Sunday, 8 May 2011

Andy Porter and his cure for schizophrenia


The chap below is Andy Porter. Contrary to first appearances, he's not a Judo champion demonstrating his death-throttle on that poor woman, but a psychic surgeon, and one of the last of a dying breed.


Porter along with his chums Nina Knowland and Gary Mannion are the only psychic surgeons still openly soliciting customers. The others are all in hiding, supposedly not because of the threat of a prison sentence, but because of the things those nasty sceptics are saying.

"Yes the reason most Psychic Surgeons in the UK don't make themselves very well known is that you will be the target of ridicule and in some cases quite vicious behaviour from those that are skeptical [sic]." (Forum post by Andy Porter)

Porter's claims for his psychic surgery lack the dramatic flair of his colleagues, but many of them - including claims of a cure for schizophrenia - must be challenged. ASA complaint follows!

"The website makes a number of health claims which I suspect are misleading.

1. ( http://www.andy-porter.co.uk/ )

"The spirit surgeon detects those parts of the body in which disease is developing,"

I challenge whether the advertiser can substantiate his claim to be able to "detect those parts of the body in which disease is developing".

2.

"and performs spiritual surgery in a different dimension removing disease in the same way an orthodox surgeon would with his scalpel."

I challenge whether this comparison is misleading, and whether the advertiser can substantiate his claim to "[remove] disease] with psychic surgery.

3.

"Perhaps in the future science will provide the answers we are looking for, but for now we cannot validate the healing procedure in a conventional way."

I challenge whether this claim is misleading, because published medical research has already investigated the claims of faith healing (eg Rosa et al 1998, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9533499), and "conventional" testing protocols most certainly do exist.

4.

"What conditions can Psychic Surgery treat?

Psychic surgery is able to treat all conditions"

I challenge whether this claim is misleading, and can be substantiated.

5. ( http://www.andy-porter.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=34:ps&id=61:psychic-surgery-page-2 )

"What if I feel pain

The benefit from psychic surgery is that there is no real pain, if there is the patient only need to let me know and I will communicate this to the spiritual surgeons who will immediately administer pain relief."

I challenge whether the claim that pain relief can be delivered "immediately" by "spiritual surgeons" is misleading.

6.

"What can go wrong? Nothing... at worst the psychic surgery will not be successful, please bear in mind as with all alternative therapies there are no guarantees."

I challenge whether the phrase "at worst the psychic surgery will not be successful" is likely to mislead consumers into imagining that psychic surgery has been shown to be successful, at least some of the time.

7.

"For those who are suffering, have tried the western medical offerings in the form of drugs many of which are toxic to the human body, and require help, what is there to lose?"

I challenge whether the phrase "have tried the western medical offerings in the form of drugs many of which are toxic to the human body" is misleading and whether it is likely to discourage essential treatment.

8.

"What conditions can be treated?

The work is performed by spirit surgeons working through my hands, and they are happy to treat all conditions and diseases."

I challenge whether the claim to "treat all conditions and diseases" can be substantiated.

9.

"How many treatments will I need?

Good question, this I cannot answer, some patients will need more than one visit depending upon the severity of the condition being treated, normally one visit resolves most problems."

I challenge whether the advertiser can substantiate the claim that psychic surgery can treat "severe" medical conditions.

10.

"Cancer Act (1939)

As a member of UUPS (Unity of UK psychic surgeons)... the only advice we can give regarding cancer is to read our testimonials and make an informed choice regarding psychic surgery."

I challenge whether the advertiser is a member of the Unity of UK Psychic Surgeons, which I understand no longer exists. I also challenge whether the description of anecdotal evidence as being sufficient for a consumer to make an "informed choice" is misleading.

11. ( http://www.andy-porter.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44&Itemid=70 )

"I felt a general sense of well being after the treatment which lasted for a few days, the problem I had gone with seems to have been rectified which I had confirmed and checked at hospital."

I challenge whether testimonial claim for a cure of an unnamed medical condition can be substantiated with documentary evidence.

12.

"Hi Andy,
Thanks for everything yesterday, I would like to know if we should continue giving MXXXXX his anti psychotic medicine, I checked with him this morning re the voices, he does not hear them any more.
Regards P"

I challenge whether this testimonial claim is irresponsible and is likely to discourage essential treatment.

I've made some screenshots of the relevant pages, which are available at:
http://leicester.skepticsinthepub.org/FishBarrel/ci.aspx?id=qUs0OVlvVY
http://leicester.skepticsinthepub.org/FishBarrel/ci.aspx?id=Ps9FM5jdW5
http://leicester.skepticsinthepub.org/FishBarrel/ci.aspx?id=WxKQWS391m
http://leicester.skepticsinthepub.org/FishBarrel/ci.aspx?id=whtQmO5j6f

I can confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser or with the alternative medicine industry in general."

No comments:

Post a comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.