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.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sparkly happy people

In yesterday's post, I described how several loyal readers are contributing to my ongoing progress toward insanity by sending me links to bizarre websites, accompanied by innocent-sounding messages like "I thought you'd find this interesting."

Never dangle bait like that in front of people who are as smart as these folks are.

Only an hour later, I got an email from one of them with the subject line, "I thought you'd find this interesting."  The body of the email contained only the single word, "Enjoy!" -- and a link to the website for the Hibiscus Moon Crystal Academy.

Well, like Rudyard Kipling's character Elephant's Child, one of my besetting sins is insatiable curiosity.  Knowing as I was doing so that I would probably regret it, I clicked the link.

A while back, I did a piece about Poe's Law, the general rule of thumb that a sufficiently well-done parody is indistinguishable from the thing it is parodying.  And looking at the website for Hibiscus Moon Crystal Academy, my first thought was, "Poe's Law.  This can't be real."

I mean, consider the following paragraph, that appears on the home page:
This is the place where the Crystal Hotties come to learn about the art & science of crystal healing.  We enjoy sharing all the wonders of working with healing crystals and exploring the physics & metaphysics behind how they work all while having lots of FUN.  The academy is taught by Hibiscus Moon, best-selling author of the book Crystal Grids: How and Why They Work.  Not sure where to begin?  No worries, Jelly Bean!  Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to ease you in and you’ll also receive a FREE Creating Sacred Space with Crystals eKit to get you started on your sparkly journey with crystal energy healing!
"Crystal Hotties?"  "Jelly Bean?"  "Crystal Grids?"  "Sparkly journey?"

I... what?

But I spent the better part of an hour, at the cost not only of time but of countless innocent neurons in my prefrontal cortex who died agonizing deaths, looking at this website, and I have come away convinced.

These people are serious.

For example, consider the following passage:
I want to make sure that we attract the right kind of student here at the HMCA. I love you all but we’re not all cut out to do the same things, you know?
  • First & foremost, I totally get that not everyone is cut out to do this light healer or crystal healer type of work. Sometimes there are other things that need to get worked on first. No judgments there at all.
  • That being said, I know that many get intimidated thinking “Who am I to be healing anyone?” Here at the HMCA, we realize & teach that we can all heal each other & that healing is a 2-way street…both the facilitator & the “heal-ee” exchange & receive. If we waited for all the healers to be PERFECT before they did any “healing” for anyone else….we’d all be waiting a LONG TIME!
  • Next, if you’re looking for a course that simply spews out crystal properties for you to memorize then this is not the course for you. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that but there are other courses out there for you if that’s more of what you resonate with. Our method teaches you to really get to know your crystals & we take a more personal approach to that.
That just doesn't have the sound of a parody, does it?

There are all sorts of books, videos, and products for sale, including a "Sparkly Space Clearing e-Kit," whatever the hell that is.  There are testimonials.  Their Facebook page has been "liked" almost 57,000 times.  They have, apparently, been endorsed by Massage & Bodywork magazine.  But then, "Hibiscus Moon" blathers on like this:
What does it mean when your crystal cracks or breaks?

Sometimes it doesn’t mean anything at all. It could be just plain ole’ science & physics that did it like a heavy impact or thermal shock: extreme hot to cold or cold to hot.

But sometimes a stone or crystal just breaks…with no explanation.

So then we have to look at energy.

Think of it as the singer & wine glass shattering scenario. What causes that to happen?

The frequencies of the wine glass were perfectly pitched or perfectly oscillated with the sound frequency of the note that the singer was holding. This created a 3rd resonant field of greater energy & that cracks the wine glass.

The same scenario may be taking place when our crystal cracks. The vibrational frequency  of the crystal may be synchronizing with a frequency in its environment & BOOM! Crack.

Keep in mind…crystals do not die or stop working b/c they’ve cracked or broken. Please continue to work with them. They are still there for you.

What if this happens more than once with a particular crystal? Well, in that case, its work with  you may be done. Perhaps this is a sign to gift this piece on to whoever needs it more than you. Its work isn’t done, perhaps, it just needs to move on to someone else.

Now, the intense energy that caused the stone or crystal to crack, whether a physical impact or energetic impact was intense (especially if we’re talking about a quartz crystal)…& that my have temporarily altered the crystal’s normal vibrational frequency. So you’ll want to give that crystal a little break for a bit. A little spa vacation with a nice cleansing. But after about a month, it should be rarin’ to go again.

