A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

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reader comments: applied kinesiology

5 Mar 2015
to R. T. Carroll from Joy: Why I'm seeing a nutritional response therapist

I have Ulcerative Colitis, a disease that "scientific" doctors can not cure and have very crude methods of treating with drugs that cause more issues than they solve. I have lost a lot of blood due to Ulcerative Colitis. My health has weakened. I'm sure I've lost vitamins and minerals as a result of all the blood loss. I asked my doctor for a blood test to see if I was deficient in any vitamins and/or minerals. She checked me for iron deficiency. That was it. And since I was no longer deficient in iron, due to having taken iron supplements, she felt there was no need to check for anything else.

reply: I'm not a medical doctor and had never heard of ulcerative colitis before, nor had I ever heard of nutritional response therapy, so I had to go to Google University for a quick education. As you say, you have a nasty disease for which there is no cure. According to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America:

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the large intestine, also known as the colon, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores, or ulcers, that produce pus and mucous. The combination of inflammation and ulceration can cause abdominal discomfort and frequent emptying of the colon.

Ulcerative colitis is the result of an abnormal response by your body's immune system. Normally, the cells and proteins that make up the immune system protect you from infection. In people with IBD, however, the immune system mistakes food, bacteria, and other materials in the intestine for foreign or invading substances. When this happens, the body sends white blood cells into the lining of the intestines, where they produce chronic inflammation and ulcerations.

After reading about treatment options for your disease, it seems obvious that your physician should have discussed nutrition with you.

For people diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, it is essential to maintain good nutrition because the disease often reduces your appetite while increases your body’s energy needs. Additionally, common symptoms like diarrhea can reduce your body’s ability to absorb protein, fat, carbohydrates, as well as water, vitamins, and minerals.*

Since she wouldn't check me, I went to see a nutritional response therapist to see if she would have an idea of what vitamins and minerals I could be deficient in. When I got to her office, I filled out a questionnaire noting my symptoms, and she gave me the arm test. I didn't notice any change in pressure on my arm or change in direction of that pressure when she pressed on top of my hypothalamus. What I felt was all the energy drain away from my arm. My arm literally collapsed from within.

reply: The arm test referred to here is a diagnostic method that was introduced by a chiropractor named George Goodheart. Goodheart and his followers unite chiropractic with traditional Chinese medicine (among other things). They believe there is a universal intelligence of a spiritual nature running through the nervous system. They believe that muscles reflect the flow of chi--some sort of subtle energy or life force that is unmeasurable by scientific means--and that by measuring muscle resistance one can determine the health of bodily organs and nutritional deficiencies. These are empirical claims and have been tested and shown to be false (see my article on applied kinesiology, the deceptive name by which this voodoo science goes). Nutrition response testing is applied kinesiology used to determine nutritional deficiencies.

Her diagnosis was that my hypothalamus is not functioning properly. She also said I have some issues with my digestive organs, but my hypothalamus is the main issue. And she said that the issue with my colon was in my descending colon only. Bingo on the descending colon, something which only a colonoscopy can show. Of course, if you believe in the numbers game, then she could have just made a lucky guess.

reply: As I said, I'm not a medical doctor, but if I felt my doctor was lacking in expertise regarding my disease, I'd get another doctor. I wouldn't have waited for any test of my vitamin and mineral deficiencies before I'd start taking a multi-vitamin and mineral tab daily. I'd also follow the advice of the nutritionist recommended to me by my physician. If I was not instructed to consult with a nutritionist, or at least given literature on the need for me to pay special attention to what I eat and drink given my disease, I'd have headed for the door. The last thing I'd have done was go to a nutritional response tester (NRT). However, if I had gone to one I would have told her that I have ulcerative colitis and that my physician wouldn't test me for nutritional deficiencies. If the NRT then told me after doing the arm test that my real problem is with a malfunctioning hypothalamus, I would have headed for the door. I can understand why someone suffering as you are and being dismissed by your physician for being concerned about vitamin and mineral deficiencies would seek some sort of alternative therapy out of desperation. But I don't understand why anyone would take seriously someone who claims you have a problem with your hypothalamus based on the arm test. You should have known that ulcerative colitis is not a hormone problem.

