Cancer quackery going the distance

You'd think that after all these years combatting quackery and blogging about science in medicine (and, unfortunately, pseudoscience in medicine) it would take a lot to shock me. You'd be right. On the other hand, Even now, 15 years after I discovered quackery in a big way on Usenet and ten years after the inception of this blog, I still have enough hope in humanity that even when I come across men like Jerry Sargeant, a.k.a. The Facilitator I am still capable of utter wonder that someone would advertise something as reprehensible and/or deluded as this. I half wondered if it were performance art, but in reality I don't think it is. I wanted to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all (and in fact I did), but look at the screenshot from his blog above and the photos on Sargeant's website. It's as if the dude thinks he's Doctor Strange, or maybe Harry Potter, or perhaps Gandalf the Grey. I mean, seriously! Emperor Palpatine called, and he wants his lightning bolts back! The guy portrays himself manipulating bolts of electricity, as he makes claims that he can "radically transform your life."

Of that, I have no doubt, but not in the way Sargeant means. I'm sure patients' lives are "radically transformed" by wasting huge sums of money on the fantasy magic medicine that is portrayed on that page. Naturally, as is frequently the case for various dubious healers, Sargeant has a "St. Paul on the way to Damascus" moment to relate:

When Jerry Sargeant woke to a loud crash and flying glass in the passenger seat of a taxi cab in Romania, on his way to the airport, he had no idea it would be the birthing process that led him to discover an amazing healing ability.

‘My families safety were all I was thinking about. The taxi was swaying backwards and forwards all over the road. It was crazy. It turned out we had hit two ladies crossing the road and the first lady came through the windscreen, hit me in the head as I was asleep, got sucked back out of the car and landed in the road. I don’t know whether it was the bang in the head or me seeing her soul hovering over her body once I got out of the car that kick started these abilities – maybe it was both’.

This story, of course, tells us very little, other than that Sargeant, assuming he's telling the truth, was in a cab in Romania when it hit two women. I presume that at least one of them died, given the story about seeing her soul "hovering over her body." Funny how he doesn't mention explicitly what happened to them. Did they die? Did they live? Apparently it doesn't matter; to him they were just a means to his wonderful "powers"! These powers, according to Sargeant, began to manifest themselves shortly after the crash, when he "pulled a migraine from his wife’s head but didn’t think too much of it" and later when he healed a friend in New Zealand who had been in a severe care crash:

"I got my crystals out and lay down on the bed. All of a sudden I was in her hospital room and energy started pouring out of my hands. I mentally put her body back together again. She left hospital in 12 weeks and she walked out. The most amazing part was that once she did she phoned me up and said that she woke one night, looked at the side of her bed and said what are you doing here? She was talking to me. I had imagined myself in her hospital room and she saw me, as clear as day, with her physical eyes."

Let's see. His friend spent 12 weeks in the hospital, and Sargeant thinks that he healed her? Twelve weeks is a very long time for anyone to spend in the hospital these days. She must have been seriously messed up. It's a good thing that she ultimately recovered, but is there any reason other than fantasy to think that Sargeant had anything to do with it? He thinks he did, but there's no reason other than his delusion to support that idea.

Thanks to one or two dead Romanian women and a friend in New Zealand who took 12 weeks to recover after being in a bad car crash, Sargeant became "The Facilitator." But why did he choose that name? Well, first you need to know that Sargeant has become a "distance healer," which doesn't mean he runs over great distances to heal. Rather, it means that he thinks he can transmit healing energy to virtually anywhere in the world to cure virtually anyone. No, I'm not kidding. That's really what he claims, and he's been at it full time for two years, according to his website.

What, exactly, does Sargeant claim to do, except to look serious and to strike brooding poses, his face covered with prominent beard stubble, like the ones in the photos, only without the Photoshopped "energy" added to make it look cool? I must admit, it's hard to read without laughing derisively or weeping that anyone can take this seriously:

Jerry calls himself ‘The Facilitator’ and doesn’t take credit for what happens. He says the energy does the work. He has simply learned how to direct and instruct that energy through Star Magic.

"This is what the Egyptians taught me on my journeys. I was guided to this work, by Spirit Guides and Ancient Civilisations. They are not gone or dead. They are there in the mystical realm of alternate realities, waiting for our re-birth as a planet, so we can unite once more and share these earthly planes. I am using a method of healing that we are all capable of discovering. Star Magic not only has the potential to heal people. It can and will heal the entire planet. My mission is to share this with the world and create an unstoppable wave of love that cradles and inspires the entire human race."

