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EXPANDING THE GIFT OF
During four trips to the
Philippines in the mid-1990s, I was initiated as a magnetic healer at the Faith in God Spiritual Church in Pangasinan
Province. I have written about this and other related experiences in my book on
psychic surgery and faith healing. However, it wasn’t until 2005 that I began
in earnest to focus on magnetic healing.
* * *
Arriving in the Philippines
Early the next morning, I ventured out into the city. Two doors down from the hotel, an entire family—mother, father, grandmother, and three small children—were lying on pieces of cardboard on the sidewalk. All of their worldly belongings were nearby in a shopping cart. They were just waking up and yawning as I walked past.
One of the children, a three-year-old girl, her hair still rumpled from sleep and wearing only thin shorts, ran to me with her hand outstretched, begging for money. She stood in stark contrast to my hotel, which was fairly upscale, and Robinson’s shopping mall just two blocks away.
Giving the child all the change in my pocket, I continued walking south toward Pension Natividad, where I had stayed on all of my previous visits. Ermita now had several Internet cafés, an enormous gambling casino resembling those in Las Vegas, high-rise office buildings, and first-class hotels with rooms starting at $100 a night. It was quite disorienting, because I remembered the streets so vividly, yet everything was changed. I was changed. In particular, Rosie’s 1950s-style diner had been remodeled so much that I was unable to identify the building where it had been. Gone were the sailors and prostitutes who had affected me so deeply that I had written about them in my first book.
I was scheduled to meet my traveling companions at the hotel the next day: Russell, a middle-aged man with prostrate cancer; Mary, a forty-something woman with possible breast cancer; Sally, a young girl with hormonal problems; and Alice, a woman in her late 70s with concerns about an eye injury. The group also included a brother and sister from Poland named Jarka and Johan. He was intensely political, like many Europeans, and very much of an intellectual. Jarka had stage-four breast cancer and seemed quite frightened and skeptical about psychic surgery.
We had breakfast together and then left in a rented van for Baguio—a six-hour drive north through the lowlands of Pangasinan and then up into the high mountains of Northern Luzon. The driver wove in and out of traffic on the MacArthur Highway, passing buses, jeepneys, private cars, tricycles, and wagons pulled by carabao. It was the beginning of the summer season and the large riverbeds of the lowlands were dry. Farmers could be seen in the fields tending their irrigated crops.
After several hours, we reached the Cordillera Mountains, which rose straight up from the edge of the road on the left and dropped off on the right so sharply we could hardly see the valley below.
We arrived in Baguio and checked into The Golden Pines Hotel, which had clean, comfortable rooms, air-conditioning, a restaurant, and free Internet.
* * *
The Class Schedule:
10:00 a.m. Psychic surgery, followed by prayers and conversation with Jun
12:00 noon Lunch and rest or sightseeing
3:00 p.m. Class with Francis Floresca, M.D., who will be teaching anatomy and physiology
6:00–9:00 p.m. Meditation and lecture or other special session
In 1995, Jun Labo’s healing clinic was located in the Nagoya Inn, but now the Inn had a new name: “Nagoya Comedy Club and Bar.” Jun’s first car, a Volkswagen Beetle, was still enshrined in the front garden. It was painted red to prevent rust, and a bouquet of plastic flowers adorned the hood. Although half of the building and grounds were being used for the nightclub, Jun had designated the other half of the property as a refuge for poor children. A bright blue-painted sign on the outside of the building read: “The Jun Labo Orphanage Foundation.”
Jun’s chapel and clinic were located across the street in part of his house, which was built high above the road. It was reminiscent of Japan, probably because his former wife, Yuko, had a hand in designing the buildings and landscaping. Ancient symbols and warriors with swords protruded from cement retaining walls, and there were statutes, painted murals, pine trees, and flower gardens. Locked gates, a guardhouse, and several barking dogs protected the property.
Jun met us in the driveway and showed us to an outdoor patio. He projects an aura that commands respect, not just because he has been a successful healer for many years, but also because he was the District Governor twice and Mayor of Baguio from 1987–1992.
Jun is agile for a man in his seventies and seems much younger. His skin is a golden shade of brown, and like many spiritual teachers he has a luminescent glow. His deep brown eyes seem to radiate compassion, even from behind his dark sunglasses.
After a few minutes of casual conversation, Jun invited us into his chapel. It was quiet and cool in the stone building with marble floors. The chapel itself held rows of benches and statutes of Mary and Jesus. The classroom—located in another section of the large room—was filled with straight-back chairs and a white board for writing. This area also contained a wooden-frame pyramid with a red satin-covered foam pad on the floor inside of it. Across from the pyramid there were four sofas arranged in a square with a coffee table in the center. Jun’s private office was off to one side in a separate room.
Jun led us down narrow steps to the basement, where he has his healing room, another chapel, and a room for changing clothes. The healing room contained a small altar, a massage table covered with a plastic sheet, and a cabinet of towels. Almost one entire wall was actually a window with no glass, so observers could easily stand outside and watch the surgeries and take photographs and videos. There was just enough room inside for Jun, his assistant, and several mediums, who stood in a line across from the healing table and channeled energy to support the healing.
