Crystals’ effects clear, yet unexplained

Sierra Hatfield

The Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies class I’m taking is about conspiracies, hoaxes and frauds. Throughout the semester, we’ve explored the flat-earth theory, the anti-vaccination movement and those who believe national tragedies, such as 9/11 and the Sandy Hook shooting, were fake.

We don’t debate the validity of these events. Rather, we discuss the rhetorical strategies of the people who do believe them. Why do people want to believe 9/11 was an inside job? How do they go about trying to spread their message? How do psychics always hit the nail on the head? Why are tarot cards so accurate? It was really interesting and I encourage students to take it.

One of our last assignments in the class was to explore our own extraordinary claim. We were told to find something weird and test it to see if it worked as advertised. I chose to explore the magical power of crystals.

I’m not a believer in witchcraft. However, I do believe that Mother Nature has more remedies than we give her credit for. I have a friend who swears by the calming properties of crystals, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ My experiment spanned two weeks, where I placed an amethyst and a tektite crystal under my pillow before bed. I was testing the claim that these two crystals could give you better dreams.

I dream vividly most nights, with an average of two nightmares per week. During my experiment, I didn’t have any nightmares. How? Well, part two of the assignment was to conduct research after the experiment. Of course, I couldn’t find anything scientific backing the magical powers of crystals— they’re still just rocks. The closest I came to a scientific explanation was that the crystals give people a placebo effect, a term used when the body has a real response to a fake treatment.

I concluded that I will continue sleeping with rocks under my pillow. Why?

Sometimes people have ridiculous or extraordinary claims that ultimately make no sense. My crystals are no different from someone’s lucky pair of underwear or four-leaf clover. The importance of these things, how they make us feel, will usually outweigh the negative evidence.

Let people enjoy things. Does it really bother you?

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