If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone

 

SCIENCE AND MEDJUGORJE

 

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Problems with the Joyeux findings

 

Gagliardi

 

Frigerio

 
Refutation of scientific "evidence" for Medjugorje


There is no Scientific Basis for the Supernaturality of the Medjugorje Apparition
 
Despite the official statements from the Catholic hierarchy that has studied the alleged apparitions of Our Lady in Medjugorje in the former Yugoslavia that nothing NECESSARILY supernatural is happening at the site, many mavericks have tried to provide evidence to the contrary. The ringleader is the dangerous manipulator Fr Rene Laurentin humbly known as the world’s foremost mariologist, that is theologian of Mary. There have been attempts to show that what is happening cannot be explained scientifically.  One does not need to be a medical expert or a theologian or a science to notice that the science involved is full of chicanery and lies and speculation.  And experts and scientists can be found who laugh at their conclusions.  The experts did not do a lot of tests and it is the ones that might suggest something supernatural is happening that they discuss.  Even these are extremely inconclusive.

 

As to their level, these tests remain superficial [....] Despite this, all the sophisticated techniques impress the simple-minded readers.
T. Kammerer, Critical Study of Medical Explorations of the Medjugorje Seers (LIMC, 20 September 1986)


The Laurentin and Joyeux book

Has the Virgin Mary, under the title of Our Lady, Queen of Peace been appearing in Medjugorje in the former Yugoslavia since 1981? Six young people have reported these visions and have been subjected to tests.

The book we will be sifting through is called Scientific and Medical Studies on the Apparitions at Medjugorje.  It was written by Fr Rene Laurentin and Professor Henri Joyeux of the University of Montepellier. It was published by Veritas, Dublin in 1987. The book says that the apparitions are real and definitely miraculous. It is the best book then for searching for evidence against the apparitions being miraculous.  The book goes as far as to make out Medjugorje is supernaturally full of radiation!  If that were true the place would be swamped with physicists.  And this huge big thing is only mentioned in passing! 
 
The six visionaries go into ecstasy. The ecstasy is the joyous trance that shows the vision is happening. The book says that “since the end of 1983, ecstasy begins before they have finished the first Our Father” (page 7). Yet the book says that when the youths look up when the youths look up when the Virgin manifests there is no evidence of signalling to account for them all doing it at the one time! They say the prayer together and they could have agreed to throw their heads back at a certain word and to change that word every day to make it look genuine. In Channel 4’s program from 1998, The Miracle Police two visionaries have a slight difference as to when they raise their heads and eyes as the Virgin allegedly departs upwards. Hold your finger on pause to put it in very slow motion if you have a tape of it and look carefully.
 
Page 10 says that the apparition lasts no more than one or two minutes since the end of 1983 though previously she would have stayed for three quarters of an hour. This suggests that when medical and scientific tests began the visions may have been shortened by the visionaries to make life and non-detection of their deception easier.
 
On page 11 we read how Vicka managed to shorten the first medical examination they had in 1981. This examination was required by the police. Vicka kept nagging Dr Bijevic about when it was going to be over and it was not even her turn and she refused to sit down and she said cheekily that she would stand for she was healthy and she would come back for an examination if she needed one and the doctor let her go. Anyone who really saw the Virgin would want it to be verified and when she was afraid of being examined it suggests she thought she had something to hide. Could it have been something like evidence of psychosis?
 
Page 16 says that when the Virgin saw one of the visionaries in a harness for testing his physical reactions to the apparition she said that was not necessary when asked for her opinion. The doctor, Botta, found this offensive thinking that the Lady was accusing him of doing wrong in testing. Dr Botta was then told that the Virgin only meant that prayer was needed and that the tests were just accessories and was not accusing him. But this answer just tells him he was accused! If the Virgin was the real Mary or the Devil they would welcome tests. Prayer is not the essential. Prayer will not tell you what is true or false with regard to an apparition’s authenticity.  And if prayer worked human nature would manage to get in the way.  We have to investigate not just pray.
 
Fr Bulat stuck a needle in Vicka when she was having a vision. “Under the sheer pressure of the action Vicka’s body moved somewhat to the right but she quickly and gracefully regained her balance. Not a muscle in her face moved” (page 18). You can avoid seeming to have felt pain when you are expecting the needle and think of the bad consequences if you show any evidence of being hurt which will help you bear it. The children would have known that visionaries were tested during ecstasy with needles and have been prepared for it. The thought of what they would lose if they reacted was enough to make them blank out the pain. A reaction can be hidden or disguised. Actors do that all the time. But we must be clear that there was a possible reaction though not a facial one.  The Franciscan fraudsters would have the children well prepared about what tests visionaries can expect.
 
Referring to another test, “When we questioned Fr Bulat he said that he had noticed some muscular movement in the neck, at least during the course of the second prod. But he was placed behind Vicka and too much on the vertical to be able to notice.  It would appear that any movement was simply Vicka’s effort to regain her balance after the pressure of the needle" (page 18).

 

At least the quote admits to being unsure if it was a reaction or not. 
 
A neck movement can be seen from behind if he is near her which he was. He had to have been able to see when he said he saw it. Why prod if the face cannot be at least partly seen?
 