For readers who might not be familiar with psychic surgery, in this type of healing the hands of the healer actually enter the patient’s physical body. This is sometimes referred to as barehanded surgery or faith healing. Simply put, the body is opened in much the same way as medical doctors do when using a scalpel, except that in psychic surgery there is no cutting, no anesthesia is used, and there are no scars, infection, or pain. The healer can even make an incision by merely pointing a finger at the skin of the patient from a distance of up to one foot away.
* * *
As if it was perfectly natural, we began to take off our clothing—except our panties or shorts—and stand in line at the door to the healing room. One by one, we entered and lay down on the table. Jun’s assistant put towels at the sides of each person’s body to catch the blood that began to flow from beneath Jun’s hands.
I observed from about six feet away as tumors, blood clots, and stringy tissue emerged from each person. The moment Jun touched Johan’s throat, we collectively gasped when blood spurted out about eight inches into the air.
Jarka became more and more nervous the closer it got to her turn. She mirrored our own anxiety as we watched her pace back and forth with her arms wrapped tightly around her upper body. When she was on the table, a tumor as big as an orange emerged from just below her right rib cage, and many more small tumors and clots came from her entire body. She was shaking afterward, and many of us were crying because we were so moved by our own experience and from watching Jarka.
At the end of each person’s healing, Jun made a circular motion and the sign of the cross with his thumb on each person’s forehead.
Back upstairs, Jarka asked Jun if he could help her. He began to talk about her tumors and how they were spreading. He said it was necessary to “cut the roots,” and that he had already begun the process. He indicated that her healing would continue over the ten days of her visit. Then he drew a picture of a tumor and illustrated how he would sever the roots before removing it.
“First I cut here, and here, and here, like this,” he said.
By the end of the morning session, we were each immersed in our individual process and dealing with our fears and expectations—or, in my case, trying hard not to have any expectations, but just accept whatever might happen. I was hoping my participation in the class would help me “move to the next step” in my abilities as a magnetic healer and medium, but I did not know how or when this would occur.
* * *
We met at Jun’s house again in the evening, and first we meditated while listening to a recording of a woman speaking in a soft, soothing voice—she kept repeating, “Just let go.” During the meditation, I felt a wave of intense energy come into me.
Jun introduced Dr. Floresca, who gave a short description of the class he will be teaching. He is a mild-mannered man, an obstetrician and gynecologist, and a lifelong friend of Jun. Jarka was so spaced out from her healing this morning that she put the cleaning solution for her contact lenses in one of her eyes, causing intense discomfort and panic. Fortunately, Dr. Floresca was able to reassure her that she had not damaged her cornea, and he showed up later at the hotel with eye drops.
After we stood in a circle and said the Lord’s Prayer together, I approached Jun and told him about my magnetic healing practice.
“The course will be very good for you,” he said.
“Did you get my book?” I asked. He looked surprised, so I explained it was the book with the blue eye on the cover.
“Oh yes, was that you?” he said, and he gave me a warm hug.
“Did you read what I wrote about you?”
“Yes, it’s a good book, but all of the healers you wrote about are dead except me!”
I tried to explain the purpose of writing a memoir, but the meaning was lost in translation. However, he seemed genuinely pleased the author of a book that included him had come to meet him.
Our second day began with private meetings in Jun’s office to discuss payment for the class and our healing sessions. When it was my turn, I told him I was going to write more about him in my next book. “What do you want me to tell people about you?” I said.
“You can say that here we are doing only spiritual work to help the people. This is my work, and even though I am already over seventy years old, I am not retired. Tell them the doctors at Wisconsin University tested me with wires and monitors, and they said I was the only healer in the Philippines who is authentic.”
* * *
After our individual meetings with Jun in his office, we went downstairs.
Alice had the most amazing healing of the morning. Yellowish material shaped somewhat like a hot dog emerged from the left side of her throat. It appeared solid at first, but after it was completely out it dissolved into a puddle of something resembling thick oil. Jun later said it was mucus, but to me it looked like some sort of fatty blockage from her carotid artery. Hopefully, this will improve her vision and also her short-term memory, because of the potential for increased blood flow to her head.
Jarka had a tumor about the size of an orange removed from what she calls her “good breast.” Later, after dinner, this resulted in a lengthy discussion, which began with her question, “Why did he work on my good breast? I have no cancer there according to the MRI.”
Jun’s assistant covered Russell’s genital area with a towel for modesty, and then removed his prostrate tumor and its “roots.” As Jun held up the cancerous tissue for all to see, he said, “I took this away because otherwise the roots will grow and he will become very sick.”
Jun often uses a piece of white cloth as a diagnostic tool during healing. He calls it his “X-ray.” He holds the cloth above the body and the areas that need attention appear as dark spots. If the spots are light in color, he knows the problem is not yet serious.
