I survived Mind Body Spirit, and all I got was a lousy anxiety attack.

Just got home from the Mind Body Wallet Spirit Festival in Sydney.  This is a bi-annular (twice a year) festival that happens in most major cities across Australia promoting woo of all kinds.  It’s the biggest woo-fest in Australia.

Met up with some friends out the front (Richard shown here doing what he does best, nomming the sign that was made to get our group’s attention), and in we went.  Unlike my recent visit to Newton’s Pharmacy (a “pharmacy” that deals 100% in homeopathy and other woo, no legitimate medicine to be found), my nasal senses weren’t violently assaulted upon entering which was good.  I didn’t last as long as the people I went with, and it wasn’t from the woo.  More on that later.

There were numerous stalls I wanted to look at to see what the woo was they were offering as a quick glance didn’t make it overly clear, however more often than not if I wanted a closer look there was already a large group of non-moving people in front of the stall not allowing me to get close enough without actively engaging a stall holder.  I’m not exactly good at confrontations and taking people on, so this is something I don’t quite feel comfortable doing as yet.

Photography or any recording devices is generally frowned at so I didn’t get many pictures.  This one though I couldn’t resist whether it was obvious or not.  It was the most bullshit “computer” I think I have EVER seen.  It’s like they took a prop from a D-grade horror movie, then hammed it up even further and they’re claiming it uses computer technology to find your lucky numbers, read your palm, or do other things like that.  I mean, seriously, how willingly ignorant does one have to be to fall for something as idiotic and blatant as this?  Yet, as you can see, there were numerous people up there taking it all in!

One of the main things I was keeping my eyes out for was anything I could get for free.  Didn’t happen.  I did sign myself up for any competition I could find though, most of which were to win “free” seminars or training courses in “healing” techniques.  One was the Australasian College of Kinesiology Mastery who claim to teach you how to master the art and “science” of specialised kinesiology.  Science?  There is none.  Another I spoke to as I was running out was the College of Complementary Medicine who apparently offer nationally recognised advance diploma level courses.  Signed myself up for their Holistic Kinesiology Free Open Learning Day on the 27th of May.  This will be interesting, to see if it’s just selling their further courses or if they actually try to teach you anything.

Another thing that jumped out was a stall that had books saying “Turn $1 in to $1million”.  Of course, to learn how to do it you need to attend their 4-day $4000 seminar.  I’m sure all they’ll say is “start running seminars that charge $4000/head, you’ll have $1million in no time.  There.  Now piss off.”

There was some honesty there, and not just from the coffee stands.  Right here we have tumbled crystals for $2 each!  Every other stall I saw selling crystals had these exact same things for $20 each if not more.  $2 is about right for these things, I was shocked to see the price.  They were really letting an easy quick buck go free there.  I was tempted to point out their marketing flaw to them but decided against it.

The Cult of Scientology was there too, with the biggest stall out of anybody.  Out of everyone that was there, the Cult of Scientology was the ONE stall I expected to be too much even for these whacko’s, but it was absolutely packed with large lines to get their “free stress test”s and paid consultations.

It wasn’t long after this I was struck down and had to absolutely run out of there.  I wish I could have stayed longer, especially with the stall I ran in to on my way out but I had had more than I could take.  I got to the point where I quite seriously could NOT stay any longer.   What was it that did this to me?

What finally got me as I wound my way through the stalls … was my agoraphobia.  Most of the time I can limit it to mild discomfort, but today I had a very definite anxiety attack from it.  At many stages there were people squeezing, pushing, and even barging past/through me as I was standing in an already tiny gap trying to look at something, or as I followed some random person from stall to stall.  Sad to say it was this and not the woo that finally lead me to leave, but an anxiety attack was in progress and I could not survive or delay it any longer.  Went outside, had a breather and a drink, and waited over an hour outside for my friends to get their fill and leave as well.

I don’t talk about my agoraphobia much because I can usually manage it and, as I said before, limit it to a mild discomfort.  Today I didn’t succeed, the crowding at some stages was just too much.  It tends to come in waves and the last few years has been very low levels that were relatively easy to manage.  Today though, even outside walking up to dinner then to the bus I couldn’t get enough personal space and was panicking a little inside.  Now I’m home though I can finally relax.

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2 thoughts on “I survived Mind Body Spirit, and all I got was a lousy anxiety attack.

  1. i understand totally and am proud that you made it as long as you did. i hate crowds in general but MB$ crowds are especially uncomfortable.

    Looks like all the same sights and scams were at Melbourne’s version & just go from door to door, city to city.

    I was amazed at the number of reputable charities including many animal ones that were at Melbourne’s MB$. Not sure if i am disappointed or impressed that they can see a marketing opportunity like the rest of them.

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