One of Shakespeare's early definitions of a Quack
From "The Puritan Widow" archived on the University of Victoria's web site:
George, there's strange
words enow to raise a hundred Quack-salvers, though
they be ne're so poor when they begin? but here lies the
fear on't, how in this false conjuration, a true Devil should pop up indeed.
Dr. Terry Polevoy's look at Alternative Medicine - Healthwatcher.net explores some of the worst examples of complementary medicine and their exponents.
The Quackery Index - This is a simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to medicine. So, select a theory, therapy, or product you're interested in ('they', in the sections that follow, will typically refer to the advocates, proponents, manufacturers, distributors, etc. of that theory, therapy, or product, be it one person or several). Start with zero points, and then......
The Alternative Fix - Frontlne - FRONTLINE examines the controversy over complementary and alternative medical treatments. Through interviews with staunch supporters, skeptical scientists, and observers on both sides of the debate, the one-hour documentary examines how these popular treatments are facing increased scrutiny as the first real studies of their effectiveness are published.
A Trip to Stonesville: Some Notes on Andrew Weil (1998) - Arnold S. Relman, M.D.
Medical charlatans: Geriatric Research Group - A brief word about complementaray and alternative medicine as well as medical charlatans:
Current issue of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine
Quantum Quackery - Skeptical Inquirer - Victor Stenger - Quantum physics is claimed to support the mystical notion that the mind creates reality. However, an objective reality, with no special role for consciousness, human or cosmic, is consistent with all observations. Since no convincing, reproducible evidence for psychic phenomena has been found, despite 150 years of effort, this is a flimsy basis indeed for quantum consciousness.
Spontaneous Profits - Forbes.com looks at the business end of Andrew Weil - Dr. Andrew Weil launched his career by quashing the cult-like community springing up around Timothy Leary, when the LSD poster boy was a professor at Harvard University. Ironically, Weil then went on to establish his own cult of personality--albeit one far more lucrative than Leary's ever would be.
New England Journal Editors Compare Culture of Alternative Medicine to Religious Movement - Marcia Angell and Andrew Relman criticize Andrew Weil
SEEKING AN ALTERNATIVE - Jim Lehrer NewsHour - More and more, hospitals are offering their patients alternative therapies in addition to the traditional treatments. Paul Solman of WGBH-Boston reports on one hospitals program. You can read the transcript and listen to the whole story. Heart surgeon Mehmet Oz is featured.
Deepak Chopra and Maharishi Ayurvedic Medicine - Bay Area Skeptics - Thomas J. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Babble about Deepak Chopra on Rabble.ca
The Seven Critical Questions about Deepak Chopra - a fine review of his book "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" - If Deepak Chopra could answer all seven of my questions, I would gladly commend the man for helping me understand his system. It's ironic that if Chopra could and would answer these questions, he would create the kind of book he should have written in the first place, one that is balanced, detailed, and reasonable.
Quantum Quackery - ScientificAmerican.com - December 24, 2004 - By Michael Shermer
Alternative Medicine and
some of their gurus
A surprise-hit film has renewed interest in applying quantum mechanics to consciousness, spirituality and human potential. Links from this site to
Judy Z. "J.Z." Knight who claims to channel 35,000-year-old
The Association of Complementary Physicians of British Columbia has finally gone off the deep end. Have they endorsed both medical quackery AND fraud? Or do they really believe that a teenage boy, who refuses to identify himself to the thousands who pay $99 a pop to see him in public, is a bonafide distance healer?
Why would the University of Victoria risk their reputation by providing a forum for such rubbish? A few months ago they announced, UVIC Leads New $1 Million Centre For Science Literacy. The meeting in May is obviously not in the best interest of fostering science literacy. And this is not a question of academic freedom. UVIC by allowing this meeting and its workshops is plainly and simply just another quantum leap into quackdom. I searched high and low on the UVIC web site and found no mention of the conference at all. So, who at UVIC approved of the use of their name?
The fact that Dr. Oscar Casiro heads the fledgling medical school program at this location where 24 students will be entertained, not educated is very worrisome indeed. Are these young brains ready to accept unscientific mumbo jumbo and flim flam of the highest order as part of their curriculum, too? In two years there will be 96 med students enrolled as part of the Island Medical Program.
