After I read Maureen Dowd’s pretty positive assessment of Mayor Eric Adams of NYC in the NYT—someone touted on this site as a potential Democratic Presidential candidate in 2024)—I was surprised to find this in last Thursday’s Guardian. Yes, Adams would be wrong if he thought his city got “special energy” from crystals, but does he think that? Maybe. Does it matter? Nope.
Click to read:
Well, the Guardian is exaggerating a bit. Here’s how its article starts:
Healing crystals have long been a fixture in the spiritual and celebrity worlds – with Adele using them to ward off stage fright and Nicole Richie wearing a clear quartz around her neck for protection.
But the New York City mayor, Eric Adams, believes that they have even more power than that: he professed in a recent interview that he believes there is a “special energy” that comes from the city he presides over, citing its location on a store of rare gems and stones.
As the New York area news website Hell Gate has deftly pointed out, Adams may be the first “crystal guy” of politics. He regularly wears “energy stone bracelets” featuring an array of powerful crystals. And when he proclaimed a “vibe shift” is upon New York City, he wasn’t just talking about the return of low-rise jeans.
I didn’t see any mention of Adams in the New York Magazine piece, but it became paywalled before I finished reading it.
And yes, the bedrock that allows Manhattan to have so many skyscrapers does have a lot of minerals in it. But crystals? The article isn’t sure:
The mayor is right about one thing, says Andrew Pacholyk, a New York-based crystal expert: the city, indeed, is seated on unique bedrock that has been known to produce more than 100 varieties of mineral. Called the Manhattan schist, it was formed about 450m years ago in a collision between what is now the east coast of North America and the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.
So what effect might crystals be having on the lives of New Yorkers? Pacholyk is vague on specifics but believes that certain areas in Manhattan do have a “special energy” owing to the unique mix of minerals found there – including quartz, kyanite, and dumortierite. He says it can be felt more strongly in natural areas with exposed rock, like Central Park.
Adams, who shockingly declined to comment for this piece, appears to wear several varieties of quartz himself. Pacholyk analyzed a photo of Adams at a December 2021 event and found the bracelets the mayor wears feature at least a dozen varieties of crystals including amethyst, rose quartz, lapis lazuli, citrine, and aventurine.
Big deal! The loon here isn’t Adams but Pacholyk, who admits above and below that crystals have supernatural properties on humans.
Not of those minerals mentioned (save quartz) is in NYC bedrock, and even if the mayor thinks that the minerals give the city a special energy when we know they can’t, I can’t be too worried about that. After all, we admire public figures for being religious, and being, say, a Christian requires far more suspension of disbelief and far more belief in woo than does being a guy who wears a crystal bracelet and thinks it has some effect on him.
And “shockingly declined to comment for this piece”? Why is that so shocking? It’s like someone asking Mike Pence, “Mike, do you really believe all that crap about the Crucifixion and Resurrection?” I doubt that Pence would comment on that, too, and he’s far more public about his religion.
As for the “recent interview” mentioned above, it was in Politico, and says this, with additional tarring of Adams because they he’s an adhereian to the Deepak-ian form of quantum woo:
[Adams] learned that New York sits on a store of rare gems and stones, and believes that as a result, “there’s a special energy that comes from here.” On his right wrist he wears a pair of multi-colored energy stone bracelets. He has read several books by Joe Dispenza, a neuroscientist and faculty member at Honolulu’s Quantum University whose bestseller, Becoming Supernatural, teaches that we can transform our physical and emotional state through the teachings of quantum physics.
The rest of the Guardian article talks about the booming crystal industry and a claim that crystals don’t do squat, which happens to be true. But even for that they must rely on Michael Shermer; they can’t bring themselves to proclaim that there is no fricking evidence that crystals have healing properties. Fortunately Shermer gives a sensible response:
Michael Brant Shermer, an author and executive director of the Skeptics Society, says there is not a shred of scientific evidence to show crystals have a measurable effect on humans or cities like New York. Still, he says, while Adams may be the first high-profile candidate to publicly declare a love of crystals, the metaphysical has found its way into politics in the past.
As in religion! You can barely get elected to dogcatcher in America if you are an open atheist. Shermer goes on:
. . . Shermer says as long as Adams does not let his personal beliefs color his policies, the interest in crystals is harmless.
“Adams shouldn’t think, ‘What should we do about gun violence? Let me consult my crystals,’” he says. “That is a hard enough problem as it is using all the best science we have. Let’s not compound it with crystals. But I think of it the same way that I think of it in other areas of life: if it’s for entertainment purposes only, it’s fine.”
Good response, Michael. But the Guardian then lists three minerals found under NYC (quartz, dumorierite, and black and blue kyanite, and quotes crystal maven Pacholyk on the genuine magical properties of these stones. Here are two examples:
“Quartz is known as the ‘master healer’ of stones,” Pacholyk says. “Our own body has quartz in it as a mineral, so it is believed we resonate to its properties vibrationally and magnetically. If you are open to it, you can feel it.”
Dumortierite is the stone of “tolerance and tranquility”,” Pacholyk says, promoting “self-discipline, cleanliness, courage, trust, accomplishment, harmony, positive attitude, patience and tolerance”.
And so ends the article. So what’s the Guardian’s answer to its title question? It doesn’t give one, but does leave the reader thinking, “Hey, maybe there’s something to this crystal stuff after all!”
Below photo from the Guardian showing Adams wearing a bracelet, but is it a crystal one?