SMMN Vol.3, No.3

Spiritual Massage Ministry Newsletter

          Vol. 3, No. 3                                    ISSN 1080-3262                                      July 1998



Rev. Albert Schatz, Ph.D.

When I became Director of Research in a massage course some years ago, I added the question, "Why do you want to learn massage?" to the Application. Two-thirds or more of the applicants said, in one way or another, they were motivated to do massage for spiritual and/or religious reasons.

 Since then, many massage therapists have told me that they feel a calling from Jesus or God to help and heal people. They want to do something associated with anointing with oil and the laying on of hands. Some were ministers who said massage was their ministry. Others were interested in knowing how they could be ordained.

When I tell people I was ordained by  The Universal Brotherhood Movement, Inc. (U.B.M.), many ask, "What is U.B.M.?" "Where is it located?" "How long has it been in existence?" "Why don't people know about it?" etc.

In reply to these inquiries, the following information is quoted (with permission) from a U.B.M. brochure. Additional information is available from the administrative office at 6503 Lakeshore Drive, Margate, Florida. 33063. Phone 954-979-5988. FAX 954-979-3070. Rev. Julie Paul is the Administrator.


U.B.M. is an association composed of persons who have requested recognition of their independent ministries and have been officially ordained by U.B.M. Each minister names his or her ministry and conducts it in the manner they deem fitting and proper.

U.B.M. was incorporated in 1976 as a not-for-profit corporation to satisfy the legal requirements of persons practicing spiritual service.

 How does U.B.M. function?

Persons who are committed to expressing their lives by serving others may request ordination through U.B.M. A minister ordained by U.B.M. may legally officiate at weddings, baptisms, funerals, services of dedication and make ministerial hospital calls subject to local civil regulation.

Association with U.B.M. as a minister need not alter one's affiliation or commitment to his or her church or other religious institution. One may continue to be active in any faith or philosophy.

Who are U.B.M. ministers?

Persons ordained by U.B.M. are dedicated, spiritually-oriented individuals who desire to reach out to others in unconditional and nonjudgemental love.

What are U.B.M.'s doctrines?

There is no requirement to believe in any particular doctrine or creedal statement. U.B.M. considers each person as an individual who is on her or his own "path" - a unique expression of life. Nonjudgment and unconditional love are typically recognized by ministers.

How are U.B.M. ministers chosen?

U.B.M. considers and acts upon each request for ordination. U.B.M., does not solicit or seek applicants for ordination. Individuals must request recognition of their ministry and ordination.

During the ordination, the applicant is asked to affirm, "I hereby dedicate my life to the Brotherhood of mankind."

Where do ministers ordained by U.B.M.

get their training?

Since U.B.M. makes no attempt to influence or change an individual's philosophical beliefs, no seminary is required. Each applicant is recognized and honored for his or her own unique ministry. Although many persons ordained by U.B.M. hold advanced educational degrees, each applicant is awarded a Bachelor of Divinity at ordination in recognition of life experience.

Where do you fit in?

If you wonder how you might live a life of Love and Service without subscribing to someone else's belief structure, ministry recognized by U.B.M. may be the way. You may request a newsletter and further information by writing or calling the Administrative office.



 Rev. Dr. Richard D. Prigmore, President and CEO, kindly  provided the following information which is quoted (with his permission) from his letter of May 30, 1997.

In 1976, following a 31/2 year ministry as Associate Minister at First Christian Church, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, we resigned to follow a broader path of spiritual service. Our reading and experience with lay persons from all different disciplines, eastern philosophies, Edgar Cayce, Emmett Fox, Ernest Holmes and others, led us to a feeling of "spiritual restriction" with all the traditional ministries we examined.

It was our desire to serve our fellow men with true non-judgment and unconditional love. All the structures we found required some statement of philosophy or faith which seemed to us less than totally non-judgmental.

