Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Crystal Healing Considered Dangerous

At a recent used book sale, I picked up a copy of the Bible of crystal healing, Love is in the Earth: A Kaleidoscope of Crystals. The author is "Melody" (no last name given), who describes herself as a "scientist" with "Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in mathematics". The book was originally published in 1991; I got a copy of the 1995 edition, which has 726 pages.

The first 76 pages of Love is in the Earth consist of a mishmash of New Age nonsense, descriptions of different types of crystals (mostly using invented distinctions not recognized by geologists, mineralogists, or crystallographers), numerology, and a catalogue of how to use crystals to heal. The remaining pages provide a list of minerals, together with a description of what each mineral is good for.

Here is a sampling of the typical sort of hogwash that can be found in this book:

The energies of the mineral kingdom are "universal energies". Hence, when one contacts and is willing to receive this energy, and begins to exercise personal creativity via exercise of the Higher Will, one can contact and synthesize the energies from which the entire universe is comprised. This is the reason that crystals and other minerals are so very powerful and also why their powers must only be used through the highest consciousness of the individual. (p. 32)

Master Number 44: Metamorphosis and continued change throughout all times is concentrated with determination of both the acceleration and the ease of reformation of the self. The concepts of impetus and catalytic motion are reflected in the "forty-four" vibration. (p. 49)

Soak the crystal in brown rice for twenty-four hours; the rice balances and centers the energy, removing the negativity, while dissipating and transforming the negative to the positive. Upon completion of the "soak" the rice is purified and energized and is quite wonderful to eat. (p. 55)

Gasoline mileage has been enhanced by placing a quartz crystal on the carburetor and/or on the fuel line. Increases of up to 50% have been reported. (p. 65)

How anyone could be so foolish as to believe these bizarre, laughable, and unsupported claims is beyond me. Nevertheless, its devotees (nearly always women) can be found by the dozens at gem and mineral shows, picking up each crystal in turn and holding it in their hand with closed eyes, waiting for the crystal to "speak" to them. They are often derided as "healy-feelies" by serious mineral collectors.

What's worse, however, is that this book is potentially extremely dangerous to one's health. First, here is the obvious danger that people who fall for this nonsense might avoid seeking competent medical treatment for serious conditions. For example, Melody recommends the use of a form of sphalerite for "the treatment of AIDS" on p. 592.

Second, Melody recommends various ways of creating "elixirs" on pages 62 and 63; this involves soaking the mineral in water and/or alcohol and then drinking the water. While most minerals are not very soluble in water, this process could still lead the user to consume small amounts of toxic minerals -- particularly because Melody almost never gives any warnings about the toxicity of various minerals.

Take witherite, for example. This mineral is barium carbonate (BaCO3), which is so toxic that it has been used as a rat poison in the past. The fatal dose for an adult human is about 5 grams, which is not that much because of witherite's high specific gravity. (See more about barium carbonate here.) But Melody doesn't say a single thing about the toxicity of this mineral. Instead, she says "It can be used in the treatment of disorders of the digestive system, providing for a cleansing effect on the unitary whole"! (p. 695) Anyone who followed Melody's recommendation and made an "elixir" of witherite might end up solving their digestive problems for good.

Other toxic minerals that Melody recommends for various uses include

  • orpiment (arsenic sulfide) ("can be used to stimulate the intellect, to cleanse and to activate the solar plexus chakra, and to assist one in reasoning capabilities");

  • anglesite (lead sulfate) ("It can be used in the treatment of nervous disorders, to stimulate neural transmitters, and to promote the circulation of blood")

  • the radioactive mineral autunite (calcium uranyl phosphate) ("The energy emanating from autunite has been used to soothe the temper and to ameliorate heart disorders")



For betafite, a mineral which can be extremely radioactive, Melody suggests that it is "used to grid the body, via wearing and/or carrying". I would definitely not recommend wearing or carrying this mineral. You might set off radiation detectors at airports or borders, and you would be exposing yourself to a significant source of radiation, potentially leading to skin or other cancers.

If you know anyone who has fallen for Melody's decidedly unscientific fantasies about minerals, warn them. Many minerals are toxic, and should be handled carefully to avoid ingesting them or breathing their dust.

77 comments:

Steve Watson said...

Heh. I recall a number of years back visiting a conservation area out your way (Crawford Lake, IIRC), and seeing a bunch of mineral specimens in the gift shop. We bought a couple, and the cashier made sure to include the appropriate info card with each one. When I later came to read the cards I found, not geological data like hardness, chemistry, etc, but newage (rhymes with "sewage") rubbish about what sort of cosmic energies each one channeled, and its health-promoting benefits. This, in a public park with a certain level of educational mandate.

wamba said...

I bought a used copy of The Magic and Science of Jewels and Stones, Vol. II by Isidore Kozminsky; first published in 1922, reprint edition 1988 by Cassandra Press. It is a compendium of crystal and mineral references in literature, heraldry, folklore, folk medicine, etc. There's a whole chapter on "Stones in Shakespeare's Plays". The original work takes a fairly scholarly attitude of collecting information without committing to it, but it is clear from the modern foreword by Gurudas that it has fallen into gullible hands: "It is hoped that in reading this book people will better understand how they can become empowered by using gemstones. Whether it is the wearing of a lapis lazuli necklace to improve one's speaking abilities or meditating with a rose quartz to open the heart, gemstones are very powerful vehicles to empower the individual."

I feel it is best to buys such books at used book sales so that none of my money goes to the authors or publishers.

jackie said...

such a shame your so intelligent yet so cynical about the uses of crystals. its obvious you havent taken the time to use crystals to achieve a desired outcome. perhaps if you went to a well known healer, with extensive knowledge in crystal healing your mind could be changed. there is nothing comparable to this type of feeling. let your body make the decision for your mind. you could be suprised. xxx jackie A.C.T

Jeffrey said...

Jackie:

We have learned something in the last 400 years: the only reliable way to test a therapy is through double-blind studies. That's because people's assessment of their health is often wrong, and subject to influences from the placebo effect.

Do you know of any double-blind studies where crystal therapy has been proved effective? I don't know of any. In the only studies I know about, people were unable to distinguish between genuine quartz crystals and mimics made of glass.

Like other claims of healing for which no reasonable physical basis exists, crystal healing is unproved and the burden of proof is on practitioners.

BeeSA said...

Can anyone tell me where the list of what crystals heal what has come from? i.e. Carnelian aleviates painful joints, Amathysts help insomnia, headaches, eases stress and dis-ease of head and brain, etc, etc, etc. (intersting claim that a little purple stone can heal brain disease???)

Who wrote this list? It's all over the place and has many many variations but where/when was it written or is everyone simply taking it for truth, just because?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

The sad answer, beesa, is that these claims about stones are simply made up. Some of them are "traditional" claims, but the vast majority of them were simply invented by Melody and other New Agers, and are not based on any scientific testing at all.

Isn't that pathetic?

Judi said...

The true pathos is that we have someone with your knowledge and ability simply tearing down other people's beliefs rather than providing an important element of safety to a growing segment of the general public.

I am, however, in complete agreement with you! Many of the metaphysical-types I know could use a few classes in geology before they get their hands on some easily acquired mineral specimens. I, for one, would be DELIGHTED to have a comprehensive listing of mineral toxicity and radioactivity hazards. (I'm the pest who goes around at rock shows and makes sure the orpiment, realgar and cinnabar specimens are out of the reach of children.) If someone were to take Melody's books as a base and publish a companion reference of the actual toxicity of each mineral, I'd buy a dozen copies.

I'd also suggest that anyone who's used a laser pointer, or a watch with a quartz movement, or a chunk of rare-earth magnet to collect metal filings, or has undergone radiation therapy to treat a tumor, or used an old crystal-based CB radio is being a bit of a hippocrate if they refuse to acknowledge that crystals possess vibrations that can be perceived and measured on a physical level. Even radioactivity supports rather than detracts from theory of the vibratory nature of rocks and crystals. (Ask Marie Curie if handling uranium didn't create a significant change in her physical state. An unexpected and unpleasant one, perhaps--but certainly significant.)

