Pharyngula

Bad charities

There’s always someone ready to take advantage of another’s misfortune, often while wearing a pious expression on their faces. Here are two bad charities:

Comments

  1. #1 TB Tabby
    March 30, 2010

    Remember when Pat Robertson was accepting donations for Africans in need? Turns out the money went to his private African diamond mine.

  2. #2 BicycleRepairMan
    March 30, 2010

    Speaking of bad places to place donations, one cannot miss the worst one of all. the Catholic Church, the star of Condells latest, and may i say greatest ever rant.
    http://videosift.com/video/Pat-Condell-Was-Satan-a-Catholic

  3. #3 daveau
    March 30, 2010

    I need to get into the charity racket so I can maybe retire someday.

  4. #4 BicycleRepairMan
    March 30, 2010

    Sorry for the bad grammar, auto-spell-checkers have made me lazy, let me place in some of my worst omissions: ( “:” “T” and “I”)

  5. #5 beebphone
    March 30, 2010

    I’m going to donate a million dollars, but at an 8C dilution

  6. #6 ButchKitties
    March 30, 2010

    Where exactly can one view a charity’s 990 filings? I’ve been using Charity Navigator, but if this blog is correct I’m worried that CN doesn’t give a reliable picture. It seems all sorts of unsavory things can be squeezed into the “program services” category.

  7. #7 https://me.yahoo.com/a/SaqGVG0xvJEQVwURVamS3DTCdvov0BLhXK1jOsYPPJQ-#b4893
    March 30, 2010

    I completely agree that SCENAR appears to be garbage, but I don’t see a Radio Shack connection at all.

    Not being defensive, just striving for accuracy.

    The world definitely needs fewer quacks, for sure.

    A few years ago, I went to a pretty fun magic show in Tahoe, and the magician’s assistant, like all good magician’s assistants, was quite attractive. I figure attractiveness just goes with that job; what are we going to do?

    Anyway, it turns out she was also behind some garbage product called “Layers of Light.” Lowered my opinion of her quite a bit…

    MikeM

  8. #8 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    What they don’t tell you is that ‘overhead’ sucks up at least 80-90% of the donations.

    To put this in perspective, there’s a great site called Charity Navigator that ranks charities based on percent of total functional expenses spent on programs and services… according to them:

    Our data shows that 7 out of 10 charities we’ve evaluated spend at least 75% of their budget on the programs and services they exist to provide. And 9 out of 10 spend at least 65%. We believe that those spending less than a third of their budget on program expenses are simply not living up to their missions.

    However, in fairness I should point out that according to this same website, Freedom Alliance scores very highly… and states that Freedom Alliance spends approximately 81% of its revenues on “Program Expenses”, or the programs and services they exist to provide…

    Does anyone else have competing data? I’d like to be able to figure out what the real story is there…

  9. #9 Zeno
    March 30, 2010

    We already knew Sean Hannity was a fraud, but I thought it was mostly about politics and money. Now we see it’s also charity fraud. I should have known. Hannity came cruising into California last year to exploit the farmers’ water shortage. He used a corporate-sponsored “astroturf” rally as a backdrop and claimed the multi-year drought was the fault of liberals and environmentalists.

    Sean Hannity is fake from A to Z.

  10. #10 Holytape
    March 30, 2010

    The Hannity charity might be worse than what is stated. There are two companies involved, and the paper work is cloudy. The Freedom Concerts hosts the the concerts and collects fees from the tickets. The tickets sell between 75~125 dollars. Initially, out of that only 4 dollars per ticket would go to the charity Freedom Alliance. (It is not clear if this has changed.) Of the 4 dollars that goes to the Freedom Alliance between 80~90% goes to overhead. So it is possible that out of a $125 dollar ticket, that less than a dollar will make it to help the families of the soldiers. The accounting is messy, because the Freedom Alliance counts funds used for mailings and lobbying as funds spent to help the soldiers, and they have not been clear about how much of the ticket price now goes to Freedom Alliance. There is also a large amount that has gone into a fund for future use. But it is unlikely that anything more than 10% of the ticket sales actually go to help the soldiers.

