The purpose of this blog is purely educational. It does not advise any reader to forgo medical treatment for any condition. It describes methods that have not yet been proven effective through widespread scientific testing. Readers who are concerned about their health are advised to contact their physician.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Deconstructing the hype

When we first started doing workshops with Bill, we were very cautious about how he was presented. There were to be no extravagant claims to be made on his behalf. My efforts at advertising reflected this caution, simply inviting people to meet Bill, professor of sociology, researcher, energy healer, who in a series of experiments had brought 87.9% of mice injected with a fatal form of cancer to full life-span remission, using a new form of bioenergy healing. No claims were made that could not be backed up by Bill's research.

Later on as we began using the method, I added our own experiences, e.g., the prolapsed uterus, the healed knee, the efforts by psychotherapists to use the method in their practices. We remained grounded in facts and realities; only claims that could proven; no hyperbole.

Recently a flyer came to my hands from another city, a flashy, neon affair proclaiming the "Bengston Mind Technique" and exhorting the reader to get "ready for a world without dis-ease". This is what I read:

What if there were a simple documented method —
that implodes cancerous tumors and heals a variety of
physical and psychological conditions including clinical
depression and severe psychiatric conditions — are
you ready to learn it and add it to your practice?

It then proceeded to add, among other things, that Bill had taught MD's and other healthcare professionals and that he was a featured speaker on Mehmet Oz's show on Oprah and Friends. People who signed up for the workshop being promoted would receive a free MP3 download of his lecture on his experiments and also a copy of the "famous mouse papers". A graphic of two mice toasting over a hunk of cheese could also be noted. (The presence of the two mice made me hope that Bill had not actually seen this, as my own efforts to introduce a tiny photo of a mouse into one of my early flyers had been summarily overruled.)

Here is the deconstruction:

The method is extensively documented to implode cancerous tumours, in mice.

In workshops Bill speaks of one person he healed of clinical depression using this method. A psychoanalyst in South Africa reported good results with a client with obsessive compulsive disorder. Locally someone else found that it helped someone with OCD and two others who suffered from anxiety, but that a number of patients were resistant to the method because it fell too far outside their expectations of what psychotherapy should be. Some psychotherapists reported using it on themselves to handle their own levels of anxiety and to prepare themselves for sessions, but did not feel comfortable offering it to their patients. It is too early to say that the method heals "severe psychiatric conditions".

Bill also says that the method appears simple but almost everybody gets it wrong at first and requires much correction. He even says it would be arrogant of him to assume that people will get it in one weekend, because much practice is required. Which takes me to the related point that, IMHO, no one should be putting on Bill Bengston workshops who is not prepared to do follow-up in the form of regular practice sessions, including, at least for a while, on-going consultation with Bill. The purpose of these organized practice sessions is to provide further instruction and support. I invite you to read previous entries for my experiences with the method to see what kind of learning curve can be involved.

How about What if there were a method, documented to implode cancerous tumours in mice, anecdotally reported to cure cancer and other ailments in some people, and shown to be of benefit in some psychiatric conditions? That would be more like it.

In our locality Bill has taught a small number of MD's and "other healthcare professionals" who were drawn to see him speak out of curiosity after reading the "famous mouse papers", and elsewhere he has given talks. He was interviewed in September by Dr. Mehmet Oz, who invited Bill on his show after I sent him the same "famous mouse papers". The "mouse papers" are indeed quite amazing, and getting more famous all the time. The interview aired in November.

The teachability of the method is so far established only for curing mice (although Bill, ever the researcher, questioned whether his experiments constituted adequate proof in his "Can Healing Be Taught?" paper in Explore magazine). When it comes to showing that the method can be taught effectively enough for people to cure other people of cancer, it's early days yet. Nothing is effectively proven, only suggested. Until such time as there are at least half a dozen documented human cancer cures produced by people Bill taught, there can be no hype. When these cancer cures are produced, there will be no hype, because by then the "hype" will be the new reality. Then we can go to town on the advertising.

No comments: