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There has always been evil in the world, but a specific evil has been creeping over human civilization for a long time. This evil will be at the heart of the period of history that the Bible calls the Last Days. At this moment, the evil I’m talking about is still largely invisible from our collective awareness. A better word might be camouflaged, hidden from view behind a million strands of distraction. When an element of it appears, often those who have seen it are intimidated into silence. Also, very often they simply misread what they have seen, attributing to it whatever meaning they have learned from their culture. So the truth remains hidden. This evil is like a monstrous spider’s web. You can’t see all of it, but after a few strands hit you in the face you know what you’re dealing with. The danger is to focus on a couple of strands and think you understand the whole web. A good example is people who become obsessed with conspiracy theories. After looking at them for years, I’m convinced that all of them are camouflage designed to hide the Great Conspiracy.
In examining what has happened and what is happening, we try to use patterns and paradigms. When patterns become visible we start searching for paradigms. A paradigm is simply a representative example of the pattern. In this essay, I’m going to look at some paradigms that I believe represent patterns in the way the Powers of Darkness and evil use physical healing to promote their agenda. From there, we’re going to project some possibilities about the future.
Imagine that it’s the year 98 AD.
You are a young woman living in a tiny village in Asia Minor, that part of the world now called Turkey. Several months ago your abdomen began to bloat. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t keep down any food. Day by day, you’re growing weaker. You’ve prayed and sacrificed at the local temple, but it has done no good. The wise women of your village have done all they can. Nothing has helped and you’re losing hope. It’s clear that you need a miracle. But they are in short supply. Maybe there is one last resort, perhaps there’s one god who might help you. But that means traveling to one of his temples. The closest one is in the city of Pergamon. The god is Asclepius and his temples are centers of healing. You must go there and plead for your life. You must make sacrifices to him. Perhaps he will hear and come to you.
In 98 AD something very strange and deeply supernatural was going on in the city of Pergamon and several other cities of the Roman Empire. And it had been going on for centuries. The power that was centered in them has appeared with great consistency in many places around the world. We could call it the Cult of Spirit Healing. At the end of the first century AD in the city of Pergamon, there was a little Christian church. In the New Testament book of Revelation, Jesus sends a message to that church. It begins this way: Revelation 2:12-13 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamon write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is…’
Pergamon was an amazing city, one of the most important in the Roman world. As our young woman sufferer arrived there, she would have seen a city built of white marble that shone in the sun. Its acropolis sat atop a thousand-foot mountain that overlooked the Aegean Sea. The temples and monuments of Pergamon were of the finest quality. The center of it all was the mighty Temple of Zeus. Within that temple was a gigantic magnificent altar the walls of which were covered with the most beautiful, Hellenistic sculptures that depicted the mythical war between the gods and the giants. Since the early 1900s, that altar has been in Berlin. There are some who believe that it’s the throne of Satan referred to in Revelation. I doubt it. I’m sure the throne of Satan was not visible. Rather it represents the unique power and presence of his evil authority and control. Pergamon was what I call a Satanic Throne City. I think there have been many other great throne cities, centers of dark power that have had a unique influence on the spiritual life of the world. They exist today.
When Jesus Christ walked in this world, what was the best-known representation of His power and authority? It was healing the sick, which included casting out evil spirits that were destroying people’s bodies and lives. In our day we are too sophisticated to believe in evil spirits. But, as I have written before, there is a very good reason to believe that they exist and are interdimensional beings. Quantum physics has opened the door to a bizarre universe of stunning strangeness where almost anything is possible. But words get in our way. Take the word “demon”. It’s a very ancient word. In our day it conjures up a Hollywood vision of ugly supernatural monsters, or maybe screaming schizophrenia. To many people it means irrationality. I’m going to suggest to you that all of those are distractions designed to camouflage the truth.
Many Christians who believe in evil spirits have a dangerously false idea about them. They think that everything coming out of a dimension of evil is going to be ugly and horrible. That’s one of the most important distractions that keep the truth camouflaged. The truth is that the greatest supernatural evil often manifests itself with scintillating beauty. It is deeply desirable and appears to be the answer to our most overwhelming needs. Very often, the hook that leads to death is baited with pleasure, beauty and even the deep emotion of apparent love.
