Accolades & Quackolades


"There are ~20 published reviews of my book, but this one must be THE BEST! THANK YOU."
Edzard Ernst

"Best blog of the day IMHO."
Simon Singh

"This blogpost is simply brilliant."
Mark Burnley

"You are a rude argumentative bully. You are a typical "skeptic" - not sceptical at all."
Andrew, anti-vaxer

"Your piece about House of Commons Science and Technology sub-Committee’s ‘evidence check’ on homeopathy was one of the best I’ve seen. Strength to your elbow."
Tony

"...an individual calling themselves ‘scepticat’ or ‘sceptikat’- a highly volatile dictatorial site run by a wannabe megalomaniac. A truly disturbed person with a anger management issue venting via their little site to their own personal herd of sycophants."
Centella, one of Dr Andrew Jones personal herd of sycophants.

"Excellent report, which I can vouch for completely."
Jack of Kent

"The ludicrous nature of the complaint, and some of the responses by Dr Ranj and the BBC, has already been expertly documented on the Skepticat UK blog".
Dean Burnett

"Choke on your own vomit and die in agony..."
r wesley edwards, aka @CommonCormorant, author

"A very good rebuttal…"
Anna Watson, anti-vaxer Arnica UK

"A staggering amount of pathological disbelief allied with a staggering amount of arrogance."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"I just love this blog, and this post is a fine example of it’s content – ‘Inside the spine wizard’s den’ – Skepticat. Why do some of us feel that we are above challenging argument and peer review? I just wish that I could write as well as some of these bloggers!"
Jonathan Hearsey, osteopath

"Skepticat is a particularly venomousness (sic) skeptic, a humanist who lives by the "golden rule", she refused to let me follow her on twitter because I am "bonkers" which may endear her to many in the chiropractic profession..."
Richard Lanigan, chiropractor


Facebook image helpfully captioned by Sandra A Hermann-Courtney (@brownbagpantry)


"Die Die die die!"
r wesley edwards, aka @CommonCormorant, author

"Loved that article. It really shows what chiropractors are really all about. What I call the "chiro show" Exposing people to totally unnecessary X-rays should be criminal. Thank you!"
mt

"I think skepticat is plain mad at not having children of her own. Hatred projected out to the world. It's sad to see someone with so much self hatred, destroying themself internally without even realising it."
Bebo, chiropractor (Note: In fact I'm the proud mother of two brilliant children, whom I mention frequently. Glad of the excuse to do so again.)

"Hooray for Reason! Just want to thank you for writing this. Even though the arguments presented are tired, and played out, they still must be refuted."
Elijah

"I understand that you have been traumatised by your experience and that this is your way of coming to terms with the emotional scars."
Stefaan Vossen, chiropractor

"All you really seem interested in is banging your repetitive drum and preaching to the converted."
Rick, osteopath

"All the entries I’ve read are excellent. I’ll be coming back to read more. Love the cat logo as well."
Derrik

"Research in Homeopathy Conference - Skepticat's hilarious account. She went to it."
David Colquhoun

"Her site is Skepticat UK... she wouldn’t know a punchline if it raped her. Or maybe she’d thank it."
Scott Cappurro, comedian

"I rather love the lunacy of the anti-Homeopathists, such as yourself."
James Pannozzi, acupuncturist & would-be homeopath

"Good blog from a skeptic which examines the "science" of Homeopathy in a very detailed way. Skeptics will love this. Proponents of homeopathy? Not so much."
SidDithers

"I really shouldn’t waste my valuable time with someone who obviously has at the very least a borderline personality disorder."
Erika Alisuag, homeopathist

"I’m finding it difficult to come up with some suitable words to say how good and interesting your stuff is. So, in the absence of suitable hyperbole can I say what a very well written and presented blog you have here. Really well thought out and researched. And passionate about it too! Complimenti!"
pv

"You’re whole life is worthless because you lack reason."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"Great stuff Skepticat."
Lifelinking

"When you have learnt some big words and also studied your history books you’ll find that the world was once thought to be flat…by people just like you."
Sarah Hamilton, homeopath

"Thanks for keeping the banner of reason flying high."
John Willis Lloyd

"This is just a general comment. I love this well-written an unfussy little blog (I don’t mean little in a derogatory way, but in the sense it’s not bombastic, self-important and posturing). Excellent material and a worthwhile focus, keep up the good work."
xenophon19

"Her website is a temple to diatribe – I have no sympathy for the homeopaths, etc, with whom she battles, but she clearly gets off on confrontation."
JF Derry

"Skepticat is strictly logical and attacks in unparliamentary words what she deems to be “quackery” – or suggestions that she sounds a little strident."
Andy Reporter

"LOVE the badass attitude! Seriously...KEEP IT UP!"
HelpIzOnTWay

"You were a playful little diversion for a. moment, but I do have better things to do with my time than waste more than half an hour of it stooping down to play your ego supporting self delusional mind games……"
Susan Elizabeth, homeopathist

"An excellent read, thanks for taking thr time to compose it."
Alan C

"You need to do a course in anger management."
katenut, nutritionist

"FWIW I think you manage your anger rather well...mostly by focusing it into a thin, narrow beam of incisive rage which you then use to inscribe words on screen. ;)"
Despard

"Excellent description of the events."
Simon Perry

"You seem to be of probably well-meaning, but bigoted and fundamentalist disposition, just parroting slogans from others without any really knowledge or insight yourself."
Neil Menzies

"Superb, as usual"
phayes

"You seem only interested in ranting against an enemy which you are apparently still struggling to come to terms with “fifteen years” later."
Rick, osteopah

"Bravo, great post!"
RBO

"One day if you are not very careful you will be left behind in the dark ages. I’m sure this will not be printed..but hope it is read by you poor little scaredy cats."
Sarah Hamilton, homeopath

"Brilliant piece!"
crabsallover

"While you babble on like a total airhead about Myhill, you ignore the real doctors who are a danger in the UK".
struck-off doctor, Rita Pal, 'NHS whistle-blower'

"I sincerely hope I never get to your stage of wilful ignorance. You know absolutely diddly squat about the subject but you think your opinion is the only opinion."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"Keep up the spin, you manky old chicken's foot."
JB, chiropractor

"I am forced to conclude you are blogging on behalf of a specific entity that does wish to remain anonymous."
Antony J Palmer, homeopath

"The person writing all this negative press on homeopathy must be getting a big fat check from one of the pharmaceutical companies who would dearly love to push homeopathy off the map."
Erika Alisuag

"Such reporting lands you clearly in the realm of fundamentalist extremism–much noise, no substance, and money from those who have something to sell. It is so unfortunate that your listening skills are in need of repair."
Tanya Marquette, homeopath

"She seems to revel in presenting the many insults that she has attracted as a column of “Quackolades” on her site, as if war wounds on display,"
JF Derry, self-publicist

"Oh shut up SK. You write hot air and spew rubbish as usual."
Rita Pal again.

