20 December 2012

Stephen Holbrook - ‘An Evening of Clairvoyance’

This is a summary of a performance by ‘one of Britain’s most gifted clairvoyants’ at North Tyneside on 30th May 2012.

It should be said that we planned to see his performance at Morpeth a few days earlier, but strangely he came on stage and spoke to the tiny handful of people there to tell them that ‘the energy wasn’t right’ and he didn’t think the spirits would come through. He gave everyone a refund. Strangely, we had let it slip that there were skeptics in the audience. Did that have anything to do with it? Did we create the ‘wrong’ energy? Who knows!

At  North Tyneside, the first 17 minutes of the show were taken up by Holbrook proclaiming his expertise and talent in communicating to the dead. He told the audience that it started when he was 15 and he was in a supermarket. On reaching into a freezer his hand touched another ladies by accident and he immediately heard a voice telling him to speak to the lady about a birthday. He did so and they both burst into tears. He went on to say that his doctor told him there was nothing he could do about these constant voices in his head and he decided to share his gift with the world. For a price, of course. He also enlightened the audience as to how this gift worked. He would get a message and if anyone could relate to it they had 10 seconds to put their hand up. He didn’t explain why the spirit couldn’t just say ‘I am Bert Smith and I want to speak to my wife, Hilda and tell her where the copy of the will is hidden’.  It was up to the audience to decide if some vague message fitted in with someone who had passed ‘into spirit’.

He touched on his spirit guide, Archie May, a hairdressing soldier in WW1 who had received a wound to his left arm. He then gave an excruciatingly embarrassing performance about how his hand was cold and blue and so on. It’s one of the oldest stage magicians tricks ever invented.  I really wanted to ask him to take his jacket off, but managed to resist the temptation.  The whole preamble was incredibly banal, not to mention distasteful and arrogant. The only bit that made sense was when he told everyone that the ‘big names’ were rubbish. That I agreed with. But never mind, the show started with an incredibly amateurish display of 5th rate cold reading. Or rather, started after he acknowledged several people who he recognised from previous performances and introduced Sally, who was going to draw pictures of the spirits. OK, here we go then.

H = Holbrook
AM = Audience member
M = My comments

His opening line was toecurlingly cringeworthy, but set the standard for what was to come.

H Somebody lost their mum last year to the spirit world. Who lost their mum. Please be quick.
A woman put her hand up

H Your mum liked the spirits. And you know what, sweetheart; she’s been back to your house to visit you. She knew there was something afterwards and if she knew it was so good she would have gone months before. She’s sending love to four of you.

H She had a swollen leg or a lump on her left leg.

AM It was her right

H But she’s alright now, she’s like Linford Christie

M He then went on to his standard routine about having a ring and in fact she says there are two and she wants them back. He comes out with this one every show. The reading continued:

H Have you got a locket, a loveheart necklace?


H (turning to the ‘artist’) who does this picture look like

AM Not like me mam

H (rather brusquely) remember what I said. Now who does it look like? Remember what I said.

AM (after 10 second pause) Could look like my aunty

H Keep looking at it, it’s someone who belongs to you. September, why is September significant to you

AM It’s my birthday in September

H That’s what the person on the screen is saying. They are here to say happy birthday.

H Have you got a son

AM Yes

H How old is he

AM 2

H You don’t know who Margaret is, do you? Who is Margaret?

AM I’ve got a friend called Margaret

H No, she’s passed away


AM Could be an aunt or grandmother (referring to the picture)

H You don’t know this person here


H You don’t know who Jean is do you?

AM Me mam had a friend called Jean

H Did she

AM I can’t remember what she looked like, quite short

H Jean was your mum’s friend who she was close to. It’s funny; we’ve got M and J here. Come down and collect. August.  Is August significant?

AM Yes, she died in August

H Do me a favour. Did you ever have a Jack Russell terrier

AM Yes

H He’s here (gasps from audience)

M. Lots more questions followed, not a single statement was given. 
Absolutely typical 5th rate cold reading. He’s on to a winner, though. His audience don’t need convincing, they are already convinced. It matters not that he isn’t giving any information out, they are here to witness him passing messages of staggering banality from beyond the grave and it simply does not occur to them that he is just making it up. No one questions the obvious – if the spirit can tell him they are called Joan, why can’t the spirit add one more word and say Joan Smith? After all, they can talk about jewellery and lockets, but can’t say their second name? The suspension of disbelief is spectacular.
Anyway, on to another victim.

H Hello, can I speak to you

AM Yes

H All the time I’ve been speaking to Jean and everyone else, your mum has been waiting. She’s just sat here patiently waiting. She wanted to get in first, said she’s been here since two o’clock. Do you know what, she’s just sat there, wheezing. Let me tell you something, are you new to this


H You’ve been here before

AM Yes

H Tell her she likes her tattoo

AM Oh, that must be K****, my granddaughter, she’s just got one done.

M. Standard shotgun line. Everyone knows someone with a tattoo!

H Aww, bless her. Tell her she loves her tattoo

M. And so it went on. Absolutely dreadful stuff. Holbrook is a brusque and loud. His attempts at humour are childish and, although he got a few laughs and gasps, they were few and far between. His audience were willing to accept anything he said and there were several people obviously upset and tearful. No one asks the obvious questions, which seem to me to be what most people would instinctively want to know. 

Why are the messages totally inconsequential? I don’t want to know that someone had a Jack Russell Terrier; I want to know something more important than that. Why can’t I ask them a question? Why are you asking me things when, if it really is my mother’s spirit, she KNOWS my birthday is in September (or whenever).  Are you saying she is now so doddery and confused that she doesn’t know that September is my birthday, just that something  happens in that month? That’s not my mum, she loved me, and she never forgot my birthday. I wanted to remember her the way she was, not as some confused and senile person. Why do you get so many things wrong? I don’t know about any locket. Why would my mum mention something like that? Why doesn’t she tell me something important? Why, Mr Holbrook?

Most importantly, why do none of these audiences ask him ‘Why are you taking money off people under false pretences. Mr Holbrook?’

I struggle to think of anything more despicable, revolting and hideous than someone taking money from bereaved and vulnerable people. Forget the addicts and the groupies, I don’t care about them. They are welcome to it. Anyone stupid enough to believe this rubbish to the extent that they are followers and fans, so be it – it’s your money, throw it away however you want. It’s the people who go, having been taken in by his ridiculous advert, his sickly website or the credulous testimony of credulous people that I worry about. The ones who really think that they are going to be put in touch with their loved ones, who are distressed, vulnerable and grieving. Nothing in this world is so despicable than the utter scum who take money off them for false hope.

