Letter: A `crank' writes

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The tone of Jane Bussman's article, "Can you feel the heat?" (22 April) would suggest that she, in a 15th-century setting, would recommend burning at the stake for anyone who had the feebleness of mind to believe in the concept of electricity - something beneficial which can't be seen, touched or easily explained to one who finds the idea unlikely.

Many so called "New Age" techniques and therapies are indeed centuries old, feng shui being a classic example. Sure, some marketing people have a nasty habit of achieving product sales on the back of emotional angst. This is an unfortunate reality which needs to be balanced against the many people who derive enormous benefit from "alternative" therapies, strategies and beliefs.

It is also unfortunate that the author casts ridicule on those who wish to investigate things that she chooses not to begin to understand. Perhaps the article was commissioned as a fun piece which would generate an amusing reaction from "New Age cranks" - easy to write, with some "back of an envelope" research and a pinch of prejudice thrown in.

However, was the author wise both to castigate her gender and to give credence to a Class A drug in under 600 words?

RICK MARTIN

Newcastle upon Tyne

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