Malcolm Smith is a spiritual healer, an "ordinary man with an extraordinary gift." He puts his hands on people and they get better. The power, he says, comes from God, and the healing is directed by angels and spirit doctors. With bemused humility, he claims to be just an innocent bystander in the healing process.
Bernice Pendrose (not her real name) lived with diminishing light. The retina in her eyes began degenerating slowly from birth. By age of 35, she no longer had the ability to distinguish purple and blue. Soon after, the genetic disorder, Retinitis Pigmentosa, claimed her peripheral vision and other colors began to progressively fade and disappear until all she saw was gray and dark. When she reached age 35, she was declared legally blind. Her doctors gave her no hope, no chance of gaining any of her sight back. She would never see again.
Malcolm rested his hands lightly on the crown of her head, and then over her eyes. Next he placed them gently on her shoulders lightly, then over her heart and down her spine. Bernice felt heat radiating from his palms, and a comforting feeling of fullness in her head. The warmth expanded across her shoulders, and she relaxed into a deep sense of peace accompanied by a feeling of anticipation and excitement that rose slowly from within her. Malcolm's voice sounded gently in her ears. "Are you ready for this?," he said, and asked her to turn her head. "What do you see?"
Years of darkness and muddled shadows and shades gray yielded to light and colors. In front of her, a window framed with white curtains came slowly into focus. Nearby, three white candles burned on a table draped with white cloth. Through the window, the sun blinked, uncovered by scudding clouds moving across a vivid blue sky. The shock of recognition startled her. It was a miracle! She could see! White against white, blue sky, green trees ... lots of green. A wave of gratitude flooded her as she glanced down at the hands resting on her shoulders and followed them up to a face framed with a thinning, mop top cut of graying, brown hair, and lively, bright eyes smiling down at her.
Jim Vilven, a graphic designer in Houston Texas, the news couldn't be worse. Jim contracted HIV in 1986 and in 1997, a major heart attack severely damaged his left ventricle. Despite these potentially fatal setbacks, he was feeling good when in 1999, he went to his doctor to have a small growth removed from his nose and get treatment for a rash that appeared over his abdomen. The biopsy revealed carcinoma and lymphoma, and a second examination disclosed both cancers were spreading. Beset with four precarious, life threatening conditions, his doctors had nothing optimistic to offer. His HIV and heart problems prohibited the use of medications routinely used to treat cancer and because of his already weakened immune system, chemotherapy could be fatal.
After the shock wore off, Jim pushed through a disabling bout of paranoia and depression, and decided to fight back. His first call went to the ARE Houston Center where Ed Jamail and Carl Bohanon advised Jim on castor oil packs, colonics, vitamins, and other Cayce remedies, and told him a healer named Malcolm was coming the following week.
"My first session with Malcolm really helped me mentally, and felt a bond with him," Jim recalls. "There was no doubt, I felt the energy."
On Malcolm's next visit eight weeks later, Jim scheduled a second session and shared his deep fear about receiving radiation. "I was really paranoid about the radiation,'' Jim recalls. "Malcolm told me he was kind of a radiologist. Radiation is nothing but light, he said, and that's what he does -- direct energy and light. He instructed me to look at the radiation as 'healing light,' not a dangerous thing. It made sense to me. After that I never had any problems at all."
Three weeks later the doctors became optimist! The lymphoma was shrinking and had spread to only one lymph gland. "Each time I saw Malcolm, I felt I was getting better. The medical procedures were helping, but Malcolm was making it happen."
After six weeks of radiation, Jim's T-cell count was in the high normal range at 981. All his numbers for blood pressure, heart, cholesterol were perfect. After a few shallow local x-ray treatments and surgery to remove the carcinoma from his nose and chest, the prognosis went from a virtual death sentence to total recovery.
Jim's hematologist, Dr. Jennifer Angel, designated Jim her star patient, and his primary physician, Dr. Kurt L. Krause, backed her up. "Whatever you're doing, don't stop, . You're the healthiest patient I've got." A dozen more doctors are following his case.
