I see a lot of flyers around Kitsilano and Vancouver for a lot of bullshit, so there’s no shortage of Bad Ads to talk about. I’ll try to make it a weekly thing. Anyways, have a look at this one:
Given that I know a thing or two about the psychology of vision, my BS detector went off when I saw it being used among words like “divine” and “healing”. I checked out the “Psychology of Vision” website first.
It’s pretty slick looking: lots of pictures of starry skies and smiling people and stuff that sounds like “Psychology of Vision is both a healing model and a global community of like-minded people teaching and practising that model”. The also have several mentions of their seminars and products, including online courses for 45 pounds each. I suppose there’s no harm in making money while helping people heal with your magical model, eh?
Nowhere on the site was there anything to do with what I, or any other actual psychologist, would understand as the psychology of vision. Instead, they talk about how your life will be improved, how the community is loving, and how it’s based on the principles of Relationships, Leadership and Spirituality. I don’t know about you, but that sounds kind of cultish to me!
The creators of POV are Chuck and Lency Spezzano. I quote from Chuck’s bio: “Chuck shares wisdom and insight into the mysteries of the mind using psychological/spiritual language and metaphor. He has authored over 20 books and card decks that have been published in numerous languages worldwide”. Yeah, card decks – the website sells them, and actually has a link to a 3 card tarot reading (though they obscure that under the guise of using “synchronicity” to “reveal deep insights”). Anyways, “Chuck has a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Duquesne University followed by a Masters in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology from the United States International University.” Duquesne is a private, Catholic institution in Pittsburgh, and USIU is actually in Africa – neither is particularly well known for their psychology programs, or indeed rigorous adherence to the scientific method. Lency’s bio is even better: “Lency is pioneering Psychology of Vision’s mystical path through her joining method, which utilizes the feminine, direct access to divine love, resulting in the release of emotional pain from the body/mind and the experience of miracles of forgiveness and grace.” That’s a masterful load of crap if I’ve ever read one.
The point is, neither of these people have anything whatsoever to do with the actual psychology of vision, and the whole website appears to be designed to funnel money into the Spezzano’s bank accounts using cleverly dressed up tarot cards and crappy seminars. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there was a touch of pyramid scheme to the whole deal, given that they train people to be trainers (the seminar in Vancouver is being put on by some local named Kiara Fine) and harp on about community and leadership. When the trappings of real science and research are appropriated for this kind of purpose, it further obscures to the public what science is actually about and also bilks people out of their money- and that really riles me.
Kiara also adds a doozy of her own: light healing therapy. It sounds like yet another version of “this method/machine will change something, magically, in your brain and make you better, no matter what the problem is” – supposedly rewiring your nervous system so that you can “experience your connection to the Divine”. Sure, there’s ways to rewire synapses in the brain – but it takes a long time, and light isn’t going to be the agent that does it.
The final nail in the coffin? The link at the bottom to the West Coast Reiki Centre. Kiara is a member of that group, and according to her bio, “has studied extensively” with masters of theraputic touch, craniosacral therapy, the trager method, and is an inductee of “reiki I and II”. That is a very large amount of total bullshit that has been debunked repeatedly, and a good reason to toss these flyers in the garbage wherever you see them.
EDIT: Is it just me, or do some of the comments seem like sock puppets?