So, in 1976, in collaboration with an attorney friend, I wrote the charter for a corporate base to our personal ministry. We only intended it to serve our  ministry. But, our attorney friend kept insisting it cost no more to write a broad charter than a more limited one, even though we had no plans to expand it at that time.

Soon after we began, people we served came to us asking how we functioned without subscribing to someone else's belief system. We outlined our path and suggested they could do the same if they desired. One couple insisted they wanted to be part of "whatever it is you are part of."

We finally told them, "We have in our charter a provision whereby we may ordain ministers. We will ordain you, but will not tell you how to conduct your ministry. The only requirement is that you have a dedication to serve the brotherhood of mankind. Then you may follow the pathway of service you deem fitting and proper."

We did ordain them, patted them on the back and urged them to go "do their thing." They told some others who likewise requested ordination, who told others, who told others, etc. We have never advertised or promoted the process. Those who find their way to U.B.M. do so through word-of-mouth or by finding a Question and Answer brochure somewhere.

When a request is received, a Question and Answer brochure is sent along with a copy of the latest U.B.M. Good News. If and when the person decides to request ordination and returns the application, Rev. Julie Paul, our Administrator, prepares the certificate  and sends it to the nearest Minister/Director who arranges a time and place for the ordination. All are "face-to-face" ordinations, We do not "mail order" ordinations.

We feel we have been the instruments through which this concept has come to fruition. We claim no equity ownership. One of the primary concepts of our independent ministry was that we would work in secular jobs for our "bread and butter" and serve our spiritual commitment with love energy. This we have done for nearly 21 years. We have never received compensation from U.B.M. for service. In recent years, some of our travel expense has been reimbursed.

Over the last 20 years, more than 2200 persons have sought recognition of their unique and personal ministries through ordination. As a part of the process, we grant a Bachelor of Divinity degree for Life Experience and commitment. The discipline of those seeking ordination range from most eastern philosophies and belief systems to the most esoteric of New Age practices; from astrologers to medical doctors, from energy healers of all types to chiropractors, from writers and artists to dentists.

Some teach at the university level; others maintain "fixed base" service institutions (churches): yet others roam the earth offering their talents to those willing to receive. All five root races of man are represented; most of the world's spiritual and philosophical belief systems are represented, from Mormons to Hindus, from Southern Baptists to Jews, from Islam to Spiritual Science and especially Unity ministers. Very many of them are involved in the healing practices, both physical and metaphysical.

There are U.B.M. ministers in Australia, Europe, South America, the Philippines, Caribbean as well as Canada, Mexico, Central America and the U.S. More than 50 countries are represented by minister's birth origin.



 UB University offers UB Ministers a "program of further growth awareness and service to mankind," which leads to Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and  Doctor of Divinity (D.Div.) degrees.  Rev. Colin Tipping, President of UB University and a member of the UB University Board of Regents, has kindly permitted us to reprint the following statement which he wrote.

Reflections on

"Master of Divinity"

Why divinity? Divinity is quite different from spirituality. Spirituality is part of what it is to be human - it is an attribute of human beingness. As such it will always be open to infinite variation and diversity and in constant need of clarification according to the prevailing ideas and beliefs that humans invent on a day to day basis. In other words, spirituality is a contingent term, always changing, always in a state of flux.

Divinity on the other hand exists alone, unchanging, separate from and independent of, human behavior. It is not an attribute one gives to a fellow human being. Divinity seems to have a very narrow meaning which is either understood entirely for what it is, or not comprehended at all. It is not open to much interpretation, not even to the extent that we might differently interpret the term God or even other aspects of the divine. It is not even open to definition. Divinity just is. Its meaning is narrow, yet it encompasses ALL. Its meaning is finite but it embraces the infinite. Divinity is that which encompasses the Divine. What else can one say?