So Fr Bulat was accused of lying when he said he saw the neck and it is not true that the movement appeared to be just an attempt to steady for it could just have easily have been a reaction to pain. Why would the muscles of the neck need to move if the body moved to the right meaning that the muscles round the waist were responsible? The waist would have been used to balance.
 
And where is the proof that autosuggestion was not employed to help her take the pain.

 

Did Vicka know she was going to be needled?  It does not matter.  If she did know it would happen but not when she had to be ready.  And it is hard to believe she was not forewarned as Bulat could have been in breach of the law of the land if he just put a needle in without any warning.
 
This episode makes us wary of this book for it shows that the authors were willing to ignore the case against the apparition to focus on the reasons for it being real. And that is not an honest approach.
 
Henri Joyeux was going to test the children with EEGs to determine if what was happening in their minds was normal when they were having their vision. Jacov, Ivanka and Marija refused for the Virgin had said there was no need.  It looks like they were stalling.
 
They were urged to ask the Virgin who said, “You did well to ask. You can go ahead” (page 19). But it was not right for them to ask her permission. Visions have to be tested before they can be trusted.  Mary would take that for granted anyway and would not be concerned about permission for it was not her who was being tested but the visionaries.  She would have told them to look for tests from the start if she had really been from Heaven or Hell. The tests showed that the vision was not a hallucination.  But we now know determining a hallucination is more complex than was thought at the time of the tests.  Paranormal experts believe that paranormal forces can cause hallucinations but medical experts prefer to keep it strictly scientific.

 

Mary not wanting the visions tested in a world filled with fake religions and fake claims does far more to show this apparition is not from God than any test.

 
On page 22, we read that Joyeux and Laurentin would not have discussed testing with the children anymore if they had been against it seemingly since the Virgin had told the children to make up their own minds about being tested. This is disgusting and shows that the authors were amenable to blind faith and did not come to their work with a good and neutral scientific attitude.
 
Page 23 tells us that there is no reaction to seeing bright light like blinking or turning away from it when the vision is happening. Only the pupils reacted. But you can train your facial muscles to hide any reaction to such light. It is easy enough to train for that by looking close at lightbulbs.  And if the children really see the Virgin in a glowing aura their pupils should stay the same for it is the same strength of light they are looking at.  Remember they see her they say as a  normal person in every other respect.
 
On page 25, we learn that the visionaries claimed that they could touch the apparition. Jacov alone was to touch her while he was being tested to see if he was really touching anything. He did not and then said that he had forgotten to ask her permission and that she had left as he was about to ask her. But the real Virgin would not have done that for she would have known he had something to say to her. And how could something like that be forgotten until the end of the vision? You don’t go to an interview and forget to go into the office and talk about yourself.
 
Ivanka and Marija asked the Virgin if they could have the test done and she said no (page 25). Obviously, when the Virgin was so unreasonable there was no Virgin at all. The real Virgin Mary does not make mistakes. The visionaries were making up an excuse.
 
Page 25, “At the beginning of the ecstasy eye movements ceased almost simultaneously”.
 
So the eyeballs were not moving?  No need for a miracle for that. The visionaries knew that the eyes should look at the one spot during ecstasy when the cause supposedly manifests. The word almost is of the utmost importance. The book is for defending the view that the ecstasy is supernatural. If it were they would all fall into it in the exact same fraction of a second.  Almost is too open to interpretation.  Why are we not told exactly what time it took?
 
Before the ecstasy of the 29th of December 1984, Ivan jumped at a noise of 70 decibels. During the ecstasy, he did not react to a noise of 90 decibels. This was as loud as the noise of a combustion engine. He did not react for he was prepared for the noise and when he jumped the first time he did so because he knew that the test was to see if the noise would startle him during the apparition. He said he heard nothing (page 26). Yet the book says that during the apparition the visionaries can still be partially stimulated by the world – they are not completely cut off from their surroundings.

 

If Ivan was in a relaxed state he may have been hard to startle.  People who can be jumpy may be hard to startle when they are doing meditation or something very relaxing.

 

The most important thing now is that Ivan lied about the noise.  The test was scientifically invalid for it cannot show that he really did not hear anything. 
 
It was concluded, “With regard to the hearing function, our tests showed that the auditory nerve continued to transmit sounds but that these sounds did not reach the cortex” (page 27). But it is only Ivan’s word we have that he did not hear the sound. Why would the nerve carry sound if not to the cortex? What is the point of noise registering in the nerve and not the cortex?
 
The tests revealed that when Ivanka’s voice became quiet during the apparition “there was no longer any movement of the larynx” (page 26). So when she spoke to the Lady only her lips moved. There is no miracle in this though many say there is! That is because they are believing her when she says she speaks aloud to the Lady.
 
Speaking inaudibly is motivated by a desire to prevent mistakes. If they spoke aloud then Ivanka could have said, “Yes, we want you here tomorrow,” and Jacov, “I know you have helped him”, both at the same time proving that they were not really answering anybody at all. An inaudible voice would not testify against the authenticity of the apparitions if there was only one witness but only if there were more and with Medjugorje the apparitions are short and the messages banal so the Lady has nothing to hide. It makes no sense that a supernatural being would not make it look more like she or he is appearing which involves letting them talk out loud.