The magic powers of Adrian Pengelly

The BBC Watchdog programme’s treatment of self-acclaimed “healer, energy worker, teacher and psychic”, Adrian Pengelly, which aired last week, seems to have upset a few people. Pengelly has many satisfied customers who did not appreciate the humiliating exposure of someone they know to be a very nice man who has helped them.

According to a sycophantic piece in today’s Daily Mail, more than 200 of his clients lobbied the BBC in protest before the programme was aired. I’d add that every mention of the programme since has drawn fresh testimonials of his amazing power (see the comments beneath the Mail article for examples) and protests about the evil Watchdog team who cruelly tricked this kind and gentle man.

Kind he may be, but there are some pretty preposterous claims on Adrian Pengelly’s website.

Here are a few of them:

  • He has an electromagnetic field over his hands which, according to unnamed “physicists”, is “several thousand percent stronger than that normally registered on most individuals”.
  • His healing power is so strong that people, animals and even inanimate objects in the vicinity of Pengelly’s healing sessions are affected. Thus, other horses in the stable and the horse’s owner will start to feel physical sensations as Pengelly works on the patient. Some people’s long-term ailments are cured just by watching a healing session and “it is very common for clocks or watches in the vicinity of a healing session to stop working”.
  • Indeed, one doesn’t need to be in the vicinity to be healed. Pengelly can heal from a distance and he doesn’t even need to know the name or any other details of the person who needs healing. He will “typically spend around two hours a day directing his healing consciousness toward recipients and has so far achieved remarkable results, particularly with cancer patients.”
  • He has had “an enormously beneficial impact on many hundreds of cancer sufferers.”
  • He has become world famous.

Just how this power of his works to heal, he is unable to tell us but on this page he tentatively offers a couple of sciencey-sounding but ludicrous explanations. One of them is attributed to a Michael Holt, whom Pengelly describes as “a physicist and science writer.” No trace of any such person can be found on the web, unless Pengelly means the Michael Holt who, according to a wiki stub, is a former high school maths teacher and now writes puzzle books for children. As far as I can see, Holt is the only named individual. All the other doctors and scientists Pengelly marshalls in his support — and he claims to number such people, together with vets and engineers, amongst his customers thereby demonstrating that even intelligent professional people believe in him — are anonymous.

Pengelly knows better than vets

There are scores of testimonials — also anonymous — on his website from people claiming that Pengelly has healed all mannner of ailments in their animals and themselves. Yet the one test the Watchdog programme set up for him — to diagnose a horse’s incurable ailment — he failed miserably. To a layperson like me, the challenge seemed psychicly straightforward, so to speak. I mean they didn’t just say something vague like “the horse doesn’t seem itself, it seems a bit down in the mouth,” etc. No, in the scene we see being secretly filmed, they actually tell him the horse is lame in its front right leg. Uncannily sensing that the problem therefore lies in the horse’s front right leg, Pengelly makes a beeline for the thigh of that leg and starts groping his way down it. When he arrives at the knee he asserts that he has found the site of the problem. He feels a “lot of tension” and seems confident he can cure the problem. We don’t see him so much as glance at the hoof, which is the actual site of the damage according to an MRI scan and which the leading equine vet they wheel out says is very clear. There is nothing whatever wrong with the horse’s knee, or so we are told. But what do leading equine vets know about horses? Not as much as Pengelly, according to what he says just after he had failed to correctly diagnose the horse’s ailment:

Most vets don’t have the ability to look at the horse and understand how it works.

Classic! (The vet, for his part, dismissed Adrian’s diagnosis as “claptrap”.)

No doubt some will say that it is unfair to judge his alleged healing power on this one failure to correctly diagnose the cause of a horse’s lameness and I agree with them. I suppose there are limits to what a programme like Watchdog is prepared to do and the programme makers obviously weren’t going to bother giving him a few different diagnosis or healing challenges so he could either redeem himself or hang himself even higher.

Pengelly, ghostbuster extraordinaire

Instead, they took him to a “haunted” house so he could demonstrate his pyschic powers and get the ghost to leave. Apparently ghost-hunting is a hobby of his and he doesn’t charge a penny, which makes me wonder why Watchdog went to the trouble of setting the whole thing up, complete with special effects and an actress playing the home owner. Well, I suppose that, notwithstanding its stated mission of “tracking down Rogue Traders conning the unsuspecting public out of their hard-earned cash”, Watchdog has to be entertaining and, thanks to Pengelly, this bit of the programme is comedy gold.

At first, Pengelly is predictable: “The energy is not quite right,” he says flatly, soon after entering the house. But after hearing a bit of gravel dropping noisily down the chimney (courtesy of the Watchdog team who are hiding in the loft with a remote control device) and then seeing a cupboard door open of its own accord and the taps start spontaneously gushing water, he becomes more animated. “This is your chance to talk to me, he says earnestly while looking into space. “You’ve got to understand that you’re dead.”

Apparently, Pengelly is permanently escorted by a posse of spirits who work with him and, after a “quick chat” with these, he is asked by the home-owner how he can sort the problem out.

“We can do it the nice way or the nasty way and we don’t want to do it the nasty way do we?” he says, raising his voice meaningfully in a manner that suggests he believes the ghost is standing at the far end of the room and trying to eavesdrop.

Alas, just as it’s getting really funny and we’re wondering what on earth these nice and nasty ways could be, the scene is cut and we see Pengelly leaving having, according to the narrator, claimed to have rid the house of the ghost.