Even if the term defies definition, it really does feel right to entitle the degree Master of Divinity. Moreover, the student already has a Bachelor of Divinity degree. Yet what appears to be the logical progression from Bachelor to Master may in fact hold very little meaning for the student. I believe that when people became ordained into the Universal Brotherhood, they attached meaning and importance to the term Minister, not to the degree. They scarcely gave it a thought. Had there been no degree conferred, I don't think there would be one less person ordained. The degree wasn't the point for most people. It was just a bonus. What mattered was the fact that they had decided to become a minister. The progression from minister to master seems therefore to be much more meaningful.

A minister is someone who dedicates their life to the service of others in the certain knowledge and belief that that person is their brother, and always a reflection of themselves. To serve others is a way to serve God, and themselves, for in giving to others they are giving to themselves and allowing the love energy of the Universe to flow through them.

In the way that the term is most often used, the emphasis is on doing. Helping, working on behalf of, acting compassionately for, and so on. The very term ministering has the quality of action about it. For example, we speak of ministering to the sick and needy. One's work is often said to be one's ministry. We are affected by the things that ministers might DO: teaching, nursing, healing, singing, etc.

A master is different. We are affected, not by what they do, but by what the ARE. We are inspired and affected by their very quality of being. We feel their essence and their Love and are nourished purely by being in their presence. They don't have to do anything. Disciples are seldom taught anything by their masters. Masters are not teachers. They simply share their beingness with others. They're overflowing with so much love energy, they simply have to share it. Disciples stay close to imbibe this love energy, hoping to become like their masters. Spiritual masters don't focus on external knowledge and information. Theirs is a knowingness that comes from inner work. An inner wisdom.

Not that UB University is trying to make people into spiritual masters and gurus, or claiming that people who obtain a masters degree through UB University are in any sense masters of anything. The idea of master as being someone whose very quality is spiritual, connected to the divine, and totally loving, is an idea anyone can aspire to when they sign up to do a masters program.

The progression is therefore not so much in terms of degree level, as you would normally think of the progression from a bachelors to a masters degree, so much as it is deepening one's commitment to being a minister and aspiring to become like a master; making the shift from doing one's ministry to being one's ministry. Jesus didn't do his ministry, He was his ministry. Jesus didn't just love, He was love.

The essence of a UB masters degree in Divinity then, will be the inner work. It will not be about demonstrating knowledge, skills or outer mastery of any kind. The goal is to deepen one's commitment and ability to serve one's fellow man, to become more loving and be more willing to surrender to the divine. How that will look will be different for every person, and only the student will recognize the moment when the title of Master of Divinity fits. When that happens, he or she must claim it. UB University will be happy to confer it upon them. 




Rev. Abert Schatz, Ph.D.

If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Matthew 15:14

 Teaching, the highest of the ministerial or cooperative arts, is devoted to the good of others. It is an act of supreme generosity. St. Augustine called it he greatest act of charity. - Mortimer Adler


This report is my reply to people who ask why I am involved with state regulation of massage. My ministry is largely one of healing and teaching. I don't preach. I teach. My teaching ministry is a sequence to the teaching I did for some 30 years as a professor in colleges and universities.

To teach about state regulation of massage, I try to do two things. One is to provide information that may not otherwise not be readily available. The other is to motivate people to think for themselves, and not let others do their thinking for them. In this sense, teaching is liberation theology.

Some who do massage within what they consider a spiritual calling are ministers or liken themselves to ministers. Others ask whether their massage healing can be considered their ministry. Many want to know what a ministry is, and what they would have to do if they were ministers. The following comments are relevant to their inquiries.

These comments are taken from the book The Ministry, edited by J. Richard Spann (Abington-Cokesbury Press. New York. 1949) This book consists of a short Foreword by the editor and a collection of 17 essays by two women and 16  men, all of whom were distinguished as members of the clergy or in other areas.

I identify what I quote by naming the author. Although the book is concerned with Christianity, much of it is applicable to other revealed religions and to nature religions. Although the book is 49 years old, much of it is still relevant.

