A Serbo-Australian psychodrama. Since Wednesday, January 5, Novak Djokovic has been placed in the Park Hotel detention center in Melbourne, in the Australian state of Victoria. The tennis player, who came to participate in the Australian Open which will begin on January 17, saw his visa canceled upon his arrival at the airport. Reason: he is not vaccinated.
Novak Djokovic has announced that he has obtained an exemption from the State of Victoria to participate in the championship. But this derogation does not apply to the conditions of entry into Australian territory, which requires all arrivals to have a negative test and a complete vaccination plan. When he disembarked, customs canceled his visa. During the hearing to decide on his expulsion this Thursday, January 6, an Australian government lawyer announced that the tennis player would benefit from a reprieve. He will be fixed on his fate next Monday.
The detention of Djokovic caused the beginning of a diplomatic crisis between Serbia and Australia. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic described the arrest of his champion on Thursday January 6 as ” political hunting “. For the athlete’s father, ” Jesus was crucified and subjected to many things, but he survived and is still alive among us. Novak is also crucified in the same way “.
The President of the Serbian Government – equivalent of the Prime Minister – Ana Brnabic, is expected to meet with a senior official from the Australian Department of Immigration and Borders. She asks to allow Djokovic to join the house he had rented for the championship, instead of staying in the detention center that Aleksandar Vucic describes as ” infamous in the true sense of the word “.
Messiah in Serbia, Djoko is also in the eyes of antivax. The world number 1 in tennis has never hidden his opposition to vaccination against Covid-19. As early as April 2020, when no serum had yet been developed, Djokovic explained during a live on Facebook: “ Personally, I am opposed to vaccination and I would not like to be forced by someone to have a vaccine in order to be able to travel. “. He said he had his own ideas on the matter and I don’t know if those ideas will change at some point “but felt he had to” take a decision “if ever the vaccine” becomes mandatory “.
It looks like his decision has been made. If Novak Djokovic has never disclosed his vaccination status, the exemption to participate in the Australian Open speaks for him. Playing on the ambiguity, the sportsman affirmed, shortly after his first declarations, that he was ” not an expert “and would remain” open minded “while claiming” an option to choose what is best for my body “. A rhetoric that we find in the antivax movement but also in other currents close to pseudosciences.
Because Novak Djokovic is not at his first controversial positions on science. In his book Winning Service: A gluten-free diet for perfect physical and mental shape published in 2011 by Robert Laffont, it delivers an anecdote. The previous year, the champion met a nutrition specialist who offered him an experience.
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Djokovic holds bread in his left hand as his nutritionist presses his right arm. The sportsman would have felt a particular weakness while holding the food. In their eyes, it was irrefutable proof of an intolerance to gluten, a protein present in certain cereals.
Ready to preach the good word, he became an ambassador for a gluten-free range of the French brand Gerblé in 2015 and launched his own brand of biscuits, called “Djokolife”. Since then, the tennis player seems to have plunged into much more contested theories and practices.
Water and emotion
In May 2020, during a live on Instagram, the one who makes himself the apostle of health and well-being develops a dubious theory to the approximately 446,000 spectators. ” I have seen and know of people who, through the powers of prayer and gratitude, have succeeded in transforming the most toxic of foods, or even the most polluted of waters, into the purest water., he develops. Because water reacts to our emotions. »
His guest Chervin Jeferiah, who runs a business selling dietary supplements, abounds. ” There was a Japanese scientist who showed that if you send positive thoughts to water, its molecules rearrange into a symmetrical structure. The scientific presentation ends with the promotion of a 60 ml bottle of “Golden Mind”. A beverage that would strengthen the structure of the brain. To get it, you have to subscribe to a subscription at the rate of 50 dollars a bottle.
The Japanese author to whom Chervin Jeferiah refers is named Masaru Emoto, doctor of alternative medicine. According to him, water reacts to music and thoughts. By freezing liquids at – 25° and playing music or sticking papers with different words on bottles containing frozen water crystals, he observes that they are more or less harmonious.
The scientific rigor of Masaru Emoto has been widely questioned by his peers who denounce questionable experimental procedures. Emoto and his team would have carefully selected the shots of crystals that stuck to their hypothesis to demonstrate its veracity. The Japanese’s work has never been published by peer-reviewed journals, nor subjected to double-blind tests, procedures necessary to validate scientific experiments.
A foot in anthroposophy…
In addition to these eccentric theories, “Djoko” appears to support Steiner-Waldorf pedagogy and anthroposophy, a current of thought created by the Austrian occultist Rudolf Steiner. Its ideology: a belief that wants to put man back at the center of the cosmos, and mixes karma, imaginary creatures like gnomes or even the existence of a “cosmic Christ”. The pedagogy inspired by this movement is based on a mystical dimension. The anthroposophy critic Heiner Ullrich explains, for example, that after 7 years, ” the “supernatural” forces of growth have completed the construction of the child’s organism (…). Over the next seven years, the still hidden “astral” forces of the soul shape the world of impulses, passions and feelings. “. The Interministerial Mission for the Fight against Sects (Miviludes) indicated that it monitors Steiner-Waldorf private schools.
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Novak Djokovic would be a prize for this movement. On the blog of his foundation, an article praises the Steiner-Waldorf pedagogy. Rejecting the classical educational system which ” stuffs children with facts, asking them to recite newly acquired knowledge or skills like a circus pony the author glorifies a system where the emphasis is on learning through experience and the senses”. The post even encourages parents to “implementing the Steiner philosophy at home “. The foundation has also inaugurated a “school of life” in Serbia. This terminology is found in one of the mantras of Steiner pedagogy.
Jelena Djokovic, his wife, is also interested in anthroposophy. On April 1, 2020, she shared on Instagram the video of anthroposophist doctor Thomas Cowan who explains that 5G is the cause of the Covid-19 pandemic. The post was dubbed “ false information by the social network. A few days later, the tennis player’s wife explains that she just shared the video because she mentions the ” teachings of Rudolf Steiner, which corresponds to my field of interest “.
… the other in “paradise”
Djokovic’s attraction to esoteric precepts also translates into pilgrimage. In 2020, the athlete traveled twice to Visoko, Bosnia. This small village is overlooked by a large hill which some believe is actually a huge pyramid.
The place was spotted in 2005 by Semir Osmanagic, businessman and self-proclaimed explorer. For the latter, it is obvious that it was not a natural hill but a construction “resulting from a civilization” technologically superior “. The following year, scientists around the world questioned Osmanagic’s theory. According to them, it would be a cruel hoax ” Who “ has no place in genuine science “.
But Djoko does not care about these criticisms. at theAFP, he claims to have felt regenerated thanks to these visits and calls the place ” heaven on earth “. ” I know there are many doubts, dilemmas about authenticity “of the place but” in order to fully understand what is happening here (…) you have to come “. The local Indiana Jones congratulates: The start of the season was catastrophic, but since Djokovic has been here, it’s been happiness », explains Semir Osmanagic. A finding that the Australian government clearly does not share.
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