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Romano, Jacques

Category: Magician

 

Jacques Romano (1864 - 1962) was a healer; a very accomplished hypnotist, capable of hypnotising a number of people at once; a magician and his abilities also extended to a certain extent to mystic thought as well.  If one was to categorise him he would classify best as a magician mystic, rather than a mystic magician as Sai Baba was, as his principle activities were based on being a magician.

A number of his party tricks and feats were - he admitted himself - achieved via mass hypnotism.  He used suggestion, and via the same mode of hypnotism and suggestion he was also able to heal - the so called 'placebo effect' - but genuine healing because people did get better on a permanent basis.  He was very good at curing headaches.  

He had a small amount of ability at bodily function control being able to slow and then temporarily stop his own pulse.  He was also a master at sleight of hand card tricks and magic tricks, but he had a genuine ability to read minds and was also a very accomplished prophet - a prophesier of events. 

Dr  Berthold E. Schwarz was a psychiatrist and a researcher in spirituality and 'paranormal' activity and it is through his book that we know of the capabilities of Jacques Romano. This book appears to have been the only book ever written about Romano, as such it is worthwhile looking briefly at the credentials of Dr Schwarz.

About Schwartz

Schwarz was certified in psychiatry and was a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  He wrote more than 185 scholarly or scientific articles, many focusing on psychiatric, psychoanalytic and electrophysiological subjects.

But he also had a strong lifelong interest in 'paranormal' research, was a member of the Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies and a Fellow of the American Society for Psychical Research. He wrote frequently for the Journal of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies, and many of his books deal with paranormal research.

extract from Schwarz's book

All the information that we have on Jacques Romano comes from Dr Schwarz's book   The Jacques Romano Story (University Books/1968).

My initial focus was on the nonagenarian-telepath-genius Jacques Romano who could demonstrate a variety of telepathic skills and who beyond that had a most creative mind.

here is what one Amazon reviewer had to say about the book:

The Jacques Romano Story Hardcover – 1968 by Berthold Eric, M.D. Schwarz
While reading another book, I came across a quote by Jacques Romano,
"Treat people as if they were flowers, and you will have a happy life."
I thought, "What a nice philosophy!" and decided to learn more about this man.

 About Romano

There is no definitive date for Romano's date of birth, apart from a probable date of April 16th 1864, nor is there a definitive place of birth, although Armenia is mentioned as one possible place.  There are numerous indications in the book that Romano may have had Jewish connections, he knew Hebrew and he also knew some of the symbolism of the Bible.  And there is of course the speculation on his name - Romano and Romany are very close. 

Whatever talents he had he seems to have been born with.  He also suffered from synaesthesia although the accounts in the book give scant attention to this aspect of his abilities.

We do know he had a number of both brothers and sisters and appears to have been brought up in a wealthy household.  He had a French governess, for example.   After his grandfather's death when he was 8 years old, he became so despondent he attempted suicide by hanging.  It was the servants who saved him when they heard him gagging and ran to the room to cut him down.  Despite the wealth, his upbringing does not appear to have been a happy one.

It seems to me that the human animal has several ways to shorten his life.  They are chiefly fear, worry, hurry and hate.  My parents implanted in their children the destructive twins of fear and hate.

He later had all the bearing and behaviour of someone brought up in aristocratic circumstances, wearing navy suits, a bow-tie and a Prince Albert style waistcoat.  "when his guests arrived they met a small straight backed, wiry gentleman with black rimmed glasses, who would spring to his feet with engaging courtesy and engage them in immediate conversation".

 

From the time he entered 'young manhood' to the time he was 21, he travelled throughout Europe, Siberia and Russia and it was during these trips that he acquired many of his talents.  One key piece of information is that at some point, he claims to have learnt some of his skills from the Essenes.  This is interesting, as the Essenes were a mystic group thought to have disappeared not long after the birth of Jesus.  This implies their knowledge did not disappear.

The Jacques Romano story – Dr Berthold Eric Schwartz
From the New York Psychology Forum report on a lecture given on January 13th 1959 when Romano was 95.
He has learned much of the esoteric life-self-discipline, self-control and self-mastery from the Essenes. He learned how the mental can take care of the physical-for health and for patience-the spark of infinite time.
Application of long-continued study, exhaustive, relentless self-training of the most rigid and unyielding nature have evolved a man who has developed his natural faculties to a degree unrecorded and unequalled in the annals of modern science and medicine.
No physical culturist, his body is that of a lean, lithe man half his years. His perceptions baffle and amaze his associates. He preaches no doctrine, espouses no faith, seeks no converts.
An outstanding example of health, he believes that the normal span of life should not be less than 120 years. He describes how youthfulness, mental/physical activity may be maintained by exploiting the underdeveloped sources of vibrant energy latent in all of us.

