On the flight back from my honeymoon, I noticed an ad on my airplane promoting this sweepstakes – and my attention was drawn to the grand prize:
Win a one-on-one meeting with the renowned author and mind-body expert, Deepak Chopra, M.D. and rejuvenate your spirit with his Seduction of Spirit Retreat at the Chopra Center. Dr. Chopra is a global force in the field of human empowerment and the prolific author of fourteen bestsellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality and peace. Time Magazine heralds Dr. Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century and credits him as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.”
If you’re not familiar with Deepak Chopra, there’s a detailed summary at the Skeptic’s Dictionary. Suffice it to say that he’s a physician who realized that peddling pseudoscience was much easier and more profitable than actually curing sick people. His repertoire includes generous doses of garbled nonsense that tries to connect quantum mechanics with ancient Indian superstitions, plenty of woo-woo New Age creationism, a healthy disdain for atheists, and most bizarrely of all, the claim that one can reverse the aging process by an effort of will.
So much for Chopra. But it occurred to me, why should one of his many credulous, worshipful followers win this award? Wouldn’t it be great if the one-on-one meeting was with a knowledgeable skeptic who could take this pompous fraud to task? Granted, it probably wouldn’t accomplish much; but the chance to prick Chopra’s bliss bubble, to force him for once in his life to face genuine criticism, is too good to pass up. And the public embarrassment it would cause him could provide some welcome, entertaining press for the skeptic movement.
So, I’m seriously considering entering this sweepstakes. The contest is open until June 25, so there’s plenty of time for skeptics to get on the bandwagon. Anyone else who’d relish the chance to confront Chopra want to throw their hat into the ring along with me?