This is the story of how my partner became a victim of charlatans in the commercial astrology industry and my efforts to find the truth about Maria Duval, Eva du Maurier, Raylene van Worth, Rochelle, Sofia Dora, Marie-France, and many more.
During 1998, my partner responded to an advert similar to the one on P94 in the British Daily Express Saturday Magazine, dated 12th June, 1999, which invited readers to send for FREE material published by Astroforce Ltd. This company, which trades as Maria Duval, is listed at Companies House, although the type of business is not stated on the website. It is involved in the collection and selling of names and addresses of people who have an interest in astrology, and have already spent money on it.
While I was searching on the Internet for information on Astroforce and Maria Duval, I discovered that a company known as �A Prime Connection�, www.apc.co.uk had hundreds of thousands of names and addresses collected by Astroforce Ltd, as well as lists of people who responded to adverts for books such as �How to get rich without working hard�.
Astroforce Ltd. t/a Maria Duval, was found guilty, by the Advertising Standards Authority in 1997, 1999 and 2000, of deceiving customers. The organisation known as Maria Duval is also known in the USA, and has been investigated there after failing to honour "money back if not satisfied" promises. The ASA has no prosecution powers, only advisory ones.
There is a very professional-looking Maria Duval website, in most of the European languages, an indication of the money flowing into this organisation.There are no addresses on this website.
Since 1998 my partner has been targeted, because she did not mark the box on the Astroforce form which may have prevented it, by persons/organisations in the commercial astrology business. She has spent hundreds of pounds but has seen little or nothing in return. I list them on the Names Page in the Links list.
It is possible that all or some of them are connected in a scam. Paloma Summer and CHRIS sent material from the same address, Tamalfa S.L., C/. Bot�nica, 103-105 08908-L�Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, until 2001.
Mail, in white or coloured business-style envelopes, is often posted in the UK, but the Royal Mail will not tell me who is paying for the postage. Some mail bears the mark HQ7878, others have HQ4896.
According to the directory entry for 54 bis, route des Acacias, there is no resident named CHRIS, but there is a company called Esotal SARL.This name appears on the back of cleared cheques paid to CHRIS and Paloma Summer.
The style of the texts is broadly similar, often with US English spelling. Sometimes in a handwritten style font, but almost always personalised by the mail-merge facility in a word-processor. Some of them claim to type an individual letter, using Courier typeface to suggest that they are using a typewriter, not convincing as the result is too even. The high quality of the printing and paper, a printer estimated that it could cost £5-6,000 per 10,000 mailings, suggests that these are not small businesses, but are well organised and funded. It seems that they do not advertise, which suggests they use mailing lists or a network. Despite their claims to be �world famous� they are known only in their own literature, and on scam-warning websites and media. There is a Maria Duval website, but it has the same content as the printed output).
Each reply, containing such things as talismans, lucky numbers, magnetised portraits (sic), and predictions, is accompanied by details of yet another offer to help. This always involves sending even more money. David Phild supplied an audio tape containing a blend of whale sounds and synthetic music. It was not in the least relaxing to my ears. He then asked for £120 for a course in 'Magical Divination'. Paloma Summer was asking for £63, (a bargain, as she normally charges £139!) in 1999. Alternatively, you could buy luck at �12 per month! (Her words, not mine!) The copies of the cheques that I have obtained from the bank seem to confirm that a single account is used by Paloma Summer and CHRIS and thus is actually one and the same. The cheques are stamped "Union Bank of Switzerland" and "ESOTAL SARL".
A recent reply from Paloma Summer. was in an envelope where a label, with the name "Serdiman Direct" covered the original return address. It included a timetable for gambling for Jan to Apr 2000 with �Lucky Spiritualist Help� It seems to consist merely of a list of dates taken from an ordinary calendar.. My partner paid £39 for this, I managed to get a partial refund. A further period of help would cost £25 to be sent with a completed questionnaire. She promised to reveal to my partner what was really causing her bad luck! Several more requests for money have since arrived, using numerology this time. Her problems are really caused by taking advice from the wrong people, and not counting the cost before she acts. How anyone should believe that ones actions are influenced by the letters in their name amazes me. After all, your parents usually choose your name or give you a name handed down from generation to generation.
I have written to the Spanish Consulate in London for information on this outfit. The reply will be posted on this site in due course. (None received by Feb 2003.)