You can gently move air through your voice-box that makes it show up on the instruments as if you are talking loud but something supernatural is preventing others from hearing you.
 
But the silence may be totally fictitious for Ivan was filmed having a vision in England and his voice was audible when he spoke to the Virgin but low in the video, Visions on Demand. The scientists promoting the apparitions are lying when they say he is miraculously inaudible.
 
Page 27: “The visionaries do not feel pinching, prodding or other interventions. This disconnection is not total; rather it is partial and variable”. We even read: “It all happens as if the visionaries, urged on by the ecstasy (their encounter with the Virgin) gradually adapted themselves to it and eventually allowed themselves to be lost in it”. This ecstasy cannot be much of a miracle in that case.
 
Page 27 ends with the extraordinary statement that the visionaries “warn the people when they appear to annoy the Virgin or walk on her veil”. The Virgin must act upset which shows that she is not a miraculous being. She could miraculously enable the people to walk through her. If the visionaries did not believe the Lady could look after herself it is strange when she was able to keep herself invisible from the people. They are certainly lying about the Lady and trying to make her seem too human because they don’t know that Bernadette of Lourdes, for example, saw a Lady she could not disturb or describe exactly. The vision is not as mysterious and magical. The visionaries did know what was happening around them.

 

At that stage the visionaries should know that people cannot disturb the apparition.  It looks like a stupid piece of drama.  Lies unravel.
 
I find it disturbing that Ivan and Vicka are able to look at "Mary" without blinking while the rest do (31). Bernadette did not blink at Lourdes it is said. The differences suggest that there is no miraculous synchronicity. What use is partial?
 
Page 35, “The visionaries’ gaze converges on the same well-located spot. We have not been able to secure the evidence that would pin-point the spot geometrically.”
 
The exact same spot. There is something very suspect here. One would stare at the left eye and another at the right eye if there were a woman before them. Why don’t they gaze at the hands or mouth? They are just looking at a spot on the wall that they had agreed upon. There is a cross on the wall and there are other items that they could agree to look at.  The quote assumes they looked at precisely the same pinpoint.  Quite an assumption!  There is a big difference between getting the right spot or the right pinpoint. 
 
When the book says they look at the same spot and then that it could not verify where this spot would be on the wall it shows it is not being scientific for how do the authors know they are looking at the same spot? It is easy for people to look the one direction but harder for them to look at the exact same spot. The spot should have been pinpointed and then the Lady asked to move to see if they could still look at the same spot on an unblemished wall.

The Lady starts the Our Father as she goes and then they all say aloud, “Who art in Heaven”, at the same time and recite the rest. There are techniques for measuring time in your own mind to manage this. It is impossible that they will all say it at the exact same time so signalling is still possible. It is hard to be sure if they all said it at the one time. You can only look at one face at a time. They say it slowly and with concentration and with her gone they can’t start at exactly the same time. When one voices the first syllable the rest start.
 
They raise their eyes and heads as the Virgin ascends (page 36). The first person to move could be signalling the other to follow suit by doing so. When they will raise their heads at different rates one person starting it off would not be noticed. There were no screens placed between the visionaries. In conjuring and mind-reading tricks similar and better feats are easily accomplished.

 The children said they see the Lady as a real person and not as a vision (page 16).  A test was done to see if a card in front of their eyes affected their seeing the apparition.  Page 72: “The screening test does not impair the vision, therefore the normal visual pathways are not used.” The screening test was putting a card in front of the eyes of the witnesses during the apparition so that they could be asked later if it interfered with their seeing her. They said it did not. If so, then what are they looking at with their eyes? Why would God want it to look as if they were seeing with their normal eyes? There is some lie here. If God lets them act as if they can see through their normal eyes when they can see through cards then he is not reliable and he can’t be doing an unnecessary miracle just so that it will be verified when the Virgin gave the thumbs down for the touch test.

 

As a test to pick up what Vicka was saying in her voice that the human ear could not pick up (page 76) the apparition came and went before the apparatus had time to give a good interpretation. Vicka did not want it to be found that she was not talking at all but just moving her lips. Even more telling is that the Virgin was to deliver a message and she did not but said that the apparatus was not needed and then she left. The expected message was not given until the day after. If all this is not suspicious then what is? The Virgin would not cancel what she had promised to avoid a test that would do her or nobody else any harm.
 
And a stapedium for testing the inner ear conveniently fell out of Ivan’s ear when he knelt at the start of his vision. It would have been inserted better than that so it must have been deliberate. Some oil in the ear would make it fall out easier. Why was it not put in again? The testers must have wanted it to come out. Ivan might have hoped this would happen and that was why he knelt so fast to try and budge it.
 
The ecstasy is characterised by alpha brain waves. Alpha is associated with relaxation and expectation. When you are paying attention you are in beta (page 73). New Age religion promotes methods of putting yourself in alpha. Silva Mind Control is chiefly concerned with using alpha as is Laurie Cabot’s Science of Witchcraft Tradition. It says that counting backwards and relaxing put you in alpha. If the children were not paying attention to Mary they were not seeing her. They could not have been talking to her for when you think or use the intellect you snap out of alpha.
 
