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Old 23rd September 2009, 05:13 AM   #1
Alice Shortcake
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Credulous media and Adrian Pengelly: what UK sceptics are up against

In March this year I began to investigate Adrian Pengelly, a man who claims he has the ability to successfully treat cancer with his bare hands - using that mysterious "energy" known only to New Age healers and their scientifically illiterate clients, of course. Last week he was the featured "Rogue Trader" on the BBC's "Watchdog" programme, in which he was secretly filmed telling a cancer patient that he had a 60% - 65% success rate in treating cancer.

Here's a summary of what I discovered:

1 - Cancer-related website claims

PLEASE NOTE: The following excerpts from Pengelly's website - www.adrianpengelly.co.uk - reflect the state of the website in March 2009. Since being exposed on the internet and TV he has made a few relatively minor alterations.

Quote:
He is famous for his work with both people and animals, and is especially well known for his successful cancer treatments....Adrian is considered by many as the most gifted healer of his generation...The effectiveness of his work has become known around the world, his reputation spread purely by word of mouth and the belief held in him by thousands of people.
For someone whose healing skills are famous round the world Mr Pengelly has a rather underwhelming internet presence. I suspect this may be a deliberate ploy to minimise the chances of his claims coming to the notice of Trading Standards. And who, exactly, considers him to be "the most gifted healer of his generation?"

Quote:
He has been healing since the early 1990's and since that time has worked with tens of thousands of people and animals. The vast majority have been successfully healed often beyond all medical expectation and have seen their lives changed forever.
That’s one heck of a claim. “Tens of thousands” of successful cases, most of which “have been successfully healed often beyond all medical expectation”? As we shall see, the Testimonials section of his website comes as something of a disappointment.

Quote:
Want to know more about how healing works? Pay attention, here comes the science bit!
Mr Pengelly promptly goes on to show that he is scientifically illiterate:

Quote:
At a cellular level our DNA holds the secrets to life, and within that there is the ability and potential to heal ourselves of whatever condition we are unlucky enough to acquire in life.
Absolute nonsense.

Quote:
An acupuncturist will use needles to move energy, and Adrian is able to do this using his hands which often generate an intense heat. This heat is probably caused by the movement or transfer of energy and in the past it has occasionally left physical marks on patients' skin through their clothes.
Can Mr Pengelly produce evidence for this mysterious "energy" - which can't even be detected by scientific means - leaving physical marks? Because if so he may be in the running for a Nobel Prize.

Quote:
Physicists who performed a series of experiments on Adrian some years ago discovered the electromagnetic field over his hands was several thousand percent stronger than that normally registered on most individuals.
Can Mr Pengelly name these "physicists"?

Quote:
Another theory suggested by science writer and physicist Michael Holt, looks at the angle of the bond between the oxygen and hydrogen molecules in water held within the body. Michael considered that Adrian may be able to change the angle of the bond thereby changing the properties of the fluid within the body. A further theory holds that the energy used by Adrian may supercharge enzyme activity creating a healing effect where none previously existed.
Michael Holt was neither a science writer nor a physicist. He was a retired teacher of maths and geometry who also wrote puzzle books for children.

Quote:
Further evidence that healing acts rather like a magnetic field is seen when mechanical and electrical equipment is affected by Adrian. It is very common for clocks or watches in the vicinity of a healing session to stop working. This will include both mechanical and electrical time pieces. Doubtless, experiments could be performed to measure the extent and strength of the field. This may then give further clues as to the nature and origins of the healing ability.
This is interesting. Would Mr Pengelly be willing to submit to properly conducted tests? His claim about stopped clocks and watches sounds sounds suspiciously like Uri Geller’s long-discredited act, but it should be easy enough to prove or disprove.

Mr Pengelly adds:

Quote:
Whatever the actual physical process involved, Adrian's healing is a very powerful tool and can be very dramatic for the recipient. The physical sensations encountered during the process have been likened to 'healing with a baseball bat'! There is certainly nothing doubtful about it. Tingling, intense heat, electric shocks and light headedness are very common reactions. It's not unusual for people to be unable to drive afterwards, or to sleep for days after a session.
This sounds suspiciously like the "slaying in the spirit" used by fundamentalist Christian faith-healers. I would suggest that the lucky recipients of Mr Pengelly’s healing suffer these symptoms because he tells them what to expect.

Quote:
And what do the doctors say about all this? You can often ask them yourself when you meet them at the clinics. Doctors want to be well too, so treating the medical profession is a normal part of Adrian's work.
It hardly seems necessary to attend one of Mr Pengelly’s clinics to ask the opinion of the doctors who apparently flock to them. Surely a few online responses from the doctors themselves, complete with their full names and professional qualifications, would be just as effective?

Next, Mr Pengelly's Distance Healing:

Quote:
If you live outside of the UK or can't get to any of his clinics, Adrian can still send you distance healing. Powerful and effective and environmentally friendly.
Environmentally friendly! Yes, waves of imaginary energy wafting through the ether are unlikely to cause any damage.