I collect crystals and rocks because they feel good to me when I hold them in my hands. You may not have this same reaction--you may feel nothing at all--and that's perfectly all right. I have no agenda for the rest of the world to be just like me. But in the same way that a person with normal vision can't prove or justify their perception of a glorious sunset to someone who is color-blind, all I can do in response to the vehemence of your attitude is shrug. I know what I can sense; it's unfortunate that you feel the need to deride others merely for possessing a sensory ability you don't seem to have.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Judi-

There is no evidence that any of Melody's claims are based on anything except her imagination, so why would anyone want to use her book as a "base".

As for "sensory abilities I don't have", the onus is on believers in crystal healing to prove that they have these abilities, not for me to prove they don't. In the only test I know (mentioned on my blog), crystal healers were unable to distinguish quartz crystals from glass.

Let's face it: people who claim they can sense "vibrations" from minerals are just fooling themselves.

BeeSA said...

Nice discussion. Jackie and Judi: thank you for your input. We're mostly skeptics, not cynics. If you could show us that it's proven to work and can be scientifically measured of course we'll believe you. We all believe in conventional medicine, don’t we? If I was struck down with a burst appendix or a brain tumor I wouldn't be calling my local crystal healer. I'd be calling my local hospital and I'm sure you would too. Why? Because qualified doctors are just that: qualified. And those qualifications have been attained through years of study based in science. These Doctors are also closely watched and heaven help them if they mal-practice. This is truth! Crystal/Reiki/Esoteric healers, as we all know, have most likely not seen the inside of a place of higher learning, a recognised professional institute. They are self-appointed. Why? Because there is no regulation so they just can. I could also set up a practice. Anyone can. If a healer is to dabble with my mind I’d expect that they had been properly trained in the human psyche.

When one takes everything in existence to a molecular level there is vibration, be it subtle or prominent, it's there. That's been proven. Crystals are beautiful products of planet earth, as are the trees, oceans, mountains and everything else that we know of. What makes a crystal any different from the rubber tyres on your car? Who says rubber doesn't have a vibrating and healing effect? (please let me not start a new trend with that comment and find people lying in the street waiting to ‘connect’ with a tyre or two). Absurd isn’t it?

The point is that there is no scientific evidence to back up any of these claims. None. Sorry. Profound claims require profound explanations and must be verified by scientific data. There is a million dollars on offer for anyone who can prove that anything of the paranormal or esoteric exists. This includes, but is not limited to, crystal healers. The interesting thing is that this money has been openly available for about twelve years and is yet to be claimed. Many have tried but none have succeeded although the testing methods are basic and simple.

A million American Dollars is a lot of money in anyone’s language and who could refuse? But never mind that. Let’s think for a minute what this could mean for mankind. It would be a remarkable breakthrough for humanity as a whole. In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. This was one such breakthrough so why, out all the millions of ‘healers’ popping up like mushrooms in the world today, can no one prove crystal healing as truth? Mr Fleming proved penicillin all those years ago with no assistance from the incredible technology we have today. I personally would love to see a brilliant discovery like this in 2008. Wouldn’t you? Go to http://www.randi.org/joom/content/view/38/31/ and claim the million. If I may speak your language for a minute; if no healer is able to claim this money perhaps they should look at other forms of employment and stop being party to the Maya. Fraudulently taking money from gullible people is neither spiritual nor is it “for the good of all, with harm to none”. It’s VERY harmful because, apart from some of the specifics listed in the above comments, it’s delusion. Until otherwise proven, Pseudoscience is the correct term for crystal healing (def: pseudoscience- An activity resembling science but based on fallacious assumptions)

I mean no offence to people’s religious views or belief systems. I’m only asking for scientific proof of efficacy. And then you are most welcome heal and charge all you like. Until you can prove it, please stop deluding yourselves and others.

bookworm said...

Crystals, Asprin? They all work, as long as you BELIEVE!

Here is the easy answer to any question regarding choices of health concerns for healing yourself. What is the Placebo effect, well Placebo of course is a made up word to scienctifically disprove your belief in healing yourself because healing yourself mentally can not be proven on any scientific machinery, test or scale. So if anything is proven here, is the fact the scientist do recognize that the mind does heal, hence "Placebo". With that in mind (no pun intended) as long as you Not Know but instead "BELIEVE" in what can heal you, then it will. It does not matter the modality used. The fact that you "Believe" with conviction is enough. Same goes for what you think will kill you. A women sit on the porch after every night, after a long hard day, grabing her chest, excliming "Oh my, this day will surely result in my heart failing, It will be the death of me!" of course she dies of a heart attact, why? She believed it would, that's why. (Coincidence, well, thats another made up word and a whole new subject.) anyway, back to the subjec...The modality is set there because you need a connection to an origin any orgin because, tangible or not, you need that middle man for confirmation. Once you are healed of your ailments then all focus is on that modality used. It's not wrong nor right, it's just a proven fact of how society in this nation has focused on a needed scientific reason for things to exist. When miracles are published in the news, they are usually in very old untouched coultures, that instill in old BELIEF systems (these are never questioned) and have no interference of science. They have been raised this way since the begining and Im jealous but totally understand because know first hand and accept as part of my culture that im soooo not a scientist nor do I need one. Thanks to my Grandfather, a Yaqui Shaman, whom continued his belief system through me as I'am doing with my children to pass to their children, and so on, and so on...

bookworm said...

Crystals, Asprin? They all work, as long as you BELIEVE!

Here is the easy answer to any question regarding choices of health concerns for healing yourself. What is the Placebo effect, well Placebo of course is a made up word to scienctifically disprove your belief in healing yourself because healing yourself mentally can not be proven on any scientific machinery, test or scale. So if anything is proven here, is the fact the scientist do recognize that the mind does heal, hence "Placebo". With that in mind (no pun intended) as long as you Not Know but instead "BELIEVE" in what can heal you, then it will. It does not matter the modality used. The fact that you "Believe" with conviction is enough. Same goes for what you think will kill you. A women sit on the porch after every night, after a long hard day, grabing her chest, excliming "Oh my, this day will surely result in my heart failing, It will be the death of me!" of course she dies of a heart attact, why? She believed it would, that's why. (Coincidence, well, thats another made up word and a whole new subject.) anyway, back to the subjec...The modality is set there because you need a connection to an origin any orgin because, tangible or not, you need that middle man for confirmation. Once you are healed of your ailments then all focus is on that modality used. It's not wrong nor right, it's just a proven fact of how society in this nation has focused on a needed scientific reason for things to exist. When miracles are published in the news, they are usually in very old untouched coultures, that instill in old BELIEF systems (these are never questioned) and have no interference of science. They have been raised this way since the begining and Im jealous but totally understand because know first hand and accept as part of my culture that im soooo not a scientist nor do I need one. Thanks to my Grandfather, a Yaqui Shaman, whom continued his belief system through me as I'am doing with my children to pass to their children, and so on, and so on...

BeeSA said...

I have debated at some length about posting a response to the above comment. Again, I mean no offence to people’s beliefs and religions but to compare crystal healing to aspirin is a bit disturbing. Please tell me you take your children to a medical doctor when they get sick.

Crystal healing might appear to work with some people and the placebo effect, rare as it is, is no more than mind over matter and has as much to do with crystals as the water in the oceans or the blue colour of the sky. Yes, if we ‘believe’ there might be a response, the human mind is immense BUT the body’s response cannot be based on a vibration in a crystal anymore than the vibration in the stuffing of the chair you’re sitting on.

Aspirin is a member of a family of chemicals called salicylates. Aspirin stops cells from making prostaglandins by sticking to cyclooxygenase 2, preventing it doing its job. This means that when you take aspirin for pain relief, you don't stop what's causing the pain, but rather interferes with the signals that your nerves send to your brain. No one can provide data of any biochemistry taking place with crystal healing. As you said it is all based merely on belief.

Comparing the efficacy of Aspirin or any other conventional medication to a belief is absurd. Aspirin has been tested and measured (seen) under a microscope as it works in the human body when ingested or injected. This blog topic was titled: “crystal healing considered dangerous.” There was a suggestion found in an apparently well-known and widely used book about making elixirs using crystals. Did that information about the toxicity levels in witherite not scare the crap out of you?? It did me! And this is a ‘recommended treatment’ by a supposedly respected healer. Huh? That spells one thing : deeee luuuuu sional !!! Just to clarify that: Definition: Delusion & Psychotic Belief - (psychology) an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary. The act of deluding; deception by creating illusory ideas. Illusion - An erroneous mental representation.

