Dr. Bronner, The Mad Scientist Of Soap-Making

June 26, 2017

Co-op shoppers, Trader Joe’s enthusiasts, organic “hippies” and other people my father doesn’t understand are surely familiar with Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. Or 18-in-1 pure castile soap. Or Magic “All-One!” – depending on which part of the label you’re looking at.

And oh my, that label.

If you’ve ever seen the product, you’ve probably noticed that label is a hot mess of endless copy. But have you ever really looked closely? There’s so much to take in, and most of it is really, really hard to follow – but I assure you, it’s all bananas.

Some highlights:

The 2nd Coming of God’s Law! Mohammed’s Arabs, 1948, found Israel Essene Scrolls & Einstein’s “Hillel” prove that as no 6-year-old can grow up free without the ABC, so certain can no 12-year-old survive free without the Moral ABC mason, tent & sandalmaker Rabbi Hillel taught carpenter Jesus to unite all mankind free in our Eternal Father’s great All-One-God-Faith! For we’re All-One or none: “Listen Children Eternal Father Eternally One!”

This is on soap. But it gets better. Apparently, the good doctor is no fan of Karl Marx. The label throws copious shade at Marxism, including:

Marxist-Communism, once in power, is utterly unworkable, has less value than cowdung. Its power is the gun!

I find most socio-economic philosophy pretty dry, but when it’s condensed into a version that fits on my soap bottle, it just works, you know? Snappy. I like it. Also on the subject of Marxism, check out this anecdote about Margaret Mead and timberwolves that proves that we must eradicate the Marxist-welfare state:

But it gets better.

If, even with the crazy context above, you were asked to guess the absolute last subject Dr. Bronner might venture into, what would you say?

Did you guess birth control? Because he talks about birth control. Apparently, some versions of the label (not the one shown here) include a “recipe” for birth control that involves using lemons and Vaseline. He’s a doctor and I’m not, but don’t try that.

Instead, spend a few minutes being jealous of the copywriting that deftly jumps from Marxism to beavers to ancient Egypt in about 12 words.

Apparently Dr. Bronner has lived quite the life. If these labels are any indication, I’m sure he was a hell of an interesting dude to have a chat with.

If you’re looking for some fascinating reading material but you’ve lost your library card, just pick up a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s. Here’s a PDF of the full label that seems only slightly different from the one shown in my photos. Enjoy!