Dar Churcher – Colwood, BC

By Kim Goldberg

July 17, 2013

Dar Churcher Photo © Kim Goldberg

Dar Churcher
Photo © Kim Goldberg

In 1992, Victoria artist Dar Churcher was poised to expand her successful art career into the international arena when she was stricken with a mysterious ailment. Her worsening symptoms included fatigue, insomnia, extreme headaches, eye pain, and muscular weakness that at times caused her to collapse on the ground with paralyzed legs. 

Thirteen years and many doctors later, Dar finally had a diagnosis: she had Lyme disease. Her doctor estimates she contracted it around 1988 and probably while hiking the woodsy trails of Metchosin, a rural area west of Victoria known by health authorities to be infested with Lyme-infected ticks. 

Dar is also severely electrosensitive—a condition that frequently accompanies Lyme disease. In fact, treatment protocols for Lyme disease place high priority on reducing exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). 

“People with Lyme disease have compromised nervous systems,” Dar explains. “And mine is shot. I think we are all at risk for electrosensitivity. But those of us already sensitive to something else are the first to react. We are the canaries in the global coal mine.” 

Lyme disease affects the central nervous system and can involve demyelination, not unlike multiple sclerosis in which neurons loose their insulating sheaths. Dar believes this loss of neural insulation leaves her nervous system much more sensitive to external EMF in the same way that improperly shielded wiring is subject to interference from outside signals. 

In Dar’s case, exposure to wireless radiation in particular can instantly trigger a flare-up of her Lyme symptoms, causing her legs to buckle as she falls to the ground and is unable to get up or walk.  

“Because of my hyper-electrosensitivity I loathe going inside any buildings,” Dar tells me as we sit chatting across her kitchen table in her basement suite at her mother’s home in Colwood. 

“There are few people I know who actually collapse [when exposed to wireless radiation]. But that’s what happens to me,” she explains. “It has happened to me in the bank, the bakery, at the vet’s, the post office. I have had to crawl out of so many buildings I can’t count them all.” 

Dar in her studio working on The Snail Choja sculpture
Photo © Ray St. Arnaud

Every wall and surface in her apartment is filled with her stunning sculptures from her once-thriving career as a sculptor and private art teacher. Her best-known work is her interactive installation piece “Just Imagine”, an enormous walk-in book that was exhibited years ago at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. 

But that career is now permanently on hold—“sabotaged” Dar says by Lyme disease and electrosensitivity. 

Dar enjoys a quiet moment in her lush backyard Photo © Kim Goldberg

Dar enjoys a quiet moment in her lush backyard
Photo © Kim Goldberg

Dar now spends much of her time confined to a wheelchair. Yet she is able to walk short distances when out in nature, away from wireless radiation and other sources of EMF. 

“When I distance myself from the built-up area of my home and drive into the country, I can, on good days, make it around a small park,” she says. “And when I am by the water—a beach, a lake—my muscles relax and I feel much better.” 

For many electrosensitive people, their home is their only true sanctuary. But when electrosensitivity has left someone too impoverished to continue working, then ‘home’ is wherever that person is lucky enough to find affordable rent. 

Dar’s basement apartment is located near two FM towers and one cell tower. And despite the semi-rural appearance of Colwood, there are more than 70 towers and cell masts within a 5-kilometer radius of her home, according to Industry Canada’s website. 

“These radio emissions place a great stress on my body,” she tells me. “I desperately need to live in a location where electro-smog is non-existent so that my sleep will improve, my energy levels will increase and I can start to heal and recover my health.” 

But Dar’s current rent of $400/month, paid for with her monthly disability cheque, makes moving unlikely. Besides which, she is also the caregiver for her 91-year-old mother who comes home on weekends. 

“Even though my house is not my refuge, it’s the best I can do under the circumstances,” she explains with surprising cheerfulness. 

Despite her 20-year ordeal, Dar has somehow managed to retain an optimistic outlook and a keen interest in the world around her. She asks me about my own book Red Zone, for which I wandered Nanaimo’s homeless community for three years, recording in poetry all that I witnessed. 

“How did they respond to you?” she asks eagerly. “And what made you want to do the book?” 

