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NCAHF Statements on Faith Healing and Psychic Surgery, 1/12/2000
NCAHF Statements on Faith Healing and Psychic Surgery

on Faith Healing and Psychic Surgery (1987)

Psychic Surgery

NCAHF Newsletter March/April 1989, 28/12/2000
Cox claims that another psychic surgeon treated her husband's heart condition several years ago. He survived for six years before dying of a heart attack and Cox is convinced that psychic surgery prolonged his life. It is reported that about 130 people had been scheduled for psychic surgery over two days when Stevens County authorities raided the house of Charles and Dorothy Garvey in which the operations were taking place. Palitayan, Cox, and two others were booked on charges of theft and the unlicensed practice of medicine. A bucket with purported blood and tumors removed from patients was found to contain tissue from a bovine animal.

Charles Garvey defended psychic surgery by stating that all of the people involved were "consenting adults" who should be allowed to choose for themselves--an argument that can be used to justify drug abuse, prostitution, gambling, as well as quackery.

Information from NCAHF's files indicates that the above case does not involve the same psychic surgeon arrested in California in 1987. His name was "Brother" Joe Bulgarin. It was yet another psychic surgeon, Gary Magno, who was arrested in Arizona in 1986. The psychic surgery scams seem to be a growing phenomenon. For a complete expose of the psychic surgery scam see Flim Flam, by James Randi (Prometheus Books, 1982).

Questionable Cancer Therapies, 2/8/2015
Psychic Surgery

Psychic surgery is claimed to remove tumors without leaving a skin wound. Actually, its practitioners use sleight-of-hand to create the illusion that surgery is being performed. A false finger or thumb may be used to store a red dye that appears as "blood" when the skin is "cut." Animal parts or cotton wads soaked in the dye are palmed and then exhibited as "diseased organs" supposedly removed from the patient's body. (However, one Philippine "healer" has been reported to use human blood, which raises the possibility that HIV or hepatitis B could be transmitted.) The American Cancer Society has concluded that "all demonstrations to date of psychic surgery have been done by various forms of trickery." Most "psychic surgeons" practice in the Philippines or Brazil, but some have made tours within the United States. A few have been prosecuted for theft and/or practicing medicine without a license .

American Cancer Society. Unproven methods of cancer management: 'psychic surgery.' CA—A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 40:184-188, 1990.

OTA Report: Summary and Policy Options, 13/1/2006
While most spiritual approaches treat cancer as any other disease or misfortune, some techniques with spiritual or mystical components are often associated specifically with cancer. "Psychic surgery" refers to a procedure involving removal of spirits or physical manifestations of spiritual pathology from a patient. Some Americans travel to the Phillipines for "psychic surgery," where it is practiced in its original context of religious and traditional healing (419,530). Psychic surgeons from the Phillipines have also come to the United States, holding treatment sessions as they travel around the country. They have often been pursued by legal authorities and some have been convicted of practicing medicine without a license. Psychic surgery is considered by many in the unconventional community to be a "fringe" treatment.

NCAHF Newsletter March/April 1991, 13/12/2000

Chris Magno Tizon, 34, of Las Vegas, was sentenced to 3 years probation for helping run a psychic surgery scam in which his uncle-aunt team, Gary George and Terry Lynn Magno, made Phoenix-area people believe they had coughed up tumors.

Unnaturalistic Methods: P, 4/6/1997
paranormal healing: Field of "metaphysical" health-related practices. It apparently encompasses absent healing, Bach flower therapy, Bioplasmic healing, channeling, faith healing, the laying on of hands, LeShan psychic training, magnetic healing, psychic dentistry, psychic healing, psychic surgery, psychosynthesis, remote diagnosis, Seicho-No-Ie, self-healing, shamanism, the Simonton method, spirit healing, spirit surgery, spiritual healing, and Therapeutic Touch.

psychic surgery (etheric surgery): Alleged means of healing tissue, or removing diseased tissue, with bare hands or common instruments, painlessly and uninjuriously. Practitioners are called "psychic surgeons" or "etheric surgeons." Some claim that they operate only on an individual's "etheric body" or "perispirit."

National Council Against Health Fraud Archive, 2/1/2017
Faith Healing and Psychic Surgery (1987)

A Special Message to Cancer Patients Seeking "Alternative" Treatments, 17/10/2016
Psychic surgery

Consumer Health Digest, August 30, 2015, 27/9/2015
Wayne Dyer's death announced. Wayne W. Dyer, D.Ed., who catapulted to popularity in the mid-1970s with a self-help book called Your Erroneous Zones, has died at the age of 75. The cause of death has not been announced, but press reports indicate that in 2009, Dyer was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which he claimed to have treated with positive thinking, daily exercise and "psychic surgery" performed remotely by the Brazilian medium known as "John of God." Although many of Dyer's writings provide practical advice, he became progressively more mystical as time went on. His Web site states that "it is possible for every person to manifest their deepest desires—if they honor their inner divinity and consciously choose to live from their "Highest Self.'" His blog has supported questionable diet books, a book about emotional freedom technique, and other irrational health-related publications. In 2012, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getter concluded that his frequent appearances during the network's on-air pledge drives, contained excessive religiosity that violated PBS's Editorial Standards and Policies.