At the clinic of Jun Labo, the profound is also quite ordinary, as we watch all manner of disease being released and removed. These remarkable events seem—in this time and place—to be perfectly natural, yet we are also stunned. Time itself seems frozen as we try to comprehend the miracles happening daily in Jun’s healing room.
* * *
After lunch, we drove up a bumpy, dirt road to the top of St. Thomas, the highest mountain in the region. We followed Jun as he prayed at the Stations of the Cross and renewed himself in the energy of Christ. “This is Holy Week,” he said. “And here on the mountain the presence of the Holy Spirit is very strong. It is a pure place that has not been corrupted by commerce and people selling many things.”
The 6:00 p.m. session began with Dr. Floresca giving an in-depth lecture about the lymph and circulatory systems, and the relationship of these systems to cancer. The discussion was quite fascinating because there were several people in the group with extensive scientific training, but Dr. Floresca didn’t know about their backgrounds. “The medical man,” as Jun calls him, was patient, kind, and soft-spoken as he attempted to render complicated anatomy and physiology in simplistic terms to sophisticated European scientists. It was rather funny, and I had to try hard not to laugh—I didn’t want Dr. Floresca to think I was laughing at him.
As part of his lecture, he answered questions about our individual health concerns. He said that Jun started the school in order to pass on his healing gifts to others. He also indicated that according to Jun’s way of seeing things, the removal of blood clots is considered preventative medicine.
Jun seemed fascinated with Dr. Floresca’s presentation, and he described what happens when he does healing: “My hand is magnetic and it draws the disease. So I know where I need to touch the body.”
During the 9:00 p.m. “Holy Hour” meditation, Jun gave each of us a direct experience of the Holy Spirit by touching the tops of our heads, the backs of our necks, our foreheads, and the center of our palms—which he then closed together to contain the energy that had been transmitted.
“The Holy Spirit is in you now,” he said. “Let it flow through you and give you more power. You prayed today on the Holy Mountain. The Holy Spirit is all around you. Have faith in yourself. God is love. I am giving you power every day. You are not as you were before. My work is not for show, not to impress. Once you have the power, never give it up.”
While Jun was doing healing in the morning, several of us stood in a line a few feet away. Facing the table, we held our hands palms outward and channeled energy to support him. This is similar to the way large groups of mediums assist John of God in Brazil when he does spiritual healing.
As I participated in this energy channeling, I had a vision of a large “cloud” of sparkling golden energy centered above and funneling down into Jun. Secondary cords of light coming from this primary light also went into the seventh chakra at the top of the head of everyone present. (See Appendix C for Charka Chart.)
Angels and other spirit beings filled the room. They appeared to be students, just as we were. They were taking notes and talking to each other, saying things like, “Oh see what he did there, and there, and there.” They were a “heavenly” mirror image of our class in the physical world.
Later, back upstairs, I asked for permission to speak about my vision. Jun agreed, and he listened attentively. “Very good, very good, that’s the way it looks,” he said. He made the same movement with his hand as I had in describing the cords of light, and then he stood up and walked around the room, pressing his hands into the center of each person’s palms to open their hand chakras. This will allow spiritual energy to flow into us and through us into the people we want to help.
Jun began to talk about how he would call in the Holy Spirit on Saturday:
“We will see if one of you will be called to give the blessing. Even I want to receive the blessings from you.” I have since given much thought to this comment. Did he want one of the students to give him healing?
At the end of the morning session, Jun said that soon we would try automatic writing, and later he would translate what we had written. My understanding was that we would channel a personal message to ourselves from the Holy Spirit.
While working on Jarka during the morning healing session, Jun said, “You think too much. Your problem is here (taps her forehead). When she asked about the possibility of tumors in her armpit, he pointed to the breast she calls her “good breast” (meaning the one without cancer) and said, “I am working here and also your armpit, because it is growing.”
While Jarka was still lying on the table, he told us his work is not always directly related to what the medical doctor or testing might have indicated. He pointed again to Jarka’s breast and said, “Even if the problem is here, I might be working here [points to the area of her belly button]. When I open here [at the belly button], the problem in the breast moves fast to my hands because they are magnetic.”
This is important in understanding psychic surgery—the hands of the healer are magnetized in such a way that diseased tissue is pulled toward them, no matter where in the body the healer is working.
Note that in magnetic healing—which is also called energy healing—the body is not physically opened, but rather negative energy in the physical body and also in the etheric body is drawn toward the hands and released.
* * *
During the 6:00 p.m. meditation, Jun again infused us with the energy of the Holy Spirit. The meditation was very deep, and my head became so full of light energy that it made a buzzing sound.
Jun asked us to come up to him one by one while he was in trance and “scoop” spiritual energy from his hands. He seems to be trying every method possible to awaken us to the experience of spirit. Although the Metaphysical Temple of the Universe and School of Mediumship is promoted as a school, it is really about simply being in Jun’s presence. In India, this is referred to as satsang, which literally means: “true company” or “keeping the company of the truth.”
Jun began his evening lecture by drawing a simple staircase. “Keep going up, up, up to the light,” he said. “I am giving you the steps, but it depends on you how to reach the light. All of your chakras are open now. The light is coming down into you. It gets bigger and bigger. Your aura is working now. You have communication with the Holy Spirit. Even with your eyes closed you will see things. Be patient in becoming a medium. Have faith, because everyone is walking toward the light.
“The Holy Spirit, angels, and Jesus are waiting to welcome you. The medium gets the message, so have patience. God is watching and waiting. Work hard to reach the peak of your success. Be alone with God. That is your trial. If you lose faith, you must quit. This school was started to send the students out into the world to their own countries to help others.”
He drew a picture of a cave with a path leading up to it and trees all around. When his drawing was complete, he gave these instructions: “Enter the cave. There are lights inside. Meditate. This is your way to mediumship. Try to find the light inside the cave.
“Later you will do your automatic writing and I will read what you write. Then we will go on astral tomorrow for ten minutes.”
After Dr. Floresca had given his lecture about the human body, using hand-drawn diagrams to describe the function of the various bodily systems, we tried automatic writing.
I felt the presence of my spirit guide, Rev. Filomena “Mely” Naces, the moment I picked up the paper. As I held the pencil lightly in my hand, it seemed to move of its own accord, making non-decipherable scribbling marks on the page punctuated by periods that felt more like exclamation points.
“Very good, very good,” I could hear Jun saying softly beside me. “I will tell you tomorrow what you wrote.”
Day Five: Good Friday
Jun Labo seemed more focused and powerful in the healing room on the fifth day, perhaps because it was Good Friday. When he put his hands deep into my upper chest to the left of my sternum, I experienced a tidal wave of energy. At first, I thought he was working on my heart, but later I realized the healing had been for my lungs.
Psychic surgery is not usually painful, but this particular healing hurt when Jun moved his fingers between my ribs and removed numerous blood clots. My chest continued to hurt for about twenty-four hours, but since then it has been easier for me to breathe—even in the 5,000–foot altitude of Baguio. This physical healing also opened my heart chakra, causing me to feel emotionally vulnerable for several days.
* * *
After the morning session, I decided to stay alone in my room for the rest of the day. At this point in the tour, there was some conflict within the group. I attributed this to the fact that Jun Labo was activating and cleansing our third chakras every day. This energy center is located in the area of the solar plexus. It’s the place where unexpressed emotions are stored, and when these feelings are released there is often some temporary emotional upheaval. Unfortunately, no one in the group seemed to be aware of this, and there was some serious “acting out” going on.
Some of the students were upset because the experiences that were promised in the tour advertising had not materialized, including translation of our automatic writing, astral traveling, and the possibility of meeting our spirit guides.
Staying at the hotel turned out to be quite beneficial. I had a remarkable meditation in my room, during which a beam of bright golden light came toward me and illuminated my throat.
Sleeping fitfully in the early evening, I was awakened by boisterous music coming in through the open window. Jumping up from the bed and throwing on my clothes, I was drawn out into the street and around the corner to the New Life Christian Church. Climbing the stairs to the second floor, I entered a room full of people who were singing an Easter song:
“At the cross I bow my knee, where your blood was shed for me. There’s no greater love than this. You have overcome the grave; your glory fills the highest place. What can separate us now?”
The room was exploding with emotional intensity, and many of the people were standing up and moving toward the minister at the front of the room. As he touched each one, he shouted, “Release him [or her], Lord.” At his touch, each person fell to the ground thrashing, crying, and shouting, as others offered comfort.
Gradually, the singing began to soften, although half of the congregation was still rolling around on the floor covered in blankets. I had heard about this kind of “holy roller” church in the States, but I had never been in one.
The crescendo complete, the congregation began to sing a lighter song, the chorus of which said, “Our purpose is to be salt and light in the world” (Matthew 5:13-14). The program ended, and as I pondered the meaning of what it means to be both salt and light, a woman asked me if I would like to meet the minister.
“Yes,” I said.
He was forceful and direct: “May I pray for you?”
“Yes, of course.”
“What do you want me to pray?”
“My desire is to be of service to God and help people.”
Hearing this, he gripped my head firmly between his hands and began to pray out loud, “Lord Jesus, help this woman fulfill her destiny. Holy Spirit, lead her in the path of service.”
The pressure of his hands gave me a slight headache, but I felt complete as I walked back to the hotel. Like the rest of the congregation, I had been released from my worldly cares.
Jun rested today and there was no healing session, but we met with him again in the evening. He spoke to us about the Holy Spirit and astral traveling:
“I am opening your Third Eye. Your aura will get bigger and it will have sparks. The aura vibrates and opens your psychic ability. Now your Third Eye will always be open. You will be able to predict things and even see into the minds of other people. This open chakra develops psychic knowledge. I have been giving power at 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00—because these are the Holy Hours. The Spirit is fire and it is very hot. Touch others with your open palm to heal them.
