ABOUT THE PHYSICAL MEDIUM AND HEALER
George Chapman came across as a medium with a strictly no-nonsense approach, and his feet firmly on the ground. Furthermore, despite the attention that could be derived from his accomplishments, he has chosen rather to quietly devote himself to his healing work. In fact, in view of what he has achieved, not only in healing but in providing evidence of survival, he is undoubtedly a medium who stands out prominently in the sphere of twentieth century mediumship. One recognition of this was gaining the 'Spiritualist of 1975' award, presented to him by Harry Edwards.
George William Chapman was born in
George recalls that by about this time: 'Apart from a keen interest in animals and a natural ability to nurse them back to health, there were no signs in the first twenty-five years of my life that I would become a healer'.(1) After marrying Margaret in 1944, Vivian, their daughter was born a year later. However, only a short time after her birth, George and Margaret were told that she would not survive, and only four weeks later she died. At this point, George was confronted with the questions faced by those in a similar position, e.g. how such a thing could happen. Nonetheless, on reflection, he views this as a turning point in his life: 'For the first time I began to think seriously about the possibility of an after-life...I asked as many people as I could. Clergymen, to my dismay, were of little help apart from warning me not to dabble with the supernormal'.(2)
Despite the all-too-obvious lack of information about survival, George continued his quest to find answers; it was after being de-mobbed and starting work in May 1946 as a fire officer with the Aylesbury Fire Brigade, that the first indications of an answer began to appear. With another officer, he passed away the time between call-outs, using an upturned glass and alphabet, and it duly moved spelling out messages. Aware that it is argued that such communication only arises through the subconscious mind of the sitters, George's conclusion was that, 'sometimes the content of the messages was so astounding that this theory could be instantly ruled out'.(3) George also tested this mode of communication with his wife and when he did so, messages from his mother, about whom he knew little, were received; on investigation of what was being relayed, he discovered that the communicator could only be his mother. One item of information received was that she was now caring for Vivian.
Prompted by what was happening, the next step in George's progress was developing trance mediumship, sitting for three hours each day. In these periods he accomplished astral travel and made contact with both his mother and Vivian. In view of what was taking place, George began to meet with other persons interested in the subject; on these occasions he would become entranced and a number of regular communicators would make themselves known. With these, one communicator, who would change George's life, spoke to those who were present: he gave his name as Dr Lang.
up what George had already been told on a number of occasions, i.e.
that he possessed healing powers, Dr Lang advised George that his
mediumship would relate to the work of healing, and furthermore, he
would have the principal role in George's activity. The significant
feature about Dr Lang was that, unlike many other guides and controls
whose pre-mortem existence cannot be verified, he had lived in
time, more requests were made to George for healing, and eventually
these came from abroad. Not wishing to leave his family that by now
included his two children, Michael and Lana, George attempted to
initially work while remaining in this country. This in itself caused
problems as: 'One of the penalties of being well known is that people
find out where you live and turn up on your doorstep, without an
appointment, expecting to receive healing on the spot'.(7) Some
of those who unexpectedly arrived at George's home in Aylesbury even
included those who had travelled from abroad. A number of these had
seen many healers but there had been no improvement in their health. In
the case of one person who saw George after flying from
view of the number of requests for healing from those living in Europe,
George established clinics in various European locations, and began to
travel to treat people requiring Dr Lang's assistance, e.g. Germany,
Switzerland, Spain and the United States of America. In fact, by the
close of 1974, he had been referred to as '
Lang's achievements are not restricted to treating human illness; his
work has also included animals, e.g. Fella, a guide dog, who,
ironically, suffered from cataracts, and was successfully healed. One
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to know which of the healings effected by Dr Lang working through George, can be cited, simply because there are so many from which to choose. Therefore, the following are selected at random. One, in October 1974, when Dr Lang treated Mme. Gutowski for poor blood circulation and a fibroid (a non- malignant tumour in the womb), brought about unexpected results. Five months later she wrote to George saying: 'Dr Lang told me I would be healed by December 26th... Not only was his prediction correct but there has been a bonus. As soon as I was healed I became pregnant, and I am expecting a baby during the first week of October 1975'.(11) In 1974, a physician directed Joseph Tanguy to George. This young man was suffering from a malignant tumour in the brain, and after an unsuccessful operation was told that he had only six months to live. Distant healing was commenced immediately and was followed up by a spirit operation by Dr Lang in the December. After two further consultations, Dr Lang advised that the disease had virtually disappeared. Five months later at the Raymond-Poincar Hospital, the young man was examined and 'considerable improvement' was noted. This continued and his recovery was so noticeable that he was able to resume full-time work. The conclusion was: 'Eventually, further EEG [electroencephalograph] examination showed the tumour had completely disappeared'.(12) The doctor who sent this patient to George stated in writing: 'I have, therefore, complete trust in sending to him [Dr Lang] those patients for whom all known therapies have failed...The healing of M. Tanguy's brain tumour, which had been beyond all therapeutic resources, is a completely convincing example'. In fact the same doctor has sent many patients to George, and in fact even did so as 'a block- booking' without George even knowing what their ailments were.(13)
A number of examples of George's healing successes are given by S. G. Miron, L.D.S., R.C.S. (Eng.), a dental surgeon who wrote in 1957; one of the cases that he cites was of a young girl suffering from serious kidney disorder and facing the prospect of the right kidney having to be removed, although the left one was not working properly either. After a number of unsuccessful operations, it appeared that her life expectancy was no more than a year. Miron observed: 'the outlook could only be described as very bad...one could be honest and say pretty hopeless from a medical standpoint'. As her health began to rapidly deteriorate, her parents contacted George and after absent healing, there was an improvement. This was followed up by contact healing and in less than a month, her health 'was greatly improved'.