The Blue-Eyed Hare & The Beekeeper Photo © Bob Matheson

The Blue-Eyed Hare & The Beekeeper
by Dar Churcher
Photo © Bob Matheson

Her eyes sparkle as she takes me through the rooms of her home, describing with much enthusiasm the story behind every sculpture in her multi-year and unfinished “Transformations” project. Each sculpture captures a moment in a folktale of human transformation—a girl becomes a blue-eyed hare and then human again, an ardent suitor becomes a flower to be picked by his beloved, a snail becomes a man while bowed in prayer.  

“My overall goal with this project has been to reflect common threads of human need, desire, goodness and virtue,” Dar explains. “These traits are found in every culture throughout the world. They help define and unite humanity. Without their expression, we would degenerate and devolve.” 

Princess Fleur-De-Lis & The Rooted Lover Photo © Bob Matheson

Princess Fleur-De-Lis & The Rooted Lover
by Dar Churcher
Photo © Bob Matheson

As an artist, Dar is every bit as fascinated by the creative process of others as by her own. But due to her circumstance, she seldom goes out in public and rarely has visitors, so she has little opportunity for creative co-mingling. 

“From my isolated cocoon, my computer is an umbilical cord to the outside world,” she explains. Yet even the computer is problematic because of its EMF and also her sensitivity to light. The blinds on every window in her basement suite are closed for the sunny afternoon of our visit on the summer solstice. 

The Snail Choja Photo © Dar Churcher

The Snail Choja (work in progress)
by Dar Churcher
Photo © Dar Churcher

We move outside to take some photos in her patio garden and her lush, tree-lined backyard. But the ambient radiation from the neighbourhood is higher outside. And, combined with the sunlight and the stress of our prolonged conversation, it is all too much. By the time I take the last photo, her legs buckle and she must crawl on her hands and knees across her yard to reach her door. 

I am dumbstruck by the swiftness of her demise. One moment she is standing, the next she’s on the ground, and the moment after that she’s crawling—as though all people get around this way. 

Yet I also have to marvel at such determination and resiliency. And although I don’t quite have the words to put it all together, I know that somehow her passion for those folktales of transformation is also now fuelling her well-practiced and rhythmic crawl across the grass. 

Copyright © Kim Goldberg, 2013

(Dar Churcher’s story will be included in Kim Goldberg’s forthcoming book REFUGIUM: Wi-Fi Exiles and the Coming Electroplague, due out in 2015. Read more people’s stories here. Visit Dar’s website at: http://www.darchurcher.com.)

Osoyoos Indian Band Nixes Smart Meters

Chief Clarence Louie and the full Band Council of the Osoyoos Indian Band in British Columbia are barring Fortis BC from installing 700 smart meters because of health risks associated with the wireless technology.

Chief Clarence Louie and the full Band Council of the Osoyoos Indian Band in British Columbia are barring Fortis BC from installing 700 smart meters because of health risks associated with the wireless technology.

This following press release just came across my desk from Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band, located in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley…

Osoyoos Indian Band



Osoyoos Indian Band Prohibits Smart Meter Installations

Oliver, B.C. Canada—June 13, 2013

On behalf of the Osoyoos Indian Band, Chief Clarence Louie announced today that he and all Band Council members have signed a governing document prohibiting Fortis BC, the local utility company, from installing Smart Meters on the approximately 703 homes and businesses on the Osoyoos Indian reserve. 

“Having been presented with science-based evidence, the Band Council and I are convinced that Fortis’s proposed wireless smart meters in meshed-grid networks have the potential to harm our children and our environment. No scientist on the planet has been able to verify the safety of these extremely dangerous devices that emit microwave radiation 24/7 in perpetuity and which cannot be turned off.”

“As Chief of the Osoyoos Indian band, my first duty is to protect my people, our future generations and our lands. For that reason, the band Council and I believe we need to err on the side of caution and respect the world’s leading independent scientists who say—and have evidence to prove—that electromagnetic radiation, especially pulsed and microwave frequency radiation, is harmful to all living things.” 

“I am proud of our Council for standing up and voting to prohibit the installation of smart meters on our lands in order to protect not only our own people but all the peoples who resides and work on the Osoyoos Indian Band lands.” 


For More information, contact: 

J.R. (Banjo) Linkevic

Osoyoos Indian Band

(250) 498-3444 x 119

Email: smartmeters@oib.ca

VIDEO: Mold Toxins Skyrocket with EMR Exposure

Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt narrates this 5–minute video recounting the discovery of a Swiss scientist who grew mold cultures first in a faraday cage (shielded from ambient electromagnetic radiation) and then exposed to ambient EMR in the lab.

