Lew Smith was an interior decorator in Miami who in the 1960s became interested in esoteric subjects such as macrobiotic food, meditation, and yoga. As he delved more and more deeply into this arcane world, he suddenly discovered a talent for healing (among other things). The memoir mostly focuses on young Philip's reaction to the changes in his life caused by his father's newfound obsessions, but it also provides considerable detail about Lew Smith's healing work.
Bennett Mayrick in turn was a man of many trades who lived in New York state, who one day also came to realize he had unusual psychic talents, which included healing. What is fascinating to me is that the two men, living half a continent apart, discovered, within a couple of years of each other, the same psychic abilities. They could both dissolve clouds, diagnose the sick with 100% accuracy, read minds, do token object reading, and heal serious disease. Both men had wives and families, but their inability to reconcile their newfound talents with any kind of "normalcy" broke up both their marriages.
Here is a very brief excerpt from Bill Bengston's The Energy Cure:
Without the slightest embarrassment, he made the most absurd claim I’d ever heard. "I can dissolve clouds. If I stare through them for a few seconds they dissipate. Here, I'll show you ... Pick a cloud."
I pointed directly overhead. "That one."
As I watched him, his eyes took on that same unfocused look I’d noticed before. After 15 or 20 seconds, he announced with satisfaction, "There it goes."
I looked up. The cloud was gone...
Now here is Philip Smith in Walking Through Walls:
I scanned the horizon and found the biggest, puffiest cumulus hanging low on the horizon. "That one," I said, pointing. "Do something to that one." ...
"The one with the gray spots at the end?"
"Yeah, that one."
"Okay. I'm going to punch a big hole right in the middle of the cloud and make it look just like a donut." ...
Minutes passed .... My father just stood there staring at the cloud. His eyes squinted, his jaw tight... I turned to walk back in the house, but when I took a second glance at the sky, I noticed a small indentation -- a soft, shadowy area -- in the middle of the cloud. It definitely had not been there before. Wispy strands of cloud started to emerge from the center like a trail of smoke. After these first few strands floated away, the center of the cloud began to open wide as if it were yawning. Slowly the entire central core of the cloud disappeared, revealing a round window onto pure blue sky.
Here is Bill Bengston on how Bennett Mayrick perfomed healings:
Ben would place his hands on a client’s shoulders or, occasionally, the solar plexus. After a few minutes, he would search for hot spots. Most often, but not always, they coincided with the area of complaint. Wherever they were, Ben concentrated on them.
Now Philip Smith on Lew Smith:
Generally, Pop would have the patient sit in one of our white wicker chairs. Without saying a word, he would begin running his hands over the top of the person's head and then slowly over the front and back of his or her body as he intuitively searched for hot spots of disease that needed his healing energy. He looked like one of today's airport screeners "wanding" a passenger for metal items. Like a Geiger counter, his hands would suddenly react to a weak spot or a diseased area. It was at this particular spot that he would let his hands pause to pour forth the healing energy.
Bennett Mayrick could provide 100% accurate diagnoses of people's ailments given nothing more than their signature in an envelope, while Lew Smith favoured using a pendulum for the same purpose:
[He] liked to say that he had a complete hospital in the pendulum. With the pendulum, he didn't need a stethoscope, a pathology lab, or an X-ray machine; he could diagnose quicker and more accurately than all the MDs and their fancy machines combined. He would astonish patients and doctors by describing to them in accurate detail the exact nature of their illness.
Neither of these two men knew that the other existed. They both believed that they were unique, and that they had to save the world. They both turned their living rooms into clinics. They both could cure cancer. Both had "guides". In Bill Bengston's book they are referred to only as "the Fellows", but Lew Smith's guides had names, like Arthur Ford and Chander Sen.
Now here comes what for me is the best part. Both Lew Smith and Bennett Mayrick began by doing straight "energy" healing. But Lew Smith over time branched out and the book describes a rich array of methods he developed with the help of his guides. We have no way of knowing whether Bennett Mayrick did the same, because his association with Bill Bengston only covered the early years of his healing work.
These two books, the one by the disciple of one healer and the other by the son of another, are best read side by side for full effect. The Energy Cure brings Walking Through Walls down to earth by taking a skeptical view and moving the healing into the laboratory. But Walking Through Walls complements The Energy Cure by giving the reader a son's detailed, rich, and loving close-up of his psychic/healer father at work.
Click here for an interesting interview with Philip Smith.