Consumer Health Digest, March 20, 2007, 29/3/2007
Nurses create quack specialty. The 2,500-member American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) has announced that the American Nurses Association (ANA) has officially recognized "holistic nursing" as a nursing specialty. To achieve this status, the AHNA submitted a 76-page document that defined "holistic nursing" and articulated standards. The document is not currently available but will be jointly published as a book called Holistic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice during the summer of 2007. The American Holistic Nurses' Certification Corporation, which administers the Holistic Nurses' Certification Examination, defines holistic nursing as “all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal" and further defines it as "practice that draws on nursing knowledge, theories, expertise and intuition to guide nurses in becoming therapeutic partners with clients in strengthening clients’ response to facilitate the healing process and achieve wholeness." However, related textbooks and the AHNA's online practitioner directory indicate that "holistic" practices can include applied kinesiology, astrology, aura cleansing, channeling, chelation therapy, colon therapy, cranial therapy, crystal therapy, iridology, psychic surgery, reflexology, reiki, therapeutic touch, and about 100 other disreputable methods. This appears to be the first time in modern history that a mainstream professional organization has embraced a broad array of quack theories and practices.

OTA Report: Index, 14/1/2006
Privitera, James, 201, 211 Project Cure, 171-172 Prostate cancer, 57, 93, 96, 143 Psychic surgery, 13 Psychological and behavioral approaches, 13, 14, 29-37

OTA Report: Laws and Regulations, 13/1/2006
Litigation Involving the FTCA. —FTC has used its authority to stop false advertising of unconventional cancer treatments. In 1975, FTC sued Travel King, Inc., for false claims about its "psychic surgery" treatment for cancer and other disorders. The company advertised and sold trips to the Philippines where the treatment was performed. Following a trial, FTC ordered the company to stop selling its treatments. The company was also required to send a warning letter to consumers who requested information (857). In a more recent case, FTC obtained a preliminary injunction, stopping Pharmtech, the manufacturer of an unconventional nutritional treatment ("Daily Greens," capsules containing vitamins, selenium, beta-carotene, and dehydrated vegetables) from advertising that its product could reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer (283). In the ads, the promoters based their claims on findings in a report, Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer, published by the National Academy of Sciences. FTC argued successfully that the report did not substantiate the promoter's claims and that the report stated that the findings did not apply to dietary supplements, such as Daily Greens. The court, agreeing with FTC's contention that the promoter's claims for this product were false, misleading, and deceptive, issued the preliminary injunction prohibiting advertisements containing these claims. In addition, Pharmtech signed a consent agreement prohibiting it from claiming, without substantiation, any health benefits for its products (724).

NCAHF Newsletter September/October 1990, 21/12/2000
The National Health Fraud Conference (NHFC) was a splendid event that brought together quackbusters, quacks, quackophiliacs (ie, lovers of quackery) and others. The conference began with a Sunday evening show by magician Bob Steiner of how persuasive deception can be with alleged ESP feats and a demonstration of psychic surgery. Monday and Tuesday plenary sessions covered: the history of quackery and consumer protection (William Jarvis); current experiences with health fraud (Victor Herbert); the Postal Inspector's efforts against mail-order health fraud (Ass't Chief Inspector, Kenneth Hearst); current FTC initiatives against health fraud (Assoc. Director for Advertising Practices, Lee Peeler); AIDS quackery, fraud and misinformation (Jarvis, Wallace Sampson and John Renner); what needs to be done to combat quackery (Stephen Barrett); what the FDA is doing to combat health fraud (Ass't to the Assoc. FDA Commissioner William Schwemmer); and, what the HHS Inspector General is doing about health fraud (Inspector, Linda Lloyd). Workshops were held on: investigative techniques; child advocacy; techniques used in billing insurance companies; the role of state Attorneys General; chiropractic nonsense; analyzing false claims; chronic fatigue real & unreal; dental health fraud; legal aspects of health fraud; and, how New Age health fraud is marketed to the church.

NCAHF Newsletter May/June 1990, 21/12/2000
Psychic Surgery

NCAHF Newsletter 1991 Index, 13/12/2000
Psychic Surgery Accomplice Gets Probation

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