    But with a man with the moral fibers of Ollie North in charge, we got to give the benefit of the doubt.
    Shnoah’s Ark

  11. #11 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    The stated mission of “Freedom Alliance”:

    Freedom Alliance was founded in 1990 by Oliver North, who now serves as the organization’s honorary chairman. We work to keep America strong, keep America prosperous, and keep America free. The mission of Freedom Alliance is to advance the American heritage of freedom by honoring and encouraging military service, defending the sovereignty of the United States and promoting a strong national defense.

    Oh.

    So umm…

    Wait… what?

    Hmmm… sounds an awful lot like the Human Fund: Money for People.

  12. #12 https://me.yahoo.com/a/ro4jxWwFnPMcpH8dBzAn8CLyUJbI#5263d
    March 30, 2010

    Not to spoil the fun, but it looks like the majority of the funding does not go to ‘overhead.’ Apparently they’re building up a trust fund which will then pay out scholarships to the students (most of whom will be attending college in 10-20 years).

    Debbie Schlussel’s entire post is based on claims which appear to be unsupported by the IRS tax files. Another commenter here mentioned that the charity ranks as spending 81% of its funds on program expenses (according to Charity Navigator).

    David Frum’s site has a post which addresses each of Schlussel’s accusations in turn:
    http://www.frumforum.com/hannitized-is-sanitized

    The case he makes against Schlussel is convicing. Here’s an excerpt:

    It is true that Freedom Alliance spent $60,000 on aviation services in 2006, but there is no evidence that this was for Sean Hannity?s benefit, and it seems unlikely that the money was used to lease a Gulfstream 5. Rates for G5 aircraft average around $8,000 an hour. $60,000 would not buy much at that rate.

    I, too, am a godless liberal, but Schlussel’s claims seemed to skirt the conspiratorial. Even when it comes to a snake like Hannity, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  13. #13 Holytape
    March 30, 2010

    The heart of the con is that there are two companies, a for-profit company Freedom Concerts and the charity Freedom Alliance.

    Schlussel Keeps Up Attack on Hannity

    Follow Up on Hannity’s Charity

  14. #14 Zeno
    March 30, 2010

    Debbie Schlusell is a Coulter wannabe who is not a reliable source of information. She’s on the Hannity story like a dog on a bone and won’t let go. I hope she’s right for once, but her journalistic credibility is nil.

    Still, it’s nice to see the right eating their own.

  15. #15 SteveM
    March 30, 2010

    As much as I dislike Hannity, the fact that this expose comes from Debbie “Debbie Does Derangement” Schlussel gives me pause. Which nutcase to believe?

  16. #16 Sastra
    March 30, 2010

    Ah, the SCENAR Therapy site is setting off multiple b.s. alerts. Just from scrolling down the first page, I get:

    “electrical energy corresponding to the body’s own signals” (huh?)

    “stimulating the body’s own healing reserves”(uh oh)

    “Both Eastern and Western physicists were encouraged to develop energy medicine at a time when massive funding was poured into research for the American and Russian space programmes” (uh huh)

    The “research” appears to be minimal, and confined to one country, even though it’s been around a while.

    Very high success rate, coupled with a huge variety of unconnected ailments it’s supposed to be good for.

    Primarily useful for perception of pain — just like a placebo.

    “it received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a biofeedback device in the United States.” (big deal, means nothing)

    Links on the side to naturopathy and dietary supplements. (ok, that does it)

    I am a layperson, with no educational or professional expertise in this area. But the tools of skepticism do allow me to detect Smell of Rat here.

  17. #17 https://me.yahoo.com/a/ro4jxWwFnPMcpH8dBzAn8CLyUJbI#5263d
    March 30, 2010

    The heart of the con is that there are two companies, a for-profit company Freedom Concerts and the charity Freedom Alliance.

    Except that this is public information, available to everyone. Which means it’s not a con.

    Freedom Concerts is a for-profit concert promoter, which gives a portion of its funds to Freedom Alliance.

    This is no different than the Starbucks/Gap/etc “Red” campaign. It doesn’t give a whole lot to the charity, but it is on the level.

  18. #18 vanharris
    March 30, 2010

    I completely agree that SCENAR appears to be garbage, but I don’t see a Radio Shack connection at all.

