200 Recorded Cases Target Reached

The target of 200 recorded cases of spirit possession for study and analysis has been reached. Researchers with an interest in suspected spirit possession and its relationship with mental illness are invited to analyze the data. Click this link for a histogram of age distribution.

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Historical and cultural aspects of the pineal gland: comparison between the theories provided by Spiritism in the 1940s and the current scientific evidence

Author information

  • 1Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil, Brazil. g.lucchetti@yahoo.com.br.
  • 2Anapolis University Center and Brazilian Medical Spiritist Association, Brazil.
  • 3Anhanguera University, Brazil.
  • 4University of São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

Significance has been attached to the pineal gland in numerous different cultures and beliefs. One religion that has advanced the role of the pineal gland is Spiritism. The objective of the present study was to compile information on the pineal gland drawing on the books of Francisco Cândido Xavier written through psychography and to carry out a critical analysis of their scientific bases by comparing against evidence in the current scientific literature. A systematic search using the terms “pineal gland” and “epiphysis” was conducted of 12 works allegedly dictated by the spirit “André Luiz”. All information on the pineal having potential correlation with the field of medicine and current studies was included. Specialists in the area were recruited to compile the information and draw parallels with the scientific literature. The themes related to the pineal gland were: mental health, reproductive function, endocrinology, relationship with physical activity, spiritual connection, criticism of the theory that the organ exerts no function, and description of a hormone secreted by the gland (reference alluding to melatonin, isolated 13 years later). The historical background for each theme was outlined, together with the theories present in the Spiritist books and in the relevant scientific literature. The present article provides an analysis of the knowledge the scientific community can acquire from the history of humanity and from science itself. The process of formulating hypotheses and scientific theories can benefit by drawing on the cultural aspects of civilization, taking into account so-called non-traditional reports and theories.

PMID:
24522019
[PubMed – in process]
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Rare medical conditions and suggestive past-life memories: a case report and literature review

Author information

  • Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Brazil; São Paulo Medical Spiritist Association, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address: g.lucchetti@yahoo.com.br.

Abstract

We aim to report the case of a 38-year-old male with suggestive past-life memories during a regression session and to show how these memories were related to unusual medical conditions: (1) isolated obstruction of the right coronary artery in a young patient, (2) omental infarction, and (3) right aortic arch with isolation of the left subclavian artery. These conditions were related to the following suggestive past-life memories: (1) a priest who committed suicide with a crucifix nailed to his chest and (2) a medieval weapon (skull flail) hitting his cervical and left back region. There was an intriguing relation between the patient’s suggestive past-life memories and rare medical conditions. In this article, the authors highlight possible explanations, rarity of findings, and similarities/differences from previous cases and potential pitfalls in this area.

© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Reincarnation, Spirituality, Suggestive past-life memories

PMID:
24199777
[PubMed – in process]
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On the belief that one body may be host to two or more personalities

Abstract

The belief in the validity of the multiple personality concept is discussed in this article. Two scaffolding constructions are analyzed: dissociation and repression. As generally employed, these constructions grant no agency to the multiple personality patient. The claim is made that the conduct of interest arises in discourse, usually with the therapist as the discourse partner. In reviewing the history of multiple personality and the writings of current advocates, it becomes clear that contemporary users of the multiple personality disorder diagnosis participate in a subculture with its own set of myths, one of which is the autonomous actions of mental faculties. Of special significance is the readiness to transfigure imaginings into rememberings of child abuse, leading ultimately to the manufacture of persons. The implications for both therapy and theory of regarding the patient as agent in place of the belief that the contranormative conduct is under the control of mentalistic faculties are discussed.

PMID:
7737761
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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The interface between multiple personality, spirit mediumship, and hypnosis

Author information

  • University of Miami.