Big miracles like those for Bernice and Jim represent only a small percent of the more than 20,000 people on whom Malcolm has laid hands. "For most, it's slow, steady improvement over a period of time," he says. "And for some, nothing happens at all. Spiritual Healing isn't for everyone"
Born in a small coal mining village in the north of England in 1946, Malcolm was seven days old when his mother and twin brother died. His paternal grandmother, whom he remembers as a blend of Mother Theresa and Rocky Marciano, raised him until he quit school at 15 to work in the Yorkshire mines. At 21, he left the "pit" to ship out as a merchant seaman. He sailed for nine years, including nine months in Viet Nam. When Kathleen, his wife, became pregnant with their first child, Malcolm reluctantly returned to the mines, worked hard, saved his money, and started a construction business with a partner in 1976. He was 33.
That same year, Malcolm and his wife made a visit to his cousin in a nearby village. Cousin Betty was having tea with an elderly woman when they arrived. It turned out her guest was a well known psychic in the area.
"She took one look at me," Malcolm recalls, "and said `Young man, do you know, you have healing hands? You can put your hands on people and make people well'
Sensing his disbelief, she continued. "Your wife has a kidney infection. Your doctors have told you it's cured, but its not. In three days. it's going to come back, and it will be very, very painful." When it happens, put your hands on her, and the pain will go away."
Three days later, the inflammation occurred as predicted. Her medication offered no relief, and the pain continued to intensify through the night. As a last resort, Malcolm reluctantly laid his hands over her kidneys, bringing an almost instant and permanent cure.
For the next two years Malcolm limited his healing ability to his wife and three children, treating a normal range of headaches, colds and rashes. His family was sworn to secrecy. "In my village, coal miners are very macho -- and this wasn't macho!"
Soon, something more than a challenge to his self image began disrupting his life. Water taps and lights mysteriously turned themselves on. Pictures inexplicably fell off the wall. A bowl suddenly shattered in a closed cupboard. Giggling and crying children were heard when none were there. In the middle of the night footsteps sounded on the steps along with tapping on the wall. After nine months of ghostly phenomena, a desperate Malcolm sought an exorcism from a local priest. "There's only one ghost," the priest offered, "the holy ghost," and refused to go near his home.
Acting on a friend's advice, Malcolm consulted a medium at the spiritualist church in a nearby village. After a short meditation, the medium announced her guides revealed the poltergeist was sent to get him to this church and would cease now that its purpose was fulfilled. But the guides refused to say why he was sent. The reading proved true; the activity stopped. In the church library, a beam of sunlight led him to reach for a blue book with a picture of a somewhat overweight, white haired man on the cover. The book, Spirit Healing, was a virtual text on all aspects of spiritual healing written by the late Harry Edwards, considered by many as the greatest healer of modern times. Spirit Healing provided the answers Malcolm needed. Malcolm was officially launched on his spiritual path. He turned his construction business over to his partner, took a long term lease on a large building and dedicated it as a healing center. Next, he began traveling throughout England as full time spiritual healer, providing healing free of charge and witnessing a string of miracles in his wake.
Malcolm was a living a dream. The construction business was thriving. He drove a Rolls Royce and his spacious home was fully paid for. He had to feel highly blessed and divinely chosen for a special healing mission. Then in 1984, the Yorkshire miners marched out of the pit and went on strike. The strike paralyzed the economy of the entire region for an entire year. . Malcolm's construction business failed, he lost his home, all his belongings were repossessed. The cruelest blow followed. Homeless and unemployed, he watched helplessly as Social Services took his children and placed them in foster care and his wife had a nervous breakdown. Malcolm raged at God. He gathered everything he had that was connected with healing, from his prayer book to the chair his clients sat in, and made a bon fire with them.