Pengelly, cancer healer

On to the final leg of the Watchdog sting when Pengelly is secretly filmed pummelling the shoulders of a Watchdog stooge (and real-life cancer survivor) and making the following claims:

  • His success rate for treating cancer is around 60-65%.
  • With some cancers, nine out of ten people get better and with Pengelly’s treatment they don’t need anything else.
  • His success rate is higher with people who don’t have chemo and radiotherapy and is lower with people who do…it makes him “less sensitive”.
  • If chemo was offered to a member of his family, he would tell them not to bother with it but to let him treat them because with chemo there is a possibility that his treatment won’t work.

Interestingly, the claims he made in a one-to-one session with a cancer patient aren’t quite the same as those made on the FAQ page of his website:

  • “Adrian does not claim to heal cancer. However, he has had an enormously beneficial impact on many hundreds of cancer sufferers.”
  • “Adrian is happy to work with people having conventional medical treatment….ultimately, medical treatment makes no difference to Adrian’s work.”

Spot the difference? Skimming the FAQ page I get the general impression that, apart from sounding batshit loopy, Pengelly seems fairly responsible. Until I get to the bottom, where he says:

If you need healing then come along and see for yourself. People really do throw their sticks away and walk.

There may well be people reading this who see nothing irrational or unethical about any of Pengelly’s claims. Those people will, no doubt, agree with Pengelly’s objections to the programme: that it wasn’t “balanced”, that it ignored the huge wealth of anecdotal evidence for his healing ability, that he is empowering people and that people should be free to choose their treatment.

For such people I would only repeat what the Watchdog investigator, Matt Allwright, was filmed saying to some twenty or so of Pengelly’s supporters who turned up to the filming of the interview with Pengelly: People with cancer are desperate and it’s crucial they are given accurate information and proof.

By the way, the one person present who was prepared to say that Pengelly had cured her of cancer turned out to have been treated with both chemotherapy and Herceptin. During this treatment a scan had already revealed that the tumour on her liver had shrunk. A further scan after Pengelly got his magical hands on her showed it to have disappeared altogether. Go figure.

This was by far the most important part of the operation against Pengelly and the one that, in my opinion, they should have focussed on exclusively, instead of faffing about with lame horses and haunted houses. Let people be free to pursue whatever floats their boat in treating their minor ailments and ridding their houses of imaginary occupants but what Pengelly did on that programme was promote an unproven cancer treatment and, given that the 1939 Cancer Act  proscribes the advertising and promotion of any treatment for cancer, that would seem to make this very kind and gentle man something of a criminal. (And for the benefit of  Pengelly’s reportedly very aggressive lawyers, I stress that this is just my personal interpretation of his behaviour, OK? I’m not suggesting that he has actually been charged or convicted of any crime.) I wish Watchdog had taken apart Pengelly’s various claims about cancer and explained why they are unlikely to be true. Because they didn’t actually do that and, for all we know, Pengelly may well have magical hands that can “channel energy through the body” and heal tumours.

I’d wager that, for everyone angered by Pengelly’s claims, there were will be many others sufficiently impressed by the publicity generated by the programme and the loyalty of his customers to think that, at £30 a session, it’s worth giving him a try. Indeed, this is exactly what Pengelly is now claiming on the front page of his website.

Nice one, Watchdog.

Related posts:

A couple of great posts at Quackometer:

PHA Media’s Cynical Spin of Psychic Cancer Claims

Adrian Pengelly, Psychic Healer, and English Libel Laws

34 Responses to The magic powers of Adrian Pengelly

  • I sense you’re not keen on him, “sidelines”. Sorry that I had to remove your comment but it was potentially libellous and I’m responsible for what appears on this site.

    Some of your allegations, however, are also being made by people commenting beneath this article in a Worcester newspaper.

    As far as I’m concerned, the most relevant comment is this one:

    I know this man, I have recieved some of his “healing” so have several others I know and not one person I know to claims he was any good in fact a total waste of money ! we were not talking cancer or terminal illness either ! run of the mill complaints. In my case he actually made it worse!

    ROFLMAO!

  • Hi there, I have seen the watchdog programme (which you have to admit was not professional and just ridiculed Adrian with gimicks, rather than actually giving a weight to both sides of the argument and coming to a balanced conclusion), I’ve read the Worcester News article, which was Adrian’s side of the story and also read a balanced view by an open-minded/skeptic lady from the Daily Mail.

    All I want to say is this. A close family member of mine is being treated by Adrian. When she went to him, she could be seen as desperate, but this was due to the no hope (go and see paleative care) approach from the NHS. Adrian made no promises, made no suggestions that she stop her traditional medications but what he did do was give her hope and positivity.

    He gave her suggestions for changing her lifestyle and diet which corresponded to a lot of book authors who live well off their royalties.

    I’m a skeptic myself – it can’t be proved to me unless I experience it first hand – and of course I constantly worry about my family. But, what I do believe in is the impact of positivity and hope upon someone’s life in general and their health / recovery (I’m sure many studies can back that up).

    Adrian does help, does he cure? (god I hope so) but if not, he has significantly improved lives through positivity, optimism and hope. These articles and views from people who, just want their two pence worth, are upsetting to his supporters.

  • “He gave her suggestions for changing her lifestyle and diet”

    Is he a trained dietician as well now then?

  • Totally agree with this article. I thought the Haunted House sketch belonged on “youve been framed” tv show rather than watchdog. I would have liked to have seen this section dedicated to claims he has made that have been proven in the public arena regarding his background. Watchdog did touch on one which was the fake knighthood and people can find Pengelly’s own excuse for having it if they search hard enough. Honesty surely has to be important in this story of “faith” type healing and “trust” me more than a vet or doctor. I wont mention the others for fear of censorship and further threats from Pengelly’s legal team 😉

    The piece about the vet and Pengelly openly suggesting Vets dont know the anatomy of a horse was interesting.

    But you mentioned the most important part. The Cancer Act. Here we see his website, interviews conducted on the web and indeed his own lips going against the law. The law is there to protect people. The unqualified pseudo medical practitioner is giving advice and thinks it should be taken as more important than a Vet and indeed an oncologist. It will be interesting to see what either Trading Standards and perhaps the police make of this law breaking activity. He does it for free sometimes? Well not that much judging by the £680,000 house they showed on watchdog.

