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, May 27, 2022

Unexplainable malarkey

A regular reader and frequent contributor to Skeptophilia sent me a link yesterday, with the message, "Oooh, look!  Another company has discovered that it can sell bogus woo-woo stuff using your favorite words -- frequency, field, energy, and vibration!"

Regular readers undoubtedly know how pissed off I get when people use scientific words and can't even be bothered to look up the actual definitions.  It's even worse when they use said misused scientific words to rip people off, although clearly some of the responsibility lies with the consumers, because after all, they could also bother to look up the actual definitions if they wanted to -- caveat emptor, and all of that sort of thing.

So, anyway, I clicked the link, and it brought me to a site called "Unexplainable Frequencies."  My first reaction was that I don't see how a frequency can be unexplainable.  I mean, it's either 638.7 Hertz or it isn't.  In any case, even from the title I knew this site was gonna be good for a few faceplants.  Here's the banner headline on the homepage:

Everything In Existence Has It's Own Frequency Signature. Every Person, Every Animal, And Every Planet Vibrate At it's Own Rhythm. Pure Direct Frequencies Can Help You Heal, Grow, And Change.

Evidently, one of the things that "Pure Direct Frequencies" doesn't do is to help you to learn the difference between "it's" and "its," and that you Don't Need To Capitalize Every Word To Make Your Point.  But maybe I'm just being picky, here.

Further down the page, we find out that we can purchase mp3s ("hundreds of thousands sold," they tell us, which makes me despair for the human race).  These mp3s contain sound recordings with "frequencies" that supposedly  help us to accomplish things in a variety of areas, including:
  • Manifestation
  • Wealth
  • Visualization
  • Astral Projection
  • Lucid Dreams
  • Spirit Guide
  • Chakra Work
  • Remote Viewing
  • Psychic/ESP
  • Christ Consciousness
  • IQ Increaser
So, I decided to listen to some sound samples.  I picked "IQ Increaser," because heaven knows some days I could use some help in that department.  The description said:
Our custom IQ/ Memory Booster recording is in a category of it’s [sic] own, and is one of our top rated products for good reason.  We begin the session by penetrating your body’s own unique energy field with a low vibrational frequency designed to create feelings of “total knowingness.”  You will begin feeling connected and well rounded within the first few minutes.  You may confuse your new disposition with overconfidence but as you will soon see it’s intended.  Change requires confidence you can’t achieve your desired result unless you believe it’s inevitably going to happen.

We’ll then begin blasting your brain with a frequency directly related to Intelligence.  In fact those with brain functions operating in this range are considered geniuses.  This will help your brains [sic] capacity for learning and understanding complex concepts.  In addition to boosting your intelligence this portion of your session can aid arthritis pain, stop involuntary eye movements, and regulate the pulses in women.

Midway through the recording you will begin reflecting on your session and without realizing it you will be recollecting fine details about the past ten minutes.  We manipulated your brain into a higher memory state through frequency and tone.  You will remember things more easily and think deeper than you ever knew you could.  You’ve only unlocked the ability you’ve always had.

You’ll then begin feeling more in tune to what’s really happening around you and enjoy feelings of enlightenment.  You wont realize its happening but we’ve been channeling vibrations towards your cerebral cortex.  You’ll begin to feel your forehead getting warmer and tingling in your spleen.

Your session concludes with another fortifying frequency associated with the functioning of the cerebral cortex.  We want to encourage your brain to store information more efficiently.  When your session concludes we encourage you to try memory games to test your new found ability.  You will notice a considerable difference between your memory skills before and after use.
All of this sounded pretty hopeful, although I wasn't sure how I felt about having my spleen tingle. Nor is it clear why it only helps women with their pulse.  Maybe guys' hearts are tuned to a different unexplainable frequency, I dunno.  But either way, I figured it was worth the risk.  So I started the clip, and closed my eyes.

The Astral Sleep by Jeroen van Valkenburg (1998) [Image licensed under the Creative Commons Jeroen van Valkenburg artist QS:P170,Q91911584, The Astral Sleep, CC BY 2.0]

After about 45 seconds, I had an amazing experience!  I said, "Huh."  And I stopped the clip.  Listening to "IQ Increaser" is about as interesting as reading a telephone book.  It turned out to be a bunch of slowly shifting electronic keyboard noises that just kind of go on and on.  I experienced no spleen tingles, my forehead is still the same temperature, my cerebral cortex is still un-vibrated and lacking in total knowingness, and my thinking processes seem as fuzzy as ever, although that last one may be because I haven't had my second cup of coffee yet.  I can't imagine listening to this stuff for an hour -- it gives new meaning to the word "monotonous." It sounds like music that was rejected by Music From The Hearts Of Space on the basis of being too ethereal.

The best part of the whole site, however, is the "Testimonials" page.  To listen to these people talk, you'd swear that listening to the keyboard noises caused major life changes, or at least multiple orgasms.  Here are a couple:
"I bought this mp3 to help me visualize and calm my mind's chatter.  I was surprised how quickly my brain winded down and melted away, leaving me in a perfect visualization state.  This recording did what it claimed."

"I been playing this frequency for a few days now in the background when I relax and it certainly does do something weird to my mind.  I will continue to play it regularly."
Myself, I don't think see how your brain melting is a good thing.  But I suppose it had to already be partly melted in order to purchase this malarkey.

But here's my favorite:
"I been listening to the astral projection custom session and I can sometimes feel my body tingling and starting to shift around.  I think I will be traveling the astral plane before I know it.  Thank You Unexplainable Frequencies!"
So, evidently, there are at least a few people who have achieved positive results, although my own personal opinion is that anything they accomplished by listening to "Unexplainable Frequencies" could have been accomplished without them.  Sorry if you're one of the Satisfied Customers, but "Unexplainable Frequencies" is a lot of pseudoscientific horseshit.

Anyhow, that's today's heaping helping of woo-woo.  More people using words about which they obviously don't have the first glimmer of understanding.  I suppose we should look on the bright side, however; I never saw that they used the word "quantum."


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reminding me about "Hearts of Space"! Between that and "New Sounds" on WNYC, John Schaefer brings us some of the best music around