Written by BadPsychics Investigator and forum member "Northerner"

13 December 2012

Investigative Methods for the Skeptic

In this workshop from TAM 2012, a lineup of top paranormal investigators teach the best methods for examining extraordinary claims. Featuring JREF fellow Dr. Karen Stollznow, author Ben Radford, Bryan Bonner and Matthew Baxter of the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society, Carrie Poppy and Ross Blocher of the "Oh No! Ross and Carrie" podcast, and Blake Smith of "MonsterTalk".

12 December 2012

Inside Out North East and Cumbria Investigate Psychic Stephen Holbrook

Chris Jackson reports on the man who says he can talk to the dead.

You can watch the video on BBC iPlayer at

Not sure how long it will be up for, so if anyone can copy the part of psychics and put it on youtube, please do and post a link in the comments section.


4 December 2012

Psychic Readings Live Gone Thanks to BP Forumite!

The last 30 minutes went with a whimper with 3 calls, a space of 20 minutes before the last caller at 02.04 and so it ended at 02.06, Irelands TV3 Psychic Readings Live turned off the green screen and went back under its rock with a few passing shots that might be regarded as breaches of the BAI code.

Speculation started yesterday at about 2pm yesterday when Flathan Huerter their golden boy posted

"My Friends and Fans in Ireland. I'am sad to inform you that tonight, is the last show Psychic Readings Live on the Irish TV..... "

later he updated it with

"The Broadcaster wanna change the concept of the show, to make the calls cheaper for the people, put the channel don't want it, so the broadcaster quit the contract! this is the information i get from the broadcaster. the broadcaster is the company i working for the psychic shows."

Wayne Isaacs posted

"Goodbye TV3 Psychic Reading Live Ireland tonight is the last show ;-(".

For the next few hours we were wondering was it real or another so called "last appearance" as it was still on the television listing on TV3 and RTE, also if true how was TV3 going to tell their side. We had a inkling something was going on with Danielle appearing on the forum and another new poster appearing that was suspicious, a possible TV3 plant or sympathiser a few days prior to this. At 8.30pm the Irish Times newspaper broke with "Psychic Readings Live cancelled" and had "The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has so far upheld seven complaints against the show and results for the authority’s compliance committee are set to be published next week."

How did all this start? The show started on the 16th June and it was the 20th June I went into Twitter and saw all these tweets about some psychic show that was on TV3. Curious I switched on and ended up watching the remaining hour or so of what could only be described as car crash TV and I was hooked.

Wayne Isaacs was asking people to call a number at €2.44 per min for their "psychic" readings. Checking an Irish forum I found a thread on the program and that's where it really began. A group from a previous show take-down were there giving advice and links to look at on how to complain. I don't know how long into the show it happened as time disappeared like some alien abductees story but one of our trusty twitter people called in.

His question was about the Irish Soccer, if we would every win anything and what was going to happen to the team. Wayne dragged it out with vague answers and said that it looked like there would be 3 changes to the team. The sceptic I am I went onto google and started looking for answers and found a newspaper article about the team and that 3 members would re-evaluating their futures. Now it crossed my mind that he might have someone on the google machine looking for answers. Another caller come “I was just wondering what are the chances of you getting a BAI complaint for false advertising?”

Laughing at the pictures used for the psychics the hunt started and people were posting up the stock version of the pictures. Alan Rice wrote up a blog with the pictures and stock links, it spread like wildfire and his site was having problems keeping up with the traffic. It hit the news on the 26th June with "TV3 distances itself from Psychic Wayne TV broadcast", TV3 issued a statement to clarify that the Psychic Readings Live broadcast is an “infomercial window”.

The psychics also kept saying they were in Ireland and hunting on the internet found the producers and studios to be in Budapest Hungary. Wayne at one stage was on his Facebook page while he was presenting, showed him in Budapest, poor Erick kept getting mixed up one minute saying lovely in Ireland and next saying its late here in Budapest, another night Flathan posted on twitter about his dinner before the show of the vending machine with the time 1 hour ahead of Irish time. So that was out of the bag. Each time a new psychic would appear a hunt for information on them started and details posted.

All laughing aside on the 26th June the so called "Entertainment Service" showed it's true colours when Sue Hudd took a call from a lady wondering about her hospital results, she had breast cancer and was wondering if it was good. Sue tells the caller "what we've got here the 3rd card that I pulled for you and it's saying to you it will be a time of celebration, something for you to very proud of. So good news, good things happening to you, we don't need to keep our fingers and toes crossed because this is about you now being in the right space, so well done you."

I was disgusted that someone could give false hope to a vulnerable person and sent off a complaint to TV3 quoting the whole call. I said it breached code relating to health. Again on the 5th July Erik told a caller they make be suffering from depression, another complaint sent off.

In Ireland when you complain to the broadcaster they have 21 days to get back, if you are not happy with the reply you then send it off to the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) , they get onto the broadcaster and this can take another 21 days. The BAI get back with another response and you have to reply with yeah or nay. This is then reviewed and if it is worth note they will take it up at their next meeting to see if it did breach code.

The first BAI meeting with the complaints was on 11th September and 3 complaints were upheld, 2 of those were of the cancer call and the depression call. At the same time complaining I was also posting videos of the calls including funny moments, trolls and slipping in the possible breaches. It became a running joke that if something funny happened with Flathan he'd say that's another Youtube video for Spookwoman.

The videos piled up and the complaints kept going in from the others on the forum and myself. While some others were enamoured by the "psychics" I was not, I saw them as leeches with no morals and no amount of flamboyancy would change that. I tried different areas to complain and even contacted Comreg about 1 caller who rang in 19 times over a few months. On the forum we had also started logging the calls, the time they came in, names and later estimated on air costs for the callers. We knew we were being monitored by the show and we wanted them to see we were also monitoring them. With my name already out there I didn't care and made public my distain for the show on Twitter often using #septicpsychics which was thought up by one of the forum members. Wayne would make comments at me then go into protected mode so I couldn't post back which shows the mentality of some of the presenters.

Slowly I started taking down the funny clips and leaving only the questionable readings along with a parody intro I made up called Psyick Readings Liv€, no rules were broken as it contained no actual PRL clips or anything linked to them. Not long after that I got the Youtube take down notice for my calls. TV3's replies to my complaints also changed tone saying I was complaining too much, I had an agenda and told me if I didn't like the show to switch off. Flathan even went on a rant about me on air at one stage. With all this I knew we were starting to get to them and I was rubbing my hands in glee. I scrutinized all calls and replies picking holes and backing it up with research, anything that added credence to the complaints.

Another BAI meeting on the 11th November found another 4 complaints upheld, 1 by me relating to pregnancy which TV3 said is not health related. Each time the BAI published their results the news got hold of it and published the details giving out more bad publicity. With the complaints upheld, bad press and having to broadcast BAI statements they would only follow the book for a few days before talking about health again. The Irish Times say there are another 10 complaints still to be processed and I know more are still being sent in. The show may be finished but we are still working with complaints so this does not happen again. If it wasn't for the forum or "Boardies" as we are known as by the psychics I would probably have gotten disheartened and bogged down with the process. It was a long and hard haul but we got there in the end even if some say it was canceled due to lack of interest.

