February 19, 2006
Skeptics View The Indigo Evolution
The Indigo Evolution is a new film about a largely harmless new age phenomenon. On 2006-01-27 a group of Indiana Skeptics viewed the film at Unity Church of Indianapolis.
Most people believe that their children are special. However some believe that their children have special psychic powers. They call them Indigo Children. This documentary style film portrayed these indigo children as new age hero's destined to save the world from evil. The films message that children are special and that the world can be improved are well meaning and laudable. However the mystic window dressing is silly and leads to some dangerous advice.
The film claims that indigo children can be recognized by several attributes including empathy, energy, memory of past lives, and intolerance for those things which are not genuine. You can rest assured that the Indiana Skeptics share their intolerance of disingenuous people and movements. The film mentions some famous historical indigo children including Saint Bernadette and Joan of Arc, but it takes the position that these children are being born in greater and greater numbers. The claim that psychics have been detecting an indigo aura around children recently is offered without any evidence, much less proof of psychic powers. As with most psychic claims the old ten percent myth crops up. The discredited research of Dr Ilchi Lee is also invoked.
The psychic nonsense is humorous at times but later the film makes some potentially dangerous claims. Most notable are the claims that children with Attention Deficit Disorder should not be medicated. At one point love is suggested as an alternative to drugs. At a later point Osteopathic Medicine is the recommended treatment. While it is possible that Ritalin is over prescribed certainly children who do suffer from ADD should be treated with medicine.
Heartbreakingly the film also plays with the emotions of parents with autistic children. The supposed connection between mercury in thimerosal which is used as a preservative in vaccines and autism is mentioned at one point. While this myth has spread rapidly amongst the community of parents with autistic children it has not been shown to be true by medical science. Meanwhile another commentator in the film mentions that children may become autistic due to their telepathic powers. According to the film the constant barrage of thoughts causes them to turn inward. I cannot imagine how distressing this lie could be to the parent of an autistic child. The film makes no notice of the fact that it claims two separate causes of autism, and the telepathic angle brings the shadow of the old facilitated communication scam to my mind and that ruined a number of lives.
At other times the documentary appears to be a commercial for The CosmiKids Education System. In general it was disjointed and VERY credulous. The people interviewed for the film are not experts in their fields, they are mostly fringe scientists, savant children, scared parents of disabled children, new age authors, and artists. I would never recommend that someone not investigate a film for themselves, but this one should definitely be taken with a grain of salt.
Posted by nolandda at February 19, 2006 08:54 PM