Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hands of Money

After his recent encounter with the infighting amongst energy healers EoR decided to follow one of the trails, to Barbara Brennan's Hands of Light healing.

First stop was her scientific textbook, "Hands of Light". According to the blurb, this
is a scientist's look at the field of bioenergetic healing, offering specific techniques towards expanding perceptual tools of healing, seeing auras, understanding psychodynamics and the human energy field, and spiritual healing. Trained as a physicist and psychotherapist, Brennan has spent the last 15 years studying the human energy field and working as a healer. Hands of Light goes beyond conventional, objective knowledge while retaining scientific clarity. [...] Science and spirituality may currently be at odds, but fortunately there will always be scientists who are spiritual seekers, and it is in the mingling of the two worlds where wisdom is born.

Pretty standard alternatista "Science is bad except my scientific woo theories which are really rather spiffy and nice" stuff. The reviews are all congratulatory and backslappingly admiring of Barbara's magic powers. Someone claiming to be an engineer gushes
I honestly believe that this book will one day be considered a revolutionary text in modern medicine - that the techniques outlined in this text will one day become standard practices in modern medicine.

EoR isn't holding his breath. "Apostolic Pentecostal Woman" states (spelling and capitalisation preserved so you get the real feel of this frenzied diatribe):
WE ARE A MIRACLE OURSELVES LIVING ON A MIRACULOUS BLOB OF ENRGY CALLED EARTH. WE ARE CAPABLE OF HEALING OURSELVES BECAuSE GOD IS IN US-EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US-HE IS IN US. HE CREATED A REAL UNIVERSE-MATTER AND ENERGY-INTACT and Barbara Brennan-a human form of love and compassion, a scientist and a healer-is an instrument of God who is being used to explain this (not so called) 'mysteries' of our cosmos thru this book. I am learning from her book and I am delighted to be enlightened. I can tell all here that COMPASSION AND LOVE WORKS. I can tell you that I can see auras and chakras now after reading her book but I sill have to deal some issues with myself that when I know it has been dealt with, I know I will be able to heal myself and heal others. You too can...

Oh, right. So she couldn't see "auras and chakras" before reading the book. Pretty strong stuff.

On her website, Barbara provides details of the science:
The Human Energy Field is the manifestation of the universal energy that is intimately involved with human life. It can be described as a luminous body that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body, emits its own characteristic radiation and is usually called the "aura." The auric field is a quantum leap deeper into our personality than is our physical body.

Well done. Extra points for mentioning "universal energy field", "aura" and "quantum leap" all at the beginning. There's a bit more mystical mumbo-jumbo, and Barbara concludes
The Human Energy Field is composed of an infinite number of levels. We focus primarily on the seven lower levels throughout the four-year course of study in Brennan Healing Science. Each level penetrates through the body and extends outward from the skin. Each successive level is of a "higher frequency" or a "higher octave." Each extends out from the skin several inches farther than the one within it of lower frequency. The odd-numbered levels are structured fields of standing, scintillating light beams. The first, third, fifth, and seventh levels of this field are structured in a specific form. The even-numbered levels - the second, fourth, and sixth - are filled with formless substance/energy.

Just like her unaccredited course is filled with formless substance. Do you notice anything funny here? That's right: the "science" page is mercifully free of the complexities of science. No references. No studies. Nothing but woo. And apparently not even particularly original woo, apart from the title. No wonder the reikiists are pissed off. Someone else treading on their nice little scam must be really annoying.

In fact, even though
She has devoted the last 30 years to research and exploration of the Human Energy Field.

she is still yet to publish any form of research (books and tapes count as advertising, not fact).

EoR is comforted to know, however, that not all of her wisdom costs money. Monthly she lets out a morsel of newage wisdom. This month:
It is now that nations begin to dissolve the fear in rigid national and cultural historical traditions. These traditions are no longer needed because individuals in those cultures no longer need a historical sounding board of rigid beliefs to stop themselves from re-creating international pain. It is in this way that the earth can be healed through each individual holding clear and aligned intention to create from the essence of the self, that walks within both worlds at the same time.

Or, as EoR puts it, "Be nice to people". But, unfortunately, Barbara appears not to have looked at the world recently.

On the other hand, with Emoto-San and Barbara working flat out to heal the world, EoR wonders what the place would be like without their powers holding everything together...



    He tasted good.

  2. The author of this blog is an ignorant moron.

  3. Well, he might own a bike and a white shirt but I'd always assumed he's most likely an atheist.

    And isn't "ignorant Mormon" a tautology?

  4. i was expecting a bit more than the perusing of a website and copy-pasting mis-spelled reviews...

  5. She claims to be a scientist. But where is the science? Nothing to see here, folks. You've seen one QuackWatch-listed energy healer, you've seen 'em all.

    This one sells her Quackery to others through books, and a school and website. Nice. But hardly original.


  6. Interesting comments from people who don't know a thing about the power that Barbara Brennan is manifesting and teaching others how to manifest. She is a scientist and is now in new fields of science. One cannot practice such and publish long-term studies on it at the same time. In due time, like 50 years, this cynically dismissed "quakery" will be recognized as a revolutionized truism come into commonplace prominence. Revolutionaries always have to take the arrows of the ignorant. But they do keep going.

  7. Ah, the Galileo Gambit. Just because you want it to be true, doesn't mean that this form of 'quakery' is true.

  8. Maybe this person flunked out of physics. I needed it for my graduate degree in nursing. Pretty good stuff. This program dose Not ADD ANYTHING new-the principles of science pretty much apply to anything impacting our bodies and they have been around for milleniums. Nothing new, just atomic law. All truths are the same.

  9. Unless you have actually had the experience of an energy healing, how can you claim to know that it does not exist and does not work and is all "woo" as you put it.

  10. @anonymous: you're suggesting the Don't Knock It Till You've Tried It fallacy.

    EoR has, on the other hand, directly observed energy healing. And its lack of effect.

  11. I think something happens to skeptics early in childhood that has them feel as though they can't trust or believe. There's a block or fear to their own connection to their inner being. They can't feel & know when they hear the truth so everything has to be proven. It must feel scary to them.

  12. @anonymous: like most groups, skeptics are a wide and varied sort. Some may be scared. Some may not. The point, however, is really rather irrelevant to the point under discussion. You can trust and believe EoR about that.

  13. Interesting that there was one comment in 2006 and the no more until July 2010, where there was a flurry.

    I'm sorry to say this doesn't make for a fantastic post- it's something that skeptics will agree with, and 'believers' won't be convinced by.

    "Thanks to my research, I can reveal that the fluffy new-age lady is fluffy and new-age"

    Well observed *rolls eyes*


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