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Christian Science

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Caroline Fraser
God’s Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church
New York: Henry Holt, 1999

Christian Science (not to be confused with science fiction writer and religious guru L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology, whose celebrity adherents include Hollywood stars John Travolta, Tom Cruise, and Kirstie Alley), a metaphysical religion that rejects most medical treatment, is probably a black box to most people. Caroline Fraser’s book sheds light on the subject.

 2012 Christian Science Annual Meeting in the Mother Church, Boston


2012 Christian Science Annual Meeting in the Mother Church, Boston

The freelance author, a former New Yorker editorial staff member with a Ph.D. in literature from Harvard, was raised a Christian Scientist but left the church. Her account is polemical, highlighting various shortcomings of the faith and its legendary founder Mary Baker Eddy (1820-1910). In a 1995 article in The Atlantic Fraser admitted, “I was filled with the furtive glee that comes with the prospect of airing dirty linen.”

The book is divided into three parts. The first is a history of Christian Science, the second an overview of the “child cases” (civil and criminal lawsuits filed against parents whose children died from lack of medical care), and the third an astonishing account of institutional folly in the 1980s and ‘90s as church bureaucrats nearly wrecked the organization in an attempt to build an electronic media empire.

Revisionist History

Fraser provides a good, though highly critical, revisionist history of Christian Science (whose formal name is the Church of Christ, Scientist, and whose adherents are called “Scientists”) from its inception in the second half of the 19th century until today. Her critical slant is tolerable because Scientists have vigorously suppressed criticism since the early days, in the process creating a one-sided and highly sanitized history, to the extent that it is publicly known at all.

The author paints an unflattering portrait of New Hampshire-born Mary Baker Eddy as a hysteric, crank, and veritable cult leader called “Mother” by her devoted followers. Eddy was born a Congregationalist, the denomination founded by New England’s Puritans. (See Robert Townsend Warneck, “Mary Baker Eddy’s Puritan Heritage,” The Christian Science Journal, April 1998.)

Tinged with the philosophical idealism of Transcendentalism, the religion had its roots in the healing practice of Maine clockmaker and former mesmerist Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, who treated Eddy, evidently for “hysterical” complaints, in 1862. She became one of Quimby’s disciples, and learned spiritual healing from him. Later she erased Quimby from the institutional memory of the church, claiming that her healing revelation had occurred to her after a fall on the ice.

She founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879. In 1892 Eddy reorganized the church in Boston’s Back Bay, naming the headquarters building erected there in 1894 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, or The Mother Church. Christian Science headquarters is still located in that imposing edifice. Local churches are branches of the main church and must conform to specifications set forth in the organization manual of the Mother Church, written by Eddy.

Eddy also wrote the movement’s bible (known as a “textbook”), Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1875). It was rewritten many times before 1910, when the 226th edition was frozen into final form a year after Mrs. Eddy’s death. The book has been translated into 16 languages and more than 9 million copies have been sold.

Christian Science churches, reading rooms, and “practitioners” (the movement’s healers) are scattered across the country and throughout the world.

Christian Science grew rapidly for many decades after its founding in 1879. It reached its peak in the 1930s and ’40s, then began a slow decline in the 1950s. In recent decades the decline has accelerated greatly. A census at the height of the religion’s popularity in 1936 counted nearly 270,000 Christian Scientists in the United States. By 1990 it was estimated there were 106,000. In 1998 sociologist Rodney Stark wrote that it was uncertain whether Christian Science would survive another generation.

The number of Christian Scientists per million people in the United States declined from a high of 2,098 in 1936 to 427 (estimated) in 1990. Based upon data from sociologist Rodney Stark.

The number of Christian Scientists per million people in the United States declined from a high of 2,098 in 1936 to 427 (estimated) in 1990. Based upon data from sociologist Rodney Stark.

This decline must be viewed in the context of the decline of religion generally, and the aging and disappearance of the white population. In 2009 the church announced that for the first time more new members had been admitted from Africa than from the United States. The church sold buildings to free up funds for remaining congregations that could otherwise not continue.

