Ok, so, I noticed this before with the new My Little Pony show, but they have REALLY got the idea of thinking for yourself and not believing lies down pat. I just watched the episode Leap Of Faith in season 4 and it’s completely about Snake Oil and the placebo effect. It’s marketed to kids of course, but hot damn. I really enjoy that they actually touched on the subject.
Essentially a “tonic” is being sold by two brothers who claim the stuff can heal pretty much anything (Benny Hinn anyone?!). They even have a helper who dresses up with crutches and pretends to be healed at every show (seriously man! The real faith healers do this crap). Also an older individual buys the tonic when the brothers proclaim it can make you younger.
Of course, due to her thinking it will, she does indeed feel better after drinking it. Even ends up swimming again when earlier in the day she was in so much pain she wouldn’t dare. Later in the episode she and her granddaughter enter a swimming competition. They win, due to the elderly individual having previously been a champion.
Apple Jack, A.J. for short, has previously learned it’s all been a sham; the tonic that is. But she wasn’t sure she should say anything because it seemed that the stuff was working for her Grandmother. Why say something if it seems to be working, right? But A.J. is very honest, and as a result of not saying anything before, people thought she was endorsing it! (Atheist being quiet must mean they think religion is ok, right?) So, she finally snaps into action when her Grandmother tries to make a high dive into a tiny, way to shallow, pool of water. It would have killed the old mare.
AJ then speaks out to the crowd, who are shocked. They thought she endorsed it because she wasn’t speaking up, when the opposite was true. AJ explains that there’s just no way the tonic, which was apple juice and beet leaf juice, could do all the things the brothers were claiming. However, she also declares that it was making her Grandmother feel better. To which the brothers just go back to saying essentially this “Well, even if it doesn’t do the other stuff, why reject it? It makes them feel good.” Man, I’ve heard that damn argument so many times about religion! “What’s wrong with it? It makes me feel good.” -.-…
Well, the brothers helper speaks up to reinforce AJ’s statement that the tonic does shit. He even states that he has seen the error he made! Being dishonest about something was hurting people, and he didn’t feel right about that. Even gives AJ the first dollar (bit in the show) to remind her that he “saw the light” as it were thanks to her. (Hum…religious leaving to follow the truth?) The end of the episode has AJ writing in a diary that has become a minor center piece for season four. In which she states this:
“Being honest sure gets hard when it seems like the truth might hurt some pony you care about. But I think believing a lie can end up hurting even more. Maybe some ponies don’t care about that, but I sure ain’t one of ’em.”
To be clear on two things: AJ is a southern bell kind of pony, accent and all. Secondly, “some pony”= some body.