Sunday, October 31, 2010


It's Halloween or, as EoR prefers to call it, Samhain (though it's definitely not the end of Summer in this hemisphere). Of course, here at the Second Sight spirits, psychics, ghosts, homeopaths and spiritually psychic ghost homeopaths are an everyday occurrence.

Some of you may be confused about the various entities stalking the streets. Bits & Pieces has provided a handy cut-out-and-keep guide to help you.


You may also want to familiarise yourself with the art of 1920s Photoshopping ghost photographs before gasping at those modern ghost photos (if a woman can use a mobile phone in 1928, then Photoshop a few years earlier hardly needs any explanation at all).

Actually, there might be something in it after all. EoR downloaded a photo from Mr Grzelka's site but, when he opened it on his computer it gave clear and irrefutable evidence that it had been touched by spirit presences in its interweb transmission!

Ghosts in the presence of a real psychic!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The future is homeopathic

EoR has been succumbing to nostalgia and watching Blakes 7 again after the thirty odd year since it first aired here and has been awed by the changes that the future will bring...

As the show's title indicates, the debate over just where the possessive apostrophe goes will be over and done with.

The control centres of spaceships will be illuminated with flashing disco lights.

Epaulettes will not only be in, but only the gauche will be seen without them.

A man with big epaulettes.

Bondage gear will also be an option. Especially for anti-hero Avon.

Avon. Oh, and more epaulettes

And especially Federation troopers.

Tie me up TrooperWear

The problems of overly complex computer operating systems will be realised, and all computers will operate on a much simplified OS based, apparently, on a Sinclair ZX80 ("smeti wen" indeed).

We don't need no stinking GUI

And then, of course, there's the uber-Thatcherite Servalan.

Servalan about to conquer a disco

And homeopathy will be accepted.

FORBUS: Pylene-50 used homeopathically, is simply a muscle relaxant. Sleer discovered that hundred times normal dosage totally subverts the will, tried to force me to part with the formula. I refused. I didn't understand Sleer's nature then. Totally callous savage ambition. There is a poison called Tincture of Pyrellic. Perhaps you've heard of it?

Oh, and Servalan. And how Mary Whitehouse let the BBC get away with this shot is anyone's guess...

The galaxy conquering power of Servalan's nipple(Click to reveal the full power of Servalan's galaxy conquering nipple.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

More talking to animals

Batshit crazy
Oh dear. Yet another magic woman who chats to animals. And heals.

She also regularly receives "planetary wisdom" from whales and rays. The exact nature of this wisdom is not specified, but it doesn't seem to be working:

Madeleine Walker uses her skills of holistic stress management and psycho-neuro-immunology to promote the concept of the healing power of the mind to communicate with the body and facilitate self healing. Madeleine also incorporates the healing potential of colour and imagery to release blocked emotions or irrational negative self-belief patterns.

Holistic stress management and psycho-neuro-immunology? Where's Hari Seldon when you need him? It can't be working though, because it clearly isn't removing the irrational self-belief patterns she espouses.

She can make up a story just by receiving a photograph, a hair sample and, most importantly, some money.

Upon forming a loving bond with your animals’ energy Madeleine opens a communication channel enabling your animal friend to describe past trauma’s, explain their past life connection with you through their reincarnation, advise on your health issues and issues within the home and family. Animals may also provide a link to loved ones in spirit.

Swoon at her heartbreaking dolphin story (heartbreaking especially because of the terrible colour scheme she uses — pink on pink? Really — which guinea pig or reincarnated gerbil suggested that would be a good idea?).

Having swum with wild dolphins I had not considering a visit to this or any resort which kept these marvelous creatures captive prior to receiving this message. the other dolphins there ’told’ me her name was Mani and that she was very sad and had trouble with her swim bladder.


Lo and behold the dolphin that came up to me was Mani! The keepers said her name was Serena, but I knew it was her! .

You just can't prove the truly delusional wrong! The keepers were wrong! Ms Walker knew the dolphin's real name! EoR imagines the keepers shaking their heads at the mad woman insisting she had the dolphin's real name, as they edge slowly towards the exit...

We left the resort feeling weighed down with melancholy and helplessness for the dolphins

EoR knows the feeling. He feels the same way about people who believe that

That night I awoke to feel Mani on my shoulder again. She told me that dolphins have twelve higher soul chakras and whales had twenty-one. These soul chakras were linked into the planetary grids - I was amazed at this information. She asked me to balance her chakras (physical and soul)

She's been to South Africa to chat to the White Lion Star Beings but, again, no secrets are revealed.

There's also a gallery but EoR has to confess he usually expects more than one image for a page to qualify as a 'gallery'. It's a black cat, without explanation for its presence, though EoR presumes this is the form Ms Walker adopts during full moons. Perhaps it's basking in its two hundred and seven soul chakras. Or however many cats have.

And, just to prove that anyone can fall for this sort of madness, she now has a book out with a testimonial from a vet:

“An Exchange of Love will appeal to a wide range of readers from animal enthusiasts to professionals in animal care. The book will complement the work of veterinary surgeons offering holistic treatment modalities as well as raising student awareness of the bit they don't get taught in college! It is a must for anyone interested in the often complex issues shared between animal and carer” Judith Webster MRCVS BSc Vet Med, Veterinary Surgeon who refers clients to Madeleine

EoR has always felt that the veterinary profession often fails its customers by neglecting to address past life issues, chakra balancing, and soul retrieval, and that colleges are neglecting their duties to the planetary grid by not devoting the bulk of their courses to these subjects.

Luckily, some psychics are much more honest about the whole scam...

Woo Woo book

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Red shoes

EoR welcomes Bronze Dog's announcement to blog more frequently, and to cover such topics as cognitive dissonance — the ability for people to simultaneously hold contradictory views.

Andrew Bolt has found himself on something of a roll with the John Howard shoe throwing incident. His audience love this sort of stuff, proving the 'barbarity' and 'violence' of the Left (EoR isn't able to comment on how Timothy McVeigh proves the barbarity and violence of the Right, since Bolt hasn't mentioned it, and EoR can't form an opinion until Bolt tells him what to think).

Commenters ramble on about how Peter Gray (the thrower) shouldn't be allowed to breed (Bolt's commenters are very big on 'breeding' — who should be permitted to breed, who shouldn't, and how the purity of the race from infection by inferior races should be maintained), but some also comment on Gray's Degree in Classics. EoR would have thought that this showed his determination to improve himself, but not in the eyes of Bolt's Believers:

What is a university degree in classics?

Classic cars?

Classic catches?

Classic hits (105.9 BRock FM)?

Classic nutcases?


How frigging useful is a classics degree I ask you? So he doesn’t work in helping with the environment which he could do with a say civil engineering degree, he gets a degree in classics. Useless.

Bolt's Believers, of course, would not see the irony that one of their heroes, the increasingly marginalised Christopher Monckton, has a Degree in Classics. Indeed, when the contradiction is pointed out to them, a commenter responds that it's a Masters in Classics, not just a Degree. As if that was some sort of devastating distinction. Presumably, a Degree in Classics is "useless" but a Masters is an Object of Eternal Admiration. Of course, Bolt's Brigades detest the "elites" (probably because many of them wouldn't qualify as such) but other "elites" (hereditary aristocrats, for example) are a Good Thing. Indeed, a love of opera is not in any way at all 'elitist'. The only distinction being (and this is an important one in Boltland) a political one.

Personally, EoR is going with the conspiracy theorists who believe Howard organised the whole incident. The shoe throwing was very half-hearted (in fact, EoR would have called it a 'shoe tossing'), they were nowhere near Howard, and Howard never flinched, almost as if he was expecting it!!!! And then there was the tweet a short time before the incident*, suggesting someone throw their shoe at him!!!! It could only have come from a Howard staffer!!!1!! It's certainly much more likely than conspiracy theories about the death of Paul the Psychic Octopus.

