“And now for the views of Dr. Figuier upon these remarkable and unquestionably historical phenomena. “A Convulsionary bends back into an arc, her loins supported by the sharp point of a peg”, quotes the learned author, from the proces verbaux.
“The pleasure that she begs for is to be pounded by a stone weighing fifty pounds, and suspended by a rope passing over a pulley fixed to the ceiling. The stone, being hoisted to its extreme height, falls with all its weight upon the patient’s stomach, her back resting all the while on the sharp point of the peg. Montgeron and numerous other witnesses testified to the fact that neither the flesh nor the skin of the back were ever marked in the least, and that the girl, to show she suffered no pain whatever, kept crying out, ‘Strike harder – harder!’
Jeanne Maulet, a girl of twenty, leaning with her back against a wall, received upon her stomach one hundred blows of a hammer weighing thirty pounds; the blows, administered by a very strong man, were so terrible that they shook the wall. To test the force of the blows, Montgeron tried them on the stone wall against which the girl was leaning. …He gets one of the instruments of the Jansenist healing, called the ‘GRAND SECOURS’. At the twenty-fifth blow”, he writes, “the stone which I struck, which had been shaken by the preceding efforts, suddenly became loose and fell on the other side of the wall, making an aperture more than half a foot in size.”
When the blows are struck with violence upon an iron drill held against the stomach of a Convulsionnaire (who, sometimes, is but a weak woman), “it seems”, says Montgeron, “as if it would penetrate through to the spine and rupture all the entrails under the force of the blows” (vol. i., p. 380).
“But, so far from the occurring, the Convulsionnaire cries out, with an expression of perfect rapture in her face, ‘Oh, how delightful! Oh, that does me good! Courage, brother; strike twice as hard, if you can!’ It now remains”, continues Dr. Figuier, “to try to explain the strange phenomena which we have described.””
H. P. Blavatsky