Thursday, 5 August 2010

*Akaija (part 2) - the "healing" necklace


Wim, Wim, Wim, Wim. Where did it all go wrong?

UPDATE, 24 Aug: You win this time, Wim! The ASA say the "claims about healing are vague and made in the context of spiritual matters and that the ads make no reference to physical or mental ailments or healing", therefore they think the claim is not misleading.

(Image credit - scan of the K.S. advert)

One of my earlier complaints concerned the rather attractive necklace pictured above.

After some discussion, its creator, Wim Roskam, decided not to repeat his advert. For a while afterwards, the Akaija was marketed fairly.

Alas, Wim is now claiming the Akaija has "healing" properties. I'm almost certain that the claim can't be substantiated - I had suggested an experimental method to find out, but he told me he wasn't keen on the idea - so let's see what the ASA have to say about it. (The adverts can be seen here and here.)

"I write to complain about two adverts promoting the "Akaija", a piece of jewellery worn as a necklace.

The first advert appeared in "Kindred Spirit" magazine, Summer 2010 issue, p20. The second appeared in Nexus magazine, August-September 2010 issue, p68.

The adverts are not identical, but the objectionable claim is, so I have combined them into a single complaint.

I suspect that the adverts may be in breach of two sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code.

I enclose scans of both adverts. I can provide original copies of the adverts by post, if required.

1. In February this year, I submitted a complaint about an earlier advert for the same product. In May, you wrote to tell me the advertiser had agreed not to repeat the advert.

2. The adverts which are the subject of this complaint contain a new medical claim which I suspect cannot be substantiated.

3. The first advert states "Unique healing jewellery made in co-creation with the Spirit World".

4. Under Sections 3.1 and 50.1 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertiser can substantiate his claim that the Akaija has "unique healing" properties.

5. The second advert states "It's a healing jewel..."

6. Under Sections 3.1 and 50.1, I challenge whether the advertiser can substantiate his claim that the Akaija is a "healing jewel".

7. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser."


  1. Ron Ron Ron,

    I should correct you. On the contrary, I'm very keen on the idea of having the Akaija scientifically tested on its healing capabilities. But not your method of testing, namely wrapping 10 objects, one of which is the Akaija, and if a blind folded person is capable to select the package containing the Akaija, then that proves that the Akaija has certain powers.
    That only examines the powers of the persons involved.

    No one except psychics will be able to select a package with any object, for example a mobile phone, that also has certain powers.

    I also remind you of this:
    When you attack people... do so with an open face. Contact them yourself first, instead of using the ASA to do the work for you. I wonder what it is why they still listen to you.

    1. The Akaija has now been scientifically examined and approved by the International Organisation for Electrosmog Research. The researcher even remarked en-passant that he had to repeat tests as he couldn't believe some of the results.

  2. Hi Wim,

    I hope you're keeping well.

    Where were the results of the research been published?


  3. Hi Wim,

    Thanks for responding. What you need to do now, is to get your results published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. A certificate from the
    "International Association for Electrosmog Research" won't be enough to convince scientists that the Akaija can protect people from harmful electromagnetic radiation.

    If anyone is interested in my opinion, here it is: a short version, and a long version.

    Short version:

    I think the research is worthless. Each Akaija device was tested on just six people in uncontrolled conditions. There was no effort to control for external variables. There was no control group. The study was not double-blinded or even single-blinded. The methodology is full of flaws. The study's conclusions are based on unsupportable assumptions and are, in any case, not supported by the data gathered.

  4. Long version:

    I am using the report available at (in German - translations appearing below are mine.)

    1. The report says:

    "Aufgabenstellung der folgenden Untersuchung war es deshalb, zu prüfen, ob bzw. in welchem Maße Akaijas in den verschiedenen Ausführungen zum Schutz vor der schädigenden Wirkung von hochfrequenter Strahlung und niederfrequentem Elektrosmog geeignet sind."

    [The task of the following study was therefore to examine whether and to what extent the various models of the Akaijas are suitable to offer protection against the damaging effects of high-frequency radiation and low-frequency electrosmog]

    2. Nearly every physicist in the world believes that "electrosmog" does not exist. There is an overwhelming concensus.

    3. Before publishing research on preventing the harmful effects of "electrosmog", it is necessary to first establish that "electrosmog" exists. Until then, research in how to prevent the supposed harmful effects of "electrosmog" has no credibility.

    4. There is a potential conflict of interest when the "International Association for Electrosmog Research" conducts its own research on "electrosmog". Scientists will fear publication bias and demand independent confirmation.

    5. The study describes how the heart responds to "electrosmog":

    "Schwächende oder schädigende Einwirkungen, wie z.B. von Mobilfunkstrahlung und Elektrosmog, werden vom Nervensystem gewöhnlich als vitale Bedrohung erkannt. Bei Dauerbelastung des Organismus durch Störfelder können sich diese Stressparameter nicht normalisieren und führen somit zu einer Reduzierung der Herzfrequenz-Variabilität; d.h. die Anpassungsfähigkeit des Organismus an sich verändernde Parameter des
    Umfeldes wird geringer."

    [Debilitating or harmful effects, such as that from mobile phone radiation and electromagnetic pollution, are generally identified by the nervous system as a vital threat. During continuous exposure to interfering feilds the organism cannot normalise these stress parameters, thus leading to a reduction in heart rate variability; i.e. the adaptability of the organism to changes in the environment reduces.]

    The study measures a subject's heart rate. This does not tell us anything about "electrosmog" because we don't know how the heart interacts with "electrosmog" (if at all).

    6. The study was conducted on eighteen people. This number is far too small.

    7. The age of the subjects varies between 10 and 84 years. This is major design flaw. All the subjects should have been approximately the same age.

    8. The subjects' heart rates were recorded in their own homes. This is a major design flaw; the subjects should have been recorded under controlled laboratory conditions.

    9. The subjects wore the Akaija for several days in their own homes, but we do not know how much electromagnetic radiation they are exposed to. One subject may have been exposed to a lot; another exposed to almost none. This is a major design flaw.

    10. Three types of Akaija were tested; six subjects used each type of Akaija. This is a major design flaw, because your sample size is now six people.

    11. The study was not double-blinded. It was not even single-blinded. All subjects wore a real Akaija, so we have no idea whether the changes in heart rates are a placebo effect, or not. This design flaw alone makes the study worthless.

  5. Your second point about scientists denying the existence of electrosmog makes me wondering... are the countless people suffering from EMF worldwide making things up, or is 'nearly every physicist' in the world denying their existence?
    Well whatever... this will be a debate as long as money rules the scientific world.

  6. Hi Wim,

    There are many people in the world who believe that they are suffering from the ill-effects of electrosmog.

    What we need is a test which can tell us whether they are suffering or whether they are hallucinating.

    The test exists - you can put a sufferer in a shielded room and randomly expose them to periods of EM radiation.

    When this test has been conducted, none of the sufferers can correctly say when they are exposed to EM radiation, and when they are not.

    That's why nearly every scientist in the world discounts electrosmog. To convince them to change their mind, all you have to do is to find a sufferer who can pass the test.

    1. Hi Ron,
      Thank you for your serious answers. It's obvious that there's a lot of controversy between scientists (on whatever side of the line they stand) and the many people suffering from what possibly is related to electromagnetic fields.
      I'm sure we will won't come to a final conclusion here and now. Fact is that EMFs are rapidly increasing in number and strength and that there's is a growing problem regarding the many people worldwide who say to suffer from this, while many others are studying it and trying to find cures and remedies for whatever it is they are suffering from. I'm one of those.

      I just want to say: thank you, we might meet again ;-)


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