healer edinburgh

Psychic healer charges almost £900 to treat ‘disease’ and trauma at Edinburgh event

A psychic healer, previously convicted for claiming he can cure cancer, is holding an event in Edinburgh which he claims will “transform lives” and mean people will no longer suffer  “disease, injury, illness, anxiety, bad habits or worries”.

Critics claim the two-day event – promoted by Star Magic Healing and costing almost £900 – could be putting seriously ill and vulnerable people at risk.

The founder of Star Magic Healing, Jerry Sargeant, claims to have discovered his gift for healing after being in a car crash. He told The Ferret he is a “facilitator, empowering people to do their own healing” and would “never recommend that people cease medical treatment”. 

He insisted neither he or his organisations were making claims of curing cancer.

Healer claims dismissed by critics

But critics – such as Professor Edzard Ernst – have dismissed Sargeant’s claims as “quackery” and claimed that targeting expensive events at unwell people was “despicable”. 

Under consumer protection laws it is illegal to falsely claim a product “is able to cure illnesses, dysfunction or malformations”. The Cancer Act restricts adverts which offer to treat cancer, or give treatment advice.

Sargeant was convicted under the act in 2017 after Trading Standards raised concerns about the claims made on his website that he could cure illnesses, including cancer. His UK-based company was then dissolved, according to Companies House.

But Sargeant has continued to offer healing sessions in countries including Canada and the US, as well as online. Services include “DNA upgrades” that “change your karmic blueprint” and the use of “quantum psychics” to release “blocks” preventing his clients from living “their most extraordinary lives”. Other adverts claim he is setting up healing centres across the world. 

The Star Magic website now features a disclaimer – but still carries multiple testimonials including those from people who claim Star Magic has led cancer to vanish, or cured Parkinson’s and other life threatening or limiting conditions.

Online private healing sessions with Sargeant start at £1,000 with an “investment” of £1,500 for an “emergency” session. 

We are not medical experts and would never recommend that people cease medical treatment. We are here to empower people. We tell people to be simply open to possibility.

Jerry Sargeant, founder of Star Magic Healing

Now he is advertising a “group healing” in Edinburgh, charged at £555 for one six hour workshop or £888 for two days during which participants will receive a “biological upgrade”.

The event is now ‘sold out’ according to his website. Another event is due to be held in Manchester in May. 

In recent years there has been a rapid expansion in the market for alternative and complementary therapy, which is predicted to grow to £5.9bn by 2027-28, according to a report for Business Gateway, published in August 2023.

The report linked the continued pressure on the NHS and lengthy waiting lists for underfunded NHS services for the increase in people seeking alternative, private services, as well as increase in stress and mental health disorders including anxiety and depression. 

Edzard Ernst, who was the UK’s first professor of complementary medicine, said it “stood to reason” that “the worse our NHS provision becomes, the more desperate patients would consider using healing or other forms of quackery”.

He added: “Group healing is a form of ‘energy healing’ where allegedly healing energy is transmitted by the healer to patients. In turn, this is supposed to activate their self-healing powers.”

But “not only does this ‘energy’ not exist”, he claimed, but studies failed to show it was effective “beyond a placebo effect for any condition”.

“The danger is that seriously ill patients might trust the claims of the healer and forfeit or take less seriously effective therapies for their condition,” he added. “Many instances have shown that this danger is not just theoretical but all too real. Those who claim otherwise are exploiting the most vulnerable of society.”

The term complementary medicine includes treatments recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)  including the use of the Alexander technique for Parkinson’s disease and chiropractic treatments for back pain.

Many alternative therapy disciplines are regulated on a voluntary basis including acupuncture and homoeopathy.

The worse our NHS provision becomes, the more desperate patients would consider using healing or other forms of quackery.

Professor Edzard Ernst

UK Healers, the professional body regulating spiritual healers, estimates there are about 12-18,000 across the UK and says 90 to 95 percent do not charge for their services. A spokesperson for the organisation confirmed that Sargeant was not a member.

Sargeant insisted he was not making false claims. “We are not medical experts and would never recommend that people cease medical treatment,” he told The Ferret.

“We use breath work, frequency, energy, music and some very specific techniques to get the participants into a state of balance that facilitates and maximises their own body’s natural healing processes. We are here to empower people. We tell people to expect nothing specific, to be simply open to possibility.”

Sergeant, who says he does not make claims of curing cancer, told The Ferret it could be a “massive coincidence” that a man with stage four cancer “who did nothing else but our work” found “the cancer simply vanished”. 

“Whether someone is using allopathic medicine or alternative medicine – healing, nutrition, breath work, intermittent fasting, meditation, good sleep, cold therapy –  doesn’t matter,” he added.  If they heal, they heal. It’s positive and beautiful. One doesn’t negate the other.”

Edinburgh Trading Standards said it did not comment on individual cases but added in a statement: “The Cancer Act 1939 contains restrictions on any advertisement which contains an offer to treat or prescribe any remedy or to give any advice in connection with the treatment of cancer.

“Further, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, prohibits misleading and aggressive commercial practices, including falsely claiming that a product is able to cure illnesses, dysfunction or malformations.”

It confirmed it “would consider any information passed to us to ascertain whether these provisions are being breached”.

Jerry Sargeant’s response in full

Cover image thanks to iStock/microgen

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