The Faith

Each Christian Science Sunday service, everywhere in the world, is identical, down to the program and specific readings. There are no pastors or sermons. Instead, “first” and “second” lay readers elected by local congregations alternate reading passages aloud from the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s textbook Science and Health. The two books are Christian Science’s “dual and impersonal pastor.” Every Wednesday a second service is held in which congregation members present testimonies of healings they have experienced (“healings” include positive changes in business or material circumstances as well as improvements in health). Authorized teachers hold classes instructing pupils in the principles of the religion.

A Christian Science practitioner

A Christian Science practitioner

Eddy taught that through prayer Scientists can access spiritual law and dispel sickness and the discords of human existence. Thus, Christian Scientists turn to prayer rather than conventional medicine to heal illness. When Christian Scientists need help they can consult registered practitioners who work full-time as Christian Science healers.

Though permeated by Christian influence, Christian Science is not Christian. Rather, it is a (philosophically) idealist belief system, a so-called metaphysical religion. Scientists deny the reality of matter: “There is no Life, substance, or intelligence in matter; all is Mind.” Jesus is not the divine Savior, but a man who excelled all others (so far) in spiritual insight. Nor is there any adherence to the triune God. It has therefore truthfully been said that Christian Science is neither Christian nor science.

Today’s New Thought metaphysical denominations such as Unity, Centers for Spiritual Living (formerly known as Religious Science), and Divine Science, which bear certain resemblances to Christian Science (though the services of the two are quite different; I have listened to both on the Internet), also originated in the teaching and practice of Phineas Quimby. Some denominational New Thought is schismatic from Christian Science, having been formulated by early church members who clashed with the dictatorial Eddy and were either expelled or departed voluntarily. New Thought denominations are less authoritarian, do not reject modern medicine, and have pastors who deliver sermons. However, they, too, practice a metaphysical, not Christian, religion.

The radical philosophical idealism of these groups leads to the conviction that all human beings are expressions of “God,” by which is actually meant universal spirit or mind.

As spiritual beings, every individual is wholly good and perfect. (Hence the book’s title, God’s Perfect Child.) The material world is an illusion caused by misperception of true spiritual reality. This incorrect belief can be altered by a reorientation of thought—or “prayer,” in Christian Science terminology. Sickness is an erroneous belief; when the belief is mentally dispelled, sickness vanishes.

Christian Scientists allow a few minor exceptions to their “radical reliance” on prayer for healing. They avail themselves of dentists and dental surgery, doctors before and during childbirth, eyeglasses, and physicians to set broken bones.

Periodically over the decades, and especially in the 1980s and 1990s, there has been a cultural backlash against Christian Science parents whose children die because of lack of medical care. Civil and criminal lawsuits have resulted. Sometimes the church wins and sometimes it loses. Often the cases are settled.

In Fraser’s view parents should be compelled to provide medical care for ailing children. The religious freedom issue does not bother her any more than violating rights of freedom of speech or association troubles ruling elites or intellectuals.

Of course, if you remove such matters from the control of parents, you concede power over children and families to the state. For totalitarians this is not a problem, but from a moral perspective it presents difficulties. That being said, the accounts of children’s deaths related by Fraser make for very grim reading.

The New York Times’ Jewish reviewer, a professor of religion, loved her book because it bashed religious white people. But he was much less happy with the author’s assault on contemporary alternative medicine. This was due to bigotry, for Fraser is entirely correct that they are fundamentally related:

The healers and self-helpers have been enormously successful, churning out bestseller after bestseller and movement after movement in each successive generation: Napoleon Hill and his Think and Grow Rich, which promises wealth to those who could tap into “Infinite Intelligence”; Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking; Werner Erhard’s [a Jew, born John Paul Rosenberg] est; Dr. Joyce Brothers [Jewish] and her How to Get Whatever You Want Out of Life; [India-born] Deepak Chopra’s Ayurveda and his dizzying proliferation of books on how to become “ageless” and “timeless”; Bernie Siegel [Jewish] and his Love, Medicine, and Miracles; Marianne Williamson [Jewish] and her popularization of The Course in Miracles, a textbook fundamentally inspired by Christian Science; Louise Hay (a former Scientist) and her You Can Heal Your Life; Andrew Weil [Jewish] with his wise family-physician face, his guru’s white beard and his Spontaneous Healing.

