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Trivedi effect®

"guru" Trivedi

The Trivedi effect® is the name of a registered trademark owned by its creator, Mahendra Kumar Trivedi, who is called Guru Ji and is considered an enlightened master by thousands of people. I will use the letters TE to refer to the powerful energy allegedly denoted by the registered trademark. I do this to prevent annoying emails threatening me with lawsuits or evil rays from one of the guru's minions. Although there are so many lawsuits pending against Trivedi, his foundation, his CEO, and his legal advisor from former minions claiming to have been abused emotionally and sexually by the enlightened one, that I am probably being overly cautious.

Now, after that little bit of poisoning the well, let me review how TE is described on the Trivedi Foundation website. (Yes, the guru has set up a non-profit foundation as Jesus would have done, I'm sure, were he living today.) TE is an "unknown" energy. Well, it was unknown until 1995, when Trivedi "received 'guidance' from Universal Intelligence that the gift he had been given was now to be used for the welfare of mankind." (For those who mistakenly thought that Universal Intelligence referred to the NSA, here is a link to Wikipedia on the name.) The "gift" was the ability to transmit through thought "an energy" that can "transform all living organisms such as plants, trees, seeds, bacteria, viruses, fungi, animals, cancer cells, human cells…everything. In addition to that, this energy has the ability to transform nonliving materials, such as metals, ceramics, polymers, and chemicals by changing the structure of the atom permanently." Trivedi claims he discovered that he could us his power "to transform human consciousness for a higher purpose and to improve human life in all ways."*

What would you do if you found that you had the power to change the structure of everything with your thoughts? You and I would probably change our molecular structure and make ourselves invisible so we could do many evil deeds without getting caught. Not Guru Ji, though. He would use his power for the benefit of all mankind or at least for the benefit of himself and a few close friends. Fortunately for us, Trivedi is a skeptic and knows he must test his powers under rigorous conditions to prove to the world how special he is:

....Mr. Trivedi began to ask why this energy is limited to humans. He felt that if this energy is real, it must work everywhere. It must enhance the abilities, properties, and productivity of crops; transform bacteria, viruses and fungi; convert cancer cells into non-cancer cells; and make metals, chemicals, and polymers stronger. Due to his skeptic nature, he started scientific research. With help from the most sophisticated technology available to science under controlled conditions; [sic] he began to discover the proven impact of this energy’s characteristics, behavior, limitations and abilities. He thought that if this energy could change the structure of an atom, then nothing was impossible for this energy. He has compiled a remarkable track record of success, including nearly 4,000 well-documented scientific studies on his ability to profoundly affect matter down to the level of the atom. These studies demonstrated that the impact of this energy is physically capable of enhancing the potency of living and nonliving matter, which rules out the Placebo [sic] effect or any psychological impact. In conclusion, he felt that there are limitless possibilities for human wellness, and realized that his contribution was essential for the next level of science; the science of the future.*

I am sorry to say that I have been unable to locate even one of these 4,000 studies that has been published in a reputable scientific journal. Many are published in predatory open access journals. The only report not written by Trivedi or one of his minions that I was able to locate says that Trivedi was tested at Penn State University. Here is how the report by Dr. Tania Slaweki begins:

Mahendra Trivedi was welcomed eagerly at our laboratory when he first arrived, for he came backed already by thousands of webpage documentation of “experiments” that “proved” he was able to affect physical materials with his unique abilities.  Our investigative team was eager to substantiate his claims.  We proceeded with open minds and spirits, very much wanting to be impressed or “wowed”.  We were left underwhelmed....

Nothing in his database showed anything extraordinary. Lots of data.  We found nothing meaningful.

I admit that I have proceeded quite differently from the scientists at Penn State. I set out to discover what the Trivedi Foundation is. That led me to try to discover more about Trivedi and his alleged effect. I don't think trying to confirm a claim is a good way to do an investigation of a questionable claim that, if true, would have monumental consequences. Scientists shouldn't be eager to substantiate claims; they should be eager to test claims and let the chips fall where they may. Scientists should try to falsify claims. If they test the claims in a rigorous fashion, according to the highest standards of the day, but are unable to falsify them, then that may be because the claims are true. Anyway, even though the Penn State folks tried to confirm Trivedi's claims, they couldn't. That's troubling. Maybe the scientists at Penn State couldn't find evidence for TE because there is no evidence or the evidence has magical properties that makes it disappear whenever anyone gets close..