    Am I surprised Mr P has supporters? No not in the least. Who really wants to admit they were duped and lost quite a bit of money in the process. I would be tempted to say if you were foolish enough to believe him without doing any research into the man’s background then so be it. But it seems Pengelly supporters are keen to muster up new trade for this reckless law breaker. Well done for a good article here and lets hope the desperate cancer sufferers read this prior or after reading the supporters comments.

  • All of this is down to a personal vendetta against Adrian .Pathetic.

  • Many thanks for the comments, guys.

    Bob, somebody has a personal vendetta against Adrian?

    Interesting!

    Care to tell us more?

  • I really dislike Watchdog, why ask someone who claims a great success rate with animals to diagnose the problem with a horse and then not allow him to treat it? I’m sure the animal had tissue damage to the foot but what if the cause was in the knee? Now i think this is unlikely but at least give he guy 6 weeks to make it better from his diagnosis before you write him off on national telly. I personally think he is a deluded individual but i resent his portrayal on Watchdog especially as it is prime time BBC and should not be witch hunting however tempting.

  • @magpie

    Why not allow Pengelly to treat a horse whose incurable ailment he had totally misdiagnosed?

    Well, because he’d totally misdiagnosed his incurable ailment, obviously.

    It said on the programme the horse had damage to the tendon in its foot. Pengelly didn’t even ask to see the horse walk. Who’d be stupid enough to pay somebody who is untrained, unqualified and had just misdiagnosed a problem to spend up to six weeks treating it? Not even Watchdog, I would hope!

    Calling someone who trades on the alleged power in his hands a ‘witch’ may be appropriate but how is exposing Pengelly any more of a ‘witch-hunt’ than any other rogue trader the programme goes after?

  • It’s a shame that Watchdog is such a tabloid programme, because charlatans among whom Pengelly may or may not be numbered can use the very format of the show as a repudiation of its objectivity. Though anyone who can’t see that the man was royally nailed needs their… er, bumps felt.

    Essentially, however, Watchdog and Pengelly are competing for the same credulous, undiscerning and under-informed punters. Would that there were a Witchfinder General programme.

  • Looking for more information about Pengelly? I’ve posted a summary of everything I’ve managed to discover about him here:

    http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=154658

    Pengelly is now being investigated by Hereford Trading Standards. I’ve also brought Rebecca Hardy’s “Dail Mail” article to the attention of the Press Complaints Commission.

  • Anon said:
    Hi there, I have seen the watchdog programme (which you have to admit was not professional and just ridiculed Adrian with gimicks, rather than actually giving a weight to both sides of the argument and coming to a balanced conclusion), I’ve read the Worcester News article, which was Adrian’s side of the story and also read a balanced view by an open-minded/skeptic lady from the Daily Mail.

    There are no two sides to this argument. In fact, there is no argument. There’s only one side: the watchdog show, which showed you camera evidence of Pengelly basically saying that veterinarians don’t know anything about horses. And camera evidence of Pengelly suggesting cancer patients shouldn’t do the reccomended chemo treatment.

    It’s right there. Undeniably. There is no argument, he really did say and do those things. There’s video-evidence.

    The only argument is Pengelly trying to weasel his way out of it.

  • Skepticat
    The point I was trying to make was that in the interests of balance and if you are testing a treatment/claim/theory surely you have to test both hypothesies or diagnosis how ever unlikely one may seem. What if the foot problem stemmed from knee distfunction and Mr P was somehow correct? I don’t think for a moment this is the case but to question someone’s methods on publicly funded prime time tv and not test his diagnosis/treatment properly is bad journalism and unscientific.
    Also if it was incurable then I would suggest there is little harm in giving the alternative treatment a go especially as then there would be more valid grounds for rejecting Mr P’s horse healing abilities…. or just write him off because he holds a different opinion to the vet.

  • At which point do we stop catering to the crazies then?
    Suppose Mr. Pengelly claims that he can make an amputated dog’s leg regenerate using his “magic hands”. Do we let him have a go, or do we stick with the opinion of the veterinarians, building on centuries worth of evidence that once a canine’s limb has been severed, it remains gone unless your dog happens to be part lizard, or perhaps a team of surgeons decide to try and reattach it just for the hell of it.

    Just because we as lay people don’t understand why a certain ailment is incurable, doesn’t mean it’s not.
    Just because Pengelly doesn’t know why he’s wrong doesn’t mean he’s not talking total utter BS.

  • exarch’s point is well made but I’ll make it again anyway:

    magpie, you have a curious idea of balance and why it’s important. It would be perfectly reasonable, “in the interests of balance”, for a TV programme about Pengelly to talk to people who claim to have been healed by Pengelly and to a talk to an equal number of people who were not healed by him and believe themselves to have been conned. Such interviews would not prove anything either way, however. Neither would filming two vets disagreeing over a diagnosis, though that too would be balanced.

    Giving Pengelly’s opinion equal weight to that of a leading equine vet is not balance for the following reasons:

    Firstly, unlike the vet, Pengelly has no training in veterinary science and his alleged healing powers have not even been clinically tested, let alone proven. Secondly, unlike any vet would do, Pengelly did not subject the horse – or even its leg – to a thorough examination backed up by cutting edge technology. Thirdly, unlike the vet, Pengelly’s “diagnosis” was not confirmed by an MRI scan. On the contrary, the MRI scan gave the lie to his suggestion that the problem lay in the horse’s knee. Finally, unlike Pengelly, the vet didn’t just give an opnion, he gave a clearly demonstrable cause of the horse’s lameness: a damaged tendon in the hoof. You seem to be missing the point that, if there had been anything wrong with the horse’s knee, this would have been known to the vet because the horse had already been examined by a someone with proven credentials using proven science.

    In effect you are arguing that, “in the interests of balance”, proven science should be given equal weight with unproven magic. That wouldn’t be scientific or good journalism. It would be idiotic.

    There would indeed be no harm in “giving the alternative treatment a go” but neither would there be any point, given that there was nothing whatever wrong with the horse’s damn knee.

  • Looks like the Government is about to waste up to £10 billion in new equipment to help speed up diagnosis of cancer.

    Shouldn’t they just ask Pengelly instead?

