More great stuff from the new age magazine

  1. The Enlightenment Card is here! It’s a Visa credit card that gives you points as you buy towards… enlightening things. I want to tell the Dalai Lama about it so I can get one of those long cheerful Tibetan laughs out of him.
  2. Holistic dentistry as a general concept is probably a great idea, because dentists so often are the ones who see medical problems first. However, I’d avoid the madman with the extensive psychoceramic chart (270k jpg) showing how your teeth control your lungs, liver, and everything else.
  3. Do you need an exorcist? Why no, I don’t. I especially don’t need one who uses Comic Sans. Considering their client base, though, they’re wise to demand the $300 up front. Customer service must be a bitch there.
  4. There is an ad for a psychic clairvoyant medium named Zack Havoc. I don’t want anyone who identifies with “Havoc” messing with the spirit world. That’s a name for a late 1990s extreme sports/fake punk DJ guy, not a medium. His Corporate Reading services include “Product Placement.” Does that mean he will put your product in his readings? Also “Employee Moral” and “Theft of Services.” His political services include “demographic populace” and “legislative zeitgeist.” Okay I’m done now.
  5. Energy Healing for Pets. Yes, the url is psychicvet.com. There is a kind of Pet Tarot for sale there, too. Are we really this rich? I guess we are.

The rest of the ads are mostly for unlicensed psychotherapy via loopholes like “life coaching” and “psychic counseling. There are also ads for fraudulent medicine of various kinds, including a claim for total herbal cure of diabetes; that’s lethal. There are also quite a few pyramid schemes, including ones that produce more of the fake psychotherapists by using counseling to recruit more counselors. The smell of brimstone is evident.

I found one really cool thing in the entire magazine. There is an Organic macrobiotic Japanese food lunch truck roaming Los Angeles. Okay, that’s just awesome, having a lunch truck pull up outside your job and getting edamame, soba noodle salad, some gyoza, and a hot cup of genmai-cha. Salut! Or whatever you say in Japanese.

BUILDING A PLATFORM TO HERCULES

My favorite insane cult from the 1980s is the CHURCH UNIVERSAL AND TRIUMPHANT, led by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Her books were in the weirdo section and I was always fascinated. There was something about St. Germain, and new Christian prophecies, and aliens, and everything.

Like everyone else they had a compound. Theirs was by Yellowstone and they stockpiled weapons waiting for the inevitable pseudo-Christian apocalyptic disaster.

Ms. Prophet had a unique preaching style, and fortunately a recording of one service at least survives. This is from my 20th birthday! Many of you will have heard one of these tracks (“invocation for Judgement”) because it’s an attack on rock music that lists a long series of popular bands in 1984 that must be destroyed, and are comically mispronounced (Cindy Looper, etc.).

Decree 12.10 is only for completists, as it’s basically 27:57 of deranged cattle auctioneer/martian hoedown/speaking in tongues. The others are great though. If you just get one, get #4, the Great Divine Rector’s Call. Please download rather than streaming, and mirror if you want to share.

The Sounds of American Doomsday Cults: The Church Universal and Triumphant

  1. Dedication To The Tackling Of The Beast And The Dragon — The Momentum Of Rock’n’roll
  2. Call For Protection
  3. Video Shorts With Two Announcements (Excerpt)
  4. Preamble — Great Divine Rector’s Call
  5. Invocation For Judgement Against And Destruction Of Rock Music
  6. Decree 12.10
  7. Decree 10.05

via Strange New Products: H2OM

So, you know, bottled water. Most of it is somewhat-filtered tap water. Gotta have a gimmick to sell it. Sometimes they put vitamins or electrolytes in it, not a bad idea. Sometimes they put caffeine or a little bit of fruit in it, okay. Sometimes they claim they’ve put oxygen in it to make you more oxygen-y, which is pathetic. Or they just want you to like them, so they put a picture of someone nice on it.

And then there’s water that’s been… …liked. The good folks at H2OM Water sell “Water with Intention”.

You all may remember an insane Japanese man who says that water changes when you think nice thoughts. “The Hidden Messages in Water”, etc. He was in that movie “Do You Fucking Expect Me to Believe This Shit” or whatever it was called. He’s an affable lunatic. Mix affable lunacy with marketing and you have our next Dr. Bronner.