A few years ago, before the initiation of the new medical school program, forty members of the the University of Victoria faculty held an important workshop on Biomedical Research. These scientists, administrators and clinicians put their collective heads together to try to figure out why their medical research program was lacking. It was called the Health Research Initiative Workshop. In addition to some really fine statements in regards to how they could improve things, there were statements in the Canadian tradition that said that "beer and pizza nights" would improve the atmosphere and thus result in a more improved climate for the future. There was no mention by any of the participants that the potential endorsement by their University of quackery and fraud would do anything to help the situation.
So, who was it at the University of Victoria who allowed this quack-filled event to occur in the first place. Could it be that one of the sponsors, the School of Nursing helped push this through? I couldn't find any reference to the event on their own web site, so how did their logo end up on the web site promoting the event in the first place. Don't forget, the nursing school awards PhDs that are legitimate. Could it be that they are prepared to hand out some degrees in Reiki, Quantum healing, and Distance healing, too. Perhaps Adam Dreamhealer will be given an honourary degree.
Here is their Mission Statement:
"The School of Nursing is committed to generating knowledge, advancing the nursing profession, and enhancing nursing practice. The School is dedicated to excellence in providing accessible and innovative educational opportunities, research, and professional activities. Through partnerships and collaboration in research, education, and practice, we strive to influence change in order to improve societal health."
And, the medical organization that endorses this program has arranged for C.M.E. credits of 8.5 hours for the doctors who attend.
Terry Polevoy, MD
HealthWatcher.net - Canadian Quackerywatch.
Who really sponsored the meeting?
The Association of Complementary Physicians of BC (ACPBC) is a registered society that is open to medical doctors with specific expertise or a general interest in complementary health care or integrative medicine. The association was formed in October 1995 when a group of physicians with special interests in complementary therapies started having monthly meetings in Victoria and Vancouver, BC. The ACPBC is affiliated with the national Canadian Complementary Medical Association, formed in July 1996.
Why would these physicians get mixed up with someone like Adam Dreamhealer in the first place?
It appears that Adam's presentation is part of three post-conference workshops, so why does the flyer above indicate that it is part of the program?
More about the conference
Keynote speakers - include Andrew Weil, M.D. Gabor Maté,M.D. Leanna J. Standish, ND, PhD, Steven Aung, MD, PhD, Marja Verhoef, PhD
Is it coincidental that Andrew Weil will also be on the program as the keynote speaker to discuss his book "When the Body Forgets to Heal"? And it only will cost you $19.50 Canadian to see him.
Post conference workshops
Adam Dreamhealer - "Self-healing with Intentions" - $99.00
Adam will share his knowledge on the science behind self-healing. He will also discuss auras, visions and orbs and will explain and carry out a group energy treatment which will involve everyone in the group.
Adam is a gifted distant energy healer, author of 2 best-selling books about his work. His techniques are explained in his first book, DreamHealer - His name is Adam. His newly released second book DreamHealer 2: Guide to Self-Empowerment offers specific, powerful tools to increase our own healing abilities.
Adam explains how our minds, through intention, directly affect our immune systems, guiding us in fine-tuning our own skills in directing energy to re-establish health, as we seek to achieve a higher level of consciousness. The academic theories of quantum physics come to life with his accounts of his direct experience of the interconnectedness we all share. Adam has the ability to perceive this connectivity and influence it over any distance instantaneously, accomplishing distant healing. He explains the scientific basis of his experiences in terms of "quantum physics" and "quantum holograms".'' Endorsements for his books include Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Dr. Effie Chow, Qigong Grandmaster; Dr. Eric Pearl; Dr. Lee Pulos; Dr. Marilyn Parkin -- and Rock & Roll legend Ronnie Hawkins, healed through Adam's intervention from terminal pancreatic cancer.