Quote:
Adrian specialises in sending distance (also known as absent) healing to recipients around the world... It may seem hard to believe that a healer can effect an improvement when he is hundreds or thousands of miles away from a patient, but time and time again the results have been seen to work. This is a great option if you live too far away to come for healing or if the recipient is too ill to travel.
No, it isn’t in the least bit hard to believe. Thanks to the power of suggestion anyone inclined to take this mumbo-jumbo seriously is likely to feel better knowing that Mr Pengelly’s healing vibrations are heading their way. But what about those people who didn’t even know they were on the receiving end of his mystic powers?

Quote:
In addition, the recipient does not need to know they are receiving healing. The healing will still take place whether or not the recipient is conscious of what is happening.
Again, never underestimate the power of suggestion. I suspect that the patient, having been informed that he or she has been the unwitting recipient of Adrian’s “healing”, will say something to the effect of “Gosh, I THOUGHT I felt better when I woke up on Friday morning!”

Consider another statement about Distance Healing:

Quote:
Adrian will typically spend around two hours a day directing his healing consciousness toward recipients and has so far achieved remarkable results, particularly with cancer patients.
I do hope that these cancer patients were still taking prescribed medication and continuing to receive mainstream treatments such as chemotherapy...and that Mr Pengelly can produce proof that he has in fact achieved “remarkable results”.

As for his work with animals:

Quote:
A number of top class high profile horses have also been successfully treated, but owners and trainers are often very reticent about anyone knowing they have sought out Adrian's work!
How very convenient - no point in asking Mr Pengelly for their names, then.

Next, have a look at the testimonials on Mr Pengelly's website from people who claim that he either cured their cancer or kept it in remission. It’s clear from the FAQ section of his site that Mr Pengelly knows perfectly well that he’s on thin ice here:

Quote:
I have heard that Adrian can heal cancer. How can that be true?
Adrian has become world famous for his cancer treatment. Rightly, there are laws in place in many countries that prevent people from making claims regarding the cure of cancer. However, Adrian has had enormous success in treating cancer and hundreds of people have benefited from his work. The vast majority have passed Adrian's name onto others and his reputation has spread around the world. People will only recommend something if they are happy with it, so it is fair to say that he can provide a great deal of relief to those suffering from this condition.
Note the wording of this reply – Mr Pengelly doesn’t actually state that the UK is one of those “many countries”. The Cancer Act of 1939 states that:
No person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement containing an offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof.

http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content...eNumber=77&Nav From=2&parentActiveTextDocId=1085680&ActiveTextDoc Id=1085680&filesize=26534[/quote]

Here’s a little thought experiment: imagine that you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer. Then read the following testimonials and ask yourself: “Would I be tempted to seek Adrian Pengelly’s help?”

The very first one, from IL of Shropshire – who also seems to be a New Age healer - gives Adrian the credit for making her cancer disappear:

Quote:
For the past three months I have had need of healing from Adrian myself. I was diagnosed August/08 with a 4cm breast cancer tumour. I had weekly healing treatments with Adrian until I was operated on four weeks later. My surgeons report was - the tumour when removed was 2.5cm, with no cancer spread!! I think this result speaks for itself!!
Had she received conventional medical treatment? We aren’t told, but her testimonial implies that Mr Pengelly was the sole cause of this happy outcome. Interestingly, one of his supporters featured on the "Watchdog" programme gave Mr Pengelly the whole credit for his cure despite the fact that he was also receiving mainstream cancer treatment.

IL goes on to make a strange claim:

Quote:
Healers like Adrian and also myself have been invited by top universities [Cambridge/Oxford] and leading research organisations to take part in healing research work with them. You are screened and monitored, not only for the high calibre of healing, but also for one's integrity when working with medical, veterinary, drug establishments and the general public. This standard of work is only attained by many many years of devoted committment to the healing profession, for the wellbeing of humanity - NOT excess material gain.
I do wish Mr Pengelly would NAME these "top universities and leading research organisations". Who exactly is carrying out this research? IL gives the impression that these bodies are somehow validating the treatment offered by Mr Pengelly and herself.

JC of Worcester also gives Adrian the credit for keeping her cancer, for which she had received chemotherapy, in remission:

Quote:
I first went to see Adrian Pengelly in February 2008 - this followed a diagnosis of a breast cancer spread to my liver in July 2007. I underwent a course of chemotherapy which shrunk my tumour but it remained inoperable and the hospital could only offer me palliative treatment.

Adrian was recommended to me by a work colleague who had previously received treatment for cancer - she remains clear of the disease some 9 years after the initial diagnosis. At our initial meeting in February, I was weak from the chemo and other drugs, my liver functions were abnormal and I was very negative and extremely frightened. Adrian knew nothing about me and by using his hands as scanners, he correctly diagnosed my condition. Within a week of the first healing session my liver functions returned to normal and have remained so since. My most recent scan shows the disease is being held and that there are no signs of any further spread. Adrian has also helped me with advice on lifestyle and diet changes - I am stronger, my health has improved and I am completely positive with regard to my future.

