Why paranormal healing can’t be scientifically explainedBy Jaime T. Licauco
Philippine Daily Inquirer
One question that has been bugging me for years is why no researcher or medical scientist has ever been able to explain adequately the phenomenon of paranormal healing in general, and psychic surgery in particular.
If we talk only about the Philippine situation, the answer is simple. No local scientist or researcher has ever studied in depth the phenomenon of psychic surgery, not even the members of the Philippine Medical Association, because these people have already concluded that psychic surgery or any paranormal healing modality, for that matter, is not true.
Such healing, if there is one, can be explained either as spontaneous remission of illness, wrong diagnosis, merely psychological, sleight-of-hand or deliberate fraud.
All attempts by Western researchers to prove the reality of psychic surgery have ended in failure or frustration. But why is this so? Because every time a scientist tries to observe or measure a paranormal event, such as healing, the evidence disappears, and no logical conclusion can be drawn from it.
Let me give you several examples.
In the mid-’80s, a young Swiss researcher who had observed Philippine psychic surgeons decided to scientifically prove if the cotton that a healer magically inserts in the body of a patient was really inside the body or not. He returned to the Philippines, bringing with him a Geiger counter and a radioactive piece of cotton. Then he observed the healer insert the cotton into the body of the patient. The cotton vanished from his hand.
When the Swiss researcher turned on the Geiger counter to see if the radioactive cotton was indeed inside the patient’s body, it registered nothing. So he concluded that Filipino faith healers were just using trickery.
Earlier, another researcher, Dr. Lyall Watson, a biologist from South Africa (who had written such books as “Supernature,” “The Romeo Error,” “Beyond Supernature”) was completely puzzled by the results of his six-month study of Philippine psychic surgeons.
His first exposure to the phenomenon of psychic surgery was with the late Jose Mercado of Pangasinan, who gave spiritual injections to his patients from a distance of almost three feet.
Dr. Watson joined the line, according to his own testimony which appeared both in “The Romeo Error” and in the book by George Meek, “Healers and the Healing Process,” published by the Theosophical Society in the US.
“When he (Mercado) pointed his finger at my bicep and made the squeezing motion of giving an injection, I felt a sharp pain. When I rolled up my sleeves, there was a tiny puncture wound…and a drop of blood.” His shirt, however, was totally undamaged.
Dr. Watson came back the next day. This time, he placed four layers of plastic over his bicep, held it in place with a rubber band beneath his shirt, and joined the line of patients again.
“Mercado made his customary gesture in my direction from a distance of about five feet. I felt nothing and told him so, asking if he could try again. He repeated the process from a distance of three feet. This time I felt the prick and when I removed the pad, I found the usual puncture and a drop of blood, which I collected on a microscope slide, for analysis.”
When he examined the four plastic sheets, he was surprised to discover that the two inner sheets nearest his skin bore the puncture marks, but none on the two outer layers, showing that Mercado could not have done it through trickery.
“When the two blood samples were typed in a laboratory in Manila later that same day under my personal supervision, the second one proved to belong to a group appropriate to my own, but the first was totally foreign to me. It was not even human; the red corpuscles had nuclei.”
This reminds me of the puzzling results of laboratory tests done on three blood samples taken by Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama of Japan from the same patient after one Filipino healer had made an incision. He had the three blood samples analyzed by three separate laboratories in Chiba, Japan.
The first blood type was the same as the patient’s, but the third blood sample turned out to be the blood of sheep. Now, sheep are not indigenous to the Philippines and not commonly found here.
On another occasion, Dr. Watson asked a Filipino healer to strip completely naked while performing healing on a foreign patient who also agreed to be treated completely naked. Out of modesty, Dr. Watson lent the healer his shorts. The female patient did not even have a towel to cover herself.
“The healer,” reported Dr. Watson, “used no water, no cotton wool, no oils—nothing which could be prepared in any way to produce chemical reactions that would simulate blood and tissue. Yet, despite all those precautions, a red pigment appeared (on the incision) which proved to be blood of a group appropriate to her own.
“A little later in the treatment, the healer produced a small quantity of tissue, about 10 grams, which I collected and sealed in a specimen jar for analysis in a laboratory the next day.
“But I never did get that analysis. The sample had vanished without a trace, although the jar was still sealed the next morning.”
I believe that Western materialist science will never be able to prove the existence of paranormal phenomena, especially psychic surgery, because it is using a paradigm or point of view appropriate for analyzing only physical reality.
To understand paranormal phenomena we have to develop a new science, “The Science of the Impossible.” And the one that comes closest to this approach, to my mind, is Quantum or Particle Physics.
Next week: Quantum physics and paranormal phenomena
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