Tag Archives: alternative

Alternative medicine, Wikipedia, and Change.org

I’ve been sent a link to a petition to ask Wikipedia to fairly write up non Western mainstream medicine, instead of ridiculing or removing posts about it. It comes from the lovely husband and wife team Donna Eden, who wrote Energy Medicine, and Dr David Feinstein. Donna’s genuineness and ebullience quickly made her stand out from the many spiritual speakers I heard on a talkshow series and I’ve enjoyed being on her mailing list since, learning about the research and healing stories from them both.

One of the things that shocked and angered me was that Donna had difficulty practicing due to legal constraints but she rightly says – isn’t letting healers heal the most important thing? She’s not a quack, she’s not under trained, and her reasons to help are to do just that. There is no good reason to stop her or those like her, and it should be the choice of the patient to whom they turn, not the government. The laws curtailing alternative medicine are not just in America and themselves need stopping.

I disagree with the petition that Wikipedia is a trusted source – I’ve written an article on my thoughts on it. http://voices.yahoo.com/wikipedia-2132405.html I would worry if people allow themselves to be influenced by it, but coming up high in the search engines, it’s a tempting place to start and perhaps to not read further.  Unlike the petition, I am not just committing not to give to Wikipedia, I am pledging not to use it – for I am already unwilling to donate to a site I don’t rate which uses unnamed volunteers.

But my greatest concern is the site which hosts the petition: change org. I’ve found that petitions want your full name and address (this even asks for your phone) and that they may make these publically available, far more widely on the net than signing a piece of paper would. And that you are harassed with emails forever more without opt out, and that they prod you for money as much as Wikipedia does. Another case of Penelope Pitstop and her bodyguard/tormentor – the same person (or org) doing good and not good simultaneously. Choice and privacy are vital, and you shouldn’t have those liberties eroded because you have a conscience. You also don’t know who else truly has access to the petitions and what details they might collect. I suggest checking their privacy policy carefully, and beware that they’re another company that you can’t contact.

If you’re interested, the petition is here http://www.change.org/petitions/jimmy-wales-founder-of-wikipedia-create-and-enforce-new-policies-that-allow-for-true-scientific-discourse-about-holistic-approaches-to-healing?utm_campaign=petition_created&utm_medium=email&utm_source=guides&utm_source=December+2013+e-Letter&utm_campaign=DEC+2013+e-Letter&utm_medium=email

Bad Girls is coming soon – I am working on some writing about it… watch this space

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Forced Work Experience

I was really sorry when one person used her “ethical business” blogpost in an alternative local magazine as a platform to comment on an unrelated matter. She conflates the benefits of work experience, which she extols, with the government moves to force people on benefits into doing unpaid work.

Her views, especially given the magazine, are old fashioned and disappointing: she sees going to work as learning ‘proper behaviours’ and about bowing to employer expectations – she is an employer. It reminds me of arriving at the bank in Mary Poppins. There’s an implication that these “proper behaviours” are about subservience and conformity, something again I did not expect to have implicitly endorsed in this rag whose echoes are of an ecological, not Torylogical nature.

What the many critics of the government benefit reforms mind is the forced, unpaid labour (which is a form of slavery) which little understands that people and business work best when they are linked by people’s passions and abilities. Few of these schemes are going to put those who aren’t working in a place that helps them find truly suitable paying work – this is about cutting the welfare bill and resocialising claimants to the system.  Why do we believe our value comes from earning and often from something that’s hard and unpleasant, a grind to be endured and whose end is welcomed? Why do we view those who do what they love as lucky at best, or to be scorned as idealistic wasters?

I know a business coach who said to me that for her work, that you love is the only kind there is.

Our problems stem from misplaced values systems and imbalanced power.

I believe that unemployment would be largely solved if everyone got paid for what they do, rather than be made to find employment doing something else. Hence the push towards voluntary work and squeezing out of the welfare system is completely nonsensical and negative. And it is exploitation, not experience.

I would counsel a return to that magazine’s roots – for those who want a better world, often looking to alternative ideologies and spiritualities, and dare to believe that the status quo is not the only or often the best way.

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