Wow. So to him it's not enough just to heal individuals. He has to heal the whole friggin' planet! I guess I have to give him some credit for at least having ambition, anyway.

But, how again? How does Sargeant achieve these miracles? Read on, friend:

I’m able to edit your Karmic Blue Print and cause huge reality shifts very quickly, with a super-charged form of healing (‘Star Magic’) that uses applied Quantum Physics to quickly release the physical, mental & emotional blocks/stresses/traumas that you may be experiencing, keeping you from creating & living your most extraordinary life.

The key to why this modality is so potent is that all healing’s are done from the zero point energy field (also known as the space of Infinite Possibility/Source Energy) and works on a deep root cellular level. From this space, we immediately align with the most authentic, whole & powerful aspect of ourselves which in itself creates an environment whereby profound healing takes place. This modality has been totally blowing my clients away, and has been considered to be one of the most thorough & alchemising energy modalities available. Tumors, cysts, fibromyalgia, eyesight and much more have been cured. I also use Star Magic to elevate business performance, unlock blocks in relationships and so much more. If you’re not satisfied with life you must try Star Magic.

Quantum. It had to be quantum. Of course it had to be quantum. For woo of this type, it's impossible not to invoke quantum.

Are any of you Star Trek fans? Those of you who are have almost certainly heard the term "technobabble." Technobabble was, unfortunately, a lazy trope that writers started using more frequently (too frequently) in later seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Basically, it consists of impressive- and scientific-sounding jargon, full of buzzwords and made up words. Ultimately, all the science-y jargon means nothing. Now, all of this wouldn't by itself necessarily be an issue. It was a science fiction show. Some level of technobabble is unavoidable in science fiction dealing with technology. The problem comes when writers used technobabble to resolve plots. Indeed, there are even names for tropes based on technobabble, such as when it is used to solve a problem (which it was so many times in ST:TNG), the trope is known as reverse polarity.

So why did I just spend a paragraph describing what technobabble is? Simple. Think of Sargeant's blather as woo technobabble. Maybe I should call it technowoo-babble. We've seen it before many times (for instance, DNA activation), but seldom have I seen such a woo-fully fine example of technowoo-babble in the wild. Oh, in case no one has ever thought of this term, I hear by claim it for my own. Yes, I have seen the term "techno-woo" before (so I can't claim that), but I've never seen "techno-woo" combined with "babble" to produce "techno-woo babble" before. Maybe it's a redundant term, but I claim it nonetheless.

But back to The Facilitator.

What really gets me about him is not so much his claim that he can heal over distances. Rather, it was his take on cancer, because (of course) I am a cancer surgeon. Shockingly, he gets some things right when he describes the "conventional" view of what causes cancer. For instance, he notes that there are over 100 diseases that "fall under the cancer umbrella." Of course, it's way more than 100, but technically more than 100 is accurate. He also acknowledges that mutations are very important in causing cancer. (Well, duh.)

Where Sargeant goes off the rails (well, one of many places) is when he attributes the cause of those mutations leading to cancer to stress due to suppressing emotion or personal trauma. In this, he sounds like a mad, mutated version of the German New Medicine. Given that the German New Medicine is already mad, as are its bastard offspring, that's saying a lot. Add energy woo to German New Medicine, and you have Jerry Sargeant:

I’ve worked with thousands of individuals who have cancer and the one thing I know is that cancer is nothing more than a part of ourselves that has forgotten who it is. When we are children, we take parts of ourselves that we deem unattractive—emotional responses to situations that are unacceptable, undesirable, or just too upsetting—and push them down deep in our bodies. When we try to stuff something down, hide it away, we literally stop a part of the energetic flow in our own body. So it is with cancer: any time we shove something down and the blood flow can’t get to that area, stagnation can occur, a likely breeding ground for a tumor. A tumor is nothing more than some cells, that literally, have forgotten they are part of you and start to develop at their own rate.

It’s so important that you know that cancer is not a death sentence, but an invitation from your body to your psyche to integrate that forgotten part back into wholeness. It’s equally important that you know that you didn’t do anything wrong: you are not at fault; you did not bring this cancer on. Life forces and circumstances, many if not all of them out of our control, put us in situations where we turn to defense mechanisms that we learned as children that encourage us to deny parts of ourselves. Think of the cancer as a message from a part of you, asking you to bring that part back to yourself, even a part that before you deemed unlovable. It is by working with that deepest part of yourself that will affect you the most, in the most positive way. No matter what the physical result of your experience with cancer, if you do this vital work to make yourself whole, you will be the winner. It’s time to listen to your body and re-kindle that love.

