Sunday, February 10, 2019

#2142: Barbara Weber Ray

Barbara Weber Ray is a psychic, astrologer and Latin teacher, and the author of The 'Reiki' Factor in The Radiance Technique, which describes her version of the Eastern faith healing discipline Reiki, The Radiance Technique® (or TRT). As an astrologer, she is apparently “professional” and “licensed”, whatever that might mean. Now, Ray apparently really has a PhD, in the humanities, but switched to practicing clairvoyance in the early 70s and used, when she for instance also had a radio show called “Star-Talk” to spread her nonsense. 

Reiki, of course, demonstrably has no beneficial health effects. Her book on the topic, which is notably riddled with quotes by real scientists that have been either judiciously mined, are completely irrelevant to the context, or fake, describes what she perceives to be the history of Reiki (which is not the actual history, since the actual history is too mundane for her agenda), describes how people attuned to cosmic energies (i.e. subtle energies can go on to use TRT, contains a large number of anecdotes and testimonials (many of them are discussed here; they are quite ridiculous), as well as some appendices with quotes and an FAQ that doesn’t really deal with any of the more obvious questions. Among the quotes you will find the “truth goes through three stages” fake quote attributed to Schopenhauer (the relevant Schopenhauer passage actually says more or less the opposite of what promoters of the quote think he says) favored by self-aggrandizing Galileo gambit promoters everywhere. It is not the only fake quote in the book.

There is a decent review of the book here. Among the book's themes is the idea that just as we have food diets now, humans will go on light diets (attributed to John Ott), which Ray compares to what she characterizes as the Light diet ostensibly provided by Reiki (“Light” doesn’t mean light, of course, any more than “energy” in Ray’s book means energy– subtle energy is not energy – but spirit-ether), which people need because people are apparently made both of Light and matter. 

Apparently reiki is a really old technique. In reality, it was invented by Mikao Usui in 1922, but many proponents claim that he only rediscovered it, since being older is better and many proponents have anyways already decided that what they want to be true, is true. According to Ray, knowledge of TRT was orally transmitted for centuries in Asia, but she is the only scholar able to recognize ancient descriptions of the method for what they really are. Apparently reiki originated with extraterrestrial aliens.

Of course, we are just scratching the surface. Did you know that E = MC2 is a tool for activating energy? Or that Ray’s TRT will play a very important role in the dawning of the “New Age”? Neither did we. Nor, for that matter, does Ray. TRT is listed here.

Diagnosis: The kind garbled fluffy insanity that certain audiences just gobble up, Ray’s lunacy has apparently received a modicum of popularity, which does not reflect well on humanity. Complete and utter rubbish.

Hat-tip: Rationalwiki

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