Sunday, November 27, 2011

#267: Adam McLeod

A.k.a. Adam DreamHealer

Adam McLeod is one of (apparently) many people who (apparently) struggles to distinguish fiction from reality. In McLeod’s case, the fiction is Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol”, which led McLeod to issue this less-than-entirely-coherent press release. Actually, McLeod has promoted what he discerns as Brown’s ideas here for several years. From the press release: “’The Lost Symbol’ addresses the power of intention as fiction, yet Adam DreamHealer has presented this as reality in his Intention Heals workshops and books for the last 7 years. Dan Brown references IONS (Institute of Noetic Science) several times and Adam shares an interesting history with the founder of IONS, Dr. Edgar Mitchell [to be covered later]. […] Adam has presented his ‘Intention Heals’ workshops across North America to thousands of participants on the power of our own intentions and self-empowerment in healing.”

Right. What’s it all about? In line with the best of woo, Adam props his dreck up with the word “quantum”. He claims he can simply look at a picture of someone with cancer and cure that person by “intent” over a distance, claiming it works by Quantum Holography. You can read about it, and the “evidence” for it (as presented by luminaries such as Gregg Braden & Bruce Lipton, internet kook Laura Lee, Spiritual Incarnation expert Chuck Laurenson and Hulda Clark disciple John Mullen) here. Adam’s own explanation attempt applies the words “energy” and “information” a lot, but does not display any sign of understanding what these expressions actually mean in any particular context. In addition to the “explanation”, he has also some (dubious-sounding) anecdotal evidence and the claim that he “has always sought a scientific explanation to support what he intuitively knows to be true as a healer: that our intentions influence our reality.” That’s called confirmation bias. At least “[h]e is continuing his studies in Naturopathic Medicine to become a Naturopathic Doctor.”

So much for science, I guess.

Oh, and concerning his anecdotal evidence: “Since 2006 Adam has been collecting survey results about intentional healing on his website. Thousands of people have responded […]. Astonishingly, over 75% of respondents rate their health issues as having improved significantly through the self-empowering techniques described in Adam's books and workshops. Using chi-square and binomial statistical testing, these results showed that a statistically significant number of people experienced health improvements.” Read that again. Slowly. If you have any understanding whatsoever of how to test medical hypotheses, your response better be “wtf?”. “On his website” is a clue; selection bias is another.

More on Adam DreamHealer here.

There is even a blog devoted to him, which may be worth looking at.

Diagnosis: Some may suspect a fraud, but McLeod is at least definitely completely ignorant of science and the scientific method and probably of reality as well. Impact uncertain, but he seems to enjoy some popularity, and given that his area is cancer woo there may be some real danger to real people involved.


  1. Adam McLeod was also featured (with Edgar Mitchell) in the relatively recent quackfest movie “The Living Matrix”.

  2. Excellent roundup with some really great information here.