The Sceptics Take Manhattan
February 11, 2009
Oh, and after all of my talk about how I have given up on hope, you will laugh your ass off when I tell you where I’m going tomorrow. But that’s a post for another day.
That day is today.
It is obvious to any regular reader of this blog that I am deeply committed to logic. But, at the same time, I try to be open to all possibilities. That is the true spirit of science — willingness to evaluate all ideas, not only our preconceived notions.
Even so, when my husband asked if I wanted to travel to NYC to see a “healer” who would fix my aura, I was shocked to hear myself say yes.
Let’s back up.
DH and I have a close friend who has been trying to convince us to see this healer for a couple of years. This friend appreciates the mystical, but he’s not gullible. He had met this healer, and was convinced by the display of true power and skill. Our friend is persistent/pushy/relentless, but we kept putting him off with “We’re about to see a new doctor, now is not the time for this healer” and “We’ll consider that healer after we try IVF.” After IVF #2 failed, our friend resumed his gentle prodding. He would remind me, and he would insist that DH keep bringing it up (even though DH is more of a disbeliever than I am).
The most recent time that DH relayed the message, much to my surprise I said, “Okay, fine. Let’s go.”
I’d been wanting to visit NYC anyway. And who am I to turn down a potential miracle? I don’t believe in auras, but I certainly can’t prove that they don’t exist.
This healer has endorsements from hundreds of clients, including Hollywood elite and (oxymoron alert) illustrious parapsychologists. And our friend. And our friend’s brother, a complete doubter until his own healing session. There are books and documentaries and media articles about the healer. He’s not the average scam artist quack. I thought that it deserved a shot.
Obviously it’s too soon for results, but something definitely happened. Throughout the session, I was simultaneously processing the experience on two levels: present in the moment and open to his words and actions, but also skeptical and looking for flim-flam. That, in itself, was a unique experience.
The open side of me experienced completely unfamiliar sensations as he worked with the energy of my auras. I really, truly felt sensations that I’ve never felt before, and which couldn’t be explained. For example, it would feel like he was touching my face, but when I opened my eyes I’d see that he was standing near my feet instead.
The skeptic did not find anything awry. I looked for tricks, but I couldn’t find any. I did note many techniques that flim-flam artists commonly employ to encourage suggestibility, but Madison Avenue uses many of the same techniques. He also did some pretty standard hypnosis techniques. But there was something else going on — I can’t explain what it was, but it seemed entirely real.
In addition to the specific sensations, I felt totally different than usual during the session, and the feeling continued afterward. I even had a different skin tone.
I have no idea if I’m going back.
I need to return to NYC in a couple of months for something else, and I honestly don’t know if I’ll make another appointment with the healer. I’ll be in the midst of IVF #3 then, so I won’t have an answer as to whether the miracle worked the first time. It’s interesting, definitely, and pretty enjoyable — and what if it works? But there are much more enjoyable and likely-to-be-productive ways to spend that money. Still, if miracle men really do exist in this world, this healer is probably one of the few.
I just don’t know.
So, the skeptics took Manhattan. In return, we either got taken for a few hundred dollars, or I discovered a miracle worker. Time will tell.