Author Topic: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek  (Read 32417 times)

Offline educatedindian

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Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« on: December 27, 2019, 01:43:55 pm »
The sham of the shaman

Can you name serious illnesses that you have cured?
I have rescued people from cancer, others from coma and many others.
(An excerpt from an interview with Durek Verrett)

At the end of January a new-age company called Tveir heimar(e. Two Worlds) brought in an American showman to Iceland by the name of Durek Verrett. He is a self-proclaimed “shaman” and claims to have special type of abilities that can somehow facilitate some form of recovery for people with cancer, leukemia and other variations of serious illnesses and symptoms, using so called “shamanistic techniques”.

Vantrú, the Icelandic society of skeptics, caught wind of his visit, but his coming was advertised on the website of Tveir heimar - who also acted as his agent - as well as Kvennablaðið, which is a relatively widely read, icelandic webzine. In these advertisements there were mentions of these questionable abilities to “heal” and “cure” cancer with transcendental “spirits” which we found quite susceptible and therefore falling into the realm of open and blunt criticism.

So we naturally criticized his supernatural claims, warned people of not falling for this hoax and called him a “con man” and a “dirtbag” because he preys upon sick and desperate people with promises of aid and assistance in exchange for a specific sum of currency. The bluntness in itself, got a smudgeon of media attention.

What follows is a translation of an article published by Vantrú following Mr. Verrett´s visit to Iceland:

Þar hitti seiðskrattin ömmu sína
Seiðskratti can be translated as a sorcerer, a witch-doctor or a shaman and is made out of two individual words: seið(i)- as in potion, and -skratti, which means devil or demon. The original icelandic title is a play on an old saying: “Þar hitti skrattinn ömmu sína” which directly translates into “There the devil met his grandmother” which means that someone met a more resourceful and craftier opponent or adversary. It´s quite punny in Icelandic, of course.

In early February Tveir heimar and Durek Verrett challenged Vantrú to a moderated discussion about spirituality and skepticism, although the original intention of the meeting was an attempt to make our blunt criticism in regards of this charlatan a major issue it got more focused on his means and methods. We agreed to participate and the talk was scheduled at Kex Hostel on Tuesday-evening on the 9th of February at 20:00. The journalist Sölvi Tryggvason was the moderator of the meeting between Durek Verrett, a shaman, and Brynjar Örn Ellertsson, a biochemist, who agreed to participate on behalf of Vantrú.

A little bit about the shaman
Durek Verrett calls himself a shaman, which is supposed to be a person who holds the supernatural abilities of invoking, communicating and controlling spirits of dead animals or other otherworldly entities, which are located in a spirit world. It is basically supposed to be real magic. Also known as fantastic bullshit. But Verrett sticks to his claims and insists that he is not at all a charlatan. On a Facebook-page run by Tveir heimar Durek Verrett says that he can “connect to your spirits to alleviate symptoms such as addiction, depression, anxiety as well as physical ailments and injuries”

In an advertisement published on the front-page of Tveir heimar the following is stated:

Shaman Durek works with clients of all classes. His clientele include movie stars from Hollywood as well as musicians, executives of big corporations and royalty in Europe. Shaman Durek is also in demand as a public speaker and teacher. He is a columnist in The Huffington Post where he writes about spirituality, and maintains a video blog on Frontiers Magazine.

Durek Verrett hasn't published anything in the Huffington Post since 2014 and no video of his have appeared in Frontiers Magazine since 2013. So he does not have a regular spot on either of these publications and it's very doubtful that he is in demand as a speaker or a teacher.

It is quite a common practice for New-Agers, who celebrate gurus like Durek Verrett, to mention examples of “famous” and “important” people, without actually naming them, which the charlatan supposedly has assisted. The purpose is to paint an enchanting picture of the guru's life and work, which upon closer inspection turns out to be more or less fake.

The source of these specifically unspecific types of information is usually the charlatan himself and the validity of these claims can not be properly confirmed. Even though Durek Verrett has photographs of himself with the former president of Iceland, or even the president of the United States, is in no way a validation or confirmation of the amazing talents he pretends to possess.

He claims to have been mentored by his grandmother and a Suzanna von Radic, princess of Croatia, in the shamanistic arts. As it happens, his grandmother had passed away before he was born and this princess of Croatia is no princess of Croatia, but a fraud who claims to be a princess. It really shouldn't be necessary to point out the fact that the dead can not communicate with the living, it is simply impossible according to all the knowledge humanity has accumulated since the dawn of civilization. So to iterate; Varret got his abilities from a “ghost” as well as a liar. Which is hardly convincing or conclusive evidence to support his other claims.

What did Verrett do before he decided to become a shaman and a charlatan? He was an actor and a model. In all likelihood that particular career went nowhere and today his starring role is to convince people that he can summon and speak to spirit animals for exchange of money.

Incredible claims and zero credible evidence
Evidence of anything which falls into the transcendental category of heaven, hell and spirit-world is exactly zero point less than nothing. What we do have are countless anecdotes which are nigh always unreliable due to the fact that the memory is faulty and man is fallible. The amount of these tales and fabulations does not prove anything, no matter how descriptive and condescending the storyteller gets in his explanation of an afterlife.

