Since our group has taken up this fraud called as Midbrain activation head on and we are running a systematic and probably the only organized campaign against it, it would be needed to keep all our member groups informed on what is going on. A write up on Ranjana Agarwal made in 2010 is still getting comments and one of them was from on Vinoj Surendran from Kollam who said that he was ready to take up our challenge which led to an exchange which can be seen from the above link. After a lot of dithering he had to let down his heroic stance and came down to just a show of the technique at Kozhikode on the 19th of April. Going by his confident replies we were thinking that there are good chances of him turning up. But, since I am a veteran of hundreds of such battles, we always had plans B, C and D anticipating various scenarios! That was a good idea as it turned out later! The title of the whole meeting was changed to Midbrain activation – a fraud! We were forced to do that as when there were just two days for the proposed showdown, Vinoj Surendran developed cold feet and chickened out. For a classic example of the strategy of such people who resort to bluff and bluster until they flee the scene, one has to take a look at the exchanges on this write up! For those who may be interested his web site should be visited. Among other things, it promises to make one’s a child a genius in exactly two days!
But, we had told him that we had anticipated this from the likes of him and we would go on with the meeting! The meeting was organized jointly by the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, Science Trust and Yuktiyugam, the last being a monthly magazine devoted to reports about and relevant to the movement. Since it was almost sure that Vinoj Surendran was not going to turn up, it was up to us to make relevant presentations to the audience and media to educate them about the issue and demonstrate to them how blindfolded children could do what they were supposed to do after their Midbrains got ‘activated’. Dr.C.Viswanathan did a marvelous job of that as he downloaded a publicity video of another organization running the racket called as Abha International. He played their video sentence by sentence, demolishing them thoroughly with pointed evidence after each.
The best way one would say is to perform what they do. So, we had already trained some children to all their so called ‘feats’ of Midbrain activation. One by one they came on the dais, read blindfolded, identified playing cards, colors of objects and such. We also had two blindfolded children walking up and down on the stage stopping once in a while to shake hands with each other! One could watch the video on this:
After this we asked the Midbrain ‘activated’ children to explain to the audience as to how they could see through the blindfolds and this got an excellent response from the audience. Subsequently we demonstrated methods of blindfolding which were more foolproof. We showed as to how a properly placed pair of swimming goggles put over the blindfold could prevent the children from peeking through the gaps between the nose and the eyes. We also showed them how medically approved eye patches could effectively, totally block the vision.
There were a good number of Midbrain ‘activated’ children and their parents in the audience. They got upset by our attacks on their training institutes and tried to take us on by bringing forward their children to be tested. One woman was very vehement about her daughter being tested. I told her that I would not like to do that with children in public as failure would be felt as humiliation by them. But, the lady was insistent. When I called the girl to the dais and applied the blind fold as expected she read through that using the peeking method! Then came the time — to apply the swimming goggles, over the blind fold. When I put it over the cloth I could see the girl trying to manipulate it saying that it was too tight. I did not insist on fixing it tightly as I was almost sure that she would do ‘blindfold’ reading through it and she did! There was a thundering applause from the audience and the pro Midbrain activation lobby was overjoyed. But, I told them that the testing was not over. I said that the real foolproof test would be the next. The blindfold was removed and I took out the eye patch from my bag! When the child saw that she started weeping, but her mother kept egging her on saying go ahead, have confidence you can do it. But, it was obvious to me that the child wouldn’t be able to do it and I was proved right. When both patches were applied I asked the mother to move far and then showed her cards. I held in front of her eyes, below and gave it to her to hold. But, there was nothing she could do. She started weeping and I realized that she was feeling embarrassed, so removed the patches and sent her away.
But in the meanwhile there was commotion from a section of the audience. Someone said that his child was at home and he would bring him next week same place same time and make him read though the patch which I would put. I told them that they if they were interested they could take up my 5 lakh challenge by keeping a deposit of 50,000 rupees. I told them that days challenge was done at our cost to prove our point and we had done that. The ball was in their court and if they wanted to prove that they could perform they were welcome to take our challenge. Another person said his son would do it and he would apply the patch and I told him that was not acceptable to me. For which he said that why should it matter whether I apply the patch or he does. I told him that it matters to me because I would not trust him which shut him up. When this was going on another child was brought by his father who said that he would to reading with the patch on. I told him repeatedly that I was sure that his son would not be able to read through the applied patch and hence would be humiliated. But, he persisted in challenging us. When the boy came on the stage I could sense the fear in him. When I took out the patch, he started whining. When both were applied he started weeping uncontrollably and when I held the book to be read he was inconsolable. He had been publicly humiliated and that had hurt his ego. I was feeling miserable but the circumstances were such that it had to be done. The patches are quite sticky and removing them naturally involves a bit of pain. I removed one but the other one was giving problems because it had stuck very tightly and the father of the child wanted to take it away with the patch in place. I could make out that it was a plot to implicate us in a case of child harassment and told him that we put and it was our responsibility to remove it. I could pull it off after an effort.
The meeting then continued with the explanations of Dr.Vishwanath. We had successfully exposed the midbrain scam in public and also brought about awareness about it. Sri U.Kalanathan, the patron of FIRA who was the chief guest rounded off the meeting with his speech in which he warned people against such irrational fraudulent self improvement programs which have no scientific basis. Somu Rao of Goa provided a support base and helped me throughout.
FIRA has taken this up as an all India program and we are starting campaigns in all the states to create awareness among people about such fads. The worst part of the whole affair is that these people are coaching innocent children into telling lies that when they are actually peeking through gaps. Perhaps this could be summed up in the words of Vinoj Surendran who said this in one of his emails — “Coming to the matter, our children are seeing through their midbrain as I told you. But as they are children, their mind believes that they are seeing with their eyes. So the thing to be identified should be placed before them and you can prevent them seeing with their eyes. “seeing without eyes” is our claim and not performing a magic show. But in the near future they can even see behind the head or beyond the wall and the only thing is to convince their mind about their ability.” You can just imagine this man with all his bluff and bluster chickening out when confronted with people who are strong in their conviction and firm in their resolve. Most of his exchanges are on the Ranjana Agarwal article and a look at them will give an insight into the modus operandi of these conmen.
We shall keep you updated as this looks like developing into a nationwide campaign. We are waiting for the disgruntled parents who have admitted their children to this lying coaching and lost their money. More than that the value systems with which children should be raised — the basic qualities like honesty, truthfulness and integrity.