 

He appears to have first come to the USA in 1885, but he stayed only four months. This time was not a happy one he was down and out and 'living on the Bowery', so bad was this time that he felt like committing suicide again.  But by helping an old Italian lady with her bundle, he realised he needed to change, but his obsession with death stayed with him for life "death loomed as a great venture, life seemed meaningless to me, death calmed me, I was peaceful".

He decided to return to Europe, and he travelled for another four years, this time travelling on to "more exotic lands".  We know he travelled 'in the Orient' meeting both Jews and Arabs.  He also travelled in Africa visiting Coptic monasteries.  He also went to the Sudan and stayed with the Dervishes. He may have been to India.....

from the Herald News 1957
Jacques Romano, 84-year-old chemical manufacturer, of 101 Maiden Lane, Manhattan, was a guest at the Spring Street home of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Chaplitsky in Passaic on July 18, recounting his experiences among Arab tribesmen and devotees of Hindu yogi.

and

Years ago I saw another famous stunt of the fakirs.  One of them cut his abdomen open and took his intestines out.............

He also found out how it was done.  Not for the squeamish.

 

 

In 1889, when he was 25, Romano made a second trip to the United States.  Shortly after arriving, he supported himself by working for Moreno and Lopez, New York photographers.  His mother had known Sarah Bernhardt and this got him a job with Napoleon Saroney for six dollars a week.  Later he worked for Falk and other photographers.  During the early years he became well acquainted with some of the celebrities he photographed - including for example Dame Nelly Melba. 

Romano knew no English when he arrived and had to teach himself.  He did however, have familiarity with a number of other languages.

What is perhaps extraordinary about Romano is the number of jobs and the variety of jobs he appears to have had in addition to his 'magical' exploits.  The magic seems to have been more of a hobby, his income came from the jobs he did.

In the early 1890s he painted miniatures of New York society women for Peter Malle and in 1898 he was involved with the Cuban revolution.  During the 1901 Buffalo Exposition he was the manager for the Eastman Kodak exhibit.  He worked his way up becoming one of their top salesman and was assigned to vast areas of the United States, Mexico and South America.  Whilst engaged in his job selling photographic equipment, he managed to become involved in 'various Latin American intrigues and adventures'.

Romano 1912 aged 48

In 1911, he resigned his job with Eastman Kodak,  learnt how to fly and then subsequently flew for the Bleriot monoplane company.  He was one of the first people to fly around the Statue of Liberty.  For reasons that are unclear he then gave this up and the Eastman Kodak Company took Romano back in 1912.  He remained with the firm until 1914.

Then he worked for John Hays Flammond, who had widespread engineering and oil exploration interests. Romano's "duties" consisted principally of being a bon vivant and "court jester." During the war in 1917-1918, he was connected with League Island, Philadephia, as instructor on X rays.

Throughout the years, Romano also lectured to many clubs, universities, and scientific organizations on his philosophy, physical health, ‘perennial youth’, and occult powers.

His philosophy on health

Romano 1914 aged 50

Romano was a very good advertisement for his methods, he was rarely ill and when he was, appeared to very quickly recover.  He was a strong advocate of the need to Heal yourself and avoid pharmaceuticals.  About the only chemical he advocated was iodine.  Iodine - more correctly iodide has a very key role in the body, although one needs very very little of it. Lack of iodine causes Diseases of the Thyroid gland. It stunts growth and causes the thyroid gland to become irregular.   According to Wikipedia “Iodide deficiency is more common in third-world nations. .... where it is still a significant public health problem....

Romano did research on iodine for six years, and in 1928 organized the Iodine Company.  Schwartz called him a talented chemist - but there are indications that he was an alchemist as well as a magician.  From 1932 until his death in 1962, he was the originator and compounder of a variety of iodine-containing ‘medicines’ manufactured by his company the Jamol Company ("Ja" for Jacques, "Mol" for his late wife Molly).