The author of the book clearly is clueless about what she professes to know but worse still is that the healy feelies are believing it and starting to practice it, even on their children. People are looking for quick-fixes and the peddlers of these snake oil treatments are cashing in. How sad is that? Some will argue “it’s all natural so it can’t harm you.” Bubonic plague is also all natural but that doesn’t mean I want it on my sandwich!

We are said to be spirit, travelling through this existence in a human body and that is what we are here to do... to live and experience this human existence. The human condition. These bodies are tangible. They can be seen and felt and everything about these bodies is fully understood and can be explained by scientific data gained over many years through study. New medical breakthroughs are happening all the time. The developments are awesome! Does it not make perfect sense that we should use the right tool for the job? i.e. real medical science and not pseudoscience that is based simply on a belief that no one ever has or ever will prove conclusively?

Religious and spiritual teachings all have their place in our personal lives. Instilling culture and heritage in our children, loving them and caring for them, protecting them and teaching them is our job as adults and parents. Living as ethical and respectable people, truly “for the good of all, with harm to none” is what we’re about. This cannot be achieved at the expense of promising healing to another being when said healing is so completely disputed by the learned people of this scientific plane of existence we know as life.

Anonymous said...

These conscious streams of feedback are interesting to read because they continue to punctuate the dangerous, age-old division between scientific logic (cerebral, rational, mental, analytical, the 'proof is the pudding'and left hemisphere awareness) and spiritual zealousness (faith-based, emotive, mysterious, entrancing, 'let the unknown become known' and right hemisphere awareness)

This righteous and arrogant need to finger-point, to prove 'right from wrong' or in this case, 'left brain from right brain', truly misses the point of our existence as sentient beings on a life-giving planet, using only about 12% of our brain's functioning capacity.

Can we not find the place where these perspectives MEET, coalesce, and find mutual inspiration instead of stoically guarding our 'tried and true' position as if our very lives depended on it?

I believe our evolution lies in the fertile zone where science meets spirit and finds a mutually enhanced reality to co-create. IE: Quantum healers are achieving miraculous results applying quantum physics to their medical practice.
Google www.matrixenergetics.com to learn more about an American Chiropractor's discovery of a pretty "unreal" phenonmenon.

We need to suspend our disbelief in order to make room for new discoveries and to birth new knowledge from our lucid explorations in consciousness. We are evolving at a tremendous rate and need to reconcile our patronizing politics which wage mental wars against the "other" simply because the results we seek are not measurable by the specific instruments we (over)use to observe them. Logic is not God, nor is Heart.....the marriage of the two, however, may be our enlightened middle path.

Healers need to work with scientists and scientists need to work with miracle workers. We NEED to get over ourselves, people.

Check out neuro-anatomist Jill Taylor commentary on the need for us humans to move a little more to the right...Science Speaks Spirit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyyjU8fzEYU

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, after reading things like what some women said above, I am embarrassed to be a woman. Since when do we women have to believe anything as silly as crystal healing and chakra focuses, out of body healing, etc?
It saddens me that women are driving us back into the dark ages with this sort of silly nonsensical belief. I, for one, prefer to face reality in the scientific world. No healy-feely crud for me!

Anonymous said...

I would definitely agree that we should use ‘the right tool for the job’ but to say that ‘real medical science’ is that tool is grossly misleading. In truth ‘real medical science’ gets it wrong so often it is frightening. It’s no real secret that orthodox, synthetic drugs can too often worsen a condition and hasten a patient’s demise due to various individual factors, not least, side effects.

Pharmaceutical companies have a lot to lose by the phenomenal success of ancient holistic methods of healing, of which crystal healing is only one significant part. Your reference, therefore, to these ancient methods as ‘pseudoscience’, is based on ignorance of their proven healing power. The West has a great deal to learn from the East and it’s tragic how western medical science is so slow on the uptake.

Utterly astonishing is the fact that science has only recently acknowledged that all living things on this planet are made from the same atoms of the cosmos as we know it: we are indeed star material. Therefore it is certainly not ‘bizarre’ that the energy in all natural substances, whether inert or growing, should affect the human body in some positive or negative way.

This planet offers, unconditionally, everything we need to survive - plants that nurture and heal and hidden energies that lie deep within it. All the human race has to do is discover them - and refrain from creating a separateness between man and nature. The key is to maintain the fragile balance of planet Earth in order to continue to reap its riches.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

"proven healing power"? Proven by whom? Where? Show me the double-blind studies, and I'll believe you. Otherwise, it's just claptrap.

JAYTee said...

Obviously you want to believe it’s ‘clap-trap’. Whether you have your own agenda for doing so, only you know.
I think you must be aware that I can hardly hand out names of people I personally know who have been cured from serious conditions using holistic methods. What I can say is, that orthodox practitioners will just not comment on the efficacy of alternative therapies, mainly because of the same reasons as yourself no doubt: they do not have not evidence because - THEY HAVE NOT CARRIED OUT FAIR AND PROPER RESEARCH. Why? because it’s against their own interests and expensive. Interesting, however, how negative, inconclusive research, is sometimes carried out mainly to discredit alternative treatments. This surprises me not. After all, if we all led a lifestyle in accordance with our INDIVIDUAL constitutions and relied on natural remedies to cure any ailments – how would the rich pharmaceutical companies fair then?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

JT:

Please do not attempt to analyze my motives without knowing me. Actually, I would love it if crystals genuinely healed people because (a) finding out the mechanism would be a fascinating scientific problem and (b) the values of the crystals I own would go up like crazy.

As far as I know, there is not a single scientific study showing the efficacy of crystals for healing. There are, however, two studies casting doubt on the claims of crystal healers (see my other blog post on the subject.)

Your anecdotes do not consist of evidence, because you did no controls, and the test was not double-blind. If you want to make the claims, do the tests.

Attributing the failure of crystal healing to be demonstated scientifically to the greed of drug companies is a silly fallacy.

Anonymous said...

Your remarks under (a) and (b) are most interesting. It seems you could be fascinated to find out more – so why don’t you? Looking at your website and your connections within the world of science you could even head the research! Very sadly, it is not in my sole power to do so.
However, I am carrying out some tests of my own, as are, probably millions of people around the globe. With the use of the internet, perhaps more data could be gathered followed by the double-blind scientific tests you mention.
Okay, so you say there are two studies which cast doubt on the claims of crystal healers: “doubt” surely is open ended and therefore no proof at all.

My remark about the drug companies was referring to the wider aspect of holistic therapies and has over the past few years made headline news here in the UK. To generate fear in a nation on health issues - i.e. orthodox safe – holistic unsafe – is a diabolical miscarriage of truth and one sided. Personally, I feel it makes logical sense that the two (orthodox and holistic) can and should be functioning together. It is hardly a ‘fallacy’ that their (drug companies) worldwide profits would be somewhat depleted by taking this on even for the good of mankind.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Dear JT:

I don't do scientific testing of crystal healing because I am convinced by our current understanding of the physical world that there is essentially no mechanism that could supply such healing. Therefore, it would be a complete waste of time.

But those who are convinced that crystals do heal have powerful motivation to prove it to the rest of the world. It's up to them, not I, to do the tests that will convince skeptical scientists. It's been done before: Warren and Marshall convinced very skeptical doctors that helicobacter played a role in ulcers by doing the experiments and assembling the data. So I simply accept no lame excuses that a good experiment won't change people's minds.

You make the claim, you provide the evidence. And no, anecdotes don't provide evidence.

In my other posting (which you apparently haven't read) I discuss the only known tests I know of that crystals have some mysterious properties of "vibrations", etc. You write in response "“doubt” surely is open ended and therefore no proof at all."
Pardon me for speaking frankly, but your reply is idiotic. Science never "proves" anything. It simply assembles a case in favor or against. When one side's evidence is better, it "wins", but even such "wins" are temporary and can be overthrown by more evidence. So far the only available evidence is against crystal healing claims.