CHRIS actually suggested that my partner was a victim of witchcraft.
Despite their claims to be �world famous� they are known only in their own literature, and on scam-warning websites and media.
There is a Maria Duval website, but it has the same content as the printed output).
Anthony Carr claims that he has been consulted by astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
Anthony Carr also claims to have advised the British Royal Family,
but I can�t ask HM The Queen, can I? I imagine that Prince Philip's comments would be unrepeatable and unprintable!
These charlatans hide behind PO box numbers, often in distant countries. I would be only too pleased to receive any assistance in exposing these people, and in helping to prevent desperate and/or gullible people from being ripped off by these smart but callous operators. I have original documents from most of them. I am in the process of claiming refunds on the grounds that the predictions are inaccurate but I am not confident of success.
More news from the front line!
February 4th 2000
Write to the Mailing Preference Service. The address is:
Mailing Preference Service
They will notify licenced direct mailers, of the people with your surname at your address. Licenced direct mailers are made aware that you do not want to receive their mailings, The service is free and effective for five years.
The same kind of service may be available in other countries. If you can let me know the details, please email me so that I may add them to this page.(New links at the foot of this page.)
Can anyone help with the following ? What is Solen? Cheques to Eva Du Maurier are to be made payable to Solen. It is a mail-order company, according to my Swiss source, but there is no record of a person called Eva du Maurier!
What is the address of the Swiss Postal Authority? I would like to know the real addresses of the Box Nr. holders.
Any information on �System Service Marketing GmbH�, Serdiman Direct, ESOTAL SARL? (Serdiman and Esotal are the same, see year 2001 page)
Are there any other astrologers using the mail in this field?
Has anyone sent money to any of the addresses listed here?
Did you feel that you had value for money?
Did you try to get your money back, were you successful?
Is anything done in other countries to prevent these scams?
Who is paying for Royal Mail licence HQ 7878 & 4896? (Used by many of the scammers)
If anyone can translate this webpage into other languages, I would be only too pleased.
What is Solen? Cheques to Eva Du Maurier are to be made payable to Solen. It is a mail-order company, according to my Swiss source, but there is no record of a person called Eva du Maurier!
Links to other pages
Year 2001 News
Year 2002 News
Year 2003 News
Year 2004 News
Year 2005 News
Year 2006 News
Year 2008 News
Maria Duval's Great Book of Secrets
Paloma Summer Gambling Calendar (she does not exist!)
The First Letter from Maria Duval
The names and addresses of the Astroforce Ltd. Directors.
The cover letter for the Discover your power booklet from Maria Duval
Discover Your Power booklet from Maria Duval, 1998
Initiate's Manual of the 7 Secrets (Maria Duval, 2001)
Agent details on Maria Duval, Mariella Madonna, Nicole Delya.
Maria Duval company information and brief biographical details.
Fortune House Lottery Numbers, 2002
Institute Equiba, a slimming scam from Fortune House address.
The Universal Pentacle from Eva du Maurier
Report on Eva du Maurier by Swiss Commission for Honesty
An essay by Professor Richard Dawkins
A poem , written by me, inspired by these charlatans and their mailshots
Return to the names on this website
Sophia Monroe mailshot from Canada
Messages received from visitors in 2000
Messages received from visitors in 2001
Junk-mail prevention for US and Canadian citizens
La Grande Mystique's Secret Method and Crystal Care from Victoria DeMonaco
More on HQ7878 and 4896
Lots of useful addresses world-wide, to register with to prevent junk-mail
Skaffe directory with links to anti-fraud sites
Warning from Canada about Raylene Van Worth
Other websites on Maria Duval, and other fakes, frauds, crooks.
Chamber of Commerce reports on Solen SA, Esotal SARL, Taylort SA.
Also, as a result of my partner's name being placed on mailing lists, she has received scores of letters from operators of lotteries, competition documents which seem at first glance to say that you have won, but you have to send money to make a claim, horse-race betting plan sellers, special offers from marketing companies, etc All have the same basis, money for no effort.
You may republish any of the material on this website, except for the essay "Hoodwink'd by Faery Fancy" which is the intellectual property of Professor Richard Dawkins, but please credit me and include my URL. Kevin Harrington © 1999 - 2008. All rights reserved.