“Advising against a potentially life-saving procedure is absolutely irresponsible.” I grill International Meta-Medicine Association founder Johannes Fisslinger over allegations that his employees caused patient deaths in Norway.
IMMA promotes an elaborate philosophy of preventive health based on the discredited theories of Ryke Geerd Hamer, a notorious German doctor and virulent anti-Semite who lost his medical licence in 1986 as a result of extreme misconduct.
Hamer’s illegal treatment of cancer patients using his so-called “Germanic New Medicine” (GNM) – a speculative model of disease exploring the “interconnections and relationships” between “the psyche, the brain and the organ” – has reportedly claimed dozens of lives.
There are few references to Hamer to be found on IMMA’s official websites, and none of the company’s high-profile supporters I’ve spoken with knew about its ties to him.
IMMA founder Johannes Fisslinger (source)
I asked Fisslinger about his organisation’s relationship to Hamer, and his opinion of Hamer’s theories.
Fisslinger credited Hamer with providing the basic framework for IMMA’s philosophy of preventive health, but made clear he does not endorse Hamer’s racial views or his “do-nothing” approach to treating patients.
“I agree that Dr. Hamer’s method and therapy is ineffective or dangerous,” said Fisslinger, alluding to a 2001 Swiss study of Hamer’s cancer theories.
“[Hamer] basically did not use any therapy at all, telling people to just allow the body to heal without doing anything. This is 100% opposite to what we are doing.”
Fisslinger insists IMMA closely monitors its practitioners to ensure that they adhere to the company’s lengthy code of practice.
However, according to a series of 2009 reports by Norwegian television station TV 2, three or more people died after they were advised by IMMA practitioners Dagfrid Kolås and Bent Madsen to abandon conventional cancer treatments.
Via TV 2:*
Cancer sufferers said no to treatment [17/04/2009]
Three people are dead after refusing to get cancer treatment in Bergen. All had been in contact with the theories of the convicted ex-doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer.
There is still a lot of snow in the cemetery in Kongsberg. But Terje Fjeldheim would like there to be some fresh flowers on her sister’s grave.
Elsemarit Fjeldheim got cancer in 2006, but refused to receive treatment.
“We knew that when the cancer was discovered early, the prospects for recovery were very good,” says Terje Fjeldheim.
After she got cancer, Elsemarit came into contact with the theories of the German ex-doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer. Hamer has hundreds of followers in Europe and now the cult-like movement is also trying to gain a foothold on the West Coast.
Bent Madsen is central to the Meta-Medicine movement in Bergen, together with Dagfrid Kolås, author of a book named “Hope.”
It was these two people Terje’s sister came in contact with in 2006.
“The worst thing was that they went so hard against using medicine and warned against it, that it only made matters worse,” says Terje Fjeldheim.
Gunnvor Vossgård believes her cancer-stricken daughter died as a result of blind faith in alternative therapists.
When Agnete developed cancer, she was offered chemotherapy. But she chose instead to rely on alternative therapists to get her well. Seven years ago, she died of cancer.
“I begged and begged and cried. And so did her friends too. But it was no use,” says Agnete’s mother Gunnvor Vossgård.
One of those whom she listened to was Dagfrid Kolås and her book “Hope,” which is built on the theories of the German doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer.
46-year-old died after refusing cancer treatment [22/04/2009]
Was advised by alternative practitioners to stop cancer treatment. At least five Norwegian cancer patients have suffered the same fate.
The father of Malin Birkeland is one of them. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2006.
“My father was diagnosed in December, but the prognosis was poor. He would have lived two good years extra if the chemo worked,” said Birkeland to TV2 News.
But Tore Birkeland came into contact with Dagfrid Kolås and Bent Madsen, and stopped cancer treatment. Kolås and Madsen head the so-called Meta-Medicine movement in Bergen.
“My father got advice to stop treatment because it would not work and that chemo contained mustard gas,” says Malin Birkeland.
I asked Fisslinger if he was aware of these reports; if he had spoken with and/or reprimanded Kolås and Madsen; and if he had carried out an investigation to ensure that other practitioners aren’t advising patients to refuse potentially life-saving treatment.
“Our code of ethics and policy is very clear about this,” said Fisslinger. “A client needs to make the decision together with their doctor and the Meta-Health professional. [Advising] not to use a potentially life-saving procedure is absolutely irresponsible.”
Fisslinger said Kolås and Madsen’s conduct was “absolutely unacceptable” and confirmed there had been an investigation into the deaths in Norway.
IMMA practitioners Dagfrid Kolås and Bent Madsen (source)
He also denied that Kolås and Madsen were ever on IMMA’s Advisory Council.
However, this screenshot from the official IMMA website lists Kolås and Madsen as members of IMMA’s Advisory Council.
Furthermore, Kolås – who according to Fisslinger retired “several years ago” – gave a talk (on the subject of “healing breast cancer naturally”¹) at the 2014 International Meta-Health Conference.
I’ve asked Fisslinger to clarify, but haven’t received a response.
¹In her 2014 autobiography about her struggle with breast cancer, How I Healed My Life: From Crisis and Cancer to Self-Empowerment, Kolås claimed she healed herself via natural methods. However, in 2013 she reportedly admitted having undergone conventional medical treatments. Kolås’ personal credo is: “I believe in therapy, not chemistry.”
*For continuity, English translations of news reports have been edited and condensed.