Friday, December 19, 2008

NewAgers Get Really Big Heads (Not Big Brains)

"There is little doubt that a lack of full understanding of a phenomenon does not equate to that something not being true. It would be equally valid for me to state, however, that just because we don’t understand something doesn’t mean that it is true."

-- Skeptipedi, throwing acupuncture and meditation bullshit right back at 'em - but using a few too many words to do it - which you can almost expect from Houston's Space City Skeptics.


  1. A few years ago I had a bout of sciatica that lasted several months. It involved fairly intense pain that would shoot down my left leg from the small of my back. My girlfriend at the time was (and probably still is) a NewAge nut-job (she didn’t use that term, she referred to herself as “spiritual” as they frequently refer to themselves) and hounded me to see her “Doctor”, Dr. Yeh for acupuncture.

    She spent thousands of dollars a year with him, and if she even thought I was thinking about thinking (not a typo) anything negative about him or her belief, it would be hell for weeks on end between us. So, to keep the peace, I finally relented and went.

    After I explained to my new Chinese best buddy what was wrong, I got on the table and he, without a hint of confidence, proceeded to pull hard on my leg. That hurt so bad I thought I saw Elvis. I yelled “what the fucking fuck are you doing?”. He said he wanted to stretch my leg so “something” may slip back into place which would help the acupuncture work faster.

    No way, pal.

    I went three more times for acupuncture with absolutely no results, except for the elevated pain caused by him pulling on my leg the first time.

    I did find some amusement in the waiting room. On a magazine rack there were numerous one-page, typed testimonials, on different colors of paper, usually written along the lines of someone’s dead liver completely regenerating itself. Impressive.

    To be fair, I think I understand his approach. If my wallet was thinner, it would relieve pressure on my back.

    And I decided not to spend one more minute in relationship hell, so I drop-kicked my girlfriend of 10 years. You can’t argue with a crazy mind, and the disordered shall remain… disordered.

  2. Thanks.....I guess.


  3. Now you, my friend, I can relate to - welcome aboard!

    Here's a question I have for you:

    Did you "understand" any of this when you were with her? One of my biggest regrets after my divorce was not wondering where my ex was getting this stuff from. The connections between the seminars, NewAge stores, "spiritual" retreats, etc., just never occurred to me - I never thought what it meant there was a "movement" - did you?

  4. Man, I was clueless for a long time. At first there were no signs at all. And as what I now recognize as warning signs started emerging, I just shrugged it off as her quirky, harmless ways.

    Hell, I even thought some of it was cute. I had never been around this shit in a personal, direct way, nor did I have any experience with a disorder of this magnitude.

    When her inexplicable unhappiness set in and grew, I began to blame myself (and she blamed me too) and I worked at “making her happy”.

    Eventually, walking on eggshells became walking on broken glass as she spent more and more time at Yoga, Pilates, LA Fitness and Dr. Yeh’s, and I spent more and more time trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Sometimes, I think, you need to be half awake to notice a wake up call, and I finally did. Seems she had a thing for instructors, trainers and Chinese doctors.

    For the sake of brevity, I’ll just say there was a shitload of bizarre events, backstabbing and underhanded dirty tricks through all this. I am actually embarrassed to know I tried so hard for so long, and that I bailed her out of so many of her escapades. She had a way of eliciting sympathy and guilt – when it suited her.

    Ending this was very difficult for me. I wanted out as much as I wanted her to knock off the crap and be human. After I left, I went through a lot of emotional hell and regret. Part of me thought I could have fixed it, the smarter part knew that was impossible.

    What made it worse was nobody, and I mean nobody, would believe she did the things she did. That made me nuts. She had that Jekyll and Hyde thing down to a science.

    After some tough emotional times, I looked at what she was capable of doing, and especially that she was willing to do them. That was a turning point for me. It also occurred to me that the new guy had something I no longer had: A bleak future. And that turned out to be true.

    She has tried a few times over the years to get back, and I have no problem saying no, without further discussion. I don’t see her, I don’t engage in conversations with her and I don’t answer her mail or messages. She hates that.

    Some of the more important lessons for me were:

    She didn’t change at any time. That was always her. For awhile she tried to hide things in order to keep the relationship, and I ignored things for the same reason.

    There was absolutely nothing I could have done or said that would have improved or fixed the relationship. I could have made it worse if I wanted, but there was no way to make it better without her cooperation.

    You can’t change another person, you can’t “make” another person happy.

    The disordered will likely remain disordered.

    Love is not about eating a shit sandwich.