After I left her office, I looked up hypothalamus. Bingo again. All of my symptoms matched having an overactive hypothalamus. Not only that but based on my and my family's health history (which I never mentioned to her), it's very possible that I have an overactive hypothalamus. Of course, she could have figured out that I have an overactive hypothalamus from my symptoms.

reply: Or you could both be wrong. Here is a list of symptoms that are commonly associated with a malfunctioning hypothalamus:

Missing from this list of symptoms are the most common problems suffered by those with ulcerative colitis.

So is it voodoo science? I don't know. But I do know this: I just went to see my regular doctor a few times for annual checkups. [???] She, like all of the doctors I've been to in the past, disregarded my symptoms. She is not going to pay attention to symptoms of weakened health, not unless I have a heart attack or stroke, can't breath, get a tumor, start bleeding internally, fall unconscious, ... In other words, western doctors are not going to test or treat me for an overactive hypothalamus until after something serious happens. That's why I'm going back to see the nutritional response therapist. And, yes, I do think vitamins and minerals can help.

reply: I also think a vitamin and mineral supplement would be appropriate for someone with ulcerative colitis, but I'm not a medical doctor and I'd first check with my physician to make sure that the supplements won't interfere with any medications I'm taking. I'd also be very attentive to my diet, but the last person I'd consult for nutritional advice would be a nutrition response tester.

You could be right though. There could be some trick that caused my arm to collapse, but when it comes down to it, she is the only one addressing my symptoms.

reply: Interesting. Usually defenders of alternative treatments attack science-based medicine for "only treating the symptoms and not the cause of the disease." In any case, you don't mention what treatment this NRT has proposed for your symptoms. The only symptoms you mention specifically are loss of blood and 'weakened health.' What is the treatment recommended by the NRT for those symptoms?

Yes. You have my permission to post my name along with my comments.


reply: Soon after Joy wrote me about the use of "the arm test" for nutritional deficiency evaluation, another reader informed me of a Harvard and NYU-trained psychologist who uses "muscle testing ... to assess if a person is in a state of well-being or a state of stress." This psychologist demonstrates how she has deluded herself into believing one can test emotional well-being and the remotely related notion of reaction to words like 'should' and 'have to' simply by pressing down on a person's outstretched arm. She seems to have no idea of confirmation bias or of how she might be unconsciously controlling the situation. She seems oblivious to the need for blinded testing of her beliefs about muscle resistance and emotions and emotional responses to words. Her lack of understanding of how science works has not diminished her confidence. She is the author of at least two books and has an interactive website geared toward helping married couples find success in marriage. If she continues to pass off her pseudoscience as understanding, she may one day find someone testing her facial muscle resistance. When Dr. Heitler goes on trial for malpractice she can always ask the judge to decide her case by doing the "muscle test" on her. I hear it's an infallible method for determining guilt or innocence.


1 Oct 2008
I was amazed to read the comments about Dr David Hawkins. It is understandable that his message is not understood by many but that does not give anyone the right to publicly denounce his wisdom. A better approach would be to say ' ok I am not ready for this yet' His work is most empowering and I would sincerely suggest that people read around his work and then come back to some of his books later. There is no need to make a big thing of the kinesiology testing, that is merely a tool to aid those who wish to adopt it. It also doesn't matter how qualified he is- his love would shine through whether he was brilliant or of the lowest possible IQ. IQ is irrelevant, we are born with what we have, no big deal.

The essence is his message is clear and simple, look beyond the obvious and see the love of God in all, regardless of nationality, religious sect, age- JUST BE and love unconditionally- simply WAKE UP from the mad ego world.

He has added so much to my life and I would strongly recommend his literature/ philosophy to others. Please don't be too skeptical to print my letter!

Kind regards,
Francesca Hunt

(PS for what its worth, I am well read and have a chemistry PHD, so although his work is beyond intelligence, it is intellectually accurate- but forget that- just go with the pure LOVE)

reply: Whatever floats your boat. 'Pure love' sounds good and if it means wisdom to you, who am I to deny it? It has a nice emotive ring to it. As we used to say in the 60s: if it feels good, do it.

