"The hidden power inside yourself" Debunked.

in #steem4 years ago (edited)

Recently, someone posted this:

The hidden power inside yourself: how to achieve your goals by visualization

And at first glance I am all for it. Visualization of goals is one of the most common and well recommended techniques of self-motivation around. That famous book "The Secret" is based almost entirely around it. But then, a few paragraphs down, things went off the rails in a bad way. This is gonna be a step by step examination of medical claims found within that post. I do this not to attack the other poster, I believe his intentions are wholly positive, but to stop the spread of bad medical information which is endemic these days.

Full disclosure, I am not a doctor, but I am a studying medical student so my knowledge of anatomy and physiology is greater than that of the average layman. Feel free to look up info on this yourself, but also beware of fraudsters and would be gurus. 

" We have an organ in our human bodies, which is currently frozen – fossilized, you could say. It’s our pineal gland, a small gland inside our brain."

False. The pineal gland is neither frozen nor fossilized; it is an active gland and part of the endocrine system. It IS true however that it can be calcified.  This calcification tends to increase with age and varies greatly between individuals. This process is associated with  Corpora arenacea  (brain sand), a gradual appearance of small calcified structures not only in the pineal gland but elsewhere in the brain as well.  For reference, here is a histological slice of a calcified pineal gland.  

Se those incredibly tiny little black dots that the "brain sand" label is pointing to?  Thats the calcification in question.  Another image, this time in color

Under normal circumstances this calcification is absurdly minor, taking up less than 1% of functional tissue. There does, however, seem to be some link between excessive calcification and certain age related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Dementia. This link is still mostly unstudied and may not be significant. {Source}

 In most humans nowadays, the pineal gland is blocked from calcification,  which is stopping our inner abilities and intuition. This blocking of  the pineal gland, purposely, has been done since the early years of our  history. 

The pineal gland is fully functional in most humans, baring those with some disease or defect which renders it inoperable. The pineal gland plays no direct part in intuition because, like other glands of the endocrine system, it is not nervous tissue and does not process sensory stimulus. It can no more grant you magical intuition than your testicles, ovaries, or pancreas can. The hormones they secrete can affect your mood and conscious state surely, but they themselves are not part of the brain.  

The implication of an ancient conspiracy to hold back your secret psychic abilities  will be covered next. 

 This video will talk about it in more detail:

This is gonna be a rapid fire one because I don't want to sit around go over every detail. 

  • The pineal gland is not part of the nervous system and even if it was there are far more important parts. How about the Cerabellum, Medulla and Pons, all which control vital autonomic systems such as breathing and heart rate (Interesting note, your heart doesn't need nerve impulse to beat, it beats on its own. It needs the impulses to tell it how fast to beat)? Hell, even in the endocrine systems its not the most important. Do you have any idea how many dang hormones the pituitary produces? Hint, its not a small amount.
  • "They're realizing it's a spiritual antennae." How. How are they realizing this? What is the process used? Where are the results? 
  • "The third eye" and various other butchered and westernized interpretations of eastern religious ideas are referenced here. Rather than go in depth with explanations how the Sahasrara Chakra (which is variously shown to be in the forehead, on the top of the head, and even floating above the head) was interpreted by random white guys in the new age movement to be connected to the pineal gland, I'm just gonna post this. This is a video of a Hindu holy man lifting a rock with his penis. True Eastern religions such as Hinduism are far stranger and more amazing than anything this westernized and self-helpified can pull off.
  • "This gland is activated by light" Actually its the exact opposite.  Visual input-- specifically darkness-- from eyes stimulates suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus, which then stimulates the Pineal gland. This makes sense because the pineal gland is associated with using melatonin to induce sleepiness. It would do no good if you got sleepy anytime you were exposed to light, would it?
  • "It works in harmony with the hypothalamus gland" Yes, true, but so does literally all other parts of the brain. All parts of your body work in harmony. If they don't in manifests as an illness, almost by definition. 
  • "Descartes called the pineal gland the seat of the soul." Good for Descartes, but I'll point out that he was not a doctor, he was indeed a philosopher from the 1600's. And at that time " Doctors consulted not only medical texts but also books on astrology and numbers--and, of course, the Bible " and "Dried ground boar penis could cure pleurisy, while pigeon dung was helpful for eye irritations. Grease was applied to burns, and verbena was prescribed for the bite of a rabid dog. Blood-letting was the most common treatment for alleviating symptoms of disease and for releasing malignant humors " {Source} It is perhaps unwise to take the medical opinion of men from this time as sacrosanct. 
  • Moving along otherwise we'll be here all day, we come to the thing I knew would be in here: Fluoride. Whenever I see people whining about Fluoride the chemist in me gets extremely angry.  There are a couple reasons why this is dumb. The first has to do with the fact that the calcifications found in the pineal gland are made up of the following substances:  calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, magnesium phosphate, and ammonium phosphate. Notice the distinct lack of any sort of Fluoride.  Second, Fluoride in small amounts is needed for cavity prevention and for the hardening of bones. Third, the amounts coming in through things like drinking water are FAR LESS than the amounts you get through tea leaves.  {Source} Excessive consumption of Fluoride can be dangerous, but so can excessive consumption of water. This freakout over fluoride is no different than the freakout over radiation (Did I mention my medical degree is in radiation therapy?) and stems for a basic lack of understanding about the fundamentals of chemistry.
  • Oh good, he broke Godwin's Law. No, the Nazis did not use fluoride in their drinking water to mind control prisoners. This is a complete fabrication and while you may see it repeated ad nauseum, it doesn't make it true. It's nothing more than a scare tactic, relating something they dislike to Nazis. {Source}
  • "Fillings and Vaccines are full of mercury"  Some filling compounds do have mercury in them, but it is non-reactive. In fact, the only danger it has been show to cause is an environmental one due to poor disposal of old fillings. The Vaccine thing is a typical Anti-vaccine falsehood referencing the fact that old vaccines used to contain a preserving agent that had mercury as one of the atoms in its molecular structure. To which I always reply that Table salt contains a poisonous gas used as a chemical weapon by the nazis and a metal so reactive it explodes when it contacts water. And yet, no one is telling you not to eat salt. Again, this is all just a fundamental lack of understanding of basic chemistry.  And also out of date because vaccines no longer contain that preservative. 
  • The rest of the video is a barely coherent pick and mix of inane conspiracy ramblings. 

