Hate Mail Volume 1: Alt-Med Madness

Homeopaths are mad at BuzzFeed for article about “pseudo-scientific events” being held at a prestigious London university + Read the angry e-mails I received from a proponent of criminal doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer’s discredited theory of disease

Last week, BuzzFeed UK published a superb article based partly on my investigation of the International Meta-Medicine Association (IMMA), a US integrative medicine organisation that has been blamed for the death of three cancer sufferers.

Science journalist Tom Chivers (formerly a writer for The Telegraph) reported that Regent’s University London – a prestigious private university and registered charity – had allowed its premises to be used for a series of events and programmes which promote pseudo-scientific treatments.

Earlier this month, Regent’s leased space for a conference by the Lifestyle Prescriptions Foundation, whose founder Johannes Fisslinger – a student of ghoulish German ex-doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer, originator of the discredited Germanic New Medicine – previously ran the disreputable IMMA.

Via “This London University Keeps Holding Pseudoscientific Events” by Tom Chivers, BuzzFeed UK, March 15, 2017:

Lifestyle Prescriptions was founded by Johannes Fisslinger in 2016; on its website, practitioners of the “lifestyle medicine” it promotes claim to be able to teach how to “prevent and heal diabetes, heart disease, obesity, autoimmune disease, cancer and many other health issues”, and a practitioner claims to be able to “heal cancer”.

The blogger Dean Sterling Jones, who has investigated Fisslinger, claims that “lifestyle medicine” is based on “meta-medicine”, a scientifically unfounded practice that says there are links between psychological traumas and specific illnesses – for instance, a woman seeing her child in danger might get breast cancer.

Previously, Fisslinger ran the International Meta-Medicine Association (IMMA). A 2009 report by a Norwegian TV station said three cancer sufferers died after being advised by IMMA practitioners to stop taking conventional treatment.

Chivers also reported that Regent’s was scheduled to host a talk by Samir Chaukkar – an Indian homeopath who believes vaccines cause autism and that autism can be treated with homeopathy – and that last month the university held a screening of Vaxxed, a controversial anti-vaccination film by the disgraced, struck-off doctor Andrew Wakefield.

Via Chivers’ article:

Homeopathy is a pseudoscientific treatment that claims diseases can be treated by enormously diluted preparations of substances that cause the symptoms of those diseases – so onion juice, which causes runny eyes and sniffles, might treat the common cold.

The preparations are usually so diluted that no molecules of the original substance remain. A 2010 House of Commons investigation found that homeopathy was not effective for any diseases and described its purported mechanism as “scientifically implausible”.

…Chaukkar’s talk, “Kingdoms in Homeopathy”, was cancelled by Regent’s after an autism rights activist, Fiona Pettit O’Leary, rang to ask the university about it. He also spoke at the university last year, in a two-day, £140-a-ticket seminar on how to treat addiction and skin diseases with homeopathy.

In the comments section, proponents of homeopathy criticised Chivers’ article, claiming it was “very biased” and that homeopathy “is effective medicine used by MD’s and hospitals around the world.”

Denis MacEoin, a prominent analyst/writer from Belfast, Northern Ireland (coincidentally where I’m from), claimed that research into homeopathy had yielded positive results – a claim refuted by Quackometer blogger Andy Lewis:

Homeopathy proponent Rosyln Ross wrote that “pseudo-science” is a derogatory label used by evidence-based science “for things which it cannot explain, cannot exploit and so wishes to discredit” – a claim rebutted by chemistry student/author Dr. Elliot Mabeuse:

The Canadian homeopath Fernando Gigliotti simply wrote, “Buzzfeed=FakeNews”:

Earlier this month, I received more angry comments by a proponent of the Germanic New Medicine, Ryke Geerd Hamer’s widely discredited theory which posits that specific traumas correlate with specific physical illnesses – for instance, a woman seeing her child in danger might get breast cancer.

The anonymous commenter claimed that my September 14, 2016 item, “The Death of Itziar Orube,” contained “false information”; that Hamer didn’t have his medical licence revoked after his patients died; and that ninety percent of Hamer’s patients actually survived.

Here are the unedited e-mails:

You have a lot of false information in your note. Hamer did€t loss their medical license for cancer patients death. There are youtube interviews with the “dead patients who say that are alive thanks to their medica practice. In fact 90% of their patients lived 6 years after their treatments when the Dr. Hamer case was in the Germany courts.

You also ignore the causes of the Itziar Urebe´s death, that can be explained with the 5 laws discovered by Dr. Hamer.

You and all of the people who make false claims about the new germanic medicine should apply the science principle of: You cannot deny a scientific knowledge “a priori” but “a posteriori”.

If you did´t evaluate this knowledge, you can´t make any assumption about it.

This commenter didn’t provide evidence for their claims, and I was unable to find the video interviews with Hamer’s surviving patients, but here’s a scan of a long-forgotten November 1983 Stern article about Hamer titled “Corpses Pave His Way,” which I grabbed before it disappeared from the Internet.

The translated report reads:

The table is laid, but the female patient has no appetite. Pork roast is served in “Haus Dammersmoor” and pineapple for dessert. She has been yellow for weeks, the female patient with liver, lung, and colon cancer. But that does not matter, says the tall, wiry doctor with the pleasant voice, this will go away. “Today we already feel much better.” The patient tries to laugh. The pineapple slice on the plate is not quite as yellow as she is.

“This is completely normal,” says Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer, “even if the cancer is stopped, the injured liver must now work hard.” Her hands are so cozily warm, an unmistakable sign for her being out of the woods.

Liver, lung, and colon cancer. The others at the lunch table nod. Believing. Or devoted. Or just merely mechanically. All are dying of cancer.

A year ago we witnessed the same scene. Only the house at that time was not called “Dammersmoor” but “Rosenhof.” And it was in the German south, in Bad Krozingen, and not in the village Gyhum near Bremen. The same people sat around the table of Dr. Hamer: yellow in the face, emaciated or with swollen body.

The same deathly sick. Only, it is not the same. Because of those in Rosenhof nearly no one is alive anymore. And not a single one is cured by the man, who calls his colleagues Medi-Cynics and for his method of healing, the “iron rule of cancer,” without batting an eye lid, [claims] a success rate of 80 percent.

According to numerous German news sources, Hamer was stripped of his medical licence in 1986, and in 1989 a Koblenz court ruled that Hamer did not possess the mental capacity to grasp the ethical ramifications of treating patients using an unproven therapy.

In 2001, a Swiss study found “no evidence” to support Hamer’s New Medicine, describing it as “dangerous, especially as it lulls the patients into a false sense of security so that they are deprived of other effective treatments.”

In 2004, The German Cancer Society offered its “expert opinion”: Hamer’s hypothesis lacked “any scientific or empirical justification.”

The final nail came from Dr. Michael Reusch, president of the German Medical Association, who in a 2006 interview called it “a tragedy” that vulnerable cancer patients had been taken in by Hamer’s “charlatanism.”

If anyone else feels the need to explain why they think Hamer is a misunderstood genius, or why conventional medicine is a Jewish conspiracy, there’s a great website called WordPress where you can start your own blog. Good luck!

Creating a Buzz

“There’s no excuse for blurring the boundaries between rigorously researched scientific work and pseudoscientific claims about unproven quack cures” – Read BuzzFeed UK’s superb article based partly on my investigation of freaky US alt-med organisation

For the past year I’ve written extensively about the International Meta-Medicine Association (IMMA), a US integrative medicine organisation that teaches the widely discredited theories of Ryke Geerd Hamer, a notorious German ex-doctor who lost his medical licence in 1986 after a number of patients in his care died.

IMMA was founded in 2004 by Johannes Fisslinger, inventor of the “Aura Video Station.” According to IMMA Master Trainer Richard Flook, Fisslinger is a former student of Hamer. Hamer’s Canadian representative Ilsedora Laker has even accused Fisslinger of plagiarising Hamer’s work.

IMMA founder Johannes Fisslinger (source)

Last year, I interviewed Fisslinger about reports that three or more cancer sufferers died after being advised by IMMA practitioners to abandon conventional treatments. Fisslinger said the conduct of practitioners Dagfrid Kolås and Bent Madsen, both former members of IMMA’s Advisory Council, was “absolutely irresponsible” and “absolutely unacceptable.”

Fisslinger recently started the Lifestyle Prescriptions Foundation, an integrative medicine organisation which, like IMMA, teaches the discredited theories of the notorious Hamer.

Last week, the foundation held its inaugural meeting at Regent’s University London, a prestigious private university.

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Via “This London University Keeps Holding Pseudoscientific Events” by Tom Chivers, BuzzFeed UK, March 15, 2017:

Regent’s University London, an independent university and registered charity, has allowed its premises to be used to host a series of events and programmes which promote “pseudoscientific” treatments.

A member of the House of Commons science and technology committee told BuzzFeed News that any universities “lending their good name” to such events risked giving credibility to “unproven quack cures”.

On Saturday, Regent’s leased space for a conference by Lifestyle Prescriptions (LP). Proponents of “lifestyle medicine” claim on the LP website to teach people how to “stop or reverse” cancer and other illnesses. Practitioners of another health programme linked to LP’s founder have been blamed for the deaths of three cancer patients in Norway who stopped taking conventional treatments.

Lifestyle Prescriptions was founded by Johannes Fisslinger in 2016; on its website, practitioners of the “lifestyle medicine” it promotes claim to be able to teach how to “prevent and heal diabetes, heart disease, obesity, autoimmune disease, cancer and many other health issues”, and a practitioner claims to be able to “heal cancer”.

The blogger Dean Sterling Jones, who has investigated Fisslinger, claims that “lifestyle medicine” is based on “meta-medicine”, a scientifically unfounded practice that says there are links between psychological traumas and specific illnesses – for instance, a woman seeing her child in danger might get breast cancer.

Previously, Fisslinger ran the International Meta-Medicine Association (IMMA). A 2009 report by a Norwegian TV station said three cancer sufferers died after being advised by IMMA practitioners to stop taking conventional treatment.

Science reporter Tom Chivers (previously the Assistant Comment Editor for British broadsheet newspaper The Telegraph) did a fantastic job reporting about the foundation’s weird but not-so-wonderful background, including getting some revealing comments from Fisslinger.

Fisslinger denies that LP promotes any treatments, says LP is not based on meta-medicine, and says it is “totally irresponsible” to tell patients to stop any conventional treatment. He said “it’s a scientific fact that traumatic life events and negative emotions affect our health – nobody would deny that”. He also says he has not been involved with IMMA for several years.

There’s lots to debunk here, starting with Fisslinger’s claim that his foundation does not promote any treatments.

Via my August 12, 2016 blog post re: IMMA’s treatment methods, students at Fisslinger’s Meta-Health University – which provides “the world’s only lifestyle prescriptions training” – guide patients through the so-called “self-healing process using techniques derived from other popular complementary therapies, including: Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy (TLT), Matrix Reimprinting (MP), Advanced Clearing Energetics (ACE), Dianetics (Scientology), and Hamer’s discredited Germanic New Medicine.

Per the below excerpt from the university’s lengthy three-part “Meta-Health Therapy Plan,” students give advice intended to benefit patients’ mental, physical (including their “organ & energy” health) and social well-being. Recommendations range from benign platitudes such as follow your heart, to advice regarding emergency medical treatment.

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Fisslinger’s claim that Lifestyle Prescriptions is not based on meta-medicine is easily debunked via the university’s website, which clearly states that students “will be accredited by the Intl. META-Medicine Association, which is the worldwide standards and certification organization for META-Health [ie. Lifestyle Prescriptions] Professionals and Trainers.”

