It’s easy to be overcome by the uncritical reporting of alleged paranormal phenomena in media. Big business, politics, and celebrities are carefully scrutinized without any stone being left unturned. But when it comes to claims of supernatural powers or abilities, critical thinking is out of the office. Such claims are in general left unchallenged and “left for the reader or viewer to decide.” But not always. One refreshing Swedish exception was unfolded in the morning paper Eskilstuna-Kuriren in November 2006.
On the 25th, journalist Peter Larsson reported on his visit to a “quantum medicine” practitioner, Veronica Niva, 31, who uses a “frequency machine” to diagnose and cure both physical and psychological conditions, diseases, and “unbalances” in humans as well as in animals. When seated in the reclining chair at the “quantum clinic” (in reality the basement of Niva’s villa), Niva attaches Velcro ribbons to Larsson’s wrists, ankles and head, ribbons with cords running through a little box and then into a laptop computer. The software has taken researchers 30 years to develop, according to Niva. Of only three “frequency machines” on the market, Niva is proud to have the only one capable of treating everything.
According to this amazing machine, reporter Larsson suffers from a beginning bronchi infection, a problem with his feet on a “cellular level”, an overloaded liver, some fungus, a beginning inflammation of the small intestine, an unbalance in the production of thyroxin and oxytocin hormones, a slightly incapacitated immune system, and he is oversensitive to pollen and newspaper sheets. A pain in the back of his neck is also on a “cellular level”, which is why Larsson cannot feel the pain. In addition, Niva states that Larsson is sensitive to gluten of all grains, which is why she recommends him to avoid all kinds of bread. But lucky for Larsson, as a “quantum medicine” practitioner, Niva treats gluten.
The machine allegedly measures the “frequencies” of all organs and cells. Frequencies that lead to bad health when not in balance, according to Niva. The revolutionary software is in essence recorded “healthy frequencies” that replaces the bad ones when you are hooked up to the system and treated. The technique works as good with animals as it does with humans. Subsequently, Niva treats pets and horses as well. The machine sees everything but there are laws prohibiting Niva from treating cancer. But she claims that it is an amazing treatment for cancer and lots of “quantum” practitioners do treat cancer.
The check-up took about two hours and set Larsson back $110. He didn’t tell Niva he is a reporter; when asked he told her he is in construction but temporarily unemployed. And he didn’t tell her he recorded the entire session or that he would consult a MD for a second opinion.
On the 27th, Eskilstuna-Kuriren published what Professor Lars Rombo, senior physician and director of the Infection Clinic at Mälaren Hospital, told Larsson after a regular check-up of his health: no inflammations, blood value excellent, no deficiency of white corpuscles, kidney functions normal, liver normal, urine sample OK, no metabolic disturbances, neither shortage or overproduction of thyroid gland hormones. In short, Peter Larsson is in perfect health.
But what about the unbalanced frequencies leading to bad health? Rombo has no knowledge that a sick liver has different “frequencies” than a healthy one.
- What we can do is check how the liver is doing and that is what we have done, says the clinic director.
But what about the pain in the neck that can’t be felt by Larsson because it’s on a “cellular level”?
- If you don’t feel any pain, you are not in pain, states the doctor. Niva’s explanation sounds very strained.
When confronted with the results of the hospital health exam, Niva maintains the belief in her machine. In an interview published the 28th, she explains:
- It’s like this. We have a machine that locates unbalances. Homeopaths find their things, quantum practitioners theirs and medical doctors theirs. Unfortunately, that’s how it is.
Niva doesn’t want to change her diagnose but wants the word “diagnose” to be changed to “opinion”. Regarding why her clients should have knowledge about pains they cannot feel and are not troubled by, Niva explains:
- Why come to me if you don’t want to know about your unbalances? Each client must decide what to do with the information he gets. Some people come here because they are curious about what processes are at work in the body.
She also thinks that Eskilstuna-Kuriren’s articles are giving the wrong impression of the possibilities offered by quantum medicine.
- You want to debunk people that are not serious, and I can understand that. But there are people who want to do good in this life. Quantum medicine is fantastic and I sincerely hope that it becomes a major thing in Sweden and that the hospitals also get it.
Although Peter Larsson and Eskilstuna-Kuriren have no evidence that Niva treats or have treated cancer patients, Niva maintains the potency of quantum medicine as treatment of cancer:
- This is going to be the 21st century thing against cancer in that you can locate the unbalances at such an early stage.
In a follow up on the 29th, some reader’s opinions are accounted for. “Maria” claims that both she and her horse have been cured by Niva:
- Last fall a veterinarian concluded that my horse suffered from a pulled muscle and I was recommended to let him rest. I was told it could take well up to three months for him to get well. Waiting for the vets revisit, the horse had five treatments by Veronica Niva. When examined by the vet later, the horse was declared fit and healthy. Personally, I had severe pain in my arms last spring. After three of Niva’s treatments, the pain went away. She’s no charlatan; she has a heart of gold.
The Veronica Niva case is a textbook example of how faith healers and "alternative medicine" scams operate. The way Peter Larsson investigates Niva should be a textbook example of how these miracle mongers are dealt with by the press. Unfortunately, this piece of journalism was a rare exception, even for the paper in question. As I checked the Eskilstuna-Kuriren web page to see if the Peter Larsson articles were part of an editorial strategy, I soon discovered that its life style weekend supplement regularly promotes “alternative treatments” and New Age hoaxes of all kinds. Peter Larsson probably had some personal reason to expose this particular one, but he did it thoroughly and is to be credited for it.
Should you be interested in reading more about the “Quantum Life” scam, I suggest the Quantum Life blog and the Quantum Life web page.