JAYTee said...

Having read the claims by Dr. Christopher French and the reaction by Jack Turner in the news article “Crystal healing all in the mind” I can see how both claims are right in their own way. The power of the mind is such that we have only scratched the surface. For example, having practised and taught yoga (which is a complete science of the body and mind) for a number of years I have learned to propel all my senses to higher levels of consciousness and achieve greater self control in many areas of my life.
So, as far as crystals are concerned, it comes naturally to be able to tune into their unique energy levels. The fact that people experienced a reaction from fake crystals is interesting but in no way diminishes the beneficial power of the real ones. To say it does is merely highlighting the fact that science does not have an answer and is merely twisting the results of the experiment in the same old way, i.e. placebo versus genuine article. This is no evidence at all as it only establishes mind power without addressing the real issue.

Just because science cannot find ‘microscope evidence’ for whatever, does this really mean that the particular phenomenon in question does not exist? Pl-e-ase!! The mind of man is expanding through science, yes, but is still microscopic in itself when compared to the infinite wonders and power of the universe. It seems the scientist is too often constrained by the rules of his own profession; so much so, he is sometimes blinded by it - confused that there are extraordinary natural powers beyond his understanding. It’s disturbing, but some scientists need to rein in their vast egos before they can discover what riches are there – just to be experienced without dissection or ‘man-brain’ interpretation.

All I say is, if your ‘tests’ don’t add up, then the challenge is still unsolved and you have a long way to go. So, in the meantime, please do not dismiss phenomena, such as crystal healing, or similar unexplained sources of power, out of hand.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I dismiss the claims about crystal healing because there is currently no evidence for them. Don't ask me to believe without evidence!

Jonathan said...

I'm posting this years after the initial article, so who knows if anyone is even reading this. On the off chance there is... Science is compelling in its, albeit evolving, certitude. Not only are there no double-blind studies that give any credence to crystal healing, there are several that indicate it based heavily on suggestion. People want something magical to occur, so perceptions are fit into that frame. This all seems very clear and true to me. And yet... knowing this, and knowing my own willingness to be open to truth, I still cannot discount my personal, profound experiences with crystals. Something happens, a visceral complexity of intuitive information, almost like becoming aware of a smell in the background that triggers memories and feelings. I don't go in for someone else's interpretations of a crystals effect. I have read some of Melodies "determinations" and found my own experiences completely different. However, I am having experiences. It may be based on some external suggestion, but I don't think so, at least so far. I'm open to that changing. The type of information I receive from crystals doesn't indicate suggestion. It's sometimes like a symphony, geometric and emotive, with a profound sense of meaning. Am I just making it up to experience something magical? Perhaps. I am open to that possibility. What I've come to is this; There are two main types of information, let's say Ordinary and Basic. Ordinary information is linear, scientific, and can be proven in a scientific way. If I look at my hands, I can attach a lot of Ordinary information to them, about joints and ligaments, their evolution, things people can do with their hands, etc., all verifiable. Even their name, "hands" is a piece of Ordinary information. Basic information, on the other hand, is my actual experience of my hands, how they feel, how they move, how it feels to do things with them. It is visceral, beyond language, unprovable. How can I show anyone how I experience my own hands? In addition, everyone (unless there hands are missing or paralyzed) has a personal experience of hands, people from every culture and who speak different languages. To take it further, when I really sit with my actual experience of my body, really listen without overlaying Ordinary information on what I am experiencing, I recognize it has a complexity of wisdom to offer me, often helping to resolve complex issues in my life that I couldn't resolve through reasoned deduction. Is it all in my head? Perhaps. But does that really matter, if my sense of meaning, sense of connection, of ability is heightened? I'm not saying people are not susceptible to external suggestion, they are, and when people have crystal experiences based on suggestion, I'd put those experiences in the Ordinary information sub-category, not because its provable, but because they are attaching something to their literal experience. Can you entertain the possibility that a genuine visceral experience of a crystal (or anything for that matter), i.e. a basic experience, can contribute to one's sense of personal meaning? I understand if you can't, especially if you only except Ordinary knowledge as the only kind of knowledge.

Anonymous said...

"Betafite"?? Maybe you would like to point out a spiritual site that actually sells radioactive minerals.

Come on man, ffs! Typical fucking "scientist", because noone else has given you solid evidence, it's false and doesn't work. But you refuse to conduct tests yourself incase you find something.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Anonymous:

Your rationalization is equivalent to: "Yes, Melody's advice is potentially dangerous, but since her devotees can't actually buy betafite, we can overlook it."

However, you know as well as I do that devotees of Melody buy their specimens at shows, and radioactive mineral such as betafite are easily available there.

As for testing the claims of others, that is not my job. It is up to Melody, who makes the claims, to support them. The world is full of crackpot claims; it is not my job to test all of them. It is up to those making the claims.

As for tests, so far all the tests of the supposed powers of crystal healing have failed to detect anything.

Anti-Stone Age said...

My question to the world: how could anyone in the whole world possibly believe in Crystal Therapy?
It is absolute rubbish. 'The stone vibrating' and 'healing' is all nonsense. It has never been proven with double blind

studies! So, why should we believe in it?
It's a bit like saying 'I believe that when I touch a rock, I am cured!' Yet, you would never get it tested, and if anyone

makes a single remark, then, of course, you would ignore it because 'If you believe in it, it must be real!'Then why not

believe that nobody has a brain, and operate on crystals that eventually expire and must be regenerated by another crystal?

Why not? Please, help me!
I am glad that there are skeptics on the site. However, the amount of people who do believe in believing is dissapointing.

I'd know what I'd want to hold if I was in dire need of medicine, and believe me, it wouldn't be a crystal!

Anonymous said...

First of all, I'm no scientist, gemologist, etc. I'm just a person who loves stones, crystals and appreciates their beauty. I'm curious as to whether there's more than just beauty to the stones & crystals. I'm not trying to force anyone to believe as I do, or call them stupid for believing differently than I do.

In reading all of these posts, I'm amazed. I think there could be thousands of studies done to prove crystal healing and the drug companies would find a way to discredit each and every one of them. After all, they have everything to lose don't they?

I don't think aruging or calling people ignorant for their beliefs is ever the answer. I do wonder if those who don't believe, were dying and had used everything known to the medical world to try to be healed with no success ... would you not even consider the possibility that crystals or gemstones may, just may offer hope, or possibly heal you? If you would not, to me that would be more ignorant than those who believe they would.

One question comes to mind, do you think the High Priest in the Bible would've ever considered wearing a breastplate without the stones that were in it? They weren't in the breastplace for their beauty.

To those who believe and had success, I think our energy needs directed more toward those who share our beliefs instead of spent on those who will never change their minds.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I think there could be thousands of studies done to prove crystal healing and the drug companies would find a way to discredit each and every one of them. After all, they have everything to lose don't they?

This kind of conspiratorial thinking may satisfy you, but it doesn't satisfy many others. Many scientists investigate questions for the pure joy of doing so, without regard to financial remuneration. If crystals really do have "healing power", it should be easy to demonstrate this with a controlled study.

And you forget that people who retail crystals have a large financial interest in advocating the belief that these crystals have "healing power". Yet they have not been able to produce a single study in support of these claims.

One question comes to mind, do you think the High Priest in the Bible would've ever considered wearing a breastplate without the stones that were in it? They weren't in the breastplace for their beauty.

I don't believe the Bible is an accurate historical book. But even if it were, why should beliefs of people 3000 years ago have any bearing on what we believe today? People of that time had no understanding of modern medicine or chemistry.

And why do you claim They weren't in the breastplace for their beauty.? What's your evidence for this claim?

Anonymous said...

