The Mad Russian...am I crazy??


Apr 3, 2002 (Updated Apr 5, 2002)


The Bottom Line The Mad Russian might work for you!

I have already written about my experience (bad!) with Nicorette gum, and my experience (good!) with the Nicoderm patch. What I have yet to write about was my experience with Yefim Shubentsov, aka The Mad Russian.

Heard of him? Billy Joel used him to quit smoking, as did Amy Tan, Drew Barrymore, Courtney Cox and David Arquette. He's called "The Eraser", and all he needs to do is concentrate on you not wanting to smoke and poof!- you're cured. Did I mention he can also cure anxiety, nail biting, sex addiction, drug addiction, various phobia, alcohol addiction, and help with weight control?

So how much does this miracle cure cost? $65 dollars for a group session. Private sessions are available, but I have no idea how much they cost. Quite a lot, I would imagine! The $65 covers a 2 hour session, and you can have a phone consultation as a back-up if needed. The $65 does not cover weight control- that is a separate 3 hour session.

My experience
I wanted to quit smoking for a while, so I enlisted myself, my boyfriend, and 10 of our smoking friends to join up and quit enmasse- Russian style. The easy way out. He claims you just won't want to smoke again- it'll be erased from your mind. So we made our appointment (there is about a month's waiting list), met up, and prepared ourselves to be smoke free.

The Session lasted for two hours, and took place in Brookline, Massachusetts. Outside, we huddled with a few other would-be quitters and desperately sucked in as much nicotine as we possibly could savoring that last cigarette, until it was time to head on in.
We filled out forms, and were told to write down what, if any, additional issues we would like resolved. I put down "nail biting". I have been an on-again-off-again nail biter for years, and I knew quitting smoking would send me back to "on" again!

The room we sat in was small, and 25 or so of us were placed in a semi-circle around a plain looking desk.
Mr. Shubentsov (aka Mad Russian), began the session by explaining that he could cure pain. He went to each of us, and asked where we had pain, if any. I have chronic shoulder pain from an old injury, and told him so. He looked at me intently, wiggled his fingers around a bit, and asked if it was better. It wasn't. He did it again, and it still wasn't. After the third time, I lied and said it was, so he would leave me alone.

He went around the room for some time asking others about their pain, attempting to heal them. Watching this was a little painful, and I tried very hard not to snicker.
The next hour and a half was spent with the Mad Russian more or less preaching his thoughts and ideas (American women aren't attractive, ADD isn't really a condition, etc.) to us. He was very difficult to understand at times, and I wanted a cigarette pretty badly. He could also get a little snappy with us at times, barking orders or opinions. I knew that this was his demeanor, and took it with a grain of salt.

At one point, he pointed to myself and 5 other people, and said we had poor circulation (this is true- of me, at least). He said we should move to Arizona. It's an option, I suppose, and became a private joke between my boyfriend and I, everytime one of us complains about the weather in Boston. I wonder if people who live in Arizona are ever told to move to unpredictable and often inhospitable climates?

Finally we all left the room, and entered one at a time to be cured. Our instructions were to go in, one at a time, sit down, close our eyes and think about what we wanted to be cured for. Example: I want to stop smoking, so think "I am smoking, I am smoking...". The popular joke in the hallway was what would happen if you unexpectedly did think of sex at that inopportune moment?! I digress...I went in, and was complimented on my figure-"that of a model" (I thought American women were unattractive?)I sat down, closed my eyes, thought my thought, and the Mad Russian made a puff/popping noise(imagine someone surpressing a sneeze) noise, and dismissed me. I paid my $65, and was off.

Did it work?
For me, sadly, no. But I wouldn't say that The Mad Russian doesn't work.
Here is a summary of the twelve of us, and the outcome of the visit:
ME: Smoked 7 years, lasted 24 hours without a cigarette but the last 16 involved a lot of crying and cursing. It wasn't worth the agony. I smoked, and then went on the patch a few weeks later. My boyfriend lasted about 5 hours, but broke down after dinner. He went on the patch with me, and we've been successful with that.
Of the other 10 people, none are smoking again. Two others feel that the Mad Russian did nothing for them, and they quit with will power alone. The other 8, (3 of which are only moderate smokers) haven't touched a cigarette, and haven't had a desire for one, either! Bast*%ds!

Does believing it will work make it work? That was my original premise, but I was proved wrong. I genuinely believed it would work for me, and it did not. A friend who attended did not believe, and was amazed that it did.

Is it worth it? Might be. Can't hurt, can it? Odds are, if you smoke a pack a day, you can afford the $65 to give try to give it up. From my experience I would say you have a 50/50 chance. I think that there must be something to it, I just don't know what!

How can I contact him?
The info is as follows:
Yefim Shubentsov (The Mad Russian)
1680A Beacon Street Suite 201
Brookline, MA 02445
(617)232-3930

Good luck, whatever you do!

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