Follow up Discussion of the Survey Done by the British Society of Dowers (BSD)
Undertaken by Jill Moss & Sig Lonegren
This is a report that Jill Moss and I wrote for the British Society of Dowsers (BSD). We have included it because you might want to suggest it to other organisations.
First of all, if you have taken it already, thank you for taking the time to fill out our survey. I trust, if you answered "Yes" to question number 1, or "Yes" to at least six others, that you found it revealing of both some strengths as well as weaknesses of adult dyslexics. Please remember, THIS IS NOT A SCIENTIFIC TEST! But the more questions you answered "Yes" to, the greater the chance you exhibit the characteristics of an adult dyslexic. To find out for sure, your need to go through at lease three or four hours of testing and a great deal more expense! But this survey should give you a taste of the possibility.
I (Sig) have dyslexia and, like all others who struggle with it in school, I had a disastrous educational experience until, in the late nineteen-fifties, I was fortunate enough to go to The Gow School, a school in western New York that was one of the first in the country (1926) to specialize on dyslexic boys who, if it weren't for their dyslexia, could go to college. So, it began in my life as an educational handicap, but as I have grown older, more and more, I see it much more as an asset that, among other things, has greatly assisted me in my exploration of geomancy. In the past thirty years, for example, starting with a small sample of dowsers in the American Society of Dowsers, with the help of Dr Wayne London, I began to realize that there might be a significantly higher number of dowsers who were dyslexic than in the average population.
After 2005 Jill Moss (who at that time was working with dyslexic college students) and I developed this survey based on one produced by the British Dyslexia Association. Four hundred and thirty-four dowsers responded to our questionnaire, which was looking to see if there was a positive correlation between dowsing and indicators of dyslexia in adults. Our survey consisted of nineteen "Yes" or "No" questions. Six or more "Yes" responses suggested to us a possibility that the survey taker exhibits the characteristics of an adult dyslexic.
Briefly, dyslexia is a combination of abilities and difficulties that affect the learning process in one or more of reading, spelling and writing (while not academically correct, I also include dyscalculia - according again to the British Dyslexia Association, "...difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers, and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Dyscalculia is like dyslexia for numbers." So I have included dyscalculia in this definition as well). It is a persistent condition. Accompanying weaknesses may be identified in areas of speed of processing, short term memory, organisation, sequencing; and spoken language and motor skills. There are positive gifts as well, and skill in dowsing is only one piece of evidence for this.
It is likely that at least 10% of the general population has dyslexia; therefore, we could have anticipated something between 10% and 20% answering six or more questions "Yes." It is said that roughly 50% of people in prison in the UK have dyslexia. You are labled as "dumb" in school, so many do the "dumb" thing, drop out of school, and continue by doing something "dumb" that lands you in prison. Although it cannot in any way be described as scientifically valid and is based on a small sample, the results of our survey have been a surprise to everyone. There is the possibility that 65.66% of dowsers belonging to BSD and other dowsing societies have indicators of dyslexia!
Implications for Dowsers and the BSD and ?Geomancers?
There are several different areas in which this Survey will have implications for the BSD and possibly geomancers - at least for the ones who actively use dowsing in their work.
We must become "dyslexic friendly."
If so many dowsers (and by implication), those interested in geomancy exhibit the characteristics of adult dyslexics we need to work with things like:
The BSD has long had difficulties in getting members to fill out forms for events like our annual Congress. This survey gives us insight as to why, and forms will need to be designed with a minimum font size of 12, have clear unambiguous statements — and use as few words as possible.
Forms, Dowsing Today, letters, adverts — We need to use sans serif fonts like Aria, Helvetica, Tahoma, or Verdana. Serif fonts like Times, New Roman and Courier are more difficult for dyslexics (and others) to read.
White background makes it difficult for many dyslexics and others to see the type, so we need to begin to use light green, pink, yellow, orange and other paper in our forms, Dowsing Today, letterheads and adverts (if possible).
Website — Our website is also dyslexia friendly giving our members the ability to enlarge the sans serif fonts and to choose a background colour that suits them best:
Select page colour
Signage — again, it needs to be on sans serif fonts, and NOT IN ALL BLOCK CAPITAL LETTERS as they are difficult to read and can shout in an aggressive way.
Presentations — again, like our website, need to use sans serif fonts and coloured backgrounds. Moving text and graphics and visual special effects should be considered carefully and often avoided.
Disability Discrimination Act (1995) compliance — actually, these implications for the BSD are not things we might like to do, here in Great Britain, we are required by law to do them. Thus it is vital/essential/critical that we become dyslexia friendly as it is possible that two-thirds of our members are dyslexic!
