Hard News by Russell Brown


Just Some Things

Website of the Week: the site that fugitive war criminal Radovan Karadžić kept for his alter-ego, Dr Dragan David Dabić, highly hirsute specialist in "bioenergy" and sundry other forms of new age claptrap. There's a certain brilliance about this cover, especially the backstory told on the home page.

Dr. Dragan "David" Dabic was born some 60 years ago in a small Serbian village of Kovaci, near Kraljevo. As a young boy he liked to explore nearby forests and mountains, spending a lot of time on Kopaonik mountain where he tended to pick the omnipresent natural and potent medicinal herbs that grew there. As a young man he moved to Belgrade, and then on to Moscow where he graduated with a Psychiatry degree at the Moscow State University (Lomonosov). After Russia, Dr. Dabic travelled around India and Japan, after which he settled in China where he specialized in alternative medicine, with special emphasis on Chinese herbs. In mid 1990s Dr. Dabic returned back to mother Serbia for good.

Ever since, Dr. Dabic emerged as one of the most prominent experts in the field of alternative medicine, bioenergy, and macrobiotic diet in the whole of the Balkans, and is frequent guest on many forums, seminars and symposiums (Belgrade, Novi Sad, Pancevo, Sombor, Smederevo...) dedicated to these topics.

Thus was he able to hide in plain sight for so many years. He even published articles on his new fake practice:

“It was a brilliant camouflage,” said Goran Kojic, the editor-in-chief of a health magazine who knew “Dr Dabic” and published several of his articles on Serbian Orthodox meditation. “He left such a calm impression of a cultured man of great spirituality. He was funny, entertaining and eloquent, the sort of person you wanted as a friend.”


Meanwhile in Britain, alternative claptrap that won its brain-damaged victim £800,000 in compensation, but should in my opinion have had the "nutritionist" responsible jailed. Fifty two year-old Dawn Page embarked on something called The Amazing Hydration Diet, which involved drinking a lot of water and cutting out dietary salt.

Some readers may recognise this as a drug-free shortcut to the "dry drowning" behind many ecstasy-related deaths. When Page began vomiting uncontrollably, her "nutritionist" told her that was a normal part of the detox process and instructed her to consume more water and less salt. She now suffers grand mal seizures and a range of cognitive problems. Amazingly, there is no sign that her quack (who admits no fault and has "a diploma of natural nutrition gained from the College of National Nutrition in London") is to be prevented from ever practising again. Bah.

Peaches Geldof (19) goes into respiratory arrest and is saved only by CPR administered by a friend. She was alright 20 minutes later. Sounds like GHB to me. Be careful out there, kids.

And, finally, the people of the island of Lesbos have lost their campaign to ban the use of the word "lesbian" in a Sapphic context -- conducted under the banner "If You Are Not From Lesbos, You Are Not A Lesbian". I'm sure there's a joke in there.

And, finally, a study involving Blondie drummer Clem Burke bears out something that has long occurred to me: drummers are really, really fit. Sometimes, like Keith Moon, they have to take loads of drink and drugs just to come down to our puny human level. And surely the greatest rock athlete of all time must be former Motorhead drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor. If you play No Sleep Till Hammersmith really loud (and how else would you play it?), you can hear his kick drums (one for each foot) thundering -- he essentially sprints from beginning to end, while he plays all the other drums too. It's like the cross-trainer at the gym times a million. And sure, there are copious quantities of amphetamines involved, but the guy did it night after night. But there's more: he continued to play drums with a broken hand (he gaffa-taped the drumstick to the hand) and a broken neck Amazingly, Phil Taylor is still alive. In the words of James Brown, give the drummer some.

PS: A man called Michael is coming around in 15 minutes to install a new Sky HD box in our loinge. Report tomorrow -- I'm expecting the Tour de France to look very sexy indeed. Did I mention it's my birthday?

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