Leah Burgess

12 November 2012

Remote Viewing Results. Target Revealed!

I was first approached via email by someone calling themselves "kimbote" with regards to doing a remote viewing test.

Due to them not adhering to the protocol that THEY THEMSELVES created, they have now been disqualified from this experiment.

HOWEVER I will still publish their prediction, and I will allow you the general forumites to judge how well they did.

The target image was as follows

As you can see it was a photo of a religious crucifix or a cross.

Here is a video of me opening the envelope!

And despite receiving over 20 entries, ALL different which was a surprise, no one got it!

Since Kimbote gave more info in his prediction than anyone else, even though he was disqualified, I will still have a look at what he came up with, and also see if I can make anyone elses guesses fit


Object,synthetic, metallic -Wrong it is wooden
White (with silver areas, black areas) -Hard to see on video, but it is dark brown and white, so wrong again.
Chemical, acrid taste -Wrong
Cylindrical, lengthy -Wrong
Snub nosed -Wrong
Extendable parts, arms etc -Wrong
(mental image of torpedo, shuttle, Tie fighter) -Wrong
fins or blade-like aspects jutting out from side -Wrong
concept of ‘telemetry’ -Wrong
(mental image of white extendable telescope) -Wrong
two silver cylinders silver ring at some point along cylinder -Wrong
curved, rotating pipes and tubes -Wrong
sense of air release, some kind of pressure valve -Wrong

So the professional remote viewer got every aspect completely wrong. Better luck next time. But since he was disqualified, it doesn't really matter.

The following are the submissions from the forumites.

a tortoise on a brown paper bag -Wrong

Lots of flowers a shack and a woman -Wrong

A Horse -Wrong

Mr Jinx
It's a building with smoke rising from it. Low sun in the sky, clouds. -Wrong

I see a roundish shape filled with people and water, lots of seats and tables. My guess would be a swimming pool, possibly one you have used Jon -Wrong

I think the photo is of Felix Baumgartner, sitting on the edge of the capsule waiting to launch himself towards the ground. -Wrong, however when I first was thinking about doing this, I did consider Felix, but thought that would be too obvious!

Drawing of a light bulb, lit, upright, not in anything. -Wrong

a tree -Wrong, although the cross is wooden, so the material is right.

Derek Acorah -Wrong although he does claim some of the powers of Jesus

I think the photo is of a man sitting at a table, smiling whilst raising a white teacup to his mouth. The matching white saucer is in front of him and there are windows behind him. -Wrong

photograph of a small squashed green pea -Wrong

Man doing the ironing, with countryside in the background. -Wrong

I see a clothbound red book printed in the 19th century with some gold lettering on the cover and spin -Wrong

A tall cylindrical building - white -Wrong

New York came flying into my mind when I saw the envelope. The more I thought about it I also thought of some form of racing but thats all. -Wrong

The o/h said a river in the foreground with a waterfall at some point towards middle of the pic. -Wrong

We also had some submissions from psychics/believers on the Spiritlove forum, here are their entries

A bike -Wrong

Some kind of round ball with criss-cross marks on it and a horizontal line coming out of it. -Wrong HOWEVER this is the ONLY person to say the word Cross, even if out of context, this person is easily the closest person to getting it right, so well done!

A ball of string? -Wrong

Something round--clouds/ balloon. -Wrong

KitKat (Also known on BP forum as Scaramouche)
A pair of shoes with laces, cream/white coloured with some blue and red -Wrong

White pillars -Wrong although white pillars could be entrance to Heaven!

A cup -Wrong - Although a cup could be the Holy Grail!

an orange ( fruit) -Wrong

tin of beans -Wrong

10 November 2012

The BadPsychics Remote Viewing Experiment

The BadPsychics Remote Viewing Experiment for November 2012 has now begun.

The Rules:
A photo has been taken, and sealed in a brown envelope. Along with a randomly generated 8 digit number. The photo could be of anything, an object, a person, an event, a location.

For anyone who wishes to try and remote view, all you need to do is private message me on my forum with your prediction.
Click Here To Send Me Your Prediction

The test will end on midnight 11th of November, any entries received after this time will be ignored and consider void. I will make a note on this page when it has been closed.

I do not want essays on what the picture is of, the more specific you are the better.

Once the test is over, I will list everyone's guesses on here along with a score out of 10 that I personally will judge.

Once all the results are in, any discussion can continue.

I have no interest in interpretation, subjective opinion and so on.

I have deliberately made this experiment as easy as possible. I am not a scientist and claim no academic qualifications to hold such a test. I do it purely out of my own interest.

Anyway here is a photograph of the envelope with the photo inside. Use which ever method you so choose to try and "Remote view".

8 November 2012

"How Not to be a Paranormal Investigator" - TAM 2012

Join James Randi, Banachek, Benjamin Radford, and Matthew Baxter for this panel discussion on the right and wrong ways to investigate paranormal activity, moderated by the JREF's Director of Communications Carrie Poppy.

23 October 2012

Italian scientists jailed for not predicting the future

I am sure many of you will have heard about the Italian scientists that have been jailed for 6 months for not predicting Earthquakes.

Well I was going to write something about this, but then saw this video from Taiwan company NMA and thought it summed things up perfectly.

The Italian court convicted the six scientists and one government bureaucrat of manslaughter for not 'predicting' the devastating earthquake. People everywhere were outraged and dismayed at this step back for the scientific community.

The scientists, who are a part of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, provided "inexact, incomplete and contradictory" reports on the tremors hitting L'Aquila, Italy, according to the court.

Of course, the scientists can, and will, appeal the court's decision, but this still sounds like something coming out of the 1500s. Did they learn anything from Galileo?! Let's hope they won't go after weathermen next!

Psychic Readings Live Joanna Fails So Bad Caller Hangs up!

We recently started looking at Psychic Readings Live, since they were forced by the regulators of Ireland to publish an apology after breaking the law.

I would advise people NEVER to phone up TV shows like this.

All the so called psychics use is guess work, they are not really psychic, its all a trick.

Here is a video of a poor woman obviously in need of some help and advice, in the end she is so sick of Psychic Joanna getting so many things wrong she decides to hang up and not spend a penny more.

So again guys, if you read this, AVOID this TV show, it is a joke. Already forced to apologise.

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. It is not to be used for copying and selling. No copyright infringement intended

TV psychic Anne Germain admits to me that she is not psychic!

TV psychic Anne Germain who was recently exposed as a fake in Spain, after it emerged that a researcher would compile information on people she would then give readings too. She has also been accused of using a hidden earpiece much like Sally Morgan uses.