Throughout history, the world has been full of suffering and death is always close. For thousands of years even to the present day, there has been a deep fear of the dead. The fear is that some might appear as ghosts, while others could come back in a physical form known as revenants. Whenever we say “rest in peace” we are acknowledging that ancient fear. In many parts of the world, the fear of the dead still exists. The dead must be appeased with sacrifices and gifts. To a large degree in the western world, we’ve forgotten what that fear was like for our ancestors. Illness brought the fear of death. When we get very sick today we’re desperate for healing. But what if there were no doctors or hospitals? What would you do to find healing for yourself or a loved one? You’d do almost anything, wouldn’t you? In your desperation, you’d be physically and spiritually vulnerable. Any examination of the Powers of Darkness, Satan and his Lords of Evil and their work in this world, including what they will do in the future, needs to look at miraculous healings.
So our young woman is in Pergamon to seek help.
The people of the city direct her to a lovely temple complex dedicated to the worship of Asclepius, the Greek god of healing. Who is this god? In the preface to their classic scholarly work entitled, Asclepius: A Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies, authors E. and L. Edelstein make this remarkable statement: “The worship of Asclepius…came to play such a role in the religious life of later centuries that in the final stages of paganism, of all the genuinely Greek gods, Asclepius was judged the foremost antagonist of Christ.”
One of the best known gods of the ancient world is one of the least known today. Belief in Asclepius controlled the minds and spiritual lives of millions. Julian, the Roman Emperor who ruled in the fourth century after Christ, and who was called the Apostate because of his attempt to revive dying paganism, viewed Asclepius as the greatest gift of Zeus to the human race. He said of him, “He visits no one of us separately and yet he raises up souls that are sinful and bodies that are sick.”
Christian apologists of the early church lashed out at the cult of Asclepius. Every time Justin, a famous Christian spokesman of the second century, talked about Christ healing the sick and raising the dead, he complained that his hearers would counter with Asclepius. Whole cities such as Epidaurus, Cos, Tricca and Pergamon were dedicated to this god. Pergamon was so much associated with him that the people swore by Asclepius of Pergamon.
Who was Asclepius in mythology?
To the Greeks and Romans who worshipped him, he was a “half deity” at birth. That means that he was the son of the god Apollo and a human woman, perhaps a good example what I have called in my Dark Illusions series a “hybrid”. When he died it was claimed that he became a full god himself. Asclepius was a healer who could even raise the dead from their darkness, the founder of all the medical arts. His rod with a single serpent twined around it, influenced the medical symbol used today. The original Hippocratic Oath was sworn by Apollo and Asclepius.
The special appeal of this god was to the poor and sick of the world, to all those who were heavy laden and needed rest. His message reached out to them and from all across the Roman Empire they flocked to his shrines.
What would our very ill young woman have experienced when she arrived at the temple of Asclepius in Pergamon?
Like the other shrines, it was a beautiful tourist attraction with quiet, lovely grounds and landscaped groves of cypress trees. Worshippers would cleanse themselves in the many springs and medicinal baths and offer sacrifices on the great altars that stood beneath the open sky. To see it, you couldn’t have imagined that this could be part of Satan’s Throne. Unless he was in the health resort business. That’s what it looked like, a beautiful health spa with Greek architecture.
Each Asclepius shrine had its own character with libraries, theaters and gymnasiums. But one feature was the same in all of them. At the center of the complex was a strange temple filled with couches. This was the business end of the shrine. Soon after you arrived, you would begin to experience a bit of the real weirdness of the place. You’d discover that non-venomous snakes were crawling everywhere. They would be all over the grounds and inside the buildings, especially in the temple. And they were welcome there. This was their home. Beneath each temple were tunnels and labyrinths specifically constructed to house serpents. After every Asclepion was built, at the time of dedication, hundreds of snakes were brought in to be housed on the grounds, because a snake was the symbol of the god.
When she entered the complex, our very ill young woman would be assigned to a priest who would listen to the facts of her case. He might give her a regimen to follow, but this was not nearly as important as instructions that might come directly from the god. She would then be ordered to worship by making a sacrifice to Asclepius on one of the altars. In the evening, a draught of wine would be administered and then she would go to sleep on one of the many couches in the temple. It was during this period of temple sleep, called incubation, that the miraculous healings would take place.
Did actual, physical healings occur in the shrines of Asclepius? The archeological evidence is fascinating. These shrines existed for hundreds of years. Many thousands of sufferers in deep distress came to them. If no healings had ever happened, certainly they would not have drawn such numbers for so long. A record of some of those miraculous cures has been preserved in the form of stone tablets found at the Asclepion of Epidaurus in southern Greece. Very likely they represent only a small portion of the tablets that once existed. They purport to be the personal testimonies of eye-witnesses to the power at work in the shrine.
