Science Of The Lost Symbol


Defying Known Science: Healing an Incurable Cancer

Dr. William F. Bengston is not your average professor and researcher. His was not simply an academic curiosity about healing energies; he actually spent months training with an energy healer. Still, he never intended to use his new skills. But when he was about to run a well-controlled experiment with the healer he had observed over many years, and from whom he had learned the healing technique of ‘laying on of the hands,” that healer backed out. Since everything was in place for the experiment, Bengston’s research colleague convinced him to take the place of the healer, and he decided, with some trepidation, to do so.

An important point about this particular laying-on-of-hands technique is that it does not require belief in any kind of healing energy to work. Nor does it require healing intention per se. The technique is one developed for skeptics and involves mental exercises that are not geared specifically toward healing. After performing the mental tasks, the “healer” simply lays his or her hands on or near the person seeking healing. Some kind of energy seems to be transmitted that has a healing effect.

Bengston had spent years observing this particular healer treating people with a wide range of health problems, from diabetes to cancer. Bengston noted that “Some conditions, such as long-term diabetes seemed to respond slowly while others such as cancer appear to respond almost immediately.” (355; all quotations are from “The Effect of the ‘The Laying on of Hands’ on Transplanted Breast Cancer in Mice.”) The study Bengston had designed to formally test this healing technique involved mice that had been injected with a fatal form of breast cancer called mammary adenocarcinoma. Bengston write, “The normal progression after the mouse is injected is the development of a non-metastatic palpable and visible tumor that grows so large that it crushes the internal organs of the host. Host survival in the conventional literature was 100% fatality between 14 and 27 days after injection” (356).

A “disinterested professor of biology” at Bengston’s college who was an expert in this form of cancer prepared the mice for the experiment with the strain of carcinoma. The experimental protocol was that Bengston would perform the healing technique for one hour a day starting three days after the mice were injected. He would hold his hands outside the lab cage that held the mice, never touching them directly. There was a group of control mice kept in a separate lab in the same building.

Bengston writes, “Our results were totally beyond expectation.” He reports that at about the tenth day of the experiment, the mice that were being healed via Bengton’s laying on of hands began to develop a blackened area, like a sore, on their tumor. Thinking the experiment was failing and that the sores were evidence of the mice dying, Bengston was about to call off the experiment, but his colleague urged him on so they could see what happened. Thinking he had nothing to lose, Bengton continued. About a week later the dark areas became ulcerated, “as if they had been split open,” he reports. “In some cases, the ulceration grew extremely large then appeared to implode, and the wound closed. The mice then lived their normal life span of approximately two years” (357-358).

It turns out the blackened areas, ulcerations, and in some cases the splitting open of the skin were all a progression of healing what was known to be a fatal cancer. The mice that did not undergo this ulceration process did not survive. What was truly puzzling was that during autopsy, it was found that of all the mice except those who had wounds that had closed had viable tumor cells present in their mammary glands during all stages of their remission. This suggests that what was happening to the mice involved a heightened immune response. Bengston could not say precisely how the technique of laying on the hands was facilitating the remissions, but only that it did.

Another mystifying result was that if Bengston came into indirect contact with the control mice (he looked in on them but did not try to heal them) they benefited from his “energy” as well, with several developing the same blackened ulcerated sores. Those mice also went into remission. This “healing without intention but only by association” truly was the mystery of the experiment, so puzzling in fact that Bengton conducted several more experiments to test it. One experiment was led by an extremely skeptical biology professor at another college who chose student volunteers to learn the healing technique. The results were similar—the mice went into remission, and so did some of the control mice that the student volunteer “healers” only briefly observed but did not attempt to heal. It was as if just being in the presence of the healers was healing in and of itself.

Further experiments were conducted to test what was going on with these control mice. In one additional study, there were two control groups of mice, one kept in another building and one kept in a lab in another city. The student healers were allowed to observe the control mice in the building. Some of them went into remission, but none of the unobserved mice in the other city did (they all died within the known time frame for this cancer). So, it appears that there was indeed some subsidiary effect whereby healing occurred just by the sick mice being in the presence of the trained healers.

Bengston reports that his protocol is able to produce extremely reliable results, so reliable that he is calling for further research using this energy healing technique with other kinds of cancers. As he says, the finding from this series of experiments are so provocative that “the possibilities for research are almost endless.” (364)

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