Here's something you'll all find interesting. Scientifically conducted, double blind tests have been carried out to objectively test the measurable efficacy of prayer. The results were found to have a positive and significant correlation between prayer and allevation from illness. Recipients of prayer who were suffering illness benefitted on average a higher rate of healing than the control group who were not subjects of prayer. In all cases, none of the recipients knew they were subjects of this test. I'd say that's pretty interesting. It may have little to do with crystals but it points towards something in the power of prayer that has nothing to do with placebo!
Furthermore, vets frequently use homeopathy to successfully treat animals. Now, either there's something quite wonderful going on here, or animals are much smarter than we think! As it is highly unlikely that animals receiving homeopathic treatment are aware of their situation, this, again, has nothing to do with placebo.
On this basis, there should be more serious scientific investigation into crystal therapy with a final meta-analysis to amalgamate the results. The The problem with many New Age therapists is their double standards...they cuss and swear at the world of science if it fails to corroborate with what they wish to hear, but as soon as it indicates a possible ray of light in favour of their beliefs it's all of a sudden their best friend and quoted in all their books. You can't have it both ways. You either accept the validity of scientific investigation or you don't.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Scientifically conducted, double blind tests have been carried out to objectively test the measurable efficacy of prayer. The results were found to have a positive and significant correlation between prayer and allevation from illness.

False. Go read ichard Sloan, E. Bagiella, and T. Powell. 1999. “Religion, Spirituality, and Medicine,” The Lancet. Feb. 20, Vol. 353: 664–667, and come back when you've understood it.

Jonathan said...

I'm curious why you haven't responded to my first posting some time ago, the one on ordinary and basic knowledge. I'm curious if you view everything in your own experience through a scientific process. Have you ever fallen in love? Been moved by a movie or other performance? If you have, do you just explain them through bio-chemical processes, or how well they fit into a rigorous scientific method? I would imagine that you probably do not, or if you do, it's secondary to the actual experience of meaning you have had. Of course, personal experience is one thing, and trying to tell someone else what their personal experience should be is another. To make medical claims about crystals based on scientifically unproven, and in my opinion, unprovable experiences is irresponsible and smacks a bit of making money off the vulnerable and desperate. However, that does not discount the possibility that crystals can heal, and not just personally, but for everyone. Even at its most rigorous, the scientific method is in a way biased, because in order to reach objective truth authentically, the process must include not only an inquiry into the subject, but also an inquiry into the person studying the subject. A diligent scientists will attempt to interfere as little as possible with his experiment and remain objective, but how can he possibly know how much he is interfering if he (or she) has not applied the same diligence of inquiry to himself (or herself). In order to be truly objective, he (or she) must include themselves in the inquiry. However, it must be a different kind of inquiry, because while studying an object or process, they attempt to exclude their bias. In self-inquiry, the bias is simply included in the observation. This eventually leads to being free of subjective influence, and only then can one be truly objective about what they are studying. I imagine that most scientists have not turned their rigorous observation toward themselves in this way. There is a significant point in what I've just written, the point about including in self-inquiry how we interfere with our own experience. This will eventually include all the ways we view our experience in a logical, mechanized way (i.e. falling in love becomes a bio-chemical process only). This id interference, because it is a secondary explanation of the experience itself. When we include this in our self-inquiry, it then opens us more fully to a rich connection to our primary or basic experience, and it is this realm of experience that things like crystals begin to be experienced in a meaningful way. Not someone else's claims of what it should be, but our actual experience, unclouded by our emotional OR LOGICAL interference. When you say its all bogus, I wonder whether you have genuinely applied the rigors of the scientific method to your own experience (plus including all the ways you interfere with your experience), and whether you have then experienced crystals. Have you?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Jonathan -

I haven't responded to you because I have no idea what you're trying to say.

Jonathan said...

If that's a "You sound kind of nuts, it's incoherent, so'I don't understand'", or your just not curious, that's fine. If you are interested, what I'm saying is you seem to be arguing on purely scientific grounds that crystal healing is bogus. I agree that there is a lot of irresponsible, manipulative information about crystals out there, and compelling studies that refute the efficacy of crystal healing. However, you don't seem to give any credence to intuitive intelligence, and the possibility of a person interacting with a crystal as they would being out in nature, being with someone they love, or hearing beautiful music. I'm saying that profound experiences can occur with crystals that are not wishful thinking or placebo effect, and that while not provable in the traditional scientific method, when genuine self-inquiry is applied (as described in my previous posting), it opens the sincere inquirer to a whole world of relationships and meaning that were previously absent from conscious experience. It is in this area of relational experience that some of those who have had something profound or healing happen to them (or in them) may be deriving their accounts. To be clear, I am not condoning any declarative statements that new agey "authorities" promote about crystals. But I have had experiences with crystals, personal experiences, unique to me, and they have at times felt healing (although I do NOT believe crystals can cure major illnesses, if that's only what you are arguing, I'm completely with you). If scientific verification is truly the mark that makes something legitimate, then lets take it all the way by including the observer as well, through self-inquiry. I'm not sure you've taken that into account.

Marko said...

You did not gave, any sientific proof that crystals does not have influence on human health.

You did not gave any research with data, you did not gave any sientific information who has proved that crystals does not work.

I personaly know 10 persons that has been healed with crystals, and doctor said that no drugs were used.
Its are persons with problems of: low blood preasure, high blood preasure, hyperthiroida, asthma, sterility, diabetes, depression, hear loss.

Such a shame you clamine something on calling sientific base, and you did not gave any sientific proof, but your on sientificaly unproven opinion.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Marko:

You're very confused. It's not up to me to prove that crystals don't heal; it's up to you and your crystal-healing buddies to provide proof that they do.

I'm not swayed by anecdotes. Where are your double-blind studies in medical journals proving your claim? Don't have any? I didn't think so.

As for your claim, "You did not gave any research with data, you did not gave any sientific information who has proved that crystals does not work", that is a lie. Go here to read about the study of Christopher French.

Anonymous said...

"Do you know of any double-blind studies where crystal therapy has been proved effective? I don't know of any."

Do you think any of the studies have been 100% legit? Well i don't. Some of the worldwide pharmaceutical companies would lose a huge share of their income if a study that proves that crystals have healing powers would be published. As no one would buy their meds anymore as all you would need is a simple crystal. Can anyone else connect the dots that someone could actually be paying for scientists to keep their mouths shut in order to keep control... nevertheless this is just my personal opinion

Anonymous said...

Just because science doesn't have a way to explain something just yet doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If you were to tell someone in the middle ages that germs were the cause of illness they would be dumbfounded because they did not have microscopes to see them with. Could it be possible that there are still things in our universe we can not see or understand because we do not have the power or knowledge to test them yet? For being such a proponent of the scientific method you yourself lack the inquisitiveness and open mind to explore different possibilities and scenarios. These are the very things which allow scientists to think out of the box and make their great discoveries.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Could it be possible that there are still things in our universe we can not see or understand because we do not have the power or knowledge to test them yet?

Sure, it's possible. Now you provide the evidence.

For being such a proponent of the scientific method you yourself lack the inquisitiveness and open mind to explore different possibilities and scenarios.

The scientific method is all about rejecting possibilities and demanding evidence for claims.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work Jeffrey. Someone needs to point out the dangers of some of the minerals being sold without health warnings. I'm interested in mineralogy and geology (amateur) and I see toxic minerals displayed on the shelves of shops regularly - saw a radioactive mineral two weeks ago. I've got nothing against folk who want to own and love beautiful minerals specimens - I do it myself - but I don't like some people making fat profits by peddling mumbo jumbo. If you like the look or feel of a mineral, fine, and you might like to believe it does you good. But don't let sellers make fat profits at your expense by convincing you that these substances have magic powers.

Brian said...

