From: Curtis Johnson
To: William Putnam
Date: Feb 23 1998 9:20:32 pm
Subject: Case #5 1/4
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WP> [Trance state causing stigmata:]

WP> Sure, but is it true in this case?  Can you
WP> produce a refutation of the findings in this
WP> case? I still suggest you read the book I
WP> suggest and them you come up with a good
WP> retort on what it says.

> The prolonged meditation on the Christ wounds
> in which the Church asks the subject to imagine the
> wounds in themselves can't lead to a trance state with
> the suggestion that the wounds occur???

WP> A rarety, just as it is a rarety for someone
WP> to conceive they can levitate by thinking of
WP> the ascension of Christ into heaven. In any
WP> case, don't you think that is the first thing
WP> the non-Catholic psychologist (hopefully) will
WP> look into by a commission of experts conceive
WP> by the local bishop?

You were the one that specifically said
that she went into a trance before the stigmata
came.  Think about it.

> Thanks for the upload of the book section--the
> book is indeed as silly as I suspected.

WP> Then I would suppose you will not want the book
WP> and even want to read it.  You have a closed
WP> mind, Curtis.

Oh, it would have some curiosity and amusement
value.  Not enough for me to buy it, though.  It certainly
is not worthwhile as biography or a serious examination
of the phenomenon.  That omission of her twice refusing
on the flimsiest of excuses to be examined for her "inedia"
should indicate to you why hagiography is not biography.
I read the sampling you gave me; that is not having
a closed mind.  I read your summary of her career.
You're just miffed because I find the whole thing
laughable.

> As to why she in particular had these manifestations,
> he's a huge clue from the 1972 Encase. Brit.:  "NEUMANN, THERESE
> . . . At the age of 20 she underwent a severe nervous shock
> through the outbreak of a fire and subsequently suffered from
> hysterical paralysis, blindness and gastric troubles for
> several years."  *Before* the stigmata appeared, IOW, she
> was exhibiting strong psychosomatic manifestations.

WP> So what?  Adequately covered in the book I
WP> continuously recommend for you to read! I
WP> think  you would be interested in the full
WP> story, Curtis. In fact, you don't know the
WP> crisis this women went through until you
WP> read this book.

>	That she was already a psychosomatic wreck *before*
> the stigmata has no relevance to the stigmata being
> psychosomatic in origin?

WP> Oh really?  I got the impression that she was
WP> as happy as can be! A condition that caused such
WP> a trauma as you describe would certainly be a
WP> negative in here case, which it is not.  This
WP> woman was the epitomy of happiness!  Read the
WP> book, Curtis!

What psychologists call _la belle indifference_
is a classic diagnostic for conversion hysteria.

>	As for the purpose of "all of us to see and reflect,"
> art has done that and for more people.  Indeed, the stigmata
> comes only to those who have already done such prolonged
> "meditation" upon the sufferings.

WP> Yeo, art and I will add, good music can do that
WP> for you.  This elevates it to a divine contemplation
WP> that far exceeds this physical arts can achieve.

I dunno--performance artist Chris Burdon made himself
famous for getting himself crucified to a Volkswagen ca. 1970.

>	Now, William, you might ask yourself just what is the
> character of a godling that would purposefully inflict his
> wounds upon his followers.

WP> But the problem with this scenario is that indeed,
WP> God inflicts it at the cooperation of the recipient!

You've never heard of sadist-masochistic couples?

WP> This is a hard doctrine that non-Catholics have a
WP> hard time contemplating, but "suffering for Christ"
WP> is something more or less exclusive in Catholicism.

Ascetism is not unique to Catholicism--surely
you have enough comparative religion to realize that.

WP> This is a mystery that YOU, Curtis, will have
WP> to unravel for yourself.  You see, you expect
WP> a God to have it just perfect for you, right?
WP> Before you will believe in God, you will
WP> expect that God will make earth today like
WP> the heaven you hear about.  Well, believe it
WP> or not, that was exactly what God intended,

>	You are the one, presumably, that believes that
> your God and his Godling are perfect.

WP> Yes I do..........

>	Now, once again--since you dodged the question--
> just what is the character of a Godling that would
> purposefully inflict his wounds upon his followers??

WP> Read the above.  It would also be helpful to
WP> read on the lives of the great Catholic mystics
WP> who endure such wounds with great joy!  I know
WP> that is something you will not understand.

Masochism?  Self-mutilation and torture?
They are hardly unique to Catholicism.
They are also damn hard to justify as *virtues.*

> Deliberate or unconscious digging of fingernails into the
> palms (which has also been the case with many stigmatics)??

WP> Not when they are closely observed, as Therese
WP> Newmann was, especially Good Friday, when the
WP> blood would issue from the "wounds of the thorns
WP> Christ suffered" on His head, as well as her
WP> side, where the spear was pierced into Christ's
WP> side. That will get you to your knees, Curtis!

That'll get me thankful that my neuroticism
is mild.

WP> Get the book with the color photos!

You're really tripped out on gore, aren't you?
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