Healing or Stealing: Medical Charlatans in the New Age

Healing or Stealing: Medical Charlatans in the New Age

Healing or Stealing: Medical Charlatans in the New Age

Healing or Stealing: Medical Charlatans in the New Age

Synopsis

A French psychiatrist who recently won a court case against Scientologists discusses the cult-like properties of "patamedicine," i.e., pseudo-medicine, which in his view includes homeopathy and acupuncture. The book is not indexed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Excerpt

After my last book was published – Soul Snatchers: the Mechanics of Cults—I received an avalanche of letters with specific questions or asking me to shed some light on writers’ personal quests that had “turned out badly”, leading to an experience with cults. This correspondence brought me great quantities of new information on various aspects of the cult phenomenon, particularly in France and Europe.

Reviewing all these cases, from many countries, I could not help noticing that one of the principal avenues used by cults, one of their best lures and selling points, was “patamedicine”. (I have coined this term on the basis of Alfred Jarry’s “pataphysics”, meaning the science of imaginary solutions, a term that was also borrowed by Prof. Marcel Francis Kahn.) Well-being seminars, symposiums on nontraditional medicine, and alternative medicine treatment centers, together with palmreaders, séances, and esoteric conferences, form a rich compost. the cults of healing flourish in this fertile matrix, along with prayer groups and healers of every ilk.

Certainly, not every practitioner of alternative (or natural) medi-

English edition by Algora Publishing, 1999.

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