The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Monday, March 27, 2006

You Seem to Have a Dent in Your Brain Chakra

I was watching television yesterday for the sole purpose of getting myself pissed off enough to write a blog entry. Somedays life is too good and I have to remind myself that I'm incredibly lucky by watching crap on TV that highlights the weirdos and charlatans that take advantage of folks.

One such show called Unexplained Mysteries was about "Psychic Healers" and whether or not they're real. Due to the fact that I'm writing this, I'm sure you can guess the answer they gave. The show talked, in part, about a man named Henry Rucker, who is a "healer" that seemingly works with people's "energy" to fix what ails them. He was backed up by a man named Dr. Norman Shealy who had worked with Henry for years and years. I took the liberty of looking up Dr. Shealy on the interhole and found this tidbit of information.

How many "doctors" that you know endorse something called, "Magic Oil" or "Sacred Water"? Seriously, take a couple of minutes and read through that linked page there - it's worth it just for such gems as, "(T)his Sacred Water acts like a lubricant. It seems to detoxify the body... Super Water, Holy Water, Sacred Water. We may well be on the verge of discovering the Fountain of Youth", and, "Magic Water is the basic liquid found in the origin of life, and compares to the vital liquid of embryonic fluid". And the show I watched used this guy as a credible resource.

Oh, one last note on Shealy; he uses this little phrase in all seriousness: "...if you have accepted your mortality, if you are planning to grow old and die, then these products should not be incorporated into your life, as they may seriously interfere with your graceful aging and demise. He likens a living organism, such as the human body, to rechargeable batteries, noting that if it is maintained at peak operating efficiency, it will last a very long time, and theoretically forever."

Yeah, maybe he should hook up with Douchepak Chumpra and just start saying "quantum" every six seconds in the hopes that someone will take him seriously. Also, check out the Skeptic's Dictionary entry on DHEA.

The show also did a segment on "psychic healer" Dean Craft (Kraft?). After searching for him a bit I found that the most information I could dig up was on sites about Laverne and Shirley where viewers were asking about how to find him (Cindy Williams, who played Shirley, was "healed" by Dean and gave a ringing endorsement - is there anything that C-list "celebrities" don't know? Also, Henry Winkler produced the show - Fonzie, you've dropped so low...). Surprisingly, it seems that Kraft (or Craft) charges $750/session and is quite hard to find.

I'd think that if I could cure ALS with mind power, I'd be yelling pretty loudly. Maybe Dean is just shy.

Next up is Roger La Borde, who claims to contact coma victims. If you go to his site, you'll see the usual stuff (there's the obligatory Einstein quote about "mystery", and of course it's called "shaman's door"...of course it is), but you'll get an intersting view of him in the "Roger" section under "Door Swings Open". There it describes his life falling apart prior to his "discovery" of entering the "shaman's world". It has been my experience that people who think they have special powers usually have had something in their lives go horribly wrong, most times it's having their spouse leave them, thus making them feel worthless. They need something to make them "special" again.

There was a woman who came to talk to our massage therapy class in our graduating year, and I apologize that I can't remember her name, but she claimed to do "energy work" and proceeded to do the standard sideshow tricks of pushing down on the arm, etc. She said that, "...the body cannot tell a lie", and used the arm trick to diagnose problems. I remember asking her that if the body can't lie, basically you should never make an incorrect diagnoses because all you'd have to do is play 20 Questions to narrow the illness to its specific name, then treat accordingly - so why do we need all these expensive imaging machines and such? She danced around that question and then said that she guides people through past-life experiences to heal them. Did you get that? Past life regression therapy. Man....

My point about her is that she also related a divorce story where her husband left her before she "discovered" her gifts. Seems to be a common trait. A man on the Unexplained Mysteries show who had been in a horrible accident and wasn't supposed to walk again was "healed" by a special person, then proceeded to become a "healer" himself. Tragedy + belief + placebo effect = new healer.

Lastly, I have to tell you that one Russian woman was actually "proven" to be effective by use of...wait for it...Kirlian photography. No foolin'. I never fail to be amazed at the rehashing of debunked crap, its steaming carcass flung on the public for one more sniff. Hey, let's prove psychics are real by using phrenology!

We need a bigger skeptical presence on television to call these people out and show them for what they are - disillusioned, dishonest, or fraudulent. Please can I be on the show with John Edwards? Please!? Man, I hope that guy gets a papercut.

1 Barbaric Yawps:

At 18/3/13 9:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i saw this particular show too and had a good laugh. Love your site, keep it going.


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