Friday, June 16, 2017

Ouija Boards and Cult Cures - 1920 Article

Ouija Boards and Cult Cures, article in the California State Journal of Medicine 1920

Ordinarily we would consider it a waste of space to contradict or refer remotely to the extravagant claims made by the legion of cultists for their weird theories of healing.

One day we read the paid propaganda of chiropractors setting forth the absurdity that they lost only one patient out of every 886 afflicted with this, that, and the other malady, and the next day we find the Osteopaths “in sweet vociferation out-vociferize" the claims of other cults. The ratio of loss which they admit is the mere trifle of one fourth of one per cent.

In addition to this, we have “miracle men" in California as plentiful as blackberries in June, that eclipse the chiropractors and Osteopaths in staple and fancy promises, and whilst they have not yet reduced their performances to a percentage basis. they unctuously announce that “nothing is impossible with God."

Since the Kaiser dissolved partnership with the Deity numberless ones claim to be the direct representatives and distort texts from sacred books that they know naught of. During the war. when the world needed healing most, these healers and cultists were strangely silent. The statesmen of the world, those in authority responsible for the health of the fighting forces, and for all those who were sustaining the fighting forces on land and sea, would have employed these "one fourth of one percenters” if there was any sound reason to believe that they could make their boasting good.

Shakespeare said in his day, “the devil can cite scripture for his purpose,” and long before Shakespeare’s day and long after it, we find the citing of cures and texts invariably associated with charlatanism. A verselet from the Scripture engraved on a coin was recommended for rheumatism and biliousness. If the coin was received as alms in front of the church, and the rheumatism or biliousness was devoutly ordered to take possession of a bird, the result was invariably happy.
Pseudo-science and quackery down through the ages have offered nostrums for which great claims were made and great cures published. Sometimes these were alleged medical discoveries, at other times physical fatuities, and now and again religious phantasms. They have had and have this common characteristic made familiar by patent medicine advertisements. They offer as evidence extraordinary cures to support the extraordinary claims made for the curative value of each peculiar theory. Any attempt to examine the evidence to determine whether the cures are real or fancied, is considered by some as impertinent and others as irreligious.

Health laws and laws governing medical science have been enacted for the benefit of all the people. They are not placed on the statute books to promote private purposes or advance peculiar theories. The observance of health laws cannot be left to the option of any individual or any small clique or class of individuals.

It is incumbent, therefore, on those who by practice and profession are charged with the duty of leading and instructing in the health affairs of the State, to be vigilant and constantly watch the tendency of new therapeutic movements and analyze the principles and scrutinize the performances of the movers.

Under scientific scrutiny prevalent miracle methods disclose all the classic features and delusions that their numberlcss predecessors possessed. Anyone will be highly entertained and informed by reading Dr. Cutten’s “Three Thousand Years of Mental Healing" and Pettigrew’s “Superstitions Connected with Medicine and Surgery.”

You will find that the present supernatural operations, thruster, rubbers, harlequins, claimants extraordinary, in fact, the whole circus parade— all have very ancient prototypes, and the only difference is that the present day cultists have a steam calliope both before and after their parade.

The Ouija board has invaded their mysterious field, and is now their most formidable competitor. Delvers in deep pyschic phenomena and esoteric occultism claim that the Ouija board is entitled to special consideration, and that its performances should not be passed upon by a hostile “Medical Trust.”

Recently at El Cerrito, Contra Costa County, the devotees that were laying their hands on the Ouija board claimed to have performed marvelous cures. By burning the clothes and a good round sum of money in obedience to the “scientific” instructors of the Ouija board, one was cured of a severe malady that leading doctors had pronounced incurable and a little girl was saved from dying by cropping and burning her hair.

Doubtless the Scientific Society of Ouija Board Practitioners were just about to issue a fruitage and statistical report giving the character and percentage of cures together with grateful testimonies of the “well-heeled,” when the officers of Contra Costa County stopped them and called in doctors who can distinguish the difference between sanity and insanity. Two of the Ouija board devotees were committed to the State hospital at Stockton. and two were sent to Napa.

The Ouija Board Society has passed resolutions condemning the “Medical Trust” and urging all those who have received benefits from Ouijapractic to write boost articles to their local newspapers, and also denounce the arbitrary methods of the "Medical Trust.”

Ouijapractic is the most formidable foe that has yet joined the allied cultists in their absurd attack on an imaginary “Medical Trust.”

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