  • Exarch, normally I would say no don’t pander to the crazies but on this occasion I say yes give the magic hands a go, if watchdog want to disprove a claim they should be thorough in doing so, that’s all. If A.P thought he could regrow limbs and you want to expose him on national TV then at least show him trying and failing to re grow limbs, the same goes for the horse. Skepticat you seem passionate on this and I agree with you about knees and tendons and MRI’s but just say that AP had some higher vision/skill/talent surely we have to test that hypothesis fully, it has to be bad to dismiss it as witchcraft out of hand because it challanges accepted wisdom? I’m sure capurnicus had a hard time, and no I don’t think AP is correct, just allow him to substantiate his claims …if he can. All I’m saying is let the trial be fair however rediculous.
    BTW Zeno for 10billion I’ll have a go at speeding up cancer diagnosis.:)

  • Pengelly insists that he will “continue to work” in hospitals and hospices. I contacted two hospices within easy travelling distance of Pengelly’s Leominster home and they both told me that Pengelly has never worked there. I also find it impossible to believe that any hospital would allow him on the premises unless he was visiting a patient, but we are clearly meant to assume that Pengelly’s services are provided as part of hospital treatment. An employee of Herefordshire NHS told me that they do NOT use New Age therapists of Pengelly’s type.

  • Magpie55, there’s one important reason why it makes no sense to allow Mr. Pengelly a chance to redeem himself: The entire show WAS his chance.
    He blew it.
    Multiple times.
    And experts confirmed that he blew it.

    Unless we want to start ignoring the experts in favor of every single crazy person that comes along with a claim, I don’t think it’s bad to show the public that we value the expert opinion of an EXPERT more than the crazy wishful rantings of a WANNABE.

    Everyone has the right to formulate their opinion of what’s wrong with the aforementioned horse, but at the end of the day, reality is what dictates who’s right and who’s wrong. Unsurprisingly, the people who were right happened to be the experts. There’s no point at all in going through the motions to re-confirm what was already known at that point: that Pengelly was full of it and his suggested treatment wouldn’t do squat.

    Further more, I wouldn’t be surprised if a year or two from now, this very story gets spun, and soundbites from this show pop up claiming Pengelly correctly diagnosed there was a problem with the horse’s front right leg, and top equine veterinarians confirmed it. (Even though that is in fact what Pengelly was actually told before attempting his “psychic” diagnosis in the first place).

  • Herefordshire Council have instigated legal proceedings under the Cancer Act against Mr Pengelly. This is only in the public domain now since the charges have been officially laid in Hereford Magistrates Court. The first court date is 12th March 2010

  • Great news. I just hope it’s the truth. 😉

  • Energy healers do not claim to be doctors. If I wanted a doctor, there are plenty around. If a healer is sensing energy blocks, would a doctor have a clue what he is talking about? These are totally different approaches.
    I’ve been to a healer in Brazil where things are even more bizarre, but they work. I’ve been cured by distance and my husband has had invisible surgery that left short-lived scars and full movement of heretofore damaged limbs. These cures have stood the test of time, too.
    Chemotherapy, by the way, is devastating to the body, damaging good cells along with bad and weakening the immune system. It’s no surprise to me that healing the body naturally after chemo would be tougher than healing it before such destruction.
    So, some of you have different opinions. Fine, go to medical doctors. Leave the rest of us to make our own choices. Why do you care so much?
    There is so much medical malpractice destroying people’s health every day that no treatment is better. Even the best medical treatment is not successful for everyone, so let’s don’t expect any alternative treatment to be 100% effective.
    Find a new soapbox.

  • @Mrs. BeenThere

    You think it’s OK for con artists to line their own pockets by exploiting the vulnerability and desperation of people who are terminally ill?

    Shame on you.

  • What I think is that people without hope go to Adrian or other healers. The medical establishment has already failed them. If they can find some hope and peace and often, healing, who are you to deprive them of that? Who asked you to be a watchdog for their rights and privileges to find their own paths.

    I don’t think it’s ok for anyone to be a con artist, but there’s the rub. You think that all healers are con artists and I know better. I don’t expect to convince you as your mind is made up. I didn’t write for you. I wrote for people like Isabel, whose mind is not yet completely closed.

    I’m absolutely sure that some purported healers are con artists. I think many medical doctors are in the business for money, too, and are incompetent. You’ll find incompetent people in every occupation.

    If Adrian’s hands have no power in them to heal, where’s the harm in giving it a try? I don’t think anyone could say the same thing about all the side effects of medical interventions. You talk as though you think the people who go to healers are all feeble-minded and need a keeper to watch over them. I’ve waited in line for hours to see the healer in Brazil and met dozens of others waiting there, too. Not a one of them was feeble-minded and not a one of them wanted or needed your protection.

    If you want to protect the citizenry, why not lobby against alcohol and tobacco and trans fats? Why not try to educate people about the dangers of overeating? These things are all actually harmful.

  • Mrs. BeenThere said: “If they can find some hope and peace and often, healing…”

    What do you mean by ‘healing’?

    And ‘energy blocks’?

  • Did you actually read my blog, Mrs Hasn’tBeenThere?

    Adrian Pengelly was revealed on a TV programme to be a liar, a fraud and someone who promotes dangerous misinformation to cancer patients. I reviewed the TV programme on my humble blog. I’ve no idea why your positive experience of a healer on another continent leads you to defend someone who’s been exposed in this way. Nor can I imagine what labrynthine thought process leads you to conclude that my reviewing that TV programme on my blog amounts to ‘depriving’ anyone of anything or setting myself up as a ‘watchdog’.

    Of course people are free to do whatever they like just as I am free to challenge what they do. And if anything I write saves someone’s life or even just the heartache caused by false hope and the money that would otherwise be lining the pocket of some charlatan, then it’s very much worth it.

    This isn’t about people just “giving it a try”. This is about people giving it a try and being told lies that could cost them their lives. He was caught on camera, for crying out loud. How, in the name of human decency, can you defend that?

    Get this: I can’t stop anyone from visiting a healer but there is a law to stop people giving misinformation about cancer and it looks like Pengelly broke it. And not only on the programme – on 12 March he pleaded guilty to offences under the Cancer Act because of adverts he placed in a newspaper. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hereford/worcs/8565482.stm

    Now see what you’ve done? Not only have you bumped up an old thread ensuring the google spiders will bring my blog article to the attention of an even wider audience but you’ve given me the opportunity to publicise his conviction.

    Thanks for dropping by.

