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Davitashvili, Dzhuna

Category: Healer

 

Eugenia "Juna" Yuvashevna Davitashvili (Georgian: ევგენია ჯუნა დავითაშვილი; 22 July 1949 – 8 June 2015) was a Russian faith healer of Assyrian descent. Juna  described herself as an astrologist and a poet as well as a healer.

She took her Georgian-language surname from her former husband. 

At the time that Dhzuna was practising, the Soviets were carrying out research on a host of psychic phenomenon, whilst officially denying that either such research was taking place, or that psychic phenomenon existed.  The principle reason was, of course, that this was a power that was not properly understood and thus could not be controlled.  The official line is characterised by the following statement :

"It is, of course, necessary to conduct scientific research on various phenomena about which little is known. But today, specialists believe, there are no reliable grounds for asserting that people with extrasensory powers possess any phenomenal healing abilities. There is no reliable basis for believing that some kind of special 'biofield' exists, distinct from known physical fields in nature or that it may ultimately be used, as one sensational article has stated, as 'the long-awaited medicine for all.' "

 

But only the day after this official statement was reported,  Dzhuna Davitashvili was the honoured guest at the weekly "Thursday Club" meeting of employees of Komsomolskaya Pravda. The paper reported on the friendly get-together on August 29, noting the "unusual, innate Psychoenergetic powers of Dzhuna," and stated that she had taken part in three experiments at medical institutes during the summer. The paper added that it planned to keep its readers up to date on further developments in the field.

So these were very odd times to be a faith healer.  From the evidence, Dhzuna’s skills were in healing and ‘mind reading’ - inter composer communication.

Psychic Warfare (Threat or Illusion) By Martin Ebon
Chapter 13 - Dzhuna The Healer

The Soviet dilemma over psychic powers was dramatized in the 1980s by the appearance on the Moscow scene of a glamorous healer, Dzhuna Davitashvili. Traditionally, such healers live in obscure villages and are either old men of the sage, bearded type or peasant women with a reputation for second sight. The dark-eyed, model-slim healer, whose first name is actually Eugenia (Evgeniya) - Dzhuna or Juna is a popular nickname - personified Soviet ambivalence toward the "unknown."

Caught between official rationalism and traditional Russian mysticism, Soviet authorities wavered between admiration for and suspicion of Dzhuna's healing gifts.

No one, of course, used the words "miraculous healing." Instead, a new pseudo-scientific buzz word, "biofield," was added to biocommunication, bioenergy, and related Soviet parapsychological terms. Miss Davitashvili's officially tolerated prominence tended to support rumours that her healing skills had benefited top Soviet leaders, including President Leonid I. Brezhnev. As he had used the services of unorthodox healers in the past, it seemed possible that Dzhuna had in fact eased the party chiefs discomforts. In any event, Davitashvili had become highly popular among top people in the Soviet entertainment field, academicians, and high Communist Party officials.

 

Leonid Brezhnev had indeed used healers in the past, including a prominent practitioner of acupuncture and a native of Outer Mongolia known among the  Moscow elite only as "Lobsang." According to Craig Whitney in the New York Times, Dzhuna worked her "apparent miracle" on the Soviet chief of state when, "after years of decline," he appeared as "the picture of health and stamina in ….meetings with Western and communist leaders in Belgrade and Warsaw." These observations were made more than two years before Brezhnev's death in November 1982.

Soviet scientist, Alexander G. Spirikin, was a corresponding member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and a philosopher who made a special study of "bioenergy." Writing in Sovetskaya Rossiya (January 6, 1980), he castigated scientists for lack of moral courage in admitting that they had found psychic phenomena genuine and had, in fact, benefited from them.  But Spirikin then made the mistake of linking the concept of the biofield with spiritualism and religious mysticism, both anathema to Soviet ideology. He recalled that there had been "spiritists in Tzarist Russia" and "Rasputin, who charmed away bleeding," although these "did not participate in meetings of the Russian Academy of Sciences."

