There's a scene in the documentary Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox that seems to have come about by accident, and is quite hilarious. The subject of the film, renowned soap-maker and 60s counter-culture eccentric E.H. Bronner is rambling to the cameraman about his various crackpot theories on religion and how to save "spaceship Earth" and so on, and then the focus and camera angle shifts to Bronner's female companion (presumably his wife.) As she begins to talk to the camera, we see that Bronner is still talking in the background, with the same intensity and pitch, only we can't hear him. It makes him look quite insane, which of course, he was. Bronner's bizarre preachings about how to live by the "Moral ABCs" as he called them -- a series of grade-school level fortune-cookie aphorisms about how to live well and treat others nicely -- landed him in a mental institution in the 40s and he was subjected to brutal shock treatments that seem to have left him damaged for life.

Born in 1908, Bronner was a German Jew from a long line of soap-makers, and he immigrated to the States in 1929, fearing the rise of German anti-Semitism. He later learned that his parents, who had thought his fears of the Nazi party overblown, had been killed in the Holocaust. Once moved to the U.S., he set about combining his profession of soap-making with his impenetrable spiritual code, called the "All One God Faith," a amalgam of Jewish and Christian moral teachings combined with German enthusiasm (he loved to use exclamation marks) that he actually printed on the bottles of peppermint soap he sold. Here's a sample: "Absolute cleanliness is Godliness! Who else but God gave man Love that can spark mere dust to life! Poetry, uniting All-One! All brave! All life! Who else but God! Listen Children Eternal Father Eternally One!" These prescriptions for clean living, morally and physically, became popular with the hippie set during the 60s and as we're told in the film, it's the hippies who still form the customer backbone for Bronner's soap business.