec, Mayan and Northern Native American cultures. Russell writes that as a result of these ‘special initiation rites’ that ear candling became known as a cleansing procedure and is supposedly common in many different cultures.
This information is not only undocumented but also unsubstantiated. However, in an overwhelming majority of the United States, people continuously perpetuate these tales as fact.
Research reveals that some of these stories have evolved from channelings held in Sedona, Arizona at Coning Works. The most widely distorted repeated channeling was conducted by Eleanor Bucci, who is a spiritual consultant for Jane Joy Foundation. She channeled the following information on December 9, 1991: http://www.coningworks.com/channels.htm
Ear coning can be understood as an ancient healing modality – Atlantean, Mayan, Egyptian, Tibetan – which has, as many other healing practices, periodically spent time in “hiding.” It was originally used in conjunction with initiation practices for spiritual leaders in order to strengthen their positions as bearers of great truths and as beacons of light in the darkness. Ear coning was used to open the spiritual centers and to clear and cleanse the physical as well as emotional and other auric bodies. It was used in conjunction with other healing practices and assumed a co-creative position with these practices. Traditionally, conings were performed by master energetic healers who worked on the physical as well as intermediate planes. (Bucci, E. 1991, p. Channelings on Ear Candling)
Even with our current comprehension in the realm of quantum physics, channeling is still not an acceptable form of scientific proof nor does it lend validity to any medical or scientific inquiry, including ear candles. Even the well believed story of a picture being painted on the pyramid walls appears to have evolved from the channelings at Coning Works, where even the owner tells a story of ‘coning’ in a Mayan setting at a pyramid. Myths surrounding the origins of ear candling are an overwhelming problem within the ear candling community. People continue to report and to publish inaccurate and unverified information, even to the violations of tribal cultures, to wit:
This is an ancient and natural therapy handed down by many civilizations. It is believed that the Ancient Greeks used ear candles, initially probably for cleansing, purifying and healing on a spiritual basis, but much later on a purely physical basis. However the practice reached the modern world via the Native American Hopi Indians of North Arizona (it’s interesting to note that Hopi means peaceful people). Ear candles were used traditionally by Shaman healers. Ancient wall paintings show their importance in initiation rituals and healing ceremonies of the tribe. The candles are still made today on the basis of the old traditional formula originating from the Hopi Indians. Lynne Hancher author of A Look at Hopi Candles.
The authors of such books like “Ear Candling – The Essential Guide" continue to perpetrate these myths, like the telephone game we all played as children where things have become distorted and twisted.
So where do ear candles originate from?
From Doc Harmony’s research while writing her dissertation:
- Tom Bluewolf, Muscogee Creek Nation, has used ear candles personally since he was 16 years old. He is approximately 70 years old and can testify that he used ear candles prior to 1976. They made their ear candles out of corn husks when growing up.
- Dr. Berryhill, Decatur, GA went to the Royal Hospital of London on 144 Fleet Street in 1974. He was working in the pediatric clinic (which was friendly towards homeopathy) where he learned about ear candling from Dr. Christopher (a surgeon) at the Royal Hospital of London. He has been in the USA since 1975 using and promoting ear candles.
- Bandos, Marie Bando, Beaumont, TX. As a young person her cousin (who was Lebanese and his wife was Italian) remembers that her mother in law taught her cousin how to make ear candles by rolling up a material and burning it down in the ear when they were sick. She remembers getting her ears candled in 1953 by her cousin, Jake.
- Serendipity, Kingston, NJ, Jeannie Nastus, her mother learned in Sicily, Italy how to make ear candles. They took a pencil, cut up a handkerchief and wrapped it around the pencil and melted wax over it to use as an ear candle when they were sick. Her mother in law, Rosaria Mastus (over 85 years of age) came to the USA in the 1960's.
- Leonora Cook, Midvale, UT was the original owner of Bobalee-Mfg.com. She learned about ear candles from Dr. Christopher in the late 1950’s.
- Many shared stores of Italians, Polish, and Spanish descendants using different types of materials and wax to create ear candles to use when one was under the weather.
Background and History
Ear candling has been in existence for at least two to three generations that are only verifiable through oral testimony. Currently, industry leaders are unsure of ear candlings’ origins and the effective application thereof, even though they are aware of the fact that ear candling has been relied upon for the past few generations to help children with ear infections.