My family and friends instantly noticed the change in me following my healing sessions and all feel that Adrian has worked miracles.

Adrian is the gentlest, kindest and most positive person I have ever met and I owe him so much. He has given me my life back and turned me from cancer victim to cancer survivor.
It doesn't seem to occur to JC that it was chemotherapy that turned her from a cancer victim to a cancer survivor. I also find it a little worrying that Mr Pengelly is giving advice about lifestyle and diet changes.

HE of Australia writes:

Quote:
I was in the UK, in 2003, when I developed what was diagnosed as Polymyalgia. Time, and steroids were offered by conventional medicine as the possible cures. On my friend's recommendation I had two sessions with Adrian. My symptoms disappeared and have not returned. I have no hesitation in endorsing Adrian's gift of healing. I have no idea how he does what he does but I have first-hand experience of his gentle and powerful healing abilities.

If I were to contract a serious illness, eg cancer, I would leave Australia and move to somewhere close to him and ask him for help. He is a rare and gifted person and he achieves positive results for many people. He has my wholehearted endorsement as a person and as a healer.
If I were to contract a serious illness, eg cancer, I would leave Australia and move to somewhere close to him... Why? Wouldn’t it be cheaper and easier for Mr Pengelly to carry out Distance Healing?

K of Herefordshire provides one of those odd testimonials so frequently encountered on New Age sites – it goes into great detail about the patient’s ailments but doesn’t say exactly what, if anything, the healer did to improve the situation. She finishes by saying:

Quote:
I can not, hand on heart, say that Adrian's healing is what has made the difference in each case, but if I did not believe in him I would not keep on going to see him, nor would I keep on recommending him.
Unfortunately he or she ruins the otherwise fairly reasonable tone of the testimonial by adding:

Quote:
I have heard many remarkable stories [about Adrian]. Cancer patients whose tumours have lessened or disappeared are the easiest to quantify.
BH of Birmingham was also impressed:

Quote:
I was medically diagnosed as suffering from pancreatic cancer and given 3 months to live unless a major operation was performed. Following this diagnosis - and by now severely jaundiced - I contacted Adrian Pengelly and sought his advice. He had no hesitation in diagnosing that my condition was not cancerous, but the result of an autoimmune condition. However, because of the severity of the life-threatening jaundice, Adrian advised I should undergo surgery to relieve the blockage caused by my swollen liver.

The operation went ahead and much to the amazement of the surgeons no cancerous tissue was found to be present: the condition described as a rare form of autoimmune pancreatitis. The pancreas was left intact, but I was warned I would most likely develop diabetes and need medication for the rest of my life.

Following surgery I was extremely weak, lost over 3 stone in weight and severely depressed. I immediately returned to Adrian who proceeded to build up my energy levels. I have now gained weight and been fully discharged from the hospital: no sign of diabetes or any other disorder, and no need for medication of any kind - and living life to the full.

Adrian Pengelly is an incredible healer, possessed of a unique gift. His is a confidential and positive approach. He is an honest and straight-talking man, and doesn't suffer fools gladly. He makes no extravagent claims, and dismisses the idea that he is a miracle worker.
This seems to be a simple case of misdiagnosis on the doctor's part - and it doesn't take any mystic abilities to notice the symptoms of severe jaundice! Also, Mr Pengelly's website consists of virtually nothing but extravagant claims and thinly-veiled insinuations that he is a miracle worker.

MG of Herefordshire writes:

Quote:
In April 2007, I was diagnosed with cancer of the liver and lungs, probably secondaries of a bowl cancer. At that time, the oncologist told me I had four months to live (Six at the outside). I underwent chemotherapy for a year, but eventually the side effects of the treatment outweighed any possible benefits and, on doctors advice, the chemotherapy ceased in June 2008.

I have been a patient of Adrian Pengelly since June 2007. The combination of his undoubted gifts, his high professional standards and the atmosphere of calm and harmony which he has created in his consulting room have, I am convinced, contributed greatly to my survival.
It’s now fifteen months since MG’s doctor advised that chemotherapy should be discontinued. When did Mr Pengelly receive this testimonial? Does he ever check up on his patients? Is MG still alive? I think we should be told.

AP of London’s testimonial is particularly disturbing:

Quote:
What can I tell you about Adrian Pengelly? I think I have to start with me. Many years ago as a professional dancer with a back injury, I experienced healing from an exceptional healer in London (she is now living abroad). In the process I discovered my own innate ability and began working as a healer myself. Later I trained as a Movement Psychotherapist and worked in psychiatry within the NHS and in private practise.

In 2004 I found myself faced with a medical team strongly suggesting surgery because scans showed that I may have a carcinoma hiding under a benign tumour which if ignored could become life threatening. I spent two weeks researching and a week meditating. The following day I saw Adrian's number which had come my way along with many other options, I'd scribbled it on the edge of a news paper ...horse whisperer Worcestershire.
I made contact and was offered a five minute scan for Adrian to assess my condition. I took a day off work and travelled up from London to Droitwich where I found a calm young man in a barn type structure on a farm. I shook his hand and said to him, "I don't know anything about you but I've chosen to travel a hundred miles to see you for five minutes; tell me why I should trust you with something so serious..." Adrian said "because I'm proved right more than 92% of the time..."