Those who believe that the spirit-world or the transcendental exists, often claim that it is up to the others, those who doubt the existence of the supernatural and other superstitious mumbo-jumbo, to disprove these claims of the supernatural. That is a gross misunderstanding because you can't disprove everything that doesn't exist. It is actually up to those that maintain these extraordinary claims to bring extraordinary evidence for its existence. The plural of anecdote is not data. The only thing needed to convince us of the existence of the incredible is evidence that is reliable, measurable and impartial.

Durek Verrett - or whoever spoke on his behalf - claimed that he was a real, authentic and respected wizard that could actually perform real magic. That he was so known and his talents unquestionable, that even within the medical and scientific community there are people who contact him directly because of various ailments and diseases. Which is of course a donkey-cart full of bullshit.

To try and pretend offense
In the aforementioned discussion, Durek Verrett tried to divert the focus of the talk towards particular words that Vantrú used about him, “a con man and a dirtbag”. He believes that it was especially reprehensible stating that we did not know him or his work.

A slight sidetrack to Icelandic words of profanity; “Skíthæll” is the word which we used, and directly translated it means “shit-heel”. In the discussion he used the word “shithead”, which we do have in Icelandic and it is “skíthaus.” But “skíthæll” is not that crude of a word and would be more akin to a “dirtbag” rather than a “shithead” or the ever elusive “motherfucker.”

There are probably other words that can be used to describe a person that charges cancer patients and people with leukemia obscene amounts money, with promises of curing them, without actually doing anything, words such as: a fake, a fraud, a phony, a charlatan, or even a criminal.

But he is very wrong when he says that we do not know him or his works because we recognize a charlatan when we see one. They all follow a very similar formula:

They are “the real deal” while the other self-proclaimed sorcerers are “the con men”.
You have to be “open” for their means and methods. If you are critical or skeptical in some way of the approach of the charlatan there is little to no hope for recovery.
Durek also claimed that his work didn't not revolve much around riches but that he was just such a good and nice person. That he didn't have a lot of possessions and travelled around the globe and just assisted people to get rid of serious ailments by mysterious means out of the goodness of his own heart.

Nonetheless you can find a video on his Youtube-page where he calls himself “Urban Shaman”. In the video he brags about his fancy BMW-jeep, a Louis Vuitton-bag as well as a villa with a swimming pool. These things cost a lot of money, cash that he is getting from sick people all over the world by lying to them. Unless he doesn't own any of it himself and is just pretending to be rich, just like he's pretending to be a shaman. Let's not forget that he is an actor.

During the discussion he also claimed that he did not advertise himself but it was actually his “good reputation” that preceded him. Of course that's not true because he has two fan-pages on Facebook: Shaman in Iceland and Shaman Durek, he also runs his own web-page, then there are interviews with him on the website of Tveir heimar. What else is this other than advertisement? Loads of professionally taken photographs and videos are exactly that, especially when this con man is advertised on the web-page of Tveir heimar as well as Kvennablaðið.

A conversation with a con man on Facebook
Screenshot of a fraud

We got the opportunity to speak directly with Durek Verret on the Facebook-page of Vantrú when the shaman wrote a comment on our page where he challenged us to take part in the discussion on Kex Hostel. One of the admins of the page asked several questions and the conversation was in itself quite interesting. For example he stated that he could help people with leukemia but not people with stage 4 cancer because they had lost all hope for recovery.

He never answered directly how exactly he assists with cancer or leukemia patients to recover except with some unclear mumbo-jumbo. That he uses “shamanistic techniques” to “go in people” and make “a comprehensive analysis” which should assist in “clearing the body of poison build up”. This doesn't say anything specific at all but does show that he pretends that he can cure cancer.

He at least admitted that it is not nice to misuse the trust and hope of people by lying to them but does not acknowledge that he does that himself.

Apart from his comments, at least four or five other comments were made by people that said they had benefitted from his services. But, as is common with people who can't hold up their word, he deleted his comment of our Facebook-page and consequently the discussion vanished and soon after the independent comments of his followers disappeared as well. He still has his question up on our php-board Spjallið.

Fortunately we managed to take a screenshot of a part of the FB-discussion:

A charlatan tries to put on a convincing show and fails
The discussion on Kex Hostel was moderated by Sölvi Tryggvason, who asked both participants several question as well as a general talk with each that lasted for 30 to 40 minutes, followed with questions from the audience.

Verrett began his talk by pointing out those select words that Vantrú used to describe him. Brynjar was then given the opportunity to react. The charlatan was way calmer than he was in the interview he had on the radio program Harmageddon the week before and was careful not to use too much scientific lingo, probably due to the fact that his respondent was a scientist.

Even though Verrett talked way too long each time he had the opportunity, he didn't actually say much. It was more or less long tales of how he had supposedly assisted numerous people. One thing that these people had in common, according to him, was that they had all gone to six or seven doctors and experts before coming to him.

When he got questions from the audience he didn't answer them directly but talked around the questions by bringing up more tales and anecdotes. He even got angry when he was reminded that he hadn't actually answered the question even though he went on for at least six minutes.

Verrett hardly mentioned the methods he uses to heal or help seriously sick people. But according to a video by himself his method basically includes the shaman invoking and talking to spirits that fight or clear out evil spirits that are supposedly the manifestation of the symptoms.

A young man in the audience asked Verrett what he should do in regards of his chronic back-pain and the charlatan immediately started to talk to his spirits and telling the young guy all sorts of gibberish which he should do to fix his back. After the discussion was over the young man approached Brynjar and told him that there was nothing wrong with his back and he had just asked that question to test the abilities of the shaman. Why didn't Verret's spirits inform him about that? Because he's a charlatan.

Another example of Verrett's dishonesty was when an employee of Tveir heimar, a Mr. Skúli Pálsson, brought up an obvious setup question. The question starts at 57:45 minute (The video has been deleted from youtube, but you can see a recording of the meeting here)

Reasonable doubt in regards of extraordinary abilities
It was not without reason that we called him a con man and a dirtbag. It was obvious from the start, from the claims from Tveir heimar to the radio interview he had on Harmageddon , as well as in the proposed discussion, that the only thing that he does is to pretend to talk to imaginary spirit-animals to “cure” or “assist” cancer, leukemia as well as a number of other ailments, diseases and disorders. His methods are worthless and pointless, range from 250-450€, and do absolutely nothing.

Vantrú just wants to reiterate that people should not be fooled by those who claim that they can perform spellcraft or other methods of miracles and wonders. We recommend that people contact the agent and offices of Durek Verrett and try to get their so-called therapy re-imbursed.

We therefore stand by our statement that the shaman Durek Verret is a con man and a dirtbag.

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2020, 04:58:00 pm »
I'd be a lot happier if the poster used their actual name. All of the claims in this link need to be checked.

Durek's claims about his "special shaman lineage," which he says is the source of his "powers," are all based on lies.  Below are key details, and attached are scans of his book plus his aunt's book and Ancestry database info, corresponding to the facts.  There is a lot of info here but it is actually very simple. 

He is perpetrating fraud against innocent people who believe his lies, and the truth should be known by the public.  Too many people are being fooled by him and he is making a big profit from the lies. He also uses his girlfriend's royal title to increase his prices and pretend like he is respected in Norway and Europe.  Some people rely on him for serious advice about critical issues so they should be warned publicly that everything he says about his spirit guide Mamal and his special lineage is fake.

In his book he claims his lineage is "mystical AF (as fuck)."  Scans attached.  He makes many comments in print interviews, videos, and podcasts in which he talks about his special heritage based on spiritual communications with his great-grandmother Mamal.

Fortunately for those who appreciate truth, Shirley Verrett wrote many facts in her book that reveal Durek fabricated the foundation of his shaman career and his stories about Mamal.  His so-called "voodoo family culture" and "shaman lineage" are all fake.   Shirley was a successful opera singer who published her autobiography in 2003, titled “I Never Walked Alone.”  In her book, Shirley detailed her family background (attached).  Also there are US Federal Government databases that have extensive documents showing evidence of Durek's real family history since the early 1800s.

First a look at the lies he's been selling: 

Even before publication of his book in 2019, Durek made many public references to his grandmother Mamal, stating that she was the central figure in his shamanism.  He also publicly identified as a third generation shaman, and references to him being a third generation shaman still exist on his website and his Facebook page.  However, since 2019, he changed references to Mamal to great-grandmother (instead of “grandmother”) and changed his lineage rank to identify himself as a “sixth generation shaman.”

Shaman Durek is a fraud, he's a self proclaimed shaman liar! He is completely full of shit. Every other word out of his mouth is a lie. I know him personally and he molested many people close to me, males, all males, some underage. He needs to be arrested, he's a sexual predator who molested and continues to mollest many vulnerable people who come to him for healing, many are men, married and embarrassed, confused and ashamed at what happened so they don't want to speak up about it. . He is 100% gay and has HIV.
 He is now denying his HIV status since dating princess but everyone in LA knows he did a fundraiser with Jimmy Chamberlain for his kidney transplant from HIV. It was public knowledge until he hired someone and had everything on the web cleaned up. We have nothing against HIV but we do have a serious problem when someone doesn't disclose their health status and molests people. His whole entire story of being a third generation shaman, then a 5th generation shaman and now a 7th generation shaman is obviously a lie as we can see the generations and claims keep getting grander and grander. His background is all made up. His nationality is all a lie, he claims to be whatever suits him best for that time. I heard him say he was turkish, indian, african, hatian, egyptian, native american, norweigian, hawaiian. His
 files are public, he is zero percent norweigian. He is from the United States, born and raised, his parents are from America and so are their parents. WHY HASN'T THE NEW YORK TIMES OR THE DOCTORS DONE A BACKGROUND CHECK ON THIS SHAM MAN FRAUD OF A SHAMAN.

On page 7 of his book, he writes: “My great-grandmother Mamal started visiting me in my dreams when I was five… my traditional shamanic powers come from my father’s side of the family.”

On the same page: “Mamal was a powerful medicine woman from Ghana, where she worked with spirits, herbs, and music, in service to her tribe—a mix of Mende, Yoruba, and Bantu traditions. When the slave traders infiltrated the African tribes, Mamal fled to Haiti where she studied hoodoo and became a spiritualist before ending up in New Orleans. Mamal’s shamanic powers are legendary in my family.”

