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Body and Soul 

Life before serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and boner pills

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Before every kid in America was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADD, behavioral optometrists were upping their reading scores and getting them off Ritalin with "vision therapy." Channelers and psychic healers were performing at the Convention Center, and there was at least one specialist in "entertainment medicine." Maybe it really worked. Maybe we just wanted to believe. Here’s some of what we wrote:

From "Rosalyn Bruyere: Seeing, touching, healing," by Celeste Fremon; March 1, 1979

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Rosalyn Lee Bruyere can reconnect a damaged optic nerve with psychic surgery and restore a woman’s eye to sight before an astonished crowd of 500 at the Los Angeles Con vention Center. She casually dissolves a tumor the size of a large lime in the throat of an oil-company executive by running energy into it for 15 minutes. She can accurately diagnose illness by gazing at the pulsating colored lights around people’s bodies that are as visible to her as clothing is to the rest of us.

But what really knocks you out is the realization that this 32-year-old ex–supermarket checker and divorcée with two kids who dresses like some uptown San Fernando Valley housewife may genuinely have the capability to bridge the yawning chasm between the objective world of science and medicine and the subjective nether regions of the metaphysical and the miraculous. The former motorcycle racer nicknamed "Razzle Dazzle Roz" (because when she speaks in public she sounds more rock & roll queen than psychic) can explain what she does just as easily in terms of quantum physics as she can in the classical traditions of ancient mysticism. In doing so she has drawn the attention of the dubious but fascinated medical establishment. Rosalyn Bruyere is making psychic healing respectable.

From "Muscle Magic"; February 1, 1980

One fascinating diagnostic technique used by many holistic practitioners is "muscle testing," or determining blocks and weaknesses in various body areas by testing the strength of related muscles. You can try this at home yourself. One fun test is with L.A.’s tap water and the effects it has on the body. Hold your right arm out straight in front of you and ask someone to push down on it firmly but gently. Brace against the push as much as you can until you get a sense of how strong is the muscle that holds your arm stiff.

Now take a mouthful of L.A. water and hold it under your tongue, so that the chemicals in it can be quickly carried to the rest of your body by your blood system. Ask your friend to test your arm again while you hold the water in your mouth. If you notice a difference in your ability to resist the pressure, a sudden weakness, you might relate that to all the chemicals and pollutants in our water.

For an interesting comparison, try the same test with clean spring water from a bottle. You can use the same test with sugar, tobacco or junk food treated with preservatives. If the responses surprise you, you might begin to understand how muscle testing works as a diagnostic technique, with skilled practitioners able to diagnose any and every organ of the body.

From "Leonard Orr and the Purification of Planet Earth," by Barbara Bottner; June 13, 1980

Death, Leonard [Orr] says, is just a learned experience, part of our programming. If we can rid ourselves of the idea that we will die, the certainty of it, if we can clean out those negative expectations, maybe we won’t die after all. Death is just another case of thoughts creating reality.

How did a trained Presbyterian, a Bible major in college, come up with such a strange twist to religious thought?

It started one day while Leonard was sitting in a sauna and disobeying the warning that limited the experience to only five minutes. When he crawled out, an hour later, fighting for consciousness, he decided it wasn’t only the heat but the memory of being in the womb that was blocking off consciousness. This was the beginning of rebirthing . . .

From "Mobius — L.A.’s Twilight Zone Corporation," by Mary Beth Crain; December 3, 1982

There are some facts that, even when they are fully, unimpeachably, "scientifically" documented, still stretch the limits of the human belief system. Here, for instance, are three:

1) Aided only by psychics, a Los Angeles– based corporation was able to locate, in an area of 180 square yards on a chart covering 1,500 square miles, the 80-to-90-year-old wreck of a wooden ship not even known to exist.

2) Again utilizing psychics, the same corporation located objects from the lost city of Marea in Alexandria, Egypt — a find that had eluded archaeologists for more than 100 years.

3) The corporation was contracted by the district attorney of an eastern state, who requested psychic help in the investigation of the kidnap/murder of a 14-year-old girl. According to the district attorney, more than 90 percent of the information provided by the psychics was accurate. "In light of the limited background you gave your respondents," the district attorney wrote, "their findings were very impressive."

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