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DOWSINGby Ben G. Hester

Chapter III

Objective Summation

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To the casual reader, dowsing appears to be performed by two apparently disparate factors—the physical and the psychic. However, a closer look reveals all the thinking within the dowsing community places both of these factors in one which they have labelled THE FORCE. This force which is both physical and intelligent is the factor that the 'scientific' dowsing community demands be included in the field of physics. They claim that the elements of THE FORCE that appear to be supernatural are, in truth, natural phenomena, and that all natural phenomena must be considered as scientific. In some writings, this is not as clearly defined as in others; however, it is always present.

To those outside the dowsing community, the thinking seldom reaches the point of such consideration

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because public opinion has been molded by writers who ridicule the whole idea as either fraud or superstition. The derisive, so-called "exposés" coming from pens of reporters, scientists, and writers of government leaflets illustrate one important point. These people have written in ignorance of the evidence available to any inquiring person. In other words, either they have slanted their writing because of unknown reasons, or they have neglected to investigate impartially before going on public record.

The most often used charge is that dowsing is nothing more than the result of chance or less. This is often based on a few existing well-documented reports on "controlled" tests using many dowsers at a time to provide a statistical sampling. These tests always show a very low success incidence and the inquiry goes no further. No matter how many of these tests are made, the results will be very poor, and yet this is not a true picture of dowsing.

There are two important factors the scientists and reporters who use the scientific conclusions will not recognize. They cannot, because they are educated to think in terms of conventional science, and dowsing is outside these confines. The first important factor is that dowsing success can be seen only in individual cases rather than mass demonstrations, and there is a good reason for this. It is true in 'laboratory' investigation as well as field dowsing. Secondly, (and this factor is the explanation for the first one) it is a fact that if a dowser is put under pressure with its implied threat of exposure and ridicule or censure should he fail, or if he has been "psyched" by chance or intention to question his ability,

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he cannot perform. Even the most expert will fail if he loses belief in himself or questions any part of the dowsing act. He cannot dowse.

This is hard fact (perhaps one of the few to be found) and it is of utmost importance in attempting to judge dowsing by the mass dowsing method. Its arbitrary inclusion in the list of unacceptable alibis dowsers are accused of making does nothing more than create the impasse of severed communications. It renders this popular type of investigation a failure before it begins. Voigt and Hyman1 list this as one of the alibis, describing it as a claim of "unfavorable atmosphere," a circumstance of the dowser being surrounded by unbelievers who "think failure." In the Encyclopaedia Britannica Library Service report the author cites this circumstance, calls it an unacceptable alibi and on this basis gives an unfavorable report. He is 'dead wrong' and every experienced dowser knows it. It takes faith and an atmosphere of belief in the act, regardless of what is claimed as the power source. This is also true of every other act of divination. However, this is not the same as the "lie" mentioned before. It is the inability to get any reaction from the device. Whatever science, or the skeptic thinks makes no difference. It is a fact.

It is also true, as we stated before, that the dowsing community is peopled with a majority who are learners, mediocre dowsers, and a few fakes, and the dowsing societies are the first to admit it and

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regret it. They are aware it is coloring their image, and they are endeavoring to correct it by teaching and self discipline. The minority of expert dowsers are the ones through which a true picture of dowsing emerges.

Types of Dowsing

There are four principal types of dowsing evident in the overall picture. They are:

  1. Terrestrial, or dowsing for water, oil, minerals, etc., in the earth.
  2. Dowsing inanimate objects.
  3. Dowsing animate objects—living things.
  4. Information, or question dowsing, which may overlay any or all of the first three.

According to the dowsers, these four types contact four different energy sources. This is not to say the dowsers list them, admit them or, in general, are aware of them. Nevertheless they are evident from the different descriptions provided by the dowsers. They are:

  1. Terrestrial radiation.

  2. The "signature" or radiation from every inanimate object.

  3. The "life force" emanating from every living thing.

  4. Intelligence from one of the following:

    1. The human mind, or

    2. Extra terrestrials, or

    3. An entity or spirit.

It must be remembered; there is supernormal intelligence involved in every type of dowsing. Dowsers explain this in a variety of ways:

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  1. From a throwback to ancestral knowledge or ability.
  2. From a breakthrough to that great unused portion of the human brain.
  3. From the Universal Mind.
  4. As a gift from God.
  5. As a gift from Satan (witchcraft, etc.).

These four different power sources are thrown together and referred to as THE FORCE even though this is a physical impossibility, and a metaphysical improbability.