You can read more about this story HERE

Anyway I decided to challenge Anne Germain on Twitter to see what she had to say for herself. You can imagine my amazement when she admitted that she is not psychic! Rare to see a psychic admit they are not really psychic. I have got a feeling she is playing with terminologies here, but one way or another she has officially admitted she is not a psychic, which is hardly surprising to anyone with half a brain anyway.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @JonDonnis where I generally Tweet about Bad Psychics, Football, and on Mondays I tweet about Nigella Lawson!

If you have never used Twitter or don't understand it, we have a great guide on our FORUM which can help anyone get started on there.

21 October 2012

Skeptic Site (The 21st Floor) Criticises and Misrepresents My Opinions On Merseyside Skeptics

Setting the record Straight!
Before we start, please read my article on Merseyside Skeptics to fully understand what this article is all about.

The following is a reply to an article posted at www.thetwentyfirstfloor.com
(Note: The 21st Floor have now amended their article due to some of my criticisms. Please read the comments section of their site for further debate about me and the original article)

This is the first time I can recall hearing if this site, so I do not know who is behind it, or whether or not they are a respected site. Please do click the link and read their article attacking me first. As I have only partially quoted them in my response below.

This is my direct reply to them, which I have also left as a comment on their article.

I will ignore the multiple typos they make as I am just as guilty sometimes, although I always try to proof read after I have written something.

You have made quite a few misrepresentations of me here, and the fact you do NOT link to the original article means that your readers are not in possession of all of the facts. Misleading much?

Right then where to start:

"Donnis bemoans the current state of UK skepticism and how the skeptical landscape has changed since he was “heavily involved” in UK skepticism with the bad psychics website. Ironically Donnis quotes “Former UK skeptics kingpin” John Jackson"

Why is it ironic that I quoted John Jackson?
I enjoyed his work, he worked hard and provided a great resource of information and education. I do not recall him ever promoting himself before that of what he was doing.

I don't always get on with him and we disagree on many things, but I enjoyed his comment regarding the MSS, which is why I quoted him.

"Which seems a little rich since given the nature of Donnis “heavily involvement with UK skepticism”."

Again I will ignore the typos, but why is it a little rich? Again that was John Jacksons comment not mine.

"Before addressing the sunstance of Donnis argument, that seems buried beneath layers of infective targeted against those more relevant than himself, It might be worth addressing Donnis negative view of UK skeptical societies that Donnis declares to be “a couple of blokes with a blog”."

Donnis declares? Did I? Where? John Jackson said that, not me.
Whether I agree with him or not is a secondary question which has not been asked of me.

As for people being more relevant than me or not. I have NEVER been in skepticism to be relevant or a name. I have turned down TV appearances, Book deals, Skeptics in the Pub lectures, Radio interviews and much more.

I retired from public skepticism 2 years ago and only recently restarted my website in a streamlined manner.

I have no interest in fame or being known. And I never have. For me it is about the message, the education, not whether I am relevant or the most popular. I am not at school you know.

"There is an every growing number of Skeptics in the Pub groups in the UK running regular events for skeptics in all corners of Britain."

Yes I know, I am the founder of Birmingham Skeptics!
Not sure of your point in this. I DO have a problem with some of the people who do the SitP circuit as it is all about them, their new book and promoting something else, as opposed to education. But my issues there I take up directly with the organisers if I so choose.

"Edinburgh skeptics, for one, would probably object to being called a “couple of blokes with a blog”"

Again you are talking about something John Jackson said, in a general manner, and not to any group specifically.

I happen to like Edinburgh Skeptics, and find it interesting you are deliberately misrepresenting my position here.

Perhaps in an effort to encourage them to attack me?

"It is for these activities that Donnis takes Merseyside to task accusing them of engaging less in skepticism and more in self promotion."

I have NO problem with the 10:23 campaign, and I supported it at the time. Again strange you keep misrepresenting me!

I DO take them to task for their publicity stunts, like the one with Sally Morgan Challenge last year.

"In the case of 10.23 Donnis criticisms are misguided."

I Haven't criticised this campaign! I supported it!

"Donnis criticism is ultimately unfair and largely overstated and, in my personal opinion, more about him than anyone his ire is directed at."

Everyone is allowed an opinion, but I find it sad that you deliberately misrepresent me and my opinions, you fail to link to the article you are unfairly attacking, and your hackjob on me is very interesting, let me guess I have probably criticised you in the past for something you have said and this is your little revenge trip.

I have no problem with people criticising me, but if you are going to do it at least have the common courtesy to not misrepresent me, read what I have write properly, and fully understand what I have done and said in the past. Otherwise you come across as small and jealous.

Can This Ever Get Old?

19 October 2012

Skepticism or Publicity Stunt? Merseyside Skeptics Challenge the Psychics

In recent years the Merseyside Skeptics Society have become known more for their stunts than their skepticism, whether it is homeopathic overdoses, or challenges to psychics, but is this really what skepticism needs, wants or even should be about?

Former UK Skeptics kingpin John Jackson recently commented on such societies as...

"A few of these 'societies' cropped up a few years ago. 'Society' being a euphemism for 'a couple of blokes with a blog'."

It seems that since the early days of BadPsychics when I was heavily involved with skepticism, that these days its all about the latest stunt to self promote which ever group you are in.

Last years stunt was to invited Sally Morgan to be tested at an event, with the full knowledge that she would not turn up.

Well this year a few more people have been roped in, included such heavyweights as science writer Simon Singh, and TV Psychologist Chris French. Two people I happen to like and respect, but who take a very different approach to skepticism than myself.

So what's the stunt for this year? Well basically its the same as last year, but they have publicly announced that they have invited a number of famous psychics to take part.

Heavyweight names such as Derek Acorah and Colin Fry as well as Sally Morgan again.

But here is the problem, neither Derek Acorah or Colin Fry claim they have actually been invited to take part, and not through any official means either.

Chris French claims that Merseyside Skeptics leader Marsh has invited them through the "contact" links on their respective websites.

Since the challenge was announced, as you can imagine I have been contacted by a number of people informing me of the challenge.

So I decided to contact Colin and Derek myself to see if they were taking part, since I am friendly to both of these psychics, I decided to contact them directly, and not through any webmaster.

Neither Colin or Derek say they have been contacted, and that they had only found out about it when others had mentioned to them that their names had been used as part of the publicity.

So the question remains, what's the point of making a challenge and acting all high and mighty about it, when without doubt none of the big names invited will actually turn up, either because they haven't actually been asked, or that the time frame is so short that even if they wanted to they couldn't either. Remember these are busy career psychics with tours booked up in some cases a year ahead of time.

I contacted both Colin and Derek and got replies within an hour! And you can hardly call either of them my biggest fan.