5 June 2008
I was directed to your website while reading about Dr. David R. Hawkins. It appears as if the site exists to "expose" so-called hoaxes being perpetrated on the simple, unsuspecting general public.

reply: You're partly correct. A small part of the website exposes hoaxes being played on an unsuspecting public. Most of the site describes beliefs and practices that a reasonable person, utilizing the standards of reasonableness of our time, would not accept. I'm also interested in trying to understand why otherwise reasonable people commit themselves to beliefs for which there is not only little supportive evidence but also substantial counter-evidence. One thing I have discovered is that the reason is NOT because people are simple. Why we humans tend to be irrational, while protesting that we are not, is very complex.

David Hawkins's own beliefs about himself and his calibrations, his belief in applied kinesiology (AK) and his rejection of properly designed double-blind controlled tests of AK are good examples of what attracts my attention. I don't think of myself as "exposing" this self-deluded quack, so much as describing his beliefs and explaining why a reasonable person should not accept them, no matter how "spiritual" or well-intentioned Hawkins might be.

When it comes to spiritual truth, however, you seem to lack the ability to understand it, and should therefore restrain yourself from making commentary. Spiritual truth simply is, and is understandable only experientially. All languaging [?] diminishes the understanding of truth, because words are symbols of symbols, and as such, are twice removed from Reality. Additionally, many words and phrases in common usage vary in meaning semantically, and are thus highly subjective.

Spiritual truth exists on a higher level than one would seem to be on who felt the need to create a skeptic's dictionary, or seek for frauds and phonies. Explaining spiritual truth to someone on that level would be akin to attempting to explain to your dog what you do for a living.

Only Perfect Loves exists,


reply: Perfect Loves? Whatever do you mean by the claim that only perfect loves exist? Comparing me to a dog might make you feel superior as you use language (diminishing the truth, you say) to express what you think is your understanding of "spiritual truth" (ST). You say that this ST can be understood only experientially. How does one distinguish experiences of ST, SF (spiritual falsity), and SN (the spiritually neutral)? Is it the case that the fuzzier the feeling, the more likely it's due to ST? If you are using experience to differentiate among various experiences as being true, false, or indifferent then you have no way of knowing that your differentiation is valid. You need to use logic and language, however imperfect, to evaluate your experiences, to think about them, and to distinguish them from one another.

Satanists can maintain the same claim to subjective truth that you can. Everything antithetical to what you hold true is false in their eyes and everything you hold false is true to them. If experience and subjectivity alone can guide us to the truth, then the Satanist has as much claim to priority and validity as you do. In fact, those people who are deeply delusional and live only in a subjective world that nobody else can relate to, are your equals. How are we to distinguish by subjective experience who is right? You, the Satanists, or the delusional? Your way is the way of the solipsist. You are trying to lock yourself into your own consciousness with no connection to the rest of the universe. You are trying to wrap the cosmic cocoon around yourself and reduce others to nothingness.

To me you are a trickster who is deceiving himself into thinking he is a superior being who understands things he can't comprehend. You remind me of a priest, I believe his name was Father Shipley, who told our class that once he was "this close" to grasping the meaning of the Trinity. And he didn't even use a shamrock as a symbol of a symbol. Your spirituality strikes me as the kind that thinks it need go no further once it awakens to the insight that it is impossible to prove that my perception of blue is the same as yours.

In any case, most of us are doomed to live here on these "lower levels" and can use some practical guidance now and again. Or, as a very wise woman once said: one person's spiritual truth is another's rubbish.

James replies:

Thank you for your response. It was interesting to read some of your suppositions. Many of them, in fact, corroborate what Dr. Hawkins has indicated in his writings and outlined in his map of consciousness.

Carroll replies: Yes. We call these defense mechanisms. One tries to prevent criticism by claiming that criticizing your claims is evidence of their truth.

I in no way think of myself as a superior being. I don't even think there is any such thing. There have been mystics and sages throughout the course of human history who have experienced a deeper level of understanding with regard to spiritual truth, but the last thing they would consider themselves to be is most likely, superior.

Carroll replies: I apologize. I'm probably projecting here, based on how superior I felt when I knew Jesus was God and the Savior of mankind. I also felt superior when I knew that all is one. In both cases, I pitied the ignorant fools who didn't know the "real Truth."

