Respectful Insolence

Pity the poor Haitians.

Not only is their nation dirt poor, but to kick off 2010, they suffered an earthquake that killed approximately a quarter of a million people, left at least 300,000 injured, and resulted in 1,000,000 homeless. Huge swaths of its capital of Port au Prince and Léogâne, among other cities, had been leveled. The devastation was (and remains) almost beyond comprehension, and it will be years, if not decades, before Haiti can recover. Disease and hunger are rampant. In the immediate aftermath, looting and violence were common.

Unfortunately, disaster seems to attract quacks as nectar attracts hummingbirds or, more appropriately, as the rotting corpses of the unfortunate victims of disasters like the Haitian earthquake attract flies and rats. First it was Scientologists showing up to do the Scientology version of faith healing and doing it so badly that Haiti would have been better off if they had stayed home. Assisting with this was John Travolta, flying in planeloads of medical supplies and doctors (for which he should be praised) and Scientology ministers to do “assist,” which allegedly “reconnects” nervous systems shaken by trauma. In reality, it is nothing more than the Scientology version of faith healing, just as reiki is faith healing based on Eastern mysticism. Indeed, I was watching David Letterman the other night, and Travolta was on. I was profoundly irritated at how Letterman obsequiously fawned over how “humanitarian” Travolta was, while neglecting to mention the Scientology quacks that Travolta also flew in with the real medicine, real doctors, and real nurses. I know, I know, it’s a talk show, and Letterman wasn’t going to criticize Travolta, but there was a huge gorilla in the room that no one was acknowledging.

Then there was Homeopaths Without Borders bringing their special ultradiluted quackery to the Haitians, leading wags to point out that Haiti really needed clean water and, given that homeopathy is water, maybe Homeopaths Without Borders could help there. Too bad they also put their remedies in sugar pills. Not to be outdone, there was a clueless trauma surgeon bringing acupuncture to Haiti use for anesthesia for amputations. After this invasion of woo-meisters into Haiti, I have to ask: Haven’t the Haitians suffered enough?

Apparently not, as another wave of woo-meisters is washing over Haiti, bringing more useless magical “remedies” to leave the Haitians just as bad off as they were before.

The Energy Meridian Tapping woos are coming to Port au Prince. They also have an amazing claim:

As nearly half the Haitian population has already or will be subject to life-saving amputations, tapping will be useful in helping these people on several fronts: helping them to cope with the emotional issues associated with losing a limb, alleviating the pain of suffering through amputations (in hundreds of cases) without anesthesia, to deal with the psychological adjustment to being an amputee, and relieving the symptoms of phantom pain.

Nearly half the Haitian population has had or needs an amputation? Are these guys for real? What is their source for this rather difficult to believe–to say the least–factoid. After all, the population of Haiti was on the order of 9 million people before the earthquake. Half of that would be 4.5 million people needing amputations. Where’s the evidence that the above claim is true? Nowhere. In fact, the number is orders of magnitude lower. That’s plenty horrible, but not even close to the claims of these EMT advocates. (As an aside, when I hear EMT, I can’t help but think “epithelial-mesenchymal transition,” but then I’m a cancer researcher.)

What is EMT? According to the press release, it’s this:

Energy Meridian Tapping (EMT) is a user-friendly version of the long established meridian tapping modality called TFT (Thought Field Therapy). Energy tapping therapies have been well documented as significantly improving pain, impaired range of motion, stress, anxiety, phobias, physical symptoms and other health conditions. EMT’s basic premise is that the underlying cause of every negative emotion and almost every physical symptom is a disruption of the body’s energy flow along the same meridians that were mapped over 4,000 years ago by Chinese physicians.

“Acupuncturists use needles to stimulate key points along the meridians. But in EMT, people tap on those points with their fingertips,” says Gibson. “Acupuncturists use needles to stimulate key points along the meridians. But in EMT, people tap on those points with their fingertips,” says Gibson. “Tapping requires less precision, is easy to do and simple to learn, so it’s possible for everyone, including children, to get good results.”

