Friday, July 31, 2015

#1426: John D. Brown

More nonsense! Alphabiotics® is an altmed practice claiming that most disease is caused by stress and a lack of “life energy” and that stress can be easily relieved, quickly and magically, by a few gentle twists of the neck (the technique is discussed here). As a matter of fact, some more recent websites back off from the vitalist nonsense and rather make bolder but equally unsupported claims about affecting the brain. Practicioners also tend to call alphabiotics “the new science of stress relief,” though “new science” doesn’t mean science, and there is – unsurprisingly – no reputable studies confirming the efficacy of their techniques. The main proponents of the technique appear to be Virgil Chrane Jr. and his son, Michael Chrane, descendants of the inventor of the technique, but we file it under John D. Brown, allegedly a disciple of theirs, who operates the Alphabiotic New Life Center and who lost his license to practice as a chiropractor as a result of this (revealing) court case.

Despite the neck manipulation, alphabioticists maintain that they are not chiropractors. Instead, they call themselves priests and claim that the manipulation is a sacrament of the Alphabiotics Church – The Alphabiotics International Web site defines alphabiotics as “a truth and love based metaphysical belief system that concerns itself with the interrelationship between the lesser self, the better self, and Life; i.e. the Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent Supreme Consciousness” – presumably to evade taxes or problems concerning medical licensing or any other pesky legal issues (their own certificates say “Doctor of Divinity”). Moreover, “Medical therapeutics and Alphabiotics are based on completely different principles; so different that each of the two systems are almost incomprehensible to the believers in the other’s concepts. Ordinary medical therapeutics is based in physical biology, which is in turn based in an atheistic philosophy called materialism. […] Alphabiotics admits to another reality. It recognizes a Spiritual Presence in human beings; an Intelligent, inner Life Force, which is not physically measurable. Alphabioticists see this inner Presence as being infinitely wise and purposeful and recognize that it is an expression of a greater Unified-Field, called God.

And of course, it’s quantum woo: “Alphabiotics is grounded in quantum mechanics, relativity physics, and a spiritual theology,” even though it is not based on physics. Go figure. But “[a]lphabioticists see physical disease as a result of wrong choices and a mis-direction of normal Life energy flow.” Ah, yes, the Law of Attraction, explicitly used to blame the victims for their illnesses and presumably their failure to improve from alphabiotics.

Brown, for instance, has been pretty clear that the practice is religious, and in the aforementioned court case he argued that the freedom to practice his religion prevents the State from regulating his practice.

Diagnosis: Quasi-religious drivel. Though as opposed to most other altmed practices, at least they admit as much. Somehow it doesn’t make it much better – perhaps because it’s incredibly hard to convince oneself that its practitioners are acting in good faith.

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