He spoke with conviction and simplicity; he used his hand to scan me, and I immediately recognised the energy of profound healing. He did pick up some activity, said he could help and offered me a course of sessions. I travelled up every week and I am well. Since then, self employed and having received healing for a serious foot injury, when there has been a cash flow problem, Adrian makes it clear that lack of money does not mean sessions stop. He will reduce or even waive his fee if necessary.
Healing is multi-layered, physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. I would recommend him for any condition though particularly for any of my clients who have cancer, as Adrian once said, "I seem to have a knack for it!" Adrian has a confidence born out of his success and an attitude of service born out of his acceptance and commitment to use his ability for the well being of others, adults, children and animals.

He is without guile and his presence is wholesome and ordinary in the most extraordinary way.
So AP’s reaction on being told that he or she may have a potentially life-threatening cancer was to put themselves into the hands of a fellow New Age healer who claimed to be PROVED right more than 92% of the time. Is AP still “well”? Did he or she ever seek conventional medical treatment? Is AP still alive?

Another reply on Mr Pengelly’s FAQ page is rather disturbing:

Quote:
I have cancer and would like to see Adrian, but I don’t want to stop my medical treatment. Is that OK?

Of course, that is no problem at all. In general Adrian is happy to work with people having conventional medical treatment. However, it can sometimes slow his work and chemotherapy certainly affects his sensitivity so that he may not be able to sense your energy as deeply as usual. But many hundreds of people have been successfully treated while also having medical treatment. Contact Adrian directly to discuss this further.
What exactly does Mr Pengelly mean by “in general”? He says elsewhere that no potential patients are turned away, but are there medical conditions in which he won’t “work with people having conventional medical treatment?” The Watchdog film proved that Mr Pengelly does indeed advise cancer patients not to undergo chemotherapy, and he worded this in a particularly disgusting way - he told them that this is the advice he would give were they members of his own family.

If Mr Pengelly wants to convince sceptics he could begin by producing:

IL of Shropshire
JC of Worcester
BH of Birmingham
MG of Herefordshire
AP of London.


2 - "Sir" Adrian Pengelly and his imaginary title

Mr Pengelly also claims to hold the title of "Sir" Adrian Pengelly. It was discussed by Mr Pengelly and other forum members on the website www.timetriallingforum.co.uk (Mr Pengelly is a keen racing cyclist):

Quote:
Posted by: stuart kirkham Apr 8 2008, 11:10 AM
Looking at the start sheet of the Lancashire RC 10 noticed the name Sir Adrian James Pengelly on the start sheet.
This guy is having a laugh I thought, then I googled him & found he was genuine.
Has there ever been a Knight of the Realm on a Time Trial Start Sheet before?

Posted by: AdePen Apr 8 2008, 11:29 AM
Thats me !

I inherited it from Baron Sir Thomas Pengelly.

I only accepted it for a laugh. Thought it would be funny to see how people reacted to me. Its rare that its ever used. But I don't have the legal right to use the term 'Mister' anymore.

Sadly, it doesn't seem to entitle me to riches, or virgins. Or a seat in the house of lords. Or even to help me ride a bike fast.

Posted by: AdePen Apr 8 2008, 07:35 PM
Yes, its on my credit cards, cheque book, driving license etc. I am not supposed to use 'Mr' so it has to be.

But most people don't notice anyway, which suits me.

Its not like I earned it ! I didn't have to give a million ponds to a political party, or whitewash an official enquiry. I just found it, really !

Its amusing to see peoples faces though, when they expect someone 'noble' looking, and I turn up !

Posted by: AdePen Apr 9 2008, 12:53 PM
I didn't finish my Phd. Got distracted by the real world. Two titles would have been too confusing !

But at least a Phd is earned !

Posted by: Ups&Downs Apr 9 2008, 01:01 PM
An ancestor of yours must have earned his Knighthood somehow??

Any idea who & when & what for??

Posted by: AdePen Apr 9 2008, 01:08 PM
Baron Sir Thomas Pengelly. Lord Chancellor in the late 17th century.

Its very rare that the 'Sir' is able to be passed down. But ours is. He was a Knight first, then became Baron a little later...

I am descended from the line of the second son. The first sons line seems to have died out. They kept the Baron title. But Baron is archaic now, and not really used. Lord, is the modern equivalent.

Posted by: AdePen Apr 9 2008, 11:37 PM
Sadly, the family money seems to have all been spent ! So I have to go out and earn it ! Seems very unfair, but since the end of the feudal system, things just haven't been as much fun !