Specifics of the Four Types of Dowsing

Terrestrial Dowsing

  1. There does seem to be a radiation pattern from geological anomalies.
  2. The scintillation counter identifies geological anomalies by the variation from the normal gamma ray radiation from within the earth.
  3. The scintillation counter identifies an oil deposit by the deflection of the gamma ray spread. However, it identifies a water vein from a band of intense gamma radiation above it and perpendicular to the earth's surface. This band is the width of the vein. This radiation was measured as ten times the normal. The band of radiation is said to extend undiminished, as much as forty or fifty feet into the air. This was termed an ionization band and was intensified further at a point where one or more other veins crossed. Shielding these points with lead increased the time needed for an electrometer to discharge from seven seconds to forty-nine minutes. However the lead sheets used,

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    normally a gray color, changed at the exact point of intensified radiation to a bright peacock blue or a canary yellow in about thirty days' time.2
  4. Medical records show an exceptionally high incidence of cancer and arthritis in people whose sleeping quarters were located over these points. Shielding or removal of the patient from the location generally caused an immediate remission of the illness. Long before the scientific identification of these points, the dowser noted them and referred to the radiation as "noxious emanations."
  5. It is unexplained why certain of these points are, contradictorily, beneficial to man and beast. The animals are found to seek them out, and they have been known from ancient times as healing spots for man. (The healing springs and stone emplacements.)
  6. These earth fractures or water veins have been named "ley lines" by dowsers, and it has been noted that there is intensification of UFO activity over them.

Whether or not these ley lines are intensified gamma radiation, there is some type of radiation. Dowsing cannot relate to this radiation in a scientific manner.

  1. The diversity of dowsing devices (conductors?). Everything from a pendulum to a plastic rod.
  2. The diversity of reactions. The reaction of the device is a dowser-chosen code.
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  4. The device reaction is not automatic. It only reacts after the dowser has made the decision to dowse. This is also true of the dowser who used no device. His reaction also occurs only after making the decision to go out and dowse.
  5. Other underground items (minerals and oil, etc.) can be dowsed for at will. The will of the dowser causes selectivity.
  6. There is no intelligence characteristic in gamma radiation (or other natural physical radiation). Therefore there has to be some other explanation for terrestrial dowsing than the scientific.

Inanimate Object Dowsing

  1. Dowsers believe that every class of objects radiates a "vibration" peculiar to it alone. These vibrations are called "signatures." If information is desired on a specific item, a shift is made automatically to "information dowsing."
  2. Some of the 'scientific dowsers' believe that this radiated 'signature' is a part of a chaotic field of signatures radiating from everything around us and in which we are immersed. They liken this to the field of TV and radio broadcasting. They also claim that the mind can be "programmed" to sort out a specific signature from the chaos.

This entire explanation of dowsing for the inanimate is pure speculation. The only 'research' extant on this phenomenon has been to prove that the dowser can find and identify physical objects, and some of this research has been an attempt to determine how. From the determination that dowsers can dowse,

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these physicists have speculated on what is the sensor, what is the processor of the received signals, and the meaning of dowsing device reactions; for all of which they have not produced the least proof or an attempt at proof. They have only issued statements. Their explanation takes no note of the other kinds of dowsing and the fact that this explanation will not fit nor answer the questions raised by them. It takes no note of the fact that in dowsing an inanimate object, the dowser can and does obtain detailed information about it—all from the 'signature' broadcast. Since this type of dowsing does occur successfully, there has to be another explanation than the scientific.

Animate Object Dowsing (Any Living Thing)

  1. This includes:
    1. Locating any living thing.
    2. Obtaining information about any living thing.
    3. Causing an effect on any living thing.
  2. The basis for the claim that every living thing can be dowsed is the fact that there is a weak energy radiation from the living cell. The dowser, however, adds an intelligence factor to this radiation. They claim that from this cellular "vibration" specific information about the tissue, the disease of the tissue, an actual photograph of the tissue or organ, the blood pressure of the body, and dietary information can be obtained. All of this information is supposedly taken from a blood sample. It must be noted that this information has also been obtained without the use of cell or blood samples.
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  4. This type of dowsing is done with both instrument and device. Perhaps the most simple diagnostic device is the pendulum, and the most sophisticated appearing is the radionics instrument.
  5. Healing is also effected by these methods.
  6. Harm to all living things can also be caused at the desire of the dowser. This factor of dowsing is either ignored or down-played in dowsing literature; however, it is taught by dowser teachers, and the method is much simpler than voodoo. Dowsing teachers warn that this ability must not be misused, but the frightening aspect is that it is there to be used by anyone.