What kind of tests were done and why were they done at Penn State? The tests were done at Penn State because of Dr. Rustum Roy, a native of India and an emeritus professor at Penn State when the tests were done. According to Wikipedia, Roy

received [a] BS in Physical Chemistry from Patna University and in 1944 his MS from the same university. He earned a Ph.D. in ceramics at Penn State in 1948, and became an American citizen in 1961. He had a long career at Penn State in geochemistry and materials science. He founded the Materials Science Laboratory at Penn State and authored hundreds of technical papers. Roy was a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Publishing in a journal for which he was editor-in-chief, he wrote about the relevance of the structure of water to homeopathy....

Trivedi waving his hand over waterOne of the claims Trivedi makes about TE is that he does things like energize water to give it healing properties. Roy had been a long-time believer that homeopathic potions can have healing properties even if they lack a single molecule of an original active ingredient. How? By changing the structure of water. (By the way, Trivedi water will soon be available on Amazon.com. The product already has dozens of 5-star reviews, including one by a woman who says her 7-year-old niece told her the water tasted "smart." The product is listed as purified drinking water, but it is very special: "Trivedi WaterTM has a vital property that other water doesn't - it stores the Universal Energy transmitted by Mahendra Trivedi and then further transmits that Energy to the individuals who consume it." No wonder it tastes smart to a 7-year-old. A check on 2/12/16 found this note on Amazon: Currently unavailable.  We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.)

Unfortunately, the aging and ailing Roy was not helped by Trivedi's blessings or energized water. According to Dr. Slaweki:

We tested Trivedi, gratis, on several occasions, June – September 2009, after which Trivedi was spending time in Arizona and California.  Trivedi came to our lab again in mid-December to see Rustum.  Thereafter, Rustum began to ail with one thing after another, but most notably a terrible pain at the base of his spine.   All kinds of testing failed to reveal the source of his agonizing pain.  He continued to get “blessings” through February or so, after which he seemed to really cool it on his support for Trivedi, for various reasons.  He passed his 86th birthday in early July 2010 in a wheelchair, on pain-killers.   As he ailed more, he asked that his name be removed from the Trivedi Foundation website.  After many nagging e-mails sent on his behalf, they complied for awhile, but then re-posted his early endorsement again once he passed away.  Rustum passed away on August 26, 2010.

One problem Dr. Slaweki noted with the website data claiming such things as that crops give a higher yield when energized with TE is that the studies didn't have proper controls. Some of you may be making mental connections between what this guru is claiming and what other gurus and magical thinkers have said in the past. Remember when James Randi went to Russia and wanted to test a man who claimed he could change the structure of water to have healing properties? When the man who claimed he could turn water into medicine was asked to pick out bottles of his energized water from regular water--he used a dowsing rod, as all good scientists would under such conditions--he couldn't tell the difference. The reason, he said, was that his special water had energized the other bottles of water just by being nearby. Some of you may also remember the claims of the followers of another guru, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of another registered trademark, Transcendental Meditation®, that they could make crops grow and crime go away through "the Maharishi effect." The TMers said they had scientific evidence, too, that collective meditation causes changes in a fundamental, unified physical field, and those changes radiate into society and affect all aspects of society for the better. The evidence wasn't in their favor. Trivedi's claims seem like déjà guru all over again. 