On page 10: “My dad used to apprentice for his grandmother Mamal and for his aunt… both of whom practiced shamanism in New Orleans. So he had witnessed firsthand the trials and tribulations [of shamanism].”

And previously in a 2008 interview published by Frontiers Magazine, a gay publication in Los Angeles, Durek stated his father’s family’s tradition was Voudou, and his great-grandmother “came from Haiti to New Orleans where she worked with Voudou.”

On pages 219 / 220 of his book, he says: “My great-grandmother Mamal is my closest guide in the spirit world. She’s always with me.... I talk to my great-grandmother pretty much every day…. Mamal was a great medicine woman in Ghana. She fled Africa in the early 1800s when her tribe was invaded by the Dutch, and her family was put into the slave camps. Mamal escaped by boat, as a stowaway, and ended up in Haiti, where she studied healing and shamanism with the Haitan people. From Haiti, she landed in New Orleans, where she fell in love, got married, and had children, one being my grandmother. My grandmother married a Native American Blackfoot Indian; and together, they had my father."

On page 301 of his book, he thanks Mamal "for keeping our African heritage alive."

And now a look at the facts that tell a very different story:

According to Shirley Verrett’s autobiography and all US Government records, Mamal’s real name was Eugenie Morel.  Her nickname was Mamal.

Mamal was never in Africa and never in Haiti.  She was born in New Orleans in October 1862, which is where she lived her whole life and where she died November 1937, just days after Durek’s father turned 8.  See attached family tree summary.  If you or anyone you know has an
 account, we can send you an invite to see the full tree electronically with all relevant historical documents attached.  A dozen of us in both Norway and the US have done a lot of research on
 and related historical databases to make sure it's factual and transparent.

Mamal was Durek’s great-great-grandmother (not his great-grandmother as he says). Mamal’s parents were not from Africa either. They were both born and raised in New Orleans too. Mamal’s maternal grandparents, recorded in government documents as mulatto, were both born in France.  They emigrated from France to New Orleans in the early 1840s, and later moved to Mexico City.  Mamal’s paternal grandparents might have moved to New Orleans from Haiti, as Shirley Verrett’s book suggests, but documentation on their status is unclear. 

In the first chapter of Shirley Verrett’s autobiography, she adds her personal recollection of Mamal, who was her great-grandmother. On page 6 of her book, Shirley states Mamal was a strict Catholic. She recalls Mamal raised her children and grandchildren in a “strict Catholic household,” including Shirley’s mother Elvira and grandmother Rita.

Carrying on that Catholic tradition, Shirley’s mother (Durek’s grandmother) “strongly disapproved of anyone who practiced voodoo,” which she described as “negative arts.” She recalls her mother went from being a strict Catholic to an even stricter Seventh Day Adventist.

Therefore, Durek’s claims of “voodoo culture” in his father’s family’s tradition via Mamal are totally false. His claim that his father was Mamal’s “apprentice at the age of 11” is also false, since Mamal died when his father was barely 8. And according to Shirley’s book, the claims that Durek’s father witnessed Mamal’s shaman activities are also false.

In fact, the opposite was true. Shirley knew Mamal personally, and stated that Mamal and her family strongly opposed non-Christian practices.  Her writing attached states this.

We also found that as recent as January 2020 during a Michael Sandler podcast, Durek repeated a story about his father being Mamal’s shaman apprentice from age 11. This is clearly false based on the above facts.

Regarding Durek’s claims that Mamal was “a powerful medicine woman from Ghana," it is worth noting that the nation of Ghana wasn't formed until 1957. The Empire of Ghana, which was not in the same geographic location as the modern nation of Ghana, ended in the year 1100.

So Mamal could not have been “from Ghana" in any case.  Perhaps he intended to indicate a region in Africa that is currently Ghana.

However, on page 7 of his book, Durek states Mamal’s tribal ancestry was "a mix of Mende, Yoruba and Bantu."  Based on research, during the time of slavery the Bantu people weren’t anywhere near the area that is now Ghana.  They still aren't there today.  Also, the Mende people’s current territorial area is at least 400 miles away from modern Ghana and was even further away during the era of slavery. To have a “mix” of these tribes in 1700s Africa, among tribes that span a distance of 1,000 miles apart, would have been impossible.

Also the idea of an African woman during the slavery era fleeing from Sub-Saharan Africa to Haiti in order to avoid slave traders would also be impossible, unless she was a slave herself.  Sadly, the only transportation for a tribal African woman to go from Africa to the New World in that era was on slave ships. In any case, Durek’s stories have no relation to the real Mamal whatsoever.

So who does he think he has been talking to all this time?  The "spirit" he claims he speaks with daily clearly isn't Mamal.  Either he is just lying, and is really bad at researching his own family... or if he really does hear voices in his head, then the voices are lying.

Either way it is disturbing and fraudulent.  We're guessing it's just him who is a liar.  And the saddest part is that he is fooling people with these blatant lies about his mystical Ghana medicine woman lineage and shaman voodoo family history, charging people $1,000 per hour to listen to him lie and pretend to speak to "Mamal" to heal people of their problems and illnesses.  It would be comical if it wasn't dangerous and despicable.  People are trusting his input, including for medical advice, and even with children!  It's dangerous.

