Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"What's 'Oops?' Don't Say 'Oops!'"

Here's how not to go about securing your reputation as a miracle worker. Last week a Pakistani Sufi holy man (called a pir) claimed that he could resurrect a dead man. One of his followers volunteered to be killed and raised from the dead. Remarkably, the holy man proceeded to do just that - except the "resurrection" part didn't go as planned. The would-be miracle worker was arrested by police, and now faces murder charges.

A Saddar police spokesman said Muhammad Sabir, a pir of village Mubarakabad in Bahawalnagar, gained popularity over the last five years for his ability to perform ‘miracles’. He said on Tuesday, he announced that he could breathe life back into a dead man. The pir gave the condition that the victim must be married and have children. Sabir said 40-year-old Muhammad Niaz, a daily wage worker and father of six children, volunteered for the miracle.

On Wednesday, Niaz was placed on a table in a square and his hands and legs were bound. The police spokesman said Sabir then sliced his throat as people looked on. Meanwhile, an anonymous caller informed the police about ‘the miracle.’ The spokesman by the time police reached, Niaz had died. Witnesses said Sabir uttered some words to bring him back to life. They said when he realized his ‘miracle’ had not worked, he tried to flee.

Now if I wanted to kill someone with the intention of bringing them back, cutting their throat is the last way I would do it. The problems are (1) magick can't create blood out of nowhere, and (2) even if it could, the new blood would immediately drain out of the body and the resurrected subject would die all over again. I would want to go with some sort of asphyxiation, like smothering or drowning. That way, if the body can be restarted, there are no wounds that need to be sealed. Then I could use my magical powers in conjunction with my Red Cross CPR training to revive them.

For bonus miracle points, if the subject were killed by prolonged immersion in very cold water I might even be able to revive them a half an hour or so later. Granted, a doctor could do the same, and I wonder if the ancient idea of "breathing life" into a person comes from a much earlier culture working out the basics of CPR and passing it along as "esoteric wisdom." After all, the method is fairly intuitive - when someone isn't breathing, breathe for them - and you really can revive someone from clinical death that way. They just can't have been dead for very long.

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