Newspaper Al-Nahar

The following report appeared in the Lebanese
“Al-Nahar” newspaper, issue number 8986, published on March 21, 1965.

By Hafez Ibrahim Khair-Allah

Dahesh: In the name of God and the Beloved and Guiding Prophet…

“Poor thing…he started to lose it…he didn’t need this!”

“Hey…what got into you…no one goes to Dahesh!”

“Gosh, you were fine…now you may end up in the nuthouse!”

Since I started pursuing the story of Tahra Bey [an illusionist] and Daheshists and as of last week, I used to believe that Dr. Dahesh is not present in this country—especially when he was executed 20 years ago for reasons that shook Lebanon. However, Dr. Farid Abou-Suleiman, a leading Daheshist, insisted in saying that Dr. Dahesh resides in Beirut—specifically in the Sanaye’ neighborhood, near the old Presidential Palace, in the property of Dr. Huninah. He said that he is more than willing to arrange an appointment for me with him so that I can see for myself what goes on in that house.

A red door

It is a two-story building and Dahesh has the upper level with a private entrance. The door of this entrance is a steel door painted red. The visitor pulls on a string to ring a bell and someone in turn will look through the window to see who is at the door. When the person ringing the bell is expected or is recognized, the person looking through the window pulls on another string attached to the door latch to open it without coming down the stairs.

Tiger on the wall

The first room the visitor enters brings fear to his soul. The first thing the eye catches is a stuffed tiger face with a spread-out complete tiger fur hung on the wall. In addition, a bear and a lion were hung in the same fashion. A desk chair is placed between the two stuffed heads where Dr. Dahesh sits behind an elegant desk. In addition to that, in the same small room there are plenty of porcelain animals and oil paintings from different art periods.

Dr. Farid Abou-Suleiman was waiting because Dr. Dahesh had visitors in a different room. He honestly admitted that waiting in this room makes the person uncomfortable. Many factors compounded to make the minutes of waiting serve as some sort of preparation for self-preservation and to be honest, many who knew about my plan for the interview had warned me of “fits” that I really don’t need.

Wheat-toned skin

Anyway, Dr. Dahesh arrived after few minutes, opened the door calmly, and welcomed me with a down-to-earth attitude that I did not expect. He is about 50 years old, medium built with a wheat-toned skin, pleasant, and gentle. In short, he is a very normal person in appearance, especially the way his eyes are fixated—a method used to make people fall into suggestive influences about many things. So, I placed my faith in St. Georges, the ever-winner and protector of my hometown of Bhamdoun. I said to myself it is just a matter of spending one hour with him and what could happen in an hour?

Animals and romantic scenes

We moved from the first room to another room passing through a hallway packed with books that resemble a university hallway filled with books from the floor to the ceiling. The second room turned out to be more like a museum: The four walls are covered with art paintings and below them on the tables are wild and domesticated animals made of porcelain and statues made of marble or clay of naked women in various romantic poses. We sat down and talked for three complete hours.

Q: Dr. what is your secret?

A: No secrets here! Let me explain things to you in a scientific way to make it easier for you to comprehend. As an example: take the Television that receives an image from the transmitting station at a speed close to 300,000 km/second. This is a natural scientific phenomenon that is based on a relationship between electrons and waveforms in this universe. These modulated waveforms carry the image of the announcer or the singer from the television studio to the television set where they are demodulated and displayed in a clear form.

I believe that within me is a Spirit that has reached a level of power that allows it to convey to me not only the actions of people, but also what goes on in their thoughts. You are free to believe this or not. To me, the Spirit is the spinal cord of everything in existence in this world. It is eternal and responsible for its actions and requires from individuals to comply with specific lofty values, otherwise they are exposed. I believe that it does not vanish with the body and is able to separate from the body and to behave completely independent. Miracles do take place for me and for those who are with me during the Spiritual Sessions that I hold, because I consider myself to be a mean to a specific purpose.

Q: What is the story behind transmuting matter—as in the example of transmuting a piece of wood to gold?

