A Spell Away From School

I wished I’d tried this one when I was at Gisborne Girl’s High. An Oklahoma student has been suspended from school for casting a spell against a teacher, reports the Dominion (Monday October 30). The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on behalf of the student and also charged the school with repeatedly violating her rights by seizing notebooks she used to write horror stories and barring her from drawing or wearing signs of the pagan religion Wicca. No mention was made of how the teacher was faring…

Chinese Herbal Remedies Defended

Chinese doctors are less than impressed by the findings of a study published in Thorax Journal which said their treatments were a waste of money and may not be safe. Wellington doctor Jun Wu said he’d never had problems with side effects in his clinic and English medicine had only been used for 100 years.

“Chinese people have just used herbal medicines for thousands of years and they have been very successful.”

The Evening Post (Monday November 6) says the study found none of the herbal treatments used by asthmatics had been proved to work and some could even trigger potentially dangerous reactions.

Medium Help

A friend of Terri King consulted a clairvoyant to try and find out about his disappearance, says the Evening Post (Friday May 4).

Michelle King (no relation) said in Porirua District Court that she showed some of Mr King’s belongings to the clairvoyant, who wanted to “feel his energies”. These included photographs of another of Mr King’s friends, the man who has now been accused of his murder, the court was told. However, what the clairvoyant said to the witness was suppressed by the judge so we don’t know how the medium performed…

More To Us Than Computers Made of Meat

The first scientific study of near-death experiences has found evidence to suggest that consciousness or “the soul” can continue to exist after the brain has ceased to function, reports the NZ Herald (Monday October 30).

Based on a year-long study of heart attack survivors at Southampton General Hospital’s cardiac unit, the study says that a number of people have almost certainly had near-death experiences. These include seeing bright lights and heavenly beings after they were pronounced clinically dead. Authors Dr Peter Fenwick and Dr Sam Parnia emphasise more research is needed.

During the study period 63 cardiac arrest patients survived and were interviewed within a week. Of those, 56 had no recollection of their period of unconsciousness. Seven survivors had memories, although only four of those passed the Grayson scale, the strict medical criteria for assessing such experiences. By examining medical records, the researchers said the contention of many critics that near-death experiences were the result of a collapse of brain functions caused by lack of oxygen was highly unlikely. None of those who had experiences had low levels of oxygen. Researchers also ruled out claims that unusual combinations of drugs were to blame because the resuscitation procedure was the same in every case. The Bishop of Basingstoke, the Rt Rev Geoffrey Rowell said: “These near-death experiences counter the materialist view that we are nothing more than computers made of meat”.

Have No Fear – The Harmoniser Will Soon Be Here

Fret no more about those harmful radiation emissions – a Mobile Phone Personal Harmoniser will soon be on the market. Created by The Centre for Implosion Research, England, the device is a flat twin spiral of hollow copper containing energized water, which can be placed inside the cover of a mobile phone or carried.

While not being able to block or reduce emissions, the harmoniser strengthens the immune system. Its secret, says The Press (12 November 2000), is based on the simple fact that 70% of every human is made of water. But wait – there’s more. Carrying a harmoniser also protects from general environmental electromagnetic pollution caused by radio transmitters and high-voltage power lines. Mobile phone sales for one British distributor increased by 150% in just three months since the device went on sale there…

Telepathy Trial Draws a Blank

If you’ve already read David Marks’s article, you won’t be at all surprised that the world’s biggest psychic experiment has failed to come up with any evidence for telepathy (Dominion, January 4). During the course of 10 experiments, several hundred people failed to project a set of images to volunteers in a sealed room several hundred metres away. The trial, by Richard Wiseman, aimed to see whether a large number of people could boost the strength of telepathic signals. Receivers were placed in a ganzfeld state. The last time an ESP experiment was carried out on this scale was during a Grateful Dead concert, 30 years ago. On that occasion it was reported the participants needed little help getting onto the sort of relaxed, out-of-body state required.


…and the Evening Post (01-01-01 – just had to write the date that way) reports that babies born on that date will experience a high life. Wellington astrologer Alison Maciver (wisely) warns that high temperatures and knocks to the head will need to be checked out and (don’t need to be a brain surgeon to guess this -) she says right from the start the New Year’s babies will make their presence felt and be heard. Here’s another gem – “sleep will be necessary for good health”. Numerologist Julian Ching said a child with 01-01-01 (got it in again!) as its birthdate would go far in life and would be a decisive, independent leader with above average intelligence.

Black Cats Banned

Summer solstice was celebrated with a ceremony and potluck dinner by some of Wellington’s witches late last year. About 16 people attended the ceremony but most left their black cats behind. Wiccan Association Wellington chairperson Jude said there was a lot of misunderstanding about modern witches. “…there’s no demon worshipping. We like to get out into nature and a lot of us have an interest in herbs. It’s very pagan.” Sounds like a good excuse for a picnic to me.

Putting Their Bigfoot In It?

Finally, the Evening Post (20 December 2000) tells of a 36 year hunt for Russia’s very own “snezhny chelovek” or Bigfoot. He’s said to be nearly 3m tall, adores water melon and doesn’t smell too good. Dmitri Bayanov has been looking for him for more than three decades. “And I’ll keep searching until my dying day,” he said. The search began after members of the Soviet Academy of Science advanced the theory that a manlike primate may originally have migrated from Asia to North America.

Reluctant tool of destiny

The gunman who shot Pope John Paul in 1981, Mehmet Ali Agca, says his action was predestined and seeks an early release, according to a report in the Evening Post.

The Pope revealed in June last year that one of the Vatican’s most closely guarded secrets foretold the failed attempt on his life. The divine explanation is a godsend for Agca, whose motives have never been fully clarified.

“It is clear, I was predestined,” he said from prison. The attack had been prophesied in a message which three Portuguese shepherd children said they had received from the Virgin Mary in apparitions in 1917.

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