The very claim of what can be obtained from no more than the cellular radiation of living things removes it from the scientific or reasonable.

Information Dowsing

  1. This is simply the act of asking questions of the device. The method of answering is set up in a predetermined code selected by the dowser. The questions are asked in any of the following 3 methods.

    1. Verbal.

    2. Non-verbal (waiting for an answer that has been expected out of habit for so long that no question need be voiced).
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    4. Using a device to locate specific points on a map, these points being the location of an area desired by the dowser. This is most often done by pendulum dowsing, but any device delicate enough in its movements may be used. No device need be used. The bare hand tingling over the spot asked for gives the answer.

We repeat. THE FORCE contacted by dowsers is the power source dowsers claim for all dowsing. However, there is such a disparity in the specifics of the different dowsing sources claimed, it is impossible that they could be one physical source. The vibrations from living cells, as they claim, gamma radiation, and the supposed signatures from inanimate objects are the three power sources. All of them, by inference at least, possess intelligence. Information dowsing, obviously non-physical, would seem to be an embarrassment to the dowser-physicist. However, it is calmly, if tentatively classed as mental programming. Specifically, the mind is supposedly capable of being programmed: (1) to have total recall of past events, (2) to foretell future events, (3) to project itself through anything, (4) to project itself anywhere instantaneously, (5) to contain infinitely more information than it had ever been taught or heard of, and (6) advise its present possessor on all things in a manner than can be classed as no less than super-human.

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Some dowsers attribute these six characteristics to "the God within you."

The first three types of dowsing are difficult to separate from the fourth because questions and answers are such a significant part of all of them. The water and ore dowser goes beyond the mere finding act. He dowses for a specific ore he desires. He may dowse for several different ores as he announces his choice. He may use the same device for ore and then for water. If he wants more specific information than just finding, he asks for it. The oil dowser, the diagnosing dowser, the healing dowser, the lost article dowser, the hidden item dowser, and the lost person dowser all use these same methods. It may be that information dowsing is not actually a separate type, but just a part of all the others, yet a part that can be used for such questions as asking advice, etc.

Finally, for the record we wish to list the characteristics of dowsing even though we have discussed them separately:

  1. Even though the records of shielding are so positive, some investigators report that they find no shielding possible. The shielding factor is contradictory.
  2. There is no such thing as a non-conductor.
  3. These force fields are intelligent—universally so.
  4. This intelligence is cooperative with man—up to a point.
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    1. It will answer questions requiring a "yes" and "no" answer, and give the typically mediumistic visual pictures to the dowser having a spirit guide.
    2. It will analyze problems.
    3. It will give advice.
    4. It has total recall of the past and will give this information to man.
    5. It will predict the future.
    6. It will apparently heal.
    7. It will make ill at the behest of the dowser. If it has been used to kill it would obviously never be reported.

  6. These intelligent force fields are amoral.
    1. It is a historical fact.
    2. Present-day experience and warnings of dowsing authorities indicate it is still true.

  7. The intelligent, amoral force field will occasionally bestow other occult powers upon the dowser whether he wills it or not.
    1. Clairvoyance.
    2. Clairaudience.
    3. Both pro and con dowsing literature contain case histories.
    4. Present-day news articles tell of it.
    5. This occurs even after simple witching only.

  8. These intelligent, amoral power sources are not dependable.
    1. They do not repeat consistently so that they can be scrutinized by any scientific method.
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    3. They lie to the dowser.
    4. This lying generally occurs at a crucial time in the dowser's career causing psychological trauma, as well as financial problems.

  9. These power sources require "faith" or unwavering belief in them and what they will do. Lacking this, they will not perform.
    1. Losing that faith at any time during the dowsing experience causes an immediate cutoff in the contact.

  10. These intelligent force fields are selective.

    1. They are active only at the dowser's call. If this were not so, the dowser could not live a normal life.

    2. They will ignore everything except the specific choice of the dowser at that time.

This dissection of dowsing may have been boring to the casual reader, but it was essential in laying a sure foundation for the next chapter, which indeed, may be less subjective than might be charged by the non-Christian. The history of dowsing and an honest look at modern dowsing shows a picture with all the elements of pure madness if viewed only from a scientific standpoint. However, dowsing is reality, and there must be some reasonable explanation. The two methods the parapsychologists use (mentioned above) to justify playing with dowsing and yet stay almost within the bounds of reason, we find insulting to the intelligence if there does exist another explanation that might be conclusive.

1 Voiqt and Hyman, WATER WITCHING, University of Chicago Press.

2 Bird, THE DIVINING HAND, pp. 272-274.

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