A: We all know that wood is what it is because of the frequency of its atomic structure. This is a scientific issue known to any high school student. What is my role then? Through my Supernatural Powers, I can alter the frequency within the wood atom to match that of the gold atom and as a result the transmutation takes place.

From Berlin to Beirut

Q: I was also informed that you can teleport a watch, as an example, from Berlin to Beirut. Is this true? If so, how do you explain it?

A: Of course it is true and here is the explanation: While the watch is in Berlin, I focus my Spiritual Powers on the watch to transmute its atoms into energy of a specific frequency that can be directed at my location in Beirut, where I am able to transmute the energy back to atoms and the watch is restored.

Q: Do you expect me to believe this?

Queen of Diamonds

I felt that he was annoyed by my doubts in his Spiritual Powers, so he nervously picked up a deck of playing cards and asked me to pick any card from it. I did and it happened to be a Queen of Diamonds. He asked me to return it back to the deck and then said to me: Do you want me to tell you what it is? Fine, look behind you. When I looked back, I noticed a key. He told me to pick it up and open the locked adjacent room. When I unlocked the door and entered the room, the Queen of Diamonds was affixed on the table. I asked him: What is the meaning of this? He said that he was able to know the card I picked, so he transmuted it to energy and directed it to the adjacent room, where he was able to transmute it back to its original form and place it against a vase of roses. This is what I have witnessed and this is the explanation I was given.

Do you have a [Lebanese] lira?

We digressed to another subject. I brought up the subject of transforming plain paper to Lebanese liras, dollars, or any other currency. He smiled and said to me: Do you have a Lebanese lira or a dollar? I said: Here is a Lebanese lira. He said: As long as the photographer of the “Al-Nahar” newspaper is present with us, why not let him take photos of the various stages of this process. The photographer readied himself and the three of us proceeded with our work. Dr. Dahesh took my lira and placed it on a white piece of paper and then he outlined with a pen on the white paper the dimension of the lira and then returned it to me leaving a white piece of paper with the outline of the lira. He asked me to write my name on the white paper. I did what he told me. He then asked me to fold it and place it in the palm of my hand and to hold it tightly with my fingers. I also did what he told me.

Spiritual Fluids

Here Dr. Dahesh took a yellow piece of paper that he said contains a “Spiritual Fluid” from one of the Spiritual Sessions and drew a pentagram and placed mystical characters within its edges. He then wrote on the top of the sheet: “In the name of God and the Beloved and Guiding Prophet.” On the bottom part he wrote: “To grant brother Hafez a miracle by allowing this white piece of paper to transform into a Lebanese lira.” The next step was for Dr. Dahesh to fold the yellow paper and he then placed it in an ashtray and burnt it while saying: “In the name of God and the Beloved and guiding Prophet to grant me a miracle and have this white paper change into a Lebanese lira.” He said: transfer the white paper from your right hand to your left hand. I did what he told me. He then said: open your left hand and you’ll see that your paper had changed into a Lebanese lira. I opened my left hand and the paper was still white! I cannot say that he was upset and maybe it is better to say that he was touched. He repeated the process on another paper and he burnt it while uttering the same phrase he uttered last. I can certify that he did not even look at me during this process—as I imagined that he would with his black and wide-opened eyes. Instead, he was looking down on the floor as if he is in a struggle within himself. In few seconds, he said: Open your hand and you’ll see your white paper had turned into a Lebanese lira. I opened my hand and indeed, the white paper had turned into a Lebanese lira with my name written on it with my own handwriting. I still have the lira until this day.

We digressed again.

Q: If you are able to read the past and present thoughts of people, how about the future? Do you consider yourself proficient with that as well?