Here’s what might happen when you slept in the temple.
The healing would begin with a dream. Sometimes it would be of the god himself, who would appear as a bearded, scholarly man, the personification of the ideal doctor. But as he stared at you, somehow there would be a strange, faraway look in his eyes. He would seem to know all about your physical condition. Often, he would cure you right there in the dream. When you awoke, you would find yourself miraculously healed. The following are just a few excerpts from the many stone tablets found at Epidaurus.
A woman named Erasippa (perhaps our young woman) came to the temple with her stomach swollen with worms. She was burning all over and couldn’t keep down any food. In the temple, she had a dream. She dreamed that the god massaged her stomach and kissed her. Then he gave her a drug to drink and ordered her to vomit. In the dream, she vomited and covered herself with it. In the morning, she discovered that her dress was covered with the evil stuff she had vomited in the dream. From that point, she became well.
Euhippus – For six years he suffered with the point of a spear embedded in his jaw. In the temple, he dreamed that Asclepius removed it and placed it in his hands. The next day, he went away healed carrying the spear point.
A man of Torone – He came to the temple after having drunk a potion given to him by his step-mother. She had tricked him and placed live leeches in the drink which were living inside of him. He dreamed that Asclepius cut open his chest with a knife, took out the leeches and placed them in his hands. At daybreak, he left the temple cured, the leeches out of his body.
The mother of a woman suffering from terrible swelling in her extremities slept in the temple for her daughter. She dreamed the god cut off her daughter’s head, emptied out the diseased fluid and replaced the head on the body. The mother left the temple and found her daughter well. On the same night her daughter had had the same dream.
Agameda was having trouble getting pregnant. She slept in the temple, asking the god for children and had a dream. In her dream, a serpent lay on her belly. After that, five children were born to her.
And on and on the cases go. As in this last case, some didn’t see the god in a physical form. Some saw one of his servants. A man with a cancerous sore on his foot went to sleep. While he was sleeping, one of the sacred snakes crept out and licked it. The next morning he was healed after dreaming that a handsome young man placed a drug on the wound. Sometimes, instead of curing the patient outright in the dream, Asclepius would prescribe a simple regimen. When one individual came to the temple continually coughing blood, the god’s prescription was to eat pork for the rest of his life, constantly stuffing himself with it. This he did, believing that if he missed a single day for the rest of his life the disease would return.
Now clearly, these stone tablets were a form of advertising for the temples. A skeptical view might say they were all fabricated. But that’s far too simplistic an answer. It cannot account for the centuries-long success of those temples and the untold thousands who came there. If no real healings were taking place they could not have existed for such a period of time. Others might say that healing happened, but it was just the Placebo Effect. People wanted to be healed and believed in the power of the temple, so they were healed. Once again, this isn’t an adequate answer. It might account for a percentage of the healings, but it couldn’t account for all of them. Also, the ancient world was a dangerous place. Many people came with specific physical damage, such as the man with the spear point embedded in his jaw. No placebo effect would heal that.
Some might say these testimonials were only fabrications of the priests who used the people’s faith in the god to get them to obey their own medical prescriptions. Sort of like having a deity in your pocket to lend authority to your orders. The idea would be that the only real power in the shrines was in the priests themselves and as they grew to be more scientifically sophisticated they came to realize this. Eventually, they stopped being priests and became “real physicians”. That idea doesn’t work either. In the shrines of Asclepius, the human physicians treated people and the god treated people and everyone knew the difference. The great Galen of Pergamon, one of the fathers of modern medicine because of his early use of scientific methodology, made this observation. “Even among ourselves in Pergamon, we see that those who are being treated by the god obey him, when on many occasions he bids them not to drink at all for fifteen days, while they obey none of the physicians who give this prescription.” Everyone knew the difference between the god and the men.
Something quite strange was happening in those shrines.
An encounter with Asclepius established a very firm religious faith. To receive healing from the god required sacrifices, the god demanded to be worshipped, which meant giving yourself body and soul to him. The Powers of Darkness have gifts to give, but always there are chains attached. Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, all He had to do was bow down and worship him. Belief in Asclepius and worship of him kept many people from believing in Jesus.