Dr Lang continued to treat her on a monthly basis and on returning to the hospital shortly before Miron wrote his book, it was discovered than her right kidney 'was beginning to function and the left kidney was functioning practically normally'. Miron's book includes an introduction written by the Revd William Rose, an Anglican priest who referred to witnessing George's work and added: 'I emphasize that he does not work for gain, nor claim any merit...He regards himself as a servant sent with the Power to heal'.(14)
In the case of spirit operations carried out by Dr Lang through the mediumship of George Chapman, a fascinating account is supplied by Morton B. Jackson, a Californian lawyer: the operation in this instance was to alleviate the painful condition of rheumatoid sodalities (a condition that attacks not only the joints, but the ligaments that bind them). On entering the room where George worked, he related how he saw George, a man in his forties, who spoke as 'an elderly gentleman', and 'somehow I found no difficulty in accepting the fact that it was actually Dr Lang with whom, I was conversing...Everything was very easy and natural'. After a cordial conversation, Dr Lang began his spirit operation on Jackson, who became: 'aware of the sharp cracking noise of his snapping fingers occasionally accompanied by instructions to Basil [Dr Lang's son who died in 1928] and others apparently assisting him. The nature of the touch, while light, seemed consistent with the handling and utilisation of invisible instruments...All this while...Dr Lang explaining, as he went along, what it was he was doing and why'.(15)
Another witness to George's mediumship was Lady Barbirolli who was treated by Dr Lang in April 1972. Of this event, she recorded that after George had said that he was about to become entranced: 'He seemed to have become another man, and to have changed in appearance, voice, manner and age'.(16) During the spirit operations that were carried out by Dr Lang, it was noticed that he operated with his left hand, while George is right-handed; furthermore, a tremor was observed. On making enquiries, it was ascertained that Dr Lang, before he died, did in fact suffer from tremors, and as this was less of a problem in his left hand, he tended to use this hand when carrying out surgery.
One report by Dr John Best described the remarkable healing of a friend's wife who had been diagnosed as having a thyroid disorder, with only eight months to live. Best details how after a few visits for contact healing by Dr Lang, her terminal illness was cured, and she became active and enjoyed life again. However, as Best's fiancée, Marjorie, had died not long before this time, he wrote to George and asked whether he might speak to Dr Lang about the questions that he had concerning the afterlife. An appointment was arranged and on entering George's consulting room, the medium was already entranced and Best noticed that the personality of George, whom he had met before, was wholly absent and had been replaced by Dr Lang. While asking Dr Lang questions, that were duly answered, Best was advised about how he could secure a better communication with Marjorie. Best followed the advice that he was given, and found that a link was established in which he had no doubt that he was communicating with his fiancée.(17)
who was William Lang? Firstly, although he was, and is, invariably
addressed as 'Dr Lang', he was actually 'Mr. Lang' in view of being a
surgeon, but through his warm character, most of his patients preferred
to call him 'Doctor'. In the initial stages, George was very anxious to
confirm Dr Lang's identity, and contacted the BMA (British Medical
Association), but it could not confirm his existence due to the lack of
details supplied and the fact that 'Lang' was a common name in the
field of those practicing medicine. However, later, Dr Lang was
speaking with one of George's fire brigade colleagues and he said that
he wanted a book to be written about his healing work, adding that he
had not revealed much information earlier on, as he did not want his
identity to be revealed. He therefore went on to give details about his
life, i.e. he had worked at
When only eighteen years of age, he entered the
In the obituary notice for William Lang, his abilities were praised and there is reference to the deep respect with which he was held: he was a man, 'always good tempered, always courteous, always full of sound advice'. But what is most striking is the amazing conclusion to this notice:- 'When we all foregather in the Elysian fields there will be one pleasure that we wish - to see him again perform...'.(19) While the writers were entirely correct in thinking that Dr Lang would continue his healing work after his death, little did they realize that he would do this in the present world. It is interesting to note that in his childhood, Dr Lang had witnessed paranormal phenomena in the family home and his father had told the young William these were caused by unseen persons: 'They are spirits', he would say, 'and there is nothing to be afraid of...they just come to visit us, to be around and help us'. Later on, the idea of life after death became a subject of great interest to him and it was often a topic of discussion with other academic colleagues who shared the same interest.