*In the paranoid world of Andrew Bolt, even though this wasn't visible to Peter Gray (or because it wasn't visible) this proves the culpability and bias of the ABC.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Malcolm's Pretty Good Broadband

While politician quibble, why are we being left in the broadband dust by the Isles of Scilly?

Malcolm Turnbull appears to be going into business in competition with Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery according to a recent speech:

[T]he FCC observes that speeds of less than eight megabits per second are sufficient to deal with most uses, including two-way videoconferencing. Again, where is the need, the applications, that will consume 100 megabits per second to the household?

"If you can't download it with Malcolm's Broadband you can probably get by pretty good without it."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The other evidence

Things you probably won't read about on the 'natural' health sites...

Acupuncture kills

A review of patients who died soon after acupuncture found a history of punctured hearts and lungs, damaged arteries and livers, nerve problems, shock, infection and haemorrhage, largely caused by practitioners placing their needles incorrectly or failing to sterilise their equipment.

Many of the 86 patients, aged between 26 and 82 years old, died after being treated by acupuncturists in China or Japan, but a handful of fatalities were recorded in the US, Germany and Australia. The most recent death, of a 26-year-old woman in China, occurred last year.

EoR is a little doubtful about this claim, since surely the open channels would actually release blocked qi, remove stagnant heat and realign the five elements, leading to increased vigour and health?

Probiotic marketing claims unsupported

The [European Food Safety Authority] panel concluded that the evidence the industry had submitted to support its claims that various food additives could strengthen the body's defences, improve immune function and reduce gut problems were either so general as to be inadmissable, or could not be shown to have the claimed effect.


The opinions published today were the lastest in a series of rulings. The EFSA had already published five opinions on claims relating to probiotics, all negative, although a spokeswoman said EFSA scientists "avoid using the term probiotics", since it has no proper scientific meaning.

Sounds like more Illuminati-led suppression of alternative miracle cures to EoR.

No evidence for fish oil supplementation during pregnancy

Study leader, Professor Maria Makrides, says there was no significant difference in cases of post-natal depression or the developmental outcomes of children.

"What our study showed was that these supplements really had no effect of clinical importance to either post-natal depression or the cognitive or language development of children in early childhood," she said.

This is the most unbelievable of all. Fish oil, the wonder supplement, may be pointless? Surely all the marketing can't be wrong? The advertisers and the peddlers-of-supplements are only in it for the money? No!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wikileaks reveals heartwarming truth about Iraq casualties

You'd imagine it was some sort of lone rightwing libertarian crank blogger who'd claim that the recent Wikileaks publishing of documents concerning casualties in Iraq was proof that the number of deaths was wildly exaggerated by leftwing propagandists. Well, you'd be right. Australia's craziest rightwing conspiracy theorist, Andrew Bolt, believes that the Wikileaks documents prove scientists in the Lancet lied about the number of possible deaths in Iraq, inflating the figures by "at least 600 per cent" in an "infamous" paper. And those stupid scientists thought they could get away with it! Ha! Not with the keen scientific and investigatory skills of Andrew "I see no global warming" Bolt. And the ABC and the Fairfax press, being part of the global scientific conspiracy, danced right along with the fake figures.

Bolt's Brigade of the Desperately Deranged come up with the usual comments, referring to "Seppos" and "Frogs", claiming the Lancet also supports the false belief in human-caused global warming, and that this reveals "just how completely dysfunctional islamic society is". Of course, being invaded and subject to an insurgency would have nothing to do with it. It's Islam. Sorry, islam.

Even though the leftwing consistently lie about everything, Bolt fails to explain why his own employer has also apparently fallen for the same lie. Perhaps they're really secretly owned by the ABC as well?

And the infamously rightwing Australian.

What Bolt apparently fails to realise is, like other scaremongers, he is confusing two totally different data sets. The Lancet paper looked at excess mortality as a result of the war. Of these,

Deaths attributable to the coalition accounted for 31% (95% CI 26–37) of post-invasion violent deaths.

The Wikileaks documents are US Army reports of Significant Actions, and are thus a subset of total excess deaths. The original Lancet paper (which Bolt has presumably read, but either not understood, or simply ignored the parts he didn't like) was already aware of this discrepancy:

Our estimate of excess deaths is far higher than those reported in Iraq through passive surveillance measures. This discrepancy is not unexpected. Data from passive surveillance are rarely complete, even in stable circumstances, and are even less complete during conflict, when access is restricted and fatal events could be intentionally hidden. Aside from Bosnia, we can flnd no conflict situation where passive surveillance recorded more than 20% of the deaths measured by population-based methods. In several outbreaks, disease and death recorded by facility-based methods under estimated events by a factor of ten or more when compared with population-based estimates.

Luckily, one Australian paper still remains fiercely independent and can be relied on to tell the truth, and reveal the important stories that the other papers deliberately ignore (and, EoR has to ask himself, what are the real reasons they do that?). Yes, the NT News leads with a story of a man who stepped on a small crocodile and got a little bit of a fright. And a comedian who is hoping to see one of the innumerable NT UFOs, and who is promising to "cover the shapeshifting reptilian agenda to enslave humanity". Bolt probably imagines it's a factual lecture by a fiercely independent scientist putting his entire career at risk by daring to disagree with the status quo.

International readers might not be familiar with the term, but Australia has a term of praise for such people, reserved only for the few who achieve beyond the bounds of the average person: dickhead.

And remember, June 3rd is now officially National Andrew Bolt is a Dickhead Day across Australia.

Burnham, G., Lafta, R., Doocy, S., & Roberts, L. (2006). Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey. Lancet 368: 1421–28. DOI:10.1016/S01406736(06)69491-9.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thistle thoughts (9)

EoR sits on a thistleEoR, having accidentally sat on some thistles, ponders the State of Things...

If the body has such an amazing ability to heal itself, why does EoR have to pay for all these extra magic therapies?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

One more dose of Dinglemania

EoR promises that this is the last post in what has become a week of Celebration of Dinglemania...

Dr Peter Dingle's first ever newsletter no longer appears to be available on his informative, well-researched health advice website. Luckily, it can still be found here.

This is a valuable historical document, outlining the goals and aims of Dr Dingle's plans to change the world of health for the better of all ("my health and wellbeing programs" as he describes them).

All the familiar themes are there: the one dimensional health system ("The medical system needs to focus on preventative health rather than a 10 minute consultation for a drug 'solution'.") as well as the dubious factoids:

[W]e are seeing far too many children taking pharmaceuticals, both prescribed and over the counter. In Australia each month, 60,000 prescriptions for antidepressants are written out for people under 20 years of age.

No reference is provided, so the veracity of that figure can't be determined, but note how 'children' in one sentence becomes 'people under 20' in the next? EoR would hope that a first year university student would understand that comparing different populations is incorrect. A 19 year old would normally not be considered a child. Or an 18 year old. Where you draw the line between 'child' and 'adult' (or 'adolescent') is important, but not defined here, especially since it would be reasonable to presume that a lot of depression is diagnosed in the teenage years.

Back in 2005 things were also rather different (EoR's emphasis):

My research shows that many people don't become more active or eat more healthily because they think they don't have the time.

Contrast that to today, when Dr Dingle states he no longer has the time to do any sort of research. Also, like the previous factoid, he fails to mention where his 'research' has been published, or how it was conducted, or on what sample.

As an aside, it's also interesting to note that the metadata encoded in the Word document shows the author as Julie Eady, yet another unqualified person who regularly provides health advice to the media ("Consumer activist" and "housewife superstar" — note that Dr Dingle, even though not mentioned, has managed to get himself into the photo for that story). But what can you expect when Dr Dingle, Julie Eady and Dr Igor Tabrizian co-presented a Save Our Kids Seminar in 2006.