  That’s how you’re currently living, you are constantly driving, but our pineal gland isn’t opened yet.  

This is odd phrasing that keeps being repeated. Opened? Opened how?  Here's a picture of it.

It's a cluster of cells surrounded by connective tissue. What part of it opens? I've held one. I've cut it open. I've looked at the microscopic structure, I've read about the mechanics of its hormone production. I Have no idea what the heck they mean by Open. 

" To decalcify your pineal gland and open it up more, first of all you should stop eating fluoride,  which is contained in regular toothpaste and also in tap water.  There  are fluoride-free toothpastes on the market, and alkaline water with a  pH level of 8 or above is best to drink. Filtered tap water is also  alright, but not as good as alkaline water.  "

Again with the opening it up. Also, again with the fallacy of the danger of the "unnatural".  Don't eat toothpaste (Which you shouldn't do in the first place) and don't drink tap water.  What about these foods?

All these foods contain fluoride, sometimes in higher concentrations than tap water. Why aren't you freaking about about these?  

Ah, and this thing about Alkaline water; it's the new hot hippy buzzword and I have literally no idea why. It's true that the pH of your blood is very slightly basic, around 7.4 (Though it varies a bit depending on if it is arterial or venous blood). However, your body is constantly working to maintain this pH, preventing it from becoming too alkaline or acidic. I think this may be a simple case of people hearing about blood acidosis and freaking out, thinking they have to keep drinking alkaline stuff to counteract it. But the thing is that you don't. Your body actively keeps itself regulated. If it didn't you'd be dead really quick. I mean, the very act of breathing is a powerful part of the acid-base chemistry of the body because it produces the Bicarbonate Buffer

Which functions to fight against both acidosis and alkalosis by either accepting or releasing H+ ions as needed. 

In fact, you literally CANNOT change your blood pH via what you eat unless you're drinking lye or chewing batteries. You wanna effect your blood pH and push it towards acidic? Go exercise for a while. That drives the pH down and makes your blood more acidic. It's actually a pretty interesting thing too because your blood being more acidic causes your red blood cells to release more oxygen because their bonding power becomes weaker near the more acidic muscles. So your blood being more acidic during a work out actually functions to help deliver oxygen to the cells. 

" Here are 2 examples of children who have fully developed their pineal gland: "

This first one is highly suspect for a few reasons. Number 1, because its a parlor trick being done in an uncontrolled situation. And Number 2, its being done as propaganda for the Nithyananda group. A group that sells courses to develop your special powers and that has 23 million dollars in untaxed holdings thanks to these courses. Now, I'm not saying they're scam artists using gullible hippies to grow a multimillion dollar fortune. But it certainly seems like it. 

