Norbu Chen

"Tibetan" Healer

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Norbu Chen 1974

'Hit' Healer Gets Credit For Nature's Work

by William A. Nolen, M.D.

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ST.LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

Monday, June 16, 1975

This is the second of six articles excerpted from 'Healing: A Doctor in Search of a Miracle" (Random House), a Minnesota surgeon's report on psychic healing. This column was syndicated nationally; different newspapers have different dates and numbering (e.g., as part 4 in the Tampa Tribune, dated June 27, 1975). This page is a condensed version of the part of Nolen's book dealing with Norbu Chen, i.e., Chapters 10, 11, 12, which are also presented in this section, with a little new information.

'Hit' Healer Gets Credit For Nature's Work

By William A. Nolen, M.D.

1975, New York Times Co.

Norbu Chen is a difficult man to put on paper. He is pompous, arrogant and vulgar; he is also humorous, warm and clever. After spending four days with him, I liked him very much, but in the way you might like a clever huckster whom you know is laughing at himself and the whole human condition.

Who is Norbu Chen? In 1956, when he was 22 years old, Norbu said, he was working for the Kennedy political organization in Kentucky. Norbu's assignment apparently involved some sort of undertaking, the purpose of which, he said, was to discredit the incumbent governor and lieutenant governor.

According to Chen, as a result of work for the Kennedy organization the police got after him. He spent some time in jail and in the "nut house" and then, in 1958, he left the United States to go to Europe Chen felt a compulsion to visit Lady Alexandra David-Neel, who was then living in Switzerland. She had spent many years in Tibet and had written three books: "Initiation Rites to Tibet," "Magic and Mystery in Tibet" and "My Journey to Lhasa." In 1960, he said, he went to Sikkim, high in the Himalayas, where he acquired his healing powers

When I checked with the appropriate offices in Harris County, Tex., I learned that on Aug. 22, 1972, Charles Vernon Alexander II legally had changed his name to Norbu Chen. I can't say for sure whether Norbu Chen ever went to Sikkim. I do know, however, having read Madame David-Neel's books, that he could have acquired all the knowledge he shared with me simply by reading her books.

According to Colin Dangaard (writing in the Chicago Daily News of Aug. 27 1973), [article could not be located] "Norbu Chen sees about 20 patients a week." If he does in fact average 20 patients a week, then his income at $500 a patient – which is his minimum fee, he told me (and patients have confirmed this – is $10,000 a week, or $520,000 a year. [$2.7 million in 2020 dollars] I had been assured that Chen would let me watch him treat patients, but apparently this was not to be.

"I'm not treating anyone this week," Chen said. "Besides, I don't like anyone watching when I treat my patients. Do your patients want people watching when you operate on them?"

However, I did see him attempt to heal some mice as part of an experiment. He made a series of waves with his arms outstretched and then started howling like a wolf. After he had howled for about a minute, he picked up two small bells and clanged them together over his head. Then he howled some more.

"I use sound, one-point concentration and breathing to raise my emotional level to a great height," he explained "We say then that I shoot through the golden lotus to another level of being. I focus all the dynamic tensive forces of my body at one point for the instant – and then I hit."

"When you say 'hit,' do you mean you release all that force to heal someone?"

"Of course."

But it was essential, if I was going to evaluate Chen's healing powers, that I get from him the names and addresses of some of the patients he had cured. I pestered him about this frequently and finally he jotted down the names of some of his patients. Here are two examples – I've changed only names and identifying characteristic:

(1) Louise Rawlins, a 59-year-old woman with cirrhosis. When Mrs. Rawlins went to Chen, she had the signs and symptoms of liver disease. She was jaundiced, her bilirubin (bile pigment) was 40 milligrams per 100 cubic centimeters of blood (a normal level is about 0.5 mg. per 100 c.c., and she had a swollen abdomen and swollen ankles.

In September 1972, Chen treated Mrs. Rawlins. She went through the usual routine – bed rest and grapefruit juice – and then Chen "hit" her with his power. After he treated her, Chen told Mrs. Rawlins to go home, stay in bed for four days and, of course, abstain from alcohol. She followed Chen's directions and lost a lot of fluid. Her bilirubin dropped. "Norbu cured me," she said.

Unfortunately, three weeks later, Mrs. Rawlins fell off the wagon. When she did, her jaundice and swelling returned.

Chen treated Mrs. Rawlins again. Again, Mrs. Rawlins improved.

Over the last year, Mrs. Rawlins has been treated by Chen five times. After each of Chen's "hits," Mrs. Rawlins improved. The improvement lasted just as long as she followed Chen's instructions.

Unfortunately, as soon as Mrs. Rawlins started drinking again, all of Chen's good work came undone. But, as Mrs. Rawlins said, "That certainly isn't Norbu's fault – it's mine."

Any doctor who treats alcholics with liver disease has dozens of patients like Mrs, Rawlins, He has even prescribed the same treatment that Chen uses: All that is lacking is the "hit." Rest and diet are virtually the only treatment for a sick liver.

(2) Willard Hopkins, a 68-year-old man with skin cancer, In the fail of 1971 Hopkins developed a rough spot on the skin of his neck, just below his left ear. Hopkins's doctor diagnosed cancer and referred him to a surgeon, who subsequently removed the skin tumor. However, when Hopkins came back to the surgeon's office 10 days after his operation to have stitches removed, the surgeon said, "I think just to be safe, you should have some X-ray treatment."

Hopkins agreed, and over the next two weeks he had 10 X-ray treatments on his neck. "Two weeks after the treatments were finished," Hopkins told me, "my neck looked terrible. The skin was red and sore and I even had some trouble swallowing. I was a hell of a lot worse off then than I had been before I ever went to a damn doctor."

At that point Hopkins went to Chen, who treated him four times over two weeks. "By the time Norbu had finished treating me, my neck looked normal and I felt fine," Hopkins said. "I'd take him over an M.D. any day."

Most skin cancer can be treated successfully with either surgery or X-rays.

X-ray treatment of the skin invariably causes redness and swelling of the tissues. Sometimes the reaction is severe, sometimes not.

Usually, as in Hopkins's case, the full skin reaction doesn't develop until a week or two after the X-ray treatment has been completed. Then, unless the radiation burn is so severe that the tissue actually dies, the reaction will gradually subside.

Hopkins went to Chen just as his radiation burn reached its peak. As Chen treated the skin, the burning swelling subsided – naturally. Nature "cured" Hopkins's radiation burn; Chen got the credit.

TOMORROW: sleight-of-hand surgery. [Psychic surgery in the Philippines.]

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Click link to see image full size. Touch "Back" to return to this page. 1975-0616-St-Louis-Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Post-Dispatch June 16, 1975 Wm Nolen, part 2, Norbu-Chen

'Hit' Healer Gets Credit For Nature's Work.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 16, 1975 Wm Nolen

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