AN OPEN LETTER TO THE REIKI COMMUNITY
CONCERNING LIAM RICHARDS
- FROM PATI WOLFGANG
friends in the Reiki Community,
I have been through what I consider to be a pretty serious situation
and having thought about it, asking for guidance, all that stuff,
I feel the need to share with you.
I've taken some time to make sure I am not doing this out of spite,
to get even, but because I would hate for anyone to have a similar
I met a fellow Reiki person from New Zealand online. His name
is Liam Richards, or Daneian Richards. We instantly hit it off,
like brother and sister.
Much later, he was coming to Canada to give a workshop and we
decided that he could also give one here, at my place.
He was teaching a form of traditional Japanese Reiki. He claimed
to be the only one in the West with this knowledge and training,
that he had been granted Shihan status by the Gakkai.
There has been considerable investigation and questioning, and
I have to admit this isn't where I hang my hat. From what I can
gather, it is very much in question that Liam's background is
as he claims. People are unable to find any trace of the person
he claims taught him. People have asked at the University he claims
his teacher was professor, etc. and can find no trace of anyone
by that name.
Liam, when asked, either doesn't respond or responds but doesn't
information that would be helpful in verifying his credentials.
He gave two classes while here, and I enjoyed them. Others seemed
to enjoy them as well, and got a lot out of them. What he taught
seemed to have a new spin for us westerners, and at the time it
didn't cross our minds to doubt his "pedigree'.
He was a very charming, personable person. When we went out to
example, waitresses would come talk with us on their break and
remember us when we went back. We hit it off very well. He was
the brother I never had, and we'd sit up until the wee hours laughing
and talking on the porch. Others seemed to like him as well. He
was certainly loved and embraced by his students here.
He stayed at my place for four months. As time went on, unfortunately,
I began to see a pattern of dissembling. He would say he was going
to someone's house, but when I spoke to that person, he hadn't.
Another example is he told people he was paying bills here, which
We formed a business partnership. Since I believed in his "mission"
and people seemed interested in coming here to study with him,
I had no problem with using my funds as seed money for our business.
I was told repeatedly that I would be paid back.
He claimed he had severely injured his ankle. That may be true,
but he did tell
another friend his ankle was fine. He said that because of his
ankle he needed a car with automatic transmission. I ended up
paying for car rentals, and eventually since they were so expensive,
bought a car for him. (He told others that he had paid for the
car, and that when he left, I kept it because I wanted an "upgrade".)
He also ran up very expensive phone bills, totalling over a thousand
He claims, and it is probably true, that his credit card charged
a surcharge for
international purchases. Since he was staying here for an extended
period, I secured two credit cards for him. One from a personal
account, one from business. He maxed out both cards and went over
limit without telling me. He made one or two minimum payments
on the cards, but that is it.
He claimed to be an attorney, and claimed to be handling a legal
situation for me.
Here is an excerpt of him giving legal advice to a friend:
A brief intoroduction might help, my name is Liam, a friend of
Pati's (more like a brother I think). I'm originally from New
Zeland, but have been here in the states over 3 months now. Back
home I worked as an attorney. "
On the website "The Reiki Cafe"
Liam wrote this bio in 2001.
" i was trained in japan under kimoko koyama, the presidant
of the reiki society in japan in the methods of master usui without
the influences of master's haiyashi or takata. i am also a law
student specialing in international law to aid sexually violated
children thoughout the world. love, light, peace and healing to
After he went home, I found he had done nothing as far as the
legal situation he claimed to be handling for me. I then contacted
the New Zealand Law Society and was told
"Dear Ms Wolfgang
Neither this Society nor the Manawatu District Law Society (which
Feilding area) has any record of a Danien, Damien, Daneian or
Liam RICHARDS having held a practising certificate as a barrister
or solicitor. It is possible that Mr Richards has been admitted
as a barrister and solicitor but has never practised as such (we
would not then necessarily have a record of him). "
He repeatedly told me he worked for a top law firm in New Zealand.
The final straw for me was he had claimed to have made a phone
payment on a credit card bill. I kept looking online and no payment
was posted. I asked him several times and was told he had made
I finally called the company and was told no payment had been
made. I questioned Liam and was then told he had tried to make
the phone payment but it didn't work. I said, "Liam, you
and your lies." and got told, "You would see it that
At that point I told him to leave. I had spent fifteen thousand
dollars of my money.
Some of it would be hard to verify, or I just felt that I should
cover. But, with his credit card balances, car rentals, phone
bills, the total we agreed that he owed me was close to ten thousand
I warned a few key people. I was concerned that this situation
would repeat itself.
He found out that I had talked to others, accused me of lying
and claimed that I had violated a "non disclosure" clause
in an agreement that I never saw and certainly
He said that because I told others, he was in no hurry to pay
me back. That is the last I have heard of him. This was last November,
I have seen no money, or gotten any response to mail, and it is
I own that it was my own naivete in trusting him so completely.
I am now paying five hundred dollars a month for that, and will
be for the next two years or so.
I hate tarnishing someone else's reputation. I have always believed
that if they didn't do it on their own, it wasn't my job to do
it for them.
However, this is dangerous, this could happen to someone else
and I feel the need to stick my neck out here.
I am happy to send anyone copies of bills, and other verifications.
Feel free to give my name, or share this with anyone that might
come in contact with Liam.
I'm sorry to be spreading bad news. Perhaps your experience with
Liam is, or would be, positive. I hope so. Perhaps he's changed.
I also hope that as well. I have reason to believe that this is
beyond one unfortunate situation.