Fraser does not delve into the radical idealist thought underlying Christian Science, and dismisses all forms of alternative medicine out of hand.

Christian Science is representative of the risks being taken by millions of people in their search for alternative or spiritual healing. For those experimenting with everything from magnets to meditation, Christian Scientists are the test case. They have bet their lives on the potency of their beliefs, and not all of them have lived to tell the tale.

Her savage critique of Christian Science must be evaluated with this in mind, because her viewpoint is one of extreme philosophical materialism. In addition, she assumes that mesmerism was not genuine, and it is virtually certain she has never examined seriously the history of spiritual or mental healing.

Nevertheless, the stubborn persistence of an absolutist belief in spiritual healing for well over 125 years among a sizable number of educated, intelligent, successful white people is testimony to the power of belief, even belief directly contrary to personal and familial well-being and the continuation of life.

Human Folly Knows No Bounds

The third section of the book is an astonishing account of institutional mismanagement in the 1980s and ‘90s by a small clique at the Mother Church led by Jack Hoagland, a Yale-educated CIA veteran without experience in television production, who set out to build a media empire of cable television, radio, and shortwave news services. The group recklessly squandered millions upon millions of dollars, even gutting the church’s famous newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor. (Since the book’s publication the Monitor has ceased daily publication and appears only online and in a much-reduced weekly print edition.)

The irresponsible bureaucrats nearly wrecked the entire church, raiding its employees’ pension funds to pay for their grandiose schemes. “These guys are Christian Scientists. They believe in miracles and healing,” a source with knowledge of church finances said. “They would have run down the pension fund and sold off the real estate. It scares the shit out of you.” The reference is to the conviction that you can manifest prosperity and success by mentally and spiritually envisioning and anticipating it.

Inside a Christian Science church

Inside a Christian Science church

This part of the chronicle is a vivid, eye-opening reminder that even the largest, most venerable and well-heeled institutions can quickly be driven into the ground through bad management. Don’t think for one moment that a cabal of greedy, self-centered fanatics can’t do exactly the same thing to the United States of America or the West. Fraser demonstrates that human folly knows no bounds.

Demographics

Christian Scientists are (or were) an interesting demographic—overwhelmingly white, well-educated, and socioeconomically well-to-do.

In 1990, according to sociologist of religion Rodney Stark (this data, of course, is already a quarter-century old), 42% of adult US Christian Scientists had a college education, and an additional 24% some college; only 8% had not received a high school diploma. Because Christian Science demands much study, it “tends to attract those who enjoy or can tolerate a high degree of abstraction.”

16% of Christian Science households earned more than $50,000 in 1990, well above the national average. 30% of Christian Scientists were over 65. Christian Science was overwhelmingly female (70%) and white.

Stark reported that a significant percentage of Scientists remained single or became Scientists in later life when their children were adults and therefore unlikely to be converted, and that Eddy herself placed little emphasis on marriage and family. Christian Science did not have a missionary class that sought new members, so it relied on internal growth, but the conversion rate within families was not high. One study showed that only 26 of 80 people (33 percent) raised within Christian Science became Scientists themselves.

“Christian Science is a way of life as much as a religion,” Fraser writes, “and sociologists have noted that often Scientists socialize largely with other Scientists.” Scientists don’t smoke, drink, or take drugs. Yet (according to Fraser) they have higher mortality rates than comparably situated people because they reject modern medicine.

In arch-white fashion, Christian Science, ignoring Eddy’s legacy, is supportive of war: “Her church, while following her law to the letter in most other instances, has taken little heed of her pacifist sentiments since her death.” During WWII the church did not permit members to choose conscientious objector status. Christian Science was suppressed by NS Germany as “hostile to people and state,” as was the New Thought movement.

The mien of Scientists is “invariably friendly and cheerful”:

“Otherworldliness” is the mark of those who reject this world in favor of an ideal. Christian Scientists are otherworldly, in the sense of being intensely emotionally invested in an unseen world of perfection, and emotionally disassociated from the realities of this world. Scientists are smilers, happy-talkers, positive thinkers, and they simply refuse to allow the realities of the world, its tragedies and disasters, to penetrate.

