Saturday, 13 October 2007

Hacked mind

Mind Hacks made mention of a strange treatment for mental illness, found on a website "so weird that I'm not entirely sure it isn't a hoax", and involved boxing the ears of the patient with the flat of both hands simultaneously so s/he lost consciousness briefly. When recovery occurs, the patient is cured.

Not entirely sure it isn't a hoax? Let me dispel your doubts. Here's the website, run by Labour Party supporter Andy Kadir-Buxton. It isn't a hoax. It's the work of a nutter. Consider some of the other "revolutionary" treatments Andy has discovered:

  • Unblock a woman's Fallopian tubes by hand. You might, he points out, find that her cervix has become a little distended afterwards. I should think you might. Andy writes: "When we entered the womb via the cervix, which had to be done very slowly we found that the womb needs lubricating to avoid immense pain." Especially, I imagine, if you're going in there together.
  • Raise the dead by stamping on their chest with your shod or bare foot. This is apparently the method of choice on "Royal grounds". Andy has personal experience: "I have personally resuscitated someone after twenty six minutes, which is far longer than conventional methods. Yes, this method does have its limits, and an attempt to use it on someone who had been dead for three and a half hours was a failure". He got the idea from hearing that one third of all coffins containing dead soldiers coming back from Vietnam showed signs that the deceased had tried to escape. "From this I hypothesised that what had woken up the dead brains was the still live nervous system, which, not being as complex as the brain was harder to be damaged by death," he writes.
  • Restore upfuxted immune systems by feeding the patient colostrum, which is the first mammary secretions produced by mammals just before and just after giving birth. It's very good for babies, as you might expect, and some people believe the bovine form is also beneficial for sick and old people. This therefore belongs on the fringes of woo-woo medicine, not quite in the territory of full-blown nuttiness (the border area is heavily wooded and badly signposted). However Andy redeems himself by commenting: "My method was successful, the most famous person who was treated for it was the Queen Mother, then in her seventies, who went on to live for another twenty years or so." So, nothing to do with the Gordon's, then.
  • Use the warmth of the Earth's molten core to generate electricity. Here's how: "A Buxton Geothermal Turbine Generator is a lined and capped well, filled with water, which is ten kilometres deep. Because the ground heats up at a constant rate the deeper one digs, the cap of the well is at three times boiling point, the precise temperature at which power stations generate electricity with their turbine generators." And hang the cost: "Figures available on the internet say that a bore hole of 5.54 kilometres costs £4.7 million, which equates to £8.5 million for a ten kilometre bore hole." Those "figures available on the Internet" seem not to take account of the fact that it might be more than twice as hard to dig to ten km as it was to dig to five. So much for Internet sources. But it's not only heat Andy generates: "I once muted the possibility that sufficiently large Buxton Geothermal Power Stations could power gigantic freezer units at both Poles so that the melting of the ice caps could be reversed and then maintained."
Plenty more at Andy's site including a list of Andy's inventions, which include bottle banks, the Labour Party's red rose logo, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty 1 and 2, Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties 1, 2, and 3, and the plebiscite in Ireland on the future of Northern Ireland.

Clearly, this year's Nobel Peace Prize committee got the wrong guy.