I and my old friend Jon sat
down at his kitchen table. He poured some tea.
enquired in a tone expectant of disappointment.
I removed the sparkling,
multi-faceted quartz crystal from my pocket and
placed it on the table. It works, I
Jon looked puzzled.
What do you mean?
I picked up the Crystal
again and rotated it with my fingers. The
refracted sunlight danced rainbows across the
table. You told me this stone contained Chi
energy, I recalled, drawn from the
Altar Stone at Stonehenge.
In accordance with
the Ancient Wisdom, Jon confirmed,
emphasising his extensive understanding of New
I suspended it in the
petrol tank of my car, I revealed, to
see if its energy would increase fuel economy.
Jon appeared anxious.
I drove for nearly
eight hundred miles, and the fuel gauge never
moved. I then drained the petrol tank and drove
another five hundred miles with nothing to power
the car but the Crystal.
The blood drained from
Jons face. Are you sure?
the car started to lose power, but, fortunately,
I was passing Avebury at the time, and so I
recharged the Crystal for a couple of hours on
one of the Cove Stones. I must have driven about
six hundred miles since then.
Jon was silent.
I said in an attempt to lighten his unexpectedly
responded Jon, absentmindedly, distracted by his
It pains me to say it,
I confessed, but youve got here the
only piece of New Age pseudo-science that has
ever been proven to work. I doubt if even Richard
Dawkins, himself, could dispute it.
It was a week later when
Jon unexpectedly arrived at my flat.
What are you doing
about your crystal? I asked as I poured him
a glass of wine.
Ive come to see you, he said.
Ive destroyed it.
I smashed it to
splinters with a hammer and then threw the shards
into the sea.
I poured myself another
glass of wine as I took-in his words. W-Why?
I stammered in shocked surprise.
It would have
annihilated the New Age Movement, he
understand, I confessed. Finally, you
wouldnt have people like me cynically
criticising your beliefs and practices.
spiritualities make us feel good, Jon
explained. We know that none of our
mystical assertions can be proven. Criticism from
people like you helps to cement and consolidate
our sense of being special, different and
privileged to arcane knowledge. Jon reached
for the wine bottle and poured himself a second
glass. Also, the mystics that lead us are
kind and empathetic people, but theyre daft
as brushes and have no grasp of science, maths or
logical thinking. Goodness knows what chaos
theyd cause if they had access to genuine
sources of power that could cause actual effects
in the real world.
I hadnt thought
of that, I admitted. But why would
that lead to the end of the New Age Movement?
take it all away from us. He shook his head
Who are they?
While what we do is
ineffectual and a bit silly, everyone leaves us
alone to get on with it. We can realise our
callings as Masters of Secret Knowledge. If
crystals produced power that could be harnessed,
or religious rituals produced real effects, then
scientists, the military and the government would
take it all over. Theyd study it, develop
it, and bring it into the mainstream of
technology. Tears formed in Jons eyes.
Believers would be left with nothing!
Jon stared silently into
space, tears rolling down his cheeks, as he
contemplated the disintegration of this central
pillar of his existence: the destruction of the
very framework for emotional security and sanity
which supported him and so many others.
I pondered on the acute
accuracy of his analysis. You may well be
right, I concluded, but why are you
sharing this with me?
You and I are the
only ones who know about the Crystal, he
said. Ive come to ask if youll
keep all you know about it secret, including that
I destroyed it.
I thought about the wisdom
of Jons words. I was deeply moved, and gave
my word that I would tell no one about the
Crystal. It was the least I could do to support
my old friend and the mental wellbeing of
countless New Age believers.
And, after all, I had
lied about the Crystal powering my car.