Archiv für die Kategorie ‘English’

BILD Dresden: When a clueless Newager and a clueless journalist think they’re doing a great job

30. Mai 2016 Keine Kommentare

The largest German tabloid, BILD-Zeitung, on May 24, 2016, ran a regional article on a planned event with Henry Red Cloud which was titled: „Please help my poor people | Greatgrandson of Chief Red Cloud begs Saxons“.

The article employs lots of stereotypes and desinformation – okay, we’re talking about BILD who built up a certain reputation for not caring too much about facts if and when these might stand in the way of a „good“ article:

„Henry Red Cloud (53) hopes to find salvation for his sorely afflicted people, gathering donations on June 1.
Sabine SunTurtle (49), his confidante in Europe: „The 28,000 Lakota belonging to the Sioux today live in a reservation of only 11,000 square kilometres in South Dakota. 85% are unemployed, suffering want at an annual $ 1,500 per person in social benefits. The lack of perspective causes many to become dependent on drugs and alcohol.“


William Burchett / Jervis aka Medicine Turtle – A criminal turned plastic shame-on

16. Mai 2016 Keine Kommentare

For Psiram as well as for our friends at NAFPS (New Age Frauds and Plastic Shamans), Mr Whatshisname is an old acquaintance. NAFPS has been dealing with him since 2006, when he was fairly newly arrived in Europe, apparently married to a woman from Luxemburg, with whom he got into contact while still in prison for armed robbery. Yes, Mr Burchett is a former inmate, he was granted two consecutive prison sentences amounting to a combined duration of 15 years in the clink, of which he served some 13 or 14 years. Apparently, good conduct is an option which never occurs to Burchett. And already while in prison, Burchett decided he’d rather be a Cherokee. Which is somewhat hilarious, with him being red-haired and of a very brilliant white, and since he picked up his knowledge about indigenous cultures from some Hollywood D productions.

FirewakerInterestingly enough, he was sentenced as „William A. Burchett“, but already while in prison applied for an official change of name to „William A. Jervis“ in 2002. This was denied by a court, so whether his legal name is still Burchett or whether he successfully applied again after his stint in prison is unknown, but even when released from supervision on June 30, 2005, official documents speak of him as „William Burchett“. Anyways, having been released from prison and then from supervision, he got married and settled down in Luxemburg, but this story does not have a happy ending. Soon enough, Burchett was fed up with being a DJ in a small Luxemburg radio project, and started his own „Indianer club“ which he advertised on many internet sites and platforms, like e.g. nudist sites in France. When this did not kick off, Burchett started advertising „sweatlodge“ ceremonies at these premises. Mehr…

John Fire Lame Deer Jr & Dr Stephan Götze: Casting the net for the (prospective) affluent, or: Hogwarts-on-Rhine just opened shop

23. November 2015 Keine Kommentare

Yes, dear readers: Hogwarts presents a new branch – the „University of Applied Management Studies“ in the town of Mannheim in Germany! (Its original German title is somewhat less impressive with an „Academy of Economy for Management“.) Its Wikipedia article is somewhat on the advertising side and offers but a modest list of references. Having taken up business in April 2011, the academy had 379 students in the winter term of 2014/15.


Stephan Götze

Already since 2013, Dr Stephan Götze has been working hard at reducing his employer to laughingstock teaching hogwash. Hired as a „lecturer for Sustainability and Marketing & Research“, however, this is not all he’s getting paid for. An unsavoury blend of professional work and private pastimes comes on top of that.

Besides Marketing & Research, Götze has been a „shamanic“ student of Archie Fire Lame Deer. Although Archie Fire was trained as a medicine person, he was viewed highly controversially by the Lakota for accepting white persons at ceremonies and teaching and training them. Mr Fire has helped to produce a plethora of Wanabi shame-ons training more and more „shamanic“ exploiters who picked up little, understood only part of that, and pass on even less. Mr Fire also caused the first reported fatality of a Newager when his client Ronald Delgado died in a vision quest led by Fire on July 12, 1980. Mehr…

