(Investigator Magazine 215, 2024 March)

Like Arigo the Brazilian psychic surgeon, George Chapman's body was allegedly taken over by the spirit of a dead surgeon, a well known opthalmic specialist Dr William Lang, who died in 1937. Unlike other psychic surgeons however, Chapman is a trance healer who doesn’t use surgical instruments or appear to engage in invasive surgery without cutting the flesh, but simply lightly touches the body with movements consistent with the handling and utilization of invisible implements.
As in the case of many other spiritualists before him Chapman was introduced to seances where he received a message telling him he had been chosen to become a healer. The spirit that came through to Chapman was that of Dr William Lang who had practiced at the Middlesex Hospital in London from 1880 to 1914. Lang gave him sufficient information to check the authenticity of his identity. Subsequently, relations of Lang and former medical colleagues who attended Chapman’s seances all vouched for the genuineness of the spirit's identity.
Lang's granddaughter was sceptical of Chapman’s claim, but when she confronted him determined to expose him as a fraud she said,
"To my great horror, or rather stupefaction, the man who was in this room was indisputably my grandfather. It was not him physically, but it was his voice...his behaviour. It was unquestionable. He spoke to me and recalled the precise events of my childhood. And I was so impressed that all I could say was, "Yes grandpapa. No grandpapa."

Testimony to George Chapman's ability as a healer is easy to come by. In his book, Surgeon from another World, Chapman quotes a French doctor from Marseilles:

"Disappearance  in  one  session and, it would appear, looking back over the period one year, cure of a malignant brain tumour in a young child. In one session, a seven year old child who had been completely paralysed from birth started walking on all fours. Disappearance of pain in very severe and advanced arthritis cases, especially coxarthritis (which affects the hip). Disappearance of kidney and gall bladder stones, etc."

In 1974 a young Parisien, Joseph Tanguy, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour and given only a few months to live. Recommended by his doctor to seek treatment from Dr Lang (Chapman), after only three treatments over a three month period the tumour gradually shrank. Subsequent medical tests showed that it had completely disappeared.

Chapman is sure that his purpose in life goes further than the alleviation of pain and suffering and in his book sums it up in these words.
"The real purpose of his (Dr Lang’s) spirit return, I am convinced, is not solely to cure sick people, it is to touch the soul and to give us a new, convincing insight and understanding of the spiritual reality which surrounds us."

Like all forms of faith healing whether it be the "noninvasive" technique of the psychic surgeon or the laying on of hands, assuming that it is not a fraudulent practise in the first place, any efficacy relies on the placebo effect or the body’s ability to recover naturally. By not engaging in the sleight-of-hand employed by others Chapman lessened the chance of exposure. The use of one's own quotations as testimony reminds one of the old axiom, "Self praise is no recommendation!"

Further reading:

Barrett, Stephen, M.D. 1980.
The Health Robbers. Stickley, Philadelphia.

Mackay, Charles. 1841
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Bentley. London.

Randi, James. 1987.
The Faith Healers. Prometheus Books. Buffalo. New York 14215

From: H. Edwards 1994 Magic Minds Miraculous Moments, Harry Edwards Publications