    And, by the way, rather than trying to shut me up, why don’t you go away and blog about what you feel strongly about and I’ll stay here and do the same? Deal?

  • Zeno, I’d like to get into that with you, but the virulence here is too much for me! So much anger and bitterness. I won’t be visiting again:^)

  • That’s a pity, Mrs, BeenThere. But then again, I see so many back away when a simple question gets asked about stuff like ‘energy’, knowing full well that they don’t have an answer that stands up to any scrutiny whatsoever.

  • If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out, Mrs Doesn’t Have a Clue.

    Door, butt, etc.

  • Apologies in advance for the long post. As you will see there is a reason. Ironically it was a Pengellyphile who pointed me towards these comments.

    I often find that when a Pengelly supporter cannot give evidence, they attempt to distract with anecdotal testomony alone and then throw an apparent tantrum. As for anger and bitterness, I find it incredible people expect you to be calm over a potential con-artist ripping off the vulnerable. Also, I direct people to his radio interview on BBC Oxford. I lost count how many things were “angry” or “aggressive” in his answers including his clients.

    I would like to also point out that I am not Mrs Truthteller. I have been accused of being the same on this forum, which Im sure Skepticat can verity either with an IP address check or email provided. http://www.skepocalypse.com/2010/04/no-douchebag-is-too-small-time.html

    Anyhow, Mr Pengelly is entitled to have his say considering the claims he makes and the claims that have been made about him (although most of the claims about him have had supported evidence). I have posted these questions elsewhere in the hope that he will answer.

    There is no hidden agenda other than that and I hope that Mr Pengelly does answer. I have never been personally hurt or had distress caused by Pengelly.

    People, particularly those who are vulnerable with cancer, are entitled to all information when they are feeling so desperate. It is not just about the claims this man is making, but also the type of man that is making the claims.