    The proof of that will be if Lance Armstrong (Team Radio Shack) uses one. The way he’s going now, he’ll need one. (It might have a placebo effect.)

  19. #19 Trevindor
    March 30, 2010

    Givewell.net does an excellent job of evaluating the effectiveness of charities.

  20. #20 maloney256
    March 30, 2010

    I dislike Hannity too, but don’t get so excited. The returns really are not that unusual. Most of their expenses are in fact program expenses – those that directly relate to their non-profit purposes such as soliciting donors, fundraisers, etc. There is actually very little overhead and administration by comparison to other charities. They are spending very little on actual scholarships, but they appear to be purchasing securities to create investment income. I’m a long time reader of Pharyngula, but please corroborate information before you become so incensed. Even as an atheist, it’s impossible to know and understand everything. Most people can’t read financial statements, let alone governmental/not for profit statements or returns, so get over it and shut up. The journalists behind this story are probably the same people engaged in the ridiculous oversimplification and hagiography of the financial crisis.

  21. #21 Mu
    March 30, 2010

    The reason the Freedom Alliance scores so highly on the program activity quota is that they count their mailings as political activism, what is part of their program activities. So both sides are right, they spend very little on veterans etc. and they spend a lot on program activities. The FA just doesn’t consider the veterans being the most important part of their program activities, something the donors might be overlooking.

  22. #22 https://me.yahoo.com/a/2Cpr09BisvAGE8xTLScKqHa9oE8qMtok#e64de
    March 30, 2010

    I looked through the tax forms and depending on the year, they do spend 80-96% on their overhead mostly on things like “consultants” and “advisors.”

    Just to put this in persepctive… the United Way, which is the biggest charity in the US, spends about 25% on overhead, and they’re taking heat for having that much. Red Cross (8th largest) is around 10%.

    To have an overhead of 80-96% makes you either incredibly inept, or it’s a scam. Going by the honesty Hannity has displayed in the past, I doubt he’s being honest here either.

  23. #23 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    I looked through the tax forms and depending on the year, they do spend 80-96% on their overhead mostly on things like “consultants” and “advisors.”

    Hmmm… this conflicts with other data I’ve read and with the data gathered by sites that evaluate charities.

    Can you provide a link to the data to which you are referring? Maybe I’m looking at the wrong stuff…

  24. #24 Ellie
    March 30, 2010

    btw the scenar health pledgie site can be flagged as a scam. It also looks as though it may be dead anyway as HelenGracie, who appears to have set it up, is no longer a registered user. That said, you can still go through the mechanics of pledging and donating with PayPal although I didn’t go all the way, of course, so it may fail further on.

  25. #25 https://me.yahoo.com/a/2Cpr09BisvAGE8xTLScKqHa9oE8qMtok#e64de
    March 30, 2010

    Except that this is public information, available to everyone. Which means it’s not a con.

    Freedom Concerts is a for-profit concert promoter, which gives a portion of its funds to Freedom Alliance.

    This is no different than the Starbucks/Gap/etc “Red” campaign. It doesn’t give a whole lot to the charity, but it is on the level.

    Bullshit. That’s not on the level. It’s deceptive. A series of events billed as helping Freedom Alliance which works solely on making it look like the money’s going to charity, wHen the intent is that most of it goes into someone’s pocket?

    Please. Don’t make me laugh.

    And that still doesn’t excuse that Freedom Alliance still has the 80-96% overhead. That’s independant of the Freedom Concerts. That’s based solely on Freedom Alliance’s tax forms.

    The best you can say is that Hannity’s hands are “clean,” deceptive marketing not withstanding, and at worst you can still claim that Freedom Alliance is bullshit.

    Mu said:

    The reason the Freedom Alliance scores so highly on the program activity quota is that they count their mailings as political activism, what is part of their program activities. So both sides are right, they spend very little on veterans etc. and they spend a lot on program activities. The FA just doesn’t consider the veterans being the most important part of their program activities, something the donors might be overlooking.

    Then why the hell are they 501(c)(3)… a educational/charity organisation? That’s what they claim their are on their website. If most of their money goes to political activism, that’s neither educational nor charitible. Why the fuck are they tax exempt?

