caduceusThe Ground of Faith
Exploring Science, Mysticism and Experience Together

October 2009
Editors: The Rev. Michael Cocks and The Rev. Victor MacGill

"Paranormal Healing"


Paranormal (Faith/Spiritual) Healing

For your interest:

Placebos Are Getting More Effective

To change the subject

Scientists have taken an image of a single molecule:

“The Resistance”

General articles

Test The Spirits – And Then...? (Prophecy, Channeling, and the Christian Paranormal): Nate Cull

ASPSI Requirements for Performing Valid Afterlife Research

Book Reviews

Other relevant e-journals, blogs and publications

Victor Zammit's Weekly Treasure Trove

Public Parapsychology

From Our Readers

Paranormal (Faith/Spiritual) Healing

caduceusAt a prime time NZ ONE TV slot,  journalists with cameras visited unannounced a local spiritual healing centre. They were accepted in and they filmed an apparently successful healing. A doctor from a Medical School was interviewed, and he noted that the healing centre did not ask for money, did not dissuade clients from seeking normal medical help, and affirmed that spiritual healing has always been an aspect of Christianity. He said that we should also recognise conventional medicine also as an aspect of the work of God. Unusually, NZTV didn't invite a disbeliever to offer an opinion.

Our assistant editor, Nate Cull, felt moved to to find out the thinking behind their healing. Too much talk about demons and evil spirits, it seems. But the healing seemed real. On the other hand some time ago I received an email from a friend whose daughter's healing from inoperable cancer has been medically confirmed. Much prayer for healing there too. And a totally different theology. So does our theology make any difference? Surely it does. We can gives thanks for healing in both cases. But one healed person is introduced to thought of evil, fear, and judgement of others. The other is confronted by healing love, harmony and thankfulness. This is a recipe for wholeness and spiritual growth. The theology must make a difference in this way. We need though to acknowledge the limits of our theology and our ability to explain. We may say that we are healed by the Spirit of God, or by surrender to God, and we may well agree with each other about the statement. But perhaps we are not able really to define God in the way a scientist will define some structure, some event. We are no doubt looking in the right direction, when we give God the glory. But we are no explainers and conquerors in these matters. (Not as in the following example:)

My friend's email was received on GMAIL, which has the knack of exhibiting adverts relevant to the subjects discussed in the email message. One advert read, "Achieve Your Goals, Desires and Life Dreams in the Next 90 Days by Using These Five Mind Power Techniques Based on Quantum Physics You Can Learn in The Next 30 Minutes." It was accompanied by this testimonial, "It's an excellent book. Full of thought provoking and kindles the power of positive thinking in a practical, pragmatic, with good scitenific analysys, and soaks the subconcious mind into thoughts of success. Great and hats off to the author." [sic]

A journal like this does not give us the opportunity to present a closely reasoned thesis on this subject: but we can note that there is some agreement that in some way changing our thoughts is in some way associated with spiritual healing. But not, perhaps, by allowing the immature and unenlightened surface mind take charge, as above.

For your interest:

BroomFor instance read a NZ Listener article on a book by Dr Brian Broom: “Meaning-full Disease” the subtitle of which is “How Personal Experience and Meanings Cause and Maintain Physical Illness.”

AgnesSandfordAgnes Sanford (1897-1982) is considered to be the mother of the Inner Healing Movement : The Inner Healing Movement refers to a grassroots counseling movement among Christians of various denominations. Its methods are largely based around the calling up of suppressed or hurtful memories in order to deal with them.

ChristianScienceChristian Science At the core of Christian Science is the teaching that God and God's creation are entirely good and spiritual, and that God has made all things in his likeness. Christian Scientists hold that the reality of being and of all that God makes is spiritual, not material. They see this spiritual reality as the only reality and all else as illusion or "error." Christian Science acknowledges that all people seem to be experiencing a material existence but holds that this experience ultimately yields to a true spiritual understanding of God and creation. They believe that this is how healing through prayer is possible. Prayer, from the Christian Science perspective, does not ask God to intervene but is rather a process of learning more of God's spiritual reality – "awakening mortal thought," by degrees, to spiritual truth.

EdgarCayceEdgar Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) (pronounced keisi) was an American who was believed to be psychic. He is said to have demonstrated an ability to channel answers to questions on subjects such as health or Atlantis, while in a self-induced trance. Though Cayce considered himself a devout Christian and lived before the emergence of the New Age Movement, some believe he was the founder of the movement and had influence on its teachings: Read and also Read this

StephenWe believe that “St Stephen” mediated through Tom Ashman, presents a profound and comprehensive theory of spiritual healing: partly indeed discussing the change of mind that is involved in healing, but partly also seeing sickness as a learning experience for the soul.

PlaceboPlacebos Are Getting More Effective

Behind the scenes, however, MK-869 was starting to unravel. True, many test subjects treated with the medication felt their hopelessness and anxiety lift. But so did nearly the same number who took a placebo, a look-alike pill made of milk sugar or another inert substance given to groups of volunteers in clinical trials to gauge how much more effective the real drug is by comparison. The fact that taking a faux drug can powerfully improve some people's health—the so-called placebo effect—has long been considered an embarrassment to the serious practice of pharmacology.” Read the rest of the article
Sceptical discussion, with author reply
and other discussion (mostly skeptical but not all) here:

To change the subject

moleculeScientists have taken an image of a single molecule:

resistance“The Resistance”

Listen :

TalbotInterview of Michael Talbot: THE HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE (thinking allowed) 27 minutes

Hosted by Geoffrey Mishlove

General articles

testthespiritsTest The Spirits – And Then...? (Prophecy, Channeling, and the Christian Paranormal): Nate Cull

If inspiration in its various forms – including the more overt forms of automatic writing and trance channelling – truly is related to the “gift of prophecy”, then it's high time for it to come in from the cold. My belief is that there was a needless split between Christian Science, Christian Spiritualism and the Pentecostal movement – and though those movements themselves had serious flaws, it may be time to heal a very deep wound by reconciling and recognising the Spirit in angels we have called strangers. Read the whole article

ASPSI Requirements for Performing Valid Afterlife Research

CraigHoganDr R. Craig Hogan (author of Your Eternal Self)

This valuable essay was delivered at the annual conference of the Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies Inc. in June 2009.