Stephen Aung - "Aung Medical Qi Gong Phonation "
This workshop exercise progam has two basic aspects. The first involves chakras, which may be envisioned as super powerful acupoints (centres of vital energy) on the front and back midlines, which are the Conception Vessel and Governor Vessel meridians in the traditional Chinese Meridian system. These meridians serve to harmonize all the merdians (pathways of vital energy) and acupoints of the major internal organs. Phonation in conjunction with breathing, concentration and posture/movement is a vitally important tool in this endeavor. Chakra phonation balances the meridian system at the superficial level. At a deeper level, organ phonation sounds are indicated for enhancement of the internal organ system, encompassing the major Yin/Yang internal organs such as the Heart (solid -Yin) and Lung (hollow- Yang). These sounds may be produced individually or in a group setting in a classroom or in the context of retreat in a wilderness area. This sound system helps to purify us of negative energy and emotional pollution and at the same time enhance the localized energy centres for the benefit of ourselves and all sentient beings.
Steven Aung's home page
Stephen Faulkner - "Energy Healing: Morphogenetic Fields, Talking Circle,
Holotropic Breathing and the Shamanic State of Consciousness"
This experiential workshop will explore the understanding and use of a range of energy healing modalities including the Talking Circle, Morphogenetic Fields, Holotropic Breathing and the Shamanic State of Consciousness.
Participants should bring a sacred object or special photograph, drum or rattle, pillow and blanket and wear light clothing.
Dr Stephen Faulkner has had extensive experience facilitating workshops for doctors, practitioners and men’s groups over the last fifteen years. He has 25 years experience in family practice as well as experience in anesthesia, obstetrics, ER and hospital administration. His ‘Complementary’ area of medical interest since 1988 has been in ‘Psycho-spiritual’ healing, especially the group process including ritual and community, and in the healing traditions and spirit dancing of the Coast Salish people of BC.
Dr Faulkner believes that the environmental crisis and deep spiritual confusion afflicting our modern world is reflected in ever increasing chronic disease and failing health care systems in industrialized nations. He also believes the building blocks of a reorganizing consciousness where authentic change in individuals, relationships and societies can begin lie within the indigenous teachings of earth consciousness and ancestral wisdom together with the use of ceremony, healing and initiation.
General practice referral to complementary health practitioners - Faulkner's letter to the BC Medical Journal - April 2001
It is well known that over half the public are using complementary health modalities and that most do not inform their family physicians for fear of disapproval.
The Association of Complementary Physicians of BC, an organization for physicians interested in complementary and integrative medicine, have been engaged in discussions with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC over the last year regarding this matter.
The College is concerned about the lack of communication between conventional and complementary physicians and the dangers that can ensue when one doctor does not know what the other is doing. There has developed a catch-22 situation in which the patient does not want his or her family physician to know about a complementary treatment for fear of negative judgment or even dismissal on the one hand, and the College recommendation that the complementary doctor advise the family doctor even if it is against the patient’s will.
One obvious solution is for doctors to become more open minded and informed about complementary modalities and not to pour scorn and doubt on areas in which they have had no training. There are many instances where we do not understand the rationale behind a particular modality of treatment, even in conventional medicine, but this does not preclude its use so long as it is safe and is not unduly expensive.
Open communication between conventional and complementary physicians leads to a win-win situation and enhancement of the therapeutic relationship between patient and doctor. There is often a synergy between the conventional and complementary treatment. Openly dismissing that which we do not understand is demeaning not only for our patients but for our profession as well. We must learn to cooperate and communicate with complementary practitioners as we move into an expanding world with many more health options.
What do the patients gain in all of this? If the complementary doctor practices quackery and talks mumbo jumbo to his patients, our patients are the ultimate losers.
The Cure, the Score or the Scam?
What does an old and nearly broke and fading rockabilly star have to gain by telling the world that he has a cancerous and inoperable tumour? How believable is his story? Why did Paul Anka, David Foster, Kris Kristofferson, Bill Clinton, former moon landing astronaut Edgar Mitchell, members of the press and media, plus thousands of others fail to ask basic questions?
Was it their personal friendship and support that helped "cure" Hawkins? Or was it a teenaged boy named Adam from suburban Vancouver, British Columbia who resurrected his career and his life? What about the facts?
I personally don't think that The Hawk had cancer in the head of his pancreas. It was never proved. I do know that he believed that he did because he was apparently told that he only had a few months to live by several reputable doctors. Some of these physicians also had personal links to Hawkins and his family.
