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Problems with the Joyeux findings



Refutation of scientific "evidence" for Medjugorje

The book we will be sifting through is called Scientific and Medical Studies on the Apparitions at Medjugorje.  It was written by Fr Rene Laurentin and Professor Henri Joyeux of the University of Montepellier. It was published by Veritas, Dublin in 1987. The book says that the apparitions to the visionaries of Medjugorje since 1981 are real and definitely beyond anything natural and so possibly miraculous. It is the best book then for searching for evidence against the apparitions being miraculous. The book goes as far as to make out Medjugorje is supernaturally full of radiation! If that were true the place would be swamped with physicists. And this huge big thing is only mentioned in passing!
The six visionaries go into ecstasy. The ecstasy is the joyous trance that shows the vision is happening. The book says that “since the end of 1983, ecstasy begins before they have finished the first Our Father” (page 7). Yet the book says that when the youths look up when the youths look up when the Virgin manifests there is no evidence of signalling to account for them all doing it at the one time! They say the prayer together and they could have agreed to throw their heads back at a certain word and to change that word every day to make it look genuine. In Channel 4’s program from 1998, The Miracle Police two visionaries have a slight difference as to when they raise their heads and eyes as the Virgin allegedly departs upwards. Hold your finger on pause to put it in very slow motion if you have a tape of it and look carefully.
Page 10 says that the apparition lasts no more than one or two minutes since the end of 1983 though previously she would have stayed for three quarters of an hour. This suggests that when medical and scientific tests began the visions may have been shortened by the visionaries to make life and non-detection of their deception easier.
On page 11 we read how Vicka managed to shorten the first medical examination they had in 1981. This examination was required by the police. Vicka kept nagging Dr Bijevic about when it was going to be over and it was not even her turn and she refused to sit down and she said cheekily that she would stand for she was healthy and she would come back for an examination if she needed one and the doctor let her go. Anyone who really saw the Virgin would want it to be verified and when she was afraid of being examined it suggests she thought she had something to hide. Could it have been something like evidence of psychosis?
Page 16 says that when the Virgin saw one of the visionaries in a harness for testing his physical reactions to the apparition she said that was not necessary when asked for her opinion. The doctor, Botta, found this offensive thinking that the Lady was accusing him of doing wrong in testing. Dr Botta was then told that the Virgin only meant that prayer was needed and that the tests were just accessories and was not accusing him. But this answer just tells him he was accused! If the Virgin was the real Mary or the Devil they would welcome tests. Prayer is not the essential. Prayer will not tell you what is true or false with regard to an apparition’s authenticity. And if prayer worked human nature would manage to get in the way. We have to investigate not just pray.
Fr Bulat stuck a needle in Vicka when she was having a vision. “Under the sheer pressure of the action Vicka’s body moved somewhat to the right but she quickly and gracefully regained her balance. Not a muscle in her face moved” (page 18). You can avoid seeming to have felt pain when you are expecting the needle and think of the bad consequences if you show any evidence of being hurt which will help you bear it. The children would have known that visionaries were tested during ecstasy with needles and have been prepared for it. The thought of what they would lose if they reacted was enough to make them blank out the pain. A reaction can be hidden or disguised. Actors do that all the time. But we must be clear that there was a possible reaction though not a facial one. The Franciscan fraudsters would have the children well prepared about what tests visionaries can expect.
Referring to another test, “When we questioned Fr Bulat he said that he had noticed some muscular movement in the neck, at least during the course of the second prod. But he was placed behind Vicka and too much on the vertical to be able to notice. It would appear that any movement was simply Vicka’s effort to regain her balance after the pressure of the needle" (page 18).
At least the quote admits to being unsure if it was a reaction or not.
A neck movement can be seen from behind if he is near her which he was. He had to have been able to see when he said he saw it. Why prod if the face cannot be at least partly seen?
So Fr Bulat was accused of lying when he said he saw the neck and it is not true that the movement appeared to be just an attempt to steady for it could just have easily have been a reaction to pain. Why would the muscles of the neck need to move if the body moved to the right meaning that the muscles round the waist were responsible? The waist would have been used to balance.
And where is the proof that autosuggestion was not employed to help her take the pain?  Did Vicka know she was going to be needled? It does not matter. If she did know it would happen but not when she had to be ready. And it is hard to believe she was not forewarned as Bulat could have been in breach of the law of the land if he just put a needle in without any warning.
This episode makes us wary of this book for it shows that the authors were willing to ignore the case against the apparition to focus on the reasons for it being real. And that is not an honest approach.
Henri Joyeux was going to test the children with EEGs to determine if what was happening in their minds was normal when they were having their vision. Jacov, Ivanka and Marija refused for the Virgin had said there was no need. It looks like they were stalling.
They were urged to ask the Virgin who said, “You did well to ask. You can go ahead” (page 19). But it was not right for them to ask her permission. Visions have to be tested before they can be trusted. Mary would take that for granted anyway and would not be concerned about permission for it was not her who was being tested but the visionaries. She would have told them to look for tests from the start if she had really been from Heaven or Hell. The tests showed that the vision was not a hallucination. But we now know determining a hallucination is more complex than was thought at the time of the tests. Paranormal experts believe that paranormal forces can cause hallucinations but medical experts prefer to keep it strictly scientific.

Mary not wanting the visions tested in a world filled with fake religions and fake claims does far more to show this apparition is not from God than any test.

