The Cleveland Experiment

Documentary - colour - 48 mins
distributed by 10 Francs

The Cleveland Experiment is the third in a series of films made by the production company about paranormal subject matter. The focus of all three films has been on people, people's whose experience has led them into strange and unfamiliar worlds. The Cleveland Experiment is the story of Dr Howard Hall's investigation into the claims made for a Middle East Sufi healing practice known as Deliberately Caused Bodily Damage.

Dr Hall is an American psychologist from Cleveland Ohio whose work centres on mind/body effects in relation to healing. During his research he came across references to a Sufi ceremonial ritual in which practitioners engage in radical piercing practices through both their bodies and faces. The Sufis say that these practices cause them no pain. There is no bleeding, no infection and the wounds heal rapidly. Dr Hall travelled from Ohio to Baghdad to witness one of the Sufi rituals. His mission was firstly to find out if the claims made for this practice were authentic. Secondly he wanted consider if there might be a rational explanation for the practice or whether it could be a paranormal effect.

Impressed by what he has seen in Baghdad, Dr Hall set up the Cleveland Experiment. He invited a dervish to travel from the Middle East to Cleveland, to test if the piercing practice could be replicated in the sterile environment of a Western medical facility. If replication was possible this could have exciting implications for healing.

The film examines the footage from Baghdad and Cleveland and Dr Hall’s conclusion that a paranormal healing effect may be at work. It contrasts this claim with the opinions of other experts such as Professor Peter Mulacz of the University of Vienna. Professor Mulacz has made the Sufi rituals of piercing the subject of a special study. Drawing on his own photographic evidence that features in the film, he maintains that although the effect of piercing is spectacular there are perfectly natural explanations that can account for the

Within a scientific medical framework both sides of the argument present their cases and it is left to the viewer to decide whether there are supernatural or merely natural forces in play in the Cleveland Experiment.


Andy Adamovitch
Paul Sadorian
Ken Slater

Steve Katz
Tony Cogger

Robert Hargreaves

Dan Russel

produced and directed
Adrin Neatrour

The Cleveland Experiment