What if you die of the cancer?

This is, of course, the worst sort of cancer quackery, a variant of cancer quackery that drives me utterly nuts when I see it. Yes, Sargeant repeats the "right" words over and over: It's not your fault that you got cancer. You can be damned sure that it's your fault if you don't embrace Sargeant's woo and start to "work with that deepest part of yourself" and "do this vital work." Of course, even if you do both of those things, you could still die.

It gets worse from there. First, Sargeant invokes chakras (of course), going on and on about this:

I’ve worked with people who have cancers of every type imaginable, and I do see common patterns. For example, cancers of the reproductive organs, especially Breast Cancer, is often accompanied by feelings of having taken on too many responsibilities — total overwhelm. What woman today doesn’t feel like she is supposed to be superwoman, finessing her job, the kids, the house, her partner, her aging parents. She has little time left over for her own needs.

And:

Energy Healing is an important component in the treatment of cancer. Because it will address the root cause, and it can help the individual focus on the underlying factors and reverse them. It also opens the channels so that treatments such as chemotherapy can work more efficiently. Conversely, it can also remove chemo from the body after it has done its work, thus reducing the toxic load on the body. I have seen many individuals sail through chemo with zero side effects, who have worked with Star Magic Energy Healing.

To give you an idea of how woo-ful this is, I noted that in one of the testimonials one woman claimed that her DNA had been "upgraded." All I could think of when I heard her say that was this:

Jerry Sergeant The Facilitator will upgrade your DNA for only £1,990. Fail to pay, and you will be deleted. Jerry Sergeant The Facilitator will upgrade your DNA for only £1,990. Fail to pay, and you will be deleted. Of course, if you do accept upgrading, The Facilitator will make sure your bank account is deleted.

Yes, I'm a Doctor Who geek.

I will give him "credit" (if that's the right word) for not saying that he can cure cancer himself and patients shouldn't undergo conventional therapy. However, it is utter quackery to make the claims that he does, and to me this is the perfect scam. Because patients undergo conventional therapy, if they get better he can take some or most of the credit. If they don't and die, then there obviously must have been too much toxicity for him to eliminate or the patient couldn't forgive or release her anger.

If you don't believe me that Sargeant gets the credit, just look at his testimonial page. (Of course there's a testimonial page. There's always a testimonial page.) Heck, the very first one is about a woman with stage IV breast cancer whose doctor told her she only had 5-6 months to live. She rejected chemotherapy and radiation and underwent Sargeant's distance healing. This completely contradicts what Sargeant says and tells me that he's a cancer quack every bit as bad as other cancer quacks claiming "cures" for cancer.

It's such a bargain, too! Get a load of this price list:

  • Energy Healing Journey Together Package £1,990
  • Full Private Healing Consultation £275
  • Private Healing Session – 15 minutes £90
  • Private Healing Session -30 minutes £180
  • Pyramid Home Cleansing/Healing (POA) £925
  • Pyramid Light Structure & Energy Flow at Work (POA) £1,150
  • Shadow Parasite Cleansing/Healing (POA) £725

I particularly like the last one:

Many times, astral entities or shadow parasites will intrude into our fields. They will desperately be trying to cling on and hinder your pathway to enlightenment. Whether conscious or unconscious we make agreements with them when we have moments of fear or need. These entities will attach themselves to us, usually promising some aspect of ourselves comfort in exchange for living vicariously through us.

And it only costs £1,150 to have Jerry Sargeant take care of that for you. Nice work if you can get it.

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one woman claimed that her DNA had been “upgraded.” All I could think of when I saw that was this:

I am more reminded of the phishing spam in the in-box, telling me that my mail is almost overflowing and the departmental policies have changed and I need to upgrade my e-mail account (click on this link!!!) or have it deleted.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Where to start? For one thing, I suspect the taxi accident in Romania did not happen, at least not as Mr. Sargeant describes it. I'm not seeing how the victim could come through the windscreen and then be sucked back out after hitting Sargeant in the head--and there is no mention in the story of Sargeant himself being injured in the accident. Not to mention that he would have had to be in the front passenger seat, which could happen if there were three other passengers in the taxi (he implies that he was traveling with his family, but doesn't say how many were in the group). And the driver continued as if nothing happened? I don't know about Romania, but in most countries leaving the scene of an accident with injuries is a serious offense. And if the driver was so bad as to get into such an accident in the first place, how did Sargeant manage to fall asleep in the front passenger seat? Then there is the curious description of the car swaying "backwards and forwards all over the road"--that's normally a side-to-side motion.