Presented by Dr Peter Dingle, Julie Eady & Dr Igor Tabrizian. A public seminar addressing the issues of “Averting the Child Health Crisis”. This is a must for anyone interested in the health of our future, our children. This includes invaluable information about prevention, food additives, biochemical causes and so much more.

Nope. No unqualified health advice being given there. He also provides a glowing testimonial for Julie Eady's book and is featured in the media together with her.

ASSOC PROFESSOR PETER DINGLE (MURDOCH UNIVERSITY): You know it's funny, all motivational texts will tell you what you focus on is what you get so we've focussed on calories, carbohydrates and fat and we now have the most overweight, obese and diabetic population ever.

So Dr Dingle bases his health claims on the authority of motivational texts? What sort of lunatic science is that?

The following year to his first newsletter (2006) Dr Dingle was warning us of the dangers of Vegemite. In a shockingly original finding, he claims that a Vegemite sandwich is not a "nutritious meal". That concept had probably never passed the mind of any Australian parent previously. But then, there are stupid and undeserving parents.

"If you don't have five minutes to cook a healthy breakfast for your kid and provide them with a healthy lunch and dinner, then you don't deserve to have kids,'' said Prof Dingle, associate professor in health and the environment at Murdoch University.

Dr Dingle: health expert and promoter of eugenics. Personally, EoR thinks if you don't have time to research improbable therapies like homeopathy, you don't deserve to act as a health expert.

Yesterday EoR noted Dr Dingle's promotion of Mindd but, of course, these woo-peddlers all promote one another. Indeed, in 2009, Dr Dingle was a presenter at the Mindd International Forum.

Renowned author, juggler, media personality and Murdoch University academic, Dr Peter Dingle PhD, explores the question of how the (mal)nutrition of our children sets the stage for childhood behavioural disorders including autism and ADHD, and how a healthy diet in childhood can provide a good alternative to Ritalin and amphetamine medications.

Well, he certainly wouldn't have been giving any health information there, would he?

So how is evil drug-peddling one-dimensional health failing us these days in relation to our childrens' health?

The South Australian and Western Australian Governments have been awarded a ‘Gold Medal’ for their action on obesity prevention at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the ANZOS in Sydney today.


“The South Australian and Western Australian Governments have made significant progress this year to topple Queensland, which has won the Gold Medal for the previous two years. What these three states share is strong leadership in policies to improve the food supplied in various important settings. They’ve gone beyond healthy food policies in schools, expanding into healthcare, government and sporting facilities. We would really like to see the other states and territories following this lead,” said Dr Peeters.

Dr Peeters also commends two Governments for initiating the implementation of progressive policies -Victoria’s kilojoule labelling in fast food outlets and the ACT’s legislation to increase competition between supermarkets in order to lower food prices. NSW is also recognised for its leadership in advocating for national restrictions on the marketing of unhealthy foods to children.


“Western Australia also has a strong bipartisan, whole of government approach, extending its influence through a range of initiatives such as its Premier’s Physical Activity Taskforce, monitoring and evaluation of population data and strong, evaluated social marketing campaigns such as ‘Draw the line’, ‘Go for 2 & 5’ and ‘Find 30 every day’,” said Dr Peeters.

ANZOS commends the Western Australian government’s excellent policy on food in public facilities, which it is now looking to be expanded to sporting venues, and its model of funding through the health promotion agency Healthway supporting reforms around sponsorship and food supply in sports settings.

So, while there is still a way to go, the multifactorial health approach seems to be working. Without the assistance of books from Dr Dingle, or homeopathy.

And here's a photograph of Dr Dingle in an extremely rare moment earlier this year (outside the Coroner's Court) when he wasn't giving health advice.

Dr Peter Dingle not giving health advice

Friday, October 22, 2010

The self-reinforcing circle of improbable beliefs

As a follow on to yesterday's post, there are a couple of other interesting things in Dr Peter Dingle's recent newsletter.

Dr Dingle also takes the oppotunity to promote his UWA extension courses on subjects such as how to cure diabetes — which is a strange topic for a non-medically qualified person to lecture on, as well as a seminar run by Mindd held, appropriately enough, at the Murdoch University School of Chiropractic ("Murdoch University — where too much magic is never enough").

While the history of Dr Peter Dingle's association with the University of WA Summer Schools appears to have been almost completely purged from the web, enough remains to show that in Autumn 2009 he was offering:

Dingle says do the DEAL and forget dying - until you're ready to do it. ...

Clearly the DEAL, and his beliefs, have failed to meet their exaggerated claims.

It would also seem that the University of WA have reconsidered the appropriateness of allowing the use of their institution to legitimate the offering of health advice by someone with no qualifications to do so.

But on to the even more disturbing stuff... Mindd (Metabolic, Immunologic, Neurologic, Digestive, Developmental) are one of those legitmate looking health organisations that promote ideas which, if not part of the lunatic fringe, are definitely sitting right next door to them. Why, then even have a link on their home page to a Professor who has cured her son's autism and won a Bent Spoon Award! Their home page states:

Our focus is on paediatric disorders such as Autism, ADHD, Asthma, allergies, chronic illness, learning and language delay, and digestive and behavioural disorders. Research is showing that these children are coming from families with a history of brain-immuno-gut disorders such as allergies, digestive disorders, anxiety and depression.

The rise in childhood disease signals a need for preventative healthcare that focuses on cellular health by optimising nutrient intake while minimising toxins.

This almost sounds sensible, but that last paragraph contains meaningless phrases so beloved of alties: 'cellular health' and the terrible effects of unspecified 'toxins'.

These people are still pursuing the autism/gut/mercury nexus that Andrew Wakefield so successfully, and on the basis of no evidence, promoted.

Many in the ASD community blame mercury in vaccines for causing autism. Note that the vaccines contain LPS or other toxins from microorganisms. It is possible that LPS and other microbial toxins also play a key role in the vaccine damage.


We are in total agreement, and offer as our own evidence, scientific articles and many positive results from using a diet that eliminates neurotoxin-producing bacteria and fosters intestinal healing.

In view of the research, we have to consider Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) a poison, as toxic as mercury and other heavy metals, LPS has drastic consequences for those in the ASD Community. Fortunately, dramatic improvements may result after its removal.

Toxins from the gut are apparently the cause of autism, ADHD, allergies, Coeliac Disease, childhood diabetes, schizophrenia, depression and epilepsy.

"The vast majority of epilepsy cases in children are due to toxin accumulation in the brain. When the amounts of toxins reach dangerous levels the brain sends an electric discharge to get rid of it all in one go. So, an epileptic fit is a safety valve for the brain, a cleansing procedure. In order to help the child we need to remove the toxins. In the majority of cases, these toxins come from the gut, so treatment has to concentrate on the child's digestive health." Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

This process is so simple, and so well understood, that it can be illustrated by a simple graphic:

It's a graph! It's scientific!

This leads to a range of symptoms. EoR isn't sure why a number of conditions are repeated over and over, but did find the number of times OCD appears amusing.

Not so scientific. Just scary.

While they don't actually come out as anti-vaccination (presumably, they leave that to the chiropracters), they do provide inaccurate scare stories:

Mercury levels are steadily rising from industrial activity. Main sources include dental amalgams, fish, coal burning, and until recently the preservative used in childhood vaccines (thimerasol). Thimerosal contains 50% mercury and was used in MMR vaccinations in Australia until recently. Unsafe levels of mercury can cause speech and learning difficulties, poor concentration and can lead to autistic behaviour.The flu shot still contains mercury

Did you notice that quick slip from discussing mercury in vaccines, to the reference to "unsafe levels of mercury", almost as if they wanted you to believe that vaccines contained unsafe levels! Pretty classy misdirection indeed! The medical experts at Mindd seem to have a poor understanding of chemistry and also seem to be unaware that:

TThiomersal has been used in medical products and vaccines for more than 60 years and is the most commonly used preservative in multi-dose vials. It has a very long safety record. There is no evidence anywhere in the world that thiomersal in vaccines has caused any developmental or neurological abnormalities, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism or any other health problem. Thiomersal, which contains a small amount of mercury, was removed from vaccines given to young children in Australia simply as a precaution to reduce the theoretical risk of exposure to mercury in babies, particularly those of very low birth weight. Pre filled syringes, which do not require the preservative, are available for vaccination of children aged six months to 35 months.