“Do not touch anything while you are traveling on astral—ten minutes only. Do not be discouraged if you cannot go. God is love. Do missionary work. When I am in trance you can address me as Holy Spirit, Jesus, or Rama, but do not call me by my name Jun Labo. Ask your guide for help when you need protection. Always try to understand more about what it means to be a medium. When you want to do mental telepathy, close your eyes and imagine the person and send healing. Tell them the time you will send healing so they can prepare themselves.
“Have patience, go toward life, and have faith. I am giving you the steps. It is good to give for charity. Begging money when you are healing is cheating. God does not like this.”
Jun spoke about when he went to Libya and worked on Kaddafi, and also President Marcos in the Philippines. He joked about the chief doctor at a Japanese cancer clinic, who came to him for healing “incognito” because he didn’t want anyone to know he was consulting a faith healer.
Dr. Floresca began to draw a diagram on the board and talk about the digestive system. When he was finished, Jun added, “Eat regularly or you will get ulcers. The stomach is used to certain eating times and it will grind if there is no food.”
After the lecture, I went to Jun’s office and showed him my certificate from the Faith in God Spiritual Church saying I was certified to do healing by the laying on of hands. He read it carefully, and a few minutes later he pulled me aside and said, “Tonight you will go to astral at 6:00 p.m., so don’t be late.”
I assumed he meant all of the students would participate, but as it turned out I was the only one singled out for this experience—except for Russell, who “traveled” two nights later.
We arrived at 5:00 p.m. and sat with Jun as he listened to a tape recording of an Easter church service. Promptly at 6:00, he leapt from his chair and we began to meditate, sitting in the customary half circle, the room lit only by candles. The fire in the fireplace made an occasional crackling sound as Jun blessed each person’s Third Eye.
I was the last in line, and he blessed me also. But then suddenly he pulled me to my feet, saying, “Now you will go to astral. Lie down there.” He pointed to the pyramid in the center of the room.
My body began to vibrate the moment I lay down inside of it, and the force of the energy that began to flow through me was a bit frightening. I heard Jun say softly, as if from somewhere far away, “What do you see?”
At first, I was aware only of a soft mist and the sensation of movement. But then my vision cleared, and I was walking on a road through a city made entirely of golden light resembling crystal glass. I wish there was some way to describe the color and quality of this light, but there are no words for it in human language.
Somehow I knew the light had formed itself into buildings and a road made of golden, hand-cut stones so I could relate to it and describe it to Jun and the others. Everything in the city only appeared to be solid. The architecture of this “Heavenly City” reminded me of ancient places I had seen in history books.
* * *
After I returned home, I described this experience to Harvey Martin, a scholar of religion and mysticism. He said I had visited the New Jerusalem, the dwelling place of God, Jesus, and other Holy Beings, which is described in the Bible:
And I John saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God….And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal….And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Revelations 21: 2-23
Holy Bible: King James Version
* * *
I could hear myself responding to Jun’s questions, but it was like listening to my voice under water. At the same time, I sensed spirit beings watching me from behind golden curtains in the golden windows of the golden buildings. They seemed neutral and without judgment.
Mely appeared in front of me as a brilliant blue light, and I realized that instead of her coming to me in the third-dimensional, physical world, I had traveled to meet her in the spiritual dimension. I began to laugh with great joy at our reunion, but before I could speak I heard Jun say quite firmly, “COME BACK NOW. TEN MINUTES ONLY.”
Then, to the rest of the class, he said, “I go with the student to astral because I don’t want them to get lost!”
I had difficulty getting back into my body, but then Jun began to massage my forehead rather forcefully. Suddenly I was back and rubbing my legs in order to focus myself in physical reality. The residual feeling was quite indescribable—like the quality and color of the light in the Golden City. My head was very heavy and buzzing with energy, as if the same light was also inside of me.
After a few minutes, I looked up and saw that Jun was again blessing each person, and I returned to my seat at the end of the line. When he got to me, he did the blessing, backed away, and then ran toward me again. He grabbed my head and began to pray: “Holy Father, help this woman in her mission. Make her strong, Lord, to help the people more.”
Then, even more dramatically, he said: “YOUR GUIDE IS NOT SO STRONG—I GIVE YOU…PAUL AS YOUR NEW GUIDE.” As he spoke, a wave of rose-colored light rushed toward me. Then I fell into a deep trance and stayed there until the end of the meditation.
On the way back to the hotel, Sally and Alice expressed their disappointment that they had not been given the opportunity to astral travel or meet their spirit guides. What could I have said in response? According to Jun, God directs these kinds of experiences. Not even a healer and medium as capable as Jun Labo can direct the Will of God—he can only deliver the message.
Day Seven: Easter Sunday
In honor of Easter, I decided to visit the Faith in God Spiritual Church, where I had spent time in the mid-1990s and begun my path as a magnetic healer.
Three other people were visiting Jun at the same time as our group, and one of them—a young man from Canada named Matthew—wanted to go with me and experience Spiritism in a rural Filipino setting. So after taking the bus down to the lowlands, we found a taxi driver willing to take us to the district, or barangay, where the church was located.