Oh, I think I get it. EMT is acupuncture without the needles. Instead of the magic requiring needles inserted in the skin, the sorcery that is EMT only requires tapping. But it’s more than that. TFT is serious, serious woo. In essence, the claim is that tapping acupressure points will relieve blockags in the flow of that magical, mystical life energy (qi) that woo-meisters can never define and scientists have never been able to detect, much less show that anyone can manipulate it. In fact, TFT, EMT, or whatever it’s called, is a hodge-podge of a whole bunch of woo:

TFT also borrows techniques from a procedure known as Applied Kinesiology that is used to test muscles for “weaknesses” caused by certain food or chemical pathogens (Sampson and Beyerstein 1996). Applied Kinesiology is a scientifically discredited procedure. For example, Kenny, Clemens, and Forsythe (1988) found that those using the techniques did no better than chance in determining nutritional status using muscle testing. Finally, TFT even borrows some of its concepts from quantum physics. For instance, the idea of active information, in which small amounts of energy can affect large systems, is used to support the existence of perturbations (Bohm and Hiley 1993). There are obvious problems with the theoretical basis for TFT, not the least of which is the complete lack of scientific evidence for the existence of “thought fields.”

Quantum. Only the finest woo abuses quantum theory. Where’s Lionel Milgrom when you need him?

On the other hand, who needs Milgrom when you can have “tappers” like Janice L. Gibson, who bills herself as the “EMT Empress.” She also bills herself as a “wholistic’ healer who “combines tapping with hypnosis and other holistic modalities in my healing arsenal, including my intuitive abilities.”

Just what the Haitians need. If you have any doubt, check out this video:

Is it just me, or does that one woman’s cackle after she jokes about a cat who has diabetes because he’s fat creep you out? Whether she does or not, Gibson desperately wants to bring her woo to the suffering Haitian people:

Tapping reduces pain and suffering, but only when it is utilized. We just have to spread the word about this simple, effective, self-administered healing process. We believe that introducing it to emergency personnel is the key to spreading the word about EMT’s efficacy. It is our hope (and a given) that once emergency personnel personally witness the ease, simplicity, effectiveness and spontaneous relief of EMT, they will begin to share Energy Meridian Tapping with the people who’s lives have been turned upside-down by disaster.

To help, Gibson wants to distribute these cards. Some of what’s on these cards is truly hilarious. Or it would be, if it weren’t so depressing to think that she is actually seriously proposing using this on highly traumatized people who may have serious injuries. For example, the card instructs the user to repeat three times while tapping: “Even though I ‘m stressed-out due to the disaster (state your frustrations in great detail) I accept myself completely.”

I’m sure it’s a good thing to accept oneself, but I can’t help but get the image of Stuart Smalley saying “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me.”

i-dc320d9ec282ab76448f912828fa9b66-stuart_smalley.jpg

Disasters are hard, cold reality. They cause human suffering through death, injury, disease, and starvation. That is what the people of Haiti are experiencing right now. They do not need a religion made up by a clever but washed up science fiction writer or its adherents engaging in a grotesque form of faith healing. They do not need acupuncturists coming into their country claiming that they can provide anesthesia for amputations by sticking little needles into the ears. They do not need homeopaths bringing their sympathetic magic placebos consisting of substances diluted to the point where not a single molecule is left. They do not need woo-meisters cmoing in to tell them that all their emotional trauma can be alleviated if they’d just tap, tap, tap their heads.

No, they need clean water, real food, real medicines, and real shelter. Magical thinking won’t help them. The resources to provide real, science-based medicine will.

Comments

  1. #1 John C. Welch
    February 25, 2010

    Wait, they want you to knife-hand yourself on the collar bone? THAT’S what they do?

    Dude, bring them to me, i’ll “tap” them into friggin’ comatose BLISS! Collarbone, upper rib cage, browline, bridge of the nose, hell, right across the chops.

    All these years, *I* thought that was called “full-contact sparring”, when in reality, we were “healing” each other. Boy, do *I* feel stupid.

  2. #2 warhelmet
    February 25, 2010

    Of course, adherents of radionics etc need not move from the comfort of their offices. They can do distance healing and radionic broadcasts.