If there was any money left, I'd have spent it all on bikes anyway !

http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/...howtopic=20003
Yet more nonsense from "Sir" Adrian, who is apparently so accustomed to dealing with credulous people it never occurred to him that someone might take the trouble to look up his alleged ancestor in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. There was indeed a distinguished judge called Sir Thomas Pengelly (1675-1730), but he was First Baron of the Exchequer, not Lord Chancellor. "Baron" is this context is a job title, not an inheritable one. Sir Thomas died unmarried and childless - so much for Mr Pengelly being descended from his second son! Needless to say, the name Pengelly does NOT appear in Burke's Peerage. I posted the above information on the forum and within a couple of days the entire thread was deleted.

If Mr Pengelly really cannot use the term "Mr", it's because he has paid an outfit such as www.elitetitles.co.uk to change his name by deed poll to "Sir Adrian Pengelly". The title is utterly meaningless, but it speaks volumes about Mr Pengelly's dishonesty and his need to be regarded as someone special.


3 - Mr Pengelly's academic qualifications

On the above forum he referred to an uncompleted PhD - sources close to him have no recollection of him even starting one. On another website he claimed:

Quote:
I graduated from Birmingham University.

http://protection-animale.e-monsite....ly,264583.html
When I contacted the Alumni Department of Birmingham University they could find no record of a student named Adrian Pengelly.

By the way, notice another illegal claim made on the same page:

Quote:
I have also cured cancer in dogs and horses.
4 – Mr Pengelly’s CRB Clearance

According to Mr Pengelly’s website he will “continue to work” in hospitals and hospices. This clearly implies that he has done so in the past. Mr Pengelly does NOT work at at least two hospices in his local area, St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford and St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester.

He does however claim to work with children at his two “clinics”. Does Mr Pengelly have CRB clearance?

A few days after Watchdog was aired the Daily Mail published a stupendously credulous article about Pengelly by Rebecca Hardy, a showbusiness editor who usually writes vacuous fluff about vacuous celebrities:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...are-hands.html

Nowhere in this article does Hardy mention that Pengelly's claims are ILLEGAL. In fact she doesn't seem to understand this, despite the fact that it was made clear on Watchdog. Her article is essentially a free advert for Pengelly's services, and sure enough some of the people who posted comments on the article are asking how they can get in touch with Pengelly! This raises an interesting question - is the Daily Mail, through its support for Pengelly, complicit in breaching the Cancer Act of 1939? Moderately-worded posts critical of Pengelly have also been removed within a couple of hours yet some bizarre pro-Pengelly posts from people who give the impression of being mentally disturbed have been allowed to remain.

I'm amused by Hardy's claim to be a sceptic (although she confuses this with being a cynic), yet she clearly knows nothing about the cold reading techniques that Pengelly used to impress her!

I have reported this article to the Press Complaints Commission.
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Old 23rd September 2009, 04:52 PM   #2
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A very disturbing read. Well done on the research. I will look at the links more thoroughly tomorrow.
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Old 25th September 2009, 04:12 PM   #3
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Bumping for the benefit of others on this forum. Alice Shortcake has put a lot of effort into this and I'd hate to see it disappear after only a couple of comments.
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Old 25th September 2009, 04:34 PM   #4
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Giant wall of text is daunting. Have you considered recording an audio version?
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Old 26th September 2009, 01:35 AM   #5
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Kudos to Alice Shortcake.

Andy Lewis (of the Quackometer) has also blogged about Pengelly here.
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Old 26th September 2009, 05:25 AM   #6
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Fantastic work, Alice Shortcake.
The idea of making a vid isn't a bad one at all, if you can do so.
Good luck with the PCC complaint.
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Old 26th September 2009, 06:10 AM   #7
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Thanks, all! I'm afraid my presenting/narrating skills would make me more of a liability than an asset to the sceptical cause, but I'm doing my level best to make this info as widely available as possible. Pengelly is yet another peddler of alternative therapies jumping on the libel bandwagon, as is made clear by Quackometer. His case is now being examined by Hereford Trading Standards - I'll keep you informed of any new developments with them and with the Press Complaints Commission.

The Pengelly affair is a perfect example of how easy it is for someone to post testimonials from supposedly "cured" patients without checking on their progress (assuming that these people existed in the first place). A particularly vile example of this common practice was exposed last year on the sceptical site www.BadPsychics.co.uk; a healer called Andrew McKellar posted a testimonial from cured cancer patient Phil Hurst on his website and also featured him in a YouTube video, both of which were still online in 2008. BadPsychics contributer "Meercat" discovered that Mr Hurst had in fact died of cancer in November 2006.

http://badpsychics.co.uk/thefraudfil...hp?storyid=643

http://badpsychics.co.uk/thefraudfil...hp?storyid=829

As I believe James Randi has pointed out, ANYONE can dig up this sort of information without too much difficulty if they have the patience to do so. Neither "Meercat" nor myself are professional journalists/researchers, merely concerned members of the public. Yet people like Rebecca Hardy can't even be bothered to use their Googlin' fingers before rushing into print with a pile of credulous junk...
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Last edited by Alice Shortcake; 26th September 2009 at 06:53 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 27th September 2009, 12:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Alice Shortcake View Post

