Bronze-level articleDeepak Chopra

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As Deepak Chopra taught us, quantum physics means anything can happen at any time for no reason!
Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

Deepak Chopra is the most visible public proponent of "mind-body" woo, quantum woo, and alternative medicine. He is a writer of New Age/self-help spiritual books that say things like "look around you[1] at the beauty of the Earth" and "look into the beauty of yourself". He is a favored contributor at The Huffington Post,[2] and was one of Michael Jackson's sketchy friends.

Chopra also sells Ayurvedic medicine, which is apparently traditional Indian medicine filtered through the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and mixed with bad "physics" in order to treat the dangerously low levels of money in Chopra's wallet.

Almost anything can be cured if you rub enough woo on it, especially quantum woo.


[edit] Early life and medical career

Born in New Delhi in 1946 to a respected cardiologist, Chopra initially had much potential in the field of medicine. After becoming an endocrinologist, he taught at Boston and Tufts University and became Chief of Staff at Boston Regional Medical Center. Then, in 1981, he met an Ayurvedic practitioner and entered the lucrative world of mind-body alternative medicine.

[edit] Woo-peddling

Deepak Chopra comes from a long line of pseudo-Hindu spiritualists making money off of gullible Americans, but he is one of the first to successfully merge Eastern ayurvedic woo with Western quantum woo and sell it to a mainstream US audience.[3] Through his whopping 57 self-help books, countless publications in medical-ish journals, and eloquent public speeches, Chopra deeply packs a vast vocabulary of meaningless quantum crap into a small space to confuse victims into buying another book:[4]

Somehow, his millions[5] of supporters (among them Lady Gaga[6]) swallow it whole.

[edit] Dosha

Another order of that delicious human quantum-body essence, please!

A key concept in Chopra's woo is the Dosha, or "human quantum-body essence," which he can apparently assess with ease by checking a patient's pulse. The balance between the three doshas in each patient is then corrected with a diet of alternating sweet and spicy foods[7] as well as no doubt expensive treatments available exclusively from Chopra himself. Doshas are essentially a form of humorism.

It should be noted that dosha (or doṣa) is not to be confused with an Indian flatbread[wp] often served with vegetable stew and chutney, which is quite delicious (and more substantial than Chopra's writings). It is also unrelated to the British slang dosh, meaning currency, but you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

[edit] Choprawoo

Orac of Respectful Insolence has coined the term "Choprawoo" to refer to his special brand of woo.[8] Michael Shermer calls it "Deepakese."[9] It has also been postulated that the thoughts, and particularly the tweets, of Deepak Chopra are indistinguishable from a set of profound-sounding words put together in a random order.[10]

[edit] Religion

Though Chopra's beliefs are fundamentally based on New Age and Hindu syncretism, he is not afraid to embrace other religions, professing his belief in not one, but three iterations of Jesus Christ.[11] In 2015, Chopra tried to troll Lawrence Krauss, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Shermer and Alejandro Surianu with a series of weird tweets on religion, including:[12]

  • "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist"
  • "I don't have enough faith in molecules to be the source of intelligence"
  • "Nothing = Infinite Being = Source = Pure Potential = Omniscience = God"

Needless to say, he got a smack-down from Krauss for this nonsense.

[edit] Million dollar challenge

Chopra decided to try duplicating the Amazing Randi's million dollar challenge, demanding entrants prove that consciousness emerges from physical attributes of the brain instead of whatever quantum woo pleases him any given day.[13] Amusingly, within a week, scientists at George Washington University completed a publication on a section of the brain that regulates the appearance of properties generally understood as consciousness, and could even be stimulated to turn it on and off.[14] It should be fun to see just how fast those goalposts move.

[edit] ISHAR

The Integrative Studies Historical Archive and Repository (ISHAR; also known as ISHARonline) is a pseudoscientific internet library for alternative medicine. It was launched by Deepak Chopra in 2014.[15][16]

ISHAR claims to document studies of homeopathy, acupuncture, acupressure, energy healing and "numerous other kinds of integrative and holistic medicine."[17] A trip through ISHAR's database reveals a wealth of "peer reviewed scientific literature" espousing the value of treatments like bloodletting, arsenic, and cow urine.