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The claim that traumatic experiences can negatively affect health isn’t controversial. However, Fisslinger’s foundation goes much further, asserting that specific emotionally traumatic experiences correspond with specific physical symptoms. For instance, Lifestyle Prescriptions practitioner Annie Gedye claims she treated a woman who developed swollen lymph nodes upon discovering her boyfriend had cheated on her. Gedye’s interpretation is that the woman had experienced psychological trauma and literally became unable to swallow the information.

As for Fisslinger’s claim that he has not been involved with IMMA “for several years, not only does his foundation’s university website state a clear connection to IMMA, Fisslinger himself is listed as being IMMA’s designated Agent for Process on the organisation’s December 2016 Statement of Information declaration to the State of California.

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Via Chivers’ article, Fisslinger says he will “personally distance” himself from “anyone claiming to heal any diseases, especially cancer,” and said “lifestyle medicine is helping people to be healthier”:

“We don’t make any of these claims,” he said. “These are statements from leading lifestyle medicines featured in the lifestyle medicine summit.

“We make it very clear to anyone using Lifestyle Prescriptions to follow the legal requirements for their profession, and especially always work with their local doctor and never tell or even suggest clients stop any form of treatment or making any claims to heal anything.”

He added: “It’s not about treating something, but rather prevention and healthy living.”

Chivers’ article also includes incisive comments from Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness and a member of the House of Commons science and technology committee:

[Warman] told BuzzFeed News: “Universities, private or otherwise, should take care when promoting or lending their good name to events which promote scientifically unfounded claims, as the use of their premises can add legitimacy to such claims and may serve to mislead attendees or observers.

“There’s no excuse for blurring the boundaries between rigorously researched scientific work and pseudoscientific claims about unproven quack cures.”

On June 1, 2017, Lifestyle Prescriptions will host a week-long online “lifestyle medicine” summit. Speakers include: Sayer Ji, founder of the highly dubious natural medicine website GreenMedInfo; Christa Krahnert, a “natural Medicine Doctor specialized in cancer, micro-biome and enhancing the body’s natural self-healing mechanism”; and prominent EFT proponents Dawson Church and Karl Dawson, among others.

Headlining the summit is nutritionist/Forbes columnist Dr. David Katz, alongside his True Health Initiative colleague Dr. Rob Lawson – who also spoke at the Regent’s conference.

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Last year, I asked Dr. Katz about his years-long association with Fisslinger/meta-medicine, and the damaging claim made by German blogger Aribert Deckers that by speaking at the 2013 Meta-Health Summit he was supporting “a lethal cancer fraud.”

Dr. Katz insisted that outside of his 2013 talk, he “has no relationship with any of these people and have never endorsed any program or product of theirs.”

When I asked Dr. Katz if he profited from the sale of videos of his 2013 talk, which were being sold via the Lifestyle Prescriptions TV website at a price of ninety-seven dollars per year, he called me a “cartoon character” and accused me of harassing him.

Click here to read more about IMMA and Lifestyle Prescriptions.

Alt-Med Death in India

India’s leading Meta-Medicine practitioner Anu Mehta says her patient committed suicide after she treated him for depression

Earlier this year, I blogged a series of investigative reports about the International Meta-Medicine Association (IMMA), a popular LA-based integrative medicine organisation founded in 2004 by Johannes Fisslinger, inventor of the “Aura Video Station.

For the uninitiated, IMMA – via its online university, Meta-Health University (MHU) – claims to have trained over 1,000 practitioners in the “art and science of self-healing,” an elaborate philosophy of preventive health based on the discredited theories of Ryke Geerd Hamer, a ghoulish German doctor who lost his medical licence in 1986 after a number of patients in his care died.

Notorious former doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer (source)

IMMA teaches that specific physical symptoms correspond with specific, sudden or prolonged traumatic experiences, and that the body can naturally heal itself of illness and disease, claims originating in Hamer’s highly speculative model of disease, the “Germanic New Medicine” (GNM).

According to a series of 2009 reports by Norwegian television station TV 2, at least three people died after they were advised by members of IMMA’s Advisory Council to abandon conventional cancer treatments – conduct Fisslinger later called “absolutely unacceptable.”

Now comes a report of another IMMA-related death.

According to Anu Mehta, India’s leading IMMA practitioner whose work has featured in The Bombay Times (owned by the Times Group), a 58-year-old man who was in the late stages of cancer has committed suicide after she treated him for depression.

IMMA practitioner Anu Mehta (source)

In her December 7, 2016 article, “How META Health can use artwork and colours to identify a person’s state of mind and suicidal tendencies” (via The Health Site), Mehta chronicles her patient’s mental deterioration in lurid detail through crayon drawings he made over the four month period leading up to his death.

An excerpt from Mehta’s article:

This is a case of a 58-year-old man, suffering from stomach, umbilical and rectal cancer with severe ascites. As per the medical fraternity, he did not have many days to live. He was married, with two sons. During his counselling, he confessed about his infidelity, obsession for watching porn and chatting on dating sites. He had huge difficulty in keeping his jobs. He had undergone chemotherapy after which he started feeling unattractive due to his bald head and pregnant looking belly.  I used crayon drawing analysis to get an insight of his suffering, stresses, attitude, beliefs, needs, desires, values, conflicts and healing ability at the subconscious level.

Mehta goes on to give her “Meta-Health” analysis of the patient’s drawings, including his last before committing suicide – the word “cancer,” with each of the letters scored out:

9th-drawing

This was the last crayon drawing sent by him before his death.

The colours show that he wanted magic to happen, in the absence of which he was feeling self – disparagement, unstable, needing peace and tranquility, wanting to abandon everything.

According to Mehta’s article, the patient threatened to kill himself less than a week before jumping in front of a train:

He sent me a message on 25 August, that he had a weird feeling in the middle of the night. He felt he had become absolutely normal and was feeling ‘Over positive’. He kept saying this positive feeling is too difficult to deal with, and continued saying, “Do something or I will die.”

…On 1 September 2016, I woke to the news that he had committed suicide by jumping in front of a running train at 9.00 AM, 7 minutes. This shocked me beyond words because his previous drawing had showed the time of his death.

