How do you say “Quack” in Russian?

I don’t mean the duck noise, I mean in terms of alternative healing woo gurus. Russia’s government gave a guy named Mikhail Fadkin license to practice “bio-energy field” healing and just what the hell is that supposed to be?

“Every day I learn something new,” the smiling Muscovite says, gesturing to what he says is an invisible aura surrounding him—”because all the information I need is out there, in the vast energy field surrounding us.”

So far, 130 healers, including Fadkin, have passed the service’s voluntary testing program, which promoters in the government say can determine whether someone has the inherent ability to cure. The program is limited to Moscow, but a Russian lawmaker is pushing to extend it nationwide and make it mandatory.

Skeptics scoff at the notion that such testing is meaningful and criticize the government for lending credibility to people who claim paranormal powers.

“I think that this entire system is a result of ignorance and corruption,” says Eduard Kruglyakov, a laser physicist, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “Science has certain rules that must be followed, and this system of certification hasn’t passed any serious scientific tests.”

He deplores the whole notion of legitimizing folk healing through licensing.

“This kind of healing has nothing to do with science or medicine,” he said.

Didn’t the American government test for psychic mind reading and ESP or something? Or maybe that was the plot of a rather ridiculous book I once read. No, it looks like both America and Russia once hoped to harness the power of the mind. I wouldn’t want to rule ESP out completely but more research into the workings of the brain and mind would have to be done to prove if it’s possible or not.

As to auras:

Even though equipment exists capable of measuring extremely minute energy levels, no one has ever detected an aura or the alleged energy that gives rise to an aura using scientific equipment. Human tissue is about a million times less sensitive than something like a PET scanner, yet we are supposed to believe that some special people can “see” what cannot otherwise be detected. Or, we are supposed to believe that we all have the power to see auras but somehow we have repressed or never trained our psychic selves to unleash the power within.

The guy has found a legal way to scam people out of their hard earned rubles.

Lyudmila Stebenkova, a deputy in the Moscow city legislature, said the answer is to weed out the false healers from the true ones. She wants to expand Moscow’s testing and licensing system to the rest of the country and make it mandatory, creating a licensing system similar to the one for physicians.

“The measures we’re proposing will protect Russia’s population from fraudsters,” Stebenkova said.

Yeah, right. All it’ll do is weed out the dumb fraudsters and let the clever ones continue to take advantage of the gullible who want to believe.

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