I am a recent graduate of Blue Sky School of Professional Massage & Therapeutic Bodywork. During this past year, I have taken 44 credits of college class. The core of these classes include clinical soft tissues, musculoskeletal anatomy & kinesiology, clinical anatomy pathology & physiology, as well as ethics & professional development. To suggest that people who use reiki are uneducated, is ridiculous. I went through rigorous testing during my time at school. The coursework was so hard that most of the registered nurses that were in our program dropped out because it was "way more difficult than nursing school ever was." I use reiki during the treatments of my clients every single day. The outcomes from these treatments are undeniable. I just recently worked with a client that had a stroke this past year. He had extensive paralysis and after an hour long session of reiki, his paralysis was reduced by 60%. Furthermore, reiki has been scientifically proven. If you'd like more information about the studies done and benefits of reiki, you can do so here. http://greenlotus.hubpages.com/hub/Reiki_Really_Works-A_Groundbreaking_Scientific_Study

That being said, "energy work" of any form works under the theory of noetic science. Studies around the world are proving time and time again that thoughts can change the world. Science has recently proven that thoughts have weight. Well, in order to have weight, there must be mass. If thoughts have mass, that means they're physical. And something physical or tangible can effect the world around it. A few studies about noetic science and intention can be found here. http://www.theintentionexperiment.com/the-experiments

Everything has energy. Our bodies resonate with electromagnetic energy. This energy has a certain wavelength. Stones have their own frequency and vibration. Therefore, one can effect the other. I am not saying there is scientific proof that is occurs. But it's my personal hope that in years to come, technology will be developed that can show what changes occur during energy work with crystal therapy. Think of it this way. You're standing on the shore of a body of water. In each hand, you hold a stone. The body of water represents the physical world. The stone in your left hand represents you. The stone in your right hand represents the stones used in crystal therapy. Both you and the crystals hold a vibration. An energy. If you drop both stones at the same time into the water, you'll find that the waves made by both stones will at some point overlap and effect each other. The same holds true for crystal therapy. The vibration from the crystals effect the energies of the body. It's really not that difficult to believe is it?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Brian:

By all means, feel free to give us a pointer to the paper in the scientific literature that you claim proves "thoughts have weight". Do you know the difference between weight and mass?

What proof is there that "vibration from crystals affect energies of the body"? (You might want to look up the difference between "affect" and "effect".)
This is the claim that crystal healers need to demonstrate with rigorous, double-blind studies. So far they have not. Your assertions are just gobbledygook.

You do understand that your experiences with "reiki" are just anecdotal, not serious scientific study, don't you? I propose a test. You seem to think you understand science. So let's see you propose a good experimental design to test the efficacy of reiki.

DPC said...

Jeffrey... As a physicist, strangely, I have gotten and tried to understand the world of "Crystal Healing". Let me tell you the rational side to it.. like you, I am not moved nor motivated by people who say they can channel the crystal's energies into your body... or even heal emotional/physical/spiritual/mental wounds by simply placing crystals along your chakra alignment. Now, you also cannot say that crystals wont meddle with your body... Every human being has a central nervous system, making it a fact that we all have electrical impulses conducted through our body. All the crystals do actually, is conduct geomagnetic electricy into your body. Crystals, because of their lattices and molecular padronized structures, are able to conduct electricity (like metals - copper for example). Their crystalline structure makes it easy to conduct electromagnetic waves. in 1939 the scientist Semyon Kirlian, under a study of physics named electrostatics - same field of study that Nikola Tesla engulfed his life into - found out accidently about the possibility of the human aura (similiar to the atmosphere protecting the Earth). Now-a-days we believe that our atmosphere originated because of the rotational of sediments near our core, which is also the same way the upanishads teach how the chakras work (cycling energy through your body). The movement of sediment itself and the movement of energy in the body may be viewed as the same because, afterall, it is the energy generated by the friction of the movin sediments that form the geomagnetic fields that keep the atmosphere. Maybe instead of "not believing" in crystal healing, you should look at it with diferent eyes (not from a metaphysical perception but from a psychobiophysical). Afterall as well, it was just a short time ago slavery ended... just a short time ago we found out the world is actually round... a shorter time ago that we discovered our civilization (homo sapiens) is actually more than 15 thousand years old... and, amazingly, an even shorter time we found out that we destroy our habitat (Earth) by global warming at a faster pace then we develop technology to expand into the cosmos. All I'm trying to say with this is that humanity as over and over again reformed it's knoweledge... we are not far now from proving an actualy link that crystals can in fact alter physical/emotional/mental/spiritual states of consciousness. I mean, consciousness itself, as a Brazilian psychobiophysicist found out that the origins of consciousness might actually come from the Pineal Gland (a hormonal gland part of the endocrine system that deals with your brain functions - with the assimetry of information between the right and left lobes).
To clear it up, I have found out through my life that crystals do infact pay a strange role in the flow of life on the cosmos... we might not understand them completely now, but we are not far from. For now, the closest proven theory on crystal healing we have is that Crystals can help the flow of elctricity through your body, allowing for the allocation of energy in proper amounts on all 7 chakras (7 points of the major endocrine glands and nervous system). Its source comes from the geomagnetism of Earth itself, which is why you may wonder why many people refer to earth in New Age books with a capital "E" - it infact represents our habitat, our unity, our wholeness, our "mother, our planet.

DPC said...

Personally, i do believe it is possibly for a human being to alter the eletriclomagnetic auric state of another by channeling energy. We still have not been able to prove it, but mathematically it would not be smart to ignore the fact that - if a physical body contains electrical impulses and we have learned, through and with technology, how to manipulate electricity - a human being can manipulate his own electricity (energy) to conduct it through the crystals into another human's body.
By the way... I do agree with you about the venemous elixirs part but first off your being dogmatic in your arugment. look at it again, when you copy from the book (I actually read this book some time ago so I know what it does and doesn't say as well) "Gasoline mileage has been enhanced by placing a quartz crystal on the carburetor and/or on the fuel line. Increases of up to 50% have been reported. (p. 65)" - you imply it as if "melody" is wrong by saying that... well, she/he isnt. How do you know that hasn't been reported? she is not saying she's the one reporting it. I only have another example about this, look at when you say "orpiment (arsenic sulfide) ("can be used to stimulate the intellect, to cleanse and to activate the solar plexus chakra, and to assist one in reasoning capabilities")" - you imply it as she is wanting you to make an elixir with this, or maybe even rub it in your skin... I myself meditate sometimes with a Realgar (rare arsenic sulfate mineral) crystal and have 100% great health.
Lastly but not least, elixirs CAN help you if you understand how to brew them. Look at all of our medical paradigmas today, which are based of pharmaceulogical studies and appliances, which had its chemistry supplies derived from nature (plants and minerals). If you take, for example, a person that suffers from calcium defiency, you would medicate them with perhaps a vitamin to improve calcium in their blood. Now, take for example clear calcite... a mineral which's molecular weight is based mostly on calcium... an elixir prepared from clear calcite may be considered organic medication as it will give the subject's body the same substances but in diferent manners.

DPC said...

Oh, by the way... about what you responded to Brian :) ... Fact is that thoughts do have weight. Our most recent studies in the field of Bio-Physics have been showing us that perhaps intent, as in strenght of mind, will, may in fact alter the universe around us. We all live on a flow of life based on 4 dimensions, 3 of space and 1 of time... however under quantum mechanics we may live on an infinitey dimensioned universe where we will, time after time, uncver new dimensions. The greatness about this theory is that we are now comming to a conclusion that perhaps consciousness exists and comes from, in us, as a dimension located inside the Pineal Gland. if, as we are being led to believe by Psychobiophysics, the fifth dimension is instead compromised of consciousness, and we humans have a tool to learn from it, and use it - the brain - then perhaps thoughts do have weight... the same way we uncovered on the twentieth century that an electron is both a particle and a wave, we might not be far from finding out that weight and mass are not that diferent when you are talking about consciousness and the power of thought. What im trying to say my friend is that thoughts might be a form to reach the physical world in a tangible manner. If in every point of existence all dimensions of our universe must occur, and there is infact a dimension of consciousness, then it is irrefutable that our thoughts may actually have weight on the physical world. we have seen through time that most major reforms occur because the hope of the soulful few end up outweighting the methodology of the souless bunch.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of studies regarding various minerals/crystals. Tourmaline for one emits negative ions and far infra red waves when heat or pressure is applied, which have numerous healing applications. There are multiple studies for this mineral.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Feel free to give some actual pointers to studies about healing using tourmaline, anonymous.

Oh, you can't? Big surprise.

Anonymous said...

I am a serious rock collector and think that you are doing a fine job telling the truth about gems and minerals.Do they have serious powers for healing sure they do because a lot of healing is subconciuosly based, do they have vibrations sure they do take a quartz or jewel driven watch for instance or appliy a charge or pressure to a tourmaline you get a reaction and they also have different atomic weights and without them much of the world we inhabit would not be if not for them, but this esoteric new age hooey is fooling the gullible who want to believe they can be cured of every illness and malady are being led down a false path or are doing it to make money.Truth is if one can convince ones self of a lie its not much of a stretch to fool others.Keep up the good work and let Science prove the truth

Anonymous said...