    -Kemanorel

  26. #26 https://me.yahoo.com/a/2Cpr09BisvAGE8xTLScKqHa9oE8qMtok#e64de
    March 30, 2010

    Can you provide a link to the data to which you are referring? Maybe I’m looking at the wrong stuff…

    Sure, I can, Celtic.

    It’s on the Freedom Alliance website in the “About Us” section here:

    http://www.freedomalliance.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2172&Itemid=21

    The 990 tax forms (the ones for the 501(c)(3) companies) for several years are available for download right on that page.

  27. #27 https://me.yahoo.com/a/O.jullMj0I2VvJaxMMVeNKSfOPf73voLSxJAe9PdlOWwi8Y-#258ec
    March 30, 2010

    the overhead does seem rather high and it does seem that they are “selling” the charity as one that is primarily aimed at the children of veterans while its actual stated aim sounds more like nationalism politics.
    I would be interested to see just who these consultants are that get the lions share of the money.

    the whole thing brings to mind the tricksy stuff that finally got Tom Delay by the tail. He too I think had some funny stuff with charities besides fund raising

    uncle frogy

  28. #28 maloney256
    March 30, 2010

    This looks fishy:

    Calvin Coolidge, Executive Director

    Haha.

  29. #29 https://me.yahoo.com/a/2Cpr09BisvAGE8xTLScKqHa9oE8qMtok#e64de
    March 30, 2010

    After reading through them again, I noticed that the bulk of the money actually went to printing, shipping, and publishing… at about $3 million.

    The consultants only total about $1 million.

    Even if they’re aren’t a scam outright, they’re a poor excuse for a charity.

    I hate yahooID,
    -Kemanorel

  30. #30 Die Anyway
    March 30, 2010

    From SCENAR’s own website…”it works on the principles of acupuncture and reflex zones.”

    ‘Nuff said.

  31. #31 https://me.yahoo.com/a/ro4jxWwFnPMcpH8dBzAn8CLyUJbI#5263d
    March 30, 2010

    Shipping costs were high because of:

    Freedom Alliance?s listed cost for postage was $775,599 in 2008, which may seem high given their overall expenses. However, Freedom Alliance sends care packages to active duty soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, which explains a good deal of the cost behind the postage figure.

    Comparing Freedom Alliance to other groups that specialize in sending care packages, Freedom Alliance?s expenditures seem ordinary. For example, Operation Gratitude is a group that specializes in ?sending care packages addressed to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.? When reviewing their tax forms, FrumForum found that they spend similar amounts on postage. Operation Gratitude spent $773,680 in 2008; Freedom Alliance spent $775,599.

    From this site: http://www.frumforum.com/hannitized-is-sanitized

  32. #32 https://me.yahoo.com/a/ro4jxWwFnPMcpH8dBzAn8CLyUJbI#5263d
    March 30, 2010

    I should add that I’m in no way trying to exonerate the slimy Sean Hannity. It just seems that Debbie Schlussel is being deliberately misleading in most of her claims about the charity.

  33. #33 The Other Ian
    March 30, 2010

    I just looked at their 2008 990. Their program service expenses were $5,317,970, and their total expenses were $6,745,717. That’s a ratio of 78.8%, which is generally considered good as I understand it.

    The confusion seems to be that they only actually paid $802,250 in tuition grants. But you have to realize that they also run other programs, including “public policy research and education”, and troop appreciation events.

    Also, consider the recipients of the college scholarship program. Although it’s supposedly for the children of any veteran killed or permanently disabled in a combat mission, I get the impression that it’s mostly for the children of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of those aren’t college age yet. I would expect that over the next 20 years, their spending ratio will change to reflect that.

    Then why the hell are they 501(c)(3)… a educational/charity organisation? That’s what they claim their are on their website. If most of their money goes to political activism, that’s neither educational nor charitible. Why the fuck are they tax exempt?

    It’s allowed as long as it’s conducted in a non-partisan manner. That seems unlikely to be the case, but I haven’t seen anything demonstrating that it’s not.

