Index Home About Blog
From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Facilitated communication - please do not attack when discussing 
	other matters - was Re: Eleven year old debunks touch therapy
Date: 7 Apr 1998 09:09:18 GMT

In <6gcf69$n9n$>
(Dave/Kristin Hall) writes:

> wrote:
>> It seems that several times a month, when discussing other matters,
>> people on different newsgroups choose to attack facilitated
>> communication. for example,
>> in article <6g9q00$>,
>So, uh....what in the heck is facilitated communication?

   It's a lot like a ouija board.  Somebody takes the hand of a
handicapped person, and moves it for them (or "steadies it" while they
move it).  And gosh, the answers they give are then a lot better, and
their understanding and IQ all of a sudden sometimes look normal.
Except that if you make the "fascilitating" person go away when
questions are being asked, then come back when the question is being
answered, the person being helped gets a lot more impaired in
understanding again.  Strange to tell.  And the same for other cases
where you blind the fascilitator  The more carefully you control the
tests, the more bogus it looks.  James Randi has made fools of a number
of these people, but they just keep coming back.  Most of the
fascilitators are NOT being dishonest, BTW-- it's just that such
behavior seems to be a valuable route into the subconscious of many
people.  It used to be called "automatic writing" or "spirit writing"
in the days (last century) when you didn't have a mentally handicapped
or cerebral palsey victim hooked in, and ALL you had was the person
with the pencil, apparently writing things they didn't intend to, or
which didn't seem to be coming from them.  You don't even have to have
writing.  Think of trance-channeling.

   It's hard to tell if fascilitated communication is bogus for EVERY
SINGLE CASE, of course.  But it appears to be for most of them.  It's
done an incredible amount of damage.  One problem is that raw stuff
which comes from the unconscious of the fascilitator tends to have
awfully raw content.  It is, after all, the unconsious mind.  So
retarded people suddenly and very articulately start accusing people
around them of sexual misconduct.  Witch hunts ensue, as you can
imagine.  I'm awfully glad never to have been part of one of these
personally, but there's a lot of literature out there on the
phenomenon.  In some ways it also bears some resemblance to "recovered
memory" stuff, in which again the person helping the memory "recovery"
is planting, quite subconsciously" some memories that aren't those of
the person getting the "help."

                                 Steve Harris, M.D.

Index Home About Blog