This information is a typical representation of the misconstrued beliefs that have been circulated within the ear candling and natural, holistic communities, which in the end only serves as a self-attack against ear candles. These commonly accepted threads of myth and deception, which happen to be interwoven with truth, present a justified need to challenge. It becomes necessary to answer these types of questions: Which German medical school supposedly taught ear candling? Where is the proof that ear candles originated from where? How could ear candles remove debris from the ear? etc.
The publishers of these types of statements on their website admit that they have no verified sources validating the claims on their websites and that they simply reference other manufacturers, like Biosun ear candles (the creator of the Hopi deception) or refer people to the internet. For example, Lees Ear Candles owner, Betty Lee, responded to her claims about ear candles’ origination with the following response:
There is very little verifiable data on the history of candling. From the internet you can find numerous sources that state candling started in China and Egypt in very early cultures, but I have not found any historically recorded references. (B. Lee, personal communication, July 10, 2006)
Regrettably these types of unfounded assumptions continue to be published over and over without any verification.
HCPO Policy and Research
Protocol for Research, Publications and Recordings:
Motion, visual, sound, multimedia and other mechanical devices
The Hopi Tribe
The Hopi people desire to protect their rights to privacy and in and to Hopi intellectual resources. Due to the continued abuse, misrepresentation and exploitation of the rights of the Hopi people, it is necessary that guidelines be established and strictly followed so as to protect the rights of the present and future generations of the Hopi people.
Towards this end, the Hopi Tribe shall be consulted by all projects or activity involving Hopi intellectual resources and that such project or activity be reviewed and approved by the Office of Historic and Cultural Preservation through a permitting process or other contractual agreement.
This Protocol should in no way be construed as being a call for commoditization or commercialization of the intellectual resources of Hopi people, nor is it a justification to bring the Hopi people unwillingly into a commercial relationship. The Hopi Tribe reserves the right to NOT sell, commoditize or have expropriated from them certain domains of knowledge or information.
March 1, 2004
Dear Ms. King,
Thank you for your letter dated March 2, 2004, in follow-up to your September 19, 2003, requesting clarification of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office's response.
The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office is not aware of Hopi people ever practicing "Ear Candeling." Biosun and Revital Ltd. are misrepresenting the name "Hopi" with their products. This therapy should not be called "Hopi Ear Candeling." The history of Ear Candeling should not refer to being used by the Hopi Tribe. Use of this false information with reference to Hopi should be stopped.
We appreciate your efforts to stop this false representation the United Kingdom, and we will inquire as to whether Martin Gashweseoma gave permission for the use of his image for the promotion of ear candles. Thank you for your interest in resolving this situation.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Lee Wayne Lomayestewa at the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office. Thank you again for your consideration.
Leigh J. Kuwanwisiwma, Director
Hopi Cultural Preservation Office
xc: Martin Gashwesoma, Hotevilla
Lee Wayne Lomayestewa
Kenneth Quanimptewa, CSA, Hotevilla
Raj Vora, Revital, Ltd., 78 High St., Ruislip-Middx. HA4 7AA, UK
Vanessa A. Charles
Public Relations Officer
The Hopi Tribe
P.O. Box 123
Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039
----- Forwarded by Tara Travis/CACH/NPS on 02/23/2006 03:23 PM -----
To: Tara Travis/CACH/NPS@NPS
02/23/2006 03:11 cc:
PM MST Subject: Re: Fw: Hopi Murals Question(Document link: Tara Travis)
Tara -- if you want, you can forward this:
The mural is one-quadrant of a 4 quadrant mural painted by Fred Kabotie in
1932 at the Desert View Watchtower (constructed by the Fred Harvey Company and designed by famed architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter). In her 1933 book entitled "Manual for Drivers and Guides of the Indian Watchtower at Desert View and its Relation, Architecturally, to the Prehistoric Ruins of the Southwest", the image displayed is of the father giving prayer sticks to his son. The son is about to leave on a journey down the Colorado River in search of the snake people. The mural is part of the snake legend story of the Hopi people. The prayer sticks (feathers) are commonly depicted as part of Hopi customs.
I hope this answers your question.
Janet R. Balsom
Chief, Cultural Resources
Grand Canyon National Park
P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
(928) 638-7758 (office)
(928) 638-7650 (fax)
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