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And so it begins ...
20-06-2015, 09:50 AM
Post: #1
And so it begins ...
The rise of the internet and e-commerce means it’s easier than ever to buy unusual items you can’t find on the high street, including metaphysical items such as spells. But online marketplace Etsy is clamping down on such sales, causing anger among sellers.

Etsy is a community where people can sell unique, unusual and handmade goods. It has 1.4 million sellers and 32 million items for sale, including metaphysical items.

The Daily Dot is reporting Etsy recently changed its rules, tightening up on sales of services such as spells. In the help section ‘Can I sell services on Etsy’ it states:

“Any metaphysical service that promises or suggests it will effect a physical change (e.g., weight loss) or other outcome (e.g., love, revenge) is not allowed, even if it delivers a tangible item.”

Spells and hexes could previously be sold if they produced a physical item and gave no guarantees of effectiveness, a witch (who wanted to remain anonymous) told The Daily Dot.

The policy change allegedly occurred without warning in early June. Since then angry sellers have taken to the marketplace’s forum to discuss the move. An administrator from Etsy clarified the position.

“Metaphysical shops may remain on Etsy as long as they comply with our policies…..To be clear, this is not a ban on all metaphysical items. At Etsy, we believe in freedom of thought, expression, and religion. You may sell astrological charts, tarot readings, and other tangible objects, as long as you are not making a promise that object will effect a physical change or other outcome, such as weight loss, love, or revenge. Medical drug claims or claims of a medical cure are also not allowed.”

Unhappy sellers have started a petition to stop Etsy banning Metaphysical items

eBay banned the sale of spells and tarot readings in September 2012 due to disputes between buyers and sellers.
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21-06-2015, 06:21 AM
Post: #2
RE: And so it begins ...
... and there's more

CLAIMS made on the Society of Homeopaths website that controversial therapies could treat conditions such as arthritis and hayfever have been banned in a landmark ruling by advertising watchdogs.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has had a remit since 2011 to investigate claims made online, and the organisation said it had a large number of complaints relating to claims on homeopathy websites.

It chose to investigate the website of industry body the Society of Homeopaths as a test case “to establish our lead position on claims for homeopathy”.

The authority also looked at the body’s Twitter page, which included the tweet: “Antidepressant prescriptions up by 43 per cent. For more holistic healthcare which doesn’t rely on drugs try #homeopathy”, with a link to the home page.

The ASA found that all of the claims investigated were misleading and breached guidelines on health advertising.

The society’s homepage states: “There is a growing body of research evidence suggesting that treatment by a homeopath is clinically effective, cost-effective and safe.

“Currently, there is sufficient research evidence to support the use of homeopathic treatment for the following medical conditions: allergies and upper respiratory tract infections, ankle sprain, bronchitis, childhood diarrhoea, chronic fatigue, ear infections, fibromyalgia, hay- fever, influenza, osteoarthritis, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatic diseases, sinusitis, vertigo.

“Your local homeopath would be happy to discuss any health problems with you and offer advice about whether they might be able to help.”

The ASA asked whether the site could discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought, and whether the claims that homeopathy could treat the medical conditions could be substantiated.

In relation to the tweet, it investigated whether it could discourage essential treatment for depression, a medical condition for which medical supervision should be sought, and misleadingly implied that homeopathic remedies could alleviate symptoms of depression.

The Society of Homeopaths said it did not believe there was anything on the web page in question, or their website as a whole, which discouraged patients from seeking medical treatment.

Its site recommended maintaining a relationship with a GP or specialist and said homepathy could be used “alongside conventional medicine”, it pointed out.

But the ASA found that the claims were in breach of advertising rules.

A spokesman said: “We considered that the reference to these specific medical conditions meant the ad was targeted at consumers with a pre-existing diagnosis of these conditions or who were suffering from those symptoms.

“We considered the average consumer targeted by the ad was therefore particularly vulnerable.”

All medical claims “must be backed by evidence”, he said.
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21-06-2015, 08:14 AM
Post: #3
RE: And so it begins ...
ok point made.
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22-06-2015, 07:30 AM (This post was last modified: 22-06-2015 11:00 AM by Mathew Hopkins.)
Post: #4
RE: And so it begins ...
... And continues

Some hospitals have used Reiki in order to help cancer patients and people suffering from other illnesses. Throughout the country, Reiki is regularly used. However, according to the American Cancer Society, “Available scientific evidence at this time does not support claims that Reiki can help treat cancer or any other illness. More study may help determine to what extent, if at all, it can improve a patient’s sense of well being.”

NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) states that there is no scientific evidence that Reiki can help anyone with anything. There again, the art of meditation and massage has never been backed by scientific evidence (other than for general relaxation and localized improvements, respectively). It dates back centuries and is based on anecdotal evidence rather than on scientific research. There must be something in it; otherwise the tradition would have died out long ago rather than finding its way into our modern hospitals. That something is called “the placebo effect“. Throw in a little confirmation bias,and a dash of personalized 1-on-1 attention, and you’ve got yourself an “effective treatment“.
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23-06-2015, 08:01 AM
Post: #5
RE: And so it begins ...
... And continues

Chiropractors are in many ways not that different from other health care professionals. Most of them, like Preston Long, go into their profession with all the very best intentions; they study hard what is being taught at Chiropractic College; they pass their exams and set up a practice to earn a decent living. During their career, they subsequently treat thousands of patients, and many of them perceive some benefit. Those who don’t fail to return and are quickly forgotten. Over the years, chiropractors thus become convinced that their interventions are effective.
In several other ways, however, chiropractors differ from conventional health care professionals. The most fundamental differences, I think, relate to the facts that chiropractic is based on the erroneous dogma of its founding fathers, and that chiropractors fail to abide by the rules of evidence-based medicine and practice. Preston Long writes eloquently about many other rules which some chiropractors fail to abide to in addition.

D.D. Palmer, the ‘inventor’ of chiropractic, believed that all human illness was the result of ‘subluxations’ of the spine which impeded the flow of the ‘Innate’ and required correction through spinal adjustments. To his followers, this new approach to healing was the only correct one – one that could cure all health problems. When these assumptions were first formulated, more than a century ago, they might not even have appeared entirely ridiculous; today, in the face of an immense amount of new knowledge, they can easily be disclosed as pure fantasy and chiropractors who believe in Palmer’s gospel have become the laughing stock of all health care professionals.

Some chiropractors are therefore struggling to free themselves from the burden of Palmer’s nonsensical notions. But this struggle rarely is entirely successful. After all, chiropractors have been to Chiropractic College where they memorised so many falsehoods, were kept from numerous important truths, and failed to acquire the essential skills of being (self-) critical. As a result, most find it virtually impossible to completely recover from the ‘brain-wash’ they were submitted to at the beginning of their career. And even if some courageous innovators, one day, managed to expunge all the falsehoods, myths and bogus claims from their profession, the obvious question would still be, how would such a ‘chiropractic minus woo’ differ from physiotherapy?

Most chiropractors have very little inkling what evidence-based practice amounts to; the good intentions that once motivated them have long given way to the need to make money. They are unable to critically assess their own activities, and all the bogus claims they have been exposed to are thus endlessly and profitably perpetuated. The principles of medical ethics have remained alien to most of them. In fact, ‘evidence-based chiropractic’ is an oxymoron: either you abide by evidence – in which case you cannot possibly conceive the idea of adjusting spinal ‘subluxations’ – or you believe in the myth of ‘subluxations’ in which case your practice is not evidence-based. Long is right, I think, when he states: the most efficient way to protect against chiropractic mistreatment is to avoid chiropractors altogether.

Whenever someone dares to criticise their bizarre interventions, chiropractors react with anger, personal attacks, defamation or even libel suits. One argument that is voiced with unfailing regularity in such a context is the claim that the critic lacks the knowledge, insight and experience to be credible. External criticism is thus usually completely ignored.

Preston Long has been a chiropractor himself, and therefore his authority, inside knowledge and expertise cannot be undermined in this fashion. He knows what he is writing about and has been an eye-witness to most of the abuses he reports in his book. His comments are not criticism from the outside; they are thoughtful insights, hand-on experiences and first-hand accounts of fraud and abuse which originate from the very heart of chiropractic. It is this fact that makes this book unique.

Preston Long’s book provides a most valuable perspective on the education, training, thinking, misunderstandings, wrong-doings and unethical behaviours of chiropractors. He also gives valuable instructions on how we can protect ourselves against chiropractic abuse. It would be nice to think that Long’s outstanding and in many ways constructive criticism might contribute to a much-needed and long over-due reformation of chiropractic; but I would not hold my breath.

Chiropractors - What Leading Medical Doctors have to say about them ...

Lee H. Schwamm, M.D.
Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital.

"I've personally seen many patients who had an episode of treatment of their neck with spinal manipulation and who a day or two later had the sudden onset of stroke-like symptoms."
David E. Thaler, MD, PhD
Director of Comprehensive Stroke Center, Tufts New England Medical Center.

"If the chiropractor says, 'No, there's not (any risk to neck manipulation),' I tell my patients to leave the chiropractor's office because they're lying."
M. Mehdi Kazmi, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

"Cervical manipulation is a preposterous thing to do, and it should be banned."
Wade S. Smith, M.D.
Director of Neurovascular Service, University of California at San Francisco.

“Recently seeing a chiropractor is an independent risk factor for stroke."
Wouter I. Schievink, M.D.
Director, Vascular Neurosurgery Program, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

"If you take into consideration how many times they go and how many manipulations are performed, it does become a public health concern. It's a low risk, but potentially a life-threatening one."
Brad Stewart, M.D.
Neurologist , Edmonton, Alberta.