The library was originally formed in opposition to Wikipedia after disgruntled woo-editors failed to get their alternative medicine and pseudoscience papers cited in Wikipedia articles. The library accuses the mainstream scientific community and skeptics of ignoring studies supportive of alternative medicine.[18]

In April 2014, the previously banned-on-Wikipedia Rome Viharo disguised himself as "Chopra Media" then as "SAS81"[19] in order to promote ISHAR[20] and argue on Wikipedia talk pages for revisions that would make Chopra's article more favorable to Chopra.[21] By December 2014, Viharo's ruse was exposed and his alter ego banned.[22] Unsurprisingly, Viharo was the director of operations for ISHAR during this period,[23][24] but has since been replaced by Ryan Castle.[25]

ISHAR has requested $50,000 to get the library going.[26] All donations go to the Chopra Foundation.[27]

Although promoted as "the electronic Library of Alexandria for the realm of integrative studies",[23] Deepak Chopra said, quite obviously referencing his involvement with funding ISHAR, "I am definitely going to pursue this correction of behavior of some very bigoted, prejudiced people on Wikipedia..." [28] Bernardo Kastrup refers to ISHAR's activities as a "major archetypal battle" and says donating money to ISHAR is "your historical opportunity to join this battle".[29] Robert Schwarz of ACEP says that "ISHAR promises to be the organizational tool that we need to end the incredible bias and unfair editorial practice at Wikipedia when it comes to holistic health care practices" [30]

This doesn't sound like a research library, but more like an attempt to end Wikipedia's "bias" towards having reliable sources for claims and to counteract the evil shadow government of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Not to be confused with Look Around You[wp], though there is a certain Poe'ish element in contrasting the first series' and Chopra's take on (as well as grasp of) science.
  2. HuffPo apparently takes him seriously.
  3. For which he won the 1998 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics.[1]
  4. Deepak Chopra, The Skeptic's Dictionary
  5. As of 2014 his Twitter account has nearly 2 million "followers."
  6. The 2010 TIME 100: Lady Gaga, TIME
  7. Ayurvedic medicine, The Skeptic's Dictionary
  8. The Trouble With Deepak Chopra: Part 3, Respectful Insolence
  9. Deepakese: The Woo-woo Master Deepak Chopra Speaks, HuffPo
  10. A Random Deepak Chopra quote generator exists to, in a sense, Turing Test that postulation.
  11. The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore (What?)
  12. Lawrence Krauss smacks down Deepak Chopra for trying to troll him with New Age nonsense
  13. getting zombies excited (also zombies are relevant, for some reason)
  14. Scientists discover consciousness on/off switch
  15. Deepak Chopra Launches ISHARonline
  16. Let’s Raise ISHAR – and why we need to by Deepak Chopra
  17. Campaign Underway to Create ISHAR as Wikipedia-like Archive of Energy Medicine Information and Research
  18. The Mind/Body community is building ISHAR, an online digital Library of Alexandria free for everyone
  19. "Chopra Media" requests a name change to "SAS81"
  20. Viharo as "SAS81" promoting ISHAR on his user page
  21. A sample of Viharo's argumentation "For every scientist out there that you can find a quote of that is unfavorable to Dr. Chopra, I can find another one that is favorable."
  22. Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Tumbleman/Archive
  23. 23.0 23.1 Let's Raise ISHAR! "Rome Viharo, the director of operations for the cutting edge ISHAR."
  24. Tumbleman (Rome Viharo) on Wikipedia
  26. ISHAR Will Be the Ultimate Resource for Integral Healing
  27. Click on donation page on the ISHAR website it redirects straight to the donation page for the Chopra Foundation.
  28. Deepak Chopra and the Future of Wikipedia
  29. Bernardo Kastrup - Why we really, really need to RAISE ISHAR - Deepak Chopra
  30. #ISHAR matching Grant. ACEP kicks off the '$2K WAVE' Let's Raise ISHAR - Deepak Chopra
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