Monday, December 21, 2015

Flat Earth & Miracles: Duping & Human Kindness!

It is reassuring that there are still people that were kind enough to risk everything in order to help others in desperate need. It became more upsetting when you realised that the kind-hearted person has been duped. But then even government has been duped into paying millions of our money to so called charitable organizations we can hardly blame any individual except of course the individual is not losing other people’s money but their own.

Photoshop Miracle:

Black Currant Miracles © 2012 Am Ang Zhang

        It is not my intention, either as an individual or as a scientist, to express an opinion on religious visions and miracles. Science has generally failed to understand these phenomena and many religions on the whole have tended to ignore scientific explanations.
        For the religious amongst us, a close study of the history of religion would have seen deliberate attempts a couple of millennia ago to trick people into believing certain things supernatural. In a recent visit to Ephesus, we heard tales of how early “Christians” were duped and “cured”.
        When the Western World was in the tight grip of the Catholic Church, the Jesuits were generally regarded as the greatest scholars. They brought Western culture and religion to the East. They must have had a glimpse of the Chinese understanding of the universe and the world. Yet for so long the religious view of Flat Earth held true. Did the Jesuit scholars know the truth or did they pretend not to in order to avoid persecution and possible death? We shall never know.
        Many “visions” have proved to be the work of errant brain waves due either to epilepsy or brain tumours. Yet the Church continued to celebrate these phenomena.
The first picture is the original: the rest miracles!

From my book The Cockroach Catcher,  Chapter 15: Miracles:

Third Miracle
        The third miracle is closer to home. I did not perform it either, but it happened to the mother of one of my patients.
        Over the years, I was blessed in my work at different clinics with interesting secretaries. They had always managed to fill me in with the latest gossip, teenage trends ranging from fashion to music to leisure pursuits, and local news, all of which was so important in my work.  In thirty years I have been to the local pub no more than five times. Without my secretaries I would probably have very little understanding of the main group of families that I dealt with most of the time.  I cannot, by any stretch of imagination, claim to be able to move amongst that circle.  Only rarely did I come across a family that shared my interests in art, music and culture in general.
        I have certainly come across a child psychiatrist who could hold his own in any pub and was able to switch into Cockney at will and who became a professor at a very young age.   But, that was not me and I have no hope of changing that.
        This particular clinic was in a “new town” which was established after the war to take in south London inhabitants as part of the great Social Engineering endeavour of the post war government. Having worked in three totally different localities in the same county, I can safely report that the morbidity rate in the new town far exceeded that of the other two locations, one of which has recently been classed as amongst the five most liveable towns in the whole of England.  Off the top of my head, the rate of disturbance is between two to two and half times of that in the other two localities.
        As far as I am concerned, the only slim chance of success of  Social Engineering  would be in a totalitarian state.
        It was therefore a bit of a shock for me to hear about this miracle in the “new town”.
        This particular morning my secretary showed me a copy of the local paper. I never bought the local papers.  I used to find them so intellectually de-stimulating that I had an unspoken fear of reading them. The clinic though had an extremely long tradition of ordering not one but both papers and that tradition continued. I often wondered when, in the new world of NHS management, someone would take that away to boost the manager’s performance related pay.
        On the front page was a big picture of the mother of one of my patients. 
        “Miracle Cure” was the headline.
        One could not miss her as she was amongst the most obese patients I had ever met.
        I was half expecting to see a seven stone wonder on the inside page.  Instead it was a picture of her church complete with members holding a candlelight vigil.
        ‘After a 49-night vigil, she was cleared of all cancer,’ it was reported. 
        It could not be.   My trusting parents normally told me these things. She never looked like she was ill and if anything, she seemed to have continued to put on weight in the six months I had known her. I always remembered her as being overweight by any standard.
        “Doctors could not find any cancer cell!”  The report continued.
        She was apparently given only three months to live and had been on morphine for some weeks before she joined the church. Now her specialist told her that there was no longer a single cancer cell in her.
        As she was due to attend our clinic, my social worker said she would make some phone calls to the Family doctor and gently enquire about it. She had in the past mentioned something about painkillers but never cancer.
        My social worker’s enquiries drew a blank. They had read the same paper and were equally puzzled. She was certainly not receiving any treatment for cancer and definitely not on painkillers.
        During the session she told my social worker that she had private health insurance and produced a card to prove it. She was told that she only had three months to live. In desperation she joined the local church and the rest we knew. Also, her son’s soiling had stopped as well.
        There was no further need to attend our clinic.

        We were all amazed.

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