He mentions crystals when discussing his friend in New Zealand. I thought crystals were out of fashion in woo circles, but I don't pay that much attention to trends in that area.

Follow up with the appeal to antiquity. He claims to get his powers from the ancient Egyptians. The bit about "alternate realities" is technically true: he's definitely living in one.

Then we get to the nonsense about zero point energy. Zero point energy does not work the way Mr. Sargeant thinks it works. I would get a bigger effect out of quantum physics if I were to throw one of my textbooks on the subject at him. I also wonder how he manages to focus his "energy" on a specific person thousands of kilometers away--it's hard to keep that degree of focus even with a laser beam over that distance.

And all this can be yours for a mere two thousand quid!

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Good grief. I hope my dear woo-blinded sister doesn't come across this scamster. She was into Matrix Energetics last time I talked to her, which is about as bonkers as this.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

This fellow is in serious need of either jail time or Vitamin H (Haldol for those of you who don't know medical slang).

By Michael Finfer, MD (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Hmm. His web site is hosted at 46.32.226.64, which is heartinternet.uk – Nottingham, UK. Sounds like British laws should apply.

By Sir Bedevere (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Clearly the ghost of Nikolai Tesla is alive and well.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

It’s equally important that you know that you didn’t do anything wrong: you are not at fault; you did not bring this cancer on.

"It's not your fault."

Think of the cancer as a message from a part of you, asking you to bring that part back to yourself, even a part that before you deemed unlovable...if you do this vital work to make yourself whole, you will be the winner. It’s time to listen to your body and re-kindle that love.

"But if you don't get better, it's your fault because you didn't do this vital work."

And is it just me, or does his little bit about breast cancer (sorry, Breast Cancer...it's a proper noun, dontcha know) come off as a bit paternalistic and casually sexist?

So how does suppressing parts of yourself cause cancer in babies? What parts are they suppressing?

I thought this guy might simply be deluded -- until I saw the price list! That's a pretty serious wallet-ectomy.

By palindrom (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Lord almighty!
He describes something that sounds like a physical version of Freudian repression!
And Breast Cancer ( sic) due to "taking on too many responsibilities" sounds like 1970s woo that "feeling unloved" lead to breast cancer ( still heard at PRN).

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

His texts read like a fan-fic mash-up of Harry Potter and Star Trek with himself in a the staring role as "the hero". That´s ok, we are all nerds, we all did it. But pretending it to be real and scamming money out of people from it, possibly endangering their health in the process, is maybe a teeny weeny bit unethical.
But bonus points for the "Shadow Parasites", that´s a good name for evil beings in a SF or Fantasy novel - where they belong.

By StrangerInAStr… (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Indeed. I'm surprised I've never encountered the term before? Are they anything like the Shadow Proclamation?

Shadow parasites will intrude into your field, desperately trying to cling on and hinder your pathway to health. Whether conscious or unconscious we make agreements with them when we have moments of fear or need. These entities will attach themselves to us, usually promising some aspect of comfort...

The Facilitator describes himself! Does that mean if we pay him £725.00, he will cleanse the world of himself? Nah, I suppose it would be £725.00, so he'd just leave whoever signed the check alone and go make parasitic agreements with some other people who have more fear or need.

I was thinking about all the woo claims for cancer cures and other nasty physical ailments yesterday as I spent the entire afternoon in the dental clinic at UCSF. I mean, if woo can cure cancer, it ought to be able to perform root canal, or at least remedy caries without drilling. (Though mainly I'm there 'cause my old bridge broke, leaving me sand three teeth in the front, and I doubt even the lightning bolt dude can replace a prosthodontist.)

@Denice Walter #13

That's just what I was thinking. I was hoping to coin the term "somatic Freudianism". If I can get the word quantum in there too then so much the better.

I like where he says "I was guided to this work by Angles, Spirit Guides and Ancient Civilisations." Obtuse angles? Or people from Schleswig-Holstein?

Sir Bedevere #8

Excellent!

A complaint to the ASA will be drafted later!

@ Cate K:

That's good.

@ sadmar:
Ha!
Don't the shadow parasites sound Scientology-ish?

@ Kevin:

Angle guides? Do they take you around Stone'enge and explain its mysteries?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Angles? Criminy, angles are the balliwick of the Masons.

