Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Crazy clinics, sexy psychics, and frisky ghosts

Here at Worldwide Wacko Watch, we're keeping our eyes on three developing stories.

First, from Whanganui, New Zealand, we have word that a clinic at a local hospital has been closed because it has been connected with witchcraft and wizardry.  [Source]

This summer, Whanganui Hospital started a "natural therapy clinic" where doctors and practitioners of "alternative medicine" would treat sick people not with nasty old medicines, but with such dubious practices as "energy cleansing" and "color therapy."  And if the bad example of the Christian Scientists wasn't sufficient to demonstrate its efficacy, the clinic also offered "Christian prayer" as a healing modality.

The story got even weirder when one of the senior doctors involved in the project made a public statement that he was "affiliated with the Whanganui School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."  Hospital chief executive Julie Patterson said that this statement was "confusing to the public" and resulted in the clinic being closed. 

I'm not sure I see what is "confusing" here, unless it's why any hospital with a sane governing board would think it was a good idea to host a clinic whose treatment protocols rely solely on the placebo effect.  The contention that the oversight of the hospital might be a little questionable was given ample support by Clive Solomon, general surgeon and member of Whanganui District Health Board, who said, "When a hospital gives credibility to something like color therapy, that becomes a problem," but then followed it up by saying that he was "not anti these holistic treatments at all."

The whole thing makes me wonder if now we might know where this clip was filmed.  (Just watch it, you won't regret it.)

It also makes me determined not to get sick if I ever visit Whanganui.

A different kind of therapy is the bailiwick of "Sallie," who bills herself as the "world's only sex psychic."  [Source]

Sallie was interviewed on Buzzfeed, where she describes her epiphany that if psychic stuff sells, and sex sells, then psychic sex would sell even better:
This whole thing started because I had medical bills and needed an alternative way of making money. The first two things that came to mind were phone psychic and phone sex. So, I enrolled in a psychic class where I learned about auras and mediumship and communicating with past lives. After the course I started working a mainstream psychic line doing regular readings for $1.88 a minute. And then at night, I also started doing phone sex for the same cost. It wasn’t long before I combined the two.
It's a little hard to imagine anyone considering career options and narrowing it down to those two in the first round.  Be that as it may, Sallie found herself uniquely qualified, because of her sensitivity to "sexual energy" and her ability to beam said energy to her clients' "chakras:"
 I start each sex psychic reading reading by grounding the space and tuning my chakras (a "chakra" is a place in the body that collects energy). I’ll have my eyes closed with a notebook sitting next to me so I can jot down the images and fragments that come from the spirit realm...  I also offer psychic persuasion, which means I send psychic energy to the person you sexually desire...  I (send) sexual energy and energy to the heart chakra.
Which I guess would be easier than having to come up with a good pick-up line.

The funny thing is if you go to Sallie's website, you very quickly get the impression that she's a little disdainful of traditional psychic readers.  "A sex psychic reading," she says on her home page, "is to other psychic readings as free speech is to censorship."  Which brings up something that I'd never considered, which is rivalries and feuds between woo-woos.  I'd always sort of had the impression that all varieties of woo-woo pretty much got along.  It never occurred to me that one woo-woo might be scornful of another woo-woo's approach to magic.  I see now that I was being simpleminded, although I am reminded of the South African saying, "There are forty kinds of lunacy, but only one kind of good sense."

In any case, Sallie now makes it clear that her days of phone sex are over.  She has now clearly identified as a sex psychic only, and any people who are just looking to get off are directed to "Niteflirt," a phone sex line.  "Sallie's Sexual Emergency Hotline," should you need to talk to her immediately, will cost you $3.88 per minute.  Which I suppose is pretty cheap, considering how expensive a chakra tune-up is these days.

Of course, there's no possibility of playing the sex angle for money in pop singer Ke$ha's recent claim that her new song "Supernatural" was inspired by her having sex with a ghost.  [Source]

"I had a couple of experiences with the supernatural," the singer recently told Ryan Seacrest in an interview.  "I don't know his name! He was a ghost.  I'm very open to it."

Notwithstanding that this isn't what most people mean by getting in touch with the spirit world, psychic Eric Olsen of America's Most Haunted says this claim is not unprecedented.

"There is a tradition of entities known as 'succubus' and 'incubus,' which are malevolent spirits and their whole modus operandi is to seduce human victims and, in the process of consummating, steal or possess the victim's soul," Olsen told reporters for The Huffington Post, but cautioned that "There is a question as to what kind of visitation you can have while you're asleep."  Ke$ha's amorous ghost friend, Olsen said, might have just been a vivid dream.  "Unless you can observe them, you can't really differentiate between a vivid dream and an actual encounter."

Right-o.  Because that's a scientifically credible protocol.

Of course, that the whole thing is a publicity stunt would be immediately obvious to anyone with more than twelve working brain cells.  But on the off chance that Ke$ha is really disturbed by having these, um, close encounters, maybe she should give Sallie the Sex Psychic a call.  Especially given that now she can't check into Whanganui Hospital for an "energy cleansing."

1 comment:

  1. I like the South African saying. It could be your motto.