The Pengelly affair is a perfect example of how easy it is for someone to post testimonials from supposedly "cured" patients without checking on their progress (assuming that these people existed in the first place). A particularly vile example of this common practice was exposed last year on the sceptical site www.BadPsychics.co.uk; a healer called Andrew McKellar posted a testimonial from cured cancer patient Phil Hurst on his website and also featured him in a YouTube video, both of which were still online in 2008. BadPsychics contributer "Meercat" discovered that Mr Hurst had in fact died of cancer in November 2006.

http://badpsychics.co.uk/thefraudfil...hp?storyid=643

http://badpsychics.co.uk/thefraudfil...hp?storyid=643


http://badpsychics.co.uk/thefraudfil...hp?storyid=829


http://badpsychics.co.uk/thefraudfil...hp?storyid=829
Fixed the URLs for you.
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Old 27th September 2009, 02:39 AM   #9
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Thanks, BB!
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Old 27th September 2009, 06:29 AM   #10
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Great stuff AS. I had a quick google after the Watchdog prog and came up with very little. I suspect you're on to something - a big web presence will bring in a lot of casual business, but also opens you up to scrutiny. Post-watchdog he may decide he's nothing to lose by expanding his internet profile, in which case you'll be well-placed to deliver a well-deserved smackdown!
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Old 2nd October 2009, 03:25 AM   #11
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Rather than answering his critics or promising to stop making illegal claims, "Sir" Adrian wasted no time in turning to a PR agency. They set up the interview with Rebecca Hardy, who needless to say came up with that glowing account of his talents for the Daily Mail. Andy Lewis of Quackometer has come up trumps again:

http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2009...f-psychic.html

What an unwholesome combination - cancer quackery, spin doctoring and ethics-free journalism...
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Old 4th October 2009, 02:03 PM   #12
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Even his site isn't valid XHTML unlike the declaration on his homepage! Just ran it through the validator. 25 errors!

http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=ht...Inline&group=0

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Old 4th October 2009, 02:12 PM   #13
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I wonder if hes related to that other famous pengelly woomeister Eddy
I challenge anyone to read his website without laughing out loud at some point
http://www.pphcstudygroup.org.au/edd...scoveries.html
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Old 5th October 2009, 02:16 PM   #14
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For some inexplicable reason I've overlooked a PDF file on Pengelly's site containing the text of a lecture he gave in Spain last year: http://www.adrianpengelly.co.uk/lecture.pdf

A few little gems:

Quote:
"There are very few healers who can reliably heal cancer. I think partly that’s because a lot of healers are beaten before they start. Cancer is obviously very prevalent within our society, and it’s the thing that creates the biggest fear. People are scared of cancer, and healers are scared of cancer. But if we really look at the nature of cancer, cancer is an expression of an unearthly balance. Cancer is a symptom ‐ something is happening underneath. It’s understanding that, that is the key. Over the years I’ve treated thousands of people with cancer ‐ and I don’t have any figures ‐ but I’ve healed hundreds and hundreds of them. My success rate, we think, is something around sixty to sixty‐five percent for terminal cancer. Which means, of course that forty percent of those people that I treat will die. But sixty percent won’t. And in Britain the official statistics for healing cancer by doctors ‐ and in "healing" they consider to be living for five years ‐ the figure is four percent. So, sixty percent is quite good"
Cancer is an expression of an unearthly balance...cancer is a symptom - something is happening underneath? What a weird little world these people live in.

I find the following paragraph particularly distasteful:

Quote:
Thinking about that when I was treating people, I noticed that when I get rid of the cancer and the cancer is completely gone, if I continue treating them as I feel the need to do, when I’ve finished the cancer never comes back. But if I get rid of the cancer and the person decides they don’t want treatment any more ‐ either they’re too busy, or they’re too mean with their money, or they just think they know better ‐ the cancer often comes back. And if it comes back, I can’t get rid of it a second time. My healing doesn’t work a second time.
So Pengelly expects supposedly cured patients to keep on seeing him? He is currently claiming, through his PR company, that he often works for free. That's hardly the impression given here, and there's something slightly threatening about his comment about people who are "too mean with their money" developing cancer again - cancer which he can't cure "a second time". It's reminiscent of the tactics used by Christian faith-healers such as Benny Hinn and Peter Popoff, who blame the people they don't "cure" for not having enough faith in Jesus.

Marduk, thanks for bringing the OTHER Pengelly to my attention - I hadn't heard of him before...
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Old 5th October 2009, 03:10 PM   #15
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Indeed you deserve much praise for your research into this quack Alice.

Have you made Adrian Pengelly aware of your research?
You should and make sure he KNOWS you are watching his every move and you will continue to hound him until he stops his despicable hoodwinking of people who don't know any better at the time in their life when they need real help NOT imaginary friends.

The whole thing is quite disgusting... Good luck with the PCC.

If he is making Illegal claims on his website, you could report it to his ISP/Host.

