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In a blog post earlier this year, Orac asked ’Which [Republican] candidate is reiki or “energy healing”?’

It reminded of reading that Richard Prosser, a NZ First candidate in the recent elections in New Zealand and now a member of parliament,* was described as ’Having a life-long interest in alternative therapies, Richard qualified as a Reiki Master in 1994, […]’.

Orac has described reiki thusly ’Basically, reiki is faith healing that substitutes Eastern mystical beliefs for the more “conventional” Christian beliefs that undergird the the scams of faith healers like Benny Hinn or Peter Popoff.’ - i.e. that old ‘laying of palms’ thing in other clothing.

In similar vein, the wikipedia entry for reiki writes ’practitioners believe that they are transferring universal energy (i.e., reiki) in the form of ki through the palms, which allows for self-healing and a state of equilibrium.’

Read more in the linked articles (and elsewhere) and you’ll get the gist.

Orac may be poking at Republican candidates, a plentiful source of humour and bizarre beliefs, but I was left wondering if we’re doing much better in New Zealand or not.

So, readers, what other New Zealand MPs have ‘alternative remedy’ bents, or espouse views inconsistent with science?**

I’ve heard several people say this of the ACT party and global warming, for example.

Who else?

Footnotes

* He seems to have stirred up mischief almost immediately having gotten into office. You’ve got to laugh at the aside Kerre Woodham adds when writing about this in earlier December last year:

Richard Prosser (rhymes with?) announced this week that the burqa should be banned, that the only people against the reintroduction of compulsory military training would be the cowards, the weaklings and the bludgers among us and has called for the arming of taxi drivers, dairy owners and most householders.

He even specified a weapon – a Walther PPK should be clipped to the sun-visor of every cab and police car, […]

** Political science types might point out that MPs are supposed to be representatives and thus that they hold unorthodox views or views inconsistent with science is not an issue, provides this represents what others what represented. It is an issue, however, if they push these views in policy where what is correct science/medicine/etc matter.


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