It is significant that Asclepius is associated with a serpent. Many pagan religions have given an important place to snakes. There was a shrine to Asclepius in Rome. Worship began there as early as 292 BC. According to Roman history, the god was brought in under the direction of the Delphic Oracle. What did everyone think was the ancient power behind that oracle? A python that Apollo was supposed to have killed and thrown into a huge fissure at Delphi. But the python’s priestesses were kept in charge. Many people believed it was fumes from the rotting body of the snake that gave these women their visions.
How did Asclepius come to Rome?
A plague had stricken Italy. A ship was sent to Epidaurus to receive the god and bring him back to the great city. It’s said that when the ship arrived in Epidaurus, a huge snake voluntarily crawled aboard. When the ship entered Italy, the snake slithered off on an island in the Tiber and immediately the plague stopped. The Roman shrine to Asclepius was built on that island.
As Christianity, the power of Jesus Christ grew in strength in the Roman world, worship of Asclepius faded away and his shrines fell into disrepair and ruin. But the power at work in them did not fade away. It simply found new names and new centers in which to express itself. That dark power entered the organized Christian church. With the Christianization of the empire under Constantine beginning in 313 AD, all of the pagan temples changed hands. The temple of Asclepius in the Tiber became the Church of St. Bartholomew and continued on as a mecca for healing under the direction of a new set of priests with people placing their faith in a saint instead of a Greek god.
Healing through pagan gods in the Roman Empire was not limited to Asclepius. Incubation was practiced in many pagan temples. As the church absorbed paganism in order to make Christianity more “palatable”, the power behind the healings of Pergamon gained many new avenues. People traveled great distances to countless other new shrines that bore the names and bones of saints. Many of the same healing techniques used by Asclepius continued in the Christian church. French historian of the sixth century AD, Gregory of Tours, records a number of examples of church sleep in order to find supernatural healing. This was just a Christianized form of ancient incubation.
The Greeks believed that Asclepios had once walked the earth as a man then became a god when he died. Praying to men and women who have died and are now considered saints is little different. When healings occur, what is the source of that power? If you consider yourself a Christian, a good test would be, does that healing draw a person into a deeper faith in Jesus Christ and gratitude to Him, or a deeper faith in someone or something else?
I want to suggest another pattern to you.
What I have called the dark Cult of Spirit Healing almost always requires a person to go to a specific location in order to meet the god or supernatural being in order to be healed. It may be a temple or a sacred grove of trees, or a mysterious place in a desert or on a mountain. Today, it might mean going to a faith healer at a big colosseum event or to a psychic surgeon at his or her retreat center. Almost always, it entails some form of payment or financial “contribution”. A big faith healer might engender a sense of guilt and fear. If you really want to be healed you must demonstrate your faith by putting money in an offering plate. With a psychic surgeon, there would be a direct demand for cash. Always it entails a form of worship and sacrifice, by that I mean submitting yourself body and soul to the power you hope will heal you. In various cultures, this could include sacrifices of plants, animals or money.
How does this compare with the record of Jesus’ healings when He walked in this world? There was no specific center where He did His healings. He went out to the people, traveling from town to town. He asked for no money or sacrifices. According to the record, people would be healed if they just touched Him. There were no gruesome dreams of being cut open or heads removed. He spoke a word or gave a touch and it was done. Healings that come from the Powers of Darkness enslave people to them. Worship of the deity must continue or the disease might return. Very often, Jesus didn’t even get gratitude when He healed sufferers. At one point He healed ten men of leprosy. Only one came back to say, thank you. When His disciples went out, they worked in exactly the same way. And so true healings have come to us down through the history of the church. They do not give glory to people either alive or dead. They do not give glory to a pantheon of false gods. They bring glory to the One True God, Creator of all who loves us and who cannot be represented by a statue. And they set sufferers free.
This Cult of dark Spirit Healing has been at work for eons. The physician priests of ancient Egypt were considered the most knowledgeable in the world. They were famous for their healing arts. Always those arts were deeply associated with Egyptian magic. Just as in the shrines of Asclepius, their work was done under the auspices of the gods. One of the most beloved and powerful of the Egyptian healing gods was Isis. This goddess has had a deep influence even down to our own day through the rise of neo-paganism, the freemasons and others. How were healings accomplished by Isis in ancient Egypt? Temple sleep, incubation.
Where do we see a modern version of this historic pattern? In the Cult of Spirit Healing that surrounds the work of Edgar Cayce to this present day. His techniques of diagnosis and cures through contact with spirits while he slept, bear a striking resemblance to the methodology, prescriptions, and cures of Asclepius. What Cayce entered into was a form of trance and spirit possession. Most of all, the Powers of Darkness want to enter the Christian church, to control and corrupt her worship. Many times they have used miraculous healing as their entry point.