I did follow up on one study touted on the Trivedi Foundation website. the headline on the web page reads Breakthrough Research: Energy Transmission Killed Brain Cancer Cells! The truth, I found, is a bit less dramatic. The website author asserts: "this study demonstrates that the Trivedi Effect® was capable of killing ONLY cancerous cells, while keeping the Healthy Brain cells unaffected (Throughout the project, Mr. Trivedi was not informed which cells were cancerous and which cells were healthy)." The webpage also posts a letter from Garret L. Yount, Ph.D. to Mr. Trivedi. I would say the letter is worded very carefully, and rightly so, since it is addressed to the one who paid for the research and who will not likely be a donor again if the results don't give him at least a glimmer of hope that he's been validated. Dr. Yount notes in the first line of the letter to Mr. Trivedi that the study is a pilot study. In an email exchange, Dr. Yount reminded me that "the purpose of a pilot study is not to test a hypothesis but rather to evaluate the feasibility of conducting formal studies and to identify experimental parameters required for designing a valid study." Dr. Yount also told me that the ethics committee at his institution does not permit him to name the practitioners he works with "to avoid conflicts of interest." There is a pilot study on a test of a practitioner of biofield healing by Dr. Yount et al. published online. The name of the one tested is not given, but it was funded by the Trivedi Foundation and I'm assuming that Trivedi was the one tested. (I could be wrong, of course. There are many people claiming to have these energy healing powers, but Trivedi does not strike me as the kind of benefactor who would fund the competition.) Anyway, the report on the published pilot study does not claim that energy transmission kills cancer cells. Here is what it does say:

A trend of decreasing cell viability with increasing biofield dose was evident in the first set of experiments assessing dose–response; however, no such effect was evident in the second set of experiments evaluating biofield treatment distance. 

....These results represent the first indication of a biofield treatment dose–response in a controlled laboratory setting. The data are inconclusive because of the inability of reproduce the cellular response in a replicate experiment.

In his letter to Trivedi, Dr. Yount did not focus on the inconclusive nature of the tests. Instead, he referred to the "exciting results" and wisely noted that those results "suggest" that biofield treatment "can" induce cell death of brain cancer cells from a distance, while promoting the viability of normal brain cells. The fact that one of the sets of experiments showed positive results is exciting because if neither set showed any effect, there goes Trivedi, his effect, and his money out the door. Well, that's how I see it. I'm sure Dr. Yount's excitement had more to do with the possibility that more testing might get more positive results. In any case, the bottom line is that the webpage touting TE as a killer of cancer cells is grossly inaccurate.

The pilot study referred to was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and is titled "Evaluation of Biofield Treatment Dose and Distance in a Model of Cancer Cell Death." Dr. Yount is listed as the lead author, along with the names of six others. Neither Trivedi nor the Trivedi Effect are mentioned, but since the Trivedi Foundation funded the study and the term 'biofield' is often used in CAM studies to refer to some sort of energy that has healing power, I think the implication that Trivedi was indeed tested by scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center, as is claimed on the Trivedi Foundation website, is true. That he killed cancer cells with his thoughts or biofield energy was not demonstrated.

People who are likely to be attracted to someone like Trivedi, with his promises of special powers to transmit to others may not care that the science backing up his claims is lacking. Such people often prefer testimonials. Believe me, this fellow has thousands of glowing testimonials posted on various websites. According to the testimonials, Trivedi's cured allergies, asthma, arthritis, autism, and cancer. He's made people rich and happy. He's helped some folks sleep better and eliminated their fear of the dark. I could go on, but you wouldn't believe me. The claims are incredible. OK. Twist my arm and I'll add one more accomplishment: he's cured people of mental illness. (Though, in his modesty I guess, he's removed the page where he madet his remarkable claim; it's also removed from the WayBack Machine.) As his minions proclaim in a delicious half-truth: hard to believe, impossible to deny.

Trivedi or his minions are so clever that there is even a website called Trivedi Scam devoted to arguing that TE is not a scam, and another called Trivedi Fraud devoted to arguing that Trivedi is not a fraud. One of his minions writes for BeliefNet. She asked him what he would say to people who are skeptical about his work. Here is what he said:

I’m one of the most skeptical men on this planet. Skeptical means based on human testimony. Who will decide who is real or not real? 

