Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Pulse Beat

Religion and Cancer Treatment

Many doctors who consider themselves to be great scientists detest the word ‘religion’. If they are truly great scientists, they will have to agree with Albert Einstein who said: “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe—a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way, the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.”
A new series of systematic reviews suggests that religion and spirituality could have a positive impact on the physical, mental and social well-being of cancer patients. “To date, this series of meta-analyses represents the most comprehensive summary and synthesis of a rapidly growing area of psychosocial oncology: The role of religion and spirituality for patients and survivors managing the experience of cancer,” says Dr John Salsman of Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem. This paper was recently published in Cancer, the official journal of the American Cancer Society.
Spirituality is a great prop when the chips are down and one is seriously ill. Even Rock Hudson, the president of the American Rationalists Society, was secretly seen going to Lourdes when he was in his terminal stages of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)!

Drugs Retard Recovery from Brain Injury

Drugs do cause a lot of damage; many seem quite dangerous. As it is, adverse drug reactions are a leading cause of death.
According to a recent report, anti-cholinergic drugs, used for variety of reasons by doctors, could delay healing of brain injury. A study of 52 patients with acquired brain or spinal injury at a neuro-rehabilitation unit showed that the average length of stay was longer in patients with a higher level of anti-cholinergic drugs in their system.

Hearing Loss Blamed for Depression, Anxiety

Many elderly people either ignore hearing loss or do not accept that they have hearing loss. Such people are running the risk of depression, in the long run. Depression—coupled with anxiety—is one of the causes of suicide, more so after being on latest drugs to treat depression. It is easy, these days, to get help if one has hearing loss.
What bother me more are the drugs used to treat depression. The common mistake made by the medical fraternity is to think that the human mind is in the brain. The mind is neither in the body nor in the brain. The father of brain/mind research, after several years of his wrong presumption, in 1958, had corrected it thus: “None of the actions that we attribute to the mind has been initiated by electrode stimulation or epileptic discharges… there is no area of the grey matter as far as my experience goes, which local epileptic discharge brings to pass what could be called mind action… what the mind does is different. It is not to be accounted for by any neuronal mechanism that I can discover… To expect the highest brain mechanism or any set of reflexes, however complicated, to carry out what the mind does, and thus perform all the functions of the mind, is quite absurd.”
Nobel Laureate Wilder Penfield was a Canadian neurosurgeon who started playing with his patients’ brains by stimulating them with electric currents; eventually, wisdom dawned on him to write what he did in 1958. Sadly, his followers still treat the brain as the seat of the human mind.
Here is a classical situation where a chemical that damages the brain is given for a disease of the mind. The long-term result is that chemical reductionist drugs in the treatment of depression provoke suicidal tendencies and eventually result in dementia. 


Turning to Dross
Politically-connected Alchemist group under regulatory fire
Troubles seem to be raining on the once politically powerful Kanwar Deep Singh (KD Singh), a politically powerful member of parliament (MP) in the Rajya Sabha representing the Trinamool Congress. He is also the owner of Anant Media which runs the Tehelka magazine. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had ordered prosecution against the larger group company, Alchemist Infra Realty Ltd (Alchemist Infra), in May 2015. Now, it has now cracked down on Alchemist Capital as well. 
SEBI wants Alchemist Capital to refund the Rs165 crore raised through illegally issued redeemable preference shares. The money has to be paid with 15% interest compounded half-yearly. The history of SEBI’s investigation and order show that Mr Singh was the person in charge of Alchemist Capital, in 2003, when it was on a fund-raising spree without proper regulatory approvals. So Mr Singh and nine other associates have been “restrained from accessing the securities market” and “prohibited from buying, selling or otherwise dealing in the securities market, directly or indirectly in whatsoever manner”, with immediate effect. Also, the order will remain in force for four years from the date of completion of refunds.
Mr Singh’s troubles at Alchemist Infra are far worse, since the amount involved is over Rs1,000 crore. In July 2013, the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) directed the group to refund over Rs1,000 crore collected from 1.5 million investors in 18 months. The funds were raised through an unauthorised collective investment scheme (CIS). 
In a repeat of the Sahara case, Alchemist Infra, too, had submitted documents to the regulator claiming to have refunded over Rs1,000 crore to investors, as ordered. However, the names and payment details, asked for by SEBI, were apparently not forthcoming. It is this that differentiates CIS schemes from Ponzi schemes. The latter raise funds from real, identifiable investors, who receive fabulous returns, because they help lure more and more people to invest, based on false promises. 
Mr Singh’s is a mysterious rags-to-riches story. He claims to preside on a Rs10,000-crore business empire that includes chicken farming, real estate, food processing, healthcare, aviation, etc, and, of course, there is Tehelka in which he holds almost all the shares today. Some of the biggest CIS violators who have thrived for two decades by claiming to have raised funds from faceless investors, who can be identified for claiming refunds, are now meeting their nemesis. If SEBI manages to make all the major CIS promoters shut shop, it shows that a major systemic clean-up of unaccounted funds is possible even with the existing rules.