The Christian Science Monitor does not publish obituaries because Scientists deny the reality of death. They consider it a passage to another stage.

Well-known individuals who were either Christian Scientists or raised in the faith include astronaut Alan Shepard, novelist V. S. Pritchett, Lord Waldorf and Lady Nancy Astor, German Count Helmuth von Moltke (a member of the conspiracy against Hitler, his mother was of South African British descent), Philip Kerr (Lord Lothian), Ginger Rogers, Mary Pickford, Hart Crane, Doris Day, Carol Channing, Robert Duvall, Horton Foote, Elizabeth Taylor, Robin Williams, Val Kilmer, Mickey Rooney, George Hamilton, Sen. Charles Percy (R.-Ill.), Spalding Gray, and Alan Young (Wilbur on TV’s Mr. Ed).

At several points in the book the author draws parallels between Christian Scientists and Mormons. Two CIA directors were Christian Scientists—Admiral Stansfield Turner and William Webster. (Webster was also a federal judge and director of the FBI.) “Christian Scientists, like Mormons,” Fraser writes, “have proved to be appealing recruits for both [the FBI and CIA]; their beliefs prohibit the use of alcohol and recreational drugs, making them good security risks, and their cultures encourage respect for authority.”

This reminded me that billionaire Howard Hughes late in life habitually hired only Mormons for his personal retinue—very striking in the context of a Judaized and multiracial America.

Christian Science reading room, Silver Spring, Maryland (Washington, DC)

Christian Science reading room, Silver Spring, Maryland (near Washington, DC)

President Richard Nixon, who was born a Quaker, had a number of Christian Scientists in his Administration. White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman  were Scientists (Ehrlichman’s father had converted from Judaism), as was Watergate “Plumber” Egil “Bud” Krogh, a protégé of Ehrlichman’s who’d worked in the latter’s Seattle law office before joining the White House staff. H. R. Haldeman ultimately died an agonizing death from untreated cancer under the care of a Christian Science practitioner.

Other Scientists in the Nixon Administration included Ehrlichman’s aide Henry Paulson (later head of Goldman Sachs and George W. Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury during the financial crisis of 2008), speechwriter John Andrews, and Christian Science Monitor editor Erwin D. Canham, who Nixon appointed to the board of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

While the waning of Christian Science in recent decades is often attributed to particularistic causes such as the enormous strides in medical science that occurred after the religion’s early days, the child cases and the publicity and stigma surrounding them, or bureaucratic mismanagement, it is more probable that the decline, aging and disappearance of the white race and its varieties of religious experience is the fundamental cause. If Christian Science persists as a non-white religion, which seems unlikely, it will probably bear little resemblance to the Christian Science of the past.

 

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14 Comments

  1. CS Student
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    1) I suggest reading Robert Peel’s Spiritual healing in a Scientific Age (1987). I don’t believe that one will conclude that the healings reported are placebo effect induced.

    2) CS grew rapidly after Eddy’s death. MB Eddy (1821-1910).
    In 1893 the first CS congregation acquired their own edifice. Before that groups just shared or rented edifices. In 1894 the original Mother Church building was built. ( btw In 1907 Eddy orders the CS Board of Directors to launch the CS Monitor newspaper. As late as 1971 circulation was 300K but revenue depended on subscriptions with not enough ad money coming in. ) In 1908 CS has 800 congregations with their own edifices. By 1933 that number was over 3,000. There were even official CS churches even in Rhodesia by the 1920’s and perhaps 40 in South Africa.

    CS GREW BY MORE THAN TWO CONGREGATIONS PER WEEK for years after Eddy’s death.

    Here is a partial list of former edifices. For example, the Dan Quayle library is based in a former CS church in Huntington, Indiana.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_former_Christian_Science_churches,_societies_and_buildings

    Churches are locally owned and not controlled by the Mother Church in Boston.