*        *        *

"The minister must be a teacher. Like his master, he must go about teaching, preaching, and serving. This much is generally understood; but when we say 'educator,' the picture requires scrutiny before we see what it is. Educators are teachers who add the responsibility for helping others teach... A teacher can be an educator." - Harold F. Carr

"I hold that a man is not likely to rise to the fullness of his powers as a minister unless he writes something serious every week". - D. Elton Trueblood

"The Christian minister, as a leader of public thought and as a citizen of community, state, and nation, has the right and the duty to guide public thinking along the road of righteousness." - Nolan B. Harmon

*        *        *

"It is striking how almost all writers of the ills of our time come to the conclusion  that mankind's most urgent needs are spiritual." - Henry Sloane Coffin

"The requirements of the Christian Ministry today are more varied and exacting than they have ever been in the history of the Christian Church." - J. Richard Spann'

"God has laid his hand upon men in all generations to do his work... 'Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.'"- Paul B. Kern

"A call is not concerned uniquely with the ministry of the gospel in the Church. Every Christian is called by the Master to follow Him, and that following may be in a carpenter's shop as well as in preaching and teaching... in running a grocery store or tending the post office...  One man is called ... to farming, another to political service, a third to banking, and so on... There are ministries to humanity through mining, through surgery, through music, through manufacture.

" Such ministries may all become holy, provided those who engage in them place their work for human beings first, and their personal gain second, and provided they accept their work as God's will for them to use and attempt to discharge it as his servants.  Services to the community ... are ministries just as holy  as is teaching a Sunday-school class or conducting a prayer meeting...  Whatever contributes to human welfare is a sacred vocation." - Henry Sloane Coffin

"In retrospect we discover that we have been led in circumstances when we little suspect that God's hand was shaping events and pushing us... Robert Louis Stevenson speaks of 'the 'unknown steersman' who held the helm of his career at a decisive moment. But God does not wish to remain unknown. He seeks not slaves, but friends." - Henry Sloane Coffin

"Even though the Reformation explicitly rejected the notion that clergy are better 'than other people,' or their calling is superior to other callings, we are constantly tempted with such heresy in new and subtle forms." - Seward Hiltner

"The body is the temple of the spirit. Its columns may become chipped by the wind and rain, or its roof may leak. Eventually, it will fall. But coming to terms with the spirit within the temple has a remarkable effect on the temple itself. Like Samson, we can, under compulsion, tear it down. Or we can make it disintegrate by ignoring the need for repairs or refusing to get the particular repairman we may need. But if we take the specific steps needed to free the spirit and integrate the personality around it, we may find the temple itself becoming more solid and secure." - Seward Hiltner

"Another compensation, for those who are able to grow, is the release from the tyranny of systems, plans, and rigidities in thinking. We hear of many 'plans of salvation.' Either there is only one plan, or there are many. If one, which is it? If many, how can we be sure or how to make a choice? 'But,' each protagonist tells me, 'This plan of salvation is clearly revealed in the Scripture - or in theology or in some great spokesman for that particular plan.'" -  Raimundo de Ovies

"Our Mentor is the Great Physician... What we call 'our work' is sanctified, even if we are not. The grace of God can be carried in earthen vessels... It is good to practice what we preach. It is even more blessed to practice what we pray," - Raimundo de Ovies

*        *        *

"If  the minister's home is a place of cultural and spiritual vitality, it will generate those values throughout the church and community often without his knowledge and awareness." - Edward and Anna Laura Gebbard.

"A minister's library is a pitiless revelation of his mind and of his usefulness. Spend two hours alone with his books, and you know a great deal about a man. - D. Elton Trueblood

"If a man is always reading important books such as major biographies, literary studies, science, philosophy, and theology, he can hardly fail to have a significant message." - D. Elton Trueblood

"Much of a minister's serious reading should be in fields other than those usually termed religious, because real religion is coterminous with common life. A thoughtful man soon discovers the devotional paradox to the effect that the deepest inspiration frequently arises from secular literature, while the literature which is intentionally inspiring so often palls." - D. Elton Trueblood

