Merton Council job ad for 'crystal healer' sparks urgent review
An urgent review has been called after Merton Council posted a job ad for a "spiritual healer".
The job ad calls for a complementary therapies tutor in crystal and spiritual healing, since altered to just "complementary therapies tutor", to run a course at Merton Adult Education Centre which is run by Merton Council.
An Introduction to Crystal Healing, set to run in October, teaches students how to use the healing power of crystals to enhance their lives and health at a cost of £54 for three weeks.
But the course has been branded "bunkum" by one councillor who said it is not a course that should be provided by the council at all.
Councillor Suzanne Evans, leader of Merton’s UKIP group, said: "There are plenty of complementary therapies proven to help the healing process but crystal therapy isn't one of them.
"How can they justify slashing lunch clubs for the elderly while funding this bunkum?
"Hiring a phrenologist to get their heads read would make more sense."
The council has said the course is not funded by the tax payer but by the fees charged to students who sign up to take the course.
Supporters of the practice believe crystals can heal physical, psychological and emotional problems.
Councillor Martin Whelton, cabinet member for education, said: "Taxpayers’ money has never been used to fund this post.
"These courses are fully funded by the fees charged like this course and hundreds of others provided by the Merton Adult Education Centre.
"We think that in terms of this course the story has been taken completely out of context but we do recognise concerns about crystal healing and spiritual healing courses.
"I have asked for a review to see if they are appropriate courses for Merton Adult Education to provide.
"We are going to look at the course itself and if it is appropriate given some of its controversial methods."
The eventual post holder would be hired on a zero hour contract for £21.70 an hour which means they would not have any guaranteed hours but would be called upon as and when required.
Applications for the job close on September 5.
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