Why There’s No Published Research on Magick

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Skeptics often ask why there are no published medical studies on magick healing (beyond studies of Qi healers and Healing Touch nurses), and why no one has won Randi’s million-dollar challenge.

Usually, the question is pejorative. But occasionally, it’s an honest question, sometimes from a mage: If you believe magick can produce amazing results worthy of research and publication, how do you square that with the lack of publications?

I’ve wondered that myself. Because I’m a skeptic, too. Skepticism — requiring evidence before you believe something — is healthy, and something magick needs more of.

I have a solid answer now. I didn’t see it until I thought seriously about magick businesses. But now that I have, it’s obvious.

Published research — the kind that earns wide respect — is a huge undertaking. For energy healing, it requires board approval, subjects, funding, and dozens and dozens of healing sessions. You’re on that project for 2-5 years.

In other words, it’s something you do for business reasons, not because you think it’s cool.

Now, a solo-healing business doesn’t need anything at that level. A blog, a book, a few testimonials and you’re off.

So why publish? Publicity. But that’s only valuable if your business is ready for the customers that publicity will bring. Which means dozens of healers performing thousands of healing sessions a year, probably. I’d like to do that someday, but I’d need techniques simple and reliable enough to program into the ethereal software, and people trained to use it. And I’m not there yet.

Even then, publishing might not be worthwhile. By the time you’re good enough at energy healing to build that company, you’re good enough to make a reputation and bring in clients all on your own. You’d have to weigh the value of publications against the time required, and against the potential competitors (both legit and frauds) that publicity would bring.

There’s one more consideration: Some types of magick are more useful if no one knows you can do them. Gambling on greyhound races comes to mind, along with things like mind reading. It is to the mage’s benefit to keep them secret.

But there’s an implicit assumption in all this: Amazing, easily-demonstrable magick is hard. (Which it is.) If it were easy, it wouldn’t take much to start a large energy healing company, and there would be so many people gambling with magick that you couldn’t keep it a secret. My reasoning only works if amazing magick is hard.

So, next time someone says how easy it is to do something amazing with magick, you have my blessing to ask them why there are no publications.

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10 Responses to “Why There’s No Published Research on Magick”

  1. MrBlack says:

    I am curious as to why you think some techniques in magick are better left in secrecy?

    I assumed that if you wanted to push the envelope, that you would upheld an “open-source” type of stance…..

    • You know, I haven’t really thought about the limits of what I’ll publish. Would I publish the healings I use to help clients? Sure. The fundamental skills to develop your own techniques? Absolutely. But what about advanced combat magick, or techniques to hurt someone that I discover while researching healing? Probably not on the public internet. What about advanced skills that take the practitioner to the level where they can easily develop those malicious techniques? Not sure. I haven’t had to think about it yet, because as far as I know, no one has learned advanced sensory connections, which is the pre-req for learning any of that. (And no point in me posting it if no one knows those pre-reqs.)

      If I find a way of making money from manifesting, I’ll definitely bring in some cash before posting it. Gotta make sure it works reliably, right? ;)

      But back to the post: My point is, if we’re asking why other people aren’t publishing results, I can easily imagine why someone would just quietly make money on gambling, rather than working with a university team to write it up in a research journal. I updated the post to say “more useful” instead of “better.”

  2. Ananael Qaa says:

    There is a fair amount of published research in parapsychology, and I’m of the opinion that such research is directly applicable to magical practices. Calling it research in “magick,” of course, is not going to get you any funding. “Parapsychology” is bad enough as far as a lot of academics are concerned.

    Ganzfeld telepathy experiments have been going on for a long time and are mentioned in your article on Randi. Other work that I find of interest includes the quantum diode experiments first performed by Dean Radin and replicated by a number of other researchers. There was also a research group called the Princeton Engineering Anomolies Research (PEAR) laboratory that looked into the quantum diode experiments and similar research for some time.

    You might want to take a look at the Journal of Parapsychology, which publishes actual scientific research in the field. It’s been around since at least the 1980’s when I was in college. IMO there’s a lot research there that effectively is exploring magical processes, just by another name. Of course, anything that falls under the paranormal is a hard sell and doesn’t get as much funding as most other subjects, but there are scientists out there pushing forward with the work nonetheless.

  3. Kol Drake says:

    Glad Ananael Qaa pointed these out. Since the 70’s when it was research into the ‘paranormal’; the term has changed with the times. These days it is more fashionable (and a better bet of getting funding) to call it ‘research into the mind and consciousness’ rather then ‘parapsychology’.

    As for suddenly publishing how you ‘healed’ a number of people — that would bring the legal eagles down on you a.s.a.p. Being able to ‘cure’ someone without using the tried and true (hit or miss) techniques of modern medicine and pharma — would be a danger to a booming mega billion dollar a year industry. You would be squashed under the legal paperwork forever.

    As for ‘hiding’ a talent or methodology. Am I being too paranoid to think that if someone *could* consistently heal cancer or close open wounds — that SOMEONE in the greater governmental squirrel cage called ‘The System’ — would be all for locking you up in a room and poking into your skull to learn “how you did it” and how ‘They’ might use (and abuse) those skills?

    • Honestly, yes, I think you’re being a little too paranoid. By the time someone had published and demonstrated all that, they’d be well-known, and it would be politically difficult to make them disappear. Also, keep in mind that someone learning healing like that would also know good manifesting (at least if they follow the path I’m using), which would help keep them safe.

      But good point about the lawsuits. That’s another reason to favor word of mouth advertising, rather than a broad publicity approach driven by medical research publications.

  4. Kol Drake says:

    Hey, It’s Not Paranoia If They Really Are Out to Get You :P

    Good things pointed out by all.

  5. Don Lee says:

    One problem with publication or any other kind of publicity would involve the AMA crushing you like an insect. Hypnosis has always had that problem hanging over its practitioners. You can’t treat someone for depression with hypnosis lest you be guilty of practicing medicine without a license. However, you *can* treat them for “sadness.” I know, it’s incredible. Anyhow…

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