How do you do that? You can do a meditation with the cracked/broken crystal & thank it for the work it has been doing for/with you. Then since this a high amplitude energy that caused it to crack, you can do a good crystal re-tuning. Then, I recommend giving it a little rest or retreat for a month buried in Mother Earth. Ahhhh. Be sure to mark the spot well so you can find it again!

So I hope that puts some of you at ease when a crystal cracks or breaks!  If you have any stories to share, we'd all love to hear!

Sparkles and Glittery Blessings,

Hibiscus Moon
Yup!  It could be plain "ole" science and physics!  Or maybe your crystal might need a "little spa vacation with a nice cleansing" so that it's "rarin' to go again!"

I don't know about you, but I'm going with the science and physics.

One of the problems I had, while reading all this, is not just that it seems to be composed of complete nonsense, but that the writer of the website (who I assume is "Hibiscus Moon") exhibits a perkiness level usually only seen in employees of Disneyland.  She keeps calling the readers "crystal hotties" and "sparkly friends" and "party people" and "crystalline cohorts," which I think was intended to be encouraging and friendly even though the last one sounds like a villain from Star Trek: The Next Generation.  All of her signoffs are something like "Oceans of Sparkly Blessings!"  Overall, her writing sounds like she could use a good sedative, or possibly just spending some time watching C-Span.

Now, don't get me wrong.  These people sound like lovely human beings, and honestly, I would much rather see folks cheerfully playing with their crystals than hurting each other.  It could well be that many of the world's problems could be solved if people like Kim Jong-Un and Bashar al-Assad would just stop what they're doing every once in a while and contemplate healing their spiritual angst with a nice emerald (which, we find out on the site, is the Crystal of the Year.)

But as far as having anything to do with "ole" science and physics... this doesn't.  It's harmless enough to anything but your bank account, but any resemblance between "crystal healing" and an experimentally-supported medical modality is purely coincidence, or possibly the placebo effect.

And to the friend who sent me the link: you win this round.  You "crystal hottie," you.


  1. Taken from the wikipedia page for crystal oscillators:

    A crystal oscillator is an electronic oscillator circuit that uses the mechanical resonance of a vibrating crystal of piezoelectric material to create an electrical signal with a very precise frequency.[1][2][3]This frequency is commonly used to keep track of time (as in quartz wristwatches), to provide a stable clock signal for digital integrated circuits, and to stabilize frequencies for radio transmitters andreceivers. The most common type of piezoelectric resonator used is the quartz crystal, so oscillator circuits incorporating them became known as crystal oscillators,[1] but other piezoelectric materials including polycrystalline ceramics are used in similar circuits.Quartz crystals are manufactured for frequencies from a few tens of kilohertz to tens of megahertz. More than two billion crystals are manufactured annually. Most are used for consumer devices such as wristwatches, clocks, radios, computers, and cellphones. Quartz crystals are also found inside test and measurement equipment, such as counters, signal generators, and oscilloscopes.

    Being a biomedical engineer, I am acutely aware of the "healing power" of crystals. What Hybiscus Moon needs to do is chip a tiny piece of her crystal, place it into a piezoelectric transducer circuit with dc voltage supplied from an ac/dc transformer, a metal plate to act as the contact surface, and some plastic to house it all. Then she could provide therapeutic ultrasound, which is very much... real.

    You've got a crystal the size of a fist that generates "it's own frequency?"

    I've got a crystal the size of a grain of sand that oscillates over a million times PER SECOND... proving once again that reality is cooler than fiction.

    Though becoming a practitioner of this very real procedure would require a decent IQ, paying for, attending, and passing years worth of clinical education, years of residency, malpractice insurance, and a willingness to be inspected, with frequency (pun intended), by accrediting organizations.

    Boy, that sounds like a lot of effort! Sheesh! Why do all of that when you can just make a web page and open your living room to your "students". Substitute bonafide science for convincing dialogue and you can pass "GO" and collect your $200 with 1/10th of the effort! Yay! Who wants to be an "MD" when you can be a "crystal hottie"?!?!

  2. A million times a second?!?!
    Your poor little crystals must REALLY need a spa vacation with a nice cleansing!
    Maybe if you waved other crystals over them to "heal" them then they would relax
    and get better.
    Oh, crap!, now THOSE crystals would have to be healed with crystal healing,
    and then the crystal you used to heal THOSE crystals!