A series of farewell concerts was organized in late 2002, and when Hawkins didn't die, the public's keen interest in the story spawned a flurry of articles in the press. First were the two articles in the Globe and Mail back in May 2003 about Hawkins and the alleged remote healer called Adam. This was followed by a feature story "The Boy With the Magic Touch", by Charles M. Young, that appeared in Rolling Stone and even launched a rather interesting documentary that CTV aired on August 20, 2004.
Hawkins relished the publicity after many years of squandering his fortunes and drinking and smoking through bypass surgery a few years ago, he didn't change his habits. He was even given his own star on Canada's Walk of Fame back in 2002.
The Documentary - yeah right!
Still Alive and Kickin' - August 20, 2004 - This hour plus CTV documentary included cameos and interviews in the film included Paul Anka, Robbie Robertson, Kris Kristofferson, President Bill Clinton, David Foster and a whole bunch of other
personalities. The 18 month journey was documented by a film producer named
Anne Pick. A few of her other films are profiled on this CBC site:
How about a self-promotional - not-for-cable-viewers only - vulgar funfest !
A full description of Reel to Reel, her production company
I never saw so much smoking and profanity
ever broadcast on any TV network. This is not CABLE TV folks. CTV
broadcasts over the airwaves. If the intent of Anne Pick was to present the raw
side of Ronnie Hawkins and his friends and family, she certainly didn't censor
this in any way.
What she didn't do was to allow any criticism at all of the "remote
healer" from Vancouver. He supposedly claims to have "healed" Hawkins through the use of Quantum Holography. In other words, he looked at a picture of The Hawk, waved his magic wand, and presto-chango, and at a distance of several thousand kilometres, his deed was done. What an amazing story!
His own collection of medical specialists then gave Ronnie a clean bill of health and that allowed him to restart his recording and concert career and recover from his rather poor economic position.
I was quite upset not just at the implied miracle that sprung from Adam the remote healer, but at the content and language of Pick's documentary itself. So I filed an official complaint to the CRTC and the CBSC. The Adam's family is another story indeed. That complaint will be filed with those who monitor the internet for fraud.
A few years ago the Feds in the U.S. shut down one of the most
notorious telephone scams of modern times because people got ripped off by the
fake psychics. Why is this group of faith healers any different? Dozens of TV evangelicals are on the air every day providing testimonials and fake cures to millions. So why is Adam any different?
Adam's web site and the income he and his family has earned would really be in that
category as far as I am concerned. It's really nothing more than a
stunt to increase their exposure so he can advance his career. But, how
likely is it that the government, either here or in the U.S. will step
stop this scheme?
Telling people what their condition is over the telephone and then falsly claim that you have the power to help is basically nothing more than consumer health fraud. This is not just some psychic scam, this is health fraud. At $75 a pop for a few minutes of their time, that can add up to
quite a pile of money. Does Adam's parents charge GST? Do they pay income tax on their combined income? What is their corporate status, if any? What is their tax ID number that they file under?
CTV's warnings before each segment were certainly not adequate. The abusive language used by Hawkins, and especially the comments he made about his genitalia, and his sex life were not necessary to tell the story of his life. I'm sure that if Pick was doing a story about Mickey Mantle, she wouldn't have used the footage if "The Mick" had said a few bad words, or had a glass of brandy in his hand.
The movie was vulgar, full of smoking, with no regard for the abuse that this man brought on himself through years and years of self-abuse. Did anyone think to mention in the movie that Hawkins had had bypass surgery a few years before, and yet continued to drink and smoke like a chimney? No, Anne Pick would never have put that in the film.
Was Hawkins grateful to Adam for "curing" him? According to one press account, he gave him something very special..... a T-Shirt.
The bottom line, and in my opinion, is that there was no miracle here. Ronnie Hawkins and his group of supporters knew that his goose was cooked way before his alleged pancreatic cancer hit the newspapers. He needed something to get out of the deep hole he had dug himself into. The film and the promotion surrounding the release of the film was just good timing.