  34. #34 Holytape
    March 30, 2010

    If you look at the website, freedomconcerts.com/

    I wouldn’t compare this with Starbucks and other charity campaigns by known companies. Because Starbucks and these other companies are not charities, nor do they advertise themselves as primarily a charity. Freedom Concerts on the other hand advertises itself as a primarily a charity. It makes it appear that the sole goal of this events is to directly help veterans. I am sure that they are smart enough to have covered all of the legal bases. But they are still playing upon peoples patriotic sense to support disabled troops to make a buck.
    It may not be illegal, but it’s still a misleading. There’s a huge gap between being legal and being honest.

  35. #35 blf
    March 30, 2010

    I have no idea when the comment was made, but I like what someone with the handle The Thinker commented on the SCENARAMMER pledge site:

    This is immoral and 100% wrong.

    Homeopathic medicines, for example, is a medieval practice of administering a substance that has a fancy sounding name but which is either water, or a sugar tablet coated in water. It adheres to the snake-oil-crackpot science from four hundred years ago. The ridiculous claims of homeopathy are:

    1) Like cures like ? no basis in science just made up crackpot rubbish. For example the active ingredient to cure insomnia is caffeine.

    2) The more diluted the substance is the ?stronger? the homeopathic medicine. Let us digest that for a minute, that would be akin to claiming that a 1g paracetamol is better at pain relief than a 500g one. Retarded simply retarded. However the dilution factor for homeopathy is far lower than that example, which means basically that the substance being delivered is actually water. A good analogy for the headache in real Homeopathic medicines would be dropping a normal paracetamol in the Atlantic ocean, having a device that could stir up the ocean, then taking a droplet of sea water from anywhere in the Atlantic, then claiming that it cures a headache.

    Don?t take my word for it though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy#Medical_and_scientific_analysis_and_criticisms

    Do not donate to this, this money could be used at a useful charity like Doctors Without Borders.

    And as mentioned above, you can mark this as a scam.

  36. #36 https://me.yahoo.com/a/ro4jxWwFnPMcpH8dBzAn8CLyUJbI#5263d
    March 30, 2010

    Yes, because the Red campaign doesn’t play upon people’s sympathy to help out people with aids:

    http://www.joinred.com/Home.aspx

    Oh wait, this is what every charity does. They’re trying to make people feel as though they should support the cause of the charity!

    I think everyone should give to charities. I don’t think that people should buy something for themselves – be it a coffee, Gap t-shirt, or concert ticket – and think that it’s the equivalent of charitable giving. It may be marginally better than buying a ticket to a concert that donates none of its proceeds to charity, though.

  37. #37 negentropyeater
    March 30, 2010

    So let’s put here the numbers from their last 990 form:

    (in thousand dollars)

    Total revenues : 8,781
    Total expenses : 6,745
    Income : 2,035

    Details of expenses

    Total grants paid : 1,370
    Salaries, compensation, employee benefits : 1,436
    Fundraising expenses : 945
    Other expenses : 3,867
    (of which 1,980 for postage delivery & printing)

    Expenses allocated to programs : 5,317

    a) 2,324 for “public policy and education” : research and analysis on public policy matters , especially those issues which impact America’s national sovereingty and defense, foreign policy, American history, and the role of Government generally. Publication of policy papers, newspaper columns, grassroots communications, seminars, conferences…)

    b) 1,277 for “support our troops” program of which 553 in grants paid to veterans

    c) 1,238 for “scholarship fund” of which 802 in grants paid to 167 students sons and daughters of “American heroes”

    CONCLUSION :
    Only 15% of revenues are really paid out in grants to veterans and their families. The rest ie 85% are income, leaflets, salaries, fundraisers, and political activism most probably of the far right libertarian pro war sort that Hannity is so fond of.

  38. #38 negentropyeater
    March 30, 2010

    correction above:

    fundraising fees : 71 (not 945)

    Doesn’t change the result though

  39. #39 negentropyeater
    March 30, 2010

    #33

    It’s allowed as long as it’s conducted in a non-partisan manner. That seems unlikely to be the case, but I haven’t seen anything demonstrating that it’s not.