  3. #3 Rene Najera
    February 25, 2010

    The crazy part is that many of these people are the ones that decried Pat “The Devil Made You Do It” Robertson for thinking that an urban legend had everything to do with tectonic plates slipping past each other right under Haiti. They cry foul about one delusion but their own is okay?

    I mean, there is just as much evidence that Beelzebub (or a supposed pact with said entity) was responsible for the earthquake as there is for any of these quacks’ so-called therapies.

    They always want it both ways, don’t they?

  4. #4 Stuart Smalley
    February 25, 2010

    Hey, don’t laugh, it works! I’m a Senator now!

  5. #5 DavidCT
    February 25, 2010

    I guess that answers the question of where’s the harm.

  6. #6 Dunc
    February 25, 2010

    Energy Meridian Tapping has got nothing on the Kadir-Buxton Method!

  7. #7 alopiasmag
    February 25, 2010

    Quackers. . . saw the video. Wao. . . morons.

  8. #8 Jojo
    February 25, 2010

    Tapping requires less precision, is easy to do and simple to learn, so it’s possible for everyone, including children, to get good results.”

    Looking at the cards, I’d have to say that children can do this. I know this because my three-year-old tries this on me all the time. Of course, I send him to time out when he does it, so I’m not sure what good this will do for people in a desperate situation.

    Come to think of it, if karate chopping people is so good for injured people, why isn’t Jackie Chan in Haiti?

  9. #9 anonymous
    February 25, 2010

    I can’t read the word “Meridian” in this context without thinking of the midiclorians that dominate The Force. Now when these EMT people pull off a Jedi Mind Trick, I’ll be all in for it.

    May the Force be with you.

  10. #10 Gingerbaker
    February 25, 2010

    Why are you so skeptical about this? It is a ‘modality’ after all. A ‘modality’ with ‘well-documented’ efficacy.

  11. #11 Arnold T Pants
    February 25, 2010

    Homeopaths Without Borders? It’s an island nation, which means that it’s literally surrounded by homeopathy.

  12. #12 Rene Najera
    February 25, 2010

    @Arnold T Pants: I’m going to have to disagree… Mostly because of the Dominican Republic.

  13. #13 Dr Aust
    February 25, 2010

    In homeo-world, the stuff that surrounds Haiti would be referred to as a “mother tincture” of Natrium muriaticum (a salt solution to us non-homeopathic folks).

    And yes, it is every bit as silly as it sounds.

  14. #14 The Domestic Goddess
    February 25, 2010

    What’s really a shame is that the Haitians I know in the US say that Haitians are very religious but also very superstitious. They go so long without things that they will believe what people tell them. Partly out of lack of education but partly because they are desperate to begin with. Add in an earthquake and it is multiplied by ten. I feel so badly for them.

  15. #15 Arnold T Pants
    February 25, 2010

    @Rene
    Right, they share the same landmass, but if you compare the DR to the rest of the ocean it is diluted by at least 12C.

  16. #16 Rene Najera
    February 25, 2010

    @Arnold

    At least. Oh, if those waters could speak of their “memories”. The pirates, Columbus, nude beaches… Indeed.

  17. #17 Gingerbaker
    February 25, 2010

    Definitely B Ark material.

  18. #18 Militant Agnostic
    February 25, 2010

    What is the difference between EMT and Gary Craig’s wootastic EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy)? (The next time some idiot flaunts their engineering education as support of their medical ignorance, I think I will just post a link to the EFT website.) Has there been a schism in the tapping world?

    Given that a goo chunk of the population of Haiti was far enough away from the epicenter to avoid serious injury, how stupid does someone half to be to come up with this half the population having amputations nonsense. Perhaps I could cure their gullibility by tapping them with a shot filled hammer.

  19. #19 Calli Arcale
    February 25, 2010

    (As an aside, when I hear EMT, I can’t help but think “epithelial-mesenchymal transition,” but then I’m a cancer researcher.)

    When I hear EMT, I think “Emergency Medical Technician”. And what disturbs me is that since a lot of people have that in their minds, an Energy Meridian Tapper might be able to exploit that and gain access by telling people that they’re here to help — they’re an EMT, after all.