Outreach — I fully intend to let dyslexic organizations in this country hear about the findings of this survey. Presentations to dyslexic organizations might be wonderful recruiting forays to increase the membership in the BSD and interest in geomancy!
There has long been a division between tangible and intangible target dowsers. Based on this initial data, it appears that it is predominantly those dowsers who are interested in intangible targets like the Earth Energies, Healing and Spiritual growth that are dyslexic. The preponderance of non-dyslexic dowsers are more interested in physical target dowsing - looking for drinking water, oil, lost items and archaeology, aren't, and therfore, fall in to the other third.
A Possible Extrapolated Hypothesis Based on This Survey
At the Dyslexia Workshop that Jill and I ran at the September 2006 BSD Congress, we had twenty-three participants. I passed out the survey and asked all of them to complete it — even if they had already done it on the BSD website or on paper.
Later in the workshop, I asked them how many had answered "Yes" to question number one (Have you ever been identified (assessed) as dyslexic? Y N), or had said "Yes" to at least six others. Twenty participants raised their hand(s). (As this was a workshop on dyslexia, this should come as no surprise.)
I then asked how many participants were primarily interested in INtangible target dowsing (auras, Earth energies, etc.). Again, twenty raised their hands. Then when I asked how many were primarily interested in tangible target dowsing (water, oil, lost objects, archaeology, the scientific aspects), three raised their hands.
Is there a connection between dyslexic dowsers and interest in the intangible realms?
To test this further, several weeks later, I spoke at the West Wales Dowsers, and when they came, I gave each of them a copy of the survey, and asked them to note at the top of the survey if they were primarily interested in tangible or intangible target dowsing. 36 dowsers filled out the survey, 22 answered "Yes" to question one or "Yes" to six or more of the other eighteen questions. 14 had answered "Yes" to less than six of the questions. (This means that 61% of the respondents exhibited the characteristics of adult dyslexics.)
Of the 22 possible dyslexics, 16 were primarily interested in INtangible target dowsing (73%), while of the 14 probable non-dyslexics, 9 (64%) were primarily interested in physical target dowsing. (One of the 14 non-dyslexic dowsers was interested in both.)
Clearly, there have not been enough people surveyed to come to any final conclusion here, but it now looks like most dyslexic dowsers are primarily interested in non-physical target dowsing, This could account for some of the difficulties and lack of understanding that is sometimes encountered in our Society between those who are more focused on physical targets, and those who prefer to seek intangible targets.
This obviously needs further study, but it does lead to a possible hypothesis as to why dyslexics are drawn in such significant numbers to dowsing. Being able to see the whole picture rather than having to think linearly in words makes it easier for dyslexics to see less tangible realms, and here, I would include the spiritual as well as targets like auras or energy leys. I would propose that this is an exciting new possible area of study, and it is something that we wish we had included in our initial survey. This is likely to be the most significant outcome of this survey — and the least anticipated.
One last interesting (and perhaps irrelevant) factoid. In my introduction to this section, I spoke about having dyscalculia as well as having spelling difficulties. My major area of difficulty is with basic arithmetic. I can add and multiply (calculations that take me away from one) reasonably well, but I have always had difficulty with subtraction and division (calculations that bring me back toward the one). That's life on the Spiritual path as well, isn't it? It's easier to go away from the One than to go back toward the One/It/Him/Her.
Until recently, Jill Moss taught adult dyslexics and managed the dyslexia service at a further education college. She has been learning to dowse for 10 years, and is presently an Editor at Penwith Press in Cornwall.
Sig Lonegren is dyslexic, a well-known author, and has been dowsing for over 50 years and has always had a primary interest in intangible targets like the Earth Energies. He is the Webmaster of Mid-Atlantic Geomancy.
Famous Dyslexics in History
The following people had either dyslexia, ADHD, or both. These people succeeded BECAUSE of their dyslexic gifts, not DESPITE their dyslexia. This has been collected from various dyslexia sites on the web including http://www.dys-add.com/symptoms.html#gifts.
The starting list was created by the Kitty Petty Institute, but it has been added to for years. This is just a partial list, there are many, many more.
John F. Kennedy
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Alexander the Great
General George Patton
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Vincent Van Gogh
Leonardo da Vinci
Science & Medicine:
Alexander Graham Bell
James Clark Maxwell
The Wright Brothers
Writers and Poets:
Hans Christian Anderson
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Edgar Allen Poe
William Butler Yeats
Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders:
Bill Hewlett, co-founder of HP
Richard Branson, Virgin Corporation (Airline, Records)
If you would like to get a set of Open Dyslexia fonts, they are free and available at http://opendyslexic.org/