    1) How much do patient’s pay on average to contribute you being considered a high wage earner and living in a stately type home?
    2) Why are there not validated testimonials from people claiming to be cured, that have not been receiving medical treatment at the same time? Are you not possibly riding on the back of medical success rather than “healing” success? eg. Judy Collins.
    3) It has been proven that you have publicly lied about having a knighthood, gaining a degree at Birmingham University, Living in France, healing for 17 years and many other things regarding your background. Do you believe any of these lies alter any of your supporter’s opinion of you? Why did you choose to lie about these things in interviews that would be placed in the public domain? Did you hope that making up stories and lies about a knighthood, education and extensive length of time healing, would gain you more respect and trustworthy reputation?
    4) It has been said that you offered no assistance to Trading Standards. Do you regret this, as it could have prevented you gaining a criminal record as a result of a court hearing? It was also implied by your solicitor that you have “no previous convictions relating to this kind of issue”. Does this mean you have been in trouble over something else in the past as it appears a strange thing to say about someone who may have an unblemished record?
    5) Why do his testimonials appear to lack genuine validity? They are all signed with no more than 2 initials? Eg. AD, PL. Why are people not proud to be named specifically regarding your miracle cures? Would they not want to assist in any way they can to prove the claims you make?
    6) You have claimed that MP’s, hospitals, hospices and now we have religious leaders are in support of you. Why, again, have you not provided names? It has been proven that hospitals, hospices and MP’s in your local area are not supporting you. So who are these religious leaders?
    7) Why is there no record of testing of your claims and why do you appear reluctant for testing? Would you agree now to testing and give up healing if the results proved you are not capable of healing and there could be other explanations including the Placebo effect?
    8) It is obvious to assume that by pleading guilty to all 3 original charges was an admission of acceptance of the charges. To be fair on you, there was too much evidence to suggest otherwise. But you have been implying that you would fight the court in your newspaper articles, as you believed you were “right” and true justice was on your side. Why did you then not turn up in court and follow this through? Why were you not as defiant as you claimed and didn’t go down fighting as you implied?
    9) You have often made claims that you have 1000’s of supporters. You were even proven to exaggerate about the numbers of support you had at the village hall when you were interviewed by the BBC during the damming BBC Rogue Traders show. Do you feel that it is appropriate to suggest many of these supporters would have turned up to the court to support you? Do you feel let down that they didn’t?
    10) You claim to have a waiting list of 14,000 and it will take decades for you to see all these people. Is it not a false promise to indicate that everyone who needs to see you, will get seen as you do on your website? Even if you work 24 hours a day it will take you over 190 days without a break to see everyone. So does this mean that you have a longer waiting list than some within the NHS and therefore people would be better off seeing another healer or their doctor?
    11) You claim on your website that on the 21st September, as a result of the BBC Watchdog report on you, you received 800 telephone calls requesting healing. Do you accept that this is an exaggeration and regret having this on your website? If true each call would only last 7 seconds otherwise.
    12) Do you regret implying in your lecture in Spain, that was also placed on your website in Audio and as a Transcript, that someone’s cancer could return because they are “too mean with their money” and don’t keep seeing/paying you?
    13) You claim that your website was designed by patients in some of the press. Your story changed in court to be that, “it was designed by a friend”. It is widely known and can be proven that it was designed by your partner (Alison Derrick) and her name was on the bottom of the website claiming to be the designer (Bongo Design) until the day before your court appearance and it easily obtainable that you purchased the website and it is currently registered in your name at your home address. Is there a particular reason you wish to disassociate the designer/your partner from the fact she designed it and why you wish to give the impression that “people” rather than your girlfriend designed it?
    14) This question was provoked by one of your supporters on another forum and a reminder of further evidence. It has been proven that your partner has some distaste towards homosexuality and circulated information about this. Would you admit you are homophobic, or is it just your partner? I also appreciate that you are yourself in a relationship with a significant age gap (Again something posted by a supporter), yet you appear to make public occasional digs at people who are the same (Your words from the Spanish lecture). Why is this?
    15) You often claim and so do your supporters, that you do not understand how your “healing” works. Yet you have a page on your website dedicated to it? Can you understand that many could have confusion over this?
    16) You claim a few have a dislike for you that caused your recent conviction. It is public knowledge that over 150 people submitted their names asking for Trading Standards urging them to take swift action. Do you, now that you have you have admitted guilt to all charges, accept that without the law being broken, Trading Standards would not have had a case to bring against you and it is therefore irrelevant whether it was 3 or 3,000 people who had contacted them?
    17) Along the same theme as question 16, do you accept that unless there was a story that made you different to other healers, the BBC would not have been interested in you as you would have behaved as just “any other healer”?
    18) You often claim that professionals such as Doctors support you? They are never named with except the “Doctor Who” specialist and children’s author Michael Holt. Are any of these medical doctors? Who are they?
    19) 19) Professor Michael Cullen (Cancer specialist at Birmingham University Hospital) said this about you “I think he was directly advising against Chemotherapy unless it could be guaranteed to cure. I think is a cruel and damaging thing for patients to hear”. How do you respond to this in an honest way bearing in mind your words from recordings and screenshots taken from your your website will be considered?
    20) In almost all newspaper articles leading up to your trial you are quoted as saying “most healers can only dream about doing what you do”. Does that mean you see yourself above most healers? Do you accept other healers may see this is a rather egotistical remark to make?
    21) You say that being able to cure cancer, like yourself, is the “holy grail” all healers want to achieve. Do you accept this is rather an irresponsible comment to make?
    22) To understand you better, it has been noted that there is a legal charge on your property due to a refusal to contribute towards child maintenance payments. Land registry searches are available so anyone can determine this. Do you feel it’s acceptable to make a baby and then contribute financially to its welfare? Do you think that no-matter what your relationship could be with your ex-partner is irrelevant to your responsibilities? Especially when considering £30 per 15/20 minute session and the type of home you are living in?
    23) Considering the cancer act law “No person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement”; Is your partner concerned that a separate legal charge could be brought against her for designing the “cancer” advertisements?
    24) Do you acknowledge that your original literature/flyer you produced was in breach of laws and that you had to give a guarantee to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that this was no longer used and would never be used again?
    25) Is it true you and your partner, along with certain individuals belonging to your local paranormal group that you are associated with, were written to by a solicitor regarding claims of harassment of individuals? I believe the police were also involved in certain behaviour, which came from abusive photoshop images designed by your partner and circulated?
    26) Do you have any insurance that covers the healing process that you offer at your clinics? Do you have Public Liability insurance for people receiving treatment at the premises you practice from?
    27) You encourage people to bring their children for healing. Do you have CRB clearance?
    28) Do you belong to any “healing” type of association?
    29) You employed the assistance of a PR agency known as PHA Media who specialise in Crisis Management, as well as a lawyer, after your appearance on BBC Rogue Traders. Do you regret PHA Media sending out a press release about your “crisis” and admitting to setting up a pro-you article in the Daily Mail showing it was bias journalism?
    30) You claim that you have received “death threats” and threats of “violence” from 1 of at least 3 people (although on your recent radio interview you claimed it was only 2) who you feel as brought on your demise. Only because the police have no record of this complaint ever being made, do you have evidence of this?
    31) You claim that various symptoms occur when you begin healing. This is burning heat from your hands and electric shocks. These are both measurable on the most basic of equipment. Would you agree to testing these claims, if you are reluctant for more controlled types of testing, and allowing the results to be made public during some form of live broadcast?
    32) There is obvious confusion that you claimed that “nobody knew about the law”, which resulted in your convictions. This confusion exists not only because you did not take action when several websites pointed out this fact, as did the Watchdog show, but also because your own website you purchased had the wording “Rightly, there are laws in place in many countries that prevent people from making claims regarding the cure of cancer”. Considering these things and also the recordings of you claiming to cure cancer, do you think it is right to assume that people are going to believe your excuse that “nobody knew”?
    33) You claim you have been healing for 17 years, yet people involved in your life 17 years ago claim you were not. How would you answer this allegation?
    34) You have “recently” started to emphasise that nobody has to pay your fee for healing. You also suggest that the maximum that you will accept is £30 for each 20 minute session. In a newspaper article you suggested that half do not pay and in a recent radio broadcast you suggest that you are working 90 hours a week. Doing the simple obvious math you can see 3 people for 20 in 1 hour. So, 3 x 20 x 90. So if at £30 per time that would put your hourly earning at £90 per hour. But let us say you did tell the truth and 50% did not pay that would place you on £45 per hour. If as you claim you are working 90 hours per week that gives you as rough estimate as earning of £4050 per week. But let us say that you do have the occasional day off work, did exaggerate, don’t always do 90 hours, do sometimes charge £10 per session and placed you on the rough estimate of £2,500-3,000 per week. That gives you an annual salary of 130,000/£156,000. How much of that is paid to you in cash and how much is paid to you in the form of a cheque? Do you declare all of these earnings? Are you VAT registered?”
    35) This is an addition, one of your supporters claims on http://www.skepocalypse.com/2010/04/no-douchebag-is-too-small-time.html, that you have not owned an aston martin and had a garage full of classic cars. Is your supporter correct considering photographic evidence, emails and also a family member claiming you took her to her school prom in the Aston Martin?

    For critical claims against Pengelly that are only mentioned if they are supported with evidence, please visit. http://www.spanglefish.com/AdrianPengellyExposed

  • I went with a dear friend to see Adrian not very long ago, my friend suffers from chronic fatigue and has had a lifetime of pain and even a dark time when he wanted to kill himself. Im sure very few of us or none of us can even fathom how he felt. Anyhow after visiting Adrian he has felt a lot better and has managed to have full productive days which he has not experienced in years. He does not take any other medication, he has said doctors have failed to understand his condition. Now in terms of money he told my friend that it costs £50 a session but if he cannot afford it then he must give him him what he can… even a £5, but he did not want him not to receive the healing because he did not have enough money! Now some of us understand that an exchange must happen when working in this way.
    When he spoke to us during the healing all his messages were positive, he never preached or forced us to believe, all he did was provide us with information of experiences he had personally felt. I am a great skeptic and i went in with my friend with all my guards up and looking for something i can say he is not genuine, alas i did not see anything. This is not to say it doesn’t exist.
    All i can say i have first had experienced the company of this man and seen him work on a dear friend and seen my dear friends life improve dramatically! I cant but help feel that the negative or skeptic comments come from people who really have not experienced or met him. Maybe some have. None the less i honor you for challenging everyone and making sure that people do not follow blindly. Thank you

  • £50? How does your friend feel about the fact that Pengelly has been claiming for approximately a year that it’s £30 per session, or free? Does he feel duped over the cost? Also, your point about “Now some of us understand that an exchange must happen when working in this way” is flawed, “IF” Pengelly does not always charge, as he recently claims. Your argument over balance becomes non-applicable if it is free, is it not? Or is it one of those things you can choose as a rule, when it accommodates personal needs better? Maybe you can explain the principality of this better to us, as it at present appears to be a rule that can be dismissed “as and when” it suits? But of course my own flaw could be Im taking Pengelly at his word here.