The Healing gifts of Dzhuna

 

Dzhuna was particularly gifted in being able to diagnose illness as well as help heal it.  From accounts at the time, she used the aura as an indicator of where the disease was. Leon Kolodny, a newspaper man wrote she was able to see "a radiance above the heads of people." He added: "When there are a lot of people in a room, she sees a rainbow hanging over them. … " But though she appears to have been able to see the aura, she herself stated that she diagnosed via touch:

"There is a biological field around all living organisms, including human beings, which we extra-sensers feel very easily. This biofield changes, depending on physical and even psychical states of the organism. Therefore, when I pass my hands along the patient's body, I can tell at once which organs of the body are diseased. Various diseases cause different sensations in my hands, such as prickling, warmth, or other sensations not easy to define. "

 

Perhaps of great interest is that the chairman of the Ogonyok round table, Sergey Vlasov, noted that, although much had been written about Dzhuna, she was "not the only extrasenser," as there were an estimated "two hundred such people" in the Moscow area alone.  

Psychic Warfare (Threat or Illusion) By Martin Ebon
Chapter 13 - Dzhuna The Healer

Dzhuna Davitashvili's popularity provoked contradictory reactions. Some people swore by her with unbridled and seemingly uncritical enthusiasm; testimonials and letters of thanks poured in and were publicized. Others were cautious in their endorsement of Dzhuna's healing gifts, while official medical comment was quite negative, ranging from the detached to the caustic.

Newspaper and magazine stories about Miss Davitashvili appeared in the daily papers and periodicals in the Soviet Union as well as abroad. Boris V. Petrovsky, Soviet Minister of Health, and Nikolai K. Baibakov, director of Gosplan, the country's central planning board, were among those reported to have benefited from Dzhuna's treatment. Other non-medical healers gained new tolerance for their work, radiated by Dzhuna's public acceptance. The illustrated magazine Ogonyok (April 1981) quoted her as saying that, of course, there was "no miracle" involved in her work.

As quoted in Parapsychology in the USSR (Part I), published by the Washington Research Center, San Francisco, Miss Davitashvili told a meeting of the Ogonyek Club that the human body's energy system has many outlets on the skin, equivalent to acupuncture points. These, she said, can be stimulated to "enhance the restoring process" that facilitates healing.

 

 

Despite opposition elsewhere, Nicolai N. Blochin called for the establishment of an institute to test Dzhuna's healing powers. Blochin was president of the Academy of Medical Sciences; he twice received the Order of Lenin for special services to the Soviet state. 

The Radiometric Laboratory at Tbilisi University was experimenting in the transmission of such "biological information."  But whether any of these initiatives ever bore fruit or whether results were recorded is not known.  The climate for doing these things was not at all favourable. 

The Commission of the Ministry of Health sent out many veiled warnings about ‘unofficial’ healing.  It denounced "the groundlessness of claims" concerning the use of "biofields" to treat disease. The commission denied the possibility that Dzhuna could have cured anything, and attributed reports that she had done so to the incompetence of those who had observed the procedure. There was an undercurrent of threat in their reports as well. It warned against therapeutic work by people ‘without medical education’. Publicizing such practices in newspapers and magazines, it said, could lead to "regrettable consequences."  It was also very clear that the main problem was that it saw faith healing as a threat to its own members, citing the case of one patient who had "resorted to parapsychologists" instead of going to an oncological specialist.

So it had nothing to do with patients, but everything to do with vested interests.

Dr Targ

Dr Russell Targ’s visit

In 1983 and 1984, physicist and psi researcher, Russell Targ, his daughter Elisabeth Targ, and Keith [Blue] Harary visited the Soviet Union as guests of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. In Moscow they were able to discuss remote viewing research with Russian scientists, visit psychics, including Davitashvili, and arrange a remote viewing experiment with her between Moscow and San Francisco. 

 

Targ’s daughter Elisabeth was a medical student at Stanford University who was fluent in Russian.

The remote viewing experiment spanned 16,000 kilometers. From her living room she described in detail a merry go round on Pier 39 in San Francisco, where Blue Harary was meant to be hiding.  Except that she started the description 6 hours before he got there, which rather indicates that she was reading Targ’s [or Harare’s ] mind and not remote viewing as such.