In Cayce we see another pattern. He always presented himself as a Christian, a former Sunday School teacher. He said he believed in Christ. But the Jesus he knew was certainly not the Jesus of the Bible. Is it possible that there could be more than one Jesus being presented to the world, that there could be a fake Jesus who looks much like the real one but is from hell? Here’s what the Apostle Paul said about that in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4: “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted — you may well put up with it!”
More than put up with it, people are putting their entire faith in a fake Jesus every day. Those who came to Cayce for cures were led away from the real Jesus. Instead, they put their faith in a man and his unholy healings. That is the pattern that’s going on today around the world and in the Christian church through leaders who are conduits for the healing power of evil spirits who present themselves as angels of light.
In 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 the Apostle Paul warns specifically about this. He says: “For Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” Think about that. An angel of light that is really a powerful creature darkness. Satan creates Jesuses that look just like the one you expect to see from all the pretty pictures. But when the Apostle John saw Him as recorded in the Book of Revelation, he fell at His feet as though dead.
The Edgar Cayce example presents another pattern that correlates with the ones we have been discussing. Let’s redefine the word sleep. As I said, Cayce was known for sleeping to get his supernatural information, but it wasn’t sleep, it was trance. Trance is at the core of almost all of the healings that come from the dimension of dark spirits. So when some form of trance is necessary for healing to occur, that is a clear indicator of the source.
Now we have to be careful about how we understand trance.
To be in a trance doesn’t mean that your eyes are rolled back in your head and you’re mumbling gibberish. A person can be in deep trance and appear to be wide awake. In the trance state, strange powers have been known to appear. Let me tell you a very odd story. In France, in the late 1600s an unusual sect appeared in the Roman Catholic Church. It came to be known as Jansenism after its founder Cornelis Jansen. In several ways, it was a form of Calvinism that remained loyal to Rome. The Pope, the Jesuits and the King of France hated it, but it was very popular among the common folk and the parish clergy. The French mathematician /philosopher Blaize Pascal was a strong supporter of the Jansenists. The group is forgotten today, but in the 1700s they were one of the most well-known and controversial groups in Europe.
One of the reasons the Jansenists were so popular was because some of the leaders manifested unusual gifts of miraculous healing. Controversy raged around them. At the very pinnacle of their success, tragedy struck. One of their saintliest leaders died and was buried in a church cemetery in Paris. Very soon, people began making pilgrimages to his grave. And very soon miraculous healings began happening there. These healings included everything from cancerous tumors to paralysis to deafness to prolonged bleeding and on and on. As you can imagine, people thronged to that cemetery.
Then things got even stranger.
Some of the visitors to the tomb began to experience weird spasms and convulsions to the point that they had no control over their bodies. Their arms and legs would go through amazing contortions. This weirdness spread like wildfire. Soon the streets were full of writhing, contorting men, women and children in a trance-like state. It became so widespread that those who fell under the power of it were called Convulsionaires. While the healings continued, these people began to display amazing and disturbing abilities. In the convulsive trance, they could be tortured in the most awful ways and remain completely undamaged.
Many thousands watched as Convulsionaires were severely beaten with heavy and sharp objects and even strangled. At the end there was no sign of the slightest injury, not the tiniest bruise or wound. This went on for a long time. For decades the streets around the tomb were crowded with Convulsionaires. At one point it took 3,000 volunteers just to watch these writhing people to make sure they didn’t do things like remove their clothes during their seizures. This became so well-known all over Europe that people from every level of society, from the intellectual elite to the uneducated masses, came to witness the phenomena. Many enemies of the Jansenists came who wanted to refute what was happening. They went away confirming the miracles. A member of the Paris Parliament went to investigate. He wrote four large volumes describing the miracles he saw. They have come down to us in history. In his 1991 book, The Holographic Universe, author Michael Talbot lists some of those miracles:
A 20-year-old female Convulsionaire leaned against a stone wall while a volunteer, a very powerful man from the crowd, struck her 100 times in the stomach with a 30-pound hammer using all his strength. She was completely uninjured. An observer took the hammer and struck the stone wall where the woman had been leaning. On the 30th blow, the stone broke through, creating a large hole. Another young woman bent over backward with her lower back supported by a sharpened peg. A fifty pound stone was hoisted by rope to a place high above her and allowed to drop with full force on her stomach. This was done over and over without the slightest response from the woman except that she yelled over and over, “Strike harder, harder.” When it was finished, she walked away without the slightest scratch.
