Inner Awareness

Why is there no academic interest in studying psychic surgery?


I was recently interviewed by a 30-year-old Swiss graduate student of anthropology on the topic “Paranormal Anthropology,” and specifically zeroing in on psychic surgery in the Philippines and Brazil, the two countries in the world where this practice is most prevalent or well-known.

“The purpose of my study is not to show or prove whether psychic surgery is true or not,” explained Lara to me, “but to look at it from an anthropological standpoint. That means, to trace and describe its origins, practices, values and the backgrounds of people practicing psychic surgery. I am not going to make a stand on its validity or nonvalidity.”

I told her that I have been interviewed countless times by many Western researchers during the last 25 years, and all of them took a stand that it is either real or a complete fakery.

Lara was surprised to discover that when she tried to seek information about any academic study done on this subject by any local university, she could find not one graduate student or faculty member who has studied it.

Although the practice of bare-handed psychic surgery must have originated in the Philippines, it is not recognized by either the Philippine government, the Philippine Medical Association, the academic community or the Church. And that’s why no academician or doctor has written about it in this country.

There’s hardly any scientific article written about this subject. In fact, I told Lara, when a psychology student of De La Salle University made a thesis on an “Annotated Bibliography of Paranormal Phenomena,” she found that 75 percent of all literature on the subject was written by me, after searching in the libraries of leading schools of higher learning and newspaper archives.

When thinking stops

Lara asked why there is no interest by scientists and universities in the Philippines to study faith healing and psychic surgery. I replied, “Because they have already concluded that its practice is a complete fakery. So why bother to study them? To do so would only make them a laughing stock by their colleagues.” As J. Krishnamurti said, “When thinking starts with a conclusion, thinking stops.”

Then she asked me why I got interested in studying and researching on this phenomenon. I told her, it’s because I wanted to know for myself whether psychic surgery was real or not. Now I know the answer that satisfies me, but may not satisfy the academic, scientific or medical communities.

I told Lara that, as far as I know, the only time that parapsychology was included in the curriculum of a local university was when I taught the subject as an elective in the sociology department of De La Salle University in 1982, and again in 2005-2007, when I taught the subject under the philosophy department of San Beda College.

Of course, it is well known that in Russia and other Eastern European countries—for example in the Czech Republic, Hungary—there is great interest by the academic community to conduct research on paranormal and psychic phenomena, which they call psychotronics or bio-energy research.

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  • angie1875

    It is hard because patients are also taking western medicine, visiting medical  doctors as well as psychic ones so you never can tell w/c worked and which did not. There are no scars after these”psychic surgery” and healing is based on “faith”.  If I do not believe that I got well, then I won’t get well. It is hard to quantify that scientifically. 

  • John_Galt_II

    Sana magka kanser ang ugok na to at mag pa psychic surgery! Para todas agad!

    • WeAry_Bat

      Sadly, psychic chemotherapy hasn’t been PMA and FDA approved as there has been no filing for such drugs.

  • gemini1971

    because it’s Pseudo Science!

    • Mario Salinas

       Kapatid, what you call pseudo science today may be legit science many years from now. Try to broaden your understanding of “science”. Read some books on the philosophy of science, including that book titled “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”

      • Vincent Maldia

        if this were real then experiments would show evidence that it works. so far no evidence.

        If you use the excuse that “maybe in the future we’ll have evidence for it”, well that applies to any cure. I could claim that kissing my behind cures cancer and I can claim that you call it pseudoscience but it may be legit science many years from now THEREFORE kiss my behind

  • Gigikau

    It is simply fake surgery as you can see in many demo, they try to cover the hands of supposedly psychic surgeon.i.they do some magic tricks.besides they do not want their specimen examined pathologically to determine if its really human or animal tissue .

  • Pitbulldog

    This is not required, Mr. Lichauco.  The skills and talent in that jobn is acquired by experience.  We have a lot of them in the provinces like Quezon or in the North.  They are sometimes called Espititistas and I was a witness to their awesome skills when I was in high school.  My aunt was a a member of that sect.  I could not figure out how that medicine man was able to remove my father’s cyst without anesthsia or a messy surgical procedure. They would give Copperfield a run for his money if indeed they are masters in trickery and sleight of hand.

  • Shadows1

    Ito namang si Tanda, nanloloko ka na nga lng ng mga tao gusto mo seryosohin ka pa.

  • Roehlano Briones

    There is no academic interest in psychic surgery because researching a fraud is a waste of precious time.


    because it is for loonies

  • TheThinkker

    When you guys down here make such conclusions, it’s either you cease thinking or it’s just plain ego domineering your thinking.

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