  20. #20 Merle
    February 25, 2010

    I agree strongly with Calli Arcale – “EMT” to me immediately means “emergency medical tech”. I shudder to think what someone might allow one of these quacks to do while under that misapprehension.

  21. #21 Dangerous Bacon
    February 25, 2010

    Among the various types of woo missions with which Haiti’s been afflicted, let’s not forget chiropractic. This chiropractor was part of a team that “adjusted thousands”.

    Of course, even before the earthquake Haiti was afflicted blessed with chiropractic care – for instance, this chiropractic mission to Haiti – when you’ve got a hammer, there are plenty of nails to be found:

    “Most of our patients had neuromusculoskeletal symptoms and protein deficiencies. Some had diphtheria, croup, inflammation of the bowels, pneumonia. Many of the patients responded well with one or two chiropractic adjustments. The chronic diseases will take much longer to affect a permanent cure.”

    It should be noted that at least the patients with “oozing tumors” were referred on to MDs – after getting adjusted.

  22. #22 FreeSpeaker
    February 25, 2010

    I have a friend who is a surgeon. He was teaching in Haiti when the quake struck, and spent 4 weeks just amputating limbs. Infection and gangrene was rampant and he described his feelings as those of Hawkeye Pierce.

    He mentioned to me that the quake’s legacy which will last for decades will be amputees and orphans.

    The name “Homeopaths Without Borders” is revolting. Usurping the name of a superb organization like that is criminal.

    What is a “Homeopath Without Borders”? I believe the correct term is an ocean or sea.

  23. #23 Arnold T Pants
    February 25, 2010

    @ Dangerous Bacon
    Chiro manipulations for infectious diseases instead of antibiotics? That’s just plain horrible.

  24. Hey, Orac?

    Can you not use EMT as an mneumonic to describe this crap? To even be associated with this quackery by the letters I sign behind my name makes me sick. (Expecially considering we DO respond and treat people very well in disaster situations.)

  25. @20, Merle –

    The actual use of EMT or EMT-P as a self-describer is regulated by law in the United States by the individual states. It most states, it’s a misdermenor to identify yourself as an EMT unless you actually hold an Emergency Medical Technician or EMT-Paramedic license in that state, or hold an NREMT certification (Attempting to Impersonate an Emergency Medical Technician). If you try to garner financhial income or attempt to treat a patient, it’s a felony and borders on practicing medicine without a license.

    Last time I checked, I didn’t use the needles on my rig to interfere with any “Chi” points that don’t exist. I usually use them to keep my patient alive from point A to Point B, or atleast comfortable.

  26. #26 Kristen
    February 25, 2010

    @Callie

    When I hear EMT, I think “Emergency Medical Technician”. And what disturbs me is that since a lot of people have that in their minds, an Energy Meridian Tapper might be able to exploit that and gain access by telling people that they’re here to help — they’re an EMT, after all.

    The sickest part is that is probably what they want people to think. They can’t get reputability on their merits (i.e. like real EMT’s) so they resort to tricking uneducated people who are desperate for help.

  27. #27 Jennifer B. Phillips
    February 25, 2010

    Chance,
    I share your indignation, but so far I haven’t seen evidence that the wooists here are representing themselves AS ‘EMTs’. It is the practice, not the profession that has been termed ‘EMT’, like ‘ESP’ or ‘TT’ (touch therapy). IANAL (just because we didn’t really have enough acronyms to be getting on with), but I think one could make a legal argument for the distinction between the blatantly felonious “I am an EMT” and the irritating but wuzzy enough to skirt legal action “I am a practitioner of EMT”. I do completely agree that the potential for misunderstanding is rampant with such an abbreviation, but I’m not sure there’s anything to be done about it other than the usual countermeasures–education, debunking efforts, etc.

    *Sigh*. I will now make yet another donation to MSF to try to cancel out the asshattery of these deluded idiots.

  28. #28 Kristy
    February 25, 2010

    Orac i’d love to hear your opinion on this piece regarding phthalates and autism!!!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/opinion/25kristof.html

    (sorry for the slightly off topic post)!