On page 22, we read that Joyeux and Laurentin would not have discussed testing with the children anymore if they had been against it seemingly since the Virgin had told the children to make up their own minds about being tested. This is disgusting and shows that the authors were amenable to blind faith and did not come to their work with a good and neutral scientific attitude.
Page 23 tells us that there is no reaction to seeing bright light like blinking or turning away from it when the vision is happening. Only the pupils reacted. But you can train your facial muscles to hide any reaction to such light. It is easy enough to train for that by looking close at lightbulbs. And if the children really see the Virgin in a glowing aura their pupils should stay the same for it is the same strength of light they are looking at. Remember they see her they say as a normal person in every other respect.
On page 25, we learn that the visionaries claimed that they could touch the apparition. Jacov alone was to touch her while he was being tested to see if he was really touching anything. He did not and then said that he had forgotten to ask her permission and that she had left as he was about to ask her. But the real Virgin would not have done that for she would have known he had something to say to her. And how could something like that be forgotten until the end of the vision? You don’t go to an interview and forget to go into the office and talk about yourself.
Ivanka and Marija asked the Virgin if they could have the test done and she said no (page 25). Obviously, when the Virgin was so unreasonable there was no Virgin at all. The real Virgin Mary does not make mistakes. The visionaries were making up an excuse.
Page 25, “At the beginning of the ecstasy eye movements ceased almost simultaneously”.
So the eyeballs were not moving? No need for a miracle for that. The visionaries knew that the eyes should look at the one spot during ecstasy when the cause supposedly manifests. The word almost is of the utmost importance. The book is for defending the view that the ecstasy is supernatural. If it were they would all fall into it in the exact same fraction of a second. Almost is too open to interpretation. Why are we not told exactly what time it took?
Before the ecstasy of the 29th of December 1984, Ivan jumped at a noise of 70 decibels. During the ecstasy, he did not react to a noise of 90 decibels. This was as loud as the noise of a combustion engine. He did not react for he was prepared for the noise and when he jumped the first time he did so because he knew that the test was to see if the noise would startle him during the apparition. He said he heard nothing (page 26). Yet the book says that during the apparition the visionaries can still be partially stimulated by the world – they are not completely cut off from their surroundings.

If Ivan was in a relaxed state he may have been hard to startle. People who can be jumpy may be hard to startle when they are doing meditation or something very relaxing. If you are made to jump at a sudden noise chances are you will not jump again any time soon. You kind of expect it when the memory is fresh so you won't get startled.

The most important thing now is that Ivan lied about the noise. The test was scientifically invalid for it cannot show that he really did not hear anything.
It was concluded, “With regard to the hearing function, our tests showed that the auditory nerve continued to transmit sounds but that these sounds did not reach the cortex” (page 27). But it is only Ivan’s word we have that he did not hear the sound. Why would the nerve carry sound if not to the cortex? What is the point of noise registering in the nerve and not the cortex?
The tests revealed that when Ivanka’s voice became quiet during the apparition “there was no longer any movement of the larynx” (page 26). So when she spoke to the Lady only her lips moved. There is no miracle in this though many say there is! That is because they are believing her when she says she speaks aloud to the Lady.
Speaking inaudibly is motivated by a desire to prevent mistakes. If they spoke aloud then Ivanka could have said, “Yes, we want you here tomorrow,” and Jacov, “I know you have helped him”, both at the same time proving that they were not really answering anybody at all. An inaudible voice would not testify against the authenticity of the apparitions if there was only one witness but only if there were more and with Medjugorje the apparitions are short and the messages banal so the Lady has nothing to hide. It makes no sense that a supernatural being would not make it look more like she or he is appearing which involves letting them talk out loud.

You can gently move air through your voice-box that makes it show up on the instruments as if you are talking loud but something supernatural is preventing others from hearing you.
But the silence may be totally fictitious for Ivan was filmed having a vision in England and his voice was audible when he spoke to the Virgin but low in the video, Visions on Demand. The scientists promoting the apparitions are lying when they say he is miraculously inaudible.
Page 27: “The visionaries do not feel pinching, prodding or other interventions. This disconnection is not total; rather it is partial and variable”. We even read: “It all happens as if the visionaries, urged on by the ecstasy (their encounter with the Virgin) gradually adapted themselves to it and eventually allowed themselves to be lost in it”. This ecstasy cannot be much of a miracle in that case.
Page 27 ends with the extraordinary statement that the visionaries “warn the people when they appear to annoy the Virgin or walk on her veil”. The Virgin must act upset which shows that she is not a miraculous being. She could miraculously enable the people to walk through her. If the visionaries did not believe the Lady could look after herself it is strange when she was able to keep herself invisible from the people. They are certainly lying about the Lady and trying to make her seem too human because they don’t know that Bernadette of Lourdes, for example, saw a Lady she could not disturb or describe exactly. The vision is not as mysterious and magical. The visionaries did know what was happening around them.
At that stage the visionaries should know that people cannot disturb the apparition. It looks like a stupid piece of drama. Lies unravel.
I find it disturbing that Ivan and Vicka are able to look at "Mary" without blinking while the rest do (31). Bernadette did not blink at Lourdes it is said. The differences suggest that there is no miraculous synchronicity. What use is partial?

The tests were set up to get the results that the researchers wanted and exaggerated beyond reason.  Only fake visionaries need fakery to defend them.


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