Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hearing Voices? Talk Back Politely.

Michael Prescott blogged about an interesting article, Living With Voices By T. M. Luhrmann, in It's about a treatment for people who hear disturbing voices that no one else can hear. The treatment involves talking back to the voices politely and respectfully. Read the article for full details.

Besides offering help for people with this type of disturbing experience, it is significant also because it offers a case where the skeptical view is wrong and the Spiritualist view is right. The skeptical approach to treating people who heard voices was to deny the reality of the voices and treat them as hallucinations. The Spiritualist approach to this problem was to treat the voices as spirits and help the spirits come to terms with their existence as spirits so they would stop bothering the patient.

There are several doctors that are well known for successfully using the Spiritualist approach even before this new treatment described in Luhrmann's article was developed: Carl Wickland (Thirty Years Among the Dead), Titus Bull, and Edith Fiore (The Unquiet Dead).

People may have different opinions about whether the voices are really spirits or hallucinations, nevertheless, this new research seems to confirm the work of Wickland, Bull, and Fiore, that the Spiritual approach, treating voices as if they are spirits, is better than the skeptical approach which is to consider the voices to be unreal hallucinations. Skeptics like to say they have the best interests of the public in mind, that they want to protect people from being fooled, when they insist on a materialist worldview. However, when it comes to helping people who hear voices, that worldview is not always in the best interest of the public. If a form of alternative medicine is an effective treatment and especially when it is superior to what is available from mainstream medicine, the skeptics are not doing anyone any good by calling those practitioners charlatans and quacks.

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