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Trading Standards have confirmed - Lightning Process is illegal!

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by kermit frogsquire, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. kermit frogsquire

    kermit frogsquire *****

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    Trading standards have issued an opinion that the Lightning Process is criminally illegal!!! Not just the way it is sold but the course itself.

    Also see this great YOU TUBE - X factor Spoof - XMRV factor for psychiatrists! So funny.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mze9_ZAIlE0

    Ok back to serious - here are the Trading Standards responses - Please everyone contact Trading Standard and make complaints about the Lightning Process. Complain that they make all kinds of false and misleading claims on the course and therefore they need to act to stop them.

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    From Trading Standards -

    This is an update as to the progress of your complaint regarding The Phil Parker Group (referred to as TPPG). Thank you for all the information you have provided and I have spent some time doing my own research and speaking to experts. Clearly this is a complex matter which involves a large number of businesses spread over the UK. I agree with your view that there are a number of areas of TPPG advertising methods which could mislead consumers. Our main aim here to is advise businesses in order to get them to comply with the law in the quickest and most efficient way.

    Having read your initial complaint letter I can see you are familiar with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (referred to as the CPRs). As you have pointed out there are a number of areas where TPPG may have made misleading actions and omissions which constitute breaches of this legislation. This being the case, Regulation 19 (4) of the CPRs compels us to:

    ...have regard to the desirability of encouraging control of unfair commercial practices by such established means as it considers appropriate having regard to all the circumstances of the particular case.

    What this means is that we should consider established means when deciding how to enforce the CPRs. In this case the established means for advertising issues would be the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). There are a number of reasons why the ASA would be best placed to initally deal with TPPG, these are:

    1) they have a national remit and can therefore adjudicate on businesses anywhere in the country. As we have previously discussed, there are Lightning Process practitioners all over the country. Therefore a national organisation would be best placed to deal with issues that cross local authority boundaries.

    2) If the ASA adjudicate against one practitioner for displaying misleading information then they can easily apply the same adjudication to any other practitioner who displays the same information. This is unlike a criminal prosecution whereby each individual would have to be prosecuted for each individual offence. This will be particularly useful in instances where TPPG display information on their website that is replicated on many other websites.

    3) Adjudications can be made public and the ASA can, if they so wish, publicise the fact that a business is refusing to comply with an adjudication. This is a very quick way to show a business may be doing something wrong without having to go to court. I have also found that the last ASA adjudication against a practitioner led to some significant changes on their website.

    4) The CPRs can be fairly wide ranging and open to interpretation. The ASA codes are far more specific and make it easier to pinpoint areas where a business may be doing something wrong.

    5) The ASA can ask a business to justify any claims they make. In a criminal prosecution we would have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the business was misleading consumers. Given the nature of some of the claims this could prove difficult to do.

    As you may be aware internet advertising only became the remit of the ASA from 1st March 2011. I have been informed by them that they have received some complaints about this issue within the first week of March. Therefore the matter is currently under their consideration and we await any adjudication. I will also be making a complaint to the ASA on behalf of Hampshire Trading Standards to ensure that they cover all the areas that we have issues with - this will include their website and any YouTube videos TPPG, or its associates, have published..

    Should TPPG refuse to amend their marketing to comply with ASA adjudications then we always have the option of criminal prosecutions.

    I hope this makes sense and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.


    Regards,

    Trading Standards Officer

    Hampshire Trading Standards Service

    Montgomery House, Monarch Way,

    Winchester, SO22 5PW

    Website: www.hants.gov.uk/tradingstandards

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Mohammed,

    Whilst the ASA may be able to quickly tackle the website content, the statements made on the course are similarly false and misleading (including claims to cure cancer) and the public will continue to be seriously misled.

    I hope that you can help with the above problem of continuing false statements made in the national press and also those made on the course.

    Best Regards

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If they do not comply then we can also consider injunctive action under the Enterprise Act 2002. What this legislation aims to do is prevent businesses from breaching the law in the future. If they breach an injuction then they are in contempt of court. Therefore unlike a criminal prosecution this type of action can actually be more effective in stopping businesses from breaching the law in the future.

