The international French-Italian scientific theological commission “on the extraordinary events that are taking place in Medjugorje” examined the apparitions of Medjugorje the most competently and the most expertly. The assembly of seventeen renowned natural scientists, doctors, psychiatrists and theologians in their research came to a 12 point conclusion on January 14, 1986 in Paina near Milan.
So far it is the most conscientious and the most complete research of the Medjugorje phenomena, and, for that very reason, it is the most positive that has yet been said about it on a scientific-theological level.
A French team of experts headed by Mr. Henri Joyeux also undertook a very serious work of examination of the visionaries. Employing the most modern equipment and expertise, it examined the internal reactions of the visionaries before, during, and after the apparitions. Likewise, the synchronization of their ocular, auditory, cardiac, and cerebral reactions. The results of that commission were very significant. They showed that the object of observation is external to the visionaries, and that any external manipulation or mutual agreement between the visionaries is excluded. The results with individual electro-encephalograms and other reactions are collected and elaborated in a special book (H. Joyeux - R. Laurentin, Etudes medicales et scientifique sur les Apparitions de Medjugorje, Paris 1986).
The results of the last mentioned commission confirmed the conclusions of the international commission and, for their part, they proved that the apparitions, to which the visionaries testify, are a phenomenon that surpasses modern science and that all points toward some other level of happening.
At the request of the Parish Office of Međugorje, psycho-physiological and psycho-diagnostic research was carried out on the subjects who since 1981 are known as the visionaries' group of Međugorje.
The research was carried out in four sessions:
The incompleteness of the psycho-physiological investigation was caused by the partial cooperation of some subjects who did not undergo what the working group had expected, due either to their family or social obligations or to their personal reluctance, even though Fr. Slavko Barbarić and Fr. Ivan Landeka encouraged them to do it, without any influences on the programs of the working group called "Međugorje 3", because, apart from individual medical or psychological investigation, prior to this research two groups had operated: the first a group of French doctors in 1984, and the second a group of Italian doctors in 1985. In addition three European psychiatrists in 1986 carried out only psychiatric-diagnostic investigations.
The following collaborated in the "Međugorje 3" work group:
The following tests were used on the subjects to investigate their actual psychophysical and psychological situation:
For all the tests performed the visionaries made their decision with full freedom, readiness and collaboration.
The results from these psychological-diagnostic investigations show that:
During the period since age 17, from the beginning of their apparitional experiences, the subjects do not exhibit any kind of pathological symptoms like trance interference, disassociate interference and loss of reality interference.
All subjects investigated, however, exhibited symptoms that are related to justified stress that occurs through very high levels of exogenous and endogenous stimulation as a consequence of every day life.
From their personal testimonies it follows that the initial and subsequent altered state of consciousness occurs due to their unusual experiences which they themselves recognize and define and still continuously recognize as a vision/apparition of Our Lady.
The psychophysical investigation was carried out on four states of consciousness:
The aim was to investigate whether the ecstatic state of apparition, already registered in 1985 by the Italian doctors working group, still continues to be present or has undergone changes. In addition it was desired to investigate potential coincidence/divergence with other states off consciousness such as guided visualization or hypnosis.
Results of the investigation carried out demonstrate that the ecstatic phenomenology can be compared to the one from 1985 with somewhat less intensity.
The hypnotically induced state of ecstasy did not cause the phenomenology of spontaneous experiences and therefore it can be deduced that the ecstatic states of spontaneous apparitions were not states of hypnotic trance.
Capiago Intimiano, December 12, 1998
Fr. Andreas Resch, Dr. Giorgio Gagliardi, Dr. Marco Margnelli, Dr. Marianna Bolko, Dr. Gabriella Raffaelli.
James Paul Pandarakalam, Department of Psychiatry Soho House, 362 Soho Road, Handsworth, Birmingham B21 9QL, UK; 6 Fountain Lane, Barming, Maidstone, Kent ME16 9AR, UK
This article presents the history of six young healthy adults experiencing an apparition on a daily basis over a prolonged period. The medical tests suggest that there is objective and subjective or nonobjective visionary experience. There is partial and variable disconnection from the outside world at the time of apparitional experience, and sensations travel in a normal manner to the brain of the Medjugorje seers, but the findings of evoked auditory potential tests and screening tests show that the cerebral cortex does not perceive the transmission of the auditory and visual neuronal stimuli received from the immediate environment. Electro-oculographic recording confirms that their eyes are converging at the same point. There are both normal and altered physiological parameters. There is a cluster of synchronisms suggesting objectivity. Complementary psychological and parapsychological observations are presented. There is no evidence to suggest the probability of autohypnosis. The collective percipience, stronger motivation on the part of the apparition, quasiphysical features of the apparition, integration of the apprearer to the natural environment, utmost loyalty and obedience of the percipients to the agent, and controlled "psychokinetic-like" manifestations point toward a true apparition at Medjugorje. The voice phenomenon observed at the time of the Medjugorje apparitional experience is reported in other sites of Marian apparition and not in any other religious or paranormal phenomenon.
Keywords: apparitional experience, voice phenomenon, dual modes of perception, superior psychokinetic-like power
FULL TEXT: Are the Apparitions of Medjugorje Real?