Sunday, January 25, 2009

In theory

The ritual of smudging can be defined as "spiritual house cleaning." In theory, the smoke attaches itself to negative energy and as the smoke clears it takes the negative energy with it, releasing it into another space where it will be regenerated into positive energy.
This theory is passed on to us by Phylameana lila Desy, who is:
... certified in Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki and the Science of Intuition from the Holos Institutes of Health. She is an energy medicine practitioner, clairvoyant, intuitive counselor, flower essence consultant, and owner of Spiral Visions.
CounterKnowledge reports that Phylameana thinks the White House needs a damn good smudging after Bush's occupancy.

Spiral Visions is a website, rather than a disorder of sight. (Presumably, she'd have healed any sight disorders.) Scrolling down the page, you can regress to the Dark Ages if you like, and read about the "elements" of fire, earth, air and water, or you can be guided by the author's shopping tips and buy crystal chakra soap, a Pyramid Reiki timer or a deck of cards that will help you "intuitively heal yourself".

Halfway down the page, there's a blog roundup - the Carnival of Healing. My favourite link so far is an explanation from a Reiki Master of her "healing box" in which she places small cards with people's names and "issues needing healing" written on them. Then:
Every so often (i.e. every few days, or sometimes twice daily) I read through all the cards in the box and send distant Reiki to all people in it, all at once, to help them heal. As I hear back from people with their healing progress, and using my own intuition, I remove some of the cards afterwards as they are ‘done’.
If you'd prefer one-to-one distant Reiki, that can be arranged, for a modest fee, from her website. A one-hour treatment costs just $69 Canadian, C$35 buys up to thirty minutes distant healing for your pet.

Distant Reiki for your pet is unusual, as a complementary therapy, in that it could be trialled properly. Complementary therapy, like religious ministry and communicating with the dead, is fertile terrain for the unscrupulous but, in all these cases, what keeps most of those involved the right side of the fraud laws is that they actually believe in what they are doing. That's as it should be and it's the same with commercial fraud: selling investments that go wrong isn't fraudulent. Belief is the key.

Drug manufacturers are not allowed to sell products that have not been trialled and shown to be effective. Should it be lawful to sell a therapy that could be tested for efficacy, if such testing has not been carried out? If so, should this also be lawful for drugs companies? Why should there be a double standard?

It is to overcome the absence of genuine validity that quacktitioners flourish titles like "Reiki Master", or diplomas in the "Science of Intuition". In the UK, there's now a regulatory framework that will confer institutionally-sanctioned bogus authenticity on evidence-free therapies, the Complementary & Natural Health Council.

And the process of setting up this body has already cost the UK taxpayer £900,000.


Anonymous said...

More support for Chesterton's maxim.

Peter Risdon said...

That would be hard to deny. Though the Victorians were capable of believing some very stupid things. That's when all the Wikka/Druid type BS started.

bondc said...

"Though the Victorians were capable of believing some very stupid things."

I believe they were who Chesterton was addressing.

Peter Risdon said...

Chesterton postdated the Victorians.