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Originally posted by Nygdan
Stigmata-like wounds have been reproduced in controlled experimental conditions, as have 'beautific visions'
From what I've read and heard, many stigmata cases are faked,
Tantalizing evidence comes to us from the medical journals, which report numerous cases of "psychogenic purpuras." These are instances of nonreligious stigmata, in which patients with emotional disorders experience unexplained painful bruising and swelling and occasionally even bleeding through apparently intact skin. One theory blames "autoerythrocyte sensitization," in which individuals react pathologically to their own blood.
Murphy, 234-5. Account given by Sir Claude Wade, a British resident of the court of the Maharaja Runjeet Singh;
Psychiatrist Robert Moody, for example, described a man treated for attacks of somnambulism who exhibited indentations on his arms that resembled rope marks. These appeared when he was reliving an episode during which he had been tied in bed to inhibit his sleepwalking.... Though it was conceivable, Moody wrote, that his patient might have tied a rope around himself to cause the first set of indentations, "on the second occasion strict observation made trickery impossible; so it is difficult to see how the occurrence can be explained in any way other than as a genuine psychosomatic phenomenon." [...] During catharsis, a patient once buried by a bomb explosion exhibited a swelling on his left ankle where he had been struck, and a second on his head where he had been hit during the same incident. The abreaction of a merchant seaman who had fallen into an icy sea precipitated a localized inhibition of blood flow to his extremities. And a woman who relived a riding accident exhibited psychogenic bruising on her right side where she had fractured some ribs in her fall....
Moody described a female patient who had exhibited several psychogenic marks. These included a red mark on her shoulder that appeared as she relived a beating in which a whip had caught her on the very spot; a swelling of her right wrist after she recalled an accident in which the wrist had been fractured; red streaks on her legs that corresponded to wounds caused by yet another accident; and the appearance of a bruise that resembled the imprint of an elaborately carved stick her father had used to beat her. Moody also described an experiment he had conducted with the same patient. After recalling an incident in which she had been struck across the hands, she exhibited red streaks where her father's whip had left bloody marks. Moody then encased her right hand in a firm plaster bandage, which he removed the following morning in the presence of his colleague to find "obvious bloodstains on the dressing immediately covering the weals."...
same page, different subject slightly:
Another hysterical somatization is false pregnancy or pseudocyesis. Murphy describes some of the symptoms:
The pseudocyesis cases reviewed by Biven and Klinger and by Fried involved the following symptoms, in the order of their frequency: (1) partial or complete disappearance of menses, usually lasting for nine months; (2) abdominal enlargement; (3) breast changes, including swelling and tenderness; secretion of milk and colostrum, pigmentation; and enlarged papillae; (4) sensations of "fetal movements"; (5) softening of the cervix and enlargement of the uterus; (6) nausea and vomiting, sometimes with aberrations of appetite; and (7) weight gain, usually greater than in pregnancy...
another one from teh same, not a controlled experiement, but anecdotal nonetheless:
When she was 13, [her] father scratched her down her back with his fingernails, leaving three long scars. These healed over in time. Four years later, at the age of 17, she had left home because of her father's brutality, and was living in the country with her brother.... Somehow [he] found out where she was, and announced he would pay a visit. The patient reports now that as the time of the visit approached, her old back scars, which had been healed for four years, would redden and bleed.... This reddening and bleeding of the three old healed scars would recede spontaneously, but these episodes recurred several times, each with the anticipation of a visit from her father.
here is an unverified blog entry:
and the stigmata thing: they tested the psychosomatic thing by hypnotising people and placing in their minds the thoughts of being crucified. one young girl started bleeding from the forhead and blood was running down her face at the suggestion that a crown of thorns was being placed on her head. again, very fascinating stuff.
here's what looks like another blog entry, with a possible source:
was so deeply intrigued in the History channels "Mysterious Marvels" special on the Stigmata. [...] Basically many neurologists and psychologists have shown evidence that people in a hypnotic state can produce the same physical manifestations of pain.
coincidentally enough I just found this
Science has verified that some people under extreme stress and fear for their lives can sweat blood like Jesus allegedly did in the Garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion. Surely under suggestion or hypnosis it would be possible for one to produce this bleeding from certain areas of the body corresponding to the crucifixion marks of Jesus Christ? A person like that has never been found with perhaps a couple of exceptions mentioned in Ian Wilson’s The Bleeding Mind.
here is another:
Thurston believed stigmatization was due to the effects of suggestion, but experimental attempts to duplicate the phenomenon, for example by using hypnosis, have been unsuccessful--except for a related case which appears to have been a hoax. (The psychiatrist reported that bloody tears welled inside the subject's eyelids, but a photograph shows rivulets originating outside the eyes [see Wilson 1988].)
more on the 'purpuras':
Psychogenic purpura, also known as recurrent painful bruising or autoerythrocyte sensitization syndrome (Gardner-Diamond syndrome ) is usually associated with emotionally disturbed patients.