The second one Is really no different than all those so called "Indigo children". Ie Children who grew up being coached to act a certain way and believe a certain thing. He's no different than countless "Child preachers" who profess the word of god. Children are easy to mold and to make into whatever you want, they absorb everything they see and learn to do it innately.  Until I see one of them moving something with their mind or performing their acts in a controlled environment, I'm not gonna be swayed. 

"To help you detoxify your pineal gland, I also recommend taking Boron, which is anti-inflammatory and helps decalcify your body."

1. As was stated before the calcium deposits in the pineal gland are tiny, insignificant in most. You know where you have a lot of calcium? Your bones. If you wanna give yourself rickets in some attempt to speak to the universe, that's your choice but it seems an awfully silly one.    

2.At least it would be if boron actually did anything. The information I can find on it states that, while human studies are rare, animal studies showed that the only effects of the substance were birth defects in the offspring of dosed animals. And even then, only when dosed at extremely high levels.  {Source}


A thought provoking article! Keep writing, great stuff!

There is a lot of misinformation out there and many of us are not biochemists. While I happen to like biochemistry, (yes I know that makes me a minority) I think it is a shame that people don't to a little more research. Though I am not terribly surprised when I see a post like the one that you highlight. There is so much pseudo science out there. I wish you well in your studies...

Normally I wouldn't care too much but when something talking about how some random endocrine gland allows you to speak to aliens or whatever gets 2k in up votes it makes me legitimately worried. It's on par with someone saying the moon landing was fake and people throwing fist fulls of money at him.

Yeah I got that. I have spent years studying things and it seems hard to see all of that work trivialized by others and even worse to get rewarded. But I guess that fecal matter occurs.

Great article! Steem needs more a such articles! Keep going :)

We need "read it later" feature.

Not sure whats up with the pineal gland but, I understand thinking positively toward your goal in life, will influence your decisions in achieving it.

Note that Rick Strassman is a well known writer on this subject and that his work was, as he stated, nothing but conjecture and not actual fact. He has, in fact, expressed annoyance in the way that the New Age has hijacked his writings and are using them as though they are fact.

"I did my best in the DMT book to differentiate between what is known, and what I was conjecturing about (based upon what is known), regarding certain aspects of DMT dynamics. However, it's amazing how ineffective my efforts seem to have been. So many people write me, or write elsewhere, about DMT, and the pineal, assuming that the things I conjecture about are true. When I was writing the book, I thought I was clear enough, and repeating myself would have gotten tedious. We don't know whether DMT is made in the pineal. I muster a lot of circumstantial evidence supporting a reason to look long and hard at the pineal, but we do not yet know." - Strassman via https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/dmt/dmt_article2.shtml

It is true that the pineal and or parietal glands can form small light sensitive organs in some reptiles. It is called a parietal eye. However it is far less functional than their other eyes and is basically not much more than a crude mass of photosensitive cells.

As an experiment, let's all just think how Steemit will soon be bigger than facebook soon.

first of all, thanks for your long comment and all the detailed information you've written down.
Of course this is a topic that provokes discussion. The topic itself is much deeper than I explained in my post, I know that some statements haven't been explained, but like I can see you are on the same path.
I would like to learn from you as well, a pity that you didn't post more about this kind of stuff on your blog. You're already very informed in the topic of DMT like I saw.

I don't feel offended at all - quite the contrary, thanks for your effort, keep it up and have a nice weekend.
I upvoted (Y)

The foremost neuroscientists in the world have said that science has unravelled maybe ten percent of the secrets of the human brain. I can tell that you fully believe everything that's presented to you by the state/corporate ran educational indoctrination centers. I'm not saying that I know but I am saying that you don't either.

You hit the nail on the head here @apocaloptimisto. I am a retired nurse. Retired because I finally figured it all out. It's not the business of healing, but the business of keeping people sick and dumbed down to the fact that it is all about making money. I practice preventative health and err on the side of caution now. However, I don't preach either way. To each their own.

And why did you tag this post with steem instead of neuroscience, or conspiracy, or any tag that actually applies to the topic?

Hi! This post has a Flesch-Kincaid grade level of 8.2 and reading ease of 67%. This puts the writing level on par with Leo Tolstoy and David Foster Wallace.

Thank you mr.bot. Though honestly naming yourself Asimov instead of after one of his robots was kind of a missed opportunity.

Still, Level 8.2? With Tolstoy and Wallace? That's not bad.