Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A New Homeopathic Remedy?

Sometimes it seems like fake magicians - that is, con artists who claim magical powers for profit - are everywhere. This story comes from Germany, where a self-proclaimed "witch doctor" offered to restore a blind man's sight for a fee and now finds himself facing a criminal trial.

Jobless hairdresser Patrick Baecker, 35, posed as a mystic healer and told Axel Pfeffer he would make him see for £20,000.

The court in Fehmarn, Germany, heard how the former motorcyclist had tried everything to restore his sight after losing it in a crash.

Baecker's magical remedy of choice? Pickles laced with LSD! No word yet on whether or not gherkins constitute an effective drug delivery system.

But instead Baecker fed him pickles laced with powerful mind-bending hallucinogenic drugs to induce visions.

The court was not impressed with Baecker's defense.

‘You are a hairdresser, not a shaman,’ Judge Markus Faerber told Baecker in court.

In all fairness, there's no reason that a hairdresser couldn't also be a shaman, but I think it's safe to say that this guy is anything but the genuine article. He sounds like somebody who read an account of South American practitioners using ayahuasca and thought "hey, shamans use hallucinogens - I can do that too!" and then decided that he might as well start charging exhorbitant amounts for his magic pickles.

Let's hope this story gets enough exposure that nobody else decides to try out this ridiculous scam.

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4 comments:

Rufus Opus said...

It might be justifiable, if he didn't promise to restore the man's sight. If he just said it, "If you eat of this gherkin, you will receive visions," it's technically true. I don't know if you need to be able to see to have visual hallucinations though.

The "You're a hairdresser, not a shaman!" comment makes me nervous. I'm a technical writer, but I am also a magician.

The Scribbler said...

Actually, in making the remark that the hairdresser is not a shaman, the German judge is just being German. The hairdresser has the training and the certification to be a hairdresser, and that's what he should be and remain, as far as the German mentality would have it. If they thought there was a genuine need for shamans, they would create a curriculum and an official certification system, and whoa unto the poor fool who tries to practice shamanism without a licence!

By the way, RO, you got a licence to be a technical writer? "May I zee yor papers, meester Opus?"

Ananael Qaa said...

The "You're a hairdresser, not a shaman!" comment makes me nervous.

Yeah, that's why I added the comment that there really is no reason that a hairdresser couldn't also be a shaman, seeing as I'm both an IT consultant and a magician myself.

If they thought there was a genuine need for shamans, they would create a curriculum and an official certification system, and whoa unto the poor fool who tries to practice shamanism without a licence!

That's probably true. Germans can be efficient to a fault (and I might add that my ancestry is almost half German, so I know this from personal experience).

Rufus Opus said...

Scrib, nah, the STC (Society of Technical Communication) hasn't been able to agree on a standardized certification program for licensing Technical Writers here in the states yet. they are itching for it though, they keep seeing how much cash PMI made off the Project Management Professional Certification program.

To regulate the certification of magicians has been a lifelong dream of mine. The establishment of objective standards, training programs, and licensing examinations would raise the bar of magic, establishing it as a true process of certifiable authenticity.

Some may say I'm just trying to make a profit off the occult, but they'd be obfuscating the orientation of our occult organization with the obvious.