The conclusion of the experts is that the apparitions were “scientifically inexplicable” (page 74). That judgment was based on believing the visionaries. So it was not scientific for science is for facts and hard evidence and not faith or testimony. The only inexplicable thing might be the children doing things at the same time as if prompted by Mary. But that does not prove that they really see her or see anything. The authors are too anxious to verify the apparitions.
 
The bishop of the diocese is right to say that there is nothing supernatural at Medjugorje. The visionaries failed all the real tests. It is hard to know how much attention you can pay to tests like this. There are millions of companies around the world which disagree on how to make the best sunscreen and if you want to find what is the best UVA protection you will have trouble finding out. Nancy Fowler the visionary from Conyers, Georgia, was tested and supposedly found to have the brain activity that is associated with a coma though she was wide awake (An Overview of the Medical and Scientific Testing of Visionary Nancy Fowler, Conyers, Georgia WWW). But what we are not told is that once Jesus blessed a well in her visions so that pilgrims could use the water as a sacramental and it turned out that the water contained dangerous bacteria. Fowler makes apocalyptic prophecies with no dates or times specified for when they will be fulfilled and predicts the USA engaging in war with oriental people who invade America. The lack of precision and detail in the prophecies indicate that, at the very least, she is lying about what she is being told if she is being told anything at all. God would not send his servant to appear to somebody that was too unreliable. To predict war like she does is to encourage nations to war for they think then that God ordains it. The point is, false visionaries allegedly show up strange things during tests so we should still be wary of Medjugorje. The tests are futile from a religious point of view.
 
O Carroll and Science

A test to see if the visionaries responded to the visions at the same time was conducted and involved an electro-oculogram test, involving the wily Joyeux, on Ivan and Marija dated December 28, 1984. "The movement of the eyeballs of both youngsters reportedly showed simultaneity to the second in the cessation of movement at the beginning of the ecstasy and again, simultaneity to the second in the return of movement at the end of the ecstasy."  In an interview with Paris Match interview, Joyeux exaggerated the result.  He claimed that all the visionaries "des voyants" saw something invisible to other people at the same precise moment.  Father Michael O Carroll repeats that lie.  Since when did two become all?  And there is nothing remarkable about visionaries having a vision at say 5 pm and two of them having it in the same second.  It has to happen for they have only seconds to spare.

 

Chapter 5 of Fr O Carroll’s book, Medjugorje, Facts Documents Theology, informs us that Dr Maria Frederica Magatti thought that the ecstasy was genuine and the children were normal.
 
Dr Lucia Capello found them normal as well and said that she was interested in the synchrononous movements made at the beginning and end of ecstasy that indicated the presence of the Virgin. She stated that the first could be explained by natural causes. But she then she says something strange. She says that they could not naturally do things at the same time as if there was something telling them what to do after that. But if they could do it at the beginning of the vision they could do it at the end too. If they can do it the first time perhaps by signalling to one another they could do it at the end by counting at a practiced rate to say one hundred and then raise their heads to simulate seeing the apparition ascending. Yet O Carroll presents this as proving the apparitions.
 
In 1984, Dr Mario Botta who was a cardiac surgeon who took a cardiograph of Ivan during ecstasy and found that the ecstasy did not have any very strange attributes.   It was medically explicable.
 
Dr Enzo Gabrici was a neuro-psychiatrist. He found that in the case of Vicka there was no evidence of tiredness after the vision. In hysterical visions tiredness follows. He found no evidence of hallucination in the visionaries. One wonders why he looked only at Vicka and Jacov in depth. If they had to be examined so closely for evidence of hysteria what value does that place on his examination of the rest? He even said that they were not like Spiritualist mediums for they were not taken over by any spirits. But didn’t he know that most Spiritualist experiences are not of this kind and that times mediums have been reported to have had mental states that were very unusual just like the Medjugorje visions? They have visions and voices too. He said that the visionaries were not hypnotised for they remember what happens in the trance when they come out of it. But hypnotists can make you remember. Perhaps they do go into a hypnotic trance and have planned earlier in the day what to say happened during the trance.


Perhaps they make up the messages and say they remembered them from the trance. O Carroll needs to get more familiar with rational analysis.
 
It is interesting that Dr Giorgo Sanguinetti saw the visionaries shake as the vision left. Then they retreated. He did not expect the shuddering so he would not have noticed if they all really started at the same instant in time. The bizarre shuddering suggests that they had to use a crude way to fake synchronicity.
 
Dr Joyeux said they entered slowly into ecstasy (page 65). He also said that one or more said ode or she is going at the end. This could be prompting to act as if the Lady had just gone out of sight. He admitted that his tests gave no scientific proof that the Virgin was appearing but he did say that what happens to the children during the ecstasy cannot be explained (page 68). But then he described the ecstasy as a state of deep prayer in which they forget about their surroundings (page 69). The ecstasy is supposed to be the puzzle and first he said there was no explanation and then he gives one, deep prayer! Joyeux said his tests excluded trickery and that the crowds being transformed in Medjugorje excluded it as well. We know by now that the suspicious behaviour of the children speaks louder than any test. And Joyeux is being an unprofessional scientist when he appeals to the fervour of the crowds as an indication of authenticity. That indicates a determination to make the apparitions look inexplicable when he should be emotionally and mentally open to whatever the truth may be.
 
