There are these books I own or have seen that have these remarkable claims. Typically we consider these books to be excellent examples of “quackery”, although due to the looseness of this term, its poor definition in general, and the very opinionated methods writers use to refer to this term, I tend to stay away from using this term myself. Back when I was a medical student, from 1982 to 1986, one of the emeritus professors who served as a mentor in the field of medicine, James Harvey Young, was the professor who popularized this term and made it the term it is today, beginning as the term it was during the 1970s. The 1970s term “quackery” has since evolved into a word with multiple levels of complexity and prejudices underlying the reasons for its uses. It is the medical professionals’ equivalent to the Christian missionary term “hedonistic” for alternative forms of prayer practiced by Native Americas, or even the 19th century term used for African American slaves during periods of discontent on behalf of “the master.”
Generally speaking, the numbers and frequency by which people express their opinions of different philosophies in medicine and healing tend to demonstrate how much sociocultural inequality remains in a given western philosophical setting. The more people complain about quackery, the more biasness there is in that given social setting. There will always be equivalents of these poorly skilled professionals out there, in all fields; the first uses for this term in the early to mid 1700s were in fact targeted towards social leaders and politicians, not physicians.
These references depict unusual philosophies, some of which are anything from interesting to amusing to learn about, others just make us wonder ‘how did they ever develop such a following?’
It is one thing to be idealist and even utopian about something you believe in when it comes the living healthy and practicing effective, safe medicine. It is another thing to proselytize to the extent that even if you are against something that you consider ineffective in terms of healing, that such a belief system is pushed too much upon the status quo, or the decided way of being and thinking as a doctor. Certain cultures still teach that one has to undergo infibulation by the age of 16, or that one has to wear clothing to fully cover the body and face except when at home, or that specific ways of living must be practiced in order to guarantee a long and successful life that is also successful from the religious point of view.
The following are activities, behaviors and practices that everyday people believed in once upon a time. In the least, the author of these writings believed in what he or she was doing for the greater cause
Pages planned for each of the following:
[Clytina, from Saturn.] 1000 Years in Celestial Life. Introduction to Science and Key of Life. Manifestations of Divine Law. [Received through Psychic Telegraphy.] Autobiography of Clytina; Born in Athens 147 B.C. Passed to Celestial Life, 131 B.C. Published by Astro Publishing Company, Hodges Building, Detroit Michigan, U.S.A. 1901. [With advertisement insert “Kyro The Psychic Writer. A Modernized Planchette. The most sensitive of all devices for automatic writings.” Made by the makers of Syco-Graph. The Auburn Company, Providence, Rhode Island.]
Published by Henry Clay Hodges. Psychic W. E. Cole communicates with a past maiden, current Goddess Clytina, using the newest communications tool–a radio wave sender and receiver. A spiritual tablet is shared with him (akin to the Mormon experience), and Clytina provides her people’s theory about health and maintaining the body (akin to a 4 humours system, but not humours). In her communications with Cole, she describes the different celestial “life” forms residing in the troposphere/stratosphere above each of the major planets. Inserted is an advertisement about a device one could purchase to communicate with the beyond. The writer of this book had to come up with a pretty unique, original philosophy for his book, which he succeeded in doing. His philosophy was a popular handout to students of my university classes on analyzing symbols and numbers in different healing traditions. This philosophy was compared with other traditional Greek and Roman traditions, oriental numerics, trinity thinkers, ayurvedics, etc. I didn’t reveal the source of this unique philosophy until the end of the discussion.
Jakob Lorber and Gottfried Mayerhofer. The Lord’s Book of Life and Health (Heilung und Gesundheitspflege). Text Selection from the Works of the New Revelation through Jakob Lorber et al. With an introduction by Erich Heinze MD. Translated and edited by Gerhard Hanswille and Franco Gallo. Merkur Publishing, Inc., Wisdom of the Occult.
From ca. 1810-1825/41, this is a writing much like those published for Swedenborgians and Jakob Boehm followers. It in fact is a compendium of numerous other German philosophers, spiritualists, etc. from the time frame in mind. Some parts of the wisdom in this book were shared directly with Lorber by Jesus; most of Lorber’s writings are from the year 1841. Things have changed a lot since he was last on Earth, and so some updates into the Christian philosophy about health are provided, updated to match the newest discoveries made in physiology, organ systems, etc. The newest knowledge about the physical matter of the body is placed in context with the concepts of soul and spirit.
Prof. L. A. Harradan. Complete Illustrated Course of Twenty Lessons in Magnetic Healing. Jackson, Michigan. 1899.
A blending of hypnosis philosophy with his Animal Magnetism-based philosophy. has “Healing from a Distance” as a section, a practice and philosophy akin to the more modern distance prayer or intercessory prayer healing.
Levi D’Guru, Illuminate. A Complete Course of Instruction in Biopneuma. The True Science of the Great Breath. Opening of the Golden Gate unto the Healing of All Disease, the Forgiveness of Sins, and Divine Illumination. This is part first (sic) of a complete course in Healing by the Superfine Forces. Published by The Christopathian Brotherhood, Battle Creek, Michigan, USA. For Sale by L. H. Dowling, Los Angeles, California. 1902.
Beneath the picture on the Portrait page is “Yours for Divine Illumination through Christ. Levi D’Guru.” D’Guru describes the Superfine Forces that can be used to create healing are Biopneumic (bios~life, pneuma~spirit), Magnetic and Physiologic. Biopneuma is used for “Spirit-Soul Treatment”. The “Personal Magnetism and Telepathic battery of thought” are applied to create better health. The concepts of silence, breathing and meditation are drawn into this discipline as well.
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