(20) Surely one of the most important statements concerning Dr Lang's continuing activity through George, is the one made by his own daughter, Marie Lyndon Lang: 'an active and very well-educated woman with a level-headed approach to life and death' . After meeting George, and seeing him regularly for many years, and speaking with Dr Lang while George was entranced, she was only too willing to make the following crucial statement: 'I can truthfully say the William Lang who operates via the body of George Chapman is, without a doubt, my father'.(21) In addition to speaking with her father through George's mediumship, she was also able to do this with her mother and Basil. George regularly met Dr Lang's daughter together with a group of friends and medical contemporaries of Basil Lang, who also knew William Lang, and they 'questioned and tested' both George and Dr Lang. Of these occasions, Dr Lang's daughter stated: 'We could only come to one conclusion: that the person who speaks through George Chapman and claims to be William Lang is, without a doubt, my father...It is a fact that William Lang, my father, is as much alive today'.(22) Noteworthy is the fact that it was Dr Lang's daughter and this group of persons who encouraged George to take up healing full-time, which he did in 1957. Confidence is also expressed by the Revd Allan Barham, a experienced member of the SPR and Churches' Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies. On meeting George, he observed that the man with whom he spoke when George was entranced, 'had the appearance, voice and mannerisms of an elderly doctor of a generation earlier. He was obviously a cultured man with an extensive vocabulary'. Moreover, Barham remarked on how he understood, 'that a number of William Lang's former colleagues recognised him in George Chapman when the latter was in trance, and would meet him regularly...Sometimes they would even bring their patients for consultation and treatment'.(23)
An excellent review of George's work is supplied by Joe Bernard Hutton in his very readable Healing Hands that has already been cited. The book was first published in 1966 and has been reprinted several times as well as being translated into several languages. Hutton begins his account by describing how in 1963 his doctor advised him that he was suffering from poliomyelitis. Hutton, a journalist, had suffered poor eyesight for most of his life, and from 1958 had been under the care of a leading ophthalmic specialist, but in 1963 he was faced with the dire prospect of becoming blind. He had already been told by his specialist that without certain complex operations, he would become permanently blind. However, due to the risk element, he had decided not to undergo the operations. By 1963, clear signs of this awful reality had begun to appear, i.e. a person standing just ten yards way was no more than 'an indistinct outline'. One day his wife passed him a copy of Psychic News, and asked him to read a certain article; only with tremendous difficulty and great discomfort did he manage to read the article: this described 'some remarkable happenings in Aylesbury', relating to a Dr Lang working through George Chapman.
Hutton's wife implored him to 'give it a try', and it was with only the greatest of reluctance did he consent. An appointment was made to see Dr Lang, and Hutton travelled to George's home. On entering the consulting room, the first thing that struck Hutton on seeing George were the 'wrinkles and lines...of true old age, but I knew Chapman was in his early forties'. Dr Lang introduced himself ('Even the voice sounded old'), and on holding Hutton's spectacles, still having not opened his eyes, Dr Lang remarked on Hutton's poor eyesight and that the spectacles were classified as minus eighteen. He then went on to comment on a childhood splint operation that had been carried out on his eyes. Hutton records: 'I was astounded. How could he have known this? Not even
Hutton then details how Dr Lang explained what he was about to do and said that he would operate with the assistance of Basil and other colleagues: 'He came across to the edge of the couch and then lifted his hands and started to move them, and flick his fingers just above my eyes. His own eyes stayed tightly closed. The fingers of his hands opened and shut as though taking and using instruments'. Hutton comments that after Dr Lang had explained what he had done, that: 'Incredible as it may seem, I began to experience the physical sensation of incisions bring made. They were painless, but none the less capable of being felt. The man's eyes never opened, and he did not touch me'. Further surgery was carried out, at this point for the virus, and yet again, Hutton could feel instruments being used, albeit painless. On sitting up, he was concerned to find that he could barely see and Dr Lang, recognizing this, reassured him that this was merely a temporary phase. On not being able to even guide himself out of the consulting room, the receptionist guided Hutton's exit and he groped his way to the car and waited for his wife to return to drive them both home. There, he recorded that he sat 'cursing and depressed' by what appeared to be a deterioration. But 'then it begins to happen': he suddenly saw things around him coming into focus and consequently, he 'wept then, fully and freely'. During the journey home, his sight continued to improve and he could 'see much farther than ever before' and his eyes no longer hurt when confronted with lights.
