I just received this:
You are an idiot.
I suggest before you make claims regarding a product, you complete all
your research correctly. Maybe you should try a product before you talk
I have attached a summary of our results.
You can remove your defamatory statements regarding our product within the
next 48 hours and post an apology and reference our results or we will
commence legal action immediately.
Chief Executive Officer
Kind regards, indeed!
You can currently see fresh-faced young Stephen on buyfirepowerpill.com, to which firepowerinternational.com redirects. He's placing "the first Firepower Pill in his 2007 Rolls Royce Phantom LWB", which only a mean person would suggest he might just have rented for the day.
(And wait a minute - "the first Firepower Pill"? They've only now gotten around to making one?)
The press release on the front page of buyfirepowerpill.com also says a study by the University of New South Wales supports their claims about their fuel pills. I presume this is the same one they talked about before when they alluded to one Dr Stephen Hall of that institution, but you will of course still not find the slightest hint anywhere on any Firepower site, or anywhere else I can find for that matter, as to how the supposed study was performed, and what the results were.
What data Firepower have chosen to publish shows, as far as I can see, only that a Firepower pill possibly added slightly more than one per cent to the combustion energy of sixty litres of petrol. And that study's not, of course, been replicated. Whoopee. They have a long list of other claims, mainly of enormous fuel economy gains in unscientific tests, but the plural of anecdote is not data; even if every one of those testimonials is from by someone who truly and honestly believes it, it's far too easy to fool yourself if you don't control the test properly. Literally hundreds of fuel treatment pills, potions and gadgets have come and gone over the decades, all backed by the same sorts of anecdotes and all found to be worthless when - or if - tested properly.
If you're one bloke in a garage, you can't be expected to come up with high quality tests. But Firepower have the money to do proper tests - lots of them. And yet, not only do they still rest comfortably on a big old pile of anecdotes (most of which are from hard-to-trace people in places like Oman, Russia and the Philippines), but they have even previously admitted that when they said, for instance, that tests were done "by Volvo", what they actually meant was they were done on Volvo trucks by... someone.
All this aside, I'd be thinking Firepower would be more interested in suing Fairfax Media, publishers of the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age, since all of my Firepower-related blog posts [well, up until Stephen kicked this ant-hill, anyway...] simply link to and talk about the series of Herald stories on the company and its many colourful characters and connections.
Firepower do actually say they were indeed taking the Herald to court... in May last year. But nothing seems to have come of that. All of the Herald articles remain up on the Web.
So let's recap, shall we?
According to the Herald:
Rise of a man with a magic mystery pill (with a sidebar about the not-very-impressive, and not-recently-improved, evidence Firepower provide to support their claims, and the strange similarity of their fuel pill to another one.)
Firepower link to dead dictator and former spy (in which they admit they are "unable to produce some of the promised independent tests that showed its supposedly miracle products extend fuel efficiency.")
I don't have to tell any of you what'll happen if Mr Moss actually follows through with a lawsuit and gets me to stop, um, accurately describing something that I read on other Web pages that're all still very much up, but clearly Stephen is new to this whole Intarweb thing and needs to have the situation explained to him.
If, Stephen, you'd like about a thousand more blogs to start linking to those Herald articles, go ahead and try to stop me doing it. Because that's what'll happen, even if you win a defamation case against me. Which, itself, is far from certain.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of you little monkeys were tapping away at your own blog posts already.
And yes - Stephen did indeed attach the "results" he mentions in his e-mail. I talk about them, in tedious detail, here.