^ bailiwick

It occurs to me that the last time someone on this planet could heal people THIS well, a whole religion sprang up around him. But Jesus didn't charge for healing. If Jerry the Healer thought about the implications of this for just one minute, he would realize that he could charge nothing and yet lay claim to the riches of the whole catholic church (including all that Vatican Moola).

That is, IF he could actually heal anyone...

By Mike Kubiniec (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

"Twelve weeks is a very long time for anyone to spend in the hospital these days"

To be fair, if he hadn't done his crystal majik, she would have been in the hospital for about three months.

By Roadstergal (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

"Don’t the shadow parasites sound Scientology-ish?"

It's a bit too poetic for Scientology. If anyone could suck the joy out of a piece of writing and refill the dead space with deader redundant prose, it was LRH.

By Roadstergal (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

But bonus points for the “Shadow Parasites”, that´s a good name for evil beings in a SF or Fantasy novel – where they belong.

Perhaps they are from Z'ha'dum?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

@StrangerInAStrangeLand, Orac, and Not a Troll

Re: Shadow Parasites

What popped into my mind were the Shadows from Babylon 5.

Damn, MO'B beat me to it.

Todd #29.

What originally popped into my head was the Dementors from Harry Potter but I knew I had heard this name before; just couldn't place it.

Turns out they are all over the darn place. The toy reference happens to be the earliest one I found but they are also a D&D creature and in the Transformer world they are lifeforms native to the K'tord Nebula (more like his use of them).

Could he be any more derivative? Not that it matters. How many adults are paying attention to D&D and Transformers anyway.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Wow. I thought this tripe disappeared back in the 70s (ish), when my parents were into it.

When we try to stuff something down, hide it away, we literally stop a part of the energetic flow in our own body. So it is with cancer: any time we shove something down and the blood flow can’t get to that area, stagnation can occur*, a likely breeding ground for a tumor

Angiogenesis, dude. Cousin Judah is spinning, somewhere.

*Does stagnated qi explain DVT/PE or something?

More random thoughts, which randomness strikes me as apropos--

one of the most thorough & alchemising energy modalities

Presumably he accepts payment in Pb.

Am I alone in thinking, on reading "Star Magic Energy Healing," of the homeopathic Light of Saturn?

[...]astral entities or shadow parasites will intrude into our fields. They will desperately be trying to cling on and hinder your pathway to enlightenment. Whether conscious or unconscious we make agreements with them when we have moments of fear or need. These entities will attach themselves to us

This reminds me of nothing so much as the ogga and grel in Michael Gruber's Tropic of Night.* In it, a cultural anthropologist reflects upon her own paranoid psychotic episode while doing fieldwork as a hallucinogen-addled sorcerer's apprentice "ethnologist of the Virchau school" with a group of Siberian nomads called the Chenka. Anyway, (with apologies for length, but the writing is just stellar):

[...] as he reminded me that the Chenka do not have a psychology, as we think we do. No neuroses, psychoses, introjects, repressions, obsessions, phobias or megrims. It is all a matter of spririts, independent transcendent entities who inhabit us in various ways. One of them is the little person in the control booth who operates our bodies and observes the world through our sensoria, and whom we are pleased to call our "self." Among the Chenka, the little person is something of a shift worker, knocking off for long periods while others take control, sometimes several at once. The inner life of the Chenka thus has to do with harmonizing the relationships among the various spirits as they pass through the control room. These beings also have an existence in the unseen worlds, of which the Chenka records several dozen, and a busy commuting takes place among beings human and subhuman and superhuman. There is a whole aesthetics involved in this dance, which I do not have the terms to describe, but it is the essence of Chenka exsistence. I knew this, of course, but I had thought it was all imaginary. Or symbolic. Or merely spiritual, which is much the same thing to 99.9 percent of people in our culture. It did not occur to me that it was about as imaginary, symbolic, and spiritual as quantum electrodynamics.

That's by way of background. This next bit, though, should make clear why it immediately sprang to mind.:

As to why I had gone nuts, why I couldn't learn Chenka magic: Marcel explained that the various ogga lounging about in my particular control room made it impossible to enter into a shamanic apprenticeship. They were in a sense wild ogga, who had invaded me during my childhood and adolescence, when I was angry, or sad, or envious, or wrapped in one of the other psychic states that ogga like to snack on. These beings could be removed or transformed. The procedure was as well known to the Chenka as an appendectomy is to an American surgeon. They would do it for me, but it had some cost. One's ego is, let us say, rectified. One dies, let us say, and is reborn, with the various resident spirits working more or less in concord. Marcel said that I was free to decide whether I wanted this done. [...]

