I find it extremely amusing that when Radovan Karadzic, Serbian war criminal and fugitive from justice, wanted to disguise himself with an assumed identity in a suburb of Belgrade, he chose such an interesting occupation for his alter ego — purveyor of New-Age quantum nonsense.
No one knew quite how to react when it emerged that he had been selling “human quantum energy” diviners on the internet from a flat in surburban Belgrade, speaking at conferences for alternative health and maintaining an intimate friendship with a rather good-looking younger woman.
And this wasn’t just some cover story to fall back on when strangers inquired about what he did for a living; apparently, Karadzic really went all-out. (Including a website. Every international fugitive needs a website!)
He threw himself into the role. His articles in Healthy Life, a Serbian alternative medicine magazine, show a man who was fluent in new age thinking. “It is widely believed our senses and mind can recognise only 1% of whatever exists around us. Three per cent we understand with our hearts. All that remains is shrouded in secrecy, out of the reach of our five senses; however, it is within our reach in the extra-sensory manner,” he wrote in one article.
I love the quantification. Three percent we understand with our hearts! Hopefully, improved experimental precision will enable us to pin the correct figure down to the nearest tenth of a percent.
But he was devout, you have to had him that.
He was also interested in healing through the optimal use of ‘vital energy’, a quasi-mystical, non-physical dimension of the body, similar to the Chinese notion of ‘Qi’ and the Indian concept of the ‘chakra’ centres of energy in the body. “He was very religious,” said a woman who works at the magazine and knew him. “He had his hair in a plait in order to be able to receive different energies. He was a very nice man.”
At least, when he wasn’t ordering the Srebrenica massacre. That wasn’t really very nice.