The mold cultures were initially shielded from ambient EMR by having a silver-coated cloth draped over them, effectively creating a faraday cage.

When the cloth was removed and the mold cultures were exposed to the ambient EMR in the lab, coming from the lights, computer and nearby cell phone tower, the molds produced more than 600 times the quantity of biotoxins that they produced when shielded from EMR.

And the biotoxins produced by the molds weren’t simply more plentiful, they were also more potent and virulent.

This finding could explain many things – from the rise of ‘superbugs’ sweeping through entire hospital wards (hospitals are bristling with cell towers, wifi and EMR in general), to the reason that some people are far more sensitive to EMR than others. The sensitive people may well have an underlying Candida infection or other microbial infection that is flooding their bodies with biotoxins in response to the exposure to wireless emissions and other sources of EMR.

-Kim Goldberg

Laurie Corbeil – Nanaimo, BC

By Kim Goldberg 

May 26, 2013

Laurie Corbeil  Photo © Kim Goldberg

Laurie Corbeil
Photo © Kim Goldberg

Electrosensitivity doesn’t just cause identifiable medical symptoms. It affects and often limits all aspects of people’s lives—shopping, employment, housing, friendships and more.

Laurie Corbeil has worked as a cleaning person in private homes and industrial settings for most of her life. But now, due to her electrosensitivity, she works just two days a week for one client who allows her to shut off all wireless devices while she is there. 

“If not for this, I wouldn’t have any job. I am very concerned that when the smart grid is fully operational, I will not be able to work or even remain in the city,” says Laurie, referring to BC Hydro’s installation of smart meters across the province, a program expected to be complete by December 2013.

“I have an 81-year-old mom to take care of. What will become of us?” she asks. 

Laurie developed Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) twenty years ago as a result of her exposure to chlorine and other cleaning agents while at work. And that condition has made her more susceptible to becoming electrosensitive. 

Case studies show that people with MCS, or other chronic burdens on the immune system, are far more likely to develop electrosensitivity. The Environmental Health Centre in Dallas, Texas reports that, of 500 patients treated for MCS, as many as 80 percent of them also have electrical sensitivities. 

Laurie takes her meter with her for measuring wireless radiation. Photo © Kim Goldberg

Laurie takes her meter with her for measuring wireless radiation. Photo © Kim Goldberg

Coffee shops, doctors’ offices and even Laurie’s own church are now off-limits to her because of wi-fi, cell phones, tablets and other wireless devices. 

“Wireless exposure saps all my energy and later causes my mind to drop into a depression,” Laurie explains. “I can’t think at all when I am around it. I can hardly breathe, my left ear goes deaf, I get a blistering headache and double vision, my muscles tighten. I just seize up.” 

Last year, Laurie purchased an RF frequency analyser for measuring the strength of wireless radiation. “I am now able to detect where there are high emissions and get away from them,” she says. “It’s a terrible game of avoidance day by day just to avert getting sicker.” 

If every cloud has its silver lining, then for Laurie that lining consists of discovering the healing and protective power of forests. 

“The most wonderful thing happened,” she recounts. “I discovered that while I am in the forest, I feel great! If only I could live in there. The trees are clearly a buffer against the ill effects of EMF. And being in dips below the trajectory of cell towers is also really beneficial.” 

Nestled in a ravine, Laurie grounds herself for 30 minutes with her bare feet underwater, atop a boulder. Photo © Kim Goldberg

Nestled in a ravine, Laurie grounds herself for 30 minutes with her bare feet underwater, atop a boulder. Photo © Kim Goldberg

Laurie spends at least an hour every day in one of Nanaimo’s forested parks. She says the best local parks for relief from EHS symptoms are Colliery Dam Park, Hemer Park and Morrell Nature Sanctuary

Each site offers a sizable forest of mature Douglas fir, Western Redcedar and Bigleaf Maple. And each site has a system of lakes and waterways, generating a protective field of negative ions. 

At Colliery Dam Park, Laurie finishes her outing with a grounding session at a pool located at the base of a spillway in the bottom of a lush ravine. She sits on her favourite rock, kicks off her shoes, slides her bare feet into the water and rests them on a large underwater boulder for 30 minutes while misted from the spray of the spillway. 