It is especially disgusting that he and his girlfriend tell others how important it is to live their truth and be authentic, but then in reality they are just selling expensive lies and totally fabricated stories about themselves.  We hope the facts will be published in both Norwegian and English so everyone can be aware of the truth in all the locations where they have been targeting people for this scam.

"In many interviews and in his book Durek lists details of an important life event, his "shaman right of passage" at age 27. On the Michael Sandler podcast last month Durek said that when he was 27 a spirit told him he would die soon and then he collapsed in his room in Belize. Durek said he called his friend Marcus who drove him to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital, he said he “smashed his head into the dashboard” of Marcus’s car because he was having seizures as they drove. Yet, minutes later on the same podcast Durek said an ambulance took him to the hospital and there was a paramedic talking to him in the ambulance.

On page 1 of his book, Durek says a medicine woman in Belize told him he would die soon -- not a spirit as he said on the podcast.  And in his interview with DUST magazine in 2018, Durek told the story of nearly dying at age 27 in Los Angeles.  He didn’t mention a jungle or medicine woman, as he does in the book.  Instead, he described his friend driving him to the hospital in Los Angeles where doctors “had to open my throat and my chest.”  These words are still on his website today under a post for that magazine interview, even though it contradicts the story in his own book.

On page 13/14 of his book, the emergency scene takes place in Belize and Durek said he underwent "a tracheotomy." Checking video and photographs from that time in 2001 to today we see no trace of tracheotomy scars on his neck.

Durek says on page 14 that Marcus sat next to him in the ambulance -- not driving him in a car in Los Angeles as he said in 2018 interviews. He also said in the book and in interviews that Marcus watched in the surgery room while doctors worked on Durek.  This is an impossible scenario, whether in Los Angeles or Belize, as no proper hospital allows a friend to watch in an operating room during emergency surgery.

In 2018, Durek stated the doctors had to “open my throat and chest,” yet on page 15 of the book he states that after the doctors’ efforts failed, they repeatedly used "defibrillator paddles" on his chest. That would also be impossible if doctors had really opened up his chest.

As a matter of common sense, it is also strange that he makes no mention of any specific names of hospitals, doctors, shamans, tribe elders or others he claims to have met. He doesn’t mention them in his book, or in the book acknowledgements, although he says they are an essential part of his shaman right of passage and his life in general.

For example on page 16 of his book he says he was paralyzed, spent two months in a coma, and couldn’t walk. On page100 he also said he had brain damage and organ failure.  Any reasonable person would imagine at least one of the medical staff who nursed him back to health would deserve a mention by name or a thanks to the institution where he recovered, but there is no mention.  Especially odd since he talks about the importance of expressing appreciation.  This type of fabrication would be funny if it weren't for the fact that a lot of people are being fooled by this nonsense and taken advantage of.

Also there are people online who say they know him and that he is HIV+.  It is a fact that HIV+ status can make kidneys fail.  So it seems like a much more likely cause that the near-death episode at age 27 was related to his HIV status.  Or maybe alcoholism too, which he talks about in the book.

A medical clue he gave in the book and in magazine interviews is "potassium overload." He says on page 14 that his potassium level was 10 mEq/L. That is called hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia is more likely in HIV+ individuals and is the result of kidney failure due to some other factor, such as HIV. Google says: "Symptoms of acute hyperkalemia include muscle fatigue or paralysis, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat or heart attack, dizziness, nausea, and if not treated can lead to death". These are the same symptoms he said he had in his near-death right of passage.

Whatever the cause, if someone really almost dies and goes through all those terrible effects for months, they could at least know what country they were in when it happened, or a name of hospital or doctor who nurtured them back to health.  But this guy apparently isn't sure because his story changes all the time.  Just another example of habitual lying, and he apparently cannot keep track of his fabrications even when it's something as important as a so-called shaman right of passage.  "

"In an interview with the UK’s Daily Mail in May 2019, Durek said he has “adapted to royal life in Norway with ease” because he said his “father was a multi-millionaire architect who built hotels in San Francisco.” He claimed in the same interview that he “grew up with yachts and servants.” He repeated this story about his background throughout 2019.

On page 130 of his book, he also said his father “was very African and very Haitian.” But then on page 220 of the same book he says his father’s father was a “Native American Blackfoot Indian.”

Family records and US Government documents show that both of those stories are false. Durek’s father, David Benjamin Verrett, was born and raised in New Orleans. Many generations before him on both sides of his family were also born and raised in Louisiana according to all government records. Documents related to his paternal grandfather’s family end with generations that were apparently born slaves in Louisiana, as the public records show on
 and as Shirley Verrett’s book confirms.  So his description of his father as very African and very Haitian is totally false.

As for the claims his paternal grandfather was Blackfoot Indian, that is also false.  Amazing that in the same book he claims his father was very African/Haitian but then in a different part of the book also claimed his father was half Native American.  It is incredible that any book publisher in the world could release such garbage.  In any case, Blackfoot territory has always been located in central and western Canada, more than 2,000 miles northwest from Louisiana. Records show no one in the Verrett family tree traveled to that region. In fact, no one went West until Durek's paternal grandfather moved to California in the late 1940s. Documents show every member of his father’s lineage were listed as “black” in all government census records.  No Native Americans at all.