I wish you could tell us, though, what  this "spiritual truth" is you and so many others keep talking about. Why is this the only area where we are allowed to make claims to profundity backed up by the assertion that such truth just is and those who experience it, know it but it can't be explained in words, and those who don't have it can't understand what it is. Blah blah blah. Plato tried that trick with his allegory of the cave. But at least he knew that it was an allegory. I like Wittgenstein's metaphor of climbing a ladder and when you reach the end you just say something like 'that of which we cannot speak we must remain silent.' If you really can't describe it in words then you have no idea of what to compare it to.

It seems that just the word 'ineffable' sends shivers down the spine of some people. Tell them it's an enigma enshrouded in a mystery and their hearts thump like an elephant stampede.

As to your specious and dubious attempt at outlining an analogous connection between myself and a Satanist, aside from being the cheap psychological ploy of leveling, it not only misses the point of what I initially wrote, it additionally supports Hawkins' writings.

Carroll replies: This is more defense mechanism and avoidance of arguing and demonstrating that I am wrong in my claim that your appeal to 'feeling it' or 'experiencing it' is a satisfactory notion because there is no way to measure and compare different feelings or experiences of 'it'. If you are consistent, you can't argue for your position. You can experience it and then must remain silent. As I said before, this is solipsism. You alone exist. You are everything that is. You call it truth. I call it rubbish. However, at one time in my life I uttered words similar to yours and thought I was on my way to grasping 'it' and melding into the Oneness of Being. I eventually saw the light and realized the absurdity of my position.

Simply put, truth is. It needs no defense, and need not be sought. Truth will dawn upon your awareness as you lay aside the thoughts, ideas, indoctrinations and various mentations that interfere with your perception of it. Similarly, love is. Love requires neither subject nor object. Love doesn't need a "this" or a "that" for you to fixate your affections upon. Love is a state of being, and level of consciousness that is known experientially as the blocks to love's awareness are surrendered.

Carroll replies: These are just words, full of sound and very furry, signaturing nothing. I dare you to try to unpack the above paragraph and explain what you think you are saying in clear, non self-referential words. I don't doubt that you think these words mean something. I once uttered such gibberish myself and thought I was wise, so I sympathize with your plight. These words are purely emotive and have no cognitive content. Some day, you may get lucky and realize that your hero, Dr. Hawkins, has feet of clay.

As these concepts are understood, what occurs is a deeper understanding of the interrelationship of everyone and everything. All things are connected and exist as one within the infinite field of consciousness. Therefore, no one is superior to another, because no one is separate from another, or from God. By choice, it is possible to experience separation, and all the levels of so-called negative emotions. As dualistic constructs are laid aside, it is observed that there are no "good" things, or "bad" things, there are really no things. Only perfect Love exists. All is perceived by choice, selection, indoctrination and, as you put it, delusion.

Carroll replies: In my Alan Watts phase, many years ago, I used to sputter the same kind of sentiments. Everything is perfect just the way it is. Nothing could or should be different. All is one. True understanding recognizes as an insight that all differentiation is a construct of the mind. Good and evil aren't real; they are just words we use to describe what pleases us or not. I hope some day you will realize how absurd and dangerous these notions are. They are the sentiments of the defenders of the status quo. They are the trumpet sounds of the defeated legions who will not strive to improve the world. They are the words of those whose ideal of perfect love is being dead for eternity, having no perception, existing in the ultimate silence. As we Irish say: You'll be a long time dead. So, why strive for death while you are alive?

I would encourage you to review the Hawkins material for yourself. Clearly, your belief in logic and scientific proofs places you in very good company. All of the great minds have operated on the same levels, which Hawkins calibrates to be the 400s level. Sir Isaac Newton, Sigmund Freud, and many, many others of great repute and high regard have existed on this level. Freud, in fact, proved the non-existence of God. What he didn't realize was that he had proved the non-existence of the anthropomorphic version of God that is embraced so widely. It was the embrace of the Absolute that causes Jung to calibrate slightly higher than Freud, who calibrates at 499, which is the highest level of the intellect.

Carroll replies: As long as you think these calibrations of Hawkins have significance, you are not likely to find many sympathizers here.  I've written of this before: click here to see what I have to say about Hawkins's idea of calibrations.

I apologize if my initial missive caused offense. Clearly, I am an imperfect being, still attached to many egoic positions. I do thank you for the opportunity to exchange ideas.

Only Perfect Love exists,


Carroll replies: We're all imperfect beings. At lease we agree on one thing.

applied kinesiology


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