For the next two years, he refused to have anything to do with healing. Then, a desperate friend, one of the few who stood by him throughout his bankruptcy, prevailed on him to come to London to give energy to a newborn baby. The infant was born with serious birth defects, including a reversed heart, and was scheduled for surgery in two days.
The surgeons gave the baby a 5% chance of surviving the surgery. Medically, there was nothing else they could offer. When Malcolm arrived, he channeled energy to the baby, and asked the father to request the surgeon delay his procedure for an additional day. "There's a pattern to how the healing works," he said. "Often the energy doesn't kick in until the third day."
On the third day, the baby's color began to change and its vital signs continued to strengthen. The surgery went ahead and was successful. Unknown to Malcolm, the baby's father was a multimillionaire business man. When he refused payment for the healing, the grateful dad offered to publish his story if Malcolm would provide a manuscript.
"I had a lot of stories to tell, but I quit school at 15 to work in the mines. I wasn't a writer." Inspired by the baby's healing, Malcolm decided to resume his ministry upon his return home. A week later, an elderly man crippled with arthritis was the first client to arrive at his door. "It turned out, he was an author --the first one I had ever met. He received a healing, and offered to write my story."* [*Healer! was published in England in 1988, and is currently out of print. The manuscript is currently being revised and updated for American audiences, and is expected to be printed in the 2002.]
Still burdened with bankruptcy and unsure of the future, a few days later, the sound of an unmarked package being pushed through the letter box in his door brought another assurance. The postmark indicated the package came from the USA, but without a return address or a name. When he opened the mysterious package, it contained no letter or note. There was nothing in it but a single copy of There Is A River, Tom Sugrue's biography of Edgar Cayce.
"Edgar Cayce became an instant hero to me" Malcolm reports. "I had never heard of him before this. He had a tremendous gift, and the challenges he faced were enormous. The book was an inspiration." On the back cover, a description of the ARE indicated it depended upon donations for its work. To express gratitude to his new found hero, Malcolm directed his publisher to send 50 copies of Healer! to the ARE as a fundraiser.
Eight years passed before Malcolm heard anything from the ARE. "They were a little slow in getting back to me," he notes with a wry smile. In 1993, Malcolm was invited to speak on healing at an ARE Congress week. His talk and demonstration of his healing ability attracted a multitude of invitations from local and regional ARE coordinators to host Malcolm in their areas. Due to restrictions on his visa, he wasn't able to accept the invitation for three years. Finally, with a special restricted visa, Malcolm began visiting the ARE Centers in New York and Chicago as a fundraiser in 1996. In 1999, his venues expanded to ARE hosts in Detroit, Columbus, Ohio, Houston, Texas, Philadelphia, San Jose and Sacramento, California.
According to Malcolm, the primary purpose of Spiritual Healing is not to heal the physical body, but to stir the soul. Unless the soul is touched and the spirit awakens, any physical healing will only be temporary. All spiritual healings testify to a higher power. Therefore an awareness must arise within the one receiving the energy of the need for a new code of moral and spiritual values to replace those which have them "bogged down" in material cares and woes. Spiritual healing is a process, and continues through time. As the spiritual connection becomes more conscious and cultivated, inevitably the cares, worries, fears and diseases that trouble the body lessen and fade until they are gone.
Malcolm's view on spiritual healing was apparently shared by Edgar Cayce's Source. In Edgar Cayce, An American Prophet, Sydney Kirkpatrick, notes that in 1911, in what is perhaps the first "work" reading given by Edgar Cayce, the information indicated that his psychic work was not primarily to aid physicians with diagnostic insights or to bring about miraculous cures, but to help open people's mind to the truth about the spiritual world. The healing work was essentially a spiritual mission, and would not succeed unless all credit was given to God. [p.149]
"And when you think of Jesus' healing miracles, it's the same thing," Malcolm notes with a grin. "The primary mission is ultimately to awaken humanity to the divine within -- a task we are all designed for, each in our own way. And then, not only our souls, but our universe will be healed. Keep giving God the credit, and we will succeed."