Crystal Dawn

Feedback to MENSA magazine (Dec98)

In her angry response to Dr Raj Persaud's "Crystals at No.10" Ingrid Collins refuted what he was saying about female public figures going for superstition,lucky amulets and new age therapies (Oct Feedback).I am not particularly interested in how eminent or successful her clients are.I am more interested in what her clients know about crystals or human physiology.In particular,are any of them crystallographers, geologists, chemists, physicists or physicians? And if so,what sort of exchange of knowledge and ideas do they have with Mrs Collins? She refers to crystals as receivers of subtle energy waves,as in the first radio sets,and then goes on to say that if correctly chosen, crystals can be potentially protective of the wearer's health.I think this needs a little bit more clarification.The crystal in a crystal radio set is not a receiver.It is the aerial which is the receiver,although in those sets the crystal (in fact as a very early form of diode) did play a vital part in converting the electrical signal received into something we can detect with our ears and interpret.Energy in the scientific sense is defined as the capacity to do work.Even if subtle,it is nevertheless capable of measurement, regulation, storage and conversion to different forms of energy (eg electrical to kinetic) so that a speaker in a radio can vibrate in such a way as to enable us to hear music and speech etc. How does the wearing of a crystal affect a wearer's health? I am a little confused.What is actually going from or via a crystal into a human being to maintain the latter's health and well-being?How is it delivered and what does it do when it is inside the body (compared,say,with what energy in the form of heat does)? Where does it do it and how does it do it? Or is Mrs Collins referring to a different sort of energy?If so,what is it? Or are these the wrong sort of questions to be asking and is this why she mentioned Einstein's remark about not solving the problem with the thinking that caused the problem? But if so I think she needs explaining here as well. I can understand that if Dr Persaud does not have much knowledge of crystals or their properties because his speciality is human behaviour,and I would imagine that there are many more aspects to human behaviour of which we still know very little than there are to crystals. Surely,being happy,relaxed and confident - as well of course as what conventional medicine can do for us (hygiene,a good diet,a good environment and keeping fit) are much more likely to be the main cause of our health and well- being than anything else? So I am really not too sure about these things that Ingrid Collins leapt so fiercely to defend.I try to be as clear in my mind as I can about what is most likely to cause what.Generally speaking the simplest theory about something is the most likely to be correct - don't multiply entity without necessity.If,for example,I were to hear the sound of clattering hooves outside my house I would think it most likely to have come from a horse trotting down the road. However,it could have come from a zebra,from an amazingly sophisticated high-fidelity system, or from two people running along with horse shoes attached to their feet,but I would be most surprised if any of these turned out to be true.
Martin Fletcher Croxley Green,Herts

Ingrid Collins is quick to criticise Raj Persaud as being ignorant then immediately proceeds to show her own ignorance in attempting to use the well understood phenomena of semiconducting "crystal" detectors in early radios to give credibility to the "new age" nonsensical claims of the "magic" powers of crystals.The "crystal" in a radio receiver doesn't receive anything and is useless on its own - its function is to demodulate the signal which is received by the aerial. As seems to be typical among proponents of this sort of mumbo-jumbo,vague concepts like "vibrations" and "energy waves" are freely mentioned without any attempt to explain what medium is vibrating or what from of energy is involved. Some crystals certainly look pretty, and there is almost certainly a psychological effect amongst believers,but can anyone offer any credible evidence of anything more than this? What chemical or physical properties characterise "good" crystals? What is the coupling mechanism for the supposed received "energy" into the wearer? It really frightens me that the "highest level diplomats, bankers, parliamentarians" etc.quoted as clients by Ms Collins are so easily taken in by this rubbish.Do we really want such gullible fools running the country?
Mike Harrison Email





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