"All the best reading is done with a pen in hand. The advantage is that the reader is himself active and doing something about the ideas. Little help comes to the passive observer or to the passive reader. We should underline striking sentences, query doubtful passages, and make our own index in the back of the book, so that later we can find significant sections with speed and ease... It is a natural step from reading with a pen to using a pen without the book... The indispensable tool of every minister is a notebook.... Every man must have some system of filing." - D. Elton Trueblood

Two comments that are relative

to sexual harassment by

massage therapists

"A distinguished physician of high professional prestige was once invited to deliver a lecture to a  group of young doctors upon the subject 'The Ethics of the Medical Profession.' This is what he said: 'My lecture can be boiled down into two sentences. If you are a gentleman, you will know how to conduct yourself in any situation affecting a doctor's practice. If you are not, nothing I can say here will do you any good.'" - Nolan B. Harmon

"The first principle which I must insist upon in dealing with the matter is that each minister must always keep in mind the nobility of his own profession." - Nolan B. Harmon

These two comments call to mind the problem of sexual harassment by male massage therapists. This unprofessional behavior reveals disrespect for women and for the integrity and nobility of the massage profession.

There is no well-documented information which indicates that state regulation prevents or minimizes sexual harassment. We do not understand why the subject of ethics cannot be adequately covered in a 100 or 200-hour training which includes hands-on work.

Massage is a form of sharing because it involves both giving and receiving. It is also physical, emotional, and spiritual sharing based on mutual acceptance, respect and trust.


Editor's comment. I am grateful to Robert Calvert for the following Letter to the Editor. I welcome his input because it is important that our readers have the information he presents. Some of the history of progress is, in large part, the history of disagreement. If handled constructively, disagreement can contribute in  a  positive way to our understanding and knowledge. "Where all think alike, no one thinks very much." - Walter Lippmann.

May 5, 1998

Letter to the Editor

Regarding the article entitled "Prostitution and Massage," in your Journal of Spiritual Bodywork,  Special Issue No. 2, October, 1997,  I have several comments. You are correct to criticize the "massage literature" as "not adequately" treating "the interrelationship of massage therapy and prostitution." I recall a cover story in Massage Magazine (Issue #25) in which we explored for the first time the violation of boundaries in the treatment room. Even though the piece contained some highly controversial statements by one author, prompting a fury of critical letters from readers, the story did begin a much needed dialogue and subsequent development of trade-wide rules about the complex boundary issues found within the client/therapist relationship.

The issue of the relationship between massage and prostitution, would, I have no doubt, erupt in another barrage of criticism from the trade, without perhaps any resolution forthcoming from ensuing discussion on the subject. And I think the reason is that prostitution is playing a smaller and smaller role in the everyday lives of most massage and bodywork practitioners in the US today than it certainly has in the past. 

Your article is informative in its content but very broad in its scope. Too broad, I dare say, because you begin with a mistaken order of things on the subject of massage and prostitution, and continue to develop some of your comments on this false order of events and about prostitution as a separate issue.

I take exception with your claim that, "The regulation of massage to allegedly reduce prostitution is initiated and maintained because special interest groups profit from it." Massage has not been regulated in an attempt to reduce prostitution. It is the other way around. Prostitution has been regulated first, and massage has come along in the wake of such regulation. This is the history of massage regulation that has not been adequately addressed by the trade; nearly every state-wide regulation (state law), nearly every county and city ordinance in this country was originally designed and passed into law for the sole purpose of regulating prostitution. Therefore, massage has derived its legal heritage from regulations designed to control prostitution. Prostitution regulations have not been designed and passed into law to control massage as you claim. This premise in your otherwise informative article would alter your assertions considerably, I think.

For instance, you state later in your article that one of the purposes of your report is to "help repeal local ordinances that treat massage therapists like criminals by requiring them to have their mug shots and fingerprints taken and kept on record... Such local ordinances consider all massage therapists potential prostitutes." The fact is, from the historical point of view of local police and sheriff departments, so-called legitimate massage therapists have not been a part of that experience, and so anyone posing as such falls into their historical perception of parlor operators or potential prostitutes.

