Tuesday, September 17, 2013

#710: Jonathan Goldman

More woo. Jonathan Goldman is an author, musician and teacher of “Harmonics and Sound Healing”. According to his bio Goldman, while performing music, became aware of how sound could be made to affect listeners determined, in part, by the intention of the musician, not just the music produced (which sounds rather like this). So in 1982 Goldman formed the Sound Healers Association (together with Steven Halpern, who is into the same sort of stuff and even produces “music for accelerated learning”), and later the record label Spirit Music. Many of his own recordings feature him chanting Eastern religious chants (including a series called “Chakra Chants”, which was in part produced for the opening of a holistic dance club in New York), and currently he seems engaged with creating an online feature “The Temple of Sacred Sound”, a place in cyberspace where people “can gather and tone for Global Harmony.” There will apparently be several sound chambers that you can enter “and project intentionalized sound for Planetary Peace.” It is supposed to be based on Tibetan chants and is supposed to let us enhance consciousness, whatever that means. (His records bear titles such as “Dolphin Dreaming”, “Celestial Reiki”, and “Crystal Bowls Chakra Chants”. You do the math)

Goldman’s theory about sound healing, based on everything (except science and reality) from numerology to religion, is contained in the following principles:

- That everything in the universe, including the human body, is in a state of vibration, so when we are in a state of “sound” health, everything in our bodies is vibrating in resonance or harmony with itself (disease is dissonance). Goldman assures us that “modern science is now in agreement with what the ancient mystics have told us – that everything is in a state of vibration,” which is, shall we say, not entirely accurate.
- That sound is an energy [i.e. a buzz of shimmering, metaphysical spirit stuff] that can entrain or change the vibrational rate of objects. Therefore [no, it doesn't follow, but never mind], if something is vibrating out of tune or harmony, it can be brought back into resonance.

According to Goldman this can be summarized (no, I have no idea how the summary relates to the information summarized) as “Frequency + Intent = Healing”. It is discussed here.

Goldman presents the bullshit as an alternative to science-based medicine, which apparently only causes harm and cannot really heal anything. Instead, you should use Goldman’s tuning forks, which “affect the cerebral spinal fluid, which is said to be the carrier of kundalini energy. I’ve seen vertebrae pop into alignment and all sorts of other wonderous things happen, just from using the tuning forks,” says Goldman, though the evidence for his claims is thin (he claims to have stumbled upon the method by accident, but at least the woo company Biosonics has pushed the same thing for a while). Goldman claims the tuning forks are particularly effective if combined with acupuncture. And according to Goldman, a “friend of [his]” was able to launch the New Age stop bacteria in a petri dish from growing just by using his will. And another friend of his (turns out to be Fabien Maman, whose website is here) really saw huge differences in kirlian photographies of hemoglobin cells when using his will. Yes, like Masaru Emoto without even trying to claim that they have observable evidence.

Diagnosis: The highest echelons of woo consist of those who explicitly deny that wishful thinking is a fallacy, and Goldman sure does. His influence is probably limited, however.

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