  29. #29 Jeff Read
    February 25, 2010

    3:25: Holy crap, it’s Ocelot!

    Also, this scary lady puts in a cameo.

  30. #30 Rapa
    February 25, 2010

    By the way, what do you make of those who claim (based on anecdotal evidence) that the actual number of deaths in Haïti is way lower than the official numbers? Is it actually helpful what they’re trying to achieve? Or are they just being cocky?

  31. #31 Prometheus
    February 25, 2010

    Wow, Mr. Kristof – that’s way off-topic! Why don’t you see if you can get that published in a newspaper somewhere or, failing that, start your own ‘blog?

    Just a few points about this Wrong Way Corrigan comment:

    [1] Mr. Kristof is writing about “An article in a forthcoming issue of a peer-reviewed medical journal, Current Opinion in Pediatrics…”, but he seems unaware that this journal only publishes invited articles. They don’t have “peer review”.

    [2] Despite the statement in the abstract, Dr. Landrigan’s citation make it clear that there is no data linking human autism to any “toxins”. Studies have shown neurological abnormalities in rats and other experimental animals from in utero exposure to thalidomide, valproic acid, misoprostil, chlorpyrifos and rubella virus. Interestingly, of the five, only maternal rubella (which can be prevent by the MMR vaccine) has actually been shown to cause autism. There are no data linking any of the other “toxins” to human autism. His point that further research into “environmental toxins” is indicated is appropriate, but backed by little more than speculation.

    [3] Dr. Landrigan’s assumption that genetic abnormalities “…account for only a small fraction of cases…” of autism is not consistent with the growing body of data showing large de novo deletions and duplications in a significant fraction of autistic people. As the genetic techniques improve, that fraction will only increase. Dr. Landrigan’s opinion about genetic causes of autism may be “current”, but they are not very forward-looking.

    I imagine that Orac will have other comments – or he may decide that he doesn’t want to enable journalists who feel the need to promote their own work on ‘blogs.

    Prometheus

  32. #32 Composer99
    February 25, 2010

    What a senseless waste of human & material resources. The whole lot of pseudomedicine pushers would be put to better use if they’d donated the money to actual medical aid groups and stayed home.

  33. #33 MikeMa
    February 25, 2010

    …or their bodies for medical research!

  34. #34 Sastra
    February 25, 2010

    Rene Najera #3 wrote:

    The crazy part is that many of these people are the ones that decried Pat “The Devil Made You Do It” Robertson for thinking that an urban legend had everything to do with tectonic plates slipping past each other right under Haiti. They cry foul about one delusion but their own is okay?

    The reason woosters cry foul over blaming the devil for the earthquake in Haiti is because they think that’s a mean belief. Therefore, those who believe it are being mean. So it can’t be true.

    Energy healing, on the other hand, is niceness. It requires niceness to work, and is believed in by the nice. So, it’s true.

    When you’re not using science, you have to know the secret code behind the Other Ways of Knowing.

  35. #35 Anthro
    February 25, 2010

    The people of Haiti are so superstitious, they will no doubt welcome these practitioners with open arms. Perhaps some placebo effects will occur and make them feel better about their amputations (for awhile), but that doesn’t make it any more ethical.

    @Prometheus

    If you think Kristof’s column is bad, read the comments that follow it! It is full of some of the most ridiculous woo I have come across. People speculate on all sorts of other “toxins” that must be causing autism and there’s even some anti-vax stuff although Kristof declares anti-vaxers “discredited” in the article.

  36. #36 Jennifer B. Phillips
    February 25, 2010

    @Sastra–

    When you’re not using science, you have to know the secret code behind the Other Ways of Knowing.

    Indeed. To this end, I have found the dictionary of fashionable nonsense most enlightening.

  37. #37 DLC
    February 25, 2010

    See, it’s the evil purple aura that’s causing it!
    I have Kirlean photography to prove it!
    Now, indigo is fine . . . look at all the indigo babies, including Jenny McCarthy’s !
    but Purple is right out!
    eschew purpleity !
    Woo.. I’m getting a headache from trying to non-think.