Inspired by these studies, H2Om was created. A crystal clear natural spring water brand infused with the power of intention through words, music and thought. We gratefully offer you an interactive invitation to drink in and resonate with the vibrational frequencies of Love and Perfect Health.

Now absolute purity comes in Five Fantastic Infusions

NOW AVAILABLE:
LOVE
PERFECT HEALTH

COMING SOON:
WILL POWER
PROSPERITY
and
GRATITUDE

I’m glad they’re coming out with the gratitude one, because after I’ve got love and perfect health I’ll be needing to feel more grateful.

Reading their infusion process, it seems to consist of 1) picking out a label color and 2) playing music at the water in a warehouse.

Science was cool, wasn’t it? Man I’m nostalgic already.

White people are weird.

I made the mistake of clicking on a weird looking ad link in the Mark Morford column email from sfgate.com and ended up in this pavilion of what. I spent a good half hour trying to figure out if there was anything going on there.

It is not clear that they have ever done anything.

Looking at the self-submitted biographies of their founders, staff members, employees, and “conversation hosts” reveals that they are all wealthy well-educated Bay Area white people. They take care to mention that they have been to other countries for months or even years and that they speak foreign languages, and that they ride bicycles and use solar and hybrid power. They’re all well-off, cheerful, and in fine physical shape.

Anyway they’re going to save the world by talking about saving the world. I think technology is involved, and there are certainly oboes and wide, beardy grins. The stages are apparently 1) noticing that history and biology have happened 2) meditating and making your own brain better and ready to evolvulate and conversatify and 3) something they’re putting on the web site Real Soon Now that will be a social network.

I’ve got a better idea. How about all of them stop with the website and the neurocosmology and the self-improving oneness of spirit exercises and just make sandwiches, say, 20 a week, all at once, on Saturday. They all have lots of time and money, so this isn’t a big deal. Then, take the sandwiches to a church in a really poor neighborhood and give them a cooler full, and say “Hey, give these sandwiches to people who don’t have anything to eat, okay?”

If they want to Create a Space to be Thoughtfully Open or work on their Epic Journeys, that’s cool too, but not until the 20 sandwiches are delivered. Deal?

What’s all this about a clam? Oh no…

After today’s phrenology session I had an interesting talk with Brain Lady. I found myself explaining to her why she sounded like a postscientific wacko at first, before I learned more about her. Most of the problem is her language. She speaks Science and has been working at very technical jobs in the mental health field for 20 years, but when she’s explaining things to a client she uses analogies and metaphors that have been totally ruined by New Age bubbleheads.

For example, she will say “I’m doing this site to push the energy back over to the other side of your brain”. On further questioning, she explains that this is a thumbnail description for a poorly understood phenomenon in which treating one site causes the voltages to go down there and up in another part of the brain. She doesn’t literally believe that she is pushing the energy around. She refers to treating multiple injuries as “like peeling off layers of an onion”. This sounds like she believes in concentric spheres of some intangible substance, but again it’s a simile. Her observations show her that multiple injuries often require multiple stages of treatment, but there isn’t any proven one-to-one correspondence between the injuries and the stages of treatment. And when she’s talking about electrical activity and mental acuity increasing after treatment, she calls it “waking up the brain”; another analogy. All of these things sound like something the local Crystal Anus Delver at the Metaphysical Bookhonk would say. In Brain Lady’s case, she’s working off many years of academic study and clinical experience in developmental disability, head injuries, special education, substance abuse treatment, and psychotherapy.

The other bad news I had for her is that her stuff sounds like Scientology. Wires on your head, healing old injuries, increased states of awareness, oh dear. You’re expecting Tom Cruise to appear stage left and congratulate you for choosing the right path. Here’s the hilarious part: she knows nothing about Scientology. As I was explaining how many parallels there are, her eyes got wider and wider. “Oh no, do people think this is like Scientology? That’s just a dumb cult!” Poor thing, she’s spent 20 years in the Science Hole and working with actual patients, and hasn’t noticed some weird cultural trends.

She pointed out that she doesn’t speak in Science much to clients because communicating the statistical links between voltage differentials and affective disorders to people with head injuries can be frustrating to both parties. I think I did manage to get across that she was using language and analogies that had been poisoned, though.

For my own part, I told her I had only really started trusting her judgment the day she went off on a rant about attribution errors and the importance of knowing your independent variables and not trusting your subjective observations, with several anecdotes of failed studies that hadn’t taken these precautions.