So to clarify, you have a Skeptics Society who have publicised an event and got national media press, despite the fact none of the psychics have truly been invited in an official and recorded manner, just an apparent blind email to their website, which lets be realistic will have got buried in the thousands of fan emails these psychics get daily. So a full knowledge that none of the psychics will turn up.

So what was the point?

Let me tell you, this is all about the skeptics, and nothing to do with skepticism, education, or the testing of psychic claims.

If you create a test, announce a challenge, but you already know the outcome before you have done anything, then it is nothing more than a poor PR stunt.

To quote UK Skeptics Kingpin John Jackson again
"As an adversarial challenge, it's not really scientific research of any worth and as a publicity stunt, it will fall flat because of the no show."

This is not what skepticism should be about, it should not be about a bunch of people sitting about with smug looks on their faces, patting each other on the back. But that is exactly what I believe it has become.

In other news, at the end of this month, I have arranged to meet up with Derek Acorah, whereby I will discuss with him face to face the possibilities of some kind of test with me. I am not a scientist, nor will I pre-advertise any kind of test. I will sit, and talk with him, and see what he would see as an acceptable process.
And if anything comes of it, then I will publish my results so that people can make up their own mind.

You see these psychics already have money, so challenging them to win money is not of interest.

And a bunch of smug skeptics is hardly an attractive offer to someone like Derek Acorah or Colin Fry, in an effort to prove themselves.

It says a lot that Derek and Colin are more willing to not only talk to me, but potentially work with me to figure out an acceptable to all protocol and way to prove their claims.

Yep me, the person who has criticised and exposed both of them more than anyone else on the planet.

I have earned both of their respect by my straight talking, strong but direct and polite manner.

Some skeptics could do well to look, listen and learn from someone like me, afterall I achieve things which others can only dream of.

Of course I could be wrong, and Sally Morgan will turn up at the event, but then with £4 million quid in the bank, I highly doubt it!


Update: 31/10/2012
As expected no famous psychics turned up, we already know that Derek Acorah and Colin Fry were not officially invited to take part despite the claims made by Merseyside Skeptics, Chris French etc.

The 2 psychics that did take part included 1 that has already failed a psychic test with regards to a Preliminary test taken for the JREF Million Dollar Challenge, and another no name psychic that no one I knew had even heard of.

I wont name them on here as I see no reason to give these two failed psychics any more publicity.

Anyway as expected they failed, and now they are saying the test was not a real test of their abilities, they get some good free publicity, can now claim to be victims, and the whole thing was a monumental waste of time that proved absolutely nothing.

Well done guys, you achieved absolutely nothing in the name of science and skepticism, but you did achieve your goal of getting lots of publicity for your brand, your society, lots of publicity for media hungry career skeptics Simon Singh and Chris French, and finally lots of naive skeptics who can now jump on the Merseyside Skeptics bandwagon.

Luckily I was not fooled before hand, and not after.

I just hope that sensible skeptics out there can see what MSS are doing, and the damage they are doing to skepticism and to genuine skeptics by their pathetic publicity stunts.

In other news, all being well I am meeting Derek Acorah face to face, in person this evening. And if you believed the nonsense spouted by some skeptics, this is supposedly a near impossible thing to do!

And keep in mind, I am the worlds first person to have exposed Derek Acorah and Most Haunted, yet even I have no problem in arranging a meet up with him.

15 October 2012

Sara Mayhew - "A Life of Art and Skepticism" - TAM 2012

Manga artist Sara Mayhew discusses how skepticism has influenced her life and art, live on stage from TAM 2012.

With a special musical introduction by TAM emcee George Hrab.

Michael Shermer - "The Moral Arc of Science" - TAM 2012

Author Michael Shermer explores the intersection of science and morality, live on stage at TAM 2012.

With a special musical introduction by TAM emcee George Hrab

9 October 2012

The Very Best of Derek Acorah

Derek Acorah used to perform on Granada Live!
Well back in 2008 I decided to go through some of his best performances and create a few Best of Videos!
Here they are! Enjoy

Psychic Wayne Isaacs Gets a Call from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Psychics Online Take A Call From The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Proof yet again that Wayne Isaacs is about as psychic as a potato!

6 October 2012

Psychic Readings Live BAI statement on TV3

Psychic Readings Live BAI statement aired tonight 5th October at 00:14 before the show on TV3 Ireland

For more videos like this check out TVisCOOL.com
The Compliance Committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has considered complaints concerning three segments of the teleshopping promotion, Psychic Readings Live. The segments were broadcast on 21st June, 26th June and 5th July 2012. 
The complainants stated that these teleshopping segments included referenced to health issues and consisted of an offer of a service that was not for entertainment purposes but was instead offering to foretell the future for those customers calling the premium-rate number associated with the service. These complainants state that the content was contrary to the requirements of the BAI's General Commercial Communications Code. 
Following its review of the teleshopping segments, the responses of the broadcaster and the complainants, the Compliance Committee has upheld the three complaints. It was the Committee's view that references in the segments to the health tests of a cancer patient and a comment that a caller was prone to depression constituted refererences to health issues. 
In addition, the segments contained frequent references to the abilities of the fortune tellers and psychics that were considered by the Committee to constitute the sale of a service that included claims of a real ability to foretell the future, rather than the sale of a service solely for entertainment purposes. 
Accordingly, the three segments were deemed by the Committee not to have complied with the requirements placed on the promotion of fortune teller and psychic services as set out in the BAI General Communications Code. It was also the view of the Committee that the teleshopping segments were not compatible with basic requirements of this code.

The original Complaint was made by Leah Burgess, you can read full details of the complaint to the BAI

You can read the full Broadcasting Authority of Ireland code by Clicking Here

3 October 2012

A couple of classic BadCast episodes

A few years ago the "Skeptical Podcast" was the in thing, everyone and their aunty was doing it.
We had to put up with endless inane skeptics telling us how clever they were, or how cute they were. Well I criticised many of these Podcasts, and I was challenged to do one myself.

Now it would have been very easy for me to record myself ranting on and on about things and bigging myself up, but well that has never been my style, so instead I decided to make a truly unique and original podcast that would turn the whole industry upside down. And it did.

In a matter of weeks The BadCast was getting over a 100,000 downloads! An incredible amount for such a new show.

Instead of having a single host, or 2 or 3 people in a room talking, which had very much become the norm, I decided to do something completely different, and get experts and novices alike to record short monologues. Giving the voiceless a voice, and giving those with an expertise a place to share their knowledge.

The BadCast now is long dead, for 2 years it has been quietly idling in cyberspace, and there it shall stay, however I thought I would republish two of my favourite shows, why are they my favourites? because I managed to do something many thought would be impossible, I got Derek Acorah and Colin Fry to record me funny intros to the show. And why not!

Please note the deliberate Trumpet solo right before Colin Frys intro

So first I give to you episode 4 from series 1.