Would God be more interested in evidencing the miracle of ecstasy than the miracle of the apparition? I doubt it!
 
In Looking for a Miracle, we read that Joyeux’s arguments are far from persuasive and they are equivocal (192). They are certainly confused that is for sure. It quotes Laurentin as saying that the children don’t go into another state of consciousness but their awareness just gets stronger. Laurentin even dared to write that describing this as ecstasy SEEMED to be correct. He’s not sure and he demands that we believe in Medjugorje. Without an inexplicable ecstasy the apparitions are not worth thinking about or testing. He said that the tests failed to prove what the visionaries were saying but did not disprove it either. These startling admissions are to be read on pages 8 and 126 of Scientific and Medical Studies on the Apparitions at Medjugorje.
 
Dr Marco Margnelli was a non-believer who said the children go into alpha but was puzzled by some things. He wanted to do an EEG but he felt that his presence and that of his colleagues annoyed the children causing the three apparitions he was present at to have too short a duration for any good investigation. The neurophysiologist thought that the children were in a deeper state of alpha than could be attained by meditation and based his conclusion that they were not lying on the way they seemed not to react to tests on the senses. He was impressed by videos of the cross disappearing on the hill and the silence of the birds at the time of the apparition. But birds can be sensitive to what humans do. Birds can find it alarming to have lots of noise which then stops. And how often do birds stop for a minute or two anyway? Many of the people would not even notice if the birds were singing and then be led to think the birds stopped. Sadly, the doctor became a good Catholic after being inspired by such superstitious nonsense. After what Joyeux and Laurentin wrote one can hardly expect the Virgin to do such things when she can’t make it undeniable that something mystical and magical is happening when she appears. That would be more in line.
 
Medjugorje Herald

Medjugorje Herald of February 1999, speaks of four different episodes of tests done in 1998. The last one was a psycho-physiological investigation which was incomplete and therefore of little use for the visionaries would not and said they could not participate fully. Some just didn’t want the test full stop. No evidence of mental disorder was found. They wanted to see if the ecstasy had changed since 1985. It was found that the ecstasy was less intense. The doctors were convinced that the ecstasy could be caused by hypnosis. “The hypnotically induced state of ecstasy did not cause the phenomenology of spontaneous experiences and therefore it cannot be deduced that the ecstatic states of spontaneous apparitions were not states of hypnotic trance”. The witnesses’ ordinary consciousness was tested, their hypnotic state was tested, their state when they visualised strongly was tested and their consciousness during an apparition was tested.
 
SCIENTIFIC STUDIES DONE ON THE VISIONARIES OF MEDJUGORJE – 1998 SCIENTIFIC STUDY ON THE VISIONARIES admits that the investigation which was on a psycho-physiological basis was incomplete because the subjects, the visionaries, were not keen and a bit uncooperative and complained about family and social obligations that had to be put first. This report ruled out the possibility that the children were hypnotised. But it dishonestly left out the possibility that hypnosis was used to get them to do the other things that seemed usual. In other words, they might not be in hypnotic trances but hypnosis could be used to train and manipulate their behaviour so that they see the Virgin at the exact same time for instance.
 
All the authorities agree that you cannot be persuaded to do anything you consider immoral in hypnosis. Yet Marija told the ten secrets under hypnosis to Dr Stopar (114, Scientific and Medical Studies, etc.). She would not reveal them to him before that in her right mind. Marija was faking for no trick was done to make her think it would be moral to tell and she would not have wanted her reluctance to tell removed. She faked the trance to make it look as if her visions were real which suggests that she was making them up. She was pretending that hypnosis made her tell because she believed what nearly everybody believes is that hypnosis can make you do what you think is bad.
  
But Briefly…
 
In the documentary Apparitions of the Virgin Mary says it (Galaxie Productions, Amaya Films, 2000) we are told by a visionary that the visionaries touched the Virgin the first time she appeared. This is worrying for it made the children relics of the Virgin Mary and elevated them to that state much too quickly. We know how much relics are glorified and adored in the Catholic faith. St John of the Cross taught that we must always fly away from visions for they are so dangerous and make us different from ordinary people and can become like a drug. He said visions are more likely to be false the more corporeal and touchable they are (page 257, 258). According to him a vision that speaks more to the soul than the mind and emotions and senses is most likely to be from God for it develops spiritually. Nevertheless, I would say that such visions are the only ones that could be from God. Medjugorje is famous for a three-dimensional Virgin who looks, feels and sounds like a normal person so the apparition is not Mary.

 

How Catholics can regard such a vision as false and say they believe in tangible and material apparitions of Jesus in which the resurrection was revealed is a mystery!
 
On one occasion Jacov was to touch the apparition under test to see if he was touching anything and he forgot to ask her permission and she left and it was not done. How convenient and why did Mary not remind him when she said that she did not mind the tests? They all looked up at the vision at the one time and no evidence of signalling was found. Perhaps they had electronic devices on their person that jabbed them at the right time or the signal was given earlier and they had to inwardly count at a trained rate so that they would raise their eyes at the exact same moment without any obvious link with the signal. But there are several eyewitness testimonies that the children did act as if they were signalling so that they could get down on their knees to signify that the ecstasy and the vision was happening. Patricia Waters, once a devoted follower of Medjugorje, was interviewed as one such witness on the video Divine or Deceived? The same video provides evidence that the visionaries have been making money and indeed had to have been out of the alleged appearances.
 