If all else fails, make a wax doll of him and stick pins in it.
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Old 5th October 2009, 06:13 PM   #16
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Skeptics are the ignored minority no matter where or when you look; if there had been a questioning, analytical mind present in the right place and the right time, anything that's ever gone wrong in history could have been averted. But the vast majority people aren't like that. Nobody ever suggested to Torquemada that maybe those Cathars are just a bunch of harmless old men, or found Hitler in the drunk tank and gave him the number of a good psychiatrist. Nobody bothered to try bathing to fend off the Black Death (well, except the Jews, and we all know what happened to them...). Nobody told Moses it was just the tides and some mud that swallowed up Pharaoh's armies, or that the flaming thing on the horizon was probably a burning oil well. And nobody is going to tell Alex Jones he's full of ****, nail a list of 95 reasons why Pengelly is a fraud to the front door of his home or place of business, or just up and kick Glenn Beck in his lunatic crypto-Fascist balls, unless one of us does it first.
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Old 6th October 2009, 07:01 AM   #17
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Stray Cat, I wrote several articles about Pengelly which appeared on www.badpsychics.co.uk in April this year. Four months later Pengelly threatened the site's owner with a libel action if they were not removed (this is his usual reaction to criticism - he's even made noises about sueing the BBC over the exposure on "Watchdog"). This being England, home of the world's most ridiculous libel laws, the articles were removed.

I haven't tried complaining to Pengelly's ISP/Host - thanks for the suggestion!

Here's another classic from his lecture:

Quote:
Cancer is the thing that all healers hope to be able to heal. It’s the Holy Grail of healing. And if a healer can say that he or she can heal cancer, everybody gives you extra healing points. And they put you onto a pedestal.
Can't you just feel the humility radiating from Mr Pengelly?!

Although Trading Standards are now working on Pengelly's case I'm very disappointed that it took them SIX MONTHS to begin their investigation. I first contacted them in April and have kept them posted about everything I found out about Mr Pengelly, as have at least two other people who were formerly closely associated with him personally and professionally. It's no exaggeration to say that Trading Standards' homework has been done for them.

One of the most disturbing aspects of Pengelly's website is the paragraph implying that chemotherapy could adversely affect Pengelly's form of "healing", and indeed the "Watchdog" programme showed him giving this advice to a cancer patient. I feel that this alone should have galvanized Trading Standards into action. But no, they sat on this information for half a year - long enough for at least one person with a particularly virulent form of cancer to seek Pengelly's advice, be told not to undergo chemotherapy and thereby be robbed off a few precious months or even years of life.
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Old 6th October 2009, 08:20 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Alice Shortcake View Post
Stray Cat, I wrote several articles about Pengelly which appeared on www.badpsychics.co.uk in April this year. Four months later Pengelly threatened the site's owner with a libel action if they were not removed (this is his usual reaction to criticism - he's even made noises about sueing the BBC over the exposure on "Watchdog"). This being England, home of the world's most ridiculous libel laws, the articles were removed.
I know the libel laws are ridiculous here in the UK, but I also know that most of these quack charlatans realise they don't really have a leg to stand on.
I have myself been threatened with court action because of things I have written and criticisms made about individuals who consider their own overblown self importance to be some sort of weapon against critics. Just the fact that he's making noises about sueing the BBC (who will have a massive legal department to make sure they are not overstepping the mark) shows Pengelly is all hot air. If I were you I'd self publish those articles on a US based website and watch him spend his time peeing into the wind with threats and gestures. If you're really worried about legal action, the internet makes it quite easy to be anonymous doesn't it?
A well designed website optimsed correctly will get people to your site and warn them of the dangers of using quack cancer cures... no need to even mention him by name?

Originally Posted by Alice Shortcake View Post
I haven't tried complaining to Pengelly's ISP/Host - thanks for the suggestion!
Most (if not all) ISP/Webhost user agreements insist that all content uploaded and downloaded should comply with the law. If he is breaking the law, they can terminate his website and internet connection or force him to make amends to comply with the law.

Also Trading Standards seem to operate on a silly basis whereby if they receive enough complains about what may seem a trivial matter, they will take action. Sadly I don't think the ASA has any jurisdiction over internet content or it would be worth contacting them about him too.

Good luck.
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Old 7th October 2009, 03:04 AM   #19
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Stray Cat, I should have made clear that it was a leaflet produced by Pengelly which has been reported to the Advertising Standards Authority.
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Old 7th October 2009, 03:17 AM   #20
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Good luck. I reported similar charlatans to the police and Trading Standards and they weren't really interested... more's the pity.
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Old 8th October 2009, 05:04 AM   #21
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From Pengelly's web site:

Quote:
August 5 2004
I found a reference made by Nostradamus to a private telephone call to me from Mr Pegg on September 20th 2000 in Sestet 24.
That Nostradamus was good, wasn't he?

Quote:
24th July 2005
The descriptions of the Ark of Gopher Wood (Genesis 6:14-17, Noah's Ark) were identified as a computer transport and storage box, 300 x 50 x 30 cm.
5th August 2005
The contents of the Tabernacle (Numbers 3:25-26, 31, 36-37) were identified as the individual pieces of a mid 1990s 386 Personal Computer system.
?? Why would a time-traveller want anything to do with a mid 1990s 386 Personal Computer?