Regarding the story of his father being a wealthy architect, public records show Durek's father was a laborer and construction worker in his youth, then became a contractor. He settled in Sacramento, where Durek was born in the 1970s, then moved to Foster City near San Francisco. Durek's father ran his contracting work out of his home, which was a modest single-family property in an average neighborhood.  According to the California state contractor database, the bond on his contractor license was a maximum of $7,500 USD, indicating that the jobs he did were on a relatively small scale. Durek’s father was not an architect, and never held an architect license according to the database of CA state board of licenses.

Durek’s father filed for bankruptcy twice, most recently 2010. Sadly, he lost his home in Foster City, which was going into foreclosure before it was offered for short sale. His final bankruptcy filing in 2010 indicated no savings and negative net income per month.  The 2010 bankruptcy filing is available on the PACER public database and a copy of it is attached.

Based on the facts, which are all publicly viewable, every story Durek has told the media and his followers about his "Native American multi-millionaire architect father" is totally false."

"Facts about Durek’s Norwegian ancestry story:  His mother is Sheila Farmer, born 1943 in New York. She was Durek’s father’s third wife (of four total that we can confirm). Records show she has rented a small apartment near Queens, NY for the past 22 years. On page 7 of his book, Durek states “My mother comes from a long line of Norwegian oracles, as well as Native American medicine men/women.” And on page 8: “Ancient Viking spirituality runs deep in her roots. Rejected by her stepfamily early on because they were black, and she was white…”

However, based on all documentary evidence of his family tree, including photographs posted to his own social media accounts, his mother is black. She apparently doesn’t have Norwegian lineage, nor Native American lineage. The 1930 Census shows Sheila’s mother, Vera Tyson, was born in Pennsylvania, the child of two “negro parents” as described by government records.  Vera’s maternal grandparents were born into slavery in Virginia, while her paternal grandparents were born in Florida directly after the end of slavery in the late 1860s. Both sets of their parents were likely slaves in Florida as well.

Government records show Sheila’s father was Oscar Eugene Farmer, Sr., born 1914 in Maryland. The 1920 Census shows him as a “black child” and both his parents were also listed as “black” and born in Maryland too. It appears likely both sets of their parents were born into slavery in Maryland.

Durek has recently been telling a story that his mother is part Norwegian. In an interview with DUST magazine in late 2018, he said his mother is part Russian too. However, based on documentary evidence, it appears these stories are false.The origin of the Norwegian story may arise from a point in Durek’s grandmother’s life when it appears she had a boyfriend named Edward Brinn.  Edward was half Norwegian and half black. Edward’s grandparents were from the West Indies. His father was a black man born in the United States, while his mother was a white Norwegian immigrant. Edward’s father was deaf and orphaned as a child. A close family friend who lived with Edward’s father in a deaf children’s home in New York later adopted Edward. That man’s family name was Urquhart, so Edward became Edward Brinn Urquhart. Recently, it appears Durek's mother Sheila began using the name "Veruschka Urquhart."  The reason for this change is unclear, but documentary evidence shows both of her parents were black Americans who had no relation to Norway, no relation to Native Americans, and no relation to Russia.  See the
 link for her full lineage details and related government documents."

"Checking criminal background and court records in the state of California: Los Angeles Superior Court records show Durek married a foreigner (apparently a Czech citizen) in Los Angeles.  His wife's name was Zaneta Marszalkova.  It appears likely it was an attempt to defraud the US government into issuing Zaneta a green card.  When the scheme failed, Zaneta filed for divorce from Durek in 2008 and it was finalized in 2009.  This record is available at the LA Superior Court database.
LA Superior Court records also show that Durek's half-brother, David Benjamin Verrett, Jr., born in 1956, lives in the South Central LA area.  He has worked as a security guard for many years, but last year had his security guard license canceled after he disobeyed court orders related to alimony and/or child support payments. 

The San Francisco area court systems show Durek was previously arrested at least 3 times as an adult in San Francisco.   People online who claim to have known him since his youth have said that in addition to his multiple adult arrests, Durek was also previously arrested and convicted as a juvenile.  Juvenile detention reports aren't publicly viewable, but the online posts say he was a neighborhood thug and bully, and when he was a teenager was convicted of arson for burning down a house in his neighborhood, and selling drugs including to children as young as 12.

During the 1990s, San Francisco court records show Durek was also arrested and charged by the State of California for riding public buses without paying the fares.  Court records in San Mateo county also show two more criminal offenses.  Charges were brought against him by the State of California, but those criminal files from San Mateo aren’t viewable online and must be obtained by visiting the courthouse to research in person in San Mateo."

Offline secretrman

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Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2020, 05:10:20 pm »
The information posted on Reddit was provided by a team of investigators on two continents. Concerned friends/family of Ari and Martha’s children initiated the investigations and I was contacted as a result of my history/experience. My personal knowledge goes much further back to his days in San Francisco as a teen. That information was provided by a neighbor from his childhood whose claims left my head spinning. Much of the information in the reports was startling. As someone with over 10years in the “inner circle”, these reports would mean his friends/disciples/family are complicit in the fictitious history he presents.  The truth should be known to protect those being misled. While some good may be done by him it is at the great expense of those he uses to keep climbing towards his ultimate goal: Fame, power, subjugation. The public records are easy to fact check. Behind the scenes, it is far worse than I would have ever imagined.

