The Weiler Psi

Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics

Science and Psychic Healing: Bill Bengston Nails It

Of all the forms of psychic ability, including precognition, telepathy, clairvoyance and psychokinesis, none is quite as ubiquitous, well known or well documented as psychic healing, a.k.a. the placebo effect, miracle healing, hands on healing, Reiki, etc.

The fact is, psychic healing is quite ordinary and literally anybody can do it with a bit of training.  People have done it with no training at all.  The hard part of psychic healing is typically measuring it.  The problem is that if we compare people who are receiving psychic healing for, let’s say breast cancer, we have all types of variables and ethical situations to contend with.  First of all, there are different types of breast cancer, people have their cancer discovered at different stages and they have differences in immunity, genetics and overall health.  People will often do a wide variety of things to improve their chances at healing.  And this is something that no one has any control over in a medical study.

You can’t have a control group in medicine to find out how fast people die without any treatment.  You can’t stop people from changing their diets, their work and home lives, their intake of supplements and anti-oxidants or any number of other factors that might change the outcome of the study.  Some people will try anything and everything; the study results are of secondary importance to a research subject’s desire to survive.  So it’s hard to know whether someone improved because of psychic healing or because of other treatments that they sought.  To make things more complicated, the people who are most likely to be open to psychic healing will also be the most likely to seek other treatments.  They are the most pro-active of all test subjects.

In a world in which the mainstream medical community looks for any excuse at all to dismiss test results as “something else” this is a problem.  Traditional scientists don’t understand the mechanism, so they don’t understand the results, so they don’t acknowledge them.  This doesn’t mean that the results don’t exist or that they aren’t convincing.  Reiki in particular, is supported by too many medical studies to list.  (You will need to register, but you can find them here.)

Enter Bill Bengston.  (Author of The Energy Cure)

William F. Bengston (Bill) is a professor of sociology at St. Josephs College in New York, U.S.A. He received his Ph.D. from Fordham University, New York, in 1980. His “day job” areas of specialization include research methods and statistics.

For many years, Bill has conducted research into anomalous healing, and has proven the effectiveness of his technique in 10 controlled animal experiments conducted in 5 university biological and medical laboratories. His healing research has produced the first successful full cures of transplanted mammary cancer and methylcholanthrene induced sarcomas in experimental mice by laying-on-of-hands techniques that he helped to develop.

These experiments with lab mice had a number of important features.

  • Using mice allowed for setting up controls, which greatly strengthened the credibility of the experiment.
  • The mice were also of a very specific strain bred to completely lack immunity to a certain type of breast cancer.  Once injected with this cancer, they would normally all die within 27 days.  The disease was known to be 100% fatal to this strain of mice.
  • The volunteers who did the healing were selected among people who were skeptical of psychic ability and they were trained in a specific technique taught by Bengston.
  • Using mice allowed the researchers to completely control the mouse environment so that they could be sure that psychic healing and only psychic healing was responsible for the medical effect.

Setting up the experiment this way eliminated all the ordinary variables and allowed the research to unambiguously demonstrate whether there was an actual effect.  (A detailed explanation can be found here. pg’s 5-9) (Here is the JSE paper.)  It’s impossible to overstate just how important it is to be able to do this.

One of the chair’s department members had been doing mice studies on a par- ticular form of mammary adenocarcinoma that is 100 percent fatal within 27 days of injection. The model itself was so well understood that statistical studies of lifespan were routinely done, even as no mouse had ever lived past 27 days. If we could even get our mice to live closer to the 27 day mark, that would be strong evidence of a healing effect. If a mouse were to live to day 28, well, then we’d own the world record.

Using a technique developed with a a psychic healer that involved both the use of personal positive image visualization and an attitude of detachment, Bengston set about healing the first batch of mice:

. . .  Any remaining hope I had disappeared as the tumors developed blackened areas on them. I saw this as the beginning of the end. Then, the blackened areas ulcerated and the tumors split open. Again I urged that we do the ethical thing and end the experiment. But the biology chair noticed that the mice still had smooth coats and their eyes remained clear, and he wondered why they were acting as though perfectly healthy.

Then, in the final stages, the mice tumors simply implod- ed without any discharge or infection of any sort; it was a full lifespan cure. We were stunned. Here was a skeptical healer and a presumably non-believing group of mice that had gone through a novel pattern of remission to full cure in a mouse model without precedent of a cure.

To replicate his experiment, Bengston chose students specifically “to find the strongest levels of skepticism.”

The four skeptical “volunteers” then replicated what I did, and we got essentially the same results. All of the mice were cured. I then moved the operation to St. Joseph’s College where I was working, and with the chair of the biology depart- ment there did experiments three and four with other skepti- cal volunteers. In those experiments we also tried injecting the mice with twice the dosage necessary to produce a fatal cancer, tried multiple injections, and even tried re-injecting them after the experiment was over. But the mice remained immune to future injections throughout their two-year lifespan.

