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'New Age' Categories

Do It Yourself Religion

In January of 2008, an article in the Brisbane Times in Australia reported on a study that compared the mental outlooks of people with a traditional faith in God to those with a New Age brand of faith—or a Do It Yourself kind.  The article said: "Meditation, crystal therapy, self-help books—think they're making you happier? Think again. A Brisbane academic has found a strong link between new-age spirituality and poor mental health in young people." 

The study—by Rosemary Aird of the University of Queensland, as part of her PhD work—surveyed more than 3,700 Brisbane-based 21-year-olds. She found that those with Do It Yourself beliefs had "higher rates of anxiety, depression, disturbed and suspicious ways of thinking and anti-social behaviour." In fact, "Young people with new-age beliefs were twice as likely to be more anxious and depressed than those with traditional beliefs."  The article quoted Dr Aird: "'Traditional religion tends to promote the idea of social responsibility and thinking of others' interests, whereas the new-age movement pushes the idea that we can transform the world by changing ourselves. The downside is that people are very much on their own and not part of a community, which may lead to a kind of isolation.'" 

Reference: Shannon Malloy, "DIY Religions: More Harm Than Good," Brisbane Times, Australia (1-17-08), from http://www.religionnewsblog.com/20414/diy-religion