The driver got lost and the roads had changed since I had last been in the Philippines, and we had trouble finding the way. When we finally arrived at the church, I experienced a strange distortion of time and reality. I had been thinking about the place, the people, and everything that had happened there in such detail in order to write about it that I had managed to somehow freeze my memories. The past had so firmly become part of my personal present that it made the actual present seem unreal. It was as if I had encapsulated everything about the place in a corked bottle and sent it adrift—but now here it was floating back to me.
Rev. Avelina “Belen” Ganaganan, Mely’s older sister, met us at the front door. Belen had taken over Mely’s role as the church healer and minister after Mely died. We entered the church with her, and the building looked much the same, except for the new marble-tiled floor. I went immediately to the front and gave a short greeting:
“Before Mely died she made me promise I would return to you, and so here I am, even though it is thirteen years later! My message for Easter is to love yourself, even as the Lord loves you.”
There was a vague feeling of sadness in the church, just as I had visualized several weeks previously at home in meditation. The new choir sounded somewhat dreary and lacked enthusiasm—the previous singers having gone to work in Spain. Joseph, my former “love interest,” was also in Spain. Everything seemed out-of-tune and out-of-focus. I remembered what Mely had said to me in meditation and realized it was true: “You won’t find me there,” meaning there was nothing left of her at the church in the Philippines—other than her well-tended grave.
There were mostly old women in the pews and just a few young faces, including three small girls who waved and smiled, their mouths showing empty gapping holes where they had lost their baby teeth.
At the end of the service, Belen told me go to the front and “give a message,” so I got up and went to stand behind the lectern. It was to be the final fulfillment of Mely’s prophecy, which she had spoken to me from her deathbed in 1995, in the presence of thirty others:
“If I should die…and you should be the medium…I will speak through you… and that will be the proof.” (By this she meant proof of life after death.)
I began to speak from the trance-medium state of consciousness—but it was not me who spoke, but rather Mely who spoke through me:
“Oh my Beloved Sister,” she said to Belen. “You are taking good care of my church. I love you so much.”
To Matthew: “Very good boy!” (She said this three times, causing my hand to smack him on the head for emphasis.) Then: “This boy will be much help for those who suffer.”
To the congregation: “Where are all the people? My church should be filled with happiness and love.” She repeated this several times in different ways, seeming to chastise those who were missing.
As I returned to my seat, I remembered one of my favorite songs and asked the choir to sing it. “Do you want to do healing?” said Belen. Without realizing it, I had asked for the song they usually sing during this part of the service.
Matthew and I began to do magnetic healing. An old woman, blind from birth, sat in the chair front of me, and I felt frustrated because I didn’t know how to help her. But then the Holy Spirit opened her Third Eye. As my hand made a twisting movement in the middle of her forehead, spirit spoke through me, saying, “God is very happy because you always come to church. Even if the medium cannot heal your physical eyes, the Holy Spirit is opening your Third Eye, your inner vision.”
The woman had flowing black hair, severely arthritic hands from doing too much laundry, and beautiful dark brown freckles on her golden skin. As she walked away, she turned and gave me a loving smile.
We spent the rest of the day eating, laughing, and reminiscing. It was difficult to leave, and everyone tried not to cry when Matthew and I left to return to Baguio. As we drove away, I realized that by returning to the church and delivering Mely’s messages I had helped fulfill her promise to speak from beyond the grave.
Russell “went on astral” during the evening meditation. When he returned, he told us he had seen a beautiful, green parrot.
“Your parrot is an angel,” said Jun. “They fly with you.”
Then Jun translated each person’s automatic writing.
“Go farther, dig more, you are so, so close,” he told me. This was done privately, so I don’t know what he told the others. I also wasn’t sure what I was closer to.
Back in the group, Jun pointed to Russell and me and said, “You two ONLY. Be here tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. You will meditate. You will be directed to the light and the Holy Spirit will test you. The Holy Spirit will be here tomorrow. You will receive the light, and it will be a hot sensation in your hands. The Holy Spirit is coming. Do not ask for power. Just be there with the Holy Spirit. We are doing our best—we are not wasting our time. Many will become jealous, but just ignore that. God will take care of you. Release, release—think only of Him, because He takes care of us. I am sharing. I am not a doctor or evangelist, but I go step by step.”
He began to draw another picture of the steps. Pointing to it, he said, “What I am drawing is real. As you go up the steps, concentrate on the light. I love you. I don’t want you to have problems.”
As if to illustrate his point, Jun pointed to the abdomen of one of the women in the class and said, “I have to remove that because it bothers you to have such an infection.”
“I am a healer and teacher. You are all learning about the spirit, but I am divided into two.” He drew a picture of the left and right sides of the brain and described their different functions. “This side is in half trance, and the other side is in full trance,” he said.
“I have made a promise to develop the people. Do not take chemotherapy. The body does not like it. The cancer expert from Japan is my patient, and he is a very rich man. He owns stores, trains, and many properties, but money will not save him. Ask God and healing will be given.