. . . We have now done ten experiments on mice at five different institutions, including two medical schools. Eight of those experiments involved the same mammary adenocarcinoma, and two of them used methylcholanthrene-induced sarcomas, which are not quite as aggressive. Though these experiments achieved healing across the board, the intricacies of the results are complex and, frankly, quite puzzling.

It’s at this point that I stopped and considered what I just read.  If this were a cancer drug, it would be the biggest news in the history of cancer research.  It’s not just a remission, but a complete cure.  I constantly run into references to this research within the parapsychological community because people who know about it generally understand its incredible significance, . . . but never outside of it.  These test results are thousands of times superior to anything else the medical establishment has going and they are the most amazing medical research results of the 21st century -at least.-  How much better does it get than a 100% cure of cancer?

So there you have it.  A cure for cancer that is 100% safe and 100% effective. What more could you possibly want?

The silence is deafening and I find that to be infuriating.  So how many people are going to die needlessly from cancer before this becomes common knowledge?  We are basically waiting for skeptics to come around and accept the research, but how long is enough? To me, this is a situation that calls for desperate measures so that we can heal the sick.  But what is to be done?

Bill Bengston will join myself and David Metcalfe on Wed. Jan. 22, 2014, at 8pm EST on the Evolver Webinar “Everybody’s Psychic”

23 comments on “Science and Psychic Healing: Bill Bengston Nails It

  1. Pingback: Science and Psychic Healing: Bill Bengston Nails It - Start Life Again Hypnosis and Coaching

  2. Jessie Harper
    March 19, 2014

    Great post. I think more people should be more vocal and support research about alternative cancer treatment because we need all the information we can get to beat cancer.

  3. sm
    January 28, 2014

    Addendum: Bill has done some rudimentary comparative studies on other healing modalities and he’s starting to have a better grasp of what is happening in the healing, although to much he’ll probably say ‘I don’t know!’ . Just read all of his published works and watch his SSE presentations.

  4. sm
    January 28, 2014

    Thanks Craig for featuring Bill’s work, it’s very fascinating on many levels.

    As for your comments, I have slightly different view on some parts:

    “If this were a cancer drug, it would be the biggest news in the history of cancer research.”

    It has been, several times. Royal Raymond Rife, Burzynski, Wilhelm Reich, etc. Read
    more on them and you’ll find a common thread, if you haven’t already.

    Granted, none were tested at this level of accuracy, with this amount of detail to
    experimental set up and so high success rate.

    As for being complete cure, it’s a complete cure of tested cancers on tested mice.

    On humans, we don’t know (good luck getting ethics board to pass a clinical trial on
    humans, or getting Bill to agree to do one!)

    BTW, the cure rate is not 100% across all replications. The method can be made to fail,
    although it seems to be fairly rare and appears to require something specific from the
    actions of the person performing the cycling (i.e. the procedure which then, apparently,
    results in the cure).

    Also, there is interest outside the psychic circles, even in medical establishment.

    It’s just that this cuts totally into their current pharmacological industry based funding
    model, their theories and beliefs. Even if you understand this and are the head of
    a pharmacology dept what can you do? Not much, unless you want to get ousted as a
    heretic really fast. No, we need a full department majority incl. outside review board to
    be on this and understand it and study it for what it is. Good luck getting that done in
    most of the western countries. Perhaps in China or India.

    As for what is to be done, keep doing what you are doing. You are spreading the word.
    It is important!

  5. Tom Butler
    January 28, 2014

    Here are a few useful links for energy healing articles:

    I read his book … it was informative. He describes in detail all of his experiments and circumstances for them. The experimentation was well-controlled so that is not an issue. There were many experiments providing a solid foundation for repeatability–both in numbers and in different healers. It is currently impossible to shield against psi and intentionality, so there is always the problem of intention contamination.

    His technique is pretty much run-of-the-mill hands-on healing, except he tends to do it for a lot longer than most. I prefer to stop when the energy seems to have “settled,” but then I have only healed a few headaches. 🙂

    There is a real problem of healers “getting out of the way,” so the real difference in his technique is what he calls “cycling.” In that, he sends the healer off on a prolonged fantasy about everything he or she would love to have in their life. (Wish up what you want with clear visualization.); the more detailed, the better; the more it takes up your attention, the better. So the process is to set your intention on your sitter and then go away on your fantasy. It is very hard to do that because most of us want to make the world. Inexperienced healers are prone to mentally “push” energy to the sitter, so you can see how different his approach is.

  6. Daniel Neiman
    January 22, 2014

    This is a good study, but I have two complaints. First, they do not describe in detail the healing techniques, only stating that the volunteer healers were instructed in certain mental techniques which they performed before the laying on of hands. No description of these mental exercises is given. Also, there needs to be another control group of mice when have people hands on their cage without first going through the mental routine nor trying to heal the mice in any way. This control group, in other words, would just lay their hands on the cage and watch TV or think about whatever.

