Richard Feynman once said that the “first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” In my lifetime I have encountered the truth of this “law” more than a few times. My deep dive into believing the conspiratorial view of history for many years and my eventual tri-fecta causing me to reevaluate the truth of what I previously held as truths.
- What happened was (1) Y2K, (2) I started listening to and being challenged by Michael Medved’s “Conspiracy Show,” which lead me to try and (3) follow AND confirm the many references to historical positions made in these books, which failed miserably. (RPT)
So I come at this with sympathy for the gullibility of our human nature. Which leads me to a recent conversation with a gentleman I respect, but, is a bit young in his “critical skills.” A classic in debunking — though many years old – is of James Randi debunking an Aura Reader. But the purpose of this post is to deal with why Kirlian photography is explained completely by natural processes and has nothing to do with metaphysics and auras.
WHAT IS KIRLIAN PHOTOGRAPHY?
STALKING LIGHT explains the process for us:
NEW AGE “CONFIRMATIONS”
The technique became popular in the 70’s, with the influx of New Age and susceptibility to wanting to believe in something beyond “us” that is still driven and centers on the “inner divinity” — as part of the rejection of the Judeo-Christian tradition that the “counter-culture” was rejecting. Drugs also played a part in the susceptibility of a generation. It is a human construct (history teaches us this) to worship ourselves in some way, and New Age religions offer this in spades:
This always the outcome of the New Age movement, self divinity. It is the oldest lie in the Book.
- When a Man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything. ~ G. K. Chesterton
The urge to believe in something and the ease we can fool ourselves at times combine to anesthetize our critical thinking.
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
And often times it is the simple practicing of simple psychological tricks and perception and planted words that help the aura reader do his “magic.” (The aura reader can slightly change the outcome of the aura as well, depending on the “vibe” he is getting from the client. More on this later.) This “reading” is similar to other New Age practices like crystal ball readings, tarot cards, and the like:
So now we get into some hints that the claims of us having an aura are actually better explained by the processes used to “capture” it. For instance, the early “leaf” experiments were later challenged and when reproduced properly, did not repeat the effects:
- Living things… are moist. When the electricity enters the living object, it produces an area of gas ionization around the photographed object, assuming moisture is present on the object. This moisture is transferred from the subject to the emulsion surface of the photographic film and causes an alternation of the electric charge pattern on the film. (SKEPDIC)
CREATIVE PHOTO CONNECT explains more the above:
Many people do not realize that the subjects taking the photograph have their hands on an electrocharged plate:
The film merely picks up the ionized air and the moisture. Slight changes in voltage, moisture, film, and gullibility of the client combined with hints picked up by the reader in demeanor, reactions to discussion, and the like — can cause someone to put their faith in a neat photographic trick — as more than just that. WIRED MAGAZINE notes the industry that cropped up around these natural forces. The cost of the AuraCam6000 at the date of the article was $10,000 new.
The New Age is not a new subject to me… (some examples)…
- A CRASH COURSE IN POPULAR NEW AGE
- REINCARNATION VS. LAWS OF LOGIC (a chapter in my book)
- CONVERSATION SERIES: CULTS FROM THE 70’S
- SWEAT LODGE ALTERED BY NEW AGE EQUALS DEATH
“WE” UNITE ALL THE ABOVE
But what unites all the above ~ the cults, the occult, world religions, and even my own faith and it’s aberrant ruminations (word faith, positive confession, televangelists, and the like — see my eulogy at my dads funeral for an example) ~ is the human need for controlling one’s circumstances and outcomes. Combined with ultimately, fooling ourselves. What helped me out of my aberrant view of history were common sense facts. So here are some quick refutations to show straight forward thinking to knock others out of their malaise.
AURAS IN EVERYTHING?
First, auras are in living things — supposedly. But Kirlian photography show them in non-living things:
Here one can see the set-up that causes what we are seeing:
BULLET POINTED REFUTATIONS
Obviously the above is easily explained… as are similar aspects of “aura photography.” Many paranormal enthusiasts still claim that the aura captured by Kirlian photography is some sort of “life force”. However, this is easily debunked (MEDIA COLLEGE):
- Kirlian photographs can be taken of anything moist or conductive, including coins, paper clips, etc.
- Kirlian photographs taken in a vacuum (where no ionized gas is present) show no aura.
- Some people claim that a living object slowly loses its aura after it dies. This is more easily explained by the fact that it loses its moisture.
But not easily debunked to people who are vested in (emotionally and financially) such constructs.
*TOP SECRET continues with another “experiment” explained well by natural (moisture and temperature) changes: