Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

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.

Here's more on the capture of Dr. Evil.

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.

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Anonymous hhh said...

That's right, they had pages given over to Karadizc, which I read while I was having my lazy coffee.
You know what, when I was in my kitchen mere minutes ago I wondered, 'shall I tell Cosmic Connie about the story'.
Lo and behold, you write it up.

s'quantum, that.

Could here be a plainer illustration?

Thursday, July 24, 2008 2:39:00 PM  
Blogger JS said...

To the person who wrote in about ACCESS...

Unfortunately, I don't have any immediate solutions for this. I have only heard how difficult it can be to get someone away from an organization like ACCESS.
Even though I don't have any answers for the problem at hand, I would suggest possibly starting up a website that exposes these people (much like Operation Clambake does with Scientology).
If you do this, be sure you have all your facts straight before putting things up.
Making a website may not seem like much, but I could help people in the future who see it, especially if it comes up on the first page when people Google Access Energy Transformation.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 4:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

HHH, thanks for watching out for me (and for this blog). Quantum or not, it looks like we both recognized a blogworthy story when we saw it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 9:09:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, JS; good suggestions for the woman with the ACCESS problem. The more info there is on the web, the better. As of now, there seems to be very little critical info about ACCESS.

I hadn't even heard of ACCESS till a little over a year ago, when a reader who'd been screwed (in more ways than one) by an ACCESSory wrote to me. The more research I did about ACCESS, the more appallingly stupid it seemed, but apparently it does have its attractions for many.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 9:17:00 PM  
Blogger JS said...

Well, I was feeling a little rascalish today, so I decided to leave some more comments on the Access / Potency Productions videos (the poor bastards had none :_(

It has been fun making those little acronyms up.

Also, does anyone know of a good website to look up certain individuals or new thought organizations, to see if anything shady has been reported?
I want to find out about the church I had just belonged to, to see if they have anything uncovering written about them, or if they are just egomaniacs like I thought.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

JS, I'll take the lazy way out and suggest the obvious: Rick A. Ross' web site:

I'm sure you've already considered that...and if you have, and there's no info on that particular church, maybe you could start a discussion on the Forum and ask if anyone else has info. It's a start, anyway.

Friday, July 25, 2008 9:30:00 AM  
Blogger JS said...

Thanks Connie. I checked that site out, and found nothing. There are some websites about the place. It was called the Living Enrichment Center, in Oregon. The church I had been going to for about 4 years sprang from the twisted, scandalous wreckage of that.

Hey, I just thought of something... Cosmic Connie...CC...that's the same initials as Credit Card, which is what all the new age websites want me to give them...OH NO! YOU"RE ONE OF THEM!!! AAAHHHHGGGG!!!

(just kidding ;-)

I think you are doing a great thing here.

Friday, July 25, 2008 3:05:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Sorry you couldn't find much info about your "church," JS. Looks like you're going to have to be the one to start the info site about it.

"CC" also stands for "carbon copy" and "cubic centimeters." Maybe I need to change my initials! :-)

But thanks for the kind words. I don't know if what I'm doing is great, but it's fun.

Friday, July 25, 2008 5:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would suggest the lady from Perth to contact the Executive Producer of the Morning Show (Channel 7). Adam Boland is the name. They allowed "Doctor" Gary Douglas to guest in their show in the first place. Perhaps Mr. Boland can refer the case to Today Tonight and investigate.

I know they can someone to attend the Access classes and plant a hidden microphone and camera. They will certainly find out how looney the content of their teachings are. If you let them ask questions from an ACCESS practicioner about their point of view about relationships and sex, I am sure it will become a big issue and worth airing.

Yes, I have been involved at some point with ACCESS but bolted myself away because of a lot of CRAP from their teaching about sex and relationship. I still would like to see myself in a monogamous relationship. They wont tell you at first what their point of view about relationship and even use this couple http://www.readytochoose.com/ as a front to make it look like that they still encourage marriage and monogamy - but all rubbish.

Perhaps I would suggest SIS check the schedules of Gary and Dain and print out this lost article from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_creation/2006-02-17. Send it to the reservations department of the hotels they are conducting their workshops. LOL! Crazy Idea but it might work. LOL!

Yeah Potency Productions (http://au.youtube.com/user/PotencyProductions) closed commenting. There is a way to download youtube videos. Once you get em, you can reupload them to your own channel, give a comment. The question is: is it worth the time?

Another suggestion: Add this link to all social bookmarking sites and feed burners: http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/search?q=access+energy+transformation
If all fans (correspondents) of Connie will do it, that will help her site's google ranking up - so people could see.

Access also has a myspace website http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=156573977 where you could leave comments. ' havent done it myself - and I am not sure if they will allow it to be posted.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Who'd have thought that Grandpa Munster would turn into a war criminal? Times must be hard there in Hollywood! :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 2:58:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 12:34 PM, those are good suggestions. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 4:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

RevRon wrote:
"Who'd have thought that Grandpa Munster would turn into a war criminal? Times must be hard there in Hollywood! :-)"

Well, I guess it's part of a longstanding tradition. After all, Lurch on The Addams Family became Tony Robbins. :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 4:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Syndey Annony said...

Access Energy Transformation is on Twitter.com | http://twitter.com/AccessEnergy. Seessh. I hope they don't claim that the success of Twitter based on what they call Energy Work in the same way the claimed the "so-called" success of The Secret. I don't think Access does not get what Twitter is all about. They keep on tweeting back posts spiritual and feelg good gurus with their weird Access babbles, which many would find it extremely weird. To date, they only have 127 updates. Thank God!

Friday, April 24, 2009 11:00:00 PM  

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