Midweek Cuckoo: Dr. Masaru Emoto

Try this theory on for size:

Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.

Yes indeed, strange as it may sound, this ingenius Dr. Masaru Emoto has apparently discovered that music, thoughts, prayers, even words written on paper and taped to the glass, can change the quality of the water crystals (i.e. ice) formed when the sample is then frozen, cooled, and photographed. What conclusions, if any, could you draw from this theory? Well, according to the blurb for Emoto’s book The Hidden Messages in Water:

Emoto believes that since people are 70 percent water, and the Earth is 70 percent water, we can heal our planet and ourselves by consciously expressing love and goodwill.

Well, he’s a doctor, right? And according to his book jacket, he’s also a “scientific researcher, healer, and popular lecturer” so he must know what he’s talking about. Amazing! We’ll just ignore for now the fact that the earth is seriously not 70% water.

Or not. You see, ‘Dr.’ Emoto bought his degree from a diploma mill in India, the Open International University for Alternative Medicine, which charges $750 for an MD that involves one year of study and then five papers that you answer at home without supervision. Presumable the staff psychics will know if you cheat. His ‘research’ has never been successfully replicated in a double-blind controlled study, and he has never published a single scientific paper regarding this research. What he has done is appear in that deplorable waste of a film, What the Bleep Do We Know,  has made plenty of cash off his numerous books (he claims to have sold 2 million copies), and sells all manner of water-related rubbish on his sites, including H20m, described as:

“water with intention”. The first ever “vibrationally charged”, energy enhanced, interactive water brand.  Delicious crystal clear natural spring water infused with the power of positive energy and intention

Emoto’s ‘findings’ have been used to support everything from homeopathy to spiritual healing, with no evidence for their validity. In fact, it is blatantly obvious that the crystals are chosen subjectively, based on their ‘fit’ in the photographer’s eyes to the ‘vibration’ they’ve been exposed to.

One college student set out to write a term paper about Emoto. This is how he started out:

When I first heard of Dr. Emoto’s amazing work with water crystals through his book “The Hidden Messages in Water” I was absolutely stunned. I then saw the movie “What the Bleep do we Know” and became thoroughly intrigued. I set off to conduct a research project in the chemistry department of Castleton College in Vermont to see if I could find sufficient evidence and support for Dr. Emoto’s claims to merit conducting a deeper research project to try to reproduce his work. The idea was to uncover as much information about his methods and procedures as possible to determine if is would actually be feasible to study the effect of energy healing, such as Reiki, on the formation of water crystals. I was so excited to think that I might be the first person in the world to verify his work!

And this is where he ended up, after being probably the first Emoto fan ever to actually look at his work in detail:

After the lengthy review of Emoto’s research methods and results, I have come to believe that Dr. Emoto is offering pseudoscience to the masses in the guise of defensible research.

Domo arigato, Dr Emoto.


4 Responses to “Midweek Cuckoo: Dr. Masaru Emoto”

  1. For some reason, people will swallow anything – even water with intention. To paraphrase Scott Adams, the reason for this is because people are idiots.

  2. i have a sneaky suspicion that you wrote this post *ahem* purely *ahem* for the tag-line at the end. nicely done!

  3. I found this post while searching for an article to reference about Dr. Emoto’s “experiments ..(?)” ….. good job. I hope you don’t mind if I reference it in my next post.
    Someone asked me what pushed me from new-age thinking into skepticism and a big part of that was the obvious quackery in the movie “What the Bleep”.



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