And next up episode 6 from series 1


And remember guys, anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Don't let others talk down to you or tell you something is impossible, unless of course they are talking about mediumship which we know is impossible!

Anyway I am blathering now, so enjoy the shows, and you never know, maybe one day I might bring them back.

You can also listen to the rest of the shows exclusively at http://www.ipadio.com/channels/BadCast


2 October 2012

What Doctors Don't Tell You - A Complainant's Guide

Making its debut on the high street recently has been What Doctors Don't Tell You, a magazine containing the most amazing collection of conspiracy theories, quack remedies and wacky medical advice ever to hit the news-stands. 

Previously available only by subscription, WDDTY can now be found on the shelves of WH Smith, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and others. 

Its appearance has generated a chorus of revulsion and disbelief in sceptic-land, but not everyone seems sure which parts of the magazine can be challenged, and which can't. 

This is a short guide to nearly nearly all the advertisements in the October edition of the rag, with a special focus on which parts of the advertising codes might have been breached. (Details of how to complain, and to whom, can be found at the bottom of the article.)

Since I'm neither a doctor nor a lawyer, none of the opinions expressed here should be taken as fact; as with everything you read on the internet, check the research for yourself.


The front cover of a magazine or newspaper doesn't usually fall within the remit of the advertising codes, with the exception of the 'front page flash' - a promotion appearing at the top of the page, above the title - which sometimes does. 

The WDDTY flash reads:

"Discover treatments that are safer and more effective"

A brief examination of the magazine suggests that this claim might not, strictly speaking, be true. According to lab tech and blogger Jaycueaitch,

"Another health issue of the middle-aged which is addressed is hearing loss... Among the remedies suggested on page 41 is... the herb gingko biloba to “improve blood circulation to the ears” which alleged effect allegedly restores hearing loss and we are further told that the “higher the dose the better the result”. No mention of potential problems is made..."

That list of potential problems should concern anyone suffering from diabetes, seizures, infertility or bleeding disorders, as well as anyone who is planning to have surgery, give birth or breast-feed a child. Worse still, Gingko Biloba interacts with many other medicines, including some in widespread use such as Xanax, Prozac and Ibuprofen. (The herb is probably safe for the general population and its effects on blood-clotting have been challenged in recent research.)

Disregarding the potential hazards, WDDTY offers this astonishing advice:

"Can your hearing be restored? Although doctors tell you that a hearing aid is the only recourse for age-related hearing loss, a wide range of herbs and supplements may be able to restore your hearing... Try the herb Gingko biloba, which helps to improve circulation to the ears. Take 30-200 mg daily; the higher the dose, the better the result... "

The ASA does rule on front-page flash promotions (see this example), so it might be worth challenging the one on the front page of WDDTY one. But even if not...


Although the front cover itself isn't complainable, the advert on page 17 for an annual subscription most certainly is - and it contains all of the same claims!

Most ASA complaints about health challenge whether a claim can be substantiated with rigorous evidence (CAP Code 3.7), whether the claim is misleading (CAP Code 3.1) and whether the claim is irresponsible (CAP Code 1.3). Yours should challenge each of the following claims on all three counts:

"Discover treatments that are safer and more effective... Reverse bone loss for good - The secret your doctor doesn't know... Asthma exclusive - End your child's wheezing without drugs... Sunbathe your diabetes away... Natural botox - Safer ways to beat wrinkles... 'How I avoided a hysteroctomy through diet'... Rock'n'roll dads - You can regain your hearing... Unsteady gran? It's drugs that cause the falls, not old age..."

You might also challenge whether the caption at the bottom is misleading, because it appears to offer advice on the treatment of cancer (risking a contravention of the 1939 Cancer Act):

"CERVICAL CANCER ALERT - What every mother (and daughter) should know about the new jab [HPV vaccine]..."

I would also challenge the text apparently lifted from the Guardian at the bottom of the page. Even if the text is genuine and not quoted out-of-context, is WDDTY misleading when it claims to present "information that is scientific"?


Brandon Bays is one of those feel-good-about-yourself speakers from the US.

Brandon's advert claims:

"Research by the American Center for Disease Control states that 85% of all illness is emotionally based."

Naturally, Brandon can't find the space in her full-page advert to provide a citation of this claim, but "85% of all illness" doesn't leave much room for the kinds of medical problems caused by germs, bacteria, ageing, environmental causes and unwise lifestyle choices. 

Brandon might not be able to do anything about that tiny assortment, but she can certainly help with the remaining 85%!

"Discover the radiant essence of your own being and the incredible - even miraculous - healing potential of your own body... The Journey Intensive Seminar WITH BRANDON BAYS, London, 19-21 October 2012..."

The claim that "85% of all illness is emotionally based" is not likely to be sustainable, and should be challenged. (Theadvertised seminar is a snip at £495.) 


BEET IT SPORT take out a full-page ad to promote their organic beetroot juice, which they claim can

"...Increase exercise efficiency... Enhance oxygen utilisation... Speed muscle recovery..."

Health and nutrition claims for foodstuffs are not allowed unless they've been specifically authorised by the European Commission (CAP Code 15.1). I can't find any reference of an authorisation for BEET IT SPORT's organic beetroot juice, so it's quite possible these advertisers are being naughty.


Q-Link are the "Developer and Manufacturer" of the Q-Link CLEAR device. An advert for their products appearing in WDDTY is alarming:

"The electronic devices you use and depend on each day generate electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Research shows these EMFs may undermine performance and well-being and have a biological effect on the body... The Q-Link (R) CLEAR (TM) utilizes [sic] Sympathetic Resonance Technology (SRT) which acts as a tuning fork for your body resonating with and reinforcing your own electrical fields. The result is a super powerful [sic] antidote to stressful EMFs that allows you to take control of your well-being."

The best word that could be used to describe these claims isbullshit, and the ASA have ruled several times before on people who thought they could protect us against harmful rays (see here and here; also see thisthis and this.)

Amazingly, among the most prominent critics of the claims is... errr, Q-Link themselves!

"What our science tells us is that SRT™ in the Q-Link CLEAR does not act as a shield against EMF, nor does SRT™ impact the physical body, but rather works in support of the natural energy systems that support the human body's healthy function."


"The Future of Supplements has arrived", according toLypo-Spheric Nutrients, who are promoting a Vitamin C supplement that takes no prisoners.

"Lypo-Spheres (R) are nano particles [sic] of encapsulated Vitamin C or GSH that give 98% delivery directly where it's needed - into the cells themselves... Leading expert Dr Tom Levy MD estimates that Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C is x10 more powerful than intravenous Vitamin C!"

In response to your ASA complaints, the advertisers will have to produce evidence that these claims are true, as well as showing that they've received EC authorisation for them. 