AFIK, the Chenka are entirely fictional. And [spolier alert]: the book's protagonists do go on the save the world. But, here at least, the magical thinking is where it belongs, strictly confined to fantasy and where I like it. In the world of quackery, on the other hand, even fiction doesn't seem to be banished to its proper realm.

Vitamin H indeed. Dude's got some issues, man.

*Gruber, a former marine biologist, is among my top 3 favourite current novelists (Gaiman and Fawber being the others), with this book and his The Good Son on my very short list of must-reads. Very thoughtful and entertaining writer, who clearly does his homework.

I am very confused by The Facilitator's offer of a Spiritual Hygiene Package for the low low price of £95.00.

Sargeant says: "If your serious about your spiritual journey then a Spiritual Hygiene Package is a must."

"As the vibration on this planet is rising and consciousness is flowing, and you as a human being are dropping density*, it’s mission-critical that you maintain a Basic Spiritual Hygiene Programme, to protect your space, your energy and your life. Everyone on this planet should be on a Basic Spiritual Hygiene Programme."

Obviously I'm gonna be all over that. But wait!

"This product is not sold separately. It is recommended to accompany all other healing products."

Dang. But wait!

"It can also be bought separately."

http://thefacilitatorhealing.com/product/spiritual-hygiene-package/

So I can buy it separately or only with other stuff? Are my repressed childhood emotions preventing me from reconciling this conundrum?

HELP!!!

*if only this was true; my bathroom scale says otherwise.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

No, any domain can be hosted in the UK, A quick WHOIS search shows that his site is hosted on a 123-reg.co.uk server, so by all means go ahead and contact the ASA.

By Mrs Grimble (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

“It can also be bought separately.”

http://thefacilitatorhealing.com/product/spiritual-hygiene-package/

To make things even better, he needs to add a pyramid scheme MLM opportunity so that scammers affiliates can profit while healing.

This would fit nicely with the "pyramid home cleansing/healing" product he offers.

Given the reference in an earlier comment to his get rich quick book, I wouldn't be surprised to see a scam opportunity pop up in the near future.

I must commend him on his very generous bulk discounts. I mean, why spend £90 on a measly 15 minute Private Healing Session when you can get 30 minutes for only £180. Twice as much time for only double the price, what a bargain!

By Richard Smith (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Basically, he's charging £6 a minute. that's $9.18 at today's exchange rate. I wonder if he'd prorate if your session took less than 15 or 30 minutes. Probably not...

"...I wonder if he’d prorate if your session...

I expect worse. I know someone who worked for a psychic hotline. They were instructed to keep the mark on the phone for as long as possible. She would talk to some for 2-3 hrs.

By Not a Troll (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Still a better story than Twilight...

By Chadwick Jones (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Strange tales! It is better than twilight!

By las vegas urologist (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

“I was guided to this work by Angles
Angles are bad; they let in the Hounds of Tindalos.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

(And I thought 'Upgrade or be deleted' is Microsoft's message to owners of older Windows machines)
Well, this is very obvious woo; we'd think educated people wouldn't fall for long-distance crystals/energy/...
But for these, there are others worthless treatments.
E.g. In the Asian community there is the supplement 'fucoidan.'
A sister-in-law was unfortunately diagnosed with terminal cancer, of which she eventually died, but in her last months, the family bought this stuff in a last-ditch effort; someone was said to have been miraculously healed by it. And with the dynamics of the situation, opposing this would have sounded hard-hearted and stingy; even with a pharmacist (who actually recommended this stuff) and several (real) medical doctors in the family, the 'fucoidan' sellers got their cut from the dying.
It is not helped by e.g. the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center having a web page on 'Integrative Medicine'
mentioning it
https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/fucoidan

sadmar,

I doubt even the lightning bolt dude can replace a prosthodontist.)

Remember those nuts a few years ago who claimed that God was putting gold teeth in their mouths?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Found it! Sadly there is so much lunacy on the interwebz these days the thrill of the chase has faded.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Shadow Parasites sound like the Vashta Nerada (New Who, Silence in the Library).

Seriously, that technobabble sounds like he took Star Trek, Doctor Who and Stargate and shoved it all in a blender set to "woo".

By JustaTech (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Shadow Parasites sound like the Vashta Nerada (New Who, Silence in the Library).

