In 2010, people in Poland spent over 2 billion PLN (about US$700 million) for esoteric services. There are about forty million people living in Poland, which means that the average citizen (including newborns and the elderly) spent over 50 PLN (US$17) on these services. In the past eighteen years the most spectacular nationwide charity event (The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity) collected less than 400 million PLN (US$130 million). Let’s hear it again: in the past eighteen years we have donated about 20 percent of the money we spend every year on fairies, talismans, voodoos, curses, and exorcisms. In 2010 (the best year for Polish charity), we were able to donate 43 million PLN to improve early cancer diagnosis in children. That’s forty-six times less than the money Polish people have thrown away for fortune tellers. This comparison quite effectively shows the preferences and beliefs of an average Pole. After the years of communism, when all signs of “spirituality” were strictly controlled or even repressed by the government, Polish people have used their freedom to provide themselves the “care” of homeopaths, chiropractors, fortune tellers, wizards, radiesthesists, bioenergy therapists, and other tricksters.
What’s even worse is that Polish universities do not protect themselves from this pseudoscience. Medicine and pharmacy students are offered courses on homeopathy and alternative medicine. Pedagogical studies are teaching educational kinesiology or the Doman Delacato patterning method. Even renowned universities include neurolinguistic programming (NLP), Bert Hellinger’s family constellation therapy, and Carl Simonton’s “treatment” for cancer (and many more questionable therapies) in their psychology curriculums. Polish scientists rarely protest against such practices. This is the reason we have founded thePolish Skeptics Club (PSC)––an organization focused on informing the public about the real value of pseudoscientific claims, promoting proper scientific knowledge, and guarding against pseudoscientific practices (particularly in medicine and psychology).