The best way to deal with these issues is by broadly embracing every possible form of improbable therapy, including:

Complementary Medicine, cranial sacral therapy, nutrition, Chiropractic care, speech and neuro-developmental therapies, energy medicine, acupuncture, holistic dentistry, Functional neurology, Ayurvedic & Chinese medicine, yoga, meditation, osteopathy, naturopathy, and homeopathy.

And, of course, their true beliefs can be determined by their support of Generation Rescue (an autism cult), and the affilations of their WA practitioners also show how many have DAN! training. It is unsurprising to see Dr Igor Tabrizian listed there, given his links to Dr Peter Dingle.

And so the world of improbable beliefs comes full circle.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cancer is a modern illness (2)

Dr Peter Dingle, as he admits himself, is not a medically qualified doctor and has no time to research such matters. It is interesting, therefore, that his April/May newsletter has him providing health advice on cancer.

Perhaps the most dreaded of all diseases is cancer. It will kill around 1/3 of Australians. Unfortunately with our one dimensional health model we have continued to focus on the treatment rather than the prevention and as a result more people die. While cancer is largely untreatable, despite the miracle cures you hear about in the media, it is largely preventable. There is no miracle cure for cancer nor will there ever be. The rates of cancer and death from cancer continue to increase despite the billions of dollars injected into treating the illness. Only a few minor cancers are treated effectively with modern techniques yet we still keep doing it.

This is scary stuff. Cancer will kill you! It can't be treated! There will never be a cure! Doctors adopt a 'one dimensional health model'! The paragraph continues, in direct conflict with that claim:

One cancer however, is showing significant reductions in its occurrence and all future predictions show it reducing even further, lung cancer. The occurrence and the rates of deaths from lung cancer are on the decline, no because of treatment but because of education and prevention.

EoR expects that Dr Dingle's devoted readers will not notice that the 'one dimensional health model' includes not just treatment, but also education and prevention. Perhaps that is why we are seeing so much advice not to smoke, to drink less, to eat a healthy diet, and to exercise?

Despite the claims by specialists that say we don’t know why we are getting so many cancers it is obvious that it relates to our diet, environment, attitude and our lifestyle and there is abundant information to show that changing these parameters can dramatically reduce your risk of cancer.

If in doubt just look at the cancer statistics of countries that have different lifestyles and diets.

Most of the cancers of today were either rare or unheard of just 100 years ago and are still rare in many countries where people live on traditional diets. Breast cancer rates for example are around 1% of the woman in populations living on traditional foods in rural Japan and China and around 13% in Australia.

So there's that 'cancer is a modern illness' meme again.

EoR isn't sure why Dr Peter Dingle singles out Japan and China. Even Australia where, apparently, cancer is a modern, incurable epidemic, has lower rates in rural areas (but poorer outcomes due to lower access to those 'one dimensional' health care services), as noted by the Cancer Australia:

People living in very remote rural areas of Australia have lower incidence rates, but higher death rates, for all cancer types when compared to the community as a whole.

Dr Peter Dingle also fails to take into account that cancer is related to ageing. Since lifespans have been increasing, the number of cancers has also, but

Numbers of cancers diagnosed each year increased by 26 per cent from 1993 to 2003. Given the ageing of the Australian population, increases in population size and the fact that the risk of most cancers increases with age, annual numbers of new cancers are predicted to keep rising. However, while the number of people diagnosed with cancer is rising due to these factors, when we adjust rates to consider our ageing population, incidence rates were about the same for all cancers combined in 2003 as they were in 1993.

And, since Dr Peter Dingle isn't able to look at any of the research, he clearly remains unaware that

More than half of all cancers diagnosed in Australia are successfully treated, and survival rates for some common cancers have increased by more than 20 per cent in the past two decades. In general, Australian survival rates for cancer are high by world standards. Five-year survival rates for the most common cancers affecting men (prostate) and women (breast) are now more than 80 per cent.

So his claim that cancer is 'largely untreatable' is patently false and that 'Only a few minor cancers are treated effectively with modern techniques' is so wrong it would be funny if people weren't actually getting health 'advice' from this man.

Breast cancer survival rates have also steadily been increasing (p.127) so his claim that 'more people die' as a result of focusing on treatment is also patently false.

Of course, 'cancer' is not an illness, as Dr Peter Dingle seems to think, but a grouping of many illnesses of different types. Causes, etiologies, and treatments are multifactorial (and far from 'one dimensional').

Given the fact that breast cancer (to take only one, smaller, grouping of cancers) is more common amongst higher socioeconomic individuals, p116, (to take only one variable) shouldn't Dr Dingle actually be arguing that women's incomes should be lowered? Or is that too 'one dimensional'?

EoR notes that TAM Australia is touting for business:

The audience of 600 highly science-literate and obviously highly enthusiastic people offers a perfect opportunity if you or anyone you know has relevant and appropriate products or services to promote.

EoR trusts that Dr Peter Dingle will take up this opportunity.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cancer is a modern illness (1)

Anubis weighing the evidence
Well, it appears all those alties were right, and cancer is a modern disease that was unknown in the ancient world. A paper in Nature Reviews Cancer (which is embargoed for a full year (!) for electronic access so only subscribers can access it) is reported in a University of Manchester press release. This finding is based on analysis of hundreds of Egyptian mummies, as well as reports in literature and earlier animal studies. Just exactly what was examined is unclear in the press release:

The team studied both mummified remains and literary evidence for ancient Egypt but only literary evidence for ancient Greece as there are no remains for this period, as well as medical studies of human and animal remains from earlier periods, going back to the age of the dinosaurs.


As the team moved through the ages, it was not until the 17th century that they found descriptions of operations for breast and other cancers and the first reports in scientific literature of distinctive tumours have only occurred in the past 200 years, such as scrotal cancer in chimney sweeps in 1775, nasal cancer in snuff users in 1761 and Hodgkin’s disease in 1832.

Presumably the full paper provides further information, especially since the body of literature, records, reports and papryi from early Egyptian to late nineteenth century would, presumably, be too large to examine in full. Their study gives a clear result (EoR's emphasis):

Professor Rosalie David, at the Faculty of Life Sciences, said: “In industrialised societies, cancer is second only to cardiovascular disease as a cause of death. But in ancient times, it was extremely rare. There is nothing in the natural environment that can cause cancer. So it has to be a man-made disease, down to pollution and changes to our diet and lifestyle.

But what about those ancient cases of cancer that clearly aren't modern?

Professor David – who was invited to present her paper to UK Cancer Czar Professor Mike Richards and other oncologists at this year’s UK Association of Cancer Registries and National Cancer Intelligence Network conference – said: “Where there are cases of cancer in ancient Egyptian remains, we are not sure what caused them. They did heat their homes with fires, which gave off smoke, and temples burned incense, but sometimes illnesses are just thrown up.”

She added: “The ancient Egyptian data offers both physical and literary evidence, giving a unique opportunity to look at the diseases they had and the treatments they tried. They were the fathers of pharmacology so some treatments did work


She concluded: “Yet again extensive ancient Egyptian data, along with other data from across the millennia, has given modern society a clear message – cancer is man-made and something that we can and should address.”

Finding cancers in ancient Egypt does rather seem to dispute the conclusion that cancer is 'man[sic]-made' and a 'modern' illness, while the dismissive "sometimes illnesses are just thrown up" is simply misdirection.