    Justcheck their latest newsletter:
    http://www.freedomalliance.org/images/pdf_and_largepics/V9N1.pdf

    1. Laura Igraham, Oliver North, Sean Hannity, well known right wing loons.
    2. (Republican) Virginia State Senator Ralph K. Smith Elected Chairman of the Freedom Alliance Board of Directors
    3. Join Oliver North and Newt Gingrich on the
    2009 Freedom Cruise and Conference:

    An incredible array of conservative
    leaders, including LtCol Oliver North,
    Founder and Honorary Chairman
    of Freedom Alliance; former House Speaker
    Newt Gingrich; Edwin Meese, Attorney
    General under Ronald Reagan; Maryland?s first
    Republican Lieutenant Governor and Chairman
    of GOPAC, Michael Steele; former Congressman
    and Presidential candidate Duncan Hunter and Freedom Alliance President
    Tom Kilgannon, among others, will participate in policy seminars and social
    events, including welcoming and farewell receptions and hosted dinners
    with our VIP speakers aboard the 2009 Freedom Cruise and Conference.

    See, they don’t even try to hide the fact that this is nothing more than a partisan right wing activist group.

  40. #40 otrame
    March 30, 2010

    This is from Media Matters

    Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against Sean Hannity, his Freedom Concerts, the Freedom Alliance and Lt. Col. Oliver North. Copies of the complaints were also sent to the attorney generals of the states in which concerts are scheduled to be held this summer.

    CREW’s FTC complaint alleges Hannity and Freedom Concerts have engaged in illegal and deceptive marketing practices by suggesting that all money generated by ticket sales for the Freedom Concerts he sponsors each summer goes to scholarships for children of killed and wounded service members. In fact, the concerts are staged by Premiere Marketing, which is headed by Duane Ward — also the head of Premiere Speakers Bureau, which exclusively represents Mr. Hannity and Lt. Col. North. After staging the concerts, Premiere donates an unknown portion of the concert proceeds to the Freedom Alliance.

    Hannity has promoted the concerts on his show, making statements such as, “Every penny, 100 percent of the donations are applied to the Freedom Alliance scholarship fund.” Similarly, promoting the concert on Hannity’s program, Lt. Col. North has said, “There’s no overhead. There’s no expenses taken out. Every penny that’s donated or that’s raised through things like the Freedom Concerts” goes to the scholarship fund.” In addition, Hannity has pledged that all the proceeds of his new book, “Conservative Victory,” will go to Freedom Alliance.

  41. #41 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    March 30, 2010

    No doubt, Hannity’s money went to the recent Republican hanky-panty. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/03/maybe_it_will_loosen_them_up_a.php

  42. #42 MadScientist
    March 30, 2010

    Scams such as Hannity’s have been very popular for at least 40 years. Anyone see those hospitals which were run as “non-profit”? The scamsters who own them sure rake in the money – see, the hospital may be not for profit and meet all the legal requirements, but that has nothing to do with how much some overpaid managers get.

    Over 10 years ago some furious friends from a small band told me they’ll never work a gig for a “charity concert” again because the money doesn’t go where people think it goes, so for the rest of the professional career of that band they just arranged gigs at various pubs and donated what they made.

    However, if you think Hannity is bad, just have a good look at any religious missionary group. Over the years I’ve met people who were bragging about how much they make – sometimes they are paid to look after the welfare of children in the famnilies they are trying to sucker and are paid up to $300 per month per child. Some of these god-folks invent non-existent children, and as for the real children they spend about $3 per child per month and pocket the rest. That’s good ol’ christian charity for you. I don’t know how common such thieves are within missionary groups, but they certainly exist. Hell, take a look at ‘Mother’ Theresa.

  43. #43 Helen Gracie
    March 30, 2010

    Well given you are talking about me – I would like to introduce myself.

    At the suggestion of a well meaning friend – I briefly opened a pledgie account to enable my friends to contribute to next week’s volunteer visit to Haiti. It appears that there is widespread distrust of this type of activity – and because I have no ulterior motive – I immediately disabled it. Once on the ground in Port Au Prince, we will assess which charities are doing effective support and provide links directly to them for our friends to support if they choose to.

    Just wanted to set the record straight!

