Hadad – The Rogue Yogi – Superminds 6

Dr. Donald Wilson discovered Hadad while he was researching drug addiction in Leavenworth prison in the USA.[1] Little is known of Hadad except what Dr. Wilson was able to observe in the short time he knew him. Hadad was a black man, possibly born in Senegal West Africa from a mixture of Senegalese and Hindu parents. His own claims were more flamboyant. Speaking in a wonderful Oxford accent he described himself as “a Chaldean astrologer with direct line of forebears back to 400 BC.” He also said he had been educated at the universities of Carthage and Oxford, and was a Zombie priest from Haiti. He told Dr. Wilson that he had been initiated into secret and ancient blood rites which gave him immense powers. The facts were that Hadad was imprisoned on a sentence of murder. He had been what was known as the ‘finger man’ or is now called the ‘hit man’ in a terrorising gang. His capture had occurred when the police ended an impressive car chase with the gang by riddling their car with machine gun bullets. The car had careened off  the road into a cornfield. Hadad was found hiding in the boot unharmed. This was mysterious as the rear of the car was everywhere full of bullet holes. The explanation Hadad gave was  ‘I found it expedient to deflect the bullets from the anatomical head­quarters of my spirit.’

The meeting between the Doctor and the Yogi occurred because Hadad was a profoundly expert escapologist. He had decided it was a long time since he had been to the theatre, so he escaped from his cell, and was later seen by one of the prison staff walking out of a Kansas city theatre. His explanation was, “It has been some time since I have been to a concert, and I felt it would be such a shame not to go. After all, I am just a short distance from the city.”

He died in solitary confinement

For his truancy he was put in solitary confinement for fifteen days. In solitary, Hadad was naked – a blanket was denied to reduce risk of suicide – he ate only bread and water, had no light, and was only looked at by the guard through a peep-hole. During this period the guard, Thompson, had called doctor Wilson because Hadad was not passing urine. When the doctor and Thompson called Hadad, there was no response to their call. Thompson opened the steel door and in the light of his torch Hadad’s black naked body was seen hanging against the bars of his cage with a belt around his neck. His apparently lifeless body was cut down. The belt was identified as belonging to a relief guard, Red. “What’s holding up your trousers these days?” Red was asked. Instead of a belt he had a piece of rope around his waist, but he still assured Thompson and Wilson that he was wearing his belt. Hadad had hypnotised him and managed to convince him to hand over his belt, and hallucinate that he was still wearing it. This so frightened Red that he later requested to be moved from solitary duties.

A quick examination showed that Hadad appeared dead, even though the belt was not tight enough to have caused strangulation. As was necessary in such a prison death, an autopsy – a thorough medical examination – was decided on in three days time. Meanwhile Hadad was placed on ice in the morgue.

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It was a Sunday morning when Wilson, with two other doctors, Fellows and Gordon, gathered for the autopsy. It was decided Fellows would make the first cut, opening the abdomen to extract the heart and lungs. Then the top of the head would be cut open to examine the brain. Fellows picked up the scalpel to begin, but the three of them suddenly froze as Hadad’s corpse rippled into life and took a long deep breath. Fellows dropped the scalpel as Hadad said, in his perfect Oxford accent, “Gentlemen, I would rather not, if you don’t mind.”

Cataleptic trance – being able to appear dead – is not uncommon in medical and occult literature. But being able to come out of it at will as Hadad had demonstrated, was, if not unique, extremely unusual. So when Wilson and Gordon next examined Hadad they were curious about what he had done. Hadad was ready to explain. He had used his apparent death, he said, to bring his abilities to their attention. But knowing that as doctors they were sceptical, he would give them an even more convincing demonstration. He reminded them that in the hospital within the prison there were many epileptic patients who experienced uncontrollable seizures several times daily. Nothing medical science at that time knew could stop those seizures. The doctors agreed. “I will again enter a three day death” Hadad told them. “This time I will cause all the seizures to halt for those three days. I will also make the signs of the zodiac appear on the correct parts of my body.”

The doctors agreed to this spectacular display of Hadad’s ability. Talking together, however, they thought that with Hadad’s power as a hypnotist, he might very well have already given the patients a hypnotic command to cease their seizures. Even if this were the cause, while science might explain the possibility of what Hadad was about to do, it could not reproduce it on the scale Hadad proposed.

After three days I will rise again

For three days all seizures amongst the epileptics in the prison ceased. For three days Hadad once more entered a cataleptic state in which he was apparently dead. For three days the signs of the zodiac appeared on his body in the form of raised welts.

After this amazing display, Hadad offered to pass on his secrets to Wilson and Gordon. They refused. Their reasons for doing so were many. Hadad was a known murderer, and admitted to murders unknown to the police. Wilson also gave his reasons as, “… having hypnotised us, he could have incapacitated us physically or crippled us neurologically. He could have left us mentally dissociated. We could have awakened from the trance insane. He could have given us amnesia for our scientific background and training, and left us wild-eyed exponents of the occult. We had no way of knowing what he might do. He might have killed us.”

That ended the relationship between Wilson and Hadad, who was reabsorbed into the immense prison system.

Yoga secrets

What were Hadad’s secrets? The methods he used to induce his apparent death were definitely connected with the yoga form of breath control called pranayama. This training is usually connected with strict rules of harmlessness to all creatures. The practitioner learns to gradually increase the time between one in-breath and the next. Hadad had learnt this skill to an extraordinary degree, where the held breath caused the physical signs of apparent death. The sensitivity of modern instruments have shown that the heart does not actually stop, but fibrillates or quivers. Hadad’s power of hypnotism is also a skill with a long history, much used in the East and in many old cultures. Not only was it used as a means of self-discipline in yoga, but also many tribal healers, such as the African ‘ngaka’, who is often known as a witchdoctor, diviner, healer, and herbalist, are masters of hypnosis and suggestion. In these cultures this skill was part of the communal life, and used effectively for mental and physical healing. Pranayama and the skills of the ngaka need a lot of training.


Safe yoga skills you can learn

Regulating your breath is one of the safest and easiest ways of learning to tame or calm your mind and nervous system. A classic yoga method for this uses a 1 – 4 – 2 rhythm. You sit comfortably in an upright but relaxed position. Close your eyes and wait for your breathing to level off if you have been moving about. Then breath in for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of sixteen, and breath out for a count of eight.

This is a suggested number that you will probably be able to do, but it is important to find a count that is easy for you to do without straining. So if it is too easy, take the inbreath count higher until you are disciplining your breath, but not straining. At a count of six for instance, you would hold for 24 and breath out for 12. If the starting count of four is too high, drop it to what is comfortable.

Once you find your comfortable count, you repeat the cycle ten times. As you are using the cycle be aware of whether you are tensing your body. If so drop unnecessary tensions so you are as relaxed as possible. Let your attention rest just on the counting and your physical sensations.

Your breath is constantly mirroring the feeling and mental reactions hitting your nervous system. Even if you are only reading a story, your breathing and heart rate will alter as you have a mental picture of certain parts of the story. Regulating the breath consciously therefore smoothes out these mental and emotional waves. It is one of the great tools to help deal with anxious feelings about such things as exams. So even if you don’t think you suffer such fears, it is an excellent practice, and should be used daily for two or three months to really make inner changes of mind and body.

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[1] My Six Convicts – By Donald Powell Wilson. Published by Hamish Hamilton. UK 1951.

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