If only I had known years ago that stroking my stick plate would make wishes come true.
Thankfully, Joshua P. Warren is here to tell us all about stroking stick plates and more with what might be the most unintentionally funny video I have seen in a long, long time.
The video is a thing of hilarious beauty. I can not encourage you enough to watch it all the way through. The wobbly camera work, the background music, Mr Warren, the Wishing Machine itself, are all so completely fantastic together that one might think it is a classic skit from an SNL show or what might be a new episode of the Twilight Zone. But no, this is real life and an actual thing that someone is trying to sell you.
Stick plates and dials are the main mechanisms in a radiological (Is that the right term? Who cares!) Wishing Machine.
Maybe. Well, probably not. We aren’t really sure and neither is Mr Warren. But with quotes like these…
“We don’t know why they work.”
“It has nine knobs.”
“It has no battery.”
“This is a mind powered machine.”
“It has an input and output.”
“Again we don’t know how it works.”
…what’s not to love?
Here is the fabulous Mr Warren to tell us sorta, maybe, kinda, how a wishing machine maybe, might work!
Wasn’t it great! Didn’t you feel like a 1960’s horror movie was about to start? Did you laugh when he explained how to stroke the stick plate? Oh man, I love this video so much!
Anyway, what is the true story here, you ask, other than some accidentally clever filming with some very crafty and slightly Steam-Punk inspired wood and glue crafts?
It’s called Radionics and it has about a hundred year history of nonsense interwoven with pseudoscience. Radionics is a completely unscientific practice that combines the idea of energy treatments and healing along with the Ideomotor Effect where people make unconscious physical movements. It’s how dowsing claims to work, how a Ouija Board disc seems to move by itself across the board and how your finger will seem to stick on a plate. In a word, it’s bullshit, but over the years a lot of creativity has gone into convincing people that dials connected to nothing and magical boxes full of “intent’ can cure you, or somehow make your dreams a reality.
Big thanks to my friend Carrie Poppy for showing me this video. It really is a thing of beauty.