    More info here: http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/cons...-law/enterprise-act-part-8-enforcement-orders


    Regards
  2. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    "Revenge is a dish best served with lawyers and a thousand lawsuits!" :thumbsup:
  3. spittingimage

    spittingimage

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    Haha! I saw this vid and posted a link to it on the jokes thread on the Community section. So funny.... :-D:D
  4. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Is Trading Standards something like the Better Business Bureau in the US???
  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Haven't read this closely enough to really understand - but looks quite funny. Ta.
  6. kermit frogsquire

    kermit frogsquire *****

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    Hiya Caledonia, UK Trading Standards are the organisation over here that have the role of upholding the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading regulations 2008. These are a set of criminal charges relating to misleading statements, omissions and aggressive practices. Its a bit like fraud but with less evidence needed as they are strict liability offences, no proof of intent is required. They carry up to 2 years in prison.

    From what I have read UK Trading Standards is more like the US Federal Trade Commission and the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

    You even have a LP practitioner in the USA that you can complain about and use the above UK letters from trading standards:)
    http://www.living-a-life-you-love.com/living-a-life-you-love.com/Home.html
  7. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    KF that is an over simplification of the legislation that comes within the Trading Standards remit. The National Governmental entity responsible for the overal application of Trading Legislation is the OFT , Trading Standards Offices are part of local Government and each is charged with a range of statutory duties within a local Government area only - hence the encouragement of the complainant to seek recourse via the ASA which deals with advertising on a UK wide basis.

    Fair Trading and and Trading Standards legislation is both complex and comprehensive, it includes both Civil and Criminal law, the letter repreduced above offers no suggestion that any criminal act has taken place, and the TSO's opinion is clearly that only after an ASA judgement and subsequent failure on the part of the advertiser to comply with that judgement, could the issue of illegality be considered - see ASA Sanctions . The ASA is notoriously weak and and even where it does decide to investigate often only delivers insubstantial judgements requiring changes to wording or the use of images in future advertisments.

    The Lightening Process is just one of tens of thousands of quack remedies and interventions that are sold in the UK on the basis of what many people would consider unjustifiable advertising, LP is no more illegal than Reiki or Homeopathy and making hyperbolic claims that an official judgement of illegallity has been given helps no one challenge either LP specifically or any other harmful or pointless 'so called' treatment. It is also unlikely to gain the support of UK officials by publishing their correspondence without permission, and I'd strongly suggest removing the name and offiice details from the correspondence above.

    IVI
  8. Bob

    Bob

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    I agree that it would be courteous to remove the personal details of the officer, and it might not be in our best interests to 'reward' helpful officials by posting their name, address and personal correspondence all over the internet.

    I think it would be courteous to ask the Trading Standards Officer if he minds the letter being posted on a public forum, if that hasn't been done already.
  9. kermit frogsquire

    kermit frogsquire *****

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    This is information directly from the OFT -

    "Under Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the EA02) the OFT along with other enforcers such as TSS, has powers to seek undertakings and court orders to deal with infringements of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPR's), where such a breach harms the interests of consumers. The OFT's role is primarily in making markets work better, and due to limited resources, the TSS are usually better placed to deal with enforcement."

    The majority of breaches of the CPR 2008 regulations are criminal breaches. It is the opinion of Trading Standards that there are criminal breaches by Phil Parker and the Lightning Process. Whilst only a court can decide whether a criminal offence has been committeed, in this situation where due to the slimey nature of Philip Parker it makes taking a court action very difficult. It is possible that a judge would agree with Trading Standards, however, Trading Standards feel that the best way to stop the claims and protect the public is to release an opinion and use other sanctions such as injunctions to stop the scam and protect the public. In other words, awareness and injunctive prevention.

    There is a big difference between Reiki, Homeopathy and most of alternative medicine to the LP and Phil Parker. Phil Parker aggressively sells his product, which for many years was despicably sold to very sick patients with false claims of 97% success. Claims to cure cancer have also been made. This is why the LP has been singled out, it is in complete breach of the laws of most civilised societies regarding scams, false statements, omission and aggressive practices. Show me a homeopath that claims that 90% of people that do the treatment recover - they would equally be taken to task.

    These are the claims that Phil Parker has made that he called "facts"
    *On completion of the training the graduates are assessed to determine if they have got an appropriate understanding of the course material. A huge percentage of trainees (about 97%) gain this understanding and make the changes we expect.
    *That over 90% of participants gain recovery from their M.E
    *That the change is rapid
    *The sources of these negative opinions are:
    People who have no actual personal experience of the Lightning Process, but are certain they know all about it.
    A very small (less than 10%) group of people who have taken the training and not managed to apply it as directed by their trainer.

