A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how the BBC had ruined Watchdog and had turned it from a hard hitting consumer affairs show into nothing more than a prime time version of Loose Women. I’ve just watched last week’s show on catch-up, and it’s no better I’m afraid… in fact it’s worse.
Last week, Matt Allwright went after a man named Adrian Pengelly who claims to be a natural healer. Adrian Pengelly says he can heal people and animals using his hands. This isn’t an unusual form of alternative medicine and has been around for many thousands for years. I believe someone named Jesus used to do it too.
Now, before I go on I should state I have no opinion of Adrian Pengelly one way or the other. I don’t know whether he can heal, or whether he’s a con man. I don’t know and I don’t care. What I do care about is the way the BBC decided that he was a charlatan and set about chasing him down in something resembling a witch hunt from the Middle Ages.
Firstly, no-one had complained about Adrian Pengelly. This I think is an important fact. He also charges £30 per session according to Watchdog, which they suggested allowed him to live his ‘lavish’ lifestyle. £30 per session seems very reasonable to me. You wouldn’t get a plumber for that, nor a solicitor nor even an SEO consultant!
When you consider that Adrian Pengelly heals with his hands, this is damn cheap.
They then set about trying to catch him out by sending him a horse that had been x-rayed to show it had soft tissue damage in its hoof, and wondered if Adrian Pengelly would spot this. Pengelly examined the horse and said that its knee suffered from tension.
This then prompted the ‘expert’ watching over the computer to proclaim that Pengelly was wrong. Why? Are the x-rays conclusive? Are doctors never wrong? Is this ‘healing hands’ quack obviously wrong because our medical science says so?
No, it’s the opinion of the vet over Pengelly’s. Whether you believe one or the other, you can’t declare one is 100% correct while the other is 100% wrong.
What they did next sickened me. They had a woman who used to suffer from cancer visit Pengelly for treatment, claiming to actually have cancer. Why would anyone in their right mind claim to have cancer, especially when they’ve had it before?
Adrian Pengelly told her that his treatments worked better for people who weren’t on chemotherapy, but insisted he would never advise anyone to stop it unless they were terminal and the chemo was just to prolong life.
This prompted Watchdog and Matt Allwright to miss-quote him and state that he’d advised people to stop chemotherapy, which he didn’t.
It goes further though. Adrian Pengelly is also into ghosts and communicating with the dead, so Watchdog set him up with a ‘ghost house’ filled with special effects to see if he tried to con the resident into believing there were ghosts present. Once, and only once, during this footage did they point out that Adrian Pengelly does NOT charge for this!
How is this Rogue Trader material? He doesn’t even charge!!!
Finally, Allwright was confronted with hoards of people who claimed to have been helped by Adrian Pengelly, and one woman who said she had been cured of cancer. Allwright dismissed their claims as ‘sick people looking for hope’ and summed up that Pengelly was dangerous offering hope to those who most needed it.
This was despite their McMillan Cancer expert stating that hope, such as that offered by Pengelly, helps survival rates and recent research by the University of British Columbia showing that cancer patients showing signs of depression were 25% more likely to die from their illness.
Hope is important in all forms of recovery.
So, the BBC has gone back to the Dark Ages and has started a witch hunt for a man offering alternative medicine because today’s doctors say it won’t work. Is the BBC going after all forms of alternative medicine now? Will they go after hypnotists and psychics next? Perhaps the BBC will go after psychiatrists too; that’s got to be nonsense as well!
Watchdog has become the thing it once fought. Sort it out BBC, it’s disgusting.