Meenal Mamdani

2 years ago

Excellent article. We citizens are indeed grateful to MoneyLife for exposing this rot in the system.

In addition, MoneyLife also holds various seminars to improve financial literacy. Consumers are well served by such watch dogs of finance.

One wonders why any one would fall for these CIS. My cousin who is a broker says that most of his clients are reluctant to spend time to learn the ropes of investing. They would rather put their faith in his advice. It makes him very uncomfortable but that seems to be the way we Indians function - rather than spend the time and effort to educate ourselves, we would rather trust a so called wise man. And this behavior is rampant, educated and not-so-educated.


2 years ago

It has been a few years since SEBI is after Sahara. If they indeed had any genuine investors, there wouldn't be so much debate whether Sahara has repaid them or not since those who haven't been paid so long would have shown up on streets in some form of protest or other. Remember CRB? Since nothing has happened so far, it can be fairly assumed that all the money that was apparently raised as deposits was nothing but black money of politicians being converted to white through some dubious deals.


Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to Gupta 2 years ago

Gupta ji, I fully agree with your views. It is a reality that for any scam, whatever investigation is instituted by the Government, it continues for ever.
Harshad Mehta, to whom then a young lady, Sucheta Dalal as a Times of India's business reporter exposed more than two decade ago.
Harshad Mehta was held in very high esteem, in then trading ring of Mumbai Stock Exchange. He rigged prices of several company's stocks at very high level.
Presently 2,000 criminal cases are going on in Mumbai High Court against Harshad Mehta. Only advocates who run the show of proceedings of these cases are the only beneficiaries of Harshad Mehata's scams. Harshad Mehta has expired, and based on circumstantial evidences his criminal cases are reportedly proceeding in Mumbai High Court, without any results.
Any monitory scams even in pre-independence era, have met with natural death with the passage of time, without any benefits to the victims, that is real investors, at any time.


2 years ago

Kudos. Moneylife should now monitor SEBI the apathetic regulator and preferably get into case details such as officers who are investigating the case if possible. If these chit funds are cleaned up we will have plenty of black money added to the Rs. 6,500 total mop up to date. Let us hope SEBI acts with the order complied with else Arun Jaitley will hear the commotion right in his Delhi office.

Veeresh Malik

2 years ago

Is it likely that some of the CIS schemes are also somehow linked with counterfeit currency or FICN as it is known?

R Balakrishnan

2 years ago

Amazing that neither RBI nor SEBI can do anything about this. Our free for all regulations make it easy for anyone to print forms and collect money. Unless the RBI bans collecting money without an explicit license (not guideline based, but specific to each one) and there are harsh penalties for violation, these kind of scams will continue.
And the accused (typically after they raise a few thousand crores) will hire the best lawyers and keep out of jail. The legal process will ensure that the case lives beyond the culprit.

Health Insurance: Review of Apollo Munich Dengue Care Plan
Offers inpatient and OPD coverage; does regular mediclaim cover dengue?
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