Indigo Children

Indigo Children

I have difficulty writing about the topic of indigo children, because it's just so sad.  In the broadest, most meta sense, the concept of "indigo children" is a way to fleece gullible parents out of shed loads of money. 

Although the idea of "indigo children" first came to a wide audience in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they were originally "discovered" by a New Age psychic named Nancy Ann Tappe.  She made an off-hand mention that she had noticed a lot of children with indigo-colored auras. 

In 1998, a husband and wife team wrote a book called The Indigo Children, and the phenomenon was off and running.  According to Carroll and Tober, "indigo children" were actually mystical creatures, foundlings of a sort, who would grow up and improve the world for the better.

Indigo Children, we are told, are very smart and empathic.  They can also be very difficult.  Such is the burden of being a new stage of evolution.  Depending on who you talk to, all/some/most children suffering from autism and ADHD are in fact Indigo Children.

How comforting a thought it must be, for the distressed and exhausted parents of ADHD or autistic children.  Little Johnny doesn't suffer from a mysterious and incurable cognitive disorder; he's just really super special!  He was sent here by aliens, by angels, by evolutionary pressure.  Little Johnny will save the world.  And for a mere $_____ we can tell you how!

Later charlatans have continued to build on the original concept of Indigo Children.  Some style them as the children of extraterrestrials.  Richard Boylan, PhD calls them "Star Kids," and these children (who Boylan describes as being "bright but in non-traditional ways") are part of a program of "many years of continuing Star Visitor biological engineering in an ongoing effort to upgrade the human race."

One sign of a Star Kid is that when they pass below a street light, the light goes out.  And I swear to you, if I hear one more crackpot talking about what it "means" when a street light goes out, I'm going to cry.  Having lived my entire life in cities I can assure you: street lights go out all the time. 

When the lightbulb starts to fail, it gets into this thing where it gets too hot, turns off, cools down, then turns back on again.  Repeat, ad infinitum.  You can look down any street in the world and see a street light turn off, if you watch long enough.  It's every bit as mystical as a leaf falling from a tree. 

All of this Indigo Child business simply preys upon parents who fear for their children.  (Let's be honest; most parents already pretty much believe that their children are the next stage of evolution, anyway!)  The best I can say about the Indigo Child "phenomenon" is that at least it isn't actively harmful to children.  Although it probably isn't going to help little Johnny's case if he swaggers into school and explains to everyone that he's part E.T.

Photo credit: Flickr/scottwillis