  38. #38 Anthro
    February 25, 2010

    The people of Haiti are so superstitious, they will no doubt welcome these practitioners with open arms. Perhaps some placebo effects will occur and make them feel better about their amputations (for awhile), but that doesn’t make it any more ethical.

    @Prometheus

    If you think Kristof’s column is bad, read the comments that follow it! It is full of some of the most ridiculous woo I have come across. People speculate on all sorts of other “toxins” that must be causing autism and there’s even some anti-vax stuff although Kristof declares anti-vaxers “discredited” in the article.

  39. #39 Jennifer B. Phillips
    February 25, 2010

    Whoops, don’t know what’s up with the link in #36, but here it is again:
    http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/dictionary.php

  40. #40 Party Cactus
    February 25, 2010

    @Jennifer

    I think the problem is you forgot to put the url in quotations. This site really should correct for that or something.

    But on topic, it is a shame that such effort is devoted to meaninglessness. Isn’t there anyone overseeing the relief efforts who could tell them that the can donate their time or money, but non their nonsense? It would be wonderful if they helped to do something, anything, but no amount of woo is worth any amount of real medicine. In any other situation I’d shake my head and thing ‘Lord knows they try,’ but with matters of life and death, a lot more than the thought counts.

  41. #41 Pablo
    February 25, 2010

    My objection to this post is in the implication that these groups are “well-intentioned.” That Vinny Barbarino’s contributions were beneficial is great, but don’t think for a second that Scientology gives a shit about wanting to help Haitians. For them, it is about the PR that they can grab. Same for the other loons. They are trying to use it as a means of expanding their market share. That’s not well-intentioned at all. They are taking advantage of desperate people – as the woomeisters always do.

  42. #42 E
    February 26, 2010

    Actually, I believe first to arrive in Haiti was Mark Hyman of Lenox, Mass. He’s the UltraWellness Center guy. I gasped when I saw a “60 minutes” piece of him working at an earthquake-ravaged hospital in Haiti. Gee, he’s not even allowed to walk into a hospital in his local area and practice anything – let alone medicine! On another news show Mark Hyman was identified as the chief medical doctor. What?!

    Then there’s his wife, Pier Boutin. She’s supposed to be a surgeon. But where exactly she works is unknown. And her business address is – get this – husband Mark Hyman’s UltraWellness Center.

    Her father was along too. He’s surgeon George Boutin from Florida. He seems legit but his credentials still seem vague.

    To think…these were shown on television hacking, and I mean hacking, away human limbs with a hacksaw. At one point in the “60 minutes” piece the reporter, upon witnessing the cutting, asks Mark Hyman, “Is that medicine?” And Mark Hyman answers, “Sure.” Only a total incompetent with a complete lack of professional finesse would give such a response! A more competent medical professional would probably have said, “No. But we’re doing what we need to do right now to maybe save a life.”

    One annoying part to all this was becoming aware that these two husband and wife clowns traveled down to Haiti with Partners in Health – an admirable charity. Having been aware of some of the irresponsible alternative nonsense this Mark Hyman comes out with, it seems completely incongruous that he be aligned with such a charity. Partners in Health, in fact, has on its own website a most touching article making a point that when responsible allopathic medical care is not available to a community, it can often times turn to witch-doctor type medicine. A town in Mexico is used to illustrate an example.

    Though I agree there are reasons to look askance at John Travolta and company, at least he did use some sound judgment in bringing with him legitimate doctors and nurses.

    Personally, I think it should be a violation of international law for a doctor to travel to another country and knowingly practice medicine beyond the confines of the medical license he/she holds. And in the case of Mark Hyman – that’s pretty confined!

    I don’t claim to be a medical professional nor a legal one, but it doesn’t take either to look at this situation and say, “There’s seriously something wrong here that needs attention.”

  43. #43 Kristy
    February 26, 2010

    @Prometheus,

    I didn’t write the article, I am just skeptical about it and thought Orac could sufficiently address it?

  44. #44 Prometheus
    February 26, 2010

    Kristy,

    My apologies – I saw “Kristy” and read “Kristof”.