Signing-off, Mehta states that the patient’s “unresolved fears” led him to commit suicide:

His death has prompted me to write this article and tell you all to take drawing more seriously. By understanding these drawings I got an insight into the cause of his death, which was not cancer but his unresolved fears, which made him take painful and tragic action.

Via my August 12, 2016 blog post re: IMMA’s treatment methods, practitioners guide patients through the so-called “self-healing process using techniques derived from other popular complementary and alternative therapies, including: Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy (TLT), Matrix Reimprinting (MP), Advanced Clearing Energetics (ACE), Dianetics (Scientology) and, of course, Hamer’s GNM.

Despite GNM having been thoroughly discredited and denounced by experts, IMMA has attracted several world-famous American doctors and Hollywood celebrities, including Dr. Dean Ornish, best-selling author and White House policy/public health advisor during the Clinton and Obama administrations, and A-list actor Ben Stiller.

You can read more about IMMA by clicking here, here and here.

The Death of Itziar Orube

Leading “Germanic New Medicine” proponent Itziar Orube has reportedly died

Earlier this year I blogged about the notorious Ryke Geerd Hamer, a German physician who lost his medical licence in 1986 after a number of patients in his care died.

Now come reports of another Hamer-related death. Itziar Orube, a leading proponent of Hamer’s widely discredited theory of disease, the “Germanic New Medicine” (GNM), has reportedly died due to complications from breast cancer.

Itziar Orube with Ryke Geerd Hamer

Proponents of GNM believe that the onset of disease occurs when a person suffers sudden or prolonged emotional trauma, and that conventional medicine should be rejected in favour of natural methods, including talking therapy.

According to Emilio Molina of RedUNE, a Spanish cult awareness network, Orube believed she was in the process of healing herself naturally, even as she lay on her deathbed.

“Although she used to refuse even analgesics [GNM asserts that painkillers compromise a patient’s recovery], at the very last moments she went to a ‘pain unit,’” said Molina. “Until the last moments she thought she was healing herself of her waterlogged lungs.”

Orube joins the growing list of people who have fallen victim to Hamer’s “death sect,” the youngest being 12-year-old German cancer patient Susanne Rehklau, who “died a painful death” in 2010 after Hamer gave her the all-clear.

Via my June 30, 2016 blog post, Hamer’s followers have set-up shop in the US, under the name the International Meta-Medicine Association (IMMA).

The Art and Weird Science of Self-Healing

We believe in an integrative approach and at the end the client has to decide which direction to go– Intl. Meta-Medicine Association President Johannes Fisslinger explains his approach to treating clients + Meta-Medicine secrets revealed

I recently blogged a series of articles about the International Meta-Medicine Association (IMMA), an LA-based integrative medicine organisation founded in 2004 by Johannes Fisslinger, inventor of the “Aura Video Station.”

Johannes Fisslinger Bio

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For the uninitiated, IMMA – via its online university, Meta-Health University (MHU) – claims to have trained over 1,000 practitioners in the “art and science of self-healing,” an elaborate philosophy of preventive health based on the discredited theories of Ryke Geerd Hamer, a ghoulish German doctor who lost his medical licence in 1986 after a number of patients in his care died.

Despite claims that Meta-Medicine is effective in treating everything from minor allergies and back pain, to serious conditions like diabetes and even cancer, Fisslinger maintains that MHU is “teaching only,” and that Meta-Medicine is “not really a therapy.”

However, as per this screenshot from March 2016, MHU recently offered Analysis and Therapy Sessions” to resolve your acute or chronic health issues.”

Meta-Health University Clinic Details

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When asked about his medical credentials and if he treats clients at MHU, Fisslinger replied: “I don’t take clients right now… Just don’t have time.”

When asked how MHU helps to “resolve [a client’s] acute or chronic health issues,” if not using therapy, he replied: “As you can see in their profiles everyone is trained in different modalities from medical doctors…to energy psychology therapists.” 

He continued: “But they all use the foundational knowledge of Meta-Health for their analysis process and to find out what actually triggers the health issues and to know the organ-mind-brain connection.”

The “organ-mind-brain connection is Fisslinger’s theory that specific physical symptoms correspond with specific traumatic experiences, claims originating in Hamer’s speculative model of disease, the “Germanic New Medicine (GNM).

Sliders-1200-900-Facebook-webinar-art-science-selfhealing cropped 2

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In 2001, a Swiss study found “no evidence for Hamer’s “dangerous claims, stating: “in many respects, the theory of the New Medicine contradicts the findings of scientific medicine, not only in terms of the aetiology and diagnosis of cancers but also regarding the course and treatment of illness.

Tragically, according to a series of 2009 reports by Norwegian television station TV 2, at least three people died after they were advised by members of IMMA’s Advisory Council, Dagfrid Kolås and Bent Madsen, to abandon conventional cancer treatments.

Yet despite IMMA’s sordid history, aspiring Meta-Health practitioners are willing to pay up to ten thousand dollars to learn the mysterious secrets of this self-proclaimed “revolutionary new healing paradigm.

Stick to the script! How Meta-Medicine practitioners treat clients

Practitioners guide clients through the so-called “self-healing process using techniques derived from other popular complementary and alternative therapies, including: Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy (TLT), Matrix Reimprinting (MP), Advanced Clearing Energetics (ACE) and Dianetics (Scientology).

Practitioners take cues from the “Meta-Health Therapy Script, a lengthy three-part diagnostic and treatment plan.

Meta-Health Therapy Script Header

Prior to meeting, practitioners take a client’s personal details and medical history, including information about “hormonal status, “allopathic medications” and “toxins.

Meta-Health Therapy Script Client Data

For clients with more complex symptoms, practitioners are advised to consult Wikipedia, as Fisslinger explains in this December 2014 “Meta-Health Analysis and Therapy video.

Before treatment can begin, practitioners are required to inform clients about traditional and alternative methods of treatment; as per this “Legal Educationslide from Fisslinger’s live tutoring sessions, the client is then asked “to decide which way to go.

