"Certain rash people have asserted that, just as there are no mice
where there are no cats, so no one is possessed where there are no exorcists." Georg
Christoph Lichtenberg 1
"It is a remarkable feature of mainstream academic
psychology that, alone among the sciences, it should be almost wholly
immune to critical appraisal as an enterprise. Methods that have long
been shown to be ineffective or worse are still used on a routine
basis by hundreds, perhaps thousands of people." Rom Harre.
"I don't think Candace Newmaker died because of their
ignorance. I believe she was killed because of their arrogance."
Diane Obbema, sheriff's investigator in the Candace rebirthing
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." Anon
"When someone deviates from reality, others get hurt." One of this web site's mottos.
"There are 40 kinds of lunacy, but just one of common sense."
West African saying.
About Dr. Zoe D. Katze, Ph.D., C.Ht., DAP. "Dr. Katze possesses
certificates proving she is a Diplomate of The American Psychotherapy
Association, a Registered Hypno-therapist of the American Board of
Hypnotherapy, a Certified Hypno-therapist of the National Guild of
Hypnotists, and a Certified Hypno-therapist from the International
Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association." (Zoe Katze is not a
human; she is a cat. "Zoe Die Katze" in German translates
literally to "Zoe the cat" in English). 4
In other essays on this Web site, we make every effort to
present both or all sides to each issue. In this essay, we are making an exception. We
are openly expressing our opinions, biases and hunches.
We suspect that all of the therapeutic methods and urban legends, fringe
science, wacky therapies, folklore, etc., in this section are hoaxes and/or
worthless -- even dangerous -- ideas and therapies. Unfortunately, in some cases,
governments and professional associations seem unwilling to investigate, expose,
and (if they are found to be dangerous or useless) prohibit many of these techniques.
We recommend that all new mental and physical health therapies and treatments be evaluated for efficacy
and safety on small-scale studies before being unleashed on an unsuspecting
public. The federal governments of the U.S. and Canada regulate new medications
before they are released to the general public. They later monitor the
medications' safety and effectiveness after they are released. We recommend that
the same procedures be expanded to alternative medical
treatments and mental health therapeutic techniques.
Only through the passage of time (and sometimes the accumulation of dead
bodies) will the truth be revealed about these therapies. Perhaps by the year
2020, society will reach a consensus on most of them. Then we will have another
look at this list to see the number of times that we guessed correctly.
We originally wrote this section back in 1997. A lot of
people wrote Emails to us complaining that we had attacked their favorite belief
or therapy. However, in the intervening 13 years, evidence has surfaced that most of the
therapies mentioned in this section are indeed dangerous, unsafe and useless.
We are encouraged by Robert Epstein's article published in
Psychology Today magazine and titled "The Loose Screw Awards." He wrote,
"The mental health fields have, now and then, spawned and nurtured some
completely crazy ideas. He proceeds to list what he regards as "psychology's
top 10 misguided ideas." Included is my personal favorite: "The Idea That
Launched a Thousand Suits: Recovered Memories." 5
Ten current hoaxes? Satanic ritual abuse, ritual abuse, mind control cults, recovered memory therapy, abuse in former lifetimes, end of the world scenarios, crop circles, abuse by little green men on UFOs, UFO visitations, federal mind control experiements.
Ten more hoaxes?Facilitated communications, Therapeutic touch, Homeopathic medicine, cattle mutilation, Reparative therapy, Multiple personality disorder/Disocciative identity disorder, Compression therapy, Primal scream therapy, exorcism, Rapid eye movement therapy (EMDR).
13 more hoaxes? Thought Field Therapy, Trauma counseling, cell phone cancer, autism, and nine more that we haven't studied in depth
Follow the links to read reviews and/or buy a book safely from Amazon.com
Tana Dindeen, "Manufacturing victims: What the psychology industry is
doing to people," Robert Davies Multimedia, (3rd edition;
Margaret Hagan, "Whores of the court: The fraud of psychiatric
testimony and the rape of American justice," HarperCollins, (1997). Review/order
Joyce Milton, "The road to Malphychia: Humanist psychology and our
discontents," Encounter Books, (2002). Review/order
Mark Pendergrast, "Victims of memory: Sex abuse accusations and
shattered lives," Upper Access books, (2nd edition, 1996) Review/order
Robert Whitaker, "Mad in America: Bad science, bad medicine, and the
enduring mistreatment of the mentally ill," Perseus Publishing, (2002). Review/order
Christoph Lichtenberg, "Aphorisms," F 134
"Acts of Living," Science, 289 (25) 2000-AUG, Page
Peggy Lowe, "Rebirthing team convicted: Two therapists face
mandatory terms of 16 to 48 years in jail," 2001-APR-21, Rocky
Mountain News. The case actually involved compression, not rebirthing
therapy. It caused the death of a young patient.