How do you get more consumers to drink your chemical-laden soda products? In the case of Coca-Cola, you push spiritual leaders to use your beverages in a full fledged ‘healing ritual’ performed by Shamans in Mexico.
No, it’s not an April Fools joke. But it is awfully bizarre. And it makes you wonder what this company won’t do now that it’s losing money amid slumping sales.
To give you some background on this, and some documentation, let’s go back to 1997. That’s when one of the first pieces to cover this sensation was released by The Independent. Within the piece, it becomes very clear that many Mexican spiritual leaders are being highly deceived by the corporate influence of soda giants to the highest degree possible: they’re using their soda products in their rituals with the belief that they are providing miraculous healing powers.
“It is used as medicine,” a source named Pepe told the paper. “The Indians believe a belch expels demons and sickness.”
Pepe is, of course, talking about Coca-Cola. Continuing with the piece, we read:
“I am witnessing a Mayan religious ritual for the first time, yet the bottle’s shape seems familiar. Then Pepe confirms its contents: Coca-Cola.
The use of Coke is a startling adaptation. San Juan Chamula is a small village 2,300m up in the Chiapas Highlands of southern Mexico, near the border with Guatemala. Its inhabitants are mostly Tzotzil Indians – one of the largest groups of Mexico’s pre-Spanish descendants, with a fierce reputation for defending traditions.”
And, remember, this was taken very seriously — to the extent that photographs were forbidden and rumors were circulated that Americans could be killed for disturbing these Coca-Cola rituals.
“Stories still circulate about two American tourists who were supposedly killed after taking photographs inside Chamula’s church during a ritualistic ceremony. Pepe shrugs them off as mere rumours.”
It’s outlandish, but reminds us of how reports caught Coca-Cola paying off health leaders to trick consumers into thinking Coca-Cola is healthy.
But even with shamans buying their disease-breeding sodas in bulk and health leaders pushing their sodas, Coca-Cola is losing money fast. Resulting to new products like ‘Coca-Cola Life,’ which contains many of the same additives and preservatives as the original but with less sugar, we see just how scared the soda giant is of becoming lost to health-conscious consumers. Just like McDonald’s, who is in a similar situation.
Mega food companies will do almost anything to make a profit, which is why it’s more essential than ever before to take a stand for your health and reclaim our food supply.