Hack Tuke, Daniel – Sickness - Inducing Death as a consequence of suggestion only
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
As described in Illustrations Of The Influence Of The Mind Upon The Body In Health And Disease, Designed To Elucidate The Action Of The Imagination - Daniel Hack Tuke, M.D., M.R.C.P.,
PART I. THE INTELLECT.
CHAPTER IV. INFLUENCE OF THE INTELLECT UPON THE INVOLUNTARY MUSCLES.
There are many interesting cases of syncope from states of mind which it is not always easy to analyze and to decide upon as regards their emotional or intellectual character. Thus, if a person undergoes a sham operation of venesection, and believing that fainting will be the result, faints, we may be in doubt how far Fear has caused the result.
Thus, some years ago, a medical student in Paris, on being initiated into the mysterious rites of a Masonic society, was subjected to the above process. His eyes were bandaged, a ligature bound round his arm, and the usual preparations made to bleed him.
When a pretence of opening the vein was made, a stream of water was spurted into a bowl, the sound of which resembled that of the flow of blood which the student was anticipating. The consequence was that in a few moments he became pale, and before long fainted away. Gratiolet, who relates the story, does not say whether he inquired into the proportion of cases in which syncope was caused by passing through the ordeal of membership.
There is a case on record of a man who was sentenced to be bled to death. He was blindfolded, the sham operation was performed, and water allowed to run down his arm in order to convey the impression of blood.
Thinking he was about to die, he did actually die.