    Prometheus

  45. #45 Bater
    March 2, 2010

    Hi,
    could someone please answer a simple question regarding one aspect of Homeopathy? I understand that whole craziness of diluting a substance to infinity and beyond, but how do homeopaths then convert their nonsense into pills? Doesn’t the whole point revolve around water?
    Am I right in assuming that they simply sprinkle their water onto sugar pills? if so, wouldn’t the water evaporate in a short time and with it, the woo that is suppose to make it work?
    I’m asking because it seems to me that that is akin to preparing a homeopathic solution from distilled water, letting the water evaporate and then claiming that the “nothing” left can have a medical effect.
    Most crazy claims usually have their own internal logic, but if the above is true, Homeopathy is not even that.

  46. #46 titmouse
    March 3, 2010

    YO ORAC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You have to watch this video.

    IT IS COMEDY GOLD.

    A young VM describes how she and her fellow Scientologists brought efficiency and order to a chaotic Haitian hospital.

    They noted “All these water bags from floor to ceiling in the radiology department, of all places, while people were dying of dehydration outside.”

    So the Scientologists dismantled the radiation barrier to help the thirst Haitians. Who now glow in the dark.

    These are the people who want to run our healthcare system, because doctors can’t be trusted.

  47. #47 gjm
    March 4, 2010

    How in the heck does anyone not associated with a NGO or other credible aid group, such as the United Nations, U.S. etc., even get on the island? Surely these quacks didn’t just hop a plane, parachute in, or arrive on a cruise ship. I really don’t understand the logistics of this. Perhaps they arrived on a spaceship. (We might also consider the Baptist “orphanage” lunatics, This has really been bothering me, especially after I heard about the child trafficing). Does anyone know?

  48. #48 Calli Arcale
    March 4, 2010

    Anthro @ 35:

    The people of Haiti are so superstitious, they will no doubt welcome these practitioners with open arms. Perhaps some placebo effects will occur and make them feel better about their amputations (for awhile), but that doesn’t make it any more ethical.

    Don’t be so sure. Haitians do tend to believe in the supernatural, but it isn’t a random sort of superstition. You are probably thinking of voodoo. It’s a well organized system that has been around for hundreds of years. While we use the term “voodoo” loosely to mean weird superstitious stuff, it actually has a specific meaning in Haiti, and not all superstitions are compatible with voodoo. A voodoo practitioner who believes in the loas and seeks the aid of houngans is probably not that much more likely to embrace chi than a devout Catholic (who might regard chi as far-eastern rubbish). It is outside of their belief system. In fact, those whose superstitions stem from passionate practice of a specific religion may be even more opposed to outside superstitions than skeptics, because to them, it’s not just silly — it may actually be demonic.

    Of course, that may depend largely on how the argument is framed, and if the alt med practitioners are at all sensitive to the locals and at all clever, they will attempt to frame their practice in a manner compatible with local beliefs. (I would recommend real medical practitioners do the same, honestly. It’s all about talking within the context they’re familiar with.)

    gjm: they may have some political strings they can pull, like the Scientologists, or they may be coming in amongst larger groups of legitimate medical practitioners. Or they may even be traveling to the Dominican Republic and then traveling overland.

  49. #49 Tsu Dho Nimh
    March 4, 2010

    gjm – The Scientologists were flown in by John Travolta. He transported some legit doctors and medical supplies as camoflauge for the VMs.

    In the chaos, legitimate groups DO hop flights run by other organizations on a space-available basis, and it’s hard to screen out the useless ones.

    This disaster tourist founded his own organization, reportedly prints his own credentials and apparently talked his way onto a Peruvian government plane …
    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2010/01/doug-copp-again-again-again-this-time-in-haiti.html

    Bu sucking up to the upper management with a convincing line of bull, and avoiding legitimate rescue groups who know what a waste of space and air he is, he managed to get to Haiti, where he snapped some pictures, misrepresented his heroism and left.

  50. #50 Bill
    April 18, 2010

    My gf was told about EFT by a crisis phone counselor after they got her feeling better from a good old fashioned debrief. Scary. She politely said she was materialistic, aka Naturalistic. The above vid was pure big budget marketing hype. I wonder at what point they ask you to give them money.