    • craigweiler
      January 22, 2014

      The healing process is explained somewhat better in this JSE article:

      There isn’t a lot to it.

      The control you’re suggesting is a good one, but not necessary proof oriented research. It would be quite good for further research however.

      • Daniel Neiman
        January 23, 2014

        Thanks for the link that explains the technique. The point about the additional control is just to ascertain the effectiveness of this specific healing technique. Are the visualizations of great accomplishments and trying to feel an energy flowing from one’s hands necessary? Or does just the presence of one’s hands on the cage have an effect (regardless of visualization or energy techniques)? Do you know of any studies that have this kind of control? I would be interested to know the answer.

        • craigweiler
          January 23, 2014

          I seem to remember some medical studies into hands on healing from many years ago that looked into this question. It was pre-Internet, so they’re buried somewhere.

          What I recall is that people reported that they could tell the difference between intentional healing and someone just putting their hands on them.

          • Daniel Neiman
            January 23, 2014

            That’s interesting,

            As far as further research into hands on healing, I am reminded of the days of magnetism (think Anton Mesmer). As you probably are aware, a commission in Europe was charged with investigating magnetic cures. They had a magnetizer magnetize a particular tree. Then the subject was taken around to different trees to see if anything happened. (As often happened, people who were being magnetized felt some sensations, like tingling or even full-on convulsions) The fourth tree he was taken to caused convulsions, but that wasn’t the magnetized tree. In fact, he never got close to that one.

            With that in mind, I propose trying something similar with hands on healing. There could be a group of people, but only one is the healer. The others are completely untrained in healing techniques and are not supposed to try to heal. However, they should all be instructed to “act” like the healer–so, for instance, if the actual healer has his eyes closed during the healing, they should be told to close their eyes. Also, you would want them to place their hands on the subject just like the actual healer. First, randomize the order of the “healers”. Then, take the subject and put them before the different people in the selected order. Finally, ask the subject if she noticed any subjective difference and who she thought the healer was.

            This, of course, would not test whether the healing technique worked or whether the other people had an effect, but it would be interesting to see if they could guess the correct healer.

            So, there would need to be a control group consisting of ALL untrained fake healers. The same procedure as before–the subject goes before each person for a period of time. Then at the end they are given the same questionnaire and asked who they think the healer was (even though there’s not one in the control group). Follow ups would be needed to assess the health improvement in each subject. Then, you would have a very good test of the placebo effect.

  7. Pingback: What if you found a cure for cancer and no one believed you? | gaikokumaniakku

  8. Mark
    January 21, 2014

    Stanton Friedman has made the point, more than once, especially when talking about the book that he co-wrote called: “Science Was Wrong,” that pseudoskepticism, and other generalized debunkery, are not simply purely academic problems that have little to do with the world outside of academia. No, pseudoskepticism costs lives. It has in the past, and, as this article shows, it is continuing to do so. We need less “love and light” from the pro-psi crowd, and more of a willingness to punish the pseudoskeptics for their bad beliefs and actions that are leading to death. I know that it is uncomfortable for a lot of people to think like that, but people dying from cancer when they could be cured if it was not for the pseudoskeptics is a lot worse.

    • Stephen Leslie
      January 21, 2014

      I agree and I think there is also an issue of human dignity at stake in the “Psi Wars”. There are a lot of parallels to the history of homosexuality, which mainstream science until only a few decades ago considered a mental disorder. In the same way, people with psychic experiences are labeled as being delusional and, again, as having mental disorders. I thinks this shows the moral imperative of bringing down the psi taboo as quickly as possible.

  9. fefamike
    January 21, 2014

    It is worse than you protray it. I am an energy healer and therefore been barred from an occupational therapy assistant degree, because I used energy. Further since since honesty is not conducive to holding a job when employers violate labor law, I got blackballed. I needed income so I got certified as a disabled pchizophrenic to get income flowing in through Social Security Disability Income. Iham Phi Beta Kappa graduated in the upper half of my class in a good law school and passed to bar exams on the first exam. I also got an Amercan Jurisprudence Prize in Labor Law.