It has, therefore, been incumbent upon the "legitimate" massage community to educate these officials and the regulators who pass the laws which supposedly help them do their job, that there is such a thing as a "legitimate" massage practitioner and that practitioners can by virtue of their training and intention be treated differently than the historical model police are used to dealing with. This in fact has been the successful agenda of many an individual practitioner and numerous organizations in the trade of massage therapy in turning around the attitude of local and state authorities.

It is through their diligent, persistent, and honorable work that they have educated police officials and regulators throughout the country so that today we have more practitioner-based massage laws, albeit they still have derived from the parlor codes of old, than existing parlor codes. The job is not complete, but it is well on its way to being so.

And the reason the laws meant to control prostitution are, as you rightly state, "ineffective and detrimental to massage therapists..." is because they were not designed to be effective and favorable to massage therapists. In this respect, provided in this example, your premise leaves something to be desired in other claims in your report.

I also take exception with your claim that parlor codes do no good for the "legitimate" massage practitioner. A case in point: in many states around the country up to the late 1980s, a common practice was that licenses of operators would hang posted on the walls of a parlor facility for years even though the person whose name was on the license was no longer working at the facility. Parlor owners would merely hire another operator (prostitute) and claim them, if asked as the bearer of the license. This practice was stopped by the hard work of "legitimate" massage therapists, requiring all businesses to provide picture identification of operators with a license being posted. This provided local authorities with the necessary tool for catching violators, the individual and the business, and shutting them down.

One other point, I know of no massage legislation that has been introduced to any state legislative body in the past decade which purports to "reduce prostitution" as you claim. I do agree that there has been little if any substantiation that massage regulation is needed to protect the public from harm.  What you have failed to assert, however, is one of the primary reasons for making such an assertion to a legislative body when introducing massage legislation. First, the binding task of nearly every legislative body in the country is to protect the public. It is a requirement of all legislation that in some way it serves to protect the public from harm.

Massage legislation has asserted this without having to prove its case. (In Canada this was attempted and failed.) I think because legislators are ignorant of its effects, ignorant of the differences and qualities of its potential and perceived or actual harm done, the latter they may grasp enough to see their way to supporting the legislation since they receive no evidence of its doing any harm. And lastly and perhaps the most important reason we see so much massage legislation being introduced in the country's legislatures is because massage practitioners want to be recognized and acknowledged for what they do. There are also  arguments that legislation is introduced to create monopolies. I do not subscribe to this assertion.

Historically, many other professions have laid foundations to gain their credibility. The mistake is that we've forgotten, or overlooked the educational and ethical standards and infrastructual development which preceded the successful legislative development of these other health care fields. We have not laid the proper foundations of a profession and so continue to struggle with its evolving development. Perhaps, too, they have actual claim to protecting the public from harm. I would venture to say, as the field enters into the medical domain more and more, there may well be some reason to protect the public from potential harm. Right now that is highly debatable.

Your agenda seems to be more about prostitution than about the development of a profession and it is here that we take separate paths. In discussing prostitution it is important that we consider the impact on the massage trade, not merely the poor regulations that affect some practitioners, but the effect this history of regulation has had and continues to have on the state of mind of practitioners, other health career professionals and the public as well. Hence the continual battle with the images of the past persist because they continue to be perceivable ghosts we see in our culture today. Prostitution will probably always be around, it has a long history, perhaps as long as massage itself. And there is a striking similarity in how each has survived. Both continue to deliver the same product as they've always provided and yet each has found its survival in delivering that product in a multitude of ways. Massage through its vast variety of techniques and settings where it can be administered, prostitution in its ability to change forms, fronts if you will, altering its face with the changing times.