He answered me by saying that he does not expose past, present, or future thoughts. All he does is hold a Spiritual Session that resolves this issue. Here were returned again to writing on paper. I took a piece of paper that contains a “Spiritual Fluid” and I wrote on it whatever he had dictated to me: “What is the best way to improve the future of Hafez?” I then folded it and placed it in the palm of my hand and squeezed hard on it with my fingers. He took another yellow piece of paper and drew the pentagram and placed mystical characters within its edges then on its top he wrote: “In the name of God and the Beloved and Guiding Prophet.” On the lower part he wrote: “To grant brother Hafez a Spiritual Assistance by having the answer to the question posed on the paper he is holding in his hand be transcribed on the same paper.” He folded his paper and burnt it while requesting me to [verbally] ask for Spiritual Assistance. I did what he told me. I opened my hand and I found the following answer transcribed on the paper: “If Hafez had the opportunity to witness a Spiritual Session, he will be assisted spiritually and his future will be so and so…”

I have to admit that at this instant I developed fear for many of the intended ramifications—I am being pulled into many meetings held at his place that I have not anticipated or being readied for them. He said: “Relax! I am not inviting you to ten Spiritual Sessions, however, for the sake of curiosity you can be content with one Spiritual Session where you are able to witness what happens and the rest is up to you. In reality, he never insisted on anything, so why do I believe that I am being lured?

Who is Dr. Dahesh?

His real name is Saleem El-Ashi. He is Lebanese, from the Al-Musaitbeh neighborhood of Beirut. He is born into a Christian Protestant family and now he is about 50 years of age. He wakes up at five in the morning in order to read history and philosophy books. He then begins to welcome Daheshist visitors—including the most famous of all, Dr. Farid Abou-Suleiman, Dr. George Khabsa, Mr. Moussa El-Maalouf, Mr. Edward Noon, the lawyer, and many others. He eats mostly vegetables and rarely that he eats meat. He doesn’t smoke, drinks coffee, consume any alcoholic drinks, and does not exercise. He likes to watch movies about historical events and attends lectures on literature and poetry written in verse. His library contains 60,000 books [at the time of his death, his collection exceeded 250,000 volumes] scattered over many Daheshist homes.

He says that he had not left Lebanon for 20 years and no government authority had touched him since—despite all the rumors pertaining to a prior specific issue. He and other Daheshists conduct a major campaign against hypnotists, because he believes that hypnosis does not exist. He also considers fortune-tellers to be charlatans and challenges them to prove to him in his presence any of their claims.

It is said that Christ was a disciple of the Essenes, who were contemporary with Christ and lived on the shores of the Dead Sea, because they believed in the immortality of the soul and practiced supernatural disciplines. Dr. Dahesh gives them high regards, however, he says that they have failed to perform miracles like those of Christ. That’s why people believe in the work of Christ and not in their work. He considers Christ to be a Prophet as well as Mohammed and many others that are mentioned by the various religions—they are all highly regarded by Dahesh. He had authored ten published books [at the time of his death, he had authored over 100 books] and he has one more being prepared for publication. He dares anyone that claims that he had charged a single penny for any consultation. He doesn’t need money and the proof to that is his supernatural powers allows him to transform blank papers into banknotes.

30,000 Liras

He brought a stack of white paper and trimmed them to the size of the 100-Lebanese lira bill and had me check them. He then asked me to place them in an empty envelope and to keep it in my hand. He wrote on a yellow paper to permit the transformation of the white papers into currency and he then burnt it. The result: I opened the envelope and now all the white papers had transformed into 100-Lebanese lira notes. The count was 300, which means I was holding in my hand 30,000 Lebanese liras. I felt and inspected the currency bills and they all had the security cedar in the middle. I stood and bid him farewell after a dialogue that had lasted three hours. Every time I explained the incident to my colleagues at the “Al-Nahar” newspaper, their sarcastic response was: “How come you didn’t bring us a few stacks of these papers?” I guess this was one of the reasons that made them say:

“Poor thing…he started to lose it…he didn’t need this!”

“Gosh, you were fine…now you may end up in the nuthouse!”

At any rate, this is what happened to me during the interview with Dr. Dahesh, so believe it or not!

Hafez Ibrahim Khair-Allah