I was reminded of the spectres in His Dark Materials, myself.

A mash-up of hungry ghosts and Colin Wilson's Mind Parasites.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

PT Barnum would have loved this guy.

"These entities will attach themselves to us,"....
Oooh! Quantum barnacles! ( wait- did he just call me fat?)

By Patrick Arambula (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Orac, go see comment #42 in your last column "A commercial for acupuncture..." but don't be drinking anything when you do or I'll owe you a new keyboard.

Sadmar, I haven't set up an address for this yet, it's on my stack for tonight if I can get the rest of my client work done at a reasonable hour first.

So about The Facilitator:

At least he gets points for telecommuting. After all, think of all the CO2 that hasn't gone into the atmosphere since he does his Magical Healing from home, rather than driving all over the place, or having his marks er uh patients drive over to see him.

However he just made an enemy out of me for doing something unforgivable: turning a noun into a verb. "Alchemizing." Aaaargggh! Die, fiend!

KFunk932 @ 32: Re. his patients paying him in Pb (lead), I thought guns were illegal in the UK. Besides, being a victim of fraud isn't a defense against a murder charge.

He strikes me as being not well-educated or not very smart. Not just the usual quantum quackery, nor the Egyptology quackery, nor the spelling errors, but his general sloppiness and the fact that some of his woo is woefully out of date. If he was smart he'd sell it as Classic Woo, or "soon to be Antique Woo" (excess capitalization included at no extra cost).

That and his website is just downright _cheesy!_ Pop-ups that wiggle-waggle back and forth, click buttons that do likewise, and worst of all, his testimonials are on an auto-play video!

Agreed, anyone here from the UK is eagerly encouraged to report him to the authorities. Make the call, save a life.

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 03 Sep 2015 #permalink

Reported to the Advertising Standards Authority and his local trading standards (for those outside the UK that's the bit of his county council responsible for over seeing businesses in that county - Gloucestershire in this instance).

Checking out if there is anything else to be done about his breaches of the Cancer Act.

And, yes, I have taken screengrabs...

And, looky, that list contains a prosecution by the trading standards bods I've just shopped him to! Excellent!

Murmur: Excellent! As we say in the US, "Right on!"

I checked out the Cancer Act and the link to the UK gov site. Looks like you might score a hit. I think it's probably pretty rare that people file reports under the Cancer Act (who but we, would run around chasing quackers?), so it'll probably get acted on.

We'll know the guy got pounced if the lightning bolts disappear from between his hands in that cheesy picture;-)

The Facilitator today, the Self-Incriminator tomorrow. Heh.

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 04 Sep 2015 #permalink

Thank you!

I do hope so, but local authorities have been under the cosh lately, budgets hacked to ribbons by central government and trading standards is an area which has suffered.

He is more than welcome to notify me that my son is cured.

Should be simple and verifiable.

Truncus Arteriosus
22q11 deletion
Cystine kidney stones.
post op lung damage

INormal Sats, we have a pulse ox amd I will arrange his yearly echocardiogram, if that shows a normal heart, wee haw! I will then arrange the 2 genetic tests.

I will be this guys biggest advocate,

Meanwhile, I have something more meaningful to do than wait for this charlatan.

Got spackling to do.

Sorry folks, need to proof read better. I got so angry I rushed.

In non gibberish (I hope)
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-
He is more than welcome to notify me that my son is cured.

Should be simple and verifiable, all he has to do is cure:.

Truncus Arteriosus
22q11 deletion
Cystine kidney stones (genetic, so testable).
post op lung damage (easily seen calcifications)

First, normal O2 Sats, we have a pulse ox so that is easy t check. I will then arrange his yearly echocardiogram, if that shows a normal heart, wee haw! I will then arrange the 2 genetic tests.

Those show normal and I will be this guys biggest advocate and I will share the proof with one and all.

Meanwhile, I have something more meaningful to do than wait for this charlatan.

Got spackling to do. (Wife doesn't let me paint anymore, not since I spilled paint on the ceiling)

He sells a “get rich quick” guide.
I think we all know his secret for getting rich quick./blockquote>
"Persuade gullible people to give you all their money."

I notice that Jerry has multiple grifts in that regard. His LinkedIn page emphasises the "Facilitator Healing" scam (based in Gloucester).

