Welcome to MoSL Blog, blog in English, blog of skeptical and other related articles and news from Czech republic by hosts of Meaning of (Skeptical) Life Podcast.
Czech and long-time pro-Russian President Miloš Zeman has performed an unexpected and somewhat desperate somersault of opinion, calling his friend Putin a lunatic, hoisting the Ukrainian flag at Prague Castle, and planning to award Ukrainian President Zelensky the Czech Republic’s highest state honour, the Order of the White Lion.
A number of leading Czech officials, including the presidents of both chambers of Parliament, the president of the Constitutional Court, and at least three university rectors, have announced that they will not attend the event of the awarding of state honours because of Zeman’s past warm relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia and his frequent attempts to discredit Czech intelligence services warning of Russia’s hostile actions in the country.
Has our “favourite” Cardinal Dominik Duka woken up together with the President?
Let us recall how, at the end of 2018, he responded to the question of whether or not he supported the arrival of fifty orphans – refugees from Syria – to the Czech Republic:
“The Archbishop of Olomouc and the Charity of the Czech Republic are dealing with these matters. (…) I am unable to intervene in this debate on the merits.”
“Yes, generally speaking, we all know that it is necessary to help those in need, but on the other hand, we also know that this is to some extent a political struggle these days. For that reason, I cannot answer.”
For the last month, the Czech media have been running sensational articles about a new polio therapy practiced by Peter Olšák, MD, at the world-famous Vesna Children’s Hospital in Janské Lázně. On February 1, Czech Radio ran the headline “Czech doctor treats paralysis with a combination of acupuncture and electrotherapy. His method is in demand abroad”. A few days later, Dr. Olšák was sitting in the Czech Television studio and talking about “his” method of electroacupuncture.
It should be noted at the outset that for some reason acupuncture has been a lege artis method in the Czech Republic since 1981 and its practitioners are associated in the Czech Medical Acupuncture Society, which operates within the Czech Medical Association of J. E. Purkyně. Acupuncture can be performed by physicians who have obtained specialisation in one of the clinical disciplines, including general medicine, and have undergone special training.
The method of electroacupuncture has been used in patients for more than five years and in children for less than three years.
Olšák called his method Active ENF, or Electroacupuncture Neuromuscular Facilitation. In it, he pricks the patient with acupuncture needles and then uses his device to deliver an electric current to the acupuncture needles. This is perceived by patients as a tingling sensation, and with greater intensity there are also visible muscle contractions.
“The current helps pathways in the body that are damaged to function better.” Did he mean meridians?
Czech Cardinal Dominic Duka has responded to the latest developments in the case of the accusations against Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who has been accused of neglecting to investigate four cases of sexual harassment of minors by the clergy while he was Archbishop of Munich.
Such a reaction is not surprising, since Duka himself was the subject of a criminal complaint for abetting the perpetrators of sexual violence in the Dominican Order, which Duka led at the time.
He called his defence of the Pope “Munich Betrayal for the Second Time”, which for some unfathomable reason equates the Munich Agreement with a cover-up of sexual abuse. Duka wants to call the Archbishop of Munich, his curia and the President of the German Bishops’ Conference “to account for the defamation and tarnishing of the reputation of Pope Benedict XVI”. Such a call for accountability at a time when Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his letter, expresses his regret for the pain of victims of sexual abuse in the Church is downright chutzpah from a man with Duke’s past.
Recently there have been articles in the media about the fact that in the “atheistic” Czech Republic there are fewer believers who profess to belong to specific churches. This is based on the results of the 2021 census.
While in 1991 more than four and a half million people identified themselves as believers, twenty years later not even half of them were believers. The number of Czech citizens who claim to belong to a particular church is slightly lower than in the last census eleven years ago, but the number of those who identify themselves as believers but do not consider themselves part of a religious organization has increased by about a quarter of a million. Last year, over 1.3 million people subscribed to a faith, but of those 960,000 did not subscribe to any church.
Sociologist of religion Zdeněk R. Nešpor quite rightly points out that the methodology of the census has been different each time.
“We are comparing numbers that look the same but are not the same. The old censuses, and even the censuses from the 1990s, are different from those from last year.”
Czech folk singer Hana Horká (57) from popular folk band Asonance died after catching COVID-19 on purpose in order to start having a “free life “. Catching the virus (as she believed) would allow her to avoid needing the vaccine, leading to her celebration upon learning she had contracted the virus.
It should be noted that Horká did not fall for any conspiracy theories, she did not believe that there are nanochips in vaccines and similar nonsense which is spreading on the internet. She just thought that the Omikron mutation is not dangerous and it is more “natural” to have the disease and get the antibodies this way than to be vaccinated.
Her son, musician Jan Rek, blames her death on the stars of the Czech antivax scene – namely actor and self-proclaimed shaman Jaroslav Dušek (winner of the Erratic Boulder Award from the Czech Skeptics Club Sisyfos for “good shamanic advice for every day”) and molecular geneticist Soňa Peková (also winner of the Erratic Boulder Award, who claimed in October 2020 that “Covid-19 will really disappear by Christmas” and who collaborated with the political far right and disinformation media). Hana Horká has frequently shared Facebook posts by these two personalities.Continue reading
The information channels of the Zdravé fórum (Healthy Forum) show typical characteristics of a disinformation spreader. These characteristics are in particular:
1) Sharing disinformation and problematic websites.
Zdravé fórum intensively shares the content of the following disinformation or highly problematic media.
New Year’s Eve, an excellent opportunity to test our paranormal abilities and, like many other skeptics, peek behind the curtain of time and tell us some kind of future. Our focus was on the year ahead and we had visions as bright as the sun of the New Year, completely apolitical and, unfortunately, without any sign of the pandemic.
Mr. Psax, after a series of shamanistic rituals, learned that:
- there would be an United Federation of Skeptical Podcasts1
- Russia will shoot down another satellite
- Czech Skeptics Club Sisyphos, in cooperation with other skeptical entities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, will begin publishing a skeptical journal quarterly, the Czechoslovak version of the Skeptical Inquirer on coated paper.
For the occasion, El Léñas even spent the night in a pyramid fortified with crystals of the four elements and learned in a lucid dream that:
- Jiří Grygar would stop believing in God.
- NASA finally admits that the Earth is flat.
- Ota Nepilý gets the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
A year from now, we’ll talk…
At first – quick numbers: 8275 confirmed cases, 5058 recovered and 290 dead in Czech Republic.
“SARS-CoV-2-CZ-Preval” Study shows that the degree of immunization of the Czech population is very low. In the most affected localities does not reach the value of 4% – 5%. 27000 tested people revealed 107 positive cases.
The big news is that “Scientists from the Czech Republic top institutes have joined forces to create the new vaccine”. As Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (ANO) said 4.5.2020.
Homeopathy is not a medical service, there is no scientific evidence, the court ruled this month.
At the beginning there was a fine of almost €2.000 imposed by the Regional Council of the Zlín Region on a woman who provided homeopathy counseling.
The fine was confirmed by the Ministry of Health. Both administrative bodies assume that homeopathic services meet the definition of health care under the Health Services Act and can therefore only be provided by the holder of the authorization to provide health services issued by the Regional Council.
But the Regional Court in Brno annulled the decision of the Ministry of Health, and it filed a cassation complaint with the Supreme Administrative Court.