Groups List: V
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V. TV show.
V. An energy drink that has gained a small but almost cult-like following. As well as guarana and B vitamins, a 250mL can of the drink contains about 78mg of caffeine, or about the same as a cup of strong coffee. (The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee actually varies from 30mg to 180mg, depending on brand, instant or percolated, etc.) FWIW the lethal level of caffeine is the equivalent of drinking 80 to 100 cups of coffee - or V - but caffeine tends to be a self-limiting drug, in that the partaker normally feels too jittery to have too much for it to be harmful.
Van Praagh, James. James van Praagh is an occult practitioner and self-proclaimed medium. Host of TV show "Beyond" on Prime. Gives messages to audience members that are supposedly from dead relatives. He doesn't tell the audience that either 1) he gets the info from demons (if he's a true medium), or 2) he does background information research, or 3) (most likely) he makes it up as he goes, like typical fairground crystal ball readers who feed off subtle verbal and body language cues in their victims - a technique known as cold reading. In his regular column in the NZ Herald Gordon McLauchlan (page A23, 11 January 2003) ripped into "van Aargh", those who would believe him, and especially the Prime programming executives. "You don't have to be very balanced and smart to realise that van Aargh! is no more in touch with the spirits of the dead than I am with the wildlife of Mars." Also see Jeanette Wilson.
Vanto. A Landmark Education front group. Reported to have been used by at least one New Zealand company.
Vegetarianism. The dietary practice of not eating meat. There are several subsets of vegetarianism, such as simply not eating red meats (where fish and chicken are OK) through to the strictest subset – vegans – who do not eat or drink any animal, fish or dairy products (including milk and cheese).
People choose to be vegetarian for all sorts of reasons from the simply philanthropic (eg, not wanting animals to be killed for the sake of their own human stomach) through to religious. While we've given vegetarianism itself a Neutral rating, there are a couple of reasons to approach with caution. Some people choose vegetarianism because they think it is something they must do for religious reasons. While we respect that choice there is actually no biblical reason for not eating meat. Quite the opposite – Genesis 9:3 says that we are to eat meat now.
Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. (NIV)
Jesus ate fish even after being resurrected (Luke 24:41-43). Also see Mark 7:15-19, where "Jesus declared all foods clean".
15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”
17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) (NIV)
Those people who try vegetarianism thinking it is automatically healthier than an omnivorous lifestyle should be aware that on average it is no more healthy than being an omnivore. Like with any diet, individuals will get varying results. As with any diet, there are particular issues involved with vegetarianism. For example, note the hospitalisation of actor Ashton Kutcher on the "fruitarian" diet.
Arguably the most infamous is the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 is only available from animal products. Plant products such as seaweed claimed to have B12 actually have an inactive form that the human body can't digest. (For more information about the complex process of B12 absorption in humans see Vitamin B12 – Evidence of design.) In other words, strict vegans will at the very least have to take an occasional dietary supplement that originated from an animal... or die from something icky like megaloblastic anaemia. A B12 deficiency can take a while to occur in vegan adults because the body stores enough B12 for several years (mostly in the liver), but vegan children do not have this store and permanent damage can be done before symptoms of B12 deficiency are noticeable. One sad case of a New Zealand child with B12 deficiency was Caleb Jan Moorhead who died in 2002. For more information on vegetarians and B12 see the New Zealand Vegetarian Society's B12 info page or the (international) Vegetarian Society's B12 info sheet.
Supplements with the active form of vitamin B6 are also recommended.
Vitamin A also only comes from animals. The body can make vitamin A from vege-sourced carotenoids but quite inefficiently (12:1 for beta carotene, 24:1 for other carotenoids), and only if there is adequate fat in the diet. Vegetarians who do not eat vitamin A-carrying eggs and dairy products need to make sure they eat more yellow, orange, and dark green fruit and vegetables to compensate – just something else to be aware of.
Vegetarianism is listed here because of its strong association with some harmful religious groups and cults, not because we are singling out vegetarianism as a particular diet.
Vibra-Train. An exercise scheme - and possible snake oil - using equipment that utilises whole body vibration (WBV). Appears to be marketed mostly with anecdotal evidence - a warning flag. On their own web site, the Research page, instead of providing any actual research, invites readers to do a web search for research - another warning flag. The page also says they don't provide any evidence WBV actually has any real benefit because their own machines are better than the ones that have been tested - another warning flag. Apparently no new research that supports Vibra-Train's machines has appeared since the page was created (29 July 2007) - another warning flag. Yet another warning flag is the confidence angle that is the ultimate appeal on that Research page.
It is simple ...
On the positive side, it probably won't do any harm except to one's wallet.
Victory Campus Ministries. Tertiary students' Christian ministry. International organisation with a branch at the University of Auckland. 1988 present as Maranatha. Banned from Auckland Uni in 1990. From 1990 to 2000 they had no presence there. Described by some as a church (Morning Star Church, now called Every Nation Church) with a campus presence.
We are currently checking possible links to the Maranatha movement which came under investigation for extreme discipling/shepherding and was banned from many university campuses worldwide (incl Auckland). They apparently also have links to Peter Wagner. Submissions for this listing are now being accepted. Please see the Contact page.
Vitamin B17. Scam. This one could kill you. There is no such thing as vitamin B17. The thing scammers and the foolish call vitamin B17 is a chemical found in apricot kernels, apple seeds and other similar items called amygdalin, or a modified form of amygdalin called laetrile. It is not a vitamin. These idiots claim that it's effective in fighting and preventing cancer. It is not. Further, when eaten, amygdalin and laetrile get converted to cyanide, which can result in fatal cyanide poisoning. For more info see Amygdalin on Wikipedia. For some notes about genuine vitamins see the Vegetarianism listing above.
Voice of God Recordings, Inc, The. Recording branch of William Branham Evangelistic Association.