" Author Of [list of interchangeable plagiarised 'The Secret' re-treads']
...one of the most sought after, long distance energy healers in the world.
...As the founder of the Maximum Life Group (MLG)
...Energy Healing
Psychic Surgery
Life Coaching
University of Maximum Life

But it also links to his parallel scams as "Strength and Conditioning Coach at Fierce Fitness", Napier (New Zealand) -- "NO Joining Fee, NO Contracts, FREE Nutritional Programmes, FREE Fat Tests" -- i.e. an outlet for the bodybuilding supplements grift.

All combined with an eminently punchable face.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 04 Sep 2015 #permalink

Blues,

Cystine kidney stones.

Ouch - that's rare, your son has my sympathy. I have fond memories of testing kidney stones in the lab years ago. It was one of the few times when I got to play with actual chemicals and a pestle and mortar. IIRC the test for cystine was to set fire to it and it burned it was likely cystine. I don't remember ever seeing one.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 06 Sep 2015 #permalink

For a small one time fee I will use the powers of Zeno to maintain your health. The fee is for entanglement.

I have experienced working with Jerry Sargeant. I had Trigeminal Neuralgia. The doctors had me on all sorts of medication for years. I was in excruciating pain. Nothing the doctors did worked. The medication made me depressed. After 2 healing sessions with Jerry I came off of the medication and have not had any issues since. This was more than a year ago. What this guys does works.

Lula.

Wow, I'm amazed at how judgemental and closed minded people are, how can anyone give an opinion on something they haven't experienced? And I know this because if you had, you'd certainly be singing a different tune. Jerry is doing an amazing thing , he helps others in a miraculous way.

I am so happy for you Lula x

By Lisa late (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

Aaannnd...enter the sock puppets. Why don't they (doesn't he?) ever have anything new or interesting to say? The one-person anecdote and adjuration to not be 'closed minded' gets so old.

By Charlotte (not verified) on 19 Sep 2015 #permalink

I am convinced he pays people to share their made up healing stories with the world. He took my £90. He "kindly"gave me a 50% discount for 30 min distance healing. It might have as well been an eternity distance healing since you never know when he finishes or if he indeed starts at all. You need to turn off all appliances and gadgets. Dim or turn off the lights. And then like an idiot relax in your bed and enjoy it. No matter what happens it's perfectly ok and normal and you should just accept it as such and embrace it (cold or warm sensations, limb heaviness, ghost or entities or his presence in your room,...=distance healing). I felt NOTHING!!!! I was trying to feel anything, anything so subtly installed in my subconscience by him during the skype call, but nothing. Oh, I did feel cold- I had been at work for 14 hours before the short skype call and the so called healing and I felt a bit off the two following days but not because of Jerry's healing, I simply caught a cold and had to rest. No changes. I believe after he and I had finished our skype call, he just watched TV or played computer games or....and laughed at me for handing uhh im the £90 for nothing. Then the creepy dude sends me a video on how to be happy to see your wife or your usband in bed having sex with another man or woman. He professes that it's perfectly fine to be married and to sleep around with whomever you want. He even takes you on a guided meditation, so you could imagine and feel having sex and being happy seeing your spouse fuck another person. Oh, yeah, don't forget to give them both a high five while they are still at it. He makes me physically sick. People remember -once a crook always a crook. Once a criminal always a criminal. Am I judgemental? Well, Jerry thinks the likes of me who do not sexually cheat or accept cheating are wrong, stupid, in need of help, confused by the stupid limiting laws,... Who's what now? What a way to excuse your inability to be a decent husband and keep your dick away from other people's genitals. He is a fraud.THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE AT ALL IN MY LIFE. OH YES, THERE HAS BEEN ONE, I AM £90 LIGHTER.

I paid for the 30 minute healing session, he told me the problems i had on my left side was due to problems with male energy. He asked me if i have a sex life with my husband and told me that my husband was not into me because i did not love myself, and when i do. My husband will be all over me.
Well, my husband hasnt touched me because he is on the other side of the planet for work. Not because I dont love myself. I rested on my bed and waited to feel the energy doing its work. I felt ZERO...
Im a hard working mother of 5, and i wanted this healing so badly. I have planter fasciitis in my right foot and it hurts. I also have a heart condition, and suffer from ocular migraines. Two days after the "healing" i had a migraine, there is no change in my foot or heart. I emailed him and stated that nothing had changed. He emailed me back right away and said it can take another week and to love myself more.
ill wait another week before i ask for a refund.

By alaskapanda (not verified) on 30 Oct 2015 #permalink

@ Murmur have you heard any news from the trading standards?
My mum is starting to get drawn into this and after reading these comments I am now very concerned! Any updates anyone can provide would be appreciated.