Well, shouldn't we all decide on who's real and who's a phony? And what in the world could the enlightened one mean by saying that skeptical means "based on human testimony"? As opposed to what? Based on chimpanzee testimony? Anyway, I've never heard 'skeptical' used in this way and am now confused by what he might mean by saying he's one of the most skeptical men on the planet.

magic skin creamIn any case, whether Trivedi's powers are real or not, ladies should know that Guru Ji cares about their skin. His non-profit foundation sells several skin-care products--named after his wife--to keep women looking young and beautiful on their way to sainthood. He's not only skeptical, but thoughtful as well. Still, I'd hold tight to my handbag should the great guru glide toward you with an invitation to a monthly enhancement program to transform humanity.

In conclusion, I should note that the master is growing his consciousness-expanding business and his Foundation is hiring (sorry; the jobs are no longer being advertised; the site now just lists links to several Trivedi-run sites). It needs a few people to maintain the many websites and blogs devoted to him, and, I suppose, to create testimonials, write bloviated press releases, and send threatening emails to anyone who criticizes the master. The Foundation needs an online marketing manager: "Candidate should be able to analyze data, delivering tangible results on visibility, traffic and conversions." The Foundation needs a content manager: "We are looking for a dynamic, self-motivated individual who should have good command over language with relevant experience in web content management, writing and editing for web, graphic design, blogs and site management." And the Foundation needs a content writer: "She/he will be responsible for creating fresh content for blogs & articles, SEO based contents. Should have proper understanding of Blog structure & product based blogs." Before applying for one of these jobs, check out the website Do Not Work For Trivedi written by a former employee with a forest on his shoulder.

You'd think with all his powers to transform anything at the atomic level Trivedi would be able to transform a turnip or a discarded radiator into a creature with all of these skills and talents. But that would deprive three people of meaningless employment and be cruel even by Guru Ji's standards.

See also cults, energy healing, faith healing, predatory open access journals, transcendental meditation.

further reading

Trivedifoundationvictims.court documents and lawsuits. THE PUBLICS [sic] RIGHT TO KNOW

Working for Trivedi

Short Overview and Summary of Research on Mahendra Trivedi Conducted at Penn State University in 2009 Dr. Tania Slawecki (posted May 2011)

Trivedi sued Slawecki for defamation. The judge dismissed Trivedi's suit and ruled in favor of Slawecki. On Dec. 3, 2014, Judge Matthew W. Brann, IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, wrote: "This is a curious and unfortunate action sounding in defamation. A self-proclaimed energy healer asserts that he can employ his powers to alter the molecular composition of water. A university research assistant not only derides this claim but publicly states that the healer lacks sexual mores."

Trivedi appealed the decision against him in his suit against Slawecki for defamation. On February 10, 2016, Tivedi's appeal was denied by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The court ruled:

Appellants Mahendra Kumar Trivedi, the Trivedi Foundation, and Trivedi Master Wellness, LLC (collectively referred to as “Trivedi”) appeal the District Court’s grant of summary judgment to Appellee Dr. Tania Slawecki on Trivedi’s claims of defamation and tortious interference with contractual relationships. For the reasons discussed below, we agree that Trivedi’s defamation claim fails as a matter of law because Trivedi, a limited purpose public figure, cannot show by clear and convincing evidence either the falsity of Slawecki’s statements or that they were made with actual malice. We also agree that Trivedi’s tortious interference claims fail as a matter of law because Trivedi has not put forth competent evidence that any existing or prospective contractual relationship was lost as a result of Slawecki’s conduct. Accordingly, we will affirm the District Court’s judgment.

By now it is crystal clear that guru Trivedi is hell bent on stifling all criticism of his ridiculous claims.

My Day with the Homeopaths – Part I by Steven Novella, M.D.

Madison Starkovich's testimony about Guru Ji "I was submerged in a situation where I was fearful and I was trained not to use my brain, but to follow orders." Gee, sounds like some kind of cult. What a shock!


[new]Guru’s defamation claim tossed

 By Mike Mosedale June 3, 2016  Minnesota Lawyer

 Ramsey County Judge Robert Awsumb has tossed out a defamation lawsuit brought by a self-proclaimed “energy healer” who claims to possess a scientifically-validated mental power that allows him to remotely transform the molecular structure
of plants, animals, and even cancer cells. 