Contact the Media with your concerns:
CTV Television Network
P.O. Box 9, Station 'O,' Scarborough
Ontario, Canada M4A 2M9
9 Channel Nine Court,
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada M1S4B5
Telephone: (416) 332-5000
firstname.lastname@example.org - Entertainment department
email@example.com - Medical reporter
To complain about Canadian broadcasting here are some links:
CRTC - Canadian Radio Television Commission
Contact page for full details
CAB - Canadian Association of Broadcasters
Codes of Ethics
Sex Role Portrayal Code for Television and Radio Programming
Contact the CAB:
P.O. Box 627, Stn. B
Street Address: 350 Sparks St., Suite 306
To complain to the producer's company:
Real to Reel Productions Incorporated
3023 Dundas St. West
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
Email Inquiries: info@R2R.ca
Health on the Line - Discovery Health Canada
Avery Haines interviews Ronnie Hawkins, Adam Dreamhealer, Liz (Adam's mother), Effie Chow - Grand Master of Qigong, Deepak Chopra, and two patients who have been treated by Adam. Also, a return performance by Dr. Bryce Taylor the ace cancer surgeon who said that he "held it" in his hand.
Book Reviews of DreamHealer - self published book by Adam - Check the third one on the list for an honest appraisal.
Another Fake... With a New Twist
Adam, if that's his real name is supposed to be around 17 years old and wants privacy, but conducts interviews and has workshops. He now no longer meets people in person, but has the client send a color photo and "money" along with a signed iron clad disclaimer which is good for life! The "healing" is done from a distance (non-local), and sounds like a retake of Edgar Cayce except with a scientific (theory) explanation of what is taking place and how it is done.
A paper was done on Quantum Hologram by Edgar Mitchell and Adam and his parents (if they are his parents) use this word to explain how Adam heals through perception, telepathy, and intuition. The Quantum Theory talk reminds me of Transcendental Meditation and of Deepak Chopra's theories on healing through quantum physics. At the end of Mitchell's paper he states, "The existence of quantum holography provides an adequate informational structure to permit a theory for the observed results. The case is a classic case in phenomenology, where results are repeatedly observed over time that fall outside the prevailing paradigm, and must await new developments in science before an explanation is forthcoming." He goes on to say, "These results apply directly to healing prayer as well." He concludes, "The case for mind/mind and mind/matter interactions is impressively well documented over many decades as studies in phenomenology, with staggering probabilities against chance having produced the results."
However, with all of this being said we still don't know if "Adam" fits into these finding since there is no proof that he has actually healed anyone. His disclaimer gives him the credit if there is a healing at anytime, but also gives Adam an out if there is no healing. But, there is no refund as well! I find it interesting that Adam and his parents also sought out Ronnie Hawkins (an older Rock musician) for a healing. Hawkins went through the WHIPPLE Operation for his pancreatic tumor, and used shaman remedies, "pot" and many other methods in addition to Adam's healing. Adam takes credit for Hawkins's recovery, but Hawkin's doesn't give Adam that honor. Many other interventions could have done the job for Ronnie. Hawkin's gives credit to his doctors as well, but especially gives credit to the "Big Rocker up there."
My conclusion is that much of what Adam has to share in his book is recycled info with a scientific, quantum hologram, perception, telepathy, nonlocal, intuition type spin. I think that Adam and his parents could be "Irish Travellers" (crooks) who simply have a new twist in scamming people. There is no history, no information, and a guise to remain private in order to lead a "normal" life for the kid... if he is even a kid of seventeen! Why did they have an interview, do workshops, and seek out Hawkins if they want privacy, unless, it is to build a large client base and are establishing non-interference and a no questions asked air of legitimacy.
Another question that comes to mind is how does KARMA fit into this energy healing or whatever term we call it? Isn't Adam taking on karma? To what degree should we interfere with the Divine Plan? Or, is learning how to heal ourselves part of our journey towards Self-Mastery? Jesus, it is said, did healings (of course these people eventually died... right?), and was reported to say that all of us could do this and more! Perhaps Adam is a fake because people fear death, but even if he is a fraud maybe it is also a spiritual wake-up call for us to become our own Masters and our own Healers. I am very wary of those whose vainly share with the world that they are great souls. If you have to announce it... then you aren't.
I suggest that people use discrimination and check these people (Adam) out more. In looking at all sides of this "Adam" with limited information on his part and the disclaimer he has people sign and the non-contact aspect it sounds like an ingenious scam! Also, isn't this book listed as Science Fiction?
The Hype, The Hope, and the Truth