    Sincerely,

    Helen Gracie

    CEO

    SCENAR HEALTH

  44. #44 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 30, 2010

    Ms. Gracie,

    Not only are we doubtful about your charitable work, we’re pretty sure that your SCENAR is a piece of (how shall I put this nicely?) dumbass wackaloon chicanery.

  45. #45 Crudely Wrott
    March 30, 2010

    This is so out of the past. I’m having veja du all over again. “Russian doctors and scientists . . . product of space race . . . Star Trek device.” Whoa. Wicked retro.

    Russian doctors and scientists once kept the heads of dogs alive without benefit of the rest of the dog’s bodies. I recall they actually transplanted the head of one dog onto the body of another. Hailed as breakthrough medical science at the time. No word yet from the dogs.

    Tang, Teflon and No Touch Therapy? Please. The first two are actually useful and actually part of the space race.

    With a nod to the calendar, Star Trek is not yet. And using a popular cultural reference to promote a scam is just as cheap as using one to promote damn near anything else. It is a cheap appeal to the lower brain and any idiot can do it.

    The talent to stir people up by fondling their, ah, less desirable proclivities is indication of neither cleverness nor depth. It is the easy way. Children do it to their parents every day, for crying out loud.

    I hope someone who understands how to test these infernal machines manages to get their hands on some and actually, you know, subject them to scrutiny. Deep scrutiny.

  46. #46 Crudely Wrott
    March 30, 2010

    No, not “less desirable proclivities.” I was in mid thought. If I could write it all over again it might read, “proclivities that are frequently acted upon quickly and seldom given more than a moments reflection if any at all.”

    That’s more like it.

    *always in a hurry to press Submit only to submit to after-the-post editing. anyone else have that problem?*

  47. #47 Helen Gracie
    March 30, 2010

    If you would like to have a discussion about the science of this device – there is a conference in Sydney; Australia in July. There is another in Bulgaria in September. In 2011 there will be one in the USA.
    You are welcome to attend and have this revolutionary technology explained by Professor Tarakanov; the head of the Russian research Institute which oversees the many studies already completed and the 10 currently underway in independent Russian Universities and hospitals.

    There are also plans underway at an Australian hospital to prove efficacy in emergency medicine. I attended the National Pain Summit in our Parliament House earlier this month and the SCENAR THERAPISTS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALASIA is considered a stakeholder in developing the Australian National Pain Strategy along with 130 other organizations.

    You need to get your information from the right source. The internet is not the best place unfortunately.

  48. #48 Crudely Wrott
    March 30, 2010

    Oh, don’t I wish I could.

  49. #49 Ing
    March 31, 2010

    Helen honey, “I have answers to all your concerns but can only tell you at so and so or when you pay money” is a big scam red flag.

    If you want details why, I’ll tell you on June 31st at The Sydney Opera house.

  50. #50 Helen Gracie
    March 31, 2010

    It seems that you are not accepting my challenge to become educated about this subject. Granted – international travel is expensive and in these days of advanced technology – surely not necessary?

    Under what conditions can we create a forum that is unbiased, independent and does not require significant expenditure on anyone’s part to discuss this with the true experts who can answer any skeptics questions?

    I would welcome such an opportunity!

  51. #51 Matt Penfold
    March 31, 2010

    Helen Gracie,

    Why not just tell us where we can read about the principles in a peer reviewed journal.

    You can cite such articles I hope. Not being able to do so would indicate, at the very least, massive incompetence on your part.

  52. #52 Helen Gracie
    March 31, 2010

    497
    0007 -4888/09/1483

  53. #53 drgenejones
    April 5, 2010

    Helen Gracie is using this quackery in Haiti.

    Thanks also to Ritm Australia for the 5 SCENAR ( Self Controlled Energo Neuro Adaptive Regualtor) devices they have generously donated. We will be training local medics in the technology – to ensure a long lasting pain relief program. There are many more donations coming in – I will make sure I get all the details so we can thank everyone.

    source: http://haitivolunteer.blogspot.com/2010/03/preparations-for-april-volunteer-work.html

  54. #54 drgenejones
    April 7, 2010

    Scenar Health – Medical Cult? http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5393