According to Medjugorje Revisited: 30 Years of Visions or Religious Fraud, a test to see if the visionaries could touch the Virgin Mary was devised. It was going to involve filming their hands carefully to see where they stopped. This was to check if there were signs that there was something there. Jakov was up for the test and got out of it by claiming he forgot to ask the Virgin's permission. Ivanka and Marija said the Virgin refused to agree.
 
The same book reminds us how careless the tests were that were done on the visionaries. The testers said the visionaries were undisturbed by having a card placed in front of their eyes during a vision. But the card was so small it was no wonder!
 
The miracle of the visionaries kneeling down all at once when the lady appears to them is a myth. Video clips show them kneeling at different speeds. This is very serious as they allegedly kneel the second the Virgin appears to them. The differences imply they are only pretending that she has come.
 
The visionaries say they have no connection with the outside world when they have their vision. But in 1984 a French cameraman pretended to be about to stab Vicka Ivankovic in the eyes with his fingers. She jumped and jerked her head away from him and later it was explained by her that she thought Mary was going to drop her baby Jesus and she was going to grab him! But then why did she jerk away from the Lady? This incident was recorded on tape and was once shown on a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary. If they were seeing anything they would know that Mary would not be so inept that she would drop the baby for she was full of God’s power. Notice again that her and the other visionary are not looking in the same direction. Notice that she has a serene face not like somebody that was trying to catch the baby Jesus. The hands are still tightly clasped. Yet the site showing this picture was written up by a psychiatrist who claimed she reacted not at the man but at something else that nobody else could see! This shows that the pro-Medjugorje researchers are not to be trusted.
 
Fr Vlasic is in the picture too looking on and shows no reaction. He was according to many one big role-player in the Medjugorje fraud. He doesn’t react at the assault on Vicka because he knows something like it had to happen sometime so he was prepared. And the reason he was so determined to act so calmly was so that he might not upset the visionaries who had to look serene and detached from their surroundings.
 
What about the research of Dr Giorgio Gagliardi who was involved in the 1985 medical testing of the visionaries as they claimed to have a vision? A world leader in research in Medical and Experimental Hypnosis he sees nothing supernatural in the visions or anything to do with them. He was interviewed on the Network 5 video, Divine or Deceived? The promoters just want to mention experts who seem to back up their views and what they want to be true. The same video contains testimony that Fr Slavko Barbaric one of the main advisors and recorder of Mary’s messages told people to leave the sacristy one time for their presence prevented the apparition from appearing! An apparition that is controlled by men is definitely a false one. The false visionary Ivan was proven by footage to have lied about having bad English though his wife was English-speaking. The document he filled out under oath that the sign predicted by the Virgin was stated by her to be due to happen in June 1982 was displayed in the video. Everybody mentioned in the video was given right of reply. Enough said! Fr Barbaric also approved of the phoney revelations of Teresa Lopez according to the shocking book, The Medjugorje Deception. It is a concern when the visionaries need such dubious people for guidance.

 

 

ALL THE WAY FROM LOURDES

 

The Scientific Tests on the Medjugorje Seers: A Critical Study By Prof. Théophile Kammerer, President of the Lourdes International Medical Commitee (1986)

In 1986, the President of the International Medical Committee of Lourdes, prof. Théophile Kammerer, was asked by an Italian physician, Dr. Cherubino Trabucchi, to examine the scientific dossiers on the Medjugorje visionaries and to give his authoritative opinion.

As a result, Prof. Kammerer exposed to colleagues of the Committee, at its meeting on 20 September 1986, a critical report.

The professor highlighted the inconclusive nature of the reports, as recognized by Father Rene Laurentin, who has been the most famous defender of Medjugorje in the world:

Professor Kammerer prepared a critical report on these Italian works and on those of the French team (at issue in our book: Henri Joyeux and Rene Laurentin Études médicales...) and proposed to discuss it with the International Medical Committee of Lourdes, at its meeting of 20-21 September 1986, at Lourdes. [...] The findings of the President Kammerer remain cautious. The philosophical positions of the eminent psychiatrist are in the critical current in respect of apparitions and miracles.

[R. Laurentin, Dernières nouvelles de Medjugorje, No 7, O.E.I.L., Paris, December 1988, pp. 24-25]

The report at issue was published on the website of the Bishopric of Mostar (on 10 June 2011) [see also "Službeni vjesnik", 2/2011, pp. 240-241].

Here it is:

Report of the Meeting of Lourdes International Medical Committee

This year, as had been decided for a long time, the Committee meeting has been held in Lourdes, 20 and 21 September 1986 [...]

It was chaired again by Bishop Henri Donze, Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, and Professor Théophile Kammerer, in the presence of Bishop John Sahuquet, Coadjutor of the Bishop Msgr. Donze.