It is very significant that many of the Convulsionaires pleaded to be tortured because they said it relieved the agony of their convulsions. They were struck with metal rods and chains. The most powerful men couldn’t strangle them. Fire couldn’t hurt them. All manner of tortures were tried including crucifixion. When taken down from the cross there were no wounds. People tried to cut and pierce them, all to no avail. A sharpened iron drill was placed against the bare stomach of one man. Then another man tried to pound it into his body. He struck as hard as he could over and over, but the point wouldn’t pierce the flesh. Through it all the Convulsionaire looked enraptured and yelled, “It does me good. Strike twice as hard.”
But this wasn’t all. Some of the people developed psychic abilities during their convulsions. Some levitated. One man rose into the air and no one could pull him down. All of these events had many, many witnesses. Through it all the healings continued. The niece of Pascal had a very bad ulcer in her eye. A few hours after being with the Jansenists, the ulcer vanished.
People familiar with the phenomena associated with demonic possession will recognize some of the phenomena demonstrated by the Convulsionaires, the trancelike attitude, the desperate desire to be beaten and tortured so the pain of the convulsions could be alleviated, great strength, psychic powers. Certainly, the strange things that happened for so long at that grave corrupted the original message of the Jansenists who were concerned with holy living. The miracles became the focus and they caused tremendous dissension. What happened represents spirit possession and not by the God’s Holy Spirit. Did healings from God occur early on among the Jansenists? Possibly. But I would have no faith in anything that happened in the cemetery. Nowhere in the Bible do you see pain and torture presented as necessary in order to receive physical healing. But it is a strong pattern in the Cult of dark Spirit Healing. Shamans often abuse themselves because they believe it is necessary in order to receive healing power from the spirit world.
As we look for patterns and speak of brutality associated with spirit healing it’s time to talk about so-called psychic surgery.
As I write about this, I remind the reader that I am a mentalist and a past member of the Academy of Magical Arts at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. I’m extremely familiar with trickery and fraud. I do believe that 98 percent of psychic surgery is pure fraud and ham-fisted trickery. I am well aware of the magician James Randi and the million dollar challenge that he offered for several decades. And there are other individuals and organizations that have made similar challenges. To date no one has met those challenges. However, this in itself is not proof that psychic abilities do not exist. All it proves is that no one has successfully demonstrated them under the required conditions established by those skeptics.
In the future, I’m going to write about Dr. Robert Jahn who was a scientist and professor at Princeton University and the research he and his associates have done in the area of psychic abilities, including their work on the Global Consciousness Project. It’s quite startling. I want to suggest to you that there are two dangerous extremes to be avoided when we consider psychic phenomena, including psychic surgery. It is equally dangerous to believe that all of it is real or that none of it is real.
Biologist and anthropologist, the late Lyall Watson, author of the best-selling books Supernature and Beyond Supernature, spent much of his life researching paranormal phenomena all over the world. In the Philippines, he met a psychic surgeon who simply held his hand a foot above a specific place on a patient’s body, then pointed and moved his finger. Instantly, an incision would appear. Watson relates that at one point he placed his own hand too close to the patient. When the healer pointed and moved his finger, a cut appeared on Watson’s hand. The scar of it remained with him for the rest of his life.
Watson was a scientist. Consequently, like other scientists who have studied the paranormal and witnessed real phenomena, he attributed purely humanistic causes to what he saw. Humans have latent powers that need to be developed, etc. But there is another possible explanation. For that, we need to look at what I consider to be the paradigmatic experiences of Johanna Michaelson.
In the early 1980s, Ms. Michaelson published a book entitled, The Beautiful Side of Evil. It was a best-seller and, needless to say, it has come under tremendous attack ever since. If you do a web search on her name, you will discover that both she and her book have been vilified. Almost all of the critiques are purely ad hominem. The Beautiful Side of Evil chronicles Ms. Michaelson’s experiences working with a Mexican psychic surgeon named Pachita. The author has been criticized because, other than the psychic surgeon, she doesn’t name patients. Therefore, her report cannot be verified.
However, we do know that a woman named Pachita did exist and operated as a psychic surgeon in Mexico City and that her son carried on her work. The fact that Ms. Michaelson doesn’t name her patients is understandable. How many people would like to have their case histories written about with their names attached when they have gone to regular doctors much less psychic surgeons? I believe that Johanna Michaelson is telling the truth. Her book is the testimony of an eye-witness. More than that it includes the story of how she got deeply involved in the occult when she was young.
