185. Dr. William Bengston ignored by cancer industry

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Glenn Haya, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Glenn Haya

    Glenn Haya New

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    I know this is an older show but it is one that has stuck with me since the results Bengston reported were so undeniably amazing; curing mice of the same cancer which in 100s of previous experiments produced a 100% mortality rate. There really is no conventional explanation that could account for the results Bengston reported. I would really love to hear from the other people involved in the experiments to get their point of view. I have looked everywhere, read Bengstons book, etc., but nowhere can I find statements made by others who witnessed or participated in the experiments and I think it would be a valuable follow up show.

    The most obvious candidate is David Krinsley, whose contact information could be found here http://geology.uoregon.edu/courtesy-appointments/
    He has apparently had a very prestigious academic career, published multiple times in Nature. Probably up there in years now. His name is on the original paper with Bengston but unfortunately nowhere is his perspective recorded as far as I can tell. Would be fascinating to here if he can confirm or add a new perspective. So just wanted to put that out there in case Alex also thought it would be worth following up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  2. Alex

    Alex New

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    Hi Glenn... thx. I'm also fascinated with Bengston's work. Perhaps you could follow-up along the lines mentioned and report back to us.
     
  3. perandre

    perandre Member

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    I read the book, too. While the claims are extrordinary, they seem well documented. I do however feel that he communicated two different things: Most of his book, he gave the impression that this is a non-spiritual practice, and that non-gifted people can (probably) do it. At the very end of the book however, he goes on to mention that Ben and himself was sometimes accompanied by spiritual beings, and that he himself sometimes calls upon them.

    Now, if these powers came to be after mystical visitations/experiences (or are in any way connected to the spiritual), it seems like something not so tempting to try to replicate. At least, it's a different kind of experiment.

    It would be interesting to know where Bengston actually stands; are the healings actually possible withouth the religious touch? My guess is he would say yes, while his experience probably is that he met Ben's helpers before his first healing, so he really can't tell.
     
  4. conceptualinertia

    conceptualinertia Member

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  5. perandre

    perandre Member

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    Looks like Moga did a successful study in 2009, without Bengston. http://www.examiner.com/article/can-cancer-cures-come-from-healing-hands

    On a different note: My hamster was recently diagnosed with uncurable cancer. I might try some weeks using the Bengston technique (unless she starts getting pain; then I would have to take her to the vet). It certainly would be a meaningful and interesting experiment, should the outcome be positive.
     
  6. Glenn Haya

    Glenn Haya New

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    Thanks for bringing this up. I read the book a long time ago and either missed this or forgot it but, like you said, he kind of throws this in at the very end and it certainly does change the narative. I don't really know exactly what to make of that, but it gives me something to think about...
     
  7. perandre

    perandre Member

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    So much for the hamster experiment; my little sweetie died a few hours after the first session. At least I got to memorize a 20 item cycling list.

    As for Carol Hayes, it's obvious from the book that she did not want to dig more into energy healing. I find it very strange, unless there is something we don't know.
     
  8. Obiwan

    Obiwan Member

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    Even if such healing is possible, everything dies eventually. I guess a positive result would be interesting but a negative result doesn't really indicate anything in particular as far as I can see.
     
  9. perandre

    perandre Member

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    One aspect that is interesting in particular, is the "do it yourself" attitude of the book. Would be really interesting if some one from the forum would read the book and start experimenting (and share the results). Perhaps start with an animal ...
     
  10. Obiwan

    Obiwan Member

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    I've ordered the book.
     
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  11. Alex

    Alex New

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    good catch. thx.
     
  12. RickScr

    RickScr New

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    Having just attended a four day conference on the Bengston method of healing the weekend of Jan 10th 2015 from what I saw and heard from Dr. Bengston himself religion/spirituality are not a requirement. In point of fact he was quite adamant in stating that the best frame of mind for a successful healing is ambivalence. Just let the "healing energy" do its thing. From Bengston's perspective the whole spirituality/religious belief attitude that a true believer brings to the table would at best not matter at all and at worse totally derail a successful healing. As far as the experimental protocol for picking healer candidates he prefers people with no background in spirituality or other potential healing modalities.

    I would think running into this energy healing thing and trying to answer the questions that would inevitably arise creates a bit of a slippery slope that our western science really has no answers for. So one would be forced to look elsewhere for some sort of a rationalization. That said, throughout the lectures Bengston really had no answers for what causes the effect of healing. Just that you can do experiments that have been replicated where the result is essentially a miraculous cure from what was previously certain death by doing nothing but putting your hands around cages full of cancerous mice.
     
