Darryl Anka was born in Ottawa on October 12, 1951. He moved to Los Angeles as a child where his father, a nightclub entertainer, was expected to become the “next Mario Lanza.” Musical fame found its way down another branch of the Anka family tree. Darryl’s first cousin is “Puppy Love” crooner, Paul Anka.
The cousins don’t keep in touch. Darryl began his career as a Hollywood special effects designer, and worked on films such as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Pirates of the Caribbean, and I Robot.
Now, Darryl mostly just hangs out channeling his friend Bashar, “a multi-dimensional extra-terrestrial being” (with a PayPal account). Bashar offers private sessions for a fee of $300, in addition to the $100 booking session charge. And let’s not forget about the $100 follow-up session with someone named April who talks to dolphins.
Darryl has been swindling people this way since 1983, and he has garnered high praise in what is known as the channeling community among people who believe that human beings can communicate with disembodied spirits from other dimensions.
His cohorts in the channeling game include Lee Carroll and his “love-filled and empowering angelic being,” Kryon; Wendy Kennedy, who channels a collective group of souls from the future; and, for history buffs, Geoffrey Hoppe, who channels Tobias, “an angelic being who has lived many lifetimes on Earth.”
These so-called channelers have found themselves a cozy corner of the internet. Bashar has almost 20,000 likes on Facebook and 15,000 Twitter followers. Anka’s website Bashar.org ranks 31,139 in terms of popularity in the United States. Skeptoid.com, for comparison, ranks 29,879. Anka holds events and attends conventions. He sells books, DVDs, crystals, and something called “dolphin videos” on his website. From what I can tell, the dolphin videos involve underwater dolphin montages accompanied by upbeat, dolphin-related pop songs.
Bashar’s teachings follow a common model, resembling a cross between a get-rich-quick scheme and the end of an Arthur C. Clarke novel. Anka claims that Bashar’s philosophy works because it is “based on physics…a more advanced version of physics than you may have encountered in the past- but nevertheless, it is based on physics.” He is a fan of vague, pseudo-scientific phrases and references to quantum physics, electro-magnetic fields, and feedback loops. He espouses a version of the law of attraction, a New Age belief that humans have the power to physically manifest anything they imagine, especially wealth, or “abundance,” Anka’s favorite buzzword.
Anka promises his followers “enhanced health,” “enhanced love relationships,” and “expanded psychic abilities.” Not one to put all of his crazy eggs in one lunatic basket, Anka also dabbles in “2012”, “Parallel Realities- Crop Circles,” “Psychic Phenomenon,” “Earth Changes,” “Healing Methods,” “future technology,” and “Sacred Geometry.” He has been weaseling his way into the psychic dolphins business since Bashar told him that dolphins are more telepathic than humans.
You may be wondering why Darryl Anka is worth mentioning at all on a site like Skeptoid. Skeptoid’s listeners are particularly unlikely to buy Anka’s line, and the world might be a better place if we simply ignored these people. After all, does anyone naive enough to drink Anka’s Kool-Aid even merit our sympathy?
Aliens are a common feature in new religious movements, including Mormonism and Scientology, and shouldn’t be cause in itself to discredit a movement. The idea of alien contact isn’t that much harder to believe than the story of Noah’s Ark, or Jesus’s resurrection. But religious groups can be corrupt and harmful, and an emphasis on acquiring wealth is a good sign that a group may not have its member’s best interests at heart (I’m talking to you too, Scientology).
Self-help gurus and snake oil salesmen like Anka prey on people who are desperate and vulnerable. On the subject of illegal downloading, Bashar advocates moral relativity, but when it comes to pirating his own material, Anka says those who do “exist in lack- that they are not abundant enough to do it any other way other than violating the rights of someone else.” Anka makes a living convincing people that giving him their money is the only way to get rich. And he is remarkably successful.
In this video Anka advocates smoking or injecting dimethyltryptamine (DMT) to communicate with beings from other dimensions. DMT is a schedule I drug, known to cause hallucinations involving perceived “contact with ‘other beings’, alien like, insectoid or reptilian in nature, in highly advanced technological environments where the subjects were ‘carried’, ‘probed’, ‘tested’, ‘manipulated’, ‘dismembered’, ‘taught’, ‘loved’ and even ‘raped’ by these ‘beings’.”
DMT is not the most dangerous drug out there, but it is not as harmless as online forums will tell you. Short term side effects include overwhelming fear, increased temperature, and increased blood pressure, which can cause fatal heart attacks in users with hypertension or heart problems. The drug can be fatal for users who take MAOI inhibitors, and can prompt sever distress in those who suffer from anxiety disorders. Long term use can result in “damage to the brain areas that control mood, cognition and problem-solving.” So, if you really need to be dream-probed by aliens, by all means, try DMT.
Anka’s healing claims make his spiritual pyramid scheme truly appalling. Anka advocates exercise, hydration, and a healthy, organic diet, which are all just fine. But he also suggests food deprivation regardless of BMI and consumption of ridiculous amounts of water to “flush the toxins” that infest the planet earth. He discourages the use of “man-made drugs,” claiming that DMT is a naturally occurring drug because the human brain produces it while dreaming. So, DMT is indeed natural when sucked out of the brain of a sleeping person.
Anka claims that by following his spiritual methods, one may regenerate missing body parts and levitate. According to Anka, physical pain is the result of “resisting the natural self,” and those who still experience pain have not taken his lessons seriously enough. He claims that by following his six rules for health, “in 99.99999999999999% of the cases, these 6 ideas alone will eliminate almost any chance you will ever have of contracting any kind of disease in your life at all,” including cancer and AIDs.
If you don’t see the problem with Anka yet, watch this youtube video of him advising a mother on how to deal with her son’s schizophrenia. Anka, confusing schizophrenia with Dissociative Identity Disorder, cracks a few jokes about multiple personalities. He tells her to consult with her “guides, in your dreams,” and to “lighten up.”
Taking into account Anka’s rejection of “earth toxins” and “man-made drugs” and his steadfast commitment to victim blaming, especially with regard to physical maladies, he has the potential to seriously damage people who are desperate for a solution. Advising people to see real doctors is out of the question once you’ve built your career on the idea that the physical world is an insidious lie. Darryl Anka continues to dole out absurd medical advice because Bashar’s continued prosperity depends on a delicate balance of misinformation, insistence on omniscience, and the sale of dolphin videos.