"You can't predict who this will happen to, and for that reason alone, it just shouldn't be done."
Paul G. Dionne, M.D.
Coroner, Quebec, Canada.

"The neck adjustment contributed...and is the cause of her vascular problems and her death."
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23-06-2015, 08:13 AM
Post: #6
RE: And so it begins ...
Thanks for your copy and paste from google. Makes a different subject from the usual thing.
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23-06-2015, 07:02 PM
Post: #7
RE: And so it begins ...
... and continues

According to scientific research, clairvoyance is generally explained as the result of confirmation bias, expectancy bias, fraud, hallucination, self-delusion, sensory leakage, subjective validation, wishful thinking or failures to appreciate the base rate of chance occurrences and not as a paranormal power. Parapsychology is regarded by the scientific community as a pseudoscience. In 1988, the US National Research Council concluded "The committee finds no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years, for the existence of parapsychological phenomena.

Skeptics say that if clairvoyance were a reality it would have become abundantly clear. They also contend that those who believe in paranormal phenomena do so for merely psychological reasons. According to David G. Myers (Psychology,8th ed.):

The search for a valid and reliable test of clairvoyance has resulted in thousands of experiments. One controlled procedure has invited 'senders' to telepathically transmit one of four visual images to 'receivers' deprived of sensation in a nearby chamber (Bem & Honorton, 1994). The result? A reported 32 percent accurate response rate, surpassing the chance rate of 25 percent. But follow-up studies have (depending on who was summarizing the results) failed to replicate the phenomenon or produced mixed results (Bem & others, 2001; Milton & Wiseman, 2002; Storm, 2000, 2003).

One skeptic, magician James Randi, has a longstanding offer—now U.S. $1 million—“to anyone who proves a genuine psychic power under proper observing conditions” (Randi, 1999). French, Australian, and Indian groups have parallel offers of up to 200,000 euros to anyone with demonstrable paranormal abilities (CFI, 2003). Large as these sums are, the scientific seal of approval would be worth far more to anyone whose claims could be authenticated. To refute those who say there is no ESP, one need only produce a single person who can demonstrate a single, reproducible ESP phenomenon. So far, no such person has emerged. Randi’s offer has been publicized for three decades and dozens of people have been tested, sometimes under the scrutiny of an independent panel of judges. Still, nothing. "People's desire to believe in the paranormal is stronger than all the evidence that it does not exist." Susan Blackmore, "Blackmore's first law", 2004.
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24-06-2015, 10:08 AM
Post: #8
RE: And so it begins ...
... And continues some more ...

Scrying (also called seeing or peeping) is the practice of looking into a translucent ball or other material with the belief that things can be seen, such as spiritual visions, and less often for purposes of divination or fortune-telling. The most common media used are reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke. Scrying has been used in many cultures in the belief that it can divine the past, present, or future. The visions that come when one stares into the media are thought to come from one's subconscious and imagination, though in the past they were thought to come from gods, spirits, devils, the psychicmind, depending on the culture and practice.
Although scrying is most commonly done with a crystal ball, it may also be performed using any smooth surface, such as a bowl of liquid, a pond, or a crystal.
Like other aspects of divination and parapsychology, scrying is not supported bymainstream science as a method of predicting the future. However, a 2010 paper in the journal Perception identified one specific method of reliably reproducing a scrying illusion in a mirror and hypothesized that it "might be caused by low level fluctuations in the stability of edges, shading and outlines affecting the perceived definition of the face, which gets over-interpreted as ‘someone else’ by the face recognition system." The Ganzfeld experiment involves sensory deprivation which might also be seen as comparable with scrying.
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25-06-2015, 07:21 AM (This post was last modified: 25-06-2015 07:23 AM by Mathew Hopkins.)
Post: #9
RE: And so it begins ...
... And continues

There is no "real world" evidence that astrology works. All scientific efforts to confirm its power have failed. Scientists are agreed: Astrology is a pseudo-science! It is pure fiction. Several years ago some 18 Nobel Laureates and 172 other leading scientists joined together to express their vigorous objections to astrology. Last year The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), released a statement saying, 'Dozens of tests in recent years by scientists can find little, if any, evidence for astrological claims. Horoscopes have been shown under the most rigorous scientific analysis to fail completely in predicting future events." The statement continued, "If the United States is to continue its leadership in scientific research, it is vital that the public have a clear understanding of the difference between science and pseudo-science, and that decisions be based on the real world without resorting to mystical fortune telling and other primitive forms of prognostication."