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1423
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2020, 11:48:36 pm »

By now there is an added paragraph at the end of the Reddit article that was quoted in full by educatedindian:

Truth_Unearthed 1 point 15 days ago
Utter bs Princess Martha Louise. Shame on you! for using BLM and George Floyd to promote your BF and gaslight people on the truth of the man. It's not his skin tone. It's his lack of integrity people can't stand. "...The press presents him as a liar, being violent and a threat to my family and myself, sharing scrupulously his X’s story without checking facts, because it supports the belief system already in place about him."

The quote-in-quote is found in an Instagram post, cited by several news outlets in both English and Norwegian:

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1423
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2020, 12:37:19 am »

The prelude to that discussion is this kind of glossy but informative article with good links:

There is a Norwegian Wikipedia article about Mr. Verrett, with some references:  [No other Wikipedia languages, so far.]

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1423
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2020, 01:16:25 am »
Now for his ancestry, especially the alleged Norwegian part of it. It's quite confusing. A few links:
"Shaman Durek is half Norwegian, but has never been in Norway before, and Princess Märtha Louise invited him to join her to share his wisdom with the people of the North."
"I en video på Instagram forteller den amerikanske sjamanen Durek Verrett at hans mormor er født i Fredrikstad …"
"In an Instagram video the American shaman Durek Verrett relates that his mother's mother was born in Fredrikstad [Norway] …"
"Sjaman Dureks oldemor født på Sagene — Slektsforskere har nå funnet ut av de norske familiebåndene til prinsesse Märtha Louises nye kjæreste, Durek Verrett. – Han er en åttendedel norsk, sier Elin Galtung Lihaug."
"Shaman Durek's great-grandmother born at Sagene [in Oslo, Norway] — Genealogists have now found the Norwegian family ties of Princess Märta Louise's new boyfriend. - He is one eighth Norwegian, says Elin Galting Lihaug."

So from one half to one fourth to one eighth Norwegian in a few days. The last article points to a long genealogical discussion (ten pages on my screen), started by the above named genealogist:
"Durek David Verrett – norske aner på morssiden?"
Translation: "Durek David Verrett - Norwegian ancestry on his mother's side?"

However, the conclusion (at page 10 on my screen) of that long and intricate discussion so far is this:

in other words, and as Neil is stating: For all practical purposes, Oscar Farmer must be assumed to be the grandfather. This is obviously the most likely candidate, at least in the absence of any other evidence.

it may simply mean that the family history later on conflated the "step grand-father" and the "real" grand-father, and this may be where the supposed Norwegian ancestry came in. So although there may not be any biological links to Norway, it may still have contributed to the family lore.

My bolding. This conclusion (no Norwegian ancestry) is supported by much evidence on the preceding pages.

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1423
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2020, 01:36:34 am »
"Sjaman Dureks oldemor født på Sagene — Slektsforskere har nå funnet ut av de norske familiebåndene til prinsesse Märtha Louises nye kjæreste, Durek Verrett. – Han er en åttendedel norsk, sier Elin Galtung Lihaug."
"Shaman Durek's great-grandmother born at Sagene [in Oslo, Norway] — Genealogists have now found the Norwegian family ties of Princess Märta Louise's new boyfriend. - He is one eighth Norwegian, says Elin Galting Lihaug."

Apologizing for my typo in the translation bit. The genealogist's correct name is Elin Galtung Lihaug.

Offline verity

  • Posts: 128
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2021, 08:56:29 pm »
He was born Derek David Verrett, 17 Nov 1974, mother's maiden name Farmer, birth county Sacramento (California Birth Index via

David Benjamin Verrett Sr 1929 - 2017
Sheila G Farmer (aka Verushka Urquhart) 1943 - 

The fraudulent services he offers include "Shamanic Feng Shui" and "Atlanean Crystal Healing". He also performs directing "invisible" acupuncturists who apply imaginary electricity.

Offline verity

  • Posts: 128
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2021, 10:28:47 pm »
The conditions he heals are vast and varied – he has helped heal clients with cancer, fertility issues, dysfunctional behaviors, gastric problems, slipped discs and other spine injuries, nightmares, emotional depression, schizophrenia, addictions, and anger issues.

From 2010, a classic huckster claim that he can heal cancer.
2012, confirmation that he needed a kidney transplant, there was a fund raiser, and that his partner was Hank Greenberg. And that he is HIV+ - relevant because he claims miraculous "shamanic" abilities.


His paternal aunt is Shirley Verrett, an American operatic singer. In her autobiography she writes that her mother (Derek Verrett's paternal grandmother) had been raised Catholic, strongly disapproved of the "negative arts" of Voodoo, and eventually joined the Seventh Day Adventists.

Derek Verrett does not have the "lineages of Haitian voodoo and indigenous Norwegian medicine" (2009 claim ) that he claims.

Offline verity

  • Posts: 128
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2021, 10:50:35 pm »
I'm making my way through this that was also posted earlier in this thread.