“I am getting young again. I originated in China and I had many past lives, but no soul mate yet. When I am gone, the family will fight over my house, but I want to give charity to help the people. I don’t put hatred in my heart. Sometimes I am tired, but I am not angry.”
Then, abruptly changing the subject, he looked at Alice and said, “Don’t loan money, only give it. Many times I loaned money. People borrowed money from me, but always it ended up in court. So if you want to give, just give” (he makes an open gesture with his hands).
“Religion is only a name. Many people are praying for me and I’m healthy. I was once an actor in my own movie. I will show it to you tomorrow, but the movie is in my language. My guide is mostly Jesus, but Rama comes when the Arabic people are here for healing. Spirit is fire. When I am in half trance, I can remember things, but what happens in full trance I don’t remember. I am not a perfect man, but I am giving you the steps.”
In the morning after healing, Jun again announced that Russell and I were going to have a special meditation that night in the chapel while the others waited outside. He said we would “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Before meditation that evening, Jun showed a movie made in the 1970s in which he played himself. This movie has been shown all over the world. Some scenes in the film were hysterically funny; others were quite emotional. As we watched it, Jun gave a running commentary of what was happening because we could not understand the language. Apparently, there was a family argument as to Jun’s future—his father wanted him to go to law school, but his mother was a member of the Espirita church and she encouraged him to be a medium and healer.
There were several times when he burst into tears—once when the movie showed his father dying. About this, he said, “Even I can help so many people, but the one I love I cannot help.”
Another emotional moment in the film showed him attending a sick child. He went to pray and ask God for the strength to heal her, but when he returned she was already dead. “It hurts me too much to remember her,” he said.
* * *
After the movie, Jun sent everyone outside except Russell and me. He indicated that we should sit for meditation, and then he also left. Almost immediately, I became aware of a luminescent rose-colored ray of light coming toward me. Then I saw an enormous angel-like being standing directly in front of me, and I realized it must be my new spirit guide, Paul.
A beam of light came out from his forehead and entered into my forehead. Then the light also entered my palms and the top of my head. Mely was standing nearby. She seemed to be bowing to the angel, and I understood that we were both students of the same magnificent spirit being.
The rose-colored light was inside of me now, and I began to move it between my open hands. When I held my hands out in front of my body, I could see electrical energy charges emanating from my fingertips as I played with the light, moving it back and forth like an orb or ball.
I also experienced many spontaneous movements, rigidity of my body, and pranayama, or bellows breath. When the meditation was over, my eyes felt like they were vibrating. I could hardly focus them.
The others returned and Jun began his lecture. “Rays of light will go into your body,” he said. “Angels are coming and they will be your bodyguards. They are standing ready at your back to protect you. I call on the Holy Spirit and it is ready. Spirit angels and rays will get into you, and this starts your aura working. Don’t get jealous. I do not select the person to receive the gift. It’s not me doing it—only God decides.”
As he spoke, he made a stick figure drawing of a person meditating. He explained how the brain waves change as a person goes toward the light with angels around them.
We began to meditate, and almost immediately Jun’s body went rigid and he slid spontaneously from his chair and onto the floor. “My guide Rama is here,” he said, and then he began to speak in a foreign language, perhaps Arabic or Hindi. His face also began to change, and even in the dim light he looked like a different person.
The rose-colored spirit being appeared before me, but then stepped aside, enabling me to see Mely standing nearby. She was illuminated in bright blue light. Then a golden beam of light came into me and I fell into a deep trance.
After the meditation, Jun repeated what he had said earlier, “I will channel my guide who is Jesus tomorrow at the Holy Hour. Your brain will help heal you. Concentrate on this.” He drew a picture of a brain with the two sides connected by veins and pointed to the right side, saying, “This side is ready to be on trance.”
“The brain waves spark as they move. Don’t ask why when you meditate. Forget wanting the gift! Think straight on the Lord and be thankful. Pray to God, saying, ‘Give me a mission in my life to help the people.’
“Spirit comes at the Holy Hour of 9:00 p.m. I was changed. I prayed to God, saying ‘Lord I will serve you, but give me the strength to continue to be an instrument.’ Our body is the church. Make it clean every day. God says, ‘This is my house, so keep the Sabbath and share your knowledge’.”
Our group was smaller by the tenth day. The Polish brother and sister had gone home, taking much of the group’s stress with them. Mary was also gone. She seemed disappointed that she hadn’t gotten what she’d hoped to receive, but perhaps it was because she was drinking wine every day at lunch and dinner!
After the 10:00 a.m. healing session, Jun said he was going to test the power in our hands and our ability to do magnetic healing. He paired me with Alice for the test. When I placed my hands on her head, I felt intense electrical charges in my fingertips. Afterward, Jun gave everyone “grades” ranging from 86 to 90.
* * *
In the evening, Jun began the session by saying, “Please Lord, come to the students and give the gift to their hands.”