Life

 

Davitashvili  was born to Anna and Yuvash Sarkisov, one of 6 children - Georgiy, Vladimir, Emma Khinoeva, Andrey, and Aleksey.  She married Igor Matvienko in 1986.  An ethnic Assyrian, Juna -- or Yevgenia Yuvashevna Sardis, as she was known officially -- was born to an Iranian immigrant family residing in Russia's North Caucasus region of Krasnodar.  Her parents are said to have regarded her as "something strange" even as a child.  During her early years, spent in the Kuban region of the USSR, she perceived a "rainbow-like light, an aureole above flowers and trees."

Leon Kolodny, a newspaper man who had written previously about parapsychological tests, offered an enthusiastic portrait of Dzhuna Davitashvili in Komsomolskaya Pravda (August 16, 1980), Moscow's communist youth daily. He wrote that, as a child, "she heard not only the rustling of leaves in the wind but other sounds, as though the tree were an orchestra and each flower a singer."

Dzhuna left home at the age of fourteen, worked for several years servicing a projector in a movie house and then became a waitress. Eventually she became a masseuse for hospital patients, and it is at this point she first demonstrated her ability to heal.  Those who saw her work compared it to the traditional laying on of hands, however, although Dzhuna belonged to the minority population of the twenty-five thousand Assyrian Christians in the USSR, she did not attribute her healing gift to a religious conviction.  On the other hand ......

Dzhuna originally came to Moscow from Tbilisi as the protegee of a Georgian film producer, Otar Ioseliani. When Craig Whitney, Moscow correspondent of the New York Times, reported on her popularity (May 29, 1980), he noted that she was "besieged by patients unable to obtain satisfaction from the public health system." He added:

"Russians complain that they can get treatment in hospitals only by bribing nurses and doctors, that medicine prescribed to them turns out to be unavailable in pharmacies, and that patients have to wait for hours for treatment in neighborhood clinics. But they willingly line up in front of the apartment where Miss Davitashvili stayed."

 

When in Moscow, Davitashvili used a polyclinic. The facilities at a polyclinic gave Dzhuna Davitashvili semiofficial status.  Earlier, she had worked from an apartment, but the crush of would-be patients had become too great. Her waiting list had grown out of manageable proportions, and applicants for her services had to be screened.  She charged a considerable amount for those able to afford it. Whitney reported that her fee was the equivalent of $375 each for her ‘prominent clientele’.

Davitashvili ‘shot to fame when passions for the occult grew after Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev started his liberalization reforms known as perestroika’.  She made her first public appearance in the late 1980s, with Russian rock musicians Igor Talkov and Andrei Derzhavin, and ‘was rumoured to have treated film stars from Hollywood and Europe’.  She disappeared from the public eye after the death of her son, Vakhtang Davitashvili, in 2001.

Death

Davitashvili died in Moscow on 8 June 2015, after two days in a coma, according to one of her friends, actor Stanislav Sadalsky. 

After her death more and more people started to come forward admitting they had been helped by her.  Russian lawmaker Oleg Finko said after the news about Juna's death spread on June 8 that he had been treated by Juna ‘several times’, and called her "an extraordinary person."

"She was a very fair person. When she knew she was not able to cure a certain disease, she refused to get involved. But she was able to tackle many illnesses," Finko said.

The president of the Russian Astrology School in Moscow, Aleksandr Zarayev, described Juna Davitashvili's importance to Russian society as similar to that of prominent Soviet-era bard Vladimir Vysotsky, adding that "Juna fulfilled her mission."

One issue of Komsomolskaya Pravda contained a commentary by a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Yuri Kobzarev, the specialist in radar and radio engineering who directed the Laboratory for BioElectronics. He strongly emphasized that the Dzhuna phenomenon should be regarded as "factual and real." He explained:

"There have, at all times and in all ages, been individuals who were able to heal by means of the laying on of hands, and there are such individuals among us today."

 

 

Observations

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