Highly-Dubious Spiritualist Making Highly-Dubious Claims Loses Highly-Dubious Defamation Lawsuit Against Critic
from the cool,-refreshing,-Trivedi-brand-'bottles-o'-bullshit' dept
Mahendra Trivedi is a hell of a guy. Just ask him.
Mahendra Trivedi is recognized throughout the world for the discovery of his unique ability to transmit an extremely powerful and all-encompassing form of energy. The revolutionary impact of this energy is called The Trivedi Effect® .
[You can tell it's an extra-special energy because it has a registered trademark.]
Trivedi can simply stand near a bottle of water, transfer some of his powerful energy, and sell this bottled water to you at a presumably healthy markup. Among other things, the energized water can supposedly go full Lazarus on your flora.
But that's not all. Not only can Trivedi energize stuff to make it do other stuff, he's also quite the human specimen.
Research done on various aspects of his physiology has confirmed unique differences in his body, such as variations in body temperature ranging between 95 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. His breathing pattern shows minimal movement in his diaphragm (which is physically impossible). An MRI of his brain reveals that he has the largest pituitary fossa ever found in a healthy person known to date. More so, an EEG found that his brain is in an alpha state when he is simply "normal.“ According to modern medical science, Mahendra Trivedi‘s physiological conditions contradict everything we know about science, the human body and the power of consciousness.
"Contradicting everything we know about science" is a pretty good summation of Trivedi's goods and services. According to information gathered by the Skeptic's Dictionary, Trivedi has staked a claim to any number of miraculous actions.
...Mr. Trivedi began to ask why this energy is limited to humans. He felt that if this energy is real, it must work everywhere. It must enhance the abilities, properties, and productivity of crops; transform bacteria, viruses and fungi; convert cancer cells into non-cancer cells; and make metals, chemicals, and polymers stronger. Due to his skeptic nature, he started scientific research. With help from the most sophisticated technology available to science under controlled conditions; [sic] he began to discover the proven impact of this energy’s characteristics, behavior, limitations and abilities. He thought that if this energy could change the structure of an atom, then nothing was impossible for this energy. He has compiled a remarkable track record of success, including nearly 4,000 well-documented scientific studies on his ability to profoundly affect matter down to the level of the atom.
4,000 well-documented scientific studies? Who could argue with that? Well, anyone who wants to, apparently.
I am sorry to say that I have been unable to locate even one of these 4,000 studies that has been published in a reputable scientific journal. Many are published in predatory open access journals.
And, even under the complete lack of scrutiny provided by pay-for-play "scientific journals," the studies Trivedi claims back up his miracles have nothing approaching scientific methodology contained in them. One claiming Trivedi was able to introduce bacterial mutations simply by waving his hand over some Petri dishes is deftly summed up this way by a slightly more sympathetic blogger at "Integral World."
No attempt even to recognize, let alone engage with, these issues is made in the paper. It's basically just, this is what we found, believe it or not.
Nothing says "science" quite like the conclusion, "There's no explanation for this, so Trivedi must be a miracle worker."
This alone would make Trivedi a target of mockery and skepticism. Add to that the fact that he's faced multiple labor-related lawsuits alleging abusive behavior and you have a magnet for criticism. Unfortunately for St. Paul blogger Dennis Lang, Trivedi can't handle having his long string of dubious claims and equally-long string of abuse allegations discussed in public. Lang has been on the receiving end of two defamation lawsuits by Trivedi -- both targeting Lang's reporting on claims made by former employees of Trivedi's.
Trivedi did manage to obtain a default judgment against Lang back in 2012. The judgment has nothing to do with the merits of his case and everything to do with the inexplicable behavior of the judge awarding it. Here's Mike Moseby of Minnesota Lawyer recounting the leadup to Lang's most recent legal battle with Trivedi.
It may have come in 2013, when Lang received a call from another Trivedi-nemesis — the former partner of the organization’s current CEO. The caller informed him that a judge in Arizona had just entered a default verdict and Lang was officially $59 million in the red.