Present were Professors and Doctors Juan Gibert Queralto Espinos and Domingo Perez, from Spain; Erwin Theiss, from Germany; St. John Dowling, from England; and Bernard Colvin, from Scotland.

From France, also present were Professors and Doctors: Jean-Louis Armand-Laroche, Charles Boudet, Charles Chassagnon, Pierre Mouren, Louis Revol, Jean Rodier, Jean Rousseau, André Trifaud, Théodore Mangiapan, besides Dr. Kammerer. [...]

After a few words of welcome from Bishop H. Donze for everyone, especially for the new members present, Prof. Kammerer made his presentation. […]

Critical Study of Medical Explorations of the Medjugorje Visionaries

In recent years several books have been published about the apparitions of Medjugorje, a village of Yugoslavia (Herzegovina), which in the last five years has become a place of pilgrimage attracting huge crowds. The following study will focus specifically on medical expertise published in the book: “Etudes médicales et scientifiques sur les apparitions de Medjugorje” [Medical and Scientific Studies On the Apparitions At Medjugorje ] by Professor H. JOYEUX and Father R. LAURENTIN (published by O.E.I.L., 1985). Additional data from Italian source, have been added thanks to the kind cooperation of Professor Ch. TRABUCCHI. [....] Prof. TRABUCCHI wanted to present in detail a book published in Italy: "Dossier scientifico su Medjugorje" [Scientific Report on Medjugorje] written by L. Frigerio, G. Mattalia, and L. Bianchi (1986). [....]

Critical Reflections

1. We must first recognize the good point and the merit of the tests carried out: they are the first that have been implemented in ecstasy, during an apparition. Experts have overcome many obstacles, the last and most important being the opposition of the seers - which is understandable. The latter took refuge behind the authorisation of the Virgin, who has expressed her consent, and sometimes her denial: "It is not necessary." In that case, experts have complied.

2. Despite all efforts, as to their level, these tests remain superficial. The most important was the EEG: with 8 electrodes in contact with the scalp, to explore approximately 50 billion neurons working in the brain, we can - very roughly - compare his accuracy with that of a plane, flying over Paris at a height of 10,000 meters [more than 32,000 feet], wanting to take note of the activities of the city and of its inhabitants. One should know that the EEG provides valuable information in relation to global changes in brain activity (sleep, dreaming for ex.) or to perturbations concentrated in a "focus": brain tumor, softening, epilepsy etc. On the other hand, it does not provide any usable data on mental activity, emotional and affective states, neurotic disorders, psychoses. It is rarely used in psychiatry except in cases of suspected organic lesion.

3. Despite this, all the sophisticated techniques impress the simple-minded readers and may make them believe that, given the evidence of the normality of the seers, subjective visions are excluded and, at the same time, objective apparitions are scientifically proven. The very title of the book itself "Medical And Scientific Studies On the Apparitions At Medjugorje" tends to induce that belief.

4. What is really disconcerting is to see that the expertise is limited to those instrumental tests to which some superficial clinical observations are added. It presents itself as an example of neurobiological reductionism currently in vogue in the milieu of materialist neuroscience. Clearly, the problems raised by apparitions or visions relate mainly to psychology or psychopathology and require the assistance of a psychiatrist. The team thought they could do without that assistance, and gave no explanation for this: it is a serious fault. Some examinations carried out by Italian and Yugoslav psychiatrists are mentioned: they are superficial and, at most, consist of tests: they allow nothing but the description of the temperamental profile. We can say that there is a sort of short circuit between the neurobiological data and the spiritual approach to the phenomena.

5. Every psychiatric observation requires several interviews with the subject and possibly his parents, dedicated to attentively listening to information:
a) curriculum vitae, as detailed as possible, of the subject, since his early childhood, noting physical or mental diseases and injuries, investigating critical phases, school adjustment, relationships with peers, the entry into work etc;

b) family history, relationships between parents and between generations, any conflicts at all levels;

c) in this case, the religious evolution of each of the seers would have to be very important: their first approach to prayer, forms of family religiosity, peculiar devotions, religious education received, the way the Bible was presented to them etc., possible participation in pilgrimages;

d) details of the psychiatric state of everybody in the weeks and the days preceding the first apparition; genesis of the group of seers.

The careful observation of each seer during these interviews, his attitude, his emotional reactions and all information collected would have enabled the psychiatrist to achieve a fairly accurate knowledge of his personality, its evolution and psychological condition. Certainly it was a difficult undertaking, requiring an interpreter, but perhaps not impossible, and in any case, essential to an investigation that wants to draw conclusions.

6. Curiously, only one psychological personal datum is mentioned, not in the expertise but in the story of the first apparitions, reduced to a mere allusion. It concerns the first seer, Ivanka, 15 years old, who had lost her mother a few weeks before the first apparition (May 1981).

More can be said: she was the one who, in the second apparition, asked the Virgin the first question, a personal question, asking for news of her mother. Response of the Virgin: "Your mother is fine, she is with me."

It could be that the death of her mother has played, on a psychological level, an important role in the genesis of the first vision of Ivanka. But no one could give his opinion, of course, on this issue without more information. Everyone knows, in fact, that the loss of a mother, especially for a teenager, can be a profound and disturbing emotional stress.