    All the above are complete falsehoods.

    UK officials have granted permission to raise such awareness in answer to the charge made. By Official, as the word would suggest, their details are available already. However, phone numbers have been removed for arguments sake, although I am sure Phil Parker knows how to use directory enquiries.

    This is about protecting patients and sick people from a terrible scam that claims to promise recover, please do not be distracted from that aim by silly arguments. We need to do all we can to stop these scams, to stop children being harmed at the hands of this person. Over 250 children a year are being conned by Philip Parker. If we write letters, and take just a little bit of time, we can make a difference. Please help! With these scams prevented and ME patients protected, we can get the more focus on biomedical research and medical trials. Open season on ME patients for these scams must end.

    Trading Standards partly operate on a volume of complaints basis, the more the public is concerned about an issue the more resources they will devote to it. Therefore I would urge anyone concerned about this terrible scam to write to Trading Standards, especially those people that have done the LP and feel no better and feel totally conned.
  10. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    Where are these TS opionions of criminality by Parker ? As the TS letter you reproduced only suggests reference to the ASA, there can be no opinion that criminality has taken place. If people have evidence of breaches of Fair Trading legislation, certainly they should contact their local Trading Standards Office, but misleading people over what is or is not a breach, or what is or is not criminal will not help a process of complaint. Vexatious or spurrious complaints are worse than no complaint at all, as these frequently disuade the relevant authority from actually investigating well constitued complaints about the same offenders.

    There appears to be more information on the reported complaint here:

    http://frownatsmile.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/trading-standards-on-phil-parker-group-and-lp/

    A previous judgement by the ASA against an LP practioner can be found here http://www.asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudications/2010/6/Withinspiration/TF_ADJ_48612.aspx note that the finding is that the advertisment must not appear again - so long as it didn't do so, no criminal act will have taken place.

    IVI
  11. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    You're quite right IVI - overstating the case so much did not seem helpful to me here. But Kermit's excitement over Mohammed's letter seems understandable to me given what he did say, don't you think? Thanks though for pointing out the counter-productivity of excess.
  12. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

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    I've spent too much time pursuing bureaucratic and political solutions to get easily excited by such things. The problem is that only the most egregious infractions of Fair Trading legislation are subject to inhibiting sanctions, and the very weakest area of FT law in the UK is that overseen by the ASA, so I doubt that there will be anything more than a slapped wrist and an instruction "not to do it again" handed down by the ASA. Not that I don't applaud the complainant(s) for putting in the effort - right on to whoever they are ! But I'd see the cause of challenging the Lightning Process as harmful quakery as being a very long process and I'd prefer folks not to get their hopes up that there's an easy victory on the horizon.

    A more fruitful area for those with the energy and inclination might be raising at a political level the whole issue of psychological treatments directed at the under 18s who should under other legislation ( Human Rights Act etc) have exceptional protection. There is no reason why the Government should not consider creating a register of therapists qualified to provide paediatric services within recognised disciplines from which novel and untestable treatments would be excluded.

    IVI
  13. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    Well done Kermit.

    .

    For those of us who have been painstakingly deconstrucing Lightning process for years, and attempting to educate ME sufferers and local ME Group leaders about the NLP double-speak and commercial personal growth rhetoric of Lightning Process, its refreshing to see individuals being pro-active in challenging the commercial exploitation of our illness.
  14. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    @ In Vitro Infidelium

    "A more fruitful area for those with the energy and inclination might be raising at a political level the whole issue of psychological treatments directed at the under 18s"

    Raising ME issues at a political level has to date been spectacularly unsucessful.
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    By the way, Bob, I have still not had either reply nor even acknowledgement of my of my early December letter to Ed Stafford re his public promotion of Phil Parker's NLP Training courses. I expect he is too busy promoting his new career.
  16. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    After much, deep, meaningful thought, cross refferencing many areas of medical science, I have come to a conclusion on the "Lighting Process":










    Why not just stick a Duracell battery up yer arse instead, and dance the can-can, hm? :p
    Be miles cheaper,just as effective, and more fun! :sluggish:


    cancananime.gif cancananime.gif cancananime.gif bunny_animation.gif
    heapsreal likes this.
  17. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Love it(not the battery), i know i would run fast just with that threat of a batter, especially one of those big square suckers they stick in dolphin torchers lol :eek:

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