    Whether, or not, people have met Pengelly is irrelevant and I will explain why.

    Firstly, Pengelly has provided the majority of the source of criticism and illegal behaviour directly himself. Most have not made critical claims about him on assumptions alone and he has been provided the opportunity to respond. Those 30+ questions above have been placed on various websites and still await his replies should he choose to do so.

    Many of us have heard him claiming that his downfall is due to several people reporting him. This echoes the baddie on Scooby Doo saying he “would have got away with it if it wasnt for those pesky kids”, or the robber having a tantrum because someone called the police. If he didn’t place the claims in public and hadnt broken the law, he would be just another healer out there.

    Nobody put the words into his mouth, or influenced his fingers. So people can assess and make a decision based on evidence that had ‘only himself’ as a starting place. Whether you meet someone or not, if it has been proven they can lie, act illegally and be dishonest about several things, surely means its possible that they can behave this way about other things too? This man has been proven to exaggerate and contradict his own claims. He has lied about having an education and knighthood, that I can only imagine he hoped would have gained him more respect, or unjustified authority. This has to be considered when he is offering something that only has anecdotal words to support him. Otherwise it is simply a case of trusting the words of someone who has been untrustworthy. I accept “faith” is often required in something unproven. But faith requires trust. The question is; can you take someone’s word alone when they are claiming something not proven and also have been proven to lie about other things to make themselves be considered as special?

    Even his supporters have been caught out making false identities on website discussions similar to this one. And, some of his supporters have come forward making claims that don’t actually match what Pengelly claims himself. Surely with so much proof associated with dishonesty, his character and the discrepancies that exist, this is going to provoke people to question. Particularly when the vulnerable are Pengelly’s target audience.

    What would be achieved if I attended one of his healing sessions as an observer? Would any substantiated evidence of his healing claims be shown? I doubt it. Would I see the electricity shooting from his fingertips as he claims? Would there be a substantiated medical report provided that showed Pengelly was offering more than just a placebo effect? Judging by what his supporters have written and what he claims, the answer to all is “no”. There is a possibility I may think he presented himself as a “nice,caring man”. Cant imagine he would ever want to be seen as a horrible person to his paying customers, would he? But my personal opinion of him doesn’t alter the evidence that exists about his illegal, unqualified and dishonest practice. Often when a crime happens, you see newspaper reporters interviewing friends/family/neighbours about the person who did the deed. Quite often there are people shown who appear shocked, because “he came over as such a nice and caring kind of man”. I have even heard it said about people who go on killing sprees. So the fact that people are saying “if you met him you would see what a nice man he is” doesn’t surprise me.

    So do people need to meet the man personally to make an informed decision? Well, do people need to meet Mira Hindley before deciding if she would be suitable to look after their children? I would hope the evidence that existed would be enough to make a sensible informed decision.

    The one thing that Pengelly’s supporters appear to forget, is that even the hardest skeptic would love to believe that a person can do what he claims. Things like cancer and other conditions are a terrible thing. Of course the world would be a better place if people could cure Cancer. Who wouldn’t want that? But there is no concrete evidence that Pengelly can and you have to consider his behaviour that HE alone has often placed in the public domain.

    All we have is anonymous anecdotal testimony that for all we know Pengelly (who has proven dishonesty) could have written much himself. Your own testimony about your friend, with the greatest of respect, is also anecdotal.

    But I will say it is nice to see one of his few supporters acknowledging that people should not “follow blindly”, which is why people should find out as much as possible and make an informed decision before parting with their money and acting in a trusting manner.

  • Despite being old news Pengelly still appears to be trying to earn a living with his particular target areas being out of the UK these days. However, should anyone have doubted the honesty and integrity that has often been portrayed in a poor light, Mr Pengelly who placed himself as bankrupt in May 2010 has now had the order extended by 8 years due to a fraudulent act or as the insolvency service puts it….”unfit conduct”

    “That he, having been adjudged bankrupt on 12 May 2010, failed to disclose an asset estimated to be worth at least £15,000 at a Public Examination on 28 July 2010, in form PIQB signed on 12 August 2010 or at interviews with the trustee in bankruptcy and the Official Receiver, both held on 26 August 2010, and subsequently sold the asset for £7,000 on 29 August 2010. He failed to deliver up any of the sale proceeds and disposed of them to the detriment of the general body of his bankrupcy creditors who are owed £177,792.”

    Still any doubters about the level of the mans honesty and integrity despite another fact questioning it?

    Posting again in the hope that someone may be protected in the future whether they are from the UK, USA or Spain which are target areas for him.

    Link for this evidence can be found http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/databases/ddirector/viewbrobrudetailsmore.asp?courtnumber=3271872010

    • This is a message for Robert, whose comment here got held for moderating, and for anyone else thinking of posting a testimonial to help market Pengelly’s business.

      Robert’s post suggests Pengelly cured his prostate cancer, which makes me wonder why Robert is using a fake email address and isn’t giving his full name. Why are you hiding, Robert?

      If you want to post anonymous, irresponsible anecdotes about cancer treatment get yourself a blog and do it from there. Any more testimonials from anyone about Pengelly will be binned. Try and get your heads around the fact that these anecdotes are worthless and don’t change a thing.

  • I read about Adrian Pengelly in the mail. I had just been diagnosed with gleeson 10 prostate cancer, this is the most aggresive cancer known to man—they call you “the walking dead” in the states.
    For me, (I am a sceptic), the experience was extraordinary.
    He made no promises, he gave me positive expectation when I needed it. This started two and a half years ago. I will never forget it. I am currently clear of cancer, and feeling well. Getting through this was a living nightmare—–Adrian made it bearable—and I am still here. Don’t ask me what made me go to see him because I don’t know—but I am very glad I did.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Gravityscan Badge

Categories
Archives