New Scientist examines these claims, noting that there are multiple natural and genetic causes of cancer, that many modern cancers are a result of lifestyle choices rather than a toxic environment, and that many modern cancers are due to increased longevity.

Cancer Research UK discuss the history of cancer, noting that dinosaurs probably suffered from it, and the earliest record of tumours (in the breast) is found in an ancient Egyptian papyrus. Hippocrates also wrote about cancer.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A homeopathic dilution of ethics

Sadly, EoR was unable to attend the oxymoronically titled Australian Homeopathic Medicine Conference, but it is clear that recent events have had little or no impact. There is no discussion of legal or ethical issues, but topics included "Homœopathic Treatment of Uterine Fibroid and Ovarian Cyst", "Efficient Homœopathic Care of Critical Cases of Malignancy from an Overseas Perspective" and "Treating People with Cancer, is Homœopathy an Option ?".

Yes. Homeopathy is an option. Just not a very bright one.

The fun isn't quite all over though, since the public are invited to "Experience Homeopathy" at a public open day on the 12th of November.

Experience Homeopathy – Public Open Day 2010 is a free event for any member of the Victorian community who would like to learn more about the principles of the profession, practice of homeopathy and the scope of treatment.

The discussion of principles should be interesting, but EoR suspects it's not ethical principles, but only magical principles, especially since one of the speakers is

a world authority on homoeoprophylaxis - the use of homoeopathic medicines for specific infectious disease prevention. He has undertaken the world's largest long-term study of parents using such a program, completing a PhD research program at Swinburne University, Melbourne, in 2004 on this subject.

EoR is amazed that you can get a PhD for describing how minute doses of water prevents infectious diseases. A quick check at Swinburne University shows that it's a PhD from the Graduate School of Integrative Medicine which is now, apparently, defunct. And the paper doesn't prove homeoeoprophylaxis, but rather (EoR's emphasis):

The Potential Value of Homoeoprophylaxis in the Long-Term Prevention of Infectious Diseases, and the Maintenance of General Health in Recipients

Not only did it fail to prove homoeoprophylaxis works:

The effectiveness of the program could not be established with statistical certainty given the limited sample size and the low probability of acquiring an infectious disease. However, a possible level of effectiveness of 90.3% was identified subject to specified limitations. Further research to confirm the effectiveness of the program is justified.

but the author's conclusion is bizarre:

It also appeared possible that a national immunisation system where both vaccination and HP were available to parents would increase the national coverage against targeted infectious diseases, and reduce the incidence of some chronic health conditions, especially asthma.

In other words, homoeoprophylaxis has no discernable effect, but it works really well, as long as you use it with real vaccination.

While other homeopaths are forced to publish retractions for making similar claims, these homeopaths blithely continue to make these claims to the public, proving how homeopaths have so successfully diluted their principles until they have disappeared entirely.

EoR shakes his head in bemusement.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another small trial trumpeted by the media

Yoga counteracts fibromyalgia (and many other places on the net):

According to new research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University, yoga exercises may have the power to combat fibromyalgia — a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain.

The study involved 53 women, had a control group, and was randomised and blinded.

Comparison of the data for the two groups revealed that yoga appears to assist in combating a number of serious fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain, fatigue, stiffness, poor sleep, depression, poor memory, anxiety and poor balance. All of these improvements were shown to be not only statistically but also clinically significant, meaning the changes were large enough to have a practical impact on daily functioning. For example, pain was reduced in the yoga group by an average of 24 percent, fatigue by 30 percent and depression by 42 percent.

Oh, so yoga doesn't counteract fibromyalgia, so much as reduce some of the symptoms? As some of the commenters on that report note, there was also no comparison with exercise per se.

The actual published study is a little less triumphant. The intervention group actually undertook a range of therapies since yoga doesn't just include the traditional exercise component:

Each Yoga of Awareness class included approximately 40 min of gentle stretching poses (see details below), 25 min of mindfulness meditation (e.g., awareness of breath, awareness of awareness itself), 10 min of breathing techniques (e.g., full yogic breath, breathing into sensation), 20 min of didactic presentations on the application of yogic principles to optimal coping, and 25 min of group discussions (e.g., experiences while practicing yoga at home).

EoR wonders whether it was a synergistc effect, so that 'yoga' provided the stated improvements, or might it have been any one (or combination) of exercise, meditation, breathing techniques, presentations or group discussions? The authors also note that, while there were strong beneficial outcomes from their study,

Major limitations of our study should be noted. The generalizability of these preliminary findings is restricted by the small sample, the absence of follow-up, and over-reliance on self-report data. Moreover, as stated above, any conclusions are especially limited by the lack of an attention placebo or active control condition

The same issue of Pain also includes a paper on psychological interventions for fibromyalgia, reported in a Commentary as:

Using meta-analytic strategies, the review by Glombiewski et al. [5] (in this issue) on treatments for fibromyalgia provided conclusive evidence for the efficacy of psychological interventions in managing this enigmatic pain problem. Specifically, the authors reported that psychological treatments yielded significant reductions in pain, sleep problems, depression, functional status, and catastrophizing.

The same Commentary also notes, however:

As in all reviews, however, the Glombiewski et al. paper raised a number of questions that only additional research could meaningfully address. One issue is the weak methodological quality of many of the studies reviewed. The treatment literature on fibromyalgia, unfortunately, is notable for its lack of adequate controls, limited follow-up, inconsistencies in defining clinical outcomes, and confusion over rationally integrating treatment approaches with key symptoms. These methodological limitations have raised questions about the efficacy of potentially effective treatments and their systematic use in clinical practice.

Carson, J.W., Carson, K.M., Jones, K.D., Bennett, R.M., Wright, C.L., & Mist, S.D. (2010). A pilot randomized controlled trial of the Yoga of Awareness program in the management of fibromyalgia. Pain 151 (2010) 530–539.

Glombiewski, J.A., Sawyer, A.T., Gutermann, J., Koenig, K., Rief, W., & Hofmann, S.G. (2010). Psychological treatments for fibromyalgia: A meta-analysis. Pain 151 (2010) 280–295

Nicassio, P.M. (2010). Commentary: Psychological approaches are effective for fibromyalgia: Remaining issues and challenges. Pain 151 (2010) 245–246.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More evidence 'natural' does not equal 'safe'

Obesity is a major problem and, while there are drugs available that may assist with this problem, it's always better to go down the natural route isn't it? Natural is, after all, kinder, gentler and more effective if all the marketing speak is to be believed.

A recent paper on case studies observed in the Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong, begs to differ. Over the period between 2004 and 2009 sixty-six cases were observed (one of which was fatal) and eighty-one products were analysed and found to be adulterated, many with multiple contaminants.

Sibutramine was the most commonly encountered illicit agent in the current study. Consistent with previous reports [4, 7], cardiovascular effects were frequently observed. [...] Phenolphthalein, a laxative that was withdrawn due to potential carcinogenicity, was found in illicit weight-loss supplements both in the current as well as previous studies
[10]. Similarly, despite being banned, fenfluramine has been frequently encountered as adulterants. [...] Laxatives and diuretics were found in illicit proprietary weight-loss products, and are presumed to decrease body weight by loss of water and bowel contents. However, these compounds do not possess genuine or long-lasting weight-loss effect. Animal thyroid tissues were also detected, as has been reported previously.

As Science 2.0 notes, this is of concern not just for Hong Kong residents:

While the research concentrated on cases in Hong Kong, the work raises worldwide concerns. These slimming products are widely available over the counter not only in Hong Kong, but in other countries where drug regulation is relatively non-comprehensive. In addition, anyone can buy them over the Internet even if they live in regions with tighter regulatory control.