There are several implied claims, too, that should be challenged as potentially misleading - the implied claim that Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C is the "best antiviral agent now available" as well as the implied claim that Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C might help with "liver and immune dysfunction, heart disease, premature aging [sic] and death". 

The advert cites a study by Yokoyama et al. The study was not performed on Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C, nor indeed on any kind of vitamin C supplement. It would be easy to make the case that a mention of the study in this kind of advert is highly misleading.


Lazy slobs are the target market of FlexxiCore's "Passive Exerciser" device, a sort of wibbly-wobbly-shakey-wakey exercise machine that

"...combines the energising effects of this invigorating exercise with therapeutic back care benefits of CPM - at a fraction of the cost."

That "fraction of the cost" is a mere £192.92 - a special discount for loyal WDDTY readers, which even so may seem a little steep for what looks like a simple motor in a plastic casing.

The advertisers are keen to make a show of their good faith:

"We cannot claim that every one [sic] with a bad back will get a quick fix. Or that everyone will sleep deeply after the very first use [of the device]. The results are individual..."

The advert is still complainable, though. The CAP Code makes it clear that anecdotal claims have to be backed up by scientific evidence; without it, the anecdotal evidence shouldn't be used at all. Here are the anecdotes that should feature in your ASA complaints.

"...However, Case Studies from Practitioner Trials have confirmed how much it can help with a broad range of physical conditions, ages, and fitness levels. Try it out for 60 days - find out for yourself how effectively and deeply it works!"

"'I have been using FlexxiCore for about 18 months and I noticed the benefits the first time I used it... frequent use has really helped me to function better pyshically. I have also found that I have more energy and am able to get more done.' Eric Moore, WGTF Golf Coach..."

"It has loosened up the spine really well. On a recent visit to my own osteopath she remarked at how much more free my thoracic spine now feels..."

"GARRY SAYS: BEST LUXURY OPTION: Great for back maintenance... The effect stimulates the circulation... [Quote from Daily Mail article]

"The FlexxiCore has been trialled by over 200 Healthcare Practitioners with consistently positive results. These included Case Studies with some of their clients. A broad range of benefits were reported, including: ... Improvements in back, neck and shoulders... Improved mobility..."


An advert from Medical Thermal Imaging Ltd promotes a novel breast-cancer screening service.

"100% Safe BREAST SCREENING Plus Full Body Screening for all the family... Thermography can detect active breast abnormality before its [sic] possible with mammography... Suitable for all age groups - No Radiation - Non-invasive - No Contact - Medically Recognised - Full Medical Doctors [sic] Report..."

The principle problem with these claims is that, according to the scientific evidence available to us, they simply can't be true. In fact, the ASA has already ruled on a comparable thermography device:

"We noted that the NHS considered thermography to still be very experimental, and therefore did not use it as a screening tool. We understood that view was based on recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer Screening and the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). We also understood that other health authorities around the world also considered that there was no current, valid, scientific evidence that supported the use of thermography in the early detection of breast cancer. We therefore considered that, in order to substantiate the claims made in the ad, we would need to see a robust body of scientific evidence that demonstrated that thermography was an effective screening tool in the early detection of breast cancer. Because we had not we concluded that the ad was misleading."

This is a revolting advertisement from a reprehensible company which fully deserves the ASA-bashing they are inevitably going to receive. Boo! Hiss!

PAGE 59, PAGE 81

Quacks who feel that homeopathy just isn't crazy enough often choose to become a naturopath instead. 
An advert from the General Naturopathic Council - which sounds like some kind of statutory body, but isn't - offers this remarkable "Naturopathic Case Study":

"Patient - 43 year old [sic] female... Symptoms - Initial digestive system felt locked up and nauseous... quickly followed by trembling fingers, night sweats, significant weight loss with muscle wasting, raised blood pressure, fatigue and insomnia... Diagnosis - autoimmune hyperthyroidism (Graves Disease)... Medication advised for minimum of 18 months. The patient asked her GP for 6 months to try naturopathic approaches..."

The advert doesn't record the GP's response to this dangerous suggestion - presumably the Council felt that so many repetitions of the word "fuck" wouldn't fit in a half-page advertisement - but the patient's treatment is lovingly detailed in the next section.

"An iris analysis suggested sub-optimal function of the pituitary gland, influence on the spleen emanating from the liver, subluxation of 4 cervical vertebrae that could be impinging nerve supply. Protocol - herbal support for liver, spleen, pituitary and thyroid, plus osteopathic adjustements to vertebrae..."

An "iris analysis" (better known as "iridology") is a brilliant piece of pseudo-science which claims to detect health problems by looking at patterns on the eyeball. (Think of it as palm reading, but without the same level of scientific credibility.)

It can be noted, too, that even those wacky chiropractorsdon't believe in the existence of subluxations any more.

As mentioned above, health claims like these must be supported by rigorous scientific evidence or they can't be made at all. This whole "Case Study" (and the matching one on p81) is misleading unless it can be substantiated.

Your complaint will also want to challenge whether naturopathy can really "identify the root causes of [health] problems":

"A naturopathic assessment investigates the biochemical, structural and emotional strengths and weaknesses of the client, taking into account the web-like interconnection of the body's organs and systems. A Naturopath will aim to identify the root causes of problems..."


Alan James Raddon, a purveyor of hand-made shoes at the eye-watering price of  £495 (the same price as a 3-day seminar with Brandon Bays, incidentally!) reckons his products are worth every penny:

"Weakened under-used muscles are exercised, so strengthen... My Shoes and Shandals have profound healing properties for those with damaged feet. Hammer toes have a chance to straighten. Corned, squashed little toes heal. The circulation improves... Those that walk, skip and dance in my Shoes and Shandals, do so with great strength and agility. This strength is reflected and strong ankles and legs..."

The claim that Alan Raddon shoes can heal medical conditions and strengthen the muscles in the legs and feet is a health claim that needs to be substantiated. 

I can't find any mention of our Alan in the medical journals and, as a point of comparison, the ASA has already ruled against several companies making comparable claims (seeherehere and here.)


"Earthing (R) - Nature's Solution to Health" - so says that esteemed medical journal, the Daily Mail

What sort of product is being advertised is not clear - it looks to me like a big rubber mat - but the health benefits purchasers can expect are laid out across the advert in loving detail.

"How can Earthing help your health and wellbeing? You can connect to the Earth with bare feet- or- [sic] with indoor Earthing sheets and mats. The Earth then shares it [sic] antioxidant, anti-inflammatory anti aging [sic] electrons from its inexhaustible store. The Earth also stores natural rhythms - day/night, and reconnection supports sleep."

Quacks are wising up to the evidence game and often try to support their claims with their own research, but invariably get it all wrong. The research quoted in this advert are from something called the "Earthing Institute" which, for some reason, doesn't yet have the same academic reputation as (say) the Royal Academy. 