This involvement finally led her to become Pachita’s assistant in over 200 operations.
Ms. Michaelson reports that she saw great miracles occur and great failures as well. When she met her, Pachita was an old woman who had been doing spiritist surgery for many years. Here’s how it would work: Suffering people would come to Pachita’s home. Before a surgery was performed, she would enter a sacred room. There she would sit down and close her eyes. Soon a spirit who called itself Hermanito would take complete control of her body. Hermanito claimed to be the spirit of an Aztec healer who had died centuries before, killed by the Spaniards. After it took control of Pachita, her eyes would remain closed throughout the entire surgery. Yet, she could thread a needle with one try. The surgeries would take place in the crudest of circumstances with the patient lying on the floor or a table, and Pachita using a knife and house scissors. The only meager attempt at cleanliness was some alcohol poured on cotton.
Johanna Michaelson witnessed all forms of surgery including operations on the brain and spinal cord. During spinal surgery, Pachita would insert the bones from cadavers. And everything was done without anesthetic. The patient would enter a mild trance and would feel no pain. According to Michaelson, many people were healed in a way that had to be miraculous. But some were not. Some died after the procedures.
Michaelson tells the story of one woman who was convinced by her friends to let Pachita operate. For years, she had had great pain from spinal damage. Before the surgery, Pachita assured her that she wouldn’t feel anything. But that was a lie. Horrible stabbing cuts were made and bones were pulled out. Cadaver bones were inserted. And the woman felt everything. Through the entire surgery, she screamed in the worst agony of her life. Afterward, she was not healed. Her agony increased. Michaelson reports that during the surgery, she felt terrible hate pouring from Pachita/Hermanito toward the patient. The woman was a Christian.
It appears that in a number of cases, the healings of Pachita would hold until a person became a Christian, then the original problem would return. Interestingly, Pachita/Hermanito would tell people to pray to God and Jesus during these surgeries. But it was clear to Johanna Michaelson later that this god and this Jesus were not the ones of the Bible. Johanna Michaelson became so concerned and terrified that she left Mexico and went to Europe where she spent time at L’abri Fellowship, with Francis and Edith Schaefer and Os Guinness. There she gave her life to Jesus Christ. But before that happened, she went through real terror as the spirit world tried to maintain its control. Finally, she was freed from the darkness that had been enslaving her for years.
If you have never experienced such evil spirit terror, you have no idea what it’s like. Members of my own family have experienced it. I believe that when it’s real, psychic surgery in all of its brutish and bloody manifestations is just a physical extension of the brutish and bloody hallucinations that were such an integral part of the healings that took place in the temples of Asclepius. They are part of an ancient pattern. In those temples why couldn’t the “god” have simply healed people with a word or a touch as Jesus did? I am convinced that psychological and physical brutalizing are a part of the spiritual enslavement that such healings are meant to establish.
So what patterns have we seen?
First, the cult of spirit healing wants people to come to them, I believe the physical travel required represents a journey of the soul into their darkness. Sometimes the locations are places where these beings have established a kind of throne center of power. Second, their healings are most often associated with some level of trance. This may be induced by anything from temple sleep, to drugs and potions, to direct hypnotic control. Third, very often they are brutalizing in some form, whether in a vision or on the physical body of the sufferer. Fourth, those healers that claim to be “Christian” present a different god and a different Jesus than the Ones in the Bible. The false Jesus speaks of universal love and total acceptance without any need for repentance and salvation from sin. He presents enlightenment as the highest goal. The need for the forgiveness of God is not part of the message. Nor is taking up the cross and following in obedience as the real Jesus taught.
Fifth, and most important, the healing establishes the authority of the dark spirit world in the life of the sufferer.
This may be focused on a human being who gets the glory and through whom the spirits speak. That authority and the messages communicated through it supersede the authority of the Bible and the Holy Spirit guided teachings of the true church of Jesus Christ. Through healing, a new god is established in a person’s life.
It is very important to understand that this power can manifest itself and gain tremendous control within the Christian church. Any miraculous healing or supernatural manifestation that transfers focus and gives glory to any person other than Jesus Christ is from the Powers of Darkness no matter how wonderful it may appear. This includes preachers, faith healers, the saints and Mary. I know there will be many people who are offended by that statement, but I see no way around it if we are going to be faithful to the Bible. Evil loves to appear with amazing, spiritual beauty. Do not be fooled.
