January 30, 2010

Idiot of the Week: Scientologists

th-scientology.jpgIn some ways, Scientologists are a bit like Michele Bachmann or Glenn Beck in that I could easily choose to honor them with this award each week and few would argue. It would become boring quickly, but it is hard to imagine anyone arguing that they wouldn't deserve such recognition.

But also like Beck or Bachmann, I don't typically have to wait very long for them to do something even more idiotic than their normal behavior. And this is just such a week.

The Scientologists deserve top honors this week for their work in Haiti. You see, while other organizations are providing food, water, and medical attention, Scientologists are providing little more than their special brand of BS.

According to the AFP (update: original source no longer available),
Amid the mass of aid agencies piling in to help Haiti quake victims is a batch of Church of Scientology "volunteer ministers", claiming to use the power of touch to reconnect nervous systems.
Yes, you read that correctly. They are using a process they describe as "assist" to restore communication to the nervous system through touch.
"When you get a sudden shock to a part of your body the energy gets stuck, so we re-establish communication within the body by touching people through their clothes, and asking people to feel the touch."
My hope for these Scientologists is that they manage to find some way to be useful to those who are providing legitimate care, that they do not get in the way, and that they do not end up making anyone worse. Unfortunately, it appears that they see the Haitian disaster as an opportunity to peddle what can't even be dignified with the label of pseudoscience. And on this, I must recognize their idiocy.

H/T to Dispatches From the Culture Wars

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