What elite credentials can do

I like to see professionals using their professonalism to be professional and serious and rule-following and everything.

“I can remember, 30 years ago, if a person wanted to learn about reincarnation, they would go into a bookstore and go into a very back corner, to a section called ‘Occult,’ ” said Janet Cunningham, president of the International Board for Regression Therapy, a professional standards group for past-life therapists and researchers.

See? Like that. It’s good that regression thereapists have an International Board which is a professional standards group so that they will do their regression therapy according to standards as opposed to just any old how. It makes me feel safe, and looked after, and protected, and reincarnated.

The popular purveyors of reincarnation belief these days are not monks or theologians, but therapists — intermediaries between science and religion who authenticate irrational belief.

Who…what? Authenticate irrational belief? What, because they belong to the International Board which is a professional standards group? That means they can just authenticate irrational belief and make it rational, just like that?

Perhaps what Lisa Miller means is that they give an appearance of authentication to irrational belief, which is doubtless true, which is the whole point of the professionalism and the International Board and the standards. But an appearance of authentication is really quite different from an authentication, in a way that matters. You don’t want a surgeon who appears to be authentic, you want a surgeon who is authentic. Granted irrational belief may be a little less likely to nick an important artery and not know how to fix it, but there are other ways to bleed to death.

Critics of hypnotic regression dismiss such visions as scientifically dubious. “The mind fills in the blanks, basically,” said Dr. Jim Tucker, a child psychiatrist at the University of Virginia who studies accounts of past lives…Nonetheless, Dr. Weiss’s elite credentials, and his initial skepticism, open the door to belief for people who might otherwise stay away.

Exactly. Just what I’m saying. He’s another John Mack.

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