Melody is a scientist and she does conduct studies. I have seen her speak and she is very thorough with her research. I suggest you do YOUR research before you post something you know NOTHING about.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Melody is a scientist and she does conduct studies. I have seen her speak and she is very thorough with her research.

Great, let's see you cite the journals these "studies" have been published in.

What, you can't? Then stop lying.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Judi. Modern science is hardly interested in doing studies of simple and easily obtainable minerals because for Heaven's sake, there is no money in it and no funding from Big Pharma. Having been associated with the pharmaceutical industry for many years, I can tell you, there is less to fear from things like using amethyst to stop nightmares (which it certainly does)than using an even over-the-counter remedy, not to mention the poisons that require prescriptions. For thousands of years minerals and gems were used for a variety of things and I am wondering why they would be so consistently used if there were no benefit? Or do you think that all of the people of the past were stupid and only modern man is "enlightened"? I am no new-ager and I condemn the use of crystals for "occult" purposes such as any type of withcraft (there are no good witches and all magic is evil). I do however think that anectodal evidence is important and there is much anectodal evidence to support the usage of herbs, metals and crystals in certain situations for healing. Modern science has only scratched the surface of natural knowledge of earth and the things that God Almighty has put here for our use.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

using amethyst to stop nightmares (which it certainly does)

Good stuff! Let's see some evidence to support this. Where can we read studies?

I am wondering why they would be so consistently used if there were no benefit?

Tradition, culture, power of authority ... Why do people pray when there is no benefit?

the things that God Almighty has put here for our use

Well, there's your problem. If you think the natural world is put there for your benefit, your worldview is already too warped to discuss anything intelligently.

Anonymous said...

I don't even remember now what google search brought me to this blog post, but I'm glad it did. I've been taking a class on pseudoscience, and recently we learned about logical fallacies. I really enjoyed playing "spot the fallacy" with every comment here trying to refute your post. It's unfortunate that people can't even put together a logical argument though.

Anonymous said...

So my Wife wanted me to pick-up a book for her today called Crystal Healing. Well i entertained her and bought the book against my better judgement. At books a million it was in the "New Age" section. As I am looking for the book I see books on Witch Craft, Vampires, Wearwolves, and a group of other books that makes me think what idiots believe in this crap? Anyways I found the book and bought it for her. At the register the sales clerk ask me if I want a bag for the book and I reply, yes I do not want anyone to see me with this book. The sales lady tries to hold her laugh back and said I know it is for a friend. I tried ti convince her it was for my wife and she said I know it is. Some thinkgs in this world makes sense and rocks having healing powers is just one of the stupidist concepts I have ever heard of. My wife tries showing me some rocks and I simply reply get those rocks away from me before we I say a few things you may not like. Not nice but really I am a person of common sense and this just has stupid written all over it.

Torila said...

The only "healing" I've discovered in rocks comes from the geode. Some are so beautiful that I think they actually reduce my stress.

James Cranch said...

Torila, I don't think it's pseudoscience to think that contemplating interesting and beautiful things can make for a happier life.

Torila said...

James, I agree with you 100%. (I'm not sure if you thought I thought otherwise.)

shell said...

Jeffery, hi :-), couldnt read all the posts, so many of them. I like others would love to have available info on toxic rocks. I do believe that most folks who practice anything of the metephysical are fairly intelligent people. I also believe that there are those that are opportunists who write books, trademark stones, sell synthetic crystals and offer crystal healing certification. Its an interesting ride and am sure at some point will become regulated as there is a lot of money to be made. I happen to like crystals and rocks. They do omit energy as everything does. I could see yourself benefitting from tourmaline, which is grounding and perhaps some selenite which is very calming and good for clearing negative energy. Aside from the points you made in regards to the dangers of toxic minerals, your being a jerk. For many crystal work is a part of their religous practice. Lighten up :-)

Jeffrey Shallit said...

They do omit energy as everything does.

I think you meant "emit", not "omit".

If all crystals "emit energy", why can no scientist measure this energy? Why can't we harness it for unlimited free electrical power?

I think you need to be much more skeptical about your claims.

Kara Daly said...

Hi,

I have read many books on the metaphysical properties of crystals and am a crystal healer and reiki practitioner. I am familiar with Melody's book, though I generally do not use it as a reference.

I think it's important to point out that MOST people do not follow blindly. And all books encourage first hand experience. That's why people go around feeling the energies of crystals--because they do carry a vibration to be felt. The intellect can only take one so far, at some point experience must step in. Further, I think most people who explore subtle energies are less interested in research, debate, and "evidence" because it's just not a topic that lends itself to linear thought.

For anyone interested in elixers, here is a list of toxic minerals.
http://hibiscusmooncrystalacademy.com/resources/toxic-crystals-stones/

You can still make an elixer with a toxic mineral by putting the stone or crystal in a container, then placing that container in a glass of water. I wonder if Melody mentions this in her book? I am really not sure. It works just as well.

Peace and blessings.

www.thesouladvocate.wordpress.com

Jeffrey Shallit said...

That's why people go around feeling the energies of crystals--because they do carry a vibration to be felt.

No, they don't. No test has proved the existence of this vibration, and in the few tests that have been done, crystal healers have not been able to distinguish between a crystal and a piece of glass.

You can still make an elixer with a toxic mineral by putting the stone or crystal in a container, then placing that container in a glass of water. I wonder if Melody mentions this in her book? I am really not sure. It works just as well.

It is "elixir", not "elixer". And if you do what you say, then you are just producing water. If it works "just as well" then this is a sign that you are not having any effect at all.

Kara Daly said...

I would also like to (lovingly) point out that Melody does ask her readers to do their research on the toxicity of stones before using them in the introduction to her book. She gives directions on how to use toxic minerals the indirect method (which I described in my earlier comment).

Kara Daly said...

I think it's great that your blog post has sparked so much discussion! Thanks for the typo fix on "elixir".

I read your other blog about the study that was done, and I just want to mention that the subjects were not crystal healers-they were average new age shop goers. Wanted to point that out since I think you say they are healers a few times.

The reason this is important to know is because everything in our world is vibrating, and it takes practice to be able to pick up the difference between crystals and other things. The difference in vibration, in the way we can physically feel it, is subtle. Probably confused easily by anyone who does not devote their life to working with crystal vibrations.

Peace and blessings.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

The difference in vibration, in the way we can physically feel it, is subtle.

So subtle that perhaps it does not exist.

Suppose I had ten samples of different minerals laid out on a table, but covered with black cloth so you did not know which was which. With what accuracy do you think you could identify them without touching, just putting your hand near them? 10% ? 50%? 90%?

Kara Daly said...

I have no idea with what accuracy I would be able to predict them. I'm not sure that it's productive to guess at a hypothetical situation to prove or disprove a point either.

I'm sure you would think my accuracy would be very low, and perhaps it would since I have only been practicing for two years, and I totally respect your opinion and resistance to this controversial topic.

I think it's important to keep in mind, however, that just because something has not been proven by western science, does not mean that it is not a reality. The fact that there is not any documented research on this topic is not enough information for one to claim that it isn't real.

Peace and blessings.
www.thesouladvocate.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

Wanting factual or evidential "proof" of anything is just another way to convince yourself that you are not subject to dirty words like "faith". Truth is that you cannot point me to a study and go SEE THIS PROVES IT for any matter. It takes a MASSIVE AMOUNT of faith to believe a study and even a greater amount to trust in its conclusions. You are not there to witness the study; you have no idea of the agendas of the people that decide the study is valid and needs to be published. All you are doing is reading words on a page or a screen, maybe looking at some drawn up charts or pretty pictures. The rest is largely your imagination, your fanciful projections into the material, your trust in the motivations of the people conducting the study. When you ask for "proof" and you get it, do you really know what you are looking at? Say you take penicillin for an infection. You become uninfected within days of taking the penicillin. All you can do at your personal level is associate the medicine with becoming uninfected. You can read WHY there is a connection ,but the truth is that you cannot see or sense your own body at the cellular/molecular level. You cannot prove to me that you Know how penicillin works or why it works. You can prove to me how other people have told you it works and your great faith in their words, their studies, and use a personal anecdote to boost your theory to me. That's it.

