Author Topic: Catharsis  (Read 1343 times)

Devious Viper
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« on: March 08, 2006, 04:31:53 am »

[Source: BBC "Watchdog" 7 March 2006]

Religious organisation Catharsis is registered in America. Its leader, Philip Savage, claims that he can heal people using the power of his mind, and he's so gifted he can even do it from a distance.

The organisation has recently been recruiting followers in England with bogus claims and talks of scientific proof of its leader's powers.

When a friend's son fell ill, Grant Stapleton became intrigued by the claims of Savage, and Catharsis' website talks of scientific research claiming that Savage cured children with third-degree burns at a hospital in America.

Stapleton was convinced by stories and hoped Catharsis could heal his friend's son, who was desperately ill and in a coma. He borrowed £7,000 to meet with Savage, but when he went to Switzerland, he was told he must pay even more before any healing could be done.

Jane Dillon, Savage's right-hand woman, moved from America in 2004 to the south-west of England, and began recruiting new followers.

She persuaded one group of people to part with around £100,000 to feel Savage's healing powers. But as soon as they parted with their cash, they realised it was a sham.

It turns out that Savage is a convicted fraudster. In 1990, he appeared on a French TV show, alongside people he claims to have cured of cancer and depression, but it was all a hoax.

Of the thousands of viewers who contacted Savage for help following the broadcast, 200 complained to French authorities that they'd been conned. He was sentenced to five years in jail, but he'd already fled the country, entering the US on a false passport. Before the US could deport him, he had fled back to Europe. French police say he had made a total of five million francs (US$908,000/UK£522,000).

In a phone call to Watchdog, Dillon stood by Savage, claiming that the results show he helps people physically and spiritually. Meanwhile, the Grossman Centre, which Catharsis says backs up Savage's claims to cure burns, has instructed a legal team to stop Savage using its name to back up his research.

Catharsis has issued a statement to the BBC's Inside Out programmeme, which originally broadcasted the story. Read it at

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