February 23, 2008

A Heavenly Rain of Angelic Bullshit

Posted in Skepticism tagged , , , , , , , at 12:03 pm by lifelessonsfromwriting

There’s a thriving (and worrying) ‘angel’ industry in Ireland at the moment, and I have no reason to think that it’s not happening in other parts of the world, too. Walk into any bookstore and look for the ‘Gullible’ section (usually called something like ‘Paranormal’ or, my favourite, ‘Mind, Body & Spririt’). You’ll find all of the usual crap that you’d expect — tarot cards, astrology books, books about psychic pets — as well as many, many books about ‘angels’.

They aren’t what you’d think. When most people hear ‘angel’ they think of some form of Christianity, at least here in the West. What I’m talking about, though, is more of a New Age free-for-all. I’ve seen angels mixed in with crackpot UFO conspiracy theories, psychic healing and ‘magick’. There are even ‘angel cards’, which seem to be tarot cards given a veneer of the religious. You can tell this stuff is BS just by glancing at it, yet there are actually shops over here devoted to nothing but ‘angel’ paraphanalia.

On the off chance that you’ve never come across this, here are a few choice exampls from Amazon:

Psychic Healing with Angels and Spirit Guides by Diane Stein. The title is pretty self-explanatory; according to a commentor on that page, it contains information about ‘clearing cords and psychic attacks’. That sounds like the kind of handy, practical information everyone should know!

Emotional Healing With Angels: A Spiritual Guide to Knowing, Healing, and Freeing Your True Self by Rekha Vidyarthi

The title of this one is a bit of a mouthful. Apparently it’s ‘A complete guide to emotional and spiritual healing and self-liberation by working with the Angels to understand and heal the hidden causes of long-standing emotional patterns and traumas.’

Angels & Spirit Guides Healing Meditations

An audiobook by Sylvia Browne, queen of claptrap. If you’ve never heard of her, count yourself lucky.

And, to give you some idea of what this stuff is all about, here’s what I found after a quick search on WordPress:

“Remove hate from your life. Become neutral in your thoughts, without ego judgments or opinions. Both are obstacles that literally keep you from being a centered being. They create static in your connection to Spirit.

As long as obstacles block clear communication, you limit your ability to connect with your highest calling. Blessings will also be limited because of their inability to navigate freely to you. The power that creates blessings travels through the beams of light unfettered when the channel is clear.”

I couldn’t agree more.

That’s from Solaryium Analytika, a blog that seems to be filled exclusively with bullshit. The author actually does mention things like God and hell, but I’m not sure how many mainstream religious people would agree about the ‘beams of light’ stuff

There’s nothing in itself all that wrong with the ‘angel’ phenomenom. It’s basically a religion for people who aren’t religious, something that’s true of a lot of these New Age beliefs. What irritates me, though, is how unlikely its proponents are to question it. What, angels and spirit guides? Of course they’re true. I’ve actually heard people on the bus be introduced to this kind of thing by their friends, and not once have I heard someone say ‘Hang on, how do you know all of this is actually real?’ That would be rude.

I’m glad that Catholicism is losing its grip on Ireland. God knows it gave us enough problems that this angel stuff couldn’t hope to reproduce. But it’s not a good indicator of society when anything, no matter how idiotic or unlikely, is taken at face value simply because some jackass wrote a book about it. I don’t particularly want to live in a society of credulous children.


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