Jose Mercardo, Juan Blance and Josephine Sison
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Romeo Error – Lyall Watson
I spent several days working with Josephine Sison of Barongobong in the Pangasinan lowlands and saw her perform over two hundred operations, about 85 per cent of which involved materialization phenomena.
At no time was I more than a foot away from her and not once while she worked did her hands move out of my sight, but she was able to produce blood-like fluid from her fingertips whenever she pressed them against a patient's body. Sometimes the red liquid was accompanied by small pieces of tissue and on several occasions there appeared totally foreign objects. I saw her draw a rusty nail, two complete cobs, several large plastic bags, a film canister, three undamaged leaves still attached to a twig from a thorn bush and a piece of jagged glass from the body surface of a series of patients.
In every case the objects seemed to grow in the space between her fingers and the skin. I am totally convinced that no sleight-of-hand was involved and equally certain that these objects did not come from within the patients concerned. This leaves me with the following possibilities. Either I was deluded or was being hypnotized (both unlikely explanations due to the fact that several of the operations in question were successfully filmed), or Sison is capable of bringing about controlled materializations.
Some of the healers also produce psychokinetic effects with the same nonchalance. I have seen Juan Blance of Pasig make real incisions in the bodies of his patients, but without a knife and from a distance. He simply points his finger at the skin and a cut appears instantaneously-about two centimetres long and a few millimetres deep. Naegli comments:
"At a distance of about twenty centimetres from the body, often using the right forefinger of a bystander or his own forefinger, he points at a spot on the body where he wishes to make an incision. A cut appears, it seems almost instantaneously. It is a clean cut, with a few drops of blood, not a steady flow. The subcutaneous tissue can be seen and the patient can feel the cut."
The cut appears in the same way even if a sheet of plastic foil is placed between Blance and the patient, and when the operation is complete, a thin scar line is left as evidence. On several occasions I was able to control these operations by bringing along my own patients and ensuring that Blance touched no part of their bodies before he produced his incisions from a distance. There is no question of a concealed blade being involved under these conditions.
Jose Mercardo of Bagag in Pangasinan, uses a similar ability to give what he calls "spirit injections". He lines his patients up against one wall of his clinic and walks down the row with nothing in his hands, making motions with his finger like a small boy "zapping" friends with an invisible raygun. Each of the patients feels a pinprick on that part of the body being pointed at, and most ooze a spot of blood from the "puncture".
On one day I joined the line with a sheet of polythene concealed beneath my clothing and found that, despite the fact that my shirt sleeve seemed to be completely undamaged, there was a small neat hole drilled through the plastic over the point where I felt the prick of the "injection" on my upper arm. We know that it is possible for the body to produce hysterical stigmata in this way. I have seen a fakir in Madras make the hands of a member of the audience bleed by hypnosis; and Stephen Black has a patient who was able to produce an appropriate puncture mark and swelling, when simply reminded of an injection given twenty years previously. But Mercardo's injections are obviously not of this kind, because plastic is hardly susceptible to hysteria.