Alchemy, Astrology, and Other Nutty Ideas

26 10 2008

I wrote a rant recently, wherein I described a flier for some mail-order scam entitled, “Mastering Alchemy”. In a desperate attempt at self-preservation, my brain instinctively shut down and prevented me from seeing much more than that. One of my readers asked that I confront this stupidity in the interest of sacrificing my own mental well-being for the benefit of making others laugh. So be it.

Let it not be said that I failed to take precautions. Fortified by a magnificent buckwheat ale from Belgium, I commenced my research into the subject.

For those of you hazy on the details, here is the Wikipedia entry on Alchemy. Alchemy has the same relation to chemistry that astrology has to astronomy: not a whole lot. Alchemists in the Medieval period in Europe were trying to turn lead into gold, create life from unliving matter, and master the secrets of the universe- primarily through the “Far Side” scientific method (2 scientists standing in front of a chalkboard. Step one is a column of equations, and so is step three. Step two, however, says “then a miracle occurs”).

All of these goals of alchemy were noble enough. We do the same things now with nuclear physics, inorganic chemistry, and particle physics. The primary difference lies in the methodology. Alchemy relied upon communion with mythical creatures, learning the ancient secrets of leprechauns, and not infrequently massive doses of snake oil.

That last is the only connection I can find between historical alchemy and the scam being perpetrated under the name, “Mastering Alchemy”.

It turns out that the flier I saw was just part of a marketing scheme aimed squarely at the further reaches of the aluminum-foil deflector beanie crowd. Casual review of the web site for this garbage (please do not click on this link) elicits a great deal of pain (despite the analgesic effects of beer) from the notion that someone is making money from this lunacy. That means there are enough stupid people in this country to make this scam profitable. That’s enough to drive me to drink.

Here is an actual quote from the web site:

“Alchemy is accomplished by changing the frequency of thought,
altering the harmonics of matter and applying the elements of
Love to create the desired result.

Excuse me for a moment. I feel my gorge rising, and I think I’ll burn this keyboard after writing such drivel.

As scams go, this one is pretty small-time. The only good I can find in the idea of this con being successful is the fact that it is competing directly with some of the other great scams in history. I imagine that the target demographic for this nonsense is the same one eagerly sought out by evangelical christians, scientologists, and Obama supporters.

OK. That last wasn’t fair. Obama supporters have an actual living creature upon which to focus their adoration. Other than that, however, all three groups have a lot in common: They have a profound reluctance to accept contrary opinion, facts, and evidence; they all routinely accept whatever nonsense spills forth from their leaders; and they all tend to form insular micro-societies. I will grant that evangelicals and scientologists tend to go overboard in this regard in comparison to Obama supporters, so perhaps that isn’t a fair comparison either.

To allay fears that I am using this blog to promote McCainiacism, you may rest assured that I will do no such thing. When given a choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich, I prefer to create my own choices. I refuse to promote or vote for either of the douchebags currently running for office. As I type these words, my wife is at the door telling some Obama campaign workers that we aren’t willing to drink their Kool-Aid.

Back to the so-called alchemists. Here is some more from the website:

  • Simultaneous Time
  • Balancing the Masculine and Feminine Aspects
  • Merging with the Soul
  • Merlin’s Crystal Ball
  • Activating the Higher Dimensional Chakra Systems
  • The Soul’s Purpose: Alignment with the Will of God
  • The Sanctuary of the Pink Diamond within the Heart
  • Creating with the Rays of Creation
  • Integrating Three of the Five Sacred Geometric Platonic Energy Fields
  • Creating a “Personal Power Field ”- an Energy Field of Light
  • Merging the Two Still Points into the Heart
  • Building the “Light Body” with the Blueprint of the Soul
  • Resurrection: Freeing the Soul to Go Home
  • Dissolving the Veils of Forgetfulness and Ignorance

Ugh! I feel dirty for putting that on my screen.

OK. At a casual glance, it seems that this bozo is grabbing bits and pieces of tripe from several different self-improvement scams and marketing it under the “Alchemy” banner. The only people who might fall for this are the same types that fall for any other religion/cult: nutjobs.

Here’s a better advertisement, more in line with “truth in advertising” laws:

Hi there! Are you bored? Angry? Disaffected? Unhappy? Are you the child of a rich white family? Do you believe in UFOs? Do you feel that something is missing from your life?

If so, please come and join our group. We will give you something to believe in for the low, low price of your dignity, self-respect, and all of the money in your trust fund. If you have no money, we will accept sexual favors and unpaid labor.”

That’s a lot more honest, and has the benefit of being usable by all religions with only minor editing.

Finally, I’m going to let you all in on a secret: Even as I type this, my wife is practicing alchemy in the kitchen. She’s taking flour, fruit, nuts, and sugar and turning them into cake. Last night, she took some meat, vegetables, spices, and water and turned it into a delicious soup.

That’s a religion I can believe in.

Current status: Drunk

Current music: Excalibur by Pain

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4 responses

9 11 2008
Hello again peoples, I am Chimbley and this is the Carnival of the Godless #104 or, as I like to call it, Carnival of the Chimbley #1 « Homosecular Gaytheist (and friends!)

[…] presents Alchemy, Astrology, and Other Nutty Ideas and Not This Crap Again! at A Dark and Sinister Force for […]

15 11 2008
rjjrdq

Hmm. I was looking for a racket to make a few bucks. Thanks for the info!

15 11 2009
Brian

Hahah, this is funny.. Tooooo bad there’s no statues in the world erected for critiques… The techniques this guy teaches are incredible once learned. When you teach a person to take back his or her own power, thus empowering their self, you don’t create a following, you create leaders. You should ask yourself one question. What is it that you don’t like about yourself to want to bring someone down when you don’t even know who the person really is or tried any of the techniques yourself. I’d rather live a life in some cult than want to rant and rave and bitch and complain about mundane crap. This guy is teaching how to lead yourself so we don’t have to look for answers by our so called leaders like Obama.

16 11 2009
archvillain

Brian: Wow. So much fail in one paragraph. How does that Kool-Aid taste? Better question: How much money have you spent on this slok?

Unless there is some sort of objective evidence (anecdotal evidence is better known as “hearsay”, and is therefore worthless as evidence) in the existence of Merlin’s Crystal ball, Rays of Creation, Personal Power Fields, or any of the other twaddle flogged by the con artist in question, then he’s selling you a bill of goods. If you “feel” better after dealing with this type of charlatan, you might want to re-read the italicised bit at the bottom of the article to see how much of that applies to you.

If you require a bunch of new-age horseshit to make you feel better about your lot in life, I pity you. Living in a fantasy world is probably comfortable, but leaves you ill-equipped to deal with reality. I would rather live in the real world, which is hard work, but far more satisfying.

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