Gwyneth Paltrow’s love shaman tries to ignite JAN MOIR’s energy field
Could Gwyneth Paltrow’s love shaman ignite my energy field? JAN MOIR makes a date for enlightenment with a spiritual guru – but only gets pins, needles and a heap of hokum
Shaman Durek is Hollywood’s hottest guru, an exotic mystic to the stars and, should he need further anointing, is the personal spiritualist of Gwyneth Paltrow, who he calls one of his best friends.
‘What I love about Gwyneth is that from the moment we met, we knew we were brother and sister and that we were meant to be in each other’s lives,’ he says. ‘There are no walls or barriers between us. Just love.’
For Gwyneth and his other starry clients, he is a one man bridge to the spiritual world; a third-generation shaman who paves a superhighway to the land of the unliving for the benefit of the undead.
Shaman Durek is Hollywood’s hottest guru and a personal spiritualist of Gwyneth Paltrow, who he calls one of his best friends
Right now he is pressing his hands upon my right forearm, locating a ‘bone cleft’ that apparently denotes my genius for singing (I’m tone deaf) and summoning the power of my long gone ancestors to release the fears in my body.
‘Can you create that surge stronger in her system? Absolutely. Thank you,’ he cries.
‘Can you send a pulse range in her body and open up her synthesis? Okay. Jan, repeat after me: ‘I generate electricity into my right hand’.’
‘I generate electricity into my right hand’, I say and actually I do feel pins and needles, but surely that’s only because the blood is flowing back after holding my arm at right angles for so long?
‘Oh I do love a super sceptic,’ he roars. ‘They are the best students. Spirits, go ahead and accelerate the process.’
The spiritualist is currently in a headline-grabbing relationship with the controversial Princess Martha Louise of Norway, a third cousin of the Queen
Out on the wacky shores of urban spiritualism, is there anyone wilder than Los Angeles-based Shaman Durek, the bisexual, self-styled ‘global ambassador of love’ whose real name is Derek Verrett?
Tickets for his recent Shamanic Heart Opening Electric Fire Meditation show in LA went for £80 each.
He describes himself as an evolutionary innovator, spirit hacker and women’s empowerment leader.
He brings a bucket to his sessions because he is so adept at getting clients to vomit to get rid of the ‘poisons’ in their bodies.
Oh my goodness. Did he make Gwyneth vomit? Please say yes.
‘Have I said that I have?
‘I don’t know if she’ll be comfortable with me talking about that,’ he chuckles. ‘But let’s just say she finds my powers very interesting.’
During the course of our session (non-vomit), I learn that Durek is of African-Haitian lineage on his father’s side and Norwegian-Indian on his mother’s.
The divorced princess, fourth in line to the Norwegian throne, has written on Instagram of her love for her ‘twin flame’ and asked people not to rush to criticise
He grew up in San Francisco where his gifts were recognised when he was only two and he began practising as a shaman at 12.
He has swum with piranhas (‘an accident’) and once died from renal failure (‘I flatlined for four minutes’) before a kidney transplant in 2012.
He is currently in a headline-grabbing relationship with the controversial Princess Martha Louise of Norway, a third cousin of the Queen, who once opened a school in Oslo to help people talk to angels and who describes herself as a ‘high sensitivity light fountain’.
‘That woman is the love of my life,’ he booms, in his rich, deep voice. ‘We love each other so much. She is my goddess. I worship the ground she walks on and she worships the ground I walk on.
‘Yes, we have talked about marriage. Right now is too soon, but it is definitely on the cards.’
The divorced princess, fourth in line to the Norwegian throne, has written on Instagram of her love for her ‘twin flame’ and asked people not to rush to criticise. Fat chance!
Princess Martha appeared with her boyfriend on Good Morning Norway just days after revealing their relationship to the world on Instagram
The pair recently embarked on a consciousness-raising Scandinavian tour called The Princess and The Shaman, a commercial enterprise which did not go down well in some quarters.
‘I didn’t feel welcomed in Norway and it hurts,’ says Durek. ‘We were sharing the love with the world and all the Press was doing was looking for stories to rip me apart.’
In his bumpy introduction to Europeans and European royalty, Durek sees clear parallels between himself and the Duchess of Sussex.
‘It was ridiculous. There were definitely racial undertones. The only place where I felt I was getting love was from Martha, her friends, her family and the people who came to the workshops.’
Much of the Norwegian media were critical of the fact the 47-year-old princess was using her title for commercial gain, and spending much of her time onstage complaining about being a royal.
They weren’t too keen on Durek either, who has claimed in the past that he can split atoms and has ‘rescued’ some people from cancer.
The Bishop of Stavanger withdrew permission for the couple to hold one of their workshops in her church, while the local newspaper in Tromso reviewed The Princess and The Shaman in less than flattering terms.
‘We were prepared for gibberish and cliches,’ reported the iTromso, ‘but it was still two hours of your life you’ll never get back. The problem was a lack of form, followed by a lack of content.’ Oh dear.
‘Well,’ he says. ‘I told Martha I’m not going back to Norway for a long time. I need to decompress from everything first.
‘It was hard having the paparazzi in my face all the time. I’ve never had that happen before.’
The mother-of-three, who divorced husband Ari Behn in 2017, has described her beau as her ‘twin flame’ and vowed to love him from ‘this eternity to the next’ in a gushing post
He is certainly a photogenic and imposing figure, well over 6ft in his Converse basketball boots and with a beautifully domed head he shaves every day.