  2. Andrew
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was a great article shedding light on a fairly obscure organization. The tale of Christian Science is indicative of some important points that relate to the future of Whites:
    1) Many or most people have a longing and need for spirituality, something that is supernatural to some extent, involving a higher power and gives meaning to their lives. I think this is best seen as a human instinct. If most people don’t get a satisfactory form of spiritual sustenance when they are young, they seem to be forever seeking a way to fill this need. The ideal form of spirituality would be both satisfying and be a backbone of racial preservation (Judaism achieves the second objective at least for Jews).
    2) It is very possible for a small number of motivated, intelligent individuals (usually with a helpful fanaticalist streak) to create an organization that is lasting and accomplishes significant goals, whether it be Mary Baker Eddy, L. Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith on the spiritual side or a figure like William Luther Pierce on the White Nationalist Side (and there are many thousands of such organizers in recent history that have built organizations of all kinds – this is very possible).
    3) It is a challenge for such organizations to exit beyond the death of their founders, and resist modernity and liberalism while continuing to grow, but this is also possible.

  3. Dan
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    I understand that Alex Linder was raised a Christian Scientist. I’ve sometimes wondered whether he developed his hatred of Christianity due to a sibling or friend who died a preventable death due to CS teachings.

  4. CS Student
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Dan Jensen (1918-1995 approx.) was a leading California CS practitioner and teacher.

    Below are two links to a 1990 CS lecture, Beginning Rightly.

    The first links to a transcript; the second is the audio of CS practitioner Jensen delivering the lecture in 1990. Jensen’s actions and life made him an authentic man and one can sense his Christian sincerity and integrity. He admits at the end of the lecture that he wishes that he could heal more repeatably, and as quickly.

    transcript–since most of us can read faster than we can listen:
    http://danieljensenassociation.com/jensen_wp/article-talks/

    Audio of Beginning Rightly is the 25th link….again his authenticity shines though
    http://www.christiansciencect.org/lectures.php

  5. Reader
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Well known actor Robert Duvall narrates an excellent 1987 Stephen Gottschalk documentary on Eddy and CS. (Duvall raised a Christian Scientist in Texas still identifies as a Christian Scientist.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXfqFzqaciw

  6. Reader
    Posted May 27, 2014 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Christian Science Lecturer Jon Benson explains how CS can heal
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh8EHA5B96I

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg7jYUsrTwc

  7. Posted May 26, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Very informative. There is a quaint little Gothic Revival Christian Science church in my hometown, so it’s nice to learn what goes on behind the doors. I have only run into two Christian Scientists in my time, and both displayed the kindness characterized here.

    I think Henry Paulson’s Christian Science theology was emblematic of the neoliberal “nothing’s broken” position he and his superiors always took.

    • Andrew Hamilton
      Posted May 26, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it is curious how little we sometimes know even about groups whose names are familiar to us. One of the reasons Religious Scientists gave for changing the name of their group to the awful Centers for Spiritual Living (which sounds like a chain of some kind, profit or nonprofit, not a religion) is that people were confusing “Religious Science” with Scientology. That no doubt happens with Christian Science as well.

      I reviewed Henry Paulson’s memoir about the financial crisis for CC four years ago. I recall a scene at the height of the crisis when he needed to be on top of his game. He came down with a splitting headache (I think it was—anyway, something of that nature that greatly interfered with his practical ability to function). It may have been a recurring problem throughout his life, but I’m fuzzy on the details now.

      At any rate, he went through agonizing deliberation whether to take aspirin or not (or some other common pill). Christian Scientists don’t take medicine. He prayed about it and so forth. I don’t recall what he ultimately did (I rather think he did not take it), but it was a major issue.

      There are also white people who use drugs or medical treatment very, very sparingly because of personal philosophy rather than formal metaphysical conviction. Historian David Irving is an example. I well remember, too, my old Norwegian grandmother, who refused to take aspirin when she had a headache. Doctors and pills were not her cup of tea. She steered clear of them. She was a devout Lutheran, but religion had nothing to do with her attitude.

      Finally, too, if you don’t use doctors or medicine you avoid iatrogenic complications, not to mention malpractice.

  8. Posted May 26, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Excellent piece. I’ve been very interested in New Thought as a patriotic Platonism, a two-fisted Traditionalism, for a while now, since reading Maja D’Aoust’s The Secret Source (Feral House, 2007) which traces the movement from Hermeticism to Oprah. It cover, among other things, the Quimby/Eddy schism.

