There is a lot of crazy stuff out there. For example, I have recently been looking at the Gentle Wind Project website. As far as I can tell, these people offer little plastic cards that you hold in your hands to achieve “physical and emotional balance” in the face of traumatic events such as the tsunami. They were supposedly designed by benevolent “non-physical entities living outside the Earth's physical and astral systems” who communicate telepathically with the project’s leader, John Miller. No kidding.
Here’s one of the cards. Apparently they’re in laminated plastic. The detailed instructions for use are on the card. (Er, you hold it between your hands.)
And this piece of plastic, sorry “instrument”, can not be “bought” for money, oh no. They are offered in return for suggested “donation requests” that range from $650 for the card to $10,000 for a thorough overhaul from the “New World System V 2.2”. What a deal.
And if you don’t believe they work, check out these pictures of satisfied customers who are tsunami survivors (I refuse to copy the pictures of these people to my site). Look at their happy faces. I’m sure those little pieces of plastic were a great comfort to them.
An “instrument” more advanced than the card is this healing hockey puck. Carnegie Mellon Professor Dave Touretzky has acquired pictures of these devices (suggested donation $300 to $450, although he says new models go for $5,850) taken apart. This is what the puck consists of: a round plastic container housing a printed computer art design and a small amount of sand. That's it!
This is what its deconstructed components look like:
Impressive huh? But don’t forget, it was designed by aliens so it will provide “physical and emotional balance”, even if humanity isn’t ready for an explanation for how this pile of sand and plastic works. (No refunds.)
How do they work? Well, it’s a secret:
The way they work is extremely complex and cannot be understood by anyone in humanity at this time.
Told you. It gets better:
Remember - most people have no idea where their electricity comes from, how their radios, televisions, how their auto engines run, computers work, or satellite GPS systems work, let alone the complexity of high frequency temporal shifting matrixed with millions of predefined etheric modifications operating in a vertically and horizontally oriented polarization. If this sounds complicated and confusing - it is. This ultra complex process is set in motion by our Healing Instruments which are essentially a "Key." A temporal and spatial gate is created when a Healing Instrument is held. This "gateway" or window enables an individual's entire etheric system to interface with a very large, complicated, partially automated, predefined healing process. The more complex the Instrument the wider the "opening" and the deeper the penetration into the human system. As you can see, the Healing Instruments are only a small part of the entire process. Our healing technology incorporates an elaborate sentinel system which prevents anyone from "breaking into" or corrupting the system in any way.
Because some people don’t know where electricity comes from, this card works. I’m convinced. And um, well yeah, if it has high frequency temporal shifting matrixed with millions of predefined etheric modifications operating in a vertically and horizontally oriented polarization, it must be good.
Unfortunately for the very curious, this is the best explanation, shallow as it is, that we can provide right now. Some day in the future when humanity is ready, we will explain in more detail how the Instruments and the total system works.
Ha so grasshopper – one day you will understand. Just not yet. (In 2012, perhaps?)
It’s total pseudoscientific nonsense, of course.
Of course it’s nonsense, but (as someone once said) there’s nothing so dumb you can’t get someone to believe in it. A more serious criticism of the Gentle Wind Project from former members Judy Garvey and her husband Jim Bergin is that they are a mind-control cult. The Wind of Changes website details their 17 year involvement with the group, including claims of sexual manipulation, as well as financial ruin. (The description fits the bait-and-switch profile of other cults.) Bergin describes how little by little the organization gained more control over his family’s life and life savings:
It happened so slowly and subtly that I was not cognizant of the process at the conscious level. Had someone asked me early on whether I would submit to handing over a large part of my income and life’s savings, give up a nurturing and valued relationship with my wife, take a back seat to seeing and parenting my children, sell the business I loved, and live in greatly reduced circumstances, I would have laughed at the idea. But, as I will describe here, the process was deceptively subtle, pervasive, and persistent.
The Gentle Wind Project denies these claims and has filed a defamation lawsuit and a RICO (racketeering!) Federal lawsuit, claiming punitive damages. Bergin and Garvey have filed a Motion for Summary Dismissal (.pdf file). The lawsuit is continuing, with a trial (if there is one) not slated until at least February 2006.
Rick Ross, who runs a database of cults, destructive cults, controversial groups and movements, has several articles on the Gentle Wind Project. Rick states "in my opinion the group appears to parallel the criteria for a destructive cult”.
It’s all tax free!
It gets better. The Gentle Wind Project is registered as a not-for-profit organization. Translation: it’s tax free. The most recent 2001 tax returns (.pdf file) linked on their website show revenue of almost $1.57 million against expenses of $1.53 million. These “expenses” include $67K for “boat”, $89K for “electronics” and $66K for “shop”. They state “the majority of our funds have been spent on education and research” – research into boating, shopping and enjoyment of electronics, apparently.
As a private, nonprofit corporation known as "Gentle Wind Retreat" the project is exempt from federal income taxes, much like a church, a hospital or a private college.
The latest Form 990 filing shows GWP net assets of $2,077,324 as of August 31, 2003, up from $1,918,205 the year before. Revenue for the 2002-03 fiscal year totaled $1,969,923, with expenses totaling $1,810,804.
You can buy an awful lot of sand and plastic (and electronics), for $1.8 million. The aliens must be living it up on their yacht.