It Has Failed Repeated Attempts At Validation

1. "Study after study has failed to support claims that astrology can predict the future or offer insights into personality," said Shawn Carlson, a physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories in Berkeley, California. He added, "There is absolutely no merit to the basic claims that astrologers make." Carlson made one of the most recent attempts to test the power of the stars. He asked 26 respected astrologers to match the personality profiles of 265 people with their astrological charts. They were right only about a third of the time, which is about the same as chance.
2. James Barth and James Bennett, Economists at George Washington University, examined the horoscopes of tens of thousands of men who had reenlisted in the Marine Corps. They were looking for a trend among soldiers that favoured astrological signs ruled by Mars, the god of war. However, they found instead an equal number of men who were born under the influence of Venus, the so-called planet of love.
3. Psychologist Bernie Silverman of Michigan State University tested the effect of astrological compatibility on marriages. He surveyed astrologers across the country on the compatibility of the twelve Zodiac signs. In studying, 2,978 marriage and 478 divorce records in Michigan, Dr. Silverman found couples whose marriages were made in horoscope heaven united and split up just as frequently as those who were not astrologically compatible.
4. Test by McGervey. In another experiment, physicist John McGervey of Case Western Reserve University in Ohio looked up the birthdays of 16,634 scientists listed in "American Men of Science" and 6,475 politicians named In "Who's Who in American Politics." Astrological theory would suggest that these non-average Americans would tend to cluster more among certain signs and certain personality types. However Dr. McGervey found as many Virgos, defined astrologically as weak leaders, as any other sign.
5. Test by Culver. Astronomer Roger Culver of Colorado State University decided to determine whether astrological signs were related to such physical traits as bicep size, baldness, blood type, freckles, weight, neck size, etc. Were Leos more likely to go bald or Gemini to wind up ambidextrous? He found no trends among the 300 volunteers.
6. Test by Gauquelin. The French psychologist Michel Gauquelin undertook a statistical test of personalities of people born under various signs of the zodiac. In this massive study, he listed 50,000 character traits that typified 16,000 famous people. Gauquelin then labeled each trait according to the appropriate astrological sign. One trait might be characteristic of a Leo, another of a Pisces, and so forth. Finally he looked to see which sign the person was actually born under. He found no correlation between personality traits and the sign a person was born under.
7. Astrology fails to adequately answer a number of other important questions. What is the mechanism the planets use to exert their influence over men? Supposedly we are affected by the gravitational pull of the heavenly bodies at the exact moment of our birth. However, this is absurd! At least this is the opinion of Andrew Fraknoi, executive officer of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in San Francisco, an international scientific and educational organization. "The (gravitational) pull of the obstetrician is six times that of Mars," said Fraknoi. He also pointed out that the hospital building in which a person is born has 500,000 times the gravitational pull of Mars. So much for the supposed gravitational influence of the planets!

Another fact must also be pointed out. Everyone's astrological "sign" is wrong! The Zodiac charts were set more than 2,000 years ago, but since then the position of the Earth relative to other heavenly bodies has shifted. The earth is spinning on its axis, wobbling like a top, completing one great loop every 26,000 years. The constellations are no longer in the same relative viewing positions they were in when the Zodiac charts were devised. "In effect, all of the constellations have moved," said Fraknoi. "This puts the signs of the Zodiac off by one whole sign." Astrologers have stuck with tradition, even though their maps of the heavens are out of step with reality. Thus, right now everybody is reading the wrong horoscope!

Its Claim to Analyze Character Is Deceptive

We are fascinated by astrology's claim to be able to reveal a person's character. However, the system is especially deceitful and manipulative in this regard. Astrologers tell people what they want to hear. This classic technique is used by salesman, hypnotists, advertising experts, and not a few preachers. Psychologist Ray Hyman said, "To be popular with your fellow man, tell him what he wants to hear. He wants to hear about himself. So tell him about himself. But not what you know to be true about him. Oh, no! Never tell him the truth. Rather, tell him what he would like to be true about himself!" This is the key to manipulating other people. The human mind is more willing to accept what is would like to believe rather than what evidence indicates is the truth. As an example, Hyman cites the following astrological analysis:
Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other time you are introverted, wary and reserved. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. You pride yourself on being an independent thinker and do not accept others' opinions without satisfactory proof. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety, and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. Disciplined and controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. . . While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a strong need for other people to like you and for them to admire you.

Sound familiar? Does it describe your personality in any way? This spiel was first used in 1948, composed mostly from a news stand astrology book. Statements that supposedly would describe people born under various signs were combined together. This pitch is designed to apply to everyone but not seem that way. In a controlled study, psychologists gave a group of college students a detailed psychological questionnaire and then made a detailed analysis of each student. They gave the students a copy of their customized analysis and a copy of the fake psychological sketch found above. The students were then asked to identify which was which. Fifty-nine percent of the student thought the fake sketch was a more accurate description of their personalities.
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25-06-2015, 06:34 PM
Post: #10
RE: And so it begins ...
this is like a john healey email reading
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