Sunday, September 11, 2016

#1716: David Hawkins

Magda Havas is a pseudoscientist (a serious pseudoscientist) and one of the leading snowflakes in the wi-fi-phobia movement; she deserves a mention in any Encyclopedia of Loons, but she is also Canadian – she even teaches students in Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University in Ontario; stay away from that program, in other words.

Not that David Hawkins is much better. Hawkins is a trained MD and psychiatrist, but decided to go rogue some years ago and gave up any vestige of truth, evidence and accountability in favor of New Age mysticism with a hint of orientalism. He currently runs his own Veritas publishing house to publish his own books (such as Powers vs. Force and Dialogues on Consciousness and Spirituality) without having to deal with referees or people who ask for justification and support for the claims he makes. In fact, Hawkins is not only an MD, but a “Ph.D.” – from Columbia Pacific University, an unaccredited diploma mill that was shut down by court order (Jerry Bergman also got his degree there); his thesis appears to have been Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis and Calibration of the Levels of Human Consciousness, which probably doesn’t need further comment.

You can find his ideas on the website, where he supposedly tells you how quantum physics validates applied kinesiology (AK) (by handwaving, assertion and assuming that the audience doesn’t know anything about quantim physics). Yes, Hawkins has discovered that the insane pseudoscience of AK (a good survey of AK tricks here) is a good vehicle for New Age bullshit, and he runs with it as far as he can: His website can even tell you that “David Hawkins conclusively proves the ability of kinesiological testing to distinguish truth or falsehood in any statement ...” (of course, we don’t get anything like a proof, but you know). AK can also serve as a reliable test for how spiritually advanced a person (or corporation, or nation, or piece of music) is; Hawkins has “developed” a consciousness-scale from 0 to 1000 (“consciousness” apparently refers to some kind of spiritual entity; the parallel midichlorians is striking); scoring above 700 means “enlightenment” (Jesus is at 1000; Hawkins himself merely at 999.8). Meanwhile, skeptics score at 140 (“which is that of sophomoric egotism;” Hawkins doesn’t like skeptics), and anyone who doesn’t believe that AK works automatically ranks below 200 (and one shouldn’t fraternitize with them); George W. Bush scores at 460 (in the range of intellectual genius). According to Hawkins’s acolyte, David Gersten (another MD): “Below 200 an individual or society are at very high risk. Up until 1986, the world CS calibrated in the low 190s, but there was a sudden shift in 1986, taking the world CS to 207, which is a safe place to be. The reason for this positive shift is unknown.

Apparently it is all on his Map of Consciousness. Before his own lectures, he tests the audience to see how they locate as a group on the Map; the groups always start out very high, but after the lectures, when Hawkins retests them, they have nevertheless always gone up another five points or so – it’s just as surprising every time. Since very few people, according to Hawkins, climb more than five points in a lifetime, the tests prove that his lectures were a good investment. So it goes.

Interestingly, Hawkins apparently co-authored a book with Nobel laureate and world-famous pseudoscientist Linus Pauling called Orthomolecular Psychiatry.

Diagnosis: This guy appears to be quite influential, despite the staggering idiocy of his claims and techniques. He does come across as a true believer rather than a fraud. I don’t know whether that puts him in a less or a more negative light.

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