What about the future? What’s going to happen? As I have said many times, I am not a prophet, only a storyteller. But stories rule the world and every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. The story of dark, spirit healing has been going on for a very long time. But it will have an end. That end is coming. I think it will come when science and the spirit world of the supernatural become one. You say, how is that possible? Much of what we call science had its foundation in occult and esoteric activities. One of the fathers of modern medicine was Galen of Pergamon, who certainly believed in the supernatural. Galen was one of the first to use scientific methodology. Yet, he began studying medicine at a young age because Asclepius came to his father in a dream and told him that’s what Galen should do. As we know, chemistry and metallurgy began in alchemy. Scientific materialism, the idea that the only thing that’s real is that which can be tested and retested in a laboratory, is becoming less and less satisfying as a philosophy. Particularly as quantum physics reveals the deep strangeness of the universe, scientific materialism seems simplistic and almost quaint.
I believe that amazing discoveries will be made in the near future that will appear to bring science and the supernatural back together, to make them one as they were so long ago. Included in this will be the ultimate manifestation of the ancient Cult of Spirit Healing. If I were writing this story, the greatest convergence between the scientific and what we call the supernatural would come at the time of greatest need. In Matthew chapter 24 Jesus made some startling predictions about what the world would be like just before His return. Here are His words:
Matt 24:21-28 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
So there are going to be many false Christs and false prophets and they are going to do amazing signs and wonders. But they will be lies designed to mislead. Clearly, many, many people will be drawn to them and believe in them. Why will they be drawn, why will they believe? What was it that drew the majority of people to Jesus during His ministry? It was the healing. Healings represented most of His signs and miracles. People were desperate for help and they couldn’t find it anywhere else, so they came to Him from great distances. The same has been true with the Cult of Spirit Healing down through history. People have come in great numbers to the place where they thought healing would happen.
During the terrible time that Jesus predicted the strong implication is that the same thing will be true. Diseases and injuries will appear that medical science cannot treat, either because it does not have the skill or because it is overwhelmed and unable to deal with the massive crisis. People will be desperate and searching. They will be told that “Jesus” has returned. He’s out in the desert healing people or in some inner sanctum. Thousands will flock to these false Christs and they will be healed.
Think about it. Something has happened. You or your loved one is desperately ill. There is no help. They are dying in agony. Word comes that healing is available from someone who claims to be Jesus. Thousands are being healed. The truth is right before your eyes. Don’t you want healing for yourself and your loved one? How much spiritual strength would it take to turn away from that and die? Jesus says that the signs and wonders will be so strong that, if possible, even the elect, those who know and trust the real Jesus, might be fooled. In Luke 21, the parallel passage to Matthew 24 Jesus predicts that one of the signs of the end will be plagues. Now we’ve had plagues down through history, but I think the implication is that the plagues of the end will be unique.
One of the amazing things about the period in which we are living has been the absence of a truly devastating, world-wide pandemic.
The last time that occurred was the Spanish Flu of 1918 and 1919. That disease killed approximately 50 million people worldwide. 20 million died within an eight week period alone – this out of a world population of only 1.8 billion. For decades virologists have warned that a pandemic like the Spanish Flu or one that’s even worse will come again. It is certain. We just don’t know when or the level of severity. It’s impossible for us to imagine what such a pandemic would do to modern society. When the Black Death struck Europe in the 1300s between a third and a half of the entire population died. It changed the course of history. Whole towns and sections of countries were left empty. Society was never the same.
Such a disaster is coming. When it comes, I believe it could be in the time just before the return of Jesus. And the Cult of Spirit Healing will be ready. The False Jesus Healing Team will spread out across the world. They will work in their ancient patterns. “You come to us, to our new sacred place and we will heal you.” The journey will lead you into spiritual darkness and enslavement. When you arrive where the false Christ is you will be amazed at what you see. You will experience fear and some form of psychological brutality in order to receive your healing. You will need to sacrifice, presenting your body and soul to this false messiah. After you are healed, you will belong to the darkness. You will be its disciple and witness, calling others to the same experience. Only those who truly belong to Jesus, the Messiah, and are filled with His Spirit, will be able to stand against this evil power. And they will pay a terrible price for doing so. But Heaven and the eternal Kingdom of God will belong to them forever.
Which leads to the most important question? Do you truly belong to Jesus Christ, God’s only Son? Is He your Savior and Lord or are you worshiping false gods?