Links to the "studies" can be found on the advertiser's website. For those without the time to read them, the advert provides a helpful summary:

"Earthing Institute studies show: 100% of people woke feeling rested - 85% of people fell asleep faster - 93% experienced better sleep - 78% experienced better well being - 82% reported reduced muscle stiffness/pain... Sokal study reports benefits in blood sugar regulation, thyroid hormones, osteoporosis, metabolism... Sinatra study shows blood thickness reductions and circulation benefits..."

Do clinical studies really support the claims made for Earthing? Why, I'm glad you asked!

"Do clinical studies support the claims made for Earthing? Robust studies show significant improvements in sleep, vitality, rebalancing of key hormones... improvements in circulation and reductions in blood pressure. Extensive case studies on reduction of inflammation (associated with any -itis medical conditions such as arthr-itis) were accompanied by reduced sensation of pain."

Hopefully your ASA complaint will challenge whether "Earthing" can actually treat any condition whose name ends with -itis - don't forget to challenge every other claim, too!


The British Institute for Allergy and Environmental Therapy specialise, so they would have us believe, in

"The Identification and Treatment of Allergic Disorders"

Furthermore, they boast that

"Many therapists who are working effectively in the field of allergy today have been trained by the Institute... The Institute offers: ... Safe Effective Relief for Allergy sufferers without drugs or diet"

The therapists who signed up to work with the "Institute" were evidently unaware of the ASA's opinion of them:

"Because we considered we had not seen suitable evidence to substantiate the claims made by BIAET that their product could treat hay fever, we concluded that the ads were misleading..."

"We considered that consumers would understand the claim to imply that there were no side effects from taking the remedy because the remedy was natural, and that it was therefore safe to use. Because we considered the ad implied that the remedy was safe merely because it was natural, we concluded the ad breached the Code..."

"We considered that the ad made medicinal claims for an unauthorised product and that it failed to carry the appropriate warning. Because of that, we concluded the ad breached the Code..."

No doubt a dim view will be taken over at Mid-City Place of the continuing use of these banned claims for hayfever treatments.

P.S. Don't forget to ask whether the homeopathic products advertised here are licensed medicines - if not, their sale is an offence.


A suspicious-looking "colon conditioner" called OxyTech is advertised by Dulwich Health. The ASA complaint practically writes itself:

"OxyTech is a uniquely formulated colon conditioner which is fast acting and is scientifically designed to work gently, safely and effectively... For candida, bloated stomach, irrititable bowel [syndrome], leaky-gut, skin disorder, continuous constipation or diarrhoea..."

Can any of these claims be substantiated with rigorous evidence? Furthermore, is the following claim misleading - has OxyTech's safety actually been tested - and if not, is the advice irresponsible?

"Can I take OxyTech with such and such medicine, antibiotics, steroids, homeopathic remedies etc.? ... It can be taken with everything and is particularly good if you take antibiotics..."

Is the following advice also irresponsible?

"If I get food poisoning? Take a large dose of OxyTech (say up to 10 capsules) as soon as possible..."

Don't forget to send a copy of your complaint to theMedicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency(MHRA). I haven't been able to find anything which suggests OxyTech isn't an unlicensed medicine.


The Quantum Laser Shower-Head featured in the ad is an old favourite of this blog. 

"FREE YOURSELF FROM THE ALLOPATHIC MEDICAL SYSTEM! We believe that the power to heal belongs in your hands! Not in the hands of a corrupt system. We believe in freedom!"

The "corrupt system" presumably refers to the ASA whobanned this company's earlier adverts and took the unusual step of naming their website as non-compliant. 

Your complaint should of course challenge whether the shower-head really offers "treatments" for

"Allergies, Arthritis, Asthma, Autoimmune, Blood, Bones, Cystitis, Dental, Diabetes, Eczema, Glands, Immune System, Injuries, Ischemia, Joints, Kidneys, Mastitis, Muscles, Neurology, Organs, Osteoporosis, Skin, Stress, Strokes and many more..."

You should also challenge whether the "Free Yourself" quote could discourage the public from seeking help with an urgent medical condition - after all, that approachworked last time!

(P.S. The Quantum Laser Shower-Head is available from my mate Oliver Mueller for £2995. A very reasonable price, I think you'll agree; but if it's beyond your means, I'll build you a fake version for a fiver.)


Dr Walter Pierpaoli offers his "Melatonin Zn Se" tablets for the bargain price of £39.99 to anyone who's willing to join his "private buyers club".

The advert describes the product as "pharmaceutical grade melatonin" - in which case it's possibly an illegal unlicensed medicine in the UK. Get writing to the MHRA!


As discussed, there's as yet no evidence that phones emit dangerous radiation, or that devices like the SAFER-WAVE product can protect against them.

The claim that the goodhealthnaturally.com product is "900% better than tablets" could easily be challenged, as could the implied claim that it can be used to improve eye health.

The "Buteyko Method" claims to be a better and more effective method of controlling asthma than a standard inhaler. The research evidence available to us suggests that claims like these are nonsense, as the response to your ASA complaint will quickly confirm.

The "Tooth Wizards" ad seems to suggest that dentists have been derelict in their duties towards patients. Can they prove it? Ask to see the evidence!


Serrapeptase is a "Miracle Enzyme", apparently.

"Serrapeptase is making headway in the natural health industry as the 'must have' dietary supplement. May help to support healthy: Joints and Tendons - Bronchial and Lung Function - Veins and Arteries - Digestive System and Colon - Heart and Circulation - Relief from Trauma, Swelling (eg post operative [sic] and Sports injury..."

Once again, food products can't be advertised with health claims unless those claims have EC approval. I haven't been able to find the documents confirming that this advertisement is legal - I wonder if anyone can help?


To complain about any of the adverts features in this month's edition of What Doctors Don't Tell You, see the 'Write Your Own Complaints' section, or use one of the following links!

Advertising Standards Authority: Complaint form
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency:Complaint form

WH Smith Customer Services: Customer.Relations@WHSmith.co.uk
Waitrose Customer Services: customersupport@waitrose.co.uk
Sainsbury's Customer Services: customerservice@sainsburys.co.uk
Tescos Customer Services: Complaint form

This will probably become a monthly feature, so don't forget to drop by in November for the next WDDTY complainant's guide!

Other blogs discussing WDDTY: Tessa KendallHayley Johnson"Labcoats unbuttoned" , The 21st FloorAndy LewisHayley Stevens and Popehat. Thanks to Josephine Jones and Hayley Stevens for finding the links above.

This article was first published by BadPsychics forum member Cassus on his excellent website http://scepticalletterwriter.blogspot.co.uk it is republished here on BadPsychics as is, and may or may not represent the views and opinions of BadPsychics or its members. For any complaints or correspondance regarding this article please contact Ron through his website or Twitter site @ScepticLetters