More dark than snark today
Although I believe that the stuff I write about here is mostly harmless, there is, as I've noted here before, a darker side. A couple of cases in point...
Another good argument for researching your guru's credentials
So here's yet another example of why the characteristic new-age/New-Wage reluctance to question and be judgmental is not a sign of enlightenment, open-mindedness or advanced spiritual development.
Seems there was this natural healer/therapist in Eastern Europe, name of Dragan Dabic. A wise-looking man with a long bushy gray beard, "doktora Dabica" knew all about herbs and Yoga, mind-body control, bioenergy, meditation, and spiritual cleansing. He claimed that he had an "energy healing treatment," Human Quantum Energy, that could fix everything from erectile dysfunction to autism. (Hey, if it has "quantum" in its name, it's gotta work, right?)
The biography on his web site painted him as a budding healer from the time he was a youngster in the Serbian village of Kovaci.
As a young boy he liked to explore nearby forests and mountains, spending a lot of time on Kopaonik mountain where he tended to pick the omnipresent, natural and potent medicinal herbs that grew at those green pastures. As a young man he moved to Belgrade, and then on to Moscow where he graduated with a Doctor of Medicine degree (spec. in Psychiatry) at the Moscow State University (Lomonosov). After Russia, he travelled around India and Japan, after which he settled in China where he specialized in alternative medicine, with a special emphasis on the mind-body control, meditation, Yoga, spiritual cleansing, as well as Chinese herbs.
In mid-1990s he returned back to mother Serbia for good, and ever since then emerged as one of the most prominent experts in the field of alternative medicine, bioenergy, and macrobiotic diet in the whole of the Balkans, and is frequent contributor to the regional alternative health magazines, and guest expert with numerous TV appearances and on many public forums, seminars and symposiums (Belgrade, Novi Sad, Pancevo, Sombor, Smederevo, Kikinda...) dedicated to these issues and topics.
And the people came from miles around to soak up the wisdom of this well-traveled man with the impressive credentials.The one credential the web site failed to mention was that the good doctor also happened to be the world's most wanted war criminal, and his real name was Radovan Karadžić, Bosnian Serb leader suspected of being responsible for the deaths of at least 20,000 people in what have been described as some of the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II. He'd been in hiding since 1996. "Dragan Dabic" was apparently the name of a dead guy whose identity he stole.
From a July 23 article in the (UK) Independent:
Jubilant European leaders yesterday celebrated Karadzic's arrest by Serbian security forces, who snatched him from a bus, while it emerged that during more than a decade in hiding he had lived under an assumed identity practising alternative medicine at a private clinic under the noses of the international community whose armies were hunting him on genocide charges...
...The former psychiatrist had been utterly transformed from the bulky official who defied the world as he swaggered round the Balkans with the Bosnian military commander, [Ratko] Mladic, in their joint ruthless quest to impose a "Greater Serbia", which left tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Croats dead, and sent waves of ethnic cleansing across the land. His employers and his landlord said they were completely taken in by the ingenious disguise, as was a magazine editor who commissioned articles on meditation and "peace of mind" from the "therapist" known as Dragan Dabic.
According to a Reuters article, a woman who worked at one of the New-Wage rags to which he contributed said, "He was very religious. He had his hair in a plait in order to be able to receive different energies. He was a very nice man."
The editor of that magazine, Goran Kojic, described him as "a kind man, with good manners, quiet and witty." He said Doktor Dabic had claimed he had a degree but, said Kojic, "I doubted he had a degree because he didn't specify where he was working. He never showed me his diploma, he said his wife left it in the United States." Naturally, the editor was among those who were deeply shocked upon learning of the "doctor's" true identity: "I cannot believe it was him...I feel miserable."
Dr. Dabic, aka Karadžić, is certainly not the first New-Wage "healer" to have changed his identity in order to hide an unsavory past. He's definitely one of the more extreme cases, of course, but who knows how many lesser criminals (sexual predators, embezzlers, etc.), or just plain phonies, are out there plying their trade among the bobbleheads who never bother to examine the past or question the credentials of their favorite guru?
And although the often fraudulent practices of taking on a new I.D. or simply fudging the facts about one's past are not the sole province of New-Wage/selfish-help practitioners, these things are arguably easier to get away with in that realm, simply because many followers are so eager to believe, and so reluctant to judge or question.
As the search continues for Karadžić's partner in crime, Ratko Mladic, I wouldn't be too surprised if he turned out to be working somewhere as a wholistic intuitive Vedic astrologer/trance channeler/psychic massage therapist.
By the way, the quotation on the "ad" above was taken from Karadžić's bilingual web site, in the section listing "10 favorite ancient Chinese proverbs as selected personally by Dr. Dabic."
Another from the list: "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere."
So, apparently, are war crimes.
PS added August 4 ~ Giving credit where it is due, the Crack Emcee at The Macho Response blog was on this story like a pack of hungry hounds on a rabbit. The difference between CMC and me regarding this issue is that I do NOT view this incident as a wholesale indictment of all New-Wagers or all "alternative" treatments / practitioners / spirituality. I don't think the lot of them should all be incarcerated or worse, as CMC apparently does – although undoubtedly some of them should be locked up somewhere. (And as for Karadžić, he should, if found guilty, be punished to the full extent of the law for his crimes.) Nor do I think that New-Wagers are incapable of judging right from wrong and of viewing genocide as the atrocity that it is (as CMC seems to imply).
I do, however, think that many if not most New-Wage followers are extraordinarily gullible and generally reluctant to question the credentials, character or motives of their "leaders," thus playing right into the hands of many who are criminals at worst, and ridiculous phonies at best.
ACCESS: it just gets worse
I've written a few times on this blog about that loony cultish thing called ACCESS Energy Transformation, the most recent post being this one (second item down, "Warning: ACCESSories on the loose"). The other day I got another public comment from a woman who goes by the moniker, "Sis." She had previously written a comment to an earlier ACCESS post of mine. This woman's recently widowed sister-in-law has apparently been sucked into the ACCESS sinkhole, and the woman and the rest of the family are at wits' end. It's even more worrisome because young children are involved. My correspondent wrote:
Thanks for comments posted so far, things are only getting worse from where we sit! and trying all avenues to get Sis in Law out of this Access 'relationship' but don't know what to do, without losing her. We are suspicious the Access woman who has moved in[to her house with her and her kids] is probably, through Access treatments, hypnotising her and maybe kids too. Complete personality changes happening - Access woman with her 24hrs a day! will not allow sister-in-law to be alone with others. Anyone have any approaches/ideas? I would love to email directly with someone directly who has been involved with Access but don't know how to do this on this site without giving world my email?
I think the easiest way for me to handle this is to solicit suggestions from readers, and I'll publish them on this blog. Sis, just keep checking back here and maybe you'll find something helpful. And if you haven't done so already, why not contact a cult-buster such as Rick A. Ross? There still doesn't seem to be much info about ACCESS on his web site, but maybe there should be.
So that's it from the dark side for now. Till next time, Dear Ones, stay close to shore, and watch out for snarks.