The next morning, Hutton took hold of the newspaper and was reading it until his wife pointed out what he was actually doing. His sight had vastly improved together with the absence of the accompanying effects of the poor vision as were the pains of his liver condition. He recalls how his friends and colleagues were, not surprisingly amazed at how he, 'a pathetically short-sighted man', could now suddenly type with ease without having to 'crouch over with my nose to the keyboard'. He continues by recounting how further surprises were in store when undressing that night, and he noticed 'a long mark, a thick line about five inches long', that 'looked exactly like the scar of a surgical incision just as I had had an operation on my liver'. He concludes the record of his own healing by referring to how he later returned to Dr Lang who told him the operation had been a success and adds: 'But I didn't have to be told. I knew it. It was a miracle and it happened in Aylesbury on a cold January day in 1964'.
It was, of course, this event that prompted Hutton to wholly abandon his initial sceptical viewpoint and investigate George's mediumship, resulting in his book, Healing Hands. Apart from the fascinating interview with Dr Lang detailing something of his post-mortem life and involvement in healing, the book includes testimonies by people with such diverse backgrounds as the Chairman of Psychic Press, a retired police superintendent, Member of Parliament, matron, state registered nurse, laboratory technician and ex-miner. Hutton selected patients at random and interviewed them, acquiring written authorities to consult their hospital and doctor(s), and obtaining their health records. He remarks: 'I succeeded eventually to establish from the medical case histories that the patients had indeed been classed "medically incurable", yet the latest records stated: all tests established that no trace of the disease could be detected'. If Hutton did not have enough evidence by this stage, he was about to gain some more: when his book was about to be published, he was injured and he refers to how 'the orthopedic surgeon decided my left leg must be amputated'. Hutton arranged an appointment with Dr Lang and was operated on by him, Basil and others. Afterwards, Dr Lang informed Hutton, 'you won't lose your leg', adding that not only would amputation be unnecessary, but he would not suffer any problems with the leg either. Hutton then saw the hospital surgeon again and he states that, 'Lang's forecast proved correct in every respect'. The surgeon remarked that the recovery was 'incredible', and writing twelve years later, Hutton confirmed that his leg had caused him no problems.(24)
George moved from Aylesbury to Machynlleth in
After fifty years from when he first engaged in spirit communication, George, in his mid-seventies, continues his healing work, e.g. he travelled to Norway earlier this year: moreover, he states, 'I have no intentions to retire'.(26) His work is now shared with his son Michael, and the significant point is the father-son partnership parallel in the two worlds, i.e. as William Lang works through George, Basil Lang works with Michael. Much of the administration, and contact and distant healing, is now undertaken by Michael.
As Barbanell so rightly observed in Psychic News (27 March 1976): 'When Spiritualism's history comes to be written, the Lang/Chapman partnership which has brought health to thousands of sufferers after their cases were called "hopeless", will contribute some of its most illumined pages'.(27)
(1) G. Chapman, Surgeon From Another World (London: Psychic Press, 1978), p.4.
(2) Chapman, Ibid., p.4.
(3) Chapman, Ibid., p.5.
(4) Chapman, Ibid., p.6.
(5) Chapman, Ibid., p.7.
(6) Chapman, Ibid., p.7.
(7) Chapman, Ibid., p.9.
(8) Chapman, Ibid., p.13. NB. George makes the important note: 'Like Dr Lang, I honour the privacy of the patient...Where patients are named they have either given permission or they have gone on public record elsewhere about their consultations with Dr Lang', p.14.
(9) Cit., Chapman, Ibid., p.14. Reports of Michael's healing work have also been reported in Psychic News, e.g. 9 November 1991, 2 October 1993.
(10) J. B. Hutton, Healing Hands, 2nd edn. (London: Virgin Books, 1995), p.9.
(11) Cit., Chapman, Ibid., p.15.
(12) Chapman, Ibid., p.28.
(13) Cit., Chapman, Ibid., pp.28,29.
(14) S. G. Miron, The Return of Dr. Lang (Aylesbury: Lang Publishing, 1957), pp.9,45.
(15) Cit., G. Chapman, Ibid, pp.41,42.
(16) Cit., Chapman, Ibid., p.45.
(17) Psychic World, July 1993.
(18) Chapman, Ibid., pp.20-23.
(19) Cit., Chapman, Ibid., p.24.
(20) J. B. Hutton, Ibid., p.25.
All Sources Acknowledged.
NB. This article appeared in the June and July 1996, Noahs Ark Society Newsletter, The Ark Review and is reproduced here with their kind permission.