Xavier Naidoo – at long last an entry at Psiram’s English Wiki

21. November 2015 Keine Kommentare
Titel bei Haaretz

Headline at Haaretz


When news spread that Xavier Naidoo had been nominated for the European Song Contest by public broadcaster NDR – represented by Thomas Schreiber (responsible for Fiction & Entertainment) – , we meant to cover this. Like many others in the internet, we had already written a blog article on Naidoo’s strange views some time ago. The issue was hot again now. It became even hotter with many blogs and comments covering it – including (although it’s hard to believe) Germany’s largest tabloid, also known as the Four-Letter Rag. There isn’t much more publicity to be had. Mehr…

Brooke „Medicine Eagle“ Edwards – Plastic Shaman with some 40 Years of Experience in Fleecing

25. April 2015 Keine Kommentare

Edwards is one of the plastic shamans in business for several decades and has been exposed as a fake so often everyone should be aware of what she is. One example is Edwards being renounced as a plastic shame-on in an AIM resolution passed during its 1984 National Leadership Conference, in which she is aptly called Brooke „Medicine Ego“. Unfortunately, her being debunked as a fake did not take her out of business, and in 2015, Ms Edwards will come to Europe (Malta, Spain, France, Germany, Great Britain) looking for more sheep to fleece with workshops, seminars, and „shamanic conferences“, and she will also visit Damanhur community in Italy which is a cult masking itself as an ecologically-minded „intentional community“. In Germany, she will participate in a so-called „Medicine Wheel Gathering“ organised by the Bear Tribe which was founded by plastic shaman Vincent LaDuke aka Sun Bear.

Indeed Edwards has maintained ties to the Bear Tribe since 30 or 40 years and cooperated with LaDuke resp. the Bear Tribe in the USA. The medicine wheel as used in the Newage scene, and by Ms Edwards, is largely an invention employed by LaDuke to appeal to an affluent white clientele.

At the Bear Tribe gathering, Edwards will also meet Francis Talbot aka Manitonquat or Medicine Story who poses as a Wampanoag elder and medicine person. Indigenous activists in the USA have been working for years to convince authorities Talbot was a fake, as several prisons used to accept him to do ceremonies for imprisoned indigenous persons. He is regularly touring Europe for summer camps in various countries, and cooperates with ZEGG, Tamera, and Findhorn. Mehr…

Psychology of Vision III – „We’ll get you all“: Multitasking in a pyramid scheme

21. Januar 2015 Keine Kommentare

As we have seen before, PoV employs strategies to lure in clients and keep them. The courses for „Steps to Leadership“ address a higher income business audience resp. persons who intend to qualify for executive functions.

Chuck&Lency are grateful German clients keep their fridge filled

Chuck&Lency are grateful German clients keep their fridge filled

Chuck&Lency are grateful German clients keep their fridge filled

However, public funding is always welcome. A PoV vendor from Northrhine-Westfalia sells courses in Steps to Leadership lasting seven weekends and one Saturday. The prices asked are € 1,390 for one person, couples will pay € 1,200 per person, and unemployed persons will pay € 1,000. Additionally, possibilities of public funding and subventions are lined out:

The Department for Employment, Integration, and Social Issues of the federal state of NRW may grant subsidies provided certain prerequisites are being met (a so-called Educational Cheque), or the Department of Education and Research may grant a so-called Educational Premium. […] [1]


How does a non-recognised, non-validated pyramid scheme without peer review trying to give itself the air of a pseudo-scientific appearance go together with (gasp) education? How can a federal state department „recognise“ such a mumbo-jumbo? Are they getting their homework done in the department every now and then? Hard to believe, in particular when one reads the description of PoV as provided by this vendor: Mehr…

Psychology of Vision II – Grabbing state money, demanding donations, and still mimicking the benefactor

18. Januar 2015 Keine Kommentare

Not to worry our European readers about where their tax money goes to: this is happening in Canada. Methods and practices aren’t any less perfiduous and merit a closer look.