In a 33-page order and memorandum, Aswsumb didn’t opine on whether or not Mahendra Trivedi is selling snake oil – one of many allegations St. Paul writer Dennis Lang made in posts on a now-defunct blog where he and former Trivedi associates
exchanged biting critiques about the guru’s business practices, sexual conduct and alleged paranormal prowess. 

“The court does not intend to consider or evaluate the accuracy or validity of Trivedi’s claims or abilities. Nonetheless, the claims of being Jesus-like or Einstein-like are, by their nature, controversial claims likely to be challenged or refuted,” wrote Awsumb, making reference to statements published on the websites of Trivedi’s foundation and assorted for-profit ventures. 

And because Trivedi inserted “vast claims of personal powers” into the “global marketplace of ideas,” Awsumb said, he is a limited purpose public figure for purposes of the defamation claim, which is therefore subject to the actual malice standard. 

As established by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark libel case New York Times v. Sullivan, actual malice requires that the plaintiff establish “clear and convincing evidence” that a defendant either knew a defamatory statement to be false or acted with reckless disregard for the truth. 

Awsumb concluded that the guru’s evidence, even viewed in the most favorable light, couldn’t meet that burden. 

Mark Anfinson, Lang’s attorney, praised the judge’s ruling. 

“This is a pretty big deal in the world of libel and, by extension, free speech,” said Anfinson, a solo practitioner in Minneapolis who specializes in media law. “What Judge Awsumb did here is something that has occurred with decreasing frequency in the area of libel – he applied the actual malice standard with the appropriate vigor.” 

“He doesn’t let Trivedi hide behind the fine points and nuances of this gigantic encrustation of precedent that has occurred around the country on public figure status,” Anfinson continued. “He cuts to the core of what public figure status is supposed to do: to allow citizens to speak more freely and critically about public figures. And he finds that Trivedi is a public figure because he was engaged in activities that are inherently provocative and controversial.” 

Still, Anfinson said Awsumb’s ruling might not end the long-running legal ordeal for Lang, who has been sued by the guru six times since 2012. 

“It wouldn’t surprise me if they appeal. I’m telling Dennis, we just won a great battle but we didn’t win the war,” said Anfinson. After a Ramsey County judge tossed out a $59 million default judgment against Lang from an Arizona court, he noted, the guru still mounted a long-shot appeal. 

Trivedi’s attorney, Chestnut Cambronne associate Nathan J. Knoernschild, declined to comment on the ruling.[/new]

Minnesota blogger sued for defamation finds it all a learning experience St. Paul blogger who questioned the success of the “Trivedi Effect” for years is defending himself from a suit that has taken some remarkable turns. by James Eli Shiffer, Minneapolis Star Tribune July 4, 2015.

In 2013, an Arizona judge approved a staggering $59 million judgment against Lang, who didn’t show up to contest the lawsuit. Last year, the Minnesota Court of Appeals tossed the judgment, saying that an Arizona court had no jurisdiction over Lang. Then Trivedi refiled his lawsuit in Minnesota. Last month, Ramsey County District Judge Robert Awsumb refused to dismiss the suit and told Lang to start handing over documents to Trivedi in advance of trial. Though he found it “terrifying” to be sued at first, Lang is more sanguine now. “Honestly, this has been such a fascinating experience for me,” Lang said. “What I’ve learned is the extent to which someone will go to silence a community.”

The Trivedi Defect by Mike Mosedale, July 23, 2015, in Minnesota Lawyer "Despite his world-changing powers, Trivedi seeks redress in a conventional manner and sues everyone in sight. While the bulk of the claims are dismissed or dropped, the guru and his associates garner three default judgments, each with the eye-popping dollar value of $59 million.

In a work of fiction, that litany of weird details would be a stretch. But they are the daily reality for a freelance writer from St. Paul who, as his bad luck would have it, is still duking it out in court with the litigious guru."

further viewing

Watch Dr. Rustum Roy make a fool of himself.

As a bonus to the reader who has gotten this far without having to be hospitalized, watch Peter Popoff sell his holy water to the faithful and hopeful.

Last updated 05-Jun-2016e -->

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