Liz Jones and the Angels

Liz Jones is at it again. The self described “super bright” woman whose chief journalistic output for the last few years has been moaning about her pointless relationship with the obnoxious Nirpal Dhaliwal has found a new subject to entertain her public: the existence of angels.

Readers of the (where else) Daily Mail might have relaxed when Jones announced that her unusual marriage to Dhaliwal, who called her ‘mummy’ and received an allowance and a car from the “fabulous and independent” fashion editor, had ended. Sadly, deprived of even this most trivial of subjects, Liz has turned her pen to promoting a belief in interventionist angels, becoming convinced of their existence after the remarkable recovery of her cat, Snoopy, following an appeal to the celestial beings by one Terry Shubrook of Somerset.

He explains that he often works remotely, using the body of his wife to represent the body of his patient, be it cat or person: he can be many miles away, but somehow treat the patient through using his wife’s body.

He tells me Snoopy is not ready to leave me yet, and does some healing work on him, using Snoopy’s angels to tell him what is wrong (cats have guardians, too, apparently).

These encounters are dressed up in a variety of ways to suit the style of the consumer. If you feel that the west country woo of Terry Shubrook is a bit much for you, there is always the same thing dressed up in a white coat, with comforting words dotted about such as patient, clinic, and treatment, and in some cases the swagger of a Harley street address. Liz Jones is clearly impressed by Sohini Patel at the Tranquil clinic, who “uses angels to help treat her patients’ physical and emotional ailments.”

Like most proponents of nonsense, Ms. Patel has an answer for everything:

She begins running her hands over me, drawing the bad energy away from my body. My buttocks feel warm.

‘That is your angel, supporting you,’ she says.

Not satisfied by magical buttock insulation, Jones seeks out help from the most powerful movers and shakers in the Angel industry. Divorced from any connection to an established church, the new belief in angels stems mainly from a group centered around the Hay House Publishing Company, home to the odious Sylvia Browne and the “Angel Entrepreneur”, Doreen Virtue. Founded by Louise Hay and built on the premise that diseases are caused by negative thinking and cured by a mixture of positive thinking and enemas, it offers a blame the victim mentality that encourages those suffering serious diseases to find the fault for their illness with their own attitudes- hardly a helpful comfort to those in distress.

Doreen Virtue’s range of angel products stretches from the predictable books and CDs to decks of cards for those intimidated by bound reading material, leaving even the most intellectually vulnerable reader with something they need to purchase.

Over the last 30 years or so there seems to have been a shift in the popular perception of deities, which traces the rise of an increasingly selfish strand in society. Traditional religious belief with an emphasis on self-denial and self-sacrifice, coupled with a sense that divine intervention was miraculous and rare, seems to have morphed, in some corners of London at least, into a concierge service providing grownup brats limitless assistance with their trivial problems, all arranged by a middleman for a handsome fee. The cognitive dissonance involved in this kind of pick’n’mix belief system is bizarre, but with trendsetters such as Liz Jones promoting this sort of rubbish, it’s only set to get worse.

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