Canada, same as the USA, has an indigenous population who were not always treated nicely by the government. There is a multitude of reservations, mostly not alloted to entire ethnicities, but to individual groups or villages of an indigenous nation. In ancient Rome, this was called: divide et impera. Members of these groups were recognized as „Status Indians“. However, indigenous populations always present a reminder to the fact that the land once belonged to other people, which is a fact that may be inconveniently aggrieving – on the other hand, the good colonialist aims at civilising the „savages“ and knows what’s best for them. Mehr…

Psychology of Vision I – Paying to cry your eyes out and be hypnothised

13. Januar 2015 Keine Kommentare

We would like to point out a vendor on the psycho Newage market to our readers which gets too little attention by critical websites: Psychology of Vision. This enterprise is active in several countries, among them Canada, PR China, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hawaii. PoV was founded by Charles „Chuck“ Spezzano and his wife Lenora „Lency“, US citizens living in Hawaii.

Chuck im Hawaii-ShirtSpezzano’s curriculum vitae is somewhat meandering: first, he studied theology and joined a religious order, even took initial vows and studied philosophy and psychology which he finished with a Bachelor’s degree. Afterwards, he left the order and continued his studies in San Diego, where he earned a doctorate in counseling psychology.
At the end of 1979, he opened up a counseling practice as a marriage and family counselor. Accordingly, a respective licence can be traced for California which expired in 1990; Spezzano never applied for a licence in Hawaii where he has been living since the early 1980ies. Instead, he started Psychology of Vision, with a company „Spezzano & Associates Ltd.“ in its background.

Having a look at the seminars offered, one realises that PoV events are being done anywhere – however, of all of the USA, seminars only take place in Hawaii. For the other 49 states: Nothing. Nada. There may be reasons for this. Mehr…

Prof. Potrykus on Golden Rice

8. September 2013 Keine Kommentare


Ingo Potrykus, Professor emeritus at the Institute of Plant Sciences, ETH Zurich, is one of the world’s most renowned personalities in the fields of agricultural, environmental, and industrial biotechnology, and invented Golden Rice with Peter Beyer. In contrast to usual rice, this one has an increased nutritional value by providing provitamin A. According to WHO, 127 millions of pre-school children worldwide suffer from vitamine A deficiency, causing some 500,000 cases of irreversible blindness every year. This deficiency is responsible for 600,000 deaths among children under the age of 5.

We are delighted Prof. Potrykus kindly agreed to be interviewed by Psiram. (Zur deutschen Version) Mehr…

How much medicine is evidence-based?

26. September 2011 Keine Kommentare

A few weeks ago we noticed a claim in GEO, a German magazine, stating that only 40% of medicine were evidence-based. Since the article contained lots of errors (we blogged about its flaws) and no real source was given (apart from the allegation this was a quote from a former president of State Chambers of Physicians), we were inclined to dismiss the contention without further consideration.

But then we pondered the question and started digging. We found an official document on Evidence-Based Medicine and we discovered a website of the British Medical Journal dedicated to evidence based medicine supporting the claim.

Clinical Evidence

Clinical evidence for medicine

The BMJ Site displays a nice diagram showing that 51% of medicine were of unknown effectiveness! 51%. And another 15 percent were harmful/likely ineffective. We were flabbergasted. According to these figures, medicine(about 40% proven efficiacy) was not much better than alternative medicine(about 0% proven efficiacy).



A rate of unknown effectiveness of as much as 51% for medicine? Wow. We were stunned and decided to ask Professor Edzard Ernst about the BMJ page.

You probably know the following page:
This overview isn’t exactly much to write home about. What is your opinion on this?
Isn’t it unfair to look down upon alternative methods when there is still so much unknown in medicine?

  • Firstly, the low percentage of proven treatments is partly due to the fact that this figure includes alternative medicine.
  • Secondly, the figure relates to all treatments even those that are very rarely used. If you look at the percentage of effective treatments that are actually in daily use, you arrive at figures around 80%.
  • Thirdly the process of applying science to medicine is relatively young – so we are looking at work in progress.
  • Fourthly, if one area is not optimal, this is no reason to allow another one to be even worse.

Alternative medicine is included in those figures? Well, ok, that explains a lot.

“By definition”, I begin
“Alternative Medicine”, I continue
“Has either not been proved to work,
Or been proved not to work.
You know what they call “alternative medicine”
That’s been proved to work?

(Storm by Tim Minchin)