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At the beginning of this year I was going through a rough patch(that has thankfully ENDED). I had been living in Sydney for two years, I had a wonderful girlfriend and a reasonably good job. After two years of this I decided that it was time to move back down to Ole Melbourne town and get on with my life. So I did!

After a few months of being back home I was still fairly “depressed” (I don’t think for a second I was clinically depressed I just use that word to convey that I felt “sad”) and it was during this time that I received a call from an old family friend who was “concerned” with my depression. This guy ran workshops that were basically full of new age mumbo jumbo ie. Fire-walking, humming, meditation, group-hugging, homeopathy, Applied Kinesiology . You know, Woo. So anyway, back at this time I was slightly partial to the Woo so I seriously considered going to this workshop which was apparently about confidence.

One thing that did run through my mind during this time was “Why is this guy calling me now if he is so concerned with my mental well being? He hasn’t spoken to me in three years!”. So this was a major warning light for me. Oh, that, and the fact that I had to pay upwards of four hundred dollars to attend this workshop. (I was told I could pay it in installments, Yay.)

I’ll come clean now, I have been to some of these workshops when I was younger with my father as a bonding thing. We did some fire walking and a “magical” test of our confidence and trust where we snapped an arrow on our throats. The tip of the arrow pressed into the little gap underneath your Adams apple and the end of the arrow in a wooden board that is held by a partner. You then step towards you partner and then the arrow breaks (hopefully), fairly nerve racking at the time. I’m not sure if my dad payed for this workshop but I have a feeling we got this one for free.

Anyway, this guy called me about 3 times in a month trying to rope me into his workshop until eventually I told him I wasn’t interested. It’s very important that you stand up for yourself when it comes to these sort of situation. I am sure that someone of lesser conviction would have given in and attended the workshop and in the process lose $400+.

I guess the reason I bring this incident up is because I wanted to warn other young people out there who don’t know how to say no or don’t know that this sort of workshop is basically bullshit! I understand that these workshops seem to help people. But at what cost?

Keep your eyes, ears and mind open and really question someone’s motives if they come to “aid” you in hard times.




  1. This could be closely linked to your religion post… people feeding on those who have an emotional weakness… giving them false hope to make them feel ‘safe’. I think it’s disgusting. Most people are strong enough to overcome their issues within their own group of family and peers without having to pay extortionate amounts of money to an organization that preaches porky pies for quick financial gain and ‘man power’ for their next victims.

    • podblack
    • Posted December 17, 2007 at 5:30 pm
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    Very good! I like the upgrade to the site as well, very polished! 🙂

    • skelliot
    • Posted December 18, 2007 at 5:56 am
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    Thank you kindly. 🙂

    • Marius vanderLubbe
    • Posted December 19, 2007 at 3:56 am
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    ” I understand that these workshops seem to help people. But at what cost?”
    A good question. The cost of this sort of garbage is hard to put a dollar sign too. Its all part of the growing tide of anti science. This day and age there is no excuse, at least in developed countries, for scientific illiteracy. it is there to be had, yet so many take the easy path of woo-dom. Deliberate intellectual laziness. The media has a lot to answer for in this respect. People like Paris Hilton, Oprah,etc who have the intellectual depth of a puncture wading pool are thrust down the electric feeding tube of commercial t.v and just about every other media. These people and this media behavior are completely anti intellectual..
    Perhaps we should bin all our t.vs, ipods, mobiles and all the rest of the accoutrement’s of affluence that spoon feed us all this shite and go to the library and borrow a book. That would be a good first step

    • skelliot
    • Posted December 19, 2007 at 5:44 am
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    I totally agree with you. Unfortunately people are so gullible that they will believe almost anything they see on TV. Take Medium for example. That show is apparently based on a “true story”. When in fact the person they are basing it on is a complete charlatan. As for pseudoscience workshops, people will believe almost anything that is said to them from “authority” or people they think have authority on a subject. Hence how these sort of people make a living. Preying on the ignorant.


    • podblack
    • Posted December 25, 2007 at 2:42 pm
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    I’d strongly suggest elaborating this and submitting it to the Australian Skeptic as an article.

    • bella
    • Posted February 7, 2008 at 5:49 pm
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    hi your side is very interesting may be you will be able to help did you do to get over your depression.i lost a very important person in my life she was my everything.she left me for someone else. can u help thank

    • skelliot
    • Posted February 7, 2008 at 6:33 pm
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    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.

    In regards to your problem. I am so sorry to hear about that. It is always hard to move on after such heartbreak but it eventually does happen. This will sound bad but the only thing that can really fix your problem is time. Time really does heal pain. Try to occupy your mind with something you love, go out with friends and meet new people and before long the pain will diminish. This is what I did when I was hurting. The only really good thing to do is occupy your time and mind.

    I hope that this helped you and I hope that everything works out for you!

    Please continue to read my blog and comment as you wish.



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