Your life is full of faith and trust every second that you live it - you have faith that there will be air to breathe with every breath you take and you have faith that gravity and the ground will exist with every step you make. Sure, most faiths we take for granted and sweep under the rug to let our brains play with other things, but they are faiths nonetheless.

Most if not all scientific studies are funded, openly or not so openly, by a mixture of thinktanks, governments, or corporations. Placing my faith in the likes of them is not an option for me. If you want to gladly hand over your human intuition to wait around for some mind control and "facts", have at it. I see you are quite obsessive about filling your mind with the words of others on topics that are very, very out there. Topics that supposed scientists and lecture-hall enthusiasts will never work out enough for anyone because they cant possibly. You will, however, be able to live a very long life reading about their theories and taking delight in agreeing or disagreeing with them, discussing why they went too far or not far enough. If that's what makes you happy (and I assume you are super happy, people obsessed with facts, the nature of knowledge, and being mega "educated" are usually fabulously happy), have at it, but don't kid yourself about the superiority of one's facts over another's set of facts. Delusions aren't just for crystal healers, you know.

Anonymous said...

"Why can't we harness it for unlimited free electrical power?"

Why would you assume that the world runs on altruism and the best possible outcome for everyone involved? I would like to come visit your wonderful planet. Its where I dream of living, but it does not exist in my time and space. If there was such a thing as free energy, do you really think it would be allowed to become available before other, better methods of population control are firmly in place? Nikola Tesla likely worked on free energy, amongst other things. Upon his death, his research and belongings were immediately seized under FBI order until they could be declared "safe". Of course they were.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

but don't kid yourself about the superiority of one's facts over another's set of facts

The irony that you are posting this on a computer built entirely using the scientific method, and based on principles (such as quantum mechanics) which were and continue to be astonishing and counterintuitive, yet verified over and over again by experiment, is, I suppose, entirely lost on you.

You cannot prove to me that you Know how penicillin works or why it works. You can prove to me how other people have told you it works and your great faith in their words, their studies, and use a personal anecdote to boost your theory to me. That's it.

Spoken by a person who no doubt has never conducted an experiment in their life.

Students routinely re-enact famous experiments in science and biology class that prove (in a scientific sense) some scientific principle or claim.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

you have faith that there will be air to breathe with every breath you take

Nope. I have asthma, and I don't have faith that I will be able to breathe. Far from it!

Anonymous said...

Your comments were laughable and skirted or tangentally confronted any points I made. Hopefully that indicates you got knocked off your box for a minute. Computers literally use quartz as their own inorganic little hearts. Might even say they are creating modern magic tricks, those crazy quartzes. I bet computers could tell the difference between quartz and just glass. Would you like to discuss the irony there?

"Spoken by a person who no doubt has never conducted an experiment in their life."

Nope, Ive put vinegar in baking soda. It fizzes! WOW I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH. Now, back to uncovering that we have already learned and invented all there is to know and have, and that the powers that be have been striving to indicate this is not so since time immemorial. Covers up abound. Computers were used in ancient times btw. BCE kind of ancient times. Of course, as knowledgeable as you are, Im sure you've heard of the Antikythera mechanism? Our super smart modern scientists are still a little confused by it, you know how hard it is to decipher those barbaric ancient "sciences"!

Anonymous said...

I don't believe the Bible is an accurate historical book. But even if it were, why should beliefs of people 3000 years ago have any bearing on what we believe today? People of that time had no understanding of modern medicine or chemistry.


And you beLIEve this based on what? That everything WE know about ancient history is true? Hah. There were civilizations likely far more advanced than we, civilizations that probably stood up to the ancient tribes that still rule us to this day. We are a prison based planet with the law of the land being "COMPLY". History cannot be found in tomes being published by modern day publishing giants, as they are as bought and paid for as our FDA approved food pyramid.

Gurlfriend, you've got a lot to learn. Or rather, unlearn.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

There were civilizations likely far more advanced than we

Pure assertion, with not a single shred of evidence provided.

We are a prison based planet

Please get help.

History cannot be found in tomes being published by modern day publishing giants, as they are as bought and paid for as our FDA approved food pyramid

Not only do you denigrate the thousands of serious scholars who do history, you invent crazy conspiracies to excuse your ignorance.

Please get help.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Computers literally use quartz as their own inorganic little hearts.

No, they use silicon. Silicon is not quartz. But then, your comments betray ignorance.

Computers were used in ancient times btw. BCE kind of ancient times. Of course, as knowledgeable as you are, Im sure you've heard of the Antikythera mechanism?

The Antikythera mechanism was not a general-purpose computer. It was a special-purpose astronomical calculator. Do you understand the difference.

There is not a shred of evidence that the notion of general-purpose computer existed in ancient times.

Devon Loq said...

LOL, LOLOLOLOL why do you even blog?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

To provide entertainment for morons like you?

hippohumper said...

jeff you are a dumb ass.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

And coming from someone who has a sex with artiodactyls, that's a scathing indictment indeed.

Divinity Healing said...

Hello All,

I thought I would write in since I am crystal healer, so I will give you my interpretation of how I see and use some of my crystals. Firstly I mainly use double terminated quartz crystals to project and amplify the energies that come through my palm chakras. You can all try this now (for all you non believers) and if you are sensitive enough you should be able to actually feel your energy leaving your hands. Here’s what you do:

1. Pretend you have an imaginary ball about 6”-10” in diameter in between your palms of your hands and while facing each other (your palms) start to move them back and forth a few inches toward each other and then a few inches away and keep doing this until you feel the pull. With enough practice or maybe right away you will feel an almost magnetic like energy building.

2. Once you get this, this should establish that you can feel the energy from one hand to another. Next try different methods of feeling the energy from one hand to another.
You can point with both your index and middle finger of your right hand to the palm of your left hand (keeping a distance of about 10” between you two hands) and start drawing imaginary circles with your two fingers pointing toward your palm. You should be able to feel this as well but it will feel different than the ball exercise.

3. Now if you have felt the above you are ready to incorporate crystals in to the experiment. Get yourself a quartz crystal, double terminated works best but single will work as well. Now hold the crystal in one hand and point it towards your other hand’s palm and try moving the crystal as if it were a laser pointer towards you other hand. Try going up and down and the then around and you can vary the distance between your two hands the energy will change as you do this, like a flashlight beam getting larger or smaller as you get closer or farther to where you are shining the light. Now if you don’t feel it right away you will have to try it a few times but I have yet to run in to someone who could not feel their own energy, they simply did not know that they could.

So depending on what crystal is used you will feel a difference in the stream of the energies “feel”. It should feel much stronger energies using the crystal than just your fingers.

There are many other ways of using crystals but I have just outlined the one experiment in hopes of providing some evidence that crystals have intelligence and purpose and contain vast amounts of information and power if one choses to work with them. Meditation with them will put you in touch with much knowledge.

So here’s the deal it’s not just pointing the crystal at someone and they get healed. It’s using your intension to fix the issue that whether you call in Jesus, God, Reiki, Matrix Energetics, (which I also use as mentioned by a previous poster) or whatever you believe will help. And you send that intension through the crystal. I feel they greatly amplify whatever energies I send, whether they be distant or in person. Crystals are programmable with your intent. Now I know many of you will not believe me but I might be able to prove this thing to you. I will include a link to one of my videos on youtube in which I send energies though large crystals.

Free Distant Reiki & Crystal Healing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KUeXBKA9ww


You can read through my comments and you will see that many people wrote that they could feel the energies being sent though the video, you guys might feel them as well.

One last thing, I research every single stone or crystal I work with or sometimes choose not to work with, which is based on the radioactivity or toxicity levels in the stones or crystals. So we are not all ignorant crystal junkies. Some of us hold great respect for these beautiful gifts from the imagination of our Creator.

Blessings,

Alex

www.DivinityHealing.com