Monday, January 21, 2013

When New Age Woo Attacks

Last night, one of my cousins on Facebook shared a YouTube video called "Gregg Braden on Curing Cancer using our own Technology of Emotion". He shared this video because he thought the video was a demonstration of the power of positivity, and he actually believed the claims of Gregg Braden. I watched the video, and almost immediately my woo alarms went off.

After just a single Google search, it turned out my skepticism was well-founded: Braden, seen by many as a "prophet" in the New Age movement, has been exposed as a very deceptive woo peddler by many skeptics(videos below). He abuses and manipulates scientific facts, makes stuff up and calls it science, and many of the "evidences" he cites turn out to be fraudulent or misleading.

What makes Braden so dangerous is how charming he is when peddling New Age woo. Even those who were previously fans of Braden and don't label themselves skeptics at all had to admit surprise at how much deception Braden pumps out with a straight face. A perfect example(as shown here) is how he makes the claim that our DNA spells out "God Eternal within the body" and backs it up with nothing more than contrived and unscientific numerology and then claim it's "scientifically proven".

Now, I'm all for spreading messages of positivity. Being positive never hurts and spreading positivity is a noble goal. Even in some rare instances "mind over matter" certainly does work, such as my cousin's example of how he got rid of his migraines. That's a real phenomenon known as "the placebo effect". But hitching positive messages with dangerous, unproven and unscientific woo, such as "Positive thoughts cure cancer" is a recipe for a lot of pain, and I can't let that slide.