So it would seem those people seeking out the 'natural' alternative to avoid all those dangerous drugs and their nasty side-effects are often doing neither and, in fact, often utilising dangerous and withdrawn drugs to achieve their goals.

Tang, M.H.Y., Chen, S.P.L., Ng, S.W., Chan, A.Y.W., & Mak, T.W.L. (2010). Case series on a diversity of illicit weight-reducing agents: from the well known to the unexpected. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. “Accepted Article”; doi: 10.1111/1365-2125.2010.03822.x

Friday, October 15, 2010

The fault is not in our stars

How astrology works
Remember those advertisements in comic books touting the power of hypnosis to make you masterful and powerful and irrestible? Well, they've not disappeared, but only moved on to the net. Cosmic Technologies (or CosmiTec as they prefer to be called) offer you Secret Astrology Seduction Techniques that sound more than a bit creepy but are probably perfectly acceptable if you're a stalker:

You can have the edge over so much other (secret) lovers. You will know things nobody ever will know or understand.

By astrology seduction techniques, you will learn how to attract your secret lover and how to handle her or him. You will know the likes and dislikes of your target. You will know what to do and what to avoid.

You will be in control.

So it's not like you might want a relationship or a partner. No, you want a target that you can control. You can entice a woman to your lair, you can conquer the person you have been hunting. Sometimes woo is just weird, but sometimes it gets distinctly disturbing.

Elsewhere on the site EoR discovered astro-homeopathy, boldly combining two nonsensical systems into one metawoo.

So, for example, it is found that Moon-Pluto connections (aspects or configurations) in a female horoscope may indicate problems to conceive a child due to 'blocked feelings'. A dose of Belladonna LM 18 (this remedy has a Moon-Pluto signature) weekly is able to free the woman of blockages so that a pregnancy can occur.

CosmiTec promise you can determine the gender of your child by simple astrological methods:

According to Dr. Eugen Jonas [psychiatrist and astrologer], this is also the moment of maximum fertility. If this moment also falls at the time of your estimate ovulation, we are pretty shure you will conceive, though there is anecdotal evidence that the lunar phase angle returns overpowers the menstrual cycle and that you CAN get pregnant by having intercourse during menses!

Practically, you have to look at your natal chart and count the distance between the Sun and Moon (also called the luminaries) in a counterclockwise direction and always starting from the position of the Sun.

CosmiTec are not foolish (regardless of the impression their website claims may give), and only promise a 70-75% success rate. Since any random guesses would average around 50-50, guessing the sex of a child is one of the easier psychic predictions to make, especially when only the ones they get right are going to be included in the testimonials.

And then there's sexual horoscopes. EoR had been expecting something about conjunctions with Uranus, but was disappointed.

Given that astrology gives equal influence to all astronomical bodies (in other words, there is no inverse square law of decreasing effect over distance such as with gravity) EoR wonders how long it takes to calculate an astrological chart these days, given the number of planets, comets, meteors, asteroids, Kuiper Belt objects, Oort Cloud objects, stars, nebulae, pulsars, black holes, dark matter and so on. And what about all the unkonwn billions of such objects throughout the universe? How can a chart be complete without taking into account all those as well? Or (gasp) could it be that astrology is just one more outdated magical belief system with no evidence base?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Religious extremists seeking to destroy fabric of Australian society

Lines are being drawn. The burqa is a weapon against women. Ban the burqa! When three of the more alarming Islamist apologists cannot give a straight answer to even one simple question about the burqa, repeatedly turning it instead into an attack on the West, what hope of an honest discussion on, say, terrorism?

Burqas are Un-Australian. They oppress women. They are worn by terrorists. They are used to hide bombs. They are confonting. This evil must stop — even now a group of religious fundamentalists who believes in a religiously based legal system that is "all-encompassing of the human condition" is trying to promote their beliefs in an attempt to destroy the wonderful homogeneity of our Land, and pollute our precious bodily fluids by publicly worshipping this woman:

Is this the sort of Australia you want to see? This is what our streets will look like:

Is this the sort of thing our forefathers envisioned when they settled and developed this vacant country to create the wonderful society we have today?

Note: Yes, EoR realises that Bolt, and journalists in general, doesn't distinguish between the burqa, the hijab, the niqab and the chador.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Great Intelligence is on the march

Climate change is real, and it is already having profound effects on ecologies. Like that of the yetis which are suffering from Russia's recent record-breaking heatwave.

The yetis have become climate change refugees, forced to leave their traditional ranges, and this has brought them into conflict with bears.

Some (obviously unscientific) people confuse the yetis for wood goblins:

“Folk beliefs say that the wood goblin is the master of the woods. All animals, even bears, submit to him. The wood goblin has a strong hypnotic power, thus he is not afraid of any animal.”

The yetis are normally a gentle species, building pyramids (presumably in memory of their time as the Atlantean slave class that built the Egyptian pyramids) and chatting telepathically with all and sundry (but not, obviously, bears):

“They make strange pyramidal constructions of trunks and branches in the wood – sometimes 3 or 4 meters, sometimes only 30 cm high."


[I]t seems that local residents have already found a common language with the yetis – they leave candies for them and communicate with them mentally – yetis are believed to be telepathic. Igor Burtsev even claims that to a certain extent, yetis can imitate the human language. “I would, without doubt, call the yeti another species of man,” he says.

EoR does, however, wonder why no one has investigated the immediately obvious explanation: that these are the descendants of escaped or abandoned humanzees from Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov's experiments in the early twentieth century.

Dr Who yeti
(The Great Intelligence)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Metatronical madness

As EoR has previously noted, people performing improbable ethods of treating disease and who, largely, are dismissive if not completely antagonistic of conventional medicine still crave the legitimisation and authority of that same conventional medicine. Hence the Australian Medical Intuitives Association, Inc, a group of 'Professional Practitioners' of 'Medical' intuition. Without those code words, it would just be some people guessing what was wrong with you based on a completely wrong view of physiology. As an example, "Diabetes is often the result of feeling unloved".

One of these 'Professional Practitioners' is Carmel Bell, who promotes Metatronic Energy® and is also the founder of the College of Medical Intuition, as well as the founder and President of the previously mentioned AMIA (the easy way to give yourself 'professional' legitimisation — set up a couple of organisations yourself, and claim their imprimatur, rather than meeting the stringent requirements of an established authority like, for example, the Australian Medical Board). And, while

She has worked successfully with thousands of people, dealing with a wide variety of concerns, ranging from panic/anxiety disorder, systemic illness, cancer, traumatic injury, nerve injury and emotional problems, to name a few dysfunctions.

she also adds the usual disclaimer

Carmel Bell is not a Medical Practitioner and claims no training in Medicine, Alternative health Fields or Psychology. A consultation with a Medical Intuitive is not meant to take the place of advice or treatment by a qualified professional in these fields. Any condition requiring medical care should be attended to by your Health Care practitioner.

The information given on this website is a guide only and is not intended to replace any advice or guidance given to you by any health care practitioner or medical practitioner that you consult with. Carmel Bell accepts no responsibility for any choices or actions you may make to your health care routine based on your interpretation of the information provided on this website.

This is slightly different from the normal disclaimer, which admist the seller has no conventional medical knowledge, since it also adds that Ms Bell has no alternative medical knowledge. In effect, she has no idea at all, and accepts absolutely no responsibility for making guesses based on her total lack of knowledge.

Also, like others of her ilk, she runs seminars (though she at least has the originality to call them 'Funshops') at AU$450, as well as training ('Price on application'). And now she has a book: When All Else Fails. She includes the breathless review Nova gave to her book:

Not many people can claim to have visited the borders of death and live to tell the tale in fascinating detail. Carmel Bell has - (on three occasions. Of all the stoires I've reead over the years, hers is one of the most extraordinary.) (...) Carmel was four years old when she somehow set herself on fire and died, albeit briefly. She travelled down the tunnel, familiar to so many near death experiences and towardsa glowing light. At the gates of heaven, JEsus and an Archangel named Metatron gave Carmel a healing gift, Metatronic Energy, which she later used to heal her bruned body and her damaged kidneys.