 

There is the possibility that this knowledge also came from his connections with the Essenes.  The Therapeutae were the healing branch of the Essenes, and among the unidentified newspaper clippings Schwartz managed to obtain from around June 14, 1915, was this:

. . . held an informal reception at his studio in the Oakland Apartments, to which his friends were invited to meet Mr. Jacques Romano, traveler, aviator and past master of psychic phenomena. Mr. Romano gave a most interesting talk on therapeutics, proving beyond doubt the marvellous power of mind over matter. With Mr.Romano the study of psychology is a hobby…. 

In effect, along with the iodide, Romano was a very firm believer in the power of the mind to either help you to get well or to cause sickness - he said:

when I feel sick, I mentally go through everything that has happened to me for the past day.  When I discover why I became sick, I try to correct the difficulty, and then I get better.  When exposed to similar conditions in the future I handle myself differently by remembering the previous discomfort.

The reasons include both physical and mental problems, as such Romano had clearly taught himself [or been taught] how to channel negative emotional energy into more constructive energy.  He was an advocate of Dietary moderation:

I avoid foods that are hard to digest and I never take into my stomach that I cannot put in my eye.

He was also a great believer in Warmth as a healer and had this to say about the dangers of getting cold:

I never go to bed with cold feet.  Many people die in their sleep because the heat must work harder to keep their feet warm.  The human being has proportionally larger legs than any other animal and if he goes to bed with cold feet and legs, extra work must be done by the heart and that leaves him tired in the morning.

 Methods

One method he used to get other people in the right receptive frame of mind was hypnotism, but Jacques himself appeared to base much of what he did on extreme emotion of some sort - raising his energy levels to extreme heights by getting 'over emotional'.  The observations do not include this as an activity, because it is unclear which emotion he was using - fear, anger, joy, stress, etc.  In some senses he befuddled himself.

The Jacques Romano Story – Dr Berthold Eric Schwartz
Because Romano's accounts of his spontaneous telepathic events appeared to involve many subtle emotional factors, the experiments were not performed under such stereotyped conditions that might inhibit the phenomena in question. Everything was done to fit in with Romano’s particular mood, not to harass him, force him, or in any way compromise his unique, passive, trancelike state.
During the course of the session Romano would gradually work himself into a mild frenzy or state of dissociation by talking about his many life experiences for an hour or more before proceeding with the phenomenon with the cards and ‘spirit readings’

Marriage

 

Romano met his wife quite late in life at a time when she was very unhappily married.  Her divorce became a complex affair but eventually it came through and they  were married in 1914.  The marriage license gave Molly's age as 37 and Jacques's as 41, but their ages were actually 42 and 50. 

Jacques and Molly had an uneventful, but very happy married life,  with Molly adapting herself to the rather strange lifestyle of her husband.  They had been married 44 years when Molly died, by which time Molly had aged considerably whilst Jacques hadn't.  Although Molly was 8 years her husband's junior she appeared to be much older than her 94 year old husband. Romano correctly prophesied the date of her death.

After she died, Jacques plunged into an abyss of grief and even contemplated suicide.  This period of intense mourning lasted for a long time and probably hastened his death four years later.  For the first time he started to have dreams he could remember and they had a recurrent theme involving a boat going on a long journey - the long route home.

He died in 1962 at the age of 98.

The Jacques Romano Story – Dr Berthold Eric Schwartz

I do not commercialize soul or spiritual development. The progress of self-development is based on patience and understanding.  One does not have to go to foreign lands to study. Right here in this country you can practice the Sermon on the Mount.
People are inclined to lay much stress on the place of birth and nationality, a condition which has no bearing on mental or spiritual development. I was born in this universe.
The mental faculty of stopping the pulse, stopping the blood circulation in parts of my body, -stopping and starting digestion, raising or lowering the blood pressure -has come with practice and has nothing to do with religious beliefs or soul development.
No true Yogi has ever come to America, and any person who writes about the life of Yogis has never met a true Yogi.  The mental and physical aspirations of many seekers have been abused by numerous self styled teachers and money-making imposters.
To commercialize the weaknesses and heartaches of people is unpardonable.
Hate is a confession of fear and lack of self-confidence. Avoid those who spread the propaganda of hate, regardless of what religion they profess or position they hold. The God-given rays of the Sun baptise all earthly creatures alike without discrimination.
As for health - my mind does not recognize the proverbial threescore years and ten. My mental attitude does not permit the aging process to force itself upon me.  My assurance for good health is a life without fear, sorrow, worry or hate and with malice toward none.

 

Observations

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