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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Please welcome our heckler!

In stand-up comedy, they say you should never encourage a heckler, but this isn't stand-up comedy. A couple of weeks ago we got a comment from an anonymous reader disparaging Reiki. The comment showed up on the April 17 post Reiki caught in UK Crossfire, which was about a new book criticizing the Prince of Wales, his Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health and several natural modalities including Reiki. Coincidentally, the comment arrived shortly after someone in the United Kingdom found The Reiki Digest while doing a Google search on the book's co-author, physicist Simon Singh.

For those who missed it, here's the comment:

Dear Janet. I love your blog, but actually they used 4,000 clinical research studies plus all the Cochrane reviews. As you know, the Cochrane people actually offer rewards for people who can prove their resarch wrong - they actively encourage review - so it might be worth your while to set up a team to do that work and claim the money? My problem with reiki is the usual one: would you pay a car mechanic US$100.- to wave their hands over your busted car? I don't think so. What's nice about reiki is the time you get to spend with a human being, but you might as well call it talking rather than reiki for all the actual effect that reiki has

Thanks for your comment, Anonymous. Considering your feelings about Reiki, I don't know why you would love The Reiki Digest, but thanks for the compliment just the same. I don't read the Cochrane Reviews myself as the $285 annual subscription fee is beyond our budget and the articles there have little to do with Reiki: my search for the word "Reiki" there turned up only four articles anyway. I would not pay a car mechanic any amount of money, whether to wave a hand or a wrench, as I don't own a car. In any case, I don't buy your analogy that a car is the equivalent of a human or other living being. Cars may have power windows, multitrack stereos and talking GPS devices, but they are not equipped with life force energy or consciousness. I know that mainstream science has yet to acknowledge the existence of life force energy (also known as ki, qi, chi, prana), so to a pure scientist I suppose cars and humans might not seem all that different.

Beyond that, rather than responding further to your comment myself at this point, I'm going to ask our readers if they'd like to join in the conversation, anonymously or not.

Readers, what do you think? You can post your responses as comments to this post on our web site, by emailing them to, by phoning them in using our Grand Central web call feature, or by mailing them to The Reiki Digest, P.O. Box 3146, Hoboken, NJ 07030 USA.


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