The "God Spot"

a brain structure dedicated to religious experience?

The human species seems to have an innate need to have something outside its own personal experience to believe in, whether it is religion, alien ships filling the skies, governmental conspiracies or psychic connections with an unseen spirit world. We all seem to believe in something, and, perversely, hold those beliefs more strongly the more people who challenge them.

Neuroscientists from the University of California in San Diego have localised an area in the brain which they have called the "God-spot" because the activity detected there seems to be directly related to thoughts of God and spiritual experiences. This area is positioned to the front and centre of the brain, in exactly the same area where some Eastern religions describe the location of the "third eye", or area of "cosmic consciousness". It is also the place where some ancient religions performed the operation of "trepanning", or cutting of a small hole in the skull, a practice said to enhance the spiritual awareness of the individual. A spokesman for the University of California team said at a conference: "This (brain structure) may have evolved to impose order and stability on society".

One case study, reported in "Sightings" magazine, vol.2 issue 8, p.44-47, is that of Georgio Bondiovanni, an epeleptic whose seisures are centred in and around the "God spot". During such seisures, he has been observed to develop stigmata (it is alleged that videotape exists of this), and on recovering he produced a series of prophecies and "holy revelations", which he now recounts at lectures and conferences around the world. Perhaps tellingly, at the time he was first observed to develop his stigmata whilst visiting the town of Fatima, (famous for "the Miracle of Fatima", where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to three children and given them three prophesies) there were reports of UFO activity over the town…

If it could be proved that a particular area of the brain is responsible for religious faith, it is not a very big leap of the imagination to also connect it with other types of belief, such as UFOlogy and Spiritualism.

Peet, 23rd April, 1998