In the case of Ivanka, precise information would be required about the disease (or possibly the accident) and the death of her mother, the personality of the latter, her role in the family, her religious life and her behavior, the reactions produced by her death etc.

The "elaboration of mourning" will, however, be the subject of a further development.

This example illustrates the vital importance of the psychological approach to the difficult problems of visions and apparitions. They will be presented in a general plan in the second part of the report.

Th. Kammerer
September 1986 


CONCLUSION

There is no scientific evidence that Mary is appearing at Medjugorje. The fact that people with bad motives and proclivities were involved in showing she was appearing shows she was in fact was not.  No God would send an apparition that had to depend on fraudsters to "verify" it.  And there are too many problems.  The believers have countless objections to deal with and even on this page we have met comparatively few.  Something so hard to defend is plainly a fraud.

BOOKS CONSULTED

“I BEG YOU: LISTEN TO MY MESSAGES AND LIVE THEM,” Padraic Dunne, published privately, Drogheda, County Louth, 1992
BIBLICAL EXEGESIS AND CHURCH DOCTRINE, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1985
Encountering Mary, Sandra Zimdars-Swartz, Avon, New York, 1991
LOOKING FOR A MIRACLE, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
MEDJUGORJE, David Baldwin, Catholic Truth Society, London, 2002
MEDJUGORJE HERALD, Vol 13, No 2, Feb 1999, Galway, Ireland
MEDJUGORJE, A TIME FOR TRUTH AND A TIME FOR ACTION, Denis Nolan
MEDJUGORJE, FACTS DOCUMENTS THEOLOGY, Fr Michael O Carroll, Veritas, Dublin, 1986
OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE, Tomislav Vlasic OFM, published by Peter Batty, East Sussex, 1984
POWERS OF DARKNESS, POWERS OF LIGHT, John Cornwell, Penguin, London, 1992
POWER OF THE WITCH, Laurie Cabot with Tom Cowan, Arkana, Penguin, London, 1992
QUEEN OF PEACE (Newspaper), Fall, 1995, Pittsburgh Center for Peace
SCIENTIFIC AND MEDICAL STUDIES ON THE APPARITIONS AT MEDJUGORJE Rene Laurentin and Henri Joyeux, Veritas, Dublin, 1987.
ST JOHN’S BULLETIN, Medjugorje by Br Michael of the Holy Trinity, Society of St Pius X, October-December 1992, no 32, Dublin
THE APPARITIONS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY TODAY, Rene Laurentin, Veritas, Dublin 1990
THE HIDDEN SIDE OF MEDJUGORJE, Fr Ivo Sivric, Ed. Psilog, Saint Francios Du Lac, Quebec, 1989
THE THUNDER OF JUSTICE, Ted and Maureen Flynn, MAXCOL, Vancouver, 1993
UNDERSTANDING MEDJUGORJE, HEAVENLY VISIONS OR RELIGIOUS ILLUSION? Donal Anthony Foley, Theotokos Books, Nottingham, 2006
VISIONS OF THE CHILDREN, Janice T Connell, St Martin’s Press, New York, 1992
WORDS FROM HEAVEN, Anonymous, Caritas of Birmingham, Sterrett, Alabama, 1996  

The following books are available from Militia Immaculatae Trust, 35 New Bond Street, Leicester.

CRITERIA FOR DISCERNING APPARITIONS REGARDING THE EVENTS OF MEDJUGORJE by Monsignor Peric.
MEDJUGORJE – AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS, Michael Davies, Remnant Press, Minnesota, 1998.
MEDJUGORJE THE UNTOLD STORY, E Michael Jones Fidelity Press, 206 Marquette Ave, South Bend Indiana 46617, 1998.
MEDJUGORJE, Bishop Zanic, Mostar, 1990.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND MEDJUGORJE by Michael Mazza.
THE MEDJUGORJE DECEPTION, E Michael Jones, Fidelity Press, Indiana, 1998.
TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDJUGORJE, Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D. Pangaeus Press, Dallas, 1999.  
 
UNDERSTANDING MEDJUGORJE, HEAVENLY VISIONS OR RELIGIOUS ILLUSION? Donal Anthony Foley, Theotokos Books, Nottingham, 2006
 
To Order Understanding Medjugorje visit http://www.theotokos.org.uk or write to Theotokos Books, PO Box, 8570, Nottingham, England
 
Videos
 
VISIONS ON DEMAND, Network 5 International, 1997
DIVINE OR DECEIVED? COVER-UP, Network 5 International, 1998
 
Contact:
Network 5 International
PO Box 51
Liverpool
L69 3EE
 
THE WEB

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES DONE ON THE VISIONARIES OF MEDJUGORJE – 1998 SCIENTIFIC STUDY ON THE VISIONARIES
www.childrenofmedjugorje.com/medj/research.htm

AN OVERVIEW OF THE MEDICAL AND SCIENTIFIC TESTING OF VISIONARY NANCY FOWLER CONYERS GEORGIA
http://members.aol.com/bbu84/biblicalstupidity/science.htm#10

DISCERNMENT AND SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF VISIONARIES FROM THE MEDJUGORJE STAR
http://members.aol.com/bbu84/biblicalstupidity/study.htm#11