Massage has succeeded, I think, in effectively separating itself from the changing faces of prostitution, not completely, but for the most part in this country it has accomplished that goal, and it will continue to improve on developing its own identity as we prepare for the new century ahead. My concern is not so much with the past image of massage and its inter-relatedness to prostitution,  a diminishing association to be sure, but in its future form and content. I can hope and along with many others in the field of massage therapy today, continue working toward making its presence even larger in a world sorely needing its ministrations.

   In touch,

                  Robert Noah Calvert

                      Founder of Massage Magazine                                                                      


The following Letter to the Editor is reprinted with permission of the author, Dr. Dolores Krieger.

The TIME article, to which Dr. Krieger refers, was motivated by a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This report was coauthored by a 9-year-old girl who did an experiment that allegedly disproved the effectiveness of  Therapeutic Touch. 

Letter to the Editor

Regarding Michael Lemonick's story, "Emily's Little Experiment," TIME, April 13, 1998.

There are several fundamental points of concern that Michael Lemonick and I spoke of in the interview which should have been noted if he were to quote me in context. In the study cited there are several crucial misinterpretations and misrepresentations of the Therapeutic Touch process, the research methodology is seriously flawed, improper statistical analysis was used, and I believe the core jounalistic question has been overlooked; namely, How did it happen that a major professional medical journal accepted an article whose content was questionable and written by a lay family and one normative physician? What, one wonders, was behind this travesty of professional inquiry? I believe that what is called for is the attention of an investigative journalist with a little bit of courage.

The facts are listed below:

1. The "research" was done on a convenient sample of people who happened to be available. As Emily said, "They were neighbors who were willing to help me with my science project." There was no attempt to define the sample members regarding their education about the Therapeutic Touch process and their experience with it beyond a statement repeated twice, that they had 1 to 27 years previous experience. We had not yet invented Therapeutic Touch 27 years previous to that study; what that means is that at least some of the sample were not doing Therapeutic Touch at all. In addition, a highly valid and reliable instrument we developed (SETTS) indicates that it is not the length of experience that predicts expertise in Therapeutic Touch, but the intensity of those experiences that is the valid predictor. 

2. The number of persons tested was inadequate. In the study it is simply stated that a statistical power of the study was done, but what that power actually was never reported. On this basis of no information it is then simply stated that the sample of 21 persons used in the study was "adequate" without further qualification. Had the statistical power of the study been appropriately derived, the sample should have been three times as large. Since the study then goes on to make broad generalizations, it calls for clear substantive statements, certainly something more than a vague nod to recognized requisites of standard statistical analysis.

3. Underlying the design of the study is a gross misunderstanding of Therapeutic Touch; it is not done with only the hands. Therapeutic Touch is an interiorized process called into being by compassion for someone who is in need and is coupled with a deep-seated, knowledgeable intentionality. The point of entry for this is a centering of consciousness that continues throughout the process; it is not a simple technique using the hands that can be mindlessly turned on and off. The technique used in the study comes close to being a parlor trick and in no way resembles Therapeutic Touch either in concept or in practice. In fact, the study simply demonstrated the known physiological limits of hands that are not subjected to contact or proprioception; they felt nothing, as would be expected. That is not where Therapeutic Touch is or was ever purported to be.

4. Much of the design and requirements of this study are similar to that conceived about three years ago by James Randi, the Magician, which your article mentions. One of the requirements of the present study is that the persons in the sample be correct 100% of the time; in Randi's study it was required that the tested persons be right 20 times out of 20 tries. At the time I applied the binomial theorem, the appropriate statistic to calculate the probability of this happening, and found that that probability would occur less than one time in more than one million four hundred thousand (1400,000) tries, which is greater than that offered for winning the national Publishers' Weekly Sweepstakes!

There is much, much more to be said about this questionable "research" - some of which I hope you print - but it is boring, boring, boring and perhaps your space might be better utilized by exploring the challenge I offer you: What purpose did this travesty serve? I would admire such a piece of investigative journalism.


Dolores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N.

Professor Emeritus of Nursing Science

New York University

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