The Psychic Frontiers of Medicine
For those of you that like your health advice with a side of spooky, this is your book. Check out some of the claims on the back of the book. My particular favorite is sex energy to achieve “elevated states of consciousness.” I plan to get me some sex energy. Maybe I won’t feel so tired at work.
I am a big fan of weird stuff and would probably buy something like this. I am a big fan of this type of “literature”, such as UFOs, ghosts, haunted houses, crop circles, etc. (I will also confess to a few marathon sessions of Ancient Aliens, much to the shame of my scientist daughter and mathematician son.) If it is weird, I want to read it. I also think these books are fun for a library to have. This one is hanging on by a thread, so it is a weeder on condition anyway. Besides, I want the latest in my fake medical information.
*sighs* I don’t want to be totally dismissive because there has been studies that suggest that things like prayer used alongside conventional medicine can speed up the healing process because people who pray and/or meditate are less stressed and therefore their own body doesn’t work against them. Apparently even atheists have registered stress reduction after praying even though they still don’t believe. So on one hand what does it hurt if someone believes they can heal themselves with psychic powers so long as they ALSO take antibiotics, chemo, have surgery, etc?
On the other hand, we have these anti-vaxxer wackadoos that actually put their horrid pyramid scheme essential oils in FOOD even though they’re not safe for human consumption, give their kids bleach enemas (look up Miracle Mineral Solution on the RationalWiki), and think that George Floyd’s murder was faked and that the BLM protests are really about the Gardisil vaccine (yes, really, I’ve seen them claiming that on Facebook) and I’d really hate for them to find this book or one like it. Because you know they’ll reject real medicine in favor of “sex energy.” Even with the book being horribly out of date.
I agree with Jami. I can remember a time when stuff like this seemed like harmless, kooky fun. But with all the anti-vaxxers and people drinking bleach to cure/prevent covid, any alternative medical info has taken on a more sinister tone for me. Whether or not it is appropriate for a library, I don’t know. Are libraries obligated to provide quack science if the public requests it?
You are not “obligated” to put anything in your library. However…
In today’s world, people are going to get the information one way or another. At least by having a current relevant book in your library, you have the opportunity to find the best presentation on the topic. If you have nothing, your user is likely to go directly to the internet and get the worst possible source. I have many books in my library that I don’t subscribe to their ideas, and firmly believe you have to have such materials in your collection. Keep in mind, those who are opposed need to have access as well, else how can they refute the matter?
I’m most concerned about giving some appearance of trustworthiness to something terrible or vile. It isn’t an easy call, that’s for sure.
The placebo effect is a real thing and I suspect was the cause of the “instant cures” of Sharif and Brynner — actors being notably high-strung and superstitious.
Arigo, mentioned on page 79, was a notorious fraud who was sent to jail twice and was dead by the time this book came out. And every potion he prescribed could only be filled by one pharmacist… who happened to be his brother.
Maybe the bleach-drinkers and anti-vaxxers would be happier and have less time for nonsense if they had more sex?
I can see people using the need for sex energy as an excuse to rape someone or molest a child.
How many of the names in the samples shown had their licenses taken away from them?
I read all those boos in the 70s too. Not so much with the “Ancient Aliens” nowadays, though I never missed “The X-Files” through all the years.
I’m sure the fake medical info has moved on to something else. Crystals? The Secret? Goop?
As for medicine, I think I’ll stick with pharmaceuticals and occasional surgery.
Also page 159 alone ought to make this a weeder. Eeesh.
WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE, so have a Pepsi, you sexy thing!
Ahh, that’s some refreshing crackpottery!
I’m with Jami on this one.
Back in the day I would look into these things for fun but there were people who believed them over traditional science. There still are such people and they can endanger both themselves and others.
It’s just a shame that most libraries don’t have a classification for pseudoscience.
I didn’t think to talk about classification, but you guys bring up a valid point. This material should be shelved somewhere in 001 (catalogers, please correct me if there is a better number). You could make a case for a folklore number. I was wondering if this would even be a conversation 30 years ago or more.
My brother was caught up in crystals, Eckankar, expensive beads, weird vitamins, etc. — he was always looking for a magic bullet. He couldn’t just do what everyone else did, and go to the doctor. It was the same with his working life — he couldn’t just get a job and move up the ranks; no, he had to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or something. Decades of going after crackpotty schemes that never panned out, while abjuring conventional medicine. He finally did have one ship come in, which would have afforded him an adequate living, but by then he was so debilitated he couldn’t enjoy it. And the lousy contract he had written had no provision for inheritance, so his daughter got nothing when he died at 67, of something that was incurable but would have been easily preventable.
Yes, I’m bitter. These quacks essentially gave my brother the rope he hanged himself with.
Eurgh that is awful. What a wreckage for them all to be responsible for, along with whoever gave him that mindset.
Omniviewer, I am so sorry. My brother is very into shamanism and such, but he also held down a real job, goes to the doctor regularly, takes pharmaceuticals, and went to Mayo Clinic once out of state when he had a very complicated problem. He doesn’t mix his religion with his health care.
I’m sorry for the loss of your brother, Omniviewer.
Apparently, Yul Brynner’s psychic healing didn’t take. This book came out less than ten years before his famous “Don’t smoke. I’m dead” commercial.
Back in the 1970s, people were quite credulous. A recent entry here was a book about angel-themed crafts. There were also beautifully produced serious books about angels and books that fed the ‘Satanic Panic’ of the time. ‘Michelle Remembers’ and ‘The Amityville Horror’ come to mind.
People may be even more credulous today but these things show up a bit less in print and a lot more on line.
If you’re over fifteen and need Kirlian photography to know whether you’re in love, you need more help than this, or any other, book can provide.
The biggest problem with this book is that it’s old. There are plenty of more current materials on such matters (thank you, internet!), and I feature a few in my collections because there are many among my readers who want access to such things.
With those colors, I totally misread the title as “Psychedelic Frontiers of Medicine”. Also would’ve been appropriate for the ’70s!
Although I don’t recall ever reading this book or having my own copy of it, I *LOVE* occult-themed documentaries and books (regardless of their age or theme), even if its indeed true that they are little more than pseudo-science! Although my comment here does NOT necessarily pertain to psychic medicine, I especially love UFO-related material or tales of those individuals who claim to have traveled back or forth in time!
The bloggers have featured plenty of it https://awfullibrarybooks.net/tag/ufos/ https://awfullibrarybooks.net/tag/aliens/
Love your name!
I never missed “In Search Of…” Weird stuff AND Mr. Spock!
Also “Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World”.
And I once may have called the shadows/form of an annular solar eclipse as projected on the ground through tree leaves… “Cheerios of the Gods”.
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