He has a wonderful complexion (courtesy of the Goop products Gwyneth gifts him. He particularly loves the all-in-one face mask) and is wearing a cotton jumpsuit from Japan and a scarf ‘made for me by my friend Emily Factor of the Max Factor family.’
He unbuttons his jumpsuit to show me his transplant scars — his sister Angelina donated one of her kidneys — and the mutilations left by ten years on dialysis. ‘Princess Martha tells me my body is a work of art,’ he says. I bet she does!
Shaman Durek — where to start? How to unpick the embroidery from the straight seams, the wheat from the chatty chaff in a life that seems to be part Eddie Murphy movie and part Disney fantasy?
Of course he knows some people don’t believe in his shamanism, but reasons that is because they fear his power.
‘Since I was a little boy, I’ve had to deal with people being afraid of me. Or having a joke about me. I’m used to it. I’m not bothered by being ridiculed or ostracised or told I’m a devil worshipper.
‘But I can’t help helping people. I’m the guy who counsels Uber drivers. I’m the guy who opens my door and takes a homeless person in and bathes them with my own hands. That is me.’
Now he has to deal with those who say he is only interested in Princess Martha for her money and prestige.
Durek has claimed in the past that he can split atoms and has ‘rescued’ some people from cancer
‘This is very ridiculous. I don’t think in terms of money. When I met her, the first thing I did was look to see if she was wearing a Rolex watch. If she had, I wouldn’t have been interested. I hate that kind of ostentation.’
Anyway, Durek says he adapted to royal life in Norway with ease because his father David Verrett was a multi-millionaire architect who built hotels in San Francisco. (‘I love the Norwegian royal family, they were welcoming and wonderful,’ he says. ‘My love for King Harald is huge.’)
Durek’s aunt was the famous mezzo-soprano Shirley Verrett (who died in 2010) and he grew up with yachts and servants.
Despite this, he insisted on going to a local school instead of a fee-paying one, which was very noble for a little lad.
He has lived in Turkey, Israel and Belize where he has studied shamanism and treated clients. He lived in London for a year in the 1990s, staying with a hedge-fund client whose ‘life I turned around’.
He has dated both men and women. His longest romance was eight years with masseur Hank Greenberg.
They ran a healing business in LA, and it was Hank who nursed Durek through his convalescence after the transplant.
The couple, who were engaged to be married, split under acrimonious circumstances in 2015.
‘I loved Durek dearly and wish him all the best, but I don’t have anything nice to say about him,’ says Greenberg, 47.
‘I have a hard time believing he is authentic based on my own personal experiences with him.
‘He has immense talent and I believe in his mission that love is the answer, but I don’t believe in the man any more.’
Greenberg now lives in Arizona, is in a loving relationship and happy with his life. He has been asked by Durek’s management to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement, but refuses.
He feels he was left with debt when their business went bankrupt and he does not approve of how Durek becomes friendly with his rich and powerful clients.
‘It’s a conflict of interest for a counsellor to go after his clients. I don’t think it is ethical. I would feel responsible if anyone got hurt, which is why I’m speaking up.’
For his part, Shaman Durek believes that ‘my ex is going to say bad things about me because he is my ex.’ And he also believes he has never been in love like he is with Princess Martha.
They met a year ago in LA, on a blind date fixed up by friends who felt they were destined to be together.
Over a vegan lunch catered by the Gratitude Cafe, which specialises in treats such as coconut bacon and courgette houmous, their hearts became as one.
‘She walked through the door,’ says Durek, ‘and it was instant. I looked in her big blue eyes and we just stared at each other. She said: ‘I know who you are.’ And I said: ‘I know who you are, too.’
What, wait. You had met before? ‘We were married in a previous life,’ he explains. ‘We loved each other unconditionally, then and now. We love to sing Disney songs together, to be children together, to laugh and cry together.’
He sings me a few bars of a song from Aladdin to demonstrate. ‘When did your heart decide,’ he croons, his big bass voice filling the tiny treatment room in The LifeSpace, a centre for health and healing in west London.
He had just finished a two-hour shamanic treatment with one client, and is still working on me.
‘Do you serve the darkness or the light?’ he bellows. ‘The light’, I squeak. He addresses the spirits directly, like Captain Kirk addressing his troops from the bridge.
‘Spirits, accelerate the energy field. Go ahead and put an energy field blast inside of her shoulder and shock her left shoulder at 2,000.
‘Go inside of her brain and download the energy. Unplug the Matrix that’s programmed her since she was young and most of the people on this planet to become slaves to a system they don’t believe in,’ he orders.
‘Set the phasers to stun,’ I almost add. I try to cough up my inner poison, like a cat with a furball, but all I manage is a modest clearing of the throat. It is handy, I say, that the spirits speak to you in English.
‘It is,’ he agrees, then describes how the spirits are telling him what a wonderful person I am; humble, hardworking and selfless. So true!
He tells me how much he hates being called a celebrity shaman, almost as much as he loves hanging out with Gwyneth.
She makes him his favourite vegetable stew, gives him advice about his career.
‘Her husband is my brother, her children are my babies,’ he says, before trying to connect me with my spirit ancestors.
‘What are they telling you?’ he says. ‘What are they saying?’ That our time together is up, I say.
Amen to that.
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