  13. Plato's Cavern

    Plato's Cavern New

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    Well... I've read a little about Bengston and his energy healing. I was a physician myself, had a session in an oncology dept during my time of exercice. I won't lie: we sometimes opened doors (backdoors that is) and kept healers inside up to our palliative care rooms, only on the patient's demand and because it could do no harm and soothe somehow the dying person and his/her family. These 'healers' were all picked up and called at the his bedside by the patient himself. That process had me witnessed several of these healing attempts, tried out by several different healers. They all had a slightly different way of doing it, but were more or less brushing their hands around the patient's body, some of them touching it, even palpating or massaging in a way while others would just move their palms around, gravitating around the body if you will, without any skin contact. Anyway... At my knowledge, there has never been any miracle of any sort coming out of those attempts ; the patients who were to die died, all of them and without improvement in health -save for a psychological improvement at times I have to say (which is already a little something), the ill ones often being more confident and calm after these sessions.
    So here's my thought: Bengston claims are huge. Let me repeat, they are enormous, gigantic, paradigm shiffters in force. Yet, I have a very hard time believing that since 2009 nobody tried this on humans when there was nothing else left to try, and that any succes in that matter would have stayed in the dark and unspoken of. Back in the days, I was really intrigued by Bengston experiments upon mice, because, for once, it had the scientific method involved with results and not just gesturing with the hands before soon to be dead cancer patients. But as time went by and nothing more came up regarding humans being healed, with obviously no more succes -even on mice-, I'm really filled with doubts as of now and have an uneasy feeling about these trials.
     
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  14. RickScr

    RickScr New

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    @Plato - Interesting comment. Part of the issue you may be experiencing is the fact that the best success with energy healing at least for the Bengston method seems to depend on the patient having an intact immune system. So those on deaths door step having gone through various traditional methods before trying Bengston in many cases would have immune system issues to say the least. It seems that Bengston energy as far as cancer goes assists the body to heal itself using the immune system. Experiments with mice that are bred with no immune system failed while those with a normal immune system were always successful. One way to confirm the results would be to run your own experiment using Bengston's experimental model. He is still giving the occasional seminar that would help kick start you down that road if you have any interest in pursuing it. You can contact Equilibrium Energy to find the next date.
     
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  15. Trancestate

    Trancestate Member

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    Professor Margaret Moga has continued to pursue her research in the generation of magnetic fields during energy healing sessions. Here are two recent papers by her:

    Magnetic field activity during psychic healing: A preliminary study with Healing Touch practitioners (2014)

    Healing Waves (2013)

    In addition, there's this paper by her and Bengston:
    Anomalous Magnetic Field Activity During a BIoenergy Healing Experiment (2010)

    And this recent blog post by her:
    Magnetic field activity during healing sessions with Dr. Bengston

    Regardless of the degree of efficacy in energy healing, I think the presence of anomalous magnetic fields during healing sessions is intriguing and needs to be explored further.

    Doug
     
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  16. Alex

    Alex New

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    you're suggesting fraud on a pretty large scale: http://www.bengstonresearch.com/research/scientific-articles

    moreover, there's a pretty good body of research on intention.
     
  17. I think that it is a mistake to assume that healing one type of cancer in an experimental model in mice logically implies that energy healing can cure any type of cancer in any person - and if it doesn't then the explanation is fraud. Conventional treatments don't exist for all diseases and existing treatments don't always work on every patient. If energy healing doesn't live up to the miraculous claims made for it, it is possible that the claims made are wrong but that energy healing does have some value.

    In my experiences learning to do spiritual healing at Spirtiualist churches, I saw that energy healing is a real phenomenon. I saw it work, but I didn't see it perform miracles. I was taught that it should be used in conjunction with mainstream medicine and not as a replacement for it. I was also taught not to make claims about what it can accomplish. Research should focus on determining the capabilities of energy healing and the techniques and training of healers that work best, not on all or nothing public demonstrations that are simply publicity stunts.

    I sympathize with those who think Bengston should put up or shut up. His extraordinary claims are just muddying the waters, creating confusion and unrealistic expectations which when unrealized lead to people thinking the whole thing is a fraud, when in reality there is a real phenomenon that needs to be properly understood so that it can be used to help people in ways it is suited for.

    Bengston's claims were discussed in another thread and it seems to me that Bengston's research on mice was probably valid but his claims about treatment of humans are exaggerated:

    All these three were aggressive cancers that according to Bill's definition should have been "pieces of cake" but weren't. Incidentally the organizer of one of Bill's later workshops with whom he is no longer affiliated claimed in her promotional literature that our first pancreatic cancer patient, who had died six weeks prior, was alive and well and had gone back to work. There are other inaccuracies, as in this FAQ from Equilibrium Energy. Note the paragraph which claims that Bill and the therapists he trained have been successfully treating "bone, pancreatic, breast, brain, rectal, lymphatic, [and] stomach [cancer], [and] leukemia" for 35 years. This is a paragraph taken from the introduction his book with "and his therapists" added to it. I don't know whether Equilibrium Energy still hands out this FAQ, but it's on the web.

    I think the only claims that can me made pertain to Bill's experiments. Everything else is very vague. "Anecdotally" people have had success -- but what does that mean? What is success? Is it a full remission? Does an extra year of life with relatively good quality of life count? The method works, but not to the degree that most of us would want. It keeps being marketed on the strength of the mice and on the hope that it may work for people. I have not been able to find out what kind of success other people have had with it and I would be overjoyed to hear about actual documented cancer remissions by people who have learned the method.

    I also think the qi-gong is the most advanced form of energy healing and researchers should seek out qi-gong practitioners if they want to study the phenomenon, and not invent techniques of unknown efficacy until they are ready to compare techniques and training methods. Qi-gong masters don't just hold out their hands and hope it works, they are trained to sense the qualities of the energy.

    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2009/06/sensing-qualities-of-qi.html


    http://www.qigonginstitute.org/html/papers.php
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
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