Dr. Bronner's soap
If you are anything like me, you are inexhaustibly fascinated with the story of Dr. Bronner, the man with the foamiest, most intricately labeled soaps in the world. You use them, of course; you read the labels during unavoidable shower downtime, you have seen the documentary about his life and mission, you’re familiar with his son’s arrest for hemp activism. You read the occasional article that pops up in your Google alert that examines the outlandish claims on the product labels or delves into some of the more unbelievable aspects of Bronner’s biography.

You, however, already know that he escaped from an Illinois psychiatric hospital in the late 1940s, shortly after fleeing Nazi-controlled Germany. That’s Bronner 101, and you just signed up for honors Bronner 412. There is always more to learn, always another facet of the gleaming Bronner diamond that merits close examination – wheels within wheels, hidden references, subtle allusions, buried treasures that await discovery by a careful reader. It is for this reason that we bring you the Annotated Dr. Bronner’s Label, Part I.

Dr. Bronner’s SUPERMILD 18-in-1
Short for 18 uses in 1 soap. At one point, labels claimed the soap could be used as an effective contraceptive; the claim has since been removed from bottles. Brokelyn once tested and rated each suggested use; recommendations here.
Contains: Potassium solution, Coconut-Jojoba-Olive Oils.
No Perfume – 100% Pure
Pure Castile Soap
Castile soap refers to any soap that has been made with olive or laurel oil in a process that originated in the Castile region of Spain. There is a very interesting-looking article called “A short history of soap” by John Hunt that appears to go into greater detail about how Crusaders and Muslim traders popularized its use in Europe, but it is behind the Pharmaceutical Press paywall and I cannot access it. Pharmacist readers, I hope you realize how lucky you are to be able to access that kind of sapo-historical information.
No Detergents
No Synthetics! None!
100% Biodegradable!

1. Always dilute for Shave-Shampoo-Massage-Dental-Soap Bath!
2. The mildest plain pure Baby Castile Soap made!
3. 1% & 99% hot water = facial pack, shampoo, hair conditioner!
4. A dash in glass water = breath freshening pure soap.
5. For massage, dilute 1 part in 10 parts hot water! Not oil!
6. Supermild soap like a lotion for the most delicate skin.
7. Dilute with hot water to clean & freshen from head to toe!
8. Supermild oil soap for Dispensers – Uniforms – Baby – Beach!
9. 3 dashes in water rinse most Sprays OFF Fruits & Vegetables!
10. Synthetics make suds good, but 100% natural soap is better!

Guaranteed since 1948 by Einstein-Hellbronner ALL-ONE-GOD-FAITH, INC.
Dr. Emmanuel H. Bronner Associates, SMMC, Soapmaker Master Chemist & Essene Rabbi
The Essenes practiced an ascetic form of Second-Temple Judaism that flourished between the second century BCE and the first century CE. They lived in monastic desert communities and created the Dead Sea Scrolls; Jesus may have been one but then again, he mightn’t have been. He also famously washed the feet of his disciples before the Last Supper.
Escondido, Box 28, Cal. 92033
My cousins live in Escondido, although they are not connected to Dr. Bronner or his fine soaps in any other manner that I’m aware of. I mention this only because it isn’t often one hears about Escondido, and it’s nice to think of these things as being connected somehow.
Made in USA
4 oz:36 8 oz:24 16 oz:12 32 oz:12 1/2 Gal:8 Gal:4

Enjoy only 2 cosmetics, enough sleep & Dr. Bronner’s ‘Magic Soap’ to clean
body-mind-soul-spirit instantly uniting One! All-One! Absolute cleanliness
is Godliness! For facial packs, scalp & soothing body rub, add dash on bath
towel in sink of hot water. Wring out. Lay over face & scalp. Massage with
fingertips. Repeat 3 or 4 times ’til arms, Legs & all are rubbed, always
towards the heart.
Rinse towel in plain hot water and massage again.
Breathe deeply! Health is Wealth. Within 9 minutes you feel fresh,
mint-clean, saving 90% of your hot water (no citation on the 90% figure) & soap, ready to teach the whole Human race the Moral ABC of All-One-God-Faith!
For we’re All-One or none!
Similar to High School Musical‘s penultimate number, We’re All In This Together.
This often-repeated announcement echoes the Hebrew Sh’ma (“Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheynu Adonai Echad” or: “Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One”, taken from Deuteronomy 6:4).

ENJOY THE CREAMY EMOLLIENT LATHER ON BABY, BATH, BEACH, BODY, DENTURES, DEODORANT, SHAVING, AFTERSHAVE-SILK-WOOL-PETS-DIAPERS-CAR-HAND AND FOOT SOAP. Thank God we don’t descend down from perfect Adam & Eve to sinful sinner, Brother’s Keeper, divided slave! United, hardworking-trained-brave, from dust we ascend up! Thank God for that!
Differs markedly from the Christian concept of original sin, as in Romans 5: “By one man [Adam]’s disobedience, many were made sinners.”
Our Brother’s Teacher of the Moral ABC mason Hillel (Rabbi Hillel the Elder lived in the final century BCE and was perhaps best known for his contributions to the development of the Talmud and for coining the saying “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”; he did also work as a woodcutter) taught carpenter Jesus to unite all mankind free! (While it is unlikely that Hillel, who died about 10 BCE, ever met Jesus, the two of them shared many philosophical similarities.)

If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you! If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, and yet make allowance for their doubting too! If you can wait and not be tired by waiting or being lied about, don’t deal in lies! 0r being hated, don’t give way to hating, and yet don’t look too good nor talk too wise! if you can dream and not make dreams your master! If you can think and not make thoughts your aim! If you can meet with triumph or disaster and treat those two imposters just the same! If you can bear to hear the full-truth you have spoken twisted by crooks to make a trap for fools! Or watch the things that you have given your life to broken, and stoop to build them up again with worn out tools! If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it at one turn of pitch or toss! And lose and start again at your beginnings and never breathe a word about your loss! If you can force your heart, your nerve, your sinew, to serve you long after they are gone! And so hold on although there is nothing left within you except that voice that says to them “Hold on! Hold on!” If you can talk to crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings and not lose that common touch! If neither loving friend nor enemy can hurl you; it all men count with you, but none too much!
Compare with Rudyard Kipling’s If.

If you can work hard to teach each unforgiving minute the Moral ABC, mason Hillel taught carpenter Jesus to unite all mankind free, come hell, hate, ban, you’ll enjoy God’s spaceship Earth & do great work within it!
“Spaceship earth” is a metaphor for the planet as defined by ecological scarcity, first mentioned in Henry George’s Progress and Poverty.

Which is more my son, you’ll be a man! A man! Sure, East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet!
See Kipling’s The Ballad of East and West.
But there is neither East nor West, nor border, breed nor birth, once the Moral ABC unites all mankind free on God’s spaceship Earth! Then & only then, no matter how rough the trip, how charged the scroll, you are the captain of thy ship, the master of thy soul!
See William Henley’s Invictus.
These are the days my friend, we know they’ll never end! We’ll work, sing, dance, love, marching on! Marching on! We live God’s law today! We win Free speech OK! With full-truth, our only God, we rally, raise, unite the whole human race, lightning-like, in our Eternal Father’s great All-One-Faith! As teaches the African astronomer Israel (possible reference?) since the year One: “Listen Children Eternal Father Eternal One!’ “Exceptions eternally? Absolute none!”

Next week: Part II.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]