Then she scrambles back up the slope to return to her car in the parking lot, and to the world of invisible wireless radiation beyond.

Text and images © Kim Goldberg, 2013

(Laurie Corbeil’s story will be included in Kim Goldberg’s forthcoming book REFUGIUM: Wi-Fi Exiles and the Coming Electroplague, due out in 2015. Read more people’s stories here.)

Danish Schoolgirls Test Wi-Fi Risks with Garden Cress

Let’s hear it for smart Danish schoolgirls! This story recently ran on www.geek.com:

School experiment discovers garden cress won’t germinate near a router

By  May 17, 2013 

Garden Cress - Source: www.geek.com

Garden Cress – Source: http://www.geek.com

Garden cress is a fast growing and edible herb that will sprout in just a small amount of slightly alkaline water. But there is one exception to that rule, and is has scientists scratching their heads.

A group of 5 girls have carried out a science experiment at Hjallerup School in North Jutland, Denmark that saw garden cress seeds placed in 12 tubs and split into two batches. Both batches were placed in different rooms that remained the same temperature, and were given the same amount of water and sunlight over the course of 12 days.

You’d expect both batches of 6 tubs to grow equally well, but one set didn’t even germinate. The reason? They were placed next to two routers. Although it’s unclear exactly why this happened, it is thought that the radiation produced by the routers is what stopped the seeds germinating.

The girls’ experiment was geared towards testing the potential impact of phone radiation on surrounding objects. They didn’t have phones to use though, so decided the routers were a good alternative. The experiment has certainly caught the interest of the international science community and is set to be repeated in a more controlled environment. One of the first controlled experiments will be carried out by Professor Olle Johansson from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Hopefully it will shed more light on why this is happening…

Read the full geek.com story here.

EHS Support Groups Online

Photo © Kim Goldberg

Photo © Kim Goldberg

One of the biggest challenges people living with electrosensitivity face is where to go for help, advice, and just plain old support from others who won’t ridicule their claims or dismiss their predicament. 

The good news is that supportive communities of electrosensitive people sharing advice and information are now cropping up online. 

The bad news, of course, is that you must spend time on a computer to participate in these groups. And for many electrosensitive people, computer time must be kept to a minimum. 

Here are two such online support groups that are particularly productive: 

Electro-sensitivity Forum (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/groups/169495243194739/ 

You will need a Facebook account to view this group. And if you want to post questions or comments, you will need to request to join the group. Once you are added, you can post. 

EHS Connect Forum: http://ehsconnect.boardhost.com/index.php 

This forum has its own website and was launched in May 2013. It is well organized with indexed discussion threads under such topics as: EHS symptoms, EHS-friendly tools and technology, EHS food and diet, white zones, safe schools, and more. This forum is private. You will need to register before you can view any content on the site. 

Tree-hugging Healthy

It’s official! Hugging trees really does cure what ails you. 

And it’s all about subtle energetic vibrations…

HUG ME! Photo © Kim Goldberg

Photo © Kim Goldberg

Here is a fascinating news article from UpLift, and a recent book, on the how and why of it: 


Written by the UpLift Editorial Staff on 28 December 2012

Die-hard conservatives love to disparage liberals as tree huggers, but it has been recently scientifically validated that hugging trees is actually good for you. Research has shown that you don’t even have to touch a tree to get better, you just need to be within its vicinity has a beneficial effect. 

In a recently published book, Blinded by Science, the author Matthew Silverstone, proves scientifically that trees do in fact improve many health issues such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), concentration levels, reaction times, depression and other forms of mental illness. He even points to research indicating a tree’s ability to alleviate headaches in humans seeking relief by communing with trees.

The author points to a number of studies that have shown that children show significant psychological and physiological improvement in terms of their health and well being when they interact with plants and trees. Specifically, the research indicates that children function better cognitively and emotionally in green environments and have more creative play in green areas. Also, he quotes a major public health report that investigated the association between green spaces and mental health concluded that “access to nature can significantly contribute to our mental capital and wellbeing”. 

So what is it about nature that can have these significant effects? Up until now it has been thought to be the open green spaces that cause this effect. However, Matthew Silverstone, shows that it is nothing to do with this by proving scientifically that it is the vibrational properties of trees and plants that give us the health benefits and not the open green spaces.

