File under: Gurubusting
We immediately rejected the idea that applied kinesiology can measure "levels" of enlightenment the instant we heard it. Talk about a room full of ducks doing what only ducks do!
It's all in the joke work known as Power Vs. Force by David Hawkins, M.D. and Ph.D. Apparently, Hawkins has recently made moves to promote himself as a spiritual leader. When a reader turned our head toward him, we succumbed to our laziness and suggested the reader write about him and send it in, which he did! It was a good move on our part:
Applied Quackery: David Hawkins and Applied KinesiologyIt's a mannered piece about a new wackadoo trying to emerge into the mainstream.
While Dr. David Hawkins at least mentions some true spiritual teachers, such as Sri Ramana Maharshi, the main premise of his work is that the pseudoscience applied kinesiology can determine truth from falsity. I can see why some people might believe Dr. Hawkins’ claims; after all, Dr. Hawkins has an M.D. and a Ph.D. But, while he is a psychiatrist, his Ph.D. is from the unaccredited diploma mill Columbia Pacific University, a fact not noted in his books or on his website. This degree is the basis of his work.
Noted skeptics such as professor of philosophy and author of The Skeptic's Dictionary, Dr. Robert Todd Carroll, have thoroughly debunked Dr. Hawkins' claims, and James Randi has challenged Dr. Hawkins to win his "One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge" with Dr. Hawkins’ applied kinesiology technique, though Mr. Randi stated that he believes Dr. Hawkins would not even attempt to apply to win the prize for "obvious" reasons.
Since Dr. Hawkins’ work is spiritual, not just pseudoscientific, Dr. Hawkins can pull the "don't be skeptical, have faith" line to followers of his work.
But even John Diamond, M.D., who originated Behavioral Kinesiology with the approval of the founder of applied kinesiology, George Goodheart, has criticized Dr. Hawkins' version of applied kinesiology. As has Eric Pierotti, the current president of the International College of Applied Kinesiology, who stated that it "could not be further from the truth” that Dr. Hawkins' methodology even is applied kinesiology.
So whether a person believes applied kinesiology is science or not, skeptics, mainstream scientists, as well as prominent practitioners of applied kinesiology, all consider Dr. Hawkins' version of applied kinesiology to not be true.
For the record, all the double-blind studies, research, and reviews at the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health indicate that applied kinesiology is not science, indeed is "not more useful than random guessing," and does not work.
But perhaps a reader of Dr. Hawkins may find redeeming spiritual quality in his work, even if Dr. Hawkins' claims regarding applied kinesiology are not true. To that I would point out that Dr. Hawkins' work has also been criticized from spiritual media such as at Strictly Spiritual, Sarlo's Guru Rating Service, EnergyGrid Alternative Media, Dowsers, PES Network Inc., as well as by fellow Dr. Wayne Dyer-endorsed Hay House author Gary Renard in his book Your Immortal Reality, and even prominent teachers of A Course in Miracles believe Dr. Hawkins' work is nonsense.
But what is worse is that Dr. Hawkins has apparently started a cult out of this system, as suggested by psychiatrist Peter A. Olsson, M.D., author of Malignant Pied Pipers of Our Time: A Psychological Study of Destructive Cult Leaders from Rev. Jim Jones to Osama bin Laden, who believes Dr. Hawkins "has apparently taken a grandiose road less traveled, and...may have morphed into a malignant pied piper," and as written at the Rick A. Ross Institute Cult Education Forum and as reported by the New England Institute of Religious Research.
Even Dr. Hawkins' "Map of Consciousness" is not original. It is very similar to L. Ron Hubbard's "Tone Scale," and I understand that both of these have their origin in psychoanalytic research (which is why they appear similar).
If a person is looking for a scientific book, I would suggest The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan.
If a person is hoping for a spiritual work, consider Talks With Ramana Maharshi: On Realizing Abiding Peace and Happiness by Ramana Maharshi.
Dr. Hawkins’ work with his version of applied kinesiology is not scientific. Even foremost proponents of applied kinesiology do not believe Dr. Hawkins' work is true. The work has been criticized scientifically, as well as by spiritual seekers and by cult experts.
Here's our take: get ready for another insufferable, grandiose narcissist brimming over with pathological self-regard, offering nothing more than his own personal delusions as your objective spiritual truth.