Afterlife research should address three broad areas: survival of consciousness, methods of after-death communication, and the nature of the afterlife.
Survival of consciousness.
The most prominent question to be addressed about the survival of consciousness is, “What evidence can we gather that individuals’ minds survive bodily death?” Other questions are, “What form does consciousness take after bodily death?” “Do all people survive?” “What is the ultimate disposition of the consciousness?” “In what conditions does it survive?” “What are the mind’s characteristic activities after the body is gone? Read the address


ASPSI A Psychiatrist Looks at the Paranormal: Michael Tymn

 Few people still living in this realm of existence have been involved in the study of Psi, or ESP, however we label it, longer than Dr. Berthold E. Schwarz, now a resident of Vero Beach, Florida.  In his 1968 book, A Psychiatrist Looks at ESP, Schwarz  offers psychiatric case reports on the lives of three individuals, each with psychic ability.  In the Introduction to the book, he states that "the facts of  psychical research are more urgently in need of serious study today than ever before."

Read the whole article

Book Reviews

keaneElizabeth Nowotny-Keane: Amazing Encounters, Direct Communication from the Afterlife.

The author gained her PhD from the University of Western Sydney, for her research on which this book was based.

Foreword by Louis LaGrand PhD

Over thirty years ago, I started teaching the first course on bereavement and death at Potsdam College which is part of the State University of New York in the USA. Just a few years into this endeavor, I came face to face with a 64-year-old woman whose grandson had what I now call and Extraordinary Experience (EE). At four years of age, he saw a smiling, facial vision of his deceased aunt. Read this Foreword

Introduction by the Author,  Elizabeth Nowotny-Keane:

And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language
Of the living.
T S Eliot: Little Gidding.
The thought of death, particularly our own, is something which frightens many of us. We prefer not to think about it, or even to use the word, preferring euphemisms such as 'passed away,''passed over', 'depart this life'. 'take one's last sleep', and so on. It is the finality of death, and a fear of the loss of self we know and are familiar with, that is so threatening.
All major world religions in their traditions affirm that at death some essential part, or essence, of our being continues. This is not the contemporary secular view. Read this chapter


From Loes Modderman, Nijmegen., Netherlands:
Sent: Friday, August 07, 2009 5:19 PM

Dear people,  
I just stumbled upon your journal through the site of Victor Zammit, who mentions it in a recent post. Great to know it exists!  I would love to receive it.
Here is my email and the email of a few friends.
Note from Editors: We thank Loes for her kind  words. We also looked up her website  <> [Copy and paste this address if necessary]
The Index page reads: "Microscopic ScienceArt - The pictures on this site are in no way digitally manipulated. The colors and shapes are exactly as I saw them through the microscope ! "  ....It is a spiritual experience to examine these pictures.

Parapsychology Research Center to Open in Second Life

Posted: 14 Sep 2009 08:20 PM PDT

A new parapsychological research center is soon to open in a popular virtual arena called Second Life. The Alvarado Zingrone Institute for Research and Education (The AZIRE) was founded to provide resources for researchers, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, therapists and counselors, and teachers and students interested in seemingly psychic phenomena. A project of Alvarado Consulting, The AZIRE is located in Charlottesville, Virginia and in the online virtual world, Second Life ( ....

The AZIRE website — — includes links to blogs on various aspects of their field of study including parapsychology as a profession, parapsychology’s contribution to science, and biographies in parapsychology, as well as links to personal blogs such as those written by Dr. Charles Tart and Dr. Dean Radin. The AZIRE website also includes links to many universities, institutes, and organizations all over the world as well as to those few opportunities for accredited and/or high quality online learning in parapsychology. Links are also provided to web-based freely available articles by Alvarado and Zingrone and to recommended books in the field. [Editor's emphasis]  Read the rest of the letter

Other relevant e-journals, blogs and publications

Don't forget to visit these websites: Victor Zammit's site for instance, is updated every week with new material of great interest.

Victor Zammit's Weekly Treasure Trove

ZammitVisit the archives of Victor Zammit's weekly newsletter at  for hours of  fascinating reading.  When you open this website you have the opportunity to request that these emails be sent to you every week, something that we strongly recommend.

We strongly recommend this site, as a source of much interesting material.

Public Parapsychology

Editors' notes: Public Parapsychology is one of an increasing number of web sites that we should be aware of.. and subscribe to. Try this url:

The Largest Database of Afterlife Description & Analysis on the Internet

“This web site is a compilation of information on the afterlife and other related critical concepts, such as the purpose of life and reincarnation, as they relate to souls here on earth. We have not created this site to convince anyone of the validity of this information, we simply invite you to read through the data, explore the sources we have used and visit other sources to learn more. Using spirit sources from and respected authors like Michael Newton, Allan Kardec, Jane Roberts and others, the results of our first investigations reveal 94.8% agreement on a variety of very specific topics. We believe this web site contains the largest correlation of spirit communications about the afterlife, all from respected sources, available anywhere. We will continue to expand this data as information is made available to us and our research expands.”

Click for hours of fascinating reading

 Continue reading

Read also A long list of extraordinary coincidences between the lives of Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy.

Electronic Voice and Instrumental Communication:


Read DISCOVER magazine