Meta-Health Legal Education

As per this slide from another live session, practitioners “create rapport with a client prior to them signing a release form (in NLP, “rapportis “the ability to relate to others in a way that creates trust and understanding).

Meta-Health Master Preparation

During treatment, clients are instructed to “feel the organ (tissue) that relates to your symptom and to “feels [sic], see and hear your organ talk to you.

Meta-Health Therapy Script Session 1

After a brief clapping exercise to determine the “dominant and “non-dominant sides of a client’s body (this is said to help “find the root cause of the symptom), clients are asked to visualise where in their organ tissue their symptoms are located.

Meta-Health Therapy Script Session 2

Clients are then asked to pinpoint the exact moment when their symptoms began. If a practitioner has established a “deep rapport with a client, they might introduce Hamer’s theory that physical symptoms can be traced to an emotionally traumatic event (referred to here as an UDIN, meaning “unexpected, dramatic, isolating, no strategy).

Meta-Health Therapy Script Session 3

Practitioners then confirm which “phase a client is in (according to Hamer, there are two phases of disease, “stress and “regeneration). The idea is that if a client’s symptoms can be triggered by a traumatic experience, then they can be relieved by making the client aware of the root cause.

Meta-Health Therapy Script Session 4

Clients are again instructed to “breathe deeply into your (organ tissue)and to ask your unconscious mind what e-motion is stored/trapped in that organ tissue” (as explained in Fisslinger’s 2013 Meta-Health ebook“e-motion” is energy “that has been ‘trapped or stored’ inside the organ tissue at the time of the traumatic experience).

Meta-Health Therapy Script Session 5

After identifying their e-motion,” clients are asked whether the root-cause event related to their symptoms occurred before, during, or afterthey were born. If the client is unsure, practitioners tell them to take whatever comes up from their unconscious mind.

Meta-Health Therapy Script Session 6

As per this 12 Meta-Health Questions worksheet, clients are also asked questions about their reactive mind, a concept used in Scientology to refer to the unconscious mind.

12 Meta-Health Questions Worksheet

Finally, practitioners apply some NLP memory techniques and the client is said to release their trapped e-motions…into the matrix/universe/source.” To ensure lasting well-being, clients take steps to reframe “negative or limiting beliefs” and “imprint new behavior.”

Meta-Health Therapy Script Session 7

Before parting ways, practitioners write a lifestyle prescriptionintended to benefit a client’s mental, physical and social well-being. Recommendations range from benign platitudes (follow your heart) to advice regarding emergency medical treatment.

Meta-Health Lifestyle Prescription


Read my three-part series on the Meta-Medicine movement here:

• The Macabre Origins of the Meta-Medicine Movement (Part one) – June 9, 2016
• Lifting the Lid on the Meta-Medicine Movement (Part two) – June 30, 2016
Freunde von Meta-Medicine (Part three) – July 25, 2016

Freunde von Meta-Medicine

Here’s what celeb doctors Dean Ornish and David Katz said when I asked about their involvement in freaky alt-med organisation (one of them accused me of harassment!)

Last month, I blogged about the International Meta-Medicine Association (IMMA), an LA-based integrative medicine organisation with ties to Ryke Geerd Hamer, a ghoulish German doctor who lost his licence in 1986 after a number of patients in his care died.

IMMA teaches that the body can naturally heal itself of illness and disease, claims originating in Hamer’s highly speculative model of disease, the “Germanic New Medicine” (GNM).

Founded in 2004 by Johannes Fisslinger – inventor of the “Aura Video Station” – IMMA has attracted several world-famous American doctors and alternative medicine practitioners.

The Aura Video Station

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In 2007, best-selling author and White House policy/public health advisor during the Clinton and Obama administrations, Dr. Dean Ornish was awarded¹ the distinction of Excellence in Integrative Medicine” from IMMA’s breast cancer research charity, the Heal Breast Cancer Foundation (HBCF).

Based on Hamer’s widely discredited theories, HBCF believes that cancer can be prevented and even cured via a “biopsychosocial and holistic understanding of the body, mind, spirit and environment connection.”

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Dr. Dean Ornish (photo by Joi Ito)

Dr. Ornish later appeared in Fisslinger’s 2010 film, Titans of Yoga, and at one time was slated to host the 2013 Be Meta-Healthy Online World Summit.”²

As recently as March 2016, Dr. Ornish was identified as a teacher at IMMA’s online teaching university, Meta-Health University (MHU).

Meta-Medicine Tuition Dean Ornish MD

Dr. Ornish’s other connections to pseudo-science have been criticised by anti-quack medicine experts, still it was surprising to see him featured alongside Quackwatch regular Dr. Bernie S. Siegelwho claims that “happy people generally don’t get sick,” and Gary Craig, inventor of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), sometimes described as “emotional acupuncture.”

When I asked about Dr. Ornish teaching at MHU, Fisslinger replied that he had invited Dr. Ornish to teach, but had not confirmed anything.”

When I asked Dr. Ornish, he initially replied that he has no relationship” with MHU. He subsequently clarified that he in fact had been invited to speak, but had not yet confirmed anything.”

Dr. Ornish did not respond to questions about his participation in the 2007 gala and 2013 summit.

The Katz Connection

Dr. Ornish was replaced in the above list of “Guest Faculty Speakers” by celebrity nutrition expert and author/columnist Dr. David L. Katz, founding director of the CDC-funded Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.

Meta-Medicine Tuition David Katz MD

Dr. Katz is also listed as an MHU faculty member in the organisation’s 2015 programme.

META-Health University Program Guide 2015

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When asked about his relationship with IMMA or MHU, Dr. Katz replied that he has never endorsed any of the company’s programmes or products.

I once gave a talk, via Skype, on my model of integrative medicine for something called the Meta Health Summit [but] that is the extent of my involvement,” said Dr. Katz.

Dr. David Katz (source)

I also asked him about his correspondence with German journalist Aribert Deckers.