The answer to how plants and trees affect us physiologically turns out to be very simple. It is all to do with the fact that everything vibrates in a subtle manner, and different vibrations affect biological behaviours. One research experiment showed that if you drink a glass of water that has been treated with a “10Hz vibration” your blood coagulation rates will change immediately on ingesting the treated water. It is the same with trees, when touching a tree its different vibrational pattern will affect various biological behaviours within your body… 

Read the rest of the article here:

Podcast: Kim Goldberg on Electrosensitivity

I was interviewed earlier today on People First Radio (CHLY, Nanaimo BC) about electrosensitivity, Wi-Fi sickness, smart meters, and more.

Here is a link to the podcast of my 15-minute segment of the show:  http://www.columbiancentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/473_may_09_2013_sm.mp3

People First Radio is produced by Columbian Centre Society in Nanaimo, BC, and airs every Thursday, from Noon-1:00 pm on Radio CHLY 101.7 FM.leaves


Class Action Lawsuit Launched Against BC Hydro

This press release just came across my desk from Citizens for Safe Technology and the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters:

PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release – April 29, 2013 TO ALL MEDIA



BC Hydro has taken the draconian step of cutting off power to a customer who refused to accept a wireless smart meter.

Last May, a Hydro customer had a wireless smart meter installed on her home despite her refusal. This person suffers from electro-sensitivity and, as a consequence of the radiofrequency radiation emitted by the wireless smart meter, her health began to deteriorate.

Despite pleading for months with Hydro to remove the wireless meter and to re-install the analog meter; they refused. Finally, with her health in jeopardy, she ordered a non- radiating analog meter from a company in the US that provides calibrated, tested meters to utility companies. With the supervision of a certified electrician the analog was installed, and the wireless smart meter was returned to Hydro.

When Hydro advised that the analog was not approved by Canadian agencies, the customer located a Canadian analog meter that met all the requirements and then asked Hydro to install it. Hydro refused, ignored her health condition and insisted that she must accept a wireless smart meter or they would cut her power.

On April 17, 2013, Hydro followed through with its threats and cut off its supply of power to her home.

Hydro’s conduct constitutes a violation of our autonomy and our right to determine what potentially harmful emissions do or do not occur from within our own domestic environment; our right to be free from physical intrusion by the state.

Due to Hydro’s actions over the last 2 years, culminating with its cessation of service to a customer for refusing to allow the installation of a wireless smart meter, the Citizens for Safe Technology Society and the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters are filing a class action lawsuit.

We invite participation in the action, subject to Court approval. Further information on the class action and criteria to join can be found at:

www.citizensforsafetechnology.org and www.stopsmartmetersbc.ca 

Nanaimo Author Gets Grant To Research Wi-Fi Sickness

Media Release – April 17, 2013

Kim GoldbergNanaimo author Kim Goldberg has been awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to write a book about people who are physically sickened by their exposure to wireless technology.

“I was thrilled to learn that this project will be supported,” says Goldberg, who holds a degree in biology and has no wireless devices in her own home. “It will require a huge amount of time and work because the problem is literally global in scope.”

Goldberg says people are already contacting her with their stories of debilitating illness, job loss, critically sick children in Wi-Fi’ed classrooms, relocation to remote settings, sleeping in homemade Faraday cages—all due to their exposure to some form of electromagnetic radiation, usually wireless.

“Where do you go when an invisible matrix spanning the globe is making you sick?” Goldberg asks.

“I have been shocked by the number and intensity of the stories flooding in to me. We seem to be witnessing a growing electroplague,” she says. “I think these electro-sensitive people, and the special sanctuaries cropping up around the world to keep them safe, may be harbingers of a future we are all hurtling toward.”

Goldberg maintains that Canada and the United States lag far behind Europe in recognizing the risks and protecting the public from constant exposure to wireless transmissions from cell phones and towers, Internet Wi-Fi and other sources.

“In England, many people afflicted with electro-sensitivity were first diagnosed by their own doctors,” says Goldberg. “Here in Canada, you would be hard-pressed to find a doctor who even believes electro-sensitivity is medically valid, let alone knows how to diagnose it.”

Goldberg has written extensively on environmental topics for newspapers and magazines in Canada and abroad. She is the author of four nonfiction books and two collections of poetry.

You can follow her progress online at https://electroplague.com/