Pre-post Post: Why being a charity doesn’t excuse you from promoting pseudo-science

The post that’s coming after this is about a charitable organisation that supports the use of Reiki, Aura reading and dowsing. They take no money for expenses and are completely funded by donations from their organising committee. All public donations and money raised at events goes directly to the charities they support.

And they support good charities, such as Leukaemia Research, Hospice provision, The Red Cross, LIVES, Sailability and many more.

They also happen to be, in their words, a world sporting body. Now I think they’d agree that they aren’t one of the major world sporting bodies, but nether the less, they claim legitimacy as one.

I’ll go into more detail in the main post regarding why I believe they claim the use of Reiki, Aura reading and dowsing. What I will say now is that by doing so it does add a difficulty or ‘skill’ element to their game, which is both otherwise lacking and also makes it less likely to be recognised as a ‘sport’.

Here’s the thing. I’m happy to talk about the reasons behind their decisions and discuss the good work they do raising money for charity. But when you put yourself in the public sphere and on TV and promote unscientific methods, I’m going to question it. Being a charitable organisation doesn’t excuse promoting things that have no good evidence to support them.

People see you doing this and it lends legitimacy to these unproven practices. There is indirect harm caused to the public by promoting as true things that have no right to do so.

There are other ways in which money could be raised for charity, even within the confines of the current game, without having to use or promote the unscientific.

Basically, I feel a bit bad that I’m going to complain about an organisation that raise money for charity! Things will be a clearer after the next post!

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