A few weeks before the 2010 Integrative Medicine Congress” – an IMMA event held in Munich, at which Dr. Katz was scheduled to appear – Deckers wrote an open letter to Dr. Katz informing him about IMMA’s ties to the notorious Hamer.

Here is Dr. Katz’s June 17, 2010 reply to Deckers:

Thank you for these precautions, Aribert.

The speech was canceled roughly a week ago; I would hope the website would promptly be updated to reflect that.

All best,
DK

Three years later, Dr. Katz gave his Skype talk at the 2013 Meta-Health summit.

Meta-Health Summit Dr. David Katz

Deckers then published a statement accusing Dr. Katz of knowingly support[ing] a lethal cancer fraud.”

After having sent my email (Date: Thu, June 17, 2010) to Prof. David Katz, and having spoken with his office I thought that he would stop from making further contacts with the “meta-mediciners”. But that is not the case: Prof. David Katz AGAIN is on the list of speakers at a “meta-mediciner” “symposium”. But this time he can not claim to have known nothing.

Responding to Deckers’ accusations, Dr. Katz said he doesn’t recall the exchange, but reiterated that he “did not support anything,” stating: I gave a talk, and permission to promote only that.”

As of publication, Dr. Katz is still listed as a “Guest Faculty Speaker” at MHU. 

Incidentally, MHU’s sister website, Lifestyle Prescriptions TV, charges ninety-seven dollars per year to watch Dr. Katz’s 2013 Skype conversation with Fisslinger.

I asked Dr. Katz if he had signed-off on the sale of these videos.³

Dr. Katz then referred me to his attorney, Alan Neigher, who didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. When I again asked Dr. Katz, here’s what he sent me:

Sterling/Dean/Cartoon Character-

You have asked me the same questions several times, and I have answered them. My office has done the same. At this point, you are harassing us. Kindly state your agenda.

Best,


David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM
Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center
Griffin Hospital 

Read part one and two of my series on the Meta-Medicine movement here:

• The Macabre Origins of the Meta-Medicine Movement (Part one) – June 9, 2016
• Lifting the Lid on the Meta-Medicine Movement (Part two) – June 30, 2016

¹The award is a regular feature of Dr. Ornish’s online biography, and was even cited in his 2009 health care reform testimony to the US senate.

²According to Johannes Fisslinger’s April 29, 2013 e-mail to Dr. David Katz, the presenters of the 2013 Meta-Health summit were said to include Bruce Lipton, Dr. Dean Ornish, Wayne B. Jonas (Samueli Institute) and John Robbins.

³According to Johannes Fisslinger’s April 29, 2013 and July 8, 2013 e-mails to Dr. David Katz, Fisslinger offered Dr. Katz the option to become a Meta-Health “summit partner,” by which Dr. Katz would receive “50% commission on all upgrade summit sales,” including “digital downloads or DVD sets.”

Lifting the Lid on the Meta-Medicine Movement

‘Advising against a potentially life-saving procedure is absolutely irresponsible’ – International Meta-Medicine Association founder Johannes Fisslinger talks about patient deaths in Norway

Earlier this month, I blogged about the lurid origins of the International Meta-Medicine Association (IMMA), an integrative medicine organisation based in Los Angeles, CA.

IMMA promotes an elaborate philosophy of preventive health based on the discredited theories of Ryke Geerd Hamer, a notorious German doctor and virulent anti-Semite who lost his medical licence in 1986 as a result of extreme misconduct.

Hamer’s illegal treatment of cancer patients using his so-called “Germanic New Medicine” (GNM) – a speculative model of disease exploring the “interconnections and relationships” between “the psyche, the brain and the organ” – has reportedly claimed dozens of lives.

There are few references to Hamer to be found on IMMA’s official websites, and none of the company’s high-profile supporters I’ve spoken with knew about its ties to him.

Munich native Johannes Fisslinger founded IMMA in 2004 to, quote“inspire millions of people around the world to become aware of their body’s self-healing intelligence.” 

According to IMMA Master Trainer Richard Flook, Fisslinger is a former student of Hamer. GNM proponent Ilsedora Laker has even accused Fisslinger of plagiarising Hamer’s work.

IMMA founder Johannes Fisslinger (source)

I asked Fisslinger about his organisation’s relationship to Hamer, and his opinion of Hamer’s theories.

Fisslinger credited Hamer with providing the basic framework for IMMA’s philosophy of preventive health, but made clear he does not endorse Hamer’s racial views or his “do-nothing” approach to treating patients.

“I agree that Dr. Hamer’s method and therapy is ineffective or dangerous,” said Fisslinger, alluding to a 2001 Swiss study of Hamer’s cancer theories.

“[Hamer] basically did not use any therapy at all, telling people to just allow the body to heal without doing anything. This is 100% opposite to what we are doing.”

Fisslinger insists IMMA closely monitors its practitioners to ensure that they adhere to the company’s lengthy code of practice.

Meta-Medicine Code of Practice

However, according to a series of 2009 reports by Norwegian television station TV 2, three or more people died after they were advised by IMMA practitioners Dagfrid Kolås and Bent Madsen to abandon conventional cancer treatments.

Via TV 2:*

Cancer sufferers said no to treatment [17/04/2009]

Three people are dead after refusing to get cancer treatment in Bergen. All had been in contact with the theories of the convicted ex-doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer.

There is still a lot of snow in the cemetery in Kongsberg. But Terje Fjeldheim would like there to be some fresh flowers on her sister’s grave.

Elsemarit Fjeldheim got cancer in 2006, but refused to receive treatment.

“We knew that when the cancer was discovered early, the prospects for recovery were very good,” says Terje Fjeldheim.

After she got cancer, Elsemarit came into contact with the theories of the German ex-doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer. Hamer has hundreds of followers in Europe and now the cult-like movement is also trying to gain a foothold on the West Coast.

Bent Madsen is central to the Meta-Medicine movement in Bergen, together with Dagfrid Kolås, author of a book named “Hope.”

It was these two people Terje’s sister came in contact with in 2006.