Wow! All those burns and severe injuries cured solely by Metatronic Energy! Because, of course, if she'd actually gone to hospital and relied on modern medical treatment and the skills of a team of medical professionals she'd acknowledge that, wouldn't she? Presumably, Metatron also advised her to register his name as a trademark as well.

It's virtually impossible to explain away Carmel's near death experience on the the night of February 15th 2009 when she had a cardiac arrest, died for 47 minutes and suffered severe brain damage. She was placed in a coma for four days and then spent six weeks in intensive care. The medical prognosis was she would be dependant on care all her life. Of course, the doctors did not take into account Carmel's indefatigable spirit - or her access to Metatronic Energy. Carmel is today a walking, talking miracle. Never was there such a case of "physician heal thyself".

Some might argue that she did, in fact, suffer brain damage. Her third death must have been fairly uninteresting, since it's not mentioned in the review. And, clearly, it's not a case of 'phsician heal thyself' since she's stated she's not a physician, not even a pretend altie sort.

Such magic belief systems, in the face of lack of evidence, rely on the personal anecdote:

One of the most touching casr studies in this book involves a deparately ill woman named Carla, a mother and wife who had lived her life for her family. Carmel uncovered Carla's deep-seated feelings of disempowerment and being trapped in life, (she also continued her raditation therapy). About a year later, Carla was free from cancer and she was living a happier life.

So, which do you think cured Carla? Metatronic Energy®, or radiation therapy?

Sadly, no matter how often Ms Bell notes that Metatron is her personally trademarked and registered angel, he doesn't seem to be listening to her. He allows himself to be channelled by others:

Metatron: These you refer to as Yeti or those termed, Bigfoot, are earlier versions of the genetic experiment on Earth, primarily from the phase of Atlantis some 20,000 years ago. At that time there were many genetic experiments on your planet. These beings are intelligent, but genetically impaired. These massive forms were genetically created using human DNA with that of the ape to create a laboring humanoid beast, a beast with greater intelligence, human like intelligence, but with imposed genetic wiring or implants that ‘unplugged’ certain areas of the brain.


You see, the grid alignments, powernodes, and white holes that exist on your planet do not just exist on dry land, most of them exist, in fact on over and under waters. Dolphins, primarily, and in a few cases whales, align their energies to these sites in assisting to balance the energy of your planet.

Who would have thought that the wonderfully newagey Atlantis, and Stalin's Russia would have had so much in common?

Metatron even seems to have branched out, providing Pippa Merivale with Metatronic Healing® which is presumably totally different from Metatronic Energy®.

He is also, apparently, providing his multidimensional healing modality via the services of a stud alpaca.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Illusory circles

Crop circles have long ago been debunked as artful pranks but, like the meme that mercury causes cancer, magical beliefs about them continue to persist.

So Jeremy Ball presents a mish-mash of spirituality and misinformation in the latest Nova under the heading of From Animal to Hu-Man.

Despite all of man's [sic] achievements in science, medicine and building and in reaching great spiritual heights, we all have animalistic tendencies, which have come out to devastating effects. [...] Well, if what prophecies tell us — and many of the signs around back them up — we are in the final days of the animal cycle. [...] Just like a spacecraft, turning at right angles before making a dimensional shift, we will lift out of the suit of base reactions, which served us well for this last cycle, leaving it behind for a new skin of lighter purer qualities. We are living in those days.

EoR has never seen a spacecraft make a dimensional jump, except in the realms of fantasy, which is pretty much where this article is based.

Crop circles are some sort of special sign from the "Great Spirit". But hang on, what about those tiresome naysayers?

I won't bother to address the doubters of crop circles because it is so obviously a true phenomenon that to cast out all crop circles as false is akin to arguing that the world is flat.

Take that, sceptics! So much for the new age when all will be lightness and fluffiness and inclusiveness. Anyway, EoR has never heard any sceptics claim crop circles are false. Where does Mr Ball get that idea from?

Crop circles, Mr Ball informs us, are some sort of chakra-energising glyphs that act in the way advertising "can program and affect our consciuosness". EoR wonders if crop circles are actually saying something like "Eat at Milliways"?

The South West of England has a hub of many energy channels and the Druidic culture that lived there performed many practices to keep the energy channels opening, flowing and evolving. They involved creating stone circles to augment the process, much like acupuncture can do for the qi meridians in your body. It is around these stone circles that many crop circles appear. The Druids worked in conjunction with extra terrestrial/higher dimensional beings to create the stone circles and it is these same beings who are involved in the crop circles.

EoR is getting rather tired by this stage of everything being "like" acupuncture.

Apart from having a flaky grasp of history (Druids flourished during the Iron Age while stone circles were built during the earlier Megalithic period, but EoR presumes if they had extraterrestrial engineering and project management assistance they may have also used those Super-Duper Acme™ Alien Time Travel Machines) this is the standard line pushed by von Daniken and his disciples: that humanity is basically stupid and incapable of anything. So much so that they can only create stone circles, pyramids, civilisation etc etc with alien help. This is a deeply depressing view of humanity when it is examined, and EoR much prefers the sense of wonder engendered from understanding that around 50 thousand years ago, humanity expanded its cognitive abilities and became capable of expressing itself in many ways, culturally, socially and mechanically.

Not for Mr Ball, though.

The crop circles in England this year have been astonishing in their intricacy and directness of message. Rather than being mere geometric expression, they are clearly pointing to an ascension process that the earth and us as cells in her body are going through.

What sort of circles do you see in this image? Wavy lines?

Circle illusion

They are, in fact, perfect circles, but human perception distorts what you are seeing.

Interpretation requires caution.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kicking against the pricks

Apparently the only society in the history of humanity that doesn't accept acupuncture is the modern Western world. Acupuncture has been used everywhere and everywhen. There's Ötzi the Iceman. And now there's the mummy with the irrefutable evidence that ancient Peruvians also practiced acupuncture.

Mysterious circle tattoos on a Peruvian mummy have been identified as containing burned plant material. The finding sheds light on a possible ancient healing practice that may have been based on similar principles to acupuncture.

The 1000-year-old female mummy was found unwrapped in the sand of the desert at Chiribaya Alta in southern Peru in the early 1990s. She bears two distinct types of tattoos: emblems representing birds, apes, reptiles and other symbols cover her hands, arm and lower left leg, while an asymmetric pattern of overlapping circles is present on her neck.

Maria Anna Pabst of the Medical University of Graz in Austria has determined that these are a result of acupuncture. How does she know this?

Pabst points out that the circles are close to Chinese acupuncture points. She says that tattooing a person at these points could have worked in a similar way to how acupuncture is thought to work. The plants chosen as the staining material would presumably have had medicinal properties, she adds.

Leaving aside the fact that herbs in tattoos have absolutely nothing to do with acupuncture, why is it always that these tattoos are "near" acupuncture points? Every point on the body is "near" an acupuncture point! Tattoos cover a large amount of skin. If any tattoo, anywhere, ever, wasn't near an acupuncture point, EoR would be amazed.

But wait! There's more proof!

When she showed a drawing of the tattoos to a modern-day shamanic healer in Peru, he suggested that they might have been part of a strengthening ritual on an upper-class subject.

Oh. EoR's convinced. Though he doesn't quite understand what a shamanic healer (many of whom can be found by an internet search, and many of whom are not 'shamans' at all in the traditional sense but just newage scammers — EoR has no idea what sort was consulted in this case) would have to say about acupuncture. It's like consulting an environmental toxicologist about your cholesterol problems.

