Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


Critical Study of Medical Explorations of the Medjugorje Visionaries

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.

Remarkably, parapsychologists show no interest in the aparlleged apparitions.  People staring at a wall and saying they see a woman is nothing compared to somebody reporting a ghost that seems to affect machines and can move objects! When ghost hunters are not interested what can you say? 

Independent research follows.

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