Abstract

In this paper I draw parallels between multiple personality, spirit mediumship, and hypnosis from historical, anthropological, and clinical perspectives. I emphasize Milton H. Erickson’s view of multiple personalities as not necessarily pathological but as potential resources. He employed hypnosis to gain access to personalities and to transform their behavior from involuntary to voluntary actions. I discuss similarities between this view and the use of spirits as a resource with mediums. Natural trance therapies in other cultures offer a new perspective for viewing the normalcy or pathology of “other selves.”

PMID:
1543146
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Where the imaginal appears real: a positron emission tomography study of auditory hallucinations

Abstract

An auditory hallucination shares with imaginal hearing the property of being self-generated and with real hearing the experience of the stimulus being an external one. To investigate where in the brain an auditory event is “tagged” as originating from the external world, we used positron emission tomography to identify neural sites activated by both real hearing and hallucinations but not by imaginal hearing. Regional cerebral blood flow was measured during hearing, imagining, and hallucinating in eight healthy, highly hypnotizable male subjects prescreened for their ability to hallucinate under hypnosis (hallucinators). Control subjects were six highly hypnotizable male volunteers who lacked the ability to hallucinate under hypnosis (nonhallucinators). A region in the right anterior cingulate (Brodmann area 32) was activated in the group of hallucinators when they heard an auditory stimulus and when they hallucinated hearing it but not when they merely imagined hearing it. The same experimental conditions did not yield this activation in the group of nonhallucinators. Inappropriate activation of the right anterior cingulate may lead self-generated thoughts to be experienced as external, producing spontaneous auditory hallucinations.

PMID:
9465124
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC19222

Free PMC Article

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Clairvoyant Diagnosis

Mental-health-007

This experiment assesses the accuracy of a non-medically trained Spiritualist medium in her ability to identify a medically diagnosed disease. The case is also illustrative of the discovery of one earthbound attached spirit and one discarnate entity that uses energy for its own survival that is transmitted by a living human. The dynamic relationship between the disease and the discarnate entities is implied.

Click on the image for a transcription.

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Demonic attributions in nondelusional disorders

Abstract

demonicOBJECTIVE:

Belief in demonic influence has repeatedly been described as a delusion in schizophrenic patients. The goal of this explorative study was to examine the frequency, as well as the psychodynamic and social functions of such beliefs in a sample of nondelusional patients.

METHOD:

The sample consisted of 343 psychiatric outpatients who described themselves as religious. In semistructured interviews they were asked to give their view of demonic causality of their illness.

RESULTS:

A high prevalence of such beliefs was not only found in schizophrenic patients (56%) but also in the following groups of nondelusional patients: affective disorders (29%), anxiety disorders (48%), personality disorders (37%) and adjustment disorders (23%). Belief in demonic oppression tended to be associated with lower educational level and rural origin, and was significantly influenced by church affiliation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Beliefs in possession or demonic influence are not confined to delusional disorders and should not be qualified as a mere delusion. Rather they have to be interpreted against the cultural and religious background which is shaping causal models of mental distress in the individual.

PMID:
10494064
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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Comparison of brazilian spiritist mediumship and dissociative identity disorder

Abstract

BODY, MIND, SPIRIT Detail:Center of 3 panels. SACRED MIRRORS,  Alex Grey, 1985We studied the similarities and differences between Brazilian Spiritistic mediums and North American dissociative identity disorder (DID) patients. Twenty-four mediums selected among different Spiritistic organizations in São Paulo, Brazil, were interviewed using the Dissociative Disorder Interview Schedule, and their responses were compared with those of DID patients described in the literature. The results from Spiritistic mediums were similar to published data on DID patients only with respect to female prevalence and high frequency of Schneiderian first-rank symptoms. As compared with individuals with DID, the mediums differed in having better social adjustment, lower prevalence of mental disorders, lower use of mental health services, no use of antipsychotics, and lower prevalence of histories of physical or sexual childhood abuse, sleepwalking, secondary features of DID, and symptoms of borderline personality. Thus, mediumship differed from DID in having better mental health and social adjustment, and a different clinical profile.

PMID:
18477886
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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