The late faith healer Bruno Groening.
The teachings and practices of Bruno Groening, a simple blue-collar German man whose prayers helped to heal thousands of people, are being carried on today, nearly 50 years after his death, by followers around the world.
Two medical doctors who belong to the Bruno Groening Circle of Friends are giving lectures across the Midwest explaining and demonstrating Groening s teachings.
They will give a talk in Toledo on Tuesday night at First Unity Church.
Groening was born in Danzig, Germany, in 1906, and moved to western Germany as a refugee after World War II. He worked as a carpenter, electrician, postal employee, and dock and factory worker before attracting massive attention in the late 1940s and 1950s.
The Miracle Doctor drew tens of thousands of people to healing services and was featured in newsreels, radio interviews, newspaper articles, and documentary films.
His rapid rise to fame for his unorthodox spiritual healings generated opposition from a number of politicians, ministers, doctors, and lawyers. Groening was charged with violating state laws on nonmedical practitioners, denounced by some as a charlatan, and dogged by court cases until his death in Paris in 1959.
The Bavarian government permitted Groening to continue his healing ministry, however, calling it a labor of love, free of charge, since he never accepted money for his services.
He was restricted from holding more large rallies but continued to teach and heal people in small groups.
Since 1988, a group of physicians from 60 nations, led by Dr. Mattias Kamp of Germany, has meticulously documented thousands of cases of physical healings attributed to Groening s teachings. A detailed compilation of more than 200 cases is included in the official Bruno Groening Web site, www.bruno-groening.org/English.
Dr. Lucia Colizoli, a licensed psychiatrist from Cleveland, is one of the two speakers who will give a lecture, There Is No Incurable! in Toledo Tuesday. Joining her will be Dr. Franz Gringinger, a physician from Vienna.
Bruno Groening said there is no incurable disease, Dr. Colizoli said. He said people have just lost touch with what s natural to human beings, but God s energy is everywhere.
There was something very unusual about Bruno. He would just speak to people and they would be healed, Dr. Colizoli said in a phone interview. In 1949, a wealthy family with a totally disabled child brought their son to his house and the child made a complete spontaneous recovery from muscular dystrophy. This is when he became famous.
Dr. Lucia Colizoli will lecture here Tuesday.
Groening taught that there is a higher power, a source of vital energy that he called the Heilstrom, or healing stream.
One of the requirements for being healed, according to Groening, is to avoid negative thoughts.
Belief in the good is as much a precondition as the will to become healthy, he said. We are surrounded by healing waves, which just need to be picked up.
Groening grew up in the Christian nation of Germany and believed that Jesus was probably our greatest teacher, according to Dr. Colizoli, but he did not preach any particular religion and felt that divine healing energy was available to everyone.
We always ask for Bruno Groening s help, but some also speak to Jesus simultaneously and some to Allah, Dr. Colizoli said. One friend of mine who has a whole slew of saints he calls upon for help also calls upon Bruno Groening as well.
There is no dogma and everyone is encouraged to continue within their own religion.
She said the Cleveland Circle of Friends is a small and fairly new group but she personally knows of people who were healed of deafness and liver disease.
Groening compared human beings to batteries that lose energy through daily use and need to be recharged.
In order to absorb this healing power, a person sits with hands open, palms upward, legs and arms uncrossed. The healing stream may cause pain when it reaches the sick part of the body, which adherents say is a sign that healing has begun.
Followers say it is important to tune into the healing stream every day, recharging one s energy while focusing on positive, pleasant thoughts.
Groening himself urged people not to just take his word for it, but to put his teachings to the test. Don t be gullible. Convince yourselves, he said.
The Bruno Groening Circle of Friends goes to great lengths to assert that there are no obligations or pressures, financial or otherwise, on people who participate.
All activities in the Bruno Groening Circle of Friends are free of charge, the Web site states. All expenses are met by voluntary contributions. Everybody can leave the circle at any time. There are no financial or legal liabilities. No medical advice, consultation, examination, or treatment is given, advised against, or interfered with.
Dr. Colizoli said it s helpful to be around people who share a commitment to positive thinking.
Belief in illness is so strong, she said. It s important to be around like-minded people, a community of people who are not only receiving the healing energy but keeping our minds focused on the positive.
There are too many negative influences around us, she said, citing television commercials for pills and medication, ads for hospital treatments, and everyday comments from people who talk about illnesses.
It is important to have positive thoughts and to let go of negative thoughts, she said. Negative thoughts and negative energy can cause disease. God s energy can overcome anything, but there s a struggle between negative and positive energy.
There are films of Groening s miraculous healings, with some footage available on the popular online video Web site www.youtube.com as well as his adherents official site, www.bruno-groening.org/English.
Dr. Lucia Colizoli and Dr. Franz Gringinger will speak on Bruno Groening s healing teachings 7 p.m. Tuesday at First Unity of Toledo, 3535 Executive Parkway.
Admission is free and donations will be accepted. Information: 1-800-931-9906.
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