But the peak silliness may have come on June 14, 2013, when a local attorney working for Trivedi — Kelly Hadac of the St.Paul firm HDK — sought to enforce that $59 million default judgment in Minnesota.
Fortunately, the judge in Minnesota found this judgment award unbelievably ridiculous and refused to uphold it.
As she reviewed the paperwork, Ramsey County District Court Judge Margaret Marrinan expressed bafflement — both at the size of the judgment and the fact that there was no accompanying memorandum from the judge.
“It’s a fill in the blank kind of order, isn’t it?” she said. “I guess I’m rather appalled that a court would do that.” According to a transcript of the proceedings, at other points, Marrinan referred to “the incredible laxness of the judge” as “way out west” and “not the way I do business.”
The judgment was vacated for lack of jurisdiction. Undeterred, Trivedi sued Lang again, this time in Minnesota. The end result was even worse.
If you say you’re a guru who has performed thousands of medical miracles around the world, it’s harder to say in court that you’re a regular guy.
That’s one of the takeaways from Ramsey County District Judge Robert Awsumb’s ruling last week that dismissed Mahendra Trivedi’s defamation lawsuit against a St. Paul blogger, Dennis Lang.
Awsumb’s ruling is a welcome victory for the First Amendment, especially for the vast majority of writers who have no institution to protect them from well-funded legal attacks intended to silence them. The judge ruled that Trivedi was a “limited purpose public figure,” which opens him up to public criticism with a stronger shield from lawsuits.
Trivedi tried to argue that he was not a public figure. The court found this assertion ridiculous.
Despite the extraordinary nature of the powers and abilities claimed by Trivedi and the Trivedi Entities, Trivedi states that he is "not nationally or regionally famous in the United States or elsewhere in the world."
He further states:
Even within the field of alternative medicine or energy transmissions, I am very much unknown in the United States and the rest of world. When I speak to individuals concerning the Trivedi Effect, I have to introduce myself and explain the nature of the Trivedi Effect. Unless the individual has been introduced to me by another mutual contact, the individual has never heard of me or the Trivedi Entities before. This was especially true i n 2011 and 2012 when I had only been i n the United States for a few years.
Nonetheless, in 2014 Trivedi stipulated that he was a limited purpose public figure for purposes of a related defamation lawsuit in Pennsylvania. [Trivedi v. Slawecki] In fact, the court's decision in Trivedi v. Slawecki is very similar factually to this case and involves similar issues.
Yes, the same person who boasts of "performing 70,000 medical miracles around the world" and made his "debut" alongside Deepak Chopra insists he's not a public figure… even when he's claimed otherwise to further an earlier defamation lawsuit (that he lost).
The court also points out that the nature of Trivedi's "business" invites more justifiable criticism than, say, a real scientist using real science might.
The court does not intend to consider or evaluate the accuracy or validity of Trivedi's claims or abilities. Nonetheless, the claims of being Jesus-like or Einstein-like are, by their nature, controversial claims likely to be challenged or refuted. To be sure, debate was occurring both on the internet through the PurQi.com blog and by research professor Slawecki at Penn State, who had publicly posted her summary of Penn State research questioning Trivedi's purported abilities. These claims, along with the self-proclaimed 4,000 scientific studies and publications in "170 publications in leading international, peer-reviewed scientific journals" put Trivedi and his enterprise directly into the global marketplace of ideas, obviously intended to reach a broad audience and attract interest in Trivedi and his enterprise. These vast claims of his personal powers propelled Trivedi and his entities into the public arena to affirm, debate, question and challenge his assertions, and in so doing, his character and credibility.
There's your "voluntary injection" into the public debate. Point: Lang. And lawsuit dismissed.
As James Eli Shiffner of the Star Tribune points out, this win is everyone's win, whether it's long-established journalistic outlets or hobby bloggers performing their own investigative work.
The ability to criticize public figures is a bedrock of free speech. With some public figures calling for new restrictions on that right, Awsumb’s ruling sends a message that it’s not only big media organizations that will have the court’s backing.
And if Trivedi thought suing critics would make his dubious claims and alleged abuse fade from the public eye, he's finding out (repeatedly) that his common sense is no more finely honed than his scientific skills.