Another material girl turns to mysticism: Katherine Harris joins Madonna as a Kabbalah enthusiast. From the Orlando Sentinel (via Florida Politics):
Four years ago, as the state labored to eradicate citrus canker by destroying trees, officials rejected other disease-fighting techniques, saying unproven methods would waste precious time and resources.
But for more than six months, the state, at the behest of then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris, did pursue one alternative method-a very alternative method.
Researchers worked with a rabbi and a cardiologist to test "Celestial Drops," promoted as a canker inhibitor because of its "improved fractal design," "infinite levels of order" and "high energy and low entropy."
But the cure proved useless against canker. That's because it was water-possibly, mystically blessed water.
The "product is a hoax and not based on any credible known science," the state's chief of entomology, nematology and plant pathology wrote to agriculture officials and fellow scientists after testing Celestial Drops in October 2001.
So why did Florida spend months discussing and developing test protocols for Celestial Drops?
The initial push came from Harris, now a U.S. House representative and candidate for U.S. Senate. Harris, the granddaughter of legendary citrus baron Ben Hill Griffin Jr., said she was introduced to one of the product's promoters, New York Rabbi Abe Hardoon, in 2000.
One document in the state's files indicates an official had searched the Internet for information on Hardoon and Spokojny and discovered both practiced Kabbalah, a religious movement whose followers include celebrities such as Madonna. Hardoon also teaches Kabbalah.
Mystically blessed water is a vital part of the faith and is sold for $3.80 a bottle at Kabbalah centers throughout the country.
Believers maintain the blessings performed over the water change its molecular structure and imbue it with supernatural healing powers. The traits attributed to so-called Kabbalah water-"elegant crystalline structures" and "high energy and low entropy"-are virtually identical to those of Celestial Drops.