Interestingly, Dr Pabst has also been involved in analysing Ötzi's tattoos.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A conservative approach to literature

Oh, the laughs Andrew Bolt creates. He has to be Australia's best answer to the claim that comedians are all leftwing.

Now that Mario Vargas Llosa has won the Nobel prize for literature Bolt wants to claim him as a conservative writer (whatever that pigeon-holing entails) and presents this as proof that great writers are conservative! And how do we know that they're great? Well, because they're conservative, of course. Really, don't be so dense. As if to prove his assertion, Bolt comes up with the most tortured grammar that actually states the opposite of what he intends (though determining just what Bolt intends with his dog whistle comments is often difficult):

Many of the greatest writers are conservatives, unlike most of those who aren’t.

So most of the greatest writers aren't conservatives? Or something. Given that example, Bolt can't even be considered a mediocre writer.

This simply demonstrates the extreme Right's need to label and categorise in order to maintain their belief in an Us (good) and Not-Us (evil).

Then Bolt comes up with a Little List of Favourite Conservative Writers (again, they're conservative because Bolt claims they are — witness his comment about Dickens).

Tolstoy's in there (yes, the arch Socialist, free-the-serfs, give-up-property Tolstoy) but strangely Ayn Rand isn't. EoR thought all conservatives had salacious images of her under their beds for 'entertainment' purposes. Though maybe she's too libertarian and not conservative enough.

Bolt's second choice is Jean Raspail. Hardly a 'great' writer, EoR would have thought. Though, if Wikipedia is to be believed, EoR can understand why Bolt would consider him the epitome of literature:

He encountered a huge controversy with his book The Camp of the Saints (1973). In it he predicted the overwhelming of Western civilization in a 'tidal wave' of Third World immigration. His critics accuse him of right-wing extremism on the basis of the views expressed in the book. The book is popular among immigration reductionists

Also, almost by definition, "great writers" means no women, and no non-Caucasians.

And, daring to invoke Godwin's Law, EoR wonders why Hitler isn't there as well for his wonderful romantic comedy, Mein Kampf? Now there's a great conservative writer. And someone who had similar ideas about racial purity and the criminal classes.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Make money now!

Turning crap into gold
Nova has some wonderful advertisements, ranging from flushing your bottom with colonic cleansing to flushing your brain with various 'Secrets', as well as Tantric 'Sex Coaching' (nudge nudge wink wink). EoR considered giving the Nova Advertisement of the Month award to Maria, the "Compassionate Clairvoyant" (as opposed, presumably, to the Callous Clairvoyants) but finally couldn't go past Richard's effort since it embodies the whole basis of the newage movement:

UNCONSCIOUS MANIFESTING WORKSHOP. Increase your ability to manifest greater joy and abundance automatically by increasing consciousness. Banks Pavilion, Mt Lawley. $150 cash. Ring Richard 0407 XXX XXX

Increase your abundance by giving it away (in a suspiciously black economy manner).

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Natural and healthy

Goodbye Charlie.

A chimpanzee famous for smoking cigarettes has died at a South African zoo, aged 52.

Charlie the chimp started smoking when some visitors to Mangaung zoo, in Bloemfontein, threw him lit cigarettes.


Mr Khedama said he did not believe the addiction had ended Charlie's life prematurely, as he had lived around 10 years longer than the average chimp.

Which just goes to prove those assertions made by doctors that smoking is good for you. Since smoking has now clearly been demonstrated to increase life expectancy by 25%, EoR expects that smoking as a natural, healthy alternative to pills will form part of Dr Dingle's seminars on "How to live to 101 happily and healthily".

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


The enforced exile to Siberia is over, the political rehabilitation continues, and our favourite health adviser is back.

This month's edition of Nova (with the theme, appropriately enough, of trust) features the return of Dr Peter Dingle PhD advising us of the facts regarding our health.

Over the last year I have researched and written widely on how pharmaceutical companies fool the public into thinking cholesterol lowering drugs work when, in fact, that's not the case. These companies benefit enormously from huge profits made by depicting high cholesterol as the cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, this emphasis on lowering cholesterol has resulted in a deviation from the underlying problem of CVD and its real risk factors. It is not cholesterol levels that can cause harm to our hearts, but instead excessive inflammation and oxidisation of cholesterol that causes damage to the cardiovascular system. The problem is one of lifestyle and diet and needs to be fixed, not with a lifetime supply of drugs, but with lifestyle changes anyone can begin today.

Don't you just hate it when you're fooled by companies whose only aim is to sell you stuff and increase their profits? Dr Dingle, however, fails to mention that he's got a new book out he's selling. Nor does he seem cognizant with the fact that independent medicos, in fact, advise rather differently about cholesterol than the Big Pharma Conspiracy scenario he believes in. Of course, he's not a medical doctor, and he's also been busy with other things over the last year as well so it's probably not appropriate that EoR expects him to be an expert source in offering health advice as well.

CVD is a multidimensional disease, yet modern medicine looks at it through a one-dimensional microscope.

EoR has no idea what dimension this bizarre belief comes from. And using a loaded word like 'multidimensional' in a woo magazine like Nova is just asking for misinterpretation...

It cannot be treated with a single magic bullet — none of the chronic illnesses can be.

Erect strawman argument. Demolish strawman. Gloat.

But a multidimensional approach incorporating diet, environment, attitude and lifestyle will work.

Hmmm... Diet, environment, attitude and lifestyle. That wouldn't be another undisclosed clue to conflict of interest, would it?

Two pages later there's an advertisment for "Dr Peter Dingle" and his new book, The Six-Week Healthy Eating Planner, co-authored with Martine Dingle, ND in which, presumably, health advice is provided.

The only change is in the disclaimer in small print at the very end of the article:

Dr Peter Dingle PhD is an associate professor and researcher who has researched nutritional toxicology for the past 10 or more years. He is not a medical doctor. After completing his honours in environmental toxicology in 1988, he went on to complete his PhD in the same field in 1994. The information he presents is based on the research he and his students carry out at Murdoch University where he is Associate Professor in Health and the Environment.

So, hidden away in the middle of the paragraph is the fact that he's not qualified to give medical advice.

This game is easy, and EoR could play it as well if he wanted to. If he wanted to suggest that Dr Dingle's exhortations to eat more fish oil were dangerous advice from someone who was selling books and seminars and so on to make money on the basis of those claims, he could pull up a recent study suggesting fish oil may cause colon cancer (something EoR feels would be close to Dr Dingle's health concerns) and that scientists are working towards better drugs to control atherosclerosis. There, that's put the fear of God into everyone. Now you can buy EoR's new book Healthy Eating is Killing You!.

So who would you trust to give you medical advice? Someone with no medical qualifications? Someone who apparently can't find the time to research medical journals when his wife's life was at stake, but apparently finds the time to do so when his new book is coming out?

Professor Dingle admitted he did not "comprehensively" research the range of treatments for colorectal cancer to find what the best option was.

"There is so much research, it's very complex and time consuming," he said.

Mr Hope asked why he did not access reliable medical journals in terms of rectal cancer.

"That can be a full lifetime just looking at that," Professor Dingle said.

Someone who admits he is so woefully inexperienced in health matters it's impossible for him to comment on them?

When he was asked whether he'd analysed the substances she was taking, he said he did not because he was an indoor air quality expert and unless the substances were thrown in the air and breathed in he would not know what to do with them.

Someone who applies double standards by refusing to condemn the failed modality that led to his wife's death because it might work for someone somewhere, but condemns cholesterol drugs en masse even though they might also help someone somewhere?

Earlier, Mr Hope asked why Dr Dingle did not use his writings to highlight the dangers of accepting alternative cancer remedies.

Dr Dingle said he was wary of dismissing alternative treatment altogether in the event it was successful for someone else.

Someone who was dropped by 6PR because they felt their duty of care was threatened by having an indoor air quality expert provide health advice to listeners?