Thursday, March 30, 2006

Science Meets The Bio-Cosmic Druid

This morning, I got a press release I find disturbing. It claims that a recent research project has succeeded in, "Proving for the first time the existence of a higher power by scientific means." Here's what it says:

"Catharsis, the non-profit California corporation inspired by the work of Philip Sauvage, begins ground-breaking, scientific tests worldwide, on victims of severe fire burns from flaming cars and homes, wildfires and terrorist bombings, to prove, once and for all, the existence of a 'higher reality.'" Here's the protocol: "Sauvage requires four details of the victims within 30 minutes of them being severely burned – name, date of birth, place of birth, and a photo taken on a mobile phone – all of which must be texted to his team on (0041) 78686-1842 ... Results are immediate, clearly observable, absolutely incontrovertible, and quickly reproducible in hundreds of cases."

The man behind this, Philip Sauvage, is a palentologist with a cult-like following who claims to be able to heal people of pretty much anything -- AIDS, cancer, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's -- through prayer. Sauvage's titles include "criminologist, paleontologist, Father of Subliminal Influentiality [a.k.a. subliminal mind control], Chairman of Scientific Skeptics Board, Author and Bio-Cosmic Justice Enforcer." He was deported to France, where he was charged with defrauding followers whose conditions worsened after his "treatments." Sauvage is also a Druid. Here's a taste of how he explains himself in his memoir: "I grew up inside an immemorial 'super-shamanistic' tribe (the very real thing), whose 'powers' and 'wisdom' date back to the dawn of your Neolithic age. My clan has been serving the Earth, the Forests, the Animals and our ethnos without interruption or adulteration since then." You get the point.

Seeing this kind of stuff masquerading as science bothers me, and I hate to encourage them by posting this (apparently by doing so, I'm helping to advance the study: "The broader the media alert," his press release says, "the better and faster the test results come in"), but I couldn't help myself: The story of this guy Sauvage is so weirdly fascinating. Perhaps we should all test his abillities by texting our information to the cell phone number in his press release (see above) ...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen the BBC programme at:

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BBC Watchdog also did an expose of this guy. There are many many bitterly disappointed people who have paid this fraudster thousands and thousands of pounds. He was exposed as a fake in France, after 200 complaints, and subsequently went on the run. He works in tandem with a wierd Californian new-ager called Jane Dillon. She is a bullying super-saleswoman. Together they exploit naive idealists and the needy. The "examples" they give of other burns results are fictions - call the hospitals. They claim he's been "tested" across Europe, including at the Marie Curie Institute. They haven't heard of him. The so-called AIDS miracle is the result of conventional treatment. None of his followers appear to have been cured of anything but pay through the nose for the privilege of short meetings with the man they see as the new messiah. Of course, he will attract followers. There's one born every minute. The Burns offer is nothing more than a stunt to attract publicity

3:51 AM  
Blogger Rebecca Skloot said...

Thanks for posting that BBC program, Peter. The link, since it didn't show up above for some reason, is
, in case others are interested.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My brother is a paraplegic who suffered severe nerve damage in his legs, has been working on getting out of his wheelchair for 12 years now(through physical therapy and exercise). He recently took out a loan for $60,000 (!!!!!!) and forked it over to Savage to suposedly "heal" him.

Let me be clear: my brother has been using a walker and has had lots of very crude ability to "kick out" his legs and lock the knees since his accident (which in itself was a huge surprise to his doctors). This was many years before he ever heard of Savage.

Since he returned from Switzerland, he has not sat back down in the wheelchair, but I am NOT suggesting this was due to some miracle Savage worked.

Rather, I am afraid my brother has been exploited by this unethical man, who has the gall to invoke the name of God to justify his criminal behavior. I don't think my brother could allow himself to sit back down in his wheelchair even if he wanted to... this would mean having to admit he was scammed. My brother's ego would not allow this to happen. Now, my brother is a "true believer" and spends all of his energy trying to recruit all of his family and friends to mortgage off their homes to do the same thing he did. two nights ago, he told our mother that if she didn't do it, their relationship was over!

I am open to the idea that miracles are possible, and that innately, people have the power inside themselves to heal from even the most serious of health problems. But in this case, I believe Savage's techniques have simply given my brother no excuse but to force his own willpower to push beyond any limits previously known to him.

It's sad that my brother has had to literally "buy into" some charlatan's get-rich-quick scheme in order to tap into his own potential to heal. The amount of money Savage requires for this is obscene -- and in my opinion, the US Government should be investigating him for fraud. I wonder why Dateline or some other US news program hasn't conducted an investigation into him, and I wonder how the Swiss government can justify harboring a fugitive and a fraudulent so-called religious leader. If our world's governments would reject this kind of deviance, maybe it would no longer be attractive to people like Savage. I believe his name is no accident, that is for sure.

11:42 AM  

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