“The worst thing was that they went so hard against using medicine and warned against it, that it only made matters worse,” says Terje Fjeldheim.

It’s murder [18/04/2009]

Gunnvor Vossgård believes her cancer-stricken daughter died as a result of blind faith in alternative therapists.

When Agnete developed cancer, she was offered chemotherapy. But she chose instead to rely on alternative therapists to get her well. Seven years ago, she died of cancer.

“I begged and begged and cried. And so did her friends too. But it was no use,” says Agnete’s mother Gunnvor Vossgård.

One of those whom she listened to was Dagfrid Kolås and her book “Hope,” which is built on the theories of the German doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer.

46-year-old died after refusing cancer treatment [22/04/2009]

Was advised by alternative practitioners to stop cancer treatment. At least five Norwegian cancer patients have suffered the same fate.

The father of Malin Birkeland is one of them. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2006.

“My father was diagnosed in December, but the prognosis was poor. He would have lived two good years extra if the chemo worked,” said Birkeland to TV2 News.

But Tore Birkeland came into contact with Dagfrid Kolås and Bent Madsen, and stopped cancer treatment. Kolås and Madsen head the so-called Meta-Medicine movement in Bergen.

“My father got advice to stop treatment because it would not work and that chemo contained mustard gas,” says Malin Birkeland.

I asked Fisslinger if he was aware of these reports; if he had spoken with and/or reprimanded Kolås and Madsen; and if he had carried out an investigation to ensure that other practitioners aren’t advising patients to refuse potentially life-saving treatment.

“Our code of ethics and policy is very clear about this,” said Fisslinger. “A client needs to make the decision together with their doctor and the Meta-Health professional. [Advising] not to use a potentially life-saving procedure is absolutely irresponsible.”

Fisslinger said Kolås and Madsen’s conduct was “absolutely unacceptable” and confirmed there had been an investigation into the deaths in Norway.

IMMA practitioners Dagfrid Kolås and Bent Madsen (source)

He also denied that Kolås and Madsen were ever on IMMA’s Advisory Council.

However, this screenshot from the official IMMA website lists Kolås and Madsen as members of IMMA’s Advisory Council.

Meta-Medicine Advisory Council

Furthermore, Kolås – who according to Fisslinger retired “several years ago” – gave a talk (on the subject of “healing breast cancer naturally”¹) at the 2014 International Meta-Health Conference.

I’ve asked Fisslinger to clarify, but haven’t received a response.

Click here to read part three.

¹In her 2014 autobiography about her struggle with breast cancer, How I Healed My Life: From Crisis and Cancer to Self-EmpowermentKolås claimed she healed herself via natural methods. However, in 2013 she reportedly admitted having undergone conventional medical treatments. Incidentally, Kolås’ personal credo is: I believe in therapy, not chemistry.”

*For continuity, English translations of news reports have been edited and condensed.

The Macabre Origins of the Meta-Medicine Movement

The first in a three-part series charting the rise of the Meta-Medicine movement

If you’re interested in the often murky world of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), chances are you’ve heard of the International Meta-Medicine Association (IMMA).

Founded in 2004 by Johannes Fisslinger – inventor of the Aura Video Station – IMMA (via its online university, Meta-Health University) claims to have trained over 1,000 practitioners in “the art and science of self-healing,an elaborate philosophy of preventive health focused on diagnosing the root causes of disease.

The university’s faculty list reads like a who’s who of the contemporary CAM scene, counting among its guest speakers pediatric surgeon Dr. Bernie Siegel, celebrity nutrition expert Dr. David Katz, and biologist Bruce Lipton.

Via its non-profit research charity, the Heal Breast Cancer Foundation (HBCF), IMMA has attracted Hollywood actors like Ben Stiller and Geena Davis, and garnered high-profile endorsements from Dr. Dean Ornish and self-help guru Eckhart Tolle.

Yet despite its penchant for attracting big names, little is known about the lurid origins of this self-proclaimed “revolutionary new healing paradigm.

The central tenet of IMMA’s philosophy of preventive health is that the body is capable of healing itself naturally. The claims are based on the discredited theories of Ryke Geerd Hamer, a German doctor who lost his licence in 1986 as a result of extreme misconduct.

IMMA posits the onset of disease as occurring when a person suffers sudden or prolonged emotional trauma; to “self-heal,” they must overcome this trauma.

To understand Hamer’s theories, or by extension those of IMMA, you have to start with the story of Hamer’s son, Dirk.

Dirk Hamer and the catalyst for the “Germanic New Medicine

In August 1978, while napping on the deck of a yacht in the Mediterranean near Corsica, Dirk Hamer was shot by the last crown prince of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy. Dirk died four months later.

According to his official online biography, a short time after Dirk’s death, Dr. Hamer discovered he had testicular cancer. At around the same time, Dr. Hamer’s wife, Sigrid Oldenburg, discovered she had breast cancer.

Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer at his son’s funeral, 1978 (source)

Hamer attributed the onset of his and his wife’s cancer to the emotional trauma they had experienced as a result of Dirk’s death. He theorised that the most effective course of treatment would be to bypass conventional treatments and instead undergo a form of “natural therapy” to resolve the underlying trauma.¹

The theories Hamer developed during this period formed the basis for what would become the “Germanic New Medicine” (GNM), a speculative model of disease exploring the “interconnections and relationships” between “the psyche, the brain and the organ.”

According to one particularly fantastic claim, specific emotions are said to affect specific organs and bodily functions.

For example, a child who is forced to live under the conservative – or “inflexible” – rule of an overbearing parent might develop rigid joints. A recently-divorced woman might, in the absence of intimate physical touch, develop a skin condition. And so on.

Decades later, Johannes Fisslinger would integrate Hamer’s claim into IMMA’s trademark theory, the “organ-mind-brain connection.”

The “two phases” of disease, according to Dr. Hamer (source)

In 1981, Hamer submitted his postdoctoral thesis on the psychological roots of disease to the University of Tübingen with the objective of convincing the university to test his hypothesis on patients. The university rejected his thesis, citing flaws in the form and methodology.