    • mtpitre
      January 21, 2014

      I say we still have a lot more to go. Once this becomes mainstream big pharma will put out ads trying to sway the public opinion on using drugs like big oil did to the electric cars. The only difference now is we have the internet so people can get a second look at ad campaigns big business puts out there. Another when millions doctors find out that anybody can cure any illness including cancer with energy, at least half of those doctors will protest because they wasted thousands on a degree that is outdated when essentially any person skeptical or not could heal anything. Believe me I have seen some authentic faith healing do some crazy stuff. A lot of it is not fake. To make matters worst, us pro psi and alternative medicine folk will probably have to deal even more lies by the pseudoskeptic because once people see how much of our limited materialistic medical knowledge wasted billions of dollars and only put a bandied on people’s illness, then the public will point even more fingers at mainstream science for not letting this knowledge out sooner. You think people don’t trust science now. Whoof get a whiff when this stuff gets out there. The pseudoskeptics bag of tricks will be utterly destroyed before their eyes and you think we were destroyed when pseudo skeptic James Randi did project alpha to psi experiments? The skeptics will be the laughing stock of the world. Not only that, a lot of their followers will get disillusioned to go to our side which crippled the materialist movement bigtime. I already see this already. There is people in James Randi’s forum who actually defend us believe it or not. You guys don’t know how big of change this psi stuff is? it will literally change everything we know about science and the world. It will literally change everything we know once this stuff becomes mainstream. I mean it will be a totally different earth after this stuff gets out there.

      • M. R.
        January 22, 2014

        “To make matters worst, us pro psi and alternative medicine folk will probably have to deal even more lies by the pseudoskeptic because once people see how much of our limited materialistic medical knowledge wasted billions of dollars and only put a bandied on people’s illness, then the public will point even more fingers at mainstream science for not letting this knowledge out sooner.”

        It’s true that psychic healing shows a lot of promise, but let’s not attack conventional medicine. After all, it’s alternative and complementary medicine.

        “it will literally change everything we know about science and the world”

        I wouldn’t say that. Such argument is exactly the same thing that skeptics use to try to reject psi. We will have to make some amendments to our body of knowledge, but we won’t have to overhaul science completely. Psi being real won’t stop rockets from flying, would it?

        • Syl
          January 26, 2014

          1. What we know to be scientifically true will still be true. It’s current _dogmas_ which are endangered by psi.
          2. It’s all good and so to state: “I am a healer”. But how to check that? Who tells us you are not delusional or worse lying? I call for a certification body who empirically verifies abilities.
          3. Turn it as you like, it will change a lot of things – for the best I hope.

  10. Sheila Joshi
    January 21, 2014

    You’re absolutely right to be infuriated. What I would like to see is someone take on the marketing of this research. There’s a parallel situation going on with mega-dose Omega-3 being stunningly effective for many neurological injuries and disorders, but very few people know this. However, Sanjay Gupta has done a couple of news segments on it, and, each time, a new flood of people contact the handful of mega-dose Omega-3 researchers. And more lives are saved.

    So, I would like to see someone take on a media education campaign. Maybe get some celebrities on board. This information absolutely should be disseminated far and wide. It would be a tremendous, even sacred, service to humanity to do so.

    Example –

  11. annecwoodlen
    January 21, 2014

    Be of good faith, I have re-posted this on my blog, which gets about 350 views per day. Little by little, one voice at a time, we will spread the word. People’s desire to live exceeds their obedience to traditional medicine. We shall overcome.

    I have CFIDS (chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome). After having been chewed up and spit out by the American medical industry, I am now pursing alternatives-only healing. Please let me know if you know anything about healing CFIDS with alternatives.

    • M. R.
      January 22, 2014


      While I am fully in support of alternative medicine research (especially psychic healing) and agree that skeptics often are too closed-minded about such issues, I disagree with your opposition to conventional medicine. While it is true that conventional medicine isn’t perfect, it’s not wise to condemn all conventional medicine as harmful or promote all of alternative medicine as the “one true medicine”. I think that some of the skeptics’ closed-mindedness stem from the anti-conventional medicine attitude of some alternative medicine proponents, which can appear as conspiracy theories and turn them off to any and all alternative topics.

      • Vortex
        January 24, 2014

        Here I agree: there is no black-and-white, either-or dichotomy between conventional and alternative medicine. Not only they can peacefully co-exist; they should actively co-operate, reaching higher – one may say “synergetic” – results.

        In fact, while (pseudo)skeptics are surely guilty in a grand lot of agressive behaviour, some alternative medicine proponents are not immune to temptation to bully their opponents, too. For example, take derisive, sometimes quite hateful rants of Tim Bolen: he is as furious and confrontational as any (pseudo)skeptic.

        We need to be better than (pseudo)skeptics to achieve real cultural victory – which is not the defeat of the opponents, but the overcoming of hate and hosility – and start of constructive cooperation.

  12. gaikokumaniakku
    January 20, 2014

    Some qigong masters have done similar experiments with mice. I think Yan Xin was the most famous.

    “The silence is deafening and I find that to be infuriating. So how many people are going to die needlessly from cancer before this becomes common knowledge? ”

    But, yes, this is the dogmatism that we live with. People see what they want to see and disregard the rest.

  13. mtpitre
    January 20, 2014

    Holly Molly that is awesome! Good Find Craig!

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