    Though related, CS must be distinguished from New Thought as such. Christian Larson, back in the day, produced a short booklet on this, “The Good Side of Christian Science”. Like most of the classic NT publications, it’s available online and on kindle, mostly free.

    Also free online is Mark Twains’ book, Christian Science. Now, you might think Twain would be in his debunking element here, but turns out his mother was a New Thoughter and he personally witnessed her undergoing dental surgery with literally no more than a prayer, so he recognizes the power of mind over matter. As for Eddy, he sees her as a hysteric and a fraud (like Dr. Weil, he recognizes the reality of what we today call the placebo effect but distinguishes it from Eddy’s theology) but is forced to admire her steely institutional resolve. He’s especially impressed with the “no sermons” rule you mention, as it solves, he says, the great problem of “how to control the doctrine after your death” making her a superior founder to the likes of Jesus, Mohammed, etc.

    • Andrew Hamilton
      Posted May 26, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I have an interest in New Thought as well, though in the strict sense I would trace it back to Quimby—and, in a very general way, to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

      Besides Mark Twain’s book on Christian Science, Willa Cather was the primary (anonymous) author of a series of attacks on the religion for McClure’s magazine. Those articles were also published in book form.

      William James expressed an admirably balanced view of early Christian Science—as he did of early New Thought, to which he devoted two long chapters in Varieties of Religious Experience.

      I divide New Thought into philosophical New Thought, certain aspects of which I have incorporated into my own thinking, and denominational New Thought, which has churches and congregations. Unity, I think, is the largest of these, but I have studied Maine-born mystic (that’s how I refer to him) Ernest Holmes’ Religious Science in more detail. I even own the denomination’s thick textbook (the functional equivalent of Eddy’s Science and Health) The Science of Mind: The Complete Edition, written by Holmes in 1926/1938 and reissued by Tarcher in 2010. But mostly I like the older philosophical texts you allude to, quite a few of which I have read.

      Still the best history of New Thought is Charles S. Braden’s Spirits in Rebellion: The Rise and Development of New Thought (1963). He wrote a book on Christian Science that is probably quite good as well.

      Ethnically, New Thought and Christian Science both have pronounced New England Yankee, Puritan roots. Studying such non-Christian religions enables one to more easily discern patterns of thought usually attributed to Christianity that are probably more racial (white) than philosophical-ideological-theological in the Christian sense.

      • Posted May 26, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        It’s interesting how even the non-church founding NT’ers strove to present themselves as somehow based on Jesus or his teachings. Partially due to the times, of course, but it shows how with enough ingenuity almost anything can be “based on the scriptures”. Eddy’s Christ Scientist is no more implausible than Chamberlain and Eckhart’s Aryan Christ, as I allude to in my Eckhart review below, and neither is any more implausible than Pope John Paul’s, Rudolf Steiner’s, Luther’s, or even St. Paul’s.

      • Andrew Hamilton
        Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        Looking at David Duke’s website tonight reminded me of a fact I had forgotten.

        Duke has been significantly affected by New Thought. In his autobiography My Awakening he mentions the important influence Napoleon Hill’s book The Master Key to Riches had on his thinking as a young man. (Hill was essentially a New Thought thinker and writer.) And
        on his website he reproduces James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh (1902).

    • Stronza
      Posted May 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Nothing wrong with placebo effect. It’s been around for ages by different names. A good doctor can induce it. It is 100% legitimate. It could just as soon be claimed that a doctor-prescribed painkiller doesn’t really work, it’s just the faith of the person swallowing it that kills the pain.

      When people don’t want to be poisoned half to death by drugs, or the slash/burn routine for cancer, and some socalled alternative has a positive effect, the MDs scream “Placebo”.

  9. Arindam
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    ‘This part of the chronicle is a vivid, eye-opening reminder that even the largest, most venerable and well-heeled institutions can quickly be driven into the ground through bad management. Don’t think for one moment that a cabal of greedy, self-centered fanatics can’t do exactly the same thing to the United States of America or the West.’

    Upon reading that line, I immediately thought:

    ‘Don’t think for one moment that a cabal of greedy, self-centered fanatics aren’t doing exactly the same thing to the United States of America and the West in general.’

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