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Religion & Culture | Japanese healing baffles doctors

Published:Sunday | August 21, 2016 | 12:00 AMDr Glenville Ashby
Takenoushi and Naka explaining the healing power of Johrei.
From left: Koji Naka, Omari Kensey, Shimpei Takenouchi, and Edward Gold

At the corner of Farragut and 23rd Street in Brooklyn, New York, stands a pristine white multi-storey building that immediately catches the eyes. On entering, you are greeted by a lifelike golden angel perched on a vestibule wall.

Therein is the sanctuary - the Holy of Holies of the Mokichi Okada Utopia Project, a mystical faith and movement that advocates the oneness of humanity and uniformity of faith.

A new Dispensation is said to have been revealed to Okada in 1931 by the Divine.

God's plan to bring about utopia - Heaven on Earth - had begun in earnest. Okada, also referred to as Meishu Sama (Revered One), wrote extensively about the spiritual world, the future of civilisation, and the path to purification.

His voluminous work has been edited and translated in many languages.

Moreover, his alternative healing method, called Johrei (purification of spirit) has astounded medical professionals. Seemingly incurable pathologies have been reversed.




Johrei appears effortless. A simple, almost silent prayer is first intoned. The practitioner then sits facing the sickly individual, who is asked to close his eyes and think about the condition needed to be removed. They are hardly two feet apart.

The practitioner raises his hands perpendicular to the body of the ailing individual transmitting healing energies in the process. The procedure is 10 to 15 minutes long. The results are mind-boggling.

It is at the Utopia Project that I met Omare Kinsey, a member for four years. His is a story that continues to captivate listeners and baffle doctors. Diagnosed in January 2015 with muscular sclerosis (MS), a degenerative neurological disease, he turned to this unique healing art.

Kinsey never doubted its efficacy. He also credits his faith in God and his steep spiritual background. He performed Johrei on himself and had it administered to him several times a week.

Incredulously, when he returned to his doctors to determine the progress of the disease and the appropriate treatment plan, medical tests showed that lesions on his brain had mysteriously vanished. He was cured. This is one of countless testimonials crediting the healing properties of Johrei.

Notably, Evidence-Based Complimentary Medicine (Volume 4, 2007) had reported that thousands suffering from radiation wounds after the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 were healed.

Doctors in Japan have begun concentrated research on the mechanics of this curative phenomenon. At a class offered by the Project that was also attended by Kinsey, I was told by long time practitioner and teacher Koji Naka that contemporary medicine is losing the battle against diseases and suffering.

In Goshinsho (Sacred Writings), Okada states: "We are spending trillions of dollars on drugs and medical research and what we get a false sense of health and security."

The founder of Johrei said that drugs mask or suppress the real causes of medical problems and do more harm than good in the long run. He stated that "medicine creates new diseases", adding that, "a healthy body can guard itself from any looming illness".

He broadened the definition of diseases to include those that originate from the mind, such as, anger, greed, envy, hate, jealously and pride.

Naka explained the Yin and Yang principle, or the theory of complementary opposites. The world, like our bodies is dualistic. Our physical body, he noted, cannot exist without its spiritual counterpart, and that both bodies are bridged via the blood. It is this unification that brings life.

"Bad thoughts, bad speech, bad deeds, and sins of the past, including ancestral misdeeds," he emphasised, corrupt our spiritual body. He calls this corruption "clouds" that make their way through the blood to our physical bodies, manifesting in the many pathologies that plague us.




According to Naka, when we pollute our spiritual body, our physical body becomes infected and diseased.

Johrei works because it dispels these clouds. It addresses the core of the problem found in the spiritual body.

"Medicine only concerns itself with discovering germs but we elucidate the root cause of those germs," the group's founder once said.

He also cautioned that "some followers misunderstand medicine, saying people should not see a doctor, take medicine or receive injections ... I urge you all to take special care not to deny medical treatment.

"When you convey the principles of Johrei and its related clinical knowledge in healing, it is imperative that you do not force people to accept our way of healing."

Still, members and practitioners of the Utopia Project rely on Johrei, citing Okada, "If people can understand the meaning of spirit, the word 'miracle' makes no sense since it is the natural course of things."

This naturist approach to health is also expressed in their view on agriculture. The movement challenges the use of pesticides and fertilisers, warning against their destructive use. "The soil has all the God given nutrients," we are told.




"Every constructive energy and element is found in the land. Like medicine, we have proven the missteps in nature-farming."

Interestingly, the Utopia Project is preparing humanity for the coming age of peace and enlightenment. It's a theological narrative shared with Christians who embrace Millennialism.

While no one can vouch for the future what is certain is that this movement has grown exponentially over the last few years. This development has been attributed to the miraculous cures that have defined the movement.

Okada, a fervent proponent of Jesus' ministry said that "Christianity's teachings are truly superb, and its divine power for the salvation of mankind is enormous."

He also made the definitive statement: "Most miracles happening and being reported in our organisation ... are of the same level as those of Jesus Christ, or even greater - a fact which cannot but astonish people."

A controversial remark not in the least if we are familiar with the very pronouncement of the Messiah in John 14: 12: "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have ... . They will do even greater things ... ."

- Dr Ashby is an academic member of Religious Newswriters Association. Send feedback to glenvilleashby@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter@glenvilleashby.