Copromancy

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Against allopathy
Alternative medicine
Icon alt med alt.svg
Clinically unproven

Copromancy is the art of prognostication based on examining feces. Copromancy has a long history, and is part of traditional Chinese medicine[1] and Ayurveda.[2] These practices should not be confused with the Bristol Stool Scale (used in mainstream healthcare to evaluate constipation, normal stool or diarrhea[3]) nor with evidence-based testing of stool samples (such as checking for parasites, analyzing pancreatic functioning, or to look for malabsorption of nutrients.[4]).

Stalinist stool[edit]

According to former Soviet agent Igor Atamanenko, Joseph Stalin set up a special department of the secret police that sought to obtain and analyze feces samples to make psychological portraits.[5] Lavrenti BeriaWikipedia's W.svg was allegedly in charge of the department. Atamanenko claimed that the department analyzed Mao Zedong's poo.[5] High levels of tryptophan allegedly indicated that a "person was calm and approachable", whereas low levels of potassium indicated a nervous disposition and insomnia.[5]

Raymond Moody doody[edit]

Bristol Stool Scale

Woo-based copromancy was advocated by Raymond A. Moody[6] before he shifted gears to popularize the near-death experience phenomenon[7] and before he obtained a medical degree.

Moody claimed to be scientific:[6]

Without in any way disparaging tea-leaf reading, astrology, palmistry, phrenology, or any of the other similar techniques, we can say with certainty that coprology — with its modern scientific methods of research, controlled experiments, and computer analysis — is able to obtain much more accurate predictions of future life trends than any other known method.

However, Moody then launched into a very unscientific and unsubstantiated methodology of feces analysis based on:[6]

  • Shape ("Curve or Priscilla", "Spiral of Raymondus", "Tetterton's Spheroids"…), internal structure, color, hardness, and configuration predicting one's character
  • Configuration, acidity, and moisture content predicting one's future
  • Nodes, fissures, and micro-organisms predicting one's health

Yes, stool micro-organisms can predict health, but Moody could not have detected the microbial diseases he claimed based on hand-drawn squiggle-like fissure variations that he described.[6] The book reads like it could be one long prankexcept — Moody went on to more quackery by promoting near-death experiences,[7] and for the other celebrity poo readers (Gillian McKeith and Deepak Chopra).[2][8] At the time of publication, Moody claimed to be the discoverer of coprology and to hold a "Bachelor of Arts, Master of the Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Racial Science, and Doctor of Coprology degrees, and [to have] been a professor of logic and metaphysics." Moody also claimed to be the president of the International Coprological Society and the "Oberleiter of the American Militant Action Party".[6]

Awful poo lady[edit]

The most famous of all modern copromancers however would seem to be The Awful Poo Lady, self-proclaimed nutrition expert Gillian McKeith, who brought copromancy to prime-time television.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Shen Nong: Examine Your Stool
  2. 2.0 2.1 What Does Your Poop Say About You? The Chopra Center
  3. http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/poop-chart-bristol-stool-scale
  4. WebMD: Stool Analysis
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Stalin 'used secret laboratory to analyse Mao's excrement' by Steven Rosenberg (28 January 2016) BBC News.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Coprology: The Art and Science of Character Analysis, Prognostication, and Healing through the Reading or Manipulation of Stools by Raymond A. Moody (1972). self-published, 56 pp.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Life After Life by Raymond A. Moody, Jr. (1975) Mockingbird Books. ISBN 0553122207.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Turd whisperer Gillian McKeith really has made Celebrity Big Brother a s*** show… by Lynn Connolly (29th January 2016) Unreality TV.