We can verify that he is a fraud, his paternal aunt is Shirley Verrett, he does not have "lineages of Haitian voodoo and indigenous Norwegian medicine", and that he needed a kidney transplant. His past partner at the time did state that Derek was HIV+. He has indeed changed his generation claims, sometimes he is 3rd generation, sometimes 6th etc.

I don't know if we can verify this:

I know him personally and he molested many people close to me, males, all males, some underage. He needs to be arrested, he's a sexual predator who molested and continues to mollest many vulnerable people who come to him for healing, many are men, married and embarrassed, confused and ashamed at what happened so they don't want to speak up about it.

I hope that anyone being victimized in this manner gets help from social services and also reports to law enforcement.

This is disturbing:

In one moment he’s beating the crap out of my thighs, channeling an Inuit elder with a karmic bone to pick

Offline verity

  • Posts: 128
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2021, 11:13:20 pm »
Currently on people's work on this family tree can be found, main tree is named "Shirley Verrett Family", it can be found by searching on Derek's father:

David Benjamin Verrett Sr.
Birth 13 NOV 1929 • New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Death 7 JUN 2017 • Sacramento, Sacramento, California, USA

I'm uploading here PDFs that were referred to earlier in that reddit thread, in case they disappear from there.

Offline verity

  • Posts: 128
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2021, 11:40:36 pm »
More PDFs uploaded here.

The reddit thread discussion of Derek's paternal great great grandmother Eugenie "Mamal" Morel  born 1862 New Orleans died 1937 New Orleans all look plausible, census and other records can be seen through Ancestry. These would contradict Derek's claims.

He really should have professional genealogy done.

From reddit thread:

As for the claims his paternal grandfather was Blackfoot Indian, that is also false.

This would be Leon Solomon Verrett - I don't see anything in records that would back up Derek's claim.

Offline verity

  • Posts: 128
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2021, 12:54:07 am »
Also disturbing:

I knew from the waiver that Durek’s manager asked me to sign (yes, the shaman has two managers, a P.R. spokeswoman, a coordinator, a lawyer, a chief operating officer, and a media manager) that this really could go anywhere.

She signed the waiver and then forwarded it to her father:

“You can’t sign it,” he said. My dad is a lawyer. “Did you happen to get to paragraph five or six where it talks about entering your genitals?”

I hadn’t. The waiver seemed long and he was a shaman. I cringed and told him I had to go and scrolled down to those paragraphs.

You expressly consent to any and all treatments, methods, and techniques necessary that Shaman Durek may perform in your session as determined by him. This includes but is not limited to physical touching, energy healing, releasing of toxins…, energetic entry or physical touching of my genitals or electric shock treatment in the spine.

Derek's later excuses:

“If I need to clean out your lymphatic system, it’s near your groin area. So if my finger’s here, that could be misinterpreted.” There is a technique in shamanism, he explains, to help women when they want to have babies, or men who are impotent, or women who can’t have orgasms. “You have to speak to their sexual glands…. There are things that I might have to take off to show me their genitals. I’ve had women who come in who--—one woman had vulva inflammation.”

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1423
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2021, 01:33:50 am »

Offline verity

  • Posts: 128
Re: Durek Verrett AKA Shaman Durek
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2021, 02:28:59 am »
In 2019 he trademarked "Shaman Durek".

Goods and Services    IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Workshops and seminars in the field of shamanism, personal development, spiritual development, mental health, emotional health, shamanic training, shamanic healing, energy therapy, sound healing, spirituality; Educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational speaking services in the field of shamanism, personal development, spiritual development, mental health, emotional health, shamanic training, shamanic healing, energy therapy, sound healing, spirituality; Entertainment services in the nature of an ongoing reality based television program; Entertainment services, namely, providing podcasts in the field of shamanism, personal development, spiritual development, mental health, emotional health, shamanic training, shamanic healing, energy therapy, sound healing, spirituality; Providing on-line training workshops, courses, seminars, podcasts in the field of shamanism, personal development, spiritual development, mental health, emotional health, shamanic training, shamanic healing, energy therapy, sound healing, spirituality.
(REGISTRANT) Ohana Productions LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY CALIFORNIA 3357 Cahuenga Blvd W #85 Los Angeles


Also trademarked "The Shaman School" and the symbol he uses. He calls the symbol "Quinterium". He claims that three "building-high" beings gave him the symbol.

His links page includes link to this - probably this is where he got his symbol/sigil.

Extensive critique of Derek (and other American New Thought Missionaries) , including:

Let´s be quite straight forward. Shaman Durek is a typical American plastic shaman. Plastic shamanism is a pejorative colloquialism applied to individuals who are attempting to pass themselves off as shamans, holy people, or other traditional spiritual leaders, but who have no genuine connection to the traditions or cultures they claim to represent.


According to his website his manager is Alexandria Alava (she is his niece) , business manager Sam Ritter, publicist Tanya Khani  , coordinator Kylie Lang.

Private healing sessions cost $2,000. A private session with him might induce vomiting:

He will then bring in ancestors from the ancient tribes to begin working on the body. When releasing, you may shake, cough, yell, or vomit.

I assume that he's not doing private in person sessions during this pandemic?