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Old 8th October 2009, 09:04 AM   #22
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Dlorde, you're referring to Eddy Pengelly the time-travel crackpot. We're talking about Adrian Pengelly, the cancer-curing crackpot.

Although it would be fun if it turned out that the two are related...
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Old 1st March 2010, 03:10 PM   #23
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Bump
'Healer' faces prosecution over cancer claims
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/73...er-claims.html
Quote:
Adrian Pengelly, 43, is accused of violating the Cancer Act 1939, which states that it is illegal to advertise offers to treat cancer.

He describes himself on his website as a "visionary healer, energy worker, teacher and psychic" who has "become world-famous for treating people with cancer".
Busted

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Old 1st March 2010, 03:15 PM   #24
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Awesome sauce.
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Old 1st March 2010, 03:23 PM   #25
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Reading the quote from The Telegraph article:

"If that's what the charge is, that on my website there are testimonials from people whose cancer has vanished after I've treated them, then I'm proud to say I did that dastardly deed," he said.

I'm thinking a small presence at the court when he makes his appearance would be nice; placards or T-shirts, with: CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION YOU MORON, or similar.

ETA: If you haven't seen the thread on UK Sceptics, here's a link:

http://www.ukskeptics.com/showthread...nishing-claims
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Old 12th March 2010, 10:31 AM   #26
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Some excellent news about this repulsive individual. He appeared in court this afternoon! Here's a brief account from someone who was there:

"As announced earlier Adrian Pengelly had the court hearing today. He was faced with 4 charges. 2 under the Cancer Act and 2 under Consumer Acts.

He did NOT attend the court hearing. However, the reason for this could be as he had showed his intent in advance to plead guilty. Yes, those of you betting on it.....he did go down the route of a guilty plea. Due to him pleading guilty on all 4 accounts Trading Standards chose to drop one of the charges. So in theory it was only 3 counts he was pleading guilty to in the end.

It did seem at first that the magistrates were swaying to a conditional discharge, but could not consider this in Pengelly's absence. They did not consider the custodial sentence possibly because of the plea and again due to his absence.

What was of interest to those in attendance was the declaration from the defence lawyer, that they indicated that Pengelly had not had any previous convictions relating to this type of offence. It wasn't worded as Mr Pengelly has no previous convictions. I will let you guess and speculate over that.

There was a great deal of press in attendance. The defence solicitor was going to be reading out a statement to the press after. It has been hinted that it probably will contain language similar to what Pengelly wrote on his own website yesterday. That is..."There are these nasty people who had it in for me". Reminiscent of Scooby Doo and the villain indicating "I would have got away with it if it wasnt for you pesky kids".

Outcome...Adrian Pengelly will most likely have a criminal record. He has been ordered to pay £2000.48 in costs, £600 in fine and £15 as a victim surcharge.

For someone who indicated a defiant attitude and "Im going to go down fighting" echo, he didn't. He never appeared."

Yesterday Pengelly made some major alterations to his website (he has claimed, in all seriousness, that he know absolutely nothing about it's content despite the fact that it was designed and written by his girlfriend Alison Derrick). Read it - it's hilarious!
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Old 12th March 2010, 12:12 PM   #27
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It's typical (and frustrating for those of us who would like to see stronger actions taken against these claims) for those cited, fined, convicted, etc., to merely change some wording in their claims so that the fraud can continue.

So you end up with, "Headon, apply it to the forehead," tricking people into thinking they are claiming it treats headaches. "Listerine kills germs" fools people into thinking killing germs in your mouth actually matters.

We need better laws against misleading claims and not just laws against false claims in both the US and the UK.
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Old 12th March 2010, 12:23 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Alice Shortcake View Post

Yesterday Pengelly made some major alterations to his website (he has claimed, in all seriousness, that he know absolutely nothing about it's content despite the fact that it was designed and written by his girlfriend Alison Derrick). Read it - it's hilarious!
She needs to learn proper web design or stop lying as well. it's still not valid xhtml despite the incorrect W3.org declaration on his site.

http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=ht...Inline&group=0

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Old 15th April 2010, 02:47 PM   #29
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Having been exposed in his native country Pengelly is now poised to exploit cancer patients in the USA. Starting on 16th April he will be appearing at Casa Mariposa, a New Age "healing" centre in Arizona.

http://casamariposa.us/events.html

An interesting little comment recently appeared on Facebook:

Quote:
"I am 'inspired' to suggest that you consider an alternative approach to your cancer treatment. I have friends that are quite gifted in the energy healing modality, in fact three of my friends are known all over the world for their extraordinary gift. Adrian Pengelly has an almost 100% success rate with cancer clients. Check him out, what would it hurt? :-) adrianpengelly.co.uk or call his girlfriend, Catherine Bennet. 480-368-1702 xt 4."
The source for Pengelly's claim to have "an almost 100% success rate" is, needless to say...Adrian Pengelly!
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Old 15th April 2010, 03:34 PM   #30
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100% would mean they have the million dollar prize, the nobel prize, world wide renown?
Hmmm...didnt think so
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