Our Response to Recent Critiques of the Wim Hof Method

By Catherine Austin Fitts, Ulrike Granögger, and the Solari Team

Last year, Scott Carney— journalist and author of the bestseller What Doesn’t Kill Us about the Wim Hof Method (WHM)—published a strange video hit piece titled “The Rise and Fall of the Wim Hof Empire.” In May 2024, Dr. Mercola published his own critique of the method, citing Carney’s video as background evidence.

Over 4,200 people have posted comments in response to the Carney video; the vast majority dispute his conclusions and express gratitude for the Wim Hof Method, and some question Carney’s motivations. We cannot explain why Carney would choose to present this attack on Wim Hof, his work, and his Inner Fire family business, but based on our experience with Wim Hof and his team, we agree with many of the commenters that what Carney has put forth does not meet the standards one expects from investigative journalism.

The Wim Hof Method has become extremely popular and widespread in the Western world. The three pillars of the method are breathing, cold therapy, and commitment. This means that the method doesn’t cost a penny, but instead uses tools that are readily available to anyone. Wim Hof, his certified WHM instructors, and the online WHM resources have helped hundreds of thousands of individuals get in touch with their inner strength and freedom, and master daunting physiological and psychological challenges—challenges for which traditional medical approaches often fall short. The Wim Hof Method also addresses people’s self-responsibility and brings back control of breath, emotion, and mind in a way that is profoundly empowering.

It is predictable that such a simple and successful approach might attract envy and attempts at ambush. It is unfortunate to see those attempts come from Carney, who has profited immensely from his association with Wim and from a bestseller based on Wim’s life and work.

Here is the gist of how Scott Carney’s claim sounds to us—that the Wim Hof Method is a deadly technique invented by a madman and propagated by a corrupt family business.

Carney focuses considerable attention on what he calls “shallow water blackout.” However, everyone who has ever attended a WHM course, listened to one of the numerous online video demonstrations by Wim or certified instructors, or used the free app provided by Inner Fire knows it is Rule Number 1 to never ever do the WHM breathing while in or under water, in a sauna, when driving, or during any other activity that requires full attention and capacity of the senses. Whoever does not heed that admonition is either deaf or willfully irresponsible.

Because the number of people practicing the Wim Hof Method has increased enormously since 2015, the possibility that people who knew of or practiced the method might experience an emergency situation in water is almost a mathematical given. However, statistics are not the right response to the tragic death or exigent experience of any individual. And when Carney tries to hold Wim responsible for a wide range of accidents, far more is required than mere association. It is also worth noting that the uptick in deadly drowning accidents since 2021 coincides with a global mass vaccination program now known to cause excessive blood clotting and heart failure even in the fittest of athletes.

Wim Hof is a great man and a generous soul. Yes, he challenges himself and does things that other people with less courage might think are “crazy,” but in everything he does, he takes full responsibility for his actions and teaches others to do the same. He never claimed to be the inventor of breathing techniques and cold exposure. Both have been practiced for millennia, and this is how he was guided to use them for his own healing in the first place. Wim Hof, however, developed a teachable and effective technique that is a unique combination of cold and breath, and he is the first to put them to the scientific test.

We stand by Wim. Wim Hof was Solari Hero of the Year in 2021, and he is still a hero today. Carney’s coverage—lifting the Solari Report’s powerful portrait of Wim from the cover of our 2021 Annual Wrap Up for his video thumbnail without permission—cannot damage Wim’s towering character and lifetime achievements.

Note: In October, Dominique Stulens, a Belgian osteopath and experienced Wim Hof Method instructor, published an excellent video rebuttal to Carney’s video. Stulens’ balanced response and explanations of the two breathing techniques involved are well worth watching.

Related Solari Reports:

Special Solari Report: Cold Therapy and Breath – The Wim Hof Interview

Book Review: The Wim Hof Method


Scott Carney’s False Narrative on Wim Hof Finally Exposed and Scientifically Debunked (by Dominique Stulens)

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