As I sank into meditation, my inner vision cleared and I began to see an enormous pillar of blinding golden light. The entire room seemed to fill with this light as the pillar swirled in a clockwise direction so fast that it actually appeared to be stationary. It had incredible power, much like a tornado. Sparks of light flew out from the pillar as it swirled, entering everyone in the room. The entire room was filled with light and flying sparks, and I realized we were in the presence of God, the Creator of the Universe.
The room was also filled with angels, who were dancing and singing in ecstasy. It was so all so overwhelming. At that moment, Jun Labo spoke, saying, “You are thinking too much. Just be blank. Let go and the angels will come in. Relax and let it in.”
It seemed like he was speaking directly to me. But there was so much energy and power in the Pillar of Light that I felt like everything I knew to be my “self “and the world would shatter into a million pieces if I “let go and let the angels in.” I was in half trance, rather than full trance, and my entire body was vibrating with the energy emanating from the Pillar of Light. I was suspended between physical reality and the spirit world, swirling and swirling in the light.
But then the meditation was over and I heard Jun say, “Look into a mirror with a candle at midnight and you will see the Holy Spirit.”
“I give straight lecture. Now all the skeptics are gone, even Johan (waves his hand and smiles). I’m so happy now because Johan has been changed. Before he left he even talked about God.”
The Last Day
On the morning of our last day with Jun, he told us, “Today I am going to test you to see if one of you can open the body and do the healing.”
First we had a brief meditation, during which he touched the top of my head and my body exploded in spontaneous movements. My hands were “on fire,” and I was nervous about the possibility of actually doing physical psychic surgery. Downstairs with the other students, he pointed at me and told me to stand at the end of the line across from the healing table.
A group of patients from Switzerland had just arrived, and one by one they lay down on the table in front of Jun.
Jun held each student’s right hand above the person on the table and moved the student’s hand with his. In this way, he tested us to see if any of us could open the person’s body and do psychic surgery.
All of the students produced a thin bloody line, but only one student removed a solid tumor. Later she told me, “My eyes were closed and my hand was resting lightly on the patient’s skin. I began to feel the tumor rise up out of her body and press against my palm. It became larger and larger until it was about the size of a plum, and then it came through the surface and into my hand.” She seemed quite serene, or perhaps she was in shock.
* * *
We went to the chapel afterward, and Jun came in and began to pray. He raised his hands to his mouth, gently blew on them, and giving a most glorious smile he waved the essence of the Holy Spirit from inside of himself out over everyone seated before him in a gesture of great generosity and love.
Before we left, he read from his Good News Bible, paraphrasing a familiar quote from Matthew 6:25-34: “Why worry. Release your worries. Do not think about what you will eat or drink. See the birds. They do not sow or reap, and yet the heavenly Father feeds them. We will all die, but today we are strong.
“Why worry about your clothing? See the flowers—not even Solomon was dressed so beautifully. God is waiting for us, and he knows our aim is to serve the people who need our help. Have faith. Desire only the Kingdom of God. God is love. You are starting to develop. Jesus was here blessing you, and also the angels last night.
“Try to do healing in your own place. Your body, mind, and spirit are clean now. Don’t get dirty again. Your body is a church, the house of God.”
Several people asked Jun to bless personal items for them to take home as keepsakes. He blessed my new Bible and kissed it lovingly. Dr. Floresca arrived and gave each student their “Certificate of Attendance / Metaphysical Temple of the Universe and School of Mediumship.”
After everyone else had left for lunch, I spoke briefly with Jun and Dr. Floresca about my vision the night before of the Pillar of Light. I told them it frightened me.
“Don’t be scared,” said Jun. “You are very, very psychic.”
Dr. Floresca told us about his dream of the previous night. “You went to astral in your dream and now you are also psychic!” I said, which elicited much laughter.
I said goodbye to Jun Labo and Dr. Floresca reluctantly and with some sadness, because I didn’t know when I would see them again, or even if I would see them again.
Alice and I took the bus back to Manila that afternoon, and just as we reached the outskirts of Manila in the early evening the highway merged with another road and the bus became stuck in traffic under an overpass. Out of the shadows came running a dozen dirty, nearly naked, barefoot boys. They swarmed over the trucks sitting at a standstill, grabbing anything they could steal and hauling it back into the shadows.
I had the impulse to lock the windows, but it was not necessary because we were safe on the bus. I slunk down into my seat and closed my eyes to block out the scene. Sometimes the brutality of poverty in this land of sharply divided contrasts is difficult to accept—but the juxtaposition of the divine and the profane remains ever fascinating.
* * *
When I first returned to the States, the things I have written about here began to seem like some wild, crazy dream. Would I travel again on the astral plane to the New Jerusalem? Would I meet God in the form of a Pillar of Light, or Jesus and the other saints? How would my relationship with the rose-colored angel who is Paul manifest? Even as I waited for answers, I knew nothing would be the same as before.
…These are the ones who have survived the great period of trial; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb….Never again shall they know hunger or thirst, nor shall the sun or its heat beat down on them, for the Lamb on the throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
New American Bible
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