Child Abuse Disguised as "Hydrotherapy":

By one Igor Charkovsky, of Russia. The details are almost too ridiculous, and frightening to believe. E.g.,

"Charkovsky arrived at the pool accompanied by a crew of female assistants or fans, some of whom held their infants only by the wrists as they swung them in every direction. Afterward a boy of five at the most was made to enter the water despite loud and heartrending protests. Charkovsky grabbed him by the ankles, threw him up high and thrust him deep into the water. He just picked him up like an object, without any preparation, without any empathy, gentleness or attentiveness to the boy's terrified screams. This went on for at least 40 minutes. The boy screamed, 'No, no, I don't want it, Mommy! Enough!' and it didn't stop. After 15 minutes his strength seemed to wane and the screams turned to gurgles. When Charkovsky took a short break we saw the boy vomiting up the water he had swallowed during the screams.

"I looked at my wife in shock. One of the women who works with Charkovsky came over to us and said, 'If you want to watch the work - only with loving eyes. I know it might look bad, but this boy is suffering from a serious birth trauma, because his mother was completely opened up, and if he is not released from the trauma he is liable to grow up to become a criminal or a drug dealer."

Friedrich Foresight:
Doubtless the Putinist Russian state will deal as severely with this abusive fraud as with other dangerous criminals like Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
3.23.2007 10:39pm
christopher dunn (mail):
3.23.2007 10:44pm
Bleepless (mail):
The collapse of belief in medicine began under Brezhnev. It was part of the general dissolution of faith in anything official and extended well into the CPSU Central Committee, members of which regularly consulted faith healers. This even made the official press. Such "healers" no longer have to pay bribes to function, and do their damnedest out in public. James Randi did an interestingNova show on the topic of Russian pseudoscience and quackery. One pair of sweet little old lady psychometricians said some things about the man in a photograph but neglected to describe any of his most significant characteristics -- it was Ted Bundy.
3.23.2007 10:54pm
3.23.2007 11:11pm
christopher dunn (mail):
3.24.2007 12:06am
Sounds worse than waterboarding.
3.24.2007 12:42am
DrGrishka (mail):
Sounds perfectly normal to me. As far as Russia goes that is. That is pretty much how athletes or soldiers are trained in Russia. That is how kids in many kindergardens are treated. So par for the course.
3.24.2007 1:22am
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
If this were in the U.S., ought it be (a) the "therapist" who is prosecuted? Or the parents, either (b) as criminals or (c) in termination of parental rights proceedings)?

I'm thinking (a) and (c).
3.24.2007 11:06am
Bill, see CEB's link above. In that case it was (a) and (b). (c) did not occur because the child died.
3.24.2007 11:13am
CEB--I think the case you referenced is worse. A LOT worse.

Both of these stories are powerful supporting evidence of Milgram's findings that a little apparent authority goes a long way.

And exorcism just keeps getting weirder and weirder...
3.24.2007 11:28am
A reporter for The Independent described observing Charkovsky grasp the ankles of a naked baby and submerge him deep into a container of ice water, as whales swam nearby, then pull him out to breathe before plunging him back in repeatedly, with the infant continually screaming. This activity, Charkovsky explained at the time, was intended to strengthen the infant mentally and bodily, and also to help him communicate with whales.

OK, my kids are just going to have to learn to live without such "strengthening", and without the ability to communicate with whales.

This is not Charkovsky's only comment concerning women's wimpiness. In the past he has defined women as "sheep who must obey their shepherds; women are incapable of thinking and do not want to understand anything." According to him, they "do not even know why they cannot grasp simple things, and this is why the man has to prepare everything for them in advance."

I suspect a great many women have told him he's totally full of s**t.
3.24.2007 12:19pm
Marker (mail):
This is actually very close to a kind of child abuse done here in America. Parents (or their significant others) will thrust a child into a cold shower and hold them there so they cannot get out for extended periods of time as a disciplinary measure. A colleague of mine once described his experience with it. It is psychological torture, but, unfortunately, does not constitute a crime in my state.
3.24.2007 9:36pm
Bob Smith (mail):
Charkovsky's opinion of women is very Muslim.
3.25.2007 12:33am
Andrew Okun:


What's that supposed to mean?
3.25.2007 4:26am
Nony Mouse:

And I want to make something clear: I've been to a class in hydrotherapy. While most of the techniques involved warm to hot water, one (very memorable, since we were practicing on each other) involved rather cold. It did NOT involve holding children, or anybody else for that matter, under water or for hours at a time. Please don't call this quackery Hydrotherapy; as written in the article the guy went to a hydrotherapy conference, true, but practicioners who saw his work were rightly horrified.
3.26.2007 8:27pm