• Blind-Folded Seeing: Turning “Average” Kids into “Super Geniuses”

    Narendra Nayak

    September 26, 2017

    Image Courtsey: Narendra Nayak


    Blind-folded seeing has been touted as a supernatural power by many unscrupulous charlatans since long. There have many claimants to that, but they have been exposed at some time or the other. It has been a part of magic that is used by many professional entertainers who openly admit that it is a trick. But recently, there have been efforts in India to make it a technique to develop extraordinary brain power, turn your children into super geniuses and what not. The first such public claim was made by a girl called Ranjana Agarwal who was exposed by me in 2010. It was claimed that she has the powers to see when blind-folded. The reference could be had from here

    Later on, a new use was discovered for this alleged power of seeing with blind folds on. The activity was called as mid-brain activation. It was claimed that by a super secret process, children between the ages of three and sixteen could be turned into geniuses who could read hundreds of pages in a minute, develop astonishing acuity of senses, see things hundreds of miles away, etc. Since faculties like this would be asked to prove themselves, they had one tangible bit of “evidence” to prove it. The children could read blind-folded. This was touted as an ability which, children who were not subjected to this, would not have. To establish this claim, they could bring mid-brain activated children who could be blind-folded, and would read, write, identify objects and so on. This has also been claimed by them in various ads and brochures. This came into the forefront from around 2014 or so. Numerous such centres were opened all over the country and the owners of these started going around schools with children in tow who could do many activities with blind folds on. This would naturally amaze other children who would also want to acquire such powers. They would naturally pressurise their parents into enrolling them in the course and of course for a fee. These classes would be conducted on holidays; and as the process was a secret one, no outsiders would be allowed to enter, including the parents. As the subjects were only children who would claim to see when blind-folded, it would be very difficult for anyone to doubt their credibility, as children would not lie. With this build-up, the industry became a flourishing racket with commissions being given to parents who would bring more customers into the fold.  When one child would go before his/ her friends and become the centre of attraction by showing off the supernatural ability to read blind-folded, the others would naturally like to acquire the same. So, new customers for the racketeers would be ensured.

    We started a campaign to expose these and some of them challenged us to test the abilities of their children in public. One such got a good coverage and is on YouTube.



    This, followed by our campaigning in many states, resulted in the gradual decline of this. Still, efforts went on, and others joined the bandwagon like the art of living people. They also brought out a pamphlet:


    Image Courtsey: Narendra Nayak


    Even the rape suspect Nityananda came out with something he called as third eye activation. You can watch the videos here.

    Since the numerous exposures made bad news about this scam, those running them decided to go the vedic, to give it the name of yoga by calling it Nada yoga and such fancy names. Previously it was claimed to be Japanese, invented by a Makoto Shichida who was proclaimed to be an educationist. Now, in Karnataka, the same old wine has reappeared in a new bottle called brain-balancing ─ claiming to balance the two sides of the brain. Since the A grade cities have been saturated and not many left to exploit, they have moved to B grade cities and towns. An enterprise called Efficient Brainy Academy has opened its franchisees.


    Image courtsey: Narendra Nayak


    This enterprise has branches in North too; at Gurgaon, and there are supposed to be eighty franchisees all over Karnataka. One such had opened in Puttur near Mangalore and brought out pamphlets like these claiming that their trained children can do anything with their eyes closed. So, we had lodged a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner of the district that they are making wild claims without any scientific evidence and an enquiry should be held into their affairs since public would lose their money and the process could damage the brains too. A complaint has also been lodged with the Advertising Standards Council of India and the process of enquiry there is also on. In the meantime, the team constituted by the Deputy Director of Public instructions, Mangalore has visited Efficient Brainy, Puttur on the 17th and have made a report. The team consisting of the Block Education Officer, Dr. Ganesh Prasad; psychiatrist, Sri Subash Rai, Sri Karunakar of the Karnataka Rajya Vigyana Parishat, Dakshina Kannada Unit, Junior Shankar, magician of Giligili magic have visited the place where the so called training was going on, examined the trained children, and have submitted a report that the children do not have any special powers but just peek through the gaps between the blind fold and the nose. The final report of the DDPI is now awaited.


    Image courtesy: Narendra Nayak


    We are planning to complain to the Education Minister of Govt. of Karnataka to get this fraud investigated by the CID, as this is a big scam which has defrauded parents of crores of rupees, as they collect amounts from 10,000 and upwards from each parent, promising to make super geniuses out of their children. Since they have published pamphlets with the name of a medical doctor on it, we have also complained to the health department and the Indian Medical Association, as it amounts to professional misconduct of advertising a product. The same enterprise is also giving an added bonus of DMIT (Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence Test) which purportedly charts out the future career of the child by analysing the finger prints. While all forensic and medical experts are in agreement about the use of finger prints in identification and crime detection, the Efficient Brainy have extended this “science” to foretelling the future of the child.


    Image courtesy: Narendra Naya


    Also read: 

    The Claimants of Supernatural Powers in Rural India: The well-known rationalist writes about his experience of debunking supernatural myths and legends, and his friendship with Gauri Lankesh.

    Narendra Nayak is a notable rationalist from Mangalore. He is the president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, and the founder-secretary of the Dakshina Kannada Rationalist Association. He tours the country conducting workshops to promote scientific temper and showing people how to debunk godmen and frauds.

    Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the writer's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Indian Writers' Forum.

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