Having failed to establish himself in academia, Hamer then tried to find evidence for the link between unresolved trauma and the onset of cancer and other diseases.

In 1982, he opened a private cancer clinic near Freiburg, Germany, where he began putting his theories into practice. 

Surviving accounts of his clinic, Sanatorium Rosenhof, paint an unremittingly bleak picture. To paraphrase a translated 1983 report featured in the German news magazine Stern:*

Around the dinner table sit Hamer’s patients, their bodies emaciated and swollen, their faces yellow from jaundice. They are deathly ill. Instead of receiving the proper medical treatment, they only sing and eat – for this is the course of treatment Hamer has prescribed, and they have faith that it will heal them.

Not surprisingly, this course of treatment was not effective, and of the 50 patients who were treated by Hamer at Sanatorium Rosenhof, only seven are thought to have survived.

Following the closure of Sanatorium Rosenhof by German authorities, Hamer opened an illegal clinic near Bremen, Haus Dammersmoor. Reports of patients dying again caught the attention of authorities, and Dammersmoor was forced to close.

In 1985, Hamer moved to the town of Katzenelnbogen, where he opened yet another illegal clinic, Amici di Dirk, which in German is “Freunde von Dirk,” meaning “Friends of Dirk,” after his late son.

The conditions inside Amici di Dirk – his third clinic in just over two years – were horrific. The clinic lacked staff, money, and basic medical supplies. Hamer was allegedly absent for days at a time, leaving patients alone without any medical assistance.

The following excerpts from interviews arranged by German journalist Aribert Deckers and carried out by University of Tübingen student journalist Silke Bauer with some of Hamer’s former employees, provide a chilling account of conditions inside Amici di Dirk.*

“I would describe my time with Dr. Hamer as a very chaotic and exhausting period. Chaotic because he had no money, because some days he lacked the money to feed our patients. It was hard to work there. He could not administer therapy because sometimes there were no drugs available to relieve suffering.”

– Mrs. M, former accountant at Amici di Dirk

“There was a young lady with us, a patient with cancer. She was accompanied by her brother. And one morning Dr. Hamer started his car and did not tell us where he was going or when he would return, and did not leave even a phone number, nothing.

“The brother came to me and told me his sister was in severe pain, and wondered where Dr. Hamer was. I told him: ‘I cannot reach Dr. Hamer, he did not tell us where he was going.’ The brother returned two or three times, saying: ‘My sister screams in pain!’ And I said: ‘I’ll call another doctor, it can’t go on like this.’”

– Mrs. Gemmer, former accountant at Amici di Dirk

“Dr. Hamer was particularly interested in one young patient. I think he had bone cancer and was in terrible pain. For days he banged his head against the wall, into the night. I said to Hamer: ‘Doctor, we have to give something against the pain, this is not normal.’ Hamer said: ‘For God’s sake, no! We cannot give an analgesic, this would change the blood values, the effect of healing would be compromised.’”

[Speaking about a female cancer patient who had been admitted into Hamer’s care] “I lifted the blanket on the bed and I could see that she had a big hole like a blow on the thigh, and you could see the bone. And there was no treatment.”

– Mrs. F, former nurse at Amici di Dirk

After Amici di Dirk was closed in 1985, German state authorities had had enough and revoked Hamer’s licence to practice medicine.

Since then, Hamer has been convicted and imprisoned for medical crimes in several European countries, and reportedly there’s a warrant for his arrest in Austria regarding a high-profile 1995 case in which he attempted to illegally treat six-year-old cancer patient Olivia Pilhar.

Olivia Pilhar in 1995, post-chemotherapy (source)

Meanwhile, medical authorities have widely denounced the former physician’s theories and practices.

In 1989, the Koblenz district court ruled that Hamer did not possess the mental capacity to grasp the ethical ramifications of treating patients using an unproven therapy.

In 2001, a Swiss study found “no evidence” to support Hamer’s “New Medicine,” which it called “dangerous, especially as it lulls the patients into a false sense of security so that they are deprived of other effective treatments.”

In 2004, The German Cancer Society offered its “expert opinion”: Hamer’s hypothesis lacked “any scientific or empirical justification.”

The final nail in the coffin came from Dr. Michael Reusch, president of the German Medical Association, who in a 2006 interview called it “a tragedy” that vulnerable cancer patients had been taken in by Hamer’s “charlatanism.”

Dr. Hamer in 2009 (source)

Despite these setbacks, Hamer continued to put his theories into practice,² amassing a criminal record that rivals Nazi scientist Gerhard Wagner. As it happens, Hamer – like Wagner – is a virulent anti-Semite.³

According to GNM proponent Ilsedora Laker, the 81-year-old Hamer now lives in Norway, where he continues to promote his discredited theories.

Click here for part two.

¹In a 1999 Radio Toronto interview, Hamer said he underwent surgery for testicular cancer at Tübingen University Hospital. While it remains unclear if his wife underwent similar surgery for breast cancer, Hamer reportedly said her death in 1985 was caused by her scepticism about the efficacy of treating disease using the methods prescribed by his “New Medicine.”

²With few exceptions, Hamer has been ignored by mainstream media, but German journalist Aribert Deckers states that the number of Hamer’s victims is in the hundreds.

³In a 2009 interview, Hamer claimed that vaccines are a Jewish conspiracy to implant genocidal “death chips” into the bodies of non-Jews.

*For continuity, English translations of interviews and news reports have been edited and condensed.

Update, 30/06/2016: This article originally stated that German journalist Aribert Deckers had estimated the number of Hamer’s victims “at around 150.” In fact, Deckers says he stopped counting in 2008, and that he believes the true number is in the hundreds.

This article has also been updated to properly reflect Deckers’ part in arranging the 2008 interviews conducted by University of Tübingen student journalist Silke Bauer with some of Hamer’s former employees. Transcripts can be accessed via Deckers’ comprehensive website on Hamer, deathsect.com.