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The DeAmicis are always an entertaining read. This email was received around January 1, 2001. The punctuation and spelling were left intact.

What They Say Reality Check
Hello,
This is Ralph DeAmicis and I’m writing to say that if you were going to interview me you should have informed me of that at the beginning. That is customary in the media.
Ah, the old Internet-is-the-media trick!
Ralph expects that anyone who asks him a pointed question about his writing, marketing, or other public statements should be a journalist or someone who can get him into the public eye and publish glowing reports of his exploits.
It doesn’t occur to him that inquisitive feng shui practitioners, or less-sympathetic individuals and organizations, could be interested in what he says and might want to question him about his comments and activities. And he conveniently forgets the concept of whistleblower.
If he doesn’t like someone familiar with his profession asking pointed questions, you know Ralph would not be comfortable with scrutiny from concerned citizens, consumer advocates, the Federal Trade Commission, or a district attorney tipped off to his exploits.
Denny Fairchild, one of the other writers in the field did warn me about you. I certainly would not expect anything less from Denny, as we go way back. Many people warned me about him, he sent me several gifts, and now he is keeping the circle going.
You know nothing about us and yet you condem us., You have easily the most negative site on Feng Shui that I have ever seen, and in 30 years as a professional herbalist and environmental designer I have learned that solutions are rarely as simple or one directional as you seem to think.

Here is where things start to get interesting.

Is Ralph saying that I have to know them personally to condemn their business methods? That’s not how businesses perform in the US or other places in the world.
People analyze marketing claims every day. Some employees of the Federal Trade Commission make a living doing it. Of course, they also write letters to companies that make fraudulent claims, and even haul business owners into court for unscrupulous business practices.
Ralph just doesn’t like scrutiny.
It is especially comforting to know that people who make a living from convincing people they should use anchors to keep their houses in place think that FSUR is a “negative” site.

The continuing long and impressive list of Ralph’s careers:
Background in navigation and astronomy
Herbalist (30 years)
Environmental designer (30 years) (this is a licensed profession)

We curently run one of the largest training programs in the country, and we’ve been running it for five years. Most of our seminar leaders are also Master Herbalists. becasue as I’m sure you know that is a part of the original tradition. If this is their version of herbalism, then they’ve been a little too liberal with their use of the “gentle herb” and it has clouded their thinking.
Master herbalists, as they understand the concept, have nothing to do with feng shui. A “master herbalist” is a western concept; Chinese herbalists operate using different diagnostics and a categorization of herbs that uses taste, temperature, and meridians.
Here is a typical curriculum for a master herbalist. Now look at the herbalist curriculum at Emperor’s College, one of the finest universities for Chinese traditional medicine. Here you can take a test that will help you understand the basic differences between the two practices.
Feng shui and Chinese traditional medicine parted ways thousands of years ago; even then, people typically specialized in medicine or feng shui, just like today.
Ralph is excrementizing when he blathers about “the original tradition” of feng shui including master (or any other) herbalists. He would be hard-pressed to name three.
Anyone can set themselves up to run classes. That doesn’t mean the classes are worthwhile.
What the hell have you ever done except insult good people for doing the best they can? If this is the best Ralph can do, it explains his many careers.
He doesn’t like his business practices analyzed and publicized (especially the fraudulent ones), so that makes FSUR “negative.” Just like Consumer Reports is “negative.”
As for the rest of it, I’m reminded of a quote:

I’m not intending to imply insult or judgment here but I am curious to know in order to be able to respond to your posts in an appropriate manner, so please forgive what appears to be, but in fact is not intended as, an insulting question: Are you stupid? —Melinda Shore

If I sound pissed that’s becasue I am. IF YOU WANT TO START A REAL DISCUSSION THAT’S FINE, BUT BE UP FRONT ABOUT WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOUR INTENTIONS ARE. Ralph’s temper got in the way of his memory.
He said Denny Fairchild “warned” him about me. I told him that I was a technical writer and have studied Feng Shui from an anthropological standpoint for twenty-some-odd years.
Nothing was hidden from him: it was one feng shui practitioner asking another about what they do.
He’s just sore that another practitioner exposed his questionable business practices.
And like I said on the phone, I’m a very big man who spent years as a professional craftsman, master sculptor, stone carver, and environmental engineer. Running scared is not something I typicaly do. Sorry, Ralph: in the US, six-foot-two is not “a very big man” unless you’re obese. (I’m almost as tall as Ralph, at just under six feet; the “average American male” is just over five-foot nine.) If I called someone of Ralph’s height “a big guy” they’d think I was telling them they are fat.
My brother, however, fits the contemporary description of a “big man” because he is closer to 7 feet tall — but he isn’t obese. He also isn’t one to repeatedly tell someone that he’s a “very big man” who doesn’t typically run scared.
He is smart enough to know that would make him sound more like he was trying to convince himself than shock and awe others.

The continuing long and impressive list of Ralph’s careers:
Background in navigation and astronomy
Herbalist (30 years)
Environmental designer (30 years) (a licensed professional)

Professional craftsman
Master sculptor
Stone carver
Environmental engineer (a licensed professional that differs from an environmental designer)

However if you’re just going to waste my time with your pompous, intellectual BS, then don’t bother, because honestly I’m too busy. Get a life, and develop a little tolerance. How interesting it is to be accused of “pompous, intellectual BS” by an herbalist who markets himself as “Doctor Ralph DeAmicis.” I guess it takes one to know one (at least in the BS accusation).

One has a greater sense of intellectual degradation after an interview with a doctor than from any human experience. —Alice James

I’m just sorry that I let you pull me into your negativity, but some situations demand the truth and you seem to be steeped in falsehood, and I dislike having my site associated with yours for that reason. Take heart, Ralph: The readers of FSUR aren’t sorry you took the time to express yourself.
However, they think your “steeped in falsehood” claim is projection (oops, sorry; that’s one of those “pompous, intellectual BS” terms). After all, FSUR provides research sources and includes links to websites for nearly everything that is posted.
Even you, Ralph, can corroborate the claims posted on this site, which is more than anyone can say for any of your articles and pronouncements (and G-d help anyone who asks you for sources: You’re insulted!).
I try to write clearly enough to explain to everyone what I mean and how feng shui works without prying into their background (which is an invasion of privacy and against the law in many states). That’s how writing is supposed to work; it’s not an exercise in obfuscation and confusion unless you’re doing it wrong.
Best of all, from the perspective of nearly everyone who takes the time to email, I’m not pulling new ideas for feng shui gimmicks out of my bodily orifices, or acquiring them like viruses when I go to seminars and conventions.
Our methods produce wonderful results for many many people. We share the knowledge freely and we give herbs away by the box. Testimonials are “because I said so” and indicate a faith-based mentality.
Also do you actually know Sean Xenja? He is a wonderful, kind, generous, highly talented practitioner, who is a